Thursday, December 30, 2010

Not Gone With The Wind!

I'm going to share a few of my resolutions for the new year. They are: not quantifiable, possibly unrealistic, and definitely revealing. Oh well.

I do want to set this up a little by making a confession.

I wrote these down months ago. Not to tackle in 2011, but right then. I pushed back the big day (you know, the day that you begin) a day, a week, a month, and now here I am. With my list. I feel like Scarlett O'Hara -- "I'll think about that tomorrow." I am not typically a procrastinator, but we all put off some things, right? I kept thinking about the day I die, which could be tomorrow. Wouldn't I rather die amidst the process rather than not having even started yet? I guess that thought still wasn't enough of a motivation because I still put the big day off. I was and am scared. I think because I know how bad I am going to stink at keeping any of them. But, the timing is too perfect, I need accountability, and I am tired of seeing the list every day!

Without further ado...
  1. When I get frustrated, I must pause and verbally give thanks for one thing (pertaining to that situation)
  2. If I ever resort to name-calling (not really the mature, loving, respectful way to fight!), I must speak a positive remark
  3. Since Ricky and I tend to air some of our grievances during bathtime, I must begin and end each shower with a smile and a kiss
  4. Although we are exhausted by the time we reach the bed, I would really like to pray together for just a few minutes before crashing
  5. When Ricky returns from work, I want to give him the first 10 minutes upon arriving home to relax before bombarding him with the honey-do list

Impossible goals for this frail and broken soul, but I get to plunge the depths of grace for healing, covering, and help. Thank You, Jesus!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lord, Is It I?

“‘One of you will betray me,’ Jesus said. They were shocked. Each of the disciples responded with the question, ‘Lord, is it I?’ (Matthew 26:20-2). Their inquiry reveals three important truths:

(1) The possibility of evil in our hearts. Everyone recognized it. When we hear of the moral collapse of another never say, ‘I couldn’t do that.’ The potential of every sin lies in our own heart. In the white light of God’s Word we’ve all yielded to temptation and responded to the appeal of the devil.

(2) Our ignorance of ourselves. ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?’ (Jeremiah 17:9). And finally…

(3) The wisdom of self-examination. Peter didn’t say, ‘I’ve never been too sure about Thomas; he’s skeptical.’ John didn’t say, ‘You know, I’ve never been too happy about that tax collector Matthew!’ Each person turned the question in on himself.

It wasn’t a morbid introspection. It was just a healthy look and an honest enquiry.

Maybe it’s time for each of us to look up into His face and ask –

‘Lord, is it I?’

~ Bill Bathman, How’d You Hurt Your Hand?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Resolving to Read the Bible in a Year?

With the New Year approaching and resolutions formulating, I have a little tip for those who want to "read the Bible in a year."

Yeah, how unusual is that goal? I think it ranks #1 as the most common resolution for Christians.

I know it's on my list every. single. year.
While most people give up in the midst of Leviticus (the third book of the Bible), I usually make it until Summer. Then, it hits. I realize that the year is halfway over, and I am NOT halfway through the Bible. I lose hope of finishing the entire Word that year and switch to an alternate plan -- read what I want at my own pace. Until the next year. Repeat.
So, I've read the Pentateuch and Gospels probably ten times and the other books half that many times.
But, a light bulb went off recently.
If you read just ONE chapter of the Bible a day, you can finish it in about five years. How many times has a 60-year old read the whole Bible? Twice... Once... None? But, if they had followed the one-chapter-a-day plan since they were 20-years-old -- EIGHT times!
If you want to read the entire Bible:
While people may want to set unrealistic, high and lofty goals, i.e. read the Bible in a year, instead chose the snail's pace. Read one chapter a day. In five years, others will still be wandering in the desert, but you will have done it.

Monday, December 27, 2010


  • We pray that everyone had a blessed weekend celebrating Jesus' birthday!
  • We have not participated in the gift-giving part yet with either of our families, but we hope to this week.
  • Aolani's seventh tooth (a sharp dagger) has broken through over the weekend.
  • Here is our talented "Farfy" (my nickname for her) reading upside down! I can't do that! [She got her first real cut with blood and all last week playing too rough.]

  • Here we are returning to our igloo after the Christmas Eve service.

