Friday, January 31, 2014

What I Learned in January

1. There are no  TV shows quite as good as those you grow up with.  I can sit and watch Full House for hours (let's face it... Uncle Jesse is just.  that.  cute.).  I was saddened when Uncle Phil (James Avery) from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air passed away.  I loved Fresh Prince.  Who knew, though, that .Uncle Phil also played the voice of Shredder in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons?  While I was not a huge fan of TMNT, I had a cousin who was, and I think we were all familiar with the story line.  That evil ninja nemesis of the turtles?  Yep... the uncle in Bel Air.,,20771289,00.html

2. Churches have steeples to make the buildings look more graceful.  Also, they help draw the eye upward toward Heaven.

3. The BCS for college football has only been around for since 1998.  The SEC won the first series, with Tennessee beating Florida State.  Since then, the SEC has won over half of them: 9/15; 10/16 if Auburn wins.  (Note: They didn't.  In a spectacular ending to the BCS Championship series, Florida State beat Auburn. Bama fans everywhere are thankful.)

4. Who knew there was a holiday for nearly everything?

5. The development of House/Congress- the Virginia Plan called for representation based on size, meaning that states with larger populations would get more votes.  The New Jersey Plan called for equal representation, regardless of population.  The Conneticut plan (Or Great Compromise) developed the system we have now, a House of Representatives, where number is based on size, and the Senate, where each states have two representatives regardless of size.  Then, there was the discussion for how slaves should count.  The 3/5 Compromise- three fifths of the slave population counted toward numbers for population.

6. Grief is a funny thing. Sometimes it sneaks up on you and nearly paralyzes you... even as you consciously know it isn't realistic to be sad.  A life well-lived is cause for celebration.  I saw my Grandma once a week, if that... but I miss her everyday.  Funny, huh?

7. Sometimes I love basketball. Sometimes I hate it.  And sometimes being a coach's wife really isn't that fun.  But sometimes, it is the best thing in the world.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Fresh Word

Yay!!! The sun is shining and the sky is blue. 

(Ok... here's a thought.  Why do so many songs say, Nothing but blue skies, when really there is only one sky? Just a random thought that popped in my head..)

Anyhow, I'm alternating between being lulled almost to sleep by the windchimes on my front porch and nearly jumping out of my skin when an avalanche of snow comes sliding off my roof. I keep listening to the dogs bark and praying that an avalanche won't happen while they are standing directly underneath it. 

I haven't done a blessed thing all day, except read my brand new Bible and think...

I love new books, but a new Bible is the best.  To be perfectly honest, this is the only new Bible I've had since I really started reading.  I had several growing up, and I'm willing to bet they are down at my Mom and Dad's house on the shelf, where they have been since a few days after I got them. 

Not that I'm proud of that... but there was always so much other stuff to read.

And I never understood the importance of those old, antiquated words.

Words that bring life.

Words that make sense.

Words that connect, even though they were written so many years ago, and so far apart.

Opening a new Bible is a lot like sitting down with a friend you haven't seen in a while.  My old Bible was marked up.  Please don't take this as bragging, because it isn't... but I packed that baby for a while. I wrote in the margins and made notes and jotted down my thoughts, so that everytime I looked at a familiar scripture, there is was.  And it was always neat to see what came to mind three years ago, or to see Wallace's name and the date when he was in Texas jotted down in the margin, or to see the words of a favorite song noted...

But today I got a fresh Word.  No preconceived notions, No intruding thoughts... just me and God and my Bible, and a new ink pen, of course... for new notes.  New notions.

Today I read in Exodus 15 and 16... what a difference a few days can make.  Rejoicing turned to complaining... isn't that just how I am?  Forgetting what God has done because the present is just too difficult.  And worrying about tomorrow...

God showed that He was sufficient... for the day. Manna rained down every day, but if they gathered more than they could eat in a day's time, the next day it was spoiled. 

He's sufficient for my today, too..

And unlike that manna, He'll still be the same tomorrow. And His Word is just as fresh. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Take Your Weather Back

I am not made for winter.

And before you get in further into this post, let me go ahead and make the disclaimer that I may come across as sounding a tad bit whiny.

That's ok... because I am whining.

The first snow on Tuesday was marvelous because I got a snow day, which I thoroughly took advantage of by working on not working on my systematic review, and reading a couple of good books.

And Wednesday I really wasn't too sad that we got another snow day. I even worked on  reviewing some articles.

