God is good

While it has been just a little over a month since I last wrote, it has been quite a month! I contracted pneumonia for the first time in my life on March 9, 2012 and am still recovering from it, my husband lost his primary job (which also meant we lost our health insurance) on March 23, 2012, many of my friends had babies, and I had to become an even greater support to my loving husband.

While this is a huge shift on the path, I believe God will provide. He already has. This new job that I started in December, while extremely stressful, has paved the way for a greater understanding and affection for my God. This career path has made revelations about where I want to go and where I see myself in many years. Although I am not sure if I want to be in human services, one thing is for sure, I still want to serve my fellow Christians and show others the path to Christ. I am not sure of the area of service yet or if my area of service will be embedded in my new position, however, I am sure that God will reveal it to me soon. In addition to showing me things about myself, God putting me in this position has allowed for my husband and I to absorb the impact left by losing a job and health insurance. My career path has allowed me to pick up insurance at my place of employment and the increase in salary will be able to tide us over for a few months until my husband can get another job or 2 part time jobs to make up the loss of salary. He already has some promising leads and I am confident that these people are the ones that God has put in our lives for a reason.

After everything I have been through in the last month, I am extremely grateful and humbled to be serving and worshiping an omnipotent God. “My God is not dead, he’s surely alive” rings loud and true in my heart today and forever more. This is a bend on the journey and a trip into the disorientation realm of the path, however, I believe that we will start towards orientation again and will be even closer to God.

Through all of the experiences I’ve had recently, I am again grateful not only for the people God has put into our lives to help my husband find a job, but I am grateful for the members of my church, my family, and my friends who have all been praying. I am grateful for what I have and am grateful and excited for what is to come. God will reveal his plan for our little family and I need to build the courage and confidence to take the plunge into his great mercy and grace.

Thank you to all who have prayed. I am reminded once again by my favorite verse, Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this though him who give me strength,” however, I am enlightened to include some additional verses from the chapter “Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles” (14), “… you sent me aid more than once when I was in need,” (16), “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (19). Our God is a good God indeed.

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A Shift in Thinking

It has been a few months since I have last posted and in that time, I have made a lot of progress personally and most importantly, spiritually. After the last few months, I have realized that it is okay to have goals, however, it is not okay to manipulate the Word of God to fit your goals. Although I am not sure that I have done this, what I am sure of is that the goals I have, I have started to backslide a bit on. The benefit of these goals, however, is improved communication.

Moving forward, it is time to refine my goals, but more specifically, my priorities. These are the priorities I came up with in December 2011, but it is time to look at them as part of the journey as all journeys must be as integrated as possible.

Spirituality–To grow in my walk with God and live the way he wanted me to live

Family- To build a family that is supportive of each other and that wants to spend time with each other.

Health-In many ways, I want to maximize my health and work towards wellness

Work-I want to have a reputation for excellence in all that I do and be known for providing good quality services while still demonstrating compassion and great leadership

Although all these are great priorities, it is important to keep in mind that God has plans for me and I think that in the last few weeks I have started to recognize these plans. For example, I went to a wedding last night in which I discovered that the Executive Director of my organization, is a devoutly christian man. He is my boss’s boss and I see him throughout the day. He married a devoutly christian woman yesterday and it was an honor to be present for the wedding. The nurse I hired is a christian woman, the case manager I hired is a christian woman and I am a christian woman. The only ones who are not are my boss and the woman who asked me to come to the agency. I believe that it is time to consider diving into my religion and working to ensure that I look at my position from the standpoint of being as Godly as possible.

God will speak to my heart in his own time and in his own way, in the meantime, I need to keep in mind the overall journey with goals and priorities integrated. From now on, the measurements will be:

A journey to become debt-free and a great steward of money (as a result of the health priority-financial health is Godly, and Proverbs 22:7 teaches on the issues of being in debt to others)

A journey to build up money in retirement and savings (another one as a result of the health priority)

A journey to keep things clean (health priority)

A journey for green living (health priority)

A journey to deal with Dad’s illness and stresses of life (family goal and health goal). This is a health goal as I need to learn to deal with the stress and to learn how to have a healthy amount of space away from my parents.

God is good, God has provided, God is wonderful, God will prevail. His Will be done in my life!!!

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A new bend on the journey… NEW JOBS!

