Category Archives: radical living

Resolution Letters

Happy New Year!

I can still say that right? It’s not too late into the New Year that we’re already looking forward to the next holiday, letting the freshness of the new year wear off as we browse through the Valentine’s Day themed chocolates in the seasonal aisle at the grocery…

Well, I hope not.

Because THIS YEAR is going to be great!

THIS YEAR we have the chance to try again!

THIS YEAR we can have accountability to make all those resolutions easier to achieve.

THIS YEAR we’re going to write ourselves a letter.

My friend and neighbor, Jane, gave me this idea while we were having lunch to celebrate her turning 30 (Happy Birthday, Jane!).   This year, I’m going to write down my resolutions.  And my thoughts on what went right and what went wrong with that CRAZY Christmas and holiday season we just survived.  And I’m also going to write down what God is teaching me right now and how He’s working on my heart.

For me, my letter is going to remind me all the ways I want to be accountable.  Having a mentor regularly speaking truth into my life.  Meeting with a friend to pray over our marriages.  Meeting with some ladies to pray over our precious children.  Exercising side-by-side and challenging our diets with another friend and neighbor.  And ALL of these ladies and I will be memorizing God’s word to strengthen these areas and make us more disciplined.  I want to decide on my word/theme for the year.  Should it be Humility? Honesty? or Self-Control?  I want to write in the letter all the reasons why I am needing these themes in my life and in my heart.

I am going to write this all down, in greater detail than the blog world needs, and I’m going to give it to Jane.  And she’s going to give me hers.  And at Thanksgiving, we’ll give them back to each other to read and remember.  And to be encouraged by.  And to be sobered by.  And to use as we prepare for 2016.

What will be in your letter?  Who are you going to choose to exchange it with?

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Family Mission Statement, Rules, Values, Vows, and Verse

We did it.  Finally put this all together (by God’s grace and my husband’s intentionality).

The Draper Family Mission Statement: Every day we will joyfully choose to love and serve God and our neighbors.

The Draper Family Verse:  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with the gratitude in your hearts.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

– Colossians 3:12-17

The Draper Family House Rules: 

1. Love God
2. Obey Right Away
3. Have a Happy Heart
4. Be Kind
5. Work Hard
 

The Draper Family Values: To intentionally practice humility, forgiveness, self-control, joy, patience, grace, service, love, and prayer with our family, friends, and the world.

The Draper Parent’s Vows: To treat our children gently, provide consistency, and be trustworthy

The Draper Kids Expectations: To honor and obey daddy and mommy, always being honest

How You Can Give a Home to Abandoned Babies (a repost from The Better Mom blog)

Us mom’s can tend to have bleeding hearts for children – any kind of child.  We want to help, fix, heal, hold, kiss, hug, and love them.  What can we do with this abundance of God-given-mothering that spills over and overflows from our own families?!  Head over to The Better Mom blog today and read about a recent journey to Africa and how we can help provide a home for abandoned babies.

May your weekend be blessed – not just with comfort and peace and that which we determine as ‘good,’ but with God’s presence, communion with Him, and an attitude of joy

Only the beginning

God is wrecking my life with exposing my pride.  And wow, it is embarrassing to realize and admit that!  While this is only the beginning of this journey, I am already understanding the blessings of working through this deep rooted issue.

Last week God began showing me that many of my responses, conversations, and contributions are rooted out of pride…especially when I feel like I should tell someone what I think they should be doing…

And what does Lilli (my mentor in Mom Life) say about that?! “Pride defends itself”

Then I’m watching the sermon series FREE by Andy Stanley and realizing that I AM but DO NOT HAVE TO BE a slave to sin

Then The Better Mom blog has this post this week………and I see how pride effects every part of me and every relationship around me – and I have SO MUCH CONTROL over that! (By God’s grace!)

And my Beth Moore devotional….which read “We have little defense against the destructive nature of the enemy without the power of God working in our favor.”  And going on to quote from Psalm 4:2: “‘How long will I turn Your glory into shame, O Lord?  How long will I love delusions and seek false gods?’ Expose the delusions and false gods in my life, O Lord, and set me free!”

Which coincides exactly with the prayer Sarah challenged me to pray: “God, please change my mindset and my thinking patterns to reflect YOU and not satan or myself.”

And on Sunday God spoke through sweet Lydia in our small group to challenge us about where our treasure is and where God wants it to be…which spoke to me in that I need to expose my excuses for why it’s ok to have wealth (in many forms) for what it is: an excuse!  God is not silent and His commands are not elusive – they are straight-forward.  It is me, the sinful human that twists and adds to and takes away from them to make it align with my lifestyle (that I struggle to let go of – irony – it’s not really mine in the first place!)

What do you think – is God confirming in my life that I am a slave to pride and need to be a slave to Him and rid myself of this junk in my heart?!

Lastly, God called me to memorize this verse this week: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves”  -Phillipians 2:3

I don’t know about the rest of you – but I know this is really tough for me.  To stay at home and have 12-14 hours of working (parenting) a day and continue to show grace, mercy, love, patience, kindness, humility, etc to my precious children and my servant husband.  But all to the glory of God!  And if He wills, I’ll get to work on all this again tomorrow 🙂

What’s God been doing in your heart lately?!

 

Waste Management

Stemming from 7 by Jen Hatmaker (and ALL the posts I’ve done about that and simplification), I have been in a (somewhat) constant state of refocusing, reorganizing, goal-setting, minimizing and heart-checking

What are God’s commands to me as His daughter, a wife, a mother, and a friend?

What are my priorities and what should they be?

