Saturday, March 31, 2007

yard update

it rained, and the grass grew four inches in a week! so I HAD to get a lawn mower. I really didn't want to spend $99 on a "cheap" one that didn't have a mulcher or anything. But, I didn't want to spend over $350 either. So, I did the smart thing and checked I had to drive an hour, (only $7 in gas) but I got a like-new Craftsman mulcher/mower, that is only missing the bag (but I didn't really want one anyway and can get a replacement at Sears). I got it for, drum-roll please.... $70! and a full tank of gas! And, I got to try it out, and several others as well, before I took it home, so I really got the one I wanted. I am glad that I got to do that as well, because I though that I wanted a self-propelled model, but when I tried them, I didn't like them.
I got about a third of my yard mowed this afternoon before it started raining. I am sweating like crazy, but it was so much fun!! Call me crazy, but I love sweating for a good reason. When we lived in Hawaii, I bought a $5 old-school rotary mower (you know, no engine). But that was a 10 by ten yard and took about 10 minutes to mow, or $5 to the neighbor kid, lol.
Anyway, sweating for a reason, ie yard work, housework, etc, is so much more fun than "working out". I mean, how much fun is it really to run in place for an hour? Be honest, now, its not much fun. But when you sweat doing manual labor, at the end you can stand back and say that you accomplished something more than just the loss of a pound or two.

Planting a seed to be ReBorn 2: my sacrifice

Update:(6/24/2007) I have edited this a little. I have read up on some things, that made me understand what the people were talking about when it comes to tithes and offerings. I have left some things in this post to show a "where I was", though.
I don't want to get too much into it today, though, as I am still studying. I do understand one thing, God's Word says He wants us to present ourselves a living sacrifice. He doesn't want us to be under the old ways, or the old laws. His Holy Spirit gives us new life. That is the blessing I want and receive. I am called to be His child, and to present myself as a pure and blameless sacrifice to Jesus, God's Son and High Priest. He doesn't want a tenth of me, He wants the whole thing! The New Testament is very clear on all of these things.
I stopped tithing in 2005. It was about halfway through Bryan's first tour in Iraq, and I started listening to some people talk about "old testament law" and some other junk I can't even remember now. I had always had an issue with tithing, I felt like it was political or something, I guess, I am not sure. I also do not know why I, of all people, would have a problem with it, for, since I was a youngster, I always thought one should take the Word of God as that, and follow it. I do understand what people were saying, about how we live under New Testament Law now, but they were making up excuses not to part with their hard earned money unless they felt "led". These people went to my church, and I had missed the sermon that they heard, so I am still not certain what it was I "leaned my ear to".
Anyway, at the Church I am attending now, I was about to stick to that. But there was testimony given, about God providing the money He asks for. It was the first time I had ever thought that "this all makes sense!". He isn't asking us to give more than He is already providing. If He "leads" or asks you to give more, then He will provide the way.
Imagine where I would have been if I had listened to God with my heart years ago, instead of rebelling and going my own way. How much more will He bless those who OBEY His commands, instead of going their own way?
I am not just talking about tithe, either. For years, I have allowed my self to be rebellious, to twist God's word to my liking, or listen to people who do the same. I believed in God's love, and His kindness, but I have not spoken with conviction, or lived like I believe any of it. I have let my heart come into contact with things that aren't of Him, and said, "its ok, because I am saved", but that is like putting sugar on everything and then praying for God to take the calories away. He wants us to live in righteousness. I think it was Peter, in the Bible, who said that everything is permissible for us, but not everything is good. Yes, God won't strike us down with lightning if we listen to a dirty joke, or drink a margarita, but when the we take off the armor of God, and let those things in over and over and over again, to where we don't even blush anymore, or drink so much we can't control ourselves, we move farther and farther away from God's blessings. He commanded us to set an example, to live and speak in purity, to tithe, and to love our enemies and forgive those who hurt us.
I am a new creation, the old things have past away. The soil of my heart has been broken, the seed planted, the Word is my rain, and the God smiles rays of sunshine when I praise. The tree of my life will be strong and its branches stretch out wide.

Friday, March 30, 2007

updated profile

a little more complete?

The Wasp and the HORNET!!!

So I opened up the window, to shoo out the wasp, and in flies... a hornet. So, I took the easy way out, went to Wal-mart, got a $2 can of spray, and that was the end of that. Kills on contact, gotta love it. checked to make sure, no nests out side, not sure where they came from, but apparently, I am not alone, the guy at wal-mart knew right where the spray was, and it was the last can. He said everyone is having problems with the red wasps (really not red, so dark maroon that it looks black until you get right up to it).

