Monday, September 26, 2011

Grace from the Fairy Grandmother

Bacon at the Bacon-Fest...yummy,
I am an employee at the local Hallmark store and was asked to work Saturday.  I was called in to help in the afternoon while the other two ladies took turns going for their hour lunch breaks.  One had gone and returned so the second left as it got really busy.  The First Annual Bacon Fest was the event of the day so the town square was busy with folks wanting their free BLT sandwich.  Events had slowed down; Miss Sizzle and Little Miss Bacon-bits were sporting their crowns as traffic in the store picked up with customers wandering in.

Oscar Meyer Weinermobile & Princess.
I’m a seasonal employee…I used to work part-time, then full time when the manager had a accident and was out for 3 months.  I decided seasonal was the better choice for me so I could visit family and have days off when my husband took vacation days.  Down side of that is I have forgotten so much of how to do things, they also have changed how they do things so I’m not up to speed on some procedures.

Free BLT sandwich...loooong line for these.
“Fairy Grandmother” came in with her husband and granddaughter.  I call her that because that’s what the t-shirt she was wearing had written across it.  Now that I’m going to be a grandmother myself I am tuned in to all things grandmother.  She was probably in her 60’s, wore glasses, jeans and t-shirt and had gray and white shoulder length hair.  Nothing that would make her stand out in a crowd, just your average grandmother.  I asked her about her t-shirt and chatted about being a grandmother myself come January.  Her husband (aka Fairy Grandfather) informed me that it is the right of all grandparents to spoil their grandchildren.   They did their shopping and I worked the register ringing up sales. 

Little Miss Bacon-Bits
Fairy Grandmother and her granddaughter returned with their purchases at the same time several customers were ready to pay and leave.  My co-worker was asked to help a customer with some jewelry so I was the only one available at the register.  Fairy Grandmother gave me her Gold Crown card and it had been so long since she had used it that Hallmark had purged it from the system.  I got her another card and asked if she had the time to have the information entered into the register.  She did so I started the process.  This is one of those areas that procedures had changed over time and I’m not used to the new way of doing things so I’m slower than it would normally take.
Behind Fairy Grandmother was another lady waiting her turn; I’ll call her Ms. Impatient.  She most defiantly did not have time for me to enter information for a new card and made sure I and everyone else knew it.  I don’t know this woman personally but I know her…I’ve been her.  Huffing at the inconvenience, commenting on having only one register going when there were 3 ladies working..been there, done that.  I explained that we were down to two employees while the third was at lunch, but it fell on deaf ears and a less than patient mindset.  The more she fussed the more flustered I became and the more of a mess I made of the process of trying to get Fairy Grandmother’s Gold Crown card updated.  My face was red, I was hot, my fingers didn’t seem to know how to type, and in general I was a mess.  My co-worker finished with her customer at the jewelry display and came and helped me with my card entry that was going haywire and asked if she could help the next person.  Fairy Grandmother told her she was fine but the next lady was in a hurry.  So Ms. Impatient jumped in line ahead of the woman my co-worker had been helping with the jewelry.  By now I had given her the credit slip to sign and was bagging up Fairy Grandmothers purchase, apologizing for it taking so long.  She assured me it was fine she was in no hurry.  I thanked her for her patience and turned to help the next customer.  As she walked out the door I couldn’t remember getting the signed credit card slip from her so I finished with the customers in line and checked my register for the credit card slip.  I had forgotten it. 
Candy at the store I work favorite are the peaches, 3rd on the top row

Have you ever had one of those days that you think to yourself why did I think I could do this job?  I turned to my coworker and told her I had to go run after Fairy Grandmother.  Fairy Grandfather had stayed behind to secretly purchase something for his wife and told me she was in the store next door.  So off I went…thankful for the cool autumn breeze as I rushed out the door because I was now in full blown hot flash mode.  All I could think was how glad I was that I didn’t have to chase after Ms. Impatient and how terrible I was at my job. 

I found Fairy Grandmother and told her what the problem was, she was as sweet as she could be as she looked through her purse for the signed credit card slip.  Not finding it she said it must be in the bag that was now in her car…so off we went.  All the way I apologized and she was told me it was ok, but I knew it was my incompetence that had us walking down the street to her car together. 

She got the bag, found the slip and gave it to me with a smile.  I told her how much I appreciated her understanding and was so sorry at the inconvenience to her.  Smiling she told me that we all have those things happen and Ms. Impatient hadn’t helped matters.  As I turned to walk off she said “Wait a minute.” and smiling she walked up to me and gave me a big hug.  As I hugged the woman I was relieved to know that she really was being honest when she told me it was alright.

