About Over the Hill 242

Hi. My name is Hadassah Deleveaux (née Hall). I am a writer. I am a storyteller. Here, you will find no dead bodies, no blood, no gun cartridges in the road, no body bags, no hearses, no handcuffs…Here, the photographs are different….the stories are different. Quite frankly, I am tired of seeing so much negative news about those in the inner city. There is another side. Therefore, it is my mission to do what I can to shine the light on the positive people this community has, and continues to produce. Welcome to ‘Over the Hill…The Other Side.’

The Best Presents!

Pinterest.com

I recently had an interesting experience in the food store. As the packing lady finished storing the groceries in my three bags, she handed them to me. I asked if she was going to take them to the car, but she murmured under her breath and looked ahead to the next customer. I was taken aback.

I really could have used the help as one bag was heavy with meat for my mother. I could be wrong, but perhaps with only three bags, she figured she would not have gotten a big enough tip. I don’t know.

I am a stickler for good customer service and I expect it even from the packing lady at the store. She shrugged me off. Further, I noticed she didn’t budge from the packing area; hence, preventing the next in line a chance to pack and gain a tip. As I exited the store with my three bags, I stopped to the first packer waiting on the line and gave her the tip I had for my packer.



Do you see how easy it is to despise something that was meant to be a blessing? Sometimes that increase is too small or perhaps that position too lowly. Maybe the present you received was seemingly too cheap. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In all things give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus...”

After that experience, I thought of how a packer at another store reacted totally differently a few months earlier. As this student from A. F. Adderley was packing my bag, I was honest and told him I had no cash on me, so I would take my bags to the vehicle. This time, it was no three bags; it was a full trolley.

Pinterest



He humbly said it was okay and he would still take my groceries to the vehicle. I was impressed with this young man. He knew upfront he wasn’t getting a dime AND after not getting a dime, he would have to go to the back of the packers’ line.

I took the opportunity to express my gratitude and briefly encouraged him in the Lord. I promised him I would be back to give him a tip at some point.

Within two or three weeks, I returned to the store solely for that purpose. I met him on the line chatting with his peers. I asked if he remembered me. He said yes, with big wide, almost-smiling eyes. I escorted him off the line and pulled out a card from my bag which had a handwritten note of encouragement. Inside, I had slipped a handsome sum of money – way more than I believe the average packer receives for a tip.

The young man received a gift for doing for me when he knew he would get nothing in return, whereas the lady seemed to reject assisting possibly because the reward might not have been big enough.

Some of the best presents come in unassuming packages.

I understand packers make no salary, but attitude makes a huge difference. Let us be careful how we handle situations. Remember: The best presents aren’t always in the glittering or biggest packages!

Growing in Christ,
Hadassah

Let it Go!

sometimes-the-best-thing-orlando-espinosa-let-it-go

I really admire determined people and if you know some scenarios in my life, you would know that I have stayed the course and persevered. I’ve tasted the sweetness of victory after struggles. However, I recently had a situation where I recognized the need to not go to the finish line. And guess what? I’m okay with that.

For work, a particular department was mandated to have all of its employees take two one-month online courses, free of charge to them. I found out about it and decided to sign up, although it wasn’t mandatory for me. I figured I’d upskill.

how-to-create-pivottables-main_thumb800

I decided to challenge myself and take an Excel course, knowing full well that a course I did in college which only had Excel as a topic had me lost! Yet, I decided to not do a course with Excel as a subject – but take a WHOLE EXCEL COURSE. Go figure! Well, today – during week three – I dropped the class. Yes, I was near the finish line, but I can tell you that the struggle was real! It was so awful that I felt stressed, my head was light, my body felt heavy, I felt pressured, I worked an inordinate amount of time on one question, I allowed myself to become cranky and I just wasn’t getting it. It just wasn’t clicking for me. This wasn’t working.

Yes, as a Christian, I am quite aware that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13), but I also realize my interest wasn’t really there. I was going against the grain from the get go and before the course, I had preconceived perceptions (not the best way to approach anything!) I experienced trepidation from before it started. Additionally, I had work and personal commitments; for example, during one class, I had to attend an important work-related Zoom meeting. Then, another day, I had an unexpected interruption which took me away from class for about an hour (that really threw me off). And yes, I know life happens, and I know what it is to juggle things, but missing half an hour or an hour of a 14-week class, condensed into four weeks – which I was already struggling with – was like missing several lessons! It was rough!

GettyImages-1207514130-971e8985a99546578798acd5a212c2e5

So what did I do? I dropped that class. It wasn’t even mandatory for me to do anyhow! Yes. There you have it. I dropped the class. But in doing so, I learned that it’s okay to sometimes not continue pursuing something. It might be a particular major, a relationship…a career.

There was a small sense of failure, which overshadowed me, but only for a few moments. I quickly rebounded and just faced it: Excel is not my cup of tea. Further, I just wasn’t that interested. Excel is like a foreign language to me. Honestly. It’s like a friend of mine who went to college and initially started out with a science focus. That friend struggled, until an advisor reviewed her grades and pointed out how well she was doing in English classes. She switched her major and came into her own as an English major, eventually going on to teach English. And she absolutely loves it! Is she a failure because she didn’t finish that science degree? No. In fact, she is an excellent teacher, a hard worker and truly loves her students and wants to see them succeed. She recognized her strength and channeled her energy in a different direction.

So yeah, as I sit here typing, I feel lighter. I feel free, quite frankly. I just think in life, there are some things worth pursuing, but there are some things we just need to know when to let go. Some people consider it giving up. In this case, I say I let go. This was a ‘Do you boo’ situation.’ It was in my best interest, particularly as I was being affected mentally to the point of it manifesting physically. I’ve been working since I was 19 and I am now in my 40s. I have never had to use Excel. I truly believe it is useful to know, but it’s not absolutely necessary in my line of work. My instructor tried to convince me to stay, but Why should I stress myself out to prove a point to anyone – including myself?

what-would-you-do-with-your-freedom

Maybe someone else needs this too. Perhaps it’s speaking to you. We all have certain talents, passions…strengths. For example, I’ve read of a banker who left banking to become a makeup artist. Not only does she love it, but she’s thriving and quite popular! I know of another person who left a job as a veteran accountant to make way less money teaching Accounts in the high school system, but that person loves it! Do what you love and stick with it. It doesn’t mean it will be all smooth sailing, but when you have challenges along the way, at least know, ‘I’m in this for the long haul.’ Nothing wrong with challenging ourselves – that’s healthy – and I know some things in life don’t come easy. But this was just one of those situations that just wasn’t worth it for me.

I’m linguistically inclined. I’m a writer. I’m a blogger. I’m a speaker…a journalist at heart…I’m a communicator. That is who I am and I’mma stay in my lane!

Growing in Christ,

Hadassah

Behind the Mask

IMG-20200613-WA0020Photo: Getty Images

 

Honestly, there is a part of me which likes being behind the masks we have to wear these days – unfortunately due to COVID-19. I honestly feel incognito.

In fact, one day, I had on my mask, shades and a wig (the latter because my natural hair is a mess!). I rarely use the shades, but the mask helps to shield my identity – to some extent. Between that wig with bangs over my forehead AND a mask, I go about often without revealing who I am.

Yesterday, I thought of how spiritually, many people are hiding behind masks. Their true identities are not known. A person can be in the choir, an usher, a deacon, pastor, the praying old lady who sits in the same spot every week, a stalwart member of the church or a babe in Christ who sits in the back pew – it does not matter. God has called us to be honest people. We shouldn’t be “holy-art-thou” when we walk into the church building with the loudest praise and the scripture-laced prayers, but cheating on our spouses, lying to a Customs Officer when it’s time to declare what we are bringing into the country or calling in sick when we are not.

IMG-20200613-WA0021Photo: World Vision

 

“For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. ” ~ Ecclesiastes 12:14.

God is not impressed with the outward appearance. We can only hide or fake our ways through for so long. He looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). We are expected to be the same person outside the church service or prayer meeting as we are when we go to those walls. After all, the church is not the building – it’s the people. Our lives are sermons everyday.

“…walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” ~ Ephesians 4:1

Growing in Christ,                                   

Hadassah