Monday, January 31, 2011

Famous Last Words

A couple of days ago I told you all that I would explain why it is so very important to my family that we always tell each other we love the person we are speaking with. I told you that we learned you may live to regret what you say as last words to someone you love.

I was quite young when this story took place in our family so I will do my best to hold true to what happened give my recollection and the re-telling of it by others.  I will not be mentioning any names  or relationship to me because of the sensitivity of the story but these people are relations of mine.

Husband and wife were arguing. Wife told husband she 'hated him' and to 'drop dead' and she stormed out of the house.  When she came home, she found husband dead on the floor of the room she had left him.  He had had a heart attack right then and there...

Another story of someone I knew.  16 years old. Fighting with her mom. She stormed out of the house, having told her mom she hated her. Later that day, found her mom on the side of the road, having been killed by a drunk driver...

Be careful what you say.  Be careful what words come from your mouth in the heat of the moment that you just may live to regret for the rest of your life.

The wife from the first story... spent the rest of her life fighting alcoholism, depression, going in and out of mental institutions and, I can tell you, that I never, ever saw happiness in her eyes from that day forth.  She died having spent the rest of her life in agony and guilt over 4 horrible words she never meant in the first place.  I can tell you that because I used to love watching her as she would look at him, seeing the love in her eyes.

The 16 year old girl, in the second story, has never been able to find happiness either... in anything... She is now in her 40's and on her 3rd marriage. Searching but not knowing at all what she is looking for...

This is why we are slow to speak words spurred by anger. Yes, there are times when we still do wind up saying something we don't mean but we are quick to apologize and end the conversation with "I love you".  And I can never remember a time in my life when I have ever been able to tell someone "I hate them".  Those words can not be taken back... sometimes ever...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

111 years young

and still going!

I am not even kidding.  Look what popped up in my news feed for Canada!  This 111 year young lady still going strong despite her 94 year young son passing away this past Thursday!

We're talking good blood-line or something!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Because I love him

I sent my dad a text.

A simple little text.

While I was at work.

It read "Just wanted to let you know how much I love you, Dad."

I got one back saying "I love you too, my girl :x"  (evidently that is a kiss! Oh the things you learn about technology from your dad! grin)

I'm pretty sure his text back to me warmed my heart as much as mine to him warmed his.

Tell someone you love just how much you do; one thing I have learned in my family (due to a situation I will share over the next few days) is that you really are never guaranteed tomorrow and you may live to regret the last words you ever say to someone.

No matter how upset my family gets with each other, our last words are always, always, ALWAYS "I love you".

Friday, January 28, 2011

No sign of arrival yet

but today just happens to be the due date of my first ever grandchild!

(It does count as "first ever" when mama is your step-daughter... even though you have never called her anything other than your daughter, right?)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Holy what's up with the weather, Batman?"

You now, 'cause I couldn't come up with a much more clever Robin-esque saying.

It's the end of January. In northern Canada. And...

it is so warm out it is melting!!!!

This is the strangest phenomenon EVER!

Ok, well, not really but I wanted to be dramatic and stuff, all right?

It is strange though.  I don't think I have ever experienced a January like this in my life.  At least not to my recollection.

But, the cold starts to make a comeback this weekend.  You know, leaving sloppy roads slippery paths of death and doom (you know because all of a sudden I became morbid). Seriously though, we will most certainly be needing to use caution and common sense.

It's been a nice reprieve to the "punishment" of our harsh, dry cold winters (because I am again return to my roots of being mellow dramatic. I know how much y'all like that {grin})

Ok, so let's get the rest of winter over with... I could really use some greenery when I look out my window. {grin}

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hypocrite? Why, yes I am...

Well, when it comes to this one thing it sure seems like it anyway!

I hear resonating through The Land of Blog, "What one thing?!"  There are hands wringing together in anticipation for some seedy, dark reason or some "Ah huh! I knew she didn't really believe all that 'God stuff' she writes on here!"

Well, I'm gonna have to burst your bubble. Not seedy. Not dark. Not anything to do with religion or my view on God.

It has to do with hair.

Grey hair.

MY!!!!! Grey!!!!! Hair!!!!!

