Create What You Crave

Wednesday, June 27, 2012  ::   2 important comments

This summer several ladies from Moxie are reading and discussing Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them by John Ortberg. It is an interesting book about living in community with imperfect people which is all of us. We've enjoyed three meetings together and engaged in good conversation. I'm thankful for these friends who are willing to encourage, disagree, laugh, and cry with each other. I'm praying these women will be used to draw others into deeper friendships. 

The phrase I continue to challenge our group with is "create what you crave." I didn't come up with it, but read it somewhere and I can't remember where so I can't give credit to the right heart. But, it resonates with me in so many ways. 

When I crave cookies, I create them. When I crave time alone, I close the door and enjoy the silence. When I craved health, I created a plan and mental toughness get healthy. The list could go on. 

But relationships are different. We want to be pursued, loved, engaged with. Sadly, we often sit in our cravings unsure how to satisfy the need for conversation, depth, a reassuring smile. 

What would it look like to step out of just living in desire and begin to be the person to take initiative, to make the phone call, to take the first step in sharing the truth of our hearts? 

It looks like risk taking, dealing with the fear of rejection, being willing to make ten or more phone calls. It looks like hard work. To create one must put thought, action, time and consistency into a desired outcome to bring an idea or object into existence. Even friendship and community. Only God can create something out of nothing. For us it takes work. 

Today I won't give any ideas or answers to this thought. Let's think through some questions together. 

What do you crave in relationships? What do you value in a friendship? Do you have a circle of people on whom you can depend? Can they depend on you? What kinds of discussions do you have with the people in your life? Do your conversations revolve around people, events, or ideas? If there is one or two ways you would like to see your community grow, can you think of one or two ideas to begin to create that growth? 

What are your thoughts on creating what you crave?

Making Grandma Smile

Tuesday, June 19, 2012  ::   6 important comments

Giving my mom creative gifts makes me happy. I told you about As Our Own in this post for Mother's Day. To give you an update, over $26,000 was donated to help this organization rescue children from enslavement and exploitation. If you haven't already, check out their website, read, and pray for As Our Own. Much to my surprise, I received a hand-written thank you note from the organization. Now that takes diligence and sincere gratitude! I wonder how many thank you cards they wrote? With $26,000 given it must have been a lot.

For my mom's birthday, I wanted to give her something sentimental. I saw this idea on Pinterest and decided it would be perfect for her. She loves to read and I knew she would enjoy these unique bookmarks.

The first step was to take photos of my kids in funny poses. This is real life, friends. Green carpet, old worn out red sofas, and laundry. Always lots of laundry. 

See that beagle in the background? Does anyone want him? I'll ship him to you immediately. Just kidding. My kids would freak. If you research dog breeds on the internet, you should believe what it says. Beagles are, in fact, loud, stubborn, and sheddy. 

I took a few poses from varying distances, but these shots were the ones we chose to print.  Next, I cut them out as close to their cute little bodies as possible.  I like this because the green carpet, worn out red couches, laundry, and beagle have disappeared.  

I laminated them at Kinkos. I like Kinkos laminating because it is thicker so it holds up better which is perfect for bookmarks. Then I cut around the bodies closely, but not so close as to cause the lamination to separate from itself.  I want them to last a long time. 
They aren't even finished in this photo and they already look super cute! 

For the finishing touch, I poked a small hole in the hands and used a needle to pull thread through for the bookmark tassel. 

Aren't they so cute? They turned out even better than I expected. My mom loves them and, like any good grandma, is planning on making them with her other grandkids. 

Thoughtful, handmade gifts are the coolest. I always enjoy giving my mom stuff like this, and I'm pretty sure she loves it, too. 

Have you made anything "pinterest-ing" lately? 

Moxie Memorizers

Friday, June 15, 2012  ::   16 important comments

Sorry. It's just me. The next Moxie Memorizers post has been reserved for a lovely guest. I'm excited to read her words. But for now, you're stuck with me.

A couple of weeks ago I was struck by my unbelief. And by struck, I mean, convicted by the Holy Spirit. You see, I believe God can do stuff. I believe He can heal. I believe He can save. I believe He can change lives. Where I stumble is I struggle to believe He will.  Ouch.

I have been praying for a friend for many years now. Her life has changed somewhat, but she is still no closer to knowing Jesus and living with freedom. I believe God can save her, but as I was praying for her a couple of weeks ago, I found myself confessing to him that I didn't believe that he will actually save her.

