Sunday, November 24, 2013

Heavy Stones.

A huge fan of older hymns, I'm admittedly hesitant to accept newer praise songs, much less allow them to snag my heart and hold my interest as often as they did years ago. 

Today, though, I heard Sojourn's "Lead Us Back" for the first time in my church's acoustic service. Everything about it was touching and heartbreaking, and I don't want to lose what I learned from it. 

My goal is to feel the weight of the stones I throw, and to develop an ear that can identify all the wrong enthralling siren songs before I succumb to them. Should be easy enough, right? ;-)

The song from YouTube and the lyrics are pasted below. 


Lead Us Back 
(Falling Down Upon Our Knees) 
by Bobby Gilles, Brooks Ritter 
Copyright © 2006

Falling down upon our knees,
Sharing now in common shame,
We have sought security,
Not the cross that bears Your name.
Fences guard our hearts and homes --
Comfort sings a siren tune.
We're a valley of dry bones;
Lead us back to life in You.

Lord we fall upon our knees,
We have shunned the weak and poor,
Worshipped beauty, courted kings
And the things their gold affords,
Prayed for those we'd like to know --
Favor sings a siren tune.
We've become a talent show;
Lead us back to life in You.

You have caused the blind to see,
We have blinded him again
With our man-made laws and creeds,
Eager, ready to condemn.
Now we plead before Your throne --
Power sings a siren tune.
We've been throwing heavy stones;
Lead us back to life in You.

We're a valley of dry bones
Lead us back to life in You.
We've become a talent show
Lead us back to life in You.
We've been throwing heavy stones
Lead us back to life in You.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

5 Things I'm Thankful for Today.


  1. Fall weather. 60-degree temps? In the deep south? Yes, siree. Bring it on.
  2. Crock pots. The scents wafting throughout the house, the prep and being able to do other things while meals are cooking, the multiple servings of meals when the slow cooker has finished slow cooking...it's all good. Literally.
  3. Hope. 'Cause you know, it's a pretty huge motivator and the best non-narcotic ever. Ever. Also, it can keep you going through the next week, which is amazingly nice.
  4. Football season. You know, my teams don't have to win, but it's really nice when they do. Well, when some of them do. Specifically the Saints and LSU. I'd love for Southern Miss to do well, but...maybe next year. :-)
  5. A grandmother who recovers well enough from her stroke to come home. And parents who are willing to change their lives to help her. That was long, but I think necessary.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Bouquets of Newly Sharpened Pencils.

My sister and I ready to embark on a new school day
(and possibly new school year, though I really can't
remember the details.) Note the sweet Crayola book bags
and Kim's Trapper Keeper, not to mention our stylin' attire.
Even though it's been nearly 20 years since I've had a first day of school, I still get excited this time of year for students and teachers returning to the classroom.

(I'm pretty sure it's the geek in me, but for the sake of kindness, let's focus on my love for fresh starts for now. Thanks.)

A fellow blogger, Joy Sowell, posted the other day about her nostalgia for all things school. Just before reading her blog, I had noted on Facebook that reconnecting with some childhood friends right here at the beginning of the school year was making me nostalgic. The two combined brought back many memories of my own, including the joys of new Trapper Keepers, being so excited about school I couldn't sleep the night before (told ya I was a nerd), and seeing how long it would take to get in trouble for talking in class with this new teacher (if you know me, you know...).

PencilBouquet.jpg
Image credit:
Jennifer Carroll's
 Celebrating Everyday Life
New school years also always remind me of one of my favorite quotes from "You've Got Mail" as Tom Hanks' and Meg Ryan's characters reflect on the joys of fall:

"I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address."

So at the beginning of this new school year, my wish for all students and teachers both in academia and life is that those of us embarking on any new chapters, whether personal or known to the world, will have a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils at the ready.

Our new school year may be a project we've been itching to start, revitalizing a career, delving into a spiritual quest, beginning a healthier lifestyle, or rekindling an old friendship. Our bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils could be a 20-year-old set of tools we're brushing off to make something beautiful from something old. It could be a phone we're using to repair a friendship instead of check social media on the regular.

Whatever your bouquet of newly sharpened pencils and whatever your new school year, I wish you excitement and the best kind of geekiness, despite what age the calendar says you are.




Monday, August 5, 2013

Radio Silence Over.

When I was first cleared to have foot surgery in early June, I was sure I'd be blogging up a storm. What better way to spend my recovery, right?

Much to my surprise, it turned out an unexpected radio silence was the order of the day (week, month). So for the two of you who keep up here, my sincere apologies. Not only did I have wonderful caretakers and visitors during that surgery and recovery time, I also had my share of dark days, with many warnings not to get my hopes up, uncertainties about the future, current logistics to deal with, and what ifs that I just wasn't anticipating from every angle.

The down time was good, though. Breaks always are.

