Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy September!

Long time, no blogging! I can’t believe it’s been 3 months since I last posted. This summer has definitely been a busy one. There’s been a lot of change and some challenges the past few months, but overall it’s been very rewarding and enriching. Here’s a recap of what I’ve been up to…

*We moved into our new home at the beginning of June. We’ve been getting settled into the house – making it our own more and more every day. Almost all of the indoor painting is done and we’ll be working on unpacking boxes and starting the finishing touches on our basement over the winter months. Most of the landscaping is already complete, so in the years to come we’ll just have to plant what we want and work on keeping up the deck and porch areas. It’s a beautiful home – sometimes I can’t believe I really live there – I feel like I have to pinch myself when I wake up in the morning. It’s really a dream come true!

*I’ve been continuing to diet and exercise (when it’s not super hot and humid out). As of the end of August, I am down 30.4 lbs and to a size 1/2! I feel and look the best that I have in a long time, if I do say so myself. I never expected to lose this much weight. I’m so glad I made the commitment and was able to stick with it…now if only I could get some clothes that fit…lol!

*I found out around Memorial Day weekend that I am going to be an Aunt as my little brother and his fiancĂ© are expecting their first child on February 14, 2011 (Valentine’s Day). We got the news on Monday that this baby is going to be a BOY! So, I will have a nephew in the New Year and I must say, I am already thinking of ways to spoil this kid rotten!

*My Aunt Beth and I completed one bible study together and are now working our way through a second study, both by Kelly Minter, whom we are both so blessed to have discovered. We joined Beth Moore’s LPM Blog and the Siestas for “Ruth: Loss, Love, and Legacy” and let me tell you, for only being 4 chapters long, the Book of Ruth is PACKED with so much wisdom and practical insight for today’s world. It seemed every time I opened up the studies pages, the lesson was speaking to exactly what I was facing. It was wonderful and refreshing. Now we’re working on “No Other Gods: Confronting Our Modern-Day Idols” and in only 3 weeks of completion, I am already learning so much. A lot of what the study has focused on has taken me back to previous studies I’ve done and has reaffirmed things I feel God has been speaking to me for quite some time. I really appreciate Kelly Minter’s style – these are the kind of studies I like to curl up with in my chair and a hot cup of coffee. I highly recommend these if anyone out there is looking for low-key but impactful studies!

*We’ve been continuing to go up north to our “home away from home” when we aren’t feeling the need to stay at our real home and accomplish things there. It’s been a beautiful summer weather-wise – we’ve been able to swim as much as we want and have had a great time with family and other campers who have chosen the marina as their “home away from home” as well. We actually had the opportunity to take a week vacation the last week of July, which tied in perfectly with our 3rd anniversary. We were up in Ludington for part of the week and then ventured up to Harbor Springs as my husband had a 2 day seminar for work. While he was off learning, I traveled the coast from Charlevoix, through Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Cross Village, Sturgeon Bay, all the way up to Mackinaw City. It was a great time and a much needed break!

*Work has been good, but challenging, in that we aren’t sure about funding for the coming year – specifically with my program. We’re hoping to know something this month, but it could go either way. The hardest part is the uncertainty; other than that, everything is going well. Regardless of what happens, I’m very grateful for what the last couple years have afforded me in this position. I have learned so much and have been blessed to work with great individuals – all educated, talented, and hard-working individuals. We don’t serve the easiest of clients and in this economy it’s even more difficult considering we’re in the business of workforce development. But all of us show up to work every day and do our absolute best and that’s something to be proud of, so I think all of us will be just fine no matter what happens. My new motto is, “Keep the faith! Life is GOOD!”

*We just closed on and sold our other house yesterday. What a relief and a blessing. Again, with the economy being the way it is, there’s a huge risk you take when you put your house on the market and have a new one urging you to pay the bills. But, we prayed and kept positive, and it all worked out.

That’s basically all I have for updates, aside from that fact that this coming weekend I will be traveling to Tucson, Arizona to see my very dear friend from college, Stephanie, get married to her wonderful man, Todd. I am so very excited to see her and give her a big hug. They are expecting their first child and I can’t wait to see that cute baby bump! It’s going to be a great time!

Well, there will be much more in the weeks and months to come for sure. I will try to be better about posting more consistently now that things are getting somewhat back to normal. I’m excited to see what the future will bring as I move forward in the blessings God has bestowed upon me. I’ll be leading another small group through church this fall and we’ll be studying “One in a Million” by Priscilla Shirer, so I’ll share some insights on that as well. God always speaks so much to me through the bible studies we do as a group (in fact, I actually picked up this book back in the spring when I went to Lifeway down in Tennessee – talk about God speaking!) The women are such a delight to learn and fellowship with on a weekly basis.

That’s all I have to share for the time being. I’ll close now with the passage of scripture I feel I am being lead to memorize over the next 15 days…

1 John 4:16, 18
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

There is no need to fear, God is here! Keep the faith! Life is GOOD!

Blessing, Love, and Peace,