Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Do Something" Day 36 - Learn something new

We took our friends to the Mississippi River Museum today! I enjoy taking people there, including my own family. Even though we have had a membership there for almost 2 years, I like to take the kids and learn something new.
There's always a new exhibit to explore, and if I am able too with their attention, I like to read all the various facts and information to them in the new exhibits. Usually at the end of the day we ask the kids what they loved the best on our adventure and they both will share their favorite part.
It's amazing how in every stage and age in life life, there is always an opportunity to learn something new. Try finding a museum, a gallery, an attraction where you live and take the time to read the informational postings and if you take a friend or loved one along share with each other at the end of the day your favorite new piece of information that captured your attention!
Have fun!

Blessings be with you...

Monday, April 2, 2012

"Do Something" Day 35 - Hospitality

Today and all week long, we have a house full of guests! I am so thrilled to spend 5 lovely days with my very dearest friend and her three children. We have so much planned and hope that everyone will enjoy the tiny little excursions we have planned.
Do you enjoy having guests stay in your home? For me, I enjoy serving in many ways. First, I want to make sure all guests are comfortable and feel as if they were at home, next I want them to be able to enjoy food that has been prepared for them, and lastly I want to make sure that our guests are having a great time!
Sometimes this gives me some stress, only because I worry about if everyone is having a great time. So far, I think we all are enjoying the company of one another!
Invite a guest over, prepare a room for them, a meal, and a loving environment.

Blessings be with you...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Do Something" Day 34 - Rest

Rest is a word that I love to say, but don't actually do. during this 40 day journey of "Do Something" I have blogged about training for a 5K run. I am still in training, so I guess that's a good sign! I like it enough to not quit, but as I push myself more, I am beginning to realize that a training schedule on a piece of paper may not be the best training guide for me. I really pushed myself hard earlier this week, resulting in very uncomfortable knee pain. I have treated this discomfort with ice, supplements, chiropractic care, and although I want to run...I keep at it with brisk walking instead.
It's funny how the unlikely of activities, become something you grow fond of. Up until a few weeks ago, I could have died happy knowing that I never ran a race of any distance. Now that I have grown a liking to running, I crave it! To take a break, for the sake of not risking an injury, feels kind of disappointing. I enjoy pushing myself a little bit more each day. Apparently my body doesn't care for it. Too much, too soon...I suppose.
So, I rest, taking a few days off and allowing my knees to recover.
What ways can you rest from the busy life, from your home, from exercise. Really rest, take a break, put your feet up and relax with a good book or movie.

Try it tomorrow on your Sabbath!

I look forward to hearing how you spent your time.

Blessings be with you...

Friday, March 30, 2012

"Do Something" Day 33 - Au Naturel

I clean my entire home with a few natural ingredients:
Baking soda, Borax, vinegar, lemon juice, wintergreen rubbing alcohol, and essential oils.
To some this may seem like a lot of work, I mean it is more convenient to grab a bottle of whatever cleaner, spray the house down and wipe away. For our home it's not a matter of convenience, but a matter of health. Since I do the majority of the scrubbing of this home, I would prefer to not breath in harmful aromas in conventional cleaners. It's safer for the environment and safer for the people that love in your home..
It's safe for children and pets too.

Give it a try and take a little ride on the "Green Side"

Some helpful links:

Blessings be with you...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Do Something" Day 32 - Gratitude

Gratitude goes beyond just saying "thank you". In our busy lives, we sometime forget to really tell our loved one(s)that we are grateful for them. Not only is this important in relationships, but with children and friendships too.
Sit down with your special someone, look at each other and tell them why you are grateful for them. If you aren't the vocal type, grab a pen an paper and write it down in a note. Tech savvy folks, send and email or text.
Although, I really encourage you to something different and sit down face to face and talk.
Since I am unable to sit with you all in person, I want to thank all for you who have visited this blog and have joined this 40 day journey of "Do Something".

This journey isn't over yet, stick with it!

Blessings be with you...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Do Something" Day 31 - The In Between Times

I thought it was only fitting to share a devotion that I wrote for our home church in Las Vegas. They offer a Lenten devotional, written by the members of this church. Today just happened to be mine. Enjoy!

Blessings be with you...

Wednesday, March 28 Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19

Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. (v. 2) NIV

I think one can say that when great things happen in our lives, we praise God. We thank him over and over and tell God how great he is to us. What about the not so great things? The struggles and obstacles, the times when we are simply tired of fighting. Do we then praise God and thank him for that opportunity to learn and grow from that experience? I would say not many people do.

During a Bible study for moms that I was involved with a while back, I remember reading in a chapter about the challenges of life, “Every time you face a challenge whether great or small, look at it as an opportunity to trust and thank God.” That small sentence in a 260 page book was so profound to me, that even in the craziest, loudest (I’m referring to my children), and most unfair moments in my life, God is the one to be there at any hour to comfort my pain and he is being thanked for that opportunity to trust him.

