BLT without the T, please.

 

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I am grateful today for this deli surprise from a co-worker. It was toasted and warm and wonderful at 2 pm this afternoon. Just because. And it was without the T, just like I like.

I am grateful for a wonderful place to work.

I am grateful for my court report written and submitted.

And I am grateful for Natia’s happy tail and for the way she looks when she’s curled up and fast asleep on the couch.

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It’s not about the bunny, it’s about the Lamb.

And because of the Lamb, this group of people, my Dad included (right there in the middle of the center table on the right, blue shirt), spent their morning stuffing bulletins for the many thousands of people who will attend Easter services this weekend at our church.

It is Dad’s birthday today, and I am so grateful that I have the blessing of coming home each evening, knowing he is there.

I am grateful for the plane rides he took me on.

I am grateful for driving lessons on dirt roads sitting on his lap.

I am grateful that he let me climb into customer cars for a ride just before he pulled the lever and raised the car on the lift at the station.

I am grateful for stops at the Dairy King after church to get ice cream cones.

I am grateful for my potato chips and macaroni and cheese obsession, passed down from my Dad.

I am grateful for blue pants stained with grease, handkerchiefs to iron, and red grease rags found in every nook and cranny.

I am grateful for credit card slips signed by “Bill Clinton” aka Dad.

I am grateful for a picture that I no longer have, of Dad looking at baby Karissa as she laid on her tummy on a mattress in the back of the work pickup.

I am grateful for the recitals and music programs and ballgames he attended for me and for my girls.

I am grateful for his jokes that he never forgets.

I am grateful for the cards he has given to me since Mom passed away. She always did the card thing, so it is extra special to receive a card from Dad.

I am grateful for two hugs I will never forget: in my bedroom when I told him I was pregnant at 18, and in his living room when I told him my marriage was ending.

I am grateful that my Dad walked by my side in the ugliness I created, experienced, and lived.

I am grateful that my Dad was a witness at our wedding 2 1/2 years ago.

I am grateful that Dad still puts a flower in a vase each week.

I am grateful that Natia now has someone to give her treats all the day long.

I am grateful that Dad likes birds and feels our pain when it comes to the squirrels.

I am grateful that my Dad likes to read and likes to walk. And likes to watch Andy Griffith and Barney and the Royals.

I am grateful that my Dad thinks of others when he sees a political cartoon or funny joke in the newspaper or in an email. He cuts it out/prints it off, and sends it in the actual mail to the person he thinks will enjoy it.

I am grateful that my Dad chose to spend his birthday serving others.

And I am grateful that my Dad has been an example to follow and has shown his children what it means to live under God’s grace and show grace to others.

Happy birthday, Dad. I love you!

Like My Boss. (Part 2)

 

Tuesday was Bingo day. Tuesday is always Bingo day. And my boss knows this. The morning had just begun, and I was sitting at my desk when she walked in with arms loaded down. After dropping everything into a chair, she walked over to my desk and laid out six packages of Lindt bugs, a bag of special strawberry gel candy, and Ferrero Rocher truffles to give to my Bingo friends.

Always thinking of others. Always paying it forward.

The title of my writing, both Tuesday and today, has more than one meaning.

I like my boss.

I want to be like my boss.

I see Jesus in my boss. She has that softest-heart-of-gold, but she’s also tough. She is quick to forgive, but she means business when it comes to business. She shows grace more than we deserve. She wants the best for those in her circle and even those who are outside of it. Her heart is sensitive and full of love.

People who deal with life generously and large-heartedly go on multiplying relationships to the end. – Arthur Christopher Benson

I see Jesus in others when I actually pay attention.

I see Jesus in my brothers when they sacrifice their time in order to help others.

I see Jesus in my sister when she speaks out on behalf of those without a voice, those who are rejected by society.

I see Jesus in my Dad as he helps without asking, often without any acknowledgment.

I see Jesus in Sam, as he has forgiven and shown grace in many situations in the past five years, and as he cares for family members and those who pull at his heartstrings.

I see Jesus in my girls and their husbands, as they show passion for their calling and ministry.

I see Jesus in Michelle when she spends her birthday bra-shopping with her 90+ year old friend.

I see Jesus in Geri and Connie as they spend their days in service to students and teachers, doing a job that calls for higher pay and constant appreciation but lacks both.

I see Jesus in Linda and Horst, Roxanne and Bob, as they desire to learn from each other and to bond as a group.

I see Jesus in Delores as she loves her family and those who are not officially her family.

I see Jesus in Helen, my Bingo friend, when she is the recipient of biting, ugly words from a fellow Bingo grump, and she just smiles and responds with sweetness and kindness.

I see Jesus in my nephew John, who made time to drive several hours in order to bless his mom on her birthday.

I see Jesus in my co-worker when she sees an elderly lady walking outside her office window and rushes to the front doors of the building to assist her inside.

I see Jesus in Ginger, letting the little children “come unto Me,” and at the same time, ministering to all of us older people by her example.

I see Jesus in Charlie and Patsy, in their godly countenance and infectious optimism.

And I see Jesus in my Aunt Estalene, spending time with my Aunt Drula, even when it isn’t so easy or fun any longer.

So, I like Jesus. In fact, I love Jesus. I am grateful for this weekend to celebrate what He did. For me.

I want to be like Jesus.

Like my boss.

Resume

Today, I received a résumé in my email from a very intelligent scientist who is looking for a new position. These types of emails show up in my inbox fairly frequently, and because we don’t normally work for the “candidates” but rather the client, I typically move the résumés into a folder and don’t pay a lot of attention to them.

