Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Where has time gone?

Well- I was hoping to blog a lot and then life happened! Things got kind of crazy and finding time to get all of my responsibilities done, AND blog just was not possible.

The first thing that kept me from blogging was that I got attacked by morning sickness! :) The first couple months of pregnancy are pretty rough for me. It took all I had to make sure Matthew was fed, bathed, and entertained in between being sick and wanting to sleep. So blogging about any of that for sure did not interest me! Good news- I am no longer feeling sick. Matthew is still healthy, fed, cleaned, and entertained. I made it through! We are expecting little boy #2 on April 1st. Well- I'm actually hoping for a different birthday for him- but that is the date the doctors have given us. So far everything is looking good they say. I had my glucose test today- hopefully I pass. The GT I had with Matthew was right after Halloween and I passed even though I was a candy-eating-fool! And now this one was right after Christmas-so if I pass it will be another miracle! Haha.

The second big thing that happened for our family is that we moved in October! With an expanding family, horrible economy, and a wonderful family I have married into we found ourselves doing a house swap. We could not sell our house at the moment, but were running out of space to have 2 little ones, and our sanity. My in-laws offered to switch houses with us. They have been a huge blessing to Adam and I through out our marriage- but this offer blew my mind. They had a house with an extra bedroom, 1 1/2 bathrooms, office/playroom than what we had. They were selfless enough to give up their extra space so that we could fill it- and take our smaller space. The move was a bit overwhelming and exhausting. I had only ever packed my personal belongings for a move before- and now I had to pack a whole house with a toddler "helping" any way he could! Everything did get packed- and thanks to the help of some of the Sr. Highers it got moved as well! We got settled just in time for...

THE HOLIDAYS! Another wave of craziness took over with Thanksgiving (traveling to see my family in NC) and all that is involved with Christmas (decorating, shopping, wrapping, baking, parties...). With my new found love of Pinterest I wanted to make a lot of Christmas gifts this year. I had a lot of fun doing all my little projects- but I've learned that it takes a long time to be crafty and creative! :) The Thanksgiving- Christmas time is my favorite time of year- but somehow it is already gone. I feel like life has been one crazy whirlwind recently.Christmas was so much fun this year with Matthew. He enjoyed opening presents, and was really excited about all of the new things he got. My wonderful husband made me a dining room table that is so beautiful. It made me cry- which made him happy. :) Our families were once again too good to us, and spending Christmas Eve and Christmas day celebrating with the Alexanders was so much fun. In a few weeks we will get a chance to celebrate with my family- I think the longer break between the celebrations will do Matthew some good. I don't want him turning into a greedy, entitled little nugget. :)

I was sitting on the couch today thinking about new years resolutions. I think most of the time these are pretty dumb because hardly anyone keeps them-at least people I know. But I still felt the need to come up with one for myself. I was honest with myself- exercise will not be my resolution of choice. I hate to exercise and would hate it even more if I set some unattainable standard for myself from the couch. :) I decided that I want to blog more consistently in the new year. I feel like this year is going to hold a lot of excitement and challenges for me. I already have lots of BIG things on the calendar- and it's still only 2011! I think it would be fun to document my journey- and maybe even share it with people if they would care to read about it.

No promises to an entry each day. I have come to realize that I don't know what each day will hold. The days I think are going to be slow somehow turn out the craziest- and the days I think I won't be able to accomplish everything on my list are over and done with faster than I know it. I do resolve to blog consistently though. That is all I can say. :) I'm excited for 2012 and all that God has planned for me in these coming 365 days.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Reading the Bible chronologically- according the some research on the internet- now leads me to Job. In the past two days I've read Job 1- 9. My favorite passage in all of the Bible is in Job- so I am excited to read the whole book again! Here are my thoughts from my reading...

Job 1:20-22- Job- in one day has his 500 yoke of oxen, 500 donkeys, 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 7 sons, and 3 daughters all taken away from him in very tragic ways. As soon as he got all of the news dropped on him-his immediate response was this: "At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in WORSHIP and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." In all this, Job DID NOT SIN by charging God with wrongdoing." UNBELIEVABLE! Immediately he fell to ground in worship- not complaint or questioning. WORSHIP! I can't get over this. And in all he did not sin. I am so sad to say that in all of my minimal disappointments in my life I have NEVER responded in this way. Jobs reaction shows me that he understood God's plan and glory above his own. Wow.

Job 1:10- Job's wife tells him to curse God and die after he is inflicted with sores all over his body. His response is, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said." This is getting CRAZY! Still no sin in all the things he said! My mouth is too loose- I long for this control of my mind and tongue! I have been thinking a lot lately about this statement that he said- shall we accept good from God and not trouble? We want only "good" blessings and no suffering in our American Christian society. Job realized both are part of the plan. I don't want to be the foolish speaking wife- I've been so close so often. What a harsh embarrassing rebuke.

Job 4:3-4- Job's friend Eliphaz speaks of Job and his character and reputation. It is so awesome! "Think how you have instructed many, how you have strengthened feeble hands. Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees." The friend that Job was is a friend that I want to be.

