Friday, March 27, 2015

I was greedy

Many years ago before I was married, I had my own apartment.  I was in the Canadian Reserves and had to go away for 5 weeks one summer for training.  I had a friend who was in university and worked but still lived with her parents.  I talked to her about subletting my place to help me with costs plus to bring in my mail and water my plants.  She told me straight up that she didn't want to spend a lot of money because she was on a tight budget.  Yet for her, the idea of living alone for a few weeks and in town {shaving time off her commute} was appealing to her.  We agreed on a set amount for her to pay me and I went away knowing my home was taken care of.  It was a mutually convenient situation.

When I came home after my medic course, this friend announced that she bought a car.  She was so excited and wanted to show me, but I was mad and refused.  I was so annoyed that after telling me about her tight budget, she had enough to buy a car!  That was the reason we had agreed on a very low amount for her to stay in my apartment!  She explained that we had agreed on an amount and she worked around that, but I was stubborn.  I felt taken advantage of.
Fast forward to this morning.  I am reading the parable of the workers in the vineyard in Matthew 20.  A landowner hired workers for his vineyard and they worked all day long.  Other workers came on the job site later in the day but they all got paid the same amount.  The workers who were there first and worked the most hours, felt that it was unfair to be paid the same as people who worked fewer hours.  But the landowner reminded them that they hadn't been cheated.  They agreed to work for a certain wage and he paid them that.  If he wanted to pay the others the same, he could do what he wanted with his money.  Here's the passage:
11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner.12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’

photo credit
After reading about the vineyard workers, my mind drifted to that friend and apartment situation that was 18 years ago!  I was so wrong!  I should have been grateful that someone even stayed at my apartment and paid me what she did to help with my rent.  After all, it was my responsibility anyway!  I should have been more understanding of my hardworking friend who was in university full-time plus working.  {This is the same friend who had a paper route when she was in Junior High and always demonstrated a strong work ethic.}  And I was wrong to get mad when we agreed on an amount because I was being purely selfish and greedy.

Essentially I wanted more of her money!  {Talk about humbling me now!}  I was so self-centered and my personal situation didn't change whether she had a car or not.  I realize how wrong I was and I will be sending her a message next to apologize for that!

Equally, the workers' pay didn't change whether more people came on the job site or not.  They should have been content too.  We must be careful to not compare what we have to what is going around us.  We will end up feeling cheated and slighted because of our selfish nature.

Reminds me of this quote by Theodore Roosevelt:

I need to be more thankful and grateful for what I have rather than looking for more.  What about you?

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Another Person's Treasure

Is Spring cleaning on your mind?  Do you have a lot of clutter lying around that you need to get rid of? Wondering…
032315 junk
If you have stuff you no longer use, join me over at OneStopForMom where I share some ideas on what to do with it all!
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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Explanation of my recent FB trim

I have been pretty honest about my struggles with Facebook here on my blog.  {At the bottom of this post, you will see links to my old posts if you wanted to go back to read them.}  For me it goes so much more beyond just wasting time.  I have called it an addiction because of all the issues and emotions surrounding it for me, which I won't get into again, but you can read about in those links below if you want.

I did something last night that I have been thinking about doing for some time.  I did something that many do without any hesitations at all, but for me it was HUGE.

I "unfriended" over 200 people.  
Pfft... Big deal you say?  Well it was for me!

I was the person who added anyone I ever met!  I used to be on classmates.com and gradfinder.com before the days of Facebook.  I enjoyed catching up with old school friends to see what they looked like and what they were up to.  So when I got Facebook I added anyone I knew because I wanted to catch up and keep in touch!

But this added up to too many people to follow.
The Facebook timeline can only show you so much.  Aside from friends, I also "unliked" many of the businesses and pages I followed.  I did that because all those status updates and shares were just so overwhelming.  If I want an update on Kohl's or Target for example, I can just visit their page.  It's public anyway!

It's all just too much.  And it distracted me from what was most important.

So I decided to let my past be the past, and to start living fully in my present.
It was difficult to do because I was letting go.
And I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  I do like people and I enjoy seeing the things they care about and post.  And I like to reminisce about the old days gone by with childhood friends, old classmates and old co-workers.

But I was feeling overwhelmed by all the information at my fingertips.
And I wasted time scrolling through looking at everyone's photos and updates.
I just needed to simplify.


Some say to delete my Facebook account if it's such a big deal!
But honestly, it is a super awesome tool!  And I love keeping in touch with family and friends.  I love having a place to stay connected to local friends and staying current with what's going on in the area.  As a homeschooling family this is essential!  Plus I've been doing my online bible study, and we connect through a Facebook group.  If I were to delete my account, I would be letting go of the good with the "bad".  And that isn't necessary.  So here I am again, tweaking how I do things so I can have the most peace in my life.

