Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A marriage retreat that focused on me?

My husband and I attended a marriage conference this past weekend that was offered through our church. We spent just over three hours with a lovely man Ephran, who has been married for 24 years and has 5 boys! Wow! He informed us straight away that the focus would not be on our marriage and relationship but on ourselves. That's interesting now isn't it? I can assure you, I've never been to a marriage conference where we didn't talk about marriage but rather focused on ourselves! He began with scripture of course, which I unfortunately didn't write down and I don't have the CD yet but the basis was... Lord search me, test me, and reveal any wicked thing in me. We must love God, love ourselves, and faithfully walk in love in order to really be a good mate. This of course goes for all others in our lives as well. This conference made so much sense to me, it was meant for me; everyone else could have gone home. Through the restart of my 40 days, the thoughts from my previous blog, and the super huge fight I got into with a person close to me, it all came full circle in this conference. Unfortunately, it only makes sense to me; as I'm having a hard time articulating the process and the effect it's had on me. At the end of the conference we were asked to write down one thing, one nugget that we've taken from the conference. Well, I'm a bit long winded so I have three paragraphs.

"The days leading to this conference have been painful and confusing but it all makes sense now. I believe I was tested, my character was tested and the content of my true heart in its current state was revealed. The events of the week were sparked by an offense, but it wasn't the offense that caused me so much pain, but my response (how I behaved) to the offense that hurt so much.

This weeks journey combined with this conference I believe to have been a necessary process and a divine one to spark dramatic change in my life, my walk with God, my relationship with my husband and children, and the people our lives with touch in the future.

I know deep in my core that my husband and I are destined for great things. Not that we are destined to own or collect material items or make a ton of money, but that we will be used mightily by God to carry out his will and change lives."

The greatest gift from the conference is that what my husband took away from it was the need to complete his education in ministry. Thank you Jesus for this precious gift you have given me and that he is a man after your own heart!

In closing this sweet man left us with 14 scriptures to really study and spend some time in. That combined with the book I'm currently working through should keep me pretty busy for a while.

A little lesson I've learned in this whole process (the thing that completes my circle) is that who I am, my worth, my value is not measured in someone else’s opinion of me, or even my own opinion. My worth is determined by how God sees me and according to his word I am a new creation, I am righteous (he sees me as an example of his righteousness), faithful, etc. Though there may not currently be outward evidence of it, His word has the power to perform exactly what God says I am! I am complete in Him! Every scripture that reads "in him," or "in Christ" is an example of who I truly am in Christ, how he sees me. There are 130 of them; I'm off to find a few more!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Got it right in some ways, not so much in others…

First, a few victories and miracles! My husband and I haven’t been consistent tithers in a while so we made a commitment to tithe again and have enjoyed watching things change and supernaturally come our way. The first, we had two separate appointments for personal reasons that would cost us $350 per appointment. Those two separate appointments were eventually condensed to one which saved us $350! The second, I recently did a pretty large billing project for the company I’m an independent contractor for which more than doubled my typical income for the month! The third, when I first completed my taxes online, like I do every year, we were not going to get a refund from the IRS or from the lovely state of Michigan. In fact, we owed $1200+ to Michigan and $200+ to the IRS. When taking a second glance a few more credits presented themselves that I missed the first time around. That ultimately changed our tax situation to owing Michigan just over $1000 and getting a refund of over $900 from the IRS! Test God, dare him and he will always prove faithful! We recently paid off a student loan and I’m prepared to make that first payment for my Medical Transcription course. I’m also into the first chapter of my book titled “The Summer Before She Turned Sixteen.”


Now onto the misses; I’m not ashamed, everyone stumbles! I’ve developed a very strong start to my vision board, though it isn’t finished yet or hanging in the kitchen. I plan to get that finished up this week and buy the bulletin board to hang everything on. I’ll have to post a photo of it when it’s up.


I’m glad I didn’t waste my money on the book The New Earth that I intended to read and take the online seminar/course at Oprah.com. I did some research first and found that other Christian readers found it to not line up with our faith. Instead, I’ve committed to and have already started on The Purpose Driven Life which a lovely friend of mine graciously lent to me last summer. Thank you my precious gift ;) I miss you! In my opinion, that shouldn’t really count as a miss but another win because I’ve got something that is good for my soul and I trust it will change my life. I shamefully have to admit, I attempted to give up fast food, McDonalds in particular and failed miserably! I sweat the put something in that food that creates an addiction! Thank you Jesus for freedom from addictions! He he!


My 40 days begins anew today and I’m off to an excellent start with some new goals. I will NOT eat McDonald’s or fast food of any kind. If eating out is absolutely unavoidable then I will make healthier choices. In fact, I have a date with my husband and Papa Vino’s Saturday! I already know I’ll order Chicken Arrabiata, angel hair pasta and a grilled chicken breast, topped with the most amazing marinara sauce. Followed by my one glass of red wine per day as suggested by Dr. Oz (I don’t really drink wine every day though). Dr. Oz is the first doctor I’ve met that is a living example of how you should treat your body and readily announces the need for supplements if you know you don’t get what you need through food. He actually agrees we should all avoid anything white like the plague! People, we need a revelation in our lives; everything white (food) IS the plague! It kills us! That isn’t to say that I have rid my house of the lousy stuff completely though. I’m a work in progress. Not to mention, my kids are going to hate it!


This morning I took my vitamins, I’m counting calories, working out, and journaling it all. Not for weight loss (not that I couldn’t stand to lose a few pounds) but I’m on the road to becoming of sound mind, body, and soul. I’ve deleted and cancelled the DVR recordings of many shows I typically watch that are just rubbish to limit my TV and intake of filth. This is my final day of spending so many hours behind this computer. It is an amazing and important object in my life, I need it to work, but too much priority has been placed upon it recently. I had to update my blog though! My newly found spare time will be filled with bubble baths, books, board games, giggles, and intimate moments with my precious husband and Jesus.


