THE STORM DOOR

I have needed a new storm door for quite some time. The hinge on the door was broken, so I just ripped it off. The only way I could keep the storm door from flying open in the wind, was to run a rubber band around the handle and pull the rubber band inside to wrap it around the inside door lock. (I can be creative when I need to.) But I was running out of rubber bands and getting a bit tired of my Hillbilly fix it solution.

So, I called my boyfriend and we scurried over to a Home Depot the weekend before Easter. We picked out a cool storm door and put it on will call for the next weekend. My son would be home that weekend and between the smarts of him and my boyfriend, I was sure we could have that storm door up in no time at all.  Piece of cake, right?

The Saturday before Easter arrived. My boyfriend and I hopped in his car and drove to the home depot to rent a truck and pick up my storm door.

They didn’t have no trucks. No problem, there was another Home Depot close by so we jumped in his car and sped over to the other store. We got the last truck they had. Whew! Wiping the sweat off my brow.

We went back to the original Home Depot to pick up my storm door. They did not have my door. WHAT? Yep, we ordered it the week before and put it on will call and they did not have it. Putting something on will call means you paid for it beforehand. So we essentially paid for something that they promised to have and they did not have it. WOW!

So, my boyfriend dropped me off at home while he returned the truck. I told my son, who got upset and he told me I needed to call the store and talk to a manager. So, I called and talked to the manager.

He looked up my order and said they had the door. YOU ARE KIDDING ME! Nope, according to this manager, they had the door. Well, I told him at that time we had already returned our rental truck so he needed to deliver it. He said he could not tell me when he would have the time to do so.

So, I waited a bit of time and then called back and talked to another Home Depot employee. I told him my predicament. He said he would load that door up and bring it to my home in his own personal truck and it would be there within an hour. NOW WE ARE TALKING!

I let that man into my backyard and told him a big thank you for delivering that door and thought that was the end of the story.

I started making brunch for my son and my boyfriend. They were working so hard putting up that door and I was toiling over the stove. I was so busy making them a good meal that I didn’t even look at the door until they had almost completed the task of putting it up.

I glanced at the door, did a double take, then looked again. Oh, NO! They had delivered the WRONG DOOR.  Furthermore, my boyfriend and son had PUT UP THE WRONG DOOR!  GADS!!!

So, I got back on the phone and called them and talked with manager #1. I told him I had paid for a different door than what had been delivered. They had delivered the cheapest door and I had paid for the middle of the road door. He said they didn’t carry the middle of the road door in that store. I asked him, “Then why did you sell it to me last week?”

I told him all of the many wrongs that Home Depot had done and asked him how he was going to make this right? He said he would give me an upgrade on the door for free and throw in a free installation.

I agreed to this. I went back to the store and they processed a refund and said they would arrange for the upgraded door to be installed. The manager said the people who measured for my door would call me Monday morning bright and early.

Monday morning came and went with no phone call. I called Monday afternoon to ask what had happened. I was informed by another store manager (#2) that the measurement people had 48 hours to call me. I told her that manager #1 had said it would happen Monday morning. She said he did not know the company policy and that was that they had 48 hours to do the measurements. So, they had until Tuesday at 3 pm to accomplish this task.

Apparently, Manager #1 needs to read the policy and procedure manual of Home Depot.

So, I waited until Tuesday at 3 pm and no phone call was received so I called them again asking when would it be convenient for those measurement men to come by? It had been 48 hours already. I was once again talking to manager #2 who had told me previously it was a 48-hour deal. She said, “They considered Monday a holiday because of Easter so they have one more day.” WHAT?!! NOW THE EASTER BUNNY IS IN ON THIS?

At this point it occurred to me that Home Depot really doesn’t care a bit about making their customers happy, but I wasn’t going to let this affect my outlook on life. They were clearly incompetent, but I was not going to get angry or use profanity when addressing them.

