Friday, August 16, 2019

It's My Pleasure

So, it is always our goal at Chick-fil-A to get orders fulfilled and people through the drive-thru as quickly as possible.
But sometimes, for one reason or another, there is a delay. If there are other cars in line whose orders are ready, we typically ask the person "at the window" to pull ahead so we can serve the other guests while their order is being completed.
However, sometimes there are no other cars in line. And on those occassions I often enjoy conversations with our guest while we wait. Such was the case with a local school teacher last week. In fact, we were having such a nice exchange that even after I passed out her order - she stayed and we continued talking.
Somehow we got on to the subject of reading books aloud, which is when - for some reason - I told her about my love of reading to children. I told her about a Performance of Literature class I took in college, and how I love to "become" the characters in books when I read aloud. She said, "You should come read to my class in March. That's March-is-Reading month. My first-graders would love you!" And just as I was telling her I would be happy to do it, a car pulled up in the drive-thru and we bid one another farewell.
She drove away, the day progressed, and life continued.
But I kept thinking about reading to those kids.
Like, for days I kept thinking about it.
Until I finally decided to make an attempt to contact this teacher-from-the-drive-thru-who-might-not-know-I-was-serious-when-I-said-I-would-read-to-her-class. She had told me the name of her school and that she was a first-grade teacher, so - armed with that knowledge - I got online and found her school. Then I sent her an email via the school secretary, and expressed my sincere desire to read to her kids.
And I just got a response.
She really wants me to read to her first-graders.
So, yeah, someday the Chick-fil-A lady is going to go to school to read children's books.
And it will absolutely be my pleasure!

Karen

Thursday, August 15, 2019

For the Boys

Yesterday I washed the sheets and towels.
(Which I always do on Wednesdays.)
And I included the boys' sheets in the chore.
That is, I stripped their beds for them in order to wash their sheets, too.
(And I don't always do this.)
That is, my habit with Matthew is to remind him that it's Wednesday and I'm washing sheets - and if he wants his sheets washed, he should take them off his bed and bring them downstairs.
Except, yesterday Matthew was at work when I got home from work in the afternoon, so it was too late for me to remind him. At first I was tempted to reason, He knows it's Wednesday, and if he wanted his sheets washed he could have stripped his bed. But then I thought about the fact that I had left him a note in the morning asking him to order something for me with his Amazon Prime account. And when I got out of work, there was his text: the deed is done. And I reasoned further, Yeah. He knows it's Wednesday. He could have stripped his bed. But he did me a favor for me - which allowed me to not have to go shopping. I can do this favor for him.
So I laundered and folded his sheets and took them to his room.
But what about Josh?
Well, regarding Josh I simply reasoned, He's been living the bachelor life since January. Heaven only knows when the last time was these sheets got washed! And I immediately stripped his bed and loaded the washing machine. #OnceAMomAlwaysAMom

Karen

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

HIS Grace is Amazing

So, Josh and Mindy moved back in Monday night.
Just staying for a couple of weeks while they're "between apartments".
And yesterday morning when I went downstairs to do my work-out, I took one look at the floor and let go of a great big Really???-We're-back-at-it-again? sigh.
Yup. Right there in the middle of the floor was the evidence.

Mindy peed on the carpet.

In a huff I went back upstairs to gather the necessary cleaning supplies. 
And both times I passed the guilty subject (And she knew she was guilty. I could see it in her expression.) I gave her my best stink-eye. 
I was not happy with that animal, and I wanted her to know it. 
I even announced her transgression to Brian and Matthew, in the hopes that they would share in my indignation. (My level of maturity is staggering, isn't it?!)
When I came back up again to put the cleaning supplies away I let another stink-eye stare fly. 
And on the way back down, I did it one more time.
Except that time my angst was interrupted by a Voice speaking so loudly to my heart, I could almost hear it with my ears. The Voice said, Hmmmm. I bet you're thankful I don't treat you this way every time you fall short. 
And just like that, I knew God intended to use Mindy's mess for good. 
In the tender and gracious way HE always does, God reminded me that HE never holds my sin against me. HE forgives me for free, and HE refuses to bring it back up.
Even when I fail in the same way over and over, again.
So before I started my workout, I sat on the bench with my elbows on my knees and my head bowed low, and I thanked God for HIS grace - which is so amazing.

(And then I said, "OK. I think I've learned my lesson. Now, can You do something about this dog???") *wink*

Karen

Monday, August 12, 2019

Paying Attention to my Heart

I've been thinking about a video devotion to post for today.
Been praying that God would lead me to the thing HE wanted me to say.
But my spirit just isn't in it.
To be honest, I had a hard time this past weekend at work. And as I pondered this post I got a distinct sense that a better use of my time would be to spend it with the LORD - seeking His help in showing me how to forgive, and to let Him bring peace to my heart. So, that's what I'm going to do - instead of creating a video for this week.
One thing I've learned at this point in my life is this: It's always better to follow His plans than to try to force mine!

