Sunday, January 18, 2015

goals and planners

I started the Gideon Bible study last week. I think it promises to be wonderful. Mama and Minita are going with me, and I love the peppy lady Pam that facilitates the study.

Sarah bridal shower is next Saturday. I met with Tammy at the church to look at all the decor that is available, and I have been collecting everything that I have and want to use. I am feeling good about it, and the other bridesmaids are planning to be involved with helping. Tomorrow is a holiday, so I can get more done (photos printed, etc.)

Things are moving forward towards selling Sarah and my house, 2110. Her Mark has owned a house for several years, and they don't want to start married life with the responsibility and burden of two mortgage payments. At first, I was pissed, since I will be losing almost a decade of equity into a real estate investment (that was all it ever was for me, since I love the family home and want to live there). I asked the Lord what to do, and for a long time I heard nothing. Then, boom! Around the first of the year He spoke pretty loudly, and not just to me. Mama, Tricia, and I all are reading the McCheyne plan for reading through the Bible, so within a week's time we all had heard the same thing out of 2 Chronicles. It was cool. But Sarah and Mark have still been worried about it all because it affects their finances and could affect their wedding date. I am at peace that God will sell it sooner rather than later!!!

My Cognitive Psych class started in Monday as well. I love studying the brain and mind and love this professor, Dr. Russell, as well!

This week was busy. On Monday I had b
Bible study and came home to start my class. On Tuesday I went to an ENT appointment with a new doc, Dr. Bots at Baptist, to get my ears cleaned out before I have any more problems with them. That night I taught a "Basic Essential Ouls" class, and 11 ladies attended. On Friday I picked up orders across town: a Frontier Co-op order and some Ortho Jelly from Old Thyme Remedies. I finally got an iPhone 6 as well. That has been several years overdue, since I dunked my 4S in a pool while chaperoning at a school event. It is not a personal purchase since I mainly use it for school business every day of the the week, so that is a nice perk of working for a non-profit. Then yesterday, after studying cognitive neuroscience all day and taking a test, we took Sarah out for her 33rd birthday and went bridesmaid dress shopping. I think that I might have the dress that I want...a pretty lace-bodice chiffon dress with a fishtail back. 

Today is my Sabbath. I am doing Bible study homework, setting goals for the week, bridal shower prep, cleaning out the fridge, and sorting through a pile of paperwork and receipts that has piled up in the last month. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

happy new year

Here it is. The beginning of a new year. A year of new beginnings.

2014 was a doozy. I can say that I am glad, heartily glad to see it go. It was such a hard year, trying my soul and spiritual mettle to breaking. And my dreams and goals have grown and broadened.

We rang in the new year with Alex and the Horn kids. We had watched all nine hours of the the LOTR extended trilogy and ate lots of snacks. It was a great start to 2015!

I was asked what is my WHY several times, especially towards the end of the year. It is a question that the Young Living hierarchy beats on their encouragement drums. I read my first MLM business-building book in October. The Four Year Career by Richard Brooke was a quick yet inspiring read. I look forward to expanding my knowledge about essential oils, as well as building this business.

As I thought about my WHY, I discovered several things about myself. First, I am not as organized as I would like to be. I have spent many hours over this holiday sorting through piles of paperwork, receipts, mail, old bills, and school papers that should never have been allowed to accumulate. I can do better than this, I know.

The second thing that I realized is that I cannot do everything. I cannot do more than I can do. And sometimes, I need to sit and sip a cup of hit tea and think about nothing. It's not about how groomed my yard is, or how beautiful my garden is, whether I get everything done that I need to do, making an "A" on every paper and test, or signing up new YL members at every class I teach. It is about trusting God and taking each day as it is given to me.

I am starting my journey towards a more organized life with a 2015 Calendar Planner. I purchased it today and am excited to use it. I confess, I have never used one. Ever. I have always journaled and blogged in various levels of writing fervor, but I have never, to my knowledge, written down my goals, appointments, and busyness.

