Hammer Away (Part 1)

 Which body part do you wash first?

A) Face

B) Shoulder/Arm

C) Chest

D) Privates

E) Armpits

**I’d really like to know your answer. Comment below.

According to a nonsensical article I found, the body part that you wash first says plenty about your personality type. If you’re interested in learning more, you can click here. But trust me, you’re not going to wind up learning anything. And I guarantee that your showers will last much longer because you’ll be standing there thinking about how you’d make more money if only you were compelled to wash your feet before washing your stomach. It’s a bunch of hogwash.

I recently switched my answer to F: None of the Above. Instead of lathering up my shoulder or face, I just let the water run from one level to the next. My showers now begin with my head hanging down low. Droplets of water run down my forehead and into my mouth, and I don’t block the wetness even though it tastes like sweat. I stand there for a long moment, sometimes bracing myself with one hand on an ice-cold wall, and then slowly I start to stretch my feet. And I think about how far I’ve come.

The whole exercise idea was mine, but I never imagined it’d be so hard. P90x Insanity is more than a workout. It’s a 60-day commitment, a mental challenge, and I’m going to finish no matter what it takes. This isn’t like the Ab Rocket, which guaranteed to melt fat off of my stomach while I rocked back and forth. And this isn’t like the Perfect Push-Up that Hunter Cain, one of my best guy friends, took with him when he moved out. When he left, so did the motivation to get arms like Angela Bassett. And this isn’t like the time my neighbor convinced me to buy a pilates tape so we could be toned. This is the real deal. I took ‘before’ photos and authorized my roommate to release them to the public if I quit.

 I think about how far I’ve come and far I’ve got to go while the water runs, and sometimes I lose track of how long I’ve been in there. After a hard workout, even the plastic bottle that has body wash in it feels extremely heavy. As I was lifting it this morning, I thanked God out loud for bringing me back to Burberry, if only temporarily. It’s in moments like these that I can actually see the answers to my prayers. I prayed for grace– for a power that would enable me to do more than I can naturally do on my own– to be all over me before, during, and after work. It’s grace that’s letting me be enough for me, and enough for other people too.

 While I don’t like working at the big B, it’s given me yet another opportunity to effectively minister the Word of God to someone who needs it. Like Amy, a woman who is supervising me there. Considering she’s pregnant, Amy is quite small. She smiles pleasantly and is nice to me personally, but she exhales frustration and exasperation in almost every breath. I can see past the fumes that others avoid. She’s hurting. She’s unsure about the future, and in need of encouragement and a reminder that God is fulfilling His plan for humanity through women like herself who take the time to raise good, Godly children. We had a personal talk in the small office where we normally work with our backs to one another, and I could feel her holding back tears as I gave her the proof that everything will work out: Greater is He who is in you than He who is the world.

 I’m also secretly thrilled to be back at the big B because it’s where I’ll find Patrice. Patrice is young, just finishing school. She’s also mature and quite funny, and for some odd reason we just hit it off right away. We both like to think aloud as we work in the fashion closets, but these days I am doing most of the talking. I’ve been interviewing for permanent jobs– oh, how I wish the Lost Boys would call me with the offer I’ve been dreaming of!–, and it hasn’t been easy scheduling work and making sure I’m a perfect-looking and perfect-sounding candidate for these various positions. She’s been helping me figure it out and determine a fair salary. In return, I gave her the number of a hair stylist that’s great with dreadlocks. Her former hair stylist fired her– which I find hilarious– because she kept asking for last-minute appointments. She jokingly whined that she can’t help the last-minute disorganization because that’s just how her life is.

 “EXCUSES ARE NAILS USED TO BUILD HOUSES OF FAILURE!”, I yelled.

How amazing is that quote? I heard that our Pastor says that. I’ve never actually heard him say it, but boy would I like to. It’s one of my new sayings for 2012. I can’t wait to find other reasons to yell it. As for me, I ain’t got no nails lying around. Just a hammer. To be continued…

 

Written to: ME SINGING “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” TO IAN CRAWFORD!; Willow Smith “Whip My Hair”; Luther Vandross “Here and Now”; Beyonce’ “Love On Top”, Rhianna “We Found Love”, LMFAO “Party Rock”

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