Thursday, January 27, 2011

So early!

It is 3:45am. I am wide awake. I haven't a reason for my being up at this crazy hour. I've been waking up around this time for awhile. I usually roll over and go back to sleep. Tonight however sleep escapes me. I figure I should use my sleeplessness to your advantage. You get to read my babblings. Oh joy for you, right?

I guest posted a blog for a brother the other day on what living the Christian lifestyle meant to me. I find myself thinking about the concepts I put in there. While I back the things I wrote, I'm finding the execution of them to be a challenge at the moment. I'll be honest. I am not where I should be spiritually. There are no valid excuses. I have been chasing my own proverbial tail trying to get answers. I am very tired in every way. There isn't a way to take a vacation from yourself. Where you go, there you are... I still have felt like I was aimlessly wondering when things are good spiritually, physically, emotionally, and relationally. I want to shake that off! Its no fun to having a restless spirit and to feel misplaced. Whatever! I' going to attempt to return to bed. This late night drivel has gone on long enough...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Early so early

Today started incredibly early for our little family! I am so tired. Our dear little boy was having issues last night. At 3:30am he was crying a very awake cry. I woke enough to put his paci back in his mouth. At 4:30 the poor dear was tossing and turning as Andy got up for work. At 5, Andy was gone for the day. I got up at 5:30 to fill the humidifier thinking it'd help Dylan sleep better. I decided to feed him around that time too. We layed back down around 6am. By 7 my dear son wanted to play. I knew he was still tired because he'd slept as much as I had. He fell back asleep until 8. By 8:30 I'd had enough. I put him in his bouncy to watch Signing time while I napped.

Had to get out and get diapers, takes cans back, and remove the caterpillar from my brow line. I'm ready to hibernate! I need to shower still while Dylan naps. I need to eat something before I go into work. I'm waiting for the temp agency to call still. In the middle of all this I rediscovered an amazing artist, Sara Bareilles. A few of her songs really struck a cord in me today. So here's to the rest of the day... No matter how tired I am I will complete the tasks before me with love still in my heart.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wonderful morning!

If you have followed my blogs at all, you know I am trying to improve myself since having my dear son, Dylan, eight months ago. I need to be the best me I can, so he will have a good example. A lot of times I see mom's sacrifice themselves with a victim's mentality for the sake of everyone else's well being. I do not want to be THAT mom. While my family should and does come before me, I do NOT want to forget myself! It is with this thought in mind I have set out to fill the blank spaces.

I feel I am missing other ladies in my same position. You know married mom's with small children who need the socialization of someone over two foot tall. I don't really have very many people who fit the bill. Before Dylan, I could call my single friends and we could meet 15 minutes later for lunch or something. Now it takes me half the day to contact the people I used to hang out with because they have equally busy lives. It takes me up to an hour to get everything ready to go out. By the time I'm ready for hanging out, its time for Dylan to eat/sleep again. I end up staying home. It would be nice to have someone to call who understands and would come over. I'm not blaming or discounting the few who do/are willing hang out with me. It means more to me than you know. It would be nice to have a friend who gets me in town. I was telling my mom all this the other day. She suggested I look into the Christian organization, MOPS. I did and went to my first meeting this morning.
The church who hosts the meetings isn't very far from my house. The have this thing down to a science! Before the meeting, you sign your kids into a database using your name, the father's name, and the child's name. The print out name tags and security tags. The intake lady told me not to lose my tags because I couldn't take Dylan home without them. We got into the nursery, which in itself was a site to behold! They had bouncy toys, high chairs swings, and all manner of age appropriate toys for infants. It made me want to go play with Dylan and the other little babies. All the children with him were from birth to 1 year. I signed Dylan in. I was given a cubby for his things. I was given a pager that would call me if the nursery workers needed me. All of it was correlated by number. Mine was 15.

I then followed another mom down the meeting which I had been reminded about via email. I entered a room with Valentine's Day themed decorations. I looked around to see about 40 ladies of various ages sitting at round tables chattering away. The mom I had followed explained we would have breakfast after announcements and a prayer. She offered to have me sit with her for the duration of the meeting. The ladies at my table traded some friendly small talk while we waited.

