People Watching June 12, 2014
The Note June 6, 2014
You are Precious.
You are Loved.
You are Important.
You are more beautiful than you realize.
You will be someone’s hope someday.
You are Unique.
You are Talented.
Give away your blessings. They come back 100-fold.
Trust. Believe. Hope.
You aren’t promised tomorrow.
You are promised this moment.
Make it count.
“Oh no! I’m never going to make it to work on time now!”
I just left the hospital on a Sunday afternoon to find that someone had parked horizontally behind my car and two others in the parking lot. I frantically called my Dad and asked him to take me to work and then go back to the hospital later and get my car from the parking lot. I emphasized to him that the lot was a private doctor office that would tow cars left there on Monday morning. He assured me he would take care of it and dropped me off at work.
Later when he picked me up, he told me he hadn’t had a chance to get the car but that we would get it in the morning before the doctor opened his office. As luck would have it, we were running late that morning, and we didn’t make it then and I had to go straight to work after classes. After work that evening we drove by the hospital and my car was not in the parking lot! I was beside myself. I was working two jobs to get myself through school. Paying the tow was not in my budget at the moment! I would just have to bum rides for the rest of life!
My car! My beautiful, 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlas was sitting in front of the house. THE WHOLE TIME!!!! I had been walking in and out the front door for three days and did not see that big hunk of black metal in front of the house!
They say love is blind… so is gullible.
The Sound of Music June 4, 2014
Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?
These songs are a mishmash of seeming weirdness… but what else would you expect?
“O Holy Night”- sung by Mahalia Jackson
Not only is this an iconic Christmas carol, it is the one Christmas song that I associate with my Mom. She used to sing it in church at some point during the Christmas season almost every year. I’ve heard people liken Mom’s voice to “angels singing”. I remember always crying at the point that she hit the high note because it was perfection.
As she got older, she struggled to hit the higher notes, but her voice was just as beautiful to me. Now Mom is singing among the angels, and every time I hear O Holy Night, I end up practically a heaving heap on the floor, crying because I miss those notes… and because I can’t hear her voice any longer.
How I long to hear her belt out, “Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!”
Billy Don’t Be A Hero by Bo Donaldson and Heywoods-
Although it is a remake of the Paperlace original and is supposed to be an anthem against war, this isn’t why this song has become one of the important songs in my life.
When I was 9-10 years old, Bio-dad ran a pizza parlor across the street from his house. On the weekends that we were at his house, after Marie and Jeff were asleep, my step-mom Candy would watch me cross the street to the restaurant and I would get to hang out in my pj’s until Dad closed the store, sometimes at 2am!
When I walked in Shrout’s Pizza, I was the star of the night. Dad let me help make pizzas and wash dishes. All the regulars spoiled me rotten, buying me sugary soda, sharing their pizza and breadsticks, and giving me rolls of quarters for the pool table, pinball machines, and the jukebox. And I danced around the room in my footy pajamas.
My favorite songs in the jukebox were “The Twelth of Never” and “Billy Don’t be a Hero”. The night I used an entire roll of quarters on that song, Dad threatened to have it taken out of the jukebox!
Years later, Bio-dad and I had a strained, distant relationship, but that song always reminded me of how special I felt on those nights with the jukebox blaring in the pizza parlor with my Dad.
You Are My Sunshine– (Johnny Cash & Bob Dylan/ Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash)
While I was growing up, any trip in our car meant that you would be required to hear this song sung by Mom and Dad, at least once. This was “their song” and they sang it often. As LeeAnne got older, she learned to harmonize with them, so they become a trio. I could only sing the melody, so they would end up singing circles around me!
I don’t hear the song as much anymore, but I see the words on plaques and wall hangings all the time and it reminds me of those special times in the car.
Rambling 101 June 2, 2014
Free writing is actually harder than it sounds. Flowing words stop. Bam! Hit a wall and splatter dead. No syllables. No buying a vowel, Pat. Air in the brain and chugging sounds can be heard for miles around as I struggle to come up with a train of thought to get this thing moving.
