Monday, July 20, 2015


I finished, yesterday afternoon!! This is the 3rd time I have completed the B90 challenge, it always feels soooo good to complete it.

1 John, 2 John, 3 John
To love God = obedience to His commands

I learned to keep myself in God.

I learned that no matter what there will be some that don't repent, that I need to stand strong in God until the end, and that no matter how bad things get God is bigger, stronger, and more awesomely holy than anything else, hands down.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Romans through 2 Peter

There is so much to feast on in the pages I have poured over, but just as many times I have stubbed my toe, tripped and fallen over passages I don't grasp, wrestled with those that could mean one thing or another, and squirmed in my seat over the ones I do fully understand, just not completely, authentically walk out consistently.  I am almost done!  I am in 1 John, headed towards finishing the challenge today!

For ease of writing this I am going to include what I learned from each book.

In Romans I learned that I need to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, & faithful in prayer.  12:12

In 1 Corinthians I learned that I need to be on my guard, stand firm in my faith, be men of courage, & be strong.  And to do everything in love.  16:13&14

In 2 Corinthians I learned that God is able to make all grace abound to me so that in all things I will have what I need to abound in every good work.  9:8&9

In Galatians I learned that as a parent when I am correcting my children, I need to restore them gently. 6:1

In Ephesians I learned how to pray for my children and my husband.  1:17-21

In Philippians I learned that I am to rejoice & to let my gentleness be evident to all. 4:4&5

In Colossians I learned how to get dressed.  3:12

In 1 Thessalonians I learned that I am to make it my ambition to live a quiet life, mind my own business, and to work with my hands.  4:11

In 2 Thessalonians I learned to ask that the Lord direct my heart into God's love & the Messiah's perseverance.

In 1 Timothy I learned that sins are sometimes obvious, sometimes they trail behind us, but that good deeds are always obvious.  5:24&25

In 2 Timothy I learned that all Scripture was God breathed, useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, & training in righteousness.

In Tirus I learned what the grace of God brings us and teaches us.  2:11&12

In Hebrews I learned that Jesus shared in our humanity so that by His death he freed all those who all of their life have been held captive to the fear of death. 2:15

In James I learned it's better to listen than to speak and much better than anger.  1:19

In 1 Peter I learned how to be beautiful.  3:4-6

In 2 Peter I learned that God's patience means salvation.  3:15

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mnemonics, meals, & more

I bought the book Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge by Roy L. Evans, Ph.D. a few years ago, and LOVE it.  Mnemonics are a memory device recommended for one of my children by a neurologist and they truly work!  While I love it when I can find mnemonics that other people write, sometimes I have to make my own.  Like the one my kids and I came up with : Smiles Magically Happen For Every Octopus to help us remember the five Great Lakes several years ago.  Today I was stuck, trying to create an anchor chart to help us remember the books of the Bible, I could find some, but not one that included for better or for worse here are mine (except where otherwise noted):

General Exit Leaves Numbers Dutifully.
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy

Josh Judged Ruth, 2 Sams, 2 Kings, with 2 Chronicles.
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles

Ezra needs Esther for a Job.
Ezra, Esther, Job

Psalms & Proverbs are Excellent Songs for Isaiah & Jeremiah to Lament.
Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Songs of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations

Easy there Daniel!
Ezekiel, Daniel
How Just And Obedient Jonah Made Nineveh! found this one in the book Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge that I mentioned above
Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum

Jump Back Zeph, Hag, Zech, & Mack!
Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Zechariah, Malachai

Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge has an awesome NT Mnemonic which I am not going to type out...I highly recommend this awesome little book!

Short on time?  Money?  Or both??

Here are my go to's, one we actually had tonight for dinner.

Spaghetti pasta, chicken breast chopped up, broccoli, frozen pop & cook garlic cubes and basil cubes (look for these in your local grocery store, they are AWESOME), cook and toss together with oil (I don't add the cubes until the end, right when I put the hot pasta in the bowl, I toss them in.  I use two garlic and two basil for a large bowl of pasta)

Beans (pinto and/or black), cilantro, lime juice, onion, tomato, jalapeƱos or green bell peppers, avocado, and if you want shredded cheese to sprinkle on top.  Chop and dice to your preference, toss together and serve with chips or rice.

