Friday, July 29, 2011

Syndromes and housework

I like to think of myself as a fairly unstressed person. Yes, there may be a bit of perfectionist mixed in with some oldest sibling syndrome bringing out the bossy/mothering attributes I so wonderfully display at times. Despite all of that... I like to think I can handle things. Juggling schedules, projects and a to-do list that hangs off the fridge, all things = I can do. However, there is one thing that stresses me out. Every time. Without fail. Housework.

Since the Hubs and I got married almost a year ago (yay us!), I have been cultivating and practicing my housewife techniques and skills. Aka: getting the laundry not only washed, but folded and put away; washing the dishes and yes, but back in the cupboards; sweep the floors, clean the bathroom, grocery shopping completed, gardened weeded and back porch swept. None of this is done in a day, nor is it done every week. But when I look at my kitchen that has felt the busyness of a filled week and the pile of laundry calling my name, I can feel my blood pressure start rise. Slowly, it starts down low and as I begin washing my first sink of dishes and throw in the first load of laundry. By the time I finish everything, whether that evening, next day or end of the week, I don't feel as though I'm done. I don't feel as though I've really accomplished anything, because I know next week will be the same story. Not only that, but my blood pressure has risen through the roof and I am not enjoying our tidy home. I'm stressing about the next time I have to clean.  Our home is by no means a pig sty, but as the wife of the house, I see the little things. The little things that others may not notice or ever even care to know about. But I notice.

Where does this pressure come from? Do I need to have a perfect house? Neatly folded piles of laundry? A nicely groomed puppy? Shining floors? Let's not be ridiculous and get carried away.... Perhaps it's the perfectionist-oldest-bossy in me that wants everything put back where it belongs. I purposely try to avoid the extreme characteristics that come with being a type A person. I want to be stress-free. I want to not care. However, housework is the bane of my existence. Or, HAS been the bane of my existence.

No longer. I'm not going to let it. Thanks to my dear cousin, Mel, who referred me to a website:
It is the most wonderful website. It has cleaning routines and schedules, weekly, for the morning and for the evening. Call me crazy (which some would including my Bestie), but it was a gigantic light bulb going off in my mind showing a whole new world of housework. A couple of different thoughts raced through my mind. I am not alone. I need to schedule housework. I need to establish a routine. I'm sure some of you are screaming, "DUH, YOU SILLY GIRL!" However, it was a fantastic moment.

So, last night, I picked up the whole house. The little things. You know exactly what I'm talking about. They are the little things that accumulate throughout the house, forming bigger piles, which eventually get moved to other piles. Such as mail and extra papers. We always have a stack to go through after a couple of weeks. So, I picked up the little things. Got the small load of laundry folded, before it met another load and begun making more laundry babies. I did the dishes AND (GET READY!) put them away this morning so the sink is ready for the dishes after I make dinner tonight. And since I was feeling so accomplished, I even got dinner ready and in the crockpot. Yes, it is going to be a good day!

It's the little things that help. Pick up the house. Get all the dishes washed. Start or fold some laundry.

Here's one of the lists I found and then tweaked a little bit from FlyLady:


Basic Weekly Plan
Monday: Weekly Home Blessing (7:00am-8:00am)
  1. Get Up and Dress to Shoes
  2. Laundry
  3. Weekly Home "Blessing" Hour 
    1. Change sheets.
    2. Empty all the trash.
    3. Vacuum all rooms.
    4. Clean sink & toilet.
    5. Mop kitchen and bath.
    6. Clean mirrors and doors. 
    7. Sweep kitchen & entry way. 
      1. Wash front of cupboards, stove & refrigerator. 
      2. Sweep/clean Remington’s porch.
 Tuesday: Free Day
  1. Spend 15 minutes in the current zone. 
Wednesday: Zone Clean and Partial Desk Time
  1. Finish Zone Cleaning Chores.
  2. Remainder Weekly Cleaning.
  3. Make sure refrigerator is clean.
  4. Write thank-you notes.
  5. Work on menus and grocery list for next week.
Thursday: Grocery and Errand Day
  1. Make sure menus are planned before you go shopping.
  2. Check grocery list one last time before you walk out the door. Take your list with you.
  3. Grocery Day.
  4. Errand Day:
    1. Bank.
    2. Buy gifts and cards. 
 Friday: Paperwork and Misc.
  1. Be romantic today.
  2. Get food from the freezer for next week.
  3. File papers.
  4. Write letters and cards.
  5. Clean out purse.
  6. Clean out car and check fluids. 

