Got Tuesday?

tire

I awoke with a start. What was that? I listened. I looked around the dark bedroom. Something moved in the carport below me. Or was it in the eaves next to me? I listened again. It was in the eaves. Some animal planned to move in. I could hear scrabbling and scraping.

My watch said 4:30 a.m.

No use trying to fall back to sleep. I got up and got going.

The day progressed normally. Jonathon was down in Portland for the day, so I needed to take both kids to school. I drove Zac in. We talked about the new classes he has this semester. Myths and Legends piqued his interest.

“Mom, she’s only covering Greek and Roman legends.”

Bummer.

When I got home, I walked toward the back door. I heard a hissing noise.

“Mom!” Ruby said. “Your tire has a hole in it!”

Yes, indeed. Either that or a large invisible snake suddenly moved into the chassis. Anyway,now what? I already cleared coming in late with my bosses. Guess I’d be a little later.

Did I mention I don’t know how to change tires? Yeah. After filling Jonathon in on the problem, he suggested calling Dad or my brother. But the mechanic I work with was closer and already at work. He agreed to help me.

“Ruby, we’re walking to school today,” I said. I thanked God once again that we live in town and nothing is far away. The day was humid and gray but not rainy.

The mechanic showed up. He pumped up the dying tire enough for me to drive to Les Schwab for repairs. Then we drove in to work together. It proved an easy fix. I drove over a nail, natch.

Last but not least, around noon I picked up my sack lunch. I peeked in the bag to discover a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, orange and Cheetos. I couldn’t stop laughing. Guess who had my lunch?

Thanking God for Tuesday.

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Drawing Conclusions

It’s finals were here in the Isham household. Zac had an art project to finish up. Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s stories, he drew a creature with tentacles and a great open maw.

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“Ruby, how do you draw tentacles?” Zac asked.

Ruby peered over his shoulder at his creation.

“You draw a circle and a line. The rest is imagination,” she said. Then she walked away.

Jonathon had to leave the room to keep from laughing.

“Thanks,” Zac muttered.

Spoken like a true right-brained person.

But life is like that sometimes. You have no pattern to follow. You move forward the best you can. Remember this book?

ed-emberley

Yeah. Great book. Only it didn’t help me. I still can’t draw to save my life. This was more my speed.

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Sometimes, we have to practice and work and seek out solutions. They don’t fall in our lap. Guides can point us in the right direction. Yet we need to put in the time and effort. The only failure comes when we don’t try again.

And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing. – James 1:4 AMP

Once More, With Feeling

messy-room

Today, our house appraises. It’s the last major hurdle in selling our house and buying Dad’s place. We all went to work yesterday, sweeping and polishing and picking up. The idea is to get it to appraise above asking price so the bank will approve the loan for the people purchasing our house.

Ruby cleans her room every Saturday. I use the term “clean” loosely, for it’s a constant battle. Granted, she has the smallest bedroom of all of us. But the accumulation of toys, art supplies, art projects, leftover food, stray clothes, books and the cat puts it over the top every week.

As I tucked her in last night, I picked my way through the rubble to her bed. However, Chloe had already claimed the only open spot, up near Ruby’s pillow.

“Didn’t you clean your room yesterday?” I asked, surveying the aftermath.

“Yes,” Ruby said. “I’m cleaning out my closet.”

That explained the overflowing tub of sequins, pom-poms, fabric and paper sitting in the middle of the floor. Chloe jumped down off her perch to squat on top of the flat box next to it. It also contained arty items.

“What’s the plan here?” I asked. I patted the bed down before I sat. Ever sat on scissors?

“Well, I need to get this cleaned up,” she said, tossing things out of her closet. “Will you help me?”

“No,” I said without hesitation. “But I will keep you company.”

I’ve spent too many hours in that small, formerly pink prison performing excavation. I’ve uncovered dried-up apple cores, butterfly ink stamps, spilled nail polish and dollar bills. Despite having a smart collection of tiny purses, Ruby used to lose her allowance on a regular basis. All of that was before she figured out the value of money. Cleaning her room proved a true treasure hunt.

