Friday, March 30, 2012

Wrestling banquet

Last night was Jake's Wrestling Banquet.  Another fun filled year of wrestling, watching Jake do something you can see he loves doing.  He had a great year improved over last year and had several Varsity matches.  He even won a few!  We have commented many times on how much we wish we had discovered this for Jake at a much younger age but we are blessed to have had 2 years of fun with him in wrestling.  And we were all surprised last night to discover that he had enough winning Varsity matches to earn a letter!  My son has a varsity letter in wrestling!  So proud of him.

I would say the following story is due to my working, which in a way it is, but if we really examined past posts on this blog from when I was at home we would all know it is more standard operation...So a week before the banquet I get an email from the coach that one of the parents has put together boards for all the seniors and we need top pick them up and add pictures.  I mention this to Jake on Monday night asking if he can swing by the high school and pick it up.  Jake is full time at the community college for his Senior year and so can't just grab it on his way out of school.  He doesn't do it Tuesday as he has a full schedule and we all forget on Wednesday.  So on my way home for lunch yesterday I remember and call the high school to confirm they still have the board and swing through to pick it up.  I am one of those people who parks in the no parking zone circle to run in and get it.  Now I  have to totally blank board with Jake's name on the top, no printed pictures to put on it and 20 minutes to make and eat lunch before I need to get back to work.  So I John is left with part 2 of this project, get the pictures.  I tell him I want photos not pictures printed on copy paper.  He calls me at work, I give him instruction on what I want and where the pictures are and he does a fabulous job putting it together.  I could have taken a picture of it but I didn't.  Here is a sampling of the photos used on the board though:

And now, yet another thing is over in my son's high school career.  One step closer to graduation and leaving home.  Amazing how time flies.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What's up?

What's up?  How am I doing?  Well I will tell you.  I have pretty much figured out that on a day to day basis things are fine.  Go to work, come home, do light housework and minimal interaction with family, on weekends catch up on housework and family time, lather, rinse, repeat.  It doesn't feel like I am optimizing my life but it has become comfortable.  Doable.

The problem is my life doesn't remain in this simple place where I have nothing to do but work, housework and family.  And the moment something new enters I don't know how to deal with it.

Thus begins my panic about graduation. 

Last night I used my "hostile voice" with Jake while discussing the Eagle project which is now on the calendar for May 19 and 26 and will need to be actually planned.  I told Jake he had 3 years to get his Eagle and now that he has barely 3 months I will only be using my hostile voice to discuss this project until he is done since my nice voice and my patience has clearly not been working.

I have to create a "body", a lifesize representation of Jake for the Edina senior party.  Apparently they are one of the big hits of the party.  One of my neighbors does them for people for a small fee.  I am tempted to hire her but it is the kind of thing I would love to do on my own.  But I just can't even think of where to start.  I did manage to pick up the template from the senior party committee last week but now it is just sitting in the corner tormenting me.

I have to throw a graduation party.  Now if you don't live in the midwest you might think I don't "have" to throw a party but trust me I do have to.  And also I want to.  I have been looking forward to throwing this party for 4 years (OK 17 years).  It isn't the party that stresses me it is the realization that I don't have the time or energy to put into the planning that I had imagined.  I do need to get our yard cleaned up.  I wish we could do like many people and throw ourselves into house projects.  Finally get the house painted and fix the landscaping.  I remember my parents laid sod in the backyard, which had been dirt my entire childhood, before I graduated.  And we watched a neighbor a few years ago re-side her house and re-do all the landscaping in the front yard before her daughter's graduation.  My big plan is to have someone come kill the weeds this spring before the dandelions take over our yard as they usually do.

I have managed to release the idea that I will actually complete Jake's childhood photo albums but in the mean time I would like to do something with the pictures I have all sorted.  Maybe I will just buy some poster paper and create a few posters of my favorites.  Which makes it sound like a funeral...Will keep thinking about that one.

I would say if you need me the next couple months I will be working on one of these things but the truth is I will probably be sitting in a corner rocking back and forth because when I am overwhelmed I prefer to do nothing and prove the imposibility of the task rather than rolling up my sleeves and making it happen.

Until it is almost too late (which it practically is right now) and then I get up and do a sloppy job and just get it done and tell myself it is what it is and I am busy.  If I am honest with myself that is what I do.  Self sabotage is my life.

I hate that after being so involved in Jake's life and education, pushing him, encouraging him, directing him, that I am too overwhelmed by working full time to throw the party I want to throw, create the photo books I want to create and make his "body" myself.  I am actually planning to take a couple days off work to make sure this Eagle project happens but it just might kill us both.

OK just thought I would share what is up.  I march forward.  It is what it is.  This is where I am right now.  I won't be here forever.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Standing in the way

This past week on date night John and I got to talking about our kids.  I started sharing some concerns I had about Isabelle and her emotional health.  No particular problem but I have come to see a pattern of negative emotional behavior in one area that I feel is standing between her and God.  I shared with John that I felt like it was our job to stand in Satan's way on this issue.  I see it as the area he feels he can get a foot hold in her life and keep her from developing an intimate relationship with Christ.  So we stand ready to tell her the truth while praying earnestly for her protection. 

Then by total coincidence we started talking about Jake and immediately we realized we were talking about the issue in his life where Satan is trying to enter.  Again, we stand prepared to block his entrance as we are diligent and pray for Jake's protection.

