Sunday, November 5, 2017

Our Home on Wheels

We are all moved in!!!

As you walk into our back door you come into the living room. 
These chairs are on the back wall of the trailer.

Directly across from the back door and the rest of the living room.
Our double recliner has traveled with us from Newberg, OR to Waco, TX
and now will continue the journey wherever we go.

Next to the double recliner is our little eating area which includes the TV, printer,
bookshelf with cookbooks.  When we moved out of our home and into the motor home in 2006 we had whittled our cookbooks down to six!!!  I now have one shelf of cookbooks ~ but it should be noted we donated at least two full shelves of cookbooks to the Salvation Army as we moved into the trailer :)

Also, the babies have their home in front of the fireplace (we can heat the whole trailer with this little fireplace; the fireplace was used often in our motor home when we purchased it in Missouri). 

As we brought most of our groceries from the apartment to the trailer we needed somewhere to put the beverages ~ a milk crate works great and once all the beverages are gone, the crate will be gone as well.

The plants in the corner, on the printer and on the fireplace all came from Georgia last February ~ so glad to have them as reminders of a special friendship and love having the greenery in our home.

This is the view from the dining table across to the kitchen (back entry door on right).  We have our Keurig, our ice maker, water filter pitcher, yes my pig canisters!!  We have a built in microwave and oven too!

And for those of you who know I love my pigs ~ check them out above the microwave and beside the stove!

The Christmas cactus in the front right corner on the kitchen counter is actually three cacti plants ~ one was a start from Mom Balzer who had gotten her start from Grandma Workentin, one was a start from Ron's cousin Joann (given to us after she passed away) and one that we bought in December 1998 when Brandon was in college. ~ it blooms at different times of the year, sometimes for Easter, sometimes for Halloween and even on Christmas!!

and then you come to half the bathroom ~ yes my necklaces, bracelets and earrings are tagging along for this journey.  

The plant on the shelf was given to me by my Branson Forever Friends when I had my heart attack in August 2013.  It finally bloomed this past August for the first time!!!  In the mornings when I am getting dressed I am reminded over and over how much I am loved and by so many!!

The sunlight you see coming in on the plant/cabinet is the door out of our bedroom.

On the opposite wall of the bathroom sink are my necklaces!
Ron did a great job hanging all the different hangers.  


Throughout the pictures you will see many of our family pictures.
We love seeing pictures of our boys, their wives and the grands!!!

Going to quickly run out of wall space for more pictures so we may just have to invest in another one of those picture frames that the pictures rotate through.

And that my friends is our redecorated and loaded up 
home on wheels.

I should mention our pantry is located in the back of the expedition :)  

Hope you enjoyed this little tour!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Happening's with the Workentin's

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Lots!!

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We begin with we KNOW God is in charge and knows all things as he says 

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and
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and that is what we have been doing ~
seeking God's will for our lives,
asking Him to show us where He wants us to be,
and help us to be willing to deal with whatever he sends our way.

And last Thursday, October 26
God clearly shut a door for us.

Our Pastor summed it up in these few words:

Please pray for the Workentins' as they are leaving their work as houseparents in Waco, Texas.  This is a painful decision but is necessary at this point in their lives.  

And so for the last week we have been moving out of the apartment furnished by MCH into our home on wheels ~ our 30' travel trailer.

We had planned to go back full~time RV'ing in Fall of 2021, 
now instead it is Fall 2017.

We are currently at a Thousand Trails park in Central Texas.
We are taking this weekend to play!
and boy do we need to 
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Next week we will finish up with some business here in Waco,
and start our search for employment ~ as we both like to eat, take drives and you know all the other adult stuff that needs to be taken care of.

We don't know where we will be going.
We don't know what doors of employment will open.
We don't know what God's plans are for us,
BUT we do know that 

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and

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so that's what is happening with the
Workentin's.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Do You Ever Wonder Why?

As I sit here in our little apartment I keep asking myself
"how did we get to this mess today?"

And then ask, "Lord I don't know what to do, I am feeling helpless and alone." I read scriptures of peace, peace in my heart and soul and yet there is so much turmoil.  I question every thing that is going on.  Why are we currently having so many issues with the boys (not all of them but three very strong willed, loud and self-entitled attitudes) and I just want to cry but alas one boy says "that means you are weak."  