Later that evening I was sharing the story with my husband and I told him that Fairy Grandmother had every reason to be annoyed, put out, and angry with me but she had offered nothing but grace.  How often have I been Ms. Impatient instead of Fairy Grandmother when dealing with people in my own life?  How often have I been so focused on myself and my agenda that I gave no thought to how my attitude was hurting the person I was interacting with?   How often have people dealt with me a “Ms. Impatient” and not even seen a glimpse of Jesus in me?  How that must grieve my Lord to see one of His children act so unloving towards other.  

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.  Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”  John 13:34-35

Can you relate?  We really need each other as we walk this road called life.  We need to love one another, encourage one another, and be kind, understanding and patient with one another.  Pray for me, and I will pray for you.  Pray that we will be known by our love.  I want to be like Fairy Grandmother instead of Ms. Impatient no matter how crazy things get as the holidays approach.

Walk in Love,

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Snippets of a moms life…


“Mommy-Wayne!” (He had heard “Jordon Wayne” so much he thought Wayne was the word to say when you were angry.)
“I he’p, mommy.”
“I hungee mommy.”

“Play with me mommy.”
“I wuv you mommy.”
“Watch me mommy!”
“Night night mommy.”
“Mommy, hold me.”
“Mommy, I do it.”
“mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, can I…”
(Whispered in the dark of night) “Mommy, I’m scared.”
“Mom, you’re a good cooker-woman!”
“Mom! I have a new best friend!”
“Mom, why don’t they like me? Is it ‘cause my skin isn’t brown?” (speaking of some Hispanic boys next door)
“…can I mom? Can I?”
“Moooooommmm!! Holly keeps getting into my stuff!”
“Mom! I asked Jesus into my heart!”
“Mommy, is Jordon getting bath-tized?”
“Mom! Jordon isn’t playing fair!”
“Mom! I got the part in the play!!”
“Mom, everyone told me my drawing was the best.”
(In tears) “Mom, I said something that hurt her feelings.”
“Mom, will you go with me?”
“I’ll do it later mom.”
“I know mom.”
“Mom! I know!”
“Seriously mom…we were just hanging out in the park and that crazy lady called the police!”
“I’m telling you mom, if something like Columbine happened at my school I wouldn’t just sit and watch them shoot my friends.”
“I love you too mom. Bye.”
“Mom, would you pray for me?”
“I really don’t want to talk about it mom”
“Mom…she broke up with me.”
“Mom I either want a cherry cheese cake or a pineapple upside down cake for my birthday.”
“Mom, Steve asked me to the prom…yes a freshman can go to the prom.”
“Mom, I’m going to Kuwait.”
“Mom I think I’m suppose to go on this mission trip”
“Mom I broke my hand…well I got mad…I broke it when I hit the wall with my fist…yes I was drunk.”
I’m praying for you mom.”
“I’ll be fine mum. I’ll see you later”
“Mom, you and dad are the best parents.”
“Mom I’m going to ask her to marry me.”
“Mom…I’m not moving with you and dad.”
“I miss you too mom.”
“You’re my mum, you’ll always be my mum.”

It’s funny how while you’re living it-life seems to flow along like the lazy Mississippi river. Days slip by and you go to bed each night planning the next day or week without a thought that you can never grab the time back. When our children are young we look forward to the next thing…anxious for the day they can crawl, then walk, feed themselves, dress themselves. Before you know it they are boarding a plane for basic training or walking in front of you carrying the last box of their possessions into their new apartment. You realize looking back that time wasn’t passing like a lazy river but it rushed by like the rapids on the Colorado River during the spring runoff and you wonder to yourself how your children survived it…survived you and all the times you messed up, lost your temper, got too busy.

Being a mom has been the most fulfilling part of my life. I am blessed that God trusted me with two children even though He knew I wouldn’t always get it right, that my patience would run short, that I would too often try to do it on my own and forget to seek Him for wisdom and direction.

This Mothers Day my heart is full of love for my children Jordon and Holly. My eyes are misty and there’s a lump in my throat as I recall precious moments from their childhood that make up the memories I hold dear. Like every mom through history I’ve kept these memories in my heart and think of them often. I pray the good memories my children have of their childhood outnumber the memories of my failures as a mom. I pray that if they bear heart wounds that they take them to the One who binds our wounds and heals all our hurts. Most of all I pray they learn from my mistakes and are better parents to their children.

I love you Jordon, my first born. I am so proud of the man you have grown into…like your dad in a lot of ways. You are fiercely loyal and protective.

