A Little Broken, but God is Good

Today was a little rough. It was definitely one of those days I wish I could restart and have a second try at.  In the middle of a terribly busy and demanding day, I heard the faint sound of a few tiny drops of glass beads hitting the floor.  As I looked down, a  multitude of beads crashed to the ground and scattering across the room as my entire necklace broke and fell into hundreds of pieces.  Ugh, really?

God is good, even today, I remind myself.

It is extremely busy in our office. In the primary elections, it was determined that my employer would not be serving another term in office.  Since then, several changes have come about resulting in a number of others leaving as well—one of which I’ve always looked up to and considered somewhat of a mentor figure.  Our office is in a major time of transition.  Everything will settle down in time , but this period of transition is so challenging.

Today I found out that another person I look up will be leaving, and he’s one of the two attorneys I work directly for. Reality is sinking in that I will not escape the waves of change surging through the office.  This individual was offered an excellent opportunity that he couldn’t decline.  In fact, all of the folks who are leaving are going on to fantastic new adventures that will greatly benefit their families.  I’m so, so happy for all of them.  It’s wonderful to see others blessed!!

So, I fought back the bummed out feelings and leaky eyes to congratulate him and celebrate his family’s blessing. I admit, I had to try a little harder today to keep a smile on.  So many great people are leaving, and much like my pretty pink necklace I saw scattered across my office floor, the group of people I’ve been working with for so many years is no more.

The nitty gritty aspect of so much change in such a short period of time has hugely increased my work load. I’m working a minimum of forty-eight to fifty hours a week, and I’m voluntarily absorbing the overtime rather than accruing comp time.  Right now I feel like it’s the right thing to do to honor my employer and supervising attorneys, but I’m exhausted.  My two attorneys are absorbing the work of five attorneys, which means I’m nearly drowning in case work.

I’ve been in the office for over nine years, so I feel like I’m efficient and capable of handling more than my share of work.  This is just SO MUCH.  When I finally asked for help, I feel like it didn’t go over well with everyone despite my supervising attorneys and their supervising attorney all agreeing that others would need to share the work load.  Ugh!  It’s frustrating, and to be completely honest, it hurts my feelings.  There just doesn’t seem like a lot of team spirit in this time of transition, and the combination of work load and change in atmosphere is really bringing me down.

I mean, you know me, I love my job. I love working in this office, I love a good challenge, and I’m more than happy to put in extra hours with a smile, but at some point even I have to scream out “UNCLE!”

So today as I digested the news from one of my supervising attorneys and juggled a number of top priority rush projects, I felt a little overwhelmed.

At the end of the day, I’m blessed to be in such a fantastic position. We are very well taken care of, and we want and need for nothing.  It feels like I’m losing people I admire, but in reality God is merely expanding my professional relationships by providing a new group of individuals I will inevitably learn from and even admire.

A pretty little necklace that I love broke and scattered into hundreds of pieces, but life goes on.  Long sigh…  God is good.

Psalm 118

28 You are my God, and I will praise you;
    you are my God, and I will exalt you.

29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.
Blessings to you,
P31 Working Girl

Adoption Training, Round One

Hello!

Today was a fantastic day. We had our first round of adoption training with Bethany Christian Services. Renee from Rapid City, South Dakota and Kellie from our local office hosted the training. We learned so much!

One of the lessons that got our attention was in regards to bonding with an adopted child. It’s interesting to hear the differences between bonding with an adopted a child in comparison to a biological child. Lessons that parents might use with a biological child, such as letting your baby cry it out, are potentially harmful to an adopted child.  Who would have known?

We also learned that even a child who is adopted immediately upon birth will still struggle with separation and abandonment issues. So our journey of bonding with our baby will have to include a certain level of selfishness.  We learned that we’ll need to spend more time as a couple alone with our newborn the first few weeks rather than sharing that time with visitors like a couple might do with their biological child.  I would have never realized that without this initial training. I certainly have a lot of reading and learning to do.

One of the highlights of our training was an adoptive couple visiting and sharing about their journey during our lunch. They have amazing hearts for their child’s birth mom.   I’m praying for God to prepare my heart to welcome and love our child’s birth mom with the same compassion.  It really was inspiring. One of the quotes that hit me the hardest as they shared about their child’s birth mom was the statement, “she was willing to break her own heart to give her child what she needed.”  It put into perspective the journey birth parents make in the adoption process.

The sobering truth of the situation is that on one of the most joyful days of our lives, someone else will be facing one of their most heartbreaking days.  As we say hello to the love of our lives, a birth mom (and perhaps dad) say goodbye.   Though there are many details left to come together, this reality compels us to pray for God’s heart for our child’s birth mom.  May He be glorified.

Please join us in prayer for what’s to come.

Blessings,

P31 Working Girl

Fundraising to Bring Baby Santee Home

Santee Adoption Announcement 2

Our big Facebook adoption announcement Monday night went better than I could have ever imagined.  Hundreds of family members and friends reached out to share encouragement, love, and prayers.  I don’t know that I’ve ever felt as humbled and excited simultaneously to the degree in which I did while reading through all of the messages left by our loved ones.  We were overwhelmed in the most delightful way.  What a beautiful moment in our adoption journey that we will never forget.  Thank you, everyone, for  your support.  You mean the world to us.

We’ve reached the fundraising stage of our journey, and I can’t say I’m particularly comfortable reaching out.  I’d much prefer to be on the giving side, so the Lord is stretching and growing me in this season.  As we pray about the Lord’s will for us each step of the way, we are confident we’ve been asked to cast a net and see how our mighty God provides.  I constantly teeter between absolute faith in the Lord’s promise of provision and about a thousand insecurities from asking family, friends, and strangers to help us reach our adoption budget goal.

