Sunday, December 18, 2011

Getting Creative With What We Have!

I have always been one to rather save time than money...always loved my sisters modo "it will pay for itself", and when it comes to holidays and celebrations making it memorable has always been of higher value than money.
So when Halloween comes we will get the 5$ bag of gourds...and when Christmas comes we will use them again!
So this week while cleaning the house, coming up with ways to save money yet make Christmas special I was about to toss away October's perfectly round small gourds...we are in a new season and though the artist in me tends to want to pack rat, I am certainly no horder, just running a little behind on changing the theme in the home...but wait this has played in my favor.
"Reid!!! we got snowmen!!!" He obviously has no idea what I am talking about until I bring out the white paint and construction paper. He even got creative and pulled out Gigi's jumbo packets of straws..."Mommy! Corncob pipe!" Reid your a genius I tell him!
Voila! we have two new Christmas ornaments to fill the home, no holiday shopping involved whatsoever!!!
And there you have it Christmas on a budget!!!
I'll let you know if I get anymore inspiring I am just on a Christmas cookie making kick...reminds me of Christmas at Home!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas on a Budget!

40$ trees!? Point me in the right direction!
As we searched around the town to buy this years Christmas tree someone let us know that Home Depot was selling trees for forty dollars. We went straight away only to find that they had just sold out of the last forty dollar tree less than an hour ago and that was their last shipment! We had spent much traffic sitting and gas running and time spending at this point, what's another twenty dollars? 6ft trees was all they had.
"Here Reid hold this one right here so I can take a look"...TIMBER!!!-Tree shopping with an eight year old (with very skinny arms) was quite a tree wobbling adventure. But we managed to pick out our new temporary addition to our home and off we went to the tree prepper.
"Can you take maybe a foot off???" (My home has very low ceilings)
So now with a 5ft tree all tied to my car, we set off for home. Little did I remember my tree stand is made for trees up to 5ft tall- and cutting it down does not change the girth of the trunk.
"Ohhhh Fudge" (as Ralphie would put it)
"I will not buy a new tree stand, I will not buy a new tree stand" was my mantra for the next thirty minutes it took to figure out a way to get this tree secured in the good old fashioned tin tree stand made for tree trunks about an inch and a haf thinner than the one I had. "Reid hold the tree, hold the tree, HOLD The Tree so it doesn't fall!"
Man when that tree was set so was my mind-ON CHRISTMAS! strung the lights, hung the old red balls that we had stashed away, and now to dress it up.... No way with the strung popcorn that's just inviting those little bugs! But with what!
"I will not buy Christmas ornaments I will not buy Christmas ornaments..." became my new mantra! I am really trying to do this on a budget...EUREKA! For some crazy reason I saved all my Christmas cards from last year!
So there wwe were, me and Reid, in our reindeer ears and Christmas music playing cutting up all the pretty glittery holiday images off the cards and tapping string to the backs and hanging them on the tree! Voila!!! Christmas On A Budge!. Mama's proud, Son is happy- Making new Christmas memories. More Christmas on a budget ideas to come!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

In case you are wondering what this is is more than just pie- promise

What an exciting Thanksgiving. Like none other- 70 Homemade pies! Thank you so much for your generosity. I will post pics and recipes soon. I think I am only now recuperating from the Thanksgiving Holiday...and we are only a few weeks away from Christmas!!!

It is an interesting experience trying to walk faithfully, I am not really sure what exactly is going to happen but I can share what the plan is and only do what I can do today without worrying about how it all pans out tomorrow...
So these pie sales are to raise funds and awareness for some long-terms goals for the boys home in India. 
The idea is that the food I prepare is a gift for your donation. I AM prayerfully preparing to go to India long-term but the funds that I am raising through A Sweet Dedication are NOT to sponsor my own trip- airfare, living, other costs... The funds that are raised from your generous gifts are going towards an account that can be used to implement some basic life-skills initiatives while serving there. 

(Separately I will have to find sponsors interested in funding my mission)

But FIRST, I am sending sponsor letters for a short-term mission with the India Impact Initiative Team for this coming March! (This will also be a good time to connect with the leaders there and create more of a plan too.)

I know, that's a lot of fundraising isn't it. 

Well like I said in the beginning of this post, It is an interesting experience trying to walk faithfully...
Actually it is more than interesting. It is exciting, challenging, and even sometimes lonely and confusing;  it is an adventure-the unknown, facing fears, stretching beyond comforts, and finding strength and rest in God's mercy and thing is for sure, no matter what happens it is always 100% with a purpose bigger than myself and my own wants, and without regrets! I am doing it for Jesus, my heart is His, completely.

One goal is to have monthly donors with a heart for this service and for being a monthly donor I will deliver a special lunch to your home or workplace once a week. I really love cooking for others so I made it a service that I can provide for your generosity. But even without being a monthly donor, if you want to ever order something for a potluck or your small group meeting, or anything at all you can just email me an order and I will prepare it for you. Instead of going to a supermarket your money will go towards 35 wonderful boys in India who God is going to use to change a nation! And it is tax deductible so if this speaks to your heart email me at a anytime!
If you want to learn a little more about the boys home check out

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Pie Pre-sale tickets

All funds raised go towards long-term initiatives for the boys at the Firs Boys Home in Mussoorie, India
Thanksgiving Pie Pre-sale tickets on sale tonight 5-7pm at Kahala Resource Center at Kahala Mall located above California Pizza Kitchen and tomorrow 8-12pm at Diamond Head Theater.
10" Family Pies-Limited number- 
Choose from Sweet Potato-Pecan, Old Fashioned Pumpkin and Indian Apple Pies ready for pick up at Kahala Resource Center the day before Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What am I doing? going for a run thats what...

