Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Give Me Jesus

Yesterday morning right as I pulled into my work parking lot, this song started playing in my car from my iPod. I had had a very hectic and fast paced weekend, and I hadn't slowed down yet. When I heard the first few lines of the song, I could feel my entire mindset changing. My soul began to slow down and recenter on God. I was reminded why I was here...not for the world, but for and because of Jesus. I sat in the car and closed my eyes while the song played and had a few moments with God before I went into work...and those few moments were the most enjoyable of my day. I wanted to share the song with you in case it can do the same for you.

You can have all this world, but give me Jesus.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 03.27.09

Morning Company Girls!

Hope everyone has had a good week. Mine was very busy and went very quickly. You can check out my recent life events in my post from a few days ago, A few life events.

Today I read a short devotion and I want to share a part of it.

"If you want to be a loving person, don't start by taking on the needs of the world. Because we can't do everything, we often don't do anything. Start with caring about one person and build from there. You can't do everything, but you can do something."

Showing Christ's love does not require founding a missions organization or raising $100,000 for a local charity. You can show Christ's love in simple ways. Carry an item for an overloaded person...open doors, say please and thank you, smile. There are so many simple things you can do to brighten someone's day and help them feel loved. So pick one act of love and do it. It will take two seconds. And your Father in heaven will be beaming when He sees His child showing His love and compassion to others.

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?" - Matthew 5:43-46

Alright on to the trivia...

From last week: What people in the Old Testament detested shepherds?

Answer: The Egyptians.
...all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians." - Genesis 46:34

This week's trivia: In what horrible way did Samson set fire to a bunch of Philistine grain fields?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

God Knows Best

Below is a small excerpt from "A Collection of Love Gifts" by Helen Steiner Rice. It really touched me when I read it today. Carefully read each line...her insight and ability to communicate her thoughts is pretty amazing.

God Knows Best

Our Father knows what's best for us,
So why should we complain --
We always want the sunshine,
But He knows there must be rain --
We love the sound of laughter
And the merriment of cheer,
But our hearts would lose their tenderness
If we never shed a tear...
Our Father tests us often
With suffering and with sorrow,
He tests us, not to punish us,
But to help us meet tomorrow...
For growing trees are strengthened
When they withstand the storm,
And the sharp cut of the chisel
Gives the marble grace and form...
God never hurts us needlessly,
And He never wastes our pain,
For every loss He sends to us
Is followed by rich gain...
And when we count the blessings
That God has so freely sent,
We will find no cause for murmuring
And no time to lament...
For our Father loves His children,
And to Him all things are plain,
So He never sends us pleasure
When the soul's deep need is pain...
So whenever we are troubled,
And when everything goes wrong,
It is just God working in us
To make our spirit strong.

And we know that in all things
God works for the good
of those who love him,
who have been called
according to his purpose.
-Romans 8:28

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A few life events

A few recent life events:

1st: I went to Seattle this past weekend to visit the splendid Jackie t. Sadly, she was diagnosed with mono just before I got there, so she wasn't able to do much. The best part was probably the coffee crawl she signed us up for. A tour guide walked us all around downtown Seattle, teaching us about coffee and the coffee shops in Seattle. We also got samples at several places, and got to do what you might call a "coffee tasting" (similar to a wine tasting). It was pretty awesome. :) I took some pictures along the way (see below). She also took me out to eat at a delicious Italian place, where I got to just tell them what I wanted even though it wasn't on the menu. That was pretty spiffy. (I wanted cheese ravioli with marinara sauce. I know some would consider that boring, but really...it's hard to find that on a menu!)

The first Seattle's Best (left) and a descendant of the first Starbucks (right).

The location of the actual first Starbucks (left)
and our tour guide during a "coffee tasting" (right).

A few more coffee shops. (The one on the right was Jackie's favorite.)

A piece of the mountains in downtown Seattle (left), our last stop (right).


See those two little dots at the very very top?
Those are people.
Window washers.
Just looking up at them gave me the heeby geebies.
I think if someone asked me to do their job, I would very well pass out.

