My son Justin and I had a breakfast date this morning. He is busy working two jobs and hanging with friends and we dont get to talk as much as we used to, so we scheduled this time to hang out.
I wanted a place that was not too crazy busy so I chose a restaurant on the outskirts of Brainerd. We went in at 9:20 this morning and sat down. We were the only customers there.
Our waitress brought us our coffee and orange juice right away and we looked over the menu and chose our selections. When the waitress came back we ordered eggs and toast and caught up with each other. When my coffee cup ($2 for coffee) was empty it sat while I tried to catch the waitress (we are still the only ones there) to refill my cup. At that time I asked her for cream and she brought it after a while.
At 10:10 we were wondering where our food was. I was apologizing to Justin for picking the restaurant. At 10:15 I thought maybe if I could find the waitress I could ask her about our food as Justin had to work at 11:30.
I stood up to go find her when another couple entered the restaurant waiting to be seated. I made big eyes at Justin and mouthed the word “Run!” as though to the other customers. We bust out laughing.
5 minutes later our food arrived and we continued on this role of laughter as we watched the other couple sit down and place their order. From our table we discussed how they should save themselves, it was too late for us, and joked about how we had been sitting there since the previous night. We listened to then place their order, heard them order the eggs and we whispered… “Oh no… not the eggs..”
Soon we were laughing so hard we were crying. We had not been offered water or choice of white or wheat toast, and when we asked for our bill, she said we would have to wait as there was an overcharge (not for the service or wait, but incorrectly entered in the computer) on it and she needed her manager to correct it before we could go.
We waited 10 more minutes and then when she did not return we went to the counter. The waitress explained that her manager had left the building and had not made the correction on our bill so she would have to call her. She called her boss while we stood there and asked her to come back as we were waiting at the counter. The boss returned and corrected the ticket. The whole experience was completely baffling and the waitress and manager acted as though this was a great way to do business.
Justin and I walked out from this amazingly awful experience still somewhat amused. I told him that if it would have been just an average breakfast with everything right, we wouldn’t have this incredibly funny memory. He agreed.
The restaurant? Never again.
Time with Justin? Priceless.
For the last two weeks I feel as though I have been hit by an F5 tornado. I have taken personal blows, and adding to that, this week I had major opportunities in our business that involved me researching each and every time card for 2007.
I have felt stretched beyond comfort and stress to tears at many points during this time. I have felt completely exposed and have had to reach out for advice and assistance. Boy I hate that.
I have felt to be in a hole and each little thing just dug me in deeper. Loaded down with over commitment this week did not help the situation and of course as always I want to do everything and be everywhere. (I think that is when God stepped in.)
Tonight I had to come home and look up timecard information for our accountant for 2006. No problem. All the paperwork for each year is filed in a bankers box. I get the box down and open it up.
No timecards. Problem.
I spend the next three hours going through everything in the office. Al comes home and helps with the search. I am broken, feeling unbelievably buried in a hole deeper than I can remember in a long time. Sufficating. Al says not to worry, they will turn up. Relax…
Argghhhh… what does he know???
My big project for next week was going to be to go through and re check all of our 2006 time cards. I do not enjoy numbers, but this is a task that must be done. Now I am wondering how can I check numbers when I have no cards? STRESS is so heavy that it brings me to my knees.
I pray – and I pray. I pray for guidance. I pray to let go and to God to please oh please clear my mind to the point that I can recall where these time cards may be. A years worth of time cards is a huge pile. I remember filing them in the box. At this point I am praying that God helps them turn up and no matter where they are – I won’t ask questions as to how they got there, but accept it as God’s help. (No, I don’t make it a habit to pray about time cards…)
My weekend vision of relaxing before I have to hit the time cards heavy again on Monday has vanished. I know I will worry about this all weekend. I am depressed and heavy with this burden of worry. The phone rings and it is our son Brad for Al. I take the phone to him. As I go to walk back to the office, I walk over to a large buffet hutch and open the long center drawer. 2006 timecards. All of them.
There is absolutely no reason for those cards to be there or for me to have walked over and opened that drawer. Yet, I did. And I am not questioning it but praising God every time I think about it.
I work hard to try to have it all together. I like organization, I like to be involved. I am reminded once again to slow down and allow God to work in my life. Martha let busyness distract her from the Lord.
The thing that you, me, and everyone in the Bible have in common is that God can take us as we are, broken, faulty humans, and use us in a way that never ceases to amaze me.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Pictures from last weeks Mink Lake Camp Event.
- God is good…all the time
- Big meeting week – mission stuff tonight, book club tomorrow, women’s ministry Wednesday and Ladies night out Thursday. (I better stretch first)
- Work out! Get with the plan!!!
- Good weekend… much accomplished. I feel real good about that.
- Tammy Lynn’s first birthday party was FUN on Saturday!
- This Facebook keeps coming up… I just have not had time to look at this.
- I am having accounting frustration…
- Sunday ROCKED beyond words. Both services were diffferent and touched me incredibly. Way to go Teen Challenge!
- I am starting my day out slow this morning – it feels good to not hit the ground running.
- Elmo our dog has a vet appointment this morning for bladder stones. I never heard of such a thing.
- SOME FRIENDS of mine keep talking about this 24 show… I finally collapsed under their pressure of how good it is suppose to be and rented the first part of season 1. As of this date, I have made it through 1/2 an episode.
- It looks like rain and I am ok with that.
- I have now Blogged myself to the point of being late to my first appoinment today. I think that is kind of funny.
