About Texas

There is a girl in my new "girls group" (Holla) in Texas (I clarify because I am still transitioning from Georgia to Texas) ANYWAY, there is a girl in my new group, and she is from California. Texas is funny to her because people are sooooooo proud of being Texans. She even has a blog dedicated to showing people just how weird Texas is compared to California. (www.thecalitexans.blogspot.com) Well, maybe that isn't the point of her blog, but I imagine for those folks living in California, from whence she came, Texas is weird.

I have really enjoyed Texas through her eyes. Big storms, big hats, big personalities, big hair. Everything really is bigger and better in Texas. I'm in Georgia right now and I blogged about a waffle and she asked me if it was in the shape of S.Carolina (where I was when I blogged) because her experience in Texas was that in every hotel she stayed at, her waffle was in the shape of Texas. HA!! I remember that from when I moved here. I got welcome gifts with Texas shaped chips, Texas shaped cookies, Texas shaped hot pads (not practical, just for the record). But really, Texas has such a recognizable shape, so why not?

Her funniest stories have been about trying to use "the language." So far I haven't heard a single "fixin to" "biggo" or even a good "y'all" out of her. She better get on her horse and skeedaddle back on home or start pickin up some texanese. (Sorry, that was terrible. It really was.)

My friend Cathy (from Georgia) loves Texas because, well, I'm here (j/k . . . sort of) but also because of Whataburger breakfast taquitoes. She found a whataburger in Florida and started screaming and freaked out her family because they couldn't figure out why she was flipping out over a fast food restaurant. (For those of you who don't know it, Whataburger started in Corpus Christi, Texas.) Jana, if you haven't tried the breakfast Taquito, you need to.

All that to say, I love Texas. It has a lot to love.

The Rhythm of Relationships

This morning, I was walking down the hallway of the hotel where I am staying in South Carolina with my husband. I had just finished my delicious free "hot" breakfast, which consisted of hot coffee and a self-made waffle. I wish I'd had more restraint and went for the oatmeal, but those waffles just looked so good. They weren't, but they looked it.

Anyway, as I was walking back to my room, I was thinking that I couldn't wait to get back to my room and get alone with God. That made me start thinking (following my train of thought is sometimes difficult for even me . . . you know you start thinking about one thing and then wonder how you got from there to how shoelaces were made?) Anyway, as I started thinking about my alone time, I thought about what my Pastor, Jeff Wells, said about having a regular time with and desiring to be alone with God. He says that every person has a different "thumbprint" of their time alone with God. That when we find our thumbprint, we will know it because it "fits"us and we can't imagine missing it.

I agree with that, though I don't know that I would have put it that way. So I started thinking that the "thumbprint" is probably what I would call the rhythm of the relationship. Every relationship has it's own rhythm. And once you find that rhythm, it is great. For example, Mike and I, when we live together, have a rhythm that we have settled into in our "empty nest" stage. We get home from work. Whoever gets home first starts dinner. (You'd think I would strategically let him get home first, but I don't.) Then we eat dinner together (usually in front of the TV, though I have tried for years to change that, but that just usually ended up with me at the table alone.) After that, we just snuggle up together and watch tv for hours. Sounds boring, I know, but it's a "reconnect" for us. Not a lot of words are spoken, but that's okay. It works for us. After enough time on the couch, the words typically find their way as well. When we are separated for any time at all, our "routine" or "rhythm" helps us find our way back into the comfort zone. If we have an argument, the concession and reconciliation usually happens on that same couch. It's our rhythm.

Every relationship, regardless of the type, has a rhythm. I had lunch with some girlfriends in Georgia on Monday. A relationship with a rhythm of which Moe's is a regular part. I have a friend in Texas with whom seeing a movie together is part of the rhythm. With my sons, the rhythm is different with each one. From the breakfast room to my hotel room, I mentally went through a lot of relationships I have with people and thought about the rhythm I have in each of those relationships.

