how i’m doing daily devotions

July 30, 2014

Exactly one year before Liam was born, I posted this update on the state of my faith. In it I discussed how I floundered in my faith after Meredith was born and we lost our church, and how I eventually came back to a place of daily time with God and studying scripture.

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Since then, I have had another baby and changed jobs. My devotional time wasn’t always consistent before those two big events, but ever since maternity leave I have been diligent with it, mostly because I now have a lot more time in the mornings. I still wake up around 5am, but now I spend an hour in study and prayer instead of pressing the snooze button three times and then scrambling to get out the door by 6. I am incredibly grateful for this extra time.

I want to say that even though I’ve been doing regular quiet times again for the last couple of years, my heart hasn’t always been in it. Many times I would just read a brief devotion and not even really say a prayer. But I do think there was a benefit to the fact that I still took the time to do even that – because now the yearning is back. The deep desire to know God and to learn more about his Word. To dive deep into it.

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These periods of passion have a tendency to come and go in my life. When I’m in a dry spell I feel far away from God and I can hardly remember what it is like to be consumed by Him. But I try to stay faithful, because I know He is there. And He always brings me back, and makes Himself known to me again. This time, I want to stay here, in this place. I don’t want the passion to go away again.

I wanted to share what I’ve been doing for my Bible study sessions, because I am finding so much joy in them and learning an incredible amount. When I was deciding how to structure my time, I thought about what I wanted: something with guidance and structure. Something in-depth with a lot of digging. More focused on the learning and study, but should also have some practical application. I also wanted to do some analyzing on my own, and I needed a way to fit prayer in.

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So that’s why I decided to base my sessions around Beth Moore’s study guides. I have done six of them in the past and I’m currently working through my seventh, which is on the book of James. Even though they are written with a small group in mind and have weekly videos (which I don’t watch because they are too expensive to buy on my own), the daily homework is where the real meat is. So I start off by working through that day’s homework. I make notes in my Bible and read the footnotes and sometimes the cross references too.

Usually this alone is a great Bible study, but I wanted to push it a little further and think independently. I read somewhere about Elisabeth Eliot’s recommendation for Bible study, which is to read a passage and then answer these questions: 1) what does it tell you about God, 2) Jesus Christ, 3) the Holy Spirit, and 4) Christian love? 5) Are there any commands to obey, or 6) sins to confess? 7) What does it tell you about yourself? I’ve started writing down the answers to all of those questions.

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Finally, I’ve begun journaling my prayers as well. I’m keeping a list of pressing prayer needs and every day I am writing some of them out. It helps me to prioritize this and to really meditate on them.

It’s nice when I can complete my whole Bible study before the kids wake up, but they are early risers so that doesn’t usually happen. Sometimes Liam is with me the whole time – nursing or playing on the floor – and sometimes Meredith wakes up part way through. When that happens I bring her to sit on my lap or next to me and she knows that I have to finish my Bible study before we can go make breakfast. She is usually happy to wait and cuddle or go play with Liam. It’s more distracting with them there, but I do like that she gets to see me actively studying God’s word first thing in the morning and that she will know how important it is.

One more thing. This daily time with God is changing me. I am feeling called to act on my faith in a way that I never have before. I’m not sure what it’s going to look like, but something is going to happen. And, as it turns out, it is inspiring me creatively as well. Tomorrow I want to share with you the beginning of the art journal I finally started that is based on what I’m learning in my study.

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Posted in: faith

my favorite moments of every day

July 29, 2014

That first sip of coffee, when the whole house is dark except for the dim light in the reading room, and I settle into my chair and open my Bible. When Liam first wakes up and smiles over and over so wide that he can’t possibly look any happier to be alive, and I pick up his little body and marvel at the fact, once again, that he is here and he is mine. The first time I hug Meredith in the morning and and how she is so warm and cuddly and wanting nothing but to hold me. Seeing David again after we’re both home from work, and just being home. When I pick up the kids from daycare, and Meredith…
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Posted in: me

natural personal care products

July 28, 2014

This post has been in the works for literally years, starting with way back when I decided to switch all my personal care products to natural versions. It’s been a super long process because first I used up what I had, and then whenever I would try a new brand if I didn’t love it I would still use it up before trying something new. Finally I’ve come to a place that I’m pretty happy with, although I’m sure I will still try new things (and update as I go). So as I’m choosing products what I think about is: 1) Is it natural and safe? There are some brands that I trust (you’ll notice several) but I also use the Environmental…
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Posted in: health, me, things i love

link roundup / 7

July 25, 2014

Today I’m sharing some stuff I found around the internet. Enjoy! >On chasing achievement. >If you’re looking for something to do with your kids at home this summer, I highly recommend you check out Janssen’s “summer unplugged” series. Each week has a different theme including books, crafts, activities, and recipes. >I’m pretty excited about the new app Party Party from the girls at A Beautiful Mess and I downloaded it the day it was available. We don’t have a good photobooth in our area so I’m excited to try some fun projects with this! >White potatoes are now whole30 approved! (But not chips or fries.) I’m kinda mad they are just making this announcement when I did without them during…
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Posted in: links

whole30 afterthoughts

July 24, 2014

Today I’m going to share with you the results of my whole30 experiment, plus a bunch of other thoughts and things I learned along the way. I hope that this will encourage anyone who is thinking about it to consider giving it a try! And if you are planning your first whole30 and, like I was, are searching online for success stories and tips, I urge you to reach out to me and I will help as best I can! I want you to know up front that it was definitely not as scary or as hard as I expected it to be. Now for the rundown! What my life used to be like: So, I wasn’t a total mess. I…
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Posted in: health

project life 2014 : weeks 27 – 28

July 23, 2014

Today’s Project Life spread is from June 30 to July 13. I included an insert because I had too many photos, but here is the whole spread without it: And here it is with it. The front: The back: The insert was “summer” themed and I wrote a little about our Fourth of July. Back to the regular spread now. On the left hand side I wrote about curating my closet, Liam eating in the high chair, and Meredith potty training. I love the way this simple little card came out below. I originally had the entire 4×6 photo in there, but cutting it back to allow for some white space and journaling made a big difference. On the right…
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Posted in: crafty, project life

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