No, I don't think I'm weak I think I wear my emotions on my sleeve and feel at 150% everything...yes another strong willed person right here.  I keep asking over and over, why is so hard for these boys to do the bare minimum that is asked of them ~~
~ make your bed each day
~ clean up your personal area
~ keep your closet clean enough so it doesn't STINK!!
~ keep your dresser top clean and organized
and do one daily chore
It could be: your bathroom, your bedroom, the laundry room, the TV room, the front/back porches, the foyer/halls
but we are told we are demanding,
we pick on them,
we yell at time ~ Yes I do sometimes

Oh and we ask you to be respectful of your home parents and those in authority, even told by administrators and unit managers "it's not okay for them to cuss at you."  Really then why are there no consequences for when they do, not just once but over and over.  Consequences ~ not around here, the boys do what they want, when they want, tell you you can't tell them what to do because we are not their parents.

You are so right young man, we aren't your parents, we have taken on the responsibility of caring for you, trying to teach you right from wrong, how to be smart and responsible young adults, we love on you when you are in an unlovable mood,  we buy you things so you don't feel ignored and left out, you go on more activities  in a month then most kids being reared in a "normal" family do in a year.  

I feel like right now I am the 
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who continues to try to figure out what could I be doing differently?
What do I need to do or say to break through your hard shell.
How do I reach that young man inside?

Maybe 
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Maybe, 
my time here is done.  
I know that Ron and I have made an impact on some of these boys
but with all the pushback,
hatred, negativity coming our way
it's time to move on.

I know I have asked this question before and now the question is when do I/we say yes it's time to go.  There are boys here who we have lots of hope for, want to encourage and be there for them and so then the question comes, do we let a few boys pull/send us away and then wonder what about the others.  

I wish I could say
"Hey God, yeah, we need your help, 
can you please be specific in what you want us to do and how you want us to proceed."

Guess there's nothing much else to say.

So guess its time to work on the laundry.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sitting Here

This morning as I sit at my laptop working on weekly reports and thinking about finishing up our daily logs for this week, 
my heart aches,
tears are flowing,
and I am questioning.

I know and believe in my heart the Lord opened the doors for us to be here at the Methodist Boys Ranch
but today I am not too sure.

The last 2.5 days have been a living nightmare here.
Boys doing what they want, when they want,
regardless of what either Ron or I say to them.

We don't ask much of them,
but I guess it is too much.

This weekend The Compassion Experience is happening here in Waco.  I am hoping the other set of house parents will take our boys to it.
To give these boys a dose of reality
and a glimpse of the real world.

They think life is so tough here,
try living in a third world country where you have no idea where your next meal is coming from or even when that meal might happen.

I was abused as a child and as a teenager
and I made a promise to myself that once I was an adult and living on my own
I would not be abused again.

But I sit here
asking why?
why am I allowing it to continue?
how many times do I allow the boys to abuse me?
verbally?
emotionally?

It's hard to write up daily logs and share what is happening with the boys when everything seems so negative.
And trying to teach these boys to be respectful to one another, to other adults, to those who care about them is doubly hard when you have an adult come into a room and start talking smack to the boys and dishing it out
and the boys feel they have no recourse 
except to do the same back to that "adult."

I am ready to step out of the situation
and say, "You know what, I gave it my all 
and the all is now empty.  I need to take care of me, take care of my relationship with my husband, take care of my marriage, take care of my soul and heart and mind.

I am thankful we are going into our off week.
I am not sure what will happen next Wednesday when we are due to be back at work.  

But I can't keep doing this.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Going Around in Circles

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I woke up this morning way before the alarm was set to go off
so headed out to the living room for some study time.  
I fixed me a bottle of water, grabbed my Bible and notebook
and settled myself in the recliner.

As I began writing I asked the Lord to show me what he wanted me to focus on today.
Today is our Monday,
the first day back at work,
with lots already on the calendar:
Changeover Meeting at 9,
Normalcy Training from 10 to 12,
Ron has a follow up dental appointment at 12:50,
Pick up boys at 3:30 and then go, go and go some more.

I opened my notebook ~ it has been 16!!! days since I last spent any time in the Word, being quiet before the Lord!!!  
Where is my follow through?
What happened to my intentions?
No, don't go down the trail of beating myself up ~
it is what it is!!

