so in the past few weeks, 4 of mine and jj's good friends (3 of which were in our wedding) have revealed that they're pregnant. it's freaking me out. i am being super careful about the birth control, let me tell you. i am very excited for all of them.
in other good news, another two good friends have been looking for jobs for at least 6 months. they have both found one in the past month.
this is a month of blessings i guess.
the past couple days have been pretty crazy for me. not because they've been busy, because they haven't. it's actually because i've been stuck at home all day long by myself w/o my car (it's in the shop getting the squeaky ball joints replaced, praise God!). the nice thing about is that i've just been super lazy for once and have done almost nothing productive... okay, absolutely nothing productive. it's good to have those days once in a while. today i have to make up for it though and clean this house.
it hasn't all been that wonderful though. yesterday i was followed around by this giant, freaky-looking creepy crawler in my house. i've never been so freaked out by a bug before. in fact, bugs usually don't bother me at all. if they're in the way, i'll scoop them up with a piece of paper or something and take them outside to let them free. i eat bugs when it suits the occasion. when i was younger i would play with them. when i found out that the crickets with the stick coming out their butt are females and the stick is how they lay their eggs, i just had to find out what would happen if i broke the stick off. all that to say, i'm not afraid of bugs. yesterday was a different story. i found a 2 inch spider looking thing on my wall. i thought it was a spider at first, but when i got close to it, it jumped out towards me. i screamed like a little girl. then i noticed that the front legs were actually antennae and the body looked like a cricket/flea. i was terrified of this bug. it followed me around the house too. if i got up from the couch, it followed. if i went to the chair, it followed. i tried several times to trap it with a cup, but every time i got close it jumped towards me and i screamed bloody murder and jumped onto the couch. i finally decided to find out what it was. when i started searching on the internet, the bug started freaking out and jumping towards and around me and the internet stopped working. i dropped the computer on the floor and ran across the house and jumped into my bed. i finally worked up the courage to get my computer again and took it to the bed. i looked for quite a while and finally came across this.
it's called a camel cricket or a cave cricket. they are harmless. i wish i had known that about 5 hours earlier. wikipedia said this about them: Given their limited vision, cave crickets will often jump towards any perceived threat in an attempt to frighten it away. (you better believe it!) Their large hind legs allow them to jump high and far. Their long legs have caused them to be more commonly referred to as "sprickets" or "spickets", a blending of "spiders" (whose legs they resemble) and "crickets".
so, i have a spricket in my house. there is a much smaller one in the bathroom too. it's not quite as intimidating. that's what i dealt with yesterday. and I'M going to be a missionary? God's going to have so much fun with me someday.
So, we found our new vacation spot - Hot Springs. We stayed at the Arlington Hotel. This place was like stying in a History Museum. It wasn't quite as luxurious as I thought it would be, but the history of it was exciting. Several Presidents have stayed there for their spa getaways. The coolest thing for me was staying a few rooms down from where Al Capone stayed several weeks out of the year. He would come for the great spas and the gambling.
Speaking of spas... We had a wonderfully relaxing experience at the Arlington Spa. We had a Hot Springs mineral water bath, sauna, body wrap, and massage. It was beautiful. I was worried that JJ might not like it since he hates lotion and being hot. But he liked it.
There were quite a few museums that we look forward to trying out next time. We did get to go to the Mid America Science Museum. JJ was excited about that because they had a Tesla coil (it's an electrical thing).
We wanted to see some gardens, but we got there too late, so we'll be seeing that next time too. The drive to Hot Springs and around the area was gorgeous, so we weren't too disappointed that we missed it.
We did have one big disappointment though. JJ decided he wanted to go to Murfreesboro and mine for diamonds since it was only an hour away. But, we were running low on time, so we found a crystal mine that was a lot closer. Since Murfreesboro is only $7 to get in, we assumed it would be close to the same to get into the crystal mine. No, it was $20 plus the cost of gloves, digging utensils, and gloves. Ridiculous. We spent a few hours out there and found a few small crystals and one big one that was stuck in a rock that weighed as much as me, so we left it. Thankfully, the lady let us take home one of the crystals that they had found that they priced at $30 so we could get our money's worth out of the ordeal. Well, when we were picking it out, I sliced my thumb on the sharp edge of one. OUCH! Fortunately, they had some band aids (it happens pretty often).
