Wow, what a weekend.  Raleigh and I have been up to our ears getting ready for our twins to arrive!  My mom came into town last week and started to help us re-organize our upstairs.  Before, we had two guest bedrooms and an "art room" but now we are going to make the art room the nursery and one of the guest bedrooms an office/craft space.  As you can see from the pictures below, we had a lot of stuff in our closets to move!!!!

The new office/art room (work in progress!)
Cleaning out clothes to make more closet space
My brother was a HUGE help!!!
The nursery to-be

On Saturday, we headed to Dothan to look at cribs/furniture for the nursery with our parents.  Raleigh is the ultimate researcher in our house and he has been on the computer for hours upon hours trying to find the best deal in the crib that we liked.  Of course, I found my dream crib at a really great store but the fact that we were needing two cribs, along with all the other furniture made these cribs out of our price range.  We also have had our minds set on white cribs.  I love all the cribs, but white just reminds me of babies and I really want everything to be soft and airy in the nursery.  Well, for those of you that haven't started this phase of your life, white cribs are harder to come by than you think!  Raleigh and I are both planners and he was very ready for us to make a decision on the cribs so we could move on to the next portion of the nursery.  So, Saturday we took the pups to D-town for a day trip and ended up with a successful purchase when everything was said and done.  It really was a relief to have that portion checked off the to-do list.

Saturday night rolled around and it dawned on Raleigh and I that we needed to plan our lesson for Sunday morning with the youth.  We just started teaching on Sunday mornings and are honestly still getting used to how it works.  At our church, small groups are a big deal so a lot of group time is very conversation-based with lots of discussion.  Well, turns out Sunday mornings are a little more on the "classroom teaching" side than discussion-based. We decided to use some notes that I had from a previous study about "God's Good Plan For Your Life."  It was very scripture-based and an awesome topic, but to be perfectly honest we didn't really prepare for it.  On Sunday morning, as we sat in front of thirty sets of eyes, we both froze.  Neither one of us could really "teach" the lesson, we just kept re-iterating what the scripture was saying.  About halfway through we could tell that we were losing them but we just kept pushing through the topic.  Finally, the hour passed and it was time for them to head to big church. 

Yesterday was a huge awakening to me.  Here I am, trying to be a disciple of Christ, and I completely bomb when given a chance to teach the Good News.  I was so embarrassed and ashamed of myself for the lack of effort I put into preparation for that topic.  The hardest part of it all was that we knew we were better than how we preformed.  It was like back in high school when our team would lose a soccer game because we hadn't given our all in practice.  We didn't give ourselves time to practice for Sunday morning and we played a poor game in return.  Have you ever been in that kind of situation before?

It might seem like I am being a little hard on myself, but if you could have only been there to hear the crickets!  Today, I am thankful that it happened because I definetely learned my lesson.  Pride, laziness and self-confidence got the best of me and I just thought we could wing-it and be perfectly fine.  WRONG.  And besides, is that how I want to start doing things? A half-way version of my true self?  NO. 

The whole ironic part of it was that we were doing a lesson on God's plan for our lives.  Right now, I am laughing at myself for being so boastful in thinking I had this figured out and had no need to prepare notes.  I have recently been through some life-changing experience following God's plan for my life and not once did I even bring that up yesterday.  How much better the lesson could have been if only I had tried a little harder!

Friends, please know that I am speaking as much to myself as to you when saying this but we have got to start living out our full potential.  We have to give our work everything we have to be successful.  Doing things half-way will only give us half of the results.  God does have such a good plan for our lives but we have to do our part in fulfilling it.  Using this situation, I have to start preparing more in order to be a better teacher.  Do you find yourself ever just going through the motions?  Take it from me, start getting yourself into high gear so you don't find yourself flat on your face!

I want to leave you all with some of the lesson we spoke from yesterday.  Let's all start to live out God's good plan for our lives!

"God is good.  He wills only the best for us.  He has created us with rich capacities to enjoy - physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually - and He "giveth us richly all things to enjoy" (1 Timothy 6:17).  He has also formed each of us with unique potential to make a contribution to life.

Often we feel we know better than God does what is good for us.  Our definition of "good" is getting what we think we want when we want it.  We want what is easy and what will bring immediate relief, pleasure or sense of achievement.  God cares about our present joy, but He is also concerned about maturing our capacity to enjoy in all aspects of our person.  He wants us to learn a happiness that is not governed by what happens in our lives, a happiness that is stable, not always threatened.  He wants us to go beyond the dribbles of happiness that we can force life to give us.

True happiness must be based on a yielding, believing relationship to God.  It must include the ability to love God and others plus the feeling of fulfillment that comes from giving to life what we were uniquely designed to contribute."

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen