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Epiphany #1

AHA! Yesterday I had an epiphany. I’m sure the concept was something I’d heard before, probably some advice I even gave to someone else, but for some reason yesterday, it actually stuck.

It happened while I was tirelessly folding the mound of socks on my bedroom floor. I was stewing over something and then it hit me. It came in the form of a statement, rather than a question. I wonder if it would mean anything to you. So here we go. Are you ready?

Think of your biggest fear. I’m sure you have a long list of them, like I do. Now grab the one with the highest probability of happening. That made a difference for you, right. Now if that fear were to happen…and here it is:

Your life’s goals would still be the same.

I’m still gonna want to: be the best mom, friend, daughter; start a farm for the food bank; learn how to cook classically in France; and generally be a blessing instead of a burden.

I don’t know if this helps you. I’m not sure what you’re going through today, maybe your highest probability fear already happened. I hope you can see it through to the other side. Life is multi-dimensional. It has many facets…don’t let one smudge ruin all the others.

You may need to remind me of this post if my highest probability fear ever happens, but for now it gives me hope…and that counts for a lot.

Duplicity

Today I feel like a walking oxymoron. I feel like staying home and cleaning up all the speckles (piles) of dirt, but I also want to go out and do some exploring (escaping). I want to workout at the Crossfit gym and get beat up by Jesse, but I also want to lay flat on my back reading a good book. I want to fly to Vegas and let loose, but also want to sit in prayer over my duplicitous life. Does anybody else have this problem?

I guess some days are just like this. It just seems to be happening a lot lately. One minute life is one way, and in the next it’s another. It all seems to be me and the way I process things, like baking cookies in the oven. Cook them a little, and their pliable; easily prodded. Cook them too long, and their black; crackable and crumbly. Cook them just right and you’ve got something delicious. Maybe what I’m experiencing is a balance thing.

How do we get to delicious?

Laughing Out Loud

Today I woke up to a darker morning thanks to Daylight Savings and felt, well, serious. I decided to put an end to that and issue a healthy dose of laughter….at myself. In the past I have: set myself on fire; said something silly and the list goes on.

Like the time I took my newborn baby to Barnes and Noble. I was so proud of her and glad to be out of the house. After browsing half the bookshelves, I decided it was time to change her diaper so we could tackle the other half of the store. We completed that mommy task, and off we went to peruse more books. After quite a long time, I looked down, and there it was…the dirty diaper (ok, it was just #1, and being the OCD that I am, diaper changing was a constant, so I’m sure it wasn’t even full). It was neatly wrapped sitting on the footrest of the stroller, basically the first thing anyone would see as we strolled through the aisles. And I thought they were smiling at my sweet newborn baby girl. Swift removal ensued.

Or the time, just a few weeks ago when I sat down with the laptop at a restaurant.  I wish I could remember the Google search I typed in, because what came up was not my intended fodder. I never want to make that same mistake. There people were, enjoying their dinner and dates when how can I say this, porn popped up on my screen. I’m sure I gave an audible yelp and frantically tried to “x-out,” “x-out.” I slowly turned around after about five minutes to see who was sitting behind me and just how close they were. “I’m really a nice person people, with a husband and children.” Not good.

The time I set myself on fire is just weird. It was early on in our marriage before we had kids, and I was in charge of the BBQ that night. It was back in the day when I could still wear cut-off denim shorts with tendrils of fringe hanging from the bottom. I put my lovely steak on the BBQ, and as I slowly put the lid down on the Weber, flames shot out the side and jumped onto the fringe of my shorts. I simultaneously worked my way toward the inside of the house while taking off flaming shorts…. screaming. That was funny.

So there you have just a few of my embarrassing moments. Go ahead, have a good laugh at my expense to start the day. I know I feel better now…not in a serious mood anymore.

Do you have an embarrassing moment or two? Share it here!

#5 Frivolous Friday: Senate Bill 6345 (Cell Phone Frivolity)

I’m just gonna come right out and say it, I have a bad habit of talking on the cell phone with one hand on the wheel, while shooting through the atmosphere at highway speed. There, it’s out. Now you know. I’ve been frivolous in a bad way.

It’s not like I didn’t try to follow the rules, I ran out to Best Buy and bought a Jabro headset, and used that for a while. But then I heard that you can’t get pulled over for talking on your cell phone while driving, that you need to have committed some other driving offense.

Today, this is the case. Talking with your handheld cell phone is a second offense. If you get pulled over for something else and it’s determined you were using a cell, you’ll get hit with a $124 ticket. I’m not sure how they determine whether or not you were using your phone. I imagine the scene like gangstas throwing firearms out the passenger window upon being pulled over, ”No officer, I don’t even have a cell phone.”

