Sunday, November 26, 2006

Yes, God Forgives, But...

God forgives, but He does NOT reward for bad behavior.

Vandalized Church Gives Gifts to Suspects

Football Game Blessings

Last Friday night I went to the kid's high school football game. Their school was vying for a chance to play at state, so it was a high stakes game. I sat there watching and would get teary-eyed at times because I would start thinking about the fact that I was at a high school football game!

I know, being at a high school football game is not very exciting, but when I think about the fact that I am not a mom, and I probably never will be, yet, I was at a high school football game with all the activities going on around me, I realized how blessed I was.

I am a single person, but a VERY blessed single person. Single people normally are not out carpooling kids everywhere, and bundling up to sit through football games on cold nights. I have no kids of my own (don't really want them either! Especially at this late stage!) and never will. But, I am so blessed to be involved in the lives of Katie's kids! You know, I love her kids! They are such a big part of my life and at this point, I can't imagine them not being in it! Many single people do not ever get this privilege!

So, I was at a football game ONLY because I am blessed enough to be involved in the lives of kids I really care about. I get to experience the swell of pride when one of the kids accomplishes something, be it scoring in the basketball game, singing in the musical, dancing in the play, striking a bass drum, receiving recognition for hard work or whatever. At the game, Justin was busy with the band playing bass drum, and Tiffany was hanging out with her friends, and I was sitting there enjoying the electricity in the air over this championship game, which they won by the way! State next week!

God gave me such a gift. He gave me great responsibility in the lives of these kids too, and I don't take that lightly. (It isn't all happy happy joy joy! Anyone with teens would tell you the same! LOL) I never did anything to deserve this blessing of a framily (friends + family), but that just proves how gracious and awesome God is!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Did She Turn It On?

Katie is at a friends celebrating Thankgiving with them for a little while. Before she left, she put the turkey in the oven and planned to return home around 2:30 at which time we will share our Thanksgiving feast with turkey and all the trimmings.

Good thing Tiffany walked out here and checked on the turkey. She looked at the oven and asked "Does mom know she didn't turn the oven on?"

"WHAAAAAAAT?" I frantically inquired

"She didn't turn the oven on" Tif repeated.

So Tif called her mom and I heard a muffled "WHAAAAAAT?!" over the phone.

LOL

I guess we are going to eat around 4 now.

Until then I'll sing my "Gobble Song" and eagerly await dinner.

Thankful For My New Job

Today is Thanksgiving, a day that is marked by gluttony in America.

Turkey, turkey, turkey!


And if you are here looking for the American Greetings "At first I was an egg, I was petrified..." Turkey E-Card, CLICK HERE.
(Link updated 11/07/07 thanks to jth1963ut - why American Greetings ditched that ecard this year is beyond me.)

Outside of what I am thankful for daily, which would include my salvation, my friends and family, and the fact that I have a roof over my head and food to eat, I am thankful this year for my new job.

Yesterday I completed my third day of work with Office Max. I am learning A LOT! Whoa! And I mean A LOT!

I left a business I was in for 12 years, so it is safe to say that I knew it pretty well, and I am now in an environment that is pretty much foreign to me. It can be frustrating because I want to do what I can for the customer, and at this point, I'm not doing much! LOL I'll tell them enthusiastically, when they ask if we have something..."no, I have no clue if we have that, BUT...I'll find out, so don't panic! You see...I'm new." LOL Many times I find if I just tell the customer that I am "new" and reassure them that we'll find it one way or another, most are pretty cool with that and have more empathy for me than impatience. rubberband ball

So far I am really enjoying my new job. It is very challenging, yet it is fun. In fact, it is passionate, innovative and fun! The Office Max logo, the rubber band ball, actually made some news this week as a 4594-Pound, 175,000-Band Rubberband Ball, was certified as World's Largest in the Guinness Book of World Records. How fun is that?!

I am working with a very knowledgeable bunch of people who are training me, and not only do they know their jobs, and know how to teach me mine, they are fun. I've never worked in a store this large before, and I have been impressed with how well it is run by the manager and his staff. I'm working with a great bunch of people in my training store and tomorrow will be my first day working at the store I was hired to work at. It should be an interesting day.

