Saturday, May 29, 2010

Being Me.

Mmmk.  Not a morning person.  At all.  Had a meeting scheduled for 8:30 am this morning.  I woke up to the sound of my doorbell ringing.  Threw some clothes on, tried to be intelligible and professional in the meeting.  Felt pretty good about it all, until I looked in the mirror and realized that I had ONE earring in the whole time. 

Also, was texting my bride today, and after replying to her text, put the phone to my ear, like maybe her text would come back in audible form?  Don't know.  Just a moment in the life of a blond me.  (=

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


So.  My business is crazy busy.  I have brides inquiring about next spring, summer and fall already.  It blows me away, and humbles me at the goodness of God.  And I have to take a moment to stop and say that I know that it is the goodness and blessing of Jesus on what I am doing.  It's definitely not because I am the most skilled photographer out there.

I desire to be the best artist I can be.  And to honor God with the skills He's given me. 

Thanks Lord. (-:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Late Night.

I get a little nostalgic and wistful at night.  Also it rained most of the day, and that always makes me want to stand at the window and watch it, while thinking deep thoughts of course.  There might be a little Wuthering Heights in my personality.  Tonight the soundtrack to my heart is Thriving Ivory. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Passed last night at midnight. 

I felt like I should call her all day yesterday, and I didn't.  Got too busy.  Obvious life lesson, anyone?

But I'm glad that in the last conversation we had I told her I loved her. 

Grandma and I shared a love of dollhouses when I was younger.  Grandma had all these shadowboxes all over her house.  Little rooms in miniature that she would decorate down to wallpaper and lighting.  I was always fascinated by them and how the little scenes were so realistic.  She inspired me to build paper and cardboard mansions for my barbies. 

Grandma never forgot a birthday.  I looked forward every year to receiving a card from her with a little check and a little note.

Grandma had hydrangeas in her backyard.  Big bushes of them with huge pink and blue clusters of flowers.   I used to love the smell and the look of the bushes.  I have two hydrangeas in my front yard for that reason.
I remember Christmases at her house.  I got sweaters that I would wear the heck out of.  She always had a train go around the base of her tree, and we used to play with it for hours.  

Grandma lived with and took such good care of my aunt, who is mentally handicapped.  Aunt J- and I would play whichever board game she had that was new when we visited.  I remember Wheel of Fortune very clearly.

Grandma was spunky and sweet.  She never flew anywhere, but she always was taking road trips on the bus with her girlfriends.  She was also tech savvy.  Ordered all her groceries online and had a facebook.  At 88. 

The thing though, that spoke to me the most, and that I treasure about her the most, is that Grandma was actually my step-grandmother.  We aren't her blood relatives.  But she never treated us differently or made us feel like we were less than important to her.  She accepted and loved us and she was the only real relationship I had with a grandparent growing up. 

This was her third bout of chemo, and her 2nd or third time with cancer.  She was tired and she deserves to rest.  I'm gonna miss her a lot.  Give Jesus a hug for me, Grandma.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Aunt Johnnie Mae

I've heard stories about her all my life, but I have yet to meet this lady.  She's my great aunt, my grandmother's sister, and she is pretty much the funniest thing I've ever heard.  I think a trip to meet her is in order.  Thanks to my cousin David in Japan for finding this!  LUV it. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

prayer for tonight

So if I stand, let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can't, let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You

~Rich Mullins

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bored out of my Gourd at 1:30 AM

Alrighty, so I am uploading pictures to my blog, and I confess, I am dying of the monotony of it all.  Also I would rather be sleeping. 

Can't wait to go hit up the beach with Misty this summer. 

Looking forward to Kell's bachelorette party. 

Terrified of tripping up the stairs of BRCC's stage in my short, hot pink bridesmaid's dress.

Looking forward to lunch with Jen, Mandy, and Carter tomorrow.

I think Ryan and I are going to hit up the ATL for our 10th anniversary.

The spin class at the Y is one hour of sheer torture.  I don't know why 20 adults put themselves through it.  And go back for more.

The blog I wrote about grace recently got some interesting reactions.  My father in law said he was embarrassed, Nathan called me a heretic, and Liz debated me for a week or so.  So over all, a success. (=

The grace of God as a concept has been rolling around in my head and heart for a while.  The other night I was overwhelmed with the sheer generosity and goodness of our God to the point where I had to stop and worship.  Could NOT do anything else. 

Sometimes I wish I would keep my big mouth shut.  In life and in written pursuits.

I've been pondering the meaning of real friendship lately too.

The speaker at the women's meeting last night promised to tell us the 10 Decisions Every Woman Needs to Make.  Walked out still clueless as to what those might be.  Learned a lot about her kids though.

Don't really like women's speakers in general.

Shot the engagement of a sister of a friend tonight.  She used to be a best friend.  I miss her.

I listen to songs I love over and over again.  Listening to JMraz even now.

It's rainy and cold tonight.  Brr...might be tea time.

