Tag Archives: work

A fifteen hour work day. Again.

At 10:00pm tonight I had finally finished with unpacking the groceries, putting away the clean dishes, loading the dirty ones in the dishwasher, finishing the laundry, and giving a quick wipe of the kitchen sink and counters.

That’s a fifteen hour work day right there. And that’s not including checking or responding to emails or anything ‘admin’ related. (Or personal stuff – like writing here on my wee blog!)

I’m not saying that to complain (though sometimes I desperately want to complain about it).

I’m saying it because I used to think it really sucked when I had to work late – until 6:00 or 7:00pm.

And now here I am at 10:00pm and I’m just now sitting down alone for the first time today. (When your job is like mine you work through your “lunch break” on a daily basis.)

The thought of sitting down in the evenings and zoning out in front of the telly is very appealing, but even that seems hard to come by these days.

I’m not sure why it’s taken me almost 2.5 years, but I think I’m just now figuring out how different my life really is since having kids.

I’m just now figuring out that I actually can’t compare it to “life before” when it comes to work hours and down time or else I just get depressed!

I wouldn’t trade my job if I could. Really.

But it is hard, and tiring, and consuming.

I have days (like yesterday) when I’m ready to call up a day care centre and see how much it costs to send the kids there. Seriously.

While at the same time I know what an absolute privilege it is that I’m able to stay home with my kids. (Something not every mom who desires to is able to do.)

I’m blessed. Tired, and blessed.

(And for the record, I know that everyone has days they want to quit their job. Being a SAHM isn’t any different – I realize that.)

Anyway.

Tomorrow morning I will get up and start all over again.

Rejoice!

STOP.

 

Q for you: Are you a SAHM? If so, are you deliberate about “clocking off” at a certain hour? Or do you find yourself pulling lots of late nights like me? How do you build in margin??

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


When I just want to workworkwork

Some days, when all I really want to do is work. work. work., what I actually need most is to play.

There’s a very real part of me that feels the need to accomplish.

I’ve wondered if this is a negative thing – a drive to perform or a search for worth.

But I’ve decided it’s not. I feel free of those traps.

I’m an achiever, an activator, a make-it-happen sort of person. And I’m realizing that, by personality, this need to accomplish will never go away. It’s part of who I am.

And it’s not a bad part. It’s good.

I just need to know when to say when and realize that during this season, even though my wiring hasn’t changed, I have to change my expectations of what that looks like.

Because my reality is very much taken over by little boys who need a present mama.

(And that’s a good thing. I love them, so. And I want to be with.)

So on days like today when I want to workworkwork, I find it best to get in the car and gogogo. Get out of the house (and away from the pull of THE LIST) and go play.

As much as I love making things happen and accomplishing, I’m pretty sure I won’t be sending my kids off to school in a few years time thinking I wish I had accomplished more while they were home with me.

I also don’t want to be thinking I wish I had played and enjoyed them more.

It’s a learning process. Old habits die hard, but new ones can–and will–be formed.

And they are. Being formed.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What are you working to prioritize at the moment?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Love him with my whole heart, I do. (Dad)

Since watching it sail off into the sunset just a few hours ago, it seemed obvious that I would write about our ship tonight.

About the amazing people that are on their way to Papua New Guinea to give their very lives to others. About the ones that waved them off from the shore who have spent long hours preparing, assembling, building, welding, painting, cleaning, praying. About the many people that have rallied, given themselves, invested their time, emptied their wallets.

I was going to write about the people waiting on the other side of the journey. The ones who have hope rising because of the heart and help that the ship brings and represents.

And these are worthy things to write about. (I will.)

But then I realized that today is my dad’s birthday.

And maybe no one else in the blogosphere cares about reading a wee post from a girl about her dad… but I care about writing, about giving him space.

I have so many memories of my dad growing up. I kid you not, they are all happy.

He was just that good of a dad.

But you know what I always remember when I think back to him during our “little” years?

