People in dire situations

While I walked to the post office yesterday, a friend called me and we talked for the entire half hour and then some as I stood waiting to go get my mail. She sounded fully stressed out by her living situation. She’s been out of a bad relationship for the past few years, living with family, friends, and strangers, all in different locations and arrangements of rental costs. She’s finally got a good job, but it’s so hard to get herself on her feet in the city where life costs at least double what it does to live out here in the semi-wilderness.

Then there’s another friend who messages me frequently from across the globe. He is living in a land he hates. His beloved wife is living in a whole other country for work. He got hired at a job that he tolerated but it was not his ideal. The company went out of business after less than a month, and they aren’t going to pay him for the weeks of work he put in. He has no way to pay the rent on his place, and his wife doesn’t make enough money in the other country to cover both of their living expenses in separate households.

I don’t have the money to help them out of their messes or I would do so in a beat of my breaking heart. I have no way to help them but to pray for them and be a listening ear.

If anyone reads this, can you please pray for these people you may not know? God knows. I feel my hands are tied and I so want things to get better for everyone. I know I myself have been through stuff and wonder if anyone had been holding me up in prayer to get me through it and on to a safer place in this world.

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PTB!

When you are in a grocery store and you see something on the shelf that doesn’t fit in with the other items around it, if you are with someone, point at the item, and with amusement say “PTB!”

They might not know what you mean, so you will need to explain the following, about which I originally mused aloud to one of my children many years ago:

I can just imagine a kid carrying that box of chocolates around as their mom shops.

The kid asks, “Mom, can I get this?”

In an irritated voice, the mom says, “No! Put that back!”

The child says, “But I don’t know where it goes.”

The mom says in an even more irritated voice, “Just put it right there,” pointing at a blank spot between the dish soap and the Windex.

The child with sufficient common sense might realize that is not the correct spot and balk at the command.

The mom, in the most irritated voice she has left, says, “Ugh!” as she grabs the chocolates and tosses them on the shelf.

Since then, I’ve told variants of that story to all seven of my children, and even to a few friends outside the family, whenever we see something that is out of place on a grocery shelf.

“Put that back!” in a mock irritated voice is often shortened to a mere “PTB” in a smiling voice.

A PTB comes in all shapes and sizes. It could be a can of Pringles in the toilet paper section. It might be a bag of chewy banana candies sitting by the bleach. It’s possibly a jar of Bick’s pickles beside the motor oil. It could even be a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup in with the scented jar candles (though I don’t know if anyone would realistically want to carry a can of that soup around for any length of time, so it could be assumed it was a small child too young to realize what it was).

I draw the line, however, at seeing cold items in a warm section. If time and energy permit, I will usher a carton of cashew milk to its proper refrigerator, and if a container of Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Toffee Crunch should appear in an inappropriate location and isn’t melted, I would more than likely have to add it to my cart for purchase. Waste not, want not.

Next time you are in a store and you see something out of place, think of my little story. If you can, please take a picture and send it to me.

Below is a photo of a PTB I saw yesterday at a local grocery store. 🙂

Happy shopping!

See the PTB? It’s a stuffed animal among toilet cleaning supplies.

Former Friends

Even the people you think are friends can sometimes really be enemies. Such hatred aimed my way by those I thought I knew is shocking, but all the more does it push me to lean on the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who will never leave me nor forsake me.