All posts by Becki

Mothering Monday: In the wee hours of the night…

Why oh why can’t my boys get sick during the waking hours of the day?????

Jeff and I had dropped the boys off at my in-laws for the night, and we just played our first few hands of poker at a fun, grown-up only, casino night party when the cell phone rang.  It was MomMom.  Our middle child threw up.  Ugh!  Jeff graciously went and got him and the other boys, and I accepted a friend’s offer to drive me home later.  Even though they almost left without me, they brought me home a little after midnight.

Jeff said that our little guy had been throwing up every 15 minutes or so.  The poor thing!  I told Jeff to go to sleep and I’d take the night watch.  So I laid down with my baby who continued to wake up every 30 minutes all night long.  He’s such a trooper.  But the scenario went something like this:  I’d be sleeping and all of a sudden I’d hear a moan and I’d jump up and help my son make it to the bowl.  Then he’d lie back down and fall asleep, followed shortly after by me.  Only to repeat 30 minutes later.  Twice we didn’t get the bowl fast enough, so there was also some clean up involved too.  The next morning, he had finished getting sick, but we were both so exhausted that we slept a lot.

Sunday night and Monday were uneventful.  But then came Monday night.  My youngest was tucked into bed, excited for his zoo trip the next day.  Then, we heard him… “I need the bowl!”  My poor baby, as soon as he got sick, he pathetically said, “I’m still good enough to go on my field trip tomorrow.”  He repeated the sentiment throughout the night every hour after he’d wake up to get sick again.  So basically 2 days later, I had another night of laying down next to a different son and waking up throughout the night as he’d get sick.  He was more like every hour instead of every half hour.  So I guess I got to sleep a little longer in between each episode.  But my body definitely felt tortured with the sleep, wake up pattern!

Why oh why can’t my boys get sick during the waking hours of the day?????

This week as I was doing my Bible reading, I read Psalm 121.  Chronologically in the Bible, I’ve gotten up to reading about David.  What I love about reading the Bible this way is that I’ll read about David in 1 Samuel and then I go to Psalms and read what David wrote during that specific time in his life.  Anyway, Psalm 121 is one of my favorite ones because of the line, “I lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord – the maker of heaven and earth.”  (vs. 1 & 2)  I love that line, and I love the song that sings that.  But a new part in the Psalm really stuck out to me on that day:

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
 indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep. (vs. 3 & 4)

I thought of how hard it was and how tortured I felt watching over my babies all night long as they were alternating getting sick and getting sleep, because I needed sleep too.  And I was comforted by the fact that God does not need sleep.  He can watch over my babies (and me too!) all night long, day after day, year after year!  Thank you God!


Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Taste and see

Somewhere along the line, we seem to have developed a nightly dinner tradition.  When the boys come to the table, they either give a little cheer for what they see, or they voice their disapproval.  Sometimes they are very politically correct about it.  “Oh, thanks for making the chicken, but do you mind though if I have some carrots instead of the green beans.”  Other times it’s downright rude and disrespectful, “Aww man, green beans.  I hate green beans.”  “Yuck, I’m not eating them.”

Although I love it when they voice their approval, it drives me crazy when they voice a dislike.  Why?  Because in addition to the rudeness and lack of respect, they haven’t even tried it.  All they did was look at it and decide they weren’t going to like it.  I’m not usually one of those sit at the table until you clear your plate moms.  (Although, my youngest did fall asleep at the table one night that I decided to fight the green bean battle.)  But, I do expect everyone to taste everything.  I’ve often said, “Tonight might be the night you realize you like it.”  I’ve also given many speeches about how eating is not always about the flavor.  We eat because our bodies need nutrition.  As I go on and on, I’m sure they hear, “Blah, blah, blah.”

Anyway, last night they cheered for the Biggest Loser Crispy Baked Chicken and corn on the cob.  But Monday night, they weren’t too thrilled about the vegetarian chili.  My oldest, though, did a good job of actually tasting it without complaint.  (He’s usually the worst offender.)  He didn’t necessarily like it, but he did eat some.  Tonight I’m expecting some complaints about the green beans I’m serving with chicken and quinoa.

