Thursday, April 30, 2009

Love is a Choice

That was the title of the daily devotional from the Purpose Driven Connection for today. I receive one of these everyday and as you can tell if you read my blog, I post some on here; the ones I think are really good. Well today's made me think, I guess it might be because after you become married it slowly begins to sink in that's this is forever, maybe that's just me. After we got our wedding video back I was actually excited because we got to hear what vows we took. I don't know about anyone else but the day, ceremony, reception, everything goes by SO FAST it's like I know I was there, but I can't tell you what we said, until Dave and I watched the wedding video together.

You know I got the best piece of advice from our preacher about being a Godly wife, he said "Give up the idea of the perfect marriage, it doesn't exist. Women have this idea or expectation of what their husband is suppose to be and it's not reality" Which is so true! And if you say it's not, your lying, I don't care. As women we have this idea that our husband, boyfriend, whatever is the best guy in the world and wouldn't ever do anything to hurt us or put us down or disappoint us or whatever. And then when they disappoint us it's upsetting, we question ourselves, we try to change ourselves or even better try to change them (which is a loosing battle). I am often in awe at couples that are married for a long period of time, I mean that is accomplishment and whatever opinion we might have of those (our parents, the couple who stays married for sake of children, etc) the REAL truth is they are living the way God intended them to live and work together.

Another friend blogged about the highs and lows of the marriage and how we all go through them. Dave and I have had a few and we have been married six months, it's going to happen. But I will tell you, I get excited about coming home to him and waking up to him in the morning. I like to do nice things for him, make him dinner, clean the house so it's a peaceful place to come home too, things like that. Love is a choice, we can choose to show love to other people or we choose not too. That's powerful because sometimes loving others is hard and we don't want too. They hurt us or make us angry or loose our trust or betray us. But God calls us to be loving. Love is a choice. Below is the devotional for today, I hope you get something out of it like I did.

"Love is a choice and a commitment. You choose to love or you choose not to love.Today we've bought into this myth that love is uncontrollable, that it's something that just happens to us; it's not something we control.

In fact, even the language we use implies the uncontrollability of love. We say, "I fell in love," as if love is some kind of a ditch. It's like I'm walking along one day and bam!—I fell in love. I couldn't help myself.

But I have to tell you the truth: that's not love. Love doesn't just happen to you. Love is a choice and it represents a commitment.There's no doubt about it, attraction is uncontrollable and arousal is uncontrollable. But attraction and arousal are not love. They can lead to love, but they are not love.

Love is a choice.You must choose to love God; he won't force you to love Him (Deuteronomy 30:20). You can thumb your nose at God and go a totally different way. You can destroy your life if you choose to do that. God still won't force you to love Him. Because He knows love can't be forced.

And this same principle is true about your relationships: you can choose to love others, but God won't force you to love anyone."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cheat Number One

So I used my first cheat last night and to be honest, I probably could have saved it but yesterday was kind of a bad day. Lots of stuff I prefer not to get into so at about 8pm last night after not eating but half of my sandwich I made I told myself I would have ice cream with a small brownie. And it was good, but not as good as I thought it would be. But one cheat down, that's okay no worries. Today is a new day!

An updated on my friend's nephew that has cancer, she sent me an email that said his last chemo session is May 6th! Hopefully after that he will be in remission! I copied the email she had sent me posted on their blog, it was really sweet and I just thought I would share.

"We love Friday's around here. That means no radiation for two days. The good news is that the countdown has begun. Only 9 radiation treatments left. Last day is Thursday, May 7th. That day is known as "Bang the Gong" day at MD Anderson's Proton Radiation Center. There really is a gong that the patient gets to whack after the last treatment. They encourage hitting it lightly, but I'm betting Ben is going to take his best Pujols-like cut at it. Friends and family are invited to join the celebration.

After his treatment today, I was trying to get him excited about eating something. He said he might want rotisserie chicken. So, I took him to Vincent's on the way home. He changed his mind about eating after his food arrived but we still managed to have a nice time at an outdoor table. We really weren't sitting next to anyone that would have overheard our conversation, but someone must have noticed Ben's head / scar / lack of hair. I say that because when the bill came, someone had written "Your bill was paid for by a guardian angel." I just welled up on the spot. I was so moved I went and shook the waiter's hand and the manager's hand and told everyone thank you (even though it was probably just some nice patron of the restaurant).
Ben is still battling nausea. We thought we were seeing some improvement, but the appetite just isn't there. He dropped below 40 kg for the first time today. He's down to 89 lbs. Nothing sounds good to him. Please keep praying this gets better. Also, continue to pray that his blood counts rebound this week.

