It would have been so great if I had written an inspiring post about new beginnings and goals for the next year. But I didn't. I spent the entire last day of 2008 in my bathroom thanking God for my vast supply of Charmin and asking sweet baby Jesus to just take me on home to glory. I realize that this is highly personal information but I have always been just a shade too transparent so I figure why stop now?? Needless to say I didn't get a post up for today until it was almost tomorrow. Chances are I will be lucky to get my Friday Jumbles posted on time. Perhaps by then I will be feeling all inspirational...we'll see. But do have a lovely New Years Day tomorrow and enjoy some blackeyed peas, which has always been a strange tradition in my opinion. I will be ringing in the new year eating plain toast and gingerale. Happy New Year, dear bloggy friends!
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I don't know what is going on, but something has definitely thrown off my groove. You know that feeling you get when you can't quite find normal you and some other foreign, grumpy, out-of-sorts you has taken up residence in your body? I know, I know...I am weird. But I am okay with my weirdness. Part of it is all of the change that has been taking place in my own life and that will just take time to sort itself out. The great thing about emotions is that they are much like clouds and they just don't hang around for very long. What do you usually do when you don't feel quite right?
Monday, December 29, 2008
Well, I do hope you people had a great Christmas. Ours was wonderful! Christmas Eve was spent in Waycross with all of the inlaws and, my goodness, there are bunches of us now. We packed in one house and ate a buffet of smoked, grilled or fried meat with all of the trimmings and a table absolutely full of sinful desserts. We did our gift exchange which has come to look something like the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as we conduct our "Dirty Santa". Then we headed back to Columbus, arriving home around 12:30 AM. We spent the entire day on Christmas in our pajamas, napping, eating recreationally (nutrition had nothing to do with it) and playing with our boys. Our boys saved their money and secretly bought Eddie and me the second season of Psych (best show ever!) which they taped to the bottom of a giant RC truck of theirs and wrapped in an unrecognizable mass of Christmas paper to throw us off. Awesome! For the last three years they have been using their money to get us a surprise gift and it gives us such a kick to see them get so excited over giving. I know I have said it before...I love Christmas!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I spent last night making Oreo truffles (cream cheesy goodness wrapped in dark chocolate...pure heaven!) and then I sat by the fire with my little boy in my lap watching Rudolph. I have always had a love affair with all things Christmas and I cannot help but feel a bit nostalgic watching the same Christmas specials with my kids that I used to watch as a little girl. I also find that at this time of year I miss my mother so much I can hardly breathe at times. And now that she is gone, I no longer have that link to my grandmother who was my anchor growing up, helping me to find my way when everything around me was chaos. But no matter how messy life was in my family, they always put aside what didn't matter to focus on what did at Christmas and I loved every day leading up to the moment when we could rush into the living room and see what Santa left by the fireplace for us. And we all laughed and gave and ate and we had peace on earth even if only for a season. Now that I am grown, peace is a way of life for my own little family and the moments of chaos are few and far between. But still I love every moment leading up to Christmas day and I try to savor every moment with my children during these times that will all too soon be warm memories. I pray that your time this week in celebration of the birth of our Savior will be filled with warmth and peace and nostalgia and great joy. Merry Christmas to you all!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Have you ever allowed yourself to mentally descend to the lowest place possible? Have you ever given in to despairing thoughts and let all of the hope that usually wraps up your every day just go right down the toilet? The past twenty-four hours have been that for me. I don't even understand quite how it happens and so yesterday afternoon, when I found myself alone for a few hours, I gave myself a good talking to and reminded my heart that God WILL do what He said He would do. Regardless of how circumstances appear, He hasn't brought me to this place in my life to leave me and forsake me or the dreams that He has promised would come to pass. If you are struggling with hopelessness or despair, I pray that you would find courage and hope in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and hope." I send this encouragement out to you, not from a high and lofty place of having it all together, but rather from the dusty road of pain and doubt and learning to live in the moment. I am really glad that I am not all alone on this journey....love you, my bloggy friends!