So why the talk about dinner on a post labeled “Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word”?  Well, I started in January with a plan to read the Bible chronologically in a year.  It required a couple of chapters a day.  I was doing really well.  But early in the Bible, there’s some tough books to read, and I’ve read them before, and I really didn’t enjoy reading them, so I started skipping my reading.  Recently it dawned on me that I was doing what my boys do at dinner.  “Aww man, Leviticus, I don’t like Leviticus.”  “I hate Numbers, I’m not reading that!”

But recently, I felt the stirring in my heart to get back to it.  So I’ve been reading again. But since I’m so far behind, I’m using my “Read the Bible in 90 days” reading plan until I get back on track.  That plan requires reading 10-20 chapters a day.  Since I’m on March 8th on the chronological plan, I should be back on track in about 2 weeks.

So the other day I read the dreaded Leviticus.  And you know what?  I actually enjoyed it. Some verses stuck out to me that never did before, and I found myself journaling about them.  The same thing is happening in Numbers.  I feel like God might be wearing the same satisfied smirk that I wear when my boys actually taste dinner and realize that they like it.

Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the Lord is Good.”  Well, God, I tasted Leviticus and Numbers again, and I’ve seen, once again, that you are Good.

The actual verse is not necessarily about reading Leviticus, but I’ve learned that one of the ways I can “taste” God is through His word.  And usually the more that I read it, the more that I want to read it.  And soon I find myself “Hunger(ing) and thirst(ing) after righteousness.” (Matthew 5:6)  I begin to desire to do what is right, to spend more time talking to God, to praise God, to trust God in more areas, to be comforted by God in my circumstances.  I find myself falling more and more in love with Him as I’m enveloped in His love and grace.

 Psalm 34:1 I will extol the LORD at all times; 
   his praise will always be on my lips. 
2 I will glory in the LORD; 
   let the afflicted hear and rejoice. 
3 Glorify the LORD with me; 
   let us exalt his name together.

 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; 
   he delivered me from all my fears. 
5 Those who look to him are radiant; 
   their faces are never covered with shame. 
6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; 
   he saved him out of all his troubles. 
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, 
   and he delivers them.

 8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; 
   blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. 
9 Fear the LORD, you his holy people, 
   for those who fear him lack nothing. 
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, 
   but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. 
11 Come, my children, listen to me; 
   I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 
12 Whoever of you loves life 
   and desires to see many good days, 
13 keep your tongue from evil 
   and your lips from telling lies. 
14 Turn from evil and do good; 
   seek peace and pursue it.

 15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, 
   and his ears are attentive to their cry; 
16 but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, 
   to blot out their name from the earth.

 17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; 
   he delivers them from all their troubles. 
18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted 
   and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

 19 The righteous person may have many troubles, 
   but the LORD delivers him from them all; 
20 he protects all his bones, 
   not one of them will be broken.

 21 Evil will slay the wicked; 
   the foes of the righteous will be condemned. 
22 The LORD will rescue his servants; 
   no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. 

Have you tasted and seen that the Lord is good?  Or are you like my boys, who have decided without tasting that you won’t like Him?  Maybe today should be the day that you Taste…

And perhaps tonight will be the night that my boys realize they  like green beans…  (A mom can hope, right?)


Training Tuesday: Running girl adventures

I had a running first today… and it wasn’t my time…

…although it was my second best time for 3 miles – I’m getting closer to an 11 minute mile!

As I was running, a random woman who was driving by in a mini van stopped, opened her window and started talking to me.  I assumed she was going to ask for directions, and although I wanted to be nice and helpful, I didn’t want to stop because I was timing myself.  But she didn’t ask for directions.  Instead she asked me something that stopped me in my tracks… well not fully stopped, I kept running in place as we talked.

She asked if I could use a running partner.  She was looking for someone to run with.  I said sure, that I was usually there every Tuesday and Thursday with my friend but she could join us too.  She said Thursdays didn’t work, but she’d meet us on Tuesday.  I was shocked!  As we smiled and waved she started to drive away saying, “See you Tuesday.”  Then she added, “Oh, by the way, I’m Sarah.”  I told her my name, and then she drove away.