I want to say thank you to the patients and their spouses at the Proton Therapy Center. They bought Ben a shirt and a basketball and all signed them both (including some of the staff). It was really, really nice. Today was "Bob's" gong-day. His wife was one of the nice ladies that befriended Ben over the last several weeks. Please pray that the treatment was effective for Bob. We are so thankful to you all for being so kind and supportive to our son. Our prayers go with you.

I have been reading David's Psalms this week about how his enemies are pursuing him and how he is looking to God to protect him and to rid him of his enemies. I'm finding some amazing strength as I lift up those same prayers to God.
9 days to go!

In Him, Steve and Stacey

**you know sometimes we are feeling down or depressed about our own lives, I hear and read or watch stories just like this and think, wow my life is cake compared to this. It's hard sometimes to remember that what we seem to be so upset, hurt, angry by are things that yes are significant but not life threatening. Stories like this are definitley a reminder that God is good and prayer works***

Monday, April 27, 2009

Daily Devotional from Purpose Driven Connection

April 25, 2009
Margin Comes From Managing Your Time
by Rick Warren
In our Devotionals series, Pastor Rick Warren discusses the Bible passages that inspire him the most. Today's Devotional is based on this passage:
"Then Jesus said, 'Let's get away from the crowds for a while and rest.' There were so many people coming and going that Jesus and His apostles didn't even have time to eat" (Mark 6:31 NLT).

Jesus experienced enormous stress and pressure, yet it didn't seem to disturb His peace of mind. In spite of opposition, constant demands, and little privacy, His life reflected a calm sense of balance.What was His secret?

1. Identification: Know who you are (John 8:12). Eighteen times Jesus publicly defined Himself. There was no doubt in His mind as to who He was. If you are unsure of your identity, you'll allow others to pressure you into their molds. Trying to be someone you're not causes stress!

2. Dedication: Know who you want to please (John 5:30). You can't please everyone. Even God can't! Just about the time you get "Crowd A" happy, "Crowd B" will be upset with you. Jesus never let the fear of rejection manipulate Him. No one can pressure you without your permission.

3. Organization: Set clear goals (John 8:14). Jesus said, "I know where I came from and where I am going." Preparation prevents pressure but procrastination produces it. You work by either priorities or pressures.

4. Concentration: Focus on one thing at a time (Luke 4:42-44). You can't chase two rabbits at the same time! Jesus knew how to handle interruptions without being distracted from His primary goal.

5. Delegation: Don't try to do everything yourself (Mark 3:14). We get tense when we feel it all depends on us. Jesus enlisted twelve disciples. Don't allow the fear that others may not do as good a job as you, or that they may do a better job than you, to keep you from asking for help.

6. Meditation: Make a habit of prayer (Mark 1:35). No matter how busy Jesus got, He found time to get alone to pray every day. A daily quiet time is a great stress decompression chamber. Use this time to talk to God about your pressures and problems, evaluate your priorities, and discover the rules for successful living by reading the Bible.

7. Relaxation: Take time to enjoy life (Mark 6:30-31). Balance is the key to stress management. Work must be balanced with fun and worship.

Friday, April 24, 2009

How You Live (turn up the music)

I heard this song in church a few weeks ago but it came on the radio at work and just thought what great lyrics it had along with such a great message. Just thought I would post for anyone who hadn't heard it:

"How You live (turn up the music)" by Point of Grace

Wake up to the sunlight
With your windows open
Don't hold in your anger or leave things unspoken
Wear your red dress
Use your good dishes
Make a big mess and make lots of wishes
Have what you want
But want what you have
And don't spend your life lookin' back
Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
You won't regret it
Lookin' back from where you have been
Cuz it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live

So go to the ballgames
And go to the ballet
And go see your folks more than just on the holidays
Kiss all your children
Dance with your wife
Tell your husband you love him every night
Don't run from the truth
'Cause you can't get away
Just face it and you'll be okay

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
You won't regret it
Lookin' back from where you have been
'Cause it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live

Oh wherever you are and wherever you've been
Now is the time to begin
So give to the needy
And pray for the grieving
E'en when you don't think that you can
'Cause all that you do is bound to come back to you
So think of your fellow man
Make peace with God and make peace with yourself
'Cause in the end there's nobody else

Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances
Let it all out
'Cause you won't regret it
Lookin' back from where you have been
'Cause it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live
'Cause it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live

It's official

I'm officially sore and tired!! I have actually worked out three times this week so far, but the past two days have been in the morning before work. I actually like getting up and going for a run early in the mornings, just something refreshing about starting my day off with some exercise. I think one of the best benefits to starting my off with exercising first is I don't have to do it it bad to think that way?

