Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Something's brewing...

Nope.  It's not coffee.  I am the socially-handicapped one who doesn't like coffee, remember?

Something is brewing in me.  I don't know what it is, but it's Good.  I feel like I'm on the verge of something God wants to do in me.

artwork by bubba 2010
I can tell.  Emotions have been raw.  Situations have been frustrating.  My heart has been tenderized.  I am seeing more clearly my need for healing, my need for a Savior.  I see my ungratefulness, my sin.  And I see His Love.  His personal, I know just what you really need, Love.

He is calling me forward--somewhere deeper, somewhere new.  He's (thankfully!) not done with me yet. He is sending me situations where I have no choice but to trust and lean.  He is sending me listening ears to help me process.  He has been speaking to me through others, through books that are finding their way to my lap almost haphazardly, and through the quiet and reflection I find myself drawn to.

It's a little unsettling, I must admit.  I feel vulnerable emotionally right now, like I'm walking the edge of a cliff.   I am asking Him to help me not close off my heart in an attempt to be safe.  I need to stay open to what He is doing, continue to walk along the edge.  I also need to keep coming to Him--not let busyness distract me from what's He doing.

I honestly don't know where He's taking me, but I feel His gentle hand guiding me, little by little, somewhere.  I feel Hope.  I really think something Good is brewing...

Do you ever feel like that?  On the verge of something?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Here's what I'm claiming...join me.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I don't think my car likes my perfume...

My car, on it's own volition, is locking me out!

Here's the saga.  You might want to grab a beverage...cause it's fresh, and I'm venting.

First of all, let me just say that 90% of the time I leave my house in the morning only to head back in and grab something I forgot.  Phone, lunch, water bottle, computer, whatever.  It makes me feel like I'm losing it, but I've come to embrace it.  So have my kids.  This summer they learned that "Mom always leaves twice."  Even my dog, who is safely locked in his kennel, doesn't even look up any more when I head back in.  I know there are ways to be more together and organized, but apparently I don't feel like doing them.  So there.  That's me.

OK, with that little disclaimer out of the way, let me tell you what went down this week.  On Monday, I got in my car in the garage, started the engine, was about to pull out and realized my phone didn't come with me.  So I got out, closed the door and headed in to grab it.  As I came around the back side of the van, I heard all the doors lock on their own.  What???  Sure enough.  For reasons only known to God and perhaps the maker of my car, my car decided to lock me out.  So now, my car is running and locked, with everything I need for the day inside.  Except my phone of course.  And the gas tank was down to fumes--I was headed to the gas station first.  Yikes.

Hubby quickly came home from work (2o minute drive--thanks babe!) and rescued me.  Although the car wouldn't unlock for him at first least not with the key fob.  We had to go all old-school and use the key IN the lock and TURN it to get it open.  Prehistoric!

He followed me to the gas station to make sure the fumes held out, and then I was on to my day.  I got to work 40 minutes later than planned, but no harm, no foul.  I made sure to tell my coworkers so they could have a laugh.

I'm too mad at my car to take it's picture...but here is what it looks like.
Tuesday.  No problems.  Asked teasingly at work if my car gave me any trouble that day...

And then Wednesday.  The plan for the morning was this:  leave my house by 8:10 to meet my parents and sister at Compassion International (where my dad works) to attend chapel.  Chapel was to be led by Travis Cottrell (musician/worship leader extraordinare that I just might be a big fan of...).  Chapel was at 9, seats go quickly.  After chapel I was to head quickly to Panera to meet someone who was interested in serving on my Children's Ministry team  (yes!).  Then, as soon as that was over, I was to meet a dear friend for lunch who recently returned from a few years in Rwanda.  I was finally going to get into the office around 1--but that's OK.  I had the schedule worked out almost down to the minute.

I was ready in plenty of time.  I remembered (almost) everything...a sweater in case the a/c was on artic blast, an extra pair of shoes if my feet got tired of the heels before I reached the office, my purse, my computer AND my phone.  This time the car was in the driveway.  I turned it on, put it in reverse and thought...I should grab a water bottle.  Put the car in park, and thought to myself, "I'm not letting this happen again" so turned the car OFF and got out and grabbed my water.  As I tried to get back into the car I noticed it was locked again!  What in the world?!?  Am I getting punked??  At least I grabbed the keys this time...wait, where are they?  In the ignition of course!  I guess I didn't grab them!  I was about to spend some time getting on my own case about how stupid I was--when I realized the clock was ticking until Travis!
Travis Cottrell
A few quick phone calls later (thankfully we still have a home phone line) and I was being rescued by both my folks (who picked me up for chapel) and my husband who drove home AGAIN to unlock the car.

Now is my opportunity to tell you my parents are saints.  Here's what they did...their own plan.  They picked me up for chapel.  Took me to chapel.  Vouched for me when I needed a photo ID to get a visitor pass.  (I have my purse, in my car.  With my sweater.  And my phone.   And my KEYS.)  After the chapel, they waited around while I took the opportunity to shake Travis's hand and talk to him for a bit.  (!)  Then they drove me to Panera for my appointment there (not that I had my purse to buy this lady a cup of coffee or anything, but whatever). While I was talking Children's Ministry in Panera, they drove to my house where my car had been unlocked by hubby, and picked up my car.  They both drove to Panera again and left me my car.  My mom came into Panera to find me and give me my keys and purse.  And I was back on schedule with all of my appropriate possessions, IDs and what was left of my sanity.  Aren't they awesome??

my awesome parents
So, what's the deal with my car?  Does it think I spray a little too much perfume in the morning?  Is it mad I haven't cleaned it out in weeks?  Is it out to inconvenience me or simply humble me?

