Monday, June 27, 2011

Blog Anniversary & Giveaway

Happy one-year anniversary!!!  Last year, on June 10th, I did my first blog post.  Through all the ups and downs of deployments, marriage and mommyhood, this blog has been a safe haven - a great place to put my feelings out there and connect with so many great people.  I cannot imagine going through this past deployment without all of the MilSpouses out there who encouraged me along the way.  And I'm so thankful that this blog has allowed me to share my heart, my worries and my joys.  For those of you who have been following - thank you for your support!

To celebrate, I'm doing my first giveaway!  My cousin, Beth, has an Etsy shop - Busy Bee Gifts.  She has the crafty gene, that I didn't get and has been busy making totes, wristlets, earrings, key fobs and insulated tumblers.  She created a tumbler, just for this giveaway.  It will be personalized with the winner's name, once the winner has been selected.

Here is an idea of the finished product - of course with the winner's name!

Here is the cup - just waiting to be personalized

To enter the anniversary giveaway, all you have to do is:
 - Be a follower of this blog
 - Leave a comment telling me if you are a new or "old" follower &;
tell me what you're enjoying most about your summer so far.

Easy Breezy!  The giveaway will close on Friday, July 1st at 11:59 EST.  I will announce the winner on Saturday, July 2nd.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bible in 90 Days: Week 8 Schedule

I really enjoyed reading through the Psalms this week.  Psalms has always been a book that I turn to when life gets hard and I need reminded of Who God is.  The book is full of truths - His power, His mercy, His creation, His wonder... and His steadfast love.  I never noticed before how much David uses that term - steadfast love.

I wrote about wisdom in my Week 6 entry, so I won't go into that again with Proverbs.  But if anything important comes to mind, is that we should hold Godly wisdom in high esteem.  We should actively seek after it and also be weary of those in our life who are not wise.  The company that we keep and the counsel that we seek should also be seeking wisdom in their lives.

Do you have a favorite Psalm or Proverb from this week?  Or is there a Psalm or Proverb that you cling to on a daily basis?  Psalm 46:10 has been a verse that I've held on tightly to the last few years.  It says, "Be still and know that I am God".  That verse has gotten me through three deployments and some dark days in my marriage.  God is sovereign and He holds all things in His hand. 

Be Still and Know by Steven Curtis Chapman

Be still and know that He is God

Be still and know that He is holy
Be still, O restless soul of mine
Bow before the Prince of peace
Let the noise and clamor cease

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is faithful
Consider all that He has done
Stand in awe and be amazed
And know that He will never change
Be still

Be still, and know that He is God
Be still, and know that He is God
Be still, and know that He is God

Be still; Be speechless

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know He is our Father
Come rest your head upon His breast
Listen to the rhythm of His unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come
Be still, Be still

Here is this week's schedule:

Day 48, Monday June 27th
Ecclesiastes 3:1 - Song of Songs 8:14

Day 49, Tuesday June 28th
Isaiah 1:1 - Isaiah 13:22

Day 50, Wednesday June 29th
Isaiah 14:1 - Isaiah 28:29

Day 51, Thursday 30th
Isaiah 29:1 - Isaiah 41:18

Day 52, Friday July 1st
Grace Day - Enjoy a day off from reading!

Day 53, Saturday July 2nd
Isaiah 41:19 - Isaiah 52:12

Day 54, Sunday July 3rd
Isaiah 52:13 - Isaiah 66:18

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hope & Comfort

I've written before about Jessica at {Mis}Adventures of a Lifetime.  She inspired me about a year ago to take the jump into blogging and over the last few months has gone through a lot of personal struggles.

I've really appreciated her honesty during this deeply personal time and her willingness to open her life to the blogging world.  Jessica's been on my heart these past few months, and often comes to mind.  Although I've never met her, I pray for her often - specifically that she would find God's purpose in all that's happened recently.

