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My Spiritual Journey

A Fresh Perspective

This week God has given me a fresh perspective on

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I desperately needed a fresh perspective.  Sometimes mountains of emotions, ideas, and feelings can be easily dealt with when I receive a fresh perspective and begin living out Philippians 4:8.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Old perspectives make me want to rewrite the verse to say “think about whatever is hurtful to me, my own opinions, my feelings, and how I want to view circumstances and life.”

Yes, this week I am very thankful for a new perspective and praying that God will anoint me with the “oil of gladness” as I chase after Him.  (Psalm 45:7)
Goals:

  • Continue reading Renovation of the Heart.  Working on being an “intentional apprentice” of Christ this week.
  • Started a new book entitled, Entirety by Dana Candler.  Hope to have it half way done by next week.
  • Still reading Love and Respect.  Sort of hit a lull with it this week.  Really want to push through and finish it though and continue to work on applying the things I”m learning to my own marriage.
  • Didn’t make it 8 miles last week.  I miscalculated the route and got back to my house after 6 miles and convinced myself to just stop =).  Need to go 8 miles this Saturday…anyone want to join me?

Enjoy the rest of  your night!

Family Fun Day

Breakfast in the park followed by exploring and playing.  A great few hours!Then Brent was off to the studio to finish recording the LAST SONG for the upcoming CD.  Can you tell I’m excited =)   In honor of his last day at the studio, we stopped by to take some pictures.  Justus REALLY liked the microphones and all the buttons that he could push.  I took him out of the studio in tears as he screamed, “more, dadda, more!!!”  

On the way to some friends house for dinner, the kids and Brent wrote the following song.  I think it may become our family theme song =)
Good song, right? Do you think they’ll be that enthusiastic about singing it when they’re 10?

Sewing Frenzy

Here are the promised pictures of my first sewing adventure. The first purse I tried was a disaster, but the 2nd and 3rd ones turned out pretty good.  Els loved the small one and Avery ran towards the Hello Kitty one so luckily everyone got what they wanted. And now mommy is addicted to sewing.  My next venture will be actually following a pattern to make something.  So far looking at patterns feels like reading a foreign language, so we’ll see how it goes!

Another Milestone

I did it.  I sent my first born to preschool this week.  I didn’t even cry  =)She was ecstatic to say the least.  She packed her bag the night before she was so excited.  I tried not to think about it.

She was very patient with mom as I took picture after picture.  Her brother and sister complained quite a bit about the sun though.  I told them to suck it up, my baby was starting preschool =)She got a little apprehensive when she approached her classroom, but her teacher is so sweet and got her started right away on a project which helped the transition a bit.  By the end of the day, she wanted to know why she only gets to go 2 days a week instead of 3 days.  I guess that means she had fun. To celebrate how big she is getting, she got to choose the activities for the evening.  She chose Chinese food for dinner.  I even offered Chuck E Cheese, but she was set on Chinese food.  A girl after my own heart.And of course, the night wouldn’t be a true celebration if we didn’t stop for some ice cream!The whole family enjoyed Avery’s final choice for our evening activity.Happy first day of preschool sweet girl!!  We love you and are so excited for you as you step into this new phase of life!

My Spiritual Journey

Freedom

I think that is what God is giving me a lot of lately.  Freedom comes from recognizing his authority, from being who he created me to be, and from not expecting perfection from my children.   The past few weeks, God has really given me freedom in the area of parenting.

It began at Pine Cove.  We were privileged to have Tim Kimmel as our speaker during the week, and he taught his curriculum over Grace Based Parenting.

If you are like me, you need a new definition of grace based parenting.  Tim’s was:  “Grace without rules and regulations equals permissiveness.  Permissiveness is not real grace.”

He went on throughout the week to teach AMAZING parenting topics and ideas, and both Brent and I felt like his stuff was just so freeing.   It may be one of the best holistic approaches to parenting that I have ever listened to.

So what’s the point =)

Both Brent and I were really challenged with the idea of how do we raise our kids for true greatness instead of just raising them to be successful and well educated.

True Greatness: Passionate love for Jesus that results in an unquenchable love for others

We also want to raise them in a loving environment that teaches them how to love others like Christ loves us.

