Saturday, November 30, 2013

What I Learned in November

We had a guest speaker at the Jackson Woman's Club meeting from Kentucky Monthly Magazine and he said that the word  facetious had a claim to fame- the only word in the English language with all five vowels in correct order. According to Oxford Dictionary, there are a few others... but this is the only one I've ever heard. 
2. How lobbyist got its name-
In my policy class, we discussed lobbying during the November session, and my professor told us the origin of the word lobbyist.  According to story, Ulysses S. Grant used to like to go to the lobby of the Willard Hotel and smoke cigars and drink.  While there, he would be aggravated by men wanting legislative favors.  He termed them "lobbyists".  However, according to the website above, lobbyist was used long before then... It's thought that it was used as early as 1640 in the British parliament.  Interesting stuff, I know. 

3. The picture of the Newsboys cover for "God's Not Dead" was actually a real picture from when Titanic sunk. Caleb Bates showed me this... he has an amazing memory.  He is also slightly obsessed with Titanic history, and he was leafing through a book and saw the image.  Which led to us googling the other image.  And there you have it.

 4. Nothing stays the same.  Ok, this is another case where I knew that... but I was reminded of it this Thanksgiving.  Every year for at least the past 10 years, the guys in my Mom's family gather to have the annual Turkey Bowl. This year, it was freezing cold and there was snow on the ground...and they bypassed tradition.  Some of them felt too old. Landry has been sick and was not allowed to play.  And it was a little sad... but they made up for it by pulling out a classic and watching it, from 2004.  Where Caleb is only two, and he's loudly proclaiming he wants to go , "Outkide.  Mine wants to go outkide." He wants to go outside to watch, "The Bocats.  Mine watch Bocats." And it might have slightly broken this Mama's heart to see that cheesy grin when the camera switched to his face.
Another break in tradition?  Southern Lights... we usually go on Thursday night, but this year we waited to go until Friday.  I ran into Barnes and Noble to pick up a book, heard someone call my name, and got to see my best childhood friend, Olivia.  His timing is good.  I also got to go out and see her grown-up Sophie, who has a great personality, and her precious bundle of joy Abram.  So, breaking tradition isn't that bad, because if we had went on Thursday I wouldn't have gotten to chat with her.  And we are going to get together in December... because it has been WAY too long!!!

5. Once you have a best friend, it kind of stays that way.  Those few minutes in the parking lot at Barnes and Noble... catching up... well, we can chat just like we saw each other yesterday.  So many memories!

6. I really love basketball.  I forget how much I miss it until it starts back again.  Oh, sure, I'll complain and gripe about late nights and endless talk of plays and stats and scouting... but I love it.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.

7. I am slightly addicted to Facebook.  I took a break and it has been kind of nice.  I did notice that the first day, I caught myself thinking in terms of facebook statuses.  I think we have all kind of gotten like this, if we use social media at all.  My break was good for me.  I caught up on some reading, and sleep... lots of sleep.  I'm fired up to get back to work and school and finish up this semester. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

He Loves Me Anyway

Condemnation... such a heavy word. 

I can feel it on my shoulders.  Condemnation makes it hard to take a full, deep breath.

Condemnation is paralyzing.  It stops me in my tracks.  Keeps me from moving on.  Keeps me from moving at all...stuck.

And condemnation isn't from God.

Condemnation involves judgment, and while God is all about judgment, He is also about love.

And no one else has the right to judge you.  Not your parents.  Not your spouse.  Not your boss or coworker.  And really, not yourself.  And that goes for condemnation, too.

We've been reading about condemnation in Renee Swope's A Confident Heart. Actually, we read about it last week... but I've been so preoccupied.  But I'm not going to beat myself up for not posting sooner. After all, our key verse was There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.

Today, on the way home from work, You Loved Me Anyway by the Sidewalk Prophets came on.  I've always really liked that song, but today key words really spoke to me. As I thought about condemnation... I thought of Christ headed to that cross.  The sins of the world literally on His back, as He nailed them to the cross.  He packed a heavy wooden cross not meant for Him.  He, the Son of God, the Word that spoke the earth into being, stumbled under the weight... the physical weight, but dare I say, the weight of all of that sin and shame?  Because we've already established it is so heavy.  He took on the shame. 

