Concerning Consistency

Something hit me at work, as I payed bills, answered the phones, caught up on emails, processed the mail, made the deposit, and emailed people about overdue invoices. It is this: my job isn’t exciting. I am not a good employee because I knock the ball out of the park everyday, but because I’m consistent. I’ve been overwhelmed by the sea of things undone because I haven’t been here doing the little things I do every day. (Something that actually happened in my absence: the flowers got watered. I’m not very good at remembering to do that. They call me the flower killer.)

Without me we’d run out of paper, toilet paper, paper towels, stamps, coffee, highlighters, pens. business cards, dividers and folders (to begin the list). Our business and alarm system licenses would be expired. No one would renew their vehicle registration. The water, electricity, phone and internet would be shut off. The garbage wouldn’t get picked up. We would probably never get paid by our customers.

The little things I do matter… and this isn’t to brag about how important I am to the company, but my recognition that my success is directly correlated to my consistency.

Isn’t this true in every area of life? Grocery lists, laundry, telling our family we love them…

What about reading the Bible, hiding it in our hearts, and spending time in prayer?

I realize that I feel like every time spent doing devotions should be full of mechanical layouts, cross references, and epiphanies. But it’s about consistency, isn’t it? This is a place I’d like to grow. It’s so easy to be consistent when you’re getting paid… the other areas require a little more discipline.

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Our lease is signed! We met our landlord last night and she is just so sweet. It was good to talk to her— she has confidence in us as tenants, and we have confidence in her as the landlord. We move in less than 45 days. I’m collecting boxes from work, and trying to keep myself from packing all my things right NOW. 🙂 (I already packed my summer clothes- and what do you know, it’s 80 degrees again.)

Things we need for the new house:

  • Dining table- we want 6 chairs because we LOVE having people over for dinner!
  • Washer and dryer (dryer has to be a 3 prong plug)
  • Dresser
  • Office chair
  • Dashboard pizza oven (for long road trips) and Soft-serve ice cream machine (Josh added these…)

The “It Would Be Nice” List:

  • Patio Furniture (we have a big back deck and a small front porch)

We can move them in December 1st, and we’ll be moving into the new home around the 13th. Please pray that God provides the things we need!!

Josh has a Hebrew exam tomorrow, so our date night is being postponed until Thursday night (which I’m sure will be full of last-minute sale prep, breakfast casserole, and Parks and Rec). I’m working hard to finish up my earring holders for the craft sale– and I’m really excited but totally nervous. I told Josh that I’ve never even sold lemonade, so the thought of selling things I’ve made kind of freaks me out! (Although I was pretty good at selling Delia’s jeans… not even gonna lie. They called me the denim diva. That job made me feel like an airhead… especially when I was “promoted” to Fashionista.)

I priced everything the other night, and I’m glad Josh is going to be sticking with me during the whole sale. All that’s left to prepare is making signs with the prices, completing 5 more earring holders, and going to the bank to get change. This Saturday kicks off a crazy busy month, but getting to see so many people we love (Josh’s family, Elise, and my family). Actually it pretty much kicks off insanity through the end of the year, since nothing is calming down in December! (God, please make December 13th a beautiful AND NOT SNOWY day. Amen.)

I’m thankful I’m feeling better. I’m back at work, I’m excited about what’s happening in our life, and I am especially excited about the craft sale- a double blessing since I am getting paid to make things. I was worried that mono would totally mess up my production for the sale, but I believe I was sick for longer than I realized before I got my sore throat. I feel better than I have in WEEKS.

 

Dear Josh,

I’m looking forward to our date night, craft sale, and moving adventure! Mostly, I’m really excited about all the ways we will use our home for hospitality. I can’t wait to have friends over for movie nights, game nights (THAT WE CAN PLAY ON A REAL TABLE), meals (THAT WE CAN EAT ON A REAL TABLE), and weekend visits.