Last week she wrote a beautiful post about her struggle with depression and her journey through it.  I have struggled with depression some while I was in college and I know it can be a very dark time, especially when you only look within yourself.  Jessica's perspective through this is refreshing and I'm encouraged to see where God is taking her.

One of my favorite passages in Scripture is in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.  It says:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.  If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings we suffer.  Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort." 

What an awesome promise.  We can find purpose in our suffering, because God promises that we can someday comfort others who may be going through similar heartache.  Time and time again, God has given me opportunity to share about my own struggles so that I can not only comfort those who are hurting, but offer some kind of hope.  We will be buried in self-pity while in our own struggle if we don't believe there's purpose sometime in the future.

Bible in 90 Days: Week 7 Schedule

This past week, we finished up 2 Chronicles and read through Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job and started Psalms.  What a wide range of characters, stories and Biblical lessons!  As we've read through all the good and bad kings of Chronicles, the stories of Nehemiah, the redemption of Esther and Job, I've constantly thought about God's steadfast love and his never-ending mercy.  It can seem in God's dealings with the Israelites that He is judgemental and hard, but if you look at the consistency of his redemption, it is clear that His LOVE is behind all of His works.  Love is the driving force behind all of Scripture, and that has really been driven-in for me the past few weeks.

I wasn't sure how I would like reading through the Psalms in such a short period of time, but they seem to be at a perfect spot - right after the story of Job and his testing of faith.  Psalms offers so many promises of God's faithfulness, love and constant presence in the lives of those who love Him. 

As we continue with our reading, please try to keep in mind the attributes of God.  He is forever faithful, loving, merciful, gracious, eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, holy, truthful, good and just.

Here is this week's schedule:

Day 41, Monday June 20th
Psalms 45:15 - 69:21

Day 42, Tuesday June 21st
Psalms 69:22 - 89:13

Day 43, Wednesday June 22nd
Psalms 89:14 - 108:13

Day 44, Thursday June 23rd
Psalms 109:1 - 134:3

Day 45, Friday June 24th
Psalms 135:1 - Proverbs 6:35

Day 46, Saturday June 25th
Proverbs 7:1 -  20:21

Day 47, Sunday June 26th
Proverbs 20:22 - Ecclesiastes 2:26

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bible in 90 Days: Week 6 Schedule

I have to say that this week has been a great week of reading. We've read through the majority of Kings and Chronicles... books that are full of dates, history and names.  I felt overwhelmed two weeks ago when we started I Kings, but instead of trying to remember all of the details, I've tried to focus on the bigger picture:  who are the kings, what God did they serve and what was God's purpose for them?

I've noticed that the kings' success was reliant on God's influence in their lives.  When they tried to do things on their own, apart from God, their Kingdom fell apart.  When the king tore apart centralized worship, their Kingdom was doomed.  When pride got in their way, and their focus feel away from God, God pulled His blessings and protection from them and their people. 

Our pastor today, preached on wisdom.  It struck a cord in me because for the past year I have been praying constantly for God's wisdom in my life.  A passage that has been close to my heart has been James 1:5-6.  It says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of sea that is driven and tossed by the wind."  This promise is incredible because God promises an abundance of wisdom if we ask and seek Him with complete faith.

I loved reading about Solomon and how God blessed him because he asked for wisdom instead of prosperity.  God prospered Solomon because of this - in both wealth and wisdom.  Kings from other nations went to Solomon for advice!  He was the wisest man (besides Christ) who ever lived and it is because He sought God and sought God's wisdom.

In reading through the stories of the kings, I see that they continued to seek poor counsel, poor advice and poor wisdom.  They often looked toward false gods and idols or asked wicked men for counsel.  It's because of their lack of wisdom and their unwillingness to seek the One who is wise, that their kingdom's failed.

