Sunday, June 29, 2014

In His Shoes

     I am participating in a 30 day marriage challenge.  Each day there are prompts for the day.  Some are simple for me (give him three hugs today), others are harder (go a whole day without correcting him).  Yesterday the challenge was to imagine how it feels to be in his shoes.  I am overwhelmed at how much he deals with each day and still is able to keep a smile on his face.

     Jim has a fairly demanding job...he is a store manager.  Not only does he have to deal with his staff, but he has to deal with the public all day.  Jim is great at dealing with people.  He is able to work with all sorts of people and he rarely lets them get under his skin.  One of his motto's is "Never let them see you sweat".  He treats people fairly, the way that he wants to be treated.  

    I am not easy to live with....I know this about myself, but Jim seems to enjoy living with me.  I am moody, I need to be alone, loud eating makes me cringe, and that is just what I can think of quickly.  And Jim loves me in spite of all of this.  He arranges his schedule so that he is able to spend time with me.  Our marriage is important to him and he works on showing me that he values our marriage.

     Jim is a great father to his children.  No, he wasn't' able to be at every ball game that the boys were in, but if he wasn't at work, he was there.  The boys know that Jim loves them, always, no matter what.  He isn't afraid to say that he loves them.  He  fixes Delainey's hair in the mornings and plays Pirate Daddy at bedtime.  He worries about the choices that all of his children make, but supports them in any way that he can.

     Not only is Jim dealing with me and my moods on a daily basis, but his parents now live with us.  It is a learning process for all of us.  Jim is seeing his parents as they are aging and it is hard.  He is having to balance his time even more now.

     Jim is one of the most modest men that I know.  If he reads this, he will say that it is not a big deal, it's just what he does.  But he does it well.  I am blessed that I am able to walk along side him each day.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


     We all make's what we humans do.  We make big ones, small ones, and everything in-between.  Sometimes we know that we are making a mistake even as we do them.  Other times, we realize after the fact that we made a mistake.  The great thing about mistakes is that we can learn from them...even though we don't always learn that lesson the first time.  Some people keep making the same mistakes over and over again until finally they realize there is a problem.

     I have made some pretty big mistakes in my life.  My first marriage was a mistake.  On some level, I knew that it wasn't the right thing to do, but all my friends were getting married, we had dated for a long time, I wanted to start a family.  So I got married...and it wasn't right.  There was no abuse, no ugliness, but there was no true love.  The things I wanted weren't the things he wanted.    It took me a long time to realize that it was a mistake.  I learned what I truly want from a marriage because of that mistake.  It was a big one...I spent several years of my life learning my lesson from that mistake.  My friends and family didn't judge me for making such a big mistake, instead they stood by my side and loved me.

     I make little mistakes every day.  I know that I can't fry chicken...if we want fried chicken, we go out.  I yell to much...I have to ask for forgiveness from my family every time I do that.  I don't always return emails and phone calls from friends right away...they love me any way.   I have forgotten a deadline on a project at work, luckily a coworker picked up my slack...and gave me another chance to do better next time.  Every day I make some sort of mistake in my life, often times more than one.

     Everyone makes mistakes, it's how we respond to them that makes us a better person.  Hopefully, I am learning a lot, because I know I make a lot of mistakes!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Balance Defined

    I have talked about my word for the year, balance, but I didn't break down my specific areas of balance.  My balance has slipped, so maybe I need to make the areas more public so that I feel pressured to keep up my balance.  I am trying to keep all of my goals SMART....Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, that I don't overwhelm myself.

     FAITH  I want to spend more time daily with God, reading the Word, praying, and listening.  I want to find a small group Bible study, either for Jim and I or just me.  I want to get my Emmaus group active again, I miss my small support group!

     JIM  Jim and I need monthly date nights, quiet time for us to reconnect and spend time together which isn't always easy when life gets hectic.  I also want to spend more time with Jim, without distractions of tv, phones, and all the other things that get in the way of communication.

     DELAINEY  I want to establish a better bedtime routine with D.  She already has one, but there are improvements that could be made to make it easier and calmer for all of us.  I want more playtime with D as well.  We spend time together, but I want more time to just play, to enjoy her childhood with her.  I also need to work on my level of patience with her...sometimes I forget that she is 8.

     Nancy  I need to spend time alone....I crave that time.  I want to write more often.  I want to work on my scrapbooks that are piling up.  I want to learn a new craft (knitting is the top of the list and my friend Julie has given me the tools I need...I just need to do it).

     Finances  Jim and I need to establish our emergency fund.  We need to continue to work on our debt in order to plan for the future.

