Love

Why Jesus is Better Than Walmart

Jesus is Better than Walmart
Jesus is Better than Walmart

Remember when Walmart was first trying to take over the retail world, they would allow you to return anything no questions asked? Well, I have tried more than once to return things I’ve purchased or that were gifted to me, and it turns out their policy has changed over the years.

A few years back, my Christmas list was full of books! Well, it actually is every year, but that particular year my sweet husband surprised me with a Kindle. Immediately, I purchased several books from my list to try it out. Later that Christmas Day, we celebrated with the extended family. My dear aunt had gifted me the hardback version of the same books! I told her what I had done, and she said she bought them at Walmart and I could return them. I told her I would get a gift card to purchase more books for my Kindle. I was so excited about my new toy!

Until I got to Walmart that was…apparently they don’t want to return books because you might have read them. This was the day after Christmas, I don’t read that fast! I explained to the lady what had happened. I hadn’t even cracked open the books. They were in perfect condition. She said it was store policy. I asked for the manager. While I waited for the manager, I read the store policy on the sign behind the counter. It didn’t say a thing about books. When the manager arrived, I explained again what had happened. When she started to spout off about store policy, I pointed to the sign. I ended up getting store credit, but I had to work for it.

Recently, I found myself again at that counter with a gift that I was trying to return. It was a small appliance I just couldn’t figure out. The clerk started the return and then said, “Oh, I’m sorry, you can't return this because it cost too much.” Apparently, their “policy” had changed again! The lady told me they couldn’t return it, because it was over $50. I guess, I wasn’t up for the fight that day. I just took my item and left.

Before anyone starts commenting about how Walmart does this because of all the theft, let me just say I have a close friend that works asset protection and I am very aware of the theft that goes on daily. I still don’t believe that an honest customer should be penalized for the crime of a dishonest thief. Maybe, Walmart should get those cards like some of the grocery stores have that track all the money we spend in their stores. Then they might be nicer to the honest customers.

Jesus
Jesus

Where does Jesus fit into all of this? First of all, His policy never changes! He is the same today as he was 2000 years ago. His promises are the same and true for me, just as they were for the woman at the well as told in the bible. The BEST part is that He will exchange anything! Nothing is too expensive or too used! He died on the cross to exchange His life for our sin! He gladly took back my disobedience, my potty mouth, my suicidal thoughts, my selfishness, my bitterness, my divorce, my gossip…oh, the list is too long! The point is, it doesn’t matter what we’ve done. He loves us enough to take us back! To give us the full refund no questions asked.

If you haven’t fully grasped why Jesus crawled on that cross, if you haven’t taken all your returns, your sins, to Him, make this your time! If you haven’t and want to know anything about His return policy, I’d be happy to help you. We don’t have to carry around all the returns that pile up and clutter our hearts. We can let it all go, and trust in the One who has already paid for mistakes. Our sin causes separation between us and God. Jesus stands in that gap for us. Just like Walmart is the middle man between us and the manufacture of those goods. Jesus chose to be our middle man. He chose to stand in the gap for us–to take the returns upon himself and fully redeem our lives.

Remember at Walmart, how I had to work for my return with the books?  The Good News about Jesus is that we don’t have to work for our return. Scripture tells us in Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Asking Jesus to come into your life is an amazing gift. Works come in when you fully understand all that He has done for you, and you can’t help but want to honor him with your life.

The truth is NONE of us will ever be good enough for a full exchange. The Good News is we don’t have to be! It’s not based on our works, or how good we are. It is based on His policy of loving us enough to die on our behalf redeeming us fully with God the Father.

 

 

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I Didn't Expect These Flowers for Valentine's

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They say February is Love Month. Images come to mind of heart shaped boxes filled with yummy chocolates, pink and red flowers, cards with cupids, and romantic candlelight dinners.

That is not exactly the month I had. It was filled with love. It just looked differently.

On January 29, 2017 my 93 year-old grandmother fell and broke her femur at her hip. February rolled in while I was sitting at her bedside in a hospital five hours away from my Valentine. By the fourth we were saying our goodbyes as her kidneys couldn’t come back from all that she’d been through. It was a first for me. The first time I had lost anyone I was this close to. I’d lost loved ones before but I quickly learned that the more you know someone, the more you love someone, the more painful it is to say goodbye. Holding hands It was also the first time I had ever laid my hand on the chest of someone taking their final breath. Just days before that, it was the first time I’d ever been in a hospital room where the Rapid Response Team came flooding in ready with the Crash Cart. It was all happening so fast. My heart was breaking into a puzzle and now a piece would be forever missing. I am so thankful for each memory with my grandma. I am equally as thankful for my sister and the memories we made in that week alone.