Love: Commitment of my will to your needs and best interest regardless of the cost

There was so much in the curriculum and so I’m slowly going through my notebook and beginning to implement some new terminology and some new ideas into the house.  This week I’m focusing on the basics.

After a week of vacation and then 2 weeks of me being up most of the night sick and so am now exhausted, I am needing to focus on my attitude and my tone of voice toward my family.  This week I am trying to focus on the first 2 layers of the 5 layers of the parenting “house” that Dr. Kimmel taught about in his sessions.  Layer one: Establishing a foundation of faith in Christ Layer two: Maintaining a daily atmosphere of Grace by giving them the freedom to be different, candid, vulnerable, and to make mistakes. Layer one is proving to be a bit easier to implement than layer two!

God so often uses my kids to refine me!  Pray for me this week as I walk the journey of maintaining an atmosphere of Grace in my home.

Goals:

  • Not doing so hot with my morning time this past week.  Please pray this cough goes away.  I am in desperate need of some sleep at night.  I was up this morning by 5:30am and spent time with the Lord and then went running.   I am exhausted, but because of training for the half marathon and my desire to be consistent in the Word, I am trusting the Lord to give me the energy to get me up every morning this week and give me the energy to get through the day.
  • Still training for the White Rock.  My goal is to make it 8 miles this week.
  • I sewed 2 purses this week!!  Well, I attempted 3, but 1 got thrown away =)  I’ll post pictures later.  Going to make some more this week, and then its on to learning about patterns and measuring and all that fun stuff.
  • Still reading the 2 books.  I start a bible study this week over Renovation of the Heart,and I’m pumped about that.  There is so much in the book that I definitely need to be discussing it with someone so I can make sure and absorb it all.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the parenting curriculum I discussed today, Tim Kimmel is coming to town to do a conference on Sept. 24th/25th at the Met.  I highly recommend his information!

Family Fun Day

Its official. I’m back to posting weekly. At least every Tuesday and Friday. =) I think I’ve said it before but Family Fun Day is my favorite day of the week!

In full confession, Brent did work for a couple hours in the morning while I went to the doctor, so our “day” didn’t officially start until 11am, but once it started, we thoroughly enjoyed our time together. Here’s most of our day in pictures.







Do I look tired in the picture below or what? This sickness has kept me up every night for the past week! Just wanted to justify the bags under the eyes =)



The past couple months have been pretty busy which hasn’t allowed us to have consistent family days. The time away from our family day has made me treasure them even more. Our Fridays are our down time and our time to reconnect and I had forgotten the purpose of them until they were gone. Brent and I looked at each other last night and both commented on how refreshed we felt after just a relaxing day as a family. What can I say, we both just love our family =)

23 Seconds to Make You Laugh

I have 5 minutes worth of this video and he still never made it onto the couch.  Persistant little sucker.

And my brother-in-law kindly pointed out that my children are often only half dressed. I think I have an unspoken rule in my house that if I have to get a kid dressed, that kid will probably only get a shirt…maybe…if they are lucky. On the up side, my kids have all started dressing themselves pretty young. Its survival of the fittest around here.

My Spiritual Journey

This week God opened my eyes to an area of my life where I was ensnared by sin.  The sin of judging myself.

Ever since I decided to stay home and take care of my kids, I’ve had this idea of what a “good” housewife should look like.  Mainly the vision consisted of someone who keeps a very clean house.   Now anyone who knows me knows this is my area of weakness.   If you walk into my house at any given time, you will rarely find everything in its place.  Not because I don’t try to keep things picked up, but mainly because I don’t think about putting things away all the time.   We play and have fun and then try to pick up at the end of the day…most of the time.

I do scrub bathrooms, vacuum, and clean the kitchen on a regular basis; not that you would notice though because there are usually things out of their place so you don’t notice how nicely the floors are vacuumed underneath all the toys on the ground.

See even when I type this, I get this feeling in my gut about how much of a failure I am at being a housewife! I mean really, I stay home with the kids; what do I do all day long if the house isn’t cleaned up?

