Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sweet Peas and Greens

Last night Josh and I got our first visitors from "home". The Green family stopped by to see us on their way to Florida for vacation. It was the most children this apartment has ever seen, I'm quite sure! It was so wonderful to see people with whom we have a history, and chat freely without the necessity of background information. As much as I have enjoyed getting to know new people, there is a comfort that follows familiarity. Damon and Nicole are so hilarious, too, and feel quite free to pontificate on whatever their minds desire. :)

We went to eat at "Sweet Peas" restaurant, which is a funky independent place that serves "Southern Comfort Food." Pret
ty much everyone (grown-ups and kids alike) got their fantastic macaroni and cheese. WHOA! The tables have paper on them, and there are crayons on the tables so Josh and the kids could feel free to design their own works of art. Here is the eldest Green child (and only girl) showing where I have hung her artwork for me on the fridge. It's of me with them at the beach (maybe they thought we were coming too?). What's funny is that in the background, you can see the picture hanging on the fridge of the same girl modeling her Jasmine outfit a couple years ago.

One thing I have mainly mi
ssed in my new very social life is hugging kids! I used to pretty much get hugs like crazy (Johanna, can I get a witness?) and a child sitting in my lap every time I turned around! I guess "physical touch" is one of my love languages (if you believe in all that). I'm a huggy girl, especially with the darling kiddos. So the Green tribe filled our cups with that!

What a blessing! Thank you, Jesus, for friends, old and new!

Monday, January 29, 2007

A Stick in the Mud

Heather tagged me to tell 5 unique things about myself. I honestly don't think I could POSSIBLY think of 5 things that everybody doesn't already know. I have zero claims to fame (minus the Pow-Wow Freestyle Dance Champion, which I already shared about in my last tag), and I try not to say about myself "I'm the kind of person who. . . "

Because I don't matter! My last 2 posts were all about struggling with pride, so I hope it's okay with everybody if I change up the tag and simply tell 5 untold things that interest me greatly.

1. I really LOVE the children's curriculum put out by
Children Desiring God. My favori
te one that I've used so far is the ABC's of God. If any of my readers work with children, I cannot tell you how AMAZING this curriculum is. It is so God-centered, and God honoring. Please check out their website. I have used their material for Sunday School, Midweek service, children's church and VBS. It's all great.

2. My grandmother killed a
copperhead snake when she was 3. She was a little farm girl and it was her job to guard the chickens and she hacked it up with a shovel. She didn't know what kind it was. I think she's so cool! I'd like to write a children's book about little Helen someday.

3. I am pretty much completely vegetarian. I'll go for a little seafood sometimes, or if good friends make something special, I'm up for trying. I do this because I am trying to be healthy, save money and besides, I don't really like meat very much. But I LOVE veggies!

4. Last night on Masterpieces Theater, there was the best new version of Jane Eyre. WOW! It was excellent! I'll have to look into buying that one, so I can watch it with a good picture and pause its 5 hour span to use the restroom. :)

5. Capture the Flag is the most fun summer-time game ever. Last summer at Camp OUTT, we played it constantly, and once it was the leaders vs. the kids. HA HA!! Remember that, Mandy? Johanna, were you there? Six adults against a million kids of all ages and sizes. We WON the 2nd time! So fun!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Let the words of my mouth

After a week of working in a very public setting, and endeavoring to befriend and serve person after person in a Christ-like manner, and after having many of those people respond to me in a positive manner, I'd begun to develop a certain mindset about myself. Adding into that mindset was a phone call and interview with Pottery Barn Kids in which they sought me out to work for them part time (and expressed interest in having me full time if I were interested). I was told that one of the managers just really liked me and wanted me to work for them there. So unknowingly, I was developing this mindset.

This was my mindset: I'm pretty good with people. I kind of know what to say.

But my Precious Father did not let me stay ignorant to my heart condition for long. I cracked open my One Year Bible and read about Moses pleading with the Lord over his commission to speak to Pharaoh. He is apparently the opposite of me, and does not want to go and speak. But the Lord addresses me and Moses with the same applicable words: "Who makes a person's mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what you say."