Friday, December 19, 2008
--Well, bloggy friends, my jumbled thoughts this week are coming to you all from another state...the great state of Georgia. This could mean that they will be 76% more southern or 53% more backward. Either way you still have to love me!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Well, bloggy friends, it seems that our wireless router has breathed its last and so we are all sharing one computer that is connected to the web as of today at our house. Please remember that I have two teenagers, so this means I take a number and get in line. The Knology guys showed up yesterday to connect us to the lovely web and you could hear Taps playing in the background as the news came forth from the lips of the service dude. I hope to be back on schedule with my ground-breaking, life-changing blog posts tomorrow. Do come back here again and have a lovely Thursday!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I tried three times to write this post, saying things that mean pretty much nothing to me. I got nothing. Nothing at all in me right now. I am utterly and totally exhausted, but every stinkin’ box in this house is unpacked and there is a very pretty Christmas tree twinkling in my living room. I may be wiped out but I am awfully happy to be where I am. Hope you are happy to be where you are. Have a lovely week!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Seth Godin had a wonderful blog on Friday about headlines. (I know, when did I have time to read a blog on Friday? I squeezed in a few important ones.) And it made me think about what my own "headline" reads. What message do I advertise to others when they encounter me, especially those who do not already know me. What one sentence does my life scream to others as representative of me? I don't mean this to sound narcissistic, but we do make a lasting first impression on those around us and it is worth a few moments of my time to consider what headline screams at others from the front page of my life. Does it say something positive that would make others want to read further? Is there depth and substance and something other than self? Is the fragrance of God wafting from the front pages of my life enough that the casual passer-by is compelled to take a closer look? Just some questions to consider. Have a lovely Monday!
Friday, December 12, 2008
--Today is the last day I will live in Lake City. What a great 4 1/2 years this has been. I heart all of my special friends here. (sigh)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
So, my inbox has over 250 emails in it, most of them unread, my fingernails and toenails are hideously neglected, my eyebrows look like azaleas, I don't remember when I last read a page in the book beside my bed and I even posted a video of a dancing dog on my blog yesterday since
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
My oldest son turned sixteen yesterday and, for some reason, I find it hard. It is a wonder to watch him grow up and become a man, but I just wish that could happen and I could still keep my little boy who used to dress up in funny costumes and wallpaper my everyday life with his wild imagination. I can remember lifting him out of the tub and wrapping him in a hooded towel and then watching as he would tear down the hallway, laughing wildly as I would chase him to his room and dress him in his footed pajamas. He always smelled so good at night all curled up next to me on the couch and I would pray that those days would never end. This week I get to take him to get his driver's license and then watch him as he tears down our street, laughing wildly at all that life has to offer, but this time I don't get to run after him. You don't think about such things when you are changing diapers and wiping spit-up off of your shoes. It is always a good idea to savor every moment...to remember the smell of their hair after a bath and their breath after they have eaten Play Doh. My baby is nine and he still likes to cuddle on the couch with me at night after his bath and so I am still soaking it up. If you have the chance, I hope you are, too.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tim Sanders blog yesterday on giving was inspiring. I have always enjoyed his teaching on the abundance mentality versus the scarcity mentality. You can read more about this in his book, Love Is the Killer App...a truly worthwhile read on business but its lessons go far beyond the business world.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I have taken a leave of absence from my favorite news channel. Or any news channel for that matter. I have had it with all of the doom and gloom. I have never been a "stick your head in the sand" kind of girl. I want to know what is going on and stay informed about what is happening in the world around me, but as of late I am on sabbatical from negative hype and this whole "crash and burn" mentality that is the national media.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I am moving soon. To a much smaller abode. As we await the sale of our spacious home in Florida we will be living in a cozy (and by cozy I mean really small) rental in Georgia and so now comes the task of deciding what to take and what to leave. The thing about stuff is that we get so attached to some stuff and other stuff we don't even realize we have until we open a cabinet or move something out of the way and discover some useless pile of junk that we have had for who knows how long. "Whose idea was it to buy this??" "What possessed me to keep that??" "What IS this thing, anyway?"
Monday, December 1, 2008
I have decided that, since my sister insists on being too busy to read my blog, I am going to do a little tell-all about my Thanksgiving experience. It doesn't pay to be nonsupportive in my family (insert evil, maniacal laughter here).
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I must confess that I am not feeling well and so being informative, encouraging or entertaining is just beyond me today. I know, I know....it boggles the mind, doesn't it? I had planned to take a little bloggy break for the remainder of this holiday week anyway, so here is my farewell until Monday. I get to spend time with my sister whom I have not layed eyes on since Easter, so I am one happy little pilgrim. Here's hoping that your turkey is moist, your gravy isn't lumpy and you don't do bodily harm to that relative who, quite frankly, really deserves it. See you peeps on Monday!