I have a handful of friends who are clean freaks.  You know the ones that you can walk into their house at any given moment in time and their house would be spotless.  Yes, I am surrounded by friends whose houses are spotless which makes the guilt even stronger that my house is not. (not that those friends would ever judge me!  I judge myself enough for all of us)

So What Does This Have to do With My Walk with the Lord?

I was frustrated early this week at the house.  I spent 6 hours one day organizing closets and bedrooms and toys and taking out anything that hasn’t been used in a while.  I had 6 bins and 3 garbage bags full of stuff to give away and I was exhausted.  And yet, by the time bedtime hit that night, there was a mess in the house that needed to be cleaned.  And some of those clean freak friends of mine were coming over the next day.

As I fretted about the house and got frustrated with myself that I can’t seem to keep things picked up, God clearly spoke to me.  And I mean clearly!

For the body does not consist of one member but of many.  If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.  And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?  But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  If all were a single member, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts,  yet one body.

I Corinthians 12: 14-20

So this past week as I was picking up the house, and I was silently chastising myself for letting the house get so messy, I Corinthians popped into my head and I had this thought.  “Kari, you are creative with your kids and cook three home cooked meals a day. You can’t be good at everything.” Is it weird that that thought freed me from my own judgment?

All of us were created differently, and this week my eyes were opened to how that plays out in my home.

God gave me unique talents and those talents were the ones He needed me to have for my house. Saying I’m a failure because I don’t have the same talents as someone else is saying God messed up with me.

Does that give me an excuse to let me house be a disaster? No.  But it does give me the freedom to not beat myself up because no matter how hard I try, I can’t keep it spotless. I was wired to be spontaneous and to love to make huge messes in flour with my kids and to think its fun to have water fights in the kitchen and to make dough for tortillas or bread and to leave the left overs for the kids to play with and to have all 3 kids and I “cook” meals together which means half of everything gets dropped on the floor.   All of these things that I sooo enjoy doing with my kids makes for some pretty big messes.   These big messes are symbols of me being who God made me to be.

This may sound trite to you; I’ve heard it a million times myself.  Comparing yourself to others really is a way to entrap yourself in sin.   This week I feel like God has gotten rid of one of the sin traps I had put myself in.  By His grace, I’ll continue to walk in that freedom.

Goals:

  • A while ago I decided to learn to sew.  I had my first “lesson” tonight!  Tomorrow I will be attempting to make a couple purses for my girls.  I was told it was easy…we’ll see =)
  • I learned this week that it is hard to read when you have a sinus infection.  I’ve had two sinus infections in my life and I’m a wimp about them.  I hate headaches!  That’s my excuse for not reading as much as I wanted to this week.  =) But I’m still reading  “Renovation of the Heart”  and “Love & Respect”.
  • Getting out of bed by 5:15am every day this next week.  I’ll spend 45 min. with Jesus and then run or do strength training for an hour.
  • Still working on a schedule for the kids.  Everyone but Avery was sick this past week which made it hard to implement anything.  I would like to have a flexible schedule in place by next Monday.

And that’s it for this week =)

Dinnertime Conversation

Somehow the conversation turned towards surgery and one of the girls asked me the definition of surgery.

“Its when you go into the hospital and the doctor cuts you open to fix what’s wrong with you on the inside.”

Avery replied, “Like when my head cut open in the back and they sewed it together.

Me:kind of.”

Then the question came that led us all downhill fast.  “mommy, have you ever had surgery?

Stupid me showed them my C-section scar and said “yup, this right here is where they cut me open to get Elliana out of my tummy.”

Avery: “is that how they got me out of your tummy too?

Me: um, no.

She only waited about a half a second before asking the dreaded question, “How did I get out of your belly?”

I’ll give you the visual.  I was standing up, and I looked at her, sort of pushed my hands down and said, “you came out this way.”

Confusion was instantly seen in her eyes and then she said, “How does it get big enough down there for a baby to come out?”

Panic was taking over quickly as I tried to figure out how to get out of this conversation without scarring them for life: ” God just makes it that way.”

Avery was not letting me off easy though.  She wanted specifics.: “But how does God make it big enough though?”

