Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
(Today's post was written by my sister, Lisa. Not only does she get to be my sister, she is the wife of Eric, a minister to homeless and runaway youth in Indianapolis, IN. They have 3 girls, Addi (6), Makenna (3), & Cora (2). She is an exceptional wife and mother. But a gross cook. Just kidding.)
When I do laundry its a 1 time a week event. I like to call it laundry mountain. It consumes our basement and is a bit overwhelming in mass, but I would rather do it that way than some everyday. Yesterday I said to Makenna (3), "Makenna, who has been wearing all these clothes?" Of course she began to name us all in the house. Then I said "Who said we could wear all these clothes?" Makenna says "Jesus said we could"
Well, that floored me. Not because Makenna is so profound, but because of the implications of what she said. I know that the Lord used her at that moment to speak to me. At that moment I realized that she was right- Jesus is the one who has provided us all those clothes and cause of his abundant provision to us, I am to care for them in response to that provision. I realized how in a little thing like laundry I was being ungrateful to the Giver of all my things.
I am sharing this because I have been chewing on it the last couple of days. I am blown away by how, when I search my heart, I have an ungrateful attitude towards most of the mundane things I do each day. I get easily overwhelmed by the unending list of 'to do's. I never realized because I am actually doing them in response to the Lord's provision for what I have been given: I wash dishes/ unload the dishwasher(my least favorite thing on the planet) because we have dishes and food to eat, I vaccum because we have carpets that keep our feet warm and us comfortable, I change the sheets because I have a bed to sleep in, I stay home in my unglamorous glory everyday because Eric works hard for us, I scrub the bathroom because we have the opportunity to use toothpaste/ an indoor toilet, I pick up around the house because am blessed with a family, I clean out the van because I have a vehicle to drive. The list goes on and on.
Maybe this doesn't hit home for you. However I wanted to share in case it does.
So, what about you? What do you care for out of God's provision? For me, out of God's provision, I try to keep my tongue in check. I can build God's Truth into my kids or I can rip them to shreds. Also, I cook every day, trying really hard to be frugal.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I've made a decision. I'm giving up on people pleasing - there will be no perfect gift, meal, decorations or children for us this Christmas. "Dittos" of the world unite. Haven't you heard? "Average" is the new awesome. I'm going to be who He made me to be. Everything else is less than who He loves - it's true for me, it's true for you. Rest in a baby in a manger. Maybe together we'll find simplicity is divine.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I hate the song "Christmas Shoes". Do you feel the same way? Other than the song itself I have not real framework for the story. But based on the song alone here's what I gather...
There's a kid with a sick mom. She's going to die. So instead of comforting her as she dies he decides she won't be able to get into heaven unless she's well dressed. (Some women's ministry programs operate on this same premise. Just saying.) So he goes out to Footlocker on Christmas Eve. Instead of selecting a nice, sensible Hush Puppy, he selects some red, crystal encrusted Dior heels for about $450. He gets up to pay for the shoes, and even though he knocked over a 7-11 on his way over, he doesn't enough coin for the bling. So he deviously cons the guy behind him in line out of some mad cash. He buys the shoes. He shoves the receipt in his pocket. And laughs all the way home. He's taking them back the day after Christmas and pocketing the proceeds.
That's the way it should be anyway. I mean, seriously, people! Who wrote this song? I don't know if there are world religions that offer divine merit based on footwear, but maybe that's what they were thinking.
I toyed with putting the song and video to "Christmas Shoes" up today. But I wouldn't want you to think I endorse such behavior.
If someone were to haphazardly turn on the super sunny Christian radio station and hear "Christmas Shoes" they'd think we're a sad bunch. Maybe this is better.
(George, I would never dis you on Christmas. Steal your mousse, maybe. But never would I break your heart. E.V.E.R.)
So, what's your least favorite Christmas song?
Monday, December 14, 2009
WHY WOMEN SHOULDN'T TAKE MEN SHOPPING
After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Target.
Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get
in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women - she
loves to browse. Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter
from the local Target.
Dear Mrs. Warner,
Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our
store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both
of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Warner,
are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.
1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other
people's carts when they weren't looking.
2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
3. July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's
4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice,
'Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away'. This caused the employee to
leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that
in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing management to lose time
and costing the company money.
5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of M&Ms
6. August 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.
7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children
shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows and blankets from
the bedding department to which twenty children obliged.
8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and
screamed, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?' EMTs were called.
9. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a
mirror while he picked his nose. For 10 full minutes.
10. September 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, he asked
the clerk where the antidepressants were.
11. October 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while loudly humming
the 'Mission Impossible' theme.
12. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his 'Madonna look' by
using different sizes of funnels.
13. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through,
yelled 'PICK ME! PICK ME!'
14. October 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed
a fetal position and screamed 'OH NO! IT'S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!'
And last, but not least:
15. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile,
then yelled very loudly, 'Hey! There's no toilet paper in here.' One of
the clerks nearly passed out.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Christmas brings out strange behavior. Case in point, the traditional Christmas letter. You know what I'm talking about. Or maybe you've even sent one yourself, I know I have. It generally goes something like this:
1) Pay a photographer $500 for 1 picture in which every member of your family looks perfect. Usually this involves matching Polos and lots of airbrushing.
