Friday, July 29, 2011


I am interrupting my VBS whine to bring you this post.
You thought I had turned over a new leaf by blogging every day of the week, didn't you? I'm sure I shocked you all. Heck, I shocked me. And I thought I had turned over a new leaf. And then last week, life interrupted me. Funny, that. Life is always doing that to me.
Last Wednesday as I was just finishing some applications off before lunch, I hear the front door open. Everyone was meant to be at work (except for me, of course), so I was a little confused as to who might be letting themselves in. It was my mom, looking a little worse for wear, weakly asking if I could go pick up her car from work. If her car was at work, how did she get home?
"I fell at work, went to the ER (mild concussion) and then my boss brought me home," she said.

I think that was the fastest I've ever gotten ready in my life.

I spent the afternoon taking care of my mom in a way I've never done before. (And I'm sure in a way she would never like to see again. She called me a "mean nurse" when I kept insisting she just stay still and rest. Weird.) Proof of my good-heartedness? I made her sugar cookies. From scratch. On a VERY hot day. True love, baby.
There was no VBS post that night because I stayed home to take care of my mom. And yes, it felt a little weird. But really? It was a nice time. Not nice that she got hurt, but nice because it meant we spent time together where we weren't arguing about jobs, life or anything else. It was time together--just plain and simple time together. And while she was resting, I put in Gilmore Girls for her to watch. We haven't watched that together in ages. I a daughter again.

And oddly enough, like a parent. Which was weird.

At the end of the night, I was exhausted. But an energetic exhausted. And ya know, it wasn't all that bad.

**Update: Mom is doing very well, one week out. She is still in a bunch of pain from her back, which was an issue even before she fell. Her head is doing fine & she got cleared by the ER doctor last week. Prayers are still appreciated!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

VBS: Carryin' the Banner

I was somewhere around 10th grade maybe when I first fell in love with Newsies. It's a story about orphans and run-aways who would sell newspapers on the streets of New York in 1899. It's got music, it's got dancing, it's got Christian Bale -- what more could you ask for? I've seen so many movies that take place in New York, but when I think "New York," I always think, "Newsies!"
I was listening to the soundtrack yesterday and thought, "I wonder if I could change any of the lame-o VBS songs into super cool Newsies songs? Now that would be a VBS I would gladly attend!" We would sing songs like "Carryin' the Banner...of God's love" or "The World Will Know...that Jesus loves them."
The obvious "salvation song" (the one that always has the ABC's of salvation in it. And while I'm thinking about it, I really want to know if it takes more time to come up with a song for the ABC's and what they stand for than any other song. If you know, don't keep it to yourself!) would be "Seize the Day." "King of New York" would end up become something like "Tip your hat, He's the King of the Kingdom."

Of course, getting rid of the the smoking references, betting on race-horses, and the "lovey-dovey baby song" will prove to be most difficult...

VBS: Voluntold

This week is VBS at our church. I think we might be having ours a little later than every one else does, because I just read Jon Acuff's hilarious blog post about saying goodbye to VBS. Of the ten things that ALWAYS happen at VBS, no matter where you are in the world, one of them kinda smacked me around.
5. Grumpy volunteer.
I don’t know how you get tricked into volunteering this year, probably got voluntold if I had to guess, but fight the good fight next year, friend. If you hate kids, crafts and sweet baby Jesus, sprain your ankle next year to get out of volunteering.
I must admit, this is me this year. I got voluntold to VBS this year. But it wasn't by my mother or other ministry leader. I was knowingly voluntold that I would be helping this year by a good friend of mine. What with the not having a job, I've been living a pretty lame life the last few weeks. Like drinking coffee until lunch time, looking for jobs, not getting out of my house kinda of lame. And it's been getting to me. I would make a few off-hand comments to friends about how crazy I was feeling and somehow that made me feel better, like letting some steam off. One day my friend sat me down and said, "Next week you are helping with VBS. You are going to apply for three jobs a day, and you are going to get involved in ministry at church. Any questions?"
A plan? Did you just give me a plan??
Oh yes you did.
So I hauled my voluntold butt to VBS last night. It was not the best thing ever. I WAS the grumpy volunteer with a foam Lady Liberty hat ( Big Apple Adventure!), my Lady Liberty rose-tinted glasses (who knew such a thing even existed? And yes, that will probably be a blog post at the end of the week...) AND (horrors of horrors) a name tag. Yuck.
But you know? It wasn't the worst thing I could have done with my evening. I did think about hiding out in the coat closet to read my book. Or taking a few recreation volunteers (like they do anything anyway...!) with me to grab a slushy. I didn't do either of those things. And I had an okay time. But what I realized most from Jon's blog is this: I don't WANT to be the grumpy volunteer. Just like you can tell which kids were forced to be at VBS, the kids can tell who was voluntold.
Might as well make the best of it, right?
(I mean, as long as it doesn't include learning the VBS songs...right? Because if I does, I'm changing "Bi-Bi-Bi Bi-Bi-Bi Big Apple Adventures!" to something like "Ca-Ca-Ca Carryin' the Banner!" from Newsies. )

