Wednesday, February 29, 2012

We have a plum tree!

It's our very first plum tree!  I am a little excited.  Can you tell?  A few weeks ago, we were at KT's parents' and his dad was telling us about the grape vines he ordered.  A light bulb went off.  We need to grow some fruit!  Fast forward to Sunday and we're eating lunch after church and the plum tree comes up.  I mayhavementionedagain how we want a plum tree.  Home Depot, conveniently located like ten seconds from the restaurant, has plum trees.  KT and his dad picked out a good one and we went home and planted it.  By we I mean KT.  I watched and took some pictures.  For the scrapbook.  I think the boys were excited to see our new tree, too.  I'm looking forward to having some plums next year!  They'll go well with the blueberries and the soon to be planted grapevines.  What do you think about kiwi next? :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Every Morning

I had an early morning yesterday.  Early as in I was on the road as the sun was rising.  It was a beautiful sunrise.  

Over the past few years, I've had a handful of those days.  With everything that's gone on in my life during the past years, those early morning drives have given me concentrated time with God to seek His will, healing, and direction.  They've given me clarity.  Yesterday was different.  Yesterday I took the time to thank Him.  

Thank Him for His many, many blessings.  
Thank Him for His healing.  
Thank Him for His guidance.  
Thank Him for His gifts.
Thank Him for His grace.
Thank Him for His deliverance.
Thank Him for His love.

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever! Psalm 136:1

 I've grown tremendously over the past few years.  I think I used to take a legalistic view of things, like "this isn't going to happen because I did this."  I see now how flawed that reasoning was.  The blessings God has given me are simply that: blessings.  I haven't gotten them because I've earned them, checked off boxes on a list of "do this to get this," or done things a certain way.  They've been given to me.  Freely.  Despite my sin.

It is so evident to me how God has worked out so many minor details, so many major things and brought me to where I am today.  Where I've always been meant to be.  There may have been some roadblocks.  There may be regrets.  There may be questions of "why did I do that?" or "what was I thinking?"  In the end, all those things working together brought me here.  The mistakes and wrong decisions all taught me and most of all, prepared me for the life He has planned for me.  It may not read the way I would have written it myself, but there's nothing sweeter than the way it is because it is His way.  

I'm far from perfect and He loves me.  Still.  Grace.

Seeing and experiencing God's blessings makes me realize how little I give to Him.  How little I do.  I know God doesn't require anything but my faith, love, and trust.  But is that enough?  For Him, that's all He's asking.  For me to have faith, love, and trust in Him.  But me?  I could do more.  I read my Bible.  We say our prayers.  We talk about Jesus in our family.  We go to church.  We thank God for our blessings and ask Him to continue blessing us.  But do I learn?  Do I devote time to God the way I devote time to running, reading blogs, and checking Facebook status updates throughout the day because I'm bored?  I don't.  

I want to be the best partner I can be for KT.  I want him to know how much he's loved, appreciated, and cared for.  I know there are things that show him I care and love him and it comes natural to be with him, put him first, and make decisions and talk through things with him.  I know we are true partners and a team, and I know I can always count on him.

I want to be the best Anna Belle I can be for K.C. and Kaden.  I want them to always know how much I love them and care for them.    Like with KT, I want them to always feel encouraged and supported by me and know that they can trust me.  

I want to take care of my sweet family.  I want to fill them with good, healthy food, have a house that's warm and inviting, and spend our days and nights laughing, learning, and loving each other.  I want to invest in them.

I want all of that because I love them.  I want them to feel my love.  And I want them to know that I'm here supporting them because I love them and believe in them.

But what about my love for God?

I love Him, trust Him, and have faith in Him.  But do I show Him that?

I read my Bible in a Year at some point during the day... most weekdays.  I start saying my prayers when I'm driving to work or falling asleep... most days.  I write my prayers down in detail... once or twice a week.  I go to church and worship.  I listen to Christian music most of the time I turn the radio on.  I read some verses on my phone or in my Bible... most days.  I think about God, think about reading my Bible, and think about praying every day.  

Do you notice the trend?  

Just like I want my family to know I love them every day through the things I say and do, I want God to see that love, too.  I want to start spending purposeful time in prayer and studying His Word every day.  I want to wake up thirty minutes earlier each week day and devote that quiet time to God.  I want to start my day off thanking and praying.  I want to cover my loved ones in prayer every day, not just most days.  I want to pray those specific prayer requests I have for my family, friends, and myself every day.  I want to have a verse on my heart every day.  

God has blessed me tremendously.  He's given me new life and eternal life.  I want to pour my love into Him every day, too.

This was on my heart today.  

My Favorite Kind of Weekend

(I'm late on posting this, so we'll call it: "My Favorite Kind of Weekend x 2!"

This weekend was great!  Not that every day and weekend isn't great already, but this weekend was one of those where I went "ahh... this is life."

Friday, the boys got to play with two of their cousins most of the night.  I wish I had some pictures of the kids playing together, but I don't.  K.C. and Kaden were so sweet with Baby Mia.  They shared their cars, trucks, and even liked to feed her.

On Saturday, Madeline and I ran the first Ebenezer Run for Missions.  It was a cold morning, but we had a great time.  I was so proud of Madeline for running her first run, ever!  She did great!  I was a little disappointed in my time though.  I was about two minutes slower than I usually am.  I know the overpass and this yucky cold that's lingering didn't help, but I really wanted to finish about two minutes faster than I did.  I finished second in my age group and eighth overall, so it wasn't bad at all, plus, it was for a great cause!  At church yesterday, it was announced that the run raised about $4,500 for the youth!

Saturday afternoon brought more fun of the the boys getting to play with their cousins.  K.C. and I made his Valentine's cards and treats for his class, too.  It was so cute watching him pick out the cards and the color slinky he wanted to give to each of his friends and having him help fix the bags.  Both of the boys are so giving!

On Saturday night, KT and I went to the Sweetheart Dinner at church.  It was great.  The food was good, especially the second salad I tried, and the drama Meredith wrote and some of the youth performed was great!  There was also a "game" with married couples from each Sunday School class.  They were asked to hold up the shoe of the spouse that fit the question being asked.  KT and I agreed that we probably would've gotten most of them right.  And we're not even married.  I'd say that's a good thing.  :)

We picked up the boys after church on Sunday and had a great week!  On Monday, the boys surprised me with a beautiful dozen of red roses!  I loved them!  We had our family Valentine's celebration Tuesday night.  I think the boys loved their gifts from us, and I loved my bought (!) card from KT, it really was all about us, and all of my DVD's.  I'd have to say it was the best Valentine's Day ever.

This past weekend, the weather was perfect.  We spent most of Saturday outside playing.  We played soccer, threw balls, and had races.  It was great!  Weekends are the best!