Fall 2013-dark leaves

Friday, April 11, 2014

Visiting Nebraska

Quick update:  We've been invited to visit the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL, but mostly just called Nebraska) for an open RUF campus minister position.  We'll be there April 24-28, just me and Brian.  The kids were invited, but we'll put that off for now.

Thank you for praying for us!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Catch Up

Tonight after dinner (7:30ish), Lillian crawled up on my lap on the couch, both of us under 2 blankets, and we promptly fell asleep.  Like the dead.  I don't even remember Brian taking her up to bed.  I hardly remember moving to the bed myself.

That's the way it goes these days--as soon as I'm still, I'm sound asleep.

The rest of the story is that I'm often wide awake in the wee hours of the morning, having already met my quota of REM time.

Tonight (this morning?) I got up and moved to my favorite chair in the living room to read.  Instead of a book, I opened up the computer to cruise FB.  Then I remembered blogger!  It's been so long since I've blogged, I'd honestly forgotten about it.

I don't follow many people, but it did feel good to catch up on the stories I'm already aware of.  So I thought I'd say hi myself.

So, hi.

That's about all I have in me to give.  But, dear friends, know you are remembered and loved even if I don't call or write.  And please keep writing yourself so that I can catch up with you again in another 4 months!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Prayer Request

It's getting close to the ninth hour again regarding the house in Birmingham. There is a showing scheduled for sometime soon (tomorrow? Monday? Depends on our renters). Pray with us, please, that this house will sell. When people prayed for our house to sell back in 07, at the ninth hour, God answered. We need our people to help us because The Lord can do this if he will. Please, Lord, have mercy and take this off our plate in a way that we don't lose money in the deal.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Exercising Gratitude

Good things:

Sarah Frances is growing up into the most lovely young lady.  She is funny and kind.  She is thoughtful about others and willing to put herself out there to be friendly.  She calls it like she sees it and has so far avoided being passive-agressive when she's frustrated.  I love her diligence and creativity.  She loves to read and have her back scratched.  And she still talks to me the most when I'm standing at her door, leaving the room after tucking her in for the night.

Catherine is a giver.  She is so relational that not much else matters.  She can make us all laugh.  She looks to include others in whatever she's doing.  She reaches out to those younger than her, toddlers in particular, but is a real friend to anyone who will be hers.  She'll take one for the team too, when sacrifice is needed.  She loves to bake and makes the best homemade biscuits from scratch.  Nothing gets past her so I love hearing all her stories, which she's eager to tell anytime I'll give her an ear.

Patrick is one of the most discerning people I know.  He loves sacrificially and is loyal to the death.  He is extremely artistic and also loves to whittle.  He's diligent to learn things that are hard for him and quick to laugh even if he's grumpy.  His giggle slays me.  His mind is a steel trap, even if getting a thought out is tricky.  He's an amazing brother, pushing the girls' buttons as well as taking care of and protecting them.  He still jumps up in my arms on a daily basis and will kiss me on the forehead when I ask, just not in the lunchroom at school.

Lillian is delightful.  A delightful mess.  She loves an audience, which works out well when you're the youngest of four.  Her dry humor and wit still surprise us.  She's a helper and a doer and enjoys sacrificially taking care of people when she sees a need.  Her feelings are tender but she's also a thinker and sees things well for what they are.  She loves to create and ask questions about what she's learning.  Her stories come often and easily.  She may be small, but she is mighty!

Brian Brown is an amazing man.  His sacrifices for the Kingdom are inspiring; his trust in the Lord is second to none.  He steps up to do the work that is needed; nothing is below him.  He is a faithful and trustworthy husband, father, friend, and leader.  He is my anchor, always has been, and I am continually blown away at his ability to take care of us in just the way we need.  He is musical, and we all dance because of that.  He is patient and gracious beyond belief.

...just needed to count my blessings a little.  Thanks for indulging me.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Grand Days

It was Grandparents Day this weekend at the school.  B's parents came in for a visit, and for the first time it really felt like a visit.  I watched my kids give them kisses goodnight before going up to bed, and it took me straight back to when my grandparents came to visit when I was a child.

