Thursday, August 26, 2010

Paralyzed by People Pleasing

Really, my favorite part of blogging is in coming up with alliterative titles. Do you like it? It's important to me that you do. Because I am a people pleaser.

I am not a doormat or someone that can wilt into the background. If a decision or choice needs to be made or if I see something that needs to be addressed, I will say something. In fact I often share my opinions on food choices or movie rentals with people I don't even know. Or if I am in a situation that I have more experience than the other decision makers. But rarely will I share my opinion or political views with my friends.

Why is that? Why am I more likely to share my opinions with perfect strangers than I am with my friends? I am even hesitant to post this. Because maybe someone will ask me directly what some of my views are. And then I will have to pull out my well honed evasion skills to redirect the conversation. Or pray that my kids need something from me and I won't have to answer.

I know part of my hesitation stems from the many years of mask wearing I have done. Some of it comes from wanting people to like me. Part of it is also never having been in a place to have the same group of friends long enough that have gone past the surface mommy-talk.

Even now there is a whisper in my ear telling me just to delete this. That it doesn't matter what I have to say. Excuse me while I tell it to be quiet and go back to it's pit.

Ok, cause here's the truth. I do have opinions. I do not do enough investigation and fact checking to get into a debate. which is why I don't post my opinions on Facebook. But I listen to the news and read news sites. I have made some idealogical decisions on how I want to live the life God's given me. Also in how the husband and I will raise the kids God's given us. Sometimes' those choices are similar to others, and sometimes they are the polar opposite. Most of the time, if my opinion is different from yours, I won't say much until I can change the subject. That's my preferred method of conflict avoidance.

But maybe that's gonna change. We'll see. This new baby inside of me tends to affect my hormones leaving my brain a little foggy and more prone to speaking my mind without my usual sugar coating. So maybe I will start saying things I wouldn't normally say. I am not going to be so bold as to make a resolution or promise. This is all a maybe. I don't want to get to extreme. In true people pleaser fashion.

What about you? Are you a people pleaser? What holds you back? If you aren't a people pleaser, what's your secret?


It's been about 5 months, so it would be time to start blogging again. This past year of 2010 had some really big things happen.

The husband and I took a money management class. It was great. And we are implementing some of the stuff we learned. It's all about baby steps. And for me, that means sticking to my grocery budget. It's easy to make excuses about what we "need" when I grocery shop. I am not big into clipping coupons or price matching, right now it's enough just to have my cash in hand and stick to my list. I also started meal planning again, which has helped stream line things.

I took a part time job. And it has been really cool to see how God has used that in our lives. It's allowed the husband to devote some time to building his own miniatures line. And I get out of the house. Talk with adults. I have also had some pretty cool encounters with customers. And it's opened my eyes to the world outside of me.

The oldest started kindergarten. That has been wonderful. It was difficult at first, but now, I wouldn't go back. We now enjoy reading together and the investment his kindergarten teacher is making in him is being expressed through a sense of confidence and a kinder attitude.

The middle son still hangs out at home with me. We fill our days with MOPS, Bible Study and Mini Moos. Taking M and F off so I can catch up on the house work. He will be starting kindergarten next year. And is so ready. Thankfully- and are helping him learn letters and numbers. As well as observation of his older brother

That's right, we will be having our third child sometime this summer. Most of you already knew that since the 9 followers I have are also facebook friends of mine. :) It was a bit of a surprise to discover we were expecting. The goals I had for next year were very different than having an infant/toddler/child home for the next 5-6 years. Now, we are getting more excited. A good friend told me that each child is born into a new family. And I absolutely agree with that statement. Each child is born at different times in our lives. The lessons that have been learned with the first two will help in raising the third. I also need to bear in mind that this child will be different from his/her brothers. It will be an adventure, that's for sure. Bonus: I get to be in MOPS for the next several years.
I guess this turned into my Christmas letter I didn't get sent out this year. Nothing no one wouldn't have known. Just a jump start back into blogging.

Change Anyone Part 3

Change Number 2

I started a job!

