Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Hope I Don't Get Dropped Kicked

So, it's 10pm and I was looking at Stacy's blog when someone asked if I could do a guest post. So, knowing that this is sacred ground that I am treading on, I'll seek forgiveness later instead of permission now.

I need to say that I am very proud of Stacy for her dedication to her blog. We have been married for almost 10 years and she is a very creative person (one of the reasons I married her, she married me because of my 10 key skills) and over the past several years that creativity has been looking for a way to express itself. She loves to write and I am thankful that she has found this outlet and a community that she feels very close to. Being a CPA, I'm actually quite happy spending my day in my office, talking to only myself. As you can imagine this would drive Stacy insane, infact even the thought of how I can enjoy it is sick to her. Even though I don't share her excitement about the comments, it does make me happy to she her light up.

So, with that said, here it goes...

The 5 Things A CPA Never Wants To Hear During Tax Season...

1. Please don't tell me the office lost power
You see, I'm really ok with the majority of the city being without power. People are more worried about McDonalds running out of food and leave me alone. I was even ok with no power at the house, at least until I found out that there was a half eaten carton of Moose Tracks ice cream melting in the freezer! It's tax season, and I spend as much time as I can at the office. We have a fridge, a microwave and a tv (March Madness is right around the corner). It is a small practice and truely is a home away from home for me. But the power out at work, now that sucks. January 31 is a deadline for us, so this is really bad timing. By the way half melted Moose Tracks is better then no Moose Tracks. Melted Moose Tracks, old pizza and a coke, how about that for dinner!

2. When do you think you will have my tax return done (for the 5th time)?
Is there a nice way to say I have no flippin idea and if you ask me again your are going to the bottom of this list! That line is often used with my kids, if you ask me one more time how much longer until we get there, I'm going to turn the car around and go back home! Your right, I've probably said it but never meant it unless we were headed to Chuckie Cheese. It's not even February yet and we probably have about 50 corporate returns sitting in the office right now. So, when Monday comes and everyone gets their W2's that list will be closer to 125 in the next 7-10 days. So, if you have a CPA do your taxes, be nice to them this year. Drop off your stuff, give him a coke and don't ask when they will be done, just smile, say I hope you are having a great day and let me know when they are done. Chances are you just got your taxes moved up the list.

3. So, how have you been....
With all due respect most people just don't understand tax season. There are just three of us in the office and only two who actually sign off on returns. Last year we probably did close to 700 returns. Now not all of those will get done by April 15 but still, I really don't have time to chit chat about your aunt millie who had a colon cleaned out this past summer. I don't care about your kids or where you went on vacation. And when I sound interested about the fact that you got married had a baby or got a new job, I couldn't care less. The only reason I care about that cute new baby that looks like a monkey is the extra deduction you'll get on your tax return. Which by the way you will thank me for as if I'm giving you the extra money. This causes me to laugh at you and call you a freak as soon as you leave the office, because that new tax deduction sure is going to cost you alot more then what you are saving on your taxes. And yes we do make fun of people when the leave the office sometimes, not the most Christian thing to do, so I'll apologize in advance.

4. Well, just use the same amounts as last year or just give me the maximum allowed
Hmmm. I don't know if you realize this but the IRS is really not a bad bunch of people. I often have the honor of calling them and the number I call is special. I typically don't have to wait more then 10 minutes on hold and since I know what I'm talking about they will listen to me. But even though I will tell the IRS some sob story about how pathetic of a client you are (don't forget I'm on your side, so give me a break), they will not be happy when they want proof of a charity deduction and my response is "Oh well that's what they had last year". That's just not how it works. That's like getting pulled over by a cop and he asks Do you know how fast you were going, and you saying well last year I was only going.... In case you have ever wondered, audits are real but not real fun. Seriously I'd rather spend a whole day at the mall then go through an audit. Just be honest on your taxes both your CPA and God, I mean the IRS will be much happier with you.

5. Oh, did I tell you about...
It's April 15 at 4pm, your taxes are signed, all of the copies have been printed, they are in a nice pretty little folder that you will loose or stuff in the back of a drawer, and you walk in the door and say, Oh, did I tell you about.... WELL, @$&! NO YOU DIDN'T TELL ME THA, YOU IDIOT!!!! Once again that is one of those things that is said after you leave the office, but believe me it is screaming in my mind. The misconception is that I sit around the office all day eating Bon Bons and playing Halo 3 with the other people in the office just waiting for you to come in the door. I'd say we make 40% of our money for the year before April 15. So, if you want to be nice to your CPA make sure you give him all the information the first time.

So there you have it, a guest post from the guy married to SFL. And if you have any good tax stories I'd sure love to hear them (Wow, that will make for some fun comments!! I can hardly wait and I'm sure Stacy is about to pee her pants)

Stacy really gets a kick out of everyone that reads and comments on her craziness. She will be back so just hold tight.

