Thursday, November 29, 2012

Throw Up Thursday

Throw Up Thursday: The day after Why Me? Wednesday and before Freedom Friday.

We are two different people with different needs.

He works with me to find the balance where both our needs are met. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Taking the Month Off - What - Continued

In Monday's post I discussed why I'm taking the month of December off.

In Tuesday's post I shared what I'll be doing with all my extra time. Well, started to. I spoke specifically about Bible Reading and Prayer.

Now, I want to talk about Bible Memorization and Journaling.

Bible Memorization

Another tool I found in the Bible with the 30 day reading plan I'm gong to use is a list of emotions and verses to read when you feel that way. It included anger, envy, sadness, anxiety, etc. We all feel these various emotions throughout life, so I decided that this would be a very useful list of verses to memorize. I've decided to read each set of verses for each emotion and to memorize at least one. I'm definitely looking forward to adding these to my arsenal for use when my emotions become overwhelming.

Journaling

We've all seen this pic on Pinterest, but if you've clicked on it, you'll find that it doesn't really lead anywhere, or to any instruction.


I've decided to use it anyway. Each day I will record at least one of each: the peaks and pits of my day, praises of Him, and prayer requests. I think this will help more clearly direct my journaling and make it easier for me to look back on in the future. I can't wait to see how God works through this, showing me how He provides for me and hears my pleas. 



Tomorrow is Throw Up Thursday, and on Friday I will conclude this series by discussing Worship and Fasting. Saturday will be a Weekly Wrap Up and also the first day of my Month Off. :) Getting more nervous and excited as it draws closer. Eeek!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Taking the Month Off - What

So I feel the need to take the month of December, 2012 off from as much of life as possible to focus my energy and attention on my spiritual life, which, in all honesty, has almost been non-existent. Let's not go into details at this time, though.

I want to use my time intentionally. And not on organizing and cleaning my house, or even focusing specifically on being a better wife, but on re-establishing the habits of a relationship with God.

I want to be transparent here and tell you that I am highly skeptical of what could possibly happen. Above all, I don't want to be fake. I don't want to pretend any change has occurred if it hasn't. And I don't want to hide any change just to fit in.

I'm also terrified. I'm scared of what may be revealed. Of what He may ask me to do or change.

Change. That's the key word in that sentence. I'm scared to change and to enter the unknown.

But I'm willing to take the risk.



Back to being intentional. I began to think of how I should spend this extra time (funny how we use words like spend in reference to time and money. We can always make more money, but never get more time. But that's another post entirely). I started brainstorming (my new favorite thing) and research various pillars of Christian discipline. [Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. There are many more that could be added. I make no attempt to argue where they fall on the priority list.]

Bible reading.
Prayer.
Bible memorization.
Journaling.
Worship.
Fasting.

I'm going to share with you what I found and what I've chosen to do regarding each of these (two today, two on Wednesday, and the final two on Friday). Please don't regard my choices as a choice for you. You have to listen to what you're being led to do by Him, not me.


Bible Reading

I pulled out every Bible we own and counted.

We have FOURTEEN Bibles in this tiny apartment. I doubt my husband has as many socks without holes in them.

FOURTEEN. That is an obscene amount of Bibles. I digress.

First, I pondered my options.
- I could study a particular book of the Bible (James is my favorite)
- I could do a devotional on a particular topic: Prayer, Missions, Being a biblical wife, having a biblical marriage, etc.

I ultimately chose to use what was available to me and search through what I have in my own little library. I also decided that I want to read the Bible, not about the Bible. Yes, I think there is a place for literature about Christ and Christianity and living that lifestyle, but that's not what this particular season is for.

Next, I started to look through each for any tools to guide me through the month. I found what I want to use in the first one. It is a 30-Day walk through the basics of Christianity and the life of Christ. I think this is the best place for me to spend this time when I am trying to re-invigorate my spiritual life, to re-learn what I have forgotten.


Prayer

Let me start by sharing that this is possibly my biggest struggle among the disciplines listed. Seriously. I can give up food easier than I can pray. Not. even. kidding.

Part of my struggle is the desire for perfection. There is so much that needs to be prayed for. So many requests. I just get overwhelmed because there is not possible way I can pray for everything every. single. day. So I just don't pray at all.

But there is a solution. I found two websites that tackle this issue.

Both Study in Brown and Organizing Made Fun make use of a prayer schedule. On each day of the week, they pray for a different area of their life so that by the end of the week they have had the opportunity to pray for every thing. GENIUS.