My solution to growing and changing this unbelief in my heart is scripture and prayer. I've picked out some passages to memorize about faith and I will be reading through Praying God's Word. I'm also asking God to help my unbelief and to increase my faith. Funny thing is I know He will. I'm all whacky and confused.

This is what I'm memorizing now:

Ephesians 3:12
In Him and through faith in Him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drouth and never fails to bear fruit. 

I want to be a woman of deep faith and conviction, to live holy life that is pleasing to God, to know Him and trust Him.

Also, as per last year about this time, memorizers are falling off right and left. Jump back on, friends! If you know someone who has fallen off, reach out and help them back up! That's what we do. We help each other. We encourage each other. We hold each other accountable. You are disciplined to take showers even when you feel lazy and don't want to. You may skip a couple of days, but eventually you start to stink so you force yourself to bathe. Don't get spiritually stinky, friends. Be in His Word. Even in your weariness, stick with it. The benefits of a heart like Jesus' far outweigh the cost of self-discipline. Do it.

What are you memorizing?

Tested in My Kitchen

Tuesday, June 05, 2012  ::   4 important comments

After this post I'm sticking to a few lighter topics. I'll be rolling out the not lighter blogs in the days to come. I know you're super excited about that.

Today it's all about cake and ice cream and Pinterest. Many of you have heard me say that I'm determined not to be a pin hoarder. It cracks me up when I see a pinner that has 18,000 pins. I think, "Really? You have plans for 18,000 projects?" I know. I'm so judgmental.

I shared with you that I've turned over a new leaf in eating and health. With that, I decided it was a good idea to find some safe recipes for the sweet tooth that attacks our family on occasion.

This cake is good AND easy. Double bonus.

Take one devils food cake mix, add one cup of greek yogurt and one cup of water. Mix it all up, and bake according to the box directions. We topped ours with strawberries that had been macerated in just a tiny bit of sugar. Dee-lish!

A couple of days ago I had some bananas that weren't quite ready for bread, but were also too ripe to eat. I'm a picky banana eater. I remembered this gem of a pin and decided to prep the bananas to make some "ice cream." Oh my goodness. Chad and I are amazed at how good this stuff is. You really should try it.

I'll just let you click on the picture to go straight to the blog where this recipe originated, but let me tell you, it is legit. I was only able to eat half of mine, but then I realized I was eating bananas and not real ice cream and that's why I was filling up so fast. In my chubbier days I could eat a gigantic bowl full of ice cream with chocolate and peanuts and not think twice. Good times.  Have I mentioned to you how much better I feel? 

I'll share one more pin of some awesome blue nail polish that my friend, Tia, gave me for my birthday. She is so smart because she snoops around on people's pin boards to discover gifts to give that people really want. She's a wonderful gift giver. I took a picture of my cool blue summer toes to post and then realized I don't really like feet photos. No feet pictures from me, friends. I'll just add the pinned picture. I'm not quite brave enough to show the world my crooked toes. 

Do you have any recipes or pins you could share with us? What is one project you hope to complete over the summer? Are you a Pinterest pin hoarder or are you using what you find? Let me encourage you to try something new this week. It's fun!

I would love to hear about your experiments...successful, funny, and not so delightful stories are welcome!

Linking up with Jami on this fine Tuesday afternoon. 

15 Reasons Summer Is My Favorite

Sunday, June 03, 2012  ::   8 important comments

 Lovely flowers that survive in the desert heat

Reading the Bible and memorizing verses with my great kids. I love, love, love having them home from school.  

Chad wooing a cute baby in a cute suit wearing cool shades

It took two to pull her in....

 but they eventually succeeded. 

 Daring little girls who brave the slide

Daddies with their sweet girlies 

Pool parties with friends with kids so adorable you could
 just eat them up 

Look closely and you will see the red glow from a terrible fantastic belly flop. (Mom is not a fan of the belly flop.)

 Beautiful mom and daughter moments. Both of these ladies are smart, articulate, and social. 

The pool police! Moms with water guns are the best kind!

Flying through the air over the ring! 

 Skillfully sliding and diving through the ring! 

Summer is here! 

Grilling out, late night movies, swimming pool blue, swim parties, spontaneous outings, plans to watch a dusk bat flight in our neighborhood, card games, wrestling, kids that can't remember the last time they showered, flip-flop tan lines, not waking up before 7:00, road trips, watermelon and strawberries, 100 degree heat, no homework, having friends over, making new friends

It's going to go by fast, so we will be making the most of it! 

