Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Managing Time

Do you ever spend way to much time on the internet? I know I do! I ran across a really cool link on another blog today. It is a website that helps you manage your time. Simply visit the website and enter the URL to the website you want to visit then enter your time limit. When you click on "please" it will open the website in a new tab. You can see it counting down the time and when your time is up it will close the website. Super cool!

Yep I know you could simply close it after the fact and open a new tab. I guess everything requires at least a little bit of discipline.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Just in case y'all ever start to think that I'm anything near perfect I want to share what's on my mind. Mainly this is just about how far I have to go from the superficial to the deep.

  • My eyebrows are fixin' to take over my forehead
  • Last night I finished my midnight deadline at 12:05
  • Which I then undid... and redid and resubmitted by 8:30 AM because I am a stinking perfectionist!
  • If you don't like embarrassing then don't hang around me. Seriously.
  • I forgot to feed my brother and instead let him eat marshmallows and cookies.
  • This morning I hid my alarm clock/cell phone while half asleep. I still have no clue where it is.
  • I judge others.
  • I have no clean clothes for tomorrow. Maybe I'll wear a wetsuit.
And mostly I fail miserably at the verse below:

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

Sunday, March 27, 2011

When Things Don't Go Our Way

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Psalm 23:6

Do you still believe that verse when things don't go your way? Sometimes I have difficulty still believing that when I'm having a rough day or when my dreams are put off yet again. But then I was thinking about what that really means for a believer. God has already given me goodness and mercy in the gift of His Son dying on the cross for me. Will Jesus ever leave me? Heck no! So if He's never leaving me (like He promised in Hebrews 13:5) goodness and mercy really will follow me all the days of my life. Well, what about this verse:

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD,
thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11

One time, a couple years ago when I was going through the roughest season of life I've ever been through, I wrote in my journal that I thought this verse was a load of crap. (Sorry Mom, but that's what I said!) Now I am a little bit more spiritually mature and I'm sure that's how God used that life event, to give me a hope and a future. I can see that God's thoughts towards me don't change. Whenever something disappointing happens, it's not because His plans for me changed or because God pointlessly wants to make me suffer. You see God uses suffering and disappointment to make us more dependent on Him.

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Whenever I am weak and I have no place left to fall, it's all about Jesus Christ. If I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, it drives me down to my knees. It's then that I truly seek after God and I am forced to determine what I believe in Christ. It also proves that its not me doing anything. It's all God.

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I'll never let you go
--Tenth Avenue North

When I'm disappointed or just plain having a bad day it's so nice to remember that God is never going to let go. Even if in the grand scheme of things my life never (yep I said never) goes my way I can rest in the fact that my God loves me and he will never let me go.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Come Quickly

"And, Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight..."
-It Is Well with My Soul

Yesterday at lunch I was talking with some coworkers about the end times. One mentioned a student who said his pastor was talking about the end times a lot now because of the current world events. (Think: Typical unrest in the Middle East and Japan's tsunami and earthquake) Of course most people are terrified of the end of the word. They think of it as the end of everything that is wonderful. Most people are quick to say "But I have __________ yet."

C.S. Lewis says

"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."

Wow. I am too easily pleased. I am accustomed to this world. I'm used to pain, sorrow, and fear. Even worse: sometimes I think this is as good as it gets. Whatever this world has to offer us, even its best, is just a small fraction of what Heaven can offer. On Earth because of our sin, we're not living the way God intended for us to live.

How quickly I forget that anytime I want, I can communicate with the almighty God of this universe. I get distracted. I start thinking this world is it. But it isn't. As a Christian I live for a much higher reason. I live to have fellowship with God, to worship Him, honor Him, glorify Him. I exist for Him.

One day there won't be a barrier. I will see God. Having conversations with Him where I can audibly hear Him will be normal. I won't be tempted. I won't be stressed, worried, or confused. It will be all about Him.

But won't we run out of things to do or conservation pieces? I used to think that. I used to be worried that I would get tired of singing Holy, holy, holy day in and day out. Now I know better. I cannot fathom ever getting bored at doing the job I was created to do. God is God and I am not. Right now I know but a small fraction of what He is like. I cannot wait to get to know more about Him and to see Him.

I want to know Him more and more. I want to desire nothing but Him and His glory. I guess you could say God got a hold of my heart. I pray that He gets a hold of yours too.

Come soon Lord Jesus.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


"...perfection is my enemy."
Free to Be Me - Francesca Battistelli

I long to be perfect. I want to be perfect at everything: the perfect teacher, daughter, student, Christian, sister, friend, and so much more. But I fail miserably. I am so imperfect. I yell when I get angry, I don't call my friends, I forget to make enough copies for my students, I could go on but I won't. I get so frustrated when I make mistakes. I beg God to help me to do better next time. Unfortunately I long for perfection for all of the wrong reasons. I want people to like me, to want to be my friend, and to look up to me. I want them to look at me and think "Man she has it together!" rather than "Oh wow she's a messy." I am a mess. I am perfectly imperfect.