Stacy, thank you for enduring tax season, hope you are warm and give your mom a big smooch for me.

Good night and Happy Tax Season!

Stacy From...Indy?

500,000+ homes are without power in Louisville and we're in the mix. So I'm headed to Indy, but without Dan. He's got to stay here. Know what that means? NO COMPUTER FOR STACY...

Know that until I post again I miss you, love you, and think of you often. See you in a few days.

Thanks for understanding.

Ice! And Snow! And I'm Freezing! Oh My!

I've never pooped a butterfly but I'm sure that's nice. And, kids, I could use a little nice today. Or at least a vacation from reality.

A huge ice and snow storm came through Louisville Tuesday and Wednesday. SFL headquarters is without power as of yesterday afternoon, which is more spectacular than I can say. Much of the city is shut down, without power and roads are filled with broken and uprooted trees.

We're looking at about 7 days without power. Every hotel room in the city is filled. We're trying to figure out what to do.

Sorry for the short post. In the meantime, can we come stay with you?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Subscribe to Stacy From Louisville - An Intereractive Cut and Paste!

Did you know you can have all the goodness of Stacy From Louisville in the form of a subscription? There is a real, live button somewhere on this blog that says "subscribe". It's true! It has only taken me six whole weeks to figure it out.

No, I'm not kidding. That's 6 whole weeks.

For you, dear friends, I stayed course and finished strong. With 3 dashes of common sense, a click of the mouse, and a few swear words thrown in for good measure I came through for you. So do me a favor. Have this lovely site sent to you already.

To tell the truth, I'm not all that sure how a subscription works, I'm assuming it comes directly to you, but then again, it took me 6 whole weeks to figure out the application. You might want to send it to a friend first, or an enemy, you know, whatever and see what happens. In fact, why don't I just make up a nice little note for you to e-mail right to them announcing their new subscription to Stacy From Louisville? That's right. You can now e-mail posts, too. Figured that out around the same time I figured out the subscription thing. I'm so innernets stupid.

Personalize, then cut and past the following. Or just e-mail as is. Either way you're about to become super popular and get invited to lots of parties and stuff. Wow. What's it like to be lucky ol' you? This is no regualr Tuesday my friends.


Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

You're such a good (choose one, but don't write on your screen dummy - it won't send) : friend, neighbor, husband, sister, pastor, babysitter, acquaintance, janitor, bank teller I barely know, felon and/or inmate, therapist with compromised boundaries, stranger who makes me uncomfortable

In honor of the time you (again, no ink on the monitor): offered your friendship, babysat my kids, walked my dog, demusked the ferret, locked the liquor cabinet when my kids came over, dented my car and then denied it, stole my identity, cut me off in the carpool lane

I'm giving you this free subscription to Stacy From Louisville, the only blog (pick all that apply): as nice as you, I ever read, with month long PMS - just like you!, as neurotic as you, that might talk some sense into you and your inbred family

Have a nice: day, picnic, eternity, 6 years to life, hootenanny, SSRI, burrito, breast augmentation you vain pin head

Love: (insert your name), your wife, your mom, your dad, the cat, that girl you couldn't stand in high school, William Shatner, or Jon Acuff


So tell me, do you like the subscription notification I made? I did it all by myself. Is it too much? Just who will you be sending it to?

Monday, January 26, 2009

How To Be A Good Wife, Vol. 1

Why yes, the appetizer does match my dress!!

Home Economics High School Text Book, 1954
(to see my response to this list click here)

Have dinner ready.
Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal, on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so that you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the home just before your husband arrives, gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.

Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad he is home.

Some don'ts: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

Make the evening his. Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.

The Goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
Hungry for more? Scroll down to the next post.

How To Be A Good Wife, Vol. 2

Did you just say margarita?

The Stacy From Louisville Response to 1954's List

Have ice in abundance in the freezer. This will not make dinner but it will make margaritas easier to assemble. Plan ahead and keep mixer on hand at all times. Immediately after carpool begin nursing your drink to make homework time more enjoyable for all.

Prepare for dinner. Most men are hungry when they come home. So meet him in the driveway, kids in one hand, Margarita in the other. Jump in the car before he knows what hit him. Don't say "hi" or "How was your day?" Men prefer a woman who is direct. He'll appreciate a simple "Applebees. Now." Be sure to tell him how to drive the entire way, he's tired after all, and will probably forget to stop on red and go on green. Warn him not to hit potholes or speed bumps because you will not be responsible for margarita that spills between the seats.

Prepare yourself for his arrival home. Brush your teeth (finally) around 4:30. If he wanted you to be refreshed for his arrival home he should have thought about that before you had that 4th kid. Too late now.