One week from today I will be in the bake-athon of my life. That's if all goes well with the pre-sale this weekend. I don't think I have a proper idea of what I am getting myself into. And at this moment I am not completely sure whether I am talking about the 24 hours of straight pie baking or trying to raise funds for the boys home in India, or attempting to go there on a long-term trip with Reid... it's times like this where you just stop and can't help but ask- what in the world am I doing...and continue anyway. A night run sounds just perfect at this moment.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Complete the feast this Thanksgiving with a HOMEMADE family sized 10" pie.

Buy a pie and bless a friend, family relative, or neighbor. All pies are only $12 each and made from scratch! (which means there is love in every bite!)

Choose from: 
      Old Fashioned Pumpkin...
                               Indian Apple... 
                                                 Sweet Potato-Pecan
                           Or try all three!!!
   The best part is, by purchasing a pie you will be supporting children in India!!       

A Sweet Dedication serves to raise funds for long-term initiatives for our children at The Firs, (a boys home) in Mussoorie, India. To learn more about India Initiatives and read up-to-date stories about the boys and the home, visit, or Facebook India Impact Initiative.

To order a pie TODAY, or to learn more about this ministry-please email 

Deadline to order is November 20th
Pies can be picked up at the Kahala Resource Center at Kahala Mall (above CPK) Wednesday, November 23rd anytime between 8am-12pm

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Learning as I go

There are so many reasons to not do something. Most reasons are practical like 'I don't have enough time, money, resources'...then there is the default thought, 'what difference can one person make'...but my favorite excuse for not doing something-and I've used it all my life- "I am just not programmed that way"..Isn't it great!? I mean really great? Nothing beats the justification in it.
I'm not necessarily saying that 'I don't know how', cause then one can argue- 'well, learn' and I am not admitting that I am afraid, that just leads to a cause of being courageous...
No, simply saying "ummm yeah, my brain isn't wired that way' has somehow become the lie that justifies me, effortlessly, walking away from a world of life that just may lead me into living, walking, and breathing in God's Will.
The bottom line is that I know I am lazy and terrified...and yes, self-centered. I don't know how to do everything but at the potential of failing in front of others, at the cost of looking like a fool perhaps, at the idea of stepping out of my own comfort to do anything that is bigger than myself...well that just requires a whole lot of effort and courage,,, and FAITH.
(A friend recounted to me a sermon by Joyce Meyers, this was just yesterday so I still have to listen, but she spoke of the shield of Faith, regarding spiritual warfare; it doesn't just float in front of us protecting us, it requires effort for us to actually lift that shield and use it...and we build a muscle.)
I loved hearing this! Because faith does require effort. And there is transformation in faith. Isn't it great to know the Holy Spirit can transform us! Will transform us!

There isn't going to be much transformation, though, if I keep using the excuse, "That's just the way I am" (what is an excuse but a lie we live out). So here's to effort- to faithfully walk towards where God is calling us to be, how to be...
That's what I am learning everyday that I work toward making this ministry happen. I find myself turning more and more to God in doing tasks, which is so much more awesome than depending on myself and my own abilities! I still don't have a team locked down-So I am up close and personal with all the things that I am not good at, like leadership in team building, and administration skills, and well I have a long list :)
But I am pushing through faithfully and learning as I go and I want to share with anyone who uses that same modo that I've used all my life- So to challenge you too! And it IS challenging but extremely rewarding to stop hiding behind excuses and just go for it!

Friday, October 21, 2011


So i am trying to figure it out what to do with this blog..It started as an inspiration to dedicate myself to something...i had the strong interest in learning how to box and then fight in a was an interesting run but I learned that it was not what my heart really wanted to be dedicated to. Ever since I had come back from our trip to india to serve at the boys home there has been this strong desire to do something about serving there long-term. My heart kept coming back to this calling...I thought that if I could get my act together I would be able to "prove myself"...or perhaps prove to myself, that I had what it takes to follow Gods call and serve Him for His Kingdom. So, part of getting my act together was to have my health, finances, and character all straightened out. The problem was that I was working only on the outside instead of allowing God to transform me from the inside..which apparently takes a lot more time than I want to think about. needless to say my own efforts failed and after all was said and done i found myself alone praying to God without any results.
He Did reveal to me that I had it all wrong and now i am just taking one step at a time to follow Him and keep my heart available for Him to mold and shape. So things are changing, gradually I think as I look towards the real dedication God has put on my heart and that is to serve Him and to be an active part in His Kingdom work. So I am aiming to serve as a longterm missionary in India. Everyday, especially now that I am working towards starting up a ministry to fund initiatives, I ask God- am I doing the right thing I believe I am following Your call so please forgive me if I am wrong and close the door and steer me in the right direction, but everyday as I work faithfully towards the goal things seem to be changing from the inside...for the better-well, I know I am experiencing God and changing old patterns of behaviors so that has to be good. And I am doing things that I have always said I can't do. I don't know where all this will lead up to, but no matter what happens I am confident that today I am on the right track.

Monday, August 22, 2011

learning little by little

My dedication is to Christ. Amazing things happen when we surrender to Him. I seek Him and am assured that He knows what He is doing and there is perfect reason and perfect timing in His perfect purpose. I only have to trust Him. All that brings me down is makng my trust in Him stronger.I love the ones who bring me down for this very reason. What was breaking me heart before has all become the perfect lessons! As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend (Prov. 27:17)...have you ever worked with metal? Have you ever forged or grinded or polished metal...I have, I did it for a small number of years... Iron is a ridiculously strong metal. It is not an easy material to work with. Working with it is hot and loud and dangerous and hard core. God Bless YOU who is iron to me, most likely without even knowing it... because God knows I need it, always. and though while He has been blessing me with what I need I have been complaining to Him of the pain. Foolishness! I am rejoicing tonight He is so awesome. Thank you to open my eyes!