Give thanks to the Lord for answered prayers and give thanks for the in-between times too.

Amazing God, thank you for all the love you have for us and thank you for your mercy and grace when we fall short. Amen.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Do Something" Day 30 - Loss & Grief

Do we really know what to say when someone loses a loved one, a significant other, a pregnancy, a child? We are hurt, troubled, and at most times at a loss for words. What do we say, what don't we say? In our own family of four, we have lost a pregnancy. About 3 years ago, in my 13th week of pregnancy. This child would have been our second child and even though we were blessed one year and one week later with our darling Isaac, I still think about that child we never got to meet and to hold.
Pregnancy and infant loss is not something to "sweep under the rug", I believe in our culture many, many years ago we never spoke about miscarriages. Today is much different, we have support groups, blogs, facebook pages, and many resources to help us through this most difficult time.
Unfortunately not everyone educates themselves on what to say, or not to say. I though I would share this very helpful link on "Words Women Might find Hurtful After a Miscarriage"

Things that you can say and do:
1) Give a heartfelt hug and say "I'm sorry"
2) Offer to bring a meal
3) Follow up with continued communication.
A woman who has gone through this doesn't take the weekend off to recover, sometimes it takes weeks, months, even years to get through it.
4) Always keep her and her family in your prayers.

This will mean the world to her!

Blessings be with you...

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Do Something" Day 29 - The Grocery Store

I will never forget a few months ago, when I took my two children to the grocery store...during lunch time. I take my kids to the store all the time, I enjoy it. I do appreciate times when I go alone, but on the other hand, I always find myself taking way too long looking around. At least with my kids, I have to formulate a plan! I have a list, and I let the kids know that we aren't able to go to the toy section that day. We get in, and we get out...usually with no tantrums or whining. Usually!
So when I decided that I needed to go grocery shopping during the time that we would be preparing lunch and having quiet time, I knew I was in for it. The first 10 minutes were a breeze, but as we approached the last few moments of grocery shopping and the final items were being crossed off the grocery list, all "you know what" broke loose. The kids became grumpy, they began to get super whiny, as I ran through the grocery store to grab the last few items. The children had enough, and frankly so did I.
Alas, in the check out lane, ready to go. Isaac was screaming so loudly that he made himself throw-up and lily was crying because he had pulled her hair. I kept my head up high, no expression and prayed that we would get our groceries in our reusable bags as quickly as possible.
The woman bagging our groceries had stated that she remembers when her children were that small and doesn't miss that time. I nodded and said "I sometimes pretend that they aren't my children" We had a laugh, and she grabbed the cart and walked us to our car.
What an amazing help she was!
Now, I realize that she gets paid to do what she does, but her sincerity was real. She wanted to help. How often do you see that same scene? A parent struggling, just trying to get groceries and go home.
Offer a helping hand, even if they don't accept, they will appreciate that you offered.

Blessings be with you...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Do Something" Day 28 - Hunger

I feel that lately I have been surrounded by the word "hunger". This word is said quite frequently with my children, I say it when I feel it, there's a new movie with that title, a childhood game, and lately in church we have heard sermons, temple talks, and bible studies mention this word.
We live in a society over abundance, even if you are poor, you are more rich than many in other countries. Yet, people are still starving. In our cities, in our states, in the US, in the world.
There are efforts in trying to end world hunger, and each state and communities are different. Many churches raise money to donate animals to villages so that they can raise and reproduce livestock for food and nourishment.
A bible study that Jason, Isaac and I attend while Lily is in Sunday school are finishing a study called "Taking Root- Hunger Causes, Hunger Hopes" We learn ways that we can take part with living in a world with out hunger. The problem cannot be fixed with the snap of a finger, but we all can take steps forward in educating ourselves, becoming proactive, and motivating others to help end world hunger. No problem is too big or too small. I invite you to do some research on ways that you can help within your community.

Blessings be with you...
Enjoy your Sabbath!

Friday, March 23, 2012

"Do Something" Day 27 - Comfort

Whenever I am able to sit for a few moments and scroll through the newsfeed on my facebook page, many times I run across posts from friends that are struggling. Whether it be a job that they are tired of being at, struggling with depression or an illness, family issues, sick children, etc. I always admire their friends that post comments that are so uplifting and loving. There are times, though that someone is truly hurting and there are no comments, that's not to assume that friends don't send them a private message instead. I'm sure they do. I send private messages a lot because something I want to share with them that they might relate too, don't always need to be broadcasted for the world to see.
In our busy lives, and in our own struggles and challenges and pain, we must remember to help those who are hurting. It may seem way out of left field sometimes to try and comfort someone is is also hurting, you may feel as though you don't have one extra ounce to give to someone else. When you reach out, even the tiniest bit, it makes a world of difference to someone, and eventually to yourself as well. When you care for others, you start to care for yourself and slowly realizing that serving others is wonderful therapy.

