A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Monday, September 29, 2008

My 100th Blog Post!!!

Well, here it is, my 100th blog post, and it only took me 4 months and a few days to get here! :) I would like to give a big shout out to all of my faithful readers! Thank you! :) For my 100th post, I decided I'd do this blog in a list format. There are 2 separate lists with 50 items each. I need to work on reprogramming the negative thoughts that come into my head, so here are
50 Truths To Combat Those Negative Thoughts:
  • God Loves me unconditionally and I receive that love
  • I've always been boldly cautious when it comes to dating
  • My worth comes from Jesus
  • I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me
  • His strength is made perfect in my weakness
  • I am beautiful inside and out
  • I am intelligent
  • I'm a daughter of the King
  • My feelings matter
  • I matter
  • I am entitled to my own feelings
  • Other people are entitled to their own feelings
  • Other people are not responsible for my happiness
  • I am not responsible for the happiness of others
  • There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
  • God is in control
  • I am mentally stable
  • I belong
  • I have choices
  • I am not the victim
  • Perfection on this earth is not possible
  • I am an Adult
  • He heals the broken hearted
  • All things work together for good to them that love God
  • With God all things are possible
  • There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear
  • God is bigger than my problems
  • I work for God and not for man
  • God does not make mistakes
  • I am blessed
  • There is nothing I can do to make God love me more
  • There is nothing I can do to make God love me less
  • I will not fear, God has not given me a spirit of fear
  • God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline
  • I am not alone
  • I am blessed with many friends and family who love me
  • I am a great friend
  • God will never leave me or forsake me
  • God has always provided for me and he always will
  • I'm a hard worker
  • I care about people
  • Although I would like the approval of others, I don't need it
  • Today is the day the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it!
  • I have a great job with a stable income
  • I lack no good thing
  • I have clothes to wear
  • I have food to eat
  • I have a roof over my head
  • I've come a long way baby!
  • I am only human

The second list is made up of 50 things that add to my happiness:

  • Jesus
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Coffee
  • Relaxing
  • Music
  • Sunshine
  • GCC
  • Further Up-Further In Study Group
  • Sunday evening women's group
  • Travelling
  • Blogging
  • Talking on the phone
  • Hanging out with friends
  • Twittering
  • My Nieces & Nephews
  • Being called "Aunt Jenny" by my nieces & nephews
  • Feeling like I belong
  • Facebook
  • Myspace
  • "Free" internet access
  • Exercising with Alaina (I laugh)
  • Jumping on the Trampoline with Rachel (I laugh)
  • Chatting with Tyne (usually in the AM)
  • Emails from friends & family
  • Seeing email video clips of my nieces & nephews
  • Receiving phone calls from my nieces & nephews
  • Sleeping in
  • Running into people I know when I'm out and about
  • Eating out
  • Visiting people in the hospital on behalf of my church
  • Laughing
  • Feeling loved
  • Feeling like I matter
  • Being included
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Hugs
  • Socializing
  • Pictures of friend and family
  • Bachelor/Bachelorette
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • Feeling like I've accomplished something
  • Enjoying a sweet glass of wine
  • Receiving real snail mail instead of bills
  • Fitting into a smaller size of clothing
  • Finding a bargain
  • Knowing how far I've come the past few years
  • A new haircut
  • Getting my eyebrows waxed
  • Ice cream

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday Hannah Lynn! =-)

This little girl holds a very special place in my heart! She is my niece, and my Goddaughter, and she was given my middle name, Lynn! =-) She turned 4 years old today. These are recent pics of her. I haven't seen her since July 9th since she lives in the Milwaukee, WI area. I miss her! I just can't believe how much more mature she looks compared to 2 1/2 months ago! Wow! She is beautiful, but more importantly, she has such a kind, loving, and happy personality! Hannah is such a sweetheart! She is always smiling. She is the middle child. Her sister Lexi will be 6 on November 4th and her brother Tyler turned 2 on June 8th. I miss being able to see them as much as I did when I lived in Milwaukee, but this just makes our time together all the more special! If all goes as planned, I'll be going to Milwaukee the weekend of November 15th for a friend's wedding. Then Debbie & Scott and the kids are coming this way for Thanksgiving! :) I hope you had a great Birthday Hannah! I love you and hope to see you soon! :) Love, Aunt Jenny

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Girls Night Out!

