Friday, December 30, 2005

Another New Year's Countdown

She sits on a sofa, surrounded by her loved ones. As she gazes blankly into the TV, the ball begins to drop in NYC once again, as it does every year. Lost in a world of her own, she is consumed with thoughts of what the new year will bring. Voices ring out the countdown, but she can't help but worry about what another countdown means for her life. Will it bring anything?

...TEN... so 2005 is gone now, never to be revisited. I can't believe it went by so quickly. Where did it go? ...NINE... I guess it is about time for me to make another new years resolution that I will promptly break on about Jan 15th ... EIGHT... What should be my resolution for 2006? ...SEVEN... I could always loose a few pounds, quit smoking, drink less ... SIX... it sure seems like these are the same resolutions that I make each and every year, why can I never succeed? Am I bound to fail every year? ...FIVE... maybe I should be making resolutions for starting instead of resolutions for stopping? ... FOUR... maybe it should be about attitude and not so much on actions ...THREE... I have really been closing my heart to what God wants to do in me, maybe this year I will let Him in. ...TWO... Dear Lord, I hear your knocking, I hear your voice in my life, I want to let you into my heart. I pray today that you take my life, my heart, my past. Make me new, just like this year, so that I can start all over. I commit to you, to focus on the starting, not the stopping. I choose to start with YOU. ... ONE... HAPPY NEW YEAR!

"And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again." Philippians 1:6 NLT

Thursday, December 29, 2005


Cookie dough, candy, cheese fries, Cinna-buns, bagels, cokes, beer, gossip, cursing, shopping, ahhhhhhhhhh! ... as we get closer and closer to the new year I am reminded of the oh so many things in my life that I need to have the will power to resist. Is it really will-power that I need? Or is what I call will-power in reality God-power in me, a power which proves to be the greatest phenomenon in life. If there is any secret behind the mystery of the world of phenomena that can be learned it is will-power, and it is by will-power that all we do, physically or mentally, is accomplished. This year, I want to seek the right kind of power... a power that was within me all along... Do you have it?

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

American Beauty

"...but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life..."
- Lester Burnham from American Beauty

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Perfect Harmony

Single melody,
Tender sequence,
Dancing across the score.
Simple freedom,
Vacant passion,
Longing for something more.
Empty tune,
Left in the composer's hand.
Raw and real,
Now revealed,
Alone no longer stand.
Now complete,
A perfect pair of notes.
From bar to bar,
Seeming as if to float.
Perfect harmony,
The notes are now a song.
Once melody,
Now duet,
A past apart is gone.

for JCR 12/25/05

Friday, December 23, 2005

My Santa Claus

For years, people have been believing in Santa Claus... a big man in a red suit with a big white beard who slides down the chimney and delivers presents to young children on Christmas. We all know it... we have all believed it. There comes a point where children start to ask questions, to doubt... loosing faith in something they were always certain of.

I want the faith of a child, believing no matter what... never doubting, always loving. I want to be filled with hope that my Santa comes with free gifts... and all I have to do is believe in Him. He doesn't need to be reminded of what I would like, but my Santa already knows what I need. My Santa loves it when I come to Him. He loves it when I sit on His lap and talk to Him. My Santa's love for me is not conditional. He doesn't just love me when I am good, he loves me when I am bad too. My Santa is not just a once a year deal, He is with me all the time, every day, in my heart. All I have to know is that Santa Claus is alive and that He loves me....all I have to do is believe in Him... my Santa.. my Jesus.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Still, Still, Still

I have a confession to make... I have a guilty pleasure... I try my hardest to avoid listening, but since Nov 25th no matter how hard I may try, my hand just gravitates back to preset # 3... the poor local radio station plagued with NON-STOP Christmas music from mid-November till the end of December. I LOVE IT! I get so excited every time I get in my car...these Christmas tunes are the only thing that really get me in the mood for Christmas. This year I have challenged myself with paying close attention to the non-secular lyrics ... I mean, that IS what this holiday is really all about. Every day, I am amazed at how many songs there are that I have known and listened to for years, but that I never really stopped to absorb. This morning was no different... here is what I heard.

Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
For all is hushed,
The world is sleeping,
Holy Star its vigil keeping.
Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,

'Tis the eve of our Savior's birth.
The night is peaceful all around you,
Close your eyes,
Let sleep surround you.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
'Tis the eve of our Savior's birth.

Dream, dream, dream,

Of the joyous day to come.
While guardian angels without number,
Watch you as you sweetly slumber.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.

