Friday, August 28, 2009

Operation Organization--on to week five!

I have loved the Operation Organization challenge that Melinda started several weeks ago. It makes me focus on one area besides my regular cleaning (I'm chuckling, cause "regular" is just a wee bit of an overstatement these days). Knocking off these little areas one at a time (and they are little--I don't pick "clean out the basement" cause it wouldn't get done) has a spill over effect. Makes me feel a small sense of I'm getting somewhere. The "regular" cleaning gets undone almost right away...these tasks have potential to stick around for a while. Love it!

If you are following along on this spine-tingling adventure, you'll remember that I've already tackled the paper baskets, the junk drawer, and the mess-o-jewelry. This week I chose this little area right outside my house/garage door where mess piles up...cause I was starting to trip on everything. Here is what it looked like last week:

and now:

Taa Daa!! Hubby helped a bunch (thank you hubby! cause it had the potential of all kinds of creepy...) and half the stuff there was trash or in the wrong place. We got the storage cubes at Tar-jay on sale this week. We needed a place for wet boots, muddy shoes, etc. There is one for each of us. We don't have a mudroom...

(Aah, wouldn't that be nice? You'd think my dream home would have a spa or a two-story fireplace...I'd take those too, but my dream home has a mudroom! That would be awesome...a place for backpacks and snow pants and ball caps and gardening shoes and one of those cute benches with hooks above and cubbies below pieces of furniture...oh, I digress. I bet if I had that mudroom it would be my next operation organization task...but one can dream, right?)

Anyhoo, you'll also notice a red bin which is my attempt at corralling all of those stuff-mart bags that we need for disposing of doggie's business. You'll also notice it's in one of the cubes. That cube is supposed to be for my boots, etc, but mine actually are put away for the summer...cause making a snowman is not on my summer to do list. They will go there eventually and the red bin will go on top.

Note the hand sanitizer--we must find a way to de-germ...the swine flu is already here in our area. Here is my attempt--thought it would make us do it on our way in if nothing else. We'll see on that one.

Basically, that's all it was...pick up trash, sweep, and cube the boots. Don't know why I was putting it off! And now I won't trip on the way out! I will have to find another way to know I've got the car in far enough though...the boots won't stop me now!

This week, I've gotta go with the linen closet. It's making me nuts. It's been organized in the past, but my labels have come down and lots of stuff has been shoved in. Time to redo! Looking forward to it! (what's wrong with me?).

It's not too late to join in on all of the organizing hoopla! Click here for more info.

Thankful, Thankful, Thankful

Thanks to all who prayed for my sister after I posted this last week. I am SO happy to say that she got the results from the doctor yesterday and there is NO CANCER! We are all breathing easier and SO thankful that Kerry is not facing another trial. She is recovering after a rough go with nausea and pain--but has been back to work already. So, thank you for your prayers, and thank you Lord, for finding it in your mercy to spare Kerry this ordeal. Hooray!!

Kerry and I at VBS (otherwise we try not to wear matching shirts)

I've been reflecting a bit on how to remember to keep being thankful. I do find things to be thankful for each day, and make a point to have a grateful heart. But, when a crisis is over...I move on and don't always remember to be thankful for that particular answer to prayer. If Kerr did have cancer--we would be faced with it and it's ramifications every day for a long season. Will I remember everyday for a long season to be thankful that she isn't facing the C-word? I hope so.

I do try to remember to be thankful for the blessing of the job hubby has after 6 months of unemployment--even when the job is super stressful. Anytime a friend has a baby--I thank God for rescuing me from post-partum-psycho after Pickle's birth 13 years ago. I am thankful for the van God miraculously provided for our family as a generous gift years ago...even though it isn't exactly my dream car these days. It is so important to fact, throughout scripture we are told to remember what God has done. God's people got themselves into all sorts of trouble by not remembering.

For me, journalling helps. I like to read back over old journals to see where my heart was...what things concerned me that God has since resolved. Sharing with others helps (that's what I'm doing here, huh?) When we were facing a family crisis I call "the Big Mess" last summer, we spent time as a family recounting God's faithfulness to us in specific situations in the past, thanking God for His faithfulness, and then reaffirming our trust in Him for what we were facing at that point. I think it was a very meaningful time for all four of us.

