Thursday, April 14, 2011

Workin' It Out

Ouch. Two weeks since my last post. My bad! I’ve actually been meaning to post about a thought that I’ve been working through, lately. Kind’ve a gigantic metaphor for marriage, if you will. But first, a little back-story... I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, because it’s not something that we typically broadcast (mainly because we know it can be controversial in some circles), but Studly and I haven’t been part of a church for coming up on 1 year, now. In the interest of full disclosure, it’s been for no other reason than that we just haven’t found a church family in which we felt like we really were a part, but that's not really the point of this post. I miss it terribly, at times. The accountability. The genuine friendships. The corporate worship. The different perspectives preached ever Sunday. But honestly? I think more than anything, we needed this time away from an organized church atmosphere. We have grown SO much in the past year. And in the past few months, it’s been even greater. We are a daily work-in-progress, but I genuinely feel like we’re starting to adjust to our intended roles in marriage. I fully believe that men and women were created uniquely to fit a specific role. That’s what the bible says, and therefore it’s what I believe. I’m not feminist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know that it was NOT an easy pill to swallow. I felt like I shouldn’t have to ANSWER to anyone, but God. I shouldn’t be ruled over by some guy that isn’t perfect, either… how is that fair? But can I just tell you that it’s not like that at ALL?! Whether Studly fulfills his role or not, I’m to submit to his leadership as the Priest of our home. Yes, he does have rules of his own, but I think as women (at least I did) we tend to jump straight to “but HE’S supposed to…” instead of just reading our own job description and applying it ourselves. It’s hard not to be the Holy Spirit FOR my husband. But that’s not the idea, here. Can I tell you one more thing? It is SOOO beautiful, the thing that happens when you both work towards your own role. When you are living in the way that God intended, it is AMAZING how much better things will flow together. Seriously!! Now, some of you have GOT to know what I’m talking about, here. There are so many metaphors I can use to throw this thing into gear, but it’s true. If each part of the body doesn’t do its own intended function, and instead argues that another body part gets the “better” job, or the more “important” job and tries to do that instead, then we’d be doomed. Every organ can’t be the heart, or there’d be no lungs, no brain, no stomach. Everything serves a purpose!! Oops. Tangent much? Sorry. What I’m trying to say is that we are learning a lot these days. And it really took us being out of an organized church environment for us to no longer rely on what we learned on the weekends to deepen our respective relationships with God. Not having a crutch to lean on required us to work through things diligently. To be more earnest in the time we DO spend with each other and with God. To be purposeful. And therefore, we’re not just checking some box off of the list, but we’re actually learning and training ourselves in the process. Now please know this: I am ABSOLUTELY NOT saying that ANYone should stop going to church in order to find this. I’m not even pretending that is some kind of magical equation to any kind of desired goal. Please don’t think that. I’m just saying that through everything, this is what came of that for us. We had a large number of reasons for leaving the church we once attended, but not becoming a part of another church right away was not the plan at all. It’s what happened, and through it all we sought after God’s will for our lives. It’s been a tough road, but we really believe that we’ve grown so so much. Anywho, I just wanted to give you a teeny little update on where we’ve been lately, but it’s all leading up to a post I’ve been wanting to write on a metaphor for marriage that I’ve come to understand. It’s nothing vast and it’ll probably be nothing to knew to any of you married people (possibly even a few singles), but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little refresher or reminder from time to time. And for any single people, maybe it’ll be a bit of a window to what marriage will be like when that time comes. Alright. That’s enough for today, but I’m eager to hear your thoughts on the above “stuff.” Have any of you gone a length of time without being active in a church? Are there any of you that don’t go to church, and don’t plan to? What are you thoughts on the biblical roles intended for marriage? And Be Honest, Guys. This is a judgement free zone. I can totally handle hearing that someone doesn’t agree with me and I would love to discuss why it is you believe what you believe, whatever that may be. I can agree to disagree, so bring it on. :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Scratch That Itch

I did it. I was crafty this weekend for THE first time in months!


