.... more "new" in our normal ...

aaahhhh . . . yet ANOTHER favorite verse . . . 

Yet, when your world crashes down around you, seeking and SEEING His will sometimes become a bit harder to do.  Yet, I have tried my best to do that over the past 8+ months.

And here I am today.  Friday.  I just finished up my first week at my NEW JOB!  And I'm grinning  from ear to ear!  I am still totally lost.  I'm feeling really old as I try to learn SO MANY new things, but still, I'm GRINNING! :)  I'm working at the same place as one of my DEAREST friends, Renee.  I know SO MANY other people who work there (more about THAT in a minute).  I had orientation on Monday & Tuesday and the CEO and others in upper management had lunch with us on Tuesday.  They came in and sat down with us and asked us about US!  There were a number of us in orientation, and we went around the table telling a little about ourselves.  There are, I think 700+ employees - and they took the time out of their busy day to have lunch with us.  I was impressed!  

As the week has gone on, I have gotten to know my co-workers in my department little by little.  They are amazing!  It's like gaining a new "family".  It's just what I needed!  

Part of my job will be working in the ER.  I have been asked if that would be hard.  My answer was and is, NO.  I prayed about this job.  I "sought" after God's will.  I trusted Him (if you'll remember, I was even unemployed for a brief time!)  God GAVE me this job.  I will seek to honor Him in this path.  Maybe, just maybe, I can be a soft word, a tender hug, or a comforting presence to someone else who has to endure what we did on November 5.  Just like Nurse Erin was to me that day! . . . that's where I want to touch on the other people who I will work with - outside of my department, but still working at the same place.  If you have read my blog long, or have gone back and looked at it from the beginning, you will know what a blessing Erin was to me on November 5!  Well, today, as my co-worker who was training me and i walked down the hall, through the double doors, right past the room that we received our earth shattering news, past the room the shell of Rick's earthly body was in, past the nurse's station where I gave the transplant team the information they needed, I saw her.  Erin!  She was working today.  I walked past (just to make sure it was her) and then went back.  And we HUGGED and I think we both cried a bit.  She's as sweet today as she was November 5.  I shared with her how far we've come.  How far GOD has brought us.  How tender, loving and gracious God has been to us.  I told her I've blogged about HER . . . and we smiled, happy to be working "together" now.  It was kind of a "full circle".  I had seen her about a week after the accident, but everything was new and fresh and raw yet then.  Today it was so GOOD to see her!  I felt like we had a bond.  Like in that instant on November 5, God had given us a common bond.  Not one I'd have asked for, yet, had to endure.  And there in the middle of that day was an angel sent by God to minister to me.  And minister she did.  I think of her so often, and now am happy to be working with her.  God does work in mysterious ways.  God's plans are not my own.  God does promise that if I seek, He WILL direct my path.

My path that this week contained so much "new" in my normal, yet here at the end of it, I'm rejoicing!  I grew this week, mentally, physically (no, I didn't gain weight, I started eating healthier), and spiritually.  I (who usually keeps my kids in a "bubble") let them "go" a bit!  I let Tessa & friends go to Oshkosh on Saturday night.  Tessa and Taya are currently on their way home from Milwaukee . . . this my girls who previously I'd not let go to Appleton alone . . . yes, this week, we've all stretched, we've all grown, we've all seen more "new" in our normal.  And we are all surviving!  

God is Good!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and  lean not on your own understanding . . . in ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths!


. . . alone . . .?

I've been asked a couple of times how I'm doing this week with the house ALL TO MYSELF . . . and the answer honestly is GREAT! :)

It's actually much better than I thought it would be!

As I was running to church tonight, I realized that it's the first time in 18 years that I'm really not responsible for anyone (temporarily)!  It's a strange feeling, but as much as I loved Rickey and I LOVE my girls, it's a nice feeling too.  I'm alone and I'm o.k.

God is good!

