Translate This–Whatever

It is no secret to my friends that I picked Whatever to focus on this year. It has come out of my mouth so often and takes on so many different meanings depending on my tone of voice and context. Sometimes it truly is a way to cope, sometimes it is very flippant, and sometimes it is in prayer.

I was chatting with a multilingual friend a while back. As it often does, whatever managed to find its way into our conversation. She shared with me that in Spanish, whatever can be expressed several different ways depending on what you say. It got me thinking so I looked it up on Spanishdict.com

whatever sign

Whatever:

  • haz lo que quieras: Do whatever you like
  • ¿y eso qué significa? : whatever does that mean?
  • pase lo que pase: Whatever happens
  • lo que tú digas: whatever you say
  • sea lo que sea: Whatever it is, whatever it may be
  • dale lo que quiera: give him whatever he wants

 

So in English, we may simply say whatever, but in Spanish it can be translated 6 different ways. It amazes me that so much can be wrapped up into one tiny word.

As a personal challenge, I decided to break down whatever and see how it applies to my life. (please forgive me if I butcher the Spanish or misinterpret it. I am English speaking and working with an online English to Spanish translator.)

 

haz lo que quieras

Do whatever you like. I don’t really feel like this applies in my life. I could go into all the ways that it doesn’t but I’m not going to. Instead I’m going to has lo que quiero and move on…

 

¿y eso qué significa?

Whatever does that mean? I find it interesting thinking of this translation. How many times in life do we wonder why. If you’ve spend any time with a toddler you know that is one of their number one vocabulary words.

As we grow, I don’t think we stop asking why, instead our vocabulary changes and matures with age. It grows more into “whatever does that mean?” and “why is this happening to me?”

Today is The Husband’s last day of work. He has no paycheck coming on the 15th like he has had consistently for the past 11 1/2 years. Our reliable direct deposit is gone. He is going to be home tomorrow morning. For how long? Well, we don’t know. We’ve had lots of leads and slowly each one of them has fallen apart.

I’m left sitting here going why…but at a deeper level. I’m left asking God, “Whatever does that mean?” Where do you want us God? What is in store for us that we cannot see yet?

 

pase lo que pase

Whatever happens. I am a planner and I love to know what is going on long before it does. I get my fingers in the behind the scenes. I don’t care if someone else gets credit, but it often goes my way. I’m not a manipulator, I just like to help plan and direct things to what I feel would be best.

In our current situation, I’ve made lots of plans. In some ways that has helped us be where we are at right now. The Husband and I decided a few months ago to move on. We planned, thought it out, and stocked as much money as we could possibly save. In that way, our planning has made all the difference. We are okay financially for a few months. We don’t have to worry about food on the table, a roof over our heads, electricity or water for a while.

But that is where my planning stops. God is dictating the rest. Every time I make a plan, it falls through. I started packing thinking we were going to move–nope! I thought The Husband would have a job by now–nope!

If I’m going to let God guide my life and dictate His will, I have to be ready for whatever happens.

 

Todo lo que Dios dice

Whatever God says. I changed verb forms and a couple words on lo que tú digas (whatever you say) to mean whatever God says. I’m allowing God to have whatever in my life this year.

Not only do I have to be ready for whatever happens, but I also have to listen to what God is telling me. If I’m not listening, I could completely miss His plan and will in my life.

I started packing boxes for us to move, sure our house was going to sell. Very long and stressful story later, we are not moving. We are staying in this house for a while. It was suggested by some that we move before the house sold. The Husband and I talked and prayed about it, and just felt it was not the right decision.

It would have been great because we would be where we want to live, but we would now be juggling a mortgage, rent on a new house, moving expenses and still no job. Because we were open to whatever God said, we only have a mortgage to pay.

It is hard because sometimes God says no or wait when all we want to do is go. As humans, we dream and make plans, we want to see those dreams come to a reality. Society tells us to, “live your dreams” but what happens if your dream is not what God designed for you. That is a hard cookie to swallow.

It is disappointing to see your dream crumble and fall apart through your fingertips. You should dream and it isn’t wrong to set goals but don’t set them in stone. Living as a Christian means being open to God, listening to Him and willing to do whatever God says.

