Friday, January 27, 2012

Owing and Spending

I started writing this about a year ago, and never published it. Well, as God would have it, the same thought entered my mind as I was working on my tax return for 2011 tonight. As I was loading the dishwasher I was reflecting on how we struggled financially in 2009 and 2010, but how amazingly God blessed us through that struggle. I didn't completely grasp the magnitude of what He did until well after. 
As most of you know, when we embarked on our journey as a military family we had to leave a house, unsold behind in Tennessee. It took us 2 years to sell it and that was working long distance from Texas. I am very thankful, even more so now that we were just two states away instead of a continent or two and an ocean away. God blessed us right before Christmas of 2010 with the sale of our home. It was a short sale, but it all worked out that because it wasn't a huge hit for the bank, the remainder of our loan was forgiven and I later found out that somehow the city and county property taxes were paid at some point during the transaction. (and not by us) I think I cried for two days straight after I called the county tax assessor's office to see about doing a payment plan and was informed that we didn't owe anything. In order to help pay down our debt, I had begun to work as a substitute teacher(not my thing) at the kids' school. In the beginning of 2011 I decided to get licensed to practice dental hygiene again in TX so I could do some fill in work around town. After a TON of paperwork and a couple of continuing education classes, I was able to get licensed. It worked out great, we had amazing friends who helped me with the kids after school if I was running behind and Keith wasn't home yet from day shift.

So, here is what I had written at the beginning of last year.
I've been trying to pray for guidance and direction in my quest to rejoin the work force and how to start digging out of this pile of debt. I haven't been doing very well with the praying part, I might add. As I was reluctantly thinking about digging out the Dave Ramsey books and working on a budget, FINALLY. God gently changes my focus as He often does. I took time to entertain the thoughts that were bouncing around in my head and put them to paper since they haven't wanted to go away in weeks!
Owing someone at some point in time is inevitable, just like being an American citizen and paying taxes. The question is ... how do we view the money? Yes, it is God given, but do we always honor that? I know I don't!! The same with spending. We have to spend money, just to manage our every day lives, food, clothes, etc. On that same note, think about time as well. I get so irritated with myself for NOT using my time wisely and being such a procrastinator!

I am so grateful that in 2011 God did bless my efforts to start practicing again and did bless us financially. Sadly, I still need help on the time management, and I still haven't done a budget, but I am making progress. God is so faithful. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

today's devotional!

I am reading Joyce Meyer's Promises for Everyday Life Daily Devotionals
Today's focused on living an life for Christ with boundaries. OUCH, as some of you know, I have dealt with that a lot throughout my life. I have also heard Pastor Wes preach on this recently.  

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

Boundaries Have a Purpose!

"Exercising self-control and self-discipline, and establishing boundaries and borders in our life are some of the most important things we can do. A life that has no discipline is one that's filled with carelessness.

The Word of God establishes the necessary boundaries to keep us in God's safety zone. It tells us what we can do, and what we better not do, to be safe.

As Christians we can think it's kind of exciting to live life on the edge. We like the image of "Yeah! That's me! Living on the edge!" It's become a popular way of looking at life. But to be honest, God doesn't want us living on the edge, because if we're living on the edge, then we have no margin for error.

Highways have lines, one on each side and one in the center. These lines provide margins for our safety while we're driving. If we go over the line on one side, we'll go into the ditch. If we cross over the line in the middle, we could get killed. We like those lines because they help keep us safe. 

It's like that in our personal lives, too. When we have boundaries, borders, and margins, we feel much better and experience God's peace.

The key is to go to God's Word, where He has laid out all the boundaries we need to live by. Let God direct your path every day.

Prayer Starter: God, I recognize the need for boundaries in my life. As I read Your Word, show me how to apply Your healthy boundaries in my life today."


