Sunday, February 20, 2005
Today I went to church alone. The message was okay. The pastor talked about our former pastor some and how it's hard to transition from one pastor to another. It seemed odd that she's bringing this up now, considering she came July 1st, but anyway...she is a little odd. She admitted to not having the same personality as our other pastor, to not always saying things the right way or with the right tone of voice, but she wanted to make it clear that she loves us and our church, that she as well as the old pastor love the same God. I don't doubt her love of God or her good intentions. However, she still seems to say the wrong things at the wrong times....

Last month she and I had a fairly honest conversation about what I had found distasteful in our interactions. One of them included her asking me about money reimbursements. I am the Treasurer, but I do not decided how the money gets spent and when. Therefore, I asked her to direct her finance questions to the finance committee chair instead of myself...not because I can't answer her questions, it's that I'm always stressed out when she asks me... Why am I so stressed? I asked this question of myself today, when her memory deceived her and she, yet again, asked me when she was going to be reimbursed...instead of asking me why the rest of my family wasn't with me or how I was doing today or any number of other questions she could have asked me cuz as she said she is sorry that all she ever seems to talk to me about is money... Truthfully, I want to be able to answer her confidently that we have all the money in the world and then some to be able to pay her back as well as her inflated salary. Somewhere inside me though I feel as though I'm being called to personally give more to our church!!! We give a decent amount... Yes, we could probably give more, but I imagine others could too probably. However, that is not the question she's asking me... I am taking our church's money numbers to heart and wish I could change our financial situation single-handedly....ha!

Does anyone else out there understand my feelings or have I just had too much coffee today??? I was soooo close to having a good day at church today and if I had exited the sanctuary by a different door I may not have been asked this provacative question.... But alas, I am left to delve once again into my discomfort with our pastor regarding money and etc.

On a lighter note...I'm excited to be starting a new business with the Shaklee company. I'm making it a goal of mine to donate 10% of my earnings to my church so here's to happy money earning...
Sunday, February 13, 2005
So I'm taking a break from the Purpose Driven Life to read Stalking the Divine. It's a good book so far. I'm reading it because a church book reading group chose this book and a lady asked if I'd like to read it for the March 3rd meeting. I enjoy imagining what it would be like to be a nun. I was definitely not called to lead that life, but I think of the Sound of Music and wonder what leading a life of quiet, prayerful service would be like! I had a guy ask me if I'd thought about being a nun once. That was kinda weird, but it was during a period of my life when I wasn't dating anyone and had been on a retreat or two in a catholic setting. I have always known that I wanted a family and so being a nun never really stuck as a realistic occupation.

I subbed three half-days during out of the last six school days. This week I'm going to take a break I think. I subbed ESL, French and Band. I enjoy subbing in subjects I feel competent in! I bragged about my sister Allison to the middle school band students telling them that she's in the Oregon Crusaders. None of them had heard about it, but maybe they will someday.

I'm about to start my own business. It's with the Shaklee company. A friend of mine, Kelly Hribar, a fellow study-abroad classmate in Lyon, France, told me about it and I've checked it out... I think I can do it. It'll be a little extra income (hopefully) selling everyday products. I may even get a paycheck just by buying shampoo and detergents for our own use. So if anyone out there is interested, check out the link and maybe we can all earn a little extra income. Who knows? For a $20 start fee, there's not much to lose.

On another note, I was liturgist at church today... I wasn't expecting to read so much when I originally signed up, but then again, I didn't realize it was the first Sunday of Lent when I was recruited. Oh well... I did fine.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Dear Grammie & Grampa,

I just wanted to thank you again for having us at the Ranch in January! We had a great time and really enjoyed the cold, winter weather. It looks like that's the only winter weather we'll get to experience this year because we've had pretty warm weather here. Brian especially liked the close community feel of Hunters and was surprised that a teacher who didn't know us called your home and gave a road update on the day we went home. That was a very thoughtful gesture. In a bigger city, I don't think we rely on one another like that as often.

We felt welcome at your church, people remembered us, and that felt great too. Our church has that same feel too, fortunately. When we come again in August with my parents, I'd like to bring my violin and play some of the hymns. I'm not volunteering a solo, but it'd be fun to add another layer to the music team...

I've been reading The Purpose Driven Life this past week. I really have enjoyed it. I told my Bible Study group that I'd been feeling as though I was in a spiritual funk. Not sure exactly how to describe it lately, but I guess I haven't really had a "thank you, Jesus" moment in quite awhile. Things are going pretty well at the moment and I am grateful to God for that!

One of the things that has come to my attention after reading the book lately is the idea of "eternity." The author made me realize that I spend a lot of time thinking about the here and now...goals for me and my family, this lifetime, instead of focusing on the next life, getting excited about it even! I know it's hard to comprehend what it'll be like exactly. My brain doesn't always like to think in abstract terms, but I know God has put a desire in my heart to see heaven some day and so I want to focus on that rather than all the joys and struggles of this life.

Well, I know I've rambled on for quite awhile, but I've been wanting to share some of those thoughts with you both recently, so I finally did it!!!!

We have been using the exercise bike! It's loud, but we're able to read the tv subtitles during our exercise to pass the time. Thank you again for that gift too!

Claire is having her 1 year old birthday party at my parents' house on Friday. It's amazing that she's one, walking and saying more words every day! We enjoy her so much! I'm so glad I get to stay home with her and my love for her grows each day!

Brian is very busy at his work. Recently he learned that the retirement system is going to cost the city a lot more money this coming year so he's not looking forward to sharing the news that the police can't hire or buy as much as they'd anticipated. He doesn't like to be the bearer of bad news even though it isn't his fault!

I pray that both of you will have a great day, month, few months. We're looking forward to seeing you again this summer. My mom sounded intrigued about the ferry ride so maybe we'll have to go back to Mary's and treat you this time!

We love you very much!

Good thoughts, bad thoughts, personal thoughts...

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Location: Beaverton, Oregon, United States

I was a French teacher for four years, a life-long dream achieved. Now, I'm taking a serious break to raise a family. I go to a United Methodist Church regularly with my husband, daughter and son. For my future ideal job, I'd love to travel the world eating in great restaurants and write food reviews!!! Someday I'd like to live on the Oregon Coast and be a translator for French tourists! However, in the meantime I'm earning a substantial income with Jewels by Park Lane, subbing & Shaklee!

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