Where’d I park my car? (or, Adventures on Asphalt.)

wood 2I’m notorious for forgetting where I parked my car at Walmart.  If you ever see someone wandering about in a parking lot, it’s probably me.  And to make it worse, since Bob and I drive old cars, we don’t have that fancy fob that makes the car beep, honk, or otherwise send up a flare that says “over here, stupid!”  So I just consider my wanderings as getting in a little more exercise before going home to put away the groceries…

I do have some vestige of pride, however, after walking around somewhat dazed pushing a cart with melting frozen corn.  I would much rather identify my own vehicle BEFORE putting the key into the lock and realizing it doesn’t Continue reading “Where’d I park my car? (or, Adventures on Asphalt.)”

There’s a whole lotta shakin’ going on!

wood 2Here in the Midwest, we live with tornadoes.  It’s just a way of life; you kind of get used to it, but it’s best not to get TOO used to it, if you get my drift.

One thing we don’t get much of is another kind of “drift”, an earthquake.  Evidently, I’ve been in one without knowing it.  My husband said the test tubes in his lab rattled, but I sure wasn’t privy to anything.  Our family out in California, however, understands this geological phenomenon somewhat more up close and personal.  There’s just something about being woken up with your bed bouncing around that Continue reading “There’s a whole lotta shakin’ going on!”

In other words…

 

cat-1246716_1280

  The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion on the road! Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!”

Proverbs 26: 13   Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Bumper cars…in my driveway.

wood 2We’re a Chevy Suburban-sized family.  At 6-foot-2, my husband is the runt of the four boys in his family, my brother is 6-6, and I’m around 5-12 (hmmm…)  All this to say that our three girls didn’t have much of a gene pool to draw from when it came to physical stature.  So when our daughters were in school, I went on the mega-search for a mini-van.  Thankfully, I didn’t find one to suit my husband, and instead found an old, reconditioned Sub (complete with glass-pacs for an impressive announcement when one hit the brakes on hill), and voila!  We fit!

Now, having that many kids, and with Bob and I being a dual-working couple, we also had a second smaller vehicle. If you’ve never been the owner of a Sub, suffice it to say that the running boards are really not optional, unless of course you want your shorter friends and family to pole vault into their seat.  It’s pretty nice to sit that high up off the road; however, one of the drawbacks is not being able to see a lower vehicle behind the car quite as easily.

That, unfortunately, was not my excuse.

Backing the Sub out of the garage one evening, I somehow was not cognizant of our smaller car behind me.  It made itself known as my tonnage of steel encountered it, albeit slowly.  ARGH!  Naturally, my next move was to pull forward.

Another feature of the disparity in size is that the bumpers of the cars don’t quite match up.  This means that, since one bumper is obviously higher than the other, once impacted they have more of a tendency to lock together…

The good news is that the main function of the little car was still intact, even though it had to spend a little time in the body shop.  In other words, the bumper performed its intended purpose—to protect the rest of the car.  It’s an apt example of that built in “margin for error” that my dad always tried to teach me.

I’m thinking God sort of had that concept in mind when He said this:

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble… A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

Granted, even within the body of Christ, relationships get messy.  We bump into each other, and sometimes even tear parts away.  Though it seems like a paradox, that’s even more reason why we actually need each other—to buffer the hurts of life.  And when we have the support system intact, the intended function of our individual gifts and the corporate operation of the church can go on as He intends…

…even if it means spending a little time in “The Shop” for repairs once in awhile.

Ecclesiastes 4:9,10,12   Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

AND, he cleans bathrooms…!!

IMG_20150103_172451138

It’s kinda hard to argue with your husband when he’s cleaning the bathroom because, well…HE’S CLEANING THE BATHROOM!!  Granted, for you younger women who implemented the non-traditional delegation of labor from day one of the honeymoon, this may not seem like a big deal.  But for those of us who grew up during the revered years of the reigning queen of domesticity (“June Cleaver”), just trust me…it’s a big deal.

To score Bob a few more points in the annuls of wifedom, his comment to me several years ago was, “It’s my goal in life for you to never clean another bathroom.” 

And after my subsequent recovery…

(Just kidding.)

But he wasn’t, and I should be so worthy of such lofty goals!?!  So, our little tête-à-tête had to do with an ingredient I had Continue reading “AND, he cleans bathrooms…!!”

