GOD BLESS FRED

TAX FREE WEEKEND!! Did you guys go shopping?  That’s what I’m talking about!!  Just kidding.  I would rather die a thousand deaths than step foot inside a commercial establishment on tax free weekend.   I know…I’m in the minority. Most of my girlfriends were all giddy at the possibility of saving $5.32 at checkout. I would rather lose a limb (truth) and give up sugar for a year (lies) than to brave the retail elements on this annual nightmare weekend. I WOULD RATHER PAY THE TAX than to fight you over that last pack of #2 pencils. You can have em, lady. No, really. You go right ahead. Because I can promise you by the look on your face, they mean more to you than they ever will to me. My kids will live with one pack of 25. I’m willing to risk them being publicly shamed and humiliated in front of their peers on the first day of school so that you can walk away the victor. Actually, I need to thank you for knocking a whopping $4 off my already $312 shopping bill. Go and be blessed. 

Y’all. Seriously. I cannot even deal. It’s like the day after Thanksgiving minus the sweater weather and all the feels. I need to be holding a Starbucks and listening to Christmas music on the loud speaker if I’m gonna go through all this nonsense. I could ALMOST MAYBE go to blows with you over that last three-ring binder if we weren’t both dripping sweat and exhausted from all 7 of your children who, for some reason unbeknownst to me, you bring with you shopping on the worst weekend of the year.  Explain yourself…

I mean, you know you’re miserable. It’s written all over your face (in 8 dry erase markers and 24 colored pencils). I’m miserable, too. Your kids are making me miserable for the both of us. And you’re about to snap. I see you eyeing that pharmacy. You’re about to go grab something to take the edge off.  Do it.  I’ll watch the kids.  And we haven’t even made it to checkout where, mark my words, we WILL get the sweet little lady who talks about every single purchase we’re making today. 

“I heard these are great folders. Very durable.” 

“Are these avocados ripe? I don’t think so.”

“Have you tried this gum? Let me just check the sugar content on it. My husband, Fred, is a diabetic but I bet he could chew this.”                                                                                        

Jesus, take the wheel. By the time it’s over I’m about ready to throw in a box of Marlboro and a 3 pack of lighters for the win. I’ll learn on the way home. 

But then there it is. (Ugh! Please stop, Lord). I always feel it. Well, not always – sometimes I feel rage – but often I feel it. And when I don’t feel it, the truth is, I ask Him for it. Conviction. And Grace. And eyes to see. The Lord has such a sweet way about Him. A voice that says, “You don’t know what she goes through, Heather. You don’t know what kind of day she’s had. Ask her. Ask about Fred (please God, no). Maybe you’re the first person who has smiled at her today. Ask the mom of all these many children how she does it. Tell her she’s amazing. Tell her somebody sees her. Tell her I see her.” 

Noooo!!!! Jesus, please leave me alone and just let me roll my eyes and huff so the people across the street can hear me.  I’ll feel so much better. 

Oh, it’s not about me? 

Right…I forget. 

One of my closest friends is a nurse. She is genuinely one of the sweetest people I’ve ever known. Last week, one of her patients threw her bedpan in the floor and laughed as my friend had to clean it up. Now look, my girl is human, ok? She wasn’t particularly thrilled with having to wipe up this lady’s disgusting bodily fluids as she was being mocked. She went to The School of Sarcasm like some of the rest of us, and if I know her, she was having to lock it down. But you know what? Her love for Jesus and for this lady overruled any frustration she was feeling.  And she would do it all over again just to get to show that lady the love of Christ, which is what she did. Because it’s what she’s called to do.  It’s what we’re all called to do.                                                                                                 Now, I‘m not suggesting we be doormats all in the name of Christianity. Sometimes we have to stand up and speak out and say, “Do you mind NOT throwing your (extremely full) bedpan at me? Many thanks.” Hopefully, we’ll have grace to know the when’s and how’s.  It is so hard. I know…

I forget sometimes that there are people all around me who are doing hard things in life and who are sick and grieving and crying on the inside. I forget that I’m not the only one who has issues. I forget that sometimes our troubles make us angry and cranky and that nobody gets THAT upset over pencils. We act out of character sometimes when life pins us up against the wall. I know first hand. There is always more to the story. Am I gonna lay aside my frustrations long enough to listen and to love? Sometimes I miss the mark, but I’m trying really hard to be salt and light. I’m trying to relate and understand and show mercy and let go of my death grip on the pencils and to ask about Fred. Because I can guarantee you I’ve had my fair share of days when I wasn’t so nice to the mom who got the last pack of graph paper (which I can never find). I’ve cried my way through the aisles of Target more times than I can count, dealing with what life and the precious people in it were throwing my way. I know what it’s like to need the smile. I know what it’s like to be struggling and have somebody be mean to you at Walmart. Don’t think for one second that I don’t want to ram my buggy into their un-manicured heels. It crosses my mind. My inside chatter says, “I don’t want to have to be the bigger person here!  I’m struggling today!! I’ve been done wrong, too!!”  But the thing is – I have Jesus and I have hope. And when I can, it’s my job to give it. 

