What to think about?

Today was just one of those days.  We began the morning with our school lesson.  We learned about the parts of the sun and the phases of the moon.  We conjugated our first conjugation pluperfect tense in Latin, we sang our timeline starting with Byzantine Emperor Justinian.  We worked on our addition and subtraction, multiplication and division families and we copied our spelling words.  It took me all of three to four hours to get it all done with them.  Things flowed in a timely and smooth manner.  And for this I am grateful.  My kids are learning.  They are learning far more than what I ever did and all without even pushing them too hard.  They play their violins, their tin whistles, my girls have learned to crochet.  Leo can write his name (he’s four).  Anya is reading quicker and learner special sounds (she’s my visual learner), and Grace is whizzing her math facts.  I’m not sure how we’ve gotten here.  I remember holding my oldest as a baby and the thought of schooling her seemed so far in the distance that I hardly bothered to really think about how I would approach it.  Now we are in it full force.  Leo will be in Kindergarten next year and that will put me with three kids in school at once.  I used to have anxiety over it.  I used to fret and wonder how in the world do you school multiple subjects and multiple grades AT. THE.SAME.TIME?!  We read together, for Grace sometimes it’s review for her (can never do any harm) then the others can quietly work on a particular worksheet or coloring project while I steal away to give Grace her more in depth study.  Somehow I’m doing it.  And really…it’s just taking one step at a time.  One foot in front of the other.  You basically walk around with blinders on…don’t compare yourself to what others are doing or teaching their kids, don’t think too far in to the future as to what your schedule should be or the timeline you should be on.  Are they getting it? Great, schools finished…if not…take a break and come back to it.  It’s really just as simple as that.  Not saying every day is a walk in the park. Sometimes I want to scream!  But again, today was just one of those days.

One of those days where I felt good about life on my own.  I say that in jest…I’m not really “on my own” as I have a wonderful family and support system at the ready.  But my husband is absent a lot.  Not because he chooses to be, just simply his hours are long and grueling.  It was one of those days that I didn’t want to rebel against the system and swear I’d call my husband’s manager and tell him what I think for real…(ever feel like doing that?).  Yet my poor husband comes home tired, weary, worn out, sick and running a fever.  He managed to actually eat dinner with us (a later dinner because I was struggling to get it all cooked with a whiny and cranky toddler hanging on me), prayed with the kids to tuck them in, and changed Tobias’s diaper.  It’s these little tasks where I look at him and think, superman.  “Thanks so much for changing his diaper, you didn’t have to!”  I bring him some cough syrup and he climbs into bed.  Thankful, yet always prayerful that somehow this will get better.  That somehow he won’t always be so run down.  That somehow he’ll have more time with the kids.  That magically maybe we’ll have a holiday season that is joyful and restful.  And I just have to keep thinking those positive hopes.  Because that’s what they are.  Hope.

I think we, the wives, have to choose to think on the good.  Really. (Not saying I always do because most of the time I don’t).  What happens when we dwell on the negative?  It starts to permeate everything.  I’m grumpy, now I’m annoyed the kids are noisy.  I’m irritable, so now I’m not thankful for the time I do have, and the things I am able to do.  I’m lonely, so now I want to run and hide in a hole and weep a deep sorrowful pity party.    A singer I love said it so well,  “Did you really have a bad day?  Or did you just have a bad five minutes and then milked it for the rest of the day?”  Thanks Toby Mac.  Speaking life into my heart.  Most of the time…that one thought…that one task that went wrong…someone was rude to you…what ever it was…we dwell on things.  We shouldn’t.  Let me leave it at this:  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”  Philippians 4:8

The End.

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Where I am now

img_6298I remember growing up in the country, down a little gravel road, with horses and cows for neighbors.  I’m sure working for UPS was so different back then than it is now.  I often find myself wondering what these guys did before the days of Ebay and Amazon?  Was life more enjoyable?  Did they get home at more accommodating hours?  Have dinners with their families?  We had a little Chihuahua.  Black and white, tea cup size.  She was tiny!  I’d hear her bark, see her take off down the driveway and look out the window and sure enough, would see the UPS  man drive past.  My mom would always curse as he’d come barreling down the road and say he was driving way too fast and that one day, so help her, if he ran over our dog…haha!