So, next time you see a friend on facebook in need, or receive a text or email that sounds like someone might be struggling, try to focus on that person, reach out, talk to them, take them out if you are able, and most importantly...pray for them!

They will appreciate it so much.

Blessings be with you...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Do Something" Day 26 - Spiritual Practice

Most of my life revolves around food. The meal planning, grocery shopping, preparing the food, and last but not least...and probably the best part, eating the food! I enjoy cooking, it's one of my spiritual practices. The day can be completely hectic and once I step in the kitchen, I am entered into a space where I feel in total control and calm all at the same time.

What's your spiritual practice? Your special time with you and the universe, a time where you are just...you.

Spend some extra time doing just that, and enjoy it!

Blessings be with you....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Do Something" Day 25 - Giving

It's spring time and what better time to start a little (or a lot) spring cleaning!
Previous blog posts on this 40 day journey of doing something, have mentioned of participating in the act of giving.
As you go through your spring cleaning and start clearing out items that you don't need any more, find an organization to donate your unwanted things too. Perhaps a homeless shelter or a women's shelter. If you have a lot of baby stuff, try an organization that will distribute the baby items to underprivileged mothers.
There might be someone in your own neighborhood who is in need.
If all else fails, there's always freecycle!

Share this gift, you will be appreciated!

Blessings be with you...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Do Something" Day 24 - First Day of Spring

Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
To-day the glint of green is there;
Tomorrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing so wondrous fair,
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there!
~L.H. Bailey

For almost 2 weeks I have enjoyed reading outside in my front yard during my son's nap time. My daughter plays with her cute little toys in the grass and I just absolutely enjoy that warm sun on my skin. This is highly unusual weather for this time of year in the Midwest, and I am enjoying every minute of it!
In our yard we have daffodils galore, and a couple of tulips are poking through now. It's absolutely gorgeous and as the poem says at the end, 'I wonder what will next be there'.

What's growing in your yard? If nothing, grab a packet of seeds and stick them in the ground.
No yard, no worries! You can still grow things in your home.

See the miracle happen right before your eyes!

Blessings be with you...

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Do Something" Day 23 - Comfort Zone

We all have one, a comfort zone, an invisible line that tells us "nope you've gone far enough, you are more comfortable on this side" Some of will go to that edge to get a little sneak peek on what's beyond and some are perfectly happy with staying 4 feet behind that line.
I blogged about possibly doing a "couch to half marathon" training program and eventually entering an event. I realized that I better start small, and try a 5K first! A 5K is coming up in Illinois at the end of April, and as of today I have 5 weeks and 5 days to prepare to run this entire 5K. This is so terrifying for me, I will be honest that I have and will try to talk myself out of this everyday during this training. Luckily for me, I have a very supportive husband and a community that stands behind me in this decision, and now that this has been written for the public, I suppose I can't back out now.
Today I ran out of my comfort zone! I strapped on my running shoes, the iPod, and my watch and set out in the gorgeous neighborhood we live in. I intended to just walk (briskly) for 30 minutes. As I turned around on my path about 15 minutes in, I got the nerve and jogged for a full 2 minutes. I walked for 4minutes and jogged again for a full 2 minutes. I did this cycle about 3 times. To some, this may sound super easy, but to me it was mentally and physically challenging. I have never intentionally ran before, unless I was playing a game, running after my kids, or in my youth...running from the cops (that is whole other story for another time!)
I felt winded, sweaty, and absolutely fantastic. I had a great playlist on my iPod and just went.
I will continue to step out of my comfort zone, everyday, for the next 5 weeks and challenge myself. Who knows maybe I will love this forever.
What can you do to step out of your comfort zone?
Think about it, pray about it, do something about it!
I can't wait to hear what you get to accomplish!!!

Blessings be with you...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

"Do Something" Day 21 - The Classics

I absolutely love to read, the problem is that I love to read everything at once and either I don't finish, or I get distracted with another project. I manage though, at some point, I actually will get through an entire book. With 2 small children at home, who has time to read all day? If you do, I praise you friend!! Way to go!
I have made myself a goal, to begin after this lenten journey and daily blogging....to begin reading the classic novels. I have to honestly say that I have not read many. God has called me to be a homeschooling mother, this is a challenge i will gladly accept and try my best to give my children the best education possible. I read many homeschooling blogs and articles and most of them always mention the introduction of classic novels to their children. Even if the child(ren) cannot read yet, they should be read aloud. Now, I realize that I am aiming this blog towards reading to your children, but this applies to you that don't have children. Challenge yourself to read a classic novel once a month, if you like, read more in that month if possible. You don't even have to purchase every novel. Visit your local library, check out iTunes U, kindle, nook, most of these devices will have FREE downloads.!!

