Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 88 - Earth Day Smirth Day

Happy Earth Day! I am not what you call a green person. I recycle because I have to or I'll get fined by our township. I use more paper towels than the average family of 6 (and we're a family of 2). I leave lights on all the time. I drive really fast and they say that wastes gas. Oh well. I am thankful that God gave us an earth that He holds in His hands but sadly (or should I be sad at this?) I don't do much outside of what I'm required to do by law to conserve it. So today, April 22, 2010 I am going to start putting a dish towel in my kitchen and think about using that to dry my hands instead of a paper towel sheet (except I don't like knowing that someone else could have used it to wipe their hands on it while they were handling raw chicken - eww, germs - wait, it's just me and Martin in the house and he doens't handle raw chicken.). There. I feel much better.

Well there are a few things running through my mind. I'll just go down the list I made here on my desk.

1. ***Has Been Removed Until I Pray About It Some More***

2. Resting - Martin and I along with his brother Tim just booked another week in the Outer Banks, NC for September. We did this last year and honestly it was the most restful vacation I've ever had. I did nothing all week except read, sleep, float in the pool, and occasionally fix breakfast, lunch, and dinner (by my own choice - I was not about to go out every night for dinner when I knew I could throw some burgers on the grill and be done with it!). It's something that we all agreed to do again but I've been feeling guilty.

We are supposed to be taking this year to "pray and pay" about adoption and that's a chunk of change that could go towards that. Maybe this year we should just stay home. This is what I've been wrestling in my mind. But I feel like I got a little message from the Lord today while listening to a sermon here at work. Matt Chandler has a great series from 2004 called "Art of Living" and one of his sermons is about rest. He says that God intended for us to rest - truly sabbath one day a week. I don't do this much. I take Saturday for house work and if not, I feel guilty and Sunday if we are home I'll get an hour nap but that's about it for resting and not working.

He also talked about how we just need to get away. Our bodies need an extended amount of time to recharge. For Matt Chandler that could be turning off his cell phone and doing a week long hiking trip (gag!) but for me that's a week at the beach with no schedule. If we think that all life would fall apart at work or home if we are gone then we have built a place that feeds our pride. Wow. That hit me hard. Because, I'm the only one at my job that can do what I do so I'm really important. No, I'm not. I need to rest. I see how God has provided the money for that week and how I need to take that week and rest. I need to recharge. Be with my hubby and some really good books and music by the pool and rest. That's comforting to me. So, now more feelings of guilt - starting now!

3. Weight Loss - I weighed yesterday and I have lost four pounds. Please don't get too excited. The four pounds I lost is the four pounds I gained from the previous four pounds I lost. Follow me? So I'm only at -4 pounds instead of -8 pounds BUT that's okay. I'm enjoying working out after work with Martin and sweating like a guilty man on trial in August in Mississippi. I have seen improvement not only in the way my clothes feel but my endurance on the elliptical machine.

I saw a saying recently, "Nothing taste as good as skinny feels." I'm pretty sure whoever said that didn't have a good bowl of mashed potatoes. So I was thinking about this saying and I think it would better fit me if it said, "Nothing taste as good as pursuing God with all your heart feels - and who knows, you might get skinny while you're at it." Not as catchy huh? Oh well. I don't care.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 86 - Follow Through!

Is anyone else really bad with follow through? I am. Sadly good intentions are not what define us. It's the follow through with those good intentions.

I hated basketball growing up. I went to basketball camp in fourth grade and truly wanted to die. I thought maybe I'd take up the sport since my big and little brother were so good at it. I was wrong. I was taught lay ups right handed. It never occurred to me to tell them I was left handed (wouldn't they just notice if I was dribbling with my left hand?!?!). I always ran up with the ball in my left hand and tried to throw it in the hoop like a right hander using my double jointed arms. It was all around bad. But one thing I was decent at was free throws. I had the wrong form (both hands hoisting the ball) but I had a good percentage rate getting them in. I always remember the coaches (who were the girls high school basketball players) yelling, "follow through!" I still don't know why keeping your hands up in the same position until the ball hit the rim or went in the hoop helped but non-the-less, I remember the yelling, "follow through!"