Bike rides.

And tennis.

And softball in the park and soccer in the yard.

Whatever was my current whim, there he was right alongside me, helping me to learn, helping me get better,

but mostly… just having fun with me.

What a great dad. Dependable, available, approachable, relatable.

Always giving, always fun, always involved (in the best possible way).

Sixty years of being the best dad (and now granddad) I could ever imagine having.

Love him with my whole heart, I do.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How do you remember your growing-up years with your dad?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Searching for margin, longing for rest, needing connection.

Someone gave us money to “do something fun”.

Someone else gave us their apartment on the beach so that we could “get away and relax”.

Someone else gave us a day off after he asked my husband if he had dirt on his face when really it was just bags under his eyes.

So this weekend we’re having a quick getaway to a beach apartment that’s 10 minutes from our house.

Amazing how stressful it can be to prepare to relax. How’s that for irony?

The details are boring but today was a stream of plans-gone-wrong after plans-gone-wrong.

Lists are made but only half completed.

Kids are revved up on I-don’t-know-what’s-happening-but-it’s-different-therefore-exciting energy.

(In other words, tehy’re driving me crazy.)

And after a long day at work the family comes together and we decide it’s worth the stress and the busy and the crazy.

Because soon we’ll be 10 minutes away feeling as if we’re miles away.

We need each other. We need to connect. We need to collapse into baths (we don’t have one) and read books and listen to music and curl up in a great big bed, all piled on top of each other.

Rest is good. Margins are good.

We’re trying to find both.

Thank God there are a few people around us helping.

STOP.

 

Q for you: I think “margin” and “rest” are problems in our society today. Are you finding margins and rest in your life? How?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


The launch. It’s coming.

I’ve been working for hours and hours and days now… getting ready to launch Bloggers for Birth Kits on my other blog.

That day is tomorrow.

And I can’t wait.

Funny how easy it is for a passion to spring up out of nowhere… Something like this that I’d never have dreamed of and yet it makes so much sense.

So many of my interests and passions combined: women’s issues, the developing world, birth, motherhood, service, YWAM, blogging, mobilizing, rallying people together, educating.

It’s a good fit really.

I almost didn’t do it this year because I feared getting too many donations.

Last year I wanted 300… and I got over 2000.

Um… hello.

This year, I don’t know…

I just want what God has.

I almost backed away, but a friend (who I barely know) challenged me. “Isn’t having too many a good problem?” she asked me in earnest. “Surely if that happens, God has a way of helping you handle it, right?”

BAM. Truth.

I suppose I’ve just been busy. And a little tired.

And the thought of lots and lots of emails and lots and lots of responding on social networks like blogs and twitter and facebook… is a bit tiring. (Especially when they’re primarily crammed in after 8:00pm at night when I’m already pretty wasted.)

And yet at the same time I feel completely energized by it all.

Doing something that has no (or little) personal benefit feels good, you know?

it feels right.

So here we go. In eight hours time Bloggers for Birth Kits Mothers Day Drive 2012 will launch.

Wish me luck! And come check it out here.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you ever given yourself to something and accidentally discovered a passion because of it?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Writing behind the scenes

There are so many reasons I write.

I love the creative aspect of writing. I love the way my brain works when I’m on the keyboard.

I love words. And rhythm. And piecing ideas together.

I love trying to make something–art or instruction–that is beautiful or enjoyable or sometiemes just plain useful to someone.

What many people don’t know is that I probably write offline far more than I write online. And between my six–yes six–blogs, I write a lot. (Only three of those blogs are public, mind you.)

BUt actually, much of my writing happens in emails. Just good old fashioned one-on-one, person-to-person emails. (“Old fashioned” – heh heh.)

Almost daily I get an email from someone who is asking for advice or prayer or encouragement, or who simply wants to share (and be affirmed in) an experience. Many of them are old students of mine. Some are friends, or friends of friends. Some I’ve met through blogging. And some seem to appear out of nowhere.

it’s an incredible opportunity to use what I love (writing) to be a blessing.