Thanks to all who have asked and been concerned, thanks to all who have prayed that I'd be o.k. - your love, concern and prayers are AWESOME!  

God is using this week to show me that "alone" is o.k.  I've accomplished NOTHING . . . the girls would be shocked at the mess everywhere (usually I'm the one scolding them to clean up/straighten up)!  It will all be picked up before they get home . . . ssshhhh, they'll never know!!

Tomorrow, I'll go out and see the girls to wish Tessa HAPPY BIRTHDAY . . . 18 years old . . . WHERE did the time go??!!

"The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."  Zephaniah 3:17

... don't sweat it ...

Easier said than done isn't it?

At least it is for me.

I usually sweat the small stuff, the big stuff and the in between stuff!

I KNOW that I shouldn't be "sweating" these things, but I'm a "first-born"!

As a "first-born":
  • I like to be in control.
  • I like to KNOW what's going on.
  • I like to take charge.
  • I don't really like surprises.
  • I am not very patient - I want things "yesterday".
God is working on me.  I don't sweat the "small" stuff as much as I used to.  I'm learning that HE is control, I AM NOT.  I'm learning that He is in my tomorrow, I don't have to know what it holds until I get there.  I'm learning that I am not in charge.  I'm learning that surprises are o.k. . . . I really don't want/need to know the future (I'd NOT have wanted to know on November 4 what November 5 was going to hold . . . ).  I'm getting to be a little more patient - waiting on God's timing.  These are all a "work in progress" for sure, but in the words of a childhood song ♪♫  "He's still workin' on me, to make me what He wants to be"!  ♫♪

When I took time off from my job in March, I realized some things.  I realized that my job wasn't as "important" as I thought.  I realized that maybe God was prodding me to make some changes.  I realized that it was o.k. to move on - if God opened the doors for me to do so.  I returned to work in April with no real plans to leave, but open to God's leading.

In June, I was made aware of a position that I could apply for at the hospital. I applied and didn't think much more of it.  A few days later, I received a call to set up an interview.  YIKES - I haven't gone to an interview in a very long time!  What do I wear, what do I say, what will they ask?  The interview was on June 8, and it seemed to go well.  When I hadn't heard anything a week later, I was assuming I wasn't going to be offered the job, but I wasn't stressing about it.  I was being PATIENT . . . me, who is NOT patient, I was truly resting in God's timing and plan!  The call DID come and they offered me the position.  It was a reduction in hours and a HUGE change, but I felt it was where God was leading me so I accepted the position and I turned in my resignation to school.  While we were on vacation, I purchased health insurance as I wasn't going to be receiving it in my new position and I ordered a lime green "scrub" top which was my new uniform.  :)  Things were moving right along.  We were coming home from vacation on July 6, and I had orientation on July 16, leaving me a week in between - PERFECT!!

On July 5, as we were driving home, just crossing the border into Kentucky, I received a phone call from the hospital.  Due to circumstances beyond their control, the position that they had offered me was no longer available.  They had to rescind the job offer and I would not be starting on July 16.  This was highly unusual, and they were very sorry.  All I really said was, "but, I already quit my other job!" . . . we chatted a bit more and ended the call with them promising to call me if there were other positions which I would be qualified to interview for.  Typically this news would have sent me into a PANIC.  I'm a single mom.  I was already going out on a limb by reducing my hours and at least temporarily losing health insurance, and now, even that was gone.  I was UNEMPLOYED!  This was NOT going according to my plan.  But, it wasn't/isn't really my plan, is it?  I was not in a panic.  I was actually pretty calm as I told the girls and said "God must have something better in store for me"!  I did make a few phone calls, asked for some prayer for the situation, and continued our drive home . . . giving it all over to God.

Just as I figured I wasn't going to hear back from them as the work day was winding down, my phone rang, and there WAS a job that I could possibly "fit" into.  Was I interested in coming in for an interview on Monday morning    Why, yes, I'd LOVE that!

