Monday, November 21, 2011

Tell them about Me

When I met Stephen Brasington for the very first time, he asked me if I knew what God had told him when he was called to be a pastor. I told him that I did not know, but that I wanted to hear. He told me that God told him, "Tell them about Me." Simple. Concise. And I can hear it in my head when God wakes me up at 4:00AM and tells me to write about Him. So here goes...

In week 3 of Growth Track at MyChurch, we played some games and took a couple of assessments to learn more about our personality types and what our spiritual gifts are. If you've never done either of these, I highly recommend them both. I have done the DISC thing over the years for one organization or school or another so that one was no shock to me. I think most people can look at me after five minutes and guess that I'm somewhere between an "I" and a "D". I have gone back and forth over the years as my life has evolved and my personality has grown, but my spiritual gifts...looking back...have always been a part of me.

One of the things that Christy Murphy told us before we started the assessment was that your spiritual gifts don't "change" you because God knew what He was going to give you before you were formed in the womb. But when you accept Christ into your life, He "unlocks" those gifts and finds ways to allow you to use them for His glory. That's what this story is about.

When I was living life without Christ I got accused of always trying to "one-up" people all the time. People would tell me a story or about something that was going on in their life and I would offer up a similar story about something that had happened to me. When someone pointed out to me that I was doing that, I recognized the truth in the accusation and I tried to stop doing it. (Sometimes the devil works by using that kernel of truth doesn't he??!)

I was saved when I was 16 years old. Baptized at Fairview Baptist Church in the fall of my junior year in high school in the same water as my mama. I have highlighted in my Bible in bright green, passages about spiritual gifts. They're highlighted so I know that at some point Brother Dallas Latham talked about them and I paid enough attention to color them in. I even memorized what the interesting ones were so the concept was not foreign to me.

Imagine my surprise though when the assessment revealed that my spiritual gifts are "Showing Mercy" and "Pastoring/Shepherding"! Showing mercy I can live with but Woah... PASTORING??? Well we'll get to that in a minute.

My life has been shall we say...flexible. I have moved so many times my kids think we are part gypsy. I have worked in so many places that I joke all the time about being that guy from the TV show "The Pretender" because you can put me into any work environment and I'll just do the job. I am the ultimate temp. And I gotta tell you, that is HARD for a girl with OCD!!!

Another thing that I realized after talking to Christy tonight though, is that God is leveraging my life in some really cool ways in order to make the best use of my spiritual gifts!! I mean really REALLY cool ways. Why else would He call me to be a doula (and eventually a midwife) which is like the end all be all of being an empathetic person who guides, instructs, and assumes responsibility for the spiritual instruction in a person's life. (In other danger of me becoming a preacher. Whew!!)

Seriously though, God has used some wacky moves to put me where I need to be when I need to be there. He took me out of a relatively stable place at one job and sent me to another job that looked like it was going to be right up my alley...for THREE DAYS. In hindsight, I would have hated the job (and of course HE knew that) but He needed me to be there to make friends with a lady who worked there so that a few weeks later when she walked through the doors at MyChurch (for the first time!) on the heels of some devastating news, that I would be the first person she saw and I would be able to hug her through hearing the message that she needed to hear that day.

At my birthday dinner, my dear friends were discussing these exotic locations they had visited and these cool experiences they had had and I just kept saying, "I've never done that." The awesome thing is, even though my existence has pretty much been localized to this area, I've been right where I was supposed to be. God hasn't called me to go to foreign lands (for which I am eternally grateful!) but He has allowed me to work with two amazing ministries that help orphans in India and Africa.

God doesn't give us anything harder than we can handle if we rely on Him. The trick is to stop asking "WHY" and just get ourselves out of the way and let Him do His work. If a girl with very little life experience outside of Columbus, GA and a nasty case of OCD can do it, so can you.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Losing Big

So last week something big happened. My first number changed. For those of you who haven't ever had a struggle with weight issues, that's what happens when you cross over a huge moving from the 200s to the 100s. And believe me when I tell you that it is a MONUMENTAL deal for me!!

I wasn't always heavy. People who know me now sometimes have a hard time understanding that. Heck even my KIDS don't understand that! When I had my first three kids I was practically thin. After my third kid was born, I weighed maybe 130.

Then I got a depo provera injection. That stuff is evil mean and nasty. Seriously. I'm convinced that the reason it works as birth control is that no one wants to come within 10 feet of you for fear of you stabbing them with a shiv. Plus, it makes some of us gain weight like CRAZY fast. In the first three months I put on an extra 50lbs. The second three months...maybe another 25. But if you're doing the math you can see that it was enough to push me over into the 200s.

I tried WW and lost about 20lbs but I just wasn't motivated happy enough to keep going. So the weight kept creeping on. Then I had the baby and positioned myself solidly at the 250 mark. BTW...He is 11 now so there is no excuse for "baby weight" anymore. I think I topped out at 277 but to be honest...I really stopped weighing myself. Just didn't want to know.

