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Blog, Faith, Marriage, Parenting, prayer

Labor Day: When the bough breaks

I don’t know why Labor Day was created, but my life also sometimes feels like labor–the continual, agonizing pains of childbirth:

  • financial challenges
  • marriage problems
  • our grown kids’ struggles
  • disappointments
  • stress upon stress, until I feel like I’m going to break.

Maybe breaking is what God is after in me. 

Brokenness.

Humility.

Obedience.

Surrender.

The breaking reminds me for some reason of the children’s nursery rhyme and lullaby, Rock-a-by, Baby:

baby in tree top -http://www.crystalinks.com/rockabyebaby.jpg

baby in tree top
http://www.crystalinks.com/rockabyebaby.jpg

Part of the lyrics say:

Rock-a-by, baby, on the tree top

When the wind blows, the cradle will rock.

And when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall,

Down will come baby, cradle and all. 

What a strange nursery rhyme! 

Why would a baby be on top of a tree?

Why does the cradle rock gently when the wind blows?

Why doesn’t it come crashing down right away?

crib

crib

There are various theories to explain the origins of this lullaby.

One suggests it narrates a mother rocking a baby to sleep like the baby is riding on the treetops during a breeze. Then when she lowers the baby to the crib, the song says, “Down will come baby.”

Another theory says it may have been written by an English immigrant observing native American women rocking their babies in birch-bark cradles, suspended from the branches of trees and allowing the wind to rock the baby to sleep. But the words appeared in print first in England, c. 1765.

A third theory is that the baby is the son of James VII and II, widely believed to be someone’s child smuggled into the birthing room to provide a Roman Catholic heir for James. The wind may be the Protestant “wind” or force blowing from the Netherlands, bringing his nephew and son-in-law William of Orange. He deposed King James II in the revolution. The cradle is the House of Stuart. Some nursery rhymes are political in origin.

At any rate, the wind blows…sometimes too hard, and then it all comes smashing down.¬†

What then?

Only that instead of “laboring” and striving in our own strength, rest in God.

Trust Him.

Lay your burdens and stress at His feet and let Him take care of it all…and cradle you.

What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days Holley Gerth

What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days
Holley Gerth

I love what Holley Gerth wrote in her little devotional book, What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days, pp. 26-27:

“When the day seems difficult, when you’re weary, when you feel like a failure…God is encouraging you. For so long I thought of him as standing by and shaking his head as he wondered, “Why can’t you get it all together?” But that’s not his heart toward us at all. To encourage literally means “to give courage,” and that’s what God wants to do for us on the hard days. He says to us, “I’m here. I will help you. I will give you strength to take one more step.” He looks at your life with infinite love and tenderness. And he knows how hard it is to be us sometimes. He lived in this world. He experienced pain. He died on a cross. Jesus understands how brutal this world can be...What if, on the days when it’s hard for you to get out of bed, you imagined him reaching out to lift you up instead of being disappointed in you? What if he’s cheering you as you take your first step into a day that’s not one you want to face? What if instead of saying, “Get it together,” he’s whispering, “Let’s do this together”? That changes everything. And it can change us.”

 

 

 

 

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Blog, Faith, Marriage, prayer, Speaking, Spiritual Gifts, Writing

I got a part-time job

married couple

married couple

My husband Ray has been forcing wanting me to get a job outside the home since last year to make a more consistent income so we can get out of debt faster. Last week I was hired for a part-time job. 

It is a local, extremely successful business and the daytime hours I work are ideal, while still allowing me time to pursue my big dreams.¬†If you have heard me speak before or read my books, you know one of my mottos is, “Dream big because we serve a big God!”

The business has a stellar reputation in our community and excellent products and customer service. Everyone there is so nice and has made me feel very welcome.¬†I wish so much that I could take pics at work and share them with you, as it’s very interesting and it’d make AMAZING pictures! Just let me get through training first….and then I’d have to ask my boss for permission to do that.

It is more manual labor than the mental work I currently do working from home, as a women’s conference speaker and author. The part-time hours enable me to still pursue speaking and writing. I’ll also be able to still go to church on Sundays.

I’m very thankful for this job, but it’s been an adjustment. I’m still in training, and I’m trying to do my best job possible. When I’m through the training period, I”ll share more with you about what my job specifically is!

comfort zone

I made the mistake of buying new sneakers for the first day, since I’d be standing on my feet all day. My feet hurt SO bad that day; I was in intense PAIN!

