Friday, November 13, 2009

Who needs a phone??? Me, of course!

Well, as cell phone tactics go, we have been suckered in, again!! I think this is going to join my pet peeve list...

Our cell contract was up - we were eligible for new phones. Of course, the free ones were cheesy. So, after 2.5 hours of research (yes! the OCD in me), 1.5 hours in the store (ugh! we finally left), and 3 days later, the new phones arrived. Understand, I purposely chose phones that did NOT require a data package or internet. I don't NEED to check my email or update my FB status from a handheld.

I call to activate my phone - no problem. Spent several hours learning the features, updating contacts, etc. Then call back to activate the spouse's phone, at which point I am told these phones now carry a mandatory data package - I could have screamed. Actually, I think I did.

I went through the whole process with the customer service rep that I chose that phone b/c it didn't need it. Well, $10/month per phone is now added to the bill. We are totally trying to simplify our lifestyles - which is one of the main reasons we moved to NC. I don't need all this fancy stuff. But, now I feel like I'm stuck - want to know why? Yep, you guessed it, I like the darn phone!

Back up a few days.....we have seriously been going through our finances and looking at ways to live more simply and be more generous. We looked at our satellite tv package and knocked off about $30/month by dropping the movie channels and the sports package....they have seldom been used since the O Show has arrived! We are also dropping our mail-movie rental which is another $10/month. And, we are looking at other things as well...

So, technically, you could say that I've cut back in other areas and the phone shouldn't be that big of a deal, but I guess I'm just feeling convicted about it (and ripped off since they changed the package after I bought the thing!)

I'm not sure what to do - a wise young youth told me if I'm feeling guilty I should return it. Hmmmm....out of the mouths of babes.

I'm not sure what to do yet, I have 30 days to return it. I'm thinking of keeping it and making it my Christmas present, but not sure. On top of that , the bluetooth compatibility feature in my car is, you guessed it, NOT compatible with this phone. And, bluetooth is the best feature - it is so much safer.

The Bible tells me my treasures are stored in heaven, so is my phone becoming a treasure? Do I need to go back to the old one (which works perfectly fine!)?

Oh, the dilemmas.....

In His Grip,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A ripped sail, but still sailing....

Have you ever felt like the wind has been taken out of your sails? Like they have been slashed, your boat overturned and you are sinking? It happened to me today - I'm in recovery mode and happy to say, I'm recovering quickly. Allow me to briefly explain....

Several months ago someone gave a us a generous gift. A situation arose where someone else could use the gift more than us; so we paid it forward. No big I thought.

Today, the person who gave us the gift found out we didn't use it; the situation was explained, but the person just didn't get it. I literally felt the wind rip my sail down. NOT because of the act of giving, but because the person didn't get that someone else needed it more than we did.

I suppose this bothers me because for the last several weeks at church we have been listening to a series on financial peace, simplifying our lives and being more generous. And, even though this event happened several months ago AND the person who gave the gift has not had the benefit of hearing the sermons, I still almost got angry. I say almost, because I caught see, we're also studying forgiveness in our youth group.

Almost as quick as the anger rose, all the scriptures we have looked up on forgiveness began running through my mind. No, I couldn't quote them, but I know God calls me to be forgiving, just as He forgives me. I took several deep breaths, squelched the anger and composed myself.

I think disappointment is the emotion I'm feeling. I know in life people are always going to disappoint us; and, I think it is ok to have high expectations of certain behaviors, it just makes the fall harder. This is why I remind myself to put my trust and faith in God. He will never disappoint, fail or mislead me. And, He is always willing to forgive, so it is something I should learn to do as well.

The sail has been repaired and being re-hoisted as I type.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Family time on the Blue Ridge Parkway

I have said it before, but, I say it again - I have been blessed. Today, I spent the good part of the afternoon with Al and the O Show on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. It was an amazing day filled with laughter, good food, great scenery, and good photos (Thanks to Val!)

God's beautiful creation never ceases to amaze me, and today was just outstanding. What a great day! Thank you Lord for the many blessings you have placed in my life!

Here are some photos of the day - I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

To Miele` or Not....

So, those of you who know me, know that I am an appliance snob....can't help it! I like a nice kitchen, I want it to be functional and practical and I want it to WORK! (ok, looking good helps!).

When we built our second house, I found the German appliance maker, Miele....LOVE it! I bought a dishwasher (THE quietest on the market), a gas cook top and a coffee system (not maker, mind you). Great appliances - and fulfills all the needs of the kitchen. I'll admit they are a little pricey, but I have no problem paying for quality IF it works and lasts forever.

When we moved to NC, I opted for the same appliances - all is great thus far, working on year 3. However, I have now become so accustomed to them, I am pining for a Miele vacuum cleaner...

