52 Weeks of Adventure: week 5 He is Faithful.

The most difficult thing about writing these weekly adventures is not what you think it would be. The challenge isn’t in finding the adventure or putting words to the adventure. Instead, the challenge lies in choosing just ONE adventure to write about. You see, in a given week there are approximately 50,000,000 adventures in my life alone. Now, there are probably about 10 that I notice if i’m looking and if I’m not looking, there is probably only one that will be fully appreciated.

So I sit here reflecting on this past week, trying to decide what to write about. I could write about the day I lost my keys, the cookies I baked from scratch using a recipe I didn’t really follow, the lingerie party that we threw for my friend, or the day I went to the DMV and officially became tennessean… There are a million other adventures that I can’t write about to their personal or confidential nature… But this week was just especially lovely and full of adventure.

I’m going to go with the trauma adventure of my missing keys today and maybe later I will add more stories… more adventures… more fun! Tuesday of last week I woke up on time and early late and scattered. I usually do feel this way when I wake up, but that day was especially atrocious. I woke up and looked at Watson and could tell our hair resembled each other. Wild and frazzled. We both looked exhausted. It was a Tuesday that felt like Monday and I had a boatload of work to do to wrap up some things at work

Watson and I made our way downstairs and groggily went on our walk. He pounced and pulled between grass, pavement, and bushes. We spent some time with the neighborhood dogs and then finally, we went inside where we made coffee and tried to wake up from our slumber. As I got dressed and ready for work I started gathering my things from the edges of the earth that is my apartment and got ready to leave. After picking up everything that was at the top of the stairs, I put Watson in his room and headed down to my car only to realize… Where are my keys?

My brain didn’t think too much of it when they didn’t show up and thought maybe they were just around. However, an hour later I was still searching and still not at work. Hour turned to hours. My search continued. I searched inside. I searched in the couch and kitchen and refrigerator because I know sometimes I lose my mind and put things in places that don’t make sense. I searched through clothes and pockets and Watson’s toys. I searched through drawers and bags and backpacks and crevices. I searched and searched like one of those sporadic cartoon characters throwing everything every which way.

Next, Watson and I walked around the parameter of the apartments. We stopped by the poop buckets and looked through them (gross!). My  search turned to frantic texts. My panic wasn’t just that I was without my car and house keys but also without work keys and my USB that has personal information.

Worry turned to frantic searching that graduated into panic all the while, my phone rang my mom called. A girl is never too old to talk to her mom when she loses something. Even if her mom is 12 hours away. After explaining the Missing Key Saga and everywhere I had looked and the importance of finding keys that were not my own (i.e. work keys). “Sara, pray about it,” she suggested, “Last week I was missing a parking ticket and after praying He provided when we really needed it…” And I listened.

Making my way to my apartment, Watson and I walked up the stairs, he jumped on the couch and I got on my face with tears in the carpet and my nose breathing in particles of dust, I prayed. Lord, I don’t know if You hear us or answer prayers anymore but I’m praying… Not knowing where those words came from, not knowing where the doubt suddenly appeared from I paused, stunned. I shut my eyes as the carpet got more and more damp. I tried again. Lord, thank you that it isn’t raining today like it was yesterday. Please calm my nerves. Please provide the keys so I can give back what isn’t mine to who it belongs to and get to work. If You hear me, if You’re there, If you still answer prayers… doubts filled. tears flooded.

My keys going missing was something that really wasn’t a big deal and really shouldn’t have been so emotional, but for me it was a deep spiritual realization and an adventure of doubt I didn’t recognize within me until I offered up fervent prayers of desperation. I laid with my face on the carpet stupefied at my doubt. Both knowing and not knowing the root of where this had come from and why it was just surfacing. Both brokenhearted, confused, and elated because I could deal with it. Finally.

Until you get alone with Him in the quiet do you ever start to deal with what’s inside you and who He is… And that day, the adventure began. It began on my face with my nose on the tear-soaked carpet crying out for Him- instead praying to find my keys, I prayed for Him to take my doubt and give me reassurance that He is faithful. Just like I’ve always known Him to be. Regardless of whether my keys were found or not, I wanted to know His character more and be firm and steadfast in it. He is my identity.

