A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Friday, August 29, 2008

Two of My Favorite Things!

After I walked around ND on Wednesday, I used a gift card from work to get a Mocha Mint Chip Frappuccino from Starbucks! It was yummy! Then I headed home to watch one of my Favorite Chick-Flicks! :) It's a sad, but awesome movie! If you have never seen it, it's a must see! Wednesday was a great day! I really need to take days off more often! :)

Notre Dame

Wednesday was my last day of vacation. I chose to stick close to home and headed over to Notre Dame for a nice walk! ND has a gorgeous campus that's even more beautiful than your typical park! These pics are for you Kate!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sunset with my Sis in St. Joseph!

I have had 2 wonderful days of vacation so far and I still have 1 more day of vacation left! :) Today I went up to Silver Beach in St. Joseph, MI! Silver Beach is on Lake MI for those of you who aren't from around here. I spent time on the Beach during the day and then went to visit my sister and her family. After we dropped Trey off at a friend's house, Pam and I went to Silver Beach and walked out on the Pier to see the Sunset! Nothing beats a sunset over Lake Michigan on a day with clear blue skies! This is another one of the perks of living on this side of Lake MI! When I was in Milwaukee, the sun rose over Lake MI, but I'm not a morning person! :) It was amazing! It was nice to spend some time with my Sister! It's only an hour drive from my place to Silver Beach! I really need to get up there more often! I will be blogging more in regards to my Chicago trip and my Silver Beach Trip, along with posting more pics, but wanted to get the pics of this gorgeous sunset posted tonight yet. Enjoy the pics!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I Have the Best Neighbor EVER!!!

One of my "neighbors" at work is the best!! We are both Packer fans, so we instantly hit it off! She has a son my age who is married and she is the proud grandma of his 2 kids. Her name is Angie. Angie and I watch out for each other. If she needs some of my Instant Coffee ...all she has to do is ask! We both have some Packer decor on our desks! Two of our male co-workers hate the Packers, so it's me & Angie against them!=-) FYI our desk areas are pretty open. The wall in the pic below is separating our department from another department...there is an aisle behind me which is in front of the wall. Thankfully, we don't have tall walls separating our cubes in our aisle, which is nice!

Well, Monday when I got to work, Angie had bought something for me over the weekend! She Rummages also and found this brand new round mirror for me! The best part is that it's a Wisconsin Badgers mirror! =-) It is so cool!! I proudly sat it on my desk (as you can see in the pic below), and it has been there ever since! Angie ROCKS! I think she's pretty fond of me too! :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Complete As One

This article served as a great reminder to me that regardless of what society believes, my worth and identity come from Jesus and not from my marital (or lack thereof) status! I'm only human, so I often struggle with believing this deep down in my soul, but the Author makes some excellent points in this article! Christ lives in me, and therefore I am complete. He says so! :)

Complete as One
By Fern Horst
Taken from the Purposeful Singleness website

I had someone tell me, just the other day, that one is not complete without a spouse. It made me wonder: How do I, and other single adults, gain a sense of confidence and self-worth in a society that believes such a statement to be true?

Many people believe they cannot truly live until they find their significant other. They are unable to believe in themselves until they find partners who believe in them. Some people do not feel they have worth until they find someone to give them a sense of worth. And there are many who gain confidence from a dating or marriage relationship. But is this the only way, or, more importantly, the best way, to find oneself?

This type of belief systems indicates a dependency on something or someone other than God. Any time we look to anyone or anything other than God to give us meaning, to meet our needs, we are creating an idol. We are allowing something or someone to take God's place in our lives. This is serious business to God. Idolization is adultery to Him; it hurts Him as much as we hurt when friends betray their loyalty to us. He wants to have that place in our lives. He will give us more meaning and worth and acceptance than any "significant other" ever could.

Both Christ and the Apostle Paul taught in the Bible that remaining dependent on God is easier when one is single. When one is married, it is easy to put one's spouse in God's place, to expect him or her to meet the needs that only God can fill. Marriage does not legitimize idolization. God still wants His rightful place in our hearts regardless of our marital status.

