Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blurred Vision

Between training class, homework, painting, visiting family, and just pure exhaustion I have been quite the blog slacker.

My bad!

I don't ever mean to slack off this much, but one day turns into 3, which becomes 5 and then before I know it, it's been a week and a half with no blogging!! Holy goodness!

This week, McStudly and I vowed to do absolutely nothing beyond what was absolutely necessary. Needless to say, we've only been doing dishes in the Puhl household. We worked so stinking hard the last couple of weeks that we are pooped! So this week has been relaxing, catching up on our backlog of tv shows (our poor DVR was at 96%, which I didn't think was possible), eating yummy meals at home again (after eating out so much due to our rush), and just enjoying each other's company.

It's been so nice. It's already Thursday and I am SO glad we've spent most of the week relaxing. We didn't get everything done that we wanted to before his mom got into town, but we were close! I know I'll be forgetting something, but here's a quick version of what we did in just 2 weeks:

- prime everything

- paint living room

- paint kitchen

- paint spare bedroom

- catch up on laundry that's WAY overdue

- new faceplates on all outlets and switches (except in the master bedroom)

- fresh paint on window sills and doorways in the kitchen and living room

- switch up a bit of the decor for fall (and to go with the new orange wall)

- dust EVERYthing (also long overdue)

- vacuum everywhere

- BIG bathroom clean downstairs

- TOTAL bathroom wipe-down upstairs (again - long overdue, but our toilet is kept clean, I'm not that gross!)

- dressers de-cluttered

- kitchen table de-cluttered (it collected quite the random mix while we were getting all of this work down around the house)

And, as is with any Puhl House remodelling project, we ran into a few setbacks along the way (thankfully, there was no need to call the Home Owners Insurance this time around):

- primer was spilled on the carpet (have I mentioned how clumsy I am?!). We had to stop everything we were doing to clean that junk up... scrub. Rent a rug doctor from the local grocery store (thank goodness someone had thought of that) and steam the rest of that mess outta there. Luckily, we acted fast and furious and you can't tell ANYthing was spilled, now - SCORE!

- Austin, our McPup, was spending one of our paint days over at my parents' house with Luke, their Labrador, frolicking through the backyard care free. Well, apparently something either bit him or somehow infected him, because he came home with a bump on his side. We checked him for ticks, and found nothing. Then, a week later, the hair feel off on that spot. Eek! Then it seemed like it was getting a little bigger. I took him to the vets immediately and they thought it may be something as simple as ringworm and gave me some ointment to put on his boo boo twice daily. It seems to be helping a little, and I think the hair is finally starting to grow back, BUT the samples they took turned out negative for ringworm. Who knows what it was! He never really reacted to us touching it or anything, but I'm glad he's finally getting better. My poor little puppy!

- I bought some white touch-up paint for the ceiling and trim and such. Well, I didn't pay a ton of attention and accidentally bought sating finish, instead of flat. Needless to say, the ceiling now has a few shiny spots. It's a little weird, but it's only temporary. I finally bought some flat paint and we'll be fixing that oopsie pretty soon. Nice, huh?!

- I bought the wrong size blinds for our windows. :-( My bad. Luckily Lowes is awesome and I just returned them for the right ones, but it was still a bummer, for sure!
- We didn't even think to check for the studs in the wall when putting up the curtain rods. Let's just say it ended up not happening, and we now have 4 new holes to patch and paint over. Awesome, right? yeah... we didn't think so either. And we're way tired of our nosy neighbor looking into our house through our deck door. Creeper!!

We still have a little bit of work to do, like painting the trim and window sills in the spare bedroom, and replacing all of the outlets and switches (we ended up just putting the faceplates on the old ugly ones to save time last week). And the blinds and curtains need to be hung, too, so we'll have to get that taken care of sometime, too, I guess.

