Nothing IS Better Than Something

My blog, my journal of daily life, filled with random stories, true experiences, struggles, heartaches, joys, moments to celebrate, wrestlings with God, and such . . . my blog has been noticeably vacant.

It's not that I have nothing to write about, it's that I don't know what to do with the emotions that surround what I would write about. So I drive down the road looking for the inane, mundane things of life to write about, thinking that writing SOMETHING is better than nothing. I have chosen the easy road of writing something, but it has not been fulfilling, or particularly well written for that matter.

For you see, SOMETHING isn't better than NOTHING. Something is what we settle for because we are afraid that nothing is all we will ever have. The land of NOthing involves waiting . . . waiting for the RIGHTthing instead of settling for the SOMEthing. Does that make sense to you at all?

Isn't it true of everything in life? We fear having nothing so we settle for something . . . we fear not getting the right job, so we settle for the wrong one? We fear never getting married, so we accept the wrong proposal (not that I did this . . . in case you were wondering). We fear what might never be, so we settle for what is.

All that to say, Something isn't better than nothing. So until I have something to say that is the right thing to say, it is probably better that I say nothing at all.


I went to IKEA today. I sort of love living where I am living right now because it is close to all kinds of AWESOME places, IKEA being one of them. Normally a drive to IKEA has always been like an hour drive, but now I am only like 10 minutes away! I love it. I love to get a basket and wander aimlessly, picking up random things I like but don't need. It's always a two hour trip to IKEA, no matter how big or small the crowd is.

But TODAY I went in with a purpose. I knew exactly, EXACTLY what I wanted! I got a close parking space, grabbed a soda and some free cookies (yum) and headed straight upstairs. Lo and Behold (I have no idea what lo and behold actually means) at the very top of the steps sat the item I needed. "Could this be for real," I asked myself.

The short answer. . . no.

It took me almost 20 minutes to figure out all the pieces I needed to purchase to equal my ONE item. Then it took me almost 20 more minutes to weave through the crowd of people and baskets and strollers and old people and sightseers. I'm not kidding! 20 minutes just to WALK THROUGH Ikea. Arghh.

Then finally I get to where my item is supposed to be, but I can't find it. Up and down the aisles we go, for 10 minutes. Finally, Mike says, "Why don't you ask someone where it is?" Sure . . . why don't I ask someone. Only problem is that means I have to do my LEAST favorite thing at IKEA. I have to try to say the name of the item and not sound stupid. Why can't they just give the items normal names? I get that the store owners are swedish. But seriously, I HATE to say the names of the items there. I was buying the efecktiv today and the numerster. So I had to go ask the customer service rep where the "efecktiv" was located. He smiled. (I know he was making fun of me. I could sense it.) Then he pointed directly behind me and lo and behold (couldn't resist) there it was.

All that to say, I like IKEA. But I am not a fan of Swedish. Or whatever the language is called. I feel dumb. Oh, and, my quick trip to IKEA STILL took me 2 hours. I guess IKEA means 2 hours in Swedish.

A Day of Remembrance

For some reason, I remember it being a rainy day. Maybe it wasn't, and maybe in my mind it was a rainy day because it was such a sad day, and sad days should always be rainy days.

But I remember that I walked into work through the side door, and as I passed Rocky's office, I could hear the tv on. Rocky had brought a tv from home the week before because his wife, Sue, was in New York with a group of friends, and he had wanted to see her on The Today Show and Good Morning America. He just hadn't taken the tv home yet.

As I passed his office, he said, "Did you see this?" And I said, "No, what is it?" He told me there had been a terrible accident and a commercial passenger plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center Towers. As we watched, more and more of our co-workers started to arrive at work, and they, too, stopped in Rocky's office to watch the tragedy. We stared at it in horror and while we were watching it, another plane crashed into the other tower. Rocky said in the most somber voice, "People, we are at war."

Within moments, perhaps it was longer, but it felt like moments, the first tower collapsed. Then the second. Then the phones started to ring. The church phone, our cell phones, our office phones. Everywhere, all at once, the phones started to ring.

Later that day, my kids (who were in High School at the time) told me that the exact same thing happened in their classroom. All at once, everyone's cell phones started to ring. No one was sure exactly was was happening, but we all knew that we wanted the same thing . . . to be with the ones we loved, to hear their voices, to know they were okay.

People picked up their kids from school. It's not that we thought our kids were in danger, we just wanted them close. And then we all sat in front of our TV's for days. In horror we watched as ash covered ghosts appeared running down the street; some with bloody streaks seeping through the ash on their faces. In horror we watched as over and over and over again those towers fell on the tv screens. In horror we watched as a wall, a make-shift memorial/missing persons bulletin board, that stretched for what looked like miles, appeared at what would later be called "Ground Zero."

I don't think I will ever forget that day.

All that to say, it is a day to remember those whose lives were lost. Those who lost husbands, and fathers, and sons, and mothers and daughters and grandchildren. It is a day to remember a tragedy that scarred our hearts and our country.


I am THAT person. The one who gets frustrated behind you because you are driving too slow, and so with a grand amount of drama, I pass you, only to slow down a bit when I get right beside you, then look over at you, like I need to see what kind of blankety-blank driver goes so slow. (yes, I said blankety-blank)

My kids hate it when I do this. They always say, "Don't look." But I can't help it. I have to look. Usually, when I look I catch the driver doing something stupid, like putting on make-up. I once passed a woman on the Beltway doing about 50 miles an hour (the speed limit is 65, I probably wanted to go 70). As far as driving on the Beltway goes 50 is slow, but as far as acceptable speeds at which to apply mascara goes . . . SERIOUSLY, she was putting on mascara at 50 MILES AN HOUR!

