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Friday, August 31, 2012

THE BIG 1,000... and Weekend Happenings

Good Friday morning!

I'm not going to waste a lot of time. I'm just going to tell you the WINNER OF THE 1,000TH POST CONTEST IS...

LEANNA BROWN

CONGRATULATIONS!

I'll be getting in touch with LeAnna today to see which Gift Certificate she will choose (Lucia's Italian, Another Broken Egg, Olexa's or Original Pancake House).

I want to thank everyone for entering. At last count (midnight last night), there were 158 entries from 26 different readers.

That's not bad at all!

Other than saying, "This is my 1,000th post," and announcing the winner of the Contest, I'm not going to make a big deal about the number 1,000. (I'm humble that way!)

I will say a heartfelt "Thank You" to anyone out there who visits A Simple Life from time to time.

And I hope you continue to visit me twice a week as A Simple Life works toward the goal of 2,000 POSTS!

That will be a good Contest, too!

REMINDER! REMINDER! REMINDER! - Okay. After four years of blogging, A Simple Life will become a twice-weekly blog which will contain a little bit of everything I love (pictures, randomness, dates, ways to embarrass your 16 year-old daughter, recipes, traditions, parties, etc.).

This new format will begin Monday, September 3, 2012!

NEW THING! NEW THING! NEW THING! - Today's the last day I'll be posting oldies for a while.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY - PASSION - Originally Posted December, 2010

Mike and I were watching Julie and Julia recently. I love that movie. The first time I saw it, I thought I loved it because it was about a blogger... who became famous... and wrote a book... which was turned into a movie... and the blogger had Amy Adams portray her in the movie.

But watching it the second time, I realized I loved the movie because of a different reason entirely.

It was about two people struggling to discover what they were passionate about, and then pursuing their dreams.

Julia Childs was passionate about food and her husband. She poured herself into both, and was a hugely successful chef, teacher, television personality and a wonderful, loving, appreciative wife. And she was not a young thing when she started pursuing her dream. She was in her 40s. (I am in my 40s. Coincidence? I wonder.)

Amy Adams' charcter, Julie, was also struggling to find her passion in life. In the movie, she is portrayed as a woman who loves her husband very, very much. She's also a good cook in her own right, but she's meant to be a writer. When she discovers something (blogging) which puts two of her passions together (cooking and writing), her passion explodes... and so does her career.

This is not a religious movie. It does not talk about God's gifts or God's perfect will for your life. But if you think about it in those terms, God has given us gift(s). We even have classes at our church which help you find your God-given gift if you are struggling.

For some, it is obvious. Some people are natural teachers. It is their passion. It is what they pour themselves, body and soul, into doing well. Roxie has a math teacher who comes to mind. (Since I haven't asked his permission to use his name in the blog, I will just call him Mr. "R.") He is amazing. He is passionate about teaching math. And because he recognizes his passion, he is soooo good at making math enjoyable... even for non-math kids. He uses games, humor, music, etc. to make the subject he loves fun for his students. (He has other gifts, too.) By using his God-given gift of teaching in such a passionate, interesting, unique way, he is also inspiring would-be teachers (who are now only 12 and 13 years-old) to go the extra mile. He is not wasting his gift.

NOTE - He is not the only teacher I know of who uses his/her gift so well. We are blessed to have many such individuals in our schools.

What is your God-given gift? What is your passion? If you know the answer to those questions, that is great. Now you just have to figure out the best way to use your gift to the glory of God. If for some reason you haven't figured out what your gift might be, praying is always a good way to start... for all of us! But you can also ask your spouse or a close friend what they think. Sometimes what is obvious to others is invisible to us.

When you give someone a gift you spent time and effort looking for, you do not want to see them nonchalantly discard the gift. You want them to be excited about receiving the gift. You want them to use the gift, and enjoy themselves while doing so. God is no different. Each gift he has given us was given for a reason. And throwing it away is more than a waste. It will keep us from finding the joy God has in store for us in our daily lives.

What is The Enchanting Belinda's gift, you may ask? What is The Enchanting Belinda's passion? In a word, I would have to say "family." And that is not to say to every mother reading A Simple Life today you are NOT passionate about your family. No, sir. I don't know mothers who are not passionate about their families. But my purpose at this time in my life is to find and share ways to pour all that passion into spending purposeful, meaningful, Christ-centered time with our families.

Am I a perfect example of how to do this? Nope. Never have been, never will be.

Do I strive to do this? Yes, but not each and every day. I stumble and fall and make mistakes galore.

Are my kids perfect and my husband always happy because this is my passion? Oh, please! Give me a break. I think most days I get on their nerves more BECAUSE of my passion.

It is what it is. I'm a very broken vessel trying very hard to use God's gift. And every day I wake up and try, try again. Will I succeed? I'll have moments. Will I ultimately fail? Not as long as I am pursuing my passion (and God's perfect plan) for my life.

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

RANDOMNESS - We played volleyball. I took pictures. We won. (It's going to be a very long season.)


Crouching Tiger!


Killer serve!

Weekend Happenings

Thank goodness! We have a long weekend. We are exhausted from two whole weeks of school. We SO desperately need this break. (I am NOT kidding!)

That being said, I have nothing planned and set in stone at this time. A lot of "this and that" is floating around our heads, but I will not put pen to paper... yet.

I made an "I HOPE" list...

I HOPE some of us get to go fishing this weekend.

I HOPE some of us get to go on a date with our husband this weekend.

I HOPE that someone is me because, as far as I know, Roxie didn't get married this past week.

I HOPE The Faulkner Five get to enjoy one or two meals together this weekend.

I HOPE The Faulkner Five get to enjoy a Game Night/Movie Night this weekend.

I HOPE The Chick and I get to shop a little this weekend.

I HOPE The Boy forgets to bring his laundry home bright and early Sunday morning. Oh, how I hope!

And I HOPE y'all have a wonderful weekend! I'll be here Monday morning with Mindless Monday, pictures and Randomness.

Remember... I'm only posting on Mondays and Fridays beginning next week!

Take care, and I'll talk to you MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3!

Sincerely,

The Enchanting and Always Hopeful Belinda

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