Archive for January, 2013

Slow Down, Part 1

My hands gripped the dashboard of my vehicle with such intensity that I could be in the Chevy truck commercials, singlehandedly clinging to the Silverado balanced dangerously on the edge of a 5000 foot drop-off.

It happened again! I scheduled a dentist’s appointment for 10 AM. Plenty of time, I thought. I got up at 5:30 AM, drank coffee and chatted with my husband for 43 minutes, studied my Bible study lesson for 32 minutes, answered four phone calls, put in three loads of wash, swept the kitchen floor and it was only 8:57. Surely I could fit in a walk.

After I walked, it was 9:41. Still had time for a shower with a quick hair wash. I had exactly seven minutes to make it to the dentist. Then it happened, I was STUCK BEHIND SOMEONE GOING THE SPEED LIMIT!

Late, again.

As I fumed and came so close to the guy’s bumper that I could have applied my lipstick from its’ reflection, I started to reflect. Why had I done this to myself? Why had I tried to fit an activity into every single little minute (long ‘u’) second. Call it multi-tasking, call it time management, call it mind-boggling, call me a doctor!

Then the thought hit me. I could slow down. I could slow down literally, personally, spiritually. Why, just the other day, I’d read something in the newspaper, while I dried my hair and made my bed, about the airlines slowing down. Yes, they were slowing down on take-offs and landings. Not that we ‘non-airline people’ would have ever known if they hadn’t told us. In fact, it’s kind of creepy that they did. But, I decided, if they could slow down without falling out of the sky, I could slow down without falling out of the sky, or something like that.

I thought I’d start with driving. I could slow down to the speed limit, or close to it. (I can’t get too spiritual.) I’d have to plan more time to get places and less time doing stuff before I left. That seemed achievable. I’d save on gas and sanity. In my case, two precious commodities.

Next, I thought I’d slow down physically. Not on exercise. No, just in the way that I moved each day. In other words, I vowed to “Live deliberately,” as one Bible teacher put it. Slowing down in everyday tasks reminded me of a home school field trip that I took with my children.

My home school class of two decided to attend a mach airplane accident in order to give emergency personnel practice for the real thing. My then 10-year-old daughter had gaping, life-like wounds applied to her head and leg. My 6-year old son and I both had black bands signifying our ‘mach’ demise. We stationed ourselves quite dramatically outside of the plane.

The alarms sounded. Blaring, loud, obnoxious sirens which summoned a variety of emergency personnel to our aid. As they arrived, while trying to appear really dead, I opened my eyes in a slit and observed them. They weren’t rushing to our aid. They were walking, quite casually, I might add. One even came to my side checked my band, along with my son’s and LEFT US THERE!

I learned from that experience. First, I learned that no matter how dramatically you play dead in a plane wreck, the ER people don’t laugh. Second, I learned that those emergency professionals were trained to walk slowly, deliberately, in order to make fewer mistakes.

I vowed to slow down. Be deliberate. Prioritize.

Third, I’ve decided to slow down spiritually–taking time to listen to God. Our world is so full of noise. It’s hard to hear the still small voice of God.

So to slow down, several times a week, I get on my knees and pray. Being on my knees isn’t magical for me it’s meaningful. It’s saying to Pauline that I mean business with God. I start out with thanksgiving and praise, acknowledging that I have no strength or ability to live a life pleasing to God without the help of The Holy Spirit.

Next, I give up my rights. I ask God to use me to further His kingdom in His way, then I ask Him to help me do that. I also pray for others. My family, my church, unsaved people, and always the persecuted church. Then, I try and listen. Often, I’ll go for a walk, listen to a sermon or praise music on my iPod, then, Ill turn it off and tell God that I’m listening. He speaks. Softly. Subtly.

I hear Him plainly on Sundays through expository teaching. I hear Him through Bible Study Fellowship, I hear him through my family and close friends who hold me accountable. He’s speaking to me, perhaps He’s speaking to you and you’re just not hearing.