Why do I do the things I do?  Out of convenience?  Because of laziness?  Out of ignorance?  Out of necessity?

These are obviously huge questions and to some degree they vary for each person, (though for the first one, God is pretty clear on the basics of those areas and how we are to be obedient in general – and for each of us, He has developed unique bents that we further must submit to Him in obedience), however, I want to deal with one small (or enormous) part of these questions (and coincidently, a chapter in 7).

Waste Management

I am increasingly aware of how much waste I create. (are you?!)

From throwing my grocery list in the trash bag in my car instead of throwing it in the recycling, to switching to cloth diapers 9 months ago – there is SO much we can each do to eliminate waste in our lives, homes, and habits

Switching to cloth diapers was for many, probably common, reasons.  We desire to spend our money well and wisely, our kids have CRAZY sensitive skin and are prone to rashes and eczema, and it is better for our environment.  What surprised me the most was the AMOUNT OF TRASH we no longer had!  Now, our kids both wear diapers for afternoon naps and bed, but a couple of diapers per day vs a couple of dozen makes quite a difference.  And even though it took me a couple years to figure it out (thank you for your patience, Brittany and Kim), it really was not that big of deal to switch! (Curious about trying this?! Ask me about it!)

The grocery list recycling bit – that can seem tedious and inconsequential, right?!  I thought so too.  Until I realize how many receipts, lists, junk mail, old colored pages/cards/torn up construction paper, etc. our house generates each week and I see that I can contribute to the reduction of trash and reuse of products through recycling!

Another kind of ‘waste’ reduction I’ve been paying attention to is JUNK MAIL AND EMAIL.  Did you know you can sign up online to get rid of junk mail being sent to your house?!  Unfortunately, I do not remember the exact website we used (but just google something and you’ll find one!), but about 2 years ago I signed up online to get rid of junk mail and within a few weeks our mail was decreased by over half!  I will also open particular junk mail, find the contact info and call to be removed from their list.  This saves a time waster for the Post Office and a tree-saver technique to help the environment overall (the time used to stop this junk mail will quickly be made up!).  You can do the same thing with ALL THOSE MARKETING EMAILS that we’ve accidentely signed up for.  At the bottom of each email will be an ‘unsubscribe’ option.  Follow it and be amazed that your inbox will only be full of the meaningful messages you WANT to spend time reading 🙂

Now, the latest issue that has been plaguing me is public restroom paper towel waste.  How many times do you see the trash can FULL of half or UNUSED paper towel in a public restroom?  And how many of those restrooms have the air hand dryers, anyways?!  Yes, it will double your time in drying your hands and returning to your loved one(s) waiting for you on the other side of the door.  But how much time is that, really? Like an entire 60 more seconds?  I think we can handle that!

So while this post seems like it’s my soapbox (and maybe it is – where’d that saying come from anyways?!), I really just want to get on with a good old fashioned CHALLENGE to use less paper towel in public restrooms and always choose the hand dryers if they’re available!  Who’s with me?! (Late Night Bible Study Girls: here’s your shout-out to shake your hands 12 times before using the single paper towel that will then be needed to finish drying!!!!)

And what other simple ways have you learned to eliminate waste that you can share with us?!?!

A week’s worth of groceries

My friend, Rachel, sent me this link the other day to show what a week’s worth of groceries looked like around the world

(Check out that link before reading the following post!)

This has given me such perspective on how we spend our money; how easily it is to be wrapped up in the consumer culture and just drive into town to pick up drive-thru instead of making a nutritous meal for my family; and how much we waste when so much of the world is in want.

Not to mention it leads me onto a wild thought-pathway of not being content with what I have (i.e. bored with the food in my pantry or eating the same thing too many times), yet so many eat the same meals every day…or every meal!

Reading 7 by Jen Hatmaker helped introduce me to self-denial, perspective, and simplification in this area.

But after my food fast month that went bust…I have slowly adopted back some of our poor habits

How do I make lasting changes?

For us it has really helped to look back at our eating habits last month, last year, or when we first got married and to see the small, slow changes we’ve made really has made a drastic difference in what our diet is over time.

So I keep pressing onward, making one more change at a time, trying to treat my body as God’s temple, and respect the money and abundance of food that he has given us the responsibility to have.

Giving

I’m reading Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working by Craig Groeschel

It’s all about taking the narrow road

Look around…does your life look like your neighbor’s? Your family’s? Your friend’s?

If it does – chances are you are not on the narrow road that Jesus calls us too…

This is a huge wake-up call to us.

For the month of May, Joel and I are going to spend much time in specific prayer over how to pursue the narrow road and surrender our home, family, and life to bringing God glory by loving our neighbors

Anyways – the goal of this post was to write out some excerpts from this book’s section on ‘Giving’

In the chaper labeled ‘A generous eye’ Craig talks about 3 ways of giving:

1. Spontaneous giving – when you see a need, you fill it. It’s ‘not a deliberate lifestyle commitment, only a reaction, and often an emotional one at that – compassion for the homeless person, guilt over the unused car in your garage.  Again not a bad thing – but simply not enough to cultivate a consistent generous vision.’

2. Strategic giving – They’re intention.  They think it through.’ They’re tithers.  They realize: ‘Giving is not something we do; generous is who we are.  True to God’s promise, when we commit to giving consistently, we grow closer to him and see his purposes with new eyes.’

3. Sacrificial giving – ‘They don’t just believe that the things of this world don’t matter; they completely live that way.;;  The more we have, the greater the responsibility and opportunity – to be a blessing.’

What do you think?

What is God stirring in your heart in the way of giving and generosity?!