My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Good News About Multi-tasking?

Multi-tasking isn’t all that bad.  And the research backs me up.

Ok, this is the same research that condemns me on the one hand, but I see the cup as half full.  In short, I’m a parallel processor. 

According to the research, women are very good at doing two things (or more) at once when they are parallel processing.  The key is to only do one mentally challenging task at a time.

What does parallel processing look like?  Well, let me start by explaining what it doesn’t look like.  Last weekend, I was trying to play a board game with my kids while I was working on my laptop.  (Please save the parenting advice – I’m known to be pressed for time on the weekends.)

Every time it was “my turn” my kids would remind me. Mom, hurry up, it’s your turn again. I’d forget who made the last play and it took me twice as long to make my move.   When I switched back to my laptop, I had totally lost my train of thought.  And, as soon as I was fully engaged on the computer, it was time for “my turn” again in the game.

After about 20 minutes, I was mentally exhausted from switching back and forth.  Worse yet, I wasn’t very fun to play with and I wasn’t getting any work done. 

Did I resort to doing just one thing at a time?  Of course not.  I’m a busy working mom.  I don’t have the luxury of doing one thing at a time.  Instead, I moved on to plan B.

Plan B is parallel processing.  I decided to do some mindless tasks – like addressing envelops and baking brownies – during our board game.  It worked like magic.  (I’m known to make brownies in my sleep, and I never had to be reminded it was “my turn.”)  Everyone was happy, I got some stuff done, and I saved my mentally challenging work for an opportune moment – like when the rest of my family was zoned out in front of the TV.

So, the next time you’re accused of being a crazed multi-tasker, just proclaim that you’re a parallel processor.  Yes, busy women have no choice but to take care of multiple tasks at the same time.  And most of us are headed into busy weekends!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Prodigal Or Perfectionist?

I have heard the story of the prodigal son many times -- the son who rebels, runs away with the family inheritance, and tries to find meaning in an empty life of partying and pleasure.  He quickly sinks into dissipation, hunger, and unemployment.  Even though he’s a complete screw-up and is totally alienated from his family, he’s out of options (and money) so he musters up the courage to put his tail between his legs and head home.

Does his father reject him?  Not the slightest bit. Instead, his father is gracious and forgiving.  He welcomes the prodigal son home with open arms, doesn’t hold his past sins against him, and even throws him a lavish party.

Sometimes in our lives, we can identify with the prodigal son or daughter.

Yet there’s another person in the story.  Who am I talking about?  None other than the jealous, self-righteous older brother.  The older brother never runs away.  He never squanders his family’s inheritance.  He has a steady job, lives in the right house, and drives the right car.  Yet he too is alienated from his father.  How could his father be throwing his younger brother a party, and why hasn’t anyone noticed that – unlike that younger rebel --  the older brother has lived his life by the rules?  Life just isn’t fair when no one recognizes your true worth.

Sometimes in our lives, we can identify with the older son or daughter.

Whether you’re a prodigal or perfectionist, there’s good news for you.  That's right, it really doesn't matter whether you're the renegade or the rule-follower -- you still need grace.  The Father has open arms and is waiting.  It’s never too late to come home.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Afraid To Ask?

Some of us are afraid to be honest with God.  We’re afraid to ask him for what we really want and need.  Not Abby.

Abby is known to ask for what she wants, plain and simple.  Get me water.  Get me milk.  Take me to Margaret’s house.  Take me to the park. For a 4-year-old, she’s extremely decisive.  And she’s never met anyone she didn’t order around.

Sure, we have some character issues to work on.  I’ve already written about her as my strong-willed daughter, and I fully appreciate and am humbled by the challenges that likely lie ahead.  But I don’t want to focus on the challenges today.  Instead, I’d like to celebrate her boldness.

Abby and I were praying the other night, and she spontaneously said to God, I pray that you would do everything that I want you to do.

That pretty much sums it up.  Most of us feel that way, but we’re afraid to just come out and say it. 
Although I don’t believe God is some cosmic Santa who exists so we can pump him for presents (and I plan to teach Abby to pray for God’s will), I think a few of us could learn something from Abby’s bold spirit. 