I haven't even touched my sewing machine since early December. Not cool, people! I have really missed it. I've seriously needed a creative outlet, and I've just had nothing to really do that with.


Because it's messy. Sewing isn't a neat little simple task. Depending on what you make, it can produce quite the mess. And since our dining room table doubles as my sewing table, it's not as easy as just going in and sewing my little ol' heart out. I wish it was!

I have visions of a neatly organized sewing room, pretty much a blank canvas except for the pops of color contributed by my openly-stored fabrics, and a chair that I dream of finding and recovering, someday.

*le sigh


I've told McStudly that I want a "craft room" in our next house. Wherever we go from here. Because it even bugs him that I'm just chugging along on the dining room table while he's trying to watch TV or something.

Have I mentioned that this house is NO longer conducive with our needs? 'Cause it's not. Our poor not-so-little pup has absolutely nowhere to exhaust himself. I have 1 place to do any form of craft, and it's right in the middle of everything (literally in the dining room, which is in the great room, between the kitchen and living room - and Austin can reach things left on the table).

We have to go all the way downstairs every time the poor dog needs to pee, and then stand there and wait for him to finish sniffing around and decide he's bored in our little 8x10 expanse of mud and stone, back there (and the only thing down by the basement door to keep us company while we wait is the washer and dryer... not exactly a good time).

Our bedroom is large and awesome, but the 1 full bathroom is very inconvenient, letmejustSAY! The spare bedroom (aka: 'spar-oom', aka: 'Austin's room') does quadruple duty as an office, game room, guest bedroom, and storage room. It also happens to be where all of my crafty stuff is stored until I need to use it, and then lug it all downstairs to the dining room table (typically making at least 5 trips, if not more, just to get what I need).

If you can't already tell, the thing that is most lacking in this lil' ol' townhome of ours is storage space. It's awful! We get as creative as we can, but there's no room for much of anything, really. Even our very basic and small living room furniture seems too big in the space, sometimes.

Especially if you ask the pup.

Those couches just get in the way when he's in the mood to buck around like a bronco with a toy in his mouth... giving us a heart attack when said toy goes flying in the direction of the television. AWEsome.

And don't even get me STARTed on the whole neighbor situation!


Sorry! I didn't realize that this post was going to turn into a rant about our current living situation. And to be honest, I really am grateful (ugh - foot. in. mouth.).

It was our first purchase, ya know.

We have learned SO much about what is important and what isn't when house shopping. We've learned what's easily fixable, what to overlook, and what we will absolutely NOT accept as our responsibility in our next home purchase. It's been a great experience.

We've also had a great time making this house our own. I love doing projects and such, even though Studly doesn't exactly feel the same (he doesn't mind it, just doesn't dream it up like I do, either... it's one of the many ways that we balance each other out). Our next (and final, really) big project is the kitchen. We saved it because we knew it'd be the most expensive, and probably the most time consuming.

And we also plan to get out of debt before even beginning. We want to save up the money and get it done. We want to get out of the habit of using credit and loans to do these kinds of things (I could do an entire post on our financial goals, alone, but I'll spare you for now), but we've got great ideas, that's for sure.

So now that I've filled the urge to do something crafty, this weekend, my mind is a-turning with loads of ideas. I'm hoping to blog about quite a few of them, but it'll all depend on when time allows me to finally sit down and get started.

And as for this past weekend's project, I plan to post pics, but they'll have to wait until after the birthday girl opens her gift. **fingers crossed that it'lls fit... :-D

Anywho, that's it for today. As usual, there's lots I'd love to share with you, but little time to do so.

Someday, friends. And hopefully that someday will come soon.

Toodles! :-)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I think it happens yearly, to be honest. I'm not quite sure why, but it seems that as soon as the sun start shining through the chill in the air, and days get a little longer, and I don't have to wear my big ol' coat to work everyday...