God, help me to get outside of myself and be an extension of You. Help me to represent well. Help me to see the good in people and to love the hurting. And please have mercy on me, because I actually have to go shopping tonight (help, Lord). Please let everybody just be sweet and share the pencils. Thank you. 

And God Bless Fred. 

In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

47 thoughts on “GOD BLESS FRED”

  1. Heather, I love reading your blogs. I can totally relate to everything you have written. Every one blesses me. Thanks for sharing. 😃

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  2. It’s so good to know I’m not the only one to feel this way! Sometimes it’s so hard to be nice. Thanks for the reminder that it’s not about me. And thanks for the laughs 😆 too!

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  3. Love love love your honesty and faith. I too have the gift of southern sarcasm and do battle over it with prayer everyday. Your videos help with this and you are saying what I am thinking! But I would rather have my teeth scraped than go to the depths of hell called Walmart on tax free weekend!! Love you!!

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  4. I am crying so hard reading this. My life is been full of such injustice, pain, unmitigated limbo, unearned stress and frustration with no true friends or emotional support from anyone but God. I have been at the end of my patience with life and people. I lost my humor and my smile. My days and months have been in lost misery. I have been losing the awesome person that I am.
    You made me laugh. You made me smile. You made me remember that I have to be strong and hang in there to fulfill the purpose of why I am here and it’s not about me. I love you. You are my far away friend. Thank you.
    Heather M.

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    1. Heather, yes I sure am – your far-away friend. God has great purpose and plans for your sweet life. Know that you are loved and heard and seen. The Lord stays close to us brokenhearted girls 🙂
      Better days are ahead for you. That’s a promise. XOXO

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      1. I saw 2 words in this responders sad story……2 words……i too have been here…..i know the feeling of smoke and mirrors, and the how did i get here in my brain…..but, 2 words stuck out. But God.

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      1. Heather. I am a hairdresser in Texas. This past Wednesday, the day after Halloween, I had one of my regular clients in my chair. She had looked forward to the trick or treater’s coming to her home on Halloween. She bought 1000 pieces of candy. Her smile turned to anger and disappointment as she talked about the carloads of adults that came in costume to her front porch wanting candy. I stopped for a second and grabbed my cell phone. “Check this out” I said as I showed her your ” its Halloween ” story. She and I both laughed so hard. You made her feel better and not like the only one to be upset. Thank you Heather. God bless you. You helped out a Texas hairdresser and her little lady. Keep it up.

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    2. I, like you, have lost my humor and smile. I am angry with God for taking my daddy almost a year ago. I’m trying really hard to accept it and move on. I know he’s with Jesus and no longer tomented with the awful disease Dementia. But, my selfish self just doesn’t understand why it happened to him. I’ll say a prayer for you sweet stranger. I’ll keep watching Heather and laughing. I’ll keep trying.

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  5. Love this blog. I continuously have to remind myself to take the “God road” as I call it. The high road only better and so much more important for my growth and others around me. Thanks for your writing!

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  6. Your response filled my heart. A bright spot in my day. Thank you for your time and kindness.
    You are a remarkable person.
    Thank you so much my far away friend!
    Hug!
    Heather M.

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  7. I can so relate! Thank you for your words of encouragement and especially your humor! I love your videos and am reading your blogs now. What’s that saying “live ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride”…is true. Sometimes you gotta walk thru some mud puddles to get to dry ground! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. God bless you!

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  8. Heather, have been struggling last few months. And even knowing all you say is true and try living it, always telling my self you don’t know what others are going through, so be kind. I needed to find you . Thank you

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  9. Heather squared…Heather M and Heather Land. God bless both of you. As someone that has been through divorce, I see and feel your pain. I have been there. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I had a meltdown at my local grocery store a year ago. I had just taken my daughter in law and grand daughter to the airport and dropped them off. They were moving half way across the country from me, after being only 2 hours away since she was born. (my son was already there, I had my meltdown with him the month before) I cried all the way home, I mean SOBBED. I had to get a few things at the grocery. I had pulled myself together (or so I thought) I went to the ususal check out girl, and she asked, as she does, “how are you?” I. LOST. IT. The can’t talk, can’t see, can’t breathe sobbing. Trying to tell her why I was crying only made me cry even more. I had to get out of Price Chopper ASAP. I think I paid for my grocery items and got to my car. Some how I got home. A week later, I went back to the store and apologized to everyone that had seen me have my melt down. And you know what? It was OK. We all hugged, and laughed, and joked about other times they had had something catch them off guard.

    My point, now that I have gone the long way around the bend….It IS ok. We are human. But saved through Grace. My friends at Price Chopper love to see the photos of my grandaughter. We share stories, triumphs and tragedies. And by the way, now I have another one! …that lives half way across the country with her older sister…

    People come into our life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. (that is another gut wrenching poem) But it is true.

