Friday, March 26, 2010

Climbing Mountains

Do you ever feel like you are climbing mountain that you have yet to summit?

I do.

Have you ever hiked up a mountain?

I have.

Mountains are challenges. No doubt about it. But the reward that you receive at the top usually involves overlooking some majestic valley! In a word it's breathtaking!

Sometimes mountains are self-inflicted, like debt. Sometimes the Lord puts them in front of us so that we can learn and grow as we climb up closer to Him, on the mountaintop. No matter what the cause for the mountain the effort that it takes to move upward forces our eyes in that direction; Psalm 121:1,2 ~ I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

That's definitely what I've been having to do as I've been coming through the month of March. February is a great month to get paid in! Before I continue let me explain that I only get paid once a month. That's just the way that my employer has it set up, which is nice because I always know exactly what I have to spend and makes for easy budgeting, but not nice in the way that I know that's all I get, but I digress. Basically it's a nice month to get paid in because it's a short month, which psychologically has the capability to make me feel like they have a little more money at the end of the month and that payday is right around the corner. But then comes March, which is 31 days long:( , which makes it feel like FOREVER until the next payday.

Today was payday, and so I made my first of many BIG payments on my CC. It's not a huge dent, but it's a dent none the less. The first of many dents I also might add.

In the spirit of encouragement, for those of you out there facing your own mountains, here is a lovely video put together by Abigail Miller's husband. It's from her song called "The Mountaintop". If you're intersted in owning her music for yourself check out this link, Abigail Miller music. I own 2 of her CD's and it's great music to meditate on! I hope you enjoy the video as well.

P.S. In the interest of full disclosure I actually didn't watch the video until I posted it to my blog, so I had no idea that they used Psalm 121 at the end of the video as well :) I love the way God works.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New Buisiness on the Island?...Not If We Can Help It

Psalm 43:5 a,b - Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?

This is the question that I've had on my heart for a few weeks now when it comes to the new business that wants to try and again a foothold in my town and onto the Island. Collectively the people that spoke out in Tuesday night's city coucil meeting, spoke out in opposition to the notion that such a place should exist here. . .but let me begin with the events of Tuesday night.

Tuesday night there was a city council meeting that was held to put emergency procedures into place because there are currently no city ordinances regulating businesses of such a nefarious nature. My town has been in existence for 95 years and never before have we had to deal with this issue, and unfortunately now is the time in which we MUST, or else loose the community that we all so dearly treasure.

What's the business? I'll just say it's what people like to term Adult "Entertainment". Personally there's nothing entertaining about it, and I'll leave that there. It's such a hot button topic that even King 5 news decided to come out and cover the meeting!

Note: Kali's Dad is the first one that speaks in the clip.
They're on their way to Twisp to start a church!

Lest any naysayers that read this blog think that this is solely a church issue, I assure you all walks of life from the community were out in full force last night, all saying the same thing, WE DON"T WANT THIS BUSINESS HERE. It's not a church issue, it's a moral and community issue.

Edmund Burke, a British Parliamentarian, said "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing".

Out of the 30+ people that spoke up last night, yours truly included, only 1 was in favor this business coming to town. Can you guess who? Yup, only the person that wants to start the business in the first place. And the reason that the ordinance was put through so quickly, as I found out after talking to a member of the city council, is because without such regulations a business like this could come into our town, start anywhere they want to and there would be nothing that anyone could do about it for a whole year. That's just a year to long.

Some of the most memorable comments were as follows (I'll be paraphrasing their comments):

Jim ~ Who pointed out the fact that we had just finished a prayer asking God to help us make the right decisions in this matter, yet here we are trying to debate something that He is clearly against.

Kali ~ Who pointed out that the council had just finished awarding 3 teens, the future of this community, with community service awards; yet here is something that wants to come into the community that would tear down their future instead of building it up.

Nicole ~ A young lady who left that lifestyle and moved back here, to her home, so she could get away from that environment only to have it reappear here in her "backyard". She spoke about her personal experiences and backed up what everyone else had been saying, about it contributing to crime in the community, with her own testimony.

One man, who was retired military, commented on the reason that we are different from other "Navy" communities is because we don't have the problems that are associated with such clubs, unlike other places where he was stationed, and where problems were rampit.