Then something changed. I moved on from the unhealthy relationship that I had with my former spouse. We had been divorced for this entire century (you can stop doing the math now) but had remained an integral part of one anothers' lives for various reasons. Our co-dependency was bad and it hindered our relationships with other people. Once I moved out of his house (even though it was to a friend's couch) I was able to start the healing process which allowed me (and him!) to start forming normal bonds with others.

I met a guy...not the right guy...who showed me what I wanted from a relationship. To start with he was funny and sweet and cute and said and did all the right things. I would say that he was a class A jerk but that's not fair to him. He had his own issues and I hope that I did some things to help him trust the next woman he gets involved with. I wish him no ill will. Plus...he helped me to get past some of my own demons.

Then I moved back home and started trying to eat healthier for my dad's sake. I was trying to get him to eat more because of his cancer, and because I was cooking on a regular basis I started eating more (ironic isn't it?) and started noticing that my clothes fit better. Apparently I had been wrecking my metabolism for years by NOT eating when I should and NOT eating enough calories in a day. See what stress will do for you??

Skip forward a couple of months to last fall and I joined a Growth Group and met Rebecca Means. Let me tell you...asking her to be my weight loss buddy was the smartest thing I ever ever EVER did!! She is SO motivated and on it and inspirational and...I just did my best to keep up. When most people would have dumped me off for not being as motivated, she stayed on me. In a nice way of course! She encouraged me and prayed for me and picked me up when I needed a ride. No way was she going to let the price of gas get in the way of me accomplishing my goals.

Also, and this is another one of those crazy ironic things, I started selling Tastefully Simple. You would THINK that being surrounded by food and talking about food and sharing food with others all the time, would make a person gain weight and not lose! But I'm here to tell you that has not been the case! First of all...the stuff tastes so so SOOO good that you don't feel the need to gorge yourself on it to feel satisfied. Second, I get so excited about trying out new seasonings that I am eating better/more/healthier recipes and that is helping a lot. If you need further proof...Rebecca is my BEST customer and has lost more weight than I have this year. LOL

SO here's the breakdown: I haven't weighed under 200lbs since 1996...before my mom died. If you met me in the last 15 years (and the vast majority of you reading this did) then you've never seen me this size before. If you knew me in the beforetime...say high school or're probably glad I'm getting back to my old self.

I can promise you that this is not over. It is a slow going process. There are no quick fixes. And I have to keep this up for the rest of my life. But here's the thing...I can do it with your support. And if you are trying to do it, then you have MY support. Just keep me in the loop. Keep praying for me and I'll keep praying for you and together we can make this thing happen.

Keep it healthy...


Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Love Columbus, GA

Ever have one of those near perfect days? I have. Today, in fact. Woke up early and watched the last episode of All My Children...and cried. Took my time getting ready for work and had a great day at the store. (Thanks for the Krystals, Mae Mae!!) Got off in the early afternoon and headed downtown to meet up with some friends and the weather was absolutely gorgeous!!

I parked outside the coffee shop on Broadway and walked down to Judy Bug's Bookstore. That place is a treasure trove!! And the best part about it is talking to the guy who works there. I didn't catch his name but you can't miss him. I asked him if he has mentally cataloged every book in the store and he grinned and said he had a pretty good handle on it. That made me smile. I like people who take pride in what they're doing and love their work.

After that I walked down to Momma Goldberg's Deli and got a soda and some chips to munch while I charged my phone. I overheard some students from CSU quoting Blue Velvet...gotta love some David Lynch, right? There was football in the air and people having fun. The smells and sounds and balmy breeze outside...perfect.

Got a call from my friends that they were at the Eagle and Phenix Lofts checking out a condo. I walked a few blocks and enjoyed the exercise and the weather, and went up to see this GORGEOUS living space that looks like something out of a movie. THEN we went to the courtyard and sat outside watching the sun set over the river and discussing the future of Columbus.

WOW... Can you see how gorgeous this is?? We were out on the Hydro Deck which basically put us on top of the dam. I wish I had taken a pic of the dam itself so you could see the perspective of how close we really were to the water. Next time!!

As it got darker it just got prettier out there...
And we laughed and joked and talked about Four Square and...wait is that a SHARK in the water???

I had to take a few of the lofts, of course!!!

Then we went to Downstairs at the Loft for desert. Seriously. You have to try the Kahlua Cheesecake. Seriously. I'm not kidding. A.S.A.P.

Aside from their yummy food, the atmosphere is just awesome. There were a bunch of kids from Columbus High School who were dressed up to go to their Homecoming dance. Sweet girls in sparkly dresses who were wearing heels for probably the first time. And music everywhere!! It was just magical.

So yeah... I love Columbus. I know a lot of people have left for a lot of reasons but I'm glad I'm here, right now. There is an energy in downtown (or uptown!) Columbus that I have never felt anywhere else. I love Savannah and River Street, but I don't get the feeling that people are connecting on a personal level there. We have that. Everyone knows SOMEONE else down there.

Someone said yesterday, "Columbus is a small city but a big town." I liked that. It feels like a city because we do have a lot of choices in shopping and dining. But it feels like a town because of the sense of familiarity that we have here. There's always someone to greet you with a smile or a wave...even if you're "not from here." And we all wear the same SEC colors in the fall. LOL

 It feels like...home.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

First of all...someone pay the Migraine Fairy to leave me alone. Please? I have a client due in a week or so and you know I get headaches before someone goes into labor but this far in advance is seriously annoying. I'm getting caught up on my rest and all but this is getting ridiculous. There is a slim, slight, tiny, minute, remote chance that this is just another one of those symptoms of menopause. Yep. I said it. And there will be blogs about it. No hiding from it!!

Just finished watching the final episode of The Glee Project on My daughter needs to be on this show. Like...really. Have to figure out how to make that happen. Then maybe all the catalogs that keep coming in the mail from NYU won't seem quite so daunting.

Had dinner last night with my friend Adam Vignola who was in Atlanta for a few days and drove down to see me. Adam lives in L.A. where he works for Classic Wines of California and also has done enough to garner his own IMDB page. He is as charming as he ever was and we had a good time stopping by the Pickle Barrel  to chat for a minute with the guys from about our top five vampires. Then it was off to dinner at Downstairs at the Loft where I learned about the economics of corkage, and we ate yummy food. At dinner we ran into Robbie and Stacey Bishop who are two of my favorite Baby Bumps clients EVER! Afterwards, we walked down to the Uptown Vault to chat for a minute with Brenda and Adam even got to meet Hanson!! Adam had to head back to Atlanta to get ready for a meeting this morning so we said goodnight and I sat down for a few texts with my sweetheart before bedtime.

Interesting note: Five minutes after I walked in the door I got a text from one of my children that said "Don't you have a boyfriend?" The answer is yes. And I'm allowed to have friends. Even friends of the opposite sex. We trust one another to not do anything to jeopardize that relationship.

So how do you and your significant other handle friendships with the opposite sex?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top Ten {Tuesday}: Ten Things To Do Today

Top Ten {Tuesday}

I'm a list maker. I admit it. I own it. I do NOT suffer from OCD. I embrace it. As a result, I make excellent lists. If you were to inherit my computer, you'd find lists (made almost exclusively in Excel) that cover everything from Thanksgiving menus/shopping lists to packing lists for camping trips...broken down by family member. I keep the lists because they are a good reference tool for future events. Its just the right thing to do.

To celebrate my first Top Ten {Tuesday} I'm going to make a list of the things that I have to get done today just to share with you how this list thing works.

1. Eat some breakfast: Yeah it will probably be a pop tart but that's fine. I have to get something in my system before I go to work because I only work part time but that means that I don't get a lunch break. If I forget (did I just admit that sometimes I forget to eat? <--special kind of stupid) to eat, I'm a raving lunatic by the time I get home at 3:30. On behalf of my customers and co-workers, pass the pop tart. (Strawberry frosted in case it matters.)

2. Read the Bible: I'm doing the One Year Bible Challenge at MyChurch and I'm behind. Like a week behind...maybe more. That's not too bad but frankly I don't like being behind. The plan is to read three days worth every day til I'm caught up. It shouldn't take too long and I'm really enjoying reading it. I'm just bogged down in 2Chronicles. Loving Romans though!!

3. Wax my eyebrows: Specifically my left one. I worked on the right one the other day and got bored distracted half way through. I have that special guest coming tomorrow though, and he might notice if my face is lopsided. It's been years since he has seen me but I'm betting his memories of me don't include one bushy eyebrow.

4. Water the plants in the living room: I'm pretty good at getting the ones in the dining room because I see them. Okay I'm good at noticing when they're starting to look bad and thinking to myself, "Better get some water on those before your dad sees them and freaks out!" The living room plants...not so much. So now and then I have to make myself go into that room to check on them.

5. Put the dishes in the dishwasher: The sink is starting to be full. It just looks bad. Seriously.

6. Hang out with Justin: Some days when the J man gets home from school, I've got other stuff going on so we kinda just both do our own thing. He is growing up SO fast (they all are!) and if I don't make sure to stop and take the time, I'm going to miss out on it. I'll be glad when the weather cools off some so he and I can go back to our afternoon walks.

7. Watch my Hulu: Yeah this one SOUNDS easy but it's not always as simple as it seems. Hulu doesn't just let stuff pile up. No-sir-ee-bob. They pull stuff down (specifically my soaps) after a few days. That may not seem like a big deal to you but do you realize that there are only a few DAYS left of these shows in their present form??? AMC and OLTL are going OFF THE AIR at the end of August!!! Just had a little panic attack when I realized what day it was... Breathe...

