Thursday, January 31, 2008

Price Tag

"Every man has his price."
- The Million Dollar Man, Ted DiBiase

There is some truth to the statement. What is your price? What is my price? Well, apparently for me it is $100.

Long story short...I participated in a research study about 14 years ago. Recently I was contacted by the group who is performing the research asking me if I would participate in wave four of the study. As an original participant in the study, my involvement was very important- according to the letter I received a couple of week ago. Oh, and the fact that there was a financial incentive didn't hurt either.

I earned $40 for the hour interview, $30 for my saliva DNA sample, and another $30 for the finger stick. Not bad for two hours of "work".

(This post was only meant in fun, and was not intended to have any deep theological implications.)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

My friend Maggie tagged me and while I considered being the party pooper, I have decided to play along.

Without further delay, here are seven random things about me:
  1. Maggie, this first one is for you! I also chipped my front tooth growing up, well that is if you consider losing over half your front tooth, chipped. I was in the first grade and Stuart would have been in junior high. One of us (I actually don't remember who, but it very well could have been a grand 7 year-old's idea) decided that we should play tug of war with a seat belt. It was working really well until Stuart decided that he didn't want to play any more. Instead of informing of this, he decided to let go. I'll let you envision the rest. I immediately told my dad that I was hurt. I don't exactly remember what he said, but I have a feeling it had something to do with turn around and sit down. When we got home I finally got to show him what I was talking about. Needless to say, there was an emergency trip to the dentist that evening since I had actually broken the tooth right through the nerve.
  2. When I was a freshmen in high school I was eating some Peanut M & M's when the cap that was put on in story #1 snapped off. I wasn't quite so fortunate in getting to the dentist that quickly and had to walk around with a broken front tooth for several days. The worst part was the lisp that occurred.
  3. I've never really hurt myself while playing sports even though I played constantly growing up. I did break my wrist in band and received a concussion and stitches after taking a nose dive in the shower.
  4. I am currently working on a list entitled "7 Things I Want to do Before I am 30". I am down to 49 weeks to accomplish them all, and I haven't even finished the list yet!
  5. While serving as a summer missionary in Australia, I had the opportunity to go kangaroo hunting. Yes, I went and yes, I did shoot a kangaroo. If you want to specific it was more than one.
  6. I was once on an episode of Hard Copy. Imagine my parent's surprise!
  7. Hmmmm...another childhood secret...Back to the first grade (that was a tough year- I also broke my finger). Someone told me that if you put a penny under your tongue, the cooper would cause you to develop a fever causing you to be sent home from school. Sucumbing to the peer pressure of other seven year-olds, I placed the penny under my tongue. By the end of the day I do have a fever and the school nurse called my mom. I remember thinking that she would be so mad if she knew what I had done. In my head, I had completely caused this to happen, and I felt so guilty. Of course now I know that the penny probably did cause me to get sick, but ot because of the cooper, but because of the germs that I am sure were all over it.
Okay, so that is my list. Now I have thought hard about who to tag, so I am going to choose Abbey (that's right Abbey, not Jeff, not Reed, but Abbey), Meg, Emily, and Amanda. Abbey, Meg, Emily, and I all went to college together (as did Maggie, who started all this fun). Amanda was my roommate at seminary.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lesson Learned

It is 9:00 p.m. With the exception of the load of clothes that just finished tumbling, I accomplished everything that I needed to tonight. The bathroom is clean and every floor surface has either been vacuumed or mopped. The clothes are place fairly neatly in the drawers. All the shoes are back in their appropriate boxes. I wish I could tell you that the closet is organized, but that will have to wait for another day- maybe this weekend. However, I didn't hide anything in their or shove anything back into the crevasses, so I will consider that a great accomplishment.

Of course, now I realize that if I had just come in and done everything without grumbling and complaining I would have been finished even earlier. This is just another lesson that I have been reminded of this week.

Now if only I had enough energy to finish those other posts...I guess they will just be another thing that will have to wait for the weekend. At least my Bible Study group will have a nice neat apartment to come to tomorrow night.

I Wish...

