A reflection on 2018

When I look back on all that happened in 2018, I am amazed to see God’s hand in every little thing. The mundane, the spectacular, the stressful, the day-to-day, the sad, everything was touched by Him and made good by Him.

In mid-2018 we had to bury our dog Scout after he ate a ball and it got stuck in his intestine. Scout was our first family dog and losing him left a large hole but God filled it in every way. Friends provided support in every way and as a family, we came together and were closer after Scout died. We mourned together and we came through it stronger than ever. The event was sad but from it came further solidified friendships and a strengthened faith in God’s ability to use all things for good.

This year was crazy at my work with contracts getting cancelled and having to move around the company to different teams as a result but God was there every step. When the contract I was on got cancelled, there was a spot already available on a different team, that was in need of someone with my skillset. All that said, I didn’t lose my job, I got to work on a great team and I made some awesome new friends on the way. When the opportunity came to work on the team I am on now, everyone was super supportive and helpful and I am just amazed at how it all worked out. God was all over it. All I had to do was give the situation to Him and trust that He would use it for good.

These are just a few of the funky spots throughout this year and I can confidently say that when I look back on 2018, I can see God’s handprints clear as day and I have never been more thankful to Him for what He has done and what He continues to do.

For 2019 my resolution is to take every opportunity I can to give it all to God and be patient enough to see Him work. God is great! and I can’t wait to see what he does in 2019.

Keep it simple. Rejoice always!

So simple. Super powerful. This verse jumped out and hit me like a punch to the face.

If I am rejoicing always, I am not complaining, tearing down, spreading bitterness, being upset, lying, or a million other things that would harm someone else.

If I am rejoicing always, I always have Jesus on my heart and a thankful spirit which demolishes all those other things.

If I “rejoice always”, I suspect that I would be compelled to tell people why I am rejoicing.

This is my new mission.

Even though I seriously need to work on my “rejoice always”, I know God will be with me the whole journey and I have nothing to fear. Amen!! 🙌

Saved by Apple’s Two-Factor Authentication: An Attempted Hacking Survival Story

Earlier today, I received a 2-factor authentication request for my Apple account from somewhere in China.  There’s one small problem with this: I AM NOT IN CHINA. 😳

What is happening?!!

This request meant that not only was someone in China trying to hack my Apple account but that they successfully logged in.  Holy moly!!  Mind blown!  The only thing that stopped the hacker from doing whatever they wanted with my Apple account was the two-factor authentication.  Talk about a save!

I quickly went to haveibeenpwned.com to see if my Apple login email was featured and lo-and-behold,  it was.  As it turns out, I used that email address for 8 different sites that had been breached.  This meant that the hacker could be trying my credentials on a ton of different sites and worse, could possibly be getting somewhere.  The haveibeenpwned.com site actually recommends using a password manager for handling passwords and I can’t agree more on this.  But, I digress.

What to do?  What to do?

So for the next hour, after the hack attempt, I went through my password manager (told you they come in handy) and located every site that used that password and changed it.  Then, for good measure, I went through every site that used that email and changed the passwords there too.

I have to say, this experience was a big eye opener for me and I am truly blessed that it didn’t turn into a complete disaster.   Hopefully this won’t ever be your experience and to help further that, I have listed a couple tips below.

Thank you for reading.

Some tips to avoid my experience

  1. Setup 2-factor authentication as often as possible.  Yes, it’s an inconvenience but it may save your account… like it did mine. 😊
  2. Change your passwords regularly.  Don’t argue, just do it.
  3. Don’t use the same password on multiple sites.
  4. Use complex passwords because “6h89(^Y%TG*23d” is more difficult to crack than “password”.
  5. Check your emails against haveibeenpwned.com to find out if they may have been a part of a breach.  If so, change the passwords for all the accounts that use that email.  It’s time consuming but also not worth the risk.

Side note: A password manager helps with almost all of these tips and also adds much convenience.  I recommend 1password cuz they make my life easier.  That said, please don’t use an easy password to access your password manager.  This defeats the purpose.