Monday, December 13, 2010

The SARS Lady

So we are traveling to Florida for Christmas this year.

My sister lives in Florida with her husband and has lived there for 5 years.

However, for the past 5 years, she has traveled to Ohio (and us as well) to visit my mom.

Well this year she proclaimed that we needed to come to her home, instead.

We agreed that possibly it has been unfair up until this point.

So what is the point of this story (besides just to ramble), you ask?

Well, we are flying.

Now generally, I am not afraid of flights.

Despite the crashes you hear in the news, I am not terrified that my plane is going to get highjacked.

Nor do I think it is going to explode in the air and crash to the earth.

I also don’t think it is going to have a failed engine and again crash to the earth.

Do you know what my fear is?

Getting sick.

I have mentioned my germaphobia before.

If you are an avid reader, you know this.

If you are not? You suck. And also? You are way behind on my germaphobic ways.

ANYWAY.

Planes severely gross me out.

I mean severely.

You have to sit in these nasty fabric seats where thousands have gone before.

Don’t tell me someone hasn’t splashed their vomit onto the seat before as they puked from being motion sick.

And I guarantee someone has sneezed lots of boogers and disgusting germs all over them too.

I can also guarantee that the people who clean the planes are not steam cleaning the seats.

So where does that leave us?

In germ heaven.

Not only that, but you are stuck in a plane with nasty sick people.

They are all coughy and sneezy, and you are breathing in all their recycled air.

Blech.

Make me barf.

The worst part?

My theory of the plane being a septic system of germs is totally confirmed every time I travel.

Why?

Because every. single. time., I get sick.

Every time, people.

So I casually mention this fact to Brandon.

This is then followed by my solution: I will simply wear a germ mask on the plane!

Genius, people! Genius!

Brandon’s response?

“You CANNOT do that, Elizabeth! People are going to think you have SARS!”

He goes on to explain that there is no way on earth he is going to be seen with the SARS lady and that if I choose to wear this mask, he is going to change his seat.

I wish he were kidding…

Sigh.

What am I supposed to do people??

I have no other choice!

I can either wear mask and have people running, screaming, and crying from the plane because they think I have SARS…

Or, I can spend Christmas sick.

I guess you might hear some running, screaming, and crying because I am SOOO wearing that mask.

I so am, people.

I am NOT going to spend Christmas sick.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Manna Monday

Hello there people out there in blog world.

I hope you all had a fantabulous Thanksgiving filled with, well, thanks.

Duh.

Ours was wonderful as we traveled to my home city to visit my amazing mother…love that woman.

Anyhoo.

Over break Brandon mentioned to me that I have been a slackerface (yep, he SOOO used that term [those of you who know Brandon know I am lying. A lot. He would never use that term]) with this blog. He then declared that he would write some things on the days that I slack off.

I agreed.

He was shocked. But I was serious. He is a great writer who is insightful, hilarious, and all around awesome.

So blog people?

If you notice I am missing and all of a sudden my husband shows up in my place? You’ll know why. He is picking up my slack for me.

Anyway.

Welcome back to another edition of Manna Monday.

It’s been awhile.

Life has a way of taking me away from leisurely activities (such as blogging), so even though I wanted to be writing? Not possible.

So here I am finally again on a Manna Monday.

And what is today’s topic?

Genuine fruit.

When I have longer times to actually think instead of just function like a robot, then I really get a good look at myself.

This break I was able to see several areas of my life that I am really ashamed of.

Sometimes I pass of my bluntness as ‘OK’ because afterall, I am being honest, right?

But is that really right?

And sometimes I think that it is ‘OK’ to be impatient because afterall, I have very important things to do.

But this (among many other things) are disheartening to me.

Why?

Because it is bad fruit. Matthew chapter 7 discusses the tree.

When you look at the trunk of an apple tree without apples on it, would you know it was an apple tree?

How about a pear tree. Would you know it was a pear tree if there were no pears on it?

I know I wouldn’t.

It is the fruit that grows on the tree that proclaims what type of tree it is.

In fact, once the fruit grows, it is painfully obvious what you are looking at.

Our own lives are just like that.

The ‘fruit’ we bear, or the actions that we portray to others are our fruit.

When we have the ‘fruits’ of the Spirit, such as patience and gentleness, kindness and self control, we are showing the God’s Spirit lives in us.

It is living so vibrantly inside that we are growing that fruit and showing it to the world.

But when we let bitterness, selfishness, anger, unkindness, etc. fester inside us, it is like a disease.

Instead of good fruit, rotten fruit will start to grow.

We will no longer be the juicy, ripe fruit that people want.

We will be the fruit that will make them sick if they have it.

If you put a rotten piece of fruit on top of a good piece of fruit, what will eventually happen?

The mold that is on the bad fruit will pass over to the good fruit and make it bad too.


The bad fruit we bear will start to rot those around us if we aren’t careful and we will affect their Spiritual life as well.

Instead, I want to be that person that is so full of the Spirit, my good fruit is alive and well and attracts those around me to it.

They will want to know how they can have what I have.

They will want to know Christ.





**Looking for other Manna Monday posts? Click the 'manna monday' link right below this post.**

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Newlyweds??

In the beginning of this week Brandon and I decided to go to some church event.

It was a chili cook off and we went to mingle with people, make some new friends, and eat some delicious chili.

Turns out there really wasn’t that much delicious chili there. There were 6 pots, and only 1 of those pots was actually delicious.

But we sure did have a fun time cracking up as one of us would cough unceasingly after we tried one pot that had so much spice in it we couldn’t breathe.

And then another pot that was so sweet it could’ve been candy.

And then one more pot that was so gross I couldn’t even swallow the bite.

In the meantime, there were a few people sitting around us, apparently watching us.

One guy asked: “How long have you guys been married?”

I replied: “3 years, but we’ve been together for 7 years.”

He said: “Oh. Wow. I really thought you guys were newlyweds. Wow. You really act like newlyweds.”

And it really got me thinking.

Brandon and I never really focus on the fact that we still act like newlyweds…but we do.

We are all lovey and goofy with each other.

We make each other laugh, and smile, and make each other genuinely happy.

And it just reminded me that I really do plan on acting like this with him the rest of my life.

I want to be 80 and still having people thinking we act like newlyweds.

Why?

Because I love my husband.

I will always love my husband.

He will always be the man who was created just for me, and I will always be grateful to God for that perfect gift.

And no, that is not to say that we are perfect. We have our annoyances with one another just like any other couple.

But mostly?

We just have fun; enjoy being married; and love each other with an everlasting love.

So Brandon, I love you. Will you be my newlywed husband for forever????:):):)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Inside Skin and Other Things

I have been somewhat M.I.A.

Why?

Well, life has gotten super stressful around here.

Wait a minute, isn’t life always stressful over here?

Yes. Buttttt, recently it has been even more stressful. So therefore I have been M.I.A.

Good news for you is that while I’ve been gone, I’ve been collecting funny quotes from kids that I know.

So in a grand re-entrance into the blog world after a two week absence, here they are…


Quote 1:


Me talking to J (kid I babysit) while I am doing dishes, hoping he will want to join me in doing dishes too: “Hey J, do you want a job?”

J: No, not really.

Me: Come on, you know you want a job.

J: No, because I’m not ready to go to work. I’m still in school for crying out loud!




Quote 2:

Background---I am being goofy about how great I am…


Me: You know J, I am really the best babysitter ever. I help you put away your laundry, I cook you dinner, I help you clean your room. Just admit it, I am an amazing babysitter!

J: Ok, yea, you’re cool.

Me: Exactly! I mean, what would people DO without a babysitter??

J: They would probably cry.



Apparently all the children out there who don’t have babysitters are weeping uncontrollably as we speak



Quote 3:


Background---I am making a bagel and cream cheese for a snack for myself.