I get antsy.

There's no rhyme or reason for it. And I don't really know what it is that finally snaps me out of it, but what I DO know is that it happens. And it's happenING. Right now.

I just get restless. I dread work even more than normal (which is saying something). I start dreaming up all of these grand ideas. I start thinking about a lot of "what ifs" and about how different things could be.

I start to dream bigger.

It's almost like my eyes are opened to this rut that I've been stuck in all. winter. long. It's both freeing and frustrating, all at once.

Am I the only one?

With everything that's we've got going on right now (I promise I will fill you in eventually... be patient, friends), I think it's making this year's case of ants-in-my-pants even worse than usual.

Who knows.

But seriously - does anyone else struggle with this? Is anyone else dreaming even bigger these days? Are there any suggestions? Any recommendations for a good cure?

I'm going CRAZY, here!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Why I Love Goodwill

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the local Goodwill... and by "local", I mean the 2, soon to be 3 stores closest to me.

PS: Who decided it'd be a good idea to put one within 2 minutes of my house? I thank you, dearly... but "thrilled" isn't exactly the word I'd use to describe McStudly's reaction to the news.

Now, Momma Bear and I don't play when it comes to Goodwill shopping. We are serious about our bargain shopping. Most of the people at our local stores know us by name (especially, Momma's). And we don't shy away from haggling attempts.

Example: I found a dozen of these mini Ikea mirrors at the store closest to Mom & Dad's house.

They wanted $3 a piece for these MALMA mirrors (regularly $2.99, direct from Ikea). Bump that ruckus! I told them I'd give them $1 a piece, and they agreed! Holla!! I haven't even used all of them, yet, but you'd better believe that all 12 of them came home with me. 1/2 are currently hanging in formation above our love seat, and the other are stacked away, just waiting for a purpose and/or to be refurbished into something more creative. ;)

So now fast-forward to this past weekend. We got some Panera for lunch (Yummm!), and then headed over to the Goodwill nearby. They had some great stuff!

For example, one great item that didn't make it home with me was this baby:

Brand new. In the box. And for how much? Only a whopping $69.99, baby. And that was BEFORE any haggling. Oh yeah... and did I mention that it could do this:

Oh yes. Yes it can. And if I had a place to put a coffee table, it would've been MINE! But, Studly insisted we didn't need one, nor have space for one. And as much as I argued that one day we WOULD need one, spending money on something you DON'T need, no matter how good of a deal, is a waste of money. And that's one of the biggest things to learn when thrift-shopping. *sigh

But there were a few things that did make it home with me from that store. And item was this awesome piece that I can't find a picture of. Oddly enough, as soon as I saw it, I remembered seeing it in an older pottery barn ad, not even that long ago!! But it's no longer listed on their site. Ugh!! Nor does it's picture exist anywhere on the internet by how I'd described it in google (not exactly rocket science, but not the easiest task, either). So the closest thing that I could find to the piece was this:

But here's how it differs - mine is a more clean-lined modern style than this more traditional version. Instead of the horizontal bar being rounded, mine is straight. And rather than the 5 vertical bars, mine has three - one of each length: small, medium, long. Also, none of the bars on my pieced are round, either, but flattened pieces instead, and the vertical bars literally hang on the horizontal bar.

Wow. That's super confusing. But I promise to try and post a picture when/if I hang it in this house. (Have I mentioned before that's it's UBER hard to muster up any desire to decorate a home that you know you won't be living in forever? Yeesh. Not easy at ALL!)

But my proudest purchase of the day came in the form of another brand new target furnishing, still in the box. Here she is:

At first look, I thought for sure that this beautiful cardboard box included 2 of these babies. But upon further review, I discovered that the box, although it said "set of 2", also said "60 of 120 pieces". If you do the math, which I did... that means only 1 of the "set of 2" was included in the box. No biggie. I wafted back and forth about whether or not to purchase the gorge brown leather parsons chair, and decided to go for it.