Job 4:17- "Blessed is the man who God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty." A good reminder. correction and discipline is not something I should try to avoid. It is a blessing.

Job 7:17-19- Job is talking to God. I love the intimacy that it reveals to us that God has for us. "What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention, that you examine him every morning and test him every moment? Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant?" I am thankful for a God who cares about me because it pleases Him- not a God that I have to bribe and appease so that He would care about me. He cared about me before the beginning of time. I am thankful that He is mine and I am His.

Something encouraging I read and prayed for concerning Jamaica today was this:
"With the most evangelicals and the best-resourced churches in the Caribbean, Jamaica can and should be a spiritual leader in the region for evangelism and mission, training and unity."
It is encouraging to know that there are countries with the potential to be hugely influential in the spread of God's name. Pray that they would use their resources for the maximum kingdom pay out!

The highlight of my day is that my best friend and roommate from college is having her first baby today. I actually just got a text that the baby was born 15 minutes ago. They had decided not to find out if they were having a boy or a girl- and I still don't know which it is! I'm so so so very excited. I can't wait to go visit her and to meet her sweet little baby. AND to get some quality BFF time. :) I hope everyone has had a wonderful Sunday. I am so grateful each Sunday as I sit in my church that I am under the teaching of people that don't bend the Bible to what people want to hear- but that they teach what God wants us to live. I would rather be held to God's standard on this earth than to be held to this earth's standard and be shocked for the rest of eternity when what I thought life was about doesn't hold up before the maker of everything...

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Radical Experiment

This summer while our family was on vacation I finally got to read the book Radical- by David Platt. The book was great. I am often disgusted by the American norm and want so badly to rebel against it. This book is a great invitation to do so in a way that brings glory to God's name- and make Him more known in your immediate and not so immediate context.

At the end of the book he challenges the read to do a radical experiment over the next 365 days. To put into practice some of the things he addressed in the book. Some of them are things that I already do- and others are ones that I want to work on. The 5 pieces of the experiement are:
1. To pray for the entire world.
2. To read through the entire Bible.
3. To sacrafice my money for a specific kingdom purpose.
4. To spend time in another context besides my normal.
5. To commit my life to a multiplying community.

Adam and I are members at Christian Family Chapel and love their commitment to multiply disciples. We sacrifice our money to support missionaries from our church. We have spent a lot of our time outside of our normal context in our life times- but I personally have not been able to do this from a few years because of being pregnant- and then having a little baby.

So the areas I decided I needed to work on were #1, 2, and 4. This past week I worked on a plan to read through the Bible chronologically over the next year. I also am using a wonderful resource- Operation World to pray for a different country of the world each day. I really hope to participate in one of the short term trips our church will offer next summer. I also want to find a place outside of my comfort zone to serve here in my own town.

I am slightly overwhelmed by the huge amount of commitment that each of these steps take. The discipline that I will hopefully develop over the next 365 days is exciting to me. I want reading the Bible, praying for the world, and giving freely of my time to be things that end up coming naturally to me- rather than being overwhelming to me. I'm excited about how my heart, mind, and soul will be shaped through out this process. I thought about not writing this on here- but I figured accountability would be great. I hope that if someone runs into me at Publix, or at church they can ask me what I read that day and what country I am praying for that day and I will be able to tell them because those things will always be on my mind.

I just wanted to share a few of the things I have been thinking about over the past few days from my reading. So far I have read Genesis 1-11. I am finding it difficult to read with freshness because these are things I have read many many times before. It takes a lot of mind control to read slowly and deliberately instead of just rushing through stories I think I already know. So here are some of my highlights:

Genesis 4:7b: God tells Cain, "But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." The continual struggle to master sin instead of letting it master me is sometimes tiring. It was refreshing to hear these words straight from God's mouth as an encouragement and warning.

Genesis 4:13-14: Cain is being punished and driven out of the land by the Lord. He says, "My punishment is more than I can bear...I will be hidden from your presence." I want so badly for me to find it unbearable to be out of communion with God. That I would truly understand that my worst punishment would be separation from Him. It is hard for my to get my mind around.

Genesis 6:6: God sees the sin on the earth and it says that "The Lord was grieved that he has made man on the earth and his heart was filled with pain." I have experienced quite a few things lately with people I care for that fill my heart with pain- that I am grieved over the circumstances of life. I know that God can relate to each feeling of mine- so it was nice to see that even in mans earliest days God knew the feeling of pain in His heart- and I can know that He knows what I am feeling.

Genesis 6:22: After God gives Noah commands to build an ark- which had never been done before. And commands to make it HUGE in preparation for an event that had never occurred before- "Noah did everything just as God commanded him." It never says anything about questioning or delaying his response. I want my obedience to be immediate and just as God commanded- without me trying to cut corners for my own comfort. I guess Evan Almighty is not a very accurate portrayal of Noah's response. :)

Genesis 8:21: OH BOY! This is something that I have been realizing multiple times a day recently. God is making a covenant with Noah to never flood the earth again. and God makes this statement, "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done." Having a 17 month old is teaching me about how EVERY inclination of our hearts are evil from childhood. I pray with so much more urgency and frequency these days for Matthew's salvation. I want him to know his sin- and to know Jesus' salvation.

