Friday, October 29, 2010

A Small Gesture of Great Significance

Dear Family at that Restaurant in Bronson, Missouri;

You noticed my Dad and his friends, a group of six senior citizens, were ooohing and ahhhing over the honey cornbread muffins. You also noticed my Dad was wearing his veteran hat that showed he served in Korea. You then sent an order of honey cornbread muffins to their table with the following note:


It's because of men like you that my family enjoys its freedom today. Thank you for serving our country and God bless.

You brought my Dad to tears that day, and he cried again when he read your note to me over the phone.

Thank YOU, and God bless YOU! And thank you for reminding me that a simple gesture means the world to our senior veterans. I hope I get the opportunity to do the same.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Way with Words

I am beginning to see why Tabitha, my co-worker, is someone whom Kelly loves so much from her years of working for Dr. D. I've decided to compile a list strictly from the words she chooses.

Words Tabitha uses:

This will be easy.

You'll get it.

You'll figure it out.

Keep trying.

That happened to me, too (or) I've done that mistake before.

That looks great!

Nice one!

You're so ready for this!

I can understand how you feel.

Words Tabitha does not use with me:

Forget it.

Never mind.

I'll take care of it.

Give me that!

I also love how she never rescues me from my failures. She's so patient and gives me room to try again, which always results in success, which in turn produces confidence. Instead of making me feel like I have just ruined everything and the world is going to end, she actually laughs out loud! I don't feel like she's laughing at me, rather she's laughing because her same struggles are now happening to me and she can so relate.

What a woman!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Why Don't She Write?

Kudos to anyone who can name that movie, though it's not an exact quote!

Things are crazy here. On one hand I have blessings galore with how well my children are doing. On the other hand, I have trials and I'm so busy. I'm afraid if I were to write what I was really thinking, I'd be carried off to the asylum!

Wait. . . a room to myself without interruption? Hmmm. . . .

Last weekend I was so angry at everyone and everything. It was probably best that Himself went out of town for a few days. I'm feeling much better now. How does the Jimmy Buffett song go? "The longer I'm gone, the closer I feel to you."

Ty and Jessie brought home all kinds of pumpkins last night! Two big ones are for carving on Monday with their Bible study group. The wee ones were for painting. I hope she posts pictures! =)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Workin' It

It's no lie; I am a sinner in need of a Savior.

Himself - even more so.

The last two days I have enjoyed washing dishes, by hand, with Glenna. We put music on and we have the best conversations! Or, sometimes, we just do the dishes in companionable silence. I never thought this would be a chore that I would actually look forward to doing, but it has been most pleasant.

When I first married Himself, as in our first few days in our first apartment, I struggled to figure out that whole cooking thing. My job as a child/teen was to set the table and make the salad. I still make a pretty mean salad! My mother knew I needed help in the kitchen and ordered recipe cards that came by mail every month. I started our married life learning to cook from those cards, which involved fresh ingredients and nothing processed. A few months into our marriage I discovered Hamburger Helper and brought it home - Himself made it clear that under no uncertain terms was I to ever bring it home again. Who could blame him after such fresh, real food?

The only meal I didn't make from the cards was steak cooked on the hibachi, with red potatoes cooked with fresh green beans and tossed in butter. Oh, and a salad. It's still a favorite.

After dinner, Himself would settle comfortably on the couch. I would look at him peering into our 13" TV, look at the kitchen full of dishes, look back at him, shrug my shoulders, and then settle onto the couch next to him.

If he thought I was going to wash those dishes myself, he had another think coming!

The dishes would sit on the counter for a day, or two, or three, until we didn't have any that were clean. Then one of us would grudgingly wash them or, rarely, we would wash them together.

Yes, our apartment had roaches. Why do you ask?

This pattern continued even after we bought our first house. Many times, too many times, I avoided the kitchen all together and we ate out. It also bled into other areas of our lives and home to laundry, cleaning, yard work, and maintenance.

When the children began to arrive and I realized, with great shock, that I had to cook every night, the battle over KP escalated. At this point, we had a dishwasher. Still, I would cook dinner and then Himself would settle on the couch and start a movie.

