Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Eve

I don’t have any big plans for tonight. In year’s past I’ve gone to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore for the parties and fireworks. Some years I’ve been to church parties or friends houses. But the last few years I’ve stayed home and either had friends in or just relaxed in front of the TV.
This year I’m going to be relaxing, and hopefully stamping some thank you cards. I was the worst card-sender in the history of the world this past year. I was a horrible friend and family member this past year. I want to do better this year and am planning on getting a head start with making cards this weekend.
I am hoping to blog tomorrow or Monday about my thoughts on the New Year. I am going to do my best of lists today and wrap up 2005.

Best of 2005 - MUSIC

I didn’t really have a lot of favorites this year. There were a few I liked, but mostly this wasn’t the best year for me musically. These are listed in no particular order and are CD’s I purchased this year, not necessarily CD’s that were released this year.

Lost in Wonder: Voices in Worship Dente/Tumes/Ashton
Awaken Natalie Grant
Rescue: Live Worship Newsong
Brave Nichole Nordeman
Resurrection Nicol Sponberg
Room to BreathZoeGirl
Songs Inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia Various Artists

Best of 2005 - TELEVISION

My favorite shows of 2005 are probably no secret since there’s few new ones from the fall. Yet several have fallen off the list this year. Once again in no particular order, here they are:

Lost
Gilmore Girls
CSI Miami
CSI
Las Vegas
My Name is Earl
Arrested Development
Monk

Honorable Mention: Alias - it has been pretty weak lately, but it’s on the list because for so long it was the only decent show on television and I’m very loyal to it even when it isn’t as good as I know it could be.

No longer on the list: Desperate Housewives, the Apprentice, Crossing Jordan. I will still watch these shows, but they aren’t “must see” for me anymore and I tend to skip them more often than I watch them.

Best of 2005 - MOVIES

This year I barely went to the Movies. I’m not sure if I can even remember what I saw. I’ll rate these with a scale of 1-5 with 5 being “the best movie in the history of cinema” and 1 being “that’s two hours of my life I wish I could get back.”

Mr & Mrs Smith - 3
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - 5
Sahara - 4
The Legend of Zorro - 3
Chronicles of Narnia - 5
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - 3
Dear Frankie - 4 (This movie techncally wasn’t seen in the theater. It didn’t play anywhere in my area. But I did get the DVD right away and it was a wonderful, beautiful movie. It’s sad, though.)

This year wasn’t any better with the movies than last year was. As much as I love going to the movies, it just seems that when I have time to go, there’s nothing to see.

Best of 2005 - BOOKS

I hesitate to even mention this section because I haven’t read much of anything this year. I hate that my reading has been so poor. I think this past year is the worst ever for amount of books read.

Harry Potter Series I did read all of the Harry Potter series. Previously I had only listened to them on Audiobook. I read them all and had the Order of the Phoenix done about two weeks before Half-Blood Prince arrived.
Pathways to Purpose for Women I read this in preparation for a program we are doing for Flourish in 2006. It was a great book and the other materials have been great as well.
Breaking Point This is the latest in the FBI/Seals/Troubleshooters series. I am hooked on this series and devoured this book in one night. I ended up reading it again later so that I could slow down and savor it. Her next one isn’t due until late 2006 the last I heard so I am probably going to reread a few of the series this year to keep my excitement level up for the next one.
The Worn-Out Woman This book was a great read for me and I am glad it was recommended to me. It really helped me make some tough choices and led the way for some new opportunities in my life.

Overall, 2005 was seriously dissapointing in terms of books read, but I hope to do better in 2006.

Bring on 2006! I’m ready for ya!!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Catching Up

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year! :-)

It’s that holiday time again and I have much to be happy about. I could tell you all about my ipod stereo or my blanket from my nephew, my chocolate fountain or my jewelry, my DVD’s and new books. But that’s not really what’s making me happy. I’ve had such a wonderful month learning to slow the pace down a bit and have a bit of calm in my life for a change. I am starting to think I might just make it…

The amount of stress and constant chaos and disorder I’ve been living under these past years has been almost unexplanable. It’s only now, beginning to come out of it that I’m wondering,”How did I ever exist like this all these years?” I think it wasn’t that bad at first, but got worse by degrees. Or at the very least, so slowly I didn’t realize what was happening.

So now I’m at the place in my life where I’m redefining myself. What do I ant and where am I headed. I’m at a great place right now. I honestly wake up every morning with excitement and joy, wondering what God is up to now. I will be honest and say that there were many times in these last few years I’ve wondered if God was working, if He knew what I was going through. And while I continually told myself that God was working even when I couldn’t see it, I had my moments of doubt. Despair was often my companion, although I tried to make those times pass quickly by focusing on what I knew to be the truth.