“Look, Mom!” she’d shout, waving the green rectangle in the air. “I found $5!”

We’d both cheer. It felt like getting a raise every week.

Ruby sat down next to me on the fuzzy pink blanket.

“I’m going to miss this house,” she said.

“Me too, baby,” I said, holding her close.

This is the last big push before we move out of the home we’ve lived in and loved for the last 10 years. Sure, she’ll keep on cleaning her room until we move. And then, every week after, world without end.

Just don’t tell Ruby.

 

 

 

Friday Funk

I woke up late, which threw off my routine. I planned to walk on the treadmill. About 3 minutes in, it shorted out and completely stopped. While getting dressed, I tried on three different tops. None of them made me look like Angelina Jolie or even Tina Fey. Feeling slender, I stepped on the metal box under the window. I should also mention I can’t even read the dial unless I’m wearing corrective eyewear. I’ve tried all kinds of squinting and peering to make it happen, to no avail. Yet the new analog scale, aka ruthless truth-teller,  said my weight hasn’t budged.

Despite an inauspicious start to the morning, it’s still Friday. Every day this week, I’ve gotten up and done my best. So what good things happened this week? Glad you asked.

  • We found out our house appraises on Monday. After that, it won’t be long before we close. Yay!
  • It’s warmed up into the 40s during the day now.
  • Tuesday night in kettlebells class, I did most of the exercises with heavier bells – used the 26 lb in place of 18, the 35 in place of the 26, etc. Great workout.
  • Wednesday night I covered the K-5 class and only had 8 kids. Lots of sickness going around. It was Ruby and the Seven Boys. Ruby sat at one table, the boys at the other. And all they wanted to do was draw. We also told jokes.

“Knock knock”, a little brown-eyed five-year-old boy said.

“Who’s there?” I replied.

“Banana!” he said, eyes shining.

“Banana who?” I said.

“Banana peel on the ground!”

Doesn’t get much better than that.

  • Yesterday, I got to take a walk in the afternoon. The rain had stopped. Patches of blue sky and golden-tinted clouds greeted me.
  • Jonathon gets paid today. Pizza, baby!

How about you? What good things happened in your week?

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Promised Puzzle

I’m reading through the Bible in a year for 2017. I didn’t do it last year, and I missed getting more time in the scriptures. I had a thought today when I read Exodus 3. You remember this chapter. Moses and the burning bush ring a bell? How about a visual?

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Not to be confused with Burning Man.

Burning Man: Art on Fire

Here’s the passage that gave me pause.

But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him. So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go. And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed. Every Israelite woman will ask for articles of silver and gold and fine clothing from her Egyptian neighbors and from the foreign women in their houses. You will dress your sons and daughters with these, stripping the Egyptians of their wealth. – Exodus 3:19-22

God reassured Moses that He would be with him. He used the sign of the burning bush to initiate a conversation with Moses. The elders would follow Moses’ lead, too. He basically says, “Go tell Pharaoh you want to leave. I will do the rest.” He gave Moses a synopsis of what would happen. But he sort of left out all the details. By details, I mean plagues. Flies. Frogs. Water turned to blood. You remember now, right?

I wonder if Moses thought this strange. Why not rain down fire and brimstone, God? So I’m just going to walk up to Pharaoh and say, “Let my people go.” Remember I killed a man, God? I might get arrested. Why can’t we fight these losers? They enslaved us, Lord. They did this to your precious people. A little payback might be nice.

God instituted a sort of civil disobedience here. No fighting allowed. No armies. Only a straightforward exodus and persistent asking. Yes, it got heated at times. Pharaoh didn’t want his free labor force to leave the country. And the Egyptians did chase the Israelites into the Red Sea. But I wonder why God wanted it to go down this way. Could it be that the Lord knew His people couldn’t fight and had few weapons?

