Monday, June 29, 2009

ElePhantastic Pink

I have an obsession with OPI nail polish. Especially in the summer. It's a little more expensive than what you'd buy at WalMart...but there is no comparison with the quality. And, most of the joy is in the names of the colors. Some of my favorites are Koala Bear-y, La Paz-itively Hot, DC Cherry Blossom, and You're a Pisa Work.
My latest favorite is ElePhantastic Pink.
I almost bought it when I got Abi her Bubble Bath. But, I went with DC Cherry Blossom instead. I have often thought of ElePhantastic Pink and how I could have a reason to have to go to the mall and how to justify the $8.50 to purchase the lovely shade. So, on my way to get my pedicure, I pondered the selection and hoped to find the one.
Imagine my surprise when the first bottle I picked up was ElePhantastic Pink!!! Seriously. It was a sign! No more looking for me. I felt an instant satisfaction. Well done, well done. Only another true OPI fan would appreciate finding the color on the first try! I'm obviously drawn to it.
So, I've been observing my toes. Enjoying my ElePhantastic Pink. Deciding to definitely find a way to the mall.
I love summer. I love OPI. Summer + OPI = happiness!

Weekend full of fun!

Our weekend was fast and furious. And great. I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoy being with my husband. Now...the one vehicle's an adjustment. But, it really makes us communicate and plan. And, we get to hold hands a lot more! And, smile at each other as Eli says silly things and Abi coos.
Anyhow, Chris worked at our church painting the red iron and sprinkler lines in the sanctuary on Thursday and Friday. That may have been a run on sentence. Oh well. We wanted/needed a cool down, so we went to Aunt Lindsey's to swim. Eli loved his news trunks and vest. Abi enjoyed swirling around too. The water was so warm. And, the burgers were delicious!
On Saturday, we ventured down to Fayetteville. Mom met them at Toys R Us - Eli needed a helmet for outdoor activities in Kentwood. He also got a little computer thing. More to come on that after our trip. We then headed to Target where I got the bathing suit I wanted...thankfully, no more wearing the maternity swim suit from last summer. Oh, and we went swimming again! So lovely. We went to an outdoor wedding. I haven't been that hot in a very long time. The wedding and wedding site were beautiful, but the heat just about ruined it all. It wasn't just the heat - but keeping my little ones from having heat strokes! Abi was stripped down within the first 5 minutes. Anyhow, there were lots of efforts to keep them cool.
Yesterday we had a lovely time at church. We had dinner on the ground - I always enjoy that. Chris had to finish up some painting and I redeemed my Easter present and got a pedicure. Oh my. More to come on that too. We went to watch some local fireworks. We couldn't see them really well...but that didn't stop Eli from having a blast.
And, now? Well, I'm working on the zillionth load of laundry. We leave soon for Louisiana! With every passing hour I get more excited. And a bit anxious about getting everything done!
I should probably fold clothes before the little ones wake.....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The long and the short of it

I should blog more often. I have so many things to write about...but the time just flies by. I often wonder is my posts would be too serious, too boring. Well, hey, it's my blog! Anyhow, in the midst of wondering if I should blog about certain personal topics, this verse was waiting for me in my in-box:

"Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly.
I will praise you before all the people."

—Psalm 35:18

I most certainly believe it is important to be transparent about our struggles and else do we really know the power of the One we serve? Yes, it can leave one vulnerable to others opinions...but in the end, we serve an audience of One, and he deserves to be recognized for his goodness, mercy, compassion, and (fill in the blank).

I have blogged before about our family's "restructuring." This has to do with our decision for me to not return to work. This would be a 60% cut in our family's income. Basically, we would lose money if we had to pay daycare for 2 or if I stayed home, so we opted for option number two. But, we firmly believe that this is what the Lord's will is...and therefore we trust in Him and let him make the difference in our balance sheet.

About a month ago the situation got very dim. Very. Bills were coming in, the expected or hoped for financial help had been cut off, and it was tough to not be cynical. I was doing my best to not lecture the Lord on how it was time for him to open heaven's window and bless our please lead someone to drop a check in our mail somehow give Chris' a big raise...anything. I didn't sleep well for about 3 days (not a good combination). Chris and I were amicable, but the stress was so thick. On a Thursday, we made some big decisions and began working the plan. This included selling my vehicle, cancelling texting (hey - the money goes a long way when buying formula), and cancelling the little monthly donation I make to my beloved OBU. We were going to be under on the sell of my vehicle so we had to try and get a loan for the difference...which our local bank that I use to work for and have been customers of for 12+ years denied us! I read a blog post of a friend that was discussing tithing (very introspective) and I wondered if this was an area of grace (more to come on this). I was suppose to go to the dentist that day, but while sitting in the parking lot waiting for my Dad to get the kids, I broke down - cancelled my dr's appt and drove home totally bewildered at what we were going to do. Thankfully, the kids wanted to nap when we got home. I did too.

