Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Tomorrow has become Today

Going back to work in a brand new outfit makes going back to work after vacation more palitable. There's just something to be said for knowing you look good that builds confidence.

Last night I bookmarked some toddler sites on my new computer. Asher loves to climb up on my lap and "type." It has way more to do with being the center of things than it with putting his fingers on the keyboard so I decided to make the time interactive and add some learning. Besides there's plenty of "non-lap" days ahead.

Nelson is going to give his notice today and accept the new position. As he was leaving he double checked with me to see if I still thought it was a good idea. There are so many positives it's hard to even list the negatives. The worst part, and sort of an unknown, is the fact that he'll be working with graphite--dirty, dirty work. We've thought a couple times that we should call the dirty jobs guy to come in and check it out. He'll just be black with the stuff. I guess we'll see what'll we see when we see it.

At his last visit to the ankle doctor, where he pronounced him severely arthritic in his ankle, the docotor perscribed Celebrex. It has helped immensly. In addition to reducing the pain in his ankle, the medication has relieved the pain in his back. He feels so much better that he told me last night that he'd like to add exercise to he days! It's been a long time since he's felt up to that. He did exercises when he was rehabing his ankle, but it was required of him, not something HE wanted to add or do. This is a very exciting development!

Well, I need to dash now...more later.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Coming to a Sweet End

Well, we're home. We got in to Columbus around 1:30AM and to the hotel by 2:20AM. Nelson had a wonderful room reserved for us at the Marriot. Their beds are so luxurious. Nelson said he couldn't get comfortable. I felt like I just melted into a marshmellow.

This morning we had a quick bite of breakfast and then started shopping in Easton. The weather had turned cold and drizzly. We spent some time in one of my favorite stores: Barnes and Nobel. I found some really good stuff and Nelson copied down some titles that he's going search for online.

We had lunch at Cheesecake Factory. Oh my. We brought our cheesecake home and a couple pieces to share with Beth, Ron, and Asher.

When we pulled into town we noticed gas right by the freeway was 3.15. We held out to one of the cheaper spots and amazingly got it for 2.87. That was a nice find!

Nelson made me unpack the suitcases. I don't know where I'm going to put everything. I"ll have to get rid of stuff to make more room. I'm not going to be a horder!

It was so wonderful to see Asher. His "Hi, Mema" and "Hi, Pepa" were just like music to my ears. I think he's grown at least an inch and his vocabulary has doubled in a week. ")

Our very last vacation stop was at a shop here in town that we've heard good things about but have never stopped in: Grandpa's Cheesebarn and Sweeties Jumbo Chocolates. I bought 2 expresso caramels...oh my!!! We also bought something very special. While we were shopping we spotted some Advent Goodie Things. It's not really a calendar, but sort of serves the same purpose. The one we bought is a tree with 24 doors on it that the "child" can open to find surprises. It is such a neat thing. We're going to start it as a tradition with Asher. It's wood and handpainted. It's just darling and it looks adorable on my mantle right now.

I decided something this weekend: I could really get used to not working a 5 day 40 hour kind of week. To further that reality I bought some very specific books on writitng. My focus is on non-fiction so I got a book about getting more able and ready to do that and also a book on overcoming fear. I just have to figure out how to make money writing and only working when I want to or need to. I must still be dreaming...

I knew the dream was coming to an end today though because my phone rang at least 4 times with calls from work. Oh well, in a while we'll enjoy our cheesecake and tomorrow will just have to wait to intrude on my vacation!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday of Vacation

Slept in. Breakfast at Firstwatch Cafe: yum! Grabbed a Lamar's donut: oh my. I had forgotten the level of amazing wonderfullness! Death by sugar.

Then on to the Chiefs' game. We were in the end zone--out of the sun. It was cold, but cool. The game went fast the traffic moved quickly, and now we're camping out at a Super 8 until our flight leaves at 11:00pm.

This has been such a wonderful time away. Unlike most vacations, this one has felt so special. I have felt so out of my usualness it's been almost like a dream.

Speaking of dreaming, I think I'm going to take a little nap. More later zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What a Wonderful Day!

There was a bit of a rough start to the day. It snowed and Nelson had to scrape the windows before we could go to breakfast. We ate breakfast in Westport at the Corner Restaurant. It was good. Westport isn't like we remembered it. So much is empty.

