Monday, July 27, 2015

What do you do.... when you go through fire?

We had the opportunity to go to a pre-screening of a movie last week. I wish I had had the time to write it out while it was still fresh in my mind - but even with coming into work early, I have been so busy getting things done - or attempting to - that I just didn't have time to write anything last week. In fact, there were a few times that I had something I wanted to write - but the thoughts escape me for now. Maybe it will come back to me soon and I can have something to share.

Anyway, back to the movie. The movie is called 90 Minutes in Heaven. It's a story of a man who was considered dead - with no pulse - for 90 minutes, before a pulse was found on him. What I found interesting, after thinking over the movie, is that the movie really isn't about Heaven. Yes, Heaven is mentioned, and Heaven is shown, sorta... but the real story is the journey that this man went on from the accident to being able to live again.

What a journey he had to endure. Severe, crushing, pain. Pain so great he didn't want to even breathe anymore. I'm sure he sunk into depression. Interestingly, it never showed him calling out to God for strength to endure, or even for healing. I'm sure that happened, but it wasn't shown. I don't want to share much more of the story, but encourage you to go see it - it comes out in the theaters on September 11. 90 Minutes in Heaven.

I must admit I wasn't sure what to expect - the movie is 2 hours 2 minutes long (so we were told). I'll tell you how interesting it is...... I kept telling myself to get up and go to the restroom before the movie started (once I found out how long it was) - but talked myself out of it. Once the movie started, I didn't think about needing to go to the restroom. I was so caught up in the story, that I totally forgot and before I knew it, the movie was over.

As I have thought about the movie, one thought keeps coming back that was mentioned. "If God takes you to it, He will take you through it. I'm sure that can be taken different ways, but I believe that if God allows you to endure something, He has a reason for it.

It could be you are to journey with someone else along the way. I must admit I would have liked to see my daughter become more involved with those who have leukemia, to encourage them that they too, can recover. But life took over and she wasn't given the opportunity to share her life story with others. But the good part of it all, she did fight the insurance company to get her transplant paid for, and with doing that, the insurance company did change their policy for one transplant. Shortly afterwards she heard of a child of a teacher, covered by the same insurance, had leukemia and would be able to qualify for a transplant. Perhaps that is what God wanted to happen. Who am I to determine His plans for anyone.

We all go through things at one time or another. It could be financial hardship. (Unfortunately, usually of our own doing). It could be sickness. It could be job situations. It could be wayward children. It could be our own personal struggles. Whatever the situation is, no matter how it came about, always remember that God will walk you through the problem, as long as you give it to Him and seek Him to guide you. Trying to fix it your own way may be short term, but for a long-lasting fix, we need to lay it down and ask for direction and guidance on what to do. And follow THAT leading, not our own.

I love this quote.... If God takes you to it, He will take you through it. There is also a song we used to sing at church.... when you are going through fire, don't stop, keep going on through it. So many times we get to the problem and shut down. Keep doing what is good and right, following God's lead. And keep going until you get to the other side.


Monday, July 20, 2015

It was a fun one....

I had a good weekend. The weather was overcast some, but overall, it was a good weekend. My weekend consisted of working with my Aunt Sue for a few hours on Saturday, marking prices on items for a November yard sale, then picking up my daughter and granddaughter to go shopping for 'dorm stuff'. I can't believe this princess will be starting college in August!! That is next month!!

It's hard to believe, even, that two older granddaughters have gotten through their schooling, one for a respiratory therapist and is now married, and one for an LPN and is getting married in September! Lots of things going on with the three older granddaughters. I'm glad I'm not getting too old to hang out and do things with them.

Sunday was church and then just hanging out with hubby - you know, doing the grocery thing, then hanging out at home. I did go spend a couple hours with my neighbor last night, so I guess I can say I did get a lot done this weekend.

Definitely no cleaning or anything. Heaven forbid I should do that.

I guess things are starting to settle down again..... the youngest child has gotten moved, the middle child has made a trip to Indiana for a weekend recently, the oldest child will be moving to a house the end of this month. And, once all this is completed.... my office is moving to another location - still in Tempe - in the middle of October. I told them I had to be on the 'move committee' cause I like to know what is going on. LOL I was the first one to sign up. It looks like a nice place, but it is in an industrial park. I take my lunch most days so it's not a problem for me that restaurants are a little bit away from the area. Doesn't bother me.

I am so far behind here at work - Corporate upgraded our computers a few weeks ago - since that time, I have been unable to download any of my audio tapes from meetings on to the computer so that I can transcribe. I have jumped through hoops, written emails, gone to the proper people, but as of last Friday, the approval still had not come through and I'm stuck.

