Monday, January 25, 2010

Perspective

A dear friend told me that they love how much I think over the things that they say. They appreciate that I think something over for even days at a time and come up with an answer or add more to the topic. It struck me more than I think they realized.

Usually I see my "over-thinking" as a negative thing. I have to be careful to not let these overwhelming thoughts spiral in my mind, or to let them weigh me down. Sometimes I think things out too much and worry about 50 different outcomes that truly won't happen. The last few days have been especially weighty; I'm not even sure why. (Maybe it's the late nights?)

I prefer to have a resolute solution before I decide what I believe or what I'm going to do. I want to know EVERYTHING possible before I make a decision...I want to think through every possible solution.

Frankly, thats a waste of my time and it leads to a lot of stress in my life. God has been working on me in this area and things will get better.

But I thought this was interesting--something that I've thought of as a weakness, as something that I percieve as not reaping as many benefits as it does difficulty, was something that blesses people around me. It gave me a different perspective.



I encourage you to think about this:  Maybe that trait that you don't like about yourself blesses someone else. Maybe that trial that you are going through in your life will help you bless someone someday.






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Friday, January 22, 2010

Trust and People Around You--Another's Perspective

I was sitting here debating between trying to write another post and tackling the many other items on my 2Do list when I decided to read Joy Eggerichs' latest post.

Wow. That was definitely a God timing thing; I'm convinced. It totally related to thoughts I have been having in the past few days (not to mention minutes before I wrote this), and just encouraged me to stick with my friends harder, hold fast to community, and to continue in my aim to be similar to how she describes her mom. 




Seriously.

 Read it. 

Here, nice and easy:
http://www.joyeggerichs.com/?p=430








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Thursday, January 21, 2010

iTouch and Organization

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have caught on to what I'm talking about...


My iTouch is finally here!!
  (It made a detour to a town about 2 hours away from me due to the USPS's error, hence the emphasis)



I'm pretty excited about it, if you can't tell. And already its making me feel WAY more organized!

- I've started to budget my money more seriously, and I found a free spreadsheet app that's made that pretty easy to keep track of.

- I use the app Calengoo, which syncs to my Google Calendar way easier than iCal--at least from how I understand it. Plus I'm really accustomed to my Google Calendar and this made it so I didn't have to learn a new program.

- I'm considering keeping a record of my weight (and maybe measurements, if I'm ambitious enough) because I have been consistently working out since school started. (HUGE accomplishment!)

I feel like God is really helping me finally get my life in order. I have felt so successful this new year! The only thing that has really changed circumstantially is this--I've been making it a priority to spend time with Him everyday. I'm telling you, it works wonders. More on what He's been doing in my life forthcoming--I hope to start writing another "Powerful Verses" post soon!

So--What success (no matter how small) have you accomplished since the new year began?






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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Prayer

Dear God,

Thank you for stretching me and growing me. Thank you for being by my side through perpetual days of ironing out ideas I don't really want to tackle right now.

Please give me Your wisdom to stand firm in what I believe. Please give me  the courage to tell people how I feel about things. But let every word I say be coated in Your compassion.

Sometimes I wish I understood people around me like You do. I want to be a help and a support. You are teaching me that sometimes that means I need to start keeping my mouth shut...and in others, I need to start speaking up.

Part of me wants to ask you for a break. A time of rest that is just simple and happy and isn't constantly growing. Some time to bask in the sun. But yet I know I need the strength you are preparing me for. Time to grow another root or two and to thicken my branches, so when the storms come I won't fall...yet I long to slow down just a little....

Yet I know you will bring increase in so many areas of my life if I just keep following you. You are running fast. But you never get out of sight. So I will keep running!

Thank you.

I love you, Father.



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Monday, January 18, 2010

Tea Time

Perpetually on my mind is my upcoming wedding and all that that entails. For those that don't know, we are starting from scratch--we currently both live with our families and don't have items people need day to day. In one sense this is actually really fun because I get to brainstorm and dream about what our future home is going to look like, and the possibilities are nearly endless (Minus the whole budget factor, of course)!

So I've been wanting to have a lot of color in our home and have been dreaming about a tea set where the cups and the tea pot are all different colors because that sounds like a lot of fun to me. I want my morning coffee or tea to be really cheerful, and when I have friends over I'd like it to be cheerful too! Until today I expected to need to buy each mug individually and to buy a teapot too, but then today I saw an ad for this:



Oh my goodness! It is exactly the idea I want. Unfortunately, we aren't registering at World Market...so I'm debating buying it while its on sale for $15 or just waiting and see what else I find. What do you think?