To prepare for not having my keys ever again, I called a AAA who sent a locksmith to make a key for my car. As he took the lock off my door, my prayers turned silent in my heart as he stepped up in his truck to go back to his office and make a key… his car sputtered and died.

His car died. The battery died and I stood there laughing. The inappropriateness and rightness of the situation was too much to handle. His faithfulness was in it somewhere, His glory in my laughter. I felt like Sara who laughed at the Lord when He told Abraham he would be a father to many nations. I looked to the Locksmith, “We could call AAA. I have a membership”.

“Ma’am,” he said, “I am AAA. You called us already.”

My laughter turned to snorts.

Eventually he got his truck jumped, he got my key made and arrived back to my car to program it, all the while engaging me in conversations of star wars and star trek and music. Three things I know nothing about… but eventually he handed my new key over to me at 7:30pm and drove away as I stood there in the cold thanking Him, the Lord, for a glorious day and a key to get to work tomorrow.

My roommate arrived home that night and we told each other of our  trauma filled adventurous and eventful day and as she cleaned her purse out I saw her still. She looked up at me and out of her purse in her hand came my keys… and there was nothing to do but laugh and cry and be so thankful that my keys were okay after all, because He provides. Jehovah Jireh. He tests. He loves. He proves faithful. He always knows our hearts and reveals our hearts to us when we don’t know our hearts. He gives us room for doubt and repentance. He’s a good, good Father.

It wasn’t until later that week when I came home from work around 1am that I realized the depths of awesomness I had in a roommate… even after her profusely apologizing to me when I really didn’t care that she took my keys. I was so happy to have them back. I came home to things she left out for me and made for me… she made a HUGE card with scripture on it, an incredibly nice tea maker, a mug, and on the card were hilarious hashtags like #TeamSara #L’Chaim #yehsua #otherjewishthings #Imstillreallysorry #Nevertakeyourkeysagain…. And the week ended with a huge smile on my lips, tears on my cheeks and a new understanding of Him, grace, forgiveness, mercy… and His Faithfulness.

His faithfulness continues through all generations. (Ps 100:5). 

Sometimes adventures can be painful realizations of ourselves and of Him, but that doesn’t make them any less adventurous. I am so thankful for this week!

 

 

 

 

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52 Weeks of Adventure: Week 3~ Snowmageddon

By the title, I’m sure you all know what I’m referring to, correct? This past week, I was spoiled with adventure and it was a lot of fun. On Monday we got off for MLK day. Tuesday I went to work. Wednesday we had a snow day and technically I could have taken off, but I chose to work from home and.. have a little fun with Watson in the afternoon during a break.

Watson and I decided to go gliding and sliding through the snow and we met our neighbor and her dog, Tiki (Short for Tikvah which can mean Hope in Hebrew). Tiki and Watson ran around for a little bit, but Tiki got pretty cold since he’s a puppy Boxer.

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Watson is wearing his bright blue coat.. he doesn’t always understand social skills

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No matter how much he tries to sit, he won’t get Tiki’s treats! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Watson with his wild spirit! This is one of my favorites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Watson and Tiki had their fill of playing, which surprisingly didn’t last too long, Watson and I decided to walk around and take some pictures. We took pictures on my Nikon COOLPIX L820 camera that I received for Christmas a couple of years ago. I have recently pulled it out, bought a bunch of batteries and have been using it for my blog along with other things. I’m not a photographer by any means, but…. that’s part of the adventure isn’t it?

Once we settled down at home after our walk, Watson and I watched the news and realized the true snowmageddon was coming and the whole town was shutting down for Friday and Saturday. I cancelled my plans for the weekend and tried to make adventurous plans for the two of us.

By the end of the weekend, we didn’t have but a couple of flurries- We had nothing compared to the northeast! Me and Watson stayed home all day saturday, read books, watched movies, and drank tea. It was so, so lovely… and definitely our kind of adventure.