One of my favorite moments this week was when we were watching “Love it or List it” and the guy said he thinks kids need their own bedrooms and we both wrinkled up our faces, shook our heads and looked at each other…. and laughed because we had the exact same expression and reaction. Obviously we’re on the same page.

I’m looking forward to having dinner together and spending a little time before you study.

Love, Mrs. Cornelissen

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Mono and OUR NEW HOME

At this point, I am quite behind on my blogging. I have a great excuse though– mono. Nevertheless, a lot has happened in the past week so I’ll catch you up.

Friday, 17th. Friday, was a long and hard day at work. I gave it all I had, but I felt like crap. After a long day, I came home to my sweet husband my sister in law Kaity! Those two dears went straight to Walmart with me to get some more cough drops and things from my “sicko” list. We had leftover lasagna, played Cacassone, and enjoyed being together.

Saturday, 18th. We took the morning really easy… I had a really hard time sleeping, and Saturday I hit a wall of exhaustion. We made breakfast, played games, showed Kaity what we hoped our new place, and then we went to Raleighwood to see Malificent! The movie was sooo good… but Kaity and I were a little rusty on our Sleeping Beauty. (Actually- I don’t think Kaity had ever seen it!) So when we got home, Josh did some dishes and Kaity and I watched Sleeping Beauty. We had planned to do Steak and Shake for dinner, but the movie got out at 4:30 and I didn’t feel good… so changed that plan. We ended up getting Chinese food for dinner, which we never do, and hung out. The night was long and miserable. I woke Josh up, crying, because I was in so much pain and SO tired. In that moment- I’m sure Josh felt helpless and I felt like I would be sick forever- we got some awesome news. Our application for the townhome was approved! It was SO comforting, and it felt like God was saying “See? I’m taking care of you.”

Sunday, 19th. Sunday was the worst day, health-wise, of the entire mono saga. My throat, lymph nodes, and tonsils were so sore and swollen that I could barely open my mouth, and could barely swallow. It hurt to talk, but that didn’t matter because my voice was gone anyway! I don’t even want to write about this day… so let’s say it was miserable… there was lots of crying… and Josh and Kaity are saints. Also, I bought some spray for my throat that numbs… and I was terrified to try it because it’s cherry flavor. BLEEEECK. So, in an act of solidarity, Josh tried it too. I almost died laughing from the way he reacted to it numbed his tongue! (I tried it and it didn’t taste that bad… but I sprayed my tongue too.)

Monday, 20th. I stayed home. All day. And did nothing but watch Netflix. I felt like a bum. It still hurt to talk so I wrote everything out to Josh. BUT I had gotten sleep. Blessed sleep. And I napped a lot of the day. Also I watched Cupcake Wars and might have cried because I wanted to eat a cupcake but I was too tired to make them, and still too swollen to eat them. Agh.

Tuesday, 21st. I stayed home again and spent another day watching Netflix. I felt so much better, night and day from Sunday, that I went to growth group and EVEN ATE REAL FOOD THAT WAS NOT PRIMARILY A LIQUID. Seems like nothing, but it had been over a week since that was really possible.

Also, I think it’s worth stating that one of the biggest issues was that not only did it hurt to eat, but I didn’t WANT to eat. I had no appetite, and had to make myself eat. Tuesday was the first time in 2 weeks that I even wanted to eat. Big big big step.

Wednesday, 22nd. I went back to work for a half day, arriving for the staff meeting, and got teased my all my co-workers (all guys) for having mono. I definitely wanted to run away when I saw my desk covered in paper, my phone flashing with voicemails, and my email inbox overflowing. Regardless, I left by 12:30 and was home- back on the couch- by 1. I was SO thankful I decided to do a half day.

Thursday, 23rd. I did the morning at work and spent the afternoon crafting/sitting on the couch. I signed up as a vendor for the SEBTS craft sale on November 1st, if you forgot… before I got mono. That seriously cramped my crafting style for 2-3 weeks, so I had to really bring it this week. Our friends brought us dinner, which was a huuuge blessing.

Friday, 24th. I did the morning at work and had a lunch date with my love at Olive Garden. Those are a rare occurrence, so we seized the opportunity! I spend the afternoon crafting/watching Netflix as per usual.

Saturday, 25th. crafting. Crafting. Crafting. Everything is almost ready for the craft sale… and I feel really good about it.

Sunday, 26th. I did more for the craft sale… Josh and I planned our Halloween costume… and we talked to our landlord! Also, under my obsessive watch guiding help my husband made a batch of soup to take to work!

Monday, 27th. Today is first full day back at work in 2 weeks. I feel SO much better. I’m so thankful that I have a job where I am missed in my absence, but they also care about me as a person… and that I knew they’d understand I needed time to rest and get better. Tonight Josh and I are going to spend some time doing homework/crafts, and go meet our landlord! WE GOT THE PLACE- so we’re meeting tonight to sign the lease and make our housing deposit. I don’t think I could be more relieved or excited. I had in my mind that I would have this big blog post about it, but life is busy.

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The Cornelissen’s home, come December!

 

Dear Josh,
Mono stunk. What didn’t stink is the stellar care you gave me. Thank you SO much for all you did… the grocery shopping, the hand holding, the bumming around with me, the water fetching, the tear drying, the encouraging, the silliness to make me laugh, sitting up in the middle of the night with me, making me gargle with salt water, peeling me away from webmd, and taking care of all the housing stuff in the midst of it all. I’m so glad you’re with me through it all- craft sales, sickness, moving… it’s only making our relationship stronger, and I’m thankful.
Also, I’m super excited about our plan when we move in…. 1. Decorate for Christmas 2. Put in Christmas movie 3. Start fire 4. Watch movie with dip, popcorn, hot chocolate. Looking forward to spending another Christmas with you, hanging our stockings on our mantle, and making a new place feel like home.

Can’t wait to come home to you at the end of this super long day. It feels like the 2nd day of school- when the initial excitement is gone and the classes seem to last forever.

Love, Mrs. Cornelissen

Marshmallows

Wednesday night, I stopped at the store on the way home to get some things to make me feel better (mints, marshmallows, Tylenol, popsicles). I know. Marshmallows? Yes. They are soft. When I eat them it doesn’t feel like I’m swallowing glass. Marshmallows are like my new best friend.

Our friends,  Tom and Charissa, brought us dinner. Seriously, we were so spoiled and blessed. Lasagna, salad, rolls and cookies. We were going to play board games (because the let us borrow Carcassonne!) but I was working on a pillow case for Elise… and I reaaally wanted to watch The Emperors New Groove (apparently what Miss Mono wants, Miss Mono gets). Also, I finally got the things I ordered from Target with my monthly “Deborah fun money” as I call it… I got a black maxi dress (and it is actually the right length- YAY Target Petites!) and my sweet husband did the laundry so I could wear it to work.

On another note, I kinda snapped at work on Wednesday when I got a utility bill with an added charge because they had to come out and tell us that if we didn’t pay our bill we were going to have the service shut off. We had that visit on Monday. Well on Monday I called to inform them that we were paid in full, and then they realized that we DID pay, but they applied our payment to the wrong account. (NOT MY PROBLEM.) Anyway, I got this months bill on Wednesday. So I called to say what the heck we are not paying for your mistake. Maybe it’s because I’m not only tired of feeling like crap, but I am so tired of dealing with crap. I let that poor lady have it. (“We pay you for ____, not for making trips out to tell us we haven’t paid a bill that we DID pay.”) Have I mentioned that I basically hate talking because my throat hurts? Yeah. Maybe that’s why I was double mad at that poor lady. (PS she put me on hold to “research our account” for 30 minutes and said she’d call me back. That was 2 days ago.)

