Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Saw this on a bumper sticker today:


Monday, November 24, 2008

flashback 1995

This weekend Baron & I attended the National Youth Workers' Convention in Nashville. Lots of speakers, artists, etc...it's great fun & very informative for Baron. Anyway, Sunday night we got to see Jars of Clay! (coming to Montgomery Dec. 4, BTW) Their first song was Flood, and it gave me flashbacks to my years in the youth group. Ah, memories. I haven't been a big fan of Jars in recent years, but I LOVED them as a teenager. Anyway here are a few pics.

{Jars of Clay}

{woo-hoo! yes, I have gum in my mouth.}

{this is for you, Judy. :-)}

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

yes, please.

I've been married four years. Is it too late to change my china pattern???

{view it here at west elm}

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

ten infertility myths

I found this article at www.bethany.org and thought it was interesting and insightful. I'm not sure if there is anyone reading my blog who deals with infertility, but maybe this will be a source of encouragement for you if you are reading...

Infertility Myths
by John and Sylvia Van Regenmorter

“Why am I the only one facing this? Why is everyone else a ‘fertile Myrtle’?”

The Elijah Complex is a common malady among believers who suffer from infertility. Elijah was a faithful servant of God, but discouragement blinded him from realizing that he was not alone. The Bible paints a poignant portrait of Elijah complaining to God, “I am the only one left...” God had to pointedly remind Elijah that He had 7,000 other faithful servants in Israel; he was not alone (1 Kings 19:14-18 NIV). Sometimes God needs to remind us that we are not alone! Currently there are five million to ten million American couples who are facing infertility. To put it another way, approximately one in six couples will face an infertility challenge in their married life. If you feel alone, be proactive in finding (or beginning) a support group or ask your pastor if he can connect you with at least one other infertile couple in your church.

“We are in control of our reproductive lives. We can determine when, where, and how we will conceive and give birth.”

God gives us wonderful freedom to make many choices, but we must never forget that ultimately we are not in control of our reproductive lives. God is. “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain . . . Sons are a heritage from the Lord . . . “ (Psalm 127 NIV). We also must accept the reality that fertility declines dramatically with age. Current estimates are that one in ten couples in their 20s experience an infertility problem, but the statistics jump to one in seven for couples ages 30-35; one in five for couples ages 36-40; and one in four for couples ages 41-45.

“Infertility is primarily a woman’s problem.”

Approximately 40 percent of infertility is caused by a female medical factor and 40 percent is caused by a male medical factor. The other cases of infertility are caused by a combined male/female factor or the cause of the infertility is unknown.

“I/we must have done something wrong to deserve this.”

It is natural to make a direct connection between our sinfulness and a terrible consequence in our lives. Repeatedly, the Bible warns us about the danger of making this connection because most often it is in error! In the days of the Old Testament, Job’s friends suggested that his troubles were caused by his sin, but they were wrong! In the New Testament the disciples of Jesus thought that a certain man’s blindness was caused by sin, but they were wrong too! (John 9:1-3 NIV). For infertile couples, there is a great deal of encouragement in what the Bible says about Zechariah and Elizabeth, one of the many infertile couples in the Bible. Luke 1:6 informs us that the couple was upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.

“My husband is hurting as badly as I am, but he just doesn’t show it.”

There is some evidence to suggest that husbands and wives do not necessarily face infertility with the same degree of anxiousness and pain. In one study, 50 percent of the women surveyed said that their infertility was the greatest burden they ever had to bear. Only ten percent of the men responded in the same way. Dr. Joe S. McIlhaney has suggested that, while infertility may be deeply frustrating and hurtful for men, infertility can be a “vicious torment” for a woman. Of course, no two couples will experience infertility in the same way. Countless husbands and wives feel a deep sense of loss and emptiness because of infertility.

“My biological clock keeps ticking; I can’t afford to take a month off from treatment, even though I could desperately use a break.”

It may be healthy to take a short respite from medical treatment to reassess your situation and renew your energy. As one person put it, “Suspending treatment for a couple of months was such a treat! It rejuvenated me physically and allowed me to reconnect with my husband emotionally and sexually. It was great to live like a normal, married couple for a while. I felt better prepared to continue the difficult work of infertility treatment.”

“Infertility is caused by stress. Try to relax. Take a vacation or a cruise.”

Infertility is seldom the result of psychological factors. In 90 percent of all infertility cases, infertility specialists are able to determine a physical problem. According to Resolve, the national infertility support organization, “Psychological stress is more likely a result of infertility than the cause.”

“I trust my doctor, and so I will go along with whatever treatment is suggested without question.”

