Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
But I'm reminded how Tetris is a lot like life. We work so dilligently to get the pieces to fit together, to have those Tetris moments in life where all is good. We also know that we occasionally have times where we have pieces and nowhere to put them. You add stress (or higher levels) and the pressure seems almost insurmountable.
Tonight while I was playing, it made me think about acceptance. Specifically at homecoming for my Alma Mater this year -- we'll be having a first. I wish I could say that my need for acceptance -- my need to have all the pieces fit together perfectly -- had gone away, but it hasn't. I still seek approval from people, specifically some people who will be in town the first weekend in November.
It's in this moment of ridiculous frustration (let's face it - Tetris is NOT life), I have to remind myself to stop trying to fit into the molds, to just be me, and not have any expectations. People will always be people, and trying to make them accept you or love you does no good. Plus, I am more deeply reminded that Jesus spent his lifetime trying to love and befriend people, and they spit in his face, persecuted him, and killed him. But regardless of how people received or perceived him, Jesus still loved them, said Hi to them, and kept on.
And I can too.
A week or so ago, I was browsing around on myspace, and found out that she had a blogspot... to document her and her husband's adoption of a girl from Russia. She and her husband Jack (who I also knew) have two biological children. Their story is incredible... and I know that Anya will be the first of many children who receive more love than imaginable from Stephanie and Jack.
Go pay 'em a visit! http://www.adoptinganya.blogspot.com/
For anyone who doesn't live in the town they grew up in, you know going home is nowhere near restful. You either have decided to go back there for a specific reason, or if you choose just to visit, you wind up trying to visit with as many people as possible leaving you no time for quality time. This weekend's visit was really about a task (see: Demolition/Construction) as opposed to visiting.
I would like to go on record that I do not particularly enjoy doing construction.
It totally reeked havoc on my manicure, duh.
I did get to see a buddy of mine who is lifetime Air Force. I sadly haven't seen him in about four years, so it was nice to catch up, if even for a few minutes.
On a completely unrelated side note, I had this hilarious dream that I met some guy, and we got married on our second date.
Strangely enough... that doesn't scare me anymore. After telling a friend my dream tonight, I told her I was totally open next Monday. LOL!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The last few days have been nice to get some perspective, but mostly, to save some gas $$$. Can we just give Jesus some praise???
BooMama, Rocksinmydryer, and BigMama have been sharing some bloggin' tips that actually offer some really good advice. Reading some of their notes from the SheSpeaks conference has made me re-evaluate why I blog. So I thought,
Y'all would want to know, right?
Okay, maybe you don't care. Change the channel. :) I really started blogging after reading blogs from my friends Holly & Jenn. While I rarely use their names, I need to say that both of them are tech-savvy, and definitely inspired me as well as paved the way for me to really begin this journey o' blogging. Both of them have had several blogs (you pick your service... I'm confident one of them has used it). While that last remark may seem like a jab, it's really quite the opposite. Both of them are incredibly create and inspirational, and by them having the wherewithall to post their lives on the internet, I couldn't help but feel compelled to do the same.
**For the record, they both went to Lee before I did too.**
I did have a really hard time finding my voice though. I believe that I have had at least nine blogs to date.
I'm sorry, I got distracted watching "I Love the New Millenium: 2005", particularly the search for the new Pope. Hilarious.
Anywhoo... in the beginning, I struggled with what I wanted to say, but mostly, who I was talking to. I used my blog to attack a guy that was hurting me. I used my blog to express my anger at work. I used my blog to document my less-than-soap-opera life. When you misuse the internet, it will bite you in the butt, and I'm no exception to that rule. That guy -- sent me awful emails and texts. That co-worker -- went to my boss. Yeah... not cool.
Every blogger has to deal with "over-exposure". When you invite people to read your thoughts, you invite their comments. I definitely struggled with feedback too. I think every blogger has to come to grips with the fact that people are invariably not going to like what you write on occasion. They will tell you. It happens.
I still have some blog-issues, but I have issues with life in general, so I just chock that up.
But I still blog, and I enjoy blogging. I no longer have any desire to get my words published, but I did in the beginning. I wanted to be profound and deep. And then I wanted to be funny and silly. And then I had moments where I wanted to be informative. Bottom line, my blog is very much my personality (if you know me in real life), it's just an extension of it. This year, with both the purchase of my domain and redesign of the blog, I really have a deep sense of ownership not just of the site, but more of me.
My only problem now... I want everyone to blog.
