Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Leaving the 99...: Epic Failure

Leaving the 99...: Epic Failure: "In the past month or so, I have verbally reinforced to all who live here my preferences for what I consider 'clean'. Guidelines for the ki..."

Epic Failure

In the past month or so,  I have verbally reinforced to all who live here my preferences for what I consider 'clean'.  Guidelines for the kitchen, certain things in the bathroom, my disdain for walking into the house and having to navigate through shoes, backpacks, musical equipment dropped wherever they land in the entry as I make my way into the house.  Makes me grumpy.  I've asked nicely, explained my reasons and thought that was all I needed to do to have compliance.  These are young adults after all,  not toddlers.  Reason should work.  Respect for my wishes should come into play.  

Not so much. There was some compliance, but also a fair amount of passive, plausible deniability on the part of some, some who felt like it wasn't 'their turn' or just flat out defiance.  So, in a moment of brilliance, (fit of rage) to get my point across, I created two card stock notices.  One sits on the piano and the other on the window sill above the kitchen sink.  These were created almost two weeks ago and I've been pleased with the level of compliance since setting them out.  I even took pictures of them to use in this blog, but when  l last blogged, I went in another direction that I first thought, and completely forgot about the pictures.  And I want to say, that since posting the notes, compliance has been pretty darned good.  This pleased me.

Fast forward to tonight.  I turn on my laptop, and yeah, hadn't been using it much, and Jared used it today at my office, so when I noticed two icons on my desktop, one a picture of the note on the piano and the other the note on the sink w/ 'REALLY' typed under it, I was angry.  I wanted to know who had used their passive/aggressive behaviors to take a picture of the notes, then downloaded them to my computer and posted them on my desktop.  I wasn't just angry, I felt violated, that my personal space had been invaded without my permission.  I txted Mike to make sure he hadn't done it in a moment of messing with my head.  No, he hadn't.  So I did the next thing I could think of.  I sent out a message on facebook to the four who are here full time and to a few other part timers, outlining my anger and feelings of violation and requesting that if they wanted to be treated as grown ups, start acting like one.

About 33 mins later as I signed on to my blog to write, the light went on.  I remembered taking the pictures, sending them to myself and posting them to my desktop for easy finding for my blog.  Epic failure.  REALLY epic failure.  Yes, I've apologized to said kids.  So far no one wants to hang me or burn me at the cross, wouldn't blame them if they did.  On the other hand, I'm also thinking it's opened up some serious dialog about how important certain aspects to order in house mean to me.  Time will tell.  It's early. Oh, and the 'REALLY' was my doing as well, when I downloaded them, I labeled them wrong, and 'REALLY' was denoting the 'real' note from the piano.  How is it I totally forgot this??  Lord, constantly I'm crying out for your guidance, YOUR guidance, not mine.  I actually feel wretched.  Help me to take a breath, count to ten and use my brain.  Forgive me falling flat on my face yet again. I don't really like it here, I'd like to not do that again. Amen. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Leaving the 99...: Be Careful What You Ask For

Leaving the 99...: Be Careful What You Ask For: "The other day when I arrived at the office, I was sharing some thoughts and concerns about the kids here in the house. There was one in par..."

Be Careful What You Ask For

The other day when I arrived at the office, I was sharing some thoughts and concerns about the kids here in the house.  There was one in particular that I shared about, who is having difficulty grasping what being a new creature in Christ means and accepting His forgiveness.  Difficulty seeing themselves as 'new' and feeling 'tarnished'.  This disturbed me and I confronted the kid (and really, a young adult) asking if they had asked for forgiveness, and if so, what were they talking about, because God no longer had any recollection of said tarnishment.

The Boss, being wise, Yoda like, at least, in my opinion, shared two key verses that addressed the situation. Teaching session in full swing on Hosea 10:12, "Sow righteousness for your yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you." 
And then, Eph. 3:14, For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives it's name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray, that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Your life lesson from these verses may be different than mine, but I was slammed with a brick right smack in the middle of the forehead.  Figuratively of course, but it nearly felt literal as I discovered my treatment of the kids in this house varied depending on the kid, how they interacted with me, and their participation level in the daily running of the house. While I had complete compassion with kid who this story began with, there is another  who, and I'm being brutally honest, I treat rather callously, business like and with little compassion. 

The situation that brought this person to the house initially caused me to have compassion, but it quickly waned as I began having less than positive interactions, and then began harboring resentment for all that didn't happen, leading me to previous mentioned treatment, callousness, business like, keeping at arms distances, lack of compassion behavior on my part. The very treatment my Dad would afford me when I did not perform to his standards, and I was treating another in the same way I vowed to never treat my own children.  My OWN children.  Another brick.  I often found myself STOPPING myself from this behavior in the early formative years with my biological children, but some how have failed to stop myself when it comes to the non-biological children. Epic  failure. Jesus does not treat any of us differently, we are all equal in his eyes, and I've blown it big, no, HUGE!!

