Oh my goodness..... this year has already taken off with a shot! There is so much on my plate I'm not able to add one more little thing!
Traveling... speaking....feeding hungry kids.... making arrangement for shipments.... local business operations... staff issues... new projects to oversee.... people.... things.... detailed questions to answer from people in different areas of my life.... filing.... packing... washing... wishing... writing...management... stores... churches... agencies... charities. ACK!
About that new remote control, that new tv, a new phone, the new computer.
Whatever happened to just pen and paper?
I'm trying to get used to keeping all my data in my Ipad, but somehow it's just not the same and seeing everything across the page. Now I have to search, touch, click,slide, tap just to find yesterdays details. And hope this battery stays up and I don't lose my internet connection while I upload all my daily details.
I miss the good old days....
When everyone was 'present' to talk to each other, when no one was pushed by a bell, a ding, a knock, a tinkling sound, ringing and clanging noises of an outside world pushing in every single minute.
I remember when we thought technology was great and how it would help us all be better. Now I think it's controlling all of us.
Take this very post for instance.... I'm typing and suddenly half of what I've written is gone! It's too time consuming to go back and reconstruct everything I had just written, not to mention maddening. So I'll leave it as is.... but it's not what I like.
I think I'll just go back to regular paper and pen.... if it's a little longer at least I'll have it in black and white., instead of a hard drive, or a wishy washy internet, or some odd instance that ate my data out of the blue. ACK!
I'd rather see people's eyes on the road instead of on their phones.
I'd rather talk to someone without ear buds and white strings hanging from their ears.
I'd rather NOT have to learn all sorts of useless information just to use the phone or the remote control.
I miss the good old days. It shows my age.... but who cares. I don't enjoy dropped calls, running out of battery, or suddenly losing all my names and addresses!
In some ways technology has made our lives harder not easier, don't you agree?
Talk about a roller coaster highs and lows day! Today was it for me....
Get to the store and open up with the staff, we are planning the days activities and what all has to be done. The store was a mess from Saturday's rush of people. So I'm finishing up with them with a little prayer, and notice we had a customer already inside. Don't know how he got there but he was a little unsettling coming around the corner to me. He immediately wants to talk about why we have certain types of books, cd's, videos, and dvd's for sale. "i thought you guys were Christians" As the Christian music played in the background, I gently told him this was a store for everyone. We couldn't reach people who didn't know Jesus, if we were just a Christian store. This conversation went on and on.... He didn'tseem to like my answers, but finally admitted he had never seen the movie (one of which he didn't agree with us for having in the store) 'Lord of the Rings'. At that point I realized maybe he just didn't understand. So I tried to move on.... it took me 30 minutes to get free. By now the store is rocking and the isles are full of people. Some of who need my attention, I feel the pressure start to build.
My phone rings.... a single mom I've been working with went to court today (she thought it would be a parole case) The judge threw the law at her and gave her 10 years in prison. They immediately shackled her and took her away. She falls apart crying and has to be carried out. She is in shock... no one went to court with her today. Now there are 8 children that no one knows what to do with, or how to tell them what has happened to their mommy. I'm choking back tears while I'm being told this shocking news.... I see customers out of the corner of my eye who are impatiently waiting on each other to check out. My heart is breaking for her.... she didn't expect this... she didn't prepare for this emotionally... I'm worried about her.
I don't want my staff to get rattled by all the people so I stay close by.
A lady comes up to tell me, why on earth is ---- not here? I gently told her we want our staff to have a day off, as they work so hard. She seemed like she didn't think that should happen. I bite my tongue and walk to the back of the store.
Donations are pouring in.... people are just setting things down and leaving. The staff member at this station is running back and forth, up and downstairs so very busy. He can barely keep up with incoming and outgoing.
