Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Organization Project

Well, my poor, neglected little blog is finally going to be getting some attention :).  At least for the month of January!

I've decided to participate in the month long New Year's Organizing Challenge hosted by a few of my favorite organizing blogs.  Not usually my thing, but I love some of the prizes and my house REALLY needs reorganzing right now.  The way I figure it, I can't lose with this one!  So, without further ado, here is my first project... my office!

Before:

Yes, this was driving my husband crazy. (He's the freak naturally organized one.)

After:


Clutter be-gone!

Plus, we did a quick run to the dollar store for these:


I love the cute little baskets in the cubbies!

And then I threw this together with a cereal box and some paper leftover from a project in my daughter's room:



Love the fun colors!

And the end result is:



Voila! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fruit of the Spirit: Joy

Ok, so I just lost my first try at this post.  Thankfully I didn't have that much put into it yet, but still, it's really just been that kind of a day around here.  Sigh.  Anyway, I'm going to keep this fairly short and sweet tonight.  I'm just too fried tonight.

There are quite a few ways that peace is used.  To break it down very simply there is peace with God, peace with others, and peace with yourself.  Also in the new testament peace is used as a greeting, similar to the Hebrew greeting of "shalom".

Beyond that God is a God of peace and peace is a blessing that Israel was anticipating when the Messiah came.

In the New Testament, peace is seen as the present possession of every believer.  Jesus gives us His promise of "peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you" (Jn. 14:27).

Peace is a result of our reconciliation with God.  Yet it is so hard for us to experience at times.  I'll do some more study tomorrow and hopefully have a bit more to share.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fruit of the Spirit: Day 10

Yesterday I spent some time going through some of Spurgeon's thoughts on joy.  Specifically how we need to look after our joy and nurture it.  Today, to continue that thought, I want to see if I can list specific ways that can be done.  It's easy to say "ok, go look after your joy", but it can be quite another to actually do that.  What does it look like to nurture joy in your life?  To a certain extent, this might be a question whose answer varies from person to person, but I'm still going to try to lay out some specifics to help us in this journey.

1.  A true understanding of what it means to be saved.

David prays in the psalms for the Lord to restore to him the joy of his salvation.  We need to remind ourselves of what Christ has done for us.  We need to remember the sacrifice he made and not let that knowledge grow stale, old, and taken for granted.

2.  A true understanding of what we are saved from.

We are saved from our sin, the things that we did to destroy ourselves and others.  More than that, though, we are saved from Hell and eternal separation from God.  Which leads us to 3...

3.  A true understanding of what we are saved for.


(Grammer police, I realize these last two points are probably driving you crazy.  I'm sorry, but not sorry enough to fix it.  I write the way I speak, what can I say?)  Anyway, we need to study the Scriptures and learn what eternity has in store for us now that we are saved.  The wonders of heaven never cease to amaze me when I contemplate them.  They also remind me of Who my focus should be on and Who I'm living for.  A book I once read said that if you make eternity a line going on forever, our lives are a tiny dot in comparison.  For that reason, we should live for the line, not for the dot.  It is hard not to be joyful when you remember the hope of heaven Christ has given us.  A place where "there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying[, and t]here shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away" (Rev. 21:4).

Beyond these, I would be remiss if I did not encourage you to be faithful in Bible study and prayer as a main way of renewing your joy.  These concepts are doctrines that can be found all over the scriptures and the best way to keep our eyes on Christ, and to learn what He wants us to know, is to spend time with him daily.

Tomorrow, I'll see what I can dig out about peace.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fruit of the Spirit: Day 9

Ok, I wanted to do more about joy, but I'm honestly having trouble finding much detailed information.  This kind of surprises me, but for whatever reason, that's the way it is.  Maybe it's because joy is so often linked to suffering and having joy in the midst of trials.  Maybe it's not an easy subject to cover.  I just don't know.

