Major Life-change Update

And no, I don’t meant pregnancy or menopause. Lol.

Bottom line is this:

I got a job. That’s why I’m not on the truck anymore. And yes, Darren still is.

The longer story goes something like:

For a while now I was spending my days on the truck googling online jobs, freelance writing gigs, freelance almost anything, stuff like that. I’m not sure why, but I guess I kind of felt useless, what I was doing. All I ever did was read, play on my phone, sleep, and eat. And somehow, knowing that my part of just spending money and not helping at all was not working for me.

If I shared my struggle with other people, they all told me that I was doing my part just in keeping my husband company on the truck so he didn’t need to do it alone. Everyone always said how amazing it looked to them. I couldn’t help feeling differently though. Life on the road is expensive. Those who’ve never done it will not understand the crazy amount of $ going into it.

Somehow the online freelance gigs never worked out. (I could get into that but I won’t.) Both my husband and I knew that something had to change, and since I have my class 1 learners license we decided the next step was for me to work on getting my full class 1 license.

Things didn’t go as planned there either. The training company said that since my enormous lack of experience in driving, I would have to take a 6 week course in driver training. I didn’t want this. This looked like an insurmountable obstacle to me in order to get my license. The other problem was that we didn’t have the several grand to pay for this.

Our town has an annual town fair every June called Summer in the City where I’ve been wanting to go to for years but never got the chance before. My husband mentioned maybe I could stay home for a trip to go to this thing and then we would figure out the rest. So I stayed home. And I decided to take the next step:

I decided to make myself a resume. I did research, googling what hiring managers were looking for in resumes. I made lists, noted helpful pointers, and studied for a full day. By the next day I had a rough draft of my resume and I proofread countless times. I bought envelopes, and figured out where to go to apply for jobs. The only job I really have experience in is serving, so that’s what I oriented my resume towards.

I think we all know by now that our plans rarely work out the way we plan. My husband’s and my plan was for me to apply to several jobs, then leave on another trip together and meanwhile wait and see if anyone would call me back. (Cuz normally it takes a couple of weeks of looking and waiting in the whole job search process.)

After dropping my resume off at several places, I went to one last restaurant and returned home to relax. I was barely in the door when I got a phone call from the manager, asking if I had time for an interview that same day. I was shocked. Things like this don’t happen. (I don’t think.)

Literally 90 minutes after I dropped off my resume I was back there for an interview. Not only was that unbelievable, but the man that interviewed me comes from the same area in Mexico that I do. Is that crazy or what?

We talked for a little while, and he said that he wanted the other manager of the establishment to talk with me also. He said he’d text me the time later, after he had talked with him. I wasn’t even home yet when I already had a text that said to come for a follow up interview the next day at 10 am.

I went. The interview wasn’t over yet and I already knew they’d hire me. I went home, decided to wait for the “official call”. By lunch they called me, asking me to come to work that weekend.

Stop. Let me just stop for a moment and let that sink in. I did not expect my job search process to happen way at all. Because these things don’t happen. I expected to apply, wait, call back, wait, get an interview or two, wait again, and maybe after a couple weeks get a mediocre job in a place I kinda hated. Now I got a job in an amazing high end establishment in less than 24 hours. And if that isn’t God, I didn’t know what would be.

So now I have an unexpected job. An amazing job, where I have gotten to know amazing people. The ladies that trained me were so helpful, patient and friendly. This is a job where I get hourly wage plus tips. And I get benefits, something that I’m so excited about since we didn’t get that before with Darren’s job. This job is 4 km away from my house, and on a big road which means winter driving shouldn’t be too bad. Let’s just say this is everything I could have hoped for and so much more.

God. The only explanation I have for this.

Starting this job so suddenly meant that I never got to have my “last trip” on the truck. I mean I didn’t know my last trip was my last one. If I had known I would’ve looked out the window more, haha. So I never got to say an official goodbye, but that’s okay. It’s probably easier that way.

And yes, my husband is still on the road full time. He’s gone for 6 – 10 days at a time before getting to stay home for a couple of days. I have purposefully kept my life offline for the past couple of weeks because I wasn’t ready for people to ask questions and to judge.

