Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Heart of the issue

Agreeing with Kelly, this wartime sacrifice has brought up issues underneath whatever we're giving up. For me, when I'm most unsure about what's going on in my life, I turn to distracting activities, instead of dealing with whatever is going on. I think I try to avoid thinking about things and really praying, really seeking God's heart. But Christ calls us to abandon everything, seeking His face, even when that might be painful or risky. That is something I have so must struggle doing....

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Goodness, this is harder than I thought it would be. My life seems to be in a constant state of change. Just this summer, I started a new job, I've taken two intesive art therapy work shops (which are amazingly fun but suck up your entire week), ended a relationship with a counselor and began sessions with a new one, moved half of my room to my new apartment, began seeing a dietician, began seeing a massage therapist...

I just wish I had a consistent schedule. Time management has been incredibly difficult for me, but as I am weaning myself off of television (I am giving my television away at the end of July) and not throwing myself into time-consuming research projects, I am finding that I am focusing a lot more on my own internal struggles. In other words, I think all of this poor management of time is a symptom of a greater issue...something revolving around needing connection, needing to pay attention to my own needs, and balancing my faith with my career ideals...

I know this is what I need to do, but it's really difficult...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Originally uploaded by rdashley
for those not on facebook, I thought I'd post the group shot from the luau party!

wartime update

How's everyone doing? Noticing any difference in day to day activities? Noticing any difference with God?

I'm finding that my addiction to television is starting to weaken little by little... There have been several nights in the past two weeks that I haven't even turned the tv on when I get home or before bed. Thus far it seems that the extra time has been funneled into other people - doing more things with friends in town, catching up with old friends that I haven't talked to in a long time, etc. etc. Last night I even practiced the piano AND vacuumed... NICE :-)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008

yam camping

yam camping
Originally uploaded by rdashley
don't forget - camping trip is TODAY! Meet at 6pm @ ABF

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Beautiful Outside

Well, I don't really have anything deep or thought-provoking...I just wanted to say how beautiful Boone is. And nature. And swimming in creeks. And flying kites. And biking around town. I don't's just really cool how God has placed us in such a great area to enjoy His creation. Looking forward to spending the weekend in it with you guys. What a blessing.

Friday, June 20, 2008


My grandma of 92 years died last Thursday, June 12. James and left on Friday and went to the funeral on Monday and flew home that night. That is why I wasn't at Bible study on Monday or at the ArtWalk on Friday. It was a whirlwind. Laura -- I think you showed a lot of wisdom with your visit with your Grandma. Cherish the time you have left with her. I really miss both Grandma and Grandad -- Grandma lived 8 months after Grandad's death. I know Grandma was a believer which makes this easier.

So, the money thing has been a little stressful. I'm trying to make this happen on my monthly paycheck and not having to dip into savings...with James not getting his summer pay, I've covering his expenses. It is definitely challenging to send that $$ towards my tithe. I've moved so much that I've always given my tithe to the Christian organziation I attended when I was an undergrad (CCH). To meet my 10%, I'm adding ABF to the list and setting $$ aside for what we decide to give to as a bible study. I've sent the check to CCH and will give the rest this Sunday at church. I've heard stories of people who've been faitful with giving away money and God intervenes such that the money is never missed. I think he'll do the same for James and I. I just have to relax and trust...

Regarding time. I've done a decent job spending time at night reading Christian books. I'm reading the chapters I missed in DWYL and Surprised by Hope by NT Wright.

I was reading Ch. 5 of DWYL and got really discouraged last night. Piper is giving these crazy examples of the sacrifices so we don't get stuck in a "comfort zone". Putting ourselves in situations for where we may have little food, little sleep etc for the cause of Christ overwhelmed me. For one thing, having my degree in nutrition, whenever I think about not having enough food, my mind starts thinking about how the body is responding metabolically. I often think I would do better if I didn't know what my body was doing. Lack of sleep...I've always needed 8 hours. I can barely function on 6 hours. I guess that is part of my challenge with time...maybe I need to examine the time spend reading silly stuff on the internet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Family Time

