Monday, January 10, 2011

Altoid, Anyone?!

Have you ever heard the phrase: "The hurried-er I go; the behind-er I get" ? Well, I'm living proof that this statement is 100% accurate!

(Now, this is not the funny story I promised last week. But it is current and true. And while it doesn't qualify for hilarious, it is funny!)

Our church has started the New Year with 21 days of fasting and prayer. Each member chooses something to "do without" (food items, an entertainment, media, etc.) And Frank and I meet people for special prayer at 8:00 AM through the week.

Normally, this wouldn't create a problem. But our team is also preparing for the annual business meeting next week and a rather big conference in February which means busy days and long evenings.

So when I leave the house at 7:30, I'm not getting back until 8:00 or 9:00 at night! Yep, that's what I mean by l-o-n-g days! Smile.

Then came the call that kinda pushed me over the top.

See, Frank and I also participate in a community discipleship group that we love. They had an important meeting taking place on Saturday and the person scheduled to cover it was suddenly unavailable.

"Sheri, could you possibly be there from 9:00 to 12:00?" they asked.

Well, let's see....... The week had been a wild one. I worked through Friday too. Thirty leaders were to gather at our house for dinner and prayer on Saturday evening. Joy and John's baby shower would be Sunday night.

Sure, I can make Saturday morning happen! (Cue the theme music for your favorite super-hero show. Right about now, I'm hearing "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark" in my head! Smile.)

Fortunately, we're all about team effort. So, Frank committed to make sure the house would be ready for our evening guests and we headed out to make the day happen.

Nothing is ever as simple for us as driving to the meeting.
Then driving home.
We multi-task even with our drives to and from church.

So on Saturday:
  • I got up at 5:30.
  • Planned the most efficient route to include necessary stops and avoid any back-tracking.
  • Created lists for pick-ups and deliveries.
  • Made notes for a sermon that suddenly took form during devotions.
  • Showered and dressed.
  • Scrambled for a portable breakfast that accommodated my fasting.
  • Dashed to the car where Frank waited patiently.

Off we went, both holding a cell phone to our ears! (Get the picture? Smile.)

Well, Ben Franklin tried to warn me. He wrote to me over 200 years ago: Haste makes waste! But did I listen? Did I heed or otherwise respond to his wise warning?


So it was that just before arriving at the meeting, I realized I had neglected one very important detail of personal hygiene.


Yes, dear reader. I was about to enter a gathering that expected me to be both professional and personable. These expectations usually require that one engage others in conversation - often close conversation. Conversation that quickly exposes anyone guilty of the egregious sin commonly referred to as "Poor Dental Care".

(Or in less delicate terms: stinky breath!)

As luck would have it, I had grabbed carrots to munch on for breakfast. So, I found myself attempting to hurriedly chew carrots using every.... single..... tooth. Hoping against hope to scrape off at least a portion of the nasty, foul-smelling plaque that had accumulated while I slept.

I dug through my purse and located one slightly battered mint lying forlornly in the bottom.

"Do I eat it now? Or save it for later?" (I hear you yelling, "Eat it NOW, Sheri. For heaven's sake. Eat it now!") That's exactly what I did.

Fortunately, the meeting had just started when I arrived.

"Oh good," my relieved heart thought. "I won't have to be in anyone's face. I'll just sit over here in my chair. I'll listen, take notes and not breathe on anyone!"

Not so fast!

"Sheri, join me won't you?" It was the director for the meeting. "I've decided that we should pray over each individual before they speak today."


I'd already eaten my lone, lint-y mint! There wasn't a chance in this world that its effects would last through all those prayers!

Have you ever tried to pray aloud and hold your breath at the same time? Well, I'm here to testify that it doesn't work so well. Mostly, it just makes you light-headed and makes you sound slightly troubled. Sigh.

I only saw a few of the ladies shake their heads, lightly touch their noses, step back, or give any other delicate indication of a "bad breath encounter". But I know they were thinking it! Smile.

Today's lesson: Especially on the busiest days, slow down long enough to touch your toothbrush and make sure you used it before heading out.

Ewwww! Just writing about it makes me want to go brush my teeth again today! Smile.