A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Who's Out There?

I've been blogging for 10 months now & I know I have a few faithful followers. I'm just curious to know how many people follow this blog, and who you are. Please leave a comment with your name, location and what you like about this blog (optional). I would love to hear from you even if this is your first time here. If you don't have a google/blogger account, you can use Anonymous and just type in your info in the comment section. Thanks for following my blog! :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another Dunkin Donuts "Date"!

It must be a Saturday thing! :) A week ago Saturday I was at Dunkin Donuts with my niece Lexi in Milwaukee, and this past Saturday I was at Dunkin Donuts in Goshen with Jennifer. I must say I had so much fun on Saturday! Jen is a very fun person, but I think this is one of the most fun times that we have shared together! While at Dunkin Donuts, we had a great discussion, including meditating on various scripture verses, while sipping blueberry coffee (which tasted even better at the Goshen location!). Then we went to see Jen's boyfriend's choir perform. They got a "gold"! :) After that we went to Concord Mall where we ate at Enzo's Pizza and walked around the Mall. Jen had the pleasure of seeing a tattoo of dough on one of the worker's arms. You'd have to be there to understand, or keep an eye out on Jen's blog and maybe she'll tell you about it. She can tell it the best because I was already sitting down when she was having this very peculiar conversation. We had lots of laughs about it! :) Thanks Jen! I look forward to more fun times with you in the future!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Who I am in Christ

Understanding your identity in Christ is absolutely essential for your success at living a victorious Christian life!

Dr. Neil T. Anderson

God is doing AMAZING things in my life this week! My friend and roommate Alaina has been suggesting for a few months now that I meet with her Pastor to talk about filling my mind with the truth. You see, I knew I was telling myself (allowing Satan to tell me) lies and believing them, but I didn't know how to stop that. You see, I wasn't filling my mind with the truth of God's Word enough to combat those lies. In many ways I am a baby Christian. For those of you who have known me for a very long time, I can hear you saying, "What? You have been a Christian your whole life, why are you saying you're a baby Christian?" Well, I say that because it's only been in the past few years that I have started to understand what a "relationship" with Christ is and how important it is in life. Life is not meant to just get through until we get to heaven. In Christ, we can live a victorious and joy-filled life. Because it has only been over the past few years that I have realized this, I am a baby Christian in that I never really "had a relationship" with God. Sure, I went to Church, I prayed, and I know more Bible Verses and more information about doctrine/theology than a lot of people do. For this, I am extremely thankful. I was raised in a God-fearing home and I have all of the tools I need to fight this battlefield of the mind. However, I didn't know who I was in Christ. I didn't let it sink in that God loves me unconditionally, regardless of if I go to Church or not, regardless of if I mess up, regardless of the good things I try (but often fail) to do. The King of heaven and earth wants a relationship with me. He wants me to talk to him throughout my day about anything and everything. He wants me to see him as being approachable. He doesn't want me to look at him like a mean father who has ruler to slap my hand whenever I mess up. He wants me to be free in Him. I think meeting with Pastor A. on Tuesday really instilled these truths into me even more. I don't have to hold on to my past of being afraid of God, but I can move forward and take all of the energy I spend looking back at my past, and use that energy to move into a deep relationship with the one who thought I was worth the death of His Son. I am thankful for Alaina and Pastor A. who introduced me to "Freedom In Christ Ministries" by Dr. Neil T. Anderson. This Ministry shows you Satan's Lies and God's truths. Here are some of them:
Satan's Lie - You are a sinner because you sin.
God's Truth - You are a saint (one declared righteous by God) who sins.
Satan's Lie - Your identity comes from what you have done.
God's Truth - Your identity comes from what God has done for you.
Satan's Lie - Your identity comes from what people say about you.
God's Truth - Your identity comes from what God says about you.
Satan's Lie - Your behavior tells you what to believe about yourself.
God's truth - Your belief about yourself determines your behavior.
Here are some bible verses and truths about who I (we) am (are) in Christ. These are the ones that really hit home and have started to sink into my heart.
Col 2:10 - I am complete in Christ!
Ehp 1:1 - I am a saint!
Jn 1:12 - I am God's Child!
Jn 15:15 - I am Christ's Friend!
Rom 8:1-2 - I am free forever from condemnation!
2 Cor 6:1 - I am God's co-worker!
Eph 3:12 - I may approach God with freedom and confidence!
I Jn 5:18 - I am born of God, the evil one cannot touch me!
I challenge you to look up these Bible Verses. I looked them all up, because when I read some of them, I was like "really?". Seriously check it out! They are in the Bible!

Monday, March 23, 2009

My "Date" at Dunkin Donuts!

This one's for you JJ! Saturday night my Niece Lexi and I went on a date in Downtown Milwaukee. First we went thru a car wash, then we drove down to the Milwaukee Lake Front where she took a lot of pictures (hmm she must take after her Aunt Jenny)! Then we went to Dunkin Donuts because I wanted to try DD's Blueberry coffee which my friend JJ loves! It was delicious! Lexi didn't want anything because she wanted to get ice cream later. We then walked around downtown and the went to McDonalds to end the evening with ice cream! We got home an hour before the rest of the family and just hung out and watched TV. All I remember is some show called "Phineus and Ferb"! It was so great bonding with Lexi! I think she's coming out of her shell! Friday I was going to stay with the rest of the kids while her Mom walked her to School. Lexi was upset that I wasn't walking her to School. Lexi doesn't show a whole lot of emotion so I didn't think it mattered to her. Once I knew it mattered, we decided Debbie would stay with the kids and I would walk Lexi to School. Have I mentioned I love being "Aunt Jenny"!? :)

My 6 Year Old Niece is So Creative!

Lexi gave this to me on Sunday after we went on a "date" on Saturday evening. It was great spending one on one time with her. My first niece is growing up fast! She is such a sweetheart and a creative one at that! :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One Year Ago Today.....

I started my career at Liberty Mutual. I love how this Company acknowledges Anniversaries with a balloon bouquet! It made me feel special. I mean I already know I am special because God said so, but it's nice to feel appreciated! The weather was PERFECT today, so I took a pic of the building on one of my breaks. I'm loving the clear blue skies! :) You can go here to see my recent accomplishments at work. I look forward to achieving more of my goals in the upcoming year!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Red Flags in Dating

  • On your first date he takes you to a pet store at the mall and tells you he wants to get a German Sheppard and train it to attack people.

  • On your first date he uses a coupon to get your dinner for free and still divides up the bill and expects you to pay over half of that amount.

  • The day after he tells you he loves you, he tells you he would take his ex-wife back in a heartbeat if she wanted him back.

  • After dating for approximately 3 months, he takes you out to dinner, holds your hand, then takes you home only to break up with you at the end of the evening...mixed messages.

  • He only wants to see you once every 5 weeks even though you are willing to take turns with driving (long distance) to see each other.

  • He refuses to spend any money, even just for his own cup of coffee , so that you can actually go on a date once a week, during the 2nd/3rd months of dating.

  • If you are always the one driving to see him and he never drives to see you.

  • He tells you to get the f*** out of his house and never apologizes on the phone or in person.

  • He later tells you he feels liberated having kicked Satan out of his house. (If he calls you Satan, this is the biggest red flag of all!)

These are all real experiences that I have had in the dating world. There are probably many more, but these are the major Red Flag ones that stick out in my mind. I hope you get a few laughs from these. I've lived and learned! :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sun Filled Day! :)

Today was a gorgeous SUNNY day! :) I went for an hour and 20 minute walk down by the River. I couldn't get through the walkway on both sides of the River due to flooding, but I found an alternate route to get where I wanted to go. The fourth pic shows the most flooding. That was taken at Beutter Park and you used to be able to walk through those walk-ways and see small waterfalls...as you can see it's totally flooded now. I love the new bridge with the arch! Now there are two different parts of my walk that I can cross over the River on a Bridge! See the condos in the 3rd pic (front of condos) and the last pic (back of condos)? I would love to own one of those someday. This gives me even more incentive to get my financial plan together. I want to control my money and not let it control me. I just soaked up all the sun I could get today. I couldn't have asked for better weather. God is good! :) Enjoy the pics below and I hope everyone gets to catch some rays this week! It sounds like we are in for an awesome few more days of warm/sunny weather! :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Did It!!!

