Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fire in Apartment 1101

Now that I’m clean, my feet no longer look like a true tar heel and I don’t reek of smoke....Let me tell you about my night. 
Last night I was supposed to head to charlotte so I could spend today at Carrowinds with my sister.  For some reason I decided not to go last night.  I had no real excuse I just didn’t feel like driving so I planned to wake early this morning and drive up.   I ate dinner (cottage cheese and cold pasta) around 9pm and then cleaned the kitchen.  I took apart the burners and really scrubbed the stove because it had gotten really messy during the week.  I didn’t bother replacing the burners because I wanted everything to dry out.  I locked the door but not the top latch as my roommate said she’d be out late with friends and then went to bed.
At around 1:30am I woke to the sound of the smoke detector going off.  At first I didn’t think much of it because it’s pretty sensitive and goes off often when we cook.  I got out of bed to see if she needed help shutting it off, I was tired and just wanted to get back to sleep as I was going to be getting up in a few hours to drive to Charlotte.  However, when I opened my door I felt heat and saw nothing but black smoke and bright orange light coming from the kitchen which is located right next to my bedroom.  I panicked. I couldn’t think and didn’t know what to do.  I couldn’t tell if the fire started in my apartment, I couldn’t see exactly where it was and I didn’t know if my roommate was home.  Talk about being was the most scared I’ve been in my entire life.  I went back into my room ran in a few circles grabbed my phone and ran out of the apartment.
I immediately called 911, I had difficulty telling the operator where I lived.  I guess I was in shock because after I finally got out the address he asked me which apartment and all I could come up with was “the one that’s on fire!”  I finally was able to provide my apartment number and asked them to hurry.  I then called my mom asked her not to panic that my apartment was on fire but I was ok...don’t tell your parents this...they just ask too many questions you don’t have the answers to haha.  I told her I had to go, I couldn’t think.  I was the first one out of the building and it felt like forever before everyone else started emerging from their apartments. I stood out in the rain in my night shirt and just prayed as hard as I could.  I was so anxious to see everyone get out safely.  I still didn’t know where my roommate was...I tried calling her name and her phone, no answer.
The fire department responded probably within 10 minutes they went in and pulled my roommate from her room.  Can you believe she slept through the whole thing?!  Thank God I was there to call 911.  Evidently when my roommate got home she cooked some chicken tenders and French fries.  When the chicken was done the fries were still a little soggy so she went to her room to eat the chicken while the fries cooked a little longer and fell asleep.  The fries were left cooking on the stove and caught fire.  The firefighters said the sprinkler system kept the fire from spreading from the kitchen and had the fire practically out when they got there.  Thank you Lord for sprinklers.  The chief said that system probably saved our lives.
Last night for the first time I felt Jesus holding me.  I knew He was there and He was going to make sure I stayed safe.  I felt His comfort.  The firefighters said that out of all of the buildings in my entire apartment complex my building is the only one with a sprinkler system.  That’s because 10 years ago there was a similar fire and someone died.  As a result all new buildings being built or remodeled were mandated to have a sprinkler system.  Because my building had to be rebuilt because of the fire it now has sprinklers.  Is it luck that I live in the ONLY building on property with a sprinkler system?  No that was Jesus watching over me.  I can’t help but think what would have happened if I would have went to Charlotte last night...would my roommate still be here?  The fire would have probably still been put out by the sprinklers but would she have suffocated from smoke in her sleep?  I think I unintentionally heard a whisper from God to stay home last night.   I didn't save anyone but He did.  I’m so glad everyone is ok and everything destroyed can be replaced.  I may be a little homeless right now but my situation is only temporary.  I’m in a nice hotel right now and the management of my apartment complex are great and are working on finding me a new place to live.  I’m very grateful and feel more than blessed today :)
My roommate and I don't always see eye to eye but I still care about her.  She struggles with more than what an average 18 year old should.  Maybe this was God’s way of intervening in her life..He has a plan for everyone.  Around 4am we were able to get in the apartment to grab some things...I could tell my roommate was really upset.  I gave her a hug and told her it’s going to be ok..I’m not mad.  It was an accident and we’ll get through this.  I think she started to feel a little better.  As we hugged bye for the night I said “Hey” she said “yea?”....I looked at her and smiled “I think your fries are done.”  After all that happened we ended our terrifying night with a smile.
Thank you for all of your phone calls, texts and prayers.  They are appreciated.  And thank you to the Chapel Hill Fire and Police department,  I don’t know what I’d do without you.  And thank you Chapel View Apartment management for trying to accommodate me the best you can during this time.
God is more than Good, He is Awesome!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Verbal Foreplay