Anyway, it was a wonderful, relaxing, rejuvenating trip. It was so good to spend so much time with JJ to just relax. I'm so glad we got to take this trip. If you haven't had some alone time with your spouse recently, I recommend taking a trip to Hot Springs soon.
i'll let you know when i start the diet and how it goes.Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it...don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine - that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! .....Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.Q: Is chocolate bad for me?A: Are you crazy? HELLO - Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!Q: Is swimming good for your figure?A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.And remember:'Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO, What a Ride'AND.....For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausage and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.CONCLUSIONEat and drink what you like.Speaking English is apparently what kills you."
i like my job. i take care of old people. i love sitting around and hearing their stories and listening to their wisdom.
i like to hear about what they did when they were younger. sometimes it's kind of sad to hear, b/c they're not like that anymore. for example, one lady i take care of once a week at a nursing home has alzheimer's. she used to be a very active woman... hiking, camping, rock climbing, traveling, tennis. in fact, she won a tennis tournament when she was 76 against a forty-something-year-old. her body didn't loose much of it's ability, but her mind has forgotten how to stand up. she used to play the piano and sing too, but her mind has forgotten how to make words. in fact, her mind has forgotten how to do almost everything except sleep and exist. pretty soon she'll forget how to eat, then how to breath, then how to pump blood. it's morbid, i know. but it's true.
it's not always morbid. sometimes it's inspiring. one lady i take care of in her home a few days a week also has alzheimer's. she still remembers how to stand and have simple conversations, although she sometimes forgets that she's home and who her husband is. the thing about altzheimer's is that you forget how to control yourself. some people who were admired for their generosity when they were younger turn cranky and mean, but i think they're still admirable b/c that just shows that those things weren't necessarily natural to them before and they had to work hard to be so lovable. this lady isn't that way. she's naturally kind and generous. i think that says so much about her character. kindness and gentleness are so much part of her, that she can't forget how to be that way, she just is. she's my favorite.
sometimes, when people age, they start to lose control of their life. people that love them, start telling them what to do, for their own good (usually). sometimes it bothers them. one guy i check on a few times a week refuses to take a shower and his insulin when i'm not there because his family is always nagging him about it. i don't really have to say anything usually and he does what he needs to do. but then his wife started talking to me in front of him about how i have so much control over him and can get him to do things... it's been going downhill since then. he's been more reluctant to take his insulin and his showers. even though it's hard to get him to do those important things, his wife nags at him about shaving his beard. they don't even sleep in the same room, so i know it's not for intimate reasons. she just nags. (i refuse to ever become that kind of wife.) who cares if he shaves! he won't take his insulin and his blood sugar is through the roof! anyway, a few days ago he was getting agitated with me because i asked him to take a shower for me "so my boss won't get mad and tell me i'm not doing my job." i asked him why he's been refusing to take showers lately and he got really defensive and yelled that he would just take a shower if that would shut me up. when he got out, i could tell he was feeling bad because he was avoiding eye contact. i asked him when he would prefer to take a shower, mornings or afternoons, because he shouldn't have to work around my schedule... he's a grown man and should take them when he wants to and i don't want to annoy him by trying to get him to do something he doesn't feel like doing yet. he said he likes it when i come in the morning. even though nothing changed, it was still his choice and he's back in control. he still doesn't shave though. i'm not going there. i'd rather put up with his nagging wife. that's the one thing in his life that he can rebel with that isn't bad for his health. if he wants to grow a beard, let him.
so far i've learned a few valuable lessons from working with these people:
- i want to be healthy now so that i'll be healthy later.
- i want godliness to be such a part of me that, even if i lose the ability to make myself that way, i will just be godly.
- i want to be the kind of wife that bullies my husband but the kind that emboldens and encourages my husband.
this is a good job for me.
When we got married, I looked for a job for at least a month before I even got a phone call. Finally, a woman called asking me to work in the nursery at a church on Sunday mornings, Monday evenings, and Wednesday evenings. The pay was pretty good for the job and it was the only job I had been offered up to that point. The only problem was that the church wasn't OUR church. This meant that I wouldn't get to have fellowship with the church that my husband has learned a lot from for a few years with people that have helped him mature in his faith. It also meant that I wouldn't get to attend any church or Sunday school very often. Another thing was that I wouldn't have as many opportunities to be involved in church ministries. If you know me at all, you know that this isn't the best scenario for me, but at the time, it was the only one we had to choose from, so I took the job.
I've really enjoyed working with the kids in the nursery. I've also really enjoyed my other job working with elderly people in their homes. However, we need more money to get out of debt, health insurance, and I need to be involved in church/ministry. So, when we got a call a few weeks ago about a paid, full-time ministry opportunity for me, I got really interested. I would get to work with the youth group and help the youth get more involved with the rest of the church. However, the church wanted me to also be like an associate pastor who is preparing to be a lead pastor someday... um... I don't know if I'm quite up for that kind of responsibility. I told them I'd pray about it and talk to JJ and see what he thinks. JJ was super supportive of my desire to be in church and in ministry. But he also wanted to make sure I was interested in this opportunity for the right reasons. Did I really want to be a youth pastor/associate pastor? Did I really feel like God was calling me to do full time ministry right now? Or, did I just want to do some kind of ministry and be involved some how? Were there other ways to fulfill that desire where I am right now? Have I heard God telling me anything regarding this position? If not, what was the last thing I heard God tell me He wanted from me?
