Friday, April 24, 2015

This Week with Grandma

...has been a little rough.

My dear grandmother just hasn't been feeling well. She said to me Thursday morning, when I asked how she was feeling, "I'm tired of saying I don't feel well." And she is tired.
*Tired of feeling yucky.
*Tired of her aching legs.
*Tired of not being able to hear well.
*Tired of her hearing aids not working all the time. (Or is it her ears? Not sure. Will be getting her hearing re-checked when the weather warms up.)
*Tired of not sleeping restfully.
Just plain tired.

So today, rather than sharing a cute anecdote about life with Grandma, I'm going to ask you to pray for her. Will you ask God to bring peace and joy to her heart, even as you ask Him to bring her physical relief?
Thanks, dear friends. I appreciate it more than you realize.

Karen

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Empty" is the New "Still Some Left"

We've all heard that brown is the new black, and 40 is the new 30, but did you also know empty is the new still some left?
At least it is according to my boys.
*ahem*

Sunday night I was presented with an urgent request to go to the store and buy more shampoo. The boys' bottle was empty, you see. And since the last person to get a bottle of shampoo from the closet in the hallway didn't write on the grocery list that we needed more shampoo, there was no back-up supply. (The grocery list which, by the way, I keep on the refrigerator so it is easily accessible for everyone in the family; which my family members know I use every.single.week. to plan my grocery run; and upon which I have repeatedly instructed my dear family members to write the names of items which need to be replaced - so we're I'm never in the position of making emergency runs to the store. ***cue:end of rant)
Fortunately (for them), I had another reason to go to the store Sunday night and now - since I had TWO reasons to go - I went.
In a perfect world, that would be the end of the story.

I don't live in a perfect world.

In my world, this is what happened: Monday morning I was walking through the boys' bathroom to get to the laundry room and I thought, I'll just grab the bottle of shampoo which was hijacked borrowed from my bathroom by the son who discovered his empty shampoo bottle Sunday morning. So I whipped open the shower curtain and grabbed my shampoo bottle. And as I did, I noticed something peculiar. There was another shampoo bottle on the floor which still had some shampoo in it. Granted, it wasn't much, but there was still some left.
So I took the two shampoo bottles upstairs with me and put them in my shower. Only, I stored the "still some left" bottle properly, so as to be able to utilize all the shampoo stored in said bottle.

I washed my hair for two days with the shampoo left in that "empty" bottle.

And since I noticed one of the boys had gotten a new bottle of dish washing detergent out, I went ahead and did what should be done to "empty" bottles of liquid dish detergent before they're thrown into the recycling bin.
You know, because I'm still operating in the days when we called it "still some left".

Karen

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Even This

My heart is heavy as I write this post.

Because I received some very sad news about someone I love.
And I don't know what the future holds for her.
And even though it might, maybe, could possibly be resolved and work out in the end, well - it might not.
Which makes me very sad.

The thing is, I know this situation is not a surprise to God. He has known for all of eternity that it was going to happen. And I realize it may very well be part of His perfect plan. Oh, how I hope HE is at the center of this circumstance! Because I believe God can use every single situation - even the painful ones - for our good, and His glory.
But my loved one doesn't believe like I do. In fact, she doesn't think God listens, or hears, or acts on our behalf. Truthfully, I'm not sure she even believes He exists.
Which makes me very, very sad.
So I'm doing the only thing I know to do. I am falling to my knees, begging God to use even this.
I am asking the Lord of the universe to once again work good out of an awful situation. I am asking Him to bring people from darkness into the Light, to heal the wounds, to restore what has been lost and mend what has been broken. And as He does all that, I am asking Him to open the eyes of those who are lost so they may see and believe. Yes, LORD, please use even this!

Do you know someone with an "even this" circumstance?
Please join me before our Father's throne.
I know He loves the ones we love. I know He will hear us. And I know He has the power to move.

Praise the Name of the LORD!

Karen

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What's for Lunch?

I've mentioned before that one of the things I am loving about being a stay-at-home-mom again is that I can do more for my family. And I really do mean it!
However, I am not sure my son got the memo.
Seems to me, he thought there needed to be some added incentive for me to do nice things.

