Young Married Group Meeting

I started talking with one of my married friends a couple months ago about how there just doesn’t seem to be many groups for young married people. I’m not sure why that is, but it seems to be true where we live. I’ve tried calling different churches and everything, but there are just not very many places to meet other married couples.

So my friend and I talked with our husbands and we decided that we’d start our own. We picked out a Bible study to do, set up our first meeting and invited any other couples that might like to come.

On Monday we had our first meeting. If you want to call it a meeting. Derek and I kind of messed it up.

When we first set it up we said we’d meet at a Starbucks downtown at 7:00 PM. We figured it would be a good time to meet because then we’d have two hours after work to get down there.

Well, they changed Derek’s work schedule this year so that he doesn’t get off until 6:00 PM. I’m not sure why we thought we’d still be able to make it down there in an hour, but there was just no way. So I called to let my friend know that we’d be there a little late.

As we approached the area we realized that the directions we had printed from the internet to the Starbucks were incorrect. We ended up calling my friend again and one of the other husbands directed us to the Starbucks. By the time we got there we were forty minutes late.

When Derek was on the phone getting directions a bunch of water suddenly splashed onto our windshield. We thought maybe someone had dumped some water out their window or something. Until we pulled into the parking lot of the Starbucks and the coolant light came on. Then we realized that all that liquid was the coolant from our car. I’m just glad that we made it there before we broke down.

Sometimes I think Satan likes to sabotage us when we try to get to know other married couples. This has happened to us before – the care broke down last year when we tried to meet up with another couple for dinner and a movie.

So we went in to Starbucks, feeling a little embarrassed, and let everyone know what happened.

It was a meeting in the sense that we all met there, but the arrival of Derek and me broke up the meeting. The other couples were so nice about it though – my friend told me they were all hoping that we wouldn’t feel bad, because they had a nice time talking, and we weren’t planning on starting the Bible study part until next time anyway.

All things considered the evening turned out alright. We met the other couple and sat and talked for a few minutes, then my friend and her husband took us to a Checkers and Derek bought a wrench and fixed the car himself (I’m so glad I have a husband who knows what to do when stuff like that happens). While the guys were fixing the coolant hose I got to visit with my friend, so it all worked out okay, even though it didn’t turn out like we expected.

I’m pretty excited because it seems like it’s a really good group! It’ll be nice to be able to get to know everyone and to make some friends as a couple. There are only two other couples besides Derek and me, but I think that’s a good number. In three weeks everyone is going to come up to our house for the next meeting.

Looks like I have some cleaning to do!


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Grumbling About Blessings

Today I've found myself rather grumpy. I've been focusing on some of the little things that have annoyed me this weekend. Little "bumps in the road".

Like the fact that my bank account was rather depleted during the Christmas season and I was planning on using any extra money for the next couple months to build it back up. But then Derek told me that the car is due for new tires (both snow tires and regular tires) and it will probably come out to about 800 dollars to get new ones.

Like the fact that we're starting our young married Bible study group (the brain child of a friend and me) tomorrow, but we just found out the Starbucks we were going to meet at closes early. Not a big deal, but we'll have to do a speed discussion so we can get out of there in time.

Also, I ordered the books for the Bible study two weeks ago, but we only got one of them in the mail just this weekend, even though we ordered two, so Derek and I have to share until the next one comes. The problem is that neither of us have that much time to do the first lesson before our first meeting, and we don't work anywhere near each other, so I have to try to hurry and do the Bible study tonight so I can give Derek the book tomorrow.

Derek has an early hockey game tonight though, and I'm going to it because he doesn't have many of those early games, so I'll probably have only a half hour or something to work on it.

There's no way both of us are going to get our Bible study done in time.

And of course the early hockey games still only start at 8:20 PM, so it's going to be a rather late night. Especially considering that I spent Saturday night with my mom's side of the family and he had a friend over, and neither of us got to bed until after midnight, and we both have to wake up at 4:30 AM (Derek) and 5:00 AM (me) tomorrow.

And the house will probably be a mess all week, because it's kind of messy now, I have a full week of work and will only have Wednesday to get anything done, and the house will only get worse with me and Derek working so much.

It's kind of hard to eat in between patients at work, and this week is a full week, so I'm hoping I don't lose any weight. I still haven't got to my goal weight. Gracious, you think it would be a little easier to gain six pounds.

Honestly though, tonight as I thought back on all my current annoyances, I realized it's not bad at all. Our life right now is really very smooth. My bad attitude is probably partly due to sleep deprivation, but that is no excuse.

