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November Goals and October Recap

27 Nov

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Are your priorities in order?  Family First.  

Do you have a to-love list as Ann Voskamp calls it?

Aren’t you glad you live in a world where there are seasons.  It’s in the fifties today here in Texas after a very warm month, and record-setting high temperature days in Texas.  I love it.  

This post for November is later than usual and it’s almost time for the December update, but most of it was done and I’m not changing it for those things that didn’t get done.  It’s okay and is a good marker of where I am today compared to where I should or could have been.

These goals as I’ve said before are his, not mine.  I’m not a failure when I miss one.

 FAITH GOALS

Every day should be a time of rejuvenation with Him.

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.  Psalm 5:3

 OCTOBER – Partial Success

Complete all my studies – Deuteronomy devotions, and the Uninvited and Open Your Bible studies. (My devotional app is not working on my phone so I’m behind on my devotions.  I did complete my Bible studies, and now I need a new phone.)

NOVEMBER 

Begin new Bible Study called Wait and See by Wendy Pope.

FAMILY GOALS

My priorities continue to be family first after my Lord.  I want to be that wife, mom, mother-in-law,  Nana and daughter-in-law.  I want to be a super wife, a super Mom, a super Nana, a super mother-in-law and a super daughter-in-law for JESUS!

OCTOBER:  All-OUT Success

We were blessed with great fishing weather and that trip with our son, daughter-in-love and her family to the coast to fish.  We caught some really big fish – like 25 pound red fish.  We also caught sting rays and my son caught a really ugly snake-looking fish.  I forget what you call it.

My daughter and I got a shopping trip in and a good hamburger for lunch to celebrate her birthday.  Bummed we couldn’t get in a home-cooked family birthday meal, but the busyness of life once again bumped our schedules.

Gender reveal of the twins – We celebrated a day at our sons with all the family and found out the twins are boys.  What joy!  My son is going to be a Dad to three boys now.  Surely, they will love to fish and hunt like their Daddy.

Although we didn’t have a gender reveal party, we found out our daughter is having our first granddaughter.

NOVEMBER

Trip to deer lease with our son and daughter-in-love.

HEALTH GOALS

OCTOBER: Partial Success

Healthy meals, lots of walking, and now that it’s cooler I can take the grandsons walking.  Shooting again for the treadmill one day a week.  As of today I’ve lost seven pounds since May.  YEA!  Working out, eating healthy and drinking lots of water to decrease this weight and waistline.

NOVEMBER:

Working out, drinking water, and eating healthy to decrease this waistline.

FRIEND GOALS

OCTOBER:  Partial Success

I’m not giving up on having my neighbors over for coffee/tea, but honestly it is probably going to be November. (I was right and it didn’t happen in October and November is over this month so not sure when this will ever happen, but it will.)

I hope to meet up with a friend for lunch. ( I met up with my daughter’s mother-in-law on a day she was keeping my youngest grandson and I had my oldest grandson.  We had a fun time with the boys at the Dairy Queen.)

HOME GOALS 

OCTOBER – TOTAL FAILURE

Finish cleaning and organizing master bedroom closet.

Catch up on filing in office.

NOVEMBER

Finish cleaning and organizing master bedroom closet. (Probably not happening this week.  I’m starting the Life-Changing Habit of Tidying Up and seeing where that takes me in they say the next six months, but starting with the clothes in the closet.)

Catch up on filing in office.

Buy new mattress for master bedroom and move our old one upstairs to a new king bed frame my mother-in-law gave us.

Take down Fall decorations.

Begin Christmas Decorations.

BLOGGING GOALS 

OCTOBER:  I did not cross off any of these except the #write 31 days and I got that done, but it was so exhausting I’ve blogged only what I have had to since.  I think I have really gotten out of the mode that God called me to in blogging and it’s time to pause and dream and really think on the things that God wants from me in blogging.  I’m leaving the goals that have been here for November, but November is over so they will be slipping to December and maybe even next year.

