Auntie Em's Guide to Life

A guide to all the important things in life- marriage, family, cooking, gardening, reading, travel, Christian living… And whatever else grabs my attention!

Just Do It PS

The day I wrote Just Do It, I watched Joyce Meyer sermon (while I was walking on the treadmill, yay!!) called Finish What You Start. She talked about her daughter’s 50-lb loss and knew that the audience would want to know how she did it. (How many times have I asked that question?) She said, “I’m not going to tell you!” God has a different plan for everyone, whether it’s weight loss, or Bible study, or discipline in any other area, and we already know what to do! We just need to do it.

We already know what to do!

Oh man, isn’t that funny how God speaks to us? In the other post, I focused on the DOING. Today, as I was walking the treadmill (again– yay!!) I began to focus on the KNOWING.

What exercise plan should I follow? How about the one that you already have everything you need? I have a treadmill, a nice neighborhood, and good walking shoes for walking. But I have had knee surgery and walking might aggravate it. Well try it and moderate it if that happens. I have a balance ball workout video. I have 1- and 5-lb weights and resistance bands, and Youtube, which is full of free videos.

What Bible study plan should I do? Read it. I already use plans on the Youversion app. I have many devotional books on my bookshelf. There are a gazillion online studies. Pray about it, but don’t obsess. If you don’t get any specific leading, flip a coin or something, anything, just start one! I’m feeling led to continue my 3 bookmark plan of the Bible (OT history; OT poetry/prophecy; and NT) but add Good Morning Girls’s SOAP method– write down the Scripture; write down some observations; write down some applications; and pray using the Scripture. I won’t do this for everything, but when something speaks to me, I will.

giving, money

How should I give? Well obviously, tithe to your church you attend. If you don’t have one, find one, and get involved. Check out their beliefs and make sure they are Scripturally sound. (You can usually find this on their websites.) Make sure there are open, kind people who make you feel welcome. But we have been so financially blessed that I want to give beyond that. I’ve seen many opportunities from bloggers, but I want to be sure that the recipients are above board and that the majority of my gift will go to the need. Well, while you are researching, give where you already know it will be used well.

  • Our little town has the Christian Care Center. My church donates to it; many of our members volunteer there, so I know it’s a good, well-run organization.
  • My in-laws travel and work with Volunteer Christian Builders, a group that builds churches around the country, and while the churches provide construction materials, the workers provide all their travel expenses and any other incidentals that arise, plus administrative costs.
  • I listen to Andy Stanley and Joyce Meyer regularly, so gifts to them would be obvious.

How should I serve? Well what is your strength, or what has moved you? When Mr X had his motorcycle accident recently, we got several cards and meals that meant so much to us. BINGO! I can continue my mother’s DSC_6857tradition of mailing encouragement, plus indulge my Pinterest-food obsession. Making meals just involves a bit of planning ahead, and making more than you need. When you are putting some in the freezer for next time, or using extra for second-generation meals, just make a bit more for another meal. Freeze it, and before long, a family you know will have a need. My experience of care-taking was very short but exhausting. It really made me empathize with those who do it long-term.

While you are waiting to see if God wants to you go on an overseas mission trip, do the little things that are easy to overlook. There is a tendency to think God is going to call us to some grandiose mission, and while we are waiting, we are missing the many opportunities to be His hands and feet right where we live. And please remember– your first mission field is right in your family.

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21 Days to Something Better

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galations 5:22-23

Does anyone besides me get a jolt of surprise everytime you read this passage? Oh wait, I HAVE self-control? I pray to GET it, but God’s word says if I have the Holy Spirit, then I HAVE self-control. Joyce Meyer says when you become a Christian, you have the seeds of all those fruit– they just have to be cultivated. Self-control is one I need lots of tending!

My weakness is not that I DO things I should not; it’s that I DON’T do things I should. When I get home from work, I tend to hit the couch (or back porch chair, or bed) and park there till bedtime, reading or doing blog “work.” And Mr X is so low-maintenance, he doesn’t push me to do anything I don’t want to do– cereal or a PBJ sandwich or frozen pizza is fine, and he’ll fix me some too if I want. With just the 2 of us here, the house and laundry don’t get overrun, so it’s easy to go a month without cleaning the house, or NEVER fold the towels and socks, just use them from the laundry basket. I’ve been saying I’m going to clean out every drawer and closet in my house for about 5 years now.

I saw Crystal’s 21-day Self-Discipline Challenge over at Serving Joyfully this morning, and had a little spark of an “I can do that” thought. So beginning today, November 1, I’m going to take TEN MINUTES a day and do something that needs doing. It might be folding towels or walking on the treadmill, or straightening a shelf in the pantry. But 10 minutes. I can do that.

Want to join me?

Self-discipline Challenge

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Every Little Helps!

“Every little helps,” said the old woman as she wet in the sea.

                                                                              My mother was raised by her grandmother, Lizzie Adkisson Forrest. This is one of the sayings she liked to quote! (And you’re right, I wondered too why she didn’t put “bit” in there!)

This is a great mantra for recovering perfectionists. I say it to myself and my friends over and over. Here are a few instances where my great-grandmother’s wisdom helped this week:

A friend and I were talking about how we loved Pinterest. I was admiring the wonderful elementary classroom ideas she had collected. She said disparagingly, “Now if I’d only USE them I’d be a good teacher!” But I  reminded her that even if she used just a few, she would be a better teacher than she was last year. Every little helps!

Blue Ribbon For First Place Royalty Free Stock Photo - Image: 10708795Along the same idea, my colleague and I have come up with a methodical system of skills and checklists to move our choir students from “zero to hero,”  so to speak. There are ribbons to be awarded, and videos to record… lots of bells and whistles. We’ve put the checklists and lots of the material we use for teaching all on a website, with the idea that the kids can practice at home. I don’t know how much that happens, and we’ve been hit-and-miss about ribbons, but I can tell you, we’ve brought our kids much further than we ever did without the whole system. Every little helps!

I am really realizing that I need to exercise! My mother had her first stroke and retired early at 54. I plan to live a long, healthy life, so I won’t have to move into Sis’s guesthouse, so it’s really hitting home. But I’d so much rather read or write! It’s so hot outside! My feet hurt! But I did bicycle for 21 minutes this week with TeeKay. It’s not great, but it’s something. Every little helps! 

And finally, for the job at hand. One of the projects I always put on my to-do list at the beginning of any period of time off, is to straighten every closet, drawer, and storage receptacle in my house. (A perfect goal for a perfectionist, no?) And I have one week more until I go back to work. So I think I’ll start today with my freezer, and when I’m done I’ll be one step closer. Every little helps!

How do you deal with big projects that weigh you down?

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