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Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm Dull And I Like It!


Interesting topic, I know. Appease me and, for a moment, imagine opening a new box of crayons.

You tear open the box along its perforated edges and you see this wonderful display of hues and saturation. The best thing about new crayons is that they haven't been used, yet. They're sharpened to perfect points, the paper around them haven't been torn, and there's perfect little ledges that separate the tips from the rest of the crayons. They have the appearance of perfection; looking the way they're supposed to look.

What if you opened that box and all the crayons were dull? The paper was tearing? Hints of other colors speckled the tips? Would you be disappointed?

Fast forward to Father's Day. See the purple crayon in the photo, the one that shows obvious signs of use? This is the crayon that Gabriella used to make her very own first Father's Day card. She scribbled, threw it across the room, scribbled some more, licked it, tried to eat it...

That crayon has a story.

Personally, I like dull crayons because they are the ones with a story.

Sometimes, we are like crayons. We spend our time caring about our appearance, our houses, our cars, our bank accounts, and how we are perceived by those that open the box to check us out.

What a waste of time...

Personally, I'd rather spend my time getting dull...

I see God in a dull crayon that is a loving reminder of life...my life.



Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's Comin'...Whatever It Is, It's Comin'

You know, everyone you meet has a story. They have a life filled with their own dreams, failures, loves, adventures. Some are more willing to share than others. Usually, I find that people older and wiser have the most to share. Seems like they could just talk and talk...

and talk.

Today, Rick and I had a rainy day Yard Sale. We met all kinds of neat people, but our day ended with one unique fellow.

Rick and I were sitting in our chairs in the garage when this older gentleman drove by rubber necking so much I thought he was going to hit something! He did this several times, and finally, he got out to look around. Turns out, we didn't have what he was looking for...

or did we?

He (how I'll refer to him b/c he never told us his name) was a talker! He wanted to share his stories, his life, with us. This is what I learned:

He used to race cars in Orlando.

His wife was sick a few years ago.

He thinks Julia Roberts and Ashley Judd could substitute for the other in any role.

He stopped racing cars when he had a daughter.

He likes to smoke unlit cigarettes.

He likes to fix up cars.

He doesn't know "anything" about football, but knows his favorite Joe Namath play of all time.

He likes Calipari, but knows more about basketball.

He coached basketball and baseball.

When he was 54, he could outrun all but 2 of the players on his basketball team.

He is 70 years old.

His memory is fading.

Often, he would stop for long, awkward pauses, to gather his thoughts, to try and remember. I wanted to help him find the words, but I didn't know how to help him weed through his memories. At one point in our conversation, after a particularly long pause, he said to us, "You know, I do that more and more lately-forget stuff. It's comin'. Whatever it is, it's comin'." He said it so matter of fact, nonchalant...like he had accepted the unknown that comes along with getting older.

It is an inevitable part of life for some of us; we will lose our memories. The moments we've worked so hard to create, capture, store, and laugh about in hindsight will begin to fade. All this man wanted was for someone to listen to his memories, be impressed by his memories, take some time to help him relive his memories...maybe before they're gone...

for good.

We were happy to oblige. Rick nodded, asked him questions, and laughed with him. I just watched, listened, and agreed with his opinions. The most important thing we could have done, though, was let him talk. We didn't tell him one thing about ourselves! hehe :) We just listened...

Have you been listening lately? Who knows what stories you might be missing out on if you only listen to the stories you tell to others...the stories you already know by heart.

Oh, I almost forgot one other thing I learned! He wants to take his money and live on a sailboat for the rest of his life. He chose the bank with the most ATMs at ports to deposit his life savings. I can picture him now, floating from here to there, thinking about Joe Namath, race cars, and smoking the same cigarette day in and day out.

It puts a smile on my face.

Today, I heard God in the rehashing of memories of a precious life.

I hope you spend the rest of the weekend with your ears open!



P.S. Another question mark filled! On the list of God's Plan for my summer: Listen to and appreciate the wonderfully rich life of a complete stranger.

P.P.S. No picture today. I thought he would think I was a little kooky if I'd gone in and come out with my camera! For today, you'll just have to use your imagination.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Are You Ready For Some Football?!?!

I see God in tackles, punts, stiff arms, goals, and kisses...

all the indications that a little girl is playing football with her daddy for the very first time.



Sunday, June 12, 2011

Not Bent With Doubt

Since I've gotten into photography more, many people have been so kind to offer me suggestions of photography sites. Several have mentioned the Lexington Cemetery. At first, I thought it would be a bit morbid to traipse around the grounds, poking and prodding into the lives of others, however, after taking a couple of trips to the cemetery, I feel totally different. After all, people put their names, dates of life, and revelations on stones to be remembered...the hope that somewhere way down the line, someone will remember they were here, they had life...

