Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Things About Camp

Things I DON'T miss about camp:

  1. The spiders in the outhouse
  2. Watching out for the snake at the outhouse
  3. Mosquitoes
  4. Spraying myself with bug spray every time I walk out the door
  5. Storms
  6. Losing power in the cabin, not once but twice
  7. Hearing a child ask for the 10th time, "When are we going swimming?"

Things I DO miss about camp:

  1. My nieces and nephews
  2. My rollaway bed (yes, I actually enjoy sleeping in it)
  3. The early morning sounds coming through open windows
  4. Not having to prepare meals
  5. Bike riding
  6. Watching the sunset
  7. Having devotions with the girls
  8. Getting tan
  9. Being away from "real life"
  10. Being spiritually stretched
  11. The feeling of being needed by 6 little girls


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

True Womanhood: Part 2

This is the second installment of a series of posts I will be writing on the book Voices of the True Woman Movement by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  I received the book as a gift from Revive Our Hearts ministry for the sole purpose of writing my thoughts on each chapter.

Chapter 2:  From Him, Through Him, To Him by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

As I read this chapter I had thoughts and feelings that spread the gamut.  I agree with my head that God's ways are unfathomable, that His wisdom and judgements are so deep we cannot plumb their depths.  His resources never run out, and they will always exceed any need we will ever have.

My heart, though, comes from a different perspective.  My desire to know and understand the why of suffering leaves me reaching for faith.  I try not to question God in His judgements, but when life gets messy and you never imagined in a hundred years that you would be facing such hurt, the questions start coming.

Nancy quotes John Piper, In every situation and circumstance of your life, God is always doing a thousand different things that you cannot see and you do not know (pg. 34).  Can I trust and accept that God is working in ways behind the spiritual curtain that I would never mentally grasp?  Rather than ask God "why?", can I trust that the information He is withholding from me is really to my benefit?  That it may be too difficult for me to take in all the behind-the-scenes details?

It's a choice a person must make.  Either stand in pride, believing I know better than God, or humbly receive from His hand whatever He gives and trust that He knows exactly what He's doing for my good.  I'm afraid I question Him more than I care to admit.

If I want to be a true woman of God, I will see God as everything - my Source, my Sustainer and my purpose for everything.  That means no matter what I face, He is at the center of it, He will sustain me in it, and as I endure faithfully, I bring glory to Him.

Nancy goes on to share three final points:

1.  A true woman lives a God-centered life.

I love the way she describes this...

A true woman is more than a good wife and mother, a loyal friend and daughter.  More than anything else, she is enthralled with the Lord Jesus Christ--the Pearl of great price, the supreme Treasure of life.  He is the center of her universe and her life revolves around Him. (pg. 40)

2.  A true woman trusts God.

That means she accepts God's plan as good.  God's definition of "good" is not typically the same as ours.  Remember, God's judgements are unsearchable.

3.  A true woman says, "Yes, Lord."

A true woman recognizes that her life is not her own.  She lives instead for the glory of God.  His Word, not her world, becomes her compass. (pg. 43)

If I want to be a true woman, my life will revolve around God.  Not my feelings.  Not my understanding of a given situation.  Not what I think I do or do not deserve.  I will be centered on bringing glory to the Father.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! "For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?" "Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?" For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.  ~Romans 11:33-36 


Monday, June 28, 2010

Could Someone Point the Way to "Normal"?

Hey, guess who's home from church camp.  Me!

I got home Friday afternoon, but I'm still trying to transition back into "normal" life.  I thought I was caught up on my sleep, but I'm still feeling groggy in the mornings and not always sure where I am.  5:45 AM came too quickly this morning, and I considered bargaining my time to fit in a little more rest.  Do I really need to wash my hair today?

I have so much to tell you.  Lots of spiritual challenges.  Lots of funny stories.  I'm not sure what all I will share with you.  Maybe vlogging is the way to go?  Wait and see.

I really just wanted to pop in and say, "Hello.  I'm still alive." 