Lesson 2 – Blogging Course. This is the 7th month I’ve had this as a goal. Not sure I can get it done even this month because the school is calling a lot for substitutes. 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 24th of the month and I’ve not even gotten this blog post up, but sure has been a fun month, and I cleaned up a few more blogs with tags, categories, better photos, and rewrote some with better thoughts from now.  (Did not happen.)

Review and clean-up 15 more blog posts plus 20 I already completed, so it will be 35. (Did not happen.)

Delete at least 500 more emails.  (Total Success.)

Linky Page – Work on a few more days of this project with a completion date of November.  (I did work on this some.   November is almost over and I really believe it is going to slip again to December.)

Joined the #write31 days group.  I am going to try to blog all 31 days of October.  I think I can even though I am already behind I know I can.  (TOTAL SUCCESS)

NOVEMBER:

Lesson 2 – Blogging Course. This is the 8th month I’ve had this as a goal. Not sure I can get it done even this month because the school is calling a lot for substitutes, it’s time to Christmas decorate now that this blog is late getting up. This 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 27th of the month and I’ve not even gotten this blog post up, but sure has been a fun month, and I cleaned up a few more blogs with tags, categories, better photos, and rewrote some with better thoughts from now.

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  January.

Not my Agenda, but His agenda!

 

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Listen, Love and Repeat – A Review and A Give Away

18 Nov

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Karen Ehman is one of my favorite authors.   I have read several of her books and also done the accompanying Bible studies with them.   I love Karen’s heart and all she has to teach us about living like Christ did by finding joy and doing intentional acts of kindness.  She cares in this selfie world how we are obsessed with ourselves online and what’s in it for me.

This is such a timely book for such a season as our nation is in right now.  What better way to change the world by listening, loving and repeating, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to read the book during these last couple of weeks.

She shares her own real-life stories, recipes, scriptures, and even provides scripture tags to copy and use on gifts

.Chapter 1 – Living Alert – How To Hear A Heart  Drop

In Chapter 1, Karen talks about a heart drop, and shares that hearing heart drops is actually an art that we have to be willing to cultivate.  What is a heart drop? It’s when a person through their words or feelings like sadness or loneliness causes us to peek into their heart.  We have to stay alert and Jesus was our greatest model for that.

Karen shares Hebrews 13 and how it is a perfect example of how to love others:  hospitality, entertaining angels, treating our spouses properly, honoring leaders, keeping away from false teaching, etc..  She ultimately broke it down into three simple ways to spread love:

  1. Praise God by professing his name with our lips.
  2. Do good.
  3. Share with others.

Chapter 2 – Find Your Way – Pssst……It’s All About Relationships

In this chapter she shares a three step plan that is the entire teaching of God.

  1. Love God
  2. Love others
  3. Love yourself

Karen reminds us how hard it can be taking care of a family and with all of life’s demands that we have to find balance loving others and ourselves, but who comes first?  God has to come first.  If we love Him and seek His will, and listen to Him to communicate with us He will show us our to-do lists for the day.

She reminds us that first she is a wife and mother, and goes on to share other family and relationships, and then what she referred to the “necessary people” like our mail carriers, doctors, garbage collector’s etc..

I was reminded that “honoring others means thinking of their desires, wishes, and welfare at those time you want to put yourself first.  It is trusting God as you let go of what you feel is your right to be right.  It is speaking kindly and respectfully.”  Honestly, sometimes I am so good at this, but at other times I am a total failure.  We have to also mingle with them in their pain and joy just like Jesus did.

Chapter 3 – It’s About Time – Giving of Yourself

In this chapter there is much truth about our planners and how we fill them up with activities, but are they void of time spent loving on others?

She shares all kinds of practical, easy examples of how to bring joy into the life of others and suggested that they could be done on the weekends when we generally have a little more down time.  I got lots of good ideas to use to bless and love on others and give of yourself.

Chapter 4 – Who Makes Your Day – Noticing The Necessary People

This chapter was all about noticing those necessary people she mentioned in Chapter 3 and many more and bringing them to the forefront.  They are people who help us.  She shares some ways to reach out to them, and reminds us not to try and love on all of them at once, but to pray about it and select one to begin with.

