Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Character and God's Will

I have been thinking a lot about character and integrity lately. What is it and what does it mean? Back in July, my husband was sifting through his grandfather’s worn, used bible. His grandfather was a man of prayer and used his Bible daily. He had hand written notes about different verses all throughout. Grandpa Jack was one of the most humble men that I have known and he was highly respected and lived a life filled with honor and integrity. He would never ever tell anyone that and if he heard you say that about him he would staunchly disagree with embarrassment. He did not live his life to be filled with praise of his good works from others; he just lived his life and let his actions speak for themselves.

Well, Ryan stumbled upon something that has just stuck with me and made me think about it constantly. Jack wrote, “Your character determines your interpretation of God’s will.” Hmmm. That made me think. Your character, who you are and what you do, determines your interpretation of God’s will. I can’t stop thinking about that quote. God’s will is something that everyone wants, yet is something that can seem to be elusive. Selfish desires can so easily come into focus. We are human. We sin. We make mistakes all the time. How can we know that we are truly in God’s will?

I began to think about what good character means. Is your character defined by what you say or is it defined by what you do. Do your words and your actions line up? The one true definition that I could find came in Proverbs 31. It is an epilogue of the wife of noble character. It is something that I have heard many, many times and am equally challenged each time. Since become a wife and a mother, that challenge has increased.

It starts in the 10th verse. A wife of noble character is worth more than rubies. She brings good to her family, not harm. She works with her hands, providing for not only her family but also the poor. She makes wise business dealings and plans ahead for her household. She is clothed with strength and dignity. Her children call her blessed. It ends with a caution. Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a women who fears the Lord is to be praised.

It is easy to be charming. It is not easy to get up, provide for your husband and children and do it in such a way that they would rise and call you blessed. It is not easy to maintain a noble character. It is a lot of work. It goes way beyond saying the right thing, it is actually doing it.

So, how does your character determine your interpretation of God’s will? Psalms 29:5 says, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”
I am challenged to live my life by my actions and not by what I am saying, but by what I am doing.

So how do I know that my actions are what God wants and not what I want? It is so easy to miss the mark. Matthew 7 talks about a tree and it’s fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. It talks about being known by your fruit, or by your actions. If what you are doing produces good fruit, than that is a good indication that you are doing what God wants for you to do.

I am so challenged by that. Are my actions lined up with my words? Do my decisions produce good fruit? If who I am, what I say and what I do determines my interpretation of God’s will, than I will strive to live my life as proverbs 31. I want to be a wife and mother of noble character. I do not want my own desires to determine what God’s will for my life will be.


We are officially heading to Cancun this coming January! My wonderful, hard working hubby hit a contest at work and we will be heading to Cancun, all expenses paid for a 5 day vacation. It will be with all the other aerotek contest winners, but it is still an all- expense paid vacation for us!

That now instates the "Lose weight and look good in a swimsuit by January" plan for me. That means LOTS of work for me...during the holidays....ehhh. My motivation. Our friends. The only couple i know who are going are wonderful, fun people. They also hit the gym 6 days a week. Hard. The Mrs. is in killer shape, like she does body competitions for fun,shape. Yikes. Jogging stroller, we will become fast friends....

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Attention all mothers and mothers to be!!!!

The link below has become my lifesaver. I don't really let Jack watch T.V yet, but my old boss and good friend, Greg Flick produced this children's video. They gave it to us for Jack's birthday and his wife, a mother of 5 wonderful kids (3 of which make their debut in the video), swore by it. It was the only video that her 16 month liked. He loved it and would actually sit still and watch it. I was curious.

I put it in and instant love from Jack. He was mesmerized by the animals and the music. I loved that it was well done and had scripture incorporated through it all.

Jack has bad mornings sometimes. He is not happy. He does not want to play, he only wants to sit on my lap and even than he is not content. A bad night sleep produces a clingy, whiny baby. I pop in Noah's Ark and bam... he is content and happy. He will cuddle with me (miracle! That alone is worth the video) and watch it. He gets so excited to watch the animals and tries to mimic their noises. Cute. All bad moods are banished with Noah's Ark is on.