Friday: is "Date Night"
Saturday: is "Family Fun Day"
Sunday: is "Renew Your Spirit Day"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mr. Tractor

 Living out in the country on an old farm brings many new opportunities that I never had growing up in the urban world. I have had to learned to drive different tractors, like these little guys...
 

 I haven't mastered driving the big ol' honkin John Deer yet, as that would entail understanding when  and how to use the bucket, which includes more levels. No thank-you, I'm still at the beginners level which includes backing up, hooking the trailer or driving forward. I really only drive when Jay is busy with a trailer or we really need a second tractor to help as we're working to clean up the incredible amounts of buckthorn living around the farm buildings.


I like driving the tractors. They are big machines with lots of power. I get to sit up high, a lot higher than my little car I drive on the road. Remington runs in circles when we get any of the tractors out. He even gets excited when the riding lawnmower makes an appearance. That dog just loves motorized things. Bring out the chainsaw, you'd think we'd just given him a fresh bone wrapped in sauteed chicken.  



No Saturday is complete without using one of the tractors and hauling away some brush, cleaning up part of the farmyard or emptying a hayrack piled high of branches. 

Thank-you Mr. Tractor.





Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wrong Side of the Bed

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

It's been known to happen a time or two. Especially when I'm not typically a morning person, magnified by the fact that it was way to hot in our bedroom to be sleeping last night. So, woke up. at 5:30am. Remember, not a morning person? 5:30am is practically the middle of the night for people like me. Once I struggled to pull myself out of my I got ready to go and work out (Yes, I am still faithfully doing CrossFit!). Took the dog out, fed dog, put dog outside. And left to go drive to the college. As I was driving a profound thought stuck me.

Today is going to be how I choose to make it.

I slept horrible, yes. Yes, I woke up sweating because storms moved through during the night and brought us more heat and humidity. Yes, the dog was absolutely obnoxious this morning. BUT I have the choice every morning to make my day into a good one or a not so good. It doesn't seem that profound at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, but this morning when I was grumbling to myself as I cruised along our beautiful winding country roads, it was a level of profoundness that caught my attention.

How often do I allow what's happening to change my attitude? How often do I allow how people treat me to change or dictate how I choose to respond? How often does this happen? More than it should. Early mornings, rude cashiers, grumpy drivers... we've all experienced it. We've all done it. I want to learn to choose my attitude, to choose my responses. It's not easy. But what happens when someday the Hubs and I have children, they are being little spitfires and hellions running around the house, and I have not practice and learned to control my attitude and responses? What happens if the baby keeps me up all night and I have a million+ things to do the next day that can't be postponed? Sometimes being a grown-up is hard. But not only will learning to choose to response to the difficult things and situations in love, grace and kindness help me in the long run. It will demonstrate and teach others about important things like love, grace and kindness. It will teach my children someday. It will teach friends.

What if learning to control 
my own attitude and responses 
is really a way to show someone love?


Just a couple thoughts from my morning and waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

SHAPE

To start of the Bumblings, since it's been a while.... 

