Thursday, February 28, 2008

Financial FREEDOM!!

It is one of the greatest feelings to be out of debt.  We no longer owe money to the MAN!!  I am so thankful for my great Uncle Sam who has enabled us to become free.  Not just by acknowledging our unalienable rights, but by also blessing us with extra income when we sacrifice for the good of our country and others.  I know, I know, there are a lot of dissenters out there...but can I just say one thing.  There are so many good things happening over THERE, that we NEVER hear about in the news.  And the troops that are there are there because they want to be.  They believe in what we are doing because they see, and talk to the people who we are helping.  They see the difference that they are making and it feels GOOD!  So don't feel sorry for them, don't hate the government because our boys are over there.  They are there because they want to be.  They are there because they love our country and have a desire to help others feel the same way about their own.  I am proud to be a Navy wife.  I am proud that my husband is making a difference all the way across the world.  I am sure of the decisions that our country's leaders have made.  And yes, I am proud to be an American!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

God answers prayers

He does, He really really does.  So here recently I have been becoming more and more aware of how God really does answer prayer.  I mean, if you are a Christian, you "know" that God answers prayer, but it really doesn't seem like a reality all the time.  But HE DOES!!!  So this is going to sound a little crazy, but hey, so do a lot of things I say.  I have prayed for Dave Matthews for YEARS.  I mean a long time.  And as many know, Dave has been agnostic or something or another for, well, before I was born.  He was raised in a Christian home, but never found faith for himself.  Well, like I said I have been praying for him to find Jesus for quite sometime, and well, after reading an article from I believe he has!!!!!  It was reported that he was filming the music video for his song Gravedigger at a local church where a youth group was holding a retreat.  Upon learning that Dave Matthews was on location there the youth group went up to him and asked if he had gone through any recent faith changes.  I believe the question was spurned on by one of his recent songs where he is crying out for the man who walks on water to save him.  Anyway, Dave's reply was that, yes, he had gone through some faith changes, and that he had "been washed by the blood of the lamb...and that's where it all starts."

Hoorah!!  I can't believe it!!  The man that I have been praying for, for years on end, has come to know Christ!!  Its awesome to be apart of that.  Now I am going to start praying that God pulls on his heart to become a worship leader/christian artist!

Also, I have been going through some really frustrating experiences, and my prayer has become God, bring someone along side me as a mentor, and guess what...without me even asking anyone or really knowing it was happening, I have  a mentor.  It happened yesterday after I felt like God was wanting me at the Church.  He is such a faithful God.  If you call out to Him, He WILL answer!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

life lessons

Recently I was up visiting my grandmother who is rapidly going down hill.  I took two of my dogs, which really made her day.  All she could talk about was how great the dogs were and how much she loved them.  But during all of that my dad started telling stories from when he was little and they lived on a farm.  What was interesting is although my grandmother is 92, bed ridden, and enduring Alzheimers, she would clue in from time to time with correct information.  And during this sweet time is where I got the life lesson from the past.  My dad was talking of a time where they were picking something or whatever, but my dad was young and because of that he was complaining about how it was hurting his hands.  And this is what my grandmother told him.  Turn around and pick backwards, that way you won't focus on how far you have to go and you will be able to see how far you have come.  This information, although simple will be something I will always remember.

It was so awesome to sit and watch the love that my dad had for his mom, and to see what an impact she had on his life, and in turn what an impact she had on mine.  And even though she doesn't even really know who I am anymore I know that somewhere in that soft, wrinkled, failing body of hers, she still knows and loves us.  And that she spent many years praying and leading her family.  And what's even more amazing is that she still has some idea of who God is and what Jesus has done for her.  If the fact that a woman who has no idea what's going on but still the truth of her savior cuts through all of her confusion doesn't prove He exists and loves the world, I don't know what does.

Frustration Station

There is no other feeling more frustrating than being utterly frustrated.  It is not a feeling that I like to endure for very long...yet, in my line of work it rears it's ugly head more often than not.  You see, I work with people...and not just one type of people, but many types, of all ages, shapes, colors and any other defining characteristic that you want to throw out there.  But I digress...I am in a position that I do not believe I was ready for when I assumed it.  And because of that I am having to learn how to do my job while I am doing it.  So, yes, I make mistakes, and yes, I have no clue what is around the corner.  So where does the frustration come in to play??  Well, when people think that things should go one way and voice that opinion strongly, when that is almost in the direct opposite direction that I am trying to go, I get frustrated.  And when I say that I don't know if that is the right direction, that person precedes to tell me that they think that I REALLY should pray about that, it kinda starts to get under my skin.  I am so frustrated that I don't think that I am making very much sense.  It is just that I am at the point where I don't know if I am in the right place anymore.  I don't know if I am doing this job because it is where God wants me, or it is because I just don't know what else to do.  And that is a frustrating place to be.   

Friday, February 22, 2008

So I was tagged

5 weird things about me...

1. I own 4 dogs...three of which are Great Danes...all of which live inside
2. I can write with my toes
3. I have attended 4 collegiate institutions
4. I named my car after a character in a movie and then put it on my license plate
5. I have two wedding anniversaries which we celebrate every year

Thursday, February 14, 2008

google analytics and other things

So I am truly fascinated with google analytics.  I check it all the time.  For those of you who don't know what it is, let me explain.  Google analytics is a site tracker.  But it is not just any ordinary tracker, you see, with analytics not only do I know how many people view my site I can also find out where they are in the country (as in state and city), what kind of computer and operating system and browser they are using, how long they were on my site, how they got there, and many other things.  Its really interesting.  I currently have visitors from a few states, but I want them all to be green.  That would be great!!!  Not that I really have anything all that important to say nor do I think that what I write is all that interesting either, but it would still be pretty cool.  

