Thursday, October 24, 2013

More Link Love :)

I've been loving keeping up on Feedly more recently.  Here are some more posts I've really enjoyed:

1) When my kids embarrass me in public (I Take Joy)

2) How and why to listen with your full attention (The Better Mom)

3) 4 Questions for the tired mom (Making Home)

4) How do I get my toddler to listen to me (The Better Mom)

5) What moms do (Finding Joy)

Does this give you a glimpse at what I'm struggling with/where my heart is these days?! :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Desperate Chapter 11

Chapter 11 has been, by far, my favorite so far!

It speaks directly at what I freely admit I struggle with the most -- guilt.  Mommy guilt, work guilt, wife guilt, daughter guilt, food guilt.  Me and guilt are intimately equated, and I've kind of always felt like this was just a part of me, and that I'd struggle with it all my life.

The longer I read the chapter, even though it didn't specifically say these things, I could feel the Lord gently prodding me to grace and freedom, not bondage.

The main focus of the chapter is recognizing that we need to listen to God's voice, His call/leading on our lives and not the voices of everyone, everything around us.  Everything has a voice -- media, culture, well-meaning family members, but if we're listening to those voices, "leads to legalism and starves the soul of grace freely given by God."

The verses they picked for the chapter also spoke to me directly. Galatians 5:4 says, "You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law (or rules, or formulas!); you have fallen from grace."

Proverbs 29:25 -  "The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted."

Romans 12:2 - "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Maybe the chapter won't mean as much to you as it meant to me.  I'm beginning to think God intended it solely for my benefit.  ;-)  But, if you read it and are freed for a bit (or a lot) of bondage, please let me know!  I'd love to hear of the Lord's faithfulness to you as well.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Desperate Chapter 10

Continuing on with the book, Desperate with Chapter 10 entitled, "Finding it out new."

I liked a few things Sally said in the video at the end of this chapter.  One of the things she encouraged us to do was to get away for a night at a hotel once per year to re-group, and re-evaluate what you're plan is, and what things you'd like to work on with your kids, what values you want to focus on.  I love that!  I feel like without a sought-out plan, I flounder through my days feeling like I'm not making progress.

The chapter was also full of hope that God is in the business of making things new.  That these desperate times are just a season in our life, and that we should enjoy them fully without guilt, not looking to get past them, but to truly live in them.  But then, it was also a reminder that some day we'll be on the other side -- able to help a young mom with laundry, or child care, etc, so she can breathe a bit.

So good!  Are you reading yet?   This book has truly been so very helpful to me, and I'd love to send you a copy, if you're wanting to read it!  Let me know! :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Desperate Chapter 9

Chapter 9 of Desperate focuses mostly on logistics and how you can and need to find a system that is reasonable and works for your family.

But, what I took from it, is that it is less about my systems, and more about my attitude.  Some of Sally's quotes that really spoke to me:

"The attitude I adopt every day has the potential to affect the whole demeanor of my home...Consequently, a vital part of maturing is deciding to be content through obedience, and to cultivate a spirit of joy by choice...Learn to be faithful and choose to be content."

Man!  Quite the call to holiness, I think.

As far as systems go, though, it was nice to hear her say, "When it got to the point where our everyday habits were insufficient to keep up with the messes (and this happens in every home, no matter how organized), we would stop everything else and get our house back to normal."

I had a sinking suspension that this might be true, that routines don't always work, but I had kind of been buying into the lie that if I were better, or my system was more seamless, then there would never need to be moments of catch up.  It's pretty freeing to see it in writing -- that everyone struggles from time to time, in every day life.

I know I tend to say that comparison is the enemy of contentment, but I think in this case, I like to be reminded that I'm (at least somewhat, in this area) normal!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Rockstar and Genius

I couldn't get a great picture of their shirts not blurry, but Myrick's says, "I am the rockstar of the family." Matt says, "I am smart one."

Friday, June 07, 2013

Desperate Chapter 8

On Escaping

This chapter addressed the addictions moms tend to have -- things they use to escape they're reality with kiddos, house work, etc.  Things like the internet, television, drugs (Dr. Pepper?), or even vain imaginations of how things could be. 

Kind of depressing, actually!  But, as always, there were a few really encouraging nuggets, including:

- Sally's call to, "Learn to put your finger on your deep felt need and then write down how this need can be met in healthy ways."

- Sarah Mae's realization that, "I don't want to escape; I want to trust Jesus with the life He has given me."

- Sally's reminder of truth that, "feelings do not equate worth."

There was also a section that I marked for future reference, even though it's not a particular need of mine right now, that a woman must take care of her own heath.  "If we are feeling lonely, then we need to figure out ways to find like minded friends...if we are weary, we need to build rest into our schedule..." etc.  A good reminder, for sure.

