Friday, February 29, 2008
Do you ever just sit down on blogger and think, what in the world do I have to write about today? And the answer is, nothin'. Sometimes it's nothing because there is just really nothing on my mind and that is a good thing. Sometimes it's nothing because the somethings are just too complicated and boring to anyone but myself to bother with. Sometimes I think I should be more spiritual but I don't feel spiritual. Or I should be amusing but I'm not. That's today. I sat here reading other blogs and checking into e-mails and I thought, "I got nothin'" I have only one something to say,
It is well with my soul.
Arlene said that to her family a few weeks ago and I'm thinking that today.
Nothing spectacular is going on worthy of a celebration. It's just fine. It's medium, beige, average today. It is well.
As my mom said, Gramma's house is getting a face-lift through Tom's tender hands. All these people who love my grandparents and love each other are walking in and out of those doors performing a labor of love. Is it silly that this produces joy in me? Not joy because I want to live there and it's gonna look swell. No, it's a greater joy. It's an eternal sort of joy because it's Tom doing the work, knowing and understanding what those walls and plaster mean. It's Pat coming by with a heart of worship ushering in the Holy Spirit with her presence and marking the work with the love of herself and her husband. It's my mom and I looking at paint colors and giggling over which my gramma would've liked, and the ones that she'd have hated. And choosing them anyway because we are comfortable with moving on. It reminds me of Israel and God writing the lesson of heritage on their hearts. My gramma would've loved that even if she hated the sage green I chose for the bedroom. She and my grampa would've wanted this; family coming to minister together. And yes, it is an act of servanthood and ministry. And it is well.
Donny is laying in the middle of a blizzard in the back yard chewing on a soccer ball. It is ridiculous that a puppy is laying in a blizzard and I've no idea where he got a soccer ball but when I looked out the kitchen window with Mac and we laughed at him, it was not a special moment worthy of recording. It was a plain and ordinary moment. And it is well.
I was looking for a pretty snow picture to include in this post and I found this one. It's not a spectacular work of art but it is a red barn on a snowy day. I have had a Farm with a red barn on a snowy day. And so I can look randomly through the internet and run across a stranger's picture and feel a child's contentment. It is well.
I heard from Amber and Barry in the last two days and they are peaceful. They are receptive to Christ healing their hearts. And it is well.
The Mr. has a good friend who is going through some bad things and he spoke to him this week and made sure that not too much time passes without this friend knowing that we love him. And it is well.
So today is an ordinary day with too much laundry piling up and a dog who thinks laying in a snowbank is a fine idea and I need some new shoes for work. It is a beige day and if you checked in on a regular basis you'd find that most of them are. Not much worthy of writing about.
The thing worth pausing to think about is that the wellness is within my soul. I don't have everything but I'm lacking nothing.
It is beige, ordinary, medium.
It is well.
James 1:4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Here's Donny as I found him today. Always needing to have something in his mouth, he is pictured asleep with his bunny. Be vewy quiet, he's hunting wabbit.
As for me, had dinner with some friends and ate an entire calzone in the process. Today my stomach flabbage is very generous. My cell phone is clipped to my waist band and the chafing of my belly against my phone clip is causing a decubitous pressure ulcer.
I'm very sweaty today and don't know why. In the armpits I mean. Anybody else ever experience this? Perhaps they are draining water from my ankles?
The Mr. is laying in bed burning up from head to toe with a sore throat. Happily he reports he is not sick but only needs to get up and all will be better. So far, no progress on the getting up thing. His long-term plan is to go to practice with the church band and share the love. Tina, do not inhale this evening.
Jay has to make a ballot box for work. Apparently they are staging their own elections? Can a person buy a ballot box?
Well, that's all I have for now.
Gonna go shower and reapply Arid.
Do you guys have these signs on the freeways where you live? I never really paid much attention until recently when I am doing a lot more freeway driving. On a daily basis now I pass under these signs. And this winter has brought a lot of early morning snowy commutes making me extra grateful for these alerts. The signs change continually to warn drivers of accidents ahead, traffic tie-ups, hazardous conditions and even Amber alerts when children are abducted. They are so current that they actually give you the specific number of minutes until you will reach upcoming exits. And yes, I have timed them and they are accurate.
On my way in to work the other day it was blizzardy and icy and the first sign I saw alerted me that traffic was at a stand still at Michigan Avenue, black ice was causing dangerous conditions and to proceed slowly and with caution. A few miles later I was warned that the entrance ramp to I96 was blocked in the left lane due to a spin-out. Creeping along with windshield wipers barely keeping up and thanking Jesus again for four-wheel drive, I thought to myself, if only my life was equipped with signs to warn me away from danger. Or even just to slow down and proceed with caution.
Then again, if the weather guy on Fox 2 News has already informed me to leave extra early and Jackie Paige the traffic chick has shown me a giant map with information, needing light-up signs to keep me on the alert ten minutes later may be an indication of ADD.
