Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thought Provoking Thursdays, 6/30

Thought Provoking Thursday button

Click the picture to join Sheena @ Sing! for Thought Provoking Thursday :)

1. What is the difference between living and existing?
I'd like to say something really profound here, but I think the truth is probably chocolate cake.
HA!  Kidding.  Only kidding.
Recent events have taught me that it's possible to simply exist--survive might be a better term--but living requires involvement that isn't just going through the motions.  For me, that honest difference was Jesus, and I don't mean that in the cliched "Jee-Zhuh-sss" way tele-evangelists seem to use it.  He didn't just leave me going through the motions.

2. What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?
Gosh.  That's difficult to narrow down, because there have been so many--especially recently.  People have gone to bat for me in the strangest of ways in the last few months...but one simple one that warms my heart is a hug I get from a little girl at church Every.  Single.  Sunday.  She never forgets me.  It's a reminder that I matter.  And I love her for it.

3. Do you see to believe or believe to see?
For you?  I believe to see.  For me, I generally like a little more visible evidence.
But part of being an effective teacher is believing in something you can't see and knowing it will come about.  So I would consider myself  someone who sits in the middle and leans toward the latter more often than not.

I'll Never Look At Math The Same

I've got a couple of projects in progress right now--one of which is mopping my floors.  It's slow going, because I spray with vinegar and then wipe down with a microfiber cloth.  It doesn't leave streaks like regular mopping does--and it's a reminder as to how beautiful my floors are when they aren't covered with muddy puppy prints.  But before I bore you with all those details, I thought I'd give you one reason why I may never be able to hate math again:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Birthday: My Wish 2011

Generally, I am very aware of the fact that my birthday approaches.  I have no excuses.  I am a birthista.  (Yes, my birthday does require the creation of new words simply to honor my day.)

But this year, I lost track.  I was reminded by a coworker (Hi, Julie!) that my birthday is on Monday.  I stared blankly and then realized that I've lost a week at some point this month.  Granted, my mind is on other things--like why SugarBean thinks the phrase is "For complete's sakes" instead of "Pete's sake."

At any rate, I thought I would offer a this-would-be-nice-to-have list for the masses with the thought in mind that I need nothing.  I have been greatly blessed this year.  Not only did Favorite and I build a house, God has blessed us with the means to furnish most of the rooms. 

But because I enjoy Big Mama's forays into fashion wants, I thought I'd provide my own list of pictures.

First of all, I've asked my Favorite for a new camera.  I won't post a picture of that, but I'm hoping it will come in handy in the future. 

I'm interested in starting this series.  I usually just ask for box sets because I can watch when I want.  Unfortunately, that means that I don't always get around to it in a good time period.  This is totally why I watched the first season of Army Wives and then never finished the second season--even though I borrowed it about two years ago.  According to my mom, though, this is a series worth watching.  Keep in mind, I would also be extremely excited over any of the DuckTales series (because I'm weird like that) even though it in no way relates to this particular series.

I read the first book in this series, so I'm definitely interested in picking up the second one.  I like Rick Riordan and I try to keep up on things my students my be interested in.  Since I've already read The Hunger Games, I'm going to try to keep up on this series.  Unfortunately, I think I've bought every other book I'm interested in reading at this point.  I really need to expand my list.  That may require suggestions from all of you.
Recently, I've really gotten into accessorizing my outfits.  It's more fun that buying clothes, because there are few sizing options in jewelry; plus, most jewelry is multipurpose.  I'm a pretty big fan of the Decree line from JCPenney--like this little guy:

Of course, I also love purses and bags.  I can't help it.  Consider it an illness.

Beyond these things, I love gift cards (Kohl's, Old Navy, Macy's and Barnes and Noble).  And, as per usual, I'm mostly looking forward to hanging out at Mom and Dad's for the day and lounging in the pool--provided the weather finally works in our favor.

I hope that helps.  If not, bring your smiling face and enjoy the water.  I'd like to turn 31 surrounded by people I love.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Prayer Monday 6/26

I mentioned last week that I was going to start Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore.  Here are a couple of things I feel you should know: 

1.  The book is short.  Each chapter is really short.
2.  It's written in an extremely relational style so it doesn't become overly encumbering.
3.  It is written for people who are already Christians--not those looking to come to Christ.

In one part of the book, Beth recounts how her husband, Keith, has said, "I wonder what kind of person I would be if I wouldn't have gone through all of this stuff."  Beth said the Holy Spirit spoke through her when she responded, "Honey...You're a much neater person healed than you would have been well" (44).