Sometimes, I think God wants us to have the guts to make the ask.

You do not have, because you do not ask God.   - James 4:2

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.   - Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why Every Family Needs An Artist

Every family needs an artist.  That’s why I’m thankful for my sister, Mary Beth.

Mary Beth doesn’t blog.  And I can tell you – if she’s reading this, I’m sure she’s already feeling embarrassed.  Artists like their privacy, and they really don’t like public attention, even when it’s flattering.  So I promise I’ll keep it short.

Artists tend to be more compassionate than the rest of us.  They’re always concerned about the little guy.  They break tradition and vote their conscience (even when they’re raised in conservative, Republican families).  They date guys with long hair.  They worry their fathers.  They marry guys who are younger than them.  They live for a cause.  They live for passion, and they really don’t care what other people think.

I also admire artists for their insight and creativity.  I don’t think there’s much activity on the right side of my brain, and I think God knew that I needed an artist in my life to shake up my left-brained, myopic world.

Yes, I’m thankful my family has an artist.  She helps us keep life in perspective and helps us see beyond ourselves.

Do you have an artist in your life who helps you see the world through a different lens?

Monday, March 22, 2010

What Are You Afraid Of?

With all the talk about the Tooth Fairy, I got to thinking.  What am I afraid of?

It's easy for me to laugh at Anna for being afraid of the Tooth Fairy, but are the rest of us really all that different?  To fear is human.  Most of us are afraid of the unknown – the things we can’t see or understand -- starting with being afraid of the dark. 

When I ask my kids what they are afraid of, the answers vary.  Bad dreams. Monsters. Strange Noises. Thunder. Shadows. And as much as I tell them not to be afraid, I know that I can't snap my figures and make their fears go away. (Unlike the Tooth Fairy story, I can't exactly tell them that I'm in charge of the dark.)  So I hold them, I pray with them, and I tell them that they are not alone. Sometimes I quote “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of self discipline.” I need to hear these words just as much as they do.

All of us are afraid of something.

My fears these days are much more complex. Sometimes, I let my imagination run wild with “what if ………”? And while I do worry about trivial matters like money and security, my deepest fears usually revolve around losing the people I love. These things are so terrible to imagine that I can’t even bear to write about them. And I hardly pray about them either, because I really hate to admit to God that sometimes I’m still afraid of the dark.

I know deep down that God will never give me any more than I can handle, that he will work everything for good, and that my earthly fears are completely trivial compared to my eternal security.  But that still doesn’t keep me from being afraid.

The question is, do our fears consume us?  Do they control us?  Or do we act in faith, knowing that a sovereign God holds the universe together?

What are you afraid of? 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Fever – Top Ten Warning Signs

The snow is melted.  The sun is starting to shine.  Do you have Spring Fever?  Here are the top 10 warning signs.

1.  You decided to pack away your winter clothes.

2.  Your toenails are painted bright red.

3.  You’ve already bought your Easter candy.

4.  When you go to a restaurant, you ask for outdoor seating.

5.  You’re on the swimsuit diet.

6.  You wear flip flops everywhere you go.

7.  You’re starting to grill out 5 nights a week.

8.  You uncovered the porch furniture.

9.  You just washed your car. 

10.  People keep asking you, Why are you in such a good mood?

That’s right, if you’re experiencing the warning signs, you officially have Spring Fever!  Can you add any warning signs to the list?  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nomination #2 – The Shut Up And Act Awards

Not many people have the guts to start their own business.  So when my friend Cheryl told me a couple of years ago she was going out on her own, I said to myself, Wow, she really has some guts.

Ever since I’ve known Cheryl she’s been helping others.  Which is why she’s my second nomination for the Shut Up And Act Awards.

Cheryl is a highly skilled interior designer.  As a small business owner, she has rent to pay, inventory to stock, and payroll to meet.  Yes, I admire her not only for her talent, but for her ability to manage the stress and the demands of a small business.  But that’s not what I admire about her most.  What I admire about her most is her deep faith and her generous spirit.

When Cheryl started her business, she decided she was going to give a percentage of her income to help others in need.  Mind you, this was before she had money in the bank and loyal clients.  (This was also before our economy sunk into a deep recession.)

When the recession hit, did she decide that she would first make her business profitable and then see what she had left over to give?  Nope.  Instead, she had the guts to stick to her original plan.  And it’s paid off.  Not only is her business growing, she’s expanding her reach to support some organizations that help the poorest of the poor in the developing world.  Today, she’ll be hosting a benefit for Nuru, an organization that fights extreme poverty by teaching developing communities organic, self-sustaining farming techniques.  (Click here for further details.)

Cheryl lives out the motto No guts, no glory.  Thanks, Cheryl, for having guts.  Your glory will not only be in this life, but in the life to come.

Do you know anyone like Cheryl whose actions speak louder than words?  Send me an email or write a post, I’d like to nominate them for the Shut Up And Act Awards.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Should Moms Wear Belly Button Rings?

My friend Tracy got me a belly button ring for my 40th birthday.  I thought about wearing it on spring break, but I’m having second thoughts.  Should a mother of young daughters wear a belly button ring?

This past weekend, I was standing in the check-out line with Anna.  I looked over, and to my horror she had picked up a magazine with semi-nude women, posing in their swims suits.  (Actually, the woman in the picture appeared to have nothing on, and it was only after I looked twice that I realized she wasn’t completely naked.)  This was the second time in a week that Anna has picked up an explicit magazine in public.

No, I’m not a prude.  And I’m not a big fan of censorship.  And I realize I need to watch my children more closely when we are out in public.  But it’s not like I was in an adult bookstore or I was shopping on the wrong side of town. 

Did I calmly explain to Anna that our bodies are not objects, and being naked really isn’t high fashion?  Did I tell her that God created our bodies to be temples of the Holy Spirit?  Not exactly.  I ripped the magazine out of her hand and threw my own mini-tantrum right in the middle of the store and shouted, Put that magazine done right now!  These pictures are disgusting!

I probably could have handled the situation better.  It wasn’t really the pictures that bothered me.  It was that Anna was so taken with them.  My innocent first-grader couldn’t take her eyes off of these half-naked, voluptuous women.

Which brings me back to the belly button ring.  Sure, it would be fun to wear on spring break (and Tracy really had the best of intentions).  But I need to teach my girls that their bodies are not objects.  Will they even take me seriously if I wear a belly button ring?

Maybe I’m over reacting.  I leave for the beach tomorrow.  Should I take my belly button ring with me or leave it at home?  (By the way, it’s adhesive – Doug would freak out if I actually went through with a piercing.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Thrill Of A Bargain

Some women are expert shoppers – they know how to find real bargains.  I’m not just talking about the weekend sale at the local department store.  I’m talking about bargain-basement closeout prices.  When these women walk out of a store, the store loses money.  That’s right, some of these women are even known to get items for free!  They not only shop the specials, they wait in lines and usually have inside information.

My sister, Amy, is one of these women.  She’s taught me just about everything I know about shopping. Yes, part of it is genetic, but bargain shopping is also an acquired skill. 

What are the good traits of a bargain shopper?  Well, to start, you have to be patient.  Here’s a recent story to prove my point.

Amy is turning 50 today!  To celebrate her birthday, my three sisters and I are planning to visit her in Las Vegas next month.  What are we going to do?  This is where the story comes in.

Amy has expensive taste, so she’s arranged for us to stay at some state-of-the-art health spa in Utah.  Are we going to pay market price?  Of course not.  Are we going to get the weekend special?  Of course not. 
Amy has connections.  We’re still waiting on the details (which is where being patient comes in) but somehow we’re going to get some deal through a radio show and pay a fraction of the price.  Don’t ask me how.  I just know she has a plan.  And based on experience, I know she’ll come through. 