Not sure where to begin? Try this list.

Blessings be with you...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Do Something" Day 20 - Change

"Be the change you want to see in this world" ~Ghandi

Change is not an easy thing to try. In fact, some people literally break out in a cold sweat over just hearing the word. Change is something I look forward too, although I don't want change to happen very often, I am grateful when things are shaken up a bit in our own little Adams world. For us, change will be packing up our entire home at Wartburg this Summer and moving less than 2 hours away to Iowa City where Jason will be an intern pastor at Zion Lutheran Church. We are super excited for this change. For me, it means a more diverse and bigger city that where we live now, for Jason it means the next step in this journey that God has called him to be on, and for the kids...they get to meet new friends along the way!

Change doesn't have to come in the form of moving around from city to city. Change can be simply moving some furniture around in your home, or trying a food you have never eaten, or volunteering for something that you have never done before, it can even be applying the exercises of this daily blog (nice plug, huh?). Change can be frightening, exciting, hard word, and rewarding. At the end of the day, it will feel amazing! Give it a try.

Blessings be with you...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Do Something" Day 19 - Surrender

Have you ever tried to just let God take over? To really surrender and say, "I give it all to you"
All of your cares, your worry, your anxiety, your joys, all of it. What has it felt like to really do this?
2 1/2 years ago we decided to do just that by selling our home, some of our belongings, and moving 1700 miles away from our dearest family and friends and fulfill what God has called us to do. Now don't get me wrong, there are still days that I fight God, and let him know that I am in control and honestly it only gives me more stress and anxiety.
It's such a weird feeling to let God take "the wheel" and show us a life of gratitude, humility, love and grace and most importantly, patience.
There's something frightening and exciting about not planning your life for the next 5 years and just "Let Go and Let God"....hey didn't Vinny from Jersey Shore get that tattoo????
Surrender, give it to God, see what happens!

Blessings be with you....

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Do Something" Day 18 - Namaste

"The divinity in me bows to the divinity in you"
What an amazing and respectful greeting, although in actuality the word 'namaste' literally means "bow to you" but as westerners adopted this greeting after a yoga session, the translation has been extended a bit. None the less, what a beautiful greeting!

Give this greeting a try when you are out and about. You might get the same in return.

Blessings be with you....

Monday, March 12, 2012

"Do Something" Day 17 - T.H.I.N.K.

I posted this a while back on my facebook wall. I saw it again on Pinterest just today, and it got me thinking about how amazing this little inspirational sign, if you will, is.

I think we can all benefit from this.

Blessings be with you...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"Do Something" Day 16 - Silence

A moment of silence is something the rarely occurs in my life, unless I am sleeping. Conscious silence is definitely unheard of. Have you ever just remained quiet for a long period of time? What did you think of? How did you feel after you broke the silence?
Today, has been that rare occurrence where I haven't spoken a word in over an hour, except for when the phone rang. Although the day isn't completely silent, I hear myself tapping away at the keys, the sound of basketballs bouncing on the pavement right outside my window, kids running around and riding bikes in the neighborhood, but I haven't heard my own voice in a while. It's quite refreshing, to give those muscles a break, and to be with your thoughts and enjoy the sounds coming from other places and spaces.
Give it a try...enjoy your Saturday and most importantly enjoy your Sabbath tomorrow.
See you all on Monday!

Blessings be with you...

Friday, March 9, 2012

"Do Something" Day 15 - The Doable Detox

Spring is in the air and I don't know about you but I am ready fro sunny days and warmth on my skin. Most people take this time in the Spring to clean house. Organize closets, basements, kids' rooms, re-arrange furniture, etc. This is a great opportunity to clean house with your body as well. Try the Doable Detox.

The Doable Detox - Natural Health

Blessings be with you...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Do Something" Day 14 - Get Moving

I have to be honest, exercise terrifies me. Although, I will engage in some form of exercise, I don't always choose that as a priority. I know that being a fairly young mom with small children, that I am to set the example of healthy living. We eat healthy, we talk about healthy food and exercise, these kids are in swimming, gymnastics, and not to mention all the outdoor play they get.
Deep down inside, I'm exhausted, but I get moving for those kids and I get moving for me!

Running has never ever been a sport that I have been interested in. Although I really do admire people that can do this for long distances. I started receiving Fitness magazine in the mail for free. This is not a magazine I would normally subscribe too and pay for. Again, on the inside, I'm a tiny bit of a couch potato. So I started reading this magazine and came across an article about 4 women who come from different times of their lives, some who have never exercised, some who are challenging themselves to run more, some who are downright terrified of running. All four of these ladies conquered a half marathon, that 13.1 miles friends. Doesn't the thought make you want to take a nap?
It got me thinking, if these women can do it...if hundreds of people can do this. All shapes and sizes, why can't I? So, I downloaded the training guide for beginners and by golly, I will do my best to lace up those running shoes and get off the couch (figuratively speaking), who can sit on the couch all day with 2 energetic kids? Really?