I don't think that response means we seek out sin just so Jesus can heal us.  Instead, I think it calls us to recognize the healing He has wrought in our lives through some horrendous circumstances--sometimes ones of our own making.  It's a recognition of who He is, and who we are as a result.

Mostly, this book is blessing me because I need to be reminded that I haven't been forgotten--that God is right here and He WILL be glorified.

This week I wish you would pray that for Favorite and me.  I want God to be glorified in my life.  I want Him to draw me closer to Him and push me into a deeper relationship with Him.  I want to talk openly about what He is to me--even when I'm not purposefully pushing myself to talk about Him.  I want Him to give me a heart for ministry--for people.  And I need a heart that is tender and compassionate without losing an ability to offer tough love when necessary.

Whew.  That's a lot to pray, but I appreciate your tenacity in prayer.  I'm praying for you.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Favorite has come up with his fair share of crazy schemes, but one has stood the test of time:  he wants to become a falconer.

He's convinced that if he and one of his buddies can catch a hawk out here, he can train it and it will be his own, personal falcon. 

(I have no idea where he gets these plans.  Maybe I need to have higher expectations for things on the house.  Then he has no time to create these crazy schemes.)

Anyway, it should be no surprise that Big Bro automatically thought of Favorite when the new State Farm Commercial started airing.

Watch in wonder at the fact that there are other people in the world who think just like my Favorite...and find it terrifying.

Friday, June 24, 2011

One walk, one trip to the walk-in clinic and two mugs of earl grey later, and I'm doing fine.

I guess we all have those days, right?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

You Should Read This

Posts are usually longer here.  Something about me and being wordy--blah blah blah.  I prefer to the word verbose (so do my students). 

Rambling might be one of my spiritual gifts (along with eating.  That can be a spiritual gift, right?), but today I'll spare you.

Instead, you should click this link and read something that I thought was really profound (and yet somehow really "Hey, Captain Obvious.").

Then we should discuss.  I like to discuss things.  I understand things when I can discuss them...which is why I send my brother a hundred emails to ask a thousand questions I have after reading random articles on the internet.  Poor guy.  He needs a break.  But I can't help my naturally inquisitive mind.

Go.  Read.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Totally Get That

I skipped doing Wednesday Hodgepodge in favor of having dinner with a friend last night and breakfast with my husband this morning.  Two words?  Worth it.

It's fantastic to be able to say that about things in my life.  I would say I've been struggling with a few things lately, but that's neither true nor accurate.  "Struggling" has been the state of my life for the last year or so.  Maybe longer if my pride would allow me to admit that on the worldwide web.  It's not a "pity me because some things are just hard right now" sort of struggling, because, if nothing else, it's certainly made me more compassionate for people who deal with difficult circumstances (and there are lots of you out there--possibly all of you).  But maybe it should give me a sense of gratefulness--not just for the things I have, but for God's continued ability to teach me when I just don't get it.

I'm really just hoping that while I'm being as honest as possible about what it means to follow Him, I'm glorifying Him.  I don't want to screw it up.  Sometimes I'm terrified that's exactly what I'm doing.

There have been a few surprising things in the process, though.  Like really learning to listen.  Like the privilege of spending time with really great people.  Like finally allowing yourself to share with them.  Like the concept that your own great words don't just apply to other people.

In about two weeks, I'll turn 31.  And just like I promised you last year, I still don't have it figured out.  I don't even think I'm a year closer to clarity, but I can definitely see purposefulness in these seasons.  Sometimes I believe God has ordained these things for no other reason than to give me the ability to shake my head during a conversation and say, "Yep.  I totally get that."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Just A Note

Prayer Monday isn't a closed group, and I pray over each and every prayer request posted.  Feel free to participate if you wish.

I thought about closing the group down, but I think it's a call to authenticity in my life.  So participants or not, I'll keep posting every week. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Prayer Monday 6/20

I love quotes, but when it comes to Christian living, I've never been one to offer some saying and expect that it will fix all of life's problems.  So you can imagine that what I'm about to say was a bit shocking to me, too.

I read something on pinterest this week that caught my attention:  "What if the blessings we have today are only the things we thanked God for yesterday?"  Again, I'm not one to base my entire existence on one flip statement, but since God has been speaking to me about praising Him (and discipline.  Always discipline.  It's the neverending lesson), this caught my attention.

