Celebrating with a friend and a story too.
I am so excited. One of our She Speaks graduates is publishing her book!!! Kristen Meyers was in my evaluation group in 2007. Visit her blog today to see how the story unfolded.

We have been trying to get the house decorated for Christmas the past couple of days, so it looks like we are participating this year. As I began putting up the lights and testing them I was met with much resistance; from the lights anyway. I apparently have multiple strands and decorations that no longer light up. I should not be overly surprised as they are at least 10 years old. But I did not necessarily plan for any expense in those categories.

So I am changing up my decorating this year. I am placing items in different positions (I am one that has everything in its special place each year for that certain look I want). This is a new thing for me. I am sure there is a lesson in this somewhere (check back after Christmas and I am sure I will have it).

I decided not to stress over unmet expectations and let things look different this year.

In my email this morning was this really neat story, I thought I would share it with you.

Psalm 55:22 --- you really need to read this.
'Friends are God's way of taking care of us.'
This was written by a Metro Denver Hospice Physician:

I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd., and the car started to choke and splutter and die - I barely managed to coast, cursing, into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It wouldn't even turn over. Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the 'quickie mart' building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay.

When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.

At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95.

I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying 'I don't want my kids to see me crying,' so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, 'And you were praying?' That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, 'He heard you, and He sent me.'

I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling, walked to the next door McDonald's and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.

She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City. Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn't have money to pay rent Jan 1, and finally in desperation had finally called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in about 5 years. They live in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there.

So she packed up everything she owned in the car. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.

I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, 'So, are you like an angel or something?'

This definitely made me cry. I said, 'Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people.'

It was so incredible to be a part of someone else's miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I'll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won't find anything wrong.

Sometimes the angels fly close enough to you that you can hear the flutter of their wings...Psalms 55:22 'Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.'

What kinds of changes are you making this year?



I love this story, Charlene! It is one I could read over and over again.

I am very excited for Kristen - Congrats to her.

I am also doing some changes in decorations this year and it stresses me out a little. Just because I like it to all look perfect.

So much of this holiday time is about it "looking" right. I often live in this image all during the month of December of decorating, shopping and making sure the magic happens for my children. I go through it like a checklist: Baking cookies with them - check. Making sure they get what they want most - check. Classroom parties - check.

Not that any of that isn't important but I find that through the stress of trying to make it so perfect that I miss the joy. Usually, it is at church on Christmas Eve that I am able to let go of the pressure of the month. I usually am a puddle that night.

I remember thinking last year that I would not do that this year and yet, here I am already stressing over shopping and decorating.

Your post this morning was a reminder of that promise to myself and most importantly God to remember the gift of Jesus and enjoy the...JOY of baking cookies, buying gifts for my loved ones and decorating to make my house festive for all that enter.

I am changing my perspective this year. Or at least, I am trying. :)

HI again,
I have a question about She Speaks.

Are we considered a graduate by completing just one conference or do we go through each level of speaking or writing to graduate?

I have been wondering this since this summer, but never asked and this reminded me!

Anonymous Kristen Myers said...

Charlene, You are so sweet to celebrate with me! Thank you for being you!!

Blogger Joyful said...

Loved the story Charlene! God hears and provides. Thanks for sharing it.


Blogger Van said...

Decorating a new way? Isnt' that what happened the first Christmas - through God's Son we were given freedom to do things a new way? I have sorta' been doing Christmas a new way recently. God has taken me by the hand and amazed me with the many ways He would have me re do my Christmas. Enjoy.

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About Me
I am taking some time away from speaking to glean more from God and draw closer to Him. I need to be at home more with my children for a season. I will continue to post on my blog and update you all. I covet your prayers during this new season.
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