Thursday, July 31, 2014

These are a Few of My Favorite Things...

In no particular order...

The view from a high place (especially a mountain)
Going out to dinner
Straightening my hair
Getting a pedicure
Organizing everything
Painting (acrylic on canvas)
Listening to my cat purr
My cat, Mika 
Cars; especially luxury and sports cars, especially the GT-R
Getting dressed up
Watching movies
Smell of the country
Clean sheets
High heels
Winning any competitive activity
Hot, dry weather. 90 degrees, no humidity.
Potatoes- french fries, mashed, twice baked, scalloped, hashbrowns, sweet potatoes.....etc...
Unique nail designs
Studs, rhinestones, glitter
Willow trees
Nature hikes
TV shows: House, Suits, Homeland, House of Cards
Music, in general
Solving problems

"When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad"

Monday, July 28, 2014

Church Shopping

As a PK (Pastors' Kid), our family never struggled finding a church or even really debating religion during my growing up, outside of my dad re-locating to different churches. Religion itself is a huge topic I could write a book about, but I'm going to focus on my experiences "church shopping" after leaving my fathers' nest.

First of all, I am picky. For 18 years, I listened to my dad's sermons, memorized every word in the service, and learned many songs. Quite frankly, I never thought much about what I was going to do when I left home and when I did think about it, of course, as a kid, I looked forward to it. However, I quickly learned that I was picky when it came to finding a church which resulted in me not wanting to go. So, let's get to it....What I'm picky about....

1- The pastor & his sermon
Obviously, I think my dad is the best pastor there is, but realistically there are a few reasons why. I like sermons that relate to me. If it only targets one group of people, I lose interest. I like pastors who use illustrations and talk more than preach. I feel very uncomfortable when a pastor starts yelling. I also think a 15-20 min sermon is good length to keep my quality interest.

2- The order of service
Not literally the order of what happens throughout worship, but the actual readings. Example, I have the Lord's Prayer memorized so when they change up the wording to be "Our Father in heaven..." rather than "Our Father who art in heaven..." it bothers me. I'm not saying one way is more right than the other, but when I'm trying to focus on my confessions and instead thinking about grammar, it loses meaning.

3- Actions
I don't like being forced to kneel on the church floor, or raising my hands, or drinking from a common cup. It's hard enough for me to greet people that early on a Sunday morning. It's just my personal preference and again detracts from the reason I'm there. It doesn't make me any more or less Christian than the person next to me doing all of that.

4- Songs
I am not a good singer, but I enjoy singing in church, especially when the organ drowns my measly voice. However, when you have a church full of singers who likely aren't taking choir lessons, trying to coordinate 80 people singing an advanced hymn is like giving a toddler a violin. Songs with a bunch of eighth notes and rests and highly varied note ranges are very hard to keep up with. Again, I'm not trying to become a better singer, I'm trying to worship God.

I think this touches on my main church shopping criteria...I don't mean to be picky, it just means much more to me when I don't have to think about all those little things and can focus on the only thing that matters.
Going to church I'd say is similar to working out. Maybe it's not easy to start, and you can make all the excuses in the world not to go, but it's good for you and the hardest part is the first step.

Have you thanked God today?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer 2014

Hello Wisconsin!

I must say, it is pretty weird coming into work 3 consecutive days after having been out the past 2 weeks at 2 different training classes, in 2 different parts of the country. I feel like the 4th of July was so long ago and July has come and passed!

To catch you up, I joined some friends, out of town, during the 4th to spend the day on a lake. It was the first time I actually got up on a wake-board! Proof:

First Time Up on a Wake-Board 7/4/2014

I then spent a very cold 5th of July on a private beach for a firework show. Yes, that is my boyfriend below in a sweatshirt at about 3pm July 5th on a beach just north of Milwaukee.

