Monday, January 30, 2012


Last week, I had an "encounter" with someone new at church. It was someone I'd never met before. Basically, the encounter included an expressed opinion about my profession and how we don't work as hard. Yes, I'm a teacher and unless you spend a few days with me and do everything I do, I don't expect you to understand. The opposite is true too. I don't know what others do unless I try it myself. I know other professions are difficult. I've tried them when I was searching for a teaching job, in between subbing, etc. Anyway, I didn't snap back at this person and took the "high road" the rest of the evening.

I stewed over it for a few days letting it get to me. Well...God showed me the humor I needed Sunday morning. I attend the early service and as I was getting in my car, guess who was parked RIGHT BESIDE ME! You guessed it! I purposely greeted this person and made light conversation before leaving. As I was leaving, I "LOL" (laughed out loud) the whole way down the road. It was a total relief and I no longer have that issue bothering me.

Some people don't believe God has a sense of humor. But, if we were made in His image, wouldn't sense of humor be part of that? Personally, I believe God isn't laughing at us. That's not His style, but I'm sure he laughs with me when I do something really klutzy or with my students who have their creative imaginations that sometimes become very comical. Laughter is a blessing that releases our heart and physical body from the seriousness we impose on ourselves. With that in mind, God definitely must want us to enjoy laughter. As for the naysayers who don't believe there should be humor in church/religion ... lighten up and go have a good belly laugh!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Worry, Worry, Worry...

How much do you worry? I've worried enough to get that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I've even worried enough to make me worry about getting an ulcer from worry. At least, that USED to be what happened. 

As a single woman, there are so many things to worry about:
  • Do I have enough to pay the bills?
  • How am I going to find time to keep the house clean?
  • How am I going to get all of that snow shoveled with my carpal tunnel?
  • How am I going to get the yard mowed since the dr. said no?
  • Who am I going to get do a major repair on the house?
  • What will I do if my job is cut?
  • Blind Dating. Will he be nice? Is he a closet maniac?
  • Will I ever get married?
  • Will I ever have kids"
  • Will I be alone the rest of my life?
  • What if the alarm doesn't go off?
There are SOOOO many things to worry about! Fortunately, refocusing my life on God has been a big help with worry. 

"So do not be afraid. I am with you. 
      Do not be terrified. I am your God.
   I will make you strong and help you.
      My powerful right hand will take good care of you.
      I always do what is right." (Isaiah 41:10)

In my times of worry, I take a mental step back and try to imagine myself laying in God's hand like a small creature being protected. To me, it's a way to imagine the comfort that He gives and the protection He provides. Those worries go straight to Him because I don't want to deal with them anymore. God is in control of my worry.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'm 6%!!!

A Facebook acquaintance posted this the other day... "Have decided that I'm not 40-something! I'm 39.99 plus Shipping and Handling!." As a woman, I know that we get caught up in ages. I've heard the quotes about men aging more gracefully. Frankly, I don't believe it. I see many women my age who look a lot younger than their male peers. Perhaps it's all of the age-defying products we use now. 

Honestly, I know it's hard to accept one of those decade changers when birthdays roll around. It's different for everyone. Mine was 30. It was like I suddenly had to grow up. Now I'm 45 and not ashamed of it. I don't care anymore because I know who I am inside. Don't you know 50 is the new 30? At least, that's why "they" tell us. The problem is that "they" are usually in their 50s and wanting an excuse to look better to others. Why do they really care still at 50?

I look at 45 and feel young. It's because I'm a Christian. There were people a lot older than me in the Bible.  Noah was 500 when he had three sons. He was 600 when he was in the ark. Even if you convert it from their 10-month calendar to our 12-month version, he was still 500 in the ark. That means I'm only 9% of Noah's age during the flood. Actually, he lived 950 years according to Genesis 9 (750 years in our time). That's even better because that puts me at 6%. It will take me 7 1/2 years to get to 7%. 

So...the next time someone asks me my age, I'll tell them I'm 6%! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Reading Glasses

Yes...I'm there. I'm at the place where I have to add reading glasses to my contacts just to see the page. I whip them out in church and at work to read, then immediately take them off because even the lowest strength is still a little too strong. So, I go through life feeling a little unbalanced and uncoordinated. Thankfully, my books are digital so I can enlarge the font. 

Praise God for technology! 

Praise God for those amazing minds He created to give us all of those things to help those of us with less-than-perfect bodies! 

Praise God for reading glasses as much as I hate them!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Warning Signs

As I was sitting watching a long train go by, I snapped a quick pic of the warning lights. It also got me thinking about the warning signs we see and hear daily...
traffic signals
road signs
property signs
beeps (dryer, microwave, vehicles, etc.)
dark clouds
TV warnings
...and more.

