Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fruit of the Spirit :: Faithfulness

I feel, outside of love, the most important factor in any relationship is faithfulness. If I have any inclination that my husband wasn't a man who was of faithful character, you better believe we would never have said "I do". At the same time, my closest friends are those who are faithful to our friendship. They are the ones who are always there without an agenda. They take our friendship serious, and wouldn't do anything to jeopardize it.

For me, I am the same way. I feel that my faithfulness in my marriage is a part of the glue that holds us together. Also, my faithfulness in my friendships also keeps them blooming. But what about my relationship with God?? How faithful am I to Him??

I pray....most of the time. I study the word...when I don't get to busy. I worship Him....on Sundays. Outside of that, how truly faithful am I to following the Lord? I would say I lack so much. I let my busy life and unprioritized priorities get in the way. I am faithful with my worldly relationships, but the one that I should be the most faithful with, I fall short.

How many of you are like me? How many of you will put your relationship with your husband and kids before your relationship with your Savior? I am really excited for this summer. A group of great ladies and I have started a bible study that takes a look at our thoughts and how we perceive ourselves. I'm super excited for this study, as I hope it will get me into the Word on a daily basis and really help me to be faithful to God.

Where do you need to work on faithfulness? What do you need to take up, or let go of this summer to be more faithful to God, your family or your friends? Faithfulness is a part of the glue that bonds our relationships, is yours watered down or super in strength??

Be sure to check out Carrie's blog and see what she has to say about Faithfulness. Until next week when we take a look at gentleness.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fruit of the Spirit :: Goodness

8. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
9. (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
10. and find out what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5:8-10
As a follower of Christ, I strive to live in the light and allow the light to live in me. In Ephesians 5, that light is to be made up of all goodness, but what does that mean? What is goodness, and what does it mean to me?

God old Websters defines goodness as follows:
the state or quality of being good; moral excellence; the best part of anything
I don't know about you, but I feel these are all qualities Jesus possessed, and which he commands us to possess. When I look at this definition, I see a clear correlation between possessing goodness and being holy, or set apart.

But what does that mean? How do I go about having this goodness? For me, I think it's looking at it as being set apart. We are to be different. We are to act in a more Christlike manner. We are to help those who need it. Pray for those who need it. Be a shoulder for a friend, an encouraging word for a loved one, and an example for those who may not know Him yet. Isn't that what God did for us?

Be sure to check back next time as we take a look at Faithfulness. Until then, be sure to check out Carrie's blog My World and see what she has to say about Goodness.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fruit of the Spirit :: Kindness

I was worried about posting this week, as I was sure I was going to get kindness and goodness confused and intertwined (even though they are) and really miss what God was wanting me to learn about being kind. So, I turned to my trusty dictionary/concordance in the back of my nifty NLT Study Bible and found this:
Kindness - the quality or state of being kind...
Ugh, I loathe when they do that, so, I flipped back a few pages and found this:
Kind - affectionate, loving; of a sympathetic or helping nature
Bingo!! I have used the adjective kind to describe myself on numerous occasions, but I don't think I ever looked to see what it really means.

In looking through the bible on passages that reference kindness, I was struck and convicted by Romans 2:4
Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
No, I guess not. I don't know. I do now. That was all I could answer to those questions.

I am not a perfect person. I have my flaws, I have my faults, I have my sins. But to think God is kind to someone like me, God is patient with me and my shortcomings. God shows such kindness to me that even in my wrongdoings, he is tolerant and shows me His kindness to turn me from my sin really shows to me just who He is.

Am I really like that? As someone who prides myself in being kind and showing kindness, do I really show kindness as God would? It's a hard pill to swallow, but I would say no. I would say that according to the definition of kind, I am affectionate, loving and helpful. But, when I look to God and see how I am truly supposed to be kind, I fall way short. I am not as tolerant as I should be, I often judge. I am not as helpful about turning others to sin, I often gossip about it. So, in all reality, am I kind?

It is my prayer this week that God would convict me of where I fall short of being kind to others. He would show me ways I can be kind and continue to remind me of His kindness and mercy.