I finally got the assurance that they would be out on Thursday to get the measurements. I was home all day on Thursday and did not notice anyone taking measurements. Yet when I called on Friday they said they had done so. WOW! THAT IS IMPRESSIVE! THEY SENT OUT INVISIBLE PEOPLE TO TAKE MEASUREMENTS!

Seriously, they must have a corner market on ghost employees because I did not see one person walk into my backyard.

I don’t understand why anyone would need to take measurements in the first place, though, considering storm doors are all pretty much the same standard size. But they said they could not deliver or install the door until the measurement “people” (ghosts) had measured.

So now we had to arrange for installation. I called the store again. Kept hearing the same thing. That they were going to do it. I was first on the list… blah blah blah. I hadn’t paid for the new door yet and store manager #1 said I had to do that before they could arrange for installation.

So today I swung by and he showed me the exact door which would be installed at my home. We both wrote our names on the box to make sure it was mine and he said he would have the installers call me asap.

Well, I know better than to hang my hat on that peg. I will just be happy if I get the door installed within the century because they clearly aren’t to be trusted.

I was so proud of myself though, because through all this mess I kept my calm. I got a bit angry at first because this really messed with my Easter weekend. After a discussion with my son, I regained my composure and had a lovely time with him.

My sweet boyfriend kept his composure also, even though this wasted a full day for him right before he was set to cook a full blown all out-Easter dinner large enough to feed an army.

I also considered this kind of a test run for Home Depot. Sometime this year I intend to put new flooring in my house. I will not consider Home Depot for any other purchases no matter how large or small, except for one item.

Just one item…

That being cow manure because they clearly know how to sell a load of bullshit.

 

ENVY OR CONTENTMENT

I am by nature a very content person. I have a house that I am very fond of, just recently bought a beautiful new car, I have a very stylish wardrobe but I will be honest I am envious. I get sick with envy when I hear of people that can travel.

I love to travel. I have been to Peurto Rico and the Virgin Islands as a young girl. I have been to many states in our country. I have traveled to Mexico and the Dominican Republic and also to England and Wales. Yet I want to travel so much more.

This envy has become an obstacle for me. I can’t even hear someone talk about their travels without going all green.

I started talking to God about it and the next morning the devil was knocking on the door of my thoughts saying. “Hey there, you know your sister is right now in Australia or New Zealand right? Don’t you wish that you were her?”

I prayed about it immediately and asked God to help me deal with this sin which so besets my heart. Then I got up and realized that the pain in my feet from my plantar fasciitis was just as severe as ever. It felt like knives were sticking through my feet. What fun would it be to travel when I can not walk one step without severe pain?

As I gingerly walked to my kitchen the cool of my tile floor helped ease the pain in my feet. My daughter was up and we exchanged morning pleasantries. If I had been overseas I may have missed that moment and I treasure each moment I can spend with her.

The other item of importance in my life is my novel. I am working on it and hope to finish it soon. God has revealed that this novel is of primary importance to Him and it is His will that I finish it while I am here on earth.

In regards to my novel, I try to spend as much of my free time as possible on it. When I have traveled, I have spent an enormous amount of time planning, packing and traveling. I do like to get away to work on my novel but I don’t have the finances currently to do that.

I hope and pray that someday I will be able to travel more. Yet, I realize that to walk on the path of envy and want to be someone else is not pleasing to God. It is also a path which walks in direct opposition to the peace that God wants me to have.  I am trying to enjoy each moment of this wonderful life I have in the place where God has planted me.

PROVERBS 14:30 – A TRANQUIL HEART GIVES LIFE TO THE FLESH BUT ENVY MAKES THE BONES ROT.

FORBIDDEN

I got the email last night. My blog had been disabled. When I tried to go to my site I was forbidden.

What? I mean I have been blogging for over three years. I have over 17,000 people who have subscribed to my blog.

I launched the blog to build a platform for the novel that I intend to release within a year or two. I have been working on this novel for 16 long years and I am about ready to pull it to a close.

