Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Table Tipping Part 1

13 Then it was time for the annual Jewish Passover celebration, and Jesus went to Jerusalem.
14 In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices, and moneychangers behind their counters. 15 Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out, and drove out the sheep and oxen, scattering the moneychangers’ coins over the floor and turning over their tables! 16 Then, going over to the men selling doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Don’t turn my Father’s House into a market!”
~John 2:13-16 (The Living Bible)

When you think of Jesus, do you think of him this way? As a man who would use a whip to chase people out of the temple, while turning over their tables and scattering their money all over the floor? If you are anything like me, you probably think of him as more of a "turn the other cheek" kind of guy. One who sought peace in any and all situations.

But that is just not the case. While he did strive for peace, he also would not tolerate certain things. And you know what? Neither should we!

Now, before you start writing me, telling me that what I am about to say has absolutely NOTHING to do with why these verses were written, I already know that. My purpose is not to take anything away from these verses, rather to show you how I feel we can relate to them in a different way. The more I thought about them, the more I realized each part of our lives is sort of like a table. These tables become filled with things we allow into our lives; good or bad.

I have realized, in my own life, there are certain "tables" that need to be overturned. There are things I have put up with for far too long and while I may have been upset by them, I was not willing to tip over the table. The older I get, however, the more I realize some tables MUST be overturned for change to take place.

 While God does require us to love others, he does not command us to be their doormat. I am beginning to learn the difference between allowing myself to be taken advantage of, and tipping the table to bring about much-needed boundaries in my relationships with others.

In their book, Boundaries, Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend write, "Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me to a sense of ownership".

Perhaps you have allowed others to manipulate you, use you, take advantage of you...the list could go on and on. Maybe it is time to start tipping some tables!

Have you ever heard the song by Little Big Town, Little White Church? If you haven't, here are some of the lyrics:

You've been singing that same old song
Far too long, far too long
Say you'll buy me a shiny ring
But your words don't mean a thing
No more calling me baby, no more loving like crazy
'Til you take me down
(Take me down)
You better take me down
(Take me down)
Take me down to the little white church

Read more: Little Big Town - Little White Church Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Sounds like a lady who did some table tipping of her own!

We cannot control how others choose to behave, but we can control how we respond to their behavior. What I do or don't do, say or don't say, shows others how they can continue treating me. If I put up with something, just for the sake of keeping that table upright, people are going to think that it is okay to keep filling my table up with disrespect, manipulation, bad behavior, etc.

Where do you need to create some healthy boundaries in your own life? In what areas are you allowing others to control you? Is it with your spouse? Your parents? Siblings? Friends? Co-workers? Children?

Now, I will warn you, people usually don't appreciate you tipping the tables on them. While you may not have liked what was happening to you in the past, you did allow it, so people have gotten used to treating you a certain way. When you put your foot down and say (in love) that you will NO LONGER allow yourself to be treated that way, people may not like what you have to say. The dynamics of your relationship may change, and it may not be for the better. That is the price you have to pay for table tipping.

If you have allowed others to fill your tables with things you do not desire in your life, it is time to tell them that, from now on, things are going to be different. They may still behave the same way, but you will no longer allow their decisions to affect you, or to fill your table.

Maybe you thought you had healthy boundaries in place, but over time, your life fences have fallen into disrepair, and it is time to do some necessary maintenance. A fence is only as strong as its weakest spot. It's time to re-establish those boundaries!

If you need to tip some tables, but are hesitant to do so, what is stopping you? How long will you allow others to fill up your table with things you don't want? How long will you allow yourself to be used, manipulated, and taken advantage of? The time to put a stop to it is NOW.

Let the table tipping begin....

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Taken For A Ride On A Saturday Night

I have a bad habit of being ripped off when I go shopping. Hubs has often told me that I should carefully watch as each item is rung up, to make sure that I am being charged exactly what I should be, but I rarely do.

He first gave this sage advice to me when the girls were very small, after I had been accidentally overcharged on several items at the grocery store. Of course, I didn't realize it until after I was already home.

After he gave me his little speech, I told him that I couldn't possibly make sure that every single item was being rung up properly. How could I, when I was trying to keep the youngest from climbing out of the grocery cart seat, the middle daughter from wandering away, and the oldest from adding things from the conveniently placed candy shelf to the cart while I wasn't looking? Those things were WAY more important than being overcharged a few cents on a can of soup. To be honest, it just didn't seem that important. I figured it was a small price to pay for my sanity.

Now my girls are older, and are (usually) quite helpful when I am at the store. They actually UNLOAD the cart for me now, and I don't even have to ask them! I still have to keep tabs on the younger one, as she is still prone to wandering, but we are definitely making headway on that one.