Yes, February was Love Month! My love came in the form of holding the hand of the strongest woman I’d ever known while sitting with my sister, the second strongest woman I know. I felt love as my sister and I laughed about the pajama pants she brought me to wear for our hospital sleepover the night before my grandmother passed. One leg of the pants were smaller than the other…it was quite a scene. I wore them anyway and we laughed until we cried. Then we cried some more as our hearts filled with reality.

Love came in with my son and his wife, the next morning as my grandma decided to head home to be with her Forever Friend. The four of us counted the seconds between her breaths. She slipped off peacefully into a world where love never ends.

As my sister and I prepared her arrangements the next day, I had a feeling the funeral would be on Valentine’s Day. Sure enough, that is how it fell allowing enough time for family to arrive. I personally found it very fitting; After all, my grandmother had been one of my greatest loves. She taught me so much about life, love and legacy. I am so honored to be writing about it all in my upcoming book. I am of course saddened that she won’t be here to read it, but she lived it.

flowersThe flowers I received this year for Valentine's came when I got home between her passing and the funeral. My sweet husband and daughter had flowers waiting for me. Then of course on Valentine's the flowers were from loved ones, and a beautiful pink carnation casket spray, exactly what Grandma would have wanted. Jewelry this Valentine's was from Grandma as well. My sister, mom and cousin went through my grandmother's vintage jewelry the night before the visitation. I wore some of the pieces to both the visitation and the funeral. I could almost feel Grandma patting my face telling me how she loved the jewelry on me.

We were surprised with another gift of love when we received a phone call from the San Antonio Express News Paper. They wanted to do a feature story on my grandma. Priscilla Aguirre did an awesome job writing this article honoring my grandma.

Love continued to pour in through family and friends as we all said our final goodbyes. One man that worked with my grandma at the Elks Lodge years before, road his bicycle up to the visitation. Who does that? A man touched by my grandmother’s life, that’s who! Such love was felt from all whom attended her services, paid condolences and sent cards.

A sweet friend I call my Tyler grandma, (because we live by Tyler and she does, as well), gave me the sweetest gift. A pretty lace shawl in a gift bag covered with flowers. She said it was a bouquet of remembrance and that each time I wore it she hoped it brought sweet memories of my grandma. Love…that is love…

I am still numb, still grieving but know that as we Spring Forward (Daylight savings thing in Texas) now in March, that my grandma would want me to do the same…spring forward. She always believed that God had the solution to her problems long before she had the problems. I will do my best to spring forward. To get back to writing her book, writing here on my blog and on my hiking blog(we leave for a schedule trip Thursday!!!). I will continue to live as God has called me to knowing that would be exactly what she would have done.

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Love is: Making the Bed

Welcome to my new blog! I hope you've taken some time to check out the resource page and other fun stuff. I will be sharing my insights about life, love, and legacy and over the next 31 one days, I will be posting daily. This year I am focused on becoming a full-time writer. We will get to more of that later.  For now, I want to dig into this post.

Love is: Making the Bed.

A while back I went to a mini-conference here locally and the woman was sharing about how it always drove her husband crazy when she left a spoon in the sink. Sometimes she would do it on purpose just to annoy him. Then she realized that she could show him that she loved him just by putting the stupid spoon in the dishwasher. It stirred up some controversy with the woman at our table. One friend was rather defiant about giving in to such "demands."
I piped in an explained that I make the bed at my house only because my husband likes it. It's a simple way I can show him I love and respect him. I don't like making the bed. (well, maybe I do now with the new bedding I got for Christmas, only because it looks so stinking pretty and makes me feel like I am on vacation but don't tell my husband.) Before the new bedding, I would dread all the pillows. We have way too many. I know, first world problems! I know I am blessed for even having a bed to make. That is not the point here. The point is that we can show people we love them by doing the simplest acts of kindness.
Why make something a battle when giving in does so much good. It feels good to make people happy and would it really kill us to give a little?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and if you're brave, your battle whether you've given in or not.