Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Days 4 and 5

Day 4: I am thankful for the ability to be a blessing to others.  It wasn't that long ago that Pat and I were on the receiving end of people's generousity and it can be a very humbling thing.  I am grateful that God has blessed us with much so that we can help out those who are in the same spot we remember so vividly.

Day 5: I am thankful for my job.  When I first started at Citibank I knew nothing about mortgages or the process.  I have now been with the company for almost 2 years and although there were some parts that were challenging, I am grateful to have a job and for the opportunity of growth within the company.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A month of gratitude

Since everyone else is doing it, I'm going to as well.  I am going to post something I'm thankful for every day until Thanksgiving.  I am a few days late but here we go:

1. I am thankful to have a God that loves me enough to take care of me in every circumstance of my life.  I am thankful to the people the first shared God's love with me and to those who I've looked to for leadership and guidance when God seemed to be so far away.  I know that God is love and I am grateful that he is a generous God that gives way more than we could ever ask.

2. I am thankful for friends.  Some of our best friends we met when Pat and I first started dating and even though they haven't lived close to us for a little over 8 years, when we see them it feels as though they've never left.  I love their kids as my own and couldn't ask for a more sincere friendship in them.  I know that when I need someone to talk to I can always rely on her to give me what I need to hear and not just what I want to hear.  I am grateful they they are God-loving friends that have helped steer Pat and myself down the right path numerous times.

3. I am grateful that we live in a state that we can experience all 4 seasons.  Sure, I like some of the seasons more than others but each one I like for different reasons.  I love winter and the cold.  I love how pretty everything is covered in a blanket of snow and how quiet everything is.  I love that everything is decorated so pretty for Christmas and the ambiance of the holiday season.  I love spring because it signifies new life.  I love how green and fresh everything is, the flowers are in full bloom and make the spring so colorful and beautiful.  I love summer because of the long days, the extra time I get to spend with the kiddos, and of course swimming.  Fall is by far my favorite.  I love the cool nights and mornings with the warm days.  I love the colors of fall, fall fashions (even though I'm not fashionable), the smells of fall with the pumpkin scents and the smell of fire pits.  I love the crunching of leaves that have fallen to the ground.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Everything happens exactly as intended!

Reflecting on my married life, I often wonder if we got married too young. I remember

telling one of Pat’s friends the week he proposed, “If he’s planning on proposing, tell him

to forget it, I’m going to say no”. Pat and I met when we were 18, got engaged at 19,

and I was 21 when we got married. We had our first baby when I was 22 and our second

when I was 24. I love Pat with all my heart and sometimes we talk about how everything

came about and wonder if we still would have gotten married, or even stayed together for

that matter if we hadn’t felt forced to get married so young. We have been married for

almost 9 years now and believe me, we have definitely had our struggles. Often times

people tell us we “work well together” or we make a great team. Pat says he doesn’t like

that phrase or that saying, but personally I love when people tell us that. I feel like we

know each other better now than we did 12 years ago and we’ve grown closer through

the struggles that we’ve had. Being married is hard and it takes a lot of work, dedication,

and sacrifice. You ever heard of the 7 year itch? Yeah, that’s totally accurate. We had

been together for 7 years when we started having some serious problems. It was right

after Alaina was born. I felt trapped because I was at home all the time, babysitting

and being with my kids, which I am grateful I was able to do, while Pat was able to be

out working and talking to other adults and going to school. We started having major

problems, some that people know about and some that people don’t. Through that time

it was rough, I wasn’t sure we were going to make it. I have learned so much about love,

forgiveness, mercy, grace, sacrifice, and gratitude just from being married. I realize now

that even though I wasn’t sure if we got married too young, God was always there by our

side. He got us through the difficult times, taught us how to love each other more than

we ever imagined we could, and we have matured, forgiven, loved, and had more fun

together than we could have hoped for. I can’t imagine my life without Pat. He is such a

great father, a fabulous husband, friend, and coach. I am so happy he chose me and look

forward to spending the rest of our lives learning, loving, growing, and enjoying our time

together. I love you Pat, more than you could ever imagine.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I know I can't be the only one

Have any of you ever felt like you're going through something that will never end?  You just keep thinking, it can't last much longer because you feel like you've been going through it forever.  Pat and I have had many hard times throughout our marriage whether it was financially, spiritually, relationally, etc.  We know what it's like to go through rough patches and it always seems like it will last forever when you're going through it.  Once it's over though and you look back on it you wonder what you were freaking out about because it either doesn't seem that bad after you've made it through or it wasn't didn't last as long as you thought it did.  I know we can't be the only ones like this.

