Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dear Diary

Today I went with my mom to our friend Amy's really cool new shop in Edmonds. She "salvages" old junk and creates really cool stuff with it. Click on the "DEAR DIARY" title to go to their home page. They also have classes that would be fun to take together on a Saturday!

While we were there, I noticed a cute little diary for sale. I thought it would be empty...but lo and was not! I have been reading from it today and thought I would share it with you:

Inside front cover:
Rita Wirkman
1823 NE 185th Seattle Wash

KEEP OUT...this means YOU
Rita Wirkman

April 17th 1966 "Dear Diary. Today was my day (dad's) birthday. We went fishing but didn't catch anything. My mom and I made a cake for him"
May 2nd, 1966 "Dear Diary. Today we started 9 more swimming listens"
May 4th, 1966 "Dear Diary. My brother and I had to go swim, so we did"
January 16th 1967 "We renamed our new dog to muffin"
February 19, 1967 "Dear Diary. I'm not doing much of anything except cleaning my room and looking for pictures of animals for reading. I have found five so far."

I hope Rita is having a good life. I wonder where she is and if she still swims with her brother?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Week One Complete

I figured out why I work where I work today. Every morning we have devotions at 8:30. We are reading the Chuck Swindoll book about something or other and I really don't pay that much attention. However, this morning there were only three of us there and the other two are two that I really like and the development director led the devotion...we never got to the Swindoll devotion because the two of them kept telling me how much of an "answer to prayer" I was.

Keep in mind, I have NEVER been anyone's answer to prayer so this is an incredible position to be in and I am honored. I am touched that the Lord would have led me to make this seemingly crazy decision but then to be told that I was an answer to prayer...I love them and I love that!! I cried of course.

We then went on a field trip to all of the Rainier Campuses. There are five total. We got to eat lunch in the cafeteria at Kent View. The final campus we were at was the middle school and we got there in time for chapel. Now I was a bit concerned because it was middle schoolers and chapel - but I must tell you that those kids were amazing. They led worship (on the worship team) and a little 7th grader got up and sang a solo!! I was so touched by her love of Jesus and confidence in herself to do that in front of all of her peers.

I am convinced that I was directed to this place for a reason - and the Lord continues to show me this daily. I am a natural skeptic but today's solo by a little 7th grader told me that this place is doing a great work and I get to be a part. Thank you Lord!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

2nd Impressions

**Update** I just did my own criminal background check via the Washington State Patrol and it came back clean...WHEW!

Today I almost ran screaming from the building wondering what I was doing there. It's not really that bad, but they re-orged a little before I got there and now I have one support person and am still considered an administrator, not a that was interesting and fine with me at this point - I am also not going to have enough work to keep me busy. I have a plan for how to address this issue and will wait until I have learned more - tomorrow I will answer the phones to get used to answering those questions.

I also saw a deer come into the grounds today - it was a nice thing to see as my cubicle faces the outside area.

I really like the people and it's so nice to not feel like I'm messing up or that I'm being micro-managed. I love being needed and accepted and that will go a long way to helping me stay there.

Do not get me wrong, I'm not complaining at all - just telling some feelings that I am dealing with.

Thanks for making this journey with me.

Monday, September 25, 2006

First Impressions

I'm so bored I could cry. I think that with any learning curve there is going to be places where boredom lives, I just didn't expect it on the first day. This is going to be a problem for me as I need to feel useful! I will need to create opportunities where I can thrive...I also think, for me, it's hard to come from knowing a lot about a job, to knowing virtually nothing and learning from scratch.

I see a lot of process improvement areas as well...starting on that ASAP.

There is a Fall Banquet on October 26th - I already invited my parents as my dates so hopefully they can come! Anyone else who wants to come will be welcomed. I may even get a whole table!

My new email:
Please use it! I'll try to have IM up by the end of the week.

We prayed twice today so that was nice - now I need to pray for some work to do!
Overall, it was a great first day - there is another Nazarene lady from Renton Church so that was nice. I only cried once too during devotions when they all thanked God that I was there was touching.

The potluck was very good as's nice to be accepted and needed. I just hope I have enough to fill my days.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

He giveth more grace...

Tonight we had food and talk about grace in the Living Room - this is a new concept of coming together to share a meal and some good conversation. I admit I was skeptical at first - as I usually am about everything, but this was really a great time. Friends I hadn't seen in awhile and new ones I'd like to get to know better all came together to share taco salad and really yummy Apple Crisp!

