Monday, April 30, 2012

Living Beyond My Feelings

I
I joined a bible study a few weeks ago.  We're reading Joyce Meyer's book "Living Beyond Your Feelings. Controlling Emotions So That They Don't Control You."
I can't tell you how much I needed to read this book.  I often feel 100% controlled by my feelings.  They can dictate how I react, how I treat people, how I treat myself.  It's not healthy.  And I want to learn how to have my feelings, not suppress them but be able to express myself better and not let them dictate my actions.

Joyce says, "feelings are fickle."  They can't be trusted.  Have you ever noticed how sometimes you're in a bad mood for no good reason?  When I feel like that, I am no fun! Yet I allow myself to act on my feelings.  That's not who I am.  Deep down inside I'm kind and funny, simple and full of love.  It's just that all of that doesn't always show because I'm too mixed up in my feelings. I'm too tired. I'm hurt. I'm frustrated. Have a head ache.

 As luck would have it, a situation presented itself that has allowed me to really put my new found knowledge into practice. My best friend in the whole world has hurt my feelings.  She hasn't reached out to communicate in months.  I called her last week to see when would be a good time to talk and she said she'd call me Saturday.  Saturday came and went, no phone call.

This isn't the first time she's left me hanging, it happens nearly every week and this makes me feel like:

1. She doesn't want to talk to me.
2.  She doesn't care about our friendship.
3.  I'm not important to her.
4. She doesn't love me.
5. Paranoid. Did I do something to piss her off?

I could go on and on.  Those feelings are obviously over-dramatic.  I totally know that but I still feel them! Thing is, I know she's been going through a lot lately. This is one of the main reasons I want to be there for her. I want to support her during this rough patch.  And since I know it's got to be really hard and I don't want to add more pressure to her, I try to be understanding.

But after a while I'm like, "at what point do I get the message, that she doesn't want to talk to me!"  I know that's not true but I say it to myself anyway.  Then I start having bad thoughts and think of terrible ways to deal with this.  Things like:

1. Well then, I won't call her anymore either.
2.  I'm going to ignore her if she texts me.
3.  I'm going to go look on her facebook page to see who her REAL friends are.
4. I'm going to complain to MY real friends about her.
5. I'm going to allow myself to think bad things about her.

All of those actions; however, are a result of feelings and my feelings sound a lot like a fifteen year old girl! They are not appropriate action based on who I really am.  And as tempting as it may be to do all of those things this is the perfect opportunity for me to practice restraint, to act on my inner self and not let my feelings rule me or tell me how to behave.  When I see the feelings I can say, "Yes, I see you. I know you exist and I'm not going to stuff you down.  I will be honest about them to myself and to others but this is what I'm going to do about it:

1.  Continue to call her and tell her how much I love her.
2.  Pray for her everyday. Talk to God about my feelings.
3.  Try to put myself in her shoes and be compassionate.
4.  Write her a note and tell her how much I love and care for her and tell her that I'd really love to keep the lines of communication open without complaining about my feelings or being angry.
5. Text her, facebook her, email her and send her a singing telegram that says, "Call me."  It may sound persistent and desperate but I have to remember how many times God pursued me out of sheer love and I must be willing to do the same because I love her too.

I think learning to gain control just takes practice.  Sometimes I will fail but at least I'll be trying.  Controlling my feelings is a gift to both others and myself.  How I sometimes feel may be ugly but I'm not and it will feel so good to pull back the curtain and let my true self shine through.

Do you let your feelings control your actions?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

How Much Is Too Much Information On A Blog?

The other day I read something that someone posted about their child that made me feel awkward.  She'd written something deeply personal about her son, something quite humiliating and it got me to wondering, how much is too much information on a blog?

I've followed a blogger named Heather Armstrong for many years now.  She's the mother of all mommy bloggers and while she wasn't my inspiration to start this blog, she sure has inspired me to keep going.  She's often been criticized for how much information she shares about her family and because she's one of the first,  people have looked to her as a sort of litmus test of how that would all work out.

As it turns out, not so well.  She's in the midst of a divorce and is struggling a great deal personally.  It might be a leap to say that it's because of how much she's written about her family but even if it wasn't the reason, she's now put in a situation where she feels exposed and understandably wants privacy.  That's something hard to come by when you've basically set up shop in a fish bowl.

I believe that the reason people read blogs (myself included) is for the honesty.  I don't want to hear about someone's perfection.  Want to really alienate a reader? Tell them how your floors are always sparkling clean!  I want to know that I'm not alone. I want to say, "YES! I'm so glad it's not just me."  That plus some good writing, a little humor and a good dose of wisdom goes a long way.  But how much honesty do you expect from your bloggers in terms of revealing their personal lives?  That's a fine line we all have to walk.

I've recently chosen to keep my kids mostly off of my blog.  Everyone knows I'm a mom and I feel free to express my experiences as a mom but I don't think it's appropriate to use my kids as blog fodder.  This is mostly because my kids are getting to an age where they are getting embarrassed and I don't want to make them feel uncomfortable. When they were younger, I knew they couldn't read it but now that they are all capable, I find it a bit slanderous to talk about them unless I've asked for their permission.  My almost 10 year old is going through some serious growing up right now and you have no idea how much I want to talk about that but her experience is not mine to tell.

I can share how I feel about my baby becoming a tween.  I can explain how I felt when I showed her how to wash her face with acne scrub for the first time and how I imagined that moment to be how my husband will feel when he teaches our son how to shave.  It is a strange mix of pride, angst and sadness when you realize how incredibly fast this whole parenting thing flies by.

I used to post a ton of cute pictures of them and I'm still cool with a few pics from time to time but I'm really trying to be careful with what I say about them so as not to invade their privacy.  I have plenty to talk about without resorting to divulging their secrets.  Here's my question to you?

What is too much information on a personal blog? Have you ever read something on a blog that made you say, "TMI!"



Friday, April 27, 2012

Our Spring Vacation

My kids were home from school last week and I'm just now recovering from the exhaustion.  We had a good time though.  We went to museums, visited the Dr. Seuss memorial garden in Springfield, Mass, went hiking, swimming at an indoor water resort, watched movies, played at the library, visited a rescue farm, rode ponies and met a zonkey (half zebra, half donkey) whose name was "Fancy Pants." If that doesn't spell excitement, I don't know what does.

It's taken me a whole week to recover and get my house back in order and while I miss them, I must admit...it's so nice to have the house to myself this week. We were all starting to get a little snarly with each other there at the end which reminds me, I really need to get started on those camp applications! They never go all summer but we do need some time apart every once in a while so that we don't start gnawing on each others extremities. 

