Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dentists are nice too.....

I had to go to the dentist yesterday for a cleaning. Not that I really wanted to, but it had been two years since I had forced myself to go. Even with insurance paying for the full cleaning, I just didn't want to go.

I don't remember too many times of going to the dentist when I was growing up. I would guess it is because insurance 'back in my day' for dental work did not exist - and with 6 children, who could afford for everyone to go. However, I do remember going with several of my siblings one time. That one time was very traumatic for me, apparently. I don't know why, but the dentist chose to remove a tooth rather than put a filling in it. I somewhat remember I was not 'numb' when he pulled the tooth.

It took years before I would attempt another dentist. In fact, I think it was probably at least 10-15 years later before I would ever go again. I remember sharing my fear with that dentist - and they would give me a valium and have me wait for about 1/2 hour for it to take effect before they would work on me. AND, also give me the 'gas' - even for cleanings! I would sit in the chair so tense that I couldn't move. I was terrified.

Over the years I have gotten better, somewhat. We had a really nice female dentist for years - but then she wanted to adopt children and be a stay at home mom. Her replacement - don't know what exactly it was about him, but after one visit, I did not return.

When we moved to this house we were delighted to find one not far from us. We have been going to him for several years now. In the past I shared my fears - or whatever they are - with him. He has always been so kind. But I still don't like going to see him.

As I shared above, I did have a cleaning done yesterday and was told I had two very small cavities and I needed a crown ($$). The receptionist told me that I had excellent insurance - they would pay 60% so my cost was 'only $386' after the $50 deductible for the crown. Nice. AND they had an 8AM time slot open for this morning - did I want it? I just stared at her. She then tells me that they will work with me on the payment - even to stretching it two-three months. How could I saw no? My tooth broke two years ago - I have been fortunate I have not had major toothaches. I finally agreed to get it done this morning.

What I thought would be a two hour ordeal ended up being a total of four hours. I was exhausted and all I did was sit in the chair! It seems my dentist was training a student as well - so the student would do some of the work, the dentist other parts. They decided to go straight to a permanent crown, rather than put in a temporary crown and have me come back another time to get the permanent crown. (smart move). By the time the crown was glued in place, the numbness had worn off and I was physically exhausted. I can't tell you how many times I would tense up and want to jump out of the chair. They put this one big plastic thing in my mouth - without warning me - to keep my mouth open. Now, contrary to popular belief, I do have a small mouth. It was very uncomfortable and even though they were working on my mouth, I was fighting to stay put. I kept reciting Psalm 23 to calm my mind down. I couldn't wait for that thing to come out of my mouth.

It will be interesting if I have five dots on my left leg later on - I was so tense that I had grabbed my leg to keep myself from jumping out of the chair, trying to distract myself.

And, at the end, both the student and the dentist apologized for taking so long and thanked me for my patience while they both worked on me. And being the gracious person I am, I said 'no problem'.

I wonder how many people blame Jesus for a bad experience and therefore start avoiding him as much as possible. They push Jesus out of their lives because He failed them, according to their opinion.

But as they have matured, have they come to realize how much Jesus does love them? That what happened, did happen, for a bigger reason than even now they can realize? We can't see the big picture. I still can't understand why God took my dad from us when I was six, and allowed a stepfather who wasn't nice. But in looking at all that went on in my life at that time, I wouldn't have left home to marry a man who would father my three children. Although it mutually did not work out, which was not God's plan for marriage, I married another man who would move me away to another state. And in doing so, I found Jesus. I have a relationship with Him that I didn't ever have before.

I still can't see the big picture of all the whys and what fors, but I without a doubt, know that God is in control of my life and He will never take me where He can not lead me.

Dentists can be caring and nice - and once I can get over my trauma - I will probably attend to my timely appointments.

Just like Jesus - He likes appointments with us too. And HE will help me through any trauma or discomfort. He's my God. He's my Lord. He's Jesus.

He's yours too. Talk to Him today about the big picture. He's watching over you.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Back in the groove...somewhat....

Here it is Wednesday and one would think I would be 'fired up' and full of energy and ready to go. Guess what. I'm not! I went to bed at 9PM last night, but since I was awake early - very early - yesterday morning, I guess I didn't get enough sleep back in. In fact, I fell asleep for a little while in my quiet time this morning (gasp!!). I'm not sure what woke me up before 2AM the morning before, but after tossing for about 40 minutes I gave up and got up. I'm sure part of it was I needed to be at work by 6AM so that I could finish setting up for the baby shower/graduation party- of which both went well. Both were surprised and neither suspected part of it was for them. It was so cool.

