Thursday, June 30, 2011

God bless poultry

I just bought a half dozen eggs. Technically they're all grade A extra large, but in reality, one of them is massive. It's so big around, it's almost spherical. I thought at first somebody had switched out my egg with a volleyball.It won't even sit down in its little Styrofoam cradle.

I'm grateful I'm not a chicken. Oh, so very grateful. Praise Jesus, Hallelujah.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A gallon of cheer

I recently came to own a Starbucks mug. Its red and white and the size of a small swimming pool. It can hold two and a half pots of coffee. Okay, maybe I exaggerate a tad, but you get the idea.
I am grateful for this mug because it is cute and my hands span it without overlapping, which is great on a cold morning. Mostly though, I love that my grandpa got it for me. He and my grandma go thrift-storing (thrift-storing: verb - to wander around a shop of used goods for resell in search of an item you didn't know you needed until you found it, and for less than a dollar!) Once upon a time my mom told him I collect Starbucks mugs and ever since, he's kept his eyes peeled for them whenever he's thrift-storing. My collection has exploded.
Mother: If perchance you read this blog to Charles, kindly omit this paragraph. What she neglected to clarify at that time is that I collect city mugs from places me or my friends go. But, when I got my first package of mugs, purchased, cleaned and bearing the green siren, the intent of my collection was instantly altered. Now I collect city mugs and mugs that Charles finds.
What makes the red and white mug so splendid is that whenever I pull it from the cabinet, I am reminded that my grandpa thought of me when I wasn't there, and went out of his way to find something I'd like. Just to be nice. Aw!
So today I'm grateful for giant mugs in red and white and the grandpas who gift them. They have a remarkable way of brightening mornings.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I recently heard about this new kind of noodle called Shirataki that is super low calorie. I mean, super low. You can have pasta alfredo without the guilt, said recipe touted. 100 calories for a serving of creamy pasta!
Now, you would think in my 29 years I would have firmly rooted in my head that, with the massive and glorious exception of God's grace, you just ain't gettin' something for nothing on this planet.
But I haven't.
So, Dirk the Blue Impala and I scooted over to Whole Foods and bought a little baggy of fat white noodles in a grayish liquid. Hmm.
My suspicions grew when the instruction on the back of the bag included the phrase, "Rinse well to remove the authentic smell." Smells are not supposed to be authentic. At least not in this context.
But the nail in my wishful bubble was the texture. Have you ever tried to eat an intestinal worm? I think I have now. No amount of sauce, light or otherwise, can make chewing on a slimy rubberband a good option. No wonder they're low calorie. You eat one, and your appetite magically disappears!
As I tried to chew without thinking, I was reminded of how grateful I am for carbs. I know they get a horrible rap in our high-protein culture, but when a girl wants pasta, nothing--and I do mean nothing-- else can fit the bill. On cold rainy days, or when I'm crazy tired, tofu is not the answer. A little something sweet and carby can't be beat. I mean, heck, grains prop up the whole food pyramid. Without them, it'd just be, well, a shorter pyramid.
God, who made wheat, gluten, and all the ingredients for alfredo sauce...thank you. You are good, indeed.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dam, that's big

After much travel, I am happy to be home and regaining my routine. (note: this is my lame excuse for not updating recently.) Tonight for the first time in two weeks I met my walking buddy at the Big Dam Bridge.
I have a love/hate relationship with the Big Dam Bridge. I love its name. The seven year-old Sunday schooler inside me snickers when I say it or type it. Big Dam Bridge. Hehe!
I hate the part where I have to huff and puff up the world's longest pedestrian bridge hill.
I love the feeling when I'm done and my glutes let me know I've burned a few calories.
I hate the sticky sweaty thing that comes from exercise out-of-doors in air that is remarkably similar to bath water. It's called the Dirty South for a reason.
I love that it's often dotted with people walking different speeds, sharing a moment with a friend or pounding out a few miles to the rhythm of their ipod. I love that it's a diverse meeting point and for a moment, I share a smile or a nod or just a sister-in-sweaty-arms relationship with people I wouldn't normally meet.I love that even in the hard parts, me and my buddy end up laughing and talking between wheezes. And I love that I can look back and see what I've accomplished, one step at a time.
I hate that the bugs are there and the parks people are against spraying down the whole river with pesticides.
Overall, it's a fabulous routine that I look forward to. And while that catchy song touts "Life is a highway," sometimes I think life is a big dam bridge. While time to time that love/hate thing snags me up, by and large I'm grateful for it. And for one stolid reminder of why.
Okay, and for Off! bug spray.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Be Still

Psalm 131

(Click above for a sweet visual interpretation of this text)

A song of ascents. Of David.

