Saturday, June 24, 2017
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
I love you. Each of you. I trust you. You came highly recommended from trusted sources. My kids love you. Some of you have even gone above and beyond to invest in them, making them feel special with your special-hot-chocolate or ice-cream-decorating or even just fun crafts.
You are a valuable part of our weekly lives. You enable my husband and me to date and connect and strengthen our marriage. In the summer, you give me a breather, time to exercise, unwind, so I can be a better, more refreshed mom. (And let's be honest, give the kids a break from me too;)
So there's no argument here that you are appreciated and your job is important. But you don't pay taxes on that $15 an hour some of you have started asking for. (Remember folks, I live in CA. My GA friends probably think $10 an hour is a stretch.)
You are not a full-time employee of a company required to pay you $15 an hour.
You take care of my most precious possessions for about 3 hours, maybe 2, then you sit on the couch and watch television until we get home.
I'm willing to pay my really good sitters $2 an hour above minimum wage just to keep them happy and coming back and possibly choose my home over someone who's only gonna pay minimum wage. I think that's pretty darn fair. It's tax-free cash, people. Remember that.
And some of you don't even clean up my house at that price! I come home to a downstairs covered in toys, kids bedrooms a wreck, art supplies laying everywhere, and dishes! (Oh my goodness, don't even get me started on the dishes.) Would it kill you to wash the dishes? Even the ones I might have left from earlier in the day? With soap?
I figure some of the blame is on your parents because someone never showed you how to properly wash a dish or how to straighten a house. Many of you still live at home or in college dorms, and I pity your roommates.
So let me spell it out kindly for this generation of babysitters that somehow has grown up untrained and unaware--blame who you want. When you come to my home, for $2 an hour above minimum wage please...
Love my children. Pay attention to them. Play with them. Feed them. Moderate them. Oversee them getting to bed clean and at a timely hour. Keep them safe and your first priority at all times, at all costs.
Clean up ANY messes you and the kids make. In the garage, back yard, their rooms, on counter tops--take a damp rag or paper towel, and a little 409 and make it clean. Windex is for mirrors and windows. If you don't know how to clean something, my kids can probably show you how.
If you accidentally make a mess of the microwave, stove, or anything while cooking dinner, please wipe it up. Try to avoid scorching nonstick pans on the stove.
Wash all the dishes. If you're unsure of whether you can put it in the dishwasher, fill the sink with hot, soapy water. Place dirty dishes in said water. Scrub away all the food. Rinse with warm or cold water. Place on the towel next to the sink to dry. If the dish still has suds on it, it's not clean. If it still has food on it, it's not clean. If it still feels greasy, slimy, it's not clean.
Before you sit down on the couch, please take two minutes to walk around the house and put things back where they belong. At least get them off the floor. Fold towels, blankets, etc. Just make everything look neat.
That's it! Thank you for a job well done.
If you insist on asking for $15 an hour, I expect all of the above to be done as well as...
ALL the dishes. I don't care if I have left them there for 3 days. Remember, you don't pay taxes on that $15 an hour, and even McDonald's is gonna make you scrub dishes, ones A LOT dirtier than what's at my house.
If you want to treat my kids to something other than fish sticks and tater tots, that's on your dime. Please don't ask me to compensate you.
Take the cordless vacuum and get the downstairs floors spotless. All counter and table tops too.
Feel free to walk around the house and do something a little extra for that $15. All the cleaning supplies you need are under every sink in my house. Just because you didn't make the mess doesn't mean you can't clean it.
And that's that. Americans all over the US are fighting for $15 an hour at jobs where they will be required to pay taxes, and they go home to mouths to feed other than their own and bills to pay.
I commend you for trying to make money for yourself, for investing in the lives of children, for having the courage to even negotiate pay with me, but please don't be unreasonable, and for heaven's sake make it worth my money, or maybe I will just try Care.com instead, or call around for more reasonable babysitters.
I love you, but most babysitters aren't irreplaceable. Let's work together to make this work.
A Slightly Dissatisfied Mom
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Monday, April 10, 2017
He showed up by bonding our ministry team.
He showed up in sweet conversations with students and adults.
He showed up in the bright, innocent smiles of children.
He showed up through 17 student salvations, several other ministry outreach salvations, and innumerable reconciliations.
He showed up in shared hurts and moments of vulnerable honesty.
He showed up in watching high school students get down and dirty and work, hard, without complaining, always smiling and willing.
He showed up filling the language barrier with real love, His love.
