Shoes

I was 17 when I met Emma and Crystal.  I was in Oklahoma for my first year of college.  Emma and Crystal worked at the same place as me.  They were in high school.  We became fast friends.

We lived close to the Arkansas line.  I didn’t know the area.  But the girls went over to Arkansas to go shopping for prom.  I guess there was a better mall not far away.  They were so excited to go prom shopping!  They came back upset.  The shoe store refused to sell them shoes.

That was the moment that this girl from Michigan realized that racism wasn’t quite as removed in the south as the history books in school had led me to believe.  I offered to go shopping with the girls back to that shoe store.  I was ready for a fight.  But, they didn’t want to go back.

When I watch evil in the world, I think of the great leaders who led with strength and love.  In the news now is the senseless death of a man.  The evil in the man who did it and the lack of courage in those standing around who watched are center stage.  Also in the news is the rage of the protestors attacking the innocent who wear the same uniform as the man in the video on my screen.  Also in the news is the fear and defensive response of the innocent who wear the same uniform as the non-innocent.  And it will go back and forth and back forth; the anger, the violence, and hurt, until someone takes a step back to think intentionally, instead of just reacting.

I watch and I think “evil cannot drive out evil, only love does that”.  Yes, the man who committed the act should be held accountable, as well as those who stood by and watched.  But attacking other innocent people is not the answer.

I think back to when I was in Oklahoma.  I was ready to fight.  Emma and Crystal did not want to fight.  I was outraged that the history stories I read about was these sweet girls’ reality.  I was reacting.  Emma and Crystal had lived this scene before. They were intentionally thinking.  It was one salesperson in a store; not the whole mall, and not every person even working in the store they were at.  They filed a complaint with the store.  They told their friends not to shop there.  And they gave their business to a different shop with higher standards of their personnel.

My way would have made me feel better.  It would have made me feel like I did something to fight this inequity.  But it wouldn’t have changed anything.  It would have gotten me kicked out of a store.  It wouldn’t have helped my friends.

My friends were smart.  They got results.  I don’t know how far they went with their complaint because the college year ended and I went back home.  But, I know when I left that my friends were being thoughtful in their fight to change their world for the better.

I am not speaking against the protests.  I am speaking against the violence.  There are ways to make the world a better place.  There are things all of us can do.  And it starts with thinking with logic, determination, and from love.  We all have that within us.

Tonight I am thankful for a great example of how to change the world, years ago, by two teenage, high school girls.  I don’t remember their last names.  And I don’t know where they are now.  But I pray whatever they are doing, it is something from their hearts, tapered by their thoughtful minds.  That is how they could be changing the world. I know this because that is how they changed my world.

My Fault

In the past week or so, I’ve allowed situations to steal my joy.  I’m behind on work right now because I’ve allowed myself to get so stressed out that I couldn’t concentrate.  I started blaming myself.  This situation wouldn’t even be in existence if I hadn’t . . .

You know, the guilt game.  Think of it.  The devil knows that God has great things planned for his.  If he can get us to be consumed by our own faults, he just hands us a detour sign; and we willingly put the sign over the road God had planned for us.  We take a turn, and we blame ourselves.

I’m not being foolish.  Am I to blame a bit for the situation.  Yes.  My intentions were good.  But, I’m a bit to blame.  I know that I sure feel like things are my fault.  I take responsibility here.  But the awesome thing about God is that he never turns away because we make a mistake.  He forgives us, and he cleans up the mess we made.  But we have to move out of the way.

When my kiddos were little that one of them spilled a whole container of food on the floor.  They sat there and cried.  Of course I forgave them.  I was ready to clean up the food.  But I needed them to move out of the mess so I could clean it.  But the kiddo sat in the mess and cried, feeling bad.  The kiddo wasn’t ready to accept my forgiveness or to forgive themselves.  So they sat there, surrounded by a mess; while I stood there watching, waiting for them to be ready to move on and let me help.

That is how God looks at us.  I’ve been sitting in my own mess.  I’ve been planning and hoping on how I could clean it up; while I sit right in the middle of it, stressed, anxious, and upset about the mess I’m sitting in.  A couple days ago, I started working on standing up out of the mess.  It was time to move.  Staying in the mess was hurting me.

Today looks like a good way that God might have to help clean up my mess.  I don’t know for sure yet.  But I do know for sure that I am feeling a lot lighter today than I was a week ago.  Or even a few days ago.

