Friday, October 30

Books on CD

My coworker travels a lot for work. Not to mention that he lives about 40 minutes away from the office, with no traffic. Therefore, he spends most of his driving time listening to books on CD/tapes. In fact it may very be that the only books he "reads" are the CDs but I can't confirm that for certain.

Anywho...around the time I was reading the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book, he was also listening to it on CD. He mentioned about how good of a story it was to listen to and how the readers did a great job. So I requested it from my local library and only finally got it about two days ago. I've been listening to the story on my way to work and home (about 20 minutes each way) and I tell you, it is delightful! I loved reading the book immensely but to hear the story makes me laugh, sympathize, and feel for the characters in a whole new way.

I think if I could develop a gift or choose a superpower, it would be the art of storytelling. I know a few people who have the gift of storytelling and being around them is always a delight because they have a way of making the mundane or normal seem humorous or impacting. They have a way of drawing people in. Yes, I'd choose that for a superpower.

Well, I stand by my recommendation of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book...whether you read it or hear it, it is enjoyable and heartwarming! The only bad thing is that it ends. Go pick up a copy today.

Thursday, October 29

Thank You Jesus Moment

If you're busy and you know it, clap your hands! *clap, clap*
If you're busy and you know it, clap your hands! *clap, clap*
If you're busy and you know it, trust the Lord and just don't blow it
Just be still, He'll walk you through it, clap your hands! *clap, clap*

This week, I only had one night at home (Monday)...every other night has been and is full of meetings and/or weekend commitments. I was beginning to wonder how and when I'd possibly get my homework done for this week (due Sunday by 10pm). Then the Good Lord blesses me with a night meeting tonight was cancelled. Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that in within me!

I could do a little jig right now except that I really need to get to my homework!
So over and out for now!

Tuesday, October 27

Catching Up

I've got some catching up to do...

I was home sick with the flu last week. Okay, actually, I only felt bad the first 48 hours but doctor's orders kept me home for another 4 days. A week off work? I'll take it. Four days in which I could do my homework without thinking about anything else? I'll take it...and I did!

But now, I've got some catching up to do...

Work: There's a stack of invoices that I need to go through at work (why is it that heaps of invoices always seem to arrive when I'm gone?). There are requests for paperwork that are just sitting waiting for attention. Problem orders and filing to take care of.

Exercise: Yesterday was the first time I've exercised since October 10th...over two weeks! Eek. Since I'm still coughing, I didn't push myself yesterday but just enjoyed a 30 minute walk. But I need to re-focus on healthy living and exercise. However, I won't have another free night at home until next Monday, November 2nd, which mean I probably won't exercise until then. Sigh...

Homework: This is the one area I'm doing fine in...mainly because I'm only at week 2 and week 1 I was home with the flu.

Apartment: Oh dear! I have been a bum for several weeks, even before the flu came visiting. I am living in a "no-visitors-allowed-to-witness-how-lazy-I've-been" status. I need to be bitten by the cleaning bug. Maybe that will happen next week...

Friday, October 23

Paging Prince Charming

So this past week while I've been home with the swine influenza, I've been diligently watching "The Office," a comedy that so many people I know enjoy. Furthermore, a number of girls that I know love John Krasinski, who plays Jim Halpert on the show. Not being a watcher of the program, I would look at pictures or previews of Jim on "The Office" and think, "I don't see it [the girls love of John Krasinski]." All that has changed this week.

The character of Jim is so funny, charming, supportive, imaginative, and good. Through these attributes, I now see a male character that is worth adoring. I have joined the herds of females who adore Jim Halpert aka John Krasinski.

Sooooooooo, this of course, has gotten me thinking about Prince Charming. I am 30 years old and have wanted my whole life to be married and have kids. It was all about being a mother up until I first fell in love, which is when I first genuinely wanted to be a someone's wife. The tide completely changed through one class at college, when I suddenly wanted to wait on motherhood...being responsible for kids skeered the bejezzers out of me. I was about 23 at that time. All I wanted, probably up until a year ago, was to have a husband...I knew and wanted kids to follow but a few years afterwards. Within the last year, in light of my 30th birthday, I think kids have crept back into the main picture. I want kids in my life. I'm not afraid of raising kids but want it and embrace it. I still want a husband and marriage first and foremost but my body and heart occasionally aches for what isn't there.

Its not about status, achievement, planning a wedding, or having the American dream. I want a husband because I want that special relationship that comes with a husband: a support, a helper, a guide, a believer, an encourager, a listener, a teaser, a flirt, a lover, a giver, a friend, a joy, a joker, a strength, a partner. Sure, I know that Prince Charming may one day have a gut, be bald and may struggle with communication, but I'll take it....I'll take it all just to have it all.

