Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Woman I Hate


Here's an oldie post, one which came to mind as Tom and I drove around to yard sales this morning.....  oy!

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 Really, I try not to hate anyone. I remind myself that satan is the one to hate and he is, in some way, always behind every snide remark, every unfair assumption and all things evil.

But, even so, there is still one woman I do hate. She is our GPS lady.

Oh how Miss GPS bugs me! Tom and I will be tooling along lovely country roads and I'll be telling him something ever so meaningful and deep (heh) and suddenly there she squawks! Miss GPS drowns me out with her annoying, "RIGHT TURN IN FIVE MILES."

Due to some deep-rooted psychological childhood issues, I detest being interrupted (and being told to go to my room. Alas.) And so I must pause until she finishes speaking, for Tom can't hear me otherwise (I can barely hear myself). And because I must stop, and because she irks me no end, I sometimes forget what I was saying.

So I try again. "And when I see these things happening, I feel..."

"RIGHT TURN IN FOUR POINT FIVE MILES."

"Gah. Now, what was I saying before she interrupted me?" (I pause to remember because my brain is over-50-defective now.) "Oh yes, when I see these things happening, I feel..."

"RIGHT TURN IN FOUR MILES."

"Argh! I can't stand that woman. Tom, can't you turn her off for the next three miles?"

Tom chuckles (he thinks this is all hilarious) and says, "If I do, I'll forget to turn her back on and we'll miss our turn."

Oh well. At least our early days when Tom still held out hope that I'd learn to read a map are long, long gone. Miss GPS gets us to where we wish to go without arguments about a certain someone who is a map moron. So I guess chalk one up for a bit of electronic progress.

Although, sometimes Miss GPS is the new map moron (how fun for me to hear Tom blame her). Sometimes she takes us three blocks out of our way, runs us around in a circle then decides on a different route. Or she'll tell us, "YOU HAVE ARRIVED," after we've already bought our yard sale treasures and are a block down the road. She'll instruct us to turn when it's too late or too early, sends us off in the wrong direction or speaks of roads which do not exist. (Tom does not chuckle at these times for he pictures all the dollars we might have to spend to replace Miss GPS.)

Of course--to me, but not to Tom-- that's what makes Miss GPS loads of fun. Serves her right, anyway. And besides, it's always interesting to listen to someone who appears to have lost her mind. :)


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Thursday, August 28, 2014

There's Just No Title For This


"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."   ... James 1:17

*****

Tom's back home from his trip! He spent an enjoyable time with his mother and his sister's family, but didn't enjoy either stop at JFK airport (he never does) nor all the small planes he had to take or the way the sound was broken on the only two tv's on one plane whose screens he couldn't even see(of course he made comparisons to the individual tv screens on the backs of seats during his cushy international trips). The fajitas on one flight back were a pleasant surprise, though.

I tried not to roll my eyes through all of this. 

But that proved especially hard when, before unlocking the car so to go to a doctor appointment this afternoon, he commented about our oh-so-glorious 68 degrees then said, "You know? We should go on vacation."

Vacation? Two weeks ago the man returned from seven weeks and a million hour (well...) flight from South Africa, then got home last night at 1:00 am from a quickie trip and 6 different planes across the continent to California. I just shook my head and told him, "Even after 35 years, I still don't understand you."

Isn't it remarkable how God enables us to love insane folks those who do and think the strangest things? :)


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So here are my Happy Accident Shelves:




How great to find room for little things you'd considered hiding away in boxes. (And how great to order something you didn't even know you needed. heh.)

Which (oddly) reminds me: I listed 24 whole ways that Hobbit Cottage is better than our other suburb house, a.k.a. Autumn Cottage. Twenty-four ways! And Hobbit Cottage is even 700 square feet (approximately) smaller and in a---let's just say it--sadder-appearing neighborhood. But counting your blessings will always lead to surprises. I highly recommend it, especially when discontentment rears its pathetic head.

Now, I wasn't going to list the ways that Autumn Cottage was nicer, but you know? Yes, I'm going to do that. Why? So that I'll be challenged to creatively make here what we had there. That's always been a favorite sport of mine, keeps my imagination sharp and keeps me off the streets, as well.  :)



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.... Uh-oh! For the sake of clarity (according to some comments I'm getting) a train vacation (the type we want) would be very complicated to take right about now because 1.) Tom doesn't yet know when his next trip to South Africa is--maybe October? November? December? Parts of all 3?, 2.) He'll need the weeks before the trip to prepare his lessons, etc. for it 3.) He used up lots of his vacation time to take this trip to California, not to mention 4.) Sammy still isn't eating the way he should, though he's doing better, but I couldn't leave him right now.

So this is definitely one of those 'one day at a time' type of things. A shorter trip could be do-able, but we really should go visit my mom in CA and--again--we want to go by train which requires some major time off. Driving vacations are out--the traffic back here makes me a bundle of nerves. Alas.

See? Complicated. Fortunately, day trips are still fun and do-able. :)

*****


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Obedience. Does It Really Matter?

                               From our Autumn Cottage kitchen...

"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."   ... Hebrews 10:31


*****

One morning 18 years ago at Autumn Cottage while getting dressed in our bedroom to go shopping, this thought came: "No. Stay home, instead." There was just a tad of insistence about it.

Hmm. I started to argue,"But I need to buy _____", then stopped. I decided to put off shopping until the next morning. 

An hour (or so) later, the kitchen phone rang and when I answered it, a woman from church spoke to me in a whispered voice. She was at work--and contemplating suicide. 

God helped me talk her out of it. I hung up the phone then thought, "Oh! this is why I was supposed to stay home."

Probably a year later, Tom and I were visiting with a close friend of mine and her husband. As we drank our coffee, my friend criticized her husband a few times and the rest of us, I could tell, began feeling uncomfortable. I thought, "When ____ and I are alone, I need to tell her why dissing ones husband in public is a bad idea."

But then a thought came. "No. Wait awhile. Someday the timing will be better."

So a month passed, my friend and I chatted lots of times and I nearly forgot about the incident at her house. But then one morning while we visited in a coffee shop, she began listing her husband's negative traits and I heard, "Now," inside my head. "Speak to her now about her criticisms from a month ago."

And so I asked God to help me say things correctly and-- feeling like I was risking our friendship-- took the plunge. My friend received my words graciously, with much humility, even apologizing to me, but I told her that her husband needed the apology more than I did.

So that afternoon when my friend's husband arrived home from work, she sat upon their bedroom floor and apologized for all the years of criticism. And then? Her husband began to cry. He'd paid one month's rent on an apartment and had planned to leave her and their children the next day.

He changed his mind and all these years later, they're still happily together.

Some Christians believe their obedience--or disobedience--only affects themselves, not others, and that God will just get someone else to help somebody in need if they flake out. 

Sometimes, yes. Many times, no ... and I feel gambling with our disobedience  is never worth the risk.







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"When I say to a wicked person, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.

But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself."   ... Ezekiel 3:18, 19


These verses are one of the reasons I don't just write 'fluffy-headed' posts here in my blog. The responsibility is too great for that. My desire is to stay in tune with God so that my words will be timely, especially for anyone who's searching ... or sinking.