Now, this is where it pays to be observant. It was originally marked as $69.99. Which is still cheap, mind you, for a brown leather parsons chair. But examining the packaging uncovered a target discount sticker STILL stuck to the box. and it was marked $45.99. Woot! When Goodwill accidentally misses these babies, they have to honor the lowest posted price. Yeah, baby!! BUT they also saw me sweat. And this part is key. I "wafted" right in front of them. Which brings me to another important lesson in Goodwill shopping. Not only is haggling super important, and keeping things in perspective essential, but don't be afraid to let them see you sweat... even the small stuff. It wasn't an act. Believe me (I've done that, too...).

I was up near the register while deciding whether or not I was going to purchase the lone chair-nger, and after pointing out the beautiful red target-sale-price sticker, the fabulous lady at the register walked it back to the manager. When she returned, I really expected her to just give me the shiny sticker price, but Nnnooooo... she took out that GLORIOUS black Sharpie marker and crossed through the hand-written $69.99 on the box and wrote "$34.99".

*insert Hallelujah chorus*


I got that beautiful baby for $34.99. And you know what that means? Even if I purchased a matching chair at FULL price (which is SO not going to happen... for the record...), That would bring the brown leather parsons chair pair total to a whopping $170, and thus break down to only $85 a chair.

Eat that full priced box stores!! I mean you can't find that good of a price ANYWHERE, for parsons chairs. It was beautiful!! And even with the lone chair-nger, my dining room table will already look updated. And if I decide not to stick it in there (that'swhatshesaid), then it'd still look absolutely gorge in front of a desk or something to that effect.


Have I mentioned that I love Goodwill?

And the day almost got EVEN better after stopping at another local Goodwill store. I found 4 boxes... 4 BOXES, people!! ... of this beautiful hardwood flooring. REAL hardwood. And it was the absolutely gorgeous Antique Walnut color. Each unopened box included over 24 sq ft of flooring, and guess how much they wanted for them?

Oh forget it... you'll never guess...

A whopping $10.00 a BOX! Only $40 for over 96 sq ft of GORGEOUS Antique Walnut real hardwood flooring.

I scurried home toot sweet and measured, only to discover that I needed twice that much to do our kitchen, entry hallway, and half bath, which all share the same flooring and all need to be replaced. We even tried to find a way to just purchase the remaining amount needed, but they stopped selling that color. UGH! Do you know how CHEAP that is, people?! Less than $.42 a sq foot.

Helloo Goodwill. Goodwill... Das a nice name. Can I getcho numba? Can I?! Can I havit?!?! Can I have yo numba?!

Sorry... got carried away.

Along with the above-mentioned items, I also walked away with a cutesy green t-shirt that I was oddly drawn to, an absolutely aDORable little girl's leather jacket (for sweet baby Abby, of course!) and a coordinating pair of jeans, a brand-stinking-new pair of fabulous black dress shoes (with minuscule heels. wootwoot!), a super-cute full length summer dress (you know... that fun springy style you wear with flip-flops?), a few wrap-around headbands, and a couple of other things that I'm totally blanking on, but still loving, if for no other reason than their cheapness. :-)

Anywho - this is just ONE Saturday, and only 2 of our local Goodwill locations full of reasons why I love the place.

So what about you guys... got any favorite thrifty places? Any thrift store finds that you looove to brag about? Come on... spill. We're all friends, here. ;-)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today, I Hate Stairs.

McStudly and I decided that it was way past time for us to get healthy again. We're lazy. We eat like crap. And we've each gotten a little bit rounder, to prove it.

Not to mention that we want to feel healthier. That's the main thing for us, really. To not feel like "bleh" all the time. You know that feeling, right? Well. We know it all too well, my friend.

So Studly got this genius idea a little over a month ago to order P90X and give it a shot. I wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea, especially after hearing about how intense it is (the "X" does stand for "Extreme," people!), but I figured I'd go along with it. I honestly didn't think it would happen, since that is the pattern for us... but alas... it did.


