Sunday, March 22, 2015

I Know I Know You

My memory is pretty low functioning right now.  It's like.....well, scary low, some days. 

I went to the grocery store Friday and, while I was in there, I ran into a lady that I know.  Well, a lady that I'm supposed to know.  Her eyes met mine and her jaw dropped with the biggest smile you've ever seen and her arms reached out and grabbed me and we hugged and patted each other like proper Southern women.  We stood in front of the eggs and canned biscuits and talked, mostly, about how good it was to see each other.  All the while, I was smiling and thinking to myself, "Who in the world am I talking to?"  I longed for a clue in her words and listened carefully for any hints.  Her face was familiar, but that's as far as it went for me. 

I started going down the mental list of possibilities.  You know how you do.  "Let's see.....does she work somewhere....maybe the bank, insurance office, my favorite restaurant?"  Nothing.  "Well", I continued silently, "did we go to school together, our kids go to school together, or play on the same team?"  Still, nothing.  "Is she one of Davis' relatives, who we only see at reunions?  Were we in garden club together?" 

We finished our embracing and "catching up" and I left.......without a clue.    

You know the feeling.  Please, tell me you do.   

I went on with my shopping and tried to shake it off.  I only needed a few things and was in a hurry, so I hadn't made a list.  Now understand, lists are the only way I can function in society now, but, on this particular day, I was feeling sort of confident....maybe even a tad cocky, you might say.  I decided to go old school like I did back when my memory was a young thing. I needed Butterscotch chips, Cheese, Detergent, Apples, Eggs, and a Roast. 

Before implementation of the list system had become necessary, I'd just make up an acronym to help me remember the few things I needed.  I decided to throw caution to the wind and declared the word for the day would be B.R.A.C.E.D..  There was no way I could forget anything I needed with this plan.  It was bullet proof. 

Well.

I should've "B.R.A.C.E.D." myself to have to make another trip to the store is what I should've done. 

Eggs.....not a problem.  I grabbed those, while I chatted with the nice, anonymous lady.  D is for detergent.....got that.  Cheese.....there's my C.....grabbed that.  Oh, this was going so good.  It was like Wheel of Fortune, grocery store edition.  My memory was running like a well oiled machine and all my cylinders were firing.  I was filling in the blanks like a boss.  I'll take a B, Pat.....B for butterscotch chips.  Threw those in the cart.  Apples.....there was my other vowel.  Ok, I'm good to go.  Oh, wait.  I'm missing the R.  You can't spell B.R.A.C.E.D. without R.   

I wracked my brain.  R....R, R, R.  What did that R stand for?  I walked around hoping something would jump start my stalled memory.  Raisins?  Rice?  Rolls?  Reynold's Wrap?  Relish?  Ramen Noodles?  Rice Krispies?  You know.....I'd never noticed before, but there just aren't that many things in a grocery store that begin with R.  I gave up.   

I got pretty deep in the checkout line, hoping that whatever R stood for wasn't all that important, and that's when it finally came to me.....a Roast!  I backed out of the line, "Excuse me....sorry....I forgot something....coming through" and then headed to claim my R.  R is for roast.  After about 20 minutes, I had finally solved the puzzle and resolved to never come to the store without a list again.  Those days are gone.  That ship has sailed.                           

I made my way back to be checked out and, after paying my bill, I headed out the door.  Then, there came that panic that sweeps over you.  That feeling that comes when you get to the exit and can't remember where you parked.  You've got to make some decisions pretty fast once you get outside, too.  "Let's see....I think I'm over here.....or no......I think that's where I parked the last time I was here.  I must be over here." 

And you know how when you get down to the very end of a row without seeing your car, you have to make some hard choices.  You can either (A) cut over to the next aisle of cars and make like you intentionally walked all the way down to the end of the wrong row only to cut through because that's how you roll or (B) you can just stop without any fear of judgment, press your remote, listen for the beeps, all while craning your neck and looking as lost as a goose.  Many-a-time, the beep of the door locks has guided me in the way which I should go.

I was feeling pretty incompetent by the time I got in my car.  Like maybe I should call someone to drive me home.  I did take some comfort in the fact that the lady in front of me was lost, too.  Misery does love her some company in a big parking lot.     