2nd: Dave and I bought a house on Sunday!! Yup, we're going to build one in Cary. For all of you who voted, we chose House C with stone. House C was the cheapest and also the most voted for, so it seemed like the best choice. We added stone to the front to blend in with the neighborhood, since most of the other houses have it, and also because I've for a long time wanted a house with stone on it. The construction should start in a couple weeks, and we hope to move in by August. I am very excited...but the realization of all the work we need to do on our current home to prepare it for selling is a bit overwhelming. My friend Ashley and her husband Dave are coming to visit today, and I'm a little sad that the only memory they'll have of our townhome is of boxes, paint cans, and miscellaneous items laying all around.

3rd: I chopped 5 inches off my hair last night. :) I mean, actually, my hairdresser Lauren chopped 5 inches off, but you know what I'm saying. It looks very nice I think. I was very frazzled from being incredibly stressed at work, so I walked into the hair salon and pretty much said to take off as much as she wanted. Five inches was a good amount. Not super drastic, but enough to feel a change.

This is the best picture I could take myself of my new hair.
My hair's not exactly laying beautifully at the moment, but you get the idea. :)
Sorry for the lack of smile. It's hard to smile for yourself.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 03.20.09

Hey Company Girls!
Well, today I am sadly swamped beyond belief at work. Stress level is sky high. So it's going to be a short post today.

Dave and I are in the process of possibly buying a house. It's very time consuming!! We were informed by our realtor that we essentially need to pack up half of the stuff in our home in order to show it to sell it. I was not overly thrilled to hear this. But I got to work the other night, putting away most of the decorations in our living room. Supposedly, you need enough items in your house for buyers to feel comfortable, become emotionally attached, and understand the function of a room...but you want to leave enough space for them to imagine their own belongings next to your items. So Dave and I are going to be living in an austere home for a while. :( You do what you need to do though!

While I packed up the living room the other night, Dave made us a fancy salmon meal. I was impressed. :)

My chef

Mmm so fancy

Our poor disheveled living room
(packing stuff up gets messy!)

While on the topic of new house...I need everyone to vote for the front of our new home!! We are probably going to build, so we get to choose what it will look like. So please go to my post from a couple days ago - House poll - and vote!!

Now for the trivia:

Last week's trivia:
What animal is referenced in the Bible more times
than any other, making an appearance in the text
over 400 times?

Answer: Sheep!

Speaking of sheep, here is this week's trivia: What people in the Old Testament detested shepherds?

Alright well that's about all I have time for. I'm flying to Seattle for the weekend to visit my friend Jackie t., so pray I have a safe trip!! I will do my best to catch up on all my Company Girls' lives over the weekend. :) Also pray for Dave, as he'll be trying to handle the new house situation on his own without me here. (Mortgage rates are at an all-time low, and they dropped even further yesterday. Weekend rates are even better. So the pressure is on!)

God bless!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Just wanted to share a neat website in case some of you haven't heard of it.

iVillage has a group of free online courses called iLearn. Each month features different topics. Since January, there have been courses on computers, yoga, gardening, and budgeting, among others. This month's courses are Decorating for Real Life and Manage Your Personal Finances with Intuit® Quicken® 2009. They both look pretty neat. I think I'm going to do Decorating for Real Life.

They're pretty simple. There are 5 or so lessons for each course. You read the lesson, then do an assignment, then take a quiz. Obviously there are no real credits for such courses, but you do get the thrill of learning about something you're interested in...for free. (And if you've never checked out iVillage, you should. It's jam packed full of neat stuff.)

So check it out. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

House poll

I'm putting this post at the top of my blog because I added a poll to the bottom. Now everyone can anonymously vote. :) Now to continue with the post in it's original form...

March 16, 2009

Alright, I need everyone's opinions.

I need you to look at the houses below and tell me which you like best. Dave and I are considering building a house and these pictures show our options. Two of the options are out of our budget but I'm not going to tell you which ones. Just tell me what you think. And try to disregard colors. Leave a comment with your answer. :)

A (left), A with stone (right)

B (left), B with stone (right)

C (left), C with stone (right)

Monday, March 16, 2009


I am participating in a Monday night Bible study with three girlfriends, and we are going through the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. I really enjoyed this week's chapter and lesson, which focused on anxiety and worry. There were a couple things in the chapter that really stood out to me, so I thought I'd share them.

The first is the following quote, from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers:

"Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way."

I had never really thought of this before. But if you are worried and dwelling on something, then that means you are anxious and want things to go your own way and not God's way. If you really wanted things to go God's way, then you wouldn't be worried...right?

