"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, September 26, 2011

One Week Left! Please Help if You Can!

The Big Red Shoes Are Back

The YWCA Staff Team needs some help to reach our goal.  There is one more week left to reach our goal!  Go to www.ywcancin.org and click on the red shoe or click on the link.

Join us in my efforts to support YWCA - North Central Indiana
Thank you for supporting YWCA - North Central. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.

Team Fundraising Goal:
Total Raised:
Can you walk a mile in her shoes! Join men throughout Michiana in the effort to raise awareness & money for the YWCA's Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault programs.

Saturday, October 1, 2011
9 am check in begins
10 am walk begins
Coveleski Stadium
South Bend, IN

Friday, September 23, 2011

Book Review: Your 100 Day Prayer

I am currently reading Your 100 Day Prayer: The Transforming Power of Actively Waiting on God by John I. Snyder.  I am on day 15 of the 100 day journey.  The premise of the book is that you pick one thing to pray about and then focus on that one thing for 100 days.  Not only do I think this book helped me get in the habit of praying every day, but it also has helped me focus on what to pray for.  For me, sometimes I find it hard to pray for myself because I feel that either I'm selfish to focus on myself or that I'm unworthy for God to answer something for me.  It's a process, but I am learning to break free from both of those opinions.  I am looking forward to continuing the journey of self discovery and watching God works is ways I have never seen before.  I'm excited to see what He is going to teach me through this journey.  We have some big changes coming into our lives in the next few years and it feels good to know that God is in control.  For each day there is a short devotion beginning with scripture and a guide to prepare you how to pray, so it forces me to go a little deeper than I might go on my own.  You can also jot notes and track the progress each day. 

"Go to God humbly and ask him to reveal the secret places of worry and anxiety that surround you and your need."

* Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Birthdays and Fun with Friends

Today is my best friend's birthday.  I hope she has an exceptional day.

It definitely been some crazy weeks for Steve and I.  I'm waiting for life to slow down a little.  I don't have any major complaints though.  Life is pretty good right now.  I feel really busy but I'm happy.

I have been feeling kind of lost for the past few years since switching churches.  I like Gospel Center but it didn't feel the same as Granger Community.  At Granger, I had friends and connections.  There was a real family atmosphere, even though it was so big.  Last week, I watched some old sermons and videos to reminisce.  Gospel Center is much smaller, but it seems to be taking longer for me to feel connected.  Steve felt connected pretty quick, but he started attending before I did.  Steve and I have started attending a small group at Gospel Center and I think that has helped me feel like I belong more.  I've actually been praying for opportunities to connect and I was invited to help with AWANA this year.  This is my first experience with AWANA.   AWANA is definitely different than Oasis.  I am working with Cubbies.  Cubbies are three and four year olds.  They have so much energy.  It's fun though.  I wish there was something fun like that for kids when I was little.  The kiddoes are so much fun. 

Last night after work, I met some friends to watch the Ohio State game and Steve met us after he got off.  The time with friends was great, but the game was a little disappointing.  There is always next week, right? :o)

Tonight, Steve and I are having dinner with some other members of the church as part of the Dinners For Eight event.  It should be fun and a relaxing way to end the week. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Can You Find a Way to Help!

I’m going to tell you the story of “Mary.” Mary could be a client at the YWCA. She is a young mother struggling to go to school, work, and take care of her kids. She wants more than anything to make a break the cycle of poverty that has gripped her family for generations. Since she doesn’t have her GED yet, she can not get a good paying job so she is living with her boyfriend, the father of her youngest daughter. She has three children (4, 3, and 1) and she just told her boyfriend that she thinks she is pregnant again. He gets angry and calls her a whore and says he can’t afford anymore kids. He says he already pays enough in child support and that he will leave her if she doesn’t have an Abortion. He pushes her towards the stairs, but luckily she grabs the stair railing to avoid falling down the stairs onto the floor below. Unsatisfied and still angry, he grabs her hair and pulls her into their room and smashes her head into the mirror. Her oldest daughter walks into the room to see what happened and the door is shut in her face. This young mother’s first instinct is to protect her children, so she tries to leave the room, but he won’t let her. She sits cowering in the corner of the room afraid to make a sound, so she doesn’t make him angry again. She sits there thinking to herself that she can’t afford to live on her own and she has nowhere else to turn, so she begs him for forgiveness. She is crying, scared, and bleeding, but what other choice does she have but to stay? In a few days, he will apologize and life will get back to “normal”…at least until she does something “wrong” again.

This women is made up, but this story plays out in different ways all over Michiana and I think it’s time we found an end domestic violence. How does that happen? It happens when we raise awareness that the issue exists in all households, in all demographics, in all races, and yes…it happens to men as well. The YWCA is in the business of helping women and their children escape and find a safe place to stay while they attend classes, find a better job, and get the counseling that they need. The YWCA is working to break the cycle of poverty by offering the clients life skills classes where they can learn things such as job interviewing skills, resume writing, parenting skills, CPR/First Aid, financial management, and so much more.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month!  I think a great way to start the month is to make the YWCA's Walk a Mile in her Shoes a great event.