Clear away the clutter. Make a trip to the living room and shove school papers, toys, magazines, stray cheetos, the hamster and empty mixer bottles under the couch cushions. Later, when he mentions the couch is very uncomfortable suggest he hand you the remote and see if he feels better. This is also a good time to remind him you are wanting a new couch. Men like advanced warning of expensive, frivolous purchases that loom on the horizon of the Visa bill. Lucky guy. He'll think you're the cat's pajamas.

Prepare the children. Stick them in front of a DVD or violent video game. Put in earplugs. Read a romance novel and wonder where your life went off course.

Some don'ts: Don't look too good when he comes home. You looked fantastic on your wedding day. More than that is too much to ask. Don't forget your list of broken appliances and children's arguments that need his immediate attention. After all, he needs to know his expertise is valued. Don't forget to point out the TV dinners in the freezer as you waltz yourself upstairs for some "Bible study time". He was at work all day laughing and carousing with co-workers over Hawiian Punch and pillow fights. He's surely ready to come home and do something productive.

The Goal: To lovingly introduce him to the chaos that is your life so he will be more than happy to go to work day after day to provide for the family in every way. Up to and including purchasing a new couch. And a vasectomy.

Is there anything I forgot? Please make your suggestions as swell as possible.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Don't Mess Up An Otherwise Pure Friday

What else can I say?

Anne Taintor post cards

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Love Stinks Give Away

I love bacon so much I could have married it, but I don't think it would have worked out. Eventually, I'm sure, in a moment of weakness, I'd give myself over to pork rinds. It would have been a scandalous mess of inappropriate. There'd be sleepless nights with nothing but my regrets and Celene Dion's "All By Myself" to comfort me. Surely bacon and I would take the high road, enter couples therapy and renew our vows. But would we ever sizzle like we had before? My friends, in the grand slam scheme of things, that's a gamble I'm just not willing to take.

Bottom line: Love, in whatever form, is never easy.

Apparently you agree wholeheartedly.

Two days ago I announced that in February we'd be talking about dating, marriage, relationships and sex. I thought I'd bribe you to leave a comment by offering a gift. Yet when some of you saw the word "sex" as a topic of discussion you needed no bribe, you were more than willing to give your 2 cents, and then some. I'm glad you did.

For whatever reason most churches I've attended treat sex as an off limits topic, even in married circles. To me it's a shame. God created us for relationships. He also designed marriage. Sex was part of His plan. If Christians can't talk about healthy relationships or sex we open ourselves to the world's skewed perspective. The world's perspective is one of instant gratification, selfishness, and abandonment. God's perspective of relationships is surrender, forgiveness, and intimacy. So this month we're going to compare and contrast the two and I can't wait to journey with you.

In the meantime let me introduce the Love Stinks Super Smelly Prize Pack o' Puke:

This lovely prize pack celebrates all the times love has left a flaming bag of poop on your doorstep. Been dumped? Misunderstood? Two timed? Annoyed? Then this is the pack for you!

1 - 3 pack Flarp! Stink Bag. Squeeze each sulfur filled pack, shake, bag will begin to inflate, drop and run. The bag will burst open and pop filling your world with with nothin' but whiff. (Couldn't make it up if I tried.)

1 - Cat Butt Air Freshener. Smells like hyacinth, shaped like a cat's butt. To quote the package, "Blue Q air fresheners mask unpleasant odors from spilled beverages and bits of hamburger dropped between the seats." Only $2.95 at a Books-A-Million near you. (Also comes in Mullet!)

1 Jack Link's Jerky Chew Shredded Beef Jerky. On a very personal note, I once had a friend who dipped. He'd spit in an empty Coke can. That was disgusting. But here we have beef you can suck on to your heart's content. And in fundamentalist settings, too. For example:

Sally Seuss McKnickertwist: I see your chew there in a wad. You chew in the pew? I think that's odd. You must not read the Word of God!

You: No, actually I'm sucking on beef. Whether or not you know it, you suck, too.

1 box of Bean Boozled Jelly Belly Jelly Beans - In this box are 20 jelly beans that look identical, 2 white, 2 green, 2 black, etc. The problem is one tastes good, the other tastes awful. Here are the flavors: Pencil Shavings, Skunk Spray, Vomit, Baby Wipes, and so on. Good luck with that.

Today's lucky, randomly selected winner is: Stacie @ 7:40 am! Congratulations Stacie. Email me your info and your prize is on its way!

But there's one more gift I'd like to give away and here it is:

2009 Anne Taintor Wall Calendar, the official wall calendar of SFL. Had it with domestic bliss? This retro calendar features color photos and captions like, "There was nothing passive about her aggression" and "Her proudest achievement was staying blonde."

This lovely calendar is awarded to the owner of this comment that made my day:

"Sex is my favorite! Who else is singin' Salt 'n Peppa right now?!!" Daphnie

Between now and the end of February keep this ideas coming. Leave comments. Or e-mail me at

For today, answer this question: What is the difference between love and infatuation? What does it take to have both in a marriage?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

For The Least of These, Vol. 1

Outreach: Stories From The Shadows of The Streets

Across town a starving teenage boy prostitutes himself in exchange for a meal.