Thursday morning, I was feeling super crummy. I didn’t sleep well through the night, and felt really trapped by our financial situation. (If I don’t go to work I either don’t get paid, or I am using up my vacation time which I need for Thanksgiving/Christmas/Sims family vacation 2015). As I was driving to work, I was trying to find something to be thankful for, and started looking at the glorious sunrise. The fluffy clouds were framed by a sky bursting with pink and yellow… and then I saw a little deer get hit. All the traffic stopped and the deer struggled for life and eventually got into the grass. Then I was thankful I didn’t hit the deer… and focused very intently on driving.

At work, I numbed my throat and took pain killers, which got me through the morning. Also, tea. Tea is my favorite. The guys have been understanding that I’m tired, that I can’t lift things, and generally feel terrible, and they have helped me instead of getting irritated when I ask for help. It is humbling, asking for help, but also makes it possible for me to be at work.

Thursday night I was up for hours. Friday morning I was exhausted. And late to work. (Which was totally cool because my boss knows that I am super sick and I warned him I might not be able to get out of bed/be on time and I’d text him.) I was SO discouraged coming into work, exhausted from not sleeping well 2 nights in a row, and I was surprised to find that my friend Courtney had left a bag of tea and cocoa on my desk. Day= made.

Tonight, my sister-in-law is coming to visit! I’m excited that she’s coming because I have something to look forward to. 🙂 I warned her we’re not going hiking, since walking to my car is a struggle, and will probably be sitting around a lot. I’m struggling to get real food down… my throat is so swollen and tender. Not really sure how I’m going to get through this day… or how I’m going to drive home. It’s gotta get better, right? We have another “sicko shopping list” (yogurt, sherbet, ice cream- you know, the staples) and Josh is going to help me make chicken noodle soup.

 

Dear Josh,

If you get sick I’m just going to cry. Speaking of crying, thanks for letting me cry and thanks for comforting me. I’m so thankful for the safe haven of our home, where I don’t have to take care of myself, or say I’m ok when I’m not, and I’m glad you don’t let me beat myself up about all the things I can’t do.

Love, Mrs. Cornelissen

Mono-chromatic

Our application for the most adorable house that I totally don’t have my heart set on is out of our hands! We sent it off, along with our application fee. Super exciting!

BUT that’s not the biggest thing that has happened this week. Monday, I was feeling so terrible it was time to email Dr. Mom. She said my symptoms sounded like strep, which I’ve never had, and that I needed to go to the doctor. So when I came home, I changed into comfy clothes, brushed my teeth, and Josh took me to the minute clinic at CVS. After we waited for an hour, we finally got in and described my symptoms… and they said they wanted to do a strep test AND a mono test.

What

The strep test came back negative, so they did the mono test… which involves a simple finger prick but then I watched them squeezing the blood out of my finger as I tried to talk about how I always poke myself with needles when I’m sewing and got pretty lightheaded. For some reason my dear husband thought this was a good time to ask me if I have ever given blood to which I responded “OH HEAVENS NO, I’m NOT a big fan of fainting.” Maybe that happened before they stabbed my finger with a needle. You know… I don’t remember. It all happened pretty fast after that. They started telling me about how the spleen and liver can be enlarged… and how high impact sports could kill someone with mono… and then told me that I HAVE MONO.

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The kicker is that I came to the doctor because I felt like crap and wanted to feel better. Instead, they told me that it was worse than I thought, and that there is nothing I can do except rest (and avoid high impact sports. They told me like 10 times. I was like PEOPLE I had a hard time walking in here. I’m not running and smashing into people.). Anyway. I don’t know how long I’ve had it, but from what I have read the symptoms usually last between 4 and 6 weeks. If I’m being optimistic, I think that I’ve had it for 3… but I started really falling apart 2 weeks ago for sure.

My biggest question is HOW did I get this? No clue. I don’t share my food, drinks, etc… and I only kiss Josh, who has never had mono. So… it’s a mystery to me. But I am relieved that it’s mono, not strep. When I thought it could be strep, all I did was think about those precious kids I was snuggling with and composing an email to our church’s childcare coordinator. Also can we talk about the strep test? She made me sit on my hands, which I didn’t understand until she did the test and then I was glad I was sitting on my hands because I wanted to punch her in the face. Good call, Doctor Deborah. (No really her name was Deborah.)

