Thursday, January 28, 2010

Recent Readings

I've really been enjoying going to the library to check out different books for children. I solicited the help of Ingrid, one of the friendly and ever-so-knowledgeable librarians who had me laden down with 20+ books in 5 minutes flat! Ella loves the reading time, but Allie is much more engrossed in turning the light on and off than the story or the pictures. I know the time and experience is getting into her little heart, mind, and soul, though!

Knuffle Bunny & Knuffle Bunny Too Mo Willems

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake & If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
by Laura Joffe Numeroff

Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor

I Love My New Toy also by Mo Willems

I haven't even been through all of them, but what are some of your favorites?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I have to admit that as a stay at home Mom, I have come to love the connection that I have with others through blogging, Facebook, and Twitter. Sometimes it's my ONLY connection to the outside world, the adult world, or the "real" world. I love the fact that I can keep up with long lost friends, faraway family, and people I do life with daily at the click of a mouse. I can enjoy watching my friends' kids grow up on uploaded videos and pics. I can show off my own kids with others, too.

But there are some things that I'm not a big fan of when it comes to Facebook. Here's a video that captures my sentiments. (Except the old people one...my kids' grandparents are on FB, and I'm glad it gives them a little fix in between visits.)

Enjoy and let me know what you love/hate about Facebook!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Daniel Fast Day 21

Well, it's the last day. At sundown, my Daniel Fast will be over. I'm not planning on going overboard when the clock strikes to end my fast, but I will probably try to stop by and get a chai or coffee before we head over to RWOC for our Defining Your Child's Destiny parenting class.

I'm still expecting God to meet with me today in a deep, intimate way. And even after the fast, I look forward to a richer relationship with my Creator.

During the fast I feel:
* I have gotten closer to the Lord. I have been able to hear Him more clearly and see Him more readily in situations than I had previously.
* My spirit hungered for God more than before. If a day went by without some deep communion with Him, I really felt it.
* I've had a great success in making my body submit to my spirit. I haven't really cheated, which (honestly) is a surprise to me. This was a huge victory to me. I feel like my body is not addicted to sugar and high-fat foods like it was during the holidays. Hopefully this will translate into better eating habits for the future.
* My mind is clearer, and I feel healthier. Also, I've lost a few pounds, and my clothes fit better.
*I've had breakthroughs in prayer points and have seen God work mightily on my behalf.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Daniel Fast Day 17

A new focus for the fast...

Today at RWOC, Apostle Ron talked about the reality of the financial situation for our church, and did an altar call for those who are either (a) unemployed, laid off, looking for work and can't find it or (b) business owners or others who have taken significant hit to their businesses that have sent them into survival mode.

You would not believe the amount of people who came up to the altar. HUNDREDS. People who are hurting, who are struggling, who never thought they'd be here.

Apostle Ron is fasting on behalf of these people and believing for a financial turnaround for the Church...the people of God's Kingdom don't have to live by the world's economy. But we do have to use wisdom when handling our finances.

I'm adding this to my list of prayer foci for the remainder of the Daniel Fast.

Brandon and I are also going through and shaving down our budget (again), looking for extra streams of income, and trying to simplify our lives and sell some items so we can continue to give generously to the Kingdom, to supply the House.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Queen For A Day

Brandon got me good for my birthday.

He wrote out a sweet poem declaring me queen for a day. Hallelujah!

Queen for a day privileges included:

Not having to change diapers.
Getting an hour long aromatherapy massage with Roxy @ Urban Nirvana.
Getting my hair washed and fixed @ Urban Nirvana's salon after said massage.
Having Ashley pick me up and take me to lunch.
Window shopping with Ashley after lunch.
Getting dropped off at Barnes & Noble all by myself for some leisure reading & relaxing.
Being picked up in a newly washed "Don Juan" (that's what we named our Nissan Pathfinder)
Taking a nap.
Having Mama Nissi (Brandon's Mom) babysit all day and night.
Enjoying a dinner out (read--no dishes to do!) with Brandon.
Watching "Avatar", which was WAY better than I expected.

Not too shabby, huh? I thoroughly enjoyed my queen status. Now it's back to Wifey, Mama, CEO of the Berry Household, Nose Wiper, Diaper Changer, Taxi Driver, Pastor's Wife, Ultra-exhausted status...It's a good thing I love these titles as much as Queen!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Daniel Fast Day 15

God, for my birthday, I want more of YOU! I don't need cakes or big celebrations, but I do need a fresh breath from You. You are everything to me, and I thank you for 31 years of life...and especially the ABUNDANT life that I've enjoyed since knowing you for these last 13 years. You are the best GIFT I could ever receive.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Daniel Fast Day 13

Another answered prayer:

Tonight at clubRED Tavner brought an anointed message about finding our purpose from our Creator. It was definitely needed for teenagers and adults alike!

Tav gives an altar call at every service and gives a chance to everyone to accept Christ for the first time or recommit their lives to Him. Those who choose to do so, go into a separate room where Brandon and I and Maggie (along with some other wonderful leaders) counsel them, pray with and for them, and give them materials to help them grow (Bibles, Life Change Booklets, etc...).

I met a young girl today who really desires to change her life. Her past may be tainted, but God has erased it from her tonight when she asked for forgiveness and invited Him to take over. I am praying and believing that she is going to be a catalyst in her group of friends, her school, and her community for change. She's gonna change the culture. She's gonna show them how God can turn someone's life around.