Then I thought about what signs God gives us in our daily lives. Some are big, some are subtle. Those dark clouds aren't so subtle nor are the lightening flashes and sounds of thunder. However, that's not all He does. That little inkling inside that you feel when you're making a choice about something. He uses the Holy Spirit to tell you that you're not taking the right path. It's the warning that lets you know something's not right. So many amazing things have happened in the past where someone got a special feeling and responded to it.

And when we don't listen? Of course, then we usually suffer some type of consequences. Take for instance eating. You know you can't handle eating so much sugar or spice or whatever, yet you still do. You indulge. usually pay for it in one way or another. Some people take pills to combat these choices, but really, you're still paying by paying for temporary relief. It's that way with other decisions too. Sometimes, you put off things or run away them only to pay for them later.

God gives us the strength to face things. He is there. He will be there after the unpleasantness enters your life. He is there to warn us ahead of time. A difficult thing for us is to pay attention. The best way is to have a personal one-on-one relationship with God. Talk to Him. Tell him your feelings. Listen to your instincts. That's God helping you.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Blessings from a Purse

My friends know that I started yet another direct sales business this 4th. The difference this time is that I prayed about it first for a few weeks. In my prayers, I told God that I planned to use this business to help me reach the world, support my financial future better, and help His kingdom as well. I prayed that it was an answer I needed. Then...I waited. Sometimes, waiting takes a LONG time (which is really short for God, but seems long to us). This one, not so much. I had a feeling about this decision that it felt completely right. The right fit.

This month, I've been carrying a new sample (not one of my favorites, really) and lots of people have been paying attention to it. I've learned business lessons from it like carry catalogs with you, make sure your info is updated, etc. Today, as I checked out at the local grocery, again, it was noticed. In the past, I wouldn't thank Him for this. But as I drove away, I was praising Him fully the whole way to work. Whoever thought I'd be praising God for something that a purse started. I've always heard that God is in the details. Little did I know He'd be in a turquoise purse too! Thank you, Lord!!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Five Love Languages for Singles

I just finished reading The Five Love Languages for Singles by Dr. Gary Chapman. I haven't read the first book, The Five Love Languages yet, but plan to now. It was so insightful! He talks about the five ways that people love in all types of relationships, but specifically in the singles world in this book. I think it would be helpful to so many people to explore this. When I read the chapters describing the five types, I was fortunate to know what I need most. Actually, as he explains later, it's possible to be bilingual. I have two that are right at the top and feel the need for those a lot as I'm not getting them to fill my "love bank".

So that I don't give more away, I just wanted to recommend this book or any of The Five Love Languages books to everyone. I'm so glad I'm able to read these and if I ever find the person meant for me, I will make sure he reads it too and we have a deep discussion. What's better than going into a relationship with the other person knowing what it takes to love you the best and you love him the best?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1000 Gifts

I have some blogs bookmarked that I don't always read. Something led me to this one the other night and I'm glad I clicked on it. In the last post, there were some amazing pictures of life. Then near the bottom, a challenge to count your blessings up to 1000 in 2012. They're calling it the Joy Dare. I started mine. Hope you find it helpful too.

The Joy Dare - January

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Big Picture

The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close-up.
Chuck Palahniuk

I recently posted this on my Facebook profile. It's amazing how so many people get caught up in the details of life. Yes, details are important, but really, in a week, a month or a year...will it still matter as much? Isn't the "big picture" our ultimate goal?

As a Christian, it's also tough to see the "big picture" at times. It's easy to get caught up in the details of what the Bible says rather than focusing on the whole message. It's also easy to find people who take the Bible out of context and/or twist things to suit their own desires. Yes, the scriptures can be confusing and interpreted in several ways, but there are some definite things that are not taught through the scriptures because they are showing love.

It's tough to step back and look at the whole picture of our lives. We get caught up in the details of what we want and what we have, but no longer want. I think of the picture like a puzzle. Each piece is important for the whole, but it's not worth spending energy and mental power on it if you can't make that piece fit immediately. Perhaps we need to try some other pieces then come back to that piece when it does fit. God puts those pieces in our lives. The pieces won't fit when we want them to fit, but when He wants them to fit.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cooking for 1

I LOVE leftovers, but some meals just give you leftovers for too many nights. Others are great, but not reheated. I don't mind cooking, it's the clean-up that gets me because I'm already tired at the end of the day. Plus, I'm picky...VERY picky. Since I don't have anyone who needs a dinner from me, I typically eat out every night. (hence part of the weight problem.) Until now... it's one of my goals (not a covenant at all) to cook dinner more often and save money.