I invite you to face your fears and do "Couch to Half" with me

Blessings be with you...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Do Something" Day 13 - $20.00

Where can $20.00 take you?
You can put it in your gas tank, buy coffee/tea, purchase lunch for a few days (depending where and what you eat), shoes, make-up, magazines, a book, toilet paper...etc!
If you had $20.00 less then your monthly budget, would it really hurt you? I know for a struggling seminary family, $20.00 is like $100.00 to us. We make it stretch big time. This is a choice we have made for our family for this short time in our lives while the Mr. is in seminary.
When given the opportunity to give, we will, and we have.
Where could you put $20.00? Try a non-profit of your choice. A cause or organization that inspires you, that speaks to your heart. That $20.00 will make all the difference, I promise you.

Blessings be with you...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Do Something" Day 12 - Save a Life

On and off since I was 18, I have been donating blood. It started with signing up at community college in Las Vegas and I have to selfishly admit that I donated to receive the free movie tickets they were giving away with a every donation. Phew, glad I confessed that after 14 years.
Seriously though, giving blood is an amazing gift that you can give someone and tonight I was able to attend a banquet held at the Grand River Center here in Dubuque, Iowa that honored milestone blood donors and coordinators of blood drives. In the Fall, with myself and the Fellowship of Wartburg Spouses we held a blood drive at the seminary. I was a little nervous that we weren't going to meet our expected donor number given the amount of donors that had signed up, weren't quite up to the number we needed. Lo and behold, folks kept popping in, waiting to donate and we achieved our number. That was an amazing feeling!
Tonight, I felt that same amazing feeling as name were being announced of people who had reached "Gallon Milestones" anywhere from 1-30 gallons of blood donated throughout their lifetimes. This was special. At this banquet they showed a short clip of a woman who underwent an emergency Cesarean, she immediately had postnatal hemorrhaging and had to have 30 units of donor blood. Her life was saved and she is able to be a mother to her first born child. The last line of that clip had a single sentence. "Thank you blood donors for keeping families whole" I about burst into tears. Without the daily donations, people who need transfusions and those emergency situations would lose their lives.
So I encourage you, if you are able, to make an appointment at your local blood center and give this gift of life.

Blessings be with you...

Monday, March 5, 2012

"Do Something" Day 11 - Beauty Secrets of the Bible

Ever wonder how you can have marvelous skin and look youthful with out spending hundreds of dollars on worthless creams?
There is something to be said about the power of nature. Women from biblical times and before and beyond and have been using plants and oils as a means to skincare treatment.
I, personally, have been using a skincare regimen from the book by Ginger Garrett, "Beauty Secrets of the Bible"
Feel free to find the book to keep, or perhaps your local library carries it, or you may
follow these links to experience what it means to truly nourish your skin.

Take time to make sure you are treating your body and skin to something special.

Blessings be with you...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Do Something" Day 10 - J.O.Y.

One of my favorite reality television family is the Duggar's from TLC's "19 Kids and Counting". They receive much praise for their television ministry and unfortunately, they receive many negative comments as well. It's probably a great thing that they do not watch television themselves, nor do they dwell on social networking sites and twitter. There are some really hurtful things that are said about them. It's sad how people can instantly gravitate towards the negative side. On the Duggar family website, they list a list of "house guidelines" most of us would call them rules, but they choose a more positive word, guidelines. Our little Adams family have adapted these guidelines, with some variations, and have them posted on lovely paper in our dining room.
The very last guideline says this, "Practice J.O.Y. - Jesus First, Others Second, and Yourself Last"
This is a pretty powerful guideline.
I think in times like these, we tend to take care of ourselves first, then others, and then maybe have time with God.
What if we made an effort to put Jesus first, to serve others second and to lastly take care of ourselves.
What do you think that would like? What do you think that would feel like?

Blessings be with you...
Enjoy your Sabbath, see you Monday!

Friday, March 2, 2012

"Do Something" Day 9 - A Reiki Prayer

I admire this prayer so much, we all can apply this in our daily lives. ALL OF US!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"Do Something" Day 8 - Spiritual Formation


Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
-Isaiah The Prophet

Spiritual Transformation…
…is essential, not optional for Christ-followers

…is a process, not an event

…is God’s work, but requires my participation

…involves those practices, experiences and relationships that help me live
intimately with Christ and walk as if he were in my place.

…is not a compartmentalized pursuit. God is not interested in my spiritual
life; he’s interested in my life- all of it.

…can happen in every moment. It is not restricted to certain times or

…is not individualistic, but takes place in community and finds
expression in serving others.

