Friday, October 31, 2008

Lots of New Things

For those of you who do not know, I have been looking and looking for a job for several months. It kept seeming that doors would open and then slam shut. Well, last week I finally started a job. And it is completely new to me. I am working for Chevron with the title of engineering assistant. I wish I could tell you more of what that means, but basically, I just do whatever I am told. So far it has consisted of data entry and printing a lot of maps. The job just fell into place. I have a friend here, and her mother was looking to hire someone, and I was the person she decided to hire. I knew her mother some, from going to different family events. She is very nice and great to work for. All of the people in my office are very nice . . . and very patient with me as I learn! Also, my boss is from Bartlesville originally, though she has been in Bakersfield since she was about five years old. Kind of fun!!! I am working three days a week, and they are flexible. Normally I am working Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 7:00 to 4:00. I love getting off work early, but the mornings are just about to kill me!!! I am absolutely not a morning person. However, I am so thankful for God's provision.

It has been a rough week, though. To start things off, on Wednesday, we locked ourselves completely out of our house. Later that evening, we found out something one of our kids did that was incredibly shocking and disappointing - don't want to get into the details, but we have dealt with it much of the rest of the week. I don't want anyone to worry, everyone is fine, but there were some tough lessons to learn and probably to still be learned. I am mostly not saying anything because it would not please the child who made the mistake. Then, on Thursday night, Sarah cut her own hair. While she did a nice job overall, she has bangs, which just makes me sad. I have worked hard to keep her from having bangs. Then on Friday, we got a phone call from the fraud department of our credit card company verifying some charges. Our card number had been stolen, and several charges were made. One, in particular, was a charge of over $600.00 to a florist. I'm glad the fraud department caught it and that we don't have to pay it, so really it was not that big of a deal, but still a bummer.

While most of this is little, add it all to the busyness in our lives and the stress of church planting, and it was a hard week. I spent a lot of time wondering what we are doing and having a lot of doubts. Why are we here? Why did God choose us to do this? Is this really what He wants us to do?

As I was trying to pray on Wednesday evening, my mind kept wandering, and I was frustrated. However, it did wander to Scripture, I kept thinking of Isaiah 40:31, which says, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not grow weary, and they shall walk and not faint." In another version, the word "wait" is "hope". The word "hope" means to trust in or look expectantly to. This caused me to look inward and consider, "What am I trusting in? What am I eagerly awaiting?" I have to keep my eyes on what is truly important and not lose sight of the one who gives me strength, who gives me endurance to run this race. I think my focus was on the wrong thing for several days, and this isn't the first time. I have got to constantly refocus on Jesus.

I really sensed God's presence as we dealt with stuff with our kids this week. No, we definitely did not do things perfectly. There were several times when voices were elevated and tempers were lost, but God gave us wisdom, and He put people in our lives to help us as we treaded on new territory, dealing with brand new issues. Parenting grows us as much as it grows the kids, in wisdom, in humility and in reliance on the Lord.

We ended the week on a good note, with a nice family night out to Chipotle (My Bartlesville friends - you really, really need one of these there!!!) and then bowling. And since we had the little kids, we bumper bowled, which is always nicer on the scoreboard!!! It was a nice Friday evening, and I am thankful for my family and thankful for the God that I serve and for His Word, which grants us wisdom and a better understand of who He is.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Back in Time

I have seen so many amazing friends over the last 3 days, and I have enjoyed all of my time with each of them. Last night I was visiting with some of my old friends from Bartlesville! We were reminiscing about old times in college and beyond and just enjoying some good laughs. It was wonderful! While I am grateful for my new friends and relationships in Bakersfield, I really miss my friends here! It is stressful to come back for several reasons, but I think the biggest is that it reminds me of what I am missing. I can put it out of my mind when I am gone and busy. While I cannot imagine ever moving back, I really miss a lot of people.

Just driving around town takes me back through the past 17 years of my life - different memories pop into my mind as I pass different locations while driving down the road - from different places that Brent and I went when we were dating to old places of employment and old friends and fun memories I have with my kids. I think about all of it and remember so many good times. Mixed in with all of that were tough times, too, but I don't seem to remember those as much. I guess that is good.

Tonight I also heard some news that is still just making my stomach hurt. Things change so much in so little time. Sometimes I wish I could just go back to when things were simpler. I doubt back then they seemed simple, but right now my memories are simple. I remember life being slower and people being happier. I wonder in ten years if I will look back and see things that I am experiencing now differently than how I feel right now as I go through life. I wish I could take people back with me and remind them of what things looked like back then - marriages, friendships, work relationships. Change is good (although not all change), but change is also hard. Sometimes I wish some things didn't have to change so much.

And yet I know God allows change to grow us and to prepare us to do His work, so I know I must accept it and not dwell on what used to be.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pics from Palm Springs

Here are some pictures from my trip to Palm Springs with my grandmother, aunt and cousins - A girls weekend. We ate a lot of good food, got in some shopping, relaxed at the hotel, had manicures/pedicures, saw a movie and swam a little. It was so fun. I love being near them and being able to enjoy these times.