Last night I got to go out with my friend Renee! It was great to get to know her better in a one on one setting! She is in my Tuesday Morning Women's Study Group. We went to "The Vine" downtown and sat outside to eat. It was a gorgeous evening! I know it was a nice get away for her. She is the Mom of a 2 yr old and 4 yr old and runs her own business out of her home. I've posted pics below of Renee and of the water fountain. It's right by The Vine and the Morris Performing Arts Center. We'll have to do this again soon Renee! Thanks for a fun evening! :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Water & Graffiti

Here are some pics I took on my walk yesterday. The first two are pics of the River overflowing a bit..thank goodness it was REALLY low before the massive rainfalls last weekend! The last pic is of some graffiti I found by the River on a cement square block. I don't approve of graffiti, but I did think this one was cool and very artistic too! :) If we don't love ourselves and accept ourselves for who God made us to be, then how can we fully love others?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hello My Name is Jen & I'm Afraid of Success

I've been working at my current place of employment for 6 months already! I can't believe it! I've been really stressed out about my production and I'm allowing that stress to almost immobilize me, and it is therefore affecting my production. I've had this constant fear of not measuring up to the production standards and then getting fired. I've been convincing myself this all has to do with my Seasonal Affective Disorder. Although SAD is real, I think I'm partially using it as a cop out to not have to deal with other issues. When I first started this job I was freaking out. It was suggested to me that I was afraid of success. I thought I had dealt with this issue and I've been fairly confident up until now. I guess the fear of success can come in spurts. A few people recently have also mentioned that I seem to be scared of success. I guess you get so used to living/thinking a certain way, that you don't even realize you are scared of success. I did some research tonight and found this information at http://www.coping.org/growth/success.htm. Not all of it applies to me, but a LOT of it does! According to this article "Accepting yourself as being healthy, "together,'' happy, successful, prosperous, and accomplished" is one of the new behavior patters than can help to overcome the fear of success. I guess I'm so used to being "depressed" and struggling and "playing the victim" that it's all I know. It's really easy to fall back into thoughts and behavior patterns you've always known. It sounds warped, but it's comfortable there. Not happy, but comfortable in some sick way. I don't want to sabotage my success at this job. I believe Satan has been working overtime with me and my thoughts and I've been allowing the negative thoughts to come in and stay. The very first sentence about the fear of success is "Suppressing anxieties of not being good enough." BINGO! But, I am good enough. I am a daughter of the King who created me and loved me enough to die for me! :) I'm trying to get back into regularly reading Scripture and spending time with God. Last evening I happened to open 2 different Bibles to the same portion of scripture. I think God's trying to tell me something! :) James 4:7 & 8A "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you." I'm thankful that God has opened my eyes to what's really going on. I'm used to being the Jen who is depressed who needs a better job, etc..but I'm not that person anymore. I may fall back to the old ways at times like these, but I'm not that same person. Thankfully these "bouts of depression" are getting fewer and farther between. I pray that the Lord would grant me clarity to see what is all going on here, that He would show me how much of the anxiety I've been experiencing is chemical, how much is due to SAD, and which issues I just need to continue to work on in order to have a happier future.

I hope you can gain some insight from the information below, as I have.

What is fear of success?
Suppressing anxieties of not being good enough,
Uniting all talents and virtues for a greater good
Confronting and dismissing existing fears in an appropriate manner , Recognizing and welcoming the
Chance to triumph over competition without feeling unworthy or undeserving
Expressing views and opinions without hesitation. Setting
Sights on a goal and achieving it with both sacrifices and rewards. These make up the rough climb, the seemingly impossible
Steps that if completed always lead straight to success, rewarding those who persevere.

