Yearly Leave

Goin’ away till next year!

On the 27th I’m flyin’ to Minnesota to be with family, sharing in the traditions and memories…all thanks to my parents for my one-way-ticket for Christmas!

Life this year just seems to be ending wonderfully, sliding into 2013 with a cheshire smile..

Conversational Generation

I just had a marvelous day off. 

Mi Amor’s grandparents are some of the neatest people. They are such an unusual pair, keeping things fresh and fun. Living only 20 minutes from their house, I came and assisted Mrs. T in the kitchen for a party. I met lots of people in the health care plan Mr. T works for. 

After lots of chatting, eating, a nap in the afternoon, assisting in technology & a second ‘neighbor’ party to finish off the munchies, I’m finally back to Poppins. 

I adore seasoned folk. Especially because of how much knowledge and experience they bring to the table. 

With the neighbors we ranged from talk of wine & travel to war & dogs. 

I made a few friends and got to know more about Mr & Mrs T. 

It just made me really look forward to experiencing more of life with them while Mi Amor’s under their roof. 

I also learned that I never cease to amaze people with my age. They always think I’m older & then impressed by how much I know and can bring to the table while being so young. 

{I like surprising people…I’m helping uphold the fact that not all of my generation is illiterate & un-engaging.}

Outspoken Impact

In life, being outspoken on your beliefs is important, no matter what religion, denomination, or branch you put your faith in. 

I don’t mean “outspoken” in the way of beating people over the head with your stance, making them believe by manipulation, or letting that be all you talk about. 

In this day and age, I’ve seen way too many people turn the switch off, specifically on Christianity, because of the way they have been approached//attacked by the followers of Christ.

My approach, which is the best for me, might not be for you, so let the Spirit lead. 

I have allowed the joy of saving Grace be the approachable difference between the world and I. 
My day at work started out odd enough, I knew it was gonna be a hard night. 

A fellow tech at the pharmacy came over to me first thing, after I had set my stuff down and begun filling prepackaged IVs. 
“My son came home from Bible study last night and opened the Bible to show me the story of Christmas,” she began, “and it made me realize how much I REALLY don’t know.”

I looked up at her with a listening smile, waiting for her to continue. 

“Where did Joseph come in? Why did they go to Bethlehem? I know that Jesus was born on Christmas day, but” 
I interrupted to say, “Actually, we don’t know the date of Jesus’ birth, but we can know that it wasn’t in December.”
She looks at me confused, “He wasn’t!?”
At this point, I have the ears of half a dozen or more co workers while they are still doing their work. 

“Nope, it says the shepherds were watching their flocks by night. Did you know that Jerusalem gets frost in December? Sheep won’t eat frosted grass. And in their culture, Mary & Joseph had a one year ‘engagement’. So in that time period, Mary became pregnant with Jesus. She went to tell Joseph, and the only reason he kept her as his wife was because an angel came to him too. Well, a census was being taken during this time also, which meant that wherever Joseph was born, he had to go back…and that was Bethlehem.” 

“Hmm. Yeah, there’s just so much that I realized I didn’t and don’t know.”

“Well, I’m glad that your son has that influence to keep you thinking.”

~~~

A few hours into my shift (I worked second shift so there’s also only three techs that run the pharmacy) the other two girls told me something that at first, I took as a sarcastic insult…then realizing their seriousness, listened and took the opportunity to let God plant a seed.

I’ll call the two girls Keef & Gemmy. 

Keef says, “Sarah, last night, Gemmy and I prayed we’d become more like you.”

I looked up with a little laugh, “right…”

Gemmy continues, “No, really, you’re impossibly nice. What makes you like you are? Were you always this sweet?”

“HA! no way. My parents can testify to that. I was a demon-child.”

“My parents still say that about me,” Keef jokes.

“If my parents raised me differently, I’d probably be goth. They taught me in the way where it was a, ‘if you do this, these will be the circumstances and outcomes’ rather than being those controlling parents who say, ‘don’t do this cause I say so and that’s that.’ A lot of the way I am is because of how they raised me. I grew up going to church and knowing who Jesus was and the fact that I would go to Hell without Him saving me. The twister is, I knew that He would have to be the director & leader of my life…and I wanted to be in control.” 
{At this point, I started thinking about my tattoo…the compass one. What once was my one deterrent has now become my inspiration.}

They both nodded.

I continued, “I was seven when I was swimming in my friend’s pool. We were dunking each other, ya know how kids try to kill each other while swimming…
Well, it just hit me. If I died right now, I wouldn’t be safe. I needed Jesus. 
So, I asked his mom to help me receive Jesus as my Saviour. And from there on out, my life changed.”

Keef skeptically said, “Wow. Seven. Not seventeen. Gemmy-when are we gonna grow up too? How much trouble could you get into at seven.”

I laughed and said, “Enough. But don’t think like it’s been cake from seven till’ now. I’m still screwed up and make mistakes all the time. It’s not any easy task. It’s a struggle every day of my life.”

~~~

Later that night, Gemmy continues after a pharmacist has an attitude with me.

“She is so rude to you, can I bite her head off?! GAH!” 

I smirk and shake my head, “No, don’t worry about it.”

“See, that’s why you’re better than me. That’s what Keef and I were talking about. When somebody hates us, we hate them back. People will never forget how you make them feel–and when someone makes me feel like crap, I give it to them hard.”

“Yeah, one of the other pharmacists gives me crap all the time. One day it was so bad, I told Mi Amor & he said, ‘I don’t know what her problem is, but she’s the ONLY person I’ve heard of having a real issue with you.’ And ya know what, he’s right. Not many people do. It was just really bad, so I went to my Bible and just flipped the pages. I landed in a passage that said, ‘Even sinners do good to those who do good to them, the difference is seen when you do good to those who do evil.'”

Gemmy smiled, “And that’s why you’re better than I am.”

I responded, “Stop saying that ‘better’ word, its crap!”

“Its true though!”

“You can say like, inspiring or something.”

She says in a joking tone, “Sj you’re SO inspiring.”

I laughed, “thanks”

~~~

The first thing I thought of after the beginning Christmas story lesson was that I was gonna have a crappy day and the way I handled it would either be a testimony to Christ or another reason for them to reject Him. 

And guess what–it was one HECK of a work load. Phones off the hook, labels flyin’ out my ears. 

The most I sat down was for my half hour dinner. 

I’m just joyous over the fact that since I’ve moved here, so many people have voiced their opinions of me.

One pharmacist told me, “Ya know, there was a bunch of us who thought you were too chipper for it to be real, and that after you started, we’d give it a couple of weeks to rub off. Well, it’s been four months and you’re still chipper. I like it.”

I just really can’t express how much all these words of affirmation have hit me to my core.

God’s just turning my heart to mush and yet building it up with muscle to endure so much in the future. 

~~~

Be the change you want to see.

Machetes & Wind

Artsy wall. We folded paper airplanes out of sheet music. The solid pages gradually changed form as they moved towards the box

Artsy wall. We folded paper airplanes out of sheet music. The solid pages gradually changed form as they moved towards the box

Crafting!

Crafting!

My two friends & I ice skating...they are hilarious.

My two friends & I ice skating…they are hilarious.

Christmas lights!

Christmas lights!

Chicago black cherry pancakes

Chicago black cherry pancakes

View from the top of the Sears

View from the top of the Sears

Sky miles

Sky miles

Deep Dish Chicago Pie

Deep Dish Chicago Pie

Mi Amor & I

Mi Amor & I

We went to the Art Institute

We went to the Art Institute

Saw the Bean at Millennium Park!

Saw the Bean at Millennium Park!

Mi Amor, Me, Lydia & Joey with our 3D glasses on to see the lights outside the zoo

Mi Amor, Me, Lydia & Joey with our 3D glasses on to see the lights outside the zoo