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“And what do writers do? They write.” – Jeff Goins
I want to write more. I hanker for a regular blogging practice. I have dreams about writing books that get published. I believe what people say: that the only way to become a writer is to write. I am learning at Weight Watchers that it is important to do things regularly that you truly want to do and that bring you joy (there’s actual science that says this helps weight loss!). I feel like this writing thing is always in my mind as something I want to get to, but never do.
For all these reasons and more, this 500 Words challenge sounds like a great jumping off place! I like the rules–especially “only write, don’t edit” and “if you miss a day don’t try to make up days.” I have found that in trying to create other habits, for example reading the Bible everyday. Best thing to do when you miss a day (notice I didn’t say if you miss a day) is to start right where you are–don’t read two days’ worth, just read for today.
I have found that short term goals in other areas of my life are helping me reach long term goals. For example I have a lot more weight to lose, but right now I’m focused on the 18 pounds I have to lose to get me past a weight that has caught me dozens of times, stalling and finally reversing my progress. Just writing this gets me excited and hopeful about how it will feel to reach this milestone. When I get there, I’ll set a new goal.
The other piece that I find helpful in short term goal-setting is it seems more doable. I can imagine buckling down and writing everyday for 31 days, when I cannot quite imagine it for the rest of my life.
So, 31 days of writing 500 Words each day is one of the things I’ll be working on this month. When I get there, I’ll set a new goal. Some of my 500 words will be here in this blogging space, some will not. Some will be on a keyboard, some will be longhand. I am looking forward to the journey!
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. – Isaiah 58:10-11
I’m reading “Get Off Your Donkey!: Help Somebody and Help Yourself”
by Reggie McNeal right now (this is the season of the year I read several books to consider for next Fall’s All Church Study at my church. It’s a great book. Reggie asks some tough questions like, “With all the committed Christians is this country, why is there even ONE hungry child?” He makes a great case that Christians should be helping the world–joining Jesus in His mission of bringing restoration and healing and wholeness to the world’s ills. AND he says that one of the crazy things that happens in God’s economy is that when you help others…you help yourself, too.
That got me to thinking that one of the best things families can to do together is make a difference. There’s a great list of 100+ ideas here.
I am planning to incorporate one of these into a “Buffalo Adventure Day” I’ll have with my Godson sometime in 2016. Some of the ones that stand out to me are:
- Create snack packs for Ronald McDonald residents
- Do yard work for an elderly neighbor
- Write thank you notes to the people who serve you: postman, doctor, etc.
- Complain less
- Invite friends to Vacation Bible School (ours is July 18-22, 2016)
The Good Samaritan had to “get off his donkey” to make a difference (Luke 10:25-37
). I think our families do, too!
P.S. If you have good ideas of a book for an All Church Study, send ’em my way!
I love Sundays. Worship and study at First Trinity is my cup of tea. Today, I had several moments of pure joy and they all had to do with generations in worship:
A man who gently guides his beloved mom now struggling with Alzheimer’s into worship every Sunday. Beautiful picture of the kind of love Jesus showed to those around Him.
- Sitting behind a “clan” of worshippers. Grandma, Grandpa, kids and grandkids. Taking up the whole pew, they dance to the songs with the little ones, share hugs all around. All while focusing on praising the One who made them family.
- I think I counted 8 more of these multi-generational families at worship today.
- Sitting directly behind a young couple I don’t know–their babe-in-arms wiggling and squiggling and snickering at me and at Marsha who sits behind me.
- Watching kids at the children’s message make sad, happy and mad faces–and seeing how comfortable they feel in God’s house.
- A mom and her teen-aged daughter singing in the Worship Band together–helping us all worship Jesus.
- A Grandma visiting her grandkids (and their parents) from Ohio on her birthday, headed into worship with a huge smile on her face.
- A teenager who stepped up to help with Child Care during the 8:45 service.
- A young adult who stepped up and said “yes” to being a Shepherd in Kingdom Quest. “Glad to help”, he said, filling a gap we’ve been working on for months. And he’ll be fantastic at it.Total answer to prayer.
- A young couple, brand new ushers starting today, being guided and helped by our veteran ushers. A beautiful thing to see.
In some churches, the kids are excused to their own “kids church” during worship. I understand why people like this. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE the generations in worship. I love an occasional baby cry or the sound of little feet heading to the restroom. Where in this culture do we have the opportunity to be TOGETHER–all of us: the brand new beings and the wrinkled ones? I can’t even explain the power of children hearing their elders sing and praise. Or when they hear them speak a Bible passage during the children’s message or sermon. It forms them deep inside. And when they see their teen-aged friends doing the same? O my, God uses that to shape their soul And when we all see the chidren? And remember that Jesus called them to Himself and told us to be like them? Come on. It’s awesome. We need each other, all of us.
So if you happen to be reading this and you are a parent with little ones in worship: hang in there. I know it’s hard. I AM SO GLAD YOU AND YOUR KIDS ARE THERE. God is using you to build faith in that little heart. He’s using all of us. Mmmmmmm. So great.
Butternut squash is one of my very favorite things about the Fall. I decided to try making a recipe similar to the “Amazing Butternut Squash” recipes I love, but Weight Watcher friendly. This one turned out great!
Yummy Butternut Squash
(4 servings; 1 Points Plus, Simply Filling)
1 Butternut squash
1/2 c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Pierce squash with a fork several times and bake in oven for one hour, 15 minutes. Leave the oven on. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Then scoop the squash into a bowl (may need to use a hot pad to handle the squash, unless you wait for it to cool).
Using a large fork, mash the squash with the spices, yogurt and egg. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour the squash mixture into the casserole dish. Put back in the oven, uncovered for 15 minutes (longer if the squash has cooled significantly). After 15 minutes, turn on the broiler and watch carefully to see when the peaks begin to brown.
*Pensey’s website says that Sandwich Sprinkle is “hand-mixed from: coarse salt, garlic, black pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram”.