I've seen crazier though. One time I passed a guy reading a novel. True Story. He had his book propped up on his steering wheel. Flying down the interstate reading a book.

Of course I have passed people doing less crazy things, but none the less, things that caused them not to pay attention to their speed. Things like, talking on the phone, texting while driving, searching for a radio station, looking for something in the backseat, discipling their kids, the list could go on.

But the grossest, by far the GROSSEST thing I have ever seen, I saw yesterday. If you have a weak stomach, do not continue reading. (THAT WAS YOUR WARNING!) Yesterday, coming home from work on the Beltway, I get stuck behind this guy going like 45. So with the usual drama, I pass him, get right up beside him and look over at him. He has his pinky finger shoved so far up his nose, I swear it was completely enveloped by his nose. And right at the moment that I look over, he drags that finger out with the longest, thickest booger I have ever seen in my life. It was (and I am NOT exaggerating) about the length and width of an egg noodle. It was unexpectedly long for him as well, because right as he is dragging this thing out, he gags, which makes me gag. (I told you it was gross.)

Then I realize how long I have been staring at this guy, because there are now cars behind me ticked that I am driving so slow.

All that to say, this experience might have actually broken me from doing the quit-driving-so-slow staredown when I pass people from now on.

To You Oh Lord

An excerpt, a prayer from my journal today. Don't usually share these, but thought it would be encouraging to you. This is the God I love. And maybe the one you love too.

You, oh God, are the creator of the universe.
The maker of life. The giver of hope.
The designer of heaven. The keeper of promises.
The deliverer of captives. The rescuer of the weak.
The mover of mountains.

Nothing is too hard for you, too big for you,
too heavy for you, too complicated for you,
too messy for you, too personal for you.

You see the smallest of problems,
the depths of despair,
the slightest hurts,
the deepest wounds,
the most insignificant of thoughts.

You wage war against our enemy.
You give us strength and a shield,
a helmet and a sword. How great you are indeed.
You are a victorious warrior, a strong tower,
a shelter, a refuge, a rock.

You care deeply for me.
You knit me together in my mother's womb.
You know the number of hairs on my head.
You collect my tears in a bottle.
You know my thoughts before I think them.
You know when I rise and when I go to sleep.

You are my God.
The only true God.
All that you give to me is good.
Even my suffering is good.
You are worthy of my praise.
You alone, are worthy of my praise.

All that to say, God, oh how I love you.

I Really Do Love People

I actually have two stories for today. This morning, I left WoodsEdge Montgomery Community Church, after a fairly, ummmm, non-eventful, but somewhat stressful morning of Children's Ministry. Seeing as how it was almost 12:30 and I had an hour and a half drive home, I decided to stop at Valero and get a fountain coke (THE BEST MIX) and some jalapeno Cheetos.

When I got up to the cash register to pay, I asked the cashier how she was. She didn't look like she was having so great a day, so I guess the timbre of my voice must have sounded particularly compassionate, because she looked up at me and stared a whole through me. After a very pregnant pause, she said, "I'm here. And that's all I can say for today." She sounded so sad.

So I smiled, and said in my best Steel-Magnolias-country-sisters-we're-all-in-this-together voice, "Honey, today I am right there with ya." She smiled. I smiled.

Then she said, "That'll be .99 cents." "Ninety-nine cents?" I asked. (I had chips and a drink which should have been well over two dollars) And she said, "Yep. It's my gift to you, because you actually sounded like you cared how I was when you asked me. Thank you for that."

All that to say, see, I really do love people. :)

Get The Heels

This is the story of the pointy-toed shoes. I love these shoes. I have other pointy-toed shoes, but these are my favorites. I feel special when I wear them. They transform every outfit and turn every frown upside down (yes, I said that.)

I was shoe shopping one day, something I do farrrrrr too often. I was actually looking for a pair of leopard skin pumps. I don't know why, I just wanted some. And when I got to the store, I decided I did not NEED a pair of leopard skin pumps, so I opted instead to buy a pair of boots, which I DID need.

I looked throughout the store, selected a few pairs (pair, pairs?) of different boots to try on, and then walked, boots in hand, up to the counter where I hoped to find a store associate who would help me. As I approached the counter, I saw the funnest (yes, I said funnest) pair of pointy-toed shoes, so I snatched them too, and asked the associate to bring them all out in my dainty size 9.5.

I narrowed my selection down to one pair of boots and of course the pointy-toed shoes. I tried on the boots and walked across the floor. Then I tried on the pointy-toed shoes and walked across the same path. I NEEDED the boots, but my feet looked so great in those pointy-toed shoes. So I tried on the boots again, and then the shoes again, and then the boots again, and then the shoes again.

I looked up at one point and realized there was an older gentleman watching me try on the boots and the shoes over and over and over. He smiled at me. I smiled at him. He asked, "Are you married?" and I said, "Yes." He said, "Get the heels. No question. Your husband will love them." I said, "Are you sure?" He said, "Get the heels. Trust me."

So I got the heels. And he was right. My husband loved them. And everytime I wear those shoes, I think of that old grandpa, saying to me, "Get the Heels."

All that to say, I wonder if he was a shoe angel? Do they have those? Because he was like a little gift to me. And the way I feel in those shoes is . . . well . . . heavenly. :)


Lately, too much "life" has been going on around me. So many things I would love to tell you, my readers, but things so private (if you can even imagine me saying that) that I can't write about them out of consideration for those that are involved.

But I do want to say this. Loving someone can be the hardest thing we will ever do in our lives. True, unconditional, forgiving, genuine love is hard. And the hardest thing of all is learning that we are not loved in return. And with THAT realization comes a choice.

All that to say, when closure feels more like a slamming door, the earth shakes a bit and feels a little less secure. But we do survive and are better for having loved.