Monthly Archives: September 2011

Grace Play.

You don’t stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop playing.

I would recite that saying after every ballet class, and every time we left Christianson Family Land Park when I was young.

When I was young, I played all day long… our neighborhood was suited for it too.  We would spend hours outside playing “make believe”. 

  • Apple Bee Corporation – (in the crab apple trees, where we were business ladies)
  • Applesauce Making – (a whole box of mom’s Ziploc bags filled with freshly poured sand from our playground)
  • House- (in one particular episode we were single moms taking care of three kids)
  • Dancing Princesses- (my sister was the director and I had to be prince Siegfried with an eyeliner drawn beard while all the other girls got to wear their Halloween princess dresses)

We had active minds, thoroughly engaged in doing whatever it was that we were doing (even if it was make believe).

We had active bodies, playing from dawn until dusk (even after we all had gone home for baths, we would come BACK outside when we heard the frozen custard man and somehow convince our parents that we still needed to play even in our pjs).

Two nights ago, I was baking pumpkin cookies with brown butter frosting (someday I will post that must eat fall recipe) while my husband was asleep on the floor, in between batches I was starching and ironing his shirts for work.  I loved every second of it.

I want to enjoy all the moments given in this lifetime, from dawn until dusk.  So often we go through our 40hr work week, go to church, bible study, run errands, and frankly, just stick to our “to do” lists.  The things we should do, or need to do.  I realize time is precious but how often do we do things for play?

Do we learn or engage in a hobby or try and pick up new skills?  Do we try to identify the gifts the Lord has given us to be used for His body?  Do we worship through our hobbies, skills, and personal play or is it just for our enjoyment?

Last night at kingdom group we had to say what we wanted to be when we were 8 years old.  I have always wanted to be a mom and wife.  Always. 

I will never be an actress or help people be healed through acting and movement like my sister.

I will never be a corporate, innovative car business man making enough money to support missionaries and give like my brother.

I will never be a pilot and rescue people or deliver supplies, etc like my younger brother might grow up to do.

However, I will use the common grace the Lord has given me through being able to breathe, move, connect, think, relate, speak, hear, and engage and use those graces to point towards His special saving grace. 

I want to be actively engaged in preparing for eternity.  I don’t want to waste the days thinking just on my “to do” lists and earthly goals. 

I am praying that the Lord would give me a vision of what He wants for this family, now and in the future.  Until then, as my dad would say, we will, “bloom where we’re planted”. 

I am hoping that I will not get old and realized I stopped playing when I was 25 because I was too busy with “to do” lists and tasks of this world to prepare myself, my family, and others for eternity.

I am praying the Lord would use Micah and me mightily for His kingdom.

  • What about yall? 
  • Do you get too caught up in the here and now? 
  • What are your gifts and how do you use them for Him? For yourself? 
  • How do you keep kingdom focused and keep your lamps burning, waiting for our blessed hope that is coming quickly?! 

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Corinthians 10:31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

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Checklist Christian.

I chalk some of it up to my Type A personality.  I like to get stuff done, and more often than not, in my idea of perfect time (much to the dismay of my sweet husband at times).

I chalk some of it up to being a people person and mostly an extrovert (this will make sense further down the post). 

I chalk some of it up to being too much of a legalist (gotta make sure God thinks I’m doing a good job, and I want everyone else to think so too).

I work fulltime and that doesn’t leave many hours in the day for much else.  However, I want to redeem all my time and make all time outside of work (and during it for that matter) fruitful, because I don’t work in vocational ministry.  I am not saying that your vocation can’t be your ministry, not at all.  It’s just that I can’t really meet with women, or do bible studies while I’m at work 40+ hours.   

My heart and mind are often egging me on though:

  • Did I call this person?
  • Did I make this person feel loved?
  • Are there enough bible studies?
  • Are people invited over for dinner?
  • What are our plans this weekend?
  • Am I serving somehow?

Here is what I am finding though.  I can’t do any of them well being distracted with so many things, so many thoughts.  Maybe I don’t do as well of a job at work, or I neglect someone/something.

Now here is the crazy part.  All of those things are good!  I don’t mean checklist as in “let me just cross this off the to do list”.  I honestly want to do all those things and I love the people the Lord has placed in my life to walk with. 

However, it bothers me when hours will pass and I’ve thought more about “MY mission for my Master” rather than my Master himself, or what His mission might be. 

It bothers me when I get judgmental because I see people not doing these things; which leads to pride, because I am not better because I do these things… and I have to practice humility and remind myself of that.

It bothers me when I see people doing so many things, seemingly so well and I compare myself to them.

