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A Box of Love


 

The older I get, the simpler I want life.

With age comes some natural changes like not caring about what use to bother me or if it doesn’t get done today, it will be here tomorrow.

Or maybe it’s a lack of desire? Or it could be what I use to think was important, really isn’t or wasn’t.

I finally made it to Belks to return some clothes that didn’t fit. The box had been in my car for over a month so that should tell you what I haven’t been doing.box

Between the lawsuit and court, preparing our taxes and insurance policies and then having company on top of my daily chores the box went unnoticed. Those were the main to-do’s; that doesn’t include all the other stuff that just happens like the latest phone debacle which is another story. The dishwasher broke, there is still a hole in our laundry ceiling from before Christmas where our daughter fell through it from the attic and our carpet is in need of desperate repairs from a carpet-eating kitten that came to live with us last summer. The list goes on and on.

So on one of my three trips to the bank this week I first made myself go to Belks. As I walked through the door the store sirens went off shocking me into wondering what I had done. Then it just stopped and no one bothered to do anything about it so I went on my way.

After returning the items I walked through the store holding this rather bulky box wanting to shop around. I landed in the earring department. As I tried to look while holding this annoying box I overheard a woman talking on her phone. She ended the conversation by saying, “I love you.”

It was such a pleasant sound I had to say, “Well, I love you too!”

She looked at me and laughed telling me she was speaking to her son and just had to tell him she loved him.

Agreeing, I told her how we all need to hear that a lot more often.

Her smile revealed how happy it had made her that she had made my day.

As she walked off she told me to have a wonderful afternoon.

The box was in my way and too big so my shopping experience ended.

But the box had brought me to a “divine connection” of hearing a mothers love for her son.

And it made all the stuff and mess I have been dealing with seem so trivial. 

Love is……

love

 


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Shipping isn’t Free


My latest shopping adventure was on-line. Or I should clarify by saying I tried to shop on-line until I found out the cost for shipping was almost as much as the items I wanted to purchase.

Horrified by this outcome, my shopping spree was over before I bought anything.  Shutting it down I was offered to fill out a company survey……

Oh, what a wicked web some shoppers can weave.

You should really try those surveys. Especially when you let them know how angry you are after you have spent who knows how long trying to find what you need only to be told “shipping is no longer free.”

But then, your mind begins to wake up to one tiny, little clause on their website.

“Ship to Store. It’s always free for you to pick up.”FreeShippingRed3

NOT IF THE NEAREST STORE IS 70 MILES AWAY!

We don’t have that store here anymore. It was shut down. Closed up. Sent packing along with the people who lost their jobs.

In the little box where it tells you to “locate your store” it told me it wouldn’t even deliver my items 70 miles away. (Not that I would have driven there anyway but the nerve?)

My sleepy brain rolled all this important information around and around.

HHHHMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmm……..

This sounds like they are penalizing me because they shut down their own store?

Customers who have the option of “ship to store” don’t have to pay shipping because they can drive to pick them up.

Customers like me who don’t have this store in town MUST PAY SHIPPING COSTS BECAUSE THEY SHUT IT DOWN?

WHERE IS THE JUSTICE? WHERE IS JUDGE JEANNINE? SHE WOULD TELL THEM; SHE WOULD SET THEM STRAIGHT and go looking for the criminal party who did this.

So…I filled out another survey. Only this time I was not nice.

But guess what. I now have free shipping.

(Dedicated to Ms. Jeanne of “Women’s Window” who feels the same as I do about shopping.)

Quotation-Jesus-Christ-bible-truth-Meetville-Quotes-214796


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Cabin Fever or Jail?


I had to get out of the house yesterday.

After years of “cabin fever” living in the mountains I had forgotten what it was like to be stuck inside.  Having the option to go outside is one thing; knowing you could slide your way to the mailbox is another.

The first mistake I made was going down the wrong road. Or roads.1521636_624288524283514_993360826_n

Avoiding tree trimmers or debris workers was trial and error.  Scattered limbs, trunks split in half and blocked streets from inches of ice lined the landscape of this southern city.

Dealing with summer super storms or heat waves of 105 degrees for weeks on end appear to be a piece of cake compared to this past week of a major arctic blast.

The second mistake I made was going anywhere at all.