Fear of success is the:

  • Fear that you will accomplish all that you set out to, but that you still won't be happy, content, or satisfied once you reach your goal.
  • Belief that you are undeserving of all the good things and recognition that come your way as a result of your accomplishments and successes.
  • Opposite of fear of failure, in that fear of failure is the fear of making mistakes and losing approval. Fear of success is the fear of accomplishment and being recognized and honored.
    Lack of belief in your own ability to sustain your progress, and the accomplishments you have achieved in your life.
  • Fear that your accomplishments can self-destruct at anytime.
  • Belief that no matter how much you are able to achieve or accomplish, it will never be enough to sustain success.
  • Belief that there are others out there who are better than you, who will replace or displace you if you do not maintain your performance record.
  • Belief that success is an end in itself; yet that end is not enough to sustain your interest and/or commitment.
  • Fear that once you have achieved the goals you have worked diligently for, the motivation to continue will fade.
  • Fear that you will find no happiness in your accomplishments; that you will be perpetually dissatisfied with life.

What are the negative consequences of the fear of success?

Fear of success can result in:

  • A lack of effort to achieve goals you have set for yourself in school, on the job, at home, in relationships, or in your personal growth.
  • Self-destructive behavior: tripping yourself up to make sure you do not sustain a certain level of success or achievement you once had in school, on the job, at home, in relationships, or in your personal growth.
  • Problems making decisions, being unable to solve problems.
  • Losing the motivation or the desire to grow, achieve, and succeed.
  • Chronic underachievement.
  • Feeling guilt, confusion, and anxiety when you do achieve success. This leads you to falter, waver, and eventually lose your momentum.
  • Sabotaging any gains you made in your personal growth and mental health, because once you become healthier, a better problem solver, and more "together,'' you fear that no one will pay attention to you. You are habituated to receiving help, sympathy, and compassionate support.
  • Your choosing to do just the opposite of what you need to do to be happy, healthy, and successful.
  • Reinforcing your chronic negativity, chronic pessimism, and chronic lack of achievement since you cannot, visualize yourself in a contented, successful life.
  • Denouncing your achievements and accomplishments; seeking ways in which you can denigrate yourself enough to lose what you've gained.

    What do those who fear success believe?
  • I have worked so hard to get this far, yet I need to keep on working hard; I'm not sure the effort is worth it.
  • I know people care about me when I am down and out, but will they like me when I am on top and successful?
  • I've never been happy before, so how can I be sure I'll be happy once I achieve my goals?
  • I am nothing, and I deserve nothing.
  • How can people like me if I succeed in reaching my goals in life?
  • I can't sustain the momentum I would need to achieve my goals.
  • How can I be sure that my good fortunes won't go sour and be destroyed?
  • There are always more demands and more needs that have to be met in order for me to be successful, no matter what I do it will never be enough.
  • They are all better, brighter, smarter, and more talented than I am. I really don't deserve to be successful.
  • It's hard to be at the top!
  • Everyone is out to shoot down the head man!
  • No one really likes a winner.
  • Everyone goes for the underdog.
  • I am happiest when I am under pressure and challenged.
  • Hard work, no play, and constant effort make me happy. What would I do if it were different?
  • I feel so guilty when I realize how much I have been given in my life.
  • I'm always afraid I'm going to lose it all.
  • Starting over again gives me meaning and a sense of mission and purpose.
  • I'm so bored with what I've accomplished. What's left to do?
  • Everyone has the right to fail in life, and I have the right to choose to fail if I want to.

What new behavior patterns can help in overcoming your fear of success?

  • Learning to reinforce yourself for the hard work, effort, and sacrifices you've made to achieve success
  • Being able to honestly appraise your level of achievement, success, and accomplishment
  • Accepting yourself as being healthy, "together,'' happy, successful, prosperous, and accomplished
  • Not giving yourself any excuses for being unsuccessful
  • Giving others in your life permission to give you honest, open, candid feedback when they see you self-destructing or backsliding
  • Monitoring your level of commitment and motivation to reach your goals
  • Visualizing your life when you are successful
  • Giving others credit, recognition, and support for their personal achievements, successes, and accomplishments
  • Honest, open, realistic self-talk that encourages you to work your hardest to achieve the goals you have set for yourself
  • Accepting the compliments and recognition of others with an open heart and mind

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday Ryan & Thomas!!

