Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Destined for Greatness?

Don't forget, the 14 Day Love Challenge begins tomorrow and it's not too late to jump on board to be a huge blessing to your husband. Read about it here and here.


The other day Andy said to me, "Do you think every child has the potential for greatness, or do you think some kids can, at best, just be average?"

The question was coming from the fact that we pray great big God-sized prayers for our sons. Prayers like, "God, use these boys to change the world" and "God, use these boys to extend Your love to thousands of people." Almost every night as we tuck them in bed, we pray for them and tell them qualities that we see in them that we believe God is going to use for His glory someday.

The thing is, though, I know we're not the only parents in the world who are absolutely convinced that God has great things in store for their kids. In fact, I personally know of several families who pray and say the same type things for/to their kids like we do.

So the question remains, "Are all of these kids destined for greatness?" Are we, as parents, instilling false hope in our kids that God is really going to use their lives one day? Are we naive and foolish to believe that our children, through the power of the Holy Spirit, have the potential to change to the world?

What if our kids turn out quite average?

I guess the answer is found in how you define greatness. Jesus never defined greatness by the ability to draw a crowd or by being well-known or by excelling at some specific skill.

According to Jesus to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven means that you serve. He says the greatest commandments are to love God and love others. And everyone has the potential to do those things.

You may serve with a microphone in your hand in front of ten thousand people. Or you may serve with a stethoscope in your hand as you examen a child in a rural village in India. You may serve by using your creative energy and brilliance to invent some revolutionary new technology. Or you may leverage every resource God gives you to provide clothes, food, medical supplies, and education for people in bondage to poverty.

I believe with all my heart that each person God created is destined for greatness. Many never achieve it because they're pursuing greatness in all the wrong ways. But for those who will serve and those who will love, greatness is there for the taking.

Average? Not my child. And I pray not your child, either. They are destined for greatness.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Adoption...How to get started

I meet a lot of people who tell me that they have considered adopting or that they've always wanted to adopt a child. But getting started on the journey is a wee bit intimidating, so many people (who would be wonderful adoptive parents) never take the plunge. I'm no expert on adoption, but I'm pretty passionate about it and I can at least offer a few pointers based on our experience...

Road Block #1: Domestic or International?
There is a huge need for loving homes both domestically and internationally, and they both have their pros & cons. In some ways, it's a matter of what grabs your heart more and what opportunity is knocking at your door. If your church has a ministry to foster children or crisis pregnancy centers and there's already a lot of information and opportunity for you there, then maybe you should follow that route. If your family is originally from another country and you have a heart for the orphans of that country, pursue it! If you went on an international trip and you just can't shake the faces of those people from your mind, maybe that's your answer. There is no right or wrong to this question.

Road Block #2: Deciding on an adoption agency
There are a TON of options when it comes to adoption agencies and it can be really overwhelming to know which one to go with. Every once in a while you'll hear a horror story of an agency that was doing something awful like embezzling money or kidnapping children to adopt, and it freaks everyone out. (Rightly so!) But, don't lose heart because there are some awesome agencies out there as well.

I recommend requesting an info packet from about 5 agencies and narrow it down from there. If you have friends who have adopted, ask about what agency they used and whether or not they would recommend them.

Our agency was America World Adoption. They are a Christian adoption agency based out of the Washington D.C. area and I would recommend them a thousand times over. We had a wonderful experience.

Road Block #3: It's so flippin' expensive!
Adoption can be very expensive, especially international adoption. Did you know (at least in California), you can adopt a child through the "Foster-Adopt" system and not have to pay for anything but the training? There are literally THOUSANDS of children (babies-18 year olds) in the foster system right now who need homes. Some of these kids are adoptable, some are trying to be reconnected with their own families, but they all need a home. THOUSANDS of kids in Santa Clara county alone are living in Group Homes where social workers rotate working shifts and provide for their basic needs like food, shelter and clothing. But these kids don't just need social workers to feed them, they need parents to love and nurture them.

Our total adoption expenses ended up being right around $34K. That's a lot of money. We thought it was going to be more like $20K (not sure how we got that number in our head) but we were surprised by how much everything cost when it was said and done. You know what else we were surprised by? How God provided for EVERY. SINGLE. DIME.

Did we have $34K in our savings account when we began that journey? Not even close. But we had some, and we knew God had called us to adopt, so we stepped out in faith.

