Thursday, December 8, 2011

Utterly Grateful

That phrase perfectly describes the past year of my life.  

I cannot describe the joy and peace God has brought to my life.
I often wonder what I would do if God took it all away.  Like tomorrow.  What if God took tomorrow from me?  He would still be a just God. 
I try to prepare for unforeseen episodes in life that snatch precious moments from our lingering fingers.  I greatly enjoy the simplicity and complexity of life.  I love to research and research and research unanswerable questions.  I try to never stop searching for peace.  I want to be able to comfort a person during pain and anger and to be joyful during their celebrations.  
Since starting my job, distractions seem to disappear from life.  I am more persistent in developing relationships.  I complete my devotions every morning at the office before the work day begins.  My time outside of work is precious.  I can't believe how worried I used to be about God being...God.  I am praying consistently for ministry within the new church we are committing to.  I am loving marriage more than ever.  I miss my family and friends dearly, but am excited to plan trips to see them.  I wish I could convey these scrambled feelings more adequately. 

This is a wonderful moment in life to be at.

Thank You, Lord, for all the wonderful blessings, gifts and lessons I've learned. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The new job...

I love my job.  I have been there a little over a month and I truly enjoy it.  The past two days I have been at a training with my supervisor at Penn State.  It was so much fun! 

However (don'tcha just hate that word?), the trend of cutting budgets did not skip our county.  During this trip, I learned what I had been fearing for the past few weeks: I wasn't hired to fill the position of community service no, see I was hired to fill a new position entailing the juvenile community service coordinator, the adult community service coordinator and the reentry community service coordinator.  In case you missed my point, one person was hired to fill three positions.  A grand plan that it is...

I am not stressed about all the upcoming stress.  Yes, the program is in need of updated insurance plans (which I understand none of the legal jargon involved).  All the processing forms must be merged to fit all three units.  Being a newbie, I need to make connections with local organizations for our probationers to work at (and to win the ever dwindling grant money they possess).  I need to create a statistical data entry system for all three departments.  The summer litter pickup program must make at least double this coming year as it did last.  Yada, yada, yada...the list goes on

My job is a big load right now.  My to do list will reach far into the next few years.  I go without seeing my husband for days.  Dylan works overtime every week.  
And yet, somehow God shows me the little joys throughout the day.  God sustains me.  Somehow, I still love my job.  Dylan and I spend our little time together wisely.  We pray and read the Bible and dream our future dreams together.  I love falling asleep alone and waking up in the middle of the night next to someone with a huge grin spilled on my face.  I love watching the sun rise and set while driving to and from work everyday.  What beautiful blessings God gives...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Do you ever feel that you are in a joyful season with God?  I feel like we go through seasons in our relationship with God and I remember each season. 

Four summers ago was an amazing season of growing in intimacy with God!

Three springs ago was joyful season of trust. 

Two years ago was a horribly, thrown to the road without a wheel to steer year.  I learned a lot of God's constant wisdom that year.  This is the year I started to fall asleep at night praying Proverbs. 

Last winter was a wonderful season of thankfulness.  I loved learning the art of forgiveness and thankfulness...two valuable lessons I pray I never lose sight of.

I have not fully grasped this season, but I know prayer and building a community has been on my mind a lot lately. 

Oh what adventures lie ahead of us that we are unaware of in life:)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Update on life

Nothing fancy, but certainly blessed!

In the past month 

Dylan and I have paid for a new car (in full!!)-blessing

I have started my new job that I love!-blessing

We have been learning more and more about each other in our marriage.  This is in part because our schedules are the exact opposite now.  We get Sunday, Monday evening and Tuesday evening together and that is it!  But, we are learning a lot about maintaining good communication, like praying for each other more since we don't see each other-blessing

Dylan loves his job still!-blessing

I am planning two trips to Ohio in the next two months (and we can afford them too!)-blessing

My first paid government vacation day starts in two weeks.  Paid vacation days...still a crazy concept to me!-blessing
Finally, health insurance!!-blessing

Found a car insurance provider for both of our cars that is half the price we originally were quoted!-blessing

We get to spend time with Dylan's family, boardgames, tasty food, and amazing company (although I miss Ohio family terribly!)-blessing

Smudge is seriously potty trained!-blessing

I still enjoy paying school loans!-blessing

I could seriously go on and on!  But please still continue to pray:)  There is much work to be done in our lives:)

Friday, September 23, 2011

The day I forgot my anniversary...

Was when I thought today was our 5 month anniversary...

But no...that was two days ago

Dylan and I aren't really into made up "you have to really show that you love each other on this day" holidays...valentines day, sweetest day, any type of month anniversary

We are much more into spontaneous love "Guess what?  You get to buy any book of your liking today" day.  Or, "Surprise! It's a new video game" days

Dylan loved this one today:)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

John Piper...

If you asked twenty good men today what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness.  But if you asked almost any of the great Christians of old he would have replied, Love.  You see what has happened?  A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more than philological importance.  The negative ideal of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the important point.  I do not think this is the Christian virtue of Love.  The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself.  We are told to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses in order that we may follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do so contains an appeal to desire.
If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith.  Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.  We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.  We are far too easily pleased.
 -C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cheddar Chili Cornbread Pasta Bake...

Why, hello there perfect-Fall-meal:)

serves 4-6
1 1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat elbow noodles
3/4 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
2 1/2 – 3 cups of leftover chili

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Boil water and prepare pasta according to directions, shaving 1-2 minutes off the cooking time since the noodles are going into the oven. While the pasta is boiling, mix up a batch of your favorite cornbread and grate cheese. 

Drain pasta.

Spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick spray. Add pasta to the bottom of the dish, then layer on the cheese and chili. Top with your cornbread batter, spreading gently with a spoon. Don’t worry if it doesn’t reach the edges.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cornbread is golden on top and cooked underneath. I used a spoon to lift up the cornbread to make sure it was cooked. Serve immediately. Leftovers are delicious for 3-4 days.

Note: depending on what cornbread mixture you use, your cooking time may differ. Just make sure to check it after 30 minutes or so. The cooking time will increase for the bread since it has “wet” layers underneath.

Thank you,

Eat it up!