J: Can I have a bagel too?

Me: Sure. Come and make it.

J: What?? Aren’t you going to make it?

Me: No. You can make your own. You need to be more independent.

J: “I cant believe this! I thought I had maid service around here!”


He’ s only nine! How does he think of these things??




Quote 4:


Me: J, did you know that I lived in Spain my senior year of college?

J: NO! Cool!

Me: Yea, and in Spain they use the words Tio and Tia (literally translating to aunt and uncle) to refer to their friends. It roughly is like calling someone “pal” or “dude” here in the U.S.

J: Oh man! I imagine myself one day on Broadway walking down the street saying: “Hi Tio, Hi Tia!”

Me: Ok… what?? So random, J! So random. But I am glad you are going to be on Broadway. I like your aspirations…




Quote 5:


(This is from a kid that Brandon teaches at school)

Kid: Mr. B, I have a cut, can I go to the nurse?

Brandon: Let me come see the cut….(kid shows cut) Umm, no. It doesn’t even look that bad.

Kid: But Mr. B, I really need to go get a Bandaid.

Brandon: And like I said, no you can’t go.

Kid (whiny and dramatic): But Mr. B, YOU CAN SEE MY ‘INSIDE SKIN’!!!


I think 'inside skin' is a pretty technical term. Science teachers everywhere should start using it.




Quote 6:
(From another kid in Brandon’s class)

Background: Brandon runs into one of his kids at the grocery store…


Kid: Hey, Mr. B!

Brandon: Hey [kid]!

Kid: Wow Mr. B, you look A LOT uglier without your teacher clothes on.

Brandon: Wow, thanks for the compliment…




Quote 7: (From a kid I work with at school)

Kid: You know, I have to take the running test tomorrow.

Me: Oh yea?

Kid: Yea, I’m like the fastest in the class because I’m so little.

Me: Yea, I can see that. You probably only have like 3% body fat.

Kid: What does that mean?

(I go on to explain how there are minimum amounts of body fat that each person has to have to survive. I then explain how women have more fat, and one of the reasons is that they bear children and their extra fat helps keep the baby warm).

Kid: Oh yea! My mom has TONS of fat on her belly! I must’ve been soo warm!

Me:…Ummm (thinking, oh crap!!)….ummm…yea, you can’t really say that about your mom.

Kid: But…but you just said that it was a good thing to have the extra fat!

Me: Yea, but you just can’t say that. Women are sensitive about their weight.

Kid: ?????



Hope you enjoyed those and they brought a smile to your day!





Monday, November 1, 2010

Manna Monday

Interesting, isn’t it?

That the things that seem to concern the heart of God the most are some of the most neglected by the church.

What do I mean?

Well, the widows, orphans, and foreigners.

In fact, many times throughout Scripture these three groups are targeted as specifically venerable and groups that move the heart of God.

Want some examples?:

Zechariah 7:10 “Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other.” (New Living Translation)

James 1:7 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (New International Version)

Isaiah 1:17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow (New International Version)

Tell me, when was the last time your church had a heart for foster children? Are they not the ‘orphans’ of America? What about homeless children who are right down the road from you?

Here in the U.S alone there are 1 million homeless children. Beyond that, there are seven hundred thousand children in foster care Does your church even care?

And lets think about the widows. Often, this translates to the elderly population. How much respect is given to elderly? Are they revered, or are they treated as if they are ‘slower’ and as if they haven’t lived at least twice as many years as you have??

Immigrants? What about them? Who in your church is reaching out to these individuals? Who is helping them when care is not available?

My point is, as the body of Christ, we really are lacking in the areas that God has called specific attention to over and over in the Bible.

Can I share with you why I feel that He has called us to minister specifically to these?

Because they are some of the most vulnerable among us.

Orphans are without parents to care for them and often have unpredictable lives.

Widows have lost their spouse who was most likely a financial, emotional, physical, and relational support for them.

Immigrants are in a foreign land with strange customs and possible language barriers. Often, they are alone and trying to make their way without help.

And is the Lord not concerned with the weak and weary?

I believe He is.

I was speaking with my mother the other day and she was saying that she heard from a pastor in a sermon a certain statistic she wanted to pass along.

The statistic stated the following: “If every church across the U.S. just had ONE family in the each church adopt ONE child, that would take care of every single child in need of adoption today.”

I looked it up, and he appears to be correct. According to the most recent statistics (taken in 2009), 700,000 were in foster care. Of those, 115,000 are currently awaiting adoption through foster care (US Dept of Health and Human Services, 2010).

The Hartford Institute for Religion Research (2006) states that there are approximately 322,000 Christian churches in the U.S.
Therefore, there are more than enough churches to adopt.

And yet how many are pushing for this?

How many are fighting for the rights of orphans, widows, and immigrants?

I know many are.

But also, many aren’t.

How will this change?

If we, the body of Christ, start to push for congregations that look much closer to the heart of God than they do.

My specific church does a great job with ministering to immigrants, however we are lacking in our efforts for widows and orphans.

What about yours?

Do some research, and see what is being done.

And beyond this, what are YOU doing?

Are you reaching out to these vulnerable populations?

Just something to think about

The church would be a lot more welcoming if it looked more like Christ and less like people...



**Looking for other Manna Monday posts? Click the Manna Monday link at the bottom of this post.**

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Gym Experience

Picture a woman going to the gym.

Before she goes, she realizes she must have an outfit to wear!

Preferably, it should be matching and really cute.

She swooshes her hair up into a nice ponytail, and dabs on a bit of mascara and lipgloss.

Afterall, she is going to workout, she must look presentable, people!

She arrives, and gets on the elliptical.

Obviously, she cannot work out too hard. She wouldn’t want to get sweaty!

She knows that she can call up her good friend and chat it up on the cell phone while she works out.

Isn’t working out made for multi-tasking??

At the end of her 30 minute workout, she only has a slight flush to her cheeks and she still looks as wonderful as when she walked in.

Now? I want you to picture the exact opposite.

Yea.

That opposite? Is me.

Sometimes I am floored by the differences between myself and my fellow gym going ladies.

They appear to be totally put together.

Me? Not so much.

Now that you have that woman in mind, I will describe myself.

Picture me, a half man-beast woman.

Why half man-beast?

Well, let me list the ways:

1. I am sweaty. I sweat everywhere. My face sweats. My armpits sweat. My legs sweat. My back sweats. My butt sweats. So basically, I hope youre getting the picture: mucho sweat is coming from Elizabeth. My clothing is soaked and mostly it looks like I peed on myself. Coolio.

2. I am really muscular. As such, I cannot get a workout from being all ‘floofy’ on the workout equipment. If I am going, I am going to work harder than the beefy man who is right next to me. Oh yes I CAN keep up with you, mister.


3. I am NOT about to arrive in anything that resembles something that matches. Workout outfits? Yea…sooo not going to happen.

4. I MIGHT put on a clean shirt. Might. And that same shirt may or may not have a hole in the armpit. Which I MIGHT have been too lazy to actually sew, so it is held precariously together by a series of strategically placed safety pins. MAYBE.


5. Makeup will not be worn while I am at the gym. People! I am there to work out! I am not at a beauty contest. Which of course ensures that I will probably be the woman walking around looking haggard. Which is why if you show up at my gym, you might find people running and screaming in terror as I walk by.

6. At the end of a workout? I reek. Serious reekage. I do not smell like flowers, or peaches, or anything resembling anything feminine. At all.


7. And to top it all off, I am so focused on my workout that if you look at me? I will probably be staring back at you with an angry look on my face. Take note that I am not actually angry, but I am just intense. So I probably scare small children. So what??

So next time you go to the gym and you see one of these ladies



Just remember, I am not one of them. Instead, if you want a good laugh, you can instead imagine me being just like this.