Most people don’t get it if a husband is trucking long distance and the wife stays home. They assume there has to be marital problems, and if not, there’s bound to be infidelity in either party sooner or later. It sucks that people have no perception and no empathy for this lifestyle.

This “long distance marriage” thing isn’t easy. We both didn’t expect it to be. We knew what we were getting ourselves into. For me though, what makes it bearable is knowing that this is only temporary. This is only for a couple of months. For now, this is our reality and in a while we’ll make another decision, something I won’t get into now.

I know couples who have been doing this for years, and I have all the respect in the world for them. Especially the ones with kids. Hats off to you.

So yes, for the past 4 weeks I’ve been contemplating a blog post, and since I got so many questions on Instagram lately I figured this would be easier than to answer all those DMs. It is what it is.

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Just in Case I Have Hurt You

As I was growing up I noticed that there was often this thing happening in my community where grownups would ask others for forgiveness for something they might have done wrong. Let me explain:

It happened in class every year at the end of the school year. The last hour of the last day was for giving each kid a chance to say something to everyone and inevitably there was always one kid who would apologize for anything he might have said or done that had hurt someone. After one kid said this some others felt like they’d be doing wrong if they wouldn’t ask for forgiveness too so they went ahead and did the same.

It happened in church at every baptism service. During their testimonies just before the baptizing, the baptismal candidates always asked for forgiveness from anyone they might have unknowingly hurt by something they’d done or said.

It also happened sometimes on Sundays after the morning service. People would stand in their pew and explain how the message had touched their hearts, and then end their testimony by asking for forgiveness again in case they had hurt someone unknowingly.

It happened during small prayer groups as well. The person praying would often ask for forgiveness for anything they might have done wrong that day.

And although asking God for forgiveness is crucial for a Christian, I’ve always had misgivings about the way the plea was delivered. I grew up with this sense that if I hadn’t asked for forgiveness for every tiny little misdeed, whatever I might have done wrong would never be forgiven and if I suddenly died, I would not go to heaven (even though I was a redeemed Child of God).

That’s a hard and depressing way to live, honestly. Constantly having to wonder if you’re in the clear with every little deed you’ve done that day, or if unknowingly you have committed a sin. I never asked for forgiveness at the end of the school year, nor at my baptism speech. Sometimes I did feel guilty for not doing it. At least at the time I thought what I was feeling was guilt; now I believe it was just peer pressure. Sometimes I was afraid the other kids, or other people would think I wasn’t taking life seriously if I never did that.

The thing is, I believe in grace. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe if I committed a sin and I need to get right with God or another person, the Holy Spirit will tell me. Or maybe God will use another person to come to me and tell me. And it takes faith to look at a deed and agree or admit that it was a sin. That’s when I can go to the person I’ve wronged and ask for their forgiveness. I can do it while talking it over with them, while looking in their eyes and saying I’m sorry. It doesn’t need to happen in public, skimming over the heads of an audience, and saying “just in case”.

If I feel guilty for not asking for forgiveness where I might unknowingly have committed a sin, that’s when I know I’m living under the law. The law points out all the wrongdoings. The law makes a person feel like they’re doing everything wrong, like they constantly fall short of its expectations. The law condemns us.

The Holy Spirit does not condemn nor convict us. He helps us in our weakness. He prays for us. He reminds us of the words of Jesus.

That’s what gives me peace. I have peace in knowing that if I wrong a person, I’ll know. I don’t need to live afraid of unintentionally hurting or wronging someone. I don’t need to pray in fear every night that if I fall asleep and there’s something I haven’t confessed, I’ll die.

Let’s turn the tables and look at the situation from the other side. Imagine the school class sitting in a circle in the corner of the room. Tim says “I’m sorry for anything I might have done this year that has hurt anyone. I ask for forgiveness from whoever I need to.”

And you sit there thinking to yourself, “Why yes, yes Tim did hurt me. One morning while I walked past him I heard him telling Mark that he wished he could do the science project alone instead with the group, and I was in his group, and that made me feel inferior and it hurt me. Am I supposed to forgive him for that if he doesn’t have the gall to come up to me personally and apologize?”

