Friday, February 25, 2005

friday morning thoughts

The verse posted next to my mirror reads: "When my foot was slipping, your love, O Lord, supported me..." What I want to know is...where was the Lord last night when I bit it walking up the stairs to bed? This morning I've got a sore, starting-to-discolor knot on my knee. Oh well. Battle scar.

Another thought...have you ever tried to communicate with someone who speaks a different language from you? That's what I do ALL DAY LONG.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Donuts can change the world. No really. They can. On Tuesday night, two friends from my life group and I sped over to our local Krispy Kreme shop to indulge in a sweet treat. In between bites of heavenly pastry, we chatted and laughed and fellowshipped.

In the same vein, our congregation's minister, Tim Woodroof, wrote these words in Sunday's bulletin, encouraging people to attend next week's chili cookoff: "You might wonder what something as trivial, silly, ordinary and insignificant as eating chili has to do with something as profound, important and transcendent as fellowship....have you noticed how truly central matters of faith often grow out of the soil of the mundane? Fellowship has always been rooted in simple activities: the sharing of food, incidental conversations, a moment of empathy, small acts of mutual ministry, laughing, hugging, hospitality, coffee....Eating chili together won't change the world, but the fellowship that is nourished by such experiences just might."

Sometimes I think Christians try to diminish the significance of fellowship. Why is that? Do we feel guilty for actually having FUN? Jesus was all about fellowship. Fellowship is where relationships are built. And relationships CAN change the world.

That said, I will continue sharing in the fried deliciousness of Krispy Kremes with anyone who will accompany me!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

work vs rest - part 2

One of my fellow bloggers is on vacation in Mexico this week for a much-deserved break with his pregnant wife. In one of his entries (click on his blog at Brooklyn & Beyond), he mentioned that they were feeling guilty about taking a vacation. This led to an email conversation in which I asked him "Why is it so easy for me to tell YOU to rest, but I have such a hard time doing it myself? And vice versa?" Here's his response:

"Because all of us are good 'advice-givers'. It's that whole 'talk the talk and walk the walk' or 'practice what you preach' thing that we don't have a hold of just yet. Even our beloved Apostle Paul struggled with it (see Romans).

I really do think it's a societal thing. The American dream is that if you work hard enough, you will be successful. And if you don't work hard you are lumped into the same category as those who feed off of welfare. The work ethic here in America among those we call successful is high and hard. Ugh. For those of us who see that this contrasts the Kingdom of God world that Jesus preaches, we struggle.

I just wish we lived in a society where people didn't feel so stressed to have it all together! These days, we are barely keeping our head above water. We manage to keep our doctor appointments and that's about it. I'm sure there are some who just want me to 'get over it' and get going. The societal norm doesn't allow for a rest or a sabbatical.

I preach this sermon from Exodus...on Moses who was brave enough to confront God and say, 'if you don't go with us from this point, I ain't moving.' God gave Moses the famous 'cleft in the rock' to hide in while God went forward to prepare the way. I view that 'cleft in the rock' as a resting place ordained by God. We all need it, the cleft in the rock. You do too."

Monday, February 21, 2005

why i love texas

A fellow blogger ( inspired me to post a list of Texas faves. Here are the reasons why I LOVE TEXAS!!!

1. Austin
2. San Antonio
3. downtown Fort Worth
4. Abilene Christian University
5. the 'Horns (hook 'em)
6. Aggies
7. the hill country in bloom
8. Tex-Mex
9. the view from The Oasis on Lake Travis
10. boating on Lake Belton
11. BBQ
12. sunsets
13. the Riverwalk
14. the Spurs/David Robinson
15. Red, Hot & Blue (it's a what???)
16. enchiladas at ZTejas in Austin
17. the name: TEXAS
18. the shape of the state
19. the Lone Star flag
20. the pride and the spirit of the people
21. the fact that it's the biggest state on the mainland
22. Bluebell ice cream
23. the fact that the TX flag is the only state flag that can be flown as high as the US flag
24. that it used to be its own country!
25. friendly people
26. HEB grocery stores
27. the Texas State Museum in Austin
28. graduation ceremonies at UT
29. the diversity of cultures, especially in the larger cities
30. the wind of west Texas
31. Rowan's grandparents live there!
32. mild winters
33. Mike Cope preachin' at Highland
34. Randy Fenter preachin' at High Point
35. Enchanted Rock
36. quiche at the Peach Tree in Fredericksburg
37. tubing on the Guadalupe
38. chicken salad/zucchini bread at Hickory Street Cafe in Abilene

Need I say more?

