Even Towels

We’ve all heard how God provides our needs. Sometimes it’s the little things that speak to us the loudest.

I had decided to move out of my aunt’s house. At the time I didn’t drive so I needed a place that was relatively close to where I cashiered in Franklin Park, where no buses ran.

One day at work I decided to call a friend to ask if perhaps I could stay with her till I found my new place. It wasn’t the best situation since she lived in Chicago, but it was an idea. I called from a pay phone at work.

“Would it be possible for me to stay with you?”

“Well, we don’t have a lot of space because there are 3 of us already, but if you’d like to stay here for a while, you would be more than welcome. Just let me know what you decide.”

Getting off the phone my eye caught a handwritten note on Type to enter text the bulletin board.

Although I was thankful I could stay with my friend, I saw this ad as an opportunity worth looking into. Immediately I called the number, making an appointment to see the place after work.

 

Room for Rent 

for working girl or gentleman

must have good references.

 

Walking into that lovely home I was led a beautiful staircase to a furnished room. My eyes caught the little bedside table where I pictured a pink telephone I had always wanted to have.

Mrs. Shannon liked me and the place was mine. She showed me around her home which was so warm and inviting. Introducing me to Mr. Shannon and to Elsie, another tenant, I knew I would feel at home.

Relieved to have a place, I went home, packed my belongings and called a friend to help me with my move. On the way, I stopped at the store to pick up some needed items. After unpacking I sighed. I just wanted to shower and then relax. Then it hit me, I couldn’t shower. I had no towels.

Looking up I immediately said, “Why didn’t you remind me to get towels when I was shopping, Lord?”

My relationship with God is a personal one. I talked to him all the time, no matter where I am. Alone with my thoughts I was about to lay down for a moment when I heard a soft rap on the door.

“Come in,” I responded.

“I almost forgot,” Mrs. Shannon said, “these are for you.”

In her arms lay a stack of freshly laundered towels.

“And when you’re finished with them, just toss them in the hamper and I’ll take care of them.”

“Thank you,” I said taking the towels.

“Mrs. Shannon, I was just curious, how long has this room been available?”

“Oh,” she said smiling, “I had just put that note up about 20 minutes before you called.”

After the door closed, I lay down on my Chenille bedspread looking up.

“Sorry, Lord.”

God had looked out for me. He found me this wonderful place where I would feel safe and cared for. A place close enough to my job I could walk there every day. God knew every need I had, even for towels.

“Thanks God,” I whispered. “Thanks so much.”

Change your Perspective

I’m doing a rewrite. You probably didn’t know that I’m a script writer. Only a few people are privy to that bit of information. It goes like this. When someone is talking to me if what they say doesn’t match what I think, I dismiss it and immediately replace it with my own script. No, I never ask for permission since it’s my version of life we’re talking about.

I must add that the scripts I write never have me in the best light. I realize that I have been typecast and stuck in my role. Till today.

While reading an excellent blog by Rabbi Evan Moffic I learned something that is changing my perspective. The Rabbi explained that in the Passover seder only a small portion is devoted to the Exodus from slavery. That really struck me. That event was significant but in the big scheme of things it is put in its proper place. 

I think I let some of the events in my life bleed over into all my life. I’m doing a rewrite. I am going to see things with a new perspective. I’m also going to change how I look at me. You see I have heard about the vicim mentality for years and recognized how others embraced it for themselves. I just didn’t see that by not embracing the possibilities for myself I am choosing instead to be a victim. 

I understand why I’ve adopted this. It’s familiar. It’s what I grew up with. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t change it. That’s what I’m excited about.

Winston Churchill said that those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it. I want to learn from history. 

So, here’s my plan. I am no longer going to blindly believe the negative things that my thoughts dictate to me. They were opinions, they were the ideas of others, they don’t have to fill the storage room of my mind. 

And if I start falling into that pattern, reminding myself of those negative things I am going to stop and immediately replace them with the truth. 

For instance, if I feel I cannot succeed in an area I struggle with and I hear, “You’ll never accomplish that.”

I will respond with, “When God said I can do all things through Christ, he meant ALL things.”

I’ve been a person who ends movies the way I want, why not the scripts I have for myself? Not only can I change them, I will be changing them.

Proverbs 3:27 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” I’m going to see myself accomplishing the things I want in life, instead of getting closer but never reaching them.  I will see the obstacles as something that can be overcome instead of stopping points that paralyze me. 

Some people have cheering sections in their lives. People who are in their stands reminding them of the things they need to hear to keep going. God has provided people in my stands all through my life. I just didn’t see that I also snuck in there and tried to silence the fans. 

As far as the tapes in my hear that are discouraging and keep me from moving forward.  I’m replacing those tapes with new ones. Ones that talk of victory and abundant life; tapes God made for me. 

The only one who will not be happy with my decision is God’s enemy, Satan. He wants me to fail, to feel bad about myself and to be stuck in my negativity. But you know what? I don’t care. I care more about what God wants for me. I care more about moving forward. Being stuck gets old.

So, right now my perspective is being changed. It is getting a complete overhaul which was overdue. I expect that with my new perspective changing, other things will follow suit.  

I don’t believe in coincidence. God wanted me to change and he orchestrated it so I could hear this truth. Now he just wants me to be like the little girl who lived in a town suffering from drought. While the whole town had gathered together to pray for rain, she was the only one who brought an umbrella.

Perspective; if you need a change, start with that.

Feeling Invisible

When my grandson, Jude was a little boy he loved the game “peekaboo.” As his chubby hands covered his eyes he really did think we couldn’t see him. And the joy he felt as he took his hands down was evident by the smile that covered his face.  

Some of us have felt invisible growing up. Whether it’s because we felt unseen, or unheard, this can have a profound effect on us. 

When people feel invisible, they feel discounted. And when that button gets pressed later in life, the pain is the same as if they were still children.  

What would the world look like if we went looking for those who feel invisible, and we  somehow convinced them that they do matter?  

All of us are visible, regardless of how we sometimes feel. We all matter. And we have to remind ourselves our feelings cannot be trusted.  

When we struggle with feeling invisible, we can learn to treat ourselves sensitively and thereby grow in the areas we are lacking. We can provide for ourselves what we needed but never received.

For instance, if we were continually put down when we were young with demeaning words. We need to think about what we needed to hear. Once that is determined we can repeat those things over and over to ourselves. They say it takes 9 positive things to overturn a negative one. So telling ourselves affirmations helps retrain our minds, changing our poor self-image. 

People who struggle with feeling invisible feel like they somehow blend into the background. George felt invisible growing up. Like no one really saw or heard him. He once shared how he had been accidentally locked in the garage when he was a young child. Crying for over an hour, he convinced himself no one would be coming and that no one cared that he was gone. When the button of feeling invisible gets pressed in George even today, he feels like he did as a little boy, instead of the full-grown adult he is.  

When we know people who struggle in this area it is rewarding to see their minds begin to change. All it takes is some tender loving care with consistency. Then the button will eventually become ineffective. After a while, they will be better at differentiating their feelings from what is true.   

Remember the story of Zacchaeus that we learned as children?  He was a wee little man who climbed a Sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus, passing through his town. Zacchaeus was surprised when Jesus told him to come down from the tree. Zaccheaus succeeded in seeing Jesus, but more importantly, Jesus saw him. 

Isn’t it great to know no one is invisible to God. No one.