8. Check in with my fall clients: One client is due soon. Like her EDD is in early Sept but I think she's going to have the baby on the 31st. I've been pretty good about picking the dates of the last several. We'll see how this goes. I need to see how October and November and doing as well.

9. Clean my room: It's not dirty. Not in the way that you'd expect a room of mine to be (if you knew the old Kim) but in that "cluttered and things are starting to stack up on surfaces" way that just drives me nuts now. I know...right?

10. Watch a movie: Going to hang out with the Filmaholics tomorrow at podcast time and I need to have something intelligent to add to the conversation. These guys are all so funny and smart that I never want to be left sitting there with nothing to say...lest I say something anyway and come across as a complete moron! If you haven't checked out their site yet, please do so. Great blog. Great podcasts. Great fun!!

Time for me to go tackle this list. Poptart is almost done so I'm off to a good start! What's on your list of things to do today??

Monday, August 22, 2011

Just One Of Those Days

Ever have one? I know you have. Just one of those days where things are "off" a little bit? I woke up at 4:15 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. I did a cool scrapbook thingee from that might turn out to be the best Christmas present ever. Ssshhhh....

Decided to go to lunch with Bons and Mads but then I couldn't find my keys. Took me a half an hour to find them and then on the way to Ulta/Jason's Deli, my Jeep started over heating. Came home after picking up the new Ulta gift and some lunch (priorities?) only to hit EVERY red light on the way home. My poor Jeep is out there in this weather (hotter than the surface of the sun??) waiting to cool down enough for me to refill the water.

And I have a cold. Seriously? In this weather? I'm going to chalk it up to lack of rest and take a bunch of vitamin C related products to get it back under control. And maybe some Claritin because it COULD be seasonal allergies sneaking up on me.

Just need to get out from under this funk. I've been snarky to my sweetie and that's not a good thing. I have company coming in from out of town on Wednesday to spend the evening downtown doing the dinner thing. I'm excited in the appropriate amounts and I'll let you guys know how it goes (and who it was!) when it's over. You're just going to have to stay tuned to find out what fabulous celebrity I'm entertaining this week!! Ha Ha!!

What are you most looking forward to this week?? Comment and let me know!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Faves: Fall Foods

friday favorite things | finding joy

This morning I ordered some Tastefully Simple products from the new Fall/Winter line so that we can play around with recipes when Allen gets home in a few weeks. I gotta tell you though, I don't know whether I'm more excited about him or this food!! (Okay you know that's not 100% true. LOL)

Here is what I ordered:

Apple and Pear Slush Drink Mix (will be good warm with our bourbon in it!)
3 packs of Bountiful Beer Bread (can never have too much of that on hand!)
Chicken Tortilla Soup Mix (looks good!)
Chipotle Queso Dip Starter (have to get some of that good cheese to try this with)
Creamy Portobella Warm Dip Mix (TOTALLY for him... LOL)
2 packs of the Dreamy Irish Frozen Dessert Mix (this is discontinued but everyone loved it last year and I didn't get to try it)

Samples of:
Bountiful Beer Cheese Soup (half size)
Caramel Cinnamon Sprinkles
English Toffee Cheese Ball (full size)
Peppy Papaya Salsa (6pk)
Roasted Onion Warm Dip Mix (full size)
Savory Beach Brandy Glaze (6pk)
Shanghai Stir Fry Sauce (6pk)
Spicy Harvest Salsa (6pk)

What are you dying to try? What kind of fun ideas can you think of for us to do with these products?? Comment and let me know!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

{semi} Wordless Wednesday: Weight Loss


Remember yesterday how I said I was excited about "4. Bathroom scales:"? Wordless Wednesday seems the perfect time to show you what I mean!

This is the day before I started at SFH in 2003. I weighed 255 that day. I know this because I had to weigh for my physical. Some things get stuck in your memory forever! LOL

This is Kevan and I at the Christmas party in 2005. I was going in the opposite direction of good at this point. I'm pretty sure that's the year I finally changed my drivers' license to say I weighed 250 which was just a blatant lie at that point.

Smallest I ever got was when we did Weigh Down Columbus and I got to like 230. 

At my sister's wedding on Jan 1, 2010. I was about 277 here and that suit is a size 22.
Last summer at my class reunion. I was probably 260 here.

Memorial Day this year. Had just gotten into a size 16 and I was about 220 here.

GNO with Niki, Hope, and Stephanie in July. 212 AFTER pasta and dessert. LOL

Today I weighed in at 205.5. I'm ALMOST down to where I was when I started WW last time...before I turned 30. I've lost over 70lbs. I have a long way to go. 

P.S. I used to be a skinny girl. LOL In this picture I weigh 125lbs and am 4 months pregnant with my third child!! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Taking a page from...

Kerri Mann always has the coolest blog. She makes it look effortless although, I assure you she is laughing as she reads this! But because she inspires me... I'm going to attempt to do a better job of keeping my blog current. I can only repost old and discarded blogs for so long before I have to give you some new content, so here goes my first:


Ten things I am excited about!

