Are You Choosing to See?

18
Nov
2014

Week-Five-Best-Yes

I think I often miss my Best Yes because I am too busy; not open to His whisper and do not allow Him to open my mind to new experiences or to stretch myself.  It is a shame now that I can evaluate it and see.

There is a term I wish I knew more about in my life called “white space” or “margin“.  I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about, that time that is unscheduled.

I think I have some of it but often time my ‘time’ is structured to the point that I cannot allow anything to go outside the schedule.  I wonder how many chances I end up wasting that I may have been able to say YES to?

I loved this line:

“Don’t waste it.  Let it make you aware.  Be an extension of God’s love right now.”

To be honest, as I write here, I am almost tearing up because I feel there are many opportunities I have missed.  So many times I have been too busy to see.

I am thankful I am being made aware now – some areas of my life need to change and what does that look like?

It may mean saying no to more things so I can have time to hear from Him.

It may mean saying Yes to some things that really matter or that I know are my Best Yes.

I am not entirely sure yet, but I am open to change, even though it can be one of the hardest things to do.  Change…. we all say we want it but when it comes down to it, we fight against it.  This line really resonated with me:

“Saying no isn’t an unnecessary rejection.  It’s actually a necessary protection of our Best Yes answers.  We will have a very hard time paying attention to those Best Yes answers if we live lives that are completely spent.”

Oh, how I feel this line was written just for me!  I am in a season where I am feeling spent…. and I know God has me right here to get my attention so that I may be FORCED to make some changes.  He does that sometimes, do you know what I mean?

Being Present

I am often not very present with my family, my friends or even myself.  I am task orientated and can get so focused on completing things that I miss the community and relationship.  I have made improvements, but still have a long way to go.

I think a Best Yes for me might be to read Bob Goff’s  Love Does – I am putting it on my list!  There were many tid-bits that Lysa shared from that book that really resonated with my soul…..I love how God uses people to help us grow!

Do you find yourself looking for big directional signs?

Practice Making Wise Decisions

28
Oct
2014

wisdom

I have been known to procrastinate a time or two…..or maybe ten or twenty!  UGH!  It sometimes really amazes me I have made it this far in life because of how paralyzed I can be at times – not knowing what to do, so I do nothing!!!

Do you ever feel paralyzed?  Just fearful of making the wrong decision so much that it just keeps you from doing anything.  I get that way, I avoid and I think if I just don’t think about it, said “it” will just not be there the next time I turn around.  But, it is.  And causes me more anxiety in the process.  

From big decisions to little ones, I can get bogged down with the details so much that it prevents me from moving ahead.  ACK!  I hate admitting that, but it is true.  I can feel lost and flailing and I am so glad that Lysa shared the three questions that we all can and should consider when we are looking to make any type of decision.

  •   Have you been reading and praying through God’s Word lately?
  •   Have you been applying God’s Word in your life lately?
  •   Have you sought Godly counsel and insights from wise people who know specifics about your    situation?

“We have to put our hearts and our minds in places where wisdom gathers, not scatters.”

I love feeling empowered to make decisions that are good when I incorporate knowledge, insight, and discernment by using the above questions as a guideline for myself.  I love knowing I can grab hold of those questions the next time I am feeling a bit underprepared for making a decision, which I am sure will be within the next few hours.

When Lysa shared her experience of having to navigate the decision a to whether they would open their home to a friend….. I could relate to those feelings she was sharing.  I loved that she added four more aspects to making a wise decision:

Physically – can you say yes in this area?

Financially – can you say yes in this area?

Spiritually – can you say yes in this area?

Emotionally – can you say yes in this area?  (this is the one I rarely even consider, although it seems it may need to be closer to the top of my considerations!)

I tend to over-extend myself in the area of “emotions” – thinking I can do more or give more than what I realistically can handle.  This is an area I need to be very aware of especially since I know that my depression and hopelessness can stem from being bankrupt emotionally.

A few things to consider this week from the Study Guide: 

I loved this suggestion and wondered if anyone else would be up for the challenge?  I often am doing a lot, but my motive is not from the heart and I can be bitter about being put out.  I want to work on this area, so won’t you join me?

  • Be servant-hearted.  Do something for another person without grumbling.  Trust that God sees, God knows, and through this act of service, God will develop your character to match your calling.

Truth is always something I need to focus on rather than my feelings.  This is an area I need to be reminded of.

  • Stand in assurance.  Trump your feelings with truth. Just because you feel incapable/offended/insecure doesn’t mean you need to be incapable/offended/insecure.

My words can often be short and snarky – yes – I know.  In the haste of daily routine I can get an attitude or feel overworked and my words show that.  Here is another area to be mindful of.

  • Tuck wisdom into your life.  Practice it in the things you say and in the things you choose not to say.

Hop over to the Facebook page tonight at 6:15 PM Pacific time or 9:15 Eastern time to join our LOVE CHAT, I’ll be giving away a prize tonight and I know you will love it! 

FB chat

The Best Yes Online Book Study

16
Oct
2014

The Best Yes Online Book Study - Free to Participate!