My Dad came over that evening and talked with me about an opportunity to open a Farmer's Insurance Agency. We could use part of his tax office and it would give us the flexibility I wanted/needed with the kids. And, eventually Chris would come join the business full-time. So I filled out the basic questionnaire to see what there was to see. I went to bed that night with a zillion questions and concerns, but above them all was this verse, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." Prov. 16:9

That Friday was super sunny, so I decided to get out of the house. The kids and I went to F'ville to meet Mom for lunch. I took a few minutes to work on plan G for paying the difference of the Edge, and it seemed to be working out. I also got some good news about my vesting with the company in August. As I was walking in the P&G building my cell phone rang. It was my HR manager (that I haven't spoken to in months) wanting to know if I could come by that afternoon to talk about my package. I stopped in my tracks. I had signed up to possibly receive a voluntary severance package back in late January. Here, at the end of May, I was stunned! After lunch, I met with the powers that be and they offered me a ridiculous amount of money to NOT return to work! It was all I could do to not break out in praise! But, internally I was for sure!

Seriously. The Lord IS good. Seriously.

I laughed and laughed and laughed when I got out of that meeting. God is so good. Takes care of his children. I was reminded of a sermon Dad just preached about the woman and the jars of oil. The Lord not only met our basic needs (food for kids), but provided an abundance for us to live on. Chris said when I called him with the news it was like a load was lifted off of his chest. In fact, I stopped at Sonic (during Happy Hour) to get celebratory drinks!

That Sunday, during a conversation with a few people after church (and not about our situation at all), a friend commented that "you don't just tithe when you can, you tithe when you can't and let the Lord show up." He has no idea that I had been pondering this exact thing. It was like a light went off. Done. No more discussion.

I've met with the people at Farmer's and am half way thru my licensing process. Chris and I have so been looking forward to this new opportunity for our family. Plus, he'll have so much more time with our family! We received very few (less than 5) inquiries about my vehicle. But, then, my sister-in-law had an unfortunate wreck that totalled her vehicle. On Monday, I was cleaning out the inside getting it ready for her to pick up that afternoon, and the Lord was really speaking to me. Reminding me that he is in control. He orchestrated all of these events and is taking care of us (both our family and my brother's family). We both had needs that we were able to meet for each other. I resolved to do my best to not take for granted how great it is to know that the Lord IS in control...even though his timing and ways are not mine. He doesn't need my approval. Well, let's face it - his ways are better than mine, so we'll leave it at that. But, the Lord and I were having an Ebeneezer moment - reminding me of his faithfulness, goodness, and love.

So, that evening while I was bathing Abi, Chris came home (early) and told me he had lost his job. We were expecting this to happen - but were hoping it wouldn't be until after the new business was up and running. We are at a complete peace. Although there is no income for the moment...we are at peace. There are no hard feelings, no anxieties, no sleepless nights. In fact, I've slept better this week than in a long time.

We began looking at what needs to be done for Chris to get up-to-speed with the insurance stuff...and he will be totally licensed when I am! In fact, we'll take the last set of classes together! This is superb b/c of two huge concerns we had...1)how to manage with 1 vehicle and 2)how to handle the kids when clients come in.

And, yes, Chris did go first thing to the unemployment office. How do you dress for that? (this is funny only to the ones who know the story behind this question) But, you know, we have paid into this for many years, and we are going to use every bit of what is available. And, it appears it isn't much less than his take home pay was! I could write a ton about the face of unemployment...especially now that we are in that boat.

But, I share all of this (if you've made it this far in the post) as a testament of Jesus Christ, my Savior, my Lord, my Redeemer, my Provider, my Shield, and my Portion. He is good. All the time. All the time. He is good.

Join us again for more adventures in the Osmon household!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer Nights

The last two evenings have been absolutely wonderful! I mean. I couldn't think of anything else I'd change...well, maybe that Chris didn't have to go to work! Anyhow...our entire family has been outdoors for hours the last two nights. Chris has been working in the yard - and naturally, his helper is close behind. I love watching those two interact. Abi enjoyed watching the trees move in the wind. So sweet! After she went down tonight, Eli and I layed a blanket in the grass and ate strawberries. Then, we played ring-around-the-roses in the grass and hunted lightening bugs. Chris was able to catch some. Eli LOVED holding them! I wish I could bottle up the past few nights and keep them fresh forever!
Now...back to that Elmo birthday cake!............