I want to share a picture with you. It's the holy grail of all pictures.  I took it at the farm we visited and it's of a llama.  There is something British looking about llamas.  They look sophisticated and haughty and like they'd pronounce the word "half" like "hof".  This llama walked slowly and looked at me as if to say, "pray tell, young woman, what is so important that you insist on interrupting my afternoon tea?"

She complimented me on my shade of lip gloss and when she asked if she could have some I said, "No!" That's when I found out that she was not sophisticated at all.  She wailed and cried and then threw herself on the ground and told me that "I was a meanie and life was not fair and there was no point in living anymore."

Oh wait, it wasn't the llama who was acting that way, it was my 9 year old.  I get so easily confused these days but anyway, here is an awesome picture of a yawning llama.  Clearly she is British. I mean, look at those teeth! ;)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Dog Loves My Husband

Our dog Cocoa loves my husband.  She starts whining as soon as she hears his truck, which could be miles away.  She waits for him at the door, her back end swinging violently from side to side. I can almost hear her thoughts.

"Is he hear yet? Is he hear yet? Is he hear yet?

As soon as he walks in the door she jumps up at him and demands his attention. She licks his face, she strokes his legs, she follows him everywhere he goes.  When he kisses me, she gets jealous and tries to wedge herself between us as she whines.  She also gives me the stink eye.  I'm almost positive she has it in for me.  She probably keys my car when I'm not looking and stands over me at night holding a pillow.

When my husband sits down she immediately climbs into his lap, lays on his chest and looks up at him lovingly.  Again her thoughts are clear.

"I love you so much. You are the most amazing and wonderful person in the whole world.  Scratch my butt, scratch my butt, scratch my butt."  Sometimes I get jealous that she gets all of his attention.  He used to cuddle with me!

She stares at him adoringly, she tries to tongue kiss him, she licks his feet.  I just don't think I can compete with that! But it did get me to thinking.  There used to be a time when I didn't act so different from Cocoa when my husband came home.  I greeted him energetically.  I offered up a plethora of kisses and adoration.  I sat in his lap and gazed up at him adoringly.  I tongue kissed him.

Admittedly, I never licked his feet.  I love him but pu-leeze!

It's not because I don't feel those things for him anymore.  It's just that over time, those feelings sort of wear down a bit and I don't always have the energy to greet him at the door, wagging my butt.

Still, it begs the question: How better would our relationship be if I put in as much effort as Cocoa?  I'm going to try harder.  Cocoa won't like it but I bet she is easily bribed with peanut butter!

 Does your dog  prefer you or your spouse? Do they ever get jealous when you give each other affection? Do you still put the same amount of energy into your marriage?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Feeling Worthless

Cuckoo clock
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I often read a blog called The Journey. It's about a young girl named Katie who at the age of 18, gave up her life; her family, her friends, her boyfriend, her education, her comforts and moved to a village in Uganda.  There, all by herself, she set up a ministry and by adoption or fostering, became a mother to 14 children.  She also devotes herself to feeding and caring for countless others.

Her blogs reads like love letters to Jesus.  They are inspiring and beautiful.  Every time I read her, I feel two things: inspired and worthless.  I'm motivated do do more, to give more for God.  I want to give but I have to be honest, I don't want to move to Uganda. I don't want the sacrifices she describes. This makes me feel insecure, selfish and insignificant.

Does this mean I don't love God enough and that I'm not fulfilling his calling? He tells us to feed the poor and care for the orphan and the widow. He tells us to die to ourselves and live for others.  Sure, I've made baby step progress in these areas but clearly I'm nowhere good enough.  I'm not as good a person as Katie.

If Katie and I are both parts of this body of Christ, then she is the heart or brain or lungs. She is something useful and amazing. Me? I'm like the gallbladder; easily forgotten, purpose unknown and easily removed and thrown into a hazardous waste bag.

I wrestled with this a lot.  I mean, like threw this issue down to the floor and put it into a choke hold.  I said, "God...show me the answer to this. Help me understand where I fit into this because I feel so unusable."  Then I reached for the bible and found this scripture.  It's from 1 Corinthians.

12:4-6
"There are different kinds of gifts but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men."

12:12-27
"The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.  So it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body -whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free -and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.  If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.  And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? but in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.  The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't' need you!"  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor.  And the parts that are unrepresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment.  But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.  Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it."

These scriptures reflect how God wants us to work together but it's also very clear that he crafted each of us with a specific purpose in mind, like gears on a clock, each important and dependent on the other but with one purpose.  I am part of God's body.  So are you.    We are not all going to do the same job, have the same talents or serve the same way. 

I love the part where it says: "the parts that seem to be weaker are indispensable." How amazing is that?  When we all got lined up to play on God's team he didn't pick the most athletic or the fastest first. He picked me; the weak, slow, clumsy one.  Where man would pick me last, God picked me first and I am indispensable to him.

What makes you feel like you're not as good as someone else?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bragging About Good Deeds

People in general but especially Christians have a knack at casually mentioning our good deeds while trying not to sound too prideful.  The bible tells us to be careful not to perform them in front of people and to not blow trumpets and we would never do that! Psh, blowing a trumpet every time I do something good? That's so "look at me!"

No, I wouldn't ever do anything so hypocritical. I wouldn't ever let people actually see what I do.  But God never said anything about social media, right? He never said that I couldn't post my good deeds on Facebook or Twitter! I can announce that I'm fasting but I put oil on my head and washed my face, so I'm cool. Besides, I wouldn't be bragging about it, I would just be keeping people up to date with what's going on in my life. I can't help it if what I'm doing just happens to be a good deed.  Besides, maybe it will even inspire people and that would be a good thing. I will be shining my light, yeah, that's it!

The truth is, we do this  because we feel proud about what we're doing and we want everyone to know how awesome we are.  We think God is looking down at us, smiling and nodding and giving us the thumbs up and we want everyone to know it! By doing this we can make non-christians feel like heathens while simultaneously making Christians feel guilty and ourselves feel superior. It's a win-win!

I think it should be mandatory to add a tag to our social media posts which adds an element of truth to our status and tweet.

What's on your mind:  "volunteered at a battered woman's shelter, donated food to the food bank and helped an old woman carry her groceries."  "My heaven stock just went through the roof, yo! Word to the Father!"

What's happening? "Just boarded the plane to Africa where I will spend the next 3 weeks sleeping on a dirt floor and eating insects."  "Enjoy your pillow top mattress and lobster tail in hell, kids!"

At least that would be truthful.  We'd never admit it but what we really want is for people to think we are a better person than they are. I'm changing the world while you're sitting on the couch changing the channel.   "I'm a better person, I'm a superior Christian,  I care more about the poor than you do, I'm more obedient therefore I have favor with the Lord and you don't.  Neener, neener!"


