The back story of my Family Dollar car incident

So we got ourselves a brand spankin’ new Family Dollar in town. And the kids and I went the first day they opened and were so excited to drop in. BUT we couldn’t find a parking space so we had to circle around and leave.

Well there was a car in front of us and she was waiting to pull out. So we just waited behind her. With all the time we had I decided to roll down my window, hang my head out and proceed the tell the 5 managers that were all circled up slightly behind our van talking that I was so excited they were opened but they could use more parking.

I was pretty sure they hadn’t thought about this and I was just trying to help out. As if they could just address the issue of adding more parking places so easily. Not sure what I was thinking. So I’m in the middle of sharing my feelings – yes, with perfect strangers – when all of a sudden I hear every single one of them start yelling very loud. They’re shouting and pointing, “Hey, NO, STOP!! STOP!”

I immediately felt bad and it shut me up on the parking advice for sure. Apparently I had crossed a line and offended them by my words.

And then we felt it.

And heard it.

*Crash. Bang. Crunch.

The car in front of us – that I never saw coming because my head was literally hanging out the window and looking back – was unknowingly in reverse and gunned it and rammed into our van.

And then took off and left.

Thankfully all 5 of the people saw everything. In detail. As in wrote down the description of the car and tag number. So when I called the police they got all the important information – down to the side of the car the donut was on.

I really didn’t know what to do at that point.

Do I apologize for talking about the lack of parking?

Or do I thank them for getting all the information to hopefully catch the chic that hit us?

So what did I do?

Well, I just verbally threw up and rehashed the entire story that THEY had just lived through right back to them like a pyscho-nut-job.

They just stared at me.

And this is how we roll in this family.

This is why we’re so messed up.

This. Right here.

 

 

Belly Laughter

Usually family formed belly laughter is just that – for the family – and just like pulling out old home videos is boring to other people so are their family belly laughter stories. But one reason this blog exists is for family memory preservation so I’ll share it anyways.

The weekly belly laugher comes in the form of a mispronounced Science term. I’m explaining to my son how this Science stuff works while trying to be all brainy like until I get to the term “Stratigraphy”  (\strə-ˈti-grə-fē\) and murder it completely and cannot with all my might say it the correct way after multiple attempts.

My 8th grader is beside himself laughing hysterically at me, not with me, with each mispronunciation of the word. I admit, it really is funny. It sounds so redneck and uneducated the way I say it. The wrong way. We laugh and for the last two weeks all I’ve heard about is the word Stratigraphy! At bedtime. At breakfast. On the way out the door to school – “Hey Mom, remember “Stratigraphy?”

As if to follow in this new pattern of mispronouncing words I get to the word Potomac River while studying with our third grader and once again say it totally wrong – short o and added a “t” in the middle making it sound like an automatic Pontiac car or something just completely off.

There’s no hiding anything with Sophie. You don’t get by with anything with her. No saying it correctly real fast like in hopes she didn’t catch it the first time. Nope. You’re doomed with this child.

Eyes roll in the back of her head and she says, “Mom, that is NOT how you say that word. Bahahahaha!”

Oh dear. One can hope for better days of pronunciation I guess.

 

Church fail – OMGosh I’m a freak!

All of last week I pretty much ate a daily dose of humble pie. It wasn’t the most epic parenting week ever and I certainly didn’t hold up to any pastor’s wife specs and qualifications last night at the Community Thanksgiving service. Let me paint the picture:

Once a year our awesome little community holds a Thanksgiving service on Sunday night. It either takes place in a predominately white church with a black pastor speaking or a predominately black church with a white pastor speaking. This year it was at a predominately black church. I should be used to these services by now because we attend every year and there are some things that are done differently in these services and that’s part of what I love so much about them. I truly love it but it would do me well to remember a few key things.