  • Pretty in purple in her Christmas dress:

  • She got to open one of her presents from Grandma and Pawpaw Oliver.

She would not let go of the bag. We're just hoping that Jack the Rabbit stays attached, despite her violent attempts to behead him.
  • There haven't been any videos lately because my camera has been down and out for awhile. But, I finally collected some of her recent tricks for you, including her wave and "Uh-oh."

  • Verse to memorize this week: Colossians 4:6 ~ Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Non-Toxic Dare

Truth or dare? Well, you are about to get both.

For just one week from Christmas until New Years, Ricky and I are taking a dare. A dare from each other. A dare for each other.

We are each addressing one of our weaknesses to benefit the other, ourselves, and our marriage.

Aidan's dare: I must only speak encouraging words to Ricky. My vision? Take my, oft impulsive, thought, and before giving voice to it, give it a salt bath. Submerge the words in the pool of grace, just like dipping an apple in caramel. Then, I can speak -- words that drip with grace.

"The only air non-toxic to humans is Grace...

Just for today:

  • Couldn’t all the words out of my mouth only be the strengthening words? Words that nourish their bones and muscle their hearts.
  • What if I tried to change nothing in children but I focused on only this: Only speak words that make souls stronger."

-taken from Ann Voskamp's blog post, The Gift of {Strong} Words

Except that I want to try a whole week of this...

Ricky's dare: Ricky must practice instant obedience. Basically, when I am ask him to do something, he not only does it but right then when I ask! No laziness, no procrastination, no disrespect, and no excuses. Sounds like a dream come true, huh?!

Needless to say, this dare will be both challenging and rewarding for us both and our relationship. Still, we are so excited... bring it on!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Making Frantic Efforts

“If the enemy can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy.” ~ Unknown

"He that believeth shall not make haste. There is plenty of time. You must not imagine that the result depends on you, or that a single human soul can be lost because you may fail. The question, as far as you are concerned, is whether you are to be honored in having a hand in the work that God is doing, and will do, whether you help him or not. Some will be honored: shall it be me? And this honor gained excludes no one: there is work, as there is bread in his house, enough and to spare. It shows no faith in God to make frantic efforts or frantic lamentations." ~ George MacDonald

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Not an End, But a Means

To wrap up the 12-part series done by Mercola on health myths, I wanted to highlight the importance of balance, especially in the arena of health. Not to elevate health too highly, but not to neglect it either. We are not to serve the idol of health, but to use health as a means to serve God! You can only do what you can do -- this is reason. Self-control and discipline are to be held in tension by unity and enjoyment. Let's dwell in the land of peace and love :)

I read a great 2-part series on balancing nutrition and priorities from Passionate Homemaking that I want to share with you:
  • "With the bombardment of choices for us mothers to make in regard to our health and nutrition at the table and in our lifestyle, it is becoming more and more difficult to keep a proper balance between our pursuit of nutrition for the health and wholeness of our family and the reality of what we can truly manage. I have been noticing an increased obsession with health and food in my generation that has been concerning, especially among young mothers. We don’t realize that something is being sacrificed at the idol of health." Read the rest of part 1 here.
  • "Pursue health and wholeness first and foremost through Jesus Christ! I encourage you to make healthy food and lifestyle choices, use whole grains, natural sweeteners, and food as close to the original source as possible, but don’t become enslaved to it. Try not to go to the opposite extreme of abandoning all and making yourself sick, but rather do not worry... Do your best with the resources God has entrusted to you, guard your heart against fear, and enjoy the freedom you have in Christ!" Read the rest of part 2 here.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Wild Voyager

  • Aolani turned 10 months over the weekend. She is so much like her daddy in personality!

  • She had another sleepover with her cousin this weekend -- screamed at Kylie (with excitement), ate Kylie's foot, climbed all over Kylie, kept banging her own head against Kylie's belly, and made Kylie cry a little. Yep, although Kylie is older and bigger, she is somewhat intimidated by our wild child. I don't blame her. Aolani is quite the aggressive, overeager, intense, energetic baby. Yet, Aolani acts mild, quiet, and shy around strangers?! She has them fooled!

  • Aolani is at the stage where she is constantly pointing :) She is also using the crib rails to assist her new endeavors...

  • Helping Daddy pick the best pot to use.

