Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Empty Nesters Unite!

Four women gathered in my gazebo Saturday morning with beverages in hand hoping to find encouragement in the shared experiences and struggles navigating this transitional time in our lives - launching our children. It was an interesting foursome, ladies from different parts of my life finding connections in unexpected shared acquaintances and shared experiences.
After everyone else had departed, one gal asked what I had taken away from our time together. She was concerned that as host, I lacked opportunity to share. Not a chance! I never have a problem speaking up, ;-) and I loved listening to the conversation between these women.

My take-aways:

1) No "Cheats" Here - Whether our children live far away or under the same roof - it's tough navigating a new role in parenting: It's tough setting boundaries for our adult children, while being supportive.
2) Great Idea! Work on a shared project together even though we may be miles apart. It can give us something positive to talk about during our phone conversations or times together.
     *work on the same knitting/crocheting pattern. How fun it would be to show off the finished product to each other. Of course, I would make sure there was a picture of us with our projects. :)
     *go through the same devotional and share what God is teaching you.
     *read and discuss a book.
     *try out a new recipe and share the results, modifications, suggestions. (Both my kids enjoy sharing their cooking adventures and Chad loves to share his own recipes; it gives me a window on his world.)
4) Gratitude. Focusing on the positive and thanking God helps our outlook and attitude. Philippians 4:8-9
5) He's got to be enough. So... the kids are gone; enjoy the new found freedom of being a couple, again. I love this part of the empty nest! ;-)
5) Finally, Get over it! It's not about me. "I often think I'm the "Queen Bee" and the world should revolve around me"... or perhaps at least  "a Princess"? LOL! Reality check, please!

Thank you, Lord, for the precious women in my life. Thank you for kindred spirits. the traveling companions you've given me along this journey. Thank you for true friendships.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

More Dancing, Singing, Loving

Continuing to dance, sing, and love:
* Singing along with "Grace Like Rain" on the radio and seeing the guy in the truck next to me mouthing the exact same lyrics - made my day!
* My neighbor and good friend brought dinner over to Craig and me when she was the one home alone for the week. Great meal, great fellowship - true fellowship; the kind where we both encourage and exhort. Love this gal!
* Unexpected visit from my dad for dinner. Loved the visit, sitting on the deck as the sun went down.
* A good night's sleep with the cool, fresh air blowing through the open windows.

I think I used to get this song and the one in my previous post mixed up...both have the lyrics, "I want to live like there's no tomorrow."

"Waking up to the sunrise and the radio
Feels like I'm tied up, what's holding me?
Just praying today will be the day I go free...
I want to be the way I was made!"

I am ready to be free to be who you made me to be. I wanna live, I wanna laugh, I wanna love...I wanna give, I wanna sing, I wanna dance. Loose me from what's holding me back; hurt, unforgiveness, fear, self-confidence, self-image...yeah, anything that's holding me back.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Life is Good!

This song has been stuck in my brain, but I had trouble finding the artist, lyrics and Youtube. Whenever I hear it on the radio, I crank it up and sing along. It describes how I feel about my life, how I wanna live...

"And the joy that we get brings joy to the giver..."

Singing about the joy in today:

Hearing about not one but TWO God appointments and being given a specific assignment to pray about regarding these "appointments". Praying for God's work to be completed, and a harvest realized! All glory to Him!

Spending two beautiful evenings on the deck, reading, watching, thinking, praying.

Spending two evenings in a row catching up with girlfriends.

Getting knitting/crocheting instructions to finish a multi-year project. I still have a long way to go.

A productive one-on-one meeting with my boss. The best yet!

Repeatable results on my test.

The many privileges and "fringe benefits" of being a GM employee.

Knowing and believing Romans 8:28 - Resting in God's faithful arms, and waiting on Him.

I'm working on living like there's no tomorrow, not wasting another's good to be alive! I pray the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart will bring you honor and glory, today.  Rejoicing in the day you have made...Thank you!

Monday, August 6, 2012

I've Got Reasons

To bless the Lord, O my soul...

...for He has surely blessed me!

I have just completed 2 years back to GM as a full time, directly employed engineer. I can hardly believe that it's been a year since my probationary period ended. I am still learning. I still feel totally inadequate. I still make lots of mistakes. I still say dumb things. (really dumb things!) I am still getting to know my co-workers and colleagues. I definitely don't have it all figured out. I am SO thankful for the grace my boss and co-workers extend to me. I've wanted to quit, but they encourage me on. Blessed - that's what I am!

Thanks to the job that I have, I got to spend a week with my gal, mostly just hanging out together after work in her apartment, getting a chance to see where she worships, lives and to hang out with her colleague-friends! WOW! Did I say colleagues? Blessed - that's what I am!

Chatting for an hour with my "little" guy. Yeah - HE called me...just to chat. Not to ask for anything. Love hearing his voice. Love the positive attitude that flows through the receiver. Love the chuckles and digs when I've overstepped into the "nosey"  - information you don't need to know, Mom - area. Funny. Blessed - that's what I am!