Today I was reading out of My Utmost for His Highest and like God loves to do He wrote something in there for me. Under today Oswald Chambers says this:

Think about the last thing you prayed about- were you devoted to your desire or to God? Was your determination to get some gift of the Spirit for yourself or to get to God?

I should desire becoming more like God so that I can become closer to God. In that sort of relationship there is freedom. Earlier Chambers had said:

When you have a right-standing relationship with God, you have a life of freedom, liberty and delight; you are God's will.

I know my relationship with God isn't right when I feel enslaved to the desire to please. I know it is right whenever I am delighting in God. So here's to feeling free. May I fix my eyes on God so I will always remember it isn't about me.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Scenic Route

I'm not the type to take the scenic route. I want to take the short cut. Getting there fast is my thing. Stopping to smell the roses isn't something I do very often, but the other day my family and I decided to do it. Yes it would cost us a whole thirty minutes. Yes we would arrive later than anticipated. Yes we would be (heaven forbid) off schedule! Do you know where the short cut led us to? A beautiful Mississippi beach. We proceeded to race to the shore and take in the sun. We created memories that day that we won't forget and we got to our destination anyhow. Sometimes taking time to smell the salty air is worth the time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


" ...the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Franklin D. Roosevelt

So much of my life at this point is uncharted territory. I have been graduated from college for over a year after spending 18 years of my life in school. Originally I was terrified of being out of school. I would cry because I had no job, I was living at home, and I was over 300 miles away from all of my college friends. I almost jumped right back into college to get my masters (twice) only to decide at the last minute that I didn't really want to. I was eventually hired on to teach for my very first year. I had never worked a full time job before. I had never taught completely on my own before. Various experiences came my way and I completed more tasks I had never done. I am very proud of my accomplishments, but I am still letting fear rule. I need to remember that Christopher Columbus had no clue that there was a brand new continent to be explored on the other end of the world and that FDR didn't know we were going to win the great world war. Yet both of them went into uncharted territory and brought back victory. And I do think FDR is right, fear is the scariest part. So here's to throwing away my fears.

Isaiah 41:10 (New King James Version)

10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Portion Control

If I had to choose, I think I would say that portion control is my least favorite part of eating well. Let me be completely honest with you. I love eating. It's one reason I enjoy cooking and while eating in moderation is wonderful I often want to take it too far. Here are some of my methods I have used to reign my eating habits in.

1. Find out what your daily caloric intake should be.
This website is full of great information. Before someone introduced me to this website I thought everyone needed 2,000 calories irregardless of height, weight, and activity level. Now I realize how silly that was.

2. Use a smaller serving dish.
While I was in college my family bought new dishes. We compared them to our old dishes and noticed how much larger the dishes were. When I eat now I try to use the side serving plates so I won't over eat. I also do this with ice cream. When I was a teenager I would eat a whole bowl, now I use a tea cup or something else small.

3. Don't eat out of the bag!
Pour a serving size into a plate or bowl otherwise you won't know how much you're eating.

4. Always read the nutritional value.
A lot of the time you will be shocked at what the portion size really is. In some boxes that appear to be single serving you will notice that it is really a serving for two or three.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Not So Amazing Race

Where I work we don't have an elevator. I also have two classrooms. One is upstairs in the front of the first building and the other is downstairs in the back of the second building. Needless to say: at work I get a lot of exercise. Today I had an opportunity I don't get very often. I could chose in between using the elevator and the stairs. We decided to make it a race in between my brothers and I. One of my brothers and I ran up three flights of stairs to see if we could beat my brother who took the elevator. We did, but even if we hadn't we still got some cardiovascular exercise in. On days when you don't have time to exercise, sometimes its the small decisions that make big differences.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Eating While Traveling

Traveling is one of my favorite hobbies. I love going almost anywhere. I find it interesting and to see other parts of the US or other countries. Seeing how other people live and the fun places their hometowns offer is exciting. With spring break going on right now, I thought I might share some of my past experiences regarding eating while traveling. Like I've said in the past, my family eats pretty healthy. As a result, when I go on a trip I tend to get sick. I can't stand eating out meal after meal. I have numerous memories of trips where all I did was spend time "losing my lunch." Fortunately we've learned with time how to deal with this. We don't eat out as much. You see now when we travel we pack a cooler full of food for lunch. This way we eat more in line with how we typically eat. We also rent a cabin, loft, or suite in the city we're staying in. This way we are able to cook what we want to eat. Sure, we still go out to eat occasionally but most of the time we're eating in. This is the main way we keep the salt, fat, and expenses down while keeping the veggies and fiber up. Next time you go on a trip try finding a place with a kitchen. I bet your body won't regret it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Pills

