Jan 28, 2013

Planning To Get Fit In February...!!!

Decided I'm going to 'Get Fit in February!!!' I ordered TurboFire from beachbody (like the remix dance version of insanity) and am so pumped to get started - I already admire the progress my friend/coach Sarah Failla has made over the past few years in her commitment to exercise and nutrition. (Learn more about Sarah and her journey here: http://fullyengagedmom.com/about-sarah)

I started out the year really focusing on my commitment to my spiritual and emotional health (which is really a great place to start I'd say!). I spend time with God & am in the bible daily, I plan out my day to stay focused and make sure I complete what needs to be done, and my sleep schedule has improved astronomically! Now it's time to get serious about my physical well-being with excercise :) To make this a lifelong habit I need to 'get moving' daily, but since turbofire is so intense I'm going to shoot for 4-5 days a week of that & still do some low-key stuff on my 'off-days.'

I'm really excited to see how this makes me feel as I've never been at my best physically, but I'm very motivated to try! :D Just the little bit that I've been doing daily the past few days has made me feel so much better - I feel stronger, I sleep better, and it's fun to giggle with Sarah (my daughter) as she tries to join in...

Jan 25, 2013

Psalm 103:1 Study...

Revisiting one of my favorite songs: 10,000 reasons (Bless the Lord) by: Matt Redman

Have you ever listened to a worship song... even sang along to it - without giving much thought to the words you were singing? I have, but I've kind of made it my mission to not do it again! How can we 'worship' God with words we don't understand - for all we know we don't even agree with what we're singing!! How is that giving heartfelt praise to our Creator???

So I seem to recall hearing this song the first few times and was wondering what it actually meant - like what it REALLY meant... TO ME! I had an idea of what I thought it meant (I define my soul as my mind, will, & emotions. This would mean that my soul blesses the Lord by honoring Him with my thoughts, choices, & feelings), but just to make sure I was on the right track I decided to do a little word study on a verse: Psalm 103:1 says "A song of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, [bless] His holy name!

This is what I discovered:

1. A song of David.
- David means "beloved." He was the youngest son of Jesse & second king of Israel.
- Just in case you didn't know, a psalm is a sacred song or poem used in worship. 
- Worship is any way we express our love & devotion to God. From what I can see there are actually 11 different words for worship in the bible (3 greek-OT & 8 hebrew-NT) meaning bow down, honor, praise, heal, & serve... Interesting!

2. Bless
- Bless (barak) means to kneel, be adored, to praise, salute (the dictionary says: to glorify, to invoke divine care for, favor..)
- What was most interesting was that the origin of the word "bless" is: Middle English, from Old English blētsian, from blōd blood; from the use of blood in consecration (sacrifice, blood, atonement, Jesus the final sacrificial lamb dying for our sins, u know...)
- Consecration is a solemn commitment of your life or your time to some cherished purpose (to a service or a goal) according to the dictionary.
- "Bless the Lord" takes on a whole new meaning! These are things I kind of already knew, but seeing this all written out is good for my heart I think... my appreciation & adoration of Christ and what He did for me is deepening as I go deeper into His Word/Truth...

3. The LORD
- The Lord (Yĕhovah) means "Jehovah" or "the existing one." The proper name of the one true God.
- Actually the word lord comes from the Middle English loverd, lord, from Old English hlāford, from hlāfloaf + weard keeper.... which didn't mean much until I noticed one person's comment below this word on an online dictionary:
- "I heard an interview on the radio with the author of the book "white bread a social history of the store-bought loaf.: He said that the origin of the word lord is related to the person, in a position of power, who holds the bread. It was interesting to me, as a Christian, to think of Our Lord as the Bread of Life." (hmm...)

4. O my soul
- O my soul (nephesh) means living being, desire, emotion - the inner being of man -  activity of mind - activity of the will - activity of the character (so I wasn't too far off with the mind, will, & emotions definition I was taught while attending my Discipleship Training School at YWAM Denver = splendid!)
- Thought it was worth noting that the Greek word for 'soul' is 'psyche.'
- One dictionary definition of soul is: the moral and emotional nature of human beings.

