Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Prayer

In the book of 1 Chronicles, a man is introduced. That man's name is Jabez. The name Jabez is only mentioned one other time in the Bible. In that particular instance, the name is referring to a location and not a person.

Jabez was obviously introduced for a reason, considering that everything in the Bible is introduced for a reason. In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, it says " Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez,saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested."

This is a very short and simple prayer, but very meaningful. Jabez starts off by asking God to bless him. This isn't a selfish request. He's not asking for God to bless him so that he could boast in what he has or so that he can build himself up. He then asks for God to be with him and to keep him from evil. He recognizes that he needs God's help and protection.

We studied this prayer last night in midweek service at church. One thing that hit my was the simplicity of the prayer. Jabez didn't use fancy words and ramble on and on. His prayer was simple and to the point. I think sometimes I try to impress others while I pray, but that shouldn't be. My prayers need to be pure and simple, directed to God and God alone. Another thing that hit me was his unselfishness in his prayer. He didn't ask for money, land, or anything else selfishly. He asked that God would bless him so that he could be a blessing to others.

This prayer is now my prayer. I pray that I can be as unselfish and reliant upon God as Jabez.

- Jenn

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Comfort Zones

Every individual has their own comfort zone. For some, theirs is large. For others, theirs is small. Personally, I have a smaller comfort zone. I like talking to people I know, going places that I'm familiar with, doing things that I'm used to, etc. I don't like venturing outside of my comfortable area very often.

I've seen recently that this can be a bad thing for me. I stick with the same people and build relationships - which is a good thing. However, I don't welcome new people in very easily. I do things that I'm used to, which is also a good thing. However, I don't branch out and try new things very much.

I've decided that it's time to get out of my comfort zone a little bit. I'm going to try to talk to at least one new person every week - whether it's a neighbor, the cashier at the grocery store, someone at church, or someone I meet along the way. This is one way that I can minister to others. I'm also going to try to find "uncomfortable situations" to put myself into. That might involve something as simple as going to a store that I'm not used to or doing an activity that I normally wouldn't do.

It may seem weird, but I've decided that I want to stretch myself a little and get out of my comfortable little bubble more often. I think this will help me grow personally and it may very well open up new opportunities that I never would have known of otherwise.

- Jenn

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year, New Beginnings

We just celebrated the ending of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. With this new year comes new beginnings. For some, it may be just making a new years' resolution to change some aspect of their lives. For others it may be more serious changes - a new house, a baby on the way, a move cross country, or one of many other possibilities.

This year, as in years past, I have decided to make a new years' resolution. Of course, it's easy to make the resolution. The hard part is keeping it. I think one of the hardest parts of keeping it is the lack of accountability. It's easy to say you'll do something, but then when no one holds you accountable (including yourself), it's a lot easier to break it.

So, as one way of accountability, I decided to write down what my new years' resolutions are. I'll be writing them here and then it's viewable to the public and I have it to look back on to know how I'm doing.

First, I'm going to begin eating better and exercising more. I know that I need to get healthier - as my doctor has told me. So, I've decided to cut back on calories and fats. I'll also be focusing a lot on not eating as much red meats, white pastas,high fat dairy products, and junk foods. I'll be increasing fruits and vegetables, fibers, and drinking more water. I'll also be trying to exercise for at least 30 minutes 3-5 times a week. This may just be walking around the neighborhood or doing the Wii Fit, but it's better than what I have been doing.

Second, I'm going to make sure that I'm reading my Bible every day. I know how important this is, but often times I put it off and neglect it. I have a devotional Bible that I'll be using for this. I want to, and I need to, spend more time studying His Word.

Third, I'm going to strive to be a better wife to my husband. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I've been a horrible wife. I just know that everyone can stand to improve. I'm going to try to be more encouraging, do more around the house, be more respectful, and love him even more than I have before.

Last but not least, I'm going to try to update this blog more. I've realized how much I miss writing on it so I've decided to come back to it. Hopefully I do better this time than last. I also am working on another blog project that I'll hopefully be introducing soon.

So, those are my new years' resolutions. Did you make a resolution this year? If so, what is it?

- Jenn