Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's Wednesday!

I thought Monday was Wednesday this week. Well, it's finally Wednesday! I am not sure why, but this week just seems to be dragging by. Tuesdays & Wednesdays are ridiculously long days for me, but usually they fly by. Yesterday did not fly by. I found myself looking at the clock and thinking, "It's only 1 o'clock!?" or "Wasn't it 4 o'clock three hours ago!?". Today is an equally busy day that ends with two hours of babysitting, so I am hoping that my 5:15 a.m. wake-up call (aka, Elaine the kitten) doesn't affect the rest of my day the way it did yesterday.

In other news, I've been reading James lately. Slowly but surely I'm making my way through. I've finally made it to the last chapter, but I'm in no hurry to wrap it up. James is probably one of my "favorite" books in the New Testament. Really, it's probably one of my "favorite" books in the whole Bible. James' words are so heavy and powerful.

Chew on these:

James 1:17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows."

James 1:22, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."

James 2:10, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."

James 3:9 (this one hurts!): "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness."

James 4:8 (this one makes you feel better, but can be confusing), "Come near to God and he will come near to you."

It's good stuff, I know! Hard to take at times, but edifying.

So, that's Wednesday. Hoping it's an excellently wonderfully exuberant day.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why my mom is awesomer than yours.

I just need to preface this by saying that I don't know whether my mom will read this or not and it might be awkward if she does. Because... if you have ever met my mom and seen us interact, you know that we are not sweet and sappy people! More often than not, we are constantly giving each other a hard time and [lovingly] cracking jokes with each other.

Lately, I have been reminded of just what a gift I have in my mom. I have always loved her and known that she is truly an incredible mom, but sometimes I get reminded of just how incredible she is. The past month or two has been one of those times.

Mom and I have certainly been through many, many rough patches - some were so bad that I never thought we could reconcile. But, what Satan meant for evil, God meant for good! Those difficult times shaped us as individuals and shaped our relationship. I am so thankful to say that things are better than ever and I have recently been reminded on a daily basis just how fortunate I am to have been given Mary Kathryn Lewis as my mother.

One of the things I have always loved about my mom is that I have always wanted to tell her everything - even when I knew I would get in trouble! I have told on myself so many times - it's ridiculous! I have always appreciated how she will always listen, even when I ramble about nonsense at 7am. But, even better than that - I truly can tell my mom anything. When my feelings are hurt, I tell her. When I disagree, I tell her. All in love, of course, and within the boundaries I have as a daughter, but... I can still tell her. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't have to "fake it" in front of my mom in order to make her happy. I don't have to hide things from her or walk on eggshells around her. I don't have to do certain things or say certain things to please her. She is pleased with my honesty, and that is what I love the most.

See? My mom is awesomer than yours. Okay, maybe not, but she is definitely awesome. She has really taught me how to be true to myself - in a good selfish way, not bad selfish. She is a fantastic lady and her boyfriend isn't too bad, either. :)

So, Mom, if you're reading this - you rock! And, no, this is not an attempt for me to sweet talk my way to $100. :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thoughts on the Oil Spill

As usual, I have lots of thoughts. Today, they're directed toward the Gulf Coast oil spill.

Thought #1: Blame. Why are we only pointing the finger at BP and the government? Have we not once been reminded that we are the reason the oil rig was there in the first place!? We are the ones who fuel the oil industry and BP is only trying to supply our demand. Let us not forget that BP, though potentially "corrupt" and certainly powered by money, is not alone in this. We are to blame, as well. We want gasoline, we want it cheap, and we want it in abundance.

Thought #2: Poor Tony Hayward. Even I am guilty of nitpicking at his language and rolling my eyes at his audacious statements. Currently, I believe he is more hated than Osama bin Laden. I've got to admit, I feel bad for him. That doesn't excuse the faults of his company, but all of this tongue-lashing is getting a bit ridiculous. I don't doubt that he is sorry. I don't doubt that he is feeling the weight of the world at this moment. Now let's get the ball rolling with this $20 billion dollars and get the hands & feet of the relief effort moving and take care of the needs of the Gulf Coast community.

Thought #3: To boycott or not boycott. I don't really have a gas station of preference these days. Mostly I visit Race-Way or Wal-Mart because they have the cheapest prices. But I don't for a second believe that BP is the only enemy here. I don't know how to research the safety of each and every oil rig in each and every Big Oil company so that I can be a more informed consumer. I don't know how to tell which company is "good" and which is not. I have no clue. If someone knows how to find out, please let me know. But, for now I won't be using BP and I'm sure millions of people across the country won't be using BP for a while. I heard someone say that we didn't need to boycott them because "the last thing we need is for BP to go bankrupt." Very, very true... but, Tony Hayward said that the taxpayers would not have to pay for any of the relief efforts, and gasoline is taxed therefore I believe they better start digging in their pockets, sell their multi-million dollar homes, and stop flying around the world to find the $20 billion they've pledged. They better not be using my money!

