Saturday, July 24, 2010

Still Havin' Fun

When I first started this job, I decided that Restraint was my favorite position. While it's not my absolute favorite at this point, it's still the most fun for messin' with people.

When I'm at Restraint 1 and send my Train, I like to play with the people waiting to go at Restraint 2. Since the Restraint 2 cast member is walking along the train to check lap bars, the person in the front seat is usually just sitting there, looking at the empty track stretched before them and waiting to go. If the Restraint 2 person stops to talk to anyone or help anyone, I'll step out toward the track and make a wordless gesture to the person in seat one.

Come forward! Come on, please!

They stare at me.

Come on! Move this way, please!

They start to search their seat area for a way to make the train move.

Come on! Hurry up!

At this point, I love to see which reaction will follow. Some will look confused and look around at their friends sitting behind them, wondering what to do. Some simply smile. Others, however, get into the spirit of the game. They'll start scooting and straining forward, trying to move the train. They'll pump their arms in a running motion to try and reach me. They'll pick up invisible oars and start rowing, or they'll reach both arms toward me with a playful plea on their faces, "I can't reach you!"

I've also discovered that even if words and gestures are used together, people will still misunderstand what I'm trying to say. I'll walk along the train and with my palms up, make a lifting motion, and say the words, "Please lift UP on your lap bar." For some reason, this particular motion makes them all lift their hands straight up in the air.

If the first person lifts their hands in the air, everyone behind them will do the same. It's fun to see if I can get a wave going.

The palm-up-lifting-motion-gesture causes several reactions.

Please lift up on your lap bar. (Palm up gesture.)

They raise their hands.

They push DOWN on their lap bars.

They say, "What? Do WHAT?"

They stare blankly.

People, you may be sitting on a rocket, but it's NOT rocket science.

Thursday night, I decided to try turning my palms downward and THEN making the lifting gesture.

It worked! Every single person understood and tested their lap bar as requested. I tested the theory with several different trains (the things we do to stay awake and alert). I tried some trains with palms up, then some with palms down. The palms down trains followed my instructions to a T, even if they didn't speak English. Success!

That night, I shared this with some fellow cast members on the bus back to the parking lot. My friend, Michael, came up to me last night and said, "It worked! It really works!"

Hey, anything to make the job easier.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Keep It Moving!

Don't waste your time here today; Jessie has pictures!

So glad you posted, Jess! Hope I get to try the chicken some day!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dizzy Day

Glenna's long-awaited reward for finishing school finally arrived. I had carefully saved several fast passes for everyone, good for ANY ride at Magic Kingdom. We drove to MK, parked the car, and took the bus to Animal Kingdom to begin our adventure. When we got into the park, Glenna turned to me and asked, "Mom, you got the fast passes, right?"

I stared at her. The night before, she had been carefully gathering everything for her and her friends. I even saw her dividing the fast passes into equal piles.

"Are you kidding me?" I answered.

"Are YOU kidding?"

"You've GOT to be kidding!"

"Wait, which one of us is kidding?"

The day soured in an instant, but I grabbed her hand and insisted that both of us accept responsibility and then let it go. Somewhere in line for Expedition Everest, I was feeling better. Glenna was having a harder time, though!

Her friend, Bekah, and I began a hilarious dialog (complete with southern dialect) about how happy we were feeling and how our other two companions (Glenna and Grace) needed a sprinkling of pixie dust or something! While in line for the Safari, I grabbed Glenna's hands and twanged, "We are going to reLEASE this. We are just going to reLEASE this into the air and let it go!"

Grace, gleefully clapping her hands and grabbing the accent, "Oh, I love this. I just LOVE this!"

We had a little ceremony of "releasing the bad vibe," which we had to repeat, and then things started to look better. I began to feel burnt from the heat and realized I had forgotten my phone in the car, so I decided to let them go on to Hollywood Studios without me. I went back to MK to retrieve my phone and see if I could secure some fast passes from my castmates.

On the bus back to MK, I met the sweetest couple. They were visiting from Philidelphia and we began to talk about different things they could do in Florida. They wanted to go to the beach, but I also recommended seeing some of the natural springs and swimming there for a truly refreshing time. I had three fast passes in my backpack, which I had reserved for myself, and I gave them to the couple. Since I was working that night from 4:15 to 11:15, I invited them to come by and say hello. They were also Believers and handed me a Bible tract that they were leaving with everyone, encouraging me to give it to a castmate or someone. =)

Back at MK, I got my phone and headed for Space Mountain. Though I was in street clothes, my cast I.D. allowed me access to everything. It was so hot! There's no areas of coolness in Tomorrowland, so by the time I got to the break room I was soaked in sweat. The ride happened to be down at the moment and while I was walking up the corridor I saw Rony (he gave me three fast passes) and then ran into TJ.