     Food  Meal planning makes life so much easier at our house and I need to do that every week.  We want more "real" food in our diet...less processed foods.  I won't get on my soap box, but seriously, eat more real food people!  I want to establish a food budget as well...I want to track what we spend on our food.  I have a feeling that we spend more than we need.

     Health and Wellness  I need a yearly physical...I pay for insurance and insurance pays for a physical, it's like throwing money away when I don't get one.  I want to move a little more each day...with the goal of running a 5k at some point in 2014 (that is D's goal, but I am sharing it with her).  I also want to take a more holistic approach to the wellness of my family.

     Giving  Jim and I want to increase our giving...both through our finances and our time.  I would like for us to find something that we can do as a family to share the joy that comes from giving.

     So that's it, that's what my balance looks like to me.  Each month I find different ways to work on my overall balance and do a monthly check up to see where I need to focus.  I am getting ready for my March check up and I know that it doesn't look good, but I think that I am going to add a quarterly check up as well (because that looks much better than March).

     For those of you who picked a word for the year, how is it changing your life?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and
certain of what we do not see."
Hebrews 11:1

     I have always believed in God, always known that He is real.  I had an experience as a child (maybe fourth grade or so) where I know that He was watching over me in a very real way.  Since that time, I have never doubted Him or His love for me.  I have strayed from Him, but through all that I have done, good and bad, He has loved me.  

     I sometimes feel that my faith is pretty simple, that I don't have more depth because I have never gone through a period of doubt in my life.  But this verse makes me feel so much, sure of what I hope for, certain of what I do not see.  I am not very good at explaining my faith, because for me, it just is.  I have always felt His presence in my life...even when I was far away from Him.  

     The other day at church, my pastor talked about gifts that some of us have...I don't have the ability to preach the way that some do.  I don't have eloquent prayers to offer, although my prayers are very heartfelt and just as important.  I am beginning to realize that one of my gifts is my simple as it is.

     My faith is part of me, as natural to me as breathing.  My faith allows me to see the silver lining in clouds that I face.  My faith allowed me to be positive during Jim's cancer.  My faith makes me strong, when in reality, I feel so very weak.  My faith allows me to love when it would be easier to hate.  My faith allows me to do things that I never thought I would be able to do.  

     Faith...being sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see.  I know my faith comes from my Father.  I am so grateful that He has given me this wonderful gift.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"Drop-in Ready"

     Delainey had another snow day today.  Jim and I both had to work.  Luckily, I have a wonderful friend who is willing to watch D during snow days and delays.  This friend has truly been a God sent person in our life...she was there for us so many times last year during Jim's cancer...always willing and ready for whatever we asked of her.  When I picked D up today, this friend's house was so neat and signs that two seven year olds were there....let alone her other two girls.
     When I got home, I looked around my house.  I am not trying to make comparisons, but I guess that I am.  My house is not neat and tidy.  It isn't dirty, but it is cluttered.  It is unorganized.  It needs work.  I want my house to be a haven for my family.  I don't want to have to move clean laundry from the couch when we sit down.  I need a plan to get my house so that it is "drop-in ready".

     I have tried to do FlyLady, but she stresses me out for some reason.  A good friend gave me her cleaning lists.  I love lists, but all those cleaning lists overwhelm me.  I need to get myself fully onboard with a system in order to get my family fully on board.  I need to start small...and branch out.  I need to focus on one room and make lists for the family.  Jim is a huge help around the house, but he likes to have a list.  And I hate making him lists because I want him to see what needs to be done without me telling him to do it.  Do you see why I get overwhelmed so easily when it comes to cleaning my house?!

     Today, I am going to start with my computer area.  It is in the living room and it is piled high with papers..and stuff.  I am going to sort those papers today.  And I am going to file them.  Then I am going to get all the other junk off the computer area cleaned up.  I will feel that I have accomplished something.  I will keep the computer area cleaned....I will!  Then I will move on.....

     If you drop-in to visit, don't expect a neat and tidy house...maybe some day, but it might take a while for that to happen.  Just know that you are always welcome to visit.  The house might not be neat and tidy, but it is filled with love for those who come to visit.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Balance...Delainey's way!

     My word of the year, Balance, is also my family's word of the year.  That word means different things for each of us and we all need to find our own balance.  I have a binder of things that I am including in my plan for balance.  Part of Jim's balance is managing work and home a little differently this year.  For Delainey, this means running a 5k...for the family.  Yes, Delainey wants the three of us to run a 5k this year.  So, for the love of my child, I am making plans to run a 5k.