I have been learning to trust Him. It doesn't always seem to be like the most logical thing, or the most pleasant experience. But complaints are like prayers to a false god. Things bomb? give Him praise, there was probably good reason. Maybe He is working out something in someone else, maybe He is working out something in my own heart; maybe it's both. He is in control of it all and He knows so much better than we can imagine. I repeat (for my own reminder) IMAGINE. Because if I can imagine the end result I am looking for it is probably still coming from my own desire. Why settle for what's good when we can work for God's best. He hears our prayers. He knows the desires of our hearts. What is bad now just may be his promise in the making. I know He is incredibly enough working out things in me and I am so humbled by just how ridiculous and ignorant I can be! This is all a work in progress. I am so thankful that tonight I have learned something so amazing about love.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Throw in the Towel!

Throw in the Towel
To throw in the towel also, to throw in the sponge is to end the fight, to give up, acknowledge defeat. When a boxer's second (his trainer or corner man) feels his boxer is taking a beating and doesn't think he can or should continue the fight he throws a towel or sponge into the ring to stop the carnage, to end the fight by TKO.

Looks like giving up, looks like defeat, looks like quitting. My dad always taught us to never be quitters. My biological mother was a 'quitter'. She never finished anything that she ever started. She never lasted long at anything she did. This was a bad thing. Dad on the other hand worked his way from rags to riches, his mind was set. I am from both these people.

And so I've stuck out a lot of ridiculous things out of fear of quitting. But i've done somethings even more ridiculous than that- I've made decisions to stick to somethings out of the shear need to prove to myself that I can do it. I have made choices to test my own strengths and limits. This is such a stupid thing I could do. Relying on my own strength is recipe for disasterous failure.
Left to my own accord, I will not see clearly. I will do things out of will and pride and fear and desire. I will not see I am losing and I am down.

And sometimes all these things that we are doing may even seem good, ARE good. They may look good on paper or may even bring about the applause of others. But what is the driving force of these actions?
This is what could make a good thing bad and a wrong thing worse.

I thought my issue was with seeing something through, it took one who knows me better to show me that to the contrary, I am a very dedicated committed person. Rather what He wanted to show me is that my identity is in Christ, not in a relationship, or being accepted; not a job,or finances, or even a course of life, or a circle of friends. Sure this matters to people but not to Him and which person is more important than Him.

Do not be afraid. What once seemed to be defeat reveals itself victorious, even if you do not yet see the fruit.

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn, and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:8-10

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Corner Man

Corner Man--At the junction of the ropes (a corner of the ring) where a boxer rests between rounds his second, the corner man advises him, gives him water, tries to reduce swelling and stop bleeding.

Who do you want in your corner?
I choose the courageous over the careful
the discerning over the proud...
I choose those who depend on Jesus before they depend on prophecy or what friends say.
Who choose what God wants over what they want.

If I am in a ring, If I were in fight,
I would want in my corner...
a team who will tell me where I am wrong and what I can improve, who were observant of all that occured and can prep me with what worked and what didn't...
a team who will rub my musscles unaware of my sweat.
I would trust a corner man who believes in me, who coaches me
If I were ever to find myself in the ring.

I apply this to life because in following Jesus, everyday can be a battle.
In my corner, there will not be people who are just going to tell me what they think I want to hear or people that have their own agenda or think that they are by default any better than I am or that I am better than them. They will not be those who make assumptions and judgement calls based on hueretics.
I want to learn and grow and live by the Spirit. I want to trust in the gifts that the Lord has given me. Through every storm I want that trust to be a strong house built on a rock.
How I could sometimes wish God didn't make us so darn relational, but he did. It is up to us to be careful what we do, and don't do, with that.
Who has God appointed to be in our corners, not because it is easy, fun, a good social networking move, or even convenient?
As I pray for my team, as well as who's corner God wants me in... I have made a very certain decision who my Corner Man is in my life...take a wild guess :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

beyond "it's all Jesus"

I don't know what to write about. I have so much I want to say, so many scriptures and verses and quotes I want to use to illustrate this lesson I've learned and that point I want to make. But here I am in front of my computer without a clear decision on where to go from here. Seriously. I'll type that word again just to overstate I don't know what to write next...seriously.
(long pause)

You know, I have an anonymous relative who is brutally honest on FB. When something is not to her liking she proclaims it to the cyber world with all the anger, jealousy, and hate in her. Sometimes it can make you laugh, maybe cry. Sometimes it is so annoying to read continuous negativity that some have had to de-friend her, I am sure. But when I think about her I see God loving her so immensely. Waiting for her to just know Him, waiting for her to see that He has been there all along. That he doesn't see anger and resentent but pain and hardship that not many have experienced to understand.

But in my own ignorance I wondered, how can you be so negative, why do you continuously victimize yourself, why do you hold onto the past as though that is who you are today. Why do you compare yourself to everyone seeing them as having a perfect life while you live in misery. Why can't you just be thankful for all that you have been blessed with- you haven't worked a day in your life, you have healthy beautiful children and a man who loves you and provides for you...why are you so bitter!?

The thing is, how can I say I am a follower of Christ yet place so much value in things of this world. How could I throw at her these things as if they must define her happiness and peace- worldly possesions cannot be our measurement of true happiness. It is not in what you have and whether you have a companion providing for you or not. Just like it is not all the places that you have traveled or the family background you come from. Just like it is not how physically attractive you are or alluring and charming, or stylish or rich. All of these things do not matter to God. They do not make you worth anything. Sure counting our blessings may be a good perspective to revisit now and again, mostly for giving thanks to God who provides for us all that we need...still in doing so how do I remember not to depend on these blessings. Not to depend on them to measure my happiness, to define who I am, to set the bar on what to strive for from here.
And what exactly is there to strive for from here? What is going to put these fragments life has left of me back together? What is going to fill my heart so much that it overflows with love? Having the best looking companion? The most stylish wardrobe? Being succesful in all that I do? Completing the next 30 days of Insanity Max? (although that is gonna feel really accomplishing) Sure there are plenty things to be blessed with that will make life more comfortable, but did Jesus die for us so that we can be comfortable? How are we following culture's protocols, yet calling ourselves followers of Christ.

"Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did" 1 John 2:6

I have yet to see with my own eyes what this really looks like today. Yet I strive for this. I am seeking others to show me how, to guide me through and the truth is I am seeking the wrong role-models. If you need someone to role-model Jesus what better place to look than directly to Him.

I am up for the challenge: To deny myself and take up my cross and follow Jesus Christ. Because He is my only hope. Because without Him I am no different from my cousin, lost in pain, anger, saddness, etc. (only manifested differently.)

"The Christian life can be explained only in terms of Jesus Christ, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you--your personality, your willpower, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice, or your anything- then although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it." -Ian Thomas

But with Him he can use our personalities to show His beauty, through our unique gifts He give us, he can shine His glory in this world. But I need to deny myself. That's a lot harder than it sounds, especially when you think you already do.

I think it goes beyond just saying the words, "it's all Jesus"

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ" Galations 1:10

Keeping a blog is strange. I am not sure who is reading...if anyone at all is actually; I wonder am I writing too much, could that be misinterpreted, is there anyone even reading this???
Maybe I shouldn't blog so late when thoughts tend to ramble into one another..haha maybe I shouldn't blog at all. Then again, what does it matter if no one is reading, if no one likes what I am saying, maybe there is one person that does.... hi you! :) Funny how the mind responds to the likelyhood of an audience.
I have to keep in mind that I do this so that I can stay dedicated, through the thick and thin of it. Already thoughts of why bother creep around corners.
Like lately, it seems, the people who were near the top on my 'moral/spiritual/friend support' lists are not even ackowledging my existence. As though I've done something wrong...have I? Still others give me this vibe that they don't even seem to like me. It kinda brings this sense of reality to the picture equivelant to disillusionment, which of course momentarily lowers the drive.
It is hard. Come on admit it, it is really uncomfortable when you sense that people you look up to don't even want you around. But the best part about that is I am challenged to develop motivation independent of others, to not judge but love those who don't seem to genuinely love me, and to try to please Christ not my desire to belong or be liked- and you know what, I have a second wind...even more.

I am sitting with this passage from Galations 6
Brothers and Sisters, if someone is caught in sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry eachother's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If any of you think you are something when you are nothing, you decieve yourselves. Each of you should test your own actions. Then you can take pride in yourself, without comparing yourself to someone else, for each of you should carry your own load. Nevertheless, those who recieve instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

He wants us to love eachother; care for one another, but also keep ourselves in check. This is a really good model of the Godly relationships I pray to have with my brothers and sisters. God is teaching me how. It starts with love... and not running away.
I don't know why this applies though, but,
I think the big difference between Saul and David was, Saul feared and depended on men and what they said to do, David feared and depended on God and what God said to do. Anyway, i think that's for another night.
haha see late night-rambling! happy easter, Jesus really does make all things new, 'rememeber that!' :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Extend from His not our own

Just tighten your fists and swing away.
Nope. It's more like- loosen the fists in the gloves, relax the shoulders but tuck in the elbows. Step into the punch but stay behind it. Turn at the hips and extend your arm from the body: The force of the hit comes from within, not from the arm. The arm is just an extension.
I am in the midst of trying to make my muscles remember, coordinating the different steps and turns in my body and all I can think is "the arm is only an extension!"

Lately I been feelin, round after round of distraction, renewal, cofusion, redemption, aggravation, repentance, joy, fear, closeness, distance....I am kinda dizzy and utterly exhausted.

I have been struggling with so many mixed emotions, fears, and challenges because I don't know how I am going to do it all- Change my learned behaviours, break my habits, strengthen the weak points of my character, grow in lasting relationships. I am earnestly trying to take the steps I need to become the woman God intended me to be- stewarding my health, my finances, my growth, shepherding the boys and being a supportive friend and sister...I am fighting to Love others truly not because Jesus said so but because Jesus did so!
It is not easy. But what makes it even harder is that I have been trying to do this all from my own might.

A good sister directed me to the word. "Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort?" Galatians 3:3

Paul is speaking of observing the law, but I ask you how far are we from that idea now. Sure it's not a law of how and where to sacrifice and what meat you can eat and which you can't and circumcised or not...but perhaps today there is not so much a law, but a standard to live up to. It may look more like- being attractive and healthy, being financialy stable, being up to date with fashions, electronics, and accesories... Maybe the level of authority, or even what crew you roll with.. for real-isn't that what we are all still striving for...acceptance, belonging, beauty, being comfortable. God has taken our brokenness and made greatness, but we still can have a tendency to set out for what we want and really just try to make it happen, all the while loving God. It takes a whole lot of humility for me to realize that. In some ways I have been

I'm simply checking myself. If getting closer to a more idealized comfortable lifestyle is going lead me further from His Holy Spirit I choose to stay uncomfortable, because "Drastic consequences can result when social protocols carry more authority than moral convictions".

A great man mentioned the other day that there were some hills that just weren't worth dieing on. I am really appreciating that statement because I am realizing that I might have been trekkin up such a hill.
Sure I can philosophize on the fact that everything is worth it, that we can learn from any situation, especially our mistakes. But why continue in a mistake if clearly already aware of the upcoming lesson?