I used a little bit of both in the schedule I created. I'm sure I didn't cover everything, but that's ok. It can be flexible. A fact that I LOVE!

So, I am going to set aside a specific amount of time each day dedicated to praying about the area for that day. My goal is to start a habit of scheduled prayer so that it can eventually become something I do without thinking... to pray without ceasing.



Well, that's the first two disciplines or first two foci of my Month Off. Wednesday I'll post about Bible Memorization and Journaling.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Taking the Month Off - Why

I have been burdened with the desire to take a month off from some parts of my life in order to focus on other, more important areas. And I have decided to do this for the month of December.

You see, I spend a lot of too much time on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and here, blogging. I love it. I really do. Communication is one my top 5 values and (this is said humbly) a gift I feel I have. I love being able to communicate in such a variety of ways...

BUT

It can become so consuming. Not just time, but energy as well. These things have taken a higher place in my life than they should, and I know that I need to do something drastic, for a time, to break myself of these unhealthy habits.

SO

I will be taking off the month of December. My desire isn't to get rid of these things completely, but to establish healthier boundaries with them. So, I'll be implementing a Screen Time - Time Limit on myself. I'll visit each site briefly. I'll post rarely.

I still want to keep up with everyone: sis-in-law on Twitter, my brother's family via FB, Heather through her blog, and still be able to pin awesome ideas I find on Pinterest, etc.

Also, I still plan to post a Throw Up Thursday and Weekly Wrap Up each week. I meant it when I said I wanted to use this blog to record our life together, and a month is just too large an amount of time for me not to write something.

All in all, it's not just about removing unhealthy habits, but adding/reinforcing healthy ones.

I want to focus on my spiritual life. I have chosen a religion to follow, that I believe to hold Truth, and I want to live my life according to what I claim is my deepest beliefs.

I've been afraid to whole-heartedly live out my faith for some time now. I'm not sure when or how it started, but I can remember a time when I was completely sold out to Christ, and now, I'm just not. I'm just living life, breathing in and out every day, going to church, trying not to sin, but not really letting Christ change me.

In this vein, I'm also taking the month off from serving with our church's youth group (and yes, I've discussed it with our youth pastor and explained everything). I'll still help administratively and attend social things, but I'll be attending all adult services on Sundays and Wednesdays in an effort to challenge myself at an appropriate level. I love that God meets us at whatever season of life we're in. I love that he doesn't give us challenges that we can't meet, but asks us to stretch and grow as we are able.

And I know I am capable of more than I've been giving. 

So I've covered what I'm giving up, with brief, possibly incoherent, explanations of why. My next post will begin to explain how I'll be spending this precious and dedicated time. Please continue to read this series of Taking the Month Off. I know that I will need your encouragement and support.

Thank you

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up

Sunday November 18, 2012

This was one of two Undie Sundies at our church. We are trying to gather new underwear, shirts, and socks for a local school. 

This was also our church's Thanksgiving Dinner. I meant to take pictures and didn't. :( 

The food was super delicious though and it was packed house. Love fellowshipping with everyone! :)


Monday November 19, 2012

The beginning of a three-day work week. Definitely worked hard all day. The time flew. 


Tuesday November 20, 2012

Spent a quiet and lovely evening at home with my handsome hubby. 


Wednesday November 21, 2012

My work department had their T-day potluck lunch. I brought a copy cat recipe of Cracker Barrel's hashbrown casserole. It's something I love to eat at thanksgiving, so I thought someone else might as well. Everyone loved it, which made me really happy. :)

Here's the recipe: Copy Cat Recipe - Cracker Barrel's Hashbrown Casserole. Be sure to read the reviews for any changes you might want to make. 

Our church didn't have services this evening, so there could be more family time for the holidays. Love that they encourage us in this way. 


Thursday November 22, 2012

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Every year we switch back and forth for Thanksgiving. This year was TJ's year so we went to his family's T-day celebration.

Ready to nom on some Turkey Day deliciousness!

Us and the original Shinns :)

Becky and I take great pictures together :)

This year we all took turns shooting Lucy's (9 y/o) bow and arrow after watching Brave. 




Friday November 23, 2012

Since we weren't able to spend Thanksgiving with my side of our family, we went and saw my grandma today. I'm kicking myself for not taking any pictures, but we had a wonderful time talking with her and catching up on all the news. I swear, grandmas are the original Facebook; they know everything that's happening with every one. :)

Later that evening we went on a date to Cheddar's and a dollar movie - Looper. This was seriously the most people I have ever seen at a dollar movie, the theater was probably 1/4 full people! I didn't like the movie. Yes, it made me think, but I called the ending within about 20 minutes of the beginning, and [SPOILER ALERT]
I didn't like the part where they kill a little boy. I was ready to leave right then.

