Man Never Changes…

I’ve been out of the work force for over 12 years.  I’ve been extremely blessed to be so.  However, over the summer, I have taken a full-time position.

Admittedly, I’ve led a pretty sheltered life.  Not having to deal with adults on a day-to-day basis, I’ve been molded by children and their worlds.  Kids are authentic and real.  They are not perfect, but in general what you see is what you get.  They don’t deceive except when it comes to candy and chocolate.  They are the best of man before mankind changes them.

I’ve had a few hard lessons to digest over the last two weeks.  I’ve learned I have to have boundaries with people.  I’m frankly a very attractive woman and last week I was asked out on a date (I’m married for those of you who don’t know).  It disturbed me because all I was doing was listening and asking questions at my work.  That was it.  A very innocent conversation about weekend plans.  But somehow a line was crossed and I paid the price.

Yesterday, a work colleague whom I thought I knew stole a bonus from me to put it simply.  I asked for his advice on a client and he basically stole my client right in front of me.  It hurt.  I don’t want it to.

Immediately, walls went up.  I’ll never trust that colleague again no matter how much he apologizes.  I won’t lean on him again when I need help in learning our company’s computer systems and my job.  Our relationship of joking around will never be the same.  Because a wall went up.  And I don’t know how to bring it down.  It saddens me.  Immensely so.  Because I don’t want one to be there.  Worst of all, I’m afraid it’ll affect the rest of my work relationships as well.

I’ve spent my whole life behind walls mainly from childhood and it saddens me.  I don’t want there to be walls in my life.  And I don’t know what to do about them.  All I can do is pray.  But for me, prayer in this situation is a slow process.

Now, I have to be wary of what I say to clients.  Wary of being too much of a listening ear for those who need to vent their life’s frustrations.  And worst of all wary of someone I work with every day.

I think of the book of Revelation and how man never changes no matter what.  Deep down mankind is selfish and greedy and vindictive and lustful.   It is his nature.  And to protect ourselves from ourselves we build walls.  Walls that are easy to erect but take forever to crumble.

I don’t know how to get over what happened yesterday.  I am sad and hurt and time must do it’s job.  I don’t know how to forgive and forget. I don’t know how to re-form that relationship.  He was my favorite colleague.  My go-to guy.  My friend.  And now…

I haven’t cried in a long time.  But tears are rolling…

I feel naive.  Stupid.  Out of sorts.  All mixed up when I shouldn’t be.  And now guarded.  When I don’t want to be…

I don’t want to change who I am at work.  But I fear it’s too late.  Because a curtain descended yesterday over my heart.  One I can’t rip apart like the coming of Christ.

Any advice would be greatly received and appreciated.

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Help! I Lost My Voice…

It started on Tuesday after I had taught 3 classes.  My voice got crackly.  And then went hoarse.  The next day I couldn’t talk.  So I googled.  It says rest your voice as much as possible.  Drink plenty of fluids.  Use a humidifier.  Suck on cough drops.  “Soon” it’ll go away.

So I quit talking and started typing on my phone.  I type out my order at Starbucks.  I type out directives to my kids.  I text my husband instead of yell for him when he’s downstairs and I’m upstairs.

And now I wait.  And wait.  And wait.  It’s okay, but I have to work in a couple of days.  I pray it gets better.  I’ve been looking forward to this day as it’s a launch where we teach a new release for the first time.  We do it as a team and it’s very exciting.  But not if I can’t talk!

I’m asking God why.  And what is this supposed to teach me.  I’m not sick and I suspect it has something to do with the 18 years of second-hand smoke I had to breathe in from my mom smoking when I was a kid.

It’s very humbling and you realize how much you do take your voice for granted.  How much you communicate with it.  And how much it’s a pain not to have that ability.

So instead of me reading to my kids they read to me.  I have work to do which now has to wait.  So I’m resting.  Doing as little talking as possible.  Reading a book.  Watched a movie.  Anything to distract the mind.

I’m doing what my body is telling me to do:  rest.  Maybe that is God’s purpose after all.

My Dog and Cat Died Because of Me

When God created the universe, death did not exist.  Life abounded.  There were not predators and no prey.  All lived in the Garden of Eden with every need provided:  food, water, and shelter.  Life was perfect.

