“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Saturday, December 31, 2011

ABC's of My 2011

A couple blog posts that highlight my 2011...

As of Late - Quickest way to find out what I was up to this year...
Boston Marathon - Congratulations, Anthony!
Christmas Concerts - Christopher in a tux.
Disneyland Fun in the sun! 
Ethiopia Anthony travels to Ethiopia. 
Friendships A visit with a friend inspires me.
Grand Canyon Highlight of the year.  
Hope It's contagious. 
So Long, Insecurity Transparency. 
James - Re-Verse Sometimes we need to re-verse our thinking. 
K-Cup I didn't blog about this... but Starbucks switched so I did, too!
Love & Respect Sometimes when you teach you learn the most.
Made to Crave There's more to crave than just food. 
CoNgratulations to Mr. & Mrs. My Sissy got married!
Other Side Depression from the Other Side. 
P.E.R.S.E.V.E.R.E. Teaching on James.  
Qi Scrabble & Words With Friends. Addicted! 
Ruth Bible Study The Lord directs my path.
Siesta Memory Team Realizing that I am going to Houston! 
stop child Trafficking Christopher and I volunteer... and learn. 
Ugly Cry It ain't pretty. 
Vain Catching a butterfly in Monterey, California. 
the year of the Wedding We were part of three weddings this year. 
eXample She teaches me more than she ever knows.  
povertY God is not waiting for us to win the lottery. 
Zealous And extremely prudish! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

But The Point Is Not To Just Get By.

Christmas Cookies.
Christmas Sugar Cookies.
Oh, my!

Looking at it one way, you could say, 
"Anything goes. Because of God's immense generosity and grace, 
we don't have to dissect and scrutinize 
every action to see if it will pass muster."

But the point is not to just get by. 
We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be 
to help others live well.  
1 Corinthians 10:23-24 MSG

Most people think I am just about nuts because I am going through the study Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire With God, Not Food... right now.  Right now.  Right now when there are cookie exchanges all around me.  Right now when there is lots of running around and it is easier to just grab something on the go.  Right now when I am stressed for time and thinking about eating healthy just doesn't fit into the schedule.  Right now.  Right now... when Anthony made these amazingly delicious and totally adorable Peppermint Candy Cane Cookies.  And yes, I have had one or two of these cookies.  And I consider that a success because I really just want to eat them all smothered in ice cream... but I digress.  

What I have been learning about by going through this study is:
  • I can make healthier eating choices.  I was telling the "Jesus-girls" in our group that I don't like to judge food by calling it unhealthy.  But I can determine that one food is unhealthier than another.
  • Perspective is EVERYTHING.  How we view food makes a difference in how we eat food.  If we look to food as a source of indulgence or justification or COMFORT, then we eat it that way.  If we pull back and remember that food is provision for energy and nutrition and health, then we will eat it that way.
  • Bring a friend.  Being able to discuss my frustrations about eating healthier has helped me to apply what I am learning.  Finding out that I am not the only one who struggles.  And realizing that accountability truly is beneficial to success.
  • It's actually not about food.  After reading the book and now doing the study with a group of caring friends, I have realized that this is not about the food.  It is about trusting God to help me in all areas of my life.  Whether I am praying for Him to help me only eat two cookies at a cookie exchange or I am praying for Him to help me control my anger when I feel like I am being misunderstood.   The fact is... I am praying more and depending upon God more.  And that is my endgame.
  • The Rewards.  Seeing the change in the women in our group.  Not just eating healthier, but becoming more and more transparent.  Sharing the struggle.  Encouraging one another.  Doing life with one another.  Because truly... "
    the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well." 

“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. 
“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.

 Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. 
 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 NIV 1984

It is not as much about denying ourselves.  It is about opening our eyes to the gifts that God has given and knowing that sometimes saying "no" to something means that we are saying "yes" to something even better.

I choose 1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV 1984 for my Siesta Scripture Memory Verse #23.

I choose 1 Corinthians 10:24 NIV 1984 for my Siesta Scripture Memory Verse #24.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What Is God's Will For You?

July 2011 - Summer Day at Mt. Hood

Be joyful always;
Pray continually;
Give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV 1984

I choose 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV 1984 for my Siesta Scripture Memory Verse #22.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I Don't Want To Find My Want-To

I don't want to find my want-to.

I have been reading Made to Crave and it teaches that
We pretty much know the how-to.
The how-to lose weight.
And that is true.
I do know how to.
I've done it enough times before.
So many times that I don't want to try again.
Why bother?
I'll lose the weight and then gain it back.
So why bother.
Why go through the deprivation for a couple weeks
Only to get back to where I was?
And perhaps even more.
I don't want to find my want-to.
It is too much effort.
I don't want to fail,

I don't want to find my want-to.

But what I really don't want to do is
Buy more clothes.
Bigger clothes.
And I don't want to keep seeing myself
In a photo
And wonder
Why does my face look rounder than before?
And I really don't want to admit that
I rely upon my personality to
Overcome my over-layering of clothes
And scarves.

And I don't want to
Judge or be judged.
Some would say to me
You don't need to lose any weight.
And I don't want to
think that skinniness is tied to godliness.
I do need to find my want-to
And the only true lasting change in my life
Has come from my relationship with God.

Do I need to find my want-to?
What I need is
To want to find my want-to.

And tomorrow
I will hang out with some sisters
Who will be wanting to find their want-to, too.
And maybe
We will find it together.

But right now
I'll admit
That I don't want to.
So for now
I will be praying that
I will be willing to find
My want-to.

Christmas Concerts

photography by Anthony Kaetzel

Christopher is singing in our church's Christmas Concerts this year.  All 10 of them.  There are about 200 singers and musicians with ages ranging from Kindergarten through adult.  And there are probably about the same number of amazing volunteers behind the scenes.  Approximately 10,000 to 15,000 people will enjoy the performances... and given the opportunity to surrender their hearts to the Lord through Jesus Christ, His Son.

This is the first time Christopher has worn a tuxedo.  And because we have been having beautiful inordinate amounts of sunshine (and lack of rain), we stopped by Gabriel Park to get these photos.

Christopher thoroughly enjoys being part of the youth choir at our church.  And I was thinking... that if you are local and your child does not have an opportunity to be part of a Christmas Performance or a choir... they could be part of ours.  You don't have to attend our church or be a member for your child to be part of this experience.  Practices are normally 6-7pm on Wednesdays.  The elementary grades have a musical in the spring and the upper grades go on tour in the summer.

Christopher's friend, K'reisa, came to watch one of Saturday's performances.  It is always fun to share the experience with friends.