And, I'm back, and happy to be here.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

5 Things I'm Thankful for (The Bed Rest Version)

5 things I'm thankful for at this moment are:

  1. My sister. I've mentioned she's a total rock star, right? The girl not only comes here to help me after my surgery when she's completed her school year, but she also takes time away from her family, cleans my house, makes sure I'm staying on medicine/foot elevated/rest schedule, helps me get organized... It's pretty ridiculous. She should actually count as two things, but I'll leave it as one.
  2. My other sister. This may come as a shock to many of you, especially my parents, but there are three of us. Kim is actually the rebellious middle child, not the bossy oldest child. Our older sister is Angela, and for our just having met five years ago, she fits in pretty well. :-) Angela has truly been an amazing friend in so many ways, but has gone so far out of her way to help make my life better with this foot ordeal even before I had this procedure. Since then, she's organized for friends to bring us food (HOW NICE), and has even helped with picking things up around town. Our sisterhood was sealed when my surgeon saw her and asked if she was another sister. The answer is YES. Do not try to take her away from me. Ever. Like Kim, Angela occupies a special place in my heart and I will fight anyone to the death over her.
  3. Books. Even as an avid reader, I sometimes forget how much books can transport us to other times and places. I am blaming social media for my enhanced ADHD, but that is an expanded blog post for another day. Today in particular, I am thankful for the teen craze The Hunger Games, which some friends lent me and I'm currently fascinated with. Like all the 36-year olds.
  4. Rest. Aside from the slightly bothersome fact that I haven't slept this much since I was an infant, apparently rest is key to healing. I've gotten plenty of it, so I'm glad that the medical community considers that to be a good thing.
  5. All this niceness from all these people. I've received a bounty of niceties from a plethora of people, and I just don't know where to begin with the gratitude. Sometimes when you are tempted to wonder what in the world is next because good grief this cannot be REAL, someone goes and does something very kind for you, and then you feel a glimmer of hope, and then you start to think maybe things will be ok with the world, or just today, perhaps. That's kind of how this is. All the food and cards and emails and Facebook notes and flowers and kindnesses... I appreciate them. I notice them and tuck them in my heart and fertilize them with joy and pray they'll bloom during the dark times, when I least expect but most need them to. Thank you.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Things I Say to Inanimate Objects

"Well, it usually IS." 
- to my inbox, when it gives me a message that my mailbox is getting full

"Just TWO more minutes...just till the next cheap station..." 
- to my gas light when it comes on

"I know. I know!" 
- to my crutches when they fall

"I know I've had you since like the early 2000s and you shouldn't even still work, but now's just not the time for you to quit." 
- to my microwave, when the light flickers and I imagine visiting the circle Dante wrote about that is Walmart

"You're REALLY never gonna die, are you?" 
- to my dinosaur TV, about once a month 

"What. A. Shocker." 
- to my computer, anytime it gives me an error message

"God BLESS you for holding up." 
- to my lap of luxury 2007 paid for Toyota Corolla  

"Noooooo. No, I did not."  
- to Siri, when she asks me "did you mean <fill in the blank>, rebekah?"

"Was that necessary?" 
- to my iron, when it spews black ickiness onto perfectly clean attire (usually white)

"Offfff COURSE you are." 
- to elevators, when they have signs saying they're out of order, usually when I'm on crutches

"Aaaahhhhaaaahhhhuuhhhhh." 
- to unexpectedly locked doors, particularly when I'm on crutches 

"DIE!" 
- to unwelcome creatures in my dwelling space 
(Ok. They're not technically inanimate objects, but they're grody, I wish they were inanimate, and that's what I say to them.)

"You. Rock." 
- to my coffee, particularly the first cup

"Please don't. I'll be SO good to you from now on." 
- to my phone, when it shows me the scary apple screen of who's-the-boss 

"You can do this. I KNOW you can!"  
- to apps, when they give me error messages

"Really? Again?" 
- to my multiple Pinterest failures when they show my initial trademark signs of failing



Saturday, May 25, 2013

I love the 80s!

I was an 80s kid, so when I was trying to forget pain by browsing Twitter tonight/this morning and came across this, I naturally had to check it out. 


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Motherhood of the Heart: Remembering Those Who Are Hurting

This topic is always top of mind for me on Mother's Day because of friends who have lost their moms or who are struggling with desires for parenthood. 

The blog post below is from my cousin Russ (www.russellmoore.com), who along with his wife, dealt with miscarriages prior to the adoptions and natural births of their precious sons. 

Russ addresses infertility on Mother's Day, and I think it's worth a read:


On Mother’s Day, Remember the Infertile

— WEDNESDAY, MAY 8TH, 2013 —

Mother’s Day is a particularly sensitive time in many congregations, and pastors and church leaders often don’t even know it. This is true even in congregations that don’t focus the entire service around the event as if it were a feast day on the church’s liturgical calendar. Infertile women, and often their husbands, are still often grieving in the shadows.