I am going to get a Yoga DVD and maybe Pilates, and I'm thinking the Biggest Loser trainer video would be a good one too! I get bored with just running or always doing the same typically cardio stuff so a change is good for me.

This weekend will consistent of almost nothing! I am wanting to paint my kitchen, buy some curtains for my kitchen and clean. I thought about going garage saleing with Jenna up in Plano because you know all those rich people have good stuff, even if they are getting rid of it :)

Day 5 of the challenge, only 37 more days to go before it's bikini time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Time for some changes!!

So this weekend was fun and busy! Saturday night we went out for my friend's bachelorette party and all I can say is, the older I get the more and more my body needs time to recover! We went to the Glass Cactus at the Gaylord and had a blast! I hadn't ever been there before and wow, it's nice! Good band, good atmosphere and Elizabeth had an absolute great time which made it all worth while!!

Today starts the 42 day challenge I'm sure we have all heard about it. I think it will be good, no sweets, 1 sode a day, work out 3-6 times a week, and have to drink 4 bottles of water a day. That's alot of water!

I'm hoping the drop about 15 pounds or so, it makes me kind of sad actually. I used to be a work out mad women a few years and slowly things just started getting my attention and I got busy and didn't find the time or feel like it anymore. I think another major thing is I hate big gyms. I have always been the YMCA kind of gal, big gyms to me are just not the enviroment I like to work out in. So I think we will stick to the zuma at the local gym with some running and biking. Especially now with the weather before it gets hot, gotta enjoy the outdoors when you can!

I need to go buy a scale too, I never really bought one because I didn't want to consume my mind with how much I weighed. I have never really been one of those girls worried about my weight, I excepted a long time ago that I will never be rail thin because that's not my body type. I understand that for me, just speaking for me I don't have the life style or time to work out in order to be that skinny, it's just not reality or practical for me. I just need to be healthy and I would like to loose some weight now and change some the eating habits I have made for myself out of convenience. So here's to the 42 Dad challenge, here we come bikini! I guess I should go buy one sometime soon!!

I'm ready!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Left Behind"

So I have become obsessed with these books. Like I said in my last entry, Dave and I listened to this whole first book on audio on our way to and from Georgia and it really just got my attention. A little premise for those of you who might not have read it yet. The book series is about the rapture and the 7 years of tribulation that follow Christ return and the rise of the Antichrist (serious stuff huh!) I'm sure the majority of you have read the book but wanted to tell you just in case ;) This book just got me so interested again for a few reasons and I wanted to share them:

#1 When the disappearances first happen, the book begins to describe all the different places where people just vanished. On planes, in school, at the hospital, while driving, and the one that really got me was when they described a wedding that was going on where the groom just disappeared and left the bride there standing all alone. I mean think about it, can you imagine all of a sudden people around just vanishing? Pretty scary and exciting at the same time.

#2 The pastor in the book who was left behind spoke of how knew the word of God, "pretended" to live it and put on a show for the church but when God came back to get his people, he was left. It then got me thinking, I know I am saved but do I live out my life the way God asks of me or do I simply put on a show? I think that is a question we all ask ourselves sometimes, I mean what a gut check for him right?

#3 This stuff is real. I don't care what anyone else thinks, it's going to happen. It's just a matter of when and if we are ready. I think that is the other major thing that just hit me, for all those people who doubt there is a God or the power of the Lord will surely find it that day (or if not that day, for the years to come after it). And it is our responsibility to try and teach them.

They always spoke of witnessing in church when I grew up, how to witness, where, to who. And in my opinion, we are not all called to be missionaries or go door to door sharing our faith. I think it's about living it, trusting it, and sharing what God is doing in our lives. And I believe it's also about prayer. Praying for those around to us who are lost, are having a hard time and finding themselves feeling empty. Praying for God to show us how we can be a friend, a witness to those by be loving, forgiving, kind, generous, and by understanding that to God it doesn't matter how pretty you are, how much money you have, what material things you have. It matters how you use the things he gives us and if we are right in our own salvation so that we might be a witness to others who don't.

