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Recent Thoughts on Bologna

Bologna has got to be one of the most disgusting deli meats around. I just don’t understand why people buy it. Why, with all the other good meat out there, would you stare into a deli case and decide, “Hmmm, well that bologna sure looks good! I think I’ll take a pound of that.”?? It’s kind of slimy and it smells weird and doesn’t taste good. MAYBE…if you have to eat it…you can fry it and make it edible.

You may ask where all these seemingly random thoughts on bologna are coming from? Some of you probably know that right before Christmas my doctor cleared me for work again. Although I’ve still been very tired and have constant headaches, I haven’t had any seizures since December 9th (Praise Jesus!) and so she gave me the ok to work as long as it wasn’t anything dangerous. When I asked for clarification, she told me not to go out and decide to be a lifeguard or anything like that. OH, ok.

However, with the privilege to drive still months off, my options were pretty limited. So I applied at a local, family-owned, IGA grocery store that is a 3 minute walk from my apartment and was hired right away. I’m currently part time because I wanted to start out slowly and see how it goes but he will bump my hours up as soon as I say the word.

At this store, each employee is moved from department to department so you pretty much get to work everywhere. I’ve worked in the meat room on grinding and packing, I’ve been cashier, AND in the deli. Which brings me back to bologna.

Did you know that bologna is actually one of the hardest deli meats to slice?? It is VERY slippery and so when it hits the blade, the whole meat tries to spin and instead of a clean slice of meat you get a shred of bologna. Turns out, no one in the deli really likes to slice bologna because it is hard. I found this out my very first day in the deli and promptly named that horrible meat my nemesis. But I thought to myself that surely not very many people actually order that stuff with all the other great deli meat that we sell.

Well, one day last week, it just so happened that I was in the deli all by myself because we were a little short on staff. It was probably only my third time ever working in there. The first person of the day comes to the counter and I cheerfully ask, “What can I get for you?” What do you think he said? A pound of Eckrich bologna. I had to clamp my mouth shut before something popped out like “Seriously??” or “Are you sure?” I gave a very fake smile as I pulled the meat out of the case and carefully unwrapped it, looking desperately around for someone to help me out of this situation.

It was as I was standing there trying not to drop a huge hunk of slippery bologna on the floor that I prayed what seemed to me the silliest prayer ever: “Lord, please help me slice this bologna. Please don’t let it shred.”

Did you know that slicing deli meat is actually very nerve wracking? Some people are very particular as to the thickness of their meat and they stand there and watch you with every slice. I placed the bologna on the machine, still praying, and turned it on. My first slice came out so perfect that I cried out loud, “Haha! Thank you, Jesus!” like a little girl. I’m not quite sure what my customer thought but I kept praying as I sliced and I only had one that shredded. Whew. I felt like I had run a marathon.

All that to say a couple things: 1. No prayer is silly and prayer does work. 2. Next time you are at the deli, do yourself and the employee a favor and order some salami instead.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2018 in work

 

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Stolen Identity

Like I said originally, when all of this started I was leading a very busy and active life. Gradually though, I was not able to do all the things I had been doing before.

Believe it or not, one of the first things to go was my ability to sit and read. I had such bad headaches all of the time that to sit and read a book was impossible. I would wake up in the morning and open my Bible and cry because all of the words just blended together and hurt my head so bad. My housemate, Natalie, started leaving one piece of paper on the table for me each night with a verse on it. I would find it in the morning and meditate on that verse. For a while all of the papers laid out on my bedroom floor so that I would see them every day (they almost covered the whole floor) but now they are in a scrapbook.

Obviously, with the ability to read gone, school was out of the question. I called my school and put a hold on my studies. That was really hard because I had these grand plans of where I wanted to be by the end of the year and I saw them dashed to pieces.

There came the day when I could no longer work out or run. I love running. I never realized how much of a stress release it was for me until I couldn’t do it anymore. Call me crazy, but there were days when I literally sat and cried because I couldn’t go out for a run.

Although my license hasn’t actually been taken from me, Ohio law says that you have to be seizure free for six months before you can drive so I was not and I am still not able to drive and had to either walk to work or rely on others for rides (which, by the way, is very humbling.)

There were days when I felt like my job was being taken from me. When I wasn’t able to do it as well as before or I had to leave early because I felt so bad. Days when my boss sent me home to rest because I looked like death warmed over and he was concerned. Everyone was so gracious to me but I WANTED to be there and I WANTED to do my job well!

And I felt empty. Like everything I loved to do in life was taken from me and I didn’t know who I was anymore. And that’s when I realized it. That’s when I realized that instead of my identity being in who I was in Christ and what he has done, it was in all the things I did everyday. It was SO hard to admit that to myself because I desperately wanted my identity to be in Christ! And I cried my eyes out because I realized that I had been putting other things before Christ. But once I found the truth, once everything was taken away from me and Christ was the only thing I had left, it was easy for me to see what I had been doing with my life.

And, you know what? It was freeing. It was freeing to realize that all I had to do was turn to Christ and I could rest assured that forgiveness was already there for me. That his grace was ready and waiting for me and I could take refuge there. And there were days when I felt helpless and empty and didn’t even know what words to pray anymore, but he brought me through it and became the strong tower and refuge that he is described as in the Bible.

Psalm 61:1-3

“Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.”

(You are currently reading a post in a series called The2016Story. If you have jumped in in the middle and would like to start at the beginning, click HERE.)

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2017 in The2016Story

 

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