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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 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 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!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Did we have Winter???

Well, I was just wondering...Did we have Winter yet?  Sure we had some pretty cold days and a couple of mini snow storms, but we didn't have that prolonged cold that kills all the bugs, germs, and WEEDS!  I've been looking out my windows and seeing weeds IN BLOOM already!  Yuck!  I'm going to have to get out in my flower gardens this week and pull weeds already--before they take over!

I sure wish cold or something would kill a skunk or two!  It's bad enough when you pass them on the road and the smell comes inside your car, but you should try having a skunk and/or skunk family living underneath your home in the crawl space!  You'd never complain about a dead skunk on the road again--guaranteed!  I had seen that something was digging under the skirting of my mobile home in several places, but didn't know what it was.  Then one day I saw the culprit walking proudly across the yard between my neighbor's home and mine.  If I had gone out to get in my car only a minute sooner, we would have met at my car, and I don't think it would have been a good meeting for me!  A day or too later I kept smelling skunk outside my home, and then I came home from work, opened the door to my house, and it hit me!  Peee---oooo!  I've been spraying air fresheners and burning candles for a couple of weeks now, and at times still smell a faint trace of it.  I put Critter Ridder all around the home and think that might have chased them away, but the smell is lingering.

It seems like it's always something with this home!  Just as I was trying to pay off some debt, back in January my gas hot water heater sprung a leak big time--of course on a Saturday evening, too.  :(  After three days with no hot water and $2,400 later, I have a new gas hot water heater with new pipes and a bigger than before debt.  Every time I think I'm going to get caught up, something else seems to go wrong.

Earlier this week I received my approval notice from Joni and Friends to be a Short Term Missionary again this year at Family Retreat in June.  I was working on my support letter today and hope to get that out this week.  Once I get that approval and start working on my letter, I start getting excited!  It's been my highlight of the year for the last two years and I'm sure it will be this year, too--unless I would happen to have opportunity to see my grandchildren!

I just finished a week of working all day every day plus an hour overtime each day, filling in for the other receptionist who was on vacation.  It went pretty well, but I'm GLAD IT'S OVER--until the next time!  It's nice to earn the extra money, but I like being done work at 12:30 and having the rest of the day to do  housework, yard work, shopping, and other things.

SonLight Candles has been taking up a lot of my time, and unfortunately I have not been able to find people willing to book parties.  I'm giving it until June before I go to Family Retreat, and if I haven't been successful in finding hostesses and/or new consultants to sign up, then I will bag it.  I could easily do the parties and love doing all the paperwork, creating my own business cards, flyers, and other items, but marketing is not my forte and I am not a pusher and do not like when people push me into something.  I had really hoped this would work out because I love candles, and the extra income would help.  But so far I've spent more than I've earned.  I'm hoping to sell the candles I bought for samples to at least recoup the cost as I do not like all the scents.

Please keep me in your prayers as I look to God for wisdom on what to do about the candle business, how to pay off my debt, and what He wants me to do in every area of my life.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Removing scents?

My co-worker is allergic to almost all scents, so I cannot wear perfume or even use hand lotion at work.  I work the first half of the day and then she comes and works the second half of the day.  We share the same desk, computer, and phone as we are both receptionists and switchboard operators.  

Is there anything that will take scents away or absorb them?  I'd like to be able to at least use my favorite hand lotion that smells like vanilla, but she can't stand any scents at all.  I thought if I could find something to wipe down the phone, etc. with and spray the area that would absorb the scents instead of creating a new scent like most air fresheners...just maybe I could wear my favorite scents again.  It would also help when clients and sales people come in with heavily scented cologne and perfume on that lingers--not to mention those who come in that smell just the know what I mean--the ones who smell like they haven't showered in months!  Oh, and the variety of ethnic foods delivered for employees that don't smell so appealing to some people--especially when the food smell lingers.

If they can make sprays and cleaners to cover up or remove bad smells, surely there has to be something that would cover up, remove, or neutralize good smells as well.  If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.  Post your response here in the comments area.  Thank you!  I would be so grateful!!!