I am not a big advocate of baby television watching. They have plenty of time in their life for that. However, i really recommend this video. It is a great christian kids video, only 30 mins and cut up into little sections, so that they can watch their favorite animal and play when they are no longer interested. I like the classical music. I like the live animal footage. I LOVE the scriptures incorporated through it all.

So, buy it for your friends, neighbors and kids. I promise you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Weekend in NYC

We came.

We saw.

We ate.

That was pretty much our weekend in New York. We arrived after a good 7 1/2 hour drive to stay at our good friends house in Brooklyn. I love coming into NYC on the 278. You start crossing a few bridges and emerge into buildings and industrial sites instead of a highway. You make a turn and bam! there it is. The complete Manhattan skyline, with lady liberty off to the left. It always blows me away. I feel like it should be gradual... like o.k, we are almost there, get ready, set.... city! But nope, one turn and it pretty much just smacks you in the face. I love it!

We saw a few new things, like walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and explored SoHo. We also spent some time playing with the kids in Central Park. I love that. The city is so busy and crazy, but the second you walk into Central Park it stops. It is chill. People are still everywhere, but they are just chilling. Jack and Sophia, my friend's little girl, ran and played and had a complete blast. It was so sweet to watch them play and watch them interact with anyone around them, no matter how they looked, dressed or what language they spoke. I love that.

We ate. A lot. So much. Jack decided not to sleep in New York, which is not so fun. He woke up at 6am, tired, crabby and fussy, yet refused to sleep. So, we walked with him while the rest of the house slept. Where do you go at 7am in Brooklyn? Why Bergen Bagels of course. They have the best bagels ever. I do not know why, but they do. Their everything bagel is what manna would taste like if it were an everything bagel. We ate one every single morning.

I was able to go into SoHo with Jackie for a girls night out with out babies and have some amazing sushi at this little place called Slurp. It was so good. Than we went to Sugar for dessert. Do i need to explain anymore? I absolutely love love SoHo.

The rest of the trip included new york style pizza (an obvious must), hot dogs and Mr. Softees from the vendor, an amazing Italian dinner with Salmon Ravioli that was outstanding and so forth. My favorite stop was Crumbs, this amazing bakery that are known for their cupcakes. I about died. Ryan and i decided to get two and split them. After much considering, we got a Reeses' cupcake (Chocolate with peanut butter frosting inside and out) and an Orange Dreamsicle (Vanilla cake with orange cream frosting inside and out). They were both amazing, but the Dreamsicle was everyone's favorite. This type eating put me in a food comma and i will not be eating anything but salad for the next month straight. But it was ALL worth it :)

I love the city and exploring it. If i was just married with out any kids, i would live there. We are so thankful that we have such great friends that allow us to stay with them and take us around. I wish we lived closer. I miss my friends, i miss our babies toddling around after each other. I wish we could do it more often.

After a LONG traffic-filled 9 1/2 hour ride home, we all collapsed. New York is the city that never sleeps, and we certainly did not get much sleep. But give me some sleep and some time to recover, and i would do it again soon!

p.s... went to the anthropolgie in the heart of SoHo. Paparazzi were waiting for someone famous on the street corner, brownstones lined the side streets and oh, the fashion the people wore around there. Love. Tried on a brilliant little black sweater that has replaced all other stalking items. In the words of Rachel Zoe, i die. Really, it was that good. I die. Mischievous plans of birthday/anniversary and per diem money are forming for this little number. Shopping in SoHo? I die.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Good News, Bad News

Good News:

I am leaving to spend the long weekend in NYC with my good friend. That means loads of bagels, shopping, laughing and chasing 2 babies around.

Bad News:

I can't leave till i get antibiodics for a nasty UTI :( I want to feel better and get on the road!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009