A few ideas:

  1. Design an adoption T-Shirt and sell it for any donation of $25 or more. If you have a blog, put a button on your sidebar to buy a t-shirt that way. Post it on Facebook. 
  2. Host a garage sale and ask all your friends to contribute stuff (and help you the day of the sale).
  3. Sell other stuff: reusable grocery bags, jewelry, magnets, art, etc...
  4. Apply for adoption grants.
  5. Write a letter to all of your friends and family asking them to help you bring your child home by making a financial contribution!
  6. If someone throws a baby shower for you, ask them to put on the invitation "In lieu of gifts, the ________ family would greatly appreciate a donation to help offset adoption expenses." 

Another HUGE benefit is the Adoption Tax Refund which allows you to receive a refund of up to about $13K from the IRS for adoption related expenses.

One of the greatest regrets of my life...
Last year Andy was on a mission trip in Ethiopia with a group of men. One of the men was in his 60s and he said to Andy, "When my wife & I were younger, we thought about adopting a child, but time passed and we just never pursued it. Then it got to the point that we kinda missed our window. Not adopting a child is one of the greatest regrets of my life."

Don't miss your window. If God is prompting your heart toward adoption, don't miss it! Trust Him and obey.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

South Carolina, Here I Come!

By the time this post goes live, I will be on my way to see this beautiful face...

And this beautiful face...

Oh yeah, and these characters too!

My brave and amazing husband is letting me go to South Carolina for a long weekend by myself while he takes care of the boys for 4 days. (Pray for him!) 
I am MORE than a little excited!!!!! WOO-HOO!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Just about the time...

...I'm ready to throw out a bunch of toys that seemingly never get played with, Caedmon will come up with something awesome like this. A mega-battle involving all of his animals, action figures, army men, and rescue vehicles. Don't miss the hospital for wounded critters located on the futon to the right and the army men who are parachuting in behind Sammy.

Caedmon was pretty impressed with himself, too, and needed to take his own 
set of pictures to document his work!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

14 Day Love Challenge

Ok, girls, I made a calendar to help organize all the ideas that I had yesterday. Feel free to use what works for you and make any modifications necessary. Have fun!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Valentine's Day Fun (for married couples)

WARNING: This blog is a little more "X-rated" than my typical family friendly post. Therefore, my parents, in-laws, and all unmarried people should stop reading right now. And, Andy, if you read this you will spoil all of your Valentine surprises, but I guess you can just look forward to them with anticipation. Your choice.

Now that we got that out of the way, I will proceed as if only married girls are reading this post...because that is who it is intended for. :-)

OK, girls! Are you ready to take a 14 Day Love Challenge and be a HUGE blessing to your husband? This is going to be a lot of fun!

February is just around the corner, and instead of celebrating our love just on one day, let's get creative and spread it out a little. Starting on February 1st, let's begin doing things (small or big) to express to our husbands how much we love, respect, and appreciate them!

Here is a list of ideas to get you started:

  1. Get 14 index cards and write one thing you respect about your husband on each card. "Hide" one per day in a place that he is sure to find it. I promise you, by day 3 or 4 he will be hunting for them!
  2. One night after the kids are in bed, prepare a candlelight picnic in your living room. A blanket on the floor, strawberries, cheese & crackers, something chocolate, and a bottle of wine/champaign/sparkling grape juice. Bonus points if you're naked!
  3. Do something to bless him at work. Something slightly public so those he works with notice, but nothing too embarrassing. One idea I had is getting him several small gifts and having various co-workers give them to him on your behalf at appointed times throughout the day. 
  4. Choose one day to send him love texts all day long. Think of things to say that you know would encourage him or put a smile on his face. (Sexting is not recommended, but I guess that's up to you!)
  5. Make his favorite dessert for him.
  6. Spend 5 minutes per day in focused prayer just for your husband. Thank God for all of his wonderful qualities. Pray for areas in your marriage that need growth. Pray that God would help you to be the spouse that your husband needs. 
  7. Initiate intimacy every other night for two weeks...or if you're really a Superwoman, go for once (or twice!) a day. Try some new things to break up "business-as-usual". A new lotion, new lingerie, new location...
  8. Think of a little project that is on his "to-do" list that he just hasn't been able to get around to. Do it for him and leave him a little note that says, "Because I love you. From, a helper suitable for you!"
  9. Plan your Valentine's date. Arrange childcare, get reservations, plan something romantic. Don't leave all the planning up to your man and then act disappointed when the date didn't meet your expectations.
  10. Kidnap him from work for a lunch date.
  11. Download the song that you danced to at your wedding. Dance together in your living room and think of how far you've come since that day!
  12. Find a good time to ask him, "What is one thing that I could do differently to be a better helper to you?" No matter what he says, don't defend yourself or make excuses. Thank him for his honesty and tell him that you will work hard to be more attentive to that. (If he says, "Nothing", it's probably either that he can't think of something off the top of his head or he's nervous to tell you because he doesn't want to hurt your feelings or get in a fight. Give him the freedom to tell you his idea whenever it comes to him, and promise him that you will respond graciously. You want to know!)
  13. Watch a movie (one of his favorites, a "guy" movie, or something really romantic) wearing either sexy lingerie OR nothing at all! If you have kids, just keep a blanket nearby incase they wander out. :-)
  14. Make him his favorite breakfast one morning. Andy's is French Toast Casserole...pure goodness! Decorate the table (or tray if you do breakfast in bed) with candy conversation hearts.