Then man sinned.  He ate of the forbidden tree, the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil.  God cursed man, banishing him from the Garden, bringing death to all.  Hence, all creation suffers because of man’s sin.

When I held my dying dogs in my arms, I blamed myself for their pain, suffering, and death.  I look at my cats, all of whom are aging rapidly, and think, “They are gonna die because of me”.  All innocent creatures who live in the moment that God gave us to care for and we are completely incapable of caring for them.  I feel like I let them down when they die.

My kids and I have been reading a lot of books about animals.  Extinct animals and endangered animals come up a lot.  For example, the tiger.  One of the most magnificent animals God has created and we kill them for their coats and gall bladders.  So few left…

Tiger

Tiger

I just read on line how only three northern white rhinos are in existence today–all killed by man for their horns.  Their horns!  It would be like killing humans for their hair.

Extinct animals:  the Dodo bird, the Passenger pigeon, the Tasmanian tiger, the Great Auk, the Baiji White Dolphin, Steller’s Sea Cow, the West African Black Rhino, the Pinta Island Tortoise–all at the hands of man.

Almost extinct animals:  The Javan Rhinoceros, Hawaiian Monk Seal, the Mountain Gorilla, the Island Fox, the Bactrian Camel, Philippine Eagle, California Condor, Amur Leopard, Sumatran Rhino, Vaquita, Kakapo, Iberian Lynx, Siamese Crocodile, and so many, many more.

Yet in the midst of this I see God.  I see how God created us and everything to reflect Him and His greatness.  No where is this more miraculous than in the birth of a newborn baby–human or animal.  This is all despite our sin.

This makes me yearn for heaven and Jesus to come again–to end the pain and the suffering and the sin of man who cannot stop sinning without Jesus.

Death is the hardest part of life in my opinion.  Not necessarily my own death because once I’m gone it doesn’t affect me.  Death of those around us since we have to go on living…

My Cats

My Cats

I pray to enjoy those around me while I can.  To not take one moment for granted.  To hold my kitties a little tighter.  To kiss my kids more.  To spend more time with my family.  To do what I can to stop the death of endangered species (by not buying their products number one) and supporting those capable of lending aid.  And yes, for Jesus to come again–the ultimate end to this Fallen World.

I Got a Massage!

My Thoughts were as Serene as a Snowfall

My Thoughts were as Serene as a Snowfall

Yesterday, I got a massage.

I had hurt my back somehow doing Group Power on Monday.  I iced my back, but it was still tight.

I asked my husband to rub my back, but he gave up.

Finally, I decided:  I need a professional!

It has been years since I’ve had a massage.  It’s just an extravagance I normally don’t indulge in.  Like getting my hair done…

But it was so worth it!

My back feels so much better.  I could feel the knots in my back as she worked them out.  I lay for one hour, not moving, not having kids demand to be fed or the dog demand to be watered or any other distraction.  And now I feel awesome.

Granted, it hurts.  But it’s supposed to hurt if the job was done right.

I got tips to do at home when it happens again.  And I was sent away with a glass of water.

It was a good reminder that sometimes a little pampering is needed in this harried world that never stops.  TLC can go a long way to reducing stress and for me pain.

Maybe I’ll do this more often.  I definitely left taller than when I entered.  And to me that was worth every dime!

The Day I Realized I Was Ordinary…

…I was pretty depressed.

I had all these dreams of doing something great with my life.  Something noteworthy.  Something extraordinary.  Something big and exciting and unusual.

Then I realized my little life will always be little.

A mom of three kids and some dogs and cats and little else.

I pretend I do other things:  write novels or work a job or play guitar or exercise or be a “Mom who has it all”.

In reality, I don’t want to do any of these things.

It’s all work and I don’t want to work.

Trying to figure out your calling is a challenge.  One I don’t want to do anymore.

I pulled a muscle yesterday.  I realized I’m getting older and my body won’t last forever.

I pissed off some people on my daughter’s soccer team because of another fee I didn’t realize I had to pay and I had the nerve to question it.  I had to apologize for my lack of understanding and secretly vow the end of soccer which is all political bull####.

I woke up this morning.  Made my husband’s lunch.  Did the dishes.  Blogged a bit.  Kissed my husband good-bye and thanked him for earning a living because I am obviously a dysfunctional member of society and would be incapable of surviving in the working world.

