August Prayer Challenge: Update #5

This past Sunday I was visiting a new church with my friend N.  Seems like whenever you haven’t been to church in a while (that would be me) the sermon always seems to be applicable to what happens to be going on your life. The sermon was centered around the concept of karma and getting what you deserve. The pastor started out with by putting up various internet memes about karma and then he went into his sermon with 3 main points.

  • You need to realize that you will reap what you sow. The basis of the saying that everyone loves to quote is Galatians 6:7 – Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth shall he also reap.
  • You need to realize that you will reap what you sow, including the consequences of your sowing. The background for this statement came from 2 Corinthians 9: 6- The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
  • You need to keep on sowing good things if you want to eventually reap blessings from God. The background from this statement comes from Galatians 6: 9-10 – And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all mean, especially unto them who are the household of faith.

I want to talk a little bit about how point #3 really hit home for me. I think the folks who have been reading me for a while know the valley I have been in concerning my career. I’ve been working contract for almost 2 years and I have a specific career path that I am trying to leverage myself into. I’ve had several interviews that would grant me entry into this particular path but I haven’t been able to get over the hump. Also in that time I have seen both real life and online friends obtain jobs with relative ease, while in my mind I seem to keep struggling. I am a person, who for the most part has had things happen fairly easily for them in life, so this has been a frustrating time for me. And though this might seem minor to some, to me it is a big deal.  Jealousy and envy are powerful emotions and can consume you if you let them. So this was a reminder to me that I need to keep doing the right thing, by encouraging others in their job search, being excited for others who have found employment and not focusing so much on what I don’t have and focus on what I DO have.  Waiting is a part of life and a delay doesn’t necessarily mean a denial.

The pastor left us with the following Scripture to reference for those times when things might get a little rough, Isaiah 40:28-31:

29 He gives power to the faint,
    and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
    and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
    they shall walk and not faint.

 

And now on to today’s prayer petitions:

  • My husband who took the test for a promotion yesterday
  • My friend’s sister M, who turns 40 soon and is struggling with a lack of confidence due to an extended period of unemployment.
  • Anyone who is in a valley or is frustrated with their current circumstance.

August Prayer Challenge

Over at Serenity23’s blog, she has issued a challenge to her readers for the month of August.

I want to challenge YOU.  Tomorrow starts off a new month, August 1st.  I know that every single one of you has needs, desires, people you are interceding for, things that concern you.  And if you are not a believer, this isn’t for you. But if you are a believer, I’m challenging you to begin tomorrow and devote 15 mins everyday to writing our your prayers in one central place so that you can keep track of what you are praying for.  Whenever you receive answers to any of those prayers, record the answers also.  Can you do this for 30 days?

She’s posting daily updates at her spot so go and check her out.

I’m a few days late in getting started but what I have decided to do is focus on a specific Bible verse for this month and then keep a running list of things I’ve praying for that are both short and long term goals.

The Bible verse that was suggested to me is Philippians 4:19.

King James Version (KJV)

19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

What I will be praying for and hope that God will take action on:

  1. For my husband to get accepted and participate in the Leadership Program that he applied for at his employer.
  2. That my brother will have a very successful first year as an art teacher.
  3. That my brother’s girlfriend will have a safe and successful delivery of my newest nephew Camden.
  4. That my niece and nephew will have a productive school year in when school starts.
  5. That my parents will remain in good mental and physical health.
  6. That I can be blessed with a full time opportunity that will enable me to stop working as a contractor.

There are some other material needs that I am also praying for as well but I won’t list them here.

My plan is to update my list based on my needs or the prayer needs of other folks in my life. Email me or leave a comment if you’d like me to pray for you as well!

 

 

Currently….

Currently: Discussing why I owe out my ass to the IRS on Twitter and getting some guidance.

Watching: This Excel spreadsheet on my computer screen that I’m supposed to be working on. I have been on this particular project for some months now and I am OVER. IT.

Listening To: “Feels Good” from the album The Revival – Tony! Toni! Tone!

Planning: How to revitalize my job search. I need to take a new approach to targeting companies I want to work for so I’ve been doing some reading and some research.

Thinking About: How I need to make doctor’s appointments for a mammogram and with a dentist.

Looking forward to: My bestie’s happy hour  for her birthday TONIGHT at this place.

Reading: Payback In Panama by Noel Hyde. I’ve read all the books in this series. The first 3 are the Russian Trilogy. Last 3 are the Cuban Trilogy.

Making Me Happy: emailing with my husband and his silly jokes that make smile. Helps to get through the work day.

Zero To Hero: Introduce Yourself

In an effort to flex my blog muscles and get in the groove of writing again, I’m doing the Zero To Hero daily blog challenge. I’m a few days behind but I’m going to attempt to catch myself up with a few posts.

Today’s prompt: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

I actually think my About page covers things pretty well but I’ll recap. I’m 40 years old, I’ve been married for a little over 3 years, no kids, and I started this blog to capture my wedding planning. Since I’m lazy, when the party was over I didn’t feel like starting over and my people who follow me were already here so I just kept on rolling.

I talk mainly about whatever strikes my fancy: married life, technology, food (my husband is a great cook), books and relationships.

