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Must-Read Books or What I Read This Summer 2016

29 Aug

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I love reading.  I love studying.  How about you?

Before I retired a couple of years ago, I was busy buying books.  The bookcases are loaded with lots of christian-oriented novels and suspense books.  I would go in to Half-Priced Books and find some that sounded interesting and bring them home thinking I would be sitting here on the sofa and reading in January after I retired. HA!  I would guess I might have finished a dozen of those books in the past five years, but they are waiting on me.

I try to read at least one novel-type book a quarter.  I mostly get to read that type of book when I am on the treadmill.  Now you see how much I am on that treadmill.  HA!  Grandchildren have a wonderful way of changing your plans.  And then there is substitute teaching, on-line Bible studies, blogging, meeting friends for lunch, and the list is never-ending.

Soooooo what have I read this summer – some amazing books I love?

The Book of Numbers, Romans and 1st and 2nd Corinthians – Let me tell you this is the most wonderful way I have ever found to read the Bible – not in a year – but a chapter a day with Proverbs 31 Ministries and an app for your phone called The First Five App or you can do it on-line.  Honestly, sometimes days are hectic and I can get behind, but it is easy to catch up later.   The app shows up on your phone each morning and there is a great devotional to go along with a chapter in the Bible.  To go along with it and if you would like to go deeper, you can buy the optional book you here.    Currently, we are finishing up Romans, 1st and 2nd Corinthians.

The Husband Project by Kathy Lipp – This is an on-line study we did this summer with Proverbs 31 Ministries.  I almost took the summer off from Bible study, but decided to do this one along with another at church.  Why did I not take the summer off?  Because, my husband is worth it.  Why in the world did I need a study like this one after 47 years of marriage?  Because my husband is worth it and the things I did in this 21-day project made a difference in me and him.  My marriage was fine, it was great, but I am always looking at ways to make it greater.

101 Ways To Show Your Husband You Love Him by Kathy Lipp – Need I say more!  I’m still getting ideas from this one.

Take One and Take Two by Karen Kingsbury – I finished Take One and now reading Take Two.  These books are about a family and some friends who are making a Christian movie and they have very little financial support.  One of the families has returned from years of being missionaries and there is trouble as their daughter is in a secular college and she is trying to find her way.  It deals with real-life issues like alcohol, temptations, financial troubles, and even sexual relations among cast members.  I love Karen Kingsbury and have a whole shelf of her books to read.

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst – My church did this study this summer.  Again, I wanted to take the summer off, and after all I had done this study with Proverbs 31 On-Line Bible Studies, but this one was different so I joined.  We actually did not read the book again, but watched the accompanying videos and went through the workbook.  It was amazing what I had not learned and gained through this study.  If your life is as busy as mine, you’ll learn how to say yes and how to say no.  Lysa calls it our “best yes”, and yes I used it two weeks ago when the school called and needed a full-time sub for a while.  I had to say no to full-time, but I can help out a few days a week.

That’s what I read this summer.  How about you?  Know any good books.

 

 

 

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Back To School Prayer

22 Aug

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As school starts back today I am looking forward to another year of being a light in the school system substitute teaching.  I had to take some time this morning to lift the staff and the children in prayer as they leave for school.

I am so thankful for another day and another school year, and don’t take a moment for granted.

Precious, Precious, Lord I come to you today just praising you for this new day and the new school year.  Father we are so thankful for every staff member, teacher, nurse, and coaches, our cleaning staff, cafeteria staff, and our wonderful bus drivers that spend their lives in the school system training up our children, and I am lifting each and every one up to you this morning that they may be a light in our children’s lives.  Father I pray for lives to be changed for your glory this year.

Father I pray our children will not be anxious for anything as they return to school.  I pray you will fill them with a desire to learn.  Father, bless them and protect them as they walk the hallways, sit in their classrooms and go to and fro their different classes.  May they fill Your presence today each time any thought of fear fills their minds.

Father I pray that You will direct them to meet friends that will be a good influence on their lives, and I pray that You place a desire in them to be a good influence on other students lives.

I pray You be there and fill them up with a love for who they are in You, and that they do not  compare themselves with others, but can find joy in who You created them to be.

