Monday, January 18, 2010
As I was working on my winter wonderland, I stumbled unto something amazing. Right there in my very own attic, I found a portal to another world, the world of the snow people. To my amazement I found myself having a conversation with a snowman! Although, I was corrected on that word fairly quickly (aparently, they prefer snowpeople, its more politically correct.) The snow people shared with me some of the mysteries of their land. I couldn't believe how warm it felt, and how it could be that people made of snow weren't melting, but then they informed me that the portal actually allowed me to feel the snow and cold the way the snow people feel it. Too bad I can't have that power in the frigid Minnesota weather. This time of year the land of the snowpeople is pretty empty as most of the inhabitants come to Minnesota for vacation on people's lawns, but some of the snow people stay and give tours to people like me who find the portals. It is quite an educational experience. Feel free to stop by and see the drifts and the beautiful display of lights, but be warned the snow people will not speak to visitors who do not reside in the house containing the portal. Also, they told me the portal will close before the end of winter, and will never be able to be opened again.....and people say adults have no imagination. ;)
It appears that for me anyway, January is the month to party. I have only one weekend in the month that does not have party going on, and that weekend has already past. So far it has been a fun month. I went to my nieces' birthday party the first weekend. It was complete with ice cream and cupcakes. You really can't go wrong there. This past Saturday, I threw a party at my house. Junk food, goofy friends, and group games that can turn the most mature and serious person into a ranting lunatic. Catch Phrase is a fun group game, by the way. Next Saturday, the guys I used to work with are throwing a party. I can't wait to see them. It has been a month of parties, friends, and fun. It looks like it will continue through at least until the end of the month. The grand finale is going to be the return of the slumber party! It has been 5 months since the last one, but I am finally getting around to having the second. It is pretty amazing how many parties and other social events you can fit into your schedule when you are not working 80hrs a week! I even started working out regularly, had lunch a couple of times with friends, and got to visit with some friends in their homes. God has not only provided me with more rest and more free time, He has also provided me with things to do in my free time. As always, God is good!
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Just wanted to write a post sharing a few things God has done for me this winter. I wrote about my getting stuck in the snow, and how 5 guys from church got me out, in my last post. I also received significant help through the snow and cold on two other occasions since then. On Monday morning, I tried to start my car outside of work only to find that I couldn't. A girl I work with tried to give me a jump to no avail. After many tries, I went ahead and called Dave, my automotive troubleshooter and mechanic. Dave came out to my work, in the very frigid negative degree weather and worked on getting my car to start. When that didn't work, Dave and his dad, Carl, towed my car to their shop to let it warm up. Carl, and his wife Carrie, invited me to their house for breakfast while we waited for my car to warm. Try to get that kind of service from your average auto shop. By the time we came back from breakfast, my car was warm enough to start, and I got to go home to my nice warm bed. :) The other occasion took place on Thursday. After a few more inches of snow had fallen the night before, I tackled the task of shoveling out my walkways and driveway. Shortly after starting to clear my drive, a man clearing the nearby apartment parking lot saw me shoveling. I have never met the man, but he drove his skid loader over and in a matter of a minute or two he cleared the driveway that would have taken me about a 1/2 hr to clear. It is amazing the way God takes care of me. All this to say: Thanks and praise, to the sovereign God, who through various life circumstances, not only provides tests and trials that produce patience and equip us for every good work (James 1), but also provides the way of escape, and the grace to go through these tests and trials to the glory and honor of His name. He even works in the heart of sinful man to will and to do His pleasure, and to accomplish His purpose, which is ultimately to bring glory to His name, and sometimes more immediately to help someone out of the snow. The interweaving of God's plan is so detailed and perfect. The God who caused the snow and the cold is the same God who provided the help to overcome it. A help out of the snow may seem pretty minor compared to many of life's trials, and in many ways it is, but the principle and the picture are the same. God's "way of escape" is sometimes harder than others, but He always provides one, and no situation is out of God's control.