Thursday, I relished in my automatic starter on my car until I realized that I hadn't left it set on defrost.  I made Wallace two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, left him in bed, and went outside to use a broom to get the three inches of snow off my car.  I fishtailed out of the driveway and made it to Hazard minutes before my class started. Thankfully, my good friend Jenna was there to get them started had I been a little late.  I missed disaster and avoided all snow drifts. 

Friday morning I remembered just how thankful I am for running water, as we had none because our pipes had frozen.  I recognize it could have been a lot worse, but somehow the whole waking up late and scurrying to pack for the trip to Bowling Green and trying to brush my teeth with bottled water put me into a lovely mood.  I did manage to be thankful that I didn't have to drive, and also that I would get something good to eat for lunch.

Our series of misadventures continued when Cracker Barrel did not have Jenna's selected entrée, but didn't tell us that until our order had been put in for fifteen minutes.  Add to that the manager that seemed to stalk our table, constantly whispering to our waitress, and the fact that the waitress dropped the tray with our food on it... Well, my day was not really improving... but good company can make up for a lot.

The beautiful drive to Bowling Green deluded us until we stepped out into the parking lot at Hobby Lobby and inhaled, only to have icicles form in our lungs.  I did find Caleb some glow in the dark paint and my Mamaw Bert a windchime shaped like an owl, which she offered to pay me for today when I told her it was a gift. 

9 AM central time brought dicey road conditions in Bowling Green, and we faced a five hour drive after class was called off after only ninety minutes... but we really didn't have any trouble. Raisin' Canes for lunch and some 80s on 8 made the looonnng trip home a little more enjoyable.

And then it started snowing again as soon as I got down to Mom's house.


North Pole, you can have your weather back.

Now, I'm going to go bury myself under a blanket. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Psalm 84:2 (In A Roundabout Way)

"My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord, my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God."- Psalms 84:2

Longeth... what a word.  Longing for something, yearning, pining.  All-consuming...

I long for a lot of things. I long for more sleep.  I long to have my schooling over with and finished.  I long for more time with Wallace and Caleb.  I long to sit and read.

Sometimes, that longing feels like it is unbearable.  The last couple of weeks of a semester, for example... I long for summer break.  Papers are looming over my head and I'm trying to type as fast as my fingers will let me, something that I should have done days before... and I feel like I will perish, feel like I will cease to exist if I can't see summer...

but I don't know, honestly, that I've ever thought of my relationship with God in this way.

Even though it is what I am made for.

Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that God has put eternity in our hearts.  I've been thinking a lot more about that verse the last couple of weeks. Having eternity in our hearts means we long for it... long for that home where there will be no more dying, no sadness, no fat people, and no suffering on the treadmill.

At least if we are forced to walk for exercise, it will be on streets of gold..

Seriously, that eternal longing has left a hole in us... a hole that can only be filled by God.  I've read so many blogs that talk about that God-shaped hole, I'm not sure who first coined the term, but it is so true.

Except we try to fill it with everything BUT God.  I try to fill it with cupcakes and chocolate.  I try to fill it with appointments penned into my calendar, to keep me busy.  I try to fill it with paperwriting and school. I try to fill it with books on my Kindle...

But, because it is only God shaped, it's like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. It just doesn't cut it.

Even though I'm wanting with everything in me... my soul, my very vitality, my life and breath.  My heart, my feelings, will, intellect, thought processes; my flesh...oh, my flesh.  That nakedness, stripped down to bare bones, body, carnal, fleshly part...

That's where I get in trouble most. 

In Psalm 84, the Psalmist talks about how lovely God's dwelling place is. 

That's me, and you, if you've asked Jesus to be yours.  We are God's dwelling place.  His Holy Spirit, the very Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, dwells in me.

He thinks I'm lovely...

even as I'm trying to fill my flesh with things that just won't satisfy.

He wants me to long, to crave... but He wants me to crave Him.  The Living God.  The One who is El Shaddai, Almighty, All-Sufficient.

He is enough... if I allow Him to be.

If I can learn to walk in His Spirit, and not in my flesh.

Lord, help me look to You, help me cry out to You, help me long... only for You. 

Better is one day with you than a thousand anywhere else... because Your time is eternal.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mount Everest in My Hallway

Today I spent three hours folding and hanging clothes and towels.

Pretty much consecutive, with a couple of breaks to play Candy Crush thrown in.

