Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Better Vision

I went for an eye appointment a couple weeks ago and imagine my non-surprise when I was told that I needed a new prescription for my glasses.

When I was asked if I was having trouble reading or with distance....I just answered Yes and Yes.

So the exciting news (to me) is that I also ordered new frames.

Here is the before picture:

Here is the after picture:

Watch out world! I can see you now!

P.S. Getting older just keeps getting better and better.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Losing It - Contest Edition - Week 2

You can go to Kathy's House of Hills blog to read the rules. Please note that you have to link up or leave comments for 6 of the 8 weeks in order to qualify for the prizes. You still have time to participate for weeks 3-8 so join us!

The update on my job interview can be read here.

My plan for Thanksgiving was to eat in moderation. I succeeded! I enjoyed turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and my contribution to the meal (onions in cheese sauce). I also had a piece of pumpkin pie with a dollop of Cool Whip.

There were five other side dishes that I passed up and five other dessert choices that I passed up and because of those decisions, I was full but not stuffed. I achieved my goal of moderation for Thanksgiving! I'm relieved that the Thanksgiving feast is once a year as you can see by my results listed below.

Week 2 Results:
I gained 1 lb.
Got on the treadmill 4 days this week at a 2.5% incline, 3 mph, for 45 minutes.
Did sit-ups and used light weights for 4 days.
I did drink more water but not my goal of 64 oz./day.

My plan for this upcoming week is: 5 days on the treadmill, 5 days of sit-ups and light weights, and drink 64 oz. of water per day.

There were 22 people at my sister-in-law's house for Thanksgiving. We showed up with our side-dish and appetites, enjoyed the meal, football games, and visiting together. Some of Wonderful Husband's family go shopping on Black Friday. Not me. I'm staying home, hopping on "tready" and working off that 1 lb. gain. The best part is that I don't regret a single bite. Wonderful Husband's family are great cooks! 

Please join us at House of Hill's to link to your blog post, or leave a comment of your results, or to cheer everyone on.

Did you enjoy your Thanksgiving feast? Do you shop on Black Friday?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Job

I promised an update after my nail polish post, so here you go.

Here's the short (secular) version:
The lunch interview was last Thursday.
A follow-up visit to the office at 5:15 on Thursday evening.
The wait began: Friday, the weekend, Monday.
On Tuesday morning I ran errands, came home at 11:45 a.m. to a message on our voicemail asking me to call....
Job offered and I accepted.
I start working on December 1.

Here's the longer (God is awesome) version:
About a year ago, I asked  my former Bible Study buddy (Mary Lee) if she could keep "an ear out" for me about any job openings. She knew my background and the only two things I asked for her to keep in mind were that I wanted a short commute and full time employment.

Mary Lee has lived in the area for many years and has a lot of church and local business acquaintances and contacts. I would occasionally see her at church on Sundays, she and her husband came to a few Mission Committee meetings (while I was on the committee), and in passing on occasional Thursday mornings.

In June, Mary Lee sent me an email about a possible opening in our local Chamber of Commerce. I contacted the placement company and based on "dropping her name" as my recommendation, I sent in my resume, had a telephone interview, and took an online technical ability test. I sent an email to the interviewer saying that I had completed the test, left a message on his voicemail, and then heard nothing but cricket chirps.

At the end of October, Mary Lee emailed me about a possible job working for a couple who happen to be members of our church. She didn't name them but said she'd give them my name to contact. Two and half weeks elapsed and I was asked to a lunch interview on Thursday, November 18. The job was offered and I accepted on Tuesday, November 23.

In one week, I will be starting my new job which is full time and a short 20 minute commute from my home. I've thanked Mary Lee on the telephone and sent her a lovely Thanksgiving flower arrangement too. She has been a blessing to me during my job search.

So where has God been through all this?

Every step of the way with me during the 2 years and 10 months of my mini-retirement.

I left my last job where I worked at a church for over 5 years. I left that job thinking I would take nine months off and then get another job.