Oh, speaking of movies, I can't remember which night it was, but we watched Source Code and that movie still has me thinking. I really liked it!!

Saturday November 24, 2012

On this day, we decorated for Christmas! :) TJ got us a 4 ft tree this year, which is twice as big as our 2 ft tree from last year. We just don't have room in our apartment to put up or store anything bigger. Can't wait to get a house and get a big tree, and we'll have a medium and a small tree to match :) 
Our Christmas Window

Stockings hung with care

Our Christmas Tree



Sorry this didn't post earlier in the day, but here ya go, our weekly wrap up :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Picture found via Google at Louanne's Kitchen


Throw Up Thursday

Throw Up Thursday: The only blog post worth reading on this particular day of the week.

We cuddle every morning. You heard me. EVERY morning.


If we wake up at different times, the first one always gets back in bed to cuddle.



If we wake up late and have to rush, we're just late to where we're going. Cuddling is important.



If, on the VERY rare occasion we don't cuddle (like the plague, that would mean no cuddles), we pout. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Giving Thanks - Day 20

I'm thankful for authors.

What if no one ever wrote a book because they were too worried, scared, timid, self-depracating? What a sad world that would be. What if there were no written language, and books couldn't be written? What if libraries were empty buildings?

I just can't imagine a world without books. All sorts of books: fiction, non-fiction, mysteries, fantasies, biographies, how-to's, religious, art, picture books, children's, young adult, and everything I missed in-between.

And books wouldn't exist without the brave souls to write them.



Baggage



I found this picture on Pinterest. I couldn't find the original source, but I fell in love with it. It's just so true. Here are the truths I see expressed in this picture.

1) You have baggage. Accept that. Identify what it is. Be prepared to carry it all your life. And know that it's okay to have baggage. It doesn't mean you have failed or are being punished. It means you are alive. 

2) Stop expecting other people to NOT have baggage. The check-out lady at Wal-Mart, your best friends, you teachers, your parents, your preachers, your enemies...they all have baggage, and its different than yours. They hold it differently than you do: some cradle and protect it, some are bright colors, some leave it unattended, some open it for all to see. Your baggage isn't the best, and neither is theirs. Don't become jealous of someone else's luggage, because, most likely, they think yours is a lighter load to bear, and it's not, is it? Neither is theirs.  Give them a break and don't add to their burdens, if you can help it. 

3) Surround yourself with people who don't want to unload on you, but with you. Yes, this may be a spouse (I'm thankful he is one of those people in my life), but it can be friends and mentors as well. 

4) You can't carry it around forever and never unpack it and explore what you have accumulated. It's too heavy for too long. Don't be afraid to open up a suitcase or two with those trusted individuals from #3. When its someone who wants to help and is able to, it won't be a burden to them, and it will lighten yours dramatically. 

5) Be a person who can help others unload: listen, don't try to control, help them see it from another perspective, remind them of their abundant blessings. 

What truths do you see? Or do you think it's not true at all?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Giving Thanks - Day 19

I'm thankful for hot water.

There was a time when to have hot water, you had to boil it. It didn't just come out of the tap all warm. And for that matter, I'm thankful for cold water too, because I don't want to just have boiling hot water; I couldn't do it.

So yes, I'm thankful for the modern marvels of plumbing.


Book 13 of 50: Everything We Ever Wanted by Sara Shepard



Here's the description (because it's just too complicated for me to describe):

Recently widowed mother of two, Sylvie Bates-McAllister finds her life upended by a late-night phone call from the headmaster of the prestigious private school founded by her grandfather where her adopted son, Scott, teaches. Allegations of Scott’s involvement in a hazing scandal cause a ripple effect, throwing the entire family into chaos and exposing a tangled web of secrets that ties the family together. The quest to unravel the truth takes the family on individual journeys across state lines, into hospitals, through the Pennsylvania woods, and face-to-face with the long-dormant question: What if the life you always planned for and dreamed of isn’t what you want after all?


Sounds exciting doesn't it? Here are my thoughts:

The characters were well developed, although there were many and sometimes I got them confused. All of the characters had the same flaws: dependence on others, skewed perception of reality and self, selfishness. They often became annoying because they were such juvenile people making such immature decisions. It's obvious to the reader that the characters don't want the life they're leading. It became such a bore to trudge through page after page of such sadness. 