Ryan & Thomas turn 4 today (17th)! :) They live in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI. I have been close friends with their Mom, Carey for 16 years and now I've known their Dad, Chuck for 11.5 years! Wow! Time sure flies! I was Maid of Honor in Carey & Chuck's wedding in 1998 and I am Gregory's (Their oldest son who is 8 1/2) Godmother! Joey, their second oldest, is almost 6 1/2. These were the most recent pics I could find of Ryan (top photo) and Thomas. I took these pics on May 4th when I was in Milwaukee for our friend Carla's wedding. As I look at these pics now, I can see they really do capture their personalities!! They are sweet boys and they love me! I am "Aunt Jenny" to Carey & Chuck's boys and I love it! So technically, I have 6 nephews & 2 nieces! :) Unfortunately, 7 of the 8 live in the Milwaukee area, so I don't get to see them very often. Whenever I talk to Thomas, and especially Ryan on the phone, they always ask when I'm coming over...I wish I could say "tonight...or tomorrow". Ryan and Thomas are both wonderful blessings! I know they can be a lot of work, at times, for their Mom and Dad, but they are both a lot of fun!

Happy Birthday Ryan! :)

Happy Birthday Thomas! :)

I hope you both have a fun 4th Birthday! :)

I love you both!!!

Aunt Jenny

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

South Bend Rainfall Total Update

It's official, every rainfall record was broken in South Bend this month! FYI, it FINALLY did stop raining. I didn't see a rainbow...but I saw the Sunshine today, and that was enough for me! :)

Wettest Day Ever
On Saturday, the rainfall total in South Bend was an amazing 6.58". This is a new record for the most rain in one day, and it's not even close. The old record was 4.69", which was set on June 25, 1968.

Wettest September Ever
Because of Saturday's total of 6.58" and the 4.07" that followed Sunday, the monthly total is now 13.68". This is now the wettest September on record, and we're only halfway through the month. The old record was 9.01" set in 1977.

Wettest Month of All-Time
The total for the month of 13.68" is now the wettest month on record, and it's not even close. The old record was 10.86" set in June 1993.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rainfall Stats: Mishawaka vs. Milwaukee

Since I used to live in Milwaukee, I like to compare the Mishawaka weather to Milwaukee weather for kicks! Today I went to the weather.com website to check the precipitation stats. Here are the stats as of the end of the day yesterday. Stats from today are not included in these numbers.

Saturday Rainfall:

Mishawaka = 7.24 in
Milwaukee = 1.52 in

Month to Date Rainfall:

Mishawaka = 14.60 in
Milwaukee = 3.94 in

Wow! Mishawaka has definately beat Milwaukee for having the most rain! It's done nothing but rain buckets in Mishawaka all day today (Sunday) too!

I'll keep you posted on the Stats.

I pray the Lord will send us a rainbow when it's all done raining! :)

Yesterday Was South Bend's Wettest Day Ever!

...and this month is South Bend's wettest September on Record! Should we start building an Ark?! :)

I found this blog on Rick's weather blog on the wsbt.com website.

Record-Smashing Rain!
Heavy rain impacted the area during the day on Saturday. Not only did this create widespread flooding, but it also demolished every record in the book.

Wettest Day Ever
As of Saturday evening, the rainfall total in South Bend was an amazing 6.43". This is a new record for the most rain in one day, and it's not even close. The old record was 4.69", which was set on June 25, 1968.

Wettest September Ever
Because of the daily rainfall of 6.43", the monthly total is now 9.43". This is now the wettest September on record, and we're only halfway through the month. The old record was 9.01" set in 1977.

Wettest Month of All-Time?
Because there is more rain on the way, it is very possible that this month will break the record for the all-time wettest for any month. The current record is 10.86" set in June 1993.

