THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Locked Out

I
had coffee with friend and fellow blogger, Wendy, last Saturday morning.  Here is a link to her blog http://partofmystory.blogspot.com.
 I mentioned since I started blogging
again, after a rather lengthy absence, the few posts I’ve done have been
serious and I missed the funny me.  Cuz I
am a funny one.  And when I say funny I
don’t mean funny Ha Ha, but funny in that I do and say stupid things.  Like this episode a while back with my
equally funny sister, Chrystal.

 
During
my basement dweller days Chrystal and I would occasionally go grocery shopping
together.  (She lived upstairs in the
main part of the house and I, and my two cats, lived in the cute little basement.  Cute, if you could overlook the
spiders.)  We came home from one such
shopping trip to find I was locked out of my apartment. 

“No
problem, just go through my house, through the garage and laundry room and use
the connecting door,” Chrystal suggested.

“Ok.”  As I said that I was trying to remember if I
had left that door unlocked or not.  I
usually locked it even though she was the only one with access, because I’m a
fraidy cat.  What if the bad guys come
through her house, rob and kill her, and then decide to check out the basement
dweller!

Sure
enough, it was locked.

“I’ll
get a screw driver and hammer and take it off the hinges,” said one of us.  I think it was me because I remember being
the one to actually UNSUCCESSFULLY take it off the hinges. 

“Well
since that didn’t work just use the hammer to break the lock.”  I distinctly remember it being Chrystal who
came up with that idea.

After
about 20 minutes of the two of us taking turns trying to break the stupid lock,
which of course wouldn’t break because it was doing its job, we gave up.

“This
door is not the sturdiest of doors.  What
if we use the hammer to chop a hole right next to the door knob, and then reach
in and unlock the door.”  Again, I credit
Chrystal with suggesting another brilliant plan.

So
chop we did.  And we chopped some
more.  We got a lot of aggression out on
that stinking door!

 
“Wow,
these doors are sturdier than they appear,” I said after another 10 minutes. 

Another
few minutes of chopping and we had a hole big enough to reach through only to
find out that, in our earlier attempt to break it, we had damaged the lock
beyond use.  So locked it stayed.

We
stood there for a few minutes staring at all the wood chips on the floor with nothing
to show for it.  It was then that
Chrystal decided to give it a shot with the hammer and screw driver to take the
door off the hinges. 

It
came right off. 

What?!?!?  What had I done wrong?  I have taken doors off hinges many times to
move large furniture in or out or to paint or something.  What?!?!?

We
discussed if for a bit and decided it was because we were tired.  And maybe also needed some therapy time to
hit, punch, yell, and destroy an inanimate object.  Poor little door.

Since
we rented the house from our church we thought the most Christian thing to do
would be to hide it and get someone else to come put in a new door before the
elder in charge found out.  Which is what
we did.  Unfortunately the elder in
charge was mowing our backyard when the chopped up door passed by.  He laughed, shook his head and said he didn’t
dare ask what happened.

So
that is how my single sister and I solved the problem of being locked out.  Would a husband have gotten it off the hinges
on the first try?  Or would he have not forgotten
his key in the first place.  Either way I
think our plan worked out just fine.  I
got in didn’t I?

Question:  Ever been locked out?  Have better luck in getting in than we did? 

TUESDAY TUNES: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

https://youtu.be/C0jpHtsSEQo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0jpHtsSEQo  Hillsong Version

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWxb6VvPrkE Michael W. Smith Version

Matthew
6:33 is a Life verse for me:  But seek
first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be given to
you as well.

These
words of Jesus are from the Sermon on the Mount.  Leading up to this verse He is talking about
worry.  I’m a worrier.  Maybe that’s why I love this verse so
much.  When I daily seek Him first, He
tells me everything else will fall into place.
So don’t worry.

 

If
I know that to be true, and I trust Him, then why do I have stomach issues,
break out into rashes and get fever blisters all stemming from worry?  It’s that head knowledge-heart knowledge
stuff again.

 

Turn your eyes
upon Jesus

Look full in His
wonderful face

And the things
of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of
His glory and grace

Daily…step
by step…one second at a time…start again…listen…trust…remember…pray…be
still…seek Him first…do it all again…

 

God
speaks to me through the “address” of this verse:

 

When
I get home from work and wonder what’s on tap for my evening and realize it’s 6:33, I think, “God wants me to spend some time with
Him.”  6:33 Seek HIM.