They explained they usually didn't have an open forum set up like they had today. They said they usually do smaller more intimate groups but they had a special speaker today. I had received the email, so I was well aware of the unusual topic and circumstances.

The announcements were made. The breakfast was yummy. The speaker talked about God's plan for sex in marriage. She was candid and it was refreshing to her a Christian woman do so. Sex is so often a taboo topic among Christian circles. It was and still is a GOD idea! We shouldn't be ashamed to speak openly about it. The secular world certainly doesn't have a problem bombarding us with information. I didn't feel the least embarrassed or uncomfortable about how the speaker presented the information. I do believe I shall return. It was a great morning overall!

Friday, January 14, 2011

I only have 5 minutes

Ready? Set. Go... I've been wanting to do something different than the retail. I can't do the sign language interpreting I want to do without a certification/degree. I thought being in an office would be a nice change of pace. Biggest problem: I've never worked in an office setting before. I do have a nice set of office skills acquired from my previous employment.

This morning I went to a temp agency in my town. I've been sending my resume over and over to this poor woman who works there for weeks now. I dropped Dylan over at my sister's house. (Thanks Des, Dom and Jo-jo!) I got to the door only to see a sign: We only accept applications on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Its Friday! I sighed and walked in anyway. The nice ladies asked if I had a resume on hand. I didn't have a hard copy. Long story shortened, not only did I get to fill out an application but I also earned an 88% on Excel and 90% on Word skills tests. Both programs I haven't used in at least six months and had never used those versions of those programs. They are starting me in an office Wednesday, blocks from my house, AND making a dollar and half more than my current wage. There is one draw back at this point: it's temporary. The lady I'm talking with says they can probably find a more lasting position after I have some official in-an-office-setting experience.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I heard someone say this...

The most difficult fight is the one you have with yourself. The friend who told me this knew I was staring change in face. I was just about to graduate high school. I was struggling with the choices before me. Should I go directly into college? If so, Which one? Do I get a job? Where? Should I travel the world? How would I do that without money? Did I really want to move from my mom's house or stay put in an effort to accomplish all this? Anyway you get the idea. All time has done is made change more frequent and the inquires more demanding.
My graduation day with my parents and sisters- May 2001
Its been nearly 10 years since I graduated high school, yet I find myself reaching for the above wisdom. Change has been knocking at the door. I have ignored it for awhile. I can't do continue the avoidance any longer. I must face myself hoping my discoveries will bless my family. I'm finding it to be a challenge. I'm asking myself things I have chosen not to think about or are still figuring out myself. I find myself in the trenches digging through my inner rubble to find honest answers. I can't find the candid responses I need by pointing fingers at other people. They did not decide my reactions to my external situations. I did, therefore I keep delving deeper. What is hidden beneath the surface? Only God and I know.

Andy, Dylan and Me on Christmas Eve 2010

Monday, January 10, 2011


It is Monday, January 10, 2011. How in the world does my house have a tornado visit every weekend? I had a very productive weekend. I got nine loads of laundry washed and dried. I folded and put away six of them. We didn't get the copper and brass of the porch. Andy says he needs to sort through it all before he can take it in. (I guess the precious metals place takes money from you if they have to sort it. The whole point in waiting to turn it in is to get the most money out of it we can.) I didn't do my grocery shopping until yesterday afternoon. It was nice to have Andy along for the little trip to the store. I usually do it during the day while he is at work.

 Picture this: Me carrying a carry-on sized diaper bag, my little purse, the car seat with Dylan inside it, as many grocery bags as I can and my apartment keys. I tramp across the parking lot, up a flight of stairs, and through 2 storm doors. I attempt the unlock the apartment door somehow. The diaper bag or my purse or both slowly slide off my shoulder at some point in this process.  I have to push the door open with my foot. I rush inside before the door slams in my face. I somehow untangle myself from the grocery bags that have somehow twisted themselves into a vise-like grip on my fingers. All this while trying to gently place the bundle of boy on the floor. I carry all this at the the same time to avoid leaving Dylan alone like those crazy news reports of neglectful mothers.