Monday, November 24, 2008
I have a picture on my desk of two Adirondack chairs overlooking a beautiful lake surrounded by enormous mountains. When my own circumstances are less than appealing to consider, I look at this picture and imagine myself sitting in one of those chairs, staring out at the water and the mountains beyond. I call it my happy place. A Lamaze instructor once encouraged me to find my"happy place" while I was in labor. She was an idiot. But while a happy place was unable to take my mind off of mind-numbing labor pains and the inevitability of a huge head pushing it's way out of my body, it is quite effective at providing me with a mental vacation now and again. I find this a healthy mental exercise as long as I don't try to set up permanent residence there. What about you? Where do you go when you need a peaceful place for your thoughts to sit and put their feet up?
Friday, November 21, 2008
--Fav quote of the week: "The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised." -George Will
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Many pastors place only men on the leadership teams of their churches, particularly if they will wear the title of elder or deacon. These leaders boldly declare that Jesus did not place women in such positions of leadership and they are only following His example. So, did Jesus have women in His posse? I am so glad you asked!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed." Carl Jung
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Anyone who has ever sold a house knows how "unfun" it is to keep the said house in perfect order all the time. This becomes even more challenging if there are three boys living there as they do not fully comprehend the reality that the realtor can call at any time and want to show your house with precious little warning. Let me give you a fun example of what it looks like when that call does come and you have an hour to get your home perfect and your entire family, dog included, out of the house.
Monday, November 17, 2008
This weekend I was at the mall with my whole family doing a little Christmas shopping when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a mall Santa before Thanksgiving. Now, I love Christmas more than the average person. In fact, I love it so passionately that I have to force myself to wait until after Thanksgiving to watch Elf and begin listening to Christmas music. So I think the mall people, or the village people, or whoever is in charge should put the Santa thing on hold until the turkey dinner is at least cooling in the fridge. The pilgrims and the indians are seriously getting the brush-off from the advertising industry and this needs to stop.
Friday, November 14, 2008
The following is in celebration of all things superficial and unimportant...you can't be serious and helpful all of the time.
--I was watching the CMA Awards the other night (now, now...don't judge me) and I was struck by this thought-provoking question: Is it possible to write a country song that does NOT have incorrect grammar in it? The world is dying to know.
--Thought-provoking question number two: If my dog eats his own poo, why does his breath smell like yucky, old, left-in-the-sun-for-a-week fish?
--Watched an old Cosby Show rerun this week. Love me some Cos. Some days I think a good slap in the face by Claire Huxtable would do me some good.
--I bought the recent issue of Shape magazine because Faith Hill (love her!) was on the cover. At forty-one she has amazing abs and I have decided to have abs like hers by my 41st birthday (April12). I wish deciding was all I had to do to get them. I am foolishly writing this in my blog. I have no earthly idea why. You laugh (yeah, I hear you!) but check back with me in April, my friends! BTW, this is not an entirely vain pursuit. I am told it will improve some back issues I have. Bonus!
--And finally, to grant myself a little permission to write the half-baked material that I do on Fridays, I submit to you the following anonymous quote....
--"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men."
Thursday, November 13, 2008
The other day I was huffing and puffing away on my elliptical machine and wondering what on earth possessed me to eat half of what I have consumed over the course of the past year (or two). As I was coming to the end of my 2 1/2 miles, I reached for my water bottle to get a big swig before hitting the results button that tells me how many calories I have burned. This is the digital equivalence of a pat on the back and, Lord knows, I will take what I can get. Not one to slack off until I have reached the very end, I kept on ellipticalling (yes, I did just make that word up) while attempting to drink from a nearly full bottle of water. It was as I was guzzling that the arm of the machine hit my elbow and I was instantly SHOWERED with cool and refreshing Publix brand spring water. Oh, yes...I am the embodiment of all things graceful. Not only were my face and the front of my shirt showered but so were my nasal passages and, I'm pretty sure, my bronchial tubes. And of course I started laughing out loud because that is what I do when anyone, myself included, does something stooooopid!
So, there you have it...a new and wonderful idea you can use to enhance your own workouts. Just promise that you will think of me when you do it.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I was reading my friend, Joylene's, blog yesterday and I was unexpectedly swept away. She had Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata imbedded in her blog about music and its magical ability to take you to another place, another time. As soon as the music began I was instantly six years old and lying on the floor beside the piano, listening to my mother play this piece and watching as her beautiful fingers danced gracefully over the ivory keys as if she were born playing this song. She was an accomplished pianist and a marvel to watch and I always knew that playing the piano wasn't just about making music...it was about losing herself in a passion that she, herself, didn't understand. Oh, how I would love to hear her play just one more time and see on her weary face the look of peace that she only wore when seated at the piano, lost in her music.