I know God is good, but I don't often enough tell people how good He has been to me.  He gave me salvation, and continues to teach me--even when my spirit is less than teachable.

He's drawing my family to Himself.  And He always does it with sincerity and patience.

He knits congregations back together and gives each person participating purpose.  He has fulfilled needs in my life in natural and supernatural ways.

And I know He's going to continue to meet my needs.  He's teaching me to bring things to Him.  Sometimes the simplest requests seem a bit asinine, and yet He answers:  like a prayer for grass.  Praise God, it's starting to grow!

He's growing Himself in my heart.  I'm still asking for Him to heal my body and draw Favorite and I closer to Him.  Please continue to pray those things for us. 

This week I'm starting Get Out of that Pit by Beth Moore.  I'll probably provide updates as I get going, because I know there are continuous pitfalls in my life I need to learn to give over to Christ.  But I honestly want to praise Him for how far I feel we've come in the last few months.

And thanks to you for being a part of that.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

From the Land of A Little Too Ordinary

Successful bloggers tend to post about once a day.  The problem?  My life is a little too ordinary at the moment.

Everyone likes to read about issues with hot water and freezing your rear off in the shower.

Most people will suffer through rants about work.

And there are a handful who will even read sad attempts at real writing.

But who wants to read about buying toilet paper or reorganizing my pantry?  I have no interesting anecdotes to tell you about knocking over displays of toilet paper or science experiments climbing the walls in my pantry.

The only slightly entertaining thing I can share is my husband's new addiction to eye cream--and that's not even that fascinating.

So instead, I'll inform you about something I'm going to try and you feel free to comment.

My friend, Big Al, sent me information for a writing contest.  It has an interesting topic so I think I'm going to give it a shot and enter.  But this is where things get a little sketchy.  I'm no writer.  I'm pound things out here because it's a way to clear my head and work through my thoughts, but I'm definitely not a weaver of words.  When I think of people who are (like this girl I went to school with--I called her Hooch.  It's a long story that actually doesn't involve alcohol), I get a little sick to my stomach.

There are people who get Shakespeare's "turn of phrase" and use it to the best of their abilities.  I, on the other hand, tend to grab your hand and walk you through every possible scene instead of letting you do a little discovery of your own.  Plus, I don't have that big of a vocabulary.  So a contest like this is a stretch for me.

But I'm salivating a little bit just thinking about it. 

Maybe it's time to shake up the ordinary a bit, eh?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Making Decisions: Or Why I'm An Indecisive Mess When It Comes To The House

I am not independently wealthy.  That's probably shocking since you know I'm a public school educator.  Anyway, that fact alone means I try to be fairly frugal when it comes to outfitting the house.  We saved quite a bit of money in order to buy new bedroom furniture and new furniture for the living room, but I always knew I would need to furnish the front room a little more cheaply.

So I'm looking at a couple of these chairs:

Favorite and I like the shape, the color and we've sat in them and think they're comfortable.  I'll probably have to invest in a couple of square footstools to go with them.  And, of course, we'll add some color with throws (but likely not throw pillows).

And in order to dull the sound in that room, we've also considered the possibility of an area rug.  Don't get me wrong here:  I LOVE my hardwood floor.  It is gorgeous and adds a richness to our house that nothing else could.  But there has to be some sound absorbtion to avoid a constant echo.  Unfortunately, that front room doesn't really have it, and adding leather (or faux leather) chairs probably isn't going to help any.

The room is painted a brown color with a yellow accent wall, so many of the accessories are going to be red.  If that doesn't make sense to you, then you don't reside in my head which is actually much safer for you anyway.

This is the first rug we found:

I love the variety in color, but I was afraid it would be a little more than I actually wanted in that room.

Currently, I can't find the rug we will likely get, but I will post pictures as soon as I can.

Until then, what do you think?  Suggestions for getting things cheaper?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Art of the Story

Missionary night is something my church puts on once a month.  There's no particular program, and the flexibility is what makes it so interesting.

Tonight, my cousin, Elf Ira, spoke about his experiences in Africa.

(An aside:  When I was a kid, I thought the song "Elvira" was actually called "Elf Ira."  Since my cousin's name was Ira, I naturally associated it with him.  But I never could figure out why an Elf set anyone's heart on fire.  Further association:  a man in our congregation tonight mentioned that he heard Elf Ira sing this very song at the top of his lungs in a slightly inappropriate setting.  Oh the things we do under the age of 5.)

