Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cry me a river!

My family and I saw “Marley and Me” the other night and let me say between the 4 of us and the rest of the theater, the water works were on flood mode!! Think Old Yeller 2008! Pheeew!!

Yet despite the saddness, I still very much enjoyed this film, but it was far from what I thought it would be based on the previews I saw. It definitely is NOT a feel good cheery li’l Christmas film as its’ been marketed. It’s a much deeper movie that burrows into your soul and relentlessly pulls and tugs on your heart strings until you have no choice but to cry, weep, sob, bawl, whatever you want to call it. Especially for anyone who has or had a pet, no matter how hard you fight it, be forewarned, the tears will come! And I’m not normally a cryer at movies, maybe a tear or too, but I couldn’t control them during this film. It really was a good movie about real life situations involving love, life, and death. It depicted how joy and sorrow mix all the time in life. Each experience reintroduces us to the reality that the circle of life involves birth, relationships, death, and so much more. Maybe the tears came because it mirrored many events in my own life. Who knows, but all I know is that I was a wreck at the end of it. Some people presume it's only about an unruly dog, however it's so much more than that. It embraces and celebrates unconditional love and how that can and does impact everyone.

"Marley & Me" is about a couple (John and Jen) getting through the struggles of life as they have three kids and move a number of times, but as the family gets bigger Marley’s role gets smaller and the focus of John and Jen turn to their kids and John’s job. The movie intricately weaves a web for the audience to fall in love with Marley despite his issues, so you end up loving him especially as he gets older and is less of a troublemaker.

The only thing I had an issue with is the PG rating of the film. Based on the adult content and inappropriate language, it should have been rated PG-13. I also think this is one of the reasons the film has been getting poor reviews along with the misleading marketing. It's sometimes hard for people to embrace a film when they're emotionally expecting one thing (fun, uplifting ending) and end up with something much different (heartwrenching and a sad ending.) It's almost like a set-up and betrayal. Even so, I still very much liked this film and so appreciate the surprising depth it offered. I definitely would see it again, but this time prepared with a box of tissues instead of crunchy movie napkins! ; ) I really encourage you to see this movie!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cake wrecks anyone?

Seriously there's an actual blog that's devoted to posting about cake wrecks and it's ridiculously laugh out loud funny!! Seriously!!

Check this out:

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Merry Christmas blogging friends and family!! : D

Saturday, December 20, 2008

You've come a long way, Apple!

Kind of neat to see Apple's li'l evolution from 1976 - today!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let me just say....ewwwwwwww!!!

Apparently the creative minds over at Burger King have a special creepy treat to offer us this holiday season: “Flame” the new body spray inspired by The King with a hint of flame-broiled meat. At first I thought it was a joke, but this actually is a real product with its' own special website (hence where the creepy king pic came from) and you can order it online for $3.99 HERE (now there's a royal bargain!) So if you have any friends or family members that like gag gifts, or really, genuinely would like to smell like meat, than you've found the perfect gift. But seriously, what person (in their right mind, of course) wants to smell like meat??! Unless of course they're looking to be chased down by the neighborhood dogs. I just don't know....the whole thing just creeps me out!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cans 4 Comments

Here’s an uber cool idea I found on another blog: Cans 4 Comments! I so wish I had found this sooner though. I will donate one can of food to a foodbank for each comment that is left on this blog post. All comments that are posted before January 1st will count. So comment, comment, comment! And if you have your own blog, I challenge you to hold your own Cans 4 Comments!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Go ahead and say it!

Some will tell you there are only 9 more shopping days left until Christmas. But I'm choosing to look at it differently. Forget the shopping. Instead focus on the fact that there are still 9 days left for you to say Merry Christmas!!! Say it loud, say it with awe and wonder, say it with hope and feeling; say it with the joy and anticipation of a 5 year old; say it like you've never said it before...just say it!! Merry Christmas! MERRY CHRISTMAS! Merry Merry Merry Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas!!!!

Thank you, God for re-framing my picture!

Warning, warning....Random ramblings and rants, proceed with caution....

If you read this, I can at least promise I won't be throwing any shoes at you! (Target practice on Bush, what the heck?! The guy just can't get a break. Hmmm, I guess I'm glad he ducked in time? ; )

Okay...I've spent a large portion of my afternoon writing Christmas cards and wrapping gifts and I'm still not half way done! I'm trying to accomplish a lot in a little amount of time because we're leaving for Disneyland on the 21st (it's hard for me to be excited about visiting the "happiest place on earth" when I'm not feeling too happy. Just call me Disney Scrooge!) Needless to say this excessive crunch and stress I'm feeling to get everything done by this coming week is just plain self-imposed and unrealistic of course no thanks to my Martha nature - Martha as in the Bible, not Martha as in Stewart (how I wish!) These are the times I so wish I could adopt a Mary state of mind as does my family! : 0 Seriously I've been behind ever since Thanksgiving and unfortunately I'm hitting that proverbial brick wall!! But you know what, in an odd, demented sort of way it actually feels good to have something to run into to stop the insanity and to finally say "enough" and admit that I'm maxed out, and I surrender (I love that word right now.) There's a reason we all hit our walls....sometimes that's the only way God can get my attention (my density level is well, pretty dense.)

Anyway, all that to say God is trying to tell me I need to be okay with slowing down, having and setting limits and that even if I don't get everyone's gifts to them in time for Christmas, the sky won't fall and chicken little will still be chicken little (where'd that come from?!), they'll understand and most importantly they'll still like me. And even if they don't understand, I have a Father who knows that sometimes my heart and intentions are bigger than my ability to carry them all out.
Onward with more ramblings....
~ I recently learned from my doctor that I have tennis elbow. For the life of me I couldn't figure out the weird swelling I was having that made my arm look somewhat deformed and out of proportion to my other arm. Trust me, it looked pretty freaky! But here's the funny thing, I haven't played tennis in years with the exception of Wii tennis (and I must admit I do make those balls smoke on the court!! BAM!!!) But I haven't played that in a while. So the only thing I could surmise was the combination of a recent intensive arm workout followed by no recovery time (dumb on my part) so I could get back to painting 20 foot walls. So maybe I really have "Painter's arm" instead!

~ While shopping at Walmart, I was told I looked like I worked there. I'm still trying to figure out if that was a back handed compliment or just someone a wee bit confused. I think I'll go with the latter and give this guy the benefit of the doubt. It was a little old man who came up to me while I was passing through the men's section and asked where he could find the gold toe black socks. After an awkward silence and my attempt to be helpful by pointing and saying they'd probably be in the sock section, it occurred to him "oh, you don't work here do you, but you sure look like you do." REally?! Gee, thanks...

~ New check out lane policy. I bet you didn't know this, but if you step out of a check out line to go to another opened lane, it's perfectly okay to go back to the original lane cutting back in front of everyone to your original place toward the front of the lane. Apparently I've been living in a cave and just didn't know this. Two ladies did this to me the other day and this is how the convo went: We're standing in a backed-up check out lane (lane #2). Next an announcement was made that Lane #1 was now open in which these two ladies made a bee line for it. I moved forward in my lane only to find these two ladies coming back and pushing their way in front of me. "Sorry, we're just getting back in line because Lane #1's cash register isn't working. Do you mind moving your items off the conveyer?" WHAT?? I was in disbelief and was more than a little annoyed. All I could muster sarcastically which went completely over these broads' heads was "Certainly! As long as you think it's appropriate and fair. Afterall, I guess lane hopping is now the politically correct thing to do especially at this time of year!" Still both were oblivious to what I said. Then I overhead a little girl behind me say really loud to her mom, "Oooooh mommy those ladies is cutting! That's not fair, is it mommy?" Oh out of the mouths of babes! Somehow I managed to keep my cool although the thoughts that danced in my head weren't very Jesus like.

