Friday, August 31, 2012

Lessons From the Edge

Sometimes 'store bought' just has to do.

I could not believe my Tuesday this week.
*When I walked in the door at work my boss told me my entertainer for that afternoon had just called. He had a family emergency and wouldn't be able to come play. OK. I'll just see if I can find someone else at the last minute!
Fortunately, I was able to.
*Later that morning I received a phone call informing me my volunteers for that afternoon weren't going to be able to come help with the ice cream sundaes. OK. I'll just, uh, what'll I do?
Fortunately, one of my co-workers was able to help me serve the sundaes.
*When the music and ice cream were finished, D asked me if I would walk him to his apartment. I needed to clean up the dining room but there were still several people milling around so I was happy to escort him home.
*Upon returning to the dining room, I noticed C - in her wheel chair - waiting to be taken back to her apartment. Not sure where the aide was who usually takes her, but I asked if she wanted me to escort her. She said, 'Yes,' and I knew the cleaning could wait another few minutes, so I took her.
*One more return to the dining room, and I found J waiting for an escort, too. I realized the aide must have been taking care of a 'situation', so I walked with J to her apartment, too. Wishing the entire time that I had volunteers who were working on clean-up.
*As J and I were on our way, H approached me in a panic. He said someone was trying to "swindle him out of money" and asked me to come to his apartment. I asked H to hold on just a minute and promised I would come with him after I took J home.
*H is a very sweet man, but - wow! - does he ever walk slowly?! When we finally made it to his apartment he showed me a box of medication which had been delivered to him. He had no idea what it was, but was pretty sure someone was after his money. (Turns out his niece had changed the way his prescriptions are delivered...)

FINALLY, I made it to the dining room. Cleared and wiped the tables, swept the floor, emptied the trash, and put away random supplies. As I punched out and thought about what I had to do once I got home, I decided I was going to make one more un-planned trip that day.
Josh needed a salad/side dish to take to his cross-country team's "Pasta Party" that evening. I knew I didn't have it in me to figure out and prepare something for him to take.
Nope. I was going to Meijer's deli.
Oh, to be sure, I prefer homemade. But I was whipped and that made me realize, Sometimes 'store bought' just has to do.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm More Than Failing!

...And this time, I'm not talking about motherhood.

I heard a report on the radio last week that the "average" woman buys 60 new outfits per year.


I am so below average on this spectrum, to say I am "failing" would be too complimentary.
Who are these average women, anyway? I need to find some in my size. *wink*


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

God's WorkOUT

Besides the almost-non-stop-laughter on my recent vacation, I also had some great workouts. My sister has been on a weight-loss kick and with all the yummy treats she baked and brought to the cabin, we figured it would be a good idea for us to spend time working out, too. Not that we came anywhere near working off more calories than we consumed. But it was better than nothing.
So, Kim and I took turns coming up with routines to kick each others' *ahem* butts.
She won. She was down-right mean. We were going to do 30 reps of each exercise, but when I needed a break at 20? She made us do 35 to make up for the lost time. My biceps, quads, and calves ached for almost a week after what she put me through.

But half-way through the week, I discovered another necessary workout. Or, rather, work OUT.

One of the things that happens when you spend significant time in close proximity with family members is - well, you start to see some things in yourself which aren't so lovely.
Or, maybe that only happens to me?
So, anyway, I began seeing things in myself which I'd rather weren't there. Because they were attitudes which were not honoring God. And I prayed, asking Him to cleanse me.
I thought of a prayer I have learned which I often repeat: LORD, please work in me that which is pleasing to You. And I changed it up a bit. I said, LORD, please work OUT of me that which is displeasing to You.

I'm not meaning to challenge Him. Not trying to push God to His limits. I certainly hope He won't punish me with additional reps if I need to take a breather. But I DO want to be beautiful after what HE puts me through.
So, until that Day comes, I will continue to pray: LORD, please work OUT of me that which is displeasing to You.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vacation Report

What a wonderful, wonderful vacation I had!

My entire family got together. That would be, my mom, dad, OLDer brother, his daughter, my older sister, her husband and their daughter, and my younger brother and his wife. Plus Brian and my kids, of course. We gathered in the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee for a week. All fourteen of us in a cabin in the mountains to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. We laughed and ate and laughed and watched movies and laughed and hiked and laughed and went swimming and laughed and played games. And we laughed a little more.
After listening to all the stories, my kids are convinced I had (We didn't re-live the stories in which we nearly killed each other. haha!)
It's true. I had great times as a kid. And getting together with everyone, re-telling the tales, and laughing until our stomachs hurt was a wonderful way to spend a week.
Here we are: my parents, my siblings, and me.

Makes me wonder what life will be like in 31 years, when Brian and I celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. I pray that - in addition to the laughter and fun memories - my family will recognize God's faithfulness through all our days. I want my children's greatest memory of our lives together to be the times we trusted in God and the ways HE showed us His glory and faithfulness.

