Toilet Paper Tumult (2011 Repost)

image courtesy

Now that I think about it, it’s not about bathroom etiquette. No, I’m sure it’s not.

If it were about etiquette, I could think of ten things that might matter. These would be The Rules that would control inconsiderate behavior that disgusts the female brand of family member.

For instance, leaving two squares of toilet paper on the roll is just as bad as leaving an empty roll.  It doesn’t count!  But, it’s not about that.  Picking up dirty underwear after a shower would be in there somewhere, but it’s not about that.

No, if it were about etiquette, I would be concentrating on all the times I have had to use the Braille method to navigate the bathroom during the night, only to find myself suddenly sitting directly into the bowl.  Soggy and seething, I’d wake up in a hurry!   

So, I’ve settled it – it’s not about etiquette.

What is it about? It’s a small thing, really.  I just that I happen to think that the toilet paper roll should be installed a certain way.  There are no two ways about it!

It should absolutely come up over the top, toward the user, and be accessible by the handfuls when needed!    It only makes sense! 

Why would anyone want it to roll toward the wall and hang there with only a small visible piece, teasingly available from underneath?   I certainly don’t want to have to fish around for it when, say for instance, I’m ….. Sneezing. That’s right, a sneeze! 

Say I’m suddenly overtaken by a sneeze-attack. For me, the frequency of one of these fits may number more than six, seven or eight convulsions at any given time.   Since the Kleenex box always seems to be empty, it sends me rushing toward the TP roll.    Achoo!  Achoo!  Achoo- oo-oo-oo-oo!

My diaphragm permanently locks, and I forget to breathe!   Reelin’, rockin’ and ‘a rollin’ in the direction of the TP, I do my best to cover these outbursts with one hand, but my eyes squeeze shut with every gusty impulse!  Mind you, I’m still moving forward!

Tears gush down my face as the GPS in my head spins wildly!  Since I cannot see, my other hand flails in vain, searching for an ample piece of tissue.   No such luck!

Fine!  Sneezing session over, I look at the ground.  A hundred small bits of clawed tissue clutter the area.  My head pounds and eardrums throb. I stand there frustrated.  Honestly!   My knuckles hurt from contact with the wall and I feel like I suffered minor whiplash in the process!

And now?  Now, I have to clean up an elusive mess, not to mention wash my hands, arms and anything else I might have blasted in the process.

Ohhhhhhhhh….. if only someone had exercised a bit of common sense!  Am I THE ONLY ONE with common sense in this family??? 

Absorbed.  My thoughts get swiftly absorbed by a myriad of things. If only the  “people in this house” . . .     Well. I’ll leave it at that.

Why don’t they do better?  I’m sure I’ve mentioned these “things” to them a million times!

They don’t care!   That’s it!  They just don’t care.  How selfish!  All I do is clean up after everyone else and they don’t even bother to show a little courtesy in the small things that matter to me! 

Their rooms!  The kitchen! The animals! Their chores!   Every little nit-picky notion of nuisance submerged my usually-happy demeanor.

Swamped with irritation, I was in a “mood!”   Gotta bre-e-e-e-athe.

Of course, this kind of brooding never produces the righteous life that God desires.  

Inwardly, I heard,

“It’s not about the toilet paper, or common sense either…”

“No?” I thought to myself, “Then, what is it about?”

Again the small voice,

“…Giving place to the devil…”

Ouch!  My mental tirade was just as bad as if it had been done out loud! 

One Pastor used to say that the devil doesn’t know what’s inside unless he jostles the cup and then he can see what spills out.   I had been jostled, big time!

My response?  Oh yes . . . that.   Uh, Not so holy.

If the mind is a battlefield, I had just waged a mini-war with a surprise attack and wounded everyone I loved!  Those were some harsh thoughts!  I wouldn’t want any of those things working themselves out into words people could actually hear!  

Were some of those thoughts true?  Sure they were.  Does my family slack here and there?  Of course, but it was the way I allowed the lies attached to the thoughts to overcome me.  They bloomed as I meditated on them.  They fed discontent and anger, and I had unwittingly tolerated it.

I’ve put myself in check since, and not much gets an over-reaction from me these days.  I know my source and I run to Him at once. I refuse to be a servant to anyone but Him.

I still get sneezing fits now and again, and yes, I still want the toilet paper to roll conveniently for me.  But, when it doesn’t, I’m able to keep my cool.