There’s a certain thrill in bargain shopping that comes with the hunt!  Yes, it requires some flexibility, but I’ll take a good deal over the predictability of paying full price any day.

Would you rather avoid the time and hassle and pay full price?  Or, like Amy, do you like the thrill of a bargain?

(By the way, Happy 50th Amy.  You're the best mentor I could ever have -- in faith and shopping!)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Undercover Boss

To date, I’ve seen two episodes of Undercover Boss. In short, I think it’s a pretty cool show (yes, despite my protest of TV, I do live with Doug which means that I actually end up watching TV more than I’d care to admit). 

What do I like most about the show?  To start, I love to see corporate CEOs go under cover.  I love to see them detect problems and find new solutions.  More importantly, I love to see the “little guy” featured as the hero.  In both episodes, the undercover boss experiences first hand what it’s like to be one of the front-line workers.  It is only then that the boss understands and appreciates the workforce – only after walking in the shoes of the average Joe and Mary.

How many bosses have really walked in the average worker’s shoes? 

Well, to answer the question, there’s one boss who decided to do just that.  Rather than judging us from afar, he decided to come down to earth and become one of us.  He even acted undercover, and he did so not only to execute a plan of redemption, but so that he can say with authenticity, I have walked in your shoes.  He knows what it’s like to be human – to be hungry, tempted, disappointed, even rejected by his closet friends.

Yes, Jesus is the best undercover boss I can imagine.  While I’m thankful for his divinity, I’m also thankful for his humanity.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.  - Hebrews 4:15

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tooth Fairy Terror

Anna is terrified of the Tooth Fairy. Even though, she wants the money, she’s not excited about a stranger coming into her room at night and looking under her pillow. Who could blame her?

The last time Anna lost a tooth (she’s in first grade), I could tell she was really scared to go to bed. So I said to her, “Anna, why don’t you just leave your tooth in the kitchen tonight. I’m sure the Tooth Fairy will still find it and leave you something in return.”

It worked like magic. Anna left her tooth on the kitchen counter and went straight to bed. And the Tooth Fairy was more than happy with this new arrangement. I didn’t have to fish under her pillow for her tooth or wait until she was “really asleep” to do my duty. (The Tooth Fairy is known to get a little forgetful later into the evening.)

Then, Nick lost a tooth last week. Of course, he knows there is no Tooth Fairy. But he likes to go through the motions, so he put his tooth under his pillow just to get the money. I could see the look of horror in Anna’s eyes.

In the middle of the night, I heard a scream. You guessed it, It was Anna. I found her in a pile of sweat, crying hysterically. Apparently, she couldn’t bear to think of that sneaky Tooth Fairy invading Nick’s nearby bedroom.

I held her tightly, looked into her eyes and said, “Anna, don’t cry. Mom is the tooth fairy.” She gave me a big smile, gasped a sigh of relief and was asleep in about 30 seconds.

Anna’s not afraid of the Tooth Fairy any more. But her fear reminds me that, like so many other fears in life, she was afraid of something that didn’t exist – something that had no basis outside of her own mind. How many of our fears are based on a false assumption instead of what’s real and true?

There is nothing to fear but fear itself – Franklin D. Roosevelt

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind - The Apostle Paul

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Hole In Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns

Hole In Our Gospel Cover

When I recently read The Hole In Our Gospel, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. A realistic and informative picture of the Third World? Another guilt trip? A couple of friends had warned me that it wasn’t exactly a warm and fuzzy read. They were right.

I was riveted by the story of Richard Stearns, a CEO who turned his life upside down when he resigned from corporate life to become the President of World Vision -- literally trading the corporate board room for third-world orphanages and AIDS victims.

What struck me most about his story is the plight of the world’s poorest children. AIDS has left behind some 15 million children as orphans -- children who will never experience the love of a parent or the security of a home. And the plight for young girls is even worse. According to Stearns,

Compared to her male counterpart, a girl growing up in the developing world is more likely to die before her fifth birthday and less likely to go to school, since girls are often forced to work rather than attend school …. She is also less apt to receive adequate food, health care, and economic opportunities, but more apt to be forced to marry before age sixteen and to be the victim of sexual and domestic abuse. Some two million children, mostly girls as young as five years old, are part of the growing commercial sex trade around the world.

