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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tossing my Plans

I have a control problem.  No, not controlling other people - I mean controlling every THING.  I think it is somehow infused into our minds that control = happiness.  Control = security.  And that we should strive for control because it will make life better.  But does it really?

These days, the things I do in my free time aren't necessarily for my own enjoyment or for making things better for others.  I try to micro-manage every single aspect of my life in hopes that continually improving it and eventually perfecting it will bring me peace and happiness.  And the weird thing is, deep down inside I know it won't but I keep doing it anyway.  I've organized and re-arranged our 2 storage rooms 4 times now (we've lived here less than 2 years!).  I've organized my photo collection multiple times in hopes that it would motivate me to work more on scrapbooking.  I've many times attempted using a meal planner (apps, paper, whiteboards, you name it) in hopes of actually making meals when I say I will so my husband will know what is for dinner that day.  And I have many times redone the cleaning schedule in hopes that I could actually keep up with it so that my home would stay tidy and not get out of control.

But honestly, this is all I ever do.  Fix, fix, fix.  Plan, plan plan.

I am in constant planning mode - in the hopes that once I finally figure all of these things out, my life will be better.  And as I have been shown time and time again, there is no such thing as and end and there is not such thing as figuring all this stuff out.  It's a result of the dreaded Pinterest Perfectionist Disease!  Where exactly is all of this work getting me?  Matthew 6:25-26 says:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Instead of wasting so much of time perfecting the details of my life, what would happen if I used all of that time for something more worthwhile?  Things that make a LASTING impact.  I've been investing so much in the idea of perfection, but I believe it's time to invest in truly living.  I know this won't be an overnight change in how I go about my day, but today I think I will start by praying about it.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Seven Months Later

I think it's been that long since I last posted but it seems like 3 years worth of stuff happened in that time and now that things have settled down, it's due time to give Someone the credit.

I think this verse accurately sums up the time lapse since my last post.

Jeremiah 29:11New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosperyou and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Three years ago, I thought I had my life planned out year by year.  Yeah yeah go ahead and laugh because I'm laughing now along with you.  Go to vet tech school, move to somewhere in the Midwest and get a vet tech job, get a house in 5-7 years, have kids.....perfect plan.  Yep.  

Living in Western Nebraska in cowboy country was harder for me than I anticipated and not because of the rattlesnakes or tumbleweeds that occasionally rolled down main street.  The nearest town over 1000 people was 45 minutes away and since my husband did the grocery shopping after work there, there were a few times where I didn't leave our town for 1-2 whole months. Ugh.  And being a second year tech student with surgery class and exit exams, my life revolved around labs, papers, and LOTS and LOTS of tests. Even more ugh. And although there were some good aspects about living there, I was depressed a lot of the time and felt isolated from the family and community I loved back home.  Many times, I would let these frustrations roll into my marriage and arguments and hurt feelings pulled me down even further. I didn't fit in with the student body and their lifestyles that didn't agree with my morals.  I had some friends, but I didn't feel super connected with anyone like I did with friends back home.

                               But God knew what he was doing. 

He always has and always will.

A few months before school ended, my husband got a job offer back in our hometown area -  a job he had been hoping and (I'm assuming) praying for.  So come summer we moved back to where both our families live and I got an internship that wasn't too far away.  The apartment was bigger (double YAY) and we got to come back to our home church.

Two years of hard work were hopefully going to pay off.  My last semester in school was the hardest and most emotionally draining semester of school I have ever faced.  But I thought I was ready for my internship at a nearby veterinary clinic.  As the weeks went on though, I didn't find myself enjoying it nearly as much as I had hoped, but I put it off as "You're new and scared, it will get better as you learn more skills."  But even at it's end, I didn't feel as passionate about the job as the other technicians and I began to really re-evaluate my career choice.  I was scared to get into it further, and ended up working at a local market for 4 months which I didn't care for either. I felt like the scum of the earth to be honest.  All the money and time I put into tech school and being near the top of the class and dragging us out to cowboy country for 2 years for nothing. My family had supported me and my love for animals for so many years, and now I'm crawling back into a hole and hoping I didn't disappoint them.  Ugh.  My friends from grade school and high school all got jobs in the field the went to school for and were making good money and now I was making minimum wage at a grocery store.

