Saturday, April 29, 2006


No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.
I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical...
The tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.
I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.
I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.
I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.
Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My *husband will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their *mother will not come home.
Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice, may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.
I am a spiritual being...After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.

Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.

Max Lucado - "When God Whispers Your Name."
*original - "husband" and "father."

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I bought a new comforter set for my bedroom a couple months ago. My quilt was tearing in some spots and it was a long search to find a new set to match my tomato red walls. But I finally found it and I love it. So you'd think I'd be more careful.....

Yesterday was a typical day. Come home from work. Change clothes. Spend 30 minutes cleaning etc. Welcome kids home from school. Then GO!!! It's constant driving back and forth to practices, weight lifting carpool, dropping off at a friend's house that's too far to walk to. Constant answering of the phone to take messages for my busy children (the same thing I do at work, by the way) Constant answering the door to greet visiting friends.

But yesterday Paul was coming home late from a trip to Chicago and I decided that cooking dinner did not sound appealing to me AT ALL. So I pulled out leftover pizza from Sunday night. I even was so mean as to set paper plates on the counter and yell "pizza's done!!" and take mine upstairs to my bedroom where I sat on the bed and watched the news and ate a slice. Halfway through, the phone rang and it was a mom looking for her son...So I get up to go question Blake and when I come back... I can't find my pizza!! Turns out it was under my new throw pillow, which had fallen on it when I got up from the bed. So last night I pulled the covers back and smelled pizza. This morning I made the bed and smelled pizza. It actually is quite a pleasant aroma, but for the bedroom...? I have either hit upon a new romance builder or will be attracting raccoons in the near future. So I am going to try to Febreze it.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Why do I feel guilty so easily? I was in line at Wal-Mart this morning before work and I had 3 packs of mini cupcakes from the bakery (for Kayla's slumber party tonight - to be mentioned later) and a man in front of me commented on the fact that I was buying them and not baking them. The ironic thing about this is that I have always been so hard on myself about making everything from scratch and always providing fresh baked items for the kids parties, school functions, etc. I have always insisted on making a couple of dishes for potlucks no matter how busy we are, even when Paul says "let's just pick something up at the deli..."Recently, though, I decided that PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING. If you take some store-bought cookies, salad, whatever, and put it in a beautiful basket or dish - it goes a long way in making up for the fact that you didn't actually make it. So today I felt very tempted to justify my lapse by explaining that "really I usually bake but it's been a really busy week." Instead I just said, "yep, I picked these up myself right over there in the bakery."
Tonight is Blake's wrestling potluck and I had told him I would bring a gooey butter cake - a favorite family recipe that is just a little complicated because the batter is real thick and hard to mix. Well, I only have 3 eggs and it calls for 4 so I made no-bake cookies instead. Of course, Blake commented that "it really doesn't matter, I guess, but you DID SAY that you'd make butter cake..."And he said it as though he was saying. "Don't worry about me, I just haven't eaten in 6 days and I'm weak with hunger..." So what I was thinking was "is nothing ever good enough..?" Guilt
We got the note about the wrestling banquet after we had planned Kayla's slumber party. So here's the quirky thing. I am going to the wrestling banquet and Paul is taking the girls to the movie and to eat at the mall. People seemed surprised that we are "reversing gender roles." But I told Paul if there is any chance at all that Blake may get an award, or even have something great said about him, then I, as his mother, have to be there to be weepy. He could not argue with that kind of maternal manipulation. Besides I think the banquet will be more relaxing than "Scary Movie 4."
Girls are giggly and loud when two or more are together. Boys (at least here) seem to just settle in front of the video games and appear every two hours to eat the cupboards bare. Occasionally I hear things like "dude...I'm gonna kick your butt." That's it. With the girls, it is opposite, occasionally I hear a brief period of silence and start thinking that thing you think with toddlers "if you can't hear them, you better find them." Usually, with girls, I hear lots of giggles, squealing, and just really LOUD talking. GOOFY GIRLS.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I am this close to having an "extensive criminal check" done on me.

Here's the thing. When I started my new job, I had to be finger printed. So I drive downtown to the county sheriff's office (where parking is horrible) and get that done. A week later, my boss comes to my desk with a note saying the FBI had refused my prints as "illegible" and I would have to go again. So I head back downtown and get printed again by the same nice young detective. The next day as I was turning the card in to my boss, I realized the nice young detective had not signed the form. Back downtown I go to get the signature. I was so relieved to get that mailed off and over.
Well, yesterday we received another note saying my prints had been rejected by the FBI as "illegible." I must get another set of fingerprints made and then if those come back unacceptable, an extensive criminal check will begin on me. By the way that black ink really is nasty and the "orange goo" they use to get it off is real gritty and stay under your nails all day...
Also, I have been to the sheriff's office so often, people probably think I am checking in with my parole officer. The detective asked if I wanted to wash my hands today and I just said "oh, I know where the ladies room is, thanks...."
Now, I understand the need for security at a brokerage firm. I understand the need to be cautious. But I work 4 hours a day answering the phone and filing the brokers' backlog of statements. I am a part time receptionist and my mantra regarding sensitive information is "I know nothing..." You know, like that german soldier in "Hogan's Heroes." I cannot give quotes over the phone. My computer does not allow me to access the quote screen. Fine with me. I cannot handle client checks. Fine with me. I am just starting to wonder what all the fuss is about with this fingerprinting and the possibility of a criminal background check (an EXTENSIVE one even) for a PART TIME RECEPTIONIST!!!!!

Oh, also today, I think I might have been sexually harassed. A client asked me how the weather was in Decatur and then proceeded to suggest I get off early to go lay in the sun in my bikini.
What I WANTED to say was:
1. Sir, you obviously have never seen me in person, or you would not even think bikini when talking to me.
2. By the way you sound about my grandpa's age.
3. You must be a HUGE client here to think you can talk like that - but it's just wrong no matter how much stock you own.
What I said was "what broker did you need to speak to sir?"

It's not that I had a bad day or anything. I'm just sayin'....

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Happy Birthday Kayla.
Twelve years ago today you entered my world on tears of pure joy and relief. After suffering two miscarriages before you, it seems I didn't breathe for nine months until I heard the doctor say, "it's a girl!!!" I had myself convinced that I didn't care if you were a boy or a girl. In fact, I just knew you'd be a boy and your name was going to be Nathan James. After hearing those magic words "it's a girl," I realized that I really had wished for a girl all along. What a moment!!

You showed your independence early - refusing to nurse at 6 months because you were too busy looking at your world - refusing to let anybody feed you at 8 months; I had to cook veggies and chop them so you could feed yourself - refusing to eat your 1st birthday cake until we put a spoon in each hand. You crawled at 6 months, walked at 10 months, poured cooking oil on the floor at 12 months, opened tooth paste at 13 months, started following Blake around at about 14 months, yelling "and me" so you wouldn't be left out. You wrote your name at 3 1/2 and started reading simple words at 4 1/2. Your favorite phrase to me was "I do it." Tim C. always said you had a huge belly laugh for such a little girl. And you did.

You have always been thoughtful - always putting the first gift under the Christmas tree, always reminding us to buy cards and gifts for Blake's birthday, father's day, mother's day. You always knew when library books were due, or when the movies had to go back to the rental place.

You taught me the true meaning of "breath-taking." I used to stand over your crib while you slept; and when I looked at your ringlets (yes, you had curls) around your Gerber baby face, I literally forgot to breathe. And always the same words escaped my lips..."Thank you God."

It's been a joyful dozen years, Kayla Beth. Happy Birthday.

I love you.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


Do any of you out there go through batteries like my family does? Seems we are always looking for a battery, despite our little storage bin that we keep for just that purpose. I blame our batter operated lifestyle on the kids, you know. Walk-man, game boy, etc. Of course there are the recent storms that have made us careful to have working flashlights handy.
Well, Paul turned 40 last week and he got the coolest gift from Menard's. Yes, Menard's. Seems if you have a Menard's card you get a coupon for a neat gift every year. This year it is a great battery organizer with a charge checker on top. It holds several batteries in all sizes - D,C,AA,AAA, and 9V. He hung it in the utility room and was calling out to Kayla how many of each size he would need to completely fill it. I heard him say "3 double A's, 4 C's, 2D's...." I couldn't resist asking if they were buying batteries or bras. Kayla lost herself in giggles.
Anyway, this is a really neat little gadget they gave us and we now feel like there is one tiny little corner of our world that is quite organized. And if you want one of these thingys, they are 9.99 without the birthday coupon.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Those of you who heard the sermon at Northside on Sunday morning, can hopefully understand where I'm coming from on this. I couldn't really think of something I've been putting on a pedestal above God - as far as things I enjoy. I know there are things, they just weren't coming to mind. Probably because I have been allowing myself to worry too much about this new job.
I've decided that just as our pleasures can come before God, so can our worries.
I've allowed myself to worry about the adjustment period of this job - that time of learning and fumbling through the day that comes with each new job. I've worried about cutting off the clients and brokers on the "golden list"- people who must be put through on the phone NO MATTER WHAT. I've worried about not adapting well to the computer. I've worried about being accepted by the other secretaries. I've worried about the adjustment at home.
After hearing Gary's message, I realized that all those things are insignificant compared to God's love for me, and my hope of Heaven, and the countless blessings He has given me and the sacrifices He has made for me. Those mistakes, when I make them, are rubbish, dung, caw-caw. I doubt any of my mistakes are going to cost a client money. And I KNOW they are not going to affect my salvation (my college roommate's favorite saying - "not gonna affect my salvation.")
I also realized that I was not giving God the true glory He deserved for this job. By worrying and fretting, I have not allowed myself to fully enjoy this blessing. Here's what I used to say about going back to work:
If only a job would just fall in my lap...check.
I'd like to find an office job at a small company, not a lot of stress to bring home, maybe just reception work...check.
Part time would be ideal, with Paul's travel....check
Wouldn't it be great to get summers off, but then I'd have to work at the school, wouldn't I...check.
I AM grateful. I have asked the Good Lord several times what I ever did to deserve this ideal job. I finally realized over the weekend that I wasn't working this job - I was allowing the job to work me. It had me in the grips of worry and self doubt. I guess my self confidence took quite a beating over the past 15 years raising these kids of mine. So now when I make a mistake, I will tell myself: "they need me here," "not gonna affect my salvation," and the most beautiful of all....."it's caw caw."