Tomato juice & water ( much tomato juice you use match with same amount of water), beef bouillon cube, taco seasoning, packet of ranch seasoning, a bit of salsa, cooked hamburger meat, and pinto beans.  Throw into crock pot, cook all day and serve with toasted cheese tortillas or chips.

Life & Acts

My goal is to wrap up Bible in 90 Days on Monday.  I have a ton of reading to get done by them, but I think I can do it.  This has been a very odd summer for us. I blinked and June was gone, and took a deep breath and we are half way through July! Lots of amazing things have and continue to happen, but lots of unwelcome surprises (& resulting doctor visits) have attempted to creep in and steal the joy of the moment.

It's hard to keep my heart and mind settled on God.  I love to imagine stories, I see or hear something and immediately my mind is galloping off on an adventure, or stealing away high in the mountains, or finds itself back in a hot, humid dance studio of long ago rehearsing swan lake.  But what can be used for good, even fun things, can quickly turn into an afternoon of 'what if' thoughts tumbling quicker than the laundry in our dryer.  It's imperative that I keep my heart settled on God.  If not, there is no peace on those hard days.  I find myself singing a much beloved hymn, or talking out loud to God, or reciting a Scripture to realign my thoughts and thus my heart.  What do you do when you realize you've slipped into anxious worry mode?

If I had to sum up my quick jaunt through Acts, I would pick chapter 17 vs. 24-28
"The God who made the world & everything in it is the Lord of heaven & earth & does not live in temples built by hands.  And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life & breath & everything else.  From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; & He determined the times set for them & the exact places where they should live.  God did this so that men would seek Him & perhaps reach out for Him & find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.  'For in Him we live & move & have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are His offspring.'..."

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John

Just this week, one morning for various reasons, I read these three verses back to back to back.  Each time I picked up something I was led to another verse teaching my heart to be very careful about the words I speak.  *sigh* a lesson I seem destined to repeat...

Isaiah 58:13, Matthew 12:36,37, & James 1:26,27

Matthew 11:28-30
"Come to me all who are weary & burdened, & I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you & learn from Me, for I am gentle & humble in heart, & you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy & My burden is light."

Mark 9:14-29
About twelve years ago I was able to reconnect with a friend of mine, I was at one of my lowest points in terms of my walk with God.  God was definitely pulling my heart back to Him, the Word of God was exploding as I read it daily, but still I struggled.  My friend & I did a Bible Study that summer by Beth Moore called, 'Jesus, the One and Only'.  I was just like the dad in this story when I approached God in prayer...God, if You can...I will never forget what my friend encouraged me to pray when I struggled with doubt and unbelief,
Mark 9:24"Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, 'I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief!'

Luke 2
Love, love, love this chapter.  In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.

John 14
vs 1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, trust also in Me."

vs 6 Jesus answered, "I am the Way & the Truth & the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.  If you really knew Me, you would know My Father as well.  From now on, you do know Him & have seen Him."

vs 27 "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Running & Weight Loss

Going from watching every single thing I ate, weighing in daily, and constantly worrying about the next costume fitting to the freedom to eat whatever I wanted was like that first weekend away from home your freshmen year of college.  You are free from someone telling you what to do but not yet versed in the experience of real life consequences for the choices you make.

I went a little crazy.  And I gained a lot of weight with my third pregnancy.  It wasn't until my third child that I didn't put on leotards and tights anymore.  I didn't stand at a barre with mirrors surrounding me, I didn't have to face anyone or perform for anyone anymore.  I was happy as a clam in a clamshell...for a season.  M&M's, sure why not?  Venti drinks from Starbucks...ummm YES!  French fries, oh my word YES.  The problem wasn't that I wanted to eat these things, the problem wasn't even necessarily in the choices I made because in addition to the yummy choices, I also ate fruit and veggies...especially salads.  My problem was in lack of moderation, in self-control.