First, I am beginning the end of my education in pursing my masters degree. I really don't even see myself getting a doctorate or anything that spectacular. I am going to start my masters this fall. The beginning of the end. It's both sad and exciting. It's the last chapter of my formal education as a young adult. I love learning and I cannot wait to return to reading, writing papers and having deadlines. My masters is going to be in Organizational Leadership. I don't have any lofty goals for this Org. Leadership, but just the title alone captures me. Leadership is essential. It plays an important role in every one of our lives, whether we give credit or not.

The second reason is that as a team, all my co-workers and I, are reading a book called The Way of the Shepherd by Dr. Kevin Leman (2004). It uses an engaging story to quickly move through key principles in organizational leadership. Things that as you read them seem so basic, so fundamental, that it doesn't seem to make sense why more people do not lead using similar techniques. I would highly recommend reading to anyone and everyone. It's a light easy read (I read of the entire book in just 3 hours). Despite that fact that this book was assigned, I am so thankful and hope that I will be able to glean important lifestyle habits that I can incorporate in every facet of life.


In this book, there are many leadership principles. Many key quotes, most of which I know I'll never remember. Quotes has never been my forte, even if it's from the best movie ever, like Zoolander. Some of my favorites:
  • Learn how to lead them in a way that made them want to follow.
  • You have to make a point of knowing not just the status of the work but also the status of your people.
  • Great leaders instill a sense of meaning and belonging in their followers by putting the personal imprint of who they are and what they stand for on their people.
The part of the book that I enjoyed the most was the SHAPE concept. SHAPE makes up who you are, you SHAPE determines what job, environment and responsibilities best suit you. To be an effective leader, understanding each person's unique SHAPE is absolutely essential. Ever single person walking on this earth is unique and wired differently.
  • Strengths: Strengths reflect your abilities
  • Heart: Heart reflects your passion
  • Attitude
  • Personality
  • Experiences
Every person's SHAPE allows them to fit into certain positions and organizations. My particular SHAPE allows me to fit into the college culture. My strengths include attention to details, a love to for organization and a desire to always be doing something that matters. Well, my job includes running the communications for prospective students ( a lot of details involved) and bringing them to Crown where they can be developed as Christian leaders who will go out into the world and make a different, bringing Christ to the world. Making a difference? Yeah, I'd say so.

My heart, which is another world for passion. Probably because the world SHAPE made way more sense than SPAPE. I'm still working on my heart, my passions. I like what I do to matter, which ties into my strengths but I'm not sure what it is that makes my blood pump and gets my blood pressure risin'. I'm still working on that one.

My attitude affects everything. Leman says, "People with a good attitude are usually team players. For another, they usually have a teachable spirit. People with negative attitudes tend to be lone rangers. You can't teach them a thing... they're poor examples for the rest of your people. If you compromise with negative people for the sake of their abilities, your other people will learn bad habits." I want to be teachable. I want to be a part of the community, leaning into relationships, not being a lone ranger. I want to teach people healthy habits about communication, conflict and community. My attitude towards life, my job, my co-workers, my hubs, affects it all. It seeps through my very being, spilling into life around me.

My personality, as sparkling and fantastic as it is (yes, that is dripping with sarcasm... but really), plays a crucial role in how I work, respond and handle things. I am an introvert. I like downtime. Therefore: computers & I get along fantastic. I must say though, my sparkling personality really does need some good ol' quality people time too. It's a delicate balance.

The last letter of SHAPE stands for experiences. "Each person you meet is a product of their life experiences" (Leman). I've been through a lot different circumstances from even my Hubs, such as growing up a house full of 6 women,  in the city and being homeschooled (yes, homeschooled). He grew up the youngest of 3 kids, in the country and going to public school. Our experiences have shaped us into two very different people. It's kind of cool.

So, how does all of this tie together in leadership, school and reading a neat book? Realizing how you are wired, what makes you tick and ticks you off is important if you want to be a leader. Knowing what is going to make you get up early in the morning to make sure you are ready for the day ahead is important, its crucial. I know I'm always changing, my experiences molding me and my outlook is constantly changing colors, but that's okay. It's okay to change, I just want to try and be aware of what change is happening. Whatever change is taking place leaves room for two options, which ever you choose: progressing forward or taking steps backward.

