Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Valentine's House Double Date

We love this couple! 

For Christmas Bill & I gave them a chocolate “gingerbread” house kit, and since it was already red and white themed, they decided we should do it for Valentine’s Day as a group.  This was SUCH a fun night J  We went out to dinner together (those pictures will be included in another post soon), and then we ran by Target and got all kinds of fun Valentines candy to decorate the house.  We laughed and talked and made a mess.  It was so wonderful. 

I think what was most important, is that it allowed us to relax and just spend time being together.  So often I feel this pressure to get to know people deeply or to invest in their spirit, but laughter really is the best medicine.  We all were just glad to be able to relax around each other and let our guards down.  No need to impress anyone or prove anything.  We could just be ourselves, and there is such freedom in that.

Courtney and Adam are so dear to us.  Adam has been my friend for 4 years now, and he has poured into me and Bill’s life in such amazing ways.  He is such a strong supporter of our relationship, and we are both so grateful for his friendship.  He really is one of the most dependable, drop everything to help out a friend, people I have ever known.  Courtney is newer on the scene J  She is such a wonderful woman who is stronger than you can possibly imagine.  The more I get to know her, the more I admire her.  She makes me laugh and I know our future holds the dearest of friendships and connections.  I love these two in such a special way, and I hope these words can encourage them today in their relationship and in their individual strengths. 

Love you guys!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Trading Spaces with Grounded Parenting

As promised, Hannah is guest blogging today, and you are all very lucky to be able to read this beautiful woman's words.  I am blogging on her page today, so make sure you head over there to check out what I have to say.  It's a good one today :)  Her blog really is a wonderful representation of a loving mother's perspective on life and all she is learning in her day to day.  Don't miss out on all she has to say.

And without further ado...

A couple weeks ago I was asked the question, "If you had to move tomorrow, where would you live?" It was a tough question to answer because there are so many beautiful places that I'd love to see and visit. What made it more difficult is the idea of living somewhere else. We've been so focused on building our life here, it's hard to imagine leaving it all behind. Yet, I can't deny the feeling that resists being so tightly tied to a little piece of the globe.

That same feeling has been echoed in so many of my recent conversations. For example: I loved hearing the story of how a dear couple lived with such flexibility during their first years of marriage. It appealed to the part of me that is craving an adventure. While they admitted how difficult it was to follow "spur of the moment" calls and live in temporary residences, when asked if they had any regrets they didn't have any. They wouldn't trade those years. Yes, Peter and I want roots. We want a stable community for our kids. We dream about building our "Canyon House" someday. But even I'm rethinking what the fulfillment of those dreams will look like.

Will my life point to the fact that I value my connections to my friends and family above all other things? Am I actually living like people are my priority? How much of my energy has been spent on reorganizing the same piles of stuff over and over instead of using my energy to lift others up? How many of my thoughts are given to maintaining a certain standard of living for myself (or the illusion thereof) instead thinking of ways to improve the lives of those I love? How many dollars have I spent for cable TV instead of sharing what I don't need with those who do need?

I'm far from completely selfless. If that pile of stuff was whittled down, if our lives were simplified, if that money was not already spent before we got it, that would mean freedom! If I had less, I could DO more.


I guess you can call it "frugality." I think I prefer "simplifying." Whatever you call it, it's what I want. I just am craving a little wiggle room. I'm so weary of the complications that keep me wading in the shallow end instead of deeply diving into the aspects of life that matter the most.


Peter and I are still working out what this gut feeling is driving us to do. Right now, I might need to focus on what NOT to do.

Here are my ideas:
  • Quit complaining about how bad I have it. I've got it pretty good. Because I have this computer, and I can read and write these words, that means I'm richer than most.
  • Consider, "Will it matter 5 days from now, 5 weeks from now, 5 years from now?" If not, should I do it or worry about it?
  • Pay off debt! It's ugly. It's embarrassing. But it won't be if I get rid of it.
  • Get rid of stuff I don't need. If I don't want it, use it, or need it, it's a burden. Buh bye!
  • Stop buying things to make me feel better. Obviously, that hasn't worked in the long term. I need make the things I already have work better. No more, "If I only had ____ (fill in the blank)."
  • As I learn how to live life simply but richly, start teaching my kids, too. I think there are some awesome memories we could create if had some of that wiggle room.
  • Read this book (only if I can find it at the library or borrow it because of the previous bullet point) - 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. When Tiny Twig wrote about the book, she said everything I've been thinking
  • Find out what I really really really want to do. And then do it. (Year of Dreams!)