This is how it happened:

Because there almost always seems to be a battle for left-overs between the two oldest males in this home, I decided to make a couple meals to divide up and put in the freezer. That way, a satisfactory lunch would be easily available and the battles could cease. So I made a pan of lasagna and a double-batch of bean burritos. Twenty-one lunches, right there!
I knew my son was pleased with this arrangement, and I fully intended to keep it going. But one evening he laid a story on me which pretty much clinched that I would be making more lunches. He said his friends at school were admiring his lunches. They wanted to know where he was getting them. And when he told them his mom made them for him for lunch, they all said they wished "their moms" would do the same. And in my head I'm all, Oh, that's so sweet. Of course I'll keep doing this! Especially now that I have a reputation to uphold. *wink* But what came out of my mouth was, "Are you almost out of lunches? Need me to make more? Is that what this is all about?"
It was.
So I made more.
And then at the end of last week he told me with a smile, "Guess what? Today someone asked me if my lunch was from a restaurant."
I checked the freezer and, sure enough, lunches were low. So this weekend I made a double-batch of bean burritos, and froze a couple pieces of the lasagna I made for dinner Saturday night.

Yep, good intentions get me started.
But compliments keep me going. *wink*

Karen

Monday, April 20, 2015

Who Am I?

Did you miss the rant post last week about the "God won't give you more than you can handle" (mis)statement? Here it is!

Karen

Friday, April 17, 2015

This Week with Grandma

I had a full house Tuesday evening.
My parents just got back to Michigan after spending the winter down south (Thanksgiving was the last time I saw them.), so Tuesday I had the gang over for dinner. Mom and Dad, my aunt (Dad's sister) and my big brother all came over. Of course, Grandma (Dad's mom) was already here. We put an extra leaf in the table to accommodate, and were ready for what I was hoping would be a good time.
See, my family of origin has some issues. (Who doesn't???) There are struggles in relationships. We have wounds, and experience brokenness just like everyone else. And I was very aware of the potential for tension in the air Tuesday.

But can I tell you?

We had so.much.fun!

Now, it could be the Reconsilosec I slipped into the baked beans (I jest!), but I think it's more likely we were all just sincerely happy to see each other. We caught up, and remembered when, and wondered about the future. And laughed. Lots and lots of laughter!
Grandma had to excuse herself from the table and go lay down - because she was worn out from all the laughing. And when it was time to say good-night, everyone took a turn in her bedroom and bid her farewell. The personal attention really blessed her. (I know, because I heard her telling a friend about it on the phone the next day.)
This isn't to say our family quirks and relationship wounds have all been laid aside. Sometimes I'm afraid that'll never happen.
But it is to say, I'm glad I took the risk. I'm glad we got together and took time to love and laugh. I'm glad the fear of what-might-have-been didn't win. And I look forward to doing it again.

And now I want to turn it over to you.
Has your family got "issues," too? And do those issues sometimes get in the way of getting everyone together? Take it from Grandma and me - the love of family is worth it. Go ahead and give it a try!
(And if you need a great recipe for burgers to serve everyone, let me know. Mine were a huge hit! *wink*)

Karen

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I Think My Son is Becoming a Mother

OK, relax.
I am NOT talking about the kind of becoming like a certain Olympian from the 70s, whose "becoming" has been all over the news lately. (I get updates when standing in line at the grocery store. *ahem*)

What I'm talking about is this: Lately my son has been saying things - expressing frustration about certain situations - which has me thinking he gets me.
For example, he said to me a few nights ago, "It drives me crazy when people don't listen to what I say." He went on to describe a situation at work when he had to enforce some park rules, but the subjects of the enforcement didn't want to comply. Instead, they argued with my son. Tried bargaining with him. Ignored his words. But after several minutes of my son being as polite as possible and explaining the rules (while also trying to hide his frustration) they finally gave in.
As he relayed the story, I could feel his angst in the moment and I nearly bit my tongue to keep myself from saying something like, "Yeah. Now you know how I feel every time you don't listen to me."
And the next day he came home with another story. For a time, he was the only employee on duty at the park - which left him covering a lot of bases on his own. Manning the parking booth, responding to complaints, enforcing rules - he felt like he was being pulled in so many directions. How is one person supposed to handle all this??? And I'm all, Yeah. Welcome to what it's like being a mom. (In my head, of course. I didn't say that out loud. *wink*)

So, you see, I really think my son is becoming a mom. He has to enforce rules and deal with people who don't want to obey them. And he has to deal with them kindly. Sometimes he has to handle multiple responsibilities which have him running in opposite directions, and leave him feeling like he can't handle it all. His work is occasionally frustrating, and yet he loves what he does. At the end of the day he comes home worn out, full of stories (happy ones and frustrating ones), looking for food, ready for a break, and anticipating the fun he'll have the next time he clocks in. He soooooo gets me!

I love my son's job. *grin*

Karen