I was really convicted this week while we doing my bible study{Good Morning Girls}.  In Matthew 5 Jesus talked about cutting things out of our life that cause us to stumble.  When I read that part, I immediately thought about Facebook!  And cutbacks were what I needed to do.


The way I decided who to keep and who to remove was by asking myself some questions....
Are they in my life now or part of my past?
Can I say three things about them, like the names of their kids?
Am I friends with them just to be nosy?

If they were a part of my past and not bridged to my present OR if I didn't know much about them OR the biggy, I am hanging on because I am nosy, then I removed them from my account.

Not meant to insult.
Just meant to be realistic about what I can handle.

So I write this post to explain because of the guilt I feel towards some people who I have fond memories of.  This "unfriending" thing brings lots of emotions for me so I really hope people understand.  And I hope this post might encourage someone else who also has this struggle with Facebook too!  If the time you spend online is a problem for you, then you might also enjoy some of my older posts, links below.  You are not alone!!

Some of my previous posts about Facebook:
Tips for limiting time on Facebook
Limiting how I personally use Facebook
A video showing how I streamline my time on Facebook
A big confession on how Facebook is my addiction
{To find more, just use the search box in the right column of my blog!}

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Listening with fresh eyes {BTTB}



My Good Morning Girls group just started in the book of Matthew this week!  I am happy to be going through it again because there is so much to learn!  But because I already have read this a few times, my bible is marked up.  In order to read it with fresh eyes I decided to do things a little differently.  {And this is because my eyes kept drifting to my old comments and what I had already highlighted.}

I have the bible app called: YouVersion on my iPhone.  If you go in the App Store, search "youversion" and this is what it looks like:


They have an audio option for some versions of the bible.  So first I listen to the chapter with my notebook in hand.  {So yes that title was intentional...hehe!}  This has been really good because my kids have been in the room so they are hearing it too!

As things stand out, I just jot them down.  Then I open my bible afterwards and write down the verses that the words belong to.  From there I am able to do my observations and application, which is the current format we use at Good Morning Girls.  {Click here} for more information on this.

Here's my page for today if you are more visual and want to see...  Just click to enlarge.


I've done this for the second half of the week and it definitely helps me think about the chapter without distraction.  Hope the idea might help someone else!

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Give them my best

We are currently in our third year homeschooling.  In the first two years, we had outside commitments that took us away from the house through the week, like a weekly bible study for me and preschool for Colin last year.  On the days we were out, it was really hard to get any academics done!

So before we started this year, I was determined to keep our schedule free from weekly obligations through the day in order to really focus on my kids and their education.

And I have to confess, that even with a clean calendar, I find so many things that distract me and keep me from giving the kids my full attention.


I remember when I first had this revelation years ago. I was making a meal for someone who had surgery.  As I prepared the meal all afternoon, my husband asked me what was for supper.  I said that I didn't know what I was making for us... probably have to order out!  I learned from that experience to double the recipe and include my family when I prepare meals, but I still struggle with this concept as a whole.  Why do I serve others wholeheartedly but don't give my own family the best of me?  I know I am not the only one who struggles with this!

This week, in my bible study with Good Morning Girls, we read Exodus 36-40.  It's all about the building of the tabernacle and all the elements around it, including the priest's clothing.  It is VERY detailed and sometimes dry and hard to read.  But as I read, what struck me was the materials that were used.. they were the best!


God gave Moses very specific details on how everything should be built.  Upon reflection, it encouraged me to give my family the same sort of attention.  To really embrace my role as mother and teacher and to turn away from the various things that distract me from this important task.

Rosilind, who is a leader on Good Morning Girls wrote a nice post this week about balance in her life.  Click here to read that.  What I realized while reading it, is that I already did the hard part of pulling back and prioritizing my schedule.  Now I need to take the next step and give my family what I so easily give to others.
To give them the best of me, not my leftovers.
To raise them knowing they are #1 by my actions, not just by my words.
I am raising my kids the same way the Israelites built the alter.  My best needs to go into building them up.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bernard Melanson, Dec.1957 - Feb.2015

My Dad's younger brother passed away on Feb.25, 2015.  He is one of four siblings and the baby of the family, and sadly the first to pass.

I've been living far from my hometown for over 20 years, so didn't know Bernard well and rarely saw him on our whirlwind visits home.  Years ago when I came to faith though, my husband and I went to church with him and his wife Deb on one of our visits home.  I know Jesus was the center of his life and I'm so grateful that I will see him again one day and have eternity to get to know him!

