Sunday, May 16

the best things in life are free...

but sometimes the free things in life aren't always the best. (you saw that one coming, right?)
we're "basic cable" type people. to be honest, this is mostly because it's cheaper! but also because we don't feel the need to have 5 bagillion channels that will only serve to clutter our lives with even more unproductiveness. we do well enough with that on our own! all that being said, we now have digital cable (including on demand). why? because it was free. we've had multiple issues with our internet not working lately. i call every time and they fix the problem pretty quickly but it's still slightly inconvenient. last thursday, after spending about 15 minutes on the phone getting the issue resolved, the customer service lady offered to upgrade our cable. for free. as a courtesy. absolutely, no strings attached, free. so i said, "well, since it's free...sure." why? because we have to take advantage of the free things. life isn't always handed to us on a silver platter so we should take that platter every opportunity we get, right? and, of course, be grateful...right? (please not the sarcasm.)
well, needless to say, we've spent a lot more time with the "boob tube" (in the slang american or canadian sense of the phrase) on. i don't like it. i wish i had had the guts to say no to the marketing ploy i succumbed to. discipline is, unfortunately, not one of my strengths...i'll be the first to admit that. and so digital cable now gives me one more challenge in my attempts to celebrate discipline in my life! great. way to go me!

however, there are lots of times that i'm reminded that the best things in life really are a good way. take tonight for instance. i was putting jonah, my almost 4 year old, to bed. he's had a fever since yesterday morning and has obviously not been feeling well. as we finished our bedtime story i said, "okay. it's time to say night night prayers". at this point, he usually says, "you do it". but tonight, he started right in with this: "dear jesus, thank you for this day. thank you that i had a really good day today"...something about it still being saturday because he's sick (he doesn't always make sense!)..."since i'm sick i have to go to the doctor tomorrow and i'm scared of the doctor."...long pause..."so, be with me so i won't be scared of the doctor. we love you, jesus. amen." i literally had to hold back the tears. what a simple, honest and humble prayer. sometimes i wonder if jonah is teaching me more about life than i'm teaching him. in any case, i got a free lesson tonight. and from a great teacher, too!

Saturday, May 8

a broom's best friend not a dustpan! i hate dustpans. it's not often enough that i have the time and energy to get out the ol' broom and sweep up the massive amounts of old food hiding under the legs of our table (if you have kids, you know what i mean). but when i do get in the cleaning mood, i use my broom to make neat little piles all over the kitchen floor, fulfilling my childhood dream of becoming cinderella (and yes, "a dream is a wish your heart makes" does get a little airtime!). and then it's time to get it all in the trash can...and that's when i'm ready to call it quits! i mean, seriously? this fancy contraption that i paid $3 for barely cuts it. it's so frustrating!
well, one day i was cleaning up some broken glass at church and couldn't find a dustpan anywhere, so i improvised and used a piece of paper. that little piece of paper was a champ! it picked up everything. that's right, i said EVERYTHING.
now i don't even know where my dustpan is and i don't care. i got a nice sturdy flyer in the mail the other day. total junk. but instead of throwing it in the recycling bin, it sits on the shelf in our laundry room.

cardstock: it's the new dustpan.