2) Write an exaggerated narrative about family events over the past 12 months. For example, "Jill learned to color" becomes "Jill, though only 2, shows artistic promise as she boldly experiments with color and design". Or, "Life really sucked this year. The fact that we never heard from you once means you're a jerk" becomes "God is teaching us to depend on Him in this season of growth".
3) Send the photo and the letter to people you haven't seen in at least 3 years. Why? Because people who snub us deserve to know what they're missing out on: the perfection that is your family. Sure, you may have put the dog down this year but for the most part the year was without incident. Unless the kids poisoned the dog. In which case, your kids my look perfect but, trust me, they're headed to Juvie.
I must admit, we get lots of these traditional Christmas letters. Wanna hear a secret? (Lean in close to the screen - I'm whisper-typing.) We don't always read them. They get old and boring and...well...we really don't care how great a soccer player your kid is.....or how your new job as hot dog vendor at Weenie Hut is amazing....or how very cozy you feel in your Snuggie. I just don't care.
So, in response to the throng of Christmas letters that flood our mailbox every year, our family has chosen The Alternative Christmas Letter approach. What you are about to read is the actual Christmas photo and letter we are sending this year. But I wanted to share it with you first.
Dear Family and Friends,
Merry Christmas! We wanted to send you a letter to let you know what we’ve been up to this last year.
We still live in a house. It is in Kentucky. We live close to some family members, but far away from others. We try to get together. Sometimes it works out and we have fun. Other times it does not.
This year we all had birthdays. We have a tradition where we give gifts and have cake. Sometimes we have ice cream, other times we do not. We also blow out candles, which is nice. Every person gets cake because it is good to share.
Dan has a job. He works hard. He gets up, goes to work, works all day and comes home just before dinner. Most days he does this, some days he does not. On the days he does not work he is sick or it is a weekend or maybe even a holiday.
Both kids are in school. Our daughter wakes up every day. So does our son. They put on clothes, eat breakfast, and get in the car. They go to school and stay until they are picked up. They also eat lunch nearly every day when they are hungry.
Stacy stays home some days. Some days she goes out to the store. She buys food and sometimes even underwear or shoes for the kids. Most days she makes dinner. Some days we eat chicken. Other days we eat beef or sandwiches. Usually there is a vegetable but not always. When dinner is ready we like to eat it. We use forks except for when we have soup.
We had all four seasons this year. In the winter it was cold for the most part. Some days it snowed. We would look outside and say, “Look. Snow.” We enjoyed saying this. Then we had spring. Some days it was warmer, other days it was not. Then summer came. When it was hot we would come inside. When we did this we might have a cold drink or say, “It’s hot today.” But we did not say that every day, just some days. Then it was Fall. We had colder weather. The leaves came off the trees. “Look”, we said. “Leaves.”
We went to church a good amount. We sang songs. We listened to people talk. We tried to be happy about what they say. The kids learnd about God and use plenty of glue. Sometimes there are even puppets.
Some of you are nice to us. We try to keep in touch. If you send a letter we will read it. If you call we will answer the phone. We like to say things like “Hello” and “How are you?” Being nice is good.
It has been so good to catch up with you. Merry Christmas.
Have a nice day,
Monday, December 7, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
On Saturday our Sunday School class amassed for a Christmas party. Now let me be frank. I did not attend this yearly event because the food was delicious. My attendance also had nothing to do with the fellowship (though I must say the "I'm Gonna Get You Sucka" analysis did make me more than a little chortle tipsy). The reason I attend this event is because I spend months configuring the perfect white elephant gift. (The balance of embarrassment, sarcasm, and shock is delicate. Personally, I think it's some kind of gift.)
As I wrote last year there are tremendous ways to sabotage such an exchange. This year however, I took my own advice, threw caution to the wind, and gave away this little gem, note and all.
The Baby Making Date Night Kit!
1 regifted $25 Red Robin gift card (unused)
1 Colt 45 Malt Liquor 22 oz. beverage for 2
1 red bottle opener
That's right. I said "Malt Liquor" and "Sunday school class" in the same post. (You are welcome.)
When the Colt 45 made its grand appearance eyes popped like bottle rockets on the 4th of July. Though I can't prove it I think there was a whole section of folks who weren't offended but were pretty sure someone was gonna have some 'splainin' to do to some elders.
For other reasons I can't quite figure 3 whole people yelled at the top of their lungs, "STACY SMALL! YOU BROUGHT THAT, DIDN'T YOU!?"
Now, a note on white elephant gift psychology. We all know the point of the game is to leave the party with the least crappy gift. The conundrum with the Date Night Baby Maker is an inner struggle with moral depravity. One might think to himself, "Red Robin gift card? For $25? Not bad. But I must claim the Satan water to get it. Am I ready to reveal my inner wino?"
A friend sitting next to me said, "What is the difference between beer and malt liquor?"
"Trashiness," I replied.
She tilted her head to the side to let that sink in. I tilted my head to the side as I evaluated how I knew the answer to her question. (If you are reading this while enjoying a nice malt liquor I appologize sincerely. No joke at your expense to be sure. Cheers.)
You will be happy to know the Date Night Baby Maker made the rounds that evening. It finally found a place to call home with one of my friends. She leaned across the table and said, "I'm always looking for something to do with the kids when my husband works late." I think she meant taking the kids out to dinner, but who am I to judge? I'm the kind of person who brings Colt 45 to an otherwise Christian outing.
