Saturday, February 26, 2011

Personal Safety vs. Compassion: Who Wins?

(Photo from Creative Commons)

I've noticed in recent weeks that I have seen a larger-than-normal number of folks walking along the side of the roads near my house.  It's a little disconcerting, because we know most of them live in a supposed drug house of some kind.

One day, a lady was frantically flagging down cars at the end of that particular street.  She scared me--I thought there was an emergency--so I stopped.

All she wanted was a ride to the grocery store.  And some money.  So I drove her, and talked about my Jesus.  She was receptive, and seemed genuinely touched when I prayed for her while she was in the car.  I gave her a few bucks (because that's all I had) and let her go.  I felt bad leaving her, but I was already running late for work, so I set her out in front of Food Lion and drove away.

I've seen her one more time since then.

I didn't have a problem stopping for her.  But the men I see wandering around?  I don't feel comfortable stopping for them, no matter how pitiful they look.  I fear for my personal safety, so I keep right on driving.

It makes me feel terrible, not doing anything for them.  Those poor guys are exactly the ones Jesus would be healing, hanging out with, calling into ministry.

And I drive on by.

I saw an older gentleman wandering around a parking lot I was in today.  At first I thought maybe he'd forgotten where he parked.  But then he just paced back and forth, and I figured out that he was probably begging.  (We have so many people doing that where I live that they've had to restrict the exit ramps and street corners that these transients camp out on.)

I got to the truck and cranked it up, when I saw this man speaking to someone in a nearby vehicle. 

I started driving away, but still felt like I should help him.  I looked around and didn't see him at first, but then I found him, still wandering, and it hit me: 

This guy is just desperate. 

You have probably lost all your pride and hit rock bottom when you are reduced to hitting up total strangers for cash in a parking lot.

I almost went back and gave him some money.  Then I thought about taking him to the McDonald's nearby and buying him a meal, and sharing my Jesus with him.  Thought hard about it.  All the while, my truck was still driving me right out of that lot...

I didn't go back.  I wish I had.  It pains me that we even live in a world where concern for our personal safety stops us from caring for those who hurt, who are in need, who need Jesus.

Tell me:  do you struggle with this too, or is it just me?  Does the concern over your personal safety stop you from helping others?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Smiley Face in the Fog

Being a working mom is tough.

With the demands of a full-time work schedule, combined with every day life as a wife, and mom to three boys, I find myself drained at night.  It's a struggle to get everything accomplished, so when I actually have the house clean, food in the cabinets and I'm not at work, I feel like I'm finally able to breathe.  Everything is done--the rest of the weekend is mine!

So today, I crashed on the couch, blanket pulled up to my chin, when I saw my youngest drawing on the window with his finger.  A puff of warm breath on the glass, and a smiley face in the fog.

My first thought was, "There goes my clean window."

But almost immediately I had another thought: "He's just being a kid."

Today, I made a choice.  I chose to be Happy Mommy, who quietly watched her son leave his masterpiece on the window, instead of Irritated Mommy, who would have scolded him for doing so.

Every day is a challenge.  We will all face something that annoys, interrupts or frustrates us.  The true test is how we will respond to it.

I admit it:  I have a tendency to let the negative reign in my life.  But I'm being more intentional about asking God to help me find that silver lining instead of focusing on the cloud.  I'm trusting Him to show me the way, and He's giving me a little joy as we go along, just as promised in Romans 15:13:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

If you have a hard time overcoming negativity like I do, I encourage you to claim this verse for yourself.  Let God help you get a new perspective, where instead of smudgy fingerprints, you see the smiley face in the fog.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Saturday!

It is shaping up to be a beautiful Saturday in February here, though a bit chilly.  I will be enjoying mine at work, but I hope the rest of you find something fun to do with yours!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

First Priority Alzheimer's Quilt: Crazy Love #6544

Well, there it is.  My first quilt for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.  I've been out of the serious crafting loop for a while now, and finally decided to get back in the game.