…is not impeded by a person’s background, temperament, life situation or
season of life. It is available right now to all who desire it.

…and the means of pursuing it will vary from one individual to another.
Fully devoted followers are handcrafted, not mass produced.

…is ultimately gauged by an increased capacity to love God and people.
Superficial or external checklists cannot measure it.

By John Ortberg, Laurie Pederson, and Judson Poling

Blessings be with you...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Do Something" Day 7 - 40 Ideas

I came across this link from a pastor in Denver, Colorado. She has a church called House For All Saints & Sinners
...sounds like my kind of place!!
Nadia's blog gives ideas for keeping a holy Lent.

Read, think about, do it!

Blessings be with you...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Do Something" Day 6 - Freecycle

If you are a thrifty shopper like me, you will appreciate Freecycle!
Freecycle, or as I call it, the glorified art of dumpster diving is absolutely the easiest way of finding no cost treasures around town.
No more wasting gas driving around neighborhoods, hoping to find that dresser you've been needing.
Freecycle is your answer!!
This is how it works:
1. The easiest way to sign up is through Yahoo! Groups.
This is if you already have a Yahoo Email account or are creating one.
Which is what I did :)
After signing in or signing up to Yahoo! Mail. You will then click on the "Groups" tab. Search for Freecycle (name of town/city). Example: Freecycle Dububuque.
It will bring up the page and you click the "Join" button.
Once joining has been established, there are many ways you can use Freecycle.
1. To post an item you are WANTing, to post items you are OFFERing, to post items that have been TAKEN (this is if you list items and they have been picked up.
*Notice the capitalization of the words WANT, OFFER, TAKEN. These will be key words in which you will have to begin your post. More detailed instructions are emailed to you by the group moderator.
2. You can personalize your settings on which email you want notifications sent to.
For instance, I primarily use a Gmail account, but I do have a Yahoo! account for junk mail. I have set the setting to where I recieve all Freecycle posting to my gmail.
3. You can adjust how much "mail" you receive from Freecycle in the settings. Sometimes your inbox can become overwhelming with EVERYONE'S postings. My preference is to receive all mailings and postings, because this is my newest addiction and I HAVE to know who's giving away what at all times. :)
4. Always post "WANTED" if you need certian things, even if you think no one will respond, they will! I live in a great community where if a Freecycle user doesn't have what I'm looking for, they will point me to the right direction. This can be a great networking tool also!

The #2 option of signing up with Freecycle is to check out this link:
You can sign up for a new account here and specify your city/town :)

A few SAFETY tips!!!!!
1. If you are on your way to pick up some treasures, make sure the person giving has set items either on their porch or on their property. This is usually what the givers will do, so it remains safe, and they will most likely label that item with your name.

2. I would not recommend entering someone's home to pick up items unless:
a. You are bringing a friend with you
b. You are picking up furniture...still bring a friend with you.
c. BRING A FRIEND WITH YOU!!! Plain and simple :)

3. Try picking up items during the day, especially if you are driving in an
unfamiliar area.

One last tip of advice!
Always give back to the Universe, from what you have received.
Use freecycle to get rid of your unwanted treasures, rather than dropping them off at a thrift store. Nothing wrong with Thrift store, I shop them all the time.
What I am saying is return the favor ;)
~Happy "diving"

"It is more blessed to give than to receive" -Acts 20:35

Monday, February 27, 2012

"Do Something" Day 5 - The Power of the Pen

How many times have we read articles that start off something like this?
"We live in an age of technology..."

The lines of communication are endless, with Tumblr, blogs galore, texting, facebook, emails, etc. We have forgotten one thing, the pen. How long has it been since you have truly written a letter to someone? Actually sat down with a pen and paper, and wrote. Not a simple birthday card, or thank you note...an actual letter.

One (of many things) that I love about Jason's grandmother is that she writes letters to us, to other members of the family, and to her friends. She tailors each letter to that individual, or family and even encloses a cute article, comic strip, or ad that relates to your life. She carefully thinks about these things, and shares the latest with you. She is what has inspired me, years ago, to write letters. I have to confess, that this is not a practice I follow as diligently as her. I mean, the reality is that it is much easier to send a message electronically, but not everyone is not "connected" that way. Some don't utilize texting, or even cell phones, others don't have email, or even a computer. While the majority may have a telephone at home, us being a technology generation, sometimes don't even use that as a form of communication.

The pen and paper were used as the only forms of communication with people who were far away and weren't visited often. What happened to that? Do we even know how to write, or even spell correctly with out using auto correct, spell check, and abbreviated words to fit in a 160 character space? This frightens me friends, that we are slowly becoming...stupid! Please do not take offense, I'm not name calling...in fact, we don't allow that word in the Adams home.

