Monday, April 30, 2012

Learning experience

I had plans yesterday.  Unfortunately, my body decided to revolt.  I spiked a temperature, my throat began to hurt, my back and head were killing me and if I was shaking with chills, I was sweating.  I was miserable.  This morning the doc confirmed a diagnosis of Strep Throat.  I got to tell you, I cannot remember Strep ever feeling this bad.  I won't get into too much detail, but yeah, MISERABLE is good word to describe how the last day and half have been for me.

I keep trying to stay positive though.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  I'm sure after today's rounds of antibiotics and tomorrow morning's dose, I should start feeling a ton better.  =)  I guess you could say I'm counting it.  And I'm thankful that this was strep and not something else like the flu.  I am trying more and more these days to find the silver linings of things.  It's not always easy, but I find it helps me keep perspective.

But I have to tell you something about this experience, my kids have been amazing.  Truly.  They have made me cards, colored me pictures, and have tried to wait on me.  They have brought me ice water, asked if I needed anything (over and over again).  My eldest even got online and researched strep throat and ways to help someone feel better.  lol  She's had it more than anyone!  But the fact that she even cared enough to do this....  Wow.

My kids can be, well, kids, a lot of the time.  They bicker like most siblings.  There are times I have to tell them something several times before it sinks in and they do it.  They like to be loud as well.  (aren't most kids?)

But I learned a lot about their character today.  Despite being in the throws of childhood, they have empathetic, caring hearts.  When my fever spiked again tonight over 102 and I was at the pinnacle of pain and feeling crumby, my eldest took it upon herself to make dinner for her and her sisters.  She did NOT have to do that.  But she wanted too.  She wanted to help.  The girls worked together to pick up after dinner as well.  And my Superstar even read to me to "help me feel better like I do for her".  How sweet is that?

Sometimes, we wonder about how our kids are going turn out.  Sometimes we wonder if they are actually getting what we try to teach them (Especially when they have picked a fight with each other for the up-teenth time in a day over something that is really not worth bickering over).  But I have to tell you, it's times like these when I am the most proud of them.  I never asked them for a thing.  I wouldn't have dreamed of it.  They just sprung into action.  And they did it out of love.  They wanted to help.  They wanted to take care of me.  And that has really touched my heart. 

I guess I learned a little something about my kids while being sick this time around.  Who would have thought that a really bad case of strep throat would have been a glimpse into my children's hearts?

I may be sick tonight, but I'm feeling incredibly blessed.   My kids are so amazing.  I love them so much.  Sometimes I forget how awesome they are.  Tonight, I'm glad for the reminder.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

God's Timing

A friend posted this tonight on facebook:
We can count on God's timing.

That is something I need to learn to trust. God's timing... I won't pretend to not complain and get butt hurt when things don't go my way . I feel like I'm not in control but the reality is, I'm NOT in control... God is. I need to surrender.

  All I could do was stare at it.  Wow.  Just when I needed it most.  Funny.  Today I posted this picture: 
I do believe her post was my sign.

I have been more than upset lately.  I have been in prayer over something for over a decade.  Something important.  Something life changing.  No it's not to win the lotto (although that might be nice.  lol).  But it is of a personal a nature. And lately, life has thrown it in my face again how this one very specific, very important prayer has yet to be answered.  Lately, life hurts.

I don't know if anyone who may actually read this knows what it's like to pray for something so hard for so long.  There have been times I have been in tears, screaming at the Lord over this prayer.  It's not something I'm proud of.  I'm just being honest.  After all, the Lord already knew what I was feeling and thinking.  But he does want us to tell him (I wouldn't suggest screaming at Him as a first choice.  But sometimes, life gets the better of us.  I need to learn to control my emotions more and not let them control me.  But that's another post for another time).

Lately, this unanswered prayer has come to light once again.  Lately, I have become hurt all over again.  I would be lying if I said the thought of "God's timing" hasn't crossed mind.  It has.  But then I get even more angry because how long do I have to hurt?  How long do I have to pray and hope and stand in faith?  When is enough, enough?  Why is He waiting so long?

I don't have the answers.  I wish I did.  I do know that as much as I'm hurting, I CAN trust Him.  Scripture says he collects our tears.  I may not like this.  Not one bit.  But I have to trust that there is a perfect time, and one day, it will all make sense.  Sometimes that is really hard to do.  Especially when you are hurting, when you're let down and disappointed again.

Today I got a reminder of God's timing being perfect in a way I had not expected.  And although it had nothing to do with my prayer, it was a great reminder to trust in Him.

For years I have held a facination with Standard Poodles.  We own a small dog now, but I always imagined owning one someday.  For the past several months I have been looking for a female, black, standard poodle.  WOW!  They are expensive!!  And no one in my area has them.  I would have to travel several states away to get one.  =(  Oh well.  I started to give up hope.  Then I got found a woman in my area selling puppies!!  And she had a beautiful one!!  The girls and I named her Stella.  But unfortunately, timing did not work out.  I gave up after that.  I figured when the time was right, it might happen.  That time was today.