That phrase rings in my ears more and more as I get older. I am plagued with half finished things. I don't even know if I want to list them because my pride may be so crushed that I won't finish this post (see - it all stems from pride)! But I am trying to change that. Again, this is the evident working of the Holy Spirit in my life. My problem (among many, many others) is trying to help Martin follow through too. I mean, if the Holy Spirit is working on it with me - then of course it's my duty as a wife to help Martin right!?!? Wrong. I'm wrong because instead of praying that God will also work in Martin's life in the same way, I try to change him myself. Because let's face it, I can do such a better job than God (grrr - there's that pride again!). I know I don't consciously say that but my actions show it.

I was reminded of one of my favorite Psalms today - "The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy" (Ps 145:8). I thank God he is FULL of compassion, SLOW when it comes to anger and GREAT when it comes to mercy! I think I should have it all together and sometimes I really think I do. But my Father allows me to stack my blocks of life on top of one another and then allows them to fall over again and again so He can show me that unless I am completely dependent on His hands to hold them up and hold them together, they will always fall down - every time. I'm thankful for those giant hands and I'm thankful they belong to a Father that is FULL of compassion, SLOW in His anger (which is all very righteous) and GREAT in mercy! Because it's all through Him that I can and will follow through with anything.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day 79 - A Few Things I Love

I'm working hard here at work but I have a few thoughts about things I love so I am just going to list them.

1. I love the Holy Spirit. I love that He convicts me and leads me and allows me to understand the Word. I've really been enjoying His evident working in my life lately.

2. I love studying the book of Romans, especially chapters 6,7 & 8. Chapter 6 Paul speaks on the reasons why we should not be slaves to sin any longer. Chapter 7 speaks of how evil we still are in our flesh and Paul really lets himself have it! And if he is that bad - the Apostle Paul - it shows me how terrible my flesh is! Chapter 8 says that even though I am evil it's all because of Christ that I am alive and there ain't nothing any one or thing can do about it!

3. Going to the gym isn't as bad as I thought. I know I'm still in the honeymoon stages of going to the gym (week 2) but time seems to pass quickly and there is so much going on there my A.D.D. is very happy. 25 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the arm rower (ouch!), then 20 to 30 minutes doing either arm weights or legs - and I get to go from machine to machine after my reps (and I love that I am supposed to rest in between reps - I love resting).

That's all.

******I need to clarify that I now see that #3 is not something I love. But I do love that I am going. So there.******

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 76 - I Wish You Could See What I See

I'm at a ladies retreat with my mother-in-law's church this weekend and I am also having to keep a close eye on my IJS school site (job stuff). We had an emergency break down Thursday night with our site so yesterday was full of emails and other fun stuff with work - and it was a day off! Oh well, that's the part of my job that isn't fun but the good side is that I have to have internet access anywhere so I get a Verizon card that allows me to get on the internet at any time.

I wish you could see what I am looking at right now. I'm about 25 feet from the edge of the Chesapeake Bay, sitting in an Adirondack chair, cuddled up in a blanket, JJ Heller on my ipod, three books to read and watching a boat pass by. The sun is warm, the wind is cool. I am quite content.

Something God is teaching me is obeying without knowledge as to why. I sometimes work well with obeying when I understand things. I think if I explain to a child as to why I am asking them not to do something they will obey. This is occasionally the case but the fact is - as humans, our heart's desire is to disobey. We are wicked in our flesh - down to the core and we like to forget that. We're not that bad! Yes we are. Yes I am. I'm evil without Christ. It's all because of Him that I have any good. The bible says our works done without Christ are like filthy rags and the rags it's talking about are like women's dirty rags from their period. That's what they are to God - it's truly all because of Jesus that I am alive.

Okay sorry, I got off my obeying point a bit (surprise, surprise). I read recently that one of the laws that God had his people (Israel) do was wash their hands before they ate. He was very specific as to how to wash them but not as to why. The person who wrote this said that we can now assume that the reason was because God was protecting His people from disease and plagues that would often sweep over towns, cities, and even whole countries. It really hit me that I do not trust God in that way. I know things but there is a disconnect between knowing (and even talking about it) and living it minute by minute. So, I am practicing obeying. And this is done by asking God before I do something. Oh how I wish I could hear Him audibly but I can't but I do have the Holy Spirit and God promises that when you ask for His wisdom He gives it. This has caused me to talk less and listen more in some instances (although I could really do a lot less talking all together).

So, I'll obey Him by waiting on the Holy Spirit to direct me and I'll obey Him even though I am often convinced in my ugly, dirty, wicked, evil heart that I know better.