Photo Credit

A whole bunch of sweat. Sexy, right?? I know. My husband is a lucky man.





Monday, October 25, 2010

Manna Monday

Love.

I have been trying to wrap my mind around that word.

Trying to imagine how a God could so fully and completely love me, despite everything I really am.

I've been going back to the basics.

Just ruminating on the fact that God, with the power of just His words, spoke life and created everything that surrounds us;

The God that designed each animal, each and every plant;

The God that thought up how far away the sun had to be from earth that it would provide warmth and energy, but not singe us;

The God that created the night sky with its many different galaxies and stars;

The God that designed the intricate and complex inner workings of the human body;

Could care enough to send His son to die just for me.

And for you.

Why would He do that?

What type of intense love would cause Him to do that?

It is amazing to think about.

I have been trying to allow that Truth to wash over me.

During the times that I doubt myself.

During the times that I am not sure of anything,

I know there is a God who has a PERFECT love for us.

And made the ultimate sacrifice, just so that we could again be reunited with Him for eternity.

And the simplest thing we have to do??

Choose.

Choose Him.

Wow.

He DIED for us.

And all we have to do is choose?

That is some incredible love.

And I need that love.

Every.

Single.

Day.

A love that I know will never desert me.

A love that cares for me enough to not let me stay the same broken way that I am.

A love that is perfect.

And when I look into the faces of the people I serve each day?

I know that that same perfect love is extended to them too.

If they would only choose.

I see the brokenness, I see the pain.

I see the rawness in their emotions in their speech.

I feel like I just need to shout from the rooftops that even though they feel like no one loves them?

Their Creator, The One who designed every detail about them down to how many hairs they would have on their head, is so desperately in love with them.

That they don’t have to feel the intense loneliness anymore.

They don’t have to allow the excruciating pain from their past (or even present) to have rule in their life.

Instead, they can allow love to rule.

And that is really the message for all of us.

We can allow love to rule in our life.

We can choose to allow the pure and perfect love of a God who adores us to wash over us.

And speak Truth to our souls…

But we first have to choose.




**Looking for other Manna Monday posts? Click the Manna Monday link below this post.**

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Dogs Had a Party

When we leave for work each day, we put our dogs in a joint huge cage.

When we first got the dogs, I hated this idea.

When I was growing up, we always just let our dog roam.

But this was before I got Nariz.

Nariz is a border collie mix and if you don't know anything about dogs, the Animal Planet ranks border collies as the ultimate smartest dog.

Which in some ways can be helpful.

Nariz knows over 100 commands, which can be a fun trick to show off to the neighbors.

Additionally, its almost like she communicates with us because she can demonstrate what she wants.

But it isn't always good that she is so smart.

Therefore we have to put them in a cage when we leave.

Sit back, and listen to a little story and you will find out why.

Yesterday, Brandon came home from work.

As soon as he walked in the door, he almost passed out.

He saw a black streak run past him and he thought it was a rat.

(Note that we have NEVER had a rat in our house. But apparently this was his first thought.)

But then it registered in his mind that that was his dog, Nariz.

Instantly, he starts to think back into his mind. He was thinking: "I KNOW I locked the dog cage. How in the world is Nariz out running around??"

He rounds the corner and this is what he sees:

Our other dog, Nala, rolling around on her back in an entire pile of shredded up trash. She was throwing the trash up into the air with her mouth and catching it while she laid on her back.

He said it resembled someone who was laying in a pile of money, throwing it all around yelling: "I'm rich!!!"

Like this person:

(Photo credit)

Apparently being 'rich' to a dog is throwing up piles of shredded up raw chicken packaging, newspaper shreds, and the label to a tuna can.

AWESOME.

So he freaks out on the dogs.

They get so scared (mostly because Brandon rarely EVER raises his voice) that Nariz goes and hides under the table and Nala presses herself next to the couch and makes the saddest eyes ever.

He said they didn't move from those spots for an entire hour and a half until I got home.

In case you were wondering what the damage looked like, here it is:




This is what their cage looked like before they escaped.



Apparently their plan included to jail break their cell. So somehow they popped the front cover off and ran out. To this day, I don't know how Nariz formulated this plan or even accomplished it. I know Nala couldn't have done it because she's not smart enough:):)


Here is Nariz cowering in shame under the table after she got caught and Brandon yelled at her.


Here is Nala pressed up against the couch acting depressed because she got caught. Normally her eyes are rounded. They look so squinty because she was sucking her ears so far back in shame that they pulled her eyes back too. Sad day, dog. Sad day. Maybe next time you shouldn't freaking shred garbage around the house!!


Here is the pile of garbage (or money in Nala's brain) that she was rolling around on her back in when Brandon got home. Delicious.


I know all of you are jealous and wish you had my dogs right now, right??

I know.

Yesterday? I didn't want to own my dogs either.

But I will say, the idea of Nala rolling around in her money did crack me up.

But only because I didn't have to clean it up. Brandon did that for us:)


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Manna Monday (On a Wednesday)

I had full intentions of posting yesterday for Manna Monday (and actually, since I am posting this at 1230 am, it is technically Wednesday).

Yep, I am awesome.

Anyway.

I did not get to post for Manna Monday because my computer broke!

Really, it was all types of lovely and wonderful and I was pretty excited about the whole situation (read: I almost ripped my hair out and poked my eyeballs with a fork).

So now you get a Manna Monday post on a Wednesday.

YAY!

So here is what I really feel like I have been ruminating over recently:

Basically, I have been convicted lately of my covert sins.

It is so easy for me to not commit the ‘big sins’ (quotations because I don’t think any sin is a ‘big sin’ Sin is sin. Plain and simple. But it was easier to write it this way so you know what I was talking about).

I don’t want to murder.

I don’t want to commit adultery.

I don’t want to steal.

I don’t want to construct an idol.

I don’t want to worship any other God but the one true Living God.

Etc., etc. etc.

But what I have really been realizing recently is that often, I compromise.

Often, satan (being his buttface self [Yep, I sure did call satan a buttface. You’re welcome]) will tempt me in areas that I can see myself going in.

He knows he can’t get me to flat out commit certain sins, but he likes to see how far he can push me.

And little by little, I start to give in.

I tell myself that it is ‘ok’ and that ‘whatever, its not even a big deal.’

But one slip leads to the next.

And soon, even though I’m not committing the ‘murder’, I have hate in my heart and am holding a grudge.

And soon, even though I’m not constructing an actual stone ‘idol’, I am idolizing a certain lifestyle.

And soon, even though I only want to worship God, I start to ‘worship’ other things by devoting all my time, energy, and thoughts toward them.

A recent verse I read helped drive home the point for me.

James 4:17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.

Often, I know I shouldn’t be having the hate in my heart, or feeling jealousy over what I don’t have, or putting all my time and energy into things that are only temporary anyway.

Yet I do them.

And in that?

I sin.

And what’s worse is that I pretend like I’m not sinning all along.

I pretend I’m doing great and things are wonderful.

When they are not.

Another verse I was reminded of:

Matthew 5:23-24 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”

I think I try to come to God with my prayers, my ‘gift’ of worship, and I feel like I hit a wall.

I cant figure out why I don’t feel connected to him until I realize its that ‘concealed sin’ that is standing in the way.

And often it’s because I have sinned against someone or hold something in my heart against someone.

The Bible tells us to first, before we try to offer anything up to God, that we need to make amends with those in our lives who we have hurt.

And this is not the only case (the case of holding something against someone or someone holding something against you) where a change needs to happen before I can try to approach the Holy throne.

The Bible also says that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive.

Often, if I have been building idols in my heart, or allowing jealousy to fester, I need to first confess it to Him.

Pretending like I haven’t been sinning doesn’t get me anywhere.

It simply makes me feel disconnected.