Saturday, February 19, 2005

myth of the perfect mother

Below is a link to Newsweek's Feb 21 cover story, by author Judith Warner. I would love to hear your feedback on the article.
  • Newsweek article

  • (By the way, you can now post comments without joining Blogger. Thanks Jason!)

    Friday, February 18, 2005

    work vs rest

    Brandon goes to work this morning and opens an email from the partners addressed to the entire company. It basically reads..."blah blah blah blah we need you to work some extra hours these next few months blah blah blah blah". I just don't get it. Why? Why are Americans so obsessed with work? This was Brandon's reply:

    "I agree - why do we have to work so much? Our culture has this idea engrained into it that we have to work, work and work. That is what defines us. It really is ludicrous, and I don't really feel guilty for having the opposite attitude. I mean - I want to do good work, but I want to do it on a reasonable schedule. My life is not my work. I guess some people would say that you won't be 'great' that way. Well, I want to be a great husband and father first and foremost - that's my most important time investment, and I expect you to hold me accountable."

    That's one of the many reasons I love him. (He's got a cute dimple, too.)

    Thursday, February 17, 2005

    the magic number...

    ...was once 6. Then it was 4. Now it's 2.

    Can anyone guess what the question is?

    Wednesday, February 16, 2005

    a little gift from cupid

    Brandon gave me cool earrings for Valentine's Day. Cupid gave me a stomach bug. I'm feeling some better this morning, after a fantastic night's sleep last night. However, Brandon advised me to take it easy today...which I know I should do...but now that I'm feeling a bit more healthy, I have this desire to get a bunch of stuff done. You know, real important stuff like sweeping the floor one more time or rearranging the boxes in my closet. Why is it such a struggle for us to rest? Even GOD took an entire day off work when He was creating the world! Why is it so hard for me to sit my bum down once in awhile and do absolutely nothing?

    Thursday, February 10, 2005

    heart on the table

    Have you ever dumped a little bit of your heart out on the table, made yourself vulnerable, only to have the person across from you drop it on the floor and stomp on it? Or maybe nothing quite that dramatic...maybe they just flicked it back across the table to you? Either way it hurts. To be rejected. Looked at like a freak. Ignored. It's happened to me recently. And I'm sure it will happen again. But it makes me grateful for the people in my life who don't look at me like I just stepped off the circus husband, our parents, our life group, our friends in New York and Virginia and Texas...

    I am grateful for Brandon who -- when I said "I'm nervous and scared and I don't think I can do this" -- told me that he would be beside me and I could hold on to him.

    I am grateful for my parents who listened to a raving lunatic teenager cry about her nutty friends and unrequited crushes.

    I am grateful for our life group who -- when I was diagnosed with postpartum depression last summer -- offered to babysit Rowan and quietly listened and did their best to understand.

    Love without condition. Isn't that what Jesus was all about? I pray I can do the same for the others...even the ones who flick my heart back across the table.

    penny for my thoughts

    I'd really rather write about something else at the moment, but Money is on my mind. Seems like I've been spending a lot of it lately. On clothes. On gifts. On groovy little stickers to make cards. And I feel really guilty about it. I'd like to be saving up for a self-designed lakehouse and Rowan's college fund. But I've been tossing out the cash left and right these past few months. It's strange...I'm not much of a shopper...but of late, I've been finding my way to Target and the mall and the scrapbook store just a little too often. I've even been to the yarn shop a couple of times. And I don't even knit. Maybe buying things brings excitement to my typically mundane day...maybe it gives me a sense of power and control...

    Here is a relevant excerpt from Richard Foster’s The Challenge of the Disciplined Life: “Most of us allow money to dictate our decisions; what kind of house we will live in, what vacation we will take, what job we will hold. Money decides. Suppose [my wife] says to me, ‘Let’s do this or that’, and I complain, ‘But we don’t have enough money!’ What has happened? Money decided. You see, I did not say, ‘Well, honey, let’s pray together and see if God wants us to do it.’ No, money made the decision. Money is my master. I am serving money.”

    I try to excuse my spending by thinking to myself that if I worry about it too much, I am letting Money be my master. At the same time, I wonder if I really need another piece of clothing or a $60 haircut or another batch of stickers for my scrapbook.

    Wednesday, February 09, 2005

    having offspring is surreal

    I can't believe I have a baby. No really. I can't comprehend it. Can someone tell me how long this mentality will last? When will the day come that I don't feel like I'm living in a dreamworld anymore? Even though he's in my lap at the moment, bouncing up and down, chewing on Brandon's Pez dispenser and tooting like mad, I still can't believe that this person came into the world via my body. I'm not trying to get all sentimental here. I'm simply trying to process the fact that Brandon and I have a child together. And he eats and poops and and laughs and occasionally acts obnoxious, just like any other human being. And I'm responsible for him. But how can that be?!? I'm only a kid myself, right? Oh wait. I turn 31 in a few weeks...