After we walked around there for a bit we got in the car and just started driving around things we remembered. Wow. We drove by the church I pastored on Rainbow Blvd. It looked quite different. Then we drove over by Nelson's old card shop. It looked so small. The area had changed some. We stopped at Walmart to buy some KC Chiefs' stuff--figured it would be cheaper there...and it was!

What surprised us the most was when we decided to stop by a nearby mall. It wasn't there. The earthmoving equipment was still on site. They had taken out the entire mall and adjoining parking garage.

Our next stop was Fiorello's Jack Stack Barbque where we met up with blogging buddy HeyJules. Nelson put it best: it was like sitting down with an old friend. We enjoyed a scrumptuous and bountiful lunch and then sat and talked for three hours. There was so much laughter and sharing. It was such a fun time. I hated for it to end.

Next we went to Crown Center and window shopped. My favorite shop was the Crayola Shop. I was ready to buy the place out for the grandbabies. It was nice to just walk around with Nelson.

We ran back to Walmart to pick up another bag to get all our booty home--I've never had to do that before! A quick stop in at Sonic for a cherry limeaid and now we're watching the KU MU game. A really sweet ending to a sweet sort of day!!!!

Incredible Vacation Day 1

What a day!

We ate breakfast at Panera. Yum.

We shopped. I some beautiful things from J.Jill, Talbotts, and Ann Taylor. Nelson got gift cards off ebay and always makes sure that he gets them for a good price.

We ate lunch at a place called Kona Grill. Oh my! Nelson had the most amazing meal. His appetizer was avacado egg rolls with a honey cilantro dipping sauce. Then he had their Big Island Meatloaf. I know he was purring. ")

We shopped in the afternoon and then went back to the hotel to rest before dinner. Winter was at the M&S Grille--more incredible eats! Double yum!!

After dinner we made our way to the Lyric Theater for the KC symphony concert. We got there early--or at least just in time for the pre-concert comments. Right after we sat down the guest conductor and the composer of the one piece. It was so cool to sit in on this. I learned so much. The piece that opened the evening was by the composer and it was the American premier. It was so amazing, but as special as it was what came next was even better. A little 20 year old gal came out and sat down to play Mendelssohn's Concerto No. 1 in G minor for Piano and Orchestra, op. 25. The pianist was Yuja Wang. Oh my. Oh wow. I don't know who Mendelssohn thought would be able to play the piece. It just flies. I have to admit that about half-way through all I could hear was Little Einsteins doing their little "pat, pat, pat" that they do to get the music to speed up. Then I pictured a Bugs Bunny cartoon. It was bad because I started to get the giggles. Fortunately, I was able to pull myself back together.

It's just been a really wonderful day with more to come tomorrow. c It's just been a really wonderful day with more to come tomorrow. One thing Nelson had thought about doing tonight was taking a carriage ride, but it was just way too cold. Maybe we can get it in tomorrow. We saw the traditional white carriage going through the Plaza. We saw another carriage that was way cute too: a pumpkin that was all lit up with little twinkle lights.

Oh, and I am now the proud owner of a 2002 Jeep Liberty. We just have to figure out how to get to Mt. Airy, NC to get it. Nelson actually got such a good deal on it that he might have it shipped. We'll see when we get home.

Now...I'm ready for bed. All that fresh air has left me a bit sleepy. Sweet dreams.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Surprise Revealed!

Right before we sat down to dinner Nelson started acting like a game show host. He sent Beth and Ron upstairs. He said, "And now for the grand prize question. Daisymarie, how much do you love me?" I answered, "Completely." He shouted, "That's correct. You're the winner. Johnny, tell her what she's won."

Then he went through a list that left me with my jaw on the floor. Here's most of it:-we're driving to Columbus and flying to Kansas City tonight on Skybus.-we're renting a car and driving to the Holiday Inn in the Plaza (where the Christmas lights will already be on and one of my mostest favorite places in the world).-he has ticket for me to ice skate at Crown Center Friday night.-he has several gift cards for me to spend either in the Plaza or on Monday at Easton when we get back to Columbus.-we have tickets for the Kansas City Symphony on Saturday night.-we have tickets for the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders game on Sunday afternoon. -we fly back to Ohio late on Sunday night.

And if that's not enough: he got me a brand new Gateway laptop with a 17" screen. It's got vista and office. It's phenomenal. I'm typing on it right now. It's going to take some getting used to the location of the buttons--but I'll suffer through! ")

The gift cards include: Crabtree and Evlyn, Ann Taylor, Talbotts, Barnes and Noble, J. Crew, and the Sharper Image. A couple new shops for me!

