Middle to bottom of the totem pole.

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My boss and I were having a conversation yesterday about being the boss. I guess I have never been the boss, other than motherhood, so I was very enlightened as she gave some great insight.

She’s pretty open about her feelings, and that is rare in an employer, I think. But I need to appreciate that fact, because she’s a good teacher. Sometimes I think she shares too much, but I admire her for being vulnerable – besides, she’s a good teacher. And I am her student.

My husband is a boss, and I can observe some of what my boss was talking about, but I had never realized it before. It’s all about perspective and what you choose to notice, I guess.

  1. Bosses are expected to be gracious – it’s part of their job.
  2. Bosses have feelings and those feelings include loneliness, being left out, not wanting to make the tough decisions, controlled anger that cannot be expressed…
  3. Bosses like to be included in the office banter and fun.
  4. Bosses need pats on the back, too – they are human.
  5. Bosses, most of them anyway, don’t enjoy giving bad news or cracking down on slackers.
  6. Bosses are rarely shown gratitude – it’s part of their job.

I am quick to look for my paycheck but rarely if ever think about the struggle it has to be sometimes for that paycheck to be written.

I am quick to complain about being overworked, but I can turn off my computer and call it a day.

I am quick to point out the annoyances and faults of my bosses and take for granted all their great qualities that attracted me to this career. It’s easier to notice the negative. And sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge the positive.

I am quick to thank fellow employees for something or comment positively on a presentation that took time to prepare, but I RARELY think to comment to my bosses when they conduct a meeting that had to have taken preparation.

Doing more than expected

I watched my husband spend hours sitting at a table this past weekend, handwriting cards to every employee in the new company that is being formed. No one else saw this. I am sure very few, if any, thanked him for the personal touch.

I have watched him sacrifice his time off to go help others or get the new offices ready.

I have noticed the lines of stress that show on his face as he spends his off time constantly thinking about the company, his employees, how he can improve, and decisions to be made.

I have been his ear as he tells me about his day and talks about his employees with adoration for going above and beyond or sharing about their children’s accomplishments.

I have heard him tell many of his employees “thank you” for a job well done, or “You did a great job,” concerning a project, and I have also heard him respond, “No one did,” when I’ve asked him if any of his people commented on something he did for them.

I have experienced his kind and gentle admonition when I did something incorrectly, I have relished his accolades when I achieved a workplace milestone, I have appreciated his signature and thoughtful “Dear’s” and his shoulder squeeze when his “old school self” just wanted to reach out and show that he cared.

Because at one time, he was my boss.

Even at 53, I am still learning a lot from being an employee.

Even at 53, I am still finding more ways to be grateful.

Even at 53, I realize I need to be more observant.

Even at 53, I am kinda glad I am not at the top of the totem pole. I just need to do better at being towards the bottom.

I am grateful for these little lessons that come out in every day life, when I talk to my boss, when I watch my husband in his professional role, when I sit at a computer all day and let the little things bother me, when I am quick to expect and not-so-quick to show gratitude.

I am grateful once again, for the reminder to say, “Thank you.”

And I am grateful for my boss,  who is vulnerable and real, and teaches me very valuable life lessons.

“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get. – Matthew 7:12 The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

He shall preserve my soul, even forevermore.

 

This morning on our walk, I was grateful that I brought a jacket.

I was grateful for the beauty of the moon.

I was grateful for the quiet street.

I was grateful for mowed grass to walk through.

I was grateful for the cardinal singing, and I imagined he was singing Psalm 121, so this favorite song of mine (above) played on my internal jukebox and will all day long.

I was grateful that all of the things swimming in my head yesterday dissipated in the stillness of the morning.

I was grateful for my walking partner and the fact that I would have rather stayed under the covers but he asked, “You wanna walk?”

I was grateful for the prompting of the Holy Spirit with each step I took, to pray for Lisa and Nancy, for Chris and Kreyson, for Karissa’s health and her bible study, for Delores and decisions, for my granddaughters getting ready to go back to school, for Melissa and the boys, for an end to our search for the depression expert, for my Dad, for a break for my brother, for Valerie, for my sister-in-law’s upcoming surgery, for Alan, for Hong’s boys, for protection for my Texas grandchildren, for Sam, for Geri’s new life at home, for Curby and Jeffry’s hearts, and for Uncle Charlie and cousin Charlie.

I was grateful for the bittersweet memories that came to mind of teaching some of the best kids in the world, missing my choirs.

I was grateful for the privilege of seeing children riding their bikes to school for something happening in the early morning.

I was grateful to watch a beautiful white and gray cat being curious on our patio.

I was grateful that Natia can still run happy all over the front yard.

I was grateful for the beauty of blooming ornamental grass.

I was grateful for the gift of a cool August morning instead of sticky humidity.

