Archive | August 2012

A Cherry Flavored Dum-Dum

With all of the posts and pictures I have seen on Facebook of my friends kids and grand-kids’  first day of school this week, I began thinking about my kids’ first days…. This was actually my youngest sons “last” first day of School…. and MY ….. “last”  first day of school as well.   I have 2 sons, 12 years apart, so needless to say I have been doing the “first” day of school thing for several years…..24 years to be exact!   THAT is a LOT of first days…

Several of those First days never turned out how I had imagined them in my head.   When Justin, my oldest, went to his first day of Kindergarten I just KNEW that I would have to pry him off of my leg because he didn’t want me to leave him….. or… that I would have to get him occupied doing something so I could sneak out unnoticed.

We walked into his classroom that day with all those nice new school supplies stacked so neatly in his little cigar style school box,  his Big Chief Tablet and his nap rug with a big smile on his face and a worried look on mine.   We looked around at all of the colorful posters on the wall…. the welcome to school theme on the bulletin boards…. the books, chalk, erasers and the big teachers desk …..We met the teacher……and then finally…. we found HIS name on a desk!!

Wow…. look that is YOUR name Justin!!!  His eyes grew wider with the realization that the teacher…. or someone …. knew his name and saved him a special spot of his own.   I then helped him arrange his supplies in his desk….of course…. his idea and mine about how it should fit, didn’t seem to be the same… but…it was HIS desk.  As my little 5 year old sat down in his first desk of his first day of his school career, I began to prepare him of the fact that I was going to have to go to work…. that he is going to have to stay here….. all day…. by himself…. but he is  big boy…. and I will be at Grandmas to pick him up after I get off of work to hear all about his first day of school!!!

It was like he was in a trance or something as he said…. “ok Mom…. I’ll see you later….”
Surely he didn’t hear me…. or understand me… probably in shock or just trying to be brave for his mom…. so as I stood up I repeated to him that I was now leaving... that I have to go…that he is going to have to stay…….all day…… by himself…..

“Ok Mom…. bye… love you too…. ”

As I slowly backed  my way to the door I repeated…”Goodbye Justin…. I’m leaving now”…. to each he would reply with that cute little grin of his and a quick little wave…. “Ok Mom….. bye….love you too!”

As I got into my car, my emotions jumped from
Sadness…. my baby is in school… all grown up now…. not my baby now…life is going to be different than it was….
to:
Pride… what a big boy he was today… he didn’t cry or pitch a fit at all… he just marched in there like a little man…. sat down … ready for a brand new adventure….
to:
Unbelief….OMGosh…he didn’t even care that I was leaving…..he is not even going to miss me even a little bit…. he doesn’t love me any more…..!

Now….. the BEFORE School started…. the few weeks before enrollment….the day we had to go to the clinic and get the required vaccinations … now THAT was a different story!

We pulled up to the clinic and he really wasn’t sure WHERE we were or  WHY we were there….. I wasn’t about to tell him that because the thought of a “shot” and a needle…. was not something I wanted to deal with before …. during …. or after our visit.
Needless to say…my arm…. my neck…. my leg….. was grabbed and held on to very tightly from the time his name was called by the lady in the nurses uniform and the door was shut behind us……until the time that Cherry Flavored Dum-Dum was in his mouth and we were safely out of the little room, sitting in the waiting room for the necessary amount of time that would confirm he had no reactions.  The fact that this was for his own good and he was now,  inoculated from some very serious and life threatening diseases, and not simply a torture procedure was far from his thinking.

As we were sitting there…. we could hear a car pull up and through the closed doors of the clinic…we can hear a faint…… wail…. I assumed that maybe a child was hurt … or possibly just wasn’t happy about something that had happened in the car.  As the door of the clinic opened the “wail” became more of a scream… there was an urgency to the scream… along with the begging words of please… please ….please…. don’t make me do this… the bargaining of I promise …I promise…. I promise…that were trying to be blocked out by the father who was trying to answer the receptionist questions.

I was VERY glad at that moment that we had gotten here BEFORE she did!!!

It was very apparent that the very building… the front door… the whole atmosphere of  the Clinic was a source of bad memories for this little girl.  She had been there before and had a very bad experience and that memory was very much still etched deeply in here mind….. Or…. she was told hours or minutes before her arrival why she was coming here and what was going to happen to her when she got here…. The very thought of the pain and discomfort of a Dr or a Nurse… poking her with a needle was more than she could handle…

As all these memories flooded back to me…. I thought….
I bet some Non-Christians…. Non-Believers….. Non-Church goers have this same mentality of Church.