All that to say, I am glad that my hotel room was so far away from that waffle. It gave me a lot of time to reflect on people I love, and people I need to love better.

Fools and Wise Men

I think I have mentioned before that I am studying the book of Ecclesiastes (yes still.) This morning I studied Chapters 9 and 10. I am using a commentary by a guy named David Fairchild at Kaleo Church in San Diego. This guy kicks butt, doesn't hold much, if anything, back, and has really helped me walk through this book of the Bible. Much of my blog today is (are?) his words that I am sharing with you.

Today was about fools and Wise Men. (not THE Wise Men, just wise men) He said if you think you are a wise man, you probably are not, and if you think you are a fool, you probably are. LOL. Basically he was saying that at times, we are all fools. :) I agree.

But I love what he had to say. He defines wisdom as "thinking God's thoughts after Him." He goes on to say, "We don’t need to be a genius, we don’t need to be innovative, we need to be humble and obedient." Well no wonder most of us are fools much of the time. Or maybe I should speak for myself. No wonder I am a fool much of the time. Look down a couple of posts and you will see the title "It always comes back to humility." So I have to spend more time being teachable, humbled and obedient and less time trying to be clever.

Here's the checklist for foolishness, in case you are in doubt:

Fools never learn (Chapter 9 vs. 13-16)
Fools have big mouths and never listen (vs. 17)
Fools are destructive (vs. 18)
Fools stink up everything (Chapter 10:1)
Fools are always lost (vs. 2-3) (even when they stumble onto the right path, they still lack direction . . . ouch)
Fools are hotheads (vs. 4)
Fools turn everything upside down (vs. 5-7)

He closes by saying, "It’s time we die to ourselves, our agenda, our pride, our selfish and foolish pursuit of things instead Christ, and come as children to be taught by the Father. It’s time we see Jesus “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3

All that to say, Ouch. God encourages us this way, "Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought." He has such a way with words. Perhaps I should try thinking His thoughts for a while.


When I leave work at night, I say I am going "home," though I am living with someone else in their home. When we go visit my husband's mother, he says he is going "home," though he has never lived in the house she lives in now, and hasn't lived in that state in over 20 years. Right now I am in Atlanta (I flew in from Texas at midnight!) and I told my friends I was going "home" for the week to see my husband, though I haven't lived here in 5 months and can't even remember where we keep the glasses anymore!

So what is HOME? Where is HOME? Please don't give me that junk about it being where "the heart is" or worse yet where you "hang your hat," or some other stupid saying you read on a sign somewhere.

Is home where people you love are? Is it where you sleep on a regular basis? I suppose we could get really superspiritual and say it is heaven and that the reason we long for "home" is because we long for heaven.

I know this. I miss my husband. I miss living together. I miss going home to him at night and sleeping in the same bed with him. I miss knowing where the glasses are. I miss our things that look and feel familiar because they are a part of who we, he and I, are as a couple. They represent our lives and our memories together.

All that to say, I miss HOME. I am "home" sick.

I Wish I Was Making This Up

Today I had a lymphatic massage. I was skeptical. I'm not gonna lie. And Sharon, if you're reading this, don't take it personally, the massage was amazing. But here is the basic premise. I have a broken arm. Anytime you are broken or injured (torn muscle, sprained ankle, etc.) lymphatic fluids build up in that area causing swelling. So, back to the lymphatic massage.

This woman from my church is massage therapist (Sharon) and she tells me about this massage technique that will reduce the swelling in my broken arm. (It's been broken for almost 6 weeks, so you'd think the swelling would be gone, but not so.) So, I go in and she tells me that what she is going to do is massage my clavicle and my forearm and elbow, pushing (basically) the lymphatic fluids toward my armpit so they can be sweated out through the lymph glands located there.

Again, I was skeptical. But in the midst of the massage, I can start to feel, yes FEEL the fluids moving. My fingers started tingling and suddenly I could move my arm in ways I haven't been able to since I broke it. How crazy is that?

