Friday, December 10, 2010

Library closed...

I'm really excited about heading off to work today. Wait...I'm pretty much excited about that EVERY day - but,'s different. Today our director is conducting a staff institute day. A day set aside for training, updating, etc. And quite frankly it's pretty much my favorite work day of the year.

You see, I work with the best group of people. Honestly, the staff at my library are some of the most interesting people I know. They're people I really like to be with. Sound weird, uncommon, when one's referring to their co-workers? Maybe so, but for me this is just one more blessing in my life.

My husband was telling me last night that the company he works for is concerned about the rapid rate of employee "turn around." People come, people go - and quickly. Not so where I work. People come, people stay. And for a LONG time. One of my co-workers was telling me yesterday that with the stress in her life at home she couldn't imagine not having the library to go to each day. Can you imagine?

What's the secret? People. People coming together in a place where they have common interests - books, music, films, information, knowledge. Libraries are the coolest places around. And we're so lucky - in our library we even have a place for everyone. Teens, adults, kids - goodness, our children's department is the most kid friendly place ever. My kids are grown and on their own now but when they were little, even though we lived in the district of another "award winning" library down the street, I ALWAYS brought my kids to Wauconda Library. It's the best.

When it comes to people, I also mean the people who walk through the doors each day - our patrons. Neat people, honestly. We're lucky too that our little community totally embraces and really USES the library. The place is like Grand Central Station pretty much most of the time. A local organization recently did a survey in our community; neighbors were asked to name the spot where they go for recreation and fun. Guess what everyone's favorite was? You got it - the LIBRARY!! Imagine that, a building that holds books, and SO much more.

The schedule for today is a visit to the new Fox Lake Library. We'll meet their staff, have a tour, and scour their collection. It's so good to have an opportunity to do this - travel outside our own front door and see how someone else does it. Compare and contrast, so to speak. I'm pretty excited to see this new library and happy too for the citizens of Fox Lake. They were long overdue for an updated library.

After the library visit we're having a staff lunch. And can I tell you how fun it is to sit and dish with the people I work with? We're a family, that's the way I see it. The afternoon will be spent at our own library, and it's always weird to be there sans patrons. Strange, really. We'll be doing staff training, listening to speakers, etc. The day will end with a "state of the library" address by our director. I always look forward to this too. He'll speak on where we've been, where we're going, and how we can better serve our community.

Do I sound like a dork, being so happy and excited for this day of bibliotecha bliss? Probably. I've been a library geek my whole life long and it's served me well. Books, books and more books. Another form of heaven entirely.

Books do a brain good.
Try a book today:)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Heaven is a place...

When the cold chill pain of losing my dad sets in, I immediately work to re-route my thoughts. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes not. There are times when only tears will do to wash away the sadness of his last days. At least this was how I had been thinking until it dawned on me today (as I sat working away my desk, Pandora radio plugged in to classic Christmas music) that I should be happy. Celebrating actually, for my Dad. This is his first Christmas in Heaven!

All along, while he was so sick and slipping away from us day by day, I leaned on my faith. I spent hours praying over my dad - for God to take him home. With dad, as his witness as he yet again recommitted his heart to Jesus. I know beyond the farthest shadow of a doubt that my Dad's in heaven.

In the grips of losing someone we love, it's easy to rest on the mere "notion" of Heaven. It gives us comfort to think, imagine a better place where our loved ones will be welcomed home and be set free from suffering and illness. But in reality, do we really "believe" in heaven? Why only rest on Heaven's promise at the most crucial moments?

In mourning my Dad, missing him and feeling bad that he's not here with me, I'm going to focus on where he is IS - Heaven. How could I possibly be sad for him when I know (as a child of God) the promise of Heaven and eternal life?

He's there, my Dad's there - in Heaven, at the most precious time of the calendar year. The most celebrated time in Heaven. Christ's birth. He's there for the party! And that's what this daughter is going to focus on in the days to come - my Dad, truly in heaven. Gosh, can you imagine?? Yay Dad! Yay God, for His mercy. His grace. For the promise of the cross. And for to all who believe. And my Dad did. I was his witness. That was his final gift to me, and the best one he ever gave.

Celebrate today, but don't forget to plan for tomorrow.