Friday, May 27, 2016

TLC at GLC

I'm still shaking my head over a situation which arose this week at GLC.

I'm saddened and ashamed that it happened.

And I am asking God to help me aright it all.

The back-story is: On Monday I was made aware that some of my co-workers felt like I was excluding them. They believed I thought I was "better" than them - because I don't make a habit of stopping and talking to them through the day.
If you know me at all, I trust you know neither of those two scenarios is a possibility.
*First, I never want to exclude anyone. I've been on the outside enough to know how horrible it feels.
*And, second, I don't think I'm better than anybody. My battle with depression still has me fighting with myself just to think I am not worse than everyone!

But I'm still a relative newbie at work, and many people (i.e. those who were having the afore mentioned thoughts) don't know me well enough to know I would never intentionally shut someone out.
Perhaps because I don't make a habit of stopping to visit with them???
And that's the kicker! The main reason I don't chit-chat is because these women usually appear to be so busy. They have lots of work to do. And when I asked them for various things in the beginning of my tenure, I typically felt like I was interrupting and getting in the way. So, I guess I defaulted to doing my best to stay out of the way, and get my own work done.

Only to find out that is exactly what they don't want me to be doing.

As much as it hurt my heart to find out people were feeling this way as a result of my (lack of)behavior, I am so thankful for the one who spoke up. I am so thankful to know the truth.
I have apologized, and I believe misunderstandings have been cleared up. With God's help I intend to cover my co-workers with TLC and assure that they never again feel as though I don't care about them. By His grace I trust I can get past the temptation to beat myself up for this blunder. And when all is said and done, I have a feeling HE's going to grow me through this struggle, too.

How about you? Anyone in your life who you think isn't interested in your TLC?
Take it from me. Love them anyway!


Karen

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

In Memory of Grandma Peggy

It was probably ten years ago that Josh and I tended our own little garden plot for the summer.
Besides lots of yummy vegetables, we had a section for zinnias. Because Grandma Peggy told us they were beautiful flowers - which attract butterflies and are not typically eaten by deer. And she was so right.
I loved gazing at those colorful blooms.

So, last summer when Grandma Peggy was living with us she often watched me outside working on various landscaping projects. And a couple of times I took her on walks in her wheel chair so she could enjoy the beautiful flowers many of my neighbors have blooming in their yards.
It was during one of those walks that I thought, Hey! I should plant some zinnias around the house for Grandma to enjoy. She would love that! Except, by the time I had that thought it was too late in the season to sow zinnia seeds. Thus, I tucked the idea away in my mind for "next year".

And now it's next year.
But Grandma Peggy isn't here.
She's gone Home. (And I know she's enjoying so much more than zinnias now!)
Even so, I bought the zinnia seeds and planted them all along the front sidewalk. And I reminisced about Grandma as I dug, planted, and watered. Then I turned my attention to the rest of the front landscaping, the sidewalk, and the porch - and decided to continue working. I pulled weeds, cleaned up sunflower seed shells (It's lovely to watch the birds in the feeders, but they sure do make a mess of those shells!), and swept away the dirt. Because Grandma Peggy taught me that it's good to have a clean porch and entry way. It's the first thing a visitor notices, after all!
(Not that I care so much what people think of my porch, but it was important to Grandma and I knew she would like it if I had the walkway looking good for the zinnias. *wink*)
And so I spent my afternoon yesterday remembering my grandmother.
It was delightful.
Even more, I know I will have fond memories of her every time I look at the colorful blooms which are due along the sidewalk in another 45 days, or so.

Karen

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

They're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone

So, I mentioned yesterday that my trip to Ecuador with Compassion International is less than three weeks away.
And I am so excited about it.
I've started buying the things I need (like bug spray and travel-size shampoo). I have a pile of gifts and supplies beginning to accumulate in the corner of my bedroom. And I am thinking about what to take, and what to leave home.
Of course, any mother knows - when you're preparing to go away you also spend a considerable amount of time thinking about/preparing for what your family will need in your absence.
*Read that: What are they going to have for dinner?*
So, this question has also been on my mind as I have been counting down to my trip.
I came to a conclusion, and decided to discuss my idea with Brian Sunday afternoon. Ya know, so he could have input - rather than me just dropping a bomb on him and the boys.
Because my conclusion was this: Seeing as they are all big boys now (Matthew turned 16 last week!) I believe they can handle eight days on their own. Soooooo, I am not going to make their dinners before I leave. Rather, I am going to give them the opportunity to come up with their own meal plan, make their own grocery list, buy their own groceries, and prepare their own meals.

Doesn't that sound like fun???

