Living not striving…

Random thoughts and daily adventures in my life

Seasons…shifting, seashells and surfing September 2, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — erikaivory @ 4:22 am
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I’m in the mood to put down some of my random thoughts. So this is your warning that this post is full of randomness:)

I am finally old enough to begin to appreciate seasons and the predictability of some of the things they bring.  Fall brings cooler weather (eventually), school days, stricter schedules (heaven help us), football, Halloween, pumpkin spice lattes and did I mention football?

I have to admit though that it is hard to not be sad waving goodbye to sweet summer:(  It was a good one for the Chapman clan!  We had so many fun days like this:

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There is no place I would rather be!

And celebrating with friends like this…ImageAnd enjoying road trips…

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And I loved my leisurely mornings…

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And the end of summer means saying an extended “see ya later” to these BFFs:(…

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And got into mischief like this…who knew pecan juice from unripened pecans would stain hands and faces for almost two weeks?…not this girl!

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We enjoyed lots of stay-up-late fun family times…

ImageBUT just as certainly as summer was A MA AZING…there is a purpose for this next season too.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens: Ecclesiastes 3:1

I know this is Truth.  While we wait: we work, we live, we pray, we laugh, we praise, we grow, we serve and we beg God to fulfill His purpose in us during this season that we may bring HIM great glory!

Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you;
your name and renown
are the desire of our hearts. Isaiah 26:8

So that is kind of where I’m at.  Last weekend Mark encouraged me to slip away on Saturday and spend the day on the beach.  I absolutely love to be there with my boys…but I also love to just sit and listen to the waves and dig my toes in the sand.  It truly is the place I feel closest to the Lord.  I found this great stretch of the beach where apparently everyone comes to surf.  There were about thirty people out there surfing.  From about 9 year olds to mid-20s.  But then there was one man, who had to be mid-fifties at least.  I watched him for the longest time.  He was loving it….and you could tell he really knew how to surf.  He was so good.  He would go pretty far out and straddle his board and just wait.  He was so content watching the horizon.  Apparently he would see a good wave coming from pretty far out and then he would just wait….patiently…he would shift slightly…waiting for just the right moment…and then the wave would catch him as he lay on his belly on his board and every time, just when it looked like it was too late, he would pop up to standing and ride the wave across and in.  It was so cool!  I took this picture of him in the white shirt facing the water and watching for the right wave…Image

That is how I want to be.  Trusting that the wave WILL come.  Ready, expectant, trusting and anticipating that what is coming is going to be good and exhilarating and maybe even the greatest ride of my life!  I need to be ready though and let it pick me up and just keep my balance while the Creator of the whole universe controls the wave and the ride.

One of my favorite, favorite things at the beach are the little different colored shells, a certain kind of tiny clam or bivalve/donax I guess, that dig themselves into the sand as the waves come in and out.  The boys and I usually collect them in a bucket with a little sand and water.  We love to collect them and compare all the beautiful colors and color combinations and then release them back into the water before we leave.  And I love how often in the late afternoon there seems to be just an abundance of them!  I was trying to take pictures of them with my phone and finally someone came up and asked me what in the world I was doing?! 🙂

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Can you tell how many there were?!  And that picture totally doesn’t do it justice.  I guess it just amazes me that the Lord made ALL of those seashells with such amazing colors, and detail and cared enough to create such beauty.  He numbers the sand on the seashore…and loves me intimately.  It amazes me…I suppose looking at those little shells that find life in the sand and looking out at the expanse of the massive ocean puts things into perspective for me:)  Sometimes I just need that.

Okay last randomness.  Read this quote by Beth Moore from her study on James this summer.  I’ve been chewing on it for about two months and I still have more to glean…hope you enjoy and thanks for reading!

“…the point is not just getting us into our proverbial lands of promise where we bear much fruit.  The point is developing the spiritual muscle on our way so once we receive it we are strong enough to keep it. The hardest part of possessing the land is defending it.  A person has hardly begun to have a real fight on her hands until she starts serving in her full-throttle effectiveness.  She who proves a threat earns an enemy you can bet will do everything he can to make her sorry.  Nothing in the visible realm is a greater reality than the unseen battle raging over our heads.”  Beth Moore pg 164

Hmmm…lots to ponder.  Praying we build some muscle in this season:)  You with me?

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Wearin’ my Hat Bible… July 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — erikaivory @ 3:27 am
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This is where I’m at:

Yes, that is a Bible on my head. A big, honkin’ Bible.  I’m considering the best way to pass this idea on to Beth Moore for a Hat Bible.  I need His Word to be a constant IV drip into my system. I need to soak it in and fill me up!

You may have never been in a similar season in your life but right now I am hanging onto the Lord and His grace and strength and mercy for dear life.  I wake up talking to Him and grab my phone and pull up YouVersion (the Bible) and start reading. Because I am so holy…NO, SO I DON’T FREAK OUT!!!