As I ran on, I replayed the scene in my head.  To me, it was just so crazy because I would have never done that.  Ask a complete stranger to be a running partner?  Nope, I’m not that type of person.  But I did go on Facebook and ask my Facebook friends if someone would run with me.  Out of that, I got a running partner, who we both agree that the “free therapy” of talking is almost as important as the exercise we get from running.  But if no one would have responded, I would have simply been left without a partner.  So the incentive this woman took completely impressed me.  And what was it about me that encouraged her to stop… was I going slow enough that she thought, “I could do that too”?  Or was I going fast enough that she thought, “That’s the extra challenge that I need”?  Hmmm, I’ll have to ask her on Tuesday.  I’ll admit though, a huge part of me is doubting she’ll show up.  But I hope she does.

But… Oh No!!!!  As I’m typing this, I realized I’m chaperoning a kindergarten field trip on Tuesday.  If she shows up, I won’t be there!  I guess if my friend is still able to run, I’ll have her look for Sarah.  But what if my friend doesn’t run either?  Should I try to post a sign somewhere:

Dear Sarah (random stranger from the minivan),
 I really do want to run with you, but I had to go on a field trip today.  
Sorry!  I’ll be here next Tuesday.    
Becki (random running stranger)

But where would I post a sign like that… oh my.  The crazy adventures of a running girl!  I’ll let you know what happens.

Before I sign off for the day, I have to brag celebrate a little.  I am officially the lowest weight that I’ve been since my first pregnancy over 11 years ago!  Not quite at that pre-pregnancy weight, but getting closer.  But even then, I had just “lost” weight and only had it off for less than a year.  But I’m determined that I’ve thrown this weight away, not lost it to be found again.  So, yay me!  I still have a long way to go, and God still has a lot of work to do in my heart about desiring Him more than brownies or pizza… but I’ve also come so far.

♥Becki, imperfect running girl

Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word (and a five-year-old)

This morning my 5-year-old said something so biblically correct and so very challenging that it hit me to the core.  All day long, I’ve been thinking about it.   God, is this you speaking through my baby?

(That’s me and my baby when he was almost 2 and when he just turned 5… isn’t he the cutest thing ever???)

It all started with a very normal, “I love you” spoken from me to my son.  Normally he’d respond back “I love you” or “I love you more” or “I love you infinity,” and then perhaps we’d go back and forth insisting that we love the other more than they love us.  But that didn’t happen this morning.

Instead, he replied, “I know, but you need to love God more than you love me.”

Wow… We’ve talked to the boys about how much God loves us, and how we need to love God above everything.  We’ve talked to the boys about God being “#1” and then of course since they are boys and everything’s a competition, they usually go on rating everyone else, “Mommy’s #2” sometimes “Daddy’s #2” brothers are usually #3 and #4.  They don’t leave out the cat, “Shmoopy’s #5” – although sometimes she rates above a sibling.  Anyway, we’ve had conversations about this, so really my youngest’s reply shouldn’t have surprised me so much.  But it did…

Because even though I know he is correct, I wonder do I love God more than I love my sons?  Is that really possible?  What exactly does that mean?  As I was dwelling on this today, 2 verses kept coming to mind:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)

“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:37)

Now, I know God isn’t saying in Matthew 10:37, “Don’t love your father, mother, son and daughter.”  I think the key words are “more” and “all”.  If we are giving God all of our heart, through prayer, through Bible reading, through obedience, then the love for our children will naturally flow.  But if our first priority is our children, then we may not have time for God.  How often have I said, “I’m too tired to read the Bible” or “I’m too tired to pray” and then don’t?  You know the funny thing is sometimes I’m too tired to get my boys dinner or to tuck them into bed or to wake up and get them off to school.  But I do, everyday… they might have cereal for dinner, but everyday they get it, regardless of how tired I am.  Why?  Because I love them and I know they need to eat.  

