Sunday, February 13, 2011

Being Focused on the Truly Valuable

We live in a world where we are constantly being bombarded by media and messages that are often not consistent with how a woman of God should live. The radio, the television, movies, even the grocery store check-out lane shouts at us to be thinner! sexier! prettier! a perfect mom! a perfect wife! a perfect woman!

And the truth is, we often fall for it. I know I do, at least. I want to be that perfect woman that I see on the screen or the cover of a magazine. And maybe, just maybe, if I buy into whatever tip or trick is being offered, I will be completely satisfied with my life.

That's yet to happen.

And don't you find yourself in the trap of comparing yourself, your husband, your children, your home to others around you? Isn't it easy to wish you had a bigger, nicer home? A husband who is ultra-romantic and helpful around the house? Children who are accomplished and well-behaved at all times? A tinier waistline and bigger budget?

It's just all too easy to focus on the wrong things, isn't it?

A while ago, I found on a wonderful blog, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, the perfect antidote to this trap. It's a simple prescription to help us keep our eyes in the right place and, in so doing, to help us keep our hearts content with all that God has blessed us with. Here it is:

1. Ignore all the books, mags and ads that convince me I need to buy them in order to find out their secrets.

2. Focus my life, my mind and my heart on Christ.

3. Drown out all the voices that dictate what you and the children are "supposed to be doing"- (everyone seems to have a plan for our lives, don't they?), take your eyes off what your friends/neighbors are doing by not comparing and then reexamine false standards or high expectations you have made for yourself and your loved ones.

4. Pray and ask God to give me focus, ability and wisdom to prioritize my husband, children and home. Ask hubby for advice that He has to offer.

5. Expect for Him to answer in a powerful way and then....

6. Obey and listen to Him!

Sounds so simple, doesn't it?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Life is Good

I don't know if anyone is ever even checking this old, practically defunct blog anymore. I wouldn't imagine so, but if anyone ever happens to check in, I thought I'd give an update. After all, it's 3:15 and I'm up watching the Super Bowl. Not for the football, mind you, really for the commercials. After all, the only bowl my team (Denver Broncos) went to this year was the toilet bowl!! Anyhoo, this seemed like a good time to pop in and say hi to anyone who's still interested.

Since my last real substantial update, lots has gone on. We had a fabulous trip to Rome in November!! It was so nice to be in a place where you found something beautiful around every corner - a park, a fountain, a piazza, a church, something. We had a great time. Could have been a little bit better if the apartment's heat had been working since it was in the 40's but, hey, let's focus on the positive, shall we??

We had a nice Christmas break, during which we traveled to Abu Dhabi, just an hour south of Dubai. Hubby's sister lives there, so it was really nice to visit her and her family. Daniel really enjoyed visiting with his cousin of the same age and Emily got to participate in a youth retreat put on by Youth for Christ for kids from all over the Gulf region. We had a great time visiting Dubai, but the highlight for me was bookstores!!! We spent well over $200 at the Christian boostore (yippee!!!), and then stocked up at this amazingly huge bookstore we found in Dubai as well. That's one thing I really miss living here. Another great treat for us was some of our favorite restaraunts - PF Chang's, Wendy's, Taco Bell and more. Yummy!

Daniel got to participate in January in our middle school's Week Without Walls. 8th graders get to go to either Malaysia or Sri Lanka. Daniel chose Sri Lanka because it had more of a service element to it and involved more contact with animals. He had an amazing trip during which he worked to help refurbish a local primary school, visit an elephant orphanage and tour cultural sites all over the country. The highlight, though, was that leeches apparently got into his shoes and sucked his blood. Very cool stuff for a 13 year old boy!!!!!

Emily went to her winter formal also in January and looked so beautiful and grown up I thought I would cry. I can't believe that we only have another 2 years or so to have her in our nest before she'll be out on her own. It's been such a change to start relating to her as more of an adult than a child. Sadly, she had to learn some grown-up lessons last week when the mother of a friend passed away. The situation brought up so many conflicting emotions for her - how to deal with mortality, how to talk to the friend about it, and more. I'm so thankful that she's really built a good relationship with one of the school counselors, who's both a friend and neighbor. He spent a good deal of time talking to her since it happened, helping her process and deal with her emotions.

Overall, life is pretty darn good though. Emily is preparing for her spring break mission trip to Jordan again. The kids are doing well in school. We're looking forward to summer. I learned today that I'll have almost three months off, so we'll have a nice long visit home. We are considering spending some time looking at colleges while we are there. My mom and dad will be sick of us by the time we leave, we'll be at their house for so long!!

Thanks to those of you who have kept me on your "follow" list. I promise to try to get back to form soon!!

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