Breakthrough is coming in the ministry and with the teens. Just you wait and see.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Daniel Fast Day 10

I've found some rather yummy recipes to help me on my Daniel Fast. I can't believe how expensive it is to eat this way! There are hardly any coupons for fresh fruits and veggies! And I have been also purchasing vegan foods, which definitely boost my bills at the grocery stores. I also have to go a lot more often, because fresh foods don't last as long as processed foods, so I have to buy small quantities more often.

Brandon and I visited Asheville for date night. We hit up Rosetta's Kitchen , an all Vegan restaurant, for dinner. We were pleasantly surprised! I had a tofu pot pie that I could have sworn had real chicken in it. He had a veggie burger. It was a little different than we are used to, but we enjoyed getting out of our 'box' a little.

Afterward, we went to The Green Sage, a "green" coffee shop. They have all sorts of good things to eat and drink (I enjoyed hot filtered water with lemon while Brandon had a caramel macchiatto or something that sounded way yummier). But they also use all 'green' materials, have solar heated water, recycle and compost, etc...it was pretty cool. I was definitely tempted by the coffee and desserts, but again, greater is He in me than he who is in the world! Score: God in Me: a lot, Satan: zilch!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Daniel Fast Day 5

Today God answered a prayer that I've been praying for a year. I can't get into too many details but I am very excited to see Him orchestrating circumstances to bring glory to His name!

Praise God!

On that note, here are my major prayer points during this fast. If God lays it on your heart, please join me in praying!

* More intimacy with God
* Physical healing for Mom, More intimacy with God for both my parents...
* Family healing for Berrys, including for J & P to be blessed with a baby in 2010!
* Direction and Wisdom for 2010 (Raising Ella & Allie, Finances, extra streams of income)
* Breakthrough with the Teens in ministry.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Daniel Fast Day 4

Well, my Daniel Fast began at 12:01am on Jan 1, 2010. We had celebrated with Redemption World Outreach Center at the Bi-Lo Center and had employed the help of two teens to babysit our girls at the house. We had ordered them pizzas and sodas for dinner.

And when we came home by 1am, I was faced with my first temptation. Who wouldn't want some pizza after a night of celebrating? I resisted. Score: God in Me 1 Satan 0!

Then I went to visit my parents while Brandon took a much needed 2 day retreat to spend time with the Lord and organizing and strategizing the upcoming year. My parents house is infamous for having wonderful goodies. Usually, it is the demise to any eating plan I try to do on my own. But, I came armed with my own food this time, and was able to spend a lot of time with God while the girls slept or played with their Pappy. This allowed me to resist temptation while I cooked up some meals for them. Score: God in Me 2 Satan 0!

I forgot to mention that my best friend from college, Claire Eckert, has partnered with me on this endeavor. I think it's going to be great to be able to hold each other accountable and encourage one another through this. We have exchanged prayer requests, and are committed to praying for one another throughout this fast. We've lived apart for 5 years now, and as you can assume, it's much harder to stay close when you're not doing life together, so I'm excited to have this point of reconnection with her.

I feel like I'm beginning to focus less on my eating situation and body and more on God, which is a good thing! I'm excited to see what He is going to do in and through me!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Daniel Fast Day 1

Jan 1, 2010.

I have been praying for MORE OF GOD lately, and through my prayers, I have felt a movement towards a time of prayer and fasting.

Fasting. It's not something I usually do "well". I love food. I love to eat GOOD food. It's not just the taste, it's the EXPERIENCE of food that I enjoy.

When Brandon and I were first married, we tried to fast once a week. I hated that day every week, and really began to dread it. Looking back, I'm pretty sure it's because my eating habits every other day were so poor that my body rebelled like a spoiled child during that one day that I couldn't give it what it wanted when it wanted! (In my defense to my poor eating habits, I must say that we were living on such little finances that we would stand in line for free food and had to try some pretty suspect items such as cans that just said "beans" on them. What kind of beans? It was a surprise!) During those times, I never really felt close to God. I was too busy thinking about King Stomach who was on the throne of my mind.

But I remember one time during that first year when we lived in LA when God impressed on my heart to do a three day fast (full fast, nothing but water). I was a little nervous, but couldn't deny that it was a God thing, not a man thing. I was praying for my parent's salvation. That was my focus. And the fast was surprisingly easy because I was caught up in talking with God this time.

Another time, recently, when I felt the need to do a three day fast was when my mom was told by doctors that she had but a few weeks left to live. Again, God pressed on my & Brandon's hearts to fast and pray on her behalf. Since I was nursing an infant, I was instructed by her pediatricians (who, by the way, are amazing and love the Lord and supported me in this endeavor) to take juice and continue with my prenatal vitamin. That was back in August, and Mom's still alive and kickin'.

So at the end of last year, I began to seek God on deeper levels and He kind of led me to this fast. I'm doing a Daniel Fast. Basically that means no meats, sweets of any kinds, dairy, fried foods, or anything to drink but water. I feel like it's one of those that are going to be difficult, but WORTH IT. I'm excited to get closer to God, and if that means giving up some rich foods, I will consider it a small price to pay for deeper intimacy.

I'll try to post my thoughts and reactions to the fast on my blog. My hope is that it will encourage you to grow in your own relationship with God.