Friday, November 07, 2008

Me, Myself, and I AM

I have ventured into new territory. I've read the Bible cover to cover 3-1/2 times, and I've done a few Bible studies out of books that focus on specific subjects. I just finished reading The Deuteronomy Project which does an amazing study of the book of Deuteronomy making relevant to today. I've never tried doing a study of a specific book of the Bible on my own before, although I've read several different books about how to do so. (I think that's a major failing on my part: I tend to read books about how to do things as opposed to doing them) So last night, I started my own Bible study of the book of Philippians. I'm going to read it for the next month, focusing on different things and trying to put it firmly in my heart. The book is a book of joy. Paul wrote it while imprisoned in Rome, and even though he was going through some major stuff, he used it as an opportunity to praise God and encourage the church members at Philippi. I've been down lately and knew that I need to find joy in my life, so I actively sought it out last night and prayed about what I'd read. When I woke up this morning, it was as if a light that had been extinguished in my heart had been reignited. I've had a smile on my face all day, and I'm finding joy in being able to do even the smallest errands. It feels good, and I've been spreading it to those around me. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings, but for today, here's a list of the things I've found joy in.

1. Going back to sleep after Mia's on the bus and snuggling in the warm blankets
2. Having the strength to throw in a load of laundry before work
3. Volunteering at Mia's school and getting to know her friends
4. Parent/teacher conference with Mia's teacher and learning that she's doing well socially and academically and is at the top of her class
5. A librarian who immediately orders a book on my recommendation
6. The new Publisher's Weekly magazine
7. Steve Miller's Keep on Rockin' Me
8. Selling stuff on eBay and helping to provide for my family
9. Doogie and Molly coming home for the weekend
10. Clean, sweet-smelling sheets on the bed

Me, Myself, and I AM by Matthew Peters and Elisa Stanford is an absolutely amazing book to encourage and inspire your faith. The true author of the book is you. Starting with questions about where you are currently in life, then going back through your childhood and and youth, up to intriguing questions about your beliefs, this book covers a lot of territory. It was so much fun to fill out, but at the same time, some of the questions were remarkably deep and required a lot of thought. It helped me clarify my beliefs by forcing me to put them into words. Reading what I believe and what matters most to me was eye-opening. I've enjoyed every moment of working through this book, and I hope that it will be a good tool for me in the future, as well as something that my children may enjoy reading when I'm gone. Whether you are just starting your faith journey, or far down the trail, this book is a wonderful tool.

The two winners of this book were Tina Heinke and Colleen Kesler. Congratulations you two! I'll be starting another book contest on November 17th. In the mean time, I hope you'll come back for Mia & Mommy's Blog Tour tomorrow! Have a great weekend!