Interesting Observation for the Upcoming Winter
This month has replaced September 1977 as the wettest September on record. You may remember that September 1977 was just a few months prior to the worst winter ever here. During that winter, which included the infamous Blizzard of '78, South Bend received a total of 172" of snow. Perhaps a sign that this winter will be harsh...?

I sure hope this month's rainfall isn't a sign of a blizzard to come! I shouldn't be complaining though because we are so blessed to not be having a hurricane! It could be so much worse and we did need the rain!

Stinkin Thinking

Here is a short video that's funny....but true! Enjoy! :)

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Does anyone else struggle with SAD? My Symptoms tend to surface around this time of the year. I have to admit I haven't done anything pro-active to prepare for SAD, even though I know I get the symptoms every year. I feel like a different person in the Fall/Winter. I think everyone has SAD to one degree or another but some of us get it more severely than others. I need to use the tips below to make a game plan for myself to battle the symptoms before they get out of hand. Some symptoms will always be there in the winter for me, but I don't need to let them control my life. Are there any additional things you do to help battle SAD?

I found this article on http://www.ezinearticles.com/.

Seasonal Affective Disorder or "SAD" can greatly affect a persons mood. SAD is a common type of depression that affects some people during the change of seasons when there is less or no sunlight. This is a condition that's really not understood by doctors, but it's thought to be related to the amounts of melatonin and serotonin in your body. It's believed that a chemical imbalance occurs which is caused by a lack of sunlight. This most common in the months of September through April. There are some things that can be helpful to individuals that suffer from this condition. Below are a few things that you can do.

#1. Exercise - It may seem tough to get going, but it's proven to work for many people. Not just a casual stroll through the park though. I'm talking about really getting out there and working up a sweat. You can go for a brisk walk, run distance, hill sprint (this is an excellent workout), hit the exercise bike or treadmill, do calisthenics, go swim laps, ect. Heck, you may want to stack rocks or chop wood, it doesn't matter, but just make certain not to cheat yourself. The idea here is to feel better and you've got to do what it takes in order to do that. Make certain to stretch your entire body very well before and after you exercise. This will reduce soreness and also reduce your risk of injury.

#2. Step into the light - Whether it's outside for physical activity or turning lights on inside the house, get yourself into the light. Sitting next to a bright lamp and reading a good, positive book or magazine or perhaps writing down how you're feeling can help. Open the blinds and let light into the house (unless it's dreary outside).

#3. Phone Someone that you trust - Everyone needs someone that they can confide in, whether it's a close friend or family member. Just make certain that they're trustworthy. It's nice to be able to call someone up and just dump some dirt from time to time.

#4. Join a support group - You're not alone. There are many others that suffer from some form of depression and it's very likely that there are support groups in your area. It really helps to talk to others that know exactly what you're going through. Call your primary care physician and have them recommend one or, if you don't have insurance or a regular doctor, simply look in the yellow pages under "mental health".

#5. Antidepressant Medication - Don't be afraid to admit that you've got a problem that needs to be dealt with. We are only human and you're not the only person to suffer from this problem, so don't go feeling guilty about asking for help. There are many antidepressants available now that can help you to get back on track. Don't wait though as it normally takes three to four weeks for these medicines to build up in your blood stream and have full affect. Also, many people react differently to these medications, that's why there are more than one and you may not get the one that will help you right off the bat. The best thing to do is call your doctor and make an appointment to speak to him or her.

#6. Phototherapy Lights - This has been proven to be helpful for some individuals. In as little as two hours a day, the results have been very positive. Speak to your doctor about this.

#7. Find a purpose - This is something that you do enjoy or used to enjoy before you started feeling down. Totally throw yourself into this project so that you don't have time to think about being sad. This project could be writing a report, cooking (be careful here so you don't pack on the pounds), arts and crafts or music to name a few. If you play an instrument, why not write or learn some new songs? This is very helpful to me as I play the guitar. It's very therapeutic to be able to pour your feelings out musically. The point is to find something that you like or that you're good at (or both) and keep yourself occupied.

Although this type of depression can be difficult to deal with, it can be manageable with the proper care and activities. The sun will shine again.

