Tuesday, April 26, 2016

There's a Song for That

Over the last week, I've had several occasions to think about the gift of music and the power it possesses. 

Prince's death has unleashed a barrage of 80's music across the radio waves.  If you were in high school in the 80's, he, more than likely, sang you through prom, gave some background noise for your awkward first dates, and rattled your car windows at red lights causing the older man next to you to roll his eyes.  He probably had your parents shaking their heads and asking you what kind of "garbage" you were listening to on your boom box.  He was a constant presence in the top 40 during my teens and as "Purple Rain" has played over and over this last week, I've gone from feeling like a 47.9 year old woman to a 17 year old girl.  Music can do that.  It can be a time machine.  A fountain of youth.  It makes us remember where we were and who we were.  It frees memories that have been locked away and forgotten.  There is a power in music to take us to other places and other times.     

Our former neighbor, Mrs. Jean, and I went to a flea market as part of our girls' day we had last week.  I bought an old hymnal there.  I just love old hymn books.  I know everyone has their own musical tastes but, to me, you just can't improve on the beautiful, old poetry of the hymns.  Thankfully, we sing a lot of traditional hymns at my church but, as I thumbed through the old song book, I found several that I haven't sung in years.  And even though some of them have been out of sight and out of mind for a while, I could still recite most of them.  Word for word.  Verse for verse.  Amazing since I can't remember why I came in a room, most days.  I suppose songs you learn in patent leather shoes and knee socks, well, they kind of stick with you for a good, long while.  There's a power in music to live deep and long within our memory. 

I'm sure I've told you that I sing in the choir at my church.  On Sunday night, I was blessed to participate in our spring program which was accompanied by an orchestra.  Our choir director has a God-given knack for choosing beautiful music and then bringing all the components together for a wonderful, worshipful program.  There are few things more enjoyable than singing beautiful music as part of a choir and with wonderful accompaniment, all to the glory of God.  While the strings played "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing"......well, I was thinking how there aren't many things that can put the soul in the posture for worship like music can.  It shakes the deepest part of a dry spirit from its stupor. There is a power in music to touch the intangible soul. 

Music was always present at our house when I was growing up.  My mother played the piano and sang a lot.  She taught us a lot of songs and always sang them with us.  My daddy played the only instrument he knew how......the stereo.  But, I don't think anyone has ever appreciated music more than he did.  I took piano for 12 years.....although some of those years, kicking and screaming.  We learned to love all kinds of music just because it was a constant presence in our house.  This has caused my playlists to always look like a Whitman Sampler.  Just a really confused compilation which when shuffled, well, let's see what spews out....
"Largo"
"I'm into Something Good"
"Say Something"
"I Dreamed a Dream"
"Eyes Without a Face"
"Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior"
"Everybody Hurts"
"The Boxer"
"Fancy"  Yeah, you heard me.  I said, "Fancy".  Don't judge.
"Peaceful Easy Feeling"
"King of the Road"
"Ave Maria"
"Take a Chance on Me"

Yeah, any emotion you could be feeling.......I've got a song for that.

Music celebrates with us.
It validates our feelings.
It sits with us in sadness.
It understands our plight.
It gives us a place to relax.
Takes us away from our worry.
It brings tears to the surface.
Emotions to a head.
It takes us to times that are far away.
To places that we've long since left behind.
It brings us to our knees.
Calls our spirit to look for its Creator.
It sets the mood.
Breaks the silence.
It can sit quietly in the background.
Or be the life of the party.
It breathes youth into our agedness.
And brands our minds with its words.
It always knows how we feel. 
And exactly what we want to say. 

Music can be more potent than the spoken word.  It joins the power of words and the beauty of chords and touches a depth of the soul that is out of reach to most any other expression.

"So, I say thank you for the music".......the wonderful gift of music. 


Ya'll put a little 80's on to help you get over this hump day!







