100-day Challenge

I'm starting some "resolutions" now in February. It's not too late, is it...? And to kick start, I'm journaling about 2 different 100-day challenges I'm doing. 

1.  THM 100-day challenge. I've eaten THM (Trim Healthy Mama) for awhile now but I got really off track (aka: lazy) last summer when I was commuting back and forth to HSC every other day and eating on the road. Not my finest time of self-care. I had other things on my mind. Anyway....I do know how great I feel on THM so I have great expectations from this 100-day challenge. The basics are: on-plan eating for 100 days; exercise (I'm doing what I can here); and setting a few other smaller goals for yourself. Goals are set....I even have an accountability partner....and she's seen my "before" pictures (never to be posted online under threat of death). 

2.  I'm also doing a 100-day challenge from Hilsongs. I'm not actually sure when the plan first ran so I've kinda adopted it to fit my own schedule and it seemed good to run these together. Basically the plan is to read a chapter of the Gospels each day (there's 89, so there are 11 grace days built in) and to do something creative each day. I have no shortage of creative things I WANT to do....the problem for me is putting them off (cards, Project Life, etc.) and never reaping the soul-resting consequences of being creative....or  not seeing the creative in some of the more mundane things I do have time to do (cooking, enjoying movies, walking through the art department at school, etc.)

So....that's my Februrary 1 - May 10 plan. 100 days of eating well, staying in The Word, and hopefully finding a snippet of time to be creative again. 

Mountain #1

The beginning of this journey, I think, is in dreaming big. Asking for big things. Trusting that there is nothing too big for God even when these things seem like mountains to me. Here's mountain #1. My kids. Every parent feels like they're failing at times in sure. Some of us more than others. And legitimately some of our kids face more obstacles than others. But I am trusting for my children to be God's. Not in word only. They've all made decisions for Christ in their lives. Early on. With childlike faith. But I'm trusting for more. Big faith. Big hearts. Big testimonies. Big mountains moved in their lives so that they will all willingly call themselves 'The Lord's.'

Isaiah 44:3-5

"For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. 
They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams. 
One will say, 'I belong to the Lord'; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, 'The Lord's,' and will take the name Israel. 

One Word: TRUST

I haven't ever really done the one-word thing before. Choosing, or allowing God to choose, one single word to be my focus for the year. I've had words that have been my focus in the past: safety, peace (lots of times), simplify, etc. But to actually sit, early in January, and ask God for a word....? I haven't really done that before. 
This year I think my word is TRUST. 
It's not a word I think I would have chosen on my own. I have a faith gift. And trusting is not something I generally struggle with. I trust God. I believe that if he says He'll do something, He'll do it. 

But I think maybe God is asking me this year to ask Him for bigger things; to actually write down and pray for things so big that ONLY He could possibly give them; to put aside the fear of "it could never happen/I don't deserve it/it's impossible" and ask. And trust. Trust that He's got it. Trust that He can do it. Trust for bigger and bigger things. 

The first verse he impressed on me this year. On January 1st, actually, was this one: 

He knows how to give good (and big) gifts. He wants to bless. 

So I've started my list. My list of big things. Things so big that when He shows up, there will be no doubt that it was Him. 
And I'm going to trust. 

A new year....a new song

A new year, a new song.

Time for resolutions? I guess.  There are always  things I'd like to improve on and do better.  I don't know if I'd say they're resolutions.  Last year one of my best accomplishments was, for the first time in my almost 40 years as a Christian, reading through the Bible from cover to cover.  I'm amazed at how it all flowed and fit together into this beautiful story.  I've known the parts and I've read it all before....but never in order and with purpose like that.  I'm really thinking about doing it again this year.  My early morning coffee/reading times before anyone else was up were some of my favourite times this year!  We'll see.  And of course I'd like to eat better and exercise more....or exercise at all.  Aren't those the standard resolutions we make?  It's a journey, people.  

But here's my real resolution....
To let go.  To trust.  To keep my eyes on Jesus.  
   Even in the storms to remember that....  
  He's there.  He's in control.  He's got this.

You know how you have that one song that you play over and over and over on your playlists? It won't leave your head; it gets you choked up every time; it encapsulates what you feel.  This is my song right now.  I hope that it will be my song all year long. 

