Friday, May 16, 2008


There are many things you should have insurance for. Your house, your car, and your life are the big three. What I don't understand is why there is insurance for shipping. If I pay for a package to be delivered in one piece, then shouldn't it be a given that it arrives on time and in one piece? Why do I need to pay an additional fee to make sure they do their job? I can see it, maybe, if you are shipping something worth a lot of money that was also breakable, but for an envelope with paper in it or a small box containing 1 book? I don't think so. Can you imagine if other businesses tried this? "Now that you have ordered your dinner, would you like to add insurance just in case we screw up and bring you cold chicken a hour late?" It gets all over me that movers dare to charge you an insurance fee. Am I not hiring you on promise that you will deliver my belongings back to me and in good condition? Shouldn't they be the ones paying for the insurance? Should I really be the one who foots the bill for your possible incompetence?
Now I probably need to explain where this anger is coming from. UPS has lost one of my packages. I paid for 2 day air to make sure it was here on time. It should have been here no later than Monday. It is now Friday and they are fully admitting that they have no clue what happened to my package. They have also been nice enough to tell me that although they have a state of the art tracking system, it will take up to 8 days to find out where it went. If at the end of 8 days they still don't have a clue, they will start the process of looking into maybe replacing the item. Normally I would laugh it off and go on. I can wait. This time is different because they are in possession of the present I am giving my mother-in-law for her birthday/Mother's Day. We are heading to see them tonight. It is the only chance my sister-in-law will have to see it because after this visit they are moving to China for no less than 2 years with no trips home planned. Every time some customer service rep says they are sorry for any inconvenience I want to yell at them that they can not even imagine the trouble this is causing.
Well, I'm off to call them again. I need to double check that they got my zip code right (one last ditch effort)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Still In Shock

As I am typing this out I am still in a bit of shock. Although I guess I shouldn't be because I know how God likes to surprise me. No, I'm not pregnant so just calm down, but it is pretty big.
As you may know, I have been packing up for us to move. What you may not know is that we were actually moving to a smaller house to decrease the amount we pay per month and further tighten our belts. With my husband being in the mortgage industry, this turn in the market has really been hard on us. We rent the home we are in now and have for 2 1/2 years. We like it here but the rent has steadily gone up over time. We both felt that God was calling us to be ready to move. I just didn't know how. We didn't have the money to move (it's expensive, you know). We didn't have a place to go. I knew God was going to have to open every door for us.
We have spent the last few months getting ready to move even before we knew where we were going. I looked for another house to rent and started sorting out things we didn't need to move. Many of those things ended up in the yard sale we are having this weekend. One of my friends found a house for us in her neighborhood. It was empty and in need of repair. I called the owner. It was just the right size, just the right price, just the right school district, just perfect. He needed until June to get the house ready, which again fit our needs perfectly. He was willing to work with us on the deposit. We found movers who were good and affordable. It was really too good to be true, but I knew that God had been pulling strings for us, and I have been trusting in that. Something, by the way, that does not come naturally.
Everything has been progressing flawlessly. On the 1st we gave notice to our landlord and started getting things together for the new one. On the 2nd our current landlord called and offered to lower our rent to match the price of the other house.
I did not see this one coming. I was so ready to give up our comfort and move. I have boxes packed. I have downsized a lot of our things. I have repaired things and cleaned things and mentally unattached myself from stuff. It never crossed my mind that God would reward our faithfulness by allowing us to stay. I never even thought to ask Him to.
God clearly provided this home for us the first time and has provided it for us again. This day has been full of surprises, but certainly none as big as this.
In case you are wondering, the man with the other house is going to be just fine. He really needed something to get him to work on the house instead of letting it sit empty. He is going to put it on the market, and in it's new condition and price range, it will probably sell quicker than most. I know I'll be praying for him, and that God has a family just waiting for that house.
More than once I have called upon the Lord to be our Jehovah-jireh The Lord who provides, and over and over again He has proven Himself faithful, merciful, and wise beyond all men in the ways He has provided. I can not express the praise I have in my heart today. Every time I try it comes out in tears instead of words. Hallelujah! Thine the glory!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

When Annie Says Jump

You don't spit into the wind, you don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't pull the mask off the ole Lone Ranger, and you don't ask Annie Leibovitz if she has got your best side. Annie Leibovitz is probably the best known photographer of this day and age. She has taken some of the most breath taking pictures ever. The campaign she did for Disney was sheer genius. She takes pretty celebrities and makes them more beautiful and women like the Queen of England and presents them in a way befitting their title. Given the opportunity to have my picture made by anyone in the world, from any era, Annie Leibovitz would have probably been at the top of my list. And, if that once in a lifetime chance came along, I doubt I would be asking too many questions. I think I'd be afraid to.
Now, imagine that you have been given that chance and you are 15 years old. At what point do you stop this living legend and say, "I'm not sure I comfortable with this." Would it even cross your mind that the pictures being made were not in your best interest? Would you think for even a second that maybe she was taking pictures that made you look like you were doing something wrong? I am betting that she is extended a certain amount of leeway when conducting a photo shoot. She is probably given the benefit of the doubt.
Now, it would seem, Annie Leibovitz has taken advantage of that, and in doing so, taken advantage of Miley Cyrus. Whether Miley or her parents are innocent in all of this is irrelevant. The fact still remains that Ms. Leibovitz should not have taken them in the first place. She has embarrassed a young girl and herself in the process. I hope people stop pointing at Miley long enough to think about who is really in the wrong here, and in my opinion, that is Vanity Fair and Annie Leibovitz.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Moving On Over

My family is moving. It is a local move which will not require us to change churches, phone numbers, or even schools, a feat I thought was impossible in this town. It does, however, necessitate that we scale down on the amount of stuff we have gathered over the years. This is easier said than done, especially when I have children watching me sort things. Every toy I dig out from the bottom of the toy chest is someone’s favorite. Never mind that it has been down there for at least two years, they have outgrown it, and even when the batteries were good, they rarely picked it up, now it is something they can not bear to part with. Finally, I got smart and started doing my sorting during school and nap hours. Things progressed much quicker from there.
The next thing for me to tackle was my husband’s stuff. Little did I realize he would be worse than the children. He likes to write notes on the backs of envelopes and other scraps of paper while he is on the phone. The problem is, you can’t read the notes, he doesn’t remember what exactly it is pertaining too, but he does know that one day in the future he is going to need it, so just put it in a box and we will store it in the basement. I still have at least three boxes of these in the garage from the last move that have never been opened. After some reasoning, and sorting, and a sad moment where we donated a pair of pants he finally admitted he would never fit into again, I was done packing his things.
I’ve packed dishes, and pictures, and all sorts of things, but I save my biggest hurdle for last, my stuff. For all of the grief the rest of the family gave me during this process, I know the single biggest baby when it comes to sorting the trash from the treasure is me. We have been here before and I know where it ends. I’ll be sitting in a pile of old letters, magazines, and never finished craft projects, crying because I have tied emotions to the stuff. I have confused memories with belongings. I have made these things my security even though I know in my heart there is none to be found in this stuff.
It’s funny how easy it is to see this problem in my children, my husband, my mother, my neighbor, but I fall into the same trap over and over again anyway. I honestly never realized I was placing so much value on these things, but when you are sitting between a box and a trashcan it becomes really clear.
Each time I move I get a little better at packing, a little better at organizing, and this time I am getting better at letting go. I prayed my way into this move and I will be praying my way through it as well. With God’s help, I am placing my security where it belongs, with Him. The things of this life are temporary and it is about time I started celebrating that instead of fighting it.