Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Thoughts

I just figured up Paul's paycheck - what needs to come out, how much is left, etc. Eek! This is not a good time of year for finances...I just hate to tap savings if we don't absolutely have to. Not that there is ever a whole lot to tap in there! But, he was on call this week and he did end up getting quite a few overtime calls, so the next check should be better, if they work him next week. But we just remembered the other day that this is the time of year Lozier hands out their bonuses. So, I think we'll be covered. You know, I don't dream about being rich. I'd just like to know what it's like to not have to worry about the state of our checkbook all the time! But, at the same time, I have to remember that God has always provided and there's no reason to think He's going to stop anytime soon.

We had our city council meeting last night. Apparently, I've been spoiled. I've been on the council for 3 or 4 years now and we never dealt with anything too serious. It wasn't uncommon for us to be out of there in less than a half hour. With our new mayor, that has all changed. I think Steve is doing a fabulous job. He really wants to do the job right. As a result, he's digging up stuff and finding out things that, as a city, we haven't been doing right. And he wants to correct that. Our meeting last night lasted for over 2 1/2 hours! And at several points, there was yelling, pounding on the table, and a whole lot of swearing. It wasn't me! I just sat there in kind of stunned silence. THESE are my neighbors? Wow! So much for the quiet little town of Swan!

And that brings up a rabbit trail. On what planet does having a filthy mouth make a woman more attractive? I remember years ago in my first "adult" job working with this woman that swore like a sailor - and being totally disgusted by it. Most of my time since then has been spent with people who don't swear, so I find myself a little more shocked now when I do hear it. But there is just nothing attractive about it. In fact, it coarsens women and I really do think less of them when I hear such horrid language coming out of their mouths. Nasty! There was a lot of that last night, too. Again - not from me!

The FaithWriters postings came out yesterday morning. This was my second week to enter at the Intermediate level. I got another "Highly Commended" rating! At first, I was kind of disappointed that I had not done better. But as the day went on, I felt better about it. I mean, it took me how long to even place at the Beginner level? So this is nothing to sneeze at. It's nothing to get totally puffed up about, either. But I'm pleased. It was for a little article I wrote entitled "Stuck Between Marriage and Menopause." I'll post it here soon.

All week long we get notices when somebody has read and critiqued our piece. When I first entered "Stuck" I just knew it was a winner and I totally hovered over my email, just WAITING to hear that I had a comment on my piece! I got some nice comments and then about Monday or Tuesday I got kind of a nasty one. This woman totally ripped me for what I wrote, told me how it wasn't Biblical, how I needed to "stop complaining", blah, blah, blah. It didn't crush me, but it did kind of take the wind out of my sails. By the time Thursday rolled around I wasn't even sure if "Stuck" would place. It did and then I got a private message from one of the writers who had written something nice about "Stuck." She told me that she had read all my comments and her "heart hurt" when she read that one. She said this particular woman is crabby with everyone's writing and to try not to take it too much to heart. I thought that was so nice and it just made my day - even more than getting the "Highly Commended" rating. I love getting the nice comments on my pieces because it helps me feel more confident. But I think it's necessary to learn how to take the not-so-nice ones, too. Writing is a little different than other things because the things we write are literally like our own children - we birthed them. And to hear someone tear that down is a bit painful!

I submitted this week's piece and I went with a more serious tone - mainly because of that mean comment I got. That piece was written all in fun and I thought "Well, maybe that's not such a good 'voice' for me. I'd better be serious this time!" To my surprise, I'm getting lots of comments on it - so far, all favorable, even though I didn't catch a spacing error I made. Maybe it's going to do better than I thought!

This last week I was listening to a cd and Sam asked me, "What dat?" I told him, "It's a song called I'd Rather Have Jesus." Sam then shook his head and said, "No - Jee-sa in Bible!" Where did he get that?! He's been climbing up on my bed in the mornings, grabbing my Bible (because that's where I do my reading) and telling me, "Sam read - Jee-sa in Bible." It just warms my heart! I think often that Paul and I don't do a very good job of applying the verse in Deuteronomy 6 where we're told to be talking about the things of God all day long to our children -when we "rise up" and when we "sit down." Life, as well as our selfish sin natures, get in the way, and we just don't recognize or take those opportunities. But Sam is "catching" it from somewhere!

