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Archive for the tag “Jesus”

Christmas Uncluttered Day 8

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

Today I’m dragging from lack of enthusiasm with our family project. I found myself going to each family member’s room and asking for their items for the “give away” box. Clearly they’re over Christmas Uncluttered. I was even referred to as the “Donation Nazi” (but they all still participated and slowly added their items to the “give away” box).

Once today’s effort was complete, we stood around the overwhelming pile of items while complaints were shot at me about how this project is taking over the kitchen! I proceeded to let everyone know that I would move it to the laundry room before the weekend. Wouldn’t you know, the response was, “How can you do that, the laundry room already looks like this?”

This journey is so eye opening! We want so many things and then when we have them they become distracting, in our way, and causing affliction in our lives. Call me what you wish but I’m certain if we are joyful in our hope of God, patient in affliction from others, and faithful in our prayer life, God will take care of it.

I’m so grateful for Christ’s love and protection.

Merry Christmas!

Paige

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Christmas Uncluttered Day 4

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

Everyone in our family continues to place items in the “give away” box each day and each day they are more interested in putting items in the box (and some wanting to put more in the box than is requested for the day). In fact, two of our three teens have begun the long process of cleaning their rooms and starting a pile of items to give away each day. I’ve never seen so many clothes!

I started Christmas shopping today and found myself struggling with conviction as it was difficult to make sense of giving away our possessions yet replacing them with new things. Are we defeating the purpose?

Jesus demands, in Matthew 6:19-21, that his disciples give their full allegiance and devotion to God (“Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven”) rather than to the accumulation of wealth (treasures on earth). He gives three reasons for this admonition: (1) material things offer no security, since they are themselves susceptible to destruction. (2) the quality of personal character (the heart) is determined by the object of commitment and devotion (3) the attempt to divide allegiance between God and money is doomed to failure; it can lead only to self-deception and the despising of God.

Christmas is already becoming more meaningful as I consider Jesus’ demands to give all of ourselves and consider – the treasures stored up on earth vs. treasurers stored in heaven.

I pray you too are experiencing a meaningful Christmas and remembering our eternal treasured.!

Blessings,

Paige

Christmas Uncluttered Day 2

Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2

Hmm, Day 2 was interesting. Items are starting to show up in the “give away” box that one person doesn’t want and another person says, “Wait, I might want that!” What?!? Now we want to trade? On top of that, big brother is trying to donate little sister’s toys! I, on the other hand, am a purger by nature and find myself in need of giving all of my 325 items away today. Waiting, and only giving the correct number of items each day, is helping me to wait with anticipation and remember the reason for the season, the coming of the Christ child.

Just like the captive people of Israel who were permitted to return to their country, we too have been held captive my material possessions. But this family activity is giving our family the opportunity to talk, laugh and play together more often which is showing the great things God has done and is doing for us.

If you are joining us on this journey, I hope you too are experiencing the same.

Merry Christmas!

Paige

Christmas Uncluttered

Every Christmas I try to get creative and think of something meaningful for my family to do. One year, we participated in random acts of kindness by doing things like purchasing a cup of coffee or something special for a friend, or by paying for the person behind us in the fast food drive-through. Another year, we read a book called The Christmas Jar and have been saving change to give to someone in need (I’ve been told that we’re using too big of a jar because it’s taking so long to fill it!). We will get that one done one of these days…Each year is lots of fun and keeps the Christmas season exciting!

That brings me to this year’s meaningful Christmas activity. I decided (just yesterday because that’s how I roll with them) that our family was going to unclutter our lives and embrace the power of giving rather than receiving as we create more room to wait, hope, expect, and prepare ourselves for the birth of Jesus.

This year (starting today), we are giving items (clothes, shoes, toys, etc.) away each day through Christmas Day. For example, December 1, each person will give away one item, December 2, each person will give away two items, and so on. Christmas Day, each of us will give away 25 items. Of course, my husband (the math guy), asks where we will put all of this stuff. “Minor detail” I tell him. Although, his question peaked my curiosity to figure out how many items that would be by Christmas Day. Don’t tell my kids but each of us will have given away 325 items by Christmas Day! And with a family if five, that is 1,625 items that we will have given to someone in need and in turn uncluttered Christmas!

I hope you will join us on our journey to a Christmas Uncluttered. My “give away” box is in the kitchen and already collecting items. It’s going to be so exciting to see what each person chooses to give away each day!

I will keep you posted.

Merry Christmas! Paige

Day 31 Spell it Out

“What do you want me to do for you?” Matthew 20:32

I’m not sure about you but so many of the devotions, from Draw the Circle, have impacted my daily prayer life. This one in particular is one of my favorites as Mark Batterson reminds us to know what we want from God and ask for it specifically. I love the story as Batterson tells it:

“More than a thousand years after the original Jericho miracle, another miracle happened in the same place. Jesus was on His way out of the city when two blind men shouted, ‘Lord, Son of David (Matthew 20:30), have mercy on us!’ The disciples saw it as an inconvenient interruption, but divine appointments usually come disguised. The disciples would have walked right past this ‘miracle waiting to happen.’ They had places to go and things to do. But Jesus stopped. Then He asked the two men a loaded question: ‘What do you want me to do for you?’

“Is that question even necessary? They are blind. Isn’t it obvious what they want? Yet Jesus forced them to define exactly what they wanted from Him. Jesus made them verbalize it. He made them spell out exactly what they wanted Him to do, but it wasn’t because Jesus didn’t know what they wanted; He wanted to make sure that they knew what they wanted.