What's the worst (or best) white elephant gift you have ever given? What will you be taking to your white elephant this year?
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Don't miss my husband's cameo at 3:46.
Where's your cameo? Which character are you? (I pop up at 3:59)
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I responded, "No, Silly, the best way to overcome writer's block is plagiarism." No one else agreed with me. It was one of those "Jon is handing out sage wisdom" moments and I was just being a ridiculous. Go figure.
Here I sit with the opposite of writer's block. Right now I have ideas spinning through my head a mile a minute.
Since September life has not made sense. It started with my dad having a heart attack around the middle of the month. A few days later as I laid down highway miles traveling to his heart surgery, Dan called. A raspy, tearful voice, barely recognizable to me, demanded me to pull over. "You need to come home, Stacy. My dad is dead."
"NO! NO! NO!" Over and over I screamed. The patriarch of our family, our "go to" guy, our protection in the storm was gone. Hit head on while riding his Harley, he died on impact, taking a piece of me and the rest of the family with him into eternity.
My husband's brother's wife and I often joke that we would have married either of the boys just to get into the family. When I married Dan, the love I shared for his parents really sweetened the deal. In fact, at our wedding, Dan's dad, David, made a toast to me. He raised his glass and simply said, "Stacy today I'm proud to be called your dad." It's my favorite memory of him.
We have lost so much. Together we have been grieving, remembering, and moving on. It's a slow process. The art of letting go seems contorted, after all, we're not made to know how to handle death. We are made for eternity. For those of us in Christ, when we lose a member of the body, we can't help but long for heaven.
In the midst of losing Dan's dad, my dad had a major stroke. His personality changes and lack of ability to communicate leaves my heart raw. He isn't recovering quickly. Unfortunately his diabetes slows the process considerably. He is my daddy. Watching him suffer doesn't seem fair.
Faith aside, there is a real sense that I am grieving the loss of two dads. One is with Jesus in eternity. The other is still with me and the goal is to try to determine how to communicate with him in a way he understands. This is my greatest longing.
I wish I had and super spiritual insight to bring it all home. But in writing this to you after a long absence this is as honest as I can be. Right now I don't have many answers. I never set out to have a perfect blog, but I did promise myself I'd always be real. Part of that reality is that I have missed you. Your friendship transcends the screen.
I did have one very good thing happen in November. My family and I met Jon and Jenny Acuff. Even though they did not pay for our lunch we had a good time. We gave them a Stacy From Louisville gift bucket. Bucket, you ask? Why yes, a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket filled with items made in Kentucky. Of course this included Maker's Mark Bourbon. (You can make whiskey anywhere, but true bourbon is only made in KY. You are welcome.) And who doesn't want bourbon without a Gettin' Lucky In Kentucky Shot Glass? Dan and I even signed it for them. Seems a shame I don't have a photo.
It is my hope to get reacquainted with you. Thank so much to those of you who have sent me Facebook messages of encouragement - and messages telling me to get back to the blog already. It all means so much.
Let's talk again soon,
Thursday, July 2, 2009
80% held up their hands.
The Minister then repeated his question.
All responded this time, except one small elderly lady.
"Mrs. Neely?; Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?"
"I don't have any." She replied, smiling sweetly.
"Mrs. Neely, that is very unusual. How old are you?"
"Ninety-eight." she replied.
"Oh, Mrs. Neely, would you please come down in front & tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years & not have an enemy in the world?"
The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle, faced the congregation, and said:
"I've outlived them bitches."
Friday, June 26, 2009
But I was never a fan of the crotch grabbing. I do not endorse such behavior. Just so we're clear.
Today I'm saying good bye to the King of Pop. His music was a real force in my life. For that reason I'll never forget him.
Did Michael Jackson's mucic influence you? What song was your favorite?
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Thanks so much guys!
For the Kingdom,
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Now let's compare it to the original. But, first, I must say I could boogaloo my sweet tuckas right into eternity dancing to this song. Not that Christians are supposed to dance, or like music that sounds like it's sung in a nervous fit of Lithium withdrawl. I guess we all have an Achilles Heel and this is mine. Do I apologize for planting it squarely in your head and annoying the crap out of you while you're trying to concentrate on your work? No, not at all. (In the video I'm the chick with the blonde hair.)
What song get stuck in your head? What's your favorite song ever? (Besides pipe organ hymns, of course.)
Monday, June 8, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
In my best white trash voice I said, "Ricki! I need your help up in here. My husband wears boxers that are full of tiger stripes. His pajamas used to be his dad's and he died 13 years ago. Ain't that freaky? His briefs got holes and stains, too. WOOH! And the gas! I NEED YOU RICKI! Please give my husband a bedroom makeover!!" Then I left my mom's name and phone number, being sure to ask Ricki to call me back ASAP.
Several days later I got a call in my dorm room. It was my mom. The conversation went something like this.
Mom: (all business) Stacy Ann! What did you do?
Me: Hi Mom! What's going on? (innocently, of course)
Mom: Did you call the Ricki Lake Show?
Me: The Ricki Lake Show? That show is such trash, Mom. You should just stick to Oprah.
