Take the shackles off my feet…

A few weeks ago, the gigantic church down the road from my store asked me to donate a door prize for their Beth Moore simulcast this weekend. As that church basically keeps me in business, I happily came through with some stuff. They gave me two free tickets, and I asked my friend Cameron to go with me.

I totally confess to you, dear reader, that today, I did not feel like going. I was  tired, my sweater was a little itchy, and I may possibly have sprained my ankle a little when I fell off the step stool at work (I may be saved by grace, but I am NOT full of it…).

I wanted to cancel on Cameron, skip the conference, go home, and curl up around my laptop. But instead, I put on my big girl pants and went to the party.

I am so glad I did. There were so many things I had forgotten, or had started to take for granted. It’s been too easy lately to focus on my own lack of control, to not spend as much time studying His word, and to forget to praise Him.

I am not unaware of the additional cynicism I’ve adopted over the last few months, or the sluggishness I sometimes feel, or the frustration with life that threatens to bubble over at times.

 I had forgotten (mostly) to HOPE. I had forgotten that in Psalm37 it instructs us to “delight in the Lord and he will give us the desires of our heart” . I had forgotten that He will provide,  and that we just have to put it at His feet, and to just be still….

The amazing thing about our God? He loves and forgives us unconditionally. He welcomes us back into the fold, even as we ourselves do not feel worthy. Being in that room with all those women, and knowing that 90,000 other women in eight countries were experiencing the same thing, was beyond powerful. It was affirming, reverent, and it changed me (hopefully for the better…). I was so blessed that they gave me the tickets and that I have the kind of job that can help support those events. I was blessed to be able to go with someone who is a great friend and to know that she was as moved and changed by the message as I was. I am very humbled by my experience this weekend….

Published in: on August 29, 2009 at 10:52 pm  Comments (2)  

Levels

When I was in college, a friend of mine (plagued by laundry on the floor, the knowledge that she didn’t wear shower- shoes, and went without toothpaste for 4 days) referred to her roommate as “The Dirt-Muffin”. I loved it, and instantly claimed it as my own.

Then I met my very own Dirt Muffin. And, bless his heart, I love him. But, in order to maintain my sanity, I’ve had to establish DML’s… Dirt Muffin Levels. There are five of them. They are mostly used to determine how close we sit on the couch, or in some instances how many items end up in the trash…

DML1: Taking off sweaty socks and stuffing them in the cushions of whichever couch or chair he’s sitting on. Said socks will be left there until they dry up, at which point, I will inevitably find them, and more than likely throw them out. The discovery record? 11 socks. Where the location of #12 (as socks are generally worn in pairs) is, remains the great mystery of our time….

DML2: Coming home after a working all day, during college football season to discover that my die-hard- Alabama- loving husband has left his lucky Crimson Tide T-shirt (which is ancient and has a big tear in the front) at his mom’s. Since he can’t wear that one, he has refuses to put one on at all. Also, this reasoning has spread to not wearing pants either. So he is basically sitting around watchin’ football in his boxers. (side-note for DML2- this in no way alters my own affection for Big Al)

DML3: Waking up in the middle of the night to find him sitting in bed, eating Peanut Butter out of the jar with a spoon. Accompanied by a glass of milk, which will not get finished, so it will sit on the nightstand until it forms a solid. Which milk does. Fairly quickly. Needless to say, the glass joined the socks in the trash can….

DML4: Mowing the lawn in August while it’s approximately 900 degrees outside. Almost sweating to death, coming inside, taking off the damp sweaty clothes, sitting on the couch (again, in the boxers), letting the clothes dry out… and then putting them back on. I’m not kidding.

DML5: Taking a shower before church on Sunday. That being the only shower until we go back to church the following Sunday…

Now… I can imagine what everyone reading this (all 7 of you) are thinking. Ew, ew, ew, EW. But there are positives to be found in the above situations. 1. So many socks get thrown out, they rarely have holes in them- the turnaround time is too quick. 2. He is passionate and loyal to the things (and people) he loves. 3. I don’t eat PB, but we are still able to save $$ by buying the big jar. 4. The lawn is being mowed, while I’m sitting in the AC, blogging about how it’s getting mowed. 5. He goes to church with me, every week.

Disclaimer: The above was written with permission of the aforementioned Dirt Muffin. And let it be said, that I love this man more than anything, and will spend the rest of my life dealing with this, and I knew about all of these traits before the wedding, and married him anyway. The things we do for love….

Published in: on August 27, 2009 at 10:18 pm  Comments (3)  

Green

Yesterday I had a conversation with one of my fantastic customers- here’s what happened….

Me: HI!!! (super chipper annoying voice) HOW ARE YOU? (yelling because the store is huge and my voice box is squeaky).

Her: No response.

Me: Successfully resist the urge to roll my eyes for the 108th time already that day.

Her: (ten minutes later from the greeting card area clear across the store) Where are your books?

Me: (again stifling my instant smart mouth response) They’re all just over here (never mind that there are shelves and shelves of books on one side of the store and gifts and toys and church supplies on the other).