It was a night filled with hard decision making. None of the decisions were easy. For example, Do they put in the ordinance that the club is an 18 and over club, or 21 and over? As I understand it, if it's 18 and over that bars the business from being able to get a liquor license, which is good because alcohol is a cause for more woes and problems. However, that technically means with that age limit that a H.S. senior can get questions asked. Now you couldn't have told me this when I was 18, but really when your 18, even though the law says otherwise, your basically still a child and why should innocence be trampled on. But with a 21 and over limit that bars young "adults"/children from entering, although then the business can, at that point obtain a liquor license, which just multiplies the problems for the community and surrounding businesses. One member of the board said that he would not be sleeping easy after this vote, I'm sure because of having to simply acknowledge such a business in the first place and having to make hard decisions like this one, distinguishing between the lesser of two evils.

The discussion on the ordinances didn't end until 11:30pm. I wish I could have stayed for the zoning discussion. The zoning area, as of now, would allow for a club like this to be put in one of two places, the first is tucked away out of plain sight and the second puts it out on the main thoroughfare in town. You can guess which place I would want it in, if something like this ever did materialize in my town. but I was tired and I hadn't had dinner yet and so with a huge hunger headache plaguing me I left with Kali and her parents, I may live around the corner from the police station but I wasn't going to walk home when it's that late. And if something like this comes to town I may not do a whole lot of walking anywhere. The magic numbers that they decided on for the zoning are in this article. I'm hoping that there is a way that this can change when the meeting on May 4th happens, so as to make it harder for this establishment to take hold in this community, and yes I plan on being there.

So yes, my soul is disquited. I don't want to see Satan gain anymore ground here than he already has and ruin this lovely place that I now call home after living here for 8 years. Who knows what will happen over the next few months? But God is so good that He did give an answer for what to do when something like this takes place and it's in the latter half of the verse...

Psalm 43:5 c, d - hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

I may not be able to do anything about the final outcome, but until then I can hope in God and that will give me the peace that I need. . .and hopefully a good night's sleep.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Just As I Am. . .A new endeavor

I had considered starting a new blog to discuss my new endeavor, but it just didn't feel right. Why? because I probably wouldn't have let anyone know about it and instead just let people stumble upon it as they would in their blog/web surfing. It would also be a point of digression for me. See when I started this blog I was tentative about letting people into my actual thoughts and actions, but that changed when I started my list (30 x 30). And by starting something new it just seemed more like I'd be going back to that place I was before. But with the support that I received with my list this too I know I'll be supported with by my friends.

Let me begin at the beginning, like many other people these days I'm paying off my debt:( I got myself into it and I'm working my way out, one dollar at a time (see above graph). Let me also give a disclaimer lest a blog surfer stumble upon my prose and think less of my character. . .I'm in NO way making this blog about asking for money! So you will not see any ad sense ads on here, begging you to click so I can make a dime off of the time that a reader may spend here. This new blogging endeavor is about the lessons I learn as I regain my financial freedom.

However, lest I forget Him whose hand has formed me, it's not just about my desires. I became very convicted after I read Psalm 37:21 in my devotions a few weeks ago...

Psalm 37:21 ~ The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

Ummm. . .need I really say anymore? And what I realized while reading this was that the Lord puts debt on the same level as all other wickedness and in case you're wondering the word wicked means: Evil in principle or practice; deviating from the divine law; addicted to vice; sinful; immoral. This is a word of comprehensive signification, extending to every thing that is contrary to the moral law, and both to persons and actions. We say, a wicked man, a wicked deed, wicked ways, wicked lives, a wicked heart, wicked designs, wicked works (Webster's 1828 dictionary).

Ouch! My toes still hurt.

There are "necessary" forms of debt that people almost can't get around these days, primarily I'm thinking about a mortgage. But that doesn't mean that you live at the level of debt and just keep piling it on and not paying it back, how do you think the US got into this recession in the first place? And while I have been making payments (WAY more than the minimum) on my card, I also know that I can do better and so I will! So here are the goals:

1. I've already completed (pay off my laptop) which as you can see from the copy of my Dell statement below, I'm even Steven with Dell

2. Pay off my Stafford Loan. Which will be within the next 2 months.
3. Pay off my card will be within the next 2 years. Although my exact calculations take me to a lower number, that time frame seems to give me a little bit of a buffer.
4. Because my bills will soon be reduced a little, that extra $ will go into savings.

The key I know is going to be finding that place of contentment as I strive towards these goals. I see meager times ahead of me, and in all honesty when times get like that I like to bury my head in the sand and pretend that I can afford the things that I want. Argh, honesty hurts! Doesn't it?

I have a friend that works for my bank and I've asked her to help me out by keeping me accountable. I know I'm going to need her so I was happy when she accepted my request. It's not like I plan on showing her every bill that crosses the path of my mailbox, or that she'll access my bank account without my knowledge, but it's more to the affect of having her help me to NOT justify a purchase I know that I can't afford. If I didn't think that I could trust her, and that our friendship could handle it I wouldn't even consider the request and I know she wouldn't have said yes, because our friendship is to important to let pettiness and pride affect it.