So last night we walk in and Randy places us in the third row behind all the ministers of our community. He then promptly leaves me and the kids sitting there by ourselves because he is whisked off to a private room where all the ministers gather and pray before the service. Makes sense but I forgot about this part. Not a big deal. Until you realize there’s nobody in front of you to watch for when to stand, sit down, or leave to put money in the offering. There is protocol to this stuff and you’re not always told what it is.

I start to notice myself sitting when EVERYone else is standing. Then I find myself starting to stand up when everyone else is still sitting. Nice one, Mel. I notice the nice looking couple behind me. She smiles and I admit to her I don’t know when to stand or sit. She says, “Just follow the leader.” Would be great except the ministers are my leaders and they have their own protocol of standing and sitting and it’s not always when the congregation does it. We sort of laugh together. And then I realize I’ve not introduced myself to them. I should welcome this nice couple. Oh I know – I should ask if they go to church here. No wait, we’re at the black church this year and they are lily white. They don’t go here. They might not even be FROM here. It’s Thanksgiving week. I bet they’re visiting family because I’ve never seen them at the Thanksgiving Community service before and it’s usually the same crowd every year. I’ll welcome them.

But I quickly get distracted by the fact that once again people are standing. I immediately stand up and fumble for my bulletin to find the words everyone is repeating. Responsive reading is so beautiful. I love it so much but I could not for the life of me find the place. I mumble words I think might fit in until I find my place. Finally I find the words and we’re on the last sentence.

This time I am quick to use my peripheral vision to see if we are sitting or singing or giving testimony at this point in the service. We are sitting.

I keep feeling the need to introduce myself to the people behind me. They are a sharp looking couple. She and I laughed together about not knowing when to do stuff and we’d soon have another mishap connection over the offering.

So what I love about black church offerings is they flat out get excited about giving. So much so that they have ushers that dismiss you by rows one by one. You take your offering down the aisle in front of everyone to put into a basket. It’s like a celebration. I really love the joy that seems to exude during this time.

But I would’ve had more joy if I had money to put in. Last year – no lie people – last year the pastor’s wife of the minister speaking – gave me a dollar to put in. She saw the look of horror that came over my face when they announced the offering and I didn’t have my purse and Randy was on the stage with the other ministers. I was so thankful for Mrs. Betty’s assistance.

Well, last night I forgot to bring money again and this time Mrs. Betty was on the other side of the church. There was no subtle sharing of the offering this time. I decided it might be safe to ask the woman behind me since we’d already laughed at some of the earlier mishaps. But something held me back – probably the fact she was a mere stranger passing through and how weird to ask for money. I would later learn it was the grace of God that kept my mouth shut.

Randy was two rows in front of me with an empty row between us. He turned around and saw the “no money!” expression on my face yet again.

He pulls out a wad of dollar bills for his inept wife and kids. I’m hoping he might smuggle them on page 327 of the hymnal but instead he stretches out far and hands the money over. I’m disappointed that I failed to remember the special offering again. I feel out of place. I don’t feel like I know what I’m supposed to be doing. Soon enough though my thoughts drift away from me and on to the awesome choir special that is going on. They are swaying, belting it out beautifully and people are walking the aisles with their money. I looked for the ushers in their white dresses but didn’t see any. They must be doing it differently this year. Looks like a free for all to me. I get excited when I see a few people from our own church there.  They must have been sitting in the way back because I didn’t see them when we came in. I decide to file in after them. That’s when I see the look in Randy’s eye as I pass him. He quietly says, “I think you were supposed to go last. They are dismissing by rows starting in the back.”

Well of course they were and of course I missed my cue once again.

I turn to the same woman behind me and say, “Well, apparently I’m breaking all the rules tonight because I went too soon.” She was gracious and smiled and we giggled again.

The sermon was incredible and reminded us of what to truly be thankful for this Thanksgiving and to not forget the people who are being persecuted for Christ’s name. Would we be willing to die for Jesus. Are we that thankful for him?

Just as the service was about to conclude the Ministerial Alliance coordinator says, “We want to thank our city officials and dignitaries that might be joining us tonight. Our Mayor is with us tonight. Mayor, would you please stand.”

