"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Monday, January 31, 2011

Just another Manic Monday

Wow! What a busy weekend and Monday.  It is now 9:00 p.m., and I am just now sitting down for the first time since I've been home.  Actually, I just got home about 45 minutes ago and made a late dinner. Nonetheless, it's my time to write.  Today is yet another Make a Difference Monday--the day of the week that we purposefully try to make a positive difference in people's lives.  I found that, for one reason or another, I had a more difficult time finding opportunities to  make a difference in people's lives today.

A couple of hours after arriving at work, I had a training session in another building on campus.  It could be said that I blessed someone when I gave up my highly coveted, excellent parking space, by moving my car to a not so great parking spot at the University Computing Center.  Then, when I was in my morning training session, I made a point not exiting the class early.  I mean, I didn't want the instructor to feel like she wasn't doing a great job training me.  She was.  She couldn't help that it was a terribly boring class; the presentation screen wasn't functioning properly, and I knew that I could retrieve the 'unknown' information online. OK.  Well, maybe she could, but that's irrelevant.  So....I guess I made a difference in the instructor's life by not leaving early, thus causing her not to wonder if her teaching skills needed honing. Hmm. I somehow have a feeling that this is not what Make a Difference Monday is all about.

Geesh!  I was having a difficult time with this.  I typically work by myself at work, come home and spend the evening with my family.  It was on my way home that something happened.  I was near work, and I saw a homeless man begging on the street corner.  It's not for me to know or judge just why he was there--what circumstances led him to become a beggar.   Nope.  My job is just to bless and make a positive difference in his life.  Show him God's love in this hurting and broken world.  Be God's hands and feet.  Warm his heart, body and soul on this freezing cold afternoon.  So....I gave him some money, and then went to McDonalds and bought him a large coffee and two McDoubles.  Then, I returned to 'his' street corner and handed him the goods.  I'm pretty sure it warmed his heart, body and soul.  I know it did mine. Now, that's what we're talking about.

This man got me thinking that there must be many, many more ways to make a difference today (and everyday).  So...on my way to Physical Therapy, I decided to stop at the Oregon Library, return a bunch of DVDs and pay my daughter's very large library fine.  Now, that would totally bless her.  The Oregon library has been turning into a self service branch for some time now, and I wasn't sure how to self service pay a fine.  I mean, it was so large, I figured I would need some help because I would actually have to use a credit card.  Yes, it was way into the double digits.

We love our library so much, we visit it practically daily.  If not daily, then at least four times weekly.  My family knows all of the librarians and workers by name, and they know us.  As former homeschoolers, we read a LOT and love to hang out there.  So, I asked a worker behind the front counter if I could pay my forgetful daughter's fine. I say, forgetful, because if she would have remembered to return her books on time, I may have been able to go straight to Physical Therapy.  Oh yeah, but then I wouldn't have the opportunity to bless her monetarily.  He stood there looking at me, as I handed him my Mastercard.  I explained that her fine was rather large, and he just smiled and said he was waiting for me to give him her library card.  Since we frequent there constantly, and order books online, etc., I have all of our library card numbers memorized.  I mean, who doesn't? Right?

I explained how my daughter in question has been so totally stressed with homework that she had forgotten about all of her books.  I handed him my card and we began talking. I told him how she had gone to Jamaica with me and worked for a week, and then went to Washington D.C. for the right to life rally, and was just so swamped with homework, work and life in general, that she had just forgotten to return them.  I mean this was a total of maybe 30-45 seconds of conversation.  He then purposefully looked at me, smiled, returned my card to me and said that he was writing off her fine.  Did I mention that this was an extremely large one?  I mean a pretty expensive one?  He said, "It's the least I can do."  I was totally stunned. I put my hands to my face and cried at his kindness and generousity.  I told him that it wasn't necessary, and he repeated, "it's the least I can do."  Wow.  I wonder if he listens to K-love and was practicing Make a Difference Monday.  He surely made a difference in my day.

It was nice to be on the receiving end of a MAD Monday experience.  It really reinforced just what it was all about--really making a difference and causing someone to be happier.  What a testimony to kindness and goodness.  I then went to Physical Therapy.  When I was done, I was totally exhausted and ready to go home. My eldest daughter, however, had asked me to work out with her at the UT Rec center, and I had previously agreed to.  I was totally feeling the pain of a very manic Monday, however, I knew that it would bless her and me.  So...I went directly to her dorm, picked her up, and we worked out together.

We are always blessed when we are able to work out together.  I love spending the time with her, hanging out, and fellowshipping, all the while actually doing something great for our mental and physical health.  Yup, this was making a positive difference in both our lives. Finally, exhausted, wet (from the hot tub), and cold, I meandered home and cooked a very late dinner--to bless my two teens who were at a basketball game.  Warm bbq pork chops always hit the spot on a cold winter evening.

All in all, it was a good MADD Monday, albeit manic.  I ran from the moment my feet hit the floor this morning, until the moment I sat down to write this blog.  Ok--I sat down on the machines when I was working out, and we sat in the hot tub.  But other than those times, my feet were totally running.  Unfortunately, the day isn't over quite yet.  My son is diligently trying to get our snow blower started to ensure that we'll be able to plow our driveway in the morning.  He's hoping that the local high school will be canceled, but I highly doubt the University, where I work, will be canceled.  I can only hope. Yes, the weather man is calling for lots of snow tonight and even more snow tomorrow.  Maybe Wednesday, the University will totally bless me by canceling classes and work for everyone. Hmmm.

Anyway, with Jonathan already gearing up to plow the snow in the morning, I can already envision tomorrow becoming a Make a Difference Tuesday.  Now, if UT will only cancel classes and work on Wednesday, this may just become a trend.  Have you made a positive difference in someone's life today?  Has someone specifically made a positive difference in your life today?  If so, leave a comment and let me know.  I'd love to read about it.

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