Pinterest A Grateful Life Lived: January 2014

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The A-Z of Me: Letter "C"

C: Which chores do I love and which do I hate?

I am a bit of an oddball when it comes to chores-- and most other things.  But, in full honesty and disclosure, here ya' go:

Chores I love:

  1. Weeding: I enjoy the challenge of pulling up a good weed.  Although it is quite frustrating when I spend hours weeding and then they all come back...
  2. Couponing: Growing up, this was a chore at my house, and one that I gladly accepted over other options.  I enjoy finding deals and saving money in this easy way.  Hopefully, I will be publishing a post on college couponing (we aren't talking extreme couponing, don't worry) in the near future.  
  3. Snow Shoveling: As long as I can bundle up in the cold, I love to shovel snow!  It is great exercise and usually a good quiet time with God.
  4. Organizing: Give me a countertop, a fridge, a cabinet, a basement-- anything really-- and I will gladly get to work.  I love organizing and putting things in their place, so call my up if you need some organizing help!
  5. Setting up/decorating: This goes along with the organization things, and my creative mindset.  I love to decorate and set-up for events so that everything is just right.  I still remember helping my mom decorate for my Hawaiian birthday party when I was about eleven....probably more than I remember the actual party

This tool should be widely recognized
by dog owners everywhere.
Chores I hate:
  1. Picking up dog poop: I don't enjoy knowing how well my dog digested those Clif bars she nabbed from the table.  Need I say more?
  2. Taking down Christmas decorations: I think most people find as depressing as cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner
  3. Wiping off dishes: "Ew!"  That's the only way to describe cleaning half-eaten food and strands of hair off of plates before they hit the dishwasher.  Sorry, it's just nasty.  No thank you.
  4. Taking out the trash: nine times out of 10, it is cold or rainy whenever this task needs done.  Thankfully, I have brothers that usually get the brunt of this labor.
  5. Laundry: If only it were acceptable to just live life with a bottle of Febreeze and an endless amount of underwear and sports bras.  I like to be clean, but the effort it takes to get there is what I hate.

     There you have it: the chores I love and hate.  I'd say I am a pretty handy helper around the house, as long as you can take care of the 5 chores on the bottom.  Either way, I do love to help, so I might even pick up some poop if you really need :)

Check out my previous A-Z of Me posts: letter A and letter B

Devotional: Who Do You Think You Are?

(photo credit:

     Have you ever heard that phrase: "Who do you think you are?"  Usually, it's spoken in a flippant and arrogant way, but that's not how I'm saying it now.  What I really mean is: WHO do you think you are?  If it were me, I might answer: I'm a college student; a runner; a daughter; a summer nanny; a babysitter; a proud dog owner; an insecure little girl; a broken person; a terrible leader; an even worse follower; a disrespectful daughter..... the list goes on.
     But is that really the list that defines you?  Hopefully, it's not.  As I'm beginning to figure out, those things do not define who we are, unless we proclaim them over our lives and begin to live in that reality.  Yes, I am broken and insecure and pretty impatient (that list goes on too), but those things do not define me.
     This week, I started using my morning walk to practice to talk with God.  As the week went on, I found that almost every day, the same prayer escaped my lips: "God, remind me that my value does not depend on what others think of me.  My worth comes from you alone."  Then, I would proceed to speak forth what God says about me and about you:

I am loved (Psalms 36:5-6)
I am quieted by the love of Christ (Zephaniah 3:17)
I am sanctified and justified (1 Corinthians 6:11)
I am the apple of his eye (Deuteronomy 32:10, Psalms 17:8)
I am free (2 Corinthians 3:17)
I am purposed (Ephesians 2:10)
I am given hope (Psalms 62:5)
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I am an adopted son/daughter of Christ (Romans 8:16)
I am a light in this world (Matthew 5:14)
I have been set apart and chosen by God (1 Peter 2:9)
I have been declared righteous (Romans 3:24)
I am NEVER ALONE (Romans 8:38-39)

     Read those over a few times.  Which one speaks to you?  I encourage you to find the one-- and these are only a handful of the MANY things God says about you-- and meditate on it, repeat it and get it down in your heart.  It is no accident you read this.  It is no accident God spoke to you through one of these value statements.  He is madly in love with you, even with all your flaws and all those other things that describe you.  You aren't just a mom or a teacher or a construction worker or a student.  You are so much more than the world labels you as.  So, I ask again: WHO do you think you are?