During these 2 years and 10 months:
  • I continued attending the weekly Bible Study at our church.
  • I continued my weekly phone calls with Terri where we talked our way through: The One Year Women's Friendship Devotional by Cheri Fuller & Sandra P. Aldrich, Me Myself & Lies....A Thought Closet Makeover by Jennifer Rothschild, and Lysa Terkeurst's book Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl.
  • Our daughter graduated from high school and left for college.
  • I had surgery and recovered well.
  • I watched the economy collapse and read about people losing their jobs, homes, etc.
  • Our daughter changed to a different college.
  • My husband's nephew had their first child, then he (our nephew) died from cancer a little over 2 months later.
  • Our son graduated from college and began looking for a job.
  • I finished my commitment to the Mission Committee at our church.
  • I was able to travel with our son out of state to keep him company before his interviews.
  • Our son was hired for his first teaching position in a middle school.
  • My faith grew amazingly gigantic because of the quiet I was surrounded with at home during the day.
  • I've grown wonderfully smaller by losing 19.5 lbs. :)
  • My husband never criticized or complained about my not getting a job on the 9 month time-table. He has shown an amazing amount of patience and love during my mini-retirement.
I believe God has His reasons for my time away from work.

I believe His plan enabled me to be fully present in all the situations listed above.

I believe I've used my time wisely and have grown closer to Him.

I read the Bible daily and have learned so much about what His truth and His love.

God is awesome!

This quiet interlude has made me a better person and now...

I'm ready to go out into the working world again.

A job is one more thing I have to be thankful for today.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Losing It - Contest Edition - Week 1 (For Realz)

OK. I messed up last week because the competition was just beginning. Today marks Week 1 results. Really. I promise.

You can go to Kathy's House of Hills blog to read the rules. Please note that you have to link up or leave comments for 6 of the 8 weeks in order to qualify for the prizes. So get busy!

This has been a somewhat stressful week for me. A family issue, fingernail polish issue, and I had my first job interview in a longgggg time. OK. Two out of those three things were stressful.

The job interview went well and now I'm in "wait-and-see-mode." I'll post an update (either way) when I have news.

What I've come to realize is that if I'm stressed, I eat. If I'm happy, I celebrate by eating. Does anyone see a pattern here or struggle with it yourself?

Week 1 Results:
I lost 1 lb.
Got on the treadmill 3 days this week at a 2.5% incline, 3 mph, for 45 minutes.
Did sit-ups and used light weights for 3 days.

My plan for this upcoming week is: 5 days on the treadmill, 5 days of sit-ups and light weights, and drink more water.

Next week is Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday! I'm a bit apprehensive of losing any weight BUT I am going to enjoy a moderate feast and celebrate at my sister-in-law's home with a lot of family members. Moderation in eating is my goal and hugging my kids who will be home for a visit. (I wonder if I can burn a lot of calories by hugging my kids?)

Please join us at House of Hill's to link to your blog post, or leave a comment of your results, or just to cheer everyone on. I'm looking forward to eating turkey and dressing...in moderation. :)

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nail Polish

Happiness in a bottle....

I am a wacky, creature of habit.
Spring - Light-ish Pink
Summer - Fuschia
October through Thanksgiving - Orange
From Thanksgiving until Spring - Red

I am quite the conservative dresser. So I let my nail polish show my quirky personality.

I was reading online "10 Things the HR Department Won't Tell You."

I am looking for a job and wanted to make sure that nothing is considered "hiring suicide" that I didn't have a clue about, so imagine my heart breaking when I read that they suggest not "showing your eccentricities by having pink hair or black nail polish."

No, I don't have pink hair.

I looked at my orange nail polish and thought...."Doggone it. I need to change my nail polish color since I might have a job interview this week."

Now I'm ready for an interview....

... and waiting for my phone to ring.

Update: I had just hit "Publish Post" and my phone rang. Interview tomorrow at noon. Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Losing It - Contest Edition - Week 1

Woo hoo! Kathy at House of Hills is having an 8 week competition that will take us through the holidays. (Click on the link above to read all the rules.)

I am soooooo grateful for Kathy hostessing this because I really need the incentive (to possibly win a prize) and the accountability factor that will carry me through these holidays that are always celebrated by overeating eating yummy food.

I have been yo-yo-ing through the world on my bathroom scale. I've said goodbye to 160 once (on September 17th)...then hello to the 160s over and over again ever since. Darn.

My beginning weight today is 161.5 lbs.