     I have always had friends who are runners.  I know people who run 5k's, half marathons, marathons, ultra-marathons...I don't understand those people, but I like them anyway.  Seriously, I like the idea of running, but the thought of running, not so much!  The thought of running makes me want to crawl back into my bed and hide.

     I am starting to plan now.  I am moving a little more each day.  That in itself is huge for me...I have a job in an office, at a desk.  I drive 2 hours a day on top of being at work 9 hours a day.  That is a lot of sitting.  In March, we are going shopping for running shoes. And then we run.  My plan is to use Couch to 5K to train with.  I know others who started this way, so that is my starting point.  Since I have finally gotten a smart phone, I can download an app to help me (yes, until recently, I still had a phone, just a phone), if I can figure out what that means exactly.

     My friend Liz, from Eternal Lizdom, is planning on running with her daughter. Liz and I don't live close enough to train together, but we can encourage each other...and wonder what on earth our daughters have gotten us in to!  I have friends, both runners and non-runners who I know will encourage me.  And I know that my family will be my biggest source of encouragement.

     We haven't found a race for us yet, but I know that we will.  I have confidence that as a family we will accomplish this goal that Delainey has set for us.  But in the meantime, if you see me lagging behind Jim and Delainey, give me a little encouragement...or a ride to catch up to them!

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Power of Words

     I am enjoying watching so many friends (and friends of friends) pick a word for the year.  I have been picking a word for the year for a while now.  When I pick the word, I am never sure how it will turn out or if the word is really  beneficial, but looking back on my words, I can see how they all worked in my life.

     In 2011, I chose the word "Better".  2011 was a rough year for me.  As a family, we were facing a huge relocation....from the city to the country.  I didn't want to move.  I didn't tell people about it until I had to tell them.  Jim moved before me. I had to transfer to a new job.  We all had big adjustments to make.  I struggled with it each day.   I had to tell myself that each day would get better.  It was hard, but it did get better.  We moved into a house after being in an apartment.  I liked my new job.  Delainey got to enjoy a large yard.  It wasn't a perfect year, but it ended better than it started.

     In 2012, I chose the word "Healthy".  I didn't want to focus on just weight loss, but on all aspects of the word.  Looking back, some could say that the word didn't do much good, as that was the year Jim was diagnosed with cancer.  But leading up to that time we had started taking baby steps to a healthier life.  We started shopping at local farmer's markets each week.  We found a family doctor to take care of us.  We found a church home that we are all happy with.  We were forming new friendships.  We became closer as a family.  We formed the building blocks of a healthier life that would aid us in the fight of Jim's cancer.

     In 2013, I chose the word "Stronger".  Again, I didn't want to focus only on the physical aspect of the word, but my entire being.  I do feel that I grew stronger in many ways.  My faith became so much stronger as the year went on.  Mentally, I am stronger than I have ever been.  As a family, we have become strong together.  My ties to our community have grown stronger.  Physically, I did not grow in strength.  I feel that is my one area that my word didn't ring true.  I had surgery last year and feel that my body has become weaker rather than stronger.  But maybe in order to grow stronger in other areas, the obvious area wasn't as important.

     I am anxious to see what 2014 brings in terms of balance.  I have my goals for the year, but my goals aren't always the end result of my word.  I joked with a friend that sometimes the word chooses you rather than you choosing the word.  I feel that way about "Balance" this year.  If you have a word for the year, good luck on your journey.  I look forward to hearing about your word and the things it brings!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


     My word journey this year was harder than it has been in previous years.  I am not sure why, it just was.  I thought I had a word, but I wasn't sure.  Jim suggested that we have a work for our family this year...balance.  I am good with a family word, but I still wanted a word for me.  I searched Pinterest looking for words, I read, I prayed.  And one word kept speaking to me.

     On New Year's Eve, I still hadn't decided on my word.  I was up early and began to think....I surfed....I prayed.  And balance is MY word for the year.  I am happy to share it with my family, but I am going to own the word for 2014.  I spent a lot of time Tuesday morning deciding exactly what balance means to me.  I have a balance binder for 2014.  On the cover is an 8 petal flower.  Each petal is part of what I try to balance all the time.  I know that they fluctuate in their need, but as a whole, they need to be in balance.

     I have some goals for the year...some a pretty big goals, some are smaller goals.  I have a plan on how to reach those goals.  I have broken them down into smaller monthly goals.    And every month, I plan to evaluate where I am on those goals.  I am not ready to share them all yet, but hopefully I will get to that point.

     Balance to me is keeping everything in perspective.  Hopefully I have a plan to keep my life in balance for the coming year!