I know the women's movement has campaigned about being complete without a man. I am complete with God in my life. He and I, we're a team. He leads, I follow. When I don't follow, He waits, encourages, convicts, challenges, teaches and loves me regardless. I will be happy serving Him wherever He wants me to be, even if I'm single the rest of my life. HOWEVER, my heart and my life was made for relationships. I have so many wonderful relationships in my life but feel an ache in regards to a husband and kids...a missing, sitting, anticipating ache. I keep trusting God...I keep clinging and walking with Him. He knows I'm waiting for Mr. Right, Jim Halpert, Mr. Darcy, Prince Charming or even an average John, Bob, or Tom. My aches, frustrations, and tears do not surprise Him or overwhelm Him. I am so thankful that I am free to come to Him whenever I need to revisit this area of my life. I know that the day He brings Prince Charming into my life that I'll say, "This is what I've been waiting for. This timing and this man is perfect for me. It couldn't have happened any other way." But until then, I don't mind continually asking the Lord if He could page Prince Charming for me and tell him (Prince Charming, not God, that is) to get a move on it!

Wednesday, October 21

The Flu of Swines

I am generally a fairly healthy person. I get the occasional cold but really, that's usually it. I pay for medical insurance that I rarely use...and that's okay.

However, quite suddenly last Thursday, the clock struck 4pm and my throat suddenly became painful and my body temperature rose. I know what you're thinking..."she just didn't want to work on Friday...aka early weekend!" Haha...hehe...hoho...but seriously, no, this was the real thing. (**As a side note, call me ignorant but I've always thought that if you have a fever, your head would also be warm. I think the entire time I've had a fever, it's been in my body and my head has felt relatively that weird?)

That night, after I went to a meeting and contaminated a dozen people, I slept in achyness and with a fever! I woke up feeling damp with that too much info? Anyhow, despite feeling achy, I felt okay. I hummed, I hawed, and then decided to go to work. As soon as I stepped out of my car at work, I wondered if this was a good idea. Sure enough, within 40 minutes of being at work (and contaminated 3 more people), I coughed...which made my head feel like my brain was loose bouncing around inside. It was at this point when my boss came out of his office and diplomatically told me to go home...I did not argue! So I went home and went to bed.

That day, however, was my brother's 21st birthday, which meant that night, our family was going to go out for dinner together. I really didn't want to miss this...I still didn't want to believe I had a flu so I decided to out again, contaminating my family and a whole restaurant of people. Yay me!

It wasn't until Saturday evening that I went online and typed in H1N1 symptoms. I didn't do this because I thought I had it per say but because I wanted to make sure my symptoms didn't match up with this but lo and behold, I found myself identifying with a majority of the symptoms. I quickly ran to the closest walk-in clinic and they confirmed that I have a flu. They said the only flu going around is the Swine that's what I have. The doctor ordered me to stay home for a week and to not see any people (oops...too late on that). I get to go back to work on Thursday per the doctor's note but obviously my coworkers aren't too eager for me to return with any swine we'll see how I am tomorrow.

Overall, this hasn't been too bad. Isolation and me get along just fine for short periods like this. Plus, school started on Monday so I've been given three days to work on homework without work or committed activities to take up my time. I can't complain about that. In fact, I think it's a blessing. I've been feeling overwhelmed and busy with my life, wondering how I'd be able to add in homework. SO....God gives me the swine flu to take out every other activity so that I can do my homework and feel rested, despite my non-stop coughing.

Just to appease the jokesters out there, no, there is no wallowing in mud although a mud bath might feel lovely at this point. No curly tails although if my hair turned curly I wouldn't object. And no pig snout that I can see. Any snorts or squeals are purely accidental....I think.

Sunday, October 18


In the Bible times, if someone had an contagious disease, they had to live outside the city to prevent the spread of the disease, until they could prove the priests that they were clean again.

If someone needed to enter the city for any reason, they had to yell "unclean, unclean" in order to warn people to get out their way. To do so must have been humbling at the least but probably was a means for scorn.

Having just been diagnosed with the H1N1 influenza, I have been given strict instructions to not have contact with anyone for 7 days total. I am apartment bound until Thursday, which is when I'm allowed to go back to work. Well, today I needed to get out...I needed to return a movie and dump some mail in a mail slot...both of which are non-human-interacting activities. Still, I felt that I should shout "unclean, unclean" when going out among the people today.

I wonder if what people would have thought...