All that to say, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that God would make our body in such a way that something as seemingly insignificant as lymphatic fluids could be so cool. And, I would also like to say, I am a fan of lymphatic massage. But I probably won't be talking about it over dinner. It sounds gross.

It Always Comes Back to Humility

I think that from now on, anytime anyone asks me what God is teaching me (through any set of circumstances or crises that I am experiencing) I will just answer, "humility." It just always seems to come back to that for me. I wonder if when Paul talked about the thorn in his flesh, he was talking about an actual physical pain (most would say yes, but for the purpose of this blog, I am going to hyperspiritualize for a moment), or was he talking about the sin that just always seemed to be taking a bite out of him?

For year, YEARS I have prayed and asked God to teach me to be humble. And boy has He taught me. Most recently with my broken arm and having to have people bathe and dress me, but He has taught me in other ways as well.

Right now I am reading a book called, "Discerning the Voice of God" and in the first chapter the writer talks about what we must do to hear the voice of God. One of the first things is having a desire to actually hear the voice of God. Then, recognizing that we need to hear the voice of God. I think that recognizing the need is where many people, well, at least I struggle. Recognizing that I need someone, anyone else, is sometimes difficult for me. Obviously a pride problem, and thus the need for humility, AGAIN.

The author proposes that perhaps if you are not hearing the voice of God it is because you don't really think you need to. Ouch. But I do need to hear the voice of God, and I do want to hear the voice of God, and I do long to hear the voice of God.

All that to say, "God, will you speak to me? Will you give me guidance and direction? Will you, if I sit still long enough and really listen, speak to me?

How'd I Get So Busy?

Sleeping is not something I am doing well these days with my broken arm. If anyone has ever broken their arm, and knows of a good way to sleep so that you don't wake up feeling like you either swam the English Channel or got the crap kicked out of you in your sleep, please post and let me know. I'm desperate!!

This morning, I awakened about 3:15 a.m. because of my inability to sleep (see above) and the thoughts of the day's to do list was running through my head. Seriously, at 3:15 a.m. on a Saturday! No one should have a to do list on a Saturday. Well . . . I guess that's a stupid thing to say because most people probably save a good majority of their "to dos" FOR Saturday.

Anyway, it is now 10:20 a.m. I have washed two loads of clothes, gone to the bank, gone to the post office and am now sitting in my office waiting for 40 5th and 6th graders to show up for CREW CAMP where they will learn how to lead worship in kid's church. It will be a fun day. I'm sure it would be more fun if the vicadyn I take at night was something I could take during the day. But it isn't. So, bring em on!

It's only 10:20. I still need to get my nails done, get my hair done (you gotta look good when you feel bad) finish my laundry, buy groceries, and call all of my parents and parent in law. I'd love to take in a movie, but that probably won't happen because I'm too busy. Oh, and it would be awesome if I could figure out a way to drop 20 pounds today too, otherwise I'm going to have to add "buy new clothes" to the list.

How did I get so busy? I just moved here. I swore I would not fill up my days and nights and weekends. But I have. I wonder how to get un-busy? A broken arm didn't do it.

I bet God just sits up in heaven and shakes His head at me and says, "Sabbath? Remember that one?" All that to say, maybe I would sleep better (even with a broken arm) if I lived a more restful life.

Have I Mentioned I'm Broken

I broke my left arm about 3 or so weeks ago. It shouldn't hurt anymore but it does. That ticks me off. I told my doctor that I am ready to be at the i-am-irritated-because-my-arm-is-broken stage, but find myself still at the i-am-in-constant-pain-because-my-arm-is-broken stage.

I've come a long way in 3 short weeks. I should be thankful. In the beginning, my good friend Traci had to bathe me. Talk about humility . . . for both of us. We are both so modest. And, she's skinny and I'm not. So sadly, I thought a lot more about my cellulite and saggy breasts than I did about my broken arm. I tried to hide myself with my good arm, which made washing myself difficult, and Traci tried to hand me shampoo and body wash, while keeping her eyes closed or turning her head away. We laughed a lot about our modesty. It was comical.