This couldn’t have happened at a more inopportune time.

I called Hostgator, my hosting service and asked them what was up? The first person I talked to said I would have to hire a developer to get my site fixed. Well, I don’t have a developer in my back pocket so I asked him if there was any way I could do the fixing. He put me on hold… for a very long time.

I hung up and called back again and then no one answered. I kept calling and could not get a hold of anyone. So I got smart and used a different phone. I got through right away.

I scored on this call. The young man was very kind to me and told me that all I had to do was install a plug in which would erase my cache.

I am not in any way a techy kind of person so I asked him if that would erase my archives? He said, “No, it is just like having 10,000 copies of the same novel running at the same time. No one needs to read 10,000 copies at one time do they?” (Well, not unless it is my novel, at least. wink, wink)

Okay, I got it now. I finally understood that without the right plugin I could take the whole server down which would not only inconvenience me but a lot of other bloggers also. That is when I started saying my apologies. I had no idea that I was that dangerous, nor do I even like being that dangerous.

So far with Hostgator I have had no problems with my server being disabled but the hosting site I had before Hostgator had major server problems and my site was constantly going down. I felt really, really awful for being so close to infringing upon the ability of other bloggers to get published. Thank God they disabled my site before that happened.

I installed the WP super cache and also upgraded to the new Word press system, got a better PHP going and took down a bunch of nonsense from my side bar. Pretty productive day for my blog, I must say.

I am happy it turned out well, but I remember how offended I was when I saw that I had been forbidden from entering something which I had created.

I can’t imagine how God feels when He is forbidden from entering a heart.

DOCTOR DAO AND CHRIST

I heard the report about what happened to Doctor Dao and the United Airline flight. I was appalled. To be a paying customer and to be treated like that is horrible.

Knowing that he was a doctor I am thinking that one of the reasons why he could not give up his seat was due to his compassion for his patients. He didn’t want to disappoint them.

I have heard that him and his wife initially offered to give up their seats but when they found out the next flight was some time later the next day they rescinded the offer. They had a responsibility to other people to get home.

As I was thinking of this story I had great compassion and understanding for Doctor Dao. Many times as a single mother I have been tossed aside as if I am nothing and it hurts a lot. It makes me angry, at the very least.

As I was reflecting on this tragic story I was also trying to think of what I could blog for Easter. Then I realized the similarities and differences between Christ and Doctor Dao were quite striking.

Jesus gave up His seat in heaven to be born among the lowest of the low. He was born in a stable where the stench of cow dung and animals lay heavy in the air.

He was not well known until he was thirty years old. There is some mention of his antics of turning clay into birds as a young child and killing a playmate and then bringing him back to life as a teenager. However, mention of this is found in those books which were not allowed to become a part of the Bible. So the majority of His life is a hidden mystery until he started His ministry.

I don’t have a clue what the childhood of Doctor Dao was but I do know now that he is a physician and one who is very committed to his practice. He obviously takes pride in his art of healing.

Jesus was committed to healing others also. Even though He didn’t go to medical school, with the touch of his hand or His spoken word He could do wonders. He even raised Lazarus from the dead!

At first, United stood behind the action of their employees as they disrespected Doctor Dao. Then, when the media got a hold of the video, they abruptly changed their tune and said they were sorry.

The more Jesus became well known, the more the authorities plotted to end His life. The power that he showed and the love that he lived exposed their hypocrisy.

Doctor Dao’s family stood behind him and his daughter actually went on Television to defend her father and to justify his reaction to this injustice.

Jesus’ family sought Him out to call Him “Crazy.” His friends, every single one of them, betrayed Him when He needed them most.

Doctor Dao has filed a lawsuit against United to make sure this never happens to anyone else. I imagine the settlement will allow him to retire early.

Jesus went through a beating, mockery and was nailed to a cross. He stuck to His life of humility until the very end when He said,”It is finished.”