So why don’t I read the Bible everyday and pray, no matter how tired I am?  If I truly loved God, wouldn’t I?  Oh God, thank you for loving me, even when I haven’t loved you.  Help me to love you more and more!

Have you ever been on a plane where those oxygen masks have had to come down?  I haven’t.  But I’ve heard the instructions on what to do if it happens.  Parents are instructed to put their own mask on first before putting their child’s mask on.  Why?  Wouldn’t every parent’s instinct be to put their child’s mask on first?  But if the parent is not breathing in the oxygen, he or she may black out before getting the mask securely on their child.  After the parent gets his or her mask on, then he can take care of his child.

If Jesus is the “air we breathe” then it is important for us to put our oxygen masks on first and breathe in the word everyday, and love Jesus fully.  In doing so, we will be able to love our children and take care of them.  (This illustration is not mine, but one I heard somewhere before.)  

In loving God first, we will ultimately be loving our children better.

♥Becki, imperfect Christ Follower

Mothering Monday: Rule #2

“Rule #2: We don’t judge, no judging.”

I just saw a trailer for the movie “What To Expect When Your Expecting” that will be released in May.  In the movie, there’s a “Dudes Group” a group of fathers that hang out together.  As they talk about their experiences as Dads, a new member of the group, a soon-to-be dad, makes a judgmental comment towards one of the dads, “You dropped your kid off of a changing table?”  He was quickly reprimanded with Rule #2.  (Click here to see the trailer.  By the way, I’m not endorsing the movie, I know nothing about it other than seeing this trailer…)

I think as moms, we desperately need this rule.  We’ve all done it.  If we nursed our children, we may think we are better than those who fed their babies formula.  If we bottle-fed our children, we are appalled as a mom displays her breast in the mall to feed her child.  If we let our babies cry to sleep, we roll our eyes at the moms who have children sleeping in their beds.  But if we co-sleep with our children, we are sure that the moms who let their babies cry to sleep are going to raise insecure children.  We all have views on whether pacifiers are OK and the appropriate age to take them away, we all have beliefs on when children should be out of diapers and what the best way to do it is.  What we feed our children, where we send them to school, to spank or not to spank, how much TV and video games they should watch… we all have opinions and can be quick to judge the mother who does it differently.  Why is that?  Why do we judge?

I heard a speaker talk about this once.  (Jonalyn Fincher)  She said that her 2 year old doesn’t sleep in his own bed, but sleeps every night with her and her husband.  She then went on to say (I’m completely paraphrasing here…), “I see you judging me.  I know you are getting ready to give me advice about how to get my son to sleep in his own bed.”  And of course, the mothers in the room laughed because she was right.  Then she said, “What I don’t see any of you doing is asking me why that works for us.  Well, my husband and I are professional speakers and spend most of our nights in hotels.  We are often in various time zones and nighttime speaking engagements means we have no normal bedtime routine.  So co-sleeping is what works for us.”  She went on to tell us that instead of judging those around us, we should take the time to learn about people and why they make the choices they do.

Perhaps the mom who bottle-fed her child desperately tried to nurse with no success.  Perhaps the 5-year-old in pull-ups has a medical issue that is making potty training difficult.  Perhaps the father of the 4-year-old pacifier sucking kid is in and out of the hospital with some medical condition and the parents just don’t think worrying about a pacifier right now is so important.  Perhaps the mother who is so vehemently opposed to spanking was abused as a child.  Perhaps it’s as simple as the mom who does things differently than you or I just has a slightly different view and is doing just fine because there is more than one way to raise a child.

As moms, some of us work, some don’t.  Some of us feed our kids only organic “whole” foods, some of us are on a first name basis with the McD’s workers.  Some of us spend most of our time reading and playing at home, others spend most of our time in the van between swim lessons and music classes and sports.  Regardless of how and why we do things, we all have 2 things in common: we love our children like crazy and we want to be the best moms we can be.  So as we journey together, let’s not judge each other.  Instead, let’s encourage and love and support each other.

♥Becki, imperfect mother who has both judged others and been judged by others

“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5: 11)

Friends & Family Friday: Sarcasm and the marriage challenge

“I can be quite sarcastic when I’m in the mood.”