“What if Jesus asked you the same question: What do you want me to do for you? Would you be able to spell out the promises, miracles, and dreams God has put in your heart? I’m afraid many of us would find ourselves at a loss for words. We have no idea what we want God to do for us, and then we wonder why it seems like God isn’t doing anything for us. The great irony, of course, is that if we can’t answer this question, then we’re as blind spiritually as these men were physically.

“Most of us don’t get what we want simply because we don’t know what we want. We’ve never made a list of life goals. We’ve never defined success for ourselves. We’ve never circled God’s promises. And we’ve forgotten most of the prayers we’ve prayed before they’re even answered.

“If faith is being sure of what we hope for, then not being sure of what we hope for is the exact opposite of faith, isn’t it? The more faith we have, the more specific our prayers will be. And the more specific our prayers are, the more glory God receives. If our prayers aren’t specific, however, God gets robbed of the glory He deserves because we second-guess whether or not He actually answered them. We never know if the answers were the result of specific prayers or general coincidences that would have happened anyway. Well-defined prayers give God an opportunity to display His power in new ways. Well-developed faith results in well-defined prayers, and well-defined prayers result in well-defined answers.”

It’s not our responsibility to worry about when, where or how God answers our prayers. It’s only our responsibility to discern what God wants and then humbly and specifically ask Him for it. And look for holy surprises along the way because He may answer our prayers differently and even better than we originally requested!

Batterson poses critical questions for us today: “We need to identify our Jericho – the promise we are circling. What promise are you praying around? What miracle are you marching around? What dream does your life revolve around?

“It’s easy to get so busy climbing the ladder of success that we fail to realize the ladder is not leaning against the wall of Jericho. Eternal priorities get overshadowed by our everyday responsibilities, and we pawn our God-given dream for the American dream. So instead of circling Jericho, we end up wandering in the wilderness.”

Obviously our Jericho changes over time and during different seasons of life. Begin where you are today. Define your dream, claim your promise, spell out your miracle, and pray specifically to God for it.

Most of us don’t get what we want because we don’t know what we want. -Mark Batterson

What is your Jericho?

Prayerfully, Paige

Day 31 Spell it Out

“What do you want me to do for you?” Matthew 20:32

I’m not sure about you but so many of the devotions, from Draw the Circle, have impacted my daily prayer life. This one in particular is one of my favorites as Mark Batterson reminds us to know what we want from God and ask for it specifically. I love the story as Batterson tells it:

“More than a thousand years after the original Jericho miracle, another miracle happened in the same place. Jesus was on His way out of the city when two blind men shouted, ‘Lord, Son of David (Matthew 20:30), have mercy on us!’ The disciples saw it as an inconvenient interruption, but divine appointments usually come disguised. The disciples would have walked right past this ‘miracle waiting to happen.’ They had places to go and things to do. But Jesus stopped. Then He asked the two men a loaded question: ‘What do you want me to do for you?’

“Is that question even necessary? They are blind. Isn’t it obvious what they want? Yet Jesus forced them to define exactly what they wanted from Him. Jesus made them verbalize it. He made them spell out exactly what they wanted Him to do, but it wasn’t because Jesus didn’t know what they wanted; He wanted to make sure that they knew what they wanted.

“What if Jesus asked you the same question: What do you want me to do for you? Would you be able to spell out the promises, miracles, and dreams God has put in your heart? I’m afraid many of us would find ourselves at a loss for words. We have no idea what we want God to do for us, and then we wonder why it seems like God isn’t doing anything for us. The great irony, of course, is that if we can’t answer this question, then we’re as blind spiritually as these men were physically.

“Most of us don’t get what we want simply because we don’t know what we want. We’ve never made a list of life goals. We’ve never defined success for ourselves. We’ve never circled God’s promises. And we’ve forgotten most of the prayers we’ve prayed before they’re even answered.

“If faith is being sure of what we hope for, then not being sure of what we hope for is the exact opposite of faith, isn’t it? The more faith we have, the more specific our prayers will be. And the more specific our prayers are, the more glory God receives. If our prayers aren’t specific, however, God gets robbed of the glory He deserves because we second-guess whether or not He actually answered them. We never know if the answers were the result of specific prayers or general coincidences that would have happened anyway. Well-defined prayers give God an opportunity to display His power in new ways. Well-developed faith results in well-defined prayers, and well-defined prayers result in well-defined answers.”

It’s not our responsibility to worry about when, where or how God answers our prayers. It’s only our responsibility to discern what God wants and then humbly and specifically ask Him for it. And look for holy surprises along the way because He may answer our prayers differently and even better than we originally requested!

Batterson poses critical questions for us today: “We need to identify our Jericho – the promise we are circling. What promise are you praying around? What miracle are you marching around? What dream does your life revolve around?

“It’s easy to get so busy climbing the ladder of success that we fail to realize the ladder is not leaning against the wall of Jericho. Eternal priorities get overshadowed by our everyday responsibilities, and we pawn our God-given dream for the American dream. So instead of circling Jericho, we end up wandering in the wilderness.”

Obviously our Jericho changes over time and during different seasons of life. Begin where you are today. Define your dream, claim your promise, spell out your miracle, and pray specifically to God for it.

Most of us don’t get what we want because we don’t know what we want. -Mark Batterson

What is your Jericho?

Prayerfully, Paige

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