You know the ones I'm talking about? The reports of the children freezing/frying to their death in cars on a arctic/sauna type of day. Or the ones where the police were called on the six year old who ran into another car while their parent just ran into the store for something real quick. Or my "favorite" the kidnapper who steals a lone child. Dylan can't talk much besides his continual "DADADADADADA-dadadadad! WAAAAAHHHH!" He certainly can't unbuckle himself yet. Nor can he walk away yet. He can scoot backwards. I never want to be that parent who is beyond hearing distance on my child if I'm in charge. No one could ever accuse me of being neglectful, a hoverer perhaps, but never lax in care. Have I mentioned it was nice to have Andy's help yesterday?

We didn't win the lotto. If we had, I'd still not say anything. We did, however manage to get most of our groceries for under $60. I still am trying to swing the massage and all the clothes I need for under $100. By the way my lunch was fantastic! Any suggestions?

Ok THAT was a huge sidebar! I have attempted to be super clever in my organization of this in our tinyer and tinyer apartment. Try as I might, Monday comes and to my surprise a volcano slept on the couch for the weekend... :D So Here's to Monday's volcanos! Happy Monday everyone!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It is Saturday!

I think it was John Denver who sang, " Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy." I frankly would have to agree. The winter doldrums hits me hard on cloudy cold days. Today its a whooping 17*F, but we have clear blue skies from my perspective. I am tackling all the laundry I have not done for a few weeks. (I'd do a load a day, but living in an apartment without the conveince of a washer and dryer in our place tends to make laundry pile up.) Andy is in Battle Creek having our car fitting with a remote car starter. Dylan is taking his nap. The windows are clean. The floor has been vacuumed. There are only a few dishes in the sink. We paid off everything we owed today. Besides our regular monthly bills, we are no longer slaves to ANY lender. I have a delicious lunch of potato crusted cod,  Greek orzo pasta salad, and fruit waiting to be devoured. Its been a pretty good day so far.

There are only a couple things that could make this day better. If Andy would turn in the copper and brass piping on our porch in. I've been staring at it for over a year. I ready for it to be gone. If we won an 1/8th of the lotto that would be pretty awesome. If I could get a massage and buy all the clothes I need for under a $100, It would make the day better. If I could get my grocery shopping done today for around $60, so I'd have enough for the week I'd dig that. We'll see how it all goes. I still have ten and a half more hours until tomorrow! READY, SET, GO!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The power of the tongue and Customer Service

I work at a local grocery store deli. It is my job to help people retrieve their desired products from our display case, among other things. It comes with the territory to help all kinds of people: young, old, fat, skinny, business executives, slept-all-day-bed-head-pajama-wearing-slip-a-jacket-with-some-house-shoes-on-to-go-to-the-store people, hard working stay at home moms with their children and the hard working blue collar individuals. Everyone has to eat, so I have the entertaining task of watching them all shop. I hear their stories if they come to see me. This is the most amusing thing to me... at times.

I think it may just be me, but I find cell phones to be an excruciating portion of my job. The best interactions I have include:

  • A customer coming up to my counter 
  • A bit of small talk while a decision (or decisions) is (are) being made 
  • A definitive decision at a volume I can hear
  • Me serving the desired product in a timely manner
  • A bit of a cheerful thank you and your welcomes or have a nice day
I am totally turned off by the people who walk up to me on their cell phones deep in conversation. I've been guilty of this too. I realize my guilt. Anyway I find it more and more irritating when they act like I'm interrupting their conversations. COME ON PEOPLE YOU WALKED UP TO ME. THAT IN ITSELF IS YOU ESTABLISHING COMMUNICATION! I get paid to help you out and to give good customer service. I can get in trouble for not doing so in a timely manner, however I don't want to be put on hold when I'm not on their other line. I'm standing in front of you waiting for directions. I have wanted to tell a few people in the past that I would wait on them when they were finished putting me on hold. I didn't, even though I REALLY wanted to! I have said hello and then waited until they were finished. The past couple weeks with the holidays have been riddled with this type of behavior. It has been making me want to pull my hair out. I don't think I could be much more uncomfortable at work then with two particular transactions I had.