And there are still several piles.

I'm surprised we had clothes to wear the last couple of weeks.

My laundry management is always a problem, but especially during basketball season. With late night games, I throw stuff in the washer and dryer, then pull them out and they stay there...

And they add up....

and add up...

Until it really looks like Mount Everest in my hallway.

It is no irony that Mount Everest has proven to be deadly... because today, I seriously thought that laundry pile would be the death of me.

But I survived, to live another day and to fold another set of towels.

Maybe I'll get a snow day, and we can lounge in our PJs all day long again...

and then I'll have nothing else to write about but my laundry.  And you'll feel blessed that you have a more exciting life than me =)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Set on Pilgrimage

There's not much better than a Sunday full of football and napping, which is exactly the kind of day I've had.  Read a little, nap, watch the Broncos win, walk on the treadmill, read a little more, and watching San Fran and Seattle playing right now. 

Psalm 84 has been on my mind all day.  It's been one of those things where everywhere I turned, it showed up.  I don't know if it was a youversion selection or what, but three different people tweeted some of the verses, and then verse 2 was our Made to Crave verse of the week.  It's a short chapter, so I'd like to share it all with you. 

How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.[c]
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs;
    the autumn rains also cover it with pools.[d] They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob.
Look on our shield,[e] O God; look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
12 Lord Almighty,  blessed is the one who trusts in you.
Sometimes, I'll be honest.  It's a drag on Sunday mornings to get up and go.  We spend all of our time rushing here and there through the week, and a day with the blanket pulled up to my chin seems like a pretty good idea...
But one day in His presence is better than a thousand anywhere else.  He is a sun and shield... keeping us warm and protecting us.  And His house is a place for all of us.
As I sat in church this morning, I thought about His presence.  I thought about what a privilege it is to get to go to church.  And while I was sad this morning, my first morning in church without Mamaw,  I couldn't help but think as Brittany was singing Revelation Song, about how lovely Heaven will be.
Yes, our hearts are set on pilgrimage. This world is not my home... but while I'm here, His presence makes it worth the journey. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mediocre vs. Magical

Today was the first day of a new semester.  All in all, it went pretty well.  It always takes a few days to get into the swing of things, to learn the students and have them learn you.

Today was also the first day back to school for Caleb. Thankfully, there was no math homework. There was two questions to answer in social studies, covering the development of the House of Representatives and the Senate.  I learned something today about how these were developed... I love social studies homework, and so does Caleb!

An away ballgame to Letcher County rounded out the night.  A tough loss, but the girls never quit, and you can't ask for anything more.  Add to that Caleb wanting to go with me, which rarely happens on an away game, and my Monday was pretty good.

On the way to the game, I was thinking of my schoolwork coming up and basketball season and my students.  The thought of being mediocre kept on running through my mind.  It's easy in school to just do enough to get by.  I'm guilty of this myself.  The thing is, it is really only a small step from the mediocre to the magical.  We all have magic in us.  We all have the ability to do great things... we just have to figure out how to express it. We have to choose. 

What choice will you make? My one word, be... I don't want to be mediocre. I want to be everything that I can.  How about you?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Long Day

My day went something like this. 

Woke up at 445, which should be illegal.  Scurry around, manage to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and get myself dressed in 15 minutes.

Rode in almost comatose silence to Louisville.  Pearl Jam did improve my mood.

Attempt to sleep in the car while Wallace completed his PT test.  It was only 34 degrees.  I realize that I had an advantage, as I was actually able to go to sleep for a few minutes. And I had a blanket.  And I wasn't running or doing pushups or situps...

But I was rudely awakened by the chirpy skinny-minnys running the track.  Now, no offense to any of my running buddies... but why would anyone in their right mind who did not have to be out, in the cold, before dawn, be running?

So.. I read.  Dropped Wallace off at the unit.  Went to Panera bread and read my Bible and made a to do list (kind of, sort of... I still have no idea where to get started at.) and ate a blueberry muffin that was scrumptious and kind of fits into my diet, since it has fruit in it.

And I read my Bible some more.

Lunch at Red Lobster with my soldier.

Two hours in a bookstore.

Drove some of the way home so Wallace could try to sleep.

Iron clothes.

Walk on the treadmill and watch Dance Moms DVR.

A good hot bath, reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Finish looking over lecture notes.

And now, I'm snuggling with the best boy in the world and watching Disney.  Can't beat that.