If you’re a regular to my blog you already know that my posts are a reflection of what’s resting on my heart. So naturally at times the posts come across as very “Dear Diary”...if you don’t like these “Dear Diary” type posts let this be a warning to you to skip reading this one and select a different one.

Every time I feel like there is nothing else to write about and I’m done posting to this silly blog, God throws me another loop teaching me yet another lesson, a lesson I can’t help but share. Over the past week and a half, I’ve grown strangely close to someone, someone who was only a stranger 2 weeks ago. I only call it strange because I haven’t gotten so close to someone so quickly before...or have I? Ok I’m done talking in circles...I’ll get to the point now.

So I met this guy..hahaha I met him on route to church via a friend...he rode with us. During this 30 minute or so ride, my friend asked about a situation I had been struggling with and as I was talking about the situation I began to explain it to the guy in the backseat who was listening. I asked him for his opinion from a guys perspective and then we went to church. We didn’t talk about it again until the next week when we went to church again but this time without the mutual friend. On the car ride home, our conversation expanded to other topics and not very light topics but more like life discussions. I poured out my personal thoughts over a period of several hours. I realize now that this probably wasn’t the best idea but at the time I didn’t see the harm. I needed someone to talk to and he was there to listen. I felt comfortable talking with him, it was easy. I can confidently say by the end of the day I felt more attracted to him than I did before all of the talking but that still didn’t prepare me for what he had to say at the end of it all. As we were saying goodbye he said something like “I don’t know what you’re thinking but we should stay friends.” This threw me off completely...I didn’t know what to say...I hadn’t consciously thought that I might be falling for this guy. I hardly knew him..I was just telling him about some things I was struggling with. At that point I hadn’t even thought about wanting to date him...I thought he was strange for saying such a thing.

Well after thinking about it...he was smart...he was only guarding his heart--Protecting him and myself from falling for each other after so much emotional sharing. But how did he know to say this? I can’t be sure but I think he’s probably been in this situation before. This is why girls and guys can’t be friends or at least friends in a way that girls and girls can be. When a guy and a girl have these intimate and emotional discussions they become closer. And it’s not a closer friendship that would develop between two girls but they become closer intimately. I read somewhere that this emotional sharing is like “verbal foreplay.” Let me put it this way 2 girls aren’t going to want to hook up after sharing intimately but when a guy and girl do this, know. Yikes! It causes you to want to be closer to this person. It gives you this pseudo-relationship feeling—this explains wanting to date someone you’ve only known a short time or someone you might not have been attracted to in the first place.

If I’m going to wait for the “right” guy than I have got avoid this “verbal foreplay”. Everything I was feeling and talking about was fine to share (no deep dark secrets or anything) but it would have better been shared with not him but another girl.  Lord, please help me find more girl friends. 

Because of all of this sharing I don’t think I’ll be able to stay “just friends” like he asked...we tried hanging out again and feelings only escalated between the two of us. Too many emotions—sucks being a girl sometimes. However, we might be able to be friendly acquaintances; he really is a great guy with a nice heart. I’ll just have to be more careful with my words next time.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”—Proverbs 4:23

Friday, May 20, 2011

One day He is coming

May 21, 2011
Today I received a text message from someone asking, “So is the world ending tomorrow?” My answer...No.

