Sunday, February 28, 2010

Memory Verse 5

Wow! We are done with 2 months in 2010. Time sure flies when there is lots going on. I have been working very hard this year to become more self-disciplined! It has been quite a journey-mostly mental. I have to work so hard to take control of my thoughts in order to encourage myself and hold myself accountable to several things including eating healthy, making time for exercise, and especially making time for Bible study and prayer.

The following are positives on this journey:
-Meal planning has become a much more important part of my week-for both Taylor and I. Choosing to stick with our meal plan has been even more important. 8 weeks into 2010 how are we doing? The last 2 weeks things are finally falling into a great pattern!! We eat healthier and save money!
-I am learning to take prayer into more parts of my day.
-I am learning to praise more and to choose to surround myself in praise and uplifting music more often!
-I have had small handful of weeks with 3 days of exercise.

Areas to grow:
-Continue to talk myself out of snacking in unhealthy ways!
-Until school is out-more consistently have weeks of 3 days of exercise (starting in June I hope to increase that to 4-5).
-During my quiet time in the mornings, put more emphasis on Bible reading. I'm doing more journaling, blogging, reading a book with Biblical purpose, and working on memory verses than digging deeper into Scripture. I began to discover I was lacking ideas for new memory verses cause I wasn't spending enough time in Scripture in general.

I have loved this journey I have set myself on. There are moments when I feel like Paul-that what I want to do, I don't do and what I don't want to do I do. :) There are times I end up kicking myself, but then there are times when I give God glory for giving me strength in my weaknesses.

I simply want to become more Christ-like and be a better steward to what He has given me-especially my body. By focusing on my spiritual and physical beings, I am more apt to serve God more fully!

With all of these thoughts in mind, I chose my next memory verse for March 1-15!

"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."
2 Timothy 1:6-7

May God bless you and yours as we exit February for 2010 and enter into March!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Deep Mourning

It's early on Tuesday morning. I just finished some much needed quiet time. I should be getting ready for school, but will most likely be running a little late today. My heart is burdened and mourning, and I needed to take a minute to share something with all of you.

We lost a sister-in-Christ yesterday. Jenny Bizaillion went home to be with the Lord around 3:30 yesterday afternoon. There is no more infection in her body. Her liver and kidneys no longer have to work. There are no more brain lesions to be concerned about. And, she is now dancing with Jesus on two healthy legs! Her husband, 9-year-old daughter, parents, brothers, and the rest of the family are currently in a state of total loss and mourning where I'm sure they each wonder how they will do this thing called life without their sweet Jenny. It is a heart-wrenching story that makes me hurt more than I have hurt in awhile. It's not fair and it leaves us with so many questions of "why" or "what if."

The following is a song that Taylor and I have been spending a lot of time listening to. I listened to this song multiple times yesterday thinking of Jenny constantly, but not knowing the news that was coming. This song speaks to the hope and the promises that are awaiting us at the end of this road called life. It doesn't stop the pain, questions, or mourning-nor should it. But, it does feed the deepest part of our souls that knows in the end we will find rest from all of this pain and hardship.

Haven Called Heaven by The Hoppers

"I have journeyed a lifetime in search of a city,
A haven of rest for my tired soul.
By faith I have seen it just o'er the horizon
From all I can tell it sure looks like home.

The winds of temptation will not blow against me.
The rains of defeat won't beat on my face.
I'll not run for shelter; I'll be safe forever.
For nothing can harm me
There in that place.

There's a Haven called Heaven
A place for the weary.
Where those with a burden
Can lay down their load.
I will rest from my labor
In the Arms of my Savior
In that Haven called Heaven
At the end of the road.

I will rest from my labor
In the Arms of my Savior
In that Haven called Heaven
At the end of the road."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Believe...

I took a walk this afternoon. I'm working hard to become a more regular exerciser this year. My mood and my health both thank me for it! Today, the sun was out and the temp above 50 so I grabbed at the chance to walk the dog, get some exercise myself while soaking up some much needed Vitamin D!!! Often when I go on a walk by myself, I use that time alone to think and pray and soak up God's creation. Today, for some reason (aka The Holy Spirit), I found myself changing my request-prayers into believe-prayers. For example,

I believe, dear Lord, that You will heal Jenny. (see The Power of Prayer)

I believe that You are working through me in the lives of my students.

I believe that You will use me to show Christ to the ladies I encounter at my home show tomorrow night.

I believe that You will give Taylor and I wisdom as we make financial changes in our lives.

