Friday, September 12, 2014

What If?

I am a privileged person.

I have the honor of leading a great bunch of writers who are responsible for filling the inside of our handout at church each Sunday.  We write about real people who have real issues in their lives.  We write about struggles we all have, and we write about our own struggles in the hope that what we write will touch someone who reads.  Our goal is to let our readers know they are not alone...they aren't the only ones who think the way they do, fear the way they fear, or even sin the way they sin.  We also want them to know they are loved by the One True God.  Our job is to bring them in, closer and closer, to the One who can heal, forgive, and grow them into what and who He wants them to be.

And we do it with all our hearts, pen to paper.

I haven't contributed much recently.  I had a fear of my own to struggle with, one that grips anyone with any sort of gift.  It was the fear of inadequacy.

This same fear overcame me when I first auditioned for the writing group.  The difference is that then, I could write.  The fear hadn't paralyzed my mind and creativity.  This time, it did.  I went for months without writing a word.  I was unhappy, and it seemed as though the WHAT IF...? had won.

But not quite.

I decided to sign up to write a story; something I hadn't done in a long time.  The team carried me for far too long.  It was time for me to start pulling my (considerable) weight.

So I did.

I signed up for the week of September 21st, in which we're discussing the models kids need.  My job was to write a story about how we influence our children through what we say and do.

As you all may know, my childhood was less than ideal.  I had plenty to draw from.  Not only that, but I am certainly less than what God intended a parent to be.  This story would come from my heart.

The WHAT IF...? reared its ugly head as I submitted the story to my team.  What would they think?  How would they react?  Was it good enough?

I'll let you judge for yourself before I let you in on what they said.  But it won't happen until the story is published in the handout.

Stay tuned...

Monday, September 08, 2014

Never on a Sunday

Never go grocery shopping at Wal-Mart on Sunday.

NEVER.

If we hadn't been at starvation levels in the pantry area, I would have skipped the whole thing.  Truly. However, the kids were complaining about having peanut butter (without bread...we were out) for dinner for the third night in a row, so I had to do something.

When I got to Wally World, I noticed that everything I tried to buy was out of stock.  Cookies?  Nope. Cereal?  Nuh uh.  Coffee creamer?  Surely you jest. I asked for help from a young lady in the area of the cookies.  She went back to the storeroom, and told me they were out of almost everything.  Apparently it had been a big weekend.

In addition, the meat prices were astronomical!  $4.99/lb for roast.  Chicken was better, but at $1.99/lb it was still too high.  I did get a ham - which we'll devour in one meal - for $11.99.  I'm thinking the vegetarians have the right idea.

Then came the trip to the checkout stand.  Every stand that was open had three to four baskets full waiting in line.  Of course, not every line was open, because that would be too sensible.  We don't want to risk good customer service, now do we?  The only open lines were for 20 items or less, and sadly, I did not fall into that category.



After waiting a sweet forever in the first line, I determined we were going nowhere fast.  The checker seemed to be stuck.  She couldn't move.  I gave up and went to another line.  This one had a lady with items mounded over the top of her basket, and you could tell from the ads she had in her hand that she was going to price match everything she bought.  And she was third in line.

I went to talk with two of the checkout managers who were chatting in front of the stands.  I asked if there was anything they could do to speed things up, but they were too busy chewing gum to help.  Finally, I found a line with only one other person ahead of me. The checker was very. carefully. checking. each. item.

I wanted to get out of there. I almost left my basket, frozen items and all, to go out to my car and beat my head in with a hammer. It would have been less painful.

At long last, it was my turn.  There was no friendly greeting, no "Did you find everything you needed?"  Boy howdy, I was poised for that question, but it never came.  Instead, my very. careful. checker. slid each item through with excruciating slowness, then announced my total.  There was no "thank you"...no smile.  I usually ask for someone to help me load the car, but I was too irritated to deal with anyone else.  I took the cart out to the car, and started loading.

Two of the bags were split open at the bottom, spilling the contents all over the car.

Honestly, I felt as if Wal-Mart had it out for me.

I saw a sign attached to the checkout stand with a number to call in case you were not satisfied with your visit, so I took advantage of it.  The poor lady that answered the phone got an earful, I'm afraid.

I did apologize to her as I complained, and she apologized for the store.

But from now on, any Sunday shopping done will be at Price Chopper.  Or HyVee.  Or Target.  Or anywhere but Wal-Mart!

And never on a Sunday.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sometimes You Just Have to Dance

How many of you remember In A Gadda Da Vida?

I just listened to it again today.  Of course, it was the long version, all 17:03 minutes of it.  At full volume.  In my office.

And I danced.

I played the air guitar, the air organ, and the air drums.  If I do say so myself, I was quite impressive in the act.

Of course, no one was here at the time.  Everyone had gone home for the day except me and the cleaning lady, and she was on another floor at the time.

Sometimes you just need to rock out...to let it all go, no matter where you are or what you're supposed to be doing at the time.  A good dose of air guitar is good for the soul.

Sometimes, sometimes you just need to dance.

Write Now...

You know, writing a blog post is pressure-filled.

I have, I feel, a certain expectation to uphold...a mark to hit.  Whenever I write, I seem to write for the expectation instead of writing for the sheer pleasure of writing.  I become wordless under the weight of the responsibility.

Do you have that problem?

I have an upcoming story to write that will be put into the handout on Sunday morning.  I forced myself to sign up for it, knowing the fear I have of failure.  I had hoped that if I was forced to do it, the right story would develop and verbose verbiage would veritably fly from my fingers to the page.

But right now?  I got nuthin'.

The proverbial well is dry as a bone.

Any suggestion would be welcome...even coveted!  How do I get moving again???

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's Hot in This Spot

It's hot.

Temperatures today are supposed to be in the high 90's, with comfort level in the low 100's.

So today, naturally, our brand-new heating and cooling system here at work set off the fire alarm.  The alarm came from a duct detector that is malfunctioning, so it shut down the whole air conditioning system.  We can't get the technicians out here for at least another hour, and when they do get here there will be problems. The alarm company says it's the heating and cooling company's fault.  The heating and cooling company says it's the alarm company's fault.

It would seem we're caught in the middle of two providers who are at odds with each other.

In the meantime, the temperature in my office is 75.7 and climbing.

Even though we are a Christian-based non-profit, it would seem we're going through our own little version of hell right now. The boss has said once it hits 80 we may just send everyone home.

Make no mistake...I AM ALL FOR IT.

Ice may be at a premium for the next few hours.

Film at 11.