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It's interesting to look at your life, past to present, and think: "It has all led up to this...." And then wonder where it will lead to next.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Phone that Went Bye-bye

Yesterday I felt God telling me to get rid of my fancy new phone. I pondered this idea for awhile, then pushed it aside to think about later. After all, my phone is the one thing of value that I own! It's my alarm clock, my internet, my social network, my camera, and even my flashlight. And that youtube app really comes in handy when traveling with a toddler! I just wasn't completely positive I could part with it, but I promised to consider it later. If that was what God was really asking of me, he'd ask again.

Well, not too much later I got a call from Aaron asking me to make a quick run to the bank for him. I was watching Oliver and with two 2-year-old boys there is no such thing as a "quick run" to anywhere, but we needed toilet paper anyway so I agreed. In my haste to get the boys dressed, out the door, in their car seats, and to the bank before it closed, I forgot something. Though I knew I forgot something it wasn't until I needed to call Aaron at the bank that I noticed what. My phone! I knew it had to be somewhere, misplacing a small black device in the chaos of daily life is not that uncommon. But I specifically remembered carrying it to the car, so why wasn't it there? It was not in my purse, the center console, the passenger seat, the floor, or the back seat. I decided to go ahead to the grocery store and look for it when I got home.

While at the grocery store, I decided I might as well do a little grocery shopping. It's never wise to grocery shop with two rambunctious boys without a list, so I reached for my phone to make a quick list of a few things I did not want to forget. As previously noted, it was not there. Paper and pen? Who carries those around when you have a palm-sized computer with voice recognition! I never thought I'd be so high tech, but it's quite convenient when you rarely have more than one hand free. I ventured forth anyway.

As I wandered through the store adding to my cart the things I saw I needed, I tried to remember why I was there to begin with. Eggs... bread... milk... Ooh I really want to make that casserole I read about earlier! But as I reached for my phone yet again, I remembered there would be no in the moment look up for recipes this time.
"Mommy, snaack!" Aiden started to whine.
"Popcorn, popcorn!" Oliver chimed in.
The boys were losing patience with me, so I decided to finish shopping later. Lucky for me, I walked down the toilet paper aisle on my way to the register and remembered what I went there for in the first place!

On the drive home I realized I had no idea what time it was. Abigail said she would be there at 5:00 to pick Oliver up. My dashboard clock does not work, so once again I reached for my phone. Doh! Ok well, if she sees we're not there she'll call me. I assured myself only to remember that she couldn't call me because I did not have my phone! Seriously, who would have thought going 45 minutes without your cell phone would be such a pain?

Abigail got there right after we did, so I used her phone to call my phone. No luck. I sat down and closed my eyes. Retrace your steps, Faith. I know I had it at the car because I had called Aaron while walking out the door. I first put Oliver in his seat. Then Aiden. Wait, I don't remember holding it while putting them in their seats... I didn't have a coat on and my purse was already in the car...  and my pants don't have pockets... What do I do when I have no where to put something but have to lift a child into his car seat? The classic mom move. The roof of the car! Duh! Really, Faith? Really?! I cursed my insufficient brain. I knew if it fell from the roof of the car it would have to be on my street because our street has a flooding problem and apparently is not the responsibility of the town or state, therefore it has never been repaved. It's basically one big pothole. I bundled Aiden up and we headed out to search every inch of our drive and street. At that point it was getting pretty dark. If only I had my phone, then I could use my flashlight! I thought stupidly to myself. But it was nowhere to be found.

After dinner, I gathered my things to leave for small group. I kissed my husband and son goodbye, letting them know who to call if they needed me. Then realized, I didn't have anyone's numbers to give. As I drove down my street, I prayed. God, is this your way of saying I really need to get rid of my phone? If you help me find it, I'll sell it and use the money for good. It felt good knowing that selling my phone might help someone out, and I resolved to stick to that promise. Just then I was pulling onto the I-40 ramp and my headlights caught a glimpse of a small, black, rectangular object in the road. I quickly pulled over, put on my hazards and ran toward the object. My phone! I couldn't believe it! It was a sign from God! But as I lifted it from the pavement a car drove by, shedding it's light on the destroyed device in my hands. Alas, my Droid Incredible, my sidekick for everyday life, was now a dead, useless thing.

I do not always understand why God asks the things he does, sometimes they sound silly, but I do know better then not to listen. Perhaps God didn't care for the money that would come from my phone. Perhaps he simply wants my attention. Well, here I am God! Perhaps, I should get off this computer.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"Faith, Faith, where art thou hair?" Why I went short... again.

