Friday, April 30, 2010

The Good the Bad and the Ugly - 04/30/10

I cried myself to sleep last night.

I think like any working woman who is ministering in their church family, and trying to be a good wife, mother, daughter and friend, my time is full. I have a lot going on. Things sometimes slip through the cracks and are not done, but I have come to accept that. When making plans I realize that I could go all out and do the big extravaganza or I could realize my limitations, accept what I’m capable of doing, plan accordingly, and be happy with the end result even though it may have been done differently in the past.

Enter well meaning friends who think I have forgotten(instead of purposefully choosing to limit based on what I know I can manage) to pull out all the stops, because of course we need to do thus and so, we have to have this or that. Suddenly I feel like a failure. I feel like in the eyes of the world what I can do is not enough. My heart, my confidence, my pride is wounded.

I lay there quietly as the hot tears ran over the bridge of my nose and onto my pillow and realized that I have guilt because I cannot possible be all things to all people. I cannot be the always on wife who takes perfect care of her husband, and have all the right answers, and wisdom for my children, I cannot always meet all the needs of my parents, I cannot always work 50 hours a week at my job, I cannot always please all the people in the church with the things that I do there.

Some would, and have, said that my priorities are askew because I work outside my home. Some would say I should learn to say no(not to them of course) :) Some would say that I need to step back because I am overcommitted. Some would say that I cannot please everyone so I shouldn’t try.

Conclusions? It’s not as simple as I shouldn’t work, or I should learn to say no. I remember feeling exactly the same way as a stay at home, homeschooling mom. My life was filled with homeschool co-ops, Bible study’s, housework, science projects, book reading, Dr’s appointments, bath times, and church ministries. I was overwhelmed, and felt guilt. I believe every woman feels this at every phase in their lives for the same or different reasons. It’s part of living in a fallen world, as a sinner living with other sinners.

We make choices…sometimes the toilets aren’t as clean as they should be, and we don’t make it to the dentist every 6 months, and the people in our lives think that we are falling down on the job because we aren’t doing all that we have in the past, and we snap at the ones we love the most because we know they will love us in spite of our rudeness.

Sometimes we have to settle for straightened instead of spotless, and flossed instead of cleaned, and dr-ironed(the process of putting your clothes in the dryer with a wet cloth to straighten out the wrinkles – pronounced dry-earned) instead of starched and ironed. Sometimes we have to accept that people are impatient and say impatient, hurtful things…just like we do.

I needed this blow to my pride to help me to realize again that I am painfully flawed, imperfect, and can do nothing of value…without my Jesus to strengthen and help me. I need to go back to the drawing board…and pray for wisdom to know what to say yes to and when to say no. I’m thankful for my dear friends who loved me enough to pick up where they felt I had left off…they did it because they love me and they have my back and never intended to make me feel bad.

I need to do the best I can do and let God take care of the rest. I need to stop “shoulding” myself and choose in each moment what I believe is the best use of my time, and accept willingly the things that don’t get done in the optimal way.

It’s ok! I’m ok! It’s not failure. I’m just a hard working wife, mother, daughter, friend and child of the King, doing the best I can, with His help. I’m casting my cares on Him, because He cares for me. On to the day! J.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Good the Bad and the Ugly - 04/29/10

I am starting a new series entitled "The Good the Bad and the Ugly." This will be where I post the deep down gut level stuff I'm struggling through...that I wouldn't normally put out there for general consumption. We will see...I may regret it and NEVER do it again. :) Here we go. Here is the first edition of "The Good the Bad and the Ugly.":
Reputation management is far too important to me! What I say is carefully parsed and spun so as to shed a better light. Information is sorted to share only what will make me look wiser, smarter, less imperfect. I want to be perfectly honest and say what I truly mean, or how I truly feel. Is it wrong to be open about one’s sinful, depraved heart? Is it inappropriate to share unfiltered, the depth of my selfish immaturity? Does it make me less, make Him less? Or could it be that it might bring freedom to myself and to those who might be able to relate? Fear drives me to hide, just like Adam and Eve…not from God, but from my peers, from the people in my life. I fear judgment, and rejection. I care too much about what people think.

Yet I feel the importance of James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

I’m going to be honest, open, and truthful. If I’m struggling I will own it. If I’m hurt, self-centered, foolish, angry I am going to be open about it so that I can take it out look at it and address it in a way that will bring healing. If I am rejected however sad that will be, I know that my Father doesn’t reject me. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1. J.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An Amazing Sight!!!