Sidebar: I have not had the best interactions with Deborahs. A Deborah pierced my ears for the first time and they got CRAZY infected, and not a Deborah tried to gag me with a cotton swab and then told me I have mono. What’s with this, Deborahs?

Josh took me to get some “I’m sorry you feel like crap” Chick-fil-a for dinner, and I collapsed on the couch, which has happened a lot lately, but this time feeling like I had permission to be tired, and that it was ok to do nothing. (Also I may have started crying because I thought Josh wouldn’t kiss me because he could get mono. But I still got a kiss goodnight. We laugh in the face of danger.)

Monday night, I woke up at 4 am. I wish I could say I went back to sleep, but I never did. I kept asking “why? Why right now?” And this is the only thing I can come up with… I have a hard time admitting I can’t do something, and I have an even harder time asking someone to do something for me. That even includes Josh. I have a hard time asking him to do things for me, which he knows. So I’m praying that in this time I feel so worn and helpless, that I am able to learn to depend more on Josh as a teammate.

Tuesday, I finally got some relief from my sandpaper sore throat. No, not by natural means… by these bad tasting weird invention cough drops that numb my entire face. Ok, fine just my mouth and throat… but boy it felt weird. I answered the phone and I was legitimately concerned I would have no control over my tongue.

I spent the entire day trying to decide whether or not to go to growth group. Pros for going, I get to see my friends. It would be encouraging. I get to talk about Jesus and focus on something other than how awful I feel. Cons, being there means I’m not sleeping. I ended up going. And I’m so glad I did. We talked about the good Samaritan, and I had never realized (until I was pointing it out) that the passage started with focusing on loving God, and ended with mercy. Without experiencing God’s mercy, is it possible to show mercy to others? The mercy that the good Samaritan showed seems to hinge on loving God, and I don’t think that is emphasized when the passage is taught… the emphasis is usually “look at what this guy did, and we should do the same thing,” without looking at the REASON he did it.

Wednesday, it is a fabulously stormy day. We had a company meeting this morning, and all the techs were complaining about the rain… but I get to sit inside and watch the rain through my wall of windows. Bring on the thunder. (As long as the storm doesn’t knock out my email.) Also, I have considered implementing a complaint jar. Every time someone complains I get a dollar. I would be rich. I could buy a sewing machine!

We submitted the application to the dream town home yesterday, and have received several emails from the owner (even though she’s on vacation… in ITALY). So that’s encouraging.

“Moving” on… today I feel like crap. I don’t want to move, I don’t want to think, I don’t even want to swallow if we’re being real. But I’m thankful for a job where I get to mostly sit all day. I’m thankful for our friends that are bringing us dinner tonight. I’m thankful for the rain. I’m thankful for my sweet husband who lets me put all my weight on him while I’m walking because I’m so tired, and for the way he has selflessly served me, making my lunches, bringing me things so I don’t have to get up, and making me laugh. (Since the doctor told me my spleen could be enlarged, every time I laugh I hold my side and say “Oh no! MY SPLEEN!” Maybe I should stop doing that since I actually do hurt sometimes, and then laughing more makes it worse.)

 

 

Dear Josh,

Thanks for going to the doctor with me. Thank you for laughing with me. (I love your charts… “Sitting on the couch and making other people get you stuff… lazy*
*unless you have mono)
You have picked up so much slack this week, doing the grocery shopping, the cleaning, cooking, getting me things, sleeping in the other room so I can sleep through the night without you waking me up. This is the first real sickness we’ve encountered since being married (unless you count that cold I had in the spring), and I am so thankful for the way you’ve taken care of me.

I’m also really excited that you’re so excited about the town home. It’s nice that we can actually picture ourselves living somewhere else, and making it a new home. I can’t wait to see you tonight. Also, I kind of want to watch The Emperor’s New Groove.

Love, Mrs. Cornelissen