 

 




     

Sunday, April 24, 2016

An Appetite for Change....or Not

I'm consumed with all things graduation right now.  Not only does Blair graduate in 12 days and we're in the process of working out the details of that weekend but I'm also involved in giving/planning a family graduation party for a cousin who's finishing high school, and planning the table decorations for the baccalaureate breakfast at church.  So, to say that I've been thinking a lot about the graduation process would be an understatement. 

I know all the graduates, like Blair, are really excited to be moving onto something different.  Whether they'll be moving out of their parents' house and heading to college or looking forward to putting down the school books for the first time in 16 years, a change is needed and welcomed. 

I was thinking about change and all of us.  How we are as humans.  Seems like we're always wanting to move onto the next thing......whatever that may be.  We're usually up for a change.  A move toward something different.     

I remember when I was a kid and the school year was coming to a close.  The middle of May just brought butterflies to my stomach.  There were field trips and May Days and, well, days when we didn't really do all that much.  Seemed that there was more playground time and a lot of programs.  All of that signaled that the end was near and it was so exciting.  I could almost smell summer and no bedtimes and riding bikes until dark and Vacation Bible School and being home to watch The Price is Right.  I'd worked hard all year......going to school, day in and day out, and I was ready for a change.  I'd learned the state capitals, the 0-9 multiplication tables, and had perfected cursive.  I wanted to do something different for a while.   

I didn't feel those same butterfly feelings of excitement again until.........well, it got to be late August and it was time to go register for school and pick up my school supply list for the new year.  Was there anything more exciting than starting a new year with new school supplies?  I'd been out doing my own thing for three months.  I'd played in the sprinkler, finished my softball season, ridden 100 miles on my Big Wheel, and yelled, "ready or not, here I come," about a million times or more.  My knees were scraped.  My skin was tan.  And as fun as all that was, I was just ready for a change.  I wanted to do something different.    

Same thing with the seasons.  I can't say that I've ever said this, personally, but most people start barking, "I can't wait until summer," right after Christmas.  They've bundled up and shivered and watched it snow and rain long enough.  They're ready to move along.  Then, comes summer.  And it lingers and lingers like company that stays too long.  We sweat and swat mosquitos and the much anticipated warmth starts to lose its luster.  And, by the end of August, we're all pleading for that cool air that loosens the leaves from the trees.  We're ready for the next thing.  We want to feel the cool change blowing through our hair.   

Seems like we look ahead to the next stages of life, too.  I can't wait to drive.  I can't wait to go to college.  I can't wait to get my own place.  I can't wait to get married. I can't wait until I can slow down.  I can't wait to retire.  Always looking toward the next step.  Always thinking that the next thing is where it's at for us. 

I was thinking, as Blair gets ready to graduate, how parenthood may be one of the few exceptions to our tendency to want to run ahead.  Parenthood is one place where we're content to linger for a while.....right where we are.  You can hear us saying things like, "I wish I could freeze time right here."  We can even find ourselves longing to go back and relive a time that has passed.  "I'd love to have my kids at that age again."  May be that parenting is one of the few places where we try to paddle upstream against the current of time instead of wanting to go full throttle ahead to expedite the trip. 

Maybe it's because we see that, the further we go down this road, the role that's defined us for so long grows smaller and smaller.  Maybe there are moments we're not wanting to let go of.........things we're not ready to file away as just memories.  Maybe this is all we know now.  We've set up camp here for so long.  Maybe we like here in this spot.   

Carson has a nice, comfortable two year cushion between him and high school graduation.  While I'm already counting the days until fall and while I can't wait for football season and I look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas and a whole host of other things that I see coming up, I'm in no rush to race off to that one.  I'll just let it come slowly to me......dragging its feet would be ok, too. 



Before I go, I have to show y'all my painting that arrived on Saturday from Katie!  When I opened it, I saw that photos just didn't do it justice.  It is so wonderfully wonderful!  She truly captured our little Sugar's personality!  Please go visit Katie at psalm8110.com.  So very talented....and so very thoughtful!

 

Sugar seemed quite pleased with her portrait.  After all, who doesn't want to be immortalized on canvas? 


Y'all have a good Monday.  We might as well face it head on!