I'm going back to my Monday work now.  Hope you have a good one.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Love: An Action, Not a Feeling (repost)

While I'm away at camp, please enjoy these selected posts a second time around.

Originally posted on November 14, 2008


I've been thinking a lot about relationships, about both my successes and failures in them.  I've been asking myself what has made successful relationships and what have I done that's made a mess of them.  I can never get very far from these questions.  I think it's because God won't let me ignore them.  He is very much about communication and relationships.

Maybe I appear quite congenial on my blog, but I have blown lots of relationships.  Some have been mended.  Some are in process.  Others need attention.  And unfortunately, others may be lost until Heaven.  I've had to face personal responsibility for what I've lacked, which was love.

What is love?  For me, love is an affectionate feeling I have for somebody, a tenderness, a compassion.  The Bible defines love as an action and not a feeling, and I've had a difficult time embracing that.  I want it to be a feeling, yet at the same time, I know my feelings fail me.  Or rather, my feelings fail others.

I've had to face that reality in the last month.  My feelings have failed.  I've found myself grasping onto something, demanding my own way in my heart, only to find it conflicting with what someone else needed.  Someone precious to me.  I can't have my own way and still try to promote what's best for them at the same time.  Why?  Because my love is fleshly and not godly.  My love is more often about what I get from the person, than what I am giving to them.

As I opened my Bible a couple weeks ago to 1 Corinthians 13 to be reminded what godly love is, I saw how I have failed at all of these attributes.  I decided it would help if I wrote out each quality with my name inserted because I am to demonstrate each of them in my relationships.  This is how it looks:

  • Liz suffers long
  • Liz is kind
  • Liz does not envy (others)
  • Liz does not parade herself (before others)
  • Liz is not puffed up (about who she is or what she does)
  • Liz does not behave rudely (toward others)
  • Liz does not seek her own (way)
  • Liz is not provoked (by others)
  • Liz thinks no evil (of others)
  • Liz does not rejoice in iniquity
  • Liz rejoices in the truth
  • Liz bears all things
  • Liz believes all things (in others)
  • Liz hopes all things (for others)
  • Liz endures all things (for others)

Those are not feelings.  Those are choices of my will.  My natural man is unkind, envies, seeks its own way, and is very easily provoked....because of feelings.  The spiritual man ignores feelings and chooses to do what God says.

As I've read over my list the last few mornings, my prayer has been that God will create this love in my life because I haven't got it.  I imagine how much freedom would come to a person who loves like that.


Friday, June 18, 2010

A Day at the Office (repost)

While I'm away at camp, please enjoy these selected posts a second time around.

Originally posted on October 13, 2008

(I apologize to whoever installed the restroom signs.  It just tickled me to see them there, is all.)


I'm not sure you are aware of this, but I enjoy making videos.  Of myself.  And looking back at the one I did for my blog mission statement... OH MY WORD - it was awful!  I'm not linking to it, just so you won't go look at it.  It didn't show any of my personality at all.  And my hair?  Awful!

Okay, so feeling truly inspired by other bloggers who recently did their own little videos for Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee, I just HAD to do my own.  Because, like I said, I LOVE doing videos.

This probably won't be the last you see of me...



Thursday, June 17, 2010

What I Learned This Week - Edition #7 (repost)

While I'm away at camp, please enjoy these selected posts a second time around.

Originally posted on May 5, 2009


Oh, my internet friends, I'm bringing the vlog back.  I know you've been waiting.  I thought that What I Learned This Week could best be expressed on location, so have a look.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Why? (repost)

While I'm away at camp, please enjoy these selected posts a second time around.

Originally posted on December 11, 2007


I got this in an email yesterday, and I think it's pretty funny and very true.


Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are going dead?

Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough money?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Further Adventures in Babysitting (repost)

While I'm away at camp, please enjoy these selected posts a second time around.

Originally posted on November 30, 2007


It's been a pretty busy week for me. I can't even remember what I did on Monday at this point. I wanted to blog so badly yesterday, but there just wasn't any time.