 

sea lo que sea

Whatever it is, whatever it may be. As God shatters that dream, I’m left with nothing but a pile of dust and broken bits. It leaves me lost and insecure wondering where to head next. When we first bought this house, we planned on living here until we were too old to live on our own. The Husband planned on staying at his job until he retired. We were happy. We were content. We wanted to stay.

Within the past year, all our dreams of the future have slowly crumbled away. It isn’t just the job or the house, but everything that was rooted with that. Dreams of the girls moving away and coming back for visits, dreams of remodeling the house, dreams of designing a back yard, dreams of grandkids (yes, I’m 33 and I went there long before this year).

They are all gone. I’m left with nothing but a raw shell, an empty vessel ready to fill up with new dreams. I’ve allowed myself the one dream of moving but that is it. Right now, that is all I’ll give myself. And that dream is so far out that it could happen when The Husband retires and we’ll still be meeting it.

Being empty leaves me very vulnerable. There is a lot that can get to me because there is so much room inside. And if I dare to dream then I can be broken yet again. That is exactly why I have to give God my whatever.

I will fill myself back up again. I will dream again and work towards those accomplishments. I will give them my all. I want to make sure they are rooted in God and are of His will. As I dream, I have to be open and flexible, I have to listen to God, and I have to be ready for whatever may be. God may say no to a dream again. That may mean I’m doing good enough here that He doesn’t want me to change yet, or it may mean He has a different dream in mind. So many questions, and only one God answer.

 

Darle a Dios lo que quierra

Give God whatever He wants. I changed this one a bit too from dale lo que quiera. People who are not believers in God do not quite understand this concept. Not of my will God but of yours.

As a Christian, I follow God. God asks for one thing and only one thing…whatever.

As I’m processing through all the steps of whatever, whatever does it mean, whatever happens, whatever God says, whatever it is, and whatever it may be, I’m left with a choice.

I can do whatever I want or I can be open to God and do whatever He wants.

I choose to give God whatever He wants. That may mean some sacrifices. It means that, for now, we are not going to move, it means that we have a time of financial uncertainty, it means that I don’t get to plan my future. It means that I face the scary unknown with only one assurance, God knows.

Everything is not perfect and I have my moments of doubt. Last week was a prime example of that. I’m human, I stress and I break down, but my foundation is strong. It doesn’t take me long to get back to whatever.

I have a great support network of awesome friends who love me when I’m up and love me more when I’m down. That is what gets me through times like this. They remind me to keep my faith in God and trust that He will make it all alright.

As long as I’m walking in whatever, walking in faith, open to what God wants then everything will be okay.

 

UPDATE:

I edited this post to add our update. The Husband found a job a week later. Read about it here: Surprise! God was planning.

 

~Crystal

 

In today’s patch of grass:

Standing in contentment in green grass

LoggaWiggler / Pixabay

  • I’m so thankful for my dietary issues. I stress eat and with all the changes I’ve been craving sweets. We don’t have any ingredients in the house to make anything sweet that I can eat. In a very twisted way, my food issues are helping me maintain my weight.
  • Today the girls are done with their curriculum. That doesn’t mean their education is done for the year, it just means we have a little more flexibility to do the fun stuff.

 

I love my UPS man!

It has become a joke between The Husband and I. My UPS delivery driver is awesome and goes the extra mile to give good customer service. Considering the FedEx man doesn’t knock on the door or ring the doorbell, The Husband teases me, wondering what I did to get such great service.

UPS truck

Used with permission. By Rudolf Stricker (Own work (own photo)) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Things my UPS man does for me:

  • He honks his horn when he pulls up to the house so I can meet him at the door.
  • He always has me sign for packages–even if no signature is required.
  • He always greets me with a smile and asks how my day is going.
  • If we’re not here, he hides my package. He turns over empty garbage cans, hides it behind bushes, and rearranges things in the front of my house to keep my package safe and secure.
  • He remembers me. It may have something to do with the fact that he’s been our driver for almost 9 years but a lot of it is because he cares. Once we got a large package and I wasn’t home. He hid it behind both our garbage cans and tried to disguise the rest behind some bushes. A week later, on the next delivery, he asked if we’d gotten the package. He was worried about it. That’s a driver who takes his deliveries seriously–he goes home at night and worries if the customer will find their package before someone else does!
  • He never drops or throws my boxes. He always sets them down gently and treats them with care.