10. Football season: The weather, the Friday nights in the stands screaming myself hoarse, the Saturdays enjoying wings and ribs, the blankets, the friends!!! I'm STOKED about this year! Perhaps it is because its Kirin's last year at Shaw, or maybe its because I missed so much of last season but I'm ready for some football!!!

9. Upcoming babies: Its no secret that I love birth and babies. I'm ready for the fresh crop of fall babies I have lined up! There's going to be some sweet baby bumps to love on real soon!!

8. Turning 44: Its a good number! Even, divisible by 11, a palindrome... 44 is going to be as awesome as 43 has been +1!!

7. Menopause: Seriously!! I'm READY for this thing! Let's get it on and done!! I never thought I'd be ready to give up my reproductive rights but I reached the tipping point a couple of years ago and I'm emotionally on board for the whole shebang.

6. Visits from old friends: Not only is homecoming right around the corner, but an old friend from L.A. is coming to visit next week. I love catching up with folks and showing them how much Columbus has grown. I'm proud of my hometown!!

5. A new blog: Can't reveal too many details yet but you'll enjoy it! And I'm having fun getting ready for it!!

4. Bathroom scales: I currently weigh less than I have at any point in this century. This millennium, even!! There are people who have known me for years who have no idea that I used to be skinny. Three of my children don't even know that. Not that I ever want to be skinny again, mind you. Just want to be healthier and I'm on the way! As of this morning I am down 70 pounds from Jan 2010 when I moved in with Niki. Two Lenten seasons, a couple of Growth Groups, a bunch of great ladies who encourage me, a job at the store that keeps me moving, and enough water to fill Lake Oliver. I wish I could tell you that I was living at the gym or eating vegetables (okay I really don't wish either of those things) and that I was taking it very very seriously...but I can't. There's a reason it has taken almost 2 years. Lifestyle changes...even small ones...make a huge difference! (And there WILL be a huge blog post about that first number in my weight changing from a "2" to a "1"!!!)

3. New career opportunities: I am blessed to have some seriously talented, smart, and energetic people in my life! Its no surprise that I love positive people and that I try to surround myself with them. I'm excited about the future possibilities of parlaying that into a revenue stream!

2. My relationship: I'm in one. Seriously. Sweetest, funniest, hottest, smartest, most superlative guy man I've ever met. He is a blessing to me. Every. Day.

1. Christmas: I can't tell you the last time I was excited about the holidays. I don't REMEMBER the last time I was excited about the holidays. It has been at least 5 years??? I'm ready for the good this year. And it has nothing to do with the previous nine list items. This one is about making the decision to  embrace it and enjoy it and celebrate it.

So there you have it! My first Ten on Tuesday! Pop over to Crafty Life and read someone else's list...or make your own!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm not who I was...

I finally bought a ring back tone. When I have some minutes on my phone you should call and listen to it. I promise not to answer so that you can hear the whole thing. Don't leave a message though because I'm telling you now...I'm too cheap to check it. The decision to have a ring back tone was easy. All the cool kids have them. The decision as to what song to select however, was agonizing. I am here to tell you that I thought about this for a LONG time. As referenced earlier in this paragraph, I'm too cheap to spend $2 on a song that might not be exactly what I am looking for or that might convey the wrong message to the receiver.

So I picked the song "I'm Not Who I Was" by Brandon Heath. Here's the video in case you want to listen (and I suggest you do) because the message of the song is really powerful and the tune is really catchy.

Okay so now lets look at how appropriate this song is. A year ago I was in a different place. Physically, emotionally, spiritually... just different.

Physically I was in the house with my kids and my ex husband. The situation worked for a while. It made fiscal sense and it gave me an opportunity to spend a lot of time with my children and to trust that their dad, while I may not always agree with his method of execution, really does have their best interest at heart. As of the start of the new year however, I'm in a new place with my friend and her two kids. I miss my kids constantly. I need for them to know that. My heart aches for them and I want to be with them but it's just not working out that way right now. I don't know whether this is a trial run to see how we do 3 miles apart in case I have to move 300 miles away, or whether God is just getting me ready for the eventuality that they'll be leaving for college and their own lives soon. He definitely knows me best and He knows that I have a hard time separating from people and things so this may be His way of doing it gradually to keep me from losing my mind in a couple of years. He knows what He is doing. I trust that!

Emotionally I was in a completely different place last year. I wrote that I was talking to someone that I thought was very special. He is special. He is, as predicted, a tool that God put into my life to help me understand what it is that I'm looking for in a partner. And what I'm not looking for. I feel like I'm more emotionally stable right now and that I'm "almost" ready for the person I'm supposed to be with. Sometimes God allows us to experience things that prepare us for the bigger picture. Some people say that "everything happens for a reason."