Have you ever bragged about your good deeds via social media? Leave me a comment. I'll do my best to respond but I do have to deliver meals on wheels today, send in the check for the child I sponsor in Mozambique and take my blind mother-in-law to the grocery store.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Do you live for the temporary or for the eternal?

Tents
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Every once in a while, when I see a tragedy on television where a child dies or I hear a story of how a woman lost her husband to cancer, I can't help but think how I would feel if I were in that situation.

What if my child was in a freak accident? What if my husband died of a heart attack? The very thought of it, just writing it makes my emotions overflow and I start to cry.  The thought is unbearable!

One day, while I was having one of these "what if" sessions, I prayed that God watch over and protect my family, that he keep them safe from harm and grant them long, happy lives.  He listened and then he posed a question for me:

"Licha, do you ever cry like this over the thought of losing me?"

I immediately felt convicted and was ashamed to answer because I never have.  I've never wept in anguish at the thought of being separated from God.  "Oh no!", I said. "I've never even thought of that! What does that mean? Does it mean I don't love you enough, that I don't care? What is wrong with me? I'm SO sorry!"

"You've never thought of it because you really do love me and deep down you know that I will never leave you, my love is eternal.  It's the only love you will ever know that will never come to an end."

I know he's right.  Every other relationship in my life is temporary.  My mom has died, my dad has died.  Like it or not, my friends, my children and my husband will someday die.

"So Licha, are you investing your love and energy in a balanced sort of way? Or are you investing too much in the temporary?"


The answer was so obvious I didn't even bother to respond.  I spend way too much time making excuses for why I don't spend more time with God. "My kids need me.  I have to spend time with my husband, I have to volunteer here or there."

"It's sort of like setting up a tent next to your house and spending time and money investing in the renovations of your tent while your house falls into disrepair.  Sure, your tent should be stable and provide shelter and comfort but you cannot invest in it at the expense of keeping up your house. Your tent will blow away, it will rip to shreds but your house will stand, it will be there long after your tent has crumbled."

My "house" is almost always in shambles.  I don't take enough time to dust the cobwebs or maintain the upkeep. I throw out the garbage from time to time, wash a few dishes but never really get to the deep cleaning so it's dingy and smells kind of musty.  I've put off my relationship with God for much too long because I'm so busy invested in the temporary.  Of course God wants me to be a good wife and mother.  Of course he wants me to be a good friend and community member but I cannot, should not, will not do those things at the expense of investing in my eternal relationship with God.  My house will come first and I must not feel guilty about it.

Do you invest more in the temporary or in eternity?



Saturday, April 21, 2012

Two Things You Should Do On Your Knees

Untitled
Photo Credit
 Have you ever gotten down on the floor and really looked at it? It's disgusting.  Even if you do a pretty good job of sweeping and mopping, the floor is a dirty place!  What looks like a clean floor from the vantage point of standing, looks like a wasteland of cobwebs and forgotten fruit loops from down below.

If you ever want a clean floor, I mean a REALLY clean floor, the kind that gleams and you'd let your kids lick chocolate pudding off of, then you have to do the unthinkable: you have to wash it on your hands and knees.

I know, I know.  I'm just going to stand here and let you throw all of those rotten tomatoes at me.  Just don't aim at my face. That's my moneymaker. :) Notice the title doesn't say, "Two things you should ALWAYS do on your knees."  That's because I know that it's not realistic to do it "always." I'm guilty of considering our floor "clean" if the dog has licked the spilled milk!

I'm just sayin'... cleaning on your hands and knees allows you to put your elbows into it.  You are also less likely to miss a spot.  It's something to do once in a while to make sure that you're covering all of your bases.  On a side note, don't use harsh chemicals, especially when you're cleaning on your hands and knees.  The fumes will kill you. Alright, maybe not kill you but the fumes will make you cough and the chemicals will dry out your hands, mkay? Use a little dish soap and some white vinegar.

I promise, you will accomplish much more when you wash the floor on your hands and knees! Plus, it's good exercise!

Likewise, if you really want a good prayer experience, do it on your knees.  I'm a big believer that you can pray anywhere, anytime, any way you want, so long as you're praying but there is definitely something really powerful about doing it in that reverent position. It's a position of submission, a place where you are less likely to get up and walk away.  Everything you want to say to God: ask for help, serve him, worship him, respect him, is done well from this position.   It helps you focus, it puts you in the right frame of mind.

 I don't always do this either but when I do, I'm reminded that there is something really powerful about making that deliberate gesture of getting on your knees and imploring to God.

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our maker. – Psalm 95:6

Friday, April 20, 2012

How's This For Honesty?

I felt so encouraged by your comments about my censored post.  I thank you for that! I think that people are generally moved when I combine my love of God with my brash honesty.  It's far reaching.

I've felt for a few months that God really wants me to move this blog in that direction, to be completely honest about my struggles, about what he teaches me day to day.  It's really hard though.  I have a tendency to do this thing where I put myself out there all naked and exposed and then run back and hide in the bushes. I hide with fluff posts and things that I think people want to hear. But that isn't always what I want to write about.

I started this blog as a "mommy blog." I wrote about the challenges of being a stay at home mom and used it as way to vent and get support from other moms.  It served it's purpose.  Thing is, I've changed so much over the last few years.  I'm still a stay at home mom and I will still write about that but the focus of my everyday is God.  Some of you are going to like hearing that and some of you are not.  Some of you will unfollow because you're afraid this blog will morph into a "christian blog" and I will throw a snake at you, start talking in tongues and ask you if you've accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

I'm not going to do that because that's not who I am.  

I'm just a girl who was living life all about myself and then one day out of nowhere, without even looking for him, God showed up and I resisted his advances. He came along as I was walking down a lonely path with bags slung over my shoulders, a backpack on my back and dragging thousands of pounds of luggage and he said, "let me carry all of that for you, all you have to do is walk next to me." I looked at him like he was crazy and said, "no thanks, I'm fine."  He persisted and since I was so overwhelmed with my life, I handed everything over to him and in doing so found happiness and love.  Don't ask me to explain it, I can no sooner explain how it happened, how it felt, what it looks like than I could describe to you the exact certainty that makes me love my husband or my children.  I just do.

Since then, I've been trying to figure out what this Jesus all about.  I don't know everything.   I'm not in the business of forcing people to believe what I believe.  I'm not a fan of door to door, street corner or shove down your throat evangelism.  You might; however, catch glimpses of God through me. Since I'm fairly new to this loving God thing, I'm not going to judge you because I am too busy plucking the logs out of my own eyes to be able to see any twigs in yours.  When it comes down to it, I'm just trying be be a better person.

