Monday, May 30, 2011

When Everything Is Uncertain

They say that the only thing that is certain in life is... CHANGE.  Whoever they are, they must be on point with that.

Do you sometimes feel that just when things settle and you can finally take a breath something else comes up?

Do you sometimes feel that you are not too sure of what will happen to your life in the next year or two?

Do you find yourself ask God, "Ok, so what's next?"

If you do - you're not the only one... I do too.  Things in life change all the time.  Circumstances are picked up in a whirlwind of life, leaving us with unanswered questions, broken dreams, unspoken expectations... and yet sometimes with an unexpected blessing.

I sit on my bed wishing for certainty.  Wishing for a blueprint of life, thrown from heaven, approved and signed and sealed by God Himself with step by step and year by year directions, illustrations and guidelines.  I am still wishing for it to happen... knowing full well that it won't.

But one thing is certain.
"For I am the Lord, I do not change" (Malachi 3:6)
And in this my soul finds rest.

I am grateful:
* for A/C
* for 2 days off with my husband
* for finally deciding on the possible names for our child
* that we don't have to make all decisions on our own
* for cheese quesadillas
* and cranberry juice
* for honest conversations
* and sincere resolutions
* for a cleaner home

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What Next?...

I wonder if you all read this article yet?

What do you think?

I am wondering... what will come next.  Shall we stop giving names to our children too?... You know to give them freedom to decide what their own name should be... Shall we stop teaching them about any moral values and the right way to deal with the world around them?  Shall we just let them run wild and free until they just decide for themselves?

The absurdity has to stop somewhere.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Project: Food Budget (Week 1)

Week 1 has come and gone... and I still haven't figured out how to keep track of everything we spend.  My husband balances the checkbook and pays cash for little guilty pleasures like Starbucks and eating out.  I'll do my best to be as true as possible.

Weekly budget: $100.00
Beginning of the month BJ's trip was $284.54 ($149.54 of it was spent on food)
That leaves us with an average of $62.62 for each week
Ok, we totally spend more than that weekly [sigh].

This week we spent: $45.00 eating out and $26.16 buying ready food like pizza and Starbucks which adds up to $8.54 overboard :(  plus I am sure there're a few things I am missing because we paid cash.

I went out on Wednesday with my ministry team but paid out of the cash that someone owed me and gave me back... considering it an unexpected blessing ;)

The good news is that BJ's trip has fed us generously so far and we didn't have to buy any extra food.

Goal for Week 2: figure out how to keep track of our food-spending better ;)

Considering: moving Starbucks and pregnancy-related snack shopping into my Mad Money Fund ($20 cash I take out each week for splurging).  However with Starbucks thrown into my Mad Money mix my $20 will be gone much faster.

Let's chat in the comment section:  
Do you have a separate budget for eating out?  
or a secret cash stash for things like Starbucks?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Invisible Adoption

I grew up in a very good family.  My parents worked and took good care of me.  My grandparents were always there for me as well.  They wanted the very best for me.  They made sure I had the best education.  They made sure I had my needs taken care of.

There were few things however that they simply could not give me.  No matter how hard they tried to provide for all my needs, they simply could not give what they did not have.  They could not express to me the relentless love that God had for me.  They could not encourage me to develop the relationship with my Savior for they simply did not know how.

That is why God has placed people in my life without whom I would never succeed.  People who treated me like their own daughter, who were there for me through my struggles and insecurities, who encouraged me to follow them as they followed Christ until I could follow Christ on my own. 

Our church was hosting a Mother-Daughter Banquet yesterday in honor of Mother's Day last week.  As I was sitting yesterday at a table beautifully decorated with delicate pink flowers and crispy green apples, I realized on thing.  It has come full circle.  The girl sitting next to me was not birthed by me yet she's looking up to me to encourage her to follow Christ.

We all have people in our lives who need our example.  You don't have to look around long.  There's your child's classmate whose family is struggling and/or are non-believers.  There's an old lady in your church whose children are all grown and moved far away.  There's a teenager in the park you go to with a little baby in her arms.

Adoption does not always have to cost money.  Adoption does not always have to involve lawyer fees or time off work for travel, or even red tape.  Adoption does not have to be noticed nor your sacrifice praised by men.

May I dare you today to consider INVISIBLE ADOPTION?  Simply investing yourself, your life, your experience, your hospitality, your love for the Lord... in a person who so desperately needs you... but will never show it...

I really hope you would...


It is Multitude Monday over at A Holy Experience and I am still counting my endless gifts:

142. that even when I feel like I have nothing to give - there's more I can do through HIS strength
143. that there's always someone in my life to give to
144. that when it gets difficult - I can always fall back and rest assured HE'll catch me and give me rest
145. that my husband is a creative cook
146. that HE is JEHOVAH JIREH (God our Provider)
147. and that looking back I can testify that we've never lacked what we truly needed
148. and that with that baby growing inside of me HE releases my anxieties all over again by taking care of everything that I need

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Project: Food Budget

Starting next week I will be participating in the Project: Food Budget challenge.  With the baby on the way we have been very careful with our finances.  I am really trying to figure out what works for us and find that perfect balance between cooking at home, eating out, and buying ready-to-go snacks.

The first and foremost challenge has been figuring out the actual budget.  I will give myself a month to record all our food spending and possibly adjust it in the future.  I am starting off with $100 a week.  I know it's a bit generous for a two persons household but with the crazy ministry schedules we live it would be almost impossible to avoid splurging on eating out or ordering food here and there.  So for now - let's try $100 a week, shall we?

These posts will also be a place where I'll record some of my favorite menu items from the week and I am hoping to be able to link up some recipes too once in a while.

Shall we chat in the comment section?  What about you?  Do you have a set food budget?  And do you have a hard time sticking to it?


Other blogs participating in the challenge:

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Love You More...

The truth sinks within me.  My life will never be the same.  It's a good thing.

You will be changing my life and my habits in more ways than you'd ever know.

The first one is my coffee.  I like me some coffee.  I don't need to have it in the mornings so it has not been physically challenging to give it up.  But oh how I miss the social aspect of going out for coffee... or the warmth of a mug in my hands on a cold day... or the aroma of freshly ground beans... or how well coffee pairs with so many desserts...

but I want to make sure you know today that... I love you more ... I love you more than coffee ...

I am grateful today:
* for hearing a little heart beat of heart that's not my own inside of me
* because that means I know that you are ok
* for test results coming back and giving no reason to worry
* for a Happy Mother's Day balloon ;)
* for choices that I need to make now for they teach me where my priorities lie.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Thinking... Again...

It's not easy making decisions, is it?
Ever lacked assurance and determination in decision-making?  I sure have.
But I finally have peace.

Have you reached peace in your decision-making?  How?
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