Should we avoid marriage then? Of course not! God calls some to serve Him in a marriage relationship. He chooses to meet some people's needs through marriage. But not all. For some He chooses to meet needs through a variety of people. God wants some of us to be single so that we can serve Him in ways those who are married cannot.

But we can be sure that God will meet everyone's needs, married or single. We can also be sure that God wants all of us to commit our lives to Him, married or single. Singleness is not an excuse to live our lives for ourselves, or to sit around waiting for life to happen. It is happening, and we are each responsible to take what opportunities God has given us and use them to their fullest advantage.

Yes, I'm complete. You're complete. And it has nothing to do with whether or not we're married. It has everything to do with the fact that Christ lives in us and with Him we are not only complete, we have everything we need to live the life of a fulfilled, successful adult.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mishawaka & Waka Dog

I took advantage of the beautiful weather we had today! I grabbed a Chili Cheese Dog and fries at "Waka Dog" and walked down to the River here in Downtown Mishawaka. I had a really nice and peaceful walk, plus I got some much needed exercise! See the condos in the first pic? I want to own one of those someday! Hey, if I win the lottery, it could happen! :) They are new right now, and are located right along the River. They are also only a few blocks from work! I love this weather! Warm and sunny with beautiful blue skies, what could be better than this?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Be Still

I've been feeling really anxious and kinda down lately. It's not been the best week at work. I didn't get my hours changed because I need to get my production numbers higher. Others did better than me, so I'm beating myself up and feeling small. Why? It's because I've been placing my worth on the fact that I didn't measure up at work. That's absurd! Why do I let work determine my identity? God loved me enough to die for me! I shouldn't be letting my work hours determine my identity! I was doing research online tonight about how to "Be Still & Know that He is God", and came across this writing from Bill Hybels:

How to hear God

It's an honor to be able to speak to God. We don't have to go through a priest or a saint or any other intermediary. We don't have to follow any prescribed rituals. We don't have to wait for an appointment. Anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances we can approach the throne of grace with confidences, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Heb. 4:16).

Ironically, though, most of the time we think of prayer as talking to God, rarely stopping to wonder whether God might want to talk to us. You can almost sense God saying, If we enjoy a relationship, why are you the one doing all the talking? Let me get a word in somewhere.

The importance of listening:

People who are really interested in hearing from God must pay a price: they must discipline themselves to be still before God. This is not an easy task, but it is essential. Be still, and know that I am God (Ps. 46:10).

God's power is available to you when you come to Him in solitude, when you learn how to focus and center your heart, and be quiet before Him. Then you find that His leadings come through to you clearly, with little interference.

Set aside a half-hour each day (preferably in the morning) and be still with God. Use the time to reflect on the previous day, write out your prayers, and invite the Lord to speak to you.
Custom-design an approach that will still your racing mind and body, soften your heart, and enable you to hear God's voice. If journals aren't your thing, try talking quietly to God, then have a period of listening.

Ask God questions.

What's the next step in developing my character?
At what educational goals should I aim?
What's the next step in my ministry?
What's the next step in my vocation?
In what direction should my dating relationship go?
What should I do for my children?
How should I plan my giving?

Keep your ears tuned to Him each day.
It is possible to be aware throughout the day, even while going about your daily work, of God's gentle promptings. That's what it means to live by the spirit (Gal 5:16). These on-the-spot promptings are not a substitute for unhurried quiet time with God. In fact, they tend to come when you regularly make time for stillness and solitude.

You don't need to feel upset if sometimes God chooses to remain silent. He's a living Being, not an answering machine, and He speaks when He has something to say. If we aren't willing to follow up on the Holy Spirit's leading, He may see no reason to continue speaking.

Usually the reason we don't hear His voice is that we don't listen for it. We don't schedule times of stillness that make communication possible. Turn off the TV, radio, CD player, and formally invite Him to speak to you.

How can you be sure that a leading is truly from God?