We talked about the concept of grace as we understand it in our Western Evangelical was an excellent conversation and I was intrigued by the intelligence of this group. It's an exciting time and this is an exciting group. I realized sitting there that I could exhibit grace to people even right in that room - I need to practice that. I miss Katie though - I think she and Joe would really like this group.

It feels strange to not work at UW any longer. I turned in my parking pass today and realized I wouldn't be back. I think I could get used to it.

I'm going to the fair tomorrow - I get to take Ellie out of fun! She doesn't know yet - so I'm excited to surprise her!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

12 hours and counting

I have 12 hours left. Part of me is really sad to not do this anymore. It's a very surreal feeling to know that on Thursday, I will not drive the 33 miles to get here. Yet the other part of me is excited never to see certain people ever again!

11 hours - 45 minutes...

Lori: I may need my UPASS back (wink)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Missed Perceptions

I was driving home from church today with Brent & Ellie in the car. We were exiting from the freeway and I was trying to make the light which had turned yellow. A guy had unexpectedly turned in front of me and so it appeared (to the guy who could not see that I was trying to make the light) that I was trying to tailgate him, or that I was really ticked that he cut in front of me (when in fact I was only trying to make the yellow light) and so with that assumption in his mind, he started breaking right in front of me and flipping me off - over and over, and then through the sunroof thinking, perhaps, that I didn't see the 12 other flips he gave me.

Now, I was a bit p.o.'ed because the kids were in the car and I had done nothing wrong. So, Brent and I just started laughing so hard we couldn't stop. We presumed (possibly incorrectly as well) that his dad must have criticized his football playing when he was a kid and now it made him insecure. Then Brent said "you didn't even do anything wrong."

This got me thinking about all the times I've assumed bad things about people in my life - things that are totally untrue - people talking about me, people don't want to be friends with me anymore, people are only nice to me if I do stuff for them...all of this negative self-talk crap. I realize that for most of you, this kind of stuff ends at high school, but there are some of us that still carry around lame insecurities.

It is's the devil's most pervasive tool used to ensure that followers of Christ feel really bad about ourselves. I do not want any part of it anymore.

I know people like me - my family and friends love me no matter what and that makes it easy for me to get flipped off, and laugh with my favorite red-headed boy all the way home to watch the Seahawks. Life is really o.k. if we remember that perception is only what we make of it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Read this blog!!

One of my favorite theologians has posted an amazing blog that is well worth the read. It's called the top 10 reasons why God does not want you wealthy. I really like what he has to say and he references this week's Time Magazine where there is a picture of a Rolls Royce and in place of the normal RR hood ornie - there is a cross.

Please read this if you get a chance...he's long winded as he's a prof at Asbury but so smart and well worth the read. I think reason #10 is the best by far!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Kauai 2007

You know when your day seems to be going along and nothing much happening? Then you get an email from your mom saying that you get to go to Kauai in March...sort of turns things around a bit!!

Thanks mom for making my day. I need a Puka dog!

Short timers

I have short timer syndrome. I am not sure it's actually a medical condition, but it is making these last three days harder! I have zero motivation and want to do nothing but play on the internet all day - not that that is different than any other day!

I realized though this morning that I don't want to go out like that. I have not called in sick once since quitting, even though I will lose 232 sick hours and I have only used one personal holiday as I will not get paid for that if I do not use it. For some strange reason, I guess I feel like I should be here and give it my best even if I am not motivated.

I have also begun to question whether or not this decision was the correct one or not. I think that is typical with any life change - and specifically with a career change - there is always a healthy dose of 2nd guessing. That is where I am at.

In China, they call happy hour, "exciting hour" which seems appropriate. Some friends took me to exciting hour last night and there's another one tomorrow night. It is nice to know that you will be missed.

Monday, September 11, 2006

8:46 am...9:03 am...

Most of us probably have one moment in our lives when we remember exactly where we were or what we were doing when a national tragedy occurred - for my parents generation it was the day JFK was killed. For my grandparents, it was the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. I remember asking them about that and hearing them tell with such detail exactly what they were doing and how they heard. My folks were in college, and they cancelled class that day. I remember asking my dad his reaction and he said "people don't just kill presidents."

I did not have anything like that in my generation maybe with the Challenger explosion as an exception, until five years ago today. I will always remember where I was, what I was doing and what I thought. Of course, disbelief was first, then sorrow and profound loss at how something like this could have happened - and so far away from where I was going on about my daily life. I hurt for the people of NY - and it wasn't until later that the images and pictures of all four crashes became evident. I hated this "unseen" enemy and was proud to be an American. I remember the street corners in my town becoming instant vigil sites - flags waving, people holding candles and praying - it was something I do not want to forget. I wish, sadly, that we could have those bonding moments without tragedy - but I fear we will not. We are consumed with our daily lives, not in a bad way, just in a way that shields us from thinking about something so sad for too long.