"TJ, do you happen to have any fast passes?"

"Are you kidding me?" (There's that phrase again!) The coordinator had just asked him to go through the trash at merge for these special fast passes in case they ran out while they were evacuating the building. TJ picked up 27 of them, and then they weren't needed! Since they expired that same day, he gladly handed them to me so the girls could use them.

He saved the day!

I texted the girls with the news. I think their day just got better as well.

Two hours later I put on my costume, met the girls outside to give them the passes, clocked in, and then went to work. I wasn't at grouper very long when I turned and saw the sweet couple I had met on the bus! We hugged like we were old friends. I had just been thinking about how impossible it would be for them to actually find me - they could have been sent to the other track, they could have appeared while I was on break, or they could have come while I was in tower.

Oh, but wait - I never got to tower last night!

I know this post is alread too long, but one more thing.

Last night was a Grouper's nightmare. NO ONE was listening to instructions. We had a million Brazilians (another post for another time) and the noise level was insane. I literally had to fight to get my rockets loaded and for people to stay where I put them.

Right in the middle of all of this, I turned to the next group in line and faced a party of three very calm, very logical, very patient people. They smiled. I smiled. I said, "Look at you. You're calm and logical and I LOVE YOU."

"Awww, J-! We love YOU, too!"

"It's a love-fest, right here on Space Mountain!"

"It certainly is!"

I then placed this calm and logical mother with her two, early-twenties/late teen, calm and logical sons in the FRONT CAR, because that's what I do for the ones I love. We were all still smiling.

I grouped another party behind them. As the calm and logical party stepped up to the front and were about to load into the rocket, one of the sons turned around to look at me one last time.

He found me looking back at him with my hands in the shape of a heart.

Love. It's a beautiful thing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Note to Write

I stumbled into the kitchen this morning and a beautiful reality met me. Oh yeah! I had cleaned the kitchen last night! My day is full of possibilities now!

This is my only day off this week.

Hello, laundry.

Ironing is the ONLY chore I will pay cash money for. It's also the chore that has no takers.

Did I mention cash money?

Glenna is earning money for Night of Joy, and even SHE doesn't want to iron.

Yesterday's church worship service was especially sweet because I had missed last week. Pastor Ron spoke on Romans 3:21-24, which he described as the most important paragraph in Christianity, and after the final amen I felt like I had been running a marathon but FINALLY burst through the ribbon at the finish line.


I noticed that Kelly was taking notes as furiously as I was . . . each word was golden. Each phrase was exactly what we needed to hear.

Romans 3:23:

"For all have sinned . . ." past tense.

". . . and fall short. . ." present tense.

" . . . of the glory of God."

YES, I will stumble and fall again and again. I will fall short of being everything I want to be, which is everything HIM. I can't avoid this. I can't really help it. Sin is still present on this earth and I have to struggle with it daily, though some days are far easier than others. This is where I am running the marathon! Striving continually, I become exhausted and long for rest. I am exhausted because I am counting on myself and forgetting the most important thing a Christian could ever know, the very heart of the book of Romans.

Romans 3:24:

"They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."





I fail. He declares me not guilty. Not because of anything I have done to put check marks in the "good" column of my life, but only because of His grace.

I can't.

He did.

Grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus alone.

I could never be good enough.

He was more than good enough on my behalf.

I can't explain what that means to me, to know that the marathon I was running has already been run and I've been declared victorious. I am running and running, trying to be exactly what I think I'm supposed to be, and God is telling me, "YOU ARE. Don't you see? I paid for your perfection. You have been made perfect."

Perfect like Him.

This is not how I feel. No, this is NEVER how I feel, but this is what is true. This is how God now sees me because I have trusted that the death of His Son on the cross is enough.

It is enough.

Anything I do from here on until death is not because I have to earn my own righteousness. It's because I'm writing a thank you letter to my Savior.

And my Mom taught me to always remember to write a thank you note.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

M.O.M. = Mean Ole Mom

Here's the phrased that earned me the title:

No, you may not watch TV. I want you to tidy your room so your week will be off to a good start.

Tah dah!

At work on Friday, someone took my deliciously-prepared dinner by mistake (we have the same bag) and left me with a jar of peanut butter until 3 a.m.

On Saturday, I received my bag back with a note reading, "I am soooooooo sorry!" It was awful on Friday, but it's kind of funny now. My bag now has MrsJLW in Sharpie across the top.

Tyler made his LAST trip north to Tennessee. The next time he makes the trip, it will be to come home for good!