And directly behind me – that couple I had been confessing to all night long – that couple – they stood up as the Mayor of our city.

I’ve never had the desire to fall slain in the spirit but I can promise you I tried really hard to fall out in that moment. To fall out cold and never wake up until Black Friday 2016.

Ya’ll – I almost welcomed the Mayor of our city to our city. I made fun of myself ALL night long to his wife. I’m a dork. I’m a dork. I’m a dork!!!!!!

We get in the van to go home and I tell Randy of all the churchy mistakes I made and how mortified I was. He laughed and said, “So you didn’t know that was Jay Donecker and his wife sitting behind you?” Then to make matters worse our nine year old daughter pipes up and says, “Mom, how did you not know that? I’ve met him twice before and knew who he was.”

Well just put me to bed and wake me up in ten years please.

The end.

 

Shoot! Did it again…..

You guys! I ruined yet another meal and had another kitchen-freak-out-moment. So much so that our eight year old wrote out a prayer for me to put in her War Room –  “Dear God, help my Mom not to be so frustrated. Amen.”

Arggghhhhhh!!!!!! I hate it when that happens.

I mean…..I’m ever so thankful for the opportunity of growth and maturity that lies before me. (bull)

So here’s the lowdown – I was making an easy but good meal for a family in our church who just had a baby. I wanted plenty of food so they could have leftovers. So I made a fail proof roast – or so I thought. Rice and green beans.

Put the roast on high for four and half hours and it was hard as a rock as I was cutting it. I had no back up plan and didn’t have time to pick up something at the store. This was my only option at this point. I doubled the gravy recipe which ended up overflowing all over the stove sending me into sheer frustration. I had ten minutes to pull this meal together and be at Sunday night church. I thought the double gravy might make up for the toughness of the roast????? Maybe it did – perhaps? Okay, so we all know it didn’t.

So there I was again – showing my true colors and serving less than stellar food to people I love. And yeah, I was frustrated about it. Nobody wanted to be in that kitchen with me during those moments of meltdown. To top it off my crockpot cracked. Ha! No really it did and I promise it’s not because I slammed it against the wall. Just a perfect ending to a disasterous meal.

I took the fixings to the family and explained that the roast would be a little tough. Very tough in fact. As in I’m-praying-your-teeth-don’t-break tough. But it was made with love. The beans and rice would be good. She assured me the roast wouldn’t be tough and it would be wonderful. I just accepted that and knew she was in for a surprise.

I just finished a great book called “Come to My Table” by Sue Donaldson. She gives great tips and hints for serving and welcoming people. She has opened my eyes to so many new things in this area of hospitality. I simply love this book. Soon I will be giving away a copy of it because I want others to know about her too. It’s too good to keep to myself. Sue texted me after my latest fail (last night) and reminded me nobody is super mom or super servant and that’s why we have Jesus.

Good words for me. Maybe good words for you too.

Let’s not let the mess ups and mistakes keep us from what God is calling us to do. It’s just another opportunity to remind us of how much we need him.

Dinner tonight? TACO TUESDAY on Monday because I know I won’t mess it up. Ahaha!!!!

Linking with Kelly, Laura, and Jen and mentioned over at Sue’s place today.

Signs of a bad week

You know it’s been a bad week when……

  • You call your child a butt and then realize he’s most likely going to go to school and tell all his teachers and friends that his Mom called him a butt. Then they won’t believe him and he’ll keep arguing until he gets a detention. I should write a book called, “If you call your child a butt he’ll ask for prayer at school.” And by the way he cracked up laughing when it came out of my mouth because honestly it shocked all of us. And I apologized and he wouldn’t accept because he thought it was hilarious and he knew it was true.
  • Your daughter overhears a phone conversation about having a routine mammogram and laughs hysterically making mammogram squashing machine noises with hand motions. As if that’ not enough she graciously says she’ll request prayer for me in her class.
  • You make your entire family late for school all because of greasy hair. I should’ve just let teenage britches go with greasy day 2 unwashed hair but like a refined Southern Mama I made him go up and take a shower in 5 minutes knowing that was impossible. It was just plain stupid. And the whole family came unglued. I’m wearing a sign on my forehead that says, “I’m a butt.”