Tomorrow is May 21, 2011..some people are calling it Judgement Day. They believe that tomorrow will be the beginning of the end of the world. They are saying that at 6pm the rapture will occur (saved people being called to Christ) and the world will end 5 months later destroying everyone who is not called upon. Do I believe any of this? No.

Here is why:

Think about it...this isn’t the first time somebody has predicted the world was going to end? The same guy who predicted this Judgment Day predicted it would happen back in 1994. Did the world end? No. Aren’t we still here? Yes.

I do believe that one day Christ will return for us but I don’t believe that day is tomorrow. No one knows when the coming of the Kingdom will take place. It will be sudden and unexpected. It isn’t a day that can be calculated. I think it’s embarrassing that people even try to do this. We as Christians are supposed to be patient while living our lives with a sense of readiness. Don’t waste your time calculating a day for Christ’s return.

Lets just say Jesus was supposed to return to Earth tomorrow (I suppose it's possible) that people have predicted it be on this particular day I think He would not come just for the reason of prediction. I imagine it like this.. Jesus is supposed to take a business trip to Earth (it couldn’t be a vacation because what’s better than His Kingdom? Nothing). His plans are to bring all of the saved people to God’s Kingdom and He was ready to come...He had his bags packed...but then somebody came along and ruined it. They predicted His return. I think Jesus would be upset that we weren’t patient and would reschedule His business trip. Doesn’t that stink?

All of this prediction stuff is stupid. The coming of God’s Kingdom will come in God’s timing not ours. We do not know more than He and we never will.

All of this hype on Judgment Day is bringing out the crazy in people. I was telling a friend at dinner the other night about this guy who keeps coming into Walgreens professing his love for everyone in the store. He claims to be Jesus reincarnated. When he is telling me all of these crazy coincidences that proves He is Jesus I try not to stare at him with a judgmental look...but that’s difficult...I think he’s crazy. This guy has come into the store several times trying to convince myself and everyone else he is in fact Jesus. When our LORD does come back for us...He will not have to convince us of who He is with all of these crazy stories. We will know. He could just walk into the room and say “I AM” and we’d know. No convincing needed.

I’m sorry this post has been a bit of a rant.

Living He loved me, dying He saved me, buried He carried my sins far away, rising he justified freely forever..One day He is coming, Oh glorious day...what a glorious day it will be. Are you ready?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Warrior Princess--Spiritual Battle

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live in a perfect world? A world that was all good and no evil. A world where everyone was TRULY treated equally; a world without sin, a world where not only did God know and love us but we ALL knew and loved Him. What an amazing world it would be. I envision it looking something like this..Everything pure, vibrant and beautiful...Rich with the greatest love. Instead, we live in a world corrupted by evil and saturated in sin.

Our world is like this because of the Fall of man. We cannot experience a perfect world because the relationship between man and God was broken in the Garden of Eden. Donald Miller, author of Searching for God Knows What, correlates the Fall of man with a war. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were attacked (deceived) by Satan. This was the only war that will ever be truly good versus evil. All other battles are complicated. Adam and Eve were tricked into thinking they wanted something they couldn’t have. When we are deceived, we make bad decisions. It’s as simple as that.

Because man had sinned against God, He had to break the relationship between them. This explains why we struggle in our day to day lives now. This is why we have insecure feelings and experience shame, jealousy, envy, lust...etc. This is why we are constantly comparing ourselves with each other. We are searching for that security we lost when man sinned against God. This seems so unfair but that’s life.

So it is inevitable that we are going to have these insecure feelings but what do we do to try and prevent them? We have a spiritual battle. When you are feeling insecure, falling victim to lust, experiencing envy or sense jealousy creeping upon you, go to His word for guidence.  Pray for strength, express your need for Him and your love for your Savior.  Thats what I do.  Evil is out there roaming just as it was in the Garden of Eden and we have to stick close to God. Cling to Him.  He will light a path for us and all we have to do is love Him, trust Him, obey and follow. This is much easier said than done because we as humans are gullible and easily deceived.

