See this post at ChangingZipCodes.com.  It’s a wonderful site with some information that makes so much sense.

Cool, confident, collected. I kept repeating the words as I tried to pull open the door to my new job.  And then, hiccup.  I know when my nerves kick in, so do the hiccups.  Still, I kept moving forward.  Unfortunately I smacked right into a locked door.  Hiccup! I found the black phone attached to the wall to make an overhead page so someone would let me in.

What exactly do you say?  “Uh, I’m Mollie, I’m new.  Can someone let me…hiccup!”

It seems I forget the details during moves.  Then, I get nervous but I don’t know it until the hiccups start.  With this particular move I had started packing weeks in advance, so the day of the move was less stressful.  In my cleverness I packed too many essentials too early and I couldn’t find everything. “I’m doing good!” I had said to my cat, Charlie, as I packed out each corner with some underwear, “What a space saver I am!”  The problem was, each box had underwear in it, and some of those boxes are still at my parents’ house.  Also, if I could do it over, I would not have put the white lace underwear inside the dirty coffee mug.

I have a friend who is organized in her packing.  She numbers each box, and puts a star sticker on it when it is done.  The sticker is color-coordinated to a room, and the number is listed on an excel spreadsheet that is printed off and stuck in clear plastic protectors.  Each number has the room the box belongs in, its contents, and any special notes, like “open first” or “breakables.”  I wonder if I could use those plastic protectors to protect my underwear against coffee stains next time?

Before moving day I felt them coming as I packed my little blue compact car, hic…hic…hiccup!  My friend brought his large SUV which I also packed to the bursting brim.  Each car had a walkie-talkie and that was amazing.

However, my friend does not own a cell phone so we only had my cell phone. When he missed the exit, the walkie-talkies were useless since they were out of range.  I sat in my cramped car at a hotel parking lot smelling the cardboard boxes. I hoped he would turn around and find the exit. I faced the traffic light, repeating directions.  Everyone who as on that channel could hear the same thing over and over.  I hiccuped while I looked at the only cell phone, the only map, the only GPS unit, and the only written location of the hotel sitting on my center console.

My friend finally found me, and with a shrug said, “I got close enough to hear the directions, but had to turn off the walkie-talkie.  I couldn’t understand anything past the hiccups. Besides, I was filling up at that gas station across the street.”

The next hiccup occurred when paying for my medications.  I had planned on ordering them at the local pharmacy before moving so that I had a supply to back me up while I looked for a new pharmacy in the new city. I procrastinated.

It cost me triple what I usually paid, details that would have avoided more hiccups.  On the other hand, I made sure I was caught up on other appointments before leaving, like that important haircut and color, a dental checkup and a medical check-up.  Hmm, maybe the doctor could have helped with those hiccups.

I have found that my major hiccups, and the situations that resulted in those hiccups, are much better to handle with a plan.  So, plan for the unplanned.  Have extra of everything and a phone close by in each vehicle and a GPS app for it.  Take extra underwear, even if you don’t get it into labeled boxes with special stickers and plastic protectors.  Then you will be cool, calm, and collected if the hiccups arrive.

What hiccups have you experienced? Let me know on Facebook at HopelesslyHopefulBooks.

Photo above by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash

© 2020, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.wordpress.com.

Couch Castles

“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Isaiah 1:19-20

The two sat with their noses inches from each other. The younger boy’s hair looked like he just came out from under the couch, which he had. The two were inches from erupting into another argument on how their castle of couch cushions should be built. And with the baby down for a nap, it was time to put an end to their stare-down tactics before war erupted and their pretend swords became real swords.

The following day, when naptime came about, the mother wiped down the ketchup glob and said, “You may not build a castle today, find another quiet game to play until Aubrey wakes up.” Both the four-year old and the three-year old pouted with the best of the best pouters. A sigh. “If you play nicely and build a castle together, then you may play in the living room. If you start to argue, then playtime is over for today.  Your sister needs to sleep well.”

The sister immediately latched on to this concept. Without hesitation, she turned to the brother and said, “See? Mom said you have to obey what I say. We build the fort my way.”

Couch Castles (2011)

Photo by Kevin Li on Unsplash

Isaiah is a book that sometimes seems harsh and unloving. However, each warning comes with a firm reason as to why the consequences. God doesn’t lay down the law and call it a day. He explains what are results of doing the right thing and doing the wrong thing. Listening and willfully obeying causes blessing. Rebellion causes swords.

In the story, Mom was sure to explain why arguing would end playtime—Sister needed sleep. Building a fort without arguing would allow future monstrosities in the living room to develop. It’s for the children’s sake that the rules are laid down.

However, I find myself with the same reaction as the elder sister. I take what God has asked and force it into my own ruling. I like to be in control. If there is a blessing, I will rake it’s full worth. I’m not obedient because I want to willingly do God’s desires. I am obedient because I want the blessings; it is my way or no way. My motivation is not willful praise, but of selfishness.

God doesn’t bless me for good works. He blesses loving motivation. He doesn’t want me to obey and then control the blessing so that I get what I want. He wants to bless me because I do things with the proper inspiration. If I choose to do an action for the wrong reason, then the consequences will be dire. The arguing will start, and rebellion leads to the sword.

What acts of obedience is he asking of you? Will you do it willingly, or begrudgingly? Will you tell others to do it for you, or to obey what you want? Take today to focus on what God has for you, and then do it for his sake out of love.

© 2011, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.