 

So the big mystery of how I get such awesome service from the UPS man….

 

I try to make his job easier and thank him every chance I get.

 

  • I meet him at the door when he honks, and if I make it there too early I meet him at his truck so it saves him a little time.
  • I always smile and thank him for the delivery. He is doing me a favor and brings the packages with a smile. I don’t have to make his day worse by complaining about the minor things (not that I have any).
  • In the winter time I keep a box of hand warmers by my front door. When he delivers on really cold days, I hand him a pair, or 2, or 3. Those trucks get cold and it doesn’t take much, but he sure appreciates them. In fact last year, he thanked me on a return visit for the extra warmth that day. Yep, he got another handful to get him through a few more cold days.
  • In the summer time I’ve been known to give him a bottle of cold water. Cold and wet drinks make all the difference in the heat.
  • Once, I was watering the lawn when he dropped off a package. He asked if he could run through my sprinklers. Of course I let him! Didn’t bother me, and made his day a little better. It was a hot day and over 90 before noon. I’m sure he was dry before he made it back to his UPS truck.

 

Our delivery drivers are people, and they should be treated as such. Thanking them and appreciating them every now and then gives them value in an often thankless job. Good drivers like my UPS man go above and beyond.

If you have a good one like I do remember to thank and randomly appreciate them. It brightens their grass and will probably make yours a little greener too.

 

~Crystal

 

A Mouse in my House!

Poetry is not usually my method of writing, but there is something about a mouse in the house that screams, Dr. Seuss style POEM.

Enjoy….

 

Mouse in the house

Hans / Pixabay

 

Ode to the Mouse

 

Anythings better than 10:30 at night

Getting up to pee and instead getting a fright

As I’m sitting there I see a streak of brown

A mouse on the floor, scampering the only sound

 

Thankfully I managed to keep in the screams

As the girls slept nearby happily having their dreams

The Husband is away for the entire night

I must get brave and deal with this sight

 

So what is the best thing that I can do?

Curl up in my bed with my phone and a shoe.

I stressed and I cried and made a phone call

The Husband didn’t know of a trap–none at all.

 

I turned to Facebook and shared with my friends

In hopes that this was a nightmare and it soon ends.

I got lots of love, support, and even a text

As this stupid mouse scared me and left me vexed.

 

A mouse got in my house

Terrified and crying at 11 PM.

 

I had to conquer this fear as my bladder was full

It may be a small mouse, but I’m not gullible

This creature has a massive amount of power

Especially in the middle of the night at this hour

 

I won’t go into details but I managed the feat

Without seeing the mouse again from my seat.

With all the lights on I made it back to bed

A very long night was surely ahead.

 

It was One in the morning when I fell asleep

Sure it was coming at me with each creek.

I don’t remember the night much after that

Until my alarm at 5 said to get up–stat

 

I laid in bed keeping my feet off the floor

Trying to fall back asleep and let myself snore.

Suddenly I felt something brush on my back

I gave that poor blanket a really hard whack.

 

I know the mouse can’t get up on my bed

But that doesn’t mean it can’t mess with my head.

I got up, put my shoes on, and took a step of faith

I had to delude myself into feeling safe.

 

I turned on lights as I walked in the hall

Sure not to scream or take a fall

As I entered that dark scary bathroom

Certain I was stepping into my doom

 

I walked in and not even 10 seconds later

I was in a corner terrified of the instigator.

It ran and it streaked straight up the hall

Not in the middle, but hugging the wall.