However, this guy had put a key word, “cancer immunology,” in his subject line, an area for which we are currently searching high and low, so I opened his document.

I had never seen one like it and it made me laugh! I printed it off and took it to our morning meeting to ask the experts in the office what they thought of his approach.  Comments around the table ranged from “What a goofball!” to “Yes, but he got OUR attention.” We spent approximately five precious minutes discussing this guy, in fact. And then we moved on with the agenda.

An hour later, after the meeting was over and we had all gone back to our offices and desks, my boss called me to tell me she had picked up the phone and called the guy. “What?! Why would you do that?”

My boss is something else, I tell you. She can be the silliest woman and have goofy fun, and then she leaves me shaking my head because she is pretty far-out in her philosophical/theological thinking, but then she is the most professional go-getter tough negotiator smooth-talking business woman that makes me sit back in awe at her skills in dealing with high-powered pharmaceutical genius companies.

But most of all, her heart is made of the softest gold. She thinks of others many times daily. She is generous in her compliments and her gift-giving. She sends texts and emails and hand-written notes of encouragement to every last person she comes into contact with, whether they are the plant waterer or the president of the most prestigious biotech company.

So today, she took it upon herself to call this scientist whom she had never met but saw his ridiculous résumé. She coached him. She spent time with him and asked him questions about his motivation behind the ridiculous. She offered her thoughts and then offered to assist him in finding a new position.

When I asked her “Why would you do that?!,” she said that it was the right thing to do. She wanted him to know that he had captured our attention, even if it wasn’t completely positive. She felt like this was an opportunity to “pay it forward” and help a decent, very intelligent scientist find his way in the world of job search.

So today, I am grateful for my wacky, goofy, amazing, heart-of-softest-gold boss.

Gratitude comes in 3’s.

I am grateful for the sound of paper bags.

I am grateful for wagging dog tails.

I am grateful for an impromptu Braums’ stop to see Delores.

I am grateful for Sheri.

I am grateful for Angela.

I am grateful for Sam.

I am grateful for leftover pizza.

I am grateful for sweet carrots.

I am grateful for birthday cake.

I am grateful for green Flint Hills.

I am grateful for smoke smell from burning fields.

I am grateful for full rainbows with stormy sky backdrop on a Sunday evening.

I am grateful for family.

I am grateful for people who are positive.

I am grateful for a lesson this morning from my boss about personal expectations.

I am grateful that church attendance is a priority in our home.

I am grateful that I would rather read than be connected to the internet.

I am grateful for early morning walks in dense fog.

I am grateful for another lesson in the value of being quiet.

I am grateful for patience and understanding directed towards me.

And I am grateful for low humidity.

 

Do you have any idea how nice it is to read that?!

 

You have nothing

I looked at my inbox after lunch today, and off to the right, that’s what it said. “You have nothing else scheduled today.”

Hot diggity dog.

And my boss told me to go home early a few minutes ago. But, he didn’t know I had made a mistake with a very important overnight that I sent and needed to wait for the FedEx truck that arrives just before closing.

So, the office is quiet, and I have a few minutes to type my gratefuls while I watch for the FedEx driver to walk by.

I am very grateful for sunrise walking.

I am grateful for an extremely productive week at work and bosses who recognize the hard work and reward the faithful with lunch and early exit on Friday afternoon.

I am grateful for toothbrush and toothpaste at work and for clean teeth at 1 pm.

I am grateful for a beautiful not-quite-spring day that graces Kansas City.

I am grateful for a box of new pens and a new notebook since I have filled mine up with notes and notes and notes and notes.

I am grateful for a weekend with my brother and family.

I am grateful for George Niang and Buddy Hield.

I am grateful for tiny babies sleeping in carriers while their parents walk and carry and are absorbed in conversation.

I am grateful for a bag of carrots and celery to munch on.

I am grateful for my husband who tells me he loves me many times a day.

I am grateful for lots of little girl socks in many colors on their way to Oregon.

I am grateful for the urge to pee. Think about it. It would be pretty awful if we never had that urge. We would be like rabbits. Or birds. And life would not be so comfortable.

I am grateful for a boss or two who make me laugh when work is stressful.

I am grateful for wisdom from Max Lucado and Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne and Jen Hatmaker and Patsy Clairmont and Bob Goff and The Navigators and Adam Hamilton and so many others I love to read.

I am grateful that Jesus loves me, I know. Just as I am. I know He watches over me. No one cares for me like Jesus. I’d rather have Jesus than anything.

And I am grateful for this song to begin my weekend:

 

 

I don’t have time to BREATHE.

But I am grateful for the work.

I don’t have time to EXERCISE.

But I am grateful for my husband who says, “Let’s go walk.”

I don’t have time to PLAY THE PIANO IN THE LIVING ROOM THAT IS RIGHT THERE.

But I am grateful for the opportunity and responsibility to play for choir on Thursday nights, and I am grateful for the times when I am asked to play for the other choirs on Wednesdays and Sundays.

I don’t have time to COOK GOOD MEALS for Dad and Sam.

But I am grateful that there is food in the house, and I am grateful that Sam and Dad can take care of themselves, and I am grateful that Sam helps me by making dinner when I am late.

I don’t have time to go SHOPPING for things I need.

But I am grateful that I don’t need much, and when I do need something, I am grateful that I live in a metropolitan area and can take a few minutes to run a quick errand, and I am grateful for Amazon because it keeps me OUT OF THE BEAUTIFUL AISLES that tempt me.

I don’t have time for FUN.

But I am grateful that my sister keeps asking.