Monday, February 29, 2016

God's Baby Steps

Did you ever wonder why God puts you in the same situations over and over again? 

The little cynic inside of me makes snarky little comments like "Oh, He just like to irritate you." or "God's got a weird sense of humor- remember the platypus? He did that to mess with Darwin. Maybe He's just messing with you too!"

After stifling the little instigator with duct tape, I started really thinking about this. Why would God have us deal with something over and over again? Even if the workplace is different, the people are different, and the setting is different, it boils down to the same old situation, cropping up like weeds in the garden of our lives.

We keep plucking those suckers out, and they keep coming back! Is God really just messing with us? Or is He doing something we just can't see yet?

So I decided not to look forward, but look back. The past is an amazing thing. Hindsight is always 20/20, and sometimes we can see things we wouldn't normally notice. Like certain situations cropping up repeatedly.

To God, we are babies. Really small, itty-bitty babies. We need His help every single day of our lives. As parents, we help our babies to walk, talk, eat, and get out of diapers before they graduate. God does the same thing with us.

Take walking for instance. We hold on to our babies hands until they are ready to let go. 
They let go. 
They fall. 
They get up and try again. 
They let go. 
They fall. 
They get up and try again.

Sound familiar? 

Our children do it with our help until they can stand and walk on their own. Then we help them with the next step- trying to get them to sit still and pay attention! But I digress.

God keeps putting us in the same situations sometimes to help us learn how to deal with things His way, not ours. Sometimes we learn, sometimes we fall and decide crawling is just plain old better than walking anyway. But God makes us get to our feet and grab His fingers to try again. And again. 
Until we get it right.

Just like any good father would.

I'm sure I give God grief sometimes for being stubborn and crawling when He wants me walking. That's why I get stuck sometimes. He wants me to learn to do it His way- the right way- instead of my way. Then when I get it right and start walking, I'm following in His footsteps.

I'm just glad He's patient and helps me up when I need it!

God's baby steps aren't always easy to execute. The steps aren't going where I think they should go sometimes. But God guides me when I get lost, and puts up barriers over and over again until I go the way He wants.

God is my Father and knows what's best for me- even if I don't know where we're going yet. And that's okay. I'll just take His fingers, stand on His feet and walk where He does- until I can walk right out of that situation!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Be a Clown, Be a Clown, Be a Clown!

My mother always told me I was a clown.

My teachers confirmed I was a clown.

My bosses reprimanded me for being a clown.

But I never thought I'd become one.

One day I received a phone call. It was the party company I'd applied to for face painting. They wanted me to be a clown, but I resisted. The custom costume was too expensive. I couldn't work with all that fabric fluttering about me. The shoes were too big. I wasn't ready for that. So they said I could wear a tuxedo shirt and black shoes with black slacks and I'd be fine.
Then the idea began to grow on me. I had an idea for my signature face makeup and even picked a name- but that was as far as I had gotten.

Today I got a phone call from the party company. They needed a face-painting clown- stat.

He thought I bought a clown costume. 

He thought I had the wig and shoes. 

I thought he was joking- after all, the tuxedo shirt and shoes were in my closet, raring to go! But no, he needed a face painting clown


I told him I had no costume. 
He said he would lend me one.

He asked if I had a face design for my clown costume. I said sort of. 
He said he had an employee that would help me out with that.

I still don't have a wig or shoes. I have to buy them.
Thank You God for Amazon. I also found an inexpensive costume that comes with shoe doo-dads to hide my sneakers. I hope it all gets here in time for the party! 
If not, Helloooo party rental boss? I might need a wig....

I have never clowned- at least to this scale.
I have never painted at a private party. All of my work has been done at public events.
I have never been so nervous before!

Egad squared. I'm going to be a clown this weekend. A real one. Even if the costume and wig are loners.

By next week, I'll have a clown costume of my very own. 
I'll have my signature face. Maybe even get some funky new rainbowy sneakers.
And my new clown name? Cupie, as in cupie doll. 
Cupie the Clown.
Or QP- as in Quick Painter- or maybe Quivering Prayer. Either one would work right now.

Good grief- what have I gotten myself into?

Monday, February 15, 2016

When Life Thorws You Lemons, Make Pie!

Last week I was feeling pretty secure. Finances were starting to level out- in fact some debt was supposed be paid by the end of next month. I had four jobs that played nicely with each other (which in itself was a miracle), and things started looking up.

Then it happened. One of my bosses called and stopped the afternoon regular driving due to client non-payment. My entire weekly afternoon schedule was now open and my salary deeply slashed- at least until the client made good on the contract.

I'm not going to hold my water waiting for the job to resume.

My brain went into overdrive. I had to figure out a way to make up for the funds I would lose! After a lot of brainstorming, I concluded that I can pull it off working more hours on the first driving job; it's flexible enough that I can log on until I attain my goals, and log off to make dinner, emergencies, or do whatever my family needs.