During October's FCCPSA training workshop, I learned several new organization tools that we have already implemented and will continue to develop. I designed and published a brand new CIAS website. I am very proud of it. I spent over a month this past summer working on it, deconstructing the old one and creating a fresh new advertisement profile and informational website. For the very first time, we also transitioned into online reporting system. I am not entirely pleased with the record-keeping website that we chose (it was the only one that I knew of at the time), but I have since found another that I think will better suit our record-keeping needs. I also created a professional profile for the school (to be used for NCAA and such) and wrote a new Scope and Sequence manual, complete with learning objectives for each grade level. There is more to do on it, tweaking it to my liking, but the first edition is published.

Getting the last graduating class through school was quite a feat. Many of them were unmotivated, and some have just finished this December. Prom in April was a bomb in more ways than one. I was asked, by the organizing committee, to leave the premises twice. The gall of some people. I had forty students with me and have always stayed to watch over them. Other that that poisonous sting, it was a fun evening. But...the kids have decided that we will throw our own prom this spring. Oh, boy! There will be more about that to come, I am sure.

Summer was largely absent from school this fall, as her mother was in the last stages of cancer treatment before she died in October. Kristen has been my right hand woman, especially since Tricia has not been at 100%. One noted miracle of the year happened on one day that Kristen could not come to work, and that next morning, it was as if Tricia rose from a deathbed to teach again. I was in awe of Jehovah Jireh!

I have been working very hard to pay off all my credit cards. I hate my debt, and I hate that I let myself get into debt. Student loans are bad enough, without having my former spending habits haunting me. I have been gaining control and have been doing so much better, each year gaining  more and more control and disciplined over my finances. I started working on paying it all down/off three years ago. In 2014 I have paid off three two cards completely, and they are now out of circulation, so to speak.

Tricia finally qualified for disabilities. Poor thing. She can't work very much anymore, her physical body is so weak and stiff. But her disabilities is a pittance. I want her to get a lawyer, and her neuro suggests it. So I have taken the brunt of supporting the family. I barter with one of my school families, and their boys help me with landscaping and yard work. So the yard is getting tamed, more to my liking. And Tricia gains strength and continues to maintain the bookkeeping and taxes and all her accounting duties. Things I have never had the patience for.

I also refinanced the 2110 house this year (Okay, I HAVE gotten a lot done this year!!!). We are saving ourselves several hundred dollars a month now, and Sarah has kept renters all year, but I have profited little from that income. I have funded several home repairs and remodels at the 2012 house in 2014. That is where I live with Mom and Tricia. Half the house is unused, so we cordon it off to save money. We finally had the tile shower finished in the newly combined bathroom that Daniel had started so many years ago, as well as a dozen other projects that Bryan M fixed for us. Daniel came over and ran my dryer lint hose out the back of the house, so that it would not continue to blow into the rec room and make a mess. It is so much nicer, and I am thankful to him.

Tricia and her bushel-full of health issues almost swallowed the summer in its entirety. What an ordeal she has been through, and what effort Mama and I have put out to save her health!!! In March, I put Tricia on a stricter Paleo diet, and in April I joined Young Living to use essential oils on Tricia. By the time May rolled around, Tricia was off her feet. By June, she was bedridden. After 90 days, we began to see results from our drastic efforts. It was a very difficult three months. Thank Hashem for His mercy and grace throughout that trial. I thought I was going to have a heart attack from all the pressure.

She was finally diagnosed with a general diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis and is now on methotrexate to help with pain, swelling, and stiffness levels. Her colonoscopy report came back good for the first time since diagnosis: no ulcers (last report, her colon was "fully involved"). Her MS is not currently active, although its effects are ever present with a stumbling gait and neuropathy in her legs (burning). 

I have continued to maintain weight loss throughout the year. THM has been a God-send! I have pulled down 75 pounds all together so far, and I have kept it off. I am sixteen months into my THM and weightloss journey. Over the holidays, I felt very good and had lots of energy. I am so pleased that God has shown me what to do to get healthier.