How do you remember to remember????

We are definitely in back-to-school mode these days--trying to get our act together amidst new schedules, a new school, new teams, new dance classes. Our family needs structure, and we are working hard to find out what that looks like for this season of our lives. I find that when I get stuck on the "little" things (that seem to be as frustrating as "big" things in the moment) it can definitely get in the way of remembering to be thankful. Focusing on what matters instead of the little things is a discipline. I still deal with the little things of course, but try not to focus on them. Finding ways to be thankful helps me focus on what matters, and focusing on what matters helps me be thankful. Cool.

I'm certainly thankful today. For the great news about Kerry. For the day off I have today to work on "getting our act together". For our small group that meets at our house tonight. For a few reflective moments to remember all of my reasons to be thankful.

This post is linked to the Company Girl Coffee group over at Home Sanctuary--where a little blog community checks in with each other on Fridays.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

what matters

this picture doesn't matter :) but I like it.
it's a lighthouse in Kauai.

Sometimes I get stuck on the stuff that doesn't matter.

And a little change of perspective can be a very good thing. At least for me.

It doesn't matter if Pickle makes her bed everyday...what matters is that she learns the benefits of routines in her life.

It doesn't matter why Bubba (all of a sudden) dislikes pants with buttons (yikes!)...what matters is he's learning that sometimes you just gotta make it work.

It doesn't matter that I am just a wee bit overwhelmed with all Bubba needs to learn this year...what matters is that his school is a supportive place and that we show him how to take things a day at a time.

It doesn't matter that the kids each read at least 20 minutes every day...what matters is that they learn to be absorbed by a story.

It doesn't matter that the kids get good grades...what matters is that they try their best.

It doesn't matter that I think diet coke with peanut m and m's or chocolate chip cookies is the breakfast of champions...what matters is that I choose something better most of the time.

It doesn't matter that I don't have all of the logistics figured out to be able to train my teachers on Sunday (!)...what matters is that they are reminded WHY they do what they do, and WHO they can depend on.

It doesn't matter that we are in an indefinite transition period at church...what matters is that we expectantly embrace the season we are in.

It doesn't matter that it's a little crazy with all of the back-to-school hoopla and new schedules...what matters is that we are working together to get in a groove.

It doesn't matter that there always seem to be greasy fingerprints on my black fridge (ugh!)...what matters is that those fingerprints represent people whom I love dearly.

It doesn't matter if I reach all of my many goals...what matters is that I am faithful to take steps in the right direction.

It doesn't matter that the unexpected interrupts my plan...what matters is that I learn to accept the interruptions as part of The Plan.

What doesn't matter to you?? Join me in focusing on what does.
Have a super day, bloggies.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Winkers on Sunday

Okay bloggies--many bloggers post beautiful pictures and worship songs or Bible verses on their blogs on Sunday. Others are super-reflective. Others don't blog at all on Sunday.

Me? I'm posting the winkers video link. Just saw the link on Missy's blog and I think it is the scariest and funniest thing I've seen in a long time.

So many to choose from...please comment and let me know your favorite!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Operation Organization--Week Four and a day late!

For the past few weeks, I have joined with Melinda and others on her Organization Challenge. This past week I chose to do my mess of jewelry. Check out the before pictures here. I was supposed to post on Friday...but instead I posted about my sister's surprise surgery.

True confessions, I didn't finish up the jewelry mess until today. Until one hour ago to be exact. Oh well, better late than never?? Below is what I came up with. First, it's all off the top of the dresser. HUGE. It's been there a while. The little hope rock is still there without the mess. :)

I bought ice cube trays at Stuff-Mart and filled the cubies with my earrings. Sometimes more than one pair, sometimes just one. I have three of these, and they stack together and sit in my top drawer. I have a container for bracelets in there too.

My jewelry box now only holds (mostly) sentimental jewelry I want to keep but don't wear. Everything that was previously tangled is untangled. Hubby hung these hooks in my closet and now my necklaces are hanging there. I think I might need to get another set of hooks!

Whew. That feels better!

For this next week I have pushed some previous ideas aside to do the area in the garage right outside our door. Look at it bloggies--it's terrible!