Domestic infant adoption is tremendously expensive.  Our adoption budget goal is $30,000.  THIRTY THOOOOOOUSAND DOLLARS.  Insert deep breath and prayer here.  It’s almost overwhelming, but the Holy Spirit calms my heart and gives me peace when my flesh begins to doubt.  Then, a funny thing happens in me when God reminds me that our child– OUR CHILD– awaits us.  All of the sudden sacrificing pride is no obstacle at all.  Our child may not have been conceived yet, but our love for him or her grows steadily.

Thank you Jesus for the gift of this journey.  May You be glorified every step of the way.

Would you consider partnering with us financially in our adventure to bring Baby Santee home?  If you’d like to make a donation, please visit the link below.  We’re grateful for your investment. 

If you’d go a step further and SHARE, SHARE, SHARE this link on your Facebook page, Twitter account, with your email contacts, business associates, neighbors, church and anyone else you can think of, we’d greatly appreciate it!  We’re sharing in public format, so you’re free to do so as well.  Thank you SO much friends!

http://www.gofundme.com/BabySantee

Blessings to you!

P31 Working Girl

SHINE Fall Bible Study: “So Long, Insecurity” by Beth Moore

The votes have been counted and the results are in…  “So Long, Insecurity” it is!!

I’m so excited about the Bible study the SHINE gals picked out for the Fall.  We’ll be reading “So Long, Insecurity,” by Beth Moore.  It looks like a fantastic study, and I can’t wait to dig in with a great group of friends.

Beth

Beth 2

If you’re interested in reading along, you can find out more about the study at http://solonginsecurity.com.  If you’d like to join in, just send me a quick message.  I’m excited to report back what we think of the study and how God is stretching us in the weeks to come!

Blessings,

P31 Working Girl

Enchilada Casserole Recipe

UPDATE…

My loving husband came home this afternoon and helped me make one more dish on this productive Saturday.  We love having meals prepared in advance that we can freeze.  We either freeze them whole to pull out and bake on a busy week night or divide them into lunch portions and freeze for weekday lunches.

The final dish of the night was Enchilada Casserole.  Mmmmm, so cheesy and good!  We modified the recipe from Food Thoughts from a Chef Wannabe.  You can find their original recipe at http://www.foodthoughtsofachefwannabe.com/2012/06/codys-favorite-enchilada-casserole.html.  Here’s the recipe we created through modification…

Enchilada Casserole

Enchilada

Enchilada Casserole

Prep time:
Cook time:
Ingredients:
  • 3 lbs ground beef (we use ground elk sometimes)
  • 1 large can of red enchilada sauce
  • 4 to 6 cups Mexican blend cheese (we incorporate cheddar and Monterey jack too)
  • 12 full size flour tortillas
  • Garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste
  • Non stick cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Spray the 9×13 pan with non stick cooking spray
  3. Mix dry seasonings with ground beef and brown
  4. Drain any excess oil from the ground beef
  5. Lightly coat bottom of pan with a half a cup of enchilada sauce
  6. Place two tortillas in the bottom of the pan, overlapping in the center
  7. Cut a third tortilla in half and place each half on the outside of the pan with the cut side flush against the pan
  8. Spread 1/3 of the beef over the tortillas
  9. Layer with 1/4 of the enchilada sauce and cheese
  10. Add a second layer of three tortillas like above
  11. Layer with 1/4 of the enchilada sauce and cheese
  12. Add a third layer of three tortillas like above
  13. Layer with 1/4 of the enchilada sauce and cheese
  14. Add the final layer of three tortillas like above
  15. Layer with final 1/4 of the enchilada sauce and cheese– and maybe a little extra cheese
  16. Bake for 25-30 minutes until everything is melted together nicely.

We will serve this deliciousness with steamed rice, and I love to add some crunchy shredded lettuce on top.

Well, that’s all the cooking and homemaking for today.  Now on to a nice relaxing evening with my husband.  I wonder which recipe he’ll chose for us to have tonight!  They all sound so good to me, so I’m leaving it up to him.

Good day friends!  Have a great weekend!

Blessings,

P31 Working Girl

How to Clean a Glass Cooktop

Me again!

I hope you’re having a great day.  I feel terrific getting things done around the house.  Now that I’ve prepared a couple dishes for this week, it’s time to wash bedding and consult my “Cinderella Homemaker” board on Pinterest to try a new glass cooktop cleaning technique from Behind the Studio.  You can access their blog and written directions at:  http://behindthestudio.com/2011/06/15/how-to-clean-your-glass-cooktop/#.T3uR8fAgoWl.  Behind the Studio provides a great tutorial, and I’m eager to get started.  Let’s all pause and give this a try!

IMG_8566  IMG_8578 glass4 IMG_8582 IMG_8584 glass7 glass8 glass9

I don’t know about you, but I was very impressed with the results of this nifty Pinterest find.  The gentle scrub of the baking soda took care of a couple pesky water marks that we had from over boiling pasta this week.  This tutorial is definitely a keeper.  How did your experience turn out?  Did it work for you too?

Well, I batter stop gabbing and get back to work.  It’s only three hours before Jeremy returns home, and I still have a few things I want to accomplish while it’s just me and Honey at home.  Jeremy and I have a nice relaxing afternoon planned, and then a fun Sunday ahead of us.  Friends from West Africa will be visiting our church on Sunday!  Afterwards, our good friends Jim and Edna invited us over to enjoy fellowship and lunch with a group we traveled to Africa with back in 2009.  It is sure to be a fantastic time of catching up.

Have a fabulous weekend my fellow domestic divas!

P31 Working Girl