Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's Time

I've put it off long enough, it's time to let you know about the new blog.

Small Town Nebraska

I'm not sure when I'll have good internet access, so if I don't post for a while don't give up on me. 

We might not be living in Lincoln anymore, but if you're in Lincoln and have an electrical need you should still call Brad. He's a fabulous electrician, and I need frequent excuses to road trip Lincoln.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Electrical Recycling

Here's something interesting about being an electrician. If you're a thrifty one, you save scraps and go turn them in for cash.

Since Brad was saving aluminum and copper, I took it upon myself to help with the cause. I faithfully collected all the "pop" cans I could spot on every walk I've been on for quite a while now. The kids are pro's at spotting them now too. We easily averaged two cans a walk. I thought maybe it was paying me to take a walk. Well, this box of cans (plus a few other pieces of aluminum)...

...paid me a whopping $5.85. It sure is going to take a lot of walking to earn money for much. All the stuff Brad collected earned him almost $300.00. I guess I need to go start walking construction sites.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


About time for an electrician update, isn't it?
He's been keeping busy the last couple of weeks. He just passed his inspection with no problem on the rough in (a.k.a. before drywall) part of the first new home he's wiring as Robertson Electric. It's a log home in the sandhills, which seems like an interesting fact you would want to know. I hope to see the final result someday. Maybe I'll show you a picture of a light he put in it someday.

Now for a Julie update.
I've actually finished six chapters of Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy by Gary Thomas. It's interesting enough that I can actually read it before I go to bed without falling asleep after five minutes. I do find it a little difficult to read a book on marriage when it is a husband talking about what he's done to be a better husband. I have a remarkable husband, but I've had times when I thought of pointing to a paragraph in the book and making Brad read it. Clearly I need to read the book and let the part soak in that talks about making yourself better and not your spouse. (see 3rd quote below)

 I thought I should share some interesting quotes from the book for you.

"The difficulty with honoring our spouse is that it calls us to adopt attitudes and actions that go far beyond merely saying that we won't dishonor him or her. As Betsy and Gary Ricucci point out, "Honor isn't passive, it's active...""   That's on page 63 if your book is like mine.

"Whether in men or women, there develops an underlying ruthlessness, a demanding spirit, and a stark self-absorption that permeates every task and relationship as the person seeks to manipulate others into joining their own orbit rather than seeking to launch people into God's." He says this on page 78 of my book when he's talking about people who sacrifice their family relationships for their personal ambitions.

This one I have to ponder from page 101. "Much of our marital dissatisfaction stems in actuality from self-hatred. We don't like what we've done or become; we've let selfish and sinful attitudes poison our thoughts and lead us into shameful behaviors, and suddenly all we want is out....The times that I am happiest and most fulfilled in my marriage are the times when I am intent on drawing meaning and fulfillment from becoming a better husband rather than from demanding a "better" wife."

I've also been spending time on creating a new blog. I might tell you where to find it in a month or so.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Running and Reading

Congratulations to Team Rob The Truck. The five people on our team - Brad, Tyler, Jill, Shauna and I - all finished the 10k Havelock Run. Finding five people to train, sign up for and complete a 10k is harder than you might think. We were all happy to finish and City Impact gets money! It's a win/win.

My reading kick has slowed some you may have noticed, but it came back with a vengeance with all the quality, quiet car time I had when Brad and I got away to Minneapolis this weekend. Maybe because I was content to just read while we were driving instead of attempting to have quality conversation time with my husband is why my mom gave me Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy to read. The first chapter is about "a call to holiness more than happiness." I bet Brad probably went and hid any other book I might consider reading so that I read this one quick. I'm going to try to stretch my brain more than I do by reading fiction and give it a try.

Once I finish it, I'll make sure I encourage Brad to read it.         He's actually on a reading kick too lately. Currently he's reading Beyond the Final Score: There's More to Life Than the Game by Tom Osborne. He keeps sharing all the great info he's reading, so I don't know if I even will need to read the book when he gets done with it. (Thanks for the book Dad!)

On our trip I finished my most recent Blogging for Books book and read
Sharpshooter in Petticoats in it's entirety. That series could easily be made into a western movie that I would want to watch.

As for the book that I got free for this review from WaterBrook Multnomah...
The Daughter's Walk: A Novel

I can't decide what I feel about it. It wasn't hard to read, was well written, and I wanted to find out what happened; but fiction about someone who really lived was hard for me to come to terms with. The Daughter's Walk is about a real girl named Clara who actually walked across the country with her mom in 1896. No kidding! They walked from Washington to New York. The author, Jane Kirkpatrick, did extensive research on Clara's life. She then fills in the unknown and makes a story about what she thinks may have happened. I loved learning about life in a different era while reading, but I was always wondering what was really true and what did the author make up. Kirkpatrick does explain a lot of that at the end, so that eased my unease some. In my opinion writing a book like this would have to be much more difficult than writing about someone you can create from scratch.

I liked the book enough to check out from the library another of Kirkpatrick's books that I'm assuming is written the same way. Of course I won't be reading that until I finish "Sacred Marriage."

Or maybe I'll alternate books every time I finish a chapter. Sometimes I have to create a little motivation.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Remember The Wonders He Has Done, Part 2

Continuing right from where I left off before...

I'm sure many families would've been more than happy to adopt her baby right when he was born; but because of some complicated court issues, he wasn't able to be adopted right away. In the mean time, after my parents had time to grieve and process, they looked into adoption. We stopped by the adoption agency to check in at about the same time that a judge said the little boy could be adopted. The agency saw us and knew we were the family for him.