I don’t get paid for it. I don’t get famous from it. I don’t have anything to show for it.

But I love it.

Why? Because it’s tangible. I know I can help people… and I want to.

Yes, I can share my (at times limited) life and experiences… but more importantly I can point them to God, the One who gives life.

it’s a very private ministry, and extremely hard to quantify, but it’s a very valid one too.

The only problem comes when people ask me “what do I do?” (as in my work). I sometimes stumble over this question and usually just say I’m a stay-at-home-mom (plenty of work right there, folks!) and a part-time teacher. (Which is true.)

“Oh, and I write” I sometimes throw in there.

But mostly? Mostly I’m just me. Without a title. Trying my best to use what God’s given me to help out the next girl.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Is your “work” easily quantifiable?

 

Love,
A

p.s. I’m not always able to do it straight away, but I always try to make time to respond to emails and private messages.

p.s.s. I just realized that I was talking about emails as if they’re not online. Haha, oops. I suppose I should’ve talked about “public and private” instead of just on/off-line writing. I guess that’s what I get for writing without much forethought and with no editing! 🙂

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Little space, big dream

Later this year my family and I will be flying to Papua New Guinea where we’ll board the YWAM Medical ship, hole up in a small cabin, and spend a few weeks serving in villages where access to health care is limited.

Along with us will be teams of medical professionals – nurses, dentists, optomotrists, and more.

On board the ship we’ll run dental and optometry and basic health care clinics.

I haven’t been on an outreach like this in years now. Years.

To a YWAMer, that’s like slow death.

Ok, I’m being completely dramatic here. Nobody’s dying. (I’m not dying.)

But I am longing.

Longing to do what I joined this mission to do. Longing to be in the nations, helping people, helping people help themselves. Helping people to know God.

(To be fair, I’ve been doing all those things – in Australia. Just not “out there” in the developing world, which I love so dearly.)

Today we visited the Ship to look at hte rooms and decide where the best place for our little family to stay will be.

We chose a small room, where we’ll put a matress on the floor for Levi and Judah will share the bed with us. During the day, the bed folds up into the wall, leaving a small space for benches and a tiny floor area to play. (Most likely we won’t spend much non-sleeping time in there anyway.)

That little space created a lot of excitement in my heart.

Even though we’ve been planning this outreach for a long time now, today’s short visit to the Ship just made it all seem real.

This is happening.

Can’t wait.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Have you taken your family on an outreach before? Would you like to?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


The paper lady, I am not

Please tell me I’m not the only one out there to prepare my taxes three weeks before they’re due? And when I say “prepare” I mean get my paperwork in order, sort receipts, and tally expenses for the year… before sending it all off to my tax lady.

She is so gracious.

Every. Single. Year.

I am one of those receipt stashers – they get shoved into a drawer or a file or a shelf to be sorted “later”, which inevitably ends up being in March sometime just before they’re due.

Paperwork really is my nemisis. Filing, accounting, book-keeping. I loathe it all. LOATHE.

But grown-ups can’t really avoid that sort of thing, right?

A friend of mine suggested an ap called Expense Tracker. You take a photo of your receipt, enter in a few details, and there you go. Done. I will definitely be looking into that soon. (By the weekend – yes, I’ve given myself a deadline far before March 2013.)

We’ll see how we go. And by “we” I mean, I.

I’m not very good at “maintenance” with stuff like this. definitely an area I need to grow in.

For now, I’m just glad to have sorted through those mountains of receipts and be done with it for another year.

Here’s hoping the tax lady doesn’t need any more info.

And here’s hoping I figure out how to go digital this year. There are far too many bits of paper in my life.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you hate paperwork as much as I do?

