Thursday, February 17, 2011


So I was all set to write a post about the incredible dinner I made with our meal group ladies at our house last night. We had separate girls and boys nights to hangout and chat. The girls decided to cook a gourmet meal together and I had the perfect menu all picked out thanks to Rachael Ray. We enjoyed passion fruit fizz sour drinks, apples and pears with gruyere cheese, garlic and herb cheese spread and wheat crackers, carpaccio-wrapped asparagus, bay scallop risotto, chocolate dipped strawberries and doughnut holes with almond caramel sauce. We even took pictures of all the food. It was super yummy and looked delicious too. But this post is about the shift from my easy, indulgent-filled life to helping someone with a very hard life.

Today I volunteered at the Science Museum and meant to hangout there for awhile working on my resume but I forgot my laptop in the rush to get the boys to school. Anyway I ended up coming back home after an exhausting 4 hours at the museum and crashed on the loveseat. I had a bad headache and leg cramps. I did not end up working on my resume and needed to get up and get ready for more volunteering at the Minneapolis Market. I didn't really want to go there but I always enjoy it. Bryan encouraged me to go if I could. I am glad I went.

The market is this amazing food pantry where anyone (mostly low income people because of the neighborhood) can come to shop for free food with dignity. The customers have to become a member that is sponsored by someone paying for their food. It is honestly the only place that I get to go and have conversations with people that are poor in America. I go there to do a job but in the process get to have amazing conversations with people that God loves.

Tonight I met a lady that had hoped to join the market and get some free food but we do not have any openings right now. Her body displayed her disappointment and I decided to talk with her more. I discovered that she is out of work and volunteering in the hopes of getting a job at 3 different places. She is a single mom with a car but her car needs a new battery. Her son was carrying around a bag with an electrical car battery charger to use in order to start their car. Wow! That is crazy! I didn't know you could actually live life that way. My heart broke. I couldn't offer this lady free food from the market. I could go and buy her groceries but it seemed she really needed a battery but she didn't know how to put it in either. Thankfully her friend that she drove to the market had a membership and she got a few things from her. As she left, I got her contact info and said I was going to try to get her a new battery.

I immediately called Bryan. After telling him the story, he was on board. I left the market early. Bryan loaded up the boys and met me at Kmart nearby. We got a battery and Bryan installed it. We did what we could to show this lady the love of Jesus. She is my sister in Christ. She gave me a big hug before we left and said God bless you. I returned with an emphatic, "May God bless you!" I still feel her big bear hug. She will remain in my heart and mind for days to come.

God, keep my heart soft to love others and keep my eyes and ears open for when you want me to be your hands and feet.

Monday, February 14, 2011

in the blaaaaahhhh

I don't know how to describe my life when people ask. I spend a lot of time at home since being laid off. (I know I am not supposed to say I was laid off...I mean ATK reduced their workforce and I was part of the 15% that was reduced, because I worked part-time.) I spend my time mostly by myself with some time around the kids. I take my kids to school and pick them up. I do exercise DVDs. I read books. I read the Bible. I make lists and cross things off my list. I do endless internet research. I look for jobs and apply for a few here and there. I go grocery shopping. I do laundry. I do the dishes. I clean and pick things up around the house. I put laundry away and I clean out the dishwasher. I listen to podcasts. I work on my resume--it is never perfect.

I spend most of my time in the house. That has been the most difficult part for me. I love being around people. I love conversation. The conversation can be about anything. It can be me listening to two friends talk. I just want to be around life and people living it. I know I am living my life but it doesn't seem that much is happening. That is probably because my life is about waiting right now. Maybe it should be about living but some days there is this haze that is blocking the today.

I know I have things to be joyful about. My husband. Our date tonight. The kids bring me joy. The boys got little presents for Valentine's Day. We tied ribbon to each boy's present and hid them and took the ribbon around the house and then finally tied it to their doorknob of their bedroom. When the got up this morning and followed the ribbon to their present, smiles abounded. It was contagious. Although Jaden said he would have rather had a different gift (we are working on gratefulness). But soon after he was asking to have a present hidden for every holiday and then went through all of the holidays throughout the year. My boys love gifts. And that brings me joy to see them happy.

There are other things in life that are tough and have potential for joy. We are going through a lot of adoption/foster care classes right now and that has huge potential for joy someday. I am looking for jobs and talking with new people all the time about job potential. That could also lead to more joy. Maybe it is just the long winter and spring has potential to bring more joy.

Friday, February 11, 2011


I got back from a scrapbooking retreat yesterday where about 20 women, mostly from Rochester, MN gathered together. We rented a beautiful house and had lots of great conversation. I got quite a big of scrapbooking done. I did 25 pages which accounted for the major events in 2009. I am moving on to 2010 now and trying to decide between sticking with what I have been doing or switching to digital scrapbooking. I am still undecided. It has been a hand-on hobby of mine for so long that it is a big deal to change it. I started scrapbooking in 1997. Bryan and I have scrapbooks of us since we were dating. It is really neat to have that history for us to look through and being back so many special memories. It will always be important for me to do something physical that triggers things that have happened in my life. I love remembering. I think it helps me appreciate the present more and enjoy the life that I have.