Beneath a cluster of trees a 17 year old girl, strung out on drugs, will wake up tomorrow with frost on her clothes and her face in the dirt.

In an abandoned building a group of young people huddle together to escape hypothermia, using a toaster as their only source of heat.

Today, in the United States, 13 homeless young people will die, remembered only by the statistic that outlives them.

These situations are not fictional, they are real. In cities all over the U.S. homeless teenagers sleep beneath over passes, congregate in drainage ditches, or make their home in a car. These are the invisible people, loved by Jesus Christ, that Outreach, Inc. of Indianapolis, IN embraces every day.

Established in 1996 Outreach, Inc. is a non-profit Christian ministry in Indianapolis, IN. Their mission is to reach out to homeless and at-risk young adults with the compassion of Jesus Christ. Outreach accomplishes this by providing street outreach, a youth drop-in center, holistic social services, emergency/referral services and case management; operated in an environment of God's love. They are dedicated to introducing the youth to a relationship with Jesus Christ and helping them to mature in that relationship. Outreach comes along side the church in helping it understand and fulfill the “Great Commission” on a local level by training, equipping and supporting the body of Christ and community to minister to this population, empowering the youth to exit the street life.

Eric Howard is the founder of Outreach. He and his staff of 6 are burdened for the survival of street kids. "Every community has homeless teens," Howard relates, "It just a matter of connecting with them." And connecting with these teens is exactly what he and his staff have done.

Outreach staff and volunteers are on the streets 2-3 days a week, week after week, searching for youth ages 17-24. They meet kids and build a relationships with them based on trust. Their goal is to move them toward leaving the street life and culture.

When most of us think of homelessness we think of adults. Yet, according to Howard, it's not uncommon for teenagers to become homeless for numerous reasons: the death of their only parent, running away to escape physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, addiction, mental illness, and abandonment to name a few. But the danger doesn't end when these young people leave home. Life on the streets is about survival at any cost. Howard said, "These kids don't make long term plans. Their greatest hope is to live to see the next day, to survive despite the odds. Every day they could face rape, abduction, addiction, murder, hypothermia, starvation or gang activity. And that's just the tip of the iceberg."

According to the statistics Howard is right.

1/3 of homeless teens report having witnessed a stabbing, rape, shooting, or murder.
32% of homeless teenagers have attempted suicide.
41% of females report being pregnant to shelters.
85% of homeless youth report substance use disorders.

In light of these statistics it isn't surprising that Outreach clients are often bitter and disillusioned. Because of their condition - homeless, jobless, turned away, overlooked, and terrified - trust does not come easily. Yet through the staff and volunteers of Outreach these kids and their needs are not overlooked. A help line is available to them 24 hours a day. The drop-in facility offers washer/dryer facilities, hot showers, warm clothing, food, and most importantly, a sense of belonging.

Outreach journeys with homeless and runaway kids through offering mentoring, GED training, job assistance, permanent housing, and other services. The journey is about finding hope and sharing the love of Christ. "We stake our reputation on these kids every day," Howard emphasized. "They don't want to be dirty, lost, dealing or trading sex for a place to sleep or food to eat. But until they're shown a way out this is the only way they know. We're here shining the light of Christ and offering a home in Him."

"In our society we associate 'a home' with a physical address. But what we forget is that on this earth, none of us is really at home. And we never will be home until we are found in Christ. Yes we meet physical needs but if that were all we did it wouldn't matter. We represent Jesus through being available day and night. We do it through offering acceptance, not judgement. Through seeing past the circumstance to the real person created by Christ."

Outreach is a donor supported ministry that would not exist without individuals like you and me banding together to championing its cause: providing help, hope, and a reason to live to homeless and at risk youth. In order to reach more kids and provide quality services they need our help.
And what they're asking is radically easy to provide.

Today you can help Outreach, Inc. for $10 a month for 24 months. Let that sink in while you consider this: Would you be willing to sacrifice 2 cups of overpriced coffee a month to give Jesus something to eat? Could you let go of 2 value meals a month if it meant Jesus didn't have to wake up with frost on his clothes? When you sacrifice for the sake of an at risk youth, helping Jesus is exactly what you're doing.

To middle-class Americans $10 can run through our fingers like sand, forgotten before it even slips away. Let's collect those lost dollars for the sake of finding a lost child of Christ. Follow this link to the Outreach website and find out how you can help. Because of what I've learned in writing this I'm putting $20 a month toward the cause. I'm giving up NetFlix and not looking back.

Consider. Pray. Sacrifice. All for the sake of Christ. Imagine how beautiful he looks on the face of a homeless teenager, one of the least of these.