So... yesterday I found myself in that very professional, responsible, and adult role of ... BABYSITTER. Yes, I got to babysit! And it wasn't even for family this time. My friend is working a lot at her new job, and she needed me to watch her little guy *K*. If you know me, you know how much I enjoy babysitting, but I agreed to help pretty quickly.

*K* just turned 2, so he's the youngest charge I've had in quite a long time. We get along very well, though, because... well... he loves me! Yeah, he is somewhat infatuated with me for some odd reason. My friend thinks it's funny that he picks the one person who is not so "into" kids to gravitate to. He's been known to walk through a large crowd of people only to come directly to me and raise his arms up, asking to be held.

(Here we are at the start of our relationship. You can see he was much younger, and my hair was much shorter.)

Anyway, *K* and I do need to work on our communication skills, though. He told me all sorts of things yesterday. About what? I have no idea. It kinda went like this:

*K*: Assiiiii (pointing out the window)

Me: Outside?

*K*: Assiiiiii!

Me: Outside? What's outside?

After awhile he took me upstairs because he wanted to see the kitty. We found kitty napping on the sectional, and we woke her up. Kitty went to eat, and we went and watched her. Then we decided to watch Nemo. We were somewhat fascinated with Nemo, enough to keep our attention. Finally, *K* climbed up next to me, and we watched it together. Our favorite part was when Dory told Marlin to "just keep swimming...swimming...swimming... just keep swimming". We looked at each other and laughed.
When it was time to go downstairs to get ready for the relief babysitter to pick him up, we almost had a bit of a spill. *K* wanted me to carry him down the stairs. I told him to slide down the stairs like he had just done awhile ago. Nope, he wanted to be carried, so he stood there at the top of the stairs holding his arms out to me. I'm trying to grab him before he takes a flying leap, while holding two cups and something else I can't remember, and as I lean in to brace myself against the steps, I fall to my knees on the step. Ouch!! *K* laughs. I laugh. Oh boy... (sigh) We both managed to get down the stairs in one piece.

Piece of cake!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Chat Pack Vlog: 14th Edition

Wow!  I went to add up how many Chat Pack posts I've done, and am I actually up to 14?  Can't believe it!

Hope you like this one.  I say the "GB" word today.  I may lose fans over that, but I won't apologize for it.  And I know none of you have any idea what I'm talking about, so just watch...


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Did I Just Say I Enjoy Exercise???

I've really been working to fit exercise into my days.  I have those last 10 pounds to lose, the same 10 pounds I've needed to lose for two years.  {ahem!}  I've been accustomed to walking 2 or 3 days a week, but I've added *The Biggest Loserfor Wii game into the mix. 

I never imagined what kind of workout I could get with a game, but wow!  It can be as light or as intense as you want it to be.  Thank goodness, the game actually sensed the routines they chose for me were a little too much for my fitness level, and it lowered my routine intensity. 

Although the game has a couple quirks that I have to work around, I rave about this program.  I enjoy doing the exercises.  (Except for the 30 minute full body workout at the Challenging level.  Ow-chi-wa-wa!)  They mix up the exercises, of which there are many, and I haven't done the same routine twice in several weeks.  One day it's upper body, and another day it's yoga.  It might be core, or it could be full body.  You "compete" in challenges once a week, and then there is a weigh-in. 

So far I haven't been eliminated and sent home from the ranch.  Ya know, I'm starting to think it's rigged.  If they send me home, I won't be able to play the game anymore.  {wink}

So if you are a Biggest Loser fan and want to get in shape, I really recommend it.  You get an excellent workout with Bob and Jillian talking you through (minus all the screaming).  Truly, I have the sore muscles to prove it.

*This is an affiliate link to Amazon.


Monday, June 07, 2010

Memory Monday: Isaiah 41:13

When I think of the things I lack in my flesh to obey and accomplish what God would have me to do, two very necessary elements come to mind. Strength and courage.

But I am so weak. I'm weak physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Oh, sometimes I like to imagine that I'm strong, but I'm not. I'm helpless in and of myself. Do you know how many times I start a prayer by saying, "God, I need you"?