This area is where we keep empty stuff-mart bags for various uses (read here: take with us on dog walks--yuck), boots and shoes too messy or wet to take inside (notice they are there even tho it's summer), and all manner of other junk. I pull my car in just about on top of it all. Although the boots have been keeping me from my usual bump into hubby's tool chest to know I'm "in". (He loves when I do that).

So that is the spot to tackle this week--wish me luck! I'm hoping hubby will help me cause of the potential-garage-creepiness factor. We'll see if he likes that idea. :)

Never too late to join in on the challenge! I've only picked small areas that have been bugging me, but it is surprising how much difference it makes!!

PS. If you checked in to see how my sister is doing today--first of all, thanks. Second, she came through the surgery well and best of all, the doctor was less concerned when he got a good look at the "thing". However, the recovery has been rough--and I took her to the ER today to get her rehydrated and some anti-nausea meds. That helped a lot. Please continue to pray for her. Thanks!

Friday, August 21, 2009

never a dull moment around here

My dear sweet sister Kerry is facing another trial. On April 29, Kerry delivered precious Sadie Grace, who had died three weeks before she was to be born. In their grief, Kerry and Jeff have honored God and clung to Him. Kerry is barely recovered physically from the C-section, and now is facing another surgery today on her throat. She learned about it yesterday. She is told she will be in pain this next week as she recovers and waits to hear results on the thing they are removing from her throat. (I would call is something else if anyone knew what it was.)

We've been joking about it the last few days--quoting My Big Fat Greek Wedding--and the "bubopsy" and calling it her "twin". You know, trying to push the scary thoughts away with humor, at least a little bit. However, when the specialist got serious on her yesterday, the situation lost all funny.

When you lose a child (I did too--but that's another post to come), one result I've noticed is that you are left feeling very vulnerable. I mean, it is highly out-of-order to bury your child. So, if that could happen, anything could. So it's VERY easy to feel weak in the knees, even about the tonsillectomy Kerry faces today.

I trust God. He has proven Himself faithful. But, I don't pretend to know His plan. Sometimes His plan is painful. Oh, how I'm praying that the results of this surgery show that it's nothing to worry about. And praying that in God's mercy Kerry, who has been faithful in the most trying of times, would not experience much of the pain they've warned her of. That healing would come quickly. She's already emotionally exhausted from grief...I know she is leaning hard on the Lord. We all are.

If you are someone who prays, please pray for Kerry. I came across these lyrics today...on a friends blog. I've never heard this song. They sum up where I am today.

I have to believe, He sees my darkness
I have to believe, He knows my pain
I have to lift up, my hands to Worship
Worship His name

I have to declare, that He is my refuge
I have to deny, that I am alone
I have to lift up, my eyes to the mountains, thats where my help, it comes from

He said that He’s forever faithful
He said that He’s forever true
He said that He can move mountains
If He can move mountains
He can move my mountain, He can move your mountain too

I have to stand tall, when the wind blows me over
I have to stand strong, when i’m weak and afraid
I have to grab hold, a hold of the garments, the garments of praise

He said that He’s forever faithful (oh i know it)
He said that He’s forever true
He said that He can move mountains
If He can move mountains
He can move my mountain, He can move your mountain too

I have to sing praise, when the hour is midnight
He unlocks these chains, that bind up my soul
my sin and my shame He has forgiven, and made me whole

He’s got everything under control
I have to believe

Lord I believe, help my unbelief
I have to believe in you
I have to believe

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

it makes all the difference...

Bubba headed off for his first day of third grade at a new school this morning. He is transferring to a private school because hubby started working there in January as the Business Manager of the group of schools. We met Bubba's teacher yesterday, and she seems as sweet as can be. He has a class of just 18 which will be great. I have absolutely no concerns about him making friends, or fitting in, or having a good experience there.

In fact, one day recently we had this conversation:

"Bubba, I'm not worried about you making new friends, cause you make friends so easily."

"I know Mom, I make friends every day." (don't you love that?)

Anyway, so I'm not concerned at all, but wondered if he was feeling at all apprehensive. As I loved all over him before he left, I told him how proud of him I was. That even though I don't think that there is anything to be afraid of, I still think he is being very brave.

"Because daddy's there," he said.

It makes all the difference to know his daddy is nearby and involved in this new life of his. It makes him brave. It makes him able to walk boldly into this new situation.