Basically, a TON has been done, but there'e still a lot left to do. I will leave you, today with pictures of our yucky old green kitchen. It looks like green threw up in there because it was EVERYwhere! Way too much green, and not the nice pretty green, either. Check it:

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Equations of Leadership

Leadership = not promoting yourself

Leadership = honoring others

Leadership = being faithful with what you've been given

Leadership = partnering with your leader's vision

Leadership = FULLY putting your heart into what you do and believing in it entirely

Leadership = reflecting your passion in what you do

Leadership = not living in denial, but focusing on God and the positive for a moment and putting all of your situation and hurt to the side to just focus on Him and nothing else

Friday, October 9, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

So I've recently been presented with a few decisions that need to be made, and it's forcing me to really evaluate where I am, right now.

For those of you who have read fairly regularly, you know the McStudly and I are really involved in our church. We love it! I really wish, most of the time, that I could get paid to do that instead of working at the full-time job I have (though I do actually enjoy that, as well). Ah well... one can dream, right?!

Anywho, I was recently approached about becoming more (or perhaps just a tad differently and a bit more frequently) involved in one of the areas that I thoroughly enjoy. And in actuality, it was literally a dream come true... as in - I had a dream about it a week or so ago. Crazy, right?! Yeah. I thought so, too. And when this person told me the other night that they had something they wanted to talk to me about, my thoughts went to this dream. Of course, being of the female persuasion and all, my thoughts then quickly went to "am I in trouble?" or "what did I do?!", but I was assured I was not in trouble at all... though I was still a bit anxious about it (who wouldn't be?!).

I said I'd talk to McStudly about it, since it involved more of a time commitment and I"m already pretty spread in several different directions (which actually caused them to almost not ask me at all, because they knew I was so busy. Nice, eh?).

So, basically, I've been thinking about it a lot. Like a LOT lot. I'm not one to believe in these kinds of coincidences as purely random, but more like purposeful. Does that make sense?! Between the dream, and thinking this was what it would be about... and then actually being right. I dunno - call me crazy!

But here's where I struggle. Remember I said I'm already pretty spread in several different directions? Yeah. As in here's what I do on any given week: Sunday morning: church (sometimes both services). Sunday evening: Underground (Young Adults). Monday: free (woohoo!). Tuesday: worship practice. Wednesday: church early for prep and then helping with Fusion (Youth service). Thursday: Pregnancy clinic training. Friday: free (hopefully date-night). Saturday: who knows... cleaning, laundry (yeah right, ha!), sleeping in!!!

I'm not insanely busy, I suppose, but keep in mind that Tuesday - Thursday activities are not including McStudly. He isn't involved int he worship team, or youth, or the pregnancy clinic. So we see each other before and after, but it's kind've like ships passing in the night. Also, there are monthly meetings involved (sometimes multiple) with all of these ministries, so they usually take up another night or two, here and there, so it's ends up being one packed month after another.

I say all of this to get to my point, I suppose. Making this change means that I need to make a sacrifice somewhere else. That's why this isn't a "Well, of course!" kind of a thing, right now.

Sidenote: On top of that, the McStud and I have been having a very... trying week (we all have them - you know where you just keep butting heads and/or missing each other and it's juts rough all around?! Yeah. That kind.), so that hasn't really helped, much.

I really want to do this, but I don't know how I feel about stepping down in the other areas I'm involved in. It's not easy. It's going to take a lot of thought and prayer, as well as discussion with the hubster before a decision is reached.

FYI: in case you're wondering, it's not like I'll be moving to Africa, or anything, so you may think I'm making a bigger deal out of this than I need to (not that you know what it is, or anything), but to me, it's personally a hard decision.

I just feel torn, I guess is the best way to put it. I'm involved in all of these ministries because of various reasons, but mainly because I have a heart to be there. So it's not like I could just drop it like a bad habit and move on to something else, ya know?! It's hard to see something that seems so right just out of your reach, and you have to let go of something else to get to it... sometimes more than one "something else", like in my case - I feel like letting go of just one thing won't really change anything or make extra time or add less stress, but that it would take letting go of two things just for the 1.