I’m going to insert a work story here. I know I’m always talking about my experiences at work but that’s where I spend the majority of my time these days haha. In case you weren’t aware, Walgreens carries a little bit of everything...I think it’s like a mini Wal-Mart or something. You wouldn’t think a drug store would sell fresh fruit but surprise we do! Well my store is currently having issues communicating with our fruit vender. He’s pretty unreliable when it comes to exchanging the old fruit for fresh fruit. This is frustrating because we advertise fresh fruit not overly-ripe-good-for-baking fruit. Well the other day I was staring at the overly ripe bananas with 2 of my managers..we were deciding if we should leave them out for the fruit guy to come pick up or just dispose of them. (We are supposed to wait for the vender so we can get credit for the fruit we don’t sell). One of my managers expressed his concern that if we waited too much longer to dispose of them we’d have fruit flies. Me, being the inquisitive person that I am, asked how we’d get fruit flies in the store...I wanted to know where they would come from. Well my manager looked at me with a straight face and told me that Fruit flies lay their eggs in young fruit and when the fruit becomes ripe enough, which is overly ripe for people, the eggs hatch...the fruit flies come from the fruit itself. I had no idea he wasn’t being serious..I totally believed it and was completely grossed out and swore off ever eating fruit again...haha I’m a pretty intelligent girl but boy am I gullible. If one of my managers could trick me so easily just think how easy it is for Satan to deceive me. It’s scary to think about.

We are highly susceptible to sin and if we choose to go against God, we will surely fall prey to Satan. We will be engulfed by bitter feelings and suffer from the absence of our Father. But if we choose to be warriors for God and trust in Him, we can fight against evil and experience everlasting love. Who’s side are you on?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Giving Thanks (Disney)

If you’re looking for a short’re reading the wrong blog! I can’t do it...I’ve tried...They just keep getting longer and longer. I just have too much to say :) If I keep going at this rate I’ll have to make part 1 and part 2 haha

I suck at intros so I’m going to just jump right in. Today, while I was contemplating life at an empty pool I decided I needed to quit thinking so much (my brain hurt) and just talk to God. I make an effort to talk to God everyday but today my conversation with Him was a little different. I didn’t pray for strength, nor did I ask for help putting others first. I didn’t ask Him for patience or to protect my heart...Today I asked Him for nothing...instead I thanked Him. I told Him of all the things I am grateful for. You see, God isn’t a genie..and if all we do is talk to Him when we need or want something, we are simply asking him to grant us our wishes. But you see God isn’t our Genie, He is much more than that..He is our Father and we are His children. Children thank their fathers for what they are grateful for and so today I told my Father exactly what it is I’m grateful for and then thanked Him for it :) I’m going to share with you one of the things I’m most thankful.

The Disney College Program.

I first applied to the program as a back-up for Grad school. I didn’t think I’d actually go because I was sure I’d be on my way to earning a Master’s degree in Speech Therapy come August. However, I was wrong..when it came acceptance time I wasn’t accepted into a single school that had a program which I thought was right for me. I was upset but I had that’s where I went in August. I didn’t know it at the time but something in that college program was going to change me, change my life. God had it all figured out and I just didn’t see it coming. He knew that I’d go to grad school one day but it wouldn’t be in my time it would be in His. I first needed to learn and grow from my experience in Florida. I can honestly say that I am a completely different person after Disney than I was before and I can also say that I’m still changing and I am not the same as I was during the program. Each day I’m evolving more and more into the young woman God created me to be. So what happened in Florida that caused my life to change so dramatically??