Just tonight I realized how present God is. Worshiping "I know you love me" and realizing just how amazing that is. And there I was with my sister Melanie worshipping right beside me and Peyton to the left with his hands opened, actually worshiping Christ whom he just accepted a week ago! I prayed for this! not for myself but for them- to know just how amazing God's love is.

I think of how year ago today I knew I could be a better mother than I was for the boys, but I didn't know how! And I didn't know how that was ever going to be possible considering the situation I was in. But here I am with the boys raising them with love and faith, and just hanging with them and loving with them. It's amazing!

Around the time I was becoming Christian I desired living in a house with single Christian sisters and growing in Christ and going through the life and thought that's impossible I have two boys, but here I am with Melanie and Pam! talking God, and love, and boys and life...

The reality is this: None of this happened by my own might! God was the force and I was only the extension. And what a blessing. So I pray to always maintain the home in my heart where only the Holy Spirit can stay so that I may remain the arm. All of my strength must come from Him, without Him I am only as strong as I am.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Know your opponent

A feint is a fake punch or any offensive movement used to get your opponent to react and move out of his good offensive position opening himself up to your real attack.

This is good to be aware of defensively! I don't want to be the one on the recieving end of this move. But how do you avoid that? How can one be aware of a feint when, or even before it is coming? The only answer I can think of...know your enemy! One of the basics I've read on boxing was to know your opponent as well as you know yourself.

As much as I would love to have nothing to do with my enemy, pretending like he is not trying to find his opening is not going to protect me.
I must know him, his moves, and what his intentions are. He will not give up. He will always wait around patiently, with the intent to corrupt God's plans, to pull us out of His Will to bring us down and make us feel defeated...and he does this through our thoughts. I read a quote the other day along the lines reading 'the ancestor of every action was a thought'...

I think that as God uses people and circumstances to challenge us to die to ourselves, to seek Him and allow His Holy Spirit to take that space in our hearts--- the enemy tries to use those very same circumstances to create doubt. The last thing our opponent wants to see is God's Glory being revealed, His will being completed! So that is the real attack!

Yep, so if he can't get a good hit in there, (which he can't) he throws a feint. It could be an attractive person who is interested, it could be an attractive person who is not could be lack of noticeable progression, it could be a habit that doesn't seem to need to be broken, it could be idolatry of a person, it could be pride, fear, desire, ignorance, or insecurity. It could be miscommunication that leads to wrong interpretation that leads to confusion that leads to judgement that leads to gossip that leads to dissension!

It could be a simple lie, information ommitted, intention hidden... one that seems innocent but changes the whole course that the Lord intended. The enemy has been defeated but he has not given up.
He sneaks his way into weakening us, to prevent us from fulfilling what it is God is intending for us to do for His Glory. And what better way is there for us to forget who we are in Christ.

He wants us to take things personally; it makes no room for loving and seeing Christ in another when so concerned about myself. Feint!

Become concerned about whether I am approved by those I look up to. But is that putting Gods approval first? .... Feint!

It is getting harder and harder to die to myself, and I just see myself having some of the same attitudes, choices, and fears as I did before I knew Christ. I am afraid I haven't really changed at all, or that my faith is just not strong enough. Feint!

Who do you think you are approaching someone else on their actions or behavior. Mind your own business and don't be judgmental. Feint!

It's a challenge! Forgetting who I am and forgetting God's will even for a moment, that's all he needs to get me open and vulnerable for his real attack. His goal is to distract us with all the things down here below. He will use everything he can- he will take away all that we have, if that's what it takes...he will give us all that we want if that's what it takes. So know your opponent even better than you know yourself!

Monday, April 18, 2011

challengeing week

I am getting stronger...not yet fitting into any old jeans but i am getting stronger. And why does it even have to be about that anyway. Have I not gone from doing nothing physically to exercising everyday. From spending 3 bux at starbux almost every other day to making coffee at home. Funny how once I start aiming for simply bettering myself it becomes a battle of beating myself up, as though all of a suddens I am supposed to be a differet more perfect person. At the sametime it's weird because beating myself up a bit could keep me in check because just settling for better than yesterday is not where it is supposed to end.
The thing is I had an incredibly challenging week. There is something huge that can come out of it or I can just give up because it is all to hard and too scary and too exhausting and just too challenging.
One thing I am learning is that this process of transformation is exactly that, a process. In someways yes Jesus came into my heart and changed it but in others it is more requiring of me to make choices that are not so easy, to surrender to things that i usually fight and battle things that I usually give in to.

Friday, April 15, 2011

check in

Got my first injury today...hahaha if u even want to call it that! My wrist feels like a jammed finger. Luckily my sister is a massage therapist and she painfully made it feel all better. Thanks sis! I love training Pastor coach rod gave shaun t a little competition with them sprints... Now after a long long day ready to sleep for a four am start. Cant wait till im training more than one day a week...for now its shaun t in the wee hours of da morning. Thank the Lord for every breath.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

To Lose for a Living?

Neither prideful nor insecure
Not full of desire nor indifferent
Without despair

In my neat boxing terminnology list there is a term called a Journeyman. A journeyman is a boxer with good boxing skills who strives to succeed but who has limitations and little or no expectations of winning a fight. Journeymen are often hired on short notice to fight up-and-coming prospects and contenders to pad their records.

I couldn't help but wonder what would be the character of the man who plays this particular role inthe world of professional boxing. Certainly not an arrogant man, though he strives to succeed. Also not a man who lacks confidence as he is ready on short notice to fight up-and-coming- prospects and contenders.

This man is purposely hired to pad others' records! What does that conversation even sound like?