We've had a good day. Lunch was different with ham loaf and lasagna. Nelson made enough for an army. I'm abundantly thankful that there have been no words between Ann and Nelson--they've been cordial. I'll take it. I'm also smiling at the thought of pulling away from the disaster that used to be my living room. Thankfully, it will clean, too.

Well I need to finish packing. Easy on the leftovers!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sweet Sort of Saturday

I got my hair trimmed today. I didn't want much cut off, just shaped so it looked like it was styled and not shaggily growing out.

I worked at Curves. It was fun. I won't be working much in the future. I think I'm okay with that. The owners agreed to hire more help so they don't need me to cover my occasional hours, just an occasional Saturday. Nelson and I discussed it at dinner: we both agree it's for the best given how tired I was this week with all my teaching and traveling.

Asher broke his glasses tonight. He had been doing better at keeping them on. It happened on my watch. We had been watching a DVD together. I went to fill his bottle (has to have one while watching his moonmies)and when I came back his specially bendable non-breakable glasses were in two pieces in his hands. Let's hear it for warrenties. Tomorrow there will be a visit to Walmart.

Tonight Nelson bought me a car through autotrader. He was approved for a 2003 Huyndai Sante Fe. It's green with all the bells and whistles: including not only a radio but CD and cassette player!!! Woohoo!!! It also has 4wheel drive!!! We go pick it up on Monday. (Picture me with a big smile! ")

I started taking a suppliment in the Curves line that's called Glucose Management. It's all natural. It's amazing. My appetite has been wonderfully quelled and my insatiable questing for carbs has totally been reduced to manageable and healthy proportions! I can't say enough good about this stuff. I'm in my second week and I'm quite thrilled and satisfied.

And with that, I'm going to go read over my lesson for Sunday school tomorrow. I switched with the guy who was supposed to teach because he can't teach next week. Nelson arranged this. I will definitely tell you more about this later, but right now I don't know anything (insert wink here).

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Well, yesterday's entry was pre-empted by a dead computer screen. How terribly inconvienent. Fortunately, it is still under warrenty so HP is sending a postage paid box for us to return it and we'll get a new by Christmas maybe.

The week has been full. The class is going well. The new format is somewhat challenging--mainly because it just doesn't seem like it's going to end. (We--translate I--expanded from 3 days to 4 since we went from whole days to half.) I'm definitely going to be ready for the weekend.

Beth's birthday is on Sunday. My baby is going to be 24. When and how did that happen? She picked Red Lobster for her birthday dinner. I've noticed a commercial for a shrimp feast that is just calling out my name! ")

The class I've been teaching this week started with 14, had 15 yesterday and this afternoon we gain 2 more. Yehaw!

One of the lessons yesterday was on the importance of teamwork but understanding it with the knowledge they had gained about their personality and its strengths and weaknesses. In the past Bob has taught this unit and uses an exercise that he likes a lot. I don't. It's just not me. So I did something else. ")

I dug out several of the large floor Pooh and Friends puzzles I used when I was still doing child and family therapy. They're big, about 3 foot. I had the group divide into teams of 3 or 4. Then in each group there were to be two "mouths" who couldn't use their hands and two who were "hands" and had to do as instructed with their eyes closed. After about 15 minutes I had them switch roles. After about 15 minutes of that I changed it up again by telling them to just put the puzzle together.

This was so interesting. Not one group planned or strategized they just dove in. All four groups were trying to put the puzzles together on the table--not nearly enough room. It was really hard to get some of the mouths to not use their hands. Frustration was all around.
I pulled a chair off to the side and stood up on it so that I could get a good view of all 4 groups.

Some of the staff out in the work area saw me and laughed. To say the least I'm a little unorthodox. But it works so well.

Today we discussing mission, goals, and priorities--unless I change it up a bit a bring communication over into today. The priorities lesson was Bob's too and I need to work and make it mine, like I did with teamwork. ")

Have a grand day!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Word for the Day: Marriage EDITED!!

Marriage…I say the word and I hear the goofy priest on Princess Bride. Marriage is what keeps two people together. (Okay you need to know I typed this section AFTER the section that follows about Asher’s eye appointment. And the humor in remembering that line has melted some of my worry away. Read on, you’ll understand.)

