Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That

Many parts of the country have been experiencing higher than average rainfall totals. However, when I arrived back home to Louisiana earlier this week, I wasn’t prepared for the deluge that engulfed me. Not actual raindrops. Worse. I found myself twisting about in one of life’s “perfect storms.”

A leaky pipe approached from the East. We saw that one coming, and I had planned to address this issue during this trip home. Scheduling weeks in advance, I had one day – and only one day – carefully devoted to the leaky pipe. What I hadn’t seen were the squirrels approaching from the South. Apparently, a gang of squirrels that had made themselves quite comfy in the laundry room over the winter. There’s more. A dead car battery barreled in from the North. The old Jeep wouldn’t crank. I was on foot and at the mercy of friends until I could get it running.  These three events collided on my radar to form a Perfect Storm.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

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Season 3

On March 16th, just two short days away, it will be the second anniversary of Brooke’s accident. With wedding anniversaries, there are time-honored understandings about what to do. Paper, cotton, leather, flowers, wood cover the first five years. Tin, crystal, china, silver, gold, diamond as time drags on. Even though you wouldn’t expect anniversary gifts to be “one size fits all,” society has tried-and-true suggestions for how to tick off each passing year. 

Not so much with death. Like marriages, no two grieving families are the same. Yet, we don’t even try when it comes to death anniversaries.

There is no script.

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Inside Out

Even if you do not live in an area that celebrates Mardi Gras, most of us have at least heard of it. For some, it is a “bucket list” item to visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras where it is an entire season beginning in January and running through “Fat Tuesday.” Yesterday, the revelry of Mardi Gras faded into the reverence of Lent marked by Ash Wednesday. The gluttony of Fat Tuesday gave way to the fasting of the Lenten season. The seduction of Carnival conceded to the sacrifice of Lent.

Just as the Mardi Gras season is brimming with rituals and symbolism, the Lenten season is as well. On Ash Wednesday, heads that just the day before donned elaborate masks and flamboyant headdresses now bear ashen crosses. Millions of people observe the rituals of their faith by “giving up” something (meat, sugar, chocolate, beer, wine, smoking, etc.). 

In so many ways, the things that we choose to give up during Lent – though well-intentioned – miss the mark.

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Because that Was Yesterday

I’m a pot-stirrer by nature. Yet, I am also very much non-confrontational. My pot-stirring is geared toward the “sport” of discussion and debate more than for drawing argument. In the end, I’m really more interested in generating ideas and seeing where ideas intersect than creating division. In the end, I detest rancor and discord.

With such competing qualities about me, I shouldn’t be surprised to find myself in conflict from time to time. In fact, I should come to expect it – except when I’m minding my own business. This is exactly where I found myself this past weekend. Minding my own business one minute. Ambushed and fully engulfed in spiritual and emotional hostility the next.

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Don’t Go Hungry

What’s the first rule of the Grocery Store Club? You do not talk about . . .Wait, wrong club. The first rule of going to the grocery store – don’t go hungry.Yet, I do it ALL the time.

It’s really a bit of a sad picture when I do. You know that feeling where you are so focused on your hunger that the words on your grocery list blur. You know that healthy, satisfying options are available, but you are so desperate to satisfy the immediate hunger that you will take whatever option first catches your eye. I go for a quick fix. 

My personal “drug” of choice is sugar – in all of its glorious forms – cookies, ice cream, cake, candy. I call it a drug because that is what it is. And, my behavior surrounding sugar is much akin to what is seen in addicts. I grab something quick “just to take the edge off” while I shop. Then, I feel guilty. And, faster than David planned the demise of his lover’s husband, I hide the evidence, disposing of wrappers or containers before I get home. 

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Motion Granted

For over twenty-five years, I’ve been an attorney. Arguing was a big part of my job. Granted, we attorneys dress up our arguments with flowery language. We lay them out in poetic prose. We even give written arguments cute nicknames like “Petitions” – “pleading” our case – or “Motions” – “moving” the court to see things our way. 

Sometimes, my prayers to God resemble a legal argument more than a heartfelt plea. I tend to throw decorum aside. I just go barging into God’s office “pleading” my case or “moving” Him to see things my way. (For the record, I’ve never barged into a judge’s chambers.)

A few Sundays ago, I kinda pulled that “barging in” thing. As my husband and I sat in services at our local church, the sermon had come to a close. The pastor announced that it was time for a baptism. 

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It’s All So Puzzling

Imagine the scene (and you can because you’ve been there) – First, you dump all of the pieces out of the box onto the table. If there are any pieces that remain joined from the factory, you have to tear them apart. Then, you begin the process of putting it all back together. Find the four corners and all of the edges. (Don’t cha hate when that one middle piece with a nearly straight side gets mixed in with the real edges.) Separate the remaining pieces based on color and/or where you think they fit into the overall picture.

Doesn’t life often feel a lot like working on a 5,000-piece puzzle without a box top and with six similar pieces from an unrelated puzzle mixed in? Sometimes, I feel like God has dumped thousands of puzzle pieces in my lap. Taken a few out. Added a few that don’t belong. And, expects me to put it all together without any reference. It’s worse than one of those solid color puzzles. You know the one where thousands of pieces come together to form the solid white or yellow or blue square that graces the top of the box. 

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