Wish you were here seeing what I see - on so many levels.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 74 - Spring Has Arrived!

My Bradford pear tree is blooming white and smells like fish - it must be spring! Martin is going to be cutting it down soon. I know, very sad. They bloom white in the spring, beautiful green leaves in the summer, red in the fall, and berries in the winter. What is so bad about them except for the fish smell when they are blooming white flowers you ask? The roots are above ground (perhaps because they didn't plant it deep enough). They are traveling with much force in the direction of our front walkway and foundation. So, either this weekend or the next the tree will be coming down. We have a dogwood on the edge of our property in our front yard but the previous owners must have bought it on clearance because if you sneeze, it might fall over, it's that small.

Last night was our first night out together at the Rowan University gym! How romantic. I loved being back in a gym. You are around sweaty, stinky people who don't care if you are sweaty and stinky. There is lots of fun equipment to keep my A.D.D. (self diagnosed) happy. I love that fact that I can be inside the gym in less than 10 minutes after I leave my house. It almost takes me that long to walk up to the room we keep our elliptical machine. I think this is a start of a beautiful relationship. Martin and I always do better when we are both working out and eating healthy. We are our own worst enemy and best friend when it comes to eating and exercising.

This weekend I am going with my mother-in-law's church to their ladies retreat in Sandy Cove, MD. It is a retreat center sitting on the Chesapeake Bay. I'm excited to get away, sleep, fellowship, and READ all tomorrow afternoon by the bay! I hope that I am not disappointed by my vision of cuddling up in a chair at the edge of the water with a book, a sweatshirt, blanket and sunglasses during our free time tomorrow. Martin was asked to attend the Philadelphia pro league soccer game Saturday night. Between cutting down a tree and soccer I'm sure he'll busy until I return on Sunday night.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 72 - THE GYM

Okay, I can't take it. We're joining a gym. For some reason I feel like I've failed myself because we are joining a gym. I have everything I need at home and outside but I choose not to use them on a regular basis. I feel like a giant house this week and the scales are turning on me!

I've been praying about this and talking to Martin for over a month now and he checked Rowan's gym out and for both of us (thank you alumni discount) it is $400 for the year (that's less than $35/month combined). This includes all the fitness, weights, and pool. Martin said we can keep each other accountable by working out right after work together. And the super cool thing is he called me today and said that he is getting a $1,200.00 bonus next week! Never happened before to him although there were rumors of those before the recession hit. Praise the Lord!

My biggest battle is the feeling of failure. But the root of that is pride. BOO! I hate that word because I'm so good at it. I want to do this on my own. I want to look back and say, "Yup, only eating less and exercising more is all it takes." But that only puts the spotlight on me and God's not a big fan of that.

We are headed over tonight or tomorrow night to join. I would love to swim but I'll have to get a cap for my hair because I keep having flashbacks of green hair in the summer when I was young. If you're looking for me, go to the Rowan gym and look in the pool. I'll be the one with the flowered swim cap on!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day 67 - To My Grandmother Lawson

Dear Grandmother Lawson,

I know holidays are usually the hardest when it comes to missing family that have died and Easter is especially hard when it comes to you. I got a pedicure for the Easter season and I knew you would happy. My toes are nicely painted! You always loved a lady to look her best. That was the Avon lady in you. I haven't bought an Easter outfit yet but I do have off tomorrow and I have a coupon so I might go see if I can find a reasonably priced outfit. It's funny, up here in the north not as many people dress up for Easter but I usually do. I got Martin a nice shirt and tie. I know you always sent mom money so that we could get a complete outfit from head to toe. $100 a child was a lot of money (still is for an outfit) but you were sure to send it. I'm so thankful for that.

The last time I saw you, you told me you wish you could give Martin and I money so we could buy a house. I wish you could see where we live now. We were able to buy our house because of you. I know you would love our house. I'm pretty sure I get my decorating taste from you.

When you died, I went to help mom clean out your house. I was able to find a notebook that you had used to study your bible and write out your Sunday School lessons. It was great to see your handwriting and thoughts on Scripture. I know you were so faithful at church and loved teaching your class. Your work ethic was something that I aways looked up to.

I miss you so much and I want you to know that my children will know great things about their Great Grandmother Lawson. You leave a great legacy.

I wonder sometimes about heaven. Does God allow you to have a glimpse of us down here? You probably don't care because you get to be at our Savior's feet worshiping Him!

I love you and Happy Easter!