So here is what I realized: God is sovereign over my words. Of course He is! He has made my mouth. He has instructed me in what I say. Do I actually believe this? Or do I continue in sin, refusing to bow my head and humble myself? How sincerely do I believe my theology? I pray that God will grant me grace to make my view of His sacred place of honor play out in every aspect of my life, knowing that a day of good work and meeting good people is a mercy from Him! Oh God! Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in THY sight, Oh, Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Are Roll Calls a Sin?

I am torn between thinking roll calls are narcissistic and self-centered and the desire to have one myself. Since I have quite dear friends who have done this, and I didn't think they were rotten people, but instead wonderful, spirit-led people who don't heap praise unto their own name, I think I will do likewise. So here I am. Where are you?

Please leave me a comment if you read my blog! I will be in my "prayer closet" asking the Lord to protect me from prideful feelings. :)

To lighten the mood of the roll call, please leave me a REALLY corny joke along with your comment. I think that would make it fun!

Here's one to get us started (warning, very corny alert!): What do you say to a hitch-hiker with one leg? Hop in!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Workin' for the Man

Somebody get JULIE to read this!
I miss you!
*Ahem, read this all with a grain of salt*

Well, I started work today at the Lifeway store on campus, and it was pretty fun and very busy with everyone buying textbooks and everything, and even though I don't remember all 72 codes I have to know for everything, nor do I have down the computer system (Julie, Anthology is a DREAM -- way more modern and easy to navigate!), I really did enjoy working there. So I was wondering to myself. . . why is this so different?

I've got it! I'm not used to working for men!! I'm really not! It's been a long time since I've had a male boss (maybe working security at MBBC). These days I am surrounded on every side by these southern-accented bearded men! (At the risk that one of them blogs and would actually read this, I want to say that they were all wonderfully nice and helpful). Jeff, Terry, Jimmy, Shane, and Bill . . . what happened to my all-feminine world where Hila brought us iced coffee from Charlotte's and we all stood around talking about books and planning the next party for the bookstore? :) Almost all the customers were men, too, which would be expected at a seminary campus, I guess. I miss my girls! So, here is a little tribute to my old Blue Kangaroo days (okay so it's not great. . . at least it sort of rhymes).

Ode to Julie
Her desk was unruly
Her heels were always tapping
Her laughs were never lacking
She always treated me like kin.

Julie was always so generous
35% off she had given us
until my bookshelves were bursting
She never let us go thirsting
The fridge was stocked to the brim.

I need some more estrogen
in this world teeming with men
Julie, I whisper your name
*It just isn't the same!!*
My patience with the men wears thin!

P.S. Julie or Becky, print this out and put it on the fridge if you love me!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Suds and Duds

Attention Mandy, Manda, Steph, and any other blogging friends that love deals:

Josh and I drove up the world's best outlets in Edenburgh, IN where we found some supremely good "dills" on top of the line fashions (read: there is a J. Crew Outlet!!!). I have to wear khakis to work beginning tomorrow, and we were on a mission to keep me hip in my rather lame uniform. I now have a lovely variety of khaki pants and skirts to accompany the store shirt I will be wearing daily for the next tree years. :) I figured since I was somewhat stuck in certain areas, I better find some accessories to keep it lively. You can see my favorite find in that department -- in this photo I am kissing the calf-hair leopard print belt that made the J. Crew employee jealous. "You are so lucky" she said "Someone must have returned that or something." YES! The best "still" of the day was Josh's Gap sweater for $3.50!! We were on our way out, when he was like "WHOA!" I was thinking Mandy or Manda would have bought them all and sold them on e-bay. :)

I had been praying that the laundry situation here would be a tolerable one, and that I would patiently endure washing our unmentionables in front of strangers (read: I miss you, little washer and dryer!). Mandy had suggested that maybe laundry would be better this way, because you do it all at once, sit down and read, and then you're done for a week. She was right! It was actually relaxing to chill in the tidy laundry room downstairs. The machines were all nice and new, and the room was nice and clean. The other people using the facility were friendly and gracious. This is fine. It is more than fine. It is even sort of fun. :)

The other night, my new friend "Grace's" boyfriend prayed for our dinner and asked the Lord to give us pleasure in little things. I love that prof
ound little thought. Thank you Lord, for giving me pleasure in my suds and duds!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Place to Worship

This morning Josh and I visited Clifton Baptist Church for Sunday School and morning worship. We had attended there for prayer meeting Wednesday night, and were eager to see what a Sunday service would be like.

The Lord knew that I needed this time of worship. This morning I felt a little emotionally sore, like I'd had a good workout, mostly probably from saying goodbye to James and Christen yesterday. As I fell asleep last night, I was overcome with thoughts of "aloneness" in my anxiety over the distance between us and my family, the Taylors, and others we've recently parted from. Weeping as I fell asleep, I dreamed very active dreams of running 2 book clubs at the Blue Kangaroo at the same time (it seemed so real! The Dudiches were there!). So this morning, as I stretched the muscles of my heart, I felt a bit sore, and was in need of time spent with Jesus.

I was refreshed with the vertical focus of both Sunday School and the morning service, the music and prayer. The bulletin is nearly a book that contains all the info about the service, including songs, scripture reading, etc. The Lord spoke to me through His word, and in song.

  • We sang "To God be the Glory", directing my focus upward.
  • A woman read Psalm 139, which spoke straight to my heart. Tears came to my eyes as we read "You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my path and my lying down" (how dare I think I am alone as I lie down?) "You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it."
  • Immediately following, we had silent prayer for private confession of sin, an aspect of the service I have rarely seen, but really appreciated.
  • Following that, we sang "O Wondrous Love" a song I did not know, but I was in awe over the words! The 3rd verse has these words: "I'm resting in the everlasting arms, in the ever faithful heart, the Shepherd of my life. . . You overwhelm my days with good, Your wondrous love will never let me go."
How precious it is when you so clearly see the Lord meet you in your spirit's need! We were also encouraged because the people were so friendly to us. Even though we are just another set of seminary students, we really sensed that they wanted us there in that church. We are praying about where the Lord would direct us to attend, and we will probably check out another church this evening, but in the meantime, it is blessed to know the Immutable God I worship can be easily found, and is to be worshiped in spirit and in truth.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Tagged Again -- ABC's

I think I'm the very LAST one to do this, but here are my ABC's, Steph. (I changed a couple to make them a bit more me . . . :)

A- available or single? I think these 2 things are the same. So I will answer married, but we are very available for F-U-N right now! (Johanna, you better keep that visit promise!)

B-Best Friend: Joshy, of course. :)
C-cake or pie - PIES! Anybody go to my wedding?
D-drink of choice - I love beverages. At the top of my list is: Ice-cold water, hot tea, coffee and coffee drinks, Diet Coke, and every Fresca flavor. Okay, I'm getting thirsty.
E-essential item I use everyday- teapot. I put it on first thing every morning.

F-favorite color - REDDDDDDDDD!!!
G-gummy worms or gummy bears
okay, that is a waste of my favorite letter in the alphabet. Lets say favorite "G" names: Guinivere, Genivive, Gabriella, Gretel, Georgie,
H-hometown - currently, Louisville, Kentucky
I-Indulgence- flavored coffee creamers. MMMMMMMmmmmmmm! I'm a sucker for trying new kinds!
J-January or February - FEBRUARY (Valentines Day, I'll echo everyone else who's done this)
K-Kids and names - I'll envision my future children with this reply: Our eldest son is John Piper Neisler, his little sister is Elisabeth Elliot Neisler, and our baby is a precious little girl adopted from china named Mina Genivive Lucy Courage Guinivere Neisler :)
L-Life is incomplete without - a fresh, living relationship and daily encounters with my Precious Jesus!
M-Marriage date - June 2, 2001
N-Number of Siblings - five: older brother, Nate, younger sissys: Anna, Emily, Nancy and Abby
O-oranges or apples - both are good, but I eat apples more. No spending time to peel, and they are so delightful with some peanut butter.