So, there really isn't any reason why I couldn't watch as each and every item is being rung up. Except, that I don't.

I guess it's not fair then to become upset when I am overcharged. However, a little while ago, when I was charged for two motion sickness medicines instead of one (at $4.99 a pop!) I was a little ticked off. Of course, I was already home when I found out, so I didn't do anything about it. I chalked it up to a lesson being learned, and the next time, I swore that I would be more careful.


I admit, usually when I am shopping, I am in a hurry. We are a pretty busy family, and it seems that we are always running late to something. I usually do not have a long, leisurely time in which to shop, so that by the time we are actually checking out, I am staring at my watch, with panic starting to set in, that we will not make it on time to our next activity. Can any of you out there relate? Please, tell me I'm not alone.

Tonight, Hubs and I and the youngest decided to order some Chinese take-out. Since we were out, I decided to swing by the store for just one item: La Choy Teriyaki sauce. Why La Choy? It is the only brand that I have been able to find that is gluten-free. I had already looked at my regular store, and they were out of it, so I decided to try the store that I don't shop at all that much.

Hubs went to look through the store's garden center, to see if there was anything on clearance, while I fought my way through the mass of people to the other side of the store where the teriyaki sauce is kept.

I looked in vain for that blessed bottle with the purple top. They were out of it too! In fact.....there wasn't even a tag on the shelf for it. I'm afraid that means that, *gasp*, the company may have discontinued selling it, or, the stores have decided to stop selling it because they have something against me. Yes, I'm sure that's the reason.

Hubs called my cell phone to tell me that they had fertilizer/crab grass killer on clearance, so he was going to pick up a few bags, and I could meet him in the front. On my way there, I also decided to pick up some corn tortillas and GF English muffins, because, I am an impulse shopper. It is a rare occasion when I can go into a store, and ONLY buy what I came in there to buy. It's a sickness.

Anyway, I had my items, and Hubs had his, so off we went to wait in line. Our Chinese food was only going to take "10 minutes" (that is what they always say every single time you call) and we were already running late picking it up, but we weren't too worried.

The young girl seemed to have a hard time ringing things up as this was a special coupon day, but she managed, and we eagerly hurried to the car, the delicious taste of Chinese food already in our mouths.

As we were getting in the car, I just so happened to glance down at the receipt.


I noticed the girl had charged me for not one.....but TWO English muffins.

Now, since I was actually behind Hubs, and therefore I couldn't even see as the items were rung up, it was actually Hubs that didn't notice that we were charged double! Oh, how the tides have turned.

He asked if I wanted to go in, or if I wanted him to, and of course, I told him that he may have the pleasure.

He quickly went in, got his refund, and came back out.

We had a discussion about how, if we wouldn't have noticed, we would have been out $4.99. Gluten-free items are not cheap, people!

I decided to look at the other items we purchased on the receipt, just to make sure they were rung up correctly.

I hadn't been with Hubs to know how much his fertilizer stuff was supposed to be, but when I told him that each of the three bags had rung up at $23.99, his jaw dropped.

Apparently, the fertilizer was supposed to be $20.79 Oh, the humanity....

Back in we go!

Hubs went BACK to customer service, to get ANOTHER refund. After Hubs expressed his displeasure at being overcharged not once, but twice, the man gave him a store credit for $2.50, on top of the money that he was overcharged for the fertilizer.

Knowing our ability to forget all about coupons, he decided to use it right then and there. Since he is a fan of Magic Shell, but he doesn't usually want me to buy it, he decided that, since we were given "free" money, he would spend it on that.

We located the Magic Shell, and proceeded to stand in line.....again.

As we waited in the long line, an older gentleman behind me asked me, "You aren't going to use that NOW, are you?"

Thinking he meant the Magic Shell, and being very confused since I couldn't very well use the Magic Shell now.....I looked dumbfounded at him, and stuttered something about not understanding what he meant.

He tapped the bag of fertilizer/crab grass killer, and repeated his question again. OH....he meant the fertilizer! Ha! I told Hubs the man had a question for him. Hubs reassured him that he wasn't going to use it now, but was just buying it because it was on clearance.

By the time we were finally able to pick up the Chinese take-out, way more than 10 minutes had passed. It had been closer to an hour.

The lady said that she had even called us, because she thought we weren't coming to pick it up! No, we were just trapped at the store.

By returning to the store.....twice.....we were able to get back over $15, plus we received a "customer happiness" coupon (that is what it was called) which resulted in free Magic Shell for our ice cream. I'm not sure that $2.50 made up for it, but I guess it's better than nothing.

I asked Hubs if he was charged correctly at the Chinese restaurant, and he said he didn't know.

But, with the way our night had been going......

Probably not.....