Monday evening was my first crack at this exercise regimen.


I didn't even finish. I got through the first 30 minutes (5 of which are just warm-ups!), and was just done. I mean... I knew I was out of shape, but I felt like an IDIOT!

I don't do well with workout routines. I do fabulously with running (but only when it's not freaking cold outside... can't do it), and even run every other day... without fail. But when it comes to working out along with a DVD, that'd be a negative.

Now, I did workout to a pilates DVD a while back. And LOVED it! Not only did I see results after the fist week, but it is the kind of workout where you don't really feel much while you're doing it, necessarily, but then the next day... when you're unsuspecting and go full-force to sit up in bed - HOLLLYY mamaa!!!! You feel it.

And I seriously was able to SEE results, not just feel them, but actually SEE them (and other people, too) when I did it.

Now... back to this P90X mess. It's not for me. I know I only tried the 1st day. And though I'm typically a stubborn mule when it comes to things (ask anyone... they'll tell ya), I just don't see a point.

I don't want to be ripped.

I don't want an eight-pack.

I don't want guns (the muscle kind, people... focus). :-P

I don't want to look like a man (no offense, body builders... it's just not for everyone).

I don't want to be able to lift heavy boxes easily. What fun is that?!

But here's what else I don't want:

I don't want to be out of breath after walking up stairs... even slowly.

I don't want to choose clothing based on how NOT tight it is around my midsection (which may be unavoidable, due to the hiatal hernia I have, which causes food-babies after almost every meal).

I don't want to dread bathing suit shopping (this may be wishful thinking, I know).

I don't want to wait until hubby gets home to open some jars.

And most importantly...

I don't want to jiggle!

I mean... who does, right?!

But alas... I agreed last night, with Studly, that I would give it a week, IF he promised not to give me a hard time if I still chose not to continue. He kept trying to convince me that yesterday's workout wasn't as hard and that even HE wasn't able to finish the first workout, but felt much more encouraged after Day 2.

Bleh. FINE!

So here's my thought on workout routines.

It's all about what works best for you.

Now, that goes without saying that it can't be a cop-out. Saying "it only works best for me to walk once a week" is lame. Well... unless your goal is purely to maintain circulation. In which case - go for it, girlfriend. But if your goal is to improve your health, then find a routine that works for you... WITHIN reason.

In order to improve health, you have to retrain your body. And taking a walk once a week won't accomplish that.

You know how, when you go to the doctor, they ask if you workout? This is because doing some sort of regular workout is good for your OVERALL HEALTH! Not just to be skinny. Not just to wear fun workout clothes. But to keep your body doing what it's supposed to do... you need to maintain it, just like you would your home.

I'm not the best at maintaining my home, but it isn't a pigsty, either. And I'm sure you know that if you NEVER vacuumed, and NEVER washed the dishes, or did the laundry... your house would start to resemble an episode of Hoarders.

Who wants that (beyond the typical neighborhood hoarder, I mean)?!

In the same way, you have to take care of your body. It can't do it's job properly if you don't do yours.

**steps off soapbox**

So what was I saying? Ah yes. P90X sucks. For me, at least. I will try to finish out the week, as I promised Studly I would... but I won't like it! Sike. I really will try. But I will not rule out returning to my running/pilates routine if it's not my jig.

And Studly promised he'd be okay with that, too.

For those of you scoffing at my idea of pilates as a workout - try it first, and then we'll talk. McStudly seriously used to always mock me. He thought it was a joke (he also thinks that the elliptical machine is "only for fat people", but I gave him 'the look' and told him that he needs to keep his mouth shut until he actually uses one, because it IS, in fact, a SERIOUS cardio/leg-toning workout!)... but then he had to take a pilates class for PT one week, when he arrived to late for the ultimate frisbee (or whatever sorry excuse the Air Force had for PT that day)... And the next day? He was HURTING!! He said it was WAY more intense than he thought it'd be and he has not even ONCE again said anything negative about it.

