Monthly Archives: January 2014

Redemption Chocolate

This weekend I came back from the marriage seminar that Karl and I presented, to find an absolute mess in the kitchen and two boys still in pajamas. Lovely. The girl was nowhere in sight. She went to hang out with friends on the block instead of hanging out with her brothers that were doing nothing but living in pajamas all day. Can’t blame her for that one.

Last night, I was presented with a box of my favorite chocolates by the oldest. Michael made a big deal of it. I told him he had redeemed himself. The funny thing – he got the chocolates to say that he knows I’m going through a lot physically right now and he can see it’s really rough on me – yet I still do all the mom stuff. He smiled sheepishly that it wasn’t apology for the mess in the kitchen.

To me, it doesn’t really matter. Just the thoughtfulness of getting the chocolates for me. How often does a teenage boy go out of his way to buy expensive chocolates for his mom – when it’s not Valentine’s Day yet or Christmas or birthday or anything like that? I consider myself blessed. I savor every bite of my collection that includes Ferrero Rondnoir, Raffaello and Ferrero Rocher. Sweet!

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Gettler and ISN

The youngest two and myself spent some time Sunday afternoon watching a most interesting documentary on toxicology, highlighting the life of Dr. Alexander Gettler. It was fascinating to see the science of forensics, before it was accepted in criminology, and the fight to have it respected. However, it hit home for me.

As a safety assistant for a general contractor, part of my job is researching and presenting the safety information needed for our guys to be in compliance with safety requirements. To be honest, some of the guys see some of these safety requirements as huge inconveniences that make them work longer on a particular job and end up costing the customer more. But they get to go home at night because they are safe. Watching the documentary showed me that there was a time when workers injured on the job were accused of being weak and crippled before they came and the employer had been kind to them in even giving them a job.

I shared this information with the guys and how working in dangerous environments was pushed under the rug for many years. It brought a new light to the reason why we go over dangerous chemicals and the protocol for dealing with them, including learning how many parts per million you can be exposed to before serious illness and death occur. There is a reason why we follow these safety rules and maintain our data on ISN, a safety portal for industries and their contractors.

Today, I’m grateful for the hard work of Dr. Gettler, for perfecting the science of toxicology and helping to get legislation passed to protect workers. Our guys get to go home at night to their families because they work safe.

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He Gets Me, He Really Gets Me

We are checked in at our hotel, relaxing before we do our marriage seminar presentations tomorrow. We do the normal hotel evaluation and the Leukert traveling curse is back. Hotel pool & jacuzzi is out if order.
My husband pointed to the chair by the lamp – that’s the perfect place for you to have your worship. Oh yeah, he really gets me.
I’m grateful for a husband that is not intimidated by my spirituality. It’s to his benefit. The more my spirituality is acknowledged and unhindered the same goes for sexuality.
He gets me. He really gets me.

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Filed under Marriage, Spirituality

On Our Own

Karl and I have been working through a large organization for a couple of years now, presenting marriage seminars that are man friendly and fun! We’ve enjoyed the ability to send big stuff to headquarters and we’ve been content (somewhat) to follow the corporate rules. There were a few times where we felt we ought to go off on our own at some point, but it was just a thought in the background.

Everything changed in November when we got a phone call saying the corporate program was completely done away with and now all of us trained “local” presenters were either on our own. Now that thought in the background was right in our faces. Time to get cracking on putting our own program together! It’s a good thing we’d been working on it, piece by piece, for a few months. It will still be some time before our own presentations are completely ready.

In the meantime, we have permission to keep using the material we used before, just without the usual support from headquarters. But the game is all changed. We are having to pay the sales tax. We are having to make sure we are licensed to do business in our state and we are the ones opening a business checking account.

The process of setting up your own business really makes you appreciate being under the umbrella of a large organization. Funny how we appreciate things more after the fact. Everything is different now. But one thing has stayed the same. We are still in ministry to not only save marriages, but make them awesome!!

So, please check out our website, still under construction, and our Facebook page – Unashamed Marriage.

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Relevant

Real.

I love it when young people embrace the real. There is so much garbage mixed in with everything out there it’s hard to keep up, but each and every day young people are choosing real stuff of substance over the superficial.

But if you think “real” is skirts to the floor and super long hair knotted up in a bun, you may be more irrelevant than you are real. While there is nothing inherently wrong with long skirts and hair in buns, it’s not the only “real” option out there.

I’ve had the privilege of meeting some real and relevant young people and those mentoring them. Yes there is modesty, simplicity, diligence, honesty, loyalty and hard work; but it’s also colorful, modern, vibrant and lived out passionately. I love these real young people and others love them too – because they are relevant.

 

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The Real Trip

My husband organized a trip for young people from our church to go to an International conference for youth and young adults. There were many amazing experiences at Generation Youth for Christ, but more than the amazing meetings and meeting people from all over the world – there was the trip itself.

Personalities not previously seen finally become known after nine people travel 14 plus hours in a van that is packed full. One way.

Traveling back home to East Texas from not so sunny Orlando, Florida, was with the knowledge learned about the personalities of traveling companions. It changed everything. We had learned about each others’ strengths as well as idiosyncrasies. We knew what to expect of each other and how to make it work better – and where firm boundaries needed to be drawn.

GYC was an incredible experience and I’m so glad that it happens again in 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. But I learned just as much on the trip itself.

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Connecting the Dots

Few things foster bonding amongst a group of people that know each other at varying levels of intimacy than a road trip. The longer the trip, the greater the capacity for bonding. Hopefully it’s all good. No one likes that trip remembered for the one miserable soul that made the whole event miserable for everyone else as well.

We started off with 9 passengers in the van, heading to a youth convention, before dropping off our two youngest at my in-laws’ home. The seven of us continued to our destination of Orlando, Florida – family destination extraordinaire! By the time we got to Orlando, I was so the kids weren’t in the van.

Between Gainesville and Orlando, there is an adult establishment. Billboards attacked the eyes every few feet and sometimes from both sides of the highway at the same time. Silhouetted images and bold phrases that told exactly how far they go left very little to the imagination. The only other billboards blanketing that stretch of highway as much as the adult establishment’s advertisements, were for a facility that helped those with unwanted pregnancies.

After the adult establishment was long behind us on the highway, I kept seeing billboards to help those who were in a situation they weren’t planning for. It didn’t take long to connect the dots. All the way down to family destination extraordinaire, were signs of a society that boldly advertised that which destroys individuals and families and those dedicated to restoring hope to those caught in a culture of anything goes. What we reap, we sow. I’m thinking that if I ever decide to take my entire family to Orlando, Florida, I’ll go out of my way to take a different highway, hoping this one is safe for families on their way to one of the most popular family destinations in our country.

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