Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My Focus

I have recently been struggling with making Christ my main purpose in life, but I was reminded again this week--both by Pastor Viars talking about "The Prayer of Dependence" on Sunday and by Pastor Aucoin talking about Samson's lack of purpose in life in high school chapel on Monday--how I need to be actively striving to make my main goal in life to glorify God. (One sidelight about Samson; I re-read the story in Judges last night, and the point that Brent made is accurate: according to Scripture, even though the angel told Samson's mother that his purpose was to bring judgment on the Philistines, no one ever told Samson what his purpose was--his mother never even told his father! It seems as if he knew he was a Nazarite but knew no purpose as to why.)

How is this "fleshed out" in my life, though? What can I do differently to be focusing on glorifying God? The most obvious answer, and the thing I have failed in lately, is taking time for private time alone with God. So yesterday I finally made it a priority to open up God's Word and devote time to listen to God "speak." I also pulled out my copy of "Loving God with All Your Mind" by Elizabeth George that I had started to read at the beginning of the year but had also fallen away from. Wouldn't you know it? The chapter my bookmark was in was on "Keeping On Keeping On" and persevering "toward the goal of the high calling of God." (Phil. 3:14) It was just what I needed to hear. I have been so overbooked with practices, lessons, and teaching times that I have not allowed myself to be empowered with the Holy Spirit's strength. I have been struggling to get it all done and have been so tired.

It is true that God gives "strength to the weary, and to them that have no might he increases strength." (Isaiah 40:28-31)

Even in the busy times of life, when I have to schedule things on top of each other and hope that someone doesn't show up or something works out, I cannot do it in my own strength. I need to acknowledge that I am utterly dependent on God, which I realize more the more time I spend with God.

But when I try to work things out on my own, I tend to forget about God and lack purpose in life. Yes, I can "maintain" for a little while on my own, but I will not see true joy or spiritual growth (in fact, I will tend to slide backward) the longer I think I can go without God.

So this has been my reminder to myself that, no matter the busy-ness of life, I need to schedule into each day the reminder that God is my true source of strength.

Oh, and incidentally, God gave me plenty of time to get things done today because after I arrived at school this morning I remembered I had 2 piano students out because they were gone on a field trip, and then I heard that I had a family of 3 students all home with the flu. So I finally have time to blog! :)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Super Bowl XLI

Whaddyaknow...It's COLTS vs. BEARS for Super Bowl XLI! I enjoy watching football, but I usually don't make the time for it. However, last night I enjoyed watching almost the entire Colts/Patriots Championship game...(I took Juju for a walk at the beginning of the game so I missed the first quarter.) What an exciting game!! I really didn't think they were going to be able to pull off a win when they botched the first half, but it was a great finish. I don't mind the Patriots, but, honestly, they've been to, like, the last 10 Super Bowls, so I'm glad the Colts (especially Tony Dungee & Peyton Manning) get a chance at it this year. And the Bears, too! Hey, living in Lafayette, I'm pretty much right in the middle of it. But I'll root for the Colts on February 4. GO COLTS!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

To Unt Elaine

Dear Auntie,
You asked about my recent weight loss, so I thought I'd share my "secret"--unfortunately, there isn't one! Lately I've found myself in clothes too big for me and able to wear 2 sizes smaller, and I'm not exactly sure what happened...but I'm not complaining! ;) Partly it's just learning to wear the "right" clothes, but I thought I'd share my "diet" as well. I am NOT a dieter. I really don't like the concept of eating something special for only a couple of weeks and then resuming the same eating struggles after that. Ever since college I've tried to eat healthier and be a better steward of my body by watching what I eat-- obviously sometimes more successfully than others--but just this summer and fall it seems to be paying off. So I've been trying to evaluate what I've done differently.