Me: Is there a particular one that you are looking for?

Her : No.

Me: OK.

Her: I need Ted Dekker’s new book.

Me: (hello…. that is a particular one) Green?

Her: Yes.

Me: It hasn’t been released yet, it comes out September 1st.

Her: have you gotten it yet?

Me, stupid, stupid, me: Yes, but…

Her: Can I just see it?

Me: Yes, but I can’t sell it yet (go get a copy).

her: Yes, this is the one. I want it.

Me: I can’t sell it yet.

Her: But I want it.

Me: I understand that, but I would get in HUGE trouble- like I could lose my job.

Her: They wouldn’t know.

Me: Um, yes they would. They track those things, that’s why everything has its own bar-code.

Her: Well, you gave it to me, so you should let me buy it.

Me: I showed you it to be nice. I told you it wasn’t for sale yet. I’m going to need that back now.

Her: Well if I can’t buy it yet, I’m not buying it from here.

Me: OK. Have a nice day.

Points to consider:

1. She was at least 40; old enough to know better.

2. I manage a Christian Bookstore. It would have been easier to lie and say we didn’t yet have the book, but that isn’t the right thing to do.

3. She changed her mind and bought a card and some anointing oil. When she paid she gave me her PASTORS card for a discount… I wonder what her congregation would think about her tantrum over a fiction book……

Published in: on August 26, 2009 at 11:30 am  Comments (1)  

Wish I were a recluse….

So today, I seriously debated (in my head) faking agoraphobia…. You know, someone who is completely terrified to leave their own home. Very a`la Sigorney Weaver in Copycat (Harry Conick Jr. in a bow tie- very hot).

It’s been a rough month. I think I need a vacation. Since this isn’t happening anytime soon, here’s where I went tonight in my head…..

1. To the beach. A very private one. See how there’s not another living soul anywhere? That’s why I chose that one…..

2. After a few days of complete solitude, I would probably get bored. So then I would go here….

3. Then, after being surrounded by crowds, I would need some more peace and quiet, so I would fly here…

4. Then, after being in the cold, artic, weather, I would go hang out in Chile, where I could see my World Vision Kid (Francesca- she rocks) and get to know her a little better….

**Except, sadly, this is what Francesca’s Chile looks like:

I would still hang out there with her though. Is it wrong to secretly want to adopt/ kidnap the child I sponsor?

Anyway, like I said above, none of these vacations are happening anytime soon, so I better get go get ready to gear up for another long day of book-selling and customer- wrangling tomorrow. I promise you this though… if it gets rough in there, you’ll be guaranteed to find me rocking in a corner somewhere…

Published in: on August 24, 2009 at 10:26 pm  Comments (3)  

Click

Most days, I’m pretty much a rock-star (and a humble one at that!). Today, I was not…..

Today was randomly, insanely, BUSY… I have no idea why, it just was. From the moment we opened, it didn’t really let up. Customers were extra needy and demanding (it’s a bookstore-  not exactly life or death. Also, it’s a CHRISTIAN bookstore- try having some patience, it’s a fruit…) the phone would not quit ringing, and Home Office was being extra annoying (I’m happy for you that you escaped being on the sales floor, but try to cut the rest of us some slack).

So in the middle of the craziness… at the exact moment I thought I was going to lose my mind, the phone rang (again). I answered, said my “company designed greeting” and then asked the person on the other end to hold. That person had the audacity to say NO. My response? The ever- mature “OK, sorry”… Click.

I know, I know… that is horrible customer service. I’M SORRY. It’ll NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. Want to know the worst part?

Ready?

The person I hung up on….. yup-  My Boss.

Like I said… I’m a Rock-star.

Published in: on August 20, 2009 at 11:13 pm  Comments (2)  

Stage Dads….

Please, oh please, do not let me grow up to be a Pageant Mother. Please let me have children whom I do not feel compelled to spray tan, hair spray or to have fitted for dentures. Please let them refuse to wear fake eyelashes, twirl in suuuppppeeerrrrr sssslllllooooowwwww mmmoootttioonnnn, or shake their booty.

Please help me to understand my future child is not a doll, and I cannot live vicariously though them. Please help me to remember it is assinine to pay thousands of dollars for a sequined dress, and to let my four year old get a facial. Please help me to remember that that TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras is a gateway drug to A&E’s Intervention.

And if above all else fails, and none of the above happens, and I DO morph into some trophy junkie, please, please, please keep my husband from turning into a Stage Dad. There is nothing less hot than a grown man strutting his stuff to a packed room, in the pretense of coaching his four year old on her beauty routine….