It’s been over a month since I updated this blog, but well worth it…

Journey updates:

A journey to become debt-free and a great steward of money

Another step of this journey has come to fruition! I start a new job on December 5, 2011 that will provide more money for us to budget. While I am very excited for this new opportunity, I am more excited to be able to give more to the church I attend and love. Our church has great needs and the congregation has done a fabulous job funding these needs and though I have been a small part of that, I look forward to contributing more!!! We should be able to pay off the car over the summer with this income boost. My husband might also be getting a new job soon, but we will have to see how that comes to fruition in the next few weeks.

A journey to build up money in retirement and savings

God has been good and has provided us the opportunities to not only add to our savings, but also has given us surplus money to pay for emergencies that have come up so as not to take money from our savings! God is very good.

Also, my new job will have a retirement plan and for that, I am forever grateful to God! God is truly good and wise in the area of finance and savings. He is truly the leader and giving it all to him and his glory is the best way.

Journey to keep things clean in life

My husband and I have made this journey a priority as well and have done great work maintaining a clean and orderly house. This journey has forced us to increase our communication regarding our home even more. This journey has sparked conversation about where to improve our home and how to allocate that money so that we are on the same page. My husband now takes pride in ensuring the house is clean and I truly thank the Lord that we take pride in our house together, as a couple. We are more a team now than ever before and this is only the beginning. I know the Lord had his hand in this one.

Next up, praying that the Lord will increase the communication again as my work life places more demands on my time and accountability on my part. I am truly excited for the opportunity to grow as a couple through this journey and for this journey to spread to other places!

Journey for green living

We enjoy living as green as possible! Turning off lights, using energy efficient bulbs, decreasing our overall impact on the world and now, planning to purchase a new stove and refrigerator. Our current ones are 30 years old and not very energy efficient. God has truly blessed us with a beautiful world and who are we to destroy it? Today’s devotion stated this very fact as well in Philippians chapter 4 verses 8-9 when we are told to meditate on all the things that God has created in the world.

Journey to deal with Dad’s illness and stresses of life

.My dad’s illness has been great lately and I anticipate the stresses of life to increase as my responsibilities increase with my new job. I pray that the Lord will provide me with the same peace that he has given me for the last year in a low-stress job and will provide me with the wisdom to remain balanced in my goals and priorities.

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A baby step on the journey…

I miss my Uncle, however, he is in a better place now and he would be so proud of what my husband and I have done and the plans of what needs to come next. He was a very intelligent man in terms of what he has done with his life and his legacy. We are part of that legacy of love, fiscal responsibility, generosity, and compassion. It will be an honor to continue these components of his legacy.

A journey to become debt-free and a great steward of money… It seems like so long ago that I wrote the phrase for this journey. Last week, the day before my Uncle’s wake, we paid off our credit card debt from a car repair we had over a year ago and issues with a rental car after someone hit me two years ago. It’s amazingly refreshing to know that this is off our shoulders and decreases the debt burden that we have.

God’s way of becoming debt-free is truly the best way of all! We have just one small car loan, medium-level student loans, and a mortgage left! I am so excited that for our age group, we are doing really well financially. While this journey continues, it is time to contemplate the journeys to come. Yay for baby steps!

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Mortality

Last Tuesday, September 27, 2011, the world lost a great man, my godfather whom I call “Uncle” David. In the last 6 months, he went from a healthy man, to having cancer, to being cancer-free, to having a heart attack, to having stints placed in his heart, to having his final fatal heart attack. I miss him, but I am glad that he is not suffering any longer. Towards the end, this summer, he stated to many people “I want a happy celebration when I am gone; everyone happy and laughing. PLEASE! Tears are NOT permitted! If any tears, do leave!”

In this, to me, it is scary because this is exactly the type of man he was, however, my mother, as the trustee of his estate, has to carry out his will and also has to make sure that people don’t cry as it was one of his wishes. That’s the hardest one of them all…

I am reminded of a verse that I looked up online

Psalm 30:5

Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

With that, I would like to end with his information:

“I want a Happy Celebration when I am gone; everyone happy & laughing.
PLEASE! Tears are NOT permitted! If any tears, do leave!”