I feel as if this pre-Christmas time is all about hustle and bustle. We are consumed with shopping, buying, cooking, eating, and traveling. Why don't we ever stop long enough to be still... to be quiet... to listen to God... to be in be thankful, for this AWESOME season when we celebrate our Savior's birth.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Flashback... little girls sitting in the back pew at church... they are distracted, not listening. In order to keep the girls from chatting, Mom slides the church program and a pencil over to the girls. They don't play hangman like the boys do... they play M.A.S.H

ck it out...

My results... When I grow up I am going to marry Caleb (I put him down for all 5, cheating I know), I am a teacher, toating around my 4 kids in my Red BMW, to our apartment in Atlanta, GA?
You never know.

thanks Marg!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Upside of Anger

Monologue from The Upside of Anger
Lavender "Popeye" Wolfmeyer : Anger and resentment can stop you in your tracks. That's what I know now. It needs nothing to burn but the air and the life that it swallows and smothers. It's real, though - the fury, even when it isn't. It can change you... turn you... mold you and shape you into something you're not. The only upside to anger, then... is the person you become. Hopefully someone that wakes up one day and realizes they're not afraid to take the journey, someone that knows that the truth is, at best, a partially told story. That anger, like growth, comes in spurts and fits, and in its wake, leaves a new chance at acceptance, and the promise of calm. Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Imitators of what?

Little girls play house, little boys play cowboys and Indians... young children masterfully imitate these things they long to be. Immature... naive... playing a game. As they grow older, they change. The 10 year old boy longs to play basketball just like his favorite professional player. He joins a team. His coach teaches him and the other young boys how to play ball. He imitates what his coach does and the moves that he makes. The young boy isn't good like his coach or his professional idol, but he tries... he imitates the best that he can. The teenage girl wants to be just like Britney Spears. She sings with her CD, and dances along with her videos. She wears the same clothes and dies her hair. She imitates her idol, desiring to sing and dance just like her... she won't ever be as good, but she tries... she imitates the best that she can. They practice... never to be as good as what they imitate... but they watch, they learn, they imitate.

Even as grown adults you will act like someone. Do you copy what you see on TV or what you hear from the world. Do you long to be skinny like the movie stars or funny like the comedian, put together like the news anchor or crafty like Martha Stewart? Who do you imitate? Do you try to be like the world or do we imitate the only thing that is worthy of imitation, Jesus? Do you long for a heart like Jesus? We will never be as good as what we imitate, but at least we are trying... we are imitating the best that we can... we are imitating perfection.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.
Ephesians 5:1

Friday, December 16, 2005

Little Women

"Merry Christmas, little daughters! I'm glad you began at once, and hope you will keep on. But I want to say one word before we sit down. Not far away from here lies a poor woman with a little new-born baby. Six children are huddled into one bed to keep from freezing, for they have no fire. There is nothing to eat over there; and the oldest boy comes to tell me they are suffering hunger and cold. My girls, will you give them your breakfast as a Christmas present?"
Louisa May Alcott

I love this part of Little Women as these mature young ladies give up the little bit that they have for others. Louisa May Alcott captures what is truly the heart of Christmas... it's about the giving, not the getting. We give because our Father gave us the greatest gift of all... his Son.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Laughter is the best medicine

Under that magical circus tent she inched her way up to the edge of the ring. The show hadn't started yet, but she leaned over the rail with the hopes of seeing behind the curtain. Filled with anticipation, she quickly went back to her seat as the lights dimmed and the "Greatest Show on Earth" began.

The show was fabulous... magical, playful, and fun. She was enthralled... the dancing, the music, the animals and her favorite part... the clowns. One of the clowns came out after the show to see some kids. Passively, she asked for his signature on the picture of a clown that she had taken and framed last year when she was at the circus. As the clown's pen danced across the picture, he left her with a signature that was impressed in her heart and mind for years to come... it read... "Laughter is the best medicine. Best wishes- Zonkers"

Laughter is truly the greatest gift that we can give to ourselves. It is medically proven that laughing makes you healthier. Laughing improves circulation. When you laugh heartily, every organ is being massaged including your heart, lungs and digestive system. Headaches can just go away. When you laugh the endorphins released make you feel this elation. It makes those big decisions seem so much less important. The pressure and stress of life can bring anyone down... what do you do to bring yourself up? What makes you laugh? Can you laugh at yourself? Laughter is not just a sound is a feeling. Our society so often turns to medication and drugs to fix everything in life that is wrong... to cover up everything that causes pain in life. We don't need to cover those things up... healing starts with an attitude. It's about finding what it is in your life that balances those painful things out. Pain is real, but so is healing.