Am I babbling? Or hopefully I'm at least making a little teenie bit of sense in here, somewhere?!

Maybe blogging about it is helping me to feel like I'm working things out. Pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, in this case) can really help me sort out my thoughts, sometimes.

All I know is with all that went before this - the dream, kind've seeing it coming (does it sound bad to say that?! It feels like it sounds really snobby and braggadocios - Ooh... HUGE points for using that word in a blog on a Friday!!), and then actually hearing it. I don't know - call me crazy, but I feel like this is where God wants me. And on top of all that, I've already been trying to stretch myself in this area. I mean... McStudly and I have had many a conversation about it and my trying to better myself and step out of my comfort zone (that could be a whole other blog in itself!), and then this happens. So is it weird of me to think that all of this is playing a part in the bigger picture, somehow? I just can't shake the feeling.

And maybe that's why I feel so compelled to lean in this direction, while knowing that it'll take some sacrifice to get there.

Could that be the point? I trust God. I really do. But am I the only one that still questions things... even the things I really feel that he's leading me towards? What is WRONG with me?!?!

Why do we do this? We hold so tight onto the things that we know. The things that are familiar. the things we're comfortable with... even though we know that God has bigger and better plans for us to move on to.

It's like I know what I need to do, but I worry too much about actually doing it. Or I feel like I'll be letting someone down or putting someone else in a bad spot by stepping down and/or out of the other ministries.

*lightbulb moment*

Hang on a second... is that maybe a form of pride?! Do I somehow, without realizing it, hold myself so highly that I think the other people... the other ministries can't do without me? Ouch. Talk about a public realization of fault, man. I'm discovering, openly, on my blog that I'm dealing with pride in an area I had no idea was there. This blog post is getting heavier and heavier the more I type.

Sidenote: Am I the only one that is doing this? Is there any chance that maybe you guys are dealing with similar forms of pride? I mean... God can do the impossible. We sing it. We say it. We may shout it from time to time. But then there's that dang old box, again, and we think that he can't carry on a ministry without use. Ouch ouch OUCH! Please be honest... I feel like I may be the only one, right now, and that's not making me feel so good. :-(

Wow. I need to deal with that. Like yesterday! And I think that, maybe, I just made my decision. ??

Of course I'll be talking to McStudly about it more (we actually get to SEE each other tonight. Squeea!) and praying about it a little more, but can I ask you a HUGEmongous favor?? Can you all pray for me, too? For both the decision, and now, apparently, my subconscious issues with pride, too?

Gesh... why is humility so difficult that you don't even realize you are missing it, most of the time?! I'm missing the mark and somehow I feel like I'm still shooting straight. Ugh!!

Well, I've carried on long enough, and given you enough of a Serious Pill for this Friday. Hope it wasn't too big to swallow, and that you'll be honest enough with yourself (...and possibly the rest of us?!) to do it. I'm going to go get to work on "fixing" myself. Thank God for his unconditional grace, cause Lord knows I need it!!

Hope you all have a great weekend, and I'd LOVE to hear how you guys feel about what I said. And just so you know, I'm not typically one of those planner kind of bloggers. I really was just figuring this whole thing out as I typed... I'm working on being as genuine as possible (it's part of my pregnancy clinic training), and I feel this might be the best way to keep myself real (it's awfully safe here, behind this computer).

Anywho, take care and I'll catch you on the flipside!

Toodles! :-)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Yee Gatz!

*Music Man reference, for those of you wondering about my curious choice of blog title.

I got an award!! Thanks to Jaime @ fearfully and wonderfully made for this gem:

So here's what I have to do:
- tell you 5 things that I'm obsessed with, and
- tag 5 other fabulous friends

And the obsessions are (in no particular order):

1. Music. Umm... I don't even think I need to explain this one. Just check this blog, this one, oh and probably this one, too, if you have the time and need a kill an hour or two. :-P

2. Organization. Well, this is in theory, I guess. We are currently undergoing "mission organize" at the Puhl house, with hopes of "completing" it before McStudly's mom is in town in a few weeks. The problem? We have done little to probably no organization whatsoever since we moved in just over a year ago (wow, has it been that long already?!). So, needless to say, there's a LOT to do. So sometimes I sit at work and daydream about how I'll organize the spare bedroom, or what our bedroom will look like all put together and organized. *sigh Someday, right?!

