NATIONAL AWKWARD MOMENTS DAY

TL 3-18 NATIONAL AWKWARD MOMENTS DAY

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

I’ve lived on this planet for nearly five and a half decades…  and believe me when I say I’ve had my share of AWKWARD moments!  With every one of them, I’ve learned to shake it off and move on as I laugh (and pee a little…)  sorry – TMI.

There’s a reason that Taylor Swift’s song, Shake It Off resonates with the masses.  We’re all too human and that means we are not perfect, which means that at times we are all awkward and experience awkward moments.  The good news is – our awkward moments in life are not life-altering.  We know that God works ALL things for our good – and by all, I mean – ya know… ALL! 

That’s why we must not give up – on anything!  We have to remember that every day will not be filled with roses and violin music!  If it was, we’d have precious little to share in the way of life experience – let alone, things to look back on and have a hearty laugh!  Some things make us more human, and the humanity is the part that we all have in common.  It makes us more relatable to one another.

So, with a humble heart and blushing cheeks, I share my most awkward moment in ministry.  I wouldn’t trade this day for anything, yet I definitely would not like to relive it either.  :-/

I GUESS IT'S TRUE

Being part of ministry in any capacity is never a waste of time.  Remember the words to the old hymn…

Only one life, so soon ’twill be past.  Only what’s done for Christ will last.

There can be – shall I say, “awkward moments” along the way.  We know that God leads the way and He gave us many safe trips for sure!  Awkward moments happen though – with people and situations.  :-/

From the mid 1980’s through the mid 1990’s, my husband and I were part of a gospel quartet.  We spent time traveling around and ended up in a small town in Kansas for a Sunday evening service.  I decided to wear blue jeans and a tee-shirt for traveling, certain that there would be a place to change my clothes.

When we got to the church, we got all set up and was ready to practice to adjust the sound and so forth…  I casually looked around the small church, but did not see a restroom.  I began to panic a little and pray a lot.  I needed to put my dress on for the concert.

About that time, the pastor walked in – all smiles.  I was nearly in tears.  I was embarrassed to ask, so had my husband ask if there was a restroom.  When my husband came back to tell me – I could tell by the look on his face – this was not going to be good.  The restroom was an outhouse.  Yep – and that’s where I changed clothes.

I got ‘er done, folks!  Dignity intact, I’m happy to report.  Then we played a few more songs in the sanctuary – and noticed a scraggly old dog had walked into the church.  He decided to lay down in the aisle and listen.  We played one song – then the dog got up, turned around and walked right back out the door.  LOL!!!

My husband said…  Now THAT’S a critic!  🙂

 

BUILD A BETTER TRADE SHOW IMAGE WEEK

TL FEBRUARY 21-27 BUILD A BETTER TRADE SHOW IMAGE WEEKFor better or for worse, image matters in all things!  The image we see with our eyes translates to developing an opinion in our brain – we like, we dislike – and that translates into the decision to either want to buy a product based on looks, or not.

Today is my dad’s birthday.  Happy Birthday in heaven, dad!2-21 BUILDING BLOCKS OF DESTINY

I was thinking about all the lessons he taught me – and the importance of appearance is one of the most crucial lessons I learned.  After I graduated high school in 1979, my dad set me up with a job “staging” homes to sell.  Daddy was a talented trim carpenter in Wichita and worked for several popular builders in our area in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Anyone with a house built in that time period probably has cabinetry that was handmade by my dad.  Ironically – the house I currently live in has pre-fabricated cabinetry and is in no way special.  😦

I’ve heard so many women make comments as they tour a staged house – they say something like, “Oh I wish my house looked this nice and clean.”  I have to laugh when I hear it because once a family moves into the house – the level of perfection automatically lowers!  If you have to live in a house, you’re not going to keep the plastic on the carpet – you’re not going to leave all the staged silk flowers where they’ve been placed because think about it – the stuff you need to store or have on hand set there instead!  A staged house is not occupied, so it’s lacking life and vitality!  I’d rather see a house that looks like it’s lived in, wouldn’t you?

