Friday, February 22, 2013

Valentine's Day and Our Baby Bucket List :)

I love making plans.  Some people would over analyze that and tell me I need to be content in my current circumstances and enjoy where I am at.  When it comes down to it though, I do, but also realize that enjoying every moment to the fullest often requires  planning.
So, I came across a link to this blog post on a friend's facebook page a few weeks ago and was fascinated.  Right now, the idea of becoming a parent pretty much scares the bejjeezes out of me.  However, the more I thought and prayed about it, found that that is because I don't want to spend our "fun, care free" days before kids in PT school and now with DJ studying/working like crazy.  I concluded that unless we intentionally have a list of things we would like to complete before kiddos came, those things probably wouldn't get done.
I know the Lord has a lot of work to do in both of our hearts to prepare us for that new chapter, but as of right now, we both have a little less than two years left in school.  Ideally we would finish that up, I would work for about a year, make a dent in our student loans, and then we could re-evaluate things from there.
As a slight disclaimer, we are both well aware that the Lord's plans may be VERY different from ours and from experience have seen that they are probably SO much better than we could even imagine right now. Sooo our "plans" are very tentative and we are both very willing and available to let the Lord use us differently.  When I dream about our life 5 years from now, this is how I picture it, and really just wanted to blog about it because I suspect that 5 years from now we will look back and laugh at my excited, yet simplistic ramblings :)
So, the week or so before Valentine's Day I asked DJ if he would be open to talking about this on our special Chipotle dinner date on the 14th.  I honestly expected him to freak out and give me more push back than he did, but he was just as excited as I was, which made this a really fun time and memory.
Of course, I brought him some of my ideas, he evaluated them all, from his financially motivated standpoint of course, and we settled on some of the best ones that we agreed could somehow or another fit into our simple little budget and coincide with our goal of eliminating/significantly reducing our student loan debt.
Sooooo, without further ado, here is what we settled on:
**Since then "Get a king size bed" has been added because, to quote my husband "I know you're going to bring home another puppy one of these days" ...oh, he knows me too well!
Okay, I know, this list is slightly me centered, but most of it applies to both of us :)
I know this whole post seems kind of sad, like we are looking at life with kids as the end.  We see it as anything but that.  If anything, we are looking at this list as a fun way to prepare out hearts for this next chapter that we hope will come.
While we are serious about the list and hope to accomplish most of it, it has become a joke around our apartment "just add it to the list" :P  Overall, we had fun thinking about it and both were encouraged and drawn closer to each other realizing we were both on the same page.
I hope everyone had a Happy Valentine's Day!
I went to spin class V-day morning and when I came home to let Peyton out at lunch found sweet messages everywhere, all afternoon :)

Peyton, looking all distinguished, greying around at the nose
And my beautiful tulips, which were the perfect surprise Tuesday, after I got home from an ugly ugly test

Monday, February 4, 2013

Maintaining Balance

We started attending a new Sunday school class last week.  Yesterday I was profoundly caught off guard by a question our new teacher posed.
"What has your spiritual growth looked like in the past year? Has there been any?"
She followed this up by a painful, yet powerful
"If it takes you awhile to find what it has been, have you really been living for and growing closer to the Lord?"
As I have reflected over this over the past 24 hours, the question kept coming back to me "if you're not growing closer to Him are you growing further away?"
Ironically, all of this research I have been whining about lately has been centered around improving balance.  One thing that I have learned about it is that there is no such thing as standing still.  There is always maintenance required to remain in a balanced or homeostatic place.  Your body is always correcting to acclimate to its surroundings. 
When standing still, this acclimation is called postural sway.  The less postural sway you have, the better your balance.  When using a force plate, it is seen as a line measuring the change of your Center of Pressure.
The left side image shows the least postural sway, the right side shows excessive. picture from here
All of that to be said, we are NEVER standing completely still, sure you can look still, but your body is working really hard to maintain that state.
I would argue the same is true for our spiritual lives.  While we may appear to be completely still, the truth is that we are working really hard to stay in that equilibrium and dependent relationship with the Lord, the harder we work, the stronger our balance gets, and the more difficult it becomes for distractions to cause sway or even a fall.
However, it takes work, a lot of it.  Which athletes have been shown to have the best balance? Gymnasts, naturally.  Why? Because they practice improving their balance regularly. 
This applies to us as Christians, it isn't easy, life gets busy, it takes intentionally practicing getting into the Bible, intentionally taking time to pray, and then intentionally taking time to listen for the Lord's response.
I know, this is not a perfect analogy, but it hit me like a ton of bricks this morning when reading 2 Peter and I had to share!
Here are the verses that convicted and motivated me to keep moving forward this morning:
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-11
Hope you have a wonderful Monday and enjoy the rest of your week :)