Sunday, March 28, 2010

Redeeming the Time

Ephesians 5:15-16...See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Spending my time or investing it… having no regrets… finishing well.... however you want to look at it, I believe firmly that these truths are exactly the reason God has me right here, right now with the tasks He has set before me. I recognize that God has been piercing my soul with this truth for a few months now and the last few weeks I have felt ever stronger the need to make specific changes. I have long considered my time and so desire to transform my wasted moments into purposed and invested ones. Do you know what I mean? Every day is different and each moment I make choices that will please or not please my heavenly Father. What characterizes my moments….. are they intentional, purposed and invested…or am I prone to waste, pass or wish the time away? It is funny how the Lord intertwines so many "events" together as He continues to reveal His desire for change. I was recently introduced to a book I am enjoying immensely… is called Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahaney (and daughters), Nicole Whitacre, Kristin Chesemore, and Janelle Bradshaw. I think this book, and the study I am doing with it, is one more tool the Lord is using to show me how He wants to change this area in my life. I recently shared with Chad that I felt this was going to be a study that I will mark a season of my life with. Do you know the kind I am talking about?  A “red letter” study! Can I share a tiny portion of this small, well written, easy to read, resourceful, exploding with great wisdom, encouraging book!

We’re experts in our trade. We know which time of year to shop for what items. We know which supermarket has the best produce and where to find the best deals online. We don’t get taken in by anyone, and, like Mom, we never pass up a good deal. The reality is, however, we don’t often manage the time God has granted us on this earth with the same intentionality or skill that we bring to shopping. Think for a minute:

• Do you plan ahead to maximize your fruitfulness each day or do you simply let life happen?
• Do you make choices based on Scripture or on what feels good at the moment?
• Do you strategize to use your talents to bless your family and church, or do you employ them primarily for your own personal fulfillment?
• Do you evaluate every opportunity in light of biblical priorities, or do you do whatever it takes to get ahead?
• Do you consider whom God would have you serve, or do you try to please everyone all the time?

While we constantly-almost unconsciously-plan, evaluate, strategize, and make wise choices when shopping, we often neglect to do so with the most important matters of our lives. We wouldn’t dream of going to the grocery store without a shopping list, or buying a car without haggling over the sticker price, or purchasing new shoes without checking the price tag, but we throw away our time as if we had an endless supply. As a result we often miss out on the best deals life has to offer and end up paying big time in guilt, anxiety, and a lack of confidence that we’re really doing the will of God. More often than not, we’re overwhelmed by life’s choices and demands. Perhaps most unfortunately, we lack fruitfulness in Christ’s kingdom. But it doesn’t have to be like this. We can know-with absolute certainty-that we are doing all God wants us to do. Peace and joy and rest can be an everyday experience. We can live a life worthy of the calling to which we have been called (Eph. 4:1). And we can anticipate that future day when we will hear those words--”Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your master” (Matt. 25:21). How? By becoming shoppers of time. This isn’t our bright idea. It comes straight from Scripture.  Ephesians 5:15-16 tells us how to live like we shop: “ Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil".”
The next page goes on to say…."We must develop keen eyes. We must examine our lives. We must evaluate our present manner of living and consider how to prepare for the future. We must walk circumspectly through each and every day. …...It necessitates that we look forward and not embark upon a course (whether short or long) until we’ve considered where it will lead. It requires us to take an honest look inside and question our motives, our reasons for the choices that we make. It means that we look around and take stock of our present fruitfulness. It entails looking beside us for critique, help, and wisdom from fellow believers. Most importantly, it means we look up and seek guidance from God’s Word. This is how to be intentional, purposeful, and, as this verse says wise in the way we walk.”
I love this part at the end of the book….
“We don’t evaluate our priorities, consider relationships, and simplify tasks merely to avoid being overwhelmed. We do it so that our manner of life would be worthy of the gospel. We do it because, by God’s amazing grace we can live a life worthy of the gospel.”

Consider this quote by Mathew Henry…”It ought to be the business of every day to prepare for our last day.”

