Monday, July 30, 2007

Soaking up the Sun

Hey to all of my bloggity friends. All two of you. I just wanted to let you know that I'm on vacation this week. Whoo. Hoo. A real life vacation. There is a beach and sand and everything. The sun has even been out shining away. Which means that I will be out trying to improve my appearance by getting one of those tan thingys. Or burn thingys, whichever happens first.

But actually, I have made a commitment to the sunscreen this time around. Normally when I go to the beach, I think I can handle the sun. I laugh in the face of that blazing ball of fire and all of it's scorching rays. The first day out I oil up with my SPF 4 tanning oil. Which never really works out for me. I end up a little sizzled. Now those youthfull days are over. Today I lathered SPF 15 all over and then topped that off with some SPF 30 spray. I think I'm good to go. No burns yet. I can't speak the same for some of the people I am with though. They thought forgoing the sunscreen would be a good idea. It indeed turned out not to be. Can anyone say lobster? (I won't mention any names, but his name starts with a Ron and ends in a nie).

I just wanted to let you know that there would be the absolute same amount of blogging activity going on around here that there normally is. Once a week. This post counts for that I think.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Song lyrics are not my specialty

I know some people have been blessed with certain gifts. Some people can sing, some can dance, some can cook, some can lead, some can write. I'm not real sure what my gift is, but I am certain of what it is not.

I am one of those people who unkowingly make up lyrics to songs.

Garth Brooks (he's a country music singer if you've never heard of him) came out with a little song called "I'm Shamless". This song was popular around the time I was 12 years old.

Now at 12, I had very serious things on my mind. Things like, "Does Steven know that I am in love with him" and "Maybe mom will let me finally have a telephone in my room". One of the most important things on my mind was the upcoming monumentous occassion of shaving my legs for the first time. My mom told me that I couldn't shave until I was 13. So throughout my 12th year on this planet, shaving was number 1 on the "all the things I can do when I'm 13 list".

When I heard Garth's song for the first time, I thought it was absolutely brilliant. I would sing along with it to the top of my lungs. I thought it was great that he would write a song about such a great event that was about to happen in my own life. He wrote a song about shaving.

"I'm Shaaaviiiin" is what I would sing and what I was convinced the song said.

Later, I realized those weren't really the lyrics. But at the time they made perfect sense to me. Now, at 26, I'm not really sure why anyone would write a song about shaving or why I looked forward to it so much.

There was another song when I was in high school. I can't remember who sang it, but one of the lines said "running around with your cheetah". I mean, I thought it was the coolest thing that someone would write a song about having a cheetah. I didn't know anyone with a cheetah as a pet. But sure would like to meet the person that song was about. Later, I realized the actual words were "running around with your cheap talk." Not as cool to me.

I think that I like my versions better. They make for way more interesting songs. We need some quality musicians to write songs about shaving and cheetahs. Maybe a song about shaving a cheetah. Now those would be some fine lyrics right there.

Oh, and by the way...BOOMAMA wrote about Loop De Lou on her blog today. I think we're famous.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Does God want us to be healthy and happy and prosperous?

This is a question that has plaqued me over the past several months. Now, I don't want to go into talking about our infertility and all the thousands of questions that has brought up. That would show my great lack of faith and I'm not ready to be that transparent on the blog! I'll save that for my small group of friends. But this idea of health and happiness, well it just doesn't make much sense to me.

I am often faced directly with questions about this. I don't want to go into specifics, but there are a few people in my life who believe that a part of faith is believing that what you ask for will happen. I do not argue this point. I do believe that is what faith is, "the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen." But here is where my questions lie.

I know that faith is believing that what you ask for is going to happen. But I also believe in the absolute soverienty of God. I believe that God can and will heal people if it is done for his glory. I also believe that God reveals himself through sickness. It is an absolute lie to say that God's will is for all of his children to be healed. What about Paul?

Paul prayed three times that the thorn in his flesh be removed. It was not. Because God revealed to him that through his weakness Christ was shown. "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9). So when we demand things from God, whether it be healing or a change in circumstances, I believe that sometimes we are missing out on what we can learn through our weakness.

It bothers me that millions of Americans hold strongly to the belief that God desires for us to be happy, healthy, and prosperous. I do not dare say that God does not want his children to be happy....but what I do say is that the source of that happiness doesn't come in ways that modern day culture would suggest. Quit the opposite I'm sure.

It bothers me, but it doesn't surprise me. Most of us don't want to be challanged. We don't want things to come along and mess up our perfect little utopias that we have created for ourselves. So we don't dig deeper. We don't pursue true Godliness. Because if we are completly honest with ourselves, we don't want to live as Jesus did. We don't want to spend our time with sinners, beggers, the sick and the desolate. We are plaqued by our comfort.

So does God want us to be happy, healthy, and prosperous? My answer to this question is yes, he does. But those words take on a dramatically different meaning when looked at through the lens of Christ. He does want us to be happy....absolutely content in any circumstances we are in becuase we know he is in control. To quote John Piper "God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in him."

He does want us to be healthy. We should be good stewards of our bodies and our gifts, but we all know that we are going to die. Disease happens, sickness happens. We live in a fallen world. Our bodies and our healthiness will not be all it is supposed to be this side of heaven. So in the end he has promised us new bodies. Spirtual bodies, without disease and sickness. But those things are to come after this life.

I also believe that he does want us to be prosperous. Not so much with wealth, but prosperous in the things of the spirit. Wealthy with generosity, self control, humility, etc... If we have all of these things, we realize the need for financial gain is of little importance. And once again, we will not recieve our rewards this side of heaven. All Christ has promised us is himself.