Certainly I can be overdramatic and do not in any way feel sorry for me, but I’m just keepin’ it real…I need some Jesus right about now:)  And He has been showing up BIG time…through friends and family, circumstances, notes and particular Scripture verses right when I need it most.

Sigh…the drug Mark was a rep for went generic rather unexpectedly and about two weeks ago Mark’s entire sales force was laid off.  We’ve been down this road before but the last time his company provided two months severance but not this time.  So he is diligently job hunting.  We are on our faces seeking the Lord’s direction. We know He will provide and He already has been SO faithful!

At the same time Mark’s sister just found out that she has breast cancer.  So there is a lot going on in our lives.  We are really doing well.  We are thoroughly enjoying time together as a family and truly making the most of it.  At the same time there is a TON of uncertainty (that’s an understatement) and some big giants we are staring down…I’m honestly not a fan of giant slaying.  Oh yeah and you throw in that whole waiting on the adoption thing…which, by the way Mark does need a job in order to be able to bring our baby/babies home.  Plus he needs to make a certain amount, as well, to stay approved to adopt.

HOWEVER, none of this is a surprise to God and He truly has a plan, we know this.  Our biggest prayer is that He will be glorified through our lives during this season and He will get all the glory as He reveals His plan. We desire nothing less than our lives be a monument of His goodness and glory.  He will make a way and we want to be faithful as we wait.  We don’t want this season to be wasted.  We want to learn and grow and be transformed through this process and prepared for whatever is next.

It isn’t easy though and some days I find it hard to find my Pollyanna positive attitude.  People have so graciously and lovingly helped us already…and I am finding it SO hard to accept help.  I LOVE helping other people, but doggone it, it is not as much fun to be on the receiving end!  Just being honest here.  This is truly revealing to me so many areas where I am unbroken and full of pride and I need to be stripped.  It is not pretty.  It is draining…and exhausting…and just plain old hard.  I am SO, SO thankful. And that’s another thing…the Lord keeps reminding me that I am supposed to be TRULY thankful for this season…and that’s just hard too!!

I’m learning a ton…about who He IS and who He ISN’T…about my idols that need to be torn down…about dark corners of my heart that need to cleaned out…about how amazing my husband is…about how truly selfless and grace-filled and compassionate my friends are…about how rich I am in the friends department (like Donald Trump rich!!)…about how much I depend on my circumstances to determine my peace instead of Jesus’ promises and presence…

Is it becoming more clear why I need the aforementioned Hat Bible?  If you’ve seen one marketed anywhere-hook me up!  If not maybe I can go on the Shark Tank and present my idea…whatcha think?

So if you see me in Wal-mart wearing my Hat Bible holler out a reference for me or simply look away:)  But certainly stay tuned because I just KNOW my amazing Father has a really cool something up His sleeve:)  And I am believing that the other end of this story is going to be just incredible and I also am convinced that what He is doing in us through this…is just as significant.  He’s writing a really cool story in us…we certainly would love your prayers!

Maybe I should call it Bible Hat instead?…

 

 

 

Chick-fil-A here we come! June 30, 2009

Filed under: Random stuff — erikaivory @ 2:52 am
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A while back I shared that I am doing the summer Bible study “Me, Myself & Lies” written by Jennifer Rothschild.  It is being coordinated through Beth Moore’s blog www.livingproofministries.blogspot.com.

This was the first week of study and I am inviting YOU to meet me at Chick-fil-A this Friday morning to chat about the study.  So if you have the book and have started…or if you have the book and plan to start:)  Join me at Chick-fil-A Friday morning, July 3rd at 10am.

We will let the kiddos play in the play area (thank goodness it is sound proof) and we will take some time to discuss what we have learned or hope to learn.  On her blog Beth Moore gives some ideas for some discussion starters so check it out if you want.

The Bible study is 6 weeks long and we will meet every other week.  So if you haven’t started run out and pick up a book for $11.95 at Lifeway Christian.  Invite a friend.  It is a great, great study so far!

Leave me a comment below if you plan to be there or send me an email at erikaivory@hotmail.com.  You can also facebook me or twitter me (erikaivory).  I am lookin’ forward to it!

 

Calling all the ladies! June 11, 2009

Filed under: Random stuff — erikaivory @ 7:52 pm
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Okay friends I have finally carved out a few minutes to put some real thoughts down here.  Balance…that wonderful, elusive word!  I am constantly trying to seek balance in my eating, exercising, cleaning, socializing, time with the Lord…etc.

How about you?  I think women especially struggle with this area.  We need to spend time with our husband, but not neglect the kids…play with our children, but not neglect the housework…have a heart to serve others, but make time for ourselves so we don’t end up emotionally depleted…find time to be with our friends, yet remain focused on our own families and homes.  Sheesh!  It truthfully makes me a bit crazy at times.