It is good and right to honor mothers. The Bible calls us to do so. Jesus does so with his own mother. We must recognize though that many infertile women find this day almost unbearable. This is not because these women are (necessarily) bitter or covetous or envious. The day is simply a reminder of unfulfilled longings, longings that are good.

Some pastors, commendably, mention in their sermons and prayers on this day those who want to be mothers but who have not had their prayers answered. Some recognize those who are mothers not to children, but to the rest of the congregation as they disciple spiritual daughters in the faith. This is more than a “shout-out” to those who don’t have children. It is a call to the congregation to rejoice in those who “mother” the church with wisdom, and it’s a call to the church to remember those who long desperately to hear “Mama” directed at them.

What if pastors and church leaders were to set aside a day for prayer for children for the infertile?

In too many churches ministry to infertile couples is relegated to support groups that meet in the church basement during the week, under cover of darkness. Now it’s true that infertile couples need each other. The time of prayer and counsel with people in similar circumstances can be helpful.

But this alone can contribute to the sense of isolation and even shame experienced by those hurting in this way. Moreover, if the only time one talks about infertility is in a room with those who are currently infertile, one is probably going to frame the situation in rather hopeless terms.

In fact, almost every congregation is filled with previously infertile people, including lots and lots who were told by medical professionals that they would never have children! Most of those (most of us, I should say) who fit into that category don’t really talk about it much because they simply don’t think of themselves in those terms. The baby or babies are here, and the pain of the infertility has subsided. Infertile couples need to see others who were once where they are, but who have been granted the blessing they seek.

What if, at the end of a service, the pastor called any person or couple who wanted prayer for children to come forward and then asked others in the congregation to gather around them and pray? Not every person grappling with infertility will do this publicly, and that’s all right. But many will. And even those too embarrassed to come forward will be encouraged by a church willing to pray for those hurting this way. The pastor could pray for God’s gift of children for these couples, either through biological procreation or through adoption, whichever the Lord should desire in each case.

Regardless of how you do it, remember the infertile as the world around us celebrates motherhood. The Proverbs 31 woman needs our attention, but the 1 Samuel 1 woman does too.

A version of this commentary originally ran on May 5, 2011.

(http://www.russellmoore.com/2013/05/08/on-mothers-day-remember-the-infertile/)


Thursday, May 9, 2013

It's coming... It's coming!

In case you haven't noticed, Mother's Day is quickly approaching.

Now, I'm not a mom (much to my grandmother and daddy's chagrin, but to those who know me best's SERIOUS relief), but I do think from observance that I know what the best gifts are.

The most popular, winning, most awesome gifts you can give your mom or wife for Mother's Day include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Anything from the heart. This sounds cheesy, but I mean it. If your gift is words, give it. Sit down, write something about what your mom means to you, and just give it to her, already. It will mean the world to her. If you can afford to accompany it with something you purchase, fine. If not, do.not.worry. For real.
  • A little bit of free time. Again, this is not coming from a mama, but I've been observing for a while and I hear a few of them like to do things in peace when they have opportunity. Think. Read. Cook. Shop. Whatever. IT'S NOT YOU; IT'S THEM. Seriously. Can you fathom someone tugging at your leg every second of your life? Exactly. Me neither. So if there's any way you can give 'em a day, an hour, a half-day, a DAY EACH WEEK, a day each MONTH, a. day. every. quarter. even (?) o' peace...wow. You so win. Seriously.
  • Public affection. I'm not into this, and I don't mean PDA (like being gross in front of everyone), but you know, showing you love someone in front of people they care about is really never a bad thing. So flowers, showing up at their office to take them to lunch, giving them something to wear that they can say, "Rebekah gave me this because she said I'm the best mother EVER!" (agh! Have I done that?!) -- that's the good stuff. In my opinion. And I believe in the opinions of the moms I've been inadvertently observing during my childbearing years.
  • Not limiting your affection to that day. My cousin, whom I'd totally set all you single females up with if he wasn't married to the.best.girl.on.earth.ever, describes Valentine's Day the way I feel about it, but the way I didn't think a guy ever would: "Why does one day matter so much? If you really love someone the way you should and show it in a relationship, does a Hallmark holiday even matter?" THANK YOU, MY FRIEND. And the great part is that his wife would agree. (I'm pretty sure of this. I didn't confirm with her. I'm sorry, Alicia, if you don't. :-|.) But showing your love in even a little way -- because aren't the little ways the best? -- each day mean WAY more than one big 2 dozen red rose deliveries on Valentine's Day or Mother's Day or whatever the occasion is. If you're secure in the relationship, you don't need the rest. Am I right?
Ok. That might be all I have on Mother's Day, but you probably have more to add. The good news is, you can add it! Please do. I have SUCH limited experience. (As my Nan and Daddy despair over.) ;-) 

To all of you who have babies and are slaving away over the daily tasks, I pray you get a moment's relief and that you feel elated on your day, and on each day. 