I did finally find some writing on the subject of joy in Kent's collection of Spurgeon's sermons.  I have actually never looked through this series before, and wow I had no idea what I was missing!  I love the old language, it flows so wonderfully off the page and reminds me of Oswald Chambers' writing a bit.

In one of his sermons he digs into 1 John 1:4, "And these things we write to you, that your joy may be full".  I wouldn't think you could write a whole sermon on one little verse like that, but after reading just a bit it amazes me what he is able to pull out of that one short verse.  I don't want to just give you quote after quote, but the ideas a language are so well woven it will be hard to put it into my own clumsy words.  But I'll do my best!

For tonight, let's just look at the first point: Our joy needs looking after.

If joy were easy, if it came naturally, this wouldn't have needed to be written.  Instead, God inspired John to write a whole book with the goal that our joy would be full.  He (God) knew that we would need encouragement.  He knew we would face trials and tribulations that would drag us down and cause us to take our eyes off of Christ and our blessed hope.  So what did God do, in His infinite love for us?  He gave us His Word to encourage us, to give us hope and to help us keep our joy.  Our joy is centered on Him and when we become distracted by the sin and suffering we encounter we need God's Word and God's people to help us refocus on Him.

We must look after our joy and nurture it, help it grow and cause it to flourish because it can so easily be beaten down.

I pray that you and I will take the time we need to tend to our joy and to encourage it to grow that our joy may be full!

Whoops

So...I dropped the ball.  Yesterday, I totally forgot to post a blog.  Completely slipped my mind.  Friday?  Well, Friday I was just lazy.  So, yeah, I've missed two days.  I'm a little upset about it, but it's also been nice.  I have a lot on my plate and I seem to keep adding to it.  I keep going back and forth on whether or not this blog is actually helpful.  I'm not overly sure that it is, but I can't totally convince myself of that either.  

Whatever that case may be, it's definitely been stretching/stressful to try to post everyday.  I'll do my best to keep up from here (but no promises!).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day Six: Joy

As much as I need to keeping teaching myself about being more loving, there are still eight more characteristics to explore. The next in the list is joy. For me, this is a fun one. Joy is akin to happiness, and it makes me smile just thinking about it. The difference is that happiness depends on our experiences while our joy should be grounded in our knowledge of God and what He has done for us.

Our joy is to present even in the midst of tribulation. James says, "count it all joy brethren, when you fall into various troubles" (Jas. 1:2). The only way we can sustain our joy even in troubles is through God's help.

Our joy is to be full. At a quick glance, I'm counting at least five place where the Bible mentions our joy being full, usually in connection with going through tribulation. Jesus Himself tells us to ask, that we may receive and then our joy will be full (John 16:24). What can fill your heart more than knowing that the God of the universe hears your requests and desires to help you in your time of need? I am thankful to have a God who loves me that much and more.

Here are a few other verses on joy:

"For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
Romans 14:17

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!"
Phil. 4:4


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fruit of the Spirit: Day 5

I have all kinds of excuses on why I didn't get to this post tonight.  Basically, I let my emotions get the best of me and "just didn't feel like it".  Nice, I know.  I still don't feel like it, but I'm here, and I'm trying.

Part of the problem is that I feel like such a hypocrite tonight trying to write about Biblical love when I have been the worst example of that today.  So, instead of what I was going to write, I'll just let y'all into my heart's prayer tonight.  (If you're curious, I was originally going to reference John 13:35 and how we are known by our love.)


Dear Lord, please forgive me for my short temper today.  I want to be a good mother, but so often that desire is overshadowed by my own faults and failings.  Help me, Lord, to love my children with Your holy love and to be a godly example to them.  Teach me how to build a home that honors You as it directs them.  I pray that You would be at work in their lives, even in spite of my failings.  Please, Lord, more than anything, give me wisdom as I raise these children You have placed in my care.  Thank You for your amazing love and the example that I can never live up to.
In Jesus' name, Amen.