January 21, 2015

A Better Perspective

"Which store do you hate more?" My daughter is asking me right before I leave.

I pause, thinking, weighing the options.

Which do I hate more? She only used the word hate because she's heard it from me before.

Finally, I form an answer, "Whichever one I am going to at the time."

We share a laugh, and I leave to go to the grocery store.

Grocery shopping and I are not on good terms. I actually do hate the task and the stores. I have for years.

For awhile, my sweet husband took over the task. I'd make the list and he would go. But it became cumbersome when his work hours increased. When that happened, naturally, the chore became mine again. I did not embrace it. Instead, I complained. I still do.

It most certainly did not become any better this summer when I went to gluten free, soy free, dairy free, and peanut free eating. I complained even more. There was no silver lining in grocery shopping for me...until this past Tuesday.

I was off to the store, again. My bad attitude kept me company through 2/3 of the store.

Stooping down to the bottom shelf, I hauled spring water up into my cart. Three gallons of the four were situated in the cart when I overheard a couple of people talking.

"Yeah, I had no idea I needed to be lactose free and soy free," the elderly lady chuckled as she spoke. "Use to think it was my momma's cooking making me ill. Then, when I got older and married, I still spent half  my nights stooped over with stomach cramps."

"Oh, my," her comrade says.

I'm not sure I should interrupt and share my own food intolerance experience. It doesn't quite seem right. So, I don't. I move on.

Through the aisles I tread. Picking up items and crossing them off the list. I've forgotten the requested dip for a party we will host on Saturday. Actually, I can't find it. The store has rearranged and I haven't a clue where the new dip section is located. It isn't where I think it should be, so I keep scanning the dairy shelves.

Finally, utterly frustrated, I leave my piled high cart smack dab in the aisle and inspect the shelves closely. Behind me a gentleman sighs and heaves his own cart over to the side. He's speed shopping and narrowly misses the obstacle of my cart.

Oh, I'm being rude. The thought dawns on me. In my frustration, I selfishly dismissed all the other shoppers. And, this, realizing that other people are here in the store also is what strikes me. Instead of hating the task and the store, perhaps I should see it from a different perspective. Maybe, just maybe, I shouldn't be gritting my teeth through the aisles. Maybe I should be smiling at the other shoppers and speaking to a few of them. It is something I do everywhere else. I talk to others at the library and post office. I smile and make polite conversations. Never at the grocery store though.

Entering the check out, I ponder the thought. Has my hate for grocery shopping really skewed my perspective that much?

My groceries rest on the belt awaiting the scanner. The cashier is now ready to wait on me. She comments on my box of hair color. I'm not sure it is really a compliment and my bad attitude wants to rise to the occasion. However, I remember my diary aisle rudeness and my perspective ponderings. It helps that the speed shopper has whisked his items through the self check out next to me. I swallow hard and smile, forcing myself to forget about my grocery shopping dislike and concentrate on the person before me.

We end up having a lengthy conversation about hair color, divorce, computer dating, and children. I did have a lot of groceries. So, we had time.

Leaving the store, I realize how much hating grocery shopping has affected my perspective and experience while in the grocery store. Not just my experience...all those who came in contact with my grumpy, bad attitude grocery shopping self. Was I a shining light of His love and grace? Certainly not.

Determined to have a better perspective next time,

January 8, 2015

NASB Note-Taker's Bible {a review}

Have you ever noticed how many variations of the Bible are available? Seriously, there are cultures and languages with no Biblical text and we have more than a smorgasbord of options. Do you want a two column text or one column? Find the right one easily. Do you want a red letter or all black and white? Not a problem. The store has both. A Bible with study notes or without? Maybe just cross references in the column? Done.

I don't say this to degrade us or the blessing. I say it because I think it means that everyone who is searching may find the perfect Bible format and style for themselves. Many choices can be good.

Zondervan has released yet another option into our saturated Bible choices. This one is geared toward those of us who like to write in the margins of our Bibles. That's right. Amongst all the choices in our Bible buffet, you know have the choice of how wide your margins are.

This NASB Note-Taker's Bible also features red lettered words of Christ and short supplemental sections in the back. A concordance, listing of Biblical perspectives, and tables outlining the ministry of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, miracles, and parables are found within the binding.

To be honest, at first I hated the look. My initial impression was that it looked like the publishers did not line up the cutting correctly. What's more, this was a note-taker's Bible and there was no lines?!

Then, I began to explore the pages a bit more. My mind began to comprehend how someone could actually use this. With the margins as wide as possible on the sides and bottom, note-takers have ample space to add their thoughts or thoughts of others into the pages. Without lines, writing would not be confined to a certain predetermined size or horizontal direction.

A possible way note-takers can benefit from this format is by using different color ink for notes on specific roles (wife, mom, teacher, etc.) or themes (sin, grace, love, etc.). Or, note-takers may prefer to use a specific color ink per year of notes. Since most will not study the entire Bible in one year, it may be nice to look back in a few years and see the green colored ink of 2015 and know where you were that year in your Christian growth.

The supplemental information in the back could be used as a basis for personal study. Whether you wanted to spend some time researching a Biblical world view or the miracles of Jesus, the supplemental section could be of use.

After exploring the pages and determining how I could use the wide margins to my best advantage, I did convert from dislike to appreciation. The only part I cannot truly appreciate is the two column text. I would have preferred a one column printing. It would have made referencing particular sections or verses of the text easier. For instance, if I want to write something about the column furthest from the margin, I will either have to code the note with a verse reference header or identifying number/letter or draw a line over/around the column in between. In the end, this is really my only complaint about the printing.

~ Dorie

On a side note, for those wondering...the hard cover edition is actually relatively blank under the dust jacket. When I first received the Bible, I was curious and thought someone else might be as well.

Fine Print: The publisher provided me a copy of this Bible in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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