These irritations are just like little lines in the pavement that give your car a little rumble as you pass over them. Derek and I could be on a washboard dirt road right now. We have been in the past - like those months that we were unemployed last year. It's so easy to forget how easy and blessed life really is right now, and how hard it could be. I'm ashamed of myself for allowing these little things to get to me.

All my complaints and grumpiness today were really about blessings, which makes them even more pathetic. Maybe we have to spend extra money on tires, but at least we have extra money. Maybe we won't be ready for our Bible study tomorrow night, but at least we have good Christian friends and a free country that allow us to do this Bible study. Maybe we'll be really tired tomorrow, but it's just because of all the fun stuff that we get to do, like hockey and time with friends and family. Maybe the house will be messy, but at least there's a house to live in. And I'd rather be worried about gaining weight than losing it.

How often do we complain about things that are really amazing blessings for us? I wonder how often the Lord hears our grumblings and frowns upon them because we're picking apart a gift that He has given us. The thought grieves my heart.

The Lord has given us a beautiful house, cute dogs, good jobs, food to eat, clothes to wear, a wonderful country to live in, and each other to lean on. There is nothing to complain about. In fact, even in the hardest times there are always blessings to be found. How terrible that we always search out the problems when the blessings are much more obvious. I think the Lord must be hurt and even righteously angered by our self-inflicted and willful blindness.

Lord, forgive me for my grumbling. I get so frustrated at the Israelites in the Bible for grumbling when You had provided everything they need, but I so often do the same thing. You would be right and just to be angry with me for my grumbling, but You are so gracious to me even in my sin and You forgive me when I fail. Thank You for all the incredible ways that You provide for us and bless us - I am awed by Your grace, and there is no way I could ask for anything more.

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A Scratched Eyeball And The Woes Of Contact Lenses

Have you ever scratched your eyeball? My left eye currently feels like I scratched it. There is nothing quite like the discomfort of a scratched eye, especially when you wear contact lenses. All you fellow contact-wearers out there know what I’m talking about.

Last summer I went from wearing gas-permeable contact lenses to wearing soft, disposable lenses. I haven’t worn soft lenses since I was twelve years old. When I first started wearing contacts I had the soft lenses. But one day I dropped one, and when I found it a few minutes later it was shriveled and warped, and it never fit my eye correctly again.

So when I was around thirteen years old I went to the hard, gas-permeable lenses, which were much hardier. When I dropped one it could not be ruined unless someone stepped on it. If it needed a little moisture I didn’t have to use fancy moisturizing drops – I just popped it out, stuck it in my mouth for a moment to clean it off, and popped it back in. Ah, for the good old days.

However, this past year I’ve been having problems with my gas-permeable contact lenses. They kept getting these sticky, foggy deposits on them. I had to clean them about ten times a day, and sometimes I had to physically scratch the gunk off them with my fingernail. I suspect it may be because I went to one of those chain eye doctor stores for that pair, and maybe they were just cheap and more prone to problems..

At any rate, I decided I was done with that, and I gave the soft lenses another try.

You know how they say to change the soft lenses every two weeks? Yeah, right! I don’t have sixty bucks to be spending on new contacts every month and a half, so Derek and I make those babies last for about two months each. Maybe longer.

But soft lenses come with their own set of problems. My eyes seem very prone to scratching with those lenses – the gas-perms were better that way, because they were like a little shield for my eyeball. I have to be much more careful when I put on mascara now.

Maybe it’s not a scratch; maybe it’s a little infection going on because bacteria have started to grow on those over-the-hill soft lenses. Yuck! I hope not.

Either way, my left eye has been red all week, and today it was hurting me at work. If it’s just an infection from an old lens I’m hoping a new lens will make it all better.

If not, then my eyeball is definitely scratched, and I’ll have to wear glasses to work tomorrow. I think everyone at work secretly thinks I look funny in glasses. Sometimes I can pull it off and my glasses make me look sophisticated, but it’s hard to look sophisticated in scrubs.

Oh, for twenty-twenty vision! Or lasic eye surgery; lasic would work. I’m not opposed to artificially-induced twenty-twenty vision.


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Where Christmas Goes

Today I’m taking down the Christmas decorations. I was going to wait until the weekend, but as I started thinking through our plans this week, I realized that today was probably the best day for me to get it done.

Taking down the Christmas stuff is always a little depressing for me. It means that Christmas is over for another year, and somehow my regular decorations always feel cold and un-exciting after the tree is gone.

There’s really no way to make it more fun. I figured I’d pick out a movie that I haven’t watched in a while and play it in the background while I work. It’ll make the work less boring, but there’s no way to make the task festive. It’s not as if I’m getting ready for summer now or anything – there are at least four months of winter left, and no more Christmas.

See? It’s just depressing.