*** Last Minute Thought ***

I wrote this post on Saturday. Then, on Monday morning, before I sent it to Ryan to post, I was forced to comply given an opportunity to practice this mentality. After a reality check and a honest look at our financial behavior, my husband and I decided we have to give up some things that many, including myself, consider requirements for day to day living. The truth is, our TV and internet bundle, and a second car are luxuries. If we want to start refining and streamlining our lives for the true purposes we're called to, we have to start making sacrifices.

Without a doubt, I want to have two cars again someday. I'm really going to miss Sesame Street in the morning. Someday, if we can afford our responsibilities and then our passions and still have more left over, hook that cable up, baby! Either way, having, or not having, those things is not what makes me who I am. So, farewell, Parenthood and Downton Abbey... until we meet again.

GP Button

Monday, February 27, 2012

Introducing Hannah Ground Herman - Grounded Parenting Blog

I feel so privledged to introduce you to this beautiful and wise woman today.  We attend the same church and are even in the same Bible study, but it was not until I really started reading her blog that I got to know her heart.  Her writing astounds me, and I aspire to express my words as well as she does.  She is open and vulnerable, and in that lies a piece of her beauty.  She claims in her about me that she is "not very shiny in any particular creative field," however I beg to differ.  She is a writer if I have ever met one.  She is not afraid to speak the truth, and has a way to suck you into her every word.

She is also an amazing mother.  You only have to spend a few moments with her and her girls to know how much she loves them and how she sees God in every move they make.  Her husband Peter is a huge support system for her, and the way he looks at her melts my heart.  They have love that surpasses all else.  They are an inspiring couple and family, and as I read through her journey on a daily basis, I am so glad to know she continues to work towards selfless love with her family and herself.

We are working towards growing our blogging audiences together and thought we could use each other as a sounding board for different ideas we had, and even begin guest blogging on each other's blog every so often.  I will post some of Hannah's writing tomorrow, but I wanted to make sure you got to know this lovely woman first.  She has so much going on in her heart and in her head and you will be missing out by not reading through her words and giving them time to marinate in your soul.

So please click on the link below and pop over to see what she has to say! 
I promise you will not be disappointed :)
GP Button

Friday, February 24, 2012

Food I Ate Fridays - Cake Tasting

Bill and I were walking and talking a little while back, and he mentioned to me that he was sad that we did not get to do all the fun tastings that couples get to do before weddings because we are getting married on the other side of the country.  Well, I could not handle my boy being sad, so I took the liberty to make a cake tasting appointment… just for the fun of it!

When we showed up, they brought us three cupcakes (Chocolate with Chocolate Frosting, Vanilla with Strawberry Frosting, and Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting) and then showed us a list of icings we could pick from to taste with the cake flavors in front of us (We chose Coconut, Mocha, and Lemon).  We tried every combination at least twice, and made a huge mess in the process.  The smells in the bakery were insane, and the fresh baked goodies were unbelievable.  My personal favorite was the chocolate cake with the Coconut frosting… AMAZING!

Our Experience at Susie Cakes in Newport Beach was so wonderful.  They answered every question, have amazing quality product, and exceed in their customer service.  We had a wonderful time, and it made me want to quit what I am doing and work in a bakery.  Everything there was relaxed and calm, despite the busy environment.  What a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Engagement Picture Preview

Bill and I spent a Saturday morning with our dear friend Dave being in love and taking beautiful engagement pictures.  More to come, but for now you only get this one :)

I am  thrilled to marry this man. 