If you haven't read these books, I HIGHLY recommend it. I know my mom tried to get me to read them back in the day when they first came out, took me awhile but I finally got around to it. They are extremely easy reads and very intriguing and like the characters in the book, it leaves you wanting to learn more about God's word and yearning to be closer to him.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Forgiveness and trust, and Georgia

Dave and I went to Georgia this past weekend, we left Thursday and came back yesterday. Talk about tons of driving! It's 13 hours there and 13 hours of back, goodness!! But we had a good time, we downloaded "Left Behind" to listen to so the drive actually went by fairly quickly.

The trip was good, we got to see his grandmother and spent some time helping her take care of a few things. I must say, Dave loves his mother and MeMaw; it's apparant when your around them both, treats them like gold. Isn't that a good sign?!

Although I have to get this off my chest, have you ever felt like you made mistake and for whatever reason the people you hurt simply cling to it and consistently remind you of it? I am battling this feeling at the moment, I don't want to go into detail about it it's to personal. I have always been a pretty forgiving person, mainly because it's just my nature. I know some people aren't and that's okay too, but my question is how come some people feel as though consistently reminding someone of a mistake they made some time ago is healthy? I mean, isn't part of forgiveness understanding that the hope is that it doesn't happen again?

I think maybe that's why at times we can't comprehend how God is always so forgiving of us and people in our lives aren't. He forgives and then he forgets, you may still have consequences of your actions but he isn't consistently in your face reminding you of the mistakes you have made. Which is a good thing because we all would feel pretty bad about ourselves I assume. I go back and forth between keeping my mouth shut and taking the guilt from the person I hurt to wanting to shout at the top of my lungs to either get over it and move on or the relationship has to end because it's unhealthy. The type A in me wants to shout that but the Christain side of me knows that sometimes we have to deal with the choices we made and understand that God has a plan for it all.

I have learned to pray about stuff like this and trust in God to take care of it all. Maybe that's the lesson here, to trust....................

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

University of Phoenix and the Gaylord

So as many of you know, I am about to graduate from the University of Phoenix with my bachelor's degree, but I also work there. We literally just got back from a seminar we had at the Gaylord Resort were the president of the company spoke and I have to tell you, for the first true time I felt incredibly lucky to be working for UOP (and I just felt the need to blog instead of work, tee hee)

The University of Phoenix appears to have a reputation, this is nothing new, although I have to tell you the stigma that has appeared to wrap around the company is very unfortunate. I realize that all people have different opinions about places, businesses, service, etc. and I also realize that my opinion is a little bias but not really.

I started school with UOP before I started working here, that just happened to be a bonus. I have to say too, I have had the best learning experience with UOP than any other college I have attended ( and sad to say, there have been quite a few). I do think every young adult needs the college experience, I had a blast my first year of college! That's why we are for the working adult, not the kids who want that college experience. We are for the adults who have children, full time jobs, obligations and that want to attend college.

I'm not trying to sell us, I guess just get the word out there that we are an accredited college that has much to offer people who want to attend college and can't. And after hearing our CEO speak today, it just really assured me how lucky I am to be working in the enviroment I do; the ability to attend school for free (as many degrees as I want), a convenient office location, a steady job in this economy, and great benefits. All and all, a pretty good job!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Random Thoughts

Today is Tuesday, which might be my second favorite day of the work week besides Friday. I like Tuesdays because I get to be a part of a departmental meeting that takes up the morning so that just leaves the afternoon to fight off......except today time is DRRAAGGGIIINNNGGGG!

I have so many things to do tonight and tomorrow. We leave for Georgia Thursday except Dave is trying to up that to tomorrow after work, grrrr. That just means quicker packing, less cleaning before we leave( I hate leaving a dirty house to come home too) and less time to get my final done. We will see if that actually happens or not.

Do you ever watch movies that just scare you? I didn't used to be like that but the older I'm getting the more sad and scary some movies are to me. We watched "Changeling" last night and it was incredibly sad to me and I couldn't fall asleep last night. The whole thing was sad! I don't want to give it away to anyone who hasn't seen it but I don't know I could watch it if I had a child. I just kept seeing scenes from the movie over and over again in my head and it just scared me, I told Dave before we went to bed I thought I would have nightmares. Luckily for me, I dreamt about working at Roadhouse again bartending??? Don't ask, I have no idea why.