My plan is to eat less and to move more. In addition, I want to say a firm goodbye to the 160s.

1) Get on the treadmill 5 days a week.
2) Drink 64 oz. of water per day.
3) Take-in less calories (and healthier ones at that).
4) Do sit-ups and use light weights daily.

Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."
This is what the Lord Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways."
Haggai 1:5-7

This week I will give careful thought to my ways.

Please visit Kathy at House of Hills, read the contest rules, and join us in this friendly contest as we encourage and cheer each other on while we maintain or lose through the holidays.

(Update: I should not have called this Week 1 since in the real world Week 1 will be next Friday, November 19th. Sorry for my confusion and I'm hopeful it isn't contagious!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New Worship Experience

I have always said that I "was born and raised Presbyterian."

I'm comfortable attending a traditional Presbyterian worship service and so when Paula asked me go to a contemporary worship service this past Sunday, the first thought that popped into my head was to say no thank you.

The second thought that popped into my head was why not? So I said yes and went to a church that I drive past at least every six months since it's on my way to my dentist's office.

Four of us met at a church that doesn't have the word church in it's name. (That's another topic for another time for me.)

On my way in I was warmly greeted by the man at the front door with a handshake, handed a bulletin and was told, "God's blessings to you." He also complimented my on my jacket (extra points for him!)

Before entering the sanctuary, Paula said that they were having prayer inside so I'd need to be quiet. I laughed and told her that I would have been able to "read the signals," and also know how to act in public. Funny!

When we opened the door to enter..the worship band was in full swing and the next 30  minutes we spent standing and singing praise music, reading the words off the drop down media screen. No need for me to be quiet and what a difference from a pipe organ and the occasional orchestra at my usual church.

We sat and heard the announcements, saw a video presentation set to music honoring veterans and active military because Veterans' Day is this Thursday.

The pastor's sermon "Understanding Kingdom Authority" was inspiring. His Bible preaching was really good. I took notes and when he finished, he closed in prayer and the service was over.

There was a man standing inside the doorway with a purple velvet pouch and I didn't realize that was for the offering until I had walked out of the sanctuary. (Why didn't Paula tell me that? lol)

I really enjoyed this new worship experience

Have you ever experienced a different worship service?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Commitment Sunday

Yesterday was Commitment Sunday at our church. A few years ago this new tradition was instituted and I have attended that service only once. It's been going on for at least 5 years, I'm guessing.

During the service, the pastor and associate pastor stood at the front of our large church with large baskets and we walked up in an "orderly fashion" to place our pledge for the upcoming year into the basket. (Orderly fashion is defined by row-by-row people walking up the center aisle, then walking to the outside aisle to re-enter the pew. We are an orderly people. Hee hee!)

The following year when I read "Commitment Sunday" again, I felt of twinge of discomfort. It took me a while to determine why I was feeling that way and I think the easiest way to explain is:

1) It feels like a pride thing to me. "Look at me walking up to put my pledge in a basket! I'm such a good giver!"

2) I think about a first time visitor. Is this a confusing part of the service for them? Do they feel excluded with people stepping over them to get to the center aisle?

My pledge is between me and God for the benefit of His Church.

I don't attend my church on Commitment Sunday. I mail in my pledge.

Please don't misunderstand me. This is how Commitment Sunday makes me feel and for those who don't feel this way, they are the fortunate ones. And I kind of wish I were one of them. 

Last week Paula called and left a message saying that she wanted a prayer added to our Bible Study Prayer List. She also mentioned that she hadn't seen me in church the previous Sunday and hoped everything was well. I called her back and told her that we hadn't been in church because we were visiting our son in Virginia and then felt the need to give her a "heads up" that we wouldn't be there on Commitment Sunday either. (I didn't want her to worry about me again.)

Paula called on Saturday night and invited me to attend a different church on Sunday with her, Laurie, and Charlotte. It's a more contemporary service than what we have at our church. I agreed to go and that's what my next blog post will be about.... Stay tuned.

Do you have a "Commitment Sunday" tradition where you worship?

