Saturday, February 25, 2012

Week Eight in Review

Whew, I am glad this week is coming to an end.  To say this was a crazy week at work would be an understatement.  This week was my site visit from my national funder.  While it wasn't particularly stressful having them here (I've worked with them for years), there were lots of little details that had to be addressed.  Add the short week to that and you have a recipe for stress.  It's also a somewhat strange time at work.  I have a project I was hired to work on but lately, almost everything I've been working on is for something else.  I also keep getting asked to do things before I'm finished with what was previously requested.  And everything has to be completed ASAP.  Really!?  There's only one of me and I only have so many hours in my workday.  Of course, that's a bone of contention around my office right now.  There are a couple of employees (our ED included) who work tons of hours and don't understand why the rest of us don't seem to be willing to.  I come in at 8:30 or so and work until 5:00 or 5:30 with the occasional longer day.  I'm sorry, I don't have much of a life but I guard my free time closely and I'm not going to feel guilty about it.  It makes life tense at work sometimes.  Hopefully it will slow down a little.

I did get to start the week with Sarah in town.  That was fun since I love having her visit.  I also get to enjoy the fruits of her visit since she usually cooks at least once and I have the leftovers available.  Trust me, if you ever have the option to have a pasta dish she prepares, especially if it has shrimp in it, take the opportunity. Sarah is one of those gifted people who can put in "a little of this and a little of that" and make an amazing dish.  If I tried that, the outcome would be inedible.  Being able to count on recipes are why baking is my forte. :-)

This week was also tough eating-wise.  I ended up eating out at least one meal four of the five workdays this week.  While I made the healthiest choices possible in most instances, it's still richer than I'm used to and not friendly for weight loss.  Oh well, I guess that's the way life works and I'll just get back to healthy eating this week.

I've moved into Numbers this week in my year through the Bible and it's always my toughest book.  But, in the first five chapters, I noticed less of the numbers and more of God's attention to detail.  I never really thought about the fact that while they were traversing the wilderness, the Tabernacle had to be taken down, packed away, protected and then re-set-up when they encamped somewhere.  God specified which of the tribes did what and who was responsible for what part of the Tabernacle's furnishings.  Truthfully, I wouldn't have wanted to be responsible for the Ark of the Covenant.  Can you imagine the stress?  I also noticed today that the census was done for the purposes for providing for the Levites' needs.  You paid an offering based on your "value" before the Lord.  Again, God taking care of ALL the details.

I promise I have a book review coming.  The book, "The Search Committee" wasn't a good book so I'm having trouble motivating myself to write the review.  Maybe I should see what else Tyndale House has so a new book can give me motivation.  I am reading "Just a Minute" by Wess Stafford and have "Beauty for Ashes" on deck so I definitely am not lacking for reading material.

You know, I have no idea who reads these posts but in reality, they're more for me than anyone else.  Sure, I'd love to have lots of readers but I have no illusions that my life is that interesting.  :-)  I do like the outlet to put my thoughts in written form.  Hopefully this week will be a little calmer and I can get the book review and at least one other blog on paper instead of rolling around in my head.  Until next time...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Week Seven in Review

So, another week down and I'm sleepy.  Of course, the gentle rain outside doesn't help - it's sleeping weather.  This was a good week, just tiring. I had lots of meetings.  Again.  I tire of them quickly.  Fortunately, one of my meetings was cancelled so that made Wednesday better.  I did at least feel productive about the work week - I got things moved from my to-do list to the done category so that helped me feel productive.  I also taught four Princeton Review classes this week.  That adds to the fatigue factor.  I have really smart students and many nights my brain hurts after finishing a class.  I have a few who probably won't ever get into med school but most are destined for the med school of their choice and most will probably be very good doctors.

This coming week is slated to be busy.  It's a short week - will enjoy my Monday holiday but not the extra work on Tuesday.  I have my project's site visit this week.  My national funders are coming to town and there are lots of little details that have to be worked out.  Most are already done but being a perfectionist means I'm checking and double-checking lists.  I'll be glad when Thursday night arrives and we're done.   I have no worries about the visit itself just the preparation for it.  Fortunately, I have no teaching during the evenings this week so I can come home and chill.