When life throws you lemons, you take a bat, hit those suckers against the kitchen wall into a bowl, and make pie! Lemonade is too easy.

I'm not sure if this is a blessing in disguise or not, but I refuse to see it as an impossible barrier. I'll dig under, go around, or fly over it in order to make my goals if I have to. 

With God beside me, nothing is impossible!

As for the pie? That's a blessing that I'm sharing right now with you besties, offline friends, and family, in case you're going through something similar- a little lemon goes a long way.

Like the bread and fishes thing, just tastier.

So grab a fork and a strainer and get ready to make some pie- for when life throws you lemons, you want the juicy goodness, not the bitter seeds!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Making Time

Time used to be something I had. It was a fickle thing, but for the most part really awesome whenever I possessed it. But then, it happened.

Time slipped through my fingers and went merrily down the sewer.

Now the only way I can make time is if I manufacture my own watches. You know, watches- those time things that used to be on people's wrists? Oh, never mind...
The only way I can make time is if I reset the clock on my smartphone back a few months. 

Or years.

I look at the pages in my scheduler and see vast waves of almost-nothingness- when I go past the two upcoming months that is- and think 'I'll have time to do that then,' or 'Great! We'll do this three months from now!' But when I get there, it's a different story. I get booked and have no time for the fun things in life.

That is so not the way I should do things!

I know better. I just forget to plan and reserve certain days for family fun and friend get-togethers. We wind up asking people the last minute when they are booked, so we wind up doing something else- usually filling those gaps with more work. Yay.

This has got to change, before I go stark raving screwball nutso! 

This week I plan to open my scheduler and claim those blank pages in the name of Sanity. This day for friends at the fire pit, that day for breakfast out, and that weekend for family camping, sans technology. Then when those days come, we have it all covered and can finally relax.

Don't wait to 'make time' with your loved ones- including friends. Make that time count now. Make plans. save up for trips. Give yourself time to be alone if you have to- that's what I do when we're camping! I let my husband take the kids fishing or exploring, and I sit at the camp reading and just listening to the birds, squirrels and God. It's awesome.

Last year we didn't do much of anything because I didn't plan to do anything. We wound up working and cleaning up the house and yard. Whoopty-stinkin'-doo. Memories aren't made doing chores!

Think about that for a second. You never hear the kids say "Hey- remember that time we took the trash out?" Nope...never gonna happen. And if they do say things like that, you really need to go out and do something with them. Stat.

It's not easy to make time for you, your family and your friends. But it's important to get away from the screens and devices and get face-to-face with your peeps once in a while. Don't let time escape down the sewer. Hold it close and savor it as often as you can!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Brain Shorts

My brain is shot.

Why? Because I'm a mom. But I'm not just a mom- I'm a mom with too many jobs that likes to have a hand in everything my family does. Because of that, my brain is about as useful as the new math.

I'm out of the door by 5:30 am. and I don't usually get back home until 7:00 pm- with a small break at the house somewhere in the middle of the day to throw something fast down my throat.  

I come home, eat something, zip off to a meeting, do something with the family, or go through a bazillion emails (mostly tossed into the 'Delete' pile), then collapse into bed by 9:00. Weekends are a little better, but we're still running and playing catch-up with the house, shopping, church, or activities.

And I'm wondering why my brain is shot?

God has a sense of irony. Don't believe He doesn't! Half a year ago I was an at-home mom wondering why people can't just slow down and rest when they obviously had to- I mean, how hard could it be?

And then God came along, saw me being all smuggish and decided I needed to learn something. A few somethings, actually. Well I'm not smuggish anymore! Thanks a lot, Lord. Now I have trouble finding time to blink.

Right now my brain wants me to shut down this blog and take a nap before I start my second job. Selfish- I know! But I wanted to tell you about a few things first.

My brain has been betraying me. This is how I know I need a new one. This one's shorting out and breaking down. 

How? Here are some examples:
I was writing out my menu plans for the week, and my brain kept insisting on putting 'Reservations'- on every single day. 
My 'To Do' list had 'Nap' written on it. Twice. In my handwriting. I don't remember writing it. 
My brain told me Girl Scout cookies would give me energy. I never bought them before. I bought two boxes and ate most of them. It lied. Lemonades rock.
I've started a conversation, paused, and totally forgot what my point was and ended with another story entirely.
While filling out the title of this blog post, I kept thinking of my brain wearing Bermuda shorts and had a strong desire to be on a beach somewhere, sipping iced tea with fruit in it.

Oh yeah- my brain is definitely shot.

That is the last time I get smug around God. I don't think I'd survive Him doing this again!

Blog post done. Brain short blamed.
Now...about that nap...