He is my best friend and I love him deeper daily.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

When I read this I realize how hard this used to be for me.  I would have to force myself to sit and relax and spend time in quiet.  However, as I entered into this most recent season of reading and Bible study, I have also found my ability to relax increase substantially.  While it is not always my natural inclination, it is something I am much more comfortable with. 

Spending time in stillness allows me to get in touch with my thoughts.  We should not be constantly over riding with external noise.  I like to prioritize this in the car.  I listen to the radio sometimes, but often I find myself shutting it off and focusing on the thoughts rushing around in my head.  I write them down when I get where I am going if I feel like I need to get something out or off my chest.  It really is so amazing to be able to spend time with only myself and nothing distracting.

I actually think it is more than amazing, it is important to be intentional about working that time into our schedules. 

Be still. 
Be alone. 

Please do yourself a favor, and do not make excuses about how you can’t make time to be alone with your thoughts or alone with God.  You can, and you should.  Do not say you will do it tomorrow, do it today.  Being intentional about this specific item WILL change your life.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Meet Rachel!

Bill and I started sponsoring Rachel Kenedy Mbunda through Compassion International in September of last year.  We both have her picture in places we will see it every day, and we actively pray for her future.  It is so amazing to me that through about $40 a month we can make a huge difference in her life.  She is able to pay for uniforms for school, food for her family, after school activities, English classes, and so so so much more.  I love being a part of her story.

She has written to Bill and I a few times, and every time we cannot wipe the smiles off our faces.  Her sweet little spirit brings me to my knees in prayer.  I want her to succeed and I can only hope through our support she can find her worth in her creator, and that she will know that she is an amazing woman created in His image.  When we write to her, we encourage her to sing and be creative and study hard and never give up and to always remember we love her and are here for her if she needs us.  We hope to meet her one day and provide her with opportunity beyond her dreams.  Regardless, we have discussed that her sponsorship would be one of the last things to go if we ever struggle financially.  We never want her to feel abandoned.

I love actively giving every month to this little one.  She is beautiful inside and out, and I hope through our influence we can encourage her to be comfortable in who she is as she grows up.  It is such a unique opportunity to pour into someone.  

If you ever want to write to our little one, let me know!
I would love to forward along your letter to encourage and love her.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Life Lessons - It's Not About Them

I stole this little number from my sister's tumblr, and it really is a life lesson for me.  I am such a people pleaser, but what I need to remember is that you cannot make everyone happy.  Some people enjoy making others upset.  I need to keep forgiving, being kind, succeeding, being honest and sincere, building, being happy, doing good, and giving my best.  People will always find fault in our ways.  They will always question our intentions.

I am working hard to keep this in the front of my mind.  What frustrates me is when people tell me to stop being kind and working hard because there is no point and no one will change.  I like that this says not to give up and to keep working on the way you are.  Do not stop being happy or kind.  Always hold on to those things.  This affirms something in me.  There will be days where I feel beat up if I continue to live this way, but I should and it is worth it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Seattle or Bust

I am off to Seattle for the weekend with my brother, his Girl, me, and my boy :)  We have never gotten to spend this amount of time with just them, and are so excited to get to know them as a couple and as individual's and have good quality time exploring a new place.

I can't wait to tell you all about our trip when I return, but for now, know that we will be taking in markets, water fronts, amazing food, men who throw fish, a fantastic hotel, and so much more.

See you on Monday!  Have such a lovely weekend.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Penny For Your Thoughts

What’s been on my mind lately? 

It’s strange because I always expect people to be able to answer that question for me… “What are you thinking about?”  However, when I ask myself the same question, lately I feel as though I have no answer.  A million things are on my mind.  Getting married, my dear friends and family, working out and  getting in shape,  car problems, finances, coffee, food, sleep (or lack there of), and everything else under the sun.  It is a huge jumble or emotional and professional and spiritual.  So, when I ask people how they are doing and what has been on their mind I am feeling like a little more patience is required…because more is required for me.

Bill and I have been working through a communication chapter of an engagement book, and I am really drawn to the part about listening.  Not because I think I am a bad listener, although that is probably part of it, but rather because I am so aggravated when people do not listen to me.  Have you ever been saying something really important and when you reach the end of your heart string the other person gives you a blank stare and says something like, “Sorry, I was zoning, can you say that again?”  That instantly makes me want to cry!