Tuesday, May 4


the past couple of years i have been wrestling with this idea of living simply. i feel like i'm a pretty plain type of person...extravagance just isn't all that appealing to me. i've always been that way. and yet, when forced to think about my life, i've realized how extravagant i truly am. maybe it's not extravagance in the way i've always thought of it...indulgence, lavishness, ostentation...but more like excess, extra, nonessential.
i have been challenged by the life of jesus over these last few years. the everyday life of jesus: the things he did, the people he hung out with, the way he spent his time, the things he possessed, the way he loved and showed care for everyone. if i'm honest with myself (which i don't like to do too often because i realize how human i am), my life doesn't look too much like that. i do all the things "good christians" are supposed to do, but my life doesn't look like jesus' life. and looking like jesus is way more important, isn't it? jesus didn't even have a place to lay his head. who knows if he had much more than the clothes on his back. why do i have so much?
i worry a lot more than i'd like you to believe about "needing" a bigger vehicle for my family, a bigger house because of "this" and "that", more money to make all of that happen. and yet, i have a house to live in. i have a car that gets us where we need to go. i have money to make all of that happen.
this has really been on my mind the last few days because of the flooding in nashville. which then made me think about all of the other natural disasters that have taken place over the last few years. which then made me think about the people who don't even have a home to be destroyed because they have nothing. all of which leads me to this: why am i so selfish? why do i have this little creeping desire to have something better or something more? why is simplicity so difficult?
jesus lived a very simple life. notice i didn't say that jesus lived an easy life. i don't think his life was very easy at all. and i don't think he calls us to an easy life, but i do think he calls us to a life of simplicity. i think of the early church...that very first group of christ followers that we read about in acts. no one had more than they needed. and everyone had enough. and if someone had more than they needed, they gave it to someone that didn't have enough. what a simplistic life! in all honesty, i think i would worry WAY less if my life looked like that. i mean, it seems the more we have the more we worry about, right?
so even though i may not be over-the-top or outrageous, i absolutely have more than i need. this culture tells me there is nothing wrong with that, but jesus' life says something different. and so i strive to live a life of simplicity. i fail miserably most of the time but jesus just won't let me forget to keep trying.

shameless promotion

tony, my husband, preached a couple of weeks ago. he always does an amazing job, but this was definitely one of his best. it's weird to say that about a sermon, but it's true. should all go check out his blog and have a listen. it's worth the 15 minutes!

Living The Resurrection: Be a Dorcus

Saturday, March 13

preschool...LOTS and LOTS of preschool...

do you have a kid or kids in preschool? does pickup time every day bring with it an insane amount of arts and crafts papers and projects? if you're like me, it's fun to look through all of that stuff, but, unless it's something they are really proud of or it has their handprint on it, i don't want to keep it. now, i can pack-rat with the best of them but i'm working hard at suppressing that so keeping piles and piles of papers that we will probably never look at again just seems silly.
until last week, i was simply throwing it all away (or recycling it). i wished there was something better to do with it, but couldn't think of anything. but then we ran out of printer paper. and i had this great idea...why not use those papers to print coupons? (i print coupons a lot, by the way.) so now i have a stack of papers from jonah and raena that i pull out to print coupons, grocery lists, and other things that don't need to be official.
what do you do with all that stuff?

Friday, March 12

3rd time's a charm...

or 4th, or 5th, or however many times i have tried to "start over" with my blogging. we'll see if it works out this time! the last year has felt like a whirlwind. with work, church, family, etc. we have been super busy. it never quite seems to slow down. i guess that's what happens when you start getting old. i've always been told that time moves a lot faster as you get older and now i'm starting to believe it. i feel like raena was just born but she's already almost 16 months old! jonah will be 4 in july. FOUR!! sometimes i feel like i don't want to blink because i might open my eyes and find that i'm 45 with 2 teenagers. anybody else feel that?
well, all that to say that i'm giving the blogging another try. and hopefully this time i'll be able to keep up in the midst of it all.

