Monday, November 30, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

I ate my wieght in chocolate pie. I think I have eaten a bottle of Tums since Thursday. I feel tired and my jeans are tight. Ugh! The holidays are here and it starts already. I think I heard the average person gains 1-2 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years. I gained mine already:)

So what's the solution? Not eat all the good food? Count calories at Christmas gatherings and be grumpy? I don't think that would work for me. I do know I have a few weeks before my next holiday gathering. I do know that I can be careful with the leftovers. I also know I can find ways to get in more exercise by just being aware of how much I move during the day.

So today I am choosing to get back to a little better diet. One that doesn't involve chocolate pie and whipcream. Move more and eat less and I will be feeling better in no time. I make this much more complicated than I need to. It doesn't need to be my focus because beleive me I have much more important things to concentrate on this holiday season. I don't need a crash diet I just need to make small choices each day that will make a big difference in the end.

I also need to be careful with what I eat because I have been fighting a cold and I know my diet has a huge effect on my immune system.

Today when I go Christmas shopping and I see Starbucks I won't pass by and then be grumpy about it but I will order a tall instead of a grande and it will be non-fat no whip!

Have a blessed day!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thankful

As I sit here typing this my heart and belly are very full:) As crazy as my family can be there is nothing like spending the holidays together. We arrived in the mountains yesterday afternoon and the meal was well on its way. We spent the afternoon eating and watching football.

My dear husband got up at 2 AM and took Cayla, Catey, and my nephew Tyler "shopping". He is a man like no other and I am so thankful that 18 years ago I married him. A man I hardly knew. A man I fought like crazy with. A man that God had awesome plans for. He redeemed us and all our mistakes. I don't know how Greg did it but he stayed by my side all those years. He is sleeping now. Exhausted from his late night shopping and I am ever so thankful that he is mine.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I know life can be really hard and sometimes holidays can make that weight heavier instead of lighter. I didn't spend this holiday with my two daughters. I think they spent it with their biological mom. I guess I am just trying to say that this life is not perfect and is full of many difiicult things but we just need to hang on. Jesus knows our pain. We just need to trust and praise Him in spite of what we feel and turn our pain into an offering poured out at His feet. Today I am counting my blessings and trusting God with the rest.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas Ideas

Thought I would share a few Christmas ideas:

1. I read aloud several books each year. Our favorites are "The Bird's Christmas Carol" and "Jotham's Journey". At the recommendation of a good friend at Let's Make A Difference I just bought "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever".

2. We always pick a family or two and we do secret santa. I pick ideas and do the 12 days of Christmas and for 12 days leading up to Christmas we secretly drop a gift, ring the door bell, and RUN! My kids love it!

3. Christmas Eve we play a game called "To Bethlehem". My older kids roll their eyes and complain and the little ones love it:)

4. We read the Christmas story out of Luke on Christmas morning.

5. Some years we make a Jesse Tree Ornaments and give them to people explaining what they mean. Just google Jesse Tree Ornaments for ideas.

6. In years past we have served meals at Water Street and Bethesda Mission. This year I want to be more intentional and spend some more time looking for places to serve.

7. We always put to together Operation Christmas Child boxes.

Well they are a few of our ideas. I would love to hear from you! Share some of your families traditions for the holidays!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Make a Choice Monday

Good Monday afternoon everyone! I don't know about you but I am starting to get excited about the holidays. With Thanksgiving this week I have been reminded all day long of all the things I have to be thankful for.

Remember a few weeks ago my post about Pray, Plan, Prioritize, and Put into action???? Well today we are going to do the same thing in regard to the holidays. In previous years I would become so overwhelmed because of lack of planning that I wouldn't even enjoy the holidays. I have learned in recent years what my strengths and what my weaknesses are and I have learned to evaluate what is really important.

So today we are going to choose to evaluate and pray this week about what we NEED to do before Christmas and write it down. After that we will make a list of what we would like to do. Then we can get out our calendar and see what goals are realistic and what do we need to let go of so that we have the most peaceful Christmas season.

I used to beat myself up because I am not a very good "cook". I have learned to let that go and instead of being upset that I can't bake 33 different kinds of Christmas cookies I enjoy baking 3 kinds with my kids (and the sugar ones are pre-made dough!)