The answer is..I’m not sure. It could have been the job I had or the wonderful people I met or even a combination of the two. I’m leaning towards the latter. All I know is that for the first time in my life I truly LOVED my job. Not one day did it feel just like a job, it felt so much more rewarding than work. How does Disney get their cast members (employees) to feel like this? Is it magic? Is it a brainwashing mechanism? No. I’ll let you in on a Disney secret. It starts in their Traditions class. Traditions is a training class that all cast members attend to learn the Disney culture. This is where we learn that we aren’t employees but cast members and we’re all part of the show.

“You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world...but it requires people to make the dream a reality”—Walt Disney.

For the first time I felt needed, included and work was fulfilling. I wasn’t just dancing around for nothing...I was creating happiness by providing the finest in entertainment for people of all ages everywhere. (I put that line on my resume hahaha) Disney CEO’s don’t just tell us really is true. I can remember the first child I met who was bald from a battle with cancer. When he went up to meet Donald Duck he had the biggest smile on his face. I could tell he had no care in the world other than playing with Donald. This kind of thing makes my eyes can a child be so sick yet so happy? I was helping make this kid’s dream come true. Now thats rewarding and thats why work never felt like work. I’m unbelievably grateful for my job at Disney because I’ve brought some of the same principles back to my job at Walgreens. Although, I don’t enjoy my job at Walgreens as much as mine at Disney, I don’t hate it like I did before. Instead of looking at it as just a job I try to look at it as a way of helping people in my community. I help them capture and save memories in the photolab, provide a listening ear in cosmetics, and help the get well and stay well with our services in the pharmacy. This outlook on the job makes it more rewarding and slightly more enjoyable. In fact, I can see my improvement as I was awarded a customer service star for excellent customer service this past week. My customers are even noticing that I like my job at least a little bit...haha...

In addition to being grateful for my job at Disney I’m also thankful, if not more thankful, for the wonderful people I met down there.

Let me tell you about a few of the people I met and why I’m thankful for them:

My training group (Tiffany, Joe, Alyssa, Kartez, Hannah, Elizabeth) —these kids almost died with me the first week of work. We were absolutely exhausted but had so much fun.

Arianna-- My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after I arrived in Florida. I was naturally very upset and it showed. I was blown away by the kindness and thoughtfulness of this girl. At the time, I didn’t know Arianna very well but after hearing about my mother’s battle she showed the greatest sympathy and provided a listening ear. Whenever she saw me at work she’d ask me how my mother was comforting to know that someone who knew so little about me could care so much.

Jack—He lived across the hall from me and we’d talk about the girl and boy drama in our lives. I’m not sure we ever helped each other but it was nice to have an opinion from someone of the opposite sex.

Amy—I’m thankful for such a great roomie. We didn’t always see eye to eye but that girl dealt with “Samantha mood-swings” so well. She put up with me when I went on crazy cleaning frenzies. She laughed at me when I had an epic romantic comedy movie moment the night of formal. (imagine girl jumping giddy in circles and then tripping over her own feet, falling and landing face first in the bed) was funny and a little embarrassing. She also didn’t judge me for dancing in my socks around the living room to Fantasia.

Alyssa--I’ve told you all about Alyssa before and how we are twins. I miss this girl so much. We met in training and have been best of buds (yes I did say that) ever since. Whenever I’m really missing Disney I can call her and she’ll talk to me about Disney as much as I’m willing to listen.

Branden—my workout buddy. This kid showed me that spontaneity (in moderation) in one’s life is a good thing. Even though we were always arguing we had fun doing stuff together (as long as we didn’t plan for it) hahah.

Josh—This guy put up with my late night visits, willingly sat through The Little Mermaid with me (not a lot of guys will do that), and taught me it’s ok to be different.

Not only were these kids my friends, they were my comforters and my teachers. I miss them all.  Can you tell the my post Disney depression is at an all time high? haha

I’m so very grateful that God gave me the courage to experience Disney through the College Program and blessed me with the opportunity to meet so many great people.