 

When
I’ve made a questionable choice and look at the clock and see that it’s 6:33, I
think, “Was that really the best way to handle that situation.”  6:33 Seek HIM

 

At
random times when I see the cost of something is $6.33 or an address is 633 or
my eye catches 633 in the middle of a set of numbers, I stop and remember His
promise.  6:33 Seek HIM

 

Turn
your eyes upon Jesus, seek His wonderful face, and He will provide.  And what you thought was best for you will
grow strangely dim because, in the light of His glory and grace, His plans are
always better than what our earthly minds could come think of.

Question:  Do you have things like my 633 where God catches your attention?

TUESDAY TUNES: Say the Name

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es7GE6seBFc 


I’m
on a Margaret Becker kick.  She was my
girl back in the late 80’s and 90’s.  Now
I’m listening to her again.  I really
hadn’t noticed until this go ‘round how much she sounds like the Wilson sisters
of Heart; a band I also liked in the 80’s. 
But Heart’s “If Looks Could Kill You’d be Lying on the Floor” is a far
cry from Becker’s “Say the Name.”

“If
Looks Could Kill” would have gotten me through a breakup or hard times back in
1988. But words like, “I was a sucker to
believe in you, a sucker for every line,”
or “Love is on the line, I ain’t about to be kind,” have such a
negative ring to them, don’t ya think?? 
But I remember blaring that album, (you know, vinyl record albums) in my
cute little four-plex on Judge Ely Blvd. in Abilene, TX back in the day.

But
thankfully, I’ve progressed past the negativity!  I can sit back and “Say the name that has heard my cry, has seen my tears and wiped them
dry,”
and find a much more productive healing.  Now, “Just
a whisper is enough to set my soul at ease. 
Just thinking of this name brings my heart to peace.”

 

Several years ago, I was standing a few rows
behind an elderly woman while we were singing Natalie Grant’s song “Your Great
Name.”  She was seated, but when we got
to the words, “The enemy, he has to leave, at the sound of Your Great Name,”
she struggled to a standing position.  That
gesture of respect moved me to tears.  “May I never grow so strong that my heart
cannot be moved. May I never grow so weak that I fear to speak the truth. I
will say this holy Name no matter who agrees. For no other name on earth means
so much to me.”

Philippians 2:9-11

Therefore
God exalted him to the highest place


    and
gave him the name that is above every name,

10 that at the name of
Jesus every knee should bow,

    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue
acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,

    to the glory of God the Father.

“From now until
the end of time, I’ll Say the Name.”
 

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Be Still and Know that I am God

Photo by Lois Flores

I
was recently asked if I could “Be Still” for a while and await an answer
regarding a job.  I replied, “Well, I can
tell you it is part of Psalm 46:10 and the entire Psalm starts out with
telling us that God is our refuge and strength. 
But to actually put it in to practice, nope, I can’t do that.”  Fortunately my potential employer chuckled
along with me, also knowing that waiting isn’t easy.

When
you’re single, your income is it.  You’re
not a supplemental income alongside your spouse’s to help with extra
expenses.  You’re not a comparable amount
to be part of the monthly budget.  You
are it!

Sometimes
I find that scary. 

Sometimes
I find it an exciting opportunity to see how God will work things out. 

Be
still…and know that I am God…

Sometimes
I find it frustrating. 

Sometimes
I find it a good way to trust God.

Be still…and
know that I am God…

Sometimes
I want to make a phone call and get things rolling.

Sometimes
I just want to sit at His feet and watch Him work.

Be still…and
know that I am God…

It’s
not just “knowing” that He is God.  I
have to “let” Him be God.  It’s the
difference between reciting Psalm 46 and believing it and trusting Him enough
to live it out. 

I
joke around with friends and say, “This is the year I marry money!”  My Portland to Coast team would like extra
money to buy a van, team T-shirts, a cushy hotel and massage in Seaside after
the race.  But until I find that rich
husband it just isn’t going to happen. 
But in reality, I have found someone…

I
found Him while I was being still enough to know
Him and then let Him be God.

TUESDAY TUNES: Help Me Find It

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsjZ94K7UQs

This was
my theme song for last summer…

I
became unemployed and homeless all in one weekend in the spring of
2013.  So in June I found myself on a
plane headed for Tennessee to spend the summer with some good friends working
as their nanny.  I also needed to clear
my head and figure out what was next.

 As I
drove around beautiful Franklin, Tennessee with its green cotton-ball trees,
Sidewalk Prophets’ song “Help Me Find It” always seemed to be on the radio
every time I needed it to be. 

It was
my story…

“I don’t know where to go from
here, it all used to seem so clear.”

”If there’s a road I should walk,
help me find it.”

 And the comfort of…

“For every
step, I’ve never been alone.”
 
“Even when it hurts You’ll have Your way, even in the valley I will say, with
every breath You’ve never let me go.”

