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Monthly Archives: September 2011

I Am My Goals, and I Am Random

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I must be a somewhat discombobulated collection of random this week, ’cause my current goals are all over the map. I was just sitting in the post-bedtime quiet, looking around the house, thinking about what I’d like to accomplish this week. What a weird picture of who I am right now, in this moment. Are everyone’s goals this …. um…..eclectic?

Goal 1 – Tomatoes: I picked a bunch of tomatoes at my dad’s house last week, and true to my overly enthusiastic, underly* planned self, I left the bag in the car for 36 of the final hours of hot Oregon summer. Then I threw away the 3/4 of the bunch which had burst and rotted, leaving me with the remainder in a container on the kitchen counter right before leaving town for 2 days. Now I get to either A. roast and freeze the remainder or B. throw the rest away, depending on how they did while I was gone. What? No, actually, I haven’t looked closely at them yet. I’m waiting for….inspiration and courage. (*whattya mean, “underly” isn’t a word? You just read it in a blog, didn’t you? Ergo, it IS a word!)

Goal 2 – Mental meditation and reset: I start a new part-time job in a week or so, and I need to fully process this exciting new opportunity and work through incorporating it into our family life. This will require lots of quiet time, alone, to think. Oh, I’m SURE I’ll have lots of that this week.

Goal 3 – Backpacks: If it KILLS me this year, I will come up with a workable plan for my tiny, tiny entryway and the 3 sets of backpacks/shoes/coats/stuff that need to occupy it. My entryway is a blessing of peace and joy when it is neat and tidy, and a tiny torture chamber of annoyance when its messy. I. Will. Conquer. The. Backpacks.

Goal 4 – Strategic Communications: Working on a big new project which will affect a lot of people, and I want it to go really well. Will need to put my impulsive, enthusiastic overly communicative self in a head-lock and proceed with mapping a plan to ensure success.

Goal 5 – Learn complicated legal issue, implement solution: Sure, looks like a slow week, so I think I’ll also work on learning the ins and outs of a complicated family legal situation, why not?

What are you working on this week?

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A God of Curve Balls

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Sorry sports fans, this ain’t about baseball. This may be kinda serious, but take my word for it, it’s better than me writing about sports.

Just got smacked in the head this week by another curve ball. You’d think I’d figure it out, but apparently I am a really slow learner. Slow to learn that when it comes to what God wants in my life, I’m supposed to wait on Him. Maybe because I’ve always been book smart, I’m always happy to go off and try to figure it out on my own, good intentions and all. So over and over, God has to throw me curve balls.

Examples? Oh, I’ve got a bucket full…..

First, when I went off to college, I was gonna be a whiter, shorter new Oprah. Four years, a communications degree and no business classes later, I figured I needed a business degree, because really, I was going to work in the glamorous world of corporate PR. Two years, a business degree and fifty thousand dollars in educational debt later, I landed a job in the non-glamorous nonprofit world.

Curve ball.

When my little brother took a different path than mine, and married early to a damaged young woman (more damaged than we could know), I figured we’d just live our separate lives, let my folks carry most of the news back and forth between us, and visit a few times a year. Then he got sick, and before his 27th birthday, he died and left three little daughters without a father and in peril.

Curve ball.

I thought that because I’d always assumed I would have children, that when the time came I deemed appropriate, I would get pregnant. Then I didn’t.

After two years of infertility, I thought I’d figured it out, and became accustomed to the fact I’d never have children naturally. Then we had three boys.

I thought I knew the world I lived in. Then on 9/11, with my firstborn son toddling happily in front of unbelievable, horrific TV images of what was happening in New York and DC and PA, the world as we all knew it changed.

Curve ball. Curve ball. Curve ball.

When my nieces were kept from us for months and years at a time, I thought I was just supposed to be the hip, cool, distant auntie. Then their world fell apart, and my parents and I were all the family they had to stand for them.

Curve ball.

I thought that being a stay-at-home-mom was for special moms who were called to it, and I most certainly wasn’t one of THEM, so I would always work. I thought that because I had a job in nonprofit ministry, doing His work, I was supposed to stay there. Then the job changed, the people changed, and my future in the ministry changed. Then my nieces needed a foster mom, and I had to quit.

Curve ball.

I figured that even though I wasn’t called to be a stay-at-home-mom, I could certainly still figure it out and do a good job. Then I realized I couldn’t, and I wasn’t. (Lordy, are you as sick of all the “I’s” in this post as I am? It’s embarrassing.)

My baby entered kindergarten this week, and I had just come to a place of peace. I thought I’d figured out what I was doing as a stay-at-home-mom, why I was still home and what I was supposed to do with that time. Then a part-time job opportunity with way too many potential matches to my skills and experiences presents itself while I’m just looking for a kayak on Craigslist, for crying out loud!

Curve ball.

Each time, I thought I’d figured it all out – I knew what was next, what was expected, and what I was supposed to do. I may turn easily to Him in crisis, stress, and times of change. But once I reach the other side, I’m ashamed to realize it’s a different story. Then I think I’ve made it, and my actions take on an awful smug tone, more “thanks, I’ve got this, I’ll take it from here” than “thanks, You brought me here, now what?”

Each time, He says, “Child, I didn’t lead you from there to here just so you can feel good about your clarity, your achievement, and what you think you’ve figured out. I can’t do My work through you when you’re like that. So now I’m gonna lead you somewhere new again, and you’re going to have to turn to Me.”

Oh, Pitcher, I’m so grateful You are patient. I’m going to try to keep my eye on the ball. You just keep throwing those curve balls.

You brought me here, now what?

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You know how they say writing things helps us learn them? I just wrote this whole thing, went to correct a typo and lost 85% of it. Had to retype almost everything I’d already written. Coincidence? Probably not…..

The Help, The Junior Mints, The Remake

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Three things I learned at the movies today:

1. The movie “The Help” is nearly as good as the book. Such moving performances from all involved. I was left with an unavoidable urge to utilize my Southern accent and then corner my friend S., from Jackson herself, and demand that she tell me her thoughts. Did she have “help” growing up? Did her elegant momma? How did she feel about that? What do Southern people think when I speak in a Southern accent? Is it annoying, amusing, or strangely homey?

2. I had me some Junior Mints this afternoon, and the theater is now keeping them in the refrigerator. Refrigerated Junior Mints are even MORE REFRESHING. It was a revelation, indeed.

3. I know I should be ashamed, and not excited. I know I should cry foul, not cry for more.  I know remakes are derivative, they are pathetic, I should avert my eyes and protest with the other purists. But the preview for the new “Footloose” movie just made me dopey happy. And a bit giddy. And I LOVE Dennis Quaid. The only part that bothered me in the trailer is that it appears some of the dancing is a bit…….inappropriate. But I’m a sucker for a good decent halfway decent dance movie, what can I say? (Step Up 1 – 17 now? – told you I wasn’t discriminating; “Tap”, “White Nights”, “Saturday Night Fever”, “Flashdance”, and “Dirty Dancing”, oh my.)

What are YOUR favorite dance movies? And what are you looking forward to seeing at the theater this fall?

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