Friday, January 6, 2012

"Where there is no vision..."

"Feel within deep latent urges to get things done,
to be rising above this slough of unconscious mediocrity that seems to characterize my days.
Father, if these strong currents be flesh driven,
I pray thee staunch and slay them,
but if sublimated, channeled into courses which will do Thy service,
then intensify them,
mobilize them,
give them direction, 
for I long--Thou knowest how earnestly--
that the bride of Thine own dear Son be made perfect and entire in my day.
Yea, Lord, if it cost me my bride in this life,
let me have They grace and power to bring to the Lamb the reward of His sufferings."

~~ 21 year old Jim Elliot
December 22, 1948
7 years before his slaughter on the mission field at the hand of the savages he committed to sharing the gospel with

This has been a wonderful first week of this new year!!
I was looking back at our first week of last year and was reminded that we were in the midst of a horrible stomach virus.
I'm oh, so grateful, to not be dealing with that!
You can read about it here.
We are still on Winter Break.....yep, no school.
Can I just say that I think that has been the smartest decision I've made concerning our homeschooling to date.
THREE weeks of winter school.
There is usually no way that I am ready to jump back in to being strangled by the clock and all the things that have to be done everyday just to stay on track on the Monday after 2 weeks of reveling and celebration and the weekend with church and Christmas and New Year's Day!!!
We have enjoyed leisurely putting away the Christmas tree and the lights,
and getting the laundry caught up, and some cleaning done.
My husband and I have updated our yearly budget this week and have a plan!!
I climbed under both sets of bunkbeds in my girls' room and hauled out unbelievable things!!
I sat down with two of my children and we talked through some goals for projects we want to complete this spring toward earning some badges in our Master Club program at church on Wednesday nights. 
I've tried a couple new plant-based recipes from a folder of ideas I put together when looking through magazines, pulling out what I would actually use and tossing the magazine after it had been pilfered.
I've filled in our new calendar with all the appointments and special dates we need to remember.
I've pulled off all the Christmas pictures from last year {2010} that are on my frig., and put up all the fresh, new pictures from this past Christmas{2011}.
I've had time to knead through some ideas for a better system of making my weekly grocery lists, and maybe a daily to-do list to give me more focus during my days.

But most importantly,
I've been thinking about some goals for this year.
And a plan to make those goals a reality.

First, I did eventually finish memorizing the entire book of Philippians in 2011.
I loved doing that and it was fairly easy to work on during my hour long walks listening to the scriptures on my smart phone.
I'm pondering which book to work on this year.
It may take me longer than a year.
Maybe Galatians, maybe Ruth....or ESTHER!
For more on the critical need for scripture memorization in our here.
I've also been thinking about naming this year.
To give it more clarity and focus for what I want to study and live out more authentically.
Last year, 2011, was "The Year of Grace."
I may need to do that one over some time.
But because of this marvelous freedom we have in Christ, because of His great love and mercy and forgiveness, upon our salvation, our accepting His free gift.....
it naturally causes me to want to draw nearer to worship.....adore.
I want to know more about what true, authentic worship means.
Is all worship offered with sincerity and reverence acceptable to Him?
I want to explore how my own worship may be falling short or if it is quite anemic.
What more can I offer Him?
These are things I want to focus on studying and listening for.
So I'm naming 2012 my "Year of Worship."
For more on this idea, see here and here.

On a health note, by God's grace alone, I've been able to maintain the weight loss I reached in 2010.  
My goal at the beginning of last year was to get to the bottom of some hitches I was having with my thyroid levels.
Thankfully, I found a tremendous amount of relief from adding natural progesterone cream, completely ditching all my hygiene products that I learned are full of harmful chemicals and xenoestrogens, and my husband and I have determined to journey to a more plant-based diet.
We've gone dairy-free, and virtually left animal products behind.
It hasn't been easy with the children and we're still not perfect in our nutrition,
but we're progressing.
Moving forward in the journey to better health.
As a result, my endocrinologist lowered my dose of levothyroxine at my last visit.
I've had to be off all my allergy meds for the last month, and so far no infections and not a whole lot of itching/sneezing/congestion.
At least I can get by with minimal amounts of over-the-counter allergy meds.
We are saving to purchase a juicer, which we found to be very beneficial to us this last fall when my husband borrowed a Breville and lost 25 pounds in 15 days of strict juicing.
I even lost 7 more pounds in the 5 days I joined him!!!

Lots of things on the bucket list this year, and I'm very excited.
Excited to see what the Lord has in store for us, and to offer thanks for it all!!

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