Father teach them respect for authority, and teach them to be more like You.  I pray they will be a blessing to their teachers and staff.  May all they do be pleasing to you each day this school year.

Father I pray for protection for them this entire school year.  I pray they not be bullied, nor they bully others.

Thank You Lord for these precious ones You have placed in our hands.  My we not take that lightly as we send them off to school today, or as we lead them today.

In your precious name I pray, Jesus.  Amen.

Check out my free lunch-box notes here and here.  Here is a sample.

(Photo is a picture of an old desk that my Mom had.)

 

August Goals and July Recap

19 Aug August Goals

August Goals

I can not believe summer is almost OVER.  These hot days of August jumped from a high of 107 last week to the eighties this week.  Loving it and the sweet sound of rain the last few days.  This is not our typical August, and we have set high and low records, but certainly blessed we are not getting the flooding they have seen in Louisiana.

I have really enjoyed the summer. I love school being out and not having to substitute teach, and that phone ringing. Actually it is ringing with all those unsolicited calls that drive me nuts some days (just today five of them). I do love the phone ringing and text messages when my daughter or daughter-in-love need me to watch our two grandsons, or my husband calls just to chat not so often. It has been a busy summer with the grandsons, blogging, and trying to keep up with two Bible studies and also my daily devotions and all these goals.

School starts next week. I will hear the buses whirling by, that swishing sound as they stop across the road from me. Where has the summer gone? It’s been a great one, a busy one, and one that I have savored getting some things accomplished.  I thought the first week of school would be quiet for a substitute teacher, but I’ve already gotten a call from a teacher who had surgery so it’s back I go to help out.

Establishing goals is helping keep me on track.  Am I accomplishing them all?  Absolutely not, but I am setting the bar high for myself, and when life calls me to do something that I believe God is placing on my heart, I stop and do it.  It is sort of like a road map – a map I can choose to follow all the directions, or I can choose to veer off the directions when God places someone or something else on my heart.  I’ve been veering off a whole lot.

Life is precious.  Savor every single moment.  The older I get, the sweeter those words are.

Not only is it already August, but here it is August 19th, and I am just getting this post finished.  I don’t think I’ve finished a single August goal yet, and with school starting back next week it is going to be hard, but here goes.

FAITH GOALS

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JULY:  See those lined out goals below – all those faith goals are crossed out.  I’ve learned so much through two Bible studies this summer, and enjoyed all the husband projects, and I never told my husband I was doing that study.  The daily devotions with Proverbs 31 are amazing. 

Finish The Best Yes Bible Study at my church.

Finish The Husband Project Bible Study with Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies.

Catch up on Numbers Devotions with the First 5 App from Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies.

Start the Romans and 1 and 2 Corinthians Devotions with the First 5 App from Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies beginning  – July 25 – September 24.

AUGUST:

Pray Reverently and Fervently Each Day – We are trusting God to do some mighty things which I hope to be sharing in another month or two.  Last month, I started walking through my house, in tears, voicing out loud, lifting my hands to Him with  some things dear to my heart.  It was something I’ve never done.  It is something I will continue.

I was mowing two weeks ago, and when I climbed on the riding mower hot and sweaty from all the pushing around trees and fences, I started praying out loud, and I know I was loud.  I hope I didn’t scare the neighbors.

Continue my Romans and 1 and 2 Corinthians Devotions each day with the First 5 App from Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies. – July 25 – September 24

FAMILY GOALS

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.                  JOHN 1:16 (NIV)

JULY:  I call this one a total success too.  Love swimming and walking with the boys, and the swimming will continue in August, but not sure about the walking because the temps are just too hot.

Continue walks with the grandsons and alone, and yep a whole lot of snuggling with the husband.

Lots of swimming with whoever.  Our son and his family came over two Sunday afternoons to swim and our daughter-in-love and our grandson came on two weekdays so total success.

AUGUST:

Swimming with family.  It’s August 16 and my husband, 18-month old grandson went swimming one evening already and my husband and I have been in twice, and last week I had both boys and PaPa came home early with a picnic snack for them.  They loved the chicken strip, fries, apples and juice.

Our oldest grandsons third birthday party.

Our 47th wedding anniversary.

HEALTH GOALS

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JULY:  I did well with the pedometer, water, and exercising and eating healthier and did lose 2 pounds.  Not so good on the recording.  It just takes too much time I can spend doing other important things.