Elf Ira said several things I found particularly poignant.  Like the fact that we're all called to missions.  But what really struck me was his indication that the missionaries would sit in circles in these villages and tell stories, because these villages are a story-based society.

He mentioned that we don't always understand that mentality in America, because we aren't really a story-based society.  For the most part, I think he's right.  At some point we started treating the art of the story as fiction that has no capability to change lives whatsoever.

But stories are often true.  They are breathing, living things--like the Word that is living and active.  They have the capability to grip us and speak to the silent places we like to pretend no one notices.  We see the people we want to be and the ones we wish we didn't relate to at all. 

Jesus' journey to the cross wasn't just a one day affair.  It was a thirty-three year adventure--a story full of twists, turns, hope and redemption.  It is compelling because it walks in front of us and shows us the lay of the land.  When we lose ourselves in it, we find that the story envelopes us entirely--wrapping itself around and around who we are, and perhaps more importantly, who we will become.

We can't lose the art of the story.  Instead, we need to give it room to breath, because it will not be contained on a two dimensional page within covers made out of cardboard.

My story is still being written.  If you're reading, yours is, too.  (Actually, if you're still breathing, it's being written.  Reading my blog certainly has nothing to do with living...or even living well.  Though I'd like to think it enhances you in some way.  HA!)

Share your story.  Let it breathe.  And when someone says, "What now?"  Shrug your shoulders and give yourself permission to respond, "He's still writing that part."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge, 6/15

1. What is one thing on your bucket list? If you don't have a bucket list let's pretend you do.

Oh, I have an entire list.  But one thing I'd like to do is to be able to run an entire mile without stopping.  I quit training for that after Lil' Bro moved, but I need to pick up again and kick my own butt. 

Stay tuned.  The training process should be hilariously awful.  Mostly because I'm not a runner.

2. What makes a good dad?

My dad was a pretty good dad, but I can't always explain why.  I don't know that there's one formula out there for every kid.  So maybe flexible?

In case you were wondering, my dad was a great disciplinarian (even though my brother got more spankings than I did--should've learned, Ron) and a fashionista.  He picked out all my mom's clothes and a good many of mine in the past.  He even matches my mom's jewelry and shoes ;)

3. Are you afraid of insects? Which ones?

I don't know that I'm afraid of them so much as I just don't want them ON me.  June bugs freak me out, and, while this is probably weird, I'm not a super fan of butterflies.  I just don't like anything that's going to get in my face or hair or crawl on me.

Ok.  Maybe I just don't like bugs at all.

4. We're barbecuing...what's on the grill at your house?

Pork Steak.

Squash (yellow and green), mushrooms, onions, red and yellow peppers seasoned with Mrs. Dash, garlic salt and olive oil.

Corn on the cob.

Baked potatoes.

Oh, how I love summer.  And questions about food.

I'm hungry.

5. Do you believe that playing is more important than winning?

I don't think I understand the question?

I don't think winning is always important, but different people set different goals for themselves.  For example, "playing" weight watchers isn't really more important than winning.  Trackin'?

6. Do you tan? Use self tanners? Visit tanning salons? See your dermatologist at least once a year?

I do not tan--as in can't.  My skin is the color of paper and does not change color in the sun (with the exception of red); therefore, I'm pretty protective of it.  I don't use self tanners because I'm so pale, I look like a muppet after application.

And I stopped visiting the dermatologist when one of my doctors tried to put me on accutane.  Thank heavens my mother nipped that in the bud.

7. Five years ago I would never imagine that today I would_______________.

be a high school English teacher.  When I graduated from high school, my mother said, "You should be a TEACHER!"  And I said, "You're out of your mind!" 

It took seven years for me to recognize that calling (and it is a calling) and go back to school.  Here's to mothers who totally get it.

I saw this question on Marla's facebook page and I thought it was perfect for the Hodgepodge. Everyone go say hi to Marla...she has an E-book launching this week.

8. I really want two things for my house:

     1.  For people to walk in and say, "None of this matches but it looks totally great together!"
     2.  For people to walk in, flop down on a chair and make themselves completely comfortable.  I want my house to make people completely and totally at ease.

The Red Dress Club: Affection

I never knocked on her door.  She gave me my own key when I was 13 so I was used to letting myself in.  Now I was 20 and using my lunch hour to sit and visit.

"Grandma?  Are you here?"

"In the kitchen, sissie," she answered.

I took my lunch and sat at her kitchen table. 

I loved that table.  She served her offspring, all of their offspring and some of their offspring at the table every Saturday morning.  Scratch that.  Breakfast started at that table, but we were too numerous to fit there now.  Instead, it served as a buffet--for food, conversation and reassurance.

That's what I needed that day--reassurance.  Grandma knew I had recently broken up with my boyfriend and I was pretty positive he had been "the one."  Sometimes you're just completely and totally wrong.  This had been one of those times for me.  It was especially frustrating because I was so sure I was right.  That, and my cousin was getting married.  I thought my life had been heading the same direction.  Again, wrong, wrong, so totally wrong.

Two weeks earlier, I had that conversation with Grandma.

"Do you think this will ever happen for me?  I was just so sure that he was it."

"You'll get there," she commented.  "Do you want me to make you something else to eat?"  Grandma was positive that a little bit of bacon grease and gravy could cover a multitude of wrongs in a person's life.  At any rate, it always made me laugh.

"No, thanks," I giggled.  "Sometimes I just wonder how you know when it's right."

"You'll know, sissie.  You'll know.  Now, I made a pie the other day and we'll both have a piece."

Her love language was food.  But that table held so much more than calories.  And that Saturday, when I let myself in, my Grandma showed me a whole lot more than fat grams.  In fact, I didn't even make it to her kitchen table before she met me in the hall.

"I have something to show you," she smiled.  At 4'10", my Grandma could smile and it would seem like her whole body smiled with her.

I followed her into the formal dining room, and she showed me two boxes.

"There.  I bought a set of pots and pans for little sissie's wedding.  The second one is for you when you get married."

I wasn't even dating anyone.  But that simple statement showed me that my Grandma really believed love was out there for me.

She was right.  A year and a half later, I showed her my wedding ring.  She didn't make it to my wedding, because she passed away just after I was engaged.

But when I walked down the aisle, I remembered that set of pots and pans and the fact that my Grandma purchased them almost three years before I ever became a Mrs.


This week's prompt was about affection. We asked you to write how the show of affection played a part in your memory.

You were to choose a time when either the abundance or lack of affection and take us to that moment.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Some Days Are Like That, Even in Australia...

Today, my niece told me that in order to have a baby, you have to get really fat.

Then, she said, "So you're getting there."

And while I should probably contemplate child abuse and its legality in the states, it mostly just broke my heart.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Prayer Monday 6/13

I am not very free with praise.  Criticism?  Completely and totally open.  Instruction?  Begging for you to need it.  But praise?  Doesn't blip on the radar very often.

Today was beautiful, though.  We spent almost the entire church service praising God for who He is.  For the fact that He is good.  For belief in what He will do.  It just reminded me that this is what obedience does for me.  It puts me in place with God so I can recognize Him for who He is.  I can recognize where I belong in relationship to Him.

I want to continue in my obedience to Him.  This is what I've been asking you to pray for me, and this week has been difficult.  Like I've said before, I want to DO something here.  I have difficulty with the fact that all things come by His hand.  I want to act.  I don't like sitting.  But there has been a sense of peace in the obedience.  And I want that peace to continue.  But I'm also asking that He'll act.  I've been reminding Him that His word says that if we ask, it will be given unto us.  So I'm asking.  And asking.  And asking.  And I'm believing.  And I'm remaining obedient.

Even though I have days where I struggle with that obedience.  Please, please pray for my heart and for a miracle.  Things only come by His hand.  I know that.  And my only hope comes from Him.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Writing Prompts: A Happy Ending

Everyone has hills and valleys.  Normally, they occur at completey different stages.  I was blessed to have them both at the same time.  But anymore?  More valleys than hills.

Ugh.  They are completely disgusting--at least for me.  Some women navigate them with more grace than Miss Kelley the Princess of Monaco ever possessed.  But me?  I'd rather rent a bulldozer and fill them in.  Unfortunately, bulldozers are expensive.

I tried to avoid mirrors, but every person has to pee from time to time.  I just couldn't stand seeing myself.  I would spout all of those ridiculous platitudes every women uses when she feels injustice:  It was too much.  It was the wrong time.  It shouldn't be me.

It was the inconsistences I hated the most.  Up, down.  Up, down.  And on top of that, my world had become completely colored in a way I never thought possible.  Mostly red splotches of angry I attempted to cover up with flesh colored tones so no one in public could guess my current life circumstances.  I pasted a smile on my face and offered a non-gregarious "Hello" to anyone who glanced my way, but I personally preferred to look at the sidewalk.