I began to notice that my clothes were tight, then I had to buy new clothes...then those got tight.  *sigh*. Anyone else been on this downward slide?  I was sooooo tired with three kids under five, home almost all of the time because the one thing my kids were good at sharing was germs, craved comfort foods...the excuses mounted almost quicker than the pounds.

Finally I was tired of feeling like cr*p about myself, tired of being ashamed of how I looked, tired of the extra pounds weighing me down.  For two years I worked at it, some seasons more aggressively than others.  Last summer I met my goal.  I lost almost forty pounds.  With my Lose It! App, my scale, weighing/measuring my food, and exercising regularly, the wight slowly came off, pound by pound.  I didn't reach my pre-pregnancy weight, nor my dancing weight...but I was now 37, not 22 anymore, I was good with the number the scale read.

Then last fall the holidays hit and I began to slide.  I didn't log my food everyday, treated myself a little more often (breads, scones, muffins, pies, cakes, and cookies are sooooooo delicious in the fall). Then I went home late winter/early spring for a week and ate home cooked deliciousness everyday for a week.  Everyday I clicked no thanks for logging my food.

What was at first three pounds in November became five in December and reached ten by May.

I was going to have to get serious again.

Each year that passes it gets easier to gain and harder to lose.  So I have been logging my food, making sure my portions are accurate, and walking again.  Finally it's starting to show.  I have lost
two pounds, have eight more to go.

I am using my couch potato to 10K app to train for a 5K this fall.  I was running a lot more a few years ago, but then I tore my ACL & since I didn't have the surgery I have had to be careful to build up the area around my knee.  But I was tired of using that as an excuse.  My ortho doc said I was fine to run as long as I don't do any pivot, or sudden change of directions.  My goals?  Run a 5K by my 39th birthday this fall, a 10K distance by Thansgiving, and a marathon by my 40th birthday.  And lose that ten pounds!!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, & Malachai

I have spent 68 days so far reading about a God who is jealous for the hearts of His followers, how can we pretend He would be so willing to let His law go and just have grace cover everything?  If He is a God who held His followers to a law that is no longer valid in our time, isn't that grossly unfair?  How in the world are we to know when we sin if there isn't a physical line to cross?  I need His Word to show me, teach me.  All of His Word, from Genesis to Revelations.  I cannot pretend to completely understand His laws, I haven't even kept all of them (forget the harder to comprehend ones of stoning someone, I am talking about the loving Him first, speaking truth at all times, keeping Shabbat, not coveting someone else's belongings...actually did that earlier today *cringe*...). I believe He offers forgiveness and a fresh start when we turn to Him away from our stumbling block.

I am just a mom, not a Bible scholar.  My knowledge is limited, but growing daily.

I believe the Word of God is true, from Genesis to Revelations.  I don't understand all of it, but I believe all of it.  I believe God spoke this world into existence, He sent His Son to carry our sin. I believe Jesus is the Messiah, but I also love the Torah.  I believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I believe in keeping Shabbat, and I believe the feasts are beautiful examples of  the Messiah.  I believe Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is imperative for me as a Mom.  I believe when we sin, and we will, that He expects us to own up to what we did.  See it for what it is, call it what it is.  I believe that God can and will do anything.  I believe God is good, all of the time.

Do I doubt?  Yes I do, but deeper than my doubt, lies my faith.

I write my blog as a journal of sorts so one day my kids can go back and see who I was, how I grew, and how God led us through each year.  Also as a way to stay in touch with my family who lives hundreds of miles away.  Please though, I am very limited in my understanding and knowledge
of the Word of God, please read it for yourself.  There is so much information floating around in our world today, so many voices clamoring for our attention, so many sides to every argument.  I would encourage you to seek God for yourself.  He is either a fantasy or the realist thing there is.

