Sunday, September 22, 2013

Better than Birds and Streams

Since the church I attend does not have paid clergy, it’s up to us members to do our part in assuring our Sunday meetings are taken care of. The service each of the members dedicates allows the church to run smoothly but that does not mean there aren't stressful times. Our first hour of worship is done in the Chapel. There we all meet together as a church family. Part of this hour speakers from the congregation share their messages they have been asked to talk on.

I knew my time was coming up to be a speaker and every week I escaped that hand delivered envelope, I breathed a little sigh of relief. But luck ended a few weeks ago and I grumbled even though there was a piece of chocolate taped to it.

Those who know me know I do what is required but I’d rather stay at home or sit back and watch others give their talks and listen to their messages. I find talking in front of a group terrifying! But I it do because I know I’m supposed to, we all take turns and we all have a special message to share.

I posted this on my facebook wall concerning my talk:

This Sunday, I have to give a talk and give a lesson. I just lost EVERYTHING on my computer that I've prepared. Hours gone! Talking for 15 min in front of a whole congregation & teaching for 45 min is not my kind of thing but I do it because I'm I just want to give up. Sunday I want to dip my feet in a creek & listen to the birds.

As you can imagine, I was in a bit of a panic! I am NOT an extrovert and standing and talking to people is scary for me, plus being a mother of 7 children, plus home schooling 4 of them I really don’t have time for things like this to happen.

These were the replies by some of my dear friends who came to my aid. Some go to the same church as I do, some have their own faith, and some don’t have a faith at all. I was touched as they came to my moment of need to offer support, humor and comfort. My soul was truly touched. I then knew I lost the talk for a reason, I was supposed to share this experience and incorporate it into what I was assigned to talk about.

~Everything happens for a reason! God must want you to listen to him and speak from the heart...I know you will do great!

~Pray, breathe, and it will come to you

~I say just skip it.  kidding!!!

~Are you sure it's gone? What happened?

~I would love to hear you speak. Your preparation is still in your heart and mind. God will draw out what he wants you to teach. are awesome and i think it doesnt matter what you talk about....from you,anything would be heartfelt and who wouldnt just be happy to hear whatever you speak of....remember that....:-):-):-)....<3<3jus sayinnn..

~you can talk about dippin your toes and listenin to the birds....maybe some need a reminder....the best things in life are free and happy and beautiful...:-):-):-)

~You always do a great job. Just speak from your heart. It overflows with love and they will feel it.

~How old is your version of Word?

~You'll do fine. You're a wordsmith.....and a mom of many! This too shall pass!

~you have a beautiful heart and a willing spirit, so I know God will bless whatever you have to share.

~Ok Carrie. You give the talk-which will be wonderful, and the lesson-which will be great, and I'll sit with you on the creek bank and listen to the birds.

~I agree with Tracy and Sherry about speaking from the heart. Part of the typing and working through the message was a preparation in itself. I bet you could tie the story into the message at some juncture too. I usually find that in retrospect, interesting detours become clearer in reason.

This was my reply: 

Thanks everyone. Working hard on it today & I'll try to speak from the heart up there. The problem is, I'm a better writer than speaker. I get so upset and flustered just standing up there and talking. I have to think about every word. Most people think I'd be a good speaker because Mike is such an amazing one and so often people put husband & wife together as one, but speaking is not a talent I have. He stands alone with being so good at it, I'm far on the other end. It's terrifying to me. It literally makes me sick. I wish I had more confidence but I don't. It will be okay though. I got the lesson all down last night & today my mind is where it needs to be. I know with the help from the Spirit, I can do it. But I do look forward to it all being over & then maybe I'll take that walk and dip my feet in the creek & listen to the birds. I'm sure the Spirit will follow me there & it will be even more beautiful.

Love you all SO much! Thanks for thinking about me my heart is so full, I have happy tears. OXOXOXO
Oh, and I found out the talk is for 10 min not 15:)

The topic of my talk was: Strengthening the Feeble Knees, and Lifting Up the Hands Which Hang Down.

Oh, how appropriate! I believe these people who stopped and gave me a message where prompted by the Spirit. They knew, in some way, I needed to be uplifted. Through their words, I was touched by the Spirit. I then believed I could do it again, I would not give up. They believed in me.

Instead of having to prepare a new talk, the Spirit prompted me to share this facebook experience. After the talk, I was greeted by so many with words of gratitude but it’s not me who should be thanked. All thanks go to those who took a moment in my time of need and strengthened my feeble knees and lifted me up again. I will always remember this experience.

That evening, I did take that walk to the creek and I did dip my feet in the water and there I said a prayer, thanking those who helped me. The evening became more beautiful and the birds sang sweeter tunes. The flowers seemed to open up more and the creek bed was litter free.

As much as I think I would like to be alone with just the natural world around me, how gloomy it would really be without friends who take the time for each of us.

Special thanks to:

Tracy Overfelt, Cleta McCreey Huston, Mandy Billingsley, Fred Hanselmann, Rebekah Stanley, Rhonda Filetti, Sherry Bailey-Daniels, Chantell Osejo, Cyndi Pilotte-Sanders, Linda Robinson Brendle, Phyllis Wangsgard, Troy Rickertsen.    

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Latest Flea Market Finds

I was never introduced to the joys of yard sales and flea markets until I was married. As a child, my wardrobe was made up of hand-me-downs but those things came from people we knew. I never thought it gross or strange; in fact, I looked forward to those garbage bags and banana boxes full of new styles.

Way back then, I thought rummaging through a stranger’s unwanted items was nasty and germy. After all, the junk was in their yard which was so close to the curb where garbage was left and hauled off. When I heard the word ‘Flea Market’ I only saw one thing in my mind.  

 When I was just a newlywed, my husband woke me one early Saturday morning and made the suggestion to visit a yard sale down the road. I groaned and made the comment of not wanting another’s junk in our tiny house. I told him I had never been to a yard sale and had no desire to ever start going. He was floored that for 22 years I had never been to one. Against my will, he made me go with him. He promised I’d like it; I was sure I wouldn't.

At first I wallowed around the junk at me feet and on tables too good to go digging but then something caught my eye, and then the price on the tag was even better. There was no turning back after that. The next Saturday it was me shaking my husband awake and pushing him out the door so we could find more yard sales.

Even after all those years, the thrill of that perfect find has never left. My husband and I are rather addicted to yard sales and flea markets. Sometimes we do well with finding treasure, other times we come back with nothing, feeling cheated in some way.

This last Saturday I did well with my finds. I couldn't be happier! Already I’m counting down the days until next Saturday.  I just hope I have room for all my stuff!