I’m knee deep sluncking around in month end mud. My brain feels fried. I’m about 450 pages in and have 200 to go of reviewing every prescription for every patient in our 7 nursing homes. It represents hundreds of thousands of dollars…and it all needs to be billed correctly.

On a happier note…I saw the first picture of our grandchild today! He/She has a beautiful spine which was clearly visible, and tiny little head, arm, leg and belly. The joy was indescribable! The potential for all that this little one will become, the future laughs, and cries, accomplishments and booboos…it makes me sigh with hope and excitement!! The dr. says baby is looking good…sometime in mid November.

Update on the sweater…I have all but finished the back but I am stuck and haven’t had time to sit with it in silence and figure it out. But major progress…I WILL finish it and sooner rather than later. J.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Different Twist on Adoption

Some people adopt babies, some older children…we adopt adults. It started 5 years ago I believe. A young man, a sailor, stationed on the aircraft carrier at Everett Naval Station came to church. He came and sat alone. It was Memorial Day Sunday and the following day we were having a little family party. We invited Joel to join us. I understand that he almost didn’t, but his parents encouraged him and he did. That was the moment…the Providential moment for all of us. He began staying the weekends with us, and became like a son to us. Since then he has married our precious niece and is our actual nephew. That’s how it all started.

Since then we have had two of our sons friends live with us for a few months, sadly we don’t see them much. Our parting was difficult.

The next – a wayward, Texan youth intern. He, his wife Natalie, and baby Tristan are our Texas kids. Daryn was a handful, but God used us to help grow him up, and him to teach us many things as well. I will never forget the first day he arrived. He was covered in tattoos, spoke like a skateboarding longshoreman, and flirted flagrantly with our waitress at Outback. The laundry hanging out of the dryer, the cups with chewing tobacco spew, and using the bathroom with the door open were just a few of the challenges we had with Daryn. He came to us rough around the edges, irreverent, hilarious, unwise, fun, foolish, but honest. He’s a totally different man now. He married his girlfriend, and became a father to his child. He works hard, loves his wife and child. We are proud of him, and so thankful for the evident hand of God in his life.

Kelly, our Canadian daughter came as a youth intern as well. She is a lovely, adventurous young woman, fun, serious, thoughtful, kind, and caring. Disciplined and focused she worked very hard with the youth at Westminster. She volunteered her time feeding and clothing the poor, she invested in the lives of the young women around her, and she brightened our household. Her grace and wisdom beyond her years inspires. We are so thankful that God brought her into our lives. Our “Kelly Girl” is currently home for a visit before she goes to Pakistan for the summer to teach English as a second language with missionaries there.

Timothy, Hannah and Peter at different times have been involved with Fishnet Theater – a Christian traveling theater group. This involvement has brought many people into our lives…one of whom is Esther. She is a precious, sensitive, eager young woman. A nanny of two, she currently stars in the Fishnet play “Conquest of the Pirate Ship Reclaim” as a pirate, mother of three. We believe that God brought Esther to us to help us to guide her down new paths, push her out of her comfort zones, and help her to become all that God intends her to be. Alone, and lonely she had buried herself in her rented room in someone else’s house, no plan, no goals, no forward motion. Esther needed family, she needed to be loved, encouraged, and given hope. What God has done in her is amazing. She is currently taking classes to become a Phlebotomist, she is planning for the future, and working hard toward her goals. We are proud of our newest daughter and feel blessed to have her in our family.

Jon, our newest member is 19, his parents have recently divorced which has left him in a very difficult awkward position. He is a very talented theater rat. He works with several community theaters stage managing, creating sets and props, and is involved with sound as well. Shy, and gentle, Jon is still coming out of his shell. I don’t know fully what God has in mind for him, but he is a delight, and I can’t wait to see.

God has blessed us greatly! J.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Dreaming has never really been an important part of my life. In fact I’ve always resisted dreaming as it was discouraged in my family growing up. I think reality was always looming and my parents didn’t want us to be disappointed. I have since been thinking quite a bit about it and wishing I had done more of it. I tend to be so reality driven that I don’t know how to think outside the box, or think beyond the known. I can eat the same sandwich or lunch every day for months on end before I tire of it. It’s comfortable and expected. I don’t really need too much variety. I don’t consider myself to be creative and I think this may very well be the source of why, I haven’t dreamed enough. Knitting and sewing from a pattern yes, but creating the pattern definitely not. Cooking from a recipe, yes totally, but choosing the right ingredients to put together to make a fabulous dish, not so much.