It is interesting how they are such different children and Satan has identified in each of them the weakness he wants to exploit. 

Keep in mind as I write this that both my kids are good kids.  Jake has a solid faith that I do not fear being shaken as he leave for college next year.  Isabelle's faith is still developing but I am confident will grow as she does.  Neither of them is in a rebelion, I am not afraid of loosing either of them to a secular world.  But I want more for them.

Sometimes it seems like the goal with our kids is to get them to know Christ, say "the prayer", go to church, be "good" and we will see them in heaven.  Check mark.  Done. Good. Next.  But as I have raised my kids I want so much more for their life on this earth than to simply be "good Christians".  What is so good about a good Christian kid anyway?  Some days I feel like that is Satan's biggest foothold in our lives, good lives.  Christ wasn't a "good Christian".  He never did what was expected, he did what he was called to do instead.

He was tempted, oh so tempted, to simply become a good christian.  Live a simple life at the top of the Jewish circles, touring the middle east teaching in various temples and healing people.  He was a Jewish circle rock star with people constantly vying for his attention, a touch or acknowledgement from Jesus!  Can you imagine?  But he wasn't here for that.  God did not call him to be a good Rabbi, didn't call him to live a safe life.  He called him to so much more.

In the desert Christ was tempted by Satan.  He thought he saw an entrance and he tried to push his way in.  He thought Christ wanted that good, safe life.  Satan tempted him to use his power to turn stones into bread for food after fasting 40 days rather than trusting God for his nourishment.  Satan tempted Jesus to test God, to risk his life in hopes that God would save him.  And finally he offered the entire kingdom to Jesus if he would only bow down to Satan, to turn from the path God had him on.  Oh how often do I fail in each of these temptations trying to use my own power to do what God wants to do for me, testing Him and bowing to Satan as I pursue my own desires rather than the plans God has for my life.  But Christ did not fail.  He saw through Satan's deceptive temptations, knew he was trying to keep him from accomplishing his purpose and sent him away.

Christ also saw that sometime the people around us can be used by Satan.  One of my favorite lines from the bible is when Peter rebukes him (can you imagine rebuking Jesus?) and tells him he shouldn't say he is going to suffer and die.  "Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan!  You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."  (Matt 16:22)  (Actually I once said that to my sister although I forget why now.)

Someday my children will be ready to send Satan away on their own, to see Satan coming and to say, "get behind me Satan!" when well meaning friends and family try to stop them from doing the work God has for them.  Until then I will be standing in the gap.  Quietly praying at times and wildly waving my arms, shouting and pointing Satan out at other times but always desiring to see them seek God with all their hearts, know Him and His plan for their lives and not be afraid to send Satan away and Follow Christ's example.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Action: Stella & Dot

I have had a busy couple weeks around here.  As we go forward trying to figure out our new plan I finally decided I had to DO something.  I can't just sit around waiting for the magical answer to come to me.  Waiting for the day I finally have enough time to launch a little stationary business, spend time getting my blog name out there or even finishing the internet marketing training videos I have been trying to work through.  I still want to do all that stuff but I needed to just get started!  I finally decided that I was going to do a home party business.  It is a ready made business, you just sign-up, get your samples and call your friends.  Everything is done for you.  So I am now a Stella & Dot stylist selling fabulous jewelry.

I was emailing a friend telling her just that, I needed to do something, anything and I was starting this home party business and I don't know if this is the answer, if I will still do other things or if it will just be something to pass the time for a year or so.  She thought it was perfect because as she always tells me, "you are a do-er" and I need to do something.  Then she said this:

"I think resting in the Lord and waiting on the Lord are phrases that have been vastly misinterpreted. I don't think resting in Him and waiting on Him mean do nothing until He knocks you over the head. I think it means resting in who He is in your life and not jumping ahead of Him. I don't think you've jumped ahead of Him at all. In fact, He has shown you that something is amiss and now you are following a prompting to do something to make things right. If this isn't what will make it right, He'll find you at Stella and Dot and He'll prompt you somewhere else."

How true is that?  How often to we sit doing nothing because we haven't been knocked over the head by God?  How often do we use the excuse of "waiting on the Lord" to hide the fact that we are just afraid to take action?  I know it has been true of me. 

This is my year of "Act" after a year of "Release" yet I have been terrified that I would take the wrong action and have been keeping myself quite busy not acting the past couple months.  And all that did was create a lot of stress and frustration in my life.  But now I am taking action in this year in which God has called me to "Act". 

And, if this isn't right, God will find me at Stella & Dot and send me elsewhere.  I loved that part.  God finds us where we are at, in the midst of living life. 

In the mean time I will continue to rest in the Lord, rest in who He is and what He does in my life.  I will walk forward knowing He is by my side, loves and believes in me.  And I will continue to listen, learn and obey Him.  I will spend time in the Word, read devotionals and seek godly wisdom from my wonderful and supportive friends.

So one action leads to another and this past week I also met with a potential client this week about my first freelance writing job!  I got in the car and quoted this same friend again when I told myself all the way home, "I am doing it scared!"  (actually she said she stole it from Joyce Meyer.)  And, since I only have about 5 readers anyway, I will share that I am playing with another blog idea.  I put it over at the "from home to work" blog, which I never really did anything with, but am planning to move it to a word press blog because I have heard that is a good platform and want to try some new things.  Before I do that I am just playing with it a little.  Don't bond with the name or any other aspect of it but feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think about the idea.