Joe Stevens is a disabled veteran that writes articles on different topics that interest him or affect him.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Pam!

Today is my sister Pam's Birthday! She is 20 months younger than I am. Pam told me last week that they will be celebrating Trey's (her son who is in the picture above with Pam) anniversary of his open heart surgery every year instead of her Birthday. Her Birthday is September 7th and Trey's surgery was September 6th. Last year we were all up at the U of M Mott's Children's hospital for her Birthday. Well, I still think her Birthday is an important day and her life should be celebrated every year! :) I'm proud of my sister and here are just some of the reasons why:

  • She was a young Mom and has been a responsible and great Mom!

  • She has a great job working for Whirlpool in the KitchenAid division and is a hard worker.

  • Not only is she working full time and making sure Trey gets to all of his practices/games/catechism class when he needs to, but she is finishing up her Bachelor's Degree! She has school 3 nights a week and two of those nights she drives from St. Joe MI to Kalamazoo MI!

  • Pam & her husband purchased their first home approximately 3 years ago.

  • She showed great strength and faith in her Savior during the hardest time of her life (her only child's open heart surgery last year).
  • She is a great sister

Thanks for all that you do and all that you are Pam! I hope you get a chance to relax on your special day! (I need to get more pics of you! This is the only one I have on my computer!)

I love you!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Trey! :)

Yes, you are correct, Trey is much too young to be married! :) Today is the 1 year anniversary of his open heart surgery at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor! Most of you know a birth defect was found last year around the 4th of July, but he couldn't get in for surgery until September 6th. Trey's left coronary artery was not attached to his heart and therefore the right coronary artery was doing all of the work. I took the pic above last summer. I was unemployed at the time. Trey couldn't do anything that would raise his heart rate. So, he couldn't do any physical activity. He was off school for the summer and he is an only child, so we was quite bored! It was rough! I took a day and went up to St. Joseph, MI to hang out with him. We went out to eat, went to see a Movie and I took him to Wal-Mart so he could pick out something to keep him occupied. He picked a model car that he could put together and paint. It kept him busy for a little while! I am so grateful to God for sparing Trey's life, especially on this 1 year anniversary! He could have easily died suddenly while playing sports, had this birth defect not been found. Trey's Dr.'s cleared him to be able to play contact sports again this past March. He is back to being his active self and is even playing football at his school this year! He just started the 8th grade and he will be 14 on October 15th! I wonder what amazing plans the Lord has for this boy's future? He was given a second chance at life, and for that we will always be grateful! I'm looking forward to seeing where God leads Trey during his next 14 years of life!

How Big is Our God?

"I strongly believe that the way we live is a consequence of the size of our God. The problem many of us have is that our God is too small. We are not convinced that we are absolutely safe in the hands of a fully competent, all-knowing, ever-present God."
John Ortberg

"Our God is Sooooooo Big!"
Rob Wegner

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Different View - A Different Perspective

Usually when I go for a walk down by the river, I walk through the parks & river walk on the south side of the river. Tonight my friend Mary & I walked through the parks & river walk on the north side of the river. Wow, a different view gave me a totally different perspective! It's like I find a place I like to go for walks and I stop looking for other places. I was missing out on these gorgeous views and "hidden" places all this time! I wonder if God wants us to look at all areas of our lives from a different perspective sometimes? Maybe we are missing out on something even better for us?! Hmmm.....food for thought! Oh, and I can't wait for the River Walk Bridge to open! Then it will be so much easier to see both views...all in one walk! :)

Hope This Makes You Laugh! :)

Here's some humor to start your day off right! :) This comic strip is by Christian Comedian Kerri Pomarolli. Enjoy! :) Have a great day! :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Know This - But I Need to Put This Into Practice!!

Wow! I think God is trying to speak to me tonight! I found this on the internet at http://www.inspiration-for-singles.com. I REALLY need to make a conscious effort to change my thought patterns! Anyone who knows me knows that I have a habit of beating myself up. But, just because that's what I've always done, doesn't mean that's what I always have to do! :)

Beating yourself up is a pattern
you can change, with God's help
Are you guilty of beating yourself up?