This blog post is to encourage you to write someone, a friend you haven't spoken too in a while, a family member that doesn't communicate through technology, someone incarcerated, or in recovery. By the way, a word doc is exempt from this. Just you, your thoughts, and a good old fashioned pen and paper. You would be surprised with all the things you have to say and share. I hope that in return, you will receive a lovely letter and continue to keep the power of the pen alive!

Blessings be with you....

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Do Something" Day 4- Love Your Neighbor

Have you ever wondered why some people just may not care for your personality? This is a hard concept for me to grasp, not in a conceited way. This has nothing to do with pride, or vanity, or any of that. But you may think that you are a good person, you genuinely care for others, you offer an ear to listen, and a shoulder to cry on. So, why wouldn't people care what you have to bring to this world? Well, I really don't have an answer to that question. All I know is that some people just don't care...hmmm, gosh, even writing this is still hard to imagine.

Friends, please don't feel that this is a pity party by any means, or a blog entry to ruin your day, nope, not the intention. Today's focus is loving your neighbor!

That sounds pretty easy, especially to the people that are already in your circle of friends, family, colleagues, etc. It's easy to love them, to speak highly of them, to care and really be there for them. What about the neighbors that aren't in your circle of friends, the ones that we wave to every now and then, but don't really give an effort to find out more about them. Is it easy to love them? Or, the neighbors that you once thought were a friend, you confided in them, talked about fears, struggles, and joy. Then a moment happens, a discussion that didn't end very well, and now you are emotional about it, a bit angry too and while you are struggling with all these emotions, you stop to think...I'm supposed to love my neighbor. Which one of these is the easiest? Which one is more difficult?

I do know this, that it takes every ounce of a person's being to really work at that struggle. Forgiveness does not come easy, if it were, psychologists would not be very successful. Allow yourself one thing friends, get angry and get mean and get it out of your system. Forgive with a truly forgiving heart, it may not happen in a day, a month, or even a year. Work on it, pray, meditate upon it, write in a journal, talk to a loved one. Allow yourself to be free and understand what forgiveness really feels like. I will pray for you on your journey, pray for me on mine!

Blessings be with you...
Enjoy your Sabbath tomorrow, see you Monday.

Friday, February 24, 2012

"Do Something" Day 3 - NT in 40

The New Testament in 40 days.
Okay, so I am personally 3 days behind in reading the New Testament in 40 days. There are no excuses to not have time with God and reading daily scripture. But, if you ask me nicely, I can list about 100 things that have made their way to being more important than my time with the Lord! I'm only human, I'm a sinner, and thank goodness we have a forgiving and gracious God.
A fellow seminarian and friend spent much time and energy in creating a Lent reading schedule.
I am sharing a link to his blog, and all you have to do is print the page and stick it in your bible...oh and actually read it :)

Enjoy this journey, ALL are welcome to do this.
Blessings be with you...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Do Something" Day 2 - Get Involved

Tonight I was introduced to this organization and literally became, as a fellow neighbor likes to say, "FIRED UP"
I mean this in a good way, I was so moved by what this organization does to provide humanitarian aid.
So late in this day, I still have one minute to post in Day 2 of "Do Something"
Get involved friends! Get excited about something and go for it!
Help people in need, it will be one of the most fulfilling joys you will encounter.
See you all on Day3!
Blessings be with you...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Do Something" Day 1

It's day one of our 40 day journey with "Do Something". The day isn't over folks.
My intentions were to post this early this morning, but a nasty headache turned migraine hit me today of all days... Ash Wednesday. After taking Lily to preschool, Isaac and I headed to Wartburg for chapel. As the morning progressed, so did the migraine. My most amazing and thoughtful husband came home after his last class, and took care of the children so that I could rest. Rest is what I needed, and as the evening approached I was feeling much better than before, not 100%, but I was able to attend chapel in the evening, which was led by Jason and our dear friend Minna.
Some of you are probably thinking, "Jeesh, is that all they do up there in Iowa? Go to Church?" Well, yes and no. As a family we attend church every Sunday. Jason attends daily chapel at the Seminary. Today was a unique circumstance. 1) It's Ash Wednesday, and I knew that we wouldn't be attending the church that we normally go to because of...2)It was also regional assignment day for the senior class and a special worship service was held this evening. I'm thankful that I was able to attend both, despite the migraine set-back.
So, all day fighting a nasty headache, I was feeling so awful that I didn't meet my own expectations of my goal for lent. I started to doubt myself, and talk myself out of doing this altogether. Surely the powers that be didn't want me to go forward with this, thus plaguing me with the migraine. That's it, I will throw in the towel! "Goodness Ivy, save the theatrics", is what I told myself and so here I am posting this blog at 9:30pm Central time, and what's left of Day 1 of "Do Something"?
Take the rest of this evening to think about what goals you may have for this 40 day journey. Is it, reconnecting with a loved one, or friend? Or maybe a fitness or nutrition goal. Do you want to live a healthier life, and get fit? Is it a spiritual goal? Do you want to read more and watch less television? Take time to do something for yourself, something that brings you joy and fulfillment, or do something for someone else that will bring them joy or fulfillment. Do you want to be part of service projects in your area, to connect with people who are in need? Help tutor kids in school whose parents work and they don't have anyone to help them with homework. Invite a neighbor over for dinner and get to know them. This list is endless.
Think about it, pray about it, write it down.
I can't wait to see you all tomorrow!
Blessings be with you....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Laissez les bons temps rouler- "Let the good times roll"

