Wow! You know, everyone should get as much spiritual growth out of their day as I do. Can we just stop at Day 3? I would say that “all or nothing” applies to me in more than just my sacrifice to God. It also applies to my personality. There is no “on the fence” with me. You’re either on it, or you’re off it. Get a grip, make a choice, and stand behind it. My failure in this is that I expect everyone to be the same way with their lives. I expect everyone to hold themselves accountable, to be their own personal army and be the best they can be. Is it even necessary for me to say that my expectations are unrealistic? However, I’m not a quitter, so I keep believing this is going to happen some day. Well, today ain’t the day. Sometimes my expectations are even too high for me to achieve. But I got off to a great start….
The above image is how I looked this morning. Calm, controlled, with my darling barefoot blonde-headed angel–the model Proverbs 31 Woman.
I had to go to town to deposit the money we were blessed with so that my husband could pay the RV park lady. He decided it wasn’t a good idea for him to have to shoot his way out of there. How would that look on the new chaplain? So Miss Gigi and I went to town. I should be so lucky as to drive Miss Daisy! Okay, so she was good today, and we only had to stop and use the bathroom one time while we were en route. After depositing said funds into the bank, I decided instead of going to Wal-Mart (oh, how I loathe Wal-Mart), I would go across town to the discount bread store and then swing by Kroger instead. So we flipped the van around, happily leaving Wally World behind us, and we shuttled across town to the discount bakery.
We got all of this for $12! That’s 4 loaves of the good bread (Nature’s Own 14 Grain), 150 tortillas (wheat, flour, and corn), and 10 honeybuns—all for $12. When I was at Wal-Mart later (we’ll get to that part in a minute), I took pictures of the normal grocery store prices. We saved $25. I was wearing my Proverbs 31 banner with pride! Up early? Check. Save tons of money? Check.
While I was beginning to back out of the bread store, I noticed a guy in my zone, so I stopped and waited patiently for him to continue walking.
I need to do a bullet list here:
- I am constantly helping people. However, instead of giving them money, I will take them and buy them food, or I will follow them to the gas station and put gas in their car for them.
- Palestine is a not anywhere close to being a wealthy town. The prison system is one of its main employers, and when prisoners parole out of prison, a lot of them end up just staying in Palestine.
- There is a high vagrant population in Palestine.
- Between my own common sense and my husband’s security experience, I am pretty good at assessing undesirable situations.
- I appear to be what would be called a “mark”. That means that when certain people are looking to take advantage of someone, they are looking for a certain type of person. This person is called a “mark”.
- I wear the “mark” of being a Christian woman. Christian women are often associated as being weak, easy to get one over on. (I’m thinking Elmer Fudd and his famous line here—“He don’t know me very well, do he?”)
- I do not ever help people when my children are in the car. Their safety comes first.
Okay, so here is my assessment of the situation:
Young, vagrant male is walking down the road. He sees me exit the bread store and get in my van. Obviously, I have money because I just bought some food. He deliberately puts himself in my path, so that I am forced to wait until he passes by. But his plan was to manipulate me, to keep me parked. He knocks on my window, asking for help. I shake my head and drive off.
And I still feel bad anyway. What ye have done to the least of these, ye have done also unto me. After all, didn’t I just receive a blessing last night? Could I not have helped this guy out? I want to help people, but I don’t think that should include being extorted and manipulated, putting myself and my daughter at risk. But I still feel bad. What would a real minister’s wife have done? (Would the real minister’s wife please stand up?)
The shelter is over behind Kroger, and I don’t want to take the chance of seeing him again, possibly facing retaliation of some kind. So I go back across town and go to Wal-Mart.
There was apparently a memo that had been sent out to everyone and their kids, because they were also all at Wal-Mart. I persevere, pick up the few things I need, and leave.
My daughter wants to ask me the same question multiple times on the way home and use her softest voice, so that I can’t hear her, and we have a very frustrating conversation, if you can call it that. The humidity was surely responsible for thousands of deaths across East Texas today. No one else except me sees the need to drive under the speed limit to conserve gas. Gigi drank three sips of our soda and instantly had to go to the bathroom while we were in the middle of nowhere.
We finally arrive home, and a neighbor pulls up in our yard. I really wasn’t in the mood to chat. I just wanted to take a nap. I have to say here that I live on a dead-end road and can see two houses in the distance if I squint. This neighbor made a specific effort to come check on me, since Jimmy is gone. There is no escaping the chatting. Finally, I am relieved of my chatting duties. I go in, get everyone settled, and drift off to sleep. The doorbell rings. It is the neighbor’s wife. She also wants to chat. For an hour. Guess I’ll get that nap later tonight while I’m sleeping.
She leaves just in time for me to deal with three hungry kids. They all want the orange juice, but I bought the orange juice for a specific purpose, and it wasn’t to see how fast they could drink it all. I beat them all off of the orange juice, and they get Ramen noodles and tea instead. But Gigi wants milk.
Milk is a luxury in our home. You are not allowed to simply have a glass of milk. It’s too expensive for that. You may use milk in your cereal, but only just enough. But I give in and pour her a nice refreshing glass of milk. You already know where this is going right?
She has put on her cute, red bandana country girl dress and simply must have on her white church shoes so she can match. As I’m buckling the shoes and she’s counting the pearl snap buttons on her dress, it happens—the milk spills. Spilling is much too simple of a word here. The milk splatters! From one end of the kitchen to the other, milk runs in small rivulets across the floor. And down my leg, my freshly showered leg. Did you know that small white church shoes bounce when they hit the laundry room door?
I clean up the mess and give the boys instructions to take their little sister on a long walk down our dead end road. I lay in my not-really-that-cool, dark bedroom, waiting to hear the door slam (closing a door quietly is only achieved in adulthood). After they exit, I go sit on the porch, so I can watch them. The realtor calls to say that the couple really liked our home, they thought it was supercute and wouldn’t change a thing. But they have to sell their home in Houston first.
The good news? As I was standing there I noticed that I finally had my first bloom of the season on my four o’clock, and there was a hummingbird supping from it. All was once again right with the world.