Other memory failures include, but are not limited to....

1)  Trying to find my phone while I'm talking on it.
2)  Pouring myself a glass of tea after I just poured myself a glass of tea.
3)  Having to buy one of those geriatric pill organizers because of the inability to remember if I'd taken my medicine.
4)  Leaving clean clothes in the washer for a couple of days and having to wash them again.
5)  Burning cookies.
6)  The inability to come up with the right word for everyday objects.  "Pick up your.....your......oh, you know.....those blue things....right there.....that you wear on your feet".
7)  Failing to introduce people, because I can't remember one or more of their names. 
8)  Calling the roll when I need someone......"Blair.....Carson....Davis.......Sugar!"
9)  Looking for the glasses that are on top of my head.
10)  Asking someone a question that I just asked them or that they just answered. 
11) Shaving one leg or one armpit.
12)  Forgetting to rinse the conditioner out of my hair. 
13)  I can't remember what I was going to say #13 was.
14)  Using alternative salutations like "Hey, girl" or "Hello, my friend" when names refuse to come.      

I better stop before someone calls the people in the white uniforms to come take me for a ride.

Anyway, we'd be here all day if I told you everything, so let's leave some mystery in our relationship. 

I try to self-comfort......telling myself I'm almost 47 years old and have way too much to keep up with.  Yeah, that's it.  My mind is so full of different kinds of information having to do with work, husband, kids, friends, schedules, obligations, parents, meetings, special occasions, appointments, etc. that my brain just can't hold it all.

I guess, as a woman living in her 5th decade, who can't remember why she came in the kitchen, I'm becoming more and more amazed by the omniscience of God. 

How He can know what I'm doing and what I need, while tending to a woman just like me in Hong Kong and the billions of other people in between us.  How He knows the number of hairs each one has on her head and what each fingerprint looks like.  How He can hear prayers in English and Spanish and German and Japanese and French and understand each one perfectly.  How He sees all the animals and gives them food and takes note of the sparrow that falls to the ground.  How He knits a baby together, month by month, and never forgets to start his mother's labor.  How He keeps track of chromosomes and genes and traits and creates everyone with a purpose.  

He never forgets gravity or photosynthesis or decomposition or condensation.  He keeps the sun at its safe distance and always remembers when to make it rise and when to bring it down again. He never forgets to change the seasons or the tides or the phases of the moon.  He remembers to make hearts beat and marrow to make blood cells and uses nerves to warn of trouble.  He keeps the planets spinning and the water cycling and the food chain intact.  He keeps charge over His angels, sending them to protect my child and a mother's child who's three continents away.  He keeps the oceans in their places and the stars burning at their assigned posts.  He moves the clouds around with His breath and doesn't forget who needs the rain.  He gives the flowers and trees the nod to do their budding when He decides it's time.

He knows that what I need is not what you need and never gets the two confused.  He keeps track of who to send where and prepares their way.  He brings people together and puts strengths and talents where they're needed.  He listens to bedtime prayers and turns hearts to Him when it's just the right time.  He inspires and leads and brings conviction according to His plan.  He remembers to give wisdom, understanding, and comfort to those who ask.  He memorizes each prayer list and even knows the ones that are kept quiet.                    

He doesn't forget to come when we ask.  Keeps all His appointments.  Remembers His promises.
Never late with His answers.  Calls each of us by name.  Doesn't forget where we are.  Supplies what we each need for each moment.  Always on time.  Lets nothing fall through the cracks.  Always according to plan.  Right on schedule.  Never hesitates, stumbles, forgets, bobbles, or makes a blunder.                   

I guess we're most astounded by different traits of God at different times in our lives.  Maybe when we're having to extend difficult measures of forgiveness, we're most in awe of His incredible forgiveness.  Maybe when we're giving up something that's dear to us is when we're most aware of His sacrificial love.  And, just maybe, to a perimenopausal, almost 47 year old woman, who can't remember her own kids' names, His omniscience might be the most amazing thing that she can think of in that moment of her life.