I will be working in my new store this one day, Black Friday, and that should be VERY challenging! My first day in my new store, with a staff I do NOT know, a floor plan that I do NOT know, and lots and lots of product that I do NOT know with many, many customers coming in looking for deals, will be Black Friday! I love it! Adrenaline rush! S U U U U U U R G E!!!

Next week, I'll be back in Memphis at my training store for three more weeks. At the end of those three weeks, I will know everything there is to know (NOT!) and be ready to start working at the store I was hired for. Just in time for Christmas! I'll tell you, starting a new job/career in retail a month before Christmas sure is FUN!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Science Gives Christians Upper Hand Over Atheists

Wow! I am wishing I was at this conference, "Loving God with all Your Mind"!

There's some great presentations being given according to these articles:

Science Gives Christians Upper Hand Over Atheists

and

Apologist: Evidence of God is 'Sufficiently Clear'

With theologians/presenters like Lee Strobel, and William Lane Craig...you know it's gotta be good! Lee Strobel's "The Case for a Creator" was premiered at the conference. I'm sure some of the material presented included some of the interesting facts that I've seen in the DVD "The Privileged Planet". Click the links below to view a 3 minute clip from "The Privileged Planet":

The Best Hair Day Ever

This is a picture of Katie. She said I could take a picture because this is "the best hair day ever!"

Posted by Picasa





















She's so weird!

Hey, I painted that wall behind her! I love my blue wall!

My Career is Over

My career in music retail is over.

On Monday, I will begin again.

I will learn new things, I will meet new people, I will be in a new mission field.

It is exciting, frightening, but none of it matters. God is the same.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Please Secure My Seat

I took my Jeep in for an oil change today. When I dropped it off, I asked the service guy to please check the driver's seat because it is loose, could they please secure it.

No problem. (they said and I thought)

Problem.

That will be $300 please, oh and your rear brakes "are low", $150 please.

How did my oil change turn into a $450 venture?

This after I wrote a check for $2800 for home repairs I had done this week. At least my entire house is no longer shaking when someone walks across the room, or when the washer is running.

I can't wait until 2006 is over. It has been my most expensive year on record. I'm sure 2007 will be better!

Monday, November 13, 2006

How Come It Doesn't Feel Like It?

This is my last week at FYE.

This is my last week working in music retail. Selling music and movies has been my business for the last twelve years.

How come it doesn't feel like it?

It doesn't feel any different today than it did a month ago.

Am I really leaving? At the end of this week, my locker will be cleaned out, my certificates/awards will be removed from the wall, my desk cleaned off, Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber will no longer hang on the handle of the file cabinet, and I will leave the backroom for the very last time on Friday.

I will not be employed there anymore. It will no longer be "my store". It's gonna be over.

How come it doesn't feel like it?

Literally, it doesn't feel like anything has changed.

Have I already accepted this life change? Or, has it just not hit yet?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

All I Need Is...

ONE PANTY HO!

LOL

That was what Katie was exclaiming as she scoured the house looking for a match to the three knee highs she had, none of which matched each other.

She said "if 1 sock doesn't have an 's', then 1 panty ho doesn't have an 's' either".

It bloggles the mind!

Obsession

This is one of the scariest things I have ever viewed. It is even worse than a movie with an evil clown.

www.ObsessionTheMovie.com

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Shopping

I hate shopping.

My mom has always thought it strange that I chose a career in retail.

A few minutes ago my friend Katie called to see if I wanted anything from Walmart. I said "Can I come?"

She said "Only if you won't bother me." LOL

I said "Well, what are you going to get?"

She said "See, you are already bothering me." LOL

She's at Walmart. I'm posting on this blog.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Big Life Changing News

Out with the guitar pic...

fye







In with the rubberband ball...

rubberband ballI think the rubberband ball is cute!

I notified my staff tonight that I was no longer going to be their manager. Reactions were as expected...kind of a mixture, but an overall "sorry to see you go" thing. I was sad. I will still have about 10 more days with them.

This has been a decision weighing on my mind for a couple of years. FYE was good to me, but I am ready to move to a different type of environment. I look forward to learning new things and being challenged professionally as a manager at Office Max.

It also didn't help that the EMI Music CEO said last week "The CD is dead."

