"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
~Isaiah 6:8 NIV
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"
~Micah 6:8 NASB

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bring on 2010!

I can't believe this year is almost over. It seemed like it went so fast. It definetly was a great year though. I don't think there is any part of the year that I would change.
It started out with us getting settled in our new house.  Having a house is a lot of work.  I had no idea how much work went into fixing up a house. It's been exciting though.  The biggest thing we did this year on the house was new windows.  We saved up the money and got bids from different companies and with the help of some great friends and my dad, Steve put in the new windows. I love them.  The house seems much brighter with the new windows and our electric bill is definitely happier.

We celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary this year in May.  We also made the final payments on our vehicles this Spring. It feels so good knowing the cars are paid for. It's just one less debt to worry about.  The next task is to tackle the student loans. Besides the house, the student loans are all we have left.
This summer, my High School class celebrated our 10 Year Reunion.  Liz traveled up from Tulsa to spend the week with us, so I was happy about that.  It was good to see some friends I hadn't seen in awhile and catch up with others I see all the time.

This summer, Steve, our friend Damian, and I took a road trip to Philadephia to visit Steve's cousin, Meredith.  We spent a day walking around Philly, then we went to the a Phillies baseball game.  We also visited Delaware and spent a day in New York City.  I think in total we visited 5 different states.  The trip was pretty fun.  I rode on a train and a city bus for the first time. I love history, so walking around all the sites in Philly was really exciting.
God blessed us at every turn this year.  It seemed like everytime we felt discouraged or stressed, He had something for us right around the corner.
We are back working a second part time job at Sears for Christmas.  We are both hoping they keep us after the season is over. 

We ended the year with a trip to Chicago with some amazing friends.  It was a bit on the chilly side, but great fun anyway.  These two have been two of my best friends for almost 20 years. I would not trade them for the world.  Our husbands all get along too, so that's great.
I made a New Years Goal last year of reading one non-fiction book a month, for a total of 12.  As of today, I'm working on number 11.  I didn't reach my goal, but I figure 11 books is more than I read last year. 
I can't wait to see what God has in store for us in the next year.  Bring it on.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 YWCA Christmas

YWCA Wish List

Thank You to Everyone who Donated to the YWCA this Year!
The need continues all year: Become a Women of Vision today!
If you have any questions please call Peggy King at 574-233-9491 or email her at pking@ywcasjc.org.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Reading Goal: 10 Down, 2 More to Go

I had a goal this year to read one non-fiction books a month, for a total of 12 books, because I heard the average millionaire reads one non-fiction book a month.  I just finished my tenth book, so that means I have one month to read the last two.  I'm not sure what books I'm going to read yet.  This was much harder then I though, probably harder than it should have been. 
Proverbs 18:15 (New International Version)
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.

Here is a summary of the books I read so far:
  1. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
  2. Financial Peace Revisited by Dave Ramsey
  3. Who Moved my Cheese by Spencer Johnson
  4. Bridges Out of Poverty by Phil DeVol
  5. Rhinoceros Success by Scott Alexander
  6. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
  7. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Richard Kiyosaki
  8. Your First Two Years of Youth Ministry by Doug Fields
    1. This was actually the second time I read this book.  I loved it again this time too.  This book is full of little tokins of wisdom.  I recommend it for anyone working with kids, not just in Youth Ministry.
      1. "God is much more concerned by your being than your doing."
      2. "Failure to see the difference between loving God and loving others can result in a ministry-focused life rather than a God-focused life."
      3. "Faithfullness to the first commandment (loving God) results in obedience to the second (loving others).
      4. Accountability: "Be courageous enough to invite a friend to lovingly ask you about your consistency, your desire, and the quality of your times with God."
      5. "God doesn't need you to be a spiritual giant to lead students toward maturity."  God is mostly concerned for your heart.  As you walk on the journey and grow closer to Jesus, drag some students to follow you along the way.
      6. When students start to follow you, it is very important that you are leading them in the right direction though.  Students will follow where you go more than they will ever listen to what you say.  It may feel like a burden, but it's actually a calling.
      7. (1 Corinthians 11:1)  Students are like sponges. They soak up everything you say and do.
      8. "Student leadership can allow them to use their skills of God's kingdom, interact with full-time ministers, and open their eyes to a unique way of spending their vocational lives."
      9. "Effective students leaders advance the church, reach more people, grow in their spiritual journeys, and relieve adult leaders of some of the work load."
      10. "Student leaders will challenge you with their readiness to serve, inspire you with their faith, and convict you with their pure motives...Invite them to serve, and be with them when they face trials in the future." "Most teenagers are dying for an adult to believe in them."
  9. The 21 Irrefuttable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
    1. The ideas in this book are pretty simple.  This is a must-read for anyone that is a leader or plans to become one.
      1. "Character makes trust possible. And trust makes leadership possible. That is the Law of Solid Ground."
      2. "People listen not necessarily because of the truth being communicated in the message, but because of their respect for the speaker."
      3. "Champions don't become champions in the ring - they are merely recognized there."
      4. "The Law of Sacrifice says you have to give up to go up."
      5. "When the right leader and the right time come together, incredible things happen."
  10. QBQ: The Question Behind the Question by John Miller
    1. "What to really ask yourself to eliminate blame, complaining, and procrastination."  This is a book was a really huge smack in the face.  This is probably the place in my life that I struggle the most.  The lack of personal accountability is a problem. No organization or person can achieve goals or compete in the marketplace without personal accountability.
      1. "Stress is a choice...Yes bad things happen: The economy sours, our business struggles, the stock market tumbles, jobs are lost, people around us don't follow through, deadlines are missed, projects fail, good people leave. But still stress is a choice...we choose are response." We choose to become angry.  We choose to worry.
      2. Blame questions solve nothing. "They create fear, destroy creativity, and build walls."  Instead of brainstorming and working together to get things done, we "blamestorm" and accomplish nothing.
      3. "Ownership: A committment of the head, heart, and hands to fix the problem and never again affix the blame."
      4. "Managers don't change people. They can coach, counsel, teach, and guide, but no one changes another person. Change only comes from inside, as a result of decisions made by the individual."
      5. No matter our role, someone is watching and emulating our behavior. "Modeling is the most powerful of all teachers."
      6. Taking action may seem risky, but doing nothing can be an an even bigger risk. "Action, even when it leads to mistakes, brings learning and growth. Inaction brings stagnation and atrophy."
      7. "Humility is the cornerstone of leadership."