I'm going to try to do what I feel God has been asking me to do for months: "Just write."  I really hope you come along for the journey, if nothing more than to watch my freak show and point and laugh at me when I will undoubtedly trip over myself.  I'll admit that this feels really scary, that being all exposed and honest will be hard.  I'm going to tell you all of it.  You're going to hear all the dirty details and you will probably judge me for it.  Just know this, I'm a work in progress and I'm thinking you can probably relate to that.

Resorting To Mind Games

(4/365) :: Golf Thursdays
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I've been trying to convince my husband that he needs more exercise.  We both do.  Getting mine isn't such a big deal because I can easily take a long walk during the day but scheduling time for him is much more complicated.

He's been taking a hip hop classes every Tuesday night for the last three months because our youngest daughter begged him to.  He comes home sweaty and in a huge amount of pain, tweaking for Advil and muscle cream.

It's good exercise though.  Thing is, it's going to be over soon and I want him to keep moving.  I've tried all sorts of ways to get him motivated but he's never that interested. He says he's too tired for the gym and since he works really early, it's not feasible to work out first thing in the morning.  He also claims there is zero time during the day to take even a 15 minute walk. I finally had to resort to mind games. This is the conversation that went down in the car the other day:

"So, your golf league starts this week, right?"
"Yeah."
"And do you walk or use the cart?"
"Walk." 
"Is it expensive to golf when you don't use the cart?"
"No."
"Maybe you should start going every Sunday on top of your Wednesday game."
"Really?"
"Yeah.  You work so hard.  You really deserve to get out there and have some fun. I know how much you love it."
"Cool! You're the best." (He's a man of many words)

If this were a movie, this is when I would turn to the camera and smile because you see, this has nothing to do with my fostering his love of all things golf. This has to do with me making sure the man gets a steady 3-4 hours of exercise per week.  Playing 18 holes while walking and carrying your clubs can burn over 1000 calories! But he doesn't know that so SHHHHH. Let him continue to think I am the best wife evah! As far as he knows, his wife is encouraging him to golf because she cares about his swing and he thinks he's died and gone to heaven.  He has the coolest wife in the history of wives.

I am definitely awesome because I managed to make him feel happy, appreciated and lucky all the while getting what I wanted without hurt feelings, conflict or an argument.  Muah ha ha.

Is it a tad manipulative? Sure. But I do it in love and I highly doubt that even if he figures it out, he'd complain.  He came home from golf last night with a huge smile on his face so as far as I'm concerned, it's a win-win for both of us!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Taking Leviticus Literally

Open Bible with pen
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I often struggle with the old testament. The begats make my eyes twitch.  I think the main reason I have so much trouble is because it's hard to relate to so much of what's in it. It's just not always applicable to modern day life.  Give me a letter written by Paul and I'll put my feet up and read for hours but Leviticus? It's painful.

The other day, I was reading chapter 15 which reads like a medical pamphlet. God goes into a great amount of detail in relation to the body when he talks about "discharge", "spit" and  "semen emission."  Most of it is what we'd consider common sense today; keep clean so as not to spread disease.

The part that really caught my eye was about women's monthly periods.  It says here that I shall be considered "unclean" during this period of seven days. And not just that, I must be "set aside" for those seven days, cast away from my community.  At first, I took offense to this.  It's so unfair! God gave me a period but that period makes me dirty and now I have to be cast off, thrown out of my house where I have to be alone, without my children, without doing housework, without...wait.  God might be on to something here!

I highlighted the scripture so that I can present it to my husband, point to it and say, "see...the bible says here that during my period I must leave my home and go out of town and away from all of you for a week, preferably to a five star hotel that offers luxury spa services...you know, to help me get unclean."

If he balks I will point out that he would be making me violate the word of God by preventing me from my vacation, time of being set apart.  "It's right there in the bible, hun."  Being unclean will have never felt so good!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Setting A Place For Jesus- CENSORED!

Censored
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A few days ago, I was scheduled to guest post for someone.  But on the day the post was supposed to go live I got an email from the host saying that she couldn't in good conscience let her readers read my blog (which was about setting a place for Jesus at our dinner table) because she had just read my "about" tab and didn't want to expose her readers to my kind of moral depravity.

In my about section I say something about how my blog is about pretty much everything. I'm interesting that way.  I joke and say that I talk about everything from my love of God to my love of David Radcliffe's new sexy body.  Of course, if you know me (or have read me for any length of time) you recognize the sarcasm.  I know that it's wrong to lust. I'm really not much of a luster.  I am; however, sarcastic.  I also assume that she was turned off about my saying something about how you'll find a blog about pubic hair next to a blog about God.  I'm such a heathen.

I felt bad at first because I wondered if I was offensive but then I felt unapologetic.  First of all, I was kidding about David Radcliffe.  He's like, what? Four years old? That's gross.  Second, it would be lying to say I was anything different than who I am in the "about me" section of my blog.  I really do blog about everything from God to pubic hair.  It's not like I talk about God's pubic hair.  That would be crossing the line!

I totally respect this bloggers choice to post (or not post) whatever she wants on her blog.  That's her personal space and I too, reserve the right to post whatever I want.  That part I get.  The part I don't get is how me being jokey and honest constitutes as "bad morals."  Especially when I'm talking about bringing Jesus further into our lives.

Perhaps this was a simple mistake but it feels exclusionary. Like, even though I'm a Christian and love God in ways so big that I can't even describe, I'm not good enough to share how I love him because I made a joke. C'mon Christians- brothers and sisters- we're better than that!   Here is the blog.  I'm sharing it with you because I think it's share-worthy.


Setting A Place For Jesus
At around 5:30 every day, our home falls into a twilight zone.  What is normally a relatively serene and organized house turns into chaos.  Homework needs to be done and dinner needs to be cooked.  My husband isn’t home yet, the kids are hungry, the dog is full of energy and Mommy, well Mommy is on her last leg.  It’s at this time of day when I need Jesus the most.  By this point, it’s been hours since I said my morning or afternoon prayers and my spiritual tank is running on empty.

When things get rough, I have this tendency to try to fix it on my own.  In the morning I pray that God may help me be a better mother and wife, I surrender it all to him but then 5:30 hits, the going gets tough and I’m all, “step aside, Jesus, you’re underfoot!” And since when I ask him to step aside is when I’m most likely to lose control and all sense of balance and wisdom, it was clear that something needed to change.