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weird times at the theatre

While I want to write about the adventures of today, I really want to write about what happened (one of two things). The kids, a cousin and her kids, my brother, and I went to the kids movie...$2 each! While in line, I noticed a lady in line that I use to "know." By "know" I mean use to sing in the choir with, went to the same Bible study, went to the same college (although not at the same time), and many more random connections. Then, I saw two other ladies and their children...that are all from the above mentioned ways that I know them. I didn't approach lady #1 in line because, frankly, there were a zillion kids and it was SO hot. I was focused on keeping my kids cool and calm while in line.
So, in we go to the line to get refreshments. I knew popcorn would keep the big boy occupied for a while. Anyhow, lady #1 was two people in front of me. She was chatting with another lady, so, again, I didn't disturb her. She did, however, turn around about 6 times. But, I assumed she was looking for the other ladies or waiting for someone else to enter the theatre. But, there was clear eye contact. She even looked at my son! I thought that she might have no recognized me because I was with my brother versus husband.
Anyhow, I went on and got seats in the theatre while my brother waited in line for snacks. I went back to help him. As I approached the line, lady #1 watched me walk up to the line...but just turned her head and pretended to not see me! How bizarre! It was so obvious she saw me, and so obvious she did not want to talk to me! Did she think I was going to invite her out to dinner? Did she think I would wonder why I wasn't invited with her group? Last I checked, anyone can go to the theatre! Mercy sakes! A "hi" isn't that hard...especially when you're an outgoing person...oh, and know the person 3 feet from you!
So, I told my cousin how weird it was that lady #1 didn't acknowledge me. After the movie, we went to lunch and my cousin said the same thing happened with her and lady #1 as we were leaving the theatre! Eye contact and all!
There's a low percent chance that lady #1 will read this post. Lady #1 - it was good to see you and your beautiful many children today at the theatre. Sure wish I could've told you that in person. Next time, don't be afraid to say "hi!" As the movie said "A person is a person, no matter how small they are."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

When Satan...

...reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bubble Bath and DC Cherry Blossom

One of the reasons I love having a daughter is that I have an immediate buddy for girly things. For instance, if you read the blog at all then you know that this weekend Kimber is getting married. And, Abi is the flower girl. Today, Abi and I went to the first mall, went to get my hair done, and went to another mall to get her Daddy a tie and us girls nail polish. Yes, nail polish. It's what girls do on special occasions. We get our nails done.
I have been looking forward to doing this with Abi for some time now. So, in we went to the store in hunt for the perfect polish. And, we love OPI, and the name is equally, if not more important than the color itself. Everyone thought it was adorable that Abi was getting her first polish. A fact we shared with everyone remotely interested.
Abi got Bubble Bath - a soft shade of pink, the perfect amount of color for our little lady. Her mother got DC Cherry Blossom. Can't wait for us to do our nails on Thursday night! I'll have to post about Abi's father's reaction. It may include a box of tissues!

My birthday party!

Kimber and Adam

My sister-in-law, Kimber, is marrying the man of her dreams, Adam, this Saturday. I am the Woman In Charge! Well, I guess Kimber is...but, for all other purposes, I'll be the W.I.C.! With all the planning, and purchasing, and pomp and circumstance...this is sure to go down in the record books! has me waking up at 5am thinking about chicken salad, corn dip, scheduling kids, grocery lists, remembering the names of people I haven't seen since the last wedding, the weather, barbeque, peach cobbler, clothing, and the random list could go on.

Enjoy a sampling of the very happy couple:

Staying in the zone

I get a daily email devotion sent to me (promptly at 5am) daily...Here's todays (as a continuation of the previous post)...

"If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure."
—1 Corinthians 10:12–13

Encouragement for Today
It's when we think we are standing strong that we may be most open to temptation. Why? Perhaps because we rely on our own strength at those times and not on the Lord. Verse 13 implies that we never really have any excuses. We will be tempted—everyone is—but God faithfully monitors it and shows us a way out. However, the trick is to look for that way out, which will happen only if we deliberately turn our attention from the temptation to the way out. What tempts you today? Where is the way out?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