Other than that we are just having a peachy kind of a week. In a few days I get to attend a prayer conference in which I talk about how I pray over my kids – after I call them a butt. The process of refinement and humility is not easy I say.

How I found myself in the middle of a live Frat party this week.

 

My sweet Christian friend who is sharing her story of redemption and freedom from drug addiction started sharing her story through a variety of social media platforms. One of which is Periscope. I wasn’t familiar with this app so I was playing around with it trying to figure out how to follow and watch her daily 2pm coffee chats. Well somehow – I swear I don’t know how – I found myself in the middle of a live virtual Frat party in which I was asked to show specific body parts!!!!!

Say what?!! You are kidding, right? No people. I am not kidding.

I could see the party going on live – close up – but they can only see a comment thread from everyone else who was watching or following. Clearly I just clicked on a random “live” event and had no clue what I was doing. I figured I was about to view a live Christian ladies event…. yeah but no.

I was so appalled that I gave the granny talkin’ to to this group of wild thangs and then got out of there fast and ran and told on them to my Christian speaker friend. I suppose my user name didn’t help much (@bowlofwedgies) and is giving me great pause and reconsideration at this point in my social media career. But seriously there is some crazy stuff out there with apps. You have to be so careful.  Christian speakers use Periscope so people can hear them speak live and I was under the impression that it was for Christian speakers but nooooooooo. It’s really not. In fact when my friend was speaking via Periscope I was outraged at some of the comments she received from random followers – called “trolls”. Her husband would block users that were being totally inappropriate or mean. But I love the fact that she is still speaking through Periscope because this is a great platform to be sharing Jesus. The opposition is great and we’re told we’ll be persecuted when sharing Truth. It shouldn’t scare us – we should approach it with caution and with great boldness.

So friends, if you’ve never been to a frat party you’re not missing anything. I know this because I found myself in the middle of one for about one minute and one minute too long! It’s not worth it. And to my teenage and college friends who feel that virtual attendance to such parties is not the same thing – you’re wrong sweet people. It is the same thing. Guard yourself online. Set up boundaries. This world has no concern for your personal integrity or purity. It will be the Holy Spirit who helps you in this area so depend on him heavily.

 

 

 

Choosing to un-believe the lie that it’s “too late”

Today I was reminded of God’s sweet grace in my life. I had blown it big time in one of my relationships.

Oh alright, I’ll tell you.

I mentor a little girl at a school in our community. We’ve been “lunch buddies” since last year and I see her once a week. Well, about mid November when sickness hit our family over and over again I found myself every Thursday either at a Doctor’s appointment or at home with a sick child or sick myself. Then flu season hit. Eventually I fell out of the habit of meeting my girl who I had faithfully mentored up to this point. More time went by and I felt so guilty for not going. Not calling. Not letting the school know why I had not been there and so I didn’t want to show up. I was too ashamed. Three months had passed. I was committing the cardinal mentor taboo – not showing up without communicating anything. These are kids who need a positive influence in their life and to be one more person who doesn’t show up in their life pours salt on a wound.

The last two weeks my girl has been heavy on my heart. I knew God was nudging me to get back to seeing her but I didn’t want to face her. In my time with Him this morning He clearly showed me this was now an issue of obedience and there was grace for me in my lack of faithfulness. This was not about me and saving face. This was about a calling He put in my life.

I pulled into the school parking lot and couldn’t help but wonder if she would be mad at me. Or on the other hand would she even remember me. I spoke with her teacher who was as gracious as could be. And then my sweet little lunch buddy came over with a huge grin on her face and gave me a bear hug. And we picked right up. I told her I was sorry for not coming. Explained the sickness in our family and that I wished I had let her know through her teacher what was going on. She was quick to forgive as children so often are. I felt so much better. I was so thankful I had pushed through the awkward and uncomfortable scenario I had conjured up in my head of her throwing her lunch tray at me when I showed up three months late.