5. And all that is within
- And all that is within (qereb) literally meaning  physical sense or thought and emotion

6. Me, [Bless] His holy
- Me, [Bless] His holy (qodesh) meaning holiness, sacredness, set-apartness, hallowed, consecrated (13 different words for holy throughout bible).
- Dictionary defines holy: Exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness - having a divine quality
- The origin of the word holy comes from Middle English, from Old English hālig; akin to Old English hāl whole (whole means free of defect or impairment - physically, mentally, & emotionally sound).

7. Name
- Name (shem) meaning reputation, fame, glory - name - memorial
- Defined in dictionary as: A word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or thing.

So this all started with a song that was stuck in my head - it's amazing the layers of truth found in the word of God! You can take one verse and either take it at face value or pick it apart and go deeper into full understanding of it - God's Word is living and active, sharper than any sword (Hebrews 4:12)! Start your day with God everyday so that you will be prepared for everything that comes your way.

What I've learned from this...

From now on when I hear the song 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) I'm going to think:
Bless the Lord, O my soul (Commit my very soul, mind-will-emotions, to Jehovah God)
Worship His holy name (I will honor/praise His sacred name, who makes me whole)
Sing like never before, O my soul (Let Him be the focus of my every moment, everyday)

Jan 22, 2013

Have patience - don't be in such a hurry...

After finishing up my very brain-numbing/lengthy/convicting study on 'Love' I decided I might have to break it down a bit and focus on one thing at a time. I can only get rid of bad habits by replacing them with good ones! I can't even say that I will pick a new topic each day because it might take me longer for some to sink in... especially for this first one!

The first explanation of what love is in 1 Corinthians 13:4 states that 'Love is patient' & oh how I dread taking a closer look at this word, but know deep in my heart it's so very necessary & will be so rewarding to my health & relationships once I get a better handle on it.

I don't know what makes me think things will go better for me if I get all tense & stressed & angry over something ridiculous or why I snap at my 2 year old for something she didn't even know was wrong in the first place or why I bark at my husband to just do everything 'my way'... I think it would help if I had a better understanding of 'Grace,' actually!

A great verse on grace comes from Ephesians 2:8 which says "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." The word grace here comes from the word 'charis' - which means: That which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness - good will, loving-kindness, favor - thanks.

If I consider the way this verse is put together (via NASB) I can see that grace is a gift. Grace is to be given to others by the way we treat them & so this is what 'giving grace to others' means to me:
  • Respond with kindness
  • Forgive easily
  • Don't rush into anger
  • Avoid speaking in a condescending manner
  • Consider other's needs, feelings, & comfort above your own
  • Don't be judgmental
  • Remember that the power of life & death is in the tongue
  • Apologize when you know you got it wrong
  • Think before you speak/respond - take a breath!
  • Have patience!
I'm sure there are many more ways, but these are what came to my mind first. Having patience with others is a way of showing grace to them. Since grace is a gift from God (His saving grace), when you're giving grace to others you are showing them Christ! In the same sense if you are withholding grace/patience, you are showing others the opposite of God... which would be... satan... OUCH!!! Something to consider I guess huh?!

Remember to say grace often (give thanks to God) & give grace to others (be patient & kind & selfless).

A prayer for us: "God I ask that you would be with each of us that takes in this message. That the truth would sink in and stick for good and anything not of You would fall away. Our heart's desire is to be an example of Your goodness, Your grace! Help us to do this and consider how You would respond to every situation we face throughout the day... with love. In Your name Lord, Amen."   

 - Bless you! -

(If you need a giggle, listen to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kn6Z2Mop5I)

Jan 21, 2013

Love... Part 4


Bears all things (it always protects). Bears comes from the word stegō - which means to protect or keep by covering, to preserve - to keep secret - by covering to keep off something which threatens, to bear up against, hold out against, and so endure. All things comes from the word pas - which means individually &/or collectively.

The definition of the word protect is: To keep from being damaged, attacked, stolen, or injured; guard - protect or defend.

Believes all things (always trusts). Believes comes from the word pisteuō - which means to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in.