If there is one thing I wish I could tell everyone I care about, it's that I try really hard to always love them honestly.  Even if I don't always get it right. 

A sentence from a conversation in Nicaragua has stuck with me.  April said, God desires truth in the inward parts.  Striking.  Convicting.  Memorable.

Well, goodnight, boggity.  *yawn* the time has come, I think, to call it a day.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Maybe I bit off a little more than I could chew this year. 

Oh well.

Onward and forward.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Problem with Religion

I sat in the pew and listened as the sweat glistened on the forehead of the man behind the pulpit.  "We should fear God!" he thundered to the 400 or so people listening in front of him.   I shifted in my seat and thought, why does that statement bother me? 

After biting my tongue about a million times for half an hour, I stood against the wall and watched the congregants surge around the pews in groups, talking and picking up family members.  Watching them,  I wondered what is it about this philosophy, this aspect of religion that appeals to us as humans?  This religion of fear-- because all religion boils down to fear at it's most basic. 

Fear of death.  Fear of failure.  Fear of not being enough.  Fear of other people.  Fear of the different.  Fear of losing control.  Fear of being seen as who we are.  Fear of losing ourselves.

And so to control our fear, we start the rules and bartering.  Every religion has them.   Hinduism has the idea of karma, doing good deeds.  The Egyptians had that one too.  Actually most moral Americans have subscribed to it.  Hopefully at the end of life we've been good enough to outweigh our bad and move up to whatever belief we've held about what's next. 

Islam has the dress code and the separation of genders for moral purity.  Mormans don't drink caffeine.  The Pharisees are pretty famous historic and Biblical examples of following the rules.  Even primitive tribes have certain ways they pray or sacrifice.  Gotta get it right, do it right, be right.  Or else. 

Christians?  O yes, we have rules.  In fact, God actually gave us most of them.  We share them with the Jewish religion.  The Ten Commandments, the first five books of the Old Testament, and various other parts of the Bible have a lot of rules.  And as if that weren't enough rules, people have added onto them over the centuries.  The Pharisees and other Jewish sects had whole other books written full of rules by the time Jesus showed up.  The Mishnah and the Gemara are still being interpreted and used today.

So if God gave us rules, the point must have been for us to follow them.  Because we must be able to be good enough.  Do it right.  At some point reach the tipping point on the scales of good and evil. 

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. Romans 3:20

As it is written:
   "There is no one righteous, not even one
Romans 3:10

So, what, exactly was the point of all that writing?  All the rules and regulations and do this and not that and the Ten Commandments everywhere?  It kind of all goes back to the beginning.  The bottom line of what started it all.  Eve had a problem.  So did Adam, to be gender equal.  They wanted to be as big of a deal as God.  All Eve had to hear were the magic words, you will be like God...and she had a tasty bite of the forbidden. 

So God decided to make a point.  You want to be as good, as holy, and righteous as I am?  Ok, here is a place to start.  Try keeping these rules perfectly. 

So how is that working out for the human race?  Anyone told a lie recently?  Wanted something that someone else has?  Had a lustful thought?  Yup.  Me too. 

So after God made his point, he did what He had planned to do all along:

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. Col. 2:13-14

Did you get that part?  He canceled the written code.  Canceled it.  Like a check.  Like a debt.  Done, gone, over with.   Because we as the human race with our dress codes and our special diets and our lists and lists of things to do can't ever, not ever get it right.  

So why do we still try to do follow the lists?  Because we do.  Clearly.

In fact we make new lists.  Ok, so the debt is canceled and Jesus has saved me.  But for Jesus to love me, I have to do this, and this and this.  We are broken people.  We are still trying to be as good as God or good enough for God, in the middle of the biggest ocean of grace and love the world has ever known.  We look at the canceled check and ask God to give it back to us.  Because this time we will get it right.  We treat lightly the riches of his grace.  

And we live in fear.  We live in religion.  We live in lists.  The fear is there because we all know, at the bottom of our hearts whether Hindu, Muslim, Mormon, or Christian that when we live a religion of working for the balance to be good, we're not going to make it.  Even worse, we want other people to follow along with the lists because than we can compare and see how much better we are doing.

Jesus had some interesting things to say about religion, actually.

Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, "What? Are we blind too?"
Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.  John 9:40-41.

 Then the disciples came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?"  He replied, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.  Leave them; they are blind guides.  If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." Matt. 15:12-14

 So, what then is the answer?  More importantly, what is the question?

Are you a list-builder?  Do you live in fear? 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  1John 4:18

The answer, friends, is that God loves you enough to do your work for you.  The work is done.  The check is canceled.  The rules have no more place.  God doesn't want your list, he wants your heart.  

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15.

Christian brothers and sisters, let's get rid of the lists.  They are worthless.  Let's hold fast to the things that matter.  Let's preach Christ crucified and risen.  Let's bear with each other in love and forgive each other as Christ has forgiven us.  
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1John 3:18

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.  1John 3:16

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