Sunday, December 29, 2013


One of my goals, always, is to simplify.
Lately I have been feeling the ache of clutter. We are in a time of transition, of temporary-ness, and we are half unpacked, half packed. A time of waiting, if you will. And I think you will. We did just get done with Advent, after all. 
In this time of waiting, I've come to realize that we have managed to survive for....over half a year without using some of our stuff. Longer for some of it. Some of it, I miss, and wonder if I should just go unpack it, or just wait until we are wherever we are going to move to. Most of it, I don't miss. And I wonder, WHY ARE WE KEEPING ALL THIS STUFF? We clearly don't need it. Someone else might. Like our extra coats and blankets for example. Or all the sweatshirts and shoes I don't wear. For example.
So an obtainable goal, I think, is to go through a box or a drawer, just one a night, and get rid of stuff. Regardless of where we live after this place, I don't want to keep carrying around STUFF that we never use or don't need.
I am aware that simplicity does also come with natural complications. For example, if I want to get rid of a bunch of clothes, perhaps I will have to do laundry more often. Or maybe not....if I already only wear the same 4 outfits all the time anyway. Or maybe, if we decide to eat more simply. Only foods with ingredients we can recognize. Or only foods that we can prepare at home. Well that means that preparing meals or grocery shopping might seem more complicated for awhile. I am aware of the complications that come with simplicity.

Ultimately, it comes down to what we value. Do we value stuff more than people? What do we treasure?

Here are some especially convicting Scriptures (for me).

Matthew 6:19-21: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be."


Acts 2:42-47: "All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.

A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved."
Emphasis my own. This community sounds amazing.

In related news, I am really enjoying -- looking forward to even, my daily blogging on the lectionary. I am working ahead, in case I fall behind. Either way, the goal is the daily study of Scripture. They are scheduled to started being posted on the first of January.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Scripture for 2014

The Scriptures I will be blogging about in 2014 (until Advent, when I switch from year A to year B), can be found here:

(this post just gives credit where credit is due)

Also I think I need to include this:

Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

2014 Resolutions

It's early (well, 10 or so days early), but here are my resolutions for 2014.

1. First of the month photo journal
Take a picture of the view out my front door (or wherever, as long as it is the same place/time each first of the month). In the likely event that we move (just to a different house, probably), or if we happen to be out of town on the first of the month, I will find a different front door view. Will start this January 1st, of course.

2. Lectionary Blogs 
A blogpost reflecting on the day's Scripture from the Revised Common Lectionary. I have already started on some of these (thanks, scheduled posting!) for the likely event that I fall behind on this. Basically I am just going to read through the Scriptures and blog about whatever the Lord places on my heart. I'm guessing the quality will change from day to day...but mostly this is an exercise for me. If you are blessed/challenged by reading it, then thank God! I really desire to be in the Word regularly, and not only that but thinking about it and reflecting on it. So this is my attempt at that.

3. Prayer Life
I am terrible at praying. Period. Anything will be an improvement. Currently, my most consistent prayers are in the middle of the night when I am rocking with my son, who has trouble sleeping. I pray for obvious things like rest, and for our little family. If someone asks me for prayer, I pray right then and there, because I don't want to say, "I'll pray for you" and then completely forget. Let's face it. I will forget. Sorry. I don't want to forget. Ultimately I think that wanting to be a better pray-er is a twofold thing. I want to be closer to God, and I want to think of others more than I think of myself. The way I hope to accomplish this is yet unknown. I think that writing them down is a good start (or more likely, writing a note on my phone), and then checking the list throughout the day. That's all I have so far. I think a journal is a good idea...but I have never been a consistent journaler (journalist?). Blogging doesn't count.

4. Be the person I want to be
Continue working through this list. Basically I want to be a better wife and mom, and a better me.

That's it. Instead of doing something crazy like 14 goals for 2014, I've just taken the last number, 4. Four goals. Working through them daily is the goal (except for the first one, obviously)...but we'll see how I'm doing come January 3.


5. 5K
I'd like to run a 5K sometime in 2014. Probably toward the end.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Today's Advent Me

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Throughout time, we can see God at work. In the Psalm, David celebrates God’s mighty acts with music and singing. In Genesis, God is at work in Abram’s life and in the future of his descendants. Abram thinks that his family line must be almost done, but God promises him a son and blessings beyond his wildest dreams. In Matthew, God is at work in our hearts, producing good fruit.

“For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.”   Matthew 12:34c-35

What is in the treasury of our hearts? James 1:21-22 says, “So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” 

Is the word of God planted in the treasury of our hearts, producing good fruit? As we study Scripture and store it in our hearts, we see that it all points to Jesus (John 5:39)! Jesus enables us to produce good fruits; it is not our good works that save us though. They are only the result of our salvation (Philippians 1:10-11).

How can we plant the Word of God, which points to Jesus, in our hearts this Advent season? Through regular reading, studying, singing, memorizing, praying through, and meditating upon Scripture.

Pray through Ephesians 3:17-21:
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

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