Anyway, I am grateful for these signs and for whoever it is sitting wherever they are continually giving me new information to keep me safe. Do you ever have moments in life when something takes you completely by surprise and you wish someone had posted a giant blinking sign a few miles up to prepare you? Slow down! Be careful! Someone just spun out ahead of you and you might crash into their mess! You didn't heed the warnings so now you're running behind! It's going to be this long before you reach your goal! Hey! You need to detour RIGHT NOW! I don't know. Maybe if I had too much information ahead of time, I'd be so scared I'd sit in my living room and never go anywhere, figuratively and literally. If God had given me a moment by moment update of some of things I could have expected in my life I would have been "prepared." but within my own wisdom. Which is basically non-existent.
When it comes to driving, God certainly puts his hand on me and provides his angels to stand guard allowing me safe travel. I am a firm believer in praying for safety on the road. My parents always prayed in the car for traveling safety before we left on long trips. This stuck with me and I continue to pray for traveling safety daily for my family. At the same time, my own sense of responsibility comes in to play. No sign will save the day if I'm driving seventy miles an hour through a blizzard. This is why I hung up on the Mr. the other day while merging on to the freeway. It is my choice to not add danger to the roadways. Haven't you been endangered by another driver who thought the rules did not apply to him? There is much I cannot control during my commutes but that which I can take accountability for, I do.
In my life, it is a similar mix of taking responsibility, praying for safety and wisdom and being sensitive to the "signs" that are there if I am careful to look for them. No, I've not yet had a giant amber sign tell me that I need to guard my words. But experience, the Word and the Holy Spirit's prompting are enough to hold me accountable.
It is the purpose of God to give us all that is required for safe passage. Journeys are not always easy but we do not traverse uncharted territory. There is one who goes ahead and prepares the way for those who are wise enough to pay attention. With too much information our faith would become stagnant from disuse. Without enough faith we would not have the wisdom to earnestly seek after Christ for direction. And without direction we would lack the ability to find our way.
So maybe we have just enough "signs" to point us toward our destination. Perhaps our greatest problem is that we will not commit to what that destination is.
Isaiah 35:8 And a highway will be there;it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way;wicked fools will not go about on it.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Do you ever tell someone about some short-coming and then they immediately tell you how to fix it? This drives me nuts. It is based on the assumption that I have a burning need to become perfecter and perfecter. Well, I don't. There are some things about me that I could easily improve on that I just do not care about.
I am only marginally computer literate. As I discover things that I truly need to know, I learn them. Otherwise, I don't care. Do not give me a tech tutorial if I mention that I don't know how to upload, download or sideload something. I could learn if I wanted to. I don't care.
My bedroom is a mess. I have no particular interest in your daily 10 minute routine that keeps everything neat without taking up too much time. I know how to clean and also how to stay organized. For some reason I cannot comprehend, I choose to live in the rubble. P.S. I do not need your psychotherapeutic insight as to why I do this. I know the answer being a mental health care professional. It is because I am lazy.
I do not exercise. I am well aware that this would increase my metabolism, burn calories and keep me fit and hot. I have heard the rumors that all it takes is finding an activity one enjoys. I know a few minutes a day make a world of difference. Oprah has told me time and again of the importance of weight training to prevent osteoporosis. I am not going to exercise regardless. Keep your helpful hints to yourself. Chill out and eat a cupcake.
While I'm at it, I applaud the fact that you cook fifty meals every Saturday and freeze them for days you cannot cook. I am thrilled that you harvest your own maze during the summer and feast all winter on your bounty. I stand in awe of your intake of fifteen gallons of water every day and the resulting transparent urine you void. Likewise I give you your propers for being able to hold all fifteen gallons of water in your bladder despite my need to pee every fifteen minutes drinking eight ounces of water at a time. And yes, I know what Kiegals are.
In conclusion, I appreciate all that you accomplish on a daily basis. I, however, have embraced the idea that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in my philosophy Horatio.
I figure, I need to leave some stuff for heaven to prove that I am glorified when I get there. Like disinfecting my counter tops after cutting meat.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Isaiah 53: 3 He was despised and rejected by men,a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,yet we considered him stricken by God,smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,and by his wounds we are healed.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Today in about an hour we'll leave for the funeral service of Arlene. The Mr. is honored to have been chosen as a pall bearer. We'll sit with people I've known forever and people I haven't yet met and all will experience the loss of Arlene. Those of us who truly understood her will mourn for Barry and Amber, not Arlene herself.
Lots of people have asked me, what can I do? Actually, they've been asking for months. Sometimes the answer has been, "Give her a call or drop a card to her." Sometimes we were gathering at her home for prayer, sometimes agreeing every Wednesday to dedicate the day to her healing. For a time the answer was to make a meal for she and Barry. Often the answers were unique to the gifts of her friends.