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Where is your life taking you this week? What adventures do you see in the mundane? What makes you smile and laugh and throw your head back and think “this is forever”? 

That’s adventure. Maybe it’s snow, or thankful journals, or friends. Maybe it’s wine and dine and cheese. Maybe the adventure is in the book you read last week or the church you visited. Maybe it’s a deeply spiritual experience or maybe it’s from wrestling with the Spirit.  Wherever your adventure lies, i’d love to read it. If you have a blog or want to start one, please join me in the adventure by writing them down and posting the link in the comments!

To learn more about the reason behind my 52 weeks of adventure series, click here.

I Dream So Many Dreams…

Two weeks ago I stood speaking in front of a college Deaf Education class i’d been invited, welcoming questions from student after student. This isn’t the first time i’ve done this. I heard many of the same questions as I’d had before…

How did you pick up sign language so quickly?
Do you feel more comfortable in the Deaf or hearing world?
How much do you hear?
What hearing aid do you wear? And why?
Do you feel like your mainstream education helped or hurt your future?
What would you do if you could do it again? 

I smiled, with my answers ready. They were drawn from my experience, my opinions, and my life, they didn’t require much thought. But the next question caught me off guard.

So, What is your dream? 

“My dream? Like… For my future?” The class laughed at my question and quieted to hear my answer. I was so stunned by the question, I started to feel the silence rather than hear it. The crimson that rarely came started in my neck worked its way up to my ears and into my smile. I looked around.

“I don’t have one.” I said while humorously changing the topic evoking laughs from my audience.

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This exchange has been on my mind since. I’ve not been able to stop thinking about it. It plays in my mind and I think of all the things I could have said. But more than that, it brings me back to another quite equally haunting memory that I have of sitting in my former counselor’s office approximately 3 years ago and being asked to draw my future out on the dry erase board behind me.

I drew a stick person- me. And a school, graduation, then a job… and house.

Sara, he said, What about the people in your life? What about a spouse and children? 

“I don’t see that in my future, I don’t dream for that,” I replied.

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But none of that is true. None of it. And Yet, both exchanges haunt me. I’ve come to realize that speaking my dreams out loud- allowing myself to dream- scares me. Scares me so much so that I go to tell people that I have no dreams and I want no family, but today with this blogpost I wish to take those answers back. I’m taking them back. No. I’m not letting fear steal my future. I’m not letting Satan steal my dreams. What if the dreams I have are God’s dream? Better yet… what if, by speaking my dreams out loud (or writing them), God enables the people in my life to help them take shape and give them life?

Deuteronomy 30: 19 states that He has set before the Israelites death and life, blessings and curses and it is up to them to decide to choose life. Through speaking my dreams- my hopes- I think that is, in essence, speaking life rather than death over my future. And do I want life. I choose it.

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So what is my dream? What are my dreams? I don’t just have one- and they’re scary to voice because… I feel like they conflict with each other. What if none of them come to be and what if all of them come to be?  Both prospects are equally terrifying… and today that’s okay.

My dreams…

I want to attend seminary and spend too much money learning how to share the gospel. I want to make friends and enemies and pray for all of them. I want to hurt and wonder how i’ll make it the next year and then get to next year and be amazed at His glory. I want to learn and counsel women to be more godly, and counsel women who want nothing to do with God. I want to make friends and live life with them and step into their spaces and see who they are. I want to be there when they have children and get married and get cancer. I want to be there and show up in the most crucial times.

I want to meet someone and love him. Really love him. I want to love him enough to suffer with him for the rest of my life and let myself be held and protected by him. I want the anger and frustration of him not doing what I want him to do and the tears when he expresses his frustration of what i’m not doing with me! I want the excitement when I know he’s coming home. I want to roll my eyes at stupid jokes and get annoyed when he wants to watch sports. I want to pull out the scriptures with him and blush when he reads what we know as Proverbs 31 to me… Eshet Chayil- The woman of Valor! I want to give him high fives… even though sometimes they will land on his face (I’m just kidding…) I want to be silly and play hooky from work and eat pancakes in bed and giggle. I want to spend hours laboring in the kitchen for Shabbat dinners with candles on the table. I want to see tears in his eyes when I give him gifts and love when I give forgiveness. I want us to be angry and passionate. I want to slam doors and open hearts and be a mess and then be put back together in Him- the ultimate Him (Yeshua). I want it all.

