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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Word for Wednesday: Normal

Have you ever seen the movie "Angus"? It came out in 1995. If you haven't seen it, the movie has a fantastic message. I should also mention, that I only ever remember the made for TV version, back before you were allowed to have any kind of curse words in a program during primetime. I don't think it is a very clean movie, but I'm not really sure.

Anyway the movie is about a high school kid named Angus and his best friend. Angus is overweight and a science genius (nerd). He is continually humiliated by Rick Sanford, the school jock (played by James Vanderbeek). In order to get into the college of his dreams Angus has to come up with a science experiment. In his experiment he discovers that no two cells are alike. (I have seen this movie in a long time, so I could be completely wrong about the details.) There is no normal.

Angus realizes that if one person is considered normal then no one other person on the entire planet is normal, because no two people are alike. This was a great lesson for my nerdy middle/high school self. It is a lesson that has stuck with me all of these years.

Sometimes I struggle with wanting to judge others who aren't just like me. I continually reference this movie and realize all over again that no one will ever be just like me. 

There is no normal.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Merry Mary Monday: 9.17.12

Since last Monday I talked all about how Mary loves our bed, I thought I would tell you how much she loves her bed. She does!

She hangs out in there whenever she needs some space and of course she hangs out in there when we aren't home. Don't let that sweet face fool you, she is mischevious when no one is paying attention to her.
She also sleeps in her bed at night. She loves that little crate. I'm pretty sure it is in her top five places in the whole world... Of course Mary's world is pretty small.
This is what she looks like many mornings when I wake her up to go outside:
So what makes your Monday merry?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Word for Wednesday: Fruit

Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.    - Matthew 7:17-20

Everyone bears fruit. Its true. So the question is what kind of fruit do you bear?

How do others view the fruit you bear? Do they recognize you as a who you think you are or do you bear fruit that is different? 

Our fruit defines us. How do you cultivate your fruit? You cultivate fruit with what fills your heart and mind. Everything we watch, read, hear, and think about directly results in the fruit we bear. I know I need this reminder. 

dI have a tendency to think that I can watch a tv show or movie and it won't affect me at all. The same with books. This isn't true, but I continually tell myself (and sometimes even others) that I can get away with it, that I'm above it. That's my pride. 

I hope this encourages you today. What can we do to bear better fruit?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to Receive a Complaint

A while back I wrote a post about complaining. There is definitely an art to complaining. So anyway I was recently in a waiting room of a popular business. There was only one other person in the large waiting area and he looked miserable.

A gentleman comes out and asks if someone was waiting on a check. Man A stood up and went over. He confirmed he was waiting and Man B introduces himself as the Finance Director. Let that soak in for a minute, Finance Director. 

Well Man A asks if Mr. Director knows what happened that has caused him to wait on this check. Finance Director says that no he doesn't know and he prefers not to. That the less he knows the better. I don't know what your life experience is, but this is the first Finance Director I have ever met that says the less he knows the better. I exchanged looks with one of my family members. This made no sense. 

Well then Man A asks if the Finance Director would like to know what happened. (When someone has been wronged, what they want most is an apology.) Finance Director reiterates that he prefers not to know. About this time a third gentleman arrives with check in hand and gives a quick "Sorry this wasn't handle the way it should've been." He then hands Man A the check. Man A says, "No it wasn't." Turns and stalks out. 

I don't know what happened that caused this man to receive a check. This was not the kind of business where checks are regularly handed out. I definitely saw a few things that could have been handled better and was inspired to give a few pointers on receiving a complaint. Something of a follow-up.

1. Apologize. 
When someone feels like they have been wronged (everyone complaining feels that they or someone has been wronged) they mostly want to hear someone justify their feelings. If you try a little bit, you can always find a way to apologize without admitting fault. "I'm so sorry I/we made you feel that way."

2. Specify.
Sometimes people want something specific sometimes they just want to inform you of an experience. Find out what the complainer is looking for out of their complaint. Make sure you find out something specific. Usually you can find this out by asking something along the lines of, "How can I fix this situation for you?" Also, be sure to get all of the details of the complaint, especially if you are going to relay it to someone else.

3. Explain.
If the complaint warrants an explanation give it. Sometimes the explanation is all you need. If this is the case it will be clear to you upon hearing the complaint. Always start with step one even if its, "I'm so sorry you felt like (this) happened." Avoid using the word "but" in your transition. Make it, "I think what happened was..." or  "Could it have been..." This makes it more positive.

4. Follow through.
Whether you promised to tell someone higher or you said you would take action, do it. And do it as quickly as possible.

I think steps two and three are interchangeable but you should always start with step one and end with step four. Someone's experience when they complain is just as important as the first time they experience what you are offering.

Every complaint received is probably indicative of many others you don't hear about. So be thankful you are hearing the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Merry Mary Monday: 9.10.12

If you've been reading my blog long enough to have read a few Merry Mary Monday posts then you probably know that Mary loves our bed. It might be her most favorite place in the world; though the competition is pretty close: the couch, her bed, and her crate. 

This is her, "I'm just innocently sitting here" pose.

Consequently most of her pictures are taken in these locations. Our bed is definitely top of that list, because I always find her in the cutest poses there.

If that didn't make you smile then you really are having a rough Monday.

Sometimes though my picture taking disturbs her....

If she could talk she would be saying, "But why, mom?"

Sometimes when she is in our bed she makes herself super comfortable by getting all tucked in. Case in point:

I hope this has left you Merry!
In exciting blog news: This is my 200th post. Its fitting that it is a Merry Mary Monday post!

PS: Did you know you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest. We're all up in Social Media over here :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cruel Harvest by Frances Elizabeth Grubb

My latest BookSneeze selection is the book Cruel Harvest by Frances Elizabeth Grubb. The story is Mrs. Grubb’s memoir of her life growing up with an abusive father. This was a hard book to read. I’ve always had a very tender spot in my heart for children that have to endure abuse. I never had to and am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for his grace in my life. Mrs. Grubb’s story was shocking, appalling and full of hope. 


Her journey led her all over the country and down many dark paths. There were times of light in her life though that made all the difference to her story. Most interesting to me was how she overcame what could have made her a hard person and was still a seemingly kind and loving woman.

My heart broke over and over again as I read her story. There were times that it seemed she had escaped only to be trapped again. It was amazing to read about her tenacity and endurance for something that would have likely killed if not the body, the soul of most people. My life experience was sharply put into perspective by reading this book. I would encourage you to read this story so that you can better understand what those who were abused have gone through and so that you can deepen your relationship with God and your family.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”