Wednesday, February 13, 2013

For Lent....

Today, the social media world is all abuzz with folks publicizing what they are giving up for Lent.  It makes me feel a little inadequate, as I am not giving up anything tangible this year. In the past, I've had some success giving up things like romance novels (in exchange for better literature) and Facebook. I had prayed for insight on what seemed to be interfering with my relationship with God, and at those specific times, He pointed me in those specific directions. I've prayed about it again this year. He hasn't revealed something big and external. Instead, , He has convicted me of something deeper and more personal. My thoughts.  Honestly, I don't know what needs pruning from my life this year more than negative thoughts. But how does one give up NEGATIVE THINKING? Really? I will not think negative thoughts. Isn't that kind of a negative thought already?

I guess I can't "quit" thinking negative thoughts, but I can choose to redirect my thinking, focus on the positive, spend more time in prayer and study and Christian action than in those negative-thought-breeding activities (umm, so maybe I *SHOULD* give up Facebook?)

Like all things I set my mind to do, I have a plan. I created a calendar for myself (and I'm sharing it with my classes) to fill out. Each day, I'll have a person, place, or thing to pray for, a scripture to read, and/or an act of kindness or service to perform. At least I'll be organized! In theory, I'll have lots to blog about as a result, but we all know how that usually turns out. Keep your expectations low, friends!

I'm including my calendar for sharing if you are so inclined. Click here to view it. Share it with your family and friends!

How about you? What has God called you to lay aside for the next 40 days? What has He called you to take up? Share, please! I would love to hear your thoughts and encourage you!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Special Treat!

A guest post today from my bloggy friend and fellow Kentucky girl, Kristin! Enjoy and then visit her blog to leave her some love!

“Only God gives us an unchangeable, perfect identity. We can embrace our perfect identity when we’re able to see ourselves through God’s eyes.” {From “No More Perfect Moms” by Jill Savage}

For five years, eight months and 23 days my daughter has misunderstood her middle name.

We named her on our 4 ½-hour drive home the day we met her birth mom. God affirmed our adoption plan and relationship with her birth mom through so many details, including her name. Catherine Anna. Catherine for my mom and Anna for my husband’s grandma. Turns out Catherine is her birth mom’s middle name and Anna resembles part of her first name.

We call her Cate. But we often say “Catherine Anna” in both endearing and attention-getting tones. Plus she knows her initials spell C.A.T. I always attributed her liking of cats – other people’s and fictional ones because we don’t do pets, especially ones that make Momma and Daddy sneeze, here in this house – to her initials.

So when she came home from kindergarten with her name written incorrectly, I couldn’t stop laughing.

Hana. Over and over. Yes, it sounds like Anna. Just one different beginning sound. But for five years, eight months and 23 days, we’ve been saying “Catherine Anna” not “Catherine Hana.” 

I took a picture and texted it to my husband, my mom, my sister and two dear friends. I posted it on Facebook. With each response, I laughed again. I talked to my girl about her actual name, and she laughed herself.

I’m raising a miniature version of myself, a typical first-born who strives for excellence, doesn’t settle, likes to plan, wants her way, and is into details. I wondered how she’d handle being corrected about something as personal as her name, so I was relieved when laughter came.

And it was in that moment that I realized embracing imperfection often leads to laughter, which is good for the soul. Being corrected and perfected is a process that makes us better and teaches us truth. It’s in these ordinary moments we can know we are named and called and known by a God who gives us joy in our imperfect moments.

Kristin Hill Taylor lives in Murray, Ky., with her husband, Greg, and two kids – 5-year-old Cate and 3-year-old Ben. She can often be found trying to beat her husband in Words with Friends, playing games of Settlers of Catan with her best friends, watching “Parenthood” or “Bones,” listening to her daughter’s stories, reminding her son to be careful, or texting her friends. She believes in taking road trips, living in community, and keeping her camera and iPhone close. You can keep up with her at or follow on her Twitter.