Monday, May 31, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #11

Happy June! So much has been going on in the past couple weeks since I last wrote. Let me give an update...

Health and Fitness:
Still actively working out (primarily lifting weights and running). I am currently down 21 lbs and am incredibly happy with the fact that I reached my goal and can now just focus on maintaining this current weight. If I continue to lose some that's okay too, but staying healthy and fit are the main focus at this point.

My Aunt Beth and I traveled to Grand Rapids two weekends ago to see Beth Moore at Van Andel Arena for Living Proof LIVE! We made it a girl's getaway weekend of sorts. It was an awesome event and I am still relishing the message she passed on to us. It definitely hit home in more ways than even I could see then. Since hearing her teach and going back over my notes, I am realizing how much I need to put the message into action! (More on that when I share my verse for this blog...)

Currently involved with packing up our current house and getting ready to make the big transition out to the country on Thursday. Hoping everything between now and then falls into place so we are ready to go! It's been quite a process - quite tiring and stressful to be honest. I've realized just how much stuff we have and it makes me just want to simplify everything as we start fresh in this new place. I'm hoping that as we unpack, we'll be able to eliminate more stuff and be able to keep things neat and tidy. I'm sure between the hubby and I, we can make that happen!

On a fun note, we are going to see "Phantom of the Opera" tonight! This will be the third time we've seen it for both of us, but we love it and can't wait to see the magic unfold!

So, that's the latest. Now on to my verse for the next couple weeks....

I mentioned above that I was realizing how much I needed to put the message Beth Moore shared with us in action. Her message centered around the theme of trees and was titled, "Lessons from out on a Limb." One of the "limbs" she shared was "Trees Need Reign" and with this, that there are four types of things that tend to reign over us. The idea of the "thornbushes" (Judges 9:17-15), representing the difficulties/frustrations/annoyances of life, reigning over us really resonated with me. I tend to dwell on the negativities of everyday life and allow the challenges I face to rule over my heart, mind, and spirit. It's not always good for the attitude, especially when it comes to having to deal with others. It's all too easy at times to take my frustrations out on others, rather than giving it over to God.

I was pondering over this during the long weekend. While having my coffee and just enjoying the peace and quiet of my up north retreat, I opened the scriptures and found a verse that really spoke to me.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
"Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

This is the attitude I need to embrace. Rather than allowing circumstances and little petty things to get the best of me, I need to keep my eyes centered on Jesus and the promises He has made to me, as well as the inheritance I have in Him. As a new creation in Him, I need to be denying the old self and it's behavior and letting the Holy Spirit do a mighty work in me each and every day. So, this is my prayer - to be renewed by Him day by day and focus on the unseen treasures and blessings I have in Him. I ask that Jesus enter my heart and that He will have dominion over my words, thoughts, and actions. May they reveal a life embedded in His Word and the encounters I have had with this magnificent God! Amen.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #10

Well, there sure has been a lot going on in my life since the last time I posted! I’m posting a little later than normal because we were up north over the weekend and the wireless internet isn’t set up at this point, so today will do just fine!

Just an update on my diet and exercising….I’ve continued to work out consistently throughout the week and have finally hit my weight-loss goal of 20 LBS! As of this morning, I have lost 20.2 lbs! I am very happy and excited to have finally met this goal. I had intended to meet this by June 1st, and am thrilled to have met it 2 weeks early! I intend to continue to stick to my guns and stay motivated. At this point, my overall goal is to stay fit and be healthy. I will still track my progress and report as needed.

In other exciting news, we are soon going to be the owners of a newer home out in the country! The offer we put on the house back in March was accepted and we are moving forward. There’s a lot to do before we actually move – tidying and packing, cleaning and organizing, painting and updating – the list goes on…but I’m really trying not to get overwhelmed and just take it one day at a time. My husband and I make a good team (thank the Lord!), so I’m confident we’ll be just fine. We are totally trusting in God to be with us as we make this life-changing transition!

My aunt and I are traveling to Grand Rapids this weekend to see Living Proof LIVE with Beth Moore! We are really looking forward to seeing her teach in person! We are huge Beth fans, so this is a real treat! I’m especially looking forward to the “spiritual retreatness” of the occasion. It’s always nice to get away and spend time with another person who lives in the faith. I’m hoping it’ll be just the thing I need to get through the next few weeks with the above mentioned activities!