If you have questions or desire to establish a homeless ministry in your area contact Eric Howard at:

Today, how will you make the world a better place for some of the least of these? Leave your comment, or encouragement for Outreach's ministry, here.
Contest loot and winners will be announced Thursday. Until then, what relationship topics would you like SFL to cover in February?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another Shameful Giveaway (or February's Theme)

I have a confession: I used to talk about sex every day. In fact, I was so good at it I used to get paid. It's true. Back before I had kids I did some crazy things, the craziest of all was being a sex ed. teacher.

For four years I taught a curriculum based on abstinence until marriage to thousands of kids in Phoenix, AZ. The beauty of the program was that it was built on Biblical principles and taught in the public school system. (Abstinence? In the public schools? Yes, I'm completely serious.) Part of the sass you have come to know as SFL is a direct result of that experience.

That's right, I walked the campuses of many public schools, teaching and making relationships with lots of kids. And when they couldn't remember my name but wanted to talk to me? They'd yell, "Hey! SEX LADY!" as they ran toward me from across the campus. God bless 'em.

It seems pretty natural that I should have a blog read by 19 whole people every day, strangers no less. I've always thought that if I could stand in front of 70 teenagers and openly dialogue about STDs I could probably talk to anybody about anything. So far that theory has held up.

But we're going to test it right here at Stacy From Louisville.

Put your boots on kids, we're going for a crazy ride. For the month of February we're going to talk about dating, marriage, relationships, and if the topic of sex creeps up we might address that, too. As you can imagine I'm really passionate about this topic. Yes I was trained to be an expert on relational issues (or, a "sexpert" as the kids used to say), yet that doesn't mean I have all the answers.

You know how there are like 15 million books out there about dating and marriage, written by people who say they've been there? I've read some of those books. To me, they're out of touch. (Or living in a compound wearing comfortable shoes.) No, not all of them, silly. Only 86.7% of them. And SFL won't go down that way. So it will be straight talk with no holds barred.

I'll be the first to tell you I won't have all the answers. Nobody does. But I've got some opinions I've gathered from the trenches of my own mistakes. We'll laugh, cry and maybe start an argument or two. Ah, there's nothing like the smell of controversy in the morning.

But none of this is any good if what I talk about doesn't apply to you. I need to hear from you. Given the direction we're headed, what do you want to talk about? What topics mean the most to you? Where do you think the church gets dating, marriage, and relationships mixed up? If you could hear anyone shoot straight about one issue what would it be?

By commenting on any of the above questions you automatically enter yourself in a fantastic giveaway. If you're new to SFL this will be a real treat. Tomorrow I'll show you what you could win but here's the skinny - it. is. unbelievable. To quote my daughter when she saw it, "No way Mommy!"

So answer a question already. That way, we both win. (See how I tied that all together? Who needs the next great American novel when you've got me? Don't answer.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Sister Is a Best Friend Who Won't Go Away

I was 15 months old when my sister, Lisa, came into the world. My instincts tell me I was not excited about the gift of a sister. She was less than two weeks old when my mom put her in a bassinet for a nap. The bassinet was lovely, skirted in white ruffles, mounted on wheels and approximately 24 inches from the ground. My mom only turned her back for a moment, just long enough for me to push the bassinet and my sister out of her room, down the hall, and into the living room, where I pushed it over will all my might. My sister flew into the air, but she was okay; the glass corner of the coffee table broke her fall. From there she was taken right back to the hospital she came from - for stitches across her left eyebrow. Imagine my toddlerhood disappointment when she came back. Today when my mom tells this story she is still horrified. My sister and I, however, don't remember it, which seems like such a shame.

That's right. I've got a sister. Compared to me she's 14% funnier but 31% less insane.

When I told her I was going to write about her to celebrate her birthday she said she didn't care. When I asked if I could use pictures she immediately ask, "Can you swear to me that I will look thinner than you in all of them?" I said yes. Of course I lied, but don't blame me. She should know better than to trust me.

This is us. She is 3 and I am 4. Aren't we cute? This picture is proof that at one point in our lives we could rock the short shorts. Doesn't she look happy? You would be too if I was your sister. Trust me. Oh, look! I'm telling her a secret! Let's listen in: "You better give me your cookie. We've still got that bassinet. Don't make me hurt you."

When we moved into a larger house I was 6 and she was 5. In the basement was a laundry room. That's where she actually agreed to let me put her in the dryer and turn it on. I didn't close the door though because that would have been mean. I just turned the dryer on and watched her spin around. After about 1.3 revolutions she decided it wasn't such a good idea. I never remember thinking it wasn't a good idea. Even to this day.

This is a picture of us the day I graduated from high school. My mom said, "Smile like you really like each other." That's when she jumped up on me. Not many things in my life are idyllic. But I could not have picked a better sister. We are friends, which means when we fall we will help each other up. But we are also sisters, meaning that we have to point and laugh before helping the other one up. That's just how we roll.

