Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Love, Drama and Scandal. We've Got It All.

Courtesy of Break Free 

If you are looking for love, I have the answer.  If you are looking for drama, I can hook you up.  If you want scandal, well, I have that too.  So, pull up a chair, grab your popcorn, and turn off The Real Housewives of Orange County.  'Cause Baby, we're going to church....


You heard me, we're are going to talk about Christianity.

Let's Take A Walk Back In Time
     If you are like me, you remember going to church as a child.  For me, we were just Christmas and Easter Believers.  We would get all dressed up and go.  Apart from my family, I would go to church with my friends on Sundays and attend AWANA on Monday nights.  I would carry my little bible into the church and spend the morning in Sunday school.  We would sing songs, color pictures, and hear great stories about how Jesus loved all of us.  We were told to read our bibles and pray, be nice to one another and ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior and then life was going to be good.  Those were the old days and I have to wonder where it is all going.

Today's Church
     Over the last month, I have seen and heard so many stories that have made me wonder about Christianity.  I have to confess, that I am still a learning Christian.  My bible knowledge is not as strong as it could be and I do know understand most of the history of Christianity.  With that said, I have to admit that if I knew more, than maybe some of this would make more sense to me. 

     *If we all proclaim to be Christians, how can our views be so different?.  I know that within each denomination, there are different views and rules.  For instance, some can drink wine anytime that they would like (within reason, of course) and others believe that alcohol of any kind is forbidden.  There's no dancing for some and, for others, dancing is used as an expression of worship.  They can not even seem to agree on some of the heavier issues, like homosexuality.  How can we all be reading the same book and be interpreting it in so many different ways?

     *Is there really a hell?  I saw this one last night.  A pastor in Michigan has written a book based on whether or not there is really a hell.  You can read the entire Time article hereLove Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell was written as an attempt to have us all look at what we have been taught about Heaven, hell, and salvation.  To encourage us to re-examine what the bible actually says, in comparison to what has been taught over time.  "Rob Bell presents a deeply biblical vision for rediscovering a richer, grander, truer, and more spiritually satisfying way of understanding heaven, hell, God, Jesus, salvation, and repentance. The result is the discovery that the "good news" is much, much better than we ever imagined.  Love wins."   In the Time article, Gandhi is used as an example.  A well respected political and ideological leader in India.  He was not a Christian, so he's in hell, right?! 

     *The traditional church structure is being shaken up.  There is a new wave of thinking that it is time to change things up a bit, in order, to reach out to those who might not feel open to attending the traditional Sunday church services.  People are looking for different ways to show their spirituality.  With, Excuse Me, Is This The Way To Heaven?, I talked about this more.  But, there seems to be a definite pull to find new ways to reach out to others and make everyone feel more accepted.  I came across this church in Daytona Beach that offers a drive-in church.   I guess that if it were a beautiful day and I could sit in my convertible, with the top down, and praise God, then I would do it too.  It seems to me that we are doing everything that we can to make having a relationship with God as "convenient" as possible.  If this day and age, we are a society of convenience.  We have the attitude of wanting everything now.  Actually, it's an attitude of wanting it yesterday and we can't believe that we are having to wait for it!  That is a whole different can of worms and I'm not going to open it up all the way.  Just a crack, for my point today.  Can we get to far away from traditions that they seem to become blurred?

For some things, I believe that it is good to question.  How do you grow and learn if you do not?

On the flip side of that, can we question to much? 

How much does God want us to really know? 

At what point, do we start believing that we know enough or understanding more than we need to? 

Will we eventually come to the point that we think that we know all that we need to and do not really need God, because we've got it all figured out?  If we've reached the top of the mountain, there's only one way to go...DOWN!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

If I Were A Princess...

     If I were going out for the evening and I were a princess (or a princess-to-be), this is the outfit that I would choose.

     For the heck of it, I used Kate Middleton's engagement outfit as inspiration for this.  This is only a dream outfit.  I do not have anywhere that is this fancy to head out to and I am certainly not going to refinance the house in order to pay for it, either.  But, in my dream world where this would be a standard in my wardrobe, I would have this.  In my fantasy world I would also have a personal chef, personal trainer and my hair and makeup would look perfect always.  Oh, and I would look fab-u-lous in hats.

Nehita Swirl Sapphire Ring-Max & Chloe
Nana' Alba Night Blue Flower Feather Hat Disc-Forzieri
Ivory satin shoe with platinum glitter heel-Kate Spade
DKNY Royal Blue dress-StyleBop
Kotur Clutch-Diani Boutique
Santi Beaded Clutch-Lori's Shoes
Swarovksi Crystal Platinum Leather Pumps-Forzieri

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lost Letters From the Heart

            I had started my morning the same way that I usually do.  After I have successfully scooted my boys out the door for school, I take my morning walk, have my devotional time, eat a little breakfast and watch a bit of The Today Show.

            That morning, they had shared the story of a lost postcard that had been sent from one friend to another, but had been missing for 24 years.  It finally made its way to its destination only recently.  Unfortunately, the intended recipient had long since moved.  The woman who found it among her mail was so moved by this long lost message, that she started searching to find the two friends.  Years had passed and the two had lost touch with one another, but neither had forgotten.  The three ladies were reunited on The Today Show and it was a very sweet and heartwarming occasion.

Travel Postcard by Chris Herrmann

            I started to think about my friends of old, one in particular, a friend that I had grown up with.   We swore that we would be best friends forever.  We were so close that we didn’t need the Friends Forever necklaces to proclaim it.  Everyone that we met just knew it.   We were inseparable.  But with time, distance, and the responsibility of families, we have lost touch.  Our moms are still good friends and I always feel as though I know generally what is going on in her life, I still miss her terribly.  

