Hollison Journey

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” – Don Williams Jr

Suzy Lee

I never, ever do this.

There was nothing extraordinary about last night – at least nothing that I could tell. I left work at 4 and drove to Denton. Talked with Michele and Joe, and then went over to Holy Family Thrift Store for work night. We had a lot of fun sorting clothes and learning more about Loreto House. Afterwards, Carrie and I went to Joe’s and we prayed a rosary together. I headed home, feeling good about the service we had done that evening. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t done.

I stopped at Kroger on my way home to pick up a few items: cereal, bananas, and some lunch items for the rest of the week. Recently I’ve been trying to use more cash and less card, so I was thrilled that my total was 15.80 and I had a ten, five ones, and some change. I used it, leaving a myriad of coins in my wallet and walked to my car. It was almost 11 and I was hurrying so I could go home, hop in the shower and go to sleep. As I finished loading my groceries in to my car, I heard a woman say “Miss, can you help me?” It was coming from a tan car on the other side of my car. I walked slowly over to it, trying to remember if it had been there a minute ago. “You can come close,” the woman said from the driver’s seat. “I know it’s risky, but I’m not getting out of the car.” I got to the window and asked what I could do for her.

She began telling me about how she has been unemployed for two months. She needed money to cover some expenses and her unemployment check wasn’t due until Friday. She was just trying to make it. Her voice was soft and I lost some of the words, but she seemed so genuine. Internally, I was kicking myself. I had just spent all of my cash. I couldn’t even give her 5 bucks. I divide my paycheck into three accounts at my bank: Spend, Save and Give and I knew I had money in my Give account. But I couldn’t do anything about it. When she paused in her story, I told her that I had just spent all of my money inside, unless she wanted the change I had. She nodded tearfully and I gave her about a dollars worth of change. She thanked me profusely.

And then she continued to talk. Yes, it was getting late and I had things to do, but I could tell she hadn’t had someone listen to her in awhile. So I did. I heard about her brother, who was always the one in great shape but had been on site when his houses exploded from a gas leak and the blast had injured him and singed off his hair and given him severe burns. I heard how last year, she attended 22 funerals for family members and friends. 22. “Can you imagine? That’s why I listen to God’s music and read His Word,” she said motioning to the radio. “It’s the only thing that pulls me through it.”

When she recanted her layoff, the tears filles her eyes again. She once again thanked me for my change and reminded me that though it may not be much to me, it was great to her. “You are blessed for this,” she said. “I asked the Lord for help and He told me that whoever helps me will receive blessings. You are setting yourself up.” She apologized for crying and I told her not to worry, tears are the windows to the soul.

“Then my soul is completely exposed.”

After talking for about 20 minutes, she thanked me again and said she was going to go to the gas station to put some more gas in her car so it wouldn’t run out, but she wasn’t leaving until she saw that I was in my car safely. I asked for her name and she said it was Suzy Lee. I told her I was praying for her and got in my car. She crossed the parking lot and pulled into the gas station as I turned on the road and drove home.

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7 Quick Takes

1. Rain! Oh my stars it poured today! Luckily it was not raining when I went to work or came home, but in between we got a lot of rain. And LOUD thunder. It sounded like God’s stomach was rumbly.

2. I get to spend all day listening to podcasts. And it makes me happy!

3. This weather came at a GREAT time: 1) it should not continue through Sunday, which is when I will be outside. 2) I am going to a Murder Mystery Dinner tonight and we are having chili. It’s nice and coldish and we will be inside having warm chili and solving a mystery!

4. 7 things is hard.

5. Confirmation is next week! Woo hoo! After 12 weeks, it will be great to see the kids get confirmed.

6. I am on a salad kick like none other. I don’t know why.

7. Fun fact of the day: Saint Jerome translated the Bible invented a system of punctuation so that people would know when to pause when reading. He was a grammarian! And a proofreader! And a linguist!

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Faith

“Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods.” – C.S. Lewis

What moves us to believe is not the fact that revealed truths appear as true and intelligible in the light of our natural reason: we believe “because of the authority of God himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived”.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 156 (Dei Filius 3:DS 3008)

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Grammar Gems

For Christmas, Joe bought me a daily calendar based on the book “Eats, Shoots and Leaves

Here are some recent gems from the month of April:

April 1: We may curse our bad luck that it’s sounds like its; who’s sounds like whose; they’re sounds like their (and there); and you’re sounds like your. But if we are grown-ups who have been through full-time education, we have no excuse for muddling them up.

April 4: Evidently there used to be a shopkeeper in Bristol who deliberately stuck ungrammatical signs in his window as a ruse to draw people into the shop; they would come in to complain, and he would then talk them into buying something.

April 6: It is no fault of the apostrophe that some of our words need so much help identifying themselves. Indeed, it is to the credit of the apostrophe that it can manage the task.

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Smell-O-Meter

They say that memory is strongly associated with smell and I think we all have exmples of this. A few months ago, I purchased Method cleaner at Target that was dye and fragrance free. My thought was that it would be a purer cleaner and not use all those chemicals. The problem is – it is odorless. So after I have scrubbed my counters and cleaned for an hour, it doesn’t smell clean. I am so conditioned to associate cleanliness with that fake citrus smell or fake spring freshness smell, that smelling nothing, doesn’t seem clean. So, after I wiped down my counters this morning. I pulled out the Windex with Lime Action and wiped them down again. And then, an only then, did I feel like I had cleaned.

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April Challenge update:

April 4: Plastic food containers
Oh my goodness, I have way too many leftover food containers that simply don’t work. Either they are missing a lid or have been warped or whatever. I bring my lunch, so I enjoy containers a lot, but if they don’t work,they are simply taking up space.

April 5: Refrigerator
This was more of a cleaning than a de-cluttering. But it was definitely needed.

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April Challenge

The March Challenge was a failure. I do think, however, that I am drinking less soda, so I guess that is a positive.

April’s Challenge is inspired by a website that I like called Unclutterer. I decided that for April, I would “de-clutter” something every day. Not just throwing away trash, but actually going through different things and removing items that I do not need or have used in a long time. Also, I won’t just throw things away – if I am able to donate or sell it to a re-sale place, then I will.

Since this is a more visual challenge, I will try to take some pictures and post my progress. No pictures today though!

April 1: Hair products.
I have way too many bottles of shampoo, conditioner, styling products, etc. I buy them either because I forget them when I go on a trip or because it is a new product that I want to try. I keep them under the delusion that if I run out of my favorite stuff, I can use that as backup. In reality, I tend to buy the replacement stuff before I run out.

April 2: Books.
I enjoy my books, but I have more than a few that I have read and won’t read or reference again. So I rounded up about 15 of them and will be taking them to Half Price Books soon.

April 3: DVDs.
Again, I own several DVDs that I simply don’t really watch anymore. So I pulled them from the shelf, wiped the dust off and added them to the HPB pile.

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It’s Coming

April Challenge is coming. I promise.

But for now, I give you this:

Daily Reflection

…I believe that all of us Christians feel the twist in our stomachs of the suffering of our fellow human beings.  I know that I feel it especially acutely this time of year as I wonder whether I am doing my part to help alleviate it.  Am I kind to my neighbor?  Do I sacrifice enough?  Do I avoid Jesus’s warning in the Gospel today to avoid self glorification?  I know I don’t rate a perfect score.  Some days I don’t even earn a C minus…

Go read the rest. It’s good stuff.

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