Wear pedometer (moving up to 10,000 steps a day). Exercise 3-4 days a week, eat healthier, walk the boys at least twice and plan one week of meals. Lose 2 pounds. Keep a log of all exercise.

Drink 4 large glasses of water. Record it. I recently read this article on the benefits of drinking water. I think I would feel so much better if I drank more water instead of coffee, tea and sodas. This cup was a gift from a friend who sells them here.

Plan and prepare healthier meals.

Exercise 20 minutes at least 3 days a week in addition to walking. Keep a record in my planner.

Here is one of the beautiful salads I made.

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AUGUST:

Wear pedometer – 10,000 steps a day or more. Exercise by swimming at least 2 days per week, eat healthier.  (I lost the pedometer twice  working in the yard so hmmmm.)

Lose 2 pounds.  (Sticking this one.  Don’t think it will happen this month.)

Drink 6 large glasses of water per day.

Plan and prepare healthier meals.

FRIEND GOALS

JULY:  

Meet one of my girl friends who I used to work with. We are both retired and it’s been hard lately meeting up.  I finally got to meet up with my girlfriend, Cheryl who I worked with for years.   We spent four hours talking and could have gone on, but it time to drive back home and start dinner.

Have some neighbor ladies over for tea/coffee. God’s been speaking to me about doing this for months.  Failure.

AUGUST:

Try and meet another friend for lunch or coffee.

Have some neighbor ladies over for tea/coffee. I hope I can work this one in before school starts back in less than two weeks.

HOME GOALS

JULY:  

I’ve added lots of things to do in July. Eeeeek

Clean the front flower beds, mulch them and trim all fifteen azaleas.   Azaleas are all trimmed and front flower beds partially weeded. but not mulched.

Clean out make-up drawer.

Clean and organize kitchen pantry.

Clean seven of the kitchen drawers.

Clean and organize master bedroom closet.   I have a tad of work to finish the closet, but it is so close.  I cleaned out two large bags of clothes and one very large bag of shoes and some purses.

Donate clothes, shoes and purses

AUGUST:

Finish cleaning and organizing master bedroom closet.

Catch up on filing in office.

Get the lift-gate recall done on the car.

Buy new tires and have them installed on the car.

BLOGGING GOALS-3

I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself.  In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.               Colossians 2:2-3 (NLT)

JULY:  

Lesson 2 – Blogging Course. This is the 4th month I’ve had this as a goal. Not sure I can get it done. It is a big lesson but I am working on the first part and that was going thru all of my old blogs. I can’t seem to have enough alone time to get Lesson 2 done on my blogging course, but I am working on that course because much of it was cleaning up our old blogs.  That is a whole lot of work going through each one and editing and changing things on my heart that I have learned and areas where I have grown over the past three years.Review and clean-up 15 more blogs plus 5 so it will be 20.

Delete at least 1,000 emails.

Linky Page – Work on a few more days of this project with a completion date of August.  I worked on it, but it sure is not finished.

Attend the Declare Blogging Conference.  This was one of my biggest disappointments this year.  We had a family death seven hours away and we drove up there the day the conference started, and drove back the day it ended.  God’s in control and my husband and family needed us.  I’m disappointed I had to miss, but was blessed to be with family and also had the joy of stopping in another town to meet a group leader for coffee and then an aunt and cousin we had not seen in years for lunch.

Names of God – I have failed at finishing the Names of God posts. It’s been hard keeping up and I thought it would be easier this summer, but so far it hasn’t been. We will see how the month of July progresses and if I run out of subject to blog about, I’ll pick this up, but for now I think it is coming off the list.

AUGUST:

Lesson 2 – Blogging Course. This is the 5th month I’ve had this as a goal. Not sure I can get it done even this month with school starting in a little over two weeks. It is a big lesson, but I am working on the first part and that was going thru all of my old blogs.  I cringe thinking it is already the 5th month.  How can that be?  Where does the time go?

Review and clean-up 15 more blog posts plus 20 I already completed, so it will be 35.

Delete at least 500 more emails.

Linky Page – Work on a few more days of this project with a completion date of August.

If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy these from March, April, May and June, and July.

