Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The 14th Thing I Love.

#14 - A Great Story.

Whether hungrily devouring it in the pages of a memoir, listening to NPR, or sitting across from a friend (or stranger) with a cup of coffee, I cannot get enough of people's stories. I love the way that God works tiny, intricate details together into the greater picture of our lives, and of humanity. I love the seemingly insignificant decisions that in actuality lead a person down an entirely new path in life (well, when it's a good new direction at least). I'm usually sad when a book is over, because I know that the story doesn't end there. I want to continue to walk with the people through the rest of the story. I love journaling so that I don't miss these sorts of things in my own life. It's incredible to look back and see things that I'd forgotten, prayers that God has answered, decisions that fleshed out in a totally different way than I could ever have expected.
Isaiah 26:3 has been stuck in my head the last month or two. It says, "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." It's incredible to look back at horrendous situations in our lives and see how God worked it all out for his glory (Romans 8:28). It gives us hope in the new situations we encounter. The more we can look back and make sense of the stories of our lives (and the stories of the people we encounter), the easier it is to see that he truly is in control. It becomes easier to have faith in the tough times, and to find peace in the midst of trials, because we know that he is working. It might not ever make complete sense, but we trust in him, knowing that he will see us through.
Don't believe me? Read Daniel (or many other stories in the Bible... or the whole Bible itself for that matter) and look for illustrations of God's sovereignty. Incredible.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The 15th Thing I Love.

#15 - Sales (and coupons).

I love sales. Not the occupation. Not that at all. Rather, the process of finding something at a great price. I am the princess of coupons (the queen, if you're wondering, is Lindsay McKaig). I orchestrate trips so that I'll be completely out of gas when I'm closest to the cheapest gas station. I sign up for mailing lists and sort through hundreds of spam messages so that I get the coupons and sale notices. Once it starts getting close to August, I basically refuse to go anywhere that I can't use a school coupon (that's when they expire, if you're wondering).

I don't think I've ever paid more than $20 for an article of clothing (except bridesmaid dresses, which are unfortunately not negotiable), including shoes and my high school prom dress. It was $20 and I wore it four times. I would typically rather go hungry than spend money on food. I can be easily pressured into something if you convince me that it's a good deal. I don't have a pantry, and the inability to stock up on food items when they're at their lowest cost physically pains me sometimes. I use gift cards and store credit cards to get "points" that may or may not save me money. I carry around a wallet full of frequent shoppers cards and coffee punch cards, and I get giddy when I get to redeem one of them (which is not very often, due to the fact that I usually go without in order not to spend money).

So, if anyone ever knows of good deals, coupons, or sales, pass them along! I get excited just knowing about them, even if I don't have the money to shop. :-)