Three stories – and #payitforward

Well, I won’t lie – it’s been a hard week, for reasons I don’t want to explain to you. Would you like to be entertained? Here are three snippets that made me laugh.


First

Dear Stranger in the Thrift Store:

I do not usually bum a diaper off someone I do not know. Thank you for being gracious.

You see, I had moved all of my baby’s diapers and wipes to a different purse, to give to the babysitter on the night I had a date—and I forgot to return them to my shopping purse. So that day in the store when I was smelling whiffs of diaper trouble, and whisked my girl off to the bathroom for a change, I got as far as unfastening everything and assessing the damages when I realized I was completely, entirely, 100% fresh out of options.

Several ideas flashed through my mind, none of them pretty.

Then I remembered you and your little girl playing by the toy section, and how we’d smiled at each other. Thank you for letting me come beg from you, and for refusing my money, and for offering me your wipes too as I turned away. I’m sorry that I smiled and clung to my pride and said I was okay, I’d use the paper towels in the bathroom. They were not as helpful as I’d hoped.

But I will remember you and your kindness. If you ever need one, you know where to come.

#payitforward
Shari


Second

I’ve been trying to find new coping strategies for worry.

The other day when something was eating at me I thought I would text it to The Boss, but suddenly wished I could text it to Jesus instead – as a way of forgetting about it and letting it go. So just for the kick of it I typed Jesus into the address line (53787) and wrote my little worries and hit send. I knew the message would bounce right back to me, but I didn’t care. What I didn’t anticipate was what my phone said – in large letters on the left side, JESUS, and on the right side, FAILED.

Not quite the sensation I was going for, but it cracked me straight up.

Since then my husband outfitted me with an extra number by which I can text to Jesus, that only he will ever see. I have been keeping it hot.


Third

I do not usually write here about my speaking engagements, for two reasons. First, it feels like showing off, and second, I don’t have many of them. So if you come here hoping for my opinion of your event, I’m sorry – you’re logging up the wrong tree.

But.

Last year about this time I was preparing to speak at an unusually stressful venue, for me. It was going to be a large audience, both men and women, in a Christian setting so conservative-minded that I figured if I mis-dressed or mis-spoke I might as well build my own coffin and go lie down in it, cuz it was all over.

While packing to go, I dithered about what shoes to wear. I’m not a big shoe person, so it came down to a choice of two pairs: snappy black dress shoes with inordinately high heels, which I had not worn for months – having a faint memory of discomfort associated with them – or black flats with big cream fabric flowers on the toes. I thought with a long skirt, the heels would be the less offensive of the two, so I picked them.

All went well, and I wore those shoes for two long days without mishap, until a week or so after the event when I developed shooting pains in my big toes. Both sides.

Cough.

So, if you were at the event or if you come from a church that has Opinions on such matters, I thought it would comfort you to learn that I lost two toenails to that wretched experience, and everything your pastor tells you about high heels is true. They are from the devil.

I can’t remember just now if I threw them vindictively into the trash can, or donated them to the thrift store to ensnare a new owner.

Like I said,

#payitforward
Shari

19 thoughts on “Three stories – and #payitforward

  1. Oh Shari, my heart is full of tears and something — encouragement?
    My brother in law is dying of cancer. I love the texting idea !!!!
    and the shoes! I am so sorry!!!
    Do you know that I said I would not work at ‘said conservative’ place because of the ‘stuffy Mennonites’ !!
    I hope your toe nails grew back!

    • I am sorry to hear about your brother in law!

      My toenails are working on it. And it was not as stressful as I thought it would be… I met some awfully nice people, and nothing but kindness.

    • I know that place too. They’re not as stuffy as they look, are they? And WE definitely weren’t stuffy when we were there together!! I see your comments on here n would love to connect again!

  2. I loved all these stories, but the last one made me laugh extra much because I *might* have been to a *similar* event and *maybe* stressed and worried far more than normal about what to wear.

  3. Sister, thank you for your honest confession of wearing those worldly heels. Truly they are not appropriate footwear. Your story confirms my conviction of many years. May I use your story as a sermon illustration?

  4. So much to love here! Paper towels not as helpful as hoped, Jesus failed!!, but “logging up the wrong tree” is especially exquisite. And now it sounds like the Boss may challenge some inroads the devil has made into the ladies’ footwear at his church! Thanks for the laugh.

  5. Oh, I loved this! Quick question (as my oldest son is always saying)- Who is the only “he” that sees the texts? Jesus or The Boss? Of course Jesus sees everything but is that Who you meant? So curious how a number can be used that won’t say “failed”. But then I’m on the lower end of techie.

    • Well, I purposely left that a little ambiguous because I’m a little fuzzy about the details myself. The Boss could look up the texts if he wants to, but they don’t come to his phone. It’s something like a Google Voice number associated with my account??

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