Monday, December 30, 2013

Hail, the conquering hero...

I did it! My Fantasy Football Team, Amy's Annihilators, came in FIRST PLACE!


What did I win, you ask?

First pick in next year's draft. Woohoo. :-) Still, victory is sweet.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Here We Go, Now!

Guys. I'm so excited to announce that I am in the lead for first place in my Fantasy Football League! Sunday's games will determine the winner… Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Imperfectly Perfect Christmas

Being the idealist that I am, last year I had grand plans for the Christmas season, including lots of quality time with Big Brother, decorating, shopping, baking and doing crafts together. Then our lives blew up with the premature birth of Little Brother and suddenly I didn't care about any holidays at all. Fast forward through 2013. Every month I thought (and talked) about how I didn't get to have "last Christmas" the way that I had wanted. I thought (and talked!) about how this year would be different. I spun dream webs in my head of a perfectly decorated house, filled with the smells of freshly baked Christmas goodies; I saw Big Brother and I doing crafts together and discussing the Christmas story.

What IS this dream world in which I insist upon residing? Sometimes, I just need a smack in the head.

Obviously, my idealistic dreams have not been reality (and will continue to not be reality for the rest of my life, I'm sure). I'm not being defeatist here. I'm just admitting that what I want probably isn't what is best for me. Here is reality: the Christmas baking that I've attempted so far has been hastily done between interruptions that sound like this:

"STOP sitting on your brother!"
"Why are you crying? OH. You need your diaper changed!"
"Please take your hand out of your pants."
"STOP climbing on the ________."
"No, you may not watch more TV."
"No, you may not ________."

I'd love to bake a long list of traditional Christmas cookies, but all I've done so far (and I probably won't do any more) is to dip some pretzels in white chocolate, make peppermint bark, pecan tartlets and pizelles.

My tree, while pretty, isn't the way that I would want it. Part of this is due to the small hands that helped to decorate it. Part of it is due to the small hands that continually take ornaments OFF the tree (because they look delicious?). My Christmas decorations are limited to a tree, a nativity candle holder (which I love) and two stockings hung haphazardly high out of the reach of little hands. These items, I might add, are hung on an incomplete entertainment center.
My favorite nativity!
How our living room currently looks.

For a few days after we put up our tree, I was inwardly bemoaning the fact that the incompletion of our project (that's right; STILL not finished) has once again ruined my idealistic picture of how I wanted Christmas to be this year. Then, as I was lying on the floor in front of the tree, holding Little Brother in the air to make him laugh, I was reminded of something.

"Last year," I told him, still holding him aloft, "I would have given anything to have you home for Christmas, even with an incomplete house." Tears sprang to my eyes and I brought him to my chest for a big hug.

Attitude: adjusted.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Sword 2014!

I have had a request to help a few friends with accountability for scripture memory in 2014. I thought the best way to do that would be to share my plans for scripture memory before 2014 begins, so anyone who wants to join me has time to plan ahead. I'll let you know what I'm doing, so that you can come along for the ride… but any mode of scripture memory is better than none!

I've mentioned before how huge scripture memory has been in my spiritual growth over the last few years. If anyone needs some inspiration for why they should memorize scripture, I recommend going to the Calvary Baptist Church website to listen to Pastor Holcomb's sermon from Sunday morning on 12/15/13. I was challenged and encouraged by it, and I don't even need anyone to tell me how important scripture memory is!

So, here's what I'm going to do. I plan to memorize two verses per month; I will post the verses on the first and the fifteenth of each month. I pick verses that are pertinent to my personal journey at that point in time. I feel that it makes it easier for me to actually wield the sword to fight if the verses I'm memorizing have to do with my battle. I'll get a spiral of note cards as pictured below and carry it with me to work on my verses throughout the day.

This is my spiral from 2012, which is why it's pretty worn!

If you would like to join me in this journey for 2014, feel free to comment on my posts with the verse that you are choosing to memorize. That can be your accountability! I love hearing what other people are memorizing, and we are stronger when we do things together! Also, for my friends who sometimes see me face to face, please feel free to "pop quiz" me when you see me - and if you want me to listen to you say your verses, I'd be happy to do that, as well!

