Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Grandparents

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I am not sure when it happened.  Not the exact time.  But, sometime after our three older kids grew up, Shawn and I couldn’t wait to be grandparents.  We like to talk well into the night of our dreams of life… and I can recall many nights dreaming of what it would be like someday to be a grandma and grandpa. 

It isn’t that we are real fond of the idea of getting old… just that we love God’s design for families and generations… and we adore children.  Early in our marriage, he always wanted 12 kids.  I wanted 2.  So, we settled for 4, and hoped for a slew of grandchildren someday.

Sweet little LuLu is our first grandbaby.  And what a treasure she is.  Truly, all the dreaming of becoming a grandma was nothing like the real thing.   When this little girl was born, I stood outside the hospital room and prayed that God would keep this family in His arms.  And when I heard her for the first time, I wanted to lay down on the floor and die. 

Amazing is not a descriptive enough word for being a grandparent.  I am completely honored that the Lord has blessed us with this grandbaby. Honored because I know that it is a great responsibility to be a mentor and a prayer warrior for her.  Honored because I don’t take lightly the job of being a generation that lives a life that is pleasing to God, and as an example to my family.  Honored because I know the older women – the grandmas – that have had an impact on my life… and my girls’ lives…

It truly is an amazing experience.  She truly is a beautiful baby.  I am very excited to be a part of her life… and to experience first hand all that God is doing in her sweet little life.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I am up.

I hate nights like this.  Well, usually, I don’t mind them when it’s night…it’s the day after that I hate.

It’s 2:25am, and I am wide awake.  I was sound asleep.  But, about an hour ago, Emily came into my room coughing and saying she had a headache, sore throat, stuffy nose, and I could tell she had a fever.  We’ve all been battling this gunk the past three weeks at our house.  My own gunk has held on for three weeks, rearing it’s ugly head every night with coughing fits when I’m trying to get to sleep, and then again in the morning when everyone else is trying to sleep.   

So, I comforted her and gave her some medicine, tucked her back into bed.  And then I went back to bed.  And laid there…. for an hour….trying to fall back to sleep.

Until now, when I finally gave up.  I knew I wasn’t going to fall back to sleep.  But, I kept hoping I would.  I was weighing the dilemma in my mind…. I only have 3 more days of work before I am finished with my job there.  And of course, it’s really busy, and I have a lot going on at work.  I mean a LOT.  So much that I’ve had to have extra help this week because I was afraid I couldn’t get it all done.

And now my daughter is sick.  With most likely the same thing that has been dragging me down the last three weeks, so I know how miserable she must feel. It’s only the second day of school of course.  And no child wants to miss the second day of school.  She’ll be disappointed if she wakes up in the morning and still has a fever and can’t go to school.

Even though we have a house full of people right now, it isn’t like I  should rely on any of them to care for my sick child while I work.  So, I have a dilemma.  Do I call in to work three days before my last day because I have to care for my sick 11 year old (who is the main reason I only have three more days of work left in the first place)? Or do I relegate my responsibility to my 18 year old, hoping its just the beginning of a nasty summer cold and doesn’t need more attention, like a doctor’s visit?

This is the dilemma of  a working mom. In the middle of the night. Who can’t get back to sleep.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Off to college

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Shawn’s sister Shanda (above left) went to college this past week.  She’s attending a private Christian college about 4 hours north of here. 

We had the privilege of taking her to school and moving her in.  As we were driving away, I was thinking that it seemed like just yesterday when her mom was in the hospital with a broken leg and Shanda was still nursing and I kept her for a week.  She cried a LOT that week.  By the end of the week, we were in good shape.  I weaned her. 

It seems like just last week she was dancing and prancing around the neighborhood in her dress up clothes playing house.

It seems like yesterday she was in junior high.

And yet, here she is… all grown up and going to college.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

encouraging Bible verses when life is crazy

Nope.  I didn’t need google. 

In the midst of a crazy life, crazy things, I need to be reminded that:

1. God is still in control.

2. The one who complains and gets angry about life – I don’t get to be that girl.

3. God is always looking out for me.  The things He chooses for me to endure are not always pleasant, but they are for my good, and His glory.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:35, 38-39 NIV).

 "For God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:6-9)

It always makes me mad when I realize these things after I have already complained, never before.  Now the people who read my blog or talked to me yesterday or the day before are going to think I’m some bitter angry person about life right now.  I’m not. Frustration sets in at times and I feel like complaining…and I do.  But, I know that what is seen is temporary, and what is unseen is eternal.  And believe it or not…. we aren’t hard-pressed on every side in our lives right now.  I still have some soft sides.

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Life is always crazy….

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Ah… the feet of a one-month-old.  So sweet.  So tender.  So not-calloused.  She knows nothing right now except eating, sleeping, crying, and pooping.  Her day consists of the same thing over and over and over again.  She’s oblivious to changes in her surroundings.

Sometimes I wonder if things in my life will ever settle down.  Things just happen all the time.  It seems unbelievable when I actually tell anyone.

Today at work, someone said “how are things going with you… any better?”  And I had to stop and think which “situation” they were talking about.

My brain really quick thought …

- does she want to know if our garage is back in order from the drunk driver that drove through it?

- is she referring to the fact that we have 14 people living in our house? (which is way awesome by the way!)

- does she want to know if my husband’s head is healing from the 21 stitches he got last week at the ER?

- is she referring to my brother-in-law at the ICU?

- is she referring to my daughter moving to another country in a few short weeks?

- does she mean with me quitting my job and starting my own business?

- is she referring to me being sick for a week with this stupid cough/gag/mucus stuff?

- is she referring to the fact that in a couple days I’m taking off work to move my sister-in-law to college?

