"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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Blizzard Warning Issued

So, all over the news they are threatening that we are going to get another big snowstorm over the next few days.  I've heard anywhere from 6-8 inches to two feet.  Good thing I went grocery shopping yesterday.

News Story

"Storm seen as worst since '99"
I remember the storm in 1999. That was my Senior year of High School and we got an extra week of Christmas Vacation.  All the other grades had to make up the days, but we didn't because we were graduating. :o) 
"The weather service said the storm, expected to arrive Tuesday afternoon over much of northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana, could be "dangerous, multifaceted and potentially life-threatening."
All told, forecasters expect at least a foot of snow over much of the warning area. White-out conditions are expected at times Tuesday night, with snowfall rates of at least 2 to 3 inches per hour possible with northeast winds of 25 to 40 mph and even stronger gusts."
Well,  we may be stuck inside for the next few days.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mandisa: Voice of the Savior

I heard this song on the way to Sears yesterday and I really liked it, so I'm sharing it with you.

Mandisa-Voice of the Savior

Some people try to listen, to the bottom of a bottle
Some people try to listen, to a needle in their arm
Some people try to listen, to the money in their pocket
Some people try to listen, to another’s arms

You and I are not that different
We got a void and we’re just trying to fill it up
With something that will give just a little peace
All we want is a hand to reach to
Open arms that say I love you
We’d give anything to hear
The voice of a Savior

Some people try to find it with blind ambition
Some people try to find it where no one else has gone
Some people try to find it in the crowns of victory
Some people get defeated and lose the strength to carry on


Some people try to find it in the shadow of a steeple
Some people try to find it in the back row pew
Some people try to find it in the arms of Jesus
That’s where I found it, how about you?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Remodeling Fun

I am really ready to have my house back.  We have been in construction zone since Christmas.  We drove all around town on Sunday looking for a mirror that we liked to put in the bathroom.  We didn't find anything, so the search continues.  We found a really great shelf online at ikea.com but it is only available in the store. The closest Ikea to us is 106 miles away. :o( Luckilly for us, my Aunt lives near there and she is amazing and she is willing to drive to the store and pick it up for us.  I love my Aunt.  It's not a fancy shelf, but I really like it.  Then ikea also has some little white wicker baskets that we are going to put on the shelf.  You have to buy those at the store too, so we are hoping we can find some that we like close by.  Now we just have to find a mirror that we like to put over the sink and the bathroom will be almost done.
Last night, I started getting the living room cleaned up.  I folded some laundry, vacuumed the floor, and put the exercise bike back where it goes after we got home from Trivia Night.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Feel Productive Today

I feel really productive today.  The past month has been so busy at work with all the monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual grant reports that have to be done by January 15th.  Since I've spent the last month working mainly on those reports, there are other projects and other work that has had to be put on the back burner.  I also have to do the semi-annual data report about all the services and clients we have served in the last 6 months.  That report is about 50 pages long.  I actually enjoy working with data and statistics though, so it's kind of fun.  I think it's interesting to see how many clients we have served and from what walks of life they are coming from.  It makes me feel like even though I don't actually meet personally with the clients that my work is making a difference in their lives.

Today, I have spent the morning trying to catch up on everything that I have been putting on the back burner for the last month.  I'm very happy to see my big pile getting smaller.  Hopefully the rest of the day will be just as productive and hopefully this productive feeling will continue when I get home.  I have a bunch of housework, ie laundry and dishes, that need to be done.  The laundry is actually all clean.  It just needs to be folded and put away.
  • Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards. Proverbs 12:14
  • He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done. Proverbs 19:1

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

God's Promise!

“God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.”

Budget Cuts

The YWCA is having to cut back the budget again due to the loss of some grant money, so that means my hours are being cut again.  Starting this week, I will be getting off at noon on Fridays, so I will go from 40 hours a week to 36 hours a week.  I still will be considered Full Time and my benefits will not affected, so praise God for that.  Luckily, so far Steve's hours have not been affected.  Praise God for that too.  The last time the YWCA had to cut staff hours, Steve lost 8 hours a week, so I'm thankful that has not happened yet.
I trust that God is going to get us through this temporary set back in the budget.  Hopefully, the YWCA will get some new private donors, so we will not have to rely on government funding so much.
We are going to make some changes to our budget in the coming months and that will probably mean that we will have to slow down a little on our debt snowball, but I believe that we will make it work.  God has always provided for us in the past and I am trusting that He will continue to do so.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Goals for 2011

I decided that I didn't want to make a New Years Resolution this year.  I want to have a plan and a goal.  Resolutions without a plan is just a dream. Successful people reassess their lives and then start living intentionally, in writing, on paper, on purpose. Goal setting is how you win. Once you've made your resolutions, they will drive you forward. The goals will motivate you to seek activities that will help you succeed. It's not always fun, but those exercises bring you closer to your goal and make you a winner.