If I try to transcribe from the device, every time I have to back up, it will go back to the beginning of the tape. But, it will soon reach the point where I will have to. I have to get my minutes completed for the August meetings. I have 5 big ones in the line up right now that I need to transcribe. Thank goodness I only have one meeting this week that I need to tape, and one I just go to - and no meetings next week. Hopefully I will be able to get all my transcription done.

Well - it's that time already - my boss is in, and after catching up from the weekend... it's time to get to work. Hope that you all have a great day!


Friday, July 17, 2015

Interesting Concepts.....

I helped out a new friend the other night. I was asked to pass out flyers for a 'Love Debate' that this new friend was on the panel of. I agreed to do it and was there on time to get the flyers and start distributing them around. The new friend had already shared with me that 'we don't bring God or anything about religion into this'. I found that interesting that he even shared that comment with me.

Anyway - the entire evening left me bewildered at what this world is coming to - or has come to. There were five panelists. An author (29 year old woman); a female producer (Survivor, etc.), my new friend (male, PhD, author, helps people find their 'soul mate'), another author (female, wrote a book about love affirmations), and a guy that I have no clue what he does. I suppose I could google him, but who cares.... I found the entire evening interesting, amusing and shaking my head.

When you hear the word 'debate', what do you think of? I think of a good discussion about whatever the topic is. Well, this was a 'love debate'.... so my thought was a situation would be brought up from the audience and then the panel would discuss the best way to deal with it. This didn't happen.

There were about 50 women of all ages - 20's to 60's. I had to laugh.... the dress code was 'wear what you would wear to your first date'. All sizes and all shapes. WHERE in the world did some of these people think they were going??? Some were dressed appropriately, I felt, but seriously? Short shorts? The men (about 10 of them, ages 30 - 50 I'd guess) were dressed in nice slacks and a shirt. They must have gotten the email.

I got a massage last night and was told I had a lot of knots in my neck. Could it have been from me shaking my head at all this 'stuff'? LOL

To make a long story short, this was the worst 'debate' I had ever seen. Nearly 99% said they are on a social media site to 'date'. Many complaints from women centered around why 'guys won't ask for your telephone number or call for a second date', to some flirting gimmick of sticking your tongue out at the opposite sex to let them know you are interested (seriously?), to why does a guy 'disappear' after 3 months of steady dating with no explanation. For an hour and a half, these things - and others - were briefly - very briefly - brought up, but never discussed in detail. (I still can't get over the tongue thing.)

I learned a lot the other night. I learned I am grateful I have no interest in that "world" these people live in. I am grateful I am married and not involved with dating. I am a person of value and I think I can honestly say, I would never, ever, ever, ever, share information that these women - and men - shared. It was an experience, and yes, I did tell my friend that next year when they do this again, that I would be willing to help distribute flyers and sign people up afterwards to work with him on finding their soul mate.

I couldn't tell you how he does this. He said something about 'rewiring' how you think about 'love' and 'life'. I don't know.

I did tell my friend (who apparently is not a Christian), that if he would bring God into the picture and share with everyone about the love that God has for us individually, and how He will provide all that they are seeking for (and not finding in relationships -if they get them at all), that the entire theater would have been packed out. His comment to me? "Yeah, but it wouldn't work with this group."

That is probably a true statement because these people don't know God - or have walked away from Him. They don't understand that they don't have to give up their lifestyle - the parties, the drinking, the running around - God doesn't set requirements BEFORE He loves you. He loves you right where you are. But when you accept Jesus into your heart and ask Him to guide and direct your path, you love Him so much you WANT to give up these things because you want to follow Him and receive all that He has for you. He won't turn you away just because you smoke, or drink, or runaround. He will gather you into His arms, and love you, right where you are. You will give things up over time, because you love Him.

Women and men both want to love and be loved. But often they look 'in the wrong places' - just like the song. I've lived that crazy life. It wasn't that much fun. I often look back and shake my head at the stupidity of the things I did. And God loved me right where I was. I ran to Him in desperation, and He gathered me into His arms, and healed my heart.

And He will do that for you. Life isn't perfect, by any means. We all struggle with so many different things. My life is not like yours, and yours is not like mine. Both of us are probably saying "thank goodness". But the best thing I ever did was turn to God and seek His face. In return, He gave me His heart.

It doesn't get any better than that.


Monday, July 6, 2015

It's All About Choices......

Pastor Lori spoke at our church yesterday and it was a very good message. This month the church is doing the "at the movies" type theme, taking movies and showing how we can see Jesus in them. I have to admit I usually stay away from movies 'at the movies' cause I don't like violence, and I don't like language, and I don't like some of the scenes..... but the movie bits shown yesterday were not bad, and in fact, I have thought about renting the movie when it is out. One of the things Pastor Lori brought out is that our lives are made from the choices we make.

That is big.