I guess that silly clown was wiser that I could have ever understood that day... Laughter IS truly the best medicine!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

12 days of Christmas

In celebration of the fact that there are only 12 days till Christmas (actually 11, I am counting the 25th as a day since I didn 't do this yesterday)... I thought the religious symbolism was interesting...
1 A Partridge in a Pear Tree- True Love refers to God
2 Turtle Doves refers to the Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens refers to Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds refers to the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings refers to the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying refers to the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming refers to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking refers to the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing refers to the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping refers to the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping refers to the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming refers to the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

People watching

It's early... too early to really want to talk to anyone… too early to want to think about anything at all. Keeping to myself, I entered the room and took my seat among 250 people who were there for the same reason I was…not because they wanted to be, but because they are citizens called to serve… yup, we were there for jury duty! I surveyed the crowed trying to figure out what kind of people I was surrounded by. There was the homely woman reading a Steven King novel to my right, she didn't seem to really even acknowledge anything going around her, very content in the fictional world of her book. There was an overweight Hispanic man to my left who seemed to be slowly creeping into my person space. I wanted to draw an invisible line with my hand down the seam of the seats just as I had done at age 6 with my little brother in the back seat of the car.... "here is the line, that is your half and this is mine." (I was a bossy young lady). The worst was the woman behind me who coughed onto my neck as if she had been challenged to a germ spreading contest. I tried not to let my imagination get carried away as I could picture the small particles flying across the room. What is it about people watching that is so incredibly fascinating? Each of us bounce around independent of each other most of our lives except for the occasional times when we visit these very public locations where all races, cultures, sexes, and ages are brought together. When I am content with staying within my bubble, I close myself off from the diversity of God's world. He is an amazing artist who has carefully crafted each and every one of us to be unique, totally different from the next. While the wait was tedious today, I was reminded of how unique I am, and how special it is that while each of us in that room was created different, we were created in God's image... his precious children.

Monday, December 12, 2005

But She waits...

She stands in the rain, drenched from head to toe... but she waits. It's dark... she's wet... she's hungry. The storm picks up, water flooding over her....but she waits. She doesn't know where to go, but she knows that she needs shelter; she needs protection; she needs love. She is cold... teeth chatter quickly. Her lips are the slightest shade of blue... but she waits... for someone to save her from the storm, to protect her, to love her. Slowly, the rain turns to hail. The small pellets of ice tumble down, pushing her down. She falls to her knees, down to the ground, hands over head... but she waits.

The weather doesn't change, but she can feel someone watching over her. She lifts her head... her Father is there. He was there all along, but why didn't she see him?... through the rain, through the hail. Why was she alone, when she could have been safe? He is smiling, He is warm, He is waiting... for her. He holds and umbrella over her... to give her shelter, to protect her... because He loves her.

Friday, December 09, 2005

My loves and hates

My hates... I hate breast augmentation, face lifts, and botox and for that matter- makeup; I mean God made us to deteriorate, it is the beauty of life. I hate long fake fingernails, you know the type that click on the keys of a computer. I hate bell-bottoms, scruncies, clogs, tie die, big bangs, or any other severely dated trend that people continue to rehash. I hate cockroaches. I hate dating reality television shows. I hate gossip magazines and America's obsession with famous people's lives, I mean they are humans just like we are and no one cares when I go to the park to walk my dog. I hate screaming kids in airplanes, and that guy who leans his chair back into your lap. I hate karaoke, an attempt for it to be ok to sing off key... it is NEVER ok to sing off key. Oh yeah, and $3 gas.

So many loves... I love good music. I love deciding what to eat hours before meal time. I love Clemson... the campus, the team, the people, the memories. I love surprises, but not the kind that you see coming at all, I like the kind when you really don't have a clue. I love a good book. A comfortable T-shirt. An unexpected phone call. I love a glass of wine after an exhausting day. I love being a bum on my couch in my robe after a good jog and a long hot shower. I love it when a guy is a gentlemen, not because he was raised the way, but just because he wants to. I love friends where you can pick up right where you left off, no matter how long it has been. I love board games. I love family time. I love getting out of the city to realizing that you can see the stars... I love stopping the hustle and bustle of my life just long enough to be still.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Since 3

Since 3, I've had this friend,
He was always by my side,
He was young, silly, and goofy,
And his smile he could not hide.

