Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Summer of Great Beginnings!

This summer I made a to-do list.  It had lots of epic things on it.  Here are the things that I accomplished this summer:
  • Spend quality time with my mother and sisters (we had a girls weekend)
  • Get through the summer job with good humor and cheer
  • Learn to shoot a gun (my dear friends, Nonnie, took me out in the woods and taught me)
  • Turn twenty-one
  • Try sake
  • Try a daquiri
  • Eat at the two-story restaurant about half an hour from my home
  • Get contacts
  • Read "Come Be My Light" (I'm only halfway done with this)
  • Write a super-hero story(Also halfway done)
  • Assemble a business wardrobe
  • Write my resume
  • Start a company (I am now an independent Design Consultant for Willow House -
  • Renew my total Consecration to Jesus through Mary(renewal was on August 15th!)
  • Get paid an hourly wage to sing(I was the paid entertainment for two night at the nursing home)
  • See Inception(twice)
  •  Figure out the kind of person I want to be and then become that kind of person(it's a work in progress)
Needless to say, this has been quite an eventful summer.  What are some of the thing you checked off of your list this summer?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Moments of Grace

           Some days are like perfect, romantic, little gifts.  They are overwhelmingly beautiful and they surround you with hope and joy.  Today a experienced such a moment with my mother.  The two of us had been running errands and getting ready for upcoming events.  We were both in my car, with the rain storming outside and the lightning flashing.  There as we made our way home amidst the harsh weather conditions, I found myself sharing a story about a special time, when God reached out to me in a special way through song.

           It was a night when I was at one of my lowest points.  Many times in my life I have done things that I am not proud of and this had been one such time.  I couldn't sleep and I didn't want to.  I felt broken beyond any hope of mending.  I looked into my heart and all I could see was wretchedness.  I was thoroughly disgusted with myself.  It was one of the darkest moments of my life.  I had fallen down and was so very close to giving up, but there was something holding me back.  A song held me back.

           A few years before I had been on a retreat where I had received a CD called "Wake Up Dead People" by Sean Forrest.  On that CD there was a song that I had all but forgotten.  Still there was a part of that song that played in my head over and over again.  The words were, "I saw Jesus holding your head as you fell down, whispering words of love to you..."

           Over and over, I could hear the words in my head.  I couldn't bear to hear them.  Don't love me!  I have betrayed you so greatly!  But the words played over and over again in my head.  I felt so low that it was painful to hear of His love.  But my Lord was persistent and soon the song was all I could think of.  After a while, I drifted off to sleep.

          That next morning, I immediately listened to the song to get it out of my head. These were the words:

           "So, you've fallen in sin. You crawl through your skin with guilt and shame.  How could anyone love you, you wretched one?  You think you're alone, but there's something you should know.  I saw Jesus holding your head as you fell down, whispering words of love to you.  I saw Jesus holding you head as you fell down, whispering words of love to you.  You may have fallen, but you can't fall from his arms and his love.
            "So, you've fallen in sin and you can't find a friend who'll stand up for you.  How could anyone love you, you wretched one?  You think you're alone, but there's something you should know.  I saw Jesus holding your head as you fell down, whispering words of love to you.  I saw Jesus holding you head as you fell down, whispering words of love to you.  You may have fallen, but you can't fall from his arms and his love.
           "I will not judge you my friend. I may fall down there again myself one day.  I will not judge you my friend.  'Cause you may have fallen, but you must get up.  Confess your sins, let the Lord pick you up.  You may have fallen, but you must get up, 'cause you've fallen in sin, but you can't fall from His arms and His love."

           Today as my mom and I were in the car, this song came on my CD player and I was able to share the history of this song with my mom as we listened to it.  It was a very special moment.  I cannot ever express what it means to know that I have such a mother with whom I can share the specific details of this story and feel completely safe and loved.  This is, for me, a moment of Divine Grace.  Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Up In Arms

Today at work, someone was fired.   He had it coming.  All summer he had been slipping out back and taking a smoke break on the clock.  Smoking on the clock is not allowed and he knows that.  He was frequently reminded of it, by notices on the employee boards, in meetings, etc.  He broke the rule so frequently that I secretly nicknamed him "Smokey".

