Thursday, July 23, 2009

No... Really!

You guys have GOT to check out Malia's Thursday blogpost.  It has got to be THE funniest thing I have ever seen in my LIFE!  I seriously wish I had thought of it first.  I almost wish I hadn't gotten married, yet, so that I could do it... ALMOST!!

But for real.  Go check it out... I am in LOVE with this group of people, right here!!!


Monday, July 20, 2009

My Tidy Little God-Box

McStudly got into a pretty deep "philosophical" type conversation while we were laying in bed last night. It didn't last long, but afterwards I got to thinking. I usually have trouble falling asleep so I was thinking about this for a while, and then when I woke up this morning, all of those thoughts were still very clear in my head. It's been a few hours, now, but I'm going to try to put it all out there for you guys. I want to see what your thoughts are, your opinions, or if anyone even has anything to add at all.

Here goes!

In talking about all of this, let me start by saying I'm just as guilty as the next person. Anywhere that I say "we" or "you" it includes me... so don't think I'm being preachy. K?

How easy is it for us to put God in a box? Sometimes someone unknowingly helps us make our God-boxes by telling us their opinion as though it's fact, and then we take it for fact without looking into what the Bible says. We do this with friends, family, and even our Pastors. Just because you think someone has a better handle than you do, or a degree behind their name, that doesn't mean everything they say is truth. We shouldn't take it for fact and not look into it ourselves.

But that's not the point of all this. The point is the God-box itself. Some of you may be tuning me out already, but we all have one. We have our own neat little organized religion God-box that we tuck God into. It's made up of our interpretation of the Bible, our opinion of how a church service should go. Our view on what worship should be like. Our take on how we are to interact with each other - both Christians and non-Christians. That's what makes up our God-box.

And so we go to church on Sundays (or whenever we go) and we sit there. Like a consumer we're ready to take in a product, decide if it fits in with our God-box, and then review it later.

"Worship was kind've off today" or "We sing the same songs over and over again" and "I had a hard time connecting to the sermon today. It didn't really speak to me."

That's our God-box talking.

Worship needs to fit our expectations. The songs need to move us. The sermon needs to be what we're comfortable hearing and admitting to needing and it needs to speak to us in a way we haven't quite been spoken to before. Because it's a consumer, me, my way mentality.

But when we put worship in a box, when we put sermons and environments into a box, we're limiting it. And when we limit these things, we're limiting God. We limit God and then wonder where he is. We think he's not moving or he's not speaking to us... but it's not God that's not moving, it's us. We're limiting him and then expecting him to move in spite of our limits. By limiting God, we're limiting his effect on those around us. We are becoming the problem, while looking for someone or something else to point the finger at. We're missing it.

We also tend to limit God to church. That fits nicely into our God-boxes.

The worst part about our God-boxes is that by limiting God, we are limiting his ability to minister to others. God can do all thing, don't get me wrong, but he chooses to use us to minister to those around us. We each have our own sphere of influence and God has us there for a reason. No one, no single other person, can reach the people around you day-to-day in the way that you can. Often times these spheres of influence can overlap, but it all comes from different angles. You are the only one that can reach those people in the way that they need to hear it. But when we limit God, and keep him in our neat and tidy little God-boxes, we're the reason that's not happening.

But what if we opened that box and finally let God out? What if we stopped trying to fit worship into our box and just worshipped as we were meant to worship - freely and without shame, as we were created? What if we stopped getting caught up on what songs we were singing, or what the words of that song were? What if we asked God to speak to us in any sermon and bring something new to light no matter what the topic?

What if we let God be God and stop trying to do his job for him?

Just imagine - if we let God out of that box. If we focused on worshipping him instead of being comfortable in a song we'd reach entirely new levels of intimacy with him. Our love for him would be so much more than we could even imagine. What if we were so hungry for more of the word that even a sermon on a topic that far outreaches us still somehow speaks to us, where we are, and leads us to be even hungrier for the word in our day-to-day lives?

By letting God out of that little box that we created years ago, we're not longer limiting him to only be able to work when, where, and how we want him to. He'll finally be free to move in his good and perfect timing ad in the ways the he knows he needs to.

When God is able to move and we are worshipping him truly and whole-hearted, we will begin to exude him to those around us. And when we do so, he is finally able to minister to those people in our sphere of influence right where they need him and right where they are.

When God can finally meet people where they are, that's when things happen. That's when lives are restored and darkness flees. That's when we are able to breakthrough the things that tie us down. That is when we are finally fulfilling the purpose he's given each of us, all because we took a lid off a box.

So when your in worship and feeling like the band is off or singing a song you've heard a hundred times, remember why you're really there. When the sermon is about something that's so far off you're dazing in and out of consciousness, remember the reason for it all.

We're not here to critique a church service, we're hear to worship a loving, saving God. Whether or not that fits into your God-box should tell you something.

So when you hear the lyrics to a new worship song and you're stuck on the fact that it says "sloppy wet kiss" in one of the verses ("How He Loves" - great song. Look it up), remember that God doesn't fit into our little boxes.

Maybe we should stop trying to shove him in there all the time?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pride, Irony, and Oozing Orifices

I'm going to be real with you all today. I figure I owe it to you after not blogging for like a WEEK! *sigh* I'm such a slacker.

Anywho - have you all seen the trailor for the movie "My Sister's Keeper" that recently came out? Well, I admit that I may have cried a little during the full-length trailor. (don't judge me, you KNOW you did, too!) But then I actually went to SEE the movie.

Oh Good Lord in Heaven.