There have been so many positive things in my professional life lately that I just had to share with my readers! Many of you know that it has been quite challenging for me to meet the production requirements at work. I've let it stress me out on more than a few occasions, and that is an understatement! Well, here are a list of the positive things I have achieved at work lately:

  • I received a raise! It was small, but hey, many people don't even have jobs..I am so blessed!

  • I received a bonus check today! You had to be given a certain rating or above at your annual review and I did and therefore earned my bonus check!

  • Last month I scored 100% on ALL 12 of my Audits for Quality!

  • Last month I had an overall production of 4.45 claims per hour. The required production is 4.5. January I averaged 4.17 claims per hour, so I made a lot of progress from Jan to Feb! God answered my prayers!

  • I have been consistently hitting/exceeding the 4.5 claims per hour this month!

  • Even with all of the demands and my anxiety because of those demands, I will have successfully completed a full year of employment at LM (without getting written up for anything---this is an achievement in and of itself at LM because there are so many things they keep track of) in just a few days! March 17th is my 1 Year Anniversary!

  • I have 13.6 days of time off in the bank right now and I just took a week off at the end of January! :) If you are sick you use these too, but I don't like to call in because they deduct 10 pts from your 50 pts every time you call off. If I don't take any days off between now and July 1, I'll have 19.6 days to take by then, but I'm sure I'll need a day or two off before then.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I <3 Daylight Savings Time!!!!!!!

I absolutely LOVE Daylight Savings Time! Today was the 1st day since last Fall that I walked out of work at 7:15pm and saw daylight! :) Spring is in the air and I feel it! :) This is seriously a National Holiday for me! Gone are the SAD, dark, dreary days of of Fall/Winter, and here are the happy, bright times of Spring & Summer! I have so much more energy during the Spring & Summer. Last evening Jennifer and I decided to meet up at Five Guys for dinner tonight. As I walked out of work this evening and saw that it was still light out, I thought to myself "Jen & I can celebrate daylight savings time tonight!" I got so excited! So we did meet at Five Guys and ended up catching up on things for 2 hours! It was funny because Jen was not happy about daylight savings time, and many people aren't, but she was happy that I put a positive spin on it with my enthusiasm for this "National Holiday" of mine! :) So for all of you out there who are feeling the effects of losing that hour of sleep, I hope you catch up on that hour soon! I for one LOVE this time of year and plan to do the best I can do enjoy the daylight while I have it! :) Bring on the sunshine! Happy Daylight Savings Time everyone! :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

I Have A Fear of Growing Old Alone

Wow! I so found this article at the perfect time! It's another God thing! I found it on the purposefulsingleness.org website. I can totally relate to the story below. It so describes many of my thoughts and feelings both past and present! Like Jeannie in the story below, I recently turned 35. Unlike, I don't lose sleep over this particular issue, but facing life alone is hard! I have a fear of growing old alone. I'll be the first to admit I have TONS of friends and MANY close friends but it's not the same as having someone to consistently rely on and make decisions with. God knows my fears and He wants me to cling to him. I have a lot to chew on after reading the article below! I hope this article can be a source of encouragement to other singles who may be reading this blog! God Bless! :)

Delivered From All My Fears
By Fern Horst

Jeannie found herself staring at the digital numbers on her alarm clock once again. The luminous red lines forming the numbers which indicated it was three in the morning looked all too familiar. It seemed that her fears had no respect for her need for sleep, or the fact that in a few short hours she would be needing to face another stressful day at work.

"Why can't I shake this feeling?" Jeannie sighed, as she tried settling herself into a different position for the seemingly hundredth time that night. But try as she might to stop them, the same thoughts paraded themselves repeatedly through her still wide-awake mind.

