Friday, June 24, 2011

Cherished Outreach

First off, I realize that I've dropped the ball the last couple of months on keeping up with the Cherished Outreach updates, so I'll go over those here too.

The outreach in April was really numbing for me. There weren't a ton of girls, but we had some great interactions with the ones that were there. Stephanie Liby came with me and we ended up talking to 2 dancers in the dressing room for a very long time. The girls were really transparent about some aspects of their lives and I was stunned at what is considered normal, or just not a big deal. I'm very proud of myself for maintaining a good poker face and not letting my jaw drop, like it wanted to. Sometimes the urge to just grab some of the girls and take them away from their lives is overwhelming. I'm glad that's not how God works though. I have a friend who always reminds me that God is a gentleman. He does not force himself where he is not wanted, and in Hosea he says he will allure us and speak tenderly to us. This visit was such a great reminder to me of how much God has blessed me in my life, and reinforced my desire to show the women at the club a different love than they are used to.

The May outreach went really well, Janice Wood did it, as I was scheduled to have a baby the next morning. :-) People were friendly, and she actually met the manager too. She was able to talk with the dj about his dad, who is dying, and let him know she'd be praying for him.

Last night went Stephanie and I went in with 4th of July cupcakes for the staff guys and gift bags of necklaces or earrings (each was different) and sparklers for the 4th. Everyone who knew me asked about our new baby and I got to show pictures around of Stella. We chatted with the bartender for a while and found out that his grandfather is dying, and he had spent the day at the hospital. He seemed genuinely appreciative when we said we'd be praying for his family.

We met 3 new girls that were just starting their first night. Steph found out from one of them that they travel all over the country working in clubs and making money dancing. They were all familiar with the idea of a ministry like ours, and mentioned the women from Southland who take meals to the clubs in Lexington. The girl Stephanie talked to said sometimes the women doing gift minstries are condescending and "act like they're better than us", but we were really nice. :-) We went to drop off the rest of the gifts in the dressing room and there was one girl finishing getting ready. She seemed sad and when I asked if she was ok, just said she had been dreading coming to work. She also mentioned that over the last week almost all of the "old girls" have either quit or been fired, but it's very common for girls to float between clubs or quit and then come back. It's a very hard lifestyle to escape from on your own power. It's so easy to be lured back to the prison we know from the freedom we don't. I know that that's been a struggle for me in my past, and the more I get to know the people we see at the club, the more I see how alike we are.

"What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we've been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you'll have it all—life healed and whole."
1 Peter 1:3-5 (Message)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tonje Langeteig - " I Don't Wanna be a Crappy Housewife"

This video makes me snort-laugh every time I watch it. It starts with the "Hi, my name is Tonje." It's just funny. Then there's the 10 people waiting to get into the 'club' and the one paparazzo with his little camera. The fact that there's like 5 people in the club. The awesome rappers with their sideways hats and huge Flavor-Flav bling, not to mention their awesome rap, which is just her lyrics, rapped. And the fact that the first time I heard this song, I mistakenly thought she wanted to be a good housewife, not a crappy one. And I thought, "Me too, Tonje! I don't want to be a crappy housewife!". Then I realized she doesn't want to be a housewife at all. I am completely behind her in this decision, because based on this video, I'm pretty sure no one wants her to be a housewife or mothering any scary children. :-)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Really there's nothing super exciting to talk about, but life is going well. So in the spirit of lists I've been reading on other people's blogs, here are a few things I'm excited about:

