24 09 2007

Woo Hoo!  I just checked our blog stats and realized that Hina’s comment on “A Highly Enlightening Waste of Time” was this blogs 100th comment.  And just so everyone knows, Hina is the one who sent these facts our way.  I love stuff like this!  And, I was able to actually use a fact in conversation the other day when Winston Churchill came up.  I added the “highly enlightening” fact that he was born in a women’s restroom during a dance!  Come on now, who would’ve known!!! 


$$$ Not a waste of time!!! $$$

24 09 2007

Really, this is not a waste of time.  I realize my recent post of random useless facts wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  But the following really should be, so I thought I’d pass it along.  My parent’s recently sent Joshua and I a cd series called the Financial Peace University.  This came along with workbooks and additional reading by author, speaker, and radio host Dave Ramsey ( www.daveramsey.com ).  This is a 13-week curriculum from a Christian perspective on wisdom for taking control of your finances. 

In part I’m writing this post in hopes that doing so will provide a measure of accountability for completing the course.  But also to pass along what I’m learning and hopefully ingrain as much of it into my brain as possible. 

Its not always easy to talk about money and how we manage it (or don’t manage it).  But as Dave points out here in the USA the personal savings rate equals -2.2%.  Compare that to Japan. . . the individual saves about 27% a year.  Another interesting fact: USA Today notes that the average car payment is $464 over sixty-four months.  And most people will carry a car payment their entire life.  Did you know that if you invested $464/month from age 25-65 in a mutual fund at 12% you’d have $5,458,854 at age 65?  Hope you really liked that car!

The College and Career Ministry (Crossroads) that Joshua and I serve in at church recently began a study on the book of James.  The first message focused on being Wholly Devoted to Christ.  Centered on James 4:1-10 we were warned against worldliness and given 10 ways outlined in vs 7-10 to receive God’s grace.  You can listen to the message for free by going to http://blogs.sovgracefairfax.org/crossroads/ and clicking on the link to the right for messages.  As we consider how to glorify God in the area of our finances I am encouraged (and hope you will be as well) that James 4:6 says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  I know we have made many mistakes along the way but we are hopeful as we humble and submit ourselves to the Lord in the area of finances that He will be greatly glorified in this. 

And for your enjoyment. . . Belle thought she’d read up on Financial Peace too!
Reading with Belle

An Update

21 09 2007

I wanted to update with some new pictures.  Work has been great and Nathaniel and Lydia are sweethearts for sure.  Belle has even found a new friend in the family’s German Shepherd- Gretchen AKA- Doodle.  Enjoy! (sorry for low quality on some. They were taken with my phone)

Nathaniel and I had a picnic lunch in the basement.  His bike came too!


Lydia is a true princess indeed!


Here’s Gretchen

Gretchen AKA Doodle

Belle and Gretchen chillin in the great fall weather!

Belle and Doodle

A Highly Enlightening Waste of Time

18 09 2007

Warning. . .  this will take about 10 minutes to read.  And sorry to my husband Joshua who thinks things like this are a silly waste of time, hopefully some out there can appreciate this!  Enjoy!