I ran through each of those scenarios in my head, took a deep breath to start answering her questions…. then I said “What do you mean?”

“Oh…just cuz you were so busy this morning.”

It’s so easy to forget that other people aren’t you.  They have no idea all the things that are bottled up inside of you.  Stress to one person looks completely different than stress to another.  I keep telling myself what a privilege it is to have excitement in our lives every single day. 

Today, I even googled “encouraging Bible verses for when life is crazy”.   Then, I stopped and said “Why did you just google that????”.  Like google knows. duh.

I know. 

Monday, August 09, 2010

drugs

I’m home sick today.  Miserable is more like it.  My daughter asked me if I am going to stay home tomorrow too so she could make me breakfast in bed.  I said “no. I’ll probably go to work.” She said “Why? If you don’t feel good, maybe you should stay home.”

Because that’s what grownups do.  We go to work when we don’t feel good.  We cook when we don’t feel like it. We do a lot of things we really don’t want to do.

Sometimes I hate being a grown up.

Drugs are helpful though. And today I figured out that nasal spray is a gift from God.  Here’s the list of drugs that have kept me breathing today:

dayquil, ibuprofen, mucinex D, sudafed, nasal spray, vicks, tylenol, Echinacea, Emergen C.

I have to say the mucinex D and nasal spray are officially my two favorite. 

Summer colds are the worst ever.  It’s 89 degrees outside and I am shivering with chills.  blech.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

#1 Reason

Here is my #1 reason for wanting to work from home…. when we shared the news with her, she was SO excited.   

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Friday, August 06, 2010

3 more weeks

Just yesterday, I blogged about my beautiful granddaughter and all the things that has happened in the past three weeks since she’s been born.

What I didn’t tell you, blogosphere, is that yesterday I gave three weeks notice at my current job.  I wanted to give my boss the opportunity to hear it from me first.

For the past year, my life has been changing rapidly.  I quit my job at our family business in August of last year, where I had been employed for about 12 or 13 years, or possibly even longer because who keeps track in a family business?

I left there to go to work at a manufacturing company in town.  I went through their interview process, was offered a temporary job, did the drug testing, was ready to start on Monday morning, and I got a call from the manager that hired me and he said the corporate office put a hiring freeze on that day effective immediately and I couldn’t start. 

I decided that God (obviously) has other plans for me.  I accepted a job offer at a third party medical billing office 30 minutes away from 6am – 5pm Mon-Thurs.  The job was challenging for me, in that it was quite a drive from home, the pay wasn’t the best to start with, the hours were long, and I felt, literally, like I was on “lock down” 24-7. 

A couple of months after I started working there, a friend of mine approached me about a job.  It was a project management job for a few months, then moving over to Quality Control in a rubber manufacturing plant.  The plant was 2  minutes from my house, the pay was about the same as the medical office, and it seemed like a no-brainer.

Besides, I had no clue what God was doing with me in my life.

So, for the past 9 months, I have worked at a rubber plant.  (Yes, many days I wake up and sing “Oops there goes another rubber tree plant”)

I know this is a long story.  If you’re bored, stop reading, skim to the last paragraph and leave a comment.

I should really devote a month of posts on “things I’ve learned working at a rubber manufacturers plant”.  But, one of the things I believe God has done in me in the past 9 months is to show me what a godly boss looks like.

My boss is a Christian man.  He doesn’t wear a Christian badge or hand out tracks to his customers and vendors.  In his work, he lives a life that is pleasing to the Lord…. in word and deed.  He treats his employees, his customers, and his vendors with dignity and respect.  He has been a model of a Christian businessman to me – the entire time I’ve been employed there. 

When I was frustrated because I didn’t think I’d ever figure out certain aspects of Quality Control, he encouraged and reassured me.  When I asked the same questions twenty five times, he answered them twenty five times. 

I have learned a lot about Quality Control while I worked at this job.  But, more valuable to me, is the lessons I have learned about business management as a Believer. 

These things are why it was difficult for me yesterday to go into his office and give my three week notice.  But, these things are the very things I needed to learn in the past nine months to push me to follow my dreams and start my own business.

Yep.  I did it.  I walked away from an hourly paying job.  I walked away from the security of knowing that I would be getting a paycheck every week as long as I attended.  I’ve decided to venture out on my own and do what I love.

It’s scary…. and frightening…. and I’m pretty sure at times in the past twenty four hours I’ve changed my mind and then changed it again.  But, this morning, once again, I’m very very very excited.  I have been dreaming of all the directions my own business can go… dreaming of the day I hire my OWN first employee and can offer the same management style that was modeled to me by Vern.

And today… I’m encouraged, and challenged, and dreaming, and shaking in my boots…. all at the same time.

Don’t worry – I’ll give you all the details on my new venture.  I just don’t want you to read any more of my book-post. :)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

3 weeks old

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My granddaughter is three weeks old today.  Three weeks.  She is super duper cute, and it’s so hard to not just take pictures of her constantly.  In some ways, three weeks seems like a long time.  In other ways, it seems so very short.

Really, three weeks is relative.  To wait three weeks for something you ordered online today is an incredibly long wait.  But, to be able to accomplish something in just three weeks seems so short.

In three weeks, this is the list of things that have gone on in our life:

1. met our first granddaughter

2. had overnight/weekend visitors from Illinois in our home three times

3. went to my daughter’s for a weekend to help her clean apartments

4. started to harvest tomatoes and peppers

5. had a drunk driver crash into our garage in the middle of the night

6. father in law has been in the hospital, out of the hospital, in the hospital again, and out of the hospital again.

7. my sister decided to move from the northwest to the midwest, then changed her mind and decided not to

8. fireworks party in our front yard

wow.  That’s a lot.  And you know what else? We still don’t have the lawn mowed.