She was the yin to my yang, the creamer to my coffee.  
            I have made mistakes in my life.  But, letting her slip away is one of my greatest regrets. 

            I decided today, that I am going to do something that I have put off for too long. 

            I’m going to send her a postcard.

 It may not have been lost in the mail for 24 years, but it has certainly been a long time coming.

If there is a special someone out there that you have not spoken to in a really long time, I hope that you find the time to reach out to them again.  Chances are, they have been thinking about you, too.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Son is Incredible

     I know that we all think that our child is the best.  But, I am going to take this moment to dote on mine for just a little bit.

     My youngest son has been patiently waiting for his turn to play lacrosse.  Both of his older brothers have played.  He has sat and watched all of their games, practiced with them at home and cheered them on.  And, finally, this was his year.  Our school just started a 3rd and 4th grade team and he couldn't wait.  Not only was he going to have the opportunity to play and represent our school, but his best buddies are on the team with him.

photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

     Last Thursday, was his first game.  He was a middie, taking most of the face-offs.  For those of you who do not know anything about lacrosse, let's just say that that is a very active position, carrying the ball up and down the field.  With a minute left in the second game, my son had the ball and was heading for the goal when he was tripped.  Not intentionally, but with all of the scrambling around him to try and get the ball away from him, little feet became all tangled up.  He looked a little shook up when he got up from the ground, but played out the last few seconds of the game.  When the buzzer sounded, my little man fell to the ground.  He was hurt.

     He had rolled his ankle during the play and had sprained it.  We are uncertain of how long he will need to stay on his crutches and his lacrosse season may very well be over.

     I'm not telling you all of this for your sympathy or to scare you away from letting your children play lacrosse.  But, rather, to share with you my son's spirit.  Yes, at first, he was bummed that he would miss his next game.  He understands that he can not play until he is healed and has the doctor's release.  Instead of letting that get him down, he has chosen to not let it hold him back.  He went to the game, last night, in his jersey and cheered on his buddies from the sidelines.  He was not asked to do this and, frankly, I think he surprised many by being there.  He was there to be a good and supportive friend.  He wants me to take him to all of the practices that he will miss, so that he can learn from watching them what he is missing. 

     When I asked him why he wanted to do all of this, his reply was simple.

     "Because, Mom, we're a team."

     What a boy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Worship Filled Wednesday

I'm not going to say much, but I did want to share this video with all of you.  My boy's first showed it to me and I have watched it many times. 

I will let this video do my talking for me today.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rainy Day Reminiscing

     It’s a rainy day here.  There is a little chill here in the house and my trusted companion is curled up next to my feet.  I'm sipping on a cup of lukewarm tea and I am reminded of a particular day.

     My oldest was an infant and we lived in a little apartment.  I had hurriedly finished my duties for the day, so that I could enjoy some quiet "me" time while he napped.  It was much like today, except for the fact that he is now 17 years-old and I like to take naps.  That afternoon, I had made myself a pot of coffee.  Yes, a pot of coffee.  I was a sleep deprived mom and needed my caffeine fix.  I gathered my watercolor supplies and spread everything out on the table.  With each stroke, I could see my interpretation of the picture that I was painting coming together.  At various intervals, I would grab my cup of coffee, step back and admire what I had done. 

My first watercolor picture.

     I always thought that it was an amazing thing to see how I could look at something, use it as my inspiration and then recreate my own version of it.  For my eyes to see this ordinary object. To use my heart and mind to interpret what I was looking at and to then use my hands to physically recreate it. 

     I wonder what would happen if we all took the time to step back and admire all of the good works that we have done.  I do not mean just our creative works.  Rather, all of the things that we do, as wives, moms, daughters, and friends.   Not necessarily a pat on the back, but an assurance that our efforts mean something.

     This afternoon, as the rain comes down, I am going to take a little "me" time and curl up with a good book.  Sip on a cup of hot tea and enjoy being surrounded by this wonderful and safe house that I have helped make.  That is one of my best creations.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lazy Afternoons

It’s sunny and pretty here today.  I have fulfilled all of my duties as a housekeeper for today and I’m now sitting at my trusted laptop and I can’t seem to stop looking out the window.  It’s not a gorgeous view, like you would see in a picture, it's actually my neighbor’s garage door.  Like I said, nothing thrilling, but I can’t seem to stop doing it.  The sun is shining brightly and there seems to be just a bit of a breeze.  The grass has begun to green up and the various flowers are starting to bloom.  It is just beautiful outside.    But, here is how I feel....

Picture is taken from Chick Lit Is Not Dead:
Mommy Is Tired 

On a beautiful day, when I have accomplished all that I have to do and should be thrilled to just sit here and write away, I can't seem to gather up enough gumpshun to do it.  It's not that I haven't been sleeping, I've feel well rested.  I haven't got a worry on my mind.  But, my get up and go has gotten up and left.  Leaving me here doing nothing, but wanting to sit here and just observe the world.

Do you ever have a day like that?

I would normally have given anything to have a distraction free afternoon and all I can seem to get accomplished is to look out my front window and think about important things, like...

*Is it going to rain later this week?  I hate to wash the car and have it rained on so soon after?

* Will it be cold for tonight's game?  If so, I should probably plan to swing by Starbucks on the way?

*If I were Kate Middleton, where would I register?  I wonder if she would register for something as normal as a toaster? 

*If I were to put my boy's laundry away for them, would they ever find it?

That's it for today.
I hope that you are all having a much more productive day than I am.  I'm going to turn off my laptop, go outside and sit in the sun.