The definition of the word trust is: Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing - Reliance on something in the future; hope - To expect with assurance - To believe - the trait of believing in the honesty and reliability of others.

Hopes all things (always hopes). Hope comes from the word elpizō - which means to trust.

The definition of the word hope is: To look forward to with confidence or expectation - To expect and desire - The theological virtue defined as the desire and search for a future good, difficult but not impossible to attain with God's help.

Endures all things (always perseveres). Endure comes from the word hypomenō - which means to endure, bear bravely and calmly - to remain - to preserve: under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one's faith in Christ.

The definition of persevere is: To persist in or remain constant to a purpose, idea, or task in the face of obstacles or discouragement - be persistent, refuse to stop - pursue your goal, be determined!

(Then of course the beginning of verse 8 states 'Love never fails...') 

Remember to persevere in loving others in this Godly way all the days of your life! Learn from your mistakes - apply them to today - do better tomorrow. His mercies are new every morning.

Love... Part 3


Does not rejoice in unrighteousness (does not delight in evil). Unrighteousness comes from the word adikia - which means a deed violating law and justice.

The definition of unrighteous is: Not righteous; wicked - Not right or fair; unjust - morally bad or wrong - deliberately violating accepted principles of right and wrong.

But rejoices with the truth (righteousness). Since this is a spin off 'not rejoicing in unrighteousness', I'm going to take 'the truth' as the opposite of unrighteousness = righteousness. The truth comes from the word alētheia - which means that candour of mind which is free from affection, pretence, simulation, falsehood, deceit - the truth as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man.

The definition of righteous is: Morally upright; without guilt or sin - concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles.

Love... Part 2


Does not act unbecomingly (is not rude). Unbecomingly is translated: aschēmoneō - which means to behave unseemly.

The definition of unbecoming in the dictionary is: Not appropriate, attractive, or flattering - unsuitable or inappropriate - not proper or seemly - not in keeping with accepted standards of what is right or proper in polite society. The definition of rude is: insulting or uncivil; discourteous; impolite

It does not seek its own (is not self-seeking). This phrase comes from the words zēteō & heautou - which mean 'seek in order to find' & 'himself, herself, itself, themselves' - It means what it says.

The definition of self-seeking in the dictionary is: Pursuing only one's own ends or interests - Exhibiting concern only with promoting one's own ends or interests - taking advantage of opportunities without regard for the consequences for others - interested only in yourself.

Is not provoked (is not easily angered). Provoke comes from the word paroxynō - which means to irritate, provoke, arouse to anger - to scorn, despise - to exasperate, to burn with anger.

The definition of provoke in the dictionary is: To incite to anger or resentment - To stir to action or feeling - To bring about deliberately; induce - to anger or infuriate.

Does not take into account a wrong suffered (keeps no record of wrongs). This is taken from the words logizomai & kakos - which means to not consider, take into account, weigh, meditate on - troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful things.

The definition of resentful in the dictionary is: Inclined to feel indignant ill will. Synonyms: bitter, hurt, wounded, angry, offended. 

What love is... and what it isn't... Part 1

The 'love' in the verses of 1 Corinthians 13 are often referenced at weddings, but what I'm now realizing is that the literal translation of love in this context is 'agape' love, or 'brotherly' love... 'friendly' love. Perhaps to remind us of the need to love all... not only to love our spouse (which of course is very important), but to love everyone! Not the 'I'm madly in love with you so lets get hitched!' kind of love, but...

God IS love, so we need to love all of whom were created by Him & treat them with the following attributes so that we may bless His heart. For what we did for one of the least of these, we did unto Him. This is my study on love as found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NASB) in 4 parts. I'll translate using a concordance on blueletterbible.com and then with a dictionary from thefreedictionary.com


Love is patient. Patient is translated: makrothymeō  - which means not to lose heart, persevere patiently, be mild & slow in avenging, longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish! 

The definition of patient in the dictionary is: Bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance with calmness - Tolerant; understanding - Persevering; constant - Capable of calmly awaiting an outcome or result; not hasty or impulsive.

