Monday, September 30, 2013

God is in the details!

We have had a problem with the kids losing library books and racking up fines, which we don't know about until they reach $10 and they can't check out books anymore. So we've made a rule that they can't check out books until all of the lost books are found. Now found his after a few weeks, and Kayla recently found the one she had lost. One of the ones on Lela's account was on the library shelf; I guess she returned it but it didn't get scanned, just put back on the shelf. Thankfully they were able to refund the fines on that one! But she still has one book out that we cannot find.

Today we went to the library and she was the only one that couldn't get books, even though she is my biggest reader! And before anyone gets upset that I am withholding books from her, we have countless books that they have never read right in our own home. In fact, she is working on the Mandie series right now, which are books that originally were too "boring" for her.

She was really bummed that she couldn't get a book, and I almost caved and let her get one, but I held strong in the punishment. (Yay me!) Afterward we went to Chick-fil-A to get her the free chicken nugget meal that she won from the Summer Reading Program. Lo and behold, the "toy" that came with it was a book! A book about giraffes, no less. So I told her that God provided a new book for her, even though she didn't find the lost book yet. She was pretty happy about that.

God cares about the little things, because He cares about you!

Well, it's my birthday again.

I failed miserably at the whole "30 Things To Do While I'm 30" thing. I may have to change it to "...While I'm In My 30's". I definitely accomplished 6 of them, and I could maybe say I did 3 or 4 of the other ones. The rest, I failed miserably.

But this year was full of a lot of exciting things and changes, and a lot of heartbreak and pain. My life now is so incredibly different from my life a year ago that I cannot even comprehend that it's only been a year. A year ago I was lonely, felt stranded, I had blocked circumstances, everything I tried was shut down, and I felt like I had no control over anything going on in my life.

I still struggle with a lot of the same issues, because a change of scenery doesn't just make problems go away. But a lot of my wishes for myself and my husband have been given to us through the changes of the last year. And some of them, I found out I don't really want!

I don't want to say a whole lot about what my life was like a year ago because I don't want to bring up past issues. But I do want to say that God never fails, He never stops loving and caring for us, and He will deliver you just at the right time. So bring on 31! But I could do with a little bit less excitement this year than last year.

Circumstances change, friends come and go, people fail you and hurt you, seasons come and go, but God never changes.

Friday, September 27, 2013

#12 on 30 List- Complete a course online

Once again, the Lord has taken a wish and gone above and beyond what I could have dreamed or imagined! When I wrote this post I put "Take an online class" and inside I was thinking, "I can already cross that one off as never gonna happen." And I was right! But I was also very mistaken.

It has been a dream of mine to be a counselor since I was about 15. I read some book about a girl that was acting out, so she was put on behavioral meds, but the meds made her act out more, and instead of finding out what was wrong, they put her in a mental home. A worker there realized that it was the meds that was making this girl act the way she was and through therapy and, of course, convincing the doctors to take her off these meds, they found out the true source of her problem and they were able to place her in a different home. I don't remember what the book was called. Actually, I think the author was "Anonymous", so I may never know!

For some reason that book inspired me and I made it my life's dream to be a child psychologist and help children all over the world! Some of my friends even called me Dr. Laura. Anyway, that obviously never happened. But as an adult I still have a desire to be a counselor and help people that are hurting and have problems. I have been wanting to take classes at Beth Haven Baptist Institute for years but it never worked out.

Well, since we moved back to Oklahoma, I am currently in my second semester of taking classes there, working toward my counseling degree. I may never finish. It would take a really long time, considering I can only take about two classes per semester. But I was able to take the Women Counseling Women II class and I loved every minute of it. I'm grateful for the opportunity the Lord has provided for me to be able to take these classes! And for showing me, once again, what a powerful and loving God He is.

Friday, September 20, 2013

#15- Even Better Than a Branson Show!

On my 30 List I wrote that I wanted to go to a Branson show. This was mainly because we lived near Branson and it was a conceivable thing that I would be able to do. We were even planning to go to one, so I thought it was a given. Wow, did God have other plans!

Ever since I was a teenager I have loved the Green Bay Packers. It's a combination of the colors and a love for Brett Favre. My older sister Sarah always loved them too and we had to withstand the criticizing in the last few years with the Packers not doing well and Favre, well, he hasn't done so well either. But we're still fans, through and through!