So...from time to time. I'm going to share some of my successes as I try new recipes. Tonight was a rerun of something I haven't made in years. It's called Sunshine BBQ Chicken. I forgot how much I liked it and how easy it was even in clean up! It'll definitely be part of my repertoire now. I'm even considering meal planning to force me to cook more. And since I'm sharing recipes, I have to share a cake that's great for taking to events at work. It's easy, tastes great and is cheap to make. I stocked up on the supplies for it when they were on sale last week for Glazed Lemon Cake

In my decision to cook more, that gave me the chance to try a menu app. For now, I'm really liking You can type in the recipes online and it loads to your app. Best of all, when I'm at the store, I have a list in my hand to check off so I don't forget anything that's in categories. It also has something that will let you reduce or increase your recipe, though I haven't tried that yet. It might be a good option for some future recipes. 

Now I just have to remember to say grace at every meal and not just the ones where someone's there with me. God is supplying my hunger needs, I really should thank Him for it. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Single and Lovin' it???

As the idea for this blog title popped in my mind, it reminded me of the popular phrase, "single and lovin' it". However, I haven't really been able to apply that to me. There are tons of times where I haven't loved being single. I've honestly shed tears and gone through deep emotions and questioning God as to when it will be my turn to find that person He has reserved for me. In my questioning, I also was asking for signs and even giving Him deadlines. "Lord, help me find someone to marry by 30." "Lord, help me find someone to marry by 35." "Lord, I want to be engaged by 40." "Lord, I'm 45. Can I just have a nice date?".

So far, it hasn't gone very far. I can count the boys/men I've dated over my lifetime on my hands. I even tried several of the dating sites which turned out to be a big dud and cost me money I didn't really want to spend on such a risk. I "thought" God was leading me down that path. I even coined the phrase on a dating profile that God closed some doors, but I never expected him to open a computer window. (rimshot time...Corny, I know.)

This past holiday season, I've made a decision to change my approach. I'm doing my best to fully enjoy the moments that I have with someone who may come along rather than let my mind rush to a future with him. I'm letting God show me who I'm meant to be with. And if there's nobody (male) available, I'll enjoy the time I can with my family and my friends.

Years ago, I had a conversation after work with a trusted mentor. She reminded me that God will fill our deepest desires. She said He will know when BOTH of us are ready. "May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed." (Psalm 20:4) "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." (Psalm 37:4)

I didn't know then that I wasn't ready. I thought I was. I let myself feel down while watching so many others who were children when I was their age (20s & 30s) find a loving relationship and start families while I was still waiting. I couldn't really be happy for them, but harbored a deep jealousy instead. 

So, how does a Christian women go about being "single and lovin' it"? For me, that is taking a different approach to how I live. Every morning, I'm telling myself to find the joy in my day. Instead of regretting my singleness, I remind myself of the things I can do being alone. The best part is that I'm actually starting to believe it. For me, it's come down to loving God and having a daily conversation with him out loud. He really is there. It's time for me to find the way to love being a single for now.

Find the Joy, my single friends!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

OCD Moments

I once heard on a show that everyone has their own levels of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) about something. Even those who are immersed in clutter have something that must be in an organized fashion like a routine. Think about it. You probably do the same things in the same order as you get ready for the day. I know when I put in my contacts, the right one ALWAYS goes in first. It doesn't feel right when I try to reverse it.

I watch these organizing shows and dream of the time when my house will look like that. I guess you'd call me a reverse clutterer. My closets and drawers are pretty well-organized. Yes...that's my silverware drawer in the picture. What makes it reversed is that everything that doesn't have a place yet ends up in a pile somewhere.

Looking at my piles of clutter and my immaculate silverware drawer, it makes me wonder why people are like this. Why do we like structure and conformity so much? Is it because we fear the unknown? Why are some people comfortable with immense structure and order, while others seem to find pleasure in the lack of order of things? Even children crave structure despite their complaints about it. It's a comfort that makes them feel secure. Does structure in our adult lives make us feel secure too?

Most of all, what does God want us to do? Does he want us to follow a specific formalized format for worship or is He happy when we venture into the unknown and let our joy predict our path? Even as Christians, we enjoy order in our worship whether it's a formal style or the newer contemporary style that many churches have now added. It's all structured in some way to make us feel comfortable and at home with God when we are there. Worship is one of God's ways to make us feel safe. That's why I worship. I need the structure to feel safe. I need that time at the beginning of my week and help protect me throughout the rest of the week. He's protecting my spirit. That's what matters most.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It's over...Time's up!