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Childhood dreams

Growing up, I wanted to be either a nurse or a truck driver. (Ok sure, strange dream. But hey, at least they were real jobs.)

My parents were my heros and if they could do it, so could I. For the longest time, that was my dream. I couldn't decide which I wanted to be! As a truck driver, my dad was always going to the places that we would only get to visit on vacation. And he got to go EVERY WEEK! I suppose I get my travel bug from him, though I think my bug bit a little bit deeper because I like BIG travel. Out of the country travel. I would sit with my dad as he did his paperwork at home. It was the coolest thing.
I forget when that dream died. I think it might have been around the time I learned about truck driver stereotypes. I hated them so much. I still do. I hated the way people looked at me as I tried to explain with pride the work my father did. How unfair is that?
My dream to be a nurse died in the ninth grade. Pre-chemistry class. I asked one of the facilitators in my science class during a particularly difficult lesson, "Would I need to know how to do this math if I want to become a nurse?" She said yes, and my heart sank. Well there goes that, I thought.
Four years of college and a Bachelors in English (something I love), guess what kind of jobs I see in all the job searches I do?


Nurses and truck drivers.

Maybe I gave up on those dreams too early...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Looking for a job like it's my job...just without the paycheck

It's been a crazy few weeks (or has it been almost a month?? Oops. Sorry about that.)!

To sum things up: I moved back home.

The End.

(No seriously. The end.)
The move went really well. There were four of us, one Uhaul thing on the back of my parent's car, my Jetta, and my friend's van. And yes, all of my possessions fit. I either have a sad pathetic life ... or I need to get rid of stuff so I can prep for living out of my car. Because, let's face it. If I don't get a job soon, that might be where I end up.
Trust me when I say that you, my readers, benefited from me NOT blogging during the past few weeks. It would have sounded like this, "Blah blah blah, Woe is me. I don't have a job. Waaaa waaaa. Blah blah blah." (Plus or minus a few rain clouds, tears and a few not safe for work outbursts. Trust me on this one. You are welcome.)
Last night was an uncommon low point for me, so I had it out with God.
Which is big talk for the chicken that I am.

Because what I actually did was beg.

I pleaded with Him to show me what to do. I asked questions. And then, I begged some more.
Most times, I feel like I missed His plan. Like He showed me this great big dream and I just forgot about it or ignored it. But even if I did (because sometimes I am dense...), isn't he the God of second chances? Would he really say, " are about five years off "The Plan" I had for you. You really buggered that one up. Good luck trying to find a way to make things work." I am clinging to the hope that he doesn't do that.
I've been seeing so many Tweets over the past few days that, even to my depressed mind, have been encouraging. Things that said reminded me that there are different seasons in life, that rain and drought have their time, that God loves even when we are unlovable. I read them all saying in my head, "Yes, I hear that. But how? Why? It can't be true for me."
But then I realized something. I have to look past the doubt and believe it anyway. It is hard, oh so hard for me to do that. But it is the only thing that makes sense right now.

So today, I'm looking for a job. Not just looking, but promising myself to actually APPLY for something. Big or small. And I'm choosing to believe that God's plan for me is still in place. Choosing to believe that I am here, in this moment, for a reason. Even if I haven't the foggiest idea what that reason is.
I'm choosing joy.
I'm choosing hope.