Then she died on Wednesday and the questions came again. What can I do?
Let me tell you exactly what you can do.
I have been in the funeral home for two nights and will see Arlene's face for the last time in my mortal life this morning. This is stunning to me. As I have looked at my friend's beautiful and peaceful face, I know something for certain even beyond her presence in heaven. I know that like her Jesus, Arlene could say in her final breath, "It is finished."
Not life is finished. The work is finished. The call is finished, the purpose is fulfilled. There is nothing left undone. No love left unexpressed. No anger unsettled. No friend owed a phone call never made. No grand babies left without being held. No daughter left to wonder what her mom's thoughts and faith were. No husband left to worry over whether he made her happy.
We may have needed one more day, she did not.
Arlene spoke of orange flowers in her final days. Beautiful evidence of God's perfect hand in creation. Divinely formed for his pleasure.
Arlene allowed Christ to make and remake her. She continued to stretch herself out toward him until she became beautiful evidence of the divine.
What can you do? I don't know which of us will pass first. Maybe me. Maybe you. But if you go ahead of me, give me a gift. Let me sit in a funeral home and look into your face and know that it is finished. Let me not wonder if you ever made amends or stretched yourself fully toward heaven. Let your husband or wife not wonder if they made you happy.
Let me know that when you leave earth behind you, it is finished.
That's what you can do.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I just opened an e mail from my mom with pictures of Amber's family including new baby Hudsyn. This is Arlene's grandbaby.
It is September 29 at 1:26 p.m. Hudsyn arrived last evening shortly after 10:00.
I think Arlene is going to go home now. Soon I mean. I feel a deep silence that feels like the settling of it all. Not in a manner of hopelessness but of completeness. It feels complete to me. Deeply sacred completeness.
I showed Dean the pictures but didn't tell him my thoughts. I write them here with heaviness although it is not dread. I wonder if I will delete this in a month or a year and wonder at myself for being so morbid.
Now I feel like the waiting for the call has begun. I think my chest will tighten with the telephone's ring at least for a while. I am, perhaps, succumbing to a drama that will lighten with the passing of a few days.
I have thought for two months that Arlene was only lightly tethered to this world. I have thought for one month that she is more of heaven than earth now. And so I wait, again, in deep and quiet places.
And I write this to remind myself that when the telephone rings, I had deep and quiet peace today when I realized the time was near.
Jesus, if you draw near now to bring her home; let it be sweet and painless.
Come now angel band, Come and around me stand; Oh bear me away on thy snowy wings to my immortal home Oh bear me away on thy snowy wings to my immortal home.
Today Arlene walks with Jesus finally, among the orange flowers. Weep for us who love her and not for her. By His stripes she is healed.
Voran Funeral Home
23750 Goddard Road
Taylor, MI 48180
Visitation Thursday 6-9 p.m.; Friday 1-9 p.m.
Homegoing Celebration Saturday 10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
How good are you at thinking outside of the box? I am pretty good at it. It's a talent I've only discovered in the last few years. Of course, like most discoveries about our abilities it came from being poked, prodded and stretched. I always hate that but I'm always glad to see what comes of it.
I am what is commonly called a "change agent". Did you know that corporations actually hire people to come in to their companies and do this? I'm not in that class but I am good at challenging the box. I'm a good critical thinker, pretty fast on my feet. I would rather make some decision in a crisis to move forward than stand there waiting for someone else to move while the ceiling crashes in. I don't mind looking at a person with more experience and education than myself and considering the possibility that I might have a better idea.
I'm always surprised to hear that "people hate change." I know it's a widely held opinion but why? Why do people hate change? The only changes I hate are the ones that cost me something wonderful. For instance, I hated the change of of the sale of The Farm. I hated the change of gaining 100 pounds. I hate the change of illness in those I love. But what about people who continually complain about their state and yet dig in their heels and hang on with a death grip? Why do they hate change? I hate this! Don't change anything! What?
I think it's exciting to blow everything wide open. Change it! Challenge it! Do it differently!
The secret to being a change agent is not to be afraid to fail. Changing is all about experiments. And experiments are all about failure. The stories you never hear are about the light bulbs that didn't light, the equations that didn't work, the medications that didn't cure. It's the successes that make the front pages and the history books. But I promise you, positive change is reached by climbing on steps of failure. The point is the climbing. When it doesn't work...change it! Figure out what went wrong, tweak it and move on up!
Here's what I think. I think that we don't like change because we are too egocentric. We want to be the ones who succeed, not the ones who build the steps of failure. I can't accomplish anything if my goal is to put myself in the history books. But if I am focused on the change, on the improvement, on the victory that might come later; I'll put my portion in to see the big picture get bigger.
Change is scary, so I hear. Being that I change my hair every six months and everyone is astounded at my courage, I suppose this is true. But it can be good. If you're one of those change-haters, start small. Find one small thing that you wouldn't mind losing. And then toss it right out of that box you're living in.