The whole concept of "letting go" has been a theme for me for about 5 years now....letting go of what I'd thought I'd be; letting go of what my own (small) dreams had been; letting go of what I thought I needed to be ok....and just letting God catch me; teach me; show me what his dreams for me are.  I love the bridge, "Let go, my soul, and trust in Him.  The waves and wind still know His name." 
 Of course they do.  He is LORD.  The waves and wind obey Him. 
 I can trust that He can handle the storms in my life too. 

And,  I get chills sometimes singing the line "This mountain that's in front of me will be thrown into the midst of the sea" because I KNOW He's moved mountains for me in 2015 and I'm excited to see what He will do in the new year.  There are still a few more mountains I'd like to see removed from my life and I know He can do it.  

Bethel Music - It is Well

Artist: Bethel Music
Album: You Make Me Brave
Verse 1
Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Verse 2

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see
And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul

Anthropologie has these amazing books cut into monogram letters.  
One of my best friends sent me the original Anthropologie picture and asked me if I could make her something like these.   I couldn't really back down from a challenge like that, could I?


So cool and so feeding my love of recycling/upcycling and vintage and power tools - they really tick all my boxes :)  Buuuuttttt, they're almost $30 each.  Seriously?  Can't justify that.  Not when I can pick up these awesome vintage Reader's Digest Condensed books from local thrift stores.  And I not when I have a cute little lime green Bandsaw just begging for some action. 

So, I put out ads using this picture looking for Vintage RD books - the ones from the 60's with these awesome colourful covers.

 Lots of books started showing up at my yummy!!

 And then I went to work.  I may have tackled a tough one to begin with but one of my best friend's last names starts with G and I wanted to make her something.  Her son (who's first name starts with G) is convinced I made it for him.  That's ok too. 

 This set of two I made as a gift for my Brother-in-law & Sister-in-law. 

And I did get around to making the letters for the first friend who got me started down this road.  Her last name is only 4 letters so it was a fun little project and by the time I did hers, I had many books to choose from so I could pick colours that went well together.  

Happy new year!

 I'm in year 13, I guess, of having the school year influence this feeling I have that everything starts fresh in September. New books and clothes, new schedules and plans, new work experiences and school feels to me, at the beginning of every September, like it is New Years Day. 
 There's a slight feeling of loss now too, recognizing what didn't get done during the summer. And a feeling a apprehension as always when starting something brand new. But for the most part,  I'm ready for the adventure. 

One plan I had this summer was to finish ready through The Bible. I started in May with a very lofty goal (see chart at the end of this post - Read through The Bible in 90 days) and I knew I wouldn't finish on schedule so I gave myself an extra month to finish with the goal being to be done when school started again (next week Wednesday). As you can see, that won't be achievable. Just today I'm finished Isaiah and starting in on Jeremiah. I wish I could say it is solely due to the fact that I got sidetracked by all the truths that God kept showing me and the pauses I had to take to absorb what he was saying to me. And in some cases that was (and is) very much the case!! But sadly, there were also many days of procrastination, too much TV watching, busyness, driving here and there for various things, and days full of errands (both good and not good). new goal (a New Year's Resolution of sorts) is to be through the Bible by Christmas. I have no illusions that reading straight through is any better than any other reading plan but it's something I've always wanted to accomplish and I do have to say, reading at this pace has been fascinating because you get to see the bigger picture as the stories unfold. I read with a bright pink highlighter in my hand so I can highlight the parts that speak to me and I can come back to them sometime when I'm studying for a different purpose. 

Here's my plan that I'm "following" or, maybe I should say, the plan that inspired me to get going. Enjoy! Happy New Year! 

Monday Morning Veggies

I love to be organized. Please don't read that as, "I'm always organized," because that would be quite far from the truth. But I do love to organize and I do love it when I AM organized. I function better when my desk is organized. I sleep better when my rooms are clean and organized. And I find that I save a lot of time when I'm organized. 

Here's one of my organizational moments: lunch veggies. 

It's 7:05 am and I'm done making school lunch veggies for the week :)
A salad a day for me, bags of veggies for each day this week for 2 kids, and a giant bowl of salad left at home for my one kid who likes to come home for lunch. I've cut 15 minutes off every other morning this week and stretched our groceries to last for the week instead of being caught unaware late Thursday night and having to run to Superstore. 

Next week could be an entirely different scenario and you'll see me scrambling to make it work....but for now, this week is taken care of. Yay Me!