I am a member of a historically black sorority (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.) and I work in the accounting/finance field. You will probably read some posts about me lamenting the job search I’ve been on for the past year.

I don’t have a blog brand and I’m not making any money on this thing. I blog because I think I have something to say, and a few people actually read it. I appreciate all who stop by, read and comment.

The View From Here – 2013

I think I stopped blogging in August. I turned 40 this year and though I was not depressed or despondent about doing so..I think I ran out of words. I felt like I didn’t have anything to talk about and the blogging mojo was gone. So I took a break…for about 5 months..LOL!

But the thing about writing is that it’s just like riding a bike, you never forget how, you just get back on and start pedaling.

2013, in retrospect, was better than 2012 (which totally sucked ass BTW). But it was just average, no razzle dazzle or pizazz, just kind of lackluster. I felt somewhat meh about this year, like I was just in a holding pattern so to speak. I don’t feel like I made the progress towards some of the goals I wanted to accomplish, so I plan to do a reset and attack them again in the new year.

I entered my third year of marriage in 2013 with my husband being in the hospital which was a scary reminder of our mortality. He’s a LOT better now thank God. Lifestyle changes are in process, slowly but surely. And my husband is still truly a blessing in my life. I am lucky to have married such a great guy.

I ended 2013 still working on a contract basis at my current gig but immensely grateful to have gainful steady employment and work at a company that treats me decently and doesn’t work me too hard. I’m still looking for the right opportunity on a full time basis, but I have a measure of comfort knowing that I have somewhere to go each weekday morning to earn a living.

My family is healthy, my niece and nephew are growing like weeds, and my brother found some gainful employment that suits him. They are happy which makes me happy. Many of my friends had personal triumphs this year such as new jobs, new homes, new marriages and new babies, which is always a good thing.

So more than anything, I’m grateful for being able to have a 2013. Some folks will not see this upcoming new year. And I look forward to 2014, where I have another chance to get it right. Another chance to go get my blessings and what God has for me.

With that being said, let’s do this. Allow me to re-introduce myself…

Bowlarama!

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Above are a few pictures from Myron and I’s 40th birthday bowling party on this past Saturday.  (And yes, I semi-bowled in a dress..LOL!)

We had a really good time, despite the fact I stressed myself out unnecessarily about the guest list. We paid for 20 folks to bowl, eat and drink which as you can imagine wasn’t all that cheap.  I had to chase folks down for responses and some people that I thought we going to come declined to show. And I was upset about that I must admit. It’s not that I don’t think folks don’t have their own lives and social calendars, but my husband and I really try hard to support folks when they have an event so I was a bit salty about some of the folks who declined. And of course I was all in my feelings about it, because I consider myself a loyal friend. But much like my peeps on Twitter and my husband pointed out, I have to give people the opportunity to explain themselves and they did. After a lecture from my husband (he secretly enjoys that, I think) about getting my mind right, I was OK and got my grown and sexy on to go kick it!

But at any rate, we had a good turn out! I had all that anxiety and drama for nothing.  We ate, drank and were very merry and got some nice gifts. I wasn’t expecting anything so that was such a nice blessing. I really appreciated the thoughtfulness. And I collected some rain checks for birthday lunches from some of my friends who couldn’t make it! #WINNING

Forty is starting out on a high note thus far!! I’m ready to keep it rolling!

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Baby??? Maybe. Maybe Not.

I haven’t talked much about children much on my blog, partially because it’s me and my husband’s private business and partially because there isn’t much to report.

I just turned 40 and we looked into IVF but we can’t afford it. It’s ridiculously expensive, even if you make a decent living like we do.  In June, we went to a training session and got some information about adoption. We are not interested in foster care at all, as I do not want my home to become a revolving door for children that we get attached to and then they go back to their family of origin.  Yet, the application to begin the process sits on the kitchen table, uncompleted.

The upside to having kids is of course being able to carry on your family name, and being able to shape and mold the next generation as well as having a little person around to bring you the remote when you don’t feel like getting up to look for it (lol). Let’s not forget how entertaining and fun kids can be as well. I have 2 little people in my life right now (my niece and nephew) that I absolutely love to pieces.

I remain conflicted about having kids, whether naturally or via adoption to be honest. I like my married, childfree life more than I thought I would. I observe with amusement my friends children and love how cute they are, but note how they can be demanding and time consuming. My parent friends entire weekends are consumed with sports and other kid activities. Some of my parent friends complain about having little time for themselves, and if they are married, for their marriages once kids come along. But perhaps parents also felt like I do, prior to having their children. But the default is to have children, especially if you are married and if you don’t, people either eye you with suspicion or treat you with pity.

My husband is, blessedly, open to whatever I decide. I am very grateful for that. But I realize time isn’t on my side at this point and I need to make up my mind. Will I regret it if we don’t have children? Will I regret it if we do?

I just don’t know right now.

Thirty Nine

Today is the last day of my fourth decade on this planet. I turn 40 tomorrow. I’m still unpacking that in my head. I. AM. TURNING. FORTY. YEARS. OLD.

I feel some kind of way about it ..I think.

