Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Several years ago I was in Atlanta visiting my Uncle Donny and Aunt Marlene. Unfortunately a few days before I arrived they had been robbed. So a portion of my time there was spent helping them file a claim, get copies of police reports, blah blah blah. On my second day there, my uncle programs my aunts GPS, gives me the keys to her car (oh yeah, did I mention it’s a Jaguar??) and sends me on my way to run several errands for them.

Now I can guarantee you, if I see the words “Antique,” “Used Furniture” or a gently loved dresser sitting in front of any place with the words, “SALE” nearby, I’m stopping. So while being expertly guided to the Sandy Springs Police Department by Karen (the voice of my Aunt’s GPS), I saw, quite possibly the most heavenly sight ever – an entire city block of those very words.


So I took a quick left (which is easy to do in a sporty little Jag), and Karen, very calmly said, “Recalculating.”

Karen wanted me to go straight for 2.3 miles, but I wanted to do a quick U-turn and park in front of a beautiful store with the most amazing dresser in front of it. (Hey, I’m from Pittsburgh, U-turns and parallel parking are taught in 3rd grade.)


From there I wanted to do another U-turn (oh please don’t let my aunt and uncle be reading this) and drive several blocks, go left to what had been promised to me to be an antique, used furniture, dresser mecca.


Here’s the thing. Regardless of how many turns I took or how far away I got from my ultimate destination, Karen ever so gently and calmly always responded with, “Recalculating.” She never got angry. She never got frustrated. She never said, “FINE! Find it your own *&%$ self!”

Last week I got an email from a sweet friend “wondering how my heart for increased mission’s involvement is shaping up??” Uhhhh… well… ummmm…

You see… there was this dresser…

No wait.

How fortunate am I to have a gracious and loving Father, who when I veer off the path He has laid before me doesn’t get frustrated and mad and swear at me using strange symbols, but gently and lovingly says, “Recalculating”? No matter where I turn, how far away I get from His perfect will, or how distracted I get, God is always ready and willing to say to me, “Recalculating.”

He’s always there. Ready to re-direct my path. Sometimes indulging my silly turns, but ultimately and always bringing me back to the place He wants me.

Does God need to do some recalculating in your life?

Monday, January 25, 2010

I Ate A Lima Bean

My friend Greg tells a story about when he was a guest at some tribe in Peru (or Belize or Bolivia or New Jersey) and as a way of honoring him and welcoming him they served him grubs. Yes, grubs. That’s not a typo. I didn’t miss understand him. Grubs. The slimy, bug things. Grubs.


BUT like any well-trained missionary knows, the LAST thing you want to do is offend your hosts (or in this case scantily clad men with large spears and a possible penchant for cannibalism). So Greg did what he should – he ate the grub.

Take THAT Survivor contestants!

Recently I was faced with a similar situation. Well sorta. Well… ok… not exactly. I wasn’t with some tribe in another country, but rather in a very lovely kitchen in Chapin. And the folks I was with certainly weren’t scantily clad, but dressed rather nicely. The only spears nearby were butter knives and though I’m not 100% positive, none of them have a fondness for human flesh.

But when dinner was served there they were, leering at me in all their green, slimy glory… lima beans.



I hate beans. All beans (with the exception of the cocoa and coffee bean once they are refined to their sweetest, purest form). Butter, pinto, red, black, kidney, garbanzo, and yes, especially lima – I have a great disdain for all. I have managed to go to multiple countries were beans are a staple and served at every meal and NOT eat even a tiny smidge of a bean. I have become a master at hiding them under rice (which I dislike ALMOST as much as beans), acting distracted when they are being served and thereby “missing” my portion or, and this takes some planning, claiming to not be hungry and then later scarfing down a peanut butter granola bar.

I REALLY hate beans.

But there I was. And there they were. A big bowl of them.



To not take any would be rather obvious. To take just one (yes I considered that) would look stupid. The rest of the food did not offer any possibility of hiding them. And drat them, they had no dog that I could somehow feed them to when I thought no one was looking. I resolved to put just one serving spoonful on my plate and PRAY I could eat them without getting ill.

I swear their serving spoons are the size of a Smart Car. But I did it. I avoided the foul things for as long as I could but at some point figured if I mixed them with something else on my plate that MAYBE I could swallow them without spitting them into the face of my host.

I did it.

I ate a lima bean (ok maybe 12 of them). I kept them down. All 12 (ok, maybe 10). I felt like a small child who had just learned how to ride a bike. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! Call all my friends. Change my Facebook status.


I still hate them (the beans - not the folks I had dinner with - they're quite wonderful actually). And thankfully they all now know of my great dislike of all things beans and I’ll no longer be expected to partake of any (THANK YOU LORD!). But I feel that FINALLY all my years of missions experience has paid off. I was culturally sensitive and I ate a lima bean.

Oh shine – what do I do if they ever serve liver or brussel sprouts???!!!