  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Sequel

So, I'm going to be real honest here, tonight. 

I've had a long and busy week and there was just no time to put my thoughts into blog form.  But, since everyone seemed to enjoy the Tim Hawkins clips, I decided a clip sequel might be in order and we'll just write this whole, entire week off as "Tim Hawkins Promotional Week."

So, let's do this.

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He never gets old.  I could listen to him all day!

Let's all get some rest this weekend and meet back here on Monday!


Happy Friday, friends!


 


Monday, April 18, 2016

My Birthday Plans

I just have to tell y'all that I'm so excited! 

This weekend, we were watching one of our many Tim Hawkins DVDs and I casually mentioned that we should check out his 2016 tour schedule.  We saw him when he came here to our city, a couple of years ago, and to say that we enjoyed it would be an understatement.....even though it may have tested the upper limits of my late-40's bladder control.  Anyway, we checked and, sure enough, his next appearance is in Madison, MS in mid-May.....one of only a handful of tour stops that is anywhere close to us.  Well, since that's near my birthday, I insisted that that's how I wanted to celebrate my 48th with my family.  So, we ordered tickets and we're all set.  Woop woop!     

If you've never heard of Tim, well, he's a Christian comedian and we just love his humor.  You know how some people have your same twisted humor and you just connect with them on that level.  Well, he's one of our favorites.  We quote him all the time around here.   

So, in my excitement, I decided to post a few (or 11) Tim Hawkins clips for your enjoyment.  You may decide that you need to check out his tour schedule, too, after you see some of these.......

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I hope you got a giggle or two to carry with you through this Tuesday!  Where would we all be if we couldn't laugh? 

Straight jackets, maybe?   

Have a good one! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Breath of Fresh Air

So, first, I have to share with y'all a wonderful gift I received this week!  Katie, a Muffin Top reader, surprised me by painting Sugar from the picture I'd posted of her.  Is that not adorable?!?  It was an incredibly sweet gesture and I absolutely love it!  Y'all will have to go check out her writing and artwork.  You can do that by clicking here psalm8110.com.  She's very talented! 

Thanks again, Katie, for such a thoughtful gift!  (I'd paint you something but, well, you wouldn't want me to do that.) 
Yesterday, I had to go to the grocery store.  I had a long list.  It wasn't going to be one of those in and out trips.  No, this was going to be some major shopping.  One of those where you need to find something with which to brace yourself at the register.   

I got in the store and, on about the second aisle, I heard a child screaming.  Really loudly.  Not a "I'm hurting" scream but a "I'm throwing a fit" scream "and I won't be done anytime soon."  I thought, "well, this is just great."  I couldn't see the screamer anywhere but, no matter where you were in the store, he could be heard. 

Y'all know how it is.  You're in a restaurant or a store and a kid is making your experience just miserable.  And, yesterday, I guess the hormonal planets were aligned in such a way that I was feeling a little low on patience and completely dry on longsuffering.   

Well, I'd had time to make my way from the dairy case all the way to the canned soup aisle.....which is a far piece in grocery store miles.......and he was still going strong.  Oh, I was so irritated!  It was like fingernails on a chalkboard.  "Why doesn't the mother do something?" I thought.  I wanted to start screaming, myself. 

I was looking for what I needed and I heard the screams getting closer.  I turned to see who this little, annoying offender was and I saw a mother with three little boys in her cart.  They looked like they were 5, 3, and 2.  The 3 year old was the screamer and I noticed the big brother wasn't doing anything to help the situation.  The mother looked as if she were trying to implement the "ignore" parenting tactic which, clearly, wasn't showing any results yet. 

I just thought I was frazzled.  Well, she really looked frazzled.  I heard her mumble to herself, "I should have known better than to try this."  I became way more sympathetic when I actually saw her and her band of unhappy shoppers.  I smiled at her sympathetically, feeling guilty for the things I'd been thinking all the way from the cheddar cheese to the cream of mushroom.   

