Monday, January 30, 2006

Just a Happy Little Tree

This is a picture of the tree in front of my window at work taken a few years ago when Spring was in full swing. It blossoms for 2, maybe 3 weeks, and then it fades into obscurity. Yet so great is my need for a Spring fix that I figure if I see this on my blog every day, I can pretend it's already that time again.

I've now posted two pictures of trees on my blog and three of my animal friends. Just what kind of blog do I have here? Geez! :)

An Artificial Sun Lamp Sounds Good Right Now

I've still got the dreary-blahs. It hits me every year around this time. We actually have morning sun today and moderate temperatures. We had a gorgeous sunrise both today and last Friday. However, the rays aren't strong enough to radiate into the depths of my brain. My mind says, "hibernate! hibernate!" Yet my work schedule rebels against such primitive thinking. If I had my way I could sleep until noon and then putter around the house doing redundant household tasks day after day.

Rob and I did talk today about after my surgery and recovery, maybe we could start doing a walk/jog around the neighborhood. We might even get the kids involved. I don't like walking alone. I told him I wanted to make sure he was along so that if a vicious dog pounces, I can have someone bigger than me to shove in front of it.

No, really, we'll just have to take a walking stick along. Country strolls seem so idyllic, but I was attacked by a dog when I was 15 and on one of those "peaceful" country strolls, so 'tis better to be safe than a chew toy.

Sigh. I'm thinking Easter, pastels, sandals and light, warm breezes. The windows on the porch, open, inviting sunlight and the sound of doves cooing to one another. Tulips poking through the ground....buds on the trees...the smell of lilac permeating the mornings. Okay, okay: I can dream, can't I?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Gotta Love Ohio Weather!

Today it's cold and greyish outside. Yesterday started out sunny, then turned windy and biting. On the way to the store last night after work power lines were down, trash cans and limbs littered the roadways, and we actually saw an uprooted tree in a yard. Nasty, nasty Ohio weather!
I'm starting to think I'm going to enjoy being off for this surgery. It's going to be the first full week of February, and I am almost looking at it as an event that will usher me through the winter, keeping my eye on the prize: Spring.

Friday, January 20, 2006

A Whole New Woman!

I'm to have surgery soon for multiple repairs...sounds to me like I'll end up being practically bio-nic by the time the doc is done. A sling here, mesh there, stitches and supports everywhere. Oh what fun! Along with a four week vacation to let it all grow into my system and become one with the universe. Why, I'll be a whole new woman, ready to face any challenge! That's right: I read "The Power of Positive Thinking" growing up! I see the glass half full! The sky's the limit! (I say this now, when I am relatively comfortable in my ergonomically correct work chair. We'll see how I feel the day after the surgery...may be in a different frame of mind for a bit.)

I'm just thinking after the initial pain and teeth gritting is over with, I'll have one glorious week after glorious week to catch up on my scrapbooking. I think that's what I said I wanted to do last year. God granted me what I asked for, just not how I imagined it all coming about.

This week I'm busy teaching my teenagers to do laundry. I'm at the "show them how it's done" phase right now. Next is the "watch them do it themselves" phase, followed by the "do it all on their own with gentle reminders" phase. After that it's the "you'd better remember to do your own laundry because I may be too out of it to care what gets done and if you want to have clean clothes for school it's time to stand on your own two feet and get to work" phase. I'm also teaching them how to load and unload the dishwasher. Since my hubby does all the cooking, they should be all set. I think Rob is trying to get things going now, because I've never seen him do so much organizing and moving furniture through the week as he is right now. It reminds me of how women "nest" before a new baby.

I think it's going to be kind of weird, because I've never been admitted into the hospital overnight unless I brought a baby home. I've been fortunate. Everything since my babies' births have been outpatient.

So far I have my mother-in-law, step-mother, my good friend, and Rob (of course) volunteering to be there for my surgery. This should be interesting. I'm thinking maybe at this rate I need to reserve a banquet room and serve finger foods. Maybe a few balloons and a disco ball.....