I am married. When I have to mark on some application my “marital status” I usually mark mine “very married.” Nelson and I have been married since February 17, 1979. He could have left several times. I’ve not been easy to be married to. But then again, neither has he. He’s moody and chronically depressed. His body is breaking down. He’s a perfectionist. He doesn’t understand unconditional love. He is extremely opinionated. He is dogmatic. He is a procrastinator. And I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

He has loved and encouraged his children—even up to the big fight with Ann, he was trying to help her out. He gives unselfishly to others. He spoils me rotten. He cooks like a dream. He does the grocery shopping and is amazing at it. He fixes everything. He works harder than three people. He knows me and loves me. And it doesn’t get much better than that.

I never really lived independently. Summers at Cedar Point don’t really count. I went from being under my Mom and Dad’s care to being married. I don’t know how to be any other way. And though I could probably adapt, I think I’ll keep this arrangement for as long as I can, thank you very much.

Beth is taking Asher for his appointment with the Pediatric Ophthalmologist over in Akron. Since she made the appointment about a month ago his eye drifting has gotten worse. Everyone comments on it, but it just makes me sick to my stomach. I feel responsible. If weak eye muscles are genetically hereditary, then I am the passing culprit. I know that they typically recommend patches and other ways to strengthen the muscle, but the most effective means of correction is surgery—and babies and surgery just make me want to cry.

Beth was telling me that she had done some reading and most procedures are done as out patient surgery—they still have to put them under. And with the procedures being done with lasers, I’m sure that the residual scarring is minimal—unlike my scar tissue that prevents any further correction from being possible.

So when the phone rings later, picture me jumping. I told Beth to call me with the word from the doctor. She looked reluctant since she knew that I would be meeting with participants one-on-one in the morning and teaching class in the afternoon. This is one phone call that I’m going to take—no matter what!

Ron was going to go with her to the appointment, but got to work last night (through a temp agency at Archway Cookies). Beth called a friend and she’s riding along. I’m glad she’ll have someone with her to navigate to Akron Children’s Hospital and also provide extra ears to hear what the doctor says.

Ok…that’s enough about that. It’s funny—in that ironic weird sort of way. I don’t consider myself a worrier. Is this what worry feels like? My stomach is churning. I don’t feel like I’m thinking clearly. My thoughts are racing and skipping all over. I think I’m going to go get quiet before I dash out the door for Ntown.

More later.

Edit: I guess it's later. I just heard from Beth. Asher has a perscription. He is far-sighted. Beth is to get him glasses and that could correct the problem. If it does than great. If not then surgery may be indicated.Beth feels optimisitic so I'm going to feed on her positive attitude and trust.

Glasses might have worked for me, but my brother stomped on them and my parents never replaced them. Thankfully, Asher has no siblings. ")

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Today's letter is K:
-Kids, I have two of them.
-Krispy Kremes, I love the chocolate iced ones.
-Kennedy, I remember the day JFK was shot. My brother fell down the basement stairs and broke his arm and my mom made lots of black arm bands.
-Kansas City, I don't think of myself as a "city girl" but I really liked KC.

Today's word is KISS:
-First kiss was from Clint on the railroad tracks after the Halloween Party in 1970.
-First French kiss was from a very mysterious and passionate young man (at least three years my senior) that I met at the county fair in summer of 1971.
-Kiss that changed my life was from PR.
-I about knocked Nelson down to get my first kiss from him.
-Kisses that are the best right now come from grandbabies and mostly from Asher these days.

Writing Prompt: Most memorable kiss: a plaque that was on my dad’s desk that had the word KISS on it with these words written underneath: Keep It Simple Stupid. A statement that shapes me today.

Yesterday was fun. I was part of a mass choir that recorded back up on an upcoming CD by a man from our church. This is his second CD. He’s quite good. He’s from Venezuela. There were about 30 of us in the choir and the recording guy explained how he would make us sound like 90. The technique is overlaying. We recorded two songs. It took us a little over two hours. In the end we were able to hear a “rough cut” of the second song. It was so cool. I could imagine bopping down the road to it—once I have a CD player in my car.

Nelson and I went to a locally owned steakhouse for dinner last night. I had soup and a sandwich. I wish I just got twice the soup. When I asked what the soup of the day was, because that was what I was REALLY in the mood for, she told me lobster bisque. When I made a face that obviously displayed my “gee-I-wonder-what-that-tastes-like-I’ve-never-had-that” look she offered to bring me a taste. It was scrumptious. I liked it so much that Nelson is going to check at Gordon Food Services (big food distribution company) to see if they have it. Oh I hope so!!!

