Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Family, Family, Family!

Did you ever notice that Easter seems to be a very family oriented occasion? Aside from the most important meaning - that of our Savior's mission and all that it means to us - it seems to be centered on family togetherness as well.
I have never been big on the Easter Bunny or any of that kind of thing but I do understand the feeling of celebrating Spring. There is rebirth in the land and it seems to symbolize the "rebirth" of Christ when he was resurrected. I can understand that kind of celebration.
When my children were little we used to hide eggs filled with money and treats and let them search for them. That was always done on Saturday so that we could reserve Sunday for the true meaning of Easter. This of course is just how I felt about it personally and that doesn't mean anyone else is wrong. There are many great ways to celebrate the holiday. This was just ours.
And now I am feeling a certain kind of rejuvenation coming on that seems to fit with the whole Easter and Spring season. It seems I am moving on in life but at the same time entering a new world where I am just a spring chick. Although I hate to admit it, I am entering into the world of middle age!
Just as an eighth grader goes from the oldest at school to an itty bitty freshman, this phase of my life is part of the growth that I am wishing would slow down and yet a new beginning into another season of my life. (Since the alternative would be not-living, I'll take the age!)
I know it won't be too much longer until I really enter that next phase - grandparenthood. This is sort of like the summer vacation before I enter high school. My oldest daughter will probably be looking at marriage soon. My oldest son is returning from his mission in less than a month. And my younger daughter has already entered her twenties, making her eligible any time in the next few years to be married. (And next year my two youngest sons will be in high school!) So I am trying to prepare myself for the G word - grandma.
I know this may sound like I am pushing it but I really do need some time to get used to the fact that I will have two generations beneath me in the not-so-distant future. I'm not ready to be old! My hair says otherwise (more than a few gray hairs have surfaced!) and some days my body says so, too, but my mind is still stuck in the twenties. Could it really be possible that I have three children in their twenties?
The other part of getting to this point in my life is a certain freedom that comes with having your family grow up. On one hand this freedom is a little scary - I am terrified of being alone - but I have found ways to use some of my free time to my advantage. I have finally written a book, I have time to work on crafts that I couldn't when I had little ones around, and I have more time to spend with my husband since I don't have to constantly watch babies. So there is a "positive" side.
I decided awhile back that I wanted to live to be 100. If I reach that goal, great, but if not, at least I will get as close as I can before I die. And if our "real" age could be calculated by the average of our physical age, our mental age and our "wanna-be" age, I would remain somewhere in the neighborhood of 27. Thus, I will eternally be 27. Even when I'm a grandma.
Yes, I am determined to be a fun grandma who goes hiking and plays baseball with the kids. I think I'm on the right track so far but I do need to get in better shape. (Round is not the shape I want to be!)
Maybe if we all get together and gang up on Father Time, we can just stay young. Anyone with me? Of course, I'm looking forward to the next generation so we'll have to be gentle. I just don't want to look old. Hmmm, maybe it's Mother Nature we need to have a little talk with ...

Friday, April 3, 2009

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Tougher!

So we are sitting at the brink of yet another trial; another unemployment trial, that is! My husband's job just got deleted so he is looking for something new. Again. I guess more than a new job is on the calendar for awhile.
While I wouldn't recommend this for anyone, I've learned that trials come to us throughout our lives and that more often than not they turn out to be the mere 'changing of the guard,' so to speak. So many times when something happens, it means that the Lord has found something better for us. We just need to have the faith to hold out until it comes along.
My husband has been through this many times. In the past few years he has had to change jobs and careers quite a few times. On our credit score it doesn't look good: creditors want to see someone stay within the same career path to show stability, I guess. But doesn't it also show good work ethics if someone is willing to do whatever it takes to support his family, even if that means changing what he does for a living?
Lee graduated from college in 1986 with a Bachelor's in Accounting. He worked in that field for about 14 years until the economy forced the company he worked for to lay him off. Not able to find another accounting job, he found a job with a yellow page company and began a career in sales. When we decided to move back 'home' to Utah to take care of his parents, he found a job in insurance. When this didn't pay enough to support his family, he looked for other jobs. (The area we were in is in a terrible crisis for jobs.) He ended up working at a plastic manufacturing company and then eventually for a natural gas jobber in Wyoming. With the economy even lower now, he finds himself unemployed again.
So how many times must a man be tried? This question pops into my head sometimes when I wonder why we have to endure this trial once again. But Lee's patience and faith are high, his attitude positive and his willingness to be the breadwinner is amazing. We are all feeling like we will be blessed, mostly because his outlook is positive. Hurray for great husbands and fathers!
I know many of our friends and family are praying for us and offering their help in whatever way they can. That is the best feeling, to know we are not alone. We will certainly be blessed for that! And in a short time we will find out what the Lord has in store for us. For now, we'll just keep the faith!