I did get to top this week off by a visit from Sarah.  Since she has a long weekend too, she drove up this morning.  We did our regular Farmers' Market swing to pick up dinner for tomorrow night and then saw "This Means War," a new rom-com that guys will actually enjoy.  It's two CIA agents fighting over the same girl.  It's cute and funny - you have to suspend your disbelief in some of the scenes but it was an enjoyable afternoon.  We ended our day with dinner at The Flying Biscuit, a funky restaurant here in ATL.  Yummy food and an eclectic environment.

Week Seven was interesting in my Bible reading plan too.  I finished Exodus and moved into Leviticus.  I have a love/hate relationship with Leviticus.  I often dread the monotony of the sacrifices but I always amazed at the detail God provided to Moses.  Each sacrifice was meticulously explained to Moses before it was implemented and Aaron was expected to perform it.  I also walk away amazed that the Israelites never ran out of animals to sacrifice.  Sure they were an agricultural society but these had to be unblemished animals and there were SO MANY sacrifices.  God as usual was the provider for even that detail.  Of course it goes without saying that I also walk away so thankful that Jesus took the punishment for my sins and I don't have to worry about a priest sacrificing an animal on my behalf.

I managed to somehow lose three pounds this week.  I know it happens that way, suddenly you have a major loss but considering I didn't do anything differently this week, I was surprised to see the scale this morning.  Thankful for the encouragement of seeing the numbers move downward.  It has helped to view the journey as a spiritual one instead of a diet or weight loss journey.  It gives me new ways to think about fighting temptation.

Since it's late, I'm heading to bed - I have a good book going and the rain is making me very, very sleepy.  I have a book review coming up (I really disliked the book) as well as another random blog post.  We'll see how quickly those get posted.  :-)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Week Six in Review

I can't believe another week has gone by.  I got to Friday and was asking where the week went.  Of course, since spent much of it in meetings, that's probably why I lost track.  I really dislike meetings so being stuck in at least one four out of the five days this week was an annoyance.  But, it appears I'll just have to get used to it since I have more meetings scheduled for this coming week.  Oh well, at least I have a job that I enjoy (at least most of the time).

Food wise, I did pretty well.  I lost a little over a pound so I'm down below where I was when I measured at my parent's house over MLK weekend.  I'm starting to notice it in my clothes so that's an added motivation.  Hoping to keep it up.  So far, I think it is helping my efforts to think of this as a lifestyle change, focusing on healthy eating and wise choices, as opposed to a "diet."  I really don't feel like I'm depriving myself of the things I enjoy, I'm just making better choices about what I'm eating.  And, planning ahead so I'm not having to come up with meal ideas on the fly.

Week six was interesting in terms of Bible reading.  I started Exodus this week and two things are standing out so far.  First, I think this was the first time I noticed that God set up the Israelites to plunder the Egyptians.  He didn't just save them from the Egyptians, he set them up to have the Egyptians GIVE them stuff (gold, valuables, etc.).  How cool is that?  He knew they would need the gold and valuable so He provided a way.  Wonder if that was the gold they used to build the Ark of the Covenant and the altar?  The second thing I noticed was the extreme attention to detail God had when dealing with the Israelites.  In the laws He gave, there were specifics for so many different scenarios, He obviously considered all the situations the Israelites might find themselves in.  Then when you look at the details for the construction of the Tabernacle and everything to be included there, it is obvious that God cares about the details.  It shows the importance of the Tabernacle but it also reminds me of how Jesus took the responsibility for my sins and make the details of the Tabernacle and the sacrifices within obsolete.  Thankful for that truth!

I'm working on another Pintrest project but this one isn't as simple so I'm not sure when the results will make a blog experience.  I may have to try a couple more options before I'm satisfied.  I have a problem with perfectionism. :-)

Okay, I'm off to bundle back up under my blankets since winter has returned with a vengeance and it's cold!  I love winter but this is chilly even for me. Looking forward to Sarah coming next weekend.  Week Seven's entry might be short since she and I will be having fun visiting with each other.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Week Five in Review

Wow!  I cannot believe it is already February!  Of course since we haven't had much of a winter, it's hard to believe it's actually the middle of winter.  I'm actually kind of sad because I like cold weather.  But, I am looking on the bright side...lower gas bills!  My biggest concern is how bad allergy season might be for those like me who are allergic to everything that blooms in Springtime.  I don't want to be miserable from late February until May.  I wouldn't mind a frost or two before the end of March!

