Selfish Strength

Selfish Strength

Confession: Sometimes I pray for selfish strength. I love this verse and have said it to myself hundreds of times. The problem is that when I read or say this verse, what I am really thinking is “I can GET THROUGH all things with the strength He gives me.” Most of the time when I pray for strength from God, it is because I don’t like my circumstances. I am frustrated. I am bitter. I am discontent. Like when I hated my first “real” job and where my husband and I lived for the first 2 years of our marriage. Or when I was potty-training a two-year-old with a newborn and a hormonal 4 year-old. Or when I am fighting temptation to “chase perfection.” Or when I’ve said yes to too many things and wish I could crawl under a rock. My motive is completely wrong when I do this. I want to cause change with my prayer. I want my “bad” circumstances to come to an end…really soon. I want it over. I want to survive without shattering everything I’ve worked for. Today’s daily verse on the You Version App is Philippians 4:13. This morning I read it and realized I’ve never considered the context of this verse, so I read the entire chapter. Paul is writing to the Philippians, people in a church he helped start in the city of Philippi. He has gone through physical beatings and faced adversity from religious and political leaders. He has gone hungry and sat in prison unjustly. He misses the people he loves. And this is what he says, “11...
My One Word for 2015

My One Word for 2015

Our house faces due west, so the sun rises over our back yard. This morning, as I sat in my chair facing a window into our front yard, I could see the beginnings of a pink reflection on our street. I took my tea and went straight to look out a window into the backyard. The sun was just peeking over the fence-line. Breathtaking. I don’t care if you like nature or not, a sunrise like that is better than any Monet or Rembrandt. Mornings are my favorite time of the day. I was born a morning person, but after I had kids, I lost some of that super power. Now, I set 3 alarms, and I still cannot seem to swing my legs around the side of the bed by 6:30am. But God is so good, He makes the sunrise later in winter so those of us who miss it in the summer, get to see it in the winter when we need more hope that the sun is up for at least a few hours each day. In the morning, I find quiet. Peace. Distractions are on “do not disturb.” There are few interruptions. I can FOCUS. People 100 years ago did not have so many obstacles to mental focus. True Story. For the past 4-6 months, God has been calling me to slow down. I stepped down from the Board of Directors of Toloha Partnership and I started to hone in on a few things, rather than spreading myself so thin. When I started the One Word to Change Your Life reading plan from the You...

Live as though I have none…

I’ve been reading through the Bible from cover to cover… since 2010. Don’t laugh! I’ve had 2 kids since then! I’m set to finish this May!  I did take some breaks to go through some other studies in the tough parts… you know the parts that go on and on with so and so beget so and so, etc. so I’m pretty excited. And to tell you the truth, I want to go back and do it again! I started with our house church (a small group at church that meets in each of our homes) after reading Radical by David Platt. Personally, I figured, I’ve been a christian for… 20 years (25, now…gasp!) so I should probably have read the whole entire Bible. I’d read a lot of it, but there were definitely parts that my eyes had never gazed on. Anyway, right now I’m in 1 Corinthians – I love Paul’s letters, but chapter 7 has caught me and confused me. I’ve read it before and I know I’ve wondered about the words every time. In verse 29, he tells husbands to ” live as though they had none…” (as in wives!). What!? Before my heart began to race, I thought back to Ephesians 5 and other passages where Paul tells husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church…okay, okay…what did he mean then?! So, to Google I went. I know, not the best place to search for something as specific as this. I plan to study into it much more with some trusted authors, but with the few moments of quiet I have in...
The battle of Toloha

The battle of Toloha

Warning: I’m about to get real, which is why I started this blog. I’m not trying to air all my dirty laundry. I’m simply being real. This is a real struggle. I hope my hashing it out on this public blog will be a testimony to what real Christian life actually is. It is not all sunshine and rainbows. It is hard. It is a battle. Thankfully, that battle is already won. Sometimes I forget that. Lately, I am in a specific battle with myself right now. I am on the board of a non-profit I helped found called Toloha Partnership. It has been an amazing experience. Seriously. I have lived out my faith in ways that I never could have dreamed I, a mother of three could. Unfortunately, my responsibilities as a board member,  fundraising committee co-chair and PR Team leader have become a burden that I’ve been trying to carry alone. I’ve grown bitter about it because I want to do so much with it – blog, sharing photos, sharing about our recent trip, going to churches to make them aware of it, and so on. I just haven’t had hardly any time to put into it. So then, it just becomes a frustration. The fact that I feel this way about it breaks my heart. It has not always been this way. I  jumped whole-heartily into Toloha Partnership because I felt it needed done and somebody needed to do it.  I really didn’t think that was me. But then God showed me Toloha. He forced my mind’s eyelids open and made me stare Toloha right in...

Painting = a Good Morning

Today we started with painting. I’ve seen a lot of boredom and distraction in the kids attitude about school over the past few days. It may have something to do with being at the beach last week…just maybe. So I decided to go off script and let them paint the sun right after the Pledge of Allegiance and Prayer. It was a good move (read in pep talk voice). It still pertained to our lesson plan, so I felt good. They were excited to put on their little smocks and cover the table with our really gliterry plastic table cloth. Of course, when Declan got to go into the other room to watch Wildcrats and Mckenna had to stay to do school the distraction and disinterest returned. We read a few extra books from the library and that helped, too. I guess mama always said there’d be days like this. So, we marched through all our subjects and left a few things off our to do list. My to do list, however, actually got completed. It may be the first time ever! I think it was more about being less strict with my time and keeping my list realistic. At the end of the day, it felt so good to sit down to dinner that had been roasting in the crock pot all day. Gosh! I love crock pots. I hope everyone sleeps well tonight and doesn’t overload their to-do list for tomorrow. And maybe add something creative to the mix… like painting the sun. It’s good to start the day with something that draws out that passion from...
Rainy Tuesday

Rainy Tuesday

Right now, it’s 75 degrees and raining outside in the middle of the afternoon, but I have a hot coffee in hand, am wearing leggings & socks  (guess I’m ready for Fall!) and listening to classical jazz crossover music on Spotify. I’m in a weird mood. The kids are at Grandma’s, and I spent the time after school this morning/noon time at the library and… the dreaded Walmart. We were behind MY schedule and then drove circles around town because I realized I forgot our book list (including location references) for the library when we were a block from the library, and then after we got the list, we were halfway there…again and I realized I could drop the baby off at my mom’s because she was now home. She already had the middle guy, so it was worth a quick turn around to her house. (No stroller and hungry little guy? Yes, thank you.) So then, it was just my girl and me headed to the library… only 1 hour after I’d hoped. I’d call that success…now, but at the time I was just a little perturbed at my lack of planning and memory. Oh well, here’s to a quiet afternoon with hopes of accomplishing something on a lengthy to-do list, but not really caring.  ...