All leadings that come from God are consistent with God's Word, the Bible. The surest way to test the source of a leading is to check it against Scriptures. God's leadings are usually consistent with the person He made you to be. God is purposeful; He wants to use you in the areas of the gifts and talents He gave you.

God's leadings usually involve servanthood rather than being self-serving. He will call you to humble yourself, serve somebody, encourage somebody, or give something away.

From How to Hear God by Bill Hybels, copyright (c) 1988, 1998, 1999. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill. Bill Hybels is pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill. Inspiration Archive Monday, March 13, 2000

I honestly had never heard of sitting STILL in God's presence until I met with Kathy Guy. Thank you Kathy! I have tried it a few times, but really need to get back into it; just setting a time aside to sit in His presence and Be Still. No wonder I'm basing my worth and identity on my job status and what I think others think of me! How can I base my identity on the REAL THING, if I'm not being grounded in His Word and sitting STILL in His presence? Coming across this article tonight was a total God thing! :) I'm setting up an Appointment for tomorrow morning to spend time with the One who created me, loves me, and knows me inside & out!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Yours" Including Extra Verse

Ok here's the last post I'll do regarding Steven Curtis Chapman and family, well at least for a while! :) Here is the song with the extra verse (mentioned in my previous blog) he added at the end of the song. He is performing at a concert in July in this video. His daughter Maria Sue passed away in May. If you don't have time to watch the whole video, you can scroll to the end to hear the last verse.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Verse Added to SCC's "Yours" Song!

Steven wrote this additional verse after the tragic death of his 5 year old daughter Maria Sue. It is being added to a song that is already being played on the radio.
Here are the lyrics to the original song:
I walk the streets of London
And notice in the faces passing by
Something that makes me stop and listen
My heart grows heavy with the cry
Where is the hope for London
You whisper and my heart begins to soar
As I'm reminded every street in London is Yours
I walk the dirt roads of Uganda
I see the scars that war has left behind
Hope like the sun is fading
And they're waiting for a cure no one can find
And I hear children's voices singing
Of a God who heals and rescues and restores
And I'm reminded that every child in Africa is Yours
It's all Yours God, Yours God, everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky to the depths of the ocean floor
And it's all Yours God, Yours God, everything is Yours
You're the maker and keeper, Father and ruler of everything
It's all Yours
I walk the sidewalks of Nashville
Like Singapore, Manila and Shanghai
I brush by the beggar's hand and the wealthy man
And everywhere I look I realize
Just like the streets of London
For every man and woman, boy and girl
All of creation, this is our Father's world
It's all Yours God, Yours God, everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky to the depths of the ocean floor
And it's all Yours God, Yours God, everything is Yours
You're the maker and keeper, Father and ruler of everything
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
The glory is Yours, God
All the honor is Yours, God
The power is Yours, God
The glory is Yours, God
You're the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords
And it's all Yours God, Yours God
Everything is Yours
From the stars in the sky to the depths of the ocean floor
And it's all Yours God, Yours God
Everything is Yours
All the greatness and power, the glory and splendor and majesty
Everything is Yours
It's all Yours
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God (my life is Yours)
It's all Yours, God (my heart is Yours)
It's all Yours, God (my hands and my feet)
It's all Yours, God (every song that I sing)
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God (all gifts are Yours)
It's all Yours, God (all our dreams are yours)
It's all Yours, God (all our plans are Yours, God)
It's all Yours, God (this whole earth is Yours, God)
It's all Yours, God (everything is Yours)
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God (everything is Yours)
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God
It's all Yours, God

Saturday, August 9, 2008

This Family's Testimony is Amazing!

Steven Curtis Chapman and his family were interviewed on Larry King Live on August 7th, 2008. The interview is on You Tube and was broken down into 6 different parts. I just spent the past 45 min or so balling my eyes out while watching the interview. They are such an amazing testimony to the World about how they are trusting in God to carry them through and hold them up during this family tragedy! The love they have for God and for each other, is powerful! I decided to post 2 of those clips below. The first clip I am posting was the first part of the interview with Steven and his wife. I also posted the third part of the interview where their 3 older biological children join them. If you want to watch the other 4 clips, they can be found on YouTube.Com.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Is The Glass Half Empty or Half Full?