Doctor Dao was asked to give up his seat in the airplane. When he refused, he was physically assaulted and forced to give up his seat for other employees of United.

Jesus willingly gave up His throne in heaven to be humiliated, beaten, tortured, betrayed and mocked just so that those of us who sin could one day live in eternity with Him.

Sometimes the humility of Jesus astounds me and when compared to the reaction of Dr. Dao it leaves me speechless, for I am more like Dr. Dao than I care to admit.

FINDING MATZO

My Bible study group is having a Sedar meal this Friday.  We usually go to a church for this as a group and let the church do all  of the fixings. This year one of the ladies got the bright idea that we should do the Sedar meal ourselves.  She asked me to sign up to bring something.

Sheesh, like I don’t have enough to do already..

So I chose the easiest thing to bring which was Matzo bread. This is the unleavened bread that the Israelite’s took with them when they left Egypt. I knew I had bought some of this sometime when I was at Sprout’s so I figured easy peasy go to Sprout’s and buy a couple of boxes and it is done.

So I went to Sprout’s on Monday because I figured I had to get it before the Jews made their mad rush on Thursday right? I looked up and down the aisles again and again and no Matzo. I asked a clerk, who said she would have to ask another clerk. Who said she would have to get the manager, who apparently wasn’t even in the country much less the state. Because I waited for at least 5-10 minutes and no one showed up that looked like a manager.

So I got frustrated and left. I called my boyfriend and asked him if Kroger had this elusive item. He said, “Yes, he thought so.”

I will let you know the honest to God truth. I was thinking of just bringing some banana bread I had made and call it a deal. I mean really what was the big deal? My banana bread is a lot more tasty than that bland Matzo bread.

Yet, I know that God would be displeased. He is a bit of a stickler for symbolism and He is downright detailed. That love of symbolism is one of the reasons why I find Him so endearing so I can’t just take it when I want it and throw it to the wind when I don’t, right?

So I drove to Kroger extolling the wonders of my banana bread to God. If only they had had my recipe back in the days of Passover. lol I asked a clerk at Kroger about Matzo. She looked at me as if I had spoken a foreign language. Then she said she would have to ask a store manager. I thought, “Oh, no, here we go again….”

Except the store manager was right in front of the store where she should have been and she walked me right to the boxes of Matzo. I grabbed the last two boxes and sprinted for the check out line, trying to dodge any Jews that might be trying to trip me.

It wasn’t till I got to the car that I took the time to look closely at the boxes and in the top right corner I saw in very small letters. NOT FOR PASSOVER. 

I hope that God is not offended but I have no clue how to get Matzo that is for Passover and I got the last two boxes of Matzo in the state of Texas so I hope that this is okay with Him.  Next time I may offer to make the lamb steak. lol

 

MY PASSOVER

As we celebrate the Passover from Egypt I would encourage each of you to reflect upon what God has done in each of your lives…

Last night my daughter and I heard the news. A 22 year old girl had gotten strangled in my city. She lived very close to one of my daughter’s good friends. I immediately said that we needed to pray for the family. My daughter’s response was that she thought she needed to buy a hand gun. I told her I didn’t think we needed that. I have a good security system but more than that I have a God who protects me.

I witnessed to her about the time a murder had happened in my neighborhood when my children were little. I had sensed there was evil in the air the air that night. I asked God what to do. I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Turn on every outside light you have, make sure the doors are all locked and whatever you do, don’t go outside.” I obeyed the voice of God and went to sleep. In the morning a neighbor told me that a man had been murdered who had gone outside to check on his car.

Then there was another time when a man had asked for my number at the gym. He said he went to church and was a part of a single’s group at a large Baptist church. I gave him my number but didn’t make any plans with him. Then that weekend I saw his face on the front page of the paper. He had been arrested for child molestation. Apparently he offered to babysit for singles that went to that church and did horrific things with the children he was babysitting. He had the audacity to call me even after he was arrested but I told him I had no interest in him. My children were so protected by God that they didn’t even meet this wicked monster.