A Presence Filled 2014: January 25

     I have to say, it's been a crazy and difficult week.  Between classes, homework and practice, I have been stretched pretty thin.  Yet, I also must say: God has really shown up this week.
     I have been making more of an effort to have regular prayer time with Him, as I realized a while back that this is an area I need to grow in.  I also started reading "The Kneeling Warrior" by David D. Ireland, and am loving it.  I'd started the book earlier in the year, but took a break to read "Unglued" by Lysa Turkeurst.  I finished that book this past week and will be posting a book review ASAP!
     Anyway, I was reading about the importance of setting a time to speak to and listen to God every day.  I believe that we need to be in constant communication with our Father, as I explored deeper in "Practicing His Presence" (Read my review HERE).  It brings such joy to be in the practice of talking to God throughout the day.  
     There's another aspect of communion with God that I've been lacking in though.  I never have a set time and place where I pray, other than before bed-- which is at the mercy of my body's need for sleep.  This week, to practice God's presence more, I set a time and a place and I stuck to it.  I there was no better time and place to regularly pour my heart out to Him than my frigid walk to practice-- typically-- at 7:15 a.m.  After doing that this week, I have felt such relief and peace in my spirit.  By setting that time to talk with God, I eliminate the temptation to just stuff my emotions inside or tell myself that I'll pray for so-and-so later.  I treasure this time with God because it used to be a walk I hated, and now it is one of the most presence-filled moments in my day.  By the time I get to practice, my heart is lighter and my focus is straighter.  
     God has been whispering peace to me in those moments-- and all the moments in between that I give to Him.  See, despite the fact that it was a really stressful week, I realized that I had a level of comfort and peace that I typically don't reach.  I tend to stuff my emotions down deep and then spew all over the place, but having my walk with God and choosing to pray throughout my day have made all the difference.
     I don't tell you this in a "holier-than-thou" manner, but to hopefully uplift and encourage my readers that God is ever present.  As his word says, if we truly seek Him, we're going to have no trouble finding Him! (Jeremiah 29:13).  If that doesn't wreck you, check out this verse I have been meditating on this week:

"Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he comes and rains righteousness upon you."

I am struck by the notion that if I want the Lord and His righteousness, I can seek the Lord until He comes.  That's the implied promise, friends: He WILL COME.  Perhaps you had a stressful week as well.  Or maybe life seemed to be flowing along smoothly, but there is trouble under the thinly veiled surface.  Whatever place you are in, Christ's presence is here for the taking.  I encourage you to press in, as I have seen the direct results of that this week.  Take heart, the King is ever near!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A-Z of Me: Letter "B"

What books am I reading?

     Just last night, I started into Ecclesiastes in my journey through the Bible.  I am very excited about that because it is about the worth of things of God versus things of this world.  That's a message I always need to hear!   

NKJV Woman's Study Bible, Second Edition, LeatherSoft - Chestnut Brown/Burgundy  -

     I am also reading a lot of Christian fiction lately.  Over Christmas break, I read The Other Side of Heaven and I just finished reading Like Dandelion Dust (both by Karen Kingsbury).  Now, I am about 100 pages into Redemption, also by Kingsbury.  I highly recommend all three, and you can check out my book review of Like Dandelion Dust HERE.
     I guess I finished all my books at the same time, because I also just finished reading Unglued by Lysa Turkeurst.  I will right a review soon, as I can't help but rave about the powerful message this book gives on the imperfect progress in the walk of faith.  As an emotionally wacky female, I was struck by the relevance and wisdom in Turkeurst's honest and funny tales of her own failures as a Christian woman.  It's definitely a must read.
     Now that I'm done with Unglued, I'm diving back into "The Kneeling Warrior" by David Ireland.  It's one I started before I received Unglued, and am excited to read again.  Lately, the power of prayer has really been on my heart and I really want to grow in that area! 
     As always, I'm reading Runner's World as soon as my latest issue shows up in my mailbox.  I also keep up with all types of news Google Currents and Pulse on my phone.  Both are free and I utilize them all the time to do something more productive than social media.  

     Keep up with my latest reads and reviews as I post about them on my blog!  I'll continue to post reviews, like those HERE and HERE.