I am absolutely THRILLED to announce officially our next online book study.  It has taken a bit to get things organized and finally, the day has come to share with you all.

The Best Yes, by Lysa TerKeurst Online Book Study is coming Monday, October 20th – our official start date.  Go grab your book now, paperback with Prime Shipping it will get to you in time, but no worries if not – grab a kindle copy or just start a couple days late…. WE WANT YOU!!!  {You can read the first chapter free here}

Details:

The book study runs here on this blog page, I will be posting on Monday’s with the weeks reading plan and then either on Tuesday or Wednesday I will share my thoughts in a short post.  Feel free to comment on what you are learning as well.

The built of the community and sharing will take place on our PRIVATE Facebook page, you can click here to join.   

The Best Yes Online Book Study - Free to Participate!

Questions, quotes and community will be shared there, so if you are looking to get a bit deeper into the study, I highly suggest coming over the to the FB page and joining us.

During the course of the Six week study, we will have three Facebook Chat’s – taking place on the PRIVATE group page, sharing with each other what we are learning.  This is a new feature I am trying this time around – looking forward to new adventures.

I am saving the best part for last!!!

This time around I have a group of like-minded moms from my community who have stepped up to help monitor the Facebook page and share in the journey.  This has been an incredible blessing to me and an answer to prayer.  I am only one person, and was feeling conflicted in how much I can continue to offer, so this was truly a miracle.

Without further ado – please meet your “The Best Yes Moms” who are probably very similar to you and I know will add a dimension and dynamic that will bless the entire group!

KimKimberly Gates

 I am a creative, thoughtful, nature/animal lover, God – loving, deal finding money saving Mom.  I am 45 years old and work full time as an Animal Care Supervisor.  I have been married for 13 years and have 3 children ages 21, 19 and 9. I am a stepmother (to the older children) and the youngest child was adopted.  My children have made my heart grow bigger and I am a better person and mother because of them, I love them dearly.   I enjoy encouraging and supporting other mothers, to enjoy and value time with their kids and to keep life simple. It’s a jungle out there!

KellyKelly Smith

I am a wife and mother of three kids, ages 10, 8 and 9 months.  We make our home near Birmingham,
AL.  I am a stay at home mom during the week, and an Occupational Therapist at an area hospital on the weekend.  I lead a small group at our church for moms with kids in all ages and stages.  My favorite activities outside of caring for my family are reading, writing, and running.  I believe we were all created to live in community and I am thankful for the women in my life that enrich my spiritual journey, both in person and online. 

Jess-LassJessica 

I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 17 years.  We have 4 amazing boys – ages 13, 12, 9 and 6 – all of whom have multiple food allergies and were blessed 2 years ago this month to welcome a little girl from Russia to our crazy house.  I am a SAHM who tries (and often fails) to balance family and a part time photography and cake business.  I love reading, home (little bit of a homebody…), Jesus, adoption and families – I am passionate about supporting other moms! 

allison-finalAllison Burke

I am 35 years old with 2 precious little girls – ages 4 & 12. I work FT as a paralegal at a reputable law firm in the Birmingham area. I love my family and feel they are the most important thing in this life that has God has so graciously blessed me with. If I had to describe myself I would say I LOVE to laugh and have a huge heart and always try my best encourage others. I consider myself to be pretty crafty and Pinterest is my guilty pleasure.

DanielleDanielle

I’m a Midwesterner at heart, married to my college sweetheart for ten years with four incredibly curious children (ages 1, 3, 6 and 8) who keep me on my toes!  We are a Navy family with four moves, a couple deployments, and an untold number of new experiences under our belts. Currently stationed in San Diego, I can most often be found trying to wear my children out at the playground, tinkering in my kitchen or garden, figuring out how to streamline some aspect of homemaking and trying to teach my kids to clean up after themselves to leave more time for family fun.  Mothering is by far the most challenging and fun role I’ve had in my life; I’m blessed to have a short term memory for the exhaustion and frustration that can accompany it!

I look forward to meeting you and sharing ideas about what struggles you face in identifying and living your Best Yes!  

Okay, I just got chills after reading through their introductions to you!!!  I am beyond thrilled with their backgrounds and unique giftings that they will bring to this study – so excited!

Here is our schedule  

The Best Yes - Reading Plan - Online Book Study -Free to Participate!

You can print out the reading plan in PDF format HERE.

Also for those who enjoy Pinterest, here is the Pinterest board I have created for pinning posts, quote images and more.  

Make sure you are signed up to receive my blog posts – check the box right below this post to add yourself and they will be delivered automatically to your inbox.

Link to all posts on The Best Yes Study:

Week One

Obeying God’s Instruction

Week Two

Practice Making Wise Decisions

Week Three

Making the Best Choices

Week Four

Expectations, Disappointments and Reality

Week Five

Are You Choosing to See?

Week Six

Together in Hard Places

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Musts for Marvelous Mornings

25
Sep
2014

More manageable mornings

I was running frazzled, raising my voice and my four year old because we were going to be late to preschool AGAIN this week.  WHY?