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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tidbits

First off, readers, what do you think of the new look? (Facebook readers click here: mybreathingheart.blogspot.com) It is definitely different than what I had, but I like it.

I have had a great start to the new year so far! The month of December was a little rough for me, but in retrospect I truly think it was spiritual growing pains. So much has gone so well this first few weeks of 2010! Here's a recap:


I have read the Bible almost every day! I've been using one of those "Read the Bible in a year" Bibles and I'm all caught up to today, which is great!! Also, Ive been reading a proverb a day since last Sunday and that has been great too. My College group is doing it all together and it's going to be really great!

I have truly been trying to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor 10:5) and it has slowly been making a difference in my life. My moods are less of a controller in my life, and God's Word is more in charge. It's fantastic!

Peter and I have been growing, too. I feel like every day I try to show Peter more love and patience, he tries to return it even more, which motivates me to do more, etc. I love it! We are growing closer and closer and I feel like God is opening a new level of trust and love for us. I can't wait to see what we learn next!

I started classes and I really think its going to be manageable! (Praise God!) Even though I am taking 18 credits (YIKES!), three of them are for an internship which works out to be at my job I have already, and then my classes are much more spread out which should make homework less stressful if I continue to stay on top of it. (Which I have been doing! Yay again!!)

Also, I worked out twice in a wellness center last week! This is pretty big for me, because I've never really done it on my own initiative before. I did it for a class a few semesters ago, but it didn't stick. And in the past I've walked and tried lifting some small weights, but again, it's never lasted very long. It felt so good though and I'm going to be meeting with a friend once a week to do it, so hopefully I'll stay motivated!! (Plus, I'm getting married in just over 5 months. Thats a big motivator in itself!)

So, the year has gotten off to a great start and I hope to keep it rolling! God's grace is sufficient, and He keeps me moving. I'm excited about what's next!




Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Whats Happening



Today I had tea with Jesus
Missed Breakfast
Left late but God gave me grace
With an amazing parking spot
Sat through three classes
Totaling six hours of the day
Worked out with a great friend
Did two hours of homework
Tweeted a lot
Read a dear friend's blog who's YWAMin' it up
Thought about my bridesmaids often
Prayed for many people in my life
Got cold toes from un-waterproofed shoes
Dreamed about being a wife
Wanted to go to ChocolaTea
Thought about my first Mac product
That is en route to my house
Texted my Love and my Nigel
Loved the sunshine

And so many more little things...

Life is good.





Friday, January 8, 2010

Love

I periodically read posts from Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages. I just read this today and thought I'd share it, because it seems true to me:

"Romantic love doesn't last forever - but it does get better!
Romantic love actually has two phases.  We hear a lot about the first phase - that incredible "falling in love" stage.  It's exciting.  Life has never been better.  But, what we often fail to realize is that the average "life-span" of that kind of euphoric love is about two years.

The kind of love that'll make your marriage last is what I call "covenant" love.  It's a love based on the commitment you made to each other at the marriage altar.  It's not just overpowering passion or emotion. It's a choice you make every day to do something to enrich the life of your spouse.  And as you do, your spouse will experience your love and typically reciprocate.  It is the small acts of love that keeps romance in the marriage. "




I agree; lasting love is a choice--a choice I love to make!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Powerful Verses, John 8:31b-32

This is the first in a series of posts that I am going to write about powerful verses--verses that impact me and that have power to change your life. Though I believe the whole Bible is God-inspired and each verse is important, these verses have stuck out to me and I want to write about them so that I remember them more and so that I can share them with you.


I know I already posted on John 8:31b-32 in November, but it has come up again in the book I am reading (Battlefield of The Mind by Joyce Meyer) and it is so good I want to dwell on it some more.


I really like to "chew" over verses, and part of that for me often involves reading them in multiple translations. I like to read each one slowly and really think about the words, and I encourage you to do the same.


NKJV: "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."


NLT: "You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."


NIV:  "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."


The Message Paraphrase: "If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you."


Amplified Bible: "If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free."


ESV: "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."


I love the use of the word abide. Check out the definition:


Abide


1.
to remain; continue; stay: Abide with me.
2.
to have one's abode; dwell; reside: to abide in a small Scottish village.
3.
to continue in a particular condition, attitude, relationship, etc.; last.


Dwell in Christ's Word, and you will know truth, and therefore know freedom. To get the result of truth and freedom reigning in my life, I must take hold of this promise by acting out "abide in My Word." 




So, how and how often do you abide in God's word?


Blessings,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Layout?