I have done more research on vacuums than anyone else, except probably the Rainbow sales rep. I am having a hard time choking down the fee it costs to clean my floors; at these prices, the thing should come with a robot to push it around the house.

I'm working a few extra hours this week to begin the vacuum fund; which is kind of slow going, since I only work one day a week! At this rate, the dust, dander, and goodness knows what else will be multiplying on my floors before the thing ever makes it to my doorstep.

My friend, C.J., thinks I'm crazy to spend this kind of money on stuff...and, he's probably right. But, I'm hoping I never have to buy them again. Of course, it doesn't help that he is friend's with Al and they are making fun of me together. I'm using the angle that the BABY needs a clean environment (lol); he's not telling me no, but he is definitely rolling his eyes. This is why I love him - he just lets me do my thing and loves me anyway. Besides, I don't hear Al complaining about his coffee system!

Hmmmmm......little does he know that the Miele washer and dryer are next on my list!! Poor guy.

In His Grip,

Monday, October 19, 2009

The O Show had a Show!

Sunday, October 4, The O Show was baptized. Technically, I look at is as a christening/dedication, because I believe she needs to make that choice on her own. But.....the Methodists call it a baptism. It's all semantics to me.
I believe we were all coming together as the Body of Christ to commit to raising her in God's ways.
Family travelled far to attend this momentous occasion for us. To the left is Granny Newkirk, Al and the O Show after the blessed event. Granny travelled from Monroe, Louisiana. Al's sister Debra, her husband, Dwight, and our niece, Alyson travelled from Knoxville, Tennessee.

Melanie, my youngest sister, travelled from Pensacola. Here she is feeding the O Show some sweet potatoes.

My older sister, Stacie, and her husband, Harry, travelled from Las Vegas, Nevada. Here they are at the airport...

Mom and Dad travelled from Pensacola, Florida as well. No pictures - they refuse!! :(

O's Godfather, Tom, also travelled from Pensacola - we were so thankful he made the trip. He and O developed a great bond; although I'm a bit nervous about their relationship. He is threatening to teach her things, that perhaps, in error, I have taught his daughter!! You know, shopping, make-up, handbags, shoes, and the list goes on!!
It was a wonderful time, and I'm so thankful to everyone who travelled. We hosted a small reception at our home for our friends and family. We were so honored to have so many people show their support. We appreciate all of these people who have been a support system to us. We are so blessed to have friends who will be there for us while the O is growing up!
God is so good! Check out her formal pictures at
In His Grip,

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Where have I been?

Oh my!! I haven't blogged in two weeks!! I have been busy, busy! I will tell you about my week another day. Right now, I have to share what I've learned from my Bible lesson today....

I suffer from a small amount of anxiety - my brain goes 90 to nothing. I can think of the most bizarre scenarios - frightening, scary, funny, name it. I have learned that satan is the author of this confusion, and I, with the Lord's help, can call him out and cast him down.

So, with the arrival of the O Show, my anxiety levels have gone up a little. Things as simple as help me make sure I dress her warm enough to more complicated issues like kidnapping, losing her, accidents, etc. have crossed my mind more times than I care to share. I am learning to pray the following daily: "Lord, help me not to live in fear of possible dangers, but help me to live in the joy and peace of knowing you are in control."

Tonight, I read Matthew 18- Christ is telling the disciples how precious children are to Him - how He cherishes them, and then in verse 10, the most precious words I have heard now come to life for me...."their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." My baby has an angel in heaven that is constantly in the presence of the King!! This is almost liberating for me! She is precious to the King of Kings, to the Almighty, our Father! I am going to write these words on my heart - satan can't get a foothold any longer!

In His Grip,


Thursday, September 24, 2009

How's your prayer life?

Honestly, sometimes I struggle in this realm....sure, I offer up the obligatory thank yous, please pray for so and so, forgive me for my sins...blah, blah, blah. I wonder if that's what God hears sometimes from us? I know He doesn't, but I know He longs for us to really have meaningful prayer time. Communication with Him is how we learn more about Him. Sometimes, it is a one-way conversation. I don't take the time to BE QUIET and listen to what He has to say to me!!

Webster's defines prayer as a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession; a devout petition to God.

Spiritual communion? I need lots of practice! What I learned today....prayerless lives = powerless lives. Prayerful lives = powerful lives (thanks Beth Moore!). Prayer turns cowards into conquerors, and constant (get that, constant) communication with Christ give me a continual supply of spiritual strength.

In Matthew 6 Jesus goes out to pray all night - imagine, praying all night. The Greek word for this is dianuktereuo which translates to endure a task through the night; staying/toiling at a task all night.

Have you ever endured praying through the night? Or for even more than 5 minutes? My prayer this week is that I will endure; that I will be on my knees, humbling myself, releasing my pride, and communicate with my Creator. I suppose I'll even be quiet and listen!

In His Grip,