This was another long week.  I started with crazy schedule last Sunday and it kept up all week - taught Sunday afternoon, Tuesday night after work, was at work at 7:15 on Thursday then taught Thursday night.  Needless to say, this blog post is the only thing that has required thought on my part since yesterday after work.  Fortunately tomorrow is a week I don't have to serve at church so I can sleep in a little tomorrow too.  Another fortunate thing is that my only night out this week is City Group - no teaching except tomorrow afternoon.  Yay for the little things like evenings at home.

Even though this was a crazy week, I still lost 1.2 pounds!  I am almost back to where I was the middle of January!  I guess it proves that as long as you plan ahead and make wise choices when you can't plan ahead, you can stay on the program.  I'm noticing my bad habits are less and less enjoyable so I'm less likely to fall into them.  I fell into it last night and had Chick-Fil-A for dinner and was miserable all night.  My system just doesn't like the junk food anymore so I'm staying away from it.  Still getting the hang of "dinner" for lunch but it is helpful to be able to come home and have an easy-to-prepare dinner.  It makes "cheating" or lazy eating less likely.

Spiritually it was a trying week - I'm struggling where I am right now professionally but can't be completely open in a public forum.  I realize it's my mission field but it's not that easy.  I want to share my faith but no one wants to listen or would be offended if I talk about ministry.  Trust me, offending would happen - I can tell from other conversations.  I'm praying through some decisions that have to come in the next couple of months.  If you want more details about how you can pray, email me and I'll share - I just can't do it here.

I have another Pintrest project to complete but I can't until it gets less humid outside and I can put the Modge Podge on it and let it dry.  The smell of Modge Podge is NOT something you want inside.  I am off to finish my week's Bible reading and then watch some TV I recorded this week.  One more book review coming soon - it's just been a tough book to get into.

Love On The Line - Book Review

Back of the Book:  Rural switchboard operator Georgie Gail is proud of her independence in a man's world ... which makes it twice as vexing when the telephone company sends a man to look over her shoulder.  Dashing Luke Palmer is more than he appears though. He's a Texas Ranger working undercover to infiltrate a notorious gang of train robbers. Repairing telephones and tangling with this tempestuous woman is the last thing he wants to do. But when his stakeout puts Georgie in peril, he realizes more than his job is on the line.

Synopsis: Georgie Gail is a switchboard operator living in Texas in the early 1900’s. She loves her job and her community. She definitely has an independent streak, doing a “man’s job” while living alone as a single woman. Into her idyllic world comes Luke Palmer, an undercover TX Ranger. Luke is working as telephone lineman and becomes Georgie’s boss. Luke’s plan is to gain enough intelligence in the town to lead him to the notorious Frank Comer train robbing gang. He befriends town members and at the same time, annoys Georgie no end. She’s not used to having someone looking over her shoulder. As Luke spends more time in the town, both Luke and Georgie lower their defenses and befriend each other. A crisis in Georgie’s life brings her and Luke closer together. Note…stopping synopsis here to avoid giving away the ending.:-)

My Review: I loved this book! I had never read anything by Deanne Gist before but I’m glad I took the chance. The storyline was interesting and once I got started, I wanted to keep reading. Georgie Gail is a strong independent woman without being overbearing and annoying. You also got to see her tender side, caring for birds outside her home and for Bettina, the daughter of the town drunk. I can identify with her independent, progressive “before her time” personality. I also liked Luke’s character; though gruff and serious, he cares deeply about his job and grows to care deeply for Georgie. Gist has created a mix of a mystery and romance that is quite entertaining. The story had enough intrigue to keep me reading and wanting more. I also started thinking about a twist midway through the novel and lo and behold, Gist threw in the twist. I also appreciate a story that finishes strong like this one does. Instead of forcing the ending, Gist ends the story and then includes an epilogue instead of having to reach too far. This also reads more like a regular fiction novel rather than a syrupy, sappy romance novel. The book also manages to have spiritual overtones without being preachy or unrealistic. Good book and I can’t wait to find more of Gist’s work.

Score: 4.5 bookmarks out of 5.

Note:  Bethany House Publishers provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.