"How about this guy...Bob he is in the gym every day he's got some skill but you know he just is not strong enough, no matter what he does, he just don't got what it takes to beat fighter so-and-so... how bout we just use him to make fighter so-and-so's record look better... Hey Bob, we have you matched for a fight, but you know we have no expectation of you winning so we will only be using you. Great thanks Bob! see you in the ring"

I actually have no idea how this system of setting up the matches work, I will certainly find out for you, nevertheless, I still am struck to want to know about this kind of character. Or better yet the character this particular role highly recommends. I think this requires more than good sportsmanship...I mean seriously, this is losing for a living.

What would it look like to strive to succeed without the reward, or recognition, or heroic role being the end goal? What would it look like to continue in that work, as you are used to make something, in this case someone, else look better, be better,

Makes me wonder what would this figurative "journeyman" looks like in real life today?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

check in

I used to live following my heart. But there was no endurance. I'd live whatever passion out until that flame died. Now God is requiring of me endurance. Endurance in encouraging my seventeen yr old even when he is defiant. Endurance in maintaining the routine for the stability of my 8 yr old even when his add is in high gear n im exhausted. I am training only once a week now but i push myself to continue Insanity every morning to build my strength...dr let me kbow im 25 lbs overweight...three weeks of working out n not only have i not seen results, i've gained 5 more pounds! I think i make a stride n i turn to find i've gotten nowhere...nowhere i can see. But its the endurance that is required. In order to be faithful in order to walk in God's Perfect Will in order to continue pressing through even when we dont see results ...when we dont see anything... Wise roommate just so happenes to mention impprtant fact about reaping what you sow... The harvest time is only a wee little season...seriously a matter of days or weeks in comparison to the whole long year of planting and fertilizing and tilling and pruning and weeding and watering and in the hot sun and all the work...goodnight

Sunday, April 10, 2011

check in

Checking in means i have had a long day and i just need to sleep more than anything else! But thought of the day... Shaun T got me working it out! Kuuli'ou'ou trail kicked my but and it was a real good beat down.
Second thought... Discipline requires preparation, without preparation i set myself up for failure

Saturday, April 9, 2011

part1 Thank You Jesus

If you are reading this thanks! I am just keeping up with the goal of daily blog and so I will just share what is on my heart. I was talking to this wonderful girl tonight at Fuse (Fuse was Awesome!) and we started talking about paths to God. It was so great, she really got me thinking and remembering where I used to be. I love God!

I respect that across this world there are many paths to God. I'd tried walking some of them; to tap into a spiritual life through all kinds of practices; meditation, buddhist philosophy, Hindu gods, thanking the universe, 'The Secret', idk too many to mention throughout my life. Although it was all interesting, none of it made the Spirit of God present to me.

I knew there had to be something more than what we know. I knew what I had learned through the Catholic Church about God, which was quite limited considering I never went to church after 13. I knew that no matter what I read about or became intrigued about, I was never moved to have faith in any of it. All of it was folklore to me, good stories with good insight into human thought, lasting philosophies all of which provided a good main character with an amazing hagiography. I remember saying out loud, "I wish I could have faith in something"

Well, when my little guy was 5 and asked me for the first time who God is, I couldn't answer him. That was the first time I realized that after all the books I read, all the 'spiritual' things I was into, I didn't really know anything about God, not even enough to answer a 5 year old properly!

In NA the first step is Find a Higher Power, as though there are options...I recall reading books like Holy Blood Holy Grail and rationalizing why it was okay for me to be agnostic. Then reading the Life of Pi and thinking it was not okay to be agnostic... I depended on the world to tell me what I wanted, what comes next, what I should aim for, and to measure my accomplshments... You know what, I remember being nothing but confused therefore avoiding the topic of faith entirely.

Until the day I was asked, "Mommy, who is God", my answer, "Well who do you think he is" (terrible right?)

You want to know what I am really thankful for? Jesus.

I knew about God; I didn't know much about Jesus except that he was a prophet who taught about love and died on the cross. But all my life knowing that there were all these paths to God, and believing that there was "a higher power" was not enough for me to have faith in the very real existence of God. It was not enough for me to want to worship Him with thanks, to know Him or talk to Him through prayer... There was nothing that could bridge the gap between my way of thinking and God's existence. There was no way I could comprehend that He loves for me. Until I got to know Jesus. ANd by knowing Jesus I am learning how to live in God's Will.

Tonight I learned that the true real reward is not of this world, it is not in wealth, it is not a husband, it is not an admirable lifestyle, it is not even recognition...if I ever allow myself to think that my reward is here in this world, I am nothing but a slave to that thing.


So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent his redeem those under law that we might recieve the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave but a son; and since you are a son, God has also made you an heir.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Don't Drop Your Gloves

Just the smallest drop and you are left vulnerable, not ready for the opponents next move, not in the right stance for your own move...

I haven't been training long so it has been hard for me to make my muscles remember to make my gloves stay up in the proper stance. Immediately after you throw a jab, a punch, a hook, the arm must return to its original position, blocking your face. I keep them up I get in my stance but once I throw a few punches they are dropping. Luckily I have a coach straight ahead reminding me everytime I drop the gloves, and i was pretty much dropping them after almost every one or two...or three punches.

Now it wasn't that I was exhausted by keeping my gloves up... perhaps it is only that my muscles simply haven't learned to get back in position, so they end up hanging low. But I also wonder, why do I keep forgetting to return them? It is like in the excitement of every movement my brain cannot consciously make my arms do what I want them to do. Certainly in a fight this will not be a good thing. So as I work on that for boxing I can't help but wonder how I can work on that in life?

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)

How many times in the movements of life- daily tasks, relationships, goals, do we forget this very truth. Is it possible that even in the intention for living a holy life, the point is missed entirely once we are confronted with even the smallest of struggles. I think of how I want to bless my teenager with words of encouragement, but day after day after day the struggle of nothing seeming to motivate him, at that weakest moment of the gazilllionth lie, the baziliionth ignoring my instructions is the moment I drop my gloves. And that is the moment I lose patience and all the encouragement suddenly became about the end goal rather than the holy purpose encouragement is intended to serve.

