Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday morning

I've never been one of those people to pop out of bed in the morning, all bright-eyed & bushy tailed, raring to go, giddy to face the day.  But some mornings, I realize more so than others that I am really not a morning person.  This morning for example was one of those days.

Sarah had to be at the school to leave on for a competition at 7:00.  Yes, 7 AM on a Saturday morning.  She was really excited about today, so she set 2 alarms.  She's seen her sister go on these competition trips and knows that she's slept through her alarm a couple of times.  So to be safe, she laid out all her clothes last night, set 2 alarms and went to bed early.  She was pumped!

Her 2 alarms were set to go off at 6:00.  She could get up, get dressed, brush her hair, eat her breakfast, brush her teeth and come wake me up about 6:45 to head out the door.  (Which was still too early since we live about 90 seconds from the school driveway, but whatever...)

Let me just say one thing before I continue.  (ahem....tapping microphone...)  I am a mother.  I wake up when my kids do, whether I want to or not.  My husband however, does not.  One of the kids could climb into bed with us and vomit while simultaneously blowing an air horn and he'd sleep through it.  If he responded at all, it would be to yell at them to be quiet before he started snoring again.  I realize most dads are like this, but on mornings when I am awakened earlier than I hoped to be, it irritates me to no end that his sleep is not disturbed as well.  After all, if I have to be awake, he should have to as well, right?  Misery loves company

Ok, so Sarah showed up in our bedroom at 6:05.  Fully dressed.  She whispered ever so quietly that she was about to go eat her breakfast.  I do not know why she felt the need to announce this, but I nodded and she went to the kitchen.  Our bedroom is right off the kitchen so at that point, she could've hovered over the floor silently & nibbled marshmallows for breakfast and it would've been too loud for me to sleep through.  When she flipped on the cornea-burning bright kitchen light, I think I might've yelled.  I got up & crawled around the bed to the kitchen door and turned off the light & showed her how she could use the little light over the stove (on the vent-a-hood) to cook and eat with.  After all, microwaving a breakfast burrito doesn't take much light.  Then I went back to bed & told her to wake me up at 6:45.  But before I could doze off again, I needed to pee.  Sigh.

At about 6:20, she showed up in our bedroom again, this time to sit down at the computer.  I growled that she better NOT turn on the computer because the screen is veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyy bright and I did not want to see that.  I reminded her that we didn't need to leave for another 25 minutes & ever-so-pleasantly requested that she get the heck out of my bedroom & let me sleep for just a few more minutes.  She complied, all while my husband's slumber went completely undisturbed.

And then I needed to pee. Again.  Sigh.  I stumbled to the bathroom and back and crawled under my covers.  Just about the time I got cozy and fell asleep again, Sarah came to the bedroom door & said "Mommy!  It's time to go!"

Can you hear my groan from there?

I crawled out of bed, threw on a jacket (to cover the pajamas I was going to drive to the school wearing!) and grabbed my wallet and keys.

It was then that I realized how close we are to the time change.  I opened the front door & BAM it was totally daylight and I think every bird in the surrounding four counties had convened in our yard to CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP.  I am not a cursing person at all, but in that moment, some words that I forgot I knew came to mind in regard to those dang cheery birds.  I'm pretty sure that if I'd been holding a firearm or a large brick, I could've taken out a few of them.

We pulled up to the school a minute and a half later.  That's when I looked at the clock and realized it was 6:40.  Good grief.....the bus wasn't leaving for another 20 minutes.  I could've slept longer!  The bus was already there, waiting with the door open.  There were other cars parked there, so I knew some of the teachers/chaperones must already be on the bus.  I pulled up & told Sarah goodbye & wished her good luck.  As I hugged her, she responded that she was just going to sit in the car with me and wait for a while.  She wanted to wait for a particular friend to arrive so they could get on the bus together.  Aaaaaaarrrgggghhhh. 

"Seriously, we're just going to sit here for 20 minutes?  Precious child of mine, I may have to kill you.  I want to go back to sleep!!"

About 10 minutes and lots of 12 yr old chatter later, her friend pulled up & they bounced off to the bus together.  I pulled out of the parking lot and was back in my cozy bed within 5 minutes.

But then I had to pee again.  {Depends adult diapers are beginning to sound more & more appealing.}

By that time I was wide awake.  I went to the kitchen & microwaved myself 2 of the breakfast burritos, only to discover that they were nastyyyyy!  I stumbled to the computer & checked the bank account, read my emails and checked facebook.  My mom was due to arrive at our house around 9:30, so when I started to get drowsy a little after 8:00, I cheered that I could go back to bed & probably get in another hour or so of rest before I had to be up for the day.

