Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Morning Reflections

This morning I was reminded of a verse that I have often heard quoted and always thought I understood. But I've recently had an experience that serves as a stark example of the truth behind this verse.

"[Love] is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs." 1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

Love...keeps no record of wrongs.

I think I've always assumed that the beneficiary of this verse was the one who did the wrong. They were the recipient of forgiveness and were released from their responsibility for the wrongs they committed...whether real or perceived.

It occurs to me that this verse is really intended to benefit the one who was wronged. The one who is hurt the most by the recording of wrongs is the record-keeper. If we hold on to hurts, whether real or perceived, it doesn't hurt the one we're keeping score against. The wound that festers is in us.

So today I choose to wipe the slate write off the debt. Not to benefit the one who hurt me. Not to say that what they've done is insignificant. Not to relieve them of their responsibility. But because my Heavenly Father, in His infinite wisdom, tells me to let it go for my own good so that He can lovingly stitch up the wound and it can begin to heal.

I have a feeling that this is a choice that must be made daily. We must resist the temptation to rip out those stitches and re-open the wound. Will I give in sometimes to do just that? Probably. But He is faithful to redress the wound when I allow Him to. So for today, I'm allowing Him to wipe my tears, pick me up, and dust me off. And He sings over me with songs of comfort as He gently cleans out the wound.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It IS My First Rodeo

My hubby has a gift for gab.

It paid off BIG TIME this past week when he ran into Trace Adkins' brother and got free tickets and Meet 'n Greet passes to Trace's and Toby Keith's concert in Southaven, MS.

Here's Wes asking Santa and his elf for instructions about where to go for the Meet & Greet.

Betcha always wondered what they do during the off season.

The elf, who later would become known to us as the infamous John Underwood, proceeded to stalk us. You see, he desperately wanted Meet & Greet passes. And he wanted Wes to ask Trace to let him in. He claimed that he went to high school with Trace and that Trace's mom had given him passes that security refused to honor. It all sounded fairly reasonable until he told us that Carrie Underwood is his niece.

M' along, weird little man.

We evaded John Underwood and went to find our seats...

...which were AWESOME! Thanks, Trace's brother.

Then we got to go meet Trace. Although we only spent 22.6798 seconds with him, we feel like we really made a lasting connection with him.

And Wes has his manager's cell phone number.

John Underwood may not be the only stalker in this story.

Oh, I kid.


Have I mentioned I'm not really a fan of country music?

Then I saw these guys..

...and I'm converted.

Oh, and also too, I was already a fan of Trace and Toby's politics. They've been on Glenn Beck's show. I met someone who has met Glenn...squeal! (cue angelic harp music)

A good time was had by all.

And the husbands were very tolerant of Amber's and my drooling over Trace and Toby and in general acting like giddy 13 year-old girls.

The besties, encouraged by my willing foray into the country music scene, then dragged me to the rodeo at the county fair.

I'm sorry to tell you that I do not have any photos of said rodeo.

You'll just have to take my word for it that I was there.

And I had fun.

And Danny patiently answered my goofy rodeo-related questions:

"Why are the horses so angry that they buck? Do they pinch them?"

"Why are the cows wearing those funny helmets?

And Caitlin refused to participate in the Mutton-Bustin'.

And thinks rodeos are cruel.

My cute little animal rights' activist.

Danny and JFo were so impressed with my rodeo-ness that they invited us to complete our redneck adventure by going to the Demolition Derby.

I. have. never. seen. such.

It was loud.

It was smoky.

It was riddled with mullets and wife-beater shirts and other fashion faux pas.

It was redneck.

It was great!

And thus my redneck education is complete.

Except for car racing in the dirt or something like that.

Because NASCAR is just too uppity.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never Forget

Today's edition of Freedom Friday is dedicated to the victims of 9/11 and their families.

I'm sure that, like me, you remember exactly where you were eight years ago when you first heard the tragic news. At first, we thought it was a tragic accident. Then, as the second plane crashed into the Twin Towers, came the terrible realization that someone had done this deliberately. We watched in horror as the third plane hit the Pentagon and thought to ourselves that terrorism was no longer something that happened happens at home. As the fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania, we understood that nothing would ever be the same again. And we reeled from the pain and the terror.

And then we did what Americans do. We hugged and comforted each other and pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and bravely carried on.

Do you remember how we felt on September 12th that year?

For that brief moment in time, there were no Republicans, no Democrats, no conservatives, no liberals, no black, no white, no Christian, no Atheist.

We were all simply Americans.

What happened to that united American spirit?

As my friend John said today on Facebook, "Strange...eight years ago the country locked arms and lit the country takes sides and throws barbs...seems the common denominator on both days is fear...strange..."