Working with amazing designers and staging experts, I learned how color and texture and in some cases even the smell of freshly baked bread make impressions on people interested in purchasing a house.  One of the realtors actually brought dough with her to bake in the oven!  Triggers are different for everyone.  Some folks are turned on by sound, so we always tried to have soft music playing.  It was so soft that you barely noticed it – but it was there.  And remember, back in the late 1970’s, the big thing was intercom systems!  We liked the idea that we could push a button in the room we’re in to talk with the rest of the family instead of yelling across the house.  Those intercom systems also played music throughout the house.  I’d be curious to know if they still work today.  New construction does not offer intercom systems.  That was definitely a late 70’s, early 80’s thing.

Appealing to the senses is what marketing is all about.  Trip the trigger – make the sale.  Cha-ching! 

Sometimes I wish I had pursued that line of work because I’ve always been drawn to design, staging, and making a living space “speak” to people.  It’s important to do the same kind of “speaking” at trade shows.  Even a little touch like having a bowl of free candy available can help draw them to your booth.  The rest is up to you.  Sell your product.  Let them know why their life will be lacking without it.

Just as my dad added special extras to every set of cabinets he made, I try to add extra to my design projects or photographs so the eye is drawn to whatever I want to be noticed.  Image improvement can apply to all areas of life – personal and professional.

What can you do to build a better trade show image???  It depends on what type of product you’re selling, of course.  There are creative ways to draw a crowd and then wow them.  Don’t be afraid to try new things because when it comes down to it, it’s all about trial and error.  If you don’t try, you won’t know.  It might work!  🙂

 

NATIONAL STATIC ELECTRICITY DAY

TL 1-9 NATIONAL STATIC ELECTRICITY DAY

1-9 STUCK BY STATIC

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Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.   – Samuel Butler

It’s NATIONAL STATIC ELECTRICITY DAY!!!  Trust me, (the one with baby-fine blonde hair…), I’m well aware of the effects of static electricity!  At my birthday parties, my friends thought it was funny to rub a balloon on the carpet and hold it above my head – just to see my hair magically FLY…  well, what are friends for?  Positive and negative forces, huh?  Well, the positive force was making my hair stick to the balloon…  but the negative force was when I punched their arms for doing it.  Wait…  did I type that out loud???  Oops!  Well, that’s ok – I hit like a girl!

I can usually explain things after researching them – usually.  If you need a scientific explanation for static, I can’t provide that.  I read and understood for the most part, but just in case I don’t understand completely, I’ll just leave some links for you to visit – how about that?

http://www.altiusdirectory.com/Society/national-static-electricity-day.php

Public Domain.

When I was a kid in the 1970’s, we watched these movies in science class – and my friends and I had more fun critiquing the men’s wardrobe and horn-rimmed glasses than learning anything about science.  Fortunately, now I’m mature enough to appreciate the actual subject now – well, sort of.  😉

OK, now that we’ve taken care of the technical stuff, can we get down to the FUN stuff?  Thank you!

Shared with permission.

We do have fun with static, but can these experiments relate at all in real life?  I think we can learn a lesson from them.  You knew I’d say that, right?

If you can’t hear the angels, try quieting the static of worry.  – Terri Guillemets

Some days we feel stuck in life because of fear and worry.  These best friends always travel together.  They are used in an effort to emotionally blackmail God’s children by the enemy of the soul – Satan.  I don’t like to waste a lot of my precious time talking about him or his sneaky ways, but it’s good to know when you’re getting spiritually stuck – and where the static is coming from – or more to the point, from whom it is coming.

If I mess up and I fear doing it again, that could paralyze me.  That in itself makes me feel miserable enough, but  if I begin to worry about messing up again, I’m nearly defeated.  Do you see what I’m saying?  It’s a cycle –  a vicious, pointless, waste of time.  But, if Satan can make us waste enough time beating ourselves up, he’s keeping us from doing good for others and serving God.  That’s worth his time.

Enough about the negative – what do we do about this cycle that has the potential to defeat us?  Pray the pain, fear and worry away!  Ask God’s Holy Spirit to remind you of who you are – in HIM – not who you are compared to another pianist, or another writer, or another Sunday School teacher.  Ask Him to remind you once again who you are – in HIM?  If you do that, He will remind you that you are HIS.  You are His very special creation – not because you have certain abilities or talents – those came from HIM to begin with!  He wants you to know you are His child and He loves you.  That puts everything back in its proper perspective.