This is seriously why I don't drink. :)
Monday, June 23, 2008
Things bug me sometimes, and while I don't dare broach the topics person-to-person, I feel like here is one of the few places I can. I wish I had some *Statement of Sensitity Warning* that I could include here but I don't. All I have is the internal conversation -- the monologue if you will -- that eats at me in the midst of a moment.
I'm always intrigued by Christians. Being a PK, I think we have a very interesting perspective of church people. I think we get to see the really good and the really bad, and unlike people who just get to attend church, we're left to make some sense of it all. In spite of the fact that I haven't lived in a parsonage in almost 20 years, I have never been able to shake the need to justify what I see, or in some cases, find some way to express it. Prayer, is the one example that stands out in my mind today. I go to church on Sunday, and am (now) enrolled in two bible studies during the week. But the big question we always come to is -- "Do you want to pray?". There's always a dead silence and a hope (from more than one person in the room) that someone else will really feel the desire to pray. Amidst the girls group I have been apart of, as well as the other bible study, I'm always intrigued at the people who never pray out loud... because it bothers me. It bothers me that, even in the safest settings, we still feel some sense of inadequacy and lack of comfortability that prevent us from talking to the one True One who can help us. This past Sunday was another one of those times where I was struck. Our pastor asked for people who needed prayer to stand, and asked those of us to get up and pray for them. And yet... there are so many people who never got up out of the pew. I feel like now might be the time to make note that I am 1) flawed, 2)constantly in need of mercy, grace, and prayer, and 3) exactly in the same boats those people who stood up are in. I may not have felt like the particular reason the pastor asked us to stand applied to me at the moment, but I didn't really think that mattered. I also know that I have days where my prayers don't make it past my light fixtures... we all do. But, I don't ever want that to be a reason I'm too ashamed or embarassed or whatever to get up and pray for someone else, you know? I guess my only justification is that, what if I'm the one that needs prayer? Are you going to be too embarassed or busy to get up and pray for me? This definitely hinders me from asking (even some of my good friends) to pray for me because they never have. I have made a point to pray even when my words sound phony or as though they're coming out of someone else's mouth... because it's not about the words, it's about the intentions of my heart. Plus, I know that I need the Holy Spirit to be the real intercessor.
I guess this post turned into more of a challenge... to remember that it doesn't matter who you think it watching. It doesn't matter if it doesn't feel natural. Just pray. I like to say "Pray Naked" (Hebrews 4:13). Pray for your friends. Pray for them out loud. Sometimes that little bit of encouragement is what they need. And have a prayer buddy... someone you can call to stop what they're doing and pray for you.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
- Cut at least 7 inches off my hair (up to 10 in some)
- went to see "Get Smart" with my friend J.
- went to my friend Samantha's wedding with B-Rad
- came home and took pictures to post of my hair.
Kinda sad, huh?
Hope you had a wonderful Saturday interpeeps. :)
Friday, June 20, 2008
- A friend, J., went wakeboarding two days ago, and while trying to flip, broke his leg in four place, requiring pins, 6-8 weeks off his leg, PT, and time off work.
- My friend, N., is still in the hospital.
- 17 girls in Massachusetts made a whackpack and are knocked up.
- Tricia has PTLD (a form of cancer) after her double lung transplant from CF. Please keep her in your prayers.
- A guy I knew in college was arrested by the TBI.
- Most of Iowa is wet.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Do you find that your friends who read your blog mistake reading your blog for talking to you? Do you also find that they assume you (I) should understand the first half of conversations just because I typed something?
Case in point: I get random texts that are related to blog entries, but are not really questions. I choose not to respond because nothing is being asked. Furthermore, if you don't know how to call either of my cells or email me by now to ask, "Jenn, how are you?", then I assume you don't care.
But my question to the masses is: Am I the only person this happens to? Other than this blog, do I say something to people?
It totally goes against my love language that you don't comment. Please do not also assume that just because you read something and text me out of context that I should know, ala telekenesis, what you're talking about.
One of my goals was to have little or no credit card debt by the the b-day. I've been working on it aggressively the last year or so, but we all know how easy it can be to slip up and need that one thing or have that one emergency. So... even some of my best attempts have left me feeling like I'm spinning my wheels.
I had one small victory when I paid off a credit card for Belk's in March. I say with confidence that everytime I see that zero balance, I get all jumpy and excited. It just reminds me that there is a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
But today... today I wrote two checks and am paying off two more credit cards (one has had a rolling balance for 8 YEARS), and writing these checks makes me want to just have a worship service. It just feels so good. Plus, this leaves me with only two credit cards -- and under $600 debt.