Moxie Memorizers :: A Guest Post

Friday, June 01, 2012  ::   14 important comments

Today starts Moxie Memorizers Guest Posts. This will benefit you because it is good to hear other perspectives from the body of Christ. We build each other up in the ways God gifts us even when it comes to spiritual disciplines. 

My friend, Angela, is sharing with us today. She is a wonderful wife, mom, and friend. To top it off, God has given Angela a huge measure of giftedness to lead His people in worship. Second Mile is blessed week after week by her passion for Jesus, her desire to magnify Him, her heart for our body to sing praises to Him, and her phenomenal voice. Seriously, this woman can sing! I love her dearly, and she blesses me greatly with her friendship. I pray her words encourage and inspire you in your journey to take in His word. 

When Angel asked me to guest blog for Moxie Memorizers, I didn’t hesitate to respond with a YES!  Not because I love writing (I’m actually kind of insecure about it) but because I love scripture and I love being a part of this network of memorizers who are being challenged to hide His word in their hearts (Psalm 119:11). This post is in no way meant to toot my own horn; on the contrary, as you read you will see that this journey of memorizing this last year and four months has not been picture perfect. 
I was so on board when Angel presented the idea of Moxie Memorizers in January 2011.  I had never committed to memorizing the Word like this before, and it was exactly what I wanted.  Moxie Memorizers was a challenge that I felt was going to stretch me, but also felt feasible.  Being a part of this group was one of the best things I did in 2011.  It did challenge me, but it was so rewarding.  I was pleasantly surprised at my level of commitment and how well I could keep up. Here are some things that God did in my life while memorizing in 2011:

  • Inspired me through 2 Corinthians 9:8-11 to completely trust God for our finances, and watched Him come through in mighty ways for my family.
  • During the summer He used Philippians 2:1-5 to remind me to pray for my friends by name who were serving overseas to reach university students with the Gospel. 
  • During an intense time of sitting with my uncle in the hospital after a tragic accident I was comforted by memorizing Psalm 121, and even saw how God used it after his death to encourage all who came to his memorial service when the pastor used the same exact passage. 
  • I was moved to write a worship song based off of Psalm 73.  This song is now in the rotation of songs we sing in our Second Mile gatherings. 

I really could go on and on, but you get the point of how mightily scripture memorizing has recently impacted my life.  
There was no hesitation in committing to being a Moxie Memorizer for 2012.  However, this year has been much more challenging than last.  Based off of how challenging it has been you would think that I was biting off major passages to commit to, but no, even the simplest verses seem to bounce right off my brain with no absorption at all.  I have really struggled these last few months with taking a long break or giving up altogether.  My issue isn’t that I compare myself to what mighty amounts other posters are working on, that doesn’t phase me.  I just seem to be in a battle with myself. After Angel’s May 1st post, I quickly began to realize that I needed to stop and ask for direction. What does God want me to memorize?  It’s such an easy question to ask, if I would just stop and ask it.  Up until now I had taken a lackadaisical approach in choosing the verses and passages. But now could He be trying to show me more if I would just listen?  This month I have felt such a breakthrough.  After prayer, God DID change the direction I was going and it seems to have been the missing piece. 
I am realizing that this journey isn’t just about memorizing, but also about growing in how God wants me to approach His word.  What I learned last year is not going to be the same story for this year, and I need to keep growing. I’m so glad I didn’t give up a couple months ago when I was feeling deflated from lack of retention and growth.  
Here’s my verse for June 1st: 
“A fool rejects his father’s discipline, But he who regards reproof is sensible.”
Proverbs 15:5 (NASB)
How have you grown in how you approach His word?  What are the biggest challenges for you in remaining committed and consistent?
I’m excited to see what the remainder of the year holds, as well as what’s ahead in 2013! I’m glad I have you all here to encourage you to continue to come back twice a month.  Let’s keep up the memorizing!
Thanks, Angela! We appreciate your honest thoughts. I can definitely resonate with your thoughts on how I approach His Word. Friends, feel free to share any insight you have because of Angela's words when you post the verse you're working on. 

I'm still working on 2 Corinthians 4:18.  
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, what is unseen is eternal.  
Post up, my friends! And, let me know when YOU want to guest post for Moxie Memorizers!