Monday, March 26, 2012

My favorite things Monday – throwing away junk!

What a weird thing to make a favorite, huh!?!  But it’s sooooo liberating!  I cleaned out our garage this past weekend and pitched tons of junk.  This morning I was so tickled to haul it all to the end of the driveway; what a great way to start my Monday!  Then, as if that’s not enough, I practically sped down the street getting home tonight to see my empty driveway.  Gone!  Bye-bye junk!

I think holding on to junk is emotionally damaging.  A cluttered home signifies a cluttered mind and a cluttered life.  I believe the best way to live (besides as a Christian, of course) is to live simply.
Check this out from the Good Book: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.  Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

I am not one to get too attached to things (like collectibles, as I stated a few weeks ago), and I am a good housekeeper. The more junk I get rid of though, the clearer my life feels and the better I am able to focus on God and everything else in my crazy-busy life.  I started a list today of more stuff to get rid of or sell. 

Time to get this place under control!  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Getting God in my everyday

So after taking a brief inventory of what occupies my mind and conversations daily, I have come up with the following basic list: my kids, my work, using my time (to-do list), finances, running, the last time I called my mother, my Bible reading, encounters/conversations with friends/family, and stuff like that.   

Out of that list, I pray about: my kids, using my time (to-do list), finances, the last time I called my mother, my Bible reading, encounters with friends/family, and stuff like that.

Why, if my work and running are so important to me, do I leave these out of my discussions with God?  Because I think these are the things that I need to learn how to control and manage myself because God would not be interested.  He is listening to prayers for world peace, so why would he want me to come to him for direction and strength in my work and running??  It seems so trivial.   

My work: Every morning when I wake up, I lie in bed and talk to God about my day and what’s on my mind.  After about 15 minutes of this, I come downstairs and read my Bible and pray while I drink five cups of coffee (because six cups is half of a pot which is where true coffee addiction problems occur).  While I am getting ready for work, I listen to worship music and continue listening in my car on my way to work.  So from 5:30am until 8am I am totally focused on God.  Once I step out of my car and sit at my desk, I turn into “Headhunter Jenni” and tackle my challenges with my super-chick tactics and weaponry for the next 9 hours.  All. By. Myself.  It’s like I leave God in my car to wait patiently until I return at the end of my workday. I then get in my car and generally turn on worship music for my drive home.  Where was God those 9 hours while I was in the world working?  What if I said a little prayer at my desk for help in choosing my words and actions so that they resemble Christ likeness?  What if I prayed for every candidate before they went on an interview?  What if I prayed for my revenue instead of following my geeked-out spreadsheet?  What if I prayed for God to help me make specific wise business decisions?  How can my work glorify God?  

My running:  I research the right shoes, read about techniques, train according to the expert’s advice, ask other runners for advice, and set personal challenges.  I do pray while I run, but not about running.  I pray for all of those other things that I listed and talk to God about what is on my mind.  What if I prayed for a faster mile, or more miles, or better form?  “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.. They will run and not grow weary…” (Isaiah 40:31)  How can my running glorify God?

I pray for all of that other stuff, and how through it I want to bring glory to God – but why not everything?

If God knows every hair on my head, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume He wants to be involved in every single thing in my life that is important to me including my work and my running?  Wouldn’t He want me to talk to Him about everything like I talk to my colleagues and running buddies?

I need to start focusing on getting God involved in my everyday, boring, mundane, and typical things.

In talking to God, it will draw us closer and strengthen our relationship.  That’s what getting God in my everyday is all about!  

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How can I pray for you?

I have a little black prayer book that I write down my prayers in.  I started this January 1, 2010 and let me tell you – this little black book sure has a story to tell!  I look back through it and see God’s hand in my life and how the pieces of His plan for me have fit together beautifully over the past two years.  My prayer book tells a sweet story.  Some people that I prayed for are no longer in my life for various reasons.  Some have become my closest friends.  Some situations that I prayed about seem so insignificant now, but I took them to God at some point because I needed clarity or peace.  Some prayers were answered already, and some may never be.  Some prayers are ongoing.  I pray for people who don’t even know that I pray for them.  I pray for the President of the United States, our Pastor and church staff, my boss, the homeless, and the jobless.  I pray for my wasband.  I pray for my eating, running, money, and full surrender in all of my relationships.  I pray for my MBA alumni by name, and I pray for my creativity to make our home beautiful on a tight budget.  I pray for a calm and gentle heart.  I pray for His will to be done in my life.   
When I tell you, “I will pray for you” – I really mean it.  I write it down so that I don’t forget because my memory isn’t so good these days.  (I often say, “When I pushed out my kids - I pushed out my brains!”  Moms, I am sure you can relate to some degree.  We have so much on our minds with kids, work, households, etc. that it’s just hard to remember stuff!)  Please don’t tell people that you will pray for them if you really are not going to.  In my opinion, “I’ll pray for you” is thrown around too often without sincerity.  Our Pastor suggested a prayer calendar; write down the names of people, Pastors, missionaries, etc. to be sure not to forget them.  Plan your prayers.  Whatever it takes, the important thing is to take time to pray.  Talk to God.  Often. 

I also feel that it is important to take time to kneel in prayer.  This helps me to stay focused when I pray.  I kneel with my little black prayer book and pour my heart out to God.  Sometimes I cry, but I always feel a bit closer to God with each conversation.  I look at it this way: if I received a call from a stranger, I would not know who they were and would not recognize their voice simply because we don’t know each other.  We do not have a relationship.  I want to know God’s voice when He calls me.  I want to recognize that it is Him speaking to me in His way.  I can only recognize His voice if I already know him and we have a relationship.  Make sense? 
I REALLY REALLY love to hear my kids pray!  It is like sweet music to my ears when they pour their little hearts out to God with complete confidence that God hears them.  And they will pray with their children someday.... 

So – how can I pray for you?  I promise - I'll write it in my little black prayer book so that I don't forget!  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring Fever!

I have Spring Fever!  I have the itch to paint and do something fresh with my bedroom.  I want something girly because… well… I’m girly.  My bedroom is my retreat and one of my happy places.  I also find that I get sent to my bedroom more often these days when my kids have friends over so that they can use the whole house.  No stinky boy smells in my bedroom – which is one cool thing about being single!  I want something feminine and soft.  Something relaxing and serene.  I’ve been looking for ideas and nothing has quite grabbed me yet, but half of the fun in a re-decorating project is the research and imagination anyways, so I really don’t mind this part.  I have a little file with magazine clippings from over the past several years more like 20 years, but if I told you that you might think I am a weirdo or something.  Now I have Pinterest.  The funny thing is that “my style” is very consistent.  I still gravitate to the same look even after all these years.

Since I bought our house, I have not really put any effort into decorating my bedroom.  It tends to become a disaster zone from time to time too.  I need to treat myself a little better and make my space special. 
Here is a really cool website that I have fallen in love with:
Check this out for beautiful and original ideas all on a dime.  Single moms - you know what I mean?! 
Here's a bedroom that I absolutely love love love from her website:

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

I think this is the season to make my bedroom special!

Any suggestions?