I hate the bondage that credit cards create, well... I hate the bondage that my foolish spending habits allowed them to create. With these CC's paid off, it puts my long term goal of being completely debt free (I'm talking student loans here peeps) by the time I'm 35 well within my reach.
Along with my own personal victory, my immediate family is also working towards the goal of being credit card debt free by year end too.
If you are working towards getting out of debt, make a decision to get serious. My first big hurdle was giving up a gas card that I had. I just decided one day that I wasn't going to put anymore on it, and start buying gas out of my checking account. It doesn't sound hard, but when you consider that I have an average monthly gas bill of $550, it definitely adds up. I had to bring my lunch one day, or be more cautious with my purchase on another, but now, two years later, I don't miss my gas card at all. There were no rewards for using it, so I feel like I did a good thing. I do have one card that I use because I get some incredible reward benefits, but when I charge something on the card, I force myself to write a check equal to that amount and have a payment process the same day. I have slipped up a few times, because it happens, but I'm definitely more cautious about what I buy now -- moresonow than ever.
God is so Good!!!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
i. need. To. feel. SOME SENSE. of , randomness.
so, in all seriousness, (because my own personal o.c.d. tendencies will only allow so many grammar and punctuation mistakes), I feel the need to move on. The hiatus is over... I am again engaged in my fbc bible study. Our group is small, but we're not looking to meet some denominational statistics. Tonight was our first night back in what seems like three of four months (although I'm somehow certain it was shorter than that). We're studying "No Other Gods" by Kelly Minter, and I say with confidence that I am both excited and very much in need of a new study.
Don't get me wrong... I'm loving Rob Bell, but if the girls in my girls group keep looking at me the way they do when I ask a question or respond to something, I'm going to stop speaking altogether.
I may fake mute or something.
Or not. Anywhoo.
After pampering myself with a pedi this evening, I hurried to catch the ladies and join in. I do need to say that while I am a huge HUGE fan of Beth Moore stuff, she cracked me up in the video. She rocked alot and at one point, I thought a Boeing was gonna land with her hand motions! But before you think I am mocking someone disrespectfully that I respect, please know that just sharing our requests tonight was critical and very much needed.
Let's face it y'all... we've all got some serious needs.
And if you don't, then watch the news. There are needs. Gas prices are up, hopes and housing sales are down, Iowa is nearly underwater, and nobody can eat tomatoes without fear of serious gastrointestinal junk. Times are rough.
I would love to always be cheery (although apparently I get more fan mail when I am so ridiculous emo it's not funny), but I am not.
But... I HAVE HOPE AND I KNOW WHOM I HAVE HOPE IN.
And he totally rocks my world. Especially today when I need it. Especially when my boss has been nasty. Especially when my coworker won't shut up. Especially when the friends I thought were my real friends show their true colors and prove they REALLY don't care. Especially when I totally second guess myself on decisions that I was once confident about. Especially when I still get freaked out reading Revelations thanks to all those weird movies from the 70's they used to show at church. (Remember? What if I stumble? What if I fall?) Especially when I do something dumb. Especially when I feel insignificant.
when my whole world sucks. He doesn't. He rocks. Not only is He The Rock, but He Rocks. He rocks my heart to sleep when I am crying in my pillow. He rocks my world with a sunrise everyday, and breath in my lungs.
Do you know Him?
Monday, June 16, 2008
I found myself in stitches when I realized exactly which character he played. Morever, I've been reciting, "FIRE IN THE HOLE!" all day long as well. :)
I had good intentions to post a Father’s Day blog on here, but I got kinda busy.
I went to Birmingham to visit my Dad.
He started at a new church yesterday and it was interesting to say the least. As I was standing by my Dad’s wife, I got asked at least three times if I was the pastor’s really young wife.
Can we all say EEEEEWWWWWWWWW???
I promptly replied at least twice: “No, I’m his really old daughter.”
Many Methodists churches have something called “children’s time” during the service, where they tell a very short story or mention a very brief moral lesson. Yesterday, being my Dad’s first service and all, the children’s director decided to let the kids introduced themselves and tell something they really like. As they go around the little semi-circle, each child (around 4 or 5 years old) says their name and follows it with some sport. “I’m Suzy, and I like gymnastics. I’m Tommy, and I really like baseball. I’m Liz, and I like to play tennis.” MDW leans over to me and says “Man, this is a really athletic bunch of kids, huh?”. We were both laughing. Then, they asked my father to say his name and something he really enjoyed.
“Well, my name is James, and I like to dance.”
