Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Watoto


A couple weeks ago our church had the privilege of having the Watoto Children's choir sing at out church. I had been looking forward to it for weeks but on the night they were supposed to sing we got lazy. Nate was into a football game and I basically didn't want to leave the house. We go go go all week long that when we do get the opportunity to stay home it's a treat. Later that night I was really feeling convicted about not going. I really wanted to kick myself for not making more of an attempt to go. It didn't make it any better to come into work at the church to hear all the positive comments from the choir. They raised a ton of money and the church had a packed crowd. From what everyone said, it was awesome. Again, I felt more conviction. Yikes...I couldn't get away from it! The next day, Tuesday, the Watoto kids were coming back to the church to hang out for a few hours before going to their next stop. Around noonish, John, our worship minister, came and got all the staff and told everyone to go down and pray with them before leaving. Again, I felt the pangs of conviction! I asked myself for a brief moment if I should really go down since I hadn't bothered to see these precious children in action. I asked my co-worker if she was going and she said she wasn't sure and before I knew what happened, I stood up and said, "Let's go!" We went down stairs and with the rest of the staff and meet up with some of the Watoto adults. When they saw us they didn't really look all that interested in praying or being interrupted. John asked if we could all go into the Arena, where the kids were to pray and they all stood up and lead the way. When we got to the Arena there were only a few kids there. The staff kind of stood around dispersed and then before we knew it the kids started filing through the door. They all had matching shoes, belts, jeans, shirts, everything! Without a second though, they walked over to the staff and stood next to us grabbing our hands and circling up. The two on either side of me, looked up and smiled and told me their name. I could hardly believe it! Once the circle was complete John started the prayer and once it was done the two kids on either side of me circled my waste and gave me a tight squeeze. It was the most precious thing. I didn't even know these kids - didn't take the time to come see them in concert and here they were hugging me and showing me love. Not only that but once the two beside me let go, all the kids left in the room started going around hugging us and thanking us. I was greeted by the smiles and love of all these African children who have lost the parents and many loved ones to disease, AIDS, or a half dozen other things yet they still showed me love. ME! Reminds me of Christ. We don't take the time some days, we find ourselves busy, yet God is right there welcoming us with open arms, smile from cheek to cheek. Once the kids were done hugging, I was left with this feeling of awe. There were no words...it was definitely a surreal experience. If Watoto is ever in your area, please take the time to see these kids. I know I will!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Exercise

OK it's taking every ounce of me to type out this post but I'm doing it. Hopefully it will be a good swift kick in the butt :) Truthfully, exercise is something that I hate...we have a love/hate relationship. I hate doing it, but I love what it produces - hopefully one of these days. For the past month I've been trying to kick it in gear and it's been going well but I have a confession. I hate sweat. I think this is the partial reason why I hate this "activity" so much. Hate smelling it and hate feeling it on me. As Nate would say, hate is a very strong word. He's right in this instance...I HATE exercising & sweat. Now, I don't want to sound completely negative so I'm switching gears here. I am having a lot of fun using the Wii more and it has created an opportunity to hang out with the kids & Nate more and have fun with them as we dance on Just Dance. We've got Just Dance for Kids and Just Dance 2 and we're on them all the time. As I type, Aiva's actually dancing to Who Let the Dogs and it's taking every ounce of me not to join her. Something else I'm excited about is today I will be receiving a morsel in the mail that I'm going to savor. I ordered a DVD on Netflix that I see me keeping for a bit longer than the usual DVD. It's the Biggest Loser Power Workout. I love Bob from Biggest Loser so I know I'm gonna love this DVD. Can't wait to check the mailbox today to grab it and start working out. So as you can see, my attitude is changing and it's (I'm) a work in progress. There's talk of going to the beach this summer with Nate's family so it's my goal to go and feel good about myself. I'm not setting a number goal because I don't want to disappointment myself so I'm sticking with feeling good so there's no disappointments! Who's with me? One, two, three...let's go!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2011

OK...I fell off the blog bandwagon there at the end of 2010. We ran into a spell of sickness and it took just about everything out of me to keep up with all that's on my plate and the rest of the family. I thought I would start this year off right and get back on the bus! I just had a little trip down memory lane as I went through my blogs of 2010 and it was so much fun. God has really done great things in 2010! I just have to share one thing before I get to the meat of the blog :)

I was going through my goals in January of 2010 and I came across one that made me giggle. On 1/20/10, my birthday, I had blogged about 32 things that I want to do in 2010. #10 was "To learn something different in the 32nd book of the Bible...Jonah". At the time I wrote that, I had no clue that I would ever go thru a study of Jonah! I probably chuckled a little thinking that I knew all about Jonah and there was no way I could learn anything else about the guy! Here I am, studying the book of Jonah with my Monday AM small group. We started in November and God has totally been speaking to me thru this study. This Christmas, I was able to go to some family members and apologize and explain for my "interruption" that I had a couple years ago. It produced conversations that I didn't think would happen and I feel so free. It's thanks to Jonah, for making me realize that I ran, just like Him. God works in mysterious ways!

So on to my/our goals for 2011. I'm going to incorporate this into my age, once again. I love numbers and doing it this way is so dag on fun! Here it goes ;)

#1 Since I'm turning 33, the same age that Jesus was when he was crucified, I want to live more like Christ.
#2 To be 33 pounds lighter (I'm giving it another go)
#3 To pay off our car
#4 To make three new friends
#5 To learn to make my own laundry detergent - thanks Nicole for getting me excited
#6 To pray more for my brother
#7 To drink more water than Dr. Pepper :)
#8 To eat more at home instead of eating out
#9 To build our savings account
#10 To make something special for my girls this Christmas
#11 To go on a once in a lifetime trip on 11/11/11 in Montana
#12 To start making jewelry with Ana & Aiva
#13 To learn how to better communicate with Aiva
#14 To show Nate more affection
#15 To encourage my dad
#16 To visit my Nana & Grandpa more
#17 To give blood once this year (I'm scared to death)
#18 To eat a star fruit
#19 To make something for someone
#20 To get to bed at a decent time
#21 To work out
#22 To play with the girls instead of having something else entertain them
#23 To make more time for Nate
#24 To make more time for myself
#25 To read more to the girls
#26 To take time out for Ana and spending time with just her
#27 Try to eat more vegetables (yuck)
#28 To appreciate the things we have instead of what we don't
#29 To think outside the box more
#30 To enjoy the girls laughter instead of telling them to be quiet
#31 To be a friend to someone who needs one
#32 To be quiet and listen to God
#33 Take more pictures to capture life

Financial Updates

Baby Step #1 - Save $1000 in an emergency savings plan

DONE

Baby Step #2 - Get out of debt with the debt snowball

ALMOST DONE Car needs paid off and we'll be done

Baby Step #3 - Start saving 3-6 months of expenses in savings

STARTING Hopefully in February

Baby Step #4 - Invest 15% in a Roth IRA

CURRENTLY DOING 8% IN MY ROTH

Baby Step #5 - Future funding for kids

SAVING $100 PER CHILD PER MONTH

Baby Step #6 - Pay off home early

Baby Step #7 - Build wealth & give


Like I said, this was a meaty blog. Hopefully I can keep it up and get back on track. I really enjoyed looking back at the past year and recalling all the great memories. Here's to a great 2011!

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