Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Labor day weekend with the ladies!

I am so excited for this weekend! Me and four of my best friends  are going on a mini girls weekend.  We will be driving to Andover on friday, spending the night in a hotel (which is just awesome in itself).  Then we will be driving to Kittery ME the next morning where we will be doing a little shopping at the outlets. After shopping has been completed we will drive to Portsmouth NH where we will enjoy a nice dinner and maybe listen to some live music or something.  THEN, as if that's not awesome enough, we will be going back to the hotel and spending another night there taking full advantage of their hot tub.

It's gonna be an awesome weekend!  When the five of us get together, things get a little crazy...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Where does our money belong?

I wasn't shocked when I found out that the number one reason for divorce in America is money.  Money is such a dangerous thing, especially in a marriage.  What do we get to spend our money on? How much do we have to save? Does it matter if one person works more than the other? There are so many questions that are hard to answer and that can leave some people running for the door.  What should we really be doing with our money?  This topic is something that has gotten me thinking lately..

Is it okay to spend some of your hard earned money on things you want?  I have worked a full month at my first full time job and I feel as though I want to be able to go for a day trip and spend some of my money on clothes, maybe a new pair of shoes, or a nice dinner out with the girls.  Is money something we should always be saving? And how can we effectively work as a team with our spouse to find a middle ground for spending and saving?

I think as humans, we think we deserve the money we have.  We take pride in our hard work, and in turn take pride in the money we make from working a full forty hours.  No wonder so many married couples have gotten divorced because of money problems.  Are we actually submitting everything (including our money) to each other? And forget about submitting our money to each other, are we fully submitting all of our money to the Lord first?  If we were, do you think we would be having so many issues with money? If we were really listening to how He wanted us to spend our money would we be arguing with our spouse about it?

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
- Matthew 6:33

So how often are we seeking the Lord on these situations? I feel convicted writing this because I know I am guilty as charged.  Maybe we wouldn't get in so many arguments with our spouses about finances if we were on the same page together.  If we were fully submitted to the Lord and what He wanted to do with His money.  Now, I also don't believe that this means He doesn't want us to spend money on a new shirt, or going out to dinner with friends, I believe that He delights in making us happy and he can use money to do so.  But I do believe that He wants to be included/consulted with how we spend money.  I believe that He should be thanked when we are blessed with the opportunity to get new clothes or go out to dinner with friends because he is the giver of these gifts!  He really is a loving, generous father who knows how to take care of His children.

So yes, money is the number one reason many Americans get divorced.  It can tear apart two people and leave them with nothing.. This is when our money isn't fully centered on the Lord.  Like anything that isn't centered around the Lord it can be used for evil and can be torn down in an instant. Although money can be stressful and overwhelming, I think like all things God can use it for His glory.  When we learn to be submitted to His plans and take partnership with what He is doing, the things that once caused us stress and worry begin to be more of a delight.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

1 John 4:7-21

The other night I was sitting on the couch before Jeremy got home and I was just reading through 1 John.  I really felt romanced by the Lord when reading this again.  So easily we forget about the true character of God.  God is love!  Love is the one thing we as humans strive for.  We want to feel loved and we want to give love. Yet when we put God on the back burner we end up wearing ourselves out trying to get this love from all different places. We try earn other peoples love, we give gifts and compliments in hopes that we will get love in return.  We try to look pretty or act sweet to gain love.  We expend all of our options to try to achieve love.  At the end of the day, when we have worn ourselves thin and still have been left empty handed God reminds us that He is love.  He is the true source of love.  He has given us the ultimate sacrifice to show us that.

It is impossible to feel real, lasting love apart from God.  When we try to find love through our spouses, friendships, our families, etc. we end up feeling satisfied for a short period of time and then we go on to find the next thing that will fill the hole temporarily.  I am guilty as charged!  There are so many times when I feel as thought I need Jeremy to act a certain way or to do a certain thing for me to feel love.  I put an expectation on him to be the ultimate source of love, and there is no way that he could fill those shoes.  There is no way any of us could love the way that Jesus has.  We need to get our security from the love He has given us!  When we do this, and realize just how special we are then we are able to love from that place.

There is such freedom with not trying to earn love.  Not trying to do deeds to receive love. Not having to impress anyone or be anything that we're not.  We have already been given the greatest gift of love when Jesus came.  We do not need to look to another person to feel loved and that is such a huge weight lifted.  "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us" 4:16.  This is my prayer! It is so easy to get caught up in the world, and so easy to forget that we have already been given the greatest love of all.  There is nothing we can do or say to change that, and that is a relief!  Thank you Lord!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The reality of it all