Omgosh! I took a hot bath immediately after getting home from work; it felt like HEAVEN! 

bubble bath with candles

bubble bath with candles

I plan to buy some Nikes or Skechers shoes asap, since most of my work at this new job involves standing or moving around a lot. Several friends on Facebook recommended Skechers when I shared about my aching feet the first day.  

One of my coworkers says she always uses Nike and my boss ordered Brooks. If your work requires you to stand a lot or all day, what brand shoes do you wear? 

Skech-air shoes

Skech-air shoes

I feel it’s very important to start my day off right, any day, but especially on the days that I’m scheduled to work at this job.

First, I try to go to bed at a decent time the night before I work to get enough sleep.¬†Sometimes I struggle with insomnia, and I’m praying that doesn’t happen now. I don’t function well without sufficient sleep; I’m irritable and can’t think straight. Like a kitty cat, I need my rest!

Grey sleeping cat -"Image courtesy of [papaija2008] / FreeDigitalPhotos.ne

Grey sleeping cat

I am so not a morning person, but I’m waking up earlier now since I go into work at 8 a.m.¬†Right now it’s 5:45 a.m. and it still doesn’t seem very long! I actually set 2 alarms to wake me up, one with batteries, in case the power goes off in the middle of the night from a thunderstorm, because I don’t want to oversleep and be late to work!

woman with clock

woman with alarm clock

I start my day off with “coffee with God.” I make the coffee first thing, cook a fried egg (one or two), and then drink my coffee while praying, reading the Bible, and journaling in the quiet of the morning.

Your morning time is crucial to your daily success. Here’s a great article on 1morning routines that highly successful people follow to make them extraordinary.

woman with coffee Source: Lightstock

woman with coffee
Source: Lightstock

A time-saver tip is that I pack my lunch the night before: usually a salad and maybe some crackers and cheese. This can save you at least 5 to 15 minutes in the morning to get ready for work!

“Brown-bagging” your lunch (making your lunch at home to take to work) saves a LOT of money, is healthier for you (no drive-through fast food places!), and also saves time.

salad

salad

Sure, there may be days when I opt to go grab some lunch somewhere (or even just go home for some place quieter like my coworker does, who lives nearby in town), but for now this is working great. My lunch period is only a half hour, so I wouldn’t have time to go sit down in a restaurant and eat anyway.

I bring my lunch in a soft lunch box, to put in the fridge at work. This sounds funny, but I also pack my toothbrush and toothpaste in it!

lunch box

lunch box

I’m really trying to push water at work.¬†

water

water

Since I’m in training, I’ve been taking a journal and Sharpie pen to work to write down notes to learn the job effectively and to not forget important details I need for my tasks.

my journal to take down notes

my journal to take down notes

I’m a visual/hands-on learner, so I have to see something and then DO it to be able to really “get” it–to LEARN it. Other people are auditory learners.

The women who have been training me at this job have been doing it for years and are really good and very fast! They are teaching me how to do it by example (me seeing them do it), and then I do the task (kinesthetic or hands-on learning). What is your learning style? How do you learn something new best?

ABC blocks

ABC blocks

 

The biggest challenge so far, other than my feet hurting and trying to learn everything and do it well, is finding time to exercise when I’m off work. As soon as I get off work, I want to just COLLAPSE and do NOTHING the rest of the day! But¬†I need to make exercise, healthy eating, drinking lots of water, and sufficient rest and fun priorities in my life!

woman in hammock

woman in hammock

This job is NOT rocket science, but there is a LOT to learn. I will have one primary job title, but I’ll also be handling other responsibilities that I’m being trained for now. Please pray that God will help me to catch on and learn the job quickly with efficiency and productivity, and that I’ll do an excellent job as unto the Lord.

Please pray for me starting this new job

Please pray for me starting this new job!

 

The goal of this job is to help our family get out of debt faster. 

woman with money

woman with money

I’ll still be speaking and writing, so if you need a speaker for your women’s conference, please contact me here.

I also have a new book on Amazon, my 2nd fiction book, Afflicted: A woman missionary kidnapped by terrorists in Africa, which you can find out more about or purchase by clicking here.

It is another Amazon Best Seller–woot! Below is the beautiful cover my graphic designer made for me. I LOVE it! I chose the image at Istock and she created it. What do you think?¬†¬†

Afflicted: A woman missionary kidnapped by terrorists in Africa Available at Amazon

Afflicted: A woman missionary kidnapped by terrorists in Africa
Available at Amazon

You can also see the other books I’ve written at my Amazon Author page by clicking here.

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