  1. Grandma and Grandpa came and took Josiah to the local pool/waterpark and he had a blast - I had a blast by catching a nap. :-) I can't wait until TJ and I can go with him sometime soon.
  2. TJ bought me The Hunger Games trilogy while I was in the hospital, and I just started reading them a couple of days ago. They are AWESOME. I can't wait for the movie, and I really hope they don't make it cheesy. I'm sad that I'm getting ready to start the third one, but I can't slow down because they're so good.
  3. Last night Stella only woke up twice! I caught a 3 hour nap and a 2 hour nap almost back-to-back. I feel pretty good, and completely forgot about how sleep deprived you are as a new parent when you're excited about 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
  4. This Friday is my first post baby visit with my doctor (not Stella's, she's already been) and that means I'm getting ever closer to feeling and being able to move like a normal person.
  5. I painted my fingernails yesterday, which I usually don't do. I feel festive. The color is OPI Pompeii Purple, which is almost a metallic bright pink color. I usually do not go for pinks, but I'm trying something new. It's going to take a while to get used to.
  6. TJ started his new job at Hitachi in the HR department on Monday, and he is loving it. I feel so blessed that he has a job he enjoys so much and that we now get him all weekend!
  7. It's not quite 10 am, and I am getting ready to enjoy my morning cup of coffee. Considering that yesterday I didn't get to sit down and drink it until almost noon, that's something to be excited about.
Well, seven feels like an abundance of things to be excited about. Now to read a little and enjoy my morning beverage.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hello Sunday

Last night was pretty rough with the little princess. I think her stomach was bothering her, because she woke up several times after only sleeping for an hour, which is unlike her. Well unlike how she's been for the last 8 days of her life. I wasn't feeling great myself, so maybe we were just reacting to the same thing. I also woke up feeling really sore, but after some of my pain meds I'm feeling a lot better. It's a new day, and it's going to be a good one. Today is the last day of TJ's time off, and he starts his new job in HR at Hitachi (formerly Tokico). He's really excited, and I'm really excited because with this job he gets (as I understand it) all weekends off! The idea of always having Saturday and Sunday with Daddy at home is really exciting for the Hood family. :-) I am really going to miss having him home all the time though.

Just an fyi, maybe don't let your almost-3-year-old go to sleep with wiffle balls in his bed. Josiah went to bed last night, and I loved listening to TJ pray with him and sing "Alleluia". But within 5 minutes Siah was crying and saying "owie", so we told him to come out and the poor kid had gotten his finger stuck in his wiffle ball. TJ actually had to cut it off his finger. I felt bad for him, but it was kind of hilarious. You have to be careful about laughing too much when you're healing from a c-section. But it was totally worth it. He is at such a fun age. We can tell him to go play in his room and then listen to him talk for his trucks. This morning one of them was Uncle Joe and the other one was Kelsey. They usually end up asking one another if they want to go play outside, or mow the lawn. These are his two favorite activities. While TJ's been home and putting him to bed, he's asked every night if they're going to mow the lawn tomorrow. Our lawn is looking great, by the way.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oh dear, it's been a while.

Whenever I say "Oh, dear" I feel like my mom. :-)

For those of you who might not be aware, God blessed us with our second child on the 27th of May, at 8:59 am. Stella Jane Hood was 7 lbs, 3 oz, and is so beautiful. I completely forgot how much babies looks change even over the first few days. I think she's already prettier than when she was born. Although they do come out a little wrinkly, so that's kind of a given, I guess.

I was way more nervous this time, even though I'd had a c-section before. I think maybe because I was more alert going into it, but everything went really smoothly and I'm recovering much faster than I did last time. It does make me totally crazy to not be able to just get up and clean my house. TJ has been hoome with us this week though, and that has made it SO much easier. He's great about doing things for me and making me rest.

It's been so much fun watching TJ with Stella. He was so sure that everyone was full of it when they tried to tell him how different it is with a girl, but he's totally head-over-heels. Josiah has had little to no trouble adjusting to his baby sister. I've been watching for any signs of jealousy or feeling neglected, but he's been so great. He loves helping take care of her, and TJ's been taking him outside to work in the yard almost everyday, so he's getting some good one on one time with his daddy. I'm just going to have to make sure he keeps getting some Siah time after TJ goes back to work and it's just us. I'm totally intimidated about learning to take care of two kids at the same time though. :-) But it's sink or swim, right? We'll get it.