Here are some of my favorite Disney memories revisited: 
**For those of you checking back I added music and a few more memories :)

Even though I’m far away...I still feel the magic.

ºoº .•:*¨¨*:•.Samantha.•:*¨¨*:•. ºoº (I love it when I get to use this signature)

Monday, May 9, 2011

No, Wait, Patience

“No, Wait, Patience”
“No, Wait, Patience”
“No, Wait, Patience”
“No, Wait, Patience”
“No, Wait, Patience”
“No, Wait, Patience”
“No, Wait, Patience”
“No, Wait, Patience”

I still don’t have it...

“No, Wait, Patience”
“No, Wait, Patience”
“No, Wait, Patience”
“No, Wait, Patience”
“No, Wait, Patience”
“No, Wait, Patience”

Sigh....If I don’t hate these 3 words..I really dislike them. I dislike them because I know their meaning but I can’t seem to listen to what they are telling me. I’m writing this blog in hopes that repeating myself over and over again will help it sink in. But I’m so bad with these words I may need more discipline..discipline similar to the discipline Harry Potter receives from Professor Umbridge in book 5. If you’re not a Harry Potter fan and have no idea what I’m talking about here is a fun link for you

ok thats a little creepy...and I do deserve to be punished but Jesus paid for my sins in full on the cross. No need to inflict self injury but I do need to learn to listen to these 3 words “No, Wait, and Patience.” I’m such an impatient person and I know I’m not alone...I feel like society tries to make us that way. When everything is about speed and convenience there is no need for patience. Think about it...When is the last time you skipped the drive thru to go inside and wait (gasp) in line to order food? Although I don’t personally drive through drive thrus, I used to love going with friends to McDonald’s back when they had the drive thru was something ridiculous like have your food in 2 minutes or its free...we we’re always trying to race that timer to score a free burger. Or what about the mail...have you skipped sending a letter or card via air-mail because you consider it “snail-mail.” You want that message delivered right then and there so you skip the stamp, email it and then wait impatiently for a response. We are all guilty of impatience.

Today I was working in the photo lab at work where we advertise that you can have your photos in 1 hr. That’s pretty speedy...but not quick enough for today’s society. A customer inserted her flash drive into the photo kiosk and then selected some photos to be printed, entered a coupon code and hit submit order. After submitting the order she sat there staring at the screen looking very confused so I walked over to ask her if I could help her with anything. She said, “Yes. I just completed my order but I don’t have my pictures. They didn’t print out. I think the machine is jammed.” It was really difficult for me not to laugh...I apologized and then explained to her that the photos are sent to my computer and then I would print them for her. I was going to tell her they’d be ready in 15 minutes but before I could she said “Well I need them now! Can you print them now? It’s Mother’s Day and I have to have them now!” At that point, I really wanted to point out that it was a 1 hour photo lab not an instant photo lab, but I didn’t...I printed her photos in less than 15 minutes. But do you see how impatient she was? Why should that impatience be rewarded? It shouldn’t be.

I experienced this same kind of scenario while working at Disney. Everyone wanted to meet Mickey and Minnie but no one wanted to wait in line to meet them. One day I was hanging out with the Boss (Mickey Mouse—for those of you who don’t know Disney lingo), when a group of girls approached the attendant (the person in charge of the line) and said “we are athletes, can we skip the line?” hahahah umm no. you have to wait to meet Mickey just like everyone else. Did you know they give out fast passes to meet Mickey and Minnie now? So impatient...

So those are some fun little examples of impatience in the service industry but what happens when being impatient gets personal?? Unfortunately that’s what happened to me tonight. I was impatient and potentially ruined a possible friendship. I’ve been asking this person the same question repeatedly over the past week and instead of patiently waiting for a response I pushed, poked and squeezed at them until they exploded with a no. Imagine squeezing a balloon slowly until it eventually pops...thats me being impatient testing my boundaries. Bad idea.