It's not different than my life. My relationship with my Heavenly Father makes all the difference. To know He is with me, and involved in my life, and in control...this is how I can face each day--the easy, fun ones...and the hard, dark ones too. Not that I don't get scared sometimes...but I am reassured by His presence.
With me.
It makes all the difference...

PS. Just for fun, here's Pickle ready for her first day yesterday. Grade 8. Be still my heart.

Monday, August 17, 2009

and they call it puppy love...

I read Emily's blog post earlier in which she was wondering if her family should get a dog...she's not a dog person...and boy, can I relate.

You see, I am not a dog person. Or I wasn't. I grew up with a very sweet yellow lab-mix named Buffy (named after that cute girl on "Family Affair"--honk if you are over 40 and remember Buffy and Jody!) We couldn't have asked for a nicer dog. I liked her. I guess. Not as much when she got old and smelly and couldn't back up, but overall I liked her.

But I have never really wanted another dog. Which worked for my hubby, since he is allergic to most dogs and cats. So we were resigned to no dog. We had a litter-box trained bunny for a while when we were first married, but we were over the pet thing.

Enter two normal American kids who we love and who want a pet. You know the scenario--made worse by the annual kindergarten trip to the humane society. So... we got a parakeet from a breeder, so we could tame it. I grew up with two parakeets--they were lots of fun. Keets sat on our hands and shoulders and sang us songs and kept us entertained. She even sang along with Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music! She was Pickle's bird. She wanted it. Until she learned that she got uncomfortable when it flew around. And when I say uncomfortable...I mean she had panic attacks. Oops, not the right pet. Keets lived the rest of her feathered life locked in her cage until she finally gave up the fight. It was sad.

Keets sitting my glass of water

Since Keets wasn't cuddly, next came the guinea pig. A Christmas present for pickle and a huge hit. Pickle named her nutmeg and she was pretty cute, especially when she wasn't peeing on you. It was a great kid's pet--until hubby realized he was allergic to little Nutmeg after all. (Ironically, pickle just developed an allergy to nutmeg--the spice. Weird, huh?) Once the allergy was discovered and confirmed, we gave nutmeg away to a friend...who lovingly cared for her until she had a little guinea pig stroke. (really!)


So, we were resigned to being petless and pretty cool with it (at least hubby and I). And then something weird happened that we now know must be directly related to some serious praying on the part of our kids. Hubby and I each independently started to want a dog. We didn't even admit it to each other at first. We had talked about the one or two breeds he could have that we'd be interested in. Hypothetically. That's it though. But as our feelings started to change, I started admiring and talking about all of the different dogs I "met" in people's homes as I worked my home party business. And we started wandering through the pet shop in the mall(you know, for the kids).

We came to the hypothetical conclusion that if we were to find an adult, purebred, mini schnauzer (we knew hubby did ok with that breed), already potty-trained, preferably female, for free and dropped at our doorstep, we might consider it. Even better if it's ears were natural and not cropped. The little desire started to grow into a mild obsession. I secretly checked the humane society listings to see if they had a schnauzer. (where else would we find an adult purebred, I thought?) kind of compulsively, I must admit. Apparently hubby did too. We even started looking out of state--willing to drive a few states over if we found the right dog.

Yes, I know, hello?? We don't want a dog, remember?

All of it came to naught. Schnauzer rescues...nothing. Craigslist...nothing. I started adding my prayers to those of our kids. It seemed impossible, but nothing is impossible with God. And if He thought a dog was a good idea for us, He could find one. By now we really wanted one! (darn kid prayers!) We kept looking and couldn't let the thought go. One day, I was on the phone admitting to my mother-in-law that we were starting to really want a dog--and another caller beeped in. One of my customers. I switched over to the call and had this conversation:

"dawn, I hope you don't think this is weird, but one of my friends who was at my home party (months prior) said she thought she heard you say you liked mini schnauzers?"


"well, this is just a long shot, but she is moving in a few days, and has decided not to take her dog. he is a mini schnauzer, and she wants to know if you want him."