Sometimes it's as easy as telling your kid, "I love you." Start today.
You can't get to the top without a staircase.
"Well-behaved women seldom make history." Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Monday, February 18, 2008
Having nothing of interest to say, I'll pass the microphone on to the Mr.and leave you with these quotes spoken over the weekend...
At doggy school with Donny, per Mac's report the lady next to them said, "Be careful," referring to her pooch, "she's in heat."
Says the Mr. pointing to Donny, "He's a HE too!"
At dinner Saturday evening discussing with Daboyz who we find attractive in celebritydom..."I don't know." he says looking at me, "I like older women I guess."
And yes, he still enjoys a good schmore.
I can't figure out if I know myself really well or not at all. What I have figured out is that I am just now figuring out that I really should figure this out.
The other day, my new boss said something to me that surprised me. She asked me how it was going and I gave her an overview of what I was working on and then I told her about a few things that I am still unsure of. Her reply? "Make sure you let me know if you need anything at all. You are so independent that we forget how new you are."
Independent? Me? Really? This is not a noun I would've ascribed to myself. In fact, I'd have said the opposite. I feel that I need way to much help in life in general. Independent. Huh. I kind of like the sound of it.In fact, a nursing instructor in school told me my biggest problem was constantly double-checking with others that I was doing things right and that I should be sure that I was very capable. So maybe I got the message after all.
This has all led me to wonder who I am. And who you are and who we are and if anybody really knows. All ego aside, I am fascinated by the mystery of me. I am realizing that God has made me a lot more complex than I realize. Like the proverbial onion Donkey talked about in Shrek, I got layers. I think the good stuff is still trying to get out from under some layers of my own perception of who I am.
For instance, I'd call myself stubborn and yet I look around my home and see that the majority of what surrounds me is dictated by the Mr. I guess I didn't put up too much of a fight. And when I do finally push back about house stuff, I feel like I'm being aggressive and controlling. So am I stubborn?
It's tempting to take a poll, what do you think of me? Truthfully, I regularly check in with the Mr., does my mood seem better? am I more energetic? do I look fat?, etc. Wouldn't we all like to/dread to know what others perceive of us? I'd be thrilled with the good and offended at the bad I'm sure. Maybe we better keep that a secret for now. Then again, truth may lie somewhere between your perception of me and my own. I have accomplished some pretty cool things fueled only on what other people told me I could do, with no confidence in my own abilities.
Only God knows what lies beneath, waiting to glorify or destroy. In balance, your perceptions of me might keep me in check or inspire me forward. My own perceptions tell me what to change and allow me to celebrate my life. Finally, God has no perceptions, only truth. And the truth frees me.
John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
1. When Prince Charles and Diana Spencer were married? Laying on the family room floor watching having awakened specifically for this purpose.
2. President Regan was shot? Again, in the family room after school.
3. Princess Diana died? Watching CNN in my living room.
4. John Kennedy Junior's plane disappeared? Making dinner.
5. The planes hit the World Trade Center? At work at McDowell Elementary School.
6. You heard about Hurricane Katrina? Watching the news at home.
7. You heard about Anna Nicole dying? Watching the morning news before work.
8. You fell in love for the first time? Fairlane Mall.
9. You accepted Christ? Can't remember a time before I knew Him.
10. You experienced a miracle that proved God existed? In a church being prayed for.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Happy Friday! Today I am on call but not at work. Also, my work cell phone has not yet arrived so I am on call but not all that easy to reach since home numbers are not readily available. Kind of a cheating on call situation. The other manager I work with has been out sick all week but hopefully he's on the mend and back to work today. If so, they won't need me. So the good news is that I can finally catch up Mt. Laundry today, the bad news is that is because I'm working this weekend. Happily, I really do enjoy going to work in my new place (for how long is it my new job?)
Hope you all had a wonderful Valentines Day. As for us, the last time I saw the Mr. was at 5:30 Thursday morning. No, he didn't finally come to his senses and head for the hills. Thursdays are practice days for our church worship band so he took off for practice before I got home from work and I was sound asleep when he got home. We exchanged our traditional gifts of nothing. It's nice to have traditions, one knows what is expected. We will probably hit a movie and dinner tonight. Mac made chilli dogs for dinner for he and I on Valentines Day which was truly appreciated. After dinner I made gluten-free tuna noodle casserole for Jay (haven't heard yet what he thought of it, he gets home from work late.) Half of it is gone this morning, the other half in the fridge. So I'm thinking it was edible. The Mr. did call me on my drive home from work to chat about his day. I was merging on to the freeway during rush hour at the time so I basically hung up on him mid-story. He still kissed me good night when he crawled in to bed last night so I think I'm forgiven. My point is that our daily actions around here are evidence of love even when it's not a holiday and for that I am grateful.