We didn't disagree. Less than a year after looking into adoption and 14 months after losing a baby, we brought home an adorable 14 month old boy. His location had to be kept secret for a while, so it felt sort of like an undercover operation. We had to give him a new name, which was the third name he'd be given in his entire life. We named him Luke, and to say he was well loved and attended to would be an understatement.

He was more adorable than words can describe. (Still is actually)

Thanks Mom and Dad for finding and scanning pictures!
Do we wish that Jay would've been a healthy baby and lived? Of course! Did Luke's birthmom enjoy going through 48 hours of labor, (which means she was probably in labor almost the same time my mom was!) then having a major c-section, giving up her baby for adoption and then wondering for over a year if he would find a good home? I don't think so! Did God have a plan?! YES!

This example of how God works things for good has been on the forefront of my mind because Luke just got married. When he seated his birthmom during the wedding, I made the mistake of looking at my sister and the tears rolled. Not only was that little boy all of a sudden grown up and getting married, but he was with the woman who chose adoption, which allowed us to have him as our brother. We're so proud to have Luke as our brother, and so deeply thankful for his birthmom.

The details that show how God was at work in both of our stories are countless. I feel completely inadequate to tell them all because I was almost eight at the time it all started, and I only know of most of the amazing ways God worked because of what I've heard people say. I think Luke, his birthmom and my parents all just need to write a book together. (I think they could follow the format of The Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, but I'd let them settle for writing posts for my blog if they're not up for a book at the moment.)

When talking with Luke's birthmom about her story, she mentioned how she sees the fingerprints of God through it all. Our stories are definitely proof God is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).  I'd be beyond hopeless if I couldn't count on God to work all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). I'm also thankful to have lived through Him doing just that for my family. It makes remembering His wonders a lot easier when evidence of them is right in front of you.

Psalm 105:1-5
 Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.

Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face continually.
Remember His wonders which He has done...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Remember The Wonders He Has Done

Seems like I've heard a lot of bad news lately - tornadoes, floods, fire, death.

It's one of those times where I have to look back and remember what great things I've seen God do. Thankfully I've had one of those instances of how God works things for good right in front of me recently.

In 1988, my mom gave birth to a little boy, Jay, prematurely by c-section. Right after he was born, my parents were shocked to find out he wouldn't live long. Jay had a problem with his chromosomes, specifically trisomy 18, but he lived a full two weeks.

My mom had been on bed rest and her tummy was larger than it should have been (We later learned this was because Jay couldn't swallow, which I always thought was a very interesting cause/effect.), but we didn't know the baby was going to have major problems. We were very proud that he could pee and that he had a great grip. We were thankful for every day we had with him, but needless to say it was a very tough time for our family.

Also in 1988, a high school girl got pregnant. Considering she was a pastor's daughter with college in sight, I'm pretty sure that wasn't what she had planned. In order to have her baby born in a state that was more favorable towards adoption of children who are partially Native American, she actually moved away from her family to an entirely different state to finish high school and have her baby. I think it's safe to say it was a rather tough time of life for her as well. She gave birth to her baby exactly two days after Jay.

I'm not making it up when I tell you those two tough stories collide and make an amazingly happy one. I'd tell you the rest of the story, but I can't let myself without a picture. So we're all just going to have to sit tight and I'll finish the story later.

I promise it's too good to not finish.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Do I trust God?

I like to think that I had the perfect job for me this year.

(I should probably put something about how being a mom is actually the perfect job, but I kind of sit in the boat that says - I do a little bit better at staying home with my kids when I go work somewhere else for a couple days. - Gasp in horror and call me a rebel if you need. Maybe you won't think I'm so evil if I tell you that I worked three days a week this year and would much prefer to only work two.)

I love working in a high school, I love the students, I love the things they're learning, I love the environment, and I love the role of the SLP in a high school. I rarely ever had that sinking feeling of dread about the day when walking into work. I'm sure it helped that one day a week I got to work with Kyla. 
Say hello to my newest blog follower!

To say I was a little torqued when I found out I don't get to go back to my perfect job for me would be an understatement. Usually when educators get to the last few months of the school year, they start counting down the days until summer with extreme eagerness. When I saw how many days were left it just made me want to cry. Yesterday was my last day and I started getting all teary eyed in the parking lot before I even got out of my car. (Thankfully I got a grip for the rest of the day and didn't lose it until Elliana said good bye to a little friend at daycare.) I am so sad that I won't get to stay with my students and see them graduate, and since I really love this job I'm almost dreading working with elementary students next year. If you're reading this and you're my employer, don't worry, I'll eventually get over it.

I've been a bit mad at God over it all. Why shouldn't I get to stay at a job that I think is perfect for me? In the book I last finished, The Same Kind Of Different As Me, which is essentially a very interesting and moving autobiography of two people, one of those two people writes this:

There's somethin I learned when I was homeless: Our limitation is God's opportunity. When you get all the way to the end of your rope and there ain't nothin you can do, that's when God takes over. I remember one time I was hunkered down in the hobo jungle with some folks. We was talkin 'bout life, and this fella was talkin, said, "People think they're in control, but they ain't. The truth is that which must befall thee must befall thee. And that which must pass thee by must past thee by." (169)

Does it make sense to say my life is not my own? Do I really think that I want to be in control of my own life? My mom and I were talking about something that worries us, and she said she just has to ask herself, "Do I trust God?"   So I think it completely stinks that I have to leave the job that I think is perfect for me, but I've had to ask myself, "Do I trust God?" Really, trusting Him on the issue is really my best option because being angry about it just makes this ugly pit of discouragement fill me up.

I'm not in control of the plan for my life, but I'm trusting God to have a plan for me that far surpasses what I would get out of staying at my perfect job (and crying every now and then because I'm sad it's not the plan  I wanted).