Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Shining Light!

We all have special people in our lives.  People you can count on for anything.  I lost one of those special people this week.  Tim Bradley.  He meant the world to J.T. and me.  He was our Sunday School teacher for many years, and taught us so much about God, worship and loving people.

I hope that when it's my time to go home to Jesus, people say that I did things to further the Kingdom of God.  This is my wake-up call!  I want to do things each day to bring glory and honor to my Savior. I want people to see Jesus in me.  I want to be what Tim Bradley was to me...a shining light for Christ!

I will miss you my friend.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Life Lessons

So I've been thinking a lot lately about commitment. It's a word that we toss around a lot and we think we understand. After all, we're supposedly "committed" to lots of things- our marriages, our churches, our jobs, our kids are "committed" to a number of activities, etc.

I've been thinking about commitment because my oldest daughter P has expressed great interest in joining a swim team. When she first learned to swim she looked like Phoebe on "Friends" in that episode where she is jogging through Central Park and Rachel is embarrassed to run with her. You know the one where she is flapping her arms and waving wildly. Thank goodness she has come a long way since then and has been told swimming would be something she could be successful in! So we, being the dutiful parents that we are, began to check it out.

In reading the "commitment" to swim on a team you see sentences like this:

Only for the most dedicated swimmers.
A commitment to the sport is mandatory.
Practice is 6 – 9 times per week with additional dryland work.
If attendance becomes irregular, the swimmer will be moved down a group.

Yikes! I have visions of our lives being consumed by driving back and forth to the pool, eating dinner in drive-throughs every night and being a slave to the calendar instead of having leisurely summers of little or no plans. So we have decided to wait on the swimming.

That is not to say we won't decide to pursue it another time, or another similar activity with one of our kids at some point. Because I really do get the equation: Dedication + Commitment= Success. It really does. The more you practice, the better you get. And I am in a profession that demands commitment so I really do get it.

But here's what I've been thinking.

What if we began to see that Dedication + Commitment= Success is really true in ALL areas of our lives. And what if we began to see that the success the world offers is SHORT-LIVED in comparison to eternity? And what if we took that same equation and applied it to our spiritual disciplines? What if our rules for the Christian life were written out for us like the swim team rules? What if they said this:

Only for the most dedicated followers of Jesus.
A commitment to studying scripture is mandatory.
Read the Bible 6 – 9 times per week with additional work any chance you get.
If church attendance becomes irregular, the Christian will be disconnected.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm glad that the Christian life is not a legalistic list of do's and dont's. But my point is this: If we took our spiritual lives as seriously as we take other wordly things that will not last, then we would have success that DOES last! Our rewards (success) would be the affirmation of our Creator when He looks at us and says "Well done, good and faithful servant." We would have the joy that comes from abiding in Him and a knowledge of His word that is applicable in every situation in our lives.

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" -Phillipians 3:14

Success in this life does require commitment. But so does the gift of eternal life. It requires a full-out life-changing Jesus-following commitment.

So as I contemplate how I want to spend my time, I'm gonna go w/the long-term. To me that's a prize that's really worth it.


Saturday, April 5, 2008


It's Saturday morning and I'm hanging at my yard sale!  This is the same yard sale that we decided to have Wednesday afternoon.  Whatever!!!  It's's been raining since yesterday.  Here are a few yard sale quirks...

One...when it rains.

Two...the yard sale is advertised to start at 8:00 a.m.  You start pricing your items the night before around 10:00 p.m.  You go to bed around 2:00 a.m. and people show up at 5:00 a.m. to talk you down on your prices so they can take them to their house and sell them at their yard sale!

Three...Someone offers you .50 cents for an item that's priced $1.00 (that you know you spent $25.00 for originally)...and you say yes, feeling filled with the Spirit...and they hand you a $20 to pay for it which is sitting next to 2 $100 bills in their wallet and they drive away in their shiny Cadillac Escalade!

Next time I decide to have a yard sale, please remind me that it's much better to give than receive!

Bring it on Hannah Home!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008


I used to be a good mother.

There was a time when no one would have left the house without perfectly matching clothes, shoes and bows.

There was a time when everyone was bathed every day and diaper bags abounded with healthy snacks, full juice cups, plenty of wipes and two extra matching outfits with perfectly coordinated bows clipped to them.

That was a long time ago.

Fast forward eight years, three kids, one dog and an aging husband. Well, maybe I'm aging too, but that's beside the point.

This morning upon arrival at school, my two-year-old's bag had no diapers and no juice cup. It did contain, however, one wrinkled jacket, a Dora phone and a few random smarties. Plenty to make it through a hard day of preschool, don't you think?? Luckily her teachers have become used to me and refrain from talking behind my back until I am around the corner.

This is S.

I love her and it is a good thing. She is God's way of curing me from my perfectionism and anal-retentiveness. She does things like this.

Whose idea was it to teach her her alphabet anyway? An ignorance of letters would have kept her blissfully unaware that my laptop keyboard contained all of those letters just waiting to be popped off. And rearranged. To the point that they can't be put back on. Because apparently the little plastic things that hold them in place are big fun for the dog to chew on.

The sad thing is that I don't even fight it anymore. Possessions? They will just rot one day anyway. (I had to get to that place after the sharpie-meets-car-leather-interior incident of 2007)

Another day, another drama.

Thank goodness I know Jesus, that's all I'm saying.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Different "Strokes"

I went to one of these new little painting places w/ 3 girlfriends Monday was a blast! They had 75 people sitting at 6 long tables, no credit card machine, and the "instructor" didn't have a microphone. Seriously. That aside, an evening full of fun! The picture they were painting that night was...oh let's just call it modern; contemporary. It was 9 squares, like the Brady Bunch intro, but instead of the faces of our beloved Carol and Mike, et al; we had multi-colored, funky shaped circles. Well, although the colors were spot-on to match my den; it was a bit of a stretch in the ultra-funk, I hung it in my bathroom. Fast forward two days and add to it a impromptu visit from my mother. She asked me, "Where did you get that painting in the bathroom?" (Now, let's keep in mind that it is signed by me in the corner...hmmm...a bit suspicious...but I didn't think of that at the time.) I was actually impressed and excited that she noticed it was new. I quickly said, "I painted it!" She said, "WOW! That's sure a lot to look at! I couldn't get my eyes to even focus on it, it was so wild." Paused a moment and then added, "You couldn't be too proud of it, you hung it in the bathroom." Instant deflation...until I remembered that this is the same woman who owned an ultra suede couch with a large giraffe print on, I just smiled.


My Confidence Booster!

Oh, how I love my best girlfriends! You know the ones I'm talking about. The girls that shoot you straight, even when you really don't want them to.

Well, I have that friend in Stac. She has been a close friend since we were 11. We met when a bully shoved me in a huge puddle of water, and she came to my rescue. She's been a true blue friend since that day. The sad news is that she now lives near L.A. (that's not Lower Alabama)

Anywho... she called me yesterday after my very long shopping venture to find the perfect thing to wear to that reunion I'm O.C.D about. I tell her I found a great pair of jeans. The rest of the conversation went like this...

S: "What kind are they?"
A: "Citizens of Humanity."
S: "Those are great, but tell me you did get the kind that pull you in, right?"
A: " Goodness, I sure hope so."
S: " Are they dark denim or a wash?"
A: "Actually, they are white jeans because I found a cute blue shirt that wouldn't be good with darker denim."

S: "Oh! Can you pull off white jeans?"

Needless to say, I'm taking the jeans back tomorrow!