I wish I were Mary Poppins right now. Not because I want to fly using an umbrella, even though that would have avoided the traffic that caused my commute to take 15 extra minutes this evening. And not because I want to jump in sidewalk chalk drawing, even though escaping reality for a brief period of time does sound enticing. And not because I want a bottomless carpet bag, even though that would allow me to only carry one bag to work instead of a purse, my lunch bag, and my computer bag. No, the real reason I would like to be Mary Poppins right now is so I could snap my fingers and clean up my room. The laundry that has piled up would march its way down the hall and into the washing machine. The laundry I did last night would finish folding itself and places itself ever so neatly in my chest of drawers. The four pair of shoes that I have worn this week would walk across the floor and find their designated spots in my closet. Oh and the closet, it would organize itself. And the bathroom....well, you get the picture.

Then I would have time to finally finish the posts about worship. I would also have time to do the other important things in my life, like finish the novel that I started on Tuesday. Hmmm...maybe that is one of the reasons things have gotten so out of hand.

Well, enough's off to work I go...wait that is Snow White. Oh well!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Birthday Card

I am really working on finishing the posts about worship, but I'm not quite finished with the next one. Until I finish those posts, enjoy my favorite birthday card that my friend, Blair, gave me.

Inside it says, "I thought this would look good on your coffee table!"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Birthday Weekend

I think the party is officially over...I guess that is okay since my actual birthday was Thursday. I worked Thursday so besides lunch with my boss and dinner with a friend, it was pretty uneventful.

Well, uneventful until about 9pm. That is when my friend, Amanda, arrived. We met the summer after we both graduated from college. We were in the same Journeyman class and got to know each other at the Missionary Learning Center in Virginia before we both headed to the mission field. During those five weeks we became friends and kept in touch while we were overseas. We also were roommates at seminary. We've only seen each other a couple of times since I graduated two years ago. This summer she moved to Tifton, GA where she is an intern at a church. Since it is only a four hour drive between Tampa and Tifton, we have been trying to work out a trip for one of us. I was very excited when she called and asked if she could come for my birthday.

We hadn't seen each other in a year and a half, so Thursday night we spent several hours just talking. Friday we began the day with a leisure breakfast and coffee. We eventually got ourselves ready and headed to Ana Maria Island to spend the day. It was a great day!

We both enjoyed watching the birds, especially the pelicans.

In an attempt to complete the Snap-It! assignment (a picture of an unusual building or architectural structure).

A friend gave me the idea of also trying to take a picture of the Sunshine Skyway for Snap-It! As you can see it was a little too hazy...If you look right about the water you can see a line which is the bridge.

After walking on the beach, shopping, and of course lots more talking we headed to the Sandbar for dinner. We actually arrived a little earlier than we planned, but it ended up being a good move because the tables on the beach were almost all occupied. We decided to go ahead and get a table and enjoy a leisure dinner. There was more than enough activity to keep us entertained as can be seen in the following pictures. All I could think of was how my mother would have been going crazy because she hates birds!

We enjoyed a great dinner and a beautiful sunset.

With the sun set, we began the drive back to Tampa. I wasn't satisfied with any of the pictures I had taken for Snap-It! so we headed to the University of Tampa to see what we could find. This was the best shot and my entry for the week. I had a problem with some of the pictures being fuzzy. I think I will need to read the book to my camera and look at some hints for taking "night pictures".

You might think we would call it a day at that, but no, we decided to go to a late movie. It almost felt like the days when we were at seminary and did random things constantly.

Saturday we did several things in Tampa before Amanda had to head back to Tifton. Basically things she can't do there like LifeWay, a local running store, and lunch at Mimi's Cafe. I think we both wished the visit would have lasted longer, but I keep reminding myself that it is only four hours and we can arrange some other visits. Saturday night (after a nap due to being tired from all the other activities) two of my friends took me out for dinner. Of course no day is complete without a trip to Starbucks.

Thanks for all the e-mails, voicemails, phone calls, cards, and MySpace messages. It was a great day or days! I had a great birthday and now it is time to get back to the real world.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Worship- Part 1

I know I have shared that I am reading My Heart's Desire by Dr. David Jeremiah. To say that it has had a fairly significant impact on me, would be putting it mildly.

In Genesis 22:1-19 we read how Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his one and only son, Isaac. If you are like me, you have probably read this a dozen times or more. What I didn't know is that in verse 5, the first use of the word "worship" as we know it occurs. The Hebrew word used in Genesis 22:5 is shachah, meaning to "...prostrate (espec. reflex. in homage to royalty or Go): - bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship" (Strong's Concordance).