  • Ricky and I went on a date over the weekend to see Narnia's The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. We recommend it :)

  • And, dare I forget to mention, Aolani has now resorted to throwing up when we offer her food. Not a little milk spit up either. It's so sad -- poor girl :(


  • While Aolani likes to see the Christmas tree and presents, she is much more interested in eating the ribbons like a dog, digesting paper, and gnawing on pine needles.

  • Verse to memorize this week: Romans 14:17 ~ For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What Motivates You?

Ricky asked me, "Is it okay to have 'wanting to be like Christ' as your sole motivation? Or should that be the byproduct of some other motivation?"

My thoughts (search the Scriptures and inquire of the Spirit for real truth!) in bulleted format:

  • If by okay you mean acceptable to God...
  • I don't know if I ever do anything with one (sole) motivation. There are main (primary) motivations, but still there are many smaller ones that go into a decision or action.
  • Also, I also don't know if wanting to be like Christ has ever been a byproduct of another motivation, for me. Becoming like Christ is often a byproduct.
  • It has been a primary motivation for me. It has been a smaller motivation for me.

Let's rephrase the question, "Is it acceptable to God to do something primarily because you want to be like Christ?"

Sure, why not? WWJD seems to have come about from this. Anyway, I think that if you do something with that as your main motive, then God will use that both to accomplish His purposes in the world and in you. And eventually, He may be at work in your heart to transform that motivation out of the limelight and make it secondary. Why? Because I do believe that there is a much better motivation -- actually the motivation. That's true, pure, ideal -- for the love of Jesus. This should be the goal, to do something, anything, mainly out of love and not out of fear or to benefit self. But, I think God accepts other good motivations, knowing that we are longing to be motivated by love. Give Him that longing and let Him work in and on you. He will. This is certain.

For it is God who works in you both to will and to act according to His good purpose (Philippians 2:13).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Free from the Deadly D's

“[The] deadly D’s of discontentment, disappointment, discouragement, and despair all thrive in a prideful heart.” ~ Susan Hunt

“Freedom from pride does not come from thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less!” ~ Marliss Bombardier

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mercola's Medical Myth #12

Low-Fat Diets are Healthy

The low-fat myth may have done more harm to the health of millions than any other dietary recommendation. Again, just as the recommendations to avoid sunshine has increased melanoma rates, the low-fat craze led to increased consumption of trans-fats, which we now know increases your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

To end the confusion, it’s very important to realize that
eating fat will not make you fat!

The primary cause of excess weight and all the chronic diseases associated with it, is actually
the consumption of too much sugar -- especially fructose, but also all sorts of grains, which rapidly convert to sugar in your body.

If only the low-fat craze had been a low-sugar craze... then we wouldn’t have nearly as much chronic disease as we have today.

For an explanation of why and how a low-fat diet can create the very health problems it’s claimed to prevent, please see this previous article.

There are healthy and unhealthy fats. Healthy fat actually helps your body to lose weight! Let the ingredients and sugar content dictate whether you eat something -- not the amount of fat.

Mercola's Medical Myth #11

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hissin' and Hawkin'

  • We traveled by car to Greensboro over the weekend to visit my paternal grandparents. Warning: Allow almost twice the time when driving with a baby. This was Aolani's longest trip by car. She is not the greatest rider, as she does not like to sleep in her carseat and the carseat must be too confining for this very active wild child. I got my fill of screams, fusses, pouts, and cries. My grandma treated me to a massage and hairstyle at a spa on Saturday. Nice! It was a great visit :)
  • We taught Aolani to hiss like a snake through her teeth!
  • I wasn't going to mention this, but Ricky is making me. Idea: Aolani and I performed a wheelchair-dance for Ricky last week to Kenny G's Silent Night. We choreographed and practiced it earlier in the day when we were alone (to minimize embarrassment!). Aolani enjoys all the twists and turns on my lap. She giggles while we dance ;)
  • Remember that tuft of hair growing on the back of her head?!
  • Verse to memorize this week: Luke 9:23-5 ~ Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Bear is Strapped

Riding around with "Gunny" (her teddy bear)

Notes: Sorry for the poor picture quality! Aolani usually sits up straight on my lap. However, as she gets tired, she begins to slouch and slide down my lap! She is going down for a nap here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Embrace The "Bad" -- Part 2