J.D. Salinger wrote in The Catcher in the Rye.  (Chapter 3, Holden “said” to the reader while talking to Ackley, the guy who lived in the room next to him.)

So can I, Holden, so can I.  Therefore, when I read my Marriage Challenge for today, “13.  Do not use sarcasm with your husband today.”  I knew I might be in trouble.   So far I’m doing pretty good, but all I said was, “Have a good day, I love you” when I sat up in bed to kiss him goodbye – and I really meant it, no sarcasm there.  But he should be home around 4 and I’ll definitely need to make sure the filter on my mouth is turned on.

Right now, I’m on Day 13 of a “30 Day Marriage Challenge” that I got from iMom.  Click here for a link to the Challenge.  Click here for a link to my post about starting the challenge.  For the record, I did wake up to kiss my husband the first time I saw him in the morning on day 4.  I’ve asked “What can I help you with today?”  I’ve put a date night on the calendar.  I’ve prayed for wisdom in being a wife.

I’ve even gone a whole day without correcting my husband.  But… on that day, I said to him, “I’m not allowed to correct you today, so don’t say or do anything wrong, OK?”  Probably not the intention the creator of the challenge had in mind.  I may not have corrected him, but I definitely hit him with a sarcastic dig.  I truly had no vicious intent with it, just trying to be funny.  But it’s possible that he might have heard me saying, “I’m going to try to not correct you today, but you usually say or do wrong things, so help me out by not saying or doing anything wrong so I don’t have to correct you.”

I even then went further by repeating, in front of him, to others what I said.  Again, purely because I think I’m so darn funny that everyone should get to hear what I have to say… but not thinking about how disrespectful I was really being.  I think my husband is one of the smartest, most insightful people I know.  But my sarcasm definitely said otherwise.

I looked up sarcasm and here’s what I found on the online Etymology Dictionary:  1570s, from L.L. sarcasmos, from Gk. sarkasmos “a sneer, jest, taunt, mockery,” from sarkazein “to speak bitterly, sneer,” lit. “to strip off the flesh,” from sarx (gen. sarkos) “flesh,” prop. “piece of meat,” from PIE root *twerk- “to cut” (cf. Avestan thwares “to cut”).

Reading the definition was a little difficult for me, especially since I’ve often prided myself on my clever sarcasm.  “To strip off the flesh” – umm, that can’t be good.  I usually only use sarcasm to be funny and not mean, but I’m starting to wonder if that’s possible…

Sure some sarcasm seems innocent and doesn’t really hurt anyone.  Last night as I was reading The Hunger Games for the second time, I came across some sarcasm as Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch were talking:

“What about you? I’ve seen you in the market. You can lift hundred-pound bags of flour,”  I (Katniss) snap at him (Peeta).  “Tell him that. That’s not nothing.”

“Yes and I’m sure the arena will be full of bags of flour for me to chuck at people.”

Peeta wasn’t trying to say that Katniss was stupid for saying that, he was more trying to deflect her compliment.  I think we do that a lot when we don’t feel confident about who we are.  But perhaps Katniss, or anyone in this position, would really hear, “You’re an idiot for even saying that.”  But even if she hears it with the intent it was spoken and doesn’t read into it, Peeta is still taking a dig at himself, saying that it doesn’t matter that he’s strong.  So can sarcasm that puts ourselves down really be innocent?

I don’t know… I’m just trying to work through my thoughts on sarcasm as someone who is the queen of sarcasm… so I think I should see what the Bible has to say about it.  I just put in a search for “What does the Bible say about sarcasm?”  I found a site called Open Bible (I don’t know anything about the site) but there was a list of Bible Verses About Sarcasm.  I’ll admit, many of them don’t seem to really apply or were kind of a stretch, but 2 of them really hit me hard:

Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”  (Proverbs 26:18-19, NIV) The New Living Translation says, “Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon, is someone who lies to a friend and then says, ‘I was only joking.'”

