Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Richard's Job

Some of you know that Richard unexpectedly got laid off from his job several weeks ago and wasn't able to find another one right away. That put us in the wonderful position of having to remember that we need to rely on God for everything and that, oh yeah, we're not self-sufficient. Always a tough but good place to be.

Well, after a couple weeks of unemployment he did indeed find a job with a company that's subcontracted to work on the 35W bridge. Cool. I took the kids out there the other day on Richard's break to watch the construction. Moses was freaking out yelling, "BEEP BEEP!!" (his words for "truck" or any sort of heavy equipment). It's pretty amazing to see a bridge being built. If any of you have the opportunity, and especially if you have a young boy, go over to the 10th street bridge and hang out for a while. And wave to Richard if you see him.

We're so thankful that God provided a job for us again. But then yesterday when Richard got home, he told me that they were going to require the guys to work more hours. I was in shock, because Richard already has to work from 6am to 6pm, Monday through Friday, and 8 hours on Saturdays. How much more can you work? I'll tell you how much more:


Yes, that's right. Twelve hour days and no days off. Although his foreman did say he was going to try to work out some kind of rotation where they'd get one day off every two weeks. Gee, thanks.

Turns out the guys working for the general contractor are working around the clock in 12-hour shifts, 7 days a week, and they need Richard's crew to keep up with them. I really can't believe this is legal.

The upside: 4 hours of overtime pay every weekday, plus time-and-a-half all day Saturday, plus double-time all day Sunday. We figured it will come to something like $9,000 a month in take-home pay. Yeah. That'll help with a down payment for a house! But I'm really questioning if it's worth it. Richard having no time to recuperate and rest, not being able to go to church,
not being able to golf... (that's a joke. I mean, he really won't be able to golf, but that's not the end of the world. At least not to me.) And I'll basically be a single mom to three kids. What happens when I can't say to Richard, "here, take them for a couple hours so I can have some peace and quiet, before I go crazy!"

Richard's guessing he'll only be doing this for about 2 months, maybe 3 max. "Only". Still, I think we can survive that long. And really, there's no other option unless he quits. So please,
please pray for us if you think of it this summer. And if you see me at church with the kids and we all look slightly unkempt, you'll know why.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Breastfeeding Really Does Save Lives

This amazing woman is breastfeeding EIGHT precious babies who were either orphaned or whose mothers can't nurse them anymore. What a beautiful thing she is doing! It made my eyes well up to think of these little ones, so dependent and needy, being held and nurtured and fed during such a traumatic time. May God bless her for serving "the least of these."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Judah's Dedication & Mother's Day

We dedicated Judah on Mother's Day in a special ceremony at church. Richard and I made 5 promises to the Lord, before our families and the church, and then dedicated Judah to God.
Parental Promises
  1. Do you recognize this child as the gift of God and give heartfelt thanks for God's blessing?
  2. Do you now dedicate your child to the Lord who gave him to you, surrendering all worldly claims upon his life in the hope that he will belong wholly to God?
  3. Do you pledge as parents that, with God's fatherly help, you will bring up your child in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, making every reasonable effort, with patience and love, to build the Word of God, the character of Christ and the joy of the Lord into his life?
  4. Do you promise to provide, through God's blessing, for the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of your child, looking to your own heavenly Father for the wisdom, love and strength to serve him and not use him?
  5. Do your promise, God helping you, to make it your regular prayer that by God's grace your child will come to trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of his sins and for the fulfillment of all His promises to them, even eternal life; and in this faith follow Jesus as Lord and obey his teachings?
Words of Dedication

"Judah, together with your parents who love you dearly and this people who care about the outcome of your faith, I dedicate you to God, surrendering together with them all worldly claim upon your life in the hope that you will belong wholly to the Lord, forever."

I made said these words over Grace, 8 years ago, and then Richard and I said them when we had Moses dedicated in 2006 and now Judah in 2008. We also said them over Matthias almost three years ago, as we held him in our arms hours after he was born and minutes before he died. We truly did have to "surrender all worldly claim upon his life." And I know that Matthias does now belong wholly to God forever.

Being Mother's Day, I received a white rose after the service, as a gift from the church to all who grieve on this day, whether children who have lost a mother, mothers who have lost children, or those for whom Mother's Day holds some other kind of pain. I also held the red rose given to parents when their child is dedicated. With those two roses in my hand, I thought of these words from "The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God" by Pastor John:

Light candle one, and count the cost;
And ponder everything we've lost.
And let us bow before the throne

Of God, who gives and takes his own,

And promises, whatever toll

He takes, to satisfy our soul.

Come learn the lesson of the rod:

The treasure that we have in God.

He is not poor nor much enticed

Who loses everything but Christ.
Behold the light of candle four:

What we have lost God will restore

When he is finished with his art,

The silent worship of our heart.

When God creates a humble hush,

And makes Leviathan his brush,

It won't be long until the rod

Becomes the tender kiss of God.

God gives and takes His own. The children I have been given are His, the child He took is His. It is sweet and comforting to remember this truth.

Also sweet and comforting, on a different level, are the gift my children gave me for Mother's Day. Be warned, these cards from Grace will make you choke up! All her poetry is original.

Moses' contribution

Two wonderful cards from Grace
(click on them to read)

Our family

(I'm still waiting for those pictures of Judah's dedication, Mom!) :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Motorcycle Kids

You might not think it to look at her, but Grace is a real motorcycle enthusiast! Grandpa Mike has taken her out on his bike quite a few times and she loves it. Moses is awaiting the time when he'll be big enough to go, too. For now he has to content himself with sitting on it while parked.