Monday, June 29, 2009

One Good Thing

Have you ever noticed that, sometimes, it seems like there is more bad around than good? While it is only one opinion, it's my opinion that it is important to not lose focus of the good in everyday life.

When things in life around us taste bitter, there is usually always at least one sweet, or good, thing around. We just have to look for it.

'Til next time,


Friday, June 26, 2009

And Then Comes The Flower

This is a follow-up post to "Poppin Heads Off."

After popping the head blooms off of my two little green plants, I could only hope for better growth, next time, from them. After all, they did go through a lot of possible shock and truama to get to where they are now, meaning here.

Within the next day or two, after popping of their heads, I walked outside to find a single bloom had opened up and was so beautiful. It looked so incredibly strong.

It reminded me that even when I get my head "popped/snapped" off, I possess the ability to continue to grow. Actually, it can cause me two bloom and flower two times more than I had the time before. It's amazing what such harsh action can do, but with careful reflection and gentle care great things can happen.

'Til next time,

Love, Peace, and PB&J

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Raking Across The Coals

Well, ya'll, when we think about it, we all know that in order to have a testimony we have to have a test first:) We can choose to let those tests make us or break us. Sometimes, some of those tests come from getting raked across the coals.

K. So, I've never worked with a cash registar or in a sit-down family type restaraunt, until now. I am very thankful for this job. It was a godsend. While I am very thankful for it, I am remembering what it's like to be in the workforce, after being laid-off ten months ago, and working with people in a service type job AND dealing with their money and credit cards, to boot. Ya'll, I forgot there were "mean" people out there who would be mean to me. Oopy doopy

:( :)

Today was day seven in training as Hostess. I would like to share some of the "mean" people experiences with you, only to finalize in discussing the overcomer attitude.

Saturday was my third day in training, but when I got to work, I learned that my trainer had called in and I was to do my best and ask for help as needed. Now, my co-workers (from waitresses to manager, were really angels to me (and still are) and that was part of what drove me to hang in there and do a good job.

So far, I've experienced a stiff seeming elderly couple, who not be kind enough to give me room to really clean the booth table that they wanted. as they stood against the ends of their soon to be seats. I stretched that day like I haven't stretched in years:) I scrubbed and did the best I could to get the table spic and span. It wasn't enough. The lady felt very dry and cold and demanded that the table was still soiled. I said, "ok, no problem" and I literally scrubbed the "flawless"spot she pointed at (and am suprised there was any decor print left on that part of the table when I was done. I went over the man's side of the table the same way, as I had noticed his dis-approving look at me when I had finished scrubbing the area she had pointed to. As I finished, I smiled at them with as much politeness as I could pull up and wished the an enjoyable meal, and then walked away.

I've experienced a one man's rudeness as he and his party paid for their meals. I was still learning how to ring up tickets that come from the same table but are registered according to their seat numbers. It was still a little confusing to me. I messed up twice within the first five minutes of ringing them up, but did the right thing by getting assistance, apologizing for their wait, and thanking them for their patience. During the time of the second mistake, one of the men, who was in their party and waiting for his turn to be rang up, clearly said, "That's two screw-ups within just the first few minutes of ringing us up. She needs to be fired." Now, mind you, just above my nametag I am wearing an obvious large button that says in red and white, "Please be patient, I'm in training." It was very challenging for me not to rip off my nametag and button and go to clock out and walk away. However, I went with my better judgment and used a smile as my weapon, when it was his turn, and counted his change back to him and I held eye contact with him and smiled. Whew.............

There was a nice lady who preferred a booth and said anywhere was fine. I walked her and her gentleman friend to the back (there is a rotation system for seating so that each waitress has opportunity to earn her money- as long as the customer doesn't request a specific area or waitress). As we were nearing the table, the lady said to the man, "Well, if I'd known she was going to seat us all the way back here, I'd have told her we wanted a booth in the front." I was feeling "fed-up" from the rude epidemic, so, I stopped and turned to her and ever so gently said, "Would you prefer to go back to sit in the front area? Because that would really be ok." I thought it was a great question and she replied with a laugh, "Öh no. We've already walked all the way back here, now." This restaraunt is not very large, compared to many family resteraunts, but you'd have thought it was the legnth of the football field. She seemed to walk very fast and healthy. I don't know. I wished them an enjoyable meal and walked away.