My life is full of wrong choices - and right choices. Hopefully, more right than wrong. But the movie itself gave me thought.... do I weigh the choices I make - to determine if they are the right choices for me - and for others - or do I just make the choice because I can?

Do I make choices that are beneficial to me and to my family?

I can't think of the name of the movie but it is A Hundred Feet or something like that. Go watch it and think about the choices made....

Do you hold grudges and hang on to bitterness and anger?

What is your choice for today? I've said often "I choose my battles" when it comes to certain things. I usually lose those battles so I choose carefully which ones are important to me.

So what choices are important to you - and to your family?

Are you making the right choice?

Think about it.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Half over..... really?

Is today being the 30th of June really the middle of the year? I don't know - and what's more, I'm not going to look it up. June 30th. Wow. Do you know how much I need to do in order to prepare for Christmas? Wow. I have so much to do!! Yes, I've made a start, but haven't gotten much further than the start.

We had a wonderful storm during the night. I guess it started late evening - and I don't know when it woke me up - but I remember waking up with thunder and rain going on pretty good. I love to sleep in rainy weather - so drifted right back off to sleep. Then this morning I thought I dreamt it so I got up and looked outside to see!

wow. I think today is going to be a good day. Why? I just stopped writing to head to the kitchen to make a fresh pot of coffee..... and a coworker was in there..... and she commented... "It looks like you are losing weight!" In fact, I checked this morning and I have lost 5 pounds!! Whoo Hoo!! It's actually noticeable!! Now THAT made my day!! What I'm doing is paying off!

But I guess I should confess, since I put it in my last post that I had joined WW..... I cancelled it yesterday. Why? Different reasons. It's difficult for me to get home in time for a meeting (last week I was able to leave work early because my boss was gone)... and I have the 'plan program' so can do it on my own..... you don't have to go to a meeting for it to work.... and I don't have the $52 a month to let them have. A friend has also shared a book with me in which she has lost 25 pounds since October..... she thought perhaps I could incorporate it with my WW. And I think I can.

This book is the Right Type for your Blood Type. I'm an A. And it really isn't a diet book.... it's a get your body healthy type book - losing weight would be a side effect. I'm for that. I've discovered that as a Type A, that I shouldn't eat beef, or pork..... which made me laugh.... because for the past several months I haven't wanted any beef... and the only pork I was really interested in eating was bacon. For my blood type, I need to eat more fruits and vegetables....which I try to. I enjoy a good salad. I enjoy fruit.

July lst......

Yep - never got back to the above yesterday. And here it is July lst. Where has the time gone? I look back over the first six months and don't see anything great that I've accomplished - well, I did get started on one Christmas gift, but that's about it.

Today we are having our July 4th "celebration" here at work - dessert contest and Joe's BBQ bringing food in around 11:30am. We eat good in my company. Sigh. Very good. We've had breakfast and lunch catered for the last two days - and yet today - and a lunch tomorrow. Yeah, all for meetings that I'm not in - but I go and get food. :-) So, I have eaten well - and I've even left the bacon alone. And I don't feel deprived for doing it. If I really want it - I'll eat it. Today we had turkey sausage and it was good too. Anyway - I'm making a 'fruit pizza' for the contest, and I've also made a fruit trifle. Let's see which one wins! Would be cool if I won two gift cards! I sometimes give them away when I do win cause I don't like where they are for. I don't do P.F. Chang, and Lucille's BBQ is in Tempe so won't go there... and a few others. I did win a Chipolte one time - and we used it for dinner that night! Lately they have been giving away $50 gift cards - would be nice to win!

Well, I am at work and I do need to work - so guess I'd better get at it. I was awake most of the night with leg cramps - hope I can make it through the day.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Well, I finally said 'enough'!

I did. I'm so tired of trying on clothes that are too tight, and no longer fit. I realized a long time ago that one shouldn't go by sizes when out buying clothes - you can buy the same brand, same style, and at the same store - and when you get the item(s) home - every one fits a bit differently. The only item I have ever found that fit me about the same, and that I was happy with, was my Riders brand pants. I can wear their jeans, I can wear their slacks - and in the same size. My gripe with them now - or perhaps it is with the stores that sell Riders pants - is that they no longer sell the different color slacks. They are casual, yet dressy, and I have been wearing them to work for years. Now I can't find them so have had to purchase other brands that don't fit well, I'm not comfortable in, and spend a lot more for. And wear less. My Riders slacks are probably about 5 years old so I know I need to replace, but even with buying several pairs of dress slacks this past year, I'm not happy with anything but my Riders brand. My jeans are fading out too and they are probably about 5 years old. Need to start looking around again, I guess.