Seriously, the whole congregation started laughing. But the funnier part is the my Dad really does like to dance. :)
My Dad preached a sermon on a “Life that matters”. I am so thankful for the men in my life whose Lives Do Matter, who have made an impact on me.
We followed the service up with Chinese at Mr. Wang’s. YUM!!
Hope you all had marvelous Father’s Day!!!!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I find myself getting really angry and frustrated with people. Little things, that are inconsequential -- I'm blowing out of proportion. Stuff that I shouldn't be concerned with -- I make monumental. I'm pulling apart from a lot of my friends. I find myself not wanting anything to do with them. The questions they ask me that used to make me feel needed, now make me feel used. The comments that once made me feel appreciated and loved, now ring like cheap brass in my ears. I find those comments arrogant and condescending. It's as though I'm pulling away from my whole life... like I've been trying to tell my friends for months that things are not okay, that I'm not okay, that something is bigger, something is wrong, and that all of them are too self-indulged to pay any attention.
Today, I spent the day with my Dad.
I'm sorry... I find myself crying.
Not because of him though. Because of news that I found out today that has made me not only cry but weap and is literally ripping my heart out of my chest.
And it makes all that other stuff REALLY INCONSEQUENTIAL.
And it makes me want to run away from my whole life just for one minute to stop the thing that is causing my anguish and is literally ripping my heart out of my chest.
But I know, my head knows, that I can't, and I can't do anything but sit and watch and pray for God to be merciful.
And wait for my heart to be ripped out of my chest.
Knowing that, in spite of my pain, my horrible deep severe oh-my-god-i-wish-this-didn't-have-to-happen-pain, that God is in control, and this is part of His plan.
I don't even know where to begin to process all of my thoughts, much less my emotions, to know where grieving begins or ends, how many boxes of Kleenex to buy to start wiping away tears.
I don't appreciate the candor of the voices that told me... the two of them. I wanted to shut them up immediately, to make them take back their words into the void that all those kind of words should go into. But I know that they've both experienced it, and came out okay... I just know that I didn't and don't want this to be happening.
And you know the weirdest part of it all... that I don't want to tell any of my friends. I don't want their comfort, their words, their faux-consolation. I just want Jesus to make it all stop. And while I know He won't, I have to keep finding comfort in seeing the bigger picture. That I am changed. That I am forever changed. That I am the woman I am because of this.
But it still sucks.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Just FYI, we've been reading the book together each week (one girl starts, and reads a page at a time, and we go around the room), so that nobody has to do any homework/preparation for it, especially considering our already busy lives.
Last night, we read through chapter 6, which was all about submission, what it means to submit, and submission in relationships (almost specifically in marriage). Following the readings, we just open up the floor (as it were) to comments/questions. Last night, I tuned out briefly around the fourth page, and missed a whole paragraphy and wound up asking a general opinion question that was stated in the book. Oh well..
If you haven't had a chance (or ever heard of it), then I highly recommend Sex God. You won't be disappointed.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I've walked the mall a thousand times. I want that on record.
But three partial shopalics who decide to take their credit cards in just in case knew we were in trouble when we rounded the corner and spotted Bath & Body Works. In case you're unaware, B&BW is having sales all thoughout June. Last week, I went to the B&BW in D-town, and purchase 9 large body washes and a big lotion for $26. That's an average of $2.60 per item. Last night, they had a lot of little things on sale, and I stole walked away with 15 items for $21 dollars (and that was with TN's 9.25% tax!)!!!!
The last several months I've been making gift baskets for people and have really had a hard time finding bath stuff that didn't cost an arm and a leg. I'd like to note now that, for a whopping total of $47.00, I now have enough "filler" lotion, body wash, and other stuff to fill 9 gift baskets. I love it!!!!!
And after B&BW, we moved on to Maurice's and Cato. We didn't even make it a whole trip. And we're not sorry about that either! :)
If any of you are interested in doing this via email... HOLLA -- firstname.lastname@example.org. The bible study starts Tuesday, June 17th. Instructions will be on the LPM blog. The first week there will be no homework, but there is some work to follow. Fear not, this is not the homework you dread, this is the getting-in-the-and-sinking-your-teeth-in-the-word kind of homework. If you would prefer to come meet with us, just let me know. I'm going to try to post each Wednesday some of the good nuggets we're learning.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Friend 1: "When did they start having American primaries in foreign countries?"
Friend 2: "What are you talking about? Where?"
Friend 1: "They had a primary in Puerto Rico!"