To Make Goals Happen They Must Be:
  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Your Goals
  4. A Time Limit
  5. In Writing
My Goals for 2011:
  1. Financial:
    1. We are going to pay off more in debt by the end of the year, than we did last year.
  2. Intellectual:
    1. I am going to read one non-Fiction book a month. 
    2. At least two of those books, will be topic I know nothing or not much about right now.
  3. Family:
    1. I am going to make a commitment to having a date night at least once a month, without the TV.
  4. Spiritual:
    1. I am going to make a start receiving a daily devotional online or Bible reading.
    2. I am going to read at least one Christian book this year.
  5. Career:
    1. I am going to read at least one career book this year.
  6. Physical:
    1. I am going to exercise, either on the Wii Fit or by walking, at least 3 times a week.  I want to get my BMI down 2 points by the time I turn 30 (6 months).

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Snow Day!

So Michiana got dumped on by lake-effect snow last night and since the city didn't plow our street after the last snow the foot or more that we got overnight just added to the snow we already had, so as you probably already guessed it, we are stuck in the house today.  Steve tried to leave this morning to get a free sandwich from Chick Fil-A, but he only got a few feet past our house and had to come back.  He is pretty disappointed in his lack of free sandwich.
I had to call off from Sears today because there is no way that my Focus is going to make it down the street and I don't have very high hopes that the city is going to be plowing our street anytime soon.  My dad is borrowing the truck, but I'm not even sure the truck would make it through.  Our neighbor tried to get out with his truck and gave up after about 30 minutes.
Steve has actually been wanting a big snow like this since he moved here.  Hopefully, we will be able to get out and play in it, since we won't be going anywhere today.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Year in Review: 2010

Wow, I can't another year is over.  It seems like every year goes by faster than the one before. 

In April, we made the final payment on my student loan.  That really felt good.  I do not miss having that payment in my life.  Six years after graduation, I figured it was time to kick Sallie Mae out of the house.  Steve's family grew with the addition of twins.  Steve's cousin and her husband had one boy and one girl, David and Elizabeth.

In May, Steve and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary with dinner at Ruth Chris in Granger. I love him more every day.  We also took a week trip to Texas for a Total It Up training during the last week of May.   Total It Up is a five-day course that includes introductory classes on phonetics and phonology, grammar, language and culture learning, translation and semantics, as well as field reports, videos, and personal testimonies.  It was fun and we also go to see my best friend, Lizzy, and her family while we were there. 

In June, I celebrated my 29th birthday and the next day my cousin got married to his long-time girlfriend, Carrie.  She is awesome.  I'm so glad she is part of our family now and I'm even more excited that they are going to have their first child in July 2011.

July and August involved a lot of family time.  Over the 4th of July weekend, Steve's brother visited us and we got to meet our newest niece at 10 days old.  In August, my little brother got married and my parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with an Alaskan Cruise.  We also welcomed another niece in August.  We got to meet her at Thanksgiving.  She is very cute.

The fall/winter was busy with October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Steve participated again in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Event.  He raised $251 for the cause.  Our great friends, Tabby and Greg, welcomed their first child, Grant, at the end of October.  My friend Esther and her husband also welcomed a son and the chef at the YWCA and her husband welcomed a daughter.  This was the year for babies around our world and next year is looking to be another baby boom for us too.  For Thanksgiving, we got together with Steve's family.  We are both still working at Sears and the Christmas season is the busy time at work.  We survived the craziness though.  After Christmas, Steve and I took a week of vacation and Steve used the week to renovate our bathroom.  We are getting a new tub, a new toilet, and a new vanity. Steve did a really great job and it's almost done. 

We were blessed beyond belief this year.  I am so thankful for the amazing friends and family that we have.   I'm so looking forward to great adventures 2011 will have in store for us.

"To God be the glory, great things he hath done! So loved he the world that he gave us his Son, who yielded his life an atonement for sin, and opened the lifegate that all may go in."