Love is kind. Kind is translated: chrēsteuomai - which means to show one's self 'mild', use kindness. 

The definition of kind in the dictionary is: Of a friendly, generous, or warm-hearted nature - Showing sympathy or understanding; charitable - Humane; considerate - Forbearing; tolerant - Generous; liberal - Agreeable; beneficial.

And is not jealous (does not envy). Jealous is translated: zēloō - which means to be heated or to boil with envy, hatred, anger.

The definition of jealous in the dictionary is: Fearful or wary of being supplanted; apprehensive of losing affection or position - Resentful or bitter in rivalry; envious - Inclined to suspect rivalry - Having to do with or arising from feelings of envy, apprehension, or bitterness.

Love does not brag (does not boast). Brag is translated: perpereuomai - which means to boast of one's self - a self display, employing rhetorical embellishments in extolling one's self excessively. 
(I'm guessing there's no room for selfishness...)

The definition of brag in the dictionary is: Arrogant or boastful speech or manner. The definition of boast is: To glorify oneself in speech; talk in a self-admiring way - To speak of with 'excessive' pride.

And is not arrogant (is not proud). Arrogant is translated: physioō - which means to be puffed up, to bear one's self loftily, be proud.

The definition of arrogant in the dictionary is: Having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance - Marked by or arising from a feeling or assumption of one's superiority toward others.

(Anyone else catching how this 'love' has to do with more than how we treat our spouse???)

The Cry of My Heart...

This is one of very few songs that just pulls me into such a beautiful place 
of worship & truly is the cry of my heart:

You Are by: Colton Dixon

When I can’t find the words to say how much it hurts 
You are the healing in my heart 
When all that I can see are broken memories 
You are the light that’s in the dark 

You are the song, 
You are the song I’m singing. 
You are the air, 
You are the air I breathe in 
You are the hope, 
You are the hope I'm needing.
You are 

And when my circumstance leaves me with empty hands. 
You are the provider of my needs. 
When all my dirtiness has left me helpless. 
You are the rain that washes me. 

Chorus: (2x) 
You are the song 
You are the song I’m singing. 
You are the air, 
You are the air I breathe in 
You are the hope, 
You are the hope I'm needing. 

(x2) If I had no voice, 
If I had no tongue, 
I would dance for you like the rising sun. 
And when that day comes and I see your face. 
I will shout your endless glorious praise. 

Chorus: (2x) 
You are the song
You are the song I’m singing. 
You are the air, 
You are the air I breathe in 
You are the hope, 
You are the hope I'm needing. 

Listen to the song with lyrics here:

Jan 18, 2013

Super Mom vs. Abiding Mom...

As my primary role or 'position' in life is that of a stay-at-home mom... I realize that it's easy to fall into the temptation to become a 'super-mom' - Not that it's bad to be a SUPER MOM (I'm sure Sarah thinks I am... ahem), but it's when we're striving for that status out of a desire for others to 'notice' our accomplishments and praise us for how wonderful we are that things can get a little hairy...

I am a recovering depressive-anxious-isomniac. I'm also an exacting, competitive, perfectionist! Put this rather odd mix together and you have a young woman who has all the best intentions, but was too afraid of failure and getting a negative response from her loved ones that she just did... nothing! That's right... nothing. 

I WANTED to have a clean, organized, beautiful home so we could invite people over without feelings of embarrassment or shame. I WANTED my husband to come home with dinner ready and his girls all beautiful and running into his arms after he had a long day of hard work. I WANTED to believe that God's Word was true & that He thought I was perfect just the way I was (without having to strive to become perfect)... but for some reason I just kept letting satan win & believed his lies... such as:
  • "You are so behind on housework you're never going to have a clean home, just let it be. Having things organized around you won't make you feel any better (by the way this is a major lie! no need for perfection, but when things around you are chaotic you FEEL chaotic)."
  • "You don't  know how to cook! You were raised on macaroni & cheese and pizza - you can't cook a meal for a man that grew up on homemade dishes! His mom always made tasty homemade meals and even his dad was a great cook & a butcher, anything you could put together would be laughable..."
  • "You've known your husband almost 6 years now... there's no mystery to be found in each other anymore, no excitement or passion that can be reignited - you're married now, married people don't gush about how much they missed each other or run into each other's arms when one gets home from work or speak dreamily of all their future holds... wake up and smell the coffee!"
Have you heard any of these lies?!?

