Sunday, June 29, 2008

Locking my office door

It happens quite often. Sometimes I end up being the only person in the building on Fridays. I don't mean just in my office - I mean the only person in a three story building. I can tell because A. I don't hear anybody rustling about and B. The parking lot is empty except for my car. (good clue)

This isn't a huge deal really, except it kinda gives me the "goons". I admit it. I come in through the back door on the bottom floor and I usually don't unlock it. But I always unlock the door that comes in from the front on the 2nd floor. From that front door, you can come right on into my office.

Friday was just one of those days where I was the only one in the building for most of the day. I did see a car that belonged to someone on the 3rd floor, but he wasn't there all day. So - at one point in the morning, I heard someone out in the hallway say "Hello?" I answered "Hello?" Nothing. So, being full of hospitality, I walked out to the hallway and said again "Hello?" There was a man standing out in the hallway with a backpack. He proceeded to tell me that he was homeless and he came in to use the bathroom. I told him to go right ahead.

He began talking to me about a wide variety of things including the fact that "people" made fun of his nationality, the fact that he left a bunch of friends "over there" and that his father had given him advice to just go out and live life. No advice at all about sex. He already had a son at that time, so his father didn't think it was necessary to talk about sex.

The feeling of hospitality was quickly escaping my body. It was being replaced by fear. He asked my name and I told him Sheryl. He said "Sara?" .... I said yes. He said his name was Vince.

The phone in my office rang - I excused myself to answer it - he kept talking. I finally went to answer the phone. It was a recording about the warranty on my car expiring. I absolutely HATE those phone calls - but that's another issue altogether. The thing is, it gave me a chance to call the people downstairs to come up and help me. They didn't answer their phone. I called Jay quickly and had him stay on the line with me.

I went back out to the hallway and he wasn't there - so I shut my office door and locked it. In about 2 minutes he knocked on my door. Reluctantly, I answered it. He told me all he needed was a few dollars. I went to my purse and gave him $20 and even though I know there is something wrong about me expecting a thank you, I was annoyed that he didn't say it. I know - I know. I admit that it wasn't given with a cheerful heart. It was given with the hopes that he would leave. He didn't. He kept on talking. I advised him to go to the church across the street and perhaps they could give him accomodations for the evening etc. He wasn't interested. He said he wasn't a Christian but his brother's first name was Christian. Then he asked me if I remembered his name. I said Vince? He said no, it's VINCENT!!! Sorry.

I was scared and so I told him I had to get to the phone because someone was still there. He kept on talking and I just wished that someone would come up the elevator and help me. I was on my own though, and not doing a very good job at it. In reality, this was a perfect opportunity for me to share my faith with him, but I didn't have the courage to do it - not that I was fearful of sharing. I was just fearful of him.

Rachael told me that God wouldn't give me the spirit of fear and I know that's true. I just couldn't find a place within myself to get there. I was too busy trying to figure out how to get rid of him.

Finally, I got back to the phone and I eventually heard the front door close. Jay was still on the phone and we discussed whether I thought he really left or not. I can hear the bathroom doors open and shut and I hadn't heard that. But I quickly went and shut and locked my office door just to be sure. There was nobody else in the building at that time, so I just stayed where I was until about 1 o'clock. Finally, somebody from the office next door came in and I ventured out to the bathroom and to get something to eat from the kitchen.

What did I learn from this situation?
#1 I'm kinda scared when I get into situations I'm not in control of.
#2 I can't share my faith as easily as I thought I could.
#3 I'm sorry to say - homeless people who are agressive scare me.
#4 From now on, if I am the only person in my office, the office door stays shut and locked.

This isn't really a glowing testimony for me. It may border on pathetic. Maybe I did the right thing, maybe I didn't. I do know this. Under my own strength, I am nothing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Falling Asleep at Night

For about the last 2-3 months, I've had issues with falling asleep at night. It doesn't happen every night - maybe 1-2 out of the week. It almost always happens on Sunday nights - so perhaps I'm having trouble shutting down my brain from thinking about the work week ahead of me or something. I truly have no idea.

Granted - I take a nap on Sunday afternoons - but I've ALWAYS taken a nap on Sunday afternoons and it hasn't bothered me before. I stopped drinking a Diet Coke in the evenings thinking that would help. Nope. I stopped taking naps on Sunday - nope again. Remember my lavender pillow? No help......

One night last week I finally fell asleep at 2:30 in the morning. Let me just say, I wasn't very alert when the alarm went off at 5:30.

I try going to sleep, but I just lay there. I change positions, try to settle in, try to calm my brain.... and then I'm still awake. Finally I get up and go into the living room to read. I can read for hours - and I'm not sleepy.