Yup, you guessed it. He was ours the next day. He was three years old, trained, sweet, and even had natural ears. He isn't female, but doesn't do any of those "male dog things that are unpleasant". His owner had him groomed and then gave us the dog along with all of his food, kennel, leash, vet records, toys and treats to us for FREE. He took to me right away...follows me around, up and down the stairs 100 times a day. He sits outside the bathroom when I'm in there (to protect my privacy, I think). Patch has become a sweet little friend. He's easy and might I add, doesn't shed at all (LOVE that!) And it's nice when the kids aren't home to have a little life around the house.

And most importantly, he is a daily reminder of God's love. Because He didn't have to answer our prayers for a dog...we certainly didn't NEED one. But sometimes God does things just to say "I love you". I mean, really, having Patch show up in our lives is nothing short of a miracle. A God-thing, for sure.

Sure, he needs regular grooming. Sure, he barks sometimes at people he knows. Sure, he's a bit of a mooch when it comes to snuggling and petting and scratching behind the ears. Sure, he finds the person who likes him least in the room and tries to win them over by putting his chin in their lap. Sure, he had to have a tooth pulled in front and now looks like some rare appalachian breed of schnauzer. But he has brought much joy, therapy (petting a dog is stress relieving!), and companionship into our home.

And I think...I might...have been...converted to a dog person. I guess it just takes the right dog. And a miracle. And miracles happen. Watch out Emily. :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Organization Week Three--and a bit of Hope.

Another unorganized spot in my home conquered! (At least for a few days.) A few weeks ago I hooked up with Melinda over at Coming Clean and decided to participate in her Organizational Challenge. At least with a few small projects around the house (the kind I've been meaning to get to, but that always fall off the end of the list). The first week I tackled my paper baskets and this past week it was the junk drawer. Here is my before picture:

Oh. my. word. I know it's called the junk drawer, but it seems like it has become more of a trash drawer! I was able to throw so much away...either cause we had too many (look at this pile of pens that were in every part of this drawer),

or because it literally was trash! Really--garbage in there!

I also found lots of things that needed to be housed elsewhere--cause, you know, directions to "Pass the Pigs" don't need to be at your fingertips at all times. Anyway, here is the finished product. I stuck with stuff we use regularly.

I am still thinking about labeling the spots...cause I love my label maker...and I'm hoping it might help the rest of the fam? I don't know, though...I finished the task a few days ago and went to take the picture this morning and there were already a few things just tossed in there...guess that's us.

For week three I am hoping to tackle my jewelry. I used to wear the same things everyday, so I didn't have much, but lately have become more into changing it up a bit. (does that constitute a mid life crisis? hmmm.) So, now I have lots of jewelry and no good ways to store it. It has taken over the top of my dresser, and I clean around it. I'm not moving it all to dust under it...that's crazy-talk! And, I make it messier every time I look for something. Here is my embarrassing before picture:

I know what you are's seriously an act of God that I get out the door looking somewhat together. You should notice a few things in the pic:

1) The wooden jewelry box to the right. My hubby gave me that years ago and I think it is so pretty. However, it does not hold half of the stuff. In fact I just took a tangled mess of costume jewelry out of the bottom of that thing to try and unknot.

2) The blue car. No, it's not some repurposed broach. I'm not cool enough to pull that off. It is one of Bubba's cars. Cause naturally, that is where it goes. Actually, it illustrates a concept I have learned--clutter besets clutter. And if I let one area go--my family is happy to add to it. You'll notice some loose change there too...I have no idea where that came from, but I'm sure it's enough to buy me some diet coke. :)

3) My fav--the tiny little rock with the word hope. See it?

It's in the middle of the mess. I usually keep that rock on my dresser as a reminder...but wow, what a picture to find it in the middle of the mess! That is honestly where I am most thankful for the Hope I have in Christ. In the midst of my messes. Not just these kind of messes...but the ones I make of my life, or the ones life hands me. In fact, I call last summer "The Big Mess". Cause, I can't even tell you what a mess it was. I can tell you it was the dark kind...the kind I wasn't sure we were going to dig through. And yet, in the midst, there was Hope. It was as real as that rock. Honestly, there were times the mess seemed much bigger than the Hope. But it wasn't. God is faithful. It all became part of the Good.

So, as tempted as I am to leave the jewelry mess with the hope rock there as a spiritual reminder for the dark days...I think I'm going to clean it up. and untangle. and save myself some serious amounts of minutes when I get ready in the morning...