This is when it hit me:  yep, I’m ordinary.  Nothing about my life stands out or is even worthy to be remembered.

Don’t tell me I can live an ordinary life in an extraordinary manner.  I’ve heard this enough in my lifetime.

I do realize I am blessed because I know God and Jesus.  Yes, I get that…

But beyond all of that, when it comes down to it, I’m just one person of 7 billion on the planet. Eking out a living and living out an eking…

It’s not a happy day to say the least.  Maybe it will take off some of the pressure I feel to be extraordinary although knowing myself I believe I will always be striving for extraordinary despite my new-found knowledge.

In my kids’ eyes and pets’ eyes, I am extraordinary.  I don’t deserve to be…

Well, I must end this rumination as my ordinary life calls.  It’s trash day, and I must get my trash can out and ready for pick-up.  The dogs need fed.  The kids will be getting up shortly.  And I’m out of coffee…

Ever Notice Your Calling is Not Your Choice?

I’d love to take the path most taken: put my kids in school, work out at the gym, sip coffee with friends, go shopping, take vacations, and lead a normal, suburban life.

But I can’t.

And I don’t have a choice about it.

I must follow where God leads and that’s not exactly the way I’d go and certainly not the easy route that’s for sure.  I’m called to write:  a path full of rejection which I’m not good at taking.  I’m called to homeschool–a bit out of the mainstream but growing by leaps and bounds as more and more parents realize what a classroom full of 30 kids is really like compared to 3 kids.  I’m called to be a wife and mother and care-taker of animals.  And I’m sure I’m called to other things; I just can’t see them at the moment.

Not that my life is hard.  In fact, I’m very, very blessed.  I have a hard-working husband who supports me in all I do.  I have wonderful, healthy kids who are growing up strong in the Lord.  I have 2 dogs and 2 cats to care for.  I have a home, cars, God, and love.

Yet for those who are blessed, more is expected.  I am called for more and I can’t quit until it’s achieved.  My calling is also not my own.  I don’t think I would have chosen it.  In fact, I know I wouldn’t have.  I would have chosen to be born to royalty (or at least to millionaires) and led a cushy life for the my brief time here on Earth.

But I wasn’t.

I was called to lead an ordinary life in a not-so-ordinary fashion.

All because of God within.

It drives me, propels me, forces me to do so.

Even when I have no desire to.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20:  “…You are not your own; you were bought at a price.”

I am God’s.  And I’d have it no other way.

My Ideal Life…

So school (and hence my job) has been on a two-week break.  It’s been nice (after I recovered from my nasty illness).  I’ve spent the days cleaning my house, visiting family and friends, reading books both to my kids and to myself and my gym membership started on January 1st so I went to the pool, which was awesome!

I also have been querying my just completed YA contemporary novel (this is where you try to find a literary agent in order to sell your work to a publisher).  To be quite honest, I am holding out no hope really of landing one.  But I do it anyways so then I can move on to my next book, which I think I will return to non-fiction which was the first book I wrote about 7 years ago when I was called to this “career”.

Me Reading City of Bones

Me Reading City of Bones

One of the books I read was City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.  I saw the movie version and liked it, so of course I grabbed the book since it’s in one of my favorite genres to write (YA paranormal).

I liked the book (except for the ending) and would recommend it if you like that stuff, but it was depressing to read for the simple fact it made me jealous–jealous because I don’t think I can write that good of a book.  It made me want to start writing another YA paranormal almost instantly–until I thought I have no inspiration at the moment.

After reading City of Bones, I believe my current novel to be utter crap and won’t go anywhere like the rest of the books I’ve written.

So now what?  Well, I pray.  Pray for my book.  Pray I write something that will impact someone somewhere.  Pray someone will believe in that dream with me as well–enough to get me published.  Pray I do God’s work and not my own.

So why is this my ideal life?  Because I got to read a book!  I haven’t read a book outside of kids books since Killing Jesus (and that took me almost 3 months to finish)!

I got to do what I wanted to do (for the most part), which is sit around and read books.  No kids activities to run to.  No guitar lessons to make.  No job I had to get up for…

Still, there is something deep inside of me that craves more.  It craves this book (whatever that will be).  It craves it more than a pregnant woman would ice cream.  And the restlessness inside of me never goes away until I have it…