I love when a place, person, fabric has an enjoyable scent.
I recently found this soap at Old Navy.
We were on our way to check out and Drew Jones realized he might need just one more long sleeved thermal. So he went back to rifle through the stacks for a small. Ended up the last small was, you guