To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in awhile.

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Frankly Phyllis

Keep The Tissue Handy!

Do you know how many things you can do with a tissue when no one's looking? I have my favorites, and I bet you do too. Our grandmothers wore aprons so they could do pretty much all of the following, in an ecologically acceptable way, without wasting tissues. I keep mine in pockets, handbags, between the pages of whatever I'm reading, in the car console...but primarily in my upper body lingerie.

It's hard for me to name that garment, even though they're blatantly advertised in print, on women who stand there, non plus, like they're wearing snowsuits! Why do I hesitate to name the object of clothing? I'm not sure, but I'm trying to ease into it like a Victorian lady afraid of breaking the rules. If it were just you and I talking over tea, I'd come right out with it. But men read this column and I wouldn't come right out and say it if I were talking over tea with a man; it just doesn't come up that often in polite conversation. But then again, I heard a guy, a very cool 40-something, in the U.K. recently say out loud, in mixed company, "I'm late because I was putting the bra on my car!" No-one blinked. So if a guy can say it about how he protects his car from the elements, surely I can say, it too, right? Here we go: "I generally have a tissue in my bra!"

It's always good to have a tissue on hand; they prove useful all the time! Last Sunday, I gave some to the woman sitting next to me in Bible class, as we shared an emotional moment. I often even use one to wipe off my kids' wooden steps while going upstairs -- it annoys them, but I do it! I'm not a neat-nick; my husband takes care of that by mowing the lawn in two directions, to perfection. I, on the other hand, keep hundreds of Woman to Woman® show files in my basement, which drives him nuts.

Meanwhile, we enjoy great meals, clean comfort, cozy fires in winter, homemade punches and jellies in summer...and my teeny obsession with using a tissue to dust my 87-year-old godmother's picture frames, her dusty lipstick holder no one ever notices, my kids' bedroom fan blades and occasionally the edges of shower tops and mirrors. Why do it? Because it needs to be done. No one else sees it, but it's gunk and will make someone sneeze. It accumulates and cogs things up. And besides, that's what tissues are for!

You may be wondering about the spiritual application in all of this; you know it's coming, if you know me! God cleans me up, sometimes where I don't notice, in behaviors and thoughts, in mistakes I make and sins I commit. He forgives and restores, nurtures and redirects me, as I stay in relationship with Him through faith in Christ. Why? Because it's what He does, from the inside out. Does it make a difference? Yes, otherwise the gunk, like bitterness or grumbling, builds up to become more of a problem.
Ask God to reveal what He knows needs cleaning up in you! Then stick with Him as He works in that area of your life. Humbly submit to His loving way of teaching you a better way to go. Frankly, you might need some tissue, but He doesn't, because 'tis you He loves, in 2011 and always!

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