It’s just a little observation from the one with baby-fine blonde hair that is easily affected by static electricity.  If you don’t want any spiritual static to hold you back this year, pray about what makes you hurt, scared and worried.  When you do, it will leave you because your Lord is bigger than either of these.  He really is! 😀

Public Domain.

Here’s an hour of hymns…  there’s no time like the present to ask God who you are – in HIM – through Jesus Christ, His Son.  Take time to pray then enjoy the rest of the day.  ❤

 

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.  –  Proverbs 14:26

We all know there are five stages of grief:

  1. DENIAL
  2. ANGER
  3. BARGAINING
  4. DEPRESSION
  5. ACCEPTANCE

WAITING WHILE I WAIT

I can’t forget the loss.  Am I supposed to forget???  I keep asking, “What’s next, Lord?”

Here’s the deal…  about the time I’ve reached acceptance and think, “I’m gonna be okay”, something happens and I’m suffering a setback of sorts.  Maybe this is God’s way of keeping me humble.

It may not help that I’m still living in the city I grew up in, but  I really can’t imagine living anywhere else.  If I were to leave Wichita, I think I’d feel like a fish out of water for a very long while.

Yesterday I was driving to the Walmart and had a little time to kill.  I decided to drive by my childhood home.

As I slowly crept down Charles Street, so many memories came to mind, starting with the street itself.  I remembered a dirt road.  For the first three or four years of my life, our street was dirt.  Then I noticed that the barbed wire fence around our neighbor’s field was gone.  John had 3 horses in there for years.  We had an apple tree in the back yard, so the horses got to eat apples once in a while.  I enjoyed feeding them!

Mom and dad had a non-fruit bearing, flowering crab apple tree in the front yard – only it DID bear fruit – and boy was it a mess; however, along with the messy crab apples were the most beautiful dark pink flowers!  I remember my mom in the yard with a rake picking up the crab apples every year.  The raking would begin around late August or early September.  I guess that struck a chord inside.

Then I lost it – I just lost it – again!  When does that stop happening???  The floodgates opened over a memory about crab apples???  Seriously???

The answer from God seems to be, “Bloom where you’re planted”.  So, here I am!

Am I stuck, or is the enemy trying to make me feel that way?  Is it bad to bounce from one stage to the other?  Some days I do just fine, but I guess I set myself up for a relapse.  How can I ignore the house where I grew up?  I was just a few blocks from it and decided to go visit some memories.  Maybe I need to visit so I don’t forget.  Yeah, like I could ever forget…  not gonna happen.  🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)

It really is the little things that bring happy sparkles into your life!  Laughing is at the top of my list, but there are certain events that come to mind – and won’t likely be leaving my mind anytime soon.  I hope I can hang on to all the happy sparkles and think on the positive aspects in every circumstance.

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If we can re-live these little moments when the going gets tough, it not only brings a smile to our face, but it puts a little more courage and self-confidence in us.  These are moments when we were successful and happy and ready to high-five everybody!

  • One morning I tried for the umpteenth time to flip an egg over without breaking the yoke.  In 54 years of life I have never flipped an egg over without the yoke breaking, but guess what?  I carefully scooped the egg up with the spatula and flipped it over – and it was intact!!!  That was the best egg sammich ever!
  • Writing is my passion and music is my life.  Imagine my surprise when I was asked to write about music and got paid for it!  It’s not even about the money, but it’s about the words I write being read and appreciated.  There’s no better feeling to be sure.  Everyone wants to be appreciated.
  •  A friend recently asked if she could come to my house and listen to me play the piano.  I asked how long she had exhibited signs of instability – and she laughed and told me she was serious.  What a boost it was to know that she enjoyed hearing me play.  It gave me more confidence in the face of uncertainty.

Happy sparkles are gifts that God gives us.  He delivers them to us in many ways, through others or even when we’re alone with Him.  When we count our blessings and remember the happy sparkles along the way, we become the joyful Christian that Jesus wants us to be!

NATIONAL DRIVE-THRU DAY

TL 7-24 NATIONAL DRIVE-THRU DAY

7-24 STUCK IN THE DRIVE THRU

Wikipedia provides a wealth of information about drive-through windows, such as how they began and the outrageous places they use them.  Drive-through weddings?  Yep!  You saw it here first!  I didn’t see anything about drive-through divorce, but I’d be for that!  Just kidding!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drive-through

Everyone has a “drive-thru” story, whether it be good or bad.