Chapter 5 – The Sick At Heart -What To Say Or Do When You Don’t Know What To Say Or Do

This chapter is about those who are grieving, have heartache during the holidays.  She shares lessons gleaned from The Book of Ruth and how we can apply those to help those who are hurting, and even provide five points to keep in mind when we are dealing with those who are sick at heart.  Don’t know what to say or do.  Karen shows us in this chapter.

Chapter 6 – Chipped Crock-Pots and Stained Carpets – Living A Life of Welcome

This chapter is all about opening our homes and our hearts and reminds us that our culture values ownership of things like cars and homes, but she reminds us who really owns our stuff.  Want to know how to make your home a haven?  Karen shares that too and how we can be used by God to bless others through our homes.  She also shares some really neat ideas for cooking for a crowd.

Chapter 7 – The Lonely and Unloved – How To Be Their Family And Bless Yours Too

We have to take time to intentionally look for the lonely and unloved or we will miss them.

Chapter 8 – The Cranky and Cantankerous – How To Love The Hard-To-Love

Yes it’s easy to love those who are lovable, but not so much those who are not.  Jesus taught us how to and He modeled the how to.  He loved those who hated and despised Him.  She gives us some thoughts to keep in mind when trying to share love with those who are cranky and cantankerous.

Chapter 9 – Nearest and Dearest – How To Really Care For Your Clan

You can learn all about what Karen calls her “unbirthday” stash in this chapter.  It’s all about loving our families and those we hold dear and also about connecting.

Chapter 10 – Scatter Kindness – Other-Centered Living In A Self-Centered World

Years from now how do you want others to remember you?  A great chapter on how we want to be remembered and how we can scatter kindness each day.

I’m giving away two copies of this book – one from Karen Ehman herself and one from the Blog About.  One of you will also win along with the book a study guide and DVD.  All you have to do is comment below or on my Facebook Page – Blogger Loves The King why you would like to read this book.

“Disclaimer, I was given and ARC in exchange for an honest review by Karen.”

I’ll announce the winner on December 13th.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Broken Way – Review and Giveaway

17 Nov

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I’m so, so excited to be able to giveaway an early Christmas gift just for you – A copy of Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way AND the DVD and Study Guide.

You can enter by commenting “Who doesn’t have five-minutes to be the gift” on this post, or post it in a comment on my Facebook Page – Blogger Loves The King or both.   You have until December 12th to enter, and a winner will be drawn on December 13th.

I am being honest here.  When I first opened this book it seemed like it was going to be a hard read the first few pages.  I found before I left the first chapter that it was going to tug at my heart, and it will yours too.  The significance of the title makes more and more sense as you read through each word.  With many tears I have to admit it has been one of my most favorite books ever.  It’s one I will treasure and know I will pick up again and again because there is so much inside it to savor and take to heart.

Your brokenness.  What do you do with it?  What do you do with one broken heart?  Ann is so bold in this book sharing her brokenness, and as I read  I was shocked as she shared with her readers the pain of being a cutter.  She shares all she has done to leave it behind.  She asks, “What in God’s holy name do you do when it feels like you’re broken and cut up, and love has failed, and you’ve failed, and you feel like Somebody’s love has failed you?”

How do you live with one broken heart?  Ann’s answer is “you give it away.”

As I read through that first chapter about her brokenness, I thought back to my own brokenness.  We all have some point in our lives where we are broken, and she reminds us we are all guaranteed suffering.  She asks:

 “How do we live with our broken hearts?”

“How do we live knowing our Lord died with a broken heart?”

“How do we live knowing what He went through for us?”

 “Was His heart broken when He asked the Father why He had forsaken Him?  Surely it was.”

Ann shares all this in just the first chapter of the book – but there’s more – so much MORE, and each chapter is woven with so much truth.