I love doing that - surprising people and making them feel valued. I need to spend more time sending notes, for that also does it. I brought some cards in to the office but haven't done anything with them yet.

When I got on my computer and sent out my report, I see I have a few emails that instructed me to complete things - I really have to process some of this stuff from corporate - I'm not always sure what they are asking for. I'm just a plain simple girl and can do it, but tell me in English what you would like to have done. It will be perfection.

Today is Wednesday and although I have no meetings, I do have plenty to accomplish. Tomorrow I have one big meeting (but not THE big meeting), and Friday I have two meetings. I need to begin working on agendas and packets for each of those meetings - but one at a time. It's all good. I've already printed out a bunch of items on the agenda to distribute in the meetings.

This morning as I prepared for work, I thought about how good God is. I began to tell Him and thank Him for the ways He has been good to me - and I know without a doubt I have barely touched on it all. I woke up this morning, so I thanked Him for that. I am healthy and well. I have food to eat. I have a bed to sleep in. I have a roof over my head. I have beautiful children and grandchildren. I have numerous friends. I have a job. I work with my best friend. I can live and breathe. God is good.

I read in my devotions this morning about having faith; believing that what you ask for, God will provide. Faith used to be my #1 spiritual gift. And it still may be, buried somewhere within me. Over the past 5 years things have happened that have hurt me deeply. I've buried a lot of my gifts just to protect myself. Now I'm fighting to bring them back out. I want to become 'me' again. I've 'signed up' to facilitate a class at church again this fall. Now I keep praying for what God wants me to share. Will anyone come? I don't know. Two years ago for one class I had 1 person. For another class I had 3 people attend. I quit teaching when I had to process things that had happened to me and deal with them. My very life had been sucked out of me and I was fighting to live. It was a long process, but I think I am finally starting to breathe again. No one knows all that I've gone through, what I've dealt with, the pain and worthlessness I felt. Except God.

God has never given up on me. Even when I couldn't feel Him close to me, I knew He was near. I don't know why He allowed people to say those things to me, to do those things, I don't have that answer. All I can think of is that He wanted me to be totally dependent upon Him in all things, including those of the heart. I've always trusted people fully - but now I am wary of some, almost afraid of what they may say. I guess I need to get over that but it is hard when you have been hurt so deeeply. Is that what God wanted me to learn? How deeply He is hurt when I disobey Him?

Or maybe the entire things I have gone through - maybe it wasn't for me. Maybe it was for those involved. Two separate situations, and both have had drastic things come to them. Interesting. By God's hand, I have no idea. Not even going to think that. Maybe they have something to learn from them. My prayer is that they learn - and I learn.

Where has the morning gone! It's time to get to work - mt boss has been busy sending me messages this morning from St. Louis so I have things to get done.

Never forget that God is only a prayer away. Think about Him today as you do different things. Whisper a 'thank you' for getting you to work on time, for providing for your needs, for your family, for your food, for your life. Without Him, you would have nothing.


Monday, May 11, 2015

And she was a beautiful bride...

Saturday was an good day. I did a few 'pick up stuff' for a baby shower here at work, did some walking around. By mid-afternoon was getting ready for my first-born granddaughter's wedding. We got there about 45 minutes early, I think. Then I found that although the invitations stated 5PM, it wasn't to actually start until 5:30PM. I think most arrived at 5PM and then had to wait while things were finishing up for the wedding. There were several last minute things going on. I felt useless, for I hadn't been asked to help. So I walked around and checked things out, got to visit with some people.

The wedding was simple and beautiful. I am guessing it was exactly what my granddaughter wanted - and she made a very beautiful bride. I'm surprised I didn't choke up and cry. It was nice we got to sit on the front row so that we could see everything, but there was also a disadvantage - I couldn't see the bride's face! I did, however, see the groom's face as she walked down the aisle and was able to get a couple photos of him tearing up. My son looked very handsome in his new suit.

Pictures took quite a while, and of those I've seen, they are very good. I was able to take a few photos as well, and I 'saved' that which the photographer posted on facebook. Our granddaughter definitely looked radiant and glowed throughout the evening. I wish I had gotten a couple photos of she and I.....you know, the grandma/granddaughter special photo..... I suppose I could have asked for one.... but I didn't. So I will own that one.