The Mouse and The Wasp

I currently work at a daycare. In my room, I have 8 "mobiles", children from ages 9 months to 13 months, who crawl or walk a little. Two days ago, while I had four of them sleeping, and was rocking a fifth to sleep, while the other 3 played at my feet, a little field mouse scampered under the door from the hall way. This was the third day in a row he had come out of hiding, every morning before the kids arrive, he would come out and get chased around until someone thought he was gone. I was getting tired of the shrieking, and the people standing on tables. I had almost caught him twice already, with my hands, but he had been scared off by crazy women with brooms. This time, I took control. I handed the awake children to another teacher, and they packed all the kids in a crib. I chased the mouse into the closet, and shut myself in with a towel under the door and a bucket and dust pan in my hand. (this, of course, was after I got the others to stop chasing it around the room with brooms again). Upon closer inspection, the little guy had a broken tail and several missing whiskers. I scooped him up (after he tried to run up the inside of my pant leg, hehe) and took him out side for a short flight across a small creek. He looked so cute with his little legs spread out as he sailed through the air to his new, hopefully permanent, home. It is now known that Miss Lisa can be called upon to catch mice, kill spiders, remove snakes, and leap tall buildings.
That being said, there is a wasp on my bed room ceiling, and I am actually kind of concerned for my safety. The last time I was stung by a wasp, my leg swelled up like a cantaloupe and I was given a shot. The thing is 100 times smaller than that mouse, but it scares me, is that silly? I don't want to make it mad, but I don't want it to hurt my cats either. I will give an update later as to what I decide to do, but it made it very hard to sleep last night knowing it was still sitting in the same spot, so I will have to try to kill it soon.
My cats, by the way, are fine. We had a little scare with the food recall, since Iams is the food they eat, and I did come home one day to vomit and such all over the house. I didn't not know about the recall until after that happened, so I am happy to say, that I bought them different food, and they are all happy and healthy and obnoxious.

only have a minute, but...

I would just like to say: Christians should recycle. It doesn't make us "tree huggers" to take care of the planet we were given to live on. It makes us irresponsible, and not "good stewards" of what God gave us. We would be great with our money, great with our time, giving our tithes and offerings, but we litter, and throw away things, and bury our trash in the oceans, and the ground. How do we expect God to give us a new earth when we destroy the one we have now? I ask God to forgive me for neglecting these duties, for trashing the house that God gave me (this planet, this body). Thank you God for renewing my efforts, and helping me to spread Your Word through my actions as well as my speech.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Praise God!

Praise Him in the morning and in the evening, Praise Him when it looks like the darkness will never end. Praise God that the devil is a liar, and Gods truth will set us free! Praise the God that answers prayers, and the God who reigns over all creatures! Praise God, who did not spare His own son, but gave Him up for us all, for how then, will He not graciously give us ALL things? Praise God, maker of heaven and earth! Praise God, who has lifted me up out of the miry clay and set my feet upon solid ground, the Rock of Salvation! Praise God, when it works out, and when it doesn't. Praise Jesus, who sent the Holy Spirit to comfort, to convict, to fill us up, and intercede for us when we can't see straight to pray! Praise Jesus, who didn't just die to save us from sin, but to heal us, and make us new, and for our peace! Praise His Holy Wonderful and Miraculous Name! Praise God, the Provider, the Father to the fatherless, the Hope of the hopeless! Praise Jesus, who has defeated the devil, and all the unholy spirits of fear and doubt and disease and adultery and depression! Neither height, nor depth, nor principalities nor powers can separate us from God, who is LOVE and gives LIFE everlasting!
Praise Him when you would rather scream and cry and have a pity party. Praise God when Satan comes at you from all sides, for then you know you are on the path that pleases God and scares the devil. Praise God, in whom all things are made new! Praise God that I am Reborn, every day, a new creation in Him!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Spring!!! Boing, Bounce, Clean???