16" Mortar Being Loaded (by Licensed Professionals) 7/5/2014

I left Monday, July 7th for ABB Leadership Training in Memphis. It was nice to have a week semi-off from work and focused on professional growth. I learned a lot, mainly about myself, that I see myself trying to use in the day-to-day work environment. It was also a great experience for meeting new people (resources) in my organization across different functions. Simple road-blocks I have encountered in the past were easily solved by talking to the right people. The experience gave a good perspective of how ginormous ABB is. I love it.

The following week, July 13th, I left for Salt Lake City for training in a 3D simulation software, FlexSim, that our division recently gained access to. Utah was great! My training class only had one other person, so we were able to get almost personal training. I went hiking one night in the mountains, which was really fun! 

Stewart Falls Near Sundance, Utah 7/14/2014

I got back just in time to have under 24 hours of downtime before leaving to the Wisconsin Dells for my cousins' wedding. As my brother said in his blog, this was a big deal for us because we only have 4 cousins and she is the first to get married. It opened the door for a weekend of thinking about many different things. 

Me and the Bride 7/19/2014

I discovered on my 2 hour drive home from the Dells I had a nail in my tire and prayer the whole way home I would just make it. $300 later, my oil is clean, tire is fixed, and I have gas to get to work. 

This week, I'm back in the office, back to the grind, back to the hourly interruptions. Having 2 weeks away was so refreshing. I came back with an open mind, semi-outside perspective, and tons of new tools. If it was my choice, I would like to travel more. Learning and exploring has such a big importance to me. Thankfully, I'm finding more ways to do so so that it is beneficial to me and ABB. 

I also just booked a vacation to Jamaica for this coming January. Already excited for that. My birthday is also quickly approaching and I have some fun plans planned for that also.

Stay tuned!

Matthew 13: Parable of the Weeds

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Web Therapy

I recently listened to a segment during my morning commute, on NPR, about Web Therapy. First of all, web therapy is online counseling, usually via video conferencing with a professional therapist.

I can already hear the older generation making snide remarks about what a joke it is or how phony it sounds, but I might disagree. There are many aspects to this topic and I hope to provide you at least an understanding for why people would participate in such an activity.

First of all, our generation has not had to wait for anything. Prescriptions are ready the moment you walk out of the Dr. Office, Chinese is delivered to your front door, gas is sold at nearly every intersection, pictures can be printed the moment you take them, and Pomegranate Lemonade Green Tea is available at your local grocery store. Point being, there's not much we need to wait for, which has made us a more efficient society (at least how I see it). I don't have to waste 2 hours of my time driving to the Apple store to buy a car charger for my phone. I just open my eBay app and purchase a new cord with a few clicks and it will be delivered to my house as soon as tomorrow. Point being; why waste transit time to visit a therapist, when you could just open your computer, sign on and begin therapy? Maybe those 15 minutes saved from driving turns into a 15 minute cardio workout.

In manufacturing, if an assembler has to walk 100ft across the plant to get a tool, we consider that to be waste and find every way to eliminate it. It's not called being lazy, its called productivity.

I know I'm switching topics without a good transition, but as I love saying, this is my blog and how I think and want to convey. I'm not forcing you to read.
Anyways, the security of web therapy can be questioned and rightly so. If that's something you're concerned about, maybe it isn't for you, which is okay. I, personally, don't have anything so horrible I wouldn't want someone else hearing, but that's just me.

I spoke with someone briefly about this topic and they said that web therapy is just a tool for those addicted to being online. First of all, I think that being "addicted to being online" is relative. What does that mean? My family would certainly say that I'm addicted to being online, but how much does that effect my relationships? I'd say it doesn't (of course I would). How are my online habits compared to others with different online habits and so on? At what point is being online bad? If I, for example, need professional help and am only willing to talk to someone online, I would certainly say that is better than not going. So why would you discourage web therapy?

I think that technology has so much further to go and so many more uses to be pursued that no matter what, it will be a topic of debate.  We have already seen the controversy it causes and this is just the beginning.