Today is church and football and I think I’ll take a friend out for dinner. I wonder if Jake’s has any leftover bisque? TTFN

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Someone asked what kind of jobs I've done...here's the list:

-Frank’s Nursery: This was a plant and craft store. I loved this job. It was a great way to start. I learned to run a cash register. I learned to drive a tow motor. I learned everything I know and some of what I remember about plants there.
-McDonald’s: I only worked there about 6mo. When I worked there they just introduced breakfast.
-Country Dinner Theater: I was a hostess. I seated people and also cleared tables. This was a fun job. I got to see the plays, too.
-Peterson’s Plastics: This was the summer after high school graduation. It was hard and hot work and I was one of the youngest in the place. My friend and I talked about the other workers in our limited Spanish. I was glad to move on to college and determined to never work in a factory again! (Never say never)
-I worked in the library at college every year I was there. It wasn’t much but I enjoyed it a lot.
-College summers I worked at Cedar Point in the Hotel Breakers. I started as a cashier and worked my way up to Front Desk Manager. I really liked this job. This was where I learned that if you treat your employees well and set the standard for work by working hard yourself you get more work out of your best workers.
-I got married February of my senior year in college. I finished by independent study. I went to work full-time at Cedar Point Hotel Breakers. Before the hotel opened (it was only open during summer) I worked in the reservations department.
-In the fall that year I started working at a family owned pharmacy out in the store running register, stocking shelves, and tons of dusting.
-In July 1980 I accepted my first position as pastor at a very small and struggling Nazarene church. I was there until June 1983.
-I was pregnant with Beth when I left that little church. We moved to Toledo and started attending the church Nelson grew up in. They wanted to hire me as their Associate Minister of Youth and Music, but the senior pastor (whose wife had lost several babies through miscarriage) didn’t want me to work until after Beth was born. So I started as that position in November 1983. I was there until December 1984.
-In December 1984 we moved to Wisconsin where I became the pastor of an even smaller Nazarene church. They paid me for 6mo of the year I was there. Financially it was one of the hardest years we’ve ever known, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
-We stayed there a year and then were asked to come be the Assistant Pastor at a church back in Ohio. The people agreed to pay me $50 a week and allow me to rent the old parsonage of $400 a month. You do the math. This was a difficult time, but a growing time for Nelson as he started his own construction business. Several of the leading people at this church were military men and they pointed me in the direction of military chaplaincy. I was interested because the salary and benefits would provide some seriously needed financial support to my family. So we packed up me and the girls and while Nelson stayed in Ohio to finish a house he was building we moved out to KC where I would complete my M.Div in preparation to join the army.
-I was not military material. I realized that quickly. I took a position at a church in KC. It was a struggling church and we learned a lot together. I was in that position from October 1987 until August 1989.
-During spring semester at NTS I took a course called CPO: Clinical Pastoral Orientation. I fell in love. I realized the chaplaincy for me was hospital, not military. I moved into CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) and stayed through October 1991. I would still be there if the guys up the ladder from me would have moved on, but with no slots to move into I had to move on.
-December 1991 I began as a chaplain at an agency back in Ohio that worked with extremely troubled kids in out of home placements. In 1995 I began training in Pastoral Counseling. In 1997 I transitioned totally out of chaplaincy into counseling within the same agency. While with that agency I directed the Day Treatment Program and was out-patient family counselor and finished up as the residential counselor finishing in 2001.
-We were foster parents from 1992 until 2001, taking a small break from 1999 until 2001.
-I took a position as an interim pastor in a Mennonite church from June 1999 until October 2001.
-In June 2002 I started working at a convience store. I worked there until October 2003.
-I worked at a local family owned deli from December 2003 until February 2004.
-I started working in the packaging program of Transformation Network in October 2004. I moved into supervising that program with RCompany in March 2005. I accepted my current position as Reentry Development Coordinator in August 2006.

I think I’ll take the day off.

Friday, November 09, 2007


The word for the day: Inspire


I don’t see myself, me, as inspirational, but I am about inspiring people to better their lives, to live up to their potential, to inspire others and each other.

Yesterday I was accused of being too simplistic. I smiled. I don’t see a problem with that. Why do we need to complicate things?