A friend of mine once told me about how she “sets a place” for Jesus at their dinner table.  He gets his own place mat, plate, cup and utensils.  They do this in order to visually recognize how they welcome him into their home every day and share a meal with him full of gratitude and love.  He is part of their home, family and macaroni and cheese dinners!

I thought this was a great idea but I especially liked the idea that Jesus might actually show up before dinner, like any guest would.  Maybe he could sit at the table and help my daughter with her fractions.  Perhaps he could listen as my Kindergartener struggled to read her sight words.  Maybe he could place his hand on my shoulder as I stir the ground beef.  I loved the idea that he could be there, with me- us, during that tough part of the day.

Not only does it make my life easier to turn things over to him but it also reminds me that he’s watching.  Have you ever noticed that you’re a better mother when someone else is around? You feel a need to be on your best behavior yet when you’re home alone with your kids; it’s much easier to snap?  I’m guilty of this and inviting Jesus to sit at my dinner table every night reminds me that he’s always watching.  What’s interesting is that I don’t feel the pressure to perform for him.  Knowing he’s there, sipping a cup of tea and smiling, gives me a great amount of comfort.  I just hope he likes spaghetti and meatballs!

What do you think? I'm I too depraved for public distribution? Should I be censored?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

10 Things You Forget To Clean During Spring Cleaning


This is a blog I wrote for Patch but it got such a great response (lots of recommends) that I thought I would share it with you wonderful people!  Please be sure to share this with your friends!

Spring is a time of re-birth, nature’s way of starting fresh.  Winter’s crustiness breaks down to make way for the colors and cleanliness of spring.  Spring cleaning our home is a great way to scrub away what's built up over the last few months.  The other day I opened up my oven and was like, “sweet Lord of a General Electric, there are four inches of gunk baked into the bottom of my stove!”
My refrigerator is shameful, my baseboards have dust bunnies that are eating dust bunnies and my windows…well, let’s just say the dirt provides a nice shading effect on those warm days.  My house needs scrubbed from floor to ceiling, every square inch disinfected and buffed clean.  I’m sure you’ve started thinking about doing the same.  Get to it but don’t overlook these important things:

The Washer
Washer
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If you’re anything like me, your washer gets a whole lot of wear and tear but not a lot of tender loving care! It’s important to keep it clean so that it runs well and doesn’t build up mildew.  The best way to do this is to run an empty load but instead of using detergent use a cup of white vinegar.  Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and will make your washer clean and fresh. Wash the lid of your machine and also clean out the detergent, softener and bleach dispensers.  If you have an energy efficient washer, don’t forget to rinse out the filter.  Then wipe down the entire washer with vinegar and water and vacuum the dust behind it too.
P.S. If you find something like what's in the photo above in your washer, then you're going to need something stronger than vinegar :)

The Dryer
Drying
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It’s important to maintenance your dryer at least once a year because accumulations of lint are a fire hazard.  Plus, it makes your machine more efficient.  Start with removing the lint trap and use a vacuum or shop vac to suck out any lint debris.  Also, vacuum underneath and behind the dryer as lint and dust accumulates in those places too.  Make a visual inspection of your dryer vent.  If it looks like it’s in bad shape, consider having your local appliance store out for an inspection.  If it looks like it’s in good shape and just needs a good cleaning, unplug the dryer and disconnect the vent.  Vacuum out the lint and then reconnect everything and let the dyer run (empty) for a few minutes.  This will allow any lint that you dislodged to get kicked out.  Don’t forget to wipe down the top, sides and front of the machine with vinegar and water as well. Consider putting your dryer on hiatus while you take advantage of the sunshine and fresh springtime breezes by putting your clothes out to dry on a line.  Spring and summer are a great time to do this!

The Filters
コペン 2年使用のエアフィルター Copen Air Filter OLD
Photo Credit

How often you replace or clean your filters depends largely on the type of filters you use but spring time is always a good time to replace old filters.  We spend a large amount of time in our homes and having a good air filter can insure good air quality, a reduction in allergens and a cleaner, less dusty home!   They can be bought at reasonable prices at most hardware stores.  When you install a new one, write the date on it so that there is no question as to when you installed it and when you need to change it (typically monthly or every 2-3 months depending on the filter).

The Dishwasher
Dish Washer
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Just like your washer, your dishwasher probably works overtime to keep your dishes clean.  Don’t forget to give it some attention to keep it running smoothly and to ensure it doesn’t contaminate your dishes! Dishwashers tend to get a gunky build-up over time but this is an easy fix.  Empty the dishwasher and place a bowl on the top rack and fill it with white vinegar.  Run the dishwasher with nothing else in it but the bowl.  At mid-cycle, turn the machine off and let the vinegar steam for about 20 minutes, then continue washing.  If mildew is a problem you can use a little Clorox but never use it if your dishwasher is stainless steel on the inside or on the door.  Finish by wiping around the door, the edging and underneath.  To keep a dishwasher running at its best, clean it this way at least once a month.

The Vacuum
First I Vacuumed
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Most of us don’t take the time to service our vacuum cleaners on a regular basis but that’s a mistake if we want to make sure it keeps doing a good job of removing dirt from our homes.   Clean the brushes and remove or cut away strings that are wound around inside of it.  Wipe it all down with soap and water (do not run the vacuum until it’s completely dry unless you want a muddy mess). Clean all of the attachments change the belt if necessary and switch out the bag or filter if that needs changed.  Don’t forget to wipe the handle with a disinfectant wipe.







The Refrigerator
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Chances are, the inside of your refrigerator was already on your spring cleaning “to do” list but when was the last time you pulled the refrigerator out of its place and vacuumed under and behind it?  The coils back there can get mighty dusty and do need cleaned from time to time.  Likewise, the vents need wiped down too.  While you’re at it, don’t forget to wipe down the top.  That is often an overlooked.

The Couch Cushions
If you’re anything like me, you barely have enough time to vacuum the living room let alone enough time to vacuum the furniture but since your vacuum is nice and clean now after reading above, make good use of it by cleaning under the couch cushions.  Vacuum the couch itself as well.  It’s one of those places where we get comfortable and tend to shed a lot of dead skin.  Gross I know, but true.


The Bed
184/365  (+1)
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And since we’re on the topic of places that get covered with dust mites and dead skin…let’s talk about your mattress.  It’s not good enough to flip it over and vacuum underneath your bed.  Your mattress needs some attention too.  Start with vacuuming.  Most vacuums have hand held attachments.  Use them to clean the entire mattress.  After that, go out and rent a steam cleaner if you don’t own one.  Use it on your mattress and then allow it to dry.  Then cover it with a great mattress cover that can be easily removed and washed on a weekly basis.  This, along with changing your sheets weekly, will ensure that your mattress stays clean and fresh.