The same is true with goals, I’ve never spent much time setting goals for myself. I did so for my children, I could see the benefit of that but I never have really focused on this much for myself.

Recently I set a goal of making my daughter-in-law a maternity sweater. The project was fairly ambitious, for me, and I was really excited about it. As I got into the project and hit a section that required more attention I laid it down because I wasn’t in a position to focus acutely at the time, and I haven’t picked it back up again and that was a month or more ago. It makes me so sad.

I want to dream about all the things of interest and imagine all that God’s potential for us might be. I want to know the joy of setting goals, working toward, and accomplishing them.

I’m going to finish the sweater! Then onto the next goal! J.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Contrast Dye

It seems I am allergic to CT contrast dye. So when the dr. told me that I had to have another one I anticipated the hours of vomiting and shakes. He gave me some anti-anxiety medication which has a side effect of controlling nausea and away I went to Radiology. The test itself was not entirely unpleasant, but the IV contrast dye causes a sudden rush of hot particularly in the crotch area, in fact it feels like you have wet yourself. Thankfully you haven’t. The test itself only took 10-15 minutes, the dye feeling lasted an hour or so. The medicine worked, there was no vomiting or shakes. I did however sleep from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. and woke with a very groggy, hung over feeling. I’m hoping that will pass with the day. The scary thing to me is that many of our patients are on much higher doses of this medication, taken several times daily. How do they function? Dragging myself to work, hoping for energy to arrive soon! J.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


One of my co-workers just came into my office and said: “So and so and I were just talking and you are the nicest person who works here. You and H. are both the sweetest. He said that the best word for you is pure.” I didn’t know what to say except. “That is very sweet of you to say.” My office-mate said… “Who said that about you? How come no one ever says that about me?” I said “Well, not all of our co-workers would say that about me. It depends on the interactions that have gone on.” It is uplifting to hear that someone thinks you are nice! It truly does feel good. Christ-like is my goal – I’m a work in progress. J.

Monday, April 19, 2010

"Be Still and Know that I am God"

The gentle breeze blowing the cap sleeves of my blouse and my messily clipped back hair is whooshing off the tension of the day as I sit on my newly planted deck overlooking our river valley, and the lightly snow-capped Cascade Mountains. I’ve been looking at this same valley and these very same mountains my whole life. Home! What a blessed 4 letter word that is. I SO enjoy being at home. I love the way the falling sun’s soft yellow touches the tips of the mountains, and the reflection of the trees at the bend of the river. I love thinking about all the people in the cars crossing the valley floor headed home. The slightly pungent smell of the pollen on the flowers surrounding me tickles my nose. The goose-bumps which tell me it is still April, highlight succinctly that I’m alive. I’M ALIVE! What a beautiful feeling!

Thank you Lord for the wonder of your creation! I admire the skill with which you formed the mountains, every tree, the song you put in the throat of the bird on the wire above, and the smell of the flowers and freshly mowed lawn. I am grateful for the feeling of the air in my lungs and the swelling of joy in my heart. I feel your breath in the wind which blows the cloud bank a little closer with every minute. It all speaks of you, points to you. Your presence could not feel any more tangible, and real. My heart knows that You are God!

Father we love you we worship and adore you

Glorify Thy name in all the earth

Glorify Thy name

Glorify Thy name

Glorify Thy name in all the earth!


Friday, April 16, 2010

The Science of Paper Clips

I discovered today that there is another way to use a paper clip. I always put the paper clip onto the group of papers by putting the smaller loop over the top of the paper leaving the longer loop on the front of the paper. H. told me the other day that I do it backwards. I noticed that one of my assistants does it small loop toward the front also. Who knew? As near as I can tell there is no effectual difference…but it makes me wonder which way is “right,” or most commonly used. Which way do you use your paper clip? J.

Friday Surprises

While driving to work, and in a pensive Friday morning mood, what to our wondering eyes should appear? With a flash of white, a bald eagle was majestically flying right above I5. What a blessed sight…and right here in the big city! Thank you Lord! J.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Here I sit at my desk putting off the inevitable. I need to dive into the worst two piles of nasty loose ends that are in desperate need of tying up. The beautiful weather outside is distracting me by calling my name.

