December 27, 2010

Holiday Treats...

What a wonderful Christmas season!  It went by a bit faster than I expected, but it was full of changes, family, celebrating, fun, and love!  I couldn't have asked for a better finish to a phenomenal year!  We still have just under one week left of 2010 before we kick off the next year with lots of hope for an even better year than the last.

I was so blessed by all of my friends and family, spending time with them, and giving and receiving some wonderful gifts!  I got one that made me think of you (reader)!  I thought I'd share it with you since it is so appropriate for our journey to becoming a GGW!  I hope to hear from your Christmas was spent and any plans for the New Year?!

"Grace is compassion, gratitude, surrender, faith, forgiveness, good manners, reverence, and the list goes on.  it's something money can't buy and credentials rarely produce.  being the smartest, the prettiest, the most talented, the richest, or even the poorest, can't help.  being a humble person can and being a helpful person can guide you through your days with grace and gratitude." - Amazing Grace, by philosophy.

December 14, 2010

Enjoying the Holidays and a Worthy Cause

Well, here we are... just 2 days from my 26th birthday and 10 days from Christmas Eve!!!  So awesome!  I've made it a goal to re-prioritize these last few weeks of 2010 and do only the things I have to do or that involves family, Jesus, and celebration!  To help keep the distractions to a minimum, I am going to take a 3 week Christmas break from blogging!  Feel free to join me in enjoying family even more this year.  And many blessings to all of you this holiday season!

Check out this amazing video, an inspiration that Brooke Fraser is taking part in for her birthday and one that has really got me thinking about what I can do too!  Charity: Water.

December 5, 2010

There is Change in the Air...

You ever get that feeling change is coming?  I felt that way so strongly two years ago...waited and waited until finally...nothing happened.  Looking back now, I can see plenty of changes, just none of the things that I had imagined in my head.  Probably at the top of the list would be having our third baby!  Definitely an unexpected change!  Well...the stirring is back...and no, we're not pregnant.
A few months ago I said a prayer, that I prayed with some sarcasm, "Well God, just change my heart then!"  My husband and I had been talking about his overwhelming desire to go back into full-time ministry, and I had been telling him all my reasons why I didn't want to.  Finally, as a means to close the discussion I said my little, half-hearted prayer.  I went to sleep that night the same and woke up feeling the same... but somewhere in the middle of that day God changed my heart (can you say "be careful what you PRAY for?").
Earlier this year, we got connected with a small church an hour away from our home.  We were sent out from Gateway Church to help them in their worship services as they sought out a new worship pastor.  Well, this was it!  God was making it clearer by the day that we were going to join them in furthering the gospel and plant ourselves and our family in their town, an hour away from everything we'd known since we've been married.  Obviously, I struggled for a few days with the realization that I wouldn't be just 10 short minutes away from both our parents.  But it was a bitter-sweet feeling, knowing we would be a bit of drive away but also knowing this was God's idea.  That took some time to work out in me, but God was patient.
Then, just after I accepted the distance and began to see God checking items off our "Must See Happen Before We Can Move" list, I experienced something I'd never felt felt like a literal battle within myself.  I have NEVER wanted to be outside of God's best for mine and my family's life!  But I'd never had a moment where God didn't first put the desire in my heart (Psalm 37:4).  He had always prepared me for the changes ahead, and would give me an excitement about where He was directing me, sometimes before I even knew change was coming!  But shortly after my change of heart, I felt crushed with anxiety.  It was 48 hours of misery as I battled with my emotions and tried to get my feelings to submit and line up with God's plan.  "Why am I feeling this!?  I don't even WANT to do anything other than what You have planned for me God, and You have made it perfectly clear that this is our next step." A torturous struggle inside of myself, that kept me asking God to just cover me in His peace, beyond what I understood, beyond what I felt!  I needed Him to settle me and I asked that He would yet again, put His desires in my heart so I could be excited to follow in His plan marked out for me!! (Psalm 139:23).
Finally after two days, God showed me that there are some changes He wants to make in my heart; tear some walls down that I thought were helping me but are actually hurting me.  There are some things I need to learn that my mind and flesh were trying to completely reject.  As I started to realize these things, I was so relieved to understand what this battle was for, and accepted it all with eagerness!  I was ready to have the war inside over with!  I have lived my life trusting and knowing that whatever God's plans are they are the very best - even when I don't have a clue what He's doing!  And then, almost instantly His peace shielded my mind and heart, and penetrated deeper than my own understanding and I haven't looked back since!  Each day has been filled with anticipation for what He has planned.  And even though I know life isn't perfect no matter where we go, I can walk forward with boldness, confidence and peace because I KNOW that I am walking in the path God has set before me!
Change is in the air; excitement to move into all God has planned for us, to start worship pastoring again with a group of people that have become like family to us already; to truly see change in myself and to become more of the woman God has made me to be (quite a New Years resolution)!  And God has proven Himself Faithful yet again!
"Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart's desires." - Psalm 37:4 NLT
If you want more details on what's going on in our lives, check out my 2010 Family Update.

Proverbs 3:5-6, 11-12 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths...My child, don't ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don't be discouraged when he corrects you.  For the Lord corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights." (NLT)

Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (NLT)

Psalm 139:23 "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts." (NIV)

December 1, 2010

New Pampers Rewards Codes!

If you haven't signed up with Pampers Rewards and you are a diaper buyer, check it out!  They have codes on their wipes and diaper packages, but there are also a lot of online codes you can get for free (here is a previous post with lots of codes, see if they work still!).  And here are some new codes I've found (just tried with success on 12-01-10):

PUNTOSPARAMI123 - 10 Points
2BEGINEARNING50 - 50 Points!!!
JOINNOW4REWARDS - 50 Points!!!
WELCOME2PAMPERS - 50 Points!!!

Look for these and other great Rewards to redeem your points (especially with Christmas coming up!):

FREE Wall Calendar from Shutterfly (800 pts)
Alex Magnetic Boats in the Tub (850 pts)
25 Personalized 4x8 Photo Cards from Shutterfly (600 pts)
11x14 Collage Poster from Shutterfly (400 pts)
$3 Coupon to (150 pts) and more....

Have fun!!!  Leave a comment if you get something cool with your points!
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