Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lord Have Mercy...I thought they had an empty nest

Lord Have Mercy...I thought they had an empty nest!
(what my mattress would say if it could tweet!)

(I'm entering a contest to win a fabulous bed...wish me luck!)

Monday, August 22, 2011

One of the Perks

Sometimes, it really is hard to work up a lot of enthusiasm about getting up and going to work. Any work, I imagine. This morning, I let myself into the building at 6:30am to make use of the walking track before I actually began my work day. I am fortunate to work in a building that has both a walking track and shower facilities to use to get clean after walking.Starting next month, Rocket Man will be coming with me as his basketball game is going to move to the gym here at the Church House.

Anyway, it just isn't always a joyful thought to get up on Monday morning and know that I'm coming back to the Church House, especially when I was here on Saturday for a meeting and Sunday, of course, for Worship.

I was, however, reminded this afternoon, of one of the reasons I love working at the Church House.

I was headed downstairs to use the copy machine. I walk through our Narthex to get to the stairs and as I was entering the Narthex, I heard the organ. The organ in our sanctuary is simply amazing. Someone was practicing or perhaps getting a lesson. But the notes I heard, drew me to open the door and stand quietly at the back of the sanctuary to listen.

It was a familiar piece, and I recognized it (as I'm sure you would, too) by the first 3 notes. I stood in the back and watched the light play through the stained glass and listened. I thought, not for the first time, what a blessing it is to be able to work at the Church House and be able get these little mini-concerts.

Even when it is someone practicing or having a lesson, I love to hear the music that drifts from the sanctuary into the Narthex and down to my office, if I have the door open. Just a little perk that comes with the job!

What did I hear today? Here, let me share it with you.

See...I told you you'd know the piece!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An Occasion of Grace

Receiving grace may be one of the most difficult things I know.  We speak so often of giving grace but to receive it and to do that…gracefully?  That's hard!
I must confess it is something that I am not very good at.  Especially when I feel that I've really messed something up.  And somebody else has to pay the consequence.  Oh, how I want that somebody to be mad so I can be indignant.  At that point, I can begin my mental list of
                    and rationalize
                         and justify
                              and come to the conclusion that it wasn’t really my fault anyway.

In the end, if I’m very clever, I can find a way to place blame on the very person who paid the consequence.

Please tell me that I’m not alone here.  That you do it, too.

 Here is my most recent  sad  joyous tale of receiving grace.
We were in San Francisco this past weekend to celebrate college completion with my son.  Did you know that San Francisco is number 3 on the list of ‘most expensive places to visit’ in America?  Our hotel bill for 4 nights was more than we owe each month on our mortgage, although I should say that our mortgage is pretty low.  I was very pleased that we got our flights by using Rocket Man’s Delta Frequent Flyer miles. 

I went so far as to brag about the fact that it was only going to cost $20 out of pocket to travel back and forth. {Why, oh why do I insist on calling down the thunder like that?} I carefully and meticulously poured over the choices of flights and considered pros and cons of travel time to make the best use of our time and especially to get home at a reasonable hour.
Imagine my surprise when I looked closely at the printed itinerary on Sunday night, before we were to leave on Monday morning, when I saw that our departure time was not 11:30 am as I believed, with an 8:35 pm arrival in Huntsville.

Nope.  It was not what I thought.
We had seats on the 11:30 pm flight last night to arrive in Huntsville at 8: 35 in the morning. 
Panic set in. I felt sick at my stomach.  I looked at Rocket Man (who was already in bed, falling asleep) and told him the grim news.  His terse reply was, “That ain’t gonna work!”  We’re just not cut out to take the RedEye and come straight to work.  There was also the problem of having to check out of the hotel and find something to do with our luggage for about 12 hours.

I’m telling y’all.  I was getting sicker by the moment.
He suggested I call Delta right away and see what they could do.  They were happy to change our flights.  For a tidy sum, and more of the precious Frequent Flyer Miles.  At one point, I was sobbing and blubbering and the customer service rep wanted to know if there was someone else in the room able to finish the transaction.
I finished the business, got us on a more reasonable flight.  That flight  arrived back home at 11:30 pm.  I hung up the phone and hung my head.  I must have said, “I’m so sorry” a thousand times.  And I cried.  And I cried. 

Do you know what Rocket Man did?  He did flinch when I told him how much money it cost to change the flights.  But he said, “Its only money” and he held me while I cried.  The nicer he was, the more miserable I felt.  He explained to me that everyone makes mistakes.  Nobody is perfect.  Which I suppose I know in my head, but in my heart…I like to feel that I do everything  just right. 
My heart was breaking because I felt that I’d let him down somehow. 

The response I got from this one man, the one I prefer above all others was love and grace.
I found that so difficult to receive.  I love him more than any human on the planet and I never want to let him down.  But  lately, little things keep cropping up where I am in great need of grace and love.  I find myself  asking for {gasp} help and admitting that I can’t do things I used to do and realizing that there are hours/days/weeks when I’m not my best because of my physical difficulties and limitations.
It  just isn’t easy to accept that grace.  It would be easier in the moment to be defensive if he were to offer something less than loving grace.  To fall into fighting and bickering leading to being angry and sullen.  Instead, he offered arms of comfort and a spirit of love and grace. 
I was awash in it.  And I felt so unworthy. 
He doesn’t want me to feel unworthy.  He only wants me to feel loved.  He offers grace with open hands and no strings.
What was I thinking? 

Run to that grace, Molli!  Accept it. Embrace it. Let it wash over you.
Continue to learn to receive grace…receive it graciously.
Remember to also give grace.  And give it graciously. 
Do both joyfully.

You know, I cut my teeth on grace.  Free and abundant grace of God.  Grace offered everywhere from family and friends.  Why, then, is it so hard to accept from the Rocket Man, who by his own admission  and certainly by his actions loves and adores me?  I think it is pride.  Yikes.  That hurts. 

Grace and pride just don't mix very well. 
I'm working on that.
And accepting his grace.  And accepting God's grace.  And counting it all joy.

PS...according to Blogger, this is my 100th Post!  Yay!!