P-phobias or fears - SCARY possums and battys!!!!AUGH!
Q-Favorite quote - Right now, it's my tag up top: "The Lord is my Home"
R-Reasons to smile - My little Schmader-cakes, children in my (former *gasp*) Sunday school and Wednesday night classes, reading the best parts of books
S-Season - SUMMER

T-tag three or four people - I think almost everyone has done this!! Maybe G-knee hasn't, and Miss Johannis, you're new at blogging, so here's something to write, and my new friend "Grace".
U-Unknown fact about me -I was the female champion freestyle dancer at the Pow Wow in 2005. This is very true. I got picked by the Native American male lead dancer and I got the most applause from the crowd when they held the feather fan over my head. And people put offerings down that I had to dance around. I tell you, that kind of dancing takes endurance. I now feel as thought I am a person who wins things. :)
V-Vegetables you don't like - I truly try to like and eat them all (V should be for Vegetarian!) but to be honest, I could pass over brussell sprouts, though with enough seasoning or sauce I bet I could force them down.
W-worst habit -- talking too much?
Y- your favorite food - where do I begin? The 3 a's: Asparagus, Artichokes and Avocados are near the top along with cheeses, breads, olives, pine nuts, dips and chips, scones, pies, and a variety of ethnic foods

Z-zodiac - Leo! I'm the Lion, which is a great animal. But I think Stevie McCurdy could tell you my Chinese Zodiac animal

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Job Hunting

I have had so many kind people asking me how it is going looking for a job. Actually, it has been a sort of hard process, and I have been humbled in so many ways this past week. I needed to be humbled, that I see now. It has made me more sympathetic to people who have been searching for work for a long time, as well as people whose livelihood is dependent on going out every day and trying to sell their wares (and thus, a bit of themselves). I used to take it for granted that I would get up, get dressed and go to a fantastic job that I enjoyed in every way, where people gave me encouraging feedback all the time. I am so thankful that the Lord gave me a few days where I had to humbly go to place after place and try to sell myself as a good employee. Here is a little list of all the places I have tried to find a job:
  • Multiple places on campus (took a clerical skills test on which I scored rather dismally)
  • The Lifeway Bookstore on campus (applied and interviewed)
  • Two different positions at a bank (called after seeing in the want ads)
  • Pottery Barn Kids (applied, and had an interview set up for Friday am)
  • The Cheesecake Factory (applied, took a 150 question personality test and had 2 interviews -- don't go there unless you've worked at another similar place in the past. I learned that the hard way)
  • Borders (applied, took 180 question personality test online)
  • Lotsa Pasta International Food Store (applied)
  • Family Adventure (e-mailed, interviewed)
I was in World Market today to see about applying, when my cell phone rang. I got the job at the Lifeway store! How dare I doubt the Lord's goodness to me? This morning I read Psalm 16:11 "In Your presence is fullness of joy, and at Your right hand, there are pleasures forevermore" in my one-year Bible, and again the same verse in a card from my friend Miss Janice. The Lord is my home, right? He is also my identity. Not a job.

Here is a picture of Josh and I celebrating at a great local Italian place. It was great! Yes, that is asparagus on my pasta -- yum!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Our Humble Abode

As promised, here are some photos of our new little apartment. I've never posted so many photos before, so keep scrolling!

Here is my favorite little addition -- the baker's rack/workstation. As you see in the next pic, counterspace is at a minimum, so this gives me that plus storage. And it is so cute! My She-Woman poster at the top gives me inspiration to make Ramen Noodles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. :)

Below: pretty basic. I'd like to point out my "bon appitit" wall art (from a rummage) and chicken basket from 10,000 Villages (anybody else shop there? It is a favorite of mine!).

