Monday, April 23, 2012

Fighting the Good Fight

Exhaustion. An American epidemic. And I'm sure tired of it ( I heart puns). Sitting here with #118 Natural dye soaking into my hair follicles, I mull over the lessons I have learned this week, the "beatings" I've received, and one lallapalooza of a sob session. 

When sis left (small "s" is my very subtle, old creation man, way of showing less respect) I was pleasantly surprised at the overall visit , but when she returned to the pressures and routine of home life, her old-creation ballooned its way back in her spirit. She "double extendre'd" a comment on a social network, saying something cruel, in public, and then claiming, in a private message, that I misunderstood - crazy making. She reminded me, yet again, how to spend the "gift" she left Mom (look up definition of gift). She must have felt guilty, she called Mom while I was at work (she never calls my Mom), and Mom gave her what for. Just remember, Fellow Folders, no good deed goes unpunished :).

A different huge family implosion occurred. While a piece of my heart didn't snap off, it did suffer a wrenching. I had to really pray about perception again: Am I really that far off in my evaluation of myself, actions, and words than I believe? After much crying, praying, sobbing, and mulling, I believe I understand the answer. My perceptions are accurate, but that doesn't make the other party any happier, and I am saddened to see the choices made, and to be on the receiving end of those choices. My beloved friends helped me accept "What Is," and how to move forward. Having taken care of so many, for so long, my friends said that I've put myself in last place, again and again. And while taking care of kids, their illnesses, being the sole breadwinner, and now taking care of Mom was all necessary, it's time to start dreaming for a life of my own! I have no idea how people do that. So, I thought about a trip. It may be with my kids, or with a friend, but I'm definitely going on a vacation. I dream of working for God. Maybe of someday marrying - if it would be a blessing and not a burden. Having a new fellowship of girlfriends, of like-minded faith. A job that challenges my brain, lets me create, and doesn't require lifting 50 lbs. (every girl's dream).

The enemy apparently was bored in Washington, DC, so he came to my work. My work environment mimics that of a junior high, but with less acne. I do my job very well, and while a few people don't care for my assertive personality, I get along with most people. We sell a high-end paint product, and my co-worker, R., mixed an incorrect color, so the customer brought the two cans back, with R's initials on the label. K. proceeded to make the same mistake on another two cans trying to satisfy the customer, again, with his initials on the label. The adjusted formula kept reverting to the original formula each time the guys changed the quantity to two cans. We now had $140.00 of awesome paint, for $28.00! A.M. marked them down, with his initials generated by computer on the tags, and set them to the side for me. I forgot to purchase them, and the next morning my supervisor called and said, "If you want this paint you have to purchase it now, because it can't be sitting on the floor." Translation - if you don't buy it, I will. So, Mom and I zoomed over and bought the paint. I was so excited to freshen Mom's house for so little money. Two days later, G. says, "Now don't tell anyone I said this, but R. says, 'They're watching you.'" Who? Who is watching me, and WHY? "Well, YOU made mismatched paint, and then YOU marked down the paint and then YOU bought them. WHAT? I was so hurt, I almost started bawling. I woke my Mom up, had her bring the paint to the store at 8:30PM and return it. I took pictures of the labels with my phone, while smoke was pouring out my ears. The next day I spoke with the manager and he had no idea about any paint scandal. So, my coworkers just can't seem to let me be. It's been 10 LLOONNNGG months working with dysfunctional, mental, lazy, ADHD, gossipy, sloppy, lazy people. Do my coworkers EVER wonder, while they're slandering and gossiping about others, how many short-comings, irritating habits, bad odors, inappropriate behaviors in front of customers, and disrespect towards each other they exhibit? With the EI of 12, I assume not. I told my manager how difficult it was working with them, and that I put in for a transfer to four other stores. One that values strong, hard-working, women, and truly puts respect and professionalism first, like our value statement claims. Of course, he said he wanted me to stay, but I think I want a fresh start. The above is a highly fireable offense, and I cannot jeopardize the health insurance I am actively utilizing, hence my bringing back the paint.

How blessed am I that I have Jesus. Can you imagine, experiencing the above, sometimes daily (to a lesser or greater degree), and not have Jesus? He helps me to react properly, forgive regularly, understand the ungodly and immature, mature in my walk, and train to be battle-ready. Are you battle-ready? Does your armor fit properly, or is it up in the rafters because it needs altering and you just don't have the time?

Just finished studying the book of Joshua for my Bible School. Joshua was awesome. Honored to be Moses' aide,  fought against peer pressure when spying out the new land, while 10 others lied about the conditions for attack, and chosen to lead Israel into battle. My favorite is when God tells him FOUR times to be "Strong and Courageous," not afraid or discouraged. Joshua was afraid and discouraged.  Joshua was ordered to put to death people who rebelled against him, what a heavy command. I don't take this literally, rather, sometimes we can't hang out with people who actively disobey God. If you've had to do this, you know how it can be very painful. And, as always, God's caveat, the terms of the covenant are, "You will be victorious, you will be successful, and prosperous IF YOU OBEY MY COMMANDS." Jesus' sacrifice on the cross did not nullify the terms of the covenant. In order for God to uphold His end of the deal, we must hold up our end: Complete obedience. As we pace back and forth in the valley of decision, like Joshua, we must choose this day whom we shall serve: But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15).

Let's declare April "Spring Cleaning Month." Bring the armor down from the rafters.  Time to shine our breastplate of righteousness. Polish up our shoes with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Make sure that belt of of truth still fits. Uh oh, too tight, now that's a problem.  How about that helmet of salvation? Did we wear it once and then sell it at a garage sale, assuming Jesus intended it as a single-use item? Hmm...should we trade in our dinner-plate size shield of faith for a much larger one? And what about our sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God? Where in the world did we put it? Oh, it's in our nightstand drawer, we thought it was only for emergencies or break-ins. Let's start carrying it like swashbucklers do, 24/7, at the ready, to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have (I Peter 3:15).

Be strong and courageous!


  1. I was convicted in my scripture memorization early last year and I began a regiment of memorizing different passages. I think I got up to 50 or 60 verses or something before I hit my first stumbling block (so to speak): the Armor of God in Ephesians 6. I'm not sure if it's just the way the text is worded or what, but I tripped up over it so much that I eventually just went on to a different passage.

    Swashbucklers... nice.

  2. "...mimics that of a junior high, but with less acne."

    Lol, nice.

    Now and then, I'll ponder the whole "put people to death" thing when I read it in the OT (quite frequently! O_O), and I wonder if I'd ever be able to do such a thing. Like Elijah on the mount, grabbing that sword and killing those prophets of Baal... man, that takes stones I'm not sure I possess. And honestly, at this point, I'm not sure I'd want to be comfortable doing such a thing. Guess I have some maturing to do?

    Love the section on the armor (especially the single-use helmet bit). Great post. Sorry your coworkers are such turds.


  3. @Logan: Wow, I that's a lot of verses! Lord, please bless Logan and his family with a job that will be a delight and pay a decent wage. I pray that Logan will recognize the direction that you are taking him, grant him eyes to see possibilities he has not even considered. Amen.

    @Dave:I thought about what I wrote about my coworkers: It's all true; I want to be honest; I know I'm flawed; I know God uses these things to bring up the sins hiding behind my pious heart; I don't want to be guilty of writing the same Pollyanna Christian verbiage that I've been openly critical of; hence, anonymity.