    Tuesday, February 08, 2005

    cheaper isn't always better

    The following paragraphs are a condensed version of some comments on J-Wild's blog:

    “…most of the day to day things we purchase come from countries that have far less regulation and afford their workers fewer rights than our own. [But] one company allows you to experience that sense of guilt free consumption, American Apparel. Every worker, from their cotton supplier to their sales person, makes a liveable wage and has health insurance. Their products are made in an environmentally responsible manner …other companies have followed this model as well, most notably Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.

    As a result of these two companies admirable efforts to have proper business ethics, their products tend to cost more than the same products made outside of America's borders. A shirt at American Apparel costs $18. The same shirts at Old Navy might be poorer quality, but for $18 you can buy three shirts instead of one. For the most part Target, Wal-Mart, Old Navy, and other "big box" retailers are concerned with just providing low prices and pushing as much merchandise as possible.

    What is our responsibility with regard to all of this? Is it realistic to take a "moral stand" in our purchases by buying products that are manufactured in an ethical manner? Is this just a concern for people who have enough disposable income to buy organic, free-range, or politically conscientious products? Given the information about American Apparel would you purchase your clothes from them instead of a place like Old Navy that uses products made overseas and out of reach of most regulation?”

    A topic worthy of much thought.

    Thursday, February 03, 2005

    church of the spa

    To conclude a New Moms' class at church last night, we mommies were provided with a "special treat" as the class leader called it. It happened sorta like this...I walk in and a sweet woman I've never met harpoons me with one of those aromatic, just-warmed-in-the-microwave neck pillows and hands me a tub that she informs me will be used for my "foot soak". Ummm... Before I can protest, a fellow mama walks in, sits down next to me, eyes my neckwear suspiciously and asks if I'm "okay". I reply, "Don't worry, you'll get your own here in a few seconds." Then comes the tub of water for my toe bath. Now, being the middle of winter and since the little piggies are usually clothed this time of year, I've been letting my toenails air out. During the summer, I keep the nails painted with varying shades of polish and consequently, they end up turning yellow and dry and brittle. Yuck. (You ladies know what i'm talking about.) Once the weather turns chilly and the flipflops are in the closet for a few months, the toenail polish goes bye-bye. My toenails are finally healthy again but they're extremely self-conscious about hanging out naked in front of the general public. Well, I ended up sharing my foot bath with my friend next to me, who, might I add, even though it's the middle of winter AND she's pregnant, has on bright orange polish. The mom on the other side of me complimented her on her "cute toes" and asked if she'd recently had a pedicure, all the while eyeing my toes as well. My shy, reticent, naked toes. In the background, I hear the spa lady telling us how we can hire her to do a spa party at our house, etc. Don't know that church is really the place I want to go to have someone try to sell their product to me, but anyways...moving on.

    Then we wipe off our lipstick and put on some lip exfoliator using the same applicator. Yes, that's right. We all use the SAME applicator. Hello unsanitary. She pokes the applicator down in the goo and then everyone uses their unwashed fingers to take the goo off the applicator and apply to their lips. I'm a little bit of a germaphobe, and this kind of thing is my worst nightmare. I'm not kidding. Then she hands out these moist eye pads (think non-perishable cucumber slices), has us cover our eyes, and tells us to sit back and relax (in our folding chairs...on a linoleum floor...under flourescent a drafty portable shelter...with three or four babies crying in the background...oh so relaxing). By this time I had decided to forego the foot baptism, especially since I scalded my toesies on initial immersion. So there I am with my sweaty neck pillow, gritty lip goo, and shifting eye pads, pondering how many cooties I just transferred from the community applicator to my lips...relaxing. No one's talking. We're relaxing. We're all relaxing. Finally, I decide to flip over my eye pads. I take them off and glance up and all the other women in the room are just sitting there with their eye pads off, waiting for me and this one other lady. Wow. Not feelin' so relaxed anymore. It was about this time that I started wishing I had gone grocery-shopping instead of going to church.

    Tuesday, February 01, 2005

    this blogging thing is addicting

    Okay seriously. This blogging thing can get a little out of hand. It's a great opportunity for me to practice self-control. (Shopping at Target is another one of those opportunities...but we won't go there right now!) It goes a little somethin' like this. I click on one of the blogs that I like to read daily...then I click on one of that person's links to THEIR favorite blog...or I click on someone who's left a comment...and I go to a new blog and the cycle starts all over again. It's crazy. CRAZY!!! Kind of like surfin' the 'net. I could spend hours going from one site to the next, one blog to the next. Oh man. Gotta draw the line somewhere...