I am fully aware they will go out to eat a couple times. I realize their meal plans likely won't include much in the way of salads and veggies. And I understand mac & cheese and pizza (Order in, not make-your-own.) might appear on the menu a time, or two.
But that's OK with me.
*The three of them have agreed to pitch in and work together to get 'er done. Admittedly, one of the first questions was whether Elizabeth would be home during that time. And they were disappointed to find out she'll already be gone for the summer. So they aren't going to be able to rely on anyone else.
*They're going to realize how much work I do fun I have keeping them fed.
*I'm guessing they'll come to appreciate the little things I do - like notice when milk is getting low during the week and buy more so it "never runs out."
*They'll learn the value of budgeting their time and disciplining themselves with regard to extra activities - so they can eat.
*And I'm trusting they will finally appreciate just how good they have it - having healthy, delicious meals prepared and ready for them every day of the week.

Oh, yeah.
They're gonna miss me when I'm gone!

Karen

Monday, May 23, 2016

Friday, May 20, 2016

TLC at GLC

My heart is smiling.

If you're friends with me on Facebook, go on over to my page and watch the video I shared Thursday night.

For the rest of you, lemme tell ya 'bout it.

I posted a couple weeks ago about a woman at GLC who is sometimes quite difficult. And about the hope I had in witnessing a positive interaction between her and a care-giver one morning. The entire scene was encouragement for me to not give up trying to reach a person.
Even a hard person.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon.

I walked into the memory care unit and heard a new-to-us musician playing. The song was fun and upbeat, so I started dancing. A few heads turned to watch me, and I let their attention spur me on to more silliness and dramatic interpretive dance.
Yes, I love performing for these folks. Anything to make them smile.
And that's when I saw it. A great.big.smile on the face of that woman who isn't often very pleasant.
She was looking straight at me, watching me dance, and seemed to be enjoying it right along with everyone else.
That view in itself was enough to make my day. But it got better.
The daughter of one of our residents took a cue from my silliness and started dancing with me. That is, we had our arms around each other, swaying and twirling, and having a bunch of fun.
And when that dance was over?
I decided to take my chances and ask my smiling friend if she would like to dance with me.
She agreed to it - with a smile - and if you can get to my Facebook page, you can watch.
So glad my supervisor had her phone with her and got the video.

Encouragement, once again, my friends:
Never give up reaching out to someone with love. Never, ever give up!

Karen

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Strike that from My To-Do List

So, last week a letter came in the mail from our pediatrician.

It was addressed to Josh.

I'm calling it his Graduation Letter.
Because it contained the news that he has to find a new doctor. That is, the boy is no longer a "pediatric," and must - therefore - go to an adult-ic doctor now. And they were nice enough to include a list of recommended doctors in the area.
So yesterday I started making calls in search of a new doc for the boys. (Thought it a good idea to switch them both at the same time, so I am not running myself in two many directions. Yes, that "typo" was on purpose.) And when I found one, I was all ready to make new-patient-appointments for the boys.

Until I was told I couldn't.

That is, I could make an appointment for Matthew - and I did.
But I couldn't make one for Josh, because he's 18. He's an adult.
And they won't work through an adult's mom.
So after Matthew's information was complete, I handed the phone over to Josh and had him make his own arrangements.
Because they wouldn't talk to me.
Nooooooo. He's 18 after all.

And with that - I have been put in my place. *Hmph*

Ahhhhh. Now I'm wondering if I can start using that logic on his meal preparation, car insurance payment, grocery shopping... This might play to my advantage. *wink*

Karen

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

HE Will Make a Way

What's on your heart today?

Big things? Little things? In-between things?

Any impossible things?

I have some items from each of those categories floating around in my heart and head.
*Been praying for a while about a trip I'm taking with Compassion International to Ecuador next month - asking God to work out the details so all the sponsors will be able to meet their children. The recent earthquake in Ecuador has caused some serious difficulties in making that connection happen.
*I have a certain child about whom I am constantly praying. Trusting God to do the good work HE has planned.
*Facebook posts have made me aware of many needs - both large and small - and I'm carrying them in my heart, too.
*My church is calling for a focus on prayer this month for our vision and ministry path, so I'm taking these needs to God.
*There are daily prompts via prayer-cues which God uses to bring me to my knees.
*Not to mention the issues in our nation and concerns of the day, friends in various states of need, and family members who are struggling.
There is just so much going on. So many opportunities to see distress, or feel overwhelmed. And if left to my own devices, I would likely be traveling that road to despair.

BUT, God.

We do not need to be afraid. And discouragement will not have the final say in our circumstances.
Because we serve a God who is greater.
Who is stronger.
Who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine.
And when I listen to HIM, I am reminded that HE will make a way where there seems to be no way. Nothing is too difficult for Him, and God is going to work out our situations according to His perfect will. All we need to do is trust and obey.
Someone needs to hear this encouragement today. If it isn't you, please keep your spiritual eyes open so when you come across that person you are ready to share it with them.

And if there is any way I may be praying for you, please let me know.
I would love to intercede on your behalf.

Karen