Wifey Wednesday or My dear husband is the best!

This is my 200th published post! I asked Anthony yesterday what I should write for post 200 and he, being the humble creature he is, suggested I write about how wonderful my husband is for introducing me to blogging. Sounded like a good plan to me. Then I ran across the Wifey Wednesday post at …To Love, Honor, and Vacuum and this seemed to fit in.

wifey-wednesday

The concept in her Wifey Wednesday posting is this:

Marriages don’t succeed because we marry the right person. They succeed when we become the right person.

In the 16 years we’ve been married, we have both changed. Some of it is the normal change of growing older. Much of it is the experiences we’ve had and by sharing them we understand the new people we’ve become. Some things haven’t changed and we still work to find a way to accept or adjust to.

I remember the first few years were hard at times. Mainly I was concerned that I wasn’t  a good wife and didn’t have a firm foundation to rest in while I tried to meet his needs (and the many demands I made of myself). He was the stubborn one who wouldn’t let me push him away and that is the ONLY reason we are still together. Right toward the end of this period where I was feeling so insecure I realized that Anthony was growing and changing and I didn’t think I was. I became afraid that he wouldn’t want to stay with me because I was holding him back. He stood strong through that, too. He also helped me grow.

The past 10 years have been great and keep getting better. I think a lot of it has to do with both of us joining our church and growing spiritually. I was a Christian but I didn’t understand enough of what that meant or where Anthony was. I now realize I was unequally yoked. God is good and I married a wonderful man and because I insisted we find a church and he didn’t realize he wasn’t saved, we are now very equally yoked.

He is a good complement to me, he stretches me and challenges me when I’m being uncharitable or withdrawing into a narrow world. I keep the bills paid and remind him of his commitments. He cherishes me and seeks to provide for me and nurture me and it is wonderful to watch his efforts and his success at this.

Which gets us to the point to this blog. I decided one day that I wanted to create a private blog to use as a journal. He sent me to wordpress.com and gave me some tips. Then I decided that I wanted to do a real blog that other people might see. He sent me back to wordpress and encouraged me. I next decided that I wanted to have a different theme and didn’t find what I wanted in the stock supply at wordpress.com. He moved my blog over to an external host and helped me find and install an independent theme.

He doesn’t actually follow my blog, but if I post something I want to share with him I just shoot him a link to the entry. He always knows the answers or knows where to search when I have questions. He is a great trainer because he really wants to watch you walk through doing it, and because he can remember where menu items are for all kinds of programs without having it right in front of him. Early in our marriage I was amazed that he could walk people through things in the DOS version of WordPerfect a few years after I had moved onto the Windows version and then onto Microsoft Word. (He cannot, however, remember what we’re doing this Saturday, that’s where his iPhone and I come in handy.)

Posted in Home | 1 Comment

Weekly status for 4-10

Verse found this week:

1 Chronicles 16:10-11

Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!

Prayer and study:

Great Holy Week, with Maundy Thursday and great messages on Sunday. I spent some time in Luke in preparation for my Sunday School lesson.

Outplacement Service:

I started the week with a depressing search on Careerbuilder.com. Then a Self-Marketing webinar with the agency. I am having trouble focusing on a job that I want to pursue. I have always adjusted to whatever job was available, not planned out a career.

I spent time Tues, Wed, and Thursday getting the forms filled out and witnessed and scanned for the contractor position. The good news was we also got our Estate docs witnessed and notarized at the same time.

I also called about the follow-up to the Financial webinar since I had not heard back yet.

I took an elearning and a webinar course on Campaign Correspondence – cover letters, thank you letters, approach letters. Starting to pull all of that together. I set up a time next week to meet with my Career Coach. And I scheduled the networking and net search webinars so I will get those steps done.

Work:

I started some training with my replacement. I created some reports and preparation for next week’s reports. I attended a lot of meetings and tried to clarify anything my replacement needed.

Physical:

Yoga once, Powerstrike once, Egoscue twice. Definitely need more work here. I did a great job with my food intake, except for Sunday with sausage biscuits and a cheeseburger. Overall I am becoming much more purposeful about what I eat.

All 3 nephews and my brother-in-law were here Fri-Sun so there was a lot of up and down and walking and washing dishes and all the stuff that goes into keeping up with them. By Sunday night I was exhausted.

Posted in Work | Comments Off on Weekly status for 4-10

Spring Reading Thing status check 1

srtsmall

Just tracking my progress here:

My original list with links to book reviews or summaries.