Memories of years past and memories of Saturday will always be with me. Special times, special moments. I was even able to read a toast to her that another grandmother had read to her granddaughter when she wed. It was a beautiful wedding, and she was a beautiful bride.

And today, everyone I assume,including me, are back at work. It will be a very l-o-n-g day for me.... although I can leave early. My boss is in St. Louis, our medical director is on vacation in New York, one of the directors I am close to is working from home today. It is going to be very quiet, for sure. But I have some things to do so will be able to work on those. Need to decorate one of the conference rooms this afternoon for a combination baby shower/graduation from college with Nurse Practitioner license for two of our nurses. It's funny how we are getting them here from Prescott - one we told it is a surprise baby shower; the other we told it was a graduation party for the other. Neither have a clue. I've ordered a hot breakfast for tomorrow and I bought two gourmet cupcakes since we will have so much food.

And I suppose I need to get busy - have things to do and people to see. Was off on Friday in case I was asked to help with the wedding - so now it's back to work.

Hope you have a good week. I'm feeling mellow this morning and need to shake it off.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mixed Emotions.....

My desire is to be Christ-like. I want to live and breathe Jesus in me. I remember reading about Bill Bright's wife, Vonette, who was standing in line at a grocery store and a lady, whom she did not know, was standing behind her and started crying. She reached out to Vonette and touched her arm, and said basically, "I don't know what you have, but whatever it is, I want it." Of course the lady was referring to the Holy Spirit living within Vonette. That's what I want. Yes, I'm opening myself up here and saying what I really feel. I want Jesus, the Holy Spirit, living within me so strong that everything I do and every word I speak is a reflection of Him.

And I fail daily in my quest. Praise God for His Grace, His Mercy, His Forgiveness. But it is the cry of my heart to be so close to Him.

So with saying that, I'm pondering on how to deal with this situation here at work. Here's the situation....

Corporate deleted a section of reports under 'Business Objects'. Rather, they deleted Business Objects. We knew it was going away, they gave us plenty of warning. We told them specifically several times which reports we HAD to have for reporting purposes to the State. They deleted the process anyway and did not move our reports to another 'microstrategy' section where my other reports have been moved to and from where I pull them from. I received NO response from anyone prior to losing the report. Not Corporate, not the managers - NO ONE RESPONDED prior to May lst to give me any information. So here May lst came and I had no report. I sent an email to the director and managers and stated that I had not received a response, and now I had no report to send out to their department.

One of the managers quickly sent an apology instant message. The other manager, when he came in, came over and tried to explain Corporate screwed up, they were to move the report, it didn't happen, blah blah blah, and they were working with this young man in their department that they just promoted to data analyst because he knows how to move reports around and create spreadsheets (seriously) to re-create this report. I understood that I would no longer need to concern myself with the sending out of this report. Therefore, I sent them all the distribution list - and no longer concerned myself with it. The past two days the data analyst sent out the report.

Yesterday afternoon he sends me an appointment to meet with me about the report. I accepted it. At 2PM he comes over and says 'do you want to create the report every morning (it will take 10-15 minutes) or send out. I said I don't want to create it. So he tells me that every morning then he will create the report and will place it on the g drive, and it will be there 'sometime between 7:30 and 8:00AM (I send out the other report between 6:15 and 7:00AM!!) and I can go in and pull it and send out. I told him that I had the understanding that I was not involved in the report at all anymore, that he was taking care of it. He looks at me and says, "I'm not sending it out, that is for you to do" and walks away.

I have pondered this for awhile and now have mixed emotions about it. I was told by the manager that I did not have to do the report at all anymore (that is what I heard). This new "data analyst" is tends to 'lord' it over everyone in this area and thinks he is so smart that he even put as his signature 'the spreadsheet whisperer' - has told me that he will create the report and save it to the folder - and it is up to me to keep checking until he gets it put there, and then send it out.

So - do I just do it as he says? Or do I bring it all to the attention of his manager and ask him and then be told to do it? Should I say anything? I keep asking myself what would Jesus do. I don't want to cause issues. I don't want to be petty. It's not a big deal on sending out the report other than it will not be there when I come in to send out the other report and I will have to keep checking that specific folder until it gets put there.

My question also is - if he creates it and puts it in that specific folder, why can't he just stick it on an email and send out as well? He's done that the last two days and it makes more sense to me since he already has it. Geez. What to do.