Jeannie had recently turned 35. Her life wasn't what she'd anticipated it would be at this point in her life. She'd recently experienced the shattered dreams of a relationship she'd thought was finally "the one". She felt close to her family, but they all lived several hours away. In spite of having many friends and finding herself busily involved in one social event after another throughout her twenties, all but one of those friends had married and were now busy raising families. Her job kept her busy but wasn't all that interesting or challenging. Last, but certainly not least, the church she was attending just didn't seem to have a clue about what her life was like as a single person.

But far worse than all these factors in her life was the fear that seemed to be gripping her lately. She just couldn't seem to shake it. It was a fear that this alone feeling would only get worse; after all, she'd never expected it to last this long.

Jeannie is a fictional character, but she certainly isn't unusual, even though she feels like no one else in all the world is experiencing life like she is. In all reality, many are gripped with similar circumstances and with a similar fear. Their circumstances may be a bit different: perhaps they are divorced or widowed; they may be raising children alone, or feeling burdened with paying child support as a result of a divorce they'd never chosen. They may be older, or younger. They may be male instead of female. Their fears may be a little different, but they revolve around the fact that they are alone. Many different fears can grip those who face life without a partner:

fear of physical harm and danger
fear of commitment in any kind of relationship, or to a church, because of an underlying fear of being hurt, misunderstood, and rejected
fear of lack of finances or job stability
fear of handling the responsibilities for a home, job, children, aging parents, and so on without someone to help bear the burden
fear of making decisions without input and support from someone else
Many, many singles learn to face these fears with the Lord's help, and to successfully handle life alone. On the other side of these fears they become strong, confident and vivacious people, having much to contribute to the lives of those around them. I know numerous such individuals who are a constant blessing and inspiration to everyone who knows them. But the process of getting there can be terrifying for many, and may cause many sleepless nights as Jeannie experienced.

Most of these fears stem from the fact that most people don't expect to face life alone. Sometimes it is a gradual realization (friends marry one by one), or a sudden one (a spouse dies or leaves, or a friendship changes or ends). As it becomes more and more evident that, for at least a period of unknown time, life will not be as had been anticipated, one needs to adjust his or her approach for living it. Each person will work this out a bit differently based on their personality, preferences and circumstances. Some will learn to live alone and enjoy it, others will find a housemate or two. Some will settle into a group of friends who become like family, others will get more involved in their churches, or in their extended families.

But, you may be asking, at the moment when I find myself gripped with fear, what do I do? Moving beyond fear is not easy, but it is possible; furthermore, it is necessary in order to live the purposeful, productive, and abundant lives God has intended for us. There are several steps to take:

First, define the actual fear. Is what you are fearing something which is still many years down the road, such as growing old alone? Is it something which is highly unlikely, such as being homeless or jobless or deathly ill and no one caring at all? Is it something seemingly insignificant but at the same time terrifying, like not having someone to be with on a weekend night, or finding a mouse in your house, or being alone in a thunderstorm in the middle of the night?

Some fears are over events that may not happen for many years. Realize that many things could change in the meantime, including your perspective of them, the people who may be in your life that aren't now, and so on. Many people mistakenly think that having children will guarantee they'll never be alone in their old age, but that is not necessarily the case. The only guarantee and security anyone has for the future is the Lord, and when we have a relationship with Him, we can rest in His assurance that He will never leave us nor forsake us. The Bible reminds us to not covet the "security" someone else may have, but to rely solely on Him and His promises: "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Heb. 13:5).

The fears of events which will occur today or in the near future also need to be put into perspective. Not having someone to be with on a Saturday night may not be your first preference, but it gives the opportunity to learn to enjoy certain activities you wouldn't otherwise: a cozy evening with a good book and a hot cup of tea; a drive in the country with the windows rolled down, talking with the Lord all the while; or tackling a new project or hobby.

Secondly, look the fear straight in the face. What is the worst thing that could happen if your fear came true? If it does happen, what is a course of action you could take? Who could you turn to if you were truly desperate? Is your relationship with the Lord strong enough that you can turn to Him in times of need?