So after getting home, unpacking, doing LOADS of laundry, helping the girls get ready to go to Lake Lundgren, celebrating Tessa's Birthday, going to a graduation party, church and a family picnic, I had the interview on Monday morning.  It all (again) seemed to go very well and the position sounded more intriguing to me than the previous one!  

In the end, I was HIRED (again)!  And, yes, God did have something better in mind.  The "new" position has a few more hours than the other one, therefore, it has benefits.  I totally forgot to ask the pay-scale, but when Human Resources called me to confirm the offer and my acceptance, I found that the pay was more than the previously offered position - and more than I was making at school . . . lesson learned?  Don't sweat the small stuff.  Or the big stuff.  God is in control of ALL of the stuff!  There are other "little" details too, that just "seal the deal" . . . the hospital has a deal for employee discounts on cell-phone plans - through my cell-phone company!  The hospital offers incentives to people for working out/going to a fitness club (the "Y"/Anytime Fitness).  In addition to health insurance, vision and dental insurance are available.  The position DOES include evenings and weekends, but there is some flexibility, and I already know some of the girls who work in the department.  I will be a "Registrar" at the front desk and in the E.R.  Rather than being intimidated about returning to "that Emergency Room", I'm excited - God wants me there.  He has a plan for me being there.  He knows exactly where He "put" me.  My job is to serve Him there!  To "Bloom where I'm planted"!  And, I'm STILL starting with orientation on July 16, just as originally planned!

How amazing that on that morning, my devotional read: 

"You will never be in control of your life circumstances, but you can relax and trust in My control.  Instead of striving for a predictable, safe lifestyle, seek to know Me in greater depth and breadth.  I long to make your life a glorious adventure . . .!"

I certainly would not classify everything that has happened in the last 8 months to be "glorious".  I certainly have learned though that it is true that I'm not in control of my life circumstances.  My life has not been predictable.  It has not felt safe.  Yet through it all, I have sought to seek to know HIM in greater depth and breadth . . . and it has been an adventure.  I may not fully see the "glorious-ness" of it until I get to Heaven, but, I will trust that all of it IS for HIS glory, therefore, becoming glorious!  

So, if you didn't catch it above, the phone call telling me I was unemployed and the events that followed happened on JULY 5 . . . the 8 month mark of Rick's accident.  The 5th, a day that is usually filled with some trepidation and fear and anxiety.  A day that was already "ripe" for turmoil threw yet another "curve-ball" at me.  But God (I have learned to love "but-God" statements!) had it all planned.  He knew it was the 5th.  HE knew that HE had bigger plans for me.  HE knew that HIS plans were better than my plans.  HE gave me a peace that passed understanding.  HE had it all under control.  He didn't need my help.  And HE rewarded me with not just peace through that day and the weekend that followed until I could go to the interview, but HE rewarded me with something even better than I thought I was getting.  Something better than I had hoped for.  HE again showed me that He is in the details - the big ones and the little ones!  He reminded me that I can rest in Him!  He reminded me that wherever I am (crossing the border into Kentucky), whatever my circumstances (being unemployed - at least temporarily) He sees!  He sees and I am NEVER beyond the reach of His care!  Ah, I love Him so!

"See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland"  Isaiah 43:19


Oh, why can't we live this out in our day to day lives?  
How much sweeter life would be . . . 


a glorious adventure . . .

That blue line is the route we traveled over the last 2 weeks!  According to MapQuest, it was just over 2,700 miles and 46 hours!  We were pretty much TOGETHER 24/7 for that entire time - sharing sleeping quarters, meals and activities, not to mention 46 hours in the car!  AND . . . we still like each other!!  In fact, 2 are even sleeping in my room tonight and did last night as well!  

