Choosing to see the extraordinary of "ordinary"

Category Archives: Life’s Lessons

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Today when I got to work, my (female) co-workers and I started talking about how a doughnut sounded so yummy.  One of my friends said, “Hey, _________ (male co-worker) is not here yet.  We should text him and ask if he’s late because he’s at the doughnut shop. *Hint, hint*”  So she did.  And we had hopes of this male co-worker bringing doughnuts out of the goodness of his heart.

But he didn’t.

He came in with stories of being at the phone store and his phone crashing and such.  And no doughnuts came with him.  *sigh*

I just couldn’t stop thinking about those delectable, gooey treats though.  When you get your heart set on something, it’s hard to forget it.  So, I went around to everyone and asked if they wanted a doughnut because I was making a run to the doughnut shop.

And our male co-worker said, “Why didn’t you ask me to pick some up?  I was right there.”  Ummmmm………….my female co-workers and I looked at each other.  We did?

Apparently, hinting is not asking.  I do it all the time to My Man, and my female co-worker friend said she does it at home too.  I say, “Boy, this floor is getting dirty.  Someone should vacuum” or “Man, this movie sounds good.”

Finally, after a little slight pouting and telling My Man that he wasn’t doing his fair share of vacuuming or watching my movies led us to the conversation that I have to ASK in plain words and not HINT around.  I thought it was the same.

But, our male co-worker (who ended up paying for the doughnuts) confirmed this.  Men do NOT PICK UP ON HINTS.  So, when marriage gurus say communication is key, it’s not YOUR communication that you should focus on, it’s your spouse’s.  And let me TELL you in plain words, hinting just doesn’t cut it for the men.

Whew.  Glad I got that lesson out of the way.

And the doughnuts were delectable.

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Last Friday, I was gearing up for a three day weekend.  Life was normal.  Then we got a call from our automated church “prayer chain.”  A friend had died.

Now, I can’t say he was a close friend.  We didn’t get together and hang out.  It was more like we saw him at church and said hi.  But whatever the degree of relationship we had, he was a friend all the same.

And we worked with his kids a lot at church.  Yes, his kids.  He has four under the age of eight.  The death of this friend was one of those that makes you look at God and cry, “WHY?!”

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His name was Shane Little, and his life has been one of the biggest blessings to our church.  Three years ago, he first came across on our church prayer chain.  He was police officer, a member of the SWAT team.  He was young and strong.  And suddenly he came down with a rare disease.  Three years ago, we were praying for God to spare his life.  And God did.  But He took his sight.  At that time he had three children, one they had adopted just a week before his illness.

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Unfair?  Definitely.  Life…GOD is unfair.

And then last week, they were vacationing in Missouri with family and friends.  Shane went hiking with a friend, lost his footing and fell thirty – forty feet.

It has shaken our church…and his family.

Shaken but not destroyed.

God is still God.  And even though we look at God and say, “I don’t like what You’re doing.  I don’t understand.  I don’t approve.  I think You’re cruel,” we know there’s a purpose.

Is this blind, stupid faith in a Being that may or may not exist, or if He does exist, care about what happens to us?  Some may think so.  But looking around me at those who wept in the Sunday morning service, I don’t see a lot of stupid people.  I see doctors and engineers and hardworking men and women.  I see former alcoholics and porn addicts and drug addicts.  I see people, just normal people with problems with one difference…they have a CERTAIN Hope for the future.  It’s not a “I hope so” kind of hope.  It’s a “I have hope from knowing what will happen, therefore I need not despair.”  It’s a “I don’t have to worry about being ‘good enough’ or screwing up at the end…or the beginning.”  It’s a “I’m secure about heaven, not scared about hell” kind of hope.

Do we still sometimes shake our fist at God and say “You’re not fair!”?  Yes.  We’re “born again” Christians, not saints.  But, really, how fair is this?

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I don’t understand why.  I’m sure Shane’s wife and kids and family don’t understand why.  But I know that through this, Shane’s testimony for Christ has spread far and wide.  And if even one person comes to trust Christ as their One and Only true hope for the future, then Shane would say, “It was worth it.”

If you would like to know more about the One and Only True way to heaven (and I say that lovingly and not judgmentally) then go to John MacArthur’s explanation HERE.