                               But God knew what he was doing.

By living in that small western Nebraska town, we were able to live on Matthews salary alone because rent was so cheap and (fortunately and unfortunately) there weren't many places to shop or go out to eat so we were able to pay off about half of our student loans!  We helped lead a church youth group and give teens advice for life.  I learned a ton about animals that will really help me out in ANY animal career and by sharing my knowledge I can help people and their pets in amy capacities.  At the local market, I gained leadership experience by being a supervisor and performed basic bookkeeping skills that I'm sure pretty every business does in some capacity :)

After taking my board exam, I decided to leave the store in hopes of really finding a job I was passionate about, thinking still that it would be vet tech.  I applied at a few clinics and some other businesses in the area.  This went on for 5 LOOONNNGGG months. 5 months of either getting interviews and being turned down or getting rejection letters in the mail or sadly MOST of the time, not even hearing back at all and having to call back multiple times just to get a straight "No" from people.  Here I have 2 college degrees and it felt like I was being turned down at EVERY corner I came to.  I prayed, and prayed some more, and asked people to pray for me.  It felt like God wasn't listening at all.

                              But God knew what he was doing.

A few weeks after I quit my job, my husband and I went to look at a FSBO house that happened to be close to his work.  I hadn't done any research on home buying and we weren't really serious about buying anything.  Just browsing.

Ha. Ha.  That's what women say when they go shopping.  And yet we still bring home pretty bags filled with clothes and tied with bows.

It was perfect.  I spent the next 3 weeks buying and borrowing every book I could find on mortgages and home buying.  Since I didn't have a job, I had all the time in the world to make sure we knew what we were doing here.  We got pre-approved. We juggled budget ideas.  I needed to get a job so I can help pay off this mortgage and the remainder or student loans. And a few months later, we are the proud new owners of a 3 bedroom brick house on a shady quiet street near our families in my favorite town in Nebraska.  And it didn't stop there.

Besides cleaning up the house and having a blast redecorating, I applied for and got TWO new part time jobs.  One helping the local dog groomer and one at our public library.  I love getting to work with dogs every day and giving owners some tips about living with their pets. My boss is great and we have become like friends.  Our local library, a BEAUTIFUL one at that, has the coolest staff ever and we are like a big family.  I get to spend my evenings surrounded by books and learning about all of the cool programs the library has for children and adults- scrabble tournament anyone? I often think that this would also be the perfect part time job I can have when we have young children.  No I don't work 40 hours and week and no I don't get paid nearly as much as I would be making as a technician. But God saw what was in my heart and what would really make me happy and these part time jobs are what keep me excited to do what I do each day.  Would I be able to support myself alone with these two jobs? No, but thanks be to God that my husband has a very steady job with a salary that allows me to pursue these jobs without worrying if I will make enough to pay the bills.

God speaks to us in so many ways!  Not just through people and written words, but through our struggles and triumphs, our horrible days and wonderful days as well.  This fall, Matthew and I felt lead to be leaders of our incoming freshman youth group at church.  I'll admit I'm not always the best leader and I'm a little bit scared, but THIS I don't want to back down from.  Young people today need to hear of God's love and promises and I will do whatever it takes to bring them to that joy.  Yes, I'm checking out books and buying books from Amazon.com all about youth ministry.  Hey, books are valuable resources when you have no idea where to start.  Plus, this will make me clean the entire house each week with no excuses.

I still often wonder if having a job as a veterinary technician is where I should be.  Sometimes it feels like I didn't live up to my own or my friends and family's expectations.  But career paths change even for people who have been working at the same job for 40 years.  Whose to say it won't be right for me someday?  Or maybe I will be a librarian for life....who knows!  I feel so blessed and happier than I have been for so long before.  I LOVE my jobs and the people I work with.   I've learned that trust may seem hard at first but trusting in God's plan and that he has your best interest at heart is the only way to go.  Trying your best is important but sometimes that personal best isn't in the time or space that you thought it would be.