I'm hoping that through this new subject that I'll learn some valuable lessons and that by chronicling this experience it will give me a look back on the blessings and the trials that God brings my way out of it, much like the journey that my list took me on, which was an exciting ride itself. It will also give me a new subject to blog about, which I have not had since completing my list last year. You're welcome to leave your comments on my posts, experiences that you've had, advice, and lessons you've learned too. But as with all my posts I have the discretion to not post them if I find them offensive in any way shape or form. Please leave that garbage outside of my sphere.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Apartment Pics

Here are some pics of the new place, sans furniture. I'm still waiting for help moving the big stuff but slowly my things are making it over there, with Sandi's help. I'll post more once I'm settled.

Living room...the walls are actually a very nice neutral brown

Yay!!! I can do my laundry w/o leaving home!

As you can see there is plenty of counter space

A mirror over the sink. . .
so that I can still be a part of the conversation when I'm busy

View from the living room

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Clustr Map 2009-2010

The total visits for 2009-2009 was 2649. Thank you to all who took the time to read my random thoughts. Readership went up by 1,116! And as you can see there were a myriad of countries represented:) There will be more to come this year!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Stranded....But Not For Long

Last night did not go as I had anticipated, but it was not without it's lessons.

I'm still in the throws of moving, which means that I need my car right? RIGHT! So it was not a pleasant surprise to discover that I was having car problems. Maybe I should start at the beginning.

The day started uneventfully enough, besides the fact that I realized I had grabbed the wrong phone charger, so I couldn't charge my phone at work. No biggie, I don't have anything major going on today I can do it when I get home tonight. I then went to see a friend reenlist, for his final time, in the Navy.

It was nice because he chose to reenlist at church and give glory to God for all that He had done for his career and family while serving our country. It was very uplifting. And later on Kali, Tim and Katie stopped by my work to say HI:), which was just the super charge that I needed for my Monday afternoon (that's a reference to the sermon that Tim preached on Sunday night). Monday's can be very wearing:P However, at the end of the afternoon, I remembered that I had a eye appointment in Burlington, which is about an hour away. Still I don't see a problem because I just had my car worked on and my oil is good so off I go.

Well, after picking up my contacts I had decided to stop somewhere else and when I got back in my car I couldn't get the engine to turn over. All I heard was a whir and then...nothing, Uh, oh!!! Now I'm an hour away from home, my car is dead, and all I have on my phone is one little red bar on my battery. Normally I really am more prepared than this, it happens to the best of us, and this is what bothers me more than my car actually not working, because I'm within walking distance to a couple of gas stations and the Super Wal-Mart (although it will be getting dark soon and walking at that point will not be fun). Argh, I was pretty much beating myself up but trying to remain calm at the same time. Think...think...think...who can I call that will give me the most amount of help, without using up the rest of my phone battery in case I should need it later. Voila, Kali's Dad. When I got a hold of him he told me "It's your battery." Sigh, OK now I need to find a jump, in a near empty parking lot...can you hear the crickets chirping? Offering up a silent prayer, I went to work trying to find my jumper cables in my trunk (I should probably clean this puppy out at some point).

PTL, an answer didn't take long at all! I was standing outside my car, hood up, and getting ready to text Kali back when a gentleman named Marvin approached me "Is your car dead? Do you need a jump?" I looked up. "Yes! Oh that would be great. Thank you." I replied. Soon after that he pulled his car around and whipped out his jumper cables, and with a turn of my ignition and a spark from my ignition...TA DA...I once again had a running car! Ahhh, my "Knight in Shining Jump Start" He really was a nice guy and definitely an answer to prayer. Sorry there's no pic (mostly the reason I didn't ask for one is because I think it would have been a little odd to ask some random stranger to humor me with a photo in such a situation). But he beeped his horn and waved as he left the parking lot as I sat there letting my battery get some juice in it before the drive back to the island. Loosing my battery again on a 2 lane HWY home would be even worse for me, since all my contacts, except for the Geists and Vaughns, at that point would have been in Bible Institute. And then where would I be, what with a low phone battery and all:/

So what are my lesson:
1) Sherri reproves me when I leave my phone at home, but having my phone on me without a charge to it is just as ineffective. So, ALWAYS keep my phone charged.
2) Always take time to pray, you never know where the answer will come from
3) It better to depend on the Lord for being taken care of than to fret over what might happen. Chances are something will go wrong the thing is to have the proper perspective.


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