Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jon & Kate and other marriage thoughts...

I know, I know, I'm not married so my first-hand knowledge on this topic is limited. But, I am a Christ-follower and there are several Biblical points that will follow my opinions.

Unless you've been under a rock for the last six months, you know who Jon and Kate are. Sadly, as of Monday, their 10-year, 8 kid marriage is over. I don't even begin to think I know who is at fault or what the whole story is. But, I know from watching their specials and then "Jon & Kate plus 8" that they are not the same couple who started the specials. It really appears on TV that the money, fame and hassle of TV changed them. It would be so nice if they had told TLC at the very beginning of the trouble that they were taking a break from the show to work out their marriage difficulties. Instead, they let it play out on national TV and the marriage suffered fatally. It's doubly sad because they professed to be Christians and couldn't make it work. It's just so sad.

And then today comes the bombshell that the idiot governor of SC, Mark Sanford, a Republican darling, disappeared to Argentina to consummate an affair with a mistress. Seriously!? What the heck was he thinking? He violated his wife, his children and his mistress. Hopefully the family can work this out and this marriage can be saved.

This all leads to interesting thoughts on marriage. Satan is wily and knows full well how to attack a marriage. What I don't understand is how people can put themselves in situations like the governor of SC did. Isn't marriage sacred? Again, I'm not married so I can't speak fully but I know plenty of men and women who care enough about their marriage that they protect themselves in a variety of ways. They have internet filters to protect against porn,are never alone with a person of the opposite sex, avoid questionable movies/shows, etc. and have open, accountability partners to help keep them in line. Why don't more marriage counselors recommend this sort of thing, especially Christian counselors?

I know there are times when divorce is inevitable but I also know that all too many couples, Christians included, get out of a marriage the minute things get tough. Umm, excuse me, but don't the vows say "for better or for worse?" I lost a friend because I couldn't support her decision to divorce her husband. There was no cheating, no abuse, just a desire on her part to not be married. I just couldn't support that. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through but I know it was the right stand to take.

All in all, it's just sad to me that so many couples are struggling with divorce. God hates divorce for a reason. As the whole world is seeing through Jon and Kate, no one "wins" in divorce. I think the best course of action for Christians is to pray for each other, pray for marriages (your own and others) and pray that we as Christians would learn to support those struggling in marriage to help prevent more statistics.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Prayer Requests

I have a couple of prayer requests for the prayer warriors out there:

1. Diligence for completing my dissertation - I am so tired of the project and SO ready to be finished that it is difficult to focus most nights. Please pray that God will give me the clear, focused mind to work diligently each day to complete this process.

2. A new job - please pray God will provide a clear, obvious job in my field for me. I still haven't heard from the reservation (is that an answer in and of itself?) but with the end of school, an additional large bill will start being due each month so I need a job that pays more than I make now. If something doesn't come through, a second job will be necessary.

3. I found out today that I may be maxed out on financial aid so bills could get really tight for fall if a new job doesn't materialize. Please pray that God will provide in some manner only He can.

I know God will provide and has a plan that is more awesome than I can imagine. I have to be diligent to find the position that God has for me to best use the gifts and abilities that He has given me. I want to be in the place where He can best use me for His glory. My human side just wants to know where that is. Now. :-)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Coupons, Coupons, Coupons

I have started trying to save as much money while grocery shopping as humanly possible. With gas prices up (again!) and limited financial resources, saving pennies is a good habit to get into. It also goes back to the concept of "enough." How little can I live on regardless of what my salary is?

That being the case, I have been turned on to a wonderful website: This is an AWESOME site, even more so if you live in a city with multiple grocery store chains (Publix, Kroger, Bi-Lo, etc.). Even just having Publix, the site is a huge blessing. They have the full Publix ad uploaded fresh each Wednesday and they list the penny item on Sundays. The site also has links to manufacturer's coupons that might or might not have been in the previous Sunday's paper. I spent 15 minutes at the end of the workday today looking at the site, printed a few coupons for stuff I needed and ended up saving $2.50 on items I would have purchased anyway. Since Publix doubles some coupons, I had another manufacturer's coupon and they matched a competitor's coupon I had, I saved $11.00 on my bill. Add in Publix's buy one/get one savings and I saved $16.26 on a total bill of $36.72. That got my pantry restocked on the essentials and saved money to boot.

Just a note: Publix is a GREAT chain when it comes to savings and coupons. They will stack coupons (buy one/get one and a manufacturer's coupon and competitor coupon), offer one of a buy one/get one at half-off, and honor competitor's coupons. It is worth finding their ads each week and utilizing the savings.

The funny thing about this whole concept is that some of my friends are doing this too and it's become a game: see how much you can save by clipping coupons and watching for specials. It changes the way you shop and plan because you end up eating what's on sale and what you have coupons for but it works. I'm not quite to where some of my friends are (one bought $151 worth of groceries for $65!) but I figure every little bit helps. I thought it might be a drag but when you make it a game and see the savings, it's worth the little bit of extra time.

Monday, June 1, 2009

This and That

Just have a stream of random thoughts that I don't have time to elaborate on in a full-on post. If you don't want a bunch of randomness, stop reading now. You've been warned. :-)

*We serve an awesome God! All of my support for my South Africa trip is in! God has provided so many different sources of funding for this trip; it is truly amazing to see God's provision in action. Most of my team has raised all the support they need and we have extra money that has been donated to use for supplies, medications and Bibles. I can't wait to see what God will do on this trip.

*Helped move Sarah over Memorial Day weekend. She has the cutest little house in Macon. I'm jealous of my little sis. She chose great colors for her house and she and my mom did all the painting themselves. It is a great house and she should be very happy.

*Deuteronomy is such an awesome book. It centers around God telling the Israelites "remember, don't forget." There are lots of times that I find myself in the same place the Israelites were, in a condundrum of my own making, having forgotten (again!) that God is the ultimate provider and sustainer. Hopefully while reading this go-around (I'm only on chapter 5), I can put the idea of remember, don't forget on my heart instead of just in my head.

*Still haven't heard from the indian reservation regarding a job. I'm having to trust God big-time on this one. My lease is up in a few months (August 7 to be exact) and I'm planning to extend by a month. There are very few jobs out there right now and I have to be patient and find what God has in store for me. That's the hardest part because you know me, I'd like to have known the answers yesterday.

I think that's all for now. I have another post coming once I figure out exactly what to say and how to nicely say it regarding the killer of the abortion provider.