Published in: on August 19, 2009 at 10:54 pm  Comments (1)  

Yucky

Dear Gross Spider,

How are you? I’ve been better, thanks for asking…My brother is an exterminator. I had the brilliant idea to have my mom show him the pictures of you that I took. He’s fairly certain you are a Brown Recluse. Which means you’re deadly. Which means you could kill me. And you live in my house. So I looked you up, and I think I agree with him. I am not an exterminator, but I also think your giant black friends are Black House Spiders. They are also poisonous. Is it true that people swallow 7 of you and your friends a year, while they sleep? If so, that is no bueno. Which means NOT GOOD. You have ruined my chances for decent sleep this week. You owe my co- workers a major apology. Also, please know, if I see you… I WILL kill you; I bought some more RAID today. Thanks for your time!! Have a great day!!!!!

Love Always,

Sara (You know, the girl who now has to check her shoes before she puts them on…)

Published in: on August 18, 2009 at 11:26 pm  Comments (7)  

The Great Church Search… Is it finally over?

Well, after 43 long months of looking, searching, and mostly, praying…. it appears Steve and I have finally found a church!!!!!!!!!

(Ok, so I know 43 months is really just 3 1/2 years, but it was more dramatic that way and it’s still a long time)

Anyway, so we *think*  (somehow, asterisks mean air- quotes) we found one that we both loved!!!

After many, many, MANY visits to what seems like thousands of churches, we think we have found one with whom we want to take our church- going -relationship to the next level.

There were many discussions, hours of research, countless denominations tried, and many hymns sung to get us to this point. Parents prayed, sisters counseled, friend were consulted… and then, this Sunday, our prayers were answered.

We were hesitant. We weren’t sure where to go,or what to expect. Previously held prejudices had to be let go… but then it started to click.

Parking attendants were nice… and helpful (actually, they were awesome- and they gave us rock- star parking!!). The greeters asked questions, didn’t apply any pressure, and showed us where to go. The coffee bar was free (this was a major stumbling block overcome. It’s a long story, don’t ask). Worship started, and while the first two songs were relatively contemporary, the third song was “How Great Thou Art”… and it won my husbands heart. Everything was loud enough for me to sing and for no one to know how tone deaf I am … and that won my heart.

The message was amazing, and Biblically based. I didn’t feel as though I needed a nap sometime in the middle of the service. I also didn’t have to play Bible word games to keep myself alert (did you know there are 21 small words you can make from “pastor”? I do, because I once did…).

I thought Steve enjoyed it, but wasn’t sure. I knew I loved it, and wanted so badly for this one to work for us. When we got in the car, I said a little prayer and then asked his opinion.

HE LOVED IT!!!!!!!! So much so, I had remind him he was driving and need to settle down. He was fired up the entire way to Cracker Barrel- which I agreed to as a compromise for him trying a contemporary church.

We will go back. We can’t wait to go back. We want to grow, and change, and serve in this church. It may have taken 43 months (oh, the drama!) but it was SO WORTH THE WAIT!!!!!

Published in: on August 17, 2009 at 10:56 pm  Comments (3)  

Conversation with Steve….

Me: What are you doing today?

Him: I don’t know, what are you doing?

Me: I don’t know

Him: I’m hungry

Me: Have some peanut butter toast, don’t leave the toaster out though and don’t get crumbs everywhere (this is a constant struggle, me v. peanut butter toast)

Him: I don’t want that

Me: OK

Him: What do you want?

Me: I don’t know

Him: (Several suggestions later) Fine, you decide where to go

Me: I don’t want to

Him: Do you want me to decide?

Me: No

Him: I’m going to get the oil changed in your car

Me: I want a cat

Him: We’re not getting a cat

Me: You are not the boss of this house

Conclusion: We are both very immature, and very boring. We need to get a life.

p.s. I AM getting a cat… a big orange one

Published in: on August 17, 2009 at 11:54 am  Comments (2)  

In all fairness…..

So, those of you who know me, know that unfortunately, I can find fault with most things my husband does… and fast.

From the way he snores, to the way he leaves socks all over, even down to his choice of t- shirt for the day, nothing is above my critique.

Out of fairness, I  thought I’d let you know some of things about me that he probably can’t stand, but never says anything about….

1. I leave shoes all of the house. I hate to have to go to the closet to look for a pair. BUT, I get mad when they all get piled up by the door.

2. I find it very necessary to carry a purse the size of a normal person’s overnight bag. It’s not that I have all that much in there, but you never know what I may have to carry in there later (In my defense however, that super-size pocketbook is most handy when we need to ninja our own snacks in the movies….)

3. My car is a mess. And there’s sometimes a funny smell in there. My Clean- Freak/ Germ-a-Phobic personality seems to check out when I am driving.

4. I put Texas Pete on my cottage cheese. OK, actually this grosses everyone out. But I love it.

5. I own approximately 300 eye shadows, an un-countable amount of lipstick, fourteen different body washes, but I will only use one kind of deodorant.

6. My feet are generally the same temperature as a Popsicle. Grape, not orange. I have found the perfect heater for them though… right under Steve’s.

I’m sure I have many, many other flaws; but the point is this…. Steve has un- ending patience for all them- so MAYBE I’ll consider not commenting the next time he puts on a t- shirt I can’t stand…..

Published in: on August 16, 2009 at 5:03 pm  Leave a Comment