Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Impressions and Confessions

Perception Management.  It is a phrase that has stuck with me for years. I first heard it used in a play in which the main character was looking back on his life and realized that his entire life had been focused on what he called "perception management."  His goal in life had inadvertently become to manage what people thought of him.

I struggle with this.  It is why I stopped blogging for over a year.  It is why I stopped posting photos to Facebook.  What people thought of me...whether it be a photo I posted or an update I shared...had become too important.  I judged the quality of my photo based on how many comments I received or didn't receive.  So, I stopped.  I posted much less on Facebook, and I took a break from blogging.  I started again only after Jude's diagnosis...and with much prayer.

The online world is full of perception management.  We present a public image that doesn't paint a true picture.  It's a false reality, and I am guilty of trying to dwell in it.  I post only the photos that I look best in.  I make sure to frame my photo so you can't see the messy laundry in the background.  And, if I am struggling with depression, I probably won't post on that day. 

Just as giving is really the only true antidote to materialism, it seems that sharing some of the uglier, broken parts could help free us of this incessant temptation to impress.  And, we might just find that His light shines brighter in our brokenness.

So, that's why I love my friend Holly's idea.  In order to combat this struggle, she wrote a wonderful post called Confessions.  And, in response to popular demand, she has created a link-up for us to do it as well. 

So, here are a few things I would like to confess:

My house is a disaster, and I am currently not cooking.  I have been seriously neglecting my home and my family to read Anne of Green Gables...and Anne of Avonlea...and Anne of the Island...and all the rest of those wonderful books.  I happened to pick the first one up a few weeks ago, and my free time has since been spent in the picturesque Prince Edward Island.  This treasured series was a staple of my girlhood, and I read them multiple times as a child.  Still, once I get into a fiction book, I dive in wholeheartedly until the book ends.  Once, I spent an entire month reading Harry Potter for the first time...while a baby Caleb played on a blanket beside me.  I don't do well with moderation.  And, everything around me...including my husband and child...gets neglected. 

I am terrible at following through with things.  Take my New Year's Resolutions for example.  At this point, I am way behind on my chronological Bible reading.  Getting up early has been overall wonderful but has taken a huge hit these past two weeks (I was up until 4:30am last night).  And, that Project 365 thing?  Yeah, I didn't make it much past February.  :-)

I am a hypocrite.  I often find myself telling Caleb not to do something and then I do it after he leaves the room.  I limit his video game time to 20 minutes, and then I spend hours wasting time on the internet.  Tonight, I told him he could have 2 more jelly beans because "they aren't good for him," and then I ate a fistful.  I do things like that all.the.time.  I think if I followed the instructions I give him, then I would probably live a much healthier life.

There are so many more.  Some I will leave for a future post.  If you'd like to share, head to Holly's blog and link up your post.  If you don't have a blog, feel free to share in her comments.  Now please excuse me while I go finish Rainbow Valley.  :-)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Song of the Flowers

Even though people had forgotten, the birds and the flowers hadn't forgotten - 
they still knew their song.
It was the song all of God's creation had sung to him from the very beginning.
It was the song people's hearts were made to sing:
"God made us.  He loves us.  He is very pleased with us."

It was why Jesus had come into the world: 
to sing them that wonderful song; 
to sing it not only with his voice, but with his whole life -
so that God's children could remember it and join in and sing it, too.

From The Jesus Storybook Bible
p. 235

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sweet Acey

A few weeks ago, I got to spend some time
with an incredibly adorable baby
in front of my camera.

It was such a good step for me.

I hope to write a post about that in the future.
But, since I am having a hard time putting my thoughts into words lately,
I will just leave you with this beautiful little guy:

Thanks, Matt and Marissa!
We love you and your baby boy!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


The surroundings of Christ's final hour clearly displayed his sovereign control.  The intensity of his agony and his sovereign resolve to bear it, his control over his captors, his protection of his own, his grace to the wounded, all proved he is an omniscient, all-powerful God.  Christ was in control when life was falling in, when things looked the worst.

How does this relate to us? Though Christ's Gethsemane was infinitely beyond human experience, Gethsemanes are a part of believers' lives.  

Gethsemane was not a tragedy, and neither are our Gethsemanes.  This does not do away with the wounds of affliction in this life, but it is encouraging to see that behind human tragedy stands the benevolent and wise purpose of the Lord of human history.  Life may be dark at times, tragedy may come, and at times the whole world may seem to be falling apart.  The wheel may appear ready to crush us.  But this is not the end "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28), even in Gethsemane.

R. Kent Hughes
Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross:  Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter
Edited by Nancy Guthrie

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Prayer Request

Hi friends.  I hope you all had a great weekend.

I know that most of you who have found my blog found it because you were praying for us.  Thank you.  There still is no way to fully express my gratitude.  Tonight, I wanted to ask you to pray for my uncle, Ron, who is going to begin radiation and chemo tomorrow for Stage 3 Esophageal Cancer.
Please pray that God would draw my family near to Him through all this. Pray that we would all know His love, peace and comfort as we look to Him for healing.  I am so thankful that prayer is not bound by geography, and that we have a God who asks us to "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7)." 

Thank you so very much!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Childhood Crush

 Yesterday, I was so sad to learn that Davy Jones had died.

I have a somewhat hazy memory of a childhood conversation I had with my best friend, Heather. We were eight years old, and we were sitting at the top of the stairs at my house.  We were discussing my new crush.  I told her that I no longer liked Ricky Schroeder from the TV show, Silver Spoons.  Instead, I was now in love with Davy Jones of The Monkees.

And, although Heather was hesitant at first, she quickly joined me in my newfound passion.  In the beginning, we watched the tv show regularly.  Heather's parents had a vinyl record of The Monkees, and it became a treasure to us.  And, we had our magazines.  Apparently, we weren't the only ones in love with them because The Monkees graced the covers of all the teen celebrity magazines... 16, Bop, Tiger Beat etc.  In the magazines, we could even find pull out posters to hang on the wall.

I will never forget the day that my dad told me that he was taking me to a Monkees concert. My amazing mom had given me her ticket.  I can still feel the excitement as we headed towards the 1987 Indiana State Fair.  And, I can still remember the shock when I looked at the stage and realized that I had a crush on a forty-year-old.  

When I got home, I rushed to tell Heather, "He doesn't look like he does on TV.  He's old, but he's still cute!"

Our crushes continued through the purchase of many cassette tapes, lots of Tiger Beat magazines, and even an unforgettable Monkees Convention in Chicago.  We had a collection of "Davy stuff." We loved the Davy Brady Bunch episode, and I even had a VHS recording of a My Two Dads episode with a special appearance by Davy Jones.  

It was a crush that endured for years...until The New Kids on the Block began their memorable climb up the charts.  And, it was a crush that helped forge a wonderful friendship that endures to this day.  I will forever be grateful to The Monkees for that. 

Thank you, Davy Jones, for being such a memorable part of my childhood.

p.s.  I am so glad God says no to our prayers much as I asked him to let me marry a certain English pop star.

Linking up with Emily