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No matter how far along I get in life, I'll always refer to myself as "That chick that grew up poor in the drug-filled streets of Port Arthur, Texas." Always a bad ass!

Right now, I'm going through a top-down transformation. I'm starting with my hair - taking it from processed to natural; and so far I'm loving it. Get updates on my process on newtonatural.com.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

God Pre-Paid for my Stove

In January of 2009, I dis-continued employment with Alltel and began working at my ideal employer, Heifer. Before I left, I cashed out my IRA that I held at Alltel to cover expenses that were caused by a really bad break-up with my ex.

But since I left Alltel, every quarter, I would get a letter from the company that manages Alltel's retirement benefits about changes to the plan. After while this got annoying because I knew I had no money there, so I just started trashing the notices as they came in. Well, Tuesday I was going through my "chunk it in the trash" stack and decided to read the notice. It said that if I did not close the account, the company that manages Allte's retirement account would charge me about $9/mo.

Now, I'm like, "HUH!" So, I make a couple of phone calls and go online to try to shut down my empty account so that I did not have to pay the maintenance fee. And, there it was. Another thousand.

I thanked God for the un-expected blessing one-two-three-maybe four times as I cashed it out. No, I THANKED God. I put the computer down, fell to my knees, cried and gave God the true thanks he deserves. When I was done with cashing out online, my mind started calculating all the extra stuff I could get: new living room furniture, Victoria Secret panty sets (my FAVORITE), boots for fall, stuff, stuff, stuff. I really did not even think about the stove because I've been browsing online and saw some really cool stoves for about $600.

Of course, I went to 4 stores to try to get one of those really cool stoves for the $600 I saved, and learned how truly timely God's blessing was.

Yeah, there are a lot of cool stoves for $600, but they can't fit in my kitchen. The stove has to be a 27 inch wide, drop-in electric stove (by GE). And of course, the stove is a custom order that has to be shipped from the factory. The stove is $1,150. The shipping and taxes are about $150. The INSTALLATION is $350.

When I added it all up, the total cost is $1,650, which is exactly the amount of money I now have between my stove savings $600 and the amount that I got from my Alltel IRA distribution.

I go around saying "God is awesome." "God always comes through for me." "I count on God." But because I don't wear long dresses, go to church every single Sunday, or keep a Bible on my dashboard, I think people occasionally discount my expressions. But I'm telling you that God loves me as I am. He is not in some distant place looking down with disapproval on all of my mistakes, bad choices, and struggles. He's right here listening to, comforting, and supporting me. And I know he was there a week ago in my kitchen as I tried to clean the stove and broke it. I started crying, and said really softly, "God, help me." He had to have been really close to hear because he started his plan of helping me probably even before that moment, and made it so that I had what I needed on the day when I needed it. . just like he always does.

THANK YOU GOD for loving lil' ole sinful me!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Running the Good Race

Last year, I committed to running the Little Rock Marathon 1/2, got all my friends signed up and excited, and then I bailed at the last minute. I just did not prioritize training for the race and could not pull it off.

Well, this year, I'm ON IT!. To avoid the last minute bail-out option, I want ahead and made a couple of financial investments (really the best incentive for me to stick with it): I purchased a new pair of running shoes and registered (and paid) for the race early.

I'm so committed to running the Little Rock Marathon 1/2 on March 6, 2011 (13.1 miles), I've already started training. Since September 2nd I've been running at least 4 times a week during my lunch breaks covering the River Market, Riverwalk on the North Little Rock and Little Rock sides, Broadway Bridge, Main Street Bridge, and occasionally on Saturday mornings I run half of Sherwood. I feel SO good clocking about 30 miles a week!

The biggest piece of criticism my ex had for me was that I tended to make selfish decisions. Well, on this one, he's absolutely right! I'm commnitted to using my free time to prepare for an event that serves only me. And I don't feel bad about it. Actually, I'm really excited.

So, along with my "Life Lessons Learned" topics, I'll also be updating my blog with a lot of training-related stuff because that's where my mind is right now. I'm going to do this because running is something I love to do. Of course, I'm also hoping that I'll inspire someone who has had a selfish desire that they have felt too guilty about to want to pursue. Shit, just get out there and do it. Life is too short to let people of the world who don't give a dang about you have control over what you do.

Let's hear a yell for the Little Rock Marathon!!!!!