And it hit me.  My kids will feel about their grandparents the way I feel about mine in that they live far away and we wish it were different, but we get to see them only on special occasions.  Life is different when they're here because they're not usually here.

And it wasn't always that way.  It didn't used to feel like a visit when they came, even last year.  It was like having them in the house took us back to when we lived 10 minutes from them; it took us back to normal.

This weekend I realized that the new normal is without them.  That having them here feels different than normal.  We still do normal things.  We also do lots of fun, special things.  But their presence is exceptional instead of typical.

I'm not angry or bitter or upset about this.  Just realizing it and acknowledging it.  And letting it be a good thing and a sad thing at the same time.  Sitting in the feeling of it.  And verbal processing on paper so that I can really know what I think about it all.  Aren't you glad. ;)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Busy hands, quiet heart.

That sounds like a book title.  Maybe it is?  All I know is that the busier I am the more I get done.  The difference is that today I'm practicing being still on the inside even as my hands fly from one thing to another.  The kids pick up on it either way and respond in kind, which brings me hope as life gets busier as a family.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Full-Time Employment

My original title of this post was Full-Time Work, but then I realized I've always done that.  The news is that I've taken on a full-time job for the first time in 12 years.  It's not in occupational therapy either, to my surprise.

I've known I need to do something more, work-wise.  I've been asking God to show me who I'm called to serve and that my work would be part of that.  The answer has always been--and still is--him first, my family second, and my neighbors third.  That's actually part of what has gotten me up out of bed on the days I've not been working at the school, because I'm called to serve here at home, doing the grunt work I've (enjoyably) been able to dismiss on account of not having enough time to get to it.  So I've been deep-cleaning and organizing and repairing some around the house, as well as working on some relationships I've not had time to invest in for a while.

It's what my heart actually longs to do--serve my family and others primarily in our home, be available to others as they have unexpected need, etc.--but that kind of work doesn't help cover our expenses.  My hope in pursuing OT work has been to make more money by the hour, enabling me to work less hours for more income, freeing me up to serve the way I want.  On my terms.

There's the hitch--it was my plan, albeit a seemingly good and godly plan, to serve others even if it were on my terms--but it was not God's plan.  My Missouri OT license took long enough to come in (oh my stars it took FOREVER!) that the Lord moved other things around and opened up a need for me to fill at our school.  It is full-time, school hours (more time at work), for more than I was making before but much less than my potential as a f/t OT (although I've not even had an interview to begin with, full or part time).  Notice it's the exact opposite of the ideas that we had going into my pursuing a different job this year.  It would be hard to decide to go this route, BUT for GOD.

I'm going to be the school's administrative assistant, replacing Debby Massot, who replaced Laurabeth Medlock if you happen to know her also/instead.  Administratively, there's our Head of School, John Roberts, an Asst. HOS, Ben Essenburg, and me.  It's a big job.  A huge job.  And Debby's shoes are at least as big as Laurabeth's were.  Enormous.  It's my job to do my best through the end of May.

The exciting truth is there are many big perks to this job.  I'll be with my family, in our second home (the school; Brian's also there with us every afternoon for after care).  I'll be working on the kids' schedule for the most part: there when they're in school, off when they're off.  It's an atmosphere where I'm very comfortable: I already know all the kids in the school, and most of the families, since I've been teaching there for 3+ years.  I also worked for Debby this summer, so I have some idea of what it takes to "be Debby."  It's a steady income, and as a f/t employee, I'll have medical insurance and a break in our tuition!  Woo-hoo!  And a way to pay for the rest of it.  So there you have it.  I'm a full-fledged working-for-pay woman.

More later about how this is a practice of dying to self (because I need to "verbally" process it more, not because you can't put it together for yourself).  And how my OT license is good for 2 years, in case the Lord moves us in that direction another time.

ps--I wrote this a few days ago, and I'll tell you I'm even more excited now than I was then.  It's exactly where I'm supposed to be.  I'm thrilled the Lord would put me right here right now.  I'm hiding out this week, meeting friends and going to the art museum by myself, and I'll start shadowing Debby next week.  So more later...