Friday, June 29, 2012


Okay, if you know me at all, you know that I cannot totally unplug.  I have to check e-mail...I hyperventilate if it gets above 5 in my inbox.  I have to check is how I keep up with the world.  And I can't just not blog.  But I am going to take a little break.  I am having a little vacation, so any blog posts I do will involve family.  If you have an invite, just hop on over to our family blog (The Cloud Chronicles) to see what we are up to each day.  If you don't have an invite, just shoot me an e-mail ( and I will send one your way.  Otherwise I will be back to my usual routine in about a week. :)

Have a good one!


Monday, June 25, 2012

A Walk to Remember

Yes, we are still walking that road.

Well, kind of walking.  Aimlessly.  :)

We are at that point that I can tell people don't know whether to ask any more.

Does he have a job?

And honestly, that is okay.  I don't know how to answer that anyway.

Last week, the wife of our Bible Fellowship teacher prayed for us, for Mark's job direction.  She also asked for our extra time together to be blessed.

I giggled.

Yes, during the prayer.

I giggled.

We haven't had any extra time together.

Every day my sweetie kisses my cheek then heads out the door while I roll over to sleep a few more minutes.

Where does he go?

Different places.

He has had several lunches with contacts...some about possible jobs, others to just encourage.  He is exploring possibilities.  And he has been "freelancing" in a sense with some projects.

And while part of me would love to be able to answer the question with a firm answer, there isn't one yet.

In fact, that was part of my husband's plan.

Well, none of this was really part of his plan.

He was quite happy where he was doing what he was doing.

Had to laugh the other day when our youngest asked, "Where is Daddy?" I immediately answered with "work".  He then said, "I thought those people took his job away..."

See, even our kids don't totally get it either.

But anyway, after finding himself without a set job, my husband made a conscious decision that he would explore any option that presented itself.  And that he would take this month to just wait.  Wait and see.  Wait for God's direction.

That is what he has been doing.

So we continue this walk of unemployment.  We walk along the paths, the different turns and twists.  We come to forks in the road and debate about which way to go.  We stop and rest and wait for the signal to change, the signal to go ahead.  Most importantly, we do it together.

Along the way, there is a lot of prayer.  A lot of discussion.  And a lot of just being silent and waiting for direction from God.

A few times I have wanted to stop the walk.  To just pitch our "tent" in a spot, just for the security of knowing a decision was made.  But every time I think that, we see another fork ahead, another possibility.  And we continue on.

I kind of think I know where our path is headed.

But there may be a turn or a twist ahead or even a roadblock still to come.

The map is not clear.

So until I know for sure, I won't say.

We will just keep walking...


Friday, June 22, 2012

Missing My Girly Girl

I have never been a "helicopter" mom.

You know, the mom who hovers around.

I mean, I work outside the home so I have left my kids from a very young age.

And our firstborn was maybe 2 weeks old when we let him spend the night with his grandparents...probably so I could get a little sleep. :)

I guess I have always just been matter of fact about it all.

The kids cannot always be with me.

I kind of worry when I hear moms say, "My child hasn't ever spent a night away from me..." And that child is 7 years old.

I do think that independence is a good thing.  For mom and child.

We have been fortunate thus far that none of ours have been overly homesick.  No calls in the middle of the night with a sobbing child on the other end of the line asking me to pick them up.  Maybe we are lucky. Or maybe they are just used to it (not that they are away from us terribly often).

In my mind though, we say good-bye, hug our kiddos, and let them know we will see them again, whether it is in an hour or in a week like when we went to Guatemala to pick up our youngest.

And we get through.

At the same time, I have never wanted to rush the distance thing.  I know young kids can go to overnight camps.  But we have waited.  Not necessarily consciously but we have waited until they were ready.  And we were ready.

A couple years ago, our oldest went to his first overnight (four days I believe) camp.

I didn't feel overly sentimental when I dropped him off.

I mean, I am tough like that.

I gave him a hug, waved good-bye, then walked away.

I didn't worry at all about him.

I knew he would have a good time.  And he did.

However, about the third day into it I realized something.

I really missed that kid.

In his absence, I began to understand what an integral part of our family he was.  He was the peacemaker, the voice of reason in a crazy house. 

I was surprised to find my heart actually ached for him.

I just never expected that.

So, fast forward to this past Monday.

My second born was going to church camp.

She has been wanting to go away to camp for some time.

Unfortunately, the ones she has wanted to go to are WAY out of our price range.

This opportunity came up and seemed perfect.  It was affordable and not too far away.  And it was time.  She was ready.

So we dropped her off.  I waved good-bye.  Then I walked out the door.

I really didn't feel that sad.

I knew that the dynamics of the house would change.  Little sister would have the room to herself. There would be less arguing.  It might be a good "vacation" for everyone.

I also knew she was in good hands. I knew that she was excited.  And I knew it was only for four nights.

Except four nights was longer than I expected.

It was Wednesday that I realized how much I missed that girl.

I started checking Facebook ten times more than usual, just hoping for a glimpse of that face.  (I am thankful the leader has been posting pics all along)  And we had the whole readoption fiasco.  And to make matters worse, there was a family night at the camp that same night. I had read about it but nobody had made a big deal about it. I didn't think much about it.  I hadn't heard about anyone else going.  Except they did.  I think all of the other parents went.  Except for us. :( 

And I realized something.

Though in some ways, Child 2 and I are very different, she is the one child who really "gets" me. She can read my emotions.  She can sense when I am not having a good day.  I am guessing if she had been here after the whole courthouse thing, she would have been right there, patting my back and trying to make me laugh.  She is my encourager, my sunshine on a rough day.  I love all of my children; I am not playing favorites.  These are just the roles she fills in our family.

So my heart ached. 

And still does.

I miss her so much more than I ever thought I would.

On a positive note, she had the opportunity to call me (unexpectedly) on Wednesday night. 

And I loved every minute.

It made me flash forward to the future.  One day she will be gone, out of the house, living her own life.  They all will.  And that will be my joy.  A moment on the phone hearing that familiar voice.


So back to the phone conversation.  This is her, through and through.

"Yeah, I think everyone else's family came tonight.  I was the only one who didn't have someone..."

Feel that knife twisting?

"Honey, I am so sorry. I had no idea it was such a big deal or we would have been there.  We had a hard day with court (or rather the children at court).  I am so sorry."

"It's okay, Mom. It wasn't a big deal..."

That is her.

She rolls with the punches.

Way better than I do.

In just a few hours, she will be back.

And the arguing among siblings will resume.

But I will be a little different.

I have seen the future.

I know what is ahead.

And in spite of it all (remind me of this), I am going to treasure every moment with her (or at least most of them). 

Because in the blink of an eye, she will be gone, living her life.

And my heart will ache again.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

No Pictures Please

Ironically, this morning, I received a parenting newsletter about not finding shame in our children's behavior.

As I read it, I found myself nodding and agreeing.

You see, parenting has been the most humbling role of my life.

I have lived my life basically trying to please others, to do the right thing, to "live right".

And most of all, I want to show that I am successful.  I know what I am doing.  I have it all together.

Sometimes I have even fooled people.

"How do you do it all?"  "How do you stay on top of things?"

Have I ever mentioned that the one minute (as in small, not a time increment) talent I have is acting?

You know, like acting in school plays in elementary school and then later in church drama groups.

More currently, I use that talent when I am in the shower and don't want to be disturbed with another tattle (pretending like I can't hear anything) or when I am not really wanting to get up yet so I act like I am still sleeping while secretly listening to the goings on in the house.

But enough about that...

Before I had kids, I had in my mind a picture of what kids who have good parents look like.

I mean, I was a teacher.

I had experience.

With kids.

As a teacher.

Not a parent.

Then I became a parent.

And suddenly I didn't know nearly as much about parenting as I thought I did.

The funny thing is that in reality, our older two are fairly "easy".  At least in public.  Most of the time.

So even though I had some humbling moments with them, I really thought we were doing it right as parents.  All the ideals we hold tight to, they must be working.

Except God had other plans for us...plans in the way of two more children.

And suddenly I was on my knees begging for help.

Please don't get me wrong.

I love all of my kids.

And they are all neat kids.

None of them are perfect, and none of them are "better" than the others.

Some are just maybe a little easier. :)

And some are better out in public than at home.

I won't embarrass any of the guilty parties with stories, but trust me, there are plenty.

I am learning more and more that I need to continue to hold onto the ideals I truly believe.  And I need to know that my children ARE responsible for their own decisions.  I also am realizing more and more that one size doesn't fit all.  My children have very different personalities and what works with one will not work with another.

I still sink into bed some days, feeling like a complete failure.

But when I do, I remember a couple of things.

We (humans) have the "perfect Father" and yet we fail all of the time.

And some of our kids are on their best behavior when outside the house.  Since I am parenting all of them, I can't be doing all of it wrong.

Why all of this?

Today was Readoption Day.

It sounds funny to say that.

Our kids ARE our kids and have been since we brought them home.

And they were citizens the first time their little feet touched the ground which in our case was the Houston International Airport which probably has a more official name than that.  But that is beside the point.

Some people readopt right away.

We didn't.

Like I said, they were already citizens (which isn't always true in international adoption cases).  And it costs money.  After the money we had already spent with the adoptions and the travel expenses and all of the other stuff, it wasn't money we were ready to spend.

But there are advantages to readopting which is why we chose to do it.

A big one is that our kids will have a birth certificate from our state which is MUCH easier to get than the one from their birthcountry.

No, it won't say they were born here, just that they were adopted here.  Or readopted.

The other reason we chose to do it was that we changed our son's name (unofficially) when we brought him home.  However, every time we call the doctor's office to make an appointment, we have to use his given name which is the name he came to us with (they did change his last name to ours when we adopted).  Since he is about to start school, we felt like he needed the official name change.  Otherwise he would constantly get called by his given name and likely wouldn't respond since we never called him that. :)

Anyway, it only took five years but we finally met with a lawyer a couple of weeks ago.

And just like that we had a "court" date.

A formality.

We just needed a judge to sign and say we were readopting (and changing our little guy's name).

Sounds so simple.

We got all dressed up.  I took my camera. I have seen pictures of other friends' readoptions.

And we drove to the courthouse.

I am not sure what went wrong.

My children.

Maybe they were uncomfortable. They were in a very unfamiliar setting. Or maybe they knew there was little we could do with them.  I didn't see myself saying, "Um, Judge, could you excuse me while I remove this wayward child from your chambers to discuss his/her behavior?"  Maybe the summer solstice had an effect on them.  Or maybe God just thought I needed another taste of humility (really, God, I have had enough...I get it!).

Something happened.  My children put on a show.  Not an entertaining one, especially for their father and me.

In fact, I wanted to turn the show off.

I am thankful the judge is a mom and seemed to understand.  That or she felt really sorry for us.

The paperwork was signed though hubby and I both hesitated when they asked the question, another formality, "Do you wish to adopt these children?" 

As I looked at one child standing on his head in the chair across from the judge and the other hardly answering any simple questions, I had to consider it carefully.

Apparently our judge wasn't into pictures. Or she just wanted us to leave.  I don't blame her.  I wanted to leave and go far far away.

She didn't ask for pictures.

And honestly, I don't need pictures to remember the day.

I am just trying to figure out what I can do to FORGET the day.


Tomorrow is another day.

I just don't want any more of that humble pie for dessert...


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thankful Thursday...I Think

The one downfall of summer (though not much of a downfall :) is that I lose track of what day it is.  During the school year, I teach calendar each day, so I always know the date, the day of the week, etc.  But during the summer, my days run together. As my third child declared, it is like one long weekend. :)  I would agree!

I am NOT complaining though.

But I do have to stop and really think about it.

So I am almost positive today is Thursday.

Which means I need to give some thanks. :)

I haven't done that in a couple weeks, not that I don't have anything to give thanks for.  I am just enjoying the lazy days of summer.  And probably losing track of what day it is...

So, what am I thankful for this week?

  • Air conditioning.  We have been SO fortunate to have had a mild summer so far (though it isn't technically summer) but I do know that this house could get very warm without AC.
  • Child 2 getting her "fish" at swim lessons last week which means only TWO children in swim lessons next year!
  • Complimentary tickets to a suite at the baseball game last weekend which made for a fun way to celebrate the girls' birthdays!
  • Snow cone dates with my husband
  • A sweet card of encouragement from a friend at church
  • A new roof (which I am sure I will appreciate once it is all done...)
  • A day at the lake yesterday visiting with friends (who had moved away)...also worked well since it was on hubby's birthday.  A perfect way to celebrate with him.
  • Getting to exercise mid-morning instead of late at night.  I feel so free the rest of the day!
  • Afternoon naps (quiet time for the kids, naptime for me!)
  • A court date for readopting the kids.  Only took us five years.  Let me clarify, it took US five years.  Not the courts.  It only took them a week or so. :)
  • An opportunity for my hubby to go watch our Hogs play at the College World Series
  • A God who knows the plans He has for us even if I don't know what they are. :)
  • The opportunity to watch the butterflies fly around the mimosa tree (picture above).  It was just such a beautiful sight.
  • COBRA (as in health insurance coverage for the hubby until we figure out where we are headed...)
  • Comments.  I have always said I don't write these posts to get comments, and I really don't. But I won't lie. I smile really big when I do get a comment.
  • Fireflies at dusk
  • The fuzzy pup curled up by my feet
  • Dinner together each night
  • My husband and oldest child working out together early morning
  • Strawberry smoothies (homemade)...very filling and not many calories
  • My new cup (given by a student)...perfect for keeping my lemonade cold on a hot day
  • Seeing the deer along the road as we drove home from the lake last night; they are beautiful and graceful creatures (unless they run into your car, spoken from experience)
  • Early bedtimes for grouchy kids
  • my handsome 40 year old husband
Probably should stop for now though there are so many more things I could add.

So, what are you thankful for this week?


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Big 4-0

Today the love of my life is turning the big 4-0.

What a gift he is to me each and every day.

He will say this day is no different than any other day.

But I know differently.

It is the day God brought him to this earth.  It is the day his journey began, the journey that would eventually lead him to me.  This is the day his destiny of being a loving husband and a devoted father to four kids was born.

To me, it is a day of celebration.

Obviously I have not known him all 40 years (though I have heard enough stories to get the gist of who he was before me :).

But I can easily ponder and reflect upon 40 fond memories I have of him...

Oh, since this is a family blog, I will not share any of the intimate memories. :)  Those are just for him and me...

  1. The day I came home and found a message on my answering machine with an apology for hitting me on the head with an umbrella (accidentally) and an offer to get together some time.  My heart was racing...
  2. Our first date when we went to Applebee's for dinner then went dress shopping for me for an upcoming church event
  3. The church Christmas event (soon after) where we attended, acting as if nothing was different.  The "singles group" went out afterwards, we instead retreated and just talked about life.
  4. The night he attended my school's Christmas was like date three or four?  That is pretty brave. 
  5. The way I jumped from the couch (while sick) at my parents' house when the phone rang, so eager to hear his voice, over Christmas break
  6. Looking at engagement rings at JCPenney's while taking a couple of my students out for dinner
  7. Turning around in my empty classroom the day after school dismissed to find him down on his knee with a ring in his hand
  8. Standing before the church, declaring our love for one another, during our wedding, except he couldn't talk.  Emotions overcame him.  (Or maybe it was the fear in the realization about what he was about to do :)
  9. Our first argument as a married couple.  In Memphis.  We couldn't find our hotel.  And nobody would stop and ask for directions. :)
  10. Running out to buy Toy Story on video the weekend it was released (while on our honeymoon) because it was the first movie we had seen together
  11. Driving to Alabama with barely enough money to fill up our car to say our final good-byes to his stepmother who had died unexpectedly (and getting to meet some of his family for the first time)
  12. Moving into a duplex right next to my sister and her husband, grilling out together on the tiny back deck
  13. Telling him on our first anniversary that maybe I was ready to have children.  (All color drained from his face)
  14. Our first trip to Disney World as husband and wife, riding Tower of Terror together.
  15. Calling him on the phone to tell him that we were pregnant.  After I took 7 pregnancy tests of course.
  16. The day he called to let me know that he was fine after his car had hydroplaned into the ditch on the interstate.
  17. Moving into our first house, having my first baby shower, and coming home to find that he had lost his job...all in a week's time.  
  18. The birth of our son.  We did not know what gender our baby was, and the doctor just assumed we did.  We both yelled, "But what is it???"
  19. The first time he left for a business trip after our son was born.  I literally held onto his leg and begged him to not go as I realized the responsibility I would have as a parent if anything happened to him.  We got life insurance shortly afterward.
  20. Watching him pull our oldest son (as a young child) around the yard on a rake
  21. Him holding my hand as the doctor examined a small lump and determined that it would need to be removed (it was nothing serious, though we wouldn't know that for a week or so)
  22. Announcing to him that we were expecting again as he rocked and read to our chubby faced firstborn 
  23. Accidentally driving into Mexico then trying to find our way out on a trip to San Diego
  24. Hearing him yell, "It's a girl!  It's a girl!" before the doctor even had a chance to say anything. I don't think the doctor ever forgave him for that.
  25. The way he held me after the loss of my grandfather (a first for me)
  26. Hearing his voice over the intercom at school one day as he tried to read me a sweet love letter.  He couldn't do it.  Overcome with emotion again. :)
  27. My first snorkeling experience on our first family trip to the beach (the kids stayed with his parents an extra night so we had a little time alone).  We found out that fish LOVE frozen peas.
  28. Watching him snorkel with sharks (he was in a cage of sorts) at Sea World
  29. Telling him that I thought we should adopt.  I still remember showing him M.'s picture and seeing his big smile.  She had his heart at the first smile.
  30. Our first trip to visit M. in Guatemala.  She was not nearly as excited to meet us as we were to meet her. She hid under a crib and refused to come out.  She eventually warmed up to me but if he stepped anywhere near her, she screamed and retreated.
  31. Watching him baptize our oldest son at church, June of 2006
  32.  Putting M.'s feet on the ground in August of 2006 in Houston at the airport...she became a citizen of the US at that moment.  To celebrate, we fed her McDonald's french fries.
  33. The day we were given two possible baby boys from Guatemala to adopt.  I was torn between the two.  He had no doubt which one was our son.  A few months later, J. came home.  He definitely is the personality that we imagined him to be...
  34. The day he called me at school to let me know he had just come home to find our home being burglarized.
  35. Riding the street cars/trolleys of San Francisco and walking along the wharf
  36. Hiking Mt. Magazine, standing on the highest point in Arkansas, for my birthday one year
  37. Finding out that he had been selected as a 40 Under 40 winner for Northwest Arkansas.  Always proud of his accomplishments!
  38. The day he brought our sweet pup home.  It was a surprise for the kids.  I think we were both smitten from the first moment we met her.
  39. Eating a Giordano's pizza in Chicago, then walking along Michigan Avenue back to our hotel for our 15th anniversary
  40. Now.  I look at him, snoozing away.  And I marvel.  God is good. I don't know what I did to deserve this (let's face it, I didn't do anything!).  But nevertheless, I am thankful for His blessing in the gift that He sent my way with this husband of mine.
Happy birthday to my main man!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

How You Doing?

Admit it.

You can't read the title without thinking of Joey from Friends.

Well, even if you did, I bet you won't now. :)

Seems like I am getting asked a lot, "How are you doing?"

"What are you feeling?"

"Are you doing okay?"

I again want to preface all of this to say that I realize our situation is not as dire as so many other situations in the world. As of this moment, we are all in good health.  We are together as a family.  We have a roof over our head (the one we still need to get repaired after the hailstorm) and plenty of food in our fridge.  And most of all, we have a God who loves us and has plans for us...plans we don't understand yet but that is okay. We just have to trust we will know when it is time.

Yet this is a life change, at least temporarily (we hope :). 

And I always appreciate the care and concern of friends.

So, how am I doing?

Honestly for me, I think I am doing okay.

I haven't had a meltdown...yet. 

And I am pretty sure I have gone through each stage of grief (even though this was the death of a job not a person).

I attribute a lot of that to prayer.

And a faithful God.

And a faithful husband.

But I have learned a few things along the way in this journey.

One is releasing the idea of a stigma with unemployment.  When I hear the word "unemployed", I think of a man walking around aimlessly in his bathrobe, stubble all over his chin, in a very depressed state.  So far, that has not been the case at our house. I am the one in my pjs, but that is typical for summer.  And honestly, I am not seeing my main man any more than I used to. He has been out and about doing some consulting work and talking with friends about potential opportunities. 

Unemployment happens.  It can happen at any time to anyone.  We would like to think our jobs are all secure but really, the only certain things in life are death and taxes. :)  I have had so many people come and share about their own experiences with unemployment. Sometimes you can work and do all you are supposed to and still lose your job. I knew that already but it has been confirmed over and over.

Look at every option.  I just joked about this on Facebook this morning.  We will hear about an opportunity, and I will think, "Okay, this is what we should do..." then the "path" will change, whether on our end or on the other end and suddenly we are facing new possibilities.  It is hard to not just want to jump on the first available opportunity (that whole "security" thing) but we want to be wise.  And that may involve patience.  And even feeling a little uneasy at times at the uncertainty of it all.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.  It is hard to know what to do when faced with decisions.  Some decisions are easy.  This is not the time to add on to our house.  Or run out to buy a new car.  Or even get a crown for my tooth since the tooth is not bothering me and is not of grave danger.  But some are more difficult...especially when it involves the kids.  Do we send them to that camp or not?  Do we cut back on our menu to save a few dollars or wait until we have to (if it comes to that)? 

Encouraging friends...they make a world of difference! I have learned what is encouraging in these situations and what is not.  Prayer is.  The Sunday after we found out Mark's job was eliminated, our Bible Fellowship/Sunday School class prayed for us, on the spot.  Hearing from others who have been there and overcome has also been helpful (which also happened that Sunday morning). 

Humor helps.  At least it does for me. I think I have stunned a few people into awkward silence with jokes. But is a coping mechanism. I can laugh or I can cry.  I just usually choose to laugh.  I am not making light of the situation. I am just dealing with it the way I deal with many things in life.

God is good. All of the time.  Not just in "good times".  I don't know how many times I have said, "I am thankful for..." in recent weeks. In some cases, God saved us from some struggles by telling us no (like with adding on to our house...neither one of us could get a peace about that though we both wanted it badly).  In others, He has provided in ways we didn't expect. 

I am sure I could think of some more but I probably need to get up out of this bed to be a productive mom/wife.

Thanks for listening!  This blogging thing is the cheapest counseling/therapy I can do! :)


Monday, June 4, 2012

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find Out What It Means to Me...

Admit it.  Aretha Franklin's voice is now going through your mind.

This word has been running through my mind (as well as the song) for a couple of weeks now.

When I first came home and found out that my husband's job had been eliminated, I was in a state of shock and numbness.

Then I moved to being a little upset.  Okay, a lot upset.

After all, he had done nothing wrong.  He devoted his time and energy to this job.  In fact, when he was asked to go work for this company, I was a little worried about commitment on their part since it was a new position.  So I admit, I felt a little betrayed by this turn of events. And a lot defensive.

I am not a fly off the handle person for the most part.  And I tend to stay on the side of reason most of the time, even when my emotions tell me otherwise.

But in this case, I wanted to do something.  To protect my own.  To defend.  To speak my mind.

For several days, I had a running e-mail going through my mind.  It wasn't hateful but it was defensive of my man.  I mean, I love him.  I felt like he was a little wronged in this situation.

I don't know how many times I wanted to sit down and type it out.

In fact, I almost felt like I would explode if I didn't. 

I felt like a volcano with the lava just bubbling, waiting to erupt.

The thoughts wouldn't stop.

I would lay down to sleep, and in my mind, write that e-mail.  I would brush my teeth, composing just the right words in my head.  I would stand in the shower with hot water splashing on my head as I searched for words and phrases that articulated my every though, my every feeling.

Then I mentioned to my mom how much I wanted to do it.  All in the name of love.

And she, being the spoil sport moms can be, told me not to.


I mean, she understood what I was thinking. What I was feeling.  My deep love for my man.

Why not?

Her response?


Respect your husband.

I assured her it would be done because I DID respect him.

She again said no.

Don't you hate that voice of reason?

She said that as much as I love my hubby, he is a big boy.  He didn't need his wife to run in to defend him.


That is what my heart wanted to do.

But my mom was right, darn it.

Ephesians 5:33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

As much as I longed to, I needed to respect my husband.  He is a man. He can take care of himself. Thar doesn't mean I can't do my job at home as an encourager.  Or let him know that I believe in him.  But as much as I want to run in and put up my dukes to protect, I can't.  I have to know (and I have to let him know) that he is the man, a man capable and confident who can face his own battles and struggles.  Not with me in front of him, shooting off at the mouth.

But behind him.

Showing him respect.  In silence.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Best-Laid Plans...

What is that saying?

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry?

Okay, confession.

I didn't know the whole thing. 

I had to look it up.

All I could think were the first few words. Today's title.

That has come to mind a lot recently.

A month ago, we were sitting pretty comfortably.

We had two paychecks coming in.

We had plans.

Like possibly adding on to our house so our girls can have separate rooms.

And trips.

And remodeling the house somewhat.

Even joining the country club so my boys can play golf regularly.

Or buying a boat.

Not that I want to give the impression we are wealthy. Oh, no.  Not at all.

And we wouldn't have done all of those things.

We were just considering them.

And planning for at least one of them...

And here we are a month later, our plans awry.

Now I am standing at the store saying, "Is this something we really need?  Is this worth it?  Or can I live without it and save our money?"

Again, not to sound like we are suddenly thrust into poverty.  I don't want to start a pity party or act like we are begging for assistance.

We aren't.  Yet. :)

Just kidding.

Anyway, it just amazes me how quickly plans can change. 

What seemed so important a month ago doesn't seem nearly as important today.  Except maybe the adding on...the girls still think that is of utmost importance. :)

As we explore our options (feeling thankful that there are some), I realize yet again how much trust this involves.

Our life verse has always been Proverbs 3:5-6.

"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."

That verse has gotten us through difficult days, like the adoptions.  And rough parenting days.  And medical scares.  And life changes (like moving).

And in this season of life, we are relying on its truths yet again.

Trusting yet again.

Because some of the options we are exploring still involve some unknowns.

But we cannot lean on our own understanding.

Which is good. 

Since I don't understand.

What I can do is acknowledge that God is the one who understands.  He has a plan.  And He will direct our ways.

Not necessarily OUR best-laid plans.  Obviously.

But His...


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Safe and Secure

When Mark and I went through pre-marital counseling (a requirement of the church before we married), one of the things we learned was that a man's self-esteem often came through his job, his work.  At the same time, a wife's security usually came through her husband's job, his work.

And I have to admit, that is true.

The times I have been most stressed in life (other than in parenthood dealing with the difficulties of kids at times) involved job changes for my husband, whether they were wanted or not, for the better or not.

I mean, I do have a job and do earn a paycheck.  (Of course, I do NOT truly do it for that paycheck...I honestly love what I do.  But the paycheck is a nice bonus. :)

But my security has always been in knowing that my husband was bringing home a paycheck, meeting our needs.

Obviously a couple weeks ago, my world was rocked.

No job?  No paycheck?

Well, he did get a small severance package. But that will only last so long.

In some ways, the timing was awful. I guess there is never a good time for that kind of thing.

But in other ways, maybe it was a blessing.

It was the end of school.  There were no more out of town trips, meaning I could get up to the school in the evenings to do some work. 

It also meant I didn't have much time to digest things.  To really think about it  To understand the reality of the situation.

I was going ninety to nothing.  ALL day, all week.

It wasn't until school was officially out that I had time to digest.

And suddenly I felt sad.  I would be cleaning up my classroom then suddenly feel overcome with the urge to cry (though the tears never truly came).  I felt a little empty inside.


My security, my stability was gone.

I have to give my hubby props.

He has not yet had a full day at home that I can think of.  Even when I tried to get him to. :)

He has been going to lunches.  Meeting with people.  Doing some "odd" jobs (not really odd, just not full time work).  Pursuing job possibilities.

But obviously I can wallow in the insecurity of it all.

There is still no steady paycheck.

Except I have found something out recently.

Something I knew all along but had pushed to the side.

My security is NOT in my husband.  Or in his job. 

I love him with all of my heart. 

But he is not my security.

God is.

And while He may choose not to give us the job of Mark's dreams and we may have to struggle financially, He is still in control.

My security is in him.

I am reminding myself of that as we look at options.

Good options (we hope).

But still a little scary.  And not necessarily secure.  (Of course, we thought the last one was, so that isn't a guarantee...)

Doesn't mean I won't feel a little weepy some days.  Or scared. Or nervous wondering about our future.

But when i do, I am going to return to the belief that is deep in my heart.

I am safe and secure.

Not in my husband.

Only in God.