She was the maid of honor at my wedding. Before I got married I told her that if she was going to stand up with me I always wanted her to tell me the truth, no matter what. So about 5 years ago, when Dan and I hit a very low point, I called her. She lived 2 hours north of me. I told her I was coming to her house to spend the night because Dan and I were arguing. She said, "You can come over. We can pray together. But you can't spend the night. You belong with your husband, not here." That is when she moved from best friend status to once-in-a-lifetime friend status. She told me the truth, I didn't like it, but today I'm still married and pretty happy about it, too.

A best friend, whether a sister or not, isn't afraid to hurt your feelings; making someone happy isn't always in their best interest. But that's another post for another day.

So, Lisa, in honor of your birthday I'd like to sing you one of your favorite songs. Better yet, why don't I let these guys sing it for me? I love you!!

What about you? Tell me about your family.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm so super famous. Come see me on The Underfold.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Homeless

The weather is freezing in Louisville so I can't imagine how frigid it is north of here. While there are shelters for the homeless they can't accommodate everyone in need. Many are turned away to find solace in abandoned buildings, beneath overpasses, in crack houses and worse. Hypothermia and death are scary possibilities. Please join me in praying for these invisible, hurting people who are in real danger. And thank God for the organizatoins who open their doors to serve them every day.

For the least of these,

Stacy From Louisville Bible College Personal Evangelism Course

Like most students who go to Bible college my first year was bogged down by core curriculum. My first class was about the college rules. (I'm not kidding.) There was also English Lit., How To Marry A Pastor, Spanish, and Why People Who Are Tattooed Are Never To Be Trusted. It wasn't until my junior year that I hit the hardcore classes. I took a missions class and learned about clothing the natives in Africa. There was a youth ministry class that scrutinized proper harmony to "It Only Takes A Spark" and gave advice on what to do when you realized your degree was outdated by the middle of your senior year.

My favorite class by far was a personal evangelism course. But, today, instead of telling you about the class I'd like to show you the Stacy From Louisville Bible College version of what I learned. I guarantee what you are about to see will improve your personal witnessing skills by nearly 34%. And that's significant, or my name's not Stacy From Louisville.

Please save all your questions and comments until the teaching clip is completed. Watch carefully! There may be a quiz. Or a chance to come forward.

Now, what did you learn today? Be sure to let me know...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For The Least Of These

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:34-40

I can remember lots of times in my life when I've cried. Moments of salty, wet, emotional release spilling down my cheeks in rapid succession. Yet for all the pain I felt at those times I can barely remember the core of my pain. Most of the situations have resolved themselves or become less painful with the passing of time.

In that vein, God has prompted me to do some serious thinking in one particular area of my life. What it all comes down to is this:

Has there ever been a time when grief washed over me simply because someone didn't know Christ? Essentially, when was the last time I wept for the lost?

I'm not talking about people halfway around the world, though certainly they matter too. I'm talking about people like my next door neighbor. Or, the nurse who takes my kids' vitals when they visit the doctor. The clerk at Wal-greens, the stranger in line with me at the bank, the parents of my daughter's classmates. But that's just my neighborhood.

What about those who are seemingly invisible? The single mom across town who can't make ends meet. A runaway teenager who will sleep beneath an overpass tonight. Or even the college student whose faith couldn't withstand the pressure of life on his own. The depressed man who lost his job and can't bring himself to tell his wife.

Is there anything in my life that would prove that I give a damn about any of the people I just mentioned?

The cursor flashes, waiting for my answer. Waiting for the truth.

For the most part my answer is no. Lately I've locked myself inside a Christian bubble. I've watched TV instead of prayed. I've thrown out clothes instead of donate them. I've eaten out instead of donating that same amount of money to a food pantry. And worst of all, I've hidden behind the guise of "busy" to excuse my lackadaisical use of the gifts God has given me.

I've been idle in the worst way, fat and happy in the bounty of God's grace.

Meanwhile, the city of Louisville hums. People of all ages, races and socioeconomic profile slip into the chaos of life as usual. And I, along with them, adjust my blinders and throw myself into the mix.

It hasn't always been this way for me. God's telling me He's ready for me to rediscover my love for the lost. And I'm taking you with me on the journey.

From time to time, starting next week I will begin profiling grassroots ministry organizations that are rooted in my highest traffic cities. Together we will explore the ins and outs of taking the Gospel to what Jesus called "the least of these." Together with these ministries you'll be given opportunities to pray for and partner with their mission: taking Jesus Christ to a lost world.

In the meantime I could use your help. Tell me about the ministries in your area that are taking the Good News to others. I'll add the organizations to my list and we'll profile as many of them as possible. I'm looking forward to this journey. I'd love to know what you think, too.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Looking For Blog Fodder

Recently several of you have sent me videos or blog topics that are hysterical. Keep 'em coming. I love to hear what you think is funny, compelling, thought provoking, and sass worthy. In essence I'm looking for blog fodder. Any topics you'd like to see me address? I love Christian and church related topics. But I also like real life issues, too. So think about it and leave me a comment....

