Friday, October 5, 2012

No, no, this is not a stock photo.  This is an actual pic my little sis took of her toddler's new reading nook.

Isn't it the coolest?!

I almost wish I had such a nook.

When interrogated as to how she built such a beautiful area, she said the shelves are simply spice racks from Ikea.  

What?!  Amazing.

Megin also humbly stated that she absolutely stole the idea from countless others on the Internet, but that it was easy-peasy.  Spray paint a few letters from your local big box store, and you're good to go!

We love reading in our family and do it every chance we get. 

I remember holding a squalling 12-pound, 3-week old Caleb years ago in the wee hours of the morning, bouncing him about and trying to read Curious George to him to soothe his tears.  Didn't work.  Maybe it was George, maybe it was me or the rhythm of the bounce; nevertheless, on he cried.

I kept at it.  We read and read all through his infancy and early childhood.  And now?  He reads all the day long, as do each of my children.  I love it.

Currently we are reading aloud, "Island of the Blue Dolphins".  We still make time in our days to read aloud all together and enjoy the rise and fall of our voices as we take turns with the pages.

This weekend, why not find a quiet space, your own cozy nook, and read a chapter or two of a good book?  

Enjoy today,

 P.S.  You are welcome here!  Thank you for stopping by for a visit.  Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment and sharing your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Abandon All Reason

A huge {minor} victory this morning!  

My husband and I have been running and cross-training for the past couple of months in order to keep our bodies in tip-top condition as we go about our service to the Lord.  This morning I finally hit 3.5 miles in an average pace under 10 minutes.  This is a big deal for a girl who used to hate running!

After finishing my run for today, I left the dripping humidity of the outside air and walked in the front door.  Setting my coffee mug on the table across from Josh, I smiled.  He stared long at me.  "What's your inspiration?"

Good question. 

I find inspiration in so many different things.  Here is a short list:

1.  God.  He created our bodies to work marvelously and fluidly.  As long as we are able, we should get the very best use out of them for His glory alone.

2.  My family.  As far as it depends on me and I am able, I want to be a blessing to them with abundant energy!

3.  10-year-old Wendy When I was 10 years old, I used to roam through the woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for hours on end, picking wildflowers and dreaming.  I don't want to let that little girl down by dreaming smaller dreams now that I am grown.

4.  My friend, Ben.  Ben is in a wheelchair and for two years now has surfed at the oceanfront with a group of  volunteers in place to assist him in conquering all fear and going for the gusto.  That he would trust God and his friends and get out there with full courage?  Amazing.  If Ben can do that; I can surely run around the block one more time.

5.  The sheer joy of it.  I listen to uplifting, masterfully played melodies while I exercise.  As the musician works their instrument to the best of their ability; I pace my footsteps to the rhythm, telling myself I am also an artist and this is my craft.

There are many, many more reasons why I run.  But these are the beginnings.  These are the ones that keep me lacing up my shoes just one more day. 

And how to get started if you want to exercise but just have no motivation?   

Abandon all reason. 

That's right.  I read a running article the other day that said the best way to start is to drop all of the excuses you can think of not to start:  not enough time, too tired, no workout clothes, no will, etc.  The fact is, we will always find a million reasons not to do something new or hard. 

Drop them.  Abandon all of those reasons, lace up your shoes and start. 

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."  ~Ecclesiates 9:10

Enjoy today,

 P.S.  You are welcome here!  Thank you for stopping by for a visit.  Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment and sharing your thoughts.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Progress in Preparation

Do you take the time to prepare?

Last night I cleaned out my coffeepot, ground some fresh beans and set all systems to go for this morning.  When I stumbled out of my bedroom at 5:30 this a.m., the only thing left to do was push "on".

Once the coffeepot was readied, I turned my attention to pouring my bread ingredients into my bread maker.  I ground the wheat berries in my grinder to produce a freshly ground whole wheat flour.  After about five minutes of effort, I awakened this morning to this completed loaf.
Paired with a bowl of steel cut oats topped with pecans, honey, banana slices, butter and milk, this hearty bread packed with protein and vitamins makes a great start to our day!

Why would I go to this trouble the night before, when it seems so much more appealing to just rest and then work it all out the next morning?

For this sacred space of time:
I've found that the more I prepare in advance for the things which must be done, the more smoothly a morning will run.  

There is nothing like waking up in the pre-dawn quiet hours to an open Bible and listening for the voice of God.  My spirit is stilled in His presence, and there is nothing else to distract from His words. 

After reading a chapter or so, I leave my Bible open on a counter, a table or another place where I can re-read the words again and again throughout the day.  I pray about a verse or two from the reading that the Lord placed upon my heart for that moment, and I may write it on our dining chalkboard as well. 

This evening, before going to bed at a decent hour, try doing a bit of prep work for the next morning.  

I like to think of my time with the Lord as I would a date with my husband.  I prepare my schedule by clearing it,  ready my heart and create a calm environment.  And then I listen as He speaks.  I wouldn't trade these times for anything.

Here is a nugget from 1 Corinthians 4:1 God showed me this morning in our time together:  "This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God."  

Enjoy today,

 P.S.  You are welcome here!  Thank you for stopping by for a visit.  Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment and sharing your thoughts.