Be sure to check out what Carrie has to say about kindness, and be sure to join us next week as we discuss goodness.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Wow, another week has come and gone. Time does fly when you're having fun. Here's what we're having this week:

Monday - Buffalo Wild Wings - dinner out after our bible study

Tuesday - Porkchops in foil, veggies - *carry over from last week

Wednesday - Steaks, mushroom and veggies on the grill

Thursday - Dinner at the Porters - our weekly dinner with the family

Friday & Saturday - Date night for one night, Chicken and Fish on Grill, veggies for the other night.

Sunday - Father's Day dinner, but I am going to try to make these for dessert.

Menu Plan Monday is put on by orgjunkie.com

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Happy Flag Day

I love the American Flag!! I love the bright blue, red and white of its stars and stripes. I love what those colors stand for, I love what the stars and stripes stand for, I love what our flag stands for. Our country has changed in many ways from its founding, and so has our flag. However, what our flag means to our country has remained the same.

I pray on this Flag Day, you would reflect on what our country has stood for for hundreds of years. I pray you would reflect on what our flag means to us.

It's Sunday and That Means...


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our Baby Girl -- Zoey

About a month ago, Jeremy and I became the proud parents of a little girl named Zoey. She is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who is full of love and energy. It has been adjustment getting used to puppy parenthood, but her kisses at the end of the day make it all worth it.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Fruit of the Spirit :: Patience

I haven't always had trouble being a patient person, but it seems the older I get -- the less patient I am. I can remember being a wee little red headed girl out with my Mom when she would run into someone she knew at the grocery store. They would stop and talk for what seemed like forever to me. When the conversation ended, whoever she was jabbering with would always say, "what a patient girl you are!" I never knew it then, but that was a good thing. 

Fast forward 18 years or so to the time leading up to my husband proposing to me. I was the most impatient person in the world during that time. I remember him and I talking early on in our relationship about marriage, so when I had to wait over 16 months from the first time we talked about marriage for him to propose I grew VERY impatient. 

These past six weeks, I have impatiently been waiting to hear about a job interview I had. As the days passed by, I grew more and more impatient. I couldn't understand why it had to take so long to let me know. (PS I didn't get the job, but I'm being patient with God's plans for me ;o)  ) Waiting during that time was torture for me. 

As impatient as I can be with people, it's weird, but I have patience with the Lord. I don't always get his timing, but through these two examples the one thing that got me through the waiting and impatient waiting was trusting in God's timing and being patient with what he has in store for me.

Why do I do this? Why am I so impatient with people of this Earth, but I can be pretty patient with the Lord? I know it is Him that I should have patience with, but what about the worrying and waiting and knots in my stomach I get from being impatient with people?

When I start to grow impatient worry takes over. My dear husband told me once during a fit of worry to check out Matthew 6:25-34. I encourage you to take a look at it and see how silly we are to worry. I just love verse 34:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
It's not a perfect cure to my impatience, but it helps me to deal with the worry that comes from my impatience. Why should I worry about what is going on, may go on or after being somewhat patient didn't go on? I shouldn't!! I should just focus on what is in front of me, trust in God's timing and let what will be....be!!

How do you handle patience? Are you patient, or like me, do you have to work hard at it?

Be sure to check out Carrie over at My World to see what she has to say about patience. Also, check back next Tuesday as we take a look at kindness.

If you have missed any of  the Fruit of the Spirit, you can check them out here:

Monday, June 08, 2009

101 in 1001 Update

It's Monday, and that means it's time to update you all on the progress of my 101 list. I wish I could say I have done more in the last few weeks to accomplish my goals, but for some reason its just been crazy time and I'm still just getting back into it. Be sure to check out my full list and see all I have done, but this is what I have accomplished the past few weeks:

75. Get a puppy - Jeremy and I now have a new little girl, Zoey. She is a 3 and a half month old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and we love her. I will be sure to post pictures soon.

In Progress
1. Lose 20 pounds (-2/20) - Unfortunately, my lack of motivation has actually caused me to gain 2 pounds, so now I'm up to having to lose 22.
40. Save $2,000 using coupons ($150.60/$2,000)
69. Write and mail at least one hand written letter per month (5/33)
72. Write 101 comments on other peoples blogs (40/101)
74. Get a teaching job - I'll hopefully have more to update you all on this soon

Hopefully this week will provide more progress. Until then, be sure to check out my complete list.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

As part of getting back to the loves in my life, I am setting out to be more organized and bring blessings to my home with the yummy smells of home cooking. Hopefully I can post the recipes as I try them out.