The Mr. and I are seriously considering moving into my gramma's house and leaving Daboyz behind for a spell. We may have to sneak away in the night. We figure it's a vacation without missing work or spending money! It will give us all a little extra space and also give us a chance to do some work on our house to ready it to be sold as we clean out twenty years of things we thought for certain we needed to keep and now can't remember where they came from. I think the basis of this clutter is not having much ,or any, money back in the day so being afraid to throw anything away knowing we couldn't replace it. This move will also help with our concerns about my gramma's house standing vacant. The neighborhood is lovely but one still worries. Plus, why should it be empty while four adults live like sardines five minutes away? Donny will be moving with us although there is a possibility of a custody agreement for visitation. Move over Britney and K-Fed. I'll try not to shave my head.
I do want to mention that although I'm not very active of late in blog-world, I am lurking during coffee breaks from work (don't tell anybody!) I am working a different schedule and haven't quite worked blogging in to the mix yet. I am visiting you all daily and I promise to get back in the saddle soon. Plus, being entirely focused on learning my job my blogs would be very boring with updates on scheduling and competency testing. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Love to you guys a day late and I'll see you tomorrow even if you don't see me!
1 Sameul 10:25 Samuel explained to the people the regulations of the kingship. He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the LORD. Then Samuel dismissed the people, each to his own home.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
One of my favorite things about my new job is that my office is on the unit I manage. It's at the very end of the hallway just before the double doors leading to the next unit. I leave my door open so there is a steady stream of patients who come in and sit down for a chat. I love that.
In case you're wondering if this new place is entirely different than the old one, I leave you with this exchange...
Patient standing in my doorway, "Are you the devil?"
Patient, "Then can I have some candy?"
Monday, February 11, 2008
Good morning Michigan! It's a balmy 2 degrees 'round these parts. That's if you do not add in the wind chill. You're better off not knowing. Having worked 52 hours and seven days straight I am off today and back to work tomorrow. Slept until 9:00 so it feels like half of the day is gone but that's all right. The Mr. is home with me and we're gonna enjoy it, frozen tundra not withstanding.
Tomorrow after work I'm off to another event in the D. I'm getting ever so urban I tell ya. Trying to decide what to wear that will be good to work in and to go to the Fabulous Fox Theatre in. Whatever it is, it will be over a foundation of thermies.
As for today, I'm in an orange hoody and cowboy boots. Oh, and jeans as the boots only go so high. I have an awesome suede cowboy looking coat my friend Nicki gave me. And to top it off, Jay bought me a new hat as a gift this weekend. He hands it to me and I said, "Huh. Looks like something Castro would wear."
And he says, "Yeah, that's why I bought it."
Meet my son, Freud.
Well, if you see a Cuban dictator in the distance, don't be alarmed. It's just me trying to keep the heat from escaping out the top of my head.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
It seems en vogue to claim low self-esteem or to belittle one's self. I often think this is a veiled bid for reassuring compliments, but whatever. I am happy to tell you that I am a recovered low self-esteemee. I ain't perfect, but I ain't all bad either.
Case in point, I am married to a great guy. He loves me like Christ loves the church, as he is instructed to in God's Word. This is not a result of anything except his heart submitted to God's lead and I am so grateful for it. However, every once in a while, I will encounter a female who is so impressed with the Mr.'s Godly husbandship that it seems like she is surprised he'd put up with the likes of me! In fact, said females will allude to the idea that perhaps he is even a martyr as surely I could not deserve such a fine man.
Well, lemme tell y'all something. I didn't run blind-folded into a room full of men and run smack into him. My parents did not just suggest but demanded that I date only Christian guys. No such thing as going out with someone not devoted to Christ with the idea that it isn't really serious. In fact, I never dated anyone my parents hadn't known before he asked me out and who did not attend our church. All in all, I held hands in church with four different guys (including the Mr.); went to the ninth grade dance with one of those boys and my actual first date was with the Mr. other than that dance.
I did not comply with these rules because I was so obedient but because I knew they were right and wise. I would not care to date any guy who wasn't a good choice to be my husband and the father of my future children. I chose my man carefully and intentionally and with prayer that started before I met him.
As for the Mr., he did not get such a bad deal! I, too, love him as Christ commands me too. With heart, soul, mind and body he has my full devotion. He was on the same trajectory I was back in the 1980s, looking for the female version of what I was seeking. He wanted to fall in love with someone who loved God so that he could raise a family in a Godly home.
I've noticed a commonality in these ladies who go beyond recognizing the Mr. is a really good guy to implying that I don't deserve him (and maybe they do?). Not one of these women have searched after a man with the same list I did. So they ended up with different results, sadly they ended up with not-so-great guys. And I think they are hurt and their disappointment gets aimed at me with resentment around the edges. I don't think they mean to insult me. I think they are just sad and wonder why their lives are different.