    And guess what, the pocket folders that everyone was fighting over during tax free weekend, were recently on sale at my Target for .02!! That is TWO CENTS!
    Ask how Fred is…. The ladies at Price Chopper ask how my Elaynie-Pie is…and most days I can answer them without crying!
    Sue S

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  10. Although our beliefs may have different words and names, your words speak the truths that all humans should hear and could benefit from. Just be kind to each other. That’s all it takes to make the world a better place. Thank you for sharing the message!

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  11. I have been on all sides of this blog post, as the mom having a bad day, as the cashier that no one seems to notice who is just trying to keep her sanity, and like you just wanting to get out of there. Thank you for your posts and for those hilarious videos. We love you here in Calhoun, GA.

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    1. I have only recently found your blog. It was recommended by my daughter. My life has pretty much been the pits lately and you make me laugh. Laughter is precious. Thank you for helping me with that.

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  12. I laughed so hard my dog ran out of the room! Thank you for your humor and transparency. Not only are you giving me laughter to replace my anxiety, but more importantly, you are reminding this backsliding Christian where her true happiness lies. This blog is your calling. Thank you.

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  13. Thank you for your posts! Love them! I feel the same about ‘TaxFree Weekend’, but also Black Friday Sopping! I stay away from the malls and stores those days.
    Thanks again!

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  14. God bless all those chatty checkers, the weird Walmart people, the standing in line FOREVER people…and the Fred’s of this world. You are my tribe! God bless us all with patience, kindness and eyes to see that others may be struggling, just like me some days. When we are hanging on and ready to snap, help us all say…”I ain’t doin’ it”. Love your blog and videos – they brighten my day with their honesty and the laughter it brings! Have a great day!

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  15. Looky here, girlfriend. There ain’t a whole lot I can say that someone else ain’t already said but OMG, lady. Are you spyin’ on me through my windows cause you are just hitting the nail on the head with me. I have raised my youngins and been married for half my life and I feel like that all I have to look forward to is death. And then here you come… all young and full of vigor. Wise beyond your years. You know what? My entire workplace is saying, “Naw, uh uh, I ain’t doin’ it” all the time now. It’s funny to hear it and I will bet that you never thought it would go as far as it did but honey you just blew it up!! God’s blessing you from east to west with this thing. And you just keep on keeping on, sweet pea, cause you got something. I love ya for it and you have surely blessed me in this day. Thanks so much!

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  16. Beautiful and so blessed in so many ways. Love your videos and blogs. It may only be a small gesture but you never do know what the next person is going through. God bless you
    Barbara

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  17. Heather ,
    Keep doing what you do woman ! You are bringing laughter , reality , and MOST important GOD to all that follow your posts. Sending Blessings your way!

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  18. I have said for years that on Sunday at church when you ask somebody how they are and they answer “fine” that 9 times out of 10 they are really NOT fine. I know when I had 3 teenagers and a baby to get to church on time I wasn’t always thinking good Christian thoughts on the drive there or while trying to concentrate on the sermon instead of what a mess my house was and that my fridge was practically empty. Love your blogs and videos!

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  19. Thank you Heather. I’m a Christian ( not a plaster saint), & need the encouragement you give to people. Thank you for being real, funny & a Christian sister who encourages in spite of how challenging your day has been. You truly bless me.

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  20. Absolutely LOVE this! I always say I have a Walmart ministry…thanks to a girl that came to our Bible study once. She was in a very unhappy marriage, they had only one vehicle and once a week she got to have the car to go to Walmart. She said she was so grateful for anyone that would smile or speak to her. It was the only time she had human contact. That story launched my “ministry” :).

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  21. Heather, I thank you so much for your comments. I worked retail for 20 years, and it was sometimes so hard to react the way Jesus wants us too. From my time in retail, we were told to speak to every customer with a smile. I have been retired a year and a half. I still find myself speaking and smiling at people I come across when I am out. Sometimes you won’t get a response, but you are still acting the way Jesus wants us to. So however frustrating working retail was, I think I learned a good life lesson. We really don’t know what each person if facing in their life and what pain they are carrying. I thank God every day for my salvation and hope I will always be aware of others pain and stress of others and will respond with the love of God in my heart. I love your videos and comments. May God continue to bless you.

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  22. Thank you, Heather Land. You are a true God send. Whenever I have a bad day or just want to take a time out your videos are just what I need. God bless you and the way that you minister to everyone.

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  23. There was a time in my life I would endure those kind of “specials” offers by stores just to be one of the girls. Not sure when it happened but I think it was after living in a third world country and coming back to a first world country that I begin to say no more often. I have endured a lack of electricity, a lack of a Walmart, a lack of a STarbucks, Target, a lack of good chocolate, and a good hamburger joint , and would gladly do it again for the sake of getting the gospel to someone. So I guess if I had an unsaved friend and she ask me to do Black Friday after Thanksgiving and I would go and hold her bags so she could shop freely. You are one wise women, given us laughter about the most basic things in a first world country. Keep it up in Jesus name please. We need to laugh.

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