Monday - Hamburgers, homemade french fries, fresh veggies

Tuesday - Beef Stroganoff, peas, green beans crescent rolls

Wednesday - Crunchy No-Fry Chicken, Mashed Taters, salad, crescent rolls

Thursday - Dinner at the Porter's

Friday - Pork chops in Foil, Spaghetti Squash, Peas, Salad, Dinner Rolls 

Saturday - Leftovers (if there is any, otherwise homemade pizza)

Sunday - Church brunch and popcorn for dinner (healthy, I know!!)

Menu Plan Monday is put on by Orgjunkie.com, check out what others are having to eat this week.

Kneeling to Pray


Saturday, June 06, 2009

Getting Back to My Loves

This is a photo of many of my loves combined into one: photography, the outdoors, enjoying God's beauty, hiking and my husband.

I was looking back on my blog for the past few weeks and realized I have been neglecting everything I set out to do with it this year. In fact, it seems life is passing me by so fast that I am neglecting so many things. I haven't been doing any of my loves I used to always enjoy doing. I haven't been:
  • Deepening my relationship with the Lord
  • Reading
  • Cooking
  • Blogging
  • Scrapbooking
  • Crafting
  • Working Out
  • Organizing
  • Keeping the House 
Goodness, I just haven't been doing much of anything expect worrying what I am going to do about a teaching job come August. So, I am setting out to keep up with my loves. I'm not going to make any promises about what I will keep you updated on, but it is my hope I can AT LEAST set aside one day a month to update you on my loves. In return, I would love to know what your loves are!! What passions do you have that you have been neglecting and need to return to??

Join me the last day of each month to talk about your loves and how you have been getting back to them. I'm excited to enjoy my passions again and get back to what I love to do. What about you?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Fruit of the Spirit :: Peace

The past two weeks, my gal pal, Carrie, and I have been taking a look at Galatians 5:22 -- The Fruit of the Spirit. We discussed love and joy with regards to what they mean in our own lives and our relationship with God. This week, we are looking at Peace. 

Since it seems as though I have been starting with definitions, I will continue to do so. Peace is defined in good old Websters as:
freedom from disturbance: quiet and tranquility: mental calm: serenity.
Wow!!! I WANT THAT!!! I want to be free from disturbance, I want to be quiet and tranquil, I want to be calm and have serenity. But, why don't I?? What is preventing me from this?? I feel there are times in my life when I do have this peace. There are even times during each day that I can look back on and see peace as defined by Webster. But, why don't I have it ALL the time??

I was looking through various verses throughout the Bible and I found so many times when individuals were told to "Go in Peace". Obviously this is either just a way to say good-bye, or, there is more to this peace thing than we often think of. I feel there is way more to it, and it is over-looked. Peace is important, if it isn't, why is Jesus called "Prince of Peace"? Clearly Peace is something we are called to have and be at.

Jeremy and I are going through the Bible in a year with the chronological Bible. Wouldn't you know, early on in our reading, we came across my good friend Job. Don't get me wrong, Job has great things to teach us, but it was hard to get past that whining. (Come to think of it, maybe I should stop my whining, too....anyways, that's a whole other post) Even after all he went through, he never gave up on the Lord and even declared:
Submit to God and be at peace with Him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Job 22:21
How amazing is that? We as followers will be prosperous if only we would submit to God and be at peace with Him. Why don't we do this? Why is it so hard, especially during times of trial, to be at peace with God? 

I know for me, I struggle with being at peace. I am a worrier, I am a stewer, I am one who constantly thinks about upcoming conversations, past deeds and have trouble being okay, or at peace, with my life in that moment. Today, I am going to make a conscious effort to be at peace. I am going to strive to stop and take some "Katie-time" each day to recount my thoughts, my day and become at peace with what is going on around me. I am going to make a pledge to myself to get back to the loves in my life which always bring me peace while I'm doing them: scrapbooking, sewing, photography and reading. Hopefully with finding peace in my own life, it will be easier to be at peace with God.

What will you do to find peace in your life? What will you revisit? What will you give up? 

Come check us out next week as we take a look at patience. Until then...