What I learned today in:
I want to pray 3:2

I can rejoice no matter what. 3:17-19

Seek God, seek righteousness, and seek humility.  2:3

Morning by morning God gives justice and He does not fail. 3:5

God is mighty to save.  He will quiet me with His love.  3:17

I need to give careful thought to my ways.  1:5&7, 2:18

Return to Him.  1:3

Chapter 3 He takes away my sin.

His Spirit trumps might and power.  4:6

Compared Isaiah 58 & Zechariah 7:1-10
Compassion, mercy, and justice.

Mourning for the One they pierced.  Zechariah 12:10

We are to guard ourselves in our spirit.  2:15&16

We are to remember His law.  4:4

*edited to fix a few of my awkward spots

Jonah, Micah, & Nahum

the panicked sailors went from each praying to his own god (1:5) to crying out to the LORD (1:14)

Jonah was banished from God's side, yet he was confident he would again look towards His holy temple (2:4)

Those that cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.  But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to You. What I have vowed I will make good.  Salvation comes from the LORD. (2:8)

I am amazed, awesomely amazed at the Ninevites reaction to Jonah's message. Chpt. 3

Jonah chpt. 4 is very hard for me.  Why did Jonah get so angry?  Is it because the Ninevites had been so mean to the Israelites that Jonah so desperately wanted to see them get what they deserved?  Do I do that? Get angry or frustrated when God extends mercy instead of punishment?  I am so sad the book ends with Jonah so angry.

Micah 6:6-8
With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with a calf a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD,
I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

7:18 & 19
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives transgression of the remnant of His inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
You will have compassion on us; You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Nahum 1:3
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished.

*edited to add, I typed this out on my iPad and autocorrect changed sight to side, Jonah spoke about being banished from God's sight, but now that I reached the end of my post it won't let me go back :( 

What I have learned

in Daniel:
You can have faith in God, amazing unshakable faith in God whether He rescues you or not.
Daniel 3:16-18

What true repentance looks like.
Daniel 9:13

Sometimes answers to prayers are delayed for reasons we aren't even aware of.
Daniel 10:12

in Hosea:
God's people can be destroyed from lack of knowledge.
Hosea 4:6

And a people without understanding will come to ruin.
Hosea 4:14

Even after God has punished you, you can and need to turn to Him for healing.
Hosea 6:1

Israel's tune was radically different regarding a King in Hosea 10:3 versus 1 Samuel 8.

How important sowing is, and the importance of not giving up.
Hosea 10:12

That you can be completely, stupidly blind (& I have been...many times)
Hosea 11:1-4

Waiting for God is a continual thing, an always that doesn't end.
Hosea 12:6

in Joel:
How to return to God.
Joel 2:13&13

That God is a refuge, a stronghold.
Joel 3:16

in Amos
who is God?
Amos 4:13

Seek Him and live.
Amos 5:4-6

Hate evil. Love good.
Amos 5:15

in Obadiah:
The pride of your heart can and will deceive you.
Obadiah vs. 3

The day of the LORD is near, for all nations
Obadiah vs. 15

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Simple Homeschool

I love the blog Simple Homeschool.  It's my go to resource almost daily for fresh ideas and encouragement.  This morning was no exception, I read this post this morning and remembered my frustration this past week after a quick trip into Wal-Mart.  One of my children has chronic medical struggles, some days these struggles are painfully obvious and people stare, other days she looks like a very healthy normal child and people stare trying to figure out why she needs a four wheeled walker to maneuver around.  The post I had brewing around in my head wasn't as gracious and informative as this mom's post, so I am glad I didn't write mine, but instead am happy to link to hers.  Not only have I been the mom on the receiving end of other kids avoiding mine, but we too have been the ones whose kids have stared & questioned, and I handled it less than graciously too...I was embarrassed and tried distracting them until we passed the situation.  Instead I should have used it as an opportunity to teach acceptance, love, and the blatant fact that every single human being is beautiful, carries the mark of beauty on them.  God created them, male and female, in His image.  No buts, what ifs, or exceptions.  Educating our children to accept those that are different is so incredibly important.