Posts Categorized: Self-Control

Fuhngky Shui

I don’t know much about Feng Shui (fuhng shwey). We’ve just rearranged my office, which is also a guest room, and since there’s a treadmill in it, I guess it’s my workout room. (Maybe that’s putting a lot of pressure to be truly functional on a 10 x 10 ft. space.) I was curious about things that could help me be more productive. I went to Wikipedia, and they had a rather exhaustive page about it, lots of it in Chinese characters, so I still don’t know much about Feng Shui. I do know that it’s a philosophy about arranging furniture in homes and using some appropriate colors to increase harmony and prosperity and stuff like that.

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Problem Solved!

Last Sunday’s Bible story is one of my favorites (Acts 12:5-17). Peter was imprisoned for teaching about Jesus. His friends gathered and prayed in earnest for him. At the jail one night, everyone was sleeping soundly when an angel appeared and led Peter, free of his chains, out the jail door. Peter went right away to the house where his friends were and knocked on the door. A servant girl, Rhoda, went to the door and recognized Peter’s voice.

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Fa, la, la, la, lah, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, laaaaaaaahhhh!

On Facebook last week, someone posted a link to a blog by a woman who said that her Christmases in the 70’s were better than now. She talked about the cool toys she got and cool things she wore and the cookies and cupcakes and the memories. And how she hoped that the Christmases she was crafting for her own sons would be magical and extraordinary so they would have great memories, too.

I feel that way about Christmas in the 50’s. The way the house smelled with the real tree and the sugar cookies. The faux fireplace that Mother and Daddy made by covering Daddy’s knee-hole desk with brick-patterned crepe paper, where our stockings were hung. The tree-shaped sugar cookies that were slathered with green frosting. The way we got to open one gift on Christmas Eve, before we went to bed.

Of course the Christmases of our childhoods were better than now.

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Oh, No, Honey. Not THOSE Toys

We didn’t have Sunday School for kids last Sunday morning because the bikers were coming. Every year at church, we collect new toys for the Mission Waco Toy Store. Several churches participate, and on Thanksgiving weekend, local bikers (some are members of “Riders of the Son”) ride from church to church and pick up the toys. (They bring a trailer, too, for the toys, which is efficient, but keeps drivers around Waco from being able to see bikers guys and gals roaring around with Barbie dolls and Lego sets tucked under their arms.)

This year, an adult Sunday School class sponsored a time for parents and kids during the Sunday School hour to talk about Advent and giving and about the bikers’ ministry, and then the bikers came. They thundered into the parking lot and the kids got to meet the bikers and get close to those motorcycles (which are turned off at the time), and even sit on a bike. Then the bikers packed up all the toys we had donated, and blasted off to the next church.

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I Want That, and I Want That, and Oh, Wow, I REALLY Want That!

The Container Store. I guess, to those of you who don’t have one near you, or those of you who abhor shopping, those words don’t mean anything. And maybe if I had one, here in Waco, the draw might not be as strong, but almost every time I go to Fort worth, (or Austin or Dallas, or any other place that has one), it’s often (no, not absolutely always, just pretty often) on my list of places to go. It’s a store that sells goods that are designed to help you be/become organized. And it’s fabulous!!

When I walk through a Container Store, I just feel that “I can be organized. I can have control of all parts of my life. I can do this!”  And I’m bad about going there, even when I don’t have something in particular I need to purchase. I’m willing to just walk up and down the aisles and find something that I need very badly to help me organize my house, my garage, my room, my stuff, my life. And there’s always something I want. Not necessarily something I need, but always something I want. And that’s the problem.

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If You Break It, You Buy It

When I was growing up, my parents, as most parents did, cautioned me and my sister against touching things in stores when we went shopping. I don’t really remember it, but it must have been so, because now I feel guilty whenever I touch anything in any store. Except, I guess, for the grocery store, which isn’t usually a “just browsing” sort of place.

I passed down that instruction to my own sons. Except by then, I had learned some positive guidance techniques for young children. Instead of telling kids what NOT to do, adults should tell them what TO do. For example, instead of saying, “Don’t run,” a better choice would be, “Please walk.” So, in stores, instead of saying “Don’t touch,” (or, “Don’t you DARE touch that”), I would try to remember to say, “Please look with only your eyes,” which quickly, for each boy, shortened to “Look with your eyes.” An even better thing (I know now), would have been to use the positive I-message, “I’m worried when you pick up things in the store. Something might get dropped and broken or damaged. So please look with only your eyes.” This gives a child (or anyone, really)  a logical reason to choose appropriate behavior, given in a gentler and more informative way. Okay, so much for the child guidance lesson.

Last week, I was doing some shopping to get ready for a week of activities for preschoolers at church.

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Phone Etiquette

My parents raised me to be nice. I was supposed to be polite to people, and I was. With regret, I admit that I am less so, the older I get. I blame the strangers who call me on the phone.

So many people, all unknown to me, feel free, empowered, and worthy, to call me whenever they want during the day and/or evening, to press me, question me, suggest to me, and threaten me with, well, whatever is on their mind. I’ve become a shrieking shrew to strangers on the phone. On rare occasions, someone I don’t know will phone me with a real question. I will have answered taut and tight-voiced and then must apologize for my discourtesy.

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