Monday, August 19, 2019


Brian grumbled at his computer Saturday night and I asked what was wrong.
"Oh, apparently I typed too fast for this thing to keep up and it can't respond to my request."
I shook my head and said, "I can relate. Sometimes stuff comes too quickly for me to respond well, too."
"Yeah," he said, "but you aren't a machine."
Oooooo! The truth in that statement.
I am not a machine.
Though Brian was really just expressing his frustration with his computer, I caught the message from my loving Father. You aren't a machine, dear. Take a break.
And so I shall.
I won't be blogging this week. Maybe longer. We'll see.
I'm going to rest, and wait for God to lead.

May you find your rest in HIM, too!


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!


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


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*


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.


Friday, August 09, 2019

It's My Pleasure

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

"I need another bagel for this order."

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

"The coffee is almost empty."

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??!!


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.


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!!!


Tuesday, August 06, 2019

He Got Me

I remember when my children were babies and we had frequent back-and-forth moments when they cried to be picked up, then - after what felt like mere seconds in my arms - they wiggled and cried because they wanted to be put back down.
Up and down.
Up and down.
Finally, with a sense of exasperation, I would say, "Child! Do you want to be up or down???"

Then they turned into toddlers who would grunt and point at objects which I would pick up and put into their pudgy little hands. In the blink of an eye that toddler would throw the desired object onto the floor, and grunt and point. So I'd retrieve it again and give it back, only to watch it be thrown down again.
And, surely, the grunts would follow.
Eventually I got tired of the game and I would ask, "Alright. Do you want it, or not?"

When they became small children with more autonomy I was cut out of the game, but the yo-yo nature of things continued. However, this time the offense was the slamming door (If it got closed at all.) and the stream of snow or leaves or cut grass or mud - depending on the season.
You know what I'm talking about, right?
The contsant running in and out of the house by children who can't decide which location is more fun, who keep remembering new things they "NEED" to have with them, or who simply can't sit still in one spot for more than five minutes.
And I (After the hundredth time the door got slammed and the floor got more dirty.) moaned loudly, "Either you're in, or you're out. Make a decision!"

Then those children became teenagers and a different door was constantly opening and closing.
The refrigerator door. (And this was particularly true with the boys.)
I cannot count the times I would witness them opening the refrigerator door, looking inside for several moments, then closing the door with a sigh and walking away. But it almost never failed that they would return to the kitchen less than 15 minutes later, and repeat the process.
Open refrigerator. Look inside. For a while. Sigh. Close refrigerator. Walk away.
Repeat, ad nauseam.
Until I finally put my foot down and declared, "New options are not going to magically appear in the refrigerator. Are you going to eat what's in there, or not???"

So, why am I thinking about these moments?
Well, because yesterday I was doing my workout downstairs while Matthew was in the kitchen.
For one of my exercises I ran up the stairs, skipping every other step.
Ten times.
Which means while Matthew was eating breakfast he heard clomp, clomp, clomp, clomp, clomp, clomp. Then he saw me appear in the doorway, turn around, and go back down.
And on rep number seven he met me at the top of the steps and asked, "Are you staying up or down?"
On my way back down the stairs I said, "I'll be up three more times!"
And I thought, Well played, son. You got me!


Monday, August 05, 2019

Friday, August 02, 2019

It's My Pleasure

So Wednesday morning I was working in the drive-thru when I looked on the screen for the next order and saw the name, "Mark". Then Mark pulled up to the window and I noticed an "A&W" logo on his shirt. And I paused.
And I looked more intently at his face.
And I searched the recesses of my memory.
And I blurted out, "Mark Mulder???!!!"
At which point he looked at me in shock (Or was it panic? I'm not sure.) and said, "Yes. Who are you?"
I replied, "Karen Hoss, er, I used to be Karen Sheaffer. And you were my very first boss, 31 years ago at A&W in Grand Ledge!"
"Whoa! What have you been doing since then?" he asked. And I gave the brief synopsis: went to college, got married, raised three kids, and now here I am - back in the drive-thru. He told me briefly about his family, we exchanged pleasantries, I gave Mark his order, and that was that.
As the day progressed I reflected back on that fun trip down memory lane several times. And more than once I pondered, How odd is it that 31 years after my first-ever job I am back doing the same thing? Forty-seven years old, working in the drive-thru. Hmmmm. What am I doing here???
But just about each time that what-am-I-doing-here thought entered my mind either someone ordered a meal for $11.11, or some cute kid caught my eye and we started playing peek-a-boo, or a distraught adult let me know they were having a rough day and I tried to offer encouragement, or God in some other way reminded me that He called me to work at Chick-fil-A for such a time as this.
Truly, I love my job.
I love the interactions I have with all the different people.
I am delighted by opportunities to speak life, and share smiles.
While taking orders, serving drinks, fetching dipping sauces, and passing out food may not be glamorous or exciting or prestigious or anything most adults would aspire to do, I love what doing those things allows me to do:
To love people.
To offer encouragement to a needy soul.
Whatever it is the Lord calls me to do and say.

My name is Karen Hossink. I am 47-years old. I work at Chick-fil-A - in the drive-thru, at the front counter, in the dining room - doing work a teenager can do.
My goal is not to become a manager and take over the place.
I simply want to be the best employee I can be, providing the best service I can give, all for God's glory.
It's my pleasure!!!