To all who are wanting children but do not have them, I pray you find solace that you are not alone. There are so many caring, deserving, wonderful ladies who desire children and have so much to offer babies. I pray for you. Really. Daily. I'm not sure why I don't crave this, but I pray the child you are ready to dote your affection on comes to your home sooner versus later, and that you find him or her through adoption, or fostering, or whatever way you are supposed to. 

Either way, Happy Mother's Day. I truly believe motherhood is in the heart. If you've got the gene, savor it. It's special, and so are you.

Much love.






Tuesday, April 23, 2013

5 Things I'm Thankful For (Re. Mobility, and Post-Weirdest Week EVER).

Five things I'm grateful for after what may be the oddest week in America and with what could be, to put it mildly, called some challenges with mobility, are:


  1. Technology. I cut out cable a while back for cost purposes, but even if I'd had it, I'm not sure I'd have been glad to rely on it with so many errors as the Boston bombing events unfolded.
  2. The Hidden Protectors. I'm so grateful for those beautiful first responders during these attacks, and those who were gracious and generous outside of their jobs, but I'm always more aware than ever during times like these of the people in our military and intelligence communities who give of their lives to protect our freedoms on a regular basis, so we don't have to see the ugliness we witnessed last week.
  3. Safety. This might seem pretty obvious, but it's really something we take for granted. From keeping OSHA inspectors away to Boston bombers, there are many people who care less about our safety, and it makes me grateful for those who are on top of it.
  4. Sunshine. Because life's better with brighter days.
  5. Compassion. These times bring out the best and worst in us (terror on a grand scale, limited mobility on a MUCH smaller one), but compassion overrides that, and my cup overflows when I have it and when I receive it. 

Pray for Boston. Pray for Texas. Pray for Iraq. Pray for us all.

Not just hashtags on Twitter. Not just something to do last week.



Boston Commons, March 2007



Monday, April 15, 2013

Dear Boston.


USS Constitution

For the past couple of years, I've joked that when my bum foot heals, I'll be like Forest Gump and run until I can't stop.

Time travel a few years back, pre-broken toe and pre-Stupid Foot, when I discovered Boston with some friends on vacation.

Paul Revere's house
(By "discover," I mean "fell in love." And by "vacation," I mean "my go-to if I ever needed to change identities.")

Even though with this confession the jig's up on my first-choice hideaway spot, hopefully it gives you an idea of how hard I fell for this gorgeous gem of a town. Town? It's a city. Well, a city, and a mere historical landmark of our entire nation. 

Site of the Boston Massacre
Paul Revere's childhood home. The Freedom Trail. Faneuil Hall. Boston Commons. Harvard. The site where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The first public school. The USS Constitution.

You know. A few significant locations.

Not everyone loves the feel and sounds and people and sights of Boston, and I get that. (I mean, I loved it even though it froze my face off, but I may not love running like I think I will, and a lot of people do even when it blisters their feet every.single.day.)

First Public School
But I did love Boston. Even though it's been six years since I visited, I'm pretty sure if you dropped me there, it would take me a little while to get my bearings, but I'd be smiling.

So today when I heard that people who are doing what they love and what I am admiring so hard these days were literally jarred by explosions that rocked this place I adore....well...what in the world.
Faneuil Hall

Without getting into the why-does-craziness-occur of it all, Boston? To runners? At the finish line? On Patriots' Day?

Too much sadness. Too much heaviness.

Where the Declaration 
of Independence
was signed
And thanks to having been there (and maybe a few other non-vacation, figurative locations these past six years), I understand there is too much life to live for me to waste the freedom that so much of Boston was originally marked with by letting the sadness and heaviness get the best of me.
The 2007 version of RJ
chilin' with Ben Franklin

I hate with everything in me that anyone wants to rip anyone's freedom away, whether it's a bully on the playground or a terrorist at a marathon.


I also hate that I ever let someone else's wound keep me from fighting for and enjoying my own freedom that is so viciously guarded to this day.

Beacon Hill
Boston is dear to me. Its people, flavors, and flair stole my heart, and I was only there for a few days.

Freedom is also dear to me. I admire those runners for expressing themselves today by accepting the invitation to be among an elite group of athletes who willingly wreck themselves to experience health and happiness.

I hope I will remember the fervor of runners when I'm tempted to give up. And I hope I will remember the freedom Boston memorializes that says I don't have to give up. Ever.



Dear Boston, thank you for the memories -- of that visit, and of how strongly I feel about my country's foundation. And dear marathoners, thank you for the reminder to keep going.

Please join me and pray for Boston.


Happy Feet, Happy Boston - 2007

Harvard Square

Salt & Pepper Shaker Bridge :-)

Quincy Market



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Celebrate!

Even if we don't feel like it, there's always something to celebrate.

