Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Football and the Mortification of the Flesh

For those of you who love competitive sports go ahead and do something else. I am absolutely sure that you will not be able to identify with this post....

Ty started football last night. He walked onto the field knowing not one person. But he didn't care, he was there to play football. He listened hard, worked hard and showed his stuff. He ran fast, faster than anyone else almost. He made one friend, but he doesn't know his name. He had fun.

I can't understand it. Standing around waiting to be evaluated. Not knowing anyone. Afraid of making a mistake. I'm sick just thinking of it. Ginger's with me... right, friend? Yuck.

Some people like competing. Some don't. That's just the way it is. I finally left the ball park. Strangely, I'm not afraid of him getting hurt. He probably will, it'll heal. It's the competition. Or rather, the fear of failure...

Hmmm. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Maybe that's the root of my nervousness about the Springville Church. My pride is a living, breathing monster. Hiding in the shadows of my existence, whispering in my ear, breathing down my neck. Much of the time, I'm not even aware of it's presence.

All that I can do is repent and let God banish my pride. Repentance and faith are my only weapons. And they are hard to wield against my self. I want to pretend it's not there. I want to justify it's existence. I want to save myself. But I must put it to death. I must mortify it. I must stand in my freedom and not back down.

That is where my boldness comes from... not my skill at making friends or my compulsion to talk to everyone. Boldness comes from the gospel. Boldness comes from not trying to accomplish things on my own. Not taking ownership of God's work. Knowing that in Christ there is no rejection, failure and condemnation.

Why can't I remember that?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Catch Up

Kim and Amber pointed out that they can tell when I get busy. Blogging is the first thing to go. But it's not just writing blogs, it's reading blogs also. I haven't read much lately. That's just the way it is.

New things going on in my life:

1. Gardening. I've learned a lot about how to weed, how to keep pests away but now I'm trying to figure out how to know when things are ready to be picked... hmmm.

2. Composting. A little complicated to begin with but not so hard once you have a system. And it doesn't stink... unless you put Ramen noodles in there. Note to self.

3. Recycling. Like composting, it's hard to get started but not very hard to maintain. We've gone from 3 large black garbages a week to 1 small white bag a week. Recycling for me is really just a form of protest against the evil that is Veolia. I hate them. Tired of dealing with them. Done.

4. Maggie and Gracie having seperate rooms. Lovely. Really cuts down on the fighting. And we've gotten rid of ridiculous amounts of crappy junk. Very tidy right now.

5. Canning. Today Kim, Amber and I put up 6 recipes of blueberry jam. That means about 30 jars. Lots 'o jam. "And it's so tasty too." (that's a Lucy quote, btw. Think vitameatavegamin.)

6. Football. Ty starts football practice in a week. Goodbye previous life. Hello ballfield. Anita pointed out that I've gotten away with it for a long time. Oh well.

7. Springville Church. We start our meetings the first Sunday of August. I'm a little conflicted.

8. Goats. We're thinking of buying a goat or two. We have a kudzu problem that we're looking to get rid of. Goats are one way of doing it. And they're not expensive.

That's all I can think of right now. I have spiritual struggles and new things that I'm learning but that's a blog for another day. Tootles.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Napkin Usage

What does a person's napkin say about them? I have no idea really but it's fun to pretend like I do.


The Twister - the napkin holder is unsure of themselves, nervous and afraid of saying something wrong or embarrassing. The Twister will hold the napkin until the last possible moment, refusing to give it up, as it provides much needed security.

The Wadder - this napkin holder is too consumed with their thoughts to give any consideration to the state of their napkin. The Wadder is highly engaged in interesting and challenging conversation, eating only while someone else has the floor.

The Multi-Folder - the Multi-Folder is a deeply thoughtful person who, though having much to contribute, rarely enters into the conversation, feeling that they are out of their element. They use their napkin to arrange and order their thoughts, possibly even to gather their courage to speak. The Folder likes order and control.

The Shredder - the shredder is an exaggeration of the Twister. The Shredder is sometimes accused of having a guilty conscience or of being OC. The Shredder is deeply fearful in social situations. Shredding is sometimes accompanied by tearful whimpering.

The Ignorer - the most hated of all, this non-napkin user tends to smack and wipe their mouth on their shirt or the tablecloth. The Ignorer also tends to interrupt conversations and talks with food in their mouth. Most children fall into this category.

The Single Folder - the most balanced of all napkin users, the Folder, while using their napkin appropriately, also engages in conversation, free from social awkwardness or controlling tendencies. The most enjoyable person at the table to sit beside.

I hope you've enjoyed this purely fanciful waste of time. I know I did.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A big THANK YOU to my favorite blog stalker for telling me about Jack Johnson. I like. I added some songs to my playlist!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I'm A Great Cook

Right now I have 4 boys at my house. The girls are spending the night away. I have Ty, Brody, Griff and Michael. My house is sooooo quiet. So quiet. I'm lovin' it.