·        A cat has 32 muscles in each ear ·        A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue ·        A dime has 118 ridges around the edge ·        A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours ·        A goldfish has a memory span of 3 seconds ·        A ‘jiffy’ is actually a unit of time for 1/100th of a second ·        A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes ·        A snail can sleep for three years ·        Al Capone’s business card said he was a used furniture dealer ·        All 50 states are listed across the top of the Lincoln Memorial on the back of the 5 dollar bill, but you can’t see all of them ·        Almonds are a member of the peach family ·        An ostrich’s eye is bigger than it’s brain ·        Babies are born without kneecaps- they don’t appear until the child reaches 2-6 years of age ·        Butterflies taste with their feet ·        Cats have over 100 vocal sounds- Dogs have about 10 ·        ‘Dreamt’ is the only word in the English language ending with ‘mt’ ·        February 1865 is the only month in recorded history that did not have a full moon ·        If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction ·        If you are an average American, in your whole life you will spend an average of 6 months waiting at red lights ·        In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated ·        It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open ·        Leonardo Da Vinci invented scissors ·        Maine is the only state whose name has only one syllable ·        No word in the English language rhymes with month, silver, or purple ·        On a Canadian 2 dollar bill, the flag flying over the Parliament building is an American flag·        Only 2 words in the English language have all five vowels in order- abstemious and facetious ·        Only 4 words in the English language end with ‘dous’- tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, hazardous ·        Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing·        Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite ·        Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated ·        ‘Stewardesses’ is the longest word typed with only the left hand- ‘lollipop’ with your right ·        The average person’s left hand does 56 percent of the typing ·        The bible does not say there were 3 wise men- only that there were 3 gifts ·        The cruise liner QE2 moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns ·        The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket ·        The stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks- otherwise it would digest itself ·        The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid ·        There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar ·        There is no Betty Rubble in the Flintstones chewable Vitamins ·        Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur ·        ‘Typewriter’ is the longest word that can be made using the letters on only one row of the keyboard ·        Winston Churchill was born in a ladies’ room during a dance ·        Women blink almost twice as much as men·        111,111,111 multiplied by 111,111,111=12,345,678,987,654,321·        35% of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married·        40% of all people at a party will snoop in your  medicine cabinet·        A duck’s quack doesn’t echo and nobody knows why·        A keyboard does not have a ¢ key, but the typewriter does·        Ancient Clans that needed to get rid of unwanted people without killing them would set fire to their houses, hence the expression “getting fired”·        Bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers were all invented by women·        Coca-Cola was originally green·        Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: Spades=King David, Hearts=Charlemagne, Clubs=Alexander the Great, Diamonds=Julius Caesar·        Everyday more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury ·        Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of their birthplace·        Hershey’s kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks as if it is kissing the conveyor belt·        Honey is the only food that doesn’t spoil·        If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle.  If the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds in battle.  If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.·        If you put a raisin in a glass of champagne it will keep floating to the top and sinking to the bottom·        If you were to spell out numbers, you would have to go up to one thousand before you found the letter ‘A’·        In Scotland a new game was invented.  It was entitled Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden… and so the word GOLF entered the English language·        In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer.  Hence the phrase “goodnight, sleep tight.”·        Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair·        It is impossible to lick you elbow·        It was the way in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with as much mead as he could drink.  Mead is a honey beer, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon·        Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups.  When they needed refill, they used the whistle to get some service.  The phrase ‘wet your whistle’ is inspired by this practice·        Mel Blanc (the voice of Bugs Bunny) was allergic to carrots·        Men can generally read smaller print than women can; women can usually hear better·        Months that begin on Sunday will always have a “Friday the 13th·        ONE person in two BILLION lives to be 116 or older·        Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th (John Hancock and Charles Thompson)   Most of the rest signed on August 2nd , though the last signature wasn’t added until 5 years later.·        Pearls melt in vinegar·        The average number people airborne over the Unite States at any given hour is 61,000·        The cost of raising a medium sized dog to the age of eleven is $6,400·        The fingerprints of koalas and humans are virtually indistinguishable; so much that they can be confused at a crime scene (and why would a koala be at a crime scene?)·        The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone·        The first novel ever written on typewriter was Tom Sawyer·        The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower that the lowest point in Colorado·        The most popular boat name is ‘obsession’·        The percentage of Africa that is wilderness is 28%·        The percentage of North America that is wilderness is 38%·        The state with the highest percentage of people who walk to work is Alaska·        The world’s youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China 1910·        The youngest pope was 11 years old·        There are more cattle than people in Texas·        There are more chickens in the world than people (may they never revolt)·        There are more collect calls placed on Father’s Day than any other day of the year

  • And finally, one more random fact… At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbows!


My new job

13 09 2007

On Tuesday September 4th I officialy began my new job as nanny to Lydia age 5 and Nathaniel age 3.  My primary responsibility is Nathaniel because Lydia is in school all day.  It seems that over the years my nanny jobs has focused on this 2-3 year old boy age.  I love this age!  They are so explorative, creative, and imaginative. 

Well I just had to pass the two latest Nathaniel quotes along because they were to funny to keep to myself.

Nathaniel: “Bethany, why are strawberries red?”

Me: “Well Nathaniel, that’s the color God made them.”

Nathaniel: “Why did He make them red?”

Me: “Well, I guess he liked that color for strawberries.”

Nathaniel: “hmmm, I would have made them yellow.”

While driving on the highway with the windows rolled down. . .

Nathaniel: “Bethany, why is the word high in highway?”

Me: “uhmmm, well. . .really long complicated answer of why I thought the word high was in highway.”

Nathaniel: “oh. . . . Well are there lowways?” 

