Friday, September 28, 2012

What Are You - Am I - Waiting For?

I'm waiting...

...for our family schedules to slow down.
...for Princess Mia to get a little older.
...until I catch up on all my household responsibilities.
...until I'm not homeschooling any more. grow up (is that forty, fifty, ...?).
...until I have acquired more wisdom.
...until I'm better at ______.
...until I have it 'together' more.

Why am I waiting? Because my name is Angela and I am a...............procrastinator. Well, at least that's what I tell myself. The funny thing is I'm also an idea person - I have a never-ending list of things I want to do, need to do, or feel called by God to do. Most of those things are not even 'bucket list' kinds of things, just cool things I'd like to try, hobbies I'd like to expand, passions I'd like to pursue.

So if I want to do all those things on my list so badly, why am I not doing them? Let's face it - I am an expert at coming up with fairly legitimate excuses as to why I'm not following my dreams, achieving my goals, pursuing my passions, or even just creating fun projects. Our family schedule is hectic; it is hard to accomplish a lot with a 4-year old underfoot; I do have household responsibilities to take care of.

Yes, those things are important; but are they just masking the real reasons that I don't make time to do some of the things that I know I enjoy - like writing more on this blog, dabbling in new art forms, facilitating an online Bible study, and the list goes on?

As I examine my list of 'excuses', I realize that the first half can be remedied with better time management, more delegation of household responsibilities, prioritizing and modifying expectations. But the second half is a little more nebulous. When will I know what I want to be when I grow up? Maybe I already do but am just too afraid to act on it. When will I be knowledgeable enough or 'good' enough or have it 'together' enough? I seriously doubt those things will ever happen. Does that mean I just say forget it and keep plugging along in life? It's not like I'm unhappy or dissatisfied with my life.

But the question I've been pondering for some time has been, "Am I striving to achieve my God-given potential in ALL areas of my life?"

When you take a question like that to God, it's kind of funny how He uses many different avenues to answer - even fortune cookies. This was the saying from my fortune cookie several weeks ago:
(Disclaimer - I do not typically put stock in random, oddly-worded phrases on little strips of paper in sawdust-flavored cookies.)
I translated that into, "If you don't have time now to pursue the passions/interests that I've (meaning God) placed in your heart, then when do you plan on making time?" That's a good question - and one I didn't have a good answer for.

In the mean time, I've also been reading Renee Swope's book, A Confident Heart. In it, she unpacks all the 'reasons' we don't pursue God's plans and desires for our lives. This has been quite convicting. I've never considered my self insecure. Perhaps that's because I've always chosen to pursue things where I don't doubt my abilities - where I knew enough, where I was good enough.

But what about those things that I'm less sure of? Is my confidence - or lack of - holding me back from God's plan for my life? Maybe - but I won't know until I try. And so what if I fail, God doesn't care. These aren't lessons that I'm learning overnight. I still have a lot of work to do. In fact, it took me days to even have the guts to write all my thoughts about this down. One things for certain though - I know that I'm not going to wait anymore. I'm ready to start fulfilling my potential - or at least give it a try!

What are you waiting for?

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
 and whose hope is the Lord. ~ Jeremiah 17:7

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Princess Mia

Who knew that the small, sweet, cherubic bundle of joy that joined our family four years ago would become a larger-than-life bundle of personality?

Princess Mia, we were smitten with you from the very beginning, and you still have us all wrapped around your little finger. But that's OK because you bring a daily dose of joy to each of us. Your endless energy keeps us all on our toes and your constant singing reminds us to enjoy all life has to offer.

We love you, Princess Mia! And we can't wait to see what life has in store for you - it's sure to be something exciting!

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  ~ Psalm 139:14

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hello September... how you've crept up on me! But I welcome your arrival because you usher in one of my favorite times of year - fall.

Here are a few things I'm saying hello to this month:

Hello Labor Day - despite that it's still 90 degrees around here and that we've been in school for more than a month, Labor Day still signifies the official end of summer for me. Bring on the mums, pumpkins, and everything fall!

Today we labored by putting together all of our recent IKEA purchases (made my first visit to an IKEA store on Saturday and was completely overwhelmed!). I had lots of lovely pictures (ok - maybe not lovely) to include with this post, but as I was heading in to Target today I dropped my phone and - oops - it shattered. So I had to add in a trip to the Verizon store today, and while I got the phone replaced (thank goodness I was eligible for an upgrade) I had not uploaded my most recent photos :-( . So photos with this post are few and far between.

Hello homeschool reading/planning - I survived my first year of homeschooling and am a month into the second. I don't have quite as much to read this year (thank goodness) since I'm down to only one official pupil - and Princess Mia - this year. Right now, we're immersed in the Civil War.

Hello new dining room (aka, the classroom) colors - I finally changed my dining room colors after talking about it forever. Now to work on curtains and accessories.

Hello September birthdays - This month we're celebrating the birthdays of the oldest (Tim) and youngest (Princess Mia) members of our immediate family. My baby girl will be four - how did that happen?!?

Hello fall sports season - Soccer season is well underway and it's been so much fun watching Brandon play for his school. Joshua and lacrosse face off (haha - lacross pun there) this weekend!

Hello fantasy football - No, I do not play fantasy football (I don't even particularly like football at all), but my dearest hubby does. So this means that on Sunday afternoons/Monday evenings he will be connected to the computer/TV and whatever other electronic device he needs to keep track of all his 'players.'

Hello new TV shows - I am anxiously awaiting the return of Criminal Minds, but I'm determined not to get hooked on anything new. Do. Not. Have. Time.

Hello Downton Abbey Season 3 - You premiere in the U.K. this month, but why, oh why, must I wait until January to see you in the U.S.?

Hello big girl bed - Since Princess Mia is turning the big 4 this month, we decided it was about time that she slept in her own bed. (She's been on the floor in our bedroom for quite a while now - don't judge :-) . ) Here's hoping that every night is like this one.

Hello A Confident Heart - This is my Bible study for the month - so I'll leave you with these verses. "So do not throw away your confidence: it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised." Hebrews 10:35-36