Some …. like Justin may not have been told where or why we are going and until ….. the door closes and the man dressed in the Preacher clothes begins to make things uncomfortable for us…. sticking us with sharp pains that hurt…. deep…and until we are outside in the foyer… shaking hands with people that were so glad we came did we finally realize…. it didn’t really hurt that bad.
….and then there are those who have either been there before and have been hurt…have had bad experiences there in the past….or have heard all the horror stories of what they will do to people like them if they ever even walk into the building….that pulling into the driveway throws them into a panic state.   Screaming…. begging… promising to do ANYTHING but make me go in there!

Are we apart of that memory?
Am I apart of that memory?

I believe…. that we might want to keep this analogy in mind the next time we invite someone or we see someone new walk into the doors of our church… treat them gently… hold their hand… let them grab on to the arm…. or leg…. of your strength, for comfort and reassurance, that although it may be uncomfortable for awhile… it will get better… easier….. the pain will lift after awhile and will be replaced with the comfort of knowing that they have been inoculated from a very serious and life threatening disease …..

….. and just maybe….just…. maybe…..a Cherry Flavored Dum-Dum to boot!

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If I Had My Druthers……. ;~)

Years ago,  my 5-year-old son and I were moving into a new house around 30 miles away to a town my parents were living in.   Of course, like most things, the timing of the paper work from banks, real estate offices, closing offices and myself, all had different agendas.   It really wasn’t a major issue until it came down to the wire when school was going to start in just a few days and I didn’t have my house.
Questions began to fill my head….
Do I enroll Justin now?    Or… wait till we get there for sure?
Am I going to have to drive 30 miles every morning to school then turn around and go back the way I came to go to work?
Do we just stay with my Mom and Dad until we get moved in?
What if something falls through and I don’t get the house…….?

Well Praise God we closed the week before school started, but that meant I had to hurry and get things moved in like…. Pronto.
With the help of an old church bus my dad had converted to a camper several years ago… I had already packed several boxes of things and stored them in there weeks before.  Since it needed to be brought to Mom and Dads now, we might as well ……..kill two birds with one stone.

Once down there we made numerous trips back and forth between my new house and theirs, loading and unloading, box after box of …. stuff.     That evening,  I remember sitting in a chair taking a break from the day when my dad looked at me and said….“you look like you have been rode hard and put away wet”….What?

Over the years, I have heard several “old” or “odd” sayings come out of my dads mouth…. but that one,  I had not heard before.    Those sayings often dated him or pin pointed him to that geographical area he grew up in, down in good old Southwest Missouri.

Of course, now that I am older and much more “citified”, living in a little town that has a staggering population total of 800ish …..(not so sure they haven’t included the dogs and cats in that total)…… I am far above using that kind of slang…..  ;~)

It is truly “funny” how those old sayings…. those old ways…. can get ingrained into you and you have no idea when they are gonna slip out….
Sayings like:
I put it “over yonder”
I left it in the “back forty”
What are “Y’all” doing later?  (FYI: Spell check considered that a word !)
I……“reckon”
Well….“If I had my druthers”
Needless to say… I get some odd smiles out of people who don’t know me when these slip out now and again….. and if I catch that look….it reminds me that …. well….I’m different…and I had a different up  bringing…. and then ….I just smile remembering where I came from.    I remember the values I was taught. My roots.   My heritage.

I have talked to many people who…… “aint from around these parts”….. who have their own way of talking.
Some, put the emphasis on syllables that I never knew were in a word.
Others use $500 words scattered in their sentences that have me pulling up the dictionary app on my phone as soon as I get the chance to find out exactly what they have just said to me.
Some have heavy southern drawl while others from up north do that special thing they do with their “O’s” and their “R’s”.

We can determine a lot more from our conversations with someone if we really listen to what or how things are said.
Just by listening to someone, for a relatively short period of time,  we may be able to find out if they are shy….or if they are strong and confident.   We might be able to tell if they are a Democrat or a Republican if given the right subject matter.  We could find out if they are a KU Fan or a MU Fan……a career person or a stay at home Mom or Dad.

I wonder, sometimes, what people see and hear out of me in the few minutes of dialog I may have with them…. whether it be in the work place…. a High School ball game….Church…. or in the check out line at the local market….What can they determine from my words or my actions?

Do they assume that because I am in high heels most of the time and dressed up that I am a business woman?
Do I look ….. approachable?
Do the words that come out of my mouth say that I am from Missouri?  ……. From Southwest….. Missouri?
Do I seem to be a “nice” lady…….Polite?
Do My Words reflect my beliefs….?

Those little phrases that are ingrained in me…. my new heritage…. my roots….. those “old”…. and sometimes “odd” sayings I have heard my Father God say…. do they slip out while I am talking?    Those words should pin point the geographical location of my heart to anyone… who knew me or not.    Would they be able to walk away from me and say to themselves…. “There is something different about that lady…..I know she must be a Christian”.   Would I know…. where your heart was from….. by just a few short sentences in passing?