3. Crafts. Specifically sewing, but really a lot of things, actually, though I can't really take part in all that I want to do. I've been WAY into sewing lately, and am loving it! Though, at the moment, my sewing machine is in a pile of stuff while we finish painting the entire downstairs and spare bedroom upstairs. But seriously, I am always coming up with new ideas, and my friend Queen Rosh and I's Etsy shop will even be up soon (we're hoping). I can't wait and I have just LOVED getting crafty, lately. But I also have this dream of refinishing a chair, or old antique dresser/hutch (but I don't have the space), and also creating a personalized painting for our dining room wall. Hopefully I'll at least get to do that last one, but we'll see, I suppose.

4. Blogs. Although I haven't been the best at posting, lately, I am still WAY obsessed with reading y'alls blogs. It's a sickness, I think. Sometimes, when you don't post, I even sit there and hit refresh a few times, or go out and come back to the page just to make sure my computer isn't just lagging or messing with me. It's that out of control! Thankfully, I've learned to sometimes be able to control my urges to get some work done and catch up (which is why I've been so pseudo-silent the past few weeks... catching up from all of the other slacking off I have been doing!) on things, but there are still days, like today, where all I can think about is what you guys are up to, or your witty blog banter, or what I could come up with for the day that will get your comments rolling. So perhaps instead of just blogs, I'm even more obsessed with getting comments? It's pretty sad how much it drives me, but I'm so into them that I actually have been known to be sad when I only get 1 or 2 (though I'm WAY WAY WAY excited to even get those!!). It's a sickness!! See? I told you I'm obsessed...

5. TV. Well, let me explain - I'm not obsessed with tv, in general, but more so with certain tv shows. There are several shows that McStudly and I really follow, and I'm the kind of person that genuinely gets upset when a season finale leaves too much in question. I get SO upset! Like Bones - it's got to be my all-time favorite show. But the season finale last season? HORRIBLE!! Booth was just waking up from a coma and didn't remember Brennan? What kind of crap was THAT?! You better beLIEVE that I watched that season opener (which left too much of a gap, if you ask me). We DVR like EVERYthing, just in case. Especially since it's football season and all... can't miss an episode of these shows (in no particular order): Bones, Criminal Minds, How I Met Your Mother, NCIS, Army Wives (haven't watched this week, but we seriously need some more drama, people), Big Bang Theory, Castle, Ghost Whisperer (though it's losing me, slowly), Chuck, and a few others I can't remember at the moment for whatever reason.

Well, there you have it. A few obsessions I'm currently stuck with, but not really minding too much.

**Random thought of the day: Do you guys remember the Nickelodeon cartoon "Doug"? I LOVED that cartoon! For whatever reason, I've had various different songs by "the Beets" stuck in my head, all day. Remember this one?: "Bangin on a trash can. Drummin on a street light. Strummin with my banjo. One little voice is callin me callin me..." ha ha ha. Too fun!! *sigh Ah the memories.


I'm mid-blog-update, so try and bear with me as I redesign the blog, just a smidge.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Smitten as a Kitten

So last night I embarked on a journey that I am absolutely THRILLED about!! It's something I've wanted for quite some time, now, but things just didn't happen.

It's been about 2 or more years in the making and I just cannot believe it's actually HERE!!

I'll give you a minute to guess....


*twiddling thumbs*

*barely containing excitement*

*sitting on hands*

OHHHHKAYYY!!!! I can't hold it in anymore...

Last night was the 1st night. I am officially in training to be a counselor at the local Pregnancy Clinic!! I CANNOT wait!!!! You have NO idea how big of a passion this is for me. It's not something I've blogged about much, if at all, because I tend to keep things like-hearted and not-so-deep.