I’m so glad I got over that hump and fought satan’s lie that it was “too late” and that I had done too much damage to make it right again. Oh how thankful I am for God’s grace. His word is alive and active. God’s Spirit through His word spoke into my heart this morning about sincere love from Romans 12. Sincere love has a very distinct description. God used my time meditating on those words from Romans 12 to open up my heart to do something I didn’t want to do.

I’m so glad our God is faithful even when we are not. It makes me love him so much more and give me a desire to be more faithful to Him and others.

Linking with Jennifer, Holley and Kristin

 

I’m that ‘well she tries’ girl in the kitchen

It was a long-time-waiting warm Spring day outside yesterday. And those kinds of days make me do crazy things all in the name of warm weather. I dreamed up this visual in my head of our family rocking on the rocking chairs of our Southern front porch eating warm pound cake with strawberries and watching traffic drive by. As if any of us have time for that but it sure sounded great. So I whipped one up real quick while prepping dinner.

While the cake was in the oven smelling quite divine I decided I would be super Mom and let the kids do what they’ve been dying to do ever since we’ve lived here. Make a mud pit with quicksand. After all it was warm and Springy feeling outside. I even went to say out loud (which was a mistake) to the kids, “You know, sometimes playing is more important than homework!” I do believe it’s true to some degree but really should have kept that thought to myself because boy did they ever latch on to that one. I dread what the teachers might hear today at school from our kids. An exaggerated, “My Mom said that playing is more important than school or homework ever will be!!!!” Oh dear.

So the kids are doing this:

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while I’m cooking dinner and smelling the cake in the oven and running out every 15 minutes to be sure nobody was drowning in mud.

Randy came home to this…..

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Thankfully my man is cool with things like this. He wasn’t worried about the grass because there was none to begin with. This is the spot where our trampoline has been for several years but we moved it to a different location.

I assured Randy I would make all this up to him by pulling out a beautiful warm pound cake. He  excited about that. I don’t have a light on my oven and knew better than to open the oven – it might make the cake “fall”, whatever that meant. I’ve never had a cake to fall and have never understood what that means really. So I just waited the hour and a half to pull out the cake.

Finally we heard the long awaited ding of the timer while we were finishing up dinner.  I jumped up and grabbed my oven mitts and swung open the oven door to find this:

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I let out a shocked scream. The kids said, “What’s wrong Mom!” Randy could see from where he was sitting the damage. My mouth fell to the floor in complete shock. I’d never seen a cake do this before. I looked at the oven to be sure my temperature was right and it was and then it hit me….

I swung open the cabinet door and yanked down my flour bag and sure enough I had accidentally bought “self rising” flour instead of plain all purpose.

I took the cake over and put it on the table and looked at Randy and said, “This is what happens when I try too hard to be all domesticated.”

Sophie said, “Well, then don’t try so hard.

Mitchell quips back immediately and says, “Actually, try harder please!!”

And that’s when we all busted out laughing and started scraping off the sides of the cake. I was ready to pitch the thing but Randy scooped it up into bowls. Yes, bowls for cake. Let’s just pour the salt on the culinary wound why don’t we.

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And you know what? It was was actually delicious! We loved it. Randy said, “I think this is the best cake you’ve ever made!”

Have I mentioned that I love my man? He’s so sweet. The cake was good but really now, it wasn’t the best cake I’ve ever made.

So yeah,  I’m the “well she tries” girl occasionally. Not all the time because generally I can pull together  decent meal and dessert but when I blow it I blow it big. Ha!!

So, care to share any of your “well she tried” kitchen episodes? Dare you to. 