They mattered.

My recent trip yielded many photos, but these are a few that stood out:

I must tell you that it's hard to walk around a cemetery and not ponder your own mortality. It comes with the territory, I guess. The nature of the scene begs the question, "What do you want written on your own stone?" Well, considering I'm a day-by-day kind of gal, considering my epitaph doesn't have me too busy these days. One phrase on a gravestone actually made me stop and think, though. Look back at the 4th photo. Does a phrase jump out at you?

"Not bent with doubt..."

I like the sound of that. The idea that no matter what comes your way in life, you are so secure in God's plan that you never bend in doubt, but stand straight in reassurance of His plan. When life gets foggy, do you stop and wait, or do you keep going because you know it will eventually clear? I can't say that I always plunge straight into the fog. I usually stop and say, "Oh yoo hoo. Over here. Would You mind giving me a bit more of a hint of what's coming ahead? Oh, and while You're at it, I'd like to make a request that it be done as close to my own personal timeline as possible." Ha! The nerve.

I don't always plunge straight into fog.

But I want to.

Hopefully, by the time anything clever needs to be written on a stone in honor of me, I'll be able to say that I did not bend with doubt. And if I can't, well, there's always Plan B:

"Tried not to bend with doubt."

You fill in the blank for today!

I see God ____________________.



Friday, June 10, 2011

Anything I Want

Seems as though lately I've been tapping into some interests that I didn't know I had. I've been trying new things and exploring my abilities in uncharted territories. It has been a lot of fun realizing I can do things I never thought I could!

I was walking down the aisle at Hobby Lobby and saw a brochure for pillowcase dresses. As I looked through the ideas, I kept thinking how I would love to sew something like that for GG. I put the brochure back and kept looking around the store. My mind kept going back to the dresses and I finally told myself, "If you want to make GG a dress, then you can do it! You can make that dress!" So, hours later, I found myself at home sewing for the very first time. (There was a pillow a few months ago, but that doesn't come close to counting!) I won't bore you with the details of winding a bobbin or threading a machine! What I will tell you is this: I made that dress and put so much into it, that I think it radiates love when GG wears it!

Since then, I've made two additional things: another dress and a shirt. However, the purpose of this post is not to boast about what I've been able to do. The purpose is to share with you that when you really want to do something, you can! Nothing was more important to me than making my daughter a dress,

so nothing was going to stop me!

In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warrren says, "You have dozens, probably hundreds, of untapped, unrecognized, and unused abilities that are lying dormant inside you...the average person possesses from 500 to 700 different skills and abilities-far more than you realize."

What talents do you have lying dormant inside yourself?!

Now, if you've made it this far in the post, I'm impressed! Remember a few posts ago when I talked about God filling my question marks with His plans for the summer? Well, I'm proud to announce I've had one filled! One of God's plans for me this summer was to remind me that I can do anything I want!

I hear God as He tells me that nothing is out of my reach and, with Him,

I can do anything I want.



Monday, June 6, 2011

A Brick Wall

Tonight we celebrated the official start of summer with a walk through Gratz Park and a milkshake! Our original plans were to take GG to the fountains downtown, but she wanted no part in that, so we just explored.

In the past 18 months, GG has shown what an affectionate and loving child she is. There's no shortage of kisses and hugs in our home, that's for sure! As we were on our walk tonight, we found out just how affectionate our precious little one can be...

She kissed a brick wall!

How innocent is she that she loves everything?! Her mind and heart have yet to be shaped by the world around her. There's nothing that doesn't deserve her affection. She loves wholeheartedly and unconditionally.

Just like God.

I feel God in His unwavering love for me...

and you

and, of course,




Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Question Mark

There's an old saying that goes, "We make plans and God laughs." In other words, you think you know what's going to happen, but God is the one who's really in charge.

Well, Lord, I must admit that I am going to make plans! hehe :)

Tomorrow is the last day of school and that means for the next few weeks, I'm going to have some very special time with GG! So, the following is a list of the things I'm going to plan on doing with my daughter.

My Plans...

sleep in late

build forts and hide

run around the living room in circles squealing

eat cookies and smear them all over our faces

play in the sprinkler

take walks

cuddle up and watch The View

do the Hot Dog Dance on the Mickey Mouse Club show

sing to Jake and the Neverland Pirates

play peek-a-boo

take naps...long ones (hopefully)

go on shopping sprees

take Daddy out to lunch


anything else that will make a memory

As I was finishing this list, it occurred to me that I should add another list; a much more important one...

His Plans




I see God in the question marks that represent His plans for me!

I look forward to, over the course of the summer, sharing how God fills my question marks!

How will He fill your's??!!


P.S. I really did plan on posting something totally different about my list! I'm so thankful that God had another plan.