I would LOVE to know if you're in and hear any more ideas that you have, so leave me a comment. This is going to be a lot of fun!

And if your marriage is struggling and all of this seems like way more work than fun, I challenge you to "fake it till you feel it". When you do what you CAN do, God will step in and do the IMPOSSIBLE. He can restore the love and intimacy that seems dead right now. So go ahead and take the 14 Day Love Challenge...you may be 14 days away from a miracle!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Caedmon, the Rock Star

Here's a good reason why we're glad that the command was to: 
"Make a joyful NOISE unto the Lord." 

Hope you didn't miss the applause by a doting little brother at the end!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mom Tip: A Gentle Answer

Do you ever find yourself barking at your kids? Groaning? Sighing? Growling, even? (I never do, of course. I was just wondering if you do. Ahem...)

If you ever do find yourself getting more and more short, more and more angry, and more and more frustrated with your kids, then you know that it is a downward spiral. Your harshness stirs up their anger which results in more bad behavior which leads to intensified "Mom-Wrath". It is a bad cycle and you've got to do something drastic and intentional to break it.

Recently, God has been using a Bible verse to challenge me to think about how I communicate with my kids.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  Psalm 15:1

Whenever something makes me want to snap at one of my kids, I have a split-second decision to make: what tone will I use? Will I say it louder? Will annoyance be in my voice? Will I switch over to my authoritative "Mom-voice"? Will I nag, "How many times do I have to tell you..."?


Will I quiet my voice? Will I say it so softly it catches them off guard? Will I physically move toward them to get eye contact and then say it just loud enough for them to hear?

You may think, "Oh, that would never work with my kids." And maybe it wouldn't at first. Maybe they're so used to waiting to obey until they can see the blood vessels bulging out of your neck that the gentle approach will take some time. But if you are consistent, they will get it.

Michelle Duggar says that the quieter she gets, the more serious her kids know she is.

I can assure you of one thing, your gentle answer has the potential to rip the stronghold of anger right out of your family! You don't get to pick what type of mood your child will be in today, but you can make a choice to respond with self control. You can make a choice not to respond at all until you've mustered up some self-control. You can diffuse your child's anger by speaking gently instead of with harshness.

It makes me laugh out loud when Andy suddenly starts talking to one of our kids in hushed tones because I know he's super-annoyed but this verse just popped in his mind. I tell you what, we are a work-in-progress over here at the Wood household!

A gentle answer...picture your words being a soft caress of the forehead instead of backhand to the cheek bone. Your children will thank you! (but probably not for a long time...)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gonna find out who's NAUGHTY or NICE...

Were there any other parents that found themselves using Santa as a bargaining chip for good behavior in December? I don't know how many times I sang, "You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I'm telling you why..." I was ringing that bell for all it was worth!

So I had a really good laugh on Christmas morning at one of the (many) gifts my in-laws gave Caedmon & Sammy. These are my two favorite pics from Christmas morning...

Disclaimer: That is not an actual tear of sadness coming from Sammy's eye. Just drippy eyes as hopefully you can tell from the silly "sad" face he was trying to make! And, yes, I realize Caedmon's eyes are swollen. We don't know why but they do that often. Allergies, perhaps?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Will You Pray for Me?