It started a year ago, in October of 2012.  We were doing well for ourselves, God had blessed us.  We were both working great jobs, we were able to finally start saving money for the things we've wanted since we had gotten married.  We had started building a house and I was so excited about my dream of having our own home was finally going to happen.  At the end of October, Pat lost his job with Monsanto.  We were still blessed as he was able to stay home with Alaina and spend more time with her, he learned how to cook, he was keeping up with the housework and doing everything he could at home while I was working hours and hours of overtime at work.  We were still optimistic.  One month led into the next and the next and the next.  FInally we got to the point where our savings was drained and he had been searching for a job for 6 months.  Nothing changed, we were still going to church, praying, serving, trusting in God's plan for our lives.  We got the news that we were not going to be able to get the home that we had built, and I was heartbroken, devistated.  I had to change my perspective and realize we are in fact still blessed.  We have a happy, healthy family, a nice house within our means, and God is still taking care of us even if we can't see it.

Finally after 6 months of searching, he finally landed a job.  He's been with Ascension since March of this year and we were so excited for him to start working again.  Somehow though, things haven't seemed to turn around.  For an entire year it seems like we've been strapped, stressed, and overwhelmed.  What's changed?  Nothing!  We apparently changed our perspective at some point in time and forgot to count our blessings and look at the things we should be grateful for.

For the remainder of the year, I am going to choose to focus on the positive.  To be grateful for the things we have instead of wishing or wanting the things we don't have.  In Novemeber I'm going to do the things I'm thankful for each day up until Thanksgiving.

Jeremiah 29:10-14  - I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.
“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.  “Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree.  “I’ll turn things around for you..."

Sunday, August 4, 2013


So as most of you know, I work for Citimortgage.  They offer one day off paid per year to volunteer.  You can sign up for an organization through them or you can volunteer for one on your own.  With being so incredibly busy last year I was unable to take advantage of this opportunity.  I decided to use my volunteer day this year since we have slowed down a little.  I decided to sign up to help out at the Crisis Nursery.  The description stated that we would be stuffing backpacks with school supplies for them to hand out.  I thought to myself, that seems easy and it will be air conditioned.

The thing about volunteering is it often changes the person volunteering more than the ones being helped.  I have consistently been volunteering in church since I was 18 and I have mainly worked with children but I have done a little of everything: cleaning, office work, praise band, teaching, greeting, etc.

So there were supposed to be 12 of us volunteering for the Crisis Nursery and only 10 of us showed up.  It was hot, stuffy, little room to move around, and they had more work for us than we expected.  Two of the girls left early so that left 9 of us to sort out clothes and go through about 3,000 canned goods from a recent canned food drive.  Did I mention it was hot?  All I kept thinking about was how thirsty I was and how I couldn't wait to be finished.  So we finish sorting and marking all the canned foods and ask if there is anything else to be done.  The director asked us to throw away all the expired cans and then we could go.  We finished an hour early!  When we were leaving one of the other volunteers said, "this was such a joy!" With a smile on her face.  It made me think...when did volunteering become a "job" for me?  When did it lose its feeling of doing something kind for someone else without needing/expecting something in return?  This has been on my heart all week, to remember why I choose to volunteer and its true significance.  It's not about me!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Thought provoking message

