... when she always said to surround myself with good influences and distance myself from the bad.
Lately I've been surrounding myself with Christianity and seeking out ways to improve myself spiritually (which will result in improving myself in every other way, as I've found out) and it has made a difference.
The only music I really listen to anymore is Christian contemporary... check out http://www.klove.com/ for a station near you, if you haven't already. You'll hear some great stuff! When I find a particular group or style that I'm drawn to, I plug them into my handy Pandora app on my phone and discover even more! I've even caught my 2 year old singing along in the car with me to songs about Jesus... much better than some of the songs that my husband listens to in HIS car. (Love you, honey!)
I left a wives group on Facebook that I was a member of that was focusing on a lot of negative behavior lately, telling tales of drinking to excess and promiscuous sex... it was really bringing me down and making me see people that I consider friends differently. After I got a negative response from a few members when I asked if people were drinking safely around their children (and why they were drinking that much to begin with) I left the group altogether. Something was missing though, so I started a new group called Living With Grace, for Christian women to share and support each other. It really took off quickly and has 26 members so far! I'm loving all of the sharing, praying, praising and conversations that we're having. If anyone reading this would like to join, please just ask and I'll gladly add you.
Something else that has been on my mind lately is improving my marriage through God. Mike and I have only been married for 7 months and are very happy... but I want to make sure that we keep working together and that our marriage excels and is filled with the Holy Spirit. One way we're working on this is by having our marriage blessed by our pastor! We were not members of a church when we got married, so we had a short non-denominational ceremony done at our reception site. It was beautiful and everything I could have asked for, but I still want us to promise our marriage, our lives, and our hearts and souls to our Lord.
Along those same lines... Mike and I never did get a honeymoon. These two options are REALLY calling my name:
1. Love Like You Mean It Cruise A marriage cruise sponsored by Premier Christian Cruises! An all inclusive cruise (cabin, meals, drinks, etc) featuring marriage workshops from Christian speakers and performances by some of my favorite music groups! Plus plenty of husband and wife time. It's 5 days in February 2012.
2. Weekend to Remember: Marriage Getaway Check out the link... it explains the weekend better than I ever could. There are a lot of different semi-local options for this one, so I'm hoping to be able to take advantage of it. There is one not far from my parents house actually... (mom and dad I'm looking at you for spending a weekend with your lovely granddaughter!)
Another way I'm working on growing spiritually is by reading my bible. Right now I'm doing "The Essential 100" which I will finish in way less than 100 days, as I'm really enjoying my nightly readings. After that I'll probably start a new guided reading plan. I have also joined an online growth group through our church and starting in April we're reading Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado. I'm really looking forward to it and have already downloaded the book to my Kindle. :)
The one place that I've been "spiritually slacking" is in actually getting my booty (and my families collective booties) to church on Sunday mornings! We will remedy that this weekend, though. I'm determined to get back in that habit. I LOVE our church, our pastors, our congregation, our sunday school, everything... and I WANT to be there.
So that's me in a nutshell right now, just enjoying life and trying to make the best choices for my family.
I leave you with this... a totally unnecesary but totally adorable picture of my pride and joy taken this morning. :)