Today, there was a large party of people lunching, and as they were leaving and checking out, I was very careful to only take care of ringing up one customer at a time and wishing them a beautiful day. One gentleman was declined by the credit card machine because of the type of card he wanted me to use, (and I learned then that we only accept two particular types of credit cards.) He grumpily handed me one that we accept, and explained that it was new and had only been used once before. Within fifteen minutes of being gone, he came back and said that he needed his credit card back. My heart stopped. I knew that I hand handed his card to him because I remembered our conversation and doing it. I asked if he was sure that he didn't recieve his card back. He said no, I looked around the cashiers area, and I asked him to please excuse me for one moment. I went to my supervisor and quickly explained the situation. As she came and looked for it with me, she asked if maybe he'd looked around in his car, checked his pockets, and the spot where he'd parked. He said he'd done all of that. I've never experienced this bodily response before, but I begin to sweat so profusely that I had sweat rolling off of my face and my neck. Yucky. He told her about when he was checking out, earlier at the registar, and that we'd held the conversation, etc... and I agreed that it was the truth UnTiL he said, "...and she didn't give my card back to me." I quietly told my manager that wasn't right. They decided he would call the credit card company when he got home and we would call him if it showed up. Talk about feeling like a not guilty- guilty incriminating person. I felt terrible that the little ladies in line had even heard the whole episode. Behind them was an angel, who was an angel to walking me through how to use a certain coupon on the registar last week (who isn't employed there but just happens to be a regular customer:). When it was her turn to be helped, she told me, "Don't you worry about it. You are doing just fine and things like that happen all the time. It's going to be ok." She must've seen me breaking. "This will pass and you are doing great with learning. You know what you're doing and next week when I come in, I bet you'll be just working this cash registar like it's nothing at all." I tried not to cry as her kindness touched my heart. As soon as they left, he came back, again, and told me that he'd found his card and that he'd wrapped it up in something........He didn't apologize, and for me that was ok because it was enough for me that he'd found it. I was so relieved.

There are a few other things that I've experienced thus far, however, I feel that is more than enough to make my point most understandable.

First, there have always been and will always be those who come acrossed rude and ungrateful. Í've also learned that God always sends an angel our way to see us through and today I visually saw mine and heard her, for that situation.

I've also learned that it can be tough and super challenging for even a natural "smiler" to smile in tough times.

I've learned that a smile can determine the outcome of some situations, whether it is for myself or the other person, or both.

I've learned that whispering the name of Jesus re-energize and re-strengthen me in challenging situations.

I've learned that my mama was right, "Kindness kills."

I've learned how I don't want to be.

Better yet, I've learned how I do want to be.

I am aware that I can use this as an opportunity to grow, still be caring but not allowing my feelings to linger on my shoulder and take on other people's negativity. I realize this is an opportunity in which I can learn to function and grow and use in the future to relate to, when I am in clinicals and working as a nurse.

Will I quit? I 'don't think so."

To the babygirl who warned this will change me, I believe it. And, I believe it in the way that it is my intention to practice remaining calm within myself during the challenges and smile all the way through the yuckies. It could be very easy to go over the edge with it, (or better yet- over the table/cash registar:) but I think it's already a great learning and growing experience and I am grateful.

No matter what, God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

'Til next time,

Love, peace, and PB&J

Monday, June 22, 2009

Popping Heads Off

We moved to a whole new area of our state, oh, about a month ago. While I wasn't so attached to our house and downsizing to an apartment, I was pretty attached to and grieving the loss of our good-sized yard, especially the fenced in back yard. That's where my four-legged babygirl

grew-up and got to run and mostly be free. It's also where I landscaped a small area with beautiful Hostas, some kind of pretty tall grassy green bush, Daylillies, a Lavender plant, and a couple of others, along with pretty River Rock. It was my closest sanctuary to home, with nature.