Sally also admonished us to not judge other women who are struggling.  She gave a great alalogy about how we do not fault a person for goingv to the hopital with they're ill.  "It It is sad that many Christian moms are so focued on their rules and standards that they forget that Jesus looked out on the multitudes and felt compassion because they were like a sheep without a shepherd."

That last one was VERY convicting.  I tend to be so judgemental, and am feeling the need to appologize to a few of my friends because of it.  Bummer.  :-/

But, is God not good?  I'm so thankful for the picture of redemption and forgiveness we have in Jesus.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Desperate Chapter 7

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.   - John 15:13

Well, since I kinda fell off the face of the earth there for a bit, I am kind of out of practice journaling my read through of Desperate. But a girlfriend encouraged me recently to keep at it - so here goes!

Chapter 7 is entitled Sacrifice in the Mundane and centers around selfishness. My did it hid a chord!

I've always heard people joke about not knowing they were selfish until they had kids, and I've always thought that was funny....until I had kids. Oh the ugliness of my own sin, all of which seems to center around selfishness. And, oh the loving kindness of The Lord to use my two sweet little boys to chip away at me.

The letter Sally wrote to Sarah Mae in response to her declaration of her own selfishness was a light bulb moment for me.  She said (among other things), "Nothing excellent is ever accomplished by being lazy or selfish. Once I got over my pity party and decided that I was willing to do whatever it takes to build excellence into my life and home, my motivation increased and my vision for what I could accomplish stretched, and as I look back, I am now amazed at my capacity to work so hard and to get so much done."

It wasn't until I read that that I realized how far I've come. There have been many times in my life where I've felt like the tasks at hand were insurmountable. And yet, here I am, standing on the other side of many of them. Praise be to God! He certainly has equipped me for every good work.

Monday, May 20, 2013


If these aren't the cutest handymen you've ever seen - you're probably lying. :)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tonight's dinner

Was a bit bland looking, but tasty :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

We have...

A four legged "friend" living with us this week.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

So, I've been feeling super guilty lately for not keeping up w/ the Desperate book club. I got half way thru chapter 7 three weeks ago, and haven't picked it up since. But I'm sitting here reading it and crying tears of thankfulness for/to the Lover of my soul. This chapter is exactly what I needed to read today.

Part of the reason I had put it down a few weeks ago mid-chapter was because I wasn't getting anything out it. That seems silly now, since it's so applicable today, but isn't that just like God to draw me back to it when He knew I would be ready to glean from its Truth? What a faithful and loving Savior.

So -- Chapter 7, Sacrifice in the Mundane (on Selfishness)

I can't remember if I've mentioned in past posts that each chapter begins with a portion of a letter Sarah Mae writes to Sally, and then Sally's letter in response.  A lot of them are good, but I REALLY liked Sally's response to Sarah's laments over her own selfishness.

Sally writes:
Nothing excellent is ever accomplished by being lazy or selfish. Once I got over my pity party and decided that I was willing to do whatever it takes to build excellence into my life and home, my motivation increased and my vision for what I could accomplish stretched, and as I look back, I am now amazed at my capacity to work so hard and to get so much done.  The end result is that my labor has been rewarded and I have felt the job of building something of great worth.  So develop a willing heart and become the best mom you can be by getting rid of the destructive attitude that we all have -- that of selfishness -- and decide to be an overcomer! I believe in you!

What a pep talk!  I loved that.  I so desire to "develop a willing heart."

The chapter focuses on John 15:13 - "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."  It is a call to put aside selfishness, and to serve sacrificially, especially in the lives of our children.

Sarah has some really good quotes, too:
You and I, we love our children to the core of our beings.  We would die for them.  But for some reason, we have a hard time putting away our books, or our computers, or our crafts in order to serve them, train them, encourage them, or fill their souls with life.  Every day.

Oh, man was that convicting.  There are so many times in my every day life that I view my two sweet blessings as a distraction from what I want to do.  I want so badly to flip this thinking in my head.  To view the laundry, the e-mail, the work as the thing that should be put on the back burner for my kiddos.  I love that I have seen God do exactly what Sally said could happen in my own life.  It seems that most days, when I choose to sit and build legos, read books, or go play somewhere, that He multiplies the time I do have to sit down and work.  It's like my own personal fulfillment of Malachi 3:10.  I hope I'm not taking too many liberties with that passage, but I feel like in this season, in this area of my life, He is whispering to me to test Him in this.  It's like He's saying, "Dear sweet Magen.  I'm going to care for you.  You devote your time to me.  You serve Me by serving these little ones, and I will repay.  Test me in this!"

I do, by the grace of God, succeed at this mindset every so often.  I fall into guilt sooo fast, though, when after a long day, with many successes (and many failures!) I just desire a break.  Both ladies address the need for "me time" in this chapter, but the passage that I should pin up somewhere is, "When we choose to give the best of ourselves to them, we will need a break, or we will break."  Gotta love the permission to not feel guilt!! :)