This little cutie is a Priority quilt, so named because it will fit into a Priority Mail envelope - it's not much bigger than a standard sheet of paper.  This one is called "Crazy Love," and tomorrow it will be mailed to be photographed and loaded onto the AAQI site.  Once it's there, it will either be put up for sale, or chosen for the next monthly auction.

Either way, the proceeds will be donated to Alzheimer's research through AAQI.  I may not be able to cure dad from Alzheimer's disease, but maybe a few dollars here and there will add up and make a difference one day for someone's else's dad.  Or wife.  Or brother.  Or aunt.

Will you help me?  I'd be grateful if you'd consider sharing the web site on your blog, or even bidding in the current auction.  (I'm sure donations would be greatly appreciated, too!)

This will be a regular feature here at The Daily Do-Over, since I pledged to make or buy a quilt a month, and also to raise $1000 through my quilts for the organization.

That will be a lot of stitches!  But it's for a good cause and will be worth every penny.

I sure hope you'll join me in spreading the word!!  (And maybe some ideas for future quilts.  I've got my work cut out for me!)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I am a walking example of Murphy's Law.

Long work days.
Short nights of sleep.
Mountains of aggravations and annoyances.
Short fuses.
Ball games.
Spilled drinks on freshly washed items.
House guests.
Sick kids.
Car trouble.

Man, what a week!!  I feel like everything that could go wrong HAS gone wrong.

I like to think I'm a pretty tough ol' country girl, but sometimes I finally hit the wall where I.HAVE.JUST.HAD.ENOUGH.

And I am there.

When I reach that breaking point, I have to take drastic measures to save my sanity.  This weekend, it looks something like this:

Choosing a quilt pattern for these...

deciding how funky I want to get with a few of these for an Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative project (more on this to come)...

and cranking out a few fast and fun Valentine's Day Heart Pins.

When my brain is totally overwhelmed, one escape mechanism I use is to put it in craft mode.  That may not get rid of my house guests or wash my laundry, but it sure does put me in better spirits and allows me to blow off a little steam in a healthy, productive way.

(Or, I could just go cry.  That would probably work too!)

So, between church and the Super Bowl, you will find me diligently working away on at least one of these projects. :-)

I know I'm not the only one who gets stressed out.  So tell me - how do you unwind when you've just had enough??

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

So, who wants to have a little adventure?

I'm still laughing as I write this.  I won a Bible study from Lifeway!

That in itself isn't funny, but pretty darn awesome.

What IS funny is that it's the SECOND Bible study I've won from Lifeway.  The first one was Beth Moore's Esther study that I won a few years ago on her ministry blog (carried by Lifeway).

So, obviously Lifeway and I were meant to be buddies.  Maybe one day they can carry my Bible studies, right?  (Published by Thomas Nelson, too--my other publishing destiny.  Well, one can dream!)

Anyway, whenever it arrives I can set a start date.  It's a seven week study called "When Wallflowers Dance" by Angela Thomas.  I will "moderate" it here at The Daily Do-Over, and I can't wait for you guys to join me!!

Here is the brief product description:
"When we were two, we were no longer babies-we were becoming little girls. And when we were thirteen, we were leaving childhood behind, becoming young women. But somewhere along the way, we stopped becoming. We became "un-women." Wallflowers who are just breathing and smiling and blending in to stay out of the way.
That is not what God had in mind when He created us. He wants us to keep becoming. He wants us to become strong, decisive, wise, creative, passionate, courageous-all the things we've dreamed of becoming. When Wallflowers Dance is a fresh challenge to women who have lived hesitant, cautious lives but long to break free and dance!
Using both Scripture and story, Angela Thomas addresses the attributes of "becoming" and the freedom we have in Christ to keep developing the characteristics that reflect our God-given longings."
Whew! Doesn't that sound amazing? I'm excited already!

So, are you with me, girls? We can go on this little adventure together. I just have one question--who's bringing the chocolate??  :-)
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