Thursday, October 15

The Countdown's Getting Closer Everyday

10 and 9, 8 and 7, 6 and 5 and 4...

School starts Monday for me. I am both looking forward to it and anxiously waiting for the stress and time management that accompanies each class. I guess that means that I am somewhat stressing over the upcoming stress...nice Mindy...

Anyways, I am working on my Master's of Intercultural Leadership degree from Crown College, which is in Minnesota. Seeing that I am not independently wealthy enough to commute to work, I take all my classes online.

Their distance learning program has worked well for me. They offer two terms each year: fall and spring. The fall terms runs from the end of August to the beginning of February and the spring term runs from mid-February to the beginning of July.

The program is designed for working adults and therefore, unless given special permission, you only take one class at a time, up to 3 classes a term. Each class is only 7 weeks long which means that in some ways it's more intense than the average class and in other ways, the homework requirements are not as involved as I expected of a Master's program. The longest paper I've had to write so far was 20 pages. Plus, no exams...I've had quizzes in a couple classes but no exams. My classes usually are chalk full of reading and weekly small papers, ranging from 2-4 pages.

My upcoming class is on "Strategic Planning." It's part of a group of classes on leadership, focusing on both the characteristics and responsibilities of being a leader...I'm guessing this class will be more in the responsibility realm. Doesn't it sound exciting? (enter sarcasm). The good news is that I am 5 classes away from being done and thus far, I've done pretty well in the program, which feels pride-worthy and humbling. My desire at this point is to finish well. School is a major priority for me at this point in my life. Therefore, even though I know school will cause my already busy schedule to become busier, I say, "Bring it on!" (Remind me I said that when I come back moaning in about 3-4 weeks!)

Friday, October 9

All I Have to Say!

Once upon a time, in a land far away from somewhere, lived a people who could be found gathering and storing away nobbits and gadgets and gizmos…anything that made them happy. While the grandparents may have gathered and stored because they grew up with so little, the parents and children gathered and stored because they just wanted more. It didn’t matter that the houses were full, the garages were full or if their bellies were full…they just kept going to find more widgets and flodles.

Every once in a while, a person could be found who didn’t gather and store. When asked why, they would declare that their treasure was in another place. The others would shrug, conclude the treasure must be in a bank, and go on their way thinking that storing things in a bank wasn’t such a bad idea. After months and years of gathering, the people became known for their power, control, and possessions. Whatever they wanted, they got.

Unfortunately, the people in leadership, the king and his staff, were also gatherers and storers. Kings came and went; some were good and some were not so good. Some led the people fairly and with consideration while others spent their time only gathering and storing for their wealth and pleasure.

Every year, the people seemed to get worse and worse. Their gathering led to fighting over possessions. Their desire for more fladoodles made them think that they deserved to have as many fladoodles as possible, to the point that people owed more money to the banks and storekeepers than they could ever pay back.

Every year, the country seemed to get worse and worse. Their gathering led to fighting over possessions. Their desire for more zigbits made them think that they as a country deserved to have as many zigbits as possible, to the point that the country owed more money to the banks and other countries than they could ever pay back. So after a few years of huge gathering, the country suddenly realized it was broke. The people started having a hard time finding enough money for the things they really needed. Homes were taken, cars were sold, along with lots of nobbits, gadgets, gizmos, widgets and flodles. But this didn’t stop the king and his staff from spending money! The king and his staff believed that in order to help the country, they needed to spend even more money. So, within a very short time, the country owed more money than they had ever owed before or could even comprehend.

Despite this, people all over the world seemed to adore the king, even though it was because of him that they country owed lots of money. The king gave promises that he would make life better, fairer, and easier for everyone. The previous king didn’t make a lot of people happy so to have a new king who gave promises and seemed kind, made lots of people love him. In fact, everywhere this king went, he was treated with extra love and attention, even more than the kings of the past. The king could seem to do no wrong, even though it was because of him that the country had no money.

Every once in a while, a person could be found who didn’t like what the king was doing. But people didn’t listen to them. The king promoted equal gathering and storing for everyone and started changing laws or making decisions to create fairness. This caused people to be angry but nothing seemed to change. In fact, the king was even awarded a prize for his words that promoted fairness and equality. But what people didn’t realize is that the king and his staff were starting to control more and more of the country and the people, which made things less safe. While the king said that he only wanted to help people, all he ended up doing was helping some people gather more and forcing others to gather less, while spending as much money as he wanted.

Once upon a time, in a land far away from somewhere, were a people who could be found gathering and storing, who had a king that gathered and stored, and none of that helped any of them be any happier.