My heart is not-proud, O LORD,

my eyes are not-haughty;

I do not concern myself with great matters

or things to wonderful for me.

But I have stilled and quieted my soul;

like a weaned child with its mother,

like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, put your hope in the LORD

both now and forevermore.

Monday, June 6, 2011

In the shadow of Thy wing

I was driving around to do errands today and I got a whiff of
My first thought was maybe I'd parked by something smelly, or my nose was playing a practical joke. But a few times between errands I'd hop into my car and get that niggle of wrongness.
Hours passed.
And then tonight on my way to my last appointment, I realized what the smell was.
Rot. Or more specifically, the kitchen trash I'd put in the trunk to dump on my way out and forgot to drop off. Trash that had been enclosed in my trunk on a ninety-seven degree day.
All. Day.
You would think given that environment, I'd be keeled over the steering wheel in a parking lot somewhere. I should be.
But, as it would happen I got parking spots in the shade in almost every place I went today. Which just goes to show, God has our back. When something is off and we don't know what it is or how to fix it, He does. And he'll park us in the shade until we are in a place to open up ourselves to Him and get rid of that trash.
Thank you, God, for shady spots.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Band-aids and caulk

I live in an apartment. It's slightly larger than a bread box and it's adorable. I have a little patio that is perfect for cool afternoons in the company of a good book and a glass of white. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the whole complex was built in about a week. There are little flaws here and there that I've noticed and chosen to block out. But then, it rained. And around my window, the rain came inside. So not the point of windows.
Well, I know (because this happened with my other window) that they can't fix it while it's raining. So, I waited. The rain left, the carpet dried, and an irrational little voice in my head thought, "Maybe it won't happen again."
Ah, but here's the catch. Buildings don't heal themselves. So, after the next rain-soaked carpet day, I notified the office that I needed repairs.
Which got me to thinking, how cool is it that bodies heal? That our cells regenerate and your run-of-the-mill injuries like, oh I don't know, fingers used as doorstops that have turned an ugly shade of black cherry, will go away of their own accord? That, in most cases, cuts, shaving nicks, bug bites, scrapes, even sprains and strains, will heal? And if anything is left at all, it's a faint scar.
Even as I type this, there's a petulant voice in the back of my head, saying, "Not always, you know."
True. There are definitely cases where medical intervention is the only hope. I would still argue that with that help, the body's ability to regenerate is what makes the ultimate wholeness possible again.
"Yeah, but ultimate wholeness isn't always possible."
I know, petulant voice, (that always sounds like my own voice, but deeper, with greater inflection and often and acerbic flavor) I know. But it's better than nothing.
Look at our poor defenseless souls. They have no ability to regenerate or self-heal. It occurs to me that our souls are more like apartments than bodies. They are affected by the elements. While the rain may dry up, when the next storm comes our souls will take on water and start to mold.
There's an old hymn that talks about Jesus washing us white as snow. I always visualized a bright red robe going blinding white. Cool enough, but our sins aren't bright red. They're more like my ugly finger. Blackish. Probably scabby and reeking of the smell of infection. They're sore and oozy and contagious. They crust and crack and then crust again, building up a putrid layer of yellow and black.
Ah, again Jesus to save the day. He is the Great Physician (and a carpenter!) We talk about this a lot when someone gets a scary diagnosis. But I think it's just as vital for our souls. We can hide wounds, He can heal them. He cleanses the wound of scabs, reveals the hurt and the breathes healing over us. Wholeness. We don't have to have scars. We don't have to "bear it." We can be whole. Not by any work of our own, but by the incomprehensible power and grace of our God.
Lord, let me realize the depth of what you've saved me from so I might be bound ever closer to you.