Then it occurred to me, I had chosen to bypass my routine for the morning and everything was tubing down.

Sound familiar?

There are certain aspects of our lives that need to be in check – and for me and I feel for most moms – we need routine for ourselves and for our family.  Managing our homes does not come by chance and we need to be intentional to make things run smoothly.

I want a great morning and thought these tips might help you have a Marvelous Morning too!

Regular Wake Up Times

This is for everyone – you and your kids.  The particular morning I shared about earlier was one where I got up a few minutes later than my normal time and then I let my four year old sleep in a bit later because I wasn’t finished with my regular morning routine.  Big mistake.

Why I do this I will never know – but it has now been proven to me multiple times – I cannot expect everything to go smoothly when I change the routine.

Wake Up Oily Routine

I have a routine…..oh yes I do!!  It gets me off to a great start – so thankful for my Young Living essential oils instead of popping pills.  I love my Progessence Plus, Harmony over my heart, EndoFlex and some En-R-Gee – it’s what I do first thing in the morning.  Oh, and then I also love some Citrus Fresh in the diffuser!   {You can check this post out for more of my routines using oils during the day too!}

Your Favorite Beverage

For me, it’s coffee – yep – COFFEE!!  I especially love that I switched about two years ago to brewing only one cup at a time with a Keurig and it is fabulous. Fresh, hot, rich….. perfect to snuggle down with to spend some quiet time in the morning.  {This is my favorite coffee to brew in the morning!}  If you are not a coffee drinker – no worries – grab a beverage that you enjoy!

bible

Me Time

In order for me to be the best I can be, I have to get some quiet time to myself when I first wake up.  I have a spot on my sofa, I curl up with my iPad (which holds my kindle and also YouVersion Bible APP) a journal and headphones so I can listen to some praise music to start my day.  There is nothing better to fill my tank – nothing!

Check the Schedule

If I haven’t looked at our day the night before (which I often have) I will quickly check the calendar and outline my list of errands, to-do items and what is for dinner.  This gets my mind focused on the day ahead.

Shower

We all know this one and I even resist and tell myself, “Oh, I will do that later.”  Well, guess what – it doesn’t end up happening.  If I end up taking two showers a day because I work out later in the day, so be it.  I know that I can focus better and am in a better state of mind when my body is fresh and clean.

Simple Breakfast

Scrambled eggs, cereal, toast with apple butter – simple choices.  Do not have too many choices either or you will be battling little ones who can make decisions!  I love that I can add on a breakfast menu option to my eMeals plan – making simple and easy breakfasts even easier!   You can save 20% with code SCHOOL on any eMeals Meal Plan until September 30th.

Have Buffer Time

It seems like the mornings can tend to be scheduled to the second.  Instead of rushing from one thing to the next, fix some buffer time in your morning so you don’t have to beginning raising your voice to get everyone out the door.  If I do my part and keep things moving in the morning and do not let people sleep late, including me – tasks get done easier and with less fuss.

GO TO BED

This is almost the most important part of any morning routine – you need to get to bed at a time that allows your body to get enough sleep.  Your body needs sleep to re-set and restore itself, and if you are compromising your time in bed, your body will fight back.  Make sure you are getting to bed at a descent hour to get the sleep you need.

What is your favorite tip?

Do You Have a Life Verse?

1
Sep
2014

Life-Verse-Motherhood

My morning quiet time is something I really hate to miss.  The peaceful morning, warm cup of coffee just the way I like it, a diffuser running next to me with just the perfect essential oil in it to start my day off right and my iPad – with my YouVersion bible app with my daily devotional picks as well as my Kindle App to read, “Jesus Calling.”

I cherish this time and so love when I am reminded of little things that used to be BIG things, but I have let slip away.

Yesterday I was reading my devotional in my YouVersion App, Simplify a 10 day devotional by Bill Hybels and was reminded of having a life verse.  I honestly really had not considered this, but you know…..I do have a life verse, and I have just forgotten and not really focused on it being my life verse.

Before I was a Christian and understood anything about who Jesus truly was, my kids were enrolled in a Christian school.  This was a particularly difficult season of my life, where I was in the midst of getting a divorce – yet, my children were in a Christian school and I was not a Christian.  I saw the joy in their faces and knew I needed to discover more about this Jesus they were learning about. 

I decided to memorize their school year verse and to me, this is my life verse.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3: 4-5

That is the very first verse I ever memorized – and it was even before I had given my life to Jesus.  

So this is my verse.

I loved what Bill Hybels said in his ‘Simplify’ devotion:

“Having a life verse is one of the most powerful tools I know for simplifying your life.  It keeps you on course and helps you make wise decisions about where to invest your time, energy, and gifts.   It drives you to live each day with fervency and passion.”

So perhaps, even if I wasn’t purely intentional with knowing that it was my life verse, I think I knew – there have been many times in my life I have had to just ‘hang-on’ when things seemed so out of control and did not make sense.  But I just trusted and you know……He’s made it all alright.

Not always exactly how I would have done things, but ……perfectly His way.