You guys are awesome!

The Boxer Briefs: Three True Stories About Underwear

The Most Hideous Thing My Mom Almost Said

Sometimes I choose to lie to myself because the truth is too much for me to handle. This is especially true when it comes to my parents. For years I was satisfied with the notion that my parents were in a platonic relationship. I was okay with assuming my sister and I just somehow materialized from thin air into our parents' home. Essentially, I reasoned, they had no reason to even hug other than for an occasional family photo. So imagine my shock when one day I was walking through the mall with my mother. We passed Victoria's Secret and in disgust I said to my mom, "I think thong underwear is so tacky." My mom shrugged and said, "Oh, I don't mind it. I just bought some for your father. He wears them to bed at night." As vomit shot up my esophagus like a broken sprinkler head I yelled, "SICK! OH! SICK! Mom, shut up!" She looked at me like I was crazy, "What? What's wrong?" With my gag reflex fully engaged I managed to choke out, "DAD? You bought THONG underwear for Dad?!" Horrified, my mother said, "LONG underwear! I bought LONG underwear for your father!" Our eyes locked, assessing the weight of the misunderstanding. Though I can't prove it I think I heard her gag a little, too. Somehow that made me feel even better.

Dan Meets My Parents

A few years later I was dating Dan, who is now the lucky, lucky man I call my husband. He was meeting my parents for the first time. He was staying in the guest room in our basement. We were talking about our folks and embarrassing moments. I told him about an incident that happened when I was about 7 years old. My sister and I had been at our grandmother's home that evening until very late. When my sister and I walked in the door of our house there was a Polaroid photo on the banister. I picked it up and looked. It was a photo of my mother. She looked very pretty....posed by the stairs....wearing something black, lacy and slightly see through. My dad whipped that photo from my had so quick I nearly fell off the stairs. I relayed to Dan that all that registered with me at the time was that my mom looked pretty, but now, 14 years later I had a better understanding of....well, you know. Anyway, the next day Dan and I were going through some books in my folk's basement. We flipped through them until Dan said, "Remember that story you told me about the Polaroid?" I nodded. "Did it look anything like this?" he asked, pulling a photo of my mom from the back of an old book. OH MY GOSH! THERE SHE WAS! Scantly clad with big 80s hair and some seductive look in her eyes. AND MY BOYFRIEND FOUND IT!!!! Puke! Gross! But hysterical. We were set to leave that day and my parents were not home. So, I took the picture and gingerly carried it to the master bathroom. I taped it in the center of the mirror. Then I took lipstick and wrote on the mirror, in my best script, "Peek-A-Boo! Is this YOU?" When I returned to college that day there was a message on my machine. It was my mom. She said, "If you two ever get married I'm giving you this picture as a gift." (This June we will celebrate our 10th anniversary. Without the Polaroid.)

Stacy Meets Dan's Parents

Dan's folks live in Florida. Though I had meet them before I had never been at their home. So, during my junior year of college Dan invites me to spend a 3 day weekend with him at his parent's home. I really liked Dan so I was on my best behavior around his folks. Sure they knew I had a sense of humor. But we all know, a sense of humor is one thing, insanity is quite another. So, Dan, his mom and I were at one end of the house. I needed to go to the bathroom but it was occupied. Dan's mom said, "Use the master bath. Knock before you go in our room because Dan's dad is changing." So I proceeded to walk the length of the house to the master bedroom. I knocked on the door. "Come on in!" said the voice from behind the door. So I opened the door....quickly drew in my breath....and made eye contact with Dan's dad....standing across the room in nothing but his briefs. After I threw my hands up to cover my eyes I froze. And started laughing. I didn't even turn around and leave, I didn't know what to do. "I just...(laughing)...I have to....(laughing)....your wife said to knock....(laughing)....I REALLY HAVE TO PEE!" He was laughing too, "Well then go ahead!" I was totally embarrassed and feeling really awkward. I shut and locked the bathroom door. But there was something else they forgot to tell me: the door lock catches so don't lock it or they'd have to take the door off the hinges. Which is exactly what they did after hearing me knock on the door and yell for help from the opposite side of the house.

So now you know more about me than you ever wanted to. And then some.

Last week, between facebook and this site we managed to come up with 50 comments about vomit. Surely we can do just as well if not better on the topic of underwear. So what about you? Got an underwear story you're dying to share? Then by all means, please do.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Grieving Mark Lamberth

Today, January 8, Mark Lamberth has gone home to be with the Lord. He leaves behind his young wife Angie, and their son, Nolan.