It’s only common sense when we are led by the Spirit!

This post is shared at: Tell Me a Story

This post is also linked with Joan Davis at: Sharing His Beauty


Adventure, Redefined (Repost)

Truck loaded with Hay
courtesy Free Clip Art

The traffic suddenly picked up, forcing me to increase my speed of travel.  Cars zoomed in and out of my lane; some flashing their lights at me! 

With wind and the breeze in my hair, I soon found myself flying along at 70 miles per hour!  Whoa!  Even that was not fast enough for most of the drivers on the road, so I forced myself to the farthest right lane, reduce speed and regain my sense of peace! 

Rumbling up the on-ramp just ahead of me, loaded with bales and bales of hay, was a very large truck.  I marveled at just how many bales had been piled onto that rig and wondered to myself how they all stayed put.

The aroma of the alfalfa was calming though, and I was enjoying not being cutoff by other cars.  I started to go around, but without a signal, the big truck made a lane change in front of me.

It’s not as though I had some big a vision or anything, but my senses went on “high alert!”

Suddenly, the URGE to “step on it” overwhelmed me!  I get those gut-levels every now and then, and I usually follow them with good results.

I punched it and all the ponies under the hood rose to the occasion!  As I whooshed past that truck, I checked my rear-view mirror just in time to see a HUGE bale of hay fall off! The cars behind had to do some creative driving!

Had I not “stepped on it,” I would have been right there in the path of that huge bale! Thanks goes to my husband for having that snappy rear-end put in my truck!  It really helps me scoot at times! Thank you, God, for the “nudge.”  I’m so glad I listened!

Forty minutes to home, I opted to detour to a highway with less traffic.  My heart finally recovered its normal rhythm while my eyes scanned the countryside. The play of the afternoon sun was absolutely gorgeous!  Gratefulness bathed my soul.  I settled back with a swell of fulfillment.

Then, outlined by the sun’s glow and shimmer, appeared the silhouette of a massive cross.  Was I seeing what I thought I was seeing?  Yes, a cross…on its side…and it was moving.
Man Carrying a Cross
Once I had a better perspective, I could see a man on the other side of the road, shouldering this large cross, aided only by a small wheel at the bottom.
As this solitary individual plodded along without fanfare, the sun’s position lighted up everything around him!  Such a marvelous presentation made me catch my breath.  I was elated. My mouth was stuck in a permanent smile for the next five miles! I felt like I had just been hiking.

Other small things caught my attention as I drove.  Near the freeway entrance some amusing signs provoked a hearty giggle.  I was feeling good!

People search for adventure in their lives to bring meaning or to garner self-worth. They long for the fantastic, the incredible, the amazing, and the spectacular.  These awe-inspiring feats are stimulating, both psychologically and physically.

Adventure is certainly not limited to whitewater rafting, extreme sports, mountain climbing, racing or skydiving and the like.  All those things signal the idea of a rush, or of some sensationalistic pump! 

Certain people say they are “really living” when they are doing these things. Not to be snarky, but what are they doing at other times, “Not really living?”

My whole perception concerning a number of things, has been redefined over time. Adventure is one of them.

Flicker, flash, twinkle!  God has provided us with out-of-the ordinary experiences on a daily basis.  They unfold all around us!  Yet, eyes wide open, we tend to miss, or totally dismiss, some of the most stimulating events that cross our paths.

My drive home kept me stirred up!  I listened to the Holy Spirit’s nudge and got to miss an impending accident.  That was sensational!

Pumped with incredible joy and gratitude over the sun-and-the-cross scene, I’m sure my endorphins were doing back flips!  Still, other roadside stuff struck me in the funny-bone.

Adventure?  You bet!  I was engaged and entertained . . . all the way home!

This post is shared at: Tell Me a Story


The Day I Ate a Moth (repost)

Running….running…running!  Breathing hard, I knew I was already late.

Out of breath and gasping for more, I wasn’t planning to stop until I reached the church.   I couldn’t miss!  I had to get there.   With several blocks left to go, I stepped up my race-pace.  The Red team would be toast once I arrived!

Watery eyes made me squint, and I could hear myself gulping air.  My lungs were stinging, but I was purposed.  My numb legs mechanically tracked the sidewalk.  Nothing could stop me now!

Nothing that is – – – – except a huge moth!  

Into my mouth it flew and plastered itself to the back of my throat.   I had inhaled this monster-bug!   (Well, maybe technically, they are not bugs.)