My greatest link to finding some sort of balance and staying sane is having consistant time with the Lord.  That does not come naturally to me (and honestly besides Oswald Chambers and John Piper, I don’t get the feeling it comes naturally to most people.)  I do testify though that when I can stick with seeking the Lord daily, so many areas in my life begin to teeter into a somewhat safe place of balance.

Over the past 16 years I have done a number of Bible studies that have taught me how rich the Word is and how powerful it is to bring peace and life to my internal world.  Many of these have been Beth Moore Bible studies.  These studies do usually include a workbook (of which I am a fan, but some people loath them) as well as some kind of small group/discussion/interaction.  However, at least three different times I have done workbook Bible studies either solely on my own, or using a computer program to give me direction and accountability.

I did a Bible study with some ladies through Trinity Pres during the school year and it reminded me of how much I love the dynamic of learning with other women and gaining from perspectives that are different than mine.  Some of these ladies encouraged me to start visiting Beth Moore’s Living Proof Ministries blog. This blog is silly, funny, spiritually challenging and different each time you visit it.

All this brings me to this: Beth Moore is hosting a summer ladies Bible study Me, Myself & Lies by Jennifer Rothschild.  It is a six week study and does have a workbook.  Here is a little synopsis of the study:

Ever wonder what you should say when you talk to yourself?  We all talk to ourselves all the time.  We evaluate everything we do, compare ourselves to others, and even call ourselves names.  We disparage who we are instead of telling ourselves the truth about who God says we are.

Me, Myself, and Lies deals with our destructive, unrealistic, self-talk.  In this study Jennifer Rothschild explores the power of self-talk.  As she takes us through the things we commonly say to ourselves, she teaches us to practice godly and biblical self-talk.

Anyone interested?  On the blog the study technically starts Tuesday, June 23, 2009.  Go here if you want to know ALL the details.  Basically, you do the Bible study on your own and then every other Tuesday you check in on the LPM blog and Beth Moore will give a little 15 minute video talk with some discussion starters.  Here is a fun part (I think), if some of you friends are interested I thought it would be fun to arrange an informal morning meeting at the Chick-fil-A play area on Irby and discuss what we have been learning while our kiddos play in the sound proof play area:)  How about them apples?

And if you don’t live nearby but let me know that you are reading this blog and are doing the study then maybe we can connect for an IM chat session on those weeks too.  Or at least create some email dialogue that provides some accountability and new perspective!  This certainly isn’t for everyone, but a lot of ladies I have talked to don’t have the time during the summer to commit to a full study but still need something to keep them growing and accountable.

So check out the info and let me know by your comment if you are interested and in.  If you do the study, definitely tune in b/c I will remind you about when we will connect at Chick-fil-A.  I already picked up my workbook from LifeWay bookstore and I did the first day of homework this afternoon.  I am starting early b/c I know that I usually get behind.  So maybe this way I can stay caught up:)

It is goooooood stuff, I tell you!  Here are a couple of nuggets to whet your appetite.  “Who you are and what’s in your heart are revealed in the words you speak.”  “The magi’s treasure chest existed to have something to give Jesus.  As we begin to speak wise words to our souls, we do so to ultimately have fitting treasure to offer our King.”  “Who I am and what I struggle with are not the same thing.”

That last one really got me.  I do try to be aware of how my words affect the people around me, particularly my children.  However, that very quickly turns into a heap of self-condemnation.  I wonder if my self-talk was based more on truth instead of self-condemnation, would it in turn affect what comes out of my mouth?  If the words in my head were full of life and I worked on changing that instead of simply controlling my mouth would I find greater victory and freedom in these areas of struggle?

I already have a lot to chew on.  So…think on it, pray on it and give me a shout out if you wanna join me?

 

Remember who you are January 28, 2009

Filed under: Deep thoughts — erikaivory @ 9:03 pm
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This is what I have been chewing on today.  I was challenged by this  from the Beth Moore Bible study on Esther.  I hope somebody else can appreciate this today:)  It is referring to the Jewish people receiving word that Haman (a Persian leader) put into play a law that all the Jews would be killed and annihilated on a certain day in 11 months.  They heard word of this on the beginning day of their Passover

“The story of God’s merciful redemption gave those who were willing a hope against hope.  Could He who had delivered them from the Egyptians not also deliver them from the Persians?

You bet He can, Beloved.  He who delivered you from drugs can deliver you from distraction.  He who delivered you from bankruptcy can deliver you from bingeing, He who delivered you from infertility can deliver you from inconsistency.  He who delivered you from the fire can deliver you from fear.

Sometimes God uses the winds of a new threat to blow the dust off a past miracle that has moved from our active file into the archives.  Remember, Beloved!  Remember what God has done for you!  Rehearse the story again.

Find someone this week to retell it to.  Dear One, He who delivered you from a Pharaoh can deliver you from any Haman.  Remember who you are.”

He has done so much for us and sometimes I have to look back to hang on through the winds of today.  Just thinking out loud I guess:)

Love to you!
E