Thursday, October 8

The Story of Job

As I shared a couple posts ago, I am chronologically reading through the Bible over the next year and am currently reading about Job. The story of Job is speculated to take place after Noah but before Abraham. Yesterday's reading took me to chapter 17, not quite half way through the book.

Now, I've heard Job's story a number of times over my 30 years attending church...I've even read the book myself a few times. But I must say, I am always a bit amused by the book.

If you know the story, you're probably wondering what kind of morbid person would find Job's story's known for it's grief, pain, and suffering...on that note, let me share with you about the story of Job.

The First Two Chapters
These chapters set the scene. They introduce you to Job, his possessions, his character and his relationship with God. Then everyone either dies or gets stolen from him, including his health, all because Satan thinks that if bad things happen to Job, Job will turn his back on God, which doesn't happen. This section ends with Job's three friends arriving to console and grieve with him.

Chapters Three to Thirty-One
This section is back-and-forth dialogues between Job and his friends, which is a bit humorous (and long-winded).
Basically, all of Job's friends say, "Job, you sinned against God. This is why everything you had either died or was stolen. Repent! Who do you think you are to not repent to God?"
Then, Job repeatedly retorts back, "I haven't sinned you numskulls! You speak stupid meaningless words...oh, that you would shut up. God is God and can do what He wants but I have not sinned against God. I just want God to tell me why He did this."

Chapter Thirty-Two to Thirty-Seven
A fourth friend, Elihu, who is the babe of this group, enters the scene and figures it's his turn to say a few words, "[To the three friends] Job is right! You are worthless friends and say stupid words. God isn't doing this to Job to punish him. And Job, who do you think you are? You may be without sin but you sure are whining a lot. Who are you to think that God answers to you or owes you an explanation?" *cue crickets*

--This is where I imagine a long silent pause....after all, Job and his friends were bound to be humbled in light of Elihu's truthful words. But if they weren't humbled yet, then just you wait...

Chapter Thirty-Eight to Forty-Two
Having listened, watched and seen everything, now enters the person whose character has been called into question and is the center of this book even though Job's name is the title: God.
God steps in and say to everyone, especially Job, "Who do you think you are? Are you able to do anything that I have done? Can you make mountains or waters? Can you subdue beastly animals with a word? Do you know when animals you haven't even seen are giving birth and can you take care of them from here? If you're going to accuse me, can you also fight me?"
Job, who probably felt the size of a dust molecule, was probably face down in the dirt at this point, crying and broken-hearted, and said, "You're right, God. I spoke stupid words too. You are God, I am not and I'm sorry for accusing you of any wrongdoings."

Then, God allowed Job to regain his health, animals, crops, and to have more children. The one thing I find amazing about this story every time I read it is that, according to the book, Job never received an explanation as to what Satan did and what God allowed. Maybe he did...or maybe he lived the rest of his life clueless over the tug-of-war on his life. The bottom line is that he trusted God throughout all of it, even when his wife and friends were telling him to curse God or that it was all his fault. Amazing!

Monday, October 5

Pumpkin Soup

I lived in Germany from 2004- 2006. Tucked away in a tiny insignificant village is a farm that is also a restaurant, called Straussi Funfschilling. During the fall and spring you can have such delicious dishes using the ingredients that they grew on their farm.

One lovely fall day, I went with some friends to Funfschilling for my first visit. One of the girls I was with went on and on about how great the Pumpkin Soup was. Soup sounded good and I guess I was feeling a bit adventurous because I ordered the soup even though my love for squash was a bit limited at the time. The soup arrived with a beautiful goldenrod hue, served in an individual tureen, with a wallop of cream in the middle. They served the soup with some rosemary garlic bread. 4 stars on presentation. As for the taste, was the best soup I tasted in a long while. I could have ate and ate and ate and ate....

Since then and since returning home, I have thought and dreamed and longed for Funfschilling's Pumpkin Soup. Last fall, I decided to try making my own. I made two batches, both of which weren't bad but weren't great. I had a bowl of both and dumped the rest. This fall, I resolved to find the perfect pumpkin soup recipe and began scouring online, finding three that sounded like potential. I decided to make one this past Saturday: This is a basic recipe. I followed the recipe, more or less. I substituted curry for the thyme and parsley and added a dash of cinnamon.

My verdict: This recipe is good. Very good. I found myself closing my eyes with each bite, savoring the yummy goodness. It's not very pumpkin-y, thanks to the chicken broth and onion. It is more savory...more like I remember Funfschilling's being. I added a spoonful of sour cream instead of the heavy cream...that was good but I think using heavy cream or half/half might add to the soup in a different way.

