Friday, January 25, 2013

My Dream Come True?

Wednesday evening our little family walked in the door of our home just after 8pm. I had been gone since 6:30am. Mr. Amen had worked a full day, handled daycare drop off and pick up, then git both kids out to Javi's swim class where I met them after driving back from Lansing. We were scrambling to get something in the table for dinner for Junior, a bottle heated up for Celia. A few minutes later Mr. Amen went to start the bath for baby girl only to find that we had no hot water. So I headed down to the basement to ascertain the problem and get the water heater going again. Exhausted, standing at the stove and dishwasher, Mr. Amen looked at me and said, "babe, just quit your job. We can't keep doing this every day of every week." My dream had finally come true. I was given permission to leave my crazy job. My response? "Let's not make a hasty decision just because we're so tired." What in the world? Did I really just turn down my dream scenario? Yes, yes I did. It's not the right time. It's not the right decision at the moment. Though I am totally tempted.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is Anyone Listening?

These are just my random thoughts these days as I try to balance it all.  I’ve found that listening is becoming an even more important skill than I realized it would be.  Both for me and for others.  An example, if you will.

I set the bag of noodles on the counter and said to my husband, “Don’t use as much water as the directions call for…just make them like normal in the normal pot.”  With that, I gathered up Junior and his swim bag and headed out for his lesson.

No sooner had I gotten comfortable in the molded plastic chair, than I got a text:

Mr. Amen:  Do I make all noodles?  It calls for 4 quarts of water!
Me:  Yes, make all noodles.  U don’t need so much water.
Mr. Amen:  Ok.  That’s 2 full pitchers of water…We don’t have a pot that big.

Another for your reading pleasure? 

This past Tuesday, I was at working busily on 3 major projects at once.  Mr. Amen was at his new job, perhaps a little bored with not so much to do yet.  He texted me that he had gone to Pa.nera for lunch with some colleagues; it was about 6 degrees outside and I usually eat out at lunch and usually teach catechism on Tuesday evenings and I had an all-day training session the following day in Lansing…the following conversation unfolded:

Me:  Lol.  Cool.  Someone had a mtg here and there were leftovers from pa.nera…score!
Mr. Amen:  Ha!  Did you get a Mou.ntain Dew?
Me:  No.  We didn’t leave the office and they only have here
Mr. Amen:  I’m reconciling payments in Polish
Me:  Fun.
Mr. Amen:  So r u teaching or just attending?
Me:  Tonight?  Attending.  Tomorrow?  Teaching.

One last one?  You're welcome.

Mr. Amen did daycare pick up because he beat me there by 2 minutes.  I went straight home.  When he arrived home, insanity ensued as I was trying to get the baby out of her car seat, entertain the 4 year old, go to the bathroom and change my clothes before running back out the door.  Mr. Amen was going to the bathroom, changing his clothes, bringing all the stuff in from the car and checking the package that arrived on our porch.  I noticed Junior was wearing his sweatpants instead of his jeans and asked him why.  He informed me that he had had an accident and had to change pants at school.  I complimented him on his fine I.ron Man costume he has just put on and he flatly told me I was wrong and that, in fact, he was St. Francis Xavier.  My mistake.  I left for my meeting.

As I left my meeting an hour and a half later I checked my text messages before getting in the car and see the following three messages:

Mr. Amen:  Where the Hell is his underwear?
Mr. Amen:  he’s just wearing his sweatpants.  Did you take them off?
Mr. Amen:  Nevermind…I’ll tell u when u get home

I absolutely did LOL at that series.  I guess daycare failed to mention to Mr. Amen that there had been a little potty incident and Junior had only shared the day’s events with me.

I wonder if God experiences episodes like this with us.  I know, He’s all-knowing and all-seeing so He always knows where we’re coming from or what we’re talking about, but…

I don’t always know what He’s talking about though.  Is it because He’s trying to finish a conversation I had started earlier before I got distracted and walked away from Him?  Has he moved on to the next or more important topic and I still am stuck stewing on the past?  Or sometimes maybe it’s just a LOL moment of “Oh, I thought you were listening at Mass, Mrs. Amen when my representative, Fr. JJ spoke about this exact thing.  Guess I need to clarify that that was Me speaking through him to you.”

I don’t know.  I’m trying to do better, listen better and be better.  Just as my mom told me growing up and I tell my son - if you can’t listen to Mommy’s BIG LOUD voice, how will you ever hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit trying to guide you?  I should take that good advice.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Matthew 1

The big Bible study is underway.  I was so excited to participate with Catholic Mutt and the rest of the ladies.  If you want to join...head over to her blog and see if you can still get in on this!  It's gonna be great.

Here's my first offering to the group discussion.  Thought it would make a good blog post too.

I went to a meeting at church this week and the reflection we did at the beginning was on 2 Kings 5:1-14. This is the story of Naaman being cured of leprosy by dipping in the Jordan River seven times at the command of the prophet Elisha. In the story, Naaman almost misses out on receiving his healing. Elisha doesn’t come out of his house to greet Naaman or even to see him at all, instead he sends a message via his servant giving Naaman instructions to go dip in the river. Naaman, at one point says “I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! Are not…the rivers of Damascus better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” 

We have such a tendency as humans to want to be shown deference and be recognized for the wonderfully special people we are. Naaman was no different. He had an idea of how he would be healed (saved) from his disease. 

So on to the connection with Matthew Chapter 1... 

Do you think the Israelites, the chosen people of God, had any ideas of how God would send a Messiah? I think they had (and continue to have) very distinct ideas about how the LORD should save them and set them free. I certainly don’t think they expected their salvation to come to them in the form of a tiny baby, born in a stable to a carpenter and his young bride. 

We’ll see more about it in the next chapter, but really I think the Jews were so surprised by this turn of events, they were probably all like, “Ummm, God? Not how that whole Messiah thing is supposed to go down.” They had a preference, an opinion, for sure their own ideas about how God should “save His people from their sins.” 

It is so like God to surprise us; to come to us in a way so unexpected. I really took from this chapter that I need to get out of God’s way, stop telling Him how to help me, stop telling Him how to save me and just accept His plans for my life. Of course, easier said than done.

Monday, January 7, 2013

2012 in the Rearview

As 2012 wound to a close Mr. Amen and I sat down to think about what we had accomplished during the year and make plans for 2013.  Since that sit down lasted approximately 1.26 minutes before someone needed our attention (baby, preschooler, mother or mother-in-law on the phone…not sure who interrupted our peace and quiet, but it was someone) it was a quick review and a non-existent planning session.  I took it upon myself to record my thoughts and memorialize them on ‘ye olde blog.

Our 2012 in review, in no particular order:

We purchased & moved into our home .
We celebrated Christmas in our home!

We had a successful VBAC. Attractive, I know.
We welcomed our baby girl

Baby girl was baptized
We celebrated the end of the tantrumy 3s as our son turned 4!

We taught 2 great sessions of NFP.
Mr. Amen got a new job!
I got a promotion!
We successfully managed Junior's allergies and had no allergy-related hospitalizations
We managed to get a decent picture of both kids for our Christmas card.

We are looking forward to many wonderful things in 2013:
  • House projects (painting, remodeling, landscaping, etc.)
  • A real vacation
  • A new job for Mr. Amen (starting today!)
  • Implementing an organization strategy for the Amen househol
  • Art for God’s Sake at our parish
  • Focusing on our family
  • And much, much more…