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Well, here we are almost an entire week into the new year and I am just now getting around to posting something about it. As someone pointed out to me just yesterday, I need to update my blog more often. I can not believe it is 2010. It seems that every year goes by faster than the year before, which is funny because there are still times that life seems to really drag on, but it still happens so fast. My reflections on 2009 are not much different than my list of things to be thankful for at Thanksgiving. What is funny is that although I am often very busy, and going a week (or sometimes a few days) without talking to my closest friends usually leaves me with many stories and events to fill them in on, when I make it to the end of this crazy eventful year, I look back and think, "what did I do all year?" Sometimes it seems that life is so busy that I lose track of what even happened, but I do remember some events from the year. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Stories from my year 2009: I started the year living in my attic apartment, with no job and nothing to do all day, but apply for jobs and workout. By the end of January I started a new job working at a group home. It was the first job offer I received, which is why I took it. The job didn't pay enough to cover my bills by itself, and on my first day I decided I wanted to quit. A month later I was still working there, and I started to like the job a little bit, and because of changes in employees I consistently had overtime for 5 months which more than covered my bills. Almost immediately after my overtime hours went away, God provided me a job working overnights at Walmart (which also gave me my 1st secondary paycheck just in time to pay my 1st mortgage payment). The day after my 1st night at Walmart, I got a call from another company, which I interviewed for. God provided me with another job that paid more than either one of my current jobs. The amazing thing is, not only did God provide me with jobs, and overtime when I needed it, but the very same job that I was planning to quit on my first day had become so special to me that I worked between 60 and 100 hrs almost every week for 5months rather than quit. God used me to make a significant impact on the people that I took care of, gave me opportunities to witness to co-workers, helped me get a slightly better awareness on the needs of people around me, and gave me some much needed friends all through this job that I originally didn't like. Good example of why I want God in control of my life instead of me. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ In May I took a walk, and saw a house that I was interested in buying and called the realtor on the for sale sign. A week later I was waiting anxiously for a few days to be preapproved for a mortgage so I would be able to put an offer in on a different house before someone else beat me to it. The day I was able to put my offer in the bank had dropped their asking price a few thousand dollars. God's timing is so perfect. Approximately 1 month later, I closed on my house after jumping through several hoops. I wound up closing just under a week before I had to be out of my apartment, which I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to close by that time until a week before. Again, God's timing. By the time I closed on my house, God had provided almost all my furniture for the house, and He also provided friends to move and store my furniture. I have now lived in my house for approximately 6months. I had to replace the float in my toilet, and put the face back on a kitchen drawer, but my house was in pretty good shape. I have since caught 3bats, had one bat fry a circuit board in my furnace, had to use an auger on my toilet (never heard of one before I bought it), had my upright freezer break, just recently had my bathroom sink stop up suddenly and ,after an entire bottle of draino type gel failed, I jiggled a chain thing in the back of the sink and it worked. God provided the money and the resources to fix all these problems, and to pay more than the minimum on my mortgage. God also provided me with some extraordinary friends, who helped me a great deal by doing an insane amount of tree trimming and pruning, which was needed because of the jungle growing on my house. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My final story of 2009 took place on December 30Th. After spending a few hours playing games with church members at our New Year's party, I left to go work a shift that I originally was not scheduled to work. A couple miles out of town a semi trailer was blocking almost the entire road. There was however, just enough space to drive around the semi. Unfortunately there was a bit to much snow and ice on the edge of that opening, and after some spinning tires and some driving a foot forward and then a foot backward I managed to get my car completely stuck in a big pile of snow. I made a phone call to a friend at church, and approximately 10min later 5 men from church were there working on getting my car back on the road. I don't know why exactly God chose for me to get stuck, but I have no doubt that He caused me to be on that road at that time, and to get stuck where I did. Just as He provided the men to get me out of that snow, and worked in their hearts to want to come dig me out in the middle of a very cold evening. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------There are many more stories and subplots of 2009, but those are some of the examples of things God has done in my life over the past year. I ended the year in my house, with one job that pays more than any other job I've ever had, and with new friends to hang out with and a play to work on during some of my newly aquired free time. I have been the recipient of tremendous blessing this year, and God has directed my path down roads I would never have thought to take. He has provided over and above my needs, and yet again I end another year as a totally different person than the year before. I wonder what God will do this year.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Well, it is that time of year again. Its Christmastime. I've done all my shopping, and I'm planning to drive to my dad's when I get off work at 7am. I was thinking tonight about the complexity of the blessings and challenges of Christmas. I have been told that Jesus was most likely born in springtime, and that December 25th is just a random day that we have picked to theoretically celebrate His birthday, and with all the commercialism, Santa Clause, and plain old greediness that accompany the holiday some would argue it would be better to not celebrate the holiday. I'm going to look at the reverse side of the coin for this post. When I think of Christmas my mind goes in many different directions from the beautiful Christmas lights, to the crowded stores, to spoiled children asking for overpriced, unnecessary gifts, to families who only dream of being able to have gifts, and to children who only dream of having a family. It is a time of year when some people go out of their way to be nice, while others fight and argue and wrestle to get the last hot gift item for the year. It seems to be the best and worst time of year all rolled into one. At no other time of year do the needs and pitfalls of mankind seem so obvious, and the hurt and pain in the world is so deeply felt. The homeless and heartbroken and the over-privileged and greedy all people need the Savior. They need Jesus. While this time of year seems to bring out the worst in most people, it is such an opportunity to show God's love, to smile in the checkout line, while everyone else is grumpy and rude, to take in someone you know who has no place else to go, to cry with those who are hurting, and best of all to share the story of Christ's birth and the reason He came to earth at this one time of year when the taboo on talking about God is slightly less. Its one of the few times of the year that some people go to church, the Christmas programs and songs that give people a little nugget of God's truth and His word, and create a starting point for explaining God's gift to man. I see Christmastime as evidence of man's need for God and of God's amazing ability to turn the sinfulness of man into an opportunity to witness and bring glory to His name. So to quote the most commonly known verse from most church Christmas programs "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and goodwill to men."
Monday, December 7, 2009
Well, last week was a fairly eventful week. Of course I worked more than enough hours. Outside of the basics of the week I had oportunity to get together with some friends throughout the week. Sunday, I went to church and after went out to eat at Hardees with a family from church and Connie R. Wednesday, after work, I watched Heroes at Sowers' house with Nikki and Dave. Thursday, after an unfortunate situation with a CLEP test, I enjoyed some good conversation mixed in with a meatloaf dinner, made by a new friend, and a few games of Boggle. Friday, I did some decorating. I worked on turning my upstairs rooms into a winter wonderland, a task which proved to be more difficult than I originally thought. I hope to post pictures of it if I ever finish :). I also made some homemade pizza! I had been craving it for about a week. I had Ben over and we ate pizza before going to a rather aweful play. After the play, we made up for the bad play by playing the wii and watching a movie. I love eventful weeks surrounded with friends! There you have my week in a nutshell. I hope your week was good as well.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever. Psalm 107:1, 118:1, 29, 136:1,3 This year I spent a big portion of Thanksgiving at the house of some very dear friends. It was a day smiles and tears, stories and fellowship. All surrounded with fabulous food, including Thanksgiving burritos! It sounds weird, but so amazing, (its buttered lefse with mashed potatoes and stuffing inside.) I also worked both of my jobs this Thanksgiving. In fact, I am at work now. During and after the events of today, I started thinking; what am I thankful for this year? If I were to list all of the things I am thankful for this post would never end, but I am going to list a few things. I am thankful for: the house God has provided me this year, the fact that my car still runs very well, that I have very special friends who love and care about me, and I got to spend part of the day with some of them, that in a time when we are constantly hearing about the bad economy, God has provided me with more jobs than I can even handle, that God gives mercy, strength, and peace when we need it most, and lastly for this list, I am thankful that God has blessed me with people in my life who are important enough to miss, and have left lasting impressions on my heart and life. Praise be to God! Happy Thanksgiving. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18