Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Thanks for the house

So many times I have stood in the shower, relaxed in our beautiful backyard, or just took a walk around the neighborhood and have uttered "Thank you, God, for this house". When Todd and I were married 10 years ago we bought a little manufactured home to live in. It was a humble beginning but we were so thankful to have a place of our own. We loved our fireplace, large shed, corner lot, extra parking space... and so on. When we got ready to sell it, we were excited at the possibility to purchase a "real" home in a really nice town. The home were bought was actually smaller than the previous, but it was ours and we loved it.

And now things are so different.

What once gave me security, now threatens to take it all away. What once was a pleasure to clean for guests, is now stressful to clean for prospective buyers. We have needed to sell our house for a while, but a lot of "things" held us back. Things we couldn't do much about until we were able to borrow money to cover the expense. Now it has been on the market since August, and few people have come through.

A light of hope emerged on Sunday. A sweet couple with two little kids came to check it out and were so enthusiastic! It felt so good to have someone else see the value and beauty of our little house. Our agent tells us that they are checking with a morgage company.

Now, we just need an offer.

I still feel so thankful that we had this warm, cute house to call "home". I am sad that we have to leave it behind, only because there are so many memories from the past four years. Right now, our plan is to move in with my in laws so we can save a little money and be able to move quickly when Todd is offered a job. It is scary, exciting, and unbelievable at the same time. I can't wait to see what God has in store for us. Maybe, it won't include a house, but I am content to go where ever He leads.

Thanks, God, for giving us this house. We're ready to give it back now.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Bread Bash

This past Sunday I had to attend my first ever Panera Bread Bash. The only thing I knew to expect was that we would all learn the new products coming out and it was mandatory. It was great to arrive and see most of the staff in everyday clothes. In uniforms, everyone looks the same and we never have the opportunity to see each other as individuals. The first person I saw, was Ryan, a young college age guy who works with me. Ryan is not a large guy, actually he's pretty small. He is very sweet and actually reminds me of my brother. As I glanced at him moving around table, I was very surprised to see his ensemble. He was wearing black baggy pants with chains and without a hat, is...well... balding.

When I was there for a few minutes, I was greeted with a huge hug and a very loud "KIM!". When I turned around, I recognized the voice as Roxanne. Roxanne was in our previous youth group and works one evening a week at Panera. We talked for a while and then a while later she turned to me and said,

Roxanne "What are you doing here?"
Me (laughing) "I work here!"
Roxanne "You do?!"
Me "YEAH! For over two months now!"
Roxanne "OH MY GOSH!"

Apparently the other teens who work at Panera (also from our former youth group) failed to inform her of this information. She thought I was just visiting the manager, Brenda!

The meeting began with an entire thankgiving meal. They even had pumpkin pie and small plastic wine glasses to fill with sparkling cider to complete the look. The teens (who made up most of the employees) seemed to really enjoy the cider part. :) After stuffing ourselves, they took time to review policy and honor employees of the month. I received two pins for completing my certification tests (I won't mention it took me three times to pass the register test!). The meeting was almost over when they began to give the "Rising star" awards. Our assistant manager, Maria, began to speak about an employee in Spanish. She said wonderfully kinds words about Ana, who blushed scarlett and smiled from ear to ear. Ana (who speaks only a small amount of English) works in the back of the house, and gets tasks done at rocket speed. After the framed award was given to her, she went over and hugged about five or six people! It was so cute!

The bread bash turned out to be really enjoyable and it made me realize what a relational company Panera is. They really care about their employees and for the first time, I felt great about my job.

Of course, recieving a "rising star' award myself didn't help either!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

I have just entered into an uncomfortable part of parenthood. I just got off the phone with a neighbor whose three boys are best friends with Caleb. They all love to be together and seem to travel in packs around the homes on our street. They have had their ups and downs as far as friendships go. They fight, say means things to each other, but in the end they are always friends. There is one little boy, however, that is not previledged to be a part of the "club". Nick is a few years younger than Caleb, but very sweet and friendly. He only began to be able to visit our house without his mom bringing him over and he is so julibant to join in with the older kids.

That is, however, when they let him.

I have listened to awful, hurtful words come from the pack. One boy in particular has actually dropped all the toys in his hands and walked right out the door when Nick arrived on our doorstep. Caleb has caught on that his friends will leave if Nick is around, so he joined in the terrible chants. I received a phone call from Nick's mom who wanted to make sure I was aware of the problem. How sad I was to have to admit that my son was a part of the pain her son was enduring. We have talked with Caleb over and over, I have talked with his friends and today after dealing with it long enough, I spoke with the mother down the street.

I hate confrontation and so I have learned how to soften my voice and not accuse. I was not even sure if she was aware of the situation so I was nervous to talk with her. She is a Christian, but everyone knows how a Lioness will defend her cubs when they are threatened. I was so relieved when I began to mention the situation and she immediately told me she had just been addressing it with her boys. (loud sigh of relief)
Her solution was to "force" interaction between them. Make them invite Nick over. I'm sure if that is the perfect solution, but I am content that we will all be making the same effort together.

Thank you, God for giving me godly neighbors. Just please help our boys to learn to love the way You do.