Twenty-Seven

Nike

I’ll take this one, please.

Dakota and I were out early this morning. We had thunderstorms yesterday and the air smelled sweet. I listened to the bird’s music as we romped up and down the driveway. The morning got lighter and lighter. Rex intercepted me now and then, striking a pose with a plaintive yowl, needing pets.

I sit at the island to write this. The aromas of fresh brewed coffee and stargazer lilies mingle together and bring back memories. Twenty-seven years ago today, Jonathon and I got married. It was a night wedding in Vegas (not like that), at his parents’ Nazarene church. Two punk kids, mostly broke, helped along by generous contributions to the wedding and the planning thereof. My bouquet held roses and stargazer lilies and an abundance of other foliage. Must have weighed 20 pounds. And I loved it.

What can you get us to commemorate this auspicious day? Glad you asked. A quick Google search revealed this:

Over the past 27 years a special marriage has sculpted the way a couple views life, love, and family. To celebrate this unique relationship, the modern anniversary gift guide for 27th anniversary gifts suggests giving the gift of sculpture.”

Mmmkay. This *never* would have occurred to me. “Bring me a sculpture!” But wait, there’s more.

“When most people think of sculpture they picture enormous marble nudes (yikes!), used as the centerpieces in public fountains or displayed in a museum. Few consider that a sculpture can be of diminutive proportions as well as gigantic ones, and everything in between.” (The Printable Wedding, n.d.).

So I guess enormous marble nudes are out, though we have the space to place them. The birds would love ’em. But still. I don’t know any sculptors. Do you? I mean, who would model for them? Us? No fanks, as Zac used to say.

I am grateful Jonathon stuck with me this long. Marriage is the constant combining of two lives into one, mutual submission and preferring the other more than yourself. I can’t imagine this life without his constant affection, belief in us and love. God has been so good to us. It’s not been an easy journey, yet it has been worth it. Our marriage is the sculpture. Jesus has been shaping us, chipping away at the hard edges and excess stone, changing us from glory to glory day by day. Our one flesh is His handiwork.

Romans 8:18 – Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.

 

 

References

The Printable Wedding. (n.d.) 27th Anniversary Wedding Gift Ideas. Retrieved from http://www.weddingclipart.com/guide/wedding-gifts/anniversary-gifts/27th-anniversary-gifts.html

 

One Year

 

calendar pages ripping

(source)

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my job with Thurston County. It’s been a good ride so far. I started out in the prairie office, working on the jail expansion project. Didn’t have much work there, but the lovely break walks and quiet time were a balm to my soul. Now I’m in Central Services proper, in the bowels of Building 1. I’ve got a few projects to my name and loving it.

I’ve learned a few things in my 365 days…

  • Parking in the spleen lot, aka designated employee parking, is a 5-minute walk. Maybe longer with pouring rain, snow or ice thrown in. Plan accordingly. Bonus: Parking is free *and* paved. Holla!
  • I am a backup for the main phone line and the on-campus mail route to 3 buildings. Bonus: I know where to go to resolve parking tickets, obtain concealed carry permits and marriage licenses.
  • Early on, I took notes in meetings with the County Commissioners, department directors and elected officials. I know who most of the major players are. Bonus: I’ve gotten a good overview of upcoming issues and how things run here.
  • You can call in late, not just sick. Like one, two, or three hours late. No penalty or recriminations. Bonus: The phone messages get distributed to all of Central Services, so everyone is in the attendance line loop.
  • Food brings people together, well, to eat and generally hobnob. And if you bring in something delicious to share, it starts a chain reaction. You inspire others to bring in their homemade goodies, like beef jerky, pies, salsa, etc. It’s a win-win. Bonus: I won’t go hungry. Ever.
  • Bummer: I need to monitor my intake, or I could end up big as a house.

I am so grateful for my supervisor, project managers and co-workers. God has blessed me. Sometimes, blessings aren’t obvious right away. But they show themselves eventually, if we’re willing to wait in faith.

So the Lord must wait for you to come to him
    so he can show you his love and compassion.
For the Lord is a faithful God.
    Blessed are those who wait for his help. – Isaiah 30:18

Friday Anniversary

truffles

(source)

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!

Monday Oddments

monday kittens

Ran 3 miles today. My legs churned the still air. It flowed over me like a river of pure growing things. Clouds in the sky burned orange and super-nova white. I breathed in the morning, refreshed by the coolness of a new day.

Today is our 24th anniversary. I can’t believe I’m we’re this old. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s so worth it to keep showing up and loving each other. It’s been a great goal of mine to make it to 50 years of marriage, or beyond. So little in this life is dependable, constant, sure. With God’s help, I want to be those things for my husband and kids.

Our house is listed online. It’s for sale, really and truly. It’s out on Redfin and should upload to Zillow and all the other sites today.

Eek!