If you want to join the challenge, it's not too late! Click here and go for it! And remember there is Hope in the midst of your mess!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

my sister's boyfriend sang this at our wedding...

I had to share this. A friend posted it on Facebook.

She's feeling it, huh? LOVE it. Watch out Susan Boyle.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Craft!--the new swear word

"Craft!" is a bit of a swear word at work and, consequently, at our house. It is not because I hate crafts (although I must admit I am not big on the Barbie Doll/crocheted toilet paper cover and the like). Or that I can't be crafty--I have been known to spend hours on a single scrapbook page and to wield a glue gun now and again. No, has caught on due to one of many infamous dawn-shouldn't-have-said-that moments.

barbie-doll toilet paper holder

In the name of being REAL and authentic and all that, I must admit I blurt out the occasional c-word. You know the one--it rhymes with trap. I don't think it is a particularly attractive word, and won't let my kids say it, but it does come out of my mouth more than it should. I didn't think it offended anyone as much as sounded less-than-classy. (ya think?) However, I learned fairly recently that there are some close to me that really dislike that word. So, in the name of not causing others to stumble, I try to stifle my yucky-word (or at least feel bad when it slips out). For the record, when you grow up on Long Island--the c-word IS the nice word. But anyhooo...

So, you may have gathered that I work at our church. Sometime last year several of us were invited to a church board meeting to discuss a potentially tricky subject relating to the use of our newish church building's lobby. Since opinions were varied and strong, each of those invited had a chance to share their own perspective one at a time. The others listened carefully and awaited their turn to speak. It was very civilized and we were getting a lot out in the open. One wonderful guy stated that we want to make sure that the lobby didn't end up looking like a"cr*p bazaar". I thought that was interesting, wondering which of the ideas shared so far would make it look all cr*ppy--and what is a cr*p bazaar anyway?!? I dutifully resisted the urge to interrupt and ask for clarification because it wasn't my turn. And it was a board meeting--filled with church leaders who I respect and who employ me as a ministry leader. So I must obey the rules and wait my turn. So...I wrote it down to ask about it when it was my chance to talk.

My turn came.

I directed my comment at wonderful guy, "Can I just ask what exactly you mean by cr*p bazaar?"

The room quickly went silent.

Followed by SEVERAL others correcting me at once. "He said CRAFT bazaar!"

Giggling, I said, "Oh. Well then, that makes more sense..." We all chuckled. I think a few even guffawed.

And I crawled under the table to hide forever.

Not really...I pretended I wasn't embarrassed and made the rest of my comments. (I couldn't miss the chance to say what I thought...) And knew I had to share my flub with my fellow staff members and hubby--who would get great enjoyment from the story. Consequently, they have since adopted CRAFT! along with me as the exclamation of choice when it fits. And everyone enjoys remembering the day dawn "swore" at the board meeting. A classic dawn-moment for sure.

I knew our new swear word had officially made it into our vernacular when in the middle of the night many months later, my hubby's cell phone buzzed loudly on his dresser. Confused, he sleepily stumbled across the room to turn off the alarm clock. I didn't want us to oversleep--so I blurted out--it's not the alarm, it's your phone!

"CRAFT!", he muttered, still half-asleep, as he crawled back under the covers.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Operation Organization--Week Two

Last week I decided to play along with Melinda and her Operation Organization challenge. I decided to do my baskets. (I'm doing small things at this point.) Can you believe my week flew by and I didn't get to it until this morning? Oh well. It's done! Here's the project in process:

You wouldn't believe all the garbage I had in there! I had restaurant coupons that expired in February. And Christmas cards we sent out that were returned because we had the wrong address. And field trip info for trips that happened long ago. So...toss, toss, toss. There were other papers in there that belonged somewhere those got relocated. My treasure hunt also revealed a book I had wondered about, and two Target gift cards (too bad they were Pickle's, I like shopping at Tar-jay). I organized our bills (yes, I'm admitting we aren't very organized there--thank God for online bill paying). Random addresses saved from cards were inputed into my contacts. So, it might not look like I did much...but lots of info was weeded through. The baskets now:

I realized that I really should have opened my cabinet when I took the "before" photo--cause oodles of the papers I had to move went up there in my files. I cleaned those out too. I have files for each kid's school stuff, for medical stuff, bills, etc. The binder you see on the right is our family's operating manual (we don't really call it that, but we don't call it anything--will take all suggestions!!). That book contains daily checklists for each of us, chore lists, starter grocery list for each week, etc. and is a life-saver for my ADD-needs structure-pretty busy-family.