I kept noticing another lady as I shopped.  You know how you get on track with people at the store and you continually pass them on every single aisle?  Well, there was a lady in her 30's, I'd say, and she had her grocery list and was busily looking for things, too.  As she pushed her cart with one hand, she pulled her mother's wheelchair behind her with the other.  I assumed it was her mother because they favored and the ages looked to be right.  Anyway, she was quite good at this maneuver so you could tell it wasn't her first rodeo. 

Now, let me make sure you understand.....I'm not talking about a nice, new wheelchair.  I'm talking about one without a footrest and a make-do seat cushion fashioned from a folded blanket.  The mother held her feet up as they made their way through the store.  They talked as they shopped and seemed to be very close.

She asked me where she could find the bread crumbs and I directed her towards them.  I don't like to brag but one of my biggest strengths is my ability to navigate a grocery store.  Anyway, she and her mother were so friendly and we all had a nice, little chit chat. 

She had some juice drinks and a couple of huge bags of kid cereal in her buggy.  You know those enormous bags that could be mistaken for a bag of triple 13 fertilizer?  So, I guessed that she had kids at home and was obviously responsible for her ailing mother, too.   

We got to the checkout and the mother/daughter duo was checking out in the line next to me.  A man behind them offered his assistance as the small framed woman tried to get all of her groceries and her mother situated.  She smiled and politely refused any help.  She had it under control.  She pushed those bagged groceries with one hand and pulled her mother with the other like it came as natural as breathing. 

Yesterday, I received a business thank you note.  It was sent by a company from which we do some of our buying for the stores.  The front of the card doubled as a sticker that could be peeled off and used.  Very clever idea.  It was one of the most beautiful sayings and I'd never heard it before. 
While I was in the store, I thought back to that sticker.  We all have something that sits heavy on our chests.  It certainly doesn't have to be anything bad or tragic to feel like an elephant at times.  A buggy full of boys and a loving mother certainly aren't burdens.  But, sometimes, even our blessings can pull on us.  We wouldn't have life any other way but there are moments when we just feel like we can't catch our breath. 

There are other things that we carry which are tragic or definitely not viewed as blessings and, well, those take our breath away in a whole different way.  Somethings punch us in the gut and knock the wind out of us and we feel like we just might die.  Other things may have been hanging over our heads for years......always there....and, even though we've prayed for them to be lifted, we've grown tired of holding our breath. 

Good or bad, we all have those moments or responsibilities or seasons or burdens in our lives which weigh on us.  Those things that, some days, make it difficult to breathe. 

On my way out of the grocery store, I passed a man on oxygen and an older lady with her daughter who seemed to have significant mental disabilities.  In the distance, I could still hear the little screamer making his music.  I thought to myself how we're all just going through life doing the best we can with the days that come our way.  None of us are immune to spells of breathlessness. 

I know, sometimes, I get too busy to see that people around me are struggling.

Oh, life is brimming with joys, but there are sighs, too.

Wouldn't this world be a better place if I helped more people to breathe a little easier?

"Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too."  Philippians 2:4



Y'all have a good Thursday!  The weekend is coming! 










   

           
 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Weekend in Review

So, today, I thought I'd just hit the high spots of our weekend.   

Blair came home for one night and, on Friday morning, we hopped in the car and went to scout out living options in the city where she has decided to reside.  She will have a sales territory and so where she lives in that territory is up to her.  Her plan is to live at home this summer to save up some money for little things like, oh, a couch to sit on and a bed to sleep on.....and then she'll fly the coop in August or September. 

Since we were in an unfamiliar city, it was a long day of typing addresses into the GPS but it was still fun and exciting for her.  We learned a couple of things on our trip.....
-  Pictures on websites are always more flattering than reality.
-  You have to pay more to be safe....and you should.     

She settled on the place where she'd like to live and feels good about her choice. I feel good about it, too, and a mother's peace is not to be underestimated.

