Beginning of May 2017

The sun is shining! It has been raining so much lately! I’m sure if you’re from the Midwest or know someone from here, you’re probably tired of the rain, and even tired of people taking about the rain! But its nice to have sunshine again. Kind of reminds me of the commonly used illustration where someone is in a plane and sees the sun shining above the clouds, reminding them that the sun is always there. Like life, it may seem stormy down here, but God’s still there even when it seems like we can’t see Him.

Seems like I’ve been going through revolving times of storms and sunshine in my life. My boat gets rocked around and overfilled with water, then the sun comes out. When the sun’s out, I repair the boat and let the sun dry up the water. A lot of times I can see the storm in the distance, other times it sneaks up on me. One thing I’ve been challenged with is to keep my anchor down, even in the still times. Jesus is my anchor in life, and I need to keep my foundation in Him and His Word. Even in still times a boat can drift off its place. I have a goal to increase my worship and devotion time. That kind of leads me to…

Made a hard decision recently. I don’t want to put all our business out there, but Mike and I are officially broken up. I truly feel like God’s calling me to singleness. I’ve been so comfortable with his companionship, that is what has made this a hard thing. But I feel like God has something even better in store for both of us. So yeah, there ya go.

I’m learning (always will, right?!?) who I am. Specifically who I am in Christ. I’m set free from sin, not just in eternity, but He gives me the power to live free NOW. Letting that settle in my heart and head, praying that I become more like Him all the time. I don’t want to be overly religious or legalistic, I just want to be like Jesus. Righteous and loving. Faithful and obeying. In the storm and in the sunshine.

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April 2017

Hey y’all! I know, I’ve been quiet lately. Seems like a lot is going on in my life, just not much to talk about though.

Job is still going well. Got a new boss, and so far so good. I was directly reporting to the VP, now we’ve hired a Director. So it’s a new dynamic, but I think it’ll work out well.  We’re getting ready to move offices, they’re turning the building we’re in now into another school. Growth is good, just a little painful sometimes! 

School’s OK. Making an A so far in my research class. I know, basically, what I’m doing when it comes to writing and research. Enough to get by anyway, but I definitely have room to grow. Especially since I’m going on to get my Master’s degree after I graduate with my Bachelor’s next year. Which, is an area I’m seeking wisdom from God in… there are a bunch of schools who offer the degree I’m pursuing (MSW), both online and in person, with varying tuition rates and areas of concentration. I’m not sure where to go. I know I’ve got some time, but I think it’s wise to start researching my possibilities now. Online school works for me, but maybe I need to do live classes for my graduate degree? Tuition is less for 1, for 2 it might help me stay on track faster. But which school, and what concentration? Hmmm….

Training is good. I really enjoy working out with a trainer, he’s great. Like I’ve said before, I’m focusing on the weight I’m lifting, not the weight I’m losing. But I know I’d lose faster if I ate better. Fast food is just too convenient! meal prep is key for me, I just have to make time for it. On that, I did a 5k a couple of weeks ago! Did  OK considering the weight gain over the past 2 years. I’m a little peeved at the people though, they cheated us out of a 1/4 a mile because we were in the back of the pack and they needed to save time, I’m assuming anyway. I had an app going that measures your distance and time and it ended up being 2.86 miles instead of 3.1. so my time doesn’t mean as much to me as it would have.  They sent a survey today, I let them know what happened and that they shouldn’t do that next year. I did get another medal to add to my collection though 🙂

I’m going to start hosting/leading a small care/fellowship group in June. I think we’re going to go through the book of James and have dinner together on Sundays. Praying about that too.

Ever get caught up in the ‘what if’ trap? it’s not fun. you know, what if I hadn’t made that decision or chosen that path. where would I be now if I had made different choices? what if God did tell me to do (or not do) such-and-such, would my life be radically different? did I miss God’s plan?  Am I experiencing His best regardless of those choices? Can I, should I, try to undo things? I know the answer is God works out all things and He has a plan, etc. I guess that just sounds cliche.

Off that rabbit trail… I’m excited to go to DC next month! Going for chaplain training and some time away. Hope the kitties are OK with no one to snuggle with for a few days!

Hope you all are well! I’d better go, lots of things to do! 

Beginning March 2017 – 10 years!

10 years! 10 years since I went on my first mission trip. So, it would seem due that I reminisce a little. What have I learned over the last decade? What has God shown me?

First, go! Second, trust! Third, pray! Not in that specific order though J Oh, and why? People!