Recently I feel like God and I went on a test drive for the new relationship thing and we kicked a few tires. New guy was shiny and pretty and smelled good but there was something a little too familiar about him. He reminded me of the previous model with whom I have all these kids. The experience taught me that I am still not quite ready because I wanted it too much. I was willing to overlook the signs that I was stepping into a relationship that almost identically mirrored my previous marriage. While I can appreciate that a lot of what failed in my marriage was my fault, I have absolutely no desire to repeat the process and try to fix what went wrong. I'd prefer to start fresh if possible.

Spiritually...I am a work in progress. This time last year I was looking forward to going to a new church that was about to launch on Jan 25th. I paid for a chair for $30 on the internet which turned out to be the best thing I ever could have done. Because of that chair, I felt like I had a right to be there. Of course I would have had a right without purchasing the chair but I took some ownership in the church and it helped me to overcome some fears about going into an unknown situation and feeling comfortable there. I'm sure that when Jeff Murphy realized they weren't going to have chairs he probably panicked and prayed about how to get some in the building. But because of God's plan...he gave us a way to claim our little piece of property in the physical sense that got us in the door and gave God a chance at our hearts.

MyChurch is about to celebrate it's first anniversary this Sunday. I told Niki a couple of weeks ago that I've been thinking a lot about how much I love MyChurch. I mean is my church because I am God's child and I am a part of His congregation. It's not about the building. I like that we don't have a permanent physical place that is massive and awe inspiring. I know that when I go on Sunday that I am being touched by God and not by an architectural firm. I know that wherever we end ten micro churches with a mega vision... I will always call MyChurch my church. The church is not the is the people inside.

I'm sure I'll think of a million different ways that I could have expressed this later on today. For now though, just listen to Brandon Heath singing and smile...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Aloha, Y'all!

I didn't want to go to church this morning. I was in a bad mood. I was irritated that I wasn't getting any responses to text messages. I was feeling sorry for myself. And I was having a bad hair day. Add to that the fact that we were having a luau and I was wearing a shirt that instantly added 10 years to my appearance. It was just not a good thing.

Sent out a text message to "the man with whom I spend a lot of time" (TMWWISALOT? TMW2ISALOT?) which said, "I don't want to go to church." No response. "I guess that means that there is something that I really need to hear that the devil doesn't want me to hear." No response. "Fine. I'm going. I'm already wearing the shirt."

Jeff talked about how the stuff that the devil did to mess with people in the Bible is a little antiquated since we have all new ways for him to mess with us now. He didn't mention technology specifically...but let me tell ya. Nothing plants the seeds of doubt like failed technology. Think about how many relationships have been ruined via text message. It used to be folks waiting around for the phone to ring but now...texts.

But I digress. When I got to church I instantly felt better. Ugly Floral shirt and all. Got to see my Rachel. Found Pam and Julia, and Allen's grandparents. The band was rocking. And then I saw her. Standing in the center aisle next to the third row on the right. She was about 2 1/2 years old. Couldn't tell a whole lot about her because it was dark, but it didn't matter. She was HAPPY! She was dancing! She was really getting into the music and she was full of joy! Pam and Julia leaned out to watch her dance. The people in front of us were smiling at her as well.

When the time came for the message to start, her mom took her back to the nursery. Obviously she just really likes the music and wants to be a part of that. Who can blame her? (If you've heard our band, you know what I mean!) At the end of the service, her mom brought her back in for the last song. And she danced some more.

I sometimes suffer from Baptist Arm Syndrome which make it difficult to raise my hands higher than shoulder level. I want to be that kid. I want to be so full of God's love that I'm willing to go all in and not care what it looks like to throw my hands up in the air and dance around in joy.

If that means wearing floral print be it.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

It's only an island...

Definition of irony: Noun: The expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

Irony rears its ugly comic head in my life all the time. I never planned to have kids...and I have four. I never planned to have to use a computer...and I'm rarely away from  mine for more than 6 hours. I have a degree in business...but God wants me to help people have babies.

This latest twist is making me look at life in a whole new way, though. Since I was about 10 my favorite movie has been Jaws. I love EVERYTHING about this movie. It is the best movie ever made in my not so humble opinion. It is the ultimate story of man overcoming his fears to accomplish a goal. Best line in the whole movie (and my philosophy on life) is what Brody says when Hooper asks him how a guy who hates the water can live on an island. His reply?

It's only an island if you look at it from the water.

Seriously? How DEEP is that? It's all in how you look at things. If a problem looks insurmountable, look at it from a different direction. 

But I digress...So because of this whole Jaws obsession, I have often joked that it is written into my contract that I don't go to the sharks' office and they don't come to mine. I'm just not a beach girl. That being said, I DO think it is a beautiful place and I greatly enjoy a frosty adult beverage while sitting by the pool or in an air conditioned condo LOOKING at the beach. I just don't want to go into the ocean. At. All.