Lamp Shades
yellow lamp
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Whew, that newly clean vacuum cleaner is getting quite the workout, no?  It’s going to be bikini-ready come summer!  Give it some more to do by dusting lamp shades.  Obviously, you’ll need to use an attachment for this job.  Use it to clean the entire shade.  Chances are it will look like a completely different color.  I did this last spring and was astounded to find that those beautiful cream colored lamp shades that I loved so much were actually bright white in color.  It’s shameful, I know but lamp shades are just one of those things that we don’t often have time to clean.  Be sure to remember to give them a good dusting this year.

The Car
step 6
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Besides our homes, one of the other places we spend a lot of time in is our cars. Don’t leave them out of your spring cleaning endeavors.  The outside is a quick and easy job.  In fact, let the kids do this job.  They will enjoy spraying each other with the hose and are the perfect height for detailing car rims. Most people decide to wash their cars on a sunny day but the best time to wash your car is on a rainy day.  This saves on water!  Just stand outside in the rain and scrub and the rain will do the rest!  It’s important to detail the inside of your car from time to time too.  Wipe down all of the surfaces, take all things and trash out.  Vacuum the carpets and if it’s a nice day, shampoo the carpets too, leaving the doors and windows open so that it can dry quickly.  Wash all windows from the inside, clean under seats and hang a nice smelling scent from the rear-view mirror.

With all the chores are done, you can sit back and enjoy the beautiful weather and take time to stop and smell the springtime flowers. Happy Spring cleaning!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Images Of Spring Around The World

I usually don't post anything on Sundays but I couldn't resist sharing these photos of spring with you.  As you probably noticed, I added a banner to my website.  Snazzy, right?  Those are some of my photos that I keep on my flickr account (I would totally share it with you if I could remember my password- I haven't been able to get in there for ages).  That's a long story.  Anyway, I was looking through some of my old photos and those lead to other photos and before I knew it, I'd fallen into a photograhical black hole.  A colorful one!

These images are so amazing, so spectacular, vivid and real that they almost make me need to sneeze!



Spring
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Spring
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Spring Orchard
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Spring Blossoms
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Spring Flowers
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Spring Blossoms
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Spring Delight
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Spring is coming!
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Spring roll
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Spring beckons (26/365)
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Spring moves
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Spring at the Golden Gate
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Cherry Blossoms II (2011) 


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CNP_3300
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Meeting Deas Vail

A couple of months back, my husband and I went to a little hole in the wall kind of club in New Haven, CT to see a band called "Deas Vail."

I'd come across one of their songs like a year before and kind of liked them and thought it would be fun to see them in person.  Unfortunately, the promoter of the event had some "issues" and was not able to find anyone to open for them.  At the last minute they were scrambling around for a replacement and got some teenagers who played really bad covers that broke my eardrums.  They also referred to a Nirvana song as "an oldie." Punks.  My husband and I wanted to slap the teen spirit right off of their faces after that little comment but we didn't because our brittle bones wouldn't have withstood the climb onto the stage.

The members of Deas Vail couldn't have been nicer to these nervous kids opening for them.  They clapped, they "whoo hooed".  And it wasn't just by comparison that their performance was terrific.  They really are terrific!  After their set, we got an opportunity to meet the members and they were some of the nicest, funniest, sweetest and most humble people ever.  We spoke with Justin Froning (the basist) for a good amount of time and he was pure delight!


Deas Vail
Justin sure knows how to Jam (photo credit)


Here is one of my favorite songs (although there are many) from their new self titled album.  They had me at, "you said the words and you didn't even speak." This is like the perfect summer anthem and while I know it's only springtime, this gives you plenty of time to fall in love :)






Friday, April 13, 2012

Tim Tebow Wall Decal Giveaway

The giveaway starts today for a wall decal from A Great Impression.  Mary, the owner, was kind enough to give me a few decals to try out and give to a lucky winner.  I put mine up in my eat-in kitchen and it looks fantastic!

See... Click HERE to see more amazing decals!

It looks crooked.  I promise it's not :)
So now it's your turn to get your very own decal.  This is the one you can win.  She says it's a best seller!


Perfect for a little boy's room! 

Giveaway starts today and ends on April 27th at 12:01 AM EST
Open to the US only, ages 18+.
The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. There's lots of ways to enter! Good Luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Is It Ever Okay To Lie?

LIE 
photo credit

I always tell my kids to be honest.  "Always tell the truth.  It's the best policy.  It's will set you free, kids!"  But then there are circumstances that present themselves when the lines between truth and lies, black and white, become blurred.

Case in point: When my oldest daughter was three years old and had recently learned the joys of peeing in a toilet, she loved to practice her new skill.  This meant that she had to pee in every restaurant, supermarket and store whose threshold we crossed.  And one day, while we were washing
our hands in the Sears bathroom at the local mall,    she stared at a woman's shoes.  "Do you like my shoes?" asked the woman.  "No", said my honest daughter.  "They are ugly. I don't like them at all."

I smiled generously as the woman turned and walked out of the room.  "Why did you say that to her?" I asked. 

"She asked!" said my daughter.

"You should have said something nice like, 'your shoes are pretty'."

"You mean you want me to LIIIIIEEEEEEEEE!"

She had a point.  I indeed DID want her to lie.  But a three year old isn't wise enough to comprehend the nuances of social grace.  We all say that lying is bad but we all spend a lot of time doing it.  Most of the time we lie to spare someone's feelings.  When asked, it's much easier to lie and give a compliment than be honest and hurt someone's feelings.  It's especially hard to teach children this skill.  It's important to teach them never to lie but then it feels dangerous to tell them that there are exceptions to that rule.  I get nervous that someday they might drive my car into a river and then lie about it and say, "I didn't tell you the truth because I didn't want to hurt your feelings.  You told me I could lie!"

People say they hate lying but go ahead, try and tell them the truth and you'll see what they really hate! It's like lying is a social expectation.   I would never go out of my way to lie but sometimes I feel like I have no choice. I abide by that age old wisdom, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" but when put on the spot, I get squirmy.

 I believe in honesty and that truth is always the best policy but is there ever an acceptable time to break that policy?  When asked point blank, is it better to be honest even though the truth may hurt someone's feelings or is it better to lie?








Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Seeing God's Workmanship In Yourself

There's a scripture in Ephesians that I always struggle with:  " For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." 

