Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Husband Resource

Here comes the truth; women can be impractical. I speak mostly of the ones I've met. I don't know that we are completely impractical, and I'm not saying that men are unlike us at times. However when compared to most of the men I know, most of the women I know are impractical. This is evidenced in  matters big and small. Take a wedding for example. Most men would gladly show up in jeans and a tee-shirt. They'd say their vows, order some takeout and proceed directly to the honeymoon. Actually, they might prefer that. Most women on the other hand insist on wearing and insultingly expensive, one time wear, big white dress. They want to walk on petals of rose, with ice sculptures in the background. They want people playing harps, and four foot cakes. If left to their own devices they'd feed a small village the most expensive foods known to man. We'd top it all off with a honeymoon fit for the royalty we clearly believe we are. It's not just weddings that display our impractical side. It's in the little details like our "pocketbook." OK, let's just be honest here, they are more like duffle bags where capacity is concerned. First, we choose a huge bag that either matches our outfit, or makes it "pop." Then we fill this huge bag with all our "necessities." I've known women who judging from the stuff in their pocketbook, they are equipped to put on an entirely new face and change their identity via the massive loot of make up in their bag. They could sanitize a restaurant or public restroom. They could tend the sick, and wounded, read or write a novel (depending on preference). Some could feed the hungry, and thirsty just from contents of their purse. Don't even get me started on the accessories in those things! I've seen women carry a pocketbook in their pocketbook! Wrap you mind around that one. Actually, I've done that last one.
Men on the other hand travel with a lone wallet. When a man leaves the house he's equipped to make a purchase, and be identified in the case of an emergency. He may or may not have insurance cards, or a picture of loved ones in his loot. 
     Truly it's no one's fault. I've been observing that these behaviors start early. Many of my friends have boys. Their little boys carry around a single (mostly small) toy item like a hot wheel car or an action figure. Wanna guess what my two and a half year old daughter carries around? She carries her baby, sometimes her blanket, and yes a pocketbook. Despite the burden of this little pocketbook on her balance. Irregardless of where she's going, she takes it. She not only carries around a pocket book with one hand held high to keep it in its place, she has chosen to fill it with two items: a small notebook and some party beads.
I was watching this yesterday, and thinking how funny it is that she would do such a thing. It occurred to me that I'm guilty of the same. I just do it in other areas. As it turned out I had been struggling with my impracticality all that day. It's time for our home school to begin. I was pouring over the idea of making a schedule. I even set aside time out of my already packed day to read a book about making a schedule. I was in meltdown mode to my husband about all I need to get done, how I need a good schedule, and how mine doesn't work for us. Without hesitation he asked "why do you need a new schedule the ones you had were fine?" Of course that ticked me off, in a second I'll explain why. I proceeded to tell him that there are many considerations in my day.  Many of which he's unaware of, and naturally this is why he doesn't understand why I'm in need of a more effective schedule. Truly I thought it rather presumptuous of him to assume that he could resolve an issue I've struggled with for years, in five minutes or less. This is what annoyed me. And for his effort I then sarcastically challenged him to verbally outline his idea of what my schedule/day should look like. He did. Without repeating all he said, the gist was, keep it simple. Make a schedule and stick to it. He basically told me almost verbatim what was said in the book I was reading about scheduling. He even gave me some creative ideas I hadn't considered and that were not mentioned in the precious book. He's never read the material. I was impressed, actually floored is more like it. All of his suggestions were dead on common sense. In a word, practical. I genuinely thanked him for his advice and input. In the hours since, all I could think of is why don't I just go to him whenever I have any issue at all. This man is a wealth of no nonsense information. You'd think after 16 years of marriage (16 years today actually) that would be my automatic response in all things. Unfortunately, no. I made a mental note that he'll be hearing a lot more from me. On my own I sometimes try to achieve what is ideal and at times impossible. My husband deals with what is real and possible. It's a blessing to have someone with a reliable compass point me in the right direction when I head of track.  He's a wealth of information and I hope God grants me many more years to learn from him. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Day In The Life...