God knows what he is doing. Trust me on this.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

FREE Energizer Batteries

Need to stock up on some batteries?  Energizer is running a great promotion through Walmart right now!  Through 4/30/2015, you can buy two specially marked packages of Energizer batteries (8AA or 8AAA) and get a $10 Walmart Gift Card FREE!

Here's the Deal:

Buy (2) specially marked packages of Energizer batteries (8AA or 8AAA) 5.97 each
Total - $11.94
Use (2) of the $1.50/1 Energizer Max Batteries coupon found at www.coupons.com
Out of Pocket: $8.94 plus tax
Submit for a $10 Walmart Gift Card

All you need are the codes from the packages, no receipt is needed!  Your $10 card should be sent to your email in about 2 weeks.  I did this deal earlier in the year and received the emailed gift card in about 2 weeks and simply printed it off to use in the store.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

CMA Awards

For those who watched the CMA Awards last night, I hope you are not suffering from "Post Partum Taylor Swift Disorder" as Brad and Carrie and many country music fans are.  I agree that I loved her music before she moved on to the pop scene and her songs actually had some...meaning.  Luckily for us, The Piano Guys have kept one of her songs very much alive with a cover of "Begin Again" that, in my opinion, is even better than the original.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Roca Scary Farm

      I always loved going to pumpkin patches for field trips in elementary school and can still say there isn't any other experience quite like it.  It's probably one of my favorite ways to celebrate my favorite season that seems altogether too short.  We decided to invite a few friends and spend the afternoon and evening at Roca Scary Farm, a pumpkin patch I had not been too before but it was so worth it.

I can say that I didn't expect there to be hundreds of cars in the lot or thousands of people inside - talk about crazy!  Although many of the attractions were kid oriented, we will had a lot of fun going through the mazes, going through the haunted house and haunted carnival (clowns....) and eating kettle corn with apple cider.

Fort  "Where Am I?"

Left or right?

The haunted house that wasn't too bad during the day but at night
when they had actually people dressed up as zombies, ghosts, etc in there,
it got a little creepy.
    Of course the best part was the Roca Scary Farm, where you get to do the Zombie Hunt and the Psycho Path.  For the zombie hunt, they had army trucks with hay bales to sit on in the back and paintball guns mounted to the railings.  You can either shoot zombies or ride along, which 3 out of 4 of us did.  You drive through a wooded area with run down buildings and shoot zombies as they come at you.  As I had hoped, we were told the "zombies" wore hockey gear and helmets underneath their masks and costumes so we weren't worried about hitting them with paintballs.  Occasionally, there would be zombies on the road and they would jump onto the trailer and try to scare people (the clown just HAD to come on our trailer).

   Last was the Psychopath which I was most worried about.....   There is a HUGE gate with an anamatronic dragon on top that leads into the "forest" (which is actually a pretty big wooded area).  They only let people in once the sun goes down.  It felt like the longest 20 minutes of my life....but at the same time it was fun to be scared.  People dressed up as zombies, clowns, ninjas, spirits, whatever, walk around and follow you or jump our from behind run down buildings and scare people.  At one point a guy was hiding behind a tree and lit off some firecrackers right as I walked by....almost lost it right there.  Sometimes that path gets wider and other times narrower making you go one by one through the creepiest things like um wrapped up bodies hanging from the ceiling and motion sensor anamatronic "dolls."  Near the end you have to go down a dark slide and there is a guy with a chainsaw waiting at the end for you....wow.  And the strobe lights really mess with your eyes so everything is even scarier.

     I'd love to go back next year and try to shoot some zombies myself.  And hopefully someday when we have kids, we can take them here as well (for the kid activities, duh - not the weird and creepy stuff.)


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