Are Ya Sure?

Are Ya Sure?

My bestie lives in Arkansas. We met when we both lived in Maryland in 1991, and we were both pregnant with our second daughters. She only lived in Maryland for three years, but we have remained best friends ever since. Our friendship is easy. Although there have been many tears shed together, our favorite thing to do is laugh.

I’m not sure how long it was after she moved back to Arkansas, but one Saturday afternoon she called to chat and to tell me what had happened to her that day. I was laying on the couch as she told me her story…

She and her husband had gone to the hardware store to pick up something that they needed. While they were in the checkout line, a young girl at the cash register began to make conversation with her; southern folk are nothing if they aren’t friendly. This is how their conversation went:

(You have to picture this in your mind as being said with an adorably thick southern accent.)

Cashier: “Hey” (because people in Arkansas don’t say ‘hi,’ they say ‘hey.’)

Bestie: “Hey”  *smiles warmly*

Cashier: “How are ya’ll doin’ today?”

Bestie: “We’re good, how are you?”

Cashier: Suddenly and excitedly says, “Oh! When is your baby due?”

Bestie: *Stiffens*

Bestie’s husband: *gets deer-in-the-headlights look*

Bestie: Smiles politely and through her teeth says,  “I’m not pregnant.”

Cashier: Looks confused, pauses for a minute and says: “Are ya sure?”

Bestie: *Begins to climb over counter as her husband physically attempts to restrain her*

The cashier said, “Are ya sure?” LOL! She was only a teenager, but still. I thought I would die laughing! Actually, I fell off the couch onto the floor from laughing so hard. My bestie wasn’t laughing, as she was still pretty sore about the whole incident. After a few minutes though, we were both laughing at the whole story, the unbelievable comment, her reaction, her husband’s reaction, all of it. Ever since then, I cannot think about this story without giggling. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to witness the whole thing.

My laughter was at the young girl’s comment. I mean she said, “Are ya sure?” to a grown woman after she told her she wasn’t pregnant. That’s funny, I would never laugh at my bestie.

I’m certain it was the way she was standing, or an unflattering top accentuating what my husband likes to call my ‘woman-ess,’ to make the girl think she had a tiny baby-bump. I’ve had days where I’ve felt bloated to the point of looking pregnant. However, the comment made her feel not-beautiful, and immediately she was hard on herself for not being what our world brainwashes us into believing we should look like. There are many shapes and sizes of women, and all of us wish we could change something about ourselves, especially our weight. Why do we do this? Embrace your ‘woman-ess” ladies. Don’t let the world take away from you what is beautiful, which is all of you; not only your physical body, but the beautiful person, mother, daughter and woman you are. My bestie is one of the most beautiful woman I know on the inside and out, and I want her to know that and believe that with all her heart.

However, never ask a woman that question unless you are 110% sure.

You’re welcome.

 

 

Hashtag Blessed

Hashtag Blessed

I recently read an article that a proclaimed non-Christian posted on her Facebook page titled, The One Thing Christians Should Stop Sayingby Scott Dannemiller. I was intrigued, so I opened it to see what he had to say.  In this article, the Christian author discussed the over-usage of the word ‘blessed,’ in response to feeling thankful or grateful for worldly or monetary possessions.  I emphatically commented, “Yessss!” in agreement after reading it. My husband was a little surprised by my comment, which led to a lengthy discussion on the topic. This once again led to me pondering…..

What does it truly mean to be blessed?

My husband asked, “Don’t you feel blessed when God answers your prayers? What about my job settlement?  Won’t you feel blessed if we win?”

I felt like I should answer ‘yes.’ After all, a win would secure our future financially and we’ve prayed for that. After more discussion, I asked him, “Will you still feel blessed if we lose?” That’s a tougher one to answer.

There are many definitions for the word blessed, but one definition is, “endowed with divine favor or protection.”

Is the person who is struggling with their health or finances less favored than someone who is financially well-to-do and healthy? It can often be misconstrued that a blessing is a favor not bestowed upon all. As if  it is contingient on our faith or goodness. When you are blessed with a child, is the infertile couple not blessed? Of course not, but it may seem that way to them. They may wonder why God hasn’t blessed them with a child when they have prayed so long for one.

In Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus preaches the Sermon on the Mount. Of all he calls blessed, none have anything to do with monetary or worldly things. In fact, most who he calls blessed are struggling.

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Verse 4 resonates with me; “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” After losing my daughter to a brain tumor, I didn’t exactly feel blessed. If someone asked me how I was doing after her death, my first answer would not have been, “I am blessed.” I was definitley mourning, so why was that not my answer?

I think Jesus is telling us if we lean on him in all circumstances, we are blessed, whether our prayers are answered the way we want them to be or not. Whether we are rich or poor. Whether we are healthy or sick. By trusting fully in him through faith, knowing that no matter what, he sees us. He knows our heart, and he just wants us to trust him, always, and in all circumstances.

In verse 12 Jesus says, “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in Heaven.” We are truly blessed because of Jesus and the grace he bestowed upon us. No matter what we face on this earth, our reward is in Heaven, and for that we are truly blessed.

Is it okay to respond and say, “I feel so blessed” or use the hashtag ‘#blessed’ when responding on social media, in regard to having or acquiring something? I think so, but I may replace it with the word ‘thankful’ or ‘grateful’ instead. I never want anyone to think God shows favor when it comes to worldly values or ideals. Our blessing isn’t of this world, he died for all and loves us the same. Our circumstances may be different and we may question the fairness sometimes, but life isn’t fair. That doesn’t mean that you are not blessed, because you are blessed just for being called a child of God.