It sounds like the law is about to change, and I for one need to cast aside cell phone frivolity and start following the rules. I saw the movie Seven Pounds, and was affected by it, but somehow over time, I went back to my old ways. Shame on me.

If it passes, Senate Bill 6345 will make talking on your handheld cell phone a first offense in my state. It will also ban texting while driving (which seems a lot more dangerous than talking) and licensed drivers under the age of 18 will be banned from any talking at all, even with a headset.

If you’re a frivolous cell phone user like me, let’s take a step together and follow the rules. Go dig out your headset and get it charged. I know, cauliflower ear is annoying, but just think, we are doing this….together. Now go out and save a life.

If you have a favorite hands-free device, drop me a comment.

Stereotypical Underpants

Whether you call them panties, undies, underwear, undergarments, underpants, delicates, boxers, briefs, grannies, or by any other name, we all wear them. Granted, some are more sophisticated than others, some are holy (and not in the spiritual sense), but they are a necessity of life. By now you must be wondering, “Where is she going with this?”

Not long ago I was shopping for undies (my standard moniker for them)  in a haute district and got to thinking about stereotyping. We even use underwear to do it, how silly are we? Remember the boxers vs. brief debate a few years ago? We rolled men into a teeny little black-brief  stereotypical box, or wrapped them up like a tortilla in a white elastic cotton one. It was all in fun, but sometimes we get stuck in that categorical mode, much like a wedgie, and stay there for decades.

Stereotyping dims the light on the person we’ve wedged into a box. We cease to gather more information about the natural abilities and wonderful qualities that person possesses. We miss out on what we can learn from engaging that person, and the blessings they have to offer our lives. I’m guilty of stereotyping and judging others, but the undies (oh-so-comfy Natori) helped me become a little more aware of my bad habit.

So wether you’re going to Walmart with Gretchen Wilson, or to any other store to get your (insert your moniker here), let them be a reminder that we’re all in this together and even you are not defined by your undergarments.

#4 Frivolous Fridays: Friendship

Don’t you just love this picture? These shoes scream frivolous and beckon, “Why would you want to go barefoot and fancy free, when you can wear me?”
Friendships are like that too and I have some great friends…you know who you are. Friendships remind us, “Hey, why go it alone when you can wear me?”
I get the priviledge of spending some quality time with my friends today, and I’m looking forward to good food, laughing (a lot), shopping and rejoicing in friendship and frivolity…after all life is serious enough.
Get with a friend today and do something fun, make memories, laugh out loud, hoot and holler! Now, if you don’t have any friends (which I doubt) or you feel like they’re all busy…go out and make a new friend today.
What do you like to do with your friends?

A Quick Word On Significance and Hammer Pants

The other day I was reading a chapter out of Sacred Parenting : How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls, by Gary L. Thomas. I don’t know if I was ripe for its message, but I dog-eared almost every page in the chapter (And I can’t stand to dog-ear, underline or highlight the pages of books). Here are a couple of things he says in Speckle-ese.

1) The only things we truly leave behind are our families.
2) Can you name your great-great-great grandfather? His wife? (I can’t)
3) What we fret over ultimately gets forgotten (jobs, homes, cars, talents, fitness).
4) In just two short generations, no one will care about the things that concern me now.
5) Who pastored the largest church in America in 1935? (Don’t know)
6) “Children teach us the profound and simple message that what popular society values most grows irrelevant and even comical when confronted by the inexorable weight of history.”

Deep in our hearts we all feel the need for significance. We want to do great things and accomplish much, only sometimes to the detriment of our relationships, our morals, our beliefs. I’ve made myself sick over significance at work, trying to balance home, family and all the rest. I’ve also made a fool out of myself over significance wanting to impress others (I actually had a pair of MC Hammer pants, and not only that, I wore them!).

So even though tasks loom, errands abound, duty calls and speckles of dirt need to be cleaned up, I can focus on nurturing significance in the hearts of my children.

What about you? Do you already have this down pat, or do you struggle to find significance in what popular culture deems significant?

So You Call Yourself a Christian?