The picture is graphic, I know, but I do not want to forget - I want to forgive and move on and hope to make the world a little better where I live.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

One more quarter

As of today, I am one quarter and one class away from an MA in Organizational Leadership. It's exciting to be this close, however, I have not turned in two papers yet for one of this quarter's classes - so I should be feeling relief right now and reading books for pleasure (I got some really good ones for my birthday) but instead of that, I'm pressured to write these two papers. So, procrastination being my ally, I decided to blog.

I am also watching Washington play OU - it's tied at the moment and the Huskies actually look really good.

I only have 7 days of work left. They are letting me take my personal holiday a week from Monday - so that is nice. Let the countdown begin.

Back to the papers :(

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I love football

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love football. I can't really explain it - I do like the men in tight pants, and I suppose I wish I was that athletic - nah it's the pants.

I think part of it too is the memory of watching football on Sunday's with my dad. He would patiently explain plays and tell me what to look for.

His favorite team (and of course my favorite team) was the Oakland Raiders "his boys"- he grew up in Oakland and played QB for Oakland High School. We used to sit on the couch after church and watch Jim Plunkett, Lyle Alzado, Marcus Allen, and Tom Flores run the sidelines. It was great fun. He usually fell asleep and I'm sure I got bored and turned the channel...but the memories linger.

The best games were those when the Raiders played my mom's team, the Seahawks. I hated the Seahawks - only because they were playing "the boys". It was a bitter rivalary.

I still love to watch football with my dad. Thanks for instilling the love of the game!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Rich Friends

If you ever get a chance, even for a moment, try to be friends with someone who is super rich. This is someone that never has to worry about money, only worry about where to put it all.

One of my old friends is super rich and just quit his high level job at a major software company in Redmond to go to another company that sells books on line in Seattle. I couldn't believe that this actually made the news this morning but I guess it's a big deal.

He is actually one of the funniest people I know. He was also very generous. I've never eaten better than when I was friends with the Valentines. I miss them being together and us going to Disneyworld or Salt Lake City or even to Daniel's Broiler.

I hope he does well - he's obviously not a golfer.

Monday, September 04, 2006

What are you doing for the rest of your life

There's a really cool jewelry commercial that uses this old song "What are you doing for the rest of your life" so I found it on I-tunes and it's really good. I like it as a love song and wish that I had occasion to sing it or that someone would sing it to me. But that is another post for another day. Sigh.

I quit my job tomorrow. I've thought a lot about this day - replayed it in my mind - what I will say, what they will say. So, I prayed about it last night at 2:30 in the morning when I was awake. I am in control of the situation but they have been known to make things hard on those that are leaving - but it's all over in a few weeks.

Change is always hard no matter what form it takes - but usually leads to growth and other good things so I go confidently into tomorrow and will post after the news has been delivered!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Jet lag stinks

I do not know what to do. I was up from 12:30 am to 4:15 am this morning. I watched three episodes of $40/day and an episode of Law & Order/CI. Thank goodness for Tivo!

I could use any help anyone could offer as this is ridiculous! I looked for Melotonin (thanks Kathryn!) but could not find it at Target.

I think stress is also playing a role as I have to quit a really good job on Tuesday - for the mission field :-)

I'm so tired!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Rainier Christian School

It's over!

I got a job offer to work at Rainier Christian School (click on the link above to go to their website) as their student account manager and I took it! I'm nervous and excited. It's a definite pay cut, but I believe that this is what I'm supposed to do and that the Lord will provide - as he always has done.

I start on September 25th. It's about 7 minutes from home and 4 miles. There is a coffee stand between home and work too! What could be better?

Thanks to everyone for their prayers of support during this time. I will miss my friends from the UW and will still stay in touch. I have to go to the fair with Katie in Sauke Center next year!

I have to sleep now - I'm so tired! I also have three papers due in the next few days. So glad to be back...can I go back to Shanghai?

About Me

I work at a Christian School district only 4 miles from my home. The people there are full of grace and love and I am glad to be a part of this ministry. I have a neice and nephew whom I love dearly. They are 12 and almost 15 respectively. I have two amazing sisters and two amazing brothers-in-law. Of course, I would not be here if it were not for my mother agreeing to marry my dad. Good going mom! My parents are my life and I would literally be NOTHING without their unconditional love, support and care. You rock mom and dad. Then there's Will & Lora...their giggles are like sunshine and their parents crack me up too.

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