Maybe I’m the only one, but I’ve often wondered how it might feel to a person sitting in an audience who really does feel hurt and the person who hurt them apologizes in general, in public. It just doesn’t seem to be the apology they deserve. (Providing it was something real and they’re not just feeling sorry for themselves.)

My husband and I were just talking about this this morning and that’s what triggered this rant inspired this post.

Feel free to tell me of your own experiences or opinions. (Cuz that’s what the internet is for – forcing your opinions on others, eh?)

Must-have Items for Truck-life

1. Dry Shampoo. There’s a reason I listed dry shampoo first. It’s a MUST! The longer I use and love it, the more I continue to realize how little people actually know about it! Just this morning I was doing my morning routine in a Love’s restroom. Another lady was doing the same thing a few sinks over. I sprayed dry shampoo into my hair, rubbed it in and brushed it out. When I was done this lady asked me what it was that I had put in my hair and I was thrilled to explain it to her! She asked to see the bottle and said she’d have to get some of that! And you should too, if you aren’t using it already. You probably know that shampooing your hair every single day isn’t that healthy, so what to do when your hair is getting dirty/greasy or just needs a little more volume? DRY SHAMPOO. It’s a life saver for me on the road and at home. With using dry shampoo, I can totally get away with washing my hair every third or even fourth day, and that’s saying a lot since my hair is extremely thin and fine and oil-prone.

2. All the paper. I make sure to always have a roll of TP handy. Also a roll of kitchen paper towels for easy clean up when I make sandwiches in the sleeper. I also keep a pack of napkins around for all those meals we eat on the truck. And also a container of WetWipes for freshening up between showers. Those are especially convenient in summer, as I hate going to bed with sticky-feeling skin.

3. Water. When we’re at home between trips, we stop by Walmart to get a few cases of bottled water. These are lugged onto our truck to keep us hydrated throughout our trip. This way we don’t need to buy a few single bottles of water every time we stop, or drag those heavy cases all the way across the truckstop. It also saves tons of dollars.

4. Food/Snacks. We always bring meals from home – always. You never know when a shipper will decide to take hours to load your load, and you’re starving. And not only that, sometimes it doesn’t come out well with our schedule to stop at a restaurant, or the area we’re traveling in doesn’t have what we like, and so for safety’s sake we always have our own food along. And snacks. Snacks are important. I have this thing where I sometimes get completely weak and shaky all of a sudden and the only thing to get over that is to wolf down some carbs and junk or chug a coke. We also recently started keeping supplies on hand to make ham/cheese and PBJ sandwiches.

5. Cleaning supplies. You can imagine how quickly a truck will get dirty when you’re living in it. Same as one has to sweep the floors and clean up the house every day, the same way I have to keep the truck clean. I use a small Swiffer duster to dust the dashboard regularly. I like multipurpose car interior wipes for when I want to get all the little details grime free. And a small brush and dustpan for the floor. (Those sandwiches aren’t helping when it comes to keeping things neat.) We had a small portable car vacuum cleaner which I loved but it didn’t last very long before conking out so now I don’t know exactly what to look for, but a vacuum is high on my must have list for the truck.

6. Verizon Jetpack. I’m so addicted to my phone I wouldn’t know what to do without this nifty little thing, haha. It’s this little gadget that gives us wifi on our phones wherever we are, even in Canada. (Although in Canada it doesn’t always work.) And it’s not always satisfactorily fast as what we’re used to from at home, but it’s unlimited, so we love it! This also enables me to keep my data roaming off on my phone which helps keep our phone bills significantly lower!

7. Mental Preparation

One thing I need to do at the beginning of every trip is to mentally prepare myself for problems. With this job we never know what to expect for the next day! Trouble seems to be ready for us anywhere, from a ruptured tire to a broken fan belt or a late load! So we never know when we’ll have to bring the truck to the shop, or wait two days for a load. And it helps if I tell myself that whatever happens, happens. It’s okay if we can’t make it home in time for the party. It’s okay if it takes longer than we thought. It’s still frustrating sometimes, but just keeping in mind that these things are normal helps.