When my dad started getting grey hair, I told him they were pearls of wisdom, showing the world just how smart he is becoming.

I discovered grey hair on my head and, although I find it a priviledge to grow old I don't neccessarily want to display it, I... I...


I plucked them out!

I. Am. A. Hypocrite!



Sunday, January 23, 2011

Let the Happy Dance Begin

Since our holiday and our eating out for two weeks on a budget (read: mostly crappy fast food) I had gained a fair bit of weight to my all ready too much.

BigDaddy and I decided right then and there that we were doing something about it! We have eaten a lot, alot of spinach salads, tuna, salmon, veggies galore and making sure that we have been eating breakfasts like oatmeal.  The extra weight I had picked up came off very quickly and I had doubts that I would get any farther than that.

I have been trying to move past that weight, the weight I have been, for the past 5 years!  5 years of trying! 5 years of frustrations and tears and losing hope.

I stepped on the scale this morning and I have broken past that barrier!  I am currently 3 pounds less than I have been for the past 5 years!  It is not a big number but it is a super exciting number for me!!!

I will let you carry on with your day.  My happy dance commences!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


found me getting groceries.  I have, so far, made the school sandwiches for the kids and put them in the freezer.  Tomorrow I will be making up some meatballs and about 4 batches of the waikiki sauce to put in the freezer as well.  Yay!

Today also found me at out local thrift shop unloading more crap stuff from my car that was uselessly in my house.  You know, thinkgs like the clothes I ended up washing and washing and washing because the kids wouldn't wear them or they were too small; so instead of putting them in the bin with the too small clothes, they would put them in their laundry hampers each time they cleaned their rooms or the rubber boots that haven't fit for a couple of years.

There is more stuff in my basement that can leave.  I can feel it in my bones! {grin} I want to get rid of it. I can say with certainty that I am not a minimalist but I am tired of living with the excess clutter, the stuff that is in my house for no good reason to me or my family.

I bought 2 heavy duty shelving units the other day so we can start getting our boxes organized and neater.  Most of the stuff down there though is my husband's... computer books, papers, cables, cords, things I would have no idea whether they are important or neccessary for us to keep.  {Grrr}

I can tell you that right now we have more of our stuff in a neighbor's basement!  Seriously!  I don't know how much or anything but there are boxes of our stuff in someone else's home and I need to go through it and make it so my stuff is in my home where I know where it is.  Like my geneaology book so I can start getting stuff sent to my cousin from Norway, who found me a few weeks ago.  Is that not the coolest thing ever!?

Let's get this {organizing/purging} party started!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Watched an episode of Hoarders

You know the show. I was watching it in the midst of my latest decluttering spree. That was probably some of the best inspiration a girl can have.

What a sad life for the people who suffer from this. My grandma (my mom's mom) was one of these. I didn't know her very well but I do remember the smell of her house, the garbage, the feeling of drowning when we were at her house.

I have struggled with keeping things. I feel attached to the item, feel like the memory is somehow attached to a thing. I have said on here before that our house burned down when I was a child and I can honestly tell you that I need to keep on myself to get rid of the things I had hung onto out of a fear mentality.

In my effort to organize, I had, somewhat, lost control - not to the same degree, or even close to, as the poor people on this show or my grandma.

The last while of purging and decluttering has been so freeing! My "throw it out" mentality has seriously brought so much freedom. Each piece of paper, each article of clothing, each non-used item gone is like a deep breath of fresh, country air. Now, I can assure you that my home is not a hoarder's home but I feel that it is no where near where I want it to be as far as organizing it.  I have a high expectation for what I want my home to look like... I mean, hello, Martha!

So, I, once again, have a few more things to get out of my home to take to the thrift store. I have two big bags going and the aspiration for more to follow suit very quickly! Our move into this townhouse happened at an incredibly busy time of year and I am still waiting for things to be done. (We just got Jellybean's bed frame put together for pity's sake).  There are big plans in my head for organization. I lack the funds and time to bring it all to fruition in the manner I want or in the time-frame I want but that's ok. Moving forward is moving forward; growing is growing and it will come.