I'm called to the front... lady asks me if I still need backpacks for my upcoming giveaway. I said, 'yes... please I'm still short'. She goes out to her car and brings me three. I'm touched. Then she tells the next shopper in line (whom she does not know) You need to go to your house and bring Gayla your kids' backpacks... she needs them and your kids arn't using them anyway." The lady looks strangely at me... I'm at a loss of how to sooth both ladies, of whom I don't know either of them. I'm giggling inside, until a mad shopper wants to know why some other woman got her 'doll' and she didn't. We try to help people understand don't lay things down on the counter, because another shopper WILL pick it up and buy it before you know it.
A elderly woman calls me outside to see some tall mirrors we have. She likes them, and before I can get my male staffer over to help, she talks another customer into helping carry it for her. He lugs it inside the store, then he has to wait for her to check out, then carry it to her car. Before it's all said and done, they are friends and walk out together. She's flirting with him... and he's proud a woman is looking at him! (no matter her age) Lol. Smiles all around over this.... cougers shop here too!!
Then a man I've been working with to help him with food and clothing comes in.... I think maybe there might be a job for him... so I call. Can't get through. He leaves dejected and I feel bad for him. I know he thinks life is over and his hopes are dashed. But I don't know what else to do so I let him go....
Lunchtime with my babe. He has big news to share and we spend the hour rushing through subjects and plans and a bowl of soup and back out the door. I get back to the store and he rushes on into his responsibilities as well.
Whoa.... someone has wheeled a big couch out in the parking lot... in the middle and left it there. What tha?!? There are no parking spaces left...I just jump out and run get a staffer to move the couch. What are people thinking? It could have rolled into someone's car (that's another story and already has happened under my care a different day and a different location)
The Warehouse staffer is here... I need to make some fast decisions for his department today. We do so while I run between people, donors and questions.... oh and don't forget to unload the donation bins out front.
My friend comes back... "think we might call your friend about that job one more time? I'm desparate for one" Sure we do.... we manage to get through....I call and put him on the phone.... he talks to him.... I see him smile for the first time EVER. He agrees to meet with him tomorrow. Yes!!! He gets off the phone and I decide to take the bull by the horns and tell him.... 'ok now you can't go into a interview looking like this." He looks down at his ragged shirt and jacket and looks shamed at me and tells me it's all I got. "My clothes are all so big on me now." I go to the racks and immediately find him a nice shirt and a jacket. He says Pastor Gayla you might be acting like my mother. I said, "yes I am... I'm everybodies mom these days. Take this with you, and come tomorrow looking sharp. Your first impression is your important one." He wants to know what he owes me for helping him so much.
My throat swells with compassion and I tell him, he just needs to get back right with God and serve the Lord. That would be my payment. He just smiles and says "I'll be good."
Oh don't forget the widow lady who has lost so much weight she doesn't have many clothes to wear now. I see just the right things for her.... I'm so excited now and can't wait to give them to her... she's going to be thrilled. It's sure to be a boost to her spirit!
It's time to leave.... my feet are aching, I'm tired.... but it's a happy tired.... except for the hurt in my heart for the single mom. Much prayers need to be done for her and her children.
I have big plans for the store this Christmas Eve.... I will tell you later about all that later.... so exciting!!! I drive home and remember not to be on my cell phone in the school zone and drive the speed limit too. I remember His Words to me....
I have removed you from the business of the Church....
to the reason for the Church.... the lost.
I have had 'church' all day long.... just not in the 'church house'. My emotions have been highs and lows all day long. It's hard to be nice to someone who shoves past me when I won't let him take a christmas tree for pennies. What? Yes that happened.... but the very next person genuinely appreciates the store and sees the value of what is here and wants to do their part to help. And they can't wait to purchase the very same tree because they know the reason why we are here and how it helps to cover the budget of helping those who need our help. Whew what a day....
It's the busy season (when is it not) and I am making lists of what to do each day (like always) and the clock is racing me to see who can beat the holiday schedule....