Eagerly waiting for September!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Newest News

Many of you on FB have already heard the wonderful news that Himself has been promoted to District Manager! I thought this would mean for Central Florida, but evidently it's for the entire state.

We're so proud of him!

We're also extremely thankful for the pay raise that comes with it. This will help so much with our efforts to become debt-free, though after doing the math it looks like it will take 36 months instead of 18. Still, it's a worthy goal and I am not discouraged.

The second thing everyone asks me is whether or not this means I will stop working at Disney.

Until we're debt free, I'll still be there (as long as they'll have me!). Plus, I was talking to a guy named Josh last night (one of the ones who trained me) and he says there's never really any reason to quit The Park. I could go to seasonal employment and work 2 or 4 weeks per year and still be an employee, with all the wonderful benefits that go with it. Something to think about, anyway!

Today is Dress Like A Cow Day. You can read about a previous time here! I'm supposed to be picked up for lunch so we can do this together. Time to find my Bessie Clothes!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Wonderful Wednesday

Yesterday was Mom and Ty day.

I went with him to get his haircut. Thanks, Ruthie!

I sat in the carport on a kitchen stool while he worked on brakes for his Brown-eyed Girl. I listened to him describe the process and his frustration with the parts-guy who evidently sold him the wrong parts.

Squatting on the ground and covered with grease, he held out the brake pad to show me how worn it had become compared to the new one. He looked up at me as he spoke and I looked into his blue eyes and suddenly he was three years old and I was helping him tie on his ninja turtle costume, and then he was five years old and holding a transformer toy to show me how the parts worked.

We all had dinner and watched a movie and while I was so tired, I was so content. He came to me in the evening and apologized that our day together was consumed by car parts, but how could I explain to him just how wonderful the day was, or that his hug at the end of it made it perfect? How can I explain that we don't have to DO when we can simply BE?

And oh, it is enough.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Stupidity Revisited

I can't believe we are in this place . . . AGAIN.

Twelve years ago, God yanked us out of our comfort zone and transplanted us clear across the nation so that we would learn and grow. We found out how poorly we had been handling our finances, how materialistic we had become, and we gained new prospective and priorities.

Eleven years later, we forgot.

I'm going through Dave Ramsey's Money Makeover book. What makes me so angry is that we KNEW this stuff! We had learned it in a very hard, very painful way! Now we have to dig ourselves back out.

Poor Glenna.

She'll be the one really affected by this. Kelly will be at college. Ty will be working and earning his own income. Glenna will get the rice and beans.

But she'll also be around to see us gain financial freedom! She'll see what hard work, sacrifice, and diligence can mean for peace of mind. I am praying for 18 months to becoming debt free (except for our house payment).

No, we can't go out to lunch or out to dinner.

God will have to make our clothes last like He did with the Israelites in the desert.

My book budget, except for Glenna's school, is on indefinite hold! Hello, Library. (I know BA doesn't understand this. She never buys books!)

So, here it is on the blog. Friends, feel free to hold me accountable and ask how we are doing. I will answer you honestly, even if it means a trip to the woodshed!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Do You See what I See?

My job puts me very close to people all day long. There is no "personal space" when working Grouper. There is no modesty for the ladies when working Load. There is no expression of gracefulness when working at Unload! (None exit gracefully, but all WILL exit!) I haven't had a Greeter rotation for a week, but it also puts me right in the middle of the pack when I have to answer the phone or distribute a flick card.

Believe it or not, I can't help but think of my many missionary friends as I'm walking up the ramp to Side A. Half-way up the ramp, the scent of humanity (or stench of humanity?) begins to permeate the senses. Here I am in a 1st-world country, and the smell and heat from human flesh is almost overwhelming! They have eaten garlic. They pass gas. They've been caught in a downpour and their clothes are wet and smelly.

My missionary friends are sitting in huts with fire pits, crowded into groups who have never heard of deodorant or shampoo or using tissues instead of hands and clothing to wipe their noses. As I was working at Load the other night, I began to think of their encounters with people verses my own and I remembered that the missionaries see and smell far, far worse, and yet there's a glaring difference between our experiences:

The missionaries see people through the lens of Love. They see people who desperately need a Savior.

It hit me, really, hit me, that I also see people who desperately need a Savior. While my missionary friends are faced with people trapped by fear and superstition of false gods, I am also seeing people who are trapped by fear and enslaved to their man-made idols; money, materialism, and status. I stood there at Load and asked myself, "What do people really look like when looked through a lens of Love, the same lens the missionaries use?"

God, in His goodness, gave me a glimpse.

People, I'm not going to lie. You smell. Badly. But I'm also not going to lie when I say this to you:

Do you have any idea how incredibly beautiful you are?