What's over you ask? The end of Christmas vacation. I re-enter the workforce today with anxiety and longing for more time off. I long for the next break or even a snow day to get things accomplished that I blew off this holiday. Sad, isn't it? I had the time to do these things. I can make some time on the weekends before things pick up again. So why did I blow it off?

Well...let's see. We'll start with my weight loss. I'd lost 70 pounds through 2 different programs over the last 4 years. I get bored with it and use celebrations as an excuse to eat badly. Therefore, since my birthday in October, I've now gained back almost 30 pounds. GRRR! I miss that time of wearing those new skinny jeans that now won't come close to wearable. So, again, I'll TRY to find my "mojo" to get the weight off again. I planned to start the day after Christmas and that only lasted about a day and a half.

When you're losing weight in a program, you hear promises of keeping it off,  yet so many fail and have to keep working at it. It's a life-long process now. I know that. But, I still love pizza, subs, fast food, etc. It's like that covenant I talked about the other day. Do you have to do everything full-force to get desired results? Yeah, it might take a little longer, but I'm sure I'll be happier along the way. makes me happy, comforts me and is a reward. So, eating healthy gets shoved in the backseat sometimes.

I can't help it. I even grew up in church which is usually filled with snacks, potlucks, etc. Even in meetings, we talked about serving food to get more people to come to things. Nothing wrong with that! Food is a natural way to ease people into conversation and make them feel comfortable with you. Even daters usually go out for dinner or coffee on the first date. It's less threatening I guess.

So, back to my original topic...blowing things off for later. I figured it out. Because I pushed myself so hard this summer (4 grad classes among it all), I needed a break that I seemed to have missed. I needed rest and reflection. I needed time with God. I needed time to evaluate what I want to do next. I needed time to just be. Vacations are for recovering physically and mentally. Taking a much-needed break from the hectic and exhausting schedules of work life. Taking time for me. I know it's ok because I did it and everything's still here for me to tackle when I'm ready...some day.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Speed Limits

"Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why." - Eddie Cantor

Have you noticed how nobody drives the speed limit? Around here, we've been told that you can drive up to 6 miles over the limit without getting a fine. What's the purpose of having the limits then?

While I was driving yesterday, it hit me that I'm officially a speed limit. As we get older, we hit higher speed limits in age. Yet, as I'm getting older, I'm slowing down more and not just in my driving (especially after my only ticket years ago with 4 points on my license...UGH!).

As a single, I see why marrieds and parents are moving faster, but why are singles too? Are we too caught up in the little things that we forget to see the bigger picture?  I know it's not forever. Nothing really is in this world. It's constantly changing.

People in our generation constantly drive their lives at the speed limit or over the limit so much that it seems to have become a norm. Fast, faster,'s not going to all get done, but we keep trying to do more, more, more. All I see it doing it making us less aware of others and less willing to do things with others.

I think sometimes, people see you going so fast, that they stop trying to even make contact. Ask a single. We're not as busy as you think. I think some singles fill their lives with stuff just to keep away from the fact that nobody's asking us out (and I'm not just talking love interests). I'd rather be a third or fifth wheel than going somewhere alone. In 2011, I finally FORCED myself to begin eating in restaurants alone. It's not easy, but sometimes, there are blessings including the time some "pew ladies" invited me to join them at their table. It was fun and eased that weirdness. It never would have happened if I hadn't gone there alone.

I guess God has plans for me as a single too. I know I'm blessed that I can just pick up and go somewhere. The challenge is finding blessings in the weirdness of being single.

My grandmother would sit in the passenger seat and read aloud all of the signs that she saw along the way. In my 20s, that would drive me nuts. I guess it's time to step back and drive a speed under the limit so I can glance out the window for more signs of blessings.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Covenant 2012!

We all know that New Year's resolutions frequently get broken. Some "experts" say to make a plan and call them goals to make them more achievable. Personally, I've tried both and will give up after a time. My hope is that by making a covenant with God instead, He will help me keep this. It's not the first or last time that God will make a covenant.

God made a covenant with Abraham to make a great nation from his descendants, with Noah to never flood the earth again, with Moses to make Israel a nation, and with David to give him a child in his line that will establish his kingdom forever. Most of all, He made a covenant with us that if we believe we will be saved in eternity thanks to Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. So, why is it so tough for us to make a much smaller covenant with God?

Will you make a covenant for 2012? Maybe you need a sign of that covenant like that seashell. It doesn't matter what you choose. Pray to God and make Him that promise. 

I'm attaching my seashell to the bathroom mirror.