So this morning I woke up late to my husband shaking me awake and rushing around getting ready for church.  Here I am thinking I have plenty of time because I set my alarm last night giving me exactly 1 hour to get ready for church.  I casually grab my phone, look at the time and it showed I had 15 minutes to get ready and I desperately needed a shower.  I hopped in the shower and told Pat I would meet up with him and the kids at church.  I went about my normal morning routine sans kiddos and was rushing so much that I was now sweating, defeating the purpose of showering.  Then, I walk out into the garage remembering Pat told me he was taking the corolla so I get to drive the Yaris to church..."what's the big deal" you ask.  Well the Yaris is a manual transmission and even though I can drive a manual, I am not 100% comfortable doing so, especially if there are hills involved.  So, I get in the car, drive to church and to my surprise did not kill it at all!  I walk into the building a little grumpy and sweaty (so e from rushing to get ready and some from having to drive a manual 5 miles).  I am greeted by smile after smile and I walk into the auditorium and find a seat.  Have you ever had one of those days where you are crabby, you don't really want to talk to anyone or be noticed?  That is the kind of morning I was having.  So, I sit down and there are probably 4 empty seats between myself and the next person in my row.  As soon as I sit down the woman starts talking to me and me, being the good Christian I am, pulled out my checkbook and pretended to be busy while answering her questions.  I pulled out my phone to text Pat where I was sitting as the music was starting.  I stand up and start singing even though I didn't feel like it.  The music was phenomenal.  Suddenly I could feel my heart and attitude change.  I went from being crabby and self centered to being incredibly grateful and God centered.  As the music continued and I was singing I started focusing on God instead of my morning and it changed my attitude.  When the songs were over I greeted the people around me and even hugged the woman I had never met sitting next to me in my row.  As I sat and listened to the message it really stirred in my heart today.  Pastor was talking about how we are like Veruca Salt from Willie Wonka and we want things and want them now.  I started thinking back about my morning and realized I was crabby because things hadn't gone my way or the way I thought they should have.  I took a step back to examine my heart during our singing and realized the lady I sat next to, the one I was "too busy" to talk to may have really just needed someone to listen.  What if it was her first time at church?  What if everyone she came into contact with treated her the way I did?  Am I comfortable with being known as that kind of person?  Absolutely not.  I want to be known for being compassionate, loving, a good listener, etc.  I zoned in on Pastors message and he was telling the story of Achen and how if be could have waited a little bit longer the thing that he wanted could have been his along with more.  God wants to give us more than we could ever imagine but will not give it to us out of disobedience.  Pastor talked about sex and why it's important to wait until marriage.  Growing up in a catholic household, I wasn't really ever taught much about sex.  I knew you weren't supposed to do it until you were married but no one ever told me why it was so important or special to wait.  Unfortunately I did not wait until marriage and was sexually active at a young age.  Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have waited.  I pray that Pat and I educate our kids about why its important and special to wait for your spouse.  For some reason out o he message that was given today, which was excellent by the way, this really stuck with me.  I immediately thought of 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 where it talks about sexual immorality and being "bound" to the ones you "sleep with".  YIKES!  Thank goodness for mercy, grace, an forgiveness.  My past is anything but perfect but Jesus is perfect and this is why I am so thankful for God being the God of 2nd chances.  1 John 4:9 states that if we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  My past has made me who I am today, I made many mistakes and thankfully learned from them.  I am so thankful that God saves us right where we are but loves us enough not to leave us there.  I no longer feel guilty about my past but plan to use my experiences and mistakes to help guide an teach my children to do things differently.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Long time no post

Well well well,

I have not posted in quite a long time.  Things have changed but are still going well!  We are now into summer time and Alaina is so excited to start Kindergarten this year!  Declan has been going to camp through his daycare and took the test to be able to swim in the deep end of the pool without a lifejacket and passed the test!!!  He has been playing baseball and loving every minute of it.  He played the spring session and just started the Summer session.  Alaina has made it known that she wants to do gymnastics and soccer so we were thinking gymnastics this summer and soccer in the fall.  Life is so busy and I cannot believe how old my "babies" are getting.

As far as Pat and I, we are still seeking God's will for our lives and trying to figure out what it is he wants us to do.  I am still working at Citibank as a processor and he is now working for a non-profit healthcare organization.  Both of us are doing well and we've gotten into a good routine with our work-life schedules.  Almost every weekend, we have been going to Six Flags to have some good family-fun time.  We have met many new friends at church and continue to grow daily in our relationship with each other as well as our relationships with God.

Declan is getting baptized on June 29th at 5:00 at Element church and we'd love for all of you to join us.  We are so excited that he has decided to follow Christ!