The husband and I took a class called Crown Financial Studies. It's a biblically based money management class. It is very practical and easy to understand. All the lessons come straight from the Bible. And the biggest things I took from that job was how much debt is a consequence of sin! I know, it's crazy. I knew that debt wasn't necessarily a good thing. But I didn't realize that debt was actually laid out as a punishment for sin.

The other thing I took away from the class was how much debt hinders me from serving freely in God's ministry for me. How many times have I seen a missionary that needs support or a hungry child and thought, man I would love to help them! But then I look at my budget and see all our money tied up in paying bills. And then I get all discouraged.

So, all of that is to say I applied for a job at about 10 different places, didn't hear anything. Than, I hear from a certain awesome retailer for an interview. I go in, they liked me, I get hired. Now I am a part-time associate for a great company. I think it will be a lot of fun. And it will definitely help toward getting us out of debt. There will be more posts in the future about that whole process.

This is going to require some changes in our family set up. I know that, the husband knows that. The kids are used to me being gone once or twice during the week. But it will all be short term. And there will be a great ability for our family to do fun things and not be hampered by all that debt.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The First Day

"Hey Manager, this customer wants to know if these two items are on sale. Could you help me with that?"

Politely helps me

"Hey Manager, this customer has an exchange, can you help them with that?"

Yes, I can.

"Hey Manager, this lady would like to put some items on hold. What's the procedure for that?"

Shows me nicely.

"So Katie, is this your first day here at our store?" With a wry grin.

Yes, it is. How could you tell?

Change Anyone?

I was thinking about blogging today. Even though I don't post regularly, I do often think about things I could post on here. But then I get sidetracked. As you should know about me, I get sidetracked easily. Just look at my posting history. :)

There have been some changes around here. Over the next few days, ok maybe weeks, I am going to let you know about those changes.

Number one change, we now have kids. Not babies, not toddlers. Not even little boys. I have two, active, strong, opinionated boys.

One of those boys has become a big, school age child. I have a student number and piles of paperwork. Last week was kind of rough for both of us. We made it thru the first day. We walked into class, took some pictures. The second day, Wednesday, was a little rougher. We had to navigate the car line. I basically had to become a mama bird and push my little fledgling out of the nest. And then I had to do it again on Thursday. Finally, by Friday, my little bird took his first hesitant steps to the edge of the nest and flew a little bit. He was a kind of hesitant getting out of the car, but he did. And lined himself up with all the other kindergarten students. By Monday, he was getting out of the car like a pro. And I was the one holding back tears. That day he came home and let me know that he had walked to class with another friend. Tuesday, again walking to class with his friend. Wednesday and today, the kid walked to class by himself. And I am still the one holding back my tears. This is all part of him growing up. I know that. And it's good. It just seems that the transition happened so fast.

All of a sudden, he can do everything by himself. This kid is in a setting I have very little control over. Sure, I can play the hover mother card, the pestering parent role. But I think that would only push him more away. Really, what good would that do? Our goal has always been that he would become independent. That my son would become a responsible, independent adult. And he is on his way.

Momma's having a hard time with the change. I know the logic, that God is watching over him and always has. But it still frightens me. This world he has stepped into has kids I don't know. Ideas that may contradict everything we have taught him. Kids that might tease, bully or physically harm him.

As I reread this, I am second guessing myself. Did we make the right choice? But that's where a lot of these problems lie. Within me. I need to back up and stop looking at me. I need to look up. To God. To The One who has been with our precious little baby since before I even knew about him. To Jehovah Rapha who was with my little guy in the hospital at 22 months. To Jehovah Shalom who was the peace and comfort both my babies needed during one of the lowest points of my life. To Jehovah Nissi, their advocate and protector when I was forbidden to be. That's where my big kid is. In His hand. This kid has always been there, and always will be.