I have to confess the basis for this new beginning comes after hitting rock bottom literally. Without delving too many embarrassing details, I missed it big time with my husband this week and worsened things by using my words as a sword to another important person in my life. I can’t take any of it back but I have realized just how selfish and rough around the edges I really am. I don’t like the person I am today so I’ve invited my Lord into my heart to change me. I can’t bear ever behaving again the way I have earlier this week and so many times previous to that. With time God will strip away the shame and guilt and with that I will hopefully gain forgiveness from the person I have so painfully wronged. I hurt my husband this week and my family in the process; they have each forgiven me. The other person, unfortunately forgiveness won’t be so easy to achieve. I truly hope everyone knows that you will absolutely reap what you sew! If you put garbage in, you get garbage out. Turn over a new leaf and take care of yourself. It’s impossible to give love and walk in love if you don’t first love yourself. It is my belief that true self love and a whole self can only come from an intimate relationship with Jesus. Our Pastor recently said “this isn’t a dress rehearsal, we only get one life, this is it!” How will you live yours? How will you be remembered?

self love

I’m not sure if the one I have wronged is a subscriber or will come upon this one day, but know that even though my previous actions do not match my current words and heart, my love for you is deep, wide, and eternal! You are precious to me. I’ve once before deeply offended one other person the way I have offended you; that was my first regret. The words written to you yesterday are my second. I am truly sorry for my hasty and angry words and my heart aches. I hope to one day be granted forgiveness and find a relationship of mutual friendship, love, respect, and peace.


On a lighter note in closing, my twin babies celebrated their 4th birthday on Monday. Here are a few pictures from their birthday party. Sto Lat my lovely girls! Don’t you want to just eat em’ up!




Thursday, February 7, 2008

New Year's resolutions, Lent, goals, life, passion, and more...

I’m on goal and achievement overload! I heard something at church recently, “If the grass looks greener on the other side, fertilize your side.” Profound isn’t it. I’ve been pondering that for a week or two so that combined with the last two days of Oprah really have my head spinning. We weren’t put on this earth to gather stuff like we do. It isn’t our life purpose to buy SUVs, houses, clothing, and TVs. So what is our purpose then? Well I think the specifics are different for each person, however the general idea is all the same. Our purpose here is to be spiritual beings; to seek our higher power and be as intimate as possible with our higher power and ourselves. To know and love ourselves intimately is really the greatest gift we can give ourselves and those around us we love.


To know and love ourselves and our maker as intimately as possible means practicing several things as part of our daily lives. Some of us started the year with good intentions by setting New Years resolutions. That isn’t good enough though, we need a plan, goals, etc. I personally am not catholic but Lent is sort of like the universe giving us a second chance at starting the year out right. We create these resolutions often without a plan of action so has anything changed for you since January 1? Have you put any of those resolutions into practice? Well whether Catholic or not, now is as good a time as any to get started on some of those changes we all want to make. 40 days! Starting yesterday, pick one item off of your resolution list and put it into practice. If weight loss is a resolution of yours then start with one item. Either pledge to do some form of exercise for 30 min. daily for 40 days or give up pop or fast food for 40 days. If you want to watch less TV then start by giving up 1 show for 40 days. It’s that simple. Start small. 40 days is enough time to create a habit but not so open-ended that you still have over 250 days left in the year to get started!

Note to Self

I didn’t create resolutions this year or any other year for that matter. I do, like many of us, have goals though. Like many others those goals have different priorities. Here are a few of mine:
Buy a home
Author a book and get it published
Open a Tim Horton’s
Find my niche, my purpose in life

I have MANY other goals but I’ll start with a few small ones to get me started in the right direction. I want to buy a new home in two years. Well I can’t just sit back for two years then just go buy my dream home now can I? No! Our family needs to prepare. My husband will finish his 8 classes or so he has left to obtain his degree which will increase his income which will get us closer to that dream home.


I plan to complete an online training course to get me working full-time from home and put all that extra money in a money-market account to start saving for a down payment for that dream home. I need to bring in some kind of income and start saving while I’m waiting for God, my higher power, the universe (whatever you want to call it) to make arrangements for me to meet my publisher to get that book out on the New York Bestsellers list! Speaking of books; I’ve created a blog (obviously) to get my words, thoughts, and writing down in front of an audience and start building readership. I believe the efforts I make with my blog will direct the path of my writing and ultimately a book will be developed out of that experience among others.


So I’ve got a plan for the house and the book. Obviously I think my niche, passion, and life purpose are wrapped into my writing. Outside of that though, I’ve purchased Oprah’s latest book club read titled A New Earth. Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. I’m going to read the book and participate in her 10 week webinar to really get to know me and find my purpose and passion. Writing is a gift my Lord gave me and one I’m excited to explore and use. In addition, I know I have a purpose in the Kingdom, some work meant for me on this earth to help others. I seek that purpose as well.

a new earth

Finally, Tim Horton’s! My husband and I absolutely LOVE Tim Horton’s. We both long for financial freedom and to be entrepreneurs. We also long to have more flexible lives so we can take advantage as much as possible of the precious time we have with our five fabulous children.

Tim Horton\'s

So I’ve got goals and I’ve got a plan for those goals. I’m off to cut and paste pictures that line up with my dreams onto a bulletin board to be displayed front and center in the middle of my kitchen. Our “vision board” will be a daily reminder of what our family is working toward together and trying to achieve. It should be interesting to see my blog in 40 days to see how the first month or so goes.


Cheers! To 40 days!