Going to Mexico the first 3 trips was a no brainer for me. I was visiting a good friend of mine, and I didn’t even know they were considered mission trips. On those trips I was first introduced to a foreign culture, but could see how God was still the same. It was on the way home from the 3rd trip that I realized that doing just that: visiting established missionaries around the world to support and encourage them, was exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Of course I had no idea how that would all play out and really still don’t.

Scotland was my first trip over an ocean, and I knew no one. When preparing for this trip, I was struggling with my faith, I prayed the God would show Himself to me, and He did. He provided for the trip through avenues I wouldn’t have guessed and showed Himself powerful during the trip. I remember praying with a lady who I could barely understand (super thick Scottish accent) and I just asked God to interpret her tongue for me. He did! I prayed what I heard the Spirit leading and she was blessed. I found a happy place there – a place I visit in my mind when I need peace. In the hills where it’s green and the sheep wander. I was sitting on the hillside admiring God’s creation and thinking about Psalm 23.

Costa Rica was my first trip leading someone and taking her with me. It was a stretch, but at least I wasn’t leading her alone (we were with a group from Denver and Hawaii). The heat and humidity there kind of unnerved me. I wasn’t sure how the MS would be but God was so faithful! I took care of myself and everything went well. On this trip I learned more about the sex trafficking epidemic and that still breaks my heart.

West Africa was probably my favorite so far. 3 countries in 10 days, wow! The people were beautiful, inside and out. We did leadership training there and I learned how people around the world see Americans. Namely they see our tele-evangelists and try to mimic them. Ugh, heartbreaking. The message we shared, on top of our assignment, was to encourage them to be themselves. To let the Gospel shine through their culture, not to be like those they saw on TV. I found another happy-God peace place there on the shore watching the run rise over the Pacific.

China was a possibility the following year, but I wasn’t settled in my heart about it. So that is still on my ‘bucket list’!

Japan was the most recent trip. I visited the friend I had visited 9 years prior. Now she’s married and has two little girls. Japan opened my eyes to people. Because, besides the concrete, Japan is full of people! So few know about Jesus and it’s (also) heartbreaking. There’s so much depression and pressure to succeed, with no hope of eternity.

I have more of an idea of what I’m doing with my life since I started this journey. I’m pursuing my BS is Religion-Christian Counseling and planning on my Masters in Social Work after that. That will help me find resources and be a help and support to those whom I visit.

What’s next? Currently waiting on my new passport and not able to travel this year (new job). However, in 2018, Lord willing, I’m visiting friends in Valencia, Spain and Linz, Austria.

So, why missions? To spread the love of Jesus to the world. Why me? Why not? He called, I listened. Here I am Lord, send me. If He wants you to go, He’ll make a way. And forever change your heart in the process.

Oh, and I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 10 years ago too. Had a couple rough spots on trips, but God was ever faithful. Don’t let anything stand in the way of what you know God has called you to!!!

Parting note: “For ‘Everyone who calls on the name on the Lord will be saved.’ But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!’” Romans 10:13-15 NLT.

Mid February 2017

I totally missed the month of January, didn’t I? Feels like I’m about to miss February too if I’m not careful!

Been an interesting couple months since I wrote last. I turned 38. Which seems odd, I’m pretty sure I was just 28! Not facing 40 already! Had a painting party for my big day, mine is pictured below:

20170129_160125It was a fun time, I love doing things like that, especially with friends! Now I just have to get that hung on the wall!

School’s going OK. I’m a little behind in my current class, but I seem to say that a lot. Getting ready to register for Summer classes tomorrow. Which means I’m in the home stretch for graduating next year! Crazy me, I’m planning on going on to get my Masters soon after that, but one thing at a time!

Mike and I are on a break. I know, bad timing with V-day here, but it is what it is.

Anyway, also been nursing a sick kitty 😦 They both have feline herpes, which apparently is common with shelter pets. They get it in their nose, like humans get cold sores. He sounds more like he has an upper respiratory infection, so I’ll call the vet in a couple of days if it doesn’t clear up with the lysine she gave me for the herpes. Poor baby! They also had bad cases of ear mites recently too. Besides that, they’re completely spoiled and seem very happy 🙂

I feel like all I do is attempt to catch up with life these days. With some advice from my trainer (aka my therapist sometimes!), I’ve started scheduling out my week in order to develop a routine. Took a stab at it last week and it really helped. I just try to give 110% to everything and that doesn’t work! Not that I want to slack off in any area of my life, I just need to find balance and set priorities. Pray for me!

Buried my grandma’s ashes last week. Short and simple Scripture reading and prayer at the grave site, she was cremated back in November and we waited until her birthday to bury her. I know she’s with the Lord, but I still miss her and her wit.