By this time, I was on the verge of laughter because I couldn’t believe I was having a conversation with my 4 yr. old about how down there can be big enough for a baby to come out!  “God just can.  God can do anything.  He’s God.”

Avery begins laughing and jumping up and down and says, “God can make anything big!!  Like he can make a calendar this huge!!” as she spreads her arms really wide.  Earlier in the day she wanted to make a big calendar to start marking off the days until we get to go back to Pine Cove.  I guess the whole birthing process made her think of this again?

Me: “That’s right.   Who want’s more mac-n-cheese?”

And hopefully that will be the end of all birthing conversation for quite a while!

My Spiritual Journey

Where I’ve Been

I’ve taken a month or so off from posting this and I can definitely tell.  In the craziness of our life right now, I thought taking a few months to not write, to not analyze, to not post would be good for me.  What I learned is that I process through writing.   I also really learned that I love this blog, even if no one were ever to read it.  I need an outlet for my thoughts and this blog allows me that quiet place to share what Christ is doing.  Its my reminder that He’s doing tons in and around me and I love that!  With that said, here’s my journey over the last couple months =)

Luke 7:7-8 7 Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. 8 For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.

The authority of God has been a big lesson this summer.

Walking and recognizing that everything that lives and breathes and is created in this world is under the authority of God has been what consumes my thoughts.  Lately this has played out in the area of running.

I signed up for a half marathon a while back. I’m not a distance runner.  In fact, I played soccer my whole life which consists of running 2 miles every once in a while but mostly just sprinting a lot.  I’m good at sprinting =)  Sprints are fast and over quickly; anyone can do that.  Long distance running requires a bit more out of me.  So I started training.  I began running with a friend outside a few mornings a week, and it was going great; until we got to about 6 miles. Then the mental block started.   I was also getting to the gym the other few days a week to do weights and run on the treadmill.  But I get so bored on the treadmill that I would end up just sprinting 2 miles and being done.  So after a few weeks of these mental blocks, I was reading Luke 7, and it was as if I was reading it for the first time.

God opened my eyes to his authority over my body.  He can speak and my body will do what He asks.  Not that He manipulates me all day long as his puppet; but HE COULD.  The very fact that He has the authority to do with me as He pleases is so freeing.   I was reading this passage before I set out on a 6 mile run, and it was as if God was pushing me to my knees to submit my body to His authority.  This freedom of walking in the realization and understanding of his authority has pushed me through my mental block with running.

This lesson started with running and has run rampant through my whole life.  As I approach my kids, house, decisions, and generally just life stuff, God continually puts that image before me of His authority.   The amount of stress that has been reduced in my life is amazing.    So thankful God keeps teaching me!

Goals:

  • Right now I’m reading Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (a marriage book).   The girl I run with is reading it as well so we generally talk through this book while we run.  Or she talks and I try not to puke =).  I’m through chapter 4 so far.  Hopefully will be through chp 7 by next week.
  • Also reading Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard.   He is so incredibly smart that I think I may be in this book for a long time.  I read about 2 sentences and then have to put it down and think about it all day.  Transforming stuff!  I’m in chp 2, but I’ve been in chp 2 for a month now so no promises about where I’ll be next week, but I will be reading it!
  • Vacation always throws off my workout schedule so slowly easing back into it this week.  Need to run 2 days and do strength and speed 2 days this week.
  • Made it to the couch to spend time with Jesus by 6:10am this morning.  Vacation throws off my morning discipline too =)  Need to get back to getting up at 5:00am to spend time with the Lord and working out at 6am so I have the whole morning to do stuff with the kids, the house, and fulfill all the other commitments I have.
  • I have committed to keeping a little baby this next year; her mommy needs to finish high school and so we get to love on this sweet girl while her mommy is at school.  The baby should be born in the next few weeks, so I need to get the kids and I on a schedule throughout the day so we don’t live in chaos when we add a newborn to the mix.  They do better, and I do better, when they know what to expect throughout the day.  I just hate schedules though!  I’m more of a fly by the seat of my pants girl, but trying to get into the mindset of my day being a job and not just a fun stage of life.

And so there you have it.  I’m officially back to sitting down on Tuesdays to write and process through my journey with God.  Thanks for holding me accountable!

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