My mother and my grandparents exposed me to beautiful music; classical, opera, jazz, big band and grand choral arrangements. They also surrounded me with the very best that the literary world had to offer and to this day there is no greater comfort for me than to be in a room full of great books and fine music. I am so very thankful for these gifts that they gave to me and the lasting memories that sustain me. The simplicities of life that are most often taken for granted seem to become the priceless, decorative memories that adorn our hearts and souls in later years. As I gaze about the landscape of my own soul these days, the scenery is breath-taking and I am thankful.
What adorns your soul in this season of your life? Who do you have to thank for what you find there? We should take time in this season of Thanksgiving to truly appreciate those things deeply rooted within us and the precious people who planted them there. (And thank you, Joylene...I needed to hear that yesterday)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Yesterday, I wrote about brokenness and I said that He will break you if you will let Him. So, what does that look like? There is a difference between what you will tolerate and what you will embrace. There have been times in my life where I merely tolerated His way over mine and then thought I deserved some sort of award for my obedience. But He was gracious enough to teach me that what He is looking for is honor, not tolerance. He is looking for me to wrap my arms around the process as if it were a gift from Him and walk in the way He has opened for me. Or wait, clothed in the circumstance of His choosing. This is honoring Him.
I forgot that lesson and so the past two weeks of my life have not been very pretty. My other mother and dear mentor, Miss Susan, reminded me of this truth. And she didn't remind me with a finger in my face. No, she had my hands in hers with tears streaming down her face. Hers is a life of brokenness, a life that I respect and long to emulate. And so I have turned to Him and I am wrapping my arms around this process in which I find myself, embracing it like I would Him if I could touch Him. And in so doing, I have found His touch again.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Horses must be broken to be of any good to a human. The breaking process is used to bring the horse under the master's control and often consists of leading the horse through many potentially frightening situations until it learns to trust its master. This process works best over time-instant results don't happen.
Some people wrongly assume that brokenness in a Christian's life is a destination where, once reached, a permanent address is then set up. If only this were true. The truth is that opportunities for brokenness come to us many times over the course of our lives. Unlike a horse, we have the ability to reason(which can be such a hindrance) and so we do not live out of mere animal instinct. When we come to any future "potentially frightening situations", we say, "But Lord, I have already been tested. Surely this cannot be You. Did I not already prove to You that I will do what You ask of me?" And there we sit trying to understand how we could possibly be at another such place of breaking, perhaps one even more difficult than the last.
Only God knows what is up ahead and what preparation we will need for tomorrow. It is often the promises of tomorrow that necessitate the breaking of today. Other times it is human pride that rears its ugly head and returns in us for an encore performance. Pride loves encores. And then another opportunity for brokenness must come and lower the curtain on such a performance. Ultimately, God is determined to break me both for my good and for His glory. And He will do the same for you. If you will let Him.
Friday, November 7, 2008
This has not been one of my better weeks. Consider yourself warned.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
wanh, wanh, wanh. This past weekend both my FSU Seminoles and my Georgia Dawgs lost their games, my candidate lost the election and then my antenna broke off of my cell phone (thus rendering it USELESS). I discovered the broken antenna NOT while I was IN the cell phone store paying my bill, but rather after I had driven home from the cell phone store. Now, I realize that in the grand scheme of things this is nothing, but we really aren't talking about the grand scheme here-we're talking about my little scheme and therefore it matters...to me! If you think of my life like a recipe and you mix the above ingredients with a few other temporary, yet utterly frustrating circumstances in my life, add a 1/2 tsp of "woah, our grocery bill was high this week!", a Tbsp of "why did I pick this week to start doing crunches again?", and a dash of PMS and, my friends, this is no angel food cake baking here! It is full-blown, double-dark devils food cake.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Aaahhh...Election Day in the great US of A! Regardless of who you will be voting for today, I think we can all agree that we will be glad to see it all come to an end! Ugly, nightmarish memories of hanging chads, counted and recounted votes in Florida and the election that would never end just a few short years ago remind us that we cannot take for granted it will all be over as of tonight. But we do live in hope!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
No, the title is NOT a mistake. Recently my son, Periwinkle, (names have been changed to protect the innocent) announced to his brothers that the reason the waitresses at a local restaurant were wearing "Save the Ta Tas" tee shirts is because it is Breast Awareness Month. That's right...cancer has nothing to do with it. So, dear readers, take a moment before this month is over to pause and become aware of your breasts. Or your lack of breasts. Go ahead...have a leisurely stroll down mammary lane. Now don't you feel truly inspired??
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
In my post this morning I declared that I would not share my political opinions. I am retracting that statement and I am asking you to please read this article before you go and vote. I am categorically and unapologetically opposed to abortion. Nothing anyone could ever say to me would change my mind. I am also pro-choice. I think a woman should have a right to choose and that choice should be made before she has sex.