This past week has been LOOOONNNNGGG.  Today was long, too.  I'm almost ready to get back to work to get settled into a routine.

Even if this week means four ballgames in six nights.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tech Issues

Oh, I'm patting myself on the back. See, it's the little things.

Like Thursday night, I finally figured out how to stop my text messages to Wallace from going to Caleb's Imac.  I spent a couple of days being infuriated because Wallace was ignoring my text messages... only to discover that he wasn't even getting my messages. Caleb was... somehow... and while I still had to turn Imessage off on my phone, at least the texts are going to the right person.

And then, tonight... I have been having trouble the past couple of days with my blog page.  Couldn't get to the new post page. On one computer, I could get there but could only write in HTML.  Tonight, I updated my Internet Explorer... and here I am. Not saying I completely figured it out, but at least I'm writing.

I am so technologically un-inclined... and that is ok.  While I do love my social media sites, love my Iphone, and love my Kindle, I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box when it comes to upgrades and lingo and troubleshooting...

But tonight I can go to bed knowing I figured a couple of things out. 

2014 is turning around, people.

It's a beautiful day. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Blind but Now I See

I once was blind, but now I see... I can relate to that statement. I've had glasses all my life, since I was three years old. I grew up going to the doctor's office, learned to read by looking at letters on billboards so I'd be able to identify them during eye exams. I wore a patch my kindergarden year, and learned in 5th grade that my glasses were so thick that you really could kill ants by the reflection. (Thanks to my lovely guy friends, who wanted to try an experiment. It really WAS NOT my idea.) And Caleb got glasses when he was three, too. The change was amazing. He had no idea where his Dad was at in the gym during ballgames. He couldn't see pictures clear enough to color... and then he could. The first thing I do every morning, before I brush my teeth or wash my face or use the restroom, is put on my glasses. And the last thing I do every night is take them off. I was blind. Now I see. When I don't have those glasses on my face, I can't see anything but blurs. I can make out smaller details in very bright lights, but to be able to read, no way. Amazing grace... when we look at life through our filter, we can't see, either. Life is dingy and dark. Shadows overwhelm us. In His grace... we see life through His filter. It's brighter. Clearer. Details are easier to make out. While the path may not always be clear, we can see the general direction. With His Word, we see hope. Otherwise, we see darkness. Was blind... but now I see. Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Fridays, where she gives a prompt. Today's prompt was see. Five Minute Friday

Thursday, January 9, 2014

One of those Weeks...

Dear friend,
2014 slipped in on me.  This first week has been a blur... and it may seem like that for you.  Across this great nation, temperatures are low and it seems like the whole world is frozen.... but that doesn't have to be any indication of how this year will go.

2014 can truly be anything we want it to be.  And I don't say that lightly.

As we look back and look ahead and try to figure out where we are and where we're going, let me encourage you.

It won't be winter forever.  You may feel alone, you may feel like noone understands...

but you're wrong.

And it's ok to be wrong.  Life is not about being right. It's not about being perfect.  It's about living, breathing, dreaming,  holding on to what we know and what we hope for.

Your pipes may be frozen.  Your heating unit might have gone out.  Your hot water heater may not work.  Your grandma or your best friend might have died. (And, sadly... three out of the four have happened to me this week.  Thank God no busted pipes!)

But His grace is sufficient.  His power is in you.  And He loves you... no matter what.   And when you think you just can't take another step, when you are so tired you can't keep going and you really don't even see a reason not to just sit down and cry...

He's there.  You can cry out to Him, and He'll carry You.

You are His...

And He's such a good Daddy.

Linking up with Holley Gerth for coffee and encouragement today at

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Make it Through Winter

The view out my office window right now is strangely deceptive.  Nothing but blue skies.  No clouds.  No snow to be seen on the hillside across the way, unless you look really hard. 

But I know it is cold.  So cold that when you step outside it makes you inhale a sharp breath. 

Too cold.

The beginning of the new year has been one for the books.

I'm still processing the coldness, the weather changing. It seems kind of symbolic.

My heart aches, but it is a sadness I don't have words for.  It's one that I really can't comprehend.

I spent yesterday in a daze.  I had so much to do, housework and schoolwork, yet I sat there. 

Yet I have peace.

My Mom made the comment the other day that this would make six funerals for her in two weeks.  Endings in 2013, beginnings in 2014... winter time, with the trees bare and the wind howling...

but then there is the sun outside my window.  While not yet warm, I know that heat will come.