I guess I thought it was just me... or is that just the way satan works? He tries to tear us down and make us feel like we're all alone - that nobody else struggles with these things - that we are always going to deal with these same problems and there's no hope for anything better...

I'm here to tell you (& remind myself) that these and more are all lies from the pit of hell... Have you ever heard the truth found in Jeremiah 29:11? It's really popular around graduation time, but read it through and really ponder on what it means for YOUR life, right now...

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future..."

This is a truth we can all stand on. We can't feel alone because it says right there: "FOR .I. KNOW... the plans I. HAVE. FOR. YOU...!!!" We also know that his plans for us are good plans: "PLANS. TO. PROSPER. YOU." He's not out to get us! He has no desire for harm to befall us: "NOT. TO. HARM. YOU." He doesn't want you to feel alone or down & out or to give up or stop dreaming: "PLANS. TO. GIVE. YOU. HOPE. AND. A. FUTURE!!!"

This verse kind of spells out God's heart for us... take it seriously, repeat it aloud a few times... keep saying it and pondering it until you believe it! The enemy comes to kill, steal, & destroy but God's heart is that we would have life... ABUNDANT life! The enemy works with confusion, God brings clarity. Don't be confused anymore... ask God to bring clarity & purpose & meaning to your life. 

I was recently in a terrible place, a downward spiral - my habits just kept getting worse, the quality of my time spent with my little girl & my husband continued to dwindle - I felt confused about life & where it was going & what good I had to offer anyone... but by the grace of God I've escaped that pit! 

I can't fully explain how it has happened or say that I did anything extraordinary to force it to happen, but I'm doing so much better... I guess I'm receiving more truth & rejecting more lies than I used to... that's probably a huge factor! My life is far from perfect, but I'm working on it. I'm growing from glory to glory into His likeness... I have an incredibly supportive husband, that has helped a lot as well! He asks me often "how can I help?" - I take him up on that offer, a lot :) and he has helped me so much...

SO, how does my life look different now than it did a few weeks ago???
  1. Instead of staying up til 4am with the excuse that I needed 'me-time', I get up early in the morning and plan my day (being intentional about how my time is spent and what needs to get done) so that I'm wide awake when Sarah wakes up hours later. I go to bed when the rest of my family does.
  2. Instead of being miserable & tired all day lying on the couch, my eyes are wide open... I'm smiling... I'm snuggling & chatting with my baby girl... we have fun.
  3. Instead of being overwhelmed by what I don't know how to do (cook) & just snack together all day, I decide that even if it's not perfect or 100% organic & homemade I'm still going to make 3 meals a day and have a couple snack options in the back of my mind. I meal-plan & buy the groceries at the beginning of each week now as well so I KNOW what food we have & what I want to make.When daddy gets home we all eat together at our dining room table after offering up thanks to God.
As far as that 'exciting marriage' thing goes... this is all still a work in progress, but something new we're trying is to acknowledge each other at the 3 'gateways' of our day with a kiss and full hug (that's just always gonna be important, but for some reason it's so easy to skip)... the gateways for us are: When Steve leaves for work in the morning, when he gets home from work, & before we all go to bed... Also, on a daily basis take a second to remember why we fell in love in the first place & thank each other for something we appreciate about them or what they did. This is all very small & very easy... and I'll tell ya, we don't always remember to do even this but it has helped us 'see' each other more. 

Don't get me wrong - our marriage isn't crumbling by any means, but after 4 1/2 years of marriage we have settled into a state of 'ordinary' & forgot to keep things alive & exciting so this is our way of 'remembering' each other everyday. We also enjoy that bit of time between Sarah's bedtime and ours to just talk. Starting tonight we're going to bring back what we always used to do & read the bible together and pray over our family & others on our hearts every night before bed (a family that prays together stays together ya know!).