That word….Christian, it gets thrown around a lot. Not unlike a baseball heading toward home in order to throw out the offending team’s player.(Sorry for the lame baseball analogy.) In this case though, it gets thrown right square in the back of someone’s head knocking them out. “I’m praying for you!” then, in a hushed tone, “Because you’re crazy!” I’m guilty of this.
The truth is, my intentions are mostly good. But to someone else who isn’t quite on board the Christian train, my “Are you a Christian?” and “I’ll pray for you,” might not sit well, and the offended person is flat on their back for the count. Either feeling judged, inadequate and vulnerable or insecure, confused and scared.
There is a poem I received way back about what it means “When I Say I Am a Christian.” Click the link to read it in full, but it basically is saying that 1) I’m lost 2) I stumble 3) I’m weak 4) I fail 5) I’m flawed 6) I feel pain 7) despite all this, I’m loved.
I wonder if you other Christians out there agree? We’re not part of an exclusive club charging a cover to get in, scanning for tatoos, smelling breath for alcohol, making sure there’s no skin showing, looking for symbols of faith, listening for “bad” words, etc.
If I did that, I’d be knocking myself out…hello! Each day I swim in a cocktail of numbers 1-6, but through it all I know that if I rest in #7 everything else gets washed away. (oh, and don’t call it “lucky number 7″ around a Christian you might get knocked out.)
Seriously, LOVE is the only enduring quality from here to eternity. You’ll spot Christians the way they do this. This is a lesson for me…I definitely need to LOVE more.
How have you knocked someone out, or been knocked out by the word Christian?

How Do You Facebook?

About a year ago a friend told me about Facebook, and how fun it was to use, especially for sharing photos. Since I have family in distant places, I thought it would be fun to try this new thing out. Here are some thoughts after using Facebook for a year.

1)Connecting: After finding many of my friends and relatives, I learned how to upload photos, write on walls, read news feeds and send messages. I simultaneously feel more connected to family and friends because I know more about what they’re doing, based on what they choose to post, but I can’t say that my relationship with anybody is any stronger than before…at least not in the personal sense. After making the initial “friend” contact, everything else pretty much takes place passively. I feel both invited into their lives, and like a voyeur…it’s kinda weird.

2)Posting: There are people who post ten times a day, then there are the ones who post every two months. How much is too much? And how little is too little? I notice that when people post about political or religious topics, the amount of comments is low. But when there’s a new haircut, medical situation, race, or popular TV show, the comments are high. I notice that I’m happy when someone relates to what I’ve written, and truth be told, kinda bummed if not.

3)Gaming: I dabbled in some of the games, but don’t even pay attention to them now. If someone posts a score, I just scan right past it…so sorry.

4) News: There are many news items I learned about through my Facebook friends. It has been a way to not only stay up to speed on what people are doing, but about the rest of the world. I enjoy finding out about causes and ways to help.

5) Sharing: It is always fun to be able to see pictures, find out where people are, and what they’re doing. I think it’s fun to do the same with you.

So here is how I do Facebook now. All of my friends are in “Lists.” I can click on the list I want to see at a glance, make comments, send messages, etc. Sometimes I just scan News Feeds to see what the latest is, and I am in and out of Facebook in about 5 minutes.

While Facebook offers the ability to stay connected, there still isn’t anything better than sitting down to a cup of something, chatting about life, seeing smiles, and offering hugs. But I’m still gonna stay tuned in, because my conclusion after a year is…..it’s fun.

#3 Frivolous Fridays: Coming Soon…Spring!

I wasn’t sure what I would write about today, being Frivolous Friday and all. I wasn’t really feeling Frivolous when I sat down at 5:45am to read and write. But once my brain awoke as the coffee in my mug receded, I remembered that this is the last post for February…and what could be more Frivolous than visions of Spring?
A lot of the beautiful pictures you will see on my blog come from istock, and I can’t tell you how, just by looking at all the beautiful photographs, my heart gave a jolt! Click the highlight and see for yourself!
February has been a good month so far. The weeks have been relatively quiet and useful for rest and planning. Not sure I did much of either, but it’s what got me through the too-quiet times. I reminded myself how busy it will be once March arrives.
March ushers in Birthdays of loved ones, Gardening, or in my case preparing and clearing for the Garden. And on March 20th, it will be the First Day of Spring…historically my favorite seasonal day of the year, and the day I take my little girls to get Pedicures (although lastnight my rough heel slid next to my calf and gave a scratch… eeewwww. I may need one sooner that the 20th).
Visions of bare feet in grass, light flowing dresses, sandals, flowers…..beautiful flowers! People in love, children laughing, skipping, jumping…and I don’t mean just the kids!
So get out there today and see how the grass has grown, how the Cherry Blossoms are emerging and watch the Daffodils dance.
You might find yourself dancing in the park….just get that Pedicure first!
What is your favorite Vision of Spring?
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