There are just some questions you can’t answer with, “Because God made it that way.”  I think I have to work on answering the why questions! 

Not so hopelessly flawed…

7 09 2007

I watched one of my all time favorite movies on Labor day.  My amazing husband recently purchased Little Women for me- thanks babe!  Monday morning seemed a perfect opportunity to snuggle up in bed, pj’s still on, eat my breakfast (thanks again Joshua) and lose myself in the lives of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. 

During my second year at Teen Mania ministries, my three roomies and I found a comradery in this familiar tale and were each named a character in the novel.  If memory serves me correctly Laura was Meg, Heidi was Beth, Christina was Amy, and I Jo.  Upon watching the movie I found myself relating so well to Jo as she meets Professor Bhaer and they discuss philosophy.  Jo makes the statement, “I fear I am hopelessly flawed.”  To which Professor Bhaer responds, “We all are.” 

In recent days I have found my battle against indwelling sin to be one I easily give up.  I’ve focused more on my own ability to be good, and get things right; often doubting/questioning God’s goodness and character.  I’ve questioned why God gives us desires, good desires, and then leaves them unfulfilled.  As many reading this may know, the desire for me is children.  But the struggle could really be anything (ex. trusting God in our singleness, dealing with illness, deciphering God’s direction and will for our lives, etc.). 

I’ve heard it said, “Have joy in it all….  Praise God through your suffering…. God must have big things waiting for you….”  I’m sure you’ve heard them too.  But some days, things like this just make you mad!  You don’t have joy, You don’t think God is good, and you think God must have forgotten you even lived in this fallen world!    And then you feel awful for thinking these things; and I usually go to the place of, man I wish I was more spiritual like so-and-so.  Or sheesh, I bet my husband wishes I would just get over this.  Or recently, God, can’t you just take this stupid desire away!  And I usually will say something like, “I’m just going to decide that I don’t want kids, ever, yeah, that’s it. . . you don’t want kids, you don’t want kids. . .repeat 700 gazillion times!

We should know by now this is not a helpful way of dealing with sin!  And that is why today I am so thankful for God’s grace extended to me in various ways.  Monday as I was in the worst of my self-pity and desirous of self-sovereignty Joshua gave me an article he read by Paul Tripp, you can read the post here http://paultrippministries.blogspot.com (It’s entitled Productive Delay).  These are the parts that stuck out to me.

“For years I just didn’t get the biblical concept of waiting. Waiting seemed a meaningless drag, forced onto us by the fact that Someone else is in charge of the narrative that is our lives. We hope, we dream and we wait. We cry, we plead and we wait. We run, we work and we wait. We minister, we serve and we wait. We think, we study and we wait. Sometimes we wait, we wait and we wait. Such is life in the middle of God’s great, big redemptive story. So, with gritted teeth and emotions that fall short of joy, we resolve ourselves to the fact that we’ll have to wait. God is God and we are not…so what can we do? We wait.

But waiting on God isn’t like this at all. Waiting on God isn’t about the suspension of meaning and purpose. It’s part of the meaning and purpose that God has brought into my life. Waiting on God isn’t to be viewed as an obstruction in the way of the plan. Waiting is an essential part of the plan. For the child of God, waiting isn’t simply about what I’ll receive at the end of my wait. No, waiting is much more purposeful, efficient, and practical than that. Waiting is fundamentally about what I’ll become as I wait. God is using the wait to do in and through me exactly what he’s promised. Through the wait he’s changing me. By means of the wait he’s altering the fabric of my thoughts and desires.” 

Did you get that??!?!?!  Our waiting, our trial, everything we’re going through isn’t about the suspension of meaning and purpose, it is part of God’s sovereign plan for our lives.  Waiting is purposeful, efficient, practical.  There is so much more to be said on this subject!  (Paul Tripp has 6 recent posts on this subject, you should read them all!)  My hope and prayer though is that today and each day we will not look to ourselves but to our saviour for He truly is working out His sovereign plan. 

And in regards to feeling hopelessly flawed. . . well, yes if we keep looking to ourselves to be better, and do what’s right our situation is hopeless!  But because of the cross and the redemptive work of Christ, I no longer have to live without hope!  He is changing me, sanctifying me, and showing me His beautiful plan. . . You and I are definitely NOT hopelessly flawed as we look to our Saviour today! 

Free Books – If you win…

6 09 2007

For you book hounds out there, Tim Challies is doing another fantastic give away!

sept Giveaway