My prayer for you is that you will take away from this a few important things:
  1. Your worth is not found in what you do or don't do, it is found through God's eyes... how He sees you... & He thinks you're pretty great.
  2. We need to be intentional with our time & spend it on things that matter - don't get lost in work - fight for time with your loved ones - this is WORTH FIGHTING FOR!
  3. Get yourself organized! I agree with the sentiment that 'true friends won't mind if your house is a mess' & the phrase 'don't mind the mess my children are making memories'... but whoever said that probably has never seen a REALLY messy, unorganized house... the kind that makes the owner feel scattered & worthless. I can attest to the fact that you WILL feel better if you get things in their place & get the junk out of your life (this applies physically as much as spiritually, mind you). I'm not talking about some dishes in the sink or toys scattered across the floor... I'm talking visibly dirty floor, mountains of dishes, piles of papers on your dining room table, & countless items that just don't have a place. PUT THEM AWAY & GET IT CLEAN - I just can't say enough about how my debilitating, overwhelming feelings of failure went away when I realized I just had little messes to deal with at the end of the day instead of a complete hurricane throughout the entire house! (note to all my loved ones: I don't care if your house is a mess, I just love you and that we're together - this is just my thoughts on how to make yourself feel better and enjoy more peace & calm in your day)
  4. Relationships are worth fighting for! I'm talking about your relationship with God, your relationship with your spouse, your relationship with your children, your relationship with your family, your friends, neighbors, other believers... in case you didn't know: being a workaholic isn't a gift - it's a curse if you can't make time for relationships. All that money you're working so hard to make isn't going to make a dime of difference if you can't find the time to spend with your Creator, spouse, & children. On the flip-side you can be overly relational & still forget about the most important relationships (God first, family second...)
  5. Finally, GET OVER YOURSELF! No really, I'm totally serious - get your focus off of yourself! I believe one of satan's favorite ways to pull you away from God & the good things He desires for you, is selfishness. One thing I now use to smack myself out of my self-absorbed-whoa-is-me attitude... is in reading over my list of 'gifts'. If you read my first blog, it references Ann Voskamp's book 'One thousand gifts' - in the devotional I use along side this book, there's space at the end to begin writing your own one thousand gifts... It encourages you to take in even the smallest things & realize that these are gifts, blessings from God. I've written things like: giggling at my dog snoring, the hum of the fan that helps me sleep, my daughter's adorable pony-tail... nothing earth-shattering, but it's in this place of Thanksgiving for the seemingly insignificant and easily taken for granted that can pull us out of our rut and reminds us...

"In all your ways acknowledge Him & He will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:6 (Blessing to you)

(found this at: http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&tbo=d&biw=1280&bih=635&tbm=isch&tbnid=E5BnkOSomc4IZM:&imgrefurl=http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/blog/2010/02/super-mom-vs-abiding-mom.html&docid=ywF7G7_qU79dTM&imgurl=http://cdn2.confessionsofahomeschooler.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/abidingmomsm1-761x1024.jpg&w=761&h=1024&ei=BKf5UPDRBoTd2QWP04DACQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=388&sig=106002186577528031249&page=1&tbnh=154&tbnw=114&start=0&ndsp=23&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:0,i:103&tx=69&ty=95)

Jan 14, 2013

There's always time for snuggles...

This morning I attempted to start my day outside the norm and put a movie on for Sarah while I worked on my own thing on the other side of the room... but she wasn't about to let that happen - she knows that EVERY morning we snuggle together and watch cartoons... so instead of watching cartoons, she came over and sat down on my lap with no entertainment in sight... she obviously appreciates the time & snuggles with her momma more than watching a movie.

I apologized to her and quit what I was doing and sat on the couch with her so we could watch Barney. I wrapped my arm around her and she nestled into me to get cozy... what else could be more important than this??? Choose to spend your time wisely & spend as much of it with your family as possible! You will never get this day back...

"Lord remind us to enjoy the precious time we have with our little ones, amen."

Jan 10, 2013

Dedicated to Sleep....

I have finally grown in my ability to stay the course as I strive to got to bed and rise in the morning at a decent hour... 