Right now I am tackling my basement/storage room because we have boxes of things that need sorting, need organizing and purging. I am organizing from the inside out, right down to the hard drive on my laptop. One day, my medicine cabinet will look like this.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My heart swells

with joy and love and warmth.

I heard the all familiar asian jingle of my phone when I receive a text. Thinking it was my husband texting to let me know he had made it to this week's work destination, I casually reached for the phone and hit the button to read this:

You are a good friend.

That was it. It was not my husband. It was my beautiful friend.

They are going through hard times (financially) right now so that means there are things they need to give up. One of the luxuries my dear friend likes is a coffee (large double cream) from a local coffee shop. Monday night I just wanted to do something nice for my friend. I know, firsthand, how tiring, draining, stressful it is to be fighting through "hard times"; I know, firsthand, that sometimes you can't see around the  barracade in the path of your life - you sometimes wonder if there really is an end to it even if you truly believe there is.

I bought her a coffee. I spent $1.53. I saw a spark in her eye when I handed it to her, not because I handed her a coffee but because I handed her a glimmer of hope.

Approximately a month back, we came across a man who asked us for a couple dollars. Sometimes our gut reaction is "no" because we have both seen the abuse of that generosity. Honestly, we have been jaded in that sense. We told him no and we drove away. We weren't even halfway down the block and we hit a "God wall". I searched my purse and found some money, not a lot,  but some and we turned around and found the young man, gave him the money. It was NOT a lot of money but it was enough to get him a meal that night. With tears fighting to break forth he told my husband how much he appreciated our kindness, that he wasn't going to go buy drugs or alcohol, he had hit hard times and just needed to make it through the next couple of days until he got paid. He had had an accident at work and needed to pay to fix his boss's truck.

Why am I telling you this? Certainly not to toot my own horn because, given the little we gave in reality, it is more of a shame on our part. Why I tell you is because I want to encourage you how little it really takes to bring hope into the life of someone else.

Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Time to Choose

Today is Tuesday, merely the second day of the week but there have all ready been so many terrible & false words said about God this week. People everywhere, around the world are  blaming Him, using & misconstruing His name & His words to get their points across, in some cases, no matter how twisted their points may be.

My heart breaks knowing that there are so many terrible, unjust, untrue and angry words spoken about Him for I know His goodness. If it were not for God and His mercy, His grace and His justness I would surely not be where I am today. Fact of the matter is, the path I was on, the people I spent my time with, the daily activities are participated in, I would surely be dead and if not dead, certainly not in a place where I am able to sit in a cozy home that's full of love, life and happiness and surrounded by people full of life and love.

Even people who love Him, unknowingly say hurtful things about Him when we doubt He will provide for us, when we feel He has bestowed sickness & disease upon us, when we speak doubt, uncertainty, dismay, when we speak poorly or critically of others...

We need to ensure that our words and that our praises reach the ears of God, that we surround Him with such magnificent, resounding praises that we protect Him from hearing those words that break His heart.

You may question why God needs to be protected because, after all, He IS God. What I want you to do is to sit and think about how your praises, your simple words could fill His ears so He doesn't need to hear those false accusations... wouldn't you want to do all you could to ensure He that He doesn't HAVE to hear those horrible words?

We all have a choice that we can make EVERY day. Let your words be full of life, hope and praise to The One who deserves EVERY good word we can say to and about Him. Let's make our choice.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Look Into My Schedule

Briefly, I am going to give you a lay-out of our week just for an FYI.

- Hubby works (possibly out of town for the week, possibly home during the evening)
-I work until 1:00 PM
-Kids in school
-My husband & I, if he is here, are to be at the church for 6:30 so he can prepare for the 7:00 service. The kids are, obviously, with us.  We get home around 10:00

- Hubby works.
-I work until 4:30
-Kids at school
-I need to be at the church for 7:00 for Worship Team practice (if BigDaddy is out of town, the kids are with me). We get home in between 9:00 and 10:00

-Hubby works
-I work until 4:30
-Kids in school
-Media night at the church, which my husband & I are involved in. He is involved in IT work at the church as well as helping to research & plan equipment we need and all the other technical stuff that is involved. I help to write articles, help with photography/editing, our facebook page, and now promotional videos (most of the creative stuff I am involved in helping with).