When we remind ourself of what is really important and realize it really has nothing to do with the most beautifully decorated tree or the biggest spread of cookies we are freed up to enjoy this special time of year.

Tuesday or Wednesday I will share with you some of our family's traditions and also a few "new" things I would like to make time for this year! I will also share my plan to get it all done!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tempted To Give Up!

Do you ever just feel tempted to give up? I do. All the time. I am actually embarrassed to even type that. Something will happen and I will start feeling bad and start complaining and it's like a spark that sets a whole forest on fire.

*The scale doesn't budge even though I eat yogurt and fiber cereal for breakfast instead on Fruity Pebbles.

*The child doesn't change even though I have prayed everyday for a breakthrough.

*There are two loads of laundry sitting here even though I have done at least 8 loads in the last two days. I swear just like the stuffed animals in my house it multiplies in the hamper.

*There's not enough money for the new kitchen table I want.

*Christmas is coming and I need to bake cookies, decorate, and buy gifts for several people who already have everything so I need to be creative. And I have to do this all while being cheery!

Ugh! Do you see where this thought process goes??? Right in the toilet. One bad thought leads to another and then before you know it I am sad, overwhelmed, and ready to give up! But you know what also usually happens right at that time??? I read a devotional about 37 days of kindness and putting others before ourselves. I watch a video by Jennifer Rothschild about being grateful. After that I read yet another e-mail devotion and this is the verse:

James 1:2-3 "Whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow" (NLT).

Don't you just love God! He is so patient. He gently takes my hand and reminds me(several times - He knows how "slow" I am) that I have a chance to grow and I need to change my heart of grumbling to an attitude of praise, gratefulness, and kindness towards others. When I do that all of those other things that consumed my thoughts fade into the background and don't seem to matter much anymore.

I am not sure how you are feeling today but DON"T BE TEMPTED TO GIVE UP! That is exactly what Satan wants us to do. He wants to convince us that God really isn't good after all. He is. He has a plan. Hang on and trust Him!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Make A Choice Monday

First I want to say congrats to Cherise. Through "Random Number Generator" she won Lisa TerKeurst's book. I will mail it this week:)

Today's choice is another tough one. Today we are going to choose to let go and let God. I found myself getting caught up in something this weekend that I don't need to be a part of. It was a debate on something. A gray area in scripture. It's hard because my human nature wants to be right. There are some things I don't believe we will have the privilege of knowing until we meet Him some day and then it probably won't even matter.

Being willing to hand things over and let God do His work is far more important than being right in a situation. He is coming back for a unified body of believers. I have been thinking a lot about evangelism lately and the sad fact that many people view Christians as hypocrites. We get so caught up in being right and proving that we are right that we miss opportunities to witness to others who don't know Christ. They see us in disagreement and wonder why they would ever want what we have.

This doesn't mean that there aren't some things that we have to stand firm on like the Trinity or Jesus dying on the cross but there are things that we can just choose to agree to disagree and become more interested in how we can build His kingdom.

His word says in Matthew 9:35-38:

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Today let's be more concerned about the harvest field and the work God wants us to do than being right about something that won't matter for eternity.

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hey Girls....

Don't forget to leave a comment on Monday's post for a chance to win Lysa TerKeurst's book!

I am sitting here after just rewatching my Bible study video from Tuesday. It was so good I had to download it. God has used it in a powerful way. Not only did I get an answer about that thing I had been waiting on it encouraged me to keep waiting on something else. It was all about moving past our devastation with God. I know that is a hard thing to do. You know when God doesn't do what we think He should do. Satan can really use that. He has used it in my life and it steals my joy and brings bitterness.

I have had some devastations. Some things I just can't figure out. They are the very thing that always brings me to a crossroad. I feel like I get to a point where I drop to my knees in uncontrollable sobbing (I was there just this morning)and I feel like I am either going to walk away from everything I believe and be bitter or I am going to trust and go deeper with God. I wrestle it out with Him every time but every time I come to the same conclusion. Please hear me when I say this.... The situation has not changed yet but I decide I am going with God every time and He gives me a strength and a hope that DOES NOT dissapoint.

I don't know who is reading this or where you are at right now. Maybe you are still wrestling the thing out. Maybe you have given up. But right now that can all change. You can choose to go with God on it even though you don't undersatnd it. It will be hard. You will be tempted to give up. You might spend a lot of time on your face in tears but at the end of the day, in the dark of night, when it is just you and Him you will have hope. Seek Him. Seek His face and He WILL be found!