I love you Holly, my precious daughter and always my baby girl. I miss your face, your hugs and how you would encourage me.

I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.


Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Secret Sisters

In January the Women’s Ministry at our church started the New Year with a sign up for Secret Sisters.  I wasn’t going to do it but at the last minute of the last day to sign up I changed my mind and filled out the form. 

I received my packet with the information for my Secret Sister and sent her a note card letting her know she had a secret sis and that I would be praying for her.  I don’t know my secret sister outside of church, so I just pray, asking God to clue me in on what to write in her cards, what kinds of things might bring a smile to her face and I go with it.  I may not know the lady but God knows everything about her and if I’m sensitive to His leading and ask Him to help me be creative then what I share will be exactly what she needs at the time.

Yesterday I arrived at church and found a gift waiting for me from my Secret Sister, the person who received my name.  She had left me a candy bouquet and a card for Valentine Day.  It was a sweet surprise on a snowy Sunday morning and brought a smile to my face.  What a blessing to know someone is praying for you and thinking about you. 

Continuing with my Gratitude list:
171.  Visiting with a friend from far, far away.
172.  Wii “Just Dance” and laughing till my sides ache.
173.  Tucked inside while a blizzard blows outside.
174.  Learning how to use my new sewing machine.
175.  Completed projects.
176.  Shoveling snow with joy in my heart.
177.  Shared prayers.
178.  Hot tea and blue berry muffins.
179.  Chatting way into the wee hours of the night.
180.  The artistry of wind sculpted snow.
181.  Sunshine after a blizzard.
182.  The word “blizzard”…who thought that up?
183.  Cuddl Duds when the wind chill is below zero.
184.  A new hand lotion.
185.  An inhaler for asthma symptoms.
186.  Neighbors with snow blowers!
187.  Losing in sword fighting ‘cause I’m laughing so hard.
188.  A friendship that God brought together.
189.  Sweet surprises from my Secret Sister.
190.  Seeing that my Babygirl has started a blog.
191.  The smell and feel of a fluffy throw right out of the dryer.
192.  A snowflake charm for my bracelet…commemorating the Blizzard of 2011
193.  A free gift with my perfume purchase.
194.  Hearing my son arrived safely home after being gone for a month.
195.  Seeing Bob at church after his angioplasty.
196.  The cherry at the bottom of my cherry limeade
197.  The group of people who meet every week for prayer meeting.
198.  The note I found from my friend when she left.
199.  All the laundry washed, dried, and folded.
200.  Hearing “Lucy-I’m home” when my husband walks in the back door.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Multitude Monday

Continuing my gratitude list…
151. Encouraging words when the winter blues made an appearance.

152. Getting honest with God and myself about the secret places in my heart that are no secret to Him.

153. Moving past the word “Paul” in my goal to memorize the book of Ephesians.

154. Encouragement from a friend as she joins me in memorization!!!

155. God writing His Word on my heart verse by verse.

156. Snow…snow…and more snow.

157. Sunshine on the snow after the clouds clear.

158. Meeting a neighbor for the first time when I offered to help her shovel her driveway.

159. Thanks from my husband when he arrived home to a shoveled drive.

160. Chili dogs.

161. The words “I’ve been praying for you this week”.

162. Surprise left by a new Secret Sister.

163. The members of our church who clear the parking lot, shovel the sidewalk, and assist the elderly.

164. Safe travels on snow covered roads to and from church.

165. A text from my husband to let me know he arrived safely to work.

166. Schwan’s ice cream miniatures.

167. Wool socks…thick and warm.

168. Our treadmill…I don’t have to walk in the frigid cold through the snow and ice...after eating Schwan's ice cream mini's.

169. K-LOVE playing over the internet.

170. Winter sunsets.

What are you thankful for today? Join us at A Holy Experience and do share!

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The sound of silence…

If I can stay home and not have to be out in it then I absolutely love snow.

Snow fall is silent…once it falls it muffles the entire world around me. Even the birds cease their chatter when the snow is falling.

The only noise I’ve heard all day is the sound of the snow plow rumbling by and the sound of shovels sliding across driveways.

This snow fall is not very wet…making for easier shoveling. When we lived in Utah where they have the greatest snow on earth- seriously...our license plates said so- the snow was dry and called powder. The snow fall today here in Missouri is just that kind of snow. Powder is excellent for skiing and snowboarding making for soft landings in the event of mishaps.