It seems like everytime I turn around someone else I know is getting engaged and married. My friend LaChrisha got engaged this past weekend and I found out through an email! can you believe that? I have been friends with that girl since 3rd grade! :) That is what happens the older you get, you hear things about stuff through people or emails! HA!

Makes me sad to get older, I know I'm only 27 but still it does. I know there are great things that come with age, experience, wisdom, kids, stuff like that. But it still makes me sad. I just keep thinking how time just keeps on ticking and it just seems to be flying by. I try to remind myself that is the way it is suppose to be but sometimes I want to freeze time! I guess I just feel like life is so brief it just rushes on by us without even a warning and then it's gone.

This month marks the 1 year mark for my grandmother passing and Dave's grandfather passing, a full year. So much has happened in that year and it just makes me sad to think time goes on and it's not that we forget but sometimes we do forget. It's been almost 5 years since my grandfather died and that hurts me, it was bittersweet on our wedding day. My Pappaw was a great man and it makes me sad he wasn't here to see my get married or graduate college. I know he is watching but it's just different.

Kind of a gloomy post today but I just had to write it out, thoughts sometimes need to be written out or spoke aloud because they aren't meant to stay in. This trip to Georgia is a much needed one, for MeMaw and for us. I think it will be good therapy, closure maybe. Mmmmm, only two more hours and I can go home. I'll be counting down the minutes!

On a lighter note, Jenna got a dog last night and named it Bella. It's super cute, a black lab and hellier mix. Haven't met her yet but I bet she is super cute!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

It's that time!

So like I said in my last post my friend Elizabeth is getting married May 2nd and her first shower was today and it was a hit! It was held at this cute little tea room in Ft. Worth by some of her step mom's friends. The lunch was wonderful and Elizabeth got lots of good things!! I have a completely different outlook on the whole wedding process now having been through it. I'm really looking forward to her bachelorette party in a few weeks and her wedding. Should be beautiful!! Elizabeth is the classic girl who has been planning her wedding since the day she met Kyle. She has a wonderful giving heart and is possibly the most positive person I have ever met. She also reminds me of a porcein doll, she has that classic beauty.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

School and sickness, two peas in a pod

School is making me sick I think, literally. The past three weeks have been non stop, it seems like I have something big every weekend, and between work, going to tutoring twice a week, math homework, and doing some extra stuff to try and help with this promotion I may be getting, my body is literally worn out. I have been sick since Sunday night and I almost called into work today to stay home and get some rest but I figured I wasn't "sick" enough to stay home. Thanks to my parents, unless I'm physically dying or can't move I always feel the need to go to work.

I'm trying to stay positive and not let it get me down though, this weekend the really only big thing I have going on is my friend's bridal shower which should be fun. I think they are fun when your the bride but I think they are more fun when you get to go and be supportive and watch. I don't know why, but especially with Elizabeth it will be fun. She is such a sweet person and has waited so long to get married. We used to spend our extra time at work surfing for all wedding stuff together before either one of us was engaged. We didn't want Kyle or Dave to know we were being "those girls" who became wedding planners without even being engaged. But it was fun!!

So I am actually thinking of taking the off tomorrow to rest, get some stuff around the house done. But really to sleep, you know become heavily medicated and in a daze? I really think this is God's way of telling me "SLOW DOWN, you have to much going on right now" But we will see. We are heading off to Georgia next week, ROAD TRIP!! It will be a short 4 day trip to go get some things Dave's MeMaw is giving him of his Granddaddy's. Both Dave's grandfather and my grandmother passed away literally like two weeks between each other so April is kind of one of those months for us. So it will be nice of him to have some things that belong to Granddaddy around the house.

The highlight of my week BY FAR is that our wedding video came in yesterday! I got home before Dave and was stoked it finally arrived, I called him and he said to wait to watch it until he got home so we could do it together. Are you kidding me? I was DYING by the time he got there to watch it. It was very sweet and they got everything we wanted. The ceremony, all the speeches and dances. They didn't get so much of the partying side of the reception but really that is because we had a longer ceremony. I just think how cool will it be for our kids one day to watch our wedding! The whole thing, to see us as a young married couple with their grandparents, aunts and uncles. That was the WHOLE reason I wanted to video our wedding, I know they can look at pictures but there is just something different about being able to watch it happen.

Anywho, pray for me that I can survive the next two weeks and then I'm done with school for awhile and I'll take FULL advantage of that!! Until I start my Master's but we will leave that thought for another day......