Then there was the time when I was out working in the midst of tornadoes and horrendous hail. God did not allow a tornado to come near my home nor a hailstone to touch my car. The most precious of all, was that he stopped the rain the minute I stepped outside.

I told all of these things to my daughter last night and told her how God, our heavenly Father, is so loving and protective.

Then this morning I realized that over the past 20 years I have been on a Passover in my own life.

When my husband, who is the father of all of my precious children, first left me I had horrific panic attacks. I had not worked for two years and I had little money in the bank. There were many nights when I cried myself to sleep. I went after my husband and we got back together for a short time, during which I got pregnant with my third child. I am so thankful that even though our marriage did not last, this child was born in the midst of the chaos; for he, too, is a gift from God.

There were plenty of days during the past twenty years when I didn’t know how I would pay the bills. There still are days like that but I trust my God to provide and protect me.

I have come from the barren desert of fear where anxiety and loneliness were my constant companions. At one time I was a slave to the sin of promiscuity. As I look to the Word of God as my light I realize I have come from the darkness of fear to the promised land of Faith. I know without a doubt that God loves me and I know with every cell of my body that His Son has covered my sins with his blood. I can call God my heavenly Father and cherish each and every moment I spend enamored by Him, as I walk confidently in the promised land of faith.

IS BEING WEALTHY A SIN?

Yesterday I was talking with a patient of mine about the next chapter in my novel. This chapter deals with the lure of money and the complexities of being wealthy. I said something that dropped like a bomb in the room and everyone in the immediate area stopped and said, “That was profound.” So I kind of like quickly grabbed a pen to write it down and I wanted to share this quote with my audience. Please keep in mind that all content on this blog is copyrighted by me and to use this quote only with permission from me.

The quote is as follows:

“Being wealthy is not a sin but it sure can change your perspective on what is a sin.”

 

 

MY DAUGHTER AND HER BEST FRIEND

My daughter and her best friend were in the back seat of the car. A man, who was black as coal, was driving the car. I had never seen him before.  I knew they were leaving. Running away with this man. A man I had never met before.

I sprinted to the driver’s side of the car and held on as he started driving, screaming at the top of my lungs. “HE IS STEALING MY DAUGHTER!”

He continued to drive away, as if deaf to my desperation. Slowly, but decisively, the car sped up and I had to let go, either that or be killed.

I needed help and I needed it fast. I turned around, running with the speed of panic, to the house of my daughter’s best friend. I saw a mutilated black truck in the driveway. The door to the house was open and I saw her best friend’s father approaching the front door with a force that would defy any reckoning.

I started to scream at him about what had happened to our daughter’s. He shooed me away. “I don’t have time for this right now, I have to deal with this psycho.”

I turned around and looked at an enraged woman who was approaching me with a mangled piece of metal from the truck. She took that metal and hurled it at my leg, slashing through my pants, drawing copious amounts of blood.

I kept touching my leg, screaming out to no one. “I am bleeding! I am bleeding!” I felt the shreds of my black pants disintegrating as they became saturated with blood.

Then I woke up and I realized one thing. My life is very complex and at times extremely difficult but it is a dream compared to this nightmare. Thank God for the dream I live.

 

BEING TRUE

Sometimes being true to oneself is the most difficult path to tread when you are on the avenue of love. It is such a pleasant idea to have someone love you but the reality of love can, at times, be very complex.

It is extremely difficult when you have a passion or calling on your life to become something greater than the relationship which so nurtures you.

There are times when a love can pull at your last string and seem to be capable of unraveling the tapestry which you have so yearned to leave the world.

I must be mindful that they have their own idea of what my tapestry  of life should look like. It may be our differing perspectives which  lend so much tension to our love.

