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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

Lesson in choices
Date Posted: August 13, 2017

Take a trip with your mother... just you and her. I highly recommend it. There is nothing like it and you have memories to cherish. My mom and I took a trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. She is so precious and it was quite a trip, what with her breaking her ankle within the first hour of arriving at our little bungalow on the west side of Eureka Springs.

The trip would have been better I were not in the thoes of menopause. That curious happening to older women is the real curse. Having babies is child's play to this insidious monster who has kidnapped my personality and makes me the Bride of Frankenstein at the most inopportune moments.

It became apparent to me rather quickly that most of the family had no stomachs (that Shakespeare for not being hungry) so I had to announce to one and all that I needed life-sustaining sustenance or I would keel over, faint from lack of nourishment. One look at me would tell anyone that I could miss several meals and not faint. However, during this malovent menopause, if I do not feed the bear regularly, I become quite cranky and that makes it miserable for everyone else. Mom knows this, so instantly she offered to go with me to get a bite to eat.

My cousin and her husband mentioned a great place just down the road so we went there. The lobby was full of about twenty people and I assumed correctly they were waiting to be seated for their daily, midday bear-tamer. The host said it would be about fifteen to twenty minutes' wait. Anyone in New Orleans is used to waiting much longer. Mom and I so rarely go out to eat that waiting five minutes seems an eternity.

My stomach growled a protest, and I said, "Oh, no. Mom, let's go somewhere else. I do not think I can wait that long without getting really cranky."

Sweet Mom said, "Okay, whatever you say," and turned to leave.

The host interjected, "Well, you won't find better food anywhere else today and you might want to check the prices before you decide."

I said it didn't matter to me because I needed food now. He so sweetly said, "You are welcome to go look at the buffet before you decide to leave."

First... I wanted to eat not look!
Second... He sure was cocky to slither into our decision making process!

But, by this time, I was starting to feel a bit stupid for being so insistent on eating instantly. So, I raised my brows and said much like a princess would, "I do not wish to look, I want to eat. Mom, let's sit down and we will [teeth grinding together] have fun.

There is a difference between mouthing the words "let's have fun" and actually having fun. When cranky, a person can try to be good and not cause a scene, but the follow-through is difficult. It takes not only decision but also determination.

We sat down in the only two chairs available. People in all sorts of sizes squeezed by me trying to get to the bathroom or to check out of the hotel or check in the hotel or get in line to eat. I wasn't much interested in what they were heading to do, just mostly interested in keeping my toes attached to my feet. I looked much like a tap dancer sitting down. Dancers have fun, right?

Mom decided to leave the bear alone and she started a conversation with the lady sitting on her other side. This was the usual, "Where are you from?" conversation. We found out all about the sights of Eureka Springs and she found out our history. Then she told us she had already eaten and the food was "simply superb here." Egads. I wanted to ask her to lean forward so I could slap her, then grab the host's red tie and sling him down and slap him just for being so condescending and slithering into our decision to stay. He had that self-satisfied look of someone who knows he's right. ACK!

When the completly satiated lady finally took her satisfied self away, I switched to her chair and firmly determined to have fun. In a rack by the registration desk, I found a book titled, "Over the Next Hill and Still Going". After reading a few lines, I started reading out loud to Mom and we started laughing. The bear still growled, but time zoomed by, and we, indeed, had fun.

Hebrews 12:11 At the time, discipline [self-control, determination] isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.

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Biography Information:
Gina Burgess has taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training for almost three decades. (Don't tell her that makes her old.) She earned her Master's in Communication in 2013.

She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.

If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews before the books hit the book store shelves, check out Gina's book reviews at Upon Reflection

Gina is a partner and COO of Common Sense Marketing Strategies, LLC that owns Authors Community and
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