Mom: This is NOT funny. A producer from the Ricki Lake Show just called me, asking about your father's underwear habits.
Me: Really? Did you tell the truth? (at this point I'm barely able to hold it together)
Mom: Do NOT call strange TV shows and give them our phone number. I have no desire to go on national TV and have your father get some sexy makeover.
I don't remember how the conversation ended. I think I had to promise not to ever do it again. I kept that promise, too. I never called Ricki Lake again. But Jenny Jones, well, that's another story.
To this day all I have to say to my sister is "Ricki" and we both bend over laughing like it just happened. But we only try to do that when it's a holiday because some stories are too good to not include the entire family, don't you think?
Surely you've made your share of prank calls. Tell me about your best ones. How old were you? Who was the victim? Details, people. I need details.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
On another somewhat related topic my daughter (7) asked me this: "If you have a bathing suit with two pieces it can be immodest. But what if you forgot to put the top on? Would that just be a 50/50 sin, because, you know, you just forgot? Or is God gonna be mad?"
What do you think? Keeping theology and doctrine in mind please let me know how you would answer her question.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
One day, when he was 3, we had taken his sister to Kindergarten and he was unusually quiet. Sawyer is never quiet. He was actually kind of sad and on the verge of tears.
"What's wrong, Buddy?" I asked.
With complete sincerity he asked, "When I get big will my wee-wee fall off like Hailey's did?"
You know it took everything I had in me not to fall over laughing.
"No," I said. "Your wee-wee will never fall off. You will have it forever."
Obvious relief filled his face as he said, "That's good cause I love my wee-wee. It's my favorite thing."
"Yes, Honey. I know." And he gave me a big hug of relief.
So let's talk kids. What's the funniest thing you ever heard a child say?
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
There are 2 ways to win. First, come up with the most creative caption for this photo. Or, leave your name and a lame excuse as to why you can't bring it to captionville. There will be one winning caption, and one randomly selected SFL reader. I've never done a contest this way but I think it will be fun.
You have until Thursday to enter the contest. Prizes will be posted later this week.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Growing up we lived on a wooded, 1 acre lot. We had a creek that ran down one side of the yard. It was lovely, except when there were thunderstorms. Wind and rain scattered branches and limbs throughout the property. On the off chance we skipped removing the debris from the lawn, after a few storms the yard was a real mess.
One summer, when I was in junior high, we had a series of storms that left an unusually large amount of branches on our lot. My mom had this great idea that we could outside and throw the sticks in the dry creek bed. When Dad got home he could burn them. So out we went.
The pile we amassed was probably 3 feet high and 5 feet across. I remember looking at it thinking it was going to make one heck of a fire. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw my mom take a packet of matches out of her pocket. I distinctly remember thinking, "Huh. This isn't how Dad burns stuff." But I was half way across the yard and figured this was more interesting that going inside, so I was going to hang out and watch.
She lit a match and threw it on the pile.
So she lit another match.
I don't know how many matches she threw on the pile but she made several more attempts, all with the same result. That's when she turned around, I assumed, to go back into the house. But that's not what she did. No, not at all.
She returned to the pile of sticks - from the garage - carrying...(wait for it)...
A. Can. Of. Gasoline.
She took the gas and randomly sprinkled a little on the pile to help start the fire. She threw in a match.
By this time she was hot, frustrated, and determined. So she took the FULL can of gasoline and dumped it all over that pile of sticks. And friends, we had a riding lawn mower, so it was a big can of gasoline. ALL. OVER. THOSE. STICKS.
She lit a match.
She threw it in.
At first, nothing. Then:
That thing blew up like a Zamboni on the 4th of July. My jaw dropped. I shifted my glance to my mom.
I swear, she easily flew 3 feet into the air, just like on a cartoon. Then, she dropped to the ground, rolled several times and lay motionless well away from the blazing fire.
I ran like a bat out of hell over to my mom. "MOM! Are you OK?! MOM!"
"Yes. I'm...fine...yes." Prostrate on the ground, face in the grass, lifting one arm in the air as if to say, "There's nothing to see here folks."
When I knew she was okay - and only when I knew she was okay - I fell to the ground laughing like I have never laughed in my entire life. We're talking full on, body laughing, no sound coming out because I was literally cracking up over what she did. I was crying I was laughing so hard.
My mom sits up, while wiping dirt off her face, says, "I guess that was too much gas."
At this point, the neighbors are involved, calling 911, running over with garden hoses. It was spectacular.
Today, 21 years later, the story lives on. Night after night my son, as I put him to bed, says, "Tell me that story about Grandma Linda and how she blew up."
Happy Mother's Day everybody. Hope it's a blast!
(Contest on Monday!!)
Have a great Mother's Day and tell her I can't wait to meet her. She will be so thrilled you probably won't need a card or gift. Trust me, I know these things.
Today's question: What is the oddest gift you ever made for your mom when you were a kid? Or, what is the oddest thing your kids have ever given you? I'll go first but I'm going to share my favorite memory of my mom. I remember the last time she rocked me when I was upset. I was 9 and I felt weird asking but she made it seem like the most natural thing ever. When I was pregnant with Hailey I went out and purchased a wooded rocker nearly identical to the one my mom had because of that memory.
P.S. Contest on Monday.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Well wonder no more, my friends.
