Practicing Gratitude [05.26]

>> Thursday, May 26, 2016

Boy, it's been a while again.  Working took up a lot of my recreational computer time these last couple of months!

(as did Gilmore Girls on Netflix)

((Ugh.  There, I confessed.))

(((And I may as well confess right away, too, that I'm looking forward to the four 90-minute reunion episodes scheduled for release late this year that I just found out about.)))

But now that I wrapped up the last season on Tuesday I'm home full-time again, I hope to get back into the habit of writing at least a couple of times a week.

ANYWAY...  on to the matter at hand!!

I think first and foremost on the list for me this week HAS to be the weather.  Man, it just feels SO GOOD to enjoy being outside WITHOUT tuques, mittens, scarves, parkas, heavy boots, and ski pants!  Or even a jacket of any kind!  I'm so grateful our short summer season has arrived!


I'm thankful The Man put in the garden last week.  Year after year, I say I want to work at making a habit of actually spending a bit of time in the garden every day, but year after year, it doesn't happen.  I just don't LIKE it!!  I'd love to be one of those people who find gardening relaxing, but I just don't.  It just feels like another job on the to-do list.  But I sure do love eating fresh veggies.  And while I really don't like the harvesting and preserving in Fall either, I do it because I love being able to take a package of frozen HOME-GROWN veggies out of the freezer for supper.  YUM.  I KNOW I will be grateful for those in the winter.


I'm thankful for a somewhat impromptu get-together with The Man's family at his sister's farm last weekend.  It was rather windy, but we still spent the day outside in the warm sunshine and enjoyed catching up with each other.  And eating some great food!


I'm grateful for little evidences that God is at work in my life, even when I don't really see anything big happening.  That should be enough proof that He is behind the scenes in ANY of the circumstances I might find myself in, and I'm thankful for those occasional reminders.

What are YOU thankful for this week?

Trampoline

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Back to "Normal"

>> Monday, May 23, 2016

My seasonal job at the accounting firm came to an end Friday afternoon and now I am back to being a full-time, stay-at-home wife and mom.  It was a bittersweet feeling this year, since I had been considering pursuing a part-time permanent job there since last fall already. And dreaming about all the possibilities a second paycheque would open up.

Not surprisingly, me having a job changes a lot of things around here.  Obviously, the bank account is happier, and I'll admit it feels good to do a little more with my brain than I generally do at home.  Having your work appreciated regularly is pretty great, too!  Physically, though, I found the tax time job more overwhelming than I had previously.  Maybe it's because I'm getting older or because the job required more hours this year than it had before, or because my back/hip is still not what it once was ~ or maybe a combination of all three!  It was just exhausting. The few weekends where I actually felt like accomplishing something at home, I'd inevitably overdo it and then have to make an extra chiropractor appointment.  With significantly reduced time at home, trying to pace myself with the household chores usually just left me frustrated.  Meals suffered, too.

Earlier in the season my boss and I had discussed my staying on, but after roughly two months of talking about it with The Man, thinking about it, praying about it, and then considering and discussing it some more, I just didn't feel right about it.  I'd proposed working three days a week (hopefully with the ability to move those around a little periodically to fit my family's plans), but my boss wanted those hours spread out over the entire week instead.  I just couldn't bring myself to agree to that.

Partly, I think I've simply gotten attached to my freedom.  And while I enjoy the flexibility and generally relaxed pace of my life, my ongoing hip/back issues make it more important for me physically than it would have been a few years ago.

Partly, too, it's The Man's shift-work schedule ~ 12 hour shifts; four days on, four days off.  Because his days off are constantly rotating, he only gets two or three FULL weekends off out of every eight, and combining that with a 5-day workweek for me just wouldn't allow for a whole lot of time off together as a family EVER ~ basically just those 2-3 weekends every two months.  It might have been workable during the school year, but I'm fairly certain it wouldn't have taken long for all of us to start resenting it in the summer.

But I think the biggest reason lying underneath all that is that I know I'm not the type of person I'd like to be when my paying job becomes the fulcrum around which my life revolves.  My devotions last week ~ not at at all coincidentally, I believe ~ took me through two "Songs of Family Strength," Psalms 127 and 128, and I instantly saw that they spoke into my dilemma.  And exposed something not so great, too.

"Based on these readings," I wrote in my journal, "I would say my place is at home, my responsibility making it a place of comfort and blessing, and raising my children to continue in Christ as adults."

However, I observed, "I think that's really where my struggle is.  That's who I would LIKE to be, but it takes work and I'm not disciplined or dedicated.  So if I have a job, I can use that as my 'legitimate' excuse for not improving in the areas that require time, effort, and perseverance.  I think this is why I'm so conflicted about working."

I've concluded this is another one of those "surrender" lessons, and what I do with my time now that I'm home full-time again will be the test.  I have always said this seasonal job helps me examine and re-establish my priorities, but are those priorities evidenced once the job is done?

Gardening 

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The Good Day

>> Friday, May 20, 2016

Yesterday was a GOOD day.  One of those days that just feels so satisfying, so relaxing, so... perfect.  Originally, I thought I'd be working Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week, but it worked out better for my supervisor if I took yesterday off and returned today instead.  Fine by me!  It was a beautiful day.


The Man also had the day off, so after the girls were off to school, we spent a leisurely hour chatting and catching up on sports news.  That's one of my favourite things to do in the morning if he's around.  By myself, it's just not interesting enough for me to care!  We turned the TV off and I started a loaf of bread in the breadmaker, threw a load of laundry into the washer, and headed out for a walk while The Man hopped on the tractor to mow lawn.  It was already 21C/70F at 10:30.


Once I got back, I busied myself with getting some beef vegetable soup in the slow cooker, some iced tea syrup started, and another load of laundry thrown into the wash.  By then, The Man was done what he normally mows with the tractor, had tilled the garden up again, and was very ready to cool off a little and have some lunch, so we cleaned out some leftovers and enjoyed a couple of episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Netflix.

Hazel's due date was yesterday, but so far, we're still waiting!
We both headed back outside in the afternoon -- me to do my part of the push-mowing, and him to start planning out the garden.  No sooner had I finished with the mower, when his carpool buddy showed up to borrow The Man's air compressor.  And to drop off the riding mower he's hoping we'll buy from him, saying we could test it out for a couple of weeks to see what we thought.  (Of course it comes after I'm done!!)  They visited outside for a while and I went back inside to wash up the dishes, start a batch of buns, and fold laundry.


The Man immediately fired up the new mower as soon as his friend left and actually ended up finishing all the mowing instead of leaving it for the girls. (It will definitely make much shorter work of the job!)  Once they got home from school, The Man played a bit of soccer with them and then he and Mack started planting the garden.  AJ and I brought supper outside and we enjoyed our first picnic of the year.  Soup and buns isn't exactly picnic food, but we don't eat outside often enough when the kids ask and none of us were really done being outside anyway.


We couldn't linger long because The Man had a meeting at the village fire hall (he became a volunteer fire fighter a few weeks ago) and had to leave around 6:30, so I cleaned everything up while the girls stayed outside, playing with the soccer ball.  Normally, they're supposed to wash dishes right after supper, but it's kinda rare for them to enjoy hanging out together like that, so I figured I'd let it slide.  (Plus, I figured The Man could do them today!)  I prepped steaks for tonight's supper, washed the slow cooker, and showered before the girls came in to have their showers, and they ended up washing the dishes, too!  Bonus.

It was just a really great day.  I can't wait to have more of them!!
Bubbles 

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