The traffic was atrocious. Cars and trucks came out of the woods to claim their piece of the aftermath pie.  Vehicles backed up for miles in some places due to downed power lines and trees created some very unhappy travelers.

The third mistake I made was…….yes….going to Walmart. Why, oh why did I go to Walmart?

The parking lot was full. Empty grocery carts found their own spaces. Shoppers who didn’t look like shoppers seemed to show up on the busiest day of the year. And it wasn’t Black Friday.

Inside the store were empty shelves and aisles full of boxes of items waiting to be unloaded. Certain departments looked like a wind storm had blown through leaving a path of SC Gamecock destruction.

Grabbing what I came for quickly I headed for the check out. I stood in line almost 20 minutes.

The clerk looked at me and said, “You would think people got let out of jail. They act like they been locked up in a cage or somethin’ and as soon as they were set free they headed to Walmart.”

There are many types of cages or jails we set up for ourselves. A few days of ice covered roads forced residents to stay home against their will. The fear of being stuck or their independence taken away for even a short time produces anxiety, stress and impatience. Go live in the mountains of WNC for a few years and you will find out quickly staying off ice or snow covered roads just might save your life.

The prisons we create or the ones we are thrown into without a fair trial leave scars that heavily affect our thinking and position in this life. Instead of believing we have an escape route given to us, we rummage around in our cells of panic, dread, apprehension and sometimes physical damage.

Jesus is the guard with the key to freedom from any type of incarceration, confinement or slammer. That key is his heart. Getting to know the person of the resurrected Christ changes our thought processes.  That means spending time in his word, praying over his words and having conversation with him may not change the circumstances, but enlightens our hearts to his responses of our circumstances.

This is not to say he won’t change our circumstances because he is in the business of miracles, signs and wonders but he also paves roads directing us down his path.jail

And for the sake of humor let’s just say Jesus offers up a Get out of Jail pass for free!
(He might let you pass go and collect $200.00 too)

free


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A Funny thing happened while trying to shop…


Shopping for clothes for me is a chore. Buying shoes is an activity I put off until my shoes are lined with holes and stripped of color.  This is a result of stores who buy few petites and size 5.5 shoes.

I have never understood how designers/clothing shops charge more for petite apparel when the amount of fabric used is minimal compared to Misses or Women’s fashions.

After surfing online stores for Jeans relentlessly with little or no good results I headed out to the Mall.a58606

By the 3rd or 4th stop, discouragement set in. Frustrated that 6 inches of extra denim hanging from my feet came with every pair I tried on was not my idea of a fun shopping spree. Buying new Jeans was a necessity and the only reason I attempted this hunt.

The decision to continue seemed useless, but on the way home my car pulled into the parking lot of TJ Maxx.

Scouring through racks of Jeans the story was the same. The extra denim covered my feet and dragged the floor. So much for a positive attitude.

No area was set aside as a Petite department. Searching for a clerk to aid me in my “nervous breakdown” the only one around was the cashier. The check- out counter is positioned so you have to get in line at least 10 feet from her.
In between me and the clerk was an added 5 feet so my only thought was to speak loudly so she could hear me.

Waving my hand at her like a clown, a spontaneous expression of my delusional state spewed forth.

“ARE THERE ANY STORES THAT SELL JEANS FOR SHORT PEOPLE ANYMORE?”

The 20 or so people standing around burst into laughter as if I was trying to be funny. Well, I wasn’t.
But at least the droll faces lit up and it made me feel better!

All of a sudden customers rushed to help me.

You will be happy to know 2 pairs of Jeans were found that didn’t trail behind me with denim to go.

1timothy6_7-8

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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Black Friday is a Cup of Coffee in my Swivel Chair


Sorry, but the Black Friday shopper is not me. Statistics reveal online shopping is up 18% this year. Why would anyone in their right mind choose to sleep out in the cold and get run over by flocks of early morning risers with bad attitudes?

Oh. That’s right. America isn’t in its right mind.

We are interested in beating the crowd with the best deal.

What’s the point in Thanksgiving Day? Why bother?

Newspapers and Media swamp us with ads to buy the latest ipad, cologne or trinket before we carve the turkey.

I remember when stores were closed Thanksgiving Day.