I want to bear his children and give them his name. I want to pray for each child as it grows in me and be angry that he didn’t bring chocolate home. I want to feel his frustration and work it out with words and love. My dream is to be kind to him, because love is kind. I want to sing psalms by his bedside… and jokingly curse him in labor with laugher that bubbles up. I want a quiver full of arrows. I want the dirty house and the messy windows. I want the small fingerprints and the sleepless nights, the kind of sleepless night when something so little poops so much you both wonder how it’s possible- and then laugh together. I want the angry tears when he tells me I need to do more and be more and the love when I realize he’s right. I want to see his children grow and learn and fall and be clumsy. I want to pull back a head full of tiny curls and wonder what I was thinking when I wanted children and then laugh. I want the smiles and the frustration. The tears and the laughter. I want family.

I want to move across the country and live on a farm. I want to own sheep. Because they’re cute and because i know nothing about them- and i’m silly. I want to milk cows in the morning and feed them in the afternoon  and wonder why my trees are dying in the backyard. I want sore hands and a warm heart and a tired body. I want Watson to be a farm dog. For at least a little while. I want to smile as I wake up before the sun and smile when I go to bed long after it’s sunk. I want to stay up too late writing poetry and get up too early to cook. I want to be tired and refreshed. Work hard and relax. I want to own a house. A house that I can invite guests to and serve as a haven for young mothers with no husbands. I want to be plan B when plan A doesn’t work and plan C is abortion. I want to cook breakfast for young mothers and give them advice on how to raise children- even though I don’t know what i’m doing with my own. I want to clasp their hands in mine and wipe their tears and then go in the other room and ask the Lord what He was thinking when He asked me to do this… because i’m so inadequate.

My dream is to spend time in the middle east and hand out clothes to those who don’t have clothes and wrap women in Hijab who are lacking and wanting. I want to see the hands of refugees and wipe their faces. I want to wash feet and clothes down by the river. I want to respect and love and serve. I want to hurt. I want to be comfortable and uncomfortable and so comfortable that it makes me uncomfortable. I want to share Jesus with everyone who will listen and love those who spit in my face- like Amy Carmichael. I want to do more than hand out bibles, I want to BE Him and live Him. I want to cook meals and clean houses. I want to teach children- deaf children. Learn new sign languages. Learn new things.

I want to cry for want of home and smile for want of home. I want to be dirty, but have no shower. And be clean and give my shower. And finally go Home.

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Some of these things many never come true. Some of these things may turn into someone else’s dream. All of these things are unrealistic and romanticized and ridiculously realistic all at the same time. I cannot do all of these things, but I can dream them. I can dream them and when someone asks me what my dreams are I can choose one dream and divulge. All of these dreams are mine, but not all of these dreams are God’s. The most common phrase in my list of dreams is “I want”… My hope and prayer is that these “wants” become fewer and fewer and His Want becomes more and more…

John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease” 

 

Hilariously Humiliating Adventures… In Yoga

Warning to the sensitive souls out there in the blogosphere: If flatulence, farting, or humor offends you, especially mixed with yoga; please refrain from reading. If you are easily humored and are looking forward to a small chuckle, please read onward.

My muscles were sore from lifting that morning, I felt that need for a good stretch. So I got dressed in my handy yoga pants and top, grabbed my green mat, and headed to the gym for yoga class. I was ready and I was nervous.

