Sunday, December 3, 2017

Jesus wrecked my date night...

Sometimes in the our household all the stars fall in line. The dogs are fed. Everyone has been out. The guinea pigs and rabbits are resting. The hermit crabs are well "hermiting". The tortoise is doing his usual thing with his pet rock and the girl...well....she spends the night out! YES! The holy grail of parenting...the sleepover. Then you add this....the company Christmas dinner and BOOM you have a DATE night. 

I do my makeup, my hair, dress like an adult...Bryan puts on some extra essential oils and changes his shoes (more on that later) and out the door we roll! 

Last night was THAT night! I even thought ahead to bring our two angel tree kid wish lists so we could do a little retail therapy later after dinner! 

So we had a GREAT dinner at the local Japanese Steak House. We saw new babies and old friends. We ate. We laughed. We ate. I met new people. "Peopleing" is hard sometimes for me, as I sometimes experience social anxiety. Back in the old days drinking made that go away...but now I have to adult and do it dry....:) God helps that by holding me strongly on the back and gently pushing me out of my comfort zone :) 

So you are wondering where Jesus came in like a wrecking ball? Well, just wait, meanwhile try to burn that image out of your mind....

I told you we ate and I totally cleared my plate. I had purposely not eaten all day so I could , ahem, take it all in! I literally was food drunk when I pushed away from the table! At about 8:30 we decided that it was time to pack out and make our way home. Bryan muttered something about Dairy Queen...and I just chuckled. 

So out the door we went. As we were buckling up a young man with a backpack went walking by. Then he backed up and motioned at the window. I instantly went to reach for my wallet but paused. He asked if we had any spare change, he was looking to purchase a cold weather sleeping bag. 

I instantly took him off guard and said, you are not going to believe this, but I have a sleeping bag in my trunk. Would you want to look at it? He said, yes mam. Right here I am going to quit with the quotes. I hate quotation marks and can't seem to handle them...just like my liquor! :) 

I jumped out and Bryan popped the trunk. The bag turned out to be too lightweight. I pressed on and said do you need a new shirt? How about some socks? He was in shock. He mentioned toiletries and tears came to my eyes. I had NO Homeless kits left. I gave them all out on my TN trip and had not reloaded the car yet. Here is where Jesus steps in....
I had a roll of TP and asked if he needed this...he said, no mam, I go into places to use the restroom. I dug some more to make sure that I did not have anything. Oh, would you like a liter of water!? Yes, I will take that. 

Then I turned around and asked him his name. Enter Jesus. No I can't remember his name. But I introduced myself. He said he was not a bad person, it was a generational thing. His father had started out this way and now he was on the streets. I looked at his face. He was Zac's age. Zac is my son and 27. He said he was on probation and getting things straight. He said again, I am not a bad person. I stopped him right there and said, Honey, I too have been a "bad person" , we all have been bad. I told him, it's the ones that say they have done no wrong that we need to worry about. He laughed. His smile was glorious. 

Jesus is about to let the wrecking ball drop. 

I asked him, Can I give you a hug. He opened his arms wide open and gave me the biggest hug. Then he hugged Bryan and he said I feel like we are family....and Bryan said something about we are family...but that was when the wrecking ball hit my chest and the ugly cry was starting to come. 

I tried to gather myself and told him, let me see how much money I have so you can get that bag you need and some other stuff, and my husband said, no, I have it. Bryan had done some work for his parents and they always give him some money. 

He handed that boy a $50. His face was perplexed. He said, the sleeping bag costs $49.95. That is exactly what I need! Bryan handed him another bill and said, for tax....take it. He said he really appreciated it. We chatted a bit more and then he said goodbye. 

He mentioned that he had a tent set up by the church. I know Ward's Corner pretty well and knew exactly which church he was talking about. 

Sure enough when we eventually pulled out of the lot I saw him, walking with a little pep in his step to that very church. I wish I was better with names. It takes me about 4 times to meet you before I get them. But I do remember his daughters name. He told us he had a 3 year old girl, named Havilah. I told him it was a beautiful name. He said the girls mother had chosen it from the Bible. 