And in reality, the amount of problems we’ve had in almost two years of trucking is not bad at all. Yes, we’ve had to wait for this or that sometimes, but all in all we’ve been so lucky so far.

*Featured photos are not my own.

With Lots of Special Love

When I was in second grade, my friend and I decided to each write a letter to a boy in our class.

I mean, she came up with the idea; I agreed. She suggested which boy I could write to and which one she’d write to.

I don’t know how kids these days do it – if second graders text already or not, but our form of communication those days was exchanging notes on the bus.

There was just one problem. My parents didn’t really like it very much. (Read: they would strictly forbid it if ever found out.)

So I set down at home to pen a long and thoughtful letter to this boy. I didn’t like like him. I didn’t have a crush on him or anything. He was just a boy. But I knew I would do my best to write a letter he would like to read. (Looking back now, I realize how much I liked to write even then – I just wasn’t aware of it at the time.)

I encountered a little difficulty at the end of the letter. I wasn’t sure how people properly ended a friendly letter. But at that point I remembered something.

I had just a little while ago read the story in Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories of how these two kids had broken their mom’s favorite custard bowl and how they bought her a new one with their piggy bank savings. They also wrote a note to include in the gift, that they ended with With lots of special love. (And the mom was so happy and proud of her children that she shed a tear right in the middle of it!)

Can’t you just imagine what I’m gonna say now? Yeah, I really, genuinely thought that that was the way people were supposed to end letters with. So at the bottom of my letter I wrote with lots of special love from Celina.

And then I drew some pretty hearts around the edges and some put some pretty stickers on it. Because that’s what I always did when I wrote letters to my friends. I don’t know though why I felt the need to hide it from my parents though if for me it was just another letter to a friend. But I’m guessing it was a little different because it was for a boy. (I think my parents had this no-dating-until-you-stop-wetting-the-bed kind of rule or something.)

Unfortunately I wasn’t very good at hiding things. My mom found the letter before I went to school that morning and confiscated it for evidence to show my dad I had a boyfriend. She scolded me for writing a love letter to a boy. When I got on the bus I had to tell my friend our deal was off; I didn’t have the letter. I have no idea if I told her the truth or if I made something up.

It gets worse. Turns out these boys had decided to each write us girls a letter of their own, also my friend’s idea. After finding out I was out of the equation, they all decided to not give each other the letters after all. At school, however, some other kid found one of the boy’s letter in his backpack. I was quick to say that he had written a love letter. (Yes, I had just learned the term love letter that morning from my mom. I now thought love letter was the correct term for any letter to anybody. Letters have to be called love letters.)

Anyway, the teacher was summoned to take care of the love letter. Some details are a bit hazy in my memory, but I’m pretty sure I told her about all three of the love letters hiding in various backpacks that day. (Why, why in the world did I do that?My regret and apologies for that, my friends. If I really did do that, at least.)

That day after school I got a stern talking to from my parents about being a bit too young for a boyfriend. I have no idea what I’ve told them at the time, but I do know I didn’t explain myself. I remember being confused as to why that ending was appropriate for kids to write to their mom but not for an eight year old girl to a boy in her class. I simply didn’t know better.

I don’t know if my friend got in trouble for her love letter or not, but I do remember that this boy anyway did not. His parents found it amusing.

Sometimes kids really are just being kids.

And oh my, I think second grade was my favorite school year ever. I had the best teacher ever. And I could tell more incredibly embarrassing stories but for the sake of my classmates’ privacy I think I’ve gone far enough with this one. If you read this and happen to figure out I’m writing about you, um, my bad? Haha.

Oh, the good old days. Innocent childhood.

Giveaway Winner

Aaaand we have a winner! 🥁

Congratulations, Terri-Lee Broesky You have just won the book Fierce Marriage!