I'm one of those people that get quiet when in pain. I sort of just prefer to retreat into my head and not make too much fuss...not talk or chit chat. So I figure they'll just all have to talk amongst themselves.

But at least if the food is bad I'll have no shortage of folks to send out for a decent meal. I have had good hospital food. No, really, it's true. It's not just an urban legend. Such food does exist. Yet it's always nice to have a backup plan if this is not one of the places that serves such delicacies.

Other than that glitch in 2006, I've had a great year so far. I'm going through my "bible-in-a-year" smoothly. My friend and I have had two really cool meetings so far to have devotions, just she and I. My prayer journal is filling up quickly with prayers, answers to prayers and cool God-incidences. So 2006 is indeed a good year. I've had some days when I'm tired, some days when I'm weak, but the great thing is that no matter how I feel, God is still God. He never changes, so I can always count on that. A never changing God for a whole new woman. I like that.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

God is so Good I Almost Can't Stand It

Here's one of the pocket faith cards I found. I thought it was cute and appropriate for my life as it is now.

I have made some soul changing decisions this year. I wanted to. I turned off my radio, shut out the noise of the world, and did some thinking.
In the quiet of the car, as I drove to work I heard:

"Sometimes you think you're getting away with something, not reading your Bible or praying. You think you're getting away with not living the way you should. But the truth is: the only thing that is happening is that your soul is getting away from you."

Just like that. No barrage of guilt. No earth shattering message. Just a call to change.

I pictured myself, curled up on the couch with my bible, reading. From there, I realized: I miss this part of my life. I miss my communication with the Father. I miss my Best Friend.

My first step was deciding to go down to the local Christian bookstore and buy a new women's devotional bible. My boss and friend said, "What's going to be in that new bible that isn't in your old one?" I laughed, as that was a good question. For me, it was symbolic. A new year, a new start.

I went down on my lunch break and I must've looked around at the bookstore for 45 minutes for the right bible. In the meantime, I found a really nice, basic prayer journal. I found a "bible-in-a-year," some cute and encouraging pocket faith cards, and finally, the devotional guide that I knew was the right one.

Since then, I've taken one day at a time. One day. I don't look ahead, I don't look behind, and I put one foot in front of the other.

I wrote in my prayer journal that I need some support; some of my friends who love God to come forward for support. I've sat back and watched it happen. My good friend Sheila called to chat and wish me a happy new year. We ended up scheduling a bible study, which we had yesterday morning. The study was amazing. We talked about forgiveness being a good first topic for our study. I said that forgiving myself was my biggest challenge in life. That I could forgive others, but not as easily my own mistakes. When we flipped to the topic of forgiveness in the women's devotional bible, the opening paragraph touched on that very problem. It encouraged women to forgive stop thinking they were unworthy. It was mind boggling. It was like the words were written just for me.

Another friend who I worked with eight years ago (before I accepted my present position) came by and we chatted yesterday. We talked about our relationships with God drifting and how we could support one another in the year ahead. I hadn't seen her in months, and the last time I did we had a brief and polite conversation. God's restorative power is amazing.

Still another friend emailed me; a minister's wife who I dearly love, with whom I have much in common.

I emailed another lady- an acquaintance in jr. high- who has, over the last two years, become a devoted and on fire Christian. A mutual friend re-introduced us back in the summer, and we kept in contact via brief emails every month or so from that time on. However, I felt led to reach out in a more personal way. She wrote back that she felt like crying at her screen. She had been asking God to show her who she could turn to also. She had only one other Christian friend, and she wasn't local. She was happy that it was me, because having known me for years, she knew I had a history of faith and that I knew all about her life. I feel like not only could I learn a lot from her, but her enthusiasm is contagious. I need someone in my life who is excited about their faith!

It seems like one God incidence after another, like dominoes, falls into place.

At first I wondered who I would have to turn to. Now I have no doubt at all.

I will not have another year like 2005. I don't know what events will take place. I don't know what losses or gains are in store. There is only one thing I do know: I will not be alone. I've got God.