30 day challenge

“So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 1 Peter 2:1-3

 

These verses come right after Peter was telling the people to be holy because God is holy, and that because they are born again they need to love one another. It’s like Peter knew the people were going to ask, “How do we do that?” So he explained how.

First they are supposed to put away ALL malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. He could have just said all once and then put the words. But he chose to repeat all several times therefore drawing emphasis to the seriousness of getting rid of all of it. He is saying there is no place for these things in people who want to be holy as God is holy, and who want to love one another because they are born again.

Second they are to long for the spiritual milk, so that they may grow. He likens this to how newborns long for milk. The only way newborns grow is if they get milk from their mom or formula. But they need the milk to grow. So for us to grow in Christ we have to long for the spiritual milk.

Then Peter basically says if you are truly born again then you will do these things. If you have tasted that the Lord is good, these things will be a desire of yours. If you really believe then this will be something you long for.

After reading these verses and studying them, my question then becomes “What does this look like practically?” For me what it looks like is making time every day to spend with the Lord, in prayer, in bible study, meditating on scripture, etc. The more time I spend with the Lord the more I long for more, the more I know I need time with him to grow. And I also know for myself when I’m daily spending time with him I’m less likely to be envious of others, to slander others, to lie, etc. Because the more time I spend with Him, and the more I learn, the more that I want to share with others. The more time I spend with Him the more He comes out in my words and actions. I’m a better parent, friend, sister, daughter, etc. the more time I spend with Him. The more I taste of the Lord the more I see how good He really is.

I know this is not true for just me. I know it’s true for anyone who spends time with Him. So I have a challenge for us in this tidbit, because it’s easy to hear God’s word and then not put it into practice, I’m guilty of it a lot. Let’s not do that this time, let’s put these verses into practice. Let’s taste and see that the Lord is good. For the next 30 days let’s commit to daily spending time with him, whether it’s 5 minutes, or an hour, doesn’t matter. But will you commit with me to making it a priority to spend some time with the Lord every day for the next 30 days?

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Lent

I have participated in lent every year since I was in middle school. I am not part of the little c catholic church but I knew lots of people who were growing up. When I was younger I just gave up things for fun, to see if I could do it. So I would give up things like candy, chocolate, fried foods, or one year all sweets. Stuff that was challenging to me, but still fun to try to go without.

But when I was in college my reason for participating in lent changed. I started actually putting thought into what I was going to give up and how it was going to bring me closer to Jesus during that time, which is what it’s supposed to be about. The last two years I’ve struggled to come up with something to give up. Last year I decided I was going to give up a half hour of sleep every morning and spend time in the word or praying.

Coming up with something for this year was a bit harder. I had one idea all along but I didn’t want to do it. But as the season of lent drew closer I knew I should do it. When this becomes your life you know you should probably do something about it.naps1Ok really I never took 6 hour naps. But I was taking more and more 4 hour naps. I had let myself get into the habit of taking a nap almost every day after the kids left for school. Sometimes they would only be 2 hours and then I would get up but they had started to get longer and longer.

So I gave up naps for lent. I called myself crazy. When I told other people, especially the people I work with, they all thought I was crazy. But I knew it was something that would bring me closer to Jesus. I knew when I got really tired I would have to lean into him for strength, love, patience, etc. I was also hoping that I would use the time I used to nap and be productive. naps4So how did it go? First I just want to say the Lord is so GOOD and so FAITHFUL. Every time I went to Him, and leaned into Him, he came through big time. I may have told him 5 billion times I wasn’t sure I would make it the 40 days without a nap, but He still was faithful.

There was one morning I was so tired that my prayer before going out in the cottage in the morning was “God help me have love and patience with the boys this morning because I have none.” One of the boys ended up having a major attitude and was being a real toot, and I was just about to get onto him and give him consequences, which would have made the situation way worse. But I heard this small voice in my head saying just wait. So I waited and sure enough a couple of minutes later He apologized for his attitude and the things he was saying, and admitted he was so tired it was making him grumpy. So I got to tell him out of love and patience, and not out of anger, that we all get tired and grumpy and we just need to learn to not let that affect how we treat others. It was a much more effective teaching moment than it would have been had I not waited. Right after I was done telling him that I just knew the Lord had answered my prayer. naps2

There were other times that I would be so tired but I unexpectedly got to either go to bed earlier or sleep in a little longer than normal. Really anytime I was focused on Him through it He came through.