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Big Picture

The One Year Chronological Bible readings for November 5 were:

The Burial of Jesus
Mark 15:42-47
Matthew 27:57-61
Luke 23:50-56
John 19:38-42

The Guard at the Tomb
Matthew 27:62-66

The Resurrection
Mark 16:1-8
Matthew 28:1-7
Luke 24:1-12
Mark 16:9-11
John 20:1-18
Matthew 28:8-10

The Report of the Guard
Matthew 28:11-15

Today's readings fascinated me with their slight differences in the details:

The man that asked Pilate for permission to take Jesus' body: he owned a new tomb; he found a previously unused tomb; he wrapped Jesus' body; he and another man prepared Jesus' body with perfumed ointment before wrapping his body in long sheets.

What the women saw: the stone had been rolled away from the tomb and a young man clothed in a white robe was sitting inside the tomb on the right side; a large earthquake happened and an angel rolled away the stone and sat on it; the stone was rolled away and two men suddenly appeared inside the tomb clothed in dazzling robes.

Yet with all these slight differences in the details, the big truth is there. Jesus rose from the dead and will meet with his disciples in Galilee.

Sometimes in my life, I get caught up with the slight differences in details instead of the big picture truths.

Lord, help me to not get bogged down with slight inconsistencies in my life, but rather to see the consistency of Your truths that surround me. Amen.

Do you get stuck in the details?

Losing It - Week 37

It's been an interesting week. We went to Virginia to visit our son leaving early Saturday morning and got back home midafternoon on Sunday. Three meals out....well I ate two meals because I sent away my underdone burger. Yes, I embarrass my family by actually sending food away. Sorry!

The big news is that I've increased my time on the treadmill from 2.5 hours/week to 3.75 hours/week. That works out to be 45 minutes on tready 5 days/week. Phew!

Oh yeah, and we had leftover Halloween candy. Darn trick-or-treaters! I'm guessing it was a bit too cold this year. But I've noticed what I haven't lost in pounds, I have been losing in inches.

This week I lost 1 lb.! 

Goals for this week:
Drink more water!
Measure myself so I can be specific with inches. (I wish I would have measured myself back in February so I'd have a running total. Oh well.)
Stay with the treadmill schedule of 45 minutes per day for 5 days.

I'm linking this post to Kathy's blog (House of Hills) and am hoping you'll stop by to join in and/or encourage the group! See you next week!

Update: Kathy is announcing a contest next week so now is a great time to join us!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

It seems that lately I've been surrounded by the word "forgiveness." I've seen it in my Bible readings, my Bible Study buddies have mentioned it, and my church even had a seminar on the topic. I didn't attend the seminar yet Laurie gave me copies of her notes. She said she remembered me talking about working on forgiveness in my life.

Really? I think I've turned into a person who doesn't listen to what I say because I don't remember talking about forgiveness at all.

There were two sentences (from the seminar) that "got me thinking":
Forgiveness isn't dependant on the other person.
But reconciliation is because it requires the other person to admit their fault too.

From Dictionary.com I retrieved the following definitions:
forgive - to pardon an offense or an offender
reconcile - to win over to friendliness; cause to become amicable

It took me years to comprehend that forgiveness doesn't always follow a standard method of one person apologizing and the other person saying, "I forgive you."

I've learned to forgive a person without them apologizing to me. I pray asking God to help me forgive them and ask Him to change my heart toward them. I don't ask God to change them. I ask Him to change me.

Forgiveness is freeing. It helps me to not carry the burden of the offense/offender in my heart. It lightens my load. Sometimes a relationship continues between me and the person. Sometimes it does not. Either way, I have gained valuable experience to apply toward future relationships.

Reconciliation is where I am struggling in my heart. I don't like the word confrontation. I like the more civilized-sounding word of conversation.

I haven't tried to reconcile with one person because I will be in a vulnerable position. There has been no conversation about the circumstance that led us to this place of "relationship-in-limbo."  

It's interesting that a month ago I heard a sermon that by sending Jesus, God opened Himself up to vulnerability. God knew what was going to happen and sent Jesus anyway.

There is one person I have forgiven yet I haven't tried to reconcile with and a lot of time has passed by.

Is now the time?

If all goes well, I know that we will have greater peace.

If reconciliation doesn't happen will I suffer and be able to forgive again?

I pray for wisdom in this situation focusing on James 3:17, "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."

I want to be a peacemaker who sows in peace.

What has reconciliation looked like in your relationships/life?