I'm trying to choose progressing forward.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekend Bliss

I wrote this earlier in the day, but forgot to post it... enjoy....
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Weekends. Blissful weekends. I know it'll be full of cleaning, laundry and wrestling with the dog, but I love them. Maybe it has more to do with the anticipation of looking forward to 2 days where you get to make your own choices of what to do. Even if you choose to do nothing. Maybe it has more to do with the very idea and notion of sleeping past 5:45am, something that's been a bit of a novelty the past 2 weeks in the McCoy home. Regardless the actual reason, I just may cough it up to the fact that I adore weekends. I love them. To make matter even better (if that's truly possible) the weekend starts in just a couple hours for me. (As for those an time zone or two behind me, I'm sorry... hang in there, you'll make it too!)

__________________________________________________

Quick update on things that I've mentioned in the past, but forget about until two, three (maybe six) weeks later. 

  • The job situation with the Hubs: Can I just say that some of you prayin' folk have had us on your hearts and we know it. No, there is not the perfect job descending down to us for him. No, we don't see an end in sight yet. However, we are still remaining hopeful and encouraged. Weird, right? Nothing is happening and yet we are good. We are okay. Someone obviously has us in their prayers. Small side note: the Hubs got accepted into an MBA program that he'll be starting this fall. YEAH HUBS! I'm so excited for him and think he's definitely going to rock it. Smaller side note: I'm also going to be getting my masters this fall, except in Organizational Leadership. Go us! 

  • Next: photography. We've had a bit of a crazy summer, so I haven't taken many. Stinks, I know. You miss it, I know. I've thought a lot about ways and how to start selling my photos, but I keep running into a wall when it comes to printing, etc. Thoughts? Help? Hopefully this weekend I'll post some super cute pics of Remington (I know you've missed seeing his furry face). 
That's all I got for now. Updates are always good. Cover the bases and then we can move onto more exciting things, like the weather. Seriously. Few topics can be discussed across any spectrum of age groups, for any length of time and it is always an acceptable form of awkward conversation when there's just nothing else to say. For those who are as serious about the weather as I am, it's more than just an awkward, "So, how about this ridiculous humidity?" For me, it's about statistics and averages, breaking records and knowing the facts. Example numero uno: did you know that when Minnesota had their really hot, sticky humid stretch this past week, as we hit 85+ dew point, the only other place in the western hemisphere that was more humid and disgusting was the Amazon. Ah-mah-zon people. If that doesn't get you excited about weather, then quite frankly, I am not sure what will. It was so hot. Our thermometer on the back porch was off the charts and it usually goes to 120. Yup, that's sweating weather.

Enough about the weather though. For those who are not as enthusiastic about it as I am, we'll move on. Until next time....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

VBS

This week is Vacation Bible School at our church.

I would be lying if I told you that I feeling good rushing around from work, to appointments, to VBS, to get home and make lunch for the next day, crawling into bed in our steamy hot house (it is still 95+ degrees and humid in Minnesota) and then starting it all over the next day. I'd be lying if I told you that when my alarm goes off at 6am, I'm so ready to jump out of bed, ready for the day. I'm not, I want to hit snooze, roll over and enjoy the quiet as I lay in bed. BUT, life doesn't work that way, now does it?! Never...

But you know what? VBS makes it worth it. When you on worship team for VBS and playing songs for 85+ kids who are all screaming, jumping up and down and singing with more passion than I've ever seen at a Rascal Flatts concert and maybe even Justin Beiber, it makes it worth it. It makes crazy days worth every second. It makes hot, sticky awful weather completely worth it. I love VBS. It's one week of the year when kids pour in, learn about God, learn awesome life lessons and sing their little hearts out. There's a reason why kids have a special place in Jesus' heart. This one week reminds us "adults" of a lot of important things and reminds us why we need to pay attention to the kids in our lives. They are not here on accident. It's a good reminder when I'm tired and laying in bed. God has a good way of reminding me of the important things.