I prayed today for Italy. My Aunt and Uncle used to be missionaries in Italy. It is a dark place. One thing that surprised me was this- "More than 70% of Italy's 8,101 communities (small villages to big cities) are without an established Bible-believing congregation." Wow. Don't take your Bible-believing church for granted. It is not meant to be a ritual or a something done when it is convenient- it is a blessing- and a chance to have fellowship with other believers while we worship God.

I'm excited and nervous about what this next year holds. I want my thoughts to be taken captive by God honoring things and not insignificant things of this world. I hope the things I shared have encouraged you- or given you things to think about.

Happy Friday! My husband is on his way home from being gone for a week and I'm so excited. Just 30 more minutes until he's here! :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dixie Cup

I have wondered what the purpose of blogging is for a long time now. I understood the photographer who blogs their sessions, or the creative person who sells their crafts, but what does a normal person with  no special skill blog about? I thought it was sort of self absorbed to think that someone may want to read a blog about my life.

My husband asked me to update his blog two summers in a row while our youth group was on a missions trip to Mexico. I ABSOLUTELY loved it! It got me thinking- maybe I could blog more frequently than 10 days a year. But then I realized I had no idea what I would title the blog. That was a huge set back for me. I didn't want my blog to be about one specific hobby of mine, or even one particular interest. The task was very overwhelming to me! As I thought about it- for weeks- I realized that I DID want my blog to be about one very specific thing. I wanted it to be a record of my life- as it is used to bring glory to God. That is what I desire my whole purpose to be. I realized this could encompass a lot of things: hobbies, crafts, devotions, challenges I face, and so many other things. I still was not sure what sort of title could wrap all of those things into one. So I asked my ridiculously creative husband, Adam, for some suggestions. I told him that we were not allowed to look at our phones, eat food, watch TV, or go to sleep until we had come up with a title for the blog that I felt such HUGE excitement about. After many many ideas; some that sounded like titles to theology books, rap records, boring books on a give-a-way shelf, and ok-but-not-perfect titles my wonderful husband found the winner! The Diary of a Dixie Cup...

This title is exactly what  I wanted! It is based off of 2 Corinthians 4:7, "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." The modern day equivalent of a jar of clay is a Dixie cup. It is nothing special or hard to come by. It is common, ordinary, and plain. The significance of the cup or jar is what it holds. The treasure that is in this cup of mine is the life of Christ. It is actually Jesus Christ living in me- the Holy Spirit. I desire for every single thing I do to come from that power that has been given to me- and not of my own strength. When all things I do come from this all-surpassing power in me- I desire that people will see a reflection of Christ and turn and glorify HIS NAME- not mine. The Lord's main goal is to make HIS name famous and bring Glory to Himself. What I dedicate my life to that goal- my life is not wasted.

I was given a great understanding of the worth of a jar of clay in January 2010. Adam and I went with a group of college students to Passion 2010 in Atlanta, GA. The conference always has a Do Something Now Campaign that raises money, or resources for projects that bring glory to God and make His name famous through out the world. We visited a station that was called Share the Well. ( They shared with us about the oppression of the Dalit people of India, the lowest caste of people in their society. We were given a clay cup to remind us of what they told us. The Dalit people are untouchables to the people of India. In the past a Dalit would be given a clay cup to drink out of, and afterwards had to smash it on the ground and destroy it so as to not spread their uncleanliness to higher castes of people. In a society where people were literally untouchable, a clay cup was what was seen as good enough for them. It had no value or worth, and was easily enough replaced that it could be smashed on the ground after only one use. This organization works to take the name of Jesus and His love to a people seen as worthless to their fellow countrymen. The impact this had on me was overwhelming. It broke my heart to know that people Jesus died for were treated in such a horrible way, and did not know the love that Jesus has for them. I can't imagine being treated so horribly and being told I'm that worthless by anyone. I did however gain a whole new understanding of 2 Corinthians 4:7. I want to be as useless, worthless, and replaceable as the clay cup the Dalits were given to drink out of and destroy. I want to be that empty and to only have worth when the treasure of Christ is in me.

My desire in having this blog is to have a record of God's faithfulness to me. To be able to look back in a tangible way on the process of being made more like Jesus. In everything I do: grocery shopping, cleaning my house, reading the very words of God recorded for me, talking with God, making a craft, disciplining my children, loving my husband, talking with my neighbor, watering my plants, doing laundry, and anything else that takes place in this life of mine I want to be a Dixie Cup. I want all of those things I do to be worth something ONLY because it is through the all-surpassing power from God, and not myself. I hope that those who read about my life would be encouraged, challenged, and brought closer to the Father so that HE will be given all the glory.