Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resolutions

Here we are, on the eve of a brand new year. I can't help but think about making some resolutions, but, like most people, I usually fall short, give up, get lazy...
Instead I think I will list some things I am looking forward to in the New Year. It just seems a bit more fun and there's a lot less disappointment...
* First, I am looking forward to developing my relationship with Christ. This last year has been a whirlwind spiritually for me, but a few times the Lord spoke to me so clearly and I look forward to more of that in the coming year. My sister's pastor was recently talking about trusting God's heart for us, and I trust that God's heart is for me to grow more in my intimacy with Him. I can't wait to see how He does that, even if it may be a little painful.
* I am looking forward to playing with the kids more. I am excited about tea parties, red light/green light, Mario Kart, and getting into chapter books. I'm actually even getting a little giddy about maybe doing some yard projects, like keeping a garden.
* I am looking forward to reenergizing my marriage. With the kids so close together and Simeon being so young our relationship has seemed to take a back seat, and this year, I am very excited to get things back on course.
* I can't wait to pay off our car and be totally debt free, except for the mortgage.
* I am looking forward to dumping the final few pounds of baby weight and finally being rid of the muffin top.
* I'm excited about becoming more organized and continuing to maintain the "less is more" attitude when it comes to my "stuff".
* I am looking forward to understand Judah and getting him the help he needs so he feels understood.
* I am looking forward to meeting Lincoln where he is at and not expecting him to be someone he is not.
* I am looking forward to Brooklyn's first hair cut and developing my feminine side with my daughter.
* I am looking forward to every precious baby moment I can savor with Simeon.
* I am looking forward to developing my friendships with the friends who have sustained me this last year and helped to keep me above water (Cindi, Amelia, Jenni) and to being able to give back to them the same way they have given to me.
* I look forward to reestablishing friendships with those who's lives have gone in different directions but whom I still love very much.
*I look forward to actually maintaining this blog.
I'm sure the longer I sit here the longer my list will become. But for now...those are a few of the things I have to look forward to for the next year.

My cousin's wife keeps a blog, www.passionatehomemaking.com. Today she posted these questions...in case you need more to think about.

Donald Whit­ney says:

Once, when the people of God had become care­less in their rela­tion­ship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things hap­pen­ing to them, and to eval­u­ate their slip­shod spir­i­tu­al­ity in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faith­ful to God occa­sion­ally need to pause and think about the direc­tion of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one busy week to another with­out ever stop­ping to ponder where we’re going and where we should be going.

The begin­ning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bear­ings. To that end, here are some ques­tions to ask prayer­fully in the pres­ence of God.

  1. What’s one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoy­ment of God?
  2. What’s the most humanly impos­si­ble thing you will ask God to do this year?
  3. What’s the single most impor­tant thing you could do to improve the qual­ity of your family life this year?
  4. In which spir­i­tual dis­ci­pline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
  5. What is the single biggest time-​waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
  6. What is the most help­ful new way you could strengthen your church?
  7. For whose sal­va­tion will you pray most fer­vently this year?
  8. What’s the most impor­tant way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year dif­fer­ent from last year?
  9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
  10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The ONE

So, our nation has elected a new president. It's been weird, because for the first time in my voting life I've been genuinely concerned about the outcome. Not that I thought John McCain was awesome, but Barak Obama scares me. I'm not a socialist, I'm pro-life, I'm pro Jesus, I don't think the government needs to take care of me...pretty much everything he IS, I'm not. I went to bed last night worrying - a lot. On the news the reporter said people were dancing and singing in the street. It was surreal; I kept thinking, "This is end times stuff." The Lord kept drawing my mind back to Matthew 24 (read it if you have a moment) and to the verses, where they are escape me right now, that talk about when the world is saying peace and prosperity the END is near. It's a wonderful and terrifying thought all at the same time. My pastor, Jim, posted this on his facebook page today. I found it to be incredibley encouraging...

10 Reasons To Be Hopeful Today.

Tonight the nation spoke. They chose a new king. He is a beautiful, articulate man and he is the pride of the nation. He is not the man that I would have chosen, but he is the man that has been chosen. My prayer is that he will govern well. I wanted to compile a short list of reasons why in this political defeat, there is great hope.
My hope for the future is not in any man. I have a King that holds the world together by the power of His word.
I have a city, a home in heaven, and though this world is passing away, there is a glorious dawn ahead. This is not a vain hope, but a promise from the Lord.
Though I lament the declining morality and faith of this great nation, I believe that it will mean fruitful labors for the church. The trials ahead will purge the church of complacency and worldliness.
The scriptures will be proven, even if in decline of the morality of my people.
The “Day of the Lord” seems clearer and closer. The events of Matthew 24 are all being fulfilled.
The kings and rulers of this world are pawns in the hands of the Lord. He is not disturbed by them, be they friend or foe of Him or His people.
The love of God still remains the most powerful weapon in the universe.
Jesus remains the supplier of all of my need. There is no government program that can fill the needs of people.
The Holy Spirit is alive in me, and will continue to guide and direct my life.
My home will be a home of peace, love, and faith, regardless of how the world around us choses to live.


After that my friend Bree commented this...