I remember when Black Friday didn’t exist.

So what happened? The love of money took over.

1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

The link below is a short article about a man who took his girlfriend’s son with him for Black Friday shopping. He found what he was looking for but forgot the kid.

http://www.rr.com/news/topic/article/rr/1110/78042029/Cops_Mass_bargain_hunter_took_home_TV_left_tot

Is it me or are we fading into a sinkhole of materialism? I refuse to be a “material girl.”

While stores ravage us as early as possible for any kind of holiday spread, we fall for the atmosphere of wanting the most up-to-date technology, car or jeans.

Who cares about the brand new Lexus Joe and Betty down the street just bought. Of course! How foolish of me. They are up to their neck in debt.

It grates at my nerves the number of people living beyond their means and then they have the audacity to complain about what they don’t have.

Get a budget. Live within the budget. Stop complaining.

The Hostess company has filed to liquidate after mediation failed with the union. No problem screams the protesters! We will get a job with the new owners……duh…..

Really? Before you greedily walked out and forced an 82 year old American dream to shut down did you think about that? Why should anyone hire you? You are a “protesting risk” now.

Funny how our reputations follow us around.

http://www.rethinkchurch.org

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/11/23/walmart-calls-black-friday-success-despite-protests-about-worker-conditions/

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/11/22/should-retail-stores-open-on-thanksgiving-day/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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“These Shoes Were Made for Walkin”


These shoes were made for “walkin” and that is what they’ve done.

Some shoes are meant to last. As you can see from this picture, this pair is as old as our cat and she is 10.

This pair of tennis shoes were designed especially for my weakened ankles. After a bad sprain, I splurged on this expensive investment.

However no one can say I haven’t gotten my money’s worth out of this pair of beat up, worn out, and torn shoes.

As dilapidated as they appear, I can’t seem to dispose of them. Like a fixture, these shoes hold more than years of wear and tear.

In their day they were quite sharp looking. Still quite comfortable and supportive, these shoes have more than done their job. It is apparent by their creases, wrinkles and loss of color I have worn them a great deal.

Besides the fact these shoes have been worth the extra cost; attached to them are memories; trips, people, places and hardships.

How long do I hold on to them? Until they fall apart? Or when they no longer support my ankles?

One reason to keep them is finding shoes to fit me is not easy. Wearing a size 6 medium or 5.5 are hard to find. Shoemakers don’t make as many as the larger sizes so fewer are made in the smaller ones.

Another reason to keep them is they still have some life left to bum around in.

If for no other reason, keeping them reminds me of lessons learned.

For instance. The person who bought these shoes 10 years ago is completely different than the one wearing them today. And that is a good thing. Isn’t that strange? When I walk down EasySpirit memory lane, my spiritual journey took off during year 4 of their usefulness.

The time frame is recognizable.

The left shoe had no hole in it.

There were few creases or wrinkles.

EasySpirit walked me through getting to know God.

Just as these battered and broken down shoes had a life of their own, it is a vague remembrance of the first few years of wearing them. Fresh and new,
I wouldn’t recognize them now.

And so it has become with me.

As tennis shoes are made for “walkin” so are we made for a purpose. Everyone has assignments from God. It is up to us to discover it. Uniquely planned, early on glimpses are revealed.

One thing is for sure. No one will ever understand what God has told you to do with your life. No one.

There is no need for explanation. There is no need for clarity.

Our particular assignments, should we wish to accept them, will intimidate, anger, infuriate and cause discomfort in those who have never found their destiny.

The general public cannot wrap their minds around the bigness of God and the future he lays forth for those who seek him. Yet, it is there, hiding in the background of every conversation and action.

In the purpose arises disappointment due to a lack of approval from those around us. Disappointment makes us reach for God because it breaks the dependency on another human being.

God knew we would need to depend solely on him to survive. False security is found elsewhere.

So….as these shoes continue walkin’ in their shabby, frayed state, the destination is now clear.

These shoes were made for walkin’ behind a brand new pair of brown sandals; the sandals of the King.

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/daily-triumph/

http://theteentheme.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/behind-the-scenes/

http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/find-comfort-in-gods-word/

http://www.poetseers.org/the-great-poets/misc-2/footprints-in-the-sand/

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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“I’m not the Repairman”


Why is it when something breaks men always ask their wives to take care of it?

