Friday, July 30, 2010

The Spicy McChicken

Okay. So I've had this video since our road trip. It cracks me up every time I watch it.

My daughter LOVES the McChicken sandwich at McDonald's. Well, on our road trip we discovered that they suddenly switched from offering the regular McChicken to the SPICY McChicken. She ordered it anyways thinking she could manage it.

It was like flames were going off in her mouth. HA HA It was so funny to watch her eat this thing and then drown herself in water...which we ended up discovering wasn't the purest.

So I think my daughter would like to make a special request... Please, McDonald's. Please bring back your REGULAR McChicken!





Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sometimes You Can't See What's Right In Front of You


Home Videos. They are great for capturing moments in time. They also do something to my heart. When I go back and view videos from when my kids were little, I find myself thinking “How could anyone say ‘no’ to that sweet little face?” Or “Why was I so grumpy – she was so cute and innocent!”

I’ve also found myself looking at a moment in time from a different perspective. “How could I have not seen how skinny I was? Why didn’t I enjoy it more?” Or on the opposite spectrum – “Why did I not see I was gaining weight and do something sooner?”

Sometimes we just can’t see what’s right in front of us. We feel old when we are so young and vibrant. We waste time and days wishing and hoping for what’s not there and yet in 5, 10 or even 20 years we will look back and wish we had enjoyed ourselves more or loved what we had more.

Each one of us is blessed. Often, we can’t see what’s right in front of us because of wanting something different. Yet, if we could just pause and refocus our priorities, our vision, and our heart and attitude – I think our eyes would often clear and we’d see what often everyone around us sees.

Thankfulness, gratitude, joy, and contentment come with an attitude of the heart. It’s nothing someone else can give us. We just need to tune out the rest of the world, tune INTO the Lord, and focus on what God has placed in our lives. Focus on who we are and what we are doing with ourselves a lot more.

Regrets are awful. They just gnaw away at you. Don’t look back somewhere down the road and wish you would have enjoyed those God placed in your life more. Don’t wish you’d grabbed at opportunities in your life more. And don’t regret not loving and enjoying yourself more. For some day you will see the beauty in your life that God has always seen.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

In Sympathy...

When someone passes away, if you’re anything like me, you feed badly and usually express your condolences in person when you see the family member or loved one. Sometimes you don’t know what to do or if they want to be alone or not and so just expressing your sadness at their loss in person seems to be the way to go.

I didn’t realize until I was an adult that sometimes doing something more matters infinitely to the person going through the loss. It doesn’t take much time, and it doesn’t cost much. That thing is to send a sympathy card.

I had no idea how much these cards would mean until I went through the loss of my grandfather the summer of 2009. I didn’t expect any cards – after all, it wasn’t my mother, father, or sibling who passed on – it was a grandparent. And yet a very dear one to me at that. I took his death bravely but with deep sorrow.

I received a sympathy card in the mail. And then a couple more and found that those few words that someone took the time to write out and send to me, meant everything to me. It was if someone was validating my tears, my sadness, and my pain. It was if someone was saying to me – “I understand, I care, and I’m praying for you.” I had no idea a card could do so much for me during such a difficult time.

It wasn’t the words these precious people said that meant the most to me – it was the effort. It was as if when I opened that envelope and saw the words “In sympathy of your loss….” That it was if someone was hugging me and telling me that it was okay to cry. When everyone else was going on with their daily lives, it was if someone was pausing for a minute to let me know that they loved me and understood that – for a moment – it was okay for me to have a hard time doing the “dailyness” of mine.

I get it now. I didn’t get it before. Most of my losses of loved ones happened as a child or a young adult so I didn’t see or really benefit from a sympathy card. It wasn’t until I was an adult that it struck my heart with the deep connection and outpouring of concern and kindness.