What are your hopes for your family?


Monday, August 27, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lessons From the Edge

A sad beginning doesn't prevent a happy ending.

Have you ever heard a sad story, and wondered at how it could possibly produce a happy ending? I witnessed the reality of that situation this week.
I interviewed R for her Resident of the Week feature and got the sad story with the first question.
R was just five weeks old when her mother died and, as the youngest of five children, she was too much for her father to manage. So she was "passed around" between several care-givers during her early years. One woman finally gave R a permanent home when she was 3 years old. But R was not fond of that woman. She said, "She never beat me, but she wasn't nice."
R was not given toys to play with, she was not told of her older brothers and sisters, and spent most of her time doing chores. It was so sad listening to her story.
However, she had one piece of joy.
She had paint-with-water books in which she found solace. And those books were the beginning of a talent which would give her great joy. Oh! If you could only see the paintings she has around her apartment. Paintings she made herself!
R grew up and got married and had three children of her own. She told me stories of rocking her babies to sleep (Twice every day!) and staying up until midnight most nights sewing dresses for her girls. She must have told me ten times how much her daughter's teachers admired the dresses she made.
And her husband. She was so proud of him. Lit up every time she said his name. In fact, she had a very certain sparkle about her when she spoke of her adult years: her family, her cats, the paintings and dresses, all of it - a sparkle which was sadly missing when she spoke of her childhood.

Reflecting on R's life - the story she'd just told me, I was keenly aware of the beauty of God's protection and His ability to redeem a dark place and make it light. We talked about that for a moment and prayed, thanking God for His work in R's life.
I love this aspect of God-stories: A sad beginning doesn't prevent a happy ending.
A closing PSA: My family and I are going on vacation next week. This here blog is going to be on hold until Monday, August 27. Keep your eyes on JESUS!


Thursday, August 09, 2012

A New Toy

Our cell phone contract just expired, and we renewed it.
That means - all the Hossinks got new phones. *grin*

I have been busy transferring my contacts and all the information on my calendar, and the kids have been discovering new and exciting features. Elizabeth is particularly tickled with this photo trick which allows her to take several small pictures and make them into one.
Isn't she lovely???


Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Attitude Adjustment Courtesy of GOD and Smile FM

Monday I stayed late at work to call Bingo, because my regular volunteer was unable to make it.
Three times during Bingo my phone rang. (Fortunately, most of the residents don't hear very well, so it didn't bother any of them. *wink*) But it bothered me. I was wondering what was so important that whoever was calling had to KEEP calling. Eventually, the caller left a voice mail message.

When Bingo ended I gathered my things together and began to head for home, laughing with one of the lady residents about how I wasn't really finished working for the day. I was simply finished getting paid to work. Ha! Had to run an errand before I went home to make dinner and do my evening errands.
Walking through the parking lot, I had a chance to listen to that voice mail. It was Elizabeth, wondering if her friend could stay for dinner. Oh, and could I stop and pick up another of her friends and bring him home for dinner, too?
I let out a self-pity, why-do-I-have-to-do-more-work sigh, then called Elizabeth and told her that would be ok. IF her friend was willing to ride along with me to run the errand. Because I wasn't going to back-track to pick him up afterwards.
But, before I went to pick him up, I needed to stop at the store. Two additional teen-age stomachs at the dinner table meant I needed to get more food.
While I was on my way to the grocery store, Joshua texted me and asked me to pick up some crickets from the pet store for his hungry praying mantis.
SERIOUSLY??? Another stop to make? Another thing to do? Another need someone has for me to fulfill??? *ugh!*
But the grocery store is right across the street from the pet store. I really had no reason why I couldn't do it. I was just tired and full of self-pity.
So I went in and got the crickets.
But my attitude was sour.

As I got back into the van and was on my way to pick up Elizabeth's friend, Live Like That came on the radio and I was reminded of the way I want to live. Reflecting the love of Jesus, not my own selfish bent. And I thanked God for opening my eyes to my attitude before I spilled it on Elizabeth's friend.
Moments later I heard This is the Stuff and was reminded how easily I let small inconveniences weigh too heavily, causing me to miss my blessings. And, again, I thanked God for setting me straight.

No one, and I mean no one will ever be able to convince me God isn't the one behind the song line-up at the radio station. *grin*


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A Case for Pets

Joshua opened the cereal drawer and mumbled, "Stupid dog!"
Apparently Mindy had run off. And Joshua was getting a couple mini-wheats to coax her back.

Mindy has run off before, and I was pretty sure I knew the reason.
So I asked, "Was she on her leash?"
Joshua just mumbled, and my suspicion was confirmed. He had let Mindy outside without chaining her up - hoping she would stay in the yard just because that's what she's supposed to do.
Ha! Didn't work.
Now Joshua had to round Mindy up and bring her back inside. The boy was not happy about the extra effort required as a result of not chaining up the dog. I imagine he was thinking something along the lines of, Why can't she just go do her thing and then come back? Why does she have to run off? She knows better!