I know that even in death, there is life, and there is purpose, and that it really isn't as senseless as it seems.

Weeeping endures for the night, and joy comes in the morning.

So, today, I work.  I look ahead to classes next week, knowing that even as the world feels like it has stopped, it's still spinning.

And I look up, to Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.  He's writing my story right now, even as I don't know where it is going. 

He writes them all. 

And death, which seems final, really isn't.  He will say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant.  Ener into the joy of the Lord."

We just have to make it through the winter... make it through the night. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Five Minute Fridays- Fight

Linking up with LisaJo Baker for five minute Fridays, where a topic is given and we write for five minutes, no editing, no stopping, just words straight from the heart.  Today's word?


Seems funny to be writing on "fight".  If I had chosen a word for this first Friday of 2014, I don't know that it would have been something so... violent.  I would have chosen something like "new" or "goal" or "opportunity."

But fight it is. There are a couple of things that come to mind when I think of fight.  Endurance. Training.  Blood, sweat, and tears.

Relay For Life... where we celebrate, remember, and fight back.

Fighting to get what you want. Fighting to keep what you want. Fighting to keep going. 

A fight is a vicious thing.  Full of emotions.  Putting physical means to something that is otherwise untangible.  Fighters must be courageous, strong, and spunky.  They must be willing to log long hours and work hard.... or just throw themselves into the fight with everything in them.

Physical fights usually don't involve words, no thinking, no hem-hawing around. 

Often, though, verbal sparring is more harmful.

But fights aren't always negative. Sometimes a good fight brings much needed conversation to the forefront. Sometimes, a good fight makes you realize that there are things worth fighting for.

Love.  Trust.  Friends.  Family.

So, maybe fight isn't such a bad word to describe the beginning of a new year. As we face challenges, we must be willing to fight for new opportunities, willing to fight for changes we are making, willing to fight for our lives...

Because our lives really are at stake. 

Check out other thoughts on "fight" at Lisa Jo's blog.
Five Minute Friday

Thursday, January 2, 2014

What I'm Reading in January

Articles about substance abuse.  And more articles on substance abuse.  And a Fundamentals textbook, a dosage calculation textbook, and a pharmacology textbook as I gear up for the start of another semester. 

Pretty exciting stuff.

I did make up for it in December, though.  Before I jump into what I'm reading now, let me touch on some of my favorite books from last month.  I read some good ones.  I started another Sherryl Woods trilogy, and finished the first one, Sand Castle Bay.  I love Sherryl Woods. She has loveable characters, and an easy to follow plot.  Her books are usually ones you don't have to think a whole lot about, which is good.  I read The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, a fictionalized story of Dinah from the Bible.  I really enjoyed this one, too, and can't wait until I get to her story in my Chronological Bible to remind myself  of the actual story.  I devoured Killing Kennedy by Bill O'Reilly.  Wonderful account.  Left a few more questions in my mind, and I found several other good books that he used as resources that I've added to my to read list.  I read several Christmas books, too, including Starry Night by Debbie Macomber, The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtiss Higgs, and The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp.  I loved Calico Joe by John Grisham, about a baseball player.  So... what I'm reading now...

I'm currently reading the second book in that Sherryl Wood trilogy, Wind Chime Point.  This trilogy follows three sisters, with one book devoted to each one of them.... and a meddling grandma.  I just started Killing Lincoln, also by Bill O'Reilly.  Just on chapter 4, but it is pretty good.  Never knew John Wilkes Boothe dated the daughter of a senator.  I've always loved the story of Lincoln.  I also just started My Heart Remembers, by Kim Vogel Sawyer.  This book follows children on an orphan train.  I first learned of the process of orphan trains in another book last year, and it has fascinated me.  I'm reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith.  It was one of my favorite books when I was in high school, and I haven't read it since then, so I've been looking forward to rereading. My drive-thru read is Miracle Road by Emily March.  Haven't read much of that because I've not been driving much =)

On my Kindle, I'm reading Grace by Max Lucado.  I thought I had finished it, but then discovered there was a series of questions for each chapter, so I'm slowly working through them, with  hopes of finishing by the end of the month. Still reading Freedom From Performing, too... love how these messages interweave.  I'm reading Stress Proof Your Life, because who couldn't use less stress? Already got one idea about how to work on my procrastination. It worked day before yesterday.  Not so much today.  I'm reading When Dreams Cross by Terri Blackstock.  I read the first book in this series a few months ago. This one is about an amusement park designer who runs into a long lost love... which is complicated.  Good story so far. I'm also reading The Story of Your Life by Matthew West and Angela Thomas.  Matthew invited his fans to write their stories, then retreated to a cabin to write an album based on what was submitted.  This book has some of the others.  I love the idea of our lives being a story.  Angela adds in appropriate Bible verses.  I'm really enjoying it.