STILL, MY SOUL BE STILL
(click HERE to listen)

Still my soul be still
And do not fear
Though winds of change may rage tomorrow
God is at your side
No longer dread
The fires of unexpected sorrow

Chorus:
God You are my God
And I will trust in You and not be shaken
Lord of peace renew
A steadfast spirit within me
To rest in You alone

Still my soul be still
Do not be moved
By lesser lights and fleeting shadows
Hold onto His ways
With shield of faith
Against temptations flaming arrows

Still my soul be still
Do not forsake
The Truth you learned in the beginning
Wait upon the Lord
And hope will rise As stars appear when day is dimming


“Life is good,” and “Live in the moment.”  These words of wisdom came to me late yesterday evening in the form of Dove chocolate wrappers.  Have you had them?  The Dove chocolates, I mean.  They are oh so creamy and gooey, especially the new ones with the caramel in the middle.  And then when you are licking the last bits of chocolate from the wrapper, the words of wisdom meet your eyes.  Just short little motivational phrases, but true words all the same.

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The “Life is good” words came to me after digging through my purse in the Walmart checkout line.  That leetle piece of chocolate sat, forgotten, beneath wallet and keys (scratch that, I lost my keys), well, wallet and receipts and phone and various purse paraphernalia.  It was a wonderful reminder, for, at that moment, I had been grocery shopping for four hours.

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The “Live in the moment” reminder came as I pulled into the driveway with a car full of four hours worth of groceries.  I happened to be scrounging around the car for my keys (see paragraph above about them being lost).  Instead of keys, I found another piece of Dove chocolate.  It had been in the car for several days and had really melted onto the wrapper – extra wrapper licking required.  (Besides I needed that little bit of extra strength to crawl through an open window and lug all those groceries inside.)

You know you are sometimes too forgetful for your own good when you perpetually leave a window unlocked because of all the times you forget your keys.  I would make an extra set to hide somewhere, but I always forget to.  Not so safe?  Maybe.  Handy?  Definitely.

Anyway, I really had a good day yesterday, but those little reminders towards the end just made me stop, think and enjoy the moment instead of getting frustrated.  See, chocolate NEEDS to be eaten.  It just does.

 


I wrote several months ago that I finally bit the bullet and took some cookies to our neighbors across the street so I could meet them.  It was one of the best bullets I’ve bit into.

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Well, one of the ladies across the street lives by herself.  She is so sweet and cute.  Shortly after our meeting, “Hello, Tammy!” calls she and she shyly waves her hand.  I trotted on over to chat a while with this new-found friend.

We talk about the weather and all the “normal, hi, how are you?” stuff.  Then she informed me that she was glad that we had met so that we could at least wave to each other.  She also wanted me to “tell your husband – what was his name? – that I’ll wave to him too now, but I don’t want him to think I’m flirting with him.  I’m just waving.  You make sure you tell him so he doesn’t think I’m flirting.”  Ooooh, the properness of older ladies.  I love them.

This past Friday, I came home from work and jogged up the front steps, arms loaded with the usual stuff that mysteriously accumulates in cars.  “Tammy!…Tammy!!”  I turn around.  Yes, there is our dear neighbor on her front porch.

There she stood with a plate full of chocolate cupcakes with chocolate Easter eggs on top.  “I made these for you for Easter.  I hope you don’t think the Easter eggs are silly.  I was worried you would think the Easter eggs were silly.”

No, I did NOT think the Easter eggs were silly.  I thought they were some of the sweetest things in the world, just like our neighbor across the street.


“I wanna go wi’ chEWooooou,” says one little girl every time I see her.  Poor thing.  My typical response is, “Not today, but soon.”  Yeah, well, soon rarely ever happens, and in the meantime, this little girl gets older and older, and doesn’t really know what the word “soon” means except that it is a long, long ways away.

Well, last night, after an evening at church and Awana, this little girl sees me and promptly states her wishes – “I wanna go wi’ chEWoooooou.”  (This was after her other normal declaration of “I wanna a tictac.”)

So, The Man and I took the little girl and her little sister (who only states her intentions with outstretched arms) with us.  And we made a stop by Mickie D’s, because what are uncles and aunts for?

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So, we fed them ice cream and played with them in the play place, and I never saw the little girl’s sister smile so much or “talk” so much.  And then we took them to our place and The Man (who is called by the little girl also as “Taimmee”) pulled up some old Mickey Mouse cartoons he had.

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Our evening wasn’t very long, but it was something, and it taught me a lesson…someday, these two little girls will be too old to squeeze into the back of a Mustang and to want to play in McDonald’s play place and to sit and watch Mickey Mouse cartoons (ok, The Man and I still watch Mickey Mouse cartoons on our own, so maybe they won’t grow out of that one).  Our life gets in the way and crazy busy, but for little girls, it’s simple – just let them come “wi’ chEWooooou” and stop saying “soon,” which really means “never.”