Friday, August 27, 2010

The upper echelon

3:39 p.m. Today's project was to get my hair done, and prayerfully, sell some Mary Kay products. Every Friday I have Steve load up my inventory cart and a pretty basket containing skincare products. My tax lady Patty told me that every time I demonstrate or publicize my product line, I can claim mileage for taxes. So every week, I apply products while under the hairdryer with conditioner on my head!
Finances have been tight, to say the least, here at home, so I did write in my journal a prayer that I might makes some sales today. I was asking, in essence, that the Lord might create interest in my efforts to advertise the positive effects of my product line; I was not asking God to sell products for me that I neither use nor demonstate! I often quote this favorite,
Proverbs 22:29:
"Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean [obscure] men." (KJV)
"Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before unknown men." (NKJV)
"Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people." (NLT)
Inspiring and challenging as that verse is, my goal is to sell tons of makeup and skincare to multitudes of everyday women! (The kind that identify with me and I with them).
The salon I patronize, Upper Echelon, is in Moreno Valley near March ARB. I began going there when Ed Vaughn, now in North Carolina, worked there. (In fact, he is the one who kept telling me about Calvary Chapel of Moreno Valley, where we now attend after 22 years at Harvest!) This salon is friendly, full of very talented beauticians and a lively crowd of clients of all ages, races and descriptions. Many of the clients and most of the stylists are customers of mine now!
The owner Chris has a smaller salon in Riverside, so on the rare occasions when my gal Irene can't do me, Chris makes sure to get me set up with Renee or Olivia over there. Styling my hair is no mean feat, because my hair is thick, straightened but kinky at the roots, needs to be both flat-ironed and curled, and my roots grow amazingly fast because of all of the protein I eat. It has been critical for me to develop a small cadre of hairdressers (including two who now work at different salons) who can bring order to the chaos. These ladies are worth their weight in gold!
Friday is potluck day. Robin had brought a fabulous chicken salad that I plan to imitate from her list of ingredients. Earlene's blackeyed pea salad and her grits casserole have been hits at my house. The tamale man comes by on Fridays also, yum, selling pork, chicken or jalapeno-cheese varieties for $1.00 apiece. And I bring in the organic tomatoes. The yellow ones are a real novelty hit with operators and clients alike.
My hairdresser, Irene, has had unusual problems with her health this summer, starting with a burst appendix. Yesterday she had a number of serious tests for other symptoms, but she's hanging in there. Suebabe, generally a laugh riot, has now developed a painful case of plantar fasciitis, perhaps from standing up so long every day, and is simultaneously coping with her boyfriend's terminal cancer. Alisa was widowed after many decades of marriage, but is as pretty and professional as can be. Earlene is encouraging, helpful and very devoted to her church, with a specialty in styling black hair. I don't see Kim too often, but we have in common our desire to eat as naturally as possible. We all pray for one another and support one another during these tough times. Business is slow like it is everywhere. But we can still rejoice in births of grandkids, salon "family" marriages, and grown kids' successes. We enjoy delicious homecooked dishes, take each others' book and sales recommendations, experiment with makeup, and of course, compliment the beautiful results on each patron!
Over the last two decades, I've seen everyone through trials, just as they have encouraged me with Steve's Alzheimers. I have had free rein to open conversations about faith in Christ, and testify with confidence in my Savior's ability to make a way during the darkest of times... He is able! My God is able to deliver me from the fiery furnace, just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego told King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3:17! And if you put your faith in Him, he'll deliver you too--from the fiery flames of hell!
Thankfully, I've made an appointment to get my 1-1/2 " of roots touched up on September 10, because I wouldn't want to embarass the professionals at Upper Echelon--they've been too good to me!

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