Saturday, February 26, 2011

Blessings Overflowing

As all of you in blog world know- Spencer lost his job back at the beginning of January and we've been a single-income household ever since (we're completing 2 months of living this way).  It's been challenging, frustrating, embarrassing, and emotional.  We've learned where we can cut back and we've learned things we can do ourselves.

We have prayed (a lot), we've shared our burden with others (thanks small group), and we've continued to rely on God.  Several years back Spencer and I were attending Calvary Christian Church and the pastor did a series on tithing.  I distinctly remember him interviewing a guy that was about my age now.  This guy talked about how early in his marriage he had lost his job.  He and his wife made a commitment to continue to tithe even when they weren't sure if they'd actually be able to pay all of their bills.  He referenced Micah 3:10 which says: Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

Ever since then I've done all I could to tithe.  So when Spencer lost his job, we continued to tithe.  And there have been times that we weren't sure how we were going to pay our bills.  And specific people have been gracious to provide for us.

This last week we were blessed beyond belief by a series of different events.  First of all we received a tax refund check.  Get this- it wasn't from the 2010 tax year, it was from the 2009 tax year.  Apparently we'd overpaid them by a significant chunk of change and we're just now getting reimbursed for it.  Spencer also has a STRONG lead on a job offered by a gentleman from church.  We're in the process of selling some things we've had in our garage FOREVER, and my family was so kind to send some gift cards for us to use for Valentine's day so we were able to treat ourselves to a date.

I suppose not everyone would view this the same way I do, but I can't help but to see God's fingerprints all over this.  I truly believe that these blessings are a testimony to tithing even in difficult times.  I believe God has honored us by following his command to tithe.

Praising God for many blessings this week!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hotel Obsession

Ok, I know that the title sounds like a naughty hotel somewhere in the slums of L.A. but really... it's how I feel about hotels.  I seem to have a small obsession with them.  Anytime I travel anywhere I look forward to staying at a hotel.

I really wish I did have the money to stay at some nice four or five star hotel- the kind that's been in some famous movie or something like that.  I don't know what it is.  I've loved staying in hotels ever since I can remember.  And I (strangely) have distinct memories of some hotels.

So when it comes to vacations, even though I try to pinch pennies so we can get the most out of every trip, there's a part of me that really wants to throw it all out the window just for the sake of staying in the kind of hotel you see in magazines.

This is dumb.  I know.  Anyway... for now I'll live vicariously through PW and her hotel room tours.  At least I get to see what it looks like inside of the nice hotels that are pictured in magazines and seen in movies.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A bit of my Brittish heritage

Many of you know that my dad was born and raised in the good ol' UK.  He came to the US to attend Nebraska Christian College, met my mom, married her, and stayed.  It really is quite a romantic story for another day.

Growing up with a Nebraska-raised mom and an English dad was probably not as unusual as growing up in other multi-cultural families.  My dad obviously speaks English (the real kind he'll tell you) and has a charming accent.  My sisters and I grew up making fun of the way Dad pronounced many words.  We still make fun of the way he pronounces many words.  I think he likes it.  Dad says vitamin (vitt-a-min), aluminum is (al-you-min-ee-um), garage is (gare-uj) and so on.  I distinctly remember when we were learning that "ee" makes the long E sound in first grade.  Our teacher pointed out that this is true except in a few words like been which is pronounced with a short E sound.  I argued until I was blue in the face that it was pronounced with a long E sound.  See what living with a Brittish father did to me?  It screwed up my American English!  :)

Another thing that we experienced growing up were some traditional English/Scottish dishes.  My mom often made roast beef with yorkshire pudding on Sundays.  Marah and I actually loved steak and kidney pie when we were younger, scones are a family FAVE (when done the right way), and shortbread has always been a delicious treat.

My parents have always allowed us to travel as well- another perk to having an immigrant dad.  When we asked to go on overnight or week-long trips, my parents were always game.  The summer after my senior year of high school, my sister Marah and I traveled to Romania without our parents.  Someone asked my mom if she was scared for us to be alone and she told them that Dad had come halfway around the world and it worked out- she was just letting us do the same thing.

So even though my dad has been Americanized some, I still inherited some of his culture- and I'm proud of it!
I drink several cups of tea a day- black, not flavored.  Shortbread is one of the world's most delicious treats to me!  I love to travel and have never had any fear visiting any other country or city.  I think scones came straight from God himself, and I LOVE meat pies (think steak, brown gravy, onion, and mushrooms)  YUM!