Writing should be an easy thing to do. It should be as easy as talking to another person. Yet when you read my writing, it’s as if I let a little of my guard down, let you see behind the protective walls I have so carefully constructed. Writing actually feels more intimate than talking. When talking I guard my words more, because I can see your face, see your reaction to my response, hear the inflection in your voice. When I write, I don’t have to take that into consideration. It is just me and the keyboard having it out. When I choose to let you see the conversation that the keyboard and I are having, you are eavesdropping on my most intimate thoughts, plans, ideas, hurts, joys, fears. Sometimes, I have a near panic attack just letting the words out. It’s as if they will cause the world to stop or flip end to end if someone were to see that the world wasn’t perfect that day, or I didn’t feel much like loving someone, or I wanted to knock someone’s block off. Funny how I’ve been conditioned by others to believe such nonsense.
Nonsense- believing all the utter crap that everyone else says you should be and do and follow and say and start and end and blahblahblahdeblah. So many years and days and seconds wasted trying to please everyone and pleasing no one. Try that on for utter nonsense.
Trying on clothes irritates me and now that I found jeans that fit perfectly, the one place that carries them is going to quit carrying them. This happens every time I find a decent pair of pants that fit a “bottom the size of Brazil”.
That reminds me… I think I need to watch Bridget Joneses Diary and have a Colin Firth drool-fest.
Did I Mention the Word Rest? July 8, 2013
When I worked for the State of Oklahoma as a behavioral health case manager, there was an unspoken rule that you NEVER, EVER, mentioned how quiet or calm or easy your day was going because that was a sure-fire way of making sure your day was no longer quiet or calm or easy. I think there was some kind of hotline to the Medicaid dollars. If your caseload is calm, cool, collected and mentally stable, there isn’t much to be made in Medicaid from that sort of thing! There must be Disaster! Disorder! Depression! CHA-CHING!
(You see why I no longer work in this field…)
I think I rattled something in the universe when I said I was going to take a month and learn to rest. Learn what sabbath means. Learn to take a few moments away from work and responsibility and just BE.
It lasted all of two days, because Steve ended up in the hospital on the 4th with another bout of pancreatitis! Having a loved one in the hospital is not restful. I’ve not been sleeping well, except when I snooze in the chair in the hospital room or fall asleep in the recliner eating dinner at 10pm. I take my work to the hospital with me to get as many hours in as I can. I get home late, eat late, fall asleep sitting straight up in the chair late, lay down in bed and I’m wide awake! So I get up and work some more to make myself sleepy again. Then I wake up early (because I have insomnia on top of all of this), study my Sunday school lesson, read my devotions, feed the cats, pray as I go, and start all over again.
I don’t write all that for sympathy. It is what it is. This IS my life! Never a dull moment! I write that to say…
DID I MENTION THE WORD REST??????
Rediscovering Sabbath June 30, 2013
I’ve done something that is completely foreign to me and I’m still struggling with it, even though I know I need to do it and God wants me to do it. It’s a done deal. I’m not backing out. I’ve just never done this kind of thing before, so everything inside of me is warring and fighting and struggling.
What could I possibly have done now? I asked for a month off from part of my ministry responsibilities. In the midst of that month I plan to schedule vacation time from work. I’ve never taken time for me and time for me and God and time for me and Steve. There is always something else going on and demanding my time and energy and brain power.
I was made painfully aware of my workaholic/ministryaholic tendencies by one much younger than me who mentioned quite innocently a few months ago, “Mrs. Tina, why do you work so much?” I stumbled over and mumbled an answer, but that question has haunted me ever since. Seriously… why DO I think I have to be working on something 18 hours a day? Be it my full-time job with InterVarsity, my part-time job collecting accident reports for a local attorney, cake decorating, studying/teaching Sunday school, planning/leading worship, mowing the grass, cleaning the house, studying for a sermon, counseling one of my kids, cleaning out a drawer, planning, organizing, blahblahblahblahblahblahblahblah.
Notice what isn’t on that list: Personal bible study. Personal worship. Prayer. Quality time with Steve. Me time.
Other things I’d like on that list: Reading for pleasure, not just ministry; breaking out the new easel and chalk sitting in my closet that I bought after camp; sitting in the sun doing nothing; taking a real vacation with my beautiful husband.
I’m on a mission for the month of July to rediscover sabbath.
Maybe that should be Discovering sabbath. You can’t RE-discover something until you’ve found it for the first time!