I think I will discuss with my boss when she comes in - oh bummer - I just remembered - I won't see her until probably afternoon as she has an outside appointment this morning. POOH!! Now I get to ponder this some more. Hmmmmm

So, what would you do? Ask the manager for clarification? Just do it? Let it go? What? Just curious....


Monday, May 4, 2015

Encouraged and loved.....

It has been a semi-busy weekend and it was all good. I love it when weekends work out where I am able to accomplish things I want to, and get to enjoy it as well. Saturday was the Arthritis Walk at which hubby and I particpated. We only did one lap and then headed out. We could have done two - but we had other things to get done as well. I did go to the grocery after lunch and got that accomplished. Visited my neighbor that evening, then we started to watch a movie, but since we had technically gotten up early, had exercise out in the fresh air, we both were getting pretty sleepy so turned it off about half way through.

Yesterday was church, of course. Service was good, message started out good, but then seemed to grow 'wordy' and 'lengthy' so we were a little late getting out of there. On the way home hubby asked if I wanted to stop for lunch somewhere. My comment back? "Depends on who is having to buy" - so we went home. I'm trying hard to not spend money just because there is some in the bank. Here it is May already and there is a lot going on this year - two weddings, two graduations, birthdays, etc. - so spending it on things to make it convenient, well, I'm TRYING to not do it as much. Especially since I had just been to the grocery and bought food. So we ate at home.

It was also time that I do something I have done for the last 30+ years.

Once upon a time there were four sisters, and they lived side by side. Once we met these sisters at church, they adopted us as neice and nephew - and the same with our children and grandchildren. None had children of their own, for various reasons. Two have since passed away, and our dear Aunt Mae is now 102 and is ready to go 'home'. Her sister, Sue, has had the responsibility of seeing after Aunt Mae for the past few years as her health deteriorated. Anyway - many years ago, because they had no children of their own, I took to giving each one a rose for Mother's Day. I have continued every Mother's Day buying roses for the remaining two sisters. Yesterday I picked up two dozen roses and headed to visit. Aunt Mae wouldn't even open her eyes; they say she is blind now. She is confined to bed, and has lost a lot of weight. She wasn't very alert and no one could get her to wake up enough to acknowledge that I was even there. So I visisted with the youngest sister, Sue, for awhile. When I was ready to leave, I told Aunt Mae that I loved her, and she responded, 'I love you too', which surprised everyone. She will be moved to a group home tomorrow as the cost of keeping her at home with a caregiver is getting financially difficult. Aunt Sue has asked hubby to be a pallbearer, and asked me yesterday to speak at the funeral. I looked at her and said I didn't think I could without crying, but she wanted me to anyway. At least I have some time to think about what to say and can write it down. It will be difficult to say goodbye, but she has lived a full life.

Then, we ended the day well. Our dear and cherished friend, Pastor Steve, had a two hour layover at the airport and had arranged with us to come to the airport and have dinner with him. He wouldn't even let us buy! We got to visit and share what is going on in our lives, and hear what is going on in his and his family, and what is happening at the church he pastors. I so want to go visit him at his church. I've told him since he left us that I wanted us to go - but unforeseen - or foreseen - circumstances always keeps us from it. I will make it sometime. I am just not sure when. When we finally said our goodbyes and he headed to the plane, I felt encouraged and loved, for sure. That is one of Pastor Steve's gifts, I think. He encourages you right where you are, and then you want to achieve more. He is such a blessing.

It was a good weekend. Can't always say that, but this weekend, I can. I hope you had a good weekend as well.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Kept out of the loop.....

My first assignment when I come in to the office is to send out two reports to specific people. I was told of one report that was moving to microstrategy from business objects. Well, I heard it through someone who heard it from another person. I don't get information from Corporate on these things either, although I am the one who sends the report.

I asked the person who was doing the moving (who sits on the other side of the cubicle wall from me) about a month ago to show me where it was going. He told me it wasn't moved yet, it was still in process, he would get back with me. That hasn't happened. Two weeks ago I wrote his manager and asked the same information, and if he was going to designate someone else to send the report as I had not been advised of anything. No response. I sent some people in Corporate IT an email and asked them to include me in the information as to the moving of the report, how to access it, etc. No response.

So this morning I come in to send out that report - and there is nothing. Where I usually get it from (business objects) is no longer there. I went to microstrategy and checked everything I have access to. The report is not there. I went to my back-up (a director), and she can not find it either.