 If I
was alone in the car I would sing it at the top of my lungs! But one evening
the song came on while I was driving the girls to dance, or to eat, or to a
friend’s house or to something.  I said,
“Oh, I LOVE this song.  It’s my theme
song.”  They asked me why, so I started
singing along with the words like I was telling them my story.  When it got to the words “You’ve never failed
before” I had to turn my head and fight back tears, because He never has.

 Right
before that phrase are the words, “I will wait for You.”  That’s the hard part!!  But I’m learning to “Be Still and Know
(remember) that He is God.”  These are not
new concepts for me.  It’s just when you
find yourself in a difficult situation you learn them all over again.

 Ten
months later I’m still a bit in limbo. 
But, He’s never failed before! 
That’s all I need to know.  So
even though I don’t know where to go from here, I
will wait for Him.  And He won’t fail me
this time either!

The Lap Dance

Friday night my friend Stacy and I were two wild and craaaazy single gals out on the town to hear our friend’s band play. They are called Opie and if you ever have a chance to hear them you should go. However, I hope you have a more pleasant experience than we had the other night.
When we walked into the bar we saw a couple exchanging saliva rather rigorously, so we steered clear of their table. It was somewhat difficult since it was smack dab in the middle of the floor. They didn’t seem to care that their tender moment of intimacy was being played out in front of everyone. I attributed that to all the empties on their table. And those made me wonder if they had just met.

Now being somewhat of a good girl (I say somewhat cuz I did have my twenties) I couldn’t help thinking this behavior was a bit, well, embarrassing; disgusting; crude; high schoolish; gross! Soon their make out session began to progress more into the realm of a lap dance. Having never really seen a lap dance before, I can only assume this was one. I can also see why a man would enjoy one. This man certainly was anyway.

He was quite a bit older than his lap buddy so I’m thinking she may have been playing out some Daddy issues; which is really pretty sad when you think about it. There were also some girls dancing in front of the band. I’m sorry, but there is just not enough alcohol in the world to get me to do the “drunk white girl dance” in front of a crowd.

After standing for quite a while and spilling my drink on my shoe we finally gave in and took the only two chairs left in the room. I say gave in because they were at the lap dancers’ table. There were three chairs and since they were only occupying one, we moved in. I thought if I just kept my gaze toward the stage I wouldn’t notice the X-rated action on my right. But it was really hard to not look. Like when you see an accident and you just can’t look away.

It was just amazing; arms were flying around and clothing was all askew. I can’t really tell you what her shirt looked like but I can describe her bra in detail. I was shocked they were behaving that way in front of everyone. But then again I don’t get out much.

She was in every position possible on his lap that there could be (or at least that my imagination could come up with). She was up, she was down, she was all around. She would do him in a house; she would do him with a mouse. She would do him in a box; she would do him with a fox.

We moved the table closer to us, not to give them more room, but to make it more apparent that we weren’t with them. At one point he was reaching for his beer and couldn’t find it, I assume because his eyes were otherwise occupied. I nicely slid the table over for him to grab his beverage. I’m nothing if not polite. After his refreshment he went back to business.

It was then that things really started to heat up. With the table further away, it gave her the leverage she apparently had been missing. She put her hands on the table and went to town. Somehow his arm came up under mine and it was then that Stacy and I grabbed our purses and joined the fans storming the stage.

I guess I am just too sheltered. And I’m okay with that. Other than the two of us no one seemed to give the lap dance couple a second thought. Or at least they didn’t stare like we did. I couldn’t get outside fast enough once the music was over. Ewwww.

I prefer my sheltered church girl life over public displays of lap dancing. But the music was good. Maybe I’ll just stick to their CD’s.

Question: My goodness, I can’t even come up with a question for a blog focused on lap dancing! Got any?

Paying it Forward

Last Saturday night I had a Haley Joel Osment moment: I got to Pay it Forward.

A good friend called and said she needed to go to the Emergency Room and that I, of all her friends, would understand the late night call and take her. She was right. After making two similar phone calls in recent months I was more than happy to oblige.

I was also able to share some of the newfound ER etiquette I learned from my experiences:

1. Throw up in front of as many of the staff as you can. That way they know you are serious. Plus they don’t want you throwing up in front of any other patients in the waiting room. It may start a puking frenzy as seeing someone else throw up tends to make you wanna hurl as well.

2. Sleeping on the hospital floor is not a good idea. Besides the fact that it is covered in who knows what kind of germs, the staff may think you are drunk and just need to sleep it off, leaving you untended to for hours.

3. To ward off “the shakes” take several deep breaths. But make sure they bring you the heated blankets before doing so. You don’t want to miss out on that little piece of heaven.