Yoga is nerve wracking for me. The lights are turned off and music on to create a relaxing environment, I suppose, but for me it enhances anxiety. I cannot see the instructor’s lips and the music combined with her voice, I cannot hear her either. I simply must follow what she does, how she does it. I don’t know the names of any yoga poses, because I cannot hear them. Sometimes in the midst of my yogaing- ungracefully, I may add- the Instructor will calmly and lightly call out instructions to her pupils. I am, unfortunately, usually one of them. So I struggle to read her lips and contort my body in whatever way she’s saying. Maybe I need to arch my back more and stick my butt out. When Miley Cyrus’ twerk enters my brain, I think, nah, maybe I need to square my shouldersMaybe I need to… A million “Maybe’s” swarm in my head while my body lay in strange positions on the floor. I forget to breathe. I lose my balance. I fall and break the peaceful vibe in the room. I roll over, feeling like a wild beast drawing a long breath after feeding on a carcass. I sweat, writhe, breathe, gasp, stretch, reach… and I squeeze.

I squeeze because the quiet, dark, musical environment isn’t the only thing that makes me anxious. The compounding anxiety that stirs my stomach from light butterflies to flying saucers only enhances my own true, dark and musical problem: Flatulence.

You see, I don’t mind that it’s nice and quiet in those yoga studios. I mind that it’s nice and quiet with other people around me who can hear and smell. Yoga, for a reason unbeknownst to me, gives me terrible, deadly gas. From the moment my body awkwardly contorts to that first yoga position, my buttocks strives to make its music. This is simultaneously embarrassing and hilarious to me.

I feel so tense until that moment I begin to let go and enjoy the yoga pose and I realize my soul isn’t the only thing letting go. When the girl to my right sends a glance my way, I feel defensive and blame others around me. Do you smell that? I mouth in mock horror, pointing with my head to the person in front of us, It’s horrible! She shares my sentiments as my butt continues on her “Letting Go” Elsa rampage and I squeeze. I clench and I strain with all the power my mighty glutes can muster.

Then exhaustion hits and my poor glutes can no longer handle it because the pressure is just too great. The building up around my midsection is so painful that people near me assume I’m pleasantly and respectfully attempting to stifle groans from the long, deep stretches. Sweat has formed a thick layer around me and my bra is soaked and in my exhaustion, I carelessly wave my white stinky flag of surrender and let them fly. I had finally come to terms with my stinky-ness and friendlessness in yoga class that day after a long and exhausting battle. Until my instructor announced something which made all the yogi pupils get off their mats and stand in a small circle with their palms face-out connected to each other with looks of peace on their faces.

My embarrassment intensified as they waved me into the circle and I mindfully tried to steer my rear-end away from them like an out of control sailboat. I’m not sure if it was real or imagined, but their peaceful looks progressively dissipated with my every step. I tightly clenched my tired glutes and core to prevent another toot from further offending the peaceful circle of yogi students. As we joined hands, my shame progressed even further as another one escaped my dark tunnel of redolence. I could see eyes glance around to investigate who the culprit was. I held several curious eye stares, daring them to shift blame to me, balancing in the circle of this insanely, shameful moment.

We began our circle-balancing exercise. Since I was so preoccupied with my stenchiness, I could not hear the name of this pose, so I named it myself Stinky Stargazers. We held each others’ shoulders, with one foot tucked above our knee and balanced in a perfect circle and gazed upward toward where I imagine the stars hanging along with us. Meanwhile, for these few minutes, my buttocks had decided to give me a short reprieve from my reeking shamefulness and I balanced. I balanced! I balanced for the first time that day without any straining, clenching, or offending.  I felt free for just that moment and am sure that’s what yoga is supposed to feel like.

You have to remember that even alone, I do not balance well. My internal balance, or lack there of, has made me the most uncoordinated person alive. Any person who knows me can attest to this- especially my hiking friend whom I’ll call Strong Sara. So I balanced, and that’s a huge deal.

When we finally released our balance poses, we got to lie on our backs on our mats and our instructor comes around and says some kind of little chant over us. I cannot hear her so I always close my eyes and just, let loose. I allow my buttocks, for the second time to relax and thankfully, nothing expels. My embarrassment comes to a dignified close as she passes her hands over my shoulders and I drift into a peace for the first time that class.