Monday, September 22


i do not pretend to be completely educated on the following subject. i admit that i could be wrong. however, that being said, i do strongly believe that my thoughts are not far off from what i've come to learn and know of Jesus.
i recently watched "sicko", the documentary on healthcare in america by michael moore. now, i'm sure some of you might be tempted to stop reading at the mention of his name. i know that he definitely has an agenda in his films, he tends to go over the top, and presents one side of the story, but i also believe that there is truth in what he says. being pregnant myself and having a 2 year old, healthcare is an important issue to me. so, as i watched how pregnant women in france get a MINIMUM of 6 months PAID maternity leave, no matter their jobs, i was slightly jealous. and after seeing how the french government issues people to come over postpartum to help you with whatever you need help with...twice a week...and yes, it's free...i was ready to pack our bags!! (i can see some people now saying..."it's not really free, you pay for it in taxes"...i'll get to that later.) so, obviously, that was very appealing to me. but what affected me even more was hearing the stories of americans who have been bitten by the healthcare system...those who were "fortunate" enough to only go bankrupt trying to fight off sickness, and those who couldn't pay at all and ended up dying because they had no treatment available to them. i didn't understand, after watching the film, how we could possibly think that national healthcare would be a bad idea. i'm not completely naive. i know that there are problems with such a system. nothing works as smoothly as we'd like to believe. however, if national healthcare has worked in countries like england and france for so many years, and worked so well that there would be a revolution in england were the prime minister to take it away, why are we afraid of trying it america?
i think the answer comes down to the fact that we are an individualistic society. it's every "man" for himself in america. it's the land of opportunity, but only if you, the individual, have the drive, determination, and often times, the right color skin and economic status, to make something of yourself. and if you've had the privilege of accomplishing your goals, you don't want anyone to take that away from you. you worked for earned's yours. somehow, christianity has become tangled up in this web of "the american way of life" much so that it's hard to distinguish between the two.
so obviously we're afraid of an idea (a SOCIALIST idea) that means we aren't the ones in charge of what we get. those of us who can "afford" to pay an outrageous amount of money every month for healthcare don't want to give up the "privileges" that lends us. we can even fall into the trap of thinking, "i have healthcare. i have options. the healthcare problem doesn't affect me." and yet it does. not because they tell us in the media that even those with healthcare don't have all they think they have. it affects us because it affects the poor among us. we are all God's children and when there are those among us who cannot afford what we can, how can we think that's not our problem? it is our problem, especially those of us who claim to be christian. we cannot separate ourselves from the hurting, the poor, the disenfranchised, the widows, the sick, the dying. if we think that we can, we are sorely mistaken. the gospel of Christ isn't an individualistic gospel. (which, i think, opens a whole other can of worms.) if there is a chance for the government that we are a part of to "give equality to all" in terms of of the most basic needs of life...shouldn't we take it? shouldn't we support it? sure, it might mean that we pay more taxes (and it might not). it might mean that we have to wait a little bit longer at the doctor's office (and it might not). it might mean that we don't get to choose what doctor we see or what hospital we go to (and it might not!). but isn't all of that worth it to be able to give the same options to those who have nothing? why do we think we should have "the best"? especially when others have nothing?
i'm still trying to muddle through all of the frustrations and irritations that have built up in my mind. it's a little difficult to even begin to talk about this because i have so much flying around in there. i guess you could technically call my a socialist, but what's so wrong with that? didn't the church in acts share EVERYTHING? and didn't those who refused to live that way fall down dead? was that just a cultural thing? i don't think so. i'm no bible scholar, but i don't think so. i think it was the way that they cared for one another. could we do that today? would we be willing to do that today? as a member of the body of Christ, i sure hope so.
well, i am slightly a pessimist, so i'd have to say that, honestly, i don't know that national healthcare will ever happen in america...unfortunately. there's way too much politics and money (and i would like to insert "greed" and "evil") wrapped up in the health insurance companies today. but that doesn't deter me from fighting for change. i don't think that should deter any of us from petitioning the government of the country we live in to have the most elementary thoughts about humanity. i mean, for crying out loud, public education is free! not to devalue education because i think it is extremely important, but come on...what the government is saying to us is that educating people is more important than actually keeping them alive. and yet, education in america isn't a sign of socialism for some reason. i just don't get it.
i'd love to hear your thoughts on this. i think it is an important thing we should be thinking and deliberating over. i think a lot of us know someone who has been directly affected by the healthcare system...someone who has gone bankrupt trying to pay for the debt they've accrued simply by being sick. and even if we don't personally know someone, i think we should still be shocked into rethinking by the simple hearing of such stories.
i'll end with this question...would you be willing to give up some of the things you have grown accustomed to believe are "luxuries" so that someone else could have their basic needs of life met? it's not an easy question but i think it's a necessary one.