Category Archives: Random

Random Musings from My Snow Days…

Yesterday and today have been official snow days for us. It’s been beautiful! And we’re loving sitting in the new room we finished this fall and staring out the big windows at the squirrels and cardinals, bluebirds and tufted titmouses, gathering food and playing in the winter wonderland that is South Carolina right now. And they’re not the only ones playing; the neighborhood children have been sledding on any flat surface they can get their hands on. And since no one’s driving out there, they’re sledding right down the middle of the road, giggling and guffawing.

My Snow Day Spot

My Snow Day Spot

Yesterday, we started the day by making Eggs Benedict–Bryan’s practicing his Hollandaise Sauce for his mid-terms. I read An Introduction to the Chinese Mainland Soul. It’s a short book, but worth the read, and a fascinating cultural insight into the Asian culture and mindset.  Today I’m reading Teaching in a Distant Classroom: Crossing Borders for Global Transformation. And while I don’t plan on teaching overseas anytime soon, it’s always good to open your eyes to other cultures and how to relate to people who see the world differently than you might.

We made a batch of tomato soup and griddled sandwiches for supper last night. And I did take a slight break from my television fast yesterday, but only after having read for several hours and listening to music with Bryan for a while too.  In addition to the books, here are a few of the articles I’ve read recently:

  • Listening to Lies by FancyNonsense.com (Such a practical and convicting article; and it’s for everyone–married or not. It talks about listening to what people are saying–not what you think they’re saying; and repenting of being a “me monster”–in a culture that tells you to believe “It’s all about me.”
  • Friendship and Marriage by Jay Younts (“Romance that flows from friendship will have a sure foundation.” This article mentions Timothy Keller’s book, The Meaning of Marriage; and it reminds me of Gary Inrig’s Quality Friendship, a book that Bryan and I read while we were dating that talks about being friends first and then deciding to be friends forever.)
  • To Live or Die (a new hymn by Chris Anderson of ChurchWorksMedia.com)

Now, it’s back to reading for me. Enjoy these last few hours of glorious white powder, as I hear the sun is coming out today to melt it all away. And maybe read one of the articles listed above–you won’t regret it.

Happy Birthday to My Dad: My Dad is Still My Hero!

The first one makes me laugh and cry all at the same time. The second one is just hilarious…and special because the dad has two girls and a boy, like in our family growing up.

Happy Birthday, Dad! Thanks for teaching me to love God and love others. Thanks for providing and protecting, for counseling and guiding, and for always knowing how to make me laugh…even if I didn’t always understand your humor. I love you! And you’re still my hero!

Writer’s Block Over: Reclaiming the Time

It has been forever since I actually sat down and intentionally wrote a blog post. I’ve written a dozen or more articles in my head, but they’ve never made it onto paper…let alone the blog. It’s felt like writer’s block, and for a number of reasons:

  1. It’s been an incredibly busy season in our lives–between work, school and church schedules; holidays and family time; and finishing up the back room project, on top of a water main breaking.
  2. We’ve had a season of sickness–about six weeks each during the holidays. (We’re both finally feeling better!)
  3. This particular season at work is recruiting and conference planning season, so it’s been especially busy; and when you add the general busyness to this, along with the lack of sleep from being sick, I was too tired to even think about writing.
  4. I think the fatigue and overall winter gloom made me lethargic; when I got home from work, the only thing I felt I had energy to do was watch TV, and that’s what I did.

So, though the season of busyness is not over yet, the sickness and fatigue is waining, and I’ve had more energy to want to think creatively again. Plus, I’ve been asked to write emails, manuals, and some ads at work recently, so I want to make sure I don’t lose my craft. And the only ways to do that are reading and writing.

I went to a book party last night, and it really encouraged me to start reading again. The last few novels I’ve picked up to read have kind of been flops that I’ve abandoned towards the beginning, so I was happy to get a highly recommended book to break the rut.

And if I want to have time to read and write, something else has got to go. So, as I talked with Bryan last night, I decided the thing that was getting the boot (for me) was television–at least for the month of February! That means watching on the TV, over the internet, Netflix, sports, movies, everything–it’s got to go if I’m going to reclaim my time! And Bryan’s promised to help me. 

I’ve been thinking about pulling the plug on television for a while now. It started with an interview our pastor did of a dear lady who turned 100 last year! She said one of the best decisions she made to improve her prayer life was not watching TV–and she doesn’t feel like she’s missed anything! I haven’t been able to shake that thought. Then our shepherding group leaders have been talking a lot recently about getting rid of everything that’s a non-essential: whether that means eliminating daily distractions or even as drastic as downsizing their home to give them more time to serve and less time working on a big, beautiful yard. Don’t get me wrong, God can use your time in the yard for His glory and He can show you the beauty of His creation through your work in it, but there’s a time and season for everything, and they have some good points.

So, I’m going to do my best to break the couch potato habit; and I’m not promising I’ll write every day, but I am promising that I will either read or write (or maybe a little of both) for at least a little while each evening. I’m also hoping that this will be an encouragement to my soul (as opposed to the needless drama of fictional characters and lack of edification on most shows these days).

Tuttorosso’s Cooking Spoon Sweepstakes Ends Today

Tuttorosso just sent me a beautiful wooden spoon with their new slogan: “The most important ingredient is you.” Enter to win a new wooden spoon–or the grand prize of a Le Creuset cookware set!

How to enter? Visit Tuttorusso’s Facebook page and click on the “Cooking Spoon Sweepstakes” tab. (Note: commenting on this post will not increase your odds of winning nor enter you into the sweepstakes.)

Tuttorosso is Italian for “all red.” They’ve been creating 100% all natural tomato products since 1929, with the goal “to produce the freshest, best tasting tomato products in the world.” See their full product line and several recipes at http://www.redgold.com/tuttorosso.

 

Journey Journal: Days 88-91

Day 88: Friday, March 29, 2013

An amazing Good Friday service tonight at church, beginning the celebration of our Great Savior Jesus Christ! So thankful that my sins–all of them–have been nailed to the cross!

Day 89: Saturday, March 30, 2013

Left early for our drive to Ohio to spend Easter weekend with my family. Thank goodness for granola bars, bananas, nuts, and…Starbucks. Of course, the real reason for the trip was to meet my newest niece…who is so sweet and adorable, especially when she coos!

Day 90: Sunday, March 31, 2013

Went to church with my brother and his family, then shared Easter dinner with the whole family (except for my brother in law). Mom made a delicious ham topped with cherry jam, mashed sweet potatoes with brown sugar and pecans, butter-dill red potatoes, and a beautiful mixed greens salad. After dinner, dad pulled out the projector and old slides and we had some good, nostalgic laughs from the 80s and 90s. Finished up with some coffee and pie.

IMG_1372

Easter Dinner

Day 91: Monday, April 1, 2013

Bryan and I had breakfast with mom and dad at Bob Evans. I spent the morning with my mom and sister, while Bryan graciously watched the nephews. Then spent the afternoon with my sister in law and her new baby! Dinner with my folks, sister and her family, followed by more time with my brother and his family in the evening. I’m thankful for the time to get to know my sister in law better.

Late Skate: Charity Event for Todd Lurtey TONIGHT

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 8.27.32 PMThis event is to raise money for the Lurtey family to help with expenses incurred as a result of Todd Lurtey’s Battle with cancer.

Todd and his family are active members of our church and an amazing testimony of God’s strength and hope. Todd turns 16 next week and has been battling cancer since early fall 2012. Tonight’s activities is at the Pavilion Recreation Complex in Taylors, South Carolina, and will include Ice Skating, Bounce House, Indoor Soccer and more! Family friendly.

Video created by Todd’s cousin Quinn.

$10 at the Door (suggested donation per person)

  • 80% of the proceeds from this event will go to the Lurtey Family.
  • 20% will be donated to cancer related beneficiaries in Todd’s name.

If you are unable to join the late skate, there is still an option to assist with expenses by either mailing a check or donating online. Checks may be made payable to: Lurtey Family Fund, 2502-B Wade Hampton Blvd., Greenville, SC 29615. For additional information regarding the event or donating online, please see the event website: http://drumcreative.com/toddlurtey.

One of Praying for Todd Lurtey‘s friends has made a generous offer to go along with the Late Skate: Charity Event for Todd Lurtey. “Pledge to give $40 or more and receive a pound of this special ‘Beans on a Mission’ blend.” For more information please see Jonathan Pait’s link: http://www.idoitfor.org/toddlurtey/.

Micah Pretlove wrote a prayer guide for the Lurtey family:

  1. Todd personally
    1. Healing – IF it is God’s will
    2. Pain – that there won’t be much
    3. Comfort/peace – that he would really feel it
  2. His family
    1. Understanding – to know God’s will
    2. Rest – they’re exhausted
    3. Endurance – they will get through this
  3. Together as a family
    1. Closeness – continued bonding
    2. Fun
    3. Continued examples of Christlikeness

Todd got to be on Your Carolina this week, with his cousin and uncle, promoting this Late Skate Charity Event! Check it out here: http://www.yourcarolina.tv/video/entry/late_skate/. What a sweet testimony of God’s grace during extremely difficult times!

What If Wild Animals Ate Fast Food…

Saw this humorous, satirical cartoon above and was reminded of the documentary Super Size Me that I watched a couple of years ago. Thankfully, we rarely eat out, and when we do, we try to avoid fast food at all costs.

