Good Things Out There

I heard Lysa speak a little over a year ago. Part of what appealed to me about her was how she started her talk by detailing the ways she felt she didn't fit in -- but she still totally seems to have it all together! So I really appreciated this post that seemed to resonate with many women. Later, Lysa taught some valuable lessons about Kung Fu Panda to her family (actually, if I remember right, her family came up with them and she just listed them for us).

Vann has a great illustration of how little it can take to be huge in someone's life. And, he also shows some questionable theology from a coloring book.

I've had this family's son, Josh, in Sunday school, but until they showed this video, I didn't know the incredible story behind his name.


A Slice of Humble Pie

offspring: n. small people entrusted to a person to prevent excess pride or self-assurance

I have been using this as a workout book. LOVE IT, for the record. 30 minute workouts -- cardio AND resistance. A wonderful 'mom exercise book' for busy summers when lengthy time away is a luxury.
Ashley must not be so pleased with the results. Yesterday I was finishing up the workout and she said, "How many weeks are you supposed to do this?"
"Well, it's a 10-week program, I've stopped and started, but I'm now on week 7."
Gazing at me skeptically as I crunch my late-30's body on an exercise ball she asks, "Soooooo... in 3 more weeks you're supposed to have a celebrity body?????"
So, maybe not so much.
Yesterday morning Ashley got up bright and early and traveled with the youth group to Six Flags, so only Riley and I went to the last swimming lessons. He has already expressed his great disdain for helping me put sunscreen on my back, and I have already expressed my great disdain for allowing non-family members to put sunscreen on my back. I'm bigger, so I win.
I was warning Riley on the way to swim lessons that since Ashley was gone he was going to have to help me. Involuntarily, he made a classic "BLECH" sound with a little bit of a wretching noise AND full body shudder. Laughing, I said, "Is it really THAT bad???" In disgust, he shot back, "Mom! It's old person back!" Immediately I had an image of a late-70's woman squeezing her size 18 body into a size 12 swimsuit and the overhang that would result from the back. This is how my son views me from the back.
We found some spray sunscreen and made do.



I have an announcement to make:

I will not be purchasing what is, in these-here parts anyway, the latest and greatest, evidently. Yes, I will survive this season WITHOUT a giraffe-print purse.
'Cause see? You're already carrying one. Oh, you aren't? Well then your sister is. And your mother. And that lady over there. And that other one over there. Of course, they all look TOTALLY different with their multi-colored accents. Notice the VAST differences in the following:



See? Completely different look all. So, besides the fact that it. has. been. done. and. done. again -- do they always have to use the WHOLE giraffe to make the purse? Are there no petite giraffe purses? Right now my purse is about half the size of these -- and it's one of the larger purses I carry (of course it has a convenient feature where it holds virtually nothing, yet still weighs 48 pounds).

So, I just needed to go on record as bucking the trend! No giraffe-prints for me! To those of you that are currently enjoying your giraffe-sized giraffe-print purse: enjoy! I'll stick with my straw. That is all.


Enough About What YOU Think ...

:-) Now on to what I think! So Jana said, "I would love to hear your thoughts about 'more with fewer'." (and if you haven't been back in a while, go check out Kelly's salsa recipe in the comments, too -- yum!) Bless Jana's heart. You know those are the words to open the floodgates! 'Cause you know I have been thinking about it, and with my thoughts come lots and lots of words.

However, I am also very curious about the group she mentioned: YouthWave. Looks worth looking into!

So my thoughts... truthfully, my initial thoughts were, "I can't make that work; looks good on paper, but...; maybe in a different season of life..." Then I started examining why I was making such excuses. And the primary reason is that it will take an enormous shift in my current lifestyle (which means a fairly substantial shift in my family's lifestyle). First, let me mention that before Randy said that, he wrote the word 'mentoring' on the white board behind him. I like that word, believe it to be very scriptural and godly, and like to see mentoring in action -- particularly when someone is mentoring ME! But the reality is that I hesitate to intentionally put a plan in place to mentor someone else (more later).

So, continuing with my excuses, I started thinking, "Well, what do I DO that I could mentor someone else...? I've quit my job, so I'm not in that type of lifestyle any more..." It didn't take too long to realize that... well, I AM married. I did survive my first year of marriage. Wonder if there's a new bride out there that would like to walk this journey with me for a year? Also, I'm a mom. I survived the first years and the diaper years -- it wasn't pretty, but the three of us made it out alive which was questionable on some occasions. Wonder if there is a mother of young kids out there who wonders if the never-ending laundry and constant chatter are all there is that would like to walk this journey for a year? I purposefully SEEK OUT godly women who are further down the road than I am, but not everyone does. Why don't I seek someone out who isn't quite as far down the road?

And, to be honest, this is where I get hung up. I will pour out my soul to the 'text box' on blogger for all of you people to read across the world, but to approach an actual human and invite them to 'walk with me' for a bit -- that's tough for me. AND I don't take that invitation lightly or casually. This would require time. Actual time out of my life (and theirs). And we all know that's what none of us have enough of. However, what if I did less of the 'mega-ministries' -- you know, the less with more ministries that I feel obligated to help and support. I may have more time for the fewer. But the ministry leaders of the 'mega-ministries' would frown upon me for not helping. And that would hurt my feelings. Seriously, these are the struggles of the tender-hearted people pleasers (actually, I don't think ANYONE sees me as that, but somewhere in my heart I'm all of those things).