It all became possible somewhere at the end of an annoying cold, where I was sleeping a lot during the day and struggling to sleep normal hours at night... eventually it all evened out and I was ready for bed one night at about 9pm. For a couple days of this I could only sleep 4 or 5 hours at a time and would spend the rest of the morning on the computer distracting myself until attempting to nap before Sarah got up. It shocked me more than anyone else when I actually went to bed when Steve & Sarah did and was up out of bed before Steve the next morning (he gets up at 6am, I was up at 5am). 

I enjoyed the time that I had to myself as I planned my day (on Ann Voskamp's free daily planner I found online on her blog - see my first post to find this resource). It was also nice to have that time to check up on my Facebook, email, & watch an episode or 2 of Alias or better yet, watch an online bible study or actually crack open my bible at all while I waited for Sarah to wake up later that morning (she sleeps 12 hours a night, so generally she gets up around 9am).

Once Sarah was up, it was confirmed how important this time to myself in the morning really was... I was fully wide awake when I heard her on the monitor - I somehow had the energy to prepare an actual breakfast for us that she could help prepare as she sat on the counter eating her Juice Plus+ gummies joyfully... I also noticed how fully my attention was on her, no more of this lying on the couch like a zombie as she was forced to entertain herself because mommy could hardly keep her eyes open, let alone interact and play with her precious baby girl... there were days when Sarah would literally crawl up next to me and say 'mommy... up...' She couldn't understand why her mommy couldn't play with her, why she was depressed, why she was spiritually empty, why she stopped taking her hypothyroid medicine & supplements, why she would never drink water - only caffeine & sugar... (can you see that I was getting to a place of desperation?). It was as if I was literally spiraling the drain... losing myself. 

I was, and still am, in love with the new me! As i'm reaching the end of my first week with this glorious change. I love feeling wide awake throughout the day for the first time in a VERY long time... but in order to allow this change a fighting chance, I decided I had to bring even more structure into my life. I used to shudder when faced with words like rules, responsibility, ambition, or even energy because of how horrible I felt on a daily basis - it was as if I was drowning and there was no way to save me. I don't know how simply planning my days brought such excitement & motivation, but it has been working so far. My new sleep, wake, & nap rules are:
  1. I have to treat this as if I am a recovering alcoholic (I am in fact a recovering insomniac) and must not allow myself an inch in terms of bedtimes, wake times, and naps. 
  2. I can not stay up later than Steve. Once he's in bed there's nobody to keep me accountable.
  3. I must be IN bed ready to sleep by 10pm... and up in the morning before Steve leaves for work.
  4. NO NAPS because then I won't be able to get to sleep on time that night and will start the crazy-cycle all over again.
  5. Can't take a weekend or vacation from the rules - have to abstain from slip-ups until this is 2nd nature.
On my daily planner there is a place that lists... a bunch of lists :) A place for a memory verse, silhouettes of jugs to cross off as I drink each glass of water throughout the day, a menu planner, a reminder to excercise, and then a way to sort out & prioritize what needs to get done, what should get done, and what can wait until tomorrow. My kitchen has been spotless the past 3 or 4 days, I eat breakfast & snuggle with Sarah every morning as we watch cartoons, we eat every 3 hours, we do crafts/color/explore new things together, I have time to myself, I consider God's word & what it truly means to me... These things are so important!

My genuine hope & fervent prayer is that I will only improve in this effort & not fall back & become that person I never wanted to be... I want to be fully present... awake... alive. I want to be all God created me to be as a wife, mother, friend, & follower of Christ.

(artwork by: Emile Munier)

"Lord I ask that you would help us to lean on You for the strength to be all You created us to be, amen."

Jan 9, 2013

Bless The Lord, Oh My Soul...

Ah this song just moves me to a place of worship like few others can... it makes my heart dance and all I want to do is close my eyes and raise my hands to God in total surrender... He is just SO good! Please play this song at my funeral with Matt Redman singing it - rejoice because I will be dancing with Jesus 10,000 years and then forevermore! Praise God!!!

10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

Watch the music video here: