Saturday, December 27, 2008

Blessings: My Old Paper Route

One of my favorite pastimes is reading over my past journals. It amazes me what little details I recorded or what important milestones were left unmentioned. The journals remind me of where I have been, what struggles I have been through, what celebrations I have rejoiced in, and how my relationship with the Lord has grown.

Often, there is just something fun that makes me want to laugh. For instance, I retired from my paper route one and a half years ago, but shortly before I gave my route up I recorded a list of the entire vocabulary needed by a news carrier. Here Goes!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

On my daily route very few phrases are needed. There is,

1. Hello!
2. How are you today?
3. Good! How are you?
4. You’re welcome!
5. Have a great day (or nice day, good day, great evening, nice evening, good evening)!

The combination possibilities are endless! Using the above expressions and a rudimentary knowledge of the weather, you have it made. For collecting you need a few more.

All of the above
Is right now a good time to collect?
Yes, it is about that time of the month again!
Thank you! [or]
That’s alright! [regardless of what you actually think]
I will try to come back tomorrow. [or]
I will be back on Friday. [and the next and the next]

Do you notice all the exclamation marks? Well, that is because almost everything I say has to be happy, enthusiastic, and friendly. It is not always easy, but what else can I do? They don’t know me as me; they know me as a paper carrier who (hopefully) does the very best job she can, smiles, is polite, helpful, and efficient. They also know me as the one who will stop by every month and cheerfully request $7.50. In some ways I prefer my Office Pay Customers; I don’t need to ask them for money. My Carrier Collect Customers have a closer relationship with me, and, depending on the customer, that can be either good or really bad.

What fun! And yes, I did have real conversations with many of my customers. Several of my relationships formed on the route last to this day. My paper route was a blessing that lasted four and a half years, and I know God used it to draw me out of my little circle and give me a bigger perspective.

It also gave me a good hour on my bike every day where I had a chance to think and pray. Even as I was working, the time alone gave my mind an opportunity to work things out and bring my concerns to the Friend that is always with me.

So, enjoy this last week of 2008. Count your blessings!

Monday, December 15, 2008

December Happenings

This has been an amazing and very busy week. My church had a Living Christmas Tree program on the 12th, 13th, and 14th, and we had several nightly rehearsals leading up to opening night. My family was busy singing all week! I am thoroughly entrenched in Christmas music now, but I am hoping to add a little more variety in the final days before Christmas.
We did a Living Christmas Tree last year, and the programs were similar in many ways, but there were several new twists this year to add some additional fun. A quote from my blog post last year is true for this year as well.

"The performance was given on and around a 30 foot high Christmas Tree set complete with lights, greenery, music, and people. It was beautiful!"


I enjoyed playing in the bell choir and watching my sister play the part of Mary in an interpretive dance to Mary, Did You Know. Like last year, she also sang a trio with Gabriel and Joseph.
Our church did a donation drive as part of the program. Box loads of clothes, food, and toys came in to support The Mission here in town. They run low at this time of year, so it was a brilliant idea to replenish their stock right before Christmas.
The programs alone would be enough to keep anyone busy, but that wasn't all on my plate this week. Activities such as rearranged work schedules, a staff Christmas party at the library, studying, a difficult test in school, decorating, time with friends, and a large family gathering out of town added some spice. My great aunt and uncle are celebrating 60 years of marriage! In addition, their daughter and her husband are celebrating an anniversary of 25+ years. That is reason to celebrate!
I know many of you are just as busy, and my prayer this Christmas season is that we will take time aside to remember the true reason for the season. God loved us enough to send His Son Jesus to us and provide a way of salvation through faith in Him! That is good news!

Have a Merry Christmas!