Oh my… how often have I said, “Just kidding” or “I was being sarcastic” or exactly as the Bible said, “I was only joking.”  Am I really as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon?  I’m sure after events like Columbine, we can all picture in our heads a “madman shooting a deadly weapon”.  There’s no way I’m as damaging as that… or am I?????

And… in Ephesians, Paul says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  (Ephesians 4:29, NIV)  The New Living Translation says it this way, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

Are my words an encouragement to those who hear them?  Am I building up others according to their needs?  Am I benefiting those who listen?  Probably not when I’m being sarcastic.

So why is it so hard for me to want to let it go?  I like being funny, I like saying things that make others laugh, even when it’s at the expense of others.  The laughter feels like approval, and I love the approval of those around me.  I guess it’s a pride issue…

Oh God, forgive me, I know I need a major overhaul here.  Help me to stop delighting in sarcastic humor, but to delight in building up those around me, especially my husband.

I’ll admit, that it’s taking all of my restraint to not end this post with some witty, sarcastic comment… so I’ll simply end!

Joining you on the journey as we press on to be more and more like Christ…



Wednesday’s Wisdom from the Word: Crown of thorns (again)

This week as we remember the crucifixion, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ, I’m resurrecting an old post.  Well, I guess reusing is a better word, but I liked tying it into the resurrection.  Anyway, this is a post that I wrote on January 4th.  I think it ties in perfectly with this week so I thought I’d share it again (well that and I haven’t been inspired with a new topic yet)…

Have you ever pricked your finger on the thorn of a rose?  Perhaps you were admiring the rose’s  beauty, perhaps you were enjoying its fragrance, perhaps someone special gave you roses and you were arranging them in a vase.  For  me, no matter what I am doing when it happens, it usually catches me by surprise, and it always hurts more than I think it should.

So why on this cold winter day (remember this was typed back in January) am I talking about roses and thorns?  No, my husband didn’t surprise me with any… although it’s something he does fairly often.  The other day as I was doing my bible reading from my chronological plan to read through the bible in a year, I read the part where Adam and Eve ate the apple and God was describing the consequences of the sin.

And to the man he said,  ‘Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree  whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you.  All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.  It will grow thorns and thistles for you though you will eat of its grains.  By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground…”  (Genesis 3:17-19, emphasis mine) 

As I was reading it I was reminded of something I once heard Beth Moore say.  (If you don’t know who she is, she is my all time favorite Bible teacher.  She has such a strong understanding of God’s work and she teaches it from a women’s heart)  In one of her studies and to be honest I’ve done so many that I don’t remember which one it is, she was talking about Jesus’ crucifixion.  I’m sure no matter how familiar you are with the bible, you have some type of picture in your head of the crucifixion.  Jesus being whipped, Jesus being nailed to a cross.  A crown of thorns being placed on Jesus’ head…

Did you catch where I’m going with this yet?  Let me say it again and give you another chance… Jesus being whipped, Jesus being nailed to a cross.  A crown of THORNS being placed on Jesus’ head.

In the study, Beth Moore pointed out a connection that I had never noticed.  When talking about the crucifixion, she brought us back to Genesis after Adam and Eve ate that apple.  One of the results of sin was having to labor for food because of the newly added thorns and thistles.  The thorns were the result of sin.  When Jesus hung on the cross, he wore a crown of thorns on his head.  He symbolically was wearing sin on his head.  How cool is that?

This connection is just a little detail of how perfectly the whole “story” fits together.  I love details like that… so minor that most of us miss them.  Yet I’m sure God was very purposeful when he composed it that way.  It really isn’t something that theologically matters much, but I love that it’s there.  Kind of like when you’re at a party that the host went above and beyond with all their little theme decorations and such… it would have been a good party without – but knowing that someone went to all that trouble makes it feel more special.

So as I was reading yesterday, and I came to that part about the thorns, once again, I was delighted, smiled at the knowledge of God’s completeness and thanked Jesus for dying on that cross for my sin.  Because even though Eve and Adam were the first to sin, I’ve done more than my share!  So thank you, Jesus.


P.S. Have you ever been delighted or surprised by something in God’s word?  I’d love to hear about it.