Music retail has been my business now for almost 12 years. I am going to miss it. In some ways I already do...one way is because "The CD is dead" and the other way is I have moved away from pop culture because I am getting older and also because as a Christian, I am appalled at a lot of the depravity in the recording industry these days, both in audio and visual media, as well as print media. I struggled with that daily and it will be nice not to have that struggle anymore.

I think back to high school when my record collection was just starting. I loved the big vinyl LP album covers and would devour every word on the jacket and sleeve as I'd sit in front of the stereo for hours on end. It was my sanctuary! I always wanted to work in a record store.

In college, pursuing a music degree, I was always applying at the local record stores. No one would hire me. Never even got called for an interview.

Earned my degree...started teaching, moved to MI and landed a summer job at Camelot Music. It was such a great experience! And I always wanted to work in a record store...which was now a CD store. I had found my niche! Basically stopped seeking teaching positions, because I was working in a record store!

Worked my way up the ladder, relocated a few times, and have been managing an FYE store for the last five years in TN. Life changes, and now the time has come for this chapter to end.

I'm feeling a lot of different emotions right now. Excited about the new possibilities. Disbelief that I'm ending my "dream" to work in a record store. Sad to leave my staff and my store. Happy to just get on with things. Rejoicing that I got the job! Bumming that I'll miss my old boss...yet, excited about working for my new one.

A lot of my thoughts are melancholy these days. I'm remembering past jobs I've left and different people I've worked with. Some now on with other things, some still in the CD business, some deceased, some just a faint memory. I've been so blessed to have worked with so many great people. You know...it's not so much the job...it's the people.

Thank you to all of you that have prayed for me that I would get an opportunity like this. Everyone has been so wonderful.

So there you have it...the big life changing news! Instead a passion for music that I once had, I now have a "passion for printers and paperclips!" as was suggested to me by someone when I stopped by the church the other day and announced my news.

God Loves Me

(This is still on the subject of the post below. The information is "sensitive" so I can not disclose the news just yet, but I will be able to later this evening when all the people involved are notified.)

At church today, after having missed it for a good month due to work, I was reminded about how Jesus loves us through others. The people in my SaLT group have been praying incessantly for me, for a good year, and most intensely during the past few months.

One particular sister in Christ is Miss Katherine. She is a frail, elderly woman who we have all grown attached to, and watch over her as best we can. She hobbles around with her cane and requires help with opening doors, climbing the three steps to our SaLT group gathering, and could use a warm campfire in The Gathering Place (our house of worship) when the AC is blowing like a blizzard and keeping a chill in the air...which, for the rest of us, is usually welcome in the warm climate of Tennessee. She is a sweetheart, and very soft-spoken. She sits quietly during our discussions in SaLT group, and rarely has anything to add. (Let me tell you though...the few times she has spoken up have been profound!)

We have learned over the years of knowing Miss Katherine, that her spiritual gift is prayer. We are all sure to ask Miss Katherine to pray for us when we need it. She is one of the first I go to when I need prayer. I trust Miss Katherine to go to the Lord on my behalf.

Today when I shared my news...Miss Katherine smiled a huge ear to ear smile through tears of joy and celebration.

She rejoiced and grabbed my hand and offered a short word of encouragement, and at the same time she was giving all the glory to God for answered prayer.

At that moment, when she looked in my eyes, I realized the significance of the love and the attention she had given to my need. She carried my burden and spent countless minutes, hours going to the Lord for me.

It was then that I also realized that what I was seeing in the eyes of Miss Katherine was the love of Christ. Christ also revealed something else. You see, I saw not only Miss Katherine, but my mom and dad too, whom I know to have been in prayer for me as well. (I wish they weren't so far away) It dawned on me that people cared for me, and that they had taken my burden seriously and have been praying for me! I suddenly felt a rush of, oh...it's hard to describe. Let's just say at that moment I felt so loved. I understood in that moment that God has surrounded me with family and with friends who care so deeply for me. I mean, this is stuff that I already know, but what I'm telling you now, is that I FELT that. I felt it right then.

It all happened in only a moment. The time it takes to look into the eyes of someone who said "I've prayed so hard for you."

And...it is not just the fact that the prayers have been answered as I had hoped...as everyone had hoped, but simply that today I was reminded that God loves me. He put people around me that love me. Nothing else really matters.

Even if those prayers had not been answered as I had hoped, God loves me.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006