But I'm not going to let the idea drop. I'm going to pray and pray and pray about it. What do you think it will look like on my end? I have no idea (seeing a 'vision' -- of a decorated home or a grown child or a mentoring relationship I haven't made yet -- is one of my biggest handicaps. It absolutely doesn't work for me). But I do feel God calling me to go 'deeper in' -- and not alone.

Oh -- and, of course, it should go without saying that I believe I am living with 2 of my best mentoring projects (as long as they will let me walk with them...!)



I confess that I, lover of words, found the first few minutes of this video to be a little bit blah, blah, blah -- but love the "left hook" and have LOVED going back and hearing the beginning again knowing the "left hook". Enjoy.

(Yes, another one many folks have gotten via email).


What Do You Think?

First, I have FINALLY posted my salsa recipe here. Bookmark it!

Troy and I and 7 others from our congregation went to ZOE Texas this weekend. I have so much to say about that, but one particular thought keeps flashing in my brain. Randy Harris was talking about what makes a missional church, a healthy church, a functional church. I think he was talking about that elusive word 'evangelism' (really, I was listening, but I heard a LOT, and a LOT that was good, but a LOT on the same subject -- I don't remember how he got to this point, but I can't forget the point). He finally said, "I know I don't get to go back and do it all again, but if I did -- if I could do it all over again, I would do more with fewer. I would go deeper in with fewer people and hold them accountable. I would invite them to join me on my walk -- going deeper in. Then I would tell them to do that with 4 or 5 other people."

Doing more with fewer. He also pulled out that Jesus spent his energies on 12 -- and still had one betray him. (And, because he is Randy Harris, pointed out a youth minister he knows who claims he must be doing really well since his youth group is down to 12 people and one of them wants to kill him! :-) Certainly not the American way -- we are more prone to do less with more, Super-sizing and bulk-buying our way into uselessness. But I think he may be onto something.

This morning a guest preacher told the story of the book, "Twelve Mighty Orphans". It's more about their coach than the orphans -- a rag-tag team of kids that Rusty Russell trained into a championship football team that never won the championship. As he was unfolding the story, Troy leaned to me and whispered, "He did more with fewer."

More with fewer. What do you think?


Catching Up!

I have enjoyed being here a little more than previously, but I'm still a little bit of a slacker. Turns out, this week is just as busy as most school weeks! I am still teaching swimming lessons -- and enjoying it much more than years past. I've taken on a pre-lifeguarding-type class. I actually have to do a little preparation for that. I am SO the old person! I don't remember what I was ever supposed to do as a lifeguard and what the regulations were -- and it was so long ago it isn't still a regulation anyway. I have been time-traveling in my head as I remember some lifeguarding details. Stories soon.

The kids are also taking lessons while I teach. We just have a high time at the pool! We also are doing some traveling soon, having college kids at our house as soon as we return, mix and match in some teaching (yes, the book of Revelation to 4th graders -- no sweat!) and interpreting and singing at church. Your basic life, you know.

So, all the lifeguard talk has made me think of my first summer job. What was your first summer job? Would you ever do it again? A favorite memory from that job?


Another Video!

I have ONE friend who must never look at the videos people send her via email. She hadn't seen Charlie biting Harry's finger -- wasnt' she missing a good laugh? -- and says she hasn't seen this, even though I have received it via email no fewer than 6 times. It's worth another watch.

What would your cardboard say? Are you ready to share and testify?


Happy Father's Day

Years ago I wrote this for Father's Day. Today is my first Father's Day without my Max. Wish I could hear his voice one last time. Wondering when the last time I heard his voice actually was -- maybe it was this day. I hope so -- because I know he told me he loved me.

This morning in my Sunday school class one of the 4th graders wanted to pray for our dads to have a happy Father's Day. Then one student reminded me -- truly, I just skipped it in my brain -- that her daddy is already in heaven with Jesus. He has been for 7 years (I think, 7? 8?) So we prayed for daddies on earth, and daddies in heaven, and uncles and grandpas who love us when our daddies are in heaven. My interpreter friend who lost a husband last year said she would simply be unable to interpret today. I wasn't able to stay around after church long enough to hug her neck. And the Dobbs family counts their blessings of children and grandchildren on Father's Day, when John Robert won't be here to wish John a happy Father's Day.

Even when things are going well in MY house, it seems that every year there is more pain than celebration around Mother's Day and Father's Day. It can be so hard. Father's Day is so much more special to me than Mother's Day -- because I like to celebrate my Perfect Father, as well. Without Him, the hurt of this day and this world would be forever. Without Him, the blessings of this world would be shallow and temporal.

May you find His blessings in a Happy Father's Day, or a just-surviving Father's Day!


What Will You Do?

