Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012: Better Late Than Never

I'm a little late, but here is my list of focus points for 2012. Focus is such a scary word for someone with my attention span. However distractible I may be, I'm not doing resolutions this year. I am simply holding myself accountable to the main areas that I wish to focus on as far as my own personal growth is concerned.

Since the next few weeks of life are maxed out with the launch day of City Hope Church quickly approaching, my focus points will all be given a hall pass until after February 12. I've never been one to set myself up for failure... except when I made that entire tray of sugar cookies yesterday when my and Malakai were the only ones at home. Did I mention I had not had lunch yet? It was disastrous. For the delicious cookies, and for me.

When I have more than a few minutes to write, I would like to go back to last year's resolution list and see how I did. I will pat myself on the back and say that there were several resolutions that I kicked butt on, at least for certain periods of time. I would like to write a nice reflective 2011 post, but first I have to have the time to reflect. For now, personal growth is much more of a priority than personal rear view mirror time.

So here is my 2012 list. (Give or take a few points that my easily distracted emotions might change from time to time.)

Be more passionately devoted to my Savior.

Be a loving, supportive, and tender wife.

Be a loving, patient and fun mom.

Be a loving, inspiring and life giving Pastor's wife to the people of City Hope Church.

Deepen friendships.

Maintain a well organized and tidy house. (always a focus because it's never organized enough for my OCD tendancies! MUST HAVE MORE CONTAINERS!!!!) 

Teach Malakai. Challenge him creatively. Get him ready for preschool. 

Get healthy... again.

Blog daily-ish.

Sew often. 

Grow musically. Strengthen my voice, as well as my piano playing and my knowledge of theory.

No more constant self condemnation. Focus on growth. Be thankful for the good. Conquer the bad. Dwell in peace. Smile.

"We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but for potential."

Monday, November 14, 2011

1,000 Gifts: A Simple List

I'm on a two day cleanse and fast... this time for healthy reasons and not spiritual. However, it's been over 24 hours since I've eaten, and my brain is just not functioning very well, so tonight's list is simple. Sometimes the simple things are what matter most anyway...

Tonight, I am thanking my Savior for:

61. My comfortable bed that I look forward to laying in every night.

62. The way I feel when my two year old makes a conscious decision to mind me

63. When I am having a down day, and the moment that I am able to find that place where I know that God loves me despite the "yucky" parts

64. Christmas crafts!

65. Chick-flicks

66. The connection that I have with my husband that I know no one else will ever experience. It is unique to us, and our love story.

67. Freedom

68. My older sister, her wisdom and the fact that she always answers her phone and responds to texts.

69. When worship music gives me goose bumps

70. THIS <----Click on it

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Anthropologie: Sweet Sweaters

Anthropologie just might be my absolute favorite store in the world. Even when I am in seasons where I can not afford to shop there, their collections always offer inspiration. 

I am on a sweater kick right now because of the upcoming winter months. When I moved to the Southeast Texas heat I sold most of my winter clothes thinking that I would never be moving back up north. Lesson of the day: Never say never. At the same time that I am needing some good winter clothes, I am also on a huge quest to downsize my wardrobe. Adding more winter clothes seems to defeat the purpose of down sizing I know, but I am working on having more basics and everyday items, instead of a closet full of frilly, eclectic tops that I only wear once or twice a year. I'm still holding on to a few favorites, but the rest are either being donated, or sold on ebay.  

Back to my current infatuation with sweaters: Anthropologie never fails me when it comes to cozy, bulky, cute but comfy sweaters. what I love about so much of their pieces is that they are perfect for a casual day just chasing the toddler, or you can throw on some boots and jewelry and head out to eat with the man in your life. Here are my current favorites from the divine establishment referred to as Anthropologie.

Monday, November 7, 2011

1,000 gifts: Jesus Really Does Care

41. Each friend that God has placed in my life. New and old, near and far, ones that are just like me who get me and understand my heart, and ones that are quite different but challenge me to grow and balance me out.

42. Sneaking alone time with my husband. 

43. When a baby sitter is easy to find.

44. The anticipation of knowing I'm on the verge of a personal breakthrough. 

45. When Malakai finds something new to be excited about.

46. A freshly organized closet

47. The incredible ladies with me in this picture from March of 2011
My mom, older sister-Courtney Danielle, myself (Karis Rochelle), the youngest sister-Kaitlyn Bethel', and number 3-Christiana Noelle

48. Finding a routine in the middle of a chaotic season

49. ARC (Association of Related Churches) who's leaders have supported us, believed in us, are ALWAYS there for us, and invited us to be a part of this amazing world of planting life-giving churches. 