So, I'll see you back here in a day, or two.

Karen

Friday, August 09, 2019

It's My Pleasure

"I'm out of order at the window."
"Heard!"

"I need another bagel for this order."
"Heard!"

"We're out of biscuits. No more biscuits this morning."
"Heard!"

"The coffee is almost empty."
"Heard!"

If you were to spend time hanging around the expiditing area at Chick-fil-A, these are some of the brief conversations you would be likely to hear. When information is given, or a need is made known, there is always an audible and definitive response so that the speaker knows he or she has been Heard!
(Ahhh, if I could bottle this phenomenon and sell it, I'm sure every mother of a teenager would be lined up at my door to buy it. *wink*)
The thing is, clear and reliable communication is necessary to make a place like Chick-fil-A operate successfully. Without it, we'd be a mess. And our guests would not be well-served.
But as I was noticing these responses flying through the air this week, and when I thought about it a little more deeply, I realized deliberate communication is so much more than just a good business practice.
It's a life skill.
It's a relationship builder.
It's a way to honor people.
And I am not just saying that because I majored in Communication, and I feel the need to justify those years of study.
When we're working at Chick-fil-A to fulfill orders and bring our guests satisfaction, and when we express a need and then hear, "Heard!" we know a few things:
1) The message we wished to convey has been received.
That is key. And it's good. But it is only the beginning. Because in hearing, "Heard!" we also know this:
2) We are not alone.
3) We have support behind us.
4) What we've said matters to others.
5) Our needs are going to be met.
And it occured to me, if this practice helps make work a pleasure, how much more could thoughtful communication do for our relationships??!!

Karen

Thursday, August 08, 2019

LORD, Thank You

LORD, Thank You!!!

That's all I want to say today.
I don't want to craft clever words or do anything to in any way draw attention to myself.
God has been so kind and so faithful to me, and I just want to give HIM thanks.

Karen

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

He Got Me, Too. (And so did HE!)

I didn't plan for the titles of my posts between yesterday and today to work out as they did.
The fact of the matter is, most of the time things work out well in my life, it's because I didn't plan for it.
God is in the details, and HE works it out.

Anyway, yesterday I shared that Matthew "got me" by calling me out on something similar to which I have chided him all these years.
And today I'm sharing that Brian "got me" 26 years ago when we were just kids, saying "I do!" to a lifetime of love and adventure and crazy and challenges and we-had-no-idea-what-we-were-getting-into.
Whew! Twenty-six years, three children, a son-in-law, four homes, three major career changes (for Brian), brain surgery and depression (for me), and one faithful God - who has seen us through it all.
And HE has surely seen us.
Right from the start.
It's funny, now that I'm thinking about it I am not sure I have ever shared here the fact that Brian is the one the Lord used to lead me to saving faith. So, at the risk of being redundant I'll tell the story now.
(It's a great story. Well worth repeating!)
We were freshmen in college, and Brian was on my Hall Council committee. (He chose my committee because he thought I was cute!) And although I had a boyfriend, Brian caught my eye (Because he was cute, too!) and I began being interested in him.
Over time I became single and started spending more time with Brian.
One of the first things he asked me was if I went to church. And I told him I did. (Because I did. That is, when I was growing up I "did" go to church. Nevermind that I hadn't gone since arriving at college. That wasn't what he asked. *ahem*) Then he asked if I would like to go to church with him sometime, and I'm all, "Of course!" Thinking, I would go anywhere if it meant spending time with this very cute guy.
So we started going to church together.
In fact, we started going a lot of places together.
And with all that time side by side, we also started talking a lot about God and the Bible and what it meant to be a Christian. It was through those conversations that I began to understand, I was NOT a Christian.
That is, I grew up going to church. I knew the basic Bible stories. I knew the (surface) meaning of Christmas and Easter. I had gone to church camp almost every summer when I was a kid, I was in the youth choir and youth groups at church, and I did all the things typical church-kids do, so I assumed I was a Christian.
Somehow, though, I had missed the part about having a relationship with God through Jesus.
I mean, I knew Jesus died on the cross to forgive the sins of all mankind. I just didn't know I needed to respond to Him. In my mind, salvation was just a fact of history. Not a choice I needed to make.
But through Brian's testimony and witness God revealed the Truth to me. HE wooed my heart to His. And HE invited me into a relationship I could not refuse.
I often laugh at the irony of it.
This boy-crazy girl, chasing after another cute guy - who introduced her to the greatest love of her life.
So, yeah. He got me.
And so did HE!!!

Karen