On Saturday, my kids' former youth minister/children's minister got married.  Didn't she make a beautiful bride?  Carson was my date to the morning event because Davis had to work.  Didn't he make a handsome date?  It was a pretty wedding on a picture perfect day.  I mean, you couldn't have custom ordered a nicer day.  It was a true southern affair with food galore and people aplenty.
The bride's mother told us how she'd only slept from 2:00-3:30 a.m. the night before the wedding and I'd heard how she'd cooked most of the delicious food herself.  With the number of people who were there, that was no small feat.  I feel that parents of newlyweds are due a "honeymoon" trip of sorts to recover from their ordeal.  Perhaps wedding guests could start dropping money into a box as they leave to go towards that.  It could be a new thing we get going.          

I thought it was so special how they used the wedding china of family members for the centerpieces at the reception.  The wedding was just dear from top to bottom. 
On Sunday, there was a birthday celebration for a sweet lady in our church who turned 100 this week.  100 years old.  Even though she and Carson are 85 years apart and even though you wouldn't think a teenage boy would give much thought to an elderly person, wild horses can't drag him away from church on Sundays until she is out the door and he sees that she's in the car with her ride.  They have a friendship that reaches across generations and I think it's pretty sweet.  What a wonderful lady!  
And that brings us to Sibling Day.

I know I've talked about my siblings a good bit on here.  Probably because I think they're pretty good fellas.  We had a great time growing up together and, even now, they are two of my primary suppliers of humor.

We don't have just a whole lot of pictures together because trying to photograph them is like trying to herd cats.  You get one in the right spot and the other one runs off.  There's a lot of protest.  A lot of sighing.  A good bit of moaning and groaning.  But, here we are at Thanksgiving.  You can see how much they're enjoying it.       
My older brother, Zane, is on the left and I believe I've told you that he is the reason I eat fast seeing as how he was like a goat and would eat your napkin if he could get to it.  He is also the reason that I flinch at any sudden movements to this day.  Years and years of therapy wouldn't be able to undo the childhood scars of being his little sister.  My younger brother, Lee, well, I may owe him an apology.  I think I projected my longing to lord over Zane onto him.  I may have misplaced my desire for revenge, at times.  I'm sure we could all fill a therapist's ear. 

We're all grown up now.  There's no one in this world with DNA closer to mine.  No one else who was raised as similarly as me.  Nobody else who shares all my old memories.  No one who has quite the same sense of humor or remembers the same things with a smile.  There's no one else who misses my Daddy as much and no one who cares for my Mama as deeply.  Nobody but them.   

Something happens on the back bench seat of a Ford on family road trips.  In the backyard, when you're all given the chore of raking the leaves.  When you have to share the same kitchen phone.  When you're always instructed to stay together whenever you go anywhere.  When you have to pool your coins for Mother's Day and Father's Day. 

Something happens. 

It's called growing love.  A love that no one else can feel because no one else ever lived it with you......like they did.  We all carry a piece of the others with us.  We all had a part in making each other who we are now.

Something just happens when you grow up in the same little, happy house together.

Brothers and sister forever.  No matter what.         


It's Monday again!  Make the best of it!
   




    

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sugar: Her Story

Well, it's our dog's birthday week.  She'll be 11 in a couple of days.  I thought, in honor of her birthday, I'd post her autobiography. 


I was born in Columbia, Mississippi to my mother, a registered dachshund, and my father, a Chihuahua who was just passing through town on business.  From what I understand, theirs was a steamy, yet brief, romance as my father left as soon as he heard my mother was expecting a litter.  He told her that he really wasn't cut out to be a family man.  He was just looking for another notch in his collar, I suppose.  And with that, he was gone.  The only thing he ever gave me?  His ears.  My mother did the best she could do raising us, 5 pups, alone.  But, after about 8 weeks, she knew she had to find other homes for us. 

I was taken in by my new family and relocated to another town in the spring of '05.  I believe Bush was in office then.  I didn't have any papers.  Didn't come from a fancy pet store.  But, my new family seemed to love me all the same.  My parents already had 2 two-legged kids, Blair, 11, and Carson, 5.  My new mother was a "dogs don't live in the house person" at the time that I moved there.  So, they had me a nice house inside the garage with warm, soft bedding.  I couldn't really complain about the accommodations. 