We are all unloaded, unpacked and ALL laundry is done . . . including some extra bedding as all 3 girls will be leaving for Bible Camp this week!  Taya & Kajsa were scheduled to go and on Thursday, Tessa got a call asking if she could fill in as they are short a counselor!  They will all be going to the same PLACE, but will all be at different "camps"!  Tessa will be counseling Jr. High girls, Kajsa is going to SEEDS a pre-teen girls program, and Taya is attending Leadership Development Camp (LDC).  I'm so glad that Bible camp has been part of their summers for so many years!

I have learned so much and could say SO MUCH, but I want to sleep tonight, so I'm just going to share 2 new favorite quotes, and next week, I will share more about the meaning behind them . . . 

1st - from Jesus Calling . . . 

"You will never be in control of your life circumstance, but you can relax and trust in My control.  Instead of striving for a predictable, safe lifestyle, seek to know Me in greater depth and breadth.  I long to make your life a glorious adventure . . ."

(This was my devotional for July 5 - the 5th of the month - 8 months since Rick went to Heaven . . . and I am promised a "glorious adventure" . . . hard to take that perspective sometimes, but, I'm working on it . . . and that day, it was surely true!  More to come later this week!)

2nd - Shared by a friend on Facebook . . . 

"Today I will accept that my blocked door doesn't mean God doesn't love me. Quite the opposite.  I'll see it as proof that He does."

Very wise words - both quotes, and very applicable at the point I'm at right now!

Today, I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours with one of my closest childhood friends.  We grew up 1/2 mile apart and she was a few years older than me.  She was first my baby-sitter, then a wonderful friend.  Only GOD knew all those years ago, that 2 years ago on June 14, she would become a WIDOW at the age of 47, truly being one of the few people who can really "get" me.  Not a road either of us would have "chosen" given the choice, nor where either of us thought we would "be" at this point in our lives, yet, here we are, not only sharing a similar "life experience" now, but with a history of years of friendship between us (our moms are really good friends as well!).  We'd not had a chance to just "visit" since her husband had died, but today we had such a good talk, and it was just amazing to hear how similar some of our thoughts have been/are!  Another reminder of "God in the details".

"See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."  Isaiah 43:19


Happy Independence Day . . . and with God's grace, and through the truths in His Word, we have survived another FIRST . . . 

"And you will know the TRUTH and the TRUTH will make you free."  John 8:32

Home-made ice-cream with fresh peaches!  YUMMY!
We had a good day of relaxing and packing up followed by home-made ice-cream (YUM), steaks on the grill and cheesy potatoes, a pontoon boat ride (with the Lake neighbors) to see the local fireworks, followed by Taya falling IN the lake off the neighbor's dock - but never fear - she fell holding her hand in the air, thus SAVING her call phone!! :)  We then set off lanterns (just like in the movie Tangled), had some MORE ice-cream and are now ready for bed. 

Lanterns . . . just like in TANGLED!
 Tomorrow we head home - and (I'm pretty sure), we all still like each other - even after almost 2 weeks of 24/7 togetherness - we've shared a ROOM the entire vacation as well as many hours in the car!!  God truly did bless us when He allowed us to be the parents of these girls!

JESUS CALLING today . . . "When you worship Me in spirit and truth, you join with choirs of angels who are continually before My throne . . . the greatest blessing is nearness to Me - abundant Joy and Peace in My Presence."

I liked that picture in my mind . . . when I praise/worship God here on earth, I'm joining with the choirs of angels (and Rickey) who are continually before His throne . . . what an amazing thought - we are worshiping together, just in different realms! :)  

"Enter His gate with thanksgiving and His courts with praise;  give thanks to Him and praise His Name!"  Psalm 100:4

Tomorrow night I may not post, depends on how far we make it NORTH . . . Homeward bound! :) 

They indulged me and let me take the annual "Sparkler picture" . . . this is AFTER Taya's dip in the lake! 

So many changes ...

We like to tell people that we love Chattanooga so much we moved here twice! Since my last post in 2020, we spent eight months in Michigan...