I think anyone who has gone through a loss will also understand. The phone calls and visits – yes, they are important too. Bringing of meals is invaluable to a family who is dealing with the emotional turbulence of a loss. But if you don’t feel you can do those things – or even that they aren’t simply enough…. Send a sympathy card. I guarantee you that the effort alone, means the world.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Moving the Line of What is Acceptable

I was talking to my girls recently about music. We were downloading some new songs from Itunes and one of my daughter’s was asking me what some of my favorite current hits were. I finally mentioned one that I liked, but was hesitant to buy because of the singer’s reputation. She told me, “That has a bad word in it.” Really? I hadn’t even noticed. She told me if I listened carefully that I would very clearly be able to hear it. Which brought up a short little discussion on content in songs.

When I was growing up (yes, I can’t believe I’ve relegated myself to using those lines!)…I informed my daughter that bad language in music wasn’t allowed on radios. Now, it’s commonplace.

Why do you think that is?

I think it’s because we’ve allowed it. We’ve desensitized ourselves to what is bad and what is okay.

Say you have a song that is really vulgar. Everyone is in an uproar about it. But then another song comes out that isn’t quite as bad and so it’s allowed. Then down on the road, more songs come out. Some push the limit, others go back to that one song that was a little “edgy” but allowed and so they too – are allowed, because “hey” – they aren’t “as bad” as the other songs. This continues for a while until you start having a market saturated by songs that once would have been deemed “unacceptable.” The line keeps moving. And it’s moving in the wrong direction. Instead of starting back where we didn’t allow any of these words, thoughts, or actions; we’ve allowed them in small doses because they aren’t “quite as bad” as some others out there. But the limit keeps getting pushed to worse and worse – more vulgar and more vulgar and so the ones that aren’t “as bad” also keep getting pushed because everyone thinks they are tame “in comparison.”

Just what is “our comparison?”

Whether it’s movies, music, commercials, television, news…whatever….we’ve allowed the line of what is acceptable to continue to move, when in reality it should be back where it started. No bad language. No untruths. No demeaning of people. No sex. The list goes on and on.

For me – God’s Word is what I hold everything in comparison to. His Word never changes. It was relevant yesterday and it will be relevant tomorrow. It doesn’t get to be “old fashioned.” It’s amazing that way. His values and morals are for our protection. And the line of what is and is not acceptable never moves or changes.

I need to hold what I listen to, see, think, and act upon – on His Word. Always. Just because something is “less bad” doesn’t mean it’s good. That fact will never change…no matter what society does or does not allow.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

One Breath Away

I learned something through a couple of pretty big mistakes in my life. I learned how quickly we could screw up our lives. How easy it is to ruin everything you stand for and work for.

We can be so judgmental… people. We can look down on others for the messes and mistakes in their lives, all the while, failing to see how easily we can make our own.

I learned we are all one breath away from disaster. One breath away from our whole lives changing. And it’s humbling.

Lest you think I’m wrong – when was the last time you said something when you were upset, later regretting it deeply? When was the last time you were in a car accident that could have been much, much worse? When was the last time you acted passionately in an incidence only to have to try and repair things later? When did you act foolishly with your finances or dive into something ignorantly without checking the rules or facts first? Yes – we’re all one breath away. For most of us, grace and mercy spares us from deeper consequences. For which I’m eternally thankful.

I’ve been a “good girl” all of my life. Fear has kept me that way. Anytime I’ve ever done anything – I’ve gotten caught. So it’s easy to have fear keep you on the right path. And yet sometimes my naiveté has landed me into trouble, as well. I’m learning that the fact that you didn’t realize something just can’t be an excuse in life anymore. You have to think and use your head.

Of course we can’t be perfect. We can’t always hold our tongue when we’re upset – but we can get closer to it if we practice that tactic. We will make mistakes, have errors in judgment, and mess up. Just know that if things work out all right or you’re spared discipline or embarrassment – it’s not because you were “lucky.” It’s because of God’s great and deep love for you and His unending grace and mercy. Never count them out or take them for granted.

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