On the sidewalk one day, I realized that we occasionally just need to see things in black and white.  Not five steps later, black and white colored my world.

The lady at Sephora recommended Make Up Forever's Mat Velvet +, and it was the perfect fix to the hills and valleys.  It was love.  Love that covered the inconsistencies.  And my happy ending left me with the perfect complexion.


This post was written in response to this prompt from the Red Dress Club:  We'd like you to write a scene that includes a happy ending.

I wanted to do something different--write something silly and fun that still met the requirements of the prompt.  Feel free to critique.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kelly's Korner Prayer Requests

Hey Kelly's Korner :)

God has been so good to me.  In the past few months, He has been healing my body.  I have PCOS, but the last time I went to the doctor, my ovaries were completely clean.  I don't want to be all TMI, but I think He deserves to be glorified because there is no cure for this particular syndrome.  I'm still praying for His hand to continue healing me.

I'm also praying for power to be obedient to His call on my life.  There are a few things I've had to lay down before Him and that's been a difficult journey.  Please pray that I would continue in the path of obedience.  I'm still asking for Him to intervene for a family, but I want to follow Him above all things.

And if you would pray for unity in my church family, I would really appreciate it.  It would be fantastic we would all be so sold out to the cause of Christ that we pursued Him through every means imaginable.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The House vs. The Trailer

Lack of hot water forced us into the new house before we were actually ready to move.  So we took our bed, a couple of changes of clothes and soap and basically came up to the house.  We slept here, took showers here and ate out often.

That was December.

It's June and I'm just now in the process of cleaning through the rooms--one by one.  Oddly enough, I'm finding that much of what is at the trailer is no longer needed...or wanted.  Today I transferred all of my shoes (mostly winter ones I hadn't needed) and a few items of clothing that didn't make the cut previously.  I found some random odds and ends that I threw in the basket as I was sorting.

Then I started a trash pile.  And half of what is over there can gladly go into the trash pile.

What I really need for the trailer is a dump truck so I can toss and say good riddance.

Anyone got a loaner?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge 6/8

1.  Do you and your family enjoy camping? What do you enjoy most/like the least when it comes to family camping? When was the last time you camped?

When I describe myself, I never use the word outdoorsy.  There's a reason.  I have curly hair and albino skin.  Both things thrive in air conditioning and electricity.  But camping?  Is a different story for some reason.  I think it's because everyone looks bad (lol).  Honestly, though, I love spending a couple of nights in tents and cooking our food over the campfire and spending the day at the lake.  I wish it was something we did on a regular basis, but we haven't really camped in forever.

2. Did you attend a summer camp when you were a kid? Is that a happy or not so happy memory?

I didn't like being away from home so I never went to summer camp.  Actually, even now, I'm weird with being away from home.

3. Over the course of your life, what have you probably spent more time pondering than anything else?

I ponder why I am not naturally thin and tall.

I wish I could tell you that I've spent my time on something more profound.

And now I'm a little ashamed of myself.  But it is honestly something that has frustrated me pretty much my whole life.  I've always been weight conscious and have never really been thin.

4. Which of the seven natural wonders of the world would you most like to see? There are many lists of 'wonders' but this is the standard natural wonder list-Mount Everest, The Great Barrier Reef, The Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, The Harbor of Rio de Janerio, Paricutan Volcano and The Northern Lights.

I think The Great Barrier Reef.  I've always been drawn to water, but water teeming with life in abundance?  I'm on board.  Or submerged.

5. What was your first real job?

Outside of babysitting, I was a type setter for a local newspaper office.  When I was interviewed, I lied about how fast I could type so I would get the job.  That bit me in the rear end when the only other type setter went on vacation and I was left typing the entire paper by myself.  So I learned.  Fast.  No pun intended.

6. Lemonade or Sweet tea...which do you prefer on a hot summer day?

Actually, I take my tea without sugar.  But I'll be honest:  I'm more likely to drink a hot cup of coffee--even when it's blazing outside.  Some habits die hard.

7. What is something that always brings a smile to your face?

Baby laughs.  Nothing seems quite as free as a little kid just busting out in laughter.  But friends and family also make me smile.  And the possibility of hope.  Yeah.  That makes me smile.

8. I think I may actually find furniture for my front room soon.  I've seen several things I enjoy--just not entirely sure I want brown leather...even though it would look great in the room.  I wanted something with a little more color.  But I could always do that with blankets and pillows, right?

