Saturday, January 21, 2017

Avere Fede... Have Faith... Three F's 1/21/17

Avere Fede... Have Faith... I saw this bracelet at the downtown market today, and had to have it. I told the guy that makes them that it is one of my three focus goals for the year. I stepped out in faith that our voices will be heard by the people in power in Washington DC, as well as here in Columbia.

What an amazing day today was. If you haven't seen how I spent the morning, look at my last post. 
I shared the following on the Facebook pages of my Senator and Congressmen, as well as emailed it to them: 
Today women from around the world, and on all seven continents held rallies and marches to support equal rights for all humans, and to PEACEFULLY protest some of the proposed changes under the new administration. We stood united to make our voices heard regarding LGBT rights, Woman's reproductive rights, Equal pay, Affordable Care, Education, and our disgust over the past actions of our newly inaugurated president. These people in these pictures are the people you represent! Please listen to what we have to say and support the people you represent! Say no to Betsy DeVos! Protect the rights of all South Carolinians!

I've seen some posts, disparaging those of us that marched and rallied today. I pray those of you that think that the peaceful rallies were "stupid" and "unneeded" never have your rights jeopardized by our government. No, my rights, right now aren't in jeopardy... but the rights of some of the best people I know are.

Today I saw men and women of all races, religions, and sexual preference standing, walking, talking, hugging, thanking and enjoying one another.

I saw the pro-life sign carrier hug a pro-choice sign carrier, I heard them talking and having an honest discourse about what they meant by their signs. Turns out the pro-choice sign carrier wasn't just meaning pro-abortion, she is pro women's health, which the pro-lifer could get behind. I talked to women who marched in the sixties, who were devastated that all they marched for back then is in ruins.

I talked with both women and men veterans, who are worried about healthcare, and women's equality. The one gentleman told me, that he approved of the Secretary of Defense nominee, but was worried about health care because his son will lose his health insurance if ACA goes away. So he wasn't there necessarily protesting Trump as President, but some of the actions he has already taken.

Personally, for me, I was out there marching not only for the rights of adults, but the rights of our children. The right for all of the children of this country to have an equal education.

And honestly, some of the people that I see "hating" on the people that marched today and stood as one, were some of the biggest complainers, who supported the protests and riots 8 years ago. Hypocrites much?

Finances... Another good Uber day. I would go a few minutes without picking up a rider, and start to head home, only to get a rider on the way home that would lead to four or five more in the drop off area. Met some really neat people, especially the international students. Two from Scottland that I picked up from the British bar, and two Chinese students. They were all very interesting to talk to and learn a little about in a 10-minute car ride.

Fitness... I only got in a 3 mile walk before the rains came in. We had some pretty severe storms this afternoon, with tornado warnings and all.

Columbia SC Woman's March 2017

Today women from around the world, and on all seven continents held rallies and marches to support equal rights for all humans, and to protest some of the proposed changes under the new administration. We stood united to make our voices heard regarding LGBT rights, Woman's reproductive rights, Equal pay, Affordable Care, Education, and our disgust over the past actions of our newly inaugurated president. 
These are just a few of my pictures from the Columbia SC rally and march. 

January 20, 2017 the Three F's...

So it's already January 21st as I sit down to type this tonight, but for a good reason.

I worked hard on my focus goal of Finances tonight. Tonight was my first Uber driving experience, which with my first trip managed to hit on Faith as well.

I started the app on accident leaving work today, and thought to myself oh why not, not really thinking anyone would be looking for a ride between post and my house. Turns out I was wrong. I picked up one of my neighbors from her work and took her home (about a block from our house). The nice thing was that it led to a conversation about Faith, as she was frantically trying to reach the hospital in Charleston where her dad has been inpatient for three weeks. They called her twice right before she was getting off of work, and didn't leave a message, so she was in panic mode. Her dad was released to the nursing home today, and the nurse was calling to give her a "this is what his vitals were when we released him" update. However, he and their family need our prayers, prayers for peace to be accepting of the things that the didn't see before his health issues became urgent, and prayers to understand where God wants them to be led now with his health.

After coming home and unloading the car, I drove towards downtown just to see what happened with the app. My first trip on this segment was two teenage boys who wanted to go to the basketball game, whose momma said take an Uber, I'm not driving. And then she gave them tip money, Go Momma! Dropped them off and drove further into town, where I picked up a nice couple heading to the concert downtown from an AirBnB. They were in town for a wedding tomorrow, but could only get the AirBnB for two nights so decided to make a weekend of it by adding in the Lee Brice concert. After that it was mostly USC co-eds, mostly girls who didn't want to walk in the dark between apartment buildings or dorms. USC's campus is pretty spread out around downtown Columbia and even into Cayce and Rosewood, so I can't say I blame them. I know if either of the girls went there I would tell them to Uber it rather than walking through some of the areas between sections of campus. As the night went on the conversations got more and more interesting. However, everyone was very respectful. The only thing? College kids don't tip, which I figured, but where have we as parents failed our kids, when they don't think about things like that?