~ New phrase being used by my children that is driving me to the brink of insanity!
Me: "Please take out the trash."
Child #1: "What do you meeeean?"

Me: "Please take the dog out."
Child #1: "What do you meeean?"

Me: "Can I see the work you did on your homework?"
Child #2: "What do you meeean?"

On and on and on....I thought my requests were pretty self-explanatory. Apparently not.

~ Solo parenting while spouse is in Telluride hitting the slopes. Something is askew with that picture alright!

~ Kitty decides to kill a birdy for a snack tonight and it's on our walkway! Yuck! And to make matters worse, no spouse to clean it up!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

One dollar a day....

Two California high school teachers, Christopher Greenslate and Kerri Leonard, decided to conduct an experiment to live one month on a diet that costs one dollar a day, and see if it was possible to do and to eat healthy. For details on their One Dollar Diet Project, you can check out their blog. They lived mostly on dried beans, rice, cornmeal, and oatmeal they bought in bulk. They also baked their own bread and made their own tortillas. Here's what they ate for thirty (30) days:
Breakfast: 1 cup cooked oatmeal ($.06)
Lunch: PB & J sandwiches ($.36) and two cups air-popped popcorn ($.07).
Dinner: 2 bean and rice burritos (beans - $0.07, rice -$0.11, tortillas - $.05 each, small strips of lettuce - $.07, 1 tablespoon taco sauce - $.12)
Dessert:1 tablespoon of peanut butter ($.05).
Beverage: Tang for vitamin C

The couple discovered that lack of money is a huge issue when it comes to a nutritious diet. They also realized this experiment was a luxury for them, considering they chose to eat for a dollar a day — most people don't have that choice.

Guys, you really need to watch this as it's really thought provoking and challenges us to really think about how much we spend on food and beyond that, the implications it has on those locally and globally who don't have access to food, let alone healthy food. Wow, it's really making me re-think some things....

And somewhat related, please check out this non-profit organization. This is the first I've heard of them and I don't think they have any sites in AZ as of yet.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What was I thinking?!

I had read some where that you can hard boil eggs in the microwave. Of course I'm always game for trying time-saving techniques in the kitchen so I thought I'd give it a try. Word to the doesn't work (eventhough I followed the instructions to a T!) I really had such high hopes, until I heard that "kaboom" and I knew it was bad news. Now all I have to show for my efforts is a ridiculously egged microwave! And so concludes today's cooking exploits with Romi...

PS: Who needs Crazy Glue when you've got exploded egg. Seriously, this egg stuff is nasty to remove.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cool clothes, cool concept, cool cause!

Jedidiah Clothing: Who We Are from Jedidiah Clothing on Vimeo.

Jedidiah Community from Jedidiah Clothing on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Toms Shoes Update

Just wanted to share the cool news....Toms shoes is halfway to their goal of giving 30,000 pairs of shoes! Please keep this ministry in your prayers and consider gifting a pair of "swanky cool" shoes for someone in your life and in turn giving a gift to someone in the world in need of shoes and hope! Thanks everyone! : )

Monday, December 8, 2008

Back on my feet

I recently learned about this amazing non-profit organization called Back On My Feet and I really hope you'll take the time to check it out! It's truly one of the more innovative ways to help empower the homeless and help them literally and figuratively back on their feet!
And please check out the video link below of the founder, Anne Mahlum. She's somebody I would love to see speak at Leadership Summit!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Go Brandon!!

Seriously, how can you NOT love this guy (and I'm not talking just his music!)
: D You'll see it in the video, but the Pankcake Pantry is to die for and an absolutely necessary stop when in Nashtown!!

And here's another uber fun video w/ Brandon surprising someone!

Njoy the clips!! : )

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Happy Buy Nothing Day!

Just something to think about...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This is only a test!

When you were a kid, remember being annoyed whenever your favorite tv show was interrupted for 30 seconds by "This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test. The broadcasters of your area in voluntary cooperation with the FCC and other authorities have developed this system to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency, the Attention Signal you just heard would have been followed by official information, news or instructions. This concludes this test of the Emergency Broadcast System." Blah, blah, that drove me nuts! Can anyone else relate?
But you know, those emergency system tests are a lot like the trials that come into our lives. They're unscheduled, usually unwelcome interruptions, and they always seem to come at the worst possible time. But unlike the test patterns on tv, life's trials don't last for 30 seconds and then disappear (how I wish, huh?!) Nope, they can last for days, weeks, even years. And the exact reason for them may never be completely clear to us. Trials can make us feel helpless, but we do have control over one vital element of a trial - how we respond to it. But the reality is as trials are indispensable to our spiritual growth. We cannot grow as we should without them, as much as we wish we could.

Paul writes, "Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace...more and more praise! So we're not giving up. Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace" (2Co4:15-18 TM). And Job adds "But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold" (Job 23:10 NIV). It takes a lot more heat to produce gold than it does tin. Looks like we're going for the gold!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Little kingdoms

This is such a great piece by Dan Edelen I had to share here. It really hits home that we all have our own little kingdoms to contend with, don’t we. How I hate this little kingdom of mine. I once heard someone say, "The Kingdom of God will either expand you or break you." May His Kingdom expand so much within me and you, there is no room left for my/your little kingdom anymore!

"In my little kingdom, I ride my little pony over my little rainbow. Every day is my day, every event my event.

In my little kingdom, we build on a foundation that is me. We do this because only I am worthy.

In my little kingdom, I never have to sacrifice, though you do. You’re a peasant, remember, but I’m a king.

In my little kingdom, the easiest way to make things happen is to throw a tantrum. Because nothing beats a spectacle when attempting to prove one’s royal lineage.

In my little kingdom, the littleness of it all means there’s just enough room for me. Let’s not even consider making room for those people.

In my little kingdom, nothing is more important than making me feel good about myself. Of course, this means that I will have to make other people feel bad about themselves. (That’s just the way it works. Sorry.)

In my little kingdom, we do what I want and not what you want. In fact, in my little kingdom, as far as I’m concerned, there is no you.

In my little kingdom, I’ve heard peasants talk of being “the bigger person.” I have no idea what that means, though.

And sometimes, the best place for me to pull out my little kingdom for all to see is when I interact with other people. Funny thing is, when I’m with others, it seems like each person has his own little kingdom. Except those other little kingdoms don’t matter as much as mine.

I once heard of a place where another Kingdom reigned. In that other Kingdom, everyone is a servant, yet no one complains. In fact, people serve gratefully.

In that other Kingdom, people aren’t peasants, but children of the King. And the children treat each other as if each is the most important person in the world.

In that other Kingdom, no room for little kingdoms exists. That’s not because the Kingdom is too small, but because it’s too large.

In that other Kingdom, in times of lack, all lack together, and in times of plenty, all enjoy plenty together. The children even believe that giving their blessings away is better than keeping them all to themselves.

In that other Kingdom, it isn’t about living, but about dying. And no one would have it any other way.

In that other Kingdom, when one rejoices, all rejoice. Also, as unbelievable as it may sound, when one hurts, all hurt.

In that other Kingdom, all can become children of the King. Even those people.

In that other Kingdom, helping others become part of the Kingdom drives the children. Some even die so that others might come to live in the Kingdom.