My husband hates tomatoes like most people hate laundry day.  He will eat ketchup, salsa and pizza sauce – but tomatoes, forget it!  We were in a hurry and used the drive-through at Burger King (you know, the ones who say you will get it “Your Way”???)  He ordered a regular hamburger with NO TOMATO.

He quickly checked the burger – and there was a big ol’ slice of tomato on it!  The last time I saw that Burger King, there was a tomato slice sliding down the window…  we have not been back.

When I use the drive-thru at the bank, I usually have my dog in the car and they put a milk bone dog biscuit in the basket along with the deposit slip!  I really like that!  Of course, it’d be better if they’d put a dog biscuit and a Snicker’s candy bar in there, but…

One day I went to an Arby’s drive-thru across town.  There was a cast of thousands in the line and I suspect the person taking orders was probably new and a little nervous.  By the time I got to the window to pay, it was quite clear that something was wrong because people in front of me were coming IN to the store to complain.

The orders were not going to the right people – it was a mess.  I decided to just take whatever was in the bag because I didn’t have time to waste inside.  Besides, the poor girl looked so frazzled, I didn’t want to make it worse.

I ended up with an Arby-Q sandwich, and a migraine headache.  Apparently that sauce packs a punch!  Oh well…  life goes on.

Interesting things happen when you have little ones in the car.  Combine that with the fact that we were heading for McDonald’s on Halloween, and it’s a recipe for fun squared!  My friend was in the passenger seat and her daughter was in a car seat in the back.

The guy at the window was a vampire…  and he was pretty convincing!  My friend’s daughter was screaming bloody murder!  For the next ten miles we both tried to console her.  I think it scared the vampire guy a little bit too – he apologized all over the place.  I told him maybe next year he should consider being a clown or something (although some people are scared of clowns – like…  um…  me!)  :-/

Hmm…  maybe I’ll swing by Starbuck’s and use the drive-thru…  that sounds like a good way to celebrate, don’t you think?  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (26)

There are some changes taking place in Wichita.  Although embracing change with an open mind is a challenge for me, I’m opinionated and need to add my two cents worth (which in today’s economy is worth less than one cent).  :-/

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DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER NATIONAL AIRPORT Wichita, Kansas

Wichita has a new airport – the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport.  It looks quite modern from the outside and everyone talks about how fresh, clean and new it looks inside.  My husband and I decided to go check it out.

Before I go on, allow me a moment of nostalgia.  There’s not a ton of fun things to do in Wichita, so we used to go to the OLD airport and watch the planes take off and land.  Don’t feel sorry for me – that was fun!  We used to do that for a while, then eat at one of the restaurants and just walk around a bit.

PRE 9 11 MEMORIES

These days – in the post 9/11 world – it’s considered loitering.  Just hanging around an airport is not encouraged now for obvious reasons.  I get that – but part of me is sad.  Bit by bit our innocent activities are being taken from us.  Hey – when you’re low on cash, watching planes at the airport can be sort of fun!  There’s a people-watching opportunity you just can’t get anywhere else!  😉

There is absolutely no reason to darken the door of our new airport unless you are catching a flight.  There is one small “café” on the ground floor – as far as I could tell, they sell donuts and coffee – maybe hot dogs.  That’s about as good as it gets for those of us who are not being winged off.

If you are going to pick someone up at the airport, take my advice and brown bag it or eat something before you get to the airport.

All the other restaurants are beyond security!  Yeah – I’m just sad.  

Gone are the innocent days of eating a nice meal with friends or relatives then walking them to their gate to see them off.  Then once they’re on the plane, standing at the huge window to watch the plane take off (crying and waving – as though they can see you).  LOL!!!

It’s sentimental and silly – but I will miss it.

I guess the new plan will be to eat at a restaurant somewhere in the city before taking them to the airport.  Then we will say goodbye outside in the parking lot – and drive away, trusting that they will get through security and on the right flight at the right time.  It seems so cold compared to the way things used to be.

I don’t like it – but I don’t like the way 9/11 changed our country and our lives forever.  The new airport is efficient and discourages loitering – I get it – this is the way it has to be.  Just give me a minute to be nostalgic and sentimental – and yeah – silly.  I pray that God will bless our country – in this post 9/11 world.  We will never see the innocence we once knew again.

It’ll be okay – really it will.  🙂