Burnt Popcorn Lessons

Lately I’ve been volunteering to help in our church office on Monday afternoons.

I show up with half my house usually—plus my homeschooled daughter (every now and then). There are times when I have extra task to do while I’m there so I keep busy, other times I’m able to settle in and catch up on a good book or work on a Bible study or other personal things.

Having McKenzie with me I make sure to keep her occupied by leaving schoolwork for the afternoon so she has something to do to pass time.

Last Monday after her and I situated ourselves in the office she declared she was ready for her popcorn snack. She’s pretty serious about popcorn so I headed off to the kitchen immediately with the unpopped bag of popcorn in my hand and an eagerness to please my child as my mission.

All microwaves are different right?!!!

I placed the bag inside, closed the door, and hit the popcorn button…1 minute and 30 seconds…‘that doesn’t seem like it’ll be long enough’…I confidently thought to myself. And when the time was up sure enough there were still many pops happening one right after the other. I determined it was definitely in need of more cook-time and that surely there were unpopped kernels still nestled inside…so within a few seconds I had the microwave fired up again, setting the timer for one minute, and listening closely for the pops to begin again….ten seconds gone by…no pops…ten more seconds…still no pops..burnt scent…yes!!! I removed the bag with a puff of smoke trailing behind but was still hopeful that the contents might be salvageable.

Returning to the office where my sweet and charming girl was waiting for her buttery, salty treat I was greeted instead by an unimpressed, dejected expression followed by, “What did you do, mom?!!?”

The smell of burnt popcorn lingered all around.

I quickly explained and tried to resolve my poor attempt at popcorn-making by deciding I’d sift through the bag to gather any edible pieces, but once I pulled apart the seams, smoke poured out!! And continued to pour out…Y’all this isn’t even me being my overdramatized self, this is 100% serious-me right now!! McKenzie sulked in disgust and I laughed in true Alicia-character, it was all I could do in my humiliation.

Pastor Jeff came down to the office and his look said it all; any question of my craziness he may have ever had well he now had full confirmation. His wife and I are best friends and he knows we’re nuts together but this gave final validation that I’m crazy even without her. Our senior pastor strolled on down to the office as well and gave a chuckle of his own, as did the children’s director (actually she was laughing before she even stepped in).

I was nervous the smoke alarms were gonna sound…in some buildings when that happens the fire department waste no time and shows right up and I absolutely was not okay with that happening.

Each time I’d open the bag to cool, the smoke would billow out. I contemplated what to do…If I put it in the trashcan it might set papers on fire, if I kept it sitting out in the office the smell would choke us out.

I finally rolled it up, clipped it with a clothespin, and shoved it into my lunch bag zipping the top of my lunch bag closed tightly.

The smoke cleared after a while, but my hands smelled of burnt popcorn for the remainder of the afternoon even after washing with soap and water and using hand sanitizer several times.

I share this story with you because later that evening when I told my husband about it I laughed hysterically while McKenzie and I recalled the details — by then McKenzie had finally found laughter in the situation.

But as we explained our afternoon, I soon thought about how this was actually a result of me wanting more!!…unsatisfied with what I’d received.

And on a broader scale there are many times I’m guilty of wanting more…more shoes, more money, more home updates, more gluten-free peach crisp…more popped kernels of popcorn.

But “more” isn’t always in favor with me…because “more” can, at times, be the direct indication of selfishness.

If I want more shoes, then I need more closet space; if I want more home updates then I need more money. More peach-crisp means more sugar intake…you get the idea..

“More” can be overwhelming as it begs to cause discontent in my life and it threatens to take my eyes off Jesus.

Hebrews 13:5 says, Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

When the popcorn is burnt beyond rescuing, or the bank account is lingering below comfort, the Ray-ban shades don’t fit our budget, a friendship is faltering — we must remember that God is still God and He alone offers MORE than we could ever imagine to satisfy our greedy tendency.

My desire for more, needs to be wrapped up in wanting more Jesus. Through a healthy relationship in Him, true contentment and satisfaction are found with a lasting fulfillment.

Avoiding Fourth of July Freak Outs

I was running late, which is more normal for me than not, unfortunately. The kids had stayed the night at my mom’s and my girls and I were supposed to be involved in a running event that was taking place sooner than I cared to acknowledge.

It happened to be the Fourth of July and my attitude was on the edge of rupturing and popping with the best of any ear-piercing firecrackers.

