Monday, October 11

Can you keep up with me?

So, I've been over at Shutterfly with their new share sites for the past couple of months.  I've really enjoyed it, but was finding that some things I really did like better over here.  Plus, after I went ahead and set up the whole site, I realized that I can directly and easily link albums straight from Shutterfly to Blogger (here!).  Yeah, I'm slow, sometimes.  So, I'm going to try and double post for a little bit (I think) and figure out what exactly to do over the next couple of weeks.  Please bear with me (the two people that even read this!) during this time...

I've really been getting excited about a couple of my favorite blogs lately.

One of them is MoneySavingMom.  Crystal runs this great frugal website with tips from everything from couponing, to great bargains online or at stores and even financial planning tips.  I really enjoy her Christian perspective on things.  I can't believe it but I think I've been reading her posts for the last year now.  I've learned a lot of great tips from her and have gotten some amazing deals due to her posts.

Another of my favorite blogs is Women Living Well.  This is a new blog that I've been following only the last month or so, but I LOVE it.  The women who writes on this blog is Courtney and she is a very encouraging and real mom, wife, and lover of Jesus.  One of the cool things that came out of reading her blog is a techno-accountability group called "Good Morning, Girls!"  This was so exciting to me because I have always struggled with the consistent discipline of having devotions.  So, I ask two of my bestest buds if they would like to join me on this adventure, and they agreed.  We're on the start of the 3rd week today!  So awesome!!!!

On that note, I'm linking up with WomenLivingWell for her Making Your Home a Haven Challenge.  She really started this last week, but I figured I'd still jump in on the second week.  The first week's challenge was to light a candle reminding me to say a prayer of peace in my home when I saw it.  The second challenge, for this week, is to play soft music everyday and focus on using peaceful words and maintaining peaceful relationships.  Now, to be honest, these are things that I should be doing everyday anyway.  Plus, hello!, two of my favorite things - candles and music!  :)  So, I'm excited for these reminders.  Because, to be honest, most of the time I'm not focused on keeping a peaceful house.  I'm more in a haze and do-whatever-I-can-do-at-the-moment phase.  I really want to change that though.  Isaiah 26: 3,4 says, "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord is the Rock eternal."  I don't know about you, but I want to have the Lord for my foundation in this shaky world!"


Friday, July 2

Endurance is the Key!

I learned this past weekend that my training has been instrumental in giving me added endurance.

Some of the Behe family went camping from Friday to Sunday at French Creek State Park. It is a lovely park with over 35 miles of hiking trails, an amazing swimming pool, playgrounds, campsites and a huge lake for boating and fishing. We had a great time enjoying the lovely outdoors that God has created!

On Saturday, I asked Josh and his brother, Jeremy, if they would like to go hiking with me so that I could get my training walk of 4 miles in. They were both up for it, so they picked a moderate trail that was 3.6 miles long. We picked up the trail about a half mile away, which upped the mileage to 4.6 miles.

As we followed the somewhat sparse markings on the trees that were supposed to guide us, we enjoyed the mix of easy and challenging sections of the trail. However, at a certain point we realized that something must have gone wrong. None of us had a watch on, but we were convinced that we should have been close to the end for a while...but, it just kept going and going! Although we were having fun laughing about it and making plenty of jokes, we all admitted later that we were not certain how or when we would find the end of the trail.

Finally, when we came to our familiar turnoff, we were all relieved. And very hungry! What we thought would take about an hour and a half, had taken 3 hours or more! I'm still not sure what happened. Josh seemed to figure it out since he predicted the location of the turnoff. We estimated that we ended up hiking around 7 miles or so.

I have to say that I was proud of myself on that hike. I know it wasn't an overly amazing achievement. It wasn't even close to the 60 miles I will walk in October. But, I did the hike. And, I wasn't even exhausted! Yes, tired. And yes, in need of some more water and definitely some food afterwards. But overall, I didn't feel any more worse for the wear after a 7+ mile hike. This assured me that my training over the past 7 weeks has been well worth the effort.

