Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New opportunities and cell phones

Ah, the post that comes after an eternity (or two months) of not writing anything.  My silence is hardly noteworthy, but today I actually have something to say.

Once again I am in a stage of transition.   I don't recall my feelings toward transition the last time I was in it, but I am actually kind of looking forward to some of the changes that might be taking place.

Some of the changes I don't want to go into detail about because a blog is a very public forum and plans have not been confirmed yet, and I don't want news getting back to people before it's actually news. I know I can set the blog to private, but I want it to stay public right now.

So the closer it gets to January 19, the more excited I become.... reason being that my car will be paid off then and it will become officially my car. No more lease, no more bi-weekly car payments, my car insurance bill can be reduced. It's just an overall good feeling. It's also a good feeling to know that I will have done something good for myself.  Let's just hope it doesn't break down right after I finish paying it off. :-)

I'm thrilled about the prospect of having the extra money around just for that. Ofcourse, much of it will be eaten up by paying off my student loans,(I can't keep it on deferment/forbearance forever!) It would be nice to have a degree to show for the student loans I'm paying for... but perhaps my new opportunity that I don't want to share yet could open the doors to finishing my degree.

I still want to finish my degree in Youth Ministry, but I kind of want to add another major or minor... in sociology.  I loved my sociology class in college, and I've always thought it would be complementary to a degree in youth ministry, but  the more I read up on it, the more I've been seeing that a sociology degree is actually a good degree to have for almost any job you can get.

In other news, though probably not as exciting or interesting, I kind of feel like I scored a gold mine with a deal I just got with T-mobile.  I'm adding a line to my account to get the family shared plan and putting my parents on the new line to help both of us reduce what we are spending on our phone plans.  I thought I found a good deal online, but I would need to order a phone for them too, so I was looking at the cheapest options I could while still getting them the type of phone they wanted, and I finally settled on a phone that required a down payment, but you could make monthly installments on it.  Not what I really wanted to do because adding the phone with monthly installments would be counterproductive to reducing cost. 

But then I found one that was a $35 down payment, with a $7.25 monthly installment and I thought, hey, that might work.  So I got ready to check out and everything, but decided not to and to go to a tmobile store instead and see if they could help me to find a better deal.  Well, I got there, and the guy was very helpful and very friendly for as much as he could do, but altogether, going to the store was not much help at all. The guy was not qualified to set up services.  Again, this is not a jab at the guy, because he was very friendly and helped the best he could, but I didn't understand why they had him working at a T-mobile store if he wasn't qualified to help set up service for people.  So anyway, he referred me to call t-mobile's support and talk to someone there because they would be able to help me get set up with everything I need.

So after Dad and I got home I called T-mobile support and spoke with a representative with an accent that was difficult to understand, and I'm not sure she understood too much English herself.  As I spoke with her I became increasingly frustrated because I felt like she wasn't hearing/understanding/listening to/caring about what I was actually saying.  Like, I told her I was interested in upgrading my phone to the Galaxy 3 and I had considered the installment plan, but I couldn't afford the $99 down payment at this time and wanted to know if there were other options. She took that as I couldn't afford a down payment at all.  I told her I can afford some down payment but not $99, and she just couldn't seem to grasp that concept. 

I asked about options for free phones for starting new lines, she told me T-mobile doesn't do free phones because I'm on a value plan. So I asked about switching back to the classic plan, she said it's not possible because the classic plan would be more expensive than the value plan.  I said okay, well, do I qualify for my free upgrade yet (because if i do, i would give my parents my old phone)  She told me T-mobile doesn't do free upgrades.   Long story shortened, I finally gave up talking to her, told her she wasn't helping me and hung up.

So I went on line to find the deal I had originally found  and was just going to purchase a phone for my parents,  but at the last minute I decided to call the support line on the website to  make sure that the new balance they were giving me for the family plan was actually what total new monthly payments would be (before tax), and not just an added addition to the $65 I already pay each month.

So while I was talking with her and explaining my thoughts, she started telling me about specials that t-mobile had going on and again, long story shortened, I now have on order a free phone for my parents, comparable to the Galaxy S i currently have, for starting a new plan with a waived activation fee and $79 monthly payments for the family plan that includes 1000 shared anytime minutes, unlimited nights, weekends, and tmobile to tmobile minutes, unlimited texting, and unlimited plus data plan.  The first woman told me that wasn't possible.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Elections.. pfft.