And you know what else? I have come to really value having two good arms. There are seriously things that you don't realize it takes two good arms for. The first, is blow drying your hair. Takes two arms. Every other morning, Traci or Kim comes over and blow dries my hair. It is surprising how challenging operating a round brush can be one handed.

Opening a bottle of water. Takes two arms. Pulling toilet paper off the roll. Takes two arms. Pulling up your pants after figuring out the toilet paper thing. Takes two arms. Putting on your own bra. Takes two arms. Carrying your plate and your drink to the table at the same time. Takes two arms. Putting on your own seatbelt. Two arms. Holding your toothbrush AND putting the toothpaste on it. Two arms. Folding clothes. Two arms.

Other challenges. Shaving your arm pits. I'm right handed. I can't shave under my right arm because my left arm is broken, and I can't raise it more than about 6 inches. And I have no use of my left arm whatsoever. So that requires me to shave under my right arm with my right hand. Try it (those of you who shave your arm pits). You'll see what I mean. Putting on deodorant is a similar challenge. Pulling up the covers on your bed, also not easy.

All that to say, I'm sick of having a broken arm. I know I'm whining. There are plenty of people in the world with one arm, and they function just fine. I am just not one of them.

More Than Enough

I have this pet peeve, well, actually I have tons of them, but here is one that really gets me. We sing a lot of songs "to" God, but in reality we don't mean what we sing. I guess I will confess (that rhymed) that I do it too. I "feel" the songs when I sing them, in my heart and my mind I mean them, but if I think very long about the words at all, I don't know that I DO mean them. For example, today we were singing the Chris Tomlin song (big shock, aren't they all written by Chris Tomlin?) More Than Enough.

I'm posting all of the words because I really want you to read them and THINK about what they mean.

All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

You're my supply
My breath of life still more awesome than I know
You're my rewardWorth living forstill more awesome than I know

You’re my sacrifice
Of greatest price and still more awesome than I know
You’re my coming King
You're my everything and still more awesome than I know

More than all I want
More than all I need
You are more than enough for me
More than all I know
More than all I can see
You are more than enough for me

So, I was standing there singing, "More than all I want, more than all I need, you are more than enough for me" and suddenly I looked up at those words on the screen and I THOUGHT about what I was singing, what I was saying to God, and I stopped singing. I thought to myself, and I said to God, "Do I mean this God? Are you more than all I want, more than all I need?" and oh I was so convicted, because sadly, the answer was no. I could immediately think of things I wanted more than I wanted God at that moment. I wanted my broken arm to stop hurting. I wanted my husband to be sitting next to me. I wanted my friend's baby to be safely tucked back in her womb for another week, and if that wasn't possible, then I wanted for him to be home, healthy and whole. I wanted that same friend's faith to be intact. And that was my quick list.

All that to say, I think I . . . we . . . I should be more careful about what I am saying "singing" to God as praise. Because the reality was, today, I was singing a lie. That gives me a lot to think about.

Why Do People Blog

I remember the first time I was asked that question. Why do people blog? I asked it myself many, many times. Why in the world would you put all your private junk out there for the world to read? I think back to my first diary, the pink one with the cute little key that locked it securely, and I remember the lengths to which I went to hide that thing. It seems crazy to me now to"dear diary" my thoughts in such a public way. But I'm doing it.

I have a friend who journals every year, but at the end of the year she burns her journals, because she wonders what it would be like if she died and someone were to read them. It's not like she is some kind of wacko. I'm sure she journals all the stuff we normal people journal . . . fears, aimless thoughts, people she's pissed at, the fight she had with her husband, the random grocery store encounter, prayers . . . the usual journal stuff. So there's her, burning her journals, and then there's me, blogging.

All that to say, I find this therapeutic. Laying it all out there. Saying with great abandon, "Here I am."