I was so pumped after that hike that I couldn't wait to get out the next day for another hike. Although I was disappointed that Josh would not take another hike with me, I can't say I was not surprised! And even after being proud of myself the day before, I wasn't about to get too cocky and get lost in the woods by myself for who knows how long! So, I opted for some extra time in the pool and look forward to more endurance training this week.

Friday, May 21

Giving it up

I started cleaning a lot of junk out of my closets last night. It's amazing how many things can get accumulated over time! All I had time to declutter were two baskets and it was amazing how much trash I piled up and even a small pile for donations. But probably more suprising were the small nuggets of treasures that I found. When I was eighteen I got my ears pierced for the first time. Last night I found the original very, very small diamond studs that did the job. And here I thought they were lost forever! I used to wear them almost everyday because they went with absolutely everything, of course. Plus, the more I tried different earrings, I realized my ears were finicky and needed quality or I would suffer with earlobe infections. Yuck! I can't believe how excited I am to wear them again! And speaking of quality, I also managed to find a couple of pieces of gold jewelry of mine and even my husband's. You know, those gold bands so many of us wore back in middle school and high school that we used to think made us look so cool? Yeah, you know. My husband's were the thick, bulky ones that rappers might still like nowadays, but that's about all. But hey, turns out those silly things might make us some money (albeit small, but money nonetheless). Turns out gold is pretty expensive these days or so the hubby tells me. It's worth looking into.

I have to say, though, as rewarding as last night was, it's still a daunting task to continue clearing out all my clutter. And I've only barely started with my closet so far! Maybe it's only me, but what makes us hold onto all those dear, precious possessions that eventually over time will only get discarded or misplaced? Or pushed back into the darkest corners of our closets never again to see the light? I have so many piles of things I've saved for scrapbooking over the years, that if I ever would get to making them, there's no way I'll remember what half of the stuff is even for by now.

After all of that work in the bedroom closet, it seemed only fitting that God seemed to wake me up early this morning for some decluttering in the dark recesses of the closet of my mind, as well. Only, I was less than thrilled with the prospect. I tried hard to fall back asleep. Why does that never work when one wants it to? At least with stuff you can make the keep, trash, and give away piles and be done. It doesn't work so easy with one's thoughts. We don't have one of those handy-dandy trash buttons that we can click, drag and drop all of our past hurts, feelings and insecurities into. Wouldn't that be nice?

Or do we?

This morning I trudged through things I haven't thought of for fifteen years or more. Like last night, I could almost physically feel myself pulling out one corner basket of experiences. Some things I haven't even admitted to anyone before. Feelings of shame and failure were flooding over me. I was drowning, and nothing in my power could rescue me. One basket, but it was heavy. Too heavy. Heavier than I could handle. I felt myself getting so overwhelmed as things gushed over and out into my memory and I wasn't sure what I could do next. Until I heard it. "Give it to Me." Sweetly and oh, so gently the Lord nudged my heart. "Yes, it's mine to bear. I can handle it." Willingly, and without complaint or fear, He let me lay my load on His shoulders.

That's when I realized. There are really only two choices. Keep or give away. God has given us the option to give everything over to Him. I Peter 5:7, "Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you." (NIV) He actually wants to take the burden for us. We're the ones that so desperately cling to things thinking that, like my scrapbooking, we may need it or deal with it sometime later. God knows what we need and don't need. Why not let him make the choice instead of us?

So, it may not seem like we have a convenient little trash button that we can just empty at will. But, in reality, we have something way better and much more powerful! God is more than willing to take our troubles and fears. Yes, He's up for the "challenge." We are the ones that fight and scream through the process, trying to hang on to whatever it is we're battling with. But, if we really want to, God is always there patiently waiting for us to hand it over to Him.

His words ring true in my heart -

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christs' power may rest on me." II Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

Psalm 55:22 "Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken." (NASB)

Psalm 37:24 "Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with His hand." (KJV)

Now, I know Josh is just wishing that I would give all of my "junk" in the closet (and everywhere else for that matter) over to him as well! :) Sorry, love, not this time!