As I watched the snow falling this morning I remembered the books I read as a girl written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I remember going to the library and checking out those books one at a time until I read the whole set. I loved her descriptions of life in simpler times but today I am thankful for central heat instead of wood burning stoves or fireplaces that are cozy only as long as you are within the circle of their warmth. I shared my love for those books with my daughter and bought her the set when she was a little girl.

 Snow brings memories of snowmen and forts we built as children in North Dakota. When the wind chill was not too excessive that we could be outside to play where the snow was abundant for snow play. I remember my older brother and the neighborhood boys tunneling through the huge piles of snow standing beside driveways…off limits to girls of course. There were some serious snow ball fights waged from those fortresses. I knew better than to attempt to go up against my brother and his pitching arm, his fastballs were killer and he didn’t play around but aimed for the head of his victims. Being the target of a well shaped cold snowball to the face seemed to put a damper on my desire to play. Even though I didn’t like the “No girls allowed” slogan I respected it out of a sense of self preservation. Mom would make snow cream when we went in the house to warm up, almost as good as homemade ice cream in my memories.

Memories are of my own children playing in the snow bring a smile to my face as I visit the past through photographs. I would bundle them up in their winter attire, smear Vaseline on their cheeks and receive just as much joy from their excitement as I had as a child. I can’t count the number of snowmen they built over the years.

One of my favorite pictures is of our daughter- in kindergarten at the time- sitting in the yard where the snow was so deep you couldn’t see much of her except her head. That was the winter my husband was in Iceland and it seemed to snow every other day. The pile of snow at the end of our driveway rivaled the snow forts I remembered in North Dakota…and I shoveled every inch of it.

Today the drive way needed to be shoveled and the wind was picking up so the wind chill was dropping. I put on the long underwear and thick gloves and socks and went out to help my husband shovel. The best part about going out and shoveling was that we got to come in and drink hot chocolate together.

I wonder if those Little House books are hiding in the basement. If my daughter doesn’t have them I may have to go try to find them.  It's the perfect kind of evening to snuggle down on the couch under a throw and read a good book while drinking my hot chocolate.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year + new goals = new habits.

It's 2011! I enjoy opening a new calendar or planner and seeing the blank pages ready to fill with all the important information...birthdays and anniversaries, doctor’s appointments, vacation dates.

It's a fresh new year full of possibilities and hope. Today is Monday. It’s the first week of the New Year. What is it about the beginning of the New Year that causes me to want to aspire to something new? People want to stop smoking, some want to get out of debt; many want to stop the bathroom scale from moving up yet another pound.

I’m one of those who looks back at the past year and hopes that I can change in the New Year; not just on the outside that is reflected in the number on my bathroom scale or the size of my jeans but change on the inside. I want the deep down in my heart change that only my Lord can accomplish in me. To accomplish the change then I have to seek Him out, search my heart, and cooperate with Him in changing the things that need to change. Repenting of the sins, asking forgiveness, adjusting my attitude are all part of surrendering my will, seeking His will and finding joy in Him
 This year I choose to focus on joy. Not just the emotional, happy kind of joy but the joy of the Lord. Joy is defined- keen pleasure or delight, something or someone greatly valued or appreciated. I want to delight in the Lord, find pleasure in Him, value time spent in prayer with Him and serving Him, and appreciate His working in me and in my life. Too often I focus on the negative, what I don’t like about the circumstances I find myself facing. But if I truly believe that God is in control, that everything is His plan for my life then I want to find the joy in it whatever “it” is.
 So 2011 is going to be a journey to open my heart and mind to joy. Joy in the day to day living and serving my family, joy in the big things like seeing my children and spending special family times together, and joy in the small things like sun shining through the prism hanging in my kitchen window splashing rainbows across the walls and ceiling, or the laughter shared as I watch my husband try to hoola-hoop with the Wii.

Joy in the midst of challenges and facing the hard things as well a joy in the pleasures and fun things in life. The more I come to know and trust my Lord, the fuller my joy becomes. Is it possible to form the habit of finding joy in every situation and circumstance?  I am told all things are possible with God.

This year I will find the joy, enjoy the moment, rejoice in Him, and not allow anything or anyone to steal my joy. There are 362 more days to practice this new adventure in joy with my Lord. I'm excited to see 2011 unfold.

Continuing to count my 1000 gifts…
141. Blank calendars.
142. Seeing my daughters face on Christmas day for the first time in 4 years.
143. Safe travels.
144. Italian restaurants open on Christmas day.
145. Giving good gifts to my family.
146. Watching my husband play on the new Wii…rolling on the floor laughing.
147. The sound of the shovel scraping the snow off the drive.
148. Heated car seats on freezing cold nights.
149. The joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.
150. Free ebooks

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