I'm still planning on trying recipe 2 and 3 but this one will be enjoyed! Overall, I give it 4 out of 5 stars! Guten appetit!

Friday, October 2

Corn Mazes and Claustrophobia

Several years ago, back in 2001, I was the main youth leader for the middle school grades. Come October, I thought it would be cool to take those munchkins to a corn maze...a fun fall experience, right???? I was excited about this because it was something I had wanted to do for a couple years and brilliantly thought of it in order provide the youth an outing.

The night was cool and dark. The sun had set and I believe it had rained for a day or two prior to going however, our night was rain-free. The previous rain had turned the huge corn field into a muddy abyss, for which I was prepared for. When we got there, I set the youth free, enabling them to run into the maze with their friends, with only one instruction, "Be back at the van at 8:30pm so that we can leave." With expected youthful energy, they ran off. Gaily, I followed, excited and eager to start.

I walked and walked, turning this way and that way. I came to the first look-out station. There were two look-out stations: wooden walk-ways that were elevated above the fields so that you can see where you are and where you want to go. I was feeling confident. I walked and walked again...a little bit longer, getting turned around and finding a dead-end or two. No worries. I eventually found the second station.'s all good.

From there, my night began to unravel. I walked and walked...finding myself in spots I had already been. I was confident I had traveled down one way so I would go the other way, only to end up exactly where I was before. I was in one area for about 15 minutes...stuck....unable to find my way out. No need to calm...simple phrases became my mantras. I eventually moved on from that location but found myself continually turned around, stuck, and finding more dead-ends every which way I turned. Time was ticking...I should be at the van already but I was at the far end of the maze still needing to complete it.

I couldn't seem to find my way out, which was frustrating me and bringing feelings of claustrophobia, feelings I don't normally experience. My anxiety shot up quickly and I'm sure my blood pressure would have caused some medical alarms to go off. I was sweating, fearful, tired, cold, and close to crying. I kept moving thinking that I would eventually get out. This should not be happening to me...I'm the leader after all. There were a couple times where I was so close to just plowing through the stocks, even if I damaged the maze in the process. I couldn't handle it much longer. However, I eventually found my way out, although I have no idea how.

Obediently, ALL the youth were waiting at the van...not one was missing. They had ALL been waiting for their lost leader for ONE HOUR!!!!!!! Yes, I was lost for one whole hour. Not a great leadership experience in my opinion. I have yet to return to a corn maze, so awful and terrifying was my previous experience....until tonight.

Tonight, I will be venturing out with another set of middle school youth. Lord help me...don't let me get lost please? PLEASE??

If you don't hear from me over the next few days, please call for back-up. You might just find me in fetal position, sucking my thumb, and crying for my mom, lost in the depths of the corn maze.

Thursday, October 1

Starting Something "New"

Today is the first day of a "new" year-long venture. I say "new" because I've done this before although its been a number of years.

I'm going to read the Bible in a year, chronologically.

I went online to find a plan and found You first select which Bible translation you are going to read from...I chose New American Standard Bible. At the same time, they give you five reading options: from Genesis to Revelations, Chronological, Historical (when the books were written), the New Testament first and then Old Testament, or lastly, reading parts of the Old Testament and New Testament together. Whew! Like I've stated, I chose the Chronological option.

Then you choose a starting date. You can choose to start on the 1st or 15th of every month. Being that I found this site on the 18th-19th of September, I opted to start on October 1st. With that comes the reading list, which I copied/pasted onto a Word document and will post in my house.

Why am I doing this? Good question!
  1. I believe the Bible is God's word and I want to spend regular, consistent time reading what God has to say to me. However, I stink at being a consistent Bible reader. I know part of it is just self-discipline however I believe this chart will not only help me be accountable but will help me learn the discipline of consistent reading over time.
  2. Over the half year, I feel like I am emotionally floundering a bit. I keep thinking "I need to hear from you, God...I need you to speak to me!" Since the Bible is God's Word, that will be one of the ways He will speak to me and that means I need to be reading it in order to hear from Him.
  3. I chose the chronological option because I like reading things in shows a fluid picture of history. Along with that, I will get to see how God moved and worked consistently through history and through His people. How one instruction, one mistake, one leader, etc, changed/impacted the rest of the story.

I'm excited for this. I thought about trying to blog my reading adventures but to be honest, I don't think I can be disciplined enough to blog every day about what I'm reading and my thoughts on it. Discipline...clearly I need more of it! :)