But, each night, she'd come out to check on me there in the garage and I'd look up at her with my sad, brown eyes.  I'd heard somewhere before that humans are suckers for those.  And I may or may not have exaggerated my shivering to garner her compassion.  "Ok," she said, "you can come in but only if someone is holding you."  Then, she started saying stuff like, "Ok, you can come in if you stay on the blanket."  Then it was, "Ok, you can come in only when we're home but no getting on the furniture."  And on and on, until now she says things like, "Sugar, scoot over....you're hogging the bed!"  I have to say that I've enjoyed living indoors in the climate controlled environment.  When the weather is really hot or really cold, my mind can't help but think about all the less fortunate yard dogs out there.  I've got no complaints with these people I call family....except when my father tries to buy generic Beggin' Strips.  I draw the line there.      

I've found that my life here is filled with many simple joys.  My most favorite among them is catching lizards.  Nothing brings quite as much fulfillment to my life as pursuing a lizard, grabbing it between my teeth, and mutilating it until he stops moving.  Then, I try to paw at it to revive it just long enough to torture it some more.  When it's not lizard season, I enjoy chasing flying insects, smelling tires, urinating around mailboxes, and killing baby birds who fall out of their nests.  I've gotten wind that most humans find the baby bird thing to be a deplorable act but I say, "carpe diem."  I also enjoy barking at the doorbell even if it is just coming from a Swiffer commercial.  You can never be too sure, you know.  I love a good game of tug of war with my blanket and am happy to fetch the ball for the humans but I have a two time limit.  After that, they can get it themselves.      

Like everyone else, I struggle with my own set of character flaws.  I do enjoy chasing joggers and, if I ever felt like it was warranted, I could do some real damage to their ankles on down.  Children on bicycles, golf carts, and 4-wheelers are all temptations which I find difficult to refuse.  I want to do what's right but running after the UPS man as he's on his way back to his brown truck, well, you'd have to be a saint to resist that?  I've seen children turn and go screaming and running the other way when they see me coming.  I don't know what they've heard but I don't like kids anyway, so it's fine.  I'd suggest you not come near my food bowl or my survival instincts will kick in and I'll look at you like my wolf ancestors standing over a fresh kill.  Some people say that I must have a case of short dog syndrome.  Well, when you're 7" tall, you do what you have to do to command respect.  Even biting the vet isn't out of the question.....and the vet's helper.  I was never indicted on those charges, though, as I pleaded self defense against the thermometer.  If you'd seen where they were going to stick that thing, you wouldn't have blamed me.  They're sick, sick people down there at that office and they deserved everything they got. 

If I had to name one life changing moment, it would be the day that I misjudged a tire while chasing a Honda and got tangled up with a Goodyear.  Luckily, I was fine but it gave me a new lease on life as I learned to try and appreciate every day.  You just never know when your luck might run out.   

I guess the one thing that I know for sure is I love my people.  My people list is short.  Very, very short.  It is comprised of the 4 humans who live at my house.  I would protect them from anything that would ever try to harm them.  If you mess with any of them, you'll have to deal with...........well, just ask the vet. 

When the humans get down in the floor with me and put their head next to mine, I feel loved.  When they hold me until the thunder stops, I feel secure.  When they come home from a long day, I feel complete again.  When they're around, everything is right in my world.  They take time to talk to me and treat me like I'm a feeling creature.  I hope I'll have many years left with them.  The years pass quickly, though, when they come in sevens.  But, when my life does come to the end, I will leave here knowing one thing for sure...... I was well-loved.   

Isn't that what all of God's creatures want? 

No matter how many legs we have. 

Happy Birthday, Sugar! 



Y'all have a great weekend, friends.        


       

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Missed a Spot

We've had some beautiful days around here, lately.  When we were on our way to church this past Sunday morning, I was enjoying the bright sunshine and all the spring flowers along the way.  The sky was incredibly blue and the new spring growth was that extra vibrant shade of green. 