I love the personal real-life stories in this book and some  will bring you to tears, or they did me:

  • The Wheat Story – Her husband shared with her this beautiful story of how the wheat breaks from the seed, the soil breaks to give crops, the sky breaks to give rain, the wheat breaks to give bread, and the bread a feast.  Isn’t that like us?  He reminds her to not be afraid of broken things.
  • Christ in communionThis is the one and only command Christ gave to do continually over and over again.  This is the practice He gave for us to practice our faith, to practice again and again.  In remembrance of Him.  Continuously do this at the sink, at the stove, at the street corner, at the setting of the sun and at it’s rising again, and never stop continuously doing this.

“This is how you live with one broken heart:  you give it away.  This is how you enter into the wholeness of koinnonia – communion.”

“Your broken heart is only healed by a oneness with Him.”

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                  After reading Ann’s communion story, you’ll never take communion again in the way.  Such a story of pure worship.

  • God-Alzheimer’s. – Ann shares about rolling over and burying her head and how she could forget the face of God and even that her name was Beloved and how she could get God-Alzheimer’s.  What a beautiful way to talk about being depressed and anxiety!
  • Pen and Ink Cross on Wrist – She reaches for a pen each day in the same way she reached for a pen to write about and count a thousand ways that He loves her.  She draws a cross on her scarred wrist every single day to remind her to live “cruciform”, and so that she remembers to love others daily.  Her wrist that was once a place on her body etched with cutting pain is  now each day  a wrist etched with a cross.  It is a daily reminder for her to continuously remember Him and to make Him present as she remembers herself and the world.

Cruciform as described by Ann is to “Become cruciform.  Like a cross. Transform.”  To become cruciform, to let your life become shaped like a cross, is to become more fully human – and most fully like Christ – then this is the work most urgent, most needed.”

“Your one broken heart always splits God’s heart in two.  You never cry alone.”

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  • Breaking Time In Two – “you have only one decision every day:  how will you use your time?”  Ann shares about standing and just listening to a clock, about the size of our buckets of time, and how many days do we actually get?  How many days do you and I get to live?  I loved her analogy of time being a vapor and though we can reach our hands out it will run through just like water and fall like dew and be gone soon.  What a metaphor of time!
  • Blue Mason Jar Full of Kernels– When the calendar changed to a new year, Ann’s daughter asked her how many days we get to live.  Ann takes a blue jar in her hands and describes to  her daughter about our lives – our time on Earth.   She measures four cups of wheat kernels and pours them and shares with her daughter that is 25,550 days.  25,550 days would equal seventy years if that’s what we get.  I found myself calculating my days and what is gone, what is left, and what am I doing with my remaining days.

“Live everyday like your terminal.  Because you are.  Live every day like your soul’s eternal.  Because it is .”

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I think most of us know Ann from her book One Thousand Gifts, but what I didn’t know was that book was written five years ago during a time  she didn’t know how to love or feel.  Through her actions described in that book she says she has changed “into a woman who’s embraced a love so large its broken her heart in a 1,000 aching places.”

One thing I have learned from Ann is about giving.  I celebrated my birthday this year in gift-blitzing my community and several nearby ones – 66 gifts in fact (actually hundreds), and I continued after my birthday taking cookies to our police department.  She reminds us again in this book about giving and this:

“For God so loved that He gave…..”

“Christ gives the gifts to us, and then – He within us, indwelling us – He gives the gifts through us to a beautiful and aching world.”

“Every small gift of grace creates a love quake that has no logical end.  It will go to the ends of the earth and change the world and then it will break through time and run on into eternity.”

“Who doesn’t have five-minutes to become a GIFT?”

“Is there any word more powerful than giving?  Thanksgiving.  Forgiving.  Care-giving.  Life-giving.  Everything that matters in living comes down to giving.”

I love to-do lists or for me recently it’s been goals for the month which keep it simpler.  As Ann was scrubbing the scum from the tub left by her husband’s dirt from working in the fields, she reminds us that “to-do lists can become “to-love lists”, and then “time to serve, time to touch, time to give”, and “continuously make the ever-present Christ present.”