No excuses!  It is what it is!!!
My mouth/teeth are killing me ~ I know I need to get back to the dentist.
What goes through my mind is FEAR of the dentist, COST of any procedures,
but the pain is so intense...grabbed a couple of Ibuprofen,
back to my Bible and spending time in God's word.

I prayed "Lord, show me what you want me to focus us today"

Luke 17:1-10
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"Lord help me not to be a stumbling block to others, forgive those who hurt me, no matter how many times they hurt me,  help me to respond in Love & Respect"

and
2 Timothy 4:6-8
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"Lord help me to fight the good fight, help me to finish the race strong and most importantly, help me to keep my faith strong in You!"

~ Quitting is not an option
~ Need to believe and that IT (whatever IT is) can be done
~ Do not let discouragement or unbelief set in
~ Run with purpose, keep focused on the goal
~ Don't let negative talk control me
~ Keep moving forward, keep your eyes on the end goal
~ Remember challenges can be overcome
~ Keep moving, one foot in front of the other

"Lord help me to focus on today, the moment, the Big and Short goals.  Lord help me to keep Your word on the tip of my tongue."

Hebrews 10:23
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God is faithful.
The promises he makes, he keeps.
If I am determined to hold on, the fog will eventually clear.

Where does
"going around in circles"
come from...
I find myself starting over so often!
But then I am reminded that 

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And so I tell myself it's okay to go in circles,

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because even going round in circles the journey
is a bit different.

Thank you Lord for this journey I am on.
Thank you Lord for supplying all our needs.
Thank you Lord for loving me just the way I am,
in all my foibles and along all the circles I find myself going,
Thank you Lord for never letting me go.
Thank you Lord that you give us "redo's"
Thank you Lord for this life you have given me!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sitting Here

Sitting here not sure if I should cry or not cry, laugh or scream.  I hate dislike that I take things so personally.  I just want to scream ~ you don't like it when people hurt you, why do you purposefully hurt me???  But why waste my  breath ~ I am sure you don't know why you do what you do.

But I know...you push away anytime we start to get close, if you push away first then it won't hurt so bad...how do I know this??  Because I did this for years.  My heart craves to be loved and liked but my mind says "no way"  you aren't going to hurt me too.

And I let him win...he egged me on all evening and then I stooped to his same behavior and yes I hate that, I am disappointed in myself.

I've been told, don't let the boys see your emotions, you must remain neutral ~~ that is so friggin' hard!!!

Today I'm ready to throw in the towel, run to avoid being hurt over and over but I can't ~ I know that God opened the doors for us to be here at the Boys Ranch and yes most days go smoothly and YES we have seen positive changes in the boys we live and work with ~ BUT it hurts so much when they attack, are disrespectful and openly defiant....I just don't have the tough skin I need...or at least it sure doesn't feel like it today.

So the choice is mine...and I am choosing to fake it till I make it; put on the smiling face and go through the motions.

I know so much influences our day-to-day ~ one of them being tired and YES we are tired ~ we have worked 36 days out of the last 47 days and yes there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  We have six more nights/days of work and then we will have our week off...don't really have many plans...a few doctor appointments, an appointment to get the tires rotated on the Expedition which means a walk through Costco!!  Hopefully we will get in lots of naps and true rest.

And the dynamics in our home unit have been changing...change is hard, hard on the boys, hard on us and especially hard on the new boys coming into our unit.  Tuesday one of our boys returned after being gone for 9 days and we got a new boy.  Today we are getting another new boy ~ new to us but not new to the ranch, so we know what some of the issues are going to be and I feel like I have to put on my steel armour and be ready to battle...I don't like that feeling...battles are no fun and no one really ever wins.

Add in frustration with administration of no follow through on things they say will happen or not happen.

Giving us tasks with only partial information and then getting upset with us because we didn't to it right...can't have it both ways.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

You Know You Are

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when both House Parents are ready to
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Trying to do the best we can
when we don't have all the information
So you make a decision
then get reamed out!!!
Because it was the
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thing to do!!!

Well if you want us to do the right thing
and not think for ourselves
then give us all the 
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that we need to do our jobs!!!

Today is one of those 
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that we question are we in the 
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Our Home on Wheels

We are all moved in!!! As you walk into our back door you come into the living room.  These chairs are on the back wall of the traile...