So slow down. Enjoy. Listen. Rest. And by all means, be on time to your dentist appointments!

Spying at Starbucks

John enters slouched over, his backpack bouncing. His shirt displays an emblem I can’t read, but it’s clean. Almost seems pressed—better than mine.

He comes in daily for a coffee sample. The staff doesn’t know anything about him except that he might have a mental problem. Still they serve him and he’s happy. As soon as he empties his partial cup, he stalks out—head leading his small frame, walking to his next destination.

An employee takes his lunch hour at a table across from me. His meal consists of a blue can of tuna, (maybe albacore) that he picks at while he reads a red-colored book. It’s not a new title. I’m curious and think of asking him. Is it The Great Gatsby? It’s too small for Moby Dick or Les Miserable. Perhaps it’s an old accounting book he saved from a college education he never finished.

He’s close to my age and wears no ring. I wonder why a man my age works here? What is his life like? Where does he spend Christmas?

Another man sits in the comfy purple chair adjacent to me. He wears a jacket with black with red stitching—possibly a motorcycle emblem. Maybe he rides.  It’s doubtful with the shoes he’s wearing. They are black with lime green accents. His white socks rise up under clean blue jeans.

I’m people watching. I’m people wondering. What are their lives like? If I knew them, would they be my friends?

Probably. I once followed someone home from SAMs because I wanted to be their friend. I lost them on a turn. My teenage son was glad. My husband told me, “Pauline, you can’t be friends with everyone!”

But I can care about everyone. I can wonder. I can pray.

I’m going to try my hand at fiction soon. I need characters, so I spy on people.

I see a man staring at me. Studying. Wondering. When he notices that I notice, he looks away

I think he’s a writer, too.


Nothing to Boast About

Paul says that we have nothing to boast about. Not only that but the worst of criminals, if he trusts Christ’s death and resurrection alone for his salvation will be considered righteious before God.

Here’s my outline:









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Go Back to the Rocks

Here’s a post I wrote a long time ago about God’s faithfulness. It’s worth reading again. Remembering God’s faithfulness is always a good idea.

Here’s the link:


Siri is Spiteful

I know what you’re thinking. Phones don’t have personalities. They cannot make moral decisions to like or dislike someone.

It’s not true. Siri dislikes me. It’s a fact. How do I know? She’s spiteful.

Like when I text my pastor and she exchanges the word “list” for “lust.”

She knows I cannot see without my glasses. She knows I speak my texts while in the car. She has me over the proverbial middle-aged-can’t-see-my-phone barrel so she capitalizes on it. And I don’t mean punctuation.

I know Apple is user-friendly. I’ve attended several classes on computer use at their store. They even have teaching videos to learn all about each program in my computer. Why don’t they teach Siris to be user-friendly?

Why not sponsor a human resource class put on by the head Siri to teach other Siris how to treat their users? A sort of iFriendly class for phones. It’s probably useless since Human Resource Siri probably has a chip on her shoulder, too. (No pun intended.)

I know I’m dumb. But Siri doesn’t need to be snarky when I ask her to look up something on the Internet.

“Pauline! You will have to UNLOCK your phone first.” She probably discusses it with other Siris during their break. “Do you know what Pauline did?” (Phone snickers abound.)

She also conveniently forgets my good friends. I’ll say, “Call Keri-Rose.” Siri responds, “I don’t see her in your contacts. Would you like me to call the gym instead—because you need to go there.”

Sometimes, she pulls the silent treatment. Like when I leave home. I’ll ask her to look something up and instead of responding with her spiteful Siri voice, there is a long pause and then I’ll read, “I’m having a problem right now, try later.”

Wouldn’t you know I’d get Personal Problems Siri.

I’m stuck with her. An upgrade is out of the question. And who wants a new improved Siri? For all I know, she’ll be even more sarcastic. Super Spiteful Siri.

No thanks.

For now, I’m keeping her. I hope she doesn’t find out about this post. I don’t think she can read. However, I might be in trouble when I sync my computer next.

You won’t tell her, will you?