My wonderful husband came and met us for lunch…this delight has me longing for more time which is not meant to be. I will have to wait to spend an evening with him until tomorrow. It’s just been far too long. We have been stealing 45 minutes here…an hour there, which makes it bearable. I shouldn’t complain, he could be half way around the world, I still have the ability to reach my foot over and touch his leg during the night and for that I’m truly grateful. I just miss him when there are meetings every evening back to back to back to back…

Enough! To the piles! J.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Random thoughts

Just some random thoughts: Today was productive at work. A serious dent was created in the piles of things to do on my desk! That felt really good. My parents are finally feeling better, not 100% by any means, but they are over the worst of it. It was scary. Timothy had another meeting this evening which meant I was alone with the kitty.

An update: This evening I finally folded the laundry. I know it is about time right? The previously mentioned dishes were washed by someone else. I still haven’t gotten to the knitting. The church dinner was a raving success by all accounts(I couldn’t go because my parents were sick and needed me. The dinner was hosted by the Deacons. All the other Deacons decided last minute they couldn’t be there, but Timothy with the help of a faithful team of Bismore’s and friends who had his back, put on a great dinner and variety show.) I still have a couple of emails I need to return.

Now it’s time for bed! J.

Correctness at the Cost of Grace

The offense an adult ignorantly causes while making a grammatical error in speech, is far outdone by the superior rudeness of another adult correcting her.

It was painful to watch as the offender’s face reddened with embarrassment and shame. Shrinking, and eventually bowing out of the conversation, she slunk away with her tail between her legs obviously wishing she could slip into invisibility at will. My heart broke for her. Where the word “and” is placed in a sentence has no eternal value…yet the crushed spirit of that poor woman does.

Obviously the corrector was well versed in grammar and not so much in courtesy. While of course it is important to teach our children correct grammar, a case could be made that it is more important to teach our children how to bless others with our gracious words. J.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sick Day

Staying home from work sick is not restful to me. I have a sore throat, heavy congestion, headache, and a slight fever. I’m not dying, but I really don’t feel well. I haven’t been totally useless today though…I did log in and work for 3 hours this morning.

Laying in bed all day is such a bummer. My mind is full of all the things I SHOULD do so let me…in true blog form…overshare.

Top five shoulds that are currently running through my head:

I should fold the laundry!
I should wash the pile of dirty dishes
I should take this opportunity to get some knitting done
I should finish the last minute planning for Saturday’s church dinner
I should return those e-mails

I should I should I should!!!

Instead of doing those things I lay here in bed watching the Court TV channel. The case is depressing and upsetting…a 16 year old girl died in a house fire because her parents had chained her to her bed with a dog choke collar around her waist. Wow just typing those words brings tears to my eyes. Click…new channel! Why do I get sucked into these things? If it’s a train-wreck I can’t take my eyes away.

Randomly changing topics…other people seem so much more productive than I am. I am not just being hard on myself…I truly believe this is accurate. Tiredness, feeling overwhelmed, being over-committed I think are the source of this problem, at least to a degree. This is not an excuse, but just analysis of the situation. Beyond that I just don’t feel motivated. I’m not feeling it. I don’t care if the dishes get done, or the laundry washed, or the floor cleaned. That said I despise the out of control feeling of those undone things. I don’t like it when our schedule gets crazy. I feel frantic when things are grossly out of balance.

These things that get out of control in my life…I know what needs to happen to deal with them individually…I’m just not able/willing to do what would be required to bring everything into balance all at once. I can keep one to three things under control at any given time…but there are always the other two things that become unmanageable. It’s like the guy who has the spinning plates on the sticks…some always fall.

Over thinking things is another difficulty that I have. Perhaps if I spent less time thinking, musing, and ruminating about things and actually spend that time doing something about the problems I might not struggle with it so much.

For the record I am cracking myself up right now. I love my life even as unbalanced, out of control, and unmanageable as it can be sometimes. Is it time for more DayQuil? J.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


My dander is up…I warned him back in December that I wouldn’t tolerate his hurting my friend, but he did it anyway. He poo-pooed it and was even offended that I would “attack” him, yet he continued in the same behavior. And now my friend is hurt. As I was on the phone and she was crying I felt the anger rising within me. I wrote him a scathing email. Yet still I fume. It’s all I can think about this morning.
Immaturity, self-centeredness, shallowness, and delusion were at the root of his poor choices. Lord, help me to leave the vengeance to you. Give me wisdom to know how to be there for my friend, and how to best deal with him. J.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Dear Blog…I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ve been working my way through 68 hours of month end, and then the Easter holiday and haven’t had a chance to sit and write much. I’ll be back I promise! ;) J.