But if I am just honest enough with God to admit my covert sins, then He will be faithful enough to forgive me.

Every time.

So I encourage you, as I encourage myself to really seek out those ways that we’ve compromised.

We all have areas in our life that if we aren’t careful, we can become complacent over.

We can keep living as if we are wonderful people, knowing all along that beneath the surface, there is a disease festering.

And without tending to, the disease will only spread and continue to get worse.

And untreated disease within a body begins to consume it.

We need the Holy blood of Christ to cover our sins when we have made mistakes.

Only His blood carries the healing that we need when we are broken.



**Looking for other Manna Monday posts? Click on the Manna Monday link at the bottom.**

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I win!

PEOPLE!

Didn't I TELL you I was award winning???!!!

But for real, I did just receive an award from one of my faithful followers. Her name is Dawn and if you want, you can go check her out here.

So, the award I received was the Versatile Blogger award:




And looks like to accept this award, I have to tell you some junk about me.

You don't have to keep reading, I promise I won't be offended if I bore you to tears.

But here we go...

7 things to know about me:

7. My second and third toe are semi-webbed. Does it make me better at swimming? Maybe. I was a competitive swimmer in elementary and middle school and I was afterall amazing.

6. I am freakishly muscular for a girl. Granted, I still have my 'lady curves', but my calves? Yea. Super huge. Did I also arm wrestle guys in the past and win? Um, yes.

5. I love organic food. It is a semi-obsession. However any good that my love for organic food would've done is immediately counter-acted by my intense love for chocolate. LOVE.

4. I am convinced I am going to become wildly famous off my blog and make zillions of dollars. The whole world will know about me!! Just kidding. But I will admit that I do a little celebration dance every time I get a new follower. I love you guys!

3. I am a very eclectic person. One minute, I am very realistic and down to earth. The next minute? I am off floating in la-la land making airhead comments. I'm like the Forrest Gump of personalities. I am like a box of chocolates and you never know what you're going to get.

2. I secretly dream of writing an anonymous blog. I would put everything down in my brain that I think, but would never tell anyone in real life.

1. I am the woman you will see at grocery stores and other random places dressed in her pajamas, with greasy hair, and no makeup because I think it is all types of appropriate to go places looking like that. Does that make me lazy? Maybe. Probably. Do I care? Absolutely not. I think the natural-cavewoman look is sooo in these days:):)

And there you have it folks.

Thanks again for the award, Dawn!



Thursday, October 14, 2010

You Know You're Exhausted When...

Welcome, my friends.

To what, you might ask?

To my own little game.

Its called: “You Know Youre Exhausted When…”

Its great fun.

Here it goes:

“You Know You’re Exhausted When…”

10. Your eyeballs close involuntarily and you fall asleep while you are supposed to be talking face to face with someone.

9. You totally blank on your schedule and show up unannounced at an appointment that you never had in the first place.

8. You can’t remember one single thing you did the previous day. Heck, you can remember one single thing you did the previous HOUR.

7. You forget to put on underwear and walk out of the house feeling a little…breezy…

6. You plead and beg to have your husband carry you everywhere just so you won’t have to make the effort of getting up and walking. Example: “Brandon, can you PLEASE just carry me to the shower and dump me there?? You can turn on the water and eventually I might actually stand up.”

5. You put your hairbrush inside the refrigerator and then are convinced someone stole it. You find it later after you give up searching. It was next to the milk. Delicious.

4. You can’t wake up to your alarm. Despite the fact that you have TWO alarms set. And they are blaring in your ear. You still don’t wake up.

3. You have had the same ‘To Do’ list for the past month. Hmmm…I guess that list wasn’t so important afterall.

2. You drive the totally wrong direction to work. And don’t realize it until ½ hour later when you are in the completely wrong destination. You are obviously late for work.

And finally….

The ultimate way that KNOW that you are exhausted is when….

1. You seriously consider wearing a Depends diaper while you do homework just so you can avoid having to make the effort of getting up off the couch to go to the bathroom.

I have reached a new ‘low’ people.

For real.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Manna Monday

Yesterday, I went on a car trip with the dogs and my husband to the grocery store.

And I watched my dogs.

I watched how extremely excited they got to jump in the car.

And every person we passed, they were exceptionally interested in.

And every new smell in the air, they were fascinated by.

These things really got me thinking.

These animals really can reveal a lot about how we should live.

I know, weird, right? But stick with me.

They seem to take such joy in such mundane activities.

When we come home from work, they are the happiest ever. They live in the moment and just enjoy that their masters are home to see them.

Each time they eat, they seem to savor every bite and enjoy it.

When they play, they do it with such reckless abandon, just having the best time of their lives.

And when they love, they love unconditionally, no matter if you’ve hurt them before or not.

These dogs really reveal a lot of how I believe we should live.

Taking joy in every single daily situation, just being grateful to the Lord for giving us another breath in our lungs.

Everything is so uncomplicated with dogs.

They just live life.

Why can’t I do same?

Even if life can be difficult, does that mean it can’t be enjoyed??

Afterall, was it not James who urged us all to consider it PURE JOY when we faced trials? Because we know that the trials are testing our faith and refining us.

When is the last time I considered a trial a pure joy?

Ummmm….

(crickets chirp)

And when is the last time I just did something with reckless abandon and enjoyed myself fully?

I’m not even sure because I get so caught up in daily life or what other people would THINK (I mean, good gracious, what if someone thought I was weird or radical!?! That would surely be the end of the world, right?)…

What would it be like if I loved (truly) unconditionally? Even if someone hurts me multiple times, loving them.

And not loving them with just an ‘I love you feeling’, but loving them by sacrificing for them.

Back to the dog analogy, think about when you are sad.

Does your dog not come over, leave their own carefree life, just to come comfort you?

They don’t think twice about it.

They simply feel that you are in pain, and come to comfort you with a lack of consideration that they are leaving their happy oblivion to enter into your situation.

What if when we saw people’s pain, we acted? We didn’t pretend like we don’t know or don’t care, but came to comfort them and bring them the joy of Christ?

I really truly think we would transform the image of Christianity if we started to love like those who are innocent do (such as animals and children).

I think this is what Christ was getting at anyway when he said in Matthew 18:3 that “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Obviously we don’t need to actually BECOME children, but become innocent and filled with faith like children.

So much can be revealed if we would just take the time to observe how those untainted by ‘adult experiences’ live.

And then choose to take on their perspective…




(Interested in other Manna Monday posts? Click on the 'Manna Monday' link below this post)

Yes, You are Beautiful

I have a beef to pick.

Not only with women, but with celebrities.

I was listening to the Bruno Mars song the other day Just the Way You Are.(Haven't heard it? Go listen, then come back.)

I really love this song because Bruno talks about how much he thinks the girl he is love with is so great.

He talks about how perfect he thinks she is and how she never believes him when he tells her.

Well, I would be lying if I didn’t have times where I didn’t believe my husband when he said he thought I was beautiful or an amazing woman.

And do you know why?

Because women are petty and Hollywood makes us all feel half-crazy about ourselves.

Let’s start with the women are petty comment.

I feel like you can walk into almost any circle of women, and what is the first thing that happens?

You are judged.

You are judged by your makeup, your clothing, your hair, your body, your style, your flaws, your perfections, etc.

It’s a rough time.

If you are amazingly beautiful, immediately women are jealous and start to pick you apart. They look for any small imperfection so that they can feel better about themselves.

If you are not so physically beautiful, you are also judged. Other women feel better about themselves because they look better than you in x, y, z areas.

You can’t win!!

And don’t lie, women.

We have all done it.

Which is where my beef with Hollywood comes in.

I often have thought that the reason why we are so petty is because we are held to impossible standards.