I got a call today about a black female standard poodle that was surrendered to our local humane society.  She is less than two years old, great with other dogs and children.  I talked to my husband about it.  Long story short, we adopted her.  We pick her up tomorrow.  And do you want to guess as to what her name is?  That's right.  Stella.  Her previous owners named her that.  Crazy huh?  That's God for you.

Sometimes, we have to let go and let God.  And you know what?  It's never easy.  We want to be control.  We want what we want and we want it now. And we don't get it, we tend to get angry or hurt or both.  Sometimes we don't understand why things happen as they do.  Sometimes we wonder why our prayers go unanswered.  Is there a reason?

I'm sure there is.  I'm sure the Lord is stretching us sometimes.  Sometimes He allowing us to grow in some areas.  And yes, sometimes that isn't easy and can be painful.  Sometimes it's just not his perfect will or timing.  But I have to trust, even if I don't understand in the moment, that God's reasons (whatever they are) are good.  Scripture says he has plans for good for us, not evil.  To give us a future and a hope.  I believe that in my heart. (Jerm. 29:11)  And sometimes I need to remind my brain of that.

I'm not a "good Christian".  I mess up, a lot!  I make a ton of mistakes and poor choices.  But I do believe.  And I do try.  And if I believe in Jesus and the scriptures, if I love Him, then I need to trust Him...even when it hurts.  Even when I don't understand.  Even when it takes 13 years and counting. 

Honestly, I can say that praying over this over the past decade or so has brought up things in me I saw I didn't like.  Some things I'm still working on.  Maybe he wants to better me.  I don't know.  But even when it hurts, I must trust.

Thank you for the reminder tonight, Lord.  You are truly faithful!!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mixed Emotions

Saturday is my Grandfather's remembrance service (memorial).  Sitting here tonight I have so many mixed emotions and thoughts.

One part of me cannot wait to see my family again.  I look forward to that part, per say.

Another part of me is dreading this.  How I wish we could be getting together for something else other this.

This is it.  This makes it final.  There is something about this that brings closure and makes this all so real and final.  I'm not sure any of us are really ready for that.  How do we say goodbye to man who met so very much to all of us?  How do we all come together again to say goodbye to yet another loved one?  And of course this line of thought takes me to thinking of my Grandmother.  She has been so brave.  So strong.  But Saturday will make it all final for her too.  How do you say goodbye to your spouse of over 60 years, your best friend?

I thought I saw my grandfather at a birthday party not long ago.  My first thoughts and instincts were get up and go sit with him.  But then half way from rising from my seat, I reality hit me.  I felt so foolish.  It was all I could do not to sit there and cry.  There is somewhat of a hole in our lives that he left when he died.  I say "somewhat" because in a way he is still here.  His love carries on in each of us, in each of our memories.   We are still left those, those and the lessons he taught us.

He taught us that family comes first.  It is the most important thing.
He taught us to be generous.
He taught us humility.
He taught us all that hard work and dedication get things done, and get you things in life.  No one is entitled.
He taught us integrity.
He taught us respect.
He taught us strength.
He taught us patience.
He taught us forgiveness.
He taught us perseverance.
He taught us gentleness.
In a word, he taught us love.

I truly believe there are no words available or any tribute good enough for this man.

I'm not sure how you say goodbye to someone like him.  I keep telling myself this isn't goodbye.  I keep replaying the last words I ever heard my father say before he died: "Don't say goodbye, say see you later".  This isn't goodbye.  It is a see you later.  I do know that.  It's just that this pain brings up the pain of all those who have passed before him as well.  Not only do we all have this big gaping wound created by his passing, but the scabs have been ripped off the wounds of my father passing, and of my two cousins passing long before their time.

This is hard.  This is so damn hard.  I keep trying to look at the positive side, seeing family again.  Being around loved and friends is the plus here.  We are all trying so hard to make this a celebration of his life.  We want to honor him.  That's what this is about.  But we all know it's also goodbye.  I think maybe deep down, I may not be the only one struggling with this.

Granddad, thank you.  Thank you for all your love and leadership, generosity and forgiveness, patience and love.  Thank you for being the man you were and for meaning so much to all of us.  I know you are pain free and happy now.  And I know we'll be seeing you again someday.  You left a hole no one could ever fill.  And that's okay.  We will keep your memory alive, just like daddy's, Tommy's, and Chris' in all we do.  You will forever and always hold a special and dear place in our hearts.  And until we meet again, just know, I love you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I feel the need to do this publicly since I vented publicly.  =(  I need to repent!

I vented about my how poorly my husband's job treats him and how hard it can be on us all.  I took out all my frustrations and, to be quite blunt, I was wrong.  I was being ungrateful.

My husband is employed!  Hallelujah!  So many people aren't.  And not only is he employed, but his job affords us life insurance and health insurance.  It affords me the ability to stay home with my kids right now.  It pays our bills and gets us groceries.  How dare I be so ungrateful!

Sure, things are hard sometimes.  And yes, it's difficult to see him being unappreciated at his place of work.  But I have got to seriously start shifting my way of thinking.  I need to start having an attitude of gratefulness.  I have so much to be grateful for.

Father, please forgive me for my anger and ungratefulness.  Help me change my way of thinking.  Replace my selfish spirit with one of gratefulness.  Help change me from the inside, out. 
In Jesus' Name I Pray~Amen.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Something to be thankful for

Okay, so I went on a bit of a tear on my last entry.  But something else is weighing on me as well....

I am ever so thankful for wonderful husband.  He works so darn much and still comes home to mow the lawn, do the dishes if needed, change a diaper, and just play and be with family.  He is so awesome.  He sacrifices so very much for us.  And I am forever grateful.

And this thought got me thinking of something earlier to night....  "grateful"......

I was at my sister's when the national news came on tonight.  The highlights were:
1.  My area hosted a Vietnam Veterans memorial
2.  A shooting in california leaving 7 dead and 3 hospitalized.
3.  The war over seas and Iran in general.

I sat there seeing the footage of cities over seas in turmoil.  I sat there watching rebels fight and cities be bombed.  And you know what?  I actually told my mom and sister I was thankful that wasn't us.  I am so grateful that I can go to the market and not worry about if we will be caught in the cross fire or be bombed.  I cannot for the life of me imagine what life must be like for those people over seas who's lives are like this.  And what about those in parts of Africa?  There is hell on Earth in so many places (Haiti is still trying to recover for starters....I could go on and on), and my biggest worries are gas prices and paychecks.  Really?

I have three beautiful, healthy girls.  I have a husband I adore and who adores me.  I have a beautiful home.  I have friends and family who mean the world to me.  I have money in the bank (even if it's not a whole lot, it's still there).  We pay our bills.  We have love in our from one another and from family on both sides.  We have cars, food, clothing, ect.  We have it so much better than so many out there.

Life isn't always easy.  We each get thrown our hurdles to overcome.  We each have our own difficulties.  And I'm not saying that they aren't hard at times, because believe me, life can down right suck sometimes.   But when I look at the bigger picture, I'm reminded of all I have to be thankful for (and it's alot.  I could sit here and list things for the next hour, but what good would that do>  lol)  Sometimes when things take an ugly turn in life, it's good to take a long look at what is going right and what we have to be thankful for.  It might not fix the "ugly" we are going through, but it might give us perspective and hope.  And that can make all the difference.

What do you have to be thankful for?

Oh the joys of a bullshit job

I need to vent.

My husband works a local car dealership.  His pay is not much.  It would put us on welfare in a heartbeat.  He makes his $$ really through his bonuses.  Bonuses are paid out on how well the dealership does. 

They have him in a management position.  He works his tale off.  He works from 8:30 a.m. until around 10 pm easily 4 nights a week.  He works several Sundays a month, but not all.  He really only gets one day off week when he works Sundays.  =(

The people higher up complain they want him to concentrate on his one job as manager.  But, they still also have him doing new hire training, VIP sales, Race team sales, "Heat Cases" (he has the wonderful task of dealing with pissed off people), and doing inventory.  And you know what?  He does it.  He does it well and without complaining. And he still sells an average of about 10 cars a month on his own (and he is NOT salesman!)  Anyone who has a problem or question goes to him for help and answers.  He easily does the job of 3.  And yet.....

Every time he seems to finally get a really good bonus, the people higher up want to question what he does and/or "re-establish" his pay plan.  What does that mean?  It means they ask what he does all day (hello!  duh!) and then make it even harder for him to make those bonuses that allow us to buy our groceries, pay medical bills, buy birthday presents, and live.  He doesn't even have time to talk to me for 2 minutes most days.  He stays that busy and pulled in so many directions.

I'm just so tired of them not appreciating him.  I'm so tired of every time he FINALLY gets a good paycheck, the higher ups wondering if he's worth it and changing his pay plan.  Why can't they see how hard he works?  He has been there over 10 years.  He is loyal to a fault, both to the company and to his bosses.  And yet the continue to do this to him.  When my grandfather died, they told him he couldn't leave to be with me.  WTF?

Please God.... Please... Help him.   Help his bosses see what an asset he is.  Help him be appreciated and respected and compensated.  And if they can't or aren't willing, then please move him elsewhere, where he will be.

Do you know how hard it is to raise 3 young girls with a husband who is gone almost all the time?  He works so damn hard and is gone so much.  I know it's hard on him.  And it's hard on us both when no one seems to appreciate him, or his work.  Why should we all suffer when no one appreciates what he does?

He doesn't get the nice cushy job of sitting on his butt all day and making the big bucks.  He is pulled in so many directions from every department and makes less then those who have been there less time and sit on their butts all day. 

I have always held out hope that his bosses would come around and see what all he does and what he is worth.  But it seems as if they never will.  It seems as if they will keep taking advantage of him.  I mean, I guess they are the same as everyone else.  Why reward the hardest worker?  Just keep beating him down until he breaks. 

Lord, I think we're ready for a change.  My girls are ready to have a real dad in their life.  And I'm ready to have a husband.  And I know he's ready to be appreciated.  Help.