Friday, July 15, 2011

CrossFit

Today is Friday. Today marks the second week I've finished at my new job. Today is the first day of my new work out program: CrossFit. My goal: lose a bit of weight and get a bit healthier in the whole process. A friend of mine is a very talented individual in understanding how to train the body in a healthy way paired alongside with nutritional needs. He is practically a personal trainer and has agreed to help me. So today was day 1 of cross fit. I thought I was going to die, or maybe just pass out right there on the floor of the weight room. We did 4 sets of 3 different exercises, doing 10 reps each. It was 20 minutes of pure sweat mixed with rolling waves of wanting to keel over and throw-up. Great mental picture, right? After, all I could manage to do was throw my hair up in a ponytail because anything may have cause more waves of nauseousness. Seriously, it is that intense. Here's a CrossFit website if you want to check it out a bit more:  CrossFit Website

I hope I won't be too sore tomorrow, we are going to out to hang out with some of the Hubs' fam and, if the weather permits, get out on the lake and enjoy some good ol' skiing and tubing. I have yet to get out this summer and can't wait!

So Happy Friday! This is short and sweet, just like all Fridays should be! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thinking of Jet Planes



I'm thinking of traveling today. It's always easier to think of the places you'd like to be when it's rainy and gloomy outside. Today would be a good day to curl up by a crackling fire, with a warm cup of coffee sweetened by hazelnut creamer and a good adventure book to escape the dreary rain. The rain is good, we need it. My poor cucumbers and zucchini need it. My shriveling petunias and marigolds need it. Maybe the rain is also good to remind us of places we want to go. It's so easy to get caught up in the every day life of get up, go to work, make dinner, play with puppy, pick up the house, go to bed. It's easy to get lost in the every day and forget there's more.

Traveling is good. Even if it is just to another state or to the next country over, such as the wonderful beautiful country of Canada. Going across an ocean offers things totally different from Canada or the States. Traveling offers so much more than sightseeing and really cool souvenirs. It offers so much more that. You learn culture from walking through markets. The country doesn't matter from Mexico to Bosnia-Hercegovonia to England. You see religious icons, food, clothing, their handiwork with jewelry and crafts. You learn culture through seeing their buildings whether massive cathedrals in Northern England that took hundreds of years to build or small houses in Mostar that were put up quickly out of necessity. You learn culture as you sit in a small cafe in Dobrovnik sipping slowly on your creamy espresso watching as other men gather for hours to talk over their small cups of coffee. There is so much you can learn from how other people communicate, how other cultures have learned to cope with horrific happenings such as war. Things you just can't learn here in the United States.


 Restaurants and cafes in Mostar, Bosnia 
that use up every inch of available space as 
effectively as possible along the river

Bombed house that was never rebuilt due to 
continuing political and religious tensions 
between Serbs and Croatians

Mostar Bridge,
rebuilt after it was bombed out in the war

I think the United States has a lot offer and a lot of culture to learn too. The South is very different from the Pacific Northwest. Texas is a whole different ball game compared to Maine. Yet, I still think traveling to other places is important. The leftovers of war cannot be felt the same way in the States as Bosnia where you pass bombed out buildings and apartments with bullet marks adding to the architecture. It's just different (the kind of different that is hard to put into words) and makes you appreciate the country you get to live in a whole heck of a lot more. You just have to go somewhere else before you realize the true significance.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rearranging

