Thursday, April 28, 2011

Everything take so long!

2:17 p.m. Today's project was to set up online bill pay with our bank. How this ended up taking two hours is beyond me!

I began with getting some telephone assistance from our bank's customer assistance center to re-set up my online banking. It was no longer functional because I'd been locked out of my login page because I kept mis-typing my password. (Since then I've figured out that smart people use the same password for most of their online activities). That's been about 3 years now, so I've been relying on the automated voice on the phone to keep me updated between statements. At least you don't have to be at home and seated--not the way you'll usually find me, being very hyper--in order to find out what's going on or to cancel plans to spend "discretionary income."

At this point, many of you would say, "I can do all my banking and bill paying from my cellphone!" or "I've got an app for that!" Let me congratulate the Smart Phone users, but what about the rest of us who could go online on our phones also, but it just takes too much time to type up and magnify the search bar that comes up? Unless I'm at a retreat and want to post my morning scripture, the most I'll do on Facebook is send a quick message or a picture from my LG EnV. And that's fine--I'm there to concentrate on the Word of God and to minister to women who come my way during the weekend.

Once I was established with online banking, it was time to tackle Bill Pay. All went smoothly until it came to the point of which account to take the bill from. Instead of offering me a choice of accounts, the drop-down box just said "Primary Account" twice. Problem was, which account was that? The first one I opened for my Mary Kay business, or the household account we use for payments and necessities? I was put on hold for a period of time, which wasn't all bad, because I helped Steve with his lunch and fixed my own, along with a quick egg salad I'll eat before leaving for my facial party tonight. After logging back in from the start and still confronting the same problem, a "glitch" was declared, and I was advised to call the Online Bill Pay customer assistance for help. I followed up on that and after a modest hold time, got the help I needed and set up the monthly withdrawal. Victory at last!

After I washed the lunch dishes, and Steve had left to walk the dogs, I practically ran out to the garden for relief from my sedentary indoor morning. I carried two garlic cloves that had grown shoots, so I planted them next to my Roma tomato plants for an organic pest deterrent. I hand-watered some seeds and seedlings and added water to Bailey and Jada's bowl. While I walked throught the gate, I asked God the question I've been asking in my head since I was a speedy, busy little girl: "Why do things always take so long?"

For some of us, "keeping things moving" at a quick pace is such a way of life that the Lord has to give us circumstances that cause us to slow down, select the necessary tasks to accomplish in a day, and drop other matters until the next day--or the next week. As we have heard all of our lives, "Rome wasn't built in a day;" and neither is a heart attitude of patience and peaceful resting in Him. And He uses others to lovingly keep me mindful of His timing and His concerns that are higher than mine. When I share and teach the scriptures, women have no problem telling me to slow down, and I laughingly do so. My desire is so strong to share all that God has shown me in my preparation time that I can barely stay seated. It just comes busting out! I need to realize it may not be all that edifying for others, if they can't make out exactly what I just said.

As the Apostle Paul reminds the Colossians of their witness in Chapter 4 verse 6, I can take heed even when speaking to a group of believers:

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how to answer each one.

The last two years of retirement have been an amazing testimony to the power of the Lord to grow patience in me. The frantic pace of elementary school teaching that suited me fine the last eighteen years is over, but I'm fine. Gardening and running a business are plenty to do, along with teaching a Bible study, participating in women's ministry programs and writing this daily devotional blog.

The reason I retired is to be with Steve in the early stages of Alzheimer's. He was suddenly coping with unemployment and disability benefits instead of going to work every day as he had for 35 years. I just couldn't see leaving him alone each day in his depression, and God made a way for me to retire with two modest pensions. I fully admit to not always answering as I should when he asks the location of a food item he uses every day, because I am learning patience, even though my career in the classroom and raising my five kids gave me good training. And the Holy Spirit is patient with me, for which I am utterly grateful. But I am also eager to improve. And the upbeat, intimate atmosphere we enjoy each day is proof that God is getting His point across to me--take time to lift up my husband.

When I end up picking up and doing Steve's tasks at times because he's dropped the ball, I get irritated at first, but then remember Galatians 6:2:

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

I also want to reflect daily on Galatians 5:22 as I attempt to "walk in the Spirit" (v.25) each day:

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Lord, let me be a fruit-bearer for You, allowing You to set the schedule for the growth You have planned!

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