He showed up by filling me with the Holy Spirit in situations where, had I had any strength of my own, I would have pushed forward in my own flesh.
Friday, March 24, 2017
To know him was to unconditionally fall in love with him. I did. From the moment I saw his crooked white markings down the middle of his perfect face on the breeder website, I knew he was my puppy.
He'd get so excited when he saw you that he peed just a little. He was terrified of balloons, and with a soccer ball, he made Air Bud look like an amateur. Squeaky toys were forever his addiction. He could always jump higher than anyone expected, and food on any ledge was always his one vice and challenge.
He was obedient, loyal, loving, and patient. He never ran away from home even when he had the chance. He was smarter than your average dog, intuitive, submissive, and kind. I loved that he never needed us, but wanted us instead. He chose to be our dog.
These last golden years here on the Golden Coast were the glory days for him. He went for long romps on the beach, never needing his leash, always close on my heels. He loved to chase seagulls, and even waded a few tide pools!
In all of my loneliest days and hours in the past 12 years, he was my constant companion. Always within eye shot, I never left a room without him close behind. I always knew where he was, and vice versa.
He was a constant source of comfort, unconditional acceptance, and presence. He was my first baby before I had my real babies. He loved me more than anyone else. (Everyone knew it. We even tested him on several occasions. I always won.) I was his protector, and he kept Joey's side of the bed warm on the nights Joey was gone.
To say he was a good dog is an understatement. To say he was the best dog ever doesn't even come close to truth. He was one of many small gifts from the Lord in my life, and I pray he never felt neglected or unappreciated.
Rest in peace, my pup. I pray you actually get to catch all the rabbits you want in heaven.
Sunday, December 25, 2016
Monday, November 21, 2016
As I sat there on the shore intently watching my own daughter, I could see my heavenly Father in my mind's eye watching me as well. Ever present. Ever on the edge of His seat to snatch me from danger. Celebrating with me, but maybe more importantly allowing me to fail, so I could learn and grow stronger, and try again, and persevere.
I feel my Father's favor and know His pride when I choose to persevere and never give up. On Him or on myself. Perseverance, gumption, endurance, stick-to-it-ness--these are the hallmarks of the faithful--the Hebrews 11 crowd.
Friends, I want to surf the waves of life regardless of how hard I fall or fast I fly. I want to surf. Not duck and cover, not bob aimless in the swells. I may rightfully fear the wall of circumstances that rise up from the deep of life, but I pray it's a cold day in Hades when I give up and settle for a seat on the shoreline.
Which means I must choose to take up my paddle, climb back on that board, and paddle back out. The last wave might have taken me out, washed me clear off my board, broken my paddle, and left me with a bruised body from the fall, and maybe the next wave will do the same. But maybe, maybe I'll make some adjustments, shift my feet, lower my stance, and catch the next one. And fly.
One thing I know for sure--my Daddy will be watching. He sees me. He knows exactly where I am in the ocean of life, and when I look to Him, His eyes are always on me. When I raise my hands in victory and praise, He raises His hands in glorious acceptance and joy. When I fall and look to see if He's there, I see Him poised and ready--sometimes with a helping hand, sometimes with an encouraging thumbs up, and sometimes with a knowing stare that silently conveys, 'You can do this. Get up.'
This has been my life verse since high school, my motto in life, the driving voice I hear in the back of my mind when the waves of enemy voices come crashing with their lies, threatening to drown my will, my belief, my faith. I've been floundering here lately. Closer to the edge of retiring my board than I like to admit, but my daughter needs to see me keep trying, and my Father is still there, always there willing me to get back on the board and surf.
It's really for my own good and enjoyment that I do so. He knows I will only be miserable and slowly rot in my own self-pity, fears, and anxieties if I don't paddle back out.
So I think I will.
What have you been on the verge of giving up? your faith? your family? a relationship? a calling? a mission? a goal? Have you been benched for a season, and waiting is too hard, so you're thinking about throwing in the towel all together? Stick with it! Endure! Persevere! You may have unbeknownst little eyes watching you, but more importantly, your Heavenly Father's eyes are most definitely watching you. Paddle back out with confidence, knowing you are watched and seen by the undistractable gaze of the Risen King, Commander of Sky and Sea, and He's proud of you whether you fall or surf. Maybe the most proud when you fall and refuse to give up.
So take a deep breath and paddle confident. Paddle seen and known. Paddle like you are fully loved and life abundant depends on that. Because the truth is--in Christ--you ARE. Confident, always seen, intimately known, and fully loved every second of every minute of every day for all eternity simply because you are His child and for no other reason.