Who do they think we are? The plumber? The Electrician? The General Handyman?

If I could do it myself then why did I ask you about it in the first place?

I do not have a degree in “fix it all.”

I do not have a degree in “fix it all” because I don’t want to “fix it all.”

I want you to “fix it all.”

“Oh, honey, just go to Lowes and they will help you pick it out.” Sure! Right! I have nothing better to do especially since I have no idea what I am supposed to pick out.

Sometimes I wish we didn’t have a Lowes. It’s like a copout for “I don’t have time to mess with that, but Lowe’s can tell you what you need.”

I wonder if the sales associates at Lowe’s get tired of men sending their wives who know nothing about ice maker filters to them to buy an ice maker filter.

Maybe they send us because they don’t want to look like they don’t know what an ice maker filter is?

Naaa…..they really don’t want to do home repair work. Why would they when they can get their wonderful wives to find someone else to do it for them?

Of course it is just one more role for the loving, caring, smart, intelligent, bright, clever, resourceful women that we are. Only we didn’t ask for it.

It is an assumption I have discovered by most men that we women are to be considered for every job that comes along. Never mind that it wasn’t in our marriage contract that we were supposed to become “Tim the Tool Man Taylor.”

If there was an advertisement for most women it would read as follows:

Needed; Full time wife. Hours: 24/7. Pay: 0.00, No vacation and no benefits. She must be qualified but not limited to be a chef, banker, housekeeper, parent, nurse, caretaker, educator, and all around handy woman. Prefer someone with extensive knowledge of car and appliance repair. Please call or email for the full list of job requirements.

Who in their right mind would answer an ad like that? Not me.
Oh. But, those are all the jobs I do every day plus some?  Where is my paycheck? My vacation?

Recently a male blogger friend of mine told me I needed to read Proverbs 31.
You know, the chapter describing the perfect wife? Well I read it.

There is not one word in those verses claiming we wives are supposed to be automatic repair women.
And it does not say we have to go to Lowe’s to pick up ice maker filters.

Now, I can just hear some of you men out there yelling,

“It may not be in Proverbs 31 but it is under the “Umbrella Contract of Submission.”

WHAT! Don’t even get me started on the proverbial, controversial submission clause.

The Submission clause is for another day.

For now I am the wife who is of noble character, brings good to my husband and speaks with wisdom. (Proverbs 31: 10, 12, 26)

P. S. At the request of my husband, I went to Lowe’s today and found the filter needed for our ice maker.

FROM: THE PROVERBS 31 WIFE

 

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/thoughtlessness/

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/07/09/quote-fortifies/

http://samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/a-fallen-mans-firewall/

http://thewayeverlasting.com/2012/07/06/five-truths-about-proverbs-a-primer-on-wisdom/

 


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Do you love your cashier?


My visit to the grocery store this morning was a usual enlightenment. The produce man was sitting on the floor dividing up the apples from the oranges. The cake baker was counting her cakes. The number of shoppers like myself were only a few including the woman who graced our presence by wearing her pajamas.

What struck me though was the one and only cashier up front. She looked tired. Unhappy.  She never smiled and her “how are you” was one of “I don’t really care how you are.”

I felt compassion for her as she looked down the aisle at the long line that had grown. Why didn’t they bring another cashier to help her or a bag boy?

Cashiers have a tough job. Theirs is one most of us never want.  It is a thankless position. A part time job for extra money or the full time cashier trying to make a living.

Cashiers:

Stand on their feet for hours at a time.

Are subjected to abuse of all kinds.

Are expected to know everything from what row the coffee is on to “why isn’t it still on sale?”

Are exposed to raw meat, filthy money and dirty  hands.

Are exposed to unruly, screaming children at the hands of parents who do not discipline them.

Are open targets for thieves, drunks and a few nice people.

Endure long lines of aggravated, impatient customers due to cuts in personnel.

The following are a few everyday occurrences in the life of a cashier…..as I have witnessed….