Page after page of love, encouragement, truth, and the simple joys and things of life.  She talks about marriage, children, friends, death, children leaving for college, if-onlys, suffering, being brave in a bigger way than the hard thing, pouring out your bucket, to-do lists, feelings, and oh so, so much more.

Ann reminds us that those wounds we carry can be openings for the beauty that is within us, and our weaknesses can be a container for God’s glory.

“Pouring myself out in abundance of Him to be filled back up by Him.”

You can find the image below here.  Empty your bucket.  #BeTheGift

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“Experiencing the whole world will not fill your bucket like experiencing giving yourself, and find the meaning that will fill your soul.”

“Who needs a bucket-list?  Empty, poured out buckets are actually the fullest buckets.”

I hope you will consider buying Ann’s book.  It would make a beautiful Christmas gift for you and others.

Find out more at http://annvoskamp.com/thebrokenway/.

Read the first chapter free here.

All quotation marks indicate beautiful quotes which touched my heart in this book.  Honestly, every single page touched my heart.

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WRITE 31 DAYS – DAY 31 – WINNER IS – IF ONLY I COULD GIVE AWAY A COPY TO EACH OF YOU

10 Nov

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FINALLY, this is my last post for the #write31day challenge and I am only a week behind.  Actually I am ten days behind, but who is counting.  Meeeeee.  I am so relieved to get this behind me.

Today I have a big surprise.  I will also be revealing the winner of the Jennifer Rothschild book 66 Ways God Loves You.   If only I could give everyone of you one I would.  This book is just precious, and again, I highly recommend it for a great Christmas present.

Thank you to each one who visits my blog.  Thank you to each of you who responded here and on Facebook.

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The winner is Lisa Burgess at LisaNotes.  Congratulations Lisa.

 

 

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WRITE 31 DAYS – DAY 30 – CUT – SALADS

7 Nov

My husband loves salad.  Since the #write31days word for day 30 is cut I could not come up with anything else.  Here’s a salad I recently made and he loved it.  It had assorted healthy lettuces, boiled eggs, cucumbers, bacon, corn, carrots, black beans, black olives, chicken breasts, red bell pepper, and tomatoes.

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Hopefully Fall will be here in a few days or so they say.  We had a record setting October for temperatures in the upper 80s.  I can not wait to make up our first pot of soup with lots of cut up veggies.  This is my favorite hamburger soup.

IMG_4155[1]You can find the recipe here

This post is part of the #write31 day challenge.

I would love for you to check out my other #31 days posts. I’m trying to write every day in October:

Day 1 – God Painted The Skies For My Walk This Morning

Day 2 – God Paints Masterpieces

Day 3 – Wardrobe, Baby Cribs/Beds, Infant Items – Ideas/Necessities? Day 4 – Brew – Jehovah, Java and Tea

Day 5- Silence

Day 6 – You Living Life Fully and Abundantly

Day 7 – Tests Into Testimonies

Day 8 – Sometimes Life Seems Like A Muddled Mess

Day 9 – Post-It Sticky Notes To Self and My Man with some FREEBIES

Day 10 – Unknown Twins Revealed

Day 11 – Thanks and Reveal of our Fifth Grand baby

Day 12 – Sky

Day 13 – Aware of Precious Moments Day 14 – We’ve Got Mail, I Love Mail

Day 14 – We’ve God Mail, I Love Mail

Day 15 – Moving Forward Into The Seasons of Life

Day 16 – Finding Joy In The Little Things – 100 Little Things

Day 17 – Bible Studies I Love

Day 18 – Neighborhood Coffee/Tea, Be A Gift To Your Neighbors

Day 19 – He Notices Me – El Roi

Day 20 -Weekend

Day 21 – Park

Day 22 – 66 Ways God Loves You {Giveaway}

Day 23 – Blowout – What To Do

Day 24 – Simple Ways to Share God’s Love and Locally

Day 25 – Sign

Day 26 – Confronting Trials

Day 27 – Bouquet

Day 28 – Eat

Day 29 – Yes – Yes Today

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