Friday, January 20, 2012

Belated New Years Blessings(more like celebrations)

God really does care about the little things in our lives, even as much as he cares about the big things.
We ladies had a wonderful time in the Lord last night! Wow! We as a group were able to claim victory over our lives and celebrate that together.
Personally, God fixed something in me that has been broken for a long time. Last night I was able to get the best night's sleep that I have had in probably 5 months or so. It was so wonderful to be able to rest in God's peace.  However, the side effect is that I can't stop crying!!! LOL  It's ok though. I have spent the last 6 months trying to suppress my emotions to keep up the "happy" front up.  I have become so robotic in going about my life lately, that I had suppressed so much of what I was actually feeling. All the while justifying it in my head for the good of the family.  When I woke up this morning, it just hit all at once, but I LOVE being broken and open before the Lord. It may not be pretty, but it allows Him to come in and tweak those parts of your heart that need tweaking and heal those wounds that need to be healed! Now, hopefully, I can keep myself out of the way long enough to see what God is going to do or is doing in my life this year.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Long weekends and yucky island weather ....

While we were thankful for the long weekend it wasn't great weather wise, but we managed. Friday we hung out and watched movies. Saturday Jacob and I went on a youth trip, while Christina and Keith got some Daddy/Daughter time in. The place we went to was called Round 1. It is this crazy, seven story, indoor recreation center that has, video games, virtual sports games, actual games, like basketball, badminton and batting cages, a roller rink, a little foam ball pit and foam ball guns, and playground for the little ones, oh even a real bowling ally. I am sure there are tons more but I just can't remember. It even has massage chairs in a quiet room for the Mama's! Yep, guess where I ended up! The crazy thing is that most everything is in Japanese. Thankfully, we had youth there to interpret for us, lol. I really didn't want to go at first, but I am so glad I did. I got to hang out with my new friends! :) Sunday, we went to church and just chilled at the house afterward. Worship service was pretty incredible. God has a plan for this year and I can not wait to see what it is! There are several opportunities for me to get plugged in here. I am just praying for guidance. I am just thankful for my new friends at Neighborhood. I just wish I could see them more than once or twice a week! Yesterday we just stayed in out of the rain. Well, they did, I went and got my hair cut and colored. I LOVE it! :) 
Today it is back to the grind. I had a ton of cleaning to do but didn't bother. I'm so bad! I know. I did get to talk to my Mother today and my Sister. So, that made it productive right??
Ok, so I am off to go figure out supper. Humm, I have ground turkey and taco shells, that sounds good! :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Something to think about....

Raising children is always a challenge. Watching them grow, is amazing!!! Wow, I am so proud of my kiddos. Christina is the easy one for the most part, you almost always know what she is thinking and how she feels. Her teachers always have amazing things to say about her. She is so sweet, smart and outgoing. I had the privilege to help out in her SS class today. Wow, they had some great discussions and the way she answered some of the questions and the comments she made. I was blown away. We've raised them in church and I know they know what it is all about, but wow to see them first hand express what they know and have retained!! Jacob, on the other hand, likes to keep it to himself. Although, he has gotten better about it. He was 8 when we started on our adventure as a military family. He is 12 now and wow, it just hit me yesterday after the youth outing how much he was growing, not just physically but spiritually and mentally. He is such a good kid and so intuitive even.  It is like he matured over night!! It is always so amazing to hear his teachers talk so fondly of him. A handful, I am even blessed to call friends :)
God is so good!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday night!

Movies, video game and Manwich! :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

by the way ...

I simplified the lay out! :)
Blogger has come out with some new templates and the old lay out was cute but way too busy. I think I like this better, eh?? I am really beginning to like the new Google+ thing too!  I haven't really messed around on it much but I need to check out the Google talk as well.

*sigh* no work out today. I was a slacker but I did watch the football game. 
Speaking of ... Wow!! I can not believe Bama just walked all over LSU. I know the last time they played it was a battle of the defenses. I think LSU's defense forgot to show up, I feel sorry for my LSU fan family and friends because they just looked tired and defeated before the end of the first quarter. Hey you have got to love SEC football though right??? Go HOGS!

