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Writer of fiction that reflects the light of Jesus. Sometimes the grit mixes with beauty to make up a picture of this life. That's where my fiction lives.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

5 Phobias

Fear is natural. Fear can be good. It tells us when to run away, when to hide, when to scream like a little girl.

Phobias, however, aren't really the most healthy thing in the world to collect. But I am a phobia hoarder. (Yes! Double Whammies...oh, Whammies aren't good...poop)

I thought I may as well share them with you. That way you can get a good laugh out of my incredible fear.

You're welcome.

1. Refrigerated dough. I really enjoy me a Grands biscuit. I could eat those little fat filled crescent rolls until I...well...roll. But I break into cold sweets when I have to break the can open. It is unpredictable. Sometimes it flops open with no pop, no problem. But other times it explodes, sending dough across the room. It is the noise, yes, that I hate. But what I fear is the possibility that somehow I am going to lose a finger. Or an eye. And all the while the little Dough Boy is pointing and laughing.

2. Sharks. Big sharp teeth. Big bad attitude. Big blind anger. They want to eat me. And I just saw that they can swim up a fresh water river. And then they eat everyone. There is a creek by my house. And I know that they are all secretly planning to inhabit that stream and get me. Stupid Jaws 3-D. You ruined my life.

3. Head Cheese. Seriously. Have you ever seen that stuff? Google it. You will fear it too.

4. Depths. Yeah, I fear heights too...but that's too common. I'm also afraid of being deep. Deep in the water. Deep in the ground. Deep in slime. Whatever. Because of this fear I do not jump into the water. What if I never came back up? (This fear came from a near drowning when I was very small...it's legit).

Drum roll....

5. Having nothing to say. You've been there. You're with somebody...a coworker, family member, whoever. You completely run out of something to say. And it's not a very comfy silence. That lull makes me nauseous. That's why I never stop talking! Problem solved.

FDR once said "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself".

Oh great...something else to fear.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Killing the Consumer Within

I really enjoy shopping. Especially when I can get a great deal.

A t-shirt for $3? It's mine!

Shoes on 50% off clearance? Move over, lady! I'm gettin' them!

And kid's clothes? Oh...I could buy them all!

There is a thrill to finding a bargain. Some kind of adrenaline courses through the veins when buying something marvelous. A rush of pride when looking through the bags at the end of the day, perusing the newly bought goods.

I remember one day, not very long ago, walking through a mega big store. This particular super market is well know for it's super duper low prices. And, oh, those prices roll on back. It's blue (except in Roswell, New Mexico...that one is green like an alien). There is a smiley face at every turn. Huh. I just can't seem to remember the name...

But that day, walking up and down the aisles of the store I thought to myself "How on earth do they keep these prices so low?"

Well, I found out.

They don't pay the people who make the items. And if the workers are actually paid, then it is to repay a debt that has been unfairly kept against them. And what they pay their workers is typically not enough to cover living expenses. And they are not in safe environments. And they work far more hours than not. And they use little children to make the t-shirt that I get for so very cheap.

That is how the prices stay so low. It is true and ugly and sad and evil and destroys lives. And just so that my kids can have a pair of shorts that they may wear one time.

I felt horrible. In the words of Julia Ormond (the actress from "Legends of the Fall"...you know I've seen that one) in the documentary "Call + Response" "I don't want to wear someones despair".

So, I made a decision in a discussion with God. I will no longer purchase clothing for myself or my family unless it is either fair trade or second hand.

The day after I felt that conviction I realized that my kids had very little to wear once the weather warmed.

I went to the Goodwill store a block from my house (I know...that's pretty nice). They had little to nothing in my kids' sizes. And it was all for winter. I, however, found 6 outfits for myself to wear when I work (and all for $30!!! And that money doesn't pay slave drivers!). I counted that blessing and was very, very thankful for it.

Then my friend Dee delivered some hand-me-downs (a full tub) packed with sandals, t-shirts, shorts, etc for my boys to wear. A few days following that my friend Ashley gave me 3 boxes of really amazing clothes that her son no longer used. Some still with tags. And all very, very fun! Then my friend Andee sent some items for my daughter. Also, my friend Wendy sent along 2 big bags of things for Elise.

I say this with much humility...we are completely set for clothes for our kids for the next year or two. Seriously.

This causes me to marvel in the provision of my Father. I stand like a little girl, unable to give enough thanks to the One who sees our hearts and yet loves us.

The song that keeps running through my head is this...

"God will take care of you,
Through every day,
Over all the way!
He will take care of you!
God will take care of you!"

And I no longer worry about my clothes. He is adorning our family in more than the flowers of the field. And we are humbled.

Friday, May 14, 2010

At this moment I am feeling a tad bit melancholy. There are a few things that are weighing heavily on my spirit and pulling the corners of my mouth down just slightly. Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes things don't go the way we hope. Sometimes it feels as if we are running into walls at every turn.

I know you'd felt that way. I know I'm not alone.

But being an idealist, I want so desperately to look to all the ways that God is good. So I am going to count out five of my blessings. Five is a small number compared to the amazing ways that God has worked in my life. But nap time is nearly over. So, this is what you get today.

1. Jeff. I have such an understanding, adoring husband. And I know that I can trust him. God has given me an encourager, protector, provider and a motivator. And, hey, he's really hot too.

