Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Work, Vinyls, and Neighbors

What a great day! I'm amazed at how much God blesses us.

Took a new approach to my morning workout. I try to walk the entire perimeter of a nearby park each morning. The "try" is in the getting there, not in making it all the way around. =) My new approach was to pray for my entire family as well as others I've committed to pray for and anyone who popped into my mind. I can't believe how quickly my walk went by! I have a hard time thinking in a straight line, so I usually mouth the words to myself. I may have been tagged a weirdo by a few, but I don't care. It was so inspiring!

I worked a few hours at the thrift store today. I really like my new job. There are some shady characters, but most customers are really nice. Thank you for praying for me and encouraging me. I love seeing Steve light up when I talk about work. I think this job has been even more of a blessing to him than it has been to me. He loves seeing me energetic, and the financial blessing has been a big stress reliever.

Today my supervisor said, "You're doing a great job! I'm so glad you know QuickBooks!" I do? I do! haha They also decided to have me work full shifts on the days I'm there. So awesome! I'm still able to make it to church on Sunday mornings and Sunday/Wednesday evenings. I will even be able to continue teaching the monthly women's bible study as well, as long as I'm not needed on Saturdays. *jaw drop* Still in awe of God's work in our lives. His ways are perfect. Trust Him!

After work, I decided to dig through the vinyl records they have. Two cool finds! Huey Lewis & The News' "Fore!" and John Denver & The Muppets' "A Christmas Together". How fun is that??

Steve and I are still figuring out the two-job communication trick. After missing each other at lunch, we were able to get ourselves straightened out enough to grab a Pepsi together. I cherish those silly little moments. =) Steve was in a state of shock the other night when he realized we've already made it three-quarters of the way through our fourth year of marriage. What?!? Where did all of that time go?

While walking up the sidewalk to our apartment, my neighbor waved me over and handed me a hot bowl of chicken casserole. I had just been planning to make a sandwich. Such a great surprise on a chilly, dark evening. Thanks, Jamie!

Also, a thank-you to my sister-in-law, Patty, for being such an encouragement and helping me stay accountable with working out and staying healthy! She's amazing!

So, so, so very thankful for my life. And my amazing friends. And my incredible Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the good life.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Life @ 27

For the 27th time, Steve and I are the same age again for another six months. November 4th was my birthday. It was the best birthday I've had since moving to Oregon in the summer of 2008. I think I had my almost-mid-life crisis on my 26th birthday. I spent the night crying about how old I was and how many goals I had failed to accomplish. This year was different. Thank the Lord!

Aside from the natural event of aging, a lot has changed. God opened the door for me to move from volunteer status at the humane society to part-time employee. The hours are few, but the schedule is fantastic. It is a temporary position, and it's a great jumping-off point for a job hunt for a more permanent job.

As long as I can remember, I've struggled with anxiety and panic attacks. As a child, I just figured it was normal not wanting to be away from home or family. As an adult, I know it's not normal, and it's been worse over the last two years. Hearing about my nephew choosing a "life verse" at school really challenged me to also take God's Word to heart and truly live by it. This is the verse that's really touched me:

From my distress I called upon the LORD; 
The LORD answered me and set me in a large place. 
The LORD is for me; I will not fear; 
What can man do to me? 
Psalm 118:5-6 NASB
It's been an incredible week of gratitude for me. I started a Thanksgiving Journal just before my birthday. Every night before bed, I write down even the tiniest things I'm grateful for from the day. It has changed my perspective so much. I have been able to look back over all the days of depression and disappointment and see the larger steps of success I've made over the past year.

I had set forth a plan a year or more ago to slowly work through my anxiety to regain where I had been before I went through everything with my thyroid the first year of my marriage.

Goals I've achieved:

* Get In Shape - I'm not the shape I want to be yet, but I've been working out at least 20 minutes a day at least 3 days a week. I feel much healthier. I don't experience debilitating cramps in my legs or back anymore. It's awesome to feel the "good hurt" of exercising and challenging my mind and body.

* Volunteer  - I completed volunteering at the local humane society for 17 months. It was amazing.

* Get a Job - I finished my first paid day working at the local humane society as a PT/On-Call Sales Associate. It's a temporary position that ends in March 2012, but I'm honestly grateful for the amazing answer to prayer. I couldn't imagine getting a better schedule in a part-time retail position. Sundays off so I can be in church. Finished by 6:30pm every evening so I can still attend bible study and have evenings with Steve. Never start before 9am so I have time in the mornings to workout and work on our eBay business from home.

Those are a few of the big ones. I'm praying that the achievement of these personal goals will help Steve and I sooner reach our bigger goals of owning a home, having children, and being the forever home of a fluffy puppy. =) Yes, having a puppy is on our big goal list. haha

Until next time...