Oh, and I'm looking for a desk chair.  I tried to bribe my brother out of his to no avail.  So back to the drawing board :)

The First of the Birthday Posts: A Question

My birthday is less than a month away, so it's (of course) time for the first of the birthday posts.

Actually, this post is really more of a question for those of you out there who are undoubtedly more intelligent (or maybe just more dedicated) than I am.

I told Favorite I would like a new camera for my birthday.  I have a FujiFilm Finepix I got a couple of years ago; however, the pictures have started to get a bit blurry.  I just don't feel like I get the clear image I'm looking for.  So here are a few things that interest me:

*  I want a point and shoot.  I am not a professional photographer and have no desire to set up photo sessions for the general public.  I like to take pictures of outings with my friends and I want to carry my camera in my purse and catch things that interest me.

*  I want nice pictures.  Again, I'm not a professional, but I do want the pictures to have a sense of quality--crisp and clear.  I realize that the camera doesn't frame the image (translation:  I know I'm photography-challenged) but cameras are capable of producing something that looks nice if the numb-nuts taking the picture ever manages to happen upon a great shot.  I'd like one of those cameras.

*  I want something that offers a bit of versatility in case I ever decide I may want to look into this camera thing a little deeper.  I doubt I will, but we demand like options around my house.

Right now, I'm looking that this beauty:

Feel free to offer suggestions or comment on this pick.  I need a bit of input to determine what's going to be the most useful choice in the long run.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Pattern: To The Women of Bible Study

Women's Bible study is over for the year.  Today, I wonder what we will survive before we come together again next year.  I don't ask that question to be morbid, but rather to recognize the strong group of women who have come through so much with the grace few people I know possess.

I've spent most of this year jealous of women who seem to overcome when I feel stagnant with hurt.  I've noticed my mind involuntarily flits to things I would never say out loud in mixed company and would rather put out of my mind.  Like the fact that my son would be seven months old this month.

But God hasn't forgotten me.  And if there's anything those women taught me it's that I can hold on to Him, because He is invariably good--even when things seem wrong in every sense of the word.  It's taken me a long time to embrace that fact.  I guess sometimes we know things we don't always recognize.

Until we see it embodied in faces who can't deny it.

I saw it in their faces.  Every one of those women survived a deep hurt.  A wrong.  They felt , at some point, stagnant.  Some of them shared that hurt with others.  Many of them cried in the quiet hours alone.  But each of them wove a tiny thread of belief and faith.  And it has taken each of those threads to remind me that the pattern isn't always pretty, but it's still a pattern.  Planned.  Purposeful.  Created.

I guess sometimes that's what we need to know.  There is a pattern.  And it's being woven in and out of your life with threads that are ultimately beautiful--in joy and sadness. 

With a bit of love caught in every stitch.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Prayer Monday 6/6

I want to get into the habit of purposefully praising God--not just for what He has done, but for who He is.  So, ya'll, I need to tell you how good He is.  He's answering prayer in my life.  He's continuing to meet with me--even when I get a little too busy to make ample time for Him.  He's still calling me to obedience.  He's teaching me about authority.  But He's been so...tangible? lately. 

We just finished our last week of Bible study.  I'm going to miss it.  Those women have been a lifeline for me.  I can't even begin to tell you how deeply I've struggled over the last year; I can't tell you how very much I needed to sit in a group of women and cry and ask questions about how to honor Him through hurt.  I also can't tell you how many different ways God met me in my exact need.

I'm still praying several things:  for continued obedience, namely.  I want to walk in the center of His will.  I want to maintain a teachable spirit and seek Him first in my life.  I'm still praying for His touch on my body.  I believe He is healing me, but I don't know what that will mean for my future.  I just want to honor His calling--and if that means maintaining no action as of now, I want to be at peace in that obedience.  I'm still praying for Favorite and his heart and for a few friends and family members who are going through tough times right now.  I don't want to dishonor anyone by sharing things they want to remain private, and a few of them post their own requests so there's no need for me to butt in.

I will share this:  Tara, who normally participates in Prayer Monday, will be making her trek back home with her new daughter, Macy, on Thursday.  Pray for her safety in travel and her newest family member.  Sometimes the best piece of encouragement you can have is to know that someone is thinking of you.

Don't forget to leave comments.  A little encouragement and a lot of prayer go a long way :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Jewelry.  I heart it.

Keurig.  I heart you.

New desk.  I heart it.

New shoe racks.  I heart you.

Feeling like my house is finally starting to come together.  I super heart you.