For those of us who have been through the Brainerd area in the past few months, we know all about road work and the crimp in our life it makes. Old familiar paths are suddenly closed with detours that take you far out of your way and cause delays in our getting to our destinations. It takes a bit of time management to arrive where you wish to go in a timely manner with little to no frustration.
Our lives work the same way. How often are we going about our daily plans at peace with the world when a wrecking ball of unforscene trials seem to come out of nowhere and knock us flat on our face? Sometimes, if we get up too soon, that same wrecking ball can hit us again on the back swing. (That sign would read something like – watch out for falling rock).
The Bible tells us that having our lives under construction is to be a time of joy and growth. (If you are like me, feel free to cue the eye roll here). I mean seriously, who really enjoys being stretched out of our comfort zone?
However, God’s word is true. With every aching act of road work in my life, I have come out changed. There is a lesson in the construction… and we should be open to learning from it.
I have been thinking about writing this particular blog for several days now. Driving through town and seeing the signs of road work reminded me of how God is constantly constructing us . Yet, whenever I was planning to write this, something would come up where I would be unable to sit down at the computer and write. Company, errands, cleaning, cooking…
Today, after sitting through both incredible services at The Journey North and listening to the testimonies of several of the people in Teen Challenge, I suddenly knew why I had not taken the time to write this blog. Listening to the road work that went on in each of their lives really opened my eyes. Even when I think what I am going through is a “me” situation, God shows me that there are many out there who have gone through so much that I have never experienced and are coming out the other side shouting His name in Glory!
My road construction? Suddenly seems like my detour from the original path is more like an eye opening experience to see new uncharted land. I think maybe I should thank God for the opportunity to see what He has placed before me. Thank you God.
There is something about the North Shore. The trees, the air, the feeling of adventure.
And there’s something about Mink Lake Camp. When I prepare to go I have the excitement of a kid going off to summer camp. I can’t wait to get there and hang with my friends.
These past few days have been no exception. Life as we know it slows to a drip at Mink Lake Camp. The phone doesn’t ring. Our pulses slow to a pace that only are ancestors are familiar with (or other Minkites such as myself). This is a time for new friendships to develop – and the old friendships strengthen as we gather around the evening camp fire and enjoy each others company.
Being a part of breathing life into the buildings and property of a Christian camp is a time of not only rejuvinating my spirit, but a time of peace and reflection as well.
To put Mink Lake Camp into words:
Time with God
Laughter that echos
I’m home… but my head is still full of Mink Lake Camp. Until I go again…
I am part of a group of women that meet each Thursday morning around 6:30 a.m. at Cocoa Moon in Brainerd for a great cup of coffee, conversation, and a small Bible Study.
This mornings group I thought was exceptionally good. It is really cool to see the relationships grow between us all. We are able to ask about each others lives, check in on past prayer requests, and get excited when prayers are answered.
One of our scripture readings this morning was James 1:2
Whatever troubles come your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.
How can you not love that? I never use the word “problem”, because it truly is an opportunity. If we turn our focus on God during that OPPORTUNITY, great things can happen. Those so called “problems” have in many cases been great life lessons that I later sit in wonder of God and how He brought me through. Time and again I can tell you many situations that turned out as wonderful opportunities that brought up conversations with people that I would not have had if not for that extra push. Thank you God!
The common household “chair” was not initially used as it is today. Thousands of years ago, it was concidered an article of state and dignity rather than an article of ordinary use.
Ok… that cracks me up.
I would say for anyone reading this, the “chair” has been a part of our lives since day one. For us it would have started out as a high chair.
Chairs are inviting. It is the norm to ask someone who is visiting to come in and sit down. We are usually not referring to the floor when we say this. Chairs are where we gather for meals around the table. The are used for important meetings, and to relax while playing board games.
Chairs come in all shapes and sizes. Some rock. Some recline. Some (my favorites) are outside and used for outdoor entertaining, reading in the sun, and relaxing.
To totally come clean…. there is only one reason I am writing a blog on chairs. That is to be able to use the pictures. : ) If you are looking for the ultimate champion of chairs, they are located right before you enter the town of Beaver Bay, Minnesota on the right. (For those of us traveling to Mink Lake Camp this next week, you will drive right on by.) They are FANTASTIC!
Monday evening was a little spooky at our house. As I worked on payroll I watched out the window as the skies become gloomier. I went outside and the air and coloring reminded me of June 13, 2001… the day of the tornado.
I started snapping pictures of our yard, the shop, our neighbors homes… the basic layout of the land. If anything was going to happen, I wanted to be prepared to have the look of “before.”
The wind picked up and I went inside. We closed the doors and windows. As I went to check on line what the status of our area weather was, the power went out. It started to rain and the winds picked up to the speed that out trees just bent beyond belief. I thought, here we go again…
The hail came down in marble sized pieces and showered our lawn. Al and I along with our two dogs, went downstairs as we were unsure at to what we were experiencing. As the wind and rain let up, we came back upstairs. I walked the yard and checked our trees as well as our neighbors. We did not lose a branch. Power did not return to our area of town until 2:00 a.m. but I felt truly blessed by having no property damage.
This morning, as I drove into town I seen first hand that others did not have the same turn out. Large trees uprooted in yards, building damaged. Throughout the day I spoke to friends who had stories of trees in their yards from 1 – 40. I was saddened by the outcome of the storm.
Over the past years in our area, we have had such drastic summer weather. The days have over all been hotter, less rain – and when it does rain, it is usually intense. Again, I am saddened by what this storm has meant to many in the area.