I am still wrecked reading this. Normally , when I roll along encountering the homeless, I am alone and hold it together until I pull away. This time, as I sat outside a restaurant that I had just eaten about $30 in food. I could not imagine what ALL that money could have gone to, how many lives it could have changed. There were probably about 40+ people inside. 

I know we all need fun sometimes, and it's nice to celebrate the season with others. But for me, the Lord has broken me to pieces and wrecked my date night by giving me the eyes to see, the heart that breaks for what breaks His heart. I pray for that every night. 

So yes, Jesus wrecked my date night. In a good way. I got a reality check. A tiny Bible slap that while we have so much, some have so little. It's our job to even the score. 

On the way home I looked in the mirror at the Tracy that had just had an ugly cry. Makeup wrecked, eyes puffy, heart hurting. All ideas of shopping late night went out the window. 

I love me some Courtney Love :) 

Instead we went home to our warm home, let the dogs in and out, locked our doors and laid in bed eating ice cream quietly. Well as quiet as you can with two little dogs watching your every move! I could not help but think of people who were sleeping outside, while I was nestled in my bed. 

I hope Jesus keeps wrecking my life. 

God Bless 


PS I said I would talk about Bryan changing shoes to go out. Scroll back up to the top. See that plaid shirt. Yep. plaid. Guess what shoes he wore out and I did NOT notice until we were walking back in our front door last night AFTER the is a picture of the shoes!  ( #WifeFail ) :) 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

We'll leave the light on for ya....or not.

Church. Open Doors. Lights. Shades. Locks. Words all running thru my mind. Add in Motel 6 and there ya have the title of this blog. 

I will explain all this hopefully in this quick post. I got hit this morning with the idea of churches being open to all, available and a safe place. 
Then I thought a little harder, as the coffee kicked in and thought. Am I, as a Christian, open to all, available and a safe place? 


Case in point. I have been known to stop for homeless. pets. people. anyone. Give them all I got. The hat off my head. The bible off the seat. You name it. 
The other day traveling thru Downtown Great Bridge. We saw a man in a white button up shirt and tie walking toward the ATM. As we did our banking , he turned and started back the way he came. When we finished up our drive thru biz...we found him once again walking on this sweltering day. 

Bryan: let's pick him up. He needs help. 
Me: NO! we can't put him in the back seat with Cora. 
Cora: huh? 
Bryan: why not? 
Me: He could be a serial killer...or something along that line...

Don't quote me. But the convo did go like that. somewhat. All the while Bryan is braking and driving, braking and driving. In the end he gave in to my NO and kept going. 

Why did Tracy not let that man in the car. Why will Tracy stop in busy intersections and pray with homeless and give them her last dime, but not let Mr. Whitebread America in the car. Do I not trust a button up shirt , tie wearing guy? I do have a certain aversion to middle age, slightly graying men who dress business like. What the hell is that? I come from a blue collar family. That could be it. I ain't scared of " the man" . that's not it. Perhaps that is the general population that looks me up and down and says harrumph at my tattoos etc. who the hell knows. What I do know is that at that moment. I was not a "church" . We are all walking churches if we have Jesus in our hearts. All people, whether walking in button up shirts and ties OR in full biker regalia OR in rags are children of the God most High. So. Mission failed. So much for the Golden Rule...treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. BAM! 

My church was closed. I had locked the door. I had drawn the shades and worse off...when the doorbell rang. I ran and hid behind the couch and told the other people in the house to shhhhhhh, they might hear us! 

What the What? 
Being a Christian does not mean you have "Christian" hours. Like on Sunday between the hours of 10am- noonish. You are open 24 / 7 . . . you are a bit like an IHOP. You are serving it hot 24 hours a day. Rain, shine, running late, good hair day, bad hair day, step in dog poop day. You serve God. When you serve God, you serve others. You love others. You help others. You just do. There is no blinking neon sign in your eyes that states. I am a Christian now...hurry up. Closing in 5 minutes. :) 

Your light is always on. I seriously used to laugh at the bracelets that said WWJD? But now, I find my inner Tracy saying...what would Jesus do? Would he lock the doors, pull the shades and keep driving. Would he say, but I have to pee really really bad and I ain't got time for this. 

NO he would not. He would stop. He would ask: Did you need any help? And then he would listen. 

Don't forget to listen today. 

Remember to leave the light on . . . :)