Thought #4: The Gulf Coast oil spill is certainly a tragedy that could have been avoided. It is certainly an awful, awful thing. I almost cried while looking at pictures of the damage the other day. But, THIS IS NOT THE ONLY OIL SPILL IN THE CURRENT WORLD!!! If you haven't read this article already, read it! We are so fortunate that we just happen to have a government with enough power and money (and interest) to fight for us. That is certainly a blessing. But, BP isn't the only company with problems. And we're not the only country fighting against oil spills.

Final thoughts: These are the days when I wish I rode a bike everywhere and ate only local produce and meat from local farms so that I could be free of the need for gasoline. But even then, it wouldn't be enough. I think the only thing we can do at this point is fight for higher standards and then take responsibility into our own hands - knowing that BP oil wouldn't exist if we didn't want so much gasoline.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Ain't Got Nothin to Say

So I spent a good 3 hours on a hysterically ridiculous blog post about my adventures in making dinner at 7am on Monday morning (see? It's already funny!), only for Blogger to completely FAIL me in the area of inserting pictures into my blog post.

It seemed like everything I did failed. So, you don't get to read my funny story. Boo for you.

Quick updates:

1- Blake has been gone for 2 1/2 days in Birmingham where he is working. He'll be back tomorrow... just in time for us to go to Memphis with the Martins & their SON!!! (Okay, so baby boy is still in utero, but... still! He's a he!!)

2- Elaine is growing and becoming more and more adventurous. She almost fell in the toilet the other day. Gross.

3- I am TIRED. But that's not really news, I suppose!

Okay, that is all!

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Kitten Makes Monumental Discovery

I don't have a kid (yet), but I do have three animals. That's got to count for something, right!? Well... since all I have is animals, I feel that it is only right for me to update my blog about new kitten's (that would be Elaine) progress!

She has gained at least 1 pound, maybe even 1 1/2 lbs. She is eating cat food like crazy!! She refuses to eat her kitten food, even though it is the SAME EXACT THING that Charlie (big cat) eats - only in smaller bites! So, no more purchasing kitten food, apparently. She and Arnold have become fast friends, too, which is a relief! He lets her play with his tail and is very patient with her. I honestly haven't seen as much of Arnold lately - I think he is actually learning that he can't always have all the attention! I feel bad for him, but he has been spoiled for the past four years. It's time to share the spotlight.

Elaine is in discovery mode, which is great and not great all at the same time. She has found all sorts of things to play with... things that I wish she wouldn't play with. :) But, that's part of being a kitten! She has yet to ruin anything - my main concerns being my curtains, shower curtain, and rugs - but she has been caught climbing and chewing on those things. I think I need to invest in a water bottle so I can squirt her when she's being mischievous!

But, the biggest discovery happened less than half an hour ago: she discovered that the mysterious flapping hole in the door to the garage leads somewhere.... into the garage!! She was following Charlie around and he tried to escape, but she followed him through the doggie door. I watched her investigate the garage and prayed she wouldn't find the second door that leads outside! I don't think she's big enough to wander outside by herself yet. We have a fence, but it is a chain-link fence, which she can easily fit through. For now, I'm going to have to close off the doggie doors until she gets a little bigger.

It's been 7 years since we've had a kitten in our house. I was really afraid that the beginning part would be a nightmare - getting clawed everyday, seeing all of my fabric get ruined, 5 a.m. wake ups (okay, that happens, but.... that's ok)... but it really has been fun! I kind of don't want her to grow up!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Psalm 145:13(b) ~ "The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made." (NIV)

There isn't much more I need to say than that! I love seeing God work.

It's been a long few weeks... and an even longer five days. Long story short - Blake took a job to stay in Tuscaloosa for the summer but after a series of rather unfortunate events, it became very clear that the job wasn't right for him or for us. At all. So, the hunt began again.

God knew our need before us and He set up a solution before we even knew the problem. We are absolutely thankful for the process - we learned so much about ourselves and each other, but we learned even more about God's providence.

And today, I am thankful that Blake is going to wake up soon and head to work. :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Forgotten Commandment

If anyone knows me, they know that I have a tiny issue with being performance driven. If I am going to write a research paper, then it is going to be an A+ research paper. If I am going to teach a lesson, then it is going to be a home-run lesson resulting in the mass expansion of my students' little brains. If I am given an assignment, I am going to do it with such enthusiasm and vigor that deserves thunderous applause.