I don't know if you noticed, but things are looking a bit different around here. If you don't ever go to the blog but get via e-mail, click here: BUMBLINGS and you can see what I'm talking about. I redesigned peeps. Do you ever get the urge to re-arrange furniture? to go see something new? to change how your desk is set up? Hopefully I'm not alone in saying that I like a change of scenery once in a while. Maybe it can be coughed up to the fact that my family moved around a lot as I was growing up. It was fantastic, it was always changing. However, I've been in Minnesota for almost 5 years now (crazy, eh?) and I don't think we'll be moving any time soon. So, I need to figure out different ways to change things up a bit. Like redesigning my blog. Sounds ridiculous? Yeah, maybe a little bit, but that urge to rearrange is gone for the moment and all is good again.
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On a totally different note, Remington is getting so big! He's probably starting to push 40 pounds and he's 7 months old. Seriously!? Here, allow me to show you....



This is baby Remy, a couple weeks after we brought him home. His favorite place to sleep was the laundry basket with a fleece tie blanket. He fit on one side and would curl up and sleep for hours! Then....


WHAT HAPPENED TO MY LITTLE PUPPY! He's stinkin' huge! Okay, he's not THAT big if you compare him to a St. Bernard or a Bernese Mountain Dog or a Newfie, however, my wee-baby-I-want-to-squeeze-you puppy is growing up. He is FINALLY obeying well, partly because he is a smart dog and partly because we do use a shock collar. I know that there are a lot of people against shock collars and how they can do more damage than good when it comes to training puppies. However, we mainly use it as a way to teach him no and get his attention. Due to the fact that he most likely has Red Bone Coonhound in him, he starts sniffing and just looses all common sense. All he thinks is, "Bird, bird, bird, bird, bird." He doesn't hear either the Hubs or myself calling him and trying to keep him from being run over my massive farms trucks rolling down our front road. Common sense is through to the side and caution to the wind as soon as he starts sniffing. So, a little prick with the shock collar (on the lower settings of course!) and he all of a sudden remembers, "Oh yeah! Road = bad. People = good." Silly dog.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Teen Challenge

Teen Challenge visited our church yesterday. Have you ever heard of them? They are a drug & alcohol recovery program that is Biblically based and Christ centered. You don't have to believe in God to go. You don't have to believe in God to get out. However, when you see the revolutionizing transformations that come from some of the people's stories, you just cannot help but want the same hope. Want the same love. Want the same joy. It's amazing.

So, they visited. Usually there is 30 of them (maybe? I'm not that great at estimations!) and they fill up the whole stage. Church is filled with singing and their stories.  There was one guy that sang and then he told his story. He was a gruff, burly-looking guy, who looked like someone who'd be very scary if you got on the wrong side of him. Yet, there he was. Singing his heart out, singing with pure joy written across his face. It was moving. The music itself is moving, but you pair it with someone who has been touched by Grace and Hope, few things stir with such emotion. Then, as if the song wasn't enough, he began his testimony. He talked about chaos, choices, regret, and a hardened heart. He talked about being in prison for almost a decade. He talked about going to Teen Challenge, not because he was looking for help but rather a way to escape from jail. Funny how sometimes we are not in control. Funny how he thought he was escaping, yet God was leading him straight where he wanted him to be. Funny how people, me included every day, think we are running things pretty good down here. His testimony was moving and his heart was on fire for God in a way that was evident just as he spoke.

Teen Challenge is one of my favorite Sundays. Yes, I love choirs, singing and hearing the encouraging words about how God is working in the lives of people that are hurting. There is so much more though... every single one of the broken hearts that God has mended and is working through will touch their families, their communities and workplaces in a way that the local church cannot. They are living, breathing testimonies proclaiming that Hope and Grace wants them and no amount of shame or guilt will ever change that. Ever.






Friday, July 8, 2011

Humidness.

I'm so tired of heat. I'm so tired of humidity. Excuse me while I whine and complain as I feel like I've been swimming, but then quickly remember that I was actually just walking outside between my car (which has AC and I don't ever want to leave it) and the house (which does NOT have AC and is horribly sticky). I know in like 6 months when I'm freezing my tail off, I'll wish, hope and pray for any type of temperature that is above 60 degrees, maybe even 45 degrees. But for now, since it's been days of straight hot, humidness (yes, it's a word and I'm not letting "auto correct" change it) I'm ready for a good ol' rain storm.