But just for today I'm ahead. For the first time in my history... I am ready for Christmas ALREADY. I can't believe it.... and don't really know how that happened. I'm working everyday and have activities going with the different oporations I'm responsible for daily. And somehow managed to get my home decorated, and all the gifts gathered AND WRAPPED. i just can't believe it....
Somehow this happened and I am so glad about it. No rushing around this year exhausted on Christmas week. I'm going to be calm, cool and collected. Was it my age? ....did I just 'get it'?...could it be time stood still and let me catch up?
I figured it out...... I haven't wasted any time watching television. I'm blaiming the TV for wasting women's time. So friends.... here's a challenge .... from now till Christmas week don't watch the 'idiot box' and see how much real time you collect each day. I'm sure you will be amazed like me!
Merry Christmas ladies... by the way... go see The Decorated House blog and see some beautiful Christmas decorations. She can make docorating your home easy this year.
She was planning her Thanksgiving Dinner... the menu.... the guests... the table decorations.... the entertaining afternoon. She never thought that this would be the reality she would face come Thanksgiving Day 2012. Please say a prayer and support those who lost everything but their very lives in Hurricane Sandy.
A sobering day for thousands of women who never imagined how their Thanksgiving was going to be in 2012. Please donate at www.momsagainsthunger.org to help another mother this holiday season.
So I had my turkey thawing in the fridge.... ready for the big day. I ran into someone who was in need and before I thought - I told her I had a turkey she could have for her family. Yay... she was thrilled and I was too.
Then..... I get in my car and drive to the office and remember, 'wait that was my turkey I just gave away'. Ha! Ha! I didn't even think about it I just had one and she needed one and so there you are!
So it's back to the store to get another one.... hurry hurry gobble gobble ..Happy Turkey Day .
Mine will be much better when I set down with my family because I know a sweet family will also be having one too!
Hope you found someone too to help this Thanksgiving.
Today was a day of surprises and positive challenges... it's all in the way one views life. I started with chapel service and a lesson about 'Parking' with 3 completely different interests groups. One was staff... one was community service... and one was from the Role Models of America donation trailer sites. (Big guy who could be an awesome body guard - looks intimadating but he's a real teddy bear!)
Moms Against Hunger has teams of people in New York feeding the survivors. All donations to www.momsagainsthunger.org are greatly appreciated as orchestrations of funding are happening since the storm ended. Now I'm trying to help find them places to stay tonight out of the cold! A real challenge as Stanten Island is a real mess! Go see Facebook for updates on this - too much to tell you here.
Then lining out a staff group to handle a large group of toys coming in. This is the beginning of the Christmas season with loads of toys being put out at the Role Models of America store. Fun for families in economic trouble is about to happen here!
A Power Lunch with a friend who also takes care of thousands of families and children in Columbia. We had such a good time together.. so much in common for us both! More about that at another time. But I really enjoyed her company today. (not very many of us around in responsible positions of the lives of others held in our hands)
Rush back - check on all areas with people hard at work. Make a stop to check on some paperwork - and fulfillment. Done. Home to update and refuel and dress before attending some victory parties tonight.
It's election night - I voted 2 weeks ago - it's a good thing because it's been a full day.
Only 2 incredible services.... tonight and tomorrow at 10:30am. Prophet Brent Douglas and his wife Patrica are at New Life Christian Fellowship. If you need a game change, a atmosphere shift, an answer, a healing, a deliverence, a solution, a comfort, a encouragement, a miracle..... YOU NEED TO COME.
Matthew Bismark and Global Force will be hosting praise and worship...
People are looking for answers around the world.....this is a picture of one of the 'Breakthrough' Encounter services in New Zealand. We had an amazing time with all of them!
I have loved speaking to the women of New Zealand.
The Bishop speaking at one of the 2 luncheons he was invited to speak at.... held for the Charities in Christchurch.
Each set of churches has been special to us... It's been an amazing year with 3 trips to New Zealand! I have too many pictures to share with you and it's hard to tell which ones to show... I have many memories!