(Citing Ban Ki-Moon, Children and the Millennium Development Goals, United Nations Children’s Fund (New York: UNICEF, 2007), 58)

As a mother of young daughters, I’ll admit I’d rather not even hear these statistics.  Isn’t it safer to put our heads in the sand and just worry about our own families?

I was putting Anna to bed and she started to pray for the children with no parents -- that they would find food and water and “get some new parents.” I hadn’t told her about the book, so I asked her, where did you hear about these children?

She almost started to cry. Then she told me about some children she saw on TV. They had no parents and no food or water. They had no where to live. She said it was the most terrible thing she had ever seen. 

Of course, with all the media coverage on Haiti, Anna had seen the lost children – and she couldn’t let go of the images.  The same images I conveniently try to avoid. 

When I look at Anna, I realize that but for the grace of God and the privilege of her birth, she could be one of those girls destined for despair, famine, and disease. Instead, she has two parents who love and care for her. She has hope and a future.

Anna continues to pray that the hurting kids in our world will find food, water, and “new parents.”  I pray with her, but The Hole In Our Gospel reminds me that I need to do more.

It's well worth the read.  Check out Stearn’s website for a glimpse.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Loud Or Boring?

Some women know how to turn up the volume.  My Blonde Sister, Janie, is one of them.

Janie loves to talk.  But she’s not one of those annoying people who constantly talks about herself.  Instead, she’s always engaging other people.  She can carry a conversation with just about anyone, and she always has something interesting to say.  Food.  Music. Friends. Exercise.  New favorite recipes.  New health remedies.  Financial trends.  Parenting.  Every time I talk to her, I learn something valuable.  Better yet, her positive words always put me in a good mood.  She doesn’t complain and she doesn’t gossip – she just tells it like it is.  Sure, she can be extremely loud at family gatherings (and in public establishments), but I never mind the volume.

When I’m at a restaurant with Doug, he often tells me I’m talking too loudly.  I’m sorry, dear, but it’s genetic.  Besides, people who complain about loud women just need to get over it.  Better yet, they need to get over themselves and let the people around them enjoy life.  I’ll take loud over boring any day.

What loud women are you thankful for today?  Janie is another year younger this month, and I’ll have to say, I can’t imagine life without her. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Ok To Doubt?

Is it healthy to have doubts about your faith?  Or, does it mean you are weak and lack real conviction?  For those of us who are raising kids, we can expect to get questions about God sooner rather than later.  And I would argue that the questions are actually a good thing – it means they’re thinking!

According to a Barna study of young adults who no longer believe the Bible:
  • 40% first had doubts in middle school.
  • 44% first had doubts in high school.
  • 11% first had doubts in college.
In other words, kids are going to have doubts, and they aren’t going to wait until college to try to figure it all out.  Given the statistics that many of these kids will leave the church, I think we can reach a logical conclusion:  kids aren’t getting their questions answered about faith and reason.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that many kids growing up in Christian homes probably feel ashamed for even asking tough questions.

The first questions we often get from our preschoolers are how and why?  As kids get older, they begin to use logical thinking and want to distinguish between fantasy and reality.  They go from asking things like Is Jesus stronger than Daddy?  to If Jesus died on a cross, how can he live in my heart?

During this Easter season, I want my kids to know that it’s ok to ask questions. As parents, we need to listen first and not shame our kids for expressing doubts.  As important, we need to not only know what we believe but why we believe.

Do you think it’s ok to doubt?  And are you prepared for the questions? 

Doubts are the ants in the pants of faith – Frederick Buechner

Monday, March 8, 2010

What Motivates You?

All of us are motivated by something.  In simplest terms, our human nature often drives us to crave one of the three P’s:  Pleasure, Possessions, and Power.  Jesus explained it like this.