Second is the following quote, by Corrie Ten Boom:

"Any concern too small to be turned into prayer is too small to be made into a burden."

We are to take everything we need and want to God in prayer (Phillipians 4:6). No matter is too small for God. If you think it is, then you have no right to fuss over it. Because God wants to hear it all.

Third is the following quote, from Every Day Light by Selwyn Hughes:

"The reasons our problems often seem overwhelming is [that] we allow the things of time to loom larger in our gaze than the things of eternity."

What are you focusing on? Here? Now? Tomorrow? Have you thought about eternity lately? What riches are you storing up for yourself in heaven?

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and rust destroy,

and where thieves break in and steal.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,

where moth and rust do not destroy,

and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- Matthew 6:19-21

Finally, the following statistics were provided, which I found rather interesting:

What We Worry About
40% are things that will never happen.
30% are about the past - that can't be changed.

12% are about criticism by others, mostly untrue.

10% are about health, which gets worse with stress.

8% are about real problems that can be solved.

Crazy, huh? If you do the math, that means that 70% of what we worry about are things we can do nothing about. It's just silly. So turn it all over to God. Let Him take the burden. He has a plan for your life. Trust Him. Want what He wants, even if it's not what your fleshly desires want. Then you can relax in His peace, because you will be able to say, "Thy will be done."

Do not be anxious about anything,

but in everything,

by prayer and petition,

with thanksgiving,

present your requests to God.

And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,

will guard your hearts

and your minds in Christ Jesus.

- Phillipians 4:6-7

Friday, March 13, 2009

Company Girl Coffee 03.13.09

Good morning Company Girls!
I was sad to miss out last week...there was just too much going on at work and I didn't find time to write a post. I missed everyone. :) So I hope you have all had a wonderful two weeks!

Last weekend Dave and I went to Atlanta for a frisbee tournament. You can see some pictures from it in my last post, Atlanta.

Then early Monday morning my brother Evan and his friend Johnny arrived to spend the week with us for their spring break. I don't think our house was the most thrilling place they could have gone for spring break, but at least they got away. Plus I was very excited to have them. They left last night to drive through the night. It's between 11 and 12 hours to get back to our family's home in Leo, Indiana.

Last night we hung out at Dan's house (Dave's brother)
and played poker.

Me and Evan

This past week I discovered something about strengthening my relationship with God that was very good to learn and remember. I had been feeling as if my relationship with Him were dry...like I couldn't feel His burning presence within me. Does that make sense? It's like I knew He was there, but I couldn't feel Him. And because I couldn't feel Him, it was hard to keep my constant focus on Him. Then one day in the midst of feeling like this I decided to turn on some worship music. It only took about 30 seconds for me to feel my heart warming. I felt the burn coming back. The more I listened, the better I felt.

I've been listening daily since then, and it has helped immensely in keeping my focus on God instead of the issues of daily life. Whenever I feel myself slipping, I turn on some praise or worship music. It calms my heart and soothes my soul.

So I'm curious...do any of you have something like this that draws you back toward God? Something you read? Something you listen to? Something you think about?

Here's a song I want to share with you...it's one of the songs that touches me most. You can listen to it while you do the trivia. :)

Trivia from two weeks ago:
True or False:
When Moses threw his staff on the ground
and it turned into a snake, he ran away from it.

Answer: TRUE
Then the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
"A staff," he replied. The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground."
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.
- Exodus 4:2-3

This week's trivia:
What animal is referenced in the Bible more times
than any other, making an appearance in the text
over 400 times?

I hope everyone has a splendid weekend!
God bless!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


This past weekend was a good time. We went to Atlanta for one of Dave's off-season frisbee tournaments and got to stay with my aunt and uncle, which always makes me excited. I love them and my cousins to pieces. Saturday I went to my cousin Makenzie's softball tournament, then I went to the second day of Dave's tournament on Sunday. My Aunt Dawn and I went and got manicures, and I was SOOOO excited that I had enough nails to get one. (I've been breaking my nail-biting habit. :) ) The whole weekend was fun...minus the six hour drive there and back. (Although Debbie and Brian did a wonderful job of driving us!)