  1. Consequences of Sin by Clare Langley-Hawthorne
  2. Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo (an advance readers’ edition, it’s coming out June 2009)
  3. Get Outta My Face! by Rick Horne
  4. The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns
  5. The Odyssey by Homer
  6. Spectacular Sins by John Piper
  7. How Long, O Lord by DA Carson
  8. Finally Alive by John Piper
  9. Emily Climbs by LM Montgomery
  10. To Kill A Mockingbird by Lee Harper
  11. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
  12. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
  13. finish Les Miserables (I’ve read 1 volume)
  14. the ChristianAudio April freebie – not a good book, but I did read Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
  15. the ChristianAudio May freebie
  16. the ChristianAudio June freebie
  17. Believing God by RC Sproul, Jr.
  18. George Muller bio by Pierson

It’s tempting to put off finishing something deep and get a quick success in, but I need to hold down and finish what I have in progress already.

Posted in Reading | Comments Off on Spring Reading Thing status check 1

Around the World in 80 Days

classics-bookclub

This was part of the Classics Bookclub at 5 Minutes For Books. I pulled up a free copy on the Kindle and I’ve read it in between the more serious nonfiction sitting on my nightstand. I know I’ve read an abridged version but I don’t think I’ve ever read the entire work. I could relate to Passepartout seeking out an employer who could be consistent and dependable. Too bad his first day on the job turns out to be the day the dependable Phileas Fogg gets rash.

The cast of characters:

Phileas Fogg – a gentleman (when that word meant something) of unknown means, very regular in his actions with no time or energy wasted on superfluous activity or emotions. It is easy to believe he has no emotions – he is not excited or irritated by anything, but calmly takes the good and the bad, the beautiful and the mundane, and continues about his business without curiosity or urgency.

Passepartout – naturally good-spirited Frenchman, looking for a stable, reliable master where things are very well regulated. He is a perfect fit for Fogg. He is also, unfortunately,  the direct or indirect cause of most of the delays. And he left the gas light in his room running when they left England.

Detective Fix – a policeman determined that Fogg is a bank robber and working hard to get Fogg and a warrant on English soil at the same time so he can arrest Fogg. He starts out by putting obstacles in their way while he could possibly arrest Fogg in India or Hong Kong (English colonies), and then by helping them to rush them back to English soil once they get into Japan and the United States.

Aouda is the Indian widow doomed to be burned to death on her husbands funeral bier until Fogg and Passepartout, along with an English colonel and a native rescue her. She can’t be left in India so she joins their party. She is indeed grateful to Fogg and he is very solicitous of her comfort.

Much is made about how Fogg seems to have no emotions and that is in direct contrast to the other members of the party who are excited by the sites, and depressed by the delays, and fret and worry over the bad luck they run into. I admire that Fogg sleeps calmly and is not disturbed by the things he cannot control. I do think more emotion along the positive side would be welcome. Not that he doesn’t feel it, perhaps, but he could certainly demonstrate a bit more. He is very solicitous of the feelings of others.

I still doubt they could get through the US without realizing they were a day ahead. If the ship left New York on time then it would have left a day before the day they expected (per his trusty schedule). I do understand not looking at any newpapers or otherwise seeing the date. Surely Fix was flooded with information after his embarassing false-arrest and he could have sent a telegram. But, the ending is good, even if it is convenient.

Posted in Reading | 2 Comments

Booking Through Thursday – 4-9 version

btt2

Some people read one book at a time. Some people have a number of them on the go at any given time, perhaps a reading in bed book, a breakfast table book, a bathroom book, and so on, which leads me to…

  1. Are you currently reading more than one book?
  2. If so, how many books are you currently reading?
  3. Is this normal for you?
  4. Where do you keep your current reads?

I tend to read more than one book at a time. Nonfiction reads tend to take longer (I take notes, need to be in a place where I can take notes, need to digest it) so while I’m doing that, I will have one or two novels that I can travel with.

This year has been even more scattered than usual. I am reading more nonfiction books this year than previously and have more books on hold at the library than usual.

Right now I am in the process of reading 7 books. That is typical for this year, but definitely higher than prior years.

I have a novel in the car that I only read when I find myself out and about with nothing else to read and some time on my hand. It’s a Jeffrey Archer book and really very good for this long-term sporadic reading as the plot is sticking with me, there aren’t dozens of characters to keep straight, and the action picks up everytime I read a chapter or two.

I keep most of my nonfiction books in my office since I take my notes directly on my book blog. Some stay by the couch where the cat and I can curl up together.

___________

I have a novel on the Kindle that I’m reading, Around the World in 80 Days, which is due this week for Classics Bookclub at 5 Minutes for Books. That has been a fun read, but pretty much limited to soccer games/practice.

I am reading Not Knowing Where: A Spiritual Journey Through the Book of Genesis, which a friend loaned to me. It is very rich and I have gotten a lot out of it. I am about 3/4 of the way through it. I interrupted it to read The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom for my church book club (I read that while Connor took his annual tests last week).