April is National Poetry Month, and the twittering brilliance of @brainpicker (Maria Popova) uncovers this lovely handwritten bit from 13-year-old Charlotte Brontë:

I’ve been wandering in the greenwoods
And mid flowery smiling plains
I’ve been listening to the dark floods
To the thrushes thrilling strains
I have gathered the pale primrose
And the purple violet sweet
I’ve been where the Asphodel grows
And where lives the red deer fleet.
I’ve been to the distant mountain,
To the silver singing rill
By the crystal murmering mountain,
And the shady verdant hill.
I’ve been where the poplar is springing
From the fair inamelled ground
Where the nightingale is singing
With a solemn plaintive sound.

Celebrate more "tiny verses on envelopes" here: http://m.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/04/tiny-verses-on-envelopes-the-handwritten-poems-of-famous-authors/274784.

Follow Maria Popova on twitter at www.twitter.com/brainpicker.








Celebrate!

Even if we don't feel like it, there's always something to celebrate.

April is National Poetry Month, and the twittering brilliance of @brainpicker (Maria Popova) uncovers this lovely handwritten bit from 13-year-old Charlotte Brontë:

I’ve been wandering in the greenwoods
And mid flowery smiling plains
I’ve been listening to the dark floods
To the thrushes thrilling strains
I have gathered the pale primrose
And the purple violet sweet
I’ve been where the Asphodel grows
And where lives the red deer fleet.
I’ve been to the distant mountain,
To the silver singing rill
By the crystal murmering mountain,
And the shady verdant hill.
I’ve been where the poplar is springing
From the fair inamelled ground
Where the nightingale is singing
With a solemn plaintive sound.

Celebrate more "tiny verses on envelopes" here: http://m.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/04/tiny-verses-on-envelopes-the-handwritten-poems-of-famous-authors/274784.

Follow Maria Popova on twitter at www.twitter.com/brainpicker.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday: A Page From Joyce Meyer's Book

This piece from Joyce Meyer about Good Friday struck me today:

Ever wonder why we refer to the day of Jesus' death as "Good" Friday, since it's a day that involved so much pain, agony and heartache? Well, it's because the result of this particular Friday—Christ's resurrection from the dead on Sunday—was good.

In our daily lives, we need to believe that when we go through hard times, the result will be good. But when we're hurting, probably one of the most challenging things for us to remember is that God is going to work it out for our good.

Read more on Joyce Meyer's site: http://t.co/9XveOzsfdY

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ready, ok!

I'm really ready to be off crutches, but moreso ready to be 100%.

Here are a few things I'd love to jump (ha!) into once I get this cast off and am able to function normally:

1. A color run. They seem fun. I like fun.
2. Go back to the gym. I donate to this cause and feel I should benefit occasionally.
3. Shave my casted leg. I'm thinking it's grody.
4. Get a pedicure on my casted foot. Pretty sure it's equally grody.
5. Wear dresses. See 3 + 4.
6. Carry things on my own, like coffee, and plates, and boxes, without relying on others.
7. Open doors without burning 4,836,592 calories each time.
8. Walk in the rain without worrying that my crutches will slide around like death stilts waiting to take me to my casket.
9. Go into a store and be able to pick up items and make a transaction.
10. Clean without putting my life in danger.

There are others, like DANCE, but I'm stopping at 10. You're welcome!



Saturday, March 16, 2013

5 Things I'm Thankful For: Friday Night Live Version.

1. Tough weeks. Yeah, I know. Really cheesy. But the adage is true: without rain, the sun would be under appreciated. Yada, yada, yada.

2. These blasted crutches. I have a new appreciation for a lot of things and a lot of people, and if that's the best thing that comes from this hugely inconvenient first world problem, I'll take it. (I hope this time also fixes my foot, though. Just putting that out there for the record.)

3. The broken road that led me straight to here. It wasn't always fun or smart or without its unpaved patches, but it was my path, and I'm thankful for it. Potholes and all.

4. Patience. I mean, yes, I'm also hugely annoyed by having to wait for things I want or need, but I guess in the long run, it's kind of a wise practice.

5. Humor. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have made it through this exhausting week without it. Also, I never ever exaggerate. Like, ever.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday.



Gender-iffic.

I've loved the "Roger and Elaine" story for a long time, but am just realizing it comes to us compliments of Dave Barry.

If you've ever dealt with anyone of the opposite gender, you may appreciate this:


Let's say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.

And then, one evening when they're driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: ''Do you realize that, as of tonight, we've been seeing each other for exactly six months?'' And then there is silence in the car. To Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: Geez, I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he's been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I'm trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn't want, or isn't sure of.

And Roger is thinking: Gosh. Six months.

And Elaine is thinking: But, hey, I'm not so sure I want this kind of relationship, some kind of obligation that he doesn't want, or isn't sure of either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I'd have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily toward . . . I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?

And Roger is thinking: . . . so that means it was . . . let's see ....February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer's, which means . . . lemme check the odometer . . .Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.

