I do crave all of those things at some point or another. And none of them are bad. None of them are sinful.......unless they take away from God. Confession time: they do. And that's the problem. Today, right now - I want In N Out more than I want God. I'd rather watch my 49er's play (and win) than commune with God. I want to read a book instead of spending time with my Creator, Savior, Redeemer, Provider, Friend, Guardian, Protector, and my ALL in ALL!
So, what am I going to do about it? How am I going to change those cravings? I'm not really sure. But a good 1st step is where I'm at right now - I WANT to want Him more. I WANT to desire Him above all else. I WANT to turn to him instead of food or books or sports. My 2nd step is starting this coming Sunday, January 19. I'm going to begin a Bible Study with 30,000+ ladies at Proverbs 31 called, "Made to Crave". It's based on a book by the same title written by Lysa TerkHeurst. I'm not just reading the book but I'm interacting closely with about 20 ladies in a small group. Already I've been encouraged and strengthened as I read how God's using this study (before it's even begun) to change our hearts toward Him. As I go on this 6 week journey I'm going to be blogging/journaling here my thoughts and my responses to what God's teaching me. So I invite you to join me as I seek His face through this short study and beyond!
"Thus says the Lord...who created you...who formed you, 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God...you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you...Fear not, for I am with you" ~ Isaiah 43:1-5
I love this Scripture for many reasons. First, God's affirming that He created me and formed me - that's a personal God talking, not a God who's far away and doesn't care about what's going on with me. Second, He's assuring me that I don't need to fear because He's redeemed me, saved me, called me, and I. AM. HIS! That's huge! I'm God's daughter! Third, He's with me - always...in the water, in the river, in the fire, in the flame. He promises they won't overwhelm me, burn me, or consume me. Why? Because He's walking before me and with me (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8)! Last, He says that I am precious, honored, and loved! What more could I want?
What did you give up? I gave up sweet tea and soda in July which has helped me to lose 32 pounds! I have probably had 5 sodas since then and I don't want more. Not only do I feel healthier because I'm only drinking water but I'm also losing weight!
If the year 2013 had a hashtag, what would it be? #blessedbeyondmeasure
What did you make? I completed a quilt I'd started in 2002 that will be a graduation gift to Eric in a few years. I hand-pieced the squares into rows and machine pieced the rows together. In addition I (with Mom's help) finished the stockings I'd started 2 or 3 years ago. I still need to get our names embroidered on them. Alec's quilt has been cut out and I have pieced 6 of 22 rows. I've also cut out and arranged my nephew, Henry's, quilt. My goal is to give each of my kids and my brother's kids twin or double quilts when they graduate from high school. So at this point I have 16 years to get Edie's done and 8 years to get Alec's done. LOL!
Where did you spend the most time? Probably on facebook or on my Kindle. That definitely needs to change in 2014! Not that reading books is bad, but I mostly played games or checked facebook on my Kindle. So...my goal for 2014 is to read more non-fiction, be on FB less, and play more games with my kids.
Who surprised you? My kids surprised me by cooperating so well during our school times and all 4 now know how to read!!! YAY! Mike surprised me by giving me 2 things I absolutely had no idea about for Christmas - a new camera and a picture of Lake Tahoe
What did you learn? Oh my, I learned a lot about eating healthy, about how to be a better friend, and about what living for Christ looks like. Not to mention, I learned much as I taught the kids. We just finished astronomy, and are currently studying history from the beginning (Creation) and are up to Elijah. I look forward to learning about birds, insects, and bats when we start back after New Years.
Who came into your life in 2013? I made a lot of new friends this year through RVHR soccer (Jennifer Reed), through CBS (Erin Hurt and Sarah Mitchell), through SGCC (Suzanne Pierce), and through work (Sarah Peters, Claire Williams). I'm thankful for each new friend, for each new opportunity to step out of my comfort zone.
When were you the angriest? When my oldest son was being bullied and picked on by another boy at a Bible Study we were going to. I was appalled that this behavior was tolerated and nothing was done about it. What’s been the best decision you made this year? The best decision I made this year was to change my style of home schooling. Instead of using a box curriculum (where pretty much everything comes with together) I put my own curriculum together and it's working SOOOO much better for our family!
What’s the most whimsical/spontaneous/ridiculous thing you did? I'm not a very spontaneous person. I'm a planner and it's hard for me to do something on the spur of the moment. Probably the most spontaneous thing I did was cancel school one day when it was a nice, warm day in the middle of the winter so we could go to the park! When did you see God at work? Oh my, when did I NOT see God at work? I saw his hand in allowing me to go to 2 Bible Studies this past fall - CBS and at church. He worked in giving me strength and patience to consistently home school every day for the last 5 months with just a couple week long breaks. He's encouraged me, strengthened me, and given me power as I've lost 30 pounds in the last year. He's provided money, free babysitters, meals, encouraging notes/emails, praying friends, and remembrances of His word as I've struggled. I could go on and on and on but I want to keep this short.
I'm Jen - mom to 4 munchkins (E-14, AP-10, AE-9, R-7) and wife to Mike since 1999. We live in Southwestern Virginia where we are in our 8th year of home schooling. I'm also a RN at a Maternity Care Center working postpartum and nursery.