He grew to awkward teens,
Wore a t-shirt in the pool,
Did all the things that boys do,
Played sports and went to school.

I wasn't around for Sr. high,
But I know he grew up fast.
Had more friends than I ever could,
Never lingered on the past.

This boy he is a boy no more,
He's now become a man.
The boy who once admired me,
I'm now his biggest fan.

My advice is no longer good,
He's learning it on his own.
He's more mature than I know,
I'm amazed at how he's grown.

He's faithful, strong, wise and brave;
Resourceful and always clever.
No matter where he goes in life,
That boy will be my brother.

for SJR

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Driving Me Crazy!

I was prompted to write this blog by a very aggravating drive to work this morning... one of my biggest weaknesses is patience, and when in the car, I am tested most! I have summarized what drives me crazy into 10 types of drivers (hopefully you can relate)...

The Rubber Necker - these drivers slow unnecessarily to view an accident that they could be seeing later on the local news, please keep your hands, feet and necks inside the vehicle at all tiems
The Shoulder Cutter- standstill traffic really tests when I am on the brink of loosing it, the shoulder cutter really sets me off as he impatiently zooms by along the shoulder bypassing the fairness of something we all learned 1st grade... the line!
The Break Rider - due to a longing to drive a go-cart instead of a car, the break rider uses both feet- one on the gas and one on the break, therefore signaling all drivers behind them that they are breaking while also moving forward
The Slow Poke - the most frustrating of drivers to me are the slow pokes who feel the need to drive in the fast lane while cruising below the speed limit causing all drivers to pass them on the right
The Turn Lane Parker - in an attempt to be closest to the traffic light, these drivers stop at the red light in the right lane blocking anyone else from being able to turn right
The Mattress Toter - It amazes me that people continually try to tote their mattresses down the highway in the back of a pickup without tying them down?!? ... get a trailer- I can promise you, it's going to fly out!
The HOV Hog- it seems to me that the HOV lane was invented to help speed traffic along and to encourage carpooling... why would someone get onto the HOV lane who is planning to travel slower than the flow of traffic- why not just travel in the right hand lane, buddy!
The Cop Breaker - I realize that I am more educated than most of society, but I don't understand why people slow down when there is a cop on the oncoming side of the highway... I mean, what is the cop going to do- jump over the concrete median with his cop car and chase after you?
The Thumper- the thumper is characterized by excessively loud music reverberating from the car. These vibrations often travel from the thumper and into the other surrounding cars, causing me to feel my internal organs shaking up into my throat. The thumper can also be identified by some other car features ie. large rims, two tone paint jobs, under lighting, or hydraulics.
The Tailgater - maybe I should get a bigger bumper sticker

Dear Lord, today I pray for patience!!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My Junk

Everyone's got one. It's your best kept secret. Maybe no one even knows about it. Its that place where you stick everything that doesn't have a place... where its ok for things to be thrown about, disheveled, unorganized, and just plain messy! Junk, strewn about, no order... confusing and frustrating to you every time look. What is she talking about you ask... your JUNK DRAWER! Don't deny it, I know you have one. You tuck things away and swear that you will organize it someday. The thing is, you try and try again, but it never really happens. Every time you clean it up, it just becomes a collection of your junkiest of things again and again.

There are things about each of our lives that are messy... full of junk. We leave that mess tucked away for no one else to see. We are embarrassed and ashamed for anyone to see it. The worst part is we don't even know where to start to clean it up.

"Come as you are", He says... I want you and your baggage. You can't hide your junk from me...

Why not start cleaning today?

Monday, December 05, 2005

'Tis the Season!

Deck the halls with bells of holly. 'Tis the season to be jolly. What exactly are we fa la la la -ing about? As a society we have taken this single day holiday and we have stretched it into an entire season of celebration... but what for? 'Tis the season to be jolly... but what are we being jolly about? Are we jolly about celebrating the birth of our Lord, or are we so focused on the music, the lights, the shopping, and the tree that we have forgotten what this great "season" is all about. As we embark on the most wonderful time of the year, let us never forget what it is all about... 'Tis the season to be jolly for the birth of Jesus.

Friday, December 02, 2005


What if I had a superpower,
To help me day to day.
I'd use it to protect myself,
from all that comes my way.

Speed, strength, or flight,
All that I could ever want,
To be, play, or see.

If I could have a superpower,
My heart would never break.
I'd be calloused to what love is,
I'd close it all away.

To love is to be vulnerable,
So take my power away.
I need to experience pain,
If it hurts, I'll be ok.