New Years Resolutions always seem to go badly for me. I make them and can't keep, I don't think I've even made it a week before I give up. Well, this year is going to be different...
This year I am going to get up early...5:30 is my goal. My other resolution is give up some of my personal time, like sleep, hence the getting up early.
I hold on dearly to "my time". For a while I have felt like I have no time for myself and I have all this stuff to do and so for and so on. And the Lord has really been impressing on my heart a few things like, is it really your time, are you using it best, are you willing to sacrifice more so that you can share about Me to those who don't understand. I have been challenged by the life of Paul who, labored day and night so that people could hear (Col. 1:24,29) and he was glad that he suffered. I will be honest I do not rejoice in my suffering, usually I complain and get really grumpy for a while and then I come to grips with it but still not rejoicing in it.
For example, four days before Christmas I hadn't done any shopping. I knew things were tight and we had a little for gifts for the kids. Then a few things came up and I suddenly I was mad at God cause I HAD to go buy flip flops, stickers, notebooks, a hairbrush for Jade and packs of gum for the kids and I couldn't. Never have I been faced with something like that, nothing extra for even flip flops! Then the Lord reminded me it doesn't matter, where is your focus, your kids will be fine, what a great teaching opportunity for your kids, well it turned out to be great teaching opportunity for me. I got really sad, then I was reminded of the things we did have for them, we got Jamen a used game-boy, I made a bowling game (out of 2 liter soda bottles), I had found some free kids DVDs someone was giving away and we had yummy food like cinnamon rolls and hamburgers for grilling on Christmas. I had no reason to be sad.
Well, the next day, after much prayer on my part (and Jon's), the door bell rang and someone (not an American friend or even a really close friend, it was totally a God thing) showed up with gifts for the kids and a Christmas card. Lets just say I cried when I opened the card and cried again when the kids opened their gifts. I was blown away how the Lord provided.
So, the kids got flip flops for Christmas (plus a few more things)! I was prepared for not shopping this year but the Lord said not this year! Its been stuff like that has been such a huge reminder that the Lord provides and I am I willing to be used in a greater way by being willing to give up a little more. You can pray for me in this, my flesh rears its ugly head and says look at all you have already given up, your family, your friends, your physical comfort, your comfort zone, the "american dream" and so forth and so on. But really what is all that? I can tell you right now its not necessary for the Christian walk and following Christ and obeying.
The Lord is constantly growing me and showing me more and more of what needs changing my life. This month seems to be full of growth and areas that need changing. There have been so many other things the Lord has challenged me with like slowing down to take time for my kids, instead of getting grouchy cause I have this list that needs to get done that day. If I have to skip home schooling one morning or yes, even skip Spanish study because my kids need me I need to do it. I have such a huge JOB in training and teaching my kids I cannot afford to mess it up (intentionally). To name a few more things, having a joyful heart (Proverbs 17:22), Jamen told me the other day, "Mommy you are grouchy, you need some joyful heart medicine". Let me tell you that hurt, now in my defense I did have a really bad head cold but still. My kids watch me and what kind of example am I setting.
I also need to be willing to risk looking like a fool more. One part of language learning is feel stupid and like you don't know anything. I fumble around with my words, searching for the right one, trying to tack on endings and in the correct tense and who is talking to whom. It can be very frustrating at times, you start a sentence and realize half way though you can't end it cause you don't know that word, so you quick try to start over, only to say it all in third person when you when you were talking about yourself...HA! One thing I am going to start doing in sitting with my neighbors in the evenings, they sit outside their house just about every night at the same time and I have no reason not to go hang out for a little while. I'll start out slowly but I am praying it will be a start of a growing relationship with them.
Well, that pretty much sums up my December...here are some pics from last month...