We'd left home kind of hurriedly because Carson had to be at church for a quick youth choir rehearsal before Sunday school and so I decided to use my time in the car for a quick check of myself.  You know how we have to do, ladies.  Pull the visor down, slide the mirror open, and check our hair, teeth, eyebrows, chin, and nose in the sunlight.  You know, just to be sure. 

You could have a wiry, gray hair sticking straight out of the top of your head.  You could have Clinique Sugared Maple Long Last Lipstick smeared across every tooth.  You could have a little foreign something suspended from your nostril.  You could be in Phase 2 of a unibrow and not even know it.  And if you're over 40, there's always the risk of there being a weed or two protruding from your chin.  A ride in a sun-filled car is always an ideal time to check for these types of undesirables.  

So, I quickly went through the 6 checkpoint system and deemed myself to be in fair to satisfactory condition to appear in a public setting.  I slid the mirror shut, pushed up the visor, and looked down to adjust my dress.  That's when I saw it.

The sunlight was beaming in at just the right angle to illuminate the half dozen hairs on my knee.  You all know what I'm talking about.  These weren't stubble sized hairs either.  No, ma'am.  This was like a small patch of sea oats blowing in a coastal breeze as I believed I could detect some slight movement in them in the gusts coming from the AC. 
My right knee.

"Dang it," I thought as I pulled at my dress to see if it would cover the offending area.  "Dang it" is the upper limit of acceptable vocal expressions of frustration that a Southern Baptist should use while on her way to Sunday School but I was having a weak moment.  Anyway, I thought that if the dress failed to cover it, I would always have leg crossing as my second line of defense in such a situation.  I just had to remember......left leg over right.  

I moved on from that and Davis and I started talking about something else.  I looked over at him to say something and that's when I saw it.  This patch of whiskers growing right up under his nose that he'd missed in his shaving that morning.  He kinda looked like Laurel...or Hardy.  Whichever one. 
Davis (pictured left)

"Um, Davis, I think you missed a spot."  He turned the rearview mirror toward himself and assessed his oversight. 

Now, I keep a lot of things in my car.  Kleenex.  Hand sanitizer.  A Tide to Go Pen.  Fingernail file.  Mace.  Hand lotion.  Breath mints.  Note pad and pen.  Pain reliever.  Tire gauge.  Band-Aids.  Benadryl.  Even a pistol.  I suppose we could've used the Band-Aids like wax strips.  Put them on the areas and then pulled them off real fast.  We could've tried to file them until smooth, I suppose.   Maybe we could have greased them down with some of the lotion.  But, at that point, our kingdom for a razor.   

Oh, well.  We went on to church knowing that the Lord loves us and bids us come as we are.  Like the song says, "Just As I Am."  I suppose this is just the tip of the iceberg with progressively worse days ahead.  At some point, there will be the Sunday when I will look over and see hair coming from Davis' ears like a Chia Pet.  There will be the day when my lipstick is so far out of the lines that I'll look like I should be popping out of a barrel at the rodeo.  He'll have toilet paper stuck to his shoe and the back of my dress will be tucked into my pantyhose when I come out of the mall restroom.  My seatbelt will be hanging out of the car door making sparks on the street as we drive off and his nostrils will look as if they need the services of a weed eater. 

Yes.  And we'll look back and remember the Sunday that it all started.


Happy Wednesday, people!  Be diligent with the razor before you head out today. 



        

  



        

   

Sunday, April 3, 2016

I'll Drive

So, my one week break kind of turned into a two week break.  It took 1 1/2 weeks of working 11-12 hour days to get the new store up and running and then, after being away from the other two stores for that long, they were both needing some attention at that point.  Stir Easter up into that mix and here we are, two weeks later.  Oh, I'm so glad to be getting back to a normal schedule.  While I love my job and what I do, I'm happiest when I'm working three or four hours a day as opposed to, say, a dozen.  I guess I'm just lazy like that.    