In that other Kingdom, the foundation is the King. And He is love.

In that other Kingdom, one glimpses true meaning. Some even say that eternal life is found in the King of that Kingdom and in surrendering all to Him.

Sometimes, when all is quiet and I have to be alone with myself, I think about that other Kingdom and mine doesn’t seem so wonderful anymore."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Black Cab Sessions

One song + One take + One cab = Great fun! Check out Death Cab for Cutie


Saturday, November 29, 2008


As I get older, I realize that the path that leads to destruction is wider than I once thought, and the narrow road of life is virtually unwalked, even by those who call themselves “Christians.” Since only the Lord knows the way of the narrow path, why do we insist that we know it better than He does? The unsurrendered life can never follow that tiny trail, though, since it's too busy insisting on its own way, even if that way leads to death.

One author said a truly surrendered person will…
…never be well-known

.…will never live in the nice house, drive the appropriate car, or wear the most fashion-forward clothes

.…will never be wealthy and may never be “set” financially

.…will make a career of loving God and others, even if this means his/her professional career suffers for it

.…will be overlooked (or even mocked) by the “important people”

…will be seen as a fool by almost everyone—even by those in the church

.…will never labeled a success by anyone but Christ

.…understands that to buy the Pearl of Great Price will take everything

.…thinks first what is the mind of the Lord

.…says, “Not my will, but Thine be done”

Hmmm, looks like I have a long way to go before I'm a truly surrendered person! But the reality is apart from surrender, there can be no life in Christ. I used to think that it was possible to be a Christian and yet live just like those around me, but I now know that's a lie. We tend to believe that lie. So we go on stumbling in the dark for a light that can be ours only if we, like that grain of wheat, fall into the ground and die to the rest of the world around us. Only then can we be fruitful, the aroma of God amid the stench of a dying world (John 12:24-25).

Another word....

I love words that help you say things in new and fresh ways (sometimes I just can't help myself! ; ) Take for example the word DOMICILE \DAH-muh-syle or DOH-muh-syle\. It means a dwelling place; place of residence; home.

So why say, "welcome to my home" when you can say "welcome to my domicile!" Has a nicer ring to it, don't you think?! Interestingly "Domicile" traces to Latin "domus," meaning "home," and English speakers have been using it as a word for “home” since at least the 15th century. So grateful for the gift of words!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Something else to be grateful for!

I think TOMS are incredibly fashionable, versatile, well-made, and most importantly oh so comfy!! I use to have a cute red pair, but somehow left them behind at a nashville hotel (what was I thinking?? And when I called about them, they were no where to be found. : ( But the best part about these shoes is that they're for such a great cause!! So I think it's time to get myself another pair...the problem though is which pair! I'm open to suggestions!

PS: Okay, reality check just the short time that I posted the above, God has really been convicting my heart. In as much as I'd love to have another pair of TOMS, the reality is I have more than enough shoes and I just cannot and should not justify spending that money on myself! Instead I think I'll gift a pair or two to people who I know aren't already familiar with TOMS and some who aren't in a position to afford to buy them. TOMS actually offers a gifting platform on their site, where you can give the gift of TOMS without knowing the person's shoe size or style preference. Honestly I've already experienced the joy on multiple levels of owning a pair of TOMS and how it put a pair of shoes on a child somewhere. Now it's time to let someone else experience that joy! Thank you God for convicting my heart and for causing me to listen this time! : )

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gratitude for the less obvious

With another Thanksgiving literally right around the corner, instead of just focusing on the obvious things I'm thankful for (family, friends, health, etc.), I thought I'd also share the not so obvious things I'm thankful for and intentionally blog about them on an ongoing basis. So here it goes....

I'm thankful for time. Stop and think about it... we're so busy, so rushed through our days, we rarely stop to give thanks for the gift of time. It's a commodity that is very precious, and we just don't know how much we have of it, but in this life, we have the opportunity to make every moment count. So what are you doing with your time today? tonight? Pick something good. Celebrate. Tell someone that you love them. And take time, time to do good, time to love, and time to give thanks.

I'm also thankful for the gift of sight. How many of us take sight for granted? The ability to open your eyes and see the AZ sunsets, a bird in flight, the smile of a friend. What a great gift it is to see. To be able to read, to watch a movie, to see your kids. To see the stars at night, take in all the sights in the day, and a thousand other things! Then there's the the other side of sight, insight which I'm also grateful for. To be able to look at myself and various life situations and see them for what they truly are. To be able to look inside and take an honest, fearless moral inventory of who I am. The possibility of a better future for us begins when we look at ourselves and are honest enough to see ourselves as we are. So what do you see today? What do you see in yourself?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Interesting economic indicator

A fascinating li'l article here by Claudine Zap entitled "The Lipstick Economy." Since I don't really wear lipstick (does chapstick count?! ; ), I was oblivious that this small piece of makeup wielded so much clout. But now I see, so read on and be informed...

"In this economy that's in the red, there may be one bright spot that comes in shades of pink, brown, and taupe: the lipstick index.

It's a financial indicator that's as true as that colorfast shade that stays on you, and doesn't get on your man. In bad times, lipstick sales soar while other sales sour. The term "Leading Lipstick Indicator" was coined by Leonard Lauder, chairman of makeup company Estée Lauder, after he noticed the trend during tough economic times. And what is indicated right now? All lips are pointing upwards.

After all, women don't need to think twice about plunking down eight bucks for a drugstore lipstick while passing on $800 Jimmy Choos.

History can be our guide here. As a Harvard professor explains: "The decade of the Great Depression, cosmetic sales increased 25 percent." After the downturn following Sept. 11, lipstick sales doubled.

Looks like we're on track for a similar lip-color craze with this latest economic funk. The New York Times notes that in the last few months, lipstick sales have shot up 40%, and even put out a list of favorites ranging in price from the budget-conscious $1.99 to the more pricey but still affordable $55. Preferred colors for this new economy? Red is out. Neutrals are in.
Maybe you can't put lipstick on a pig (FEED THE PIG came to mind! ; ) For those who have no clue what I'm talking about go to But you sure can stock up on the stuff during rough financial times."

Hmmm...I bet there are a lot of other economic indicators out there like this we wouldn't normally think of. Greeting cards come to mind. People will always buy a card, but just won't include a gift when the economy is depressed. Can you come up with any others?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Random questions....'s 12:43am and I'm way too tired to think deep thoughts, so here are some questions instead:

~ What was your favorite cartoon when you were growing up? Mine was the Flinstones....yaba daba dooooo! But to this day I still don't understand why Betty Rubble was never included in the Flintstone vitamins.

~ What kind of music do you listen to while you drive? Whatever I'm in the mood for.

~ When a stranger smiles at you, do you smile back? Yep! It doesn't hurt or cost you anything.

~ What is your favorite color of ink to write with? Black...what better color is there!

~ If you were a superhero, what would you call yourself? RomOsabe!

~ How many times do you hit the snooze button on a typical morning? Probably around 3x's.

Friday, November 7, 2008

This says it all....

Apparently this sign is somewhere in Chicago and people driving by have been stopping to sign it! Pretty cool, eh?! : ) Thanks, Joel for sharing it!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Another favorite word...

Yes, it's time for another one of my favorite words!!

To form an idea or conception of; to form an idea!

People, it's time to ideate!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Have no fear, it's just an election, people

This pretty much sums up my thoughts for today....

