Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Think I Need A Little Break!

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

If You Need Me, I Will Be At My Happy Place

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

Friday Jumbles

--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

--Gas dropped below $2.00 in Lake City, Florida this week. In case there is any doubt in your mind, there IS a God!!

--It struck me yesterday, as I was adrift in the orange sea of pine straw I call my front yard, that all of the beautiful songs written about majestic Georgia pines must have been penned by people who do NOT have pine trees in their yards or who own riding mowers with bags attached so that they have no idea how it feels to rake for HOURS and then bag for even more HOURS only to turn around and see that MORE pine straw has fallen. Futility. Sheer futility.

--I have decided to refrain from watching the news until my house sells. I can't deal with reality when I am believing God for a miracle.

--Have you SEEN the new guitar hero commercial with Kobe Bryant, A-Rod, Micheal Phelps and Tony Hawk? They recreate the whole Risky Business underwear scene while playing guitar hero guitars together...fantastic!

--And finally, I went to Starbucks to meet a friend this week and I didn't order ANYTHING. I drank water. One small step for Beth, one giant leap for her goal of having rock-hard abs by April.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Are There Women In Your Posse??

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!

In the book of Luke, chapter 8, verses 1-3 we see that, in addition to the twelve disciples, Jesus also had several women in his entourage; Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna and then some others who were lending financial support to His ministry.  This, in itself, is monumental as Jewish rabbis in that time did not have anything to do with women, much less teach them, as their tradition stated that women were immoral, stupid and basically evil.  Jesus was so "cutting- edge" to allow Mary of Bethany to sit at his feet and be taught by Him (Luke 10:38-42).  Not only that but He praised her for it.  If we are to use the argument that the twelve disciples were the exclusive pattern, then male Gentiles would be ineligible for leadership in the church because the original twelve were all Jewish.  It was only a few years after Pentecost that there were Gentile leaders in the church and also a Roman woman by the name of Junia (Romans 16:7).  

The women in Jesus day knew that He was unlike any other religious leader.  He sat in public and had a theological discussion with the woman at the well (John 4) and He healed a woman in public, calling her a "daughter of Abraham" (Luke 13:16).  No church leader had ever done that!  No, the women around Him knew that He was different from the unadulterated chauvinism to which they had been subjected.  And the women of today can know this, too.  He has set us free to know Him intimately and to make Him known, leading in whatever capacity He so chooses in His church.  I will address some of these "other capacities" in future posts....


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

When I was a kid, I had my future all figured out.  I was going to be a world-renowned psychologist with many books to my credit and a full speaking tour.  And I was going to do it alone-just me and God.  Growing up I saw very little that drew me to the idea of marriage.  And yet, when I was nineteen, I met Eddie Taylor and in him I knew I had found my home. One year later I married my best friend and today we celebrate twenty years of profound "heaven on earth".  These two decades have been filled with adventure, excitement, peace, passion, love and a little heartache.  Three sons, six fish, two cats and two dogs later, I wouldn't have my life any other way.  God's love has transformed me and His catalyst has been my husband.  I tell him that he is diet coke and I am mentos and that together we are infinitely better and entirely transformed, reaching heights that alone would be impossible.  I love you, Eddie Taylor!  Happy Anniversary.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

And Then The Roosters Showed Up...

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.

Yesterday, I got the call at lunch time but before anyone had eaten anything.  I then had to get my hungry boys to make the underwear that usually hangs out of their partially open drawers to magically disappear while assigning someone to quickly run the vacuum.  The vacuum decided to begin emitting a foul and suspicious "rubber belt simmering in a dirty sweat sock" smell which quickly filled the house.  Not to worry-there was plenty of time to sprinkle fragrant carpet fresh powder all over the carpet and then grind it in with my sock-covered feet because there was no way on earth we were turning that smelly vacuum back on.  Thanks to the refreshing fall winds that blew over the weekend, there was a three inch carpet of leaves on the front patio and walkway that had to be swept up.

  And then the roosters showed up.  I am so not kidding.  Sauntering through my front yard were two very stupid roosters who obviously had no internal clocks as they were crowing at the top of their lungs.  Did I mention it was noontime?  Now, for those who do not know me, I do NOT live in the country and I had no idea why there were roosters in my yard, but I was pretty confident that they would not be a bold selling point for the potential buyer that was due at my house in twenty minutes!!  And yes, I did go after them with my broom in my hand in true cartoon fashion, hoping and praying that a car would come along and make rooster pancakes of them.  

It turns out that the roosters really weren't the lowest point.  When I returned home after the showing I discovered a toilet FULL of bright, yes-I-did-take-my-vitamins-today yellow urine with the lid up for everyone to see.  Never have I felt so proud.  If these people do buy my house, I am wearing a bag over my head at the closing.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus...

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.

