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.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
So let's dish. Tell me about your dating woes. And let's talk about dodging bullets. I promise your secret is safe with me.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Wrapped up in comments. Overly aware of statistics. Competing with myself in a contest that's never ending.
And it hurts. It hurts to think it owns me and it hurts to own up to it. But that's sin for ya.
Some things are going to change. But there's one thing that won't. Let me talk about that first.
To me, we've grown into a community I never expected to value so much. I pray for you when I read hurt in your comments. I laugh with you when you're laughing with me. You've extended the community over to Facebook, and we've talked back and forth. Months ago we were strangers, today you are friends. You are an amazing blessing.
I seriously considered giving up Stacy From Louisville completely. I went back and forth but finally found peace with taking you along with me on this journey. It took lots of soul searching and waiting on God to come to this decision. That is why I haven't posted in over a week.
So here's the deal. Most likely, I will be posting less often, an only when I have something worth saying. As always, when I find something funny I'll share it with you. Laughing, sarcasm, chatty - that's who I am. But trying to conjure up fantastical and being worried about Stacy From Louisville Superstardom - that's over. Dead. Audios.
In its place you'll see me chronicle my journey about seeking the real Jesus.
What? The real Jesus? Read on.
I had this amazing conversation with a counselor friend at church about my blog and my faith in general. I said, "I feel like I've shut myself off from God." He said, and I think this is brilliant, "Have you shut yourself off from God or from your preconceived notions of who you think God is? If we knew the REAL God, instead of what we have him made out to be, no one would shut themselves off from Him."
That, my friends, is idolatry. I put my baggage - hurt from the past, misunderstandings, even false teachings - on God. So much so that when all that stuff piles up it blocks God from the picture and I don't even see Him anymore. Without realizing it I throw God under the bus and settle for a craptastic substitute.
Like a blog. Or over-eating. Or arguing with my spouse. Or my health. Or my discontent. Or a million other things that amount to nothing when it's all said and done.
In talking with my friend I told him about how, for a long time, I've felt disconnected from the physical community at my church. I was in a long-term Bible study that offered academia and legality but no connection. I skimmed the surface of friendships, afraid to invest too much out of fear of being hurt. I've tried to be a square peg in a round hole instead of finding other square pegs to hang with.
My friend was quick to remind me that by isolating myself from investing in the Body of Christ I was cutting off a major avenue to the love of Christ . He was right. He is alive in His body. Often I've wasted time being critical of the church instead of finding my place in it, and I'm putting an end to it. That means I stop whining, be a big girl and pursue relationships instead of waiting for them to fall in my lap. So that's what I'm off to do.
You're more than welcome to journey with me.
Hearing my children sing the chorus of this song is one of the things He used to keep convicting me. Sing along if you know the words.
In case you stop by one day and there's no new post, please check out 97seconds. Jon Acuff of Stuff Christians Like did 28 days on Proverbs 12. It's extremely well done and worth your time.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
I talked to her last night for 30 minutes on the phone. She cried nearly the whole time from pain and loneliness. She is either allergic or nauseated by most pain meds., so they give her what they can but it's not enough to take the pain away.
She is now on oxygen 24 hours a day. And she's weary - from pain, frustration, illness, missing my grandfather for 12 years...
She has bounced back from so much in the past several months. While bouncing back is a good thing, and obviously in God's plan for her, she's a little weaker each time. This fall in many ways is worse than the heart attack she suffered late last year. The pain is worse and prolonged.
She turns 85 on Tuesday. She loves the Lord, yet she's weary of this world. As much as I love her I'm ready to see her suffering end. But who can say what God's will is?
Thank you for your prayers and e-mails concerning this situation. My faith rests in Christ.
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