God again and again cries out to His people.  He wants to be their God.  Their only God.  God is yearning for them to know Him.  It seems that throughout all that we've read, God is constantly pleading, let me guide you, let me teach you, let me protect you, let me provide for you, let me lead you, let me love you... let me be sufficient for you.  He is hungry for their worship and acknowledgement of who He is and He wants the best for them.  But Israel continues to turn their back on the One who has always provided and loved  them the most.

How many times do we turn on God when pride gets in the way?  How often do we seek the counsel of the unwise, when God offers us supernatural wisdom?  How often do we forget to thank Him for all that He has done for us?

Here is this week's schedule:

Day 34, Monday June 13th
2 Chronicles 35:16 - Ezra 10:44

Day 35, Tuesday, June 14th
Nehemiah 1:1 - 13:14

Day 36, Wednesday June 15th
Nehemiah 13:15 - Job 7:21

Day 37, Thursday June 16th
Job 8:1 - 24:25

Day 38, Friday  June 17th
Job 25:1 - 41:34

Day 39,Saturday June 18th
Job 42:1 - Psalm 24:10

Day 40, Sunday June 19th
Psalms 25:1 - 45:14

Have a wonderful week!  Please feel free to share what you've been learning through your reading.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


(image from Committed Indians)

I had quite the conundrum today while at the doctor's office.  I was finishing up with the appointment - making small talk with the nurse practitioner when she said something shockingly beautiful.  She said my body mass index (BMI) was low.  I was underweight.  Underweight?  I was totally baffled and told her I was hoping to lose another ten pounds or so, and she told me "no", "don't".  I actually needed to gain a few pounds, according to her.

As I got dressed, I was in a state of bliss.  Wonderful bliss.  My fight this last year to lose weight in a slow and healthy way, got me to a point where I actually needed to gain a few pounds.  Then I took a peek at my chart and my bliss ended right then.  The nurse had inaccurately written my weight from today.  And I mean the number was way off... like my freshman year of high school - off. 

I had a moment when I didn't know what to do.  I mean, I knew what the right thing to do was.  But I really liked the feeling of bliss I had, no matter how delusional it was at the time.  I thought I could keep that feeling going if I just let that number stay there in black and white, until I had to go back next year.

I took my delusional self to the nurse's desk and revealed the error.  The glorious error.

Now, according to their records, I am no longer underweight.  Sad but true.

Reality isn't as fun as delusion.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bible in 90 Days: Week 5 Schedule

We are onto week 5, and I must admit that some of the stories are starting to get all mixed up in my head.  I've been trying to review the names and relationships to keep track of all the stories we've read so far, but suddenly I'm trying to figure out who was married to whom and who was related.  I've gotten a bit behind in my reading the last few nights, so I have a bit of catching up to do tonight.

How is your reading going so far?  Are you struggling to keep on track with the schedule?

I really enjoyed reading about Samuel, Saul and David this week.  There is so much in those stories, that I'm looking forward to going back when all this is over and re-reading their narrative.  The one thing that really stood out to me this week was the relationship between David and Jonathan.  They were dear friends, woven tightly - just like brothers.  They understood each other's heart and really, truly loved one another.

It made me think about those in my life who know my heart and are willing to push me in the right direction.  I'm blessed by a few close friends who speak truth to me regularly and inspire me to draw closer to God.  You know who you are, and I am beyond blessed to have you in my life!

Here is this week's schedule:

Day 27, Monday June 6th
2 Kings 4:38 - 2 Kings 15:26

Day 28, Tuesday June 7th
2 Kings 15:27 - 2 Kings 25:30

Day 29, Wednesday June 8th
1 Chronicles 1:1 - 1 Chronicles 9:44

Day 30, Thursday June 9th
1 Chronicles 10:1 - I Chronicles 23:32

Day 31, Friday June 10th
1 Chronicles 24:1 - 2 Chronicles 7:10

Day 32, Saturday June 11th
2 Chronicles 7:11 - 2 Chronicles 23:15

Day 33, Sunday June 12th
2 Chronicles 23:16 - 2 Chronicles 35:15