I avoid all things political in this blog because I am highly opinionated on the subject and basically intolerant of opposing views in this one arena. Hey, at least I get points for honesty here, right? Anyhoo, since we are fast approaching the big election day I want to spare you any personal opinions and instead share with you the words of some of our founding fathers.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
One of my favorite leadership talks to give is that of self-leadership. You cannot effectively lead others until you are successfully managing yourself. Of great importance in this arena is building margin into your life. Margin is the extra time that you may need as you live this gloriously unpredictable life.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I think I have already mentioned that I have been reading Seth Godin's most recent book, Tribes, and it is really speaking to me where I am. One sentence in particular grabbed my attention. Seth says,
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
As I pray and talk to the Lord about His heart for women to lead strongly in His body, I go back to the handful of scriptures that have been misinterpreted and then used as institutional bars in the church to keep women safely imprisoned in the cage of the status quo. Sadly, many women have accepted these rules as a reflection of God's heart towards them. They assume that what they are allowed to do in the church is all that they were created for and that men were designed to carry the weight of real leadership. Some of the women I have talked to even seem relieved that they are limited because it is safer to hide behind man-made walls of limitation than to have to step out and lead where it might feel uncomfortable. This is understandable given the fact that it is all they have known their entire lives.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Ahhhh, the sweet consolation of things put in order. I realize that not everyone is a fan of order and some just may not know how to attain order much less maintain it. For me, order is part of my DNA...I crave it and I thrive in it. I have been told that this is indicative of a deep, dark, hidden issue and that I organize and straighten to compensate for those things over which I have no control. And to this I say, "WHAT????!!!!" I don't think that I need to tell you that the people who have said this to me were chronically messy, perhaps even terminally so. Now this is not a criticism of messies or adulation for neat freaks, but rather a confession that I find difficult circumstances easier to endure when my little world is in order. Of great comfort to me is the fact that I am married to a man who is just like me in this arena. In fact, he is worse, and I say this with great respect and admiration. His sock drawer is color-coded as are the clothes in his closet and once, I caught him alphabetizing the spice cabinet. I pointed out to him that alphabetizing spices might border on some sort of neurosis, but he did not think so.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Following God can be risky business. Sometimes the thrill of adventure is exhausting and I just want to take a little nap and pretend I'm not hanging out on a limb. Sloths eat, sleep, and even give birth while hanging from tree limbs and I have never understood that as "hanging" anywhere is not comfortable for me. But you do get used to the view and you even begin thinking, after a while, that you might just be hugging a small space forever. I reminded myself today that I am not a sloth, but a daughter with a destiny and that this "hanging" is not a permanent condition. Oftentimes I don't listen well to my own advice. I am great at giving pep-talks to others but I am not a good listener when I am the only one in the conversation. This is one of those times when I find myself yelling my own words in my own ears, hoping like crazy that they will penetrate my heart. I am reminded that when Peter stepped out of the boat onto the water, he was fine until he began looking at what was around him. Taking your eyes off of the face of God is never a good idea. Why do our eyes like to wander so? Why does the heart doubt what the head knows so well? When will I ever be like my friend, Jesus, who could sleep so peacefully in the middle of a raging storm? Someday. Someday.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Wouldn't it be interesting if you could have an exit interview with everyone you have encountered this past week? What would they say about their interaction with you? Were your words dazzling? Were your arguments convincing? Did you make your point with dizzying clarity?
I have been thinking that what we say really doesn’t matter. It is how we make people feel that matters. Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That might sound a little “touchy-feely”, but I find that in most of my dealings with people, it is what they walk away with that matters to them. Kind of like the aftertaste when you have something to eat or drink….it doesn’t really matter what you swallowed, your stomach doesn’t know the difference. But your mouth will register the aftertaste for quite some time and it is that by which you judge the meal or the drink. You leave a mark on each one you touch, a fingerprint on their soul. What does it look like? What will others see in your wake?
My wake could have been better this week. I would like to say that my fingerprints were lovely, but some of them were not. Tomorrow is a new day and I will purpose to think before I speak, listen much, and leave behind something remarkable on others.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Alright bloggy people...here are my thoughts for this week:
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I know, I know, the title is unforgivable, but I swear it really is the title of a book. Years ago I was at the home of a friend and on her bookshelf was a copy of this book which is now out of print. In true "beth" style, I cracked up laughing because, really, doesn't it sound like a line from a Saturday Night Live skit? "I'm Beth Taylor and I AM........the SEXUAL CHRISTIAN!"