We are expected to look like airbrushed celebrities who are not only anorexic-looking (blech), but who are always made up by professionals who literally spend HOURS at a time just on their face or their hair.

Wow.

I’m sure I’d look fantastic if I had someone spending hours on my appearance too.

But honestly, things aren’t going to change unless we change them.

If the men in our lives can see us as beautiful creatures, why can’t we look at one another with less judgmental stares so that no one has to feel bad about themselves??

Afterall, we were all created by God to be beautiful and our individual traits are what make us unique!

I think we all need to take a good look inside ourselves to see what it is that makes us judge other women so harshly in our brains anyway.

Something is broken inside if we cannot feel confident in ourselves without putting someone else down.

And then, once we figure that out and work on that, we need to make a conscious effort to compliment women on how great they look in x, y, z area.

Because by complimenting them, maybe they will do the same for us.

And maybe we can all stop walking around being self-conscious freaks who are all jealous of one another, and instead be supportive of all of our own uniqueness.

And also?

Beauty is much more pronounced when it comes from the inside anyway.



Saturday, October 9, 2010

Another wound? Really???

Yesterday I almost chopped my hand off.

I know you are all so surprised, given this blog post I wrote about all my catastrophes.

But this time it wasn’t my fault.

You see, my crazy little black dog (Nariz) HATES getting her toenails cut.

HATES IT.

So, naturally I cut the yellow dog’s nails first. She is all cooperative and wonderful.

And then I get to Nariz.

I try to allow her to stand on her own while I cut.

She is all squirmy and growly, so then I have to flip her over onto my lap where she is laying on her back and I have access to her toenails.

That lasts for about 2 cuts, and then she’s all squirmy and growly again.

I get a few more toes in, and then it happens.

I go to cut her nail and she yanks away so quickly that my hands slips and….I freaking CHOP my hand with the nail cutters.

And these aren’t normal nail clippers.

No, no, no.

These are the really expensive, really sharp ones.

You see, we used to have the ‘el cheapo’ version of dog nail clippers.

But seeing that Nariz hates it so much, we had to get something that worked really well so that her toes would be cut in one slice and we wouldn’t have to fight her so much.

Well that’s all grand and great if you’re cutting a dog toenail.

But then what happens when those extra sharp toenail clippers slip and slice a human’s hand?

Well, you end up with a super deep gash.

That is bleeding everywhere.

But of course, you realize that you won’t be able to get the dog pinned down long enough again to cut her toes, so you scream for your husband to “freaking get his butt in here!!”

He has no idea you’ve been cut, and doesn’t know what you want, but you are immediately grouchy that he can’t read your mind.

Finally you give in and tell him you want him to hold the dog so you can cut her stupid fingernails and then nurse your wound.

He is then grouchy that you yelled at him for no reason.

You are still grouchy that you are in pain so you don’t care that he is grouchy.

You both hold down the dumb dog to try to cut her nails. She of course tried to bite the nail clippers on several occasions and the other dog has shoved her face in the way so she could check out what was going on.

Yes, thank you, yellow dog. That is very helpful. Please just be another obstacle to cutting black dog’s nails. You are wonderful.

Finally you get the dog’s nails cut.

And you go to the backroom to disinfect and put 1000 bandaids on your wound.

And then tell you husband you are mortally wounded and therefore can’t POSSIBLY do the dishes because you don’t want to get water in your cut.

So he does them.

I guess the day was victorious in the end…After all, I did convince my husband to do dishes:):)



Thursday, October 7, 2010

Trying Not To Drop It

You guys ever seen the movie She’s All That?

Remember, it was that movie with Freddie Prinze Jr. (Zack) and Rachael Leigh Cook (Laney) about the nerdy girl Laney who ends up dating popular guy Zack?

Anyway.

That isn’t even what this post is about.

Except, one scene in that movie keeps playing over and over in my mind.

Remember how much pressure Zack’s dad kept putting on him to choose a college? He was so smart and he knew he had to choose, but he couldn’t.

So what did he do? Well, the same thing any of us rational beings would do. He played hacky sack on a stage as a performance and chanted to himself: ‘Don’t drop it, Zack! You’re life depends on it. Everyone is counting on you. Don’t drop the hackey sack!!’

Wait, maybe the rest of us WOULDN’T do that.

Anyway. If you have no freaking idea what I’m talking about, you can go here and watch it. Then come back.

So the point is, even though the scene is weird, it is the scene that just keeps going through my brain over and over again.

The balancing act he has to perform is really reminding me a lot of my life.

I feel like there is so much pressure on me at all times.

I have pressure to do well at my masters.

I have pressure to get all of my papers and research done on time.

I have pressure to do well at my practicum.

I have pressure to be responsible and do well at my job.

I have pressure to be a good wife (which is self-imposed, by the way).

I have pressure to remember all of my schedule changes that come up daily.

I have pressure to make sure that the interventions I am doing with kids are actually effective.

The list could go on…

But the problem is, I have so much pressure building up, I am just waiting for something to drop.

For something to happen which is just going to blow the whole thing open and reveal to everyone that I couldn’t handle all of my responsibilities.

And I keep picturing this hacky scene.

Eventually, the hacky sack has to drop.

That’s the same thing with being overburdened. When every day is a fight to stay awake or even stay on top of all my responsibilities, at some point I am going to forget to do one of them.

And I am going to have to decide how I am going to react.

I recognize that with my plate so full? Not everything can be stellar all the time.

So what am I going to do when something finally drops?

I’m not sure.

But I’m hoping that whatever it is? It’s not too life altering.

Because honestly, that would just add another layer of stress and worry to the already overwhelming cycle.

Which would just be wonderful.

Not.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

I would Like Some Braised Lamb, Please.

There’s not much about the Hollywood life that I ever would desire.

I don’t care about money.

I don’t care about fame.

I don’t want paparazzi following me around.

I don’t want to have to try to hide just to go to the grocery.

I want to be able to walk around in my sweats and no makeup without having the world judge me.

I don’t want to be obsessive about my weight and image.

I don’t need the fancy houses.

I don’t need the fancy cars.

I don’t want the world trying to dig up all my business.

I don’t want special treatment.

But I will say this…

IF I were famous, there are a few luxuries I REALLY would like.

For example, if I were ever famous, the first item on my list of things to get?

A freaking personal chef.

Can you imagine how glorious that would be??

Someone to cook gourmet meals for you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

I was just reading on people.com the other day about how Martha Stewart tweeted about how her chef had made braised lamb with roasted vegetables for dinner that evening and how delicious it was.

Where the freak are my braised lamb and roasted vegetables???

I tell you what, people.

I could get used to that.

However, of course, the other thing I would want if I was famous?

A personal trainer.

Not only to work off all the food that my gourmet chef was cooking me (I don’t want to be obese, after all!), but also because they could come drag me out of bed at 6 am to work out.

Because people?

I am never going to drag MYSELF out of bed at 6 am.

Yea right.

Buttttt, if I was paying someone to do it?

Then obviously I would get up because they were at my house in my face yelling at me to get my lazy butt out of bed to work out.

Ahhhh…the life.

But I guess considering the fact that I have negative amounts of desire to be famous?

I will somehow have to come up with my own gourmet meals.

And motivate my own butt to get out of bed at 6am to work out.

Since clearly I am never going to be able to afford to pay these people to perform these amazing services for me.

Sigh.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Brain Fart

Sometimes, I am just brain dead.

The idea will cross my mind that I should probably write a blog post, but then? I realize I have absolutely no inspiration.

Why? Because all of my brain cells have been used up. There is no creativity. There is nothing but emptiness.

I am always baffled/amazed/disgusted/amazed again at people who post every. single. day. on their blog.

Where do these people come up with these things?

I started a blog because I have had all these wonderful, glorious, amazing thoughts I wanted to write down.

But now that I have this blog? Total brain fart.