I love this picture! Isn't it cool? It's another one that I found on the internet. Our Tuesday morning Women's Group is Studying a book by Valerie Hess called "Spiritual Disciplines Devotional - A Year of Readings." I will paraphrase Valerie's definition of Spiritual Disciplines. Spiritual Disciplines are "habits" or "tools" which teach us to respond to God and to the people around us is ways that look more like the ways Jesus responded during his life on earth.

This morning we talked about the Discipline of Simplicity. The Discipline of Simplicity is "An overall attitude of contentment and gratitude manifested in a visible way of living that includes not trying to do too much or have too much."

I struggle a lot with comparing myself to others and not feeling like I measure up. I mean I'm 34 years old and I'm renting a bedroom of a house! Many people my age own homes and are far better off financially than I am. There's a measure of being hard on myself, but if I'm completely honest, there's also a measure of envy for what other's have that I don't have. Even though I'm making much better financial choices now, it's still very hard making it on one income and doing it all alone with no other person or income (or credit card) to rely on for financial help and security. It's hard for me to picture even being able to afford to live alone again, let alone to purchase a condo or a house someday. Plus, I sold most of my furniture when I moved from an Apartment to a bedroom. Ok, so that's my glass half empty version. I'm working really hard on being "REAL". So there you have it, this is me being REAL with what I struggle with sometimes.

"It takes purposeful training to keep our focus on all that we do have, to affirm that our glass is more than half full." Valerie Hess

Valerie nails it on the head in the above quote! She suggests keeping a written list of all of our blessings and looking at it regularly. The Apostle Paul also nails it on the head in Philippians 4:12: I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

My glass truly is half FULL and I am truly BLESSED! Here are just a few of the reasons why (in no particular order):

  • I have plenty of food to eat
  • I have a bed to sleep in which is in a house with ac/heat (depending on the season)!
  • I have a job with a stable income
  • I have wonderful family
  • I have many wonderful friends
  • I love my roommates
  • My roommates love me
  • This house is so homey and I am blessed to have found this living situation - I don't think there's anywhere else I'd rather be living right now!
  • I live 6 blocks from where I work
  • I love living in community with other Christian women
  • I am in good health
  • My nephew's open heart surgery (b/c of God of course!) saved his life last September
  • My Mom is currently cancer free
  • I have health insurance
  • I have a great Church where I am loved and am constantly learning about Boundaries and changing my unhealthy habits and old ways of thinking, and learning to take responsibility for my life
  • Most importantly: I am saved by grace through faith and God loves me unconditionally, even when I fall back into my "playing the victim mentality"

My cup is OVERFLOWING and Jesus knows what I need better than I do! =-)

"My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

What about you? Is your glass half empty or half full?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

This is How I Spent My Weekend...

Believe it or not, the pic to your right is not of me, but the person certainly looks a lot like me! However, this is seriously how I spent my weekend! I got home Friday night from work and haven't left the house since then! I've spent LOTS of time in my room sleeping and trying to get rid of this cold & flu.

I'm very blessed to have 3 wonderful roommates who care! Nurse Tyne (seriously, she is a Nurse), gave me her advice to getting better. Tyne said they've seen a lot of cases of people with the cold & flu (it's going around) being dehydrated. Alaina kept checking in on me and bought some soup for me, and Rachel gave me some soup too! My friend Mary called twice to check up on me! :) It's nice to have so many people who care and who are nursing me back to health! :) It's times like these that I'm thankful for my singleness because I can just do nothing but sleep and drink liquids for a few days to try to get better. I'm still not feeling up to par, but I am feeling better then I was last Wednesday thru Friday at work! BTW I'm back online and will be blogging more often once I feel better. Have a great week! :)