Friday, May 14, 2010

Life, Life, Life

I received this cute wreath in the mail from Abbe yesterday. Isn't it pretty? She sent it because I shared our debt story on her blog a week or so ago. You can read it here if you want. I would highly recommend adding her blog to your list. She is such a gifted writer and always encourages me and inspires me. I know Abbe because Rachel and Amanda used to go to her for haircuts. She did Amanda's wedding hair.

The last couple of days haven't been so easy. My close friend's mom just passed away yesterday of Pancreatic Cancer. I haven't experienced a death in many years and it was just very difficult to watch my friend lose her mom. I was torn between gratefulness that my mom is perfectly healthy and agony because I love my friend so much and hated to see her endure something so painful. It just blows. She was one of the people I wrote that poem for.

The last few weeks have kept me busy writing a portion of a grant for the College of Southern Idaho. After I turned in all 36ish pages, I was told that the college doesn't have enough of a match to be a good candidate. Even though it was a technical issue and had nothing to do with what I turned in, I still only got half the amount of money that I had been expecting. It was such a bummer to find out that the schools that I had become so familiar with won't be getting the equipment to help them out. I was still grateful to have a nice chunk of cash to throw at our debt snowball....WHICH IS ALMOST FINISHED until a nice visit to Meineke today, in which they told me that I will be using half that money to pay for car repairs.


So it looks like it's still going to be awhile on this debt payoff. It's ok. I'm disappointed, but I'm not angry. I'm not going to be defeated. Today I am choosing joy. There are so many good things in my life, so like Amanda just did, I will go ahead and list them:

1. We had the money to pay for the car repair and didn't have to use our emergency fund
2. My mom is healthy and we see each other all the time. In fact, she's going to pick up my car-less self and take me to her place tonight.
3. Ainsley can say "baaa" when you ask her what a lamb says. Yes she may say that for all the other animals as well, but that's alright.
4. It's a beautiful day outside today, so walking home from the car place wasn't all that terrible. Addison got tired of walking, so she held Ainsley in her lap in the umbrella stroller.
5. They didn't squeal and fight sitting together in the umbrella stroller!
6. Addison can make herself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
7. I found an adorable dress at Target for only $10 w/ cute shoes to match for $20 (Next post: ridding yourself of unnecessary guilt for buying said shoes)
8. Devin's work sent him to VA for business the same weekend his brother is graduating from Virginia Tech. He'll get to see his dad as well as see his brother graduate! And his company paid the airfare!

Thanks God for all the good things in my life, and give me the strength to choose joy. Please wrap Your arms around my sweet friend Alicia, and comfort her. Help me to be a good friend to her and never take the time I have with my mom(s) forgranted again. Tell her mom to tell my grandmas hi up there, and that Addison and Ainsley win in the "cutest grandkid" argument that they're having.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day 5K

This was such a fun race. I have to say that I truly enjoyed participating in it. I was super nervous the night before, and right before the race. The unknown is always a scary thing, isn't it? There was also the coffee dilemma. Do I drink it for energy and risk having know..... or not? I had some. It was fine. Phew!

Some of my other friends signed up as well, but I accidentally ran into Kelly in the parking lot, so we started out together. We may or may not have snickered at a cheesy middle aged lady doing warm up aerobics to iTunes in the starting line. Kelly, my amazing single-mom friend, deserves some major shoutouts. She trained for the 5k on her lunch break every day because that was the only time she had to exercise. Is that amazing or what?

Devin was really sweet. He dragged the girls out of bed at the crack of dawn to come and watch me run. It was really fun to see him at different times during the race, and it helped encourage me to keep going.

Finished the race in 32:39, 10:31 minute mile. I was very pleased with these results. In all my practicing, the fastest I was ever able to go was 11 minutes per mile. My ultimate goal was to finish the darn thing without stopping, and I was able to do that. It was truly a great feeling. We got really cute little shirts and I wore mine proudly to church, like a big dork. My ultimate plan was to stop at Starbucks immediately after and get a dark cherry mocha, but I opted for one at Panera instead. Blagh. Not the same.

Thanks for all your encouragement! Before I even started running I thought "oh 3 miles. That's easy!" Then I started and that thinking changed to "there's no way I'll ever be able to do that" considering I could only go for 1 minute without getting tired and having to stop. Running for 30-40 minutes just seemed impossible.

I guess with my grant writing endeavor and this 5k, 2010 was the year for taking on some new challenges. For someone who only likes to do things that she knows she can do really, really well, this was a big deal. Totally worth it.

This last one has nothing to do with running; it's just Addison being so cute. I guess Roxie and Huck needed to be cozier. Roxy even has a beanie baby.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The friend of one who is hurting

Some of my friends and family are hurting right now. This was on my mind as I was driving home tonight...

I wish you knew that when you're hurting, I'm hurting too.
I wish you knew that when I don't know what to say, it's because I see the pain in your eyes or hear it in your voice, and no words seem right. I end up making a joke because that's what I do---I make jokes or say inappropriate things. In some weird way, I hope it helps ease the pain for a moment.
I want you to feel joy, not because I want you to pretend you're not hurting, but because I don't want you to have to feel sad anymore.
I want you to know that when I bring you food or watch your kids or offer to do some other trivial thing, it's me saying "I want your pain to go away, and I'd do anything to make that happen, even for a second."
I want you to know that you're on my mind all the time. Whenever I hear a song play on the radio that is fitting, I want you to hear it, but making you a mixed cd seems sort of cheesy. Besides, what if you don't like the same songs I like? What if you think it's weird to hear "Wonderful World" by James Morrison? I mean, it's not exactly insspirational. It just seems fitting for what you're going through.
Sometimes I think life just sucks, but I know that God is good. I know that God can take away your pain and give you hope, but I don't want to tell you that because I don't want to get all churchy and flowery on you. I don't want to, in any way, diminish the hurt. I don't want to placate you with pat answers.
Sometimes hearing "God is good. All the time!" when you're knee deep in a pile of "you know" is flat out condescending.
At the same time, I know the sovereignty and goodness of God is truth. He is going to get you through this. He is going to be your rock. He is going to show you that if you will let Him.
It's crippling to know that I can't do anything to make things easier.
In some strange way, God is showing me that there is one thing that I can do that is more important than any other thing: I can pray for you.
I know, I sounds trite. It's what we Christians say to each other, isn't it?
I want you to know that when I pray for you, my heart is pleading on your behalf that God will take some of the pain away; to give you some hope, even if it just means getting through the day.
I hope you know that.
In the meantime, I'm still here. I'm here if you want to talk about it. I'm here if you want to talk about something else--anything else. Lord knows I watch enough television. We can talk about that.
But in the silences that come in between talking about those other things, I hope you feel how much I love you. And I'm here through this whole journey.


P.S. As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joey
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord's renown,
for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.
Isaiah 55:8-13