Tonight I learned, not to head to the college quite so early, but also which area to be at early in the night and which to be at later (like when they are heading to the bars). As with all college campuses there is one group of dorms/apartments (upper classmen) that is the pre-party, if you know what I mean.

Faith-I know I touched on this already a little bit, but I've got some more to add.
1. Once I had faith that I could do this Uber thing and have success, it started coming easier.
2. One of my school babies and their family needs prayers, and lots of them. I don't know any of the details other than it has been rough, and I don't need to know them. I just know that they need people praying for them.

Fitness-Day 5 Rest Day! No walking/run today... but I did lug in the cooler with 40 pounds of ice 6 quarts of half and half, rock salt, etc. etc. etc. into my classroom from the far parking lot (I had the cart, so don't go freaking out that I tried just carrying it), and back out (almost empty) again.  I also hit my 10,000 steps for the day.

One additional thing about finances... I'd like to point out to President Trump, Betsy DeVos (Secretary of Education Nominee, who I really don't feel is qualified!), and all of the Senators, Congress members, governors, and state level people who set the "tax breaks" for educators at $200 a year. It is January 20th, 2017, and I have already spent that and then some on school supplies for my classroom.... because:
a) The American public doesn't spend enough on education to where we as teachers aren't spending our own money. So there isn't money for us to go and request science experiment supplies, unless it is something we plan a year in advance, and had better not be something that you are going to need tomorrow, or even next week.
b) Some of our resources are so out of date, the only way to teach our kids up to date information is to use things like Teachers Pay Teachers, or order our own curriculum supplements (and in theory I work for a well funded school system!)
I know I could spend less on my classroom, but I want my students to have the best of the best, and since it's my first year back as a classroom teacher, in a while, and my first year having my own second grade class and not a long term sub, there are just things I feel I need to best educate my kids.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Random Musings of my Three F's 1/19/2017

Finances: Today, I made my first purchase for my LulaRoe Room. I needed to go by Goodwill to drop of some of Declan's clothes that he has outgrown (and that have been in my car for weeks), so I decided to run in and see what they had. It's just two wicker baskets, for a total of $6, but they sure made me smile. It's going to be a long 6-8 weeks waiting on that call! I really love the Valentines holiday leggings that people are just starting to get in, and I have a pair on order, but I am trying to be good and not order anything else until after that call, so that I can save all the money I can for when the call finally happens.

The other news of the day is that I have been accepted to drive for Uber. I'm going to try it out this weekend and see how it goes. I am really wanting to pay off as much as we can, and a second and third "job" will really enable me to do this. The good thing about each of these "jobs" is that I don't really see either of them as a job, and I can do them on my schedule, that can be as flexible as I am willing to let it be. I know I will have to put in the work to reap the rewards, but I am willing and able to do so. I also figure if Uber works out, then I can do it and save the money until LulaRoe kicks off good (everyone says that will happen fast.)

Fitness: I managed to get dinner in the oven and go out on my walk while it was cooking (frozen lasagna). Another 4 miles in the books, for a total of 18 this week. The training plan calls for a rest day tomorrow, but it will depend on my step count. Today's stepcount is almost 18,000 steps, by the time I go to bed, it probably will be. No more lazy couch potato for me!

Faith: I listened to "The Message" on Sirus XM both this morning and this afternoon, and tonight I watched 3 devotionals dedicated to Facing the Faith. What I found most interesting about this is that when I went on to Pintrest for some other things, the Serenity Prayer was one of the first pins, and then when I did a search for devotionals (without pinning it) it came up in three different formats (same working, pictures, and backgrounds were different.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. 
Living one day at a time, enjoying one day at a time, accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.
Taking this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to his will.
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with him forever in the next. 

Yup, I need to live that... 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Finding my focus...

3.3 miles done tonight, making for 18 in the last week.

I didn't come home and go straight out like I should have, which translated to not having the motivation to go. It hasn't been a good week mentally, and I was just tired.

Then I realized that I hadn't hit my step count goal for the day, and I have a decent little streak going. So I set out specifically with that goal in mind, knowing I needed at least a mile to hit it. Once I hit my step goal, I was at 1.30 miles, and decided I was almost 1/2 way to my daily marathon training goal, so I just needed to finish.

While I was out walking, I was having a talk with the Almighty, asking for guidance, asking for strength, and thanking him for what I already have. Suddenly, I remembered the sermon Steven Furtick preached on Sunday. Aim you Arrow, Find your Focus, and use the Power of Precision. That we have to view the victory as already being won, to stop looking at the limitations and start looking and grabbing the possibilities, everything we need is already within our reach.