This next week's task should be easier. I'm going for the junk drawer. Seems like a good idea before school begins...this is regular task because it is a shoving-stuff-place just like those baskets are. So I will organize it that it can actually be useful to all of us. Here it is today:

Can you believe we live like this? Just being real, bloggies.

Feel free to join us at Melinda's blog!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gotta send ya...

So, sometimes life is hard. Things happen that we don't understand. Or like. Or think we can stand. Darkness threatens to overtake us. I know this from my own life and from the lives of those close to me. I am not in one of those dark times now. Maybe you are. I want to send ya (and when I say "ya" I am referring to you--the small handful of folks who for some reason find yourself reading this blog-o-mine) somewhere.

Today I read two blog posts that were awesome. I'll be honest, I wish I wrote this one by Missy. I am by no means the writer she is, but otherwise I could've written this post. The truths contained in her post are truths I've learned, yet still need to be reminded of regularly. Please go and read it. It will bless you.

The other post is one that was linked to from a few other blogs I read. It is by musician Shaun Groves speaking about how he is fighting back against depression. It is long, but so honest. If you or anyone you know is dealing with dark feelings, it is so worth reading.

That's all I'm gonna say. They said it better. Thanks for letting me send ya...

ps. The photo above was taken by my daughter, pickle. I love that the sky is gray but the bird looks calm. I'm also partial to the birds. :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I like my job. really.

On Tuesdays I join with Emily and others at Chatting in the Sky and take time to notice something small we might have overlooked in the everyday and "unwrap the gift" that it is.

Maybe this isn't so small. But it is everyday. And I don't always think about it. Cause when things are everyday, we forget to think about them. But...I like my job. I really like it.

Two and a half years ago life looked different for me. Maybe not on the outside--married, two kids, same house, same faith, same neighbors. But my everyday looked different. My inside was different. I was four years into my own home business in direct sales. I won't slam direct sales--it can be profitable and is very flexible. It was a great option for me when I still had a little guy at home. And I loved it--great company, great people, great incentives. I won trips. I got lots of prizes. I got recognition. I got paid. I sought to honor God in my business, and got many opportunities to share Him with my customers. He was blessing my efforts. BUT, if I'm being honest, it consumed me. This is completely due to my overachiever, driven personality. Some are able to handle the achievements and still maintain a well-balanced life. I wasn't able to. I couldn't turn it off. I always wanted to do better and it was always there--always more I could be doing. I made my own hours, but I made a lot of them.

And I forgot how to relax. And I didn't spend much time being a friend. Or sleeping.

Sometime around January 07 I had a sense that something else was coming soon in my life. I had no idea what, but I prayed it wouldn't mean I had to give up my business... Then one day in April it came. It was a different job. The Children's Ministry's Director position was open at my church. It had been open for several months--with a dear friend serving as interim director. I knew I was not the one for the job for SO many reasons and told those who thought I should apply exactly that for months. Yes, I had a MA in Educational Ministries--but I always pictured myself with college students (did that for many years) or with high schoolers (did that for many years too) but not ministering to kids (other than my own, of course). Sure I loved kids, and loved VBS and had lots of ideas about Sunday School and church ministry--but I didn't want to be on church staff or in charge of the whole deal. It wasn't me. I mean, Children's Ministry Directors had sweet voices, kind smiles and wore denim jumpers with animals applique'd on, right? (no offense if you wear those--but that is not me!) Surely I wasn't the one.

Yet, I love God. And I want to live my life the way He wants me to. And I've told him that and asked Him to lead me. He did. The short version (I know you are wondering if I EVER have a short version, huh? I'm nothing if I'm not wordy.) is that in about a 8 hour time frame I went from telling my pastor that I wasn't the one for the job--thank you very much--to thinking maybe I was. God completely changed my heart.

It was nothing short of a miracle, folks.

