Saturday, November 29, 2008

Survival of the Fittest

Whew. I made it. There's something about Black Friday that always gets me in a yank. I'm not sure I quite understand it, but I think it's just too much pressure for me. Consider Thanksgiving. It's a day to pause and give thanks. It's a holiday (well, at least it is if dinner doesn't happen to be at your house this year). It's a day to eat, enjoy time with families, and take unusually long naps after eating sinful amounts of pie. In other words, Thanksgiving is a day of eating and sleeping (please don't call my house with death threats if you were up at 4am putting your bird in the oven--theoretically, it's a day of eating and rest).

Now fast forward to Black Friday. The TV blares constant adds about all the sales starting at 5am (no scratch that...they started at 4am this year) for things you "Must Have", radio stations start their "all holiday music" extravaganzas, count-downs to "The Big Day" begin, parties are scheduled, every weekend on the calendar instantly fills up, and on and on it goes. It feels like someone just fired the starter pistol and if you don't hit the ground running, you're going to get trampled before you ever leave the starter blocks. (Speaking of trampled... It doesn't help my thoughts on the subject any to see the story on the news about the Wal-mart worker who was trampled to death on Friday morning by an impatient mob of early morning shoppers.)

But now that the initial surge is over, I've taken a deep breath, bought a few gifts, pulled the decorations down from the attic and I'm ready to see if I can survive another holiday season. Oh yeah, in case nobody has reminded you today....it's 27 days until Christmas.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pie in your Eye

I knew I shouldn't have let my son eat dessert with the Youth Pastor. Those Youth Pastors are bad news. It's not like little boys need any encouraging in the mischief department.

We had Thanksgiving dinner at our church. It was a wonderful meal with 25 or so people gathered. After dinner, The Pastor's son was eating pie with the Youth Pastor (When he's being adorable he's my son. On days like this, he's The Pastor's son.) and I was in the kitchen helping to clean up. A small clarification here, my son....oops, I mean The Pastor's son didn't really want any pie, so he asked me if he could just eat whip cream. I kind of felt sorry for him (first mistake) and because it was a holiday, I squirted a pile of whipping cream on a dessert plate and turned him loose with a spoon.

OK, so anyway, I was in the kitchen and he wanders over to me with his plate of whip cream.

"Hey, Mom?"

"Yes?" I answered.

"I think this whip cream smells funny." He held the plate up for me to examine.

"I'm sure it's fine" I said, bending down to get a closer look.

Then my one and only son....oops, I mean The Pastor's one and only son, in front of God and everyone...on Thanksgiving day, nonetheless, smashed the plate of whip cream into my face and up my nose.

I don't think I've ever heard him laugh that hard. I don't think I've ever heard his father laugh that hard. He's only six, but I have this funny feeling that he's going to be grounded from going to Youth Group for a long time to come.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Success of The Hunt

As a wife, I'm grateful to my husband and the Lord for providing meat for our family, but there's nothing in me that has the need to actually look at the bloody, dead animal. I'm not excited to take a picture while The Pastor holds it's floppy head in his hands or go out to the garage and look as he and his friends skin it. (YUCK!) I think all those things are basically guy things...So as promised to all my male readers, here is a picture for you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Vulnerability

Like Fox News, I try for the most part to make this blog "Fair and Balanced", but I'm afraid that you men might not fully understand this post. Sorry. I can't help it. I can only look at this from a woman's perspective. However, later this week, I'll post a picture of The Pastor with the bloody, dead dear he shot and that should satisfy my "Manly Post" quota for the month.

In a recent post, I mentioned a bad hairdo. It was one of those days where I was feeling vulnerable. I had gone on a business trip to Las Vegas and when I returned, all you-know-what was breaking loose at the office. Being gone for a week, even if it's for the sake of the company, always has huge paybacks. Anyway, it was a lousy week with many factors against me.

As a personal policy, I ALWAYS, get my hair cut at a late afternoon appointment. The lady who cuts my hair does an amazing job with the shears, but she has this uncanny ability to make me look like....well I don't know who, but let's just say it's bad. I get teased relentlessly, so I always go straight home after a haircut.

Lately though, she's been cutting my hair without washing it or getting it wet. This turns out to be in my favor because she can cut it and it retains the shape I gave it in the morning, instead of the Cyndi Lauper look she likes to give it. Because of this, I've let my morals slip and for the last several haircuts, I've let her cut it at lunch. Since I'd been out of town and also on vacation, I was desperate for a haircut, so this day I compromised my values again and made a lunch appointment.

