Friday, September 30, 2011

Let's Run the Race Together

I have some good news to report on the financial front.  Things are still tight, but I have managed to have a few blessings along the way! 

I called the alarm company to come out and fix my alarm.  It took a total of 15 minutes.  Rather than charge me the $130+, the service guy was gracious and only charged me for half that amount.  Whew! 

I have managed to get rid of the ants (so far) by using Raid on the inside of the house where they were coming in.  I also managed to figure out where they were entering the house from the outside and sprayed there too.  Voila, no ants!

My car is also fixed. I took it to Auto Zone where they diagnosed it for FREE.  They also sold me the parts I needed to fix it. Then, I gave the parts to a guy from church who repaired it for a mere fraction of the cost it would have been anywhere else. 

I was able to order a knob for my dryer off the Internet for about $10 and repaired it myself.

And, finally, I am borrowing a vacuum cleaner from a friend until I can repair my old one or buy a new one. 

So, this leaves my cat litter box, ceiling fan and medical bill left to take care of.  I purchased a cheap, covered litter box that will do for now, and with summer over, the ceiling fan can wait.  The medical bill is another story all-together, but I am working with the hospital to figure a payment plan out.

In other news, my current foray into online dating is coming to an end.  I have always had a hard time with online dating for many reasons and I think I have partially figured out why this is.  It has felt like this has been my only option to meet people, however, and I am pretty sure this won't be my last venture into the online dating world.  Right now I can't afford it, so my current season of this is coming to an end.

My success, or lack-there-of, is only partially why I am frustrated with online dating.  My most recent dip into the online dating pool didn't produce the "sharks" that I have talked about before.  But, the passivity I encountered with the men on there has just astounded me.  I have talked about this before, but sometimes I wonder whether men in the online dating world really want to find someone at all.

This time around, I was encouraged, initially, by the quality of men on paper that I was "meeting." Several of them were very promising and things got off to an amazing start.  I had no less than three dates lined up within a two-week span.  How many of them did I go on?  Exactly zero.

This is not from any kind of hesitation or lack of trying on my part.  Two of the three, when it came down to actually nailing down a day/time to meet, just kind of fell off the planet not to be heard from again.  One of the three at least continued to communicate with me, but kept coming up with one excuse after another: my car broke down, I have a friend in town from Germany for the week, etc.  Can you see what I mean?

So, as this latest venture winds to a close I was challenged recently by a couple of friends to actually write down what I am praying for in a husband.  I am not going to get into the full details of my list, but I realized, as I was writing it, just how important someone who is an initiator is to me.  I used to think *I* was the one who was passive...wanting so desperately to be pursued, or that I was fearful of stepping out and being vulnerable/putting myself out there. 

I am realizing, however, that really this is a deep heart-cry of mine.  Maybe it is rooted in fear or passivity on my part a little, because what of anything is ever 100% pure?  But, I think it's OK for me to say that I want someone who is a leader and an initiator.  I am those things, but I don't want to be the leader nor initiator in my relationship.  So, I think that is partially what bothers me about online a lot of ways I feel like it is too easy for the men on there to be passive, as evidenced by my latest round of online dating.  It feels like I am doing most of the work.

I know it only takes "one." I do have a few friends that have met their partners online and I know that it does happen, but I just sometimes really pray, deep deep down that I would just love to meet someone someday the "old fashioned way" and look at that person and realize that we are running the same race, in the same direction and that we'd be better running the race together than apart.  And, that he'd be the one to grab my hand and say "Let's run together."


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When it Rains, It Pours (AKA the blog in which I complain about finances)

In the last month or so I have taken one financial hit after another.  It is strange how everything seems to happen all at the same time.  Am I the only one who feels this way or is there some sort of generational curse I'm living under?

Here is the run-down of my financial woes since the middle of August.

1.  My alarm system has a monitor that is malfunctioning.  Normally you'd just call the company and have 'em come out and slide a new monitor, right? Except for the fact that I don't have a maintenance agreement with my alarm company.  They are going to charge me $135 for the first half hour and then $35 for every fifteen minutes after that.

2. My vacuum cleaner died.  This vacuum cleaner was a hand-me-down from my grandmother and we figure it is at least 20 years old.  This vacuum clearly is from an era when they actually made things to last rather than breakable.