No answers yet.

But I do wonder if it's related to the car I had between college and marriage that used to honk at me from my driveway.  When I was inside our house.  My roommate used to say,  "Dawn, your car wants you!"  Hmmm.  That was a honda, and so is my van...

Well congratulations, you made it.  I'm done venting.  I hope this made you feel encouraged that at least your car likes you...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Celebrating more than great teachers...

I wandered into the auditorium just before the festivities began.  High School Back to School night.  I remembered last year, when I felt like the new girl my daughter was.  New school, new culture, new faces.  This year, as I entered the room, I was greeted by my husband who quickly introduced me to a colleague.  He led me to our seats near some of his coworkers--who I chatted with until the principal started speaking and I figured I should probably shut up.

We had a fun night traveling Pickle's hallways, meeting her teachers, and attending short versions of her classes.  I was impressed by each teacher and know she is going to have a terrific sophomore year!

And while that is worth a celebration in and of itself, I am really celebrating something else that was on my mind all evening...

I wasn't there alone.

Last year my husband's ongoing back issues were so bad that, for the first time ever, he missed a back to school night (he actually missed both of our kid's nights last year).   And while I'm not shy or inhibited, it was lonely last year.  Because we always do this together, and because I knew he wanted to be there.  He had been the school's Business Manager for a year and a half at that point, but that is not the same as knowing what your  child will be experiencing as a student.  I felt like a single mom.

In contrast, hubby is much healthier these days.  He still has his days where his back will interrupt our plans--but they are much fewer and much farther between.  His spirits are up accordingly.  His stress level is down because the school is in a much healthier place financially then it had been--and being the finance guy, the burden was overwhelming at times.  There were times last year when it seemed he didn't want to face being at school any extra hours for the kids' things cause he couldn't escape thinking about it all...

Last night was so different.  We were there together. He introduced me to colleagues and board members.  He chatted happily with folks he knew.  He greeted people with warm handshakes and a hug or two.  I heard him half-jokingly referred to as "the guy who runs this place".  I saw genuine appreciation on the faces of those who know what his job entails.  And I imagine they realize the role he has played in keeping the school afloat through stormy seas.  Everyone seemed to be celebrating that the school was in a much stronger position this year than last.  I am so proud of my husband, and thankful to God for all He has done to provide for this school.
hubby on our vacation this summer.  i love him.
But what I was celebrating in my heart most of all???  We were there together.

Friday, August 19, 2011

School Days and Catchphrase

I don't know if you have ever played the game Catchphrase...but this electronic game has a beeping timer.  It starts beep...beep...beep...keeping the pace of the game going.  As time gets shorter, the beeping quickens.  Beep, beep, beep, beep, beepbeepbeepbeep!  It makes me feel panicky--oh no!  time's running out!  

When I'm not careful with my thoughts...I can feel the same way as I see my kids grow up.  It seems like time is accelerating.  Beepbeepbeepbeep... yikes!  Back to school is definitely one of those seasons where I hear the rapid beeping in my head...

We had the fastest summer ever.  Really.  Before we knew it, it was time.   Tuesday was the day, and I made the kids pose for the obligatory first day photos.

Pickle is heading into her sophomore year.  I can hardly believe how grown up she is becoming!  (I know all moms say such things...but it's true!)

ten fingers = tenth grade.  that's how we roll.
And if it's not enough that my baby girl is a young woman, my little boy is in his last year of elementary school!  Bubba is in 5th still my soul.  Handsome little devil, isn't he?

While I want time to slow down, I choose to embrace.  Be proud of who they are becoming, be excited for each new step they get to take.  Walk alongside them while I can.  Hug them a lot.  And try not to be freaked out by the accelerated beeping I hear now and then in the back of my head...

Blog-hopping with the Company Girls today...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

summer slipped by

Well, hello.  I've unintentionally taken a summer-long break from blogging.  I have a million small reasons why, but none of them are good excuses.  Just didn't get around to it, didn't prioritize it, and didn't feel like it.  I feel so out of the groove right now, I hardly know how to begin again..

Yet, I feel writing calling to me again.  It's good for my soul.  I even feel like God wants me to.

You would think I would have a large number of ideas saved up to write about, with all that time away from my keyboard...but nope.  Nada.

But I need to prime the pump.

Do you know that expression?  I am not exactly sure where it comes from...I always picture it has something to do with having to pump a water pump a few times before water comes out.  Or maybe it has to do with breaking in a new pair of heels.  (pump, get it?).  Regardless of where it originated, I know where I learned it from.  My mom.

Mom tells the story of her own mother, ill in the hospital after colon surgery.  She hadn't eaten in so long that she had NO appetite.  The doctors wanted her to eat, she needed to eat so they could make sure all systems were a go and she could begin to get better and go home.  She insisted she couldn't do it.  So, the wise nurse (I think) told her she needed to "prime the pump".  In other words, get a little food down to help her body remember that it likes eating.  Or something like that.  Mom, you'll have to correct me in the comments.

Over the years that followed, my mom has used that expression and story many times.  Especially when it comes to reading God's word and praying.  Sometimes we can go so long without reading and praying that it becomes very difficult to start again.  She would say, "prime the pump".  In other words, read a few verses, spend 5 minutes.  Remind yourself why you read and study, why you pray.  It might involve forcing yourself a bit at first.  That's OK.  No need to get all judgmental at yourself--just do it.

So, today I am "priming the pump" when it comes to writing.  I am doing it without anything to say in particular.  I'm writing for the sake of getting the juices flowing again.  Cause I think I'm supposed to write.

So there you have it.  Hope to be back soon.  :0)
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