Training Tuesday: Getting rid of weight and clothes

“You didn’t lose weight.  Losing implies that you want to find it again.  You got rid of it.”  A friend recently said this to me when I told her how much weight I’ve “lost”.  As someone who has lost weight several times only to gain it back again, that really stuck with me.

Last week (before it got cold again) I was rearranging my drawers and closets.  I pulled out my winter clothes to put up into the attic.  Many of them are too big already and some are close to being too big.  As I started to put them in a bin to stow away, I thought about what my friend had said.  If I truly got rid of that weight, then I wouldn’t need these clothes next year or ever.  Could I be bold enough to just get rid of them?   But what if????  There’s nothing worse than having to buy more clothes because your clothes are too small.  So it’s nice to have a stash tucked away just in case.  But should I really give myself a just in case?

I asked Jeff what he thought… should I get rid of them or keep them just in case.  “Get rid of them,” He assured me.  So now, I have them bagged up and in my van to take to Good Will.  I have to admit, it’s hard to do.  I really want to take them out of the van and hide them up in the attic.  But I really, really don’t ever want to fit in them again.  So I plan on taking them over today.

Last year, I “lost” weight only to find some of it back again.  I’ve been working hard to get rid of it again, and now I’m 1 pound higher than my lowest weight last spring.  Soon, I’ll be onto new weight to get rid of, and I’m so excited about that.  I’m praying I don’t sabotage myself… in my mental picture of who I am, I am a fat girl who weighs within a 20 pound range.  If I’m over it or at the high-end, I need to lose weight.  If I’m at the low-end, I usually feel pretty good.  Right now, I’m at the very low-end of it.   When I hit this point last year, I think I unconsciously… or is it subconsciously… whatever, I stopped trying to “lose” weight and then started gaining.  Could it be because I don’t picture myself as someone who weighs less than this?

Oh, Jesus, help me to see me as you see me.  Help me to take care of this body.  Help me to find delight in you and not in food.  Help me to continue to get rid of this extra weight and to never “find” it again.  Oh, and Jesus, I pray that I will not regret giving these clothes to Good Will!


P.S. I started typing this earlier and since then I dropped the clothes off!

Friends & Family Friday: Marriage Challenge

This summer, Jeff and I will be celebrating our 16th anniversary.  Sometimes being married and loving Jeff is as easy as breathing.  But other times, I need to be intentional about loving Jeff – not so much because of anything he is or isn’t doing, but because of me.  Almost 16 years of marriage has shown me one glaring truth about myself – I’m very selfish.

If Jeff is sick, my thoughts immediately go to how it affects me and our boys.  If Jeff had a bad day, I seem to be more concerned about how his mood affects me than the fact that he is upset.  I expect him to cater to my moods (which I have many ups and downs). Meanwhile I’m wanting him to be perpetually in a good mood, and I have little tolerance for anything else.  Since I’m a night person, I make very little effort to go to bed early even though he wakes up at 6.  And since the mornings and I don’t get along very well, I make no effort to get up and spend anytime with him in the morning before he leaves for work.  I’m very selfish.

As I said before, I’m aware of my imperfections, but not content to remain in them.  Therefore, when I saw a recent post from iMOM, I knew it was for me.  It is a 30 day Marriage challenge in which each day you focus on doing something for your husband.  There are 30 items and you are supposed to correspond them to the date.  So I figure I’ll start on Sunday, April 1st.  I will at some point do #1. “What can I help you with today?”  Which may seem like no big deal.  But on the weekends, I usually have my own agenda for us, and I usually give Jeff a run down of what we need to do.  I definitely think by asking Jeff, “What can I help you with today?” I’m showing him that he is important and giving him value.  I’ll be putting my focus on him and his needs rather than on mine.  These aren’t difficult things, and they are things that I really want to do for him, but when I focus on myself, I probably don’t.  By doing them, I’m intentionally trying to be less selfish.

I’ll admit, I’m a little concerned about #4: “Kiss your husband the first time you see him in the morning.”  Not because I don’t want to kiss my husband… because I definitely do!  But like I said earlier, mornings and I don’t get along too well, and I usually only grunt a good-bye to him.  So I need to remember to do it!  Maybe you can pray for me that I’ll remember to wake up on Wednesday 🙂 Who knows, maybe it will start a whole new morning routine for me.

