Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Last Sunday, our pastor was preaching on The Beatitudes to conclude his series on the Road to Recovery.

Somehow, my mind wandered a bit and and I began thinking about how blessed I am. This is what I was reading:

1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying: 3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

-The Message

Now my Bible I take to church with me is a parallel text (NIV & The Message). I like to have it with me because frankly, sometimes I just need to read it in different words.

Often I tend to notice the things that are going quite so perfectly in my life. The stupid dishes are dirty. I didn't fold the laundry and now all the clean clothes are too wrinkled to wear. We stay too busy during the week and never see each other. The organic food store is closed and I really don't want to drive all the way to Orlando just to buy food. My black car with black leather interior doesn't have rear air conditioning and my baby is slowly sweating to death.

Now I'm not being persecuted, I'm not being pushed to the end of my rope. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, my life is amazing. Why is it so difficult to constantly know that?

I mean, seriously.

I have dirty dishes because I had food to put on those dishes to dirty them. The laundry didn't get folded and put away immediately because we have plenty to wear and didn't need the others. We are involved in our community and church and have things to do at night. There are local stores that sell organic and/or natural foods, just not everything I seem to think I need. I have a nice car to drive, it isn't broken, it runs well, and has air conditioning--and I have a sweet little baby to sit in the back of the car.

I know I am the Queen of overlooking Thanksgiving to hurry and get to Christmas, but the truth is, I love the Thanksgiving holiday. We have the most AMAZING food, it is one of the few times a year I get to see my twin cousins (Matt & Jenne) and my Aunt and Uncle. It's a nice time with family.

While I may still continue to put up my Christmas decor a tad bit early, as Ansleigh grows up, I want her to know what Thanksgiving is about, and by that, I do not mean the Pilgrims and the Indians. I want her to know how blessed we are and how we should thank God for that. I want her to be thankful for all the amazing food she gets to eat. To be thankful she has a family (and extended family) that adores her. I want her to learn to give thanks, and the way she is going to learn that is from me, her mommy (yes, of course, and Anthony too).

Have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Suggested Reading?

A fabulous friend of mine, Malerie, in responding to the "6 Random Things" blog on her own blog (does that make sense?) mentioned a book she's about to start teaching to her 9th graders:

I had never heard of such so, intrigued, I looked it up. This is what has to say about it: Review
On any given day, one out of four Americans opts for a quick and cheap meal at a fast-food restaurant, without giving either its speed or its thriftiness a second thought. Fast food is so ubiquitous that it now seems as American, and harmless, as apple pie. But the industry's drive for consolidation, homogenization, and speed has radically transformed America's diet, landscape, economy, and workforce, often in insidiously destructive ways. Eric Schlosser, an award-winning journalist, opens his ambitious and ultimately devastating exposé with an introduction to the iconoclasts and high school dropouts, such as Harlan Sanders and the McDonald brothers, who first applied the principles of a factory assembly line to a commercial kitchen. Quickly, however, he moves behind the counter with the overworked and underpaid teenage workers, onto the factory farms where the potatoes and beef are grown, and into the slaughterhouses run by giant meatpacking corporations. Schlosser wants you to know why those French fries taste so good (with a visit to the world's largest flavor company) and "what really lurks between those sesame-seed buns." Eater beware: forget your concerns about cholesterol, there is--literally--feces in your meat. Schlosser's investigation reaches its frightening peak in the meatpacking plants as he reveals the almost complete lack of federal oversight of a seemingly lawless industry. His searing portrayal of the industry is disturbingly similar to Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, written in 1906: nightmare working conditions, union busting, and unsanitary practices that introduce E. coli and other pathogens into restaurants, public schools, and homes. Almost as disturbing is his description of how the industry "both feeds and feeds off the young," insinuating itself into all aspects of children's lives, even the pages of their school books, while leaving them prone to obesity and disease. Fortunately, Schlosser offers some eminently practical remedies. "Eating in the United States should no longer be a form of high-risk behavior," he writes. Where to begin? Ask yourself, is the true cost of having it "your way" really worth it? --Lesley Reed

So now I am interested. I am going to read this. I want to know this stuff.

As some of you know, I have been not dieting, but trying my best to be more healthy lately so that I can fit into my ski pants, so I can look more like myself, and frankly, just feel better.

I've stopped drinking sodas, specifically coke. I have replaced it with a less-sugar version of sweet tea and water. I don't even have a desire to drink a coke. [THANKS, GOD!]

I'm trying to be MUCH more careful about what I'm putting into my body and I'm exercising. Walking/Jogging/Trying to Run.

Now, I want to read this book.

Thanks, Mal!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Vanessa gave me this award after she received it, but there are strings attached in order for me to accept the honor. I have to tell you, the readers, six random facts about myself and then tag six unsuspecting fellow bloggers.

Here I go...

  1. Vanessa says she hates the number six but I love it! It is my favorite number! I was number six every year I played softball (6th grade-12th). I would have been number six in basketball if you could have been. I get excited when I see it. Ansleigh's new nursery number at church is six. :o)
  2. I adore Peyton Manning...but not why you might think. I am not attracted to him in the least bit. He's just a good ol' southern boy who is REALLY good at what he does. He is a respectful person. He has proven himself to have an upstanding character and...he played for Tennessee.
  3. I LOVE Rocky Top (the song). No, seriously. I do. I get so excited every time I hear it. I even have it on my ipod.
  4. I am secretly a tree hugger (THANKS, RACHEL). I buy organic food whenever possible. I love organic clothing (although I can't afford most of it). It is so soft! I am very careful about the household cleaners I use. If Ansleigh can reach it, I'm not spraying harmful chemicals on it. I love going to Natural Foods stores and just looking at everything. I watch tv shows about going green (Sarah Snow is my fav!!!!). I study things about being eco-friendly, even if I don't always act on it. We've even started recycling! The other night, I found myself excitedly explaining how a compost bin works and that I learned about it on tv. I think it took Anthony a few minutes to realize that I was serious. Enough about that.
  5. I find myself scouring ebay trying to find Ansleigh all the Gymboree outfits that the girls wear on Jon & Kate: Plus 8. Ridiculous, I know.
  6. I don't cook that often. I really do enjoy it and I actually do know how to do it (most of it anyway). Specifically I like to bake. It's the cleaning up after the cooking that I'm not a fan of. Also, the mess. I HATE having a mess in my kitchen. I'd much rather it just be all nice and clean with everything put away in its place.
Now for the tagging...
  1. Christina St. John--(my sister) Surprise me and see if you can tell me something random I don't already know!
  2. Rachel because she's awesome.
  3. Lacey because I haven't heard from her in so long!
  4. Winn because I too like to engage in peer pressure.
  5. Malerie because I can't wait to see the randomness that comes from there... :o)
  6. Last but not least, Shealy, because I adore her
Those of you who have been tagged, you won't hurt my feelings if you don't do this. I had fun doing it though!

Thanks, Nessa!