One of the things I love about pilates is that on top of toning your muscles (not bulking, toning) and making you feel amazing afterwards... you also stay flexible. And there aren't a lot of workouts that successfully do both. I literally feel like I've lost range of motion with just my .5 of a P90X workout this week.

Stairs and I? We're not currently friends.

But to summarize - I don't want to overheat again, and feel like a failure when I work out. I want to be encouraged and feel GOOD. I want to look forward to my next workout, not dread it and look for any sliver of an excuse not to accomplish it.

Anywho... that's that.

I suck at P90X, and I'm okay with that.

So what are you all doing to be healthier these days?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What's Next

I mentioned before that there's a lot going on in the Puhl house. A lot of what, you may ask?


A whole lot of waiting. And praying. And wondering. And begging for direction. And guidance. And... just... something...

There's still a lot of waiting to be had, but I wanted to share with you a part of the talk that Studly and I had this weekend.

sidenote: Isn't it just so refreshing sometimes to connect with your spouse on a whole new level? Or maybe not as "new" as just... it's been a while. We have had a great time together the past week or two, and I feel like we're both growing so much through all of this. But individually and together, as a couple. It's just like a breath of fresh air.

Anywho - back to what I wanted to share with you. But in order to tell you that, I need to share with you a story, first. There are many versions, but here's the basic idea:

An older woman, known for her faith, is in her home when she hears an emergency notification on the radio. An obviously concerned news person alerts everyone in the small valley-town that the local river's dam is in danger of breaking any minute and all should flee to higher grown immediately. Not a moment passes after the old woman's prayer to God is finished and there's a knock on her front door.

A younger neighbor, one who regularly assists the elderly woman with yard work and basic house maintenance, tells her that she needs to grab her purse and nothing else and get in the truck with their family. They are heading up the mountain to higher ground to wait out the coming flood.

"No, you go ahead. My Lord will save me."

He pleads with her for a few moments, before realizing that it's useless, and reluctantly leaves, driving his family to the safety of the higher ground.

Sure enough, not 20 minutes later the water is rising around her home. It begins seeping in under the doors, and eventually the windows, as well... so the elderly woman heads upstairs, praying for rescue still, in order to stay dry.

Upon reaching her bedroom and closing the door behind her, she opens a window to the sounds of an approaching speed boat. A fireman calls out to the woman, "Climb into the boat! We'll take you to safety. The waters are rising fast. We have to hurry!"

"No, no," she says stubbornly. "My Savior will rescue me. You go save the others!" Slightly annoyed, yet extremely concerned, the fireman insists that she climb into the boat, but she closes the window and turns away. The fireman drives on, saying a prayer for the woman as he leaves.

As the water begins to slowly trickle into her room, she pulls down the attic steps, climbs up, and then climbs through the low window out onto the roof of her house. Once she settles into a spot near the peak of the roof, she closes her eyes and begins humming and singing the hold hymns that she sang growing up. Songs of God's incredible faithfulness and abounding love. Songs of his provision and salvation.

From a distance the sounds of a helicopter grew louder and louder, until the wind created by the beating blades could be felt on the old woman's face. A rope ladder is thrown down from the open side door, and a voice shouts over a speaker, "Ma'am! Grab onto the ladder, we will pull you up!"

"Leave me here! My Jesus will rescue me!"

"But, ma'am, we just came from the river and the rain up north is causing even more flooding than we expected... you must come quick!"

"No. I will be fine! My Lord will not forsake me!"

Defeated, the pilot orders the ladder pulled up and turns the helicopter away.

Sure enough, the waters continue to rise, and the woman is ultimately swept away by the raging waters. Unable to keep herself afloat, within moments she finds herself standing in front of Jesus.

"My Lord!! My Lord, I waited for You! I thought surely You would hear my cries and save me from this flood... why didn't You come for me?"