-Hubby works
-I work until 4:30
-Kids school
-Family time (like wii or what-have-you)
-Prep cooking
-Corporate Prayer Team preparation for Friday

-Hubby works (or is just getting back into town)
-I work until noon
-Kids in school until 2:00 only
-Final preparation for Corporate Prayer if needed
-Finalizing testimonies for Sunday's service with my partner

-family time
-Possibly visiting friends/family

-Church service from about 8:30-about 1:30
-much needed nap
-chill out time

We keep our children with us for all of our work we need to do at the church so we are together, if they need help with homework, or just want to talk (we are able to stop and focus just on them). If BigDaddy needs to go to the church on a Saturday, he usually goes first thing in the morning so the three of us can sleep in and get some extra rest.

So, now you see where my organizational skills need to be refined because, let me be honest with you, most of my trouble lies not with a busy schedule but with procrastination. For example, I could very well (and should) have a load of laundry on and make good use of this late night internet time but, alas, I was too lazy not motivated enough to go upstairs to gather a load of laundry and go all the way downstairs to the laundry room (you know 'cause our house is huge {cough cough} and it would be such a burden to do something so practical). {grin}

So, I fine tune my scheduling a bit and will fine tune a bit more once I get that under control and so on and so on and so on until I am a well-oiled machine or cloning becomes legal. you know, whichever comes first.

I just have one question for y'all... what should I name my clone? {GRIN!!!!}

Feeling a little sad today

Yesterday we found out that we were moving our church service to another church, in a city close to us. It just so happens that it is the same city Rush lives in. So, I text my mom to see if we could stay over night and have a visit in the morning.  She said it was fine and that she was not sure what Rush's plans were.

I sent her a text asking her to just let Rush know the plans and that she can choosed from their depending on what her plans are.  This is the status I see on her "secret" to us facebook page: can't f'ing believe this why the "f" do I have to change my plans just cuz ur gonna be here u wouldn't do the same for me

I replaced the swears myself because I do not want those words on my blog; I do not use them, appreciate seeing them and don't want to force anyone to see them either, even though we know what the words are.

I never asked for her plans to be changed; my mom decided that all on her own and we get the flack and the wrath of her hatred and anger. I am at the point right now that I don't even want to go spend any time there; I don't want to subject myself to the attitude we will get but I will go and I will be making sure to let her know, in person and in front of my mom, that we did not ask for her plans to be changed. I have text her, letting her know if we see her, we see her because we don't expect her to change her plans on such short notice just for a couple hour visit... I guess we see if I ever get a reply.

Trying oto focus on positive things but I have to admit that it hurts.  It seems my mom does whatever she can to sabbotage any progress we make with Rush. I just feel a little sad but I am beyond the point in my life where I let it bring me down.  This blog was started on the "working out" my feelings about Rush and I will continue to chronicle it so I can give the best testimony I can when our relationship has been completely restored!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I am

not a stay-at-home mom. I wish I were but, alas, our situation does not, at this time, allow for me to fullfill that desire. I don't wish to be because I think that stay-at-home moms have it easy. That is far from it. I think they work just as hard as working moms, if not harder at times.  My desire is to be that mom that can have homemade cookies made for her children when they come home from school, to have the laundry washed, dried, folded and put away (in the same week {grin}), etc.

When Jellybean was young I was able to stay home during the day and then work a few hours during the evening so I did get to do a lot of those things and it did my heart good to feel like I was caring for my family the way I felt I needed to be.

I miss that.

But I can not change what my life is now or what our life requires of me and I will not begrudge it either.  I do love my life and all that it entails; I would just prefer things slightly adapted if I were given my choice.

So... since I have one evening and one weekend day a week to prepare, plan and do "deep" cleaning, I have to make sure to keep myself organized because family time is first and foremost on those days! 2011 marks the beginning of me re-structuring my household management skills. As I go through trial-and-error, looking for things that work for a busy family of 4 home of 4 (we are a bigger family than that only 4 live here now), I will share with you what has worked and not worked for us and, being teachable and ready to learn would love to hear from you what has worked and hasn't worked for your family.