You may look at the Mr. and compile a list of wonderful things about him; he pumps my gas and has always Christmas shopped for Daboyz. He's a musician and a singer. He's funny and easy-going. He's always willing to run for take-out. He buys feminine products. You may look at me and think I am not the perfect wife this man deserves. There's no chocolate layer cake and slippers waiting for the guy at the end of the day. I rarely wear pearls while I dust. I rarely dust. I am mouthy and I turn up his side of the electric blanket to HI and mine is off so I can just reach over to toast my toes while he sweats all night.
He and I exchanged resumes with one item that sealed the deal; God.
If you're looking for a love, look for God in the person first.
Take it from me, Godly men are sexy.
Saturday, February 09, 2008
1. That I had great eyebrows. Like Kelly.
2. That Jay did not have Celiac Disease.
3. That my house was clean and organized all the time.
4. That my hair was naturally this color.
5. That I did not love shoes so much.
6. That the classic movie channels showed less westerns.
7. That mental illness was cured once and for all. Of course, this would seriously impact my shoe-buying, hair coloring fund. I'd survive.
8. That I was always hungry for the Word of God.
9. That I wasn't too lazy to become more educated about organic food.
10.That if you have not done so, you would come to Christ.
Yes, I posted the Saturday list early. The whole system is falling apart.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
...you work ten hours and skip lunch?
You rummage through your desk until you find a peanut butter cup. You consider taking off your bra at work and wearing your coat around claiming to be cold. You come home and eat too much lasagna for dinner but you're glad you made it last night for today. You drink a caffeine-free diet Pepsi because it just sounds delicious even though you've been off of artificial sweeteners for two weeks.
You stare at the television for twenty minutes telling yourself, "I'll go iron my clothes in seven minutes." "I'll put my coffee together in thirteen minutes." And then you doze off with Donny for thirty minutes.
You are very glad that you are not working on your feet all day anymore or you'd be fried. You are also very glad you have a nice office that is becoming homier every day because it is like a retreat when you can't go home as early as you'd like.
You are proud of yourself that you made it!
You are going to crawl under that pre-warmed electric blanket very soon with a book and fall asleep very quickly.
You have to try very hard to listen because you're tired but you really do want to hear about Mac's new job as a math tutor.
You haven't blogged in two days because it seems like the evenings area just too short to be with the Mr., Daboyz, and the Blogfam.
You thought you'd hate these kind of days but it turns out it's ok. You're learning and finding out that you can really do this. You like what God is making of you.
Oh, and you post a picture of some dog you found on line because you haven't taken any recent pictures of your own puppy.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
You'll notice that this past Saturday I wrote about the virtues of Saturdays. That post was actually written on my last weekend as a Monday through Friday employee. After almost two years working Monday through Friday, I am back to weekend rotation. Do I like it? No. NO.
When I interviewed for this position, that weekend rotation was the only drawback to the offer. And it was a big drawback. The Mr. and I have always wanted our weekends off together. I worked weekends in the beginning of my nursing career and we hated it. So naturally, I was prepared to hate it now and wondered if that was a good reason to pass on this job. I was so hesitant about making this commitment that I even asked if there was a possibility of the position eventually evolving into Monday through Friday. The answer was yes, it's possible. And no guarantees.
There are three units with three managers at my new facility. Each manager takes a rotation covering the whole house for the weekend resulting in an every third weekend rotation. Well, with some restructuring going on and some moving people around, I am the second dayshift manager temporarily. Do the math, I'm working every other weekend now. That's even yuckier than every third weekend. The search for the third manager is underway so hopefully within a few months I'll be back to every third. Suddenly I've gone from no weekends to looking forward to every third weekend.
As for my new job, I love it. I love the place, the people and the patients. I am still learning and have much to learn so I have moments of stress but that is part of change and growth. I am certainly being stretched. STRETCHED.
I was a clinical coordinator and now I'm a manager. I worked Monday through Friday and now I rotate weekends. I covered a thirty eight bed unit, now I will cover the whole house. I had a former janitor's closet for an office, now I have a private bathroom. I wore scrubs, now I wear business attire. I had someone above me to bounce my questions off of, now I am the someone above. I worked a straight eight hour shift, now I work eight and I'm on call for four. I worked only on my unit, now I work in the hospital and spend a good amount of time in downtown D. I used to punch a clock, now I am trusted to get there when I need to be there and leave when I deem it appropriate. I used to dance at work, I have not yet danced in my new role. I used to focus my care on the chronically psychotic and addicted, now I specialize in depression. I had an associate's degree and that was fine, now I'm returning to school to become a nurse practitioner.