Even this morning I woke up so tired! Tired enough to not want to do anything that I usually do in a day, I mean it-anything! Which is not possible when you have two kids and you are commited to your workout routine and you have a house call with the social worker and have to teach an art class in waianae. I had to get out of bed but my first thought was, I don't want to do this anymore.
Funny how just the day before I was being followed with a video camera for a part of a story that will be featured for a sermon...a day in the life hahaha a day in the life I don't want to be living just now- after all the shooting is done, I am not done and I wished I was. This thought too is the gloves dropping.

The reason all of this is so important to reflect on is because this is where we become most vulnerable to our opponent. The main opponent. The one who does not want us to reflect God's love, the one that wants us to create dissention, the one that wants us to become jealous and envious, the one that wants us to doubt ourselves, to give into temptation, to allow foolishness into our hearts, to depend on the man rather than on Jesus.

He knows he can't tap into our love for God but he also know when our gloves our down making it harder for us to fight for God's intention and stay in His Will.

Don't get me wrong, it is not about being perfect. No that is not at all what all of this is about. It is not our aim to be perfect in or for this world but rather to prepare ourselves for the perfection of God's Kingdom.

For me I realize that loving God does not make me any more holier than I was yesterday, that is not what will help me to grow spiritually. But to allow that growth to happen--- I believe that my job is to be on my toes ready for battle at ALL times with gloves up chin down :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Fight Card

A fight card is a program of boxing consisting of all the boxing matches that take place during a boxing event. Fight cards consist of a main event and an undercard of the rest of the matches.

This morning I woke up with that eerie linginering feeling of disappointment after wasting the morning away sleeping in. But I had a killer session with Insanity and practiced my jabbing. You see training to become a boxer and fight in the ring one day is only a part of this particular plays as more of a marker than the actual end all destination.

Along the way I am battling all types of low spots in my character that really need some pounding. Obviously my lack of long-term dedication is the prime target here, and the reason I keep this blog... but there are all these other fights within the 'main event'-
discipline, desire, lazyness, determination, self-control, patience, vanity, pride, insecurity, even rationalizing... these are all of my opponents. Sure there is the financial debt, the extra 25lbs I've been carrying around with me, the broken relationships from the past...but these are only the symptoms. My goal is to go head to head with the source.

I consider this time as a real chance to look at my 'fight card'. Certainly I cannot do everything at once but I do have to do what I can to defeat what has blocked me from being all God intended. The enemy has been defeated but he left behind a whole lotta ugly habits that only God's light truly reveal and that can only be made new by Jesus.

Knowing He loves me gives me a purpose no man can give me, nor take a way! And all I want to be is ready for His calling. My thought is this; how in the world can I do what God has called us to do (and do it well) if I stay in the habit of being distracted, being undisciplined, full of desire for things that are not mine to have or to keep, whether I can have them or not! ...Reasoning why I am the way I am so I can stay there, ultimately passing the opportunity to serve and glorify Him completely! Remember we were created by Him, but we were created FOR Him! (from Colossians 1:16)

So as I keep training I also have to keep in mind what this is really all about. Faith, Determination, Perserverance. One thing at a time; my fightcard is full... but I'm in it to go the distance!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Beyond Results

Me- "I want to read about God's promises... Where can I find a word on God's promise" (as I am flipping through the Bible).
Pam- "God's promises are throughout the whole bible, that's kinda what that book is about."

Don't you love it when the most simple, most obvious statement jolts you into life? Yes this book is about His promise. And in order to talk about God's promise the pages are filled with stories about people who waited on His promises. We read about the heros who lived by faith and saw certain promises come to pass and we read about others who died waiting.

Hebrews 11:13 reads 'All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not recieve the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.'

I've been trying to understand this whole idea of promises and faith, because there are two things here... One is the promise of Jesus, His Kingdom, His glory- things that are above. The second, are His promises within our life. Looking something like these- 'God has promised me a husband, a wife, children, a career, security, health, a house, a position, a ministry, a vacation'...and so on and so forth.

Tonight I realize that I am finally out of this terrible season that I was in not too long ago of becoming more focused on the promises than on God's will. Focused on wanting to see His promises come to pass, or at the very least glimmers of their possible existance to help me have faith in waiting on Him...and that is the problem. My faith in the unseen was depending on seeing something!

It is a good question to ask, 'Is my faith in God largley based on what He will provide for me along the way?' Because if it is, how's it gonna be if things don't work out the way I had desired or even truly thought they would ...because there seemed to be so much confirmation that He had promised that particular thing for my life. (There was a prophesy, there was a sign, everyone agreed...)

What if God put something in my heart to pray for or work towards but the fruition would not be seen for another 20 or 30 yrs, do i want to live a life wondering when it's going to happen, questioning or even doubting if i even heard him at all?! Or do I want to live faithfully knowing that it is in His hands and His Will will happen by His hand and not by my own. This is where I have become more aimed at living in God's Will than living for what I want to see come out of living in God's Will. This means putting an end to all my wants as well as unwants! This is not easy. But it's what I aim for.

I realize through this that I am a result driven person. I want to see results and I want to see them now. And I think when I don't see them I am more likely to throw in the towel. This is when I step away from God's will and into my own. My life becomes directed on end results, I am living in my own will for my own want and dare I say for my own glory...It is only a matter of time before I begin sinking.