Have no fear
by John Fischer

Well it's finally here, and not a day too soon – election day for those of us in the U.S. of A. I hope you all exercise your great American privilege to get out and vote. Vote your choice, and vote your privilege, and please make sure that fear has nothing to do with it.

There has been a rash of fear mongering going on that should not command any of our attention. So many have fallen into the scheme of inciting fear as a motivation to get people to act. There is simply no room for fear in a believers life in any way, shape or form, and any Christian leader who would use these tactics over other Christians for whatever reason is violating the gospel of Jesus Christ and canceling out the hope that is to be our distinctive mark in the world – the evidence of the presence of Christ in our hearts.

Peter told us: "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:14-15). Notice how fear is contrasted with hope. You can see why it's so important. Our hope is the means by which we will have an opportunity to speak of the goodness of God in our lives. So if people look at us and see fear, they will only think one thing, "Who wants their God? They're more afraid than I am." If we are to always be ready to give an answer to anyone who might ask us the reason for our hope, then what we will say to those who ask us why we are so afraid?

This is just an election. It's not the end of the world. We have one of these every four years. And God is not in heaven with His fingers crossed, hoping for a certain turnout. God is over all of this. So go, vote proudly, watch what happens, and know that nothing escapes His constant care.

We are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in a broken world. Sure, voting and getting involved in the political process can be a small part of that—but we can’t use politics to abdicate ourselves of our responsibility to be loving, to fight injustice, to feed the hungry, to heal the sick and to constantly look to God’s word for his guidance about the important issues we face every day. When we limit ourselves to slandering or blindly following politicians, we fall far short of the plan God has for us in this world. When we put trust in a politician as our “only hope,” we are forgetting where our real hope lies. ~ Michael Geertsma

Monday, November 3, 2008

Like lilies of the field...

“The people who influence us the most are not those who detain us with their continual talk, but those who live their lives like the stars in the sky and “the lilies of the field”— simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mold and shape us. If you want to be of use to God, maintain the proper relationship with Jesus Christ by staying focused on Him, and He will make use of you every minute you live— yet you will be unaware, on the conscious level of your life, that you are being used of Him.” Oswald Chambers

I'm so inspired by this quote from Oswald Chambers. Every day of my life leads me more and more to the conclusion that I am merely a miniscule part of the beauty which is Christ. One star in the sky is not impressive, nor is one lily in a field. What’s impressive is a sky full of stars, and a field full of lilies. It’s these visions that are impressive because they more closely represent God’s greatness.

How I see it is that we are simply here to shine, to bloom, to become part of an image greater than we can ever imagine. The only way to accomplish this is to exert ourselves to death for the grace of others (Philippians 2:1-11). We often think of influence in small personal terms: “How can I influence other people? How do they influence me?” I think the most powerful and profound influence is community (or culture): “How can we influence neighborhoods? Cities? Society? The world?” Afterall, sustained influence is lived out in the context of authentic community.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It's a USO (unidentified strolling object)!

So what do you get when you cross a classic Airstream with a baby carriage? A Pramulator, of course! It’s made from hand-shaped aluminum panels and antique baby stroller parts.

Now that's what I'm talkin' about....nobody is gonna mess with this baby and his wheels! You gotta love it! lol Reminds me of the Jetsons!

Are you watching or playing the game?

"You know we can't get out of life alive!" motivational speaker Les Brown has been quoted as saying. "We can either die in the bleachers or die on the field. We might as well come down on the field and go for it!" Whenever you follow a dream, you're no longer sitting on the sidelines, watching life pass you by. You're on the field with the balls whizzing by, winning and losing and going back for another inning. So keep that in mind and cheer yourself on. Hold yourself in the kind of esteem you would afford to any player who stays in the game and plays with all his or her heart and soul! And if you're holding back, ask yourself what have you really got to lose and then go for it anyway!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween treats!

The most awesome pumpkin contest site ever!!!

Seinfeld on Halloween!

Look who it is!

Hey looks like Tony the Tiger is heading out for some trick or treatin'!!

And this is about as Halloween as I get! lol Have a happy n safe night! : )

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trust You

This song, "Trust You" from Brandon Heath's latest CD "What If We" is about the personal inner struggle that happens when we hold on to whatever it is that doesn’t allow us to seek after God. I think that trust has a lot to do with love. And I don’t think that you can really love someone unless you trust them. Ultimately, I don’t know that I would have the courage or strength to do half of what I do without the trust I’ve developed with God. He’s shown me through countless situations that I have no reason not to trust that He will keep me safe. I think it starts with being stripped and broken in His presence. This song is all about that process. /

Trust You

I can’t walk without watching where I’m going
I can’t speak without knowing what to say
I can’t love and have any hesitation
Cause I know that you don’t work that way

I can’t reach without something to offer
I can’t come now I am so ashamed
I can’t hold out from you any longer
Cause I know that you don’t work that way

I’m not gonna fight you anymore
Not gonna try to lock the door
You took your life and gave me yours
There’s no reason why
I shouldn’t trust you with mine

It’s never easy changing my direction
It’s so unnatural to loosen up my grip
Are you growing weary of all my good intentions
Cause I know that You don’t work that way


Some days
This wait upon my shoulder
Is my shame
I know I should know better
Cause you say
That I must now surrender
There’s no other way


(C) 2008 Brandon Heath, Jason Ingram, Chad Cates

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Falling into grace

This is such a great devo by one of my favorite writers, John Fishcer! In it he shares a really "new" and "fresh" way to see what GRACE truly means! I love it and of course had to share it!

"This weekend I got a new take on an old phrase. I had the privilege of being at a church that was born out of failure. Its pastor had a fall from grace forcing him to lose his high position as heir apparent to a 6,000-member congregation and requiring him to give back a very lucrative book deal, but out of the broken pieces of his life, a new thing has begun. I had the opportunity to participate in the new thing that now has gained a level of legitimacy as a new congregation about ready to move into its first building, and it was an eye-opener.

As a result of its unique beginning, this church has attracted people whose life histories have not exactly followed the good Christian housekeeping seal of approval. They are, many of them, rejects from other churches – dropouts due to their own falls from grace.

And as I pondered this, I wondered why it was the exception to the rule to have a church full of broken people. What are churches supposed to be anyway if not communities of those who need Jesus on a regular basis? Unfortunately in many places, church has become more like a group of people who are all fixed up instead of those who are broken. At least that's what we try to be… The First Church of All the Fixed Up People.

The problem with supposedly being fixed is that you have to do something with the knowledge that deep down inside, you know that you are not – that not everybody is telling the truth about themselves, yourself included, but because we are all "fixed," we can't face the truth. In this light, a fall isn't the worst thing that could happen. If it brings you in touch with the real truth about yourself, and a true understanding of God's grace because you need it so much, it could be the best thing that could ever happen to you.

All I can say is, the place where this pastor has fallen to is a much better place than where he was before he fell. And the more I think about this, the more I am convinced that we have the phrase all wrong. You don't fall from grace; you fall into grace. Grace is not up; grace is down. Grace is what you finally understand when you fall. In fact, until you're down and broken, you can't even know what grace is. Oh you may be able to define it, and illustrate it so that it sounds like you know what you're talking about, but you never know grace until it reaches you personally in the depths of your own brokenness. Thus a fall into grace is really a fall into your salvation. "

Fall from grace? Impossible. Grace is already down. Grace is what catches you. You can't fall from grace because there's nowhere else to fall. You're already in the arms of God.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Monday and crack me up silly!