So, there you have it.  My to read list is long, as usual.  Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, The Fault in Our Stars, Mary Poppins She Wrote (the movie Saving Mr. Banks, which I'm dying to see, is based on it), the Divergent series (also coming out in movies in March), Sycamore Row by John Grisham, Killing Jesus, which I've been told is spot on historically, The Longest Ride.... I could go on and on. I'll also be starting Made to Crave with the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study team January 19th, reading through  March. 

This winter break has been awesome.  I  have work to do, a paper to write, laundry to put up... but I've got lots of reading in.  If there's anything you've read that is particularly good, comment below and I'll add it to my list.  Until next month... Happy Reading =)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014- The Year to Be

I rang in 2014 with much laughter, lots of good food, a little football on the TV, sounds of kids laughing upstairs and the Caleb and Emalee (or Emalee and Caleb) New Year's Eve Spectacular.  A kiss from my favorite guy.  And a tumble in the floor from Caleb, who is bent on showing how strong he is and picking up everyone around him, which led to me knocking him off balance and us both landing in the floor.

Memories that I'll not soon forget.

It's hard to believe it is 2014.  Seems like yesterday it was 2000, my first year of married life.  Or 2003, the first year I entered as a Mom.  Things change, time marches by, and we live to tell our story, again... writing a new story every day.

There's always something hopeful about the new year. Regardless of whether your previous year was great or just flat stunk, it is always good to think of how we can make things better, of how we can improve, of how we can keep seeking...

As I finished up 2013, struggling through school and feeling overwhelmed, a verse really stuck out to me.  Psalm 46:10a, "Be still and know I am God."

I'm not good at being still... ok, I like to sleep.  And I can sit and read.  And I can sit for ten hours straight and write papers...

but to sit still and let God? Nope.  Not that.  I'm a doing person.  Making lists.  Planning.  Acting... and a lot of the times, acting before I'm supposed to, creating a big mess.

As I pondered this verse, and thought about what it meant, and what my direction for 2014 should be, I kept thinking about being "intentional" and being "focused", both things that I want to do. 

Then, the first word stuck out to me.


Be- To exist. To take place.  To have identity with. To have an objective existence. From Middle English, from Old English bēon; akin to Old High German bim am, Latin fui I have been, futurus about to be, fieri to become, be done, Greek phynai to be born, be by nature, phyein to produce

Synonyms: Breathe, exist, live, subsist.  Simliar/related words: abide, endure, thrive (from Merriam Webster's online dictionary).

Two little letters sum up what I want.  As I was reading in Genesis this morning, a verse hit me. Genesis 2:7, " Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being."

A living being.  I've often heard it say, God didn't create a human doing. He created a human being.

The word used in Genesis 2:7 is "Hayah" (Which, by the way, is pronounced just like what you would say when you were kicking something in karate.  Isn't that cool?)

It means, "To be, to become, to come to pass, to exist."

He created us to be.  To become. To come to pass. To exist.

And that's what my goal for this year.

2014- A Year to Be.  To be active. To be intentional. To be empathetic. To be disciplined. To be inspired.

My verse? Psalm 46:10- Be still and know I am God.  I will be exalted among the heathen. I will be exalted in the earth. (May He be exalted in me, through me.)

My song?  Thrive by Casting Crowns: Just to know you and to make you known, we lift your name on high. Shine like the sun, make darkness run and hide. We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives.  It's time for us to more than just survive.  We were made to thrive." (Which just happens to be a similar word to be.)

Lots of goals for the year- Write every day. Learn something new every day.  Read my Bible through.  Chronicle my year in pics.  Read, at least 100 books.  Bible study.  Make exercise a habit. Lose 35 pounds by my 35th birthday.  Count my blessings.

But above all, learn to be... to live... to thrive. 

Have a blessed 2014!  Stay tuned for more on how I'm making the most of it.