Yes. Start a movie.

We laugh when we talk about this now. He can't believe what a self-centered person he was then! I can't believe how determined I was to not be the only one doing house work. Stubborn and stiff-necked described me to a T.

If there's one piece of married advice I could offer to newlyweds, it would be this:

Wash the dishes together.

It's a great relationship builder, resentment destroyer, and conversation enjoyer.

Imagine if we had started our marriage as teammates, rather than combatants? We would have started a habit that would have benefited our marriage and family tremendously. Now, we have to struggle against our pre-made habits and plain ole sin natures to help each other out. We're getting better, but how amazing is it to see families who do this automatically? After supper, everyone clears the table. One washes, one dries, one wipes the counter tops and table, and before they know it they're finished and the entire evening is before them!

I cringe when I think of the resentment I've built into my children by making them do this without my help while I've watched television or surfed the internet.

In fact, I know exactly how they feel.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

One Hour

In one hour I received the following news . . .

*A dear friend's son was in an accident. His car was stopped on the side of the road, hit, and flipped completely over. Praising God the CAT scan showed all is well and he's already released from the hospital!

*Another dear friend and mentor heard the news today that she has breast cancer.

*Yet another dear friend is on her way to the hospital because her mother just broke her hip.

How fragile we are! Each of these have reminded me to be thankful for every breath and every day.

PS Please don't be afraid to be my dear friend.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Later, Dudes

Since our son is now home from the hills of Tennessee, we have decided to make a trip.

To Tennessee.

Ridiculous, right?

My dear friends ML and BA bought property there a couple of years ago, moved there a year ago, and now the house they're building is nearing completion. We wanna see! I've also been longing to see some genuine fall colors.

If you don't hear from me, that is why.

PS Ty has made it clear he has no desire to drive to TN with us. I wonder why? ;-) He'll be staying home and tending the d-o-g-s.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

From February, 1986, to March, 1989, I worked in a hair salon. I dealt closely with the personal appearances of customers. I listened to their joys and their woes. I loved some and avoided others.

Then one glorious day in April, 1989, a baby boy was placed into my arms.

I went home and stayed there!

Now, 21 years later, I once again find myself in a position where I am dealing closely with customers, although now they're called "patients." I don't yet deal directly with their personal appearances, but I may some day. At the office, we listen to their joys and their woes. We love some and try to avoid others. (NO! Not really! You're all our favorites. YES! We LOVE when you come in!)

There are so many similarities to my previous occupation that it's uncanny. Some of the chemicals and substances used on teeth, believe it or not, are the same ones I used when making acrylic nails. They definitely have the same smell!

One thing that absolutely has NOT changed in 21 years is something that can be a source of fun or pain for me, depending on the situation.

I am writing, of course, about the music that plays over the speakers in the office.

I am a musician. Music is never, ever, background music for me. If it's on I have trouble focusing on conversations. Instead, I'll be listening for the spot where the vocals turn to harmony, my favorite line of a song, or that cool bass line that I know is coming up. My friend Diral was the same way - so much so that he would purposely make sure music was OFF when guests were visiting. "If we're going to talk, let's talk. If we're going to listen to music, let's listen to music." I thought this was so strange back then, but I fully appreciate it now!

The music at the office is delivered regularly via the U.S. Postal service in the form of two CDs. We upload them into two different players; one is for the speakers that everyone hears, and one is for patients to select for their headphones while a procedure is done.

When I was working in a salon 21 years ago, the music we listened to was, of course, 80's pop. Sometimes there'd be some songs from the 60's and 70's, depending on the radio station or whether the boss was in the shop.

At the office, SURPRISE! The music is a blend from the 60's, 70's, 80's, and even some 90's. Every once in a while, there will be current pop as well. All of this tends to make me feel like I'm in a time warp or experiencing severe de'ja'vu.

"Wait. Are you here for a spiral perm or a dental cleaning?"

And have you noticed that leggings, scrunch socks, stripes, and sweater dresses are coming back?

The world is going through an awful lot of trouble to make me feel like I've never left the work force.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Don't Get Cocky!