This is a conundrum for many of my friends. They go on cruises and feel bad for not inviting me. Not a problem...I don't want to go. The sharks WILL find me. The mere planning of a beach vacation on my part brings about stories of shark attacks in the very city I was planning to visit. As a result, I spend a lot of time alone during the summer while my friends are off enjoying the sand and surf.

Now for the irony: The man with whom I have been spending a great deal of my time wants to live on an island.

Does this mean that he is not "the one" for me? No. I really don't think so. What I think is that God wants me to abandon the fear that has held me back for so long. Not just the fear of the ocean and the creatures that live in the depths, but the fear of relationships and of leaving my life in Columbus. I feel "safe" here and that isn't necessarily a desirable state for growth. I want to grow. I want to experience all that life has to offer. I want to live the life that God wants for me. Even if that means catching babies on an island somewhere.

After all, once I'm ON the's just land with some water nearby!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Woo Hoo Girls

This blog post came from January 2, 2009 and was originally titled "The Notebook...Computer" I changed the title to "The Woo Hoo Girls" mainly so a friend could find it easily, but also because this post was the beginning of a great concept that I had for a women's group. It may STILL wind up being a Growth Group one day!

I was talking to Niki last night and we were discussing how some people are concerned with the quantity of pictures of ourselves that we have amassed. Seems like some people think that it's because we suffer from low self esteem or have no self respect because we share pictures of each other with friends.
Well of course my first response was... Why does it matter to you? What effect does my having a lot of pictures of myself have on your life? It must be nice to have your life so well organized and taken care of that little things like how many pictures another person sends out can affect your mood. I mean... one must be pretty together and have very little to worry about if I'm on their radar right?

Then I thought... Wait a minute. Don't people with low self esteem hide from pictures? I post them because I think they look good, not because I think I'm ugly or fat or whatever. I think that I probably have a little too much self esteem if anything. LOL I certainly have more than the average person. WAY more than people my size usually do!

I've always said that this picture thing started when I realized I was turning 40. I never thought I'd get this old. Seriously. I didn't think I'd make 30 either though so... But right before I turned 40 I got to thinking that I'd better take some pictures so I can remember what I looked like when I wasn't old. (Because 40 is old! LOL)

So then...when I started taking the pictures with the phone and figured out how to get them on the computer, taking them all the time became second nature. If I'm having a good hair day or have done something with my makeup that I want to remember...I'll take a picture. Or if I'm having a good time and want to remember it forever...I'll take a picture.

The reason the pics are of me and not of everything around me is twofold. One is because it's a phone people. It doesn't take good pictures from farther away than an arms length. It's not even a GOOD phone like Jo's! You get what you get with phone pics. And since I was raised at Olan Mills, my head automatically cocks a little to the side and tilts forward whenever I see a camera. And the other reason is that because with all the crap I've been through, I need to be able to look back and say "See? You CAN be happy! You DO know how!"

So anyway...I said to Niki "When I am older and more demented than I am now, will you bring my laptop and show me pictures every day to try and remind me that I used to be your friend?" I told her that every day she can bring the pictures and read me the emails and tell me about this girl who loved being around people and who liked to laugh and smile. And when it finally dawns on me that this girl she's talking about is me I will throw my hands up in the air and shout "Woo Hoo!!" because I will have remembered that deep down I am a "Woo Hoo Girl!"

I think I should get cardio points for how long we laughed about it. Definitely worth 10 crunches because my stomach was aching from the laughter. But it felt good. I wouldn't trade it for the world. In fact... If I hadn't been on the phone with her? I'd have taken a picture of it.

So tell me? What are you doing to remember this time in your life? Edie Brickell sang it "Good times bad times give me some of that"

Live a little. And take some pictures. I want to see!

Things I Can't Say To You...

This post originally appeared on my blog on Dec 4, 2005. Anything that seems relevant to anything going on today...isn't. I just wanted to revisit some ideas and this was one of them. So don't go getting all angst-ridden over this text. They're just words. LOL

Do you know the difference between loving someone and being in love with someone? Let me tell you what I think it is. I think that loving someone is unconditional and there's nothing you can do about it. People fall "in" and "out" of love all the time. But when you really love someone it doesn't go away.
You can love someone but not be "in love" with them. Does that make sense? You love your parents. You're not "in love" with them. See the difference?
Shouldn't we love people? Isn't that a good thing? Why then, does it get to be so stressful? Why does it cause pain to love someone? Why does it hurt to look at someone and want to tell them how you feel about them?
You should be able to tell people that you love them without them freaking out right? Or is it that people don't understand the difference between loving someone and being in love with them?
And here's the other thing... You can't pick who you love. There. I said it. Sometimes you love people that don't love you back. And sometimes you love people that you wouldn't otherwise have any relationship with. And sometimes people don't feel like you should love the person you love. Maybe that gets back to that whole difference between love and "in love" thing?
Why do we let it bother us? Why does it matter what anyone thinks about how we feel about someone? Why can't we love who we want to love?
Most importantly, why does it make some people feel bad to be loved? I'm sure it's because they feel guilty for not loving the person back. But why? Again... Because they feel that they don't understand that, while it takes two people to be "in love", love is singular. It doesn't take two people.
So if someone looks uncomfortable and you want to know why...maybe it's because they want to tell you they love you but they know you don't want to hear it. And they feel bad because they know that by doing the very thing that would  take the pressure off their minds and their hearts, that they'd be making you feel bad. And that making you feel bad is the very last thing in the world that they'd ever want to do.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Role Models

Role models. You know what they are. We all have our ideals of the people we would like to be. Sports figures. Celebrities. Religious icons.