I frequently get the question, "So what's your role around here [at South Bay Church]?" As the pastor's wife, I used to squirm a lot when trying to come up with an answer. I felt like I needed to present some defined role complete with a job description. But as time has passed, I've gotten more okay with having a fluid, as opposed to defined, role.

I used to run the kids' ministry.
Sometimes I'm an "official" greeter.
Occasionally I'll be on stage to do the welcome or even a bit of teaching.
Normally you'll just find me wherever Andy is...encouraging him, giving him feedback on his sermon, or grabbing him a bottle of water.

Perhaps my new favorite part of my role is praying with people.

Most Sundays Andy & I stand near the Hospitality table in between services. It gives us a great chance to meet new people and talk to anyone who wants to stop by. I'll be honest, this is not really my cup of tea. As South Bay grows, I often have no idea if the person I'm talking to is a first time guest or has been coming for 9 months. It's possible that they're already connected into serving and Life Groups and I just don't know them. It's even possible that I've met them several times and just don't remember. That is a bad feeling.

But you know what I love about standing over there and talking with people? I get to pray with a lot of them. Over the course of a conversation, people will share what is going on their lives, a need that they have, a decision they're trying to make, a struggle they're going through. Sometimes they will come right out and ask for prayer. Other times I'll ask them if I can pray for them.

On the way to church on Sundays, I ask God to guide me to the people He wants me to connect with that day. That way, I see every conversation as an opportunity to minister to or bless someone. When someone starts talking to me the thought often runs through my head, "You may be the reason that I'm at church today."

Yesterday I had conversations with 6 different people. After each conversation, I wrote their names in my journal and this week I will spend time in prayer for them. And next Sunday, I'll try to track them down to hear an update.

Six people out of 750 isn't very much. It's a very small touch. But if each of us go to church with the desire to touch just a few, our church will be full of life and warmth.

So next Sunday as you head to church, ask God who He wants YOU to love on that day. And if it's a Sunday that you feel like you're the one who's in need of a little love, stop by the Hospitality table and get a hug from me!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mom Tip: Blame it on Wednesday

Breakfast used to be a mine field in our family. If I made one wrong move, Caedmon would absolutely blow up on me and then we'd begin a downward spiral of bad behavior & discipline. Not a fun way to start the day.

I'd hand him milk and he'd yell, "I wanted juice!"

I'd hand him orange juice and suddenly he wanted apple juice.

It was brutal. I'm not the type of mom that says, "Oh, okay. No problem. I'll get you some apple juice instead." No. I'm more the "Let me hear you say 'Thank you for providing something healthy and sanitary for me to drink'" kind of mom.

Not only was food selection a source of strife, but I found that the kids were eating the same thing most days. So, I came up with a little system because we all know a SYSTEM can:

Energy &

I made a notecard with our breakfast meal plan (which stays the same every week) and stuck it on the fridge. Now, each morning I just consult the handy-dandy notecard to figure out what the Littles are having for breakfast. No thought. No pressure. No walking on egg shells in fear of a land mine.

Sunday: eggs
Monday: yogurt (with or without granola)
Tuesday: cereal
Wednesday: oatmeal
Thursday: eggs
Friday: free choice
Saturday: cereal

That way if Caedmon says, "Why are we having oatmeal today?" I can respond, "Because it's Wednesday." Blame it on Wednesday. And for whatever reason, in his little mind, it takes all the responsibility off of me and puts it on Wednesday.

I love our little system and think I'll keep using it until the Littles are big enough to make their own breakfasts. If breakfasts are a mine field in your family, give it a shot. Once the kids adjust to the idea of the new system, you will find a lot less strife surrounding the breakfast nook!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Blurry Line

After a good conversation I had with a friend recently, I was left thinking about the difference between living a disciplined life and being legalistic. At first glance, they can look the same. At times all that separates them is a gray fuzzy line.

One quality is a Biblical virtue. The other infuriated Jesus. That sounds a little dangerous. Like there should be more distinction.

Speaking of things that deserve a little more distinction...especially first thing in the morning!


Last week I mentioned a few adjustments I'm making for 2012. One was my commitment during the month of January to give up desserts and to only drink water. The other commitment was finding one 15 minute time block per day to focus on prayer. Those can be good, healthy commitments which provide the right structure to help me accomplish the goals I'm trying to reach, or they can turn into legalism.

