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Darlene's

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Sometime in between scouting for items to sell on Ebay at yard sales and then switching to auctions I found myself in a local store that was unlike anything I had seen before. 

This story is for posterity, giggles, and a little shock value, nothing more. 

It's a memory of a strange encounter that seemed the norm for the town I live in. 

We'd gone to lunch on what we've dubbed Date Day and were at a restaurant directly across the street from what I could only call a junk shop. After eating I begged my husband to check it out with me, "just for fun," because I'm always up for an odd adventure. 

The store was called Darlene's Kids Shop but I grew to call it Darlene's House of Horrors....

People would take their used items to the shop to sell or trade for items in the store. She'd been in business for over twenty-five years and had so much stuff that she no longer knew what was in there.

Imagine rows and aisles stuffed so full that the store vomited some of…

Not all is of God

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Saying Have a nice day to someone sounds friendly, but saying have a nice next twenty-four hours sounds threatening.

We really need to be careful with what we say. 

Especially if you are sharing a word from the Lord.

Tammy (not her real name) was with someone she respected and received a word from the Lord. Months later she was talking to me about the encounter at a Bible study I was leading.

"She's a very Godly woman and she knows things," Tammy said. "She told me  God said something bad was going to happen to me, something so horrible that she wouldn't even tell me what it was, but it was going to happen and it was going to be in my house."

Tammy was obviously shaken, and with good reason. 

Taken back, I interrupted, "Let's stop for a minute and talk about this because I don't think this was from God."

"But she's a Godly woman, she tells people things all the time. I've been so scared, every day, wondering if this was going to be t…

My Mother-in-Law's Mousse

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We were out of town last week for a few days to attend our annual Ministry Summit (AKA District Council) and, as usual, I ran around the house to pack everything needed to maintain me. 

The list is getting longer with each passing year. Sigh.

Side note: I hate packing for trips. Who knows what I want to wear next Tuesday? Why do I have to decide that now? I might not be in the mood for that outfit then. And I might be bloated. That changes everything. 

It wasn't until we were at my in-law's house that I realized I'd forgotten all of my hair care potions and cremes that provide soft as silk hair. All I had to work with was a travel-size can of hairspray and my mother-in-law's mousse. 

I did my normal routine of shampooing and conditioning. Of blow-drying and using a round brush. Of using the flat iron on the rebellious strands. And was left with straw-like hair. Perfect, I thought, everyone at the conference will be staring at my horse hair. 

But no one noticed. 

I've lea…

Fear:less

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We took a trip to Florida recently and I was amazed at how I felt as I boarded the plane. It was same as when I boarded the shuttle bus that would carry us from long-term parking to the terminal. I kept waiting for the fear to rise but it never did.

Not too long ago I was frozen on the ground. Merely observing a plane overhead caused me to panic. To actually fly made me physically ill and I'd obsess over the trip for months in advance. The night before a return trip home -just four years ago- saw me curled up on the bathroom floor, sobbing. It was irrational and I knew it, but the fear had me gripped in its claws.

It no longer controls me. I still don't like flying. I don't like how it makes me feel; I get the same feeling on an elevator and I don't like that either, yet after years of giving into the fear I decided it needed to end. 

I couldn't allow fear -of any kind- to control me.

Fear is a trick of the enemy, used to keep us in place. I was allowing Satan to manip…

Work Out

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I've regularly exercised for most of my life. Not because I love it, but because it benefits me; it loves me. As a child I spent most of my time on my bike, in a pool, or playing Freeze-Tag or one of its variations, TV Tag anyone? When I grew older I had an indoor exercise bike that I rode to nowhere. I took an aerobics class in college taught by a teacher who was in love with James Taylor, Fleetwood Mac, and Don McLean. 

Somehow jumping around to, "Bye-bye Miss American Pie," didn't get my heart rate up, though it did give me shin splints in both legs. Sigh

After I married I bought a treadmill and continued my quest for fitness. Then came babies and the treadmill was another rack for my clothes. 

I joined some health clubs over the years:

The karate place - smelled like feet, I couldn't get past the stink.

The women's-fitness-in-a-circle place - the small talk was dizzying.

The Judgement-Free-Zone place - too many people, too many machines, too much of other peo…

Each Day We Have Choices

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In my book, Simple Things, I wrote about representing the Lord well in our daily lives. I mused that when we call ourselves Christians we ought to be sure we're wearing the label well. The Bible warns about those who aren't serving the Lord wholeheartedly:


Revelation 3:15-16New International Version (NIV)15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. How are we representing Christ when we engage in conversations about controversial topics (both in real life and online)? It's as if some of us leave our Christianity on the couch with our Bible and Jesus Calling devotional. And I get it. When something we care deeply about is being destroyed it's easy to suit up for battle.

It's no secret our nation is broken, but when we jump into the wrong battle we aren't doing anything more than putting a bandage on a severed limb. We'…

High Heeled Echoes

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I remember the distinct sound of high heels on the hallway floors. The school I went to was k-12 all in  one building and I couldn't wait for the day that I was a high school girl, wearing shoes that clicked on the floor when I walked. It seemed so grown-up. My years in fifth, sixth, and seventh grade passed slowly with my constant daydream of being a heel-clicker. 

I remember the days of high school. Wearing my heels that echoed through the halls. I remember running down the hall my senior year with my friend Kelly. We both wore high heels and laughed as we ran, saying we were just like Laura Holt in our favorite TV show, Remington Steele.

I remember sometimes my heels being the only sound in the hall, drawing attention when I'd rather not.

I remember my heels clip-clopping along the Kohl's parking lot on my first day as a merchandiser with a new company. I was over confident as I marched across the street and stepped onto the curb. I felt like I l…