I can't believe I am posting a picture of my bathroom, but it is kind of a cool room in its own merit, and I am into the black and white. I call this room "West Side Potty". Not really.

Above: the slightly messy-still living room, featuring my new couch pillows, thanks to Johanna and Mandy and my sister Emily's version of "Starry Night" on top of the bookshelf. That is one of my favorite works of art ever. Please ignore the Ohio State Gnome on the side table. That is Josh's funny tricksterness. He moves the gnome around and hides it in the house. And he won't let the trash can be a hiding place. :(

Bedroom, with the bed neatly made up by my mom and Misty. Also, they selected the artwork to display, and I think it looks great. My house hasn't ever looked so "Pottery Barn"! And it was mostly done with what I had on hand!

This display is on the gorgeous sideboard table that we found at a rummage several years ago. My mom had the inspiration to put this bench on top (it was formerly in our hallway -- there are no hallways here!). I love it! Atop is the "Shicasso" version of "Girl with Sailboat" by Shea (pictured in the last post holding a light bulb above her head). Again, I love it that I have windows. As much as I had it good at the last apartment, we just were a bit short in the window department.

Thank you for touring the Neisler Family homestead. Now please pray about visiting us here!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How Many People. . .

. . . does it take to help you move? I haven't done an official count, but I am thinking upward of 15. We are now settled into our new apartment, with just a few more boxes to unpack, and everything looking great! Here's a little shout-out of thanks!! to everyone who helped us!

Christen and James (here we eat the traditional moving feast of pizza on the floor),

Mandy, Greg and Maddie, Johanna (dining on pasta with me sans table),

Misty, Shea, Abby, Emily, Nancy, my Mom, Jake and Gary (who so graciously drove down with us to help us get settled and make it a party).

We are so blessed! What a team of supporters we had! Jake took a vacation day to come with us, bless his heart. And then he sweetly told us "you're worth it".
Gretchen begins to tear up. . .
(I promised him I would try to find him a wife (hope the person I have in mind is reading this -- you KNOW who you are!)

I will post pictures of our cozy house soon. Josh's dad, Gary brought us this laptop, which was a HUGE blessing! We should be able to stay in touch via blogger, but we haven't been able to navigate My Space yet (sorry, girls!). Mandy, you better get a blog!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Movin' Out

I need a Billy Joel soundtrack about now. I am posting this amid boxes and the lack of furniture, to say that it may be several days before I am back in the blogging world again. Please don't forget me! I will be posting and commenting as soon as I possibly can.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Old Friends and New Vision

I bless the Lord for this wonderful last week in Illinois. We are having our triennial missions conference at our church, and there are an abundance of blessings through this for me. Last week, with a touch of flu and a load of emotions, I began to realize how much and who all I am going to achingly miss at our church. I want to bless the Lord here on my blog for being "my Glory and the Lifter of my head."

1. The precious blessing of having our friends James and Christen stay with us! Our fun friends are staying at our house for a whole week which is like "One last hurrah" (according to Mandy), and a huge encouragement to me. Not only is Christen helping me pack, she and James have always been and continue to be a living example of the words "let goods and kindred go. . . this mortal life also". Through passing comments, and in depth conversations, Christen and James have refreshed me with new vision for this new step in our lives. The Lord knew how much I would need that, especially at this time! One specific thing Christen said to me the other night that I will remember the rest of my life is "The Lord is my Home." Even now, that sweetly profound thought brings tears to my eyes. I think I will have a painting made with that phrase on it.

2. Lots of extra nights with my darling kids at church! It's like 3 extra Wednesday nights downstairs! We have each missionary set up to speak to the kids at least once, and they collect stamps from each missionary in their "passports" as if they visited those countries. What a blessing to see them responding to the missionaries in such a positive way. I really have the best kids in the world to teach! If you didn't know I felt that way, you can read my post "Wise Little Children". :) This has refreshed my vision as well, because I am renewing my hopes to work in children's ministry in the future.

Praise You, Father of my heart, for meeting needs through old friends and new vision!