Now Jay - he can fall asleep in about 5 seconds. He always jokes that he'll let me borrow his sheep. You know - the ones who jump over fences to help you fall asleep. But the thing is - I'm pretty sure he only has one sheep. That's all the longer it takes for him to fall asleep. Jay isn't even sure his sheep is around any more.

I'm still trying to figure it out. I'm going to try a small glass of wine before I go to bed - and I'm going to try Chamomile tea. Not at the same time. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, June 23, 2008

You know you've had a slow day.........

............when you look forward to getting home so you can put the new blue clorox tablets in the toilet tank.


Friday, June 20, 2008

From Russia With Love

Tonite we made a trip to the airport to welcome home a new family. Our worship pastor and her husband brought home their new daughter Natalie from Russia. She is 18 months old and they have waited so long to be a family. About 60 people gathered at the arrival doors - in anticipation of getting the first glimpse of this new family. This is a picture of Pastor Karen and Natalie. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

Natalie probably hadn't seen a balloon in her life - much less been in a crowded airport with all the people - but she seemed to adjust wonderfully and happily began playing with the children around her.

Welcome home to the Clark family! We are so blessed!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day Dad!

Today is Father's Day and while my dad is gone now, I still think about him even more happily on Father's Day. My cousin Dianna gave me this picture of my dad and it is one of the ways I like to remember him. Seeing him here, on leave from the Air Force, shows me a side of him that I rarely saw. It was a "carefree" look on his face and he looks genuinely happy to me! I'm not saying that I never saw him happy - but by the time I was old enough to analyze him, he was serious about his work and the economy and life details - and he wasn't the same.

At the Keeler reunion, I talked to several aunts and uncles about my dad's personality and what he was like when he was a young man. My thoughts were confirmed in that he was a wonderful man and a great brother! He always had a smile and was very easy going as well as mischievous. He also was a great athlete, which is something he would never admit to anyone.

So on this day, I say "Happy Father's Day" to my dad who I miss very much - and who I wish I would have had more time with - to discover, as an adult, what kind of man he really was. I love you Dad! :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I hate it when its cooler outside than it is in my office........

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Things I know today

1. The office building that I work in is.... well, shall we say....."dated". It's been around for awhile.

2. On any given day in the summertime, you can see an air conditioning repairman staring with a blank look on his face at the big A/C unit at the back of the building.

3. Today was no exception.

4. It was 180 degrees outside today.

5. My office is in the middle of the building.

6. All of the perimeter offices have separate condensors providing them with nice cool air.

7. The condensor to the inner offices was not working today.

8. A fan that blows hot air around the room really is of no use at all. It just messes up your hair, blows your papers around and generally makes you just a LITTLE BIT more cranky than you are to begin with.

9. It was a long day.

10. I'm not necessarily looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

As God as my witness....

Last night, while channel-checking, Jay stumbled on WKRP in Cincinnati. That was one of my all-time favorite shows. It happened to be a 2 hour marathon. The first episode of four was the sitcom's actual first episode. I really don't remember seeing it and it was fun to see how everything started.

At a commercial break, I said that one of my favorite episodes was the Thanksgiving turkey episode and I wished that they would show it. Low and behold, the next episode they showed was that very one. It was the absolute best!

The picture you see was when Mr. Carlson and Herb came back to the station after their attempt at a promotion for WKRP. They took a helicopter and flew over a shopping center where they threw out live turkeys for people standing below.

As his last line (as shown in the picture) Mr. Carlson says "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."

You gotta love it!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Estes Park

I just got back from a long weekend in Estes Park, CO. My Dad's side of the family has a reunion at the YMCA of the Rockies every 2 years. To say that it is a soul-soother is putting it mildly.

The mountains just draw you to them I think. It was just absolutely beautiful. We took Trail Ridge Road up into the Rocky Mountain National Park. It had actually been closed just a few days before from so much snow. I love the winding roads and I love the majesty of the mountains.

One of the best things about going to this reunion of course is the family. My dad came from a family of 11 brothers and sisters. Two of them died very young, but the 9 of them grew up together and have been very close. As time has moved on, we've lost three of them. They are all quite a bit older now and so every time that we are together is precious. One of the coolest things is that when I see my uncles, I see my Dad. My dad has been gone now for 12 years - but when I see especially my Uncle Lyle and Uncle Gene, I see my Dad because they look so much alike.

Then - there are my cousins. I literally grew up with a lot of them and we too are very close. As with the brothers and sisters, we too have lost some. One of my cousins and my brother are gone now - and as I said, each reunion is precious.

Here is a picture of me standing next to the snow that was pushed away from the road on Trail Ridge Road. See? I told you they had snow!

It was a great long weekend - and I'm ready to go back!