Tuesday, June 29

...When You Let Him

Bruce performed his first wedding this past Friday! Keith (one of our recent grads) married Jennifer. The ceremony was amazing – really pretty and included a perfect mix of both tears and comical relief. Bruce and I were blessed by staying in an enormous, gorgeous house with the groom’s, his family, a groomswoman, and the groomsmen. We had a blast!! And we ate like royalty! Can I just say that sweet potato biscuits, country ham and orange marmalade are now one of my favorite things?!! Also Paul and Amy are now some of my favorite people.

The wedding was, of course, emotional for me and Bruce. Not only was Keith one of our “college peeps,” but also this was Bruce’s FIRST wedding – and the reminder that God works wonders when you let Him.

We arrived home to a clean house and happy dogs (thank you, Lindsay!), and it was only a matter of time before a friend of ours arrived for the night. She has been called as a missionary for a year, and spoke about it in church on Sunday. She will be ministering to college students abroad (her location is private due to safety concerns). How awesome is that? Here is a girl who was actively involved in our college ministry who is now being called to serve in a college ministry in another country! Yet another reminder that God works wonders when you let Him.

Remember the faith jars we have at the church – for the carpet? Well, they are still there, and each week a bunch of us put our carpet money in them. God is REALLY teaching me about faith through those jugs! At this point, I almost don’t care if we do pay off the carpet (though I am confident that we will). I have learned so much about faith, and that lesson is worth WAY more than the carpet debt! Sunday morning, I actually found myself praying, “God, increase my faith. And test it so that it continues to grow.” And that is so not like me – I am usually terrified of the testing part. Testing hurts. It’s not fun. It’s rather scary. But I am craving it like crazy right now!

Do I need to say it again, folks? God works wonders when you let Him.

James 1:2-4 - Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Tuesday, June 15

A Few of my Faves

Don't you just love blogs?  When I go to my Google Reader each day and see all the new, unread posts I have to go through, I tell you, my heart just pounds in excitement!  So many little nuggets of goodness out there!  Things that make me laugh, think, maybe cry.  Always inspiring!

Makes me aspire to be a better blogger myself. 

Today, I realized that some of the blogs I follow might become some of YOUR favorites too!  And I decided to recommend a few of my faves. 

For insanely delicious recipes, cute craft ideas, and just plain fun, see my friend Jocelyn.

For a good chuckle, check out Big Mama.

For DIY projects of all sorts, get inspired by Craft Gossip.

For a unique, inspiring (and often humorous) look at Christian life, go to Stuff Christians Like.

Oh, and the blog which, I must say, has the absolute sexiest, funniest writer, can be found at the pastor wore plaid

Check them out sometime!

And tell me some of YOUR favorite blogs!  I want to hear about them!

Monday, June 14

OK, I have to admit something.

I hate summer.

I am a sweater (ie: one who sweats) – I always have been. It’s uncomfortable, not to mention embarrassing and a bit gross. But, that’s the chemistry the good Lord chose to give me, so I deal with it, albeit begrudgingly. It seems ridiculous that I must base my outfits and my hair-do’s on the amount of anticipated sweat I will expel in a given day or by doing a certain task. These days, my hair is mostly up, off my neck. And while others might think I am going for a sporty, summery look, it is simply that I am trying not to embarrass myself by having my hair wilt against my scalp in a wet icky mess.

Humidity just makes the heat worse – it’s like instant stickiness on my skin as soon as I leave the house in the morning until I can get the truck a/c cranked. Oh, and the gross things it does to my makeup! No wonder I have adult acne!

As though these things aren’t bad or uncomfortable enough, the good Lord also chose to give me such a high dose of pheromones or hormones or whatever that every bug in a 15 mile radius finds ME. Not Bruce. Not our friends. They find ME…like I was the golden arches incarnate. And this is a problem on so, so many levels.

Oh, and bathing suits – let’s not even go there.
Now that I’ve WHINED a good bit, I am actually going to try to do something slightly more positive. I found this writing prompt that asked me to list favorite things about summer based on my five senses. So let’s see if I can do this:

My favorite SCENTS of summer:
Fruity Yankee Candles
Charcoal-grilled burgers
The farmers market combo of flowers and fruit and veggies

My favorite SIGHTS of summer:
Butterflies (yep – this is the ONLY bug I actually like)
The tat on Bruce’s leg because he wears shorts
The beaches – not Myrtle or Daytona, but those private ones that are “PCC standard”

My favorite SOUNDS of summer:
Summery music

My favorite TOUCHES of summer:
Raindrops on my skin
Light, gauzy tops
??? My sweating issue really makes the “touch” category a tough one!

My favorite TASTES of summer:
Corn on the cob
Anything cold - snow cone, ice cream, cold drink

Phew! Made it through that list! I guess there are some nice things about summer. But not enough for me to actually enjoy it. I often tell Bruce that I could easily live in Alaska, but I don’t think he realizes how serious I am (or maybe he’s scared about how serious I am!).  Ooohhh... to have an igloo....