And Elaine is thinking: He's upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I'm reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed -- even before I sensed it -- that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that's it. That's why he's so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He's afraid of being rejected.

And Roger is thinking: And I'm gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don't care what those morons say, it's still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It's 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.

And Elaine is thinking: He's angry. And I don't blame him. I'd be angry, too. Oh, I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can't help the way I feel. I'm just not sure.

And Roger is thinking: They'll probably say it's only a 90- day warranty. That's exactly what they're gonna say, the scumballs.

And Elaine is thinking: maybe I'm just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I'm sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.

And Roger is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I'll give them a goddamn warranty. I'll take their warranty and stick it right up their ....

''Roger,'' Elaine says aloud.

''What?'' says Roger, startled.

''Please don't torture yourself like this,'' she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. ''Maybe I should never have . . Oh God, I feel so . .... ''

(She breaks down, sobbing.)

''What?'' says Roger.

''I'm such a fool,'' Elaine sobs. ''I mean, I know there's no knight. I really know that. It's silly. There's no knight, and there's no horse.''

''There's no horse?'' says Roger.

''You think I'm a fool, don't you?'' Elaine says.

''No!'' says Roger, glad to finally know the correct answer.

''It's just that . . . It's that I . . . I need some time,'' Elaine says.

(There is a 15-second pause while Roger, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)

''Yes,'' he says.

(Elaine, deeply moved, touches his hand.)

''Oh, Roger, do you really feel that way?'' she says.

''What way?'' says Roger.

''That way about time,'' says Elaine.

''Oh,'' says Roger. ''Yes.''

(Elaine turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)

''Thank you, Roger,'' she says.

''Thank you,'' says Roger.

Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Roger gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Czechoslovakians he never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it's better if he doesn't think about it. (This is also Roger's policy regarding world hunger.)

The next day Elaine will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification. They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it, either.

Meanwhile, Roger, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Elaine's, will pause just before serving, frown, and say:

''Norm, did Elaine ever own a horse?''


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Making Groceries...in Comfort.

I just had the most comfortable grocery shopping trip ever.

I tuned out grouchy customers, focused on only the items I needed, didn't have to deal with employees who didn't want to be there, and eliminated my typical wandering through ever growing aisles -- a really helpful facet when navigating with crutches.

I'm pretty sure I actually decreased stress during the time I spent on this task.

How, you ask?

By using ValetGrocery.com!

I know I've blogged about this in relation to my foot issues before, but now that I'm restricted again, I'm starting to wonder why I don't save myself the hassle of the grocery store more often. The delivery fee is only $10. The prices are not higher than what I pay when I shop myself. Now, instant gratification is not a thing with ValetGrocery.com; you do put in your order 24-48 hours in advance.   But I'd say that unless you are an extreme couponer who has to have your groceries the second you think of your list, you should give this a try.

If you are in Baton Rouge and try Valet Grocery for the first time and don't mind an extra step, please let them know I sent you by filling out the "how did you hear about Valet Grocery" with my name and email address.

Even if you don't do that, though, consider giving hassle-free grocery-making a shot. IMO, it's worth it.



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Reaction.

Weird, tragic news always puts a clearer lens of appreciation on this beautifully boring life I lead.

One of the strangest feelings I can experience is to be shamefully grateful and sympathetically prayerful, all in the same breath. Yet here I am again.

May the Lord bless and keep us all, just as He was asked to do in Numbers 6. May He make His face to shine upon us and be gracious to us, even when we don't understand, and can't see clearly at all.




Tuesday, February 5, 2013

5 Things I'm Thankful For (The Crutch Version).

The top five things I'm thankful for while on crutches are:

  1. Days when fire alarms don't go off. There's probably no real need to elaborate here.
  2. People who hold open doors. This is not a joke. Never underestimate the value of your kindness to a friend or a stranger. Crutch users get all kinds of cardio from merely walking down the hall, so it's super nice when able-bodied people take a few minutes and open what has suddenly turned into a really tedious door for them. I will forevermore go out of my way to do this for those who have found themselves to be handicapped, and if I don't, shame on me. 
  3. Sunny days. Many things do not mix well. Oil and water. Hair and food. My daddy and big cities. RAIN AND CRUTCHES. Also, apparently the world ends when water hits a cast? That said, I really don't think it's too much to ask the weather to work around my schedule for the next 8 weeks, do you?
  4. Bags. Pre-crutches, I had no idea how handy bags were. I mean, I thought I knew, but I really did not. Now I know. I get it. I really, really get it. Bag makers, you rock, and I love each and every one of you. 
  5. Kindness and consideration. See explanation beside #1. (I'm not being lazy. I genuinely mean this. Every smile and gesture is noted and appreciated.)




Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Be My Guest....

I had an opportunity to be someone's guest for the first time ever – blog-wise, I mean – and guess what?  I did it!

It was new, exciting, fun, and a little scary, but I did it.