These were too, too funny....the most ridiculous excuses for missing work! I still can't believe people actually think their bosses would believe them! Seriously, is this as inventive as people get!?? lol

The results come from careerbuilder. Thirty-one percent of the employers surveyed said they follow up with employees who call in sick, some require doctor's notes, others check in by calling, and a creepy percentage drives by the employee's home (eeewww, that's a bit over the top wouldn't you say?) Employers reported the most unusual responses which are below. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but really, most of these are ridiculous:

Employee didn’t want to lose the parking space in front of his house.
Employee hit a turkey while riding a bike. (I'm still cracking up over this one!)
Employee said he had a heart attack early that morning, but that he was “all better now."
Employee donated too much blood.
Employee’s dog was stressed out after a family reunion.
Employee was kicked by a deer. (After I was all better from the heart attack I had that morning, I still went into work despite the assault from the deer. Why can't there be more people like me? True martyrs! lol)
Employee contracted mono after kissing a mailroom intern at the company holiday party and suggested the company post some sort of notice to warn others who may have kissed him.
Employee swallowed too much mouthwash.
Employee’s wife burned all his clothes and he had nothing to wear to work. (Someone didn't pick up after himself now did he! Oh how many times I've been tempted to do this! ; )
Employee’s toe was injured when a soda can fell out of the refrigerator.
Employee was up all night because the police were investigating the death of someone discovered behind her house.
Employee’s psychic told her to stay home.

So which one(s) do you think are the worst or best excuses?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Talk about being a good steward!

A friend recently told me about a non-profit organization, Room to Read that's really making a positive impact in the world. So I thought I'd share it with you all. John Wood, Founder and CEO, launched Room to Read after a trek through Nepal. He visited several local schools and was amazed by the warmth and enthusiasm of the students and teachers, but also saddened by the shocking lack of resources. Driven to help, John quit his senior executive position with Microsoft and built a global team to work with rural villages to build sustainable solutions to their educational challenges. Founding Room to Read, John wove proven corporate business practices with his inspiring vision to provide educational access to 10 million children in the developing world.

Room to Read began working with rural communities in Nepal in 2000 to build schools and establish libraries. The organization's geographic reach expanded rapidly as significant needs and opportunities were identified in Vietnam (2001), Cambodia (2002) and India (2003). The Asian Tsunami in December 2004 provided a catalyst for entry into Sri Lanka followed shortly by Laos. In 2006, we expanded to our second continent by launching Room to Read in South Africa, and we began work in Zambia in 2007. In 2008, we began operations in Bangladesh and will commence program activities in 2009.

Please check out their website

Also check out John Wood's book Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. This book comes highly recommended. Another one to add to my ever growing book order!

Baseball trivia anyone?

Because THE best team is not playing in the World Series this year, I don't know about you but I'm just not really interested in watching the Phillies & Rays going at it (sorry, it's just not right!) So, I thought it would be fun to play some baseball trivia. So here you go (and no looking up the answers, k?)

1. What baseball team was the first to introduce numbers as a permanent part of their players' uniforms?

2. Under what weather conditions does a baseball travel the farthest?

3. Who threw baseball's last legal spitball?

When you're wearing corduroy pants and you walk really fast, you could spontaneously burst into flames at any moment. It's very dangerous, be careful! ~ My friend, Belinda

Friday, October 24, 2008

Whatta wise guy....

And seriously, I'm not being facetious either! This link is from Shawn Groves blog...I really do think "brilliant guy" is on to something.

Hmmm....just musing and wondering if I should have done what this guy is doing since I didn't have a handle or a clue on what I wanted to do with my life (especially since the career path I was on came to a very unexpected halt...a topic for another post), and so I ended up in college because it was expected and also it was suppose to be a default plan. I often wonder if I would have saved myself a whole lot of grief and pain (and yes, money too) I inevitably have gone through trying to find my course in life. After 4 years of a stellar college education, I walked away more aimless and more in debt than I had walked in!

But please don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-college by any means, because I do think it has a ton of value and merit for one's future. My degree did open a lot of doors that otherwise would have remained closed to me. And I do believe college is the right path for those that do know exactly or have some sense of what they want to do with their lives. I think for me I should have taken some time to re-group after losing my career path and direction rather than plunge right into school, hit or miss hoping for the answers. I know now I didn't want to deal with the pain and loss of identity. It was just too overwhelming and all I wanted was for someone, anyone to point me in the right direction and tell me what to do next. Well, obviously that's no way to lead and live a life, and as a result I found myself doing and working in positions I hated and resented, and of course blaming everyone else in the process (that was just so much easier to do.) Of course there were many mitigating factors from my upbringing that played into this scenario (only child, first one of the family to go to a top notch school, I was type A and driven, etc.), but I think it's primarily because I caved and allowed myself to be and do what others expected of me and never quite found myself in that given 4 year time period. For me college should have been postponed until I had a better sense of who I was and what God was asking of me. Unfortunately, I never put God into the equation at all until later on in my life and that's when things finally started coming together. Fancy that! ; )

Well I've rambled on long enough (thanks to those of you who've made it this far! lol) and obviously there are pro and con to both paths. I'm curious to hear what you all think on this topic...

"You have to know where you are before you can get where you want to go." ~ Nelson Searcy

A Sundry of Firsts

1. My husband and I will have the absolute privilege and joy to baptize one of our daughters (Dana) on Sunday, November 2nd at the 6:30pm 3F service We'd so love it if you could come and share in this special time with us. Dana is and has always been such a special blessing and gift. From the get go she's had a huge passion and thirst for Jesus and for others to know Him. She's been like my little mentor all along. I'll never forget her encounter with a neighborhood friend when she was just 5 years old....I was doing some yard work while Dana was playing with her friend and I overheard their conversation (okay, I eavesdropped, sue me I'm a mom already! lol):
Dana: "Do you go to church?"
Her friend: "Nah, our family doesn't do that stuff."
Dana: "So you don't know Jesus??! You need to know Jesus!"
Her friend: "Am I suppose to?"
Dana: "Yeah. I'll show you some pictures of Him from my Bible."

And now at 12, Dana has been talking about going into ministry....well, I should say she first wants to pursue acting and then ministry. Still, it just melts my heart to hear that!! And it's thanks to all the "fingerprints" from the people at Central that have cared enough to mold, shape, and refine her heart as well as our whole family's heart for Jesus. God is oh so good!!

And get this, the date we chose for her baptism appeared to be random, but come to find out one of her favorite and most impactful Sunday school teachers, the ever so lovely Ms. Brandy Baker, was baptized on the same date six years ago!! Talk about special!! : )

1. Me doing the PF Chang 1/2 Marathon in January!! I didn't think I'd be ready for it, probably because I purposely didn't focus or pressure myself to be ready, but somehow I'm fitter than I expected from my training. I'm averaging 6 + miles and will be uping that incrementally, so the hope is by January I should have no problem with 13 miles, barring any injuries, etc. We'll see....I'm cautiously optimistic and excited!!

1. I've discovered the "electric eyelash curler"!!! I'm so excited!! I had no idea such a wonder, miracle tool existed until the men's challenge weekend. Thank you, Stacey Gonzalez!! See what happens when you room with a bunch of women? You can't help but learn new things all the time! lol I know you're all laughing, but I bet you didn't know it existed either, did you?!

More firsts to come in future posts, but that's all for now! : )

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one!" ~ C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Top 5 Favs

Okay...heeere they are!