That was a lie... an unintentional one, but one nonetheless. I do get deep on here, sometimes, but usually about deeply personal battles and things like my absurd obsession/passion with music. But not about this kind of stuff, I guess.

Hang on - this IS something deeply personal!! What's wrong with me?! Why haven't I talked about this sooner??

Am I blogging to myself again. Great. *sigh* I'm a looney! (what else is new?!)

ANYwho, I'm ecstatic! It's a 10 week training course. And by training course, I mean there's this ENORMOUS book we go through, and it's complete with homework and case studies and even.... *GASP* ROLE PLAYING!!! Oh who am I kidding, I'm eating it UP!

For the longest time I've had such a HUGE heart women and children. Mainly those that have been/are being abused and/or orphaned and/or abandoned. I mean the bible counts caring for these as true religion. How is that NOT a big deal?!

Well, I have had dreams, since at LEAST middle school, of one day opening my own clinic for women. It consists of 7 parts, and maybe I'll share it with you someday. But this is like the BIGGEST step toward any of that that I've ever ever taken.

Once the 10 weeks is up, and I've not only passed, but been evaluated and "invited" to come counsel (I don't know how else to say that they don't just take anyone in just because they went through the training...), then there's a while longer of actual training where I start sitting in with a senior counselor before I'm doing it on my own. All of this is SO stinking exciting to me!

Can you believe it?

So we started training last night. It was mostly administrative stuff and just barely dabbling into a few easy peasy case studies and such, but it's already got me so excited about the next 9 weeks (well, technically 10 since we skip Thanksgiving week, for obvious reasons).

There are 2 super cool parts of the training, to me:

1 - There is SUCH an amazingly diverse group of people that are a part of it. People from nearly every denominational church background you could possibly think of. (The clinic requires that you be active in a local church and that the Pastor of that church "backs" your volunteering there.) There's also a mix of different backgrounds, period. From Young to Old. From Experienced to Inexperienced. From those who have had an abortion at some point in there lives to those who have only heard about it, and even to those (like myself) who have watched as friends have made the decision and have seen how it has so immensely affected their lives, to this day. It's just so amazing to see all of that come together under one cause.


2 - Although this organization that runs this clinic is Faith-based, we do not shove the gospel down the throats of those that walk through the door. Now, don't get me wrong - I believe in Jesus Christ as my personal forgiving and loving Savior and I would LOVE for everyone to feel the same way. But UNfortunately, they don't. And these girls come to the clinic for guidance and counsel, not to be rebuked and preached to. Good grief - could you imagine if a girl walked through the door scared out of her mind thinking she was pregnant, and feeling alone, and the first thing someone said to her was more about her sin or about how she needed Jesus then about meting her where she is? Don't get me wrong, I believe she needs him, but even Jesus himself didn't throw that in people's faces as soon as he met them. He took the time to get to know people and "minister" to them where they needed it. People are individual beings. They are wired VERY differently, and God himself did the wiring (although some of it gets a little mixed up through the pitfalls of life, etc), so how can we treat them all the same and expect that they all need the same treatment?

I'm also very excited about some of the aspects of training that will be coming. Not only are we being trained to counsel others, but I know I'll be learning a CRUD-load about myself.

Get this: after talking, last night, about the difference between ministering and manipulating (would you be surprised by the gray area that exists there? Ask and I'll explain it. I never personally thought about it before last night.), in a few weeks we'll be discussing the masks that we put on as counselors, whether it be developing a camaraderie because we've been there, or a "mentor" type position because we know the answers they need, or maybe even judging them, internally, because of the situation they are in.


Again, I didn't even THINK about this stuff until we started dealing with it last night, but we ALLLL do it! We take SOME sort of a stance and put our mask on and move forward.

Well, basically that's that. I'm SUPER stoked about it and cant' wait to start my homework for this week. Squeeaa!! :-D