Ugggghhhh!   Yuk! Pft!  Pft!  Cough…sputter…gag!  Then, ( wouldn’t you know it) my involuntary response kicked in and….I swallowed it!  

I wanted to throw up, but I couldn’t.

While I was still bent over, making obtuse wretching sounds,  a concerned passerby, tried to help.  Saliva drooled to the ground and my voice wouldn’t work to respond.  
All I could think of was, “leave me alone!”

My embarrassment overtook me and, still slobbering and wheezing, all I could do was run. 

“Let me help you…..”  the voice trailed as I left behind my surprised would-be rescuer.

I didn’t care.

Rounding the corner and out of sight, stopping was finally mandatory.  Now I was sick to my stomach and the convulsions hit.  My lunch, the moth, and stomach slime splattered the sidewalk and my shoes. 

By the time I collected myself and got to the church, I was a mess.  All I wanted to do was find the bathroom. 

I no longer cared that I was the star of the Blue team and that they couldn’t live without ME.  I no longer cared about winning.  The wind had been knocked out of my sails and I was just glad for a place of respite. 

Faintly aware that I smelled like curdled milk, I sat in the back and watched the two Bible teams go at it.

Sure I knew all the answers, but suddenly, it wasn’t so important.  I realized that it was just good to have a place where I was safe and could recover. My head and body hurt. 

That day I actually HEARD many of the bible passages that had previously become rote. 

Even though I was a pre-teen, I got it.   God’s Word comforted me that day like nothing else.

And next time I run?   I’ll keep my mouth closed!

This post is shared at: Tell Me a Story

This post is also linked with Joan Davis at: Sharing His Beauty

People Everywhere

Church Greeters
They brushed past us, hurrying on their way to the bookstore… …to the coffee cart….to the restrooms… to the parking lot!

A few smiles and hasty “excuse-me’s” were the only limited links of exchange we received.

Getting to know anyone in a large church is challenging, and after we had attended our church for a few months, we were still feeling isolated. 
We had reached out, given out our phone number, made invitations to our home, to lunch, to coffee – you name it.  No takers. 
I attended a guitar class for women and my husband went to the men’s meeting.  People seemed to be wrapped up in their own lives. 
It was very odd – nothing was clicking!

After a several Sundays, I decided to begin by making friends with a couple of the greeters. I stood back and observed one Sunday, and although I am not sure just how, they seemed to know or recognize a great number of the people coming into the church.

After discussing things with God, in prayer, an idea struck and I was on a mission!  Stopping by a name brand coffee shop, I picked up several $5 gift cards with nice covers. In some small blank greeting cards, I wrote:

          Let’s have coffee!  Met me at Starbuck’s – I’m buying.
          Be sure to bring your Bible!  Can’t wait!

I prayed over them, and then I tucked a gift card inside, sealed the envelopes and handed some cards to one of the greeters. I let her know what was inside and asked her to hand them out to people who looked like they needed encouragement. The only thing I asked her to say was, “Someone left this for you

After a few weeks of this, one of the greeters pulled me aside. Excitedly relaying some unbelievable stories and encounters with the people who had received the gift cards, she was almost beside herself!  She was happy and breathless all at once. The greeter was amazed at the blessing this small action on my part had evoked in others. The other greeters wanted to help too!

I kept it up with two to three cards a week, for while.  One week, the greeter refused to take the cards. She told me she wasn’t allowed to do this any longer.  She looked sullen, eyes downcast; She didn’t offer any explanation, so I didn’t ask. 
I noticed one of the pastors watching her.  Hmmmm…..

After that moment, this particular greeter was only stiffly friendly toward me.  Needless to say, I was saddened. 
What happened?  I don’t’ know for sure. For me, discouragement was hard to avoid.

I came to grips with the fact that even if it was only for a small season, I did what I felt, led by God, to do.  The outcome is in His hands. 

All in all, I was comforted just knowing that many people had been the recipients of God’s love in the form of an unexpected surprise accompanied by encouragement. 

God has Plan B and I will wait for His directive.  He always gives me clever plans for making investments in people’s lives.

In the meantime, my advice to anyone else would be not to over-think, otherwise nothing will be accomplished!     
Go ahead and do what your hand finds to do!

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This post is shared at Hazel’s Tell Me a Story Blog Party

This post is also Linked with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday Use it on Monday