Here at Stacy From Louisville I believe everyone should serve in their church or community. That's why I'm here to administer the official Get-Off-Your-Duff-And-Find-Your-True-Calling-Guide 2009
It's very simple. To successfully find your prime area of service all you need to know are your initials. Below you will find 3 lists, one for each initial of your first, middle and last name. (If you do not know your initials please use WTC, for What The Crap is wrong with you.) Put the phrases together and you'll find out the best use of your talents.
For example, my initials are SAS. That would make me a: "Giddy Collate Wearing Failing Seminary Student". WOW! That sounds like it's right up my alley. Good thing I live in the same town as a major seminary. Can't wait to enroll, flunk out, and look stylish (in an 80s Brownie Troupe Leader kind of way) doing it.
So now it's your turn. In the comments section please be sure to share your new calling. We'll all be edified I'm sure.
Please send this to anyone in need. Oh the lives we'll change, dear readers. Churches all over the world will never be the same.
First Letter of Your First Name
A - Darling
C - Chortling
D - Dainty
E - Leotarded
F - Obtuse
G - Farty
H - Obscure
I - Glittery
J - Twitchy
K - Annoying
L - Confused
M - Craptastic
N - Maladjusted
O - Obsessive
P - Enchanted
Q - Rashy (I really hope you don't have "Q" in your name)
R - Fandangaled
S - Giddy
T - Sweaty
U - Itchy
V - Irregular
W - Squinty
X - Sunshiny
Y - Stagnant
Z - Dogmatic
First Letter of Your Middle Name
A - Coulatte Wearing
B - Paint Sniffing
C - Casserole Burning
D - Pork Rind Sucking
E - Billy Mays Loving
F - Tattooed
G - Belly Dancing
H - Tight Fisted
I - Jazzercising
J - Runny Nosed
K - Asphalt Eating
L - Gnome Whittling
M - Pansy Throwing
N - Weepy Eyed
O - Bunion Scratching
P - Accident Prone
Q - Garden Weasel Toting
R - Hymnal Sniffing
S - Cowbell Demanding
T - Hula Curious
U - Super Hot
V - Bunny Suited
W - Slightly Confused
X - Paste Eating
Y - Swine Flu Masked
Z - Rim Spinning
First Letter of Your Last Name
A - Church Secretary
B - AWANAS volunteer
C - Live Christmas Tree Singer
D - Pulpit Hog
E - Broom Twirling Janitor
F - Missionary
G - Sunday School Teacher
H - Clown Troupe Member
I - Interpretive Dancer (with ribbons)
J - Worship Band Drummer
K - Bible College Graduate
L - Hymn Yodeler
M - Organist
N - First Time Visitor
O - Bi-Polar Member of The Counseling Staff
P - Paranoid Usher
Q - Overemotional Worship Leader
R - Church Planter
S - Failing Seminary Student
T - Bible Banger
U - Pastor's Wife
V - Van Driver
W - Left Behind Author
X - Women's Retreat Planner
Y - Sound Board Dude
Z - Bible Study Drop Out
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I saw my grandmother this weekend in the hospital. She's very weak and had to have help to get from the recliner to her bed, only inches away. (Seeing her be lifted into bed was heart wrenching.) She has an upper GI tomorrow to determine why her esophagus isn't working. I cannot fathom putting her under for a procedure, but what do I know? (Don't answer that.)
After we all hugged, we were out the door of her room, leaving to go home and she asked Hailey to turn around. "Hailey, you know I love you, right?" Hailey smiled and waved, "I love you too GG." My grandma is amazing that in spite of her condition, she made a point to connect with Hailey knowing it may be the last time. What a gift.
On a personal note I'm having a harder time with this than I thought. Not that I had any idea how this would affect me. It hits me at weird times. For now my focus is to get through tomorrow (Monday) without being in a nasty mood.
(Me? Nasty? I'm sure you're shocked...)
For now, I have a question for you. How do we manage pain as believers? The pain of loss or grief (which may or may not have anything to do with death) can defeat the strongest of us. What was your grief situation? How did you deal with it? What doesn't work? What does?
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Today I explained to Sawyer, my 5 year old, that his great grandmother is very, very sick. In as few words as possible I tried to prepare him - if that can be done - for the loss he will face. We were in my car and he was quiet, which was fine with me because I haven't had many words today. Out of his silence a question:
"Mommy, are we going to Indianapolis because GG is going to die?" he asked.
"No, we're going to see GG because we love her," I said. Tears welled in my eyes, blurring the road in front of me. "But one day soon she will go to be with Jesus. She will be in heaven and she will not be sick any more, not ever. But to get to heaven she will die. I will be very, very sad and I will miss her very much, but I would rather her be with Jesus than here, in pain."
"Will she die because she is old?" he asked.
Tears poured down my cheeks. "No, she will die because God is ready for her to be with Him. That's why we believe in Jesus. This life is not special or important if we don't have Jesus. GG loves Jesus right now and because He loves her, too, He wants to bring her to be with Him forever." The words came easily, but in those few moments I did the whole "white-knuckled, keep the car on the road death grip on the steering wheel" thing, hoping he didn't know I was upset.
I don't have a problem with him seeing me cry. Yet I didn't want my grief to control the situation. It wasn't about sugarcoating pain, it was about simple, direct hope that's available to even him at 5 years old. That is what I wanted him to take away from our talk.