Today as I practiced my jab and hook in the mirror I was becoming more concerned with when the time comes that I can do it right then being in the moment. I began focusing on the results of my practice, I was more excited about seeing the fruits and at the same time imagining all the hard work I will have to put into making it happen. Seeing where I am at now and how far it seems from where I want to be was a bit discouraging. My arms are totally weak, i have no core strength at all and choreographing my hips and arms, wrists, and feet is like being at Ms. Junes Dance Center all over again- being that girl in the class that just couldn't dance. Fun times!

To achieve, excell, succeed...that has seemed to be the life-long drill in our culture. But to be still and wait on the Lord, not frantically waiting for His promises, or in this case depending on tangible results, that is where we will be rewarded with more than success and achievement.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Jab

You know, when I am just getting started in something I tend to get a little over excited about it. Not necessarily a bad thing, but a few challenges come out of this....for one thing, I start spending all my time doing or thinking about that one thing, and other priorities kinda fall behind. Second, there's always a lifespan to that exictement or inspiration, and once it is done that's it- I leave things unfinished ready to move onto what my mom would call "The next big new thing"...

So here I am, in my 'next big new thing' and I must begin with asking about the end. What exactly is it that marks the finales of my interests??? Among some unknown answers I believe one thing is for sure- I reach my plateau once the excitement, the "honeymoon", the romance of it is over. Realities of time, work, and commitment is all that's left requiring nothing but dedication to see it through to the end and, as Professor Lau would put it, 'to finish well'.

Friends, my track record doesn't look so good, maybe too many of my choices have been made in response to feelings and passions...Certainly I live now to hear Gods call and I have been lasting through some commitments- I've been with the Art Academy for three years now, I've been raising the boys for just about that long as well...but what about things that pertain to my own personal growth and well being, health, fitness, finances, acivities, relationships... I have yoyo'd in all these areas pretty much all of my life. Not finding any real technique in living that provides me with long-lasting life-changes, endurance in particular personal areas...on my own I have not come close. When the punches from my character come and I have no one to be accountable for in those areas, I bolt. Simple, uncomfortable? peace-out... n truth be told brothers and sisters, I have disappointed people along the way. But knowing the problem is only half the battle; if we don't know techniques for dealing with the harder sides of our character when we are confronted with them, how will we ever move into the next round?

After todays training session of more learning how to jab, I got to watch some guys in the ring. The Jab, according to my lovely glossary of boxing terms is: "the busiest punch in boxing... thrown quickly with your leading hand straight from the chin in direct line to your target. The boxer throws a left jab by striking out with his left arm as the left elbow is straightened sharply. A boxer is better-protected throwing a jab than any other kind of punch. The jab can also be used to block strikes." As I was learning I couldn't figure out why it was so hard for me. There is a serious technique to this seemingly easy move. The slightest movement in the shoulders and torso will let your opponent know it is coming, opening you up . It needs to come straight from the chin without visually building any momentum. As I watched the guys in the ring I heard the coaches call out "jab around", this is so that the opponent doesn't always know where the jab will land. All in all, I noticed that there was a whole lot of jabbing going on and not always used for hitting the opponent, it was also used to block punches. It was a combination of offense, defense and serious protection.

Then I read it is 'the busiest punch in boxing'. I don't know if you have spent a lot of time jabbing but it is exhausting. And, it requires pure technique... otherwise it won't really serve you any good. I saw straight away that without technique I will make a useless fighter. Sure I might have fun and even get a real good work out, feel strong, tone the arms, look good... but without a sharp strike straight from the chin it will always be all wrong.

This is why I am serious about pacing myself; I want to learn the proper technique. Dedicating myself to this is my exercise. If I ever even make it into a ring one day, it is understanding this that will get me there.

So here I am attempting to committ myself to the circumstances God has placed me in...with out bolting, but not just winging it either. But rather practice in learning techniques that will lead me to dedication that will last longer than the fleeting passion that I can make it through the rounds when I am challenged by the strength of my own hard character.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We've only just begun!

Welcome to my first blog ever! Certainly I am not an accomplished writer, nor have I ever been much of a blogger, nevertheless, thank you for checking in as I attempt to publicly journal my journey in faith towards building my determination, discipline and dedication.
In a sense this blog serves to hold me accountable as I strive to dedicate myself to learn "The Sweet Science" of boxing! Yes friends and family who know me- I am presently approaching my second week in training...My goal- to be in the ring a year from now!!! Woohooo!!
Okay so would it be silly of me to admit that I used to be in love with Rocky Balboa. I even recall thinking my uncle Phillip was Rocky when I was 5, making him my favorite uncle! Now at 31, a single foster mother of two, making ends meet with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts degree, I find myself being completely motivated, inspired, and dare I say driven to learn everything I can about boxing. But let's get one thing straight...I don't know the first thing about boxing. In fact, I've only watched one boxing match on tv in all my life, and I don't even remember who was fighting...i don't thinkI even watched it!!! Truth be told I've always found stories and songs about boxers more interesting than the actual sport. So where did this new found sprout of a passion come from exactly??? I can only say God. Really. The thought lingered in my brain, so vaguely it was almost easily ignored until one particular evening of prayer and worship ended with me trying on a pair of gloves at Pastor Rods house and learning to jab. I was hooked.
From there I went to India to serve with my church and the night I returned I found myself, humorously enough, having icecream and talking about getting fit with my friends. I was invited to come to a morning of training...well, after a week of recuperating from feverish jet lag I found myself in the boxing gym trying to make my body stand at the 11&5, my hands at the chin, turning the wrist at the 10, a bell buzzing every 3 minutes, as I am forcing my feet to step and drag in a square... and yes I loved every minute of it!
So here I am now in this season of my heart and character being transformed. Going into my second week of training, I am certain that this journey is parelleled with my walk with Christ. I haven't completely figured out how, but as I press on, learning to truly dedicate myself and of course, continue documenting the experience, I am certain there will be revelation, as my sole purpose in life is aimed at living in God's will.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)