 

I didn’t want to know where it scampered off to

It was away from me, I breathed big, “whew”

For the next 2 hours I hid in my room

Until the girls got up and they learned of their doom

 

Clean clothes were in the front of the house

And their mom wouldn’t go there because of a mouse

They grabbed hands and were much braver than me

Walking through the house when I wanted to flee

 

They got their breakfast–I only heard one scream

The Inventor decided to practice–oh she’s mean

Breakfast and showers, we’re ready for our day

Now if this darn mouse would get out of my way

 

8 AM came so it was off to Ace.

The hardware store was the helpful place

That had the devices to save my sanity

And rescue my family from this great calamity

 

I didn’t care that I had to walk

My goal was to get rid of the thing that caused shock

It was cold and windy with a little bit of rain

But, “Kill that mouse” was all that was my brain

 

I love a small town hardware store

They are friendly and help when you walk in the door

He pointed me straight to what I would need

To help me on my mission–to help me succeed

 

A quick walk home with all my supplies

Traps and Dr. Pepper to help me vitalize.

Slapped on some peanut butter and got them set

Now to wait, and try not to fret

 

My mouse killing supplies.

My mouse killing supplies.

 

 

While waiting I discovered droppings by my pans

He ran through my kitchen and changed the days plans

This was a problem I couldn’t ignore

Time to wash dishes and scrub the floor

 

We’ve lived in this house for 9 long years

And only 3 times I’ve had to conquer my fears

It is amazing since we live right by a farm,

A river and a canal add to our neighborhood charm

 

I know they’re around, but they stay outside

Rarely coming in to find places to hide

But when they do, they don’t last long

Because once in my house, they’ve done something wrong

 

About 1:30 PM we heard a clink

It sounded like silverware falling in a sink

The Inventor ran to check out the sound

And squeeled with surprise by what she found

 

mouse trap

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

 

“It’s in the trap but it’s still twitching,

I looks like its neck is really itching.”

With horror I realized the thing was alive

How in the world did it survive?

 

I decided to wait about another minute

I couldn’t take anymore–I’d reached my limit

The Inventor was sitting on the floor with pride

She’d sat there and watched until the thing died

 

Miss Crafty was hiding with me in despair

Wondering why The Inventor had so much care

“It’s cute,” she proudly informed me

“Can I have one” she desperately tried to plea

 

I reminded her of one big rule,

Mice as pets are not cool

You may have one when you move out

But I’ll never visit, I won’t come about

 

Now I was left with one last quest

To throw away this unwelcome guest

Once again I filled up with fear

Just at the thought of going near

 

Then I realized I had been blessed

With a tom boy who would help when her mom was stressed

I gave her a bag and and a blue rubber glove

And sent her to do a job I was scared of

 

She rescued Miss Crafty and I with pride

Taking her job with great stride

She even laughed a little and giggled with joy

Shaking the trap like it was a toy

 

I’m not ashamed to admit or to say

I depended on an 8 and a half year old this day

I don’t have to worry, I don’t have to dread

THE MOUSE IS GONE–IT IS DEAD!!!

 

~Crystal

 

In my patch of grass:

Standing in contentment in green grass

LoggaWiggler / Pixabay

  • I know I just wrote a whole poem about it, but a mouse is my biggest fear. I’m terrified of the things. The first time there was a mouse in my house I called my mom and had her drive 25 miles to rescue the girls and I until The Husband could take care of it. The second time The Husband saw it and I was oblivious to the fact until I found it dead in a trap–I still screamed. I’m proud of how I dealt with it this time. Much improved. (and as a side note, I’ll still take spiders landing on my face any day over a mouse)
  • Our truck was in the shop to fix an oil leak. It wasn’t as big of a problem as they thought and cost us half the original quoted bill!

Simple Things, Volume 2

I’ve had a long week full of stress. I’m exhausted both mentally and physically and I can’t wait for the weekend. There were some awesome things about my week though. Here are some of the highlights:

 

 

IMG_20140419_183227

Waiting for the hunt to begin.

IMG_20140419_183531

Scrambling for eggs. I won’t call it a hunt, you didn’t have to look hard.

IMG_20140419_205159

Their haul.

Last Sunday was Easter. It has become a tradition in our family to attend church on Saturday night. In part because we can avoid the crowds but also so the girls can participate in the Easter Egg Hunt. These pictures don’t do it justice. I heard they spread 35,000 eggs in the field this year. The girls don’t get candy very often so they are always so excited. Every year we allow them to eat as much as they want on Sunday…and then we are reminded why they don’t get candy very often.