I will start on January 1st, 2014. Who's in?!?!?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Just For Funsies

I cannot help but giggle about this. Seriously, it made my day when I read this blog post and heard about Cozy Classics. Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favorite novel and love story, and I'm a huge Jane Austen fan.

So, this year, all of the children in my life got a Cozy Classic for Christmas. AND all of the girls got the Cozy Classic version of Pride and Prejudice. Aaaaaand I bought a copy for myself, too.


I highly recommend these books. I bought almost all of them and love the simplicity of the stories for little children. This is the perfect way for me to share my love of Jane Austen with all of the kids in my life. And I speak from experience when I say that the pictures captivate the attention of children. If you love literature and want a way to share it with the children in your life (other than reading aloud the actual novels, of course!), these books are a wonderful option. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Sword V24

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men." 
Col. 3:23

Sometimes, in my never-ending battle with the laundry basket and the dirty floor, I get a little discouraged about the seeming futility of house work. I chose this verse as a reminder that I am doing the laundry and cleaning the floor to the glory of my Lord because that is His work for me right now. Maybe someday He will ask me to do more interesting things, but for right now I am trying to do everything heartily for Him.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Sword V23

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23

I recently completed a Bible study on the Tabernacle. I think I've mentioned before how much I appreciate the ministry of Beth Moore. God really encouraged me through this study. One of my favorite moments, though, was learning about the manna that God provided each morning for the Israelites.

God provides mercy and grace abundantly, just as he provided manna each morning for Israel. He provides just what we need, when we need it, always. The thing that struck me was the reminder that the manna is always there, every day, just what we need, just what he promised - but like the Israelites in the wilderness, we have to participate - we have to gather it. God wants us to be active participants in this relationship with him, not passive recipients. How often do we go without the strength, grace and mercy that we need each day just because we do not take what is offered to us?

I chose to memorize Lamentations 3:22-23 to remind me to gather up God's mercies every morning.

My Sword V22

"Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment."
Proverb 12:19

I remember telling my mom a lie when I was about five years old. The thing about lying to your mom is that you feel terrible about it afterwards. It is even more terrible when your mom discovers your lie and punishes you for it. I don't know if my mom remembers this pivotal moment in my life, but I distinctly do.

Our kitchen counter opened into the dining room area. I was standing in the dining room, leaning over the counter as my mom worked on the other side.

"I will never lie to you again, Mommy," I told her.

"You won't?" she asked in her gentle way. "Why not?"

"Because," I confided, "It isn't worth it."

I remember being fully convinced of that fact, and ever since have strived to make honesty an integral part of all of my communication. Anyone who says that a life lesson cannot be learned at five, take heed. I learned not to lie when I was five.

I love this proverb because it reminds me that the truth will ALWAYS endure.

My Sword V21

"This God - His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him."
Psalm 18:30

I am drawn to the word "refuge." It may be one of my favorite words. I need refuge!

My Sword V19 & 20

"We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor for the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."
Hebrews 6:19-20

I love the imagery of Christ going behind the veil of the holiest place. I love the thought that through his death, the veil was ripped in half and we can meet with God in the Holy of Holies. I also need to hear that I have a sure and steadfast anchor for my soul. What comfort!

My Sword V18

"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ."
II Corinthians 10:5

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Fantasy Update

Well, I said that I would update you all on my Fantasy Football team as the year progressed.

My team has not been the terrific force that it was the first three weeks of the season. My record before today was 6-7, but that was good enough to get me into the fantasy "playoffs." Today, my team is PUNISHING my brother-in-law's team 170-98. Those aren't the final scores, but it's fairly certain that he won't catch up to me at this point. All of that to say... I could still win it all!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mysterious Absence...

I've been absent from this blog. My absence is due to the fact that my computer was killed by a glass of water. It was a sad day, but now I have a new computer, so it will be back to our regularly scheduled programming! Watch for lots of musings in the next few weeks... I had a lot of time to ruminate on blog posts while my computer was gone!