I feel like brain farts are equitable to dog farts.

Often times you’ll just be sitting around living your life, and then BAM, they just sneak up on you. All creepily and stinkily.

Therefore, here I am. With my young blog. And nothing to say. Just a dog-brain fart.

I am extremely cool (read: extra lame), just currently out of thoughts.

Hmmmm…. (twiddle my thumbs…bite my nails…get exasperated…)

I guess you’ll just have to check in again later for something that will blow your socks off with all of my wisdom and amazingness.

I hope.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Eau De Garlic

Dear Readers of Mine,

Sit back. Relax! It’s story time.

Ok, so once upon a time, I got a U.T.I.

Don’t know what that is? It’s ok. It’s a Urinary Tract Infection.

You see, I have been married for 3 years. Prior to this time? I had NEVER had a UTI.

But when I got married and began having…ahem…intimate times, I started to get them.

My body said: “Hey, how about you DON’T keep introducing new bacteria to me, k?”

Too bad I didn’t agree with that request because ‘intimate times’ are just too important. And fun. Ahem.

ANYWAY. Moving right along.

So just this past week, I got a freakin UTI. And I could tell a whole story about how awful it was and how it almost killed me and how I collapsed on the ground sobbing my heart out while simultaneously screaming about the intense pain while Brandon looked on trying to figure out what to do.

But that would be a lame and sad story.

So I’ll tell you the humorous aspect of the UTI instead.

I did not want to go to the doctor.

Doctor’s appointments are expensive, and remember I am getting my masters so I’m broke??? Right.

So, I decided that I knew it was a UTI, because I’ve had them for the past few years and recognize the symptoms (you know, the intense burning when you pee, the urge to go every 4 seconds, blah blah blah).

So what did I do? I decide to try to kill the bacteria with natural means.

What normally kills bacteria? Garlic.

I decide I will just take 40000 garlic pills in the morning and then again at night to try to kill the bacteria.

And I do this for 5 days.

If you weren’t living under a rock recently, you are aware the garlic has QUITE the stench to it.

Magically, that stench started to pour out of my pores.

(Yes, you are correct in assuming that I definitely made new wonderful friends and acquaintances during this time. Who doesn’t want a friend who wears eau de garlic??)

Anyhoo.

So I figure that even though I reek like an elephant just pooped on itself, its ok because I am killing my UTI, right?

Wrong.

Not only am I not killing my UTI, but I stink. Bad.

Enter Brandon into the story.

One night, I am sleeping in bliss and the man said that he woke up because all of a sudden the nastiest smell on planet earth wafted over to his nose.

Do you know what that smell was? My garlic breath.

Yes, Yes. I know. I am the sexiest person EVER.

How can a smell be so strong as to wake someone up?

I don’t know. But I do know that I did take 10 garlic before I went to bed that evening.

The next night?

He wakes up again.

But this time it wasn’t my breath. It was my armpit.

Remember how I was trying a new natural deodorant?

Yes. Well apparently I flopped my armpit up with such velocity that the garlic wind woke Brandon up from his dead sleep.

I seriously have no idea why this man is still married to me.

I feel very badly for him.

The worst part is that at the end of this story? I still had to give in and go to a doctor and get an antibiotic.

All those garlics did not kill my UTI.

Suck.


Manna Monday

How would my life change if I was more devoted to prayer?

How would the lives that surround me change if I spent more time in prayer?

These are questions I have been asking myself lately.

Yes, I pray.

Do I pray enough? Absolutely not.

As I’ve discussed before, I am so selfish. Often I become so wrapped up in the ‘daily cares of this life’ to ever step outside myself to talk to my Heavenly Father.

Jesus prayed.

All. The. Time.

So what is my problem??

I know how powerful prayer can be.

Afterall, the Bible tells us that we can have confidence approaching God that He will hear our prayers. And that if we know that He hears us, “whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15).

Wow.

Those are some powerful words that demonstrate how effective prayer can be.

God. The Creator of the Universe. Cares About My Prayers. Wants to Hear From Me. Loves When I Bring My Requests Before Him. Loves To Hear My Heart.

So why do I hesitate?

Well, laziness.

It is easier to just focus on all the many, many responsibilities I have.

This keeps me from just sitting. And waiting. And talking to God.

Which is ridiculous.

Because if this life is about ANYTHING, it is about Christ.

Nothing more.

He is what gives me purpose and meaning.

He is who gave me this life, and could take it away in the time it would take for me to blink just once.

He is the one who I will spend eternity with.

Will my masters follow me into eternity? No. Will my money follow me into eternity? No. Will my exhaustion follow me into eternity? No.

Nothing else matters but my relationship with Christ, and yet that is the thing that I neglect the most.

I get so caught up in work, finances, stress, etc. that I am missing out on the most important part of my life!

Prayer brings me closer to Him and helps me know His will for my life as well as allows me to see His love and heart for all the people around me.

Obviously, I need to do some reevaluating of my time.

How about you guys? How do you make sure you are spending time in prayer each day?

I need some new ideas. I need some refreshment. I need revival…


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pump Up The Volume!

I am a naturally loud person.

Anyone who has ever known me has known that I am loud.

Now, yes. Maybe some of this has to do with the fact that I am partially deaf.

Maybe I can’t hear myself being loud.

But also?

I enjoy being loud. I feel like I alone can bring the PARRR---TAYYY with me wherever I go.

And other times?

It’s just awkward.

My husband likes to remind me of this when we are in stores.

I will be all chatty and talking loudly like: “Brandon, don’t you think that woman’s hair is an odd shade of blonde?”

He walks away like he doesn’t know me.

I wish I was joking.

He really does walk away and pretend like he doesn’t know me.

So rude, people. So rude.

If the man could turn 10 shades of red? He would. Luckily for him, his skin color hides his embarrassment so he really can pretend like he has no clue.

But besides my husband’s reactions to me being loud, I also have become increasingly aware of my ‘loud issues’ because of the people I nanny for.

Remember J?

Well, he is a VERY rambunctious little boy, to the chagrin of his parents.

He and I are two peas in a pod.

I seriously LOVE getting him all riled up because it is fun for the both of us and helps him get his energy out. Plus, when I need him to calm down to do homework, I can easily accomplish that goal (or else I probably wouldn’t do it…I’m not dumb people! I don’t want to make my job harder than necessary!!)

The problem being that his parents like a very quiet house.

As soon as they walk in, I try to calm him down and remind him to use his ‘indoor voice.’

However, at that point I have often riled him up enough that he can’t calm himself down, so his parents walk in the door, and the majority of the time their first words to him are “shhh” or “J! Use your indoor voice!!!”

OOPS.

I’m only cognizant about half of the time that I have even contributed to his ‘loud issues’ because I am so naturally loud myself.

I sometimes laugh to myself when I imagine his immediate family sitting together at the end of the day vs. when my mom, sister and I get together.

At my house? A lot of talking over one another, a lot of joking and making fun of one another. Which of course gets loud, especially when stories start being told about one another.

So see people, I can’t be totally blamed for my lack of volume control.

So I guess I will continue to make J into a loud child and embarrass the crap out of Brandon.

Ahhhh…how sweet life is.

My very very loud, sweet life.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Edward VS. Jacob

Recently, I became overwhelmed with school.

Ok, Ok. I know! You’re thinking: “Recently? Haven’t you always been overwhelmed with school?” Touche, Touche.

Anyway.

On the days where I just can’t handle one more freaking paper or one more chapter of a textbook to read, I look for distractions.

Lately those distractions have come in the form of reading books for fun.

I know, I make no sense.

Brandon cannot understand why I would escape reading by reading.

But people! It makes sense!

When you read for pleasure, the book is exciting. You are getting to escape to another world and live somewhere else for a bit where masters-level homework and deadlines aren’t breathing down your neck.