A fellow blogger whom I'd known only through the Twittersphere until recently (@dubyawife) put the call out for guest bloggers on her #fitblog, and here is my post:
http://www.dubyawife.com/2013/01/guest-post-all-shapes-sizes-by-rebekah.html

It stretched me, made me think, and for the first time in a while, gave me butterflies about writing.

I highly recommend it. :-)








Wednesday, January 23, 2013

#26acts

When a tragedy strikes, I'm highly susceptible to becoming engulfed in its details.

I'm not saying this makes sense, or that it makes me great, or that it's part of my charm, or that it makes me kind.

(None of that is true because I'm so very human, and actually, becoming a big mess when people you don't know are hurt is really not that desirable of a trait.)

Basically, I'm just a bundle of anxiety on a normal day. So on a tragic day, I get incredibly worked up not over the grand scheme of things and how the world will play out in the end, but over how people are dealing with all they're suddenly faced with here on earth.

Who fed the babies whose mamas and daddies were in the World Trade Center towers (tummies in 2001, hearts and souls present-day)? Where are the Haitians sleeping years after tent cities became their norm? How is the landscape of Indonesia looking since that horrific tsunami? Are victims of the tragic tornadoes that struck Missouri and Alabama and Mississippi and so many other places able to pay their bills now? Who's taking care of the caregivers?

These are my worries -- or as my Grandma Johnson used to say, "great concerns" -- after tragedy strikes.

So when precious innocence was gruesomely ripped from Sandy Hook Elementary at the hands of a gunman, I wept with the rest of the world. Hard.

And at the same time, I fervently hoped the appropriate grief counseling resources were being dispatched to Newtown so those sweet survivors could, in a healthy way, learn how to process their t-ball teammate or first big school teacher or lunch buddy being gone forever.

Another part of my process post-tragedy is asking myself how I show my world love, and in this case how I watch for warning signs and loneliness, and how I'm prepared to protect others if a need arises.

Just to clarify: I in no way thinks this makes me unique. At all. In fact, Ann Curry proved it doesn't.

A longtime fan of random acts of kindness, I was thrilled when the journalist suggested the world grieve for Newtown's losses in a proactive, healthy manner. But her recommendation to commit an act of kindness in honor of each of the 26 victims whose lives were lost that day? Well, that idea was just gold.

For a while, #26acts and #26actsofkindness regularly trended on twitter. I loved being able to look up what others were doing in honor of the unsuspecting victims and their families.

I did my 26 acts, give a few (because who can stop after a while?), initially very arrogantly not expecting to feel differently than I usually do when showing kindness.

Did I ever have that all wrong.

Something about this was different for me -- tougher, even -- than a random act of kindness, or just being polite. I'm not wealthy, and not all of my acts involved money, but because of what we know about the situation surrounding this and other school shootings, I did intentionally try to show kindness to the seemingly isolated... lonely... alone... distanced. And it was truly random kindness, not something anyone could ever thank me for. (Maybe all this was in Ann Curry's parameters, which I missed. So I made up my own rules. Anyway.)

What I took away after this was not a smug sense of how awesomely fabulous rebekah is, or even a hope that the recipient might "pay it forward," but rather how strange it felt to step into someone's life, observe a bit of unhappiness, throw some brightness their way, and never be thanked for it.

For the record, it was scarier than rock wall climbing. And I'm NOT athletic.

I never feared for my life or safety, but I was a little afraid for my...inner security blanket? The one that keeps me warm and fuzzy when I need a comforting touch to remind me that I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, etc.? Maybe that was it.

So. Extremely uncomfortable assignment for this Pollyanna, but great insight into what we Christians probably should've been thinking when we saw those WWJD bracelets in their heyday. And great insight into how yes, I can strive to change my world whose players' reactions I see, but also those who I'll never see. And who aren't at all gracious to me. And who don't have time for me. And who are probably the loneliest, and unhappiest, and least grateful among us.

So, kudos to Ann Curry for turning what is typically an anxiety-ridden situation into a sociology report for me, and a glimpse into the little rebekah inside my head, and the recesses of my heart.

May the #26acts live well beyond their numbers, well beyond this year and decade, well past our lifetimes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: In the Mist.



If you want to survive...

As a ginger, I have a fondness for other gingers.

So my magnetism toward Florence + the Machine wouldn't really surprise anyone. 

And anyone who knows me at all probably wouldn't be shocked that I love "The Dog Days are Over." A whole, whole lot.

Lately, it's been my go-to. Big time. Even during Christmas, I kept wanting to pull up this song.

I think my favorite line could be, "You can't carry it with you if you want to survive." It's just a great way of looking at past, and present, and hope, and what's important to bring (and leave) if you ever want to move forward.

