Friday, January 10, 2014

Kickball & Hobby Lobby


I had big (kinda) goals for this week. 
If you read my last blog you know I was planning, setting a positive outlook, going into the new year counting blessings (in the voice of Gru from Despicable Me... Goodnight Sleep tight, blah blah blah... blah blah...)
So this week didn't exactly go like that. Figures.
Ever been dead legged? Got the wind knocked out of you?

I have a vivid memory in elementary school of playing kickball on the big asphalt circle. A few things come to mind... One, although I couldn't run (previously mentioned on blog!) I could however kick that kick ball- because let's be honest if you can just make contact with the huge round empty ball you can kick it pretty far, making every non-athletic 10 year old feel like a rockstar. That's the beauty of it.  My other memory of kickball was my friend Candace's perm. She had beatiful blonde ombr√© hair -before that was even a thing, and the most magnificent perm I'd ever seen. (It was the 90s people!)  It was a Monday and she'd had the perm done over the weekend. She was explaining how they did it, how long it took & how it smelled while all us girls stood awestruck. I wanted one. I can now firmly blame my curly hair on her because a couple years later I got that long awaited perm.  However my long brown hair ended up looking like Kenny G and NEVER went to straight again. Totally serious. 
So there we were standing around gazing at her golden locks when suddenly I was jolted back to the reality of the kickball game with one flying ball straight to the gut. It knocked the air completely out of me.  

That's kinda how I felt this week - I was gazing into the new year and more like a few flying balls all in a row knocked the air out of me. Life got messy... ugly.  It knocked the thankfulness right out of me.  

Sunday I prepped meals & lunches.  Monday I wrote thankyou notes & filled up my fancy new little planner.  I started my new devotional all dreamy eyed and full of faith.  I started a couple new party jobs and scheduled when I'd work out 5 days this week and {fantasized} how I wouldn't eat sugar.  None (I repeat, none) of that worked out so well... Plans got messed up, goals got interrupted.  Life around me snapped, things got ugly. Things pounded down on my soul just like the erratic weather on our house progress!  Ryder (and half his class) got strep.  I didnt get to do what I wanted (whah!)  And I chose anger instead of gratitude. 

And then I went to hobby lobby.
I've mentioned before how I frequent HL. In fact it's gotten so bad that autocorrect on my phone changes JK (as in just kidding) to HL for Hobby Lobby.  For Real.  I know hobby lobby is a good company with good morals (again blah blah blah...) but their workers couldn't give a rip and are unhappy, unhelpful & rude pretty much all the time.  Except the fabric ladies. After 5 years of going to the same store I've finally woed them into at least a pleasant exchange of words each visit. I'm certain they know I really can't sew and I'm mainly bothering them for fabric I'm gonna glue, wrap or drape on something. Nonetheless they are sweet to me now. So I went in and saw Lois a sweet gray haired lady in her 70s. She's got just enough southern sap to deal with most people but just enough edge to scare off unwanted customers and keep me in the know of how to work the Hobby Lobby system.  So I smile and ask how her Christmas was. Her demeanor shifted. Not so good she said. She went on to tell me how her 50 year old son had a third heart attack and had been in a comma for 3 weeks, with little brain activity, expected not to ever come out of it.  {gulp}
She told me how she'd spent 2 weeks by his bedside in Houston and there she was... back cutting my super important fabric.  I was jolted back to the days I couldn't be by that hospital bedside and how my mind was constantly racing and consumed elsewhere. 
I asked her what his name was and told her I would pray for him. That I was SO sorry. (The BEST thing you can say to prevent saying something stupid in this situation!!!) and I told her to hold on to hope.  She said she knew all she could do was pray.  And then she said she knew I understood grief & loss & she couldn't imagine & began to tear up...

There I was. THAT was my New Years goal. To just be. When God wanted me to be- just be. What was important in the course of eternity?  Not any of my other futile plans (or changes there of) this week.  No, those didn't matter.  But that sweet little lady cutting my insignificant fabric on this mundane morning needed to hear little ol' me say that there is hope & God is good. 

Because there is.  And He is.

To bring a sacrifice of thanksgiving means to sacrifice our understanding of what is beneficial and thank God for everything because HE is benevolent.  -Ann Voskamp



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