But I got off track. That wasn't what I was going to talk about. What did I finally say 'enough'! about? My size, for one. My weight, for another. Work feeds me well. By that I mean that we seem to constantly have meetings that have food catered in. And I must admit, I do order good meals. Did I ever tell you about the Argentina style flank steak I ordered from Nibblers last month..... it was so good..... but again, I'm distracted. We always have good food, sandwiches, salads, soups, and always, always, always, cookies and brownies - whether from Paradise Bakery, Jason's Deli, Nibblers..... and so many other places. Not to mention pizza, or really, really good philly cheesesteak sandwiches from a little shop called 'Bite me'. See what I mean?

And I'm helpless. I LOVE food. and I especially love GOOD food. And food I don't have to cook - all I have to do is eat it. And I do. And I have. Ok - gotta go meet with someone to order food for next week. Back in a minute. (yes, I'm at work).

Ok, I'm back.

Oh, the food I have ordered for next week - I had to make sure that at least for lunch I will have salad. I've ordered a hot breakfast for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday..... hot meaning from a place called Crackers and another place called Chompies - which means biscuits, gravy, breakfast sandwiches, French toast, eggs, bacon, sausage.... yeah.... all that good stuff. Man, I'm hungry! I've also ordered lunches for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.... sandwiches, salads, and hot pastas. See why I am getting so fat? And I haven't mentioned that Zupas dips half their cookies in dark chocolate... and soooo good.

But getting to where I have said 'enough' - I joined weight watchers last Monday. Yes, I know, I shouldn't tell it, and just see if anyone notices over time, but now I've 'spit it out' there. Maybe by telling it, it will make me stick to it. Definitely costs enough, but I need something to motivate me to start watching my eating. I love chips. I love cookies. I love food. I have got to get control. My clothes don't fit. And it's time.

What about you? Have you reached a point about something in your life that you have finally just said 'enough'!? Is it spending too much? Is it going out too much? Is it shopping too much? Is it eating too much? As you stop to reflect - is there something you need to cut back on? Not necessarily give it up, mind you, but cut back on?

One thing I never want to cut back on is my loving God. He is my strength, my hope, and my very life. Without Him, without His intervention in my life, I would be nothing. I owe Him everything - all that I am and all that I have, is because of Him. And His love for me never fails. He forgives me daily. I am lost without Him guiding and encouraging and directing my life.

He will do that for you too. Just ask Him.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

You can't have it all.....

Yep. I read a few paragraphs today in a leadership book that made that statement as its heading. You can't have it all. Well, why not? If I can get it, achieve it, want it, desire it, have it...... it's mine, right? But.... do you/I really NEED it....

I'm a pack rat. I admit it. I inherited that trait from my mother. I'm not near as bad as my mother, but still, I do tend to hang on to things that I need to let go of. I still have boxes in my closet that when I cleaned out a desk years ago I didn't have time to go through all that 'stuff' is still in the box. Occasionally I open the box... flip through it.... may take out a paper or item or two.... then put the lid back on it - and back in the closet it goes.

I have gotten better over the years.... and if I ever had several days alone where I could work without interruption, I know that I could get rid of a lot of "stuff". As I hear someone say "I would like to have "... and I have it.... and am willing to let it go.... I give to them. Unfortunately, we haven't had anyone say anything for awhile so I need to start taking to Savers or someplace.

But to take it a bit further.... how many of us have 'things' in our lives that we tend to hang on to and not let go of? Things like anger, hurt, frustration, laziness, anxiety..... then to the other extreme.... pushiness, arrogance, attitude.... I think even in the few things I've mentioned, we can find some form of a word in our lives. So the question then becomes.... is that 'word' something we want to be known by.... is that 'word' a word that we are proud to own....

I don't like being a packrat. I've said numerous times how the clutter in my house drives me crazy sometimes... but when I try to eliminate it, I sometimes get resistance so quit. Or I need to hang on to something and there is no other place to put it. I've often said that if I had a month to myself, the first week I'd 'play' - then I would start elminating things and cleaning house. Would that really happen? I don't know, but you have to admit, it does sound good.

The story in the book is about a mountain climber. The guide told him that he could only take the bare necessities with him to make the climb. The mountain climber felt he could take anything he wanted - so the next morning showed up with a blanket, several cameras with different lenses, a bottle of wine, cheese, chocolate bars... and he was so confident he could make it to the top with all that "stuff" that he took off ahead of everyone on the climb.

It didn't take long before the rest of the group began to see things discarded along the trail. A blanket. A camera here and there. A bottle of wine. Pieces of cheese. Chocolate bars. And when the rest of the group got to the top of the mountain, they found the mountain climber with the bare necessities standing at the top. He learned that to get to the top, he had to let go of 'things' that were not needed.

What about you? Are you carrying baggage with you in your backpack that you can discard?