So, for the last couple of days, I've been trying to play catch up here at my house.  I don't know what it's like at your house but, if I leave my men folk, basically, all alone for a couple of weeks, some serious housecleaning will be needed at the end of that time period. 

I packed up my Easter-y decorations.  Cleaned.  Did some laundry.  And started to cook my first home-cooked meal in quite some time and then I realized that I needed to run some errands like, oh, you know, purchase some actual food to cook.  Two weeks is a long time, y'all. 

Anyway, I thought that my errands would be some good driving practice for Carson.  Yeah, he's had his driver's permit for several months now and, yes, he's a good driver and, no, this isn't the first time I've ridden with him but it is usually my custom to let Davis take care of teaching the youngsters to drive.  I'd rather be someplace else when driving instruction is underway.  Like safely at home.  If I am in the car, I want to be in the backseat with calm and collected Davis in the passenger seat.  I suppose I prefer not to see what's oncoming.  I think Davis must not be as apprehensive of the death angel as me.  While I'm very excited to, one day, see Jesus, if it's not in the next little while, that'd be ok, too.

So, anyway, Carson did really good Saturday but, still, I'm just no good at being a learner's permit chaperone.  I'm just not.  There was a point when we were needing to pull out of a parking lot into the traffic and I was like, "OK, GO, GO, GO.....NOW......GO.....HURRY!"  I put this in all caps because my instructions were spoken in all caps.  Then, later, I'm like, "Carson, you've GOT to SLOW DOWN!"  "Mom, I'm going 35!"  Funny how fast 35 seems when you're riding with someone who started driving a couple of months before your last oil change. 
        
I remember when Blair was learning to drive.  She was the first student driver I'd ever had to experience, so riding with her felt like........well, kind of like being on a roller coaster and suddenly your car becoming unhooked from all the others as it went careening out of control into steep drop-offs and sharp turns and, no matter how much you screamed, it wouldn't help.  Yeah, like that.  She wasn't a big believer in applying the brakes until the last millisecond before colliding with whatever object was ahead.  It was cardio at its best.   

I know I overreact.  Trust me.  I know this.  The kids would prefer to drive their Daddy around any day.  I'm like....."Stop!  Watch out!  Get over!!"  And he's just like.....whatever.  So calm and relaxed. 

I think I've traced my reluctance to ride with them back to one thing.......I kind of have a control problem. 

I know. 

Shocking. 

As a matter of fact, I'm that one in the group who always volunteers to drive no matter who I'm with.  I prefer to be in the driver's seat.  One of my few exceptions is Davis.  I don't mind riding with him because, well, he's like a driver's ed instructor.  Riding with him is like being in a funeral procession.......all the time. 

I don't think my control problem stops at the steering wheel either.  I prefer to pack everyone for trips.  That way, I know they have the right clothes with minimal wrinkling.  I'd rather do the laundry after having several run-ins with Davis' indiscriminate use of the dryer.  I prefer to do the cleaning.  Load the dishwasher.  Wrap the Christmas gifts.  Fold the clothes.

Basically, I have a delegation problem.  I'd rather do it myself so I can control how it's done.  

There. 

I said it.

I have a problem. 
 
I was thinking about how I treat God like a 15 year old driver, sometimes.  "Go this way.  Watch out for that!  Slow down!  Speed up!  Why are we going this way?  Are you even paying attention?  You missed the turn!  Where are you going?   Here, let me drive!"  I'm quite sure that He doesn't need as much instruction as I want to offer.  I'm pretty positive that He's just a little more capable than I am in the driver's seat.  And I'm fairly certain that, if I'd just let him have the wheel, it would accomplish several things......
 
(1) It would take a lot of stress off of me to let Him drive and navigate the curves, potholes, and traffic jams.

(2)  He could take me places that I don't even know about or haven't thought about and He would know the best way to get there. 

(3) My faith would grow if I'd learn to just relax in the passenger seat and enjoy His company while we ride.

(4) I wouldn't get on His nerves near as much as I do now.


So, this week, I'm going to work on being a better passenger.

In every way. 


Hope your week gets off to a good start!