"Sawyer, does that make sense to you?"
Peacefully he said, "Yeah, I think so."
In that moment, just that suddenly, the radio in my car came on. The words and melody rang clear, "How great is our God. Sing with me how great is our God. All will see how great, how great is our God. You're the Name above all name. Your are worthy of all praise. My heart will sing how great is our God..." and do it went.
Just like that, in my crappy, run down car with a radio that seldom works, while talking faith and salvation to my son, God showed up. He showed up big and strong. He showed up and affirmed everything I believe. He affirmed the faith that was handed down to me through my grandma's love for Him. That love lives in me and is being passed on to my son. One life to the next, generation to generation, God showed up.
Of course I'm sad right now, achingly so. But, what rises to the surface is my faith. Circumstance and pain ebb and flow, but He never does.
If we have nothing else, my friends, we have a God who lived for us, died for us, rose again for us....and still takes the time to show up.
I pray He shows up big and strong and undeniable for you today. Thanks for reading.
I would appreciate any prayers.
I will update you as I can.
Much love in Christ,
Monday, April 27, 2009
When I saw this clip I had to share my clown tonsil-hockey tail. But the story pales in comparison to what you are about to watch. Before watching, take a trip to the bathroom, spit out your food, and park your kiester. Turn up your speakers and let the insanity begin.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
1. Flush the toilet every 5 minutes.
2. Dispense 70 gallons of gasoline into 2 liter bottles, making sure to top them off until gas sprays out.
3. Throw coal at endangered birds.
4. Make out with a logger.
5. Ask total strangers, "Did you just fart? Your methane emission offends me."
6. Soak canvas bags in oil. Set them on fire while you picket Whole Foods.
7. At Starbucks order a "Styrofoam Latte" with a shot of natural gas.
8. Uproot trees.
9. Open all the windows to your home and set the thermostat to 86 degrees.
10. Take the kids to McDonald's drive through. Throw wrappers out the car windows as you travel to your destination.
11. Detach your muffler.
12. Burn tires instead of candles.
13. Fill recycling bins with glitter.
14. Set washing machine to "extra large load" then do laundry one piece of clothing at a time. Dry them the same way.
15. Give up old rags and use disposable diapers to clean up household messes.
16. Print this post 700 times.
17. Fill plastic grocery bags with car emissions. Hand them out at the park as balloons.
18. Drink 6 packs of soda at the beach. Clean up by throwing plastic connector rings and empty cans off the pier.
19. Help control the pet population. Have your panda spayed or neutered.
20. Let your Hummer idle in the carpool lane.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
What? You don't think your accountant is hot? Mine is. But he's also my husband. That's right, Dan Small, C.P.A., my very own slice of 10-40 heaven.
But today is the last day he'll be pimping out loop holes to save mankind from Uncle Sam. Today is April 15.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
On Easter our hope is confirmed. Our fellowship in Him is renewed.
The celebration of heaven extends to mortality a little more because we're more in touch with the reason for the faith we have. Easter is everything.
That we would infuse our fellowship with that same electric joy of the resurrection every day.
I serve a risen Savior He's in the world today
I know that He is living whatever men may say
I see His hand of mercy I hear His voice of cheer
And just the time I need Him He's always near
He lives! He lives!
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way
He lives! He lives!
Salvation to impart
You ask me how I know He lives
He lives within my heart
Rejoice, rejoice O Christian lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek Him,
The help of all who find
None other is so loving so good and kind...
Friday, April 10, 2009
(you will also need wax paper and a microwave)
What? What's that you say? How can marshmallowy goodness and miniature cream eggs buy a ticket to Ickville?
Take your Cadburry fondant delectable, place in on the wax paper and microwave it on high for about 7 seconds, until it just begins to melt.
I could explain the rest, but why don't I just show you?
Meet Mr. Peep Poop
It seems our sugary friend has had an accident, and right on my computer desk, too. Poor little chickadee had to go pee-pee, and seeing that he has no wings or legs, he had to make do (or doo doo?).
Mr. Peep Poop puts the panache back in Passover, the Goofy in Good Friday, the Edible in Easter. No matter the date, he puts the "F" in family and fecal matter. Just sit one of these little guys on a guest's chair and when they pull it out - surprise! Or what if he flew inside the mailbox by mistake? Or what if he and 25 of his friends found his way to your neighbor's car windshield? Or just one little guy got left behind...(wait for it)...on your mother-in-law's toilet seat? Silly birdy, he almost made it.
Be sure to let me know how it works for you. Send me a JPG and I'll post it right here. Or do you have your own gross candy gag? Please share. I'm all about sharing.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
If Billy Mays sold poop in a bag I'd probably buy it. Not that I need more poop in a bag, it's just that I can't resist a man who thinks every sentence is worth a shout and an exclamation point!!! But then I met Vince from ShamWOW. Within moments I kicked Billy's hairy faced, raspy holler to the curb.
Something spectacular happens at 2:19 so make sure to catch it. You know the Germans always make good stuff. SIGN. ME. UP.
Monday, April 6, 2009
2. Suck on yellow and green gummy bears until they're good and slimy. Make hacking noises in an elevator, then spit them into your hand. Show them to the person next to you and ask for a hanky.