I'm alive. I don't think anyone keeps track of me on my blog, but yes, after a few months haitus... I'm alive. I wanted to write for a while, but I kind of got sick of what I always had to write about.   But I guess the news is that I am happy.  I am. It's been a while since I've been able to say that I'm happy beyond some specific event.  Now, I feel like joy just abides in me.  I have some ideas/plans for change... nothing I'm going to go into detail about right now, mostly because it would be a long post and I'm too tired to spend the time trying to flesh it out in my mind.  But change is coming soon, change beyond what has already changed.

As for the election. I have no idea who to vote for.  Should I vote?  I think a part of me doesn't think it matters.  I know that God is the one who allows leaders to rise and fall, and no one would have power if it were not givent to them from above. Ive been told that that is a misinterpretation of the verses that seem to imply this, but I don't know. Is God's faithfulness strengthened or undermined by my vote or lack thereof? 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In my room, peeing on my bed is a capital offense, but these cats are lucky I don't believe in capital punishment and that all they are getting is their nose rubbed in it, then locked in my bathroom for the night.   Cat pee on my bed makes me feel extremely violated and it will not be tolerated. I am extremely close to throwing the cats outside or dropping them off in the middle of no where and I wouldn't care if they lived or died. Peeing on my bed is THAT serious of an offense.   And yes, I would do it too. I am not as nice of a person as some of you might believe I am.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Mckinley was wrong, there is nothing beautiful about this mess.

I'm beginning to think that reading is becoming dangerous for me(perhaps, some movies are too)  I've read a few of the popular book series, Harry Potter, Twilight, and now the Hunger Games.   They are all good series, but in each one I find myself so drawn in to the story, so connected to the characters, that when I put the books down (that is, if I didn't read through them in one sitting) I feel like I have to recover and snap myself back to reality.

I don't know if its the fact that its a series so the story is more complex and you get to know the characters on a deeper level, I don't know if its because the characters in each series are facing an epic struggle between what is good and evil...  I remind myself that these books were made into movies for a reason... I think everyone can relate to a struggle between good and evil, whether people want to break the books down that far or not, that's what is is.

And our lives are not nearly as fantastically adventurous... or tragic, but we see something incredible rise out of each character, a purity of heart, strength of character, an iron will, a selfless love, courage, leadership, comradry, beauty... and we want our own strengths to rise up in us and call us all to something greater, to some fantastic adventure that will change the world.  We wonder, where is that in me? Where is my courage, strength, love? Could I see myself stepping up and taking anothers place when it means I would almost certainly be facing my own death?

We want our strengths to be called out but we are too afraid of what it will take for that to happen. How many of the characters in these books faced some sort of personal tradgedy, or grew up in the face of some sort of oppression.  

But we don't want the sacrifice of the pain that it takes to develop or call out these strengths.

I can tell you that when my mom first went to the hospital a few weeks ago,  and we didn't know if they would be able to stop the infection... the thought of my mother dying broke me. Just the mere THOUGHT of it broke me, and to think about it now breaks my heart and brings a flood of tears.

And then, almost two weeks later when they moved to East Chicago, I was so overwhelmed with everything in my life, I sat in my car in the hospital parking area and sobbed bitterly, then when one more thing was thrown in my face, I snapped, and I'm not proud of who I was in that moment.   And then I reached a place of brokenness I didn't know I was capable of.

And I think to myself, wow, where is my strength of character? Where is my courage? Where is my purity of heart? Why was what was called out of me so ugly? 

And I hurt because I realized there is nothing beautiful or worthy in me. And yetI know in my heart that nothing good is called out of me on my own accord, so this can mean one thing to me... I am not connected to the heart of God.   I can go to church, I can read my Bible a few times a week, I can offer up weak prayers on occasion, I can remind myself that I have accepted Christ and that I have been baptized into his name,  but somewhere, sometime, God and I have disconnected, and I desperately need to find that connection again.  What physical poverty can compare to spiritual poverty?    Here I am trying to bring my family and friends to Christ when I need to find him again myself.

Does this really have anything to do with a few books making me feel depressed? I don't know.  I didn't even know this is where this blogpost would end up when I started writing... so perhaps.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

I have never felt so broken.

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

I'm growing, but I'm not done yet.

I want to yell at myself and tell me to stop eating my chocolate covered raisins just because they are there.  The difference between me and someone of a healthy weight is that they listen to their bodies and stop after a few peices.

I also want to yell at myself for the desire to spend  money like it's burning a hole in my pocket.  The difference between me and someone who is more well off is that they don't feel the need to spend money just because they have it.