I think it is hard to be 100% present all the time and always be listening and responding well.  In fact, it is nearly impossible.  However, we must be accountable for ourselves.  Someone once told my sister, that all the energy she put into her relationships exhausted her and that they could never invest that hard into people.  I think that is such a cop out!  We all have the ability to give people 100%, it is just about waking up every day and emptying ourselves into others. 

Listen.  Respond. Repeat.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What a Wonderful World - 2 Loves Combined

From Mod Cloth
I am obsessed with this dress and may need to purchase it for my honeymoon as Bill and I span the globe together to Thailand!!  I am sure I will write more about that trip in teh future, both in anticipation and in remembrance.  All you need to know right now, is that I have a map obsession and love anything fashioned from one, so you can only imagine my excitement when I found this little number. 

I often time find myself wanting to be more fashionable and care more about the way I present myself.  However, I am also constantly reminded that the price of clothes adds up a lot.  What is most important to me is people, and clothes have to take a back seat to investing in others. 

Every once in awhile I run across something like this dress that fuses my map love and my desire to be fashionable.  Oh my, I can't imagine anything better.  It is almost as good as when I find map covered organizational items.  I love things that serve two functions :) 

What floats your boat?  For me it is maps! 

Anyone want to buy me this dress? :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be Encouraged - Give Everyone Your Best Love

As some people are bitter on Valentine’s day because they do not have a romantic interest, I want to be an encouragement to keep working toward selfless love for everyone in your life.  We all have things to learn about life and love, and God has a plan for each life that does not look like what you may necessarily think you want.  He does promise to work all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purposes.  Try to focus on that today, instead of on what you do not have.  If you do have a significant other, remember to love everyone as selflessly as you love that person.  Do not reserve your best love for them, give it to everyone.

Be encouraged.  Love is a beautiful thing.  All love.  The love for a friend and family is equally as important as romantic love.  What we have is equally as important as what we want.  What is provided for us is equally as important as what we are striving for.  Always take a moment to appreciate the people around you.  Invest in them!

Over the last two years I have learned a lot about love, and I have learned that all relationship requires energy.  Being open to constructive criticism is so important as well.  If someone offers you feedback into how you are being perceived, take it as love.  Do something nice for someone today, whether they have a significant other or not.  Treat this day as a chance to show people you care.  It is not about romance, it is about love.  Those are two very different things.

Bill and I started dating two years ago today, and the amount that I have changed is incomprehensible.  I think change is inevitable in all stages of life, but this boy has helped me learn more about myself, about love, and about God just by being himself.  He challenges me and makes me laugh.  He is always keeping me on my toes and constantly surprising me.  I feel beyond blessed to have him provided to me when I was ready for him and when I was open to learning how to love him best.  Our gifts and strengths are different, but we complement each other in amazing ways.To my dear Bill, I want to give you the words to a song that will mean a lot to us indefinitely.  Please take them deep into your heart and know that I know you are my perfect partner in this life.  If we always approach our relationship with love and selfless energy, we will always succeed.  I will never give up on you and I will always believe in you. 

Happy anniversary my sweet boy. 
I’ll love you til’ the day I die, and I cannot wait to marry you! 

“I came here with a load
And it feels so much lighter
Now I met you
And honey you should know
That I could never go on without you”

Monday, February 13, 2012

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things - My Own Creations

I love creating! 
So much. 

It is a passion for me and I love seeing little things I have made scattered around my apartment (and Bill's).  This post is a collection of some of my favorite things I have created or re-finished to make my own.  I love them all so much :)  Let me know what you think!!  I encourage commenting.

This clock hangs on the wall in our bathroom and everytime I see it I smile.  It turned out great and works perfectly.  Bill's dad helped me finish this project after I had painted and placed the buttons, and just remembering his patience and help makes me feel loved.

