Monday, March 28, 2011

Blissful Weekend

This past weekend was wonderful! Chris was out of town for the weekend which gave me the excuse to do whatever I wanted . . . relax, read, watch a movie, cook, clean, whatever!  I was free from all obligations this weekend. (Well, I did miss one meeting I was suppose to go to after church, but I forgot about it. Oops!)  I'm not saying I don't like having Chris home, I actually LOVE it when he is home with me, I miss him terribly when he's away even for just a night.  But having him gone motivated me to work on some things I wouldn't normally have gotten around to.

On Saturday morning I was actually wide away at 6 a.m. but made myself stay in bed until 8. After my quiet-time and breakfast (and doing a couple of loads of laundry in between) I went to a shoe store where I had plans to get new orthotic insoles for my new shoes. This was actually a big deal for me for a couple reasons. 1) I've been "prescribed" custom orthotics that would cost upwards of $800 and this shoe store could potentially solve my issues for under $100 and 2) I NEVER drive in this city, so this was good practice. I'll have you know my parallel parking was near perfection. (My parking job the next time was not so impressive.)

After grocery shopping on my way home and grabbing a quick lunch, a few girlfriends came over for a sewing party.  It's so much fun to see each other's progress as we work together. My experience sewing as a kid could best be described as "frustrating." (For both me and my mother.) Now, I'm either more patient with myself, or have more realistic expectations, because I find it fairly relaxing. My tree skirt is coming along nicely; you can follow this project in more detail here.

The highlight of Sunday was trying something new. I went to a restorative yoga class. My physical therapist recommended it after seeing how much stress I was holding on to. From what I can tell, restorative yoga is basically taking the time to focus on your breathing and holding positions that allow you to really let go of tension in your body (and mind). I can't say that I LOVED it, but I was glad I went, and hope to do it again next weekend. It's easier on the body than regular flow styles of yoga so wasn't quite so intimidating for me as a beginner.

I also had time on Sunday to make some cards. I'll be adding a post about those later on. I have been making cards for years, mostly at Christmas time, but now I'm trying to be a little more resourceful and make them for weddings, birthdays, and other card-worthy occasions.

And now it's Monday and I have to get back to work. Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Giving Thanks for Employment

Today I am celebrating my one-year anniversary of being employed. It started with a temporary position as a data-entry operator for a non-profit missionary organization. Not much has changed since then except my employment status became "permanent" rather than temporary and now I have benefits.

You may be thinking, "Emily, why would you celebrate something so mundane, so ordinary? It's not like you have an incredible job or anything. Everyone expects you to be working anyway." And you're right, my job isn't glamorous by any stretch of the imagination, but I have to say, having a job for an entire year after going through six months of unemployment is worth celebrating. Especially since there are 13.7 million people in the United States that can't find work. (That figure was taken from a March 4, 2011 News Release from the Bureau of Labor Statics U.S. Department of Labor.)

Last night, Chris and I were talking about what it would be like if I were able to be a house-wife; what would I do if I didn't have to work. And honestly, I'd probably end up sitting on my bum all day kind of like I did when I was unemployed. (Okay, that's not exactly true, I had projects, I worked-out, I read and prayed a lot, but I did feel like I was being lazy during that time!)

And I realized as we were talking that I'm glad I'm working again. I'm very thankful the Lord provided me with this job. I do get a little stressed out every now and then trying to fit everything into my week (groceries, cooking, cleaning, doctors appointments/calls, hanging out with my husband and my friends, hobbies, etc.), but I do enjoy working. I enjoy getting out of the house everyday, building relationships with my co-workers, and being apart of this great missionary organization. I also enjoy my paychecks!

This year has gone incredibly fast! I cannot believe I've been working for Jews for Jesus for a year. I'm so thankful that the six-week temporary job turned into being something more. That very fact gave us the courage (and proof-of-employment) we needed to move into San Francisco. It was a very encouraging gift from God after those six long months of silence!

185.9 Miles - going a bit slower because of rain and some foot pain

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I have tried to be runner. Seriously, I have. In 2007 I trained for a 5K. I suffered through shin splints and pushed my way to run 3.1 miles in 30 minutes (my goal) without stopping to walk. And then . . . back pain. Serious back pain. So, I gave up running and started seeing doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists. And I came to the conclusion that running just wasn't for me. 

Then, about three weeks ago I got the itch again. I thought, this time I would go really slow and everything will be great.  I found a training schedule for a 5K online so I would gradually add running to my walking. I had good shoes and I was feeling very healthy. I was ready to do this again.  

Only this time, it didn't take months to develop back pain. Oh, no, it took three days. Lame. 

I really shouldn't be so frustrated over this. Walking is a very healthy activity and hopefully it's something I will be able to do for the rest of my life. But sometimes, I'd like to go a little faster!

175 Miles

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Where should I cast my net?

The sermon at church this morning got me thinking. The Pastor expounded on the last chapter of John where Simon Peter and the others go back to their fishing careers after Jesus has been resurrected. John records one last encounter with the Christ.

Here's verses 3-4 to help set the scene:
Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing. They said to him, "We will also come with you." They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing. But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
What caught my attention was found in verses 5-6:
So Jesus said to them, "Children, you do not have any fish do you?" They answered Him, "No." And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch." So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. 
Now, the rest of the chapter has a lot of other great stuff too, but this is where I stopped. The thought that popped in my head as I read this was, "Where should I be casting my net?"

If I cast it somewhere other than where Jesus tells me to, I will obviously not have a very successful catch. But I have the potential to catch a "great number of fish" if only I would listen and cast it where He tells me to. So, the questions has to be asked, "Hey Jesus, where am I suppose to be casting my net?"

I should probably clarify at this point that I'm not really talking about fishing. I'm talking about fruitful living. I'm talking about living the life that Jesus asks me to live—abiding in Him and bearing fruit for His kingdom!

Sometimes I feel a little like the disciples in the boat after a long night of empty-net fishing. I'm tired, discouraged, hungry, and maybe a little hopeless. I don't know what to do next. I'm here, I'm ready, and I'm waiting for that next step to be revealed. I'm clueless.

It's interesting that the disciples were so close to the abundant catch Jesus had for them. They were just on the wrong side of the boat! What is that, like maybe ten feet off? Apparently, ten feet makes a huge difference in fishing . . . a difference of about 153 fish. (NOTE: I have no idea how wide the boat was.)

But the real difference was heeding the voice of Jesus. They had been doing it all on their own. They were stuck and ready to give up. They had produced no "fruit" for their efforts. But when they heard Jesus' voice and followed His direction it changed the outcome of that fishing trip completely!

I desire nothing more than to follow my Lord whole-heartedly. And part of following Him is waiting. His timing, His plan, and His ways are perfect. But today, I can't help asking, "Jesus, where do you want me to cast my net? What do you want me to do? Where do you want me to invest my time, energy, talents and money? What fruit am I to bear?"