Joshua 14:6-15  (this is a should read it on your own)

The Lord kept Caleb alive and well for 45 years to fulfill a promise. A promise of inherited land....Caleb could have chosen to be impatient and try to claim his promised land before God’s time but instead he waited on God.   The lesson here is God rewards those who are patient and wait.

I want to be patient for God and wait for his promises for me. But how am I supposed to do this when I’m being so impatient? I can’t. Would their answer have been yes if I hadn’t been so impatient for an probably not. But it could have prevented the explosion and kept hurtful feelings occurring from things being said and not said (sometimes lack of words hurts more). Am I sorry about how I handled the situation and hurt by the fact I may have ruined a possible friendship? Yes. Am I going to be a girl and cry about it? Maybe. Am I going to dwell on it? No. I am going to learn from my mistakes. I am a Christian, follower of Jesus, I am meant to be different...I will stand out from society’s impatient ways.

God will teach me patience when I ask for it and I’m asking for it now. I am thankful to my Father for not allowing me to go to bed tonight feeling hurt and angry but encouraged by the lessons he has to teach me. I pray for the strength to be patient and wait for what He has in store for me. Let me be less impatient with my family, friends and even enemies.

Patience is a virtue and I'm ready to add it to my Pearl Necklace

I dislike learning lessons the hard way...sigh....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Good Deeds

I was going to wait and write this tomorrow as I am super tired, Wednesdays are my longest days starting at 8am and ending at 11pm. But of course I’m restless and will continue to be so until this is completed so here goes nothing.

Today shortly after I got to work I noticed an iphone4 sitting on the counter in the photolab. I assumed it belonged to a coworker until Kevin (a guy who works in the photolab) told me that it was left by a customer earlier in the day. I asked if anyone tried to find the owner of the phone and he said “no I don’t know how...we afterall do have their phone.” I thought about it for a moment and then grabbed the phone and went through the contacts. I know the feeling of losing an iphone and its not a good one! I didn’t have to search long until I found one labeled “mom.” I told Kevin I was going to text the owners mom and tell her I have their child’s phone...Kevin laughed at me but it was a better idea than just letting the phone sit there all day.

So I texted the mom and said something like “This is Samantha from Walgreen’s, I think I have your child’s is our store number please have them come in and claim it.” I kid you not, not even 2 minutes later the store’s phone was ringing and it was for me...and on the other line was an exceedingly thankful mother. She explained to me that it was her daughter’s phone and that she seems to lose it a lot but its normally a lot more difficult to track down. She thanked me for my honesty and for trying to find its owner and then told me I was the smartest girl she knew for thinking to text her about it. (I highly doubt I’m the smartest person she knows...I’m not that smart. I was just doing what I’d want someone to do if I lost my iphone) She said that she’d try to contact some of her daughter’s friends to let her daughter know about the phone. I don’t know how it came up but she explained to me that her daughter was member of Kappa Kappa Gamma...I told the mom that I was also a Kappa and although I’ve never met her daughter (I’m graduated) I’d be happy to drop it off at the sorority house on my way home if she wasn’t able to reach her...Talk about going above and beyond for a customer. I’d try to find the owner for any phone but I’d probably only deliver it to a sister :)

So anyways..I did my good Samaritan deed for the day and I felt really good about it. It acually made my day. 

Later, a guy came in and was purchasing some vitamins...he said he was under the impression that they were buy 1 get 1 free and wanted to make sure they were on sale. I rang up the items to find out that only one was ringing on sale. I told him that and he said “well what does that mean?”...I looked at him for a moment picked up the bottles and said “well it means this one is on sale and this one isn’t” hahahaha ooops. I apologized for the sarcasm and then gave him the explanation he wanted. He decided to go ahead and get both of them and left. (sorry this is getting long..that wasn’t relevant I just thought it was a funny mistake of mine)---but i do have a point keep reading.