The first was with a man in his mid- to late-thirties. He has a nice smile, was well groomed, and wearing a nicely tailored suit. My initial reaction was to think, "Oh what a nice looking put together man." He was on his cell phone when he walked up, but he was just listening. He let me know what he wanted. As I was serving him, he responded to the person on the phone. The gist of the dialogue was about this man's previous weekend plans. I gathered he was talking to a close friend because he was saying how he'd gone out with a group of friends. They'd gone bar hopping until all hours of the night. He'd drunk so much he'd blacked out. He could not remember how he'd gotten home, how some girl had passed out on his couch, and now he had to replace a set of keys he'd lost somewhere. He was bragging about what a great time it was. As he walked away, I was embarrassed and saddened for him. He just let me, a complete stranger, know the character behind the nice suit.

The second interaction I had happened a couple nights ago. As usual this lady approached the deli counter, she was having a rather loud heated conversation with whom ever. She was discussing someone's custody agreements and not being paid child support. I must remind you I can't escape while I work. I glanced over to see her son (or a young man I assumed to be her son) looking embarrassed and apologetic. The lady went on  spitting hot air for about five minutes. My co-worker was like are you gonna help her? He looked a bit startled by the whole affair. I took one look at the lady and responded after she gets off her phone. He seemed relieved. The son caught my eye a few times looking more uncomfortable than ever. He was in his early teens. The lady finally got off her phone looking irate. She ordered and huffed away with her poor son and another boy in tow.

What is my point? Cell phones are everywhere you look! They ring in all sorts of places. They are incredibly useful. The convience factor is unmistakable. They help us connect to our world, but they also cut us off from the world.

We need to be aware of our surroundings. Who did you miss today because of your cell phone? Did you miss the encouragement you desire because you were to busy to notice the angel walking among you? Were you present today or were you texting? Did you show up for your life? Who heard what you happened to be saying while talking on your cell? Was it something uplifting? Did you show the strangers around you the person behind the nice suit?

Our words should be sweet because we may have to eat them again. Please be respectful to your fellow humans. We may only have the one chance to be Jesus-with-skin-on to them. Many Blessings!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rob Bell - 014 | Breathe

I sit here in front of this blank space wondering what to write. The topic I most want to write about is my marriage, but seeing as that isn't appropriate. I am left with the desire to just write something. I could speak of the teeth my son, Dylan has coming in. I could talk about the fact that he is 8 months old today. I could comment on the fact that he is growing like a clever little weed. As much as I love our son, my heart isn't in those topics right now.

My thoughts are stirred with the gains/losses, the past/future, and the joy/sorrow of life. There is a video I watched a couple years ago. It keeps running through my brain. Andy and I used to go to this bible study every Wednesday night. It was a safe place of growth for me. I never had anybody there point fingers at me when I said something unusual. The group was made up of my peers. The group was disbanded a couple years after I had started going, but I still think of a couple lessons I learned there. The above video is one of them. You can debate that Rob Bell is a quack, but I don't care. Sometimes the thing I need most is to know God is as close as my breath....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

God have mercy.

I search to no avail. Hope is starting to waver. Answers just out of reach. Questions without response. How much longer can I wander in the dry land? My puzzle pieces scattered to the winds. Nothing has become more. Fire and water. Elemental opposites fighting for ground. Left or right. Up or down? Push and Pull at the same time.
Desert Flower

1 Corinthians 13 (The Message)

1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. 

   Love never gives up. 
   Love cares more for others than for self. 
   Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. 
   Love doesn't strut, 
   Doesn't have a swelled head, 
   Doesn't force itself on others, 
   Isn't always "me first," 
   Doesn't fly off the handle, 
   Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, 
   Doesn't revel when others grovel, 
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, 
   Puts up with anything, 
   Trusts God always, 
   Always looks for the best, 
   Never looks back, 
   But keeps going to the end.

 8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
 11When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
 12We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
 13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.