In the zone

Chris and I have an inside joke about the movie "For Love of the Game." Have you seen it? One of the things that stands out about the movie was how he says "zone in the mechanism" before pitching. I'm sure I'm butchering the phrase...but, I'd rather say he gets in the zone. Or...zones everything else out.
This is how it is when we're in God's will. We're zoned in. And, like the movie - everything else blurs out. We don't hear the hecklers, we don't notice the score, we don't even notice our teammates. We are just focused...zoned in...on our purpose.
I am in the middle of a career change. Well, I guess you could say I'm in the middle of two career changes. Anyhow, just know that changes are coming/in the process.
I've had to take a four day course this week. All day long. Cramming material for a state test. All while Chris is off camping and we're at my parents home. Did I mention the days are long? Did I mention for four days? My brain is like mush.
Back to the post...
I have been praying that the Lord would give me wisdom to navigate thru this change. It's easy for me to get caught up in big plans for the future...and miss what I need to be doing now. Or, miss what God is wanting to tell me...because I'm in lala land.
I've been praying for focus, clarity of mind, and discernment. I want to be cautiously aware of the commitment, the expectations, and obligations before I jump in with eyes closed.
Now, if you know me, you know I'm a learning hog. I love to learn. And, I love the challenge of learning. I get excited about the challenge of knowing a whole book of laws and regulations to pass a multi-hour test. Oh, the rush I get! Similar to my advanced statistics course in college. It's almost a sickness how much I enjoy it.
But, I have not been tired throughout the classes...not distracted.
As I drove to class one morning I thought "Why am I so calm? Why am I not tired? Why am I not overwhelmed?" dawned on me...
I'm in the zone.
In the zone of God's peace. In the zone of trusting Him completely. He is guiding me step by step. Or, regulation by regulation. Moment by moment.
Oh, the wonderfulness of resting in Him. I heard someone say on Friday (again, I'll butcher it for sure) that I can rest in an unknown future because I know whom I trust.
And, I know how easy it is to get out of the zone. To get distracted. My need to be in the zone has me protecting my mind - making deliberate decisions to pray more, read the Bible more, listen to Him more. Not wanting to do anything to mess up the zone.
Have you been in the zone lately? Do you desire to be in the zone? Are you tired of the distractions?
Get plugged in to the Word (Proverbs in a great place to start). Make a choice to spend more time in prayer. All through out the day.
These are some of my favorite verses ever...
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. " Jeremiah 29:11-14
Seek Him and you will find him!

More thoughts on friendships

Warning: This will probably be a long post.
That being said...let's get started.
I have so much I want to blog about...that I keep putting it off. And, now, I'll spill it out! I'm home from church early. I thought the diaper bag went to church with Eli (who went with his PaPaw to help welcome people) imagine my surprise when Abi had a poopy during Sunday School and realized we had no diapers! And, no wipes! And, no formula! It was time for us girls to come home.
Ok, back to the blog...
For the past couple of months I've experienced a lot and thought a lot about friends. What is a friend? Who is a friend? What makes me a friend? What type of friend am I? What about "seasonal" friends? What happens when a friendship ends? How do friendships survive life changes? What does the Bible say about all of this? My Wednesday girls and I have been discussing this a lot.
In the immediate past (does that make sense) and present, I have had a friendship run its course and have found several "old" friends (thank you, facebook and blog world). This evokes several emotions, questions, and thoughts.
There are a couple of "old" friends that I've recently connected with that I had thought for a long time "What will it be like to run into x person again?" What will I say? What will I feel? These are people that I had a long friendship with and basically geographical distance and life changes brought the distance. I am old enough to know a life without facebook, blogs, and even frequent emailing. Anyhow. This is not a post about my age!
I remember in my late years of high school and college pondering this "reunion" for a long time. I think it had to do with my young age. Looking back, I thought I had everything planned out for my life. Or at least, if God allowed my plans (at 14, 15, 16) to work out, I'd be super thankful. Oh, the ways of teenagers. I use to talk with a friend of mine about this "reunion" and we talked about all the unanswered questions we had - the why's and how could you's and what did I do's. I use to get all worked up about this. If you know me, I tend to pour myself into friendships (maybe it's the whole MK, transplant childhood) and it doesn't always make sense to me when others don't reciprocate that way. Know what I mean?
Well, the Lord didn't fulfill my plans of 14, 15, and 16. Can I get an AMEN? His ways are so much better! I am thankful for the planning...but am more thankful for my God that determines my steps. Where would we be if we were left to our own plans?
So, since January I have had several of these "reunions." As mentioned before, one of my MK cousins lives less than a mile from me and has been such a God-send as I acclimate to having two kids and being at home. We've had some discussions about our transition out of MK/teenage world into adulthood. How it molded us, as wives, as Mom's, as individuals. And, it's not all pretty. But, we do acknowledge how good God has been.
And, this past week, I've been "reunited"...maybe the better word is "reconnected"...with other past friends. And, I have not had any desire to insist on the answers I did a while ago. This may seem all a bit odd and disjointed. But, in God's perfect timing I am ready to reconnect with these friends. Where we are today. Not based on the past. Not with strings attached to the past. Heavens, I don't want anyone to assume I am the same as I was in my teens. Do you? And, this has all shed light on God's goodness, His mercy, His provision, and His blessings.
I use to be so anxious about reconnecting with them. But, God has given me a total peace. And, in this peace I find more love for my husband, my children, my parents, and my brother...and yes, more love for these past friends.
I look forward to hearing their life stories. It doesn't appear that all has been rosy and easy. I want to hear how they met their spouses, how they chose their careers (much different than our teenage plans), what their favorite memory is, what is their favorite thing about their life now, and most of all, I want to know the difference God has made in their lives. And, I want to be a friend to them. Without strings. Without expectations. Without explanations. Just a good friend.