So how do you know which side of the fence you're on? How can I make sure that my heart is really seeking to honor God instead of just living according to all these man-made rules...crossing all my "t's" and dotting all my "i's" just to impress myself or some random people who probably don't actually care that much?

Here's a few thoughts. Ask yourself:

  1. "What specific goal am I trying to accomplish?" (i.e. losing the 5 pounds I gained over the Christmas holidays or having a more intimate relationship with the Lord)
  2. "Is this structure that I've put in place really going to help me accomplish that goal?"(When it stops helping you accomplish the goal and you're just doing it because you're "suppose to", you need to drop it and find a new way to accomplish your goal.)
  3. "How will I measure my progress?" (Weight loss is easy to measure, intimacy with the Lord is a little more tricky.)
  4. "Should this be an on-going discipline or a short-term commitment?" (I'm not giving up desserts indefinitely. But a more intimate prayer life is something I'm hoping will become apart of who I am long-term.)
  5. "How will I handle failure?" (I've already realized that the weekends are going to be really difficult for me to find that 15 minute time block. But instead of throwing in the towel, I've just adjusted my structure to say that I will find one 15 minute time block five days a week to focus on prayer.)
I think most of us are finally motivated to change something in our lives when the pain of NOT changing is greater than the pain of changing. And, according to Dr. Henry Cloud, when you realize your maturity is not strong enough to make that change, you should add a little external structure. The external structure (or discipline) is simply a tool to get us from point A to point B. 

For me, these added disciplines are a stake in the ground, a line in the sand acknowledging that I believe God wants to move me from here to there, and this is my simple, tangible starting point. You've gotta draw a line somewhere!

Monday, January 9, 2012

HELP! My child won't sleep!

I'd like to introduce you to my new best friend...

Anyone who has followed this blog for very long knows that we have some "sleep issues" around the Wood household. We have had Sammy home now for nearly one year five months, and I could count the number of times he has slept through the night on two hands.

When Sammy first got home, he would have night terrors and be very scared throughout the night. That took about 3 months to get through, but he never caught on to sleeping all the way through the night. Once we moved him out of his pack-n-play in our room into sharing a room with his brother (at about 6 months home), the trend continued. Every night he would wander into our room and simply want one of us to walk him back to his room. This could happen anywhere from once to 4 times a night.

More recently, he's become quite the party animal in the middle of the night. No longer feeling the need to check in with mom & dad if he wakes up, he finds all kinds of things to do to keep himself entertained.

  • We've found him sitting on the couch watching TV at least half a dozen times. We keep one of our remotes up high on a shelf so the kids don't touch/lose it. But Sammy would push a little table across our living room, climb up, step over to the entertainment center, and get the remote down! I came out recently (at 3 AM) and he had turned on our Apple TV, found Netflix, and found a VeggieTales to watch.  That's better than the time I found him watching a trailer for Good Will Hunting! We now take the remotes in our bedroom at night. 
  • On another occasion, he destroyed one of our bathrooms. When we discovered the mess the next morning, there was a half inch of standing water on the floor, all of the beach towels had been pulled out and were sopping wet, 2 tubes of toothpaste had been eaten, and mouthwash was all over the place. 
  • 3 times we've found him sleeping on the couch the next morning (once with Andy's laptop as his pillow)
  • And let's just say that there has been more than one time that we have found him butt-naked 
We tried putting up a gate, but he learned how to knock it over. We've tried leaving a special stuffed animal and mini flashlight in the hallway for him to get in the middle of the night. Not interested. 

17 months, People! Do you realize how long that is? 

At some point you start to lose your mind and begin thinking of crazy ideas like just leaving and checking into a hotel or putting a small mattress inside of a dog kennel. Don't judge me... :-)

Last week, my dear friend (who also happens to be an incredible mom) introduced me to Melatonin. It is a chemical that your body naturally produces and can help with sleep issues. She had given it to her kiddos to help them adjust from jet lag and then gave me the rest of the bottle. 

I'm not a doctor or pharmacist, so don't hold me liable, but I could not keep this new found friend a secret!

I've given it to Sammy for 4 nights now: 
  • 1st night: he didn't wake up until 6 AM
  • 2nd night: made it to 6:15 AM
  • 3rd night: 6:40 AM
  • 4th night: 7:15 AM!!!!
Now, I don't plan on keeping Sammy on this indefinitely. But his little body is not accustomed to getting the good night sleep that he needs. So I am using this as a "system reboot" to help him form a habit of sleeping through the night, and then we'll wean him off. 