Customer: “Is this ice cream on sale?”
Cashier: “I’m not sure. You can check the weekly specials.”
Customer: “What? You oughta know that?
Cashier: “Ma’am, it will also show on the door of the frozen food section where you found it.”
Customer: “Just ring it up and it better be on sale.”
Cashier rings up ice cream. “No ma’am it is not on sale this week, that was last week. Do you still want it?”
Customer: “Yes, but only at the sale price.”
Cashier: “I’m sorry but it is not for sale.”
Customer: “Fine. I don’t want it then. And you shouldn’t be working here if you can’t do any better than that.”

or this one…..

Customer: “How much is this 6 pack of beer?”
Cashier: “I’m not sure ma’am.”
Customer: “Oh, it don’t matter anyhow. I got food stamps. While you’re at it get me a carton of cigarettes too.”
The cashier watches as the customer gets in their brand new BMW.

Cashiers are people, not sitting ducks for us to throw rocks at. or steal from. or verbally abuse.

Cashiers usually work because they need to.  I can’t imagine anyone subjecting themselves to such scrutiny for the heck of it.

Cashiers paychecks are usually based on minimum wage. They aren’t paid to know everything.

Cashiers have feelings just like we do. Give them a break.

The next time you are in the presence of a cashier, be kind. Be nice.

Smile.  Give them a tip. Ask how they are doing. Treat them like you want to be treated. Show them respect.

Show appreciation for the job they do everyday. Show concern for their well being in the midst of chaotic and hateful people.

Take up for them. Show them understanding of the daily grind they are subjected to as they try to make a living.

Who knows. Maybe they will think Jesus paid them a visit, not just another customer.

Luke 6:31 “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”

http://cashiersconfessional.wordpress.com

http://mychristiancoffeeshop.wordpress.com

Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


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Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, But Will He Come To Your House?


Let’s just  ask ourselves a question. Have you been good enough this past year to warrant Santa coming to your house?

I can already hear the “Ummmm,,,,,well,,,,,,maybe?” What is the definition of good? According to Merriam Webster dictionary it is

“A favorable character or tendency, agreeable, fit, suitable, pleasant, virtuous, right, kind, benevolent, commendable….etc.” Did you get the picture? or should I draw one? No, then you really wouldn’t get it.

Growing up I never once thought I wasn’t good enough to get presents from anyone, much less Santa. Had that happened I would have been seriously offended. I was a terrible liar, always ate my dinner, and was the perfect daughter. Why wouldn’t I be good enough? (please don’t contact my parents for confirmation on this or I will find you.)

In my little mind, I did wonder about some of my friends. There were these two boys who lived across the street who were always mean, rude and had big mouths. No one liked them.

I could include my older brother. He never let me play with his toys especially his baseball caps and gun and holster set. He never let me go in his room. He was mean and always wanted to fight. I didn’t like him too much either.

My cousin who was also older always picked on me. He wasn’t mean but made fun of how short I was. I knew something wasn’t right with him when he brought home a baby alligator and made it his pet. His parents were not too happy about this. He had this huge wash pan he would fill up with water for the alligator to stay in. Then one hot summer day he went to check on him only to find he had dried up from lack of water and died.

So far my family is not fairing very well in the “good” department.

There are many religions floating around who expect people to be good enough for whatever it is they offer. I am so glad I don’t belong to any of those. As perfect as I may be I still wouldn’t be good enough.

How can that be? How can a particular religion decide who is good enough and who isn’t? And may I ask who does the deciding? Once the decision is made what is their reward? So many questions.

Is it someone who is better than the rest of us? Have they passed all of the tests? For that matter who wrote the tests? Whoosh. I am exhausted just thinking about how stressful that must be.

Following Jesus doesn’t require us to be “good enough.” We will never be good enough except through him. We have the option to accept him and his deliverance or take a very long trip to Hell, Michigan. http://hell2u.com. Hope you got that one. If not, let me know and I will explain.

Jesus came to save us. Not just some of us. All of us. And he doesn’t expect you to be perfect when you ask. In fact, he meets us where we are. Doesn’t matter what we have done or when we did it. If we all had to be perfect to ask, I guess no one would get in the pearly gates. That should tell you something.

While you ponder the difference between Christianity and those other religions, remember this. No other religion offers a Savior who died for you. No other religion can save you. No other religion offers the Love of God like our Heavenly Father. No other religion accepts you as you are.

No other religion has Jesus.