Fav Bands (at the moment & in no particular order):
~ Paramore
~ OneRepublic
~ Keith Urban
~ RED (their new album Innocence and Instinct will release 2/10/09 and it's soooo about time!!!)
~ Coldplay

Fav Songs from these bands:
~ Hallelujah
~ Goodbye Apathy
~ Days go by
~ Breathe into me
~ Clocks (just an incredible melody!)

Fav movies:
~ Gladiator
~ Dances with Wolves
~ Office Space
~ The Patriot
~ Out of Africa

Fav Trilogies:
~ Star Wars
~ Bourne movies
~ X-Men
~ Sister Hood of the Traveling Pants (I know there's only 2, but I'm sure there will be a 3rd)
~ Shrek

Fav TV Shows:
~ Any home design show
~ The Office
~ American Idol
~ Monday Night Football
~ Antiques Road Show (Yes, I hear you laughing....but it's really an interesting show)

Fav Classic TV Shows:
~ Seinfeld
~ Macgyver
~ Star Trek: The Next Generation
~ 90210
~ Little House on the Prairie (I always wanted to be Laura, but look like Mary when I grew up...well that didn't happen! lol)

Fav Restaurants:
~ Rigatony's
~ The Salt Cellar
~ Joe's BBQ
~ Applebee's
~ Pita Jungle

Fav Fast Food:
~ Chick-fil-A
~ Wendy's
~ Chipotle
~ Taco Bell
~ Subway

Fav Places I've Been in the World (:
~ Alaska
~ Nashville
~ Nantucket
~ Los Angeles
(My travel wish list: Australia, England, Ireland, Africa, and Greece)

As for the fav book category, that's too hard to narrow down for me, so I may just need to post a running list of recommended reads.

Monday, October 20, 2008

God and washing dishes

1 Lost Canyon retreat center
1 weekend of beautiful AZ weather
350 men (not sure if this is an exact count)
33 women servant ministers
4 meals prepared, cooked, and served
1400 washed plates, glasses, platters, and silverware
1 reason....Jesus!

This past weekend I had the absolute privilege to get to know and work alongside 32 incredible women to help serve the men from our church during their men's challenge up at Lost Canyon (a phenomenal Young Life facility in Williams, AZ. I honestly had no idea what to expect other than a lot of hard work, but God was really calling me to go. And go I did and 2 1/2 days later, it was nothing short of AMAZING and RENEWING (and okay, admittedly exhausting too! ; ) But God was just so God in all the obvious ways He revealed Himself through the people and beauty of His creation, it was just profound.

But He also showed up in the unexpected....while doing dishes! I was assigned for the weekend to be part of the pit crew....better known as dish washing and kitchen clean-up duty. Mind you, I had no complaints whatsoever about this assignment. I've always been more comfortable working behind the scenes (hmmm, maybe I shouldn't say that too loudly because God might just put me as a server next year!) In anycase, Brother Lawrence (a 17th century Christian monk who viewed cooking and kitchen duties as a way of practicing the presence of God) came to mind quite a bit as I was doing my tasks which made me very mindful and intentional to pursue and commune with God. Of his kitchen, Brother Lawrence wrote: "The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament."

And taking it a bit further, I've come to see the kitchen as a place that sharpens us. It's a place that wakes us up. Our senses become keener and more aware of not just the extraordinary, but more so of the ordinary. And it's in the ordinary that God reveals Himself the most if we'd just tune in and look! It's in that mindset that we taste with greater subtlety and see with more clarity. But there are also times when we're not as sensitive, intuitive, and just not as focused. We get distracted and numbed out to life. And just like in the kitchen that becomes most apparent....the sauce might burn, the bread won't rise, or the dishes may slip out of our hands. And likewise, if we don't stay focused on Him, we get distracted and lose our way only to bear the weight of getting "burned or hurt" to get our attention and draw us back to Him.

"In the very same way that the Chinese cook was able to sharpen his knives just by using them, we can sharpen our lives by living them with awareness, moment by moment in His presence." Seasons of your Heart

PS: My Top 5 will be coming soon....just postponed it because this had really been on my heart to share.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's a dog's life (or a cat's life)....

Of all the things I could be doing, like sleeping for instance, I'm sitting here surfing Craigslist checking out dog houses to be used for our outdoor kitten, Spanky Daniel. What I thought was going to be a ho hum, boring search process has actually turned out to be an extremely amusing and eye-opening experience! Who knew there were so many varied choices to choose from?! Seriously though, it doesn't take much to keep me entertained! So humor and indulge me already as I did put a lot of thought into each of the captions to the accompanying pic and ad.

Rufus doesn't live here anymore!

For the dog of steel...rotfl!!

Ooooh la, la....we have AC!


They failed to mention this is Barbie's toy poodle's home

So this is how dog house owners in Laveen apparently spell

The picture says it all. The dog in the background won't even go in it! lol

"Honey, stop the car!"

Oooh an exlusive in Scottsdale...all that's lacking is a mote!

Wow, ungrateful dog! Whelp, no blanket, no sale! Unless of course they're willing to throw in the birdbath too (kitty would like that!)

Okay, finally this one takes the cake....I'm crying, I'm laughing so hard...could also be the earliness of the morning too

Be sure to mention which one is your favorite!

Just discovered....

It's Blog Action Day today!! No foolin'! Check this out....

"Support the viral campaign, Blog Action Day, that empowers literally thousands of bloggers all over the world to step up and talk about global issues. Last year it was the environment, today it is poverty.

Obviously, working in a word of mouth department, we understand the power of people talking. We are aware of people’s reliance on the internet for their information. Many of these people turn to multiple blogs daily for this information. If someone reads 5 different blogs a day, and 4 of them have a post about Blog Action Day, they will take notice. This year, with a goal of 20,000 bloggers, there will be a voice that cannot be ignored.

Unfortunately, this is not a topic that lends to light reading. Each year, almost 50% of the world’s population lives on the equivalent of less than $2.50 per day, and the divide between the rich and poor is exponentially growing in the wrong direction. In 1960, the 20% of the world’s people in the richest countries had 30 times the income of the poorest 20% — in 1997, 74 times as much (Global Issues).

The issue of poverty is a world issue. It is not something that is just occurring in third world countries. It is prevalent in every city of every country in the world. What better time than now to reach out and make a difference. We believe that it all begins with education. Learn about the issues, and share that knowledge with others. Do a simple Google search for “poverty” and a wealth of information is at your fingertips.

From there, you can begin making a difference. It is true, all of us can make a difference on an individual level, but think of the difference we can make when we unite around an important social cause."

For more information on Blog Action Day and 88 ways you can help, visit:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just as guilty

Jesus set a guilty woman free from her accusers by showing that the people who were judging her were just as guilty of sin as she was. "All right, stone her," He said to the religious leaders who were ready with stones to deliver the judgment she deserved. "But let those who have never sinned throw the first stones!" (John 8:7 NLT) This incident reveals something very important about our purpose as followers of Christ. Our job is not to nail judgment on people but instead to identify with them. The Pharisees and religious leaders were trying to separate themselves from this sinful woman they had found in the act of committing adultery. By judging her, they'd be able to feel much better about themselves. But Jesus put a stop to their little charade by putting them in the same boat with the woman they were accusing (I love how Jesus operates!) They were just as guilty.

It is so tempting to think that we're better than other people. We love soap operas and reality shows where everyone's life is so messed up, we can feel better about our own lives. But whenever you start to separate yourself from sinners, you forget that it was your sin that brought you to Christ in the first place. The Gospel comes best from people who identify with the sins of others, because they have become so familiar with their own sin.