Aunt Dawn and me at Makenzie's tournament

Makenzie and me

Uncle Larry the Coach

Kahla and me at Dave's tournament

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

All is from God

I think nearly every Christian has at one point or another made the statement that they realize that all they have in their life comes from God. I know I have. But I never realized how explicitly the Bible actually states this. I just ran across this verse in my daily reading:

"A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven."
- John 3:27

That made me smile. I love when God gives me proof for things I already believed but had never taken the time to find support for through Scripture. And really...there's no confusing words in that verse. No way to flip it around and interpret it differently. It's pretty clear. All is from God. My husband, my job, my health, my home, my personality, my talents, my salvation, my puppies, my family, my friends, my office, even the yummy-smelling lotion on my desk....ALL of it. From God. I think I owe Him some thanks.

What can you find in your life to thank God for?

Hot cocoa

Last night my Bible study got canceled, so Dave and I spent some QT together watching a movie and drinking hot cocoa. It was quite enjoyable. The poor guy was so sore from his weekend tryouts that he could barely move, so laying in bed watching a movie was definitely the perfect thing for him.

The tray I prepared so he could drink his hot cocoa in bed

Too exhausted to even give us a full smile.
Or maybe he was annoyed that I was making him
take a random pointless picture with me yet again.

These next pictures just absolutely crack me up. Dave started rubbing Rogan's tummy and she stuck her right leg straight up in the air...and there it stayed. For quite a while.

Such a silly dog.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Saturday night torture session

On Saturday night, I discovered the optimal way for a person to torture me:
Place me in a room with a high pitched beeping sound occuring at 30-second intervals. This will lead me to the point where I will want to either lash out and hit someone or scream. (Definitely not typical Kara behavior.) How do I know this you ask? Well, do let me share.

As most of you know, Dave went to his tryouts for the Ultimate Frisbee Team USA this past weekend. (He says he did well, by the way. Thanks so much to everyone who prayed for him and sent your encouragement our way. We'll know if he made it sometime within the next couple weeks.) So, since Dave was gone, I was all by myself with our pups. Not a big deal. Usually.

On Saturday night, everything had been going splendidly, and I tucked myself into bed at about midnight. Maggie and Rogan were curled up on the bed next to me, and I drifted off quickly.

Then, at approximately 1:30am, I was woken by an incredibly loud and high-pitched "BEEP!" I knew right away that it was our smoke alarm...we'd been getting occasional warning beeps like that lately, letting us know that the battery would need replaced soon. There would usually just be one or two beeps and then the smoke alarm would chill out and give us another couple of days before its next warning.

Assuming this was the case, I ignored the first two beeps, then settled back to sleep. Only to be jolted awake by another beep 30 seconds after the second. Then another 30 seconds later. Then another. Then another.

I sat up, clueless as to what to do. Let me guess what you're thinking. "Why didn't you just change the battery, Kara??"

Let me tell you why. Because the smoke alarm was placed on the wall near the top of our 14-foot vaulted ceiling. That's why. Fourteen feet in the air (or something like that). I am 5'5". Our tallest ladder is a 3.5-ft step ladder. Those numbers just really don't add up to 14'. Even with the length of my arms in there...just not even close.

So I sat there staring into the darkness, the tension inside me building with each additional beep. In the midst of my grogginess and exhaustion, I had a hard time considering my options. My first thought was that I would sleep on the couch downstairs. But sleeping on the couch sounded absolutely horrible (how would the dogs cuddle with me??), and besides that, I was willing to bet I would be able to hear the beeping down there too, since the living room is right below our bedroom. Then I thought I could sleep in the spare bedroom. Which I quickly remembered had no sheets on the bed (I was in the process of washing everything) and no alarm clock to wake me up in the morning for church. I grumbled and realized I was going to have to take everything with me. I pulled the top sheet and blankets off the bed, piled my alarm clock, pillow, and phone in my hands, and started stumbling down the hall to the spare bedroom, dreading the thought of sleeping on a mattress cover instead of sheets in a bed much less comfortable than ours. I think I was having an even more negative attitude simply because my husband was gone. It was lonely enough sleeping in bed without him, and now I was being forced to go sleep in my old bed on just a mattress cover. I was just overflowing with negativity. Then...just as I reached the door to the spare bedroom...the beeping stopped. I breathed a sigh of relief.

I turned around and marched happily back to the master bedroom. I threw the sheet and blankets back on the bed, plugged in the alarm clock and reset the time, climbed in, curled up, and fell back asleep.

