Monday, September 14, 2015

Sunshine, Soccer, and Sprinkles

The boy I tutor doesn't like to go outside. He says he'd rather work on the computer inside than get sweaty outside. But today, something changed. After working on sentences he asked, "Can we go outside?"

He brought his semi-new soccer ball with us outside. This is not the same little boy from May. He used to scowl to go outside to pass the soccer ball. We've been working on his dribbling, kicking, and passing skills. 

Without a word he dropped the soccer ball on the ground and started running while kicking it forward. He ran all the way to the gate of their gated community and back to the house. A month ago he couldn't dribble to himself!! 

Before I left for the day he looked at me and said, "Miss Averill, can we go outside again and kick the soccer ball to the fence and back?"

"Yes, but it's raining. Do you still want to go?"

At that moment the sun burst out from
behind the clouds. We were both looking outside and in amazement he says, "Wow! I didn't know the sun could do that!"

I responded, "God can do anything. Isn't that what you learn in school?"

"Yes, but I've never seen it like that before."

He grabbed his soccer ball and took it back outside to dribble to the fence. It is sprinkling on him, leaving wet specks on his glasses, but he's keeping up with the ball. His black pants, covered in yellow Batman symbols, and his space cat t-shirt are making me giggle as I watch and encourage him, admiring his freedom. When I meet him back in the driveway I ask him, "What was it like to play in the sprinkling rain?"

"I forgot it was even raining because I was working so hard, but I like it. I've never played in the rain before." 

I've seen God work like the sun coming through the clouds. I've seen it in him over the last four months. 

Emotions and The Unknown

I've been emotional this weekend. Last night I got my feelings hurt and my ego bruised. Today I've been wallowing in self-pity because of my hurt feelings. 

Today, as my friend and I were walking back from lunch we saw commotion at the corner of Mynders at Patterson. There is a person on the ground surrounded by students and police officers. Traffic is rubber necking, police are directing traffic and sirens are filling the air with screams.  

A student walking the opposite direction tells us, "He passed out while driving. They've moved his car and pulled him out of it. They're doing CPR."

We are on the opposite side of the street as we walk past. The student's Chacos are fashioned to his feet. He's wearing khakis and a long sleeved, cornflower blue button-up. His hair is pushed back from his face and his skin on his face is blue. 

The firemen jump out of the slowing fire truck ripping open flat, white, square, paper packages, kneeling on the ground next to this kid. The gathered crowd of shocked and curious onlookers is growing. They're asking each other, "Do you know what happened? What's going on?" 

As I slipped on my stretchy pants this morning I never thought there was a possibility I could be laying on a street corner with my life in limbo. I'm sure this student did not have that thought either. My friend and I walk towards our office building and tears begin falling for this kid; whatever I am dealing with is nothing. Nothing! 

Please say a prayer for this kid and let the people you love know they are loved. Give them extra hugs tonight. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

II Corinthians

As many, many of you know, I was raised Catholic - yep, I'm a "dirty knee bender," fallen, unpracticing, "unChristian" heathen. I've been called it all including "Mary worshiper" because I was given the pleasure of growing up in the Bible Belt. I'm about to admit something else that will make some of you place me at the top of your prayer list: I don't know the Bible. 

Yep, a real life, living and breathing unchurched sinner is in your midsts. 

However, tutoring this kid, who goes to a private Christian school, I am forced to memorize Bible verses with him. I usually sing them to him, like the songs I remember from my Sunday School or Catholic Church Camp. Last week it was, "The heavens declare the glory of God..." The poor kid always looks at me like he's terrified, but the first couple of times he repeats it back to me I can faintly hear him humming the song I sang. 

This week his scripture, he always corrects me to say Bible verse, is "May the grace of The Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you."

At this point I whisper, 'also with you; You may go in peace now to love and serve The Lord,' because that is how a priest dismisses mass. 

I complete the verse by telling him, "Eleven Corinthians 13:14"

"Uh, Miss Averill?"


"I think that's supposed to be Second Corinthians, not eleven."

"Yep, yep it is. Thank you for correcting me."

#imgonnalearnyou #aimingforstraightAs #unchurched #imasinner #ifollowthegoldenrule #churchhumor #ratedG

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Diary of a Spinster: Here Comes the Bride

Today I found a wedding dress, tried it on, fell in love with it, and bought it. 

The bride is the daughter of  Real Life Superman and The Silver Fox. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a bachelors degree in English Literature and History with a minor in Sociology. She has no plans, date set, or groom, but she revels in her awesome life and her preparedness for all of the possibilities and spontenaity in her future.

Moving to Memphis

As I spent the weekend driving to Memphis I thought it was a serendipitous event that every radio station along the interstate just happened to be playing Elvis music. There I was in my Dad's Maroon Taurus following him in the Uhaul that carried all of my earthy possessions to Memphis. Once I arrive in T-county I must admit my surprised that the Elvis music was not a good sign from the universe but a tribute to and remembrance of Elvis' death. That was 16 years ago today. 

Tomorrow is the 38th anniversary of Elvis' death. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Lesson in the Form of Cheetos

Yesterday I was nice to Scrunchie. Because these chips tear up my stomach, I give her an opened bag of Jalapeño Cheetos. She eats them every morning for breakfast and never turns down free food so I know she will take them off of my hands. She accepts the bag, "Yeah, I'll eat them."

As I am walking away from her I think, "Damn, she didn't even say thank you, but then again, I mean, it's an already opened bag of Cheetos." 

I think about how this year my life has been invaded by a lazy, ungrateful, self-absorbed, inconsiderate, unappreciative, entitled, controlling, manipulative, meddling, lying asshole. But then again it's just an opened bag of Cheetos and it is not being accommodated with a roof over her head and a bunk bed to sleep in all while feigning utter helplessness and pretending homelessness. It's just an opened bag of Cheetos that I would have thrown away. 

So, I pull my head out of my ass and tell myself to get over not being thanked. 

This morning, I hear her on the other side of the cubicle wall unruffling the plastic of the Cheetos bag. I hear her crunching individual cheese and jalapeño coated crisps. She moans in delight. Instead of hating every utterance coming from her cubicle, as I usually do, I think, "Wow, I'm really glad she is able to enjoy those chips."

Shortly afterwards she knocks on the screen door to my cubicle, "Hey Averill?"


"Thank you for breakfast this morning."

Sometimes you aren't ready for the reward without the lesson God is teaching. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

National S'mores Day

The proverbial "they" say that a person only truly experiences unconditional love once you have a child. I do not have my own biological children, but Jeff let me share his Little Rottens for almost four years. 

In the past six months there has not been much communicating. Last week I texted  the kids. 

I'm homesick. But what I really mean by homesick is I miss them so much that my heart is broken, but they are intuitive enough to read that on their own. 

So it is settled, even though Jeff and I are no longer together, his girls want to continue our tradition of celebrating National S'mores Day, making today our fifth annual S'mores festivity. 

Here they are in my kitchen tonight preparing the S'mores and sneaking marshmallow snacks.  

We shared hugs, tears, smiles, laughed at old antics and new stories, as well as making new memories over a bowl of Taco Soup and our favorite August 10th dessert. 

I miss these ladies tremendously and I am only slightly less homesick after their visit. I can honestly say that because of them I finally understand unconditional love. 

Who would have ever thought all of that could all be found inside a gooey marshmallow and chocolate covered graham cracker? Certainly not I.