The self-righteous leaders were convicted by the presence of sin in their own lives, "they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest." (John 8:9 NLT) which makes sense. The oldest would be the ones most aware of their own sinfulness. There comes a time in your life when you can't fool yourself anymore. There were probably a few young, arrogant idealists who hung on as long as possible, but even they had to finally give in to the truth about their own guilt and drop their stones.

Christians are constantly trying to separate themselves from a world that Jesus wants them in. Jesus wants us to see our own sin and not make such a big fuss over everyone else's. Our sin nature is our connection with everyone else who struggles in life, our salvation is our hope, and the Good News of the Gospel is our message. Anyone can spot a mile away the hypocrisy of proclaiming a gospel about the forgiveness of everyone's sins but your own.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Whatta cool concept!!

The general idea is to raise money and give it away quickly and easily to artists who just need some cash to get started on their projects.

From The Federation of Students and Nominally or Unemployed Artists website (pleeease be sure to watch the video clip too!):
The FSNUA aims to re-inspire creative thinking and action in everyday people by removing a small barrier and providing encouragement. We give small, unsecured grants in the form of $10-$60 for creative projects thought up on the spot by everyday people. In the past this has included a merchant marine, two 10 year old girls, a US soldier on leave from Iraq, an accordion player from Alaska, and around 40 others. We funded their new paintings, drawings, knitting, and photojournalism projects, and the repair of one accordion. Projects that may not have happened had they not come across 10 people in the park to support and inspire the thought.
Beyond the small amount of money, the project encourages people to see themselves as something other than workers or consumers even if it just for the length of time required to apply for the FSNUA grant. We also hope to re-inspire dormant desires to create while presenting an example of generosity without an ulterior motive.

Personally, I think this is an incredible thing! It’s hard to hear about people wistfully talk about some kind of art they would be doing if they could just afford X, Y or Z. It’s also a great picture of how to show love to our neighbors and community.

Wow! What the church could do with an idea like this!! What do you think?

Friday, October 10, 2008

A beeeautiful day in the neighborhood...

So many things I never knew about our red cardigan clad neighbor friend! Check this out
15 reasons Mr. Rogers was best neighbor ever -

I think these may be my favorites from the list:
2. He made thieves think twice. According to a TV Guide piece on him, Fred Rogers drove a plain old Impala for years. One day, however, the car was stolen from the street near the TV station. When Rogers filed a police report, the story was picked up by every newspaper, radio and media outlet around town. Amazingly, within 48 hours the car was left in the exact spot where it was taken from, with an apology on the dashboard. It read, “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it.”

8. He could make a subway car full of strangers sing. Once while rushing to a New York meeting, there were no cabs available, so Rogers and one of his colleagues hopped on the subway. Esquire reported that the car was filled with people, and they assumed they wouldn't be noticed.
But when the crowd spotted Rogers, they all simultaneously burst into song, chanting "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood." The result made Rogers smile wide.

Seriously, whatta guy!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Squash : (

I feel horrible!!! I can't believe this happened...I was walking my very hyper beagle this morning who was jumping and pulling all over the place. Needless to say, I was distracted by her and wasn't watching where I was stepping and the next thing I knew....squash, I stepped on a baby frog/toad. It just makes my heart hurt and I cringe thinking about it...poor li'l guy! If it makes me sad, I can only imagine how God feels....sigh...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Being afraid to use our gifts

I gotta tell you I like Jon Acuff’s writing a lot. His blog Stuff Christians Like has been one of my favorites of the past few months. One of posts which I've included below for your reading pleasure talks about the fear a lot of people have of using their gifts which I think some of us can all relate to.

"I saw Maya Angelou one time on TV. (If the question is, “were you watching the Martha Stewart show?” The answer is sadly enough, “yes.”) Angelou is perhaps America’s most treasured living poet and is known the world over for her ability to write and speak.

What was interesting about the short interview was that at one point in her life Angelou did not speak. In fact, from the ages of 7-13, she was a voluntary mute. Not a word escaped her lips, even when an elementary teacher tried to slap her face hard enough to make her speak.

You see, Angelou was molested as a child. When the man passed away, she thought she had killed him with her voice. So from that point on she did not speak.There are probably a million good ideas within the sadness of this tale but the one that struck me most was the lesson about gifts.

Angelou’s strongest passion, the thing she would call her reason to be, is her words. She is a public speaker, an orator that has moved presidents and even nations at times. And yet for six years she did not share a single word.

Her gift was stolen. Perhaps only temporarily, but it was stolen nonetheless. Maybe you’ve got a gift too that has been stolen. I think that happens more than we like to admit. Maybe there’s some hurt associated with that gift. You’re a musician that could never please your father so you gave up the piano. An artist whose work caused pain somehow so you gave up the paint brushes. I don’t know how it happened to you, but because I write this blog, I’ll tell you how it happened to me.

I used to use my words to interact with girls online. I used to post funny things, or insightful things in hopes that my approval addiction would get fed in some way. I even started sending out long, bibly emails to friends from church in hopes that they would tell me how holy I was. I misappropriated my greatest gift in a selfish desire to feed my massive ego and numb my wounds.

After a while, I realized what I was doing and decided to never do that again. The easiest way was to simply stop writing. The way I could control it without turning to God was to quit writing. I might have scribbled in a journal, but the swirling and twisting storm of words that seethed inside remained silent. My gift was stolen. There were too many thorn bushes planted by my one talent. I didn’t want to be anywhere near it.

I eventually couldn’t contain it any longer. The words inside me felt like soldiers dying inside a submarine that was running out of air. I asked God if I could write again. I asked him if he was cool with me writing, given my less than proud past. The answer was pretty simple. I felt like he said, “Do you know what I do when you write? I sing.”

That's the truth. I think we know that when we use our gift to hurt ourselves or others we understand that satan is winning. (I just gave him the middle finger of grammar by lower casingYay me!) But I think satan wins too when we refuse to use our gift at all. He loves to attack our gifts that matter most, the most. And when we lock them tightly in a chest under our bed, he wins.

So here’s my blog. And there’s your gift, waiting to be used. Don’t let it be stolen. You might have damaged it and bruised it in the past. Someone close to you may have tried to snuff it out.

But it’s there. Tired of being silent, desperate to sing."

So have any of you had similar struggles? Other thoughts?

Shine some hope

I know we were made to shine. There are colors and nuances yet to be exposed in all of us. We hide ourselves to fit into the darkness that has wrapped around this world, but every now and then light reflects off our surfaces and the beauty we were created with is revealed.

As Believers we're to be voices of hope, encountering culture and relevantly communicating the purposes of God for all humanity. Today people are not looking for a hell to get out of or a heaven to get into, but a reason to live and to die, a purpose. The world must know that this is what the God of the living offers. Those who have come to know Jesus must see the hope of God in people. Just as God believes in us more than we believe in Him, we must believe in people more than they may believe in themselves. Hope is not something new to believe in, but a new life as it was intended to be lived. This hope is in a life before death, not just after.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Shower

So what is it about the shower? Have you ever asked yourself this? Why does so much creativity, “pile sorting” and convergent thought crystallize in the shower? Is it because I can keep my hands busy with rote activity and allow my mind to wander? Is it the steam? The organic pomegranate shower gel? The shower is nearly as important as prayer/meditation to keeping my brain organized and the creative activity prioritzed and moving forward. Now if I could only get all this creativity recorded so I don't forget it once I get out of the shower!

So what about you? Where's your best thinking zone?

Next blog post....So what is it about driving in the car?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How cool is this??!!

I LOVE wordle....
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.

Book of Matthew

Sinners in the hands of an angry God

Martin Luther's 95 Theses

Watch out for those random questions....

This was the funniest thing (because it happened to my husband and for those of you who do know my husband will understand why), but at the same time incredibly sobering about the world we're living in. So here's what happened....

My husband went to give blood the other day in which he's pretty familiar with the drill and questions asked since he does this on a regular basis. Upon finishing up and munching on a snack, the tech proceeds to ask him one final random question. "Sir, are you still male?" To which my husband replied, "WHAT??!! Yeah, of course I'm still male!" The tech apologetically added "I'm so sorry and I know it's rather an unusual question, but we're now required to ask if males are still males and females still females." Yikes!! So be forewarned the next time you give blood! I'm still not sure if I should laugh or cry....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bicker, bicker, bicker

Bicker, bicker, bicker
Oh how my kids love to bicker
And drive this mama mad!!

Yep, it was one of those mornings today, but life is better now that they're off to school. Heaven help the moms that home me the willeys just thinking about that!! More power to 'em, but I could never do what they do!

Bad Face Day

Okay, I know you've all experienced "bad hair" days, but have you ever had a "bad face" day? And I'm not talking giant zits right in the middle of your nose and forehead that seem to magically appear overnight or that your makeup isn't right either. What I mean is that everything seems normal but you just don't feel your face looks right. Something is off and amiss. It's hard to explain, but I'm sure you've had those days that no matter what, you just look like poo! It just happens. Somedays I look in the mirror and I think I look good. The next day, I do everything the same, but when I look in the mirror something is off, but I can’t pinpoint why. So that's when I conclude I'm having a baaad face day and avoid mirrors like the plague! It's much easier that way and if someone should ask how my day is going, I simply say "I'm having a bad face day" and most people give you that "nod" of knowing and nothing more needs to be said. Completely uncomplicated.... ; )

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rethinking Obedience

Paul says, "God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him." Philippians 2:13

Isn't it true that most of us don't connect obedience with pleasure? I think we're used to obeying out of necessity or fear. As kids I think we all had parents who made us obey "because I said so!" It's certainly not wrong for parents to expect obedience from their children or bosses to expect cooperation and productivity from their employees. But I don't think it's the best definition or the highest motivation for obedience to God. In my mind the key element missing is the "want to" factor. This takes the "ought to, have to, better do it or else God will zap you" element out of it. It then elevates obeying God to a level of joyful response to all that He's done for you. Obedience isn't something you have to manufacture. Rather I believe it's something you need to cultivate and then activate because the desire is already present within you. When you put this into action it's better known as "serving the Lord with gladness." Anything else really is outward compliance. It's sort of like the little boy who misbehaved and was told by his mother to go and sit in the corner. After a few minutes she called to him from the other room, "Are you still sitting down?" He said, "Yeah, I'm sitting down on the outside, but I'm standing up on the inside." This may look like obedience, but it's really nothing more than outward compliance without the inward response of eager and joyful obedience. How times are we sitting in our corners with that mindset toward God?!! Yep, joyful obedience...just another way of dying to self!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Worship inspires worship

A friend recently posted this on his blog and I thought I'd share it here with you..."Worship is a learned behavior. Worship is modeled by the saints who have gone before us and the worshippers who surround us. When we sing in church, the new believer learns from the person caught up in passionate praise standing next to them. When we dish out chicken noodle soup in a soup kitchen, the old believer is reminded to give their lives as an offering. Just like Jesus said, as he held the dirty heel of Peter in one hand and a towel in His other, "I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you."

Indeed, worship does inspire worship!

Misplaced keys

So why is it that I never misplace my keys when I'm not in a hurry?? I thought it a worthy question....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I've realized lately how easily we all can be seduced into thinking and speaking negatively. Negativity is seductive, there's a meth-like rush of energy and power in anger, snideness, gossiping, and cruelty (it's sick actually, isn't it?) Sadly my grandmother fell into that trap, and most of her conversation was loaded with tearing down something or someone. Sometimes it was easier to join her and feel a common bond of anger, a closeness in shared negativity. Wow, those seeds take root so easily and I want to tear them out as easily as they come! Yikes, it's so easy to get sucked into that vortex. But when I focus on living a life of gratitude then my heart opens. And when my heart is open, God enters in. I had a craving last night and this morning to read Ephesians and when I read 5:18 I was halted by these words: '...making music to the Lord in your hearts". I need to fill myself with the melody of life, the harmony of love...a heartsong. I'm going to use that word as a prompt whenever my thoughts turn away from ones of Love, from ones that bring life.

Evil talk kills three people: the speaker, the listener, and the one who is spoken of. (Talmud, Erachin 15a) But the same applies in the reverse: speaking favorably of another, accentuating his or her positive side, will aid him to realize himself in the manner that you have defined him.

Yes, YOU!!

Pretend an angel suddenly appears before you and says, "You are God's favorite". How does that make you feel? Hopefully, pretty dang special, because you are God's favorite!!! : )

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Check this out!

Find Out the #1 Song the Day You Were Born here...

Hmm...So I wonder if it counts if I've never ever heard the song before?? Who on earth is Freddie and the Dreamers and their song "I'm Telling You Now"!? However if I add on a few more years, my song would be "Aquarius" by the Fifth Dimension which I'm familiar with at least!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday has gone from somber to uber somber...

It's just been an off day with sports today for me. First Yankee Stadium (a few posts below) and now this Giselle Bundchen better be nursing Tom Brady back to health prontO (yes, yes I know he's out for this season, but I can still hope he might make a miraculous comeback...humor me already!)

"The Office" and my hopes!

Seven things I hope will happen on "The Office" for season 5 (in no particular order, of course! ; )

~ Michael will date Holly (and in a later season actually marry her).

~ Phyllis will run for some sort of public office after her party success.

~ Jim will, or will have, propose/d to or married Pam.Karen will get the position now vacated by both Jan and Ryan.

~ Dwight and Angela will get back together as if nothing ever happened to Sprinkles.

~ Oscar will host a Pampered Chef party after Dwight starts an online beet jelly company.

~ Ryan will be assigned to Dunder Mifflin by a temp agency yet again.

A Tower of Yes

Each Yes of mine I added to a tower of others.
With a deceptively sturdy base it as so easy to add another yes-can.
It began with a foundation I could build upon.
It was so simple to add one more seemingly small, aluminum weight yes.
Yes, I can do that. Yes, I will call.
Yes, I will help. Yes, I can listen.
Yes, I will be there, do that, jump that hoop, ride that rail, hoist that sail, drive that car.
Yes. And one more. And another.
But it got hard to reach the top of the pile.
I stretched.
The stack grew higher
And higher and harder to balance.
And then one inevitable day a final yes toppled into another.
And another.
And another.
And suddenly with a rush and roar the cans of yeses tumbled down.
A waterfall of crashing cans falling in a metallic scream that finally echoed into silence.
And then...I heard the calling of the sparrow, and the singing of the crickets, the soft brush of an angel’s wing.
And sitting there in my pile of Yes rubbish I could hear God’s whisper, His voice beckoning, asking me to follow him.
I only needed to answer with one single, solitary,
Sacred and holy,
Joyful and liberating,
Life-giving, spirit-filling
Yes. Oh yes.
~ Anne Gough / I love the imagery of the cans...really helps me to remember to keep my "yeses" in balance! ; )