It is not that you don’t love the other person but on occasion, they can seem to be an interruption. They are needy, insecure and require constant reassurance in one moment and in the next, they are everything you could ever ask for.

Those of you who have followed my blog for any amount of time know that I have labored for many years to complete a rewrite of a novel.

The ghost of this novel is like a nagging Jewish mother constantly berating me for not spending more time penning the plot.

You may also be aware that I have had a very complex relationship with one man which has been the source of great ire in one moment and intense love in the next.

I love both my writing and this man with my whole heart and every single day I feel as if I am betraying either one or the other. It is the most miserable circumstance to endure because guilt has become my best friend.

I realized this morning that I have carried the calling of God on my life to become a Christian writer as a burden, not a blessing.

I have been haunted by a nightmare I had several years ago where I had died and I realized that I had failed to accomplish the novel completion. In the afterlife I was given the realization that this, indeed, was the main reason for my existence on earth.

I know I overthink things way too much.

I surrender with great resistance to anything which may nurture my soul.

I feel as if I need to let go of the hand of guilt, step off the cliff of my own self sufficiency and fall into the embrace of God.

Yet I keep grasping the hand of guilt as I struggle to jump off the cliff.

FEAR OF GOD

I have been perplexed as to why I should fear God. This is is mentioned 144 times throughout the Bible so I imagine God thinks it is pretty important.

First off, let me get something straight with my audience.

I am a sinner. Sometimes when I reflect on all my sins I don’t know how God puts up with me at all. I mean I knew better. It’s not like I haven’t gone to church most of my life. It is not like I don’t read the Bible. It is not like I don’t occasionally hear from God. It is like I am a dirty, filthy, rotten mess of sin some days.

So if you think I am righteous, let me burst that bubble right from the get go.

Yet, God is so close to me that I rarely hear him talk anymore. At this point we are so intimate that I know His thoughts when I seek Him. When He draws near to me and infuses me with his rational, it is so pure and honest, I am filled with a sense of peace.

Then why do I need to fear Him?

God has given me an example of the fear He desires in our relationship.

The example is the feeling I feel towards my boyfriend. This man is a man of God and we have been dating for close to ten years.

During the first half of the relationship he was anything but a man of God. I was not a true woman of God either.

So we fought a lot. There were so many break ups and getting back together again, our relationship was like a see saw.

I broke up with him for good after dating him for close to five years.  Then after a year and a half I was put into a desperate situation and I knew that he was the only one who could help me. So we got back together for six months and I saw a few changes but he was still way too insecure so I walked away again.

Then he asked me for one last try. I agreed, thinking this was a good way to get rid of him. Except something changed.  I started seeing the changes that Jesus had made in him. I started loving him and I became uneasy. I was scared I was going to lose him.

So I changed how I treated him.

I now thank God for every little kindness he shows me. I am careful how I address him because somehow I started to respect him. I ask him to tell me about the things which he is interested in. (I know quite a bit about Iowa Hawkeyes now. That in itself is a mini miracle. lol) I am concerned that he is having a good time on our dates.

The fear I have about him is not that he will go to another woman. He has told me that I am the love of his life and I believe that. The fear is that I will not honor the remnants of Jesus that I see in him. I have realized that as he has drawn close to God, he has become more like God. This has made him so much more lovable. In the same sense he has also pulled such deep respect from my inner core that I treat him with gentleness now. I have a healthy dose of fear that I may lose him if I act a fool. That fear has fed my love for him.

I realize that my love for God is immature without fear.

To cuss like a sailor is not treating God with respect. I have become more aware of what I watch on television and listen to on the radio. I try not to watch or listen to things which cause separation between God and I. I crave the Word of God and use it as a guiding light to my journey through this life.

I know and believe that the blood of Jesus covers all my sins but I fear God enough to desire my sins to become fewer and fewer as I mature in Him. The fear that I have for God feeds my love for Him just as the fear that I have for my boyfriend nurtures the love I have for him.