I’m also still reading Les Misérables (Signet Classics), and The 7 Hardest Things God Asks a Woman to Do.

I also started Believing God: Twelve Biblical Promises Christians Struggle to Accept while we were at the Ligonier Conference last month.

Posted in Reading | 3 Comments

The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
This is our April book club selection. We’ve all know we should read it for years but just never did. Jill finally said we should do it and now we have. Wow, what a book.

Nollie’s insistence that God will honor our honesty – she does it twice and things work out well both times. She was right.

The verse that God is our hiding place.

The teaching from her father that some things are too heavy for us to bear just now, but God will give us the knowledge and strength just in time. We see this with her aunt Jans as she realizes she is dying and then again and again in the concentration camp. If they had known what was coming could they have persevered?

There are no ifs in God’s world. His timing is perfect. His will is our hiding place. Pray to Him to keep us in His will.

There was no long distinction between prayer and real life. They had to depend on Him for everything and that included being grateful for everything (including the fleas) and forgiveness for their captors and tormentors.

Corrie was always thinking of the poor victims and how to help. Her father and Betsie were always thinking of the Germans and their need for love and grace to replace all the hate in their hearts. I want to be like Betsie – always caring for others, remembering the details of their lives and showing love and concern for them.

Posted in Reading | 1 Comment

Book Review: The Hole in Our Gospel

I joined the Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers and the third book I requested and reviewed was The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns.

Here is the blurb that interested me enough to finish Christianity in Crisis so I could review it and request this one.

“Preach the Gospel always.  Use words if necessary.” – St. Francis of Assisi

It’s 1998 and Richard Stearns’ heart is breaking as he sits in a mud hut and listens to the story of an orphaned child in Rakai, Uganda.  His journey to this place took more than a long flight from the United States to Africa.  It took answering God’s call on his life, a call that hurtled him out of his presidential corner office at Lenox-America’s finest tableware company-to this humble corner of Uganda.

This is a story of how a corporate CEO faced his own struggle to obey God whatever the cost, and his passionate call for Christians to change the world by actively living out their faith.  Using his own journey as an example, Stearns explores the hole that exists in our understanding of the Gospel.

Two thousand years ago, twelve people changed the world.  Stearns believes it can happen again.

This book has been as earth shaking for me as I believed it would be. Rich Stearns presents reasons for why he believes we have a “hole in our gospel” if our faith has no outward expression, specifically changing the world we live in where we see poverty and suffering. He begins the book describing his journey from disadvantaged youth to president of a luxury goods corporation to president of World Vision and how his faith grew and he grew until he was able to accept the job at World Vision. These chapters challenge us to evaluate our lives and see if we are living for Christ, even in our jobs and lives as they are right now. He isn’t saying everyone has to go work for a charity organization, but that wherever our job, we should be working for God’s glory. That includes caring about the poor and needy.

Then he hits the hard part – the statistics that reflect real people. He works to convey the magnitude of the issues without losing our interest in the personal reality. Then he can get into the joyful news that we can all make a difference. He addresses a section to the Church and the critical question of why the church hasn’t reached out more. This is not aimed at pastors, but the members, all of us who have failed to stand up and address the disparity between rich and poor in this day and age.

I think he’s telling us that if we give and it doesn’t hurt (isn’t a sacrifice) we haven’t really lived our faith. We are commanded to reach out to the homeless and help the widows and orphans in their distress. We are committing sins of omission in all the things we do not do. Is the church more comfortable holding to the traditions of men than in challenging the injustices in the world? We need faith and works, salvation and social reform.

The purpose and method of the book is clear and well done. I recommend it, with a warning – you will be convicted, even made uncomfortable by what he says. That’s good news, and you can live out the whole gospel.

Posted in Reading | 2 Comments

Status for the week

This morning I heard this verse while listening to the audiobook Spiritual Disciplines.

Col 1:29 – For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

That’s what I’m trying to do. His energy, not mine.

This will be my status for what I’ve done this week. A way to track the experience and hold myself accountable.

Prayer and study:

The Spiritual Disciplines audiobook has kept me convicted about the time I spend in the word. I wrote up a reflection in my journal of a sermon a few weeks back and read 1 & 2 Kings for the Wednesday night Tree to Tree study. I am also reading The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom and that is a great book for 1) putting things in perspective and 2) godly witness about how every day should be lived for the glory of God.

I started the week still high on the spiritual encouragement I had last week. But Monday and Tuesday I got busy with other stuff and wasn’t reading The Hole In Our Gospel or the Bible. That coupled with a few conversations was getting me pretty depressed. I had to get back into it on Wednesday to combat the fear and frustration that was setting in.

