Monday, March 13, 2017

Finding joy

     It's no secret that this year hasn't started off great for my family.  And it's no secret that I have been whining about it for far to long.  I have been letting this crap (no other word seems to fit here) steal my joy.  And I haven't been sharing the joys that I do have in my life.  I decided yesterday, that I need to focus on the small joys that happen throughout the day.  Some days there might be more than one joyful moment and others, I might really need to search for the joy.  But for now, I just want to share a few of the small joys that have happened lately....

     Yesterday a friend from church gave me two prayer shawls for my in laws.  These shawls are made by several ladies at church and then our congregation sets aside time to lay hands on the shawls and pray over them.  They are very special.  I brought them home and my mother-in-law loved hers.  She has Alzheimer's, so some days she doesn't comprehend well.  I am not sure that she understood the prayers that are in that shawl, but something about it gave her comfort.  Seeing her smile was a joy.

     We have four chickens. It's a pain in the butt to feed them in the cold and wet. The coop stinks (seriously, have you smelled chickens).  But watching the birds come running when we serve them dried meal worms makes me laugh every time!  Those crazy birds will follow whoever is carrying the red bag of worms.  I never thoought that you could actually herd chickens, but we can at our house!

     Delainey wasn't been able to get to know my coworkers when I worked in Louisville because of the distance.  Since I am working close to home, she has been in and out of the store since before it was opened.  Tonight, my girl went with me while I had my eyes checked.  While there, she got hugs and chatted with several of my coworkers.  Seeing my shy girl being so willing to reach out to others (and have them reach right back out to her) makes me smile.  

     There are the little things that I don't think about, but really make my days much more joyful:  Mornings when Delainey and I don't fight about every single thing.  An unexpected email or text from a friend.  Coworkers who are supportive and just make me laugh.  A husband who works his fanny off, but still takes time to fix dinner when I have had enough.  Meeting our deductible, so now insurance will start paying more of the medical bills we are racking up.  A good night's sleep.  A cup of coffee in the morning.   A library book.  Quiet time early in the mornings.  Reading my devotional.  Using my essential oils. 

     I can't promise that I will stop whining about the bad things going on here in my life (honest, I haven't shared everything that has happened...), but I will be focusing much more on the joys that are present.  I will be looking for those moments throughout the day.  I will be attempting to be that joy to someone else.  I will be attempting to spread joy rather than the gloom and doom that I have been sharing this year.  Joy....find it in the midst of troubles.  I plan on it!! 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

It's a Twofer!!

     I have been whiny and complaining so much that I feel like that's all I do any more.  But, the last two days have been good days.  There has been minimal yelling and fighting, kindness has been shared, and there has even been laughter.  The only thing that hasn't been good is that Jim has been working some long hours the past few days!

     Jim's parents have been in good spirits for the last few days.  His mom has been more present in the here and now.  His dad has been feeling better about his a matter of fact, only one leg is currently wrapped.  He is going to be able to get measured for a sock for one leg, which means that the swelling is getting better.

     Delainey has been helpful and has worked around the house with me.  We have been laughing at "Creepy Elvis", who is currently hiding in our toothbrush drawer waiting to scare D when she brushes her teeth later tonight.  I will share more about Creepy Elvis some other time...including a picture so that you can judge the creep factor for yourself.  Tonight we are going to reward the good days by watching "Moana" and having a snack of popcorn.

     Work has been relatively calm.  I was behind, but in the last two days feel that I am mostly caught up.  I have learned to let go of work stress most of the time.  It's just a job. I am learning to go in, do my job-whatever it will be for the day-and enjoy my coworkers (well, most of them any way).

     I have been settling into a routine.  Mornings are peaceful, I refuse to let the day start ugly.  I am taking time to read my devotional daily.  My evenings haven't been at the bedtime that I want, but I am winding down nightly and trying to enjoy the quiet.  Jim and I have mostly been able to do our devotional together.  It's not easy with the hours he has put in lately, but we are trying.  Hopefully Jim's schedule will improve, but the next two weeks don't look promising right now.

     I don't know what tomorrow will be like, but I am going to enjoy today.  I am going to be grateful for two days that haven't been filled with drama or tears.  I am going to give thanks to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to see that there is always joy in the hard times.  I am going to try to remember these two days the next time the days are ugly!  I am going to remember that tomorrow is always a new day filled possibilities!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Slowing Down....

     The hits just keep coming here at Casa Predmore.  We found out this week that Jim will need to have surgery sometime in the next few months on both of his hands.  He has been dealing with pain for a long time, and finally has a reason for the pain...severe carpal tunnel.  Sometime this spring he will have surgery on one hand, and then in three to four months, he will have the other hand done.  He would love to have both hands done at the same time, but there are just somethings that I just don't see myself doing for him.  On the positive side, we are glad to have a plan that will hopefully give him relief from his constant pain.

     I have two friends who are amazing prayer warriors in my life.  I admire them both so much, so when they both said the same thing to me, I tend to think that God is giving me a pretty clear message.  They both said that sometimes we are given things in life that will force us to slow down.  I feel like Jim and I  are on the go constantly...and not for things that are fun.  Between work, care-taking, and just the normal day to day things, we are pulled in so many ways.  We need to find a way to slow down and just be.  What better time to focus on just being than Lent.

     Jim and I have missed devotion time, but we have been spending time alone and talking more.  Today we took a nap on the living room floor while watching TV.  And yes, our backs are not thanking us for it now...we are not as young as we used to be!  Delainey and I have actually stayed on task with our devotion time.  It is a little easier with her since I am usually the one home at bedtime.  It has been nice to focus on a quiet time together with her.  We had hoped to go hiking together as family today, but instead spent time napping.  We did take a trip to the local ice cream parlor and then spent some time practicing our basketball skills.  I can still make a lay-up, but I am not so good with the free throws any more.

     Yesterday Delainey and I went grocery shopping.  We bought some food to make some freezer meals.  We have 4 crock pot dinners ready to go for the upcoming weeks.  It feels good to have a plan for the upcoming days.  I spent some time meal planning and getting things ready for the upcoming week.  I have built some time into the week so that I am able to slow down!  I hope that this will make the week better and less stressful for all of us.

     I also talked to a friend this morning and told her that we are going to have to pull back from some of the commitments that we have made.  Jim and I hate to do this, but we haven't planned for several of the things that have happened this year.  We certainly didn't plan on the illnesses that we have had, nor did we realize the extent of care we would need to do with his parents.  Work has also been more than either of us have anticipated this year.  We have had to prioritize and decide what we really need to focus on going forward.  It isn't easy, but we need to slow down and scale back on things.

     Tonight I am in a better place.  I have peace that I am where I need to be right now.  I have a plan to slow down.  Tomorrow, I hope that I will still have the peace and calm that I have right now, but honestly, it changes moment by moment.  I am trusting that there is a plan in place, that what we are going through has a purpose.  My prayer, which is stolen from one of my prayer warrior friends, is for comfort and grace to get through this season of our life.  If you want to join me in this prayer for my family and I, we would appreciate it!  In the meantime, I am going to go watch April the giraffe get ready to have her baby while I practice slowing down.