Join men throughout Michiana in the effort to raise awareness & money for the YWCA's Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault programs.
Go to www.ywcancin.org and donate to the cause or join the team of walkers.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
9 am check in begins
10 am walk begins
Coveleski Stadium

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering September 11th

I'm not sure I could tell you exactly what I was doing all day last Tuesday, but I remember exactly where I was and what i was doing that Tuesday morning, September 11th. So much have changed the last 10 years. I watched the news for days straight. My roommate and I left the TV while we went to sleep. We didn't want to miss anything.  The terrorists didn't just knock down some buildings that day. The terrorists didn't have a plan to kill people.  They wanted to destroy our country.  They wanted to make us afraid and vulnerable.  They hate our freedoms.  They tried to destroy our economy and they almost succeeded.  If we, as a nation, continue to live in fear than the terrorists have won.  I believe there is hope that God will restore this country.
I didn't have any classes that semester on Tuesdays, so I was still a sleep. All of a sudden my phone rang twice, but I didn't get to the phone either time. For some reason, I thought that I had better check my voice mails just in case it was important.  My mom said there was a fire in the Trade Center in New York and I should turn on the news.I thought that it was probably just a gas leak or a fire, but when I turned on the news and they said it was a plane, I just knew it had to be an accident. I didn't really know what to think at first. My first thoughts were that some pilot had fallen asleep and got off course and crashed. It seemed so unimaginable that someone would deliberately fly a plane into a building. Then we watched live on TV the second plane hit the second tower. I knew then that it could not have been a mistake.  We really didn't know what to think then. I was afraid for the people in the towers; hoping they would be able to get out of the building. Then we heard about other missing planes and everything seemed to be in chaos.  Then we watched in horror both towers collapse.  It was surreal. I remember watching the towers collapse right before my eyes thinking....there is no way everybody got out of there. When we heard about the other planes crashing, I just watched waiting for something else to happen. I couldn't take my eyes off the TV. I felt like I was watching a movie. It didn't feel real at first. I definitely remember feeling fear.  I kept thinking that i was going to wake up and everything was going to the same. I soon realized that nothing would ever be the same again.

Bethel called a emergency chapel service, so the Bethel community could get together and pray for the people involved. We continued to watch the news on the big screen in chapel and Bethel canceled classes for the rest of the day.  My roommate and I went back our room and sat in our dorm room and watched the news for the rest of the day.  I don't really remember anything else for the rest of day except for sitting in our room watching the news.  I don't even remember eating.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Our Crazy Week

Care Bears sleeping after a long day or coloring pages and making clipart!It looks like we have survived our crazy work week so far.  Steve and I both worked almost 60 hours this week between our two jobs.  I didn't think we would make it through.  I am so tired today.  I can't remember the last day I had off from both jobs.  Steve actually had the day off today from both jobs.  I hope he had a great and relaxing day.  He really needed a day off.  He was getting pretty tired.  He actually worked more than I did because a kid at Sears decided on Saturday that he didn't want to come in to work, so Steve picked up some unscheduled hours.  If we had the extra money, I would say we needed to take a vacation, but maybe someday soon we will take a "stay-cation." 
I am definitely thankful that Steve and I both have great jobs.  There are so many people out there that don't have any jobs.  God has certaintly been providing for us with all the budget cuts at the YWCA.  The upside of all the work is we have the money we need to house repairs and we can throw the extra towards paying off Steve's student loan.   The downside is that I'm so tired all the time and we don't get the spend very much time with friends or family or each other.  I do love getting together with my family every Tuesday for Trivia Night at Mancino's and we did have some much needed time with friends on Labor Day.  I even made ribs for the first time all by myself because Steve was at work.  We really need to do that more often.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Important of Starting to Save Early

Learn From Ben - Start Saving NOW!

Saving money consistently is so important! The earlier you start, the better. Let compound interest work in your favor! While you can’t change the past, you CAN start right now! What is every high school student couldn't graduate until they could understand and explain this chart?  I sure I would have!
Example - Ben and Arthur

Both save $2,000 per year at 12%. Ben starts at age 19 and stops at age 26. Arthur starts at age 27 and stops at age 65.
AgeBen InvestsArthur Invests
19$2,000$2,240$0 $0
20$2,000$4,749$0 $0
21$2,000$7,558$0 $0
22$2,000$10,706$0 $0
23$2,000$14,230$0 $0
24$2,000$18,178$0 $0
25$2,000$22,599$0 $0
26$2,000$27,551$0 $0
27$0 $30,857$2,000$2,240
28$0 $34,560$2,000$4,749
29$0 $38,708$2,000$7,558
30$0 $43,352$2,000$10,706
31$0 $48,554$2,000$14,230
32$0 $54,381$2,000$18,178
33$0 $60,907$2,000$22,599
34$0 $68,216$2,000$27,551
35$0 $76,802$2,000$33,097
36$0 $85,570$2,000$39,309
37$0 $95,383$2,000$46,266
38$0 $107,339$2,000$54,058
39$0 $120,220$2,000$62,785
40$0 $134,646$2,000$72,559
41$0 $150,804$2,000$83,506
42$0 $168,900$2,000$95,767
43$0 $189,168$2,000$109,499
44$0 $211,869$2,000$124,879
45$0 $237,293$2,000$142,104
46$0 $265,768$2,000$161,396
47$0 $297,660$2,000$183,004
48$0 $333,379$2,000$207,204
49$0 $373,385$2,000$234,308
50$0 $418,191$2,000$264,665
51$0 $468,374$2,000$298,665
52$0 $524,579$2,000$336,745
53$0 $587,528$2,000$379,394
54$0 $658,032$2,000$427,161
55$0 $736,995$2,000$480,660
56$0 $825,435$2,000$540,579
57$0 $924,487$2,000$607,688
58$0 $1,035,425$2,000$682,851
59$0 $1,159,676$2,000$767,033
60$0 $1,298,837$2,000$861,317
61$0 $1,454,698$2,000$966,915
62$0 $1,629,261$2,000$1,085,185
63$0 $1,824,773$2,000$1,217,647
64$0 $2,043,746$2,000$1,366,005
65$0 $2,288,996$2,000$1,532,166
...And he never
caught up!