Why re-invent the wheel right?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Eating green sugar cubes

Yesterday I read a, now, new blogger friend's post about 25 random things about her. In one of her points she mentioned eating a pickle from off the ground and it reminded me of the green sugar cube incident of '81.

My brother was 3 years old and we had a pony named Star.  Star was a round, bay Shetland pony with, obvioulsy, a white star on his forehead.  Did I mention Star was round?  I did? Oh, ok because he was R.O.U.N.D!

We decided that we were going to give our beautiful pony a treat and having read so many books about horses loving sugar cubes, we decided that that is what we would do.  We attempted to give this silly, round pony the sugar cube. (I need to interject my own story by telling you that Star had just finished enjoying a bountiful feast of tall, juicy grass from just outside our fence.)

Star did not like the sugar cube one little bit. He rolled it around in his mouth for a bit and spit it out onto the ground. The cube was now a strange shade of green.

My brother was 3.

(I know I said that all ready but can anyone guess where this is leading to? Anyone?)

He picked that sugar cube up off the ground, in all its greeniness (You weren't there! This word totally is a legit word in this story {grin}) and popped that sucker right in his little mouth and ate it!

I guess that's one way to get kids to eat their vegetables, huh?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

25 Random Things About Me

I saw this on a thread in a BlogFrog community and thought it looked like a lot of fun.  So, here goes my list of 25 Random Things About Me.

1. I loathe wearing socks. I will, in fact, only wear them at work or if I am outside playing in the snow on an extremely cold day; otherwise I am in flipflops, dress shoes (sans socks) and even slip my feet into my winter boots without socks on! Can't stand them.

2. When I wear socks my feet "feel" claustrophobic. Not even kidding. Most of the time I can't even stand having my feet under the blankets.

3. My house burned down when I was a pre-teen. I have very few pictures of my family from before that time as a result. Due to that I have become addicted to taking pictures of everyone and everything.

4. My heart's desire was to become a nurse. I got accepted into school but had to turn it down due to circumstances. I still hold a bit of resentment over that.

5. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. (Whatdya mean I am all ready a grown-up!?)

6. As a child I would lay in the pasture with the calves curled up against them and their mamas and my grandparents/parents would freak out thinking the cows would attack me for being so close to their brand new babies. I never once got attacked.

7. I name all the animals I have ever had in my life. Including the 100 head of cattle and several dozen pigs we would have at one time. We had a bull named Ferdinand and a bull named Chance. WE also had a cat named Pickles.

8. I grew up in the same yard as my grandparents. They were like a second mom and dad to me.

9. I am an incredibly huge daddy's girl and was the same way with my above mentioned grandpa.

10. I like playing in mud puddles.

11.Everyone tells me how much they love my curls but I have cried over my hair on a regular basis (as no one around here knows what to do with it).

12. I have a tattoo and would not hesitate to get another one. All the tattoos I have thought of have incredible significance to me regarding my family.

13. I am terrified of water and have a mental block that I will never be able to swim after almost drowning when I was a child.

14. I will never let my children see that water scares me as I don't want to pass this fear on to them.

15. I would love to travel to Norway to meet some of my family and to, hopefully, learn some of the language.

16. I speed (but I have never gotten a ticket speeding ticket).

17. I could eat far too much lemon meringue pie, the more meringue the better. It makes me feel happy.

18. I cry easily: happy, sad, angry, frustrated... I cry.  My dad tells me that like my grandma, my bladder is too close to my tear ducts.

19. My dad calls me Orange and Ralph.

20. My dad is my hero.

21. There is a lake named after one of my great-uncles who was killed in World War Two. It's in the very province I live in but with it's remote location, the cost to fly there to go see it would be ludicrous.

22. I want to go anyway.

23.I used to spend way too much time with a well-known bike gang.

24. I was asked to try-out for the Olympic team for Tae Kwon Do. I decided that I didn't want to devote that much time to anything at the time and said no.  I wish I had at least continued with my Tae Kwon Do trainging.