This is my bedside table.  Bill's aunt was getting rid of it and had used it all through college, and when she offered it to me I gladly took on the project!  We went to Bill's parents and borrowed their sander, after picking up this wonderful orange color in the OOPs section at Home Depot...  We spent an afternoon bent over this painting it and sanding it, but at the end of the day, I was so glad we did it.  I love the color and finished project!

Crocheting used to be a serious passion for me.  I want to pick it back up soon, but have not found the time to make it a priority lately.  However, a few years ago I made this purse for my baby sister and I LOVE how it turned out.  The colors and stiches all became exactly as I wanted them to be and I know she loved it so much.  I hope she still carries it around!

While this picture is a little blurry, you get the general idea!  This tray has been blogged before, and my love for it has not changed.  Everytime I transport food using it, I smile.  It is covered in pictures of foods and drinks that I love, and this tray is like a visual treat for me.  I am SO glad I made it :)

What projects have you done over the last year or two? 

What little items in your home make you smile?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Take A Step Back - Don't Put Off Joy

Someone at my work sent me the following text and I found it really thought provoking. 
We all need a good kick in the pants at times!

"Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back.  From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed?  Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, 'How about going to lunch in a half hour? She would gas up and stammer, 'I can't. I have clothes on the line.  My hair is dirty  I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain.'  And my personal favorite:  'It's Monday.'
She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches.  We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!  We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet.  We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older.  The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer.  One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit' that haven't happened.

When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips.  She keeps an open mind on new ideas.  Her enthusiasm for life is contagious.  You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Roller blades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord...

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years  I love ice cream.  It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process.  The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-Decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butter fly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly?  When you ask 'How are you?'  do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head?   Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' And in your haste, not see his sorrow?  Ever lost touch?  Let a good friendship die?  Just call to say 'Hi?  When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift.....thrown away........

Life is not a race, take it slower.  Hear the music before the song is over."

I know I will be taking this challenge seriously.  
You should too!   

Thursday, February 9, 2012

James: Mercy Triumphs Bible Study

I am in the first week of this study, and I am already loving where it is heading.  This little paragraph sums up the theme really well.  I love that James has such a unique story.  He is  not just any person.  He was in Jesus life since the moment he was born, and I am sure he got tired of having a (literally) perfect sibling.  I know from personal experience being compared to a sibling by others is hard, but comparing yourself is even more exhausting.  I can’t say I would react differently than James.  There must have been things that got under his skin.

I love the redemption and healing process James goes through throughout scripture to get from his denial and aggravation to understanding and even writing his own book on the subject.  Learning about his past has really helped me understand why his book of the Bible is so significant.  I think context in the Bible is half the battle.  It changes the meaning of some scripture and helps it become more applicable to current times.  If you take it at face value, you miss so much deeper meaning derived from the context of it all.

Beth Moore has written more than just this Bible study, and has a pretty incredible story herself.  God really uses her in a powerful way to effect women’s lives across the world.  This is my fourth Beth Moore study, and every time I am so glad I am pouring into it.  It is 5 days a week for 2 months, but I never regret a moment of the homework or the in class time.  It is important, as is the highlight of this week, to discipline yourself in areas such as this.  If we give God his time, he will give us our time.

Discipline yourself in daily Bible reading friends.  You will not regret it and wish you had spent that time doing anything else. 

I aim to love you all in as selfless a way as possible. 
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Color Run

I have been so excited to share this with you from the moment I found it and decided to participate.  I alluded to it in yesterday's post, and now want to tell you all about the Color Run!

Copied Directly from the website, "The Color Run is a one of a kind experience that is less about speed and more about enjoying a color crazy day with your friends and family.  For our events, it is all about participants of all different speeds, ages, shapes, and sizes toeing the start line.  Whether you are a casual morning mall walker or an Olympic athlete, the 3 miles of the Color Run course will be the most enjoyable real estate you’ve traveled in a VERY long time."

Basically, you wear a white t-shirt and at each kilometer you have a powdered color thrown at you.  When you reach the end you have been hit with five colors and participate in a final color throwing ceremony.  This is the perfect way to start my 5K experiences. It will be fun and silly, while helping me feel accomplished and like a runner. 

I hope I find a way to look this cute and colorful at the end of the race!