Did it not make it to the new reporting section? Who knows.

I sent an email out this morning to the director of the department, the two managers, AND the person who was to move the report, and I told them I was unable to access it. I have not been shown where it is. The manager has not responded to my email. Corporate has not responded to my email. I told them I was going to assume this person, who was to have moved the report, is going to be the designated person to send out the report daily since I had been kept out of the loop. And copied my boss (a VP). I wonder how long it will take after my email gets read by the different ones on how fast I will be shown where the report is.

The interesting part? I sit smack dab in the middle of this department. They report to my boss. I don't want anyone to get in trouble. I just want someone to do their job. Just like I do mine.

And you do yours. You want to do your best. You want to complete the tasks you have been assigned - and do them well.

Keep doing your best. I will keep doing my best. These things are minor issues in the big look at life.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Trying to be BOLD

Now that title should leave a lot to the imagination! But it only applies to me doing things that I haven't done before - you know that 'get out of your comfort zone' mode. I like comfortable, and when I make myself get out of it, it's awkward for awhile. Even if it is no big deal sounding - changing what I usually do is a big deal.

I've stepped out here at work and volunteered to be on a 'New Hire Orientation Committee'. Actually, the email came out yesterday and was sent to about 10 people in each department with a 'if you are interested, send response' note. Well, I waited awhile then sent an email that if no one else in our department volunteered, then I would step up. Well, good thing I did, for no one else volunteered. So I got the email last night that we have a meeting scheduled the sixth of May, and I had an email in my inbox this morning of what they want this meeting to be about. Good things, and I've already written down my thoughts on what I think it should be. I have a couple weeks yet to ponder and I will come 'prepared' to discuss my ideas.

AND, since our parking lot overflows frequently when it is mandatory for people to come in for meetings (those who work from home) and since there are 3-4 other companies in this building and they also have people come in for meetings, etc - we have been advised of a couple other areas that we can park nearby. I went investigating. I can get free covered parking about a block away. Since I park the farthest I can in the parking garage anyway so it is about a block away, I decided that I wanted to check this out. Last week I went to our facilities manager and verified exactly where this parking area was (didn't want to get towed away!). I learned how to get in there (there is only one entrance, and it isn't where I thought it was). So - this morning I parked in that area and walked to the office. It is only a little farther - maybe - than I was walking before but it is cool and beautiful out right now. When it rains, I may still park in the uncovered area in the garage - but then again - I'd still have to use an umbrella.... I don't mind the walking and it's all sidewalk. Will see how it works out. When I leave, it will be nice not to have to do the roundabout in the complex, but will be able to pull out on the street that takes me to my turn.

Being BOLD. Out of my comfort zone. Sometimes we do have to step out of our comfort zone of doing the same thing. Doing what is comfortable for us. Doing something we haven't done before.

I am smiling right now for I know my middle child does not like to be in the limelight - as a rule - and in less than two weeks he will definitely be out of his comfort zone as he walks his beautiful daughter down the aisle to marry her best friend. He will be out of his comfort zone. He will be BOLD.

And that is what we should be when we live the Christian life. We should be BOLD in what we believe. I found it interesting yesterday a co-worker came to me and asked what she should do. The reason she gave for asking me? 'Because you and I are the only ones who believe in Jesus out here'. We have rarely talked, so I'm happy to hear that I am living the way I should be living that it is noticeable that 'I'm different'. The issue? Several of our overhead lights had been turned off because one of the women had complained it triggered miagraines for her. So I had two lights installed under my overhead cabinets to get some light on my desk. When that person left, this other co-worker had facilities come and turn the lights back on. So what happened? The 4 others knew what the plan was - they knew the lights were going to be turned back on. One is now complaining 'it's too bright' and "whine".... and my coworker wanted to know what to do. She was feeling very frustrated. So I suggested she get lights under the overhead cabinets in her cubicle - and reminded her that we are to serve - no matter what. She agreed; she just wanted my opinion if she had to give in to this person and have the lights shut off again. It's not giving in - it's making others comfortable - even at our expense. I suggested also she see about moving to another cubicle so that she will get more light.

What is a way you can (nicely) be BOLD today? What will put you out of your comfort zone? If you do it repeatedly, it will soon become 'usual'. That's what I'm counting on with my parking elsewhere. I just hope I don't forget where I parked my van!