Ok, so yesterday, I spent hours and hours outside, no hat (had Sun-In in my hair), no sunblock, and lots of sweat. The yard is begining to look better, but it's going to take much more work. The previous owners planted many things that were only good for a summer (is that annuals or perennials, neither word seems to fit?), and so there were many dead plants to pull up, and mulch to get rid of, and weeds to pull, and geesh, 5 big boxes of yard waste later, and I feel like I didn't do a thing. The neighbor (Lesa) says it looks much better, but its going to take some time. It felt good to sweat that much without being in a gym. Oh, by the way, I have lost 10 pounds and 8% body fat so far this month!!
Anyway, the whole neighborhood smells like onions. Somehow, chives are growing everywhere, making the runny babbits happy and making the rest of us nuts. And the more that people mow, the stronger the smell gets! Kinda smells like the whole neighborhood is having a chili cook off or something! I don't have a lawn mower yet, so, I am planning on weed-whacking the edges and then it will look like a high and tight military haircut, until I can get a lawn mower. I will post pictures of the yard when I am through, my Aunt Shirley says she has some starts I can have, and I am transplanting some Iris' that are clumped all over, as well as moving to rhododendron bushes, and planting several trees and bushes, and some more grass. Just think- That is just the front!!! The back is a catastrophe, with 2 big patches of dead grass where the former owners had a pool and a trampoline, and a fire pit that is full of garbage. The area where the pool was, is going to become an oasis, with a circular patio, and a pergola, and a fountain, and fire area (but not a pit). I will dig up the pit and plant grass seed in the rest of the yard (I would love to re sod, but that would be more than $2000. just for the back yard.)
I will try to post a sketch as soon as I have a working one.

Friday, March 16, 2007

"Wild Hogs"

My mom has come down to visit me this weekend!
This afternoon we crossed the state line (I do that at least twice a day on a work day, we live about 5 miles from the Kentucky/Tennessee state line) to see a movie. "Wild Hogs" was more than a rib tickler, it was tear-producing funny. One of those movies you can laugh out loud at, and every one is laughing out loud with you. I have mucho respect for the casting directors, Anne McCarthy and Jay Scully, whose judgement I rarely question. This cast is perfection in action! I have read quite a few negative reviews, mostly from snobbish types, and I am glad, this time, that I chose to find out for myself. I had not laughed that hard, at a movie, in quite some time (though I have to admit, I did laugh out loud at Wanda Sykes' performance as the "sha-woman" in "Brother Bear 2"). I have seen some folks describe it as slapstick humor, and that may be so, though no where near as slapstick as, say, a good Mel Brooks, or Monty Python flick, it did have its prat falls, and faux pas, and some amount of predictability.
The thing that made me laugh silently was the sheer amount of product placement! I have always been interested in marketing, and just loved how completely subtle everything was NOT! From the MacBook Pro's that everyone seems to have, to the "Lumber Liquidators" semi truck (which is huge and yellow and even has the 1800 number on it), name brands are everywhere. The BEST BEST product placement HAS to be for OCC (Orange County Choppers for those of you who don't know)! Could it get any better than Paul SR and Paul JR wearing OCC gear in cameos, or maybe John Travolta's face right next to the tank of one of OCC's custom bikes, with a shot long enough for you to read the OCC logo more than twice.
Maybe no one else would get a kick out of all this, but, in addition to making me laugh out loud it make me chuckle internally, which is at least fun for me, haha.
I am jealous of the art of the movies though, because, almost 5 months after wrecking that motorcycle, going less than 15 mph, my knee still hurts, and I would have loved to have a stunt double for that one! The ability to look like you just flipped over three times, and possibly broke several bones, and then get up and say " I'm alright!" well, that would be just super fine with me!
By the way, if you go see this in the theatre, please please stay seated for the credits, they were just as funny, if not funnier than the rest of the movie.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Retire Young, Retire Rich