 It doesn't exactly seem like the kind of scripture that would cause angst, does it? It sounds like something beautiful and wonderful that should make me feel loved, secure and happy.  It's so sweet it practically smells of puppies and rainbows.  So why do I struggle with it?  Because I have a problem believing that it applies to me!  Other people, sure.  You there, with your broad shoulders and your bold sense of style, you are obviously God's workmanship.  I mean, look at you!  Sophia Vergara is God's workmanship.  Maya Angelou is God's workmanship! Mother Theresa was God's workmanship!  Those are some of the most beautiful, most talented, most amazing women who ever lived and I can see his signature all over them, no problem but me? Fugetaboutit!

Someone once described this to me by saying that "we are God's masterpiece." That word: masterpiece is one I would have never used to describe myself.  It's hard to imagine a masterpiece being so broken, so dirty, so prone to bad dancing.  It's a struggle to see myself through his eyes but I feel like I should at least try because if I don't, it would seem like an insult.  Like he gifted me with a perfect work of art and instead of admiring it, I spit in his face.

This is much easier said than done.  I've had a lot of practice at walking by my awesomeness, of missing it entirely.  So recently, I decided I was going to have to take Michael Jackson's advice and start with the (wo)man in the mirror. I was going to have to ask her to change her ways.  And when I did actually stop to look at myself in the mirror, it made me really uncomfortable.  Have you ever really started at yourself in the mirror?  I mean, really looked yourself over and then stared deep into your own eyes?  It's awkward.  Like, I wanted to break the ice so I told a joke and then didn't even laugh at myself kind of awkward. It's also really easy to start pointing out all of your flaws.  Look at my ears for crying out loud, I always thought they were even but it turns out they're crooked! Let me just cover them with some hair.

I stared for a long time; in the bathroom mirror, the rear view mirror, at my reflection in appliances, anywhere that would afford me the chance and eventually, I was able to see a woman separated from myself and you know what? I liked her a whole lot.  The one thing I noticed though, was that she never smiled. And life is simply too short to not smile at yourself in the mirror.

Now I smile every time I see myself.  When I catch my reflection I smile, wave and wink.  When I step out of the shower, I raise my eyebrows up and down, lift my chin and in a deep voice say, "what's up?" I'm softer, kinder and more gentle with myself.  When I don't like how I look in an outfit, I say the same thing I'd say to a friend who has no fashion sense, bless her heart: "I think you're beautiful."

I spent too many years giving myself a blank stare in the mirror or saying mean things like, "my body is disgusting", "my hair looks awful", or "look away, look away!"  It's no wonder I couldn't see the beauty in God's craftsmanship.

 I said horrible things: "you're not such a great person", "you aren't that great of a mother", "people probably don't like you", "what ever gave you the idea that you have any talent?"  Can you imagine saying that sort of mean and hateful thing to another person out loud? You'd never get invited to any birthday parties and even if you did, you couldn't ever eat the cake because someone is bound to spit in it.

It's still a struggle.  Especially when I'm carrying a few extra pounds of bloat but I have to remember that God probably has a picture of me hanging in one of his hallways that he proudly displays to visitors. And when they stop to admire his work and talk to the artist they ask, "we see that you gave this one crooked ears, what was your artistic motivation for that?"  That's when he smiles and says: "her ears are strategically placed so that one is low enough to hear the needs of the people around her and the other one is high enough for her to hear me when I tell her how to help them."

Is there anything about you that you've seen as a flaw that might actually be a blessing?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What Are The Responsibilities Of A Stay At Home Mom?

Here is the situation in my house: my husband works full time an I stay at home.  When my kids were younger, that job title was far more difficult than it is now that they are in school all day.  Back then, my  husband and I split many of the household duties. We each put kids to bed, we each gave baths, we each cleaned the house, etc...

But now that I'm home all day, I feel the pressure to do everything on my own, that everything should fall on my shoulders.  Part of me thinks this makes sense and the other part of me says, "oh I don't think so...if I made dinner than someone else needs to be washing the dishes!"

I'm responsible for a lot.  I clean the house, do all the shopping, pay all of the bills, keep track of the kids and their events, birthday parties and activities.  I do the cooking and all of the laundry.  And while I don't expect that my kids (or my husband for that matter) come home and scrub toilets, I think that they can put their dishes in the sink and maybe do a few chores.

I'm lucky in the sense that my husband pretty much does whatever I ask.  If I don't ask him to do anything, then he's happy to oblige but if I ask him to go to the supermarket for me (I asked him to do that this weekend) he's always happy to do that too.  Thing is, after he left to the market, I felt horribly guilty.  Like it felt wrong that he was out shopping and I stayed home with the kids, watching television. I felt like I had dropped the ball and he was picking up the slack.

I know that every family has to come up with their own plan when it comes to division of labor and so far we've done a good job but things are changing now that the kids are getting older.  They too should be expected to have chores.  Not because I don't want to do them but because it teaches them responsibility.  As for my husband, I'm still not sure what feels right.

How do you and your spouse divide your responsibilities? What do you think should be the responsibilities of a stay at home mom?

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Husband Makes The Bed Wrong

Every once in a while, my husband will do me a solid and make the bed before he goes to work in the morning.  It's always appreciated!  There's just something about the effort he makes that gives me the feeling of being loved and cherished.  He took the time to make the bed, to make a good-will gesture.

Any woman worth her salt will tell you that there are few things sexier than a man who is/was/ or is going to clean. Rawr!

Yet, every morning after he leaves, I fix the bed he's made.  It's rumpled and bumpy and the comforter is not pulled taught and this bugs me.  It shouldn't but it does.  I try to leave it alone.  I know I should so I  walk away but not fixing it is like trying not to scratch a mosquito bite.  You know you shouldn't do it but it's impossible not to!

Every time I walk  through my room, the bumpy bed taunts me and my eyes start to twitch.  Must. Straighten. Bed covers!  Even when I walk away and go downstairs to distance myself from it's imperfection, I know it's up there being rumpled and the idea of it gnaws at my brain.

This is what is referred to in mental health circles as "obsessive."  Some might even call it a little crazy.  I wish it were easier.  One of these days I'm going to actually do it.  I'm going to leave the bed that way all day long and try to survive without my head exploding!

What about you? Do you have any weird compulsions? Please share so I won't feel so alone in my craziness :/


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Feeling Nostalgic For Where I Grew Up

I moved to the east coast from Oklahoma, fifteen years ago.  Soon, I will have lived in this part of country longer than I've lived anywhere else which I suppose will officially make me a Yank.

I don't ever think I'll feel like one.  I sometimes miss Oklahoma.  I miss the stillness, the quiet, the slow pace of life.  The east coast is all kinds of awesome.  It has beautiful cities.  It's full of culture and history and opportunity. In the fall, the colors make you feel as though you've seen a glimpse of heaven.  But with all of it's awesomeness, it's a fast paced kind of lifestyle. Also, the people here (people who are brilliant and educated and interesting) don't seem to embrace a sense of awe for the beauty with which they are surrounded.  They have pride but they don't have gratitude.