Some of my favorite Bible passages are in Job where God challenges him.  They are, to me, the most beautiful words that God speaks to assure us of His omniscience. 

Job 38
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know so much.
Who determined its dimensions
    and stretched out the surveying line?
What supports its foundations,
    and who laid its cornerstone
as the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels shouted for joy?
“Who kept the sea inside its boundaries
    as it burst from the womb,
and as I clothed it with clouds
    and wrapped it in thick darkness?
10 For I locked it behind barred gates,
    limiting its shores.
11 I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come.
    Here your proud waves must stop!’
12 “Have you ever commanded the morning to appear
    and caused the dawn to rise in the east?
13 Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth,
    to bring an end to the night’s wickedness?
14 As the light approaches,
    the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal;
    it is robed in brilliant colors.
15 The light disturbs the wicked
    and stops the arm that is raised in violence.
16 “Have you explored the springs from which the seas come?
    Have you explored their depths?
17 Do you know where the gates of death are located?
    Have you seen the gates of utter gloom?
18 Do you realize the extent of the earth?
    Tell me about it if you know!
19 “Where does light come from,
    and where does darkness go?
20 Can you take each to its home?
    Do you know how to get there?
21 But of course you know all this!
For you were born before it was all created,
    and you are so very experienced!
22 “Have you visited the storehouses of the snow
    or seen the storehouses of hail?
23 (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble,
    for the day of battle and war.)
24 Where is the path to the source of light?
    Where is the home of the east wind?
25 “Who created a channel for the torrents of rain?
    Who laid out the path for the lightning?
26 Who makes the rain fall on barren land,
    in a desert where no one lives?
27 Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground
    and make the tender grass spring up?
28 “Does the rain have a father?
    Who gives birth to the dew?
29 Who is the mother of the ice?
    Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens?
30 For the water turns to ice as hard as rock,
    and the surface of the water freezes.
31 “Can you direct the movement of the stars—
    binding the cluster of the Pleiades
    or loosening the cords of Orion?
32 Can you direct the constellations through the seasons
    or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens?
33 Do you know the laws of the universe?
    Can you use them to regulate the earth?
34 “Can you shout to the clouds
    and make it rain?
35 Can you make lightning appear
    and cause it to strike as you direct?
36 Who gives intuition to the heart
    and instinct to the mind?
37 Who is wise enough to count all the clouds?
    Who can tilt the water jars of heaven
38 when the parched ground is dry
    and the soil has hardened into clods?
39 “Can you stalk prey for a lioness
    and satisfy the young lions’ appetites
40 as they lie in their dens
    or crouch in the thicket?
41 Who provides food for the ravens
    when their young cry out to God
    and wander about in hunger?
 
I hope your week is full of reminders that God never forgets you! 
 
He's on top of things! 
 
Happy Monday!

 


 






   

     
        

8 comments:

  1. I'm with you, girl. Whether it's hormones or age or... I forget the other excuse, I am extremely thankful our God never forgets!

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    1. Yes! It would not do for you and I to be in charge of the world, Becky. We would undoubtedly forget something and it would probably be pretty important. Something would surely fall off its axis. :)

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  2. I've done the roll call and must have a grocery list too. Yes, God never forgets. Happy Monday to you Joni, Kathleen in Az

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  3. I'm dying to know...did you ever figure out who that lady was in the store?? Did it happen to hit you later that day, in a dream or while you were washing your hair the next day? I do that kind of stuff all the time...I've gotten so bad about going straight to Google when I can't remember an answer to something instead of actually trying to remember it on my own. Maybe that's what's wrong with my memory these days -- I just don't use it like I should anymore, then when I really need it, it never fails to let me down.

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    1. I think I finally decided, after I got home, that she's just a lady who I run into a lot at that particular grocery store and she just recognized me, I suppose. I was obviously looking for another connection. You don't have to know people very well in the South to get a hug from them. Exhibit A. :)

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  4. One time I called a pair a shoes "feet covers" because the word SHOES just would not come to me. And it seems to be getting worse everyday. Its giving my children a good laugh though.

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    1. Hahaha......feet covers. Love that, Mama Hen! I can sympathize and my children give me these worried looks. :-(

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