Sunday, January 9, 2011

thankful for this season

The Lord is giving me much to thank Him for these days. Rather than finding myself always looking forward to "some day" I've been very convicted lately that I must instead live now and worship Him here. So for me, "here" is living as a wife to Matt who's in Seminary taking two night classes and working full time at the bank... it's also learning to be a mom to Moriah who is an ever-changing and growing little girl (5 months old already!)... and the harder things for me about "here" are being a working mom which isn't something we had planned necessarily, being on a close budget, and living in a sort of funny season as we prepare for the future God has planned while also knowing life is happening for us now - not just later. So I'm finding myself more and more thankful as we trust the Lord now. While I didn't always imagine things to go this way, the Lord certainly knows each of my steps and "hems me in" as Psalm 139 reminds me. So here's the beginning of my thankful list which I hope I can add to throughout the year...

I'm thankful for:

1. Matt who gladly works very hard all day, and has willingly changed his plans to take classes at night, and preach at our little country church... often staying awake or using every free moment to prepare for one or the other of these jobs. He still makes time to enjoy Moriah, listen to me, and be ever-helpful.

2. The Lord who is never surprised, even when we may take an unexpected to us turn in our plans

3. Moriah who is a joyful and peaceful little girl, her laid back personality and cuddly affection is a sweet blessing to me

4. my job which does allow me to work with Moriah all day, just a few steps away... I also leave most of my work at work, and have little evening stress from my job (while I never want to forget the different life I led in years past as a teacher of children who I cared so much for and thought so much about on most evenings)

5. the opportunity to support others in ministry with our income as we work

6. renting our apartment which allows us to call maintenance if something breaks or malfunctions at no cost to us and with a relatively quick repair time

7. this Seminary and the abundance of opportunities it provides for enrichment of all kinds in our spiritual lives... our godly friends, classes, and opportunities for worship are just some of the "perks"

8. our little church and the simple yet profound faith we've witnessed there in Turner's Station, Kentucky

9. a storage unit which safely houses our extra stuff... mostly my teaching things and holiday decorations, at an affordable price within semi-close proximity

10. a new-to-us minivan my mom and step-dad sold us at a great price when my Cavalier died right before Moriah was born... the ample space for her car seat and stroller are wonderful

11. sticking to my grocery budget and watching the Lord provide exactly what we need for every meal of the week, with a few extras added in - like a tempting box of cranberry orange muffin mix on holiday closeout, and frozen organic cheese enchiladas too - so amazing!

12. a laundry room on campus, and a husband who makes the trek to it almost every other day now as our mountains of clothes have grown with the addition of Moriah and baby messes :)

13. a lovely city like Louisville which is full of charm and unique opportunities in all things, what a great place to call home

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Five a Month

Rather than making big and long-term goals this New Year's I'm going to join Jess at Making Home, and set five measurable goals per month. I'm blogging about them, for my own accountability and to encourage you all to make goals and join me! So after talking with Matt, these are my top January priorities...

1. Maintain a DAILY time of Bible reading... First, I'm going to wake up at a consistently early time every morning, hopefully before little Moriah does (she's been pretty inconsistent lately in her mornings), so that I can read. I'm planning to use the ESV Study Bible's "read through the Bible in a year" plan, but I'll be cutting it in half for a more realistic goal this year. I'm especially excited about the way it's organized... the Old Testament readings from Chronicles through the Prophets is organized chronologically which will help me as I understand the history of the Bible, something that I'm always fascinated by. We were able to visit Clifton Baptist Church last weekend since we stayed in Louisville for Christmas and our little Turner's Station Church service was cancelled. Dr. Schriener's sermon was very exhorting along these lines, check it out here! (just so you're not confused, it hasn't been uploaded yet from what I can tell-I bet it will be soon and would certainly be worth waiting for!)

2. Pray for Matt and Moriah strategically... I've chosen to pray with these calendars (praying for children & praying for your husband) from the Inspired to Action web-site - there are many like these, but these are brief and focused which is what I need right now. I'm going to pray as I drive to and/or from work each day.

3. Accomplish one bit of home keeping work each evening so that our weekends are more open for fun! We're constantly doing laundry these days... so that's going to occupy about two weeknights. On the others I will clean the kitchen, clean the bathroom, and vacuum.

4. Practice playing the keyboard twice a week. I really loved the class I took here at the Seminary which taught Seminary Wives to play the piano/keyboard. Since then, Matt insisted that we buy a keyboard so that I could continue to practice. I also have my music stand situated so now I'm really ready. While I haven't forgotten everything I learned last Spring, I need to revisit it all, before I can hope to add any more. So twice a week would be great for me!

5. Follow our newly revamped and updated budget "to a t" this month. The more closely we stick with it, the more we'll be able to see if it needs any tweaking as we start the new year. We've been blessed to make much progress over the last year financially and hope to continue the trend, so we're back into the swing of our cash envelopes and a written and specific plan. Grocery shopping with cash is always more frugal for me than not!

These are my goals... I'd be thankful for your prayers as I rely on God's grace to accomplish them in my life for my godliness and His glory.