I don't mean physically, but psychologically. We all do it sometimes, and we singles seem to do it more often than married folks. But God doesn't like it. He doesn't want you to treat yourself that way.

This is what God thinks of you:

"...you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you..."
(Isaiah 43:4, RSV)

God sees you as a person of such infinite value that he sacrificed his only son to restore you to him, so you can live with him in heaven for the rest of eternity.

"I'm a klutz..."

Beating yourself up means you call yourself cruel names. You berate yourself for mistakes large and small. You tear yourself down instead of building yourself up.
It's a dangerous pattern to get into, because every time something bad happens, you blame yourself, as if your critical opinion of yourself has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you stop to think about it, you say mean things to yourself that you'd never say to other people. You label yourself as incompetent, stupid, lazy, or undeserving.

Who do you see?
When you look in the mirror, who do you see? Do you see someone who was created in God's image, with intelligence, emotions, desires, and an eternal soul? Or do you see someone who can never do anything right, who seems to be a magnet for abuse, whose life is never going to get any better?
Let me tell you that your critical, blaming view of yourself is wrong--flat out wrong.

Maybe someone else has controlled or manipulated you into believing you're worthless, but that isn't how the Creator of the very universe sees you.

Who are you going to believe? A loving, compassionate God who wants only the very best for you, or a person who makes himself or herself feel big by making you feel small?

Start right here
Stop beating yourself up. You can, you know. To quit it, start believing in God's love for you.
Admit that your image of yourself has been wrong. Leave all the accusations, criticisms and put-downs behind. You're moving on.

You're doing a complete overhaul of your self-esteem. You're going to start slowly, but you're going to start.

Beating yourself up is something that you control, so you can stop it. This is a gift you owe yourself, a present that you are worthy of.

God loves you so much. The Bible is his love letter to you. Read it. Go to this site: Bible Gateway, and search for the verses about "love". Find a short verse you like and memorize it, then repeat it often to remind yourself of the truth about you.

You're turning things around. The days of beating yourself up are over. You've fired that nasty critic and hired a kind, new encourager. Good things are ahead.

You finally see who you really are--a person who, with the help of God, is going to find a happy, fulfilling, whole new life!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Friend Nicki and Her Mom

Nicki lived across the hall from me my Freshman year of College. She was always smiling and fun to be with. She and Mike were married November of 1997. March 27, 1999 they went house hunting. While driving home to their apartment from house hunting, they were in a car crash in Germantown, WI on I-45 and their SUV rolled over. Instead of finding an earthly home, they both found their eternal home with Jesus that night. I attended Mike (age 23) & Nicki's (age 24) double funeral on March 30th of 1999, in Fond Du Lac, WI. In some ways I think that funeral somewhat prepared me to accept the loss of my father later that same year (December 8th, 1999). Death is an unfortunate part of life. The older I get, the more tragedies I see. I suppose this is only natural.

I often think of Nicki and my friend Leah (who also went to College with us and who's funeral was on December 8th, 2006), and others who have passed on before me. Funerals like these have marked me for life. All funerals mark me, but some more than others. God's ways are best, even when we have questions.

Well, today I received an email from my College with the Subject of "Prayer Request". This email was sent out to the Wisconsin Lutheran College Alumni. Nicki's parents were in a motorcycle accident in Wisconsin on August 17th, 2008. Nicki's Mom immediately was called home to be with Jesus, and to be reunited with her daughter (Nicki). Judith was 57 years old. Carl (57), Nicki's Dad, was taken to Froedert Hospital via flight for life with head injuries. The email did not say exactly how Carl is doing. It sounded like he may still be hospitalized. The email did say that funeral service were being held today (September 2nd) for Judith.

Nicki's older brother is approximately 37/38. Nicki's twin brothers are around 30 years old. Please pray for Carl's recovery, and for Scott, Chad & Brett, and their families as they struggle to come to terms with yet another devastating loss.

I trust that God knows what is best, even when we can't understand why some families suffer loss more than others.

Life is tough, but God is Faithful! =-)