I have three arrows for this year and I have to keep them shooting at the prize. Fitness (Marine Corps Marathon), Finances (reduce our debts to as low as possible, and being out of debt besides my student loans by December), and Faith (returning to the word).

My walking/running every day is that arrow aiming for and declaring victory over running, and finishing the Marine Corps Marathon in October. I'm joining a new workout group in late February/early March to build up my endurance and strength, it's an expense that I know could go to paying bills, but I need accountability, and I need assitance from a real live coach.

The arrow aiming at our finances is paying off one bill a month, and snowballing that money into the next bill. I've already seen the power of doing this, by paying off one bill with my last paycheck (except a little bit because we owed a little more than I was completely spending out of my check, I was worried if I did it, I would use the card to buy groceries or gas because we didn't have it in the checking account), and moving the rest of the usual payment amount to another bill. Doing this will put the second bill within a month of being paid off. It has been pretty eye-opening to actually sit down and look at.

The arrow aiming at my faith, includes attending small group weekly, reading my Bible, and listening/watching devotionals daily.

I know that I can't give up, and I can't quit when I am tired. I must keep fighting the battles that have already been won. I have to just keep my eyes on that victory.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Faith, Trust and a Whole Heck of a Lot of Pixie Dust

To say that it has been a trying couple of months would probably be an understatement of huge proportions. Things haven't necessarily gone the way that I would want them to. I've had to fall back on my faith and trust that everything will work out in the end, even if I had to make some decisions and have some conversations that were hard to have.

There have been a couple of bright spots of course.

This fall I got the classroom position that I have been wanting ever since the end of my first school year back in DoDEA. I am now teaching second grade, and loving every minute of it. This means my school life is busier than it has been in a few years, but I don't mind in the least.

Natalie and Trey got married in March, in a lovely ceremony at our local state park. Jerry, and both of our moms were able to be here, which was important to Natalie, and made it a true family affair.

In April, Trey left for basic training in San Antonio, followed by tech school in Witchta Falls. Now they are stationed in Oklahoma City, and seem to be enjoying it. They spent a couple of days over Christmas in Iowa with my grandparents, meaning they had their first real taste of winter and snow driving. 

Jerry is still working in Saudi Arabia, some days he likes it well enough, others not so much. 

Kelsey has taken over Natalie's job at the vet clinic as the receptionist.She is still taking pictures and enjoying life. If you need a photographer, let me know, she does a great job. 

Declan is in seventh grade and is a typical pre-teen boy. There are days when I think people who said boys are easier are liars who lie. 

I am starting to run again. I was supposed to run the Marine Corps Marathon this past October, but was injured and deferred my entry to this coming fall. My first half for the year is in March up at the Biltmore in Asheville, followed by the Publix Half in Savannah in April, and the Marine Corps Half in Fredricksburg VA in May. After those three we will have to see where the road leads. I know I will do at least 3 more leading up to MCM in October, but the where and when is still up for decision. 

Now for the faith, trust and pixie dust...

In December I was introduced to LulaRoe by a friend. Of course, I had heard about the company before, but I thought it was just leggings, and really didn't see the point. Then I went to a multi-consultant popup that was held on the other side of town, where Kelsey and I both found outfits that we could wear both casually and at work. We attended another multi-consultant popup the following week and an in-home pop-up, followed by my joining several Facebook groups, starting with the groups for the ladies I had bought from, and then extending to groups that people suggested, or these "loop" giveaways. Through one of the groups that was suggested to me, I "met" Whitney and Jon. Something just clicked and I found myself looking for their live sales, and following their page more than any of the others. 
I looked at becoming a representative for the last month, but honestly the startup cost scared (still does) me. However, I was almost obsessed with the thought of doing it, and was trying to find ways to make it work. 

Then yesterday's sermon was talking about working your window. Meaning taking the opportunities when they are presented to you, and to keep going even when the going gets rough. About the time the sermon was wrapping up, I got a message saying that Whitney and Jon were going to do a live Q & A about becoming a consultant, which I missed by being at small group, but knew I could watch when I got home. When I got home and started watching, I realized they were answering all of the questions that I had thought about over the last month. I asked them a few more questions, and they added me to a Facebook group that caters to people asking questions and getting more information. I just felt like the sermon series, and yesterday's sermon in particular, was telling me that I have to have faith and trust that this will work. Jerry and I had a conversation about it, and he told me if I have the faith he does too. 
 So I am stepping out on that trust and faith and have joined the "que" to become a consultant. It's about a six to eight week wait to get the call saying you can place your first order, and then another week or two until you get your first order in. So I am looking at late March to early April before I can really count on getting started, which gives me time to save the money for the "extras" like hangers, racks, business cards, and a sticker for my car. 

I know that I can rock this, and I know this will help us achieve all of our family goals.  I can't wait to get started.