For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.  I John 2:16 (NLT)

I like to think my motives are completely pure.  Which is why I was recently surprised when I took a personality test that showed otherwise.  (Ok, maybe I wasn’t all that surprised, but the exercise itself was quite enlightening.)

As part of a project at work, I participated in “scientific” personality study.  In other words, I was an executive guinea pig.  The study measures personality, as well as motives, values, and preferences.

What were my scores?  Let’s just say I got high marks in the three P’s – especially in areas of achievement, recognition, and (yikes) even pleasure.  Even more interesting?  I received equally high scores indicating values of altruism and tradition.  The result?  I appear to be completely conflicted -- according to my scores, I’m two people living inside the same body.

While I was mildly amused by the results, I also asked myself, What really motivates me?  If I have to be honest, my motives will never be completely pure this side of heaven.  But I think that’s ok.  The test helped me realize that God created me to have a passion for life – an inner drive – that I can ultimately use for a greater purpose.  And as long as I live in this world, I’m going to be conflicted.  But God still accepts and uses a woman of mixed motives.

What motivates you?  Pleasure?  Possessions?  Power?  Something else?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Is Multi-tasking Really Evil?

Most mothers, by necessity, have become expert multi-taskers.  Do we really have a choice?  Whether it’s at work or at home, something always needs to get done.  And we’re usually the ones expected to get it done.  So please don’t lecture me about the evils of multi-tasking.

I was talking to one of my friends this week (who is also a lawyer with three young children) and she told me she was feeling guilty.  Why?  She is confronting her multi-tasking addiction.  Just last weekend she received an article from a friend citing the negative impacts of multi-tasking on the brain.  Apparently, too much multi-tasking can induce self-inflicted Attention Deficit Disorder, and one study even claims that “workers distracted by email and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.”  (Christen Rosen, The Myth of Multitasking, 20 New Atlantis 105,106 (2008))  That’s right, multi-taskers are right behind pot smokers.  Worse yet, right after she received the article, she went to church and her priest gave a lecture on the evils of multi-tasking!

Just what we need -- one more thing to feel guilty about.  Sure, multi-tasking is not ideal and there are times when we need to give both our families and our jobs our complete and undivided attention, but I’m just not going to apologize for multi-tasking in a high-tech fast paced world that demands my constant attention.
What do you think, is multi-tasking a necessary evil, or is it just plain evil?  (And please hold the guilt trips!)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Will Nice Guy Become Ransom Guy?

What ever happened with Nice Guy? Did I ever get my license back, or did Nice Guy turn into Ransom Guy?

After I responded to Nice Guy’s email suggesting that he meet me on my terms, I didn’t hear back.  Fortunately, he had also left me his cell phone number, so the next morning I called and left him a message.

At noon, he still hadn’t returned my call.  I started to panic.  Obviously, I had blown it.  I should have met him at 2:00 p.m. just like he asked.  Now, he would probably hold my license hostage.  Worse yet, he would just ignore my calls and I’d have to head to the airport without my license.  How could I be so stupid? Why did I blow him off in the first place?

Then, about mid-day (during my well-deserved trip to Napa) my phone rang.  It was he, offering to meet me later that evening after 10:00 p.m., just like I had asked.

When I finally met Nice Guy, it was pretty uneventful.  The transaction took about 30 seconds, and he didn’t ask for anything in return. I made him take a Starbucks card (to relieve my guilt) in exchange for my license, and I could tell he thought I must be the most high maintenance, self-absorbed woman he had ever met.  But I was genuinely thankful for his kind gesture, and I’ll never forget him.

It’s fun when God teaches me about his grace through total strangers.  If you’re worried you’ve blown God off one too many times, you’re in good company. Yes, God is known to meet us on our own terms, just the way we are.  We don’t need to bribe him with Starbucks cards or good works, and he’s even more patient than Nice Guy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Random Acts Of Kindness

Just when I think humanity is a lost cause, someone surprises me.

