Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Latest Opportunity

I'm going to get a little personal in this post and talk about something that I don't usually talk about.


My job in particular. Or my lack-there-of.

As you probably know, I studied Children's Ministry in college. I absolutely loved it. It was such an interesting subject to study. After years and years of really struggling in school I finally found an area where I wasn't always the worst in the class. It was like I finally found and accepted my area of success.

As a college student I found the love of my life. My amazing husband. The one, who through all of our differences has helped me grow and develop in ways I might never have otherwise done. One who helped me to come down out of my narcissistic phase and realize that my way is not the only way. (Even when my way clearly seems more sensible to me!) He is ever so important to me and we faced the task that many couples who get married young and in college have to face- forming our ideals for life together. You see unlike young professionals who get married, where they already have a job and a "real life"... we had to work to mesh those things together. And quite honestly it's been pretty difficult.

How do I go after that children's ministry job in the small town in Texas when my husband needs a job in the city? Or how do I even go into a children's ministry job when my husband and I haven't had the opportunity to go to church together and grow spiritually. And then of course, there is the voice of the Lord- who we must all be listening for. These are huge factors for me.

Over the past few years I've had several opportunities but none of them were right due to factors that I listed above... and sometimes more that haven't been mentioned. It's not always easy to pass those things up. Not when I have a yearn in my heart to not only use my degree but to serve families in the church with the skills I've been working on. But those factors that I listed are so important to me. So important. I'm very thankful that Blake and I have been able to focus more on our spiritual life together and have had a phase of life where we could be in class and worship together.

God led us to Houston and I thought I knew why but I turned out to be very wrong. There were still good things in store though. He led us to a wonderful congregation that is already helping us both to grow in so many ways. But now... He has given me such a blessing of an opportunity.

Their children's ministry intern for the summer has taken an opportunity to serve a church in Brazil for the remainder of her summer which leaves behind a few weeks of intern pay in the budget. And now I have an opportunity to serve the congregation for 4 weeks as they get prepared for VBS.

My heart swells with joy about this opportuinty. Though it is only a short 4 weeks... I am so thankful. Thankful for the 4 weeks I will have to completely immerse myself in ministry work once again. And when it is all over I'm sure I will be a little sad, but the joy I receive from the sheer opportunity of it all will give me the gladness I need to make it through to the next thing the Lord has in store for me. Whatever it might be.

Praise be to God for his wonderful hand! His hand that guides me and comforts me throughout my life. My God is awesome and I love Him! And most importantly I'm so grateful for his everlasting presence in my life.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Life Without Cable

We've been without cable for about 8 months. We've gone on and off of cable before, but this is definitely the longest either of us has gone without cable in the last 10 years.

I'll never forget how cool it seemed when we got cable when I was a middle schooler. I was fascinated with "Clean Sweep", "Trading Spaces", "While You Were Out", and the Disney Channel. Also the Weather Channel! And the Food Channel! It was awesome. On a sick day, my time would consist of the TLC wonders...

"A Make Over Story"
"A Dating Story"
"A Wedding Story"
"A Baby Story"

Oh, it was so intriguing. And truth be told, a lot of TV shows are still intriguing to me! I definitely have my shows that I miss.

The Duggers
The Little Couple

House Hunters
House Hunters International
Property Virgins

The Food Network:
The Pioneer Woman
The BareFoot Contessa
Paula Deen
Bobby Flay
The Big Food Truck Race
And an array of other cooking "teaching style" shows

Life Time:
Army Wives (Which thankfully I can watch online.)
Cheesy but addicting movies!

And of course.... I miss DVR!!!

Most of these shows are going on all of the time. And I liked to watch them all of the time. Nothing was more relaxing to me than a Saturday morning filled with my favorite Food Network cooking shows! And I still have my days where I really miss these shows.

But here is what has happened in the last 8 months that would not have happened had we still been cable subscribers:

- Blake and I have had to compromise to find shows on Netflix that we both will watch together.
- Blake and I have invested in a bunch of new games and we play them nearly every evening.
- I've taken up cross stitching again, which keeps me entertained when Blake is watching a game, where as before I'd go into the other room to watch my own show. Now we stay in the room together.
- I've enjoyed a few more books that have inspired me to live a better life.
- My Saturdays tend to be a little bit more productive- though not always much!
- We go to bed earlier and get 8-9 hours of sleep most nights.

And the biggest advantage.... we save over $80 a month. (Giving up DVR and cable.)

We are both sacrificing. I'm sacrificing my little shows I like, and Blake is sacrificing most of his sports games and talk shows that he likes. But we are spending a whole lot more time together than we did when we had cable. We do invest in Netflix Instant Play and Amazon Prime Instant Play but TV doesn't take up as much of our time as it used to. Some nights we don't even watch TV!

I don't say all of this to say I think everyone should do it, but I do strongly feel like it was one of the best decisions we've made. We were looking for ways to save money and that was an easy way that has really payed off by opening up time for us to develop new interests together.

I say all of this to say.... it is possible to get by without cable! We get so comfortable with certain luxuries that they become essentials to us. But they don't have to be! It's amazing how our perspectives can change!

Anyways, if you have cable or not... be sure to shut off the TV now and then. It's good for you! Have one night a week that you don't turn it on! See what new habits start to form! I dare you! :-)