3. Trade out grape juice for hard liquor at communion.
4. Hook up the worship leader's mic to a clapper.
5. Before meeting anyone new pop an alka-seltzer tablet into your mouth. Carry on normal conversation.
6. Forward spam as an attachment with a note saying, "This is awesome."
7. Regularly discuss your bowel habits.
8. Whenever anyone asks you what time it is, subtract 15 minutes from the true time.
9. Ask your neighbors if they'd be interested in becoming blood brothers.
10. Play tag in Wal-Mart. Fitting room lady is home base.
11. Put invisible fence collars on toddlers in the church nursery.
12. In the drive thru make sure to indicate that your order is "to go".
13. When people share prayer requests say, "Your life is a train wreck."
14. Don't plant flowers. Put empty soda cans on sticks and cluster them around your yard. Water them while neighbors do yard work.
15. Tell kids that Disney World burned down and the ice cream truck only plays music when they're out of ice cream.
16. Sing "Wake Me Up Before You G0-Go" when using public restrooms.
17. Attach large signs to drinking fountains that declare, "FREE WATER TODAY!!!"
18. Sign up to be an usher at church then stand at the end of every pew and ask, "May I see every one's ticket please?"
What would you add to the list? Is there anything I've forgotten? Please share.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Not wanting to get the boom-chicka-bow-wow look from everyone in the room we made sure we were the first to arrive. As it turns out it wouldn't have mattered what time we showed up. The wedding party, our dearest friends, made it a point to make eye contact with Dan or I and mutter, "Uh-huh" while raising eyebrows and lifting glasses to toast us. But my mother took the cake. In a private moment she put her hand on my back and delicately whispered, "Is there anything you want to ask you mother?" So I said, "No. But Dan's dying to talk to you."
OUCH! So there you have it.
So please, do dish. I really can't wait for the comments on this one. Especially from Nelson's Mama.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Meet Mr. SinuCleanse Squeeze. He's the cousin of the NetiPot. (To be clear, NetiPot is not real pot, so if you've been misunderstood and are thinking of piling on the eyeliner and having an emo moment this would not be the pot you're after.) The basic premise is to force saline into the sinus cavity thereby causing snot and grey matter to drain via your nose and relieve sinus pressure. The SinuCleanse Squeeze allows for a slightly forceful stream of saline, where as the NetiPot is more like taking a tea kettle and pouring it in. Yum, I know.
The picture shows the general idea. However, no where in the product description does it deny that after using this product I wouldn't end up looking like this guy. So though this is a 100% natural product, so is testosterone, a 5 o'clock shadow, and enlarged knuckles. (P.S. Mr. Roper from Threes Company Called. He wants his shirt back.) And is it just me or does it look like our friend here is about to take a swig out of the snot pot?
The bottle is a clear plastic sprayer. Add lukewarm water and a saline packet, lean over the sink and spray directly into the nasal cavity. Luckily there is an anti-backwash valve. (I'll leave you to insert a gross snot joke here.)
I used the product as recommended. Here are the random thoughts that passed through my mind:
This is like an enema for your brain.
When I'm done here I'll bet I could mix up a vinaigrette in the bottle and put it on tonight's salad.
I should have just used a pressure washer or Shop Vac.
Gross. Look at what's coming out my nose!
There's the remote!
My brain hurts.
If I filled this bottle with Clorox then sprayed it up my schnoz, would it kill the virus or just eliminate that hard to clean ring-around-the-septum?
It's good thing this idea is has a pending patten cause I think Summer's Eve stole their idea.
It's been about an hour since I SinuCleansed. I'm not stuffed up anymore, but my head still hurts, I'm coughing, and I'm no less obnoxious than before irrigating my frontal lobe. But at least I shared it with you cause we're tight like that.
So what about you? What have you been sticking up your nose today?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Once, when my daughter had the spew flu and decided to decorate the carpet, I thought I'd die. You know what I mean: chunckage + wool = I'd rather sell the house than clean it up. I begged a friend to let me borrow her steam rug cleaner. With a little effort the carpet was like new. Thankful for her help, I returned the cleaner. Only I forgot to change the water from the suction chamber. Interestingly, when that friend moved she forgot to tell me. I thought that was kind of sucky, but in a completely different way.
Snot. Puke. Two totally disgusting - and embarrassing - issues. It's a general theory of mine that bodily fluids should never be discussed. Unless it's funny. So I'm wondering if you have a funny snot, pee, poop, puke, story. I'll go first:
A friend of mine had a baby in November and chose to breast feed. In January she ventured to the mall between feedings, sans baby, to return something. Though it was freezing she left her coat in the car, reasoning she'd be in and out quickly. She ended up being in the store much longer than she intended. So much so, her milk came in while she was checking out, and that took longer and longer...until her shirt was soaked through. And she had no coat. She left the store but couldn't remember where she had parked. By the time she got in her car her shirt was frozen... Frozen. To. Her. Chest. (Which makes me wonder if we've got any ice cream because my throat sure hurts...)
So please, let's share some gross and embarassing stories. Like, say, when you have a big blow out sneeze and get boogers in your hair but no one tells you. (Not that this ever happened to me...) Stuff like that. And there's always fart stories, burping, puke... Or, being impaled with a 3 inch splinter in the left butt cheek while sunbathing, having a Bible college male prof wanting to remove it with pliers, but deciding to have it surgically removed, then getting notes for weeks telling said person not to worry about the splinter of wood in other people's eye until taking care of the shard of wood in your own butt, then being called Shard Butt for months. You know, embarrassing stuff.
