Saturday, July 19, 2014

This blog...

This blog will not be used after this date.

I now have my own personal website which has a blog page.  Go to:  www.joyandme.com .

I am not going to close this blog in case I ever close my website and want to come back here.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

COUNTDOWN TO RETIREMENT!

I know it's been a LONG time since I posted on here.  I wasn't and still am not sure what direction I'm going to go with this blog.  I like the blog but I'm looking for something with email hosting that has nothing to do with Yahoo, Gmail, Bing, or About.com, and one that can sync my contacts, calendar, and task with my cell phone.  That may be a tall order, but if anyone knows of a reliable source for this, please post a response.

I'm also not sure if I want a blog or website since I don't have a business.  BUT as of July 1st, I will be officially retired and will [hopefully] have more time to research these things and make decisions.  Yes, I am taking early retirement, and it can't come soon enough when I have days at work like today with absolutely NOTHING to do for 5 hours except answer a few phone calls.  I am not being replaced, so I think the work is gradually being shifted to others, leaving less and less for me to do while I'm still there.  

Even though as of this writing the countdown to retirement is at 45, I really only have 24 WORK days left because of a holiday and a week's vacation that was already planned.  When I come back from vacation, it will be all down-hill as they say...the last plunge of the roller coaster before it comes to a stop at the bottom of the last hill.  I can't wait!  

I always said I'd be working until I'm 70 or 75 but that was when I had a job with a non-profit that I really loved and could see myself working at forever.  However that job was years ago and things change.  I don't feel that same way about the part time job I'm working now.  So retirement is a good choice for me now so I can continue the volunteer work I've been doing and do more of it.  

...to be continued...in retirement!  

Friday, March 22, 2013

Where did the last 9 months go?!

Hello, everyone!  Where did the last 9 months go?!!!  I've been busy, that's for sure!  I haven't decided yet if I'm going to try to keep this blog up to date.  This might be easier than FaceBook.  If I don't log in to FB at least once a week, it takes me two hours to review all the latest "news", and I just don't have time to log in every day.  It's too time consuming!  Besides, FB doesn't understand English! I tell it I only want to see important things, and it feeds me who liked what, who's friends with who, what they had for dinner and where they went, etc.  Important to me is life events like birthdays, anniversaries, deaths, weddings, funerals, etc.  Yes, it's nice to find out what long-time friends are doing when I have time, but if I don't have time, it just stacks up.  I have to think this through.  I mainly signed up for FB so I could see my grandchildren and keep up with what they're doing, but they don't post very much (or if they do, they're just not sharing it with Grandma???).  So, maybe it's not worth having a FB page and this blog isn't secure enough to post too much personal items.   Hmmmm.......

Meanwhile, I will be opening a new blog soon which will be strictly about my activities with Joni and Friends.  I took the course called Beyond Suffering:  A Christian View on Disability Ministry and then took the leadership course so I can teach the course.  So I need to get the word out that I am available to teach the course to churches and other organizations interested in not just disability ministry for their church, but for individuals to better understand suffering, healing, and the bioethical issues that face Christians today, and be able to share that with others.  So watch for a link to my blog and visit it.  Until then, look me up on FB.

Happy Spring and Happy Easter!
Hallelujah!  What a Savior!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Almost there

Everyone likes to joke about kids on a long trip asking, "Are we there yet?"  I remember asking my parents that as a little girl.  Since I've been counting the days to vacation and Joni and Friends retreat, I'm down to 8 days and I'm "almost there".  :)  Once I get through Monday, it will be all down hill.  I just need the rain to stop for a couple of days so I can mow my grass before I leave for retreat.  My yard is like a swamp and it has rained EVERY single day this week.  So the yard hasn't had a chance to dry.

Please pray for me the week of June 17th while I'm serving at camp.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Spring or Summer???

I'm never sure if it's Spring or Summer, or if it's still Winter.  The weather changes so often that I'm glad all my clothes are in one place and I don't have to dig non-seasonal clothes out of storage.  I've worn shorts, jeans, sleeveless, long-sleeved, fleece sweater, short-sleeved...all in one week!