By all accounts I should be in abject terror and gripped with dread of the weekend rotation. But I'm not. Much to my surprise, it's all good. Never having been a person who adjusted well to change, I kept waiting to dissolve into a puddle of tears. Now I realize, I am fine. I am more than fine because I am right in the palm of God's hand. I picture him smiling as he sets me down into my office in the mornings, right where he wants me and right where I should be. I have a new understanding of his goodness and his favor on me leaving me sure that he will enable me. In fact, he will make the journey joyous. It has always been him in me that has produced any good thing. Today I no longer see my life divided into the good things (more money) and the bad things (working weekends). It is all good and even though I would not have chosen every detail on my own, I know that those weekends are good too.
I used to picture myself as a single mother. Now my grown sons have lived in a two-parent home where they have been surrounded by an example of a loving marriage.
I used to be a homemaker who feared not having someone to support her. Now I am a nurse manager.
I used to have a high school diploma. Now I am planning on private practice as a nurse practitioner.
I used to dread change and growth.
Now I welcome tomorrow's challenges.
I used to look at my life and assume the bad came with the good.
I guess there's only one thing to say about that school of thought...
I once was lost, but now I'm found. Twas blind, but now I see.
Monday, February 04, 2008
I do not understand French manicures with black (or dark) tips. Don't tell me guys like them because I know this, but I still don't get it. It's ugly.
I don't understand why people watch reality television. If this is reality, give me a novel.
I don't get wearing heels so high you wobble. Silly.
I do not understand dating someone you know is a jerk and then being devastated when they are jerks. Sneak attack jerks are one thing, known jerks another.
I don't understand not being able to take care of one child but having many children. It's truly not hard to avoid pregnancy. Truly. Been doing it for eighteen years myself.
I don't understand running out of gas. There's a gauge that tells you you are going to run out of gas. I'm not talking about not having money and praying for a few extra miles. I'm talking about people (you know who you are) who run out of gas with money in their wallets. Isn't that inconvenient?
I don't understand being late to an event because you stopped along the way to pick up whatever it is you promised to bring two weeks ago. Two weeks, and you didn't work an extra thirty minutes into the day to be on time?
I don't understand not knowing how to cook. I do understand not wanting to or not liking to. But not knowing how to? Be a grown up for goodness sake.
I don't understand wearing wrinkled clothing.
I don't understand putting children on a bus for Sunday School. If you believe it's a good thing, why ain't you going?
I don't understand politics. Period.
I don't understand video games.
I don't understand people who don't like to read. I'll read a shampoo bottle if that's all that's available.
I don't understand why the Mr. speaks at the top of his lungs when it's just him and me in the car.
I don't understand why the Mr. keeps telling me to use all my vacation days up like they will self-destruct if any roll over into the new year.
I don't understand night sweats. Not sure if I'm peri-menopausal or have tuberculosis.
While we are on the subject, I don't understand how I can have night sweats and cramps at the same time.
I don't understand Britney Spears.
I don't understand Oceans 13. But I totally get George Clooney so it's all good.
I don't understand why you're still reading this.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
As everybody is well-aware, my son Jay has Celiac Disease. It's a hard disease to understand and to manage. One has to be 100% compliant with the highly restrictive diet to keep the illness in remission. Many autistic kids are Celiacs and sometimes dietary control even brings the symptoms of autism into remission to some extent. Celiac disease is highly under diagnosed in the United States and only in the last few years has it come to light.
In the initial stages of Jay's diagnosis, it was literally terrible. Feeding him was a nightmare. I once stood in the aisle at Kroger crying in panic trying to figure out what to offer him to keep him healthy. Mind you, at this point I was in the baby food aisle looking for anything without gluten that I could stock up for my 15 year old son. That was how limited the selection for Celiacs was.
We heard of a store thirty minutes away with a limited selection of gluten-free goods and felt like we had found the Promised Land because we could purchase a box of cookies and some mediocre bread for him. The bread was made with spelt. Shortly after we discovered this manna, he started reacting (getting sick). Celiacs were found to be unable to tolerate spelt. He had developed an antibody in less than a month to it.
As we researched this disease we were told no wheat, bran, barley, spelt or oat. Rice, corn and potato were acceptable forms of carbohydrate. If this seems not so difficult, consider how many products contain fillers that are wheat-based. All canned soups and prepared gravies. Most cereals. Frozen foods. Many ice creams. Sauces, salad dressings and spices. The list of potential offenders is endless.
The result of ingestion of the forbidden grains? In the short-run horrific cramps and diarrhea, sweats, nausea, light-headedness, weakness, exhaustion. In the longer-run anemia, wasting, loss of muscle, weight-loss, acne, depression and ketone dumping as the body begins to feed on its own protein. It is a form of civilized starvation.
In the long-term picture non-compliant Celiacs develop lymphoma, stomach cancers and diabetes.
It is an ugly disease that doesn't seem so ugly on the surface.
It causes social isolation as most restaurants are not Celiac-friendly and in fact, the staff does not know which of their menu items might contain hidden gluten. Once Jay got violently ill 20 minutes after enjoying a cup of hot cider at Green Field Village. It was made from a dry mix that contained wheat. Unless the establishment can promise gluten-free or it is a family owned business that understands what we need, restaurant eating is out.