It. Never. Fails.

As soon as I feel like I know what I'm doing, something happens to show that I need to be alert at all times.

On Space Mountain, I would have days where I finally felt comfortable with all the buttons, guests, and procedures. I was able to have instinct and anticipate needed actions - it was such a great feeling! I would even say to myself, "All right! I'm not a rookie anymore!"

Then I'd do something stupid like . . . oh. . . cascade the ride.

Monday at the office, I was finally feeling great about making a dental mold. I have to use two different materials; one sets rather quickly and needs to be shaped rapidly, while the other sets more slowly and I have a little more time. The mold I was working on was turning out to be the best one I had made!

I went to add the finishing touch of polishing with sand paper and SNAP! The whole thing broke right in the sink.

Tabitha, the one who had been training me, laughed and told me to crazy glue it.

Lesson learned? I thought I had done everything correctly, so what exactly is the lesson?

Umm. . . . don't trust a mold?

Expect the unexpected?

Teeth are gross?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Tuesday is Guest Star Day!

My friend Matt (Es-Snyder!) included this amazing and excellent quote on his blog.

What a timely reminder, and probably one of the biggest truths I learned while working at Disney!

God Loves. Period.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Pass the Grace, Please

I think the hardest part about spiritual growth or having to face a trial has got to be the fact that life doesn't stop during the process. Wounded, we walk through the routine of our days with smiles on our faces. We make conversations and jokes and perform menial tasks. We wash laundry and write thank you notes. We pay our bills and put petrol in our autos.

If we had a choice, however, we would do none of those things. Instead, we'd scream out to the heavens in our anger and pain. We'd run to our mothers for her embrace and comfort. We'd lock ourselves in our rooms so we could cry and cry and let healing begin. We would rage against those who have hurt us and get some justice. What we crave more than anything, really is just a little stinkin' privacy.

Those actions, however, don't put dinner on the table.

Those actions are more likely to make others into the walking wounded as well.

If there's one thing a trial teaches me, it's how to extend grace to others. The people I come across may have gaping wounds in their hearts that have absolutely nothing to do with me. They may snap in irritation over some delay. They may honk their horns with impatience the moment a light turns green, not even giving me opportunity to move my foot from brake to gas pedal. Or, reversely, they may be the ones sitting idle, not realizing the light has changed, completely miserable.

Because we are a selfish people, we cannot help but take the actions of others as a personal affront. Our instinct is to go on the defensive and lash back by reacting to the irritated, honking our horns in return, or shouting a loud, "GO already! Sheesh!" This, of course, compounds the misery of the hurting.

At Disney, there are buttons guests can wear to announce a celebration such as a birthday, anniversary, or engagement. Cast members watch for these buttons to call out special messages to the guests. Happy birthday! Congratulations! We're glad you're here! The guests can't help but smile and brighten with each greeting.

What if the walking wounded were allowed to wear buttons?

I'm hurting.

I just lost a loved one.

My world is crashing around me.

My marriage is suffering.

I'm struggling financially and overwhelmed.

I have a horrible illness.

What if others could really see their pain and call out special messages to them? Or what if, simply, we could see their button just long enough to extend a little compassion and a lot of grace?

Go ahead and honk, Lady. I see you're hurting and I don't mind.

Hope you feel better soon!

I'm praying for you.

The truth is, everyone has a button of some kind, but they're invisible. I know this because God's Word says the one thing we're guaranteed is trials.

"Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4

This week, I hope to become less aware of my own trials and more aware of those around me. I wonder how many opportunities God will give me to extend grace?

PS Mom, wish I could be with you today. I'm thinking of you and I love you.

Friday, October 01, 2010

A Message

Dear Girl on the Yellow Vespa,

There are two things that will not encourage longevity in this world:

1. Tailgating

2. Not wearing a helmet

Weaving in and out of traffic isn't such a good idea either. Was there really such a hurry that you couldn't plan ahead before darting across three lanes to turn into the college parking lot?

That is all.

PS - Nice shades.


DaisypathAnniversary Years Ticker