Friday, June 11


It’s Friday, and I am happy. Why? Well let me tell you…

  1. The A-Team movie starts today. Bruce and I and a few friends are meeting at the Palladium so that we can revel in all things awesomely A-Team. Two words: Bradley Cooper.
  2. Tomorrow I will make Bruce an amazing dinner – roasted chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy. He LOVES the chicken skin, which is actually kind of gross to me, but I like that he likes it. It makes me feel quite “wifely” to serve him food he loves. Ha ha!
  3. I am working on a big collage piece for Bruce’s currently naked church office. And I will work on it quite a bit tomorrow since…
  4. We have NO plans tomorrow! That means waking up late and leisurely enjoying coffee and TV fishing and not showering until after noon. Ahhh yes – the good life.
  5. Have I mentioned Bradley Cooper is in the A-Team?
  6. Today is Jacques Cousteau’s birthday. “When Jacques-Yves Cousteau died on June 25, 1997, the world lost more than just an esteemed biologist and oceanographer. The world lost its greatest guide of the chartless realms that make up the planet’s oceans. Through his documentaries and books, Cousteau contributed more to our understanding of the oceans than almost any other person.” I wonder what he would say about the oil spill…
  7. My friend Jocelyn is having a buy one – get one free sale on her beautiful handmade headbands in her etsy shop. http://www.etsy.com/shop/thetrendyowl. I might have to splurge. She’s making these flowers that look like daisies now, and these cute braided flower discs. I have been wearing a ponytail a lot these days, and what better way to dress up one of them! 
  8. Bradley Cooper plays “Face” in the A-Team movie…
  9. I saw this awesome photo yesterday, and while the subject of it is terrifying (It’s a “sinkhole” that opened up in Guatemala City), it is an AWESOME photo! I love photos that capture the impossible. Like the photo of the little blue dot – Google that if you don’t know what I’m talking about – AMAZING!
  10. The Summer Solstice Party at the museum is one week from today, which means I have to think about it for only one more week! It’s been fun and interesting planning it, and I’ve had great help, but I am so, so, so over it now.
  11. Oh, and let’s not forget that Bradley Cooper is in the A-Team. Or have I already mentioned that?

Tuesday, June 8

Keep Pouring

When we got to church this past Sunday, there was a table at the front decorated with assorted pieces of pottery and two big plastic water cooler jugs on the stage. Odd combo, right? Little did we know the important lesson we would soon learn…

Pastor Keith preached on the following passage:

2 Kings 4:1-7
One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the LORD. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.” (This was customary)

“What can I do to help you?” Elisha asked. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?”

“Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil,” she replied (Olive oil was used as a commodity back then).

And Elisha said, “Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting each one aside when it is filled.”

So she did as she was told. Her sons kept bringing jars to her, and she filled one after another. Soon every container was full to the brim!

“Bring me another jar,” she said to one of her sons.

“There aren’t any more!” he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing.

When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, “Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on what is left over.”

You might initially think is just another “miracle story” from the Bible that you enjoy hearing but don’t think too much about. I mean, who wants jugs and jugs of oil anyway? Other than on pasta or bruschetta, olive oil really isn’t that exciting.

Or is it?

Like many churches, our church has accrued some outstanding debt, specifically to our carpet, and it is time to get it paid-in-full. But in this economy, when our wallets are empty and funds are tight, how in the world can we expect to do this? Well, that’s the catch – we’re not going to do it. God is. We will start with a little, and God will finish with a lot.

Each carpet square cost $6. Each week, those who want to will “buy” a square or two or however many they want of carpet as a sacrificial offering to God, placing their offering into the big jugs. On July 25th, the jugs will be cut open, and the money will be counted.

Will it be enough?

Do we have the faith it takes to listen and then immediately do as we are told, as the widow did? 
Do we have the faith it takes to trust that God will make it enough?

The devil wants it not to be. Already I hear Him telling me that the only way this will work, I personally need to contribute a LOT of money - as though God needs my help!  Other people hear the devil’s voice too. “It won’t be enough.” “What will you tell the people?” “What can your God do with a $6?”

The awesome thing about hearing that voice though is that it means he’s scared! Scared of how faith can destroy him. Scared of how when people believe, he loses some of his grip on them. Scared of how God will conquer him…

and the carpet debt.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. ~Hebrews 11:6

Friday, June 4

I Don't Like This One Bit



Photos courtesy of AFP, Reuters, and the Associated Press.

Wednesday, June 2

Ready to Blow

I've been in the office 1 1/2 days so far this week, and I've experienced enough abuse and drama to last through the end of the week, if not longer. The bad thing is that I am not the only here who feels that way. The rotten thing is that it's like this just about every week.

What the what?

So my job search has begun. Anyone in need of someone with over 11 years of office experience? Great skills balancing multiple budgets, organizing, problem solving, etc.? Not to mention hilarious and extremely good looking?

The Director here is apparently completely off her rocker - or at least off her meds. One of my subordinates told me that sometimes she fantasizes about keying the Director's car. My other subordinate confided that she thinks about just not showing up for certain events - like the upcoming Summer Solstice party - just to see how wigged out the Director would get. It's like the office is a red-hot river of suppressed rage, ready to erupt at any minute. And when it does, all the village people scurry away into their offices to avoid impending doom. But alas, we cannot all escape. There is always a victim. Just depends what day it is... Lately it seems that I am the virgin who has been deemed acceptable for sacrifice to the volcano god.

And the postal workers they have it bad! Is it weird that I often hope - and pray - that no one here is packing? All it would take is just ... one ... more ... snarky ... comment ....