Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's Christmas time. Take time.

The Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget
by---Kent Nerburn

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living.

It was a cowboy’s life, a life for someone who wanted no boss.

What I didn’t realize was that it was also a ministry.

Because I drove the night shift, my cab became a moving confessional. Passengers climbed in, sat behind me in total anonymity, and told me about their lives. I encountered people whose lives amazed me, ennobled me, and made me laugh and weep.

But none touched me more than a woman I picked up late one August night. I was responding to a call from a small brick fourplex in a quiet part of town. I assumed I was being sent to pick up some partyers, or someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or a worker heading to an early shift at some factory for the industrial part of town.

When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.

Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away.

But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation.

Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself.

So I walked to the door and knocked. “Just a minute”, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80′s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knick-knacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

“It’s nothing”, I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”

“Oh, you’re such a good boy”, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”

“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.

“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”

I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

“I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.

“Nothing,” I said.

“You have to make a living,” she answered.

“There are other passengers”.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

“You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware - beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.


Chuck Swindoll read this story this morning. His thoughts were provoking for me. "It's Christmas time. Don't overlook anyone. If you don't know their name, ask for it. Take more time. You have good news. And they don't know it until you win a hearing. Take time. Take time. It's Christmas time."

I am the worst at 'taking time'. I am always in a hurry. Hurry here. Hurry there. Hurry up and get this done. Hurry up and finish this job. I 'hurry' the days away. God is really speaking to me, "Take time, Beth. Take time."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Desparate.

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Someone is apparently desparate for some cookin' to be done around here!

Randomness of December...
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Christmas time is here~

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas, Ohhhhhhhhh Christmas....

This year, all I can say is Ohhhhhhhh, I am really, really stressed out with Christmas! I wish it wasn't this way! I neeeeeed a chill pill reaaaallly bad!!!

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One of my most favorite parts of Christmas is Christmas cards...
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Believe me, Wyndell has been watching out for who's been naughty and nice. I'm not sure if ANYone in this house will be on Santa's nice list this year!
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I keep telling myself, "I can do this." "I can do this." "This too shall pass!" "This too shall pass!"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tired...

WoW! I am so far behind!

My most handsome cowboy...
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And his chick...
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Not sure what this is...
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Oh yea...it's a really spoiled little girl!

We have a Christmas tree...and we are enjoying it. John and I are enjoying it. Okay. I am enjoying it. The kids have been gone. John doesn't really know if it's here or not at this moment:) So I guess that leaves me. And I am pretty sure that I like it!
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We are truly grateful. God is Good. All the time. His mercy endureth forever.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The greatest gift...

Give a child the greatest gift for Christmas. Be a sponsor!
With World Vision...
*Be sure to turn off playlist*

Or Compassion International...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

So much to do...

OMG! {As my beautiful littlest sister would say. And John Luke}. I am drowning in 'things to do'! It seems I haven't been home in ages but just long enough to grab another diaper, a paci, and some juice and head back out! I am not that kind of 'traveler'! But since sister is now a married woman, maybe we can all take a deep breath. {Or maybe some day --- soon. When we get all this wedding cleaned up!!! WoW! What a job! John said yesterday he is much more appreciative of those nice little Marriot Burgers he was ordering every hour in Hawaii! Now he knows what all the rest of the family was doing while he was ordering burgers and I was relaxing by the ocean!} But the sister and new brother are worth it. The wedding was beautiful. The bride was even more beautiful. And the reception was awesome! And can I just say that I am super, super proud of my two precious ones! They were PERFECT! So, I have been a busy little Mama Bee. Monday---clothes---9 loads!!! Can someone please explain to me how a family of 4 can accumulate so many dirty clothes so quickly?!?!?! {I'm afraid this job will never be 'done'.}Tuesday---floors---disgusting! I'm hoping that tomorrow I can catch up on bills. Otherwise we will be roughing it with no lights. No water. No vehicle. No phone. And possibly no house! It seems like they could understand it's been a really hectic time, and just give me a month off! It would save them paper and stamps! Unfortunately they don't see it my way! So as bad as I hate it, the agenda for tomorrow is bills, bills, bills! And to clean this mountain off my desk!

On a more joyful note, my sweet little family remembered my birthday...inspite of all the chaos of the weekend! They surprised me with a nice new camera and 3 most precious cards! Here's one of them. I love it!
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And my precious husband even added it to the calendar!
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While the busy Mama Bee continues to work into the wee hours of the morning, the others are sure to get their beauty sleep.
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***If anybody got any pictures of the wedding/reception, I would love to get copies. I didn't get a single picture! Thanks!

Now, I must find the bed! If not, I will be a bigger zombie than I already am! Good Night!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Life...

Life is stressful. Life is exhausting. Life is disappointing. Life has trials. Life has tribulations. Life can hurt. Life is hard. We cry. We worry. We fear. BUT I am FULL of HOPE in knowing HIS way is always perfect!

"And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from mine enemies. When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented [confronted] me; In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears." II Samuel 22:2-7

"For thou art my lamp, O LORD; and the LORD will lighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a [the] rock save our GOD? God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect."..... II Samuel 22:29-33