I wouldn't read it again and I wouldn't recommend you read it either. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Giving Thanks - Day 18

I'm thankful for movies. I enjoy movies so much, especially the experience of going to the theater: the candy, soda, popcorn, comfy seats, big red curtain, amazing sound and picture, the audience laughing/crying/cheering with you! Of course, I'm speaking of The Warren, the best theater in Oklahoma :) If you haven't been there, you should go as soon as possible!

Anyway, back to movies. I love the story telling, the costumes, the music, just everything. I'm so grateful to watch Talkies, in color, with surround sound and just all the advancements that have been made in that industry. It's just wonderful.

Some of my FAVORITE movies are (in no particular order, and just the first three to come to my mind):



You saw that coming, didn't you?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Giving Thanks - Day 17

I'm thankful for modern medicine.

It saves lives. There isn't yet a cure for every illness and death can't be eliminated entirely, but people are granted extra hours and days and moments to spend how they choose because of medicine.

Phillipians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.


Weekly Wrap Up

Sunday November 11, 2012




We went to Sunday School and discussed wisdom. During service we learned about the importance of joy and laughter in life. I was very impressed with how our pastor handled this sensitive topic because he addressed the opposite of joy and laughter: depression.

I've heard various mental illnesses mentioned from the pulpit before and more often than not it's not spoken of appropriately. Our pastor spoke of the research he had done and the statistics he had found: Oklahoma has one of the highest rates of depression in the country and the demographic that is most reported as having depression is ages 45 to 65.

He didn't speak of it flippantly or as a joke, but as an issue that is important, not to be ignored, and needs to be addressed both by the church as a whole and by each individual with a professional. I was very happy to hear his words of truth and encouragement, because we would all be ignorant to assume someone in the room wasn't dealing with depression at that very moment.

After church, we went home and did what we do best, TEAM WORK! We managed to plan our meals for the week, grocery shop, clean out the fridge, empty and load the dishwasher and clean the house a little. :) So happy and blessed to have such a wonderful teammate!


Monday November 12, 2012


As a state employee, I had Monday, Veteran's Day, off. TJ didn't. But he worked out a deal with his boss and worked extra time last week so that he could have this day to spend with me. :)

Usually we have plans and don't get to eat at home for all three meals of the day, so this day felt special because I got to cook for us. Now don't get too excited because it wasn't anything fancy: sausage biscuits with gravy and eggs for breakfast, grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch, and hashbrown hamburger helper (my favorite!) for dinner.

We played Black Ops together, watched American Pickers, got ALL of our laundry done, and saw Skyfall! :)

So happy to have this day to recharge our souls and invest time in each other :)



Tuesday November 13, 2012


We spent the evening together, just hanging out at home.


Wednesday November 14, 2012


We went to a special Thanksgiving service at our church, with all ages together. We heard testimonies and worshipped our God as one church.


Thursday November 15, 2012


We hung out at home. :)


Friday November 16, 2012


I went with my MIL and SIL to see Breaking Dawn Part 2. It was AMAZING!! There is such a huge twist but it's just ... perfect! Loved every minute. Wish I could have seen it again, immediately and want the soundtrack SO BAD!

And here's what I have to say to the Twilight haters out there. This is a movie series created solely for the fans of the books. It was never intended to win awards or change your life, just to entertain those who enjoy the books or the films. If you're not one of those people, DON'T WATCH IT! end rant.




Saturday November 17, 2012


Saturday, this week, is our day to reboot EVERYTHING: cleaning, resting, reading, playing, blogging, planning, etc.

And just because I loved this how as a kid, and I said the name in the previous sentence, here's a random picture.





P.S. I will try much harder next week to take at least one picture every day for the next Weekly Wrap Up, especially because it will be THANKSGIVING Week :) Yay friends and family!!



Friday, November 16, 2012

Giving Thanks - Day 16

I'm thankful for Harry Potter. These books addressed so many deep issues: good vs evil, self-love vs altruism, love vs hate, power vs equality, etc. They are my favorite series to read and my favorite movies to watch (although the books are better, of course.)

I know that the setting is that of a school for witchcraft and wizardry, but that's only the backdrop, the minute details, the fantasy, on which the larger story is presented. These books really helped me as a young teen to begin pondering the more important things other than what boy I should date or who was talking about me behind my back. I think its a very important series that every teen and young adult should read, and parents too! This series could be used to open a dialogue to discuss future decisions that must be made: does love really triumph over evil, why is Voldemort evil, was Snape evil and why or why not; what kind of a role model is Hermione for young girls (the BEST), what do you think of Draco's attitude, what kind of friendship do Ron, Hermione and Harry have - is it healthy [...]? I could go on, but I'll stop myself.