Spent an absolutely gorgeous day on the golf course with colleagues from all over the industry; some suppliers, some competitors, some who formerly held my job, some who share my faith and how neat it is to have that connection and be able to share how God is working in our lives in the midst of talking "shop". Blessed - that's what I am!

"Seeing" prayers answered for my family. A special doctor who shares our faith and my desire to go "natural". A therapist who relates perfectly. Blessed - that's what I am!

"Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes..." because I have 10000 reasons to bless your name.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's Better-er

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the LORD, and he answered me...
(Psalm 34:1-4 ESV)
I had a really bad day, yesterday. All of my tests are down for one reason or another. The one I thought I had fixed aborted after 1.5 hours (It's a 22 hour test) My very important project is still sitting idle and I'm all out of ideas on how to fix it. Then I had a very frustrating hour and a half phone call that kept me an hour over.

That was then, this is now...
I started out the day by praying the entire way to work. I prayed first of all, that my attitude would be positive and bring glory to God whether things went the way I wanted or not. I prayed for each test, and every contact I needed to make. I prayed for my co-workers. I prayed over my schedule. I prayed.

By the time I got to work, I marched in with confidence and a positive outlook for the day.

Guess what...I had a great day!
My co-worker and "right hand man" encouraged me, "It will be better-er", he said with a grin.

I was able to replace the one part without totally disassembling. I tore the test down and built it back up without the slightest hitch. Every tight fit and problem area "miraculously" slid together and I got the test up and running in record time - even with replacing a part!

I sent out an e-mail looking for the replacement parts I've been anxiously awaiting to repair my equipment. The response was almost immediate (@ 6:30 in the morning!) that my parts should arrive by Monday! Woohoo! Praying this is the answer to my troubles with a certain test rig. This same rig had two other parts replaced and calibrated without any problems - all before 10 a.m., AND I calibrated the instrument with one phone call and it's now running better than ever. (That person must have been waiting for me to call, too!) 

Not everything went well. My reference test failed again, but at least I have a troubleshooting plan in process. I have hope. I know who has my back and He will lead me - or catch me. He hears and answers my cry for help; my job is to cry out to Him.

Thank you for the encouragement.
Thank you for how you planned out my day and answered my cry in every way.
Thank you for allowing me to "see" your answers, today.
You are AWESOME God! You make all things "better-er", in Your time...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ingredients for a Delicious Life!

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28 ESV)
This is the verse of the week - one stored in my heart for many years. A truth that has carried me through many challenges over the years, and yet, still as fresh and encouraging as it was the first time God proved it true in my life.

I know it's true today, and am confident God is at work in my life and in the lives of those I love...for our good and His glory. 

I love the illustration in my study. I've heard similar, but since I'm a chocoholic, this one I can relate to:
"- Begin with bitter chocolate.- Stir in some dry, tasteless flour.
- Add several raw eggs and some sour milk.
- Mix these and several more ingredients thoroughly.
- Bake in a hot oven.
- The end result: a (YUMMY) chocolate cake. Now think about your life - the bitter, the dry, the raw, the sour, the mixing, and the heat. Sounds bad, doesn't it? And it fdeels bad when it's happening! But in God's hands, these things - these unpleasant and uncomfortable and unlovely elements and components of life - will result in something good." ~ p. 177-178 Loving God with All Your Mind, Elizabeth George (my paraphrase)
So, when I write that I'm dealing with "disappointment, hurt and frustration", don't think I'm angry. I'm just missing all those good things that have slipped away: those good times I remember, and good people I cherish. It's those good close relationships that are changing. It's all those very good things that I am thankful for having experienced in my life over the years. It's because of God's abundant blessings in my life (and in the lives of others) that I am where I am in life, today: New jobs, careers, cities to live in, college to experience, new challenges, new fellowships, new opportunities.

But...I am also very excited for what God has in store for the next chapter. The page is turning slowly, but it's turning and I "can't wait" to see what the author of my life is going to write on those next pages.  God is working it all out!

I heard this song today, after I had written this blog last night. Today was one of those days...I'm feeling like everything I touch just falls apart, breaks, fails...So good to know He's always there to Steady my Heart"...

I love the ways you steadied my heart, today:

  • Much needed rain showers that stopped long enough for me to jump out and get a signature.
  • Meeting and chatting with a "down to earth" executive.
  • The floppy windshield wiper - and a short way to drive. It made me start my day laughing. 
  • Laughing with the young (& cute) security guards. They remind me to take myself lightly and enjoy the moment.
  • Being "harassed" by fun co-workers.
  • A "10 minute chat" with my sister before leaving the grounds that turned into at least a half hour - maybe longer. I lose track of time when I'm with her. <3  :)
  • A song that I connect with after "one of those days".
  • A quick, simple dinner.
  • The promise of a walk.

"What's good and what gets broken happens just the way that You plan" 
Thanks for the reminder!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

New Blog: Chronicles of The 4-C's

Check out my new blog about the happenings of our family, affectionately known as "The 4-C's", also the name of our boat:

This blog will continue to be my thoughts, discoveries, and ramblings about life.

Thanks for visiting!