I set the alarm & crawled under the covers next to my (grrr...) sleeping husband.  As my eyelids fluttered closed, I heard "buzzzzzzzzz".  His cell phone's text alert.  {Remember how Larry can sleep through airhorn blowing, vomitting children?  Yeah...the same goes for his cell phone's buzz.}  If I didn't get up & shut it off it would give a reminder buzz every couple of minutes and I'd never get back to sleep.  I got up, answered the text from his friend at work, turned the sound to silent and got back in bed. phone this time.  I checked the message, fearful that it was one of my children {did I mention that all three are away from home today on school or scout events and I have looked forward to sleeping late all week?}  Then I turned my phone to silent as well & got back in bed.

As I snuggled into my warm cocoon, I glanced at the clock.  Ah....45 minutes.  I thought "Yes!  I can get in a power nap and wake up refreshed."

I got a few minutes worth of sleep before Larry partially woke up & asked me a question.  I whispered a reply before I heard his breathing pick up that sleepy rhythm again.  I rolled onto my side and curled up...about the time the alarm went off.

It's probably for the best that it did anyway.  I really needed to pee.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Year of Dates: February

For Christmas, I gave Larry a year's worth of pre-planned dates.  Tonight we went on our February date.

The original plan included some things that we ended up not having the budget to do this month, so I'm not including the card that was tucked inside this envelope.  (We had planned to visit the local indoor gun range, then get sundaes---"Shooting and Sundaes for Sweethearts".)

Instead, we visited Sonic tonight and stayed in the car to chat while we ate sundaes.

It wasn't quite the date we had planned, but Larry always makes every minute together fun...even when I'm trying to take a simple picture of us!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Matt Maher "Sing Over Your Children"

This song moves me.
Read the lyrics, slowly.
Then go back to the beginning & read them again.
Powerful stuff, folks!

I flirt with the world
It steals my love for You 
My fear grips my faith 
And I am left unmoved

Your gaze stops my heart 
Your voice fills the dark 
Your love is the spark that lights this life  
So we rise

Out of the depths you cry  
Come and be satisfied 
Father, You sing 
Father, You sing over Your children

You quiet the storm 
Inside my shipwrecked soul  
Your spirit will lead 
It calls the wayward home
At the sound of Your name 

Our sin is washed away 
In Christ we're crucified 
In You we die, in You we rise

Out of the depths you cry 
Come and be satisfied  
Father, You sing  
Father, You sing over Your children
Let us see through your eyes  

We are your great delight 
Father You sing 
Father, You sing over Your children

And we're singing along  
Your daughters and sons 
We're singing your song  
We are your children
Out of the depths you cry 

Come and be satisfied 
Father, You sing 
Father, You sing over Your children 

Let us see through Your eyes  

We are Your great delight 
Father, You sing  
Father, You sing over Your children

Friday, February 15, 2013

A little soul baring...

A few months ago, I picked up a copy of the book “A Place at the Table: 40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor”.  The description on Amazon was moving and I was compelled to read it.  The description talked about living in a culture of consumption, a growing “gimme gimme” society.  I see so much waste in our world today and find myself on that soapbox often, so I was interested in reading the author’s take on it.

I must admit, however, I was feeling kind of snarky reading the title.  I wanted to see how closely this guy could identify with the poor.  I mean, after all, I am “the poor”.  I have a hard time reading my friends’ emails, facebook statuses and message board posts about their new techie gadget and vacations and new cars and high (to me!) grocery bills while in the same breath talking about how “poor” they are.  I don’t think most people really have a grasp on what it means to be broke.

At our house, we aren’t spend-happy.  We drive older used cars.  We don’t have smart phones, a flat-screen TV, a DVR.  Having a child in braces is killing us right now.  I cook 99% of the meals we eat and pack 5 lunches every day.  Our house is smaller than pretty much everyone we know.  The majority of the clothes in our closets are hand me downs, garage sale buys or from the Goodwill store.  We only have fast food or other restaurant food {maybe!!} once a month.  One unexpected doctor’s visit can throw off the entire month’s budget. A child who outgrows a pair of shoes and needs new ones can shake our world and make paying the electric bill difficult.  School field trips and programs that require $5 here and $10 there can mess up the whole system.

And I’ve realized is that it brings out the most covetous, jealous side of me, even when my dearest, closest, most precious friends have more.

Recognizing that in myself is vital.  And humbling.

I find myself playing some kind of reverse “one up” game in my head.  You know, kind of an “I’m poorer than you are.” thing in my head.  It’s completely ridiculous and embarrassing to admit.

At this point in my life, I have 1 regular part-time job that I do Monday through Friday.  I have an interview next week for another part time job that I can do 1-2 evenings a week for a little extra cash.  I sell Avon.  I do childcare at my church and 2 other local churches on a regular basis.  And I clean houses for people occasionally.  My husband has a full time job with good benefits.

And we still barely pay our bills.

Some days that sucks more than others.  Some days I want to shake my fists and scream.  Finances are the bane of my existence most of the time.  There are days when they are the last thing I think of at night and the very first thing to come to mind in the morning.  It sucks to have your life “run” by money (or a lack thereof.)

But then I started reading this book. 

I realized quickly that the book was intended to be a 40 day reading for Lent.  It is only a coincidence that I began reading it shortly before Lent. But really, it could’ve affected me the same way no matter what time of year I read it.

From the very beginning of the book, I learned things about myself that have made me see things in myself that I’m not really proud of.  I’ve emptied 1 highlighter and started a second one.  I keep sharing bits and pieces of it with friends and posting quotes from it on Facebook. 

It is rocking my world and reminding me to shift my perspective, shut my mouth, stop b*tching and complaining, recognize my blessings and quit worrying about what I don’t have in comparison with my friends.  Like I read years ago, comparison is a thief of joy.  It is also the root of discontentment.  If I can’t be content where I am with what I have, I will never overcome the battles with my bank account.  It will never feel like “enough”.  I will always wish there was more.  Even if I never open my mouth & say a word to anyone, comparison in my heart and mind can be killer.  Regardless of the balance in my account, regardless of how short we fall on paying the bills, it will always feel like we’re struggling against the current until I come to terms with being content in whatever circumstances, fully trusting God to supply all our needs.  It’s far less about the lack of money & more about my attitude regarding it!

To make matters even better, I am reading this book on the heels of having just finished one about a young mother who was burned over 85% of her body in a plane crash. “Heaven is Here” is her story of recovery, her own words of appreciation for every little thing in life—the ability to sit up alone, the ability to feed herself, the ability to stand and walk, the ability to breathe without a machine’s assistance, the ability to mother her children and hug her husband.  All the sudden, I am reminded that what I lack financially is still 1000 times better than what so many have!  If money is my only problem, I am doing pretty good.  What a hypocrite I am if I take 5 minutes to feel sorry for myself because of a lack of funds.

I am shattered and broken. What a loss I face every time I let my envy rise up.  What a waste to spend even 1 minute in jealousy.  I am healthy and strong enough to work 3 or 4 jobs.  I am honored to raise my children to understand the value of a dollar and to instill a strong work ethic in them.  What an amazing privilege to show them, over and over, that God is truly our provider – of jobs, money, “stuff”, relationships, family.

Rather than focusing on how hard life is, my goal shall now be to focus on contentment and peace with what I have…and gratefulness for the ability to work and provide!

1 Timothy 6:6  Godliness with contentment is great gain.

{Note:  Please forgive all the grammar mistakes & redundant words.  I was just trying to get it all out on paper.  This is the unedited version.  Straight from my fingertips.}

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Random Januaryness

Yep, when you're the blog author you can make up words like Januaryness.  It's in the contract when you sign up for blogger.  Ya know, in the small print.

So anyway, I wanted to catch everyone up on our January since today was the first day of February.

Since I haven't updated here in forever, let's back up a bit. In the 2nd week of January, I was contacted by the principal of the school where I used to work.  (the school where I worked until August of this past year when I went to work for our lawyer friend)  The lady who took over my position when I left had resigned.  (Ironically, she took a position that I applied for during my 7 week job search!  No hard feelings there, but I think it's pretty crazy ironic!)  Anyway, they called & told me she was leaving.  Her last day would be the 18th.  Since I already know the job & they really didn't want to have to re-train ANOTHER new person mid-year, they asked me to come back.  It's still just part-time (which means the paycheck is still teeny tiny), but's a job.  And the small paycheck is better than the one I was getting sitting at home looking for a job!

I was scheduled to start working on the 22nd.  But during the early morning hours, my wee baby girl woke up with a stomach virus.  I felt like the worst mother at 2:45am, patting her on the back & thinking to myself "Not tonight!!!  I'm supposed to start my job tomorrow!"  Fortunately, I was able to call my boss & get them to postpone my start date so that I didn't have to use a sick day right off the bat.  So I started the following day--the 23rd.  No one else in the house got sick, thank goodness!!

I've been back to work for about a week & a 1/2 now.  It's been nice to step back in where I left off in August, not having to feel the stress of a new job & the nervousness of whether or not I'm doing things right.  The coworkers have all welcomed me back so sweetly & I kind of feel like I never left.

Fortunately my boss is aware & completely understands that I can't commit to staying long-term, but I am committed to stay with them til the end of the (school) year.  I am praying (feel free to join me) that this summer I will be able to find a full time position within the district where I can move.  I really want to stay in the school system, so I'm praying that God opens a position up now & makes the way for me to move simple and smooth.

I am soooo grateful to have a job, though!  I have learned many lessons in the past couple of months.  I will never take the ability to hold down a job for granted again!

In other news this month, Larry's dad fell & broke his leg.  He's in a nursing home/rehab facility now, recovering.  Savannah placed 3rd at her UIL Journalism event last weekend.  Samuel has decided that he wants to try out for mascot (feel free to go ahead & send your donations for the cheerleader camp fund to my home!)

Hmm...I think that's all our Januaryness.  Let me know about yours!