I do have to say, I am enjoying little things that I forget about each winter and rediscover them in the summer, it's kind of like Christmas! For example, this morning I didn't feel like taking the time to dry my hair before I headed off to work. Maybe it was the fact that I was already beginning to perspire (women don't sweat, remember?) and it was only 7:02am. Anyhow, as I was driving to work, I put down all the windows so I wouldn't look like a drowned poodle with soggy hair when I eventually got to work. Then, it hit me: How awesome is it to drive to work at 7:30am with the windows down, hair blowing in the breeze and the fresh smell of grass, trees and open fields overwhelming your senses? It was like Christmas, let me tell you! Turn up the techno and drive! Driving in the summer is awesome!

Another example: large iced americano with white chocolate and half n' half. Need I really say more? You can't get this drink in the winter in Minnesota, you'll freeze your tushy off! But it is the perfect summer drink, with the perfect balance of coffee, cream and sweetness. Fabulous, got one this morning.

Really, there's not too much say. The Hubs and I are looking forward to a weekend at home, catching up on things that need to be caught. Mowing, planting raspberry bushes, weeding the veggie garden... you know, all the fun stuff!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Love & Sunsets

I've really stunk at posting lately. Stunk with a capital S. Since family vacation, funeral and getting back into the rhythm of things, blogging hasn't been a top priority... My apologies, I suck. I'll try harder.

I started my new job yesterday. I love it. Driving to work, I was struck by how excited I was. Excited for potential relationships, growth in current relationships, my beautiful drive through the countryside, my very own office, being across the hall and down one office from my bestie. Seriously... sometimes I just feel like this job cannot be real. I know somedays will be challenging. I have a lot to learn with different software systems, how things roll on the "other side" (not being a student, but staff now) and getting back into a regular routine. But, the beginning is always excited. The beginning has something new to offer around every bend. I hope and pray that I will continue to come to work with excitement. After all, working at a Private Christian School is pretty dang exciting. Preparing students to become leaders with the world for Christ. Seriously? If anyone ever needed a bigger purpose to motivate them to work (which is what makes me tick and gets me excited to work), I don't know if you could find a bigger purpose... Just saying....

On the 4th of July, our church walked in a local parade. Yes, I got burnt to a crisp. I'm sure you were wondering. Did I put on sunscreen? No. Do I like it when people ask questions and then answer them themselves? No. Anyhow... the 4th of July was a lot of fun. My very first 4th in Minnesota. We celebrated with a parade, handed out hundreds of icee pops and completed the day with a BBQ. We skipped out on the fireworks since I started my new job the next day, but I think we've all seen enough fireworks to skip a year or two. At the BBQ, I had to run out to the car for a quick second and saw the most beautiful thing. Quick side note: I love clouds. I love sunsets. I love photography. Everytime I see a beautiful sunset, I feel like standing in the particular spot and that particular time, that sunset was made for me. Just for me, as a demonstration and proof that I am loved. Loved by God. Crazy thought, right? ANYHOW, so the BBQ... I ran outside really quick and there was a gorgeous sunset. I don't remember every seeing one like it. The rays of sun were visible thousands of feet in the air as they came off at an angle from the clouds. It was beautiful. And just for me. Kind of a neat way to say, "Hey, I'm thinking about you. Tomorrow as you start this new job, I'm thinking about you. I love you." I know it was just clouds, sky and sun, but the way it was all put together to form such a unique sunset reflected the way I feel about the job and how it was beautifully orchestrated that I might have the opportunity to work here. I snapped a photo on my phone, which died the second after I snapped it, so I wasn't even sure it saved... AND it doesn't even do it justice, but you get the jist.

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