My answers: not really, not sure, YES, yes, no, and "go to China and marry JJ"
I pretty much made up my mind that the youth pastor position wasn't right for us right now before bedtime, but I wanted to go ahead and sleep on it before I called them back up and said no. But it did get us to talking about our current situation. The things we were sure of were that there are ways for me to get involved in ministry and that I didn't have to do anything extremely drastic to do it. However, it would take one change. I really need to quit my job as a nursery worker. The thing is, it pays pretty well and we could really use the money. But, we could still be even more careful with how we spend our money. Right now, we waste money on eating out and just spending a few bucks here and there on stuff like pops or candy. We also make too many trips to see family. If we cut out the eating out and the extra candy, we'd save probably $100 a month, and probably loose a few pounds of extra fat. And if we took turns between parents and only saw one set per month, we'd probably save another 100 bucks a month. That would take care of most of the money we'd be loosing from my job. And, then I'd also be free to work more hours with the elder care job without having to work during church times.
It's definitely a leap of faith. We're trusting that God will give us the discipline to use our money carefully and that He will provide us with the rest. But He has already shown us that He will take care of us. I gave my notice at the nursery and the next day, my other job called to offer us very affordable health insurance even though I haven't been working quite long enough to qualify (I didn't even realize they offered it). Now that I've given my notice, I've been brainstorming of ways to get involved at OUR church. Maybe the worship team, but it seems like there's already more than enough help with that. Maybe get more involved with the youth, but they also seem to have enough help. Maybe I'll just have to sit back for a little while and watch for an opportunity that no one else has seen yet. No matter what, I know God wants me to get involved and join this little part of His family and He will bless us through it.
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
"living" comes from the word zoe which means life. "active" comes from the word energes which means energy. so, the Word of God is our life and energy. when we neglect it, its like starving yourself. it's good to have reminders occassionally, because i've been forgetting to eat and have been starving.
the kids were so much fun and the other sponsors were too. there were two other women sponsors. they were both moms of a couple of the teens. one of them thought it would be fun for us to ambush the guys with water guns when they got back from basketball. she was so right! we asked the guy at the front desk to call our room when the guys came in so we could be ready... and he DID! how awesome is that!? we soaked them as they came out of the elevator while trying to contain all our giggles and squeals so we wouldn't disturb the people in the room with the "do not disturb" door hanger. all the guys came up except jj and the youth pastor, tim. aparently, jj hurt his leg and so they dropped the guys off and went to walgreens for bandage to wrap it with. so, i called to make sure he was okay... and to find out when they would be back (so we could be ready for them). i'm such a good wife. i had the feeling that they knew what i was up to, so we staked out, not just the elevators, but the stairs too. however we got distracted and all ended up back at the elevator. when we heard it ding, we all got very excited, but i saw tim walk out of the stairwell just in time to tell the girls not to shoot the person that was about to come out of the elevator, who happened to be the guy from the front desk. tim told the guy what we were up to and asked him to tell us that we were disturbing other guests and that if we didn't stop we would be kicked out. we're just a nice little group of pranksters. it's all in love. jj was okay, even though he has a bit of a limp still. a banana helped the cramping a little. we had a blast.
well, the music wasn't really that wonderful. they had a group from nw arkansas lead it. they were youth themselves. some of their issues will work themselves out with maturity, but it was really hard to keep a straight face sometimes. the guitars and drums were fairly good, but the vocals were just... well, the leader guy was probably 15 or so. he had a decent voice and fairly good pitch with the occassional typical teenage boy squeak. but he sang with this awful, obviously fake british accent. i mean, come on kid! you're from rogers. you're not fooling anyone. and then there was the girl. she was 16 and sang about as well as jj. for those of you who don't know what that is like, ask the howling dogs. i did okay about not wincing too much, until tim lost it and laughed a little. that made me laugh. which made jj laugh (he didn't understand what we were laughing about since he was blessed this weekend with tone deafness, but he thought it was funny that we were laughing), which made another guy laugh. fortunately, it was more like giggles all at different times, so we weren't caught.
anyway, we had a great time. i was encouraged and inspired and got to know people. thank you God for bringing me closer to you once more.