A local "religious leader" (in quotes because he's really some sort of political/ cult-type leader) has predicted today as the end of the world. I don't want to mention him by name and send the Googlers to my blog. He was on 20/20 recently and made this proclomation. In looking for an article to link you to go read all about it yourself, I could only find his prediction for the end of the world that was to come in September of 2006, not THIS end of the world.

So, it's almost 3:30 and so far, so good. We got tickled today at swimming lessons (it was the last day and some of us were a little giddy to see some particular swimmers move along) talking about it. I mentioned that if the world did end today, I would be really sorry that I put that $100 in my gas tank and didn't go eat a good meal or buy a cute outfit so I could go out in style. Someone else mentioned they would be mad that they wasted their time walking today. I had a yummy homemade cookie later just in case he's right. If not, I'll work out a little harder tomorrow.

The glorious, grace-filled part of this is that I can't think of anything I would really make sure to DO if today was the end of the world. God has taken care of all that needs to be done. Now I can rest and eat an extra cookie, steak, or ice-cream sandwich while I wait.


We Love It

I know you've already seen this at least a million times, but we quote it all the time at our house. Always cracks me up!


How Many Ways Am I a Dork? Let Me Count the Ways...

Yesterday was a somewhat (using 'somewhat' as in -- not really) historical day for me: I saw my first ever Indiana Jones movie. Yes, I, a child of the '80's, had never seen Harrison Ford crack a whip until yesterday. Side note to my friend who said they had trouble buying into the last scene: so you were completely on board for the red ants dragging the guy away and the 5 people going over 3 different Niagra-sized waterfalls in an aluminum fishing boat unscathed? It's your 7 bucks... I HAVE seen Indiana Jones run away from a giant rock or ball or something-or-other, and I do know that Sean Connery is his father and that he hates snakes. I've got all that. Just never seen a movie.

So, to show how ignorant I am of much pop culture, I started thinking about the many, many things that I have never seen:

  • Any of the other Indiana Jones movies
  • The only 'Star Wars' movie I have seen is 'Star Wars'. When I was 7, the year it came out.
  • Never seen an episode of "S*x and the City" (nor the movie)
  • Never seen an episode of "Desperate Housewives"
  • Never seen an episode of "The Office"
  • Only watch 'American Idol' the first few weeks with their auditions on location. After that, meh.

So, mock me if you will. I'm just not that into it. More than anything, I think I've figured out, screens -- movie or TV -- are not my way to relax. They're okay in short segments, but to sit for 2 hours makes me twitch. EXCEPT in front of a computer screen. It plays into my ADD. I can do research for a writing project. I can pick out a paint color for my son's bedroom. I can Facebook with the best of 'em. I can read every blog in existence. Whatev. But I don't do plots well anymore. Especially for action stuff. Life is tense enough. If I have to sit for two hours, make me laugh, but don't make my neck hurt from squinching up my shoulders (no, Indiana Jones didn't do that.)

So, my perfect way to relax was pretty much this afternoon: in my pajamas, in my bed, laptop on my lap, punching lots of buttons on the laptop to let it make me crazy, then happy at my whim. That was fun.


Question For You...

I keep saying that I steer clear of politics here, but keep tossing them out. However, I think this is a fairly apolitical question about a political situation.

If you, evidently like a few of my friends, have had your head under a rock, or in files, or in a gradebook/ classroom, the last few weeks, let me catch you up a little. Scott McLellan, press secretary for President Bush from 2003-2006, recently released a book criticizing Bush on his actions surrounding the war, as well as several other aspects of his presidency. This comes after he left the position under amiable terms, to the praise of President Bush.

My question for you: Aside from whether or not you agree with his accusations, would you be interested in hiring Scott McLellan now, knowing he may, at any point in the future, change his tune about you -- and declare it publicly? Or do you think you would like to reward him for calling a spade a spade?


Must See Video

Gather the children 'round. They may learn something. And YOU will love it! That's a promise. Roxanne reminded me of this song after I mentioned that I heard the inaugural 'Love Shack' at the pool today -- must hear it at least once a week at the pool!


Sunday Blessings

It's been a busy weekend, one that I approached with a horrible attitude because if there is one thing that is NOT lacking (nor needed) in my life, it's 'busy'. But busy came, and God sprinkled blessings all throughout it. Now I am trying to stay awake long enough to just post a quick, "Thank you, Lord, for the blessings of this weekend," here before my nap (one of the ENORMOUS blessings of the weekend!)

  • Time with people I don't ordinarily get to talk to -- people who speak godly words of encouragement and wisdom over me. "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17
  • Time with dear friends, laughing until my cheeks hurt and my eyes wept. I don't do that often enough.
  • Time with my family, having fun and enjoying their sweet faces.
  • Riley asking me a deep question about future boy/girl relationships, his thoughtful face as I answered, and his, "That's really good advice, Mom," response.
  • Air conditioning.
  • Hugs for new friends with teary eyes, prayers for hurting folks, encouragement for my precious friend struggling to find 'new normal' after the death of a spouse. Privileges and blessings all.
  • My Sunday afternoon nap.

May you find His blessings all throughout your day and weekend!

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