There is, however, a song by Sawyer Brown that makes the whole process a little more bearable for me. It’s called “Where Christmas Goes”.

Where Christmas Goes by Sawyer Brown

Gold cardboard angels --- popcorn on string
One matchbox manger not fit for a King
Old decorations going back in their box
Down came the Christmas tree --
Just a child in its spot

And I was that child asking my Daddy why
Some things just come when it's Christmas time

Chorus
Tell me where Christmas goes
After all the gifts and snow
I hope it doesn't go far
Daddy said close your eyes
Remember when and you will find
That it's right where you are
Cause Christmas goes right to your heart

Two little people look up from their beds
No bedtime stories --- just questions instead
How do reindeer fly and where do they live?
And do little elves really make all the gifts that Santa gives

Oh I was that child asking my Daddy why
Now I look at their faces through my Daddy's eyes

Tell me where Christmas goes
After all the gifts and snow
I hope it doesn't go far
Daddy said close your eyes
Remember when and you will find
That it's right where you are
Cause Christmas goes right to your heart



I love this song, because it reminds me that even though Christmas is over and the Christmas decorations are being boxed up, all the warmth and memories of the year will still go straight to my heart.

I thank the Lord for allowing us to keep memories like that – just like Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). I think the Lord gives us the ability to keep memories, because when times aren’t so great we can think back and remember how the Lord took care of us and blessed us in the past, and that will give us hope for the present and the future.

Through all the cold winter months and dark times in life, the Christmas memories will still be there, carefully guarded and preserved. It’s one more reason why Christmas is such a special time of the year – the memories are something we can ponder and treasure forever.

So as I pack up the ornaments and take down the tree, I’ll be remembering all the fun things we did and the happy times we had this year, and the process of taking the decorations down won’t be so bad. With each ornament and figurine that I put away, I’ll take a Christmas memory and pack it up in my heart, so that in the future I can remember everything that Christmas has brought and all the Lord has done for us.

Nothing lasts forever, but the memories will always be there, and the Lord will always be faithful. And that is really quite comforting.


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The Bookworm Side Is Showing . . .

In 2009 I read a total of 36 books. Actually 36 and a half, but I haven’t had a chance to finish one of those books, so I’m not counting it. Here are the books I read in the year 2009.


BOOKS I READ IN 2009


• Fifth Seal by Brock and Bodie Thoene
• Fourth Dawn by Brock and Bodie Thoene
• Shiloh Autumn by Brock and Bodie Thoene
• The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers
• No One Cares What You Had For Lunch by Margaret Mason
• Blogging in Pink by Michelle Mitchell (http://scribbit.blogspot.com/2009/04/ebook-is-here.html)
• Midnight In Madrid by Noel Hynd
• The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (See my review post at Bound to Books, "The Screwtape Letters")
• Every Now And Then by Karen Kingsbury
• Double Minds by Terri Blackstock
• Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler
• Between Sundays by Karen Kingsbury
• Conspiracy in Kiev by Noel Hynd
• Take One by Karen Kingsbury
• The Wiles of Watermelon by Lynette Sowell
• Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie
• The Proposal by Lori Wick
• A Girl's Best Friend by Kristin Billerbeck
• She's All That by Kristin Billerbeck
• Shadows of Lancaster County by Mindy Starns Clark
• Calm, Cool, And Adjusted By Kristin Billerbeck
• Breaker's Reef by Terri Blackstock
• Sunset By Karen Kingsbury
• Someday by Karen Kingsbury
• The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
• Save the Males by Kathleen Parker (Please see my review post "Saving the Males")
• Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs (Review posts: "Please, Stop the Craziness! (To Be Continued . . .)" , "C.H.A.I.R.S. - Advice For Wives", and "Rewards For Obedience"
• The Case For A Creator by Lee Strobel (See the post inspired by this book, "By The Things That Are Made"
• Are We living in the End Times? by Tim Lahaye (Started in 2008 - see the post inspried by this book "Musings of a Bookworm - Signs and Library Books"
• Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer
• The Longing by Beverly Lewis
• The Forbidden by Beverly Lewis
• The Parting by Beverly Lewis
• As Sure As the Dawn by Francine Rivers (See the post inspired by The Mark of the Lion series, "Musings of a Bookworm - Salty and Shiny"
• An Echo In The Darkness By Francine Rivers
• A Voice In The Wind by Francine Rivers


The Mark of the Lion series (“A Voice In the Wind”, “An Echo In The Darkness”, and “As Sure As The Dawn”) by Francine Rivers, “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis, and “No One Cares What You Had For Lunch” by Margaret Mason were among my favorites this year. If any of you want to know my opinion of any of the books on my list, please comment or contact me!

