Thursday, June 28, 2012

Better Than Fine, Always

"Stephanie, don't borrow trouble." I can see her, with her finger pointing near my nose, and her mouth pursed. My Mama still says this to me, and even on the phone I can see the look she gives me. "Just don't do it. In the end, you cannot change anything by worrying, and you will have wasted your time; everything will be fine."  I have to admit, that she has always been right, everything always has been fine, better than fine. Despite my proficiency in worrying, she is correct, it doesn't change anything, and it certainly wastes time.

However, I have to also admit, that I have not always listened to my mother. Today is certainly no different. I am fighting the worry, and trying to occupy myself with other things, like praying, and, oh I don't know... eating ice cream, and watching geeky movies. (Even Matlock isn't helping tonight.)  Once again, I'm faced with a decision, a choice to worry, or a choice to trust, trust God that all will be alright.

More than the actual outcome, I'm actually more concerned about my attitude, which although I try to tamp it down, it does tend to run around flaring it's red hair.  I like things my way.   I like giving my hand a little quick wave, and directing other people to do whatever I tell them. (Probably why I enjoy being called "boss" so much (ha!)) I know everyone says they want things the way that want them, but I really really mean it, and over time I've only gotten worse.  I tend to have an attitude if it does not, and even if it doesn't show, I can feel it, and it's not so great.

Right now, the real question isn't even what am I talking about.  It doesn't matter. The truth is every day I wake up. And, when I do, I have to determine if I am going to do what I can to change what I can, and whether or not I am going to accept those things that I cannot. (Side note, I just read that sentence four times, and I have no idea if it even makes sense.) 

Is there a prayer request somewhere in all this mess? Yes. Please pray that I can tuck away my bad attitude, and replace it with grace and understanding and compassion, and all other things that are needed while living. Please pray that I will take advantage of today. Please pray that I will overcome my attitude, that I will love all people, and that when I wake up, I will shine. 

1 Thessalonians 5:5 

Monday, June 25, 2012

More, Please

I have been looking forward to the day(s) when I was free of school work and able to enjoy ... EVERYTHING.  Now that those day(S)! have arrived, I have been thoroughly enjoying myself. 

Earlier this year I decided (because of Facebook) to volunteer myself in making 12ish projects for people in 2012.  My number is actually a little longer than 12, but the more the merrier I say.  I took care of one project a while ago, and then a second project a little while ago minus a few weeks.  This weekend I took on a third, and soon that'll be in the mail! (very excited and I hope they like it!)

Needless to say, the only things that are preventing my creating and living life fun would be work and sleeping.  I'm managing to get a lot squeezed in regardless.

Along came Pinterest.  It's the rave right now, especially among bloggers and Facebookers, teachers, mothers, fathers(?), friends... anyone with a computer really.  This week I decided to make a meal based on recipes all on Pinterest.  I used to be way more proactive about finding new recipes in my cookbooks (my mom, for those of you who don't know, is a cooker, so one thing I am NOT without is a cookbook- or 15.)  For a while, that wasn't happening.  Now, I'm back in full force. 

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture yesterday! I shocked myself, because I tend to take pictures of everything, even if it's just for me.  Regardless,  yesterday I made Easy, Garlic Chicken, Strawberry Cream Pie (much thanks to Just Puzting Around the Kitchen) and "Zesty" Italian Potatoes!

I have to confess however, I am not a fan of graham cracker crust, so I decided to try my hand at making my own without a recipe.  I'm not really a measure-er with anything except for baking.  Since I was on such a roll yesterday dashing this and sprinkling more of that, I just thought how hard could crust be??? Yeahhhh.  It was more like Strawberries and Cream! But, hey! turned out great just as is, and discovered the cream would be excellent (and was) just as a dip for fruit, or cookies! 

On to somethin' new!
Love to all!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Lunch Box and A Little Bit o' Potential

Sometimes, the greatest gift someone can give us, is his or her story.

Their story is priceless. However, it is their story to tell, and not mine.  Other stories though evolved as I watched and listened and saw all that happened over minutes and hours and days.  Somehow in that small fraction of time, hundreds of minutes, I watched a story.

Goofy? Yes. Absolutely, 100 percent, goofy.  Compassionate? 150 percent.  Even as a child, his heart ached, ached for others.  I was self-conscious and worrying about matching, and he was worried about the hurts of another child.  This girl, you see, was not like the others. She was messy. She was not attractive, and she did not smell good.  I can remember being a child and knowing when something was not clean, and not wanting to have anything to do with it, but he... he did not let her exterior dissuade him from becoming her friend.

And, he was her friend.  I do not know the length of time that he remained by her side. I do not know the lunch hours he spent talking with her. All I know is that he said, he could not leave her alone. He could not leave her to face the big lunch room, and the students who accompany that place, alone.  I can imagine they talked about school, and assignments and teachers, and hobbies that they enjoyed when they were free in the summer.

It did not take the other kids long to figure it out that they had a new target.  Object 1, well, she didn't look so nice, and since Object 2 hung around her... he must not look so nice either.

Kids are cruel.  His heart was broken daily as words like rocks were thrown at him, smashing him down and causing him to question his cause.  He could leave her.  There was no rule or requirement that forced him to be with her. He could and no one would blame him.  The trouble is, he couldn't. God placed that girl in his heart on purpose, and he wouldn't abandon her. And so he didn't. He stuck by her side.  As the other kids mocked and jeered, he kept tucked in his heart words of songs, and promises of a Savior who had designed a great purpose for his life. The whole time kids were laughing, he moved about shining.  Eventually, I'm sure he lost touch.  I cannot but help believe, though, that she never forgot her friend.

I needed the reminder.  The story was told almost nonchalantly, but as it was told, the attention of my heart was grasped.  My burdens have been selfish as of late.  Inconsiderate even. Totally inward.  But, a child, the child who still lives in the grown man called out to me, reminding me that time is short, and the world is hurting.  I am far removed from the elementary school cafeteria. (Shout out to all my York friends!) I am not so far removed though from the hurt I recall at being rejected, and disowned by "friends." I know the pain of not fitting in, and not knowing where I belong.

We live in a world full of titles, and clubs, and in-crowds and "out-crowds," and we hope that as we grow up, we learn to out grow those groups, but we don't.  We look to fit in and belong.  However, above all, there is ONE person to whom I must belong.... and He, He doesn't care what we look like, or what we bring to the table in our lunch boxes. He simply cares that we come. 

To the little boy, who has worked so hard at shining, keep going. Don't give up, and don't get discouraged, even now remember God has GREAT plans for you, and the beautiful girl you now have has your wife. We cannot always see around the corner, but we can always be certain that God is waiting there with a big sign that says, "You are NOT gonna believe what I have planned next!"

To those of you uncertain about your place, and finding where you belong, talk to me.  I can show you the way. There's always room at His table.

Much love to all,