Onto the reason for my post…

I recently listened to a Beth Moore video (big surprise, right?) in which she talked about prayer. She pointed to a verse that I had never really noticed before, but it's now become something I think about while I'm preparing for the busy day ahead each morning.

Psalm 90:14
"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days."

What I so love about this verse is that it makes it clear that the only thing that can ever satisfy our souls is the love of God and that when we draw strength from that first thing in the morning, it is with us the whole day. That's a big deal. I know throughout a normal day, I encounter challenges and difficulties that were it not for God's unfailing love, I may not have the ability to get through them. But with God, I can get through everything and still have joy and gladness. It's really a mindset and an attitude - that no matter what happens, God loves me and that love is all I need to live. Amazingly simple! I need some simplicity!

I hope this verse will become my daily morning prayer and that at the end of each day, I can look back and see how God's unfailing love carried me through. Thank You, Lord, for Your truth, wisdom, and love! You are an awesome God and I love you so much. I praise You for the amazing things You are doing in my life. Amen!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Scripture Memory Verse #9

Happy May! Already 5 months into the new year - how time flies! It's so refreshing to see the earth coming back to life after winter. The scents and colors of this spring season make me so very excited for the coming summer!

Since my last post, I ran in the Mid-Michigan Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K. It was a fabulous experience - awesome and inspiring in so many ways. My girlfriend, Nicole, and my husband, both ran with me. We had a great time and all did a great job time-wise. I was proud to finish better than my last race at 28:01. I'm going to continue to work on improving that over this summer by doing other various 5K's around the area.

It's so cool how running has opened up doors for me that I didn't see possible. I thank God for the ability to run and the opportunity to grow in the process. Since my last post, I have hit the weight loss mark of 18 lbs. I feel great and definitely have experienced a boost in my self-esteem and confidence. From the beginning though, it's always been about being healthy and living the fullest life possible. I hope that my challenges and successes will help to serve others who have faced what I've faced and will encourage and inspire them to live their best lives too! It's a journey worth taking!

To close on the subject of running, I will add that May is National Runners' Month. I've been struggling to find a race to run this month because of my obligations to our business venture up north on the weekends, but I will be training this month for a race on January 12th up in Ludington, MI - the Ludington Lakestride - very exciting to be running in one of my most cherished places! And I'd like to share this quote that I got via email through Runner's World...I absolutely love it because it totally defines what running has become for me...

"Running is a retreat, a place to commune with God and yourself, a place for psychological and spiritual renewal." -George Sheehan, M.D.

Now onto the real reason for my 9th scripture to focus on over the next 15 days...

I'm wrapping up my Esther study this week with my women's small group at church. This time of year is always bittersweet - while it'll be nice to have my Wednesdays opened back up during the week, I'm going to miss immersing myself in such detailed study of God's Word and the fellowship I've experienced with these precious ladies. Thankfully, more studies await me in the future, but I'm hoping that the teachings from this study last long into the coming months until I start back up again (most likely in the fall).

I mention my bible study, because I read the verse I've chosen while doing the final week of homework. The verse I decided to focus on is one that reflects my heart, as it most closely resonates with the testimony I hope to have every day of my life. It is...

Psalm 16:5-6
"LORD, you have assigned my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance."

The verse, as well as Beth Moore's commentary of the verse, really hit me in the deepest part of my heart. Every day presents new challenges and victories (some big, some small), as well as good things and bad things. It is all too easy for me to get caught up stressing about the small things and feeling like life is going to fall apart if I can't do this or that, or this does or doesn't work out. I'm the type of person who has a list of things to do for every day of the week, and I'll be darned if those things don't happen in that exact see where I'm going with this. So much of my effort in one day is wrapped up in trying to control every last detail, fretting to make sure that every little thing works out as I have it planned.

BUT, God calls me to a different way of operation. He values my gifts of administration and planning - it has it's place in my life - but ultimately, He is in control! My life is going to work out, despite all the ups and downs, simply because He is the author, creator, and leader of my life. In Him, I am secure and I have no need to worry about every little thing. He has my inheritance ready for me - I just have to trust that He is there no matter what! Seems easy enough, right?

My prayer is to reflect on this verse over the coming 15 days and thoughtfully consider how I can surrender every bit of my life over to Him every day. I pray that my testimony at the end of each day will read something like this..."Whether it was a good or bad day, everything was as it was supposed to be because my life is all worked out in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In Him, I am exactly where I need to be at this very moment. Amen."