So, I am not trying to prescribe (or even recommend) this to anyone. I just realize that there may be some other sleep deprived parents out there who are about to lose their minds and they need another option. If that's you, talk to your doctor/pharmacist, do a little research, and maybe, just maybe, it will change your life! It is working gloriously over at the Wood household!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

$2 Fun


  1. Buy 2 cans of silly string from the dollar store.
  2. Take your crazy kids and husband outside.
  3. Let them go at it!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Must See Movies

What is it about the Holidays that makes us all want to watch way too many movies?

Andy & I don't make it to the theatre very often (mainly because it's so freakin' expensive), but we watch many-a-movie in the comforts of our own living room. It's nicer that way because you can snuggle on the couch and make out afterwards without being interrupted by the high school theatre employees. Just sayin...

We watched 4 movies (all out on DVD) over the holidays that were really awesome. If you've not yet seen these, you will not be disappointed.

Let me know what movies you saw that are worth seeing...I'm always on the lookout for a good movie!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bye, Bye Holiday Foods

Is anyone else glad that holiday eating is over at last?

I love, love, love all the holiday foods. And I don't do a lot to limit my intake of them during the holidays. But by the time the holidays are over, I always feel like a big peanut-butter ball myself!

That's why I equally look forward to getting rid of all the rich foods and bringing out the healthy ones. The last several years I have used the month of January to detox my body and focus myself spiritually. There is nothing at all wrong with feasting. It's Biblical, actually. But there needs to be a bookend. Feasting that lingers is gluttony (which translates into jeans that don't fit).

This year I am not doing an official "fast", but I am making two small (or HUGE) changes during the month of January that help me put a bookend on the holidays.

  1. No desserts during the month of January (including but not limited to muffins, dessert breads, and the obvious...cookies, cakes, etc...)
  2. I'm allowing myself one cup of tea each morning, and then only water to drink the rest of the day.
It's nothing too drastic or huge. But it's a small death to self as I am overly zealous about good dessert and I so enjoy a cold Diet Coke every day around lunch. Every time I deny myself these "goodies" I am reminded that, oh yeah, I can have self-control and food will not be my master.

Feasting and fasting...both can teach us so much about God and ourselves!

Monday, January 2, 2012

The One Thing

Happy New Year! It's good to be back.

Yesterday at South Bay, we showed a message by Pastor Craig Groeschel entitled "The One Thing". Click here to listen to it. He challenged us to try to focus in on ONE thing that we feel God prompting us to do differently this year. 
  • ONE thing to strengthen our relationship with Him...
  •  ONE thing we need to let go of in order to move forward... 
  • ONE of God's promises we need to cling to. 

Changing just one thing seems like it won't make that much of a difference. It's tempting to want to work on this, and that, and, oh yeah, that thing too. But if we really commit to spending a whole year focused on the ONE thing that God lays on our hearts, it will change who we are. And if we do that every year for an entire decade, we're likely to look like a completely different person.

As I spent some time reflecting on the ONE thing that I felt like God would want me to focus on, I felt led to focus more on prayer. You see, I really enjoy reading my Bible. It's tangible. There's a starting and stopping point. I can "check it off" my reading plan as I read each chapter.

But prayer... prayer just feels so open-ended. It can leave me feeling overwhelmed and guilty, like I could never pray enough.

I enjoy praying with other people. I enjoy writing prayers in my prayer journal. I'm even doing much better at remembering to pray small prayers throughout the day. But I don't really enjoy [just begin honest here] sitting down by myself to pray for an extended period of time.

I want to want to pray. You know what I mean? I think I'll pray for that.

So, here is my ONE THING that I'm committing to focus on in 2012:
I will pray find one 15 minute time block per day to focus on nothing but prayer.

It's not a huge commitment, but it's a good starting point. I think most days I'll do it right after I put Sammy down for his nap. We'll see.

But here's what I know...I am in desperate need of God's hand on my life, on our family, and on this church. When God's Spirit is poured out, it is an unstoppable force. But when it's not, everything we do is just man-made efforts. And I don't want to live my whole life duct taping toothpicks together and calling it a work of God. I want more of HIM in 2012.

So I'm going to get over my "I get bored when I pray" and "My mind wanders" excuses. I'm going to get desperate for God to move in and through my life this year.

I would love for you to leave a comment to let me know what your ONE THING is for 2012.