Be Thankful on Thanksgiving

November 27, 2008

  

 

   Holidays to most of us mean errands and the tradition, but don’t forget what this day means to you. After you cooked and eaten your fill take a little time to think about the things that you are thankful for. This was posted on a blog of someone I befriended on MySpace and fell in love with the sentiment. If you feel up to it take on this challenge while the family is all together. That should help you to express all the things that go unsaid throughout the year.
 


I AM THANKFUL FOR THE WIFE
WHO SAYS IT’S HOTDOGS TONIGHT,
BECAUSE SHE IS HOME WITH ME
AND NOT OUT WITH SOMEONE ELSE.

I AM THANKFUL FOR THE HUSBAND
WHO IS ON THE SOFA BEING A COUCH POTATO,
BECAUSE HE IS HOME WITH ME
AND NOT OUT AT THE BARS.

I AM THANKFUL FOR THE TEENAGER
WHO IS COMPLAINING ABOUT DOING THE DISHES
BECAUSE THAT MEANS SHE IS AT HOME
AND NOT ON THE STREETS.

I AM THANKFUL FOR THE TAXES
THAT I PAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS
THAT I AM EMPLOYED.

I AM THANKFUL FOR THE MESS
TO CLEAN AFTER A PARTY
BECAUSE IT MEANS
THAT I HAVE BEEN SURROUNDED BY FRIENDS.

I AM THANKFUL FOR THE CLOTHES
THAT FIT A LITTLE TOO SNUG
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.

I AM THANKFUL FOR MY SHADOW
THAT WATCHES ME WORK
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I AM OUT IN THE SUNSHINE.

I AM THANKFUL FOR A LAWN
THAT NEEDS MOWING,
WINDOWS THAT NEED CLEANING,
AND GUTTERS THAT NEED FIXING,
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I HAVE A HOME.

I AM THANKFUL FOR ALL THE COMPLAINING
I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT
BECAUSE IT MEANS
THAT WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

I AM THANKFUL FOR THE PARKING SPOT
I FIND AT THE FAR END OF THE PARKING LOT
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I AM CAPABLE OF WALKING
AND THAT I HAVE BEEN
BLESSED WITH TRANSPORTATION.

I AM THANKFUL FOR MY HUGE HEATING BILL
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I AM WARM.

I AM THANKFUL FOR THE LADY
BEHIND ME IN CHURCH
THAT SINGS OFF KEY
BECAUSE IT MEANS
THAT I CAN HEAR.

I AM THANKFUL FOR THE PILE
OF LAUNDRY AND IRONING
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I HAVE CLOTHES TO WEAR.

I AM THANKFUL FOR WEARINESS AND ACHING MUSCLES
AT THE END OF THE DAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS
I HAVE BEEN CAPABLE OF WORKING HARD.

AND…

I AM THANKFUL FOR THE ALARM
THAT GOES OFF IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS
BECAUSE IT MEANS
THAT I AM ALIVE.


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Hidden Strength

November 26, 2008

   

Originally uploaded by Chris A. Campbell

 

…LL&L is supposed to be my online diary, so to speak; a chronicle of my life experiences and choices. I want to share the good the bad and ugly about myself. I’d always planned to other things too but knew that this would be a project that would challenge to come out of my comfort zone by deviling into my personal life and displaying it for anyone who cared to see. The first couple of months I experienced an inner bravery and confidence that felt new. As a social person who can experience platonic love at first sight, or contact (more internet appropriate I guess), I try so hard to be understanding. I hate when people are mean, harsh, critical, gossipy, two-faced, hypocritical back stabbers. I hate when people exclude, dismiss, belittle, look down on, and pick on people just in order to display their hysterical hierarchy. So me and LL&L have become an extremely open minded, loving, humble and patient. The cons of that is that I have lost my voice; in the pursuit of making sure that no one’s opinion is perceive as less important than my own I have stopped having opinions in general…

Exposing yourself takes strength and endurance. I do admire my strength, I have grown from a lot of difficult experiences, but I still lack… Read the whole post on my new blog Saturday Love.

Dancing with the Stars Finals

November 25, 2008

AWWWWWW!!! It’s over too soon. Season 7 of DWTS final results show airs tonight. I think over all it was a good season but I don’t feel much anticipation for tonight’s announcement; most people think that Brooke will win by a landslide. I have to choose her as my personal pick too. Last night she wowed everyone with a dangerously dynamic performance. Warren’s routine was entertaining and enjoyable as always. Lance finished with a cute little hip hop routine. Overall the group Samba number was very polished and professional. Here’s a few links if you’re interested.