With more love than anyone could imagine, and without the even the smallest amount of frustration or annoyance, he looked her in the eye and said, "My child, I sent you an urgent warning, a neighbor's car, a fireman's boat, and ultimately a helicopter. I did not forsake you. I would never leave you, nor forsake you."

Whew. Pardon me while I wipe the tears away... that story gets me choked up even just thinking about it. I mean, don't get me wrong - there's a whole comedic aspect to it, too. But just thinking about God's faithfulness, even in the midst of our stubborn ignorance... it's just amazing to me, the God that we serve.

Our decision to believe in him means nothing in the concept of his existence. And with that comes his grace - he is not an angry God, casting out punishments, and sentences for our actions, but rather a loving God that allows us to make the decisions we choose, even knowing that it would end in our hurt and ultimately his heartache. All of the anger and wrath and disappointment he had for us died on the cross, and now we are left with nothing but forgiveness and his amazing mercy and grace beyond anything we're capable of comprehending in this life.

That's how much he loves us!

Sorry. I know I got off topic, but that story is just such an amazing reminder of his faithfulness, to me.

So... back to what I originally planned to share with you -

There are a lot of possibilities swirling around the Puhl house. And we're really eager to jump at one of them... for a lot of reasons, but don't want to force it. We really truly want to be where God wants us. We want his will to be done in our lives and want that so much.

We believe that he puts desires in our heart for a reason, but we also know that at times we are the ones burning those desires, ourselves.

Basically, we're feeling stuck in this place of wanting to push for it, but not wanting to force it, either. We want to put forth all energy and effort that we can to make it happen, but at the same time we don't want to MAKE it happen, ya know? We're praying about it. Praying that God's will be made clear to us, but we know that sometimes we need to learn patience in these situations.

But we also don't want to sit back and do nothing, expecting God to literally force it on us, either. He won't do that. Sure, he can... but I don't believe that he would... not in this situation. SO we also struggle with not wanting to be like the old woman in the story above, where we insist, to a fault, that God will intervene, when that could be exactly what he's doing right now.

Either way, we're in a holding pattern. We'd appreciate any prayers you'd be willing to give for us, at this time. Prayers for patience, and peace in the situation. Prayers for God's will and his direction in the decision-making process. Prayers for sanity and strength through it all.

And I'll update you as I can. I promise.

But that's it for now... just a little tidbit of what we've been dealing with. Trying not to over-think things, and trying even harder to remember that we are so very small compared to our larger-than-life God.

...And finding peace in knowing that.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

That Person

Have you ever worked with someone that just never seems quite that genuine? They have a smile on their face, but you can just tell that somethings not right?

Well, I do.

We've been understaffed for more than a year in our office. And when I say understaffed, I mean by several people EACH. For example, me and my coworker were each doing close to the FTE (full time equivalent) of 4 people.

Now THAT is insane.

But to be completely honest? I'd take that over this new girl that they finally hired, any day. Because we at least worked like a team and covered each other. Things got done. As impossible as it seemed each and every day, somehow we made it happen.

That's a true team, I tell ya. We didn't always agree, but it didn't stop us from obtaining that end goal. And now there’s a kink in that team. A hole. A gap. A missing piece. And that is New girl.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that she can’t do the work. And it’s not that she isn’t getting things done, either.

So what is it? I’ll do my best to explain.

There are projects that we’ve been working on for over a year. Projects that, because she just joined us, she knows nothing about. And these aren’t just simple little projects, but are very intricate and it’s taken us a LONG time to set up the processes and build the relationships that we now have. Everything was moving along fabulously, and then she came along.

She started interjecting herself info parts of the projects that she had no business touching. She’s taken on tasking that she is not only not qualified for, but has been told to step back off of. Yet somehow she involves herself and somehow convinces other key players that she is supposed to be there. This not only makes our organization look disorganized and poorly run, but it also makes me look pretty stupid when I go to take care of something that I’ve been working for some time, now, and she’s already stepped in and tried to do it. The customer is confused. I look moronic. And she has me fumbling to come up with a reason for it all. And a reason for why the way that they were told to do things wasn’t correct and they need to do it this way, instead.