** It's important to note that Friend 1 has a Master's degree and a father that teaches High School history.**
Friend 1 was mortified last night at dinner when Friend 2 decided to tell me. I promptly took out a notepad and wrote it all down. I mean... the first thing that comes to mind is "OM, I should blog this!". :)
Friday, June 6, 2008
Here's the playlist!
TWENTY of you will each win the following boxed set:
1. Barlow Girl - How Can We Be Silent
2. Aaron Shust - Whispered and Shouted
3. Cadia - Cadia
4. Point of Grace - How You Live
5. Skillet - Comatose
6. Brandon Heath - Don’t Get Comfortable
7. Michael W. Smith - Stand
8. Third Day - Wherever You Are
9. Relient K - Five Score and Seven Years Ago
10. Casting Crowns - The Altar and the Door
11. Steven Curtis Chapman - This Moment
12. Chris Tomlin - See the Morning
13. Matthew West - Something To Say
14. David Crowder Band - Remedy
15. Jeremy Camp - Beyond Measure
16. Newsboys - Go
17. Toby Mac - Portable Sounds
Go check it out!!!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
…but the movie made me think about a few things.
I’m not going to justify why I went and saw it because they would take entirely too much time on the ole’ bloggy here, instead I want to prove that, even in a random movie that I should not have seen, you can walk away from things reminded about life.
Without sharing the plotline for those of you who, despite my warning, are going to see it anyway, you need to know that one of the big morals of the movie is how women focus so much energy, effort, and emotion on a wedding versus the actual marriage – which would be funny, if it weren’t so true. Seeing as how I’m single, I’m not going to spend a lot of time on that topic, but I definitely think it parallels life in other ways.
Watching this movie made me wish God would move me to New York. There’s no way in the world I would ever live like these women, but my brother has given me a great appreciation for the city and it’s own beautiful culture. New York is truly like none other. If you haven’t ever been… go. Just do it!
There is a lot of ridiculous accessorizing in this movie. I mean… many many things that people don’t wear. For example… a bird… in a woman’s hair. That is just not normal. Fortunately, near the end of the movie, that bird gets brought up again and totally made fun of. Thank Goodness!
I was reminded after the plethora of outfits that, I don’t take enough pride in what I wear. I have some really nice things (nice things I didn’t pay an arm-and-a-leg for), and I don’t wear them… and I’m not sure why. Almost as if I’m afraid to really put forth the effort into what I wear and how I present myself. One of the things I love about visiting NYC is that you actually wear whatever you want, and nobody cares. I always get a big self-esteem boost because for the few days I visit, I’m not inhibited by worrying about what other people think about what I’m wearing.
I hope you followed that last line.
So today, I broke out something that I’ve thought was a little “too much” for work and decided that, 1) it fits, 2) it’s pretty, 3) nothing is hanging out, peeping out, or risqué, and 4) I’m not going to have a lot of opportunities to wear it if I keep thinking like this. And I decided that my favorite stiletto heels needed to make an appearance too.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
- Does Obama give anyone else the creeps?
- Would you describe yourself as unintentionally nosy?
- What hurts more: telling a friend the truth, or not telling a friend truth to keep from butting in?
- What did you want to be when you grew up?
- What is your funniest celebrity crush?
My answers... :)
- I am nosy. Sometimes unintentionally, but most of the time not.
- Not telling a friend the truth.
- A pediatrician and a movie star.
- I was in LOVE with Davy Jones from The Monkees. That may not seem funny, but my crush was in middle school, 25 years after the show went off the air. So at 8, I had crush on a 43-year old. So... in typing that, I kinda got creeped out! EW!! Maybe I should just say David Caruso?? LOL!
Now your turn!!
Monday, June 2, 2008
But something has happened to me lately, and I believe it is similar to people who contract a disease long after a vaccination has been discovered... i.e. polio, yellow fever.
I recorded the "first concert" for the band as they premiered on GMA on May 16th. Everytime I watch it... I get OVERLY EXCITED. I mean, giddy, and WEAPY. Tears, y'all,... TEARS. And today, the tickets went on sale. I have driven a few girlfriends crazy about them too (sorry H.!).
Thinking I'm being dramatic, I resign that, I may not actually get to go to the concert on October 29th, and then my friend C. sends me an email today with this:
We actually were just over at Joe and Barrett McIntyre's house yesterday!
When is the ATL show? I will talk to Barrett and see what I can do!
And I am overcome AGAIN. I have a suspicion that once I finally get to this concert, I may break into hysterics. If I make the 5:00 News in Atlanta, you'll know why.
After a small fiasco which required me to ask if anyone AT WORK had an AMEX card, I am now the proud owner of a ticket.