There are quite a few books on my “To Read” list for the year 2010. Here are a few of them.


A few books I got on sale this past fall:

• Stranded in Paradise by Lori Copeland
• Bittersweet by Cathy Marie Hake
• The Centurion’s Wife by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke
• Let Them Eat Cake by Sandra Byrd


Some books that I think look interesting:

• Life Without Lawyers: Liberating Americans From Too Much Law by Philip Howard
• Going Rogue by Sarah Palin
• The Dumbest Generation: How The Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30) by Mark Bauerlein


C.S. Lewis books:

• The Great Divorce
• Mere Christianity
• Out of the Silent Planet
• Perelandra
• That Hideous Strength

Classics:

• Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
• Persuasion by Jane Austen


Possible Re-reads:

• The Lord of the Rings Trilogy



I’m not sure if I’m going to get to all of these books (even though this is a limited list). But I’m going to try. What do you guys think? Any must-reads that I should add to the list?


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How To Gain Weight

Do you all remember how a few months ago I said I was going to try to gain a few pounds? The reason was because I read that women with low body mass indexes can have trouble getting pregnant, and my body mass index was low, so I figured that might be why I was having issues.

Well, the whole gaining weight thing did not go well. I gained about four pounds for about a month, but then I lost it again – and I wasn’t even trying to lose it. For some reason food was just not as appealing once I knew I had to eat it.

Apparently if you skip meals because you don’t feel like eating you’re not going to gain weight. Part of the problem is that when I have to work I get pretty tired when I get home, and then I don’t feel like making a good dinner. Derek usually ends up having leftovers on work days, and I end up skipping dinner. And then sometimes I make dinner but I just don’t feel like eating.

Well, last week I went to see a fertility doctor to see what he thought. And guess what he told me? Apparently I’m too skinny, and he doesn’t think I’m going to ovulate unless I gain weight.

That’s the same thing I thought all those months ago – pretty smart of me, huh?

He recommended I shoot for three well-balanced meals a day, and no skipping. And here’s how you know he’s serious – I asked if I should try to work out to gain muscle or if fat tissue was better. He said that he wanted me to gain healthy weight, but exercising would probably be a little counter-productive. A doctor actually said it might not be good for me to work out too much. Yep, it’s that bad.

I guess it makes sense that you’re not going to ovulate if you don’t eat enough. I was talking to my mom about it, and she said that she thinks it was designed that way. If you aren’t eating your body knows that it barely has enough food to keep you healthy. Your body doesn’t want you to get pregnant if your current food intake isn’t enough to support you and a baby. Hence you don’t ovulate.

So I’ve been eating like crazy for the past few days. The doctor said if I gain about 5% of my weight it might help. That comes out to about six pounds. It probably won’t be too hard to put on the weight, but the hard part is figuring out how to maintain once I get there. I don’t want to keep gaining weight, but I’m worried that if I get to my goal and then cut back on my food intake again that I’ll end up losing the weight.

Gracious, I never knew gaining and maintaining would be so tricky.

I’m hoping that when I gain six pounds I won’t really look heavier. I’m a little worried that I’ll gain the weight and then people will look at me and think “Wow, Callie has put on a few pounds.” I know, I worry too much about what people think. I just have to remember that I’m not letting myself go, I’m doing it on purpose, and hopefully I won’t look heavier, I’ll just look healthier.

Any weight-gaining or maintaining tips? I know, that’s kind of a weird request. Also, any ideas for easy dinners? I need to think of some quick, easy meals or crock-pot dinners that I can make on the days that I have to work, so that I’ll actually eat. Derek will probably appreciate not having to eat leftovers on work days too.

As always, prayers are appreciated!


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2010 Book List

January 2010

Stranded in Paradise by Lori Copeland

A cute Christian romance novel. Just a light read, with humorous catastrophes and a little romance thrown in. My only problem with this book was that it was slightly fluffy. The main character became a Christian by the end, but the conversion wasn't very strongly explained, and that bothered me a little bit.


Let Them Eat Cake by Sandra Byrd

Didn't really like it too much. The story would have been really cute, but the main character, who was a Christian, was a little hostile toward church at the beginning, had various crushes on guys and didn't bother to determine if they were Christians, and decided one of the guys was a Christian just because he knew about a Bible story and went to church. Any spirituality was mainly referred to in the vague terms of "being a Christian" and "God", and Bible verses were mentioned, but it didn't really talk about Jesus at all, which kind of bugged me. Much too fluffy. It's too bad, because if the Christianity was explained, and the change of attitude was stronger, the book would have been a fun read. On top of the the end was quite disappointing - I wouldn't recommend it.

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