It's Mardi Gras friends!
Welcome to a day traditionally known for being a grand celebration, a chance for over indulgences with pancakes, donuts, the beloved King Cake, and the parties! Oh, the parties!

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 22nd and last for 40 days, with a Sabbath on Sundays, until Easter on April 8th, 2012.

Lent has been practiced as a time for fasting, or "giving something up" for 40 days. Growing up Catholic (yup, with a big "C") this was a time where we had to choose something to give up for the 40 days, no eating meat on Fridays, and other rituals I didn't quite understand the meaning behind as a child. Can you relate?

As Jason and I began attending a Lutheran church, I remember when the Lenten season was approaching and pondering on what I would give up for 40 days. I chose sugar. Yes, sugar is a weakness and so I challenge myself often to not indulge in the "sweeter" things in life. Jason said ever so nicely, "You know, you really don't have to give-up anything" My reply, "What do you mean, that's what I was raised to do, of course I have to give up something!"
I did so well and about the 35th day into Lent, I ate some chocolate. Let me tell you something, that Catholic guilt, again big"C", shot right through me. "Why do I feel so guilty?" I thought about it for a minute, for a few months, for a few years and it came to me, with the help of a dear friend of mine. Why give up anything at all? Why not use this time to encourage myself and others to "Do Something". You can still reflect and praise God, and bring joy to others and not fuss about what you are giving up and how miserable that might make you feel. We're not focusing on what we can't have, but rather, what we can offer to others!

I encourage you all to join me on a 40 day journey to "Do Something!" Everyday I will post an activity, an exercise, a reflection, and honoring a Sabbath every Sunday with a technology cleanse.

Wait!!! Don't close out this blog yet, I mean it!

A technology cleanse every Sunday, to seperate yourself from the gadgets, the games, Words With Friends :) You may choose to not to go on facebook, Pinterest, Blog sites, emails, text messaging, iPods, iPads, watch television, you get the picture. Just you on Sundays. Pick up a book and read, go for walks, spend time with family, write a letter to a friend or family member you haven't seen or spoken too. Enjoy this time!

This invitation is for ALL!
Believers, non believers, and all denominations. There will be some posts regarding scripture, choose what you will each day.
Thank you for considering. Blessings be with you!

.......See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What is the real reason?

I woke up today with such high expectations of enjoying a fun Valentine's with Jason, Lily & Isaac. I prepared little Valentine's baskets with treats and handmade cards for Jason and the kids. I have a lovely Moroccan dinner planned for tonight and spending time with my family is the best gift anyone can have.
This morning had a different agenda altogether!
The kids and Jason loved their cute Valentine's arrangements, but where was mine? Cupid forgot mama Adams I guess, and while I put on a happy face for my children, I went downstairs to the laundry room to fold clothes, I broke down in tears. As I came up from the basement, Jason knew why I was upset. I don't think any words could comfort how I was feeling. I thought, "I should just push through this morning". I had a portrait appointment for Isaac to get his birthday pictures taken. Mind you, this is round 2 of trying to get Isaac in the portrait studio. Try #2 was NOT a success, so we went next door to Target to browse around. I knew I had a long to do list to get too and headed home with Isaac.
As I sat at my computer working on emails, phone calls, and the to-do list. I could tell that Isaac's diaper needed to be change. I headed up stairs and saw something sitting on my pillow. A beautifully written Valentine's Day card from Jason with the most amazing and encouraging words I have ever read. I guess he didn't forget after all. Thanks honey!
But, why am I still weepy and crying so much. I remember now!!! 3 years ago I lost a pregnancy. This would have been Baby Adams #2, but God had different plans for this baby and in the 13th week of pregnancy on February 13, 2009, we miscarried. I immediately had to have a D&C and I remember being in recovery at home on Valentine's Day.
So here I am , feeling ungrateful that I didn't get a box of chocolates and being ticked at my loving husband, when my heart and spirit had something else going on that had nothing to do with pink hearts and flowers.
I'm allowing my self to grieve today, and I'm allowing myself to enjoy this cute holiday with my family. I am grateful for the children God has given me, I wouldn't change it for the world.
Happy Valentine's Day!!