Now, not every research paper has earned an A+, not every lesson taught has been a success, nor has every assignment I've ever been given been done perfectly. In fact, more often than not, my performance is sub-par. But it's sub-par by my standards, which are pretty high.

I expect a lot out of myself. I push myself too hard at times to get things done, to be productive, and my competitive nature gets the best of me. What ends up happening, though, is that I burn myself out and then the bad attitude creeps in. I continue to expect the best out of myself, but I do it with a bitter heart and a resentful spirit.

The beginning of this summer has been a mixture of productivity, anti-productivity (you know, those days where you literally do nothing of great significance...), guilt, frustration, and a crappy attitude. I have a lot going on - 3 jobs and a slew of projects I want to get done before the fall semester all on top of the fact that I would like to relax and enjoy summer break before I have to go back to the crazy life of being a student and a teacher intern!!

God calls us to be good stewards of our time, but he also calls us to stop working and fully enjoy His presence. I love when people joke about God taking "a break" after creating the world. :) But, it's true! Genesis 2:2 says, "By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work." God - the Creator of the world - rested! And if I am made in His likeness (Gen. 1:27), then I am to do as He does. I am to intentionally take time to rest and to find refreshment by glorifying Him through rest just as I glorify Him through work.

This is a lesson I've had to learn over and over again: that rest is not met through a three month summer break smack dab in the middle of two of the hardest semesters of my college career. I was not built to go go go go go go go go go go go and then crash. True rest is met each week, through keeping the Sabbath.

Last semester, I was not diligent to keep the Sabbath. I basically worked seven days a week in some way. If I wasn't technically "at work" (getting paid), then I was working on something for school. And if I wasn't working on something for school, then I was doing something fun - but feeling guilty about it. Instead of trying to create balance and work diligently in order to keep the Sabbath, I just pushed myself every day until I couldn't push anymore.

All this to say... this summer, I am going to try a little experiment. I am actually going to try to keep the Sabbath. No spending money, no work (I guess that will have to be further defined since technically I have to "work" on Sundays for my internship), no secular entertainment. I am going to spend my Sunday basking in God's presence, serving Him, enjoying Him, and investing in the people He has placed in my life. I am going to work up until Sunday so that I may rest and enjoy this glorious gift of life!

Exodus 20:8-11, "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, your the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therfore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Update x 3

1. Elaine

For a creature that only weighs a pound, she sure is making a big impact in our family!

The only "problem" we have had is this: I hold her too much! I think I've already spoiled her because I hold her when she's tired and she goes straight to sleep. Sweet, right? I think so, too. Except that I can't always hold her when she wants to sleep. Eventually, summer is going to be gone and I'm going to have things to do other than snuggle a cute kitten!

2. Memorial Day, aka: All-day double date with Ashley & Benji!

To celebrate Memorial Day, Blake and I went on a mini road trip with Ashley & Benji Martin. We drove to Woodville, AL to see the Cathedral Caverns and then went on to Scottsboro to explore another cave of sorts - the Unclaimed Baggage Store.

Cathedral Caverns was AWESOME. I could have stayed in there for days, looking at every nook & cranny in amazement of God's creativity! I love enjoying God's beautiful Earth!

Unclaimed Baggage was.... less than awesome. I don't know if it was the store or our lack of energy or the store's massiveness, but we were all over it after about twenty minutes. I love bargains - but there was just WAY too much to see!! Blake was diligent in his search through the DVDs, though, and found some movies we had been thinking about buying, plus a couple extras. :) Ashley & Benji got a Baby Bjorn carrier! So, it wasn't a total flop!

The best part of the whole thing, though, was hanging out with the Martins! They are such great friends to have and I'm glad to be able to spend time with them. I can't wait until our fifth wheel comes along - and I demand that I get to carry her around in the Baby Bjorn whenever we go somewhere. :)

3. Cooking

I have been cooking up a feast since school has been out. I love to cook so I have been using my free time to find new recipes and try them out on my sweet boyfriend! The latest recipe experiment was a take on Rachel Ray's coconut five-spice chicken. I altered her recipe a bit... I didn't have all the ingredients plus I made it into a stir-fry rather than just the chicken by itself. At first, I don't think Blake liked it very much... but in the end, we both liked it.

So, that's life lately!
Today is a big day, as well. State primaries are today - I'm ready to vote!! And I start my summer internship at Vineyard today - working with Jon, Jon, and Jonathan this summer is going to be very, very, very confusing....