And don't get me started on wasting time. I want to yell at myself for wasting so much time. The difference between me and a person who doesn't waste time is that a person who doesn't waste time realizes that we all get the same amount of time everyday and makes the most of every moment.

It's a matter of how I think about the things that I have.

Food is for nourishment to my body to keep me alive and sustain me day by day.  I eat because my body needs it to survive.  I don't eat because it's an enjoyable activity. 

And money is to use for God's glory. I use it for my needs, I use it to bless others, and occasionally I use it for something nice for myself, But nothing I have is truly my own. It all belongs to God and I'm given the opportunity to invest it wisely. What I do with it will either glorify God, or feed my selfishness.

And time does not discriminate. We all have 24 hours in a day, and 60 minutes in an hour, and 60 seconds in a minute. And even then we are a mere vapor in the wind. If we waste the time we have now, we will never get it back.

Just remember that.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Revelation that started in an odd way...

I had a revelation of sorts. I've been lying in my bed trying to rest and pray about how to respond to my one of my roommates who had a bad reaction to an issue I brought up. I was thinking about how her response was malicious and intended to be hurtful, and how my desires were at war within me. Part of me.... most of me, actually... wanted so much to rip into her and do as much as I possibly could to tear her down and hurt her and destroy her with my words. But a part of me, as small as it might have been, did not want to destroy her because i knew it would destroy my witness with both her and her bpyfriend, and I desperately want both of them to know the power and love of Jesus.

So as my desires warred within me, I texted my roommate and told her I wanted to talk to her face to face. I have not spoken with her yet since she hasn't come home yet, but I have been praying and I gradually started to plan ways to talk to her that addressed each issue in the note she left, in a way that wasn't lashing out at her, but still gave me the sense that I would be receiving justice. But then, I thought about that and how selfish that was that I demand justice and I began to pray that God would release the desire for justice from my heart and teach me to respond with love and compassion.

I was silent for a little while and still desiring justice for myself, when I started thanking God for that little part of me that didn't want to destroy my roommate because I knew that meant that God was working on me and that the Holy Spirit was present in my life. And in the midst of thanking God for all this, the desire for justice left me completely and was replaced with a desire to show Jamie grace and forgiveness. And he filled me with such amazing compassion for her I wanted to weep. The event where Jesus entered a town and wept over it because the people were "harrassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Ran through my mind.
Even though I have not spoken with her yet, I have full confidence that God has won this battle and I will not destroy my witness with her tonight and that tonight she will know what it is to be loved by God.

With all that said, that was not even the revelation I had, that was only a side event in what has been a very long day for me.

So anyway, as I laid in bed and thought about this and prayed and tried to rest, my mind started relaxing and drifting. I started thinking about marraige (I suppose because one of the thing I kept thinking in my anger was that what I had judged to be in my roommates heart was why relationships come to and end and marriages fall apart.)

So I was thinking about how this is probably going to be what marriage is, learning to love selflessly, and how I imagine that there would be issues and how my beloved and I would need to learn how to live together. I thought about a Guy friend of mine, one that, though I'm not particularly attracted to him right now, I am attracted to his spirit and I would count him a worthy husband. I imagined if the two of us fought and how sick it made me feel to think that I would act unlovingly towards him, but I believe realistically, any man I marry is not going to be perfect and neither will I be and that there will be disagreements and things we have to work at. But I marveled at that idea and the thought popped into my head that the man I marry should be blessed by marrying me and not burdened. If I'm going into a marriage and I'm carrying bad boxes and attitudes, and if I bring strife to the marriage, or excessive uncontrolled debt, or if I'm not willing to be a "help meet", or to do my part to clean, raise children, cook, balance a checkbook, encourage him, support his ministry or whatever.... what it comes down to is that if I'm living selfishly, I become a burden to my husband, and I have no business entering into a covenant relationship with him or anyone else because marriage should honor God.

I am thankful for this time I have now as a single woman. though I haven't enjoyed many of the trials and learning experiences, I am so thankful that he who began a good work in me is continually working to bring it to completion, for my future spouse, if God chooses to bless me that way, and for the love of God he is teaching me to love all people with his heart and what that means. I am truly blessed.
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

God, I feel lost. I still desire to finish school, but my hope is dying. Help me!
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Monday, February 6, 2012


Oh Roughly 8 years ago, I wrote a paper for my philosophy class freshman year of college about the death penalty and why we shouldnt have the death penalty.