That makes me chuckle now.  I had no idea back then that I’d find myself married to the UPS man.  That I’d understand why he was in such a hurry.  That his life is hectic and rushed and that the clock does not give any grace or mercy if he fails to deliver a package on time.  Here I am now and I laugh at the thought of my little dog chasing after him in his big brown truck and wondering how he didn’t manage to run over her?!  Quick as he was driving, our UPS man was always safe.  I marvel at these guys.  They train and train and train.  They are hammered and drummed their safety skills, the five seeing habits, the laws of lifting and loading, of always backing first.  Don’t leave your truck running when you park it, turn your flashers on.  Never ever make a left turn if you can help it!  They go to bed repeating those things!  Even so much that me his wife knows what they are!  I find myself backing first in to parking lots (we drive a huge Yukon XL…basically a package car).  Clearing my intersections…wait three seconds after the light turns green before you proceed!  I figure they make me a safer driver anyway…after all I am carrying far more precious cargo.  My four children.  All these years later, I am not the little girl in the country.  I am a grown woman, again living down a little country gravel road, raising my children and it is my husband in the UPS truck.

My husband is what you call an on-car-delivery supervisor.  He has one of the two groups of drivers in our little center hub.   It’s a small outlying center, and because it’s so small, it’s staffed equivocally.  Bare bones is what I’d call it.  Just enough people to keep it running and nothing more.  This constantly frustrates me.  Someone goes on vacation and my husband is always the man who covers for that guy out.  Someone’s sick?  Call on him.  Another sup isn’t toting his fair share of the load…call on my man to help him fix it and do it right.  ARG!  This week, he’s be covering for the pre-load sup.  He’s found many flaws and errors that our particular pre-load sup was allowing to slip under the table. As a result, the misloads are through the roof.  Guess who gets to run those misloads?  Yep, my husband.  Thanks so much!  Sometimes I find myself wishing I could come into work with “A” (I will refer to my husband as “A” because that is the first initial of his name.)  and wanting to give everyone a motivational speech.  “Drivers and supervisors and managers, UNITE!  Let’s keep each others best interest in mind…help each other, work for each other, so that we can all go home at the end of the day to out families!”  Sounds nice doesn’t it?  I wish!

This week has been SO hard because of these odd hours my husband is working.  Literally, he gets up at 2am…goes into work by 3am…and isn’t home till after 5:30pm.  We celebrated our ninth anniversary yesterday…or didn’t.  He came home so late all he could do was eat dinner and go to bed before waking up at 2am again.  Usually I find myself coping…but this week was not so easy. My kids were sick.  Throwing up during the day, coughing and fevers by night.  It was me waking up to help them during the night.  Turn the shower on to steam up the bath room so that my littlest one could breathe.  My husband was MIA.  This is an all too common story.  Mommy at home, working hard with no real help.

So I find myself here.  Writing this blog.  Because perhaps you too have found yourself at the end of a very tiring week, with no husband to help you with the kids, basically a single parent, ending your week and wondering, “what just happened?!”  Be encouraged dear UPS wife.  You aren’t alone.  Yes, there are those of us out there who know the struggle you go through.  Where am I now?  Right here, willing to support this dear man I’m married too.  Who forgives my faults even those moments when I break and am not happy with life…but he loves me and I love him.  I am no longer that bystander girl watching the UPS man drive down the road.  I am his wife.  I care for him.  I have an intimate understanding of his life.  I am the UPSer’s wife…such a unique roll that I play.  That we play.  Take a moment and just respect yourself for that role.  He lives and thrives because of your respect and care for him.  That’s it ladies.  That’s what I am here for.  I want to encourage the wives…”wives, UNITE!”

” My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Colossians 2:2-3

“We love because He first loved us.”

1 John 4:19