Well not even 5 minutes later he came back into the store and got back in my line...I thought maybe he decided he didn’t need both bottles afterall and was going to return one, but to my surprise he placed two pieces of string cheese on the counter. I said something like “interesting selection, forget your snack?” and he said “No actually I’m getting this for the homeless man outside. He asked me for it and I thought why not.” This blew my mind, this guy was a nice guy doing a nice thing for another person. I told him that its nice to see people be good Samaritans and that I think everyone should make an effort to do at least one good deed for another person each day. I told him how I returned a cell phone earlier and felt really good about it. Then the customer behind the string cheese kid said “I agree with you! I paid for someone’s parking today” wow..just wow. There are still good people out there.

So I think I lied...i don’t think there is a point to this blog other than it feels really good to do a good deed for someone else. And when someone does a good deed for us, instead of overly thanking them...thank them kindly once and then pay it forward! Do another good deed for someone else who may need your help. That to me is the best thank you gift. Because the owner of this iphone is a member of my sorority I’m going to ask her to pay it forward. I didn’t think about it in the store but I have the opportunity to ask her to now. Just think about what the world would be like if everyone paid it forward. Returning a cell phone, buying string cheese for the homeless, and paying for someones parking may seem small but it made someone else's life that much easier. Go out of your way to do something nice for someone today...I promise you’ll feel really good about it. I know I did :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

To My Closest Friends

This post is for my closest friends; they know who they are. Today after church, I went to a friend’s house that I haven’t really been able to spend much time with due to busy schedules, to catch up. She wasn’t expecting me and was just about to jump in the shower so I told her it was fine and to go ahead and finish getting ready. I walked over to the couch to sit down when her boyfriend asked if I was coming from church as I was still in my dress. I said “yes” and then sat down and started looking through a magazine. Then something happened that I’ve kicked myself for all afternoon. He asked me what the service was about and I just froze. I couldn’t tell him anything. And it wasn’t because I hadn’t paid attention because I paid thorough attention and even took notes. I sat there frozen for a few reasons. One, I knew he was a nonbeliever and wasn’t expecting his interest but the main reason I was lost for words was because I was afraid of rejection. I gave him a very generic overview of the service...and I mean very generic...something like “God is generous to me and I should be generous to others.” Instead, I should have told him that the service was about how God does great things for us and that these things are a gift he has given us that we cannot repay him for. However we can use God’s gift to serve others and welcome strangers....That would have been a much better response than the one I provided, but I was afraid.

This was the first time I’ve spent time in their apartment since returning from Florida. I was afraid if I went on and on and talked about church they’d think I had turned into a “pushy Christian” or think that I thought more of myself, resulting in them not wanting to hang out anymore. Rejection hurts and I do not wish to be rejected by the friends I love. It’s strange because at work I talk about God and my faith so openly but around my friends I can clam up. And I think it’s because I’m closer to my friends, I love my friends, I don’t want to lose them...

Thinking back to the situation, I handled it wrong. I should have embraced the opportunity to share the Gospel with a nonbeliever who is also a friend. Not to try and force him to believe but to share with him the great things the Gospel has done for me. It was silly to fear rejection because even if I would have lost a friendship (that wouldn’t have happened, my friends are better than that) but hypothetically if I lost their friendship I would not be alone because God has promised to never leave me.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

I will not be rejected by the eyes of my God :)

This is a note to my closest friends...I know you’ve noticed a dramatic change in me recently. You’d be blind not to see that. I’m shining brighter than ever and overflowing with my love for Jesus. Please don’t feel uncomfortable around me. It’s still me Samantha...little Sammy D, just a new and improved version. I love you all, believer or non-believer, it doesn’t mean the world to me. I value your friendship and am not here to force you into believing or pushing you to church...I’m here to show you how God has intervened in my life and all of the great things that have come from that.

My life is leverage for God’s kingdom.