Today, as I remember 9/11, I pray that we will forget what divides us and that we will NEVER FORGET what holds us together.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This evening I rode the four-wheeler with the Hubster to go check on his salt lick.

If you're not from around these here parts, that first statement meant nothing to you.

There is this strange manly ritual each fall that involves much strategic planning and time-consuming conversations with other men regarding mysterious sounding things like tree-climbing stands, food plots, and the aforementioned salt lick.

Deer season is right around the corner.

So we did our duty and checked on the block of salt that was sitting in the woods completely unlicked. Apparently, the deer have gotten the memo about high-sodium diets being a danger to your health.

Although, this time of year in the South, they really shouldn't worry about high blood pressure so much as just running for their lives and dodging bullets.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Laundry Room Redo

My Labor Day Weekend Project.


Shocking, I know.


Maybe this will inspire me to do more laundry.


I'm not loving that lamp. I love having a lamp...just not THAT one. I also need some stuff on top of the cabinets and maybe a few pictures on the walls. I'm keeping an eye out for bargains.

So what did you do on the long Labor Day weekend?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Watchdog Alert 09.03.09

I feel such a burden to share the things that I learn with you. I know some of you couldn't care less about this sort of stuff so I'm going to be calling these types of posts "Watchdog Alerts" so you can skip 'em if you so desire. Don't worry; I'll still be posting all manner of inane and silly stuff. But every so often I'm going to be serious for a bit and share what I think is important stuff with you.

This past Friday I shared with you some concerns I have with Van Jones, Special Advisor to the President for Green Jobs. I've also made no secret of the fact that I think the whole "green" movement is a scam. I'm all for conservation and good stewardship of our natural resources but the green movement has always seemed fanatical to me. Almost like a secular religion. I have believed for some time that the green movement is all about control, power and money.

Please take a few minutes to watch this video of an interview with Van Jones. It's enlightening.

I'm not one to say "I told you so."

But I did.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thinking Out Loud

Can we talk?

I need to mull something over with you.

Did you see this headline today?


Seems harmless enough, right?

Think again.

On September 8, President Obama is planning something unprecedented for a sitting President. He will directly address the nation's school children.

In a letter from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, he states "The U.S. Department of Education encourages students of all ages, teachers, and administrators to participate in this historic moment by watching the president deliver the address, which will be broadcast live on the White House Web site ( and on C-SPAN at 12:00 p.m., ET. We also encourage educators to use this moment to help students get focused and inspired to begin the new academic year. The Department of Education offers educators a menu of classroom activities—created by its teachers-in-residence, the Teaching Ambassador Fellows—to help engage students in the address and stimulate classroom discussions about the importance of education." [emphasis added]

Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman, told, "This isn't a policy speech. This is a speech designed to encourage kids to stay in school." I actually believe him. I don't think Obama has to actually state any policies or his agenda. In fact, he's very gifted in speaking in generalities while still inspiring unthinking people to blindly follow his lead.

While the stated purpose of the speech seems innocuous enough, the Orwellian"menu of classroom activities" that have been provided for teachers' use before and after the speech contains some rather leading questions. Well, I have some questions for the Department of Education: Will children feel forced to say that they support the President? Will they feel peer pressure to conform to their thoughts to the opinions of those around them? Will some teachers use this as an opportunity to proselytize for the Left? Just who are these "Teachering Ambassador Fellows" who wrote the lesson plans?

Some education experts are troubled by "a suggested lesson plan that calls on school kids to write letters to themselves about what they can do to help President Obama" because it establishes the president as a "superintendent in chief" and "may indoctrinate children to support him politically. " I'm troubled by the fact that my tax dollars may be funding the indoctrination of America's children in a political ideology that I vehemently disagree with.

I don't have a problem with the President using his bully pulpit to encourage kids to study hard and stay in school. Unfortunately, in today's polarized political climate, and knowing what I know of Barak Obama, I suspect he has ulterior motives.

I'm not worried about my own children. We talk frequently about these things and they know what our families' values and beliefs are. I worry about them being ridiculed for their beliefs. (It's happened before--a story for another day.) I worry about the other children whose parents haven't taken the time to discuss these things with them perhaps because they haven't taken the time to educate themselves on the issues. Children are so impressionable and I am extremely uncomfortable with one-sided political discussions in the classroom.

I'm not planning to pull my kids out of school that day as some parents plan to do. I plan to sit down with them before they go and prepare them for what they might hear and the pressures they might face. I will encourage them to stand strong for what they know and believe to be true. I will instruct them to be respectful of others' opinions but I will make sure they understand that it's ok for them to expect to receive that same respect from others.

I also plan to contact my children's schools to find out if they plan to participate. If they do plan to show the speech, I will write letters to the school board members and school administrators to let them know how uncomfortable I am with this situation.

These are just my initial thoughts. I'll keep you posted on my progress. Thanks for listening!