At the very same time I was thinking, Why didn't you put her on the leash, Joshua? It gives her limits so she won't run off. She doesn't know any better.

And that's when it hit me. The life-lesson for my son which I was sure he would understand:
Just as Mindy needs limits like a leash to help her do the right thing, so teens need limits like curfews and phone calls to other parents and occasional answers like, "No. I'm sorry, but you can't go to [that event]," in order that they might do the right thing.
As one responsible for our dog's well-being (Even though he didn't use it...) Joshua understands the value of a dog leash. He understands that without limits, Mindy is likely to do things she ought not do. He gets it.
And if this interaction will help him understand why I place limits in his life, if it will bring a little more peace in our home, well I'd say I just discovered a great reason to have a pet!

Even though I am incredibly tired of dog hair all over the floor. *wink*


Monday, August 06, 2012

Friday, August 03, 2012

Lessons From the Edge

Memory Lane is a great place to stroll.

Have I said before how much I love my job?
Honestly, sometimes I wonder why I get paid to do what I do. Last week I spent a beautiful afternoon at the ballpark watching baseball with some residents. This week we had a party.
Yeah. I get paid to play! *grin*

The theme for our party was A Sentimental Journey, and in addition to enjoying music from yesteryear, several of the residents brought down mementos from years ago.
Everyone had stories to tell and memories to share, and it was a beautiful thing to see. One couple (who will soon celebrate their 68th anniversary) brought the topper from their wedding cake. Another man brought the purple heart he was awarded in World War II. And still others brought down family albums, wedding pictures, and trinkets they've collected over the years.
What fun it was to see their smiles and hear their stories. Reminded me to enjoy today, because before too long it will be yesterday and only a memory. Yet even then, we can re-visit today through our memories.

Indeed, Memory Lane is a great place to stroll.

P.S. If you have a Facebook account, you can click here then log in to see some pics of the mementos. And here's the link to the general party pics. :)


Thursday, August 02, 2012


I'm going to be 41 next month.

Forty-one used to sound "old" to me. But I still see myself as a child. I am NOT getting old. No sir!

However, over the past week, I have been getting a bit concerned because of some vision troubles I'm having. Things far away are still clear as a bell to me, but up-close items challenge my ability to focus. And this is so unusual for me. I have always had good eye-sight.
With my birthday approaching and the reality that I am getting older (There is a distinct difference between "old" and "older," you know!) I was starting to wonder if the sight issue is a sign of aging.

I am not willing to admit such things could be happening to me.
I would prefer to continue my existence in Denial, thank you. *wink*

Then it occurred to me.
I just started taking a new medicine last week. And that's when the fuzzies came over to play.
So I did a check of the side effects and found it - blurred vision.

Oh, yeah! It's the drug's fault. I am not getting old. I knew it. I knew it! I knew it!!!
Soooooo, a little phone call to the doc, a refined plan of action, and I can safely return to Denial.

I am NOT getting old. No sir!


Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Let It Go!

Remember the retreat I told you I was taking to prepare for the women's conference? Well, on the way home, God gave me a very interesting visual lesson - and I want to share it with you today.

The retreat center is about 20 minutes away from my house and - at about minute two on my way home - I noticed a large bug on my windshield. I think it was a Katydid. Anyway, Katy was holding on tight to the lower left corner of the windshield as I drove 70 MPH down the highway.
Er, maybe 72. Definitely not more than 74. *wink*
As I was saying, she was holding on tight. Blown from right to left and back again, looking like she was really banging her head around. And in my mind I kept saying, "Katy, just let go! You don't need to be holding on to the van. I'll end up taking you somewhere you had no intention of going. And in the process, it looks like you're going to obtain a severe headache. Just let it go!"

But she kept holding on. Stupid Silly bug!

I don't know when, but at some point she did let go. Or was overcome by the wind and pressure. I'm not sure. I just know I looked at the corner of the windshield, and she wasn't there. And I didn't think about her again until last Friday when I was going to pick my kids up from camp.
I'd had a super busy morning at work - trying to fit a full day's work into the morning - and in the midst of it all something wasn't right with my boss. As in, she snapped at me for (what I thought were) ridiculous issues. A few times. And as I was driving to get the kids, I replayed some of those snaps. I even had a couple conversations with her in my head - telling her that I was being as polite and efficient as I knew how, and I didn't understand her words and actions toward me. I wanted to get her to understand how her words made me feel, and I continued to rehash what I would say - given the opportunity.
Right about then, I glanced over at the lower left corner of my windshield and remembered Katy. I remembered the words of wisdom I'd had for her. How I knew she'd be better off if she'd just let go of the windshield.

That's when I knew what I needed to do with my fixation on my boss. *ahem!*

Of what do you need to let go today?