Monday, November 30, 2009

Praise God List

Do you ever get in a funk of sorts? I haven't been blogging because I've been in a bit of a haze lately. I don't know if it's because coming back to reality can bite, but in the spirit of a belated Thanksgiving, here is my top ten Praise God list.

  1. Praise God for a house to clean and money that enables me to put food in our stomachs.
  2. Praise God for blessing me with a fantastic husband and that we get along most of the time.
  3. Praise God that my family is so close and that we got to spend a lot of time together over this break.
  4. Praise God's name for mental, emotional, and physical health, His healing power, and His protective barrier.
  5. Praise God that my first car accident this morning wasn't more serious than a few scratches in the paint and a ruined trailer hitch. In His name I believe He will keep it from escalating into anything more serious financially, legally, or physically.
  6. Praise God for close friendships that keep us laughing until our sides hurt, grounded and accountable, and provide fun, safe, and wholesome forms of entertainment.
  7. Praise God for the talents He provides, like writing, cooking, and singing, and so much more. I want to use them for Him.
  8. Praise God for fun distractions like good books, awesome cruises, and chocolate chip cookies.
  9. Praise God for a church that might be struggling financially, but is far from struggling where it counts: serving others in the name of Christ as we draw closer to Him.
  10. Praise God for his provision and plan for the future.
 No funk can stand up to the God who is for me! What are you praising Him for today?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

on impossible quotas:

Today, my firm completed the unimaginable. The short story: we have this goal every month, and this was our first month to have a about a 25% increased workload for which to fill a quota. Somehow, the awesome people filled this seemingly impossible quota with an hour to spare. I am so proud of them today!

Speaking of impossible quotas, tonight, I accomplished something in typical Undomestic fashion. Since it had been awhile since we saw my parents, when we got home on Wednesday, I invited them over for dinner tonight. While I'd planned to use my slow cooker to whip up a healthy, gourmet meal from scratch to simmer while I worked, life had other plans. Pretty much since the minute we've got home, my waking hours have been spent wiping dust and paint sludge from every surface in the rooms that got painted, and then putting things back in their proper place.

So today, I worked from about 7 to 5 with no lunch break, completed my 45-minute drive home, and went to the store, arriving at my home about 10-15 minutes before my parents. I only had time to preheat the oven, put the chairs back in their proper places, and scrub my bathroom.

"Dinner isn't started?" my mom remarked, a trace of panic in her voice. It was 6:00, over an hour past my parents' typical dinnertime.

But in less than 15 minutes, I set out a ham and cheese tray I'd bought for that very reason, put some dinner rolls in the oven to heat, put two cans of corn to simmer on the stove, opened and tossed a bag of the best salad kit I've ever eaten, and asked my dad to carve my two beautiful rotisserie chickens.

I may not have cooked a single thing -- except for an attempt at a cumin lemon sauce for the chicken, which no one touched -- but I'm proud of my compromise. With the help of the grocery store, my parents, husband, and I enjoyed a healthy, inexpensive dinner together without eating in a restaurant. I didn't have to make everything gourmet and from scratch. There is an alternative, a middle ground there's no crime in taking.

Sometimes, I think God moves mountains for us and then lets us take the credit and think it was our idea. He is definitely hand laying every step and stone in my path.

And I'm so glad I don't have to do it alone.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

quiet conversations

I'm back from the cruise. It was SO nice and needed.

Will post pictures later once they're organized and edited, but let me first tell you about our days:

We woke up, and JT wandered around the ship, reading and taking pictures while he let me sleep in a little longer. We breakfasted (omelet bar and homemade waffles everyday) and then played gin rummy or chess in this special cabin with cute yellow wingback chairs. When someone got tired of winning (ahem, me), we changed and went into town wherever our ship was ported, and then after lunch, we'd lay in chairs by the pool and read or nap or swim until we were so full of sun and sweat. We tried to work out at least every other day to ease our consciences, because after we cleaned up, we had dinners with so much butter and all-out dessert every night. After dinner festivities included anything from the ship's fine nightlife entertainment, but most of the time, we kicked off our heels in our room and watched movies on TNT.

It was rough, let me tell you.

Last night, we arrived around midnight, and I had grand plans of taking off my makeup, brushing my teeth, and falling into bed. After I checked my email, that is. When I got home, I discovered a freshly painted house with custom crown molding by Andrea Cherie's fantastic husband. Oh my goodness my house looks completely different, updated, and wonderful! It was 51 degrees inside and still smelled like mothballs because a skunk got under our house just before we left, but it looked wonderful!

But hours later, I found myself awake with so many words running through my head -- and I mean just that. They weren't normal thoughts, they were words arranged how I would write them in my journal or blog. I was tempted to sneak away to another room with my laptop to blog about it, but instead, I had a little conversation with God.

One by one, I gave him all of the things that were running through my mind, from the mountain of cleaning I have to do, to missing my best friend who is leaving for China tomorrow, to my anxiety of returning to work and finding that I was in trouble like last time (I wasn't), to wishing I was in North Carolina to help my dear heartbroken friend whose husband's hip was broken in an accident during military training, which means he will be leaving for overseas in a few months instead of staying home and starting a family as they'd planned.

My mom's dog even crept his way into my thoughts, even though he's pretty much the world's worst dog. She gave him away while I was gone, and even though he was the worst dog ever (he was mean to everyone but her), I teared up when I pictured him living with his new family, waiting for her to come back for him. But she never will.

I asked God to give me peace and sleep like only he can. I forced my breathing into a restful rhythm and snuggled into a comfortable position, finally warm in our 51-degree house. I listened to my husband sleeping peacefully next to me like a blissful papa bear. But I still couldn't sleep, so I kept shifting, praying, pleading, and the next morning, when I realized what had happened, I knew a peace and restoration blogging never could have given me.

Here's to quiet conversations with a Maker who understands things in a way we'll never be able to and communicates to us in a language that transcends words.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

the storm before the calm

I'd hoped to update you on my exciting week and weekend, but it looks like I won't get the chance.

This has nothing to do with my post, it's just cute!

If I don't get the chance to say goodbye, we are leaving for our cruise tomorrow straight after work. I'm super excited, working on getting packed, and also working to get ahead at work pretty much nonstop. Between writing three weeks' worth of press releases in three days among my other work duties, and last minute shopping and packing, I will be going going going going until Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.

I've broken my Don't Bring Work Home rule every night this week, but fortunately JT is very understanding.

This is what I call the storm before the calm: three days of riotous frenzy followed by ten days of nothing. I'd say it's a more than fair exchange.
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