So through sickness, disease, infertility, poverty, war, and all kinds of hurt...the response should be submissiveness to what God is trying to accomplish in our lives for his glory. Maybe we will be healed, and if so that is great. Then we know we have witnessed a miracle. But maybe we won't. And that is ok to.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Lifes Not Always PopTarts and Roses

As many of you know, Jamie and I have been through a major challenge in the last year. We have been trying to conceive a baby for about three years now. And by trying to conceive (ttc), you all really know what that means. It's been way fun for Jamie, not so much for me at times.

The word we are looking for here is "anyway"....

Last November we decided it was time to visit the doctor and see if we could get this whole thing figured out. I will spare you all the wonderful details. And believe me when I tell you that they are indeed, wonderful.

We started testing in November and this went through January. All during the holiday season, we sure were merry. Not to mention that during this time my in-laws moved out of their house that they had inhabitated for the last 35 years. Can't you just imagine all of the merriment and cheer that those months held for us??

After our last major appointment we were riding in the car to go get some dinner at Cracker Barrell (because that's what we do here in the South after major life changing news....we eat). On the way he informed me that the Dr. told him that we have less than a 5% chance of conceiving a child on our own.

Now, one would think at this point I would have gotten very upset and been all dramatic like, throwing my hands up in the air screaming "Why Me!". But to tell you the truth I reacted very, very differently than I would have ever imagined.

I looked at Jamie, shrugged my shoulders and said, "Well you know, Life's not always poptars and roses." And then I'm sure I said something very profound like, so "Are you going to get an extra portion of fried okra at Cracker Barrell?".

Not that the news wasn't big or important to me, because it very much was. But I think that I had prepared myself for that moment for a few months, so when it actually came it wasn't as monumentous as I pictured it.

After I said the life changing statement "Life's not always poptarts and roses", Jamie just looked at me and busted out laughing. I feel like I am blessed with the gift of comedic relief. But the really funny part is that I wasn't trying to be funny. I really do like poptarts and roses.

So you are probably wondering if there is a point. And I'm not sure I can answer that. But what I was interested in was seeing what other phrases comparing life to that we could come up with. Here are two I thought of:

"Life's not always Butterflies and Pancakes"

"Life's not always Squash casserole and Pansies"

I'm not real sure what the connection is with food and nature (or words that start with "p"). But somehow I think it makes good comparisons. What about you?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Junk Food Was Overflowing and Laughter Didn't Cease!

I did something this weekend that I haven't done in probably ten years. I had a sleep over.

Five of my friends from high school drove all the way to my house out in the middle of nowhere and we had an all girl slumber party. We are 26 and married, but that didn't stop us. No ma'am it didn't.

I started preparing for the monumentous occassion on Thursday with the preperation of all things sugar and carb filled. I made fruit dip (cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cool whip), puppy chow (peanut butter, powdered sugar, chocolate), and salsa. I bought cinnamon rolls, muffins, and fruit for breakfast and the fridge was abounding with sugary, high fat carbonation. It was marvelous.
The first three girls arrived Friday afternoon and we sat in the kitchen and caught up with one another. It was all like, "Guess who's getting married" and "I heard Julie is pregnant" and "Did you know that Marla is building a new house?" and "You'll never guess who I saw the other day and guess what color her hair was."

Then we decided we were hungery and lucky for us I had purchased the ultimate sleepover dinner. Pizza. We had pizza and drank coca cola to our hearts content. It was wonderful.

Then my friend Leah busted out some kind of new card game. You have to spell words with the letters on the cards. You go through 13 rounds and each time you get more and more cards. I thought surely I would dominate at this game because I am good with words. But what I'm not so good at is spelling. So that proved to be mainly the most important. It was the five card round and I was SO SO proud of myself because I was about to lay down the best word and get lots of points. I layed down my cards with a "look at me" kind of laugh and discarded with a slap of the hand. The three girls looked at me and said...."Uh, you spell mantel with a T". I had put down M A N E L. Needless to say, I didn't win that game. But what do they know.

The other two friends arrived later that night and we quickly got them all caught up on the evenings activities. We stayed up until 2:30 in the morning. I haven't had that much fun since watching Monica and Chandler bring home their babies. Have I said how fantastic it was??

Well you just wait right there because it gets even better.

We all got up on Saturday morning and got ready. Which was a littly trying seeing as to how I only have one shower that is finished. Six girls + one shower = a long time getting everyone out the door. But luckily we have grown out of the stage of Rave hairspray and teasing our crown. It didn't take near as long as I thought.

We decided to do what any girl would want to do after a sleepover. We went shopping. We pulled into the parking lot of the Kirklands in Jackson and our small minds could not wrap around the treasure that awaited us there.

A HUGE TENT SALE. Jesus was smiling down on us that day my friends.

My friend Leah started saying as we pulled up, "This is bad, this is really, really not good." My friends in the other car were screaming, dancing, and jumping up and down. It really was fantastic (have I said that yet?)

We had lunch at the Olive Garden and shopped some more. We ended the day with a movie and dinner. We had such a terrific time. I am so thankful that I have "old" friends from school who are willing to drive to spend the weekend with me. We do have a special relationship and I am so grateful for all of them!

I laughed a lot and it was a great, terrific, wonderful, glorious, and any other adjective that is fitting, time!!!

front L-R: me, Amber, Adrienne, Brittney
back L-R: LesLee and Leah