Sunday, March 8, 2009

Things I am growing...

I am married to a genius with big ideas. He dreams big and has big successes. I have never been one with big dreams, just reachable goals. I don't have a dream job in mind. If I suddenly had a billion dollars, I wouldn't know what to do with it; you can only travel so much and shop so much. Well, it is me, I could probably shop it away, but in the end, there would be no super-mega business idea out of any of it.

Tom has always wanted me to come up with a business idea that we can do together. I have always done work to help him with his dreams and he wants to be able to work with me on one of my own. Although I do have an idea of an energy company, it is more of a pipe dream than an idea with a business plan. I seem to stick to the small plans. Right now I am growing ideas, but none are money-makers or universe-changers. Just a few things I have in mind -- a few reachable goals:

This spring, I will be starting a garden. I have never had a successful garden, despite having the ultimate green thumb grandpa. My grandfather never used tractors or machinery, except for his lawnmower. This man used tools that belonged to his father-- hand tools. He had huge gardens, one year indulging in filling a lot with a co-gardener in addition to the huge garden taking up the back 1/3 of my mom's yard and a small plot in his own. Nope, I kill everything. He made it all look so easy that I didn't even know I should be helping, asking, taking notes, and trying while I had a master gardener in my life. I have found a series of books on layering that consider soil prep like a lasagna. Today on Home Grown, Bob and Jeneen discussed Organic Gardening Magazine's editor's choice tools for gardening, including a self-watering pot for container gardening,7518,s1-2-10-1746,00.html. That took me on a search to make my own, since the featured one was about $60! I found I have also found some books and ideas on container gardening that may help this goal actually happen! (My grandpa enjoyed Fred Wiche, so listening to his daughter, Jeneen makes me smile).

I am also going to read and study the New Testament this year. Every study brings me to outside sources that fascinate me, so this has already taken me to quite a few books, slowing my progression, but I will get there. This started last year. The Gospel of John took me to Rob Bell's Jesus Wants to Save the Christians - A Manifesto for the Church in Exile. Next was Reimagining Christianity, The Secret Message of Jesus, The Power of Praying Through the Bible. A study at church on The Gospel of Mark has taken me to all sorts of outside sources as I search for answers to our study guide. My Sunday School class, in its efforts to dip into multiple bits of scripture have led me to All the Women of the Bible, An Illustrated Life of Jesus, The Lost Books of the Bible, Religious Literacy, and Praying the Names of God. I think God speaks to us and, although I could ignore these other books and just get the Bible read, I would be missing the message God had been giving me. I was led to the book The Shack during a journey class at church. I am so glad I read that book. It helped me to get a different view of God-- one that helped as I read the Gospels. I am reading Luke right now. A radio interview lead me to Jesus Interupted. A television documentary led me to a book on the Gospel of Mary. Searching in our church library led me to Walking the Bible dvd. As you can see, the goal of reading the New Testament this year is no small task, not because those texts are too challenging, but because of where they take me. Understanding the words is one thing. Understanding the culture, questioning the meaning, finding value in the wisdom for my own life, and putting into practice what I find takes so much time.

I am actively doing the Love Dare, using the Love Dare book. My marriage is what I would call healthy, but I often take my husband for granted. He is sometimes the overlooked part of my chore list or a verbal punching bag on stressful days. A less wonderful spouse would not put up with me. I am so fortunate and I want to be a better wife. So far, Tom has actually noticed the changes in me. I am lucky, like I said. My husband is honest and loyal. I want to keep it that way. As I look around at other marriages, I cannot help but notice what they lack that we have. Tom and I have talked about this so much. Even our worst days are better than many of their best days! I have folks in my life who actively and openly lie to and hide things from their spouses. Tom and I have always had much to be thankful for, not the least of which is a beautiful and brilliant child, a happy and comfortable home, and an honest friendship with each other bonded with a fulfilling and wildly exciting sex life. (yup - I said wildly exciting and he would tell you the same) We date each other. We talk. We laugh. This book has helped me to remember how I was with him ten years ago when we first started dating, but with the fortune of the experience and memories of these past ten years. This project will end by Easter, but hopefully will have a lasting effect on our life together.

I have been working on getting our daughter into a 'classical school'. After all of our prep work, review, efforts, and even bribes to our daughter, she is only on the waiting list. Now the work of finding an alternate school begins. This is just kindergarten. I cannot believe I have made this so important, but I have. It is a delicate thing to find the right kind of school for the next 13 years of your child's life without fully understanding her style of learning, strengths, and weaknesses. She cannot even read yet. This will be completed before March is over. Thank goodness.

Financially, Tom has several things for us that have been just around the corner for most of this long, long winter. Finally, his natural gas well will be connected to Delta. They should be done this week and we should see (and so should our investors see) the first checks from this in about six weeks. We should be getting our first check from a compressor we are leasing in a couple of weeks. Financially, this this has been a tough time for us. I am not complaining, many folks have it worse, but it is getting a little too tight. All along, Tom has said, "In 60 days," everything will work out. The last time he said it, I put it on my calendar. The 60 day mark is April 28. By then, if things don't look better financially, Tom will be mighty happy that I completed the Love Dare!!!!!!!!!!!! We still have the racing series and the pulling series starts this year. The racing has been an emotional drain as folks we have trusted have betrayed us and stolen from us... shades of the past. The new pulling series... well it should be profitable, but again, an emotional drain.

I have revisited Piper's cookbook, this time methodically creating my hand-written pages as Word documents and taking pictures as I re-create dishes for dinners and parties. I am thinking of creating a blog to create money with this or even printing it. I am wanting to find a way to work on her college fund that doesn't interfere with our living expenses or retirement; in other words, finding a new source of income. This project has no deadline- it is a hobby, much like this blog, that gives me a smile and sense of accomplishment that could be something bigger one day.

Lastly, I have hit rock bottom again on my weight. There is something about me that requires bottoming out before I can improve in this area of my life. It is frustrating, embarrassing, and brings out things in me that I am not happy about. It is so hard to deal with but increasingly required for my health. I am giving myself five months to have a positive impact on my health. My own physical health seems to be the step-child in my life, but if I am to be a good wife, mother, Christian, employer, employee, and friend, this has to change. I have started back on a fitness routine. Tomorrow Weight Watchers re-enters my life. Doctors appointments that I have long since cancelled need to be remade. The warm weather this weekend has re-energized me. Sixty pounds have to be removed. My child doesn't even weigh 40 pounds, so I have quite a task at hand. The goal will be completed in maintenance by the end of the year.

Prayer, reading, loving, gardening, exercising, and writing will be my jobs to get to the things I am growing. A little something extra for your glittering eyes:

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. John 15:7

Let the praying begin!

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