Today I worked on developing my organizational side. I had to have that bone grafted into me. I say to our administrative assistant that I’m not organized person, but…And he laughs at me. To hear him talk, you’d think I was a closet OCD (not to be confused with being anal).

Yesterday I convinced my supervisor to not wait for the big boss to clean out one of his filing cabinets for me, but instead to purchase the $15 horizontal two drawer cabinet for me. He agreed and I set about the daunting task of sorting through my files. I gave up about 1/3 of the way through the process. Now, instead of stacks around the edges of my office (so I had at least a path cleared to my char, I had files from front to back and side to side. I left work that way, knowing I would be out of the office today until after noon.

Today, after I was done at the jail (which went REALLY well—I did the same lesson as yesterday) I picked up the file cabinet, brought it to the office, had two guys struggle to get it into the building, cleaned it off and proceeded to fill it up.

In the process I rearranged the furniture in my office. I did have my desk on an angle facing the door upon entry. Now the desk is up against the wall. I have so much space in my little cubby office that three of us were able to meet in there and not bump knees. I was very happy. The downside is that it will have to be swept regularly…the good news is that it can be!

I worked tonight at Curves. And now I’m going to bed. Until tomorrow.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Hero Day

Today we started with this little exercise to get us thinking outside the box:
(each thing is a well known phrase)
- Calmstorm




-ban ana



-don’t cry
spilled milk









We discussed the statement: change or die. And how a study showed that while people will typically verbalize that given that choice they would change, reality showed that change really only occurs in 1 person out of ten…9 would not change. (This part of the discussion was really hard for the group…but then again, so is change.)

From there we moved on to a discussion of HERO. (I thought this was quite interesting given the NOJOMO prompt for the day is about hero…what a “coincidence”…)
What is a hero? What makes someone a hero?
Who is your hero? Why?
Who sees you as their hero?
Where do you need to step up and be the hero?

And while I had them thinking big: we moved on to discuss GENIUS.
What is genius? What makes someone a genius?
Who do you see as being a genius?
What characteristics of genius do you possess?

Then I gave the results of a study that listed the top characteristics of identified geniuses:

It was a fun class. Today, the two hours flew by. I will probably use this less tomorrow in the jail when I teach there, too.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Lessons on Lessons

It's been a long day.

I spent a big chunk of the afternoon trying to figure out what I was going to teach for my final lesson in Sunday School. I had planned to do a lesson on Advent since I was scheduled for the final Sunday of the quarter right before Advent. I learned at service on Sunday that there is a churchwide emphasis on Advent and a special workshop planned for Nov. 25 in the evening.

I thought about the story of the woman at the well (John 4), but really didn't feel any clear "go ahead" on that.

I did some research on the topic of forgiveness. This something I've been thinking a lot about lately and have some good material. It's just that I only have about 45 minutes and that barely seems like enough time to scratch the surface.

The other lessons came so easily. I don't know when I'll get to teach again so I'm feeling some internal pressure to make my final words really count.

I was just sitting here pondering. I thought about asking what lessons you might want to hear. Then I remembered how I had done "sermon in a bag" at the last church I pastored. Over the summer I had people sign up to bring an item in a bag and I would reveal the item right before the offering was collected. During the collection I had a moment to come up with an extemporaneous illustration geared simply enough for a kid's sermon. I loved the challenge. Maybe I should have the class bring in some items and pick a few to talk about in class. It's goofey group, maybe I shouldn't be so trusting....

Oh wait, I forgot an interesting twist to this plot. While I was at Curves working tonight one of the other guys I'm team teaching with called to ask if we could switch our Sundays. He has the 18th and I'm scheduled for the 25th. He's the basketball coach at our hometown university and I'm sure the need to change is schedule driven...and that's okay, it just means I have less time to decide and prepare.

Thankfully, there's still time to pray.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Meaning-full Connections

This morning I went to a business meeting. It felt good.

At lunch I went to a community service agency luncheon. The food was good. Next month I’ll be the presenter. I’m going to have to learn how to run the power point before then. Have I ever mentioned how techno-phobic I am?

After lunch I picked up my paycheck from Curves. Yay, for spending money! That’s one of the reasons I work. I don’t have to ask Nelson for money. Have I ever mentioned my money and worth issues?