And the most humiliating and hilarious adventure is perfectly complete.

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Mornings, Hair, and Chocolate.

I’m not a huge morning person. I hate mornings. The only thing positive about waking up at 5 AM is seeing the sun rise. It’s beautiful.

I usually don’t look beautiful though. With dark rings around my eyes and my hair everywhere, I headed out the door this morning at 6 am, ready to take on the day. I probably looked something like this:
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As I climbed the stairs of my basement and arrived at the ground floor, things started falling out my hands. Of course, I thought. I bent over to get my water on the floor and saw Tracey’s foot. I followed it up to her face.

“Did you brush your hair?” the first thing that came out of her mouth. No. No I didn’t. No, I won’t. I don’t brush my hair. Ever. I have long curly dark hair. It can’t be brushed, it gets combed when I wash it, but that’s it.

I turned to her, meaning for a joke but looking totally serious. “i’m not brushing it, they’ll have to deal with it.”

“That’s a good way to keep a job” she responded.

I looked at her and smiled inside. I planned to put it up and fix it when I was at a red light or something. “I’m shaving it. I’m shaving my head,” the words came out my mouth. I smirked. I got her.

“Good, give your locks to me, I’ll weave them in my hair” She got me back. A faint smile appeared on my face as I hustled out the door into the dark morning.

When I got to my meeting I sat down and around 10 am I started to get hungry. I looked in my lunch box and pulled out a handy dandy luna bar, that I’m supposed to be trying not to eat. It’s a caramel nut brownie bar. I bit into the deliciousness, not paying attention to how I was eating, just taking in the flavor and the meeting information. I got thirsty and drank my water. My entire water bottle.

I have to pee. I got up to go to the bathroom and when I sat on the pot, I noticed something brown on the back of my black dress pants. My brow furrowed as I examined my pants. Oh no. oh no… no no no no no. Chocolate. It was chocolate.

Chocolate crumbs had somehow fallen out of my mouth, as I so carelessly ate, dropped onto my lap and melted under my bottom. I fled the stall and stood in front of the mirror with my back toward it, looking at my butt. I looked like i’ve pooped on myself!! I’m a business woman! I have to LOOK the part!! OH NO!! I panicked.

I quickly took my pants off in the bathroom and stood at the sink, scrubbing and scrubbing. I could feel the lines in my face crease, my heart rate shot up. Here I am. At my work place. Standing in the middle of the woman’s bathroom in my underwear. Scrubbing what looks just like poop off of the bottom of my pants. I eyed the door, not sure what my plan was if someone came in.

Finally, the poop-like chocolate stain was off and just as I put my pants back on in the bathroom someone walked in. I zipped my pants. “Hello! Good day!” I sped out the bathroom.

Later that day for lunch I ate a peanut-butter Banana sandwich. There is a long story for why I didn’t have lunch meat… i may or may not have forgot to refrigerate it the day before (like how does someone forget that…?) And I was eating and eating and eating. Yum.  As I finished my sandwich and looked down. long pause.

Peanut butter. everywhere. I didn’t even know peanut butter could make CRUMBS! I looked down in terror. Suddenly, a seizure-like movement came over me and I started dusting myself off… like maybe if I dust hard enough and long enough the peanut butter will begone!

About two minutes later… I thought I looked better. Maybe I even looked pretty good.

This monkey thinks he looks pretty good too…

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Anyways, while driving home at the end of the day, I found myself reliving the day and laughing out loud. It was a great day! It was HILARIOUS! I would relive it!

I try my best to represent my school and myself very well wherever I go and somehow accidents STILL happen!! The best thing to do is… laugh and learn! I have learned to watch myself as I’m eating.. and to maybe not shave my head in the future… 🙂

The End of the World As We Know It…

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. Every year for the past few years, I’ve tried to participate in Lent. Usually, I forget what I promised to give up or add during lent somewhere in week two and then just forget about Lent all together till I arrive at church Easter Sunday and I realize…. oops.

