Happy Friday

Hey there! I haven't blogged in for-ev-er, but here I am. I never stopped enjoying blogging, but I was paralyzed by a lack of direction for what to write about. The blog felt non-cohesive and I didn't like that (and it's a big no-no in the world of for-real blogging). But I've decided I just like writing and I don't care if the blog feels like a crazy person writes it.

So I'm going to try and write every Friday.  Just whatever is on my mind and/or a summary of the week.

Zach and I started a high school discipleship group somewhat recently and it brings me great joy. I love sitting and talking about being a true disciple of Christ with these students and making them dinner each week. I feel like the phrase "doing life together" is overused and abused, but during the short time they're here, that's what it really feels like. One thing I have mentioned starting within the group is some form of accountability in which we each share just a little about what we've read, studied, and learned from God that week. Blogging each Friday will help me be accountable to look for God in everyday life.

So this week! My Mom and Dad were here part of last week and over the weekend. It was a great visit. I love having them here. We did a small sewing project that required all of us--even Zach and
Dad were looking at the sewing machine!

I pinned this post a long time ago about pre-sprouting seeds and starting them indoors for the garden. We had trouble last year with squirrels and birds eating our seeds straight out of the ground when we planted, so I decided to give indoor starting a try this year. It works like a charm! I've never had much of a green thumb (My Granny could grow a tree out of half a dead leaf. How I wish I got that talent!), so seeing little seeds sprout and then putting them in the dirt and having them actually grow is like watching a miracle happen! I've been dutifully checking on them and squirting them with my water bottle daily. So far we have spinach, lettuce, basil, cucumber, squash, zucchini, tomato, and broccoli started. Bell and Jalepeno peppers sprouted and have gone into their little containers, but haven't pushed through the dirt yet. If you're a pinner, you can follow my Gardening Board here.

Today, I decided I would reorganize the closet in our living room. It is a HUGE closet. It holds dvds, cds, electronics, some toys, workout equipment like my yoga mat and weights, extra blankets, games, and more. Because everyone in our home uses this closet, it has a tendency to get a little...ahem...messy. So today I started pulling everything out of the closet. Zach quickly jumped in to help me out. We sorted through everything, purging a bunch of things we haven't even so much as looked at since we originally stuck it in there. We also sorted out the toys in the baskets in the living room. Our kids kind of suck at playing in their rooms. They bring toys down to the living room constantly, so we have these basket footstools that toys can be stashed in at the end of the day. Well, the toys were not going back to their rooms regularly...or ever. So the baskets were over flowing and the bottom of the closet was overflowing. We chose a bunch of stuff to donate that they don't play with or have outgrown, took toys back up to their rooms (and really put them away), and threw out broken, mostly lost, and worthless toys (read: Happy Meal toys). It feels good!

I'm hating the cold weather and the snowy, sleety, nastiness it's been doing the last few days, but I'm hoping to squeak out a few more "winter" projects around the house before our focus turns outdoors.
Last summer we joined a local recreation club and pretty much didn't do a single project around the house all summer. We barely kept our laundry and dishes done. Summer is so precious and short here in Northern Illinois that we felt like we needed to bask in it as much as we could. So we swam, and biked, and camped, and fished, and picnicked, and kayaked, and hung out with friends to our hearts' contentment last summer. I plan to do the same this summer. So for now: projects.

God has been talking to me a lot about pride lately. How it can manifest in so many ways and rear its head in every area of our lives. The Bible never speaks highly of pride. Yet it's something that is drilled into us from the time we're babies. Have pride in yourself, be proud of who you are, where you came from, make me proud, etc. People live their whole lives doing more and more in an attempt to hear their parents tell them they are proud of them. There's even a Sesame Street song that Elmo sings about that good feeling you get when you write your name or tie your shoe and how it is pride! How deeply Satan has embedded pride into our minds and culture. This all started because I was thinking about self-esteem and realizing that it's not a Biblical concept. God never tells us to take pride in our bodies, in our self, to think highly of ourselves. The Bible actually says the opposite--that the humble will take the spot of honor in the Kingdom of Heaven. Our confidence, the thing that holds us up and keeps us going, needs to be God. When you really think about it, self confidence doesn't even make sense! When we're feeling inadequate and unsure, people tell us to have self confidence. HOW? Where would that even come from??? We need to draw strength from the very thing (self) we are feeling inadequate in and about? It's a serpent eating its own tail. But when we look to God for our confidence...now that makes sense! Look to one greater, stronger, smarter than ourselves and draw confidence from Him. That's a concept I can get behind.

So there are my thoughts for the week. I look forward to checking in again next week. Maybe I'll have pictures then. We'll see. Stay warm out there! And if you live where it's nice, soak up some warmth, bottle it up, and send it my way!