Sometime I would like to revisit that and re-write my arguments, and offer alternative ideas and such....like rehabilitation, the philosophy behind not having prisons and only rehabilitation centers and the like. Add some psycology and sociology to the mix, modern day society... and what we can do now to prevent the need for prisons and rehabilitation center for criminals.

I wish I had time to sit down and think about this more thoroughly.

and I want to solve the oil crises, and get rid political greed and power trips, bridge the gap between the social classes, eliminate racism(happy black history month!) and sexism, prevent teen pregnancy and suicides....and a whole bunch of other stuff... but I don't have time to be a hero...or to try to play God.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Can a person be a Christian and be Bi-polar?

I spoke with my aunt on the phone this evening after talking to my mom and saying some things that scared her. She thinks I should be evaluated for a Bipolar disorder because it runs in the family and my mood swings have been both sudden and extreme. 

I told my aunt that yesterday was a really good day. The sun was shining, I was in a good mood, I felt poetic, I felt good, I started doing stuff, and I started cleaning, and I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned.  There was probably nothing that could have brought me down yesterday. And then this morning I woke up, didn't feel either good or bad, but my back hurt (probably from sleeping in a weird position), so I stayed in bed for another two hours and finally got up, dressed and went to church. 

At church I started feeling extremely irritated. There was a person sitting behind me who was doing the anxiety thing where they fidget, and he was shaking his leg really fast. I could feel it making everything around me shake and I got so irritated that I got up and left the room and went and sat in a different room all by myself.  Then the day went on, I still didn't feel either good or bad, just normal. And I was talking with my cousin Brandy and I was thinking about the tax predictor thing and how it predicted I would owe $1200 and I started feeling incredibly anxious.

I started feeling so anxious that I literally could not see hope for the future. My future felt so bleak and miserable and I felt so trapped in this hoplessness that I told my mom I didnt want to live and that if I ended up owing the government $1200 (like the tax estimator thing predicted) that I might as well jump off a bridge because I would never get it paid off.

My mom started to tell me that she didn't want to hear me talk like that and I hung up on her and then cried because I felt so alone and because I just wanted someone to tell me things will get better. And then I went and checked the mail and I got my insurance statement in the mail and I cried because my monthly payments went up about $5 a month. (Now that I look back on it, it feels pretty rediculous, but just a few hours ago all of these things felt like the end of the world, and tried to feel better, I tried to pray).

So when I did calm down, I called my mom back and let her know I was feeling better (she had called back to check on me, but I didn't hear my phone), we talked about it, and I realized that this has happened to me several times over the past few months... maybe even over the past year. I used to be so happy-go-lucky and simply go with the flow of things, now I have bouts of utter hopelessness so bad that I don't want to live during those moments.  What happened?

And now... I don't feel horribly depressed. I feel mellow and tired.

So after we spoke, my mom suggested I talk to my aunt (who is bipolar), so I called her told her all about it and she laughed at me and suggested I get checked because I sound just like she did before she was diagnosed.

I don't know what I'm going to do.  I think jumping to believing I have a bipolar disorder is a little extreme. It could be a hormone imbalance. Elevated estrogen levels can mess a person up.

 But I also don't want be looking for excuses either.  Maybe there is another explanation that doesn't involve drugging myself to get better. Try harder to give my worries to God?  I don't know.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Love is not easy.

Responding in love is not easy...especially when you've been attacked by a person... and regardless of the means they used to contact you. Especially when all you want to do is is respond to the person and tell them you don't appreciate their attitude and then proceed to tell them why all their complaints don't apply to you, while making snide remarks that hide insults in them.

But I didn't do that. I promised my roommate that if she had something that she needed to talk to me about, instead of replying defensively, I would hear what she has to say and try to understand the heart behind it.

But then I was surprised when I actually did.  And of course, when I take the focus off of myself, I see I don't think my roommate sends me and my other roommates texts like she did because she is trying to start a fight or attack me personally, but because she is simply frustrated over something, regardless of how much or how little it applies to me personally, and she doesn't know how to communicate it, so when an issue does come up, it builds and builds and builds until it comes out in this huge emotional upheaval of anger and frustration, and other emotions.

And though she's not trying to start a fight.... she is prepared for one.  So what is the best response?

I remember immediately Proverbs 15:1 A Gentle answer turns away wrath, but a hard word stirs up anger.  (you could even go into verse 2: The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly).