It is important to have an honest, trusting relationship with your physician. If you have such a relationship, he or she will not object to your asking questions. It is in everyone’s interest for you to be fully informed about the treatments that are available to you. What seems appropriate to your physician as a next step in treatment, may or may not be right for you either physically, financially, emotionally, or spiritually.

“We would consider adoption, but it is so expensive and it takes such a long time to get a baby.”

While some adoption programs can be expensive, U.S. citizens can take advantage of the Adoption Tax Credit which became available on January 1, 2002 and is a credit of up to $10,390. Most families qualify for this credit which helps make adoption very affordable. Some agencies, such as Bethany Christian Services, offer low-cost loans or other financial aid for adoptive families. While it is true that some families wait for a period of time before receiving a baby, there are many adoptable children waiting for a home right now. Should you decide to adopt, do not assume that you will have a long wait.

“Having a baby is the most important thing in my life. If I can’t have one, I don’t know what I will do.”
Becoming a parent is an important goal, but for Christians, the goal of becoming a parent may never be “number one.” Other, more important. goals include thanking and glorifying God, rejoicing in the husband or wife He has given us, and seeking opportunities to serve others in His name. It is not easy to face infertility and continue to praise His name, but the Old Testament prophet Habbakuk provides a wonderful model:
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, although there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Habbakuk 3:17-18 NIV)
Source: Click Here

Monday, November 10, 2008

too much time on {someone's} hands

On the Rick & Bubba show, whenever they are about to talk about politicians, they play the song "Too Much Time on My Hands". Well, whoever made this video had too much time on their hands...

I am so glad THIS is over with, at least for a couple of years...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

on the farm

I am jumping on the blogger bandwagon and posting about a controversial subject.

A couple of weeks ago, I was at home sick & I watched Oprah. Now, I love Oprah’s show…sometimes. When she has cool guests on the show, or when Nate is on there talking about decorating, or even when Suze is on there talking about finances, I’m all about it. However, I’m not really interested in the shows that display a political agenda; they tend to bore me. So, I was hesitant to watch the special that Lisa Ling did on the treatment of animals on farms. {BTW, if any of you went to public school in Montgomery, did you get Channel 1 at school when Lisa Ling was on? That’s right, I knew ole Lisa before she was all Oprah famous! I digress…} The reason for this story on the show was in response to a proposition that the state of California would vote on, but I'm discussing it for a different reason.

Lisa Ling did a report on the conditions that animals are raised in on farms. Chickens, pigs, cows…they are raised in what is basically a huge barn with cages in it for each animal. Some of the “cages” were so small that the animal cannot even turn around in it. I’m sure a lot of you have seen or heard about these situations, so I won’t bore you with the details. Anyway, Lisa also visited a couple of organic farms, where the animals are raised free range. She spoke with a farmer who raised chickens, where the chickens could roam around the land as they please.

Obviously there is a stark difference between regular farms and free range farms. And obviously I would love for all of our food to come from the free range organic farms. Here is my problem: 1) there are not enough animals raised on these free range farms to provide for all Americans. We eat a lot. More food comes from the regular farms. 2) Organic food sure does cost a lot more. I love the idea of it, and in an ideal world we would all eat organic. But seriously, Chef Boyardee and Hamburger Helper is SO much cheaper.

I'm not saying I prefer that we raise animals in these regular farms, where they cannot live in a "natural" environment. But here's a question: do they know the difference? Are the animals on the free range farm "happier"? Are animals ever "happy"? Do they even experience emotions? I'm not so sure about that. When I say my dog is "happy" because he is wagging his tail, is he actually feeling an emotion, or is he just acting on some reflex that he has no control over?

Wednesday night in ladies' bible class at church, we discussed "Lies Women Believe About Emotions". Phoebe Dunn taught the class, and she made an observation about emotions that I'd never thought of before: Emotions are what "connect" us to God. Think about it. Think about a time when you felt really close to God. You were probably emotional in some way - overjoyed, humbled, or perhaps discovering a new revelation. Anyway, so if emotions connect us to God, by way of our souls, why would animals have emotions? Animals don't have souls. {Ok, that might be a whole different topic of discussion right there.} Animals don't fall in love, or cry, or celebrate when a baby is born. Granted, they do have actions that can be perceived as these feelings, but I think perhaps those actions are simply reactions that come naturally. So do animals have emotions? I'm not sure, but I tend to think not.

My point is this: we don't know for sure what those animals on the farms are thinking. I'm not so sure they are "thinking" at all. No, it is not nice to mistreat animals. But I don't think the best argument against animal cruelty is "that pig is unhappy". I think the best argument against animal cruelty is that we should treat God's creation with the respect it deserves, just like we wouldn't litter or pollute (oh wait...we do those things too...).

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to eat some eggs that were produced by chickens in crowded cages that hold 5-7 birds each, where they poop all over each other and don't even get to go outside.