Let's see, the kids are great! Jacob is suppose to get confirmation on his Science fair topic soon, I hope! Christina is about half way finished with her quilt in quilting club! She has to pick a backing material or just use what the teacher provides. I can not wait to see the finished product! The will get to display them at school for a week or two then bring them home. I will definitely have photos! :) Speaking of, I need to make the Grandmother's their DVD's of the kids during the year. 

Oh! I got to talk to my Mom today! YAY, that really made my day. I felt like a jerk because it had been so long since I had talked to her, other than sending a note on FB. I even missed my parents' anniversary!! UGH! 
The sad thing is that Mom told me that Dad was watching the Cotton Bowl and was looking for Ryan Mallet at QB. *sigh*  However, the good news is that he may not always know where everyone else is but he knows where he is. I definitely need to start skyping more with my parents!

Ok, I guess it is time to figure out what we are going to have for supper. I'm thinking hamburger helper at this point. I have got to start planning meals better and cooking healthier if I am going to get my weight under control and hubby's cholesterol! Another plus of staying home these days! :)

Monday, January 9, 2012


Happy Monday all! :)
We had a nice relaxing weekend. I took Christina to the movies. I ALWAYS forget that they play the National Anthem before our movies, but it is really cool to see an entire theater of people stand and put their hands over their hearts. 
We had a good service at church Sunday. I just love a Pastor who isn't afraid to get up and preach what is on his heart! 
Christina got up and went walking with me this morning. We walked the neighborhood even though she wanted to go to the track. I still haven't measured to see how far it was but we walked for a good 30 minutes. I have gotten back on SparkPeople. I love it! It is like weight watcher but free! It helps me to track every thing that I eat because I know if I have to write it down that I will just avoid eating it. I should have dug out my Wii Fit today and done some strength training but that is for another day. I'm so excited hoping to get this weight off and get healthy!  
I hope everyone has a great week!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Look out, I've been thinking ....

So, what is it about the New Year that makes us so philosophical?? It must be the freshness that January 1st brings us. Everyone planning NY's resolutions and all. Sadly, I always say I will do this or that, but never stick to it. Such is life.
At this point, all I can say for sure is that God is faithful. I can not wait to see what He has in store for our family in 2012. I have this recurring theme that keeps coming around. 
Until next time bloggies!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

It is a New Year ....

....welcome 2012!!
Wow, I can NOT believe we have started a new year already. My, how time flies! Let's just see how the next 2 and 3/4 go, LOL.
So, we are in our little abode here on Okinawa and have gotten pretty much settled in. We made it through Christmas, enjoyed some time with K afterward and are now getting back into the school, work, and Mom routine. 
Wow, it has been so long since I have written anything on here, although, I do seem to be keeping up with my annual January report! ha ha. I am at a loss for words at the moment, believe it or not. The cool thing is that I added the iPhone app and can scribble, ok, awkwardly type in posts. That may not turn out well. We shall see. 
Let's see since we have gotten here we have survived four holidays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. The kids enjoyed Christmas break, although, they were really missing their friends back in SA. I was trying to keep them entertained. We saw Arthur Christmas, but missed Chipwrecked. We ventured off up north again and went to the Pineapple Park/factory. It was a really cool day trip. We had amazing weather which helped. I have gotten to where I love driving up north because the scenery along the coastal hwy is just beautiful. One of these days I am going to go up and stop at the look out spots and take photos. That is on my list of things to do along with going to the light house on the cape. :) We haven't made it down south yet to the WW2 park, or the glass factory. I heard today that the glass factory and the organized battlefield tour are a must do while stationed here. I am also making a list of things to bring back with me, lol. Ryukyu glass, a tea set, and chop sticks (not that I will ever use them). Driving here is still challenging, but luckily, a girl at the car shop told me today that it will take about a year before I feel comfortable just venturing out on my own. I have learned to keep Yen on me just in case I randomly decide to make a trip to the 100yen store or SanA. I have found that the most challenging thing about venturing off base is the language barrier and that the roads are not always clearly marked. These road signs here a just crazy. My brain is also not doing well converting miles into kilometers or feet into meters. Yeah, I don't do math.
Ok, hopefully, I will have something cooler to write about later. I have a few things bouncing around in my head.