And I've been studying the book of 1st John this whole month and I've probably read through it 30 times. But There is so much in it about love... how we know God abides in us, how we know we love God, or how we know we are children of God, is in the way we love.  So instead of replying defensively, as I have, sadly, done before, I thought about what it was that she needed right then when she sent the text, and the fact that she has been working the midnight shift for 3 days now and I simply texted her back and said: "I hear you, and I respect your thoughts."

But then, as it would go, I continued working through the evening at the group home and I started to feel some compassion toward my roommate.  In all truth, most of the stuff she texted really didn't apply to me at all, but I began to feel a prodding to respond not only in word, but in action.

1st John 3:18 says Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

So I looked at her text again, and I noted some of the things that she mentioned specifically frustrated her, so I went out and bought her stuff that she claimed got used up, and I came home and I spent the evening washing and loading the dishwasher and vacuuming and sweeping.

So like I said, responding in love is not easy.  Love means sacrifice.  Love means I had to consider someone besides myself. Love means I had to ignore my thoughts about what I do or don't do and realize that for this moment, what she needed was for someone to hear her needs and respond to them. Love means sometimes a person is more important than my immediate need (like sleep, haha), or my busy-ness (sigh).

And I'm not capable of loving on my own. I wish I was better at it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Anxiety relief anyone?

I've been feeling anxious. I'm not 100 percent sure all why I'm feeling anxious, but I am.  I credit some of it to work.  I found out today that Sheffield lost two of their full time staff.  While this can be a good things for me, it can also be very overwhelming for me.  I told Sheffield I am available Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.  They've been using me maybe once a week, sometimes twice. Now that two full time staff are gone, they are likely going to start using me all three days.  While this is good for my paycheck (and actually quite needed right now) it is also a bit overwhelming with everything else I have going on.

I want to go to VCC on Wednesday evenings. I like going, I enjoy meeting new people, and I feel like I'm being challenged there. But this week I may have to skip because Wednesday was the only day I could give to train the people I invited to be a part of the Out on a Limb team for Life Tree Cafe because I can't be there on Tuesday when they are doing the make-up training since it was cancelled last Friday (not to mention all the preparations I need to do for it). And then there's the next Life Tree training on Friday so it cant be done that day either, and I may be working this Thursday evening, I'm waiting on the schedule from Sheffield.  

My schedule just feels too full and for someone who likes to be spontaneous and have the freedom to decide to stop and help someone shovel their car out of the snow like I did tonight without fear of being late (growing up I was punished quite severely if I was told to be home at 8 and I showed up at thirty seconds past 8. so even though I still show up late to things, I hate it!) so for me, this is a nightmare!

But I guess the good thing is that once I get used to the roles I will be playing with Life Tree, and if I make sure Sheffield only schedules me on the days I said I was available, and all that other stuff I don't want to think about right now, then it will be bearable, and even enjoyable, but until then... I will have to do a lot of praying, or just feel anxious. I think mostly, though, is that there is a fight going on between necessity and desire in my schedule.  I want to do one thing, but I have to do another, and the two things overlap so I have to choose and necessity is going to win.

So, maybe it's not so much the full schedule that bothers me, but perhaps, having to choose necessity over desire makes me feel like I don't have control. (please no comments about how much control we really have anyway, now is not the time for that).

But I still feel anxious about something else, and I don't know what it is.

Well, with that being said, for me to wake up on time and not feel exhausted, I should have gone to bed half an hour ago, so I'm out.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Death was never a part of the plan
yet one man falls so so another can stand
we think we are immune from death and pain
until our mortality hits us again
our plans fail and babies cry
we all bleed and young men die
And we think theres some cosmic purpose to it all
some divine meaning, as though weve been called
to suffer through these chains and abuse
because its something that God can use
And maybe God does use our pain
To call us back to him again
But is it really something that he plans
Or is this our attempt to understand
All our questions and cries of why
He allows who he does to die
So we take a moment and we pause
Does God allow or does God cause
And does it matter in the end
When we have a God that we call friend
Who is with us and heals our heart
And hold us close when we fall apart
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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Yearly Review.

My Year in Review:

January, February, March:  Sadly, these three months run together for me. I can't really think of anything that sticks out or was significant during these three months.    In January I started working in the art room at the Boys and Girls Club, while continuing my position with Kidstop in the mornings.

April:  I celebrated having been employed with the Boys and Girls Club for a year, while at the same time, I began my employment with Opportunity Enterprise, working at a group home.

May: I can't remember anything of significance happening in May.

