Happiness

When God Makes All Your Dreams Come True

I am so tired. 

And I've felt so uninspired lately. 

Writing, for me, is currently like when you haven't seen or really spoken much to your best friend in like a month. You don't overly worry about the space because you're so comfortable with it, you know the next time you meet up, it'll be as if no time had passed anyway. 

But that's how I've felt about writing. I've missed it. A lot. But, yet, sometimes there's just nothing to write about. Sometimes life gives you a lot of the same, and you're tired of regurgitating the same four topics all of the time. 

IMG_3207.JPG

I had one of my semi-famous "In the Shower" lightbulb moments. I don't know why I do my best thinking in the bathroom. It's not like I don't still have a slew of groupies following me there each time, eager to observe how a human 33-year-old female uses the facilities. 

My old "Chicken Soup For the Teenage Soul Journal" had somehow made it's way to the coffee table in our wood stove room. Who else had some "Chicken Soup" literature hanging around in their home in the nineties? If you did, you were just one of the millions who jumped on that train when it went chugging along for a few years. 

I dared open that old book, and when I did, I not only got some good laughs, but I shed a few tears and felt my cheeks become warm, as I bared my sixteen year old soul to these pages. 

Several things stood out to me: 

1) My thought life was a solid pile of crap back then, too! Nearly eighteen years of hard work has gone into that since then. Fabulous. 

2) My handwriting was semi-atrocious. Okay, maybe not really, but it wasn't cool like it is now. 

3) I wrote down my dreams and I only had three:

 

 Marry Mike.

Become a mother of five. (Yes, creepy).  

And teach.  

 

IMG_3204.JPG

Simple dreams. Nothing crazy. 

 

And I gasped a bit when I realized these three little dreams that were dreamed up one afternoon after school, I'm assuming, actually came true.

 

And then my heart fell.  

 

I realized: dreams coming true don't equal happiness.  

 

I know this because I'm not happy. Whether I have a legit medical issue that keeps its heavy boot on my longing to be happy, or if it's all me, I'm not. Either way, I'm just not. 

 

I jiggled my head back and forth slightly, as if performing that exercise would somehow shake me back into reality.  

 

Hours later, while in the shower, God spoke to me. He may as well had just spoke audibly because it was pretty clear what the lesson was here.  

 

He said, "I gave you your dreams, everything you wanted, and more. And I know you're not happy. Because you should've been just wanting me, instead, all along."  

IMG_3205.JPG

 

Bam.  

 

Yeah. Exactly. 

 

Sometimes God gives us everything we want, only to make us realize that He is all we really needed.  

 

And so, dream writing may not be in my future anymore. Sure, it's not wrong to desire things and yearn to be better and have experiences that make us go "wow", but maybe the only dream worth writing down is simply this: To Understand God.  

 

To understand someone, we've gotta see their whole heart. The only way this is possible is if we actively sit at the feet of the one we seek to desperately understand. 

IMG_3206.JPG

 

To take in their words, their expressions, what makes them feel purpose, to really seek to understand them inside and out.  

 

But we're too busy to do that.  

 

And that dream takes the focus off of me. What I want.  

 

So we have this ability to stop dreaming up the crumbs of life, and to really find the courage to seek this Kingdom, this Creator first. 

 

And then...all these things will be added... 

 

And maybe we'll all be the happiest ones.  

And because He is our only dream, all of the other dreams will come true.  

 

So maybe you're feeling like I've been.  

Maybe you've realized God has given you your dreams, and yet, you feel like your dreamcatcher is empty. 

 

Share below. I love hearing from you.  

 

💗,Ae

IMG_3208.JPG

 

 

How To Organize Your Week

When a new week begins, and we've had our Sunday fun I sit down at the kitchen table and plan the weeks activities and to-do's out! 

I couldn't live without my planners, I think if anything happened to them I would have a full blown panic attack.

I love to write things down. I hate using the calendar on my phone. There's just something wonderful about putting all that I need to get done on a piece of actual paper!! I think I remember things better too when I write it all down. I was that college student who wrote their notes in class in their binder and then re-wrote them once she got back to her dorm so they looked beautiful and well thought out. Maybe that was just me. :) 

Anyways, now there are two other schedules to be in charge of, plus myself and my husbands crazy schedule! 

To keep it all straight I have a to-do and scheduling planner and a financial planner. Let's start with the to-do planner, shall we? 

I got this amazing family planner for $7 at Barnes and Noble! Always try and get your planner for the year mid-January. Everything will be on clearance! 

I got this amazing family planner for $7 at Barnes and Noble! Always try and get your planner for the year mid-January. Everything will be on clearance! 

image.jpg

I have a to-do side of everything I want to accomplish that week, and all appointments, play dates, and things we are going to make their way in their designated day! It's the best, because it's all right there for me to be productive that week.  

My financial planner is even better. Isn't it cute? I got it from Mardels Christian Bookstore here in Cedar Park for $2!  

image.jpg
I apparently didn't pay any bills the month of March or had any budget whatsoever. 😂 I'm not showing you May silly, that's none of your business.  

I apparently didn't pay any bills the month of March or had any budget whatsoever. 😂 I'm not showing you May silly, that's none of your business.  

This planner has only monthly views which is perfect for making sure to pay all of those bills on time! I write down at the beginning of every month what is due when, and cross it off as it is paid. The space on the right I use to make my list of maintenance expenses that need to happen that month, hair cuts, bday presents, how much will we try to put into savings. All of that info goes there.

image.jpg

And then that nifty little pocket is where I store my stamps, paid bills, and receipts. At the end of every month I go through this stack of paper and either throw it away, or if it is a paid bill I file it away for the year.

