Archive | October 2015

“Nothing Can Stop Us Now”

[Once again, this draft was penned in June a year and a half ago.  It’s ancient history now :0), but I’m pleased in a shy way to see how upbeat I was able to be.]

 

The last time I wrote (January 1) I exclaimed, “What’s Next, Father?”  and basically stood amazed, waiting for whatever He brought my way.

I wanted to let the few of you who still read this little chat know what has transpired since then.

Times grew worse; desperate, in fact.  I wish I could list for you all the particulars, but for now let’s just say that I can’t imagine anything worse happening to us.  (What a frightful thing to say, now I see this and wonder if I “jinxed” our journey).

Then on one of the earliest sunny days in 2014 to date, someone that neither my husband nor I had ever contacted called him and asked him to come to work for them.  Right here in Oklahoma.  No 12 hours of travel; no outlay of expense for hotel, or anything.  Just wanted him to come to work immediately.

And a couple of days following that–ending 3 years of unemployment–I was called for an interview that I had joked about a few days earlier.  I’d grown so used to pouring my all into an interview to no avail, that I just relaxed and enjoyed this one. No pressure–if I wasn’t going to get the job, there was no reason to fret and be nervous. So I relaxed, and laughed a lot, and had a great time in this interview. In fact, when I left the boss’s office, I was so pleased just to have a warm and confident interview that I was encouraged just to have accomplished that simple act.

You can’t imagine the awe and delight in my heart when I was asked to accept the position a couple of days later.  It was more than I could fathom that all of this would transpire at the same time.  BOTH of us hired within a few days’ time.

To shorten a long and rather boring tale, we’re now in a new home; smaller, but beautiful.  We have a new beginning; new jobs, new dreams, and thankfully, a new purpose.

Last time it was “What’s Next, Father?” And this time I can truly say it’s all about Him.  To quote my husband’s wedding vows to me, “Nothing Can Stop Us Now.”

 

New Chapter Coming Up

[Written over a year ago when I switched jobs.  Not sure why I neglected to publish…but I still appreciate RCB bank, even though I’m over 500 miles away now…it’s STILL “my bank!”]

I’ve had a wonderful time working for the local bank the past few years.  Along with other activities I’ve spent my days staring at checks written by customers, squinting at the handwriting of Mr. Jones and Miss Smith, trying to interpret what dollar and how many cents they mean.

You’ll never believe how many people put about 4 zeroes BEFORE the dollar amount on their deposit slip…and a dash, or slash, or dots, or smiley face after the written dollar amount–leaving me to guess what they actually intend in regard to their accounts.  My coworkers grew weary of hearing me say, “I wanna teach a class in how to write checks or people can’t have accounts!”

I can now stop feeding that wicked machine that photographs (but for me it eats) paper checks and distorts them until I cringe at the outcome.  They’re letting me out of validating new information, they now understand that they cannot train this old traditionalist to read the “new math” kind of numbers that some customers are writing for us.

And now I’ve turned  another page in my personal history and moved on to more familiar ground.  I left the hallowed tan cubicles, ornate paneled elevators, with scenes of quiet floral vases and opulent wallpaper for a more common habitat. I learned a great deal from each of those I met  at the bank.  I learned not go to the banking floor to cash a cheque unless it’s between 2 and 3 pm.  And which teller to approach–one always busy, one chatting you up so that you never go away feeling less than a new member of the family.

I learned that it is NOT necessarily worth it to wear jeans on Friday. That the bank has the very best leftovers in town (their catered events are fantastic). I learned that behind this genteel aura of respect, impersonal formality and “properness” is a group of observant, thoughtful and caring people, a team who shows regard for your personal safety and security, trying to help you succeed (sometimes in spite of your own best intentions).

The slow, deliberate nature of their decision-making process allows time to examine all avenues available to their clients…resulting in a studied, wise and certain direction that will rarely offer you less than the very best outcome possible.  Quite a legacy, when you stop to think about it.

I’ve moved on to new territory…different, surely, but not necessarily  better.  Just different.  But after all’s said and done, I can still say with certainty and pride, ..”that’s STILL my bank!”

Never Know How Little You Know Until You Teach

Been teaching lately.  And while it shouldn’t, it still surprises me how much I learn just from preparing to teach.  A few pearls I’ve picked up this year:

  • You do not have the answers to everything.
  •  It’s okay not to have the answers to everything.
  • Expounding longer and in detail while it sounds a bit impressive (to the beginner’s ear) does not improve the percentage of learning that takes place.  In fact, it usually drops the numbers a bit.
  • Students learn as much when you ask them questions as when you provide answers.  Possibly more.
  • The times you’re less well-prepared tend to turn out pretty well.  In spite of you.
  • It’s very humbling to hear simple wisdom emanate from someone you had totally underestimated.  And gratifying, somehow.
  • Wisdom comes in many forms.
  • The lesson you thought you were teaching isn’t always what was learned.  And that’s okay.
  • “Pride goes before a perilous fall”…watch the teacher stumble. Pride shouldn’t enter into lesson preparation OR delivery.
  • About 12 years ago I wrote an article titled “Surprised by Christ.”  It still rings true.  No matter how well I believe I know Him, He continually amazes me.
  • A lesson not bathed in prayer isn’t worth teaching.
  • Timing is important.  I repeat.  Timing is important.
  • Teaching is addicitive.  Or more like a calling.  I’m driven to it; can’t help it.  Can’t get enough of it.

Enough said.

I Can’t Say Amen

Goodness!!  It seems now that with growing frequency, whenever I bow my head (when I’m alone) or sometimes with a close friend sharing a meal, that I bow my head to say our thanks for the food in front of us…and I just can’t do it.

I begin thanking God, remembering Who He is.  Remembering how He even managed to fashion the miracle of a human being is astounding, much less develop the capillaries and the tongue, teeth, and meat of the animal that’s been placed before me for a hearty meal.  How do I even begin to wrap my senses around how much effort, how much unfathomable intelligence thath it took, to even comprehend what it would take to create out of simple matter a living, breathing–your see?   My food’s grown cold, my friend is looking at me with a “what’s with you?” expression…  And I realize I’ve done it again.  I whisper a quiet, “forgive us our sins, Lord, we love you, in Jesus’ name” and end my prayer. But it isn’t finished.  It just isn’t.