50. Music and the way that it moves my heart in such a deep way

51. Unanswered prayers
52. Answered prayers

53. Successful Trips to thrift stores and rummage sales

54. Being able to look someone who is brokenhearted in their tear stained eyes and say with all confidence and assurance that I've been there and if Jesus is in the boat it's not going to sink, the storm will pass, and Jesus really does care. (words passed down through generations of my family. Spoken to me countless times my my grandfather who has now passed away, my grandmother who is my hero and her son, my dad, who's life has proven all three principles first hand) 

55. Seeing one of my best friends rock the baby that we prayed for years for her to conceive. I can't imagine that seeing them interact will ever get old. 

56. Feeling pretty on messy hair and no make-up days

57. The what if's from my past that I choose not to dwell on, but when I think about them make me smile, and sigh and thank God for making all things work together for my good.

58. That extra hour of sleep that we got this past weekend

59. Getting to tell people how me and my husband met

60. The constant, relentless and always perfect for the moment inspiration that I receive when I dive into God's Word. 
Psalm 34
1 I will bless the LORD at all times;
   his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
   let the humble hear and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
   and let us exalt his name together!
 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me
   and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant,
   and their faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
   and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps
   around those who fear him, and delivers them.
 8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints,
   for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
   but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
 11 Come, O children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
12 What man is there who desires life
   and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
   and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
   seek peace and pursue it.
 15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
    and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
   to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
   and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
  and saves the crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
    but the LORD delivers him out of them all. 
20 He keeps all his bones;
    not one of them is broken. 
21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
   and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. 
22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants;
   none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Little Jelly Fish

Malakai just wasn't in a cooperative mood when it was time to go Trick or Treating. He was a jellyfish and had fun with his costume. Oddly enough, this night, he was just not interested in showing off. We all have our off days, right??? 

This is the best we could get...

Fall Festival

One of my favorite things about Centralia is the fact that all four seasons are each different, and all celebrated. Just about the time you can't handle winter anymore, spring and all of it's new life comes along. When the summer heat is just getting to the point of annoying, here comes fall with it's beauty and charm.
 I think I would definitely say that fall adds a certain level of charm to the Midwest.

The weekend of Halloween is celebrated city wide and each day offers the chance to make memories that will last us years and year to come. From community Trick or Treating, to a Kids Costume Contest and Kiddie parade, then it's on to the Fall Festival where the streets are closed and the down town area is bustling with a community excited about the cooler temps and the Cardinals in the World Series. To end it all, the annual (and not to mention massive) community wide Halloween parade. I think there were 160 entries or somewhere around that number. People begin to set out their lawn chairs along the parade route at the crack of dawn. It always reinforces just how many people live in this area. You get in the mind set that because it is a small town, there just aren't a lot of people you don't know. Literally thousands of people from Centralia and the surrounding areas line the long and straight parade path. 

This year me and Seth were looking at this massive crowd through a different lens. These are the people we are here for. There are the people God has called us to. It only inspired us more deeply to run after the vision that God has placed in our hearts for this city and it's beautiful and unique individuals.


Monday, October 31, 2011

October 31: 1,000 Gifts

This was an interesting week for me. It had ups and downs, complete with tears of brokenness and tears of joy. I am walking away from the past week feeling quite emotionally exhausted as I begin this new week, but at the same time, I feel a calming peace moving in and resting my heart and calming my mind. We made so many incredible memories this past weekend with trick or treating, a fall festival and Halloween Parade. We have had some amazing encounters with encouragement and some disappointing confrontations with discouragement. All in all we are leaving yet another week behind us that has been packed full of God's beautiful grace, and we are so thankful for this journey that He has allowed us to partake in.

Gifts 23- 40:

23. Fall colors

24. Peaceful afternoons

25. Days where not having an agenda is perfectly okay

26. Sleeping in

27. Pumpkins

28. Emotional weeks that although tough to navigate through, cleanse the heart

29. The anticipation of the approaching holidays

30. Being friends, despite all of the odds.

31. Random encouraging texts

32. Seeing growth in myself

33. Seeing Kai's face light up the entire day of the Fall festival, from the kiddie parade, to the train we got to go on, inflatables, and the big Halloween Parade. He was more adorable than you could possibly imagine! It was almost too much to handle. I cried at least twice just because of how happy he was.

34. A front page article being written about City Hope Church

35. Unity in local churches. (In particular: a local Pastor wanting to come to a launch meeting and pray for our new church plant!)

36. God in me being greater than the rough spots in me.

37. Finding new local restaurants that have a great menu.

38. Skype!

39. The kind of friends, that you know without a doubt will be there when (not if) you call.

40. This truth: "Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart."