Monthly Archives: September 2013

Happy Monday, People!

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monday

It’s Monday. Know how I know? I know because I found B’s gym clothes on the laundry room floor this morning, after he left for school. I know because I realized J didn’t have lunch money, after he was on the bus. I know because while getting T and C out of the car at the elementary school, we realized C’s backpack was still at home, even though I was sure I had picked it up myself. Ugh. It’s Monday.

Why does Monday get such a bad rap?  Is it because we would rather sleep in like the weekend?  Is it because various items such as backpacks, jackets, and half of each pair of shoes has gone missing since Friday?  Maybe it’s because we have to deal with a job or people we would rather avoid.  Maybe it’s because it’s the furthest from the next weekend.

I must confess, I rather like Monday’s.  After a crazy weekend with the kids, I have the house to myself.  I run around like a tornado getting it in order (and getting my exercise), then I have a quiet afternoon.  It’s delicious.  When I was teaching, Mondays  were fresh and new.  It was a blank canvas on which I painted my week.  Usually things are so orderly, goals set, lists made, and I’m off!  Friday’s are the days which are disappointing.  Not all the goals are met, I have lost steam, and the boys will be home all weekend…how will I get the rest of my list checked off?

rejoice

And then I pass by the chalkboard near the front door.  There is a verse I wrote to encourage my husband on his way out the door in the morning.

“This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

This day.  Monday.  He made it.

And the other Mondays.  And Fridays.  And all the other days too.

And we WILL rejoice.  Not I SHOULD rejoice.  Or I FEEL like rejoicing.  I WILL.  As in I choose.  I choose to take the focus off of me and how I am royally messing this day up.  I choose to make the focus on Him and what He made.

Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say rejoice. Philippians 4:4

Rejoice always. 1 Thessalonians 5:16

jig

Now I feel like dancing a jig on my front lawn.  On my way to drop off the gym clothes, the lunch money, and the backpack.  And when I’m at the schools, I will make sure I say “Happy Monday, People!”  And I will mean it.

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You can’t judge a book by it’s cover

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tattered book

There I was, in the middle of Walmart, getting supplies for tonight’s fish fry. We are learning fish fries are the thing to do in the Midwest on Friday night. Fish on Friday. A religious habit morphed into going out to the bar with your buddies after a long week of work. Ours will be at home.

So there I was, lost somewhere in my grocery list, when ‘he’ appeared, snapping me out of my shopping fog.  I had to bite my lips to keep from laughing.  It wasn’t so much the saggy bottom ‘gangsta’ look he had donned…I have seen a number of young men pull this off without a waddle.  Not this kid.  In order to keep the jeans perched in place below the hips, one must take a wide stance with knees slightly bent.  Then sort of swing from side to side as you step.  Never mind running, he could barely walk.  It took me a moment to recognize where I had seen this gait before.  Anyone who has cared for children in diapers know the walk I’m talking about.   It’s the toddler’s “there’s something in there that I’m trying to run away from” walk.  The realization made it worse…I think I can faintly see teeth marks in my bottom lip.  As I watched him walk away, I thought “What some people will do to look good.”

saggy bottom jeans

This is exactly what it looked like!

Then I remembered the heels in the donation box.  Very stylish, but my little toes don’t like them.  And the closet full of clothes.  And all the boots!  (I love my boots!) 

 

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 DaddyFoster says if I want to buy anymore clothes, I must donate some first.  

 What else do we do to look good?  Makeup, the latest clothing fashions, body art, jewelry, even surgery.  My great, great grandma used to change into a nice dress and do her makeup and hair before she could go to the grocery store.  We dress to the image we want to convey.  What this young man wore to the store was intentional.  It might not be what I would choose, but it wasn’t a mistake.  He put on these clothes because he was going out into public.  What did I put on before I left the house?  A long colorful skirt with a pink shirt.  Even a bit of mascara.  And I couldn’t pick just any shoes, they had to be my favorite flats (not to be confused with the favorite boots, the favorite sandals, or the favorite dress shoes).

oldman

Why is our appearance so important?  What does it matter to us so much?  It matters because of our perceptions of others.  What do you think about the woman with ill-fitting clothes?  Or the man with missing teeth?  The mom with unwashed hair, towing three grumpy kids through the grocery store?  How about the boy with saggy bottom jeans?  What do you think of the man in a suit?  The mom with her workout clothes on, makeup and hair perfect?  The super athletic neighbor?  What do we assume about people?  And what do these assumptions tell us about their hearts?  Nothing really.  But it does us a lot about our own hearts.  It tells us about our own insecurities, or own blindness, our own….”issues”.  It tell us about our assumptions of ourselves, and how that may extend to others.  (If I assume having missing teeth makes me less of a person, does how do I feel about others with missing teeth?)  And it can open us up to breaking those stereotypes.  (I am an educated person with missing teeth, therefore others with missing teeth are intelligent, educated people).

I wonder if that young man would have ever guessed wearing saggy bottom jeans to Walmart would inspire a woman to question her assumptions?  Keep up the good work, kid!

This is hard.

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For those of you that do not know, my family just moved from the state of Oregon to the state of Illinois.

illinios

 

 

 

It was a long process, filled with questions, some doubts, but through it all, an underlying peace about the decision to accept the transfer. I also felt as if this was an incredible opportunity for our family, a raise, a lower cost of living, a step up the socioeconomic ladder. But I will admit this is hard. It’s even difficult to admit to this. Why? Because my mom reads my blog. And she’s a mom.

wheres the beef

School is hard. Since my husband is working in Wisconsin, most of the information found was about Wisconsin, but we also found a highly rated school district in Illinois. My children are less than impressed. They say the lunches are too small and the school is too big.

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Housing is hard. The owner of the home we are renting wants us to take care of everything as if we owned the home, but still pay him rent…fix a burnt out dishwasher two weeks after moving in, pay for a plumber for a problem started before we moved in. And tenants have little or no representation in our area.

lonely
Moving is hard. I am two thousand miles from my family, my friends, and my church. Two thousand miles from my support system. Two thousand miles from the schools who knew my children and their, um, quirks. So I get up in the morning and force myself to get out, volunteer at the schools, go to events, meet people!

bloggersblock
Blogging is hard. I started this blog not just as a way to share my life, but to encourage others. Yet when I’m feeling lonely and sad, it’s difficult to muster up the energy and the creativity.
I intended to end this blog with the 23rd Psalm as encouragement for you…and for myself. But as I scooted over to BibleGateway.com (use it, love it) I was greeted by the verse of the day. This just seems more poignant.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4 NIV.

So I don’t have gray hairs….yet. Although, some days I wonder if my hair will even last that long with the stresses of daily life. Yet I am comforted by the reminder that He is with me. When I feel alone, I am NOT alone. When I cannot go on, He will carry me. When I am broken, He will rescue me. All I need to do is trust and believe and follow
Today I have signed up for the Old and New Testament reading plan on Bible Gateway. Please join me and feel free to share your thoughts as we walk through God’s word together.

http://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/