Here's what I think I've been doing:
1. Eat more. Yes, that's right; eat MORE. I had gotten in the unhealthy habit of not taking time for lunch, in fact, not eating most of the day. So I think my metabolism slowed down. To get my metabolism back up, I've been eating every meal: breakfast, lunch, and supper with possibly a healthy snack in between: granola bar, yogurt, apple, orange, banana, etc.
2. Eat oatmeal every day. At least most days. I usually am rushing out the door so don't eat before I leave for work, but now I grab a package of instant oatmeal and a bowl (and a spoon) and I'm good to go for after my first couple lessons when I have a 10-15 minute break. (This replaces a pop tart--but sometimes I have a granola bar instead.)
3. Walk. Since June (when I got Juju) I have taken her for about a 30-minute walk nearly every day--sometimes more than once. I do Tae Bo with Sarah sometimes, but that's pretty rare. So that's my exercise regimen (which was sorely lacking before).
4. Have your health-conscious sister come live with you. :) I think this may have had some affect too, as Sarah is good about adding whole wheats and fewer sugars, things I didn't really think about much before. I have also tried to cut back on the carbs and fats and eating smaller portions and all that good stuff that you normally think about to do too. (No more ice cream every night!)

But overall I haven't really TRIED to necessarily lose weight, I'm just trying to be a better steward of my body. And I've actually dropped about 20-25 pounds, so that's a great blessing. The bad thing is that the more healthy food is usually more expensive, but I'm trying to balance that as well.

Well, dear Aunt, since you asked (and cousin Becky too) I thought I'd share.


"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31 (New American Standard Bible)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

This is What Happens When...

This is what happens when you let your dog out in the middle of the night and then accidentally fall back to sleep...she makes her own doggy door!

We had about an inch of snow overnight (yay! Our first "big" snowfall!) and maybe Juju was just so enamored with watching the snow fall or something, but she wanted to go out three times last night. By 4:00 AM I was fed up and just left her out and went back to bed...not planning on falling back to sleep...but 30 minutes later I wake up to a cold dog wanting to come back inside and a shredded sliding screen door! The funny thing was that I'm pretty sure I left the screen door open (although Juju has been known to slide it by herself)--but it was sticking as it was kind of frozen--so apparently she closed it and then scratched it open.

Dad--here's another project for your "daddy-do list" in February! :)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Spirit Week 2007

Thanks to all of you loyal readers for commenting on my blog. I feel inspired to continue my entries now!

This week was the infamous Spirit Week at FCS. Monday was just a prep day/dress in college sweatshirts/jerseys. The real festivities started on Tuesday.

Each day the grades paraded past the judges into the gym and competed in class songs, cheers, or skits, depending on the day.

Tuesday's Theme was "Would you be my friend if I dressed like this?" Here's my lovely outfit. Sarah helped me pick it out to be the best matching I could be.

Wednesday's theme was "Puttin' on the Ritz" for the high school and "Hat Day" for the elementary. I did both.

Thursday was Class Theme day. We had "Sailing the 7th Seas," "8th Grade Calendar Craze," "Fighting Freshmen," "10 Little Indians," "Juniors of the Great Outdoors," and "Seafaring Seniors." I dressed with the Elementary's theme of "Riding the Waves/Ocean," which also fit with the 7th grade song I was a part of "Under the Sea"--which incidentally won FIRST PLACE!

And today (Friday) is school colors--Maroon & Gold Day. We cap it off with the Homecoming Games tonight and get to watch the video of the week that I was able to tape for the school. Should be fun!

Monday, January 08, 2007

No Comments

*sigh* Apparently no one reads my blog anymore. I have only received 1 comment ALL YEAR! At least my brother loves me...

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year Snow in the U.P.

Tonight is my last night in Michigan. I have to leave in the morning to head back to Indiana. I will enjoy being back home, but time with family goes by way too fast! We have had a couple late movie and game nights (or one night I stayed up reading a Karen Kingsbury book). Lots of playing Apples to Apples, Rook (7up), Scattergories, and Scene It. I also enjoyed watching Pirates of the Caribbean 2 that I got for Christmas!

Last night coming back home from church at 1 AM after the New Year's Eve service and game night at church the snow was really coming down and the roads were really bad. We got about 6 inches of heavy, wet snow overnight that my dad had the job of snowblowing out this morning. The snow looked really beautiful, and I was SO GLAD to see it! Truly.