Friday, June 3, 2011

We're Growing Grass (And Other Reasons I May Be Uninteresting)

School's been out for a week, but I've been pretty busy working with our English department--curriculum stuff.  It probably sounds boring, but it was cool to discuss the things we do in our classrooms because I got some good ideas to use for next year.  I don't know about you, but I work better when I have someone to bounce ideas off of.

On top of that, Favorite and I have started the grass-growing process.  (No, not marijuana.  Actual grass.  For our front yard.  You know, so we can get rid of the wheat field.)  Hopefully it will start sprouting in the next week or so and we can talk about laying a sidewalk before the end of June. 

And I discovered today that you can do about 100 crunches in 5 minutes and that really only burns about 40 calories.  Isn't that ridiculous?!  This is why people don't exercise. 

Well, people who aren't me, because I have to wear a strapless dress in October.  Have I mentioned I hate writing on my board because my arms are gross?  No?  Well, that applies doubly to strapless dresses and I REFUSE to have my nasty arms documented in pictures for all of eternity.  Anyway, all of that information means I've been trying to do some sort of regular exercise every day. 

Every.  Single.  Day.  What can I say?  Devotion.  I gots it.  (Except not.  Which will probably be documented in another blog post approximately 4 weeks from now.)

At least 10 minutes has been devoted to an arm exercise I found on my phone.  I've been doing it twice a day (5 minutes each time) praying that my 5 lb weights might actually make a difference in the digusting pool of cellulite that is my arms. 

Did I really just devote an entire paragraph to the type of exercise I'm doing?  Ugh.  Feel free to un-follow me.

I should be telling you that I actually purchase the desk I put on here and it will be arriving next week.  My package from Amazon with several of my to-reads also arrived today along with presents for my Bible study women.  (The presents aren't a big deal, but I promise to post a picture after they receive them on Sunday.)

Stay tuned for a post devoted solely to my Bible Study Women.

Oh, and one devoted to Lia Sophia because I'm going to a party my friend, Morgan, is hosting on Saturday.

Nothing says the weekend like buying jewelry.

Enjoy yours!  Oh, and leave me some diet/exercise encouragement in the comments lest I decide crunches are totally not worth it...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge 6/1

1.  Have you ever been to the US capital-Washington DC? If so, what's your favorite site? If not, what would you most like to see on a visit to that city someday in the future? Is it even on your list of places to visit?

--I have never been to DC, and while it probably makes me a horrible person, I'm not really interested.  Favorite and I have big dreams of going to Europe and Mexico.  We technically have enough money in savings to go to Mexico this summer, but we're being responsible and putting some money away for a rainy day.  Well, and hoping to look better on the beach at a later date?  Mostly, we just want to travel.

2. When did you last attend a wedding? Are there any weddings on your summer calendar? Were you a summer bride? If you're single, is summer the season of your dream wedding?

--I was a spring bride--May, as a matter of fact.  It was a beautiful ceremony--mostly because my husband cried when he saw me and I can't ever remember smiling so big in my life.  It was just one of those moments when I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I was doing the right thing.

So far, there are no summer weddings on my calendar, but we're gearing up for an awesome October wedding.  Rest assured, my speech is going to be amazing.
3. What is your favorite way to eat strawberries?

--Mashed with pie crust.  Is there another way?  Oh, and don't tell me those nasty sponge cakes from Walmart.  Blech.

4. What is one thing you are especially looking forward to this summer?

--Time.  Time to relax.  Time to be.  Time to focus on my house and my husband.  Time to hang out with friends.  Time to laugh.  Time to spend with my Savior.  I think it's just time to have a little peace.  Oh, and I'll be doing my own little study--Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore.

5. Do you use/like the self checker at the grocery store?

--My dad constantly reminds me that those machines took someone's job.  So most of the time, I try to avoid them.  (But sometimes I'm in a really big hurry.  Please don't be disappointed.)

6. Share a favorite piece of common sense advice.

--Don't share horrible things about your significant other with your friends, because someday you'll get over it.  Unfortunately, they will always remember the things you shared that likely should've been private.

7. Barefoot, flip flops, tennis shoes, sassy sandals-your first choice for summertime?

--Barefoot.  Flip flops are a close second.

8. Curriculum redevelopment begins today.  And when I'm done, I'll probably purchase that desk online that I pictured in my blog before.  I really like it, and I haven't found anything in a good price range that I like better--and believe me, I've looked.  Now I'm down to finding a desktop caddy I like that's affordable.