At social events Jay has to over and over explain his disease as people offer him food. He often ends up standing to the side and coming home starved because there was nothing acceptable to eat. At least, nothing he could know for certain was safe.
You do not realize until you lose the option how much food means socially and emotionally. The very thing that you need for survival can slowly and painfully kill you even as it separates you from the world.
And so, although I do not want to make this blog a tribute to the perils of the Celiac, I do want to mention occasionally that he is still here, needing healing and prayer. But that is not all that is to be said. I will not give the enemy the final word on this illness.
Jay works for Comerica Bank with some wonderful people who asked and listened and learned about his disease and so when he comes home after a pot luck or holiday celebration he always has stories about what people made and provided to assure that he was included. Lord, bless each of them and thank you for bringing him into their midst. You care for him through these people.
Two years ago, a resident at the hospital told me that in the United Kingdom, there was some research to suggest that Celiacs could eat oats as long as they were not processed in wheat-contaminated facilities. The intolerance for oats was now being thought of as a separate disorder. You see, most Celiacs have comorbidities like lactose intolerance, casein intolerance and apparently oat intolerance. Jay and I talked it over and he decided to test the theory one weekend (so he could be at home if he had a reaction) and guess what? He can eat oats! Oatmeal, oatmeal cookies! Believe it or not, this was a glorious day! And while I'm at it, let me thank the Lord that Jay is gluten-free but does not have any of the aforementioned sensitivities and no known food allergies!
Actually, I am inspired to write this because I have just returned home from our weekly trip to Special Diets. Our local Celiac specialized store. That's right. No longer do I read the labels of baby food jars hoping to keep his weight at the low end of normal. There is a store dedicated to his disease. Here we find pizzas and cake mixes and delicious fresh baked goods. Today we realized there are yet new products to sample, cream of mushroom soup, french onion soup and tomato soup. All of which can be used to make casseroles and recipes long lost to Jay. Lord, thank you for these people who were moved to open this establishment. Bless them and prosper them.
So now my home is filled with the wonderful scent of dinner cooking. A turkey breast with gluten-free stuffing which will be served with gluten-free gravy. After dinner we'll enjoy cups of green tea and gluten-free lemon sugar cookies. On Monday Jay can take in the gluten-free biscotti I bought today to enjoy on his coffee break.
I am overwhelmed at God's hand as he has not yet chosen to heal my son and yet provides abundantly for him as he lives with it.
For whatever disease befalls our lives...depression, diabetes, Celiac and a million others; God will provide a way to be victorious. Halleujah!
Click here to visit our beloved Special Diets shop!
2 Corinthians 12:7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
1. I am not likely to check my e mail/computer after 7:00 p.m.
2. I do not want to chat on my cell phone while driving, I like the quiet.
3. I am not depressed anymore, I'm still not a social butterfly.
4. I drink water out of plastic bottles which I buy.
5. I have no intention of quitting caffeine.
6. I eat in restaurants too much.
7. I read constantly.
8. I like old movies, very few new ones, no chick flicks.
9. I do not pump gas.
10. I think elected officials should live with honor and if questioned, answer with honesty. We all fail, we don't all lie.
Friday, February 01, 2008
Well here are the much awaited pictures of my new office. As you can see, it needs a little TLC. As I mentioned, it is a renovated patient room. I think the renovations basically consisted of taking down the curtains. Actually psychiatric rooms do not have curtains so there were actually no renovations.
My desk is nice as is the book shelf. Before you start admiring my green thumb, those plants belong to a midnight shift manager who is generous enough to tend them in my office as his has no window.
As for my bathroom, it is rather under-stated at the moment. So under-stated in fact, that I have no toilet tissue. And I don't know where to get some.
I am making a master list of stuff I want to bring in and stuff I need supplied by the hospital. It would cost rather a ridiculous amount to decorate so I'll do it in increments along the way but I plan on packing up some pictures and getting a daily devotional calendar this weekend for starters. My mom bought me this candle thing with bejeweled wicks (I know, hard to picture) that I will put on my bookshelf. Maybe some baskets. Oh, and a CD player/radio. After that, I am going to take it a step at a time. They are probably more concerned with me actually learning how to do my job than proving my homemaking skills. Which by the way, surpass my professional skills.
I want to add a few ameneties like an electric teapot, microwave and perhaps a mini fridge. Well, the fridge might be over the top. At least a beverage center. Maybe a nice tea cart. I'm afraid to ask the maintenance guys if I'm allowed to do that. My guess is that, again being a psychiatric hospital, it isn't wired for mini-kitchens in the rooms.
Feel free to pass along any thoughts on what to do with the space! If you look closely, you will see the numbers 1 & 2 plagues on the walls, under which beds formerly sat to aid the patients in figuring out which was their's.
Anybody have Martha Stewart's number?