You’re Invited: Christmas Concert and Coffee Social

HBC Christmas email.inddAt Heritage Bible Church, 2005 Old Spartanburg Road, Greer, SC 29650

A Word on Politics and the 2012 Elections

The following is a glimpse into what’s been going through my head recently:

On Election Day and Freedom: As you all know, today is a very important day in America’s history. Election Day! A day of decisions, a day of responsibility, a day of freedom. Freedom–one little word–one very vital concept.  So many around the world have no say in their nation’s leaders. But we do! And it’s not something to be taken lightly. We recently celebrated the 100th birthday of a sister in Christ at our church. One hundred years ago, women didn’t have the right to vote! Can you imagine all the things she’s lived through?! It makes me very thankful to be alive in the age and nation that I am.

On the Electoral College: Tonight, we have some friends coming over for a soup night. We’ll turn on the television and watch the results unfold. They’ll keep track for you, or you can download this interactive map from Elizabeth Perry’s Flickr account (permission given on her site to print for personal use) and keep track yourself. You could even have everyone color in their predictions and see who’s closest at the end of the night, if you wanted. But then, you do need a prize for the winner.

There’s another interactive map on CNN that helps you see what happens depending on which way the swing states go.

Not quite sure how the electoral college works? I found this description of the electoral college and this description of the electoral map at “Congress for Kids” that seems to be fairly helpful (though not updated since 2008). Each page has a link for a “Show What You Know” quiz at the bottom. And here’s one more video from History that gives some more info.

On Changing the Day of the Election: Did you hear that they wanted to change Election Day because of Hurricane Sandy? Well, as Mike Opelca of The Blaze quotes The WSJ’s Naftali Bendavid, “It would take an act of Congress!” Congress is not currently in session. And history sides with keeping the National Election on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. If war and terrorists threats won’t shake Congress to change the election date, I have my doubts that a storm will.

On Voting Third Party: Everyone is given the right to vote for whomever they wish, regardless of whether or not the candidate is in one of the major two parties. I personally believe you should vote for whichever candidate aligns best with your core values. There are several sites that can help reveal that, and it’s okay if it ends up being someone other than a candidate from the Republican or Democratic Party. One site that I particularly like is VoteSmart.org. Vote for each of the major issues, and rank how important it is to you, and it will give you a percentage of how aligned you are with each of those on the ballot. If everyone voted their conscience instead of party lines, we might see some very different outcomes.

On Politics and Social Media: I hope you did vote. I truly do. But I’m not so sure everyone wants to know every time one of their acquaintances did so. And now there are ads for various politicians, links to find your precinct, and so on, built right into your social media site. Kevin Cirilli of Politico said today, “People are tweeting nearly 3,000 tweets per minute that they have voted, with the most Tweets coming from Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan, Twitter said this afternoon. And as of 2 p.m. EST, Twitter averaged 13,000 Election Day-related tweets per minute….” And it looks like they’re running behind the scenes polls if you mentioned who you were voting for too!

On Complaining: One thing that bothered me today was that I saw several posts or tweets either 1) complaining that they had to wait in a long line to vote, or 2) rejoicing that no one was at the polls in their precinct. While I understand that long lines in cold weather is uncomfortable and inconvenient, people DIED to give you the right to vote. Please don’t blatantly disrespect their legacy with your complaints. And if you fall into the second category, please understand that if the polls are empty, people are also indirectly dishonoring our veterans by showing a spirit of complacency and/or apathy. Also, if you don’t vote, please don’t complain about the outcome. I found the following cartoon appropriately relevant:

On Christians and Politics: Chris Anderson recently posted a one-page PDF to his Church Works Media site, entitled “Gospel Meditations for Voters.” I encourage you to read it…before your polls close. (ahem!) And, yes, God is still in complete control, regardless of whether or not your candidate won (or even made it past the primaries).  So, pray for His will and wisdom as you go out and participate in being a part of the answer to that prayer.

In Conclusion: Some are calling this election the most important one in over 80 years! There are so many moving parts and important fiscal and international policies in play this time around. Do you really want to not take part in a momentous occasion?

And the Rest of the Summer Reading List…

1-3. Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games Trilogy, including The Hunger Games (384 pages, 2008), Catching Fire (391 pages, 2009), and Mockingjay (400 pages, 2009). Published by Scholastic Books.

I really enjoyed this trilogy. It took me all of one weekend to read all three books! I loved the blatant social commentary on the global dystopia. (The first movie was actually really good too, in my opinion.)

4. Julia Rothman’s Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of Country Life (219 pages. Storey Publishing, 2011).

This book is more of an illustrated guide to life on a farm, with detailed descriptions of parts of a cow, to tractor makes and models, all with beautifully hand drawn artwork. I liked this book so much I bought a copy for my folks to keep on their farm in Tennessee. It’s an excellent resource, especially for hands-on children.

5. Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food (160 pages, published by Zondervan, 2010).

This book is written by the President of the Proverbs 31 Ministries, who publishes the free P31 e-devotionals I get daily. So many people (especially women, it seems) have a hard time finding their comfort in God instead of food. This book is available to help those people change their thinking, and thereby their actions, about what (or Who) to crave first! Easy to read and apply, written by someone who’s “been there, done that.”