This morning found me reaching for something positive to pull from this day. I went to bed later than usual the night before. Three hours later to be exact. Wouldn't you just know that I woke up earlier than I needed today. Any thoughts of falling back to sleep were quickly erased by the loud explosion sound coming from my backyard. Typically when you hear a loud boom in the dark of night it would spark cause for concern. No worries here. The power went out along with the sound, so it was obvious what that was. No electricity, no air conditioning. No air in the heart of summer, in an upstairs bedroom, with low ceilings.... Trust me, you are not going back to sleep easily. I got out of bed and pretty much did nothing until the sun came up. Meaning I missed a workout! Now is a good time to let you in on an odd fact about me. MISSING a workout makes me crazy... and unfortunately cranky. It's hard enough to make myself take a planned rest day, but to miss a workout altogether, and for no valid reason...not good.
Meanwhile my two and a half year old slept through the explosion. She awoke in typical mode, demanding to put on a "very dress" and showing zero interest in the potty training. After a little negotiation we settled on a "very" romper. She loves "VERY" things, but she loves "very" dresses most of all. I've learned that "very" simply means extremely beautiful. As long as the piece of clothing is unique enough to fit the bill, she's usually good. I say usually, because today she decided that the romper was not good enough. I ignored her numerous request and demands throughout the day that I change it. My hubby on the other hand is much less immune to toddler demands and promptly changed it when he came home.  The bulk of my day was spent sorting, cleaning and clearing out our home school room. After days like today, I can't help but wonder "what in the world is this all for?" I saw no profound accomplishment today. It's days like this that leaves me questioning the decision, to be at home, educate my kids, put career on hold, and all the rest. I wish I could tell you that I'm always confident, and that I know exactly what I'm doing. That would be a lie. What is true is, I feel I'm exactly where I need to be. I'm blessed to be doing the things I get to do. Whether it's an exciting day or a monotonous nightmare, I'm blessed to experience them  all with my family.
Maybe someone can relate. You don't have to be an at home mom to have similar thoughts. I think ultimately we all want to feel as though our days singularly, and collectively count. I believe they do. The hard ones, the exciting ones, the mundane, they all make up the body of our life's work. They're all gifts. I ended the day with thoughts in that vein. Life is beautiful, and God has allowed us another day here. Always appreciate the only moment that you are truly guaranteed, now.

Friday, August 16, 2013

My Name is...

My husband can trace his ancestry back to Prussia! No kidding. I had to look Prussia up to even figure out where it is, something to do with Germany. Anyhow, I've never been a "trace my family history" kinda person, but as my kids get older I get more, and more questions. Questions I don't have the answers to. Let's just say that in the Bahamas we don't keep family records well. You can't just pop into a library and trace your roots back a 100+ years like say my husband's family. Most of what I know of my family is via oral traditions, stories that have been told and retold for generations. One thing that has puzzled me from quite sometime was my maiden name. Jackson. Where in the world did that come from? While the name is quite common in the US, it's extremely rare in the Bahamas. Outside of my family (on my dad's side) I knew, nor have never meet anyone there with that name. As recently as this week someone of Bahamian descent upon hearing my maiden name suggested that I was probably in the witness protection program, because he'd never heard of anyone having that name in the Bahamas. I got quite a laugh out of it. My dad just happens to be in town so I mentioned that comment to him. He got a kick out of it too, but then he gave me something. He gave he a short history lesson. The gist of it was how our family got the name Jackson. Turns out my great grandmother (on my dad's side) went to Florida to work in the fields. There she met and married American gentleman, whose last name was Jackson. He moved back to the Bahamas with her, and so began the Jacksons of the Bahamas. It's nice to connect something like this. All this time my only stories, and memories of my name was that no one else in my country had it.  We were actually teased pretty badly for having it. I can't say that blame them. My mom and dad had the audacity, to have five kids with the last name Jackson!!  Do you see where this is going? Yep, we were the Jackson 5! Those were the breaks if you grew up in my day with such a name. I guess by comparison to others being called, Michael, Tito, Janet, Marlon or Latoya Jackson wasn't so bad. All of that aside, I always liked that my name was unique to my surroundings. I'm thrilled that I now know why.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Blessings All Around

I just spent the last twenty minutes reading feel good stories of people who "paid it forward." I read stories of people who paid for other people's groceries, medications, rentals, Christmas gifts and more. It seems the idea of "paying it forward" has caught on with many. It makes me happy to see something positive deemed newsworthy. I could spend hours listening to accounts of this sort. In almost every story I read, it was the person who gave retelling the tale, and commenting on how the reception of the gift had intensely touched them. As I read further I couldn't help, but think of Jesus' teaching "it is more blessed to give than receive." Acts 20:35.  Both giver and receiver are blessed, one is just "more blessed." It's obvious why the person receiving a gift is blessed. They got something, so that makes sense. The person who gave just lost something so you'd think the opposite would be true. Nope! Giving does a work more wonderful that receiving will ever do. We all should take and make time to experience something so profound.

Monday, August 5, 2013

I'm Back!

So I've been quiet recently. Lucky you. I'd like to give you a reason for the quiet but I don't have one. I could blame it on being busy, but seriously aren't we all? We did go on vacation, but that's not it either. I've had a lot swirling around in my head lately. I lacked the motivation, and it seemed the ability, to write anything worth sharing.  I think life is just that way sometimes. You get caught up in you. That's kinda where I've been, "Meland." I tend to vacation there from time to time, but it's no place that I would want to live. I'm grateful for the moments in life that redirects your focus. That's been happening to me in the past few weeks, changes in focus. I've been drawn to things I once ignored, and I'm even being drawn away from a few things. The real blessing is that there is growth and progress in me. I'm still alive, and I'm grateful for all the moments in my life, for the really loud ones, but also quiet ones. Just thought I should let you know though, that the quiet is about to end :)