Our nieces continue to delight us. It brings great joy to me to see them grow up to be sweet, kind, and loving girls. Corrie Lynn has accepted Jesus as her Savior and is such a sensitive doll. Juliana Mae has been learning to be sweet and more tolerant of others. She is a determined and cheerful girl, and her impromptu kisses and declarations of love are heart-melting. Leah Kathleen is our baby, and she knows it! Her main phrase now is, "I don't like it." She loves baby dolls, so Mrs. "Aubee Santa" put together pink bunk doll beds and a high chair for Little Miss' Christmas. It is so cute to watch her play with them!

We are glad Cori and Brian are close by in Magnolia Springs. It makes for a better aunti-life. And Cori's emotional support has been a life-saver for me! :-)

Sarah started dating a fellow named Mark Garcia in August. They are now engaged and planning to be married in March. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we all went with her to find a wedding gown. She will be lovely on her special day, and I am one of her maids of honor. This has been a growing experience for the family nucleus and will continue to be so, I believe, as time passes. I love my baby sister and am determined to have the mind of Christ in all things.

I did not quite get my Christmas tree decorated this holiday. We bought a beautiful tall Noble fir right after Thanksgiving, and I put lights on it. But ornaments? No. I was sad that I had no time, and when I did, I did not feel well or had other, more pressing things to do. I told Cori that I should hire her to do my decorating next year! :-) We did put out the lighted Christmas nativity in the yard ( for the first time in many years) and candle lights in all the front windows. And also decorated the school quite nicely earlier in the month.

Mama continues to age. I feel for her increasing feebleness. She helps me care for Tricia and is our main chauffeur. Right now, she has injured her knee, so I am driving them around. I do not like that role, as I am not used to going out so much.

I am plugging away at my psychology degree. I love my psych classes, as well as my Biblical studies classes. This fall, I took Theories of Personality (loved!) and then Intro to Philosophy (hated!). This spring I take Cognitive Psychology and Psalms. I should love both! I have begun searching for a Masters program that I am interested in, since I am near the end. I am tossing around pursuing a MSW. Regent and Liberty are on the block. Student loans mount, but my trust is in the Lord. He knows what I need and when I need it.

Adding essential oils to my daily routine has been life-saving. I feel better and was able to overcome a bout of depression that tried to oppress me this fall pretty quickly. I am on a better routine of supplements now, as I can afford them.

Instagram and Facebook both saw quite a bit of me, snatches of time here and there. I started The MaryBeeBuzz profile for my Young Living business, as well as established a Young Living website. I read 50% of the Bible through. I had wanted to read it all the way through, but I did better than last year, so that is what I focus on. I did not get to read as much as I would have liked, mostly due to my studies. Most evenings are consumed with reading and writing for classes. I am thankful for holidays and summer terms, free from the grind.

I have decided to make new five and ten year plans. I had thought that by the time I am 45, I wanted to foster or adopt (if I am unmarried). But now I think I will focus on finishing a Masters and then begin familial pursuits. Then maybe I will work on a doctorate in counseling. That could take me to 50, eleven years from now. And my dream of running a family counseling center could be realized.

My remodeling project plans for 2015 include the sun porch and lighting and flooring for the kitchen. For the sun porch, it will need tiling, replacing its window, blinds, and painting. I would also like to move towards a total remodel of Cori's old bedroom, removing paneling, putting up drywall, and putting down carpeting, replacing the window and lighting fixtures.

I need to clean out the attics and the second story of the storage shed. These are projects that I hate to tackle on my own.

I have bought a ticket to go to the August Young Living convention and am looking forward to it. In September I will be 40; it seems hard to grasp that I am this old. I do not feel it. I may do something special to celebrate, or go somewhere. Cori and Brian seem to take yearly trips to the Tennessee mountains, so I may treat myself to an early bday gift in the spring.

I will complete 12 more credit hours as well, inching me towards my educational goals. I am also looking forward to several Bible studies, the first of which is Priscilla Shirer's study of Gideon at Hillcrest BC starting in several weeks.

More about my New Year Resolutions later...
Hello, 2015!
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