Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Life is a Bag of Frozen Peas

I have been comtemplating life. I have been earnestly praying and asking the Lord to please let me know he is there, that I am love and more importantly everything is going to be ok. I made a goal to stay busy and keep a positive attitude. Its amazing the things that come your way with this attitude. Old friends are there with support and loving arms without me ever saying a word that I need them, new friends are being made. The Lord is aware, gracious and loving we just need to have the right attitude to let him in. This morning when I got to work and looked at my email and this story was there. I think no matter what you are going through or where you are in life this story applies. So enjoy the story of encouragement below.

Life is a Bag of Frozen Peas
A few weeks after my first wife, Georgia, was called to heaven, I was cooking dinner for my son and myself. For a vegetable, I decided on frozen peas. As I was cutting open the bag, it slipped from my hands and crashed to the floor. The peas, like marbles, rolled everywhere. I tried to use a broom, but with each swipe the peas rolled across the kitchen, bounced off the wall on the other side and rolled in another direction.
My mental state at the time was fragile. Losing a spouse is an unbearable pain. I got on my hands and knees and pulled them into a pile to dispose of, I was half laughing and half crying as I collected them. I could see the humor in what happened, but it doesn't take much for a person dealing with grief to break down.
For the next week, every time I was in the kitchen, I would find a pea that had escaped my first cleanup. In a corner, behind a table leg, in the frays at the end of a mat, or hidden under a heater, they kept turning up. Eight months later I pulled out the refrigerator to clean, and found a dozen or so petrified peas hidden underneath.
At the time I found those few remaining peas, I was in a new relationship with a wonderful woman I met in a widow/widower support group. After we married, I was reminded of those peas under the refrigerator. I realized my life had been like that bag of frozen peas. It had shattered. My wife was gone. I was in a new city with a busy job and a son having trouble adjusting to his new surroundings and the loss of his mother. I was a wreck. I was a bag of spilled, frozen peas. My life had come apart and scattered.
When life gets you down; when everything you know comes apart; when you think you can never get through the tough times, remember, it is just a bag of scattered, frozen peas. The peas can be collected and life will move on. You will find all the peas. First the easy peas come together in a pile. You pick them up and start to move on. Later you will find the bigger and harder peas. When you pull it all together, life will be whole again.
The life you know can be scattered at any time. You will move on, but how fast you collect your peas depends on you. Will you keep scattering them around with a broom, or will you pick them up one-by-one and put your life back together?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A story that made me think about Life

What Will You Be Doing 7 Years From Now?
I graduated from Brazosport High School in Freeport, Texas in May 1972. Not dressed in white (honors), but I graduated.
That summer like the previous summer, I worked as a longshoreman loading corn, flour and corn sacks weighing 50 to 140 lbs. and 900 lbs. caustic soda drums on freight ships bound to other countries at nearby Brazos Harbor and Dow Chemical A2 Dock.
This was one of the better paying jobs in the area. It was grueling, hard, heavy work, but I loved it at the time. My father had been doing this job most of his life since it paid well.
Fall came around and I had already decided that I did not want to make my living as a longshoreman. Work was inconsistent and when it was there it only went to the ones with the most seniority, unless there was too much. There was very little opportunity for a better job when you got older.
I had always heard that a college education would get you a better job and decided to find out. So I went to nearby Brazosport College and set up an appointment with a counselor.
I got to his office at the appointed time and he asked me what work or profession interested me the most. I had taken Auto Mechanics I & II during my junior and senior years in high school and asked him if Brazosport College had an auto mechanics program.
He said "no." I asked him if they had anything similar to it. He said that the Machine Tools Technology program was very similar and described the program to me.
I was very interested and asked him how long it would take if I went full time. He said "4 years." I said I couldn't go full time since I am working (whenever work was available).
I asked how long would it take if I go part time? He said "7 years." I was shocked. I said, "Man, I'll be old then, I'll be 25 years old. I don't thing so."
He asked me, "what did you say you did for a living right now?"
I told him again that I worked as a longshoreman throwing bags and manhandling drums. Then he bent over his desk and looked me square in the eye and asked me the most significant words I will never forget in my life:
These words hit me like a ton of bricks! I sheepishly told him that I would be doing the same thing. I signed up for the classes right then and there.
These prophetic words have inspired many of my relatives and friends. The sun will rise and fall 365 days a year. What you choose to do in between will determine many things in your life.
This story alone has inspired relatives and friends to realize an age-old truth: Time will go on regardless and it waits on nobody.
Years later, I told a co-worker this story. He got inspired enough that he went on and got 3 different degrees in computers in less than 7 years! He said afterwards, "7 years ago I would've been saying to myself, 'If only I had the opportunity.'"
Augie Mendoza

Another First

Last night Millie achieved another first in her life. She can finally roll over from her stomach to her back. So no more being on mom's bed for fear she will roll off. Although she did roll off the bed last night but no worries it was a blow up mattress. I had the elders come and move all the furniture out of the bedrooms last night to make room for the new carpet. I slepted on the blow up mattress and Millie slepted on a blanket on the ground next to me. It really wasn't a good nights rest my mattress kept deflating and thus I had to keep blowing it up. (I had a brand new mattress still in the box, did I think to blow that one up?) No, I didn't want to wake Millie up which in all reality made no sense at all because I had to keep pumping the old one up. Duh! So I only have myself to blame for my poor nights rest.

So back to Millie, this morning while I was getting ready and having put the bedding away she had free reign on the bedroom and needless to say she took advantage of the space. She was loving her new found freedom. I don't think it will be too long before she is crawling. She already is try to scoot.

This weekend I spent the entire time painting the family room so that we can have carpet laid. Craig and Madison were wonderful. They both took turns playing with Millie and feeding her. What a big help that was to me. Millie loved all the attention she received from her brother and sister. They were also a big help with the painting, they did a wonderful job and never once did they complain. We all laughed and sang and had a wonderful time. Shawn came both days to help and we enjoyed having him there. I think he was a little suprised at how much Maddie can talk, she can really carry on a conversation. And she kept us in stitches with her humor.