Saturday, October 16, 2010

Let's Make a Deal...

Let's Make a Deal...

Listening to the "It's Blitz" album by the Yeah, Yeah, Yeah's 
I recommend these three songs while you read if you like: 
Soft Shock

        This has been a really tough week for me.

This week made me fully aware of the struggle that the author, Paul talks about in Romans 7.  How sometimes you can't make life do what you think you want for it to work:
8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment (rules of life), produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, that is what I end up doing. -selected from Romans 7
Me, Me, Me, Me, etc.

You know those pictures on facebook that show all the facial expressions and you are supposed to tag-match each friend to their appropriate emoticon? Well, I will post one, because I know my mom will not know what I am talking about and I am hoping that she will read this post, this thing:

Well, I have expressed each of those little faces to my tried and true husband THIS week.

I was gonna blog about it, but I didn't want to be THAT blogger...and also, every time I tried, I ended up realizing my logic was more optimistic than realistic, so I didn't.

In the true spirit of pragmatism, instead of the spirit of blogging, I went to a movie:

It's Kind of a Funny Story (I especially like 1:35 and 2:23)
There is a quote in the movie where Craig is trying to help Bobby figure out his positive qualities and they come up with pragmatic.  He's trying to gain access to a shelter upon being released from the mental ward so that he doesn't have to be homeless, so he can get his "accountant's" daughter back...I don't wanna give anything away, so that is all I will say.  Point being, that is why I started inserting the word "pragmatic" into as many sentences as possible this week and especially when referring to my husband because he looks exactly like Zach Galifianakis and is actually, quite pragmatic himself.

Trying to be more pragmatic so that I wouldn't be as crazematic, I hung out with friends, cleaned my house, cooked a lot, practiced scales and Bach, taught a bassoon lesson, hung ten with W baby, went to Sam's, went grocery shopping and...

I was invited to participate in a garage sale today...well, I invited myself, who ever knows how these things happen.

I spent the majority of Thursday and Friday getting stuff together for the sale - I was gonna turn things around for myself. I was going to clean, wake up early and facilitate people's access to treasures!

I was up until 2:30 putting prices on things after watching the Rangers game while playing Power Grid with friends. All are very important parts to my pre-garage sale routine. I think, this was, in all first time to actually donate and sell my own stuff at a garage sale.

Things were going great. People were buying old lotions, old women were hulking over me wide-eyed while I pulled out unopened gift sets from a cardboard was really happening...I was part of one of the "good ones."

I had this tv that I wanted to sell.

Re-enactment of Sony TV on table at Garage sale
It was my tv from college, which was in electronic terms...ages ago.
It was outdated and it was really heavy.

To make a long story short, I dremeled a lock, borrowed my mom's car, almost injured myself and W baby lifting it from the storage unit floor onto the moving cart with no breaks and then, in an act of supernatural strength, lifted it into my mom's car, then set it up just right on the table at the garage sale and debated over the asking price, $50??? (too high - people won't ask lower and I would go lower), $25??? (too low), $35??? (I think people will just ask $30 if I put that), $40??? (ok. That sounds approachable and I would go down a bit from there, $40 it is.)

As I am walking away from a tarp full of toiletries and old t-shirts looking at my phone to text Buster, I pull out my money to count and look for change. I have already made $41 bucks!!!  Holy cow. It's only like 9am. This is fun and awesome and I feel great.

It is around this time I notice my MIL pointing a young-ish man wearing "Hip-Comf" in my direction.

"Hip-Comf" - slightly thought out, young person clothing that is fitted while maintaining it's Prime Objective of being comfortable.  Worn for occasions where you need to be approachable and in touch, but warm and fuzzy at the same time. "Hip-Comf." 

Let's call him Juan.

Juan: "Will you take $10?"
Me: "$20?? and I can prove that it will work."
"I cannot return. I will not drive all the way back if it breaks."
"I promise you...
"How about "$15?"
"No. I mean, you know? I will not come back, once I buy...I do not come back."
"Well, ok. I will just wait for someone else then. Thank you."
...pause...Juan walks away...
Juan returns, "$12?"
"Ok. You can just take it for $12..."

Then money - a big wad of it. Words. $1's. Hands. Fanny packs. $20's...$5's...

Juan exits stage left, truck. I look down and I am holding $23.

No money in my pocket. No money in the change makin' fanny pack.

                     23 dollars.

MIL and I review the transaction. I start feeling sick. I realize I am making a Michael Scott type of awkwardness for the other treasure hunters, so I decide to get in the car and return my mom's car that I had borrowed to hawl the tv and other garage sale peripherals.  I continue to review the transaction. I start to feel my brain turning into ever-tightening static. I can't stop being mad, upset, sad. I can't stop thinking about all the work I had done for the garage sale and how cheap I was letting stuff go just to have my "Big-Ticket Item" ripped from my hands along with my money. I couldn't stop thinking about that guy and the wrong he had committed me.  When he said he liked my Ray-Bans was he really saying, "You clearly don't need my money, and I should get your tv."