I am working on a project now that involves finding about 30-40 verses of encouragement and printing them out on sticky labels. Our SS class is collecting a tub full of food for one of the couples in our class. They have 3 young children of their own and they took in 3 needy relatives last fall - a month before the mom gave birth! So now they have 6 children, ages 7 and under, living in their home. Technically, they are not foster children, although they do have legal custody of them. So they aren't getting all the state money that they would if the children were actual foster kids. As a church, we have just fallen in love with those kids and it's going to be so hard to say good-bye if that's what ends up happening! But anyway, we're collecting this food to help them out. The gal that is heading it up asked me to print off labels that we could affix one to each item of collected food and then when she pulls it out of the cupboard, she'll have a verse of encouragement. Cool idea!

So, I began working on that yesterday and David wanted to know what I was doing. I explained. And then he went and got his Bible and started marking down HIS favorite verses for me to use. I thought that was so neat - that a 10 year old kid has special verses of his own, already. That also warms my heart! I think that maybe God is working within some of my children despite my own failings as a spiritual leader for them.

Well, a closing note on vanity and my pursuit of it: I have been hunting for a denim skirt now since about the time Sam was born. I wanted a long, straight, jean-thickness skirt. It's kind of must for church. On Sunday mornings I alternate casual tops/skirts with my dressier outfits, every other week. Sunday nights I only wear tops and skirts. If it were up to me, I'd wear slacks, but that has caused too many fights with Paul and I'm tired of it, so I'm just going to submit until he dies and THEN I'll wear slacks!

My friend Gina teased me when she found out about the skirt I'm going to tell you about. She's in my homeschool group and we're both die-hard jeans lovers. A number of women in our group are the stereotypical homeschool moms and they wear their denim skirts everywhere - to garden, to Adventureland, to the grocery store, etc. All I can think is "Brrr!" So sometimes Gina and I poke fun at them, which is probably really naughty of us... But anyway, she was teasing me about getting "converted" and how the next thing I'd be doing is grinding wheat to make my own 40 grain whole wheat bread. I don't think I'll tell her we started ordering from a co-op in January...

Anyway, I haven't been able to find the skirt I wanted. And I've looked absolutely everywhere, all over Des Moines. I have two right now - one that's knee length and way too tight around my waist, and another that's long, but a little fuller than I'd like, so it visually adds width to my waist and just doesn't look quite right with all tops. I don't know why I never hunted on the internet before, but I finally sat down the other day and just looked. To my delight, they're out there! Unfortunately, they're not cheap. But that really was secondary, after all the unsuccessful trotting around I've done, hoping to find one. So, I ordered one and it should be here soon. They had a sizing chart so I was able to measure myself and figure out just which size to order, since there is no such thing as a universal sizing chart! Depending on the store, I can wear anything from a 6 to a 10, which is really frustrating. Whenever I do any shopping, I have to take back all kinds of sizes to the dressing room, which then takes up more time and adds to my dislike of the whole process. So anyway, that's my little victory for the week!

I'm painting one wall in the boys' room today - Cowboy silver, as in the Dallas Cowboys. The boys could not agree on a theme for their room, so I made it easy. There are four walls, so they will be silver, navy, hunter, and yellow, for the Dallas Cowboys and Greenbay Packers, David and Ben's favorite teams, respectively. For several weeks now Paul has had window trim laid on top of my backroom buffet. He stained it and it's just laying there. I asked him when he was going to put it up and he said "not until you get it painted." He's worried that I'm going to drip paint on his newly stained trimboards. If I had known he was waiting on me, I'd have done it weeks ago! Grrr...Oh, and so then I got together all my painting supplies this morning and I couldn't find my edgers (for edges and corners - I can't paint without them). I asked Will if he had seen them since it was his room that we painted last. He said, "I threw them away - you told me to." What? I did no such thing! I recall telling him to throw away the disposable pads that go on top of the edgers, but not the unit itself! Double grrr!...

So, I'm off to paint some more - very, very carefully now, since I have no edgers. Sigh...

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