She’s causing confusion and making us look incompetent.

I’m not a mean person. I don’t throw people under the bus. And I would absolutely not stand in front of a customer and say “Well, [New girl] may have overstepped her bounds by telling you that so prematurely, and not only is that not the case, but it's also not her call to make.” Because I am a team player. I don’t believe in stepping on other people to accomplish a task. It’s not right, and it doesn’t just make that person look bad… it tends to make YOU look like a giant jerk-wod and still somehow make them out to be the good person, possibly even the victim.

Homie don’t play dat.

At least not this homie.

However, it’s extremely stressful. I’ve been in my position for almost 3 years, and have maintained a Level 3 in my title that entire time. The only reason I haven’t progressed is because there are only 3 positions above me, all with the same title, and just this past week was the first time any of those 3 people have left, and they replaced them with a girl that is not only fantastic (and I’m thrilled for her, in fact!) at what she does, but has been here the longest and absolutely deserves the promotion. I wasn’t even eligible because I actually work for a company that was reached out to in an order to fill my position, and the main company won’t allow “subs” to fill these top positions.

It’s annoying, but I get it. That’s just the way these things work around here. Not shock there, really.

But I’ve said all of that to say this: New girl is only a Level 2, and has only worked here in this environment and in this line of work for less than a year. Less than. So for her to come in and take over things, all personal annoyances aside, is just ridiculous. She’s not qualified. She doesn’t’ have the experience. And she needs to just take a step off.

Am I crazy for thinking this way?

I’m not one of those territorial kind of people. Trust me. Not with this stuff. Ask any other person I work with. I am all about getting things done, and if that means other people doing it? Well, then by-golly that’s what’ll happen.

Nobody wins when you’re only concerned about yourself. I’ve heard it said that “it’s a lonely road to the top”, and I have no interest in getting there.

But when you are going around to other people and making comments about me, and that you don’t like how I do things, well then grow a pair and talk to me about it. But noo.

What does she do?

She sends these e-mails with our bosses CCd, and tells me in this anything-but-genuine way how I need to do things this certain way that she wants me to.

My response?

I reply to all. I say “we’re doing things this way for a reason” in MUCH nicer wording, and throw in one of those “if I’m wrong about any of this, can you guys just let me know? I’ll gladly change things up if this is the case.” Because I have nothing to hide! I have a great relationship with our bosses. That’s what happens when you learn people and you forge working relationships with them.

Being all sneaky and conniving just makes you look like a tool.

And where I would normally be okay with letting her make a fool of herself, with no help from me, and having her just walk around like said giganto-tool, she’s messing up the relationships that we’ve built with the customers. And it’s taken us years to get to this point.

So basically, I’m just tired of it. It’s stressful at work all the time, these days. I’m constantly second-guessing myself because of it. And no one above me seems to notice the ridiculousness of it all (then again, they could possibly just not care, since I’m already doing enough damage control on my own to hopefully cover up all of her mistakes and over-eagerness).

And now I feel like I sound territorial and like I’m over-reacting.

It’s just not a fun situation. I dread going to work, now, and honestly don’t ever want to stay a full 8 hours. I’ve managed to make myself stick it out, but it’s a fight almost every day.

So pray for me… For patience. For wisdom. For kindness towards her. For energy to make it through the day, with some energy to still clean and make dinner at night. For a little extra dose of love to hand out when I’m feeling particularly un-loving. And for the ability to not take out my frustrations with her on other coworkers or my husband.

I’m really trying to work on loving her. It’s just SO hard when I feel like she seems so intent on ruining me and taking over everything I’ve worked so hard to build up.

It’s so hard to work with people like that. Am I the only one?