When I first moved here, I always felt out of breath, trying to keep up with everyone around me.  Mostly because I was mesmerized by everything.  I slowed people down and they hated it.  They were really busy trying to get somewhere and I was gazing up at the Empire State Building with my mouth agape. People beeped their horns behind me when I drove slowly and watched the colored leaves fall from the trees.   Fifteen years later, I'm still not used to it.  I can keep up now but I am still blown away by the beauty of it all and have a tendency to stop and smell the flowers.  I suppose that Oklahoma blood runs deep.

I thought about going back, about returning "home" but there isn't much left for me now.  My parents are gone and I don't have any family there either.  The only things left to remember me are a couple of friends and maybe a few old buildings. Still, I hope to take my kids there someday. Unlike me, they are born and bred Yankees and people from up here do have a tendency to see the middle of the country as an entirely different planet in a whole other galaxy separate from themselves.   I have this feeling my kids are going to look around at Oklahoma and say, "it all makes sense now.  Our mother is an alien."

Did you stay in the place you grew up or did you move away? If so, what do you miss the most?

Friday, April 6, 2012

10 Signs You Have A Great Husband

For those of you who saw this previous post that was completely blank, I apologize.  Blogger has changed it's look, format, everything and apparently in the new "improved" version, the "edit" button means "delete".  I evaporated three whole blogs before I figured this out.  I may have called Blogger a dirty name.

But back to our regularly scheduled blog....(what I remember of it)...

10 Signs You Have A Great Husband:

1.  He takes a hip hop dancing class that causes him nearly daily knee pain and requires that he perform in a dance recital and wear make-up and an expensive costume all the while stripping him of his dignity, because your 5 year old daughter gave him puppy dog eyes and said, "I would love it if we could dance together, Daddy."

2.  He will give up dinner in order to take the family guinea pig to the vet emergency room after one of the kids accidentally dropped her and will sit in a waiting room crowded with guys and their German Shepherds who point and laugh at him for sitting with a box on his lap full of a squeaky rodent who is eating celery.

3.  When he gets dressed in the morning, he poses in his underwear and tells you that he has passion in his pants and he's not afraid to show it.

4.  He will randomly text you in the middle of the day to tell you that he loves you.

5.  He will change the channel anytime an SPCA commercial comes on because he will cry if he doesn't and then have to pretend that something got into his eyes that is making them leak.

6.  He will pull an all nighter on a work call, get dressed and go into work all day and still come home and read a devotional book to your kids because he won't miss an opportunity to be with them.

7.  He's just as happy to eat the 5 course meal of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, salad, bread and fruit dessert you prepared for him when you're having a good day as he is to eat the bowl of Chex cereal you prepared for him when you're having a bad day.

8.  When you have bed-head, are bloated and have a bad attitude, he will tell you you're "cute" and mean it because he can still see the beauty in you through all the beast.

9.  He never leaves home or comes home without kissing you passionately.

10.  He always lets you win at Scramble With Friends or Kinect bowling because he knows it makes you feel good about yourself.

Yep.  I'm fairly certain I have one of the good ones! What are some of the things that remind you that you have a really great husband?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Easter, Love Eddie

Every other Friday, I deliver meals on wheels to a group of seniors from my town.  Knowing this, my friend Ashley said, "the MOMS club is making Easter cards and we'd love for you to hand them out to the people on your delivery route."

I thought this was a fantastic idea.  The seniors totally love kids and anything made by kids.  It was a sweet gesture and I couldn't wait to hand them out.  I picked the cards up from Ashley last week and delivered them along with the meals.

"Dude, you've GOT to read some of the cards," said Ashley.  "They are freaking hysterical.  Don't pee yourself when you read them."  I had to read them so I emptied my bladder first and had a look.  Ashley was right.  They were hysterical.  One boasted a giant picture of Yoda next to an exuberant declaration of "Have A Happy Easter!"  Cause you know...nothing says "have a happy Easter" like a giant, hairy, green Yoda.

But that wasn't the best of them.  A little boy named Eddie took the prize for the most creative and heart warming cards.  Hallmark will be offering him a job very soon, I'm sure!  Thank you Eddie, for making my day, my weekend,  my Easter and possibly my whole year. You've given me endless smiles and laughter!




The front of the card says "Happy Easter" and has a baby chick popping out of an egg shell.

 On the inside, Eddie didn't waste any time.  He got right to the most important question of the day.  The question everyone is asking at Easter time.

I think I'm going to start introducing myself to people with this greeting.  I'm bound to make lots of new friends.

And what's better than a fried egg at Easter? A fried Eddie.  Very delicious and with much  less cholesterol.





I hope you all have a wonderful, happy and blessed holiday.  Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Lamb Of God

With Easter approaching, I can't help but have God on my mind.  He's on my pillow when I wake up in the morning.  He's in my bowl of cereal.  He's there all day.

There's so much to take in, to remember and acknowledge during Easter time.  Honestly, I should be thinking about him all year long but Easter time always seems extra special.  It's the same reason I think of my mom all day long on the anniversary of her death every year.  It just seems like a sacred time.

I love the rituals that churches hold during this holy week.  The prayer sessions, the palms, the washing of feet in some.  I'm not always big on rituals within a church because I think that they away from true worship but during this time of year, they seems so perfect.

You want to hear something funny? For the longest time, I never knew what people meant when they called Jesus the "lamb of God."  There were songs about it, it was in scripture and people included it in their prayers but I didn't know why they called him that, only that they did and it seemed like a term of endearment.

Then one Sunday I attended church where the pastor was talking about Passover and their customary rituals.  Families would slaughter a lamb and they would eat bread and drink wine to commemorate the first passover back during the time of the Egyptian plagues when they were told to kill a lamb and put its blood over their doors so that the angel of death would pass them over.

Then the pastor talked about the last supper and how Jesus asked his disciples to prepare a room for them and they ate bread and drank wine.  It's a very familiar scene but the one thing that was missing was the lamb. I'd never noticed that before.  Perhaps it was because I didn't know the customs of Passover but it seemed like a really big thing to miss.  They didn't eat meat at the last supper even though that was the custom and the reason was that Jesus was the lamb. He would be sacrificing himself soon enough so an additional sacrifice wasn't necessary.

It was eye opening and I wept openly right there in the middle of church.  Jesus was the lamb, the ultimate sacrifice who gave his life for my sins and for the sins of the world.  And now, every time I hear that expression, "the lamb of God", it has a whole new meaning.