If I am completely honest, I must admit that if God had asked me to sacrifice my only child if worship would be the first thing on my mind. There are a lot of times, if I am honest, that I don't feel like worshiping God at all. Let me share some of what I read this week from My Heart's Desire.
Worship comes as a command, not a suggestion...Worship comes not as the fruit of our impulse, felt need, or creativity; it is the specific command of God. Worship is God's idea. It comes from the depths of His heart with the fullness of His passion. The very beginning of our journey into the depths of knowing God is marked by His voice calling us to come and worship.

Robert E. Webber has written a helpful book entitled Worship Is a Verb. When I came across that striking title in a bookstore, I was intrigued. Webber's thesis is that worship isn't a feeling or a thought process. It's something much greater that a mere emotion. Worship, he says, is an activity we pursue in obedience to God's directive. It is far from passive, but something in which we participate wholeheartedly, something we can do every moment of every day.
We were all made to worship God. It is part of who we are. If we don't worship Him, something else will become the object of our worship.

I can't allow my feelings and my emotions to interfere with my worship. As Dr. Jeremiah reminded me this week, "The very beginning of our journey into the depths of knowing God is marked by His voice calling us to come and worship."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


The Christmas tree has found its way back into the box where it will be stored for the next ten months. It seems a little silly when you think about it. The time and energy spent in the weeks leading up to Christmas to decorate, are packed away in boxes, bubble wrap, and plastic storage containers. Yet each year will rearrange the furniture to make room for it all. The every day decorations are placed in the cabinet while those special Christmas things are displayed for a couple of weeks, but I digress. (Note that I am just as guilty as the next person. I moved every piece of furniture to find that perfect spot for my Christmas tree!)

One of those special decorations that I have is a scroll I was given when I was living in China. It depicts the nativity and written in the left upper corner is Luke 2. I needed a temporary place and method of hanging it near the Christmas tree. I really didn't want to put a hole in the wall so I began thinking of a different way to hang my scroll. I had seen the 3M Command strips advertised on TV, but I had never actually used them myself. Skeptical but willing to try one, I bought one of the new models that was a metal hook. The ad always shows the hook removing without any damage to the wall.

I am happy to report that tonight when I removed this little contraption it lived up to all of its claims. While I can't guarantee that it will work as beautifully everywhere, I will use it again. I think it may be a great place to hang my apron that I received for Christmas!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


This is the time of year that causes the majority of us to think back, reflect, evaluate, and look forward to a new year. It's a time when many people make resolutions or set goals. Throughout the day I have been thinking about setting some goals for 2008. The normal things came up like growing spiritually, exercising more frequently, reading more, doing a better job of keeping in touch with family and friends, etc. While these are all good goals, they didn't quite seem to capture what I am looking to accomplish.

Currently I am reading My Heart's Desire: Living Every Moment in the Wonder of Worship by Dr. David Jeremiah. The parts I have read have really brought a new light and twist at what worship is and how it should affect our lives. At the same time, the title has caused me to look back and study Psalm 37:4.

As I have been thinking about 2008, I have decided to claim Psalm 37:3-5 as my prayer for the year.

Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.

Psalm 37:3-5 (Amplified)

The End of 2007

The last several days of my Christmas vacation were spent with family and doing a little shopping. Of course I made sure that I also had some Jacob time. I definitely received a good lesson on Thomas the Train. Jacob likes to use all his train tracks at once to build a big track.

It had been quite some time since I played with Lincoln Logs, but I picked that back up rather quickly. I must admit the pictures made it much easier to mimic what was on the box. Jacob really wanted to use the ladder.

After playing with Thomas and then Lincoln Logs, we headed to the back yard to play with the rocket Jacob received for Christmas.

We are currently in an "I want to wear my hood stage."

On Saturday my family headed to Hankamer, TX to visit my uncle, aunt, cousins, and their families. I hadn't seen my cousin Kayla in about 3 1/2 years. Her husband has been at a church in Alaska and they don't make it back very often. They have three precious little girls. My other cousin, Angie, and her husband also have a little girl. Little girls are definitely very different from little boys, but I was really proud of Jacob for jumping right in and playing.

Jacob and Grace who were in a tickle fight with Grace's dad, Matt.

Stuart and Abby, Kayla and Matt's youngest. I didn't get a picture of their oldest, Kathryn, but she is just as precious as their other two!

I had a great time while in Texas and will miss my family. At the same time it is good to be back "home."