Watch the full episode: http://www.hulu.com/search/dancing+with+the+stars/2

Miley’s mess and Lance’s lip service: http://news.yahoo.com/s/eonline/20081125/en_tv_eo/70513;_ylt=AkHif_N3snEvDsJLr_AxYZl2F78C

A closer look at the finalist: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-1125-ft-dancing-toppernov25,0,4572875.story

Julianne’s last season: http://www.cmt.com/news/news-in-brief/1599979/julianne-hough-not-returning-to-dancing-with-the-stars-next-season.jhtml

Dancing with the stars spoilers: http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/dancing-stars/191470

Tour and ticket info: http://www.concertticketcenter.com/Event.aspx?EventID=26463

Nothing Can Come Between Us

November 22, 2008

I can mentally beat on myself. I find myself making the same mistakes over and over again. I act childish and get very timid when I feel really scared. I wear my heart on my sleeve where it seems to take a lot of abuse by strangers and loved ones alike. People imply that I lack maturity and I find myself being advised by to change most aspects about myself by a lot of people; I take that to mean that people don’t like me for who I am and struggled to maintain self confidence. After all if the people that claim to love me only tell me what’s wrong with me and insist that I change my way of thinking and being, maybe liking myself the way I am is just denial. This past week has been really hard for me, feeling of hopelessness and fear of the future makes me want to withdraw. I’m tired of looking down so let me spiritually look up. When I see God, the perfect majestic creator, and his love for me it’s hard for me to get down on myself. God is perfect and he loves me; I should follow his example and learn to love myself unconditionally as well.

Oh how I wish it were that easy. Sometimes my mind goes on the attack with hurtful thoughts: “Of course God can love you but only because he perfect but you don’t make it easy for him”, “Yeah he’s full of grace but God can’t be mocked. You want him to love you, yet you refuse to do the things you know are right”, “It only that but it takes you to looooonnng time to learn for your mistakes or repent of your sins”, “You think that just cause you know some scriptures that you can trick him into thinking you love him.”, “He knows you better than you know yourself, he sees every sin that you don’t acknowledge and get irritated when you pray; you don’t care about how he feels you just ask him for things you want like he’s Santa Claus.”, ” Yes God use to love you but he refuses to love you any more until you repent, and let face it, you will never change so just give up now.”

Lucky for me even when I’m down I know that I cannot trust these thoughts, but when I don’t deal with them they break me down and I become of vulnerable and hopeless. Here is one of many scripture that help me with this ongoing battle in my mind.

Roman 8:35-39

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

 

For you sake we face death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

 

No, in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

To read the more of this article visit my new blog and read Nothing Can Come Between Us

holly-madisonI’m not sure why exactly I love The Girls Next Door but I got hooked early on. My husband thinks it’s ironic that women enjoy this show and I have to agree. It’s hard to articulate why I must watch every episode; All I know is that I really like the girls and enjoy watching their crazy antics and adventures. When I first watched I was surprised to see three semi normal women who came from humble beginnings participating in normal activities like working, completing their Masters, and inviting their parents to the Playboy mansion to meet their boyfriend Hef. They seemed to have genuine affection for the aging millionaire and were able to display a friendly relationship with each other.

When I first heard about Hef and his seven girlfriends I imagined none stop orgies as the gold digging hussies trying to out swindle the man who remained slyly satisfied. As I saw more coverage about Hef I was upset at I myself for the judgmental thoughts and learned to become more open minded about plural relationships. By the time I saw The Girls Next Door premier’s commercials I pretty much accepted the fact that I would watch; Flavor of Love taught me that I have a weakness for reality TV and that resistance is futile. Holly Madison, the main girlfriend, earned her way into Puffins bedroom and heart. Bridget and Kendra are equal but separate. Season after season we watched as Holly gives subtle hints about her intentions to marry Hef and have his kids, while Hef pretended to not notice. As the show progressed her persistence became more insistent and I wondered how long Holly would hold on to her hope and Hef. On Chelsea Lately she pretty much answered the question. It was pretty obvious that Holly was out the door. Soon after I heard reports that Hef denied break up allegations. But with so Holly and Chris Angel sightings he released a statement saying that if she said it over than it must be over.