It seems like yesterday that I was graduating from college, then hustling to find a job, then moving to Dallas for said job, then hating Dallas and running back home after 6 months, leaving my college boyfriend in the process. Then I dated a good friend that I’d known since college, then broke up with him, started and finished grad school, bought a house, ran the streets with my sorors and other girlfriends, traveled out of the country for the first time, had good dates and horrible ones and suddenly I was 30. It’s like my twenties were a blur.

At 39, the memories of my fourth decade are more crystalline, more frozen in time, more focused. I guess as you get older, you want to trap more of those memories in your subconscious.

In my thirties I:

• Sold my house
• Moved to Minnesota for my then boyfriend
• Proved to myself I could live somewhere else and have a good life
• Left a relationship that wasn’t going anywhere and moved back home
• Dated an ex (for the second time) that I shouldn’t have
• Got therapy when I needed it
• Went to the Bahamas and swam with dolphins
• Saw Prince in concert
• Bought another house
• Got laid off/fired a couple of times
• Lost my final remaining grandparent
• Met the coolest dude on the planet
• Planned and pulled off a wedding for 150 people
• Married that really cool dude
• Got a lesson about who is a true friend and who wasn’t
• Saw the Grand Canyon
• Became an aunt to my brother’s 2 adorable children
• Put my feet in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico
• Supported my spouse in the loss of his dear mother
• And really for the most part came into my own

I’m sure my life event list could be longer but those are some of the ones that really stick out to me. And that’s what is so wild, that’s just ten years’ worth of stuff. Now that I read that, I guess I don’t feel so uneasy about turning the big four oh after all. It might be just another day, but it’s another day I get to learn, growth, evolve and LIVE.

Now that’s worth celebrating, don’t you think?

Odds And Ends: Memorial Day Weekend Edition

Hey ya’ll, what’s up? How was your holiday weekend? Of course it’s always too damn short. But hubs and I made the best of it anyway.

Saturday, we lazed around and had a very late and delicious brunch. Myron broke our very nice waffle iron and we had waffles, sausage and hash brown potatoes topped with cheese and sour cream. So that big meal deserved another epic nap and so an epic nap was taken!

We then got up and got dressed to head out to hang with a friend at a day party she was hosting, then left there to go to another friend’s crawfish boil. We stayed there for the rest of the evening, good eats (and drinks) were had by all.

Sunday, seems a slight hangover was acquired by yours truly so I slept a bit longer and then we got up to check out Hangover 3. It was funny, but underwhelming. Wait for the Redbox or Netflix for that one.

After the movie, we ran by the store so I could pick up the ingridients for the evening’s snack: Hot Crab Dip with Crostini. A very “savvy” Twitter friend shared the recipe with me.

Nap time again commenced. I woke up to 2 frantic messages from my mom and aunt, imploring me to come meet some relatives who were in from California, whom I barely knew and wanted to see me. Reluctantly and petulantly, I threw on some clothes and went to my parents house, where I was ooohed and aaahed over like I was an infant. It was annoying to say the least. I hadn’t seen some of these folks since I was a child and probably won’t see them again anytime soon but dutiful child duty called so there we are. I ate a burger, had some of my dad’s awesome sprinkle cake and chit chatted. I made my escape after an about an hour and went back home.

Upon arriving home, I straightened up the kitchen and made the hot crap dip, which was excellent and so luxuriously rich. It’s definitely a holiday or special occasion treat as it’s not cheap to make!

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Monday, I laid upon my arse almost the entire day, with the exception of a bit of kitchen duty and some vaccuuming. Hubs did some fajitas on the grill, I made myself a margarita in the blender and called this weekend a wrap.

What did you do this past weekend?

On Mamas And Marriage

I woke up this morning and looked at my FB feed and my Instagram and saw all of the pictures of kids and their moms and I was loving it all. It made my heart so full and it was so fun to look at my friends and realize from whence they came and see them looking like mini-me’s.

But in the Mack household it was bittersweet. It was very bitter for my dear husband. He lost his mom a year ago on May 9, 2012. Yep, right before Mother’s Day. It’s sweet for me because I am blessed to have my mom still here with me, to love on and to cherish.

So it was hard for him, and it was hard for me because it’s awkward when one spouse’s parent has gone to be home with the Lord and the others is still here. Especially when it’s the FIRST anniversary. Those firsts are always the hardest. And it’s hard because you don’t always know what to say. And so I was stressed out about it. And when we went to the store to get peach roses for his mom to place on her grave and to get a gift card to my mom’s favorite store, it just doesn’t seem fair. And it isn’t, because life isn’t fair. When he hurts, I hurt too.

But my husband is so wise and so brave, and he reassured me that I need not be subdued in my celebration of my mama. After all, that’s what I should do and he was happy to celebrate her, after she was his family now too. And I was able to exhale, and to relax, and to be thankful for the gift HIS mom gave to me: which is him. And this is why I love him so.

And so we remembered his mom with peach roses. And celebrated my mom with cards, gifts, a fine dinner, and lots of hugs and kisses.

Happy Mother’s Day Frances. Happy Mother’s Day Ruthie. Our love overflows for you both.