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Linking up with Morning Motivated Mom’s Goals page.

None of my links are affiliate links. They are for your information only in case you might want to do a study, etc..

A couple of the pictures for blogging goals and the recap are courtesy of A Prettier Web and complimentary when you sign up.

Hey sweet friends thank you so much for visiting and for your precious comments.  If you don’t hear back right away I promise you will.  Life gets very busy here with two grandkids, leading Bible studies and now school has started back and I substitute teach. If you don’t hear back from me you will and for every comment I do visit your blog.  It might not be this week or next and sometimes I missed comments and it has been a few months, but I do visit you before I comment here on my blog.  I’m trying to get better and improving all the time in my response rate.  

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LIFT

12 Aug But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.

Do you have a weary soul today?  Do troubles just seem to be stacking up against you?  Sometimes, or even every single day can be hard.  I’ve been there a few times, but I know what I know, and that only He can lift me up in times of despair.

During the hard times and the good times I wake up knowing that He raises me up just like a father or mother raises up a toddler.  I was raising my three-year old grandson up to the top of a door post this week with all the strength I could muster to get him up there (you know these old shoulders and it hurt, but it felt so good hearing him laughing).  He kept saying, “do it again Nana.”  That’s how our Father in Heaven is.   He keeps doing it again and again and again – lifting us up to so much more than we could ever be on our own.

I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.

I don’t know what today or tomorrow may bring, but what I do know is that I can not make it through the hard times if I don’t have my eyes lifted high.  (Click to tweet here.)

It’s hard losing our parents.  I never knew how hard, but God lifts me up and sends little reminders like this little dragonfly who was just fluttering around last summer one evening.  Mom loved dragonflies, and now I do and each one I see reminds me.  After our grandsons birthday last year our son and daughter-in-love were on their patio and one flew in and landed on my son’s hand.  A sweet reminder on a day Mom couldn’t be with us celebrating, but she certainly was there in our thoughts.

But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

No matter what you may be going through today may He lift you up, as this song says, to where you belong.

Join us today at Five-Minute Friday as we write for 5 minutes on the prompt Lift.

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Running For The Gold, Our Shelter

11 Aug

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Watching the Olympics this week, and reading  Suzie Eller’s prompt “running for the shelter” brought a whole lot of thoughts racing through my mind –  like running for shelter when we are caught in a down-pouring rain, running to our Father when the storms of life are battering down on us, and because I was thinking about running and watching the olympics that brought a whole new twist.

Have you been rained on out of the blue?  I have and soaked.  Have you been rained on when it had nothing to do with rain?  I think we all have.   Sometimes my parade is rained on and I can have a pity party.  You know what?  God intends for us to run to Him for shelter from the rains of life – the storms – He wants us to RUN to Him just as we would run from a real storm outside.  But He does not want us to stay there hiding.

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I think if we are all honest there are times we have run from Him or run to Him.  For me, most of the time I’ve run to Him in those storms, in those terrible times when the storms battered down and I felt like I wanted to die inside, but I’ve probably run from Him a few times when He was calling me to do something, and I did not listen.

He needs to be our shelter in the midst of the storms.

I ran to Him when my parents died, I ran to Him when our grandson was born with a disease, I’ve run to Him watching our kids pray for children and even when we prayed for children, but I can remembering running at least one time in my life.

So what is a challenge to me.  How do I want to win the gold?  My gold is pleasing God.  I want to win a medal every day in His eyes.  I want to be the best wife, the best Mom, the best Nana that I can be.  Am I going to fail?  Yes, probably every day.

It doesn’t stop there.  I always did my best at work, and as a daughter I seemed to always please Mom and Dad.   Do I fail?  Yep, I do all the time, but just like the Olympics it takes time, it takes practice, and for me it has taken a whole lot of digging into God’s Word to improve all areas of my life.  It has been a race, it has been warm-ups and trials and Bible studies and learning when I make mistakes and mess up.

Regardless of what I am running to or from or for, the gold is only through Him.  The gold is His wisdom.

How much better it is to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.   Proverbs 16:16 (NASB)

Joining Suzie Eller today in #livefreeThursday.  Come join us here.

Linking up also with  http://simplifylifewithmrsr.com/2016/08/09/simplify-wednesdays-9/

 

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