Until 2:30. When the beeping started again. This time I was even more angry. What was I supposed to do?? I found myself praying hard to God..."Please God, why are You doing this to me?? Why are You letting this happen?? I just want to sleep!!" (Yes, in the middle of the night, such a scenario does seem trajic enough for such pleas. I was beyond exhuasted. Cut me some slack, here.) Since the beeping had stopped after a while the last time, I was sure it would stop again. So I decided I would wait it out. I pulled the covers over my head. Not good enough. I tried sticking my fingers in my ears. Not good enough. I tried a different angle of sticking my fingers in my ears. Still not good enough. I tried stuffing kleenex in my ears. No help. I got up and dumped out a container of random bathroom items all over our bathroom counter, hoping to find some earplugs I once had. No luck. I ripped a cotton pad (for makeup removal) in half and tried stuffing it in my ears. It didn't stay. I briefly considered using tape to hold it in my ear, but decided against it thinking that might not be the most comfortable option. And the beeping wasn't stopping. I finally realized that the smoke alarm had made up its mind. It was not going to stop. Angrily, I grabbed up all my belongings again and marched down the hall. I slapped everything down in the spare bedroom, then had to search all over for an outlet to plug my alarm clock into. I fumbled with it, trying to once again set its time. All the while I could hear the beeping echoing down the hall. The neverending beeping.

Once I climbed into the bed, I found myself lashing out at Maggie and Rogan for stupid stuff...like laying in the wrong position or pressing too hard against me. I was practically yelling at Maggie at one point. I found myself exclaiming at God, "Why would you do this to me when my husband is gone?? What do You expect me to do??? I can't REACH THAT HIGH!!" (And what did I think my husband was going to be able to do to fix the situation? I'm not sure. When I told him about it, he said, "I probably would have just grabbed a broom and started whacking at it." Hmmm. That was an option I hadn't considered.)

We finally settled in the bed, and I tried to relax. Only to discover that I could still hear the beeping. Every 30 seconds. Through two closed doors and down the hall. Loud enough that I could not fall asleep. I was at a loss.

Then I remembered our air purifier. White noise, that's what I needed. I got up once more, marched down the hall (now nearly fully awake), unplugged the air purifier in our room, and towed it back to the spare bedroom. I dropped it with a loud thud in the bedroom, then began another search for an open electric outlet. I finally found one, turned the air purifier on, and climbed in bed.

Ahhh...peace. Almost. I could still hear the beeping through everything, but it was now quiet enough to let me sleep. Thank goodness.

Soo....I finally got to sleep and stayed asleep until my alarm went off in the morning. When I got up, the beeping was still going, at even more frequent intervals. I knew I was going to have to find a way to make it stop. There was no way I could go another minute with that sound echoing through the house.

So I did what any insane-driven husbandless woman would do. I found a way to get myself 14 feet in the air. The solution was to push our standup chest of drawers right under the smoke alarm, then add the stool to my vanity stand on top. When I climbed up on both items and stretched my arms, I could just reach the smoke alarm. Perfect.

I wish I'd had a picture of me up there. I bet I looked so talented. Changing the battery with such poise and ease. I was so thankful we had already purchased replacement batteries. I would have been REALLY grumpy if I'd also had to go to the store.

Thankfully, I made the battery swap and climbed down in one piece. The beeping was gone. Relief poured over me. I could finally breathe.

So that is my torture story. I cannot even explain the anxiety and anger that built up in me with every continuing beep of that smoke alarm. Of course it got me thinking, what I am going to do down the road when I have a baby screaming in the middle of the night? I'm hoping that the love and attachment I will feel toward that baby will overcome my intense feelings of anger and anxiety. Either that or Dave will be having a lot of sleepless nights (hehe). (Totally joking.) After everything, it took me about 30 minutes to clean up all the messes created by that stupid smoke alarm. I had to take the stool down and put it away, push the chest of drawers (very heavy) back into its place, put the 3.5 ft step ladder away (I at first tried to use it instead of the stool, but it wouldn't fit on top of the chest of drawers), move my bedding back into the master bedroom, once again unplug, replug, and reset the alarm clock, put away all the items I'd dumped all over the bathroom counter, pick up the little pieces of tissue and cotton pads (my attempt at makeshift ear plugs), and move the air purifier back to its place. Sigh.

What an experience.