I've also started to do my grocery shopping online so Sunday evenings when I'm paying bills and planning the week. I'll also plan my meals for the week, and order my groceries so that I can go pick them up the next morning. Which makes me feel super #momfamous ladies.

I also try to plan out fun things to do with the kids each day of the week. I found this super cute print out for weekly planning! http://cf.somewhatsimple.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/weekly-schedule-color.pdf

image.jpg

Isn't it cute?!

Meal planning printables are everywhere online. I really love having one that offers a space for breakfast, lunch, and dinner too. I try to stick to a meal plan. It helps me not to be tempted to go spend money at Chickfila so I don't have to make lunch or dinner. I save money writing things down and making it to where I have to look at these plans constantly throughout the day. Keeps me accountable! Just google "meal plan free printables" and you'll find so many fun things to print for your meal planning!

image.jpg

When I'm done doing my part of planning, Will usually joins me and we have a sync meeting of sorts. I write his schedule on my planner, he writes mine down on his, and we stay connected during the week so much better because of this. We also plan out what we'll do the following weekend as a family and that's my favorite part of the meeting of course! :) 

If you aren't a natural planner, that's okay. Take baby steps. I promise you'll feel more productive, happier, and ready to face the day. Because on that morning when you dread to wake up, you can at least know that you have a plan for that day! 

Ready, Set, Get Organized!! 

 

Share the ways you keep you and your family organized by commenting below! Share your knowledge!!!  

 

Xoxo- 

Amber  

The Secret

A decade ago, a trendy phenomenon swept thru our world. I remember, back then, with motherhood quickly approaching, I enjoyed watching Oprah most days after I got off work. 

 

One episode in particular always stuck with me because of how bizarre and ridiculous what she was promoting sounded.  

 

If you've never heard of the book/movie The Secret, it's a documentary style film that explains the Law of Attraction.  

 

The Law of Attraction explanation can be found here. (Trust me, it's better than me going on and on trying to explain it). 

 

There were several things I agreed with. And even more, I didn't. It's New Age approach to how the universe somehow possesses sentience and can therefore be our personal genie of sorts, is not even borderline ridiculous, it's just completely ridiculous.  

 

I sat down and took six pages of notes. Any excuse to put pen to paper for me. :) And I wrote down everything decent (and not-so-decent) that exploded in my ears as I listened very intently.  

 

And I was kindly reminded during the 90 minute duration, how vast a role our thought lives play in our day to day, moment to moment living.  

 

I was reminded that while I disagreed with the whole visualizing=materializing mentality, there is some very real truth to the fact that if one mentally focuses on the end goal regularly, they may very well end up there by self-motivation. 

 

But, it also reminded me how very beautifully deceitful Satan is. It's subtle. It's attractive. And if he can just get us to tweak our thinking just enough where we live for ourselves, we seek our own happiness, we keep our eyes off God and dependent on ourselves, then he surely has us where he wants us.  

 

Christ said in the Gospel of Matthew "whoever wants to save their life, will lose it...". Which means the opposite is also true. Living with an eternal perspective, not an earthly one, living for others and not for self, that's when we find life abundant.  

 

What the creators of this documentary don't understand, is that while they are correct that life is supposed to be lived "abundantly", that the abundance doesn't come from any "source" or "vision". It comes from intimately knowing the Creator Himself. The only source of true joy, the Life Giver, the Life Sustainer. 

 

Jesus, while on earth, said, "I have come that they may have LIFE and have it ABUNDANTLY."  John 10:10

 

When the credits were rolling and I sat still on my bed for a few moments, a small stack of books that appeared intertwined and married to one another, as pages from one locked with pages from another, shone in my periphery. I looked directly at them and the back of one of my Bible copies was partially covered inside of another book I've been reading. It was upside down, but I didn't hesitate to read the orange box filled with words I had never noticed before today.

 

 

 

 

image.jpg

My lips gave way to a smile that could easily compete with my most happiest ones.  

 

"...a full life begins with Jesus."  

 

No coincidence here. And I sat and I immediately worshipped my God. I repented for the fear that I've allowed to hold my gaze for so long. For the chains I slipped my wrists and ankles through and forgot how Satan isn't allowed to lock them shut. Having previously accepted Christ's love almost 27 years ago, I could've easily slipped free anytime I wanted, but I rejected Christ's command "to take every thought into captivity." 

 

 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:5 

 

There was a lot of good found in the documentary. I wrote down ten definite things that I can personally put to good use in my own struggle with my thoughtlife. But, there is no doubt in my mind that the people who produced this, missed the mark entirely.  

 

And what a shame it is. A very solemn shame. Because God will never be mocked. It is because of God that we "live, and move, and have our being".  (Acts 17:28)

 

What a privilege to serve Him with my life. To not be bound by any scheme or thing that's meant to kill and destroy. To know and understand that the power within me is not my own, but His grace within me. The power that He put inside me is the same power that made all of this. And I'm just a gracious receiver of that. Anybody that accepts His love is empowered by the very One who never ceases to be. Constant. Sure. Unmatched. Alpha and Omega.  

 

All glory to God, whose "secret" to abundant life is not hidden from anyone, but in plain view for all to grasp. 

 

Thankful for that reminder. 

 

Love, Alicia