4. Even though your nausea may be subsiding, do not say no to more anti-nausea meds. All it takes is one standing up moment to send you to Pukesville again.

5. Remember that your gown is open in the back and that you are not wearing any underwear. Enough said.

6. Never feel bad for calling a friend late at night to take you to the Emergency Room. You may be robbing them of the chance to help someone in need, which is always a good thing.  That is what God had in mind…a friend loves at all times11 a.m. or 11 p.m.

Question: Have you ever made one of those phone calls? Or been the recipient?

Another Jack Reacher is Born

Spoiler Alert!  If you don’t want to know a tidbit of information about the new MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movie, don’t read any further.

So I went to see the new MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movie the other night, even though I knew Tom Cruise was in it, for the sole purpose of watching Sawyer from LOST. Well, he dies within the first 90 seconds! Are you kidding me?!?!? Oh wait, here comes a flash back with him. No, sorry, only another 90 seconds long. Great. Juuuuust great.

All of this brought me back to how much I DO NOT want Tom to play my Jack Reacher in the upcoming Ian Child film. And then it hit me who would be another better choice for Reacher over Tom: Sawyer from LOST. Yes, that’s right, the guy who gets killed off in the first 90 seconds! Jack Holloway.

Am I right, Reacher fans?

All in all, the movie was a good action movie, if you like non-stop action movies.  But then, I went to see SHERLOCK HOLMES and that action was much less, well, “Tom Cruise-y.” Holmes’ action was creative which made for a more entertaining film. And Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t run as funny as Tom Cruise does.

Question: Did you see either movie?

Rose Bowl Monday

I start out watching today’s Rose Bowl game with my dad at his house. I’ve been watching football games with him for as long as I can remember. Wisconsin and Oregon both score on their first possession; gonna be a good game. Midway through the second quarter Daddy starts feeling badly so he heads back to bed and I head back home.

I’m one-half block from my house and can’t figure out why the car in front of me is stopped. Has there been an accident? Is someone crossing the street? No, it’s a tree. A big, beautiful Oregon Fir tree sprawled across the busy four lane street. Surrounded by this sight, I feel like I’m in the woods and a wee bit confused. Once I realize what has actually happened I detour around the block and pull into my driveway where I find my sister, Chrystal, on the porch cleaning her windows. I tell her about the tree and she goes into full on Diane Sawyer mode for the duration of the “tree event.”

During my journey home both teams seemed to have scored again. Go Ducks!

The tree has fallen on power lines which leaves some folks without the ability to watch the game. I decide to watch the rest of the game next door with a bunch of dudes.

At some point I look out the window and see Chrystal on the street chatting it up with police officers and neighbors. She texts and calls in periodically with breaking news about the status of the tree. Soon after halftime is over she reports that the fire department has arrived and chain saws have begun clearing the area of the tree. Both teams score again.

Good news, at approximately 5:14 p.m., sometime during the third quarter, traffic on the busy street resumes and life for Chrystal goes back to normal.

Towards the end, the Quarterbacks trade interceptions and the Ducks pull ahead for the rest of the game. Yea Ducks!

So now the Oregon Ducks have won their first Rose Bowl since 1917, the very year my dad was born, who, by the way, was kept up to date on the game by my mother. Maybe that’s where Chrystal gets it.

Question:  Did you watch the game?

Christmas Gifts

I think I ate a year’s supply of chocolate over the last two weeks. Have I mentioned I love chocolate? I must have because I received lots of it as gifts. I ate every last bit as well as all the fudge and other luscious nummy-ness at parties and on the counters at school and church. I will have to work doubly hard in the new year to work it all off (she says laughingly as another Hershey kiss is plopped in her mouth).

Chocolate is always a good gift for me no matter what the occasion. But one of my favorite gifts this Christmas was from the hugs of former students as they visited church over the holidays. Some of these kids I only see once or twice a year, so as they arrive home from college with diamond rings on their left hand ring finger I see how quickly time is passing by.

It was also a great gift to watch some of my current Junior High students as they sang in the adult church choir. As one 7th grade girl I’ve known since Kindergarten sang out her solo among all the grownups I got all misty eyed and couldn’t stop smiling.

Spending Christmas morning with my 17 year-old niece was another great gift. Watching her open her stocking, I pictured her as a little girl again with curly locks instead of the hair she works so hard now to straighten.

But, I have to say my most favorite of all, first place winning Christmas gift this year was the fact that my church partnered with a Presbyterian Church for a Christmas program mid-month and shared Christmas morning service with a Baptist congregation. Yowsa! Imagine that, different churches with differing theologies getting together to celebrate Jesus. Whee!!  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Amen and Hallelujah!

Question: What were some of your favorite gifts this Christmas?