That being said, if you know me and my family, you know that we like to take pictures of ourselves doing silly things in public places.  Yesterday the mall Santa was on break and obviously doing a little shopping for the Mrs. at the jewelry store near the center of the mall.  My oldest son was encouraging my middle son to go over to Santa and lean over the jewelry counter beside him so he could get a picture.  Well, let's just say that timing is not the forte of my middle son so he hurried over and old Santa noticed what he was up to before my budding photographer son could get the picture.  David, thinking fast on his feet, blurts out (in his very deep for thirteen voice) "I love you, Santa!"   Mr. Mall Santa looks right into the eyes of my son and says, "Well I don't love you!  Now get away from me!"   Ahh, can't you just feel the Christmas spirit in the air....love, joy, peace and all of that?  Yeah, me neither.  But we all got a big laugh and I can always use one of those.  So, dear friends, the Christmas season is apparently upon us and all I can say is, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus...and he is a big, fat old grouch!!"


Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Jumbles

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

How To Cool Down After a Workout

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

A Song, Some Memories and a Thankful Heart

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

If You WIll Let Him

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

The Way of Brokenness

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

Friday Jumbles

This has not been one of my better weeks. Consider yourself warned.

--My phone is strangely silent now that the election is over. I am trying to decide what to do with all of my spare time now that I am not running to check caller ID every hour on the hour. I'm thinking of getting a Harley.

--Have you seen the commercial for the new reality show that is coming out soon? It is a competition for make-up artists called Blush. Oh...my...GRACIOUS!! Freak parade. That's all I will say about that.

--My cell phone broke this week and I had to buy a new one. I cannot tell you how embarassing it was to be at lunch with a friend and have my phone ring with a LOUD, obnoxious ring tone that I did not choose only to realize that I had no earthly idea how to silence the dang thing. Yeah. Good times.

--Oh, and I also accidentally sent a text message intended for my husband to Alltel Customer Service. Unbelievable.

--I'm not gonna lie, The Office was pretty disappointing the past two weeks, but last night was really funny. If you missed it, you can catch it on Hulu.com
--Fav quote of the week: "Achievement seems to be connected with action. Sucessful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit." Conrad Hilton

--The irony of it all is that I was trying to figure out a way I could quit this week. I wasn't really going to quit...it just made me feel better to think about it for a little while.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hi, I'm Debbie Downer...

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.

There.  I have completed my totally unnecessary, yet mildly entertaining rant.  Thanks for listening.  Carry on.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Head...Small Word, Big Misunderstanding

1Co 11:3  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 

This is a verse of Scripture that has been misunderstood for a very long time.  In the original Greek language the word for head is kephale.  Kephale means source or origin.  The word head in this passage is meant to communicate that man is the source or origin of woman.  It was from man that woman was taken.  The entire reflection of God's image was found completely in Adam, the first man.  When woman was taken out of man, he was no longer the complete image by himself for the woman was the completion of that total image.  

The ancients believed that semen, the source of life, was produced in the brain of man which is in his head so then the head represented the very source of life.  David Hamilton points out in his book, Why Not Women, that "kephale was the word used for the source of a river.  This is why the Greeks often set up the head of a man at a fountain or at the source of a river.  We still refer to the source of a river as its headwaters."  Somehow in the church this meaning is often hidden and instead authority is what is pulled from this passage.

In his beautifully written book, The Shack, William Young has the Holy Spirit speaking to Mack, the main character, and He is answering his question regarding things that God seems to have hidden from man in this life.  Holy Spirit answers him saying, "The choice to hide so many wonders from you is an act of love that is a gift inside the process of life."  God hides some things so that we can have the pure joy of finding them.  Woman was one such gift for man.  She was there within him and God brought out what was hidden to bring joy to the man and complete him.  Man is her kephale, her source, her origin.  And that is why together they are one.  And that is why marriage based on this understanding of this verse in Corinthians is so fulfilling.  It is not about heirarchy...it is about oneness.  Oneness, completion, the fulfillment of real intimacy...this is what man and woman were intended to know together and it is one of the very sweetest of His "hidden joys".


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lord Have Mercy, Will This Day Never End???

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!

Perhaps you will go to bed with visions of lower taxes dancing in your head and a contented smile because your vote counted and your candidate won.  Maybe you will cry yourself to sleep tonight because your man and his faithful sidekick lost.  No matter.  The sun will rise again tomorrow and life will go on.  God will still love you and your family just as much as He did during the fevered build-up to the election.  I am encouraging myself with this verse from Scripture:

                  Daniel 4:17 "The Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and He
                  gives them to whomever He wishes."

Dear bloggy friends, we can still trust in His faithfulness and His hand of provision.  We will be able to do as the Psalmist said, "Be strong and let your heart take courage".  Not because we are Republicans or Democrats and not because we are Americans, but because "...we hope in the Lord." (Ps 31:24)  


Monday, November 3, 2008

That's a Good Question!

What would happen if every time you opened your mouth today only positive words came out?