Grace and the Golden Shoes

I retired a pair of shoes recently. I remember buying these particular shoes because they were too expensive, in my estimation, but, also, too pretty to pass up. They were flip flops goldflower2on a wedge heel decorated with tiny leather flowers, each embossed with gold. I adored them. You may be asking, “Why is she telling us this?” Who cares that she retired a pair of shoes?” I tell you this because there was an incident involving these shoes that brought out a side of me I’m ashamed of and as I picked those faded gold flowers off of them, I was reminded of it.
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Got Love?

Love makes the world go round and sometimes it makes me want to hurl.

I was recently thinking about what an amazing life I have and, as I tallied up the reasons, it became clear to me that it’s largely due to one thing; love. I’m loved. My parents, from chelsea-bock-65622a young age, taught me that God, my maker and sustainer, loves me with a passionate, unchanging, undying love.
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Coming Back from the Dread

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

Years ago, I worked as dental assistant. I handed instruments and materials to the dentist while he worked, took x-rays and impressions, and suctioned a lifetime of other people’s dentistry-316945_640spit, but the bulk of my work was cleaning; scrubbing blood and saliva off of instruments, bagging and sterilizing them and disinfecting all surfaces in the dental operatory between patients. I find cleaning grueling and so avoid it, certain that I don’t want to spend my diddly allotment of time here elbows deep in a pail of bubbles and that regret over a spattered mirror won’t haunt me on my deathbed. Consequently, this job was not a good fit for me. Over time, and I lasted almost six years before taking maternity leave, I descended into dread. Every day I had to work, I woke up with it sticking to me like sweaty sheets. There was a brief reprieve on the weekend, but its sour stench returned promptly on Sunday evening whenever I had to work Monday morning.

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Stuff

I started working as a health care aide over a year ago now. I began my career at an assisted living complex where I went into people’s “homes” (rooms) and helped them get up, get ready and get on with their days. This particular establishment doesn’t insist on standardized beds, but allows people to bring in their own furniture. Though some have rooms that scream “recently purchased” at Bed, Bath and Benign, most of the contents have aged right along with their occupants. It’s not just their furniture, but their pictures, knickknacks, linens, and clothing, pretty much everything connected to them.
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What a Day that Will Be

My daughter and I were nearing the end of our nightly walk and the sun was dipping low, the color of an orange Creamsicle. It flung its glow across the earth making the landscape appear soft and subdued, as if it were robed and ready to turn in. I looked over at my daughter’s face and that glow was resting on her, too. She looked prettier than I’d ever seen her look and I felt compelled to tell her what I saw. She responded,”Your face looks the same way.”
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On Insecurity

I’m insecure. I can hear it dribble out sometimes when I talk, like when you’ve come from the dentist and the freezing hasn’t subsided yet and you don’t know you’re drooling until you feel it on your chin. I catch myself trying to puff myself up ever so subtly and cringe on the inside. Why do I need to do that? I notice others doing it and say in my head, “that person is insecure just like me”. Usually, knowing that you’re not alone makes a person feel better, but I don’t in this case. It speaks to some lack in my relationship with God. Rather than being rooted firmly in the love he has for me and resting there, I’m anxious, eager for glances and superficial flattery from people I hardly know.
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A Post on Friends

I’ve moved 22 times. I’ve lived in Madison, South Dakota, Calgary, Alberta in two separate stints, Sterling Heights, Michigan, Bismarck, North Dakota, Edmonton, Alberta, and Lethbridge, Alberta. This includes moving between abodes in the same city. I’ve lived in houses owned, rented and those of relatives, a condo, a few apartments, a college dorm, and rooms in two gracious pastor’s basements. I moved five times in the first 14 years of my life, across country, once by train, mostly by car. All this moving has shaped me, especially in my ability to form relationships, an essential skill for a meaningful, happy life.
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A Post on Pain

I find it bizarre that we often don’t appreciate what we have until we no longer have it. When we possess it, when it’s ours to attend to and enjoy, we ignore it. When it fades away or is ripped from us, this thing we often took no special notice of, we protest. Possessing it wasn’t enough to make us appreciate it. Our perceived lack, our hunger for more, our eyes always roving, never resting, must keep us from recognizing our own expansive form, our true wealth.

I’m having pain and I’ve experienced very little physical pain in my life thus far. I’ve known the blessing of unfettered movement with little complaint from my body. I took morphine during the birth of my first child, but did without for the next two births. Before children, full bottles of pain reliever expired in the drawer. I now stock them for my family, but rarely need to partake. When my son was preschool aged, I remember an instance when he had a high fever. I was up with him all night, uncertain as to what to do. I took him to the doctor in the morning only to be chastised for not giving my child pain relief. I recognize now how dangerous this was and my heart breaks to even think on it. There are tears streaming as I write this. As I’ve been reflecting on my pain, my son’s pain was brought to mind and I was compelled to thank God for protecting my son from his mother’s incompetence. I was ignorant of the need for it and I know that seems impossible to believe, but it’s the truth.
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