Sunday, July 19, 2009

What I Learned In Church Today...

On the way home from church this morning, my daughter asked us all what we learned in Sunday School. First she asked my son, who replied, "I don't know. Nothing?" (He's five... and a guy, so I cut him some slack.) I chuckled and told her not to be too upset, if she asked her dad the same question he would probably say, "Stuff." (I was right.)

All of a sudden I raised my hand and said, "Ooo! I learned something!!" They were all very curious at my instant enthusiasm, so I finished by saying...

I learned this:
1. God speaks in to us.
2. Today I heard Him!
3. I need to do the "Ruth thing" (ref. Joel's sermon this morning at First Christian Church, 07/19/09.)
4. And... If I put my hope, faith, and trust totally in God, I will have no worries. :)

It was an amazing day. Glad I paid attention.

To be continued...

Monday, January 5, 2009

A Few Resolute Words for 2009

Thank you to Kem Meyer and Chris Brogan for sharing this great blog... it really made me look at the new year with a stronger focus.

My 3 words for 2009 are:
Process. Follow. Weave.

Process: Document and streamline things in my life. I am a free-spirit, so it is hard for me to adhere to a routine. But with better planning I can become more organized and develop creative processes that can be used in my life, my home, and my ministries. Documenting will help keep me accountable and able to share the processes with others.

Follow: Follow Him, Follow-up, and Follow-through. Stop living life on the fence and get real with Jesus by following His lead. Follow-up as part of my process to help avoid the fray. Follow-through to be sure I do I what I say, instead of just saying what I hope to do.

Weave: Continue to help knit God's tapestry by building stronger connections with others through clear, intentional communications. Keep my eyes open for opportunity to build and strengthen community at home, at work, and at large.

Now you give it a try!
lisa :)

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Move me...

I've never been one to embrace change, but I must say I always look forward to ringing in the New Year. I love the thought of getting a clean slate and the chance to begin again. Thankfully the do-overs aren't always from ground zero, although sometimes it is best to level it and start from scratch.

While I was growing up, I remember staying up late watching Dick Clark and crying with excitement when the ball dropped in Times Square. These days, I'm lucky if I have the zip to stay up until 11:00 PM. The excitement of watching the ball drop has diminished, but I still feel the anticipation of waking up to a brand new year.

Looking back over 2008, I was indeed blessed. Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University changed our lives (and marriage) for the better, as Todd and I have become debt free (except for the house). Now we're teaching "Total Money Makeover" each quarter at church! Changes in our finances led to the decision to home school the kids this fall. That has been a challenging, yet rewarding experience! (On the rewarding days, I wish I didn't have to work and could just home school full-time!) But working at First Christian is a blessing, too. God is definitely molding me with every new challenge. (On the rewarding days, I wish I could work full-time and really put more time into the ministry!)

Looking ahead to 2009, I see a handful of things I'm ready to change or improve. In no particular order, I will strive to:

  1. Build and maintain integrity (say what I do and do what I say).
  2. Develop physical peace (love the skin I'm in).
  3. Be organized and clutter-free...almost to a fault!
  4. Be more thankful (in writing and out loud).
  5. Want less for me.
  6. Do more for others.
  7. Be content to just be (create my own private Tucson).
  8. Know my limits and priorities.
  9. Always seek knowledge and truth.
Someone once said, "Change only takes place when the pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same." I must say, there is much truth to the statement. Change, no matter how small, forces me out of my comfort zone and sets me up for frustration. But, I can no remain with my version of status quo.

One of my favorite songs is "You Move Me" by Susan Ashton. In it she reminds herself while singing to God, "I can't go with you and stay where I am, so you move me."

You Move Me
This is how it seems to me
Life is only therapy
Real expensive
And no guarantee
So I lie here on the couch
With my heart hanging out
Frozen solid with fear
Like a rock in the ground
Oh, but you move me
You give me courage I didn't know I had
You move me
I can't go with you
And stay where I am
So you move me
Here is how love was to me
I could look and not see
Going through the emotions
Not knowin' what they mean
And it scared me so much
That I just wouldn't budge
I might have stayed there forever
If not for your touch
Oh, but you move me
Out of myself and into the fire
You move me
Now I'm burning with love
And with hope and desire
How you move me
You go whistling in the dark
Making light of it
And I follow with my heart
Laughing all the way
Oh, 'cause you move me
You get me dancing and you make me sing
You move me
Now I'm taking delight
In every little thing
How you move me
I pray to be moved this coming year. Because no matter where God moves me, I'll always be with him.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The List

My 7-year-old daughter, Olivia, came out of Sunday School yesterday excited about her "list". When I asked what she was talking about, she told me she wrote down 11 things she needs to do. I assumed she was talking about all the things she needed to do to prepare for our upcoming vacation. Apparently, her class talked about New Year's resolutions. Here's what Olivia put on her list:
1. clean room
2. clean dishes
3. shower
4. eat fruit
5. save money
6. sell toys
7. brush pets
8. listen
9. make bed
10. set table
11. feed pets

I have to admit, I can easily put 7 of her 11 items on my list, too, in one form or another. (I won't tell you which ones, though.) Not bad for a 1st grader! I especially chuckled at how #3 came before #8. :)

I'm still mulling over my list. Stay tuned...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Leaving behind a life-long love

For as long as I can remember, I've been drinking diet soda. Back in the day, my mom got me started on Tab. It was an acquired taste, but I did grow to like it.

Somewhere along the way my preferences changed and I switched to Diet Coke. Oh sure, over the years I would indulge on a Sprite or Dew, but my drink of choice was Diet Coke. Tried and true. There was no other that could give me the crisp, cold satisfaction I craved (not to mention that bubbly carbonation in the back of the throat).