I don't judge anyone who chooses not to read these, or chooses not to allow their children to read them. You are simply choosing what is best for you and for your children, and I support you in that; you know yourself and your children much better than I ever will.

Thank you for listening to my opinion though.

If you're a teen or child who's parents have asked or told you not to read these, please respect their decision and DON'T read it. If you feel very strongly, ask them again, with respect and a heart prepared to obey, not argue.


30 Day Challenge - Catch Up - Part 3


Day 27: A Quote You Try To Live By


"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato

Day 28: Somewhere You'd Like To Move To Or Visit


I'd like to visit Ireland. :)

Day 29: Five Weird Things That You Like


Black and White Movies
Audiobooks
Music that's not in English
Cheap food
TJ :) hehe

Day 30: One Thing You're Excited For


I'm so very excited to see where this year will take us. I feel that it's going to be a great year! :)


The End.
I FINISHED IT! :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Giving Thanks - Day 15

I'm thankful for flowers.

They're just so effortlessly beautiful. There's a lesson there, I know it.


Matthew 6:28-29 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.


Throw Up Thursday

Throw Up Thursday: A post about love so sweet it makes you sick.

Scene: Last night, getting ready for bed and TJ is singing a little song and I'm dancing.

TJ: Kelly's so pretty, so pretty, so pretty in her head (to the tune of your choice, it works).

Me (Pouting and with a pouty voice): I'm only pretty in my head? Not in real life?

TJ (smiling): You didn't hear what I said.

Me: What did you say?

TJ: I wasn't saying pretty. I said crazy.

Cue silly laughing fit.

Apparently my dance moves had him questioning my sanity. And my hearing was affected as well. Opps.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Giving Thanks - Day 14

I'm thankful for music.

I hear music in everyday things: the dishwasher, a fan, the blink of a turn signal.

I try to imagine a world without music and it feels empty.

Music fills in the missing spaces, the emotions that don't have words.

I just can't imagine a day without music, or even an hour.


Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

30 Day Challenge - Catch Up - Part 2


Day 23: Something That You Miss


I miss my niece and nephews! 



Day 24: Five Words/Phrases That Make You Laugh


What's that one animal?
"or worse, EXPELLED!" - Hermione
Lerv
Spider-hand
I thought my muffins would blow away. 

Day 25: Something You're Currently Worrying About


There are too many good movies to watch and too many good books to read and not enough time!

Day 26: Things You Like and Dislike About Yourself


Like: Tenacious, strong communicator, encourager
Dislike: Tendency to be flaky, difficulty finishing a project, self-critical

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Giving Thanks - Day 13

I'm thankful for flashlights.

I hate the dark, especially when it's unexpected, like a sudden power outage.

So I'm just thankful for the technology of flashlights, and that you don't necessarily need batteries for them.

:)


Psalm 69:30  I will praise the name of God with song, And shall magnify Him with thanksgiving.

Fall Fun List - UPDATE

Remember that Fall Fun List I showed you a while back?

Well, maybe this will jog your memory. :)


Eat S'mores - CHECK


It's s'more bark! Delish!!

Corn Maze - CHECK




Donate Canned Good to Charity - no check :(


IDK what happened, really. I mean, we have the canned goods here; they just never made it to their. So basically what I'm saying is, we didn't do it. :(


Trunk or Treat - Semi CHECK

Ok, so we didn't do a trunk or treat, per se, because TJ wasn't feeling well, but we did take Emi to the zoo, and I'm gonna say that counts! :)




Pumpkin Patch - CHECK





Outdoor Photoshoot - CHECK



Watch Halloween Movies - CHECK




Bake Autumn Cookies - no check :(


I don't think I should have put two desserts on one list, but oh well. 



So that's all for Halloween season. On to Thanksgiving and CHRISTMAS! :) 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Giving Thanks - Day 12

I am thankful for social media.

It's weird to know that I can remember a time before Facebook. In fact, I remember the day I signed up for FB. It just so happened to be the same day they unveiled the original Newsfeed. Back then, only college students could join.

I actually remember the day my parents got the internet. I was young enough that I got a special platform of AOL, just for kids. Remember AOL? "You've got mail" You just said that in the computer voice, didn't you?

Remember dial up? Oh I am thankful that's gone!

I'm thankful for social media: facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, and the internet in general that enables me to educate myself, find entertainment, and connect with friends and family and YOU! :)


Colossians 4:2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
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