With my green in my pocket I made my way to one of the locally owned coffee shops (not to be confused with the large chain coffee seller down the road). I had made arrangements to meet with a woman whose life fell apart after a divorce. I had been called by a woman from church asking if I would be able to meet her and help her. I said I would, but had no idea what I would do. I was really clear that the more I thought about and prayed for the meeting one person’s name kept coming to mind, that of a woman who works out at Curves who is a HR person for an agency in a nearby town.

Wow! I got there early. Have I mentioned I’m a bit OCD about punctuality? I chatted with the owner of the shop. All of a sudden she asked if I was meeting Mary and I said yes. Turns out she knows Mary. I get up from the table where I had been waiting and meet her at the door. Instant connection.

I bought her a coffee. That’s what you do when you ask an unemployed person to meet you at a coffee shop. And then we sat and talked. Charming. Delightful. Witty. Wounded, but healing. Dynamic. She shared her story and then asked me about mine. I was surprised at how easy it was to talk to her about my experience. It was not without shame (it never will be), but it was shared in a redemptive way that helped me show how my message has come out of my mess.

The more we talked the more clear it became that the HR person whose name had come to me so clearly was really the right connection to make. I’m excited to do it. So while she touches up her resume and writes a smashing cover letter I’m going to ask some “hypothetical” questions of my HR connection and lay the ground work for Mary’s application to that agency.

Then when we were done, we prayed together. It was a two-hanky moment.

I don’t always like where I am, but I sure love doing this kind of work. Meaning-full connections fostering growth and healing.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


At the other journaling spot I inhabit here in cyberspace, I've joined a challenge to post an entry for every day in November. It's called NOJOMO. Each day has had a letter of the day, a word of the day and a writing prompt. This being the 4th our letter was D. Here's my entry from there, not just to duplicate, but because the Peeves list was what I wanted to share here. ")

Letter of the day: D
-Daisy: I’ve thought about this inspirational person several times this week. She was the mother of one of my best buds in high school. She died from breast cancer in 1974. In a moment of teenage angst she counseled me to “never give up.” Her words are tattooed on my heart.
-Dogs: I would love to have one. A smart one. A housebroken one. I will wait until I’m not working or working less because I want to have a companion not just a chore.
-Daughters: Mine are quite amazing and I love them so much. They’ve turned into good mothers. And one of them is now my boss (still trying to get used to that).

Word of the day: Dedicate
-I have dedicated my life to following God and serving others as He leads me to do. Most recently that has linked me to the ministry of Transformation Network. I believe people can change if they have enough want to and are given the right tools. I guess I’m in the uncovering “wanta” and “tool distribution” business.

Writing prompt: 10 Worst Peeves:
(I’m going to split this one 40/60: 4 of my irritations and 6 ways I’m sure I irritate others.)
-What peeves me:
-Drivers who pull out in front of me (especially when there is NO ONE behind me) and putz on down the road.
-Adults who sit in meetings and crack their chewing gum.
-People leaving one ice cube in the tray, or less than one bowl of cereal in the box, or two drops of milk in the jug.
-People who finish the toilet paper but don’t replace the roll.

-How I probably peeve others:
-I willingly commit to something and then forget to write it down and unfortunately forget to do it. (Happens way too often and I hate it—make sure I write it down!)
-I lose things. My mom always said, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” I must have too many “things” because I’m forever losing them.
-I think out loud. Which means in a conversation you may think that I’m telling you something I’ve already made my mind up about (and therefore think I’m committing) when really I’m just processing information. It also means I talk a lot (aka: too much).
-I can do a lot in a little bit of time. One of the ways this irritates others is that I put off starting something until the last minute because I don’t think it will take as long for me to do as for others. This looks like procrastination and frustrates others (particularly supervisors and spouse).
-I say I’m sorry for everything. This is something I picked up from my mother. It makes me crazy that she does it, and I know it irritates Nelson.
-I answer a question with a question. This too, drives Nelson crazy. I think this is related to one of my other peeving behaviors of thinking out loud. I’m trying to process the question and answer it right (probably my next irritating behavior) and so to be sure I have the question right and all information to make a right answer, I ask another question. Ticks him off every time. I’m working hard on this. Each time I get it correct, I’m quick to point it out. “)

This exercise was interesting to me. I started out by thinking that I was going to have this long list of things that peeve me from others. What I found out quickly was that I couldn't get past four, but when I started out writing about what behaviors I had that probably peeved others I was clearly going to exceed my list of ten. I found much to think and pray about.