A few other notes on this topic (click here for Part 1):
  1. Ricky and I were discussing this and about "blowing it" in certain situations when we do not react with grace or grow in maturity. He kept referring to this as failing a test. But maybe that is not the best way to look at it. With tests, there are grades -- passing or failing. I think the better description for these circumstances is opportunity. With opportunities, you either take advantage or miss out. But there are always a plethora of opportunities. Test makes you think of failing, but somehow we turn that action into a state of being and begin to view ourselves as failures. Opportunity instills hope -- for change, growth, and newness.
  2. A number scale might help here. Although, it is an imperfect and possibly inaccurate way of looking at it. A qualitative view might be better, but my quantitative mind always chooses numbers over words! Anyway, let's put Christlikeness on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the perfect state of being only attainable once we are physically present with our Lord Jesus. So, 9 is the tops on this present earth. Let's put me at a 2-3. Now, if I die years from now and I am still at a 2-3, then I would be disappointed with myself. I would have missed out on every opportunity I have had to grow and mature (become Christlike) as I had not moved up on this scale one iota! May it not be so! I want to be at an 8-9 when I go from glory to glory. [Not to get me into Heaven, of course, because that is only accomplished by Christ's atoning sacrifice! Not by works.] I just want to take advantage of these opportunities to grow in grace. Don't you?! Either way -- whether I take advantage or not -- I thank You, Jesus, for grace in every opportunity!
  3. I am reading Randy Alcorn's book on evil and suffering, called If God Is Good. A great, thorough guide on this topic. I thought that some of his words aptly apply to this subject.

We need to take a closer look at a verse I've mentioned, one of the most treasured (and also maligned) in Scripture: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).

The context shows that the Holy Spirit’s main concern is conforming God’s children to the image of Christ. He brings challenging circumstances into our lives so we may develop Christlikeness.

Paul’s use of "we know" indicates that if you don’t know this, you know less than God intends you to; and when times of evil and suffering come, you’ll be ill-equipped to face them.

I believe that if God could not use something, in eternity, to contribute to the good of his child, then he will not permit it to happen. I know of no other way to interpret this passage, written in a context of profound evil and suffering. It does not say God causes some or most things to work for our good, but all things. And what does "all things" not include?

Romans 8:28 declares a cumulative and ultimate good, not an individual or immediate good...

We define our good in terms of what brings us health and happiness now; God defines it in terms of what makes us more like Jesus…

Whether suffering brings us to Christlikeness depends, to some degree, upon our willingness to submit to God and trust him and draw our strength from him. Suffering will come whether we allow it to make us Christlike or not -- but if we don't our suffering is wasted.

Join me in embracing these opportunities!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Laying Hold of God's Willingness

“Many of us fail to call on God because we don’t understand the need to pray about something God has already promised to do.” ~ Jim Cymbala

“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance. It is laying hold of God’s willingness.” ~ George Muëller

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mercola's Medical Myth #11

Milk Does Your Body Good

Can milk do your body good?

Yes, if it’s RAW.

Unfortunately, this myth insists that conventional pasteurized milk has health benefits, which is far from true. Conventional health agencies also refuse to address the real dangers of the growth hormones and antibiotics found in conventional milk.

Please understand that I do not recommend drinking pasteurized milk of any kind, including organic, because once milk has been pasteurized its physical structure is changed in a way that can actually cause allergies and immune problems.

Important enzymes like lactase are destroyed, which causes many people to not be able to digest milk. Additionally, vitamins (such as A, C, B6 and B12) are diminished and fragile milk proteins are radically transformed from health nurturing to unnatural amino acid configurations that can actually worsen your health.

The eradication of beneficial bacteria through the pasteurization process also ends up promoting pathogens rather than protecting you from them.

The healthy alternative to pasteurized milk is raw milk, which is an outstanding source of nutrients including beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus, vitamins and enzymes, and it is, in my estimation, one of the finest sources of calcium available.

For more details please watch the interview I did with Mark McAfee, who is the owner of Organic Pastures, the largest organic dairy in the US.
Since we currently do not have access to raw milk, we use almond milk. If we ever had a raw milk connection, yippee!

Mercola's Medical Myth #10