~ DW Leseberg

… … Death leaves a heartache no one can heal ~ Love leaves a memory no one can steal ~

David “Ratfink” W. Leseberg, 64, of Palatine. Beloved father of Lillian (Ed Zahnle) Leseberg and Harland Leseberg. Loving grandpa of Ann, Malee, Taylor, Sage, David and Katen. Cherished and loved by many friends and the Deaf community.

David was a 1967 graduate of the Illinois School for the Deaf, in Jacksonville, IL.

 

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2 years later…

On September 19, 2011, my husband and I celebrated 2 years of marriage.

Interjection–“Really? Has it been only 2 years? Wow! Time goes by fast!”

Sorry, had to do that.

As I reflect on the past 2 years of marriage, I will admit they have been tough. They have been tough financially, legally, and in so many other ways, however, I believe the Lord has sustained us and led us to continue in our love for one another. I have selected a few verses to reflect upon in relation to marriage and life for married people.

Colossians 3:18-19 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

As I reflect on this, I cannot imagine a world where the parameters of these verses occur. It is almost every day that we hear about some sort of domestic abuse where a husband or a wife is arguing and being harsh with one another. Divorce rates are at an all time high and that includes fellow Christians. Many years ago, it may have been possible to live a life that is this way but I wonder… Is it possible that we can ever live in a world where wives will fully submit to their husbands? Is it possible for a husband to never be harsh to his wife? I feel as if the “progress” we have made as a group of people isn’t truly progress at all when it seems that as a society we are further and further away from God’s plan and God’s commands for us. At the same time, I am humbled by the fact that we cannot live up to God’s expectations. It is just not possible for us as humans, but we must persevere and strive for the opportunity for perfection though never fully reach it. That drive for self-improvement should start in the home with family and maybe Colossians has the idea of a great starting point.

Another great verse that I would like to reflect on is this idea presented in

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said “Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you.”

and

Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

These verses hit close to home. I work every day on being content with what I have. This is something that I am also trying to instill within my husband. He, like most men, is busy chasing the next big thing and trying to ensure that we have the latest and greatest in the things that was have. I would much rather just put what we have away, use it when we need it, and if we don’t need it at all, give to someone or someplace that would have use for it or need it.

My husband and I both work two jobs each to earn enough money to pay the bills and have money left over to put into savings and spending money. Although the amount of spending money we have is very small, we make it work. Recently, I discussed with my husband the possibility of getting a new second job. His current second job he has had since high school and he is not making a lot of money. He could earn the same amount of money working part time elsewhere. He always returns back with I want to work full time because sometimes the money is better and I like to have all the extra money on hand to spend. He has also not been going to church unless I ask him to go (we are believers of different religions so this is hard in and of itself). Right now, I wonder if he serves money like most others in this society… especially in this economy.

 

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I REMEMBER… Ten Years Ago

I remember leaving 2nd period band with an eerie feeling. Friends were crying in the halls and no one was chatting. People were asking to call home and teachers were scrambling trying to get TVs into classrooms.

When I got to 3rd period Chemistry, a couple of band friends and I asked what was going on. (We had missed the announcement about the World Trade Center because we rehearsed louder than the loudspeaker.) The entire day was moving from class to class trying to get more information about what is happening in New York and at the Pentagon. Simultaneously, it’s trying to get information about what is happening locally since we live in the suburbs of Chicago. It was a waiting game… Are we next?

Images of people suffering, people covered in ash, paper falling everywhere and heartbreak will never leave my mind and will be part of the legacy I leave to my future children.

Days and weeks passed as students learned of loved ones who had passed, survived, or were flying that day. Everyone was still on edge and prayed for the everyday heroes of 9/11 that we take for granted, firefighters, police officers and most importantly, each other. We have the ability to do extraordinary things for each other, but we didn’t truly become a team or start depending on each other as much until we needed each other. A lesson that we need to learn is to allow others to help us (it’s my first long post with the letter all over again).

It didn’t hit home for me until a few weeks later when we had our annual Meet me at the pole day. It is a national day, but many students don’t act on it. That last Wednesday of the month of September 2001 will forever impact me. It was the largest Meet me at the pole day that I have ever seen and to see fellow Christian students engaging made me realize that I am truly not alone in where I am and what I am doing. God is with me and my brothers and sisters in Christ are with me. We are not Baptists, Methodists,  etc. We are not defined by our religious beliefs. We are the church of God.

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