So, my unplowed ground in the days ahead will be broken.  Next interaction, I will put on love, and pray that this person can learn from me what the love of God is, even if they do not desire it or understand it.  Lord, give me courage to do and be as you desire and help me to not revert to past behaviors. Amen.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Leaving the 99...: It's not just the house.......

Leaving the 99...: It's not just the house.......: "The house needs LOTS of work. I'm not talking general maintenance, but yes, that too. Not regular cleaning, it's in pretty good shape curr..."

It's not just the house.......

The house needs LOTS of work.  I'm not talking general maintenance, but yes, that too.  Not regular cleaning, it's in pretty good shape currently in that area.  But RESTORATION.... in many areas.  Downstairs needs new, double paned windows. (the current windows date to the early '70's!)  Sliding doors need replacements, kitchen/breakfast nook/laundry room/hall and bathroom needs new flooring and upstairs, well, it needs everything, literally, everything, minus the insulation. (thank you Sean Van Ness for completing that project while we were in Texas.) Lots of organization for efficiency.  More outdoor projects than there is time or money for, but working on a bit at a time. (thank you Michael Sutton for your hard work in that area.)

But the title of this entry says it's not just the house, and indeed, most of the people residing in the house require restoration as well.  Some know they need it, some have no idea what they need.  Some are fighting against any form of wholeness or restoration.  Some don't even believe they need it, and yet need it most.  I need it.  However, I can spend a few days at the beach, spend some time reading and praying, walking and talking to God and to anyone else who'll listen and be ready to take on the world.  How do I lead/guide/nudge those who don't know what they are searching for to restoration?  Tis truly the hardest lessons, realizing you cannot force anyone into wholeness. Can't micro manage it, can't whack them upside the head with it, (tempting) can't trick them into it.  My head gets that they must come on their own.  It's the waiting and watching that's so very hard.  Watching them hurt, stumble and question why, tears at my heart.  Patience is not one of my long suits, though I've had a sneaky suspicion that God has been chiseling away at my orneriness for sometime. Lord, help me portray your gospel so that it is more desirable than any other options out there. I'll take some wisdom along the way, but most of all, help me to rest in you, knowing that your timing is always perfect.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

My heart

The kids in the house have been fabulous in the days leading up to dear friends, The Dursts and the Thompson's coming to visit for a night before heading on to Sacramento to see the rest of their 'forever' friends. Much gets left until 'later' when it comes to housework and organization, and later seems to never arrive,(or budget does not allow for proper tools) so there was MUCH to do.  Stuff probably no one else cares about except me, but it's the way I'm wired. (thank you Mommy for that particular gene) One of the kids even cleaned the rock fireplace for me and braved a rather tall ladder to clean the paddles of the ceiling fan. (there's a family story in there my mother in law would tell and I live in horror of it happening to me!)  Many did mudane things like clean the wrought iron bannisters and scrub the bath tub.  Most was done with a cheerful heart. (this is the single most thing I appreciate!) And major kudos to ALL my 'kids' who pitched in. Steven, Brannon, Bradley, Liana, Shauna, Mikey, Sarah, Jared and Shawn.  If I've forgotten anyone, forgive me.... I thank you too!

So with the grocery shopping done, the food prep began.  Mike wanted a stuffed pork tenderloin w/apples, onions, garlic, golden raisens, almonds, italian parsley and fresh basil, a simple meal, but requires quite a bit of prep. It's always my struggle to get the house in order with enough time to do the food without coming across like woman who just ran a marathon, though it's often what happens!  But, everything was ready by the time they arrived.  Pork stuffed and ready for oven, corn on the cob in the pot ready for cooking, rice with toasted pasta and almonds in the rice cooker only needing to be turned on.  Only the salad left to do and I enjoyed having Allie make it while I finished a few other details, like frosting the cake.  Lemon with cream cheese frosting. And yes, it was as good as it sounds, all of it, if I do say so myself!
Lots of visiting... Mike and David out in the gazebo, Allie and I in the kitchen, Mikey and Allie in the kitchen, Paula, Sarah and I in the kitchen, babies here and there, Matty in one room, Benny in another, naps, time to wake up, time to eat.  A full table with people I have loved from the moment we met, literally. Twenty years or so of friendship with many years to come. This makes my heart happy.

The contrast to this joy is the bittersweet of today being the one year anniversary of Lisa Lioness moving to heaven.  Again, the remembrance of how fragile life is.  Playing with Steve and Cassie's boys brought such bittersweet joy.  I'm glad they were there, but it did make the saying goodbye again a bit tougher. And I miss my cousin. What an amazing heart she had. A great pre-school teacher who blessed the lives of many of her students and their families. Knowing her memory lives on in so many young lives brings such honor to her and who she was.  This makes my cousin heart joyful for my memories of her.

One more day of work and Mike, Jared and I leave for Texas to see Joe before he deploys in August.  Mikey flies out same time to join the tour again, and they are playing Fort Hood on the 4th of July. That will be fun. Mikey will get to spend extra days with his brother.  This makes my mommy heart smile for sons who love each other.