Hey guys! So I must say I really missed ya'll this week. So neat to know how close we've all become over the past couple months. Anyway, I just wanted to write a bit about our family trip to see my grandma for her birthday. My dad's side up north is a mix of people, some of whom aren't Christians. Been praying for my grandma for forever, and maybe she's a Christian, but I'm not sure. It's hard to say, talked to her a little bit about it before but she's really personal about things, religion included and doesn't bring it up. My dad's brother and his family are Jewish by heritage, but I'm not sure how much of the Torah they actually believe. And my dad's sister is really into many different types of religion, meditation, those kinds of things. Anyway, going up there is always a bit of a battle because you feel really drained after going up. I was having a hard time going up with a good attitude because it is frustrating sometimes feeling frustrated a lot. Not really sure how to describe it. Prayed a lot before and during the trip, and I learned a lot about listening. Being with my grandma, just listening to her talk about things that were important really showed me how time is such a gift. I didn't feel called to talk to her about God, but I just tried to listen and show her we cared by just being there with her. Being present in conversations, asking questions, body language that demonstrates that you are glad to be there. We went to her apartment and sat with her for a while, looking at pictures, listening to old gossip...then we went out to dinner and had the waiters sing to her- that was really funny. I think I want to ask her what she thinks about God, I feel a little like I should have done that, but I feel like that would be a good conversation when it's just her and me. Maybe over the phone? Anyway, I think I want to show people I care more by just going over and listening. Time is one of the best gifts you can give. And praying for intentional, uplifting conversations where you don't always feel responsible for speaking on and on about something. Sometimes it's okay to just be. Hope everyone is doing well. Can't wait to see you guys Sunday! Kelly, we'll miss you on Mondays, but I understand you needing to take time. Know we love you!!!!!! :-)
Well, friends, part of this whole time management thing is narrowing my life down to the essentials; to those things that edify me most and encourage me to strive for the unattainable perfection of holiness. I am thankful for each of you and this encouraging blog. I look forward to the next several months on this journey with all of you.

Unfortunately, my appearance at small group may be a rare thing. I hope none of you take offense, but I need to do what is best for me at the moment. Yes, I will still be at church and yes, I will still have wonderful fellowship with my first small group, too. Sometimes pruning is necessary for a plant to grow...

Another thing I am cutting out of my personal research projects (yes, I do research outside of school. Sick, I know). I get too wrapped up in them and can spend days at a time away from my friends and family. Aside from my intense curiosity and interest in the world around me, I think I use learning as a way to feel okay, to feel accomplished, and to distract myself from feelings of inferiority. May I rest in the confidence of Christ, alone.

On the plus side, I've been very committed to the gym and I have so much more energy to do what I need to get done during the day. I am also starting to choose things like organization and cleaning over watching mindless tv shows. I doubt that I will cut out tv entirely, but I will choose to watch only my favorite shows and only when other things are done.

I like the new life Christ is forming in me...

Monday, June 16, 2008

better late than never...

So, a full week later than scheduled, I went to DirecTV's website and downgraded to the cheapest possible package. A savings of $23 a month! The fact that this didn't happen last Monday has bothered me all morning. My tardiness in joining the "war" doesn't stem from any rebellious attitude or a desire to keep my current channel line-up, but rather laziness and poor time management. I thought several times last week "I need to get this done, but I'll do it later." I feel that this process is revealing further layers of heart attitudes and brokenness that God is trying to access and refine. After reading through all of these other posts, I've become very convicted in the way I manage the 24 hours God gives me each day. Aside from my 8 hours at work, the rest of my day is very "me focused" and largely unproductive. I'm joining the band wagon of purposeful time management as a part of my wartime mentality. I'm thankful that God has put on skin through you guys to spark this within me.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

developing my wartime mentality

Hey there. When I read the e-mail suggesting we all make wartime sacrifices, I decided this didn't apply to me for several reasons (i.e. I'd already given away my DWYL book, I don't work for money now so have little to spare, I'm not in town with the rest of y'all, etc). Then I changed my mind...

One of my biggest struggles has been figuring out myself— where I'm going with my degree and all these work experiences I've had, whether I like what I'm doing or not, wondering how to feign strong interest in something I'm less than passionate about, and how to be motivated when I don't know if what I learn now will serve me later. Voicing that, I see I've had a self-centered mindset. So I've decided my wartime sacrifice attempt is to give up my will.