I think God wanted to show Himself strong on behalf of His people. He hadn’t forgotten them, despite the 400-year gap of time from Jacob’s family moving to Egypt during the famine to the rise of Moses as liberator. They needed to grow in numbers so they could inhabit the Promised Land. God’s promise to Abraham  – “your descendants will outnumber the stars in the sky” – needed time to mature. Pharaoh and his kingdom helped the Hebrew population to grow (Ex.1:12).

Sometimes, God promises us things that take time to come about. God’s plan will prevail. He will use all the circumstances for His glory. May we learn to wait and trust as the pieces move into place.

 

 

Heroes

hero

I’ve been thinking about heroes lately. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday was yesterday. We consider him a hero and honor him by giving him an entire day each year. It’s fitting. He headed up a movement that helped shape our country.

We celebrate other heroes, too. President’s Day commemorates both Lincoln and Washington. Veteran’s Day celebrates those who have served; Memorial Day celebrates those who died while serving. We have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We look up to most all of these people, in one way or another. We need people to admire. We need someone to pattern our lives after. We need the inspiration, the guidance and direction.

We talked about superpowers during our game night.

“What superpower would you like to have?” I put to the family.

“Teleportation,” Ruby said, without hesitation. “You could snap your fingers and be in France,” she said. “Or Paris.”

This provided an opportunity for me to tell her Paris is *in* France. Been there. Guess we need to work a bit on geography.

So, what is a hero?

he·roˈ hirō/
noun: hero; plural noun: heroes; noun: hero sandwich; plural noun: hero sandwiches
a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.”a war hero”(in mythology and folklore) a person of superhuman qualities and often semidivine origin, in particular one of those whose exploits and dealings with the gods were the subject of ancient Greek myths and legend
Or –North American: another term for submarine sandwich.
    • Just to be clear: although delicious, we’re not talking about sandwiches here.

I pick and choose heroes with care. I’m pretty independent. I won’t take any hero who is foisted upon me. I’m not impressed by wealth or social status. Heck, I live in Shelton. People often come here to hide, not to be seen. I don’t think all heroes have superpowers, however.

My pantheon of heroes is very small. I have to believe I’m not alone.  Jonathon is up there, too. He’s the sunny-side up guy who gives and serves everyone. Plus, he’s funny, smart and cute. A couple of close friends have talked me off ledges and wooed me back to normalcy when things got nutty. That, to me, shows heroism. The courage to stay with someone when it all falls apart shows nobility.

Which is why, in the end, Jesus is the ultimate hero. He knows me and loves me. He’s there for me all the time, every day, whether I’m on my best behavior or a complete brat. He doesn’t even need a cape. He’ll be there for you, too, if you let Him.

Friday Anniversary

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I’ll take one of each, please…

Good morning! Today marks the second anniversary of my job with the City. I can’t believe it’s been two years already. In 2015, I got hired on as a two-year position, a budget line item for departmental records management. But times change and needs change. So here I am, gratefully and gainfully employed.

What have we learned this year, boys and girls?

I’m glad you asked.

Last year got pretty rough. Several directors and key personnel moved on. Within the space of seven months, we lost 5 directors. But you know what? We all kept on truckin’  until new managers got on board. We worked together and now have a new normal. The new management was worth the wait.

  • Locks on unisex bathrooms are essential. Now you know.
  • Some people think candy canes potentially hallucinogenic.
  • You can’t – and won’t – please everyone.
  • I can keep plants alive after all, as long as they aren’t too demanding. Huzzah!
  • You will be misrepresented and misinterpreted eventually.
  • No, you can’t pay your Comcast bill at the City permitting desk.
  • I still don’t know if Shelton has a local folk dancing troupe. So don’t ask me.
  • There is such a thing as good chocolate and bad chocolate. Sorry, folks.
  • Our perception colors everything.
  • The only constant in this life is change. Despite FUD, you can still get up every day and bring your best to your job. You can rely on Jesus and He will get you through. He is faithful, no matter what.

Happy Friday!