I remember distinctly the first time I saw the bumper sticker that was just plain white with black lettering, it said "Got Hope?" I was so astonished because it was on the car of someone that I had no idea "had hope" then I discovered that the "hope" this sticker was referring to was our newly elected president....
Today, I worked, and if you don't know I work in King County where the opinions of many are expressed loudly. Today seemed a bit strange to me. People who are normaly very pessimistic were suprisingly smiley and optimistic they were borderline jovial. There was laughter and I dare go so far as to say a sense of giddiness in the shop that I work in. And it was all a buzz of the amazing change that was coming as a result of this newly elected man. What is exciting to me is these people THINK that they have found hope. They THINK that they've gotten a new beginning and that change will occur in our world because of this one man. I can only imagine what the world would be like if they really " HAD HOPE" If they knew THE MAN that has already changed the entire world. How jovial and excited would they be then. Give me a whole new idea on campaigning for a leader. I have not done a good enough job of campaining for my leader in my life lately and especially in my workplace. I have a new, renewed hope today
!

I've got to remember all of this. The ONE, the MAN who give me my Hope, my Future...my ALL. I think with these thoughts I will sleep well tonight. I think tonight I will pray for the LORD to give my heart peace and to remember that He is in control and that I do not need to fear. I will "Look to the Lord and His strength; I will seek His face always... "(ps. 105:4)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Simeon slept 9 1/2 hours last night. It was wonderful. Or, it would have been had Brooklyn actually slept through the night herself. I'm not sure if it's teething or just being in a big girl bed but that lady is having a hard time sleeping through the night anymore. At least she goes back down without much trouble. I'm sure the amount of sugar that was pumped into her bloodstream after trick-or-treating didn't help much. She did have so much fun though. As did the boys. Although, at one house we were walking to the door and some motion sensors set off witches cackling and ghosts howling and both the boys went into melt-down mode. They wouldn't walk one step further and were both in hysterics. It was hard not to laugh at them, but considering the homeowner had a huge "I AM OBAMA" sign in their window I shouldn't have been too surprised that they enjoy scary things. We had Amelia and Abby Gallagher with us, which is always fun. Brooklyn really adores Abby and I love watching her interact. I hope as they get older they can stay good friends. They're just a year apart, which seems like a lot now, but by the time they're a bit older I think they'll be pretty fond of each other.
In other Wheeler news, Mike got the big snip-snip on Thursday. While we were pregnant with Simeon I never thought we'd be able to make that decision, but after he was born our family really started to feel complete. That, and I have feel like I'm in way over my head with four kids. But I'm choosing to think of it more as my family being completed than me being so overwhelmed all the time, because I know that will (hopefully?) pass someday soon. A friend of mine, she was actually one of my camper's years ago at Camp Gilead, came for a visit on Wednesday evening and brought back her boyfriend's Xbox on Thursday so Mike has been recovering well and zoning out playing Lego Star Wars and Sneak King. Yes, I said Sneak King. It's a Burger King Xbox game he borrowed from his brother. And trust me, if you find the King creepy in commercials, he is even more creepy when you watch him for 45 minutes while he sneaks up on hungry people to offer them Whoppers. (Insert shiver here)
We were supposed to head down to Portland today to see Dave Ramsey but we decided to give our tickets to Doug and Jessica. I'm very bummed; I think we need the encouragement to keep our debt snowball rolling. It seems so tough right now. But we did sit down tonight and go over our budget and redo a few things so I feel like we're back on track. We were pretty surprised to add up all our "extra" money (Mike's overtime, etc.) and look at our checkbook ledger and see that we blew through nearly 3/4 of it on little things we don't normally buy. I'm glad we had the cash to buy them, but I think of how much closer we'd be to debt free if we'd have just put it towards our car. November 5th is a new paycheck and we are determined to start hammering this out. We may be out of debt by this next summer after all...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Darf Wader and a Clothes Trooper


My two oldest boys, ages 5 and 3 1/2, love Star Wars. They love star ship cruisers and light sabers and Chewbacca and Jedi's. It only seemed natural that for Halloween they would want to be Darth Vader and a Clone Trooper. Actually it was more like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker (they've only seen the older movies so far) but Wal-Mart doesn't carry Luke Skywalker costumes. Anyway, the other night they tried on their costumes and were running around the house. It was sheer chaos but total fun. Judah, our 3 1/2 year old, says to his brother something about Clone Troopers being Darth Vader's guys (which, in three year old speak, sounds a lot like darf wader's guys)...to which his brother responds, "No Judah. I'm a clothes trooper. I do your laundry."

What am I doing here?

Today I begin my blogging career. Apparently, raising four children isn't giving me enough to do. My mother in law suggested that I give blogging a try since I enjoy writing, but with the kids I haven't really made time to practice, so at the very least, my grammar will be poor. But I do think I'll enjoy having a (semi) creative outlet, since my scrapbooking supplies are gathering dust, working out is less than appealing, and updating my facebook status every ten minutes is pretty pathetic.
I decided on the title "Gently Led" based on one of my favorite Bible verses, Isaiah 40:11. My mom put it inside my valentine when I was pregnant with our first son. I taped it to the fridge and it has been there ever since. I love the idea of God gently leading me. Since there's really nothing "gentle" about raising children, generally speaking, I think God chooses to lead those of us on this parenting journey so kindly. Not only are we unkind and harsh with ourselves as we make mistakes, parenting or otherwise, but we then tend to project that onto our children. I need that gentle Voice, gentle Hand, gentle Word, gentle Shepherd, to guide and lead me. And then in turn I can take these little hearts that God has given me and instead of projecting my mistakes and failures onto them, can hand them over to the Shepherd who has so gently been leading me.
So, here we go...post one, finished!