I want to give up my will so badly, to push myself further out of the picture to see what God is doing and then become part of that instead of trying to figure out what "big" thing He wants me to do. I've read about this many places, worded many ways, and now I become aware of ways that I can sacrifice my will every day. This is my intention as a wartime sacrifice, however vague and immeasurable, and hopefully God will teach me as I contemplate how I can focus on what I do for God and for others in my daily circumstances instead of worrying too much about how it'll impact my own life. Christ wants me to focus more on Him and less on me. Easy to know but hard to do, right?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Genuine conversations

So last night I was hanging out with a friend and we both just shared a bunch of stuff and really encouraged each other to be real and genuine (ha i guess those are the same words) with Christ. Talked about how we seem to struggle with the same sin over and over again and can't seem to fight it. how we have all these great intentions of combating it, and we seem to fall on our face daily. and then i started thinking about friendships and how they should be like that- not holding anything back, genuine conversations that aren't veiled with pride and worries about image. and how this sacrifice of time will give way to more time with people. but that time with people needs to be genuine. intentional. asking questions and really listening to the other person. already i'm challenged to be more real with Christ. so encouraged! hope you all are continuing to learn on this journey. see everyone soon!

And so it begins...

Well, this whole time sacrifice thing is already kicking me. It's a real discipline! So far this week, I have made a conscious effort to be diligent in my work. That wasn't so bad. But then I also made the promise to myself not to complain: out loud or in my head. That one is tough! And the funny thing is, just as I had said that doing what the Lord calls you to do is sometimes being ready to do data entry for five hours without comaplaining...that's exactly what I have been doing at work! Ironic, huh?

But, as I am beginning to be intentional about what I do and do not say, I am noticing how common it is to hear others complain about little things at work...the temperature, an uncomfortable chair, a tedious task, a fleeting comment by a coworker...and I realize how much people around us need to hear the hope of Christ, not another complaint on a growing pile.

For me, making the most of my time also means commiting myself to the gym. I believe the Lord's desire is for me to lead a healthy life, and if my body is healthy, how much more can I serve Him! This has turned out to be quite an enjoyable part of my day.

Now I've got to be intentional about having a specific time for prayer and scripture in my day. That one seems to be the most difficult sacrifice at the moment, but the most important. Why do we tend to ignore what is best for us?

Mary Dean and Laura, blessings to you in learning to manage time! I'm glad we are rowing the same boat, here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Recklessly following

As Kelly and Mary Dean, I too want to sacrifice time. So, I'm devoting 30 minutes a day on emails and facebook and things not related to work. i also think i spend too much money on random trips to get coffee and things, so i'm not going to do that anymore, unless it's with friends. recklessly following christ is scary. i'm a little afraid of where he'll take us, what he'll call us to do, what to give up, it's like a huge adventure. but, we're called to abandon everything, obeying him as we pick up our nets and run after him. so, i'm excited to hear how he'll lead us as we devote ourselves to completely trusting him with our time, finances, and expectations. so excited!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wartime Sacrifices

I spent quite a lot of time praying about this. Removing internet and cable isn't an option since I need it for work and James needs it for Grad School. I already ride my bike/walk most places and so gas expenses are low. So, I calculated how much I'm tithing and it doesn't meet 10% of my income. Starting this month and for the next 6 months, I pledge to tithe a full 10%. A portion of it will be saved for the cause that the entire group is going to give to.

Funny thing happened, once I made this committment, James and I found out that while he is getting paid for the Ginn project, some of the paperwork wasn't done and so he won't get any money until the end of August. So I've experience my first speed bump with this goal as we will be living on one income and will have use it to pay the bills that were normally covered using James' income.

Another area for me to improve upon, like Kelly is time. I'm going to attempt to spend time reading the Bible or a Christian book. With that said, I think I'll read the 5 chapters from DWYL that I'm behind on. Later!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Wartime Sacrifices

This past week, I have wrestled many times with what my "wartime sacrifice" would be; how I would sacrifice something of myself for the good of others and the furthering of the Kingdom. I thought I would sacrifice my money. It seemed reasonable, but too safe. I am already skilled at managing my finances.

Then I looked around at my messy room, my disorganized cabinets, my to do list, my planner...and I realized that the hardest sacrifice for me is time. I don't know how to manage it well, but I am starting tonight by commiting to this blog, which will hold me accountable over the next six months.

Right now, I am not sure what needs to be changed in my life. I imagine that House, and Lost, and The Office will fade from my awareness to be replaced with more and deeper and richer relationships. I hope that mindlessly surfing the net will be replaced with searching the depths of the wisdom and love of our Messiah. Perhaps even procrastination, my dear friend and deceitful foe, will be replaced with integrity in responsibility.

It's a lofty goal, but the best place I know where to start is prayer. So, I gotta go talk to Jesus, but I'll fill you in on the details tomorrow.

p.s. is this where I post? I hope so because I couldn't figure out how to post under my name.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Small Group 6.9.08

We'll be discussing Don't Waste Your Life Chapter 8, our "wartime" sacrifices, and the small group camping trip!