I believe that You will guide and give purpose to our ministry at Park Row.

I believe that you are daily molding me into a more Christ-like wife.

And, so on and so forth my prayer continued through my entire 25 minute walk. It was one of the most spiritually energizing walks I have ever had!!! I returned home to a short list of housework that needs to be done feeling lighter as I do when I give my burdens over to the Lord. But, I also felt like I had not spent my time just asking for things but truly praising the Lord for Who He is and What He can do! Our God is worthy of praise!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Power of Prayer

Hello all,

I am going to take a very long story and make it short, so please bear with me if it gets confusing.

My husband grew up in Mesquite, Tx on the east side of Dallas. For years, Rick Ross preached at the Mesquite Church of Christ. My husband grew up with the three Ross children: Jenny (Now Bizaillion), Josh, and Jonathan. Almost 2 weeks ago we received word that Jenny had been admitted to the hospital in critical condition. Jenny had contracted strep while substituting at a school. Strep turned to the flu which turned to pneumonia which somehow turned into sepsis. Jenny quickly fell into severe septic shock. For two weeks things have been extremely up and down with Jenny literally fighting for her life minute by minute the first several days she was in ICU. Currently, Jenny has made huge progress, but is still very much in critical condition. She is on a ventilator and dialysis. The family is praying fervently for all of her organs to begin working again as well as for Jenny to come off of the ventilator. In addition to these complications, Jenny has also developed gangrene in her feet due to the lack of circulation from the sepsis. Her circulation is better, but the infection is still in her body. Yesterday there were serious talks of amputating both of her legs beneath the knees to stop the infection from spreading. For the time being, they have postponed that surgery, and the family is asking for prayers for a miracle.

Why am I sharing all of this? Because I deeply believe in the power of prayer. Months ago, before she was sick, Jenny blogged about her desire for Christians to be unified-to stop the bickering and divisiveness that is so prevalent among Christians these days. Due to her illness over 5000 Christians have joined her CarePages online to follow her story, offer the family encouragement, and most importantly-pray for Jenny's healing! God has been moving mountains minute by minute healing Jenny. Jenny's story has been an amazing testiment to the power of prayer and faith of believers everywhere!!! Below you will find a link to her carepages account where you can sign up for email updates where the family sends out very specific requests and updates multiple times a day. Please join the saints in praying for a fellow sister!!! May God be glorified!!!

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:16

Jenny Bizaillion's CarePages Update

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Memory Verse 4

Hello readers!

It is early on Saturday morning February 13th. Taylor and I are getting ready to leave to go meet with a sweet new couple that has been visiting our church. Before we left though, I had to take a few minutes and find a new verse for the next two weeks! I have two reasons for needing this verse right now and therefore deciding to commit it to memory. First, I am putting a lot of focus right now into expanding my Premier Designs Jewelry business. I really believe God has given me this opportunity in business as a ministry to women. I want to commit this verse to memory as I move forward in my business with God's purpose on my heart! Secondly, I am currently participating in Living Proof Ministry's blog discussion of Beth Moore's new book So Long, Insecurity. Beth referenced this verse in the chapter I was reading last night, and I quickly looked it up for full context. It is absolutely a perfect verse to wield while fighting the spiritual battle against womanly insecurities!

So, for the next two weeks I will be memorizing and meditating on Ephesians 2:10.

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

I am really enjoying this journey towards committing 24 verses to heart by the end of 2010. It has been a blessing in my life already.

How about you? Is anyone joining me in this endeavor? If not, what spiritual disciplines are you pursuing at this point in your spiritual walk?

God bless!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Can I be The Pioneer Woman?

Last weekend I watched Julie and Julia. I ADORED this movie!!! My husband lovingly watched it with me because he's just that great. He laughed and liked parts of it, but if he didn't see if again he'd be okay with that. I, on the other hand, have found a new movie to add to my list of favorites.

I sat down on this beautiful snow day to make a meal plan for the next week. I try to cook new things on a regular basis to keep my husband and I from getting tired of eating the same things over and over again. We both want to be disciplined about eating at home both to keep eating healthy and to save our budget. But, I believe the only way we can do this successfully is to change up our menus on a regular basis. Last week I discovered The Pioneer Woman website for the first time!!!! So, this week in very much a Julie/Julia-fashion I will be making 4 new recipes from her website. The recipes are listed below, and I will definitely make sure I let everyone know how they turn out!

Steak Bites
Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff
Baked Chicken with Raspberry Sauce
Simple, Pan-Fried Pork Chops