25. I can't wait to have my very own house so I can get a dog for my children. I belive it is a special part of building childhood memories. I would never give up the memories I have of the dogs that we had growing up.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thank you...?

Tonight at supper BigDaddy & I were talking about how I had had a bad day at work and had decided, in my mind, that I wanted to have a BigMac today for lunch and he wouldn't let me.  Let's be honest.  I was quite annoyed at that but I know he is helping me.  He was being strong for me and I appreciate that about him.

Anyway, I was having a temporary pity party. Yes, people those do happen in this house and I can freely admit to my part in them (sometimes it takes me longer to admit I am pouting but I do admit it {grin}). I was saying things like 'it doesn't seem to matter what I do, once I get to this weight I can't lose anything more' and things like that. I was speaking doubt & disbelief.

My sweet, dear Bug piped up from his spot at the kitchen table, "Mama, you are NOT fat. You are just a little out of weight, that's all." 

He really has been coming to my "rescue" lately and building up my honor.  Take for example on the way home from our extended vacation last week, BigDaddy & I were talking and he said, "So, what do you think, chick." Bug let his disgust at that comment be known from the back seat, scolding his daddy, "That's not some chick!  That's my mommy!"

Have I told you guys lately that he is seriously my favorite seven year old?  Like, I am not even kidding! {grin}

With a New Year

comes a new desire, a new hope and a new belief that that this year will be different! Health-wise that is.  My wonderful husband has decided to join me in making our lifestyle changes.  It is nice to not be in competition with an alternate vision in my house.  It's nice to not have the complaints like "What? Spinach salad and salmon - A-GAINNNNN!!!"

In the 10 days of this new and fantastic year I have managed to lose all the holiday weight I had gained.  And it was a lot (in my opinion!). I mean, it's hard to not gain wait when you are not at home and are eating out in restaurants and fast food joints for 2 weeks.

Now, for my next hurdle or magic trick... I have been trying to get past my "normal" weight for 3 years.  It seems nothing I have done has gotten me below that number.  My body likes that number right now.  My doctor tells me it is because I have only recently gotten to a place where I have been eating "normal"; you see, I have struggled with a severe eating disorder on and off since I was 13 years old. He believs that my metabolism has been whacked out for such a long time that I need to be patient with myself.  I have been patient for 3 years.  No more Mrs Nice Guy!!!!

This is the year I leave it behind (and not in my behind!!! {wink})

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's just a little thing but...

it's really beginning to irritate me that I can NOT type the word "we" without it initially looking like this "WE", which makes it look like I am yelling or emphasizing "we" at y'all. I am certain that 9 times out of 10 I am back-spacing to correct that and it is driving. me. nuts!

End rant.  :D

Friday, January 7, 2011

7 days into the new year

have you lost your vision yet?

Do you have a vision for 2011?

Our family doesn't do resolutions per se.  We do assess the year that is (now has) coming to an end and try to utilize what we see has been working and learn from what hasn't been. From that we make a family plan for the coming year.

While we were driving to Missouri for Christmas, where no one could bother us, we would have no other agendas to attend to, we sat armed with a notebook, a pen and our individual insights into the past and impending years. We strategized as a family, learned from each others experiences and needs and desires.

We have several categories on our list: spiritual, financial, physical health, family.

I don't know if we will be successful in all our desires but we are certainly planning to succeed! As long as you are moving forward/growing you are not dying (right?). We plan to continue to grow, to move forward as a family.  Our vision is strong for 2011 for our family and it is strong for yours as well. We pray prosperity in all aspects of your family!

Keep your vision!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Watch it!

Your words that is.

That's something that I've been really thinking about lately...really it's what God has been pushing to the front of my thinking and it has really made me become more aware of the words and the neccessity of what I may say more and more.

People, well, I should be specific, Christians spend so much time worrying about making sure we do what is right that we forget about making sure we say what is right and I am just as guilty as the next guy/gal.  I have been foolish - not meaning joking around - but I have been careless when throwing my words around.

I think that is definitely one of the things I want to work on this year - watching my words.