I had a goal to dead-lift 125 lbs by my birthday. A little late, but I crushed that goal last week! 135 lbs – 2 sets of 5 lifts! Go me! I’m also further along in the Couch to 5K program than I’ve ever been! Feeling good! I made a deal with my trainer to not look at the scale for a while, and I’ve stuck to it. I have no idea if I’ve lost any weight, but I need to not focus on that number right now. I was stressing over it big time. I’m choosing to focus on the dead lifting and squatting numbers instead.

Work is still going well. I really like it here and hope to be here a long time. Yeah, I’m making less money, but I’m happy and more fulfilled – that’s what matters.

Speaking of work, my lunch is about over. I’ll talk to you all again soon, I hope!!

Mid December 2016 pt 2

Forgot to mention a couple of things yesterday…

I passed a FEMA test and will finally be certified as a Disaster Relief Chaplain for the Foursquare denomination! If you remember, I went to disaster relief training last October, so it only took 14 months, but I finally passed the test. This means I can be deployed locally or nationally to help respond to, well, disasters (tornadoes, earthquakes, flooding, terrorism, etc). I’ve also been told that I’ll be the first one from Foursquare in St Louis. One of those certifications, like CPR, that it’s nice to have, but hope you never have to use, ya know?

School news – of the 30 classes (well 31 since I have to retake one) I had to take for my degree, I only have 9 left! The end is in sight! 🙂

 

 

Below is a 30-minute video about the campaign the company I work for aired in St Louis a couple of weeks ago. I’m so proud to work for such a great place. If you have a little time and need some inspiration, please take a look.

Mid December 2016

Busy, busy. That’s my life. Nothing new, right? Just seems super busy with starting the new job and trying to wrap my head around all the things I’m learning. That plus finals and last week was harsh. My motivation train derailed and I didn’t do well in a few areas of my life. I think I’m starting to get back on track this week, so far, but it is only Monday.

I’ve got a month off school now though! Start back up on Jan 16th with Apologetics. I’ve taken a class similar to this before, so hopefully I can get a good grade. I only earned a C in my last class.

Job is going great. The people are nice and friendly and the hours are good. I got a chance to see some of the kids perform a Christmas program that they wrote themselves, it was sweet. I gotta admit, I was misty eyed! Also hearing where the company is headed and how much expansion is taking place is exciting. We’ll be working with the community a lot more soon and there are possibilities for advancement for me outside of HR after I earn my counseling degree. Not the direction  I was envisioning, but that doesn’t mean God wasn’t putting all these things in place.

Just looks at the things He’s done in my life, this year in particular, how can you not see a divine plan?

I got a new camera! So excited to play with it and get to know the world of DSLR. I got a Canon EOS 70D, and it is fun!

I also ordered my first Mac this weekend too. Should get that this week. I used Macs a lot as a kid, but very little as an adult. So, there will be a learning curve for a while, but I’ve got a few friends who can help me. I got it for photo and video editing mostly.

Kitties are doing well. They’re sweet and fun.  Here’s a picture of them snuggling or fighting, I don’t remember which!

20161217_185453

End of November 2016

I wrote a post the day before Thanksgiving, but it is actually already outdated! So I thought I’d start a new post.

My grandma passed away a couple of weeks ago. She was 93, and ready. I know she’s with Jesus, so I rejoice in that, but will still miss her a lot. I hadn’t really seen her too much over the past few years, for many different reasons, but I wish I had visited more. I was honored to officiate the service, and made it through without crying. A friend of mine lost her grandmother a few days ago too and another friend lost her sister-in-law. Sad times, but makes you cherish those around you all the more.

I adopted two kitties!! Samantha (or Sis) and Fletcher (or Brother). They are litter mates but don’t look like it. Fletcher is an orange/red/ginger tabby and Samantha is a tortoiseshell. They are adorable and very cuddly. I’ll post pics soon.

I GOT A JOB!! I’m working as a Human Resources Coordinator and a local non-profit that works with children and families with behavior issues and autism. I started Monday and so far I really like it. I took a pay cut, but I’ll still be able to manage. Plus, I’m working for a company that doing something that matters, ya know?

My new doctors are changing up some of my meds. Hopefully I won’t become a basket case over the holidays. Nah, I’ll be good. The good news is we’re decreasing meds, not increasing!

Training is going well. I can dead lift 105 pounds now. And my speed on the treadmill isn’t as pitiful as it was a couple of months ago.

School’s OK. Got another research paper due in a couple of weeks, seems to be the theme with these Senior classes.

Well, that’s about all right now. Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!