Tuesday, August 21, 2018

I Got a Raise!

So, I went grocery shopping yesterday.
And everything was going along very well.
Until check-out.
Seems the credit card of the nice old couple in front of me wasn't working. She swiped it, he swiped it, the cashier swiped it, they even tried the trick cashiers sometimes do where you put the card inside a plastic bag and swipe it that way. But nothing was working.
Thankfully, a supervisor came to the rescue. Took the couple and their groceries and their suspended transaction to another lane and got it figured out.

Now it was my turn.
And when the cashier started scanning my groceries, we discovered the problem wasn't with the other couple's card. There was something wacky going on with her regiser. So she called for help and SUPERvisor came to the rescue again. My groceries were scanned and bagged, my transaction suspended and taken to another register, and SUPER cashed me out there. In the midst of it she said, "I'm giving you $5 off for your inconvenience. Thanks for being so patient through all of this."
I thought, Well, that's a nice gesture. I mean it really wasn't a big deal. Only set me back about 10 minutes. And I understand - sometimes technology messes up. But, hey, it's five bucks. I'll take it.
And I said, "Wow. OK. Thanks!"

Then, when I got home and was recounting the event to my daughter (Because I have a habit of re-telling stories of saving money...) I realized the equivalent of the kind gesture SUPER had made: If spending 10 minutes extra in line earned me $5, that's like making $30 and hour.
And I usually go shopping for free.
So the way I see it, I just got a huge raise!!!

Karen

Monday, August 20, 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

When Someone Changes Your Plans

So, yesterday I spent the majority of the day at one of our rental houses.
Not what I was intending to do, but there was work to be done.
Seems someone thought it would be funny to break in and vandalize a few bedrooms.
I mean, I didn't think it was funny when I was cleaning up after them - but it looked like they had a good time flinging paint all over the walls and floors.

The encouraging side of the story is: even when bad things are happening in our world God is still good. And I was reminded of that truth when I gazed out the window last night as I washed the dishes. I was tired from my day of scraping and mudding and sanding and painting, but my spirit was refreshed when I looked at this:

My garden full of zinnias. Aren't they beautiful???
And no matter who or what tries to ruin my day, these flowers delight my heart. Because they remind me of God's faithfulness and majesty. What started as a patch of dirt, a handfull of seeds, and a lot of hope has become a tangible sample of the goodness of God.

Ahhhh, but there's more!
If you saw my "video tour" of the garden a few weeks ago, you may remember the sunflowers Josh planted. Well, check this out! One of them has bloomed.

And it's beautiful!
May your day be marked with bright colors, delightful fragrances, and the joy of Jesus!
Even if someone busts in and changes your plans.

Karen

Monday, August 13, 2018

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Re-writing the Story

I heard a funny story several years ago - which I think I enjoyed so much because of how true it is.
It goes like this:

There was a job to do, and four people available to do it. Their names were Anybody, Everybody, Somebody, and Nobody. Anybody could have done the job and Everybody thought Somebody took care of it. But, actually, Nobody did the work.
And in the end - Everybody was mad at Somebody, because Nobody did what Anybody could have.
Are you recalling times these four people have gotten involved in the jobs around your home???
Ohhhh, they came over to my place yesterday, and I was so ready to be Everybody. Know what I mean?
I walked into the kitchen in the morning and saw that the dishes hadn't been done Tuesday night.
And, OK, we didn't eat dinner as a family because Brian and I went out for our anniversary - so I know activities didn't feel "normal". But we all used dishes throughout the day, and they weren't going to "do" themselves. Somebody ought to have done them, I thought, even though we didn't "eat dinner".
And, as the story goes - Anybody could have done it.
In my moment of I-have-failed-as-a-mother-because-the-dishes-are-undone nonsense, I allowed myself to fear that Nobody was going to get the dishes done before it was time for me to make dinner Wednesday night. Then either 1)I was going to stomp around the kitchen cleaning up the mess that Somebody should have already managed, or 2)I was going to have to follow through on the vow I made years ago when the kids took over doing dishes:
If the kitchen is a mess when it's time for me to make dinner, I'm NOT making dinner!
Neither one of those options was appealing to me. But I also didn't want to nag Somebody into doing what Anybody could have done. So I carried on with my morning activities and decided to let the chips fall where they may.

Then, the unexpected happened!

I walked into the house in the afternoon and heard the dishwasher running. I looked at the counter and - it was clean!!! I asked around and found out, Matthew did the dishes! Without being nagged asked. Without me complaining. Without letting the chore fall on Nobody.
Matthew re-wrote the story.
And this momma's heart was so glad!!!

Karen

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Was That Divine Intervention?

Tuesdays I participate in a mileage club with a local children's home. The other "coaches" and I meet up at the home and walk a mile-long trail with the kids, and the kids earn points and get prizes. Anyway, I've been doing it since June and am on a pretty good schedule now for when to leave my home in order to arrive at their home on time.
So, yesterday I was thinking of running a quick errand on my way to mileage club. But as I got closer to my stop I noticed I didn't have as much time as I'd anticipated and began second-guessing my original plan. Buuuuut, I decided to go ahead and do it anyway - cause it needed to get done, and there's no time like the present. Right?
Fortunately, my little errand only took a couple of minutes - and I was back on the road, thinking I would still make it to mileage club on time.
Until, that is, I got a mile or two farther down the highway and began to see a bunch of breaklights. And very shortly after I was in the middle of the slow-down, I caught a glimpse of the cause: one truck on the side of the road and another one overturned in the median. The police were just arriving on the scene, diverting traffic around the accident. And just after it occurred to me that I was definitely going to be late to mileage club, it dawned on me that if I hadn't stopped at the post office for a couple minutes, a few minutes ago - I might have been a participant in that accident. I couldn't keep myself from wondering, God, did You just prevent me from missing mileage club altogether today? Were YOU the One who prompted me to stop for those postcards??? Ummmm. Thanks!!!
I mean, I will never be certain if my stop at the post office was Divine intervention which kept me from being in an accident. But I do know that God protects me regularly - in ways I don't perceive - and I am giving thanks for all safekeeping. Seen and unseen.

Have you ever had the impression of God's hand shielding you from harm's way?
(By the way, although I was late getting to mileage club the kids were late getting outside, too.
So it was all good!)

Karen

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Silver Anniversary

I can hardly believe it, but today is my 25th wedding anniversary.
Yes, on August 7, 1993 - these two KIDS got married!!!


This was one of my favorite pictures...

Well, and this one. *muah!*

Ahhhh, but this one. This one is my absolute most favorite wedding picture.
It's kind of crazy to me to consider that it's been 25 years already. And yet, I can hardly believe our life together - all the things we've been through - has fit into just 25 years.
Oh, how much we have seen and grown and loved and messed up and forgiven and been forgiven and learned and tried and tried again.
I laugh when I remember how we thought we knew so much 25 years ago today - when, really?
We were so clueless.
I mean, at the ages of 21 and 22 we knew a little about what it means to love another human being.
We knew a little of God's faithfulness. We knew a little that He is good. We knew a little that we could trust Him.
But now we have learned what real love is.
Joyful, celebratory, life-giving, selfless, forgiving, gracious, unconditional love.
Over the past two and a half decades, we have experienced God's faithfulness in very dark moments.
Now we know He is good all the time. Now we know that we can trust him with everything.

Oh, how much has happened - how magnificently God has shown Himself to us - over the past 25 years.
It makes me so excited to ponder the next 25!!!

Karen