We had plenty of time in moving, so I decided that I wasn't leaving my nature babies behind. They were at least going to stay in the family, if I couldn't take them all with me. So, what I was able to move and plant in the new place was my tall grassy green bush, a green Arborvida looking small shrub, and two small plants that bloom beautiful purple blooms for a short time.

Of course, I'm sure they experienced some shock in the one hour + trip, but I got them into the ground with plenty of potting soil underneath and all around them (hoping they will survive- although I think they will). The tall green grassy bush has turned brown on several blades, and my two little plants that bloom purple blooms turned mostly brown, right away, while the shrub seems to be perfectly content.

Today, I figured that maybe I should take the brown leaves off of the two little plants and "pop the heads off" of the brown blooms, thinking maybe that will help ensure their healthy return next year.

As I begin to pop the brown blooms off, I felt a little sad as I thought about my previous yard. Then, I got to thinking about how we, as people, so easily verbally "pop" each others head off, sometimes. Wow. I thought, you know, it's a shame that when people do that to others it doesn't always help them to come back as a stronger and healthier person. You know? If it did, we would all be kind to each other (those of us who have seen lots of years, especially) and we'd be sooo healthy-minded that we wouldn't feel the need to "snap".

I decided that I am choosing to be like a plant. From now on, when anyone "pops" or "snaps" my head off, I am going to continuosly remind and tell myself that I have the option to be even stronger than them or the situation itself by simply using the growing act of kindess.

My mama always told us, "Honey, kindness kills." As I have grown each year, I have come to realize that she was very right.

I choose to grow and be healthy. I hope you choose that, too:)

'Til next time,

Love, peace, & PB&J

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Uncover and Discover

"Seek and ye shall find." Isn't it great when you find things where you least expect to? Gotta love it.

"Til Next Time,
Love, Peace, and PB&J

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jesus and Koolaid: 25 cents

On our way to the post office, we saw two little girls, who looked to be between seven and ten years old, in their front yard holding a little sign that read "Koolaid for sale. 25 cents." I told "E", "we are going to go back by there and buy some koolaid from them and then tip them really good. We have a lot of loose change in here and I know it will make there day to make "a lot of money all at once."

As we were approaching, we saw a couple walking away from them. As soon as we pulled into their driveway, they ran over to our truck and said, "Do you have money? Do you have money?" We giggled and told them yes and that we really wanted to buy some of their koolaid. They were so adorable and their sweet little faces were very intent. They carefully poured us two tall cups of red koolaid (which was actually very good) and said, "it's 25 cents." "E" handed them 50 cents and then said, "o.k., now we're gonna give you a tip, too." I told them there was $1.46 in change for them and the look on their faces and in their eyes was priceless. As "E" handed it to them, those babies faces looked like they had just hit the lottery. They were wide-eyed and their little faces were glowing. They said thank you and we wished them well on the rest of their sales. As we pulled away, I told "E" to look; they had quickly "abandoned ship" of their sales and went running and yelling through their front door. They ran right back out with two little boys trailing behind them with a look of dis-belief. I got all teary eyed and almost cried because my heart was so touched and happy to see those babies excitement just bouncing off of the front yard trees.
"E" and I giggled and enjoyed our koolaid all the way home. It was such a precious, wholesome, and blessing experience.

A few days later, I was walking my four-legged little girl, whose name is LiddyRae, and we saw those little girls. They asked if they could pet my doggie and, of course, LiddyRae and I were both happy to oblige them. While they petted, talked to, and hugged on my little LiddyRae, I asked if they were going to sell anymore koolaid. They answered, "Yes, but we're going to have to sell invisible koolaid. We wanted to sale blue but we're all out, so it'll be invisible, but it's good, too." Again my heart smiled at their sweetness and their barefoot homeliness. I told them I would would do my best to get over there and buy some more of their good ole' koolaid. Before I left, I asked them if they were saving for anything particular. They said, "Yes, we want to go to _______ Beach, so we're trying to make some money so we can go." I thanked them for loving on my little "doggie" and they were so mannerly in saying, "Your welcome."