So….

I choose simple, easy to read books.

Which is what lead me to Twilight.

Please, people. No judging.

I recognize Twilight series is a teen-series.

I also realize that it is completely ridiculous and filled with vampires and werewolves, and blah blah blah.

I get it.

I also think it is all jibberish.

But did I read the whole series with ferocity?

Sure did.

Again, no judging.

But the whole time I was reading the books, I was getting SO irritated at stupid Bella.

I mean, can someone PLEASE explain this to me?

Why in the world does she choose Edward?

Lets make the comparisons and you tell me who YOU would decide.

Edward:

1.Pale/deathly white
2.Cold
3. Is thin and weird looking
4.Is a vampire who thinks about sucking your blood
5. Has a desire to suck other peoples blood
6. Can’t have normal children with
7. Bella is serious all the time with him

Jacob:

1. Bronzed (As he is Native American)
2. Warm-blooded (he at least is half human)
3. Is extremely buff
4. Has no desire to suck your blood
5. Protects people from vampires (and therefore has no desire to suck other people’s blood either)
6. Could have a normal family with if you married him
7. Brings out Bella’s goofy side (who wants to be serious all the time?


I mean really, people. I see no comparison. I am creeped out by Bella’s strange obsession for being with a vampire.

Especially when Jacob is so much cooler.

If you aren’t convinced, maybe you should be shown proof:




Creepy, Sparkly Vampire Edward (above)



Non-Creepy, Non-Sparkly, Non-Vampire Jacob
(photo taken from www.digitalcitizen.ca)

If I was the author? That would’ve been who she would’ve ended up with.

But again…if I was the author? I wouldn’t have written a whole series about vampires either.

So I would ask you to join "Team Jacob" with me, but quite honestly? I don't really give a crap. The books were just 'alright'.

But....Will I still watch the rest of the movies? Yep.

It's some weird thing of mine. Once I start something, I have to finish it. Even if I don't like it. I have a problem.

Manna Monday (On a Tuesday!)

I am the biggest slacker-blogger of all time, right?
I know.

But I am still not going to apologize for it.

I feel like people always apologize when their readers expected something from them and they didn’t deliver (such as me not posting yesterday for Manna Monday).

But here’s the thing: This blog is just a place for me! So, dear readers, though I love you a lot…if I mess up and don’t post when I’m supposed to or don’t post near as frequently as I would like, I won’t apologize!

I am tempted to feel guilty, but I don’t want to feel guilt over something that is supposed to be recreational and fun (this blog!)

So thanks for sticking around even when I don’t fulfill all of my expectations for myself.

And for accepting my *non* apology!:)

Whew!

Now that that’s out of the way, I DO have a Manna Monday post for you.

And here it is:

Recently, we had a big change in our household.

Things shifted, and it felt like everything was different. Because it was.

As a result, I realized that I was worrying excessively.

The type of worry that keeps you up at night concerned about a person, though from where you are in your bed, there is nothing you can do to help that person.

Except pray.

Which is really what got me thinking.

Why is it SO hard for us to not worry?

We are instructed not to worry in the Bible…

“Matthew 6:
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the unbelievers run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

My favorite portion of that text is where it says: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

It really is a reminder to simply focus on the here and now.

And trust the Lord for the rest!

If I would just have the smallest amount of faith that who He said He was He really was, and what He said He would do He would really do, then why would I have to worry at all?

I need to believe that God is going to supply ALL of my needs, so what am I doing worrying?

“Needs” aren’t only physical, mind you.

“Needs” are ANYTHING that is a need at the time.

So what in the world am I worried about?

Instead, I need to just turn it over to Him.

And Trust.

I know He always has my best interest in mind, so why do I even bother worrying? Yes, sometimes that ‘best interest’ can be painful, but is there not always a purpose for pain?

Can we not grow from it?

Do we not become changed by it?

So again, I remind myself: “Why worry?”

The Lord knows my life and the plans for it…so I need to just let it go….



Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Lot of Fricks were Muttered

I truly don’t know how this happened. But somehow? I became the klutziest person in the world.

Ok, maybe it never really happened. I think I was just born this way.

In fact, my mom always reminds me that we used to ‘live’ in the hospital when I was younger because I got hurt so often.

But people? These past few days have been r-o-u-g-h.

It started out on Monday. I decided I was going to make some tuna salad.

So Elizabeth is all excited opening the can, la-de-la, and then SLIICEEEEE the back of my middle finger runs all along the sharp edge of the can.

Immediately my finger starts bleeding excessively.

I am screaming: “frick, frick, frick, frick, FRICK, OH FRICKER, FRICKER, frick” as I run my hand under the water.

Brandon knows I’ve hurt myself, so he comes out to see if he can help.

I am too busy saying: “Frick” to respond, so he goes and gets me a bandaid and Neosporin, since we all know that tuna in a wound? Is bound to get infected.

Great and grand, right?

Later, I am in the kitchen and cutting some vegetables. SLICE. A huge gash gets cut all across my freakin finger.

Again, more blood. Another bandaid. More ‘fricks.’

5 minutes later…

I reach for some saran wrap. SLICE. Glide my hand all along the sharp edge.

MORE BLOOD. MORE BANDAIDS. MORE ‘FRICKS.’

10 minutes later…

Walking in the kitchen and catch my pinky toe on the corner to the counter. Bend it back so far I am sure it is broken.

I hop around the kitchen like a squaking bird, while saying (you guessed it) “FRICKEEERRRRRR!!!!!”

30 minutes later…

I drop a chair on my foot and scrape it up with the metal piece on the chair. More blood. More bandaids.

This time? I cuss for real in my head (sorry, Jesus:( )

ARE YOU JOKING ME?

5 wounds in an hour.

I am all bloody and wounded and crippled now with all my pain. I can’t use my hands or my feet so I am walking around mangled and unable to perform simple tasks.

I know, you are questioning how this is possible.

Please hold your questioning.

It gets worse.

The next day comes.

I am at work.

I go outside to bring in the deliveries.

But on the way back in? I miscalculate where the box ends and my hand begins. Do you know that I freaking SLAM my finger which was sliced by the tuna can into the door?

It immediately re-opens the wound and starts gushing blood.

I am in so much pain it’s unreal.

30 minutes pass.

I am in the kitchen slicing onions on the cutting board.

The cutting board slips and WHAM. The full force of the corner of it slams into my big toe.

OH MY GOODNESS.

Tears spring immediately to my eyes.

I am in so much pain it is ridiculous.

I literally walked around the kitchen for 30 minutes crying.

When I finally had enough guts to look down at my toe, it was as I had feared: The entire thing was black and blue.

AWESOME.

So in a few weeks? I probably will be without a toenail.

It will fall off.

And my toe can look as mangled as my bitten-off nails of my mutant elf-hands.

GREAT!

I get into the car to try to drive, and guess what?

I drive a stick shift.

Can I shift? No.

Pain is shooting up my leg.

But, alas, I have to drive home.

I grit my teeth and try to breathe through the pain. Every time I shift gears? I scream “Ow!” into my car.

I pull into a parking lot and am screaming “Ow! This hurts! Oh frick! OW!!!”

If any of you have ever been walking by someone while they are in the car, you know that cars are not sound proof.

Needless to say, I frightened several passer-bys.

Currently? I am so bandaged up that my fingers and toes are non-existent: just bandages.

Oh my word.

Is anyone else this freaking clumsy????? Or am I the only one with apparently terrible gross motor skills???


Monday, September 13, 2010

Manna Monday

I thought about writing an entire post about this one quote for Manna Monday, but decided against it. I believe this quote speaks for itself.

It is a little reminder to us all…

St. Francis of Assisi:

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words.”


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Slavery Is Not Dead

On Thursday, I attended an all day conference for social justice.