I’m learning more and more to let go of control. I need to do the best with what I have at the moment. Heck, I’d love to learn to *live* in the moment. But I think for me, it’s a life-long education.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

 

Work Anniversary

Today marks the one-year anniversary of when I started working for the city.

stephen-colbert-celebration-gif

I’m surprised at how quickly time went by. I’d like to take a moment to pause and reflect on what I’ve learned this past year.

  • The front counter gal on the planning side makes a mean cup of coffee. Thank God.
  • And…I don’t ever want to do her job. She interacts with the public every day, yet keeps all the cogs of the planning and permitting department running. She’s a rock star.
  • It’s possible to get promoted twice in one year and never leave your cubicle.
  • Engineers don’t change:  no news is good news.
  • Everyone has a story. If you’re lucky, they’ll tell it to you.
  • Engineers still have the corniest sense of humor on the planet.
  • Even if you put meetings on an Outlook calendar, people might miss it.
  • Passion for excellence and doing it right inspires.
  • Shelton’s department directors accept walk-in appointments. They remain accessible.
  • Dressing up too much makes you look suspicious. See below…

Coworker, smiling: “You look really nice today.”
Me, smiling:  “Thanks!”
Coworker:  “Do you have a job interview or something?”
Me, stifling an inner sigh: “No, I only wanted to feel like a grownup today.

  • Everyone wears multiple hats and covers at least one other job. Don’t undervalue employees. Small cities create mighty workers.
  • Both kinds of milk containers are recyclable.
  • Just because someone says they know the winning Powerball numbers doesn’t mean they do.

Thank you, Shelton, for an opportunity that turned into a great adventure. Here’s to many more!

Breathing Room

Image by chillout-soulout-freakout.blogspot.com

Image by chillout-soulout-freakout.blogspot.com

It’s been raining and raining.  Not complaining, just a fact.  We’ve gotten over 7 inches of rain so far this month.  And it’s only November 2.

I looked out the window at the sky this morning.  The rain had stopped.  The sky, palest of blues, showed through a break in the clouds.  As if on cue, the birds started to sing.  The dark green trees poked up into the dawn.

We packed this weekend full.  We helped my brother and his family move most of Saturday, church most of Sunday, afternoon meetings and rehearsals led to dinner, an hour or so of leisure time, then bed. While I enjoyed participating in all of these things, it wasn’t restful.

Sometimes we need a break in our lives.  We need a little time to think, to slow down, to consider. Spying a crack in the clouds made me think of Selah, the phrase in the Bible that means “stop and listen”. I’m at a place where that seems like a good idea. New month, new direction.

I want to take a moment and thank everyone who reads this blog, and the subscribers.  I’ve been blogging for 5 years now.  Thank you for taking the time to read and sometimes “selah” my scribblings.  You bless me.

Also, I wanted to let you know I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo this year.  I’ve never done this before.  I’m a bit apprehensive.  I need to figure out a process…and a plot!  But you don’t need to know that.

I’m taking a little break from running.  I keep getting injured and methinks I have some strength imbalances.  I want to correct those.  I’m focusing on eating less and trying some new workouts. Running will return after this short message from our sponsors, or something.

I peered outside again, this time joined by Ruby and Chloe. The sky had revealed itself even more.  The baby blue expanse glowed. I took a deep breath. Time to get going.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

Copper Love

Today, Jonathon and I have been married 22 years.  Note:  This is not a plug for gifts.  Yet if you’ve ever been curious about what to get someone on their 22nd anniversary – or any anniversary for that matter – wonder no more.  Look right here. For 22 years, it’s copper. Copper.  Really? Kind of a stumper, huh?  We thought so, too.  Pennies?  Copper wire we can fence on the black market?  Perhaps tasteful copper statuary for our front yard?

However, I don’t think anyone is following this list.  Now they have a traditional and a modern interpretation for each year. I don’t remember getting any wool for our 7th anniversary.  I think I would have remembered sheep.  I know I didn’t get any lace on our 13th.  Nor did anyone pass along items of citrine.

Shiny, boss!

Shiny, boss!

For our 18th anniversary, somebody forgot to give us cat’s eye jewelry.

I'm watching you.

I’m watching you.

On second thought, never mind.  We have cats with their own eyes, two of them.  Let’s count it as done.

I truly don’t expect anyone else to remember our anniversary.  My parents do, and some of our close friends who attended our wedding all those years ago recall the event. I’m thankful for congratulations. But this ridiculous list of what to purchase or make for folks based on the anniversary year is rather outdated, if not presumptuous.  I think it hearkens back to the days when people were in each others’ lives, celebrating each milestone. Maybe it provided a sort of puzzle to solve. “Hey, Jane.  It’s the Jones’ 11th anniversary party.  We need to get them something steel.  Ooh, a magnet?”

It’s hard to believe the two of us idealistic nincompoops stayed together all these years. We didn’t know how much we didn’t know. Seems like that was a piece of mercy right there. Wedding anniversaries remind the couple involved how much they still love each other and how far they’ve come. We’ve learned a lot, about life, God and each other.  And we’re still going forward. The Lord has been faithful.