**If you haven't already, please make sure and read the last paragraph of my previous post...** **Also, like I've said before, I use this as a journal and many of you may have NO interest in this post....I won't blame if you if you stop reading now!!!**
Happy New Year!!!
Amidst ALL the craziness of this past year, Chad and I have once again found ourselves neck deep in lessons....some of the things we've learned are:
a)Raising two toddlers is even harder then raising two babies.
b)Potty training girls is MUCH easier then potty training boys (Rauly woke up 2 weeks ago and told us she needed to pee-pee...since then she has only had a handful of accidents and is even waking up in the middle of the night to tell us she needs to go potty - AMAZING!)!
c)More is not always better when it comes to community involvement.
d)Nothing in this life worth having comes easy...you have to work to have good relationships, a strong marriage, good income, well-behaved children, healthy minds and bodies, bible knoweledge, leadership skills, ect....
e)What doesn't kill you really and truly does make you stronger.
f)Dying to self can actually feel like your old self is dying...lol! I know that may sound odd but there have been times over the past year where I have felt like I've completely lost my old self....and at times that has been painful. But, I know God calls us to die to self and become alive in Christ...I pray that the new is so much more appealing!!
**These are a few scriptures that have become very meaningful to us over the past year...**
1) If you walk with the wise, you will grow wise...but a companion of fools suffers harm. (Proverbs 13:20) This is sooooo true!! This lesson we actually learned while living in Savannah,GA and thankfully we took this scripture to heart after moving to Jacksonville,FL. God has blessed us so much in this particular area of our life! We've gained so much wisdom from old friendships over the past year and have learned so much from the new friends we've made - we've been blessed tremendously by the people in our life who continually lift us up and never bring us down!
2) Take a lesson from the ants, you lazy bones. Learn from their ways and become wise. (Proverbs 6:6) This scripture was on a christian c.d. that I used to listen to when I was a child. The song said "Go to the ant....and listen! Tell me does she complain?..." After moving to Jacksonville, Chad and I decided to became very purposeful about being obedient to our Lord as well as reaching the goals and dreams that we have for this life on earth. Not to say that we were ever lazy,....but we certainely had our moments and when bad things happened in our life - we definitely had the "why me?!" mindset. I can say without a doubt that over the past year, we've learned to become very motivated and determined regarding our drive to succeed in this life...and I think we've seen some very big changes over the past year because of it.
3) Our children will also serve him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord. His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything he has done. (Psalm 22:30-31) This past year, Shepherd has begun asking some very serious questions about God...like: Why does God live in the sky? How can God live in us AND in the clouds? Chad and I emmersed ourselves as well as the kiddo's in the Bible this past year and have done our best to be an active part of their learning. I teach the children's class for CBS right now so I know what it is they're studying each week and Chad and I are involved in the children's program at church so we get to worship with Shepherd on Sunday mornings - it's been really nice to watch both of them look forward to CBS and church every week and I look forward to watching their childlike faith grow each year! I'd say over the past year, we've done our best to learn how to talk about Jesus and God on a child's level - we still get stumped reguraly with how to answer questions...I guess that just goes to show that none of us ever stop learning!
4) But I will send you the Advocate - the Spirit of Truth. He will come from the Father and will testify all about me. (John 15:26) I believe God has worked the hardest on getting Chad and I to be able to listen to the Holy Spirit as the the voice of truth. We are only human and I think so often in the past we have tried to make decisions regarding pretty much every avenue in our life based on our own personal feelings or beliefs...yes, we always prayed about decisions in the past but never felt real true direction or guidance. Over the past year we've both done our best to prayerfully seek the Lord and have asked the Holy Spirit to give us clear direction. I feel as if our discernment has grown stronger and I feel like the Holy Spirit has given us wisdom over the past year to make better choices overall.
Well....those are just a FEW things we've learned and worked on over the past year. I can say that 2007 was full of growing opportunities...and growing is NOT easy! BUT - we know that growing is necessary and we're thankful to God for all He taught us. We pray that next year, we'll be able to take what we've learned and build on it!! The next list are things that we plan on focusing on next year...I'm pretty big on New Years Resolutions and we plan on looking at this regularely to stay focused. I'm looking forward to seeing what you all plan on focusing on next year as well!!!
1)We are continuing to stay on Dave Ramsey and will continue the envelope system.
2)We will get BACK ON TRACK with our weight loss goals (One of my wonderful surprises this Christmas was a Family YMCA membership!!! Yipeee!!!)
3)One date night per month (minimum!)
4)Simplify Life....make no additional commitments regarding volunteering for the year 2008...I will most likely need help on this one considering I'm an extreme people-pleaser. Ugh!
5)Continue to grow Elliott Eason Office Furniture without going in to debt. It is growing very steadily and we're so excited at new doors that continue to open for us. In fact, the business is growing enough to where Chad just recently purchased a 24 foot trailer to pull behind our delivery vehicle for deliveries....that's a very good sign that things are going in the right direction! May God continue to bless it!!!