So dish already!
Monday, March 23, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Most of the time I write a post about something I'm learning and ask for your feedback. Today it's the other way around.
I'm making a dedicated effort to include praising God into my everyday life. I don't want it to be contrived, I want it to be a natural part of who I am. Maybe the reason I haven't acknowledged this deficit in my life until now is because I've been saving my praise for myself? You can't answer that, but if I'm being honest it's probably true. Dying to myself is the first part, looking for ways to exalt Him is the second. That's where you come in.
So how do you do it? How do you make praising God part of your routine? What does that look like for you? What advice, scripture, or discipline would you recommend?
I've got a willing heart, a need for God, and a way to talk to you.
I'll take all the feedback I can get. So school me...
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
A friend of mine lost her mother suddenly. In the midst of hospital chaos she told me she could feel God whispering Scripture over her and she had peace. He set the world in motion yet still cares enough to speak His Word over us. That's enough to leave me rightfully speechless. Thank you Jesus. (A., He's with you. I love you, girl.)
Don't miss today's post Created for Community.
When I wrote My Battle With Chronic Pain I had no idea what kind of response I'd get. Today, 2+ weeks after that post, the comments are still coming in. Your candor and openness in your struggle were unexpected, but welcomed. Your comments painted a picture of real hurt. I was touched by stories of infertility, depression, isolation, and being misunderstood. My first reaction was to reach out to each one of you, and stand by you in you circumstance. Unfortunately, the reality of you being there and me being here makes that impossible.
Though we're strangers, I love you and care deeply about what happens to you. When you share your pain I don't take that lightly. I know what pain is, I know depression, I know frustration; we are connected in these ways. (But I also know joy and pray we're connected in this way, too.)
So I started to pray for you (and continue to do so). And God started working in me.
Then, clearly, it came down to one small word: community.
God made us for relationships. I need community and so do you. While blogging and leaving comments is great it falls short of true community. It's easy to visit a blog, identify with a topic, write a comment that connects you with it, but still leave unfulfilled. I know this because it has happened to me. I may leave a zinger of a sass mouth comment of Stuff Christians Like. I laugh, go back to the comments later, see what others have to say. There's nothing wrong with any of that, as long as it's not an idol. But sometimes, when a topic hits a nerve, regardless of whether or not I comment, I draw back from the computer wondering, "What now?" You see, I'm still sitting alone behind the same computer I was sitting behind 10 minutes ago. Yet now I have questions and I feel alone in them.
Maybe this sounds familiar to you. Maybe not, and I'm glad for you. Either way, keep reading.
When a blog touches on an issue, like your very personal battle with pain, I think you should chime into the discussion. Pour your heart out, whether it's to agree or disagree. But, please, as the author of this blog, I'm asking you not to stop there.
What I'm saying is don't let this blog, or any other, mask your need to be in real, open, and vulnerable connections to your church family. Share your pain with the people around you daily.
You may be thinking what I thought for years: No one at my church cares or wants to understand. Are you sure? In your entire congregation there isn't a person who cares? If that's the case it's time to find a new church. Before you say goodbye, ask yourself this: Is it possible you've looked for friendship and understanding in the wrong places within your church? Not all groups will work for everyone. If you think you can't be yourself with the group you associate with now, maybe it's time to gracefully move on in pursuit of other friendships.
This will not be comfortable at first. But once you commit to finding your place in the Body of Christ you will find freedom because you don't have to be a square peg in a round hole anymore. You get to be you, exactly as God made you. Satan is lying to you and you're believing it if you think you're all alone. (We got 41 comments in the post My Battle With Chronic Pain. If that many people commented here I guarantee your church home is full of like minded people. Struggle is universal.) You don't have to be alone, but you do have to put forth the effort to pursue relationships.
God IS ALIVE in His body. He actively ministers to us through other people. But we have to make efforts, too. No matter if we've been hurt before, ignored, wronged, etc. For the sake of Jesus in you, please, find your place in The Body.
I write these things to you not as a know it all, but as someone who is making this change right now. It has taken me nearly 7 years to do this, but better late than never. What I'm finding is that the world is opening up to me via putting myself out there. And I'm finding ways to serve back. Before I decided to get serious about my needs, there were people who knew I was in pain. But I held myself back from them because I believed the lies that said they wouldn't understand.
Now I know "they" were not the problem, my church was not the problem - I was. Well, me and my sin of isolation. That's right. For me it was sin.
So today, when several people asked how I've been feeling, I was able to tell them, "I had a good week." They were happy for me. They care. Letting God redeem my pride is replacing my heart of stone for a heart of flesh. The biggest difference: flesh is alive!
I think the same thing is waiting for you. Like I said, I love to read your comments and you are always welcomed here. Just don't let this be the only place where you get fed.
Perhaps you're already involved in strong community. Or maybe it's time for you to leave the nest. Either way, I have one pointed question for you today, my friends: What can you do this week to take a step closer to community? How will you further define your place in the Body of Christ?
Today especially, I'd really love to hear from you.
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