My earliest memory of Bernard was when I was really little.  I was playing in my grandmother's backyard and I saw him walking in the driveway.  I thought it was my Dad and ran to him yelling, "Daddy!".  I still remember the embarrassment when I realized it was my uncle!  ha!  {In my defense they were only a year and half apart and looked alike!}

He had a rough beginning to life losing his Dad when he was a year old and later suffered through some tragedies that no one should live through.  But he did well the past couple decades, with his wife Deb at his side.  He really turned his life around, living to serve others and spread the message of God's love.  I wish I could share more but most of the stories I know are second hand and not mine to tell.  But I can say, I have directly benefited from his faith.  To see my family walk with the Lord because of Bernard's efforts and bible studies, makes my heart so happy!  To hear that my Dad and his siblings were gathering together centered on learning God's word is a powerful image and I am so grateful they have each other.

He will be missed so much by many.  Below is a photo of me with his kids Rachel and Bo {on either side of me}.  I was really close to Bo growing up and my heart aches that they have lost their Dad.


I can't make it to the funeral.  Saint John is buried in snow {with more coming and it's snowing here now}, I don't have winter tires, plus my husband isn't available to travel with me even if snow wasn't a factor.  Just too far in the winter with three kids alone.  My heart is sad to not make it to the funeral.  I hope it's a great celebration of his life!

The bible verse that comes to mind is from Matthew 25...

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; .... Enter into the joy of your lord.’  Matthew 25:23(NKJV)

Well done indeed.

---


It is with sadness, we announce the passing of Bernard “Bernie” Wayne Melanson which occurred suddenly, yet peacefully at his residence on February 25th, 2015 surrounded by his loving family.  Bernie was born on December 20, 1957 in Saint John, NB to the late Vera (Robichaud) and Robert Melanson. Bernard was a devoted family man and a very caring and loving person.  He was a Man of God who practiced and lived by his faith. He especially enjoyed his Tuesday morning Bible Study Group. Throughout his life, he worked at the Atlantic Sugar Refinery, but is well known in the community for owning and managing his own business, “Agenda Cleaning Services” for the past 20 years. Bernie was a huge Montreal Canadians fan and was very avid about sports cars.  Bernie is survived by his wife of 23 years, Debra Melanson and his two children; Bernard “Bo” (Amy Washburn) and Rachel (Daniel) Galbraith. He is also survived by his brother; Jay (Pam) and sisters; Gerry (Frank) Stevens and Bunny Patterson. Bernie will be forever missed by his granddaughter Katelyn Melanson. Also survived by several nieces and nephews. He will especially be remembered and missed by his three special dogs; Teddy, Al and Tucker.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Fundy Funeral Home, 230 Westmorland Road (646-2424).
Bernard will be resting at the funeral home on Friday, February 27 2015 with visitation being held between 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 p.m. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 28 2015 at 10:00 a.m. from the Fundy Funeral Home Chapel. 
Memorial donations in memory of Bernie may be placed with Bobby’s Hospice.
Online messages of condolences can be placed at www.fundyfuneralhome.com
Obituary copied from here.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My Fitness Pal

My husband competed in a Biggest Loser competition at work and he won!  He tracked his food with My Fitness Pal.  It's all about calorie count for him.  He lost 17lbs!!!  For anyone who knows my husband, you'll know that he's not a big guy but my oh my do we both notice a difference!  Aside from looking great, he FEELS so much better!

I have some jigglies to lose myself.  It slowly creeped on since I stopped running a couple years ago.  So I signed up for the same app.  I entered my current weight, my goal weight and how aggressive I want to be to get there.  Then I started tracking my calories too.  It's pretty easy to do with the bar code scanner and the database filled with food items and recipes that people have added.

I am much more aware of what I am eating and am forced to make healthier decisions to stay within my daily caloric allowance.



I just started but one of the revelations I had is that what I thought were healthy choices still were high in calories.  Just look above at my breakfast.  I thought granola was a healthy option but it's high in calories.  Boo!

So even if you eat better, your calorie count for the day may be too high and therefore you won't lose weight.  It's a simple math equation.

The other day we ate at Chili's and I made a good choice for supper. and it was YUMMY!


But stupid me ordered an appetizer and never knew baked potato skins were THAT high in calories!  They put me over for the day.  If I just stuck with the chips and salsa, I would have been fine!


I could have worked out and balanced my calories, but I didn't on this day.  I am not being super aggressive quite yet.  {This is quite the learning curve for me!}

The visual of numbers really helps me though!  If you struggle with losing weight or just want to eat better, then this is a great free app!

PS.  If you follow my blog, you may recall that I wrote about food tracking in January and how my friend and I were allowing ourselves 3 Sweet Chances a week.  We did it through to last week and it was great!  I was definitely more intentional about the sugar I consumed.  But she and I both need to watch ALL the food we eat, not just dessert, so that's why we are changing things up.

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