I also drank it for the caffeine. I never really got hooked on coffee. It was too much work to perfect the flavor. Besides, I would rather pop open a fizzy lifting drink than scald my mouth with bitterness! It was my personal preference to start my work day with a 44oz DC from Speedway! It gets me going and keeps me going through the day. I rationalized that it was mostly water anyway, so why not? Besides, it's my summer indulgence for a mere $.79! What a deal! And when you buy 5 your get the next one free! Whoo-hoo! Life is good... Then it happened.

On Saturday, November 8, 2008, while standing in the audience of the FCC Women's Conference, I listened to our speaker, Joani Tabor, rattle off the following list to help keep us out of the stew of stress:
  1. Pray more.
  2. Go to bed on time.
  3. Get up on time so you are not rushed.
  4. Say no to projects that don't fit into your schedule without stress.
  5. Delegate tasks to others.
  6. Simplify and unclutter your life.
  7. Less is often more: one may be enough, two may be too much.
  8. Allow extra time to get places.
  9. Pace your self and spread out hard projects, start with little changes.
  10. Separate worries from concern.
  11. Live within your budget.
  12. Have backups for everything you don't want to lose.
  13. Try to eat right (Diet Coke will kill you).
  14. Become as organized as possible (don't spend your time looking when you could be doing).
  15. Write down thoughts and dreams and revisit the list in 5 years to see your progress.
  16. Find time to be alone every day.
  17. Talk to God on the spot – don't wait.
  18. Make friends with godly people.
  19. Start keeping a folder or journal of your favorite scriptures.
  20. Be grateful. Jesus is the bridge between despair and hope.
  21. Learn to laugh.
  22. Laugh often and laugh loudly.
  23. Take your work seriously, not yourself.
  24. Develop a forgiving attitude (you may need it sometime).
  25. Be kind, especially to unkind people, they need it most.
  26. Sit on your ego. God is smart, you're not.
  27. Talk less, listen more.
  28. Slow down!
  29. Remind yourself every day that you are not the General Manager of the Universe!
  30. Romans 8:31...What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Did you catch #13? Diet Coke will kill me. Make know mistake, she said "kill". This is the fourth time in the past 3 weeks that I've overheard this statement. Someone even went so far as to tell me carbonated sodas are made with distilled water, which depleats your body of natural vitamins and minerals.

So, at that moment I made the decision to quit, cold turkey. I'm an all or nothing girl, there is no middle ground here.

(Fast forward 2 days.) I cannot tell you how many times I've tried to talk myself back into it. "I've been drinking it for least it isn't saccharin! Just one won't hurt..." and on and on... Two weeks later and I am still experiencing withdrawals. The painful headaches, the irritability, the mood swings, the self doubt, the anger for not being able to kick it so easily... This is a diet soda we're talking about, not a narcotic!!! For goodness sake, why is this so painful?!

The other night at dinner I had a 44oz cup from Speedway on the table. My 7-year old daughter looked at me and questioned it's contents. I assured her it was unsweetened iced tea. She sighed in great relief and said, "Mom, you're doing great!" (Thank you, Jesus. With you, I can overcome this.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

I want a clutter-free home!

Don't wait for Peter Walsh's Clutter Bugs to arrive in your town, start now and join me on the Oprah's Clean Up Your Messy House Tour!

Go to Oprah's web site and register along with me to be part of Peter's Clutter Crew. You can sign up for his newsletter, which will provide you with monthly assignments from now until May 2009. Sign the pledge for 6 months, define your vision for your life and your space, and commit to 10 minutes a day. Did you hear that? 10 Minutes a day! Hey! I can DO that!

I'll track my progress here on my blog. You're invited to share your comments, visions, praises, struggles, and prayers. Let's do this together... please!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Time to Change...

Okay, I did it. I've been talking about it for over a year now and I finally did it!

This morning, Liz and I met at church at 8:30am with scales in hand. The two of us marched into the conference room and started a fitness/wellness accountability group. Yeah, just the two of us. But it was awesome!

Last night (for no real reason), my mom just gave me her brand new BMI scale. She said she never uses it. Little did she know I've been thinking of buying one for the group! And then BAM! (God is good.)

So Liz and I toyed with it for a few minutes trying to figure out how to work it. It calculates your BMI, % water and weight based on height, age, gender, and fiteness level. Niiiiiiice!

Okay, so we got that part figured out and weighed in officially. No big surprises here, but hey, you need to start somewhere, right?! Right. Then I pulled out this old book my BFF gave me years ago called, Devotions for Dieters. I've looked at it from time to time, but never really got into it because of the big ol' D word on the front (diet...not devo). :) I've even thought about pitching it because I don't use it. But whaddya know! God's timing is perfect. Today's reading said exactly this, "Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do." 1 Thess 5:11. Did you get that???? Comfort yourselves TOGETHER and EDIFY ONE ANOTHER!!! Wait. There's more.

The short devo talked about a woman who struggled with dieting alone. Then she saw a notice on the church bulletin board about a group that dieted and exercised together, and she thought she'd give it a try. It made a huge difference in her success! She felt God led her to this group and was amazed at how she made new friends and how much she was able to help others!!!!

Liz and I about fell on the floor! This was just the confirmation we needed to start this group. In our excitement, we got up and walked 3 laps around the church. It took us 10 minutes. I had a blast getting winded and even broke a sweat! We could have done more, the time went so fast! But Liz had to go. But before she did, she promised she'd be back for more. :)

Okay, God. We're here. We're ready. We're armed with your word. Help us find others to get involved. We can do this. You want us to. Thank you for loving us!

So...see you next Saturday at 8:30am...FCC conference room. Bring your sneakers. We'll help you with the rest. Have a great week!

Faithfully His,