Having a plan in case the worst of your fears comes true helps to dissipate the fear itself, as does defining those people in your life who truly do care about you, even though you may be currently out of touch with them. Sometimes these kinds of fears can motivate people to reconnect with family members or with an old friend. They may also be motivators to establish new friendships and to become involved in other people's lives. Fears often help people to realize that their relationship with the Lord is lacking, and that they don't know how to turn to Him in a crisis. If you find that this is the case for yourself, start right now by picking up your Bible and learning how to talk with your Heavenly Father about anything and everything. This, too, is a process, but a much-needed one.

Another way to look fear in the face is to tell someone else about it — preferably someone who will also continue to pray for you and with you until that fear is conquered.

Third, recognize other factors which may be contributing to your fears. If you find that fear grips you most strongly at night, remember this: Don't listen to your fears in the middle of the night! This is the time of day when life's problems seem bigger and scarier than they actually are. Realizing that you are most likely perceiving them out of proportion to reality may help you to lay them aside for the night while you get some sleep. Be in tune with other things which may be causing fears to run rampant. For ladies this may very well be caused by their monthly cycles. Other contributing factors can be the weather, the season of the year, and simply being hungry, tired, stressed, etc. A good night's sleep, regular exercise, and eating nutritiously can contribute much to our general sense of well-being.

Finally, know what God's Word says about fear. Knowing the Lord and His Word is the number one ammunition against fear. If we have a relationship with the God of the universe through His Son, Jesus Christ, we are truly never alone nor without aid. Reading, memorizing, and meditating on Scripture passages will give you an anchor to turn to when you find yourself in fear's grip. Start with such passages as Psalm 23, 34, 91, and Romans 8. Eventually you will be able to say with the Psalmist, "I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears" (Psa. 34:4).

© 2001 Fern Horst

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What Cancer Cannot Do!

What Cancer Cannot Do
Cancer Cannot Shatter Hope

It Cannot Corrode Faith

It Cannot Eat Away Peace

It Cannot Destroy Confidence

It Cannot Kill Friendships

It Cannot Shut Out Memories

It Cannot Silence Courage

It Cannot Invade the Soul

It Cannot Reduce Eternal Life

It Cannot Quench the Spirit

It Cannot Lessen the Power of Resurrection

I just found out my Mom's cancer has returned. She has battled it off and on for the past 9 years since my Dad passed away. By the Grace of God, she was in remission this whole past year. Her blood counts were low and the full body MRI showed a cancerous lump between her hip joint & muscle. It is considered to be stage 3 cancer primarily because of how many times she has had cancer return in the past.

Please keep my Mom, Sue in your prayers. She has been through a lot! She also has lupus, which makes treatment options more difficult. But she is a very very strong woman and will fight this with all she has. God has worked miracles in the past, and I trust that He can work miracles again in this situation! :)

Thanks for your prayers! :)
I love you Mom!

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though it's waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Psalm 46:1-3

Monday, March 2, 2009

Song of the Day - Lose My Soul by Toby Mac

Father God, I am clay in your hands
Help me to stay that way through all life's demands
'Cause they chip and they nag and they pull at me
And every little thing I make up my mind to be
Like I'm gonna be a daddy whose in the mix
And I'm gonna be a husband who stays legit
And I pray that I'm an artist who rises above the road that is wide and filled with self love
Everything that I see draws me
Though its only in You that I can truly see that its a feast for the eyes - a low blow to purpose
And I'm a little kid at a three ring circus

I don't want to gain the whole world and lose my soul
Don't wanna walk away let me hear the people say
I don't want to gain the whole world and lose my soul
Don't wanna walk away let me hear the people say

The paparazzi flashes and that they think that it's you
But they don't know that who you are is not what you do
True, we get it twisted when we peak at the charts
Yo before we part from the start where's your heart?
You're a pimp, hustler?
Tell me what's your title
America has no more stars now we call them idols
You sit idle
While we teach prosperity
The first thing to prosper should be inside of me
We're free �
Not because of 22's the a range
But Christ came in range we said yes now we changed
Not the same even though I made a fall
Since I got that call no more Saul now I'm Paul

How do I sense the tide that's rising?
De-sensitizing me from living in light of eternity
How do I sense the tide that's rising?
It's hypnotizing me from living in light of eternity