Am reading this book, by the author of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and wow, am I amazed at what I have been missing in my financial education. I have been so worried about following in my parents footsteps, but haven't known where to turn. I mean, I keep trying to find that "better job" or seek "higher education", all the while I heard stories of the riches men on earth, as college and even high school dropouts. why are these men so rich? or these women? Not because they had second and third jobs, or had PHd's, or even because they played the stock market. but because they did things like own businesses, invested in real estate, worked for free (amazing how that works, its really mind blowing), got to the point where they could buy stocks at wholesale prices (that too is something I didn't even know you could do) and always, ALWAYS, continued to learn, and increase their financial knowledge.
Its funny to me, while the US is talking about our lack of exit strategy for Iraq, that this book, first published 6 months before 9-11, lists having and exit strategy as the first key, or piece of leverage, needed to become rich and retire young. People can go on and on about Bush not having an exit strategy, which I don't know if it is true or not, but, while reading this book, I understand how important it is to have one for life and for anything in fact. the exit strategy talked about for retiring young, has to do with how you will exit the "rat race". In my case, I would like to retire no later than 37 years old, in the "affluent" category, which is an income of between $100,000-$1 million per year, and then continue, in my retirement from the "rat race", to reinvest and build upon what I am doing in order to reach the "Rich" level ($1 million or more per year) not later than age 41, and the Ultra-Rich level ($1 million per month) before I turn 50. It is going to sound crazy to a lot of people, and greedy to a lot of people, but that's too bad for them that it sounds crazy, because if it sounds crazy, and unbelievable, then for that person, it will never happen. And if it sounds greedy, well that's sad too, because the more money one makes, the more you are able to give away, and the more you can serve. In fact, serving more people for less money is how one becomes rich. Consider Wal-Mart, for one example, whose owners are some of the richest people in the world. Their philosophy is to make things less expensive, there for making merchandise more affordable to more people. And they constantly are improving the quality of the items they sell, as well. So, how much more money can they make, selling 100 quality blouses every day, at a cost of $16.95, verses the designer blouse that sells per month for $300? a lot. and the more people who buy them, the more the price can drop, and yet the more profit is made in the end. Another thing to look at are the parables of the sower, or the man with many talents and the man with one. God wants us to be good stewards with the money He grants us. If we just work and work and work, and save and save and save, its really not being a good steward. How can we help the hungry, sick, homeless, unsaved, and orphans around the world, without money? we can't. and if we are only making enough to pay our bills and eat, we aren't reinvesting into God's people. ( this isn't in the book, at least not yet, but I realized how true it is today.) How often do we say, " i wanted to give more" or when I make more or get a raise, I will give more to charity". But then we do nothing, nothing at all, or maybe we work harder at our jobs, or get a second job, or try to win the lottery.
Well, back to that in a moment, I forgot I was talking about exit strategies. LOL The thing is, an exit strategy is actually a first step, not an after thought, to success in anything. I am sure that the Bush administration didn't go into this War without an exit strategy, but I think that they know that the goal is so important and so big, that we must be like the tortoise, and not the hare. If we behave like the hare, as most democrats, and now even some republicans would have us do, we will not win, if there is to be a winner. slow and steady wins the race. Learn as you go, adapt, and forge on. If we truly want the Iraqi people to be free, and we are doing it for both the good of them, and the good of the world, then we will keep going, as the tortoise, working toward and exit of VICTORY! Also, people want to hear that the exit strategy is 6 months, a year, or at least less than 5, but they don't want to do what is necessary to meet that goal.
The same goes for life, love, liberty, and happiness. We say we want to do something, but often are just dreaming, until we first ask why we want something, and then create an exit plan, then work on finding out what we need to do to meet that plan, and then ACTUALLY DO IT!
I am excited, not just about the money, but because I now understand this whole concept of the exit strategy. If I can say that no later than a certain date, i will be a size 6, and every single thing i do is a step in that direction, my exit plan is clear, and the path laid out before me, and every single thing that comes along, i can look at it and say, "will this get me to the exit?" If it will not, such as eating a extra large whopper meal, i will not do it. If I want to have a passive income of $250, 000 or more a year, by the time I am 37, I will look for every educational tool, every deal that will put money in my pocket and not take money out (not the same thing as saving money, by the way), every way to increase my equity and decrease my debt, and to increase my passive and portfolio income ratio to my expenses. AND I will do it all with the patience of the tortoise.
This is just one of the lessons I have learned from the first half of this book. There are more things I have been gathering and using to change my reality, change my vocabulary, change my thinking and change my life.

Monday, March 12, 2007

feeling small

when you are going through a time of trial, like i am now, i guess its normal to feel small and unimportant in the eyes of the people who matter most to you. but even when i feel small, i know that God has these big plans for me, and His love is so big that i want for nothing else. if i can bring myself to His throne and bask in Him, He will give me strength to run up to that giant of fear and doubt and whatever else comes with the trials, and kill it!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Beautiful Sunny Sunday

I have not been outside yet today, but the sun is shining brightly, and I thank God for one more day. I am alone again today, missing my husband, but praising God just the same! He is good to me, and gives me strength to keep going, even when I feel lonely. It may sound corny to whoever reads it, but holy crap, it can get really lonely, and when your husband is miles and miles away, whether its in Iraq, or Arizona, or the next town over, and your friends and family are just as far away or farther, it becomes apparent that God really is the only One you can turn to.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Each Day Anew

Here begins my new blog. It was put together so fast, I am not even sure what I am doing! I hope to have a blog where I can talk about everything that is important to me, and to my family, and eventually to others.
May all who come to this blog be enriched by its contents and share with me in being REBORN!