Sarah texted me and said she was 12th in line to get tickets to the Packers/Chiefs game in Kansas City so to be prepared. I was thinking, yeah right, that's not going to happen. Then she calls me and says that she actually got them! We screamed together on the phone and had our little "cone of silence" moment, then we started planning. There was a lot to work; we had to find baby sitters, transportation, extra money, and had to convince our husbands to let us go to Kansas City by ourselves, to a Chiefs game by ourselves, and sit among Chiefs fans and cheer for the Packers by ourselves. They know we're not calm fans.

Eventually everything worked out thanks to my inlaws for agreeing to watch the kids, my parents for allowing me to hitch a ride home to Omaha with them (they were visiting for the weekend), my brother Nathan's girlfriend for watching Sarah's kids, and other people that were part of it! My younger sister Julia was also able to join us which made it a fab sisters getaway!

We had a blast at the game. Most of the people were kind, some were obnoxious, and some were just plain rude. We were a little worried for our safety in the Third quarter when everyone around us was mostly drunk and getting a little "personal". But we made it out alive! It was definitely worth the expense and the trip, and I would do it again in a heart beat! Our next goal is to go to a game in Lambeau. When the Chiefs did their big show of getting onto the field with their fireworks and flames (literally) we all agreed that "when" we go to Lambeau we will be in tears.

God provided above and beyond any expectations I might have had with this trip! My imaginations had me going to a Branson show, but God had me going to a Packers game. You may not think God cares about football, and you're probably right, but He cares about me!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

#2 on 30 List- Our Second Honeymoon!

Well here I am, almost 31, and my list of completed things on my master list is seriously short. But I have done a few of them, so I'm going to try to catch up on them!

The second item on my list was to go on a second honeymoon with Caleb. We were very blessed to be able to go to Dallas for our 12th Anniversary in August!

We had a really good time, it was really nice to be able to get away. We decided to spend the bulk of our money on a nice hotel and I was able to get a good deal on a room in the Westin. Unfortunately when we got there we realized they were hosting the Dallas Clown Convention in the same hotel! What luck. If any of you know me very well, you know that I had deep Coulrophobia (fear of clowns). This isn't just a "clowns are freaky" kind of thing for me. When I see one in real life I can't breath, and all reason goes out the window. Sitting here now I know that clowns are just normal regular, um, clowns are just people who for some reason find enjoyment in dressing like freak shows clowns. But get me near one and they're instantly freaks that are going to wrap me in a pink cotton candy cocoon and slowly suck my blood out. We were able to avoid them for the most part, and the hotel staff was very understanding and allowed us to use the back elevator and entrance when we needed to. The clowns we were unfortunate enough to encounter were mostly civil. There was only one clown who decided it's his purpose in life to convince someone they're not afraid of clowns by following them around, trying to hug them, and talking to them in general by saying condescending things like, "You don't think I'm scary, do you? I'm a nice clown!" Psh, as if any logical person could think such an irrational thought.

Side Note: Let's see if this logic applies to any other phobia. Let's say someone is afraid of drowning. Would you put them in water, hold their feet so their nose is barely above water and say, "You're not really afraid of drowning, that's just something you say to be different or cute. You just saw a movie where drowning was portrayed in a bad light. If you just tried to be more reasonable, you would see that drowning is perfectly normal." Um, no. That person would be considered a freak. So don't try to convince me that I'm not afraid of clowns.

The rest of our weekend was great. We went out for dinner, went to the outlet mall, I got a Coach wristlet, and a massage, we went swimming in the roof-top pool that we practically had to ourselves, and we just enjoyed not having five children around us complaining, fighting, and needing something. We tried to sleep in but somehow only managed to sleep until 8am.

It was a delightful weekend and something we both agreed we needed to do again. It really didn't cost us a whole lot of money, but we had a good time just being together. After 12 years, we've still got it!

This is us trying to get a picture in our luxury bath robes. We tried to prop the regular camera up with books and things, but could only get a picture of our middles. Then we tried to take a selfie, but we were both laughing so hard because if Caleb held the camera, I couldn't reach the button to take it. But if I held the camera, I couldn't get the robes in the picture. We were both laughing so hard neither one of us could keep the camera still. So this is what you get! Happy Anniversary to us!