A treasure in the dark is still a treasure

wood 2If you haven’t seen the movie, The Monuments Men, please do.  Okay, I’m a little bit of a history buff, I love the stories behind the drama of the human experience.  But I also think it is massively valuable to understand our collective past, the sacrifice others have made to give me the life and opportunities I currently enjoy…which are many. 

So, here, in a precarious time when the military was more interested in preserving our way of life more than preserving our art, a few brave people realized that our art is, in fact, an important part of our way of life! 

The masterpieces of art went into hiding to protect them from danger, theft, and destruction.  Funny how we do the same with the “glory” that God has put within us to honor Him, to reflect Him. John Eldredge makes this very good point in his book, Waking the Dead~~those beautiful pieces of ourselves are still there, just hidden, veiled by fear, shame, misuse.  It may be in the form of a talent, a passion, or even a painful experience.  It is what God can use, and what someone else may desperately be waiting for, as well as for the benefit of the kingdom of Christ on earth.

 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”

You might want to pick up a copy of the movie, Monument’s Men, and substitute the treasures that were being rescued for your own.  Satan hasn’t destroyed them (although he tries to tell us “it’s too late”).  They’re just in hiding.  Maybe it’s time to bring them back into the Light!

2 Cor. 3:16-18    Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Whoa!  (Or is it, Woe?!?)

wood 2Perhaps it’s both.  Haven’t heard much about road rage lately, but I’m wondering if that’s because it’s just become so commonly a part of our culture that it’s no longer considered news-worthy.  Anger is a powerful human emotion, and one of the destructively deceptive things about anger is that we feel like we’re in control (in many ways akin to alcohol).  But usually, 9 times out of 10, we probably are not. 

There was an occasion in my job when I had an encounter with a parent in which I had decided ahead of time to attempt to communicate in the way she chose to communicate with me.  Up to that point, her mode of interaction had Continue reading “Whoa!  (Or is it, Woe?!?)”

Dismissal time! Woo-hoo! (…but until then…)

IMG_20150103_172451138As a school nurse, (like everyone else working with kids), there are Mondays, and then there are Mondaze.  But through it all, I can always count on this—the dismissal bell. 

Here is an email response I had from my husband from his office back in 2011:

“The titles of your last two emails are telling: ‘Great Weekend’ followed by ‘Crazy Morning’.   My imagination is racing: blood dripping from the walls, a contagion that turns students into zombies (all marching lock-step toward your office), sewage backing up from the toilet in your office, a Fed Ex truck out front and a driver in the front office announcing loudly, ‘Paperwork for Dawn Jones…Where do you want all these boxes?’”

And that’s on a good Monday.

Makes it just a wee bit easier to see what the Continue reading “Dismissal time! Woo-hoo! (…but until then…)”

You mean it’s not about me? (Again?)

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280Recently, I read that the average length of a pastorate is four years; I don’t know if that means they leave the professional ministry, or they just move around a lot (or both).  Years ago, I saw that the average stay for a youth pastor is even less than that.  So much for continuity and relationship-building. 

And this is certainly not a criticism of those decisions to move or leave.  To be sure, there can be a plethora of reasons for this sad statistic in the American church, (not the least of which is the sheep-fold’s obstinacy toward the shepherd…)

Here’s a good example of another shepherd who Continue reading “You mean it’s not about me? (Again?)”

Fragrance of summer grill

wood 2Probably one of the most popular activities at church parties is volleyball; that is, volleyball in some form.  Because we all know it comes in several creative variations: mud volleyball (a personal favorite, although I’ve never had the opportunity…yet), volleyball with a big inflatable beach ball, and even the old-fashioned kind is still just so much fun on a sunny day with the fragrance of grilling happening in the background.

tug-of-war-1100-2013-10
This, only with volleyball!! (www.utdallas.edu)

 

Such was the situation one morning in our church, as we were setting up for our annual Block Party for the town.

With so many preparations whirling around, a small group of us were fixing the volleyball net, well-used as it was with its holes and tears and tangles and knots.  It can make one appreciate just how L-O-N-G a volleyball is!  There must have been some discouragement as to whether or not it was Continue reading “Fragrance of summer grill”