Toilet Seat Thieves

There’s a poor side to Santiago, Chile, and there’s a rich side. We’re here to visit my in-laws on the poor side where my husband grew up. This week I got a little taste of what it’s like to go to the emergency room when you live on the poor side of the tracks.

My 78 year-old father-in-law became confused and disoriented, and his skin was cold and clammy. We took him to the doctor, whose only diagnosis was to get to the emergency room right away, suspecting he might be having a stroke.

A twenty-minute made-for-the-movies race car ride across town landed us at the poor side’s “new” hospital’s emergency room. Thankfully, since my mother-in-law volunteers at the hospital, her connections were able to get my father-in-law right in.

And for the next five hours, while his body received intravenous therapy, my soul received it’s own “therapy” in the crowded waiting room.

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Happy New Mind!

Today is day #20 of the long-awaited trip to visit family and friends in Santiago, Chile. I’ve probably put on my waist at least two inches of the world’s best bread and butter so far. Not bad—one inch per ten days!

But that’s not the “transformation” I want to talk about today.

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Why am I here?

“Let’s name her Karen, but spell it, C-a-r-y-n! That sounds like a good idea!”

Thanks, Mom.

It must be the curse of the “C” and the “Y” in my name that gives me this uncontrollable urge to “see why” about everything.

Silly things like:

Why do people still say, “Bless you,” when you sneeze?

Why are there silent letters in the English language?

Why do drivers back IN to tight parking spots when it’s easier to back OUT of them?

To deeper things like:

Why do we humans do, say, and feel the things we do?

Why am I here?

Really, I think we all long to “see why,” no matter how our name is spelled. Why AM I here? What is my purpose? Why did God create me and put certain talents within me? What does He want me to do for Him on this earth? What does He want me to do for Him TODAY? Why am I here? 

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Prepare Him Room

There’s nothing like an honest kid to make you feel old. I have a few honest kids in my life. They’re my piano students. We’ve been pulling out the Christmas tunes the past few weeks. This week I asked several of them, “Hey, how about this one? Have you heard the song, “Joy to the World?”

Blank stares.

Crickets chirp.

“Ok, well, Jingle Bell Rock it is then.”

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How’s YOUR customer service?

About once or twice a year, I somehow allow myself to be suckered into buying something I later regret. The latest regret came this week, just 15 days after I went online and purchased for the first time ever a large container of magical protein powder. It’s all organic. It’s promo spiel assured me that my husband and I would have 0% body fat after just a week of making meals with this miraculous mix.

If I wanted to maintain the 0% body fat after that first week, all I had to do was to click the “Ship ’n Save” button, and the Protein Powder Fairy would drop a new supply on my doorstep each month.

Oooooo, yes! Click!

If I wanted my tongue to really throw a party, with one simple click I could add two other flavors for free, which I could cancel in the 14-day trial period, and be under no obligation to order again.

More flavors? SURE! Click!

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Happy “Blanks” Giving!

Thanksgiving is next week, and I’m still wrestling with this whole topic of giving. Not so much with the topic of “Thanks” giving. For sure I was horrible at giving thanks in my twenties, but I hope I’ve grown a bit in the gratitude department over the years.

Mostly, I’m grappling with “Fill-in-the-Blanks” giving. You could fill in the blanks with just about anything. Giving of _____ (time, money, possessions, control, empathy, encouragement, etc…).

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Happy SELF Giving!

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12 (NIV)

Really, Paul? In any and every situation? How can you live “in want” and still be content? Are you just trying to sound extra spiritual? Are you in denial?

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Happy “Pranks”giving?

I love a good prank, don’t you? I learned to love a good prank from childhood, as my mom is the queen of all pranksters. Just ask our pastor about the tasty sponge cake she made (with all-natural ingredients) for his family. 🙂

She is the one you would least expect to play a trick on you, as she is trustworthy, kind, and would never tell a lie – except for the time she emptied the tube of Crest toothpaste and refilled it with Colgate toothpaste to prove to my dad he would never know the difference.

And she was right.

But even more than I can trust my mom, I can completely trust God’s word. I can fully trust what Jesus says. Always. But I have to confess, there have been plenty of times when I have been reading His word, I’ve thought, “You’re joking, right? This is a prank, right? Wait a minute. Maybe I didn’t understand this. Let me read it again.”

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It’s a danjerous job.

Convinced that my current job has to be one of the most dangerous “non-military” jobs in the world, I googled, “world’s most dangerous jobs” to see where mine landed. I was shocked! It didn’t even show up in the top 25.

It must be a conspiracy. Or at least some really bad typos.

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, and I don’t want to minimize the danger that:

  1. Logging Workers
  2. Fishermen
  3. Pilots
  4. Hazardous Material Workers, and
  5. Roofers

face. Whereas they definitely face more life-threatening conditions than I ever will at my job, I will potentially face way more mindset- and relationship-threatening conditions.

What is my ultra-dangerous job?

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MIGHTY Faith + ShunamMITEY Hope

Do you by chance have a friend who has the nerve to send Bible-reading homework assignments to your inbox? This week, I realized I have “that friend.”

And I love her all the more for it.

The email (as I remember it) went something like this:

Hey Caryn,

Don’t be a slacker. This week, read 2 Kings 4:8-37, then answer these questions:

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