Do we only see the children who are around us? or do we really see them? Do we take the time to intentionally hear what they are saying? Not just from the mouth, but from their hearts. I felt so honored to be a part of their day and blessed to be able to extend some happiness and laughter their way.

I believe that when we look into the eyes of small children, if we really look, we can see Jesus. Have you ever tried it? I have and I saw him just the other day in the eyes of those two little girls. Take time to bless a child, God, and yourself.

'Til next time,
Love, peace, and PB&J

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Quality Versus Quanity

What's in a word? I reckon it depends on what word it is.

I like to talk. Not as much as I used to, but, I still like to talk. Don't you? I like to listen more than I used to, though. As the months pass by, I prefer more listening over talking, although I am sure my family will disagree:) (You know, you don't always do what you prefer.) Anyways, they tell me I've always been quite the hunter. Chasing rabbits, or so to speak. I've been working on that really hard, since it has been something I've done since the day I could talk. Anyways, I was thinking about what's in a word, that saying, and it dawned on me that it may just depend on what the word(s) is/are. Not only that, but also, it probably has more to do with how the word is used, the emotion, tone, volume, intensity, and intention behind the word(s) being used. I was thinking just how powerful words are and can be.

When someone makes any comment to me, whether I like it or not, I am responsible to take care of my thoughts that follow once I've recieved their comment. It's not their fault if I get angry, hurt, sad, or anything else that I may feel. It is my responsibility to be responsible for my own emotions.

When I make a comment, of any kind, it is my responsibility to think first and take care to speak with an art of kindness, gentleness, patience, snf overall - Love.

If we all practice this, will it change the way we talk to ourselves? Or, if we all talk this way to ourselves, will it change the way we talk to others?

God grant me the serenity...

'Til next time,
Love, peace, and PB&J

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Flavor of Life

I was thinking, "If I was offered a choice between either a five course meal including: caviar, escargot with garlic butter sauce, a house salad, a nice porterhouse steak, and crem broule or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I would have to eat the same thing that I choose every day for a month, what would I choose?" I decided that I would absolutely choose to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Life reminds me a lot of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, (PB&J ). Life kept simple, that is. I really like and have an appreciation for simple. There are consequences for "good"and "bad" things, so I am told and am sort of beginning to think it, myself. Of course, it depends on how one personally defines consequences, I suppose.

Have you ever been on vacation and got served a five course meal three times each day? I have and I'm here to tell you, while it was going down it was delicious and in my mind good. UNTIL, at the end of the week-long vacation, my pants & shorts didn't fit anymore, as long as I chose to breathe normally. In the end, I was paying the yucky consequences of that "good" food and miserable about it, too.

I don't really remember a time when I felt I ever paid such a price for eating a PB&J. I could, and still can, indulge in one PB&J and my stomach is content and my heart is happy.

Sometimes, my eyes get larger than my stomach and I make or order a lot of food, overriding my better judgement, and once again I am reminded of the consequences of being miserably full, especially since I can't stand the idea of wasting food.

I wander, if I look at everyday circumstances with that same view of keeping it simple, would I smile more? Would I be able to manage my own self better? Would I be more apt to slow down and enjoy smelling the Roses? Would I recognize my everyday blessings more often?

While, for some, a five course meal is manageable and somehow not a threat to their body weight or health, I definitely choose the PB&J to eat and the related simple outlook. Folks are not all the same.

I reckon, one thing that I believe is real important is that when I'm making moment to moment choices, I want to make sure to keep it as simple as possible and still be able to indulge in the sweet flavor of life.

Until next time,
Peace and PB&J