They are going on and on about how good supper is, what a good cook I am and how well I can cook in general. Ahhh... affirmation. I feel bad for you poor, sad people who cannot be like me.

And just in case you want to be a super-duper good cook like me, I'll give you the recipe that is, even now, getting rave reviews. It's a little complicated. Some of you may not be capable of greatness like I am. Don't be discouraged. I'm sure you have other strengths.

Here it is:
3 cups cooked rice
2 cans chili
1 can corn, undrained
Heat it up.

Man, I'm exhausted.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Why?

Why did I leave a rotisserie chicken in the car overnight?
Why do people have to move away?
Why does my head hurt?
Why does a simple knee surgery bring so much pain?

Ahhh, the whys of life. The 'what is going on?' And even the 'how is this good?' I ask the questions. I even hope for answers.

I would like to quote my friend Betty Smartt Carter from her book Home is Always the Place You Just Left
"Actually, "Why?" may be the most devout question any human being can ask, because of what it implies about God.... if I ask, "Why is the universe here?" or even "Why do I get canker sores after eating strawberries?" I show that I hope for order in this mess. I want to know whether God tramps through nothingness for a reason, and whether all this junk, this frenzied mud I wade through from one second to the next, is maybe a trail that leads somewhere. To ask why shows that I have expectations, and expectations are the beginning of faith -however small, however many times crushed and reborn."

I love that quote. It explains so much to me. Even if I never find out the answer, it's good to ask the question.

After my mother died, I had people (that I did not know) tell me that I shouldn't ask God why, I should just trust Him. Sounds good on the surface maybe. But what does it say about God? It says to me that He might get angry or annoyed at being questioned. Which means that He's insecure and uncaring. Which means that He is not God. God wants to be known by us. He wants us to seek Him out. And He's big enough to handle the tough questions... He can take it. He knows if we're angry with Him... so is it better to ignore and avoid Him or verbalize what we're already feeling?

I've asked God "Why?" many times. Sometimes in anger. Sometimes in confusion. Sometimes in wonder. But every time, He has answered me with Himself. I still don't know the answers to many of the questions but I know God more. And that has always been enough.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Busy Week

Let me see... what have I done this week? Camped at the lake for 2 nights, worked in the yard and the garden, washed 5,ooo loads of laundry, spent the day in Jasper helping my Granny, spent the 4th at American Village and cleaned my house. Not bad, all in all.

Camping was fun and relaxing. We slept well - not too hot, not too cold. We ate well - hot dogs and roasted marshmallows. We played well - swimming, football, reading. Ahhh. Nice. And no sunburns. Hurrah! Of course, I had to wash pillowcases, sleeping bags, blankets and clothes when we got home. Ugh.

The practice garden, as we affectionately call it, is looking pretty good. No more bug problems, not many weeds, no animals eating anything. Of course, we've only gotten 2 tomatoes and 2 cucumbers out of it. *sigh* That's why it's a practice garden. We have no idea what we're doing.

Jasper was fun but exhausting. There was much work to be done. We got most of it finished but not all. The old barn is gone... well, bulldozed but not gone. It has to be cleaned up and hauled to the dump. Can you say, "Musty, mildewy, rotten, snakey, waspish mess?" In addition to that we helped Dad with his papers... Any type of mail or paperwork is my Dad's kryptonite. He is helpless against the onslaught. Bless his heart.

Yesterday, the kids and I drove down to Montevallo and spent the day at American Village. Holy cow, that was great! We watched a sword swallower/flame eater. Amazing and terribly disgusting. I was nauseous for an hour. Gag. We went to some other things, ate some good food and cotton candy and then settled down on the Green to watch some fireworks. There are no words that I could possibly speak that would explain just how awesome the fireworks were. Seriously. Amazing. We were hoarse when it was over, we screamed and cheered that much. All other fireworks displays pale in comparison. That, all by itself, was worth the hour long drive down. I wish you all could have seen it. There were rockets I'd never seen before. Sparkling waterfalls that lingered for 20 seconds or more. Enormous blooms that made us fall backwards on the blanket, they were that close. I'll stop now. You should've been there.

So today, I clean my house and rest up for Camp Cornerstone next week. See you then.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Granny's Office

I find it slightly disturbing that my grandmother has a home office set up in her bathroom around her toilet. Within easy reach is a telephone, a wall calendar, a clock, a dictionary, a concordance and a Bible. There are various and sundry magazines, a book of home remedies and an oscillating fan. Hmmm. How much time is really spent in there? Do her feet not go to sleep? How many times have I called her when she was in her "office"? What does she really get done in there, besides the obvious? It disturbing really. And that's all I have to say about that.