Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How in the World is it August 19th?!

I blinked and somehow half of August blew past me. Anyone else feeling that way?

It's been a whirlwind of a summer over in our neck of the woods, although I bet yours feels pretty similar. Family visits, job changes, youth group trips - the list goes on but I think the passing of summer says it best. And perhaps the picture above where one plant looks beat to a pulp and the other is thriving - both the result of summer, yes? Possibly also my green thumb (or lack thereof).

This summer has been a rollercoaster of victorious, celebratory moments and also moments of fierce doubt and worry. After cruising along through June and July, God has been grabbing our attention. He's been showing me again and again that he is King over my life - when in fact I thought I was in charge. He's been reminding me that even when I'm unsure of my footing, he is the Shepherd who won't lead me astray or leave me out to dry.

He's been picking us up by our feet to shake off the dust we didn't realize had slyly settled from the comfort of our selfishness. He's started to teach us the meaning of leaning into him because there's no other Rock that can stand still through it all.

I'm still recovering from the stark realization that my life is not about me because I hadn't seen myself fall into that place of deception. It happened slowly with the temptation of complacency. But now that he's got my attention, there's no turning back.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. - Romans 12:1-2

Presenting my body to God as a living sacrifice means all of it - mind, body, spirit, will, hopes, dreams, accomplishments, etc. There is no part of me that can be left aside from this living sacrifice. Lord, make me look more like you. More of you and less of me. More of you and less of me.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Food + Money + All Things You Secretly Feel Bad About

It's 6pm on a Wednesday. This time last spring, we'd be hurriedly eating dinner after working long days and rushing off to our adult small group. I'd feel frazzled and pulled in a million directions - busy and tired from working two jobs and filling my free time with great things: music and people.

But, alas, it's 6pm on a Wednesday in the summer. It's hot inside, but too hot outside and not breezy enough to open the windows, so I'm sitting at the computer sweating in shorts and a tee shirt. Poor Jacob is hiding upstairs in our bedroom - the one room in which we can enjoy the AC, thanks to the window unit we broke down and purchased at the end of last summer. We've worked long days, prepped food for dinner and have nowhere to rush off to next, so we're enjoying the quiet opportunity to rest.

Jacob and I are trying to discipline ourselves with our money in this season. It seems as if we say this every month, but about halfway through the month we realize we've changed nothing about the ways we handle our money.

We're seriously grateful to have two jobs that provide for us comfortably. We are never without what we need - food, shelter, water, clothes - nor without what we think we need, but don't need at all - AC, food that tastes delicious and meets our cravings, entertainment, trinkets that we forget we even bought, more clothes to add to overflowing closets, etc. But somehow we always feel the need for more. I want more decorations for our home. More books. More clothes I feel good about myself wearing. More food. More food that is prepared for us instead of made at home. More video games. More plants (WHAT is with this plant craze?! I've totally fallen right in.) More of anything and everything. More.

So tonight we're eating at home - a meal I actually planned (gasp) and requires actual preparation (I marinated the meat this morning). It's a little fancy (ahem, steak kabobs and veggies), so I think it cost about $12 for us both to eat. I'm going to go watch Jacob cook it all on the grill while the rice cooks itself on the stove and pat myself on the back because we didn't eat out at Not Your Average Joe's tonight instead.

Happy summer,