For those of you who know me, you may be confused why I’m talking about Lent, after all, if you know me from east Tennessee, you may have met me in a baptist church and baptists usually don’t participate in something so… Catholic. But I guess some people could consider me a Baptist-Catholic. Being raised on a farm in South Louisiana with several catholic friends and mardi gras every year… Lent became more important to me when I moved away to college than when I actually lived in Louisiana.

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That’s my dad, I call him Papa. Papa owns a deer farm and that’s our favorite deer May-May…. This has nothing to do with anything other than I love Papa dearly and miss him so.

However, The real reason I’m writing is to tell you a story that happened many years ago on Ash Wednesday. I might have been in high school, about age 16 or so, but I can’t remember. You have to understand a little background on me first. I grew up in a bubble, a bubble so big that my family called me bubble-girl. I was born and raised baptist and stayed in my little baptist bubble. I tend to stay in my own little world and I don’t quite notice what other people notice. I truly try not to be this way, but it’s the way I’ve always been… Growing up, I also had a deathly fear of being “left behind”.

I mean, I was afraid that Jesus would come back and rapture my entire family and I’d get left behind. I got my little behind beat for waking mom and papa up so many nights because I was just seeing if they were still there! Letting me read the “left behind” series as a kid probably turned out to be my mother’s worst nightmare

Anyways, one day I was supposed to meet my friend at Target the Wednesday after Mardi Gras. In Louisiana, we get school off during Mardi Gras so we can participate in everything, but back then, it didn’t really mean anything to me. So I remember, my 16 year old self in my little, naive bubble, parking to meet my friend Kallie at Target. I arrived at Target about 10 to 15 minutes early, got out of the car and walked inside. I went to the DVD section and started looking over what movies were available. I was so focused on the movies that I ran into this lady. I looked straight up into her face and notice something dark like a bruise on her forehead. Well, that’s strange, I thought.

I glanced at my watch and checked my cell phone for Kallie’s text. I looked up again to navigate my way back to the front of the store and nearly every person I passed had the same bruise on their foreheads. Most of the people’s bruises looked like crosses, but some were little smudges. I began to think back to my Left Behind days, my mind raced. Panic Filled me.

What’s the mark of the beast supposed to look like?! I couldn’t remember. I started looking for that evil number on people’s hands… what’s the number 555? no.. no. 666? THAT’S IT! My phone rang interrupting my thoughts. Terror filled me as I realized it was Kallie calling me. She was left behind too, thank God. Wait, why am i thanking GOD?! He LEFT us!

I answered the phone, “Hello?” my voice quavered, tears filled my eyes, “Kallie, are you okay?!” panic filled me again. I swear i was hyperventilating!
“Yeah,” she answered, “Why do you sound so weird? I just pulled up to target.” I ran through the mass of bruised forheads to the parking lot outside. The world was spinning. What were we going to do without our parents? The grass was no longer green, the sky was no longer blue, they had switched. Oh crap, the world really is ending!

I ran to Kallie once she got in my line of vision. Ashamed that I was freaking out, I tried to hide my fear, but my eyes still misted. “what’s wrong, sara?” she asked, seriously concerned.
“Well, I was in target… and i noticed the bruises on everyone’s forehead. They’re in the shape of… crosses”. As I choked it out I had to refrain from telling her i couldn’t see the number 666 anywhere, but maybe that would appear once the bruises healed. I looked over at her expecting a serious reaction.

She burst out laughing. “Sara! It’s ASH WEDNESDAY, boo!! Them people went and got them ashes from them priests! It’s the start of Lent!”.

The start of LENT? ASH Wednesday?? The pieces started to fall in place. I had always wondered why it was called “Ash” Wednesday. It never made much sense to me…

Since that fateful Ash Wednesday, my life has improved. My bubble has expanded further beyond just me… much more than any of you know… and I now some years (not this year due to schedule conflict) even partake in Ash Wednesday. What  glorious thought! The world isn’t ending the day after Mardi Gras!

Happy Lent, Y’all!

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