 

 

 

 

 

When you don’t feel all Proverbs 31’ish

For these reasons and more I have never written my name in the margin of Proverbs 31:

1) I caught Sunday lunch on fire this past Sunday. My husband blew it out.

2) I added these to a pork roast recipe because I thought they were the same thing as dried onions. But they’re not. Fried and Dried are not the same thing.

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3) My husband has worn underwear  socks inside out because I was not up while it was still dark washing or darning new ones for him. And for the record the only “darn” I know about is the word you say when you really want to say something else. Ahem.

4) Our daughter wears mismatched socks almost every single day….not due to a trend thing.

Oh I could go on but I’ll leave it at that and make my point. Because there is only 8,464 more things I could add to this list it made something that happened last week even more special to me.

On one of our Proverbs readings last week we all read Proverbs 31. The family is scattered in the living room and we’re all reading our verses. I read and kept silently saying to myself, “Dangit I gotta work on that!” Or “That is so not me but I would like for it to be.” And so on.

We usually just read and pray and head out the door. But this morning was different. Randy began reading Proverbs 31 out loud and he would stop and make some comments about me in between. He would say, “Mom takes care of the poor – how does she do that?” The kids took part and together they built me up and pointed out areas that I was like the Proverbs 31 woman and I was in awe. In shock more like. It’s not that I think I’m a lame chick wallowing in self pity. I just don’t think of myself  in terms of Proverbs 31. I want to get there but I’m not yet. So to hear my man and my kids affirm me in this was so very moving. They prayed over me and thanked God for me and my heart melted in a puddle. I will never forget that moment.

And that night for dinner?

We had the best meal we’ve had in a long time.

The house?

Was immaculate.

The hubs underwear and socks?

Clorox clean!

Kids clothes?

Washed, ironed, folded and put away neatly completely with matching socks for the girly girl.

And even if I haven’t felt Proverbs 31’ish before I am starting to strive for it more intentionally.

I am a blessed woman of God – not because of what I do or don’t do but because of His grace for me through it all.

Linking with Jennifer, Holley and kristin.

When we act bigger than we really are

Oh bless’er. She was born wanting to be a toddler and now that she’s in second grade she wants to be a preteen.

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Oh she still plays with her dolls, dresses up her big bear and plays “pretend” but sometimes she steps into responsibility that doesn’t belong to her. Like at the Super Bowl party we just had at our house. She and several other little girls were all playing upstairs and apparently the toddler among them had a “stinky” diaper. So while the adults were downstairs cheering the SeaHawks on Sophie took it upon herself to change her first poopy diaper ever. When my friend went upstairs to check on her toddler she came down laughing and gave us the lowdown…

Sophie was in the bathroom dry heaving in the sink while the older sister of the toddler was puking in the toilet. My friend asked Sophie what was the matter and she said, “Nothing.” When she asked her a second time she confessed proudly she had just changed the toddler’s diaper but then started gagging after it was all done.

Insert deep belly laughter from all the Moms. We decided it would be a story the girls would one day laugh about hysterically. Sophie one-upping her friend saying, “I kept mine in but yours came out! Na-na-na-boo-boo.”

My friend had to “finish the job” if you know what I mean. But she stepped in and finished the job and all was well.

I laugh, but I do it too.

I try to do things that don’t belong in my realm of responsibility. Sometimes I try to help God out by taking the bold initiative to do things He didn’t ask of me. I move forward in utter independence when I need to wait on Him to do the things I can’t really do. My forgetfulness and sometimes it’s my unwillingness to ask for His help leaves me gagging over the mess I get myself in. So yeah, second grade or 40 something years old – it’s still a battle to fight.

But the amazing thing about my God is this: He’s always there to rescue me and love me just the same. This thought makes me more apt to pause before delving into self-initiated territory. It makes me want to seek Him and His plans for me – not my own.

And for the record…..I love the fact that my girl is independent and will try to figure things out for herself. This quality is a good one and even better when framed with the truth that she can do all things through Christ who gives her strength.

Linking with Holley, Jennifer and Kristin today.