2. Elise. My daughter is a compassionate little lady. She desires to help others; especially those in need.

3. Austin. My son is singing fool. He loves to sing to Jesus. Especially while doing headstands in bed instead of sleeping. I don't stop him. It causes me to worship.

4. Timmy. The other half of my combo sons. He is affectionate. Always generous with his hugs for me. His smiles melt my heart. He is my shy child. But that just means I get all the snuggles (yes, I am greedy).

5. Coffee. I know that it sounds kind of insignificant when compared to the first four. But here's the thing, coffee has been a tool in my life. A tool for waking up, making it through research papers, keeping me from falling asleep on long drives. But it has also been a great way to build relationships. How many times have my friends and I opened our hearts to one another over a cup of joe? More than I can count.

How are you blessed?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

U-Scan...U-Make-Me-Insane

Today I went to the local Super Market for coffee creamer, cheese, 100 calorie cupcakes (thank you, Hostess), pop and diapers. It took me a total of 7.5 minutes to collect those few items in my mini cart (Oh...let me tell you how much I adore the mini carts).



I had one too many items for the express U-scan.



I made a fatal error (no, that is not hyperbole). I went to the No Limit U-scan.



The lady in front of me in line appeared to be nearly done self-scanning. Boy, oh boy, was I ever wrong.



She had 4 cups of yogurt, all with a clearance tag, none of which would scan properly. She had bananas and couldn't find the code to punch into the screen. She had a t-shirt without a tag. She read each of her bazillion coupons before redeeming them. Her items were overflowing the bagging area. She bagged some items individually. Her order totalled over $340. And she paid in cash. Small bills.



And I was stuck with Heidi Montag's plastic surgery obsession on one side and the best and worst beach bodies on the other.



I tired not to be obvious, but I was grinding my teeth, near panic attack, white knuckling my beloved mini cart. The cheese turned green and fuzzy, the creamer soured, my babies became potty trained.



This was truly a test of my patience. And I lost.



I wish I could say that I transcended my human nature and offered assistance. I did not. If only I had smiled and thought "Oh, I have no where to be. She can take her time."



But I didn't.



I thought about how much of my precious free time she was burning away. I considered bumping her out of the way with my mini cart. I considered eating all the candy bars in the aisle and throwing the wrappers at her. I wished early over riping on her bananas, that the t-shirt would shrink in the wash and that all the clearance yogurt curdled.



Alas. I am not the nice person I wish I could be. But what could have been done?

Just when I get to a point where I think that I've arrived to an understanding of living righteously in this life I get pulled down by getting frustrated about trivial things.

So, what do you do? And what would be the right thing to do?

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Post for Jill DeJonge

I am learning something new about myself. Here it is...ready?...

I am a bad blogger.

Jason Boyett (author of "The Pocket Guide to the Bible" and "Oh Me of Little Faith"...seriously, ya'll, buy it) said this (and I paraphrase) "if you don't blog everyday, your blog may as well not exist".

"Le Sigh." (that was Pepe LePieux)

So, I can add "blogging" to my list of "Susie's Failures". Hey...you want to see some of the other things I'm terrible at? Why not. I'm in that kind of a mood.

1. Cleaning. I hate it. I would rather eat brussel sprouts with boogers on top (really, could boogers really make the brussel sprouts worse? I think not.)

2. Staying on task. I get distracted often...HEY! Cookies!

3. (crunch, munch) Eating well. I enjoy crappy food. Chips, chocolate, cheese, cake, chocolate cheesecake, candy, french fries, pizza...ugh. I love it all.

4. Picking out clothes. I really dislike my choice of clothing. But the problem is that I also dislike dressing rooms. So I don't know that I hate my clothes until I'm home. Oh, and the other problem is that I dislike looking into the full length mirror. So, I don't know I look like a frumpy sixty year old until I see myself in the mirror section of Target. Crud.

5. Saying certain words. I struggle with "rural" and "family reunion". They come out as "rrrul" and "family ruin". It's embarrassing.

6. Drinking water. If it doesn't have ground up coffee or high fructose corn syrup in it I don't want it. Water seems like a rip off to me. Seriously. Where's the stuff that should be in it?

7. Lotion. Due to my disdain for water, my hands get dry (that's what my husband tells me...I'm not completely convinced). I forget to lotion up. And when I remember, I just don't do it. Because I'm lazy.

8. Matching my socks. When folding laundry I don't pair my socks. When I get dressed I like to be creative and pick out two different socks to wear. After all, I don't look in the mirror...what do I care?

9. Confrontation. I don't like it. Unless I should like it. In which case, if it makes you like me...I will like it. Is that okay? I just want you to think I'm cool. I'm sorry.

10. Chatting. It's awkward. I never know when it's over. I have no desire to use "brb", "rotfl" or "lol"...I HATE "lol". I would love to see "lol" go to it's own little island and die. lol. Really, are you truly laughing out loud? Or are you, like me, sitting expressionless, looking at the screen and just writing it? And it's so passive aggressive. "I hate you. lol". So, do you hate me? Are you joking? Or are you laughing to spite me with your hate? I DON'T know! Die, lol, die, die, die!!! You, lol, are ruining communication as we know it!

Oh, unless you, dear reader like "lol". Then I like it too. I'm sorry. Please don't be mad.

Okay, I think I've fulfilled my blog for the day. It makes no sense. It is weird. And I've burned 20 minutes or so.

Just for you, Jill DeJonge. You'd better read this. lol.