Friday, February 20, 2009

Keeping a Remnant

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of having lunch with a very dear lady in my life, Carol Golden. She would describe herself as my friend, but it goes so much deeper than that in my eyes. Carol was one of my Mom's close friends through her circle of women at church and carries a lot of the same viewpoints and qualities my Mom had. She and her husband, Bob, were leaders in the college ministry at my church when I was in college and those were sweet times. As I was "finding myself" and didn't want to share those things with my Mom, Carol was that listening ear that would give wise counsel in a non-threatening way because she wasn't my Mom.

Shortly after my Mom's death, Carol and I spent a lot of time together. She's walked with me through that sad time in my life, let me lament over broken relationships, and always would remind me that she was praying for me. I learned from her months later that she and the circle of women who were closest to my Mom at church had promised they would watch out for me once she was gone. That promise still touches my heart today through these friendships and models for me what true Christian friendship is all about.

Whenever I can get quality time with Carol, it's a treat. This one Saturday we got to visit a local antique mall and have lunch in their quaint cafe. Spending time with Carol is like drinking from a flowing fountain or applying the Balm of Gilead. I never spend time with her that I don't walk away refreshed, renewed and rested. Usually every time we're together she shares with me a conversation she had with my Mom. That is a precious treasure that I can tuck away in my heart and pull out on those days when I'm missing a dose of my Mom.

During our time that day, Carol shared with me about the recent loss of her Aunt. She viewed her like another Mother and so missed her. One of the talents her Aunt possessed was doing calligraphy. She had done it for years and Carol found it fascinating. Then Carol said something that resonated so true with me. She said, "I want to learn calligraphy. It would be like keeping a remnant of my Aunt with me." Wow. All of a sudden I realized the remnants in my life I had held on to because they were things my Mom enjoyed. My Mom was an avid reader and encouraged that in my life at a very young age. I've committed to read more each year because I love it and the knowledge it brings. But now, I see it is a remnant of my Mom I'll carry with me. Also, my challenging goal of crocheting a complete project is another remnant, albeit frayed. My Mom made afghans for every couple that married, every baby that was born and anyone else who looked cold. To be able to be successful at that is yet another remnant I can carry.

The uttering of the phrase "keeping a remnant" just floods my mind with all sorts of visuals. I want to keep even the smallest threads from all those in my life that have made a difference and design a beautiful tapestry that one day will be worn into threads....threads that I hope others will keep as remnants of me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Top Five Signs You Love* Facebook

5. You have ever superpoked someone, sent them flair or mourned the loss of Scrabulous.

4. You caved under the peer tagging pressure and wrote "25 Random Things About Me."

3. You have used Facebook as a verb..."Hey, just 'facebook' me."

2. When referring to "wall-to-wall" you are not discussing the flooring options for your home.

1. You've pondered the question "How did Jesus do ministry without Facebook?"

*Love is a kinder word than addicted to...but the words can be interchangeable to apply to your personal situation.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Conscience, Thy Name is Jan

Last Saturday, I had a glorious day. After being cooped up in my house for three days due to an ice storm, I escaped on a bright sunny morning to frolic around town. I now know how a caged animal feels. I started the day at breakfast with Becky. She recently married a friend of mine, Garett, and he made a wise choice in Becky. I enjoy spending time with is always so refreshing.

Then after an errand or two, I was off to lunch with my sweet friend, Carol. Carol was one of my college leaders at church, one of my Mom's best friends, a confidante from way back, and a wise woman. We hadn't gotten to spend much time together due to the holidays, so it was good to catch up with her, laugh with her, and share memories of my Mom with her. Our times together are never without her sharing a story between her and my Mom. I cherish those stories.

After my day of fun, it was time to get some things accomplished and off to the grocery I went. It was late in the day as the sun was setting and I was ready to get my groceries, unload them, and settle in for the evening. The girl at checkout was unusually nice. Normally I seem to hit the line that has the checker who has endured all the crazy customers for the last four hours. She was fast, she was talkative, and she was a good bagger. I headed home and started unloading my groceries when I realized I had an extra jug of milk. Ugh. All of a sudden the thoughts flooded my mind. "What do I do?" "The right thing is to drive this back to the store." "But, it's late and the person that probably didn't get their milk is already back there to complain." "It doesn't matter the circumstances, it's the right thing." I could have sworn I saw a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. It's times like these when I realize how fallen I am.

I decided to keep on unloading and then I'd check the ticket to make sure I didn't pay for both of those jugs of milk. Yeah, that's probably what happened, I paid for them. As I continued, my friend, Jan called. We laughed and talked and then....wham....a dozen eggs I did not pick up now magically appeared on my counter. Sheesh. The devil and the angel on my shoulders were at it again. "Now it's milk and eggs." "Well, I'm almost out of eggs, maybe this is a blessing from God." "But if you didn't pay for them, maybe it's a test of your honesty and integrity." At that point, I decided to confess to Jan. I've recently become her accountability partner and what better time to put this into action. Jan, without hesitation, said, "You need to take them back." She was right. I knew she was right. After the day of blessings I had, why would I not do the right thing? I got off the phone with her, finished unloading the goods, then checked the receipt just to make sure. Only one jug of milk charged and no eggs. Off I go.

As I drove back to the store, I realized I needed to get in a right spirit about this. It is the right thing to do, but not if I'm grumbling and huffing the whole way. That brought back memories of childhood when my Mom would tell me to do something and I'd do it, but complain the whole time. I walked into the store and gave the goods to the customer service desk and explained what happened. She thanked me for my honesty. I got to walk out to the parking lot and have a great chat with a woman who I think thought I was nuts, so that was entertaining. Nonetheless, with all my kicking and screaming, I'm glad I did the right thing. Thanks, Jan, for reminding me.

I slept like a baby that night.