And courage? I've had people tell me they believed me to be so self-confident and able to do anything I set my mind to. If only they knew how fearful I am. I mean, fearful of things that some people would find to be ho-hum, no big deal.

So if strength and courage are not within me, then I'm going to have to find them somewhere else. It's a good thing I know God. He said He would supply those things for me because He is my God. My memory verse for the week speaks of His provision for strength and courage. 

For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'

~ Isaiah 41:13 (NASB)

I link up with Joanne at The Simple Wife for Memory Monday. Go share your memory verse for the week.

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Friday, June 04, 2010

Compassion In Action

Do you read Amy Beth's blog, Ministry So Fabulous?  She is a young woman of 25, and her great, big heart amazes me.  I read her post today, and I'm just {sigh}... I don't know... silenced.  Struck with awe.

I am sorely lacking in compassion.  I could learn a few things from Amy Beth.

Read her post about The Diving Board here, and you'll see what I'm talking about.


Thursday, June 03, 2010

True Womanhood: Part 1

This is the first installment of a series of posts I will be writing on the book Voices of the True Woman Movement by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  I received the book as a gift from Revive Our Hearts ministry for the sole purpose of writing my thoughts on each chapter.

The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood by John Piper (Chapter 1)

The exhortation presented to the reader is to listen to the voice of God, rather than the voices of our culture that we are bombarded with daily from all forms of media (TV, pop music, advertising, magazines, etc...).

I think you would agree with me that our culture would identify a "real woman" as being gutsy, able to stand up for herself, and not in need of anyone or anything to give her value.  In contrast, though, the Bible teaches a radically different truth.  The Bible says a real woman, true womanhood, demonstrates the qualities of Christ, which are nothing like the "real woman" of the world.  She is reliant on the mercy and grace of God alone for adversity in her life.

A woman who embraces true womanhood as taught in the scriptures is one whose theology is God-centered, not man- (or woman-) centered.  Her sole purpose will be to reflect the glory of God.  Just as God the Son showed forth the greatest glory when He submitted to God the Father's plan and "bought His rebellious bride at the cost of His life", a true woman will show forth God's glory as she takes on her role of submission to her husband and ultimately to God.

Scripture teaches that a marriage where the husband assumes headship and the wife submits as a helper to him is a picture of Christ and His bride, the church.  When women submit to their God-given role, they bring glory to God. (Ephesians 5:22-24)

In the same respect, true womanhood in singles is not to be downplayed but rather celebrated as well, because Piper says it gives them a "radical freedom" for ministry.  I love the three reasons he states for the unique and precious way singles can show forth God's glory:

    1. A life of Christ-exalting singleness bears witness that the family of God grows not by propagation through sexual intercourse, but by regeneration through faith in Christ.
    2. A life of Christ-exalting singleness bears witness that relationships in Christ are more permanent, and more precious, than relationships in families.
    3. A life of Christ-exalting singleness bears witness that marriage is temporary, and finally gives way to the relationship to which it was pointing all along: Christ and the church -- the way a picture is no longer needed when you see face-to-face. (quoted from Chapter 1, pgs. 23-24)

I believe that as we choose to live counter-culture as wives, mothers, singles -- women -- who submit to the true womanhood of the Bible, our roles are made holy because we are living out the purpose we were intended and created for. 

Are you and I willing to embrace true womanhood in order that we glorify God?  We will if we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Books, Blogs & Vlogs

You must meet my new blog friend Mandy of From the Trenches of Motherhood.  She is fun, and sweet, and is very well read.  And she makes vlogs, too.  Oh... you know she's a woman after my own heart if she's making vlogs.  I heart vlogs, you know.

And I'm not saying all that nice stuff just because I won her book giveaway the other day, either.  Did you hear what I said?!?  I WON A BOOK GIVEAWAY!  How cool is that?

I think Mandy is giving some other books away, so if you like books, you might want to pay her a visit at both of her blogs.

From the Trenches of Motherhood

To Read, or Not To Read...

See you on Thursday.  Lord willing, I will be sharing my thoughts on the first chapter of Voices of the True Woman Movement.