I didn't really like Smokey very much.  He wasn't a bad guy, just an immature guy.  He went out of his way to prove how good he was at getting wasted, at saying stupid things, and making fun of his sister.  I didn't dislike him, though.  He was just there.  Someone with whom I worked.  Someone who was harmless.  He was only a year younger than me, but, in many ways, he was still just a kid.

Lots of coworkers were really put out with his behavior at work.  They were tired of being left to finish his work.  I was too.  We were all hoping that the managers would crack down on him and the two other guys at work who are almost always slackers.  So, today, when Smokey was fired, I wasn't surprised, or even upset.

What did surprise me is that I wasn't glad either.  You see, Smokey's sister works with us and a lot of his friends.  When he was fired, they were all clearly distressed.  His sister started crying.  They were angry with the managers.  And in a way, I understood why. 

After all, the managers at my work are extremely inconsistent.  They only crack down on someone once in a blue moon.  They pick favorites.  They let some get away with rule-breaking and are completely intolerant with others.  They clock out early, while there is still work to be done, then criticize employees who stay late to finish for "riding the clock".   They ignore people's requests off, mess up the menus, and periodically disappear right during the middle of service, when they're supposed to be seating dining guests.  In short, the manager's frequently fail to do their jobs.

How can someone support the decisions of managers that are hypocritical and inconsistent in regards to ensuring the staff members do their assigned work?

I want the managers to crack down on the slackers.  I want them to step up to the plate and do their job as managers.  I want the work environment to improve where I work.  Not only for myself, but also for those of my coworkers who are not likely to move on to a new work place until the distant future.   I'm still sorry, though, that this process will involve people losing their jobs.  I'm sorry that family members and friends will suffer for such changes.  I'm sorry too that Smokey didn't wise up and that other coworkers are not likely to in the future.

Smokey liked his job.  He complained a great deal, especially because he was at work so often.  He worked two different jobs, so he was able to pick up a great many hours.  He needed the job.  He lost it.  He was fired in front of his friends and his family.  There are no two ways about it, whether he deserved it or not, that's rough.

So I learned a lesson today.  Things are never as simple as they seem.  If people are involved, it's rarely clean cut or damage free.  So, from now on, I'm going to consider problems much more carefully.  Also, I'm going to start praying regularly for all those without jobs and also remember to thank God that I have a job.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

This One's For the Girls

I hate shopping.  I always have.  I have been blessed with one of those figures that just isn't in style.  Ever.  That is not to say that finding nice, well-fitting clothes is impossible, but it's extremely difficult and discouraging.

I have many friends, both male and female, who love to shop.  Others, like me, find it to be a very inconvenient task.  Some days, I can spend more than five hours going from store to store, searching through countless racks of clothing, and only have one shirt to show for it.  That can be so frustrating and is nearly always accompanied by feelings of self-doubt, insecurities, and an overwhelming desire to crawl under a rock and hide. 

On top of that, I've occasionally had some unpleasant run-ins with extremely insulting sales persons.  Once I was at a small boutique in town, where the floor sales assistant curtly informed me that, "We don't carry clothes in your size."   Needless to say, that left me feeling pretty low.

So, what's the point of all this?  I have fount a delightful solution to women of all shapes and sizes!  Whether you love or hate shopping this site is the site for you.  The site I'm talking about is  On this website, you set up a free account, type in your measurements, and then have full access to a personal shop filled exclusively with clothes that are suited to your shape and exact size. 

Already I have ordered three pieces from this site and with each one I have received numerous compliments on the outfits.  Each one was a perfect fit.  AND as an added bonus MyShape not only has multiple promotional sales, it also has a special section for clothes which are already on sale.  Basically this site is great and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a fast, convenient, and relatively inexpensive way to purchase clothing.  So, there you go.  Enjoy!

P.S. With MyShape, I'm in danger of liking shopping.