It was like the fog cleared and I knew what I was supposed to do and I got all excited. We are talking heart-beating-super-fast excited. My hubby (when the initial shock wore off) felt really good about it too. Because I need all sorts of reassurance, I asked God to make it absolutely clear to me--and in another only-God-could-do-it moment on a women's retreat shortly thereafter He did. So I asked God to help me be obedient, and to help me be willing to give up my business (in a rare moment of clear-thinking I KNEW I couldn't do both jobs). I asked him to take away the pain of letting the business go.

I never felt any pain. There were some bittersweet moments, but the joy of knowing I was doing what God asked me to do outweighed any difficulties in letting go.

So, you see, I am as surprised as anyone that I like my job. But I have had no regrets. I love the great kids at our church. I love partnering with their parents to help them grow in their faith. I love leading volunteers. I love being a part of the bigger picture of our church's ministry. I love that I get to be the philosophical, theoretical me as I set direction for our programs and I love that I also get to be the hands on me--making vbs decorations, teaching baptism class, hugging preschoolers. And guess what folks? I don't even wear a denim jumper--apparently that is not required!

AND, I love the people I work with. We are in a transition time at our church--our pastor of 14 years felt God calling Him somewhere else--and we have been 7 months without him as we look for a new pastor. This could be a really hard time--working on a staff without our leader. And in some ways it has been. But the folks I work with are muy fabuloso. We work together well. We collaborate and support each other. We let each other have our grumpy days. We put up with each other. We tease each other. We laugh a LOT. We challenge each other. We point each other to Christ (most days, anyway). I love each one of them. And did I tell you that I work with my sister?? How cool is that??

Here is a picture of our church staff--we took it as a goodbye present for our pastor. It's supposed to be the rest of us caught red-handed ransacking his office. (that speaks volumes, huh?)
Aren't we just the funny bunch?

I like my job. I actually love my job. And that's nothing to take for granted. Can it be tedious at times? Absolutely. Are there frustrating moments? Of course. What job or ministry doesn't have those?

Yeah, this is everyday. But it's not small. I'm thankful for the gift of liking my job. I'm so glad I unwrapped it today.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Operation Organization! (my small version)

Well, I have had an organizational bug lately. It unfortunately hasn't morphed into actual organizing activity much...although the kids' bathroom vanity was attacked last week complete with new caddy for Pickle's ever growing collection of get-beautiful-stuff. It's mostly just been the desire. I don't know if it's the new school year looming or if it's just that it's gotten just-that-atrocious over the summer but it's driving me crazy. My new found blogging hobby has not only distracted me from the mess (just being real here--sometimes it just sounds better to sit with the computer and ignore what is bothering me) but has also inspired me with projects and ideas galore. But I won't let my inspired self go for any of those until I've got the place in working order--not perfect--but in working order. There are plenty of those behind closed doors places to be tackled.

And I hate it when we can't find stuff quickly.

I stumbled on a Melinda's blog today, and she is hosting an organizational challenge for the next 8 weeks, and I decided I'm gonna go for it. I am not going to take on very big projects (like my office/dump room) because the calendar shows much busyness in coming weeks. However, I think the motivation/accountability from this challenge is what I need to at least accomplish SOMETHING towards my working-order-home goal during this school starting season. Otherwise, I might use my hubby's laid-up-ness as an excuse to just sit around and keep him company (read here: let the mess sit longer).

So, I'm posting here for all 10 or so of you to see that I mean business. Just a little business, but business just the same. This week I am taking on my counter baskets. These cute little baskets were given to me by my mom 8 and a half years ago to house all of those papers that tend to clutter up the counters and dining room table. (I hope some of you relate just a wee bit to that? Please?) Well, I love them. But every so often they need to be cleaned out. And every-so-often hasn't happened since before school let out! Shame, shame, shame. And I'm noticing that my sweet daughter and loving hubby "straighten up" by dumping everything made from paper in those lover-ly baskets. Yesterday I found my journal as well as some catalogs in there! Here is what they look like right now...

Yes, I'm very proud. Look at them, they are overflowing! SO, I'm committing to it this week. I am supposed to have it done by Friday. Check back on Friday for photos.

(I know you will be holding your breath in anticipation.)

Thanks for indulging my need for this little bloggo-challenge to get me rolling a bit at a time. Feel free to join in at your house--check out Melinda's challenge here. And feel free to encourage me...I'm not the only one whose let it all get away from me, right?
Related Posts with Thumbnails