Tag Archives: Faith

Overrated

Facebook reunited me with an elementary classmate with whom I shared the zenith of second-grade status: our class chose us as PTO prince and princess.

I blurted my ecstasy to Mom. “I can win a crown!”

Reading the school’s purple, mimeographed sheet, Mom raised an eyebrow. “You’ll be asking people for money?”

“Yeah!” I held up the bank-like canister accompanying the information. “Let’s take this to church!”

Mom, more interested in heavenly treasure, considered that “honor” highly overrated.

Since then, I’ve discovered many similar, oh-so-desirable positions. The words “officer” and “chairperson” come to mind. Those who assume titles of “assistant” and “coordinator” often wish they could revert to the “secretary” who wasn’t chained to her laptop weekends, fed on bread and water until projects were completed.

Titles aren’t the only foolers. I despise the word “update,” which slows my phone or laptop to slug speed. Afterward, with one correct swipe, I can enlarge bacteria-sized print to readable material. However, with one wrong swipe, I set off interplanetary war — or open the garage doors of every home in Rhode Island.

Updates rarely include explanations. Instead, I’m to follow the wisdom of a long-distance, twisted techno-geek who needs a laugh: “To accelerate your laptop’s update, submerge it in boiling oil.”

However, technology hasn’t cornered the “overrated” market.

Medical insurance companies like updates, too. Many currently demand that slaves — er, customers — achieve 10,000 steps daily, measured per devices akin to ankle bracelets. Five years ago, such behavior would have labeled the customer obsessive-compulsive. Yet now, companies advocating “wellness” raise premiums — and blood pressures — with noncompliance.

What’s next? Will updates demand we smile while jogging?

Other overrated objects, events and activities include:

  • Waistbands. These stifle creativity, not to mention oxygen intake. Especially when buttoned.
  • Cars whose designs block back-up vision. Instead of lowering their obnoxious rear ends, we install cameras. Cool! (And costly.)
  • Milkshakes. As a busy young mom, the only warm food I ate was melted ice cream. Paying perfectly good money for the equivalent seems overrated.
  • HGTV. Should we commiserate with people whining about crushed dreams as they shop for $500,000 houses?
  • Tattoos. Though tattoos are considered art, ceramics classes are less painful — and less permanent. A generation hence, I look forward to watching parents explain to skeptical teens why Mom and Dad thought this was a great idea.
  • Weed whackers. Mine whacks flowers, strips paint, dents siding — and nibbles weeds. Maybe.
  • Roundabouts. Carmel, Indiana, where my daughter lives, boasts more than 100, claiming they reduce accidents and gas usage. However, have statisticians counted how many have died of old age while circling within 10 feet of McDonald’s?
  • Vacations. While they promote family togetherness, the amount they generate sometimes reaches toxic levels — as do resulting Visa bills afterward.
  • Awards. They glitter in the spotlight, but tarnish quickly and eventually end up in the attic or trash can.

Even the long-ago, fourth-grade PTO princess who actually won the crown probably can’t find it.

Soon, the writing award I coveted but didn’t win will fade from memory as well. Like my mother’s, my treasures may prove to be heavenly, rather than earthly.

Thankfully, those can never be overrated.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What everyday trophies have you learned to treasure?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Thank the Lord and Hobby Lobby

Oh, my God, thank You for this final bouquet from our garden, rescued before temperatures plunged 40 degrees. And OMG, thank You for last fall’s Hobby Lobby clearance sales, providing this bouquet to greet the new season.

 

Look Out, I’m Pulling a Camper!

Pulling a camper is like being followed by a shadow that’s gained 2,000 pounds.

Sure, I’ve spelled my husband en route to nearby campgrounds. When straight roads send him to Lullaby Land, I save our lives by driving short stretches on state highways.

But brave roaring, dragon-like semis on interstates? Motorcycles whipping in and out of lanes at Star Wars speeds? Hans Solo, I’m not.

Especially as the rearview mirror is rendered useless.

My husband installed extended mirrors. However, they warn that reflected objects are closer than they appear.

That’s nice. Even humble, and I admire humility. But sorry, nice mirrors, when changing lanes, I want accuracy. And if up-close-and-personal encounters with construction barrels throw you off, I really don’t need views up my nostrils.

Especially when parking. We often need to stop for gas, food, and/or restrooms. Those paltry reasons pale, however, as we focus on more profound questions: Will we find a place to park the camper? Afterward, can we get out?

Once, as I contorted truck and camper in my 100th effort to leave a convenience store, Hubby lost all hope. “Will we spend the rest of our lives behind Kwickie Mart?”

Not exactly the retirement we’d envisioned.

I tried to console him: “Living on Little Debbie® cakes and beef jerky wouldn’t be so bad.”

My attempts scared traffic to a dead stop. A hundred yards away.

Thus, we finally left Kwickie Mart.

Hauling a camper never bores us. Once, while I was driving down South, purple-cloud giants charged us. They spit lightning and smothered us with avalanches of rain that drowned car taillights ahead. If I had risked pulling over, my flashers would have disappeared, blown out like candles.

Did I slow down? Not much. Storm or no storm, drivers who never drive less than 85 mph — on roads, shoulders and in parking lots — can be found everywhere. Even in easygoing Mississippi.

My prayer life shot up several notches.

Hubby’s, already flourishing, set new records.

Jesus took the wheel.

Afterward, when He had guided us to sunshine, Hubby tried to talk Jesus into taking all my shifts.

He smiled and said, no, we needed to grow in faith. Together.

Though Hubby still had theological doubts about Kwickie Mart experiences, and I struggled with mirror-nostril crises, we indeed have learned to depend on Jesus and each other. With His help, we and our 2,000-pound shadow return home, safe and sound.

We will hit the interstate again soon.

It’s only fair I give other drivers advance warning: Look out, I’ll be pulling a camper!

Prepare to grow in faith.

 

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have you ever pulled a camper? Driven an RV?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: October and Liver

O my God, thank You for October, with its colorful leaves and pumpkin-spice everything. But some of Your humans have declared it National Liver Awareness Month. OMG, do You think we should spend 30 days thinking about liver? After half a century, I’m still trying to forget my mother made me taste it.

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer

O my God, thank You for a great time at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference. Four days of glitter, glamour, and fun in Nashville nearly converted this classical music lover. Returning home, I considered dancing through our front door in new cowboy boots, singing, “Achy, Breaky Heart.” OMG, do You think Hubby would have upped my medication?

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: He’s 65, Too

O my God, You know this guy gave me a hard time when I reached 20 before he did. Then 30. Then 40. Then 50. Then … etc. You know he rubbed it in when my being carded took on a whole new meaning. OMG, thank You that he, too, has now joined the Medicare Club!