Here are the lyrics from that ginger:

Happiness hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her stuck still no turning back
She hid around corners and she hid under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with her drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run
Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can't carry it with you if you want to survive
The dog days are over
The dog days are done

Can you hear the horses?
'Cause here they come
And I never wanted anything from you
Except everything you had and what was left after that too, oh
Happiness hit her like a bullet in the back
Struck from a great height by someone who should know better than that

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
'Cause here they come
Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can't carry it with you if you want to survive

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses?
'Cause here they come
The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run

And here's the song on YouTube:




I do think about the importance of the baggage I leave behind when I move forward, but not love and longing. Definitely not love. But some love....Yeah. It's best to leave behind.

I say that Florence is a pretty smart little ginger. As is that Machine of hers.





Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Five Things I'm Thankful For This Day.

It's been a while since I've posted five things I'm thankful for, and there's no good reason for it. So here goes:

1. My roots. Not just hair-wise, though I'm proud to be a ginger (shout out!), but my Mississippi, Southern, Gulf Coast, Protestant (specifically Southern Baptist), Moore, Johnson, and deep-woods, country roots. I love each of them, and wouldn't trade any of them for anything in the world.

2. Umbrellas. If you have not experienced the torrential rain that we have in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area lately, just look us up. You'll see what I mean.

3. Nice people. This seems ridiculously basic, I know. But until you have reason to appreciate the "House Bunny" quote, "Mean people are mean," you won't get it. I hope you don't.

4. Technology.  It feeds my still undiagnosed ADHD. It keeps me entertained. It lets me blog. And it does much more important things, too, like saves lives. What's not to love?

5. Christmas cards.  They're better than bills. They make me smile. They remind me of why I loved going to the mailbox as a kid. That's some good stuff. And I know Christmas is over. But it's still recent enough for me to be grateful for it. :-)




Friday, January 4, 2013

My Revolution: 2013.

Since SheDaisy released "Brand New Year" 100 years ago, I've loved "My Revolution" oh so much.

Have you heard it? Here it is on YouTube:




Lyrics are here (with emphasis on parts I love):

Learning to turn the outside inside out (inside outside inside out)
Having the courage to find what life is all about
Loving so purely can surely melt a frozen heart
Knowing sometimes all over's
The perfect place to start 
Welcome to my revolution
Lucky you, lucky me
The way we were meant to be
This is my one resolution and I make it with no fear
To live, to love today
'Cause it's a brand new year 
Seeing the world through rose-colored eyes
Yeah, this is my one big chance and I'm gonna take it twice
With the past down below, I know love lifted me up here
So I'll take a breath, kiss the sky, toll the bell
'Cause it's a brand new year 
Welcome to my revolution
Lucky you, lucky me
The way we were meant to be
This is my one resolution and I make it with no fear
To live, to love today
'Cause it's a brand new year 
Resiliently reclaiming me
Refining my recovery
Untwist my fate, unlock the gate
Let's make a little noise
'Cause it's a brand new year 
Oh, welcome to my revolution
Welcome to my revolution
Lucky you, lucky me
The way we were meant to be
This is my one resolution and I make it with no fear
To live, to love today
'Cause it's a brand new year 
Welcome to my revolution, baby, yeah
Lucky you, lucky me
The way we were meant to be
This is my one resolution and I make it with no fear
It's never been so clear
Second chance is what got me here
To live, to love today
'Cause it's a brand new year 
Welcome to my revolution

One question: 

What's not to love?


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday.


A Word About 2013.

Literally -- I like to assign a word or theme to the new year instead of making resolutions. (Or I think in my case, I bundle my resolutions like an internet/cable package and just choose a nice topic to keep them all in line.)

It so happens that SoulPancake, one of my very favorite new-ish website /apps /innovations (by none other than The Office's Rainn Wilson), asked their version of the concept today: Basically, what if we assigned a word to our ideas for this year instead of making resolutions? What would your word be?

I told SoulPancake as I told friends last night while discussing resolutions and as I'm telling you gentle readers now: my word this year is:

con·sist·en·cy 
/kənˈsistənsē/
(noun)
1. Conformity in the application of something, typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness. 
2. The achievement of a level of performance that does not vary greatly in quality over time.
(Source: google)

Photo Source: Tumblr

I like the second definition best, and obviously, this is for what I consider "mundane" tasks -- finances, chores, health situations -- you know, those essentials that pretty much keep you running properly and sane on a regular basis. Last year's word was Maintenance, and score!, because I was able to maintain some health elements that have turned out to benefit me in more ways than just aesthetically. The year before, I think my word was Balance or Chilling or something equally soothing.

So, Consistency. Something I must apply this to so many areas of my life, including those I should've achieved well before my mid- to late 30s. 

Hmmm. After rereading that last bit, maybe next year's word should be Guiltlessness? Is that a word? 

What about you? Do you choose a word, topic, general ideal, goal, or resolution?

Or do you prefer to set goals throughout the year and stay away from the new year situation?

Either way, happy 2013. May the best and brightest of this new page on the calendar be yours.