Whose role model are you, though? I figured out last summer that people pay attention to what we say and do...and that they remember. During the class reunion planning I heard from people over and over that they remembered stuff that I had NO recollection of saying or doing. Luckily for me, they weren't bad things. Apparently I was a fairly decent kid and I said nice things to people. I can assure you that it was purely coincidental. What I wish is that someone had told me all those years ago, that people were listening...and watching. a "mature" adult...I am very aware of this phenomenon and it makes me watch my P's and Q's most of the time. It makes me pay attention to how I act and the words that come out of my mouth...and from my fingertips. I do my best to make sure that what people see or hear from me, is positive and nothing that will come back to haunt me later on.

Have I always been this way? No. REALLY. No. Do I have regrets? Nope. I own my words and my behavior. Everything we go through brings us to where we are and frankly, I like where I am. If I hadn't done some of the stupid things that I've done, I wouldn't be who I am. I've done some really stupid stuff. Those things have taught me that grace is good and that I should have more of it for others.

I also know that none of us is beyond hope. I'm glad that I had some good people in my life to look up to, who weren't afraid to model good behavior for me. I pray that I will always have the foresight to choose good role models and that I don't wear them down with MY behavior so that they will keep me around. I'm a work in progress and I know that I need to constantly see good so I'll know what it looks like.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another Driver in the Family

I almost can't believe it, but my baby girl is a licensed driver now!! When it was time for her to get her learner's permit I started getting nervous. My older daughter didn't start driving until she was 20 so having a 16-year-old behind the wheel was a daunting prospect for me. First of all, I'm not the world's most patient person. Unless someone is in labor, I have issues with patience sometimes. (Okay often) Also, her dad makes me look like Mother Teresa in the patience department so the thought of him yelling at her while she was dealing with a huge vehicle sort of put my nerves on edge.

Thank heavens for Barber's Driving School!! My little sister and my older daughter both went through the program there and they both are great drivers. In addition to our patience issues, we were really concerned about the new laws concerning teens getting licensed. We weren't sure that we would be able to comply with all the regulations in order to make her legal. Letting someone else who knows all about it handle all the details was SO much easier. In addition to her getting a great education, her dad is really appreciating the discount he's going to get on his insurance!

When we started this process last February, my daughter and I were both hesitant about her driving. Since she took the class and did her behind the wheel training though, I have been very pleased with how well she has handled driving in all conditions (night, rain, traffic, daylight) and her confidence level has reached an all time high. I could not be more pleased with our experience with Barber's.

Today she took her road test (at Barber's) and passed with no problems. There were a couple of things the evaluator wanted me to watch out with her which we discussed together. After she was done, we took the paperwork to the DMV and filled out one form while we waited for them to take her picture for her new license. The process was painless (except for the tugs on my heartstrings!) and over in less than half an hour.

When we got home, I took the house key off the clip and told her that her brother and I were going to go into the house but that I wanted her to drive around the block....alone. She practically squealed with delight at the thought of finally realizing this dream. So she drove off by pookie...and she drove around the neighborhood. Twice.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Just a little rant from the peanut gallery...

About this time of year I start to get irritated at the news coverage of flu season. If there is nothing good going on in the news, we have a pandemic. The CDCs website is a wealth of information about everything health related under the sun and I refer to it quite frequently.

Today I was reading the NEW link to information about Vaccine Safety for the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine and this blurb on the page for Febrile Seizures Following Childhood Vaccinations, Including Influenza Vaccination
really just chapped my hide:
About 1 in 3 children who have one febrile seizure will have at least one more febrile seizure during childhood. Most children (greater than 90%) who have a seizure will not develop epilepsy. Genetic predisposition (i.e., family history) and other factors such as cerebral palsy, delayed development, or other neurological abnormalities increase a child’s risk for developing epilepsy after a febrile seizure.
So you mean to tell me that out of 1000 kids who have a febrile seizure, about 300 of them will have another one, and let's say 10% (or 30) of them will develop epilepsy. 30 out of 1000 is not a reassuring number to me. Especially for me (and my kids) since I spent a few years on anti-seizure meds for what may or may not have been epilepsy, for seizures that occurred after each of my well-child visits for shots.

Is it just me or are they really trying to downplay that 3% by saying most WON'T have a problem? In a good sized elementary school that's 3 kids per grade developing problems from seizures. How is that okay?