Sunday, April 24, 2011

No Fear

My son recently had his fourth loose tooth and though for weeks it was barely hanging in, he wouldn't let me pull it.  "You're squeezing and it hurts," he said with tears in his eyes one of the many unsuccessful times that I tried.  "Well, it's got to come out so you're going to have to trust me and know that you have nothing to fear," was close to what I said in response. His mouth remained closed.  "Ashton, you wont know that there's nothing to be afraid of until after you've done what it is you're afraid to do," I often tried to instruct him.  It was too late.  He had already experienced the pain of my clumsy and inexperienced methods of extraction.  He didn't want to let me try again.  Over the course of the last week and a half, he wouldn't budge or even entertain the idea of letting me make a new attempt.  Finally, last night we had a breakthrough - and he cautiously abandoned his fear.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Road Construction Ahead - Detour!

We live in a world that demands a plan - a plan for today, a plan for tomorrow, a plan for dinner, a plan for the summer, a plan for even leaving the house, and most definitely a plan for our future.   What's with all the planning anyway, and what happens to us when our plans are met by a sign like the one off to the right? Don't we usually grumble and complain? Or, maybe that's just me.  I remember when we moved into the neighborhood where we currently live.  Almost within the week of our move, a lengthy project in road construction commenced and unless I wanted to sit in long lines of traffic, I was forced to take a detour when I needed to get home after being out somewhere.  It was hot, I was tired, I often had cold groceries, and I daily fought the urge to throw eggs at the "detour" signs that made my straight path home crooked.  What was once a perfect "L" shaped turn onto our street became a combination of "S" shaped curves and "Z" shaped zigs and zags.  "I cannot wait until they finish this stupid construction," I often muttered.  They finished it.  I don't have to take those detours now, but do you know how much easier and more peaceful I could have lived my life for those few months had I just thanked God for the alternate route?

Friday, April 8, 2011

In Anothers' Eyes

Have you ever had someone compliment a feature about you that you, yourself, have never noticed?  I had a friend in college who always had a fascination with my nose.  "But, it's such a neat nose," he would often say.  He actually had moments where he looked mesmerized as he studied it up close.  "You're crazy and you're freakin me out," was usually my response.  "Why, I have the most plain nose I've ever seen," I would tell him as I examined it for myself closely in the mirror.  "Huh, I just don't see it," I would say as I shrugged it off.  To this day, I still can't quite figure out what it is that he found so "neat" about my nose, but I know that no self-study of my own reveals what was seen in his eyes.  It's just an average nose.  Right?  Well, recently in church a man spoke words to me during a conversation that left me even more baffled.  "You're just on fire for the Lord!" he said in excitement with genuine love and warmth in his eyes.  In my head I thought "who me?" as I tempted to look over my shoulder for a glimpse of the person to whom he really intended those words.  Sure, I knew I had fallen deeply in love with the Lord, but "on fire" was, in my own mind, an aspiration towards which I was still diligently working.  But....isn't it interesting that in anothers' eyes, I was already there?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Do Good

I remember when we moved to California and I started looking for work. Not too long after we arrived I started working with a local college as one of the Admissions Counselors.  I hated it.  Even more than the job itself, I hated the idea of quitting, but it truly wasn't my area of skill or interest, so I did.  The search continued.  After what felt like months later, I was called in for an interview for a position I really didn't feel qualified for, but what the heck? I decided to go anyway.  I was hired before the interview ever ended, and with a higher salary than I'd ever had before.  Wow!  I couldn't wait to start training for my new positions as Project Manager.  Like bubbles floating through the air, my thoughts went something like this - I would be doing something with the nine skilled nursing facilities throughout the state of California and something with some thingy majig computer software something program, and oh - maybe something about managing the entire company's time and labor system that I had never before used...."oh, what was it they said in that interview?" I wondered to myself the weekend before my official start date.  I couldn't remember.  I just knew I had no idea what I was about to start doing.  As it turned out, it was the most difficult job I had ever undertaken, but also the most rewarding, both financially and physically - I even lost 30 pounds!