" I am the thorn in Your crown,  But You love me anyway
 I am the sweat from Your brow,  But You love me anyway
 I am the nail in Your wrist,  But You love me anyway
 I am Judas’ kiss,  But You love me anyway
 See now, I am the man that called out from the crowd
 For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
 Yes then, I turned away with this smile on my face
 With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace
 And then alone in the night, I still called out for You
 So ashamed of my life, my life, my life
 But You love me anyway" Sidewalk Prophets

 The part that hit me... tried to bury your grace. Don't I do that all the time? Fill myself full of shame until His grace is covered up. Burying His grace... grace so freely given.  No condemnation... only grace. And even as we sling mud over His love, He loves us anyway.

Monday, November 4, 2013

What I'm Reading In November

I'm not getting to read nearly enough as I like.  Daggone work and school =) Anyway... I am counting down the days until Christmas break, when I plan to do absolutely nothing but lay under the covers and read... and attend a few basketball games. 

So, before I dive into what I'm reading right now, let me recommend something I read at the end of October, I Still Believe, by Jeremy Camp. I read it in three days... and it would have been less than that if I didn't fall asleep!!! Sat up until 130 in the AM the first day I started and read over half of the book.  Jeremy's wife died only a few months into their marriage, and he has since used her story as a huge testimony for Christ, which is the basis of the book.  Awesome!

On my Kindle, still reading The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell.  Haven't read any of it since July... but I will finish it this year. =) I'm also reading Don't Make me Come Up There: Quiet Moments for Busy Moms.  It's a devotional book by Kristen Welch, and is true life and very, very funny.  I'm reading Oh, That I Had Wings by Sarah Pawley, a book that follows a young boy and his little sister in WWI era times.  I just started The End of Boys, a memoir. 

My drive-thru read is Into the Dark by Alison Gaylin.  I read the first book in this series a few months ago.  It's about a private investigator who can remember everything that has ever happened to her, including sensatsions, taste, thoughts... very interesting.  I'm reading Notorious Nineteen in the Stephanie Plum series and am almost finished with What Alice Forgot, which is about an almost forty-year old who hits her head and forgets the last ten years of her life. When she comes to, she finds she has not only the child she thinks she is pregnant with (who is now ten), but two other kids, and is going through a divorce.  Very good read. 

I"m reading The Ragamuffin Gospel and A Million Little Ways, trying to read a chapter a night.  Both are great books.  Much talk about grace and acceptance and learning to love yourself.  I'm also on Chapter 6 of A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.

And my to read list... which just keeps growing and growing.  Gabby Douglas's autobiography.  Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, The Racketeer, ... oh, I could go on and on.  And then there's the books I wanted to read last month that are already downloaded on my Kindle... Grace by Max Lucado and Unconditional by Eva Marie Everson. 

As always, comment below with any suggestions for me. After all, Christmas break is coming up and I am always looking for a few good reads =)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What I Learned in October

1. The origin of open sesame- Apparently, open sesame is debated.  I always thought it was "Open, sesame", but during an interesting discussion following class one day, googled it, because one of my students said it was actually "Open, says me." And I was right... but she was, too... because Popeye actually said, "Open, says me" in a cartoon.  The original phrase comes from Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves.

2. Ariel and Hercules are cousins. Yes, Ariel, The Little Mermaid, and Hercules, the lesser known Disney cartoon. If mythology is taken into consideration, she and Hercules are related: Hercules’s father is Zeus; Poseidon is a brother of Zeus; one of Poseidon’s many sons is Triton; and, of course, Ariel is Triton’s seventh daughter. This means Hercules is Triton’s first cousin, and Ariel is Hercules’s cousin once removed.

3. You can change the size of your text messages on your Iphone.  You might have already known this, but for those who are visually impaired such as me, this is a good feature.  It only changes things like text messages, but it's much easier for me to read.  To do this, go to Settings, then General, then Accesibility

4. Toby Mac's real name is Kevin.  I didn't know that.  I did know that he was a member of DC Talk as was the lead singer for the Newsboys... but I had to look it up to verify for Caleb.

5. OK, I didn't learn this, but I am learning it.  The last two months of October have been rough.  Here it is November 3rd, and I'm just now posting this.  I've been behind on homework.  Behind on work.  Tired and stressed out.  Disappointed in so many things.

And it just isn't worth it.  As I've said in several posts previously, all of this stuff is just temporary. I've got Heaven waiting on me... but I can't live in defeat in the here and now.  No matter how difficult things seem, I just need to look to Jesus.  And you do, too. 

So, no recap of all of my goals for this year, because in most of them I've given up... but I'm slowly realizing that self-improvement is for the birds.  I can't do it myself... but He can.  I just have to open my heart up and embrace grace, be willing to give love. 

Which isn't so easy. 

But His grace is sufficient. And if I've learned anything in October, that would be it.  His grace is sufficient.