It had been a long week, or a long month rather, and I was feeling drab and in need of change. It was the day before thanksgiving and I had arranged for a morning to do homework but decided instead to get a hair cut. The salon I normally go to (the whole 2 times a year I get my hair cut) wasn't answering their phone, and when I drove by I saw why. The parking lot was full of cars. Every seat in the salon was taken by elderly women getting their hair done before family arrived for the holiday. After a quick glance at myself in my rear view mirror, I decided I would not let this setback deter me from my mission. I remembered a place in the mall I had gone to a few years back that was cheap and had done a good job, so I headed for Asheville Mall.
When I arrived at the salon, I thought maybe the name had changed, but I could not remember what the name had been, so I didn't think more of it. As I approached the woman at the desk I noticed the entire salon was empty so I made a sad joke about being sorry I hadn't made an appointment. She didn't think it was funny. Though I was the only customer, I waited 10 minutes to be seen.
When my hair dresser came out from the storage room, I liked her right away. She was a large, elderly lady named Barb, who was clearly from New York. Along with her strong accent, she had funky dyed hair, fake long nails, lots of make up, a leopard print shirt, and a loud piece of gum. She made me feel like we had known each other for some time and used my name a lot, saying things like, "How is Faith today?" "What will Faith be doing with her hair today?" She was warm and friendly, and I felt as though I was in good hands. I told her I wanted a trim and a little style. Maybe a subtle angle down from the back and styled bangs to frame my face. She gave me a big smile and assured me she knew exactly what I meant.
Once I sat in the chair at her station, another customer came in and sat next to us. The customer and her hair dresser began a loud conversation full of juicy gossip. I quickly lost myself in their conversation, forgetting I was getting my hair cut until Barb handed me a mirror and asked me what I thought of the back. I looked at my reflection and thought perhaps I may have been looking at someone else's head by accident. That's not the shape of my head, is it? The bottom was short and layered up to a big poof on the top of my skull. I considered it for a moment, then politely asked that she try and even it out so that the layers were not so distinct and the top not so poofy.
"And not too short!" I added.
She smiled that reassuring smile again and let me know she knew exactly what I meant.
After cutting away a little more, she turned me from the mirror to get a better angle on my hair. Next thing I knew, I heard a click and buzzzzzz. Before I could process what was happening, I felt a chunk of hair drop from my head.
"Are those clippers?!" I tried not to scream.
"Oh honey, don't worry, I have long teeth on them. It'll be real pretty. Dontcha worry!"
Since she had already begun, I decided in fear to trust her calm words. Still turned away from the mirror, she started on my bangs right away. Hack, hack, hack. I had never experienced so much pain during a hair cut. It reminded me of when my mother would brush my hair when I was a kid, telling me I needed to "toughen up" my scalp. Still teary eyed, she turned me back around to face the mirror.
"How's it look darlin'? I think it looks great!"
I thought perhaps she wasn't done yet. My bangs were short on top and longer underneath. From my face to my ears my hair looked exactly the same, and then as though it were a separate head altogether, there was but half an inch of length left on the back! I could not speak, so I just sat there a minute in silence, trying to figure out what she was going to do next.
"How's about a little stylin', yeah?" she said with another peppy grin.
It wasn't until she picked up a bottle of gel that I realized she was done with the cut. With a little gel and fru-fruing I noticed my hair looked exactly like hers, but shorter and much worse. In fact, it looked like a reverse mullet gone wrong (not that it could possibly go right).
Now if this had been someone else's story, I am sure I would claim in confidence that I would have told that hair dresser a thing or two and made her fix my hair or refused to pay altogether. But the truth is, in that moment I could think of nothing but getting out of there and putting on a hat or possibly pulling a Brittany Spears. So I paid my bill- shamefully, I even tipped her well (she was just so nice!). I walked to my car as fast as I could, put on a hat, and drove home. The whole drive home I refused to look in the mirror, hoping that if I waited long enough, maybe it would magically get better. I pulled up my driveway to see Aaron dumping a load of leaves from his truck. Aaron always compliments my hair, even when I cut it myself. He'll make me feel better! I thought hopefully to myself. As he approached my window to give me a hello kiss, I took off my hat. The look on his face captured the essence of my hair cut so well, I should have snapped a picture.
Needless to say, I had my mom cut off the rest of my hair when I went to Charlotte for Thanksgiving. Thanks to 30 years of practice on all my brothers, she did a pretty fabulous job with the short hair! So for those of you asking, that is the story of why I went short... again.