Psalm 90:12..."So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom"

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I have been surprised and humbled by the many emails, calls and comments with words of love and encouragement to me and our family since I started this blog. I know I have responded to each of you, but I felt compelled to publically say thank you again. As I am sure is the same with each of you, there is that little place deep inside my soul that receives such refreshment and renewed energy when only a simple sentence of kind words is spoken. Your words have challenged me to be even more sensitive and respond quickly to the Holy Spirit when I am feeling His nudge to write a note of encouragement. Thank you!

Many of you have mentioned that you are not able to leave comments….and I am not sure why…yikes!! Any techies out there that can help??? OK…so after my call to techies I myself went snooping into my settings and found that you had to be a registered user to comment, so I changed that setting. I hope this helps…I am not a techie, just hoping I selected the correct options this time!

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!! Psalm 118:24

Friday, March 5, 2010

An Adventure of Olympic Proportions!

Last week the kids and I had the exciting opportunity to take in a little of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C. with our dear friends Barb and Joel! We did not go for an event, but we did have a fantastic time seeing the sites and “feeling” the energy that only the Olympic Games could bring! Everything about the day was so great and made for spectacular memories! Crossing the border with ease, free parking, beautiful weather, nice people, some education for the kiddos at the Olympic Mint Pavilion and seeing a huge zip line in downtown Vancouver were just a few of the highlights! We saw a 28 lb. gold bar, worth roughly half of a million dollars, and took our photo with Queen Elizabeth II…in the form of a million dollar gold coin!! We saw “Elvis”, a beautiful real bronze cowgirl and met a guy we consider to be Canada’s biggest fan…and I am certain you will agree when you see the photo!! We ended the day with a long awaited ride on Vancouver’s amazing public transit system, the Sky Train. That ride alone made our whole day as it was the moment JD had been talking about for a week prior and boy was he thrilled! You want to know the best part… the part that makes the day truly special?? You may ask….how was I able to load up my sweet kiddos and truly enjoy a day with them and know that my Papa and Gigi would be well cared for?? Well I am going to tell you…

A few weeks ago a sweet lady in our church approached me and expressed her desire to come one day a month and spend time with Papa and Gigi so that I can take our children, with no worries, and spend a day away just enjoying our time together. I could hardly believe it. To borrow the words of a beautiful song….”How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure”. He knows even our smallest, most insignificant desires and loves us so much that He lavishes on us blessings we could not imagine…this is one of those. Audrey is a married woman with grown children and for sure a very full life with her family, church and service to others. Her sacrifice for our family is “faith in action”; the love of Christ in her is being fleshed out in everyday life, and we are the humble recipients. Titus 2:3-5 says…..Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Audrey is doing just that…”teaching what is good”. I may not be sitting under her “teaching” in a book form…but I am learning well from her. She is in word and deed showing me actions of an “older woman” that are pleasing to the Lord.
We were greatly encouraged on our first time away and will undoubtedly continue to be refreshed each month thanks to one special lady! We… are… so… grateful!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

3..2..1..0.. Blastoff!! just a quick fun note! Did anyone notice something interesting about today's date.....3/2/10??? I sure didn't, but as Isabelle was doing her school this morning, she exclaimed..."Mom, did you see the date...when you write it out it says 3..2..1..0!!" How fun that each of us see things so differently, so uniquely! Something this simple shows once more the intimate beauty of God's creation of each individual person!

Psalm 139:14...I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.

It seemed fitting to include a couple photos of Isabelle and her "unique" hair-do's over the years!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Double the Blessings....Double the fun!!

Well, dinner is in the oven, children are playing, JD is snuggling his Mitchell, Papa and Gigi are resting and I have a minute (or two... hopefully) to get some photos on here!

We were excited to celebrate our twins 7th birthday on February 5...where has the time gone?!?! Both William and Shelley each have sweet and tender hearts and we are so thankful to be entrusted with the joy of parenting them! Will loves to please, is very inquisitive, asks the best questions, loves his Daddy, and is an amazing creator with his KNEX! Our Shelley is a girl who adores her big sister, loves to be a little Mama and help all around the house, she really enjoys her "big girl" chapter reading books, and loves listening to Radio Theatre with her sis.


We had a fun celebration with a some dear friends and families who had birthday's in the same weekend! Madison turned 17 the next day on the 6th and Dan turned...(well we won't mention his waiting to become a grandpa age) on the 7th! We had nummy food, fun frog and daisy cupcakes and a whole lot of laughs!