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. ~Psalm 9:9-10

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. ~Psalm 18:16-19


I am praying for all of you tonight. Have a blessed night!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Make A Choice Monday

I was all excited because I wanted to surprise you all today with a "video" Make A Choice Monday. I got it all ready this afternoon and it WOULD NOT upload. I was so sad. I worked on it as long as I could but then I had to leave and speak to a MOPS group in Temple, PA. I had a great time and then I came home and got right back to this video. It finally worked. Sorry it wasn't up sooner. I had a lot to learn about "waiting"!

*I noticed that Beth Moore also has a video on her blog today. We must be thinking alike:) Although I am sure she did not have the technical difficulties that I have had today! Hope you enjoy and don't forget to leave a comment to win the book!

Don't you just love the face:)

Untitled from Denise Grove on Vimeo.



Friday, November 6, 2009

Update....

Ok, so I never did get a chance to update you this week. Sorry. I always do have good intentions and the blog world is never really too far from my mind, but.....

Anyway, my grandma is still in the hospital. It wasn't pneumonia but it was something bronchial and since she was sick for a few weeks it took all week for her to begin to get her strength back. Today she was being very outspoken so I feel confident she will be released this weekend and back to her old tricks in no time. Since it has been so long since I posted I thought I would just let you know a few things that I have been up to lately and what I have been into. So here goes:

Where I've been lately(besides the hospital)...

Tuesday morning I spent the morning at LCBC's MOPS group. I had a great time. They were very gracious considering I didn't feel as prepared as I would have liked to have been. Wednesday I had lunch with some of the ladies from the Eastern District team as we prepared for the spring trainings. I had pumpkin soup for the first time and it was great! Cayla and I are going to the Revolve Tour tomorrow. This Monday evening I am in Temple, PA with another MOPS group.

Current Bible Study...

"Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed A Study Of David"

Books I Am Reading....

"Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl" by Lysa Terkeurst

"The Knowledge Of The Holy" by A.W. Tozer

I was just given "Organic Outreach For Ordinary People" by Kevin Harney and I can't wait to crack it open. Oh, and of course I am reading the Zits calendar that Chris got me last year for Christmas. He was so glad to see someone had documented our life although I feel like I am constantly somewhere between Zits and Family Circus!

Drink I Am Into.....

Starbucks Peppermint Mocha of course!

Latest Addition To My Wardrobe....

Just got this sweater and these jeans from White House Black Market!

Beauty Stuff:)....

I know you already heard about my makeup find but I am still in love with my mineral makeup! I also have been wearing Light Blue perfume and I love it!

What I am Struggling With.....

Hypocrisy. I would have made a great Pharisee. I should be in the 12 step program for hypocrites. I expect perfection from others around me yet I am not perfect. I preach to my kids about speaking kind words and then as I am making lunch(after church of course) I become impatient and say something I shouldn't.

I am also struggling with a big decision that would greatly affect my family. Greg is in the mountains with the 3 little ones until Monday night and we are both committing to pray until then and make a decision.

New Memory Verse....

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:21 NIV

And finally, Music I Have Been Listening To....

I just bought Taylor Swift's two c.d.'s. Yes, much to my husbands dismay I do still occasionally buy c.d.'s. He doesn't understand why I don't just buy what I want on I-tunes. He tells this to a woman who still has a Sony Walkman. The first time my kids saw it they had no idea what it was. So sad. So, so sad. She has a song I will link below called "The Best Day". I have listened to it a million times and cry every time.

I also just recently bought a c.d. from 1000 Generations. I am absolutely in love with one of their songs(see below) and if I haven't put you to sleep with this update it would be well worth the listen.





Well, I am glad I had a chance to let you know what I have been up to. I have something fun in the works for Monday. I won't tell you in case it doesn't work out but I am hoping to do something different for Make A Choice Monday. So come back then! Have a blessed night!

Monday, November 2, 2009

No Make A Choice Monday Today!!!

Just wanted to ask you all to pray for my 91 year old grandma. She has been sick for weeks and today we ended up at the hospital. After her family Doctor telling us it was not pneumonia we got here and she was sent immediately for a chest x-ray because they think it is. I will update when I can and will run my devotion for today later in the week.

Have a blessed night!