The day was filled with poignant speakers, who really brought several issues to light.

If you remember, I am a social worker. Much of my job is to advocate for the rights of the oppressed in this society, as well as help support them through healing.

Therefore, this conference was an excellent resource for me.

And because several issues discussed were extremely relevant to all of us, I realized that I could not keep this information to myself.

You do not need to be a social worker to act on behalf of victims.

I hope that right now you will not walk away from this post, but stay for a bit.

Take a journey with me into the lives of victims and allow yourself to be moved.

To be changed.

To spur yourself on to action….



The keynote speaker was named E. Benjamin Skinner, who is the author of the book A Crime So Monstrous: Face to Face With Modern Day Slavery. I’ve not read it yet, but after hearing him speak? I will be purchasing it.

Take a moment to imagine some the most atrocious times that have been documented in the history of the world.

Slavery should pop into your mind.

Mr. Skinner started out his speech today with this staggering fact: There are more slaves in the world today than there has ever been before (the percentage is lower in relation to the population, but the numbers are higher).

Wow. Thought slavery was dead? You were dead wrong.

He then goes on to explain some of his own encounters with human traffickers.

In Port-Au-Prince, he was offered a ten year old girl for a mere $50.

I know you know a ten year old.

Imagine her life being worth only $50 to someone.

Fifty dollars. A little girl with laughter, a personality, a heart that feels fear, a mind that has deep thoughts, who probably had dreams for her life. A human being.

Fifty dollars.

He then describes the life of thousands of street children, mostly boys, (some as young as 5) who were selling unprotected sex for a mere $1.75 just so they could eat for the day.

In another country, he describes young girls being brought into sexual slavery as prostitutes.

In one heart-breaking moment, he visited one of the places where the slaves are housed.

On the bottom floor of the building, the rooms are infested with the girls’ handlers. They remain there to protect their ‘merchandise’.

On the second floor is an illegal abortion clinic. Not only are these girls forced (by violence or mental manipulation) to remain in slavery, but are experiencing the heart wrenching physical and emotional aftereffects of an abortion.

On the third floor are the girls themselves. Some are expected to perform sex and sexual acts on at least 25 men a day.

When I picture this place, all I can imagine is a cloud of darkness covering it.

But then Mr. Skinner discusses America.

Yes, it may seem that slavery is worlds away.

It is not.

Several news articles were discussed wherein THOUSANDS of slaves were revealed to be right.here.in.the.U.S.

It is not an overseas problem.

It is not a third-world problem.

It is a humanity problem.

There are slaves in every country in the world, and we cannot walk away and ignore them.

I encourage you (and myself) to get involved.

Here are several organizations which are designed to reach out and abolish modern day slavery:

http://www.antislavery.org/english/slavery_today/default.aspx

The oldest organization against slavery. It offers a lot of opportunities to get involved on their website.

http://www.endhumantrafficking.org/

This organization educates and advocates to end trafficking.

http://troniefoundation.org/modern_day_slavery.shtml?gclid=CIizgZ2fgKQCFQHW5wod3w-lHA
This organization houses ex-slaves in Washington DC, as well as works in Africa, Cambodia, and India to stop trafficking.

http://www.iabolish.org/

This organization focuses on ending slavery in Sudan and Mauritania.

http://www.ciw-online.org/slavery.html

This organization is based in Florida and working to prevent the use of slaves in farming practices.


These are all just ones that popped up as soon as I googled them. I know there are more out there.

I think we all need to work to do something. Even if it is just to begin advocating in laws, or volunteering at a homeless shelter (which is where many go if they are able to escape). We need to take action.

Living like nothing is happening is foolish and selfish.

Mr. Skinner referenced a quote from W.E.B.DuBois that says the following:

‘There is but one coward on earth, and that is the coward that dare not know.”

We can act like we don’t know what is happening here in the states and around the world, but it is a true act of cowardice.

Get involved with me!

(If any of you know of more organizations out there, please place them in the comment section so more people can get involved!!)



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Free Haircuts For All!!!

Remember how I LOVE deals?

This pretty much translates to every area of my life.

So I’m sure you can believe this also translates to my little dogs. Sometimes, I really feel bad for my poor dogs.

I had never really PLANNED on cutting their hair.

When we got dogs? I totally hadn’t had a dog for like a decade, so naturally I forgot that they shed.

We adopted Nariz (black dog) first and had her for about 6 months. Then one day, I looked down at the carpet and I experienced Sheer. Horror.

My face got all contorted and hideous when thick black chucks of her hair were rolling up into balls and getting stuck under my toes.

What. The. Crap???

Yeahhhhh.

I soooo went out that day to purchase a dog-hair cutting kit for her.

She is part border collie and is supposed to have long hair. Do you know that that dog doesn’t ever look like a border collie? The longest I allow her hair to get is 2 inches long.

Then? She gets chopped.

Fast forward.

We had had Nariz for about a year when we decided to get a second. This is when we got Nala (yellow dog).

And then to my extreme excitement and joy (read: to my extreme anger and digust) we found out that she sheds worse than Nariz.

Therefore, you can imagine that I really have to stay on top of cutting her hair to avoid having dog hair around my house.

So the first few times I cut the dog’s hair, I must admit, they did not look stellar.

But at least it was free, right?

I started to get better at it, and really the only part of their body where you could tell that they hadn’t been cut professionally was on their back, where the haircutting shears would leave comb stripes.

Not too bad, if I do say so myself.

But then? Yesterday happened.

About a week ago, I realized that Nala was started to shed, so I (like the amazing dog-mom that I am) decided to cut her hair.

I get her all prepped and move her to the kitchen.

I make sure I give her lots of affection since she hates getting her hair cut.

Then I begin the cutting. But I realize that the setting I chose wasn’t really cutting her fur.

So what was my decision? Go down a size.

Problem: I wasn’t really paying attention and I went WAYYYY down in size.

I slide the cutters across her back and look in amazement as I realize I have shaved an ENTIRE STRIPE all the way down her back that is so close to her skin that it looks like she has no fur.

I have no choice.

The rest of her hair has to go.

As I am cutting, I am half cracking up/half crying on the inside because I realize once Brandon sees her? He’s going to freak out.

I manage to cut all of her fur around her body, and then get to her face.

Here’s the problem: Nala’s undercoat is a very light blonde. Her top coat? A strawberry blonde.

I couldn’t figure out how to cut her face fur without totally cutting her eyeball off or de-whiskering her.

So …I Left the fur.

Then I got to her tail.

At this point, she was so wiggly and so done with her haircut that I just cut half of it, and then let it be.

Getting the picture?

Yea.

Brandon walked to the kitchen and immediately FREAKED OUT! “What did you do to my dog????”

Me: “Ummmm…????”

Brandon: “Seriously! She looks like a hairless rat, but with a mask on her face. And her tail looks like it went through meat grinder!!!!”

Me: “Brandon! Don’t be mean to her! She doesn’t know how ugly she looks!”

Brandon: “Of course she doesn’t know. But I know! People are going to think we abuse this dog. We can’t take her outside. She looks HOMELESS.”

Me: “Ummmm…????”

Yea.

So the dog looks horrible. Like one of those creepy hairless cats you always see that haunt your nightmares. Like this guy:



(Picture from Google Images--http://jesseacohen.blogspot.com)

And this? Really cracks me. She just looks so helpless in her hideousness.

Poor dogs.

They really should find new owners.

Someone who isn’t so cheap and will just pay for a professional groomer.

Sigh.


As you can see, her face and bottom half of her legs have fur. The rest of her? Not so much (except for the random patches of fur I didnt cut on her body either...) You can kinda see how gangly her tail looks. Rough times, dog. Rough times.

In case you forgot, this is what she is supposed to look like. Furry and beautiful.

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