So that's where I am. My older son is hitting his stride. Spreading out his wings and flying off to the next stage. I just want to have a safe nest for him to fly back to.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Training Log

It was a lovely late spring morning. I was running with some friends. We were doing six miles that morning. A bit of a stretch for my weekday run, but I was feeling ambitious the previous morning when I agreed to the Friday run. :)

We were on our way back, maybe around mile five, when all of a sudden, a deer bounded onto the path. My running partner halted me from going further. The deer got spooked and shot across the pavement straight into an eight foot fence. No hesitation, just pure fight or flight reaction kicking in. The deer recovered from the fence's head butt and then backed up a little farther this time, and ran full speed at the fence again. This time, the deer jumped over the fence and fell straight down the eight feet of the fence and about 4 feet of concrete wall onto the hard gravel of the railroad tracks. Did the deer break it's leg or neck? NO! It popped right out of it's fall and took off down the tracks until it could find an opening back into the woods. It was one of the coolest and most bizarre things I have ever seen.

That all happened around Memorial Day weekend, which would have been about 6 weeks ago. About three days after that deer and I crossed paths, I took a little, shall we say, hiatus from running. So I stopped running. I did go out with my friend a few times a week, but the most I ever did was about 2 miles. You have to realize that prior to my hiatus, most of my runs were 4-5 miles on the weekend and 6-7 on the weekends.

Yesterday, I started running again. My marathon is now officially sixteen weeks away. Most marathoners start a training program at this time. So I started a training program. The first run was for four miles. I met my friend and we did the first two miles together. Than she and I parted ways. Then I did the last two. Let me tell you that those last two miles were heinous. Or so I thought.

Today I went out for a "hilly" run. A run that consisted of going up several different heights of hills. For five miles. And I was doing it. Running at a nice steady pace for about 1 and a half miles. Than I slipped off the side of the road into this soft patch of large stone gravel. My right knee, left hand and right elbow can attest to how "soft" it was. I wanted to give up and turn around. The person I was running with was kind enough to even suggest that. But I was not going to give up. But I did contemplate going back. Than, this thought popped into my head, "I only have four more months to train. And I am not going to get to Greece and not be able to finish!" So I wiped the blood off my hand, made sure my knee was clear of gravel, and we kept going. Up and down those stinkin' hills. And yeah, I walked a lot more on the way back during the second two and a half miles, but I ran up those hills and walked on the straightaways and downward parts of the hills.

My knee, hand and elbow all hurt. I feel good though. Like I accomplished something. Conveniently enough, tomorrow is a rest day. I will be sure and take full advantage of that. :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Weekend at Katie's

Recently, I have been reading a book called Life on Planet MOM: a down-to-earth guide to your changing relationships, by Lisa T. Bergren. It was sent to all the moms who are a part of MOPS. A great organization! I meet with a group of ladies on Tuesday nights to discuss this book. The first weeks discussion was on your relationship with your self. How becoming a mom changes you. How the delightful little monkeys that come into our lives have the ability to cause us to to rethink who we are, what we believe and how we do things.

I went thru this process of reassesing my priorities, my time management, my belief in God.In the first three and a half years of my kids lives. And part of me had to grieve the fact that I was not able to go where I wanted to go or spend my money on what I wanted to spend it on. To grieve the loss of my pre-kids self.

But every once in awhile, I get the chance to be that unobligated girl again. I get to listen to my pop star music from the 90s and watch the shows I like instead of boy stuff. :)

This past weekend was one of those times. We had two events happening in different states. So, the man and his entourage went north and I stayed down here with the soybeans and corn. It was marvelous. I stayed up late, got to watch two different girly movies and I made it to church in under an hour. I ate my meals when they were hot. And I didn't have to get up from the table once! I went to the library, and nobody shushed me. My weekend alone left me refreshed and, I have to say, that I did actually appreciate my family a little more when they got home on Sunday night.

What about you? What would you do if you had an entire weekend to yourself? Not just a few hours, or even 30 minutes. What if you had one entire weekend with no responsibilities? You wouldn't have to make a meal, or make sure anyone else had to go to the bathroom. You could watch whatever you wanted, stay up late. Eat a meal that was hot from beginning to end.

Maybe get a full night's rest. Get out the door in under 5 minutes! Maybe a weekend is to long right now. Perhaps you could just get away for a few hours one night in the next few weeks. What would you do with that time? That's my challenge for you moms. Get away from your family for just two hours. It might be tough at first we moms are great at making excuses as to why we can't get away. But honestly, your kids will be fine. And you will be better for it as well.

I look forward to hearing from you on what you did with your time!