Doug and I were in San Francisco last year and had just enjoyed a quiet dinner and a long walk. Like usual, I checked my email before bed. I was completely surprised to see an email from a complete stranger I’ll call “Nice Guy” that said, Hello, you don’t know me but I Googled your name and found you on the Internet. I found your license lying on Columbus Street tonight and I figured you probably needed it.

I couldn’t believe how thoughtful he was. Rather than kicking my license to the curb, he not only picked it up, but he sought me out and found me. Finding me took time and effort.  He took the initiative.  Then he said, You can come and pick up your license at my office at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

Given that Nice Guy went out of his way to find me and was merely asking me to meet him at a place that was convenient for him, I of course told him I was too busy. Oh, sorry dude, but I have a meeting in the morning, and I was actually planning on going to Napa in the afternoon. Do you think I could meet you tomorrow night after 10 p.m.?

The nerve of me. I was actually bossing around a complete stranger who was doing me a favor and was just asking me to meet him on his terms. Without my license, I wouldn’t be able to get on an airplane back to Ohio. But, like usual, I decided to push the envelope.

My experience with Nice Guy made me think about my relationship with God.  God seeks me out and finds me. He looks me up and goes out of his way to get my attention.  Half the time, I don’t even know I’ve lost my way.  But he calls me out and says, Hey, you really need my help today.  Then he says, Meet me tomorrow before work, I’ll be waiting.

I usually respond, Sorry, but I’m busy then, but maybe I’ll have some time this weekend.

I wonder if God ever gets tired of it when I blow him off?  Like Nice Guy, he keeps taking the initiative, but will I ever stop pushing that envelope?  (You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see if I got my license back.)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

There’s Coffee In Heaven

Close-up of a cup of coffee on a cabinet
I thought I could give up coffee gracefully.  How hard could it be?  After all, coffee doesn’t rule my life, does it?

Boy was I wrong.  Dead wrong.  I should have thought it through and used my head before opening my mouth.  Yes, I’m a complete idiot for posting my fast on a blog.  There’s no turning back now.

My hardest time of day is the morning.  I kid you not, it’s taken my body over two weeks to feel normal without caffeine.  Then there are all the office meetings and social gathering that revolve around coffee.  Try drinking bottled water and green tea at Starbucks when what you really want is a double tall non-fat latte…….NOW!

Ok, I’ll have to admit I’ve been praying a lot more.  And I’ve been much more intentional about my thoughts and actions.  I don’t know if I’ll make it until Easter, but I have learned a few things about myself in the process – like how much I thrive on my routine and the daily comforts I take for granted.

What daily comforts do you take for granted?  I’ve come to realize that I'm far from understanding the word sacrifice.  I know it sounds silly, but I’m thankful for the little things in life, like a hot cup of coffee.  And one thing’s for sure – I’m convinced that God serves plenty of coffee in heaven!

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Is Sisters’ Month!

I have four older sisters.  Three of them are born in March.  Like it or not, you’re going to hear about them.  That’s right, March is officially Sisters Month. 

To start, I’d like to be clear about something.  I like being the youngest.  In fact, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Here’s why.

Top Ten Reasons I Like Having Four Older Sisters

1.  I never had to make my bed or clean up after myself.
2.  By the fifth child, my parents conveniently forgot the curfew rules.
3.  I got to be a “third wheel” on lots of dates.
4.  I always raided their clothes and make-up.
5.  I got to be in lots of weddings.
6.  I’m never expected to bring casseroles to family gatherings.
7.  I’m the last to get wrinkles.
8.  Now that I've gotten wrinkles, they know what kind of cream to buy -- and what kind not to buy.
9.  I get lots of unsolicited advice (most of it's actually valuable and starts with "when I was your age.......").
10.  I have four best friends for life that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Regardless of whether you grew up with sisters or are blessed to actually like your siblings, we all need each other.  And God puts friends and mentors in our lives that we can look up to -- to help us learn the ropes in the obstacle course of life.

What “older sister” are you thankful for today?  Or, maybe you thrive on being a mentor to those of us who relish being the younger sibling. 

(Younger siblings are also known to post embarrassing things in blogs about their older counterparts!)