I couldn't quiet it.

"Stop! Don't worry about it! Don't let him have your day as well as your money."  nothing worked. I was sad, unstoppably sad. I was degrading and I was degrading pretty fast. Maybe it was the lack of sleep, maybe I just hate the smell of eggs...stop.

"Jesus, take my stupid brain away." I cried at the changing red light.

I got to my mom's house and *hug* and *hi. oh, fine. you?* and *French Toast sandwiches with chocolate inside* and *inhale smell of said deliciousness* and

"I got swindled." :( ):
that is a frown followed by a mirrored empathetic frown given by my mom

"I just don't know how to be ok. I can't figure out what happened. If I don't make that $20 back it will ruin my day. Ughh. I wish I could just not think about it."

Dad: "You were victimized. He wronged you. It is ok."
then he told me a very interesting, but too long to post story about my Papa's tactics against swindlers in his restaurant. "...He just shut the register..." "One at a time..."


Mom: *reaches in top drawer of cabinet and pulls out a twenty and hands it to me.
Me: "No, mom. It wasn't your fault. I don't need your money. I just want to be ok in my head."
Mom: *insisting
Dad: *Gets wallet out and pulls out a $10
Me: "No, I don't want the money. It's not...
Dad: *Gives mom the ten.

*it is better and we eat...

After the toast and a couple of bites of "extra-crispy/blackened" bacon, I head back to the sale. I think about what my parents just did, how they fixed me. How they heard my concern for what it was, not the money - not even the guy, but the justice.

The fact that my excitement was killed, my joy was stripped from me by the wrong of this Juan guy.  He doesn't even deserve to be worried over.  I know this, and I just feel my dad lowering his eyebrows and flattening his smile as I imagine myself complaining again to my MIL. I won't do it.

I will enjoy this day BECAUSE of what they did for me. They paid to me the price I was stuck paying because of something I couldn't control, so I wouldn't have to pay it for the rest of the day.

This is exactly what Christ did.  This is the gospel of Jesus Christ as it affected me today.

There are tons of verses that apply here...just go to and look up the word "salvation" or "propitiation" or "gospel" - but, because I don't like to be too predictable, I will go with this one:

"As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so must the Son of man be LIFTED UP. - John 3:14
They were getting eaten by these snakes and God told Moses to make a brass snake and lift it up. If the Israelites simply looked at the snake they would be healed from the wounds inflicted upon them by the other snakes.  Lifting up the snake was an act of obedience on the part of Moses, looking at the snake that Moses lifted up was an act of faith on the part of the Israelites.  

Today, I simply had to let my mom and dad demonstrate Christ to me (she held up the brass snake) and by allowing her to love me, I was healed.  The implications of this are significant.

I started out by talking about Romans 7, Paul describes how he is always wanting to do one thing, but really wanting to do another (*imagine the struggle of eating healthy, verse eating delicious non-healthy things - this is a similar struggle to what I was dealing with life problems.) In Romans 8 he starts to piece some things together, here is a summary of what Paul, Juan and my parents taught me today.

Everyone sins. (Romans 3:23)

No one doesn't sin. (Romans 3:10-18)

The price of sin is death [as set by God], but God offers life through the act of Jesus. (Romans 6:23)

The act was Jesus dying for us and paying the price of our sin...(Romans 5:8)

If you can recognize in your heart that Jesus paying that price really fixed your hurts, and you are willing to admit it with your mouth, things WILL GET BETTER. -Romans 10:9
I had to stay in tune with my feelings while talking to my parents so that I could honestly examine what I could control and what I couldn't and so that I could recognize when I felt things ease up.  Self examination is another topic for another day, but being completely aware of your true feelings so that you relinquish your emotions of the powers they hold over your mind...that's kind of the idea.

So, Paul continues, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1)

"THEREFORE, there is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

Christ love in the form of Chocolate stuffed French Toast
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)

I found this button on a Christian web site:

They wanted you to push it and then enter a bunch of personal details so that they could pray for you and send you emails about Jesus.  As much as I don't like the fact that it existed on that website as a type of polling mechanism, It applied to me today. I mean to say, I started accepting him a long time ago, but because I accepted and believed Christ through the love, generosity and gentleness of my parents today, I was healed from myself, from Juan and from just a couple other things that I can't talk to YOU about.

I used the name Juan because of the obvious ease of insertion into puns (as seen above), the guy had a Mexican-sounding accent, but most importantly because John was the man, in the Bible, who came to prepare the world for Jesus to come and Juan did just that in his own "hip-comf" way for me today.  

"We are all justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement. Through faith in his blood." -Romans 3:24-25

"For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin." - Romans 7:22-25

At some point, the pragmatic brain fails us.  It is at this point that we have to look at the snake and be open to how Christ's love will heal us.  All we have to say is

...Let's Make a Deal


  1. Thank you Abigail. This post gave me great joy just knowing that by simply giving whatever we have and loving the one God brings,we can so powerfully display the love of God in Christ. Thank you for the wonderful encouragement to be more sacrificial.