IMG_20140421_205238

 

Cubbie holes and hiding places: The Inventor loves hiding places. She’ll cram herself into the smallest spots and say they are cozy. I got the hall closet cleaned out last week. She has now claimed the space between the door and the items on the floor as her cat house. She grabs her kindle, puts up her sign and hides in there for hours on end. I’m not going to complain–at least she is reading.

IMG_20140419_102256

Messages from my children: I love them all. They built me this one out of bricks on our back patio. I could see it whenever I looked out my kitchen window. So to you from my girls: “HI!”

 

Those were some simple things that made me smile this week. What were some things that brightened your week?

 

~Crystal

Anikia’s Challenge

Anikia is one of  The Inventor’s best friends. They’ve known each other since diapers. These girls don’t know life without their friendship.

Watching them together warms my heart. They understand each other and love one another for who they are–expecting nothing more or less. A sign of true friendship.

ResizedImage_1397693197993

 

Anikia has 5 brothers, 2 older and 3 younger. She is the only girl surrounded by boys and when she comes over to my all girl house her eyes light up. They put on put on make-up, dress up clothes,  play princess, with dolls, or find something else girly to do.

Anikia is not your normal child though. She came with her own unique set of challenges. The thing that impresses me is that she doesn’t let anything slow her down. She has a pure heart, full of love and joy.

Challenge #1: Speech

Anikia is a very smart girl but her brain can’t make her mouth work. It is a birth defect known as Childhood Apraxia of Speech. It has got to be extremely frustrating to know what you want to say and be able to think it but not get it out. Through therapy, she has learned how to talk and communicate but you can tell it is still a struggle.

There are times when I’m talking to her and I cannot understand what she is saying. I see that frustration cross her face. Instead of giving up, she finds a new way to tell me.

Once she was over and wanted to get out some princess coloring sheets. Instead of giving up, she got The Inventor’s Cinderella pillowcase, brought it to me on the other side of the house and showed it to me. Other times the girls have translated for me. She always figures out a way to communicate what she needs.

Through therapy, she is improving leaps and bounds. I have no doubt that some day she’ll be able to walk in a room and talk as if nothing was wrong, but that is going to take lots of hard work and dedication.

Challenge #2: Heart

That’s not all that Anikia has to overcome. She also has a heart problem. When she was developing in the womb, the valve attached to her main artery became deformed. Because of this and a unique congenital genetic duplication, she develops tissue build up in that valve. Without proper blood circulation she grows tired and weak. The best treatment is to do surgery and remove the build up.

This past summer Anikia had her 3rd open heart surgery in 7 years. Her mom tells me that Anikia will need surgery again in 5-7 years. It is a cycle she’ll repeat her entire life.

Surgery challenges her body, but she doesn't stay down for long.

2 days after open heart surgery.

But Anikia doesn’t let her heart slow her down either. Before her last surgery we were at a fundraising walk for Apraxia. Anikia was walking with The Inventor and I. I could tell she was wearing out. Every now and then she grabbed her chest and said, “my heart hurt”. I asked if she needed to rest and she would shake her head, give me a resounding no and continue on.

Eventually, it got to be too much and she decided she needed a break. We stopped for a whole 15 seconds before she decided she was fine again and took off running. I could tell it was a struggle but she didn’t want to let a little old heart problem get in her way of having fun.

I know the world has stacked problems against Anikia. I know that she will battle health for the rest of her life. But watching her grow up, I don’t think she’ll have any problems. If she can’t do it, she’ll find a work around.

Anikia is a shining example of Living in Green Grass. She takes what she has and deals with it, not letting it get in the way of  living life how she wants.

If you want to help Anikia and others like her with Apraxia, there is an annual fundraising walk. There are walks all over the nation throughout the summer. You can find out more information or donate to the cause here.

~Crystal

I’m always looking for people who live in Green Grass–being content with life, no matter the circumstances. Anikia is a brave child who overcomes so much and doesn’t use her challenges as an excuse. If you know of someone who deserves a Green Grass Award,  let me know using the contact form under the Green Grass Awards tab or by clicking here.

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