June:  June almost seemed to be a turning point for me this past year. I spent the first 5 months of 2011 grossly uninvolved in my own life.  How sad is that?   In June, I quit my position with Kidstop to work full time for OE, and to continue with my position in the art room.  I took a road trip by myself to visit my friend Stephanie and her Husband Chris in Alabama. It was a time that was refreshing and the beginning of a journey toward spiritual renewal.  After I came back from Alabama, I made the decision to move out of my parents house and into an apartment with my cousin Rebecca. The actual move took place during the last week of June. Also, during June, I found myself infected with MRSA, the flesh eating bacteria.

July: I had officially moved in with Rebecca and the electricity got shut off. I had spent some money getting the water back on, because I refused to live without both, but we were never in a place where we were able to get the electricity back on.  During this time Rebecca started staying with Mikey, and I felt very alone living the way I was living. Shortly after the electricity was shut off, the gas got shut off too. Taking cold showers was very "character building." 
In addition to this I found myself, a week after I moved out of my parents house, unable to use them as a fall back if things didn't work out as they recieved a letter in the mail claiming property taxes had not been paid on the property. The long and short of it, my parents would end up getting evicted.   At this time I was also working nearly 70 hours a week between my two jobs.

August: In August I applied to transfer to a new department at OE so I could keep my position in the art room, and was passed over for the position, so I put my two weeks notice in.   The day after I put my two weeks notice in, I recieved a phone call offering me a different position in the same department.   After speaking with my boss at the Boys and Girls Club, we decided that I would stay with the Boys and Girls Club on a subbing basis, and that I would indeed leave my position in the art room.
Rebecca and I also recieved an eviction notice from our landlord.

September:  Rebecca and I moved out of our apartment, and spent the next month living with our aunt Terry.   I started the new position at OE on September 6.

October:  In October, Rebecca, Jamie, and I moved into our new trailer together.  I also got my kittens, Bella and Esme.  Shortly after moving in, sewage started backing into my room from the hot water heater. Big Mess, not fun.  I also got Victoria a job at OE, working with me.

November:  In November, I celebrated my 26th birthday. This was the only birthday that has ever really bothered me. It made me realize that much of the last year of my life was spent going through the motions.  Growing older never bothers me so much as when I feel like I'm not doing anything with my life.

December:  I revisted my 100 pounds in 1 year plan and developed a strategy beginning.... today!  That would take me back on the journey to permanent weight loss.    I also found out that instead of doing personal care, I will be spending some time taking on a line for an unknown period of time. 

Concluding thoughts:

I really honestly don't remember much of this year. It all kind of centered around work, and that is highly accurate. Work has pretty much been my life for the past.... if not year, then at least for the past 6 months.  I don't know what I expected out of 2011. It really wasn't a great year for me.  I want to make 2012 better. 

One of the ways I've decided to do that, was that instead of going out with some friends to the bar, I started thinking, the way I start my new year is going to have a lot to do with how my year goes this year, and watching others drink and have what they think is a good time... well, it just wasn't on my to do list. 

Instead I spent the evening cleaning up my room so that I would have a clean room to start the year with, and then I spent some time doing some spiritual clean up, and I prayed in the New Year. It seemed so fitting.  I've had a lot of spiritual darkness this year, and while I had times when I was succumbing to it, I have also had moments when I was fighting against the darkness.  This year, I am not going to let the darkness overcome my soul. I have so many things I could say about my spiritual journey, but there is a desire in me to let sleeping dogs lie for the time being and focus on what is coming rather than what is past.   I had no idea what 2011 would bring me, and I have no idea where things will go with 2012. 

In addition to starting my year with Prayer, I have also started the Daniel Fast (in response to a challenge from another church I went to last Wednesday).   It is basically a fruit and vegetable  and water partial fast.  I can tell you my prayer life has increased dramatically just today because I had to pray for strength not to succumb to the foods at the coffee bar at Life Bridge that don't align with the Daniel Fast, and then during the Builders meeting, I had a hard time with my stomach growling while half the food still sat out, and then ofcourse, the smell of Jeni's pizza.... Temptation.  I honestly didnt think I would be able to make it through, but somehow I did. I stuck to the fast.  And then today when I came back to my trailer, Jamie had made buiscuits and gravy and it smelled amazing. But somehow I managed to avoid sampling.  And then, the other temptations were to dip my carrots in the dressing or dip. Didn't do that either.    Am I proud of myself?   No.   I'm humbled by the extent of my passion for food.  Only 20 days left. God help me.