Outplacement service:

I signed up at the Outplacement service last Friday and got frustrated Tuesday when I hadn’t heard from them so I sent an email. I got a phone call and also woke up Wednesday remembering that I hadn’t been checking my new “get a job” email address that I created. Sure enough, last Friday I had received an email from the Outplacement service with directions for how to get started.

So, Wednesday I sent my resume to my Coach and listened to the Jumpstart webinar. I also looked over the website and found the elearning modules, live and recorded webinars, forms and handouts, and more. They even have an organizer so I started scheduling live webinars and listing tasks.

Thursday I attended a webinar on approaching finances during this time of transition (sounds so much nicer than panic). The session was very good and I got an email listing even more services I can get from them to discuss and review some of our financial decisions. I also did the elearning on creating my Resume. I got a few tips from there to make my resume better. And I did the Birkman First survey to learn how I like to work and what motivates me – no surprises there.

Friday I attended a webinar called Career Assessment which explained all the things the Birkman First says about me, plus discussed a values exercise, and then discussed the importance of the Career Survey (which I’ve been working on today). I did the recorded Resume Development webinar and finalized my resume.

Job Search:

Monday and Wednesday and Thursday a friend at work sent me various job postings within my company to look at. I’m not qualified for any of them but at least it gets me into the tool and looking.

Wednesday I contacted a contract company that provides candidates for my old department. Thursday I reviewed their benefits and contract and today we agreed on a rate and confirmed that I want to be submitted for the position. So, I may very well come back to work for my old department as a contractor. At least for a while.

Friday I sent out my resume to a classmate and a friend. Then I checked out the  Express job site at the outplacement service and posted my resume. No job postings jump out at me as fitting.

One thing we heard on one of the webinars is that it is all about networking. Applying for a job online gives you a 1 in 200 to 1 in 1600 chance of getting a job (or was it just an interview). Networking brings that down to 1 in 12. She suggested no more than 8 hours a week posting your resume to ads, and the other 32 hours networking in one way or another. So, next week I’ll be attending the Self-Marketing and Networking webinars. (These are not my strengths.)

I have updated my LinkedIn profile and this week I requested a few recommendations from coworkers at IBM.

Work:

I did do work this week. I’ve updated my procedures, finished a few tasks/projects, and sent out emails to people to start moving things over to my replacement. Our training won’t happen until next week because she doesn’t have anyone to hand her work to yet. One struggle is that people I work with in other departments are also being let go but they don’t all have people to hand their work to. That leaves us folks at the bottom trying to make sure the management chain understands why the work is important enough to have someone carry on with it after we leave at the end of April. Mostly, we are warning the people who are left, because it will be their mess to deal with if we leave without training anyone.

Physical:

I did some reading and planning last weekend to get my cholesterol numbers down. I went into this week with a plan and I have done very well diet-wise. I’m using the food tracker in Sparkpeople.com and focusing more on fresh foods.

I also worked out 5 days out of the last 7. I did some yoga this morning and I am tight! But I’ll get there. The month of March was pretty empty of exercise.

Posted in Work | Comments Off on Status for the week

Booking Through Thursday

btt2The question:

I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

I love the public library. I prefer to read in the comfort of my own home, so I’m looking at the library for the borrowing capabilities. That means the coffeehouse holds no interest (I also don’t like the smell of coffee ;0) and the bookstore is fun but dangerous to my wallet so I try to be selective about what I buy.

I have gone to the library all my life. I remember when I was young (before the 3rd grade) living close enough to actually walk to the library alone. One winter I dropped the book just before I got to the library and I was terrified. I had gotten the precious book wet and I was upset. The librarian was so kind, wiped it down (of course they put a cover on it so it didn’t get soaked) and said all was well. I was very relieved that the book was ok and I wasn’t in trouble.

In elementary and high school I was a huge patron of the local library, checking out huge stacks of books at a time for research papers. The only overdue book I had was one I loaned to a friend. She didn’t return it and they wouldn’t let me check out any more books. I was so incensed that I marched across the street to her father’s office and explained my dilemma to him. He walked to the library and paid them for the book so I could check out more books. I don’t know if Mary ever returned the book of not. I no longer loan library books to others, though.

I went on to work in the library in college and then got a graduate degree in library science and worked at a library for a few years. The budget fights and lack of a raise drove me to a different career path, but I still love libraries.

Modern and sleek or dark and cozy? I want orderly and easy to understand. Our local library keeps moving sections around and I couldn’t even find the first half of the alphabet for the mystery section at one point. That sort of stuff irritates me, no matter what the ambience of the surroundings.

Posted in Reading | 2 Comments

Sunday afternoon

img00061

That’s how the afternoon should be spent. Or curled up with a good book.

Posted in Home | 1 Comment