3.  I have a *very* fancy cat litter box.  This is because in such a small house the smell of dirty cat litter is about the grossest thing ever.  As a result, I invested in a very fancy litter box that keeps my house nice and odor-free.  However, like current vacuum cleaners, this has not been designed to last as long as I would like.  It broke recently too.

4.  The knob on my dryer to turn it to the correct setting broke recently.

5.  The ceiling fan/light fixture on my ceiling in my living room died.  Not sure why, just died.

6.  At the end of August, I had an infection that morphed into a full-blow allergic reaction to the antibiotic that they put me on.  This resulted in hives all over my body as well as a spike temperature of 103.5 and a trip to the ER.  I just got the bill for my visit and it's going to cost me over $2500.

7.  I have an ant infestation in my house.  I am trying to fight it without calling an exterminator, but if I can't get rid of the, I'll have to fork out $200 for an exterminator.

8.  The "check engine" light is on in my car.  I'm not sure what's wrong, but I'll have to put it in to the dealership to have it looked at.

Anyone have any creative ideas for earning some extra money??


Friday, September 02, 2011

Hiatus Over

I have, as you may have noticed, been on a loooong hiatus from blogging.  It isn't that I haven't had things going on to blog's been that I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off for the summer.

Here is what I have been up to:

1. Catalyst.  This is my church's summer program for college students.  I volunteered with this program last summer, in a very limited capacity.  This summer, my involvement was ramped up a notch.  Last summer I wrote and edited the devotional and just generally hung out with the students. This summer, I rewrote a part of the devotional, was also in charge of all the finances, and was the state-side communications liason for the month that the group was in Asia.  All of this plus working full time, plus all of the "social" thing that happen during the week left me pretty much busy from morning til evening most days of the week. Today is the last day of the school.  I love being involved with this, but it definitely is something I can only imagine doing for a couple of months at a time. I am not sure I can handle a schedule like I have had this summer all the time.  I know my house, yard, other friends and everything else that got neglected in the last few months certainly can't handle it!

2.  Family.  Back in June, my brother, sister-in-law and two nephews moved into town for good!  My brother has felt a call to church plant for a number of years and my parent's church feels called to plant it's been a great fit.  There is a need and my brother desires to fill that need.  So, they packed everything up and headed out here.  It has been maybe the best thing ever!!!  I have been spending tons of time over at my parents.  Brady, my three-year-old nephew got to come to summer camp at the zoo.  He and I went on a nephew/aunt date after one day at camp to McDonalds and then my house to play with my cats.  I also got to babysit Kason, the one-year-old while my brother and sister-in-law took Brady out.  It has been such a treasure having them here.  I love them all so, so much.

3.  Sickness.  In the middle of August I went to the Dr. to have a abscess looked at. They initially put me on antibiotics to try to take care of it that way. When those didn't work, they  lanced and drained it.  They also put me on a second antibiotic.  I had a severe reaction to the second antibiotic and ended up COVERED in hives from head to foot and running a 103.5 degree temperature.  Needless to say I was miserable.  I ended up at the doctor's office several times and even a took a trip to the Emergency Room one day.  It took me out for about a week.  I am all better now, but I won't be taking that antibiotic ever again!

4. Work.  I ran this year's summer camp program again, just as I have the last two summers.  This is summer was the best of all of the summers I have been a part of so far. The crew we had instructing was fabulous and it just went very, very well. 

What is coming up?
Honestly, I am not really sure.  Last year at this time I was going through one of the hardest times of the last four years.  The truth that it is always darkest right before dawn proved to be true yet again.  Starting in about November or December, things really turned around and have been great for the rest of the year.  But, I'll be honest, there is a real part of me that is scared that this fall will be like last fall.  If for no other reason than it is hard to not have a bit of a "let down" after being so busy.  And truthfully, many of the same circumstances are in play this year as were there last year.  I mean, in my head I know that no year is exactly  like the others, but it is still a fear, however irrational it may be.

Here are a few tidbits of what I DO know:
Possible involvement with PLU's campus ministry called "Ignite." 
Possible involvement in my church's women's ministry. 
A week-long trip to LA and then Phoenix for two weddings.
Postponement of my Africa trip until February or March.
Possible foray into online dating (this involves a whole other post, but suffice to say it has become clearer and clearer that this is probably the only feasible option for meeting someone, though in my heart of hearts, I despise and loathe online dating for many reasons).

I think that's all for now!