The second thing on my mind today as I sit here on blogger and read other blogs and leave comments is this:  when ever you leave a comment here on blogger you are asked to type in a verification code which consists of a bunch of random letters.  Every time I leave a comment and move onto the verification part I have to read out the word.  Sometimes its aloud, sometimes in my head, but none the less I have to sound it out.  Which really isn't all that strange in itself, but the thing is that it is never a real word.  Its just a bunch of random letters, but I consistently find myself trying to say the word "right".  Maybe its not that silly to some of you, but it makes me chuckle a bit about myself.

The third thing is that I have decided I have been watching too much of the TV show Monk.  Monk is a show where the main character has OCD.  Well, last night I was at small group and after dinner I walked into the living room of the host home and something was just off.  I couldn't get comfortable.  Then it hit me, there was a chair missing.  So I tried to settle in again, now knowing what the cause of the uncomfortableness was...but something still wasn't quite right.  Then someone went to mess with the fan and it hit me again, the lights weren't right.  So I had to go and turn the lights to how we normally have them so that I would not be so disturbed.  It was then that I realized that I need to go on Monk restriction.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Grace v. Karma

I am heavily burdened.  Ever since a certain idea has been proposed, I have felt conflicted and unsure, but through that I know that God is speaking and working in my life.  Last night I went to small group and enjoyed fellowship with other families from the church.  We have been going through Andy Stanley's "It came from within" series, a series about our hearts.  Last night the topic was anger and how it affects our lives and relationships.  The main verse he used was Ephesians 4:26-27.  "Be angry and do not sin.  Don't let the sun go down on your anger, and don't give the devil any opportunity" (CSB).  Andy basically said that it is a good principle to go by literally, as in don't go to bed angry, but he also said don't let the sun go down on a season in your life while carrying anger.  He talked about showing grace to others and how that heals not only them, but also yourself.  Then this morning I went to the campus ministry that I am apart of at the 9th grade and the topic was on forgiveness.  How when someone has hurt you, you are called to forgive them.  The example was Corrie Ten Boom and her forgiving the concentration camp guard.  Next, I get to my office to prepare for youth group on sunday night and the talk that I have to give is on karma vs grace.  I have come to understand that the idea of karma has infiltrated my life.  Although I say I don't believe in it, I choose to live my life in a way that undercuts what I say.  Karma feels good...people getting what they deserve.  People hurt me, they have a bad time.  People not doing what they should, they have a bad time.  Karma allows me to hold onto what I see as injustices performed against me.  Karma says I am entitled to my anger and entitled to keep my forgiveness and grace from others.  Karma makes me think I feel better that way.  God says that is not the truth.  God sent his Son to revolutionize the way we treat and think about others.  He came to show us how to forgive.  In fact, he committed the ultimate act of forgiveness and grace.  And yet, I have such a hard time.  Jesus said, "If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, won't he leave the ninety-nine on the hillside, and go and search for the stray?  And if he finds it, I assure you: He rejoices over that sheep more than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray" Matt 18:12-13.  If that were karma, the one sheep would have gotten what it deserved- getting stuck out in the wilderness alone and defenseless.  That would have been me, so who am I to withhold grace from someone else.  No matter how much it pains me and no matter how entitled the world says I am to withhold it, I am called to a higher standard.  I am not saying that I am there yet, but that is what God has been teaching me in the last day and a half or so. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wednesdays letters

So I just finished a book called wednesdays letters.  It was a fantastic book about a family and their journey of learning forgiveness and grace.  The letters were written from the patriarch of the family to his wife.  They started on the day that they got married and continued faithfully every week for 35 years of marriage.  They both died on the same night and minutes before the husband died, he composed one last letter.  Upon their deaths the three children return home and find the letters and begin to relive the love and marriage of their parents.  Although the story was very touching, what it made me realize is how much I love my sisters.  In the story the wife had a a sister who came in to help with all the arrangements and to spend time celebrating the life of her sister and brother in law.  What struck me is that I have always known that my parents will die, and one day my husband will too.  I have thought about that, and am at peace with it.  But I guess that I have subconsciously  believed that my sisters will ALWAYS be with me.  I can't imagine life without them.  They have been my family for all these years, even when our parents haven't.  They have been who I have turned to.  They have shaped me and molded me into who I am today and I am forever thankful that God placed me in their care.  We are still sisters don't get me wrong, we still get on each other's nerves...and feed each other dog food and other terrible acts of adolescence.  But above and beyond it all, we love each other.

Friday, February 1, 2008

2 months left

Only two months until someone special comes home.  And I am starting to get a little panicky... I want the house to be spotless so I have started doing all the special projects that you leave for another time.  I shampooed the carpets yesterday, and am going to do the couches tonight.  My next task is to wipe down all the walls (a big task for a short person with 27 ft ceilings) and make the baseboards sparkle.  Not to mention that I still have a bunch of weight to lose.  AND THERE IS ONLY TWO MONTHS LEFT.  I am so excited for the arrival, but also getting worried that I won't get it all done.  Needless to say, I am going to need lots of prayer over the next two months.