To get a better idea of what this will look like, you should check out this Color Run Video

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Life Lessons - Discipline

The theme of this stage of my life is discipline.

Discipline to eat well.
Discipline to run consistently and stick to my training schedule.
Discipline to do my Bible study (which you will hear more about this week).
Discipline to invest consistently in relationships.
Discipline to work hard at all I do.
Discipline to pursue dreams.

Discipline is defined as “activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training."

I used to think I hated to run, but really I hate the fact that I suck at running – and that it would take discipline to push into being a decent runner.  It took all my energy, didn’t leave me feeling exhilarated, and didn’t seem to give me the results I wanted.  That is mostly because I would only do it for a week or two, and then I would give up because it was too hard.  I was sore and tired and over it.

What if our parents gave up on us when we were growing up because of two weeks of discouraging behavior?  What if God gave up on us after a few weeks of discouragement with us?  How bold is it for us to quit reading our Bible after a week or two because it is so hard to do everyday?  How bold is it to let our health go by the wayside and not protect the temple of God?

I am training for a 5K right now (That I will tell you all about tomorrow), and it is going to take some time to get into shape to do it.  Now, I know some of you think running a 5K is just for fun, but for me it will be a serious accomplishment.  To run the entire thing will be a big deal.  I am hoping by sharing this with you, I will feel a sense of accountability.  I want to report back to you after finishing my run about my accomplished feeling, and encourage you to challenge yourself in something that takes time.  

Learn discipline in your life and attempt to keep it over a long period of time.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Food I Ate Friday - Mutiny Pirate Bar and Island Grille

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to make a Food I Ate Friday Post about my Dad's newest Restaurant venture.  I got to go here twice while I was home over Christmas, and I loved every moment I spent there.  Fantastic island inspired food, a rum bar with over 100 different kinds of rums, an oyster bar with all the fixins’, and wonderful ambiance with family and friends.
My own personal food pictures, my excited father, and the rum bar pictured above.

The colorful mapped tables, big screen TVs with football playing all around us, chicken wings and French fries, and playful pirate d├ęcor gave it such a comfortable, yet classy feeling.  You do not feel like you are in a dive bar,  you feel like you are in a home atmosphere that has all the bar elements you wish you had in your own living room.  What a wonderful concept!

Even if my family didn’t own this place, I would hang out here often.  They have a hit on their hands.  What my dad and Uncle Rob have down pat is customer service.  It is so important to make everyone feel at ease and like nothing is too much to ask for.  They have succeeded yet again.  I feel so proud to be a part of this legacy, and only hope they can enjoy their projects as much as others do.

If you live in the Baltimore area (or are passing through for a wedding in September), I insist you check out this and their other restaurants.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Life Lessons - My Fears Revealed


What a scary word.  It stands out in my mind as one of the hardest things for me to get past mentally.  I already have debt in my life.  While my car is (FINALLY) paid off, I have school debt and credit card debt.  It feels like it will never end because as soon as some of this debt begins to disappear, I will be picking up a mortgage; life always seems to get in the way of paying things off.

Every American seems to have problems similar to this.  However, I am trying so hard to not live outside of my means.  I am not trying to impress people.  My debt is simply a whirlwind of things that I actually need, not clothes and accessories and material possessions, but a car that runs, gas to get to work, and food to eat.  How did I get so far behind?  Why can I not just make a payment plan and not stress about it?  I am not nearly as in debt as others around me, and I still find myself believing I am worse off.

Does anyone else struggle with fear that God does not have control over their finances?  This has always been a problem for me.  I can give God control over almost all areas of my life, but I need to release my grip on this one.  Prayers would be helpful, although I know it is in my hands.  I know I can take control of this situation.  I have the money, I just need to accept the vast amount of time things take.  It will not happen overnight and it will be a difficult process of sacrificing other things to pay for what I need. 

Learning and growing and changing and maturing.  It is a continuous process.  Some days I feel like I have it all figured out, and sometimes I am overwhelmed from the moment I wake up in the morning.  This life lesson is not an open and shut case.  It will always be something I am rediscovering.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012