Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dragging My Feet

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest." -Proverbs 6:6-8

Sometimes I feel like that's just what I'm doing. Dragging my feet. I get so caught up in the everyday life and sadly myself that my home goes to the wayside. I'm not going to lie, this cleaning challenge I joined has been HARD! I did so good for the first half of the month, but as it got later in the month, the more I had going on in family activities that took us out of the home. When the activities increase, I find an equal increase in the laziness that seems to come so naturally to me. I keep reminding myself why I started this challenge and who I'm doing this for. So today, I'm making a commitment to push through the last of the challenges, no excuses (I have many). How are you ladies pulling through out there?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Is anything to difficult for me?

As our family was recently faced with some really big decisions, we clung to God for answers. Somehow, I always seem to forget that I have a God who has always provided for us in our times of need. He's never left us in want. So, why then am I so surprised when we see very clear answers from Him?

As I breathe a breath of fresh air and revel in the beautiful gift of love God has poured on my family, I just want to remind you out there that He loves you. He wants to do the same things for you, but you have to let Him in. What's holding you back? Don't wait, he wants to lavish you in His glory.

"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him." - 1John 3:1

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The God I Never Knew Book Review

This may very well be one of my longest reviews, but for good reason. What an experience I had and awakening I received as I began reading The God I Never Knew - How Real Friendship with the Holy Spirit Can Change Your Life by Robert Morris. I had this picture in my mind of what the Holy Spirit was, not so much who the Holy Spirit was. In all actuality, the Holy Spirit is a person. He's living in us all when we receive the gift of salvation. This is where the main issue I took with this book came up. Morris expressed a need for a "third baptism." As he went on into an explanation that third baptism was us opening ourselves up and asking the Holy Spirit to fill us. I'm not sure where this teaching came from, and all the explanations he gave in the book using scripture really only pointed to the time surrounding Pentecost. This brought me into a deep study of the Bible that came up with very unclear answers. I believe the God always make what we are to do very clear. While researching, I came across this article that shares the scripture that correlates directly with what I found relating to receiving the Holy Spirit. My conclusion, and what I've always been taught, is that you receive the Holy Spirit when you accept Christ. The only other baptism you should otherwise receive is a water baptism as an outward showing of what has happened inwardly.

What Morris shares about the Holy Spirit and his character is great and so informative.We are given the Holy Spirit as helper for us in the world. Most of us don't allow him to work in us or have been misinformed by his job. Isn't that Satan's plan?
"Doesn't it make sense that the enemy would want to keep us from experiencing that help? After all, one aspect of the Holy Spirit's work is to convince us that Satan has been judged and stripped of his authority. So is it really a stretch to think Satan wants to keep us from receiving that conviction and acting on it?"
The Holy Spirit was sent to be our helper, to convict us (giving us clean hearts), as a comforter, as a counselor, to share gifts, to share fellowship, to produce fruit in us and the list goes on. I'll admit, I was totally unaware of all the aspects of my life the Holy Spirit has a part in. What were given to me as gift from the spirit, I never recognized. There are snippets of my life, where I have been grace with gifts that only the Holy Spirit could have given me, that were only of God. So, why was I so shocked when I read the chapter The Discerning Gifts? Morris shared a story about crossing paths with a stranger and being given information about this stranger that he couldn't possible have known otherwise. The conversation shared between Morris and this former Mr. America spread shock and amazement across my face and my husband's, as I just had to share.

As I continued through the book, I was faced with the issue of the gift of tongues. This has always been a roadblock for me. From a personal standpoint, I don't believe that tongues are meant for today. I feel like they were meant for a different time. Is that the truth? I don't know, and I hope that if I'm wrong the Holy Spirit will convict me and show me otherwise. But, as I read the chapter and all of his scripture referencing, I couldn't find any fault in his teaching.

Would I recommend this book to friends, family or even strangers? I think I could say I would, but I think I would also give a disclaimer that I don't particularly believe in the same fashion that Morris does. I believe that Morris is a thorough teacher, but at times felt like he was stretching some scripture to get to where he was trying to reach. But the big selling point for me was his full description of the Holy Spirit, his character and the gifts that the Spirit gives us.

If you would like to read an excerpt of this book
The God I Never Knew by Robert Morris (Chapter 1 Excerpt)

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Challenging Myself With a Challenge

This past almost two weeks now, has been a serious challenge. A challenge that now seems to creating habits in me that I never knew. I've been trying to apply at the teachings from Sarah Mae's 31 Days to Clean - Having a Martha House the Mary Way.

I've been creating a six list for last four days now. The first couple of days were a little rough, but I'm now mostly able to get through my top six priorities for the day. Here's the kicker. I knew I was going to be gone all day on Tuesday. So what did I do? I set my alarm for six, get up, shower and CLEANED. Can you believe it! Priorities....Priorities...Priorities! I am making my home a priority. How long has it taken for me to figure that out! My house is turning into the inviting place I've always wanted it to be. Now....I just need some unannounced visitors.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 4: A Place to Put Your Feet Up....but not right now

Today I'm trying to create a place where people feel comfortable enough to put their feet up and enjoy and nice long talk and a cup of coffee. Now, this is where I struggle. I don't know if it's the way I grew up or just my idealism of a clean home. I totally want people to feel comfortable when they come in my home, but I don't know where the fine line between clean and comfortable come together.

I grew up in a home where my Mom was a born cleaner. She had certain ways of doing things and she liked them only done that way. So, when it came to my sister and I, we really didn't have to do much in the ways of cleaning. Because we didn't do the way she wanted or would do it, she just did it herself. It was just faster for her to get it done instead. In fact, when I was visiting my Mom's house yesterday and telling her about this challenge, she kind of laughed. Not in the ha ha you're never going to be able to do it kind of way, but in the way that I had to come to it in my own time. My sister and I got a kick out of telling stories about my Mom and her meticulous cleaning escapades. We always knew it was Saturday because we would wake up to the smell of bleach. We couldn't go anywhere until all of her cleaning was done. We grew thinking that it was something that held you back. Maybe that's why I've always done what I want to do, instead of letting cleaning be what holds me back or takes up all of my time.

Here's lies the problem....the problem I've had for years. Finding the balance between cleaning and family. That's really what I'm hoping to take away from this challenge. I don't want to be the person holding my family back from life. 

What about you? How do you make a home comfortable, but not too clean? Where's the balance?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

On a Mission

This week I started the 31 Days to Clean Challenge. I'm on a day to two and let me just say, my kitchen is looking pretty darn good. What's been the biggest challenge to me so far is not putting things off to do until the end of the day. I'm full of excuses and reasons to put things off till the end of the day. I'm trying to make having a clean home a priority in my life.

Yesterday, I had to come up with a mission statement. This, was a HUGE struggle for me. The perfectionist in me just couldn't put together the words I wanted to say. After reading the forums on I was able to get me mind wrapped around what I was wanting to represent my new way of living.

My mission is to have a clean home, not a pefect one.
One where a child can be a child without fear of messes. To make my home a place of comfort and not stress. To bless my husband for all that he does to support our family. And to make our home a place of rest, so that we may be able to enjoy each other and grow in Christ.

 It's never too late to join the challenge...check out Sarah Mae's book 31 Days to Clean Having a Martha House the Mary Way