Friday, December 23, 2005

Zapping that Christmas "Stress Monster"

A while back, I wrote a post about a luncheon with my Bible study group. The speaker, Carol Hopson, shared some ways to avoid the stress, rush and hurriedness that often occurs leading up to a big holiday such as Christmas. I made it my goal to follow her advice. Then, yesterday happened...

My mom and her companion, Phil, arrived on Wednesday. Thursday morning, the shower door to the guest bathroom broke, which left one shower for 6 people in the house! (This will have more significance later in the story.)

After breakfast and taking turns showering, mom, Phil and I decided to visit the Wild Animal Park. It was a great day to go because it wasn't crowded. We were able to get on the Wgasa Bush Line Railway immediately. In the past, we have waited up to an hour. Our tour guide was quite the talker! He never shut up....not even for 5 seconds! Of course, he was very knowledgeable and that part was good. However, during the hour long tour around the park, Phil noticed and mentioned, "If you wanted to tell your kids about the birds and the bees, just take them on this ride!" Our guide shared more about mating and the where, why, how, what, and when the animals go poop than anyone that I have ever heard in the history of my six visits to that park! He typically asked "Jeopardy" type questions of the kids near the front of the tram, and proceeded to give them names like "Poopmeister," Poopqueen," "Poopking," "Poopprincess," etc. when they got the answers right. His concluding remarks, "Everybody poops." I'm sure he was quite entertaining to the kids, but I soon tuned him out from the monotony of it all! (This will have more significance later in the story.)

When we disembarked, we were hungry and sat down for some lunch. Next, we visited the duck pond and my mom fed the ducks out of her hand. I was grateful she didn't get bit! Next, we went over to Lorikeet Landing where you can bring in a cup of nectar and feed the colorful birds. Many times, they will land on your wrist and drink out of the cup. There was much picture taking going on and if you happened to forget your own camera, you can buy a professional photo of your experience just outside the exhibit. None of us in our group felt like feeding the birds, so we just walked around and watched. Suddenly, I felt something drop into my hair from the tree directly above me. Oh no...

Well, we were ready to leave. We visited a gift shop and then left the park.

When I got home, I heard all the tales of how our new puppy (3 month old Puggle named, "Sasha") pooped in the boarded off kitchen area of our home!

Since I had a Christmas dinner get-together with two girlfriends (that was planned weeks ago), that night, I needed to go out to Boston Market to get meals for my family and guests. It was 5:15 and I needed to be at the restaurant at 6:00! Traffic was bad and I returned at 5:45. My intention was to take a very quick shower and change clothes. My son had decided that he wanted to take his shower (in the only one that was usable at the time). I banged on the outer door, but he couldn't hear me. Since he locked the outer door, I couldn't get to my closet to just change my clothes! It was 5:55 and I had to leave!

I was still trying to hold back the stress I was experiencing! While driving to the restaurant, I was listening to "Fly to the Moon" by Michael W. Smith, praying to the Lord and hoping that I didn't smell like a barnyard animal when I met and hugged my friends! I thought, "I am so tired...I'm absolutely pooped! What a poopy day." Then I started to chuckle. Then giggle. Then I burst out laughing, all alone in my car. Finally, I was laughing so hard the tears came. But I wasn't sad! No! My laughter took all that stress away immediately. God is so good...and faithful!

When I reached the entrance door to the restaurant, I was 10 minutes late but was first to arrive! When my friends arrived we had such a good laugh as I described my day. Then they, each in turn, described their hectic day! Our waiter had to keep coming back to ask us if we were ready to order. We must have sent him away 4 times! But he kept his polite demeanor and refilled our drinks while we laughed and joked.

At the end, we exchanged gifts with each other and we enjoyed what we received. The waiter came back to our table to clear the dishes and said, "Would you like me to introduce you to my replacement for the night? I am leaving to do some Christmas shopping soon." We said, "We will be leaving soon." He replied, "No, no, take your time. You can sit here for as long as you like." We thanked him and wished him a Merry Christmas. I asked him, "Were we the most annoying table here tonight?" He said, "No, you were happy and fun. Have a Merry Christmas ladies."

He was really great. A beyond-the-call-of-duty type of service person. We gave him a 40% tip to show our appreciation.

We stayed long after we had finished our meals and shared some awesome stories of faith that each of us has experienced over the last 6 months. We were there for 3 1/2 hours and it was such a fun night! Sharing the love of the Lord with each other is such an uplifting experience. And we concluded, it wasn't "we" who successfully zapped that stress was He!

1 comment:

Susan Smith said...

It sounds as though you had quite a day, Christine! I enjoy reading real life stuff.

Much love and Merry Christmas from Jerusalem where it all happened, except for His birth down the road a bit south. (ss:)