I have four weekends unplanned between now and January (all fun things of course) but still I think it’s a bit odd, four weekends open in four months?!

For example, last night a sweet friend wanted to get together and I felt guilty telling her “no, I’d rather not; I need to rest and catch up on some things”.  She is awesome and understood, but I shouldn’t feel guilty…

Thus, I will be evaluating how to carefully balance all of this busyness.  I don’t want to be selfish with my time, but I also do not want to give it so much that I can’t grow and be still with the Lord.  I want to prayerfully consider what the Lord would have me to do serve Him in His strength with the time He allots to me. I think I am definitely the Martha from the Mary/Martha story in the bible…

When we had a service appreciation dinner a couple months ago, our pastor reminded us of times that Christ and His disciples wanted some rest, wanted to eat, regroup, etc.  Yet the crowds followed them and they kept working, working hard, and rested later.  He encouraged us to keep on serving. 

Christ always served; His life was a service and offering.  I want to be like Christ.  I can’t be more like Him though without knowing Him.  I can’t run on my own strength, I’ll burn out.  I definitely don’t want to be burned out and useless!

I might be saying “I can’t” or “no thanks” more often… it grieves me to say that. Haha

I don’t want to be a Checklist Christian, I want to be a Captivated by Christ Christian.

Thanks for listening! 

How do you guys balance: life/ministry/family/roles/responsibilities/ETC?

Old Rag.

This past Saturday was a friend’s birthday.  Katie turned 26, and to celebrate she wanted to go hiking!

We listened to veggie tales teach us about not telling fibs on the car ride up, thanks Chick-fil-A for that teaching.

The older Down’s (Micah’s awesome parents) put up all 8 of us in their home, and fed us so well before sending us off with cookies and bars for the hike.

We were not destination hikers that day, definitely journeyors.  I think it took us 8 hours to do an 8 mile hike, granted we did stop at the summit for over an 1 1/2 to eat, rest, awe at God’s creation, listen to Erin read to us, take pictures, you know- just enjoy each other!

One fun story of the day is that we met this fearless trio, Dan, Diego, and Marco.  Only Diego was 5, and Marco was 1 1/2 and they went our speed about the whole time… never once did those kids complain.  Well one was on his dad’s back the whole time. Such a cool family.  The dad was SO intentional with teaching his sons, it was a neat thing for all of us to witness.  Seriously, that kid new math equations faster than I did.

Here are a few pictures from the hike.

break time at the summit.

surprise brownies and a candle!

the whole gang.

the coolest pants/shorts ever.

this is the time lots of shirtless guys surrounded Katie, and we all laughed.

us.

a reminisant one from date day a couple years ago.

I can’t wait to go back, Lord willing, in October!

Found: Libby’s Canned Pumpkin

On Friday afternoon, my husband was my hero.

Not just because he found me pumpkin (the big cans!), and cleared Target of all of it, but because he cared to love me in that way. 

He tries to live with me in an understanding way, even when he has no idea why I like or do the things that I do! 

Not exactly in context of 1 Peter, but I do appreciate him trying to live with me in an understanding way!

1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Thanks babe, I promise you will benefit from this find.

Pumpkin Shortage.

I hope not again… last year I bought at least a dozen cans when I found them.

I cant find Libby’s pure pumpkin again this year.  I’ve looked at four stores now.

Fortunately, I had two cans left over from last year.  One was enough to help make this amazing creation

Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Crust cheesecakeoh.my.word. and for dinner our friend had made salmon with capers and almonds with mashed potatoes and green beans.  it was a good night.

Not to mention in the fall I try to put pumpkin in everything.  I started googling and here is what one person said:

I went online and talked to a Libby’s Representative who told me this:

As you may know, we began the 2010 season with zero inventory levels at all our locations—for the first time in our history. As a result, we made some critical decisions early on: We planted earlier, thus allowing an earlier harvest. We planted more pumpkin, increasing our acreage significantly. We expanded our growing zones. We ran our production facility non-stop once the harvest began in August.  We also shipped more product, earlier.   All of the steps above helped us to restock store shelves in time for the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday and baking season. However, we also heard that consumers bought Libby’s pumpkin with great enthusiasm! While we were glad people were finding the pumpkin they wanted, it did leave us without any reserve of pumpkin for the start of the 2011 season. Unfortunately, this means that we may again experience a shortage of pumpkin sometime in the coming months, which will be alleviated when we begin the next harvest, in mid-August of 2011.

I will be a canned pumpkin hoarder if I find it.

 

oh the small things of life… haha