I’m not writing all this to say look at what I did, look how good I am. Because I’m not that good. There were lots of days through that period that I didn’t lean into the Lord, and I was short-tempered with the boys, I let my grumpiness determine how I dealt with the boys. I am sinful, I make mistakes, I’m not perfect. But I did want to document this year’s lent and how the Lord was so Faithful and so Good throughout.

So the question now is have I taken a nap since the season of lent ended on Easter? And the answer is yes. I have taken a total of 2 naps since then. Both of them have been this week. I took a 1 hour nap on Monday, and I took a 2.25 one on Tuesday, my first day off. I have to say I was a little scared to start napping again. I don’t want to allow myself to go back to where I was before lent. So I’m trying to only take them when I really need them.

 

Happies And Not So Happies…

Woah! I’m blogging 2 days in a row! That’s just crazy talk…. But for reals… I’m actually trying to get back in the swing of blogging often…. We’ll see how it goes!

Anywho… Today I found a new link up to try out! So let’s get to it!

happiesandcrappies link up
Happies from the week

1. They finally put a Charley’s Grilled Subs in the mall by my work. And it was open when I went in to get lunch today… Yum!

2. Downloaded the Running With Friends App… Addicted! I don’t know it took me so long to actually download it! I love it…. Even if I’m not very good!

3. I’m back to my reading ways… Read 2 books so far this week. And they were both really good. Also they were the first books of 2 different series! Total win because I wasn’t ready to be done with the characters of both books when I finished! I started a third book today on lunch (not related to either of the other 2) and so far it is really good too!

4. The Lord was all over answering my prayers this week… And through that reminded me how awesome my friends here in Texas are… Also through that reminding me how much He has blessed me!

5. Was in reading Nehemiah this week in my read through the Bible in a year plan. Man there is some good stuff in there!

Not so happies from the week

1. It has been freezing in our office this week… No joke. I have been shivering for the last 3 days… It’s terrible. I’ve also labeled our bathroom the North Pole because it is colder than cold in there.

2. It’s been kind of a rough week. But as stated above in the happies, the Lord was all over it!

3. There have been several late nights in a row for the past week and a half. So I’ve been a wee bit tired this week. Makes sitting at a desk staring at a computer all day a little rough!

What have been some of your happies, and not so happies this week? I hope y’all have a wonderful weekend!

Let’s Write Letters On Friday

fridaylettersnew

Dear Lord: Thank you for you never-ending love and grace!

Dear Leg Soreness: I never thought I would see the day where I was so excited to feel you… And by so excited I really mean SO EXCITED!!!!!! Guess taking almost 4 weeks off will do that to ya!

Dear New Coral Flats: I simply adore you! You are too cute!

Dear Exercise Bike: I’m coming for you again tomorrow morning! So get ready!

Dear Book: I am so excited to finish you at lunch today! You have been such a good book! Don’t let me down with your ending!

Dear California: 19 days! Officially in the teens! And my excitement is growing for you everyday. The #19 thing I’m looking forward to for this trip…. Actually being in California for adorable Dani’s birthday! That has never happened before! Granted I will be at the beach for my brother’s wedding on her birthday… But that’s closer than I’ve ever been before!

I Guess I’m Blessed Wednesday!

blogbutton2.2Welcome to the first I Guess I’m Blessed Wednesday of the New Year!!!! And I think putting on an attitude of gratitude seems like a great way to kick off the new year! So here goes…

I’m thankful for the Word. That the Lord chose to have His story written down so that I can learn about who He is. To see how He worked in the lives of His people way back when. And to see how Faithful He is to His word. How faithful He is to bringing about His promises. So that I know without a doubt that if the Lord said it, it’s going to happen! I’m thankful that the word instructs me, corrects me, encourages me, and strengthens me. And I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit who brings about understanding of the word!

I’m thankful for this past year that the Lord blessed me with. For how He chose to work in my life, and continued His molding of me into who He wants me to be. It was a really good year, sure it had some low points, but through it all the Lord was faithful and I always knew that, even if I chose to fight it.

I’m thankful for this weekly feature on the blog. Because every moment we have here on this earth is a blessing. And I really want to be more intentional about remembering that. Yes this earth is broken and hurting, but life is a blessing. And I want to be more mindful of that and live like I really believe that this year.

And now as always some small things I’m thankful for- cookie butter and pretzels, the Nike+running app, my running socks, hoodies, playing cards, blankets, bobby pins, and my splash guard.