Squirrel! Dealing with Distractions.

The last few blog posts have been long. I was talking with my cousin Annie she said, “It’s like  underwear, sometimes you need it long and sometimes you need briefs. I’ll try to be brief.

I had intended to blog yesterday, but no matter what I did I was distracted. My “blogging day” encountered a real switch-a-roo and I never wrote. I didn’t even begin. I never touched the laptop until ten at night. My whole day was flipped.

It made me think of my recent visit to my sister and brother-in-law’s new condo in Missouri at Osage Beach over Labor Day weekend.  I traveled with my sisters, brother-in-law and parents. It was a blast!

I loved their condo’s setting. Delighted for them, I stepped onto their deck and saw the view of the lake. It was breathtaking! I hadn’t been there more than twenty minutes when I looked down and saw a hammock. It called my name. Rachel come rest in me, stretch out and just relax! The car ride was long, so I welcomed the invitation and was much obliged.

The hammock was freestanding on a metal base. IMG_5187

The moment I began to position my body on it, I did a complete inversion. I suddenly flipped like a pancake. I was on the top for a split second and on the ground the next. Wack! What in the heck just happened?  I remember the sound of my head as it hit the metal base. I brushed the dirt off my leggings, stood up and righted the hammock. Am I woozy? Am I bleeding?

It all happened so fast I don’t really remember much else about that spin.  I do know my sister Barb heard the sound and said, “Rache? Are you okay?”

While I rubbed my head I whined, “Nooooo! Man, I just walloped my head.” She came to my aid with some ice.

I did lie down in the hammock for a while. I was not as relaxed as I had first envisioned. Instead, I lay wincing with the ice pack Barb had provided pressed against my noggin.  Boy, oh boy! I had quite a humdinger of a lump for the weekend. The point is— in one second everything had flipped.

That’s exactly what happened with my Thursday. It did a complete rapid flip and I was distracted from blogging all day. I kept saying, “I need to write today!” I’m just not sure what I want to write about. Rather than write, I did multiple tasks.

All the distractions were good things and most needed to be done. My “blogging day” suddenly became,”run errands, hike with a pal, hang out with my husband, fold laundry, chat with a friend, chase down details for speaking engagements, attend a meeting, respond to emails and go to bed day.”

The day was a conglomerate of distractions. Does this happen to you? I think God is better at planning my days than I am. I had a really great day yesterday. Today I have something to write about.

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I find it’s hilarious, even now as I write this blog post about distractions, there are so many squirrels chasing each other through the canopy of trees in my backyard distracting me!

I feel compelled to look up as branches sway due to their frolicking. The squirrels are eating nuts up so high in the trees. The discarded pieces are flying out and strike the ground. It makes a sound like rain. There’s a lot of chirping and I’m completely distracted as I write about being distracted. Ironically, I titled this post,  “Squirrel! Dealing with Distractions” before I began to write. ( Is that prophetic?)

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I see in the gospels, Jesus was never hurried and always dealt with distractions. The distractions and interruptions were his ministry moments. He continued to interact with the people along the way.  Zacchaeus up in a tree, the women who, in faith,  touched the hem of his garment to be healed, the two guys on the road to Emmaus and the little children who gathered around him. To name a few. I’m so relational. I’ll take people over tasks hands down. I want to be available aong the way even when it means I don’t complete posts on the day I first intended.

A few moments ago a squirrel jumped right up onto a bench, scampered away startled when I said,”Well, hello there!”

 

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This photo was taken the day after the switch-a-roo FLIP! * Thanks Joyce Hansen

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Mortified or Hilarious?

I’ve got a story for you. Okay, the truth is I’ve always got a story. Usually, there’s a bit of background too. So let me provide the background now. Over a year ago I went to a speaking engagement and brought a friend, Jeanne with me as my assistant.

I was so excited! Once she arrived, we loaded all my weekend speaking paraphernalia, guitar and suitcase in her car. It was spring and I wore a linen tan/butter colored trenchcoat. My friend commented, “Hello dearie, you look so cute! ” I cocked my head slightly as I tightened my linen belt and replied, “Aw, thank you!”

We had a ball as we traveled we chatted the entire way. During a brief pause in our conversation, we noticed an odd sound coming from outside her car.

Jeanne questioned, “You don’t have anything outside the car do you?”

I thought it a bit odd, (what’s she talking about…me?) “No, not me!”

It was a bit rainy and we couldn’t figure out what in the world the noise could be. We traveled a little farther then decided we’d better try to figure it out. “Why don’t you pull over onto the shoulder and I’ll see what’s up,” I suggested.

As I exited the vehicle I expected to see her wheel’s hub cap dangling, a piece of side trim loose or something wrong with a tire.

The minute I open my passenger’s door, it was obvious to detect. The belt from my trenchcoat had been flapping outside. My linen belt had acted like a shammy skin as it flapped against the back door and cleaned the section within its reach. My once light yellow belt was now quiet gray.

I hopped back in the car and we merged back onto the highway. We were both grateful that there was no major car problem.

Oh how we guffawed about of my cluelessness.

So that’s the prior background… Now to the continuation of the story. Both of my friend Jeanne and I planned to attend the same conference a few weeks ago. Excitedly, I got all dolled up and quickly thought through an appropriate summer outfit. I had on black linen pants, a black sleeveless collared shirt and a black floor length vest. I really loved my outfit. It was monochromatic, simple yet classy.

I went to pick up my friend Jeannie, the same friend who I was with the day of the belt’s demise. It was a rainy August morning I honked when I was in her driveway relieved to not have to go ring her doorbell in the rain.

We drove the fifteen minutes and reached our destination without any issues. I parked my car and got out of my vehicle. Immediately, I felt a slap against both of my lower calf muscles. I looked down and my crocheted floor length vest was attached to my black pants.

I bent down and realized it was soaking wet. Three quarters of my vest had been stuck outside the car door trailing along on the highway the entire route.

It was soggy and had some grass in it. It was gross! So I gathered it up and decided to wring it out.

Jeanne and I cracked up because once again a piece of my wardrobe had ridden outside the vehicle. I turned and saw her leaned against my car laughing so hard.  Just then I saw a beautiful women exiting her car and she walked across the parking lot in front of us. She was dressed very well with a knit long vest too. I turned to Jeanne and said, “She looks so beautiful! Does she know you’re supposed to dip your vest in traffic before you go to the conference?

As the friendly greeters welcomed us, a kind man, Tim extended his hand and I shook it with bits of sand and grit residue on mine.

I could have just never mentioned it again. But that’s not me!

Once I entered the conference I told the people that I met all about the debacle of my black vest hanging out during my car ride.

Wardrobe malfunctions can be mortifying or hilarious depending on your viewpoint, I decided I would find mine entertaining.

I decided I’d share this with you today. I’m not really sure there’s a point to the story. Maybe pride goes before a fall. Or a joyful heart is good medicine. I mean I laughed so hard it was as if I were medicated.

The truth is the vest finally dried by about 10 o’clock that morning. Overall I had a great day filled with laughter.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”  – Proverbs 17:22 NIV