I mean, really?

I see all shapes, sizes, and colors. I see hair and lack of hair. I see superbly toned muscles, tanned skin, manicured nails. I see rounded faces, enormous guts, crooked teeth.

You're beautiful.

Really, really beautiful.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

You have a loving, merciful God who is mad about you! You are His passion and His delight! He made you, not because He was lacking in anything (God is complete - He needs nothing) but He made you so you could know HIM and enjoy Him forever. He knew you could never be in His presence because of sin, so He took care of sin for you by sending His Son to the cross on your behalf.

Oh, how He loves you!

I had a different experience at work that night and it hasn't really gone away. I hope it never does. I hope I continue to see humanity through the lens of love - as God Himself sees them.


Sunday, July 04, 2010

He's Here!

Ty arrived around 1:30 this afternoon. What a sweet hug that was!

Then he brought in his laundry.

And you know what? I'm so, so happy to see six bags of laundry!

I have reserved Wednesday as our day together. Hope Himself can join us. I will be working the rest of his visit, so Wednesday is the only opportunity to hang out with him.

No, we're not going to the Park.

It was SO crazy last night! After my awesome, heart-healing, hug from Brieanna, we had the craziest night. Side B kept breaking down in a really weird way, so we would transfer everyone waiting on Side B over to Side A and then cycle everyone through the ride.

Because of the continual breakdowns, a lot of fast passes were passed out. Imagine standing in the stand-by line watching row after row of fast pass users go through without your line even moving. Then imagine everything stopping as the entire Side B was brought over to Side A. More fast pass goes through, then FINALLY you're allowed to move.

Would you be happy?

I didn't think so. There were a lot of cuss words heard in the happiest place on earth last night!


I was in Tower on Friday and someone came in with the rotation. I could hear lound chanting from the crowd of guests.

Cast Member: Those Brazilians are so loud out there right now.

Me: How do you know they're from Brazil? Are they wearing shirts or something?

Cast Member: Well, yes, and they're shouting "BRA-ZIL! BRA-ZIL! BRA-ZIL!"

Oh. ;/

Saturday, July 03, 2010

It Figures!

I had forgotten that God never fails to teach me a lesson that does not include life-application.

Remember the Humble Pie post about Job? Yeah. It was test time.

Brieanna assured me it wasn't as hurtful as I thought and says she enjoyed reading my blog (Hi Brieanna!). Still, I had violated one of the most basic lessons that I teach my children, my JV AWANA students, or any other students.

Our words must be -




Any JV student, past or present, knows exactly what I mean when I hold three fingers in the air. It means something they just said was either unkind, unnecessary, or untrue. It also means an apology is in order!

Ephesians 4:29 "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear."

This is especially true with written words, since voice intonation and inflections aren't apparent. When I read back over my posts, I was sharing humor at the expense of my cast mates, which is something I hate when someone does it to me! (OK . . .with Rony and British Sam, these are things I have said to their faces. Sam's unflappable and Rony is . . . Rony! He loves all attention!)

Brieanna, thank you for the valuable lesson you have taught to me, and for the grace you have extended to me! May I remember and be more gracious to others.

Now, off to storm the castle/mountain!

You guys be safe out there - especially my son who is driving home in the wee hours tomorrow, and especially my loved ones at the crazy celebration in a nearby town. Be safe!

This Happened

My heart is broken right now.

In trying to work out my experiences on my blog by discussing and analyzing the different cast members I work with, I have hurt someone. My attempts at being clever and witty have caused pain to a very sweet girl who helped me through the Door 24 incident and several other incidents at work.

My most heartfelt apologies, Brieanna.

And, my apologizes to any other cast members who have been painted in a poor light. It was not my original intention, but it is what I did.

I am sorry.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Love This

I have been so hungry for the Bible lately. Normally, there's a stack of books next to my bed that I'm reading. I decided to replace all those distractions with the Bible and read it at night instead.

I should say, however, that my hunger was sparked by a book series written by Lynn Austin, one of my favorite authors. She wrote a series of 5 books that chronicle the reign of King Hezekiah and his son Manasseh after him. I LOVE this series because it made me realize the Bible is not a collection of stories - these are real people who really lived. These are people who struggled with faith and trust just as much as I do and under far worse circumstances (surrounded by the Assyrian army, anyone?). Everyone around them was telling them how foolish it was to trust in an invisible God and not their own strength and abilities. Or, in the case of Manasseh, they would take the words of God and twist them to suit their own purposes.

Sound familiar?

The more I read the Bible, the more this quote rings true.

I know it's not Tuesday, but I hope you enjoy it anyway!


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