Changes are always taking place in my life.  There's never a dull moment.  Holubec SonLight Candles is not working for me so I don't know how much longer I'm going to hang in there.  I have not been able to get ONE person to book a party with me, and parties are what keeps the business going.  Parties and sales are the lifeline of a consultant's business, and it's just not happening.  I get a few orders here and there but not enough to keep my active status with the company.  I'll be doing a summary of my experiences as a consultant on my Hub Pages in the near future.  Being a candle consultant is something I could do very easily if I could have only gotten parties booked and bigger sales, but as I said before, I'm just not an aggressive, pushy salesperson.

I was just looking back at my post in the beginning of January about goals.  Sadly, I have not come close to accomplishing the goal of spending more time in Bible study and prayer--BUT I'm working on it.  I started out very well in that area in the beginning of the year, but as the candle business came into the picture, I had less and less time (instead of more time as the company brags about us having) for anything else.  The candle business took every waking moment that I was not at church, at work, or sleeping, etc. to get everything in order.  I wanted to be ready for that first party...that never came...and so all that work was unnecessary and would have been better spent in the Bible study and prayer.  LESSON LEARNED!  God comes first!  

The second goal was to pay off my debt.  I've been able to knock off a big chunk (almost half) thanks to some creative finances.  I'm hoping and praying to eliminate the rest of it by the end of this calendar year. The LESSON LEARNED here was that I need to re-think what is absolutely necessary now and what can wait.  Some of my debt was for house upgrades that could have waited but I thought I'd be OK doing it at that time...until some emergency repairs came along that ran my debt up further.  When I got my credit report and saw notations that I had "escalating debt", I cringed at the sound of that, and doubled my efforts to pay things off.

I also spent a ton of time pouring over ads for jobs in the classified and on the internet, and looking into other ways of earning money.  But after the experience as a candle consultant, I believe my LESSON LEARNED is to just do God's work and He will provide...as long as I have my priorities straight.  When I look for other solutions, they never work out like I hoped, but God's answers are always right.

Once again this year, I will be serving as an STM (Short Term Missionary) with Joni and Friends at the  Family Retreat at Spruce Lake during the week of Father's Day.  I am so looking forward to getting away from work and everything in my every day life, and to serving the Lord by serving the families with disabilities...so much so that I'm counting the days!  I have a countdown gadget on my Google home page, and as of today it's 36 days until camp!  Any day I'll probably start packing!  (Not really, but I will be making lists of things to do before I leave and when I come back, things to take along, etc.)

I have become more and more interested in serving in some kind of disability ministries, and am praying and seeking guidance and direction on how, where, and when to serve.  I want to do more than just a week once a year!  It is so rewarding, and I have a heart full of compassion and a passion to do more in this area.  You know something is from the Lord when in years past it would have been the last thing on your mind and you had no desire for that "thing"--and that was me just six years ago!  

My church that I attended at that time had a disability awareness Sunday and invited several individuals with disabilities to come and share with the church, and I was so un-thrilled, bored, and couldn't wait to leave that day; and when they planned another one a year later, I visited another church that day.  I didn't want to be around people with disabilities.  I could handle "normal" people who were in wheelchairs, but anyone who couldn't talk right or acted different made me very uncomfortable.  

As I look back, I think that is when God started putting a burden in my heart; and the seed sprouted when I signed up for the first JAF family retreat in 2010, not knowing where that would lead me.  The instruction, videos, explanations, etc. that were part of our wonderful training at JAF family retreat changed my whole outlook on people with disabilities.  (If you go back to my post of WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28, 2010 you can read my testimony of how my first family retreat experience came about.)


In the meantime, I have committed myself to do anything that is needed at and for my church.  We are a congregation of mostly senior people 55 and up (myself included) and there is a lot of work to be done that some of them just can't do any more because of age or physical limitations.  I love my church, pastor, and the people and want to see our ministry continue in this country area.  Yes, we may be a little out of the way for people living in towns and big developments, but there are plenty of people who live in the country who need a place to worship and fellowship and who don't want to go into the city for church.  I am praying that we will be able to continue our ministry.  Though it may be considered small, it has been powerful in my life!


Tomorrow I will be at a community event both representing my church and also selling the remainder if my candle stock so I can recoup my expenses from the candle business.  So if you read this tonight or tomorrow, please pray that it will be a successful time in sales as well as reaching out to people for my church.  God bless!