I am more excited about this new year than I’ve been for any new year in a long, long time. I plan to make several changes in my schedule and my life that will hopefully help me be even more successful and have more joy and vitality in life. So pray for me as I work through the changes. It’s almost like my life has started anew.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Organize Me

I love to organize things. That’s why tonight was a totally excellent, all-happy-all-the-time kinda night. I got my leather planner case from Franklin Covey in my UPS shipment today and boy-howdy did I have fun putting my life together! I have 2006 organized to the extreme. Now I just need to keep up with it and I’m going to amaze myself this year!

I got some amazingly good news yesterday. For those who hadn’t heard, my beautiful Dell laptop I received for Christmas last year has died. I turned it on one day and the screen was covered in black splotches and colored lines. It was past a year since my mom bought it, although I had only had it 11 months. I was going to get it fixed after Christmas, but a friend convinced me to call them and see what they could do about it. Well, it turns out my mom got a free Service Plan upgrade when she bought it and I have complete care coverage through November 2007. When I called, the lady on the phone explained it to me. They are going to fix it and pay for the shipping to and from to have it repaired. AND it should only take 5-8 days till I get it back. I called late yesterday afternoon and she told me they would send me a box to pack it in. The box was waiting for me today when I got home from work. It looks like I could have it back before the new year and fixed for FREE!! God is soooo good. Can I get an amen? :-)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas Shopping

My Christmas Shopping is done! This is the earliest I’ve ever been done. I’m so happy!! Now I just have to wrap packages and back cookies. How fun this holiday season has been without the stress and insane pace of the past few years.

I’m loving my new schedule. I’m not having near the problems getting up in the morning I first anticipated. In fact, I am waking up pretty easily and have even been somewhat cheerful. My only real problem with the schedule is my sleep. I’m still not sleeping very well. I don’t expect that to change until after the holidays, though. Someone suggested taking Tylenol PM, but I hesitate to do that for two reasons - it bothers my asthma AND I don’t want to have to take them to sleep. I’d rather get my body clock straighted out without help. But if it continues into the winter, I’ll mention it to my doctor. Eleven years is a long time to work a night shift job. I just need to be patient. (I’m seriously lacking in that area.)

I have been piling up books to read. I am eager to get to them. My goal is to get to a few library books I keep renewing so that I can get them done and returned before New Year’s. Then I’m going to be working through the books I’ve bought recently and haven’t had time to read. Yippee!! Most of them are nonfiction, but a few are mysteries.

I am excited about blogging more in the future. Once the holidays are done and I’m settling into my new life, I hope to write a bit before bed each night. We’ll see how disciplined I can be with that! ;-)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A New Day is Dawning...

I HAVE A NEW JOB!

I have said goodbye to the newspaper industry and am happy to be moving on. Happy really isn’t quite the word. Overjoyed…ecstatic…insanely delerious with happiness…any of those will do.

It’s not often you see things work out better than you could have planned, but things have worked out in immesurably better than I could have hoped. I am so humbled and honored to see how God works when I sit back and let Him have His way. I seem to tire of waiting for Him to move in my life, but every single time I do wait for Him, He proved to me how trustworthy and reliable He is. What an amazing God and what an exciting work He’s doing in my life right now.

So tomorrow I start my new job as the Women’s Ministry / Communcations Director for my church, Littlestown Chapel. I am unbelieveably happy to be able to do this and am so thankful to God for how He worked behind the scenes to make it possible. I have so many dreams and plans for Flourish that I believed God wanted me to pursue, but my time was so limited with working a more-than full time job. I knew in my heart that if God put these dreams and plans in my heart He would find a way to make them come true. I didn’t expect it to work out this way, but am so glad it did.

I think this job will evolve as I go and I am eager to get started. I have a tiny office, originally inteneded to be a coat closet. I plan to make it cozy, though, and can make the best of anything. I jump right into things as the Flourish calender for 2006 needs to be finalized, the December Newsletter finished and the Flourish Cafe is on Friday. There’s lots to be done. Thanks so much to God for giving me the time to do it well!

I hope to blog lots more now that I have a real life again. I’ll be working a more normal schedule and have some down time again for a change. I’ll write more about it in the days to come as I see how things go. Pray for me, though. I’m worried about changing my schedule to a dayshift job. I don’t want to get sick from not sleeping. I hope to write more soon so check back. Frequent updates will start again! Yippee!!
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