Tonight I am thankful that we never have to stay in the mistakes we’ve made.  God has a way to make all the messes turn around and be a blessing.  That’s what he does.  He is love.  That is what love does; it heals.

Motivation

Over the weekend I downloaded a “couch to 5k” app.  I haven’t started yet.  Myself, a former runner, have fought the “couch to 5k” idea for some time.  But, I recognized that I was not getting anywhere to my goal of running a 5k with my son this year.

Running used to be so easy.  I had my knee injury.  I worked really hard to run again.  Then I didn’t keep it up.  Something that once was so easy, is now hard.  And I couldn’t find my motivation.  Try-fail.  Try-fail.  Try-fail.  This is life.  The important thing is that a person does not give up!

So now I took the first step.  There is a plan.  Bam, I was so proud to even admit that I needed help!  Yay!  Go Me!

Then this morning, I had my alarm set for 5:30.  I hit snooze for a bit.  I was tired!  I came out to my desk and checked email.  I saw something out the window out of the corner of my eye!!  Ah!  Someone was out there!!  My son got up with my alarm at 5:30 and went outside running!!!  Eh.  He’s showing me up!

Tonight I am thankful for renewed motivation to run again!  But seriously, not 5:30am thru wet grass.  If I want to hit this goal, I’ve got to make a plan that will work for me!  I learned some time ago that I am not first-thing-in-the-morning runner!  But I will use my son running in the morning as motivation for sure!

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Thankful

This wasn’t the typical Memorial Day.  I usually “work” on Memorial Day at the parade, or last year having a real estate booth and giving out balloons.  After the parade we have gone out for ice cream, or a lunch with the family.

We still wanted today to have some fun.  So we had an ice cream bar!  Yum!  Afterwards, we surprised the kids with Rocket Copters that we had picked up from Lowe’s a couple weeks ago.  They light up (red, white, and blue) and make a firework kind-of noise when you sling shot them in to the air!  Those were fun!

Tonight I am thankful first for all those who gave their lives so we can be free.  Memorial Day is not just for parades and food.  I do know this.  I am also thankful for fun with the family today.  We remember those lives lost and celebrate the freedom that they fought for!

 

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Beautiful

What a beautiful day!  I hope you all got to go out and enjoy it!  The warmth, the sun, ahhh, it was beautiful!

We got some work done today over here!  The biggest and most exciting thing happened indoors.  I called the kiddos to the laundry and we went thru everything!  There are seven bags to go to Goodwill!  Hooray!

After all the work was done, we made a bonfire and had smores!  I laid on the trampoline and just relaxed, staring up at the stars.  🙂

Tonight I am thankful for a beautiful and productive day, ending with some family togetherness around the fire 🙂  Just beautiful!

 

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FUN Fair Food!

I’ll admit, our grocery budget has been out of whack lately!  Last weekend I went on a big grocery shopping.  I had looked at the sale ad.  I had my coupons – digitally to avoid contact of course.  And we saved some money.  But we are still spending more than typical.  Items being out of stock, kids being home all day, etc., yeah, we’ve had to change the budget for sure!

We decided a few days ago that we would make a last minute addition to this week’s grocery budget!!  The fair was having drive-thru fair food!!  YUM!!

We went around 4 o’clock.  It was a good time, there weren’t as many cars in line as I saw on social media earlier in the day!  We went thru the “cash only” line (“Cash is king!”).  And that line was moving WAY faster than the other line!  There were Fiske Fries, fresh squeezed lemonade, elephant ears, funnel cakes, candy apples, corn dogs, cotton candy, and more, Oh My!

Tonight I am thankful for a budget with wiggle room to go enjoy yummy fair food for dinner tonight!  Everyone has full tummies . . maybe a little too full!  But it was soo good!!

Braces

Today I made four orthodontist appointments for my four kiddos and their four sets of braces!  Hooray!

One child was supposed to get his braces off about two months ago.  He’s been a trooper hanging around with the metal in his mouth.

One child has been being poked by a piece of metal in her mouth.

The other two children are just irritated with cleaning the braces.  I don’t blame them.

I am looking forward to hearing what braces can come off!  Maybe all four of them will have had their teeth move wonderfully with all this extra sleeping in they’ve been doing!  Their mouths have been relaxed from extra sleep . . it could happen, right?  🙂

Tonight I am thankful (and so are my kiddos) that the orthodontist is opening back up!  Hooray!!