Maybe not….We are quick to judge and are quickly judged …not always taking into account of struggles or hurts someone may be facing at the time……but if given only a brief few minutes with someone who we may or may never see again….to leave an impression …..

I reckon …. I would like for every one of  Y’all ….next door…. or over yonder…. in the back forty ….even if you aint from around these parts…..to know without a shadow of a doubt….. that this little lady…. although her words may not be always cultured and refined…. they would always reflect the heritage of my Father God no matter where I am…..not matter my circumstances……my heart would give away its geographical location….

if I had my druthers !

W-A-I-T-I-N-G………………………………

Sometimes…….well actually, more times than I could probably count on both, my hands and feet, as well as yours….I have been talking to someone about something very casual and seemingly unimportant … or… ministering to them about a very real struggle in their life…… when out of my mouth comes the exact words that Ineeded to hear concerning something I was going through at that exact time!
God is pretty sneaky that way!
I have often wondered if it was as noticeable on my face, as it was in my spirit, when that revelation happened.   It is like a great big **** DUH**** slaps me across the head as those words  flow effortlessly in what seems like  slow motion  across my lips!

This Morning was one of those times.   I was sitting at my computer checking email on one screen and scrolling through Facebook on another, when up pops a Personal Message box.  The message said:

Morning to ya, I sure do wish you would let it rain already, lol. Man it is a test of all farmers right now. I wonder what the Lord has in store???? I know He is up to something BIG!”

So….. I began to write a reply….. I typed:
I have put my order in ….. just have to wait… like a fine restaurant vs fast food…. takes longer… but it is soooo much more satisfying

SMACK!!!!

Ok God…. I hear You loud and clear!  Even though I wasn’t looking to be ….or….expecting to hear anything Spiritual out of that very general statement concerning rain…..I sure got the message loud and clear.
I typed in slow motion…..
I have put my order in“……. (nope… you’re not done…. when you place an order…. what do you usually have to do?       WAIT)
“just have to wait“………(there is more…. don’t send it….How do you like to wait?   I don’t…..even in the drive through I don’t like to wait very long….. but…..)
like a fine restaurant vs fast food“…….(Yes? ……oh no….. here it comes….. the “****DUH**** moment!)
takes longer… but it is soooo much more satisfying“………(now….. you can send it!)

Yep….. there it is…. in black and white…. written….. not spoken… so I can reread it as many times as needed in order to let it truly soak in.   Since they are “my” words…. I cannot read anything in between the lines… or say it was a misprint…. or reason it away like I could if it was said by anyone else…. nope…. Crystal Clear and ringing Loud and Clear in my inner ears are the words I need to be reminded of!

like a fine restaurant vs fast food…. takes longer… but it is soooo much more satisfying

Sometimes….. a fast food hamburger is all I need.  Time restraints…. like a lunch break for work during the week….. gives me  instant satisfaction and fills the need I have at the moment.

But…..Going into a nice restaurant…. One that has real tablecloths on the table……One that has ambiance……you will find that you are going to have to:

“WAIT” to be seated ….
“WAIT” to get a waitress…
“WAIT” to order…..
“WAIT” to get your food…..
“WAIT” to get the check……and
“WAIT” to pay the check…..

Why do we think it is ok to “WAIT” at a fine restaurant and not in the drive through line at McDonalds????
I think it is that we have placed a higher standard and expectation on the dine-in restaurant.    We know that we are  going to pay a higher price for the quality of the food and the service so we are more than happy to sacrifice that time, as well as the money, on those occasional splurges we have to treat our friends, family or ourselves.
We also find that our “Waiting” is hardly found to be an inconvenience.   Conversations move from subject to subject as we fill the spaces between the time we arrive till the time we leave.
Relationships are deepened……  Families grow stronger…….  Stress is relinquished…… We actually leave the restaurant with not only our basic need of daily nourishment being taken care of…… but, we received much more satisfaction than when we first walked in,  or if we had just grabbed a hamburger and fries through the drive through……. all because we had to “WAIT”!!

When we pray for things we either need…. or want…. what kind of answer do we want?
Some…. honestly, will not take much time…. like a drive through window we will find the answer pretty quick, and it will meet the need we have at the time.  Quick and to the point.
Others…. however…. are more intense…time worthy…..
We find that we have to “WAIT”…….. and “WAIT”……….and “WAIT”………!
While I “WAIT” however…. that time spent is not wasted!
My Relationship with God ……. deepens!
My Faith grows…… Stronger
My ways….. relinquished.

When the answer does come….. I will find that it will leave me more satisfied than if I would have gotten it before its time.
James 1:4(amp) says……But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be people perfectly and fully developed with no defects, lacking in nothing!!!!

That is what God spoke to me this morning in the middle of my Personal Message about rain!

Sooooo……..
Yes Lord….. I am willing to “WAIT” for the Best of the Best …. the Real Tablecloths……the perfect answer to my prayer that you have planed for me!