You know that feeling you get when you're about to cry at a movie or something really moving. You get that lump in your throat and feel like you have to swallow a million times a second, and your eyes feel like you just simultaneously poured acid and water on them because they start to burn, but then fill with what probably began the Niagara Falls phenomenon? BUT you, unlike Niagara, are able to keep them at bay and prevent those falls from-a-flowing. Your eyes still glisten, but you've won the battle. Score: Pride-1, Moving Moment-0.

Well, that was me during the full-length trailor. I'm not talking about that piddly little excuse for a trailor they played on the major tv networks. Those don't do anything to me. I'm like the rock meets Jimmy Fallon when it comes to fighting off the tears with those bad boys. But if you have gone to see any full length films in the theatre over the past 2 months-ish, then you saw the full length trailor. And admit it: you teared up and you know it.

So the decision to see the movie was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing for me. My sister and some other girls had planned a girls' night, but McStudly and I had like a bazillion parties that day, so I opted out. But when the boys left for the Bachelor party, my friend R and I decided we'd make a night of it, possibly grab some grub, and check out the movie. She and her husband BOTH warned me that she would probably be an impossible wreck. It made me laugh, really.

She told me about how she's not a big cryer, but when she goes to really emotional movies, it's like the flood gates open and everything she hasn't cried at over the years, all of those uncried tears start fighting for freedom (I'm paraphrasing, of course... or maybe kind've making that up. But it's true to her point, at least). So I said I'd drive and we would make it through... as long as we brought tissues, because I was sure I may cry a little at some point. I mean, if the trailor makes you tear up, a full 2 hours of something is bound to break you, right?!

So we stuffed a wad of tissues in her purse and went about our merry little way.

I should stop here and tell you that the movie was AH-mazing. I won't give anything away, but you need to see it. Seriously. Right now. (Why are you still reading this? Go! Go see the movie!!) No, really thought - it's awesome, though made quite a bit differently than you'd expect from the trailors, and all.

I think I started tearing-up about 5-ish minutes into the movie. Never a good sign. But by about the last 15-20 minutes I was sobbing... SOBBING! I cannot express to you how humiliating that was, mainly because I did NOT care at the time. (And I'll have you know, I was NOT the only one, thankyouverymuch.)

Have you ever tried to contain a sob? It kind've starts to sound like you're choking or gasping for air. It's ridiculous. I tried to muffled my international sound of distress with a wet wad of tissues (speaking of which, where does all of that goo come from? It feels like it's coming out of every orifice north of the aorta! GaRoss!!), but I'm not sure how well it worked. So I did what anyone would do - I started slowly mouth-breathing. It's like the only weapon against fierce chick-flick tears. But if you're not careful, and you haven't mastered it, you'll end up whimpering like a child who scraped their knee and 10-minutes-later has not forgotten about it. (You know that you know exactly what I'm talking about. Where 10 minutes later they have those random spurts where there shoulders seize up again and their bottom lip almost meets their esophagus and there's that little breathy hiccup sound that's almost kind've cute... yeah, that one.)

The funniest part about all of this? My friend R didn't shed a single tear! She was the one we were worried about and nothing. nada. zip. zilch. nunka. dryer than the sahara. In fact, I think I cried more than enough for her. How's that for irony?!

So I guess the moral of the story is, make sure you're close enough with your sob-story chick-flick movie buddy so as not to be embarrassed when the lights come back up and your more puffy than the magic dragon.

...and that you need to see "My Sister's Keeper." Like yesterday.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


(click to enlarge, if you can't read it like it is)

Any takers? Ha ha ha...

Maybe this'll come in handy when McStudly is deployed? :-P

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It's Official

I'll keep it short and sweet - we just found out today that McStudly got moved to a primary slot for an October deployment. So... I guess I'll be in the same boat with a lot of you soon.

Funny. As much as I like you guys, I'm not looking forward to getting into that boat. Nothing personal...


Monday, July 6, 2009


Well, this isn't your typical 4th of July post, but it's more about free stuff than freedum. Ahh well!

The Mrs. over at Trying Our Best is giving away this awesome take on a Service Star and I LOOOVE it! So go check it out and tell us what you think.

...I have just the place for it, too!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

HAIR-mergency 911!

HELP!! Calling all female bloggers (or heck - even male, at this point!). I need assistance, STAT!

For real - I've had SOOO much going on in my life over the past few months, and TOMORROW I'm in a wedding. I totally didn't even THINK about hair until last night! The bride doesn't care what we do (she's got a few more important things to worry about, I'm guess...) and I'm slap out of ideas.

I was thinking about a typical half-up do with "the poof". Something along these lines:

What do you think? I need your advice. So I'm calling on the power of social networking and hoping you all can help me pick a hair-do before Noon tomorrow. That's when my hair appt is and I need to be ready to go immediately following, so... GO!

Any ideas... help a sister out! Preferences: I have super thin hair and it's pretty dang straight, as in like almost anti-curl, so nothing too curly will stick around for more than... oh... say 30 minutes. It can stand to hold small slight curl, but that's about it. AND I have a giganto-giraffe-esque kind of neck that I'm a tad bit conscious of, so full up dos have to be low, and loose-ish if that's what you're thinking. And finally, I don't do well with that super sleek and flat hair-style stuff. You know... where it's so shellacked to your head that you break a comb trying to get that funk outta there? Yeah... so none of that.

PS: This is a pretty fancy-shmancy type wedding, so that "whispy" look may not work, but what do I know?! Maybe I'm wrong and it would??

But anything is worth considering at this point. HEEELLLP!!!!

Thanks, guys - you're the BESTEST!