The reality of this world is sad.  It's very very sad.  I feel like sometimes we get so caught up in our "christian bubble" and our own way of life that we forget that the majority of this world is suffering.  I was awakened to this by my younger sister this weekend.  Her and all of her friends are very similar, so the story she told me made me very sad because it immediately made the think that this could be her.
She went to visit one of her friends who was locked up in a pshyc ward on Sunday.  She didn't know why she was there because they had a falling out a few months before.  When she got there she was informed of all the things that were going on in her friends life.  She found out that when they were sharing an apartment together her friend would find guys off of craigslist to have sex with her for money.  She found out that she started dating a 40 year old heroine addict.  She found out that soon after dating him, she was raped by some of his friends and then got addicted to heroine and cocaine.  This is the sad truth about our world.  People are lost, broken and in need of a Savior!
So what are we doing? I feel so hurt inside and I know from the deepest part of me that Jesus can free them from the addictions and lies that are tying them down.  I know that He can make them feel loved and beautiful.  He can make them see that they have a purpose and that they belong.  He can satisfy them.
What can we do to make the people we love see that there is a way out? That there is a chance to have a new meaningful life?  It is so easy not to be optimistic about the people we love coming to know Christ when we know everything (good and bad) about them.  When we have seen them reject his love again and again.
But there is hope! Even as i'm writing this, I feel as though God is reminding me that I used to be like that.  I was broken and lost and I was the one who was rejecting His love.  Now, because of his grace I know that I have a purpose and a future.  I know that I am so loved by the creator of the universe and nothing can separate me from that love.  I also know that if God could call me to Him in my darkest loneliest times, then He can bring my family to know Him too!  It is so easy to put God in a box and set limits to what he can do.  But in reality, He can do anything! There is no box that could contain his power and love for His people.  He could change it all in one minute.  I don't know the reason that he doesn't but I do know that His ways are perfect.  He could do it all on His own, but instead he chooses to use us for His glory! He lets us play in the game! Even when we don't feel like we know what to do or say He chooses to use us.

So, even though the reality of this world can somewhat be sad and depressing we thankfully have a God who loves His people and would do anything to save them.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's off to camp we go!

I hate it when I let my emotions take over me.  It's like some crazy psycho has taken over my body and there is nothing I can do to stop the tidal waves of crazy emotions.  
Last night Jeremy and I went out for our one month anniversary.  It started off as a great night, we enjoyed a boatload of sushi, had good conversation and were really celebrating what God has done in our lives.  Then it took a turn for the worst.  Jeremy had planned a surprise evening for us by renting a room in the Marriot.  When I walked in, the room was lit by candles forming a heart and everything was perfect.  Instead of being swept off my feet by it all, I was suddenly uncomfortable.  I hate surprises.  I never really knew why I hated them so passionately but this night made it a little more clear.  I'm not very good at adjusting to new circumstances.  I couldn't let myself get excited about the night because I  hadn't prepared myself for it.  Control freak? Maybe. Crazy wife? Could be.  I'm not sure what happens when I hear the word "surprise" but something inside me feels not right.  Anywho, it took me the whole night to adjust to the surprise and by that time I had already ruined everything.  I was a sobbing mess, and I wasn't even sure what I was crying about.  I felt terrible.  I knew Jeremy had worked so hard to make everything perfect for me and I blew it.  
Well,  Jeremy if you ever do read this.. I want you to know that I loved everything.  I may not have showed it, but I am so thankful that you took the time to plan a romantic night away for me.  God has really used you to expose weakness in my life.  Maybe I do need to let go of some control.  Maybe I need to truly learn how to trust another person in all aspects of life, not just the ones I'm comfortable with.  Whatever it is, I am so thankful that I have you by my side to work through it.

And now, it's time to venture off to camp!  This is the most pleasant "trailer park" I've ever been to! And trust me, I've been to a lot!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fridays are alwasys the longest

Yes, its has come to this!  I have been sitting in my cube for hours now with nothing to do.. I have been on every website known to man (well, only the PG websites of course), so it has come to this- I have made my very own, very first blog.  I think I might like this though.  I enjoy writing my thoughts, feelings, jokes, just random things but I'm not to fond of writing everything down by hand (anyone else get severe hand cramps when writing?).

Well, now there is only 15 minutes left until the end of the work week and I have completely lost hope that my boss will let me go early.. Actually come to think of it, I think i'm the only person left in the office.  I am the lone sole in the deserted cube land!

I am excited about tonight though.  Jeremy (my hubby) and I are going out to celebrate our one month anniversary! I can't believe it's already been a month.  The time sure does fly by.  The fun doesn't stop there! We are then going up to my family's campground tomorrow with a bunch of friends.  The camp has an annual beach party that I love going to.  It has a buffet line full of delicious food, good people, and my dads band provides the entertainment. 

Anywho, It's time to depart from cube land.  I'm very excited to be blogging now.  Although I can't promise it will be anymore exciting.. But then again, you should listen to what goes on in my brain..

Oh, this is where Jeremy and I are going out to dinner tonight.. It's one of my favorite restaurants and I suggest you check it out if you like Japanese!