My husband wanted to pick the name and he picks his cousin, should’ve known! 😜 (he did it completely fair though, no cheating 😆)

If you’ll send me a private message where I can mail the book to, I’ll get right on that! 😁

For the rest of the participants, thank you for participating in my first giveaway and making it worth it for me 😃 I’ll probably do more of these in the future, so maybe you win then! But like my husband says, there’s a better chance of getting hit by lightning than winning something 😬😂

Since most of you won’t be getting a marriage book in the mail now, I want to tell you about a few blogs that I follow and enjoy. My favorite one is and To Love Honor and Vacuum by Sheila Gregoir. She has written about EVERY marriage topic imaginable and continues to post weekly. I have to admit, I enjoy this blog more than most marriage books I’ve read! Sign up to get her new posts in your email!

Then there’s Hot Holy and Humorous , also very helpful and fun to read.

And that’s all folks. Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

GIVEAWAY – Fierce Marriage

✨✨ GIVEAWAY ✨✨

I’m excited to announce I’m doing my very first giveaway, this book that I’ve just reviewed on my blog! To read what it’s about and what I thought about it, head to my blog. I’ve also rated it and posted reviews on goodreads and amazon.

✨ To enter the drawing for the chance to win this book, simply leave me a comment either on Facebook, on my blog, a DM on Instagram or an email saying you would like to be entered in the drawing. Simple as that! ✨

✨Note: I know this sucks but the contest is only open to contestants with a mailing address in the contiguous United States and Canada. Also note: private messages on Facebook messenger will be ignored.

✨ Random winner will be chosen this Saturday, May 26. If the winner will not respond by Monday, I’ll choose another one so I can get this book mailed out right away.

✨ For extra entries, leave me a comment on all those aforementioned options and I’ll “throw your name in the hat” for every time you comment.

To read my review of this book, click here.

Book Review – Fierce Marriage

RADICALLY PURSUING EACH OTHER IN LIGHT OF CHRIST’S RELENTLESS LOVE

Title: Fierce Marriage

Authors: Ryan and Selena Frederick

Genre: Marriage

Publisher: Baker Books

About the book

When Ryan and Selena Frederick were newlyweds, neither of them knew that Ryan would soon need major surgery that would either save his life or result in his death on the operating table. By God’s grace, Ryan survived. But the near loss changed the way they saw all that would lie ahead. They would live and love fiercely, fighting for each other every step of the way. And they would dedicate themselves to helping others do the same.

Fierce Marriage is a call to put Christ at the center of your marriage, measuring everything you do and say to each other against what Christ did for you. With passionate personal stories and practical, gospel-centered advice, the Fredericks help you handle five key areas of marriage: priorities, communication, money, sex, and conflict. Their hopeful approach will help you to see marriage as not just a relationship you should try to keep healthy but also one worth fighting for – in every situation.

About the Authors:

Ryan and Selena Frederick created FierceMarriage.com in 2013 when they felt God calling them to share, with brutal transparency, the struggles God helped them overcome. Since then, Fierce Marriage has grown into a thriving online community with hundreds of thousands of readers each month. Ryan and Selena have two daughters and live in Tacoma, Washington.

My Review

In the introduction of the book, it explains how there are so many valuable resources about marriage in modern Christendom. It goes on to say though how most books are either hopeful or helpful, both of which leave you lacking. Hopeful book offer encouragement and insight to what you’re experiencing, but are void of advice of what to do next. Helpful books are chock full of advice with little explanation or reasoning of why.

This book, they say, meets at the intersection of Hopeful and Helpful. They had wanted it all, so this book is an attempt at both.

That’s what I kept in mind while reading.

One thing that was extremely clear to me while reading was that this book doesn’t help you to view your marriage from your partner’s point of view, as some books teach/encourage. It also doesn’t make it about you and what you can do to improve your marriage. This book looks at marriage from the Gospel’s point of view, which kind of brings marriage to light in a non-popular way. All in all, this book didn’t have many “aha!” moments for me, and neither “yes, this!” moments. It was just kind of a “okay” book.

But don’t let the fact that I called it okay get you disappointed. It was still worth reading; in fact, it was one of the better books I’ve read! It was full of personal stories, lessons, and examples. It also had a few funny instances that cracked me up.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher for the purpose of this review. Photos are downloaded from the publisher’s website.