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 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 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!!