Perhaps you’ll join me on this challenge.  Not married?  Then perhaps there’s someone in your life that you could apply this to.  A coworker that is difficult to work with?  A roommate? Your mother?  Whatever, the idea is to focus on intentionally doing things for that person to take the focus off yourself.  Obviously if you are applying these things to someone other than your husband, you’ll have to adjust them… I mean your coworker may not appreciate you kissing him or her the first time you see him or her in the morning… but you get the point.

Joining you on the journey,

♥Becki, imperfect wife

Thursday’s Thoughts on Home: Finding extra money

In the past week, I got $10 in Amazon gift cards for using the internet, I’ve gotten paid to have a free oil change in both of our cars,  could have gotten paid to order and eat a large pizza for free (but I’m not eating pizza right now, so I passed) and could have gotten paid to buy a bottle of wine (for free) and to test out mattresses.  So what’s my secret?

I’ve signed up to be a mystery shopper.  I always wondered about doing it, but was extremely hesitant.  I mean there are so many scams out there, how do I know what’s legit and what’s not.  So here’s what I’ve determined – there’s no need to pay a fee to sign up.  Many companies will try to get you to sign up as a “gold member” or something for a fee to have access to their job boards.  Perhaps this is legit and you will actually get better “shops” if you do, but I’ve gotten enough shops without paying any fees.  So I don’t recommend or endorse any of those.  A main one that I use is National Shopping Service. They end up contacting me when they have something in the area.

Last week, I did 2 oil change “shops”.  I used both of our cars.  We needed an oil change anyway, so it was perfect.  I was reimbursed the $37.97 for each oil change, plus was paid $8 each for my time.  The payment went directly to my PayPal account.  Some companies will mail you a check instead.  I had to call and make the appointment, go in, observe the cleanliness of the facility and bathroom, time how long it took for my car to be brought in and then how long it took for the oil change.  I had to notice the employees names and if they were wearing a uniform.  After the oil change, I went home and filled out a survey online that took me less than 10 minutes to do.  So easy – love it!!!  So mystery shopper has become one way that I find some extra money for us.

Another way, and I know I’ve talked about it here before, so if you’re tired of hearing about it, no need to continue reading… is Swagbucks.  Today I cashed in 900 Swagbucks for (2) $5 Amazon Gift cards.  Love it!  I use Amazon to buy books for my Kindle, to order coffee for my Keurig, to download music, and to buy lots of other random things.  It takes me about a week to earn one gift card and it’s so easy!  All I do is use the Swagbucks toolbar that I’ve installed on my browser.  That gets me 1 buck a day.  I answer a quick poll question that gets me another buck a day.  I click through a few offers (skipping them, not signing up for anything) and that gets me 2 bucks per pay.  Then I use the Swagbucks search engine when I’m searching the internet or even when I’m just going to Facebook or Yahoo or my blog, I usually get 7-15 bucks twice a day for that.  If that was all I did, it would take me 18 days of about 3 minutes per day to earn the $5 gift card.

But I’ll occasionally play games, watch videos, do surveys, print coupons, find codes and these give me even more bucks.  But then of course, one of the reasons I promote Swagbucks isn’t just because I like you, which I do, it’s because I earn Swagbucks when people sign up from my links and when they earn bucks.  With these, it usually takes me a week to earn the $5 gift card.  Don’t like Amazon?  They have all sorts of gift cards from Home Depot, Fandango, Restaurants, iTunes and more.  They also have merchandise that you can “buy” with your bucks or sweepstakes you can enter for things like an iPad.  I love it, because I’m really not doing anything other than what I’d be doing without Swagbucks.  Difference is I’m getting some of the money from the advertisers instead of google getting it all.  If you click on the “Swidget” at the bottom of the page, it will link you to the site for more info.

So those are just a couple of ways that I try to add some extra to what we have.  If you have some things you do to get extra money, I’d love to hear!