I am not optimistic. I really secretly desperately want to be. Does that count for something? Today this topic was brought up at work. I had walked into the workroom just after my students struggling with behavior. I was frustrated. I was fuming. I told anyone who would listen what my issue was. A fellow teacher made the comment "We need to get her happy pills." I thought to myself afterward how often to I think positively? Not very often. Most often I am fuming about something. How dare they build that new road and block my normal path? I am writing a letter that is so stupid. And on and on from the time I wake up until I go to bed, I am fuming. Why would they increase the amount of testing days? Do they really know the consequences of that? I could (and do) go on and on. Well starting right now, no more! My parents have given me two different books on positive thinking, I have memorized scripture, and I have read online articles. Today is going to be different. Today I am going to ask God for help. Imagine that! I have access to as the God of the universe for help and I haven't yet. Well right now I am asking Him to help me be a better witness. After all, I should only have a reason to be wonderfully happy. I have Christ in my life after all.

Taking the Time

In the middle of my off period today I went downstairs to get a granola bar from the vending machine. Now at this moment I had a big decision to make and it had nothing to do with food. Right across from the vending machine is the lunch lady's office. She had been absent the day before and I felt compelled to go ask her how she was doing. So what was the big decision you ask? I had been having a very productive morning up to that point and I didn't want to take the twenty minutes I knew it would take. Horrible right? I fought my selfishness and went over there to ask if she had been sick yesterday. I did end up in a long conversation, but it was an oh-so-important kind of conversation. It turns out she had to go have a biopsy on her breast yesterday. She had already had a mammogram, an ultrasound, and an MRI. All of these revealed suspicious spots in her breasts and she won't get the results for two to three days. Now if that isn't stressful enough, her sister currently has brain cancer and is expect to live 2-3 months. Still not enough? Her mother and mother-in-law have both died of cancer. Wow. I asked all of my students to pray for her sister.
I'm so glad I took the time. If I had all of that on my mind, I would desperately want to share the burden with someone. I would also want to know that someone is praying for me as well.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rain, Rain

I love rain. The smell right before it rains to me is glorious. Hearing the rain on the roof and windows while I cuddle up with a book can make my day. Being able to sleep in during a thunderstorm is even better, but there are times when rain is an inconvenience. Today is one of those times. I had already donned my exercise clothes and tennis shoes. With my dogs' leashes in hand I walked to the garage door just as it began to rain. No exercise today, right? That's what I thought. I googled rainy day exercise but didn't find too many solutions. I didn't want to go to the mall to walk (although an excellent solution) nor did I want to follow directions for whatever I was doing. Then I remembered, I was the only one home. It was the perfect time for my indoor exercises. Let me give you a list of my favorite rainy day/hot day exercises.
  • Run around in a certain path. I run around our bottom floor "circle."
  • Hop around on one foot, then switch.
  • Walk backwards.
  • Skip.
  • Do jumping jacks.
  • Have stairs? Climb 'em!
  • Do sit ups.
  • Jump rope.
  • Stretch.
  • Have fun with it!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Remembering Why I'm Here

I have a tendency to forget why I'm here. Life is so short I need to remember what my life purpose is. Of course my main life purpose is to glorify God. This is the main one that I forget. I exist to reflect Him, which I so often fall very short of doing. I also believe that in doing things I enjoy I will bring glory to Him. With that being said here is my list of goals. I wrote these up the other day so that I can focus on what I need to do in order to meet my life goals.

· Career -

I want to become a professional house flipper. I want to be able to invest in real estate.

· Financial -

I want to earn enough to become financially secure.

· Education -

I need to acquire knowledge regarding websites, home ownership, and living well.

· Family -

I want to be a loving wife. I don't want to nag, I want to encourage and respect. I want to be a mother. I will be a good parent by putting my children first. I will show them that God is more important than anything else in the word. I want to be seen as generous, loving, kind, and patient, yet brave enough to stand up for myself and those I love.

· Artistic -

I want to improve on my cooking skills.

· Attitude -

I self-defeat and am often afraid of even trying. Sometimes I am not very persistent. I tend to learn towards what is safe. I am often too timid around people I don’t know.

· Physical -

I want to run, successfully and consistently.

· Pleasure -

I want to travel.

· Public Service -

I want to encourage others to take care of their bodies and “live their best life now.” I want to carpe diem and cause others to do the same.

Spiritually- I want to know and follow after God. I want to cause others to pursue a closer relationship with Him.

I have each of these further broken down into with a date to have them met by. This list of goals, along with the questions I answered to get them, came from