 

Love,
A

p.s. I let Levi play in all the throw-away receipts after I had sorted through which ones were actually itemizable (is that a word? uh, nope.) and which ones weren’t. Apparently I had saved a lot of receipts for no good reason…

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.
Adriel also writes (using spell check!) on motherhood and parenting at The Mommyhood Memos


Monopoly

Whenever I meet with young people who are seeking direction, I always tell them not to make big decisions while they are feeling emotional.

That principle has been in my mind a lot this week.

Not that I’m in the process of making any big decisions.

But the number of times I have thought “that’s it, I’m outta here” this week is too many to count.

I’m tired and frustrated and angry and, well, mostly tired. And truthfully? HTe sacrifice of living far away from family just feels too big. It feels too hard.

Rainy season here feels too rainy.

I’ve never liked living here. Not speaking of the base or hte people – our ministry center is amazing and my friends are wonderful (and it really is a privilege to be here – yes, I know this). The city itself is pretty average – not amazing, but not awful either. But around this time every year I begin to think what the heck are we doing here? Seriously.

Of all the places in the world we could be, why are we HERE?

I spend my days cleaning mold off of hte walls, trying to wash clothes adn toys and furniture enough so that it doesn’t grow and destroy everything, (and throwing out things that is has destroyed), and then I rotate everything under fans to dry and get things dry.

Leaving the house is a mammoth effort – getting two babies in the car in the pouring down rain – but they also get stir crazy if we don’t.

This last week has been especially challenging – Ryan away, Judah sick and NOT SLEEPING, Levi cooped up inside.

I’ve been tired nd grumpy and emotional and basically just ready to jump ship.

And then my beloved finally gets home but he, too, is sick. Now he’s hte one in bed and watching tv. (which he needs of course, so it’s totally fine.) But it doesn’t stop me fantasizing that I was the sick one so that I could just retreat to the cover of my bed for a few hours.

Oh yeah, and if you’ve ever lived without a “paycheck”, well then, dang, you know how draining that sometimes feels. (Getting a “paying” job suddenly looks incredibly attractive when those hurdles just. don’t. seem. to. budge.)

If someone handed me plane tickets tomorrow to America to move there na d never look back I would seriously consider taking them.

Only problem is that I know I’d later regret it.

As much as I don’t like it at all here I also know that this is where my family is called to be and serve right now. It might not be forever, but it is for now. So for now I just keep choosing to trust God and believe that this is somehow best.

God is good, so his plans are best. I believe that with all my heart.

But it’s days (weeks) like these that I seriously wish God would hand me a “get out of jail free” pass and let me collect $200 along the way.

If only life were as simple as monopoly.

And if only the sun would come out tomorrow.

STOP.

Q for you: When’s the last time you experienced “when it rains, it pours?”

Love,
A


The day off I didn’t have

It’s been a big week:

Babies.

Toddlers.

Growth spurts.

The big D.

Tantrums.

Hot, humid days.

Full plates.

Long lists.

Waking babies and insomniac mommies.

Emails.

Lists.

Meetings.

Responsibilities.

Good-byes.

Hellos.

Short naps. Long naps.

Fasting (out of necessity, not choice).

Did I mention the big D?

I’ve been grumpy for much of the week. Sick, tired, and grumpy… and trying not to be.

Cuz a grumpy mommy is no fun for sweet kiddos or lovely husbands.

Being sick made me lose my mothering mojo. I lost my groove. I misplaced my stellar.

I had moments of wanting to trade them in. (Shhh, don’t tell.(

But today helped turn things around.

Today Ryan watched the boys while I holed up in my office and worked. Worked all. day. long. on stuff that’s been piling up. (He even delivered an enormous sandwich – my own personal take-out – without me putting an order in.)

It was glorious.

I felt like such a grown-up, doing grown-up things and listenting to grown-up music and using my grown-up brain.

Turns out I didn’t need a day off at all.

I just needed a day… that was different from the norm.

It’s true what they say: sometimes the best vacation is change.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When is the last time you had a day of change?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.