Apparently even Hef’s moved on too, surprise surprise. TV is supposed to entertain you; the hidden benefit is that it exposes you to things you would not be able to see on your own. From shows like Big Love and True Blood have helped open up my little legalistic mind and helped me to appreciate other lifestyles and cultures. So maybe I would not bring it up Sunday School, but I not ashamed to watch and enjoy The Girls Next Door. Concerning the shows status no worries, Holly insistent that The Girls Next Door will return. 

happy-piggy-bank

When did the Jones become the American standard for living? I think frugality gets a bad rap because of the stereotypes associated with cheap behaviors. As a college student my dad advice me to make as much money as possible; it was good advice but it was hard to do without a degree. I followed his advice by maintaining 2-3 jobs and picking up as much over time as possible. I learned to value frugality as a nice alternative to the sacrifices I made during that time. Becoming frugal can turn into a lifestyle or can be just a tool used to help get in control of your finances. I came up with a list of tips that might help you save some pennies (hopefully at a decent interest rate).

 

  1. Dine in like you eat out– When you’re craving food from a certain restaurant go one of many copycat sites and to find the recipe. At home you can control cost and calories. Plus you can impress your friends and family. Keep healthy snacks at home and in the car so you will be less tempted to stop at the nearest fast food joint. If you’re not a health nut, buy junk food in bulk; better yet learn to make to make it from scratch.

     

  2. Switch to online bill pay– Spend less on stamps by paying your bills online or set up automatic bill pay to avoid late charges. Make a habit of routinely balancing your checking account by comparing your online statement with your register (daily is best but at least weekly). Call to cancel payment ahead of time if you are not going to have the funds for your payments; late fees are cheaper than overage charges.

     

  3. Strategic shopping– Planning out your shopping list works great for grocery shopping, but use it for clothes or any miscellaneous item. Keep a notebook of your frequent purchases and write down the different prices from the places you shop most often. Compare prices, sales papers and coupons to create a shopping list. It is somewhat time consuming in the beginning but gets easier with time.

     

     

  4. Flip the switch– Of course you already know how to turn off the lights when you leave a room, but it can take some discipline. There are lots of ways to save on your energy bill: keep used appliances unplugged (cell phone chargers consume a lot of energy), switch to CFL bulbs, wash clothes in cold water and line dry when you can, close heat vents in rooms you don’t use, buy heavy drapes (or put up plastic) to keep the cold air out.

     

  5. Consolidate car trips– Plan ahead by grouping your errands and activities together by proximity. Invest in a backpack so that if you need to pick up a few items that are just down the street, you can leave the car at home and take a walk or ride your bike.

     

     

  6. Carry your own water– Want to avoid the plastic scare, buy stainless steel containers for your family. Make sure to take them everywhere;  I’d suggets using even when your at home, washing them once a day or more often as needed. It saves you money from beverage purchases, calories from sugar, and time from washing cups.

     

  7. DIY your latte– A lot of people heard about the latte factor. If you can afford luxuries like manicures and Star$$$s, enjoy them guilt free. Just create a budget and abide by it (ex. $100/month for hair care). Supplement your routine in between appointments or purchases by learning how to Do It Yourself.

     

     

  8. Consume less– I know it’s easier said than done, but all it takes is effort: Measure out food portions according to the suggested serving size, keep a sewing kit handy or take clothes to dry cleaners for mending, organize your closet so that like items hang together ( it helps you avoid buying clothes you already have), take a shorter shower (set a timer if it helps), before you throw something away ask yourself can you repurpose it instead, ask friends for cuttings from their plants and pot them, turn off the water while you brushing your teeth and put a half a gallon water jug in the toilets tank.

     

  9. Free fun– frequent your local library for books and movies, play board games, look in the paper for free events for the family, visit site that list fun activities, plan pot lucks with friends instead of going out to eat, spend more time outside (go read at the park, have a snowball fight with the kids, buy a kite and have a picnic)

     

     

  10. Always take paper over plastic– to slow down spending come up with a spending plan that also includes fun money and only carry cash allotted. If you are a credit card or debit card prone, try freezing your cards in a cup of water. That will give you a little time to reconsider your desired purchase.

     

    If frugal living appeals to you try a few of these tips and track how much money you save in one month. If it is worth it keep it up and add some new habits. A lot of these tips not only save dough but can impact the planet. Avoid envy of other’s lifestyle by writing down a list of things that you value the most. Your priorities should be reflected in your spending plan; I’ll take an emergency fund over an expensive mortgage any day. Don’t worrying about the Jones; who knows they just might just go green trying to keep up with you.money-hands1

    You’ve read some of my tricks now it’s your turn. Please leave a comment and share your personal money saving tips.

     


     

Don’t Quit

November 16, 2008

 

 

Isaiah 40:28-31


                  “Do you not know?

                     Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

           the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

      and his understanding no one

can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary

               and increases the power of the weak.

       Even youths grow tired and weary,

             and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

          They will soar on wings like eagles

                they will run and not grow weary,

            they will walk and not be faint.”


 

What helps you get through difficult times?