I was grateful that God knows my anxious heart and already has everything mapped out.

I was grateful that ALL of my help comes from the Lord, through creation, through the lives of my circle, through His word.

I was grateful.

I still am.

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Wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah.

LIFE

I’m hungry, I miss sweets, I need to iron, I need to work faster, Natia looks so cute while she sleeps, oh I need to write that card, don’t forget to take that stack to the mailbox, someone just knocked on the door, I ate too much celery, stay FOCUSED!, I hope Sam got some pats on the back today, I should have taken typing in high school, I have GOT to get our bathroom organized, I need to go read James 2 again, church was good and people were so friendly, I miss COR church, football and volleyball season YES, I need to go downstairs and take a break and play a little, rats, no piano, why is this computer so slow, don’t forget to have that account changed, I wonder if the girls are excited for school next week, I miss the smell of Haven Grade, why does that make me ALWAYS think of monster cinnamon rolls and chili, we should have chili tonight, I wish my grandchildren were going to school, we need a tenant, ugh the duplex is not ready to go, gotta make those reservations, I really don’t wanna do this eating plan, I miss a potato, but I also missed Dr. Pepper and survived now 5 1/2 years without, John McCain was a good man, it’s pretty incredible that he has both sides of the aisle speaking at his funeral, I wonder if I will even have a funeral, I wish it would stay 68 degrees from now on, Bob Goff hurry up and write another book I can’t get enough of your simple wisdom, Sam is so kind to people, what if I can’t find this whizbang immunologist?!, I wish I could get on Facebook, I feel so unproductive, I need to connect with the CASA guy and get going again, what should I fix for dinner poor Sam, I wanna listen to that sweet little girl squeal about getting a new heart over and over and over again, I wonder if everyone received my cards, what was I doing in 1988 when Wild Thing was on the radio, I need to be nicer to people who give me anxiety, please heal Nancy’s body Jesus, I think I will weed/feed the yard myself, Natia is fat too and it’s my fault too, should we get a kitten?

I am grateful that Sam likes to walk with me, and I am grateful that he lets me unload all of that so that I can start all over again tomorrow.

wah wah wah

A hug in words.

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When I was 15, I was involved in a pretty decent motorcycle crash.  While I was in the hospital, I memorized Psalm 46, or at least most of it. And I repeated the first verse over and over and over during the months and years of healing that followed.

The Lord is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. The Lord is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. The Lord is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Over the many years since, I have repeated that scripture over and over and over, when I couldn’t form any original thoughts, words, or prayer, when desperation set in and I felt like life was spiraling or life was in a vacuum.

Today, I am grateful for that brown leather bible that I held onto in that hospital bed, I am grateful for the random/not-random-at-all thumbing through to find something, anything that might give me peace, and I am grateful for God’s divine direction that led me to Psalm 46:1.

I am grateful that even now, in moments of anxiety, He gives so much scripture of reassurance.

Quite simply…a hug in words.

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It’s the little things in life.

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Nothing like a hard day, and then coming home to find a fun surprise in the mail.

Nothing like a hard day, and then to be acknowledged as a “fixer” of all things.

Nothing like a hard day, and then be recognized as “Grandpa.”

Nothing like a hard day that brings tears, and then ending a hard day with the good kind of tears.

I am grateful for a black t-shirt.

I am grateful for the sweet heart of my daughter.

And I am grateful for hard days that remind us to be grateful for the little things in life.

The most satisfying sound

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I am grateful for the sound of rain hitting puddles just outside my window.

I am grateful for the sound of a purr from a contented cat.

I am grateful for the sound of a happy thumping tail on a couch when I walk into a room.

I am grateful for the sound of a soda can opening when sweat is dripping down my back.

I am grateful for the sound of an acapella choir at church.

I am grateful for the sound of sleet on a dreary day.

I am grateful for the sound of a breeze in an aspen grove.

I am grateful for the sound of gravel crunch.

I am grateful for the sound of metal door mats.

Metal doormat

I am grateful for the sound of Bible pages turning in church, and by my bed, and at the table.

And I am grateful for the sound of Sam when he comes home. Like right now.

Hellllo, Darlin’

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I am grateful for my road trip partner, my Senior Project Manager, my role model of forgiveness, my walking motivation, my forever home creator, the one who makes me laugh always, the one who cries with me during America’s Got Talent and when we are both touched by hymns that reach our souls, the man who holds my hand during every prayer and does not let me turtle when I am down but insists I deal right then and there, the guy who loves 10 grandchildren as if they were his own.

I am grateful for Sam, the one who found me in my brokenness and stretched out his hand so I could grab on.

Happy birthday, Sam I Am – this year holds so much potential and adventure, and I am thrilled to be by your side, watching God bless your world.