If I am careless with my words when I speak with my children why would they listen to me just because I tell them "now you need to listen to me because this is really important"?  The same thing holds true with God.  If I throw my words around, if I murmur, complain, criticize etc why should God listen to me when I say, "Ok God, I need you to listen to me because I am going to pray now."?

It is scriptural to watch our words. Please, don't be scared. I am not going to beat you over the head with scripture now other than to say that we are told that our tongue holds the power to speak life or death into situations and people.  What are you going to choose?  I know I am going to work on putting purpose to my words and making my words count.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'll take door #1, Bob

Except that it isn't our decision.  My family & I had expectations to bring in the New Year with a bang - yes, balloons dropping from the ceiling and fireworks outside - with our friends and family at our church.  We had a conference beginning New Year's Eve and going all through the weekend.

Thursday morning we left Kansas City so we could travel the majority of the day, get to North Dakota, spend the night and be off again bright and early Friday morning, pulling into town just in time to grab a bite to eat and attend the New Year's Eve festivities.

That was OUR plan.

Let me tell you what really happened.

Thursday morning we started off for home, leaving a bright, sunny and warm Kansas City. The further north we got, the more the weather began turning ugly - not just cold but ugly.  At Sioux Falls we hit some rain; just after Sioux Falls it became freezing rain with a nice Interstate full of glare ice and in a 1/4 mile section there were 5 cars in the ditch.  We decided that it might be a good idea to stop in at Brookings, SD and find out what was going on.

It was there that we discovered the Interstate was being closed. Talk around town by the locals was that it would probably be opened up the next day.  We booked a hotel room; the hotel had a pool.  Bonus, here is our last night's hoorah of vacation.  Friday rolled around and we were going no where.  Our budget had reached its highest potential. We were at the last of the holiday monies booking the hotel for the one night.

We were not making it to our conference. We made arrangements for streaming video.  We bought ourselves some sparkling grape juice and a meat, cheese and cracker tray (Love me a Super Walmart!) and nestled in our room for the night, bringing in the New Year completly differently than we had "planned".  Saturday came. Still not moving. Streaming arrangements were made again.  We were getting restless.  Money was not in our account for these nights in a hotel nor these extra meals in restaurants (again, I love me a Super Walmart which was the only store we new of in Brookings at that time). We met people from all over USA and Canada who were stranded with us; we visited and laughed with them.  We swam with our children. We bonded in the hotel room.  We wrestled and laughed and snuggled and enjoyed each other in uninterrupted family time.

Sunday morning we left with a convoy of new friends going our way who new back roads to get us home. Interstate was still closed.  There was a small matter of a 100 car pile up in Fargo, ND. We "back roaded" it and got to Minot, ND where we stopped to buy me a new purse and wallet (oh did I not mention mine were stolen, along with my Ipod Touch and camera battery charger?) and to eat.  We then realized that we were way too exhausted to carry on.  Safety played an issue and yet another hotel stay ensued. (Cha ching cha ching cha ching! Do you hear the money floating away? {grin})

4 unexpected nights in a hotel, not getting to be where we needed to be when we were supposed to be there... Things were not going as they planned.  I mean as WE had planned! It was then that we realized that this was the beginnings of an amazing year! Why? Nothing was going right, right? Wrong!  Those 4 days brought our family closer together than ever! Those 4 days we had God encounters that changed our family! Those 4 days showed us that we need to put our complete dependency on God! Those 4 days showed us that when we are faithful to Him He will be faithful to us.

We came home after paying for all those "extras" thinking we would be looking at a negative bank balance. We even sent a text to our landlords asking them not to put our rent check in until we knew how long we would be needing extra lodging.  So, when we got home, looked at our account what do you think we saw?

We saw an account balance that had enough rent check money (in completion) and our children's school fee monies for January! Plus we were handed $100 by a friend which got us enough groceries until payday!!!  Now, if only I would find an Ipod Touch and a new battery charger on my pillow or in my mailbox or something {wink}...

We learned that 2011 will be the year that we rely on God fully, trust Him fully, put our dependency on Him fully.  We will not murmur or complain about our situations in life for we will instead look to the solution and not at the problem!  2011 has been a GREAT year so far and I truly mean that!

Not our plan, God, but Yours.