It seems foreign to feel tears slip from my eyes as I write to you. So often it's quite the opposite. But I'm grieving with a family I love even though I may never meet them until eternity.

Even stranger would be the contradiction that I am smiling as I cry. Heaven is our hope in Christ. Today Mark's hope is fulfilled and that's why I can do this crazy cry and smile thing. Our faith is a paradox, isn't it?

As a wife and mother I cannot fathom Angie and Nolan's pain. Angie has said she already feels so lonely. Some might say, "All we can do is pray." But, friends, that strips the Lord of His power. We get to pray, and in that we get to experience Him and commune with Him as we lift up this precious family.

Have you ever wondered why we don't receive our heavenly reward upon our death? Why we have to wait until Christ returns? It's because of the ripple effect. Every time we move and speak and act as Jesus did that blessing goes on and on and on. The full measure of it can't be weighed until earthly time ends and we reign with him. In essence, the goodness of Christ outlives our earthly bodies, a domino effect of heaped blessing on others.

From all I've read Mark really loved the Lord. So it is only fitting that this post has nothing to do with me; it's all about the legacy of faith that out lives Mark. Visit their blog to see how people all over the world are being moved by this story. And if you offer up a prayer on behalf of this family that ripple has washed over you, too.

For Angie...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Invisible Rope

My son has the flu. For the last 24 hours I have nicknamed him "Sir Chucks-a-lot". He doesn't seem to mind. In spite of this I managed to make a lovely dinner for the family. AND! I even mustered the strength to pack leftovers into a suitable lunch for Dan. In a pink Hello Kitty plastic container. I wish I could say that's all we had available but I'd be lying. Speaking of lying...

I was, in fact, lying last night when I pretended not to hear my daughter come scrambling into the room at 1 a.m. yelling, "I hear throw ups!" After all she did tell Dan so who am I to interrupt their daddy-daughter time?

Folks, I just don't do puke. Or blood. Or make lunches in appropriate containers for CPAs who may or may not have a working lunch meeting today. What can I say? I have a blog to manage. That's enough pressure for anyone.

Yes, I realize there are other blogs out there you could be visiting right now. Some debate political policy. Others call for an end to suffering. Still others spur us on to greatness. But at SFL I'll settle for bribing any one of you to watch my kids so I can have a cigarette break. Not that I smoke, because I don't. But if it means you'll leave a funny comment on my blog I might purchase some Virginia Slims in your honor.

In the meantime, watch this. It's the kind of stuff I live for. Enjoy!

And if you haven't done so already, come join me on Facebook. (Stacy A. Small)

Read the comments! Dan responded! Start with "bman" then read through the rest of the comments until you reach my response to Dan.

Monday, January 5, 2009

SFL State Of The Union Address

My fellow Stacy From Louisvillians,

Back in August I started SFL with two questions in mind. The questions were as follows:

1) Could I maintain a blog?

2) And if I could, would it be successful?

Well, kids, here we are starting the 6th month of Stacy From Louisville and those questions have been answered loud and clear. For some crazy reason there are plenty of you out there who apparently weren't getting your recommended daily allowance of sarcasm before I showed up. I find that tragic. In my mind I imagine you sitting behind a glaring computer screen contemplating doing something meaningful with your life. You nearly pined away, your mind reeling, "If only I could waste more of my employer's time or ignore my children for 10 more minutes!" I won't go as far as to say God answered your prayer but I will say God shows his love in the most unexpected ways. (Oh, if I could wink at you right now you know I would.)

Truth be told I've loved every minute of making you laugh. Your comments are fun to read. I've loved our contests - we've taken "free", "tacky", and "classless crap" to a whole new low. Oh yes, my mother is so very proud. Thank you for making the last 6 months an absolute blast. Thank you for commenting and for coming back time and again. This site would be nothing without you.

I'd like to update you on one story that's still being written: my grandmother's. As you may remember she had a heart attack a couple of months back. Not long after the heart attack she fell and broke her tailbone and got double lung phenomena. Currently she's in a nursing home. Mentally she's sharp as a tack but her body continues to deteriorate. Her blood pressure drops dangerously low without warning. She is in constant pain. In essence she's dying very slowly and we have been told there is nothing else that can be done for her. But because she is a believer I do not grieve as one without hope. When she leaves this life she will go from being in His hands to being in His presence. In the meantime, we pray. Thank you to all of you who still ask about her. Really, it means more than you know.

So here we are at 2009. I got me one big ol' bad-sass spatula to help spread internets love. It will be a blogtastical carnival of dizzying proportion. (Heads will whirl. Some might even puke.) But first I want to hear from you.

Take a second and consider your answer to these questions:

When you read a blog what are you looking for? And, in your opinion, what could I do to make the most of SFL?

Your opinion matters to me. So satisfy my curiosity and answer the questions already. (Please remember to leave all questions in the form of a compliment.)

Today especially I'm looking forward to hearing from you...