What do you think, friends--is it time for me to get a new layout for my blog? (For those of you reading from facebook, check it out here: mybreathingheart.blogspot.com)

I like this one a lot, but I've had it a while. Whats the consensus? Time for change, or leave it alone?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Holidays 2009

I realized that I don't really share many pictures on this blog. It doesn't bother me too much because that isn't its purpose--the purpose is an outlet for me to write and hopefully bless a few people with my words in the process. However, I thought it would be nice to share some pictures from the past few weeks, so here we go.

This is William in the first picture and Lewis in the second showing off their piano skills at the church Talent Show:





Here are my bros with the gift I got them Christmas day:



This was on my 20th Birthday! He took me to B&N--LOVE that store!



We went to this mall area and stopped at the container store--had to share this because I love the colors!!



Then after B&N we went to...The Cheesecake Factory! LOVE IT! Peter and his blueberry white chocolate cheesecake:


And me with my 30th Anniversary layered cheesecake:




Here we are with a ginormous tree:



Peter doing his thing at the Guitar Center in Ohio:



Thats my man, shredding it up:






Hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my life!



Sunday, January 3, 2010

Proverbs 1:1-7

Proverbs 1:1-7
The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 
for attaining wisdom and discipline
for understanding words of insight
for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life
doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to the simple, 
knowledge and discretion to the young--
let the wise listen and add to their learning, 
and let the discerning get guidance--
for understanding proverbs and parables, 
the sayings and riddles of the wise. 
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.


Wow. That's quite the introduction there. Think about that. This one little book in the Bible, that can easily be read in a month (How handy! 31 chapters! One a day!), holds all of this? Wisdom, discipline, understanding insight, keys to have a "disciplined and prudent life," how to live doing right, just, and fair ways, all here! To those that are wise, it will "add to their learning!" To those that are simple, it will give "prudence" or as the dictionary defines that word: "caution with regard to practical matters; discretion. Regard for one's own interests. Provident care in the management of resources; economy; frugality." To those that are young, it will give knowledge and discretion! 


And after an intro like that, the first direction is to fear the Lord. I looked up "fear" and this is what the Strong's said (from blueletterbible.com) "Fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety. Revered." Respect God, and you will have knowledge. 


I encourage you to spend as much time in Proverbs as you can this year--it will drastically improve your relationship with God and your lifestyle!


Be blessed,

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 Recap!

Looking back on this year has been interesting. A lot of great things happened! I can't believe it was only a year ago that Peter decided to stay home and take classes at Valley instead of in MN. We even got to take a class together! That semester is somewhat of a blur. Lots of writing, because I was in the honors program. I felt very tunnel-visioned in on school, which was tough, but I did well in my classes, and the honors program reimbursed my tuition, so that was great! The greatest part of last semester came a week or so after classes ended--PETER PROPOSED! The post engagement high is fabulous, let me tell you!

This summer was one of the busiest and most packed I've ever had! While taking two classes online at Valley throughout the summer, my family and I went to Baltimore, Maryland and New York, New York for a week! Three days after I returned from that trip, Emily, Lindsay, Peter and I took a road trip to South Carolina and spent a great week in the sun with the Jones! A week after we returned from that, my church went on our annual camp out on Lake Michigan! That was a blast and I really enjoyed it. From there my family minus me went up north to Cedar Campus, while I spent that week home with my Great-Grandma (one day I went out to Gull Lake with Peter's family) and then that weekend Lindsay and I drove up north to join my family at Cedar Campus!

August began the preparations for school. (Buying books and making the decision to not continue the Honors Program. Though my time in it was excellent, I was burning myself out.) Right before classes began, I went on the New Day Women's Retreat, which was fantastic. I got to meet a bunch of wonderful ladies from South Carolina as well as spend great time with my sisters from church!

This past semester school-wise has been good but also busy, even without the Honors Program. One of the greatest things that happened was my trip to Japan with my sister, Papa, and 19 other people from my church! It was incredible.

Probably the most important thing that happened involves relationships. This past semester especially deepened my relationships with my family and my friends. God blessed me by letting not only my relationship with Peter deepen exponentially, but I also have incredibly better relationships with the girls in my life, like Lindsay, Caitlin, and Hannah! My relationship with God has grown amazingly as well, but I'll write about that later. =) I also met people all over the US and the world, and even though I may not see them often or even ever again in person, many of them are my brothers and sisters in our faith, and that means we will have eternity together with the one thing that unites us all--Christ!

2009 was a wonderful year full of so much life and adventure and I cannot wait to see what 2010 will hold.

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