When I’m running late I just get bent out of shape, and anyone around me reaps the negative results. This was one of those times—one where I felt ready to burst and far from control of anything reasonably manageable.

I rushed into my mom’s house to grab my daughters so we could quickly make it to the park where the race was to begin in ten minutes. My sass-tude finally caved and wildly flared when I walked in to everyone still sleeping!

Like a string of black-cats that had just been lit, I set fire with my words! “Why in the world are y’all still sleeping?!! We have to be there in ten minutes!! If you’re coming with me then get up and get going!! Hurry up!!!”

You know the saying ‘dynamite comes in small packages’…that was me right then—except I’d bypassed any caution tags and went full on explosive. Continue reading “Avoiding Fourth of July Freak Outs”

Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you Vivian from God’s Whispers of Truth for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I always enjoy reading your blog for sweet inspiration and encouragement!

Be sure to check out Vivian’s blog if you haven’t already. Click on the link above and then read her “my story” page under the menu option and you’ll be hooked—you’ll see for yourself what a brave warrior she truly is.

About the Sunshine award:

This award is given to creative, positive and cheerful bloggers by other bloggers as a token of appreciation and admiration.

Here are the rules:

• Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to him/her.

• Answer the 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you.

• Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.

• Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.

• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.

I’ll answer the questions Vivian had for me first:

1) What is the bible verse/passage which you turn to the most for comfort?

I’m obsessed with Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength‘….probably because it was the first verse that spoke to my broken, lost heart at the time, it grabbed me and directed my attention to God, and still has a grip on me. It was also the first verse I memorized on my own without someone else’s input or influence. Continue reading “Sunshine Blogger Award”

Furry Pinball and Faith

My girls spent the past week at church camp with my mom…in return I watched my (special needs) brother for her…and her crazy, wiry, ball-of-fire dog.

**don’t let his cute looks deceive you**

My brother was the easy part, but the dog (Beardsley) exhausted his stay after the first five minutes when he marched into my home like he owned the place and wanted to mark his territory. That was Friday evening.

Saturday he barked most of the day.

Sunday, before church, my husband and son went on a high speed chase after him on foot for 45 minutes; he’d slipped out the door and thinks this kind of thing is a game. In reality the only one enjoying their self is the dog.

Early Monday morning we put Beardsley out to potty and within minutes the neighbor pounded on our door like the police to dramatically inform us the dog was obnoxiously barking…thank you Captain Obvious. Continue reading “Furry Pinball and Faith”

I’m So Glad You’re The One Taking Care Of Me Today (PART 2)

Losing someone unexpectedly is one of the hardest parts of life.

There’s the ‘what if’ questions…

What if (he or she) was still here? What if I could’ve told them what I didn’t get to? Or what if I’d have been more present?

I wrote in PART ONE of this post that my dad, in his helpless, quadriplegic body, looked my mom in the eyes the day he died and said, “I’m so glad you’re the one taking care of me today.”

What if, like my dad, I looked at the glass as half-full, rather than half-empty?

What if I focused on the sweet memories I have of my dad? What if I held onto the time I spent with him, rather than dreaming of times that never got to happen?

Well, what if???Continue reading “I’m So Glad You’re The One Taking Care Of Me Today (PART 2)”

I’m So Glad You’re The One Taking Care Of Me Today (PART 1)

Warning: Sensitive material for some

It’s been eighteen years (today) since my dad died. It’s hard to even put those words together. He’s someone who hasn’t made it easy to ‘just get over.’

When you love someone so much and then lose them, it changes everything.

I know I’ve mentioned in previous posts the story of my dad, but for new blog followers and my own thought process (and anyone else) here we go…. Continue reading “I’m So Glad You’re The One Taking Care Of Me Today (PART 1)”

Proverbs 16:31 Hair…Glory Found in the Grays

Last year (August 2018) I put out a post titled Get Real. I wrote about my colored-over gray hairs, and created a parallel in the way we sometimes cover gray areas of our life—making it appear like we have it all put together.

Okay, so while that post was meant to encourage authenticity in a person—to bring light to those gray areas…remaining open, honest, and real with others in an emotional sense—well for me, the words of that post (when I reread it) tangle me up on my increasingly graying hair, concealed under shades of dark hair dye…complete dishonesty with myself and anyone else who’s been fooled by my false-dark tresses.

Why in the heck would I encourage honesty and openness, when my hair color isn’t even real?! Continue reading “Proverbs 16:31 Hair…Glory Found in the Grays”