My day at work was terrible, the weather was gloomy and dark and I was vulnerable and looking for something to make me feel better. I'm going to sum up this post by encouraging you gals...if you find yourself in this mood; if life is pressing in on you, and certainly if you are getting your hair done at lunch and must go back to work, your problems can't be solved by the words...

"Sure, you can color my hair."

Trust me. I know.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Light

"Light is sweet, and it pleases the eye to see the sun." Ecclesiastes 11:7


This week was a bit tough. There's something about "falling back" that messes with me. While it was nice to wake up and have it a little more light than before we changed the clocks, it's definitely not worth the trade off when it's dark at 4:30 in the afternoon.

Some people might think it's a bunch of hooey, but up north here in Idaho, the days get very short and Seasonal Affective Disorder (being SAD) is a very real condition. Not having enough light can make you feel strange in all sorts of ways. I know because I happen to have it. I'd like to sugar coat it for you all, so you don't think less of me, but basically...I turn into a crazy woman when I don't see enough daylight.

My Jeep has automatic headlights. They come on when it's getting dark and I've often wondered if the sensor is broken or something, because it's got to be pretty dark before they come on. On Wednesday my headlights came on as I drove both to and from work. My heart sank. Here we go, I thought, knowing this is only the beginning of a long, dark winter.

If I let myself, I can get extremely bummed out by the fact that I spend my days in an office with only a small view to the outside light, or I can be downright depressed that I might not stand in my own kitchen and see the sun spill through the windows until the next weekend rolls around, and even then, only if it happens to be sunny that day.

However, when I feel myself sliding down that icy slope of despair, I try to remind myself of one thing...

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

Christ is my light. With him I'm never in darkness. Armed with that (and a full spectrum-light therapy lamp...just kidding - I don't own one) I should make it through these dark winter months just fine.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Remember Who's In Control

"The King's heart is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases." Proverbs 21:1


Whether your candidate won or lost last night, let's remember to pray for our nation. Isn't it comforting to know that regardless of who we voted for for President, we know who really holds the future of our country in his hands?

Monday, November 03, 2008

True Satisfaction

I looked through my pile of mail the other day to find another yet another catalog in the stack. It seems like they arrive daily, even though I know that's an exaggeration. I tell myself not to, but I can't help but flip through them. Of course, when I do, I always see some particular item that I didn't know I needed and now can't live without, so I'm forced to keep the catalog for the soon-coming day when I place my order. Ah, the power of advertising.

On the flip side of that, there are some days when I just feel like I need something new. I don't know what it is, but I definitely need something. No advertising has been forced upon me, there's nothing in particular that I have in mind, but I'm sure that if I go find myself something, I'll feel better.

Sunday morning at church, we sang a song that was new to me. Now, I've grown up in church, been a Christian since I was very young, and married to the pastor for nearly 20 years. Let me tell ya, I know a few songs. But, I didn't know this one.

The downside to knowing so many songs for so many years is that I often sing them without really letting the words soak in. Sundays are busy for pastors and their families. It's a work day. Sometimes it's very hard to turn our minds from "work" to worship, so I end up singing, "I love you, Lord" while thinking, "Where are the Jones' this morning? I haven't seen Jane in several weeks. I should remember to pray for her and give her a call. I hope she's not mad after what happened at the last business meeting..." and on and on.

No one but you Lord,
can satisfy the longing in my heart;
Nothing I do
can take the place of drawing near to you.

The words caught me off guard. It was a simple song and I've sung a million like it before. But for some reason, that morning, as I stared at the overhead screen, God and I had a quiet moment together. Because I didn't know the song, I just stood there, looking at the words and soaking in their truth. Try as I might to soothe my soul with some thing, I can really only do it with some one. God spoke to me clearly that morning, assuring and reminding me that he is enough for me and drawing near to him is the only thing I need to satisfy those longings in my soul.

That catalog is going in the trash.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Selective Knowledge

This afternoon The Pastor, our son, and I all went to Wal-mart to do some grocery shopping. On the way home, a truck was driving in front of us that had a sticker on the rear window that said, "Real trucks don't have spark plugs."

"What does that mean?" I asked "Don't all cars need spark plugs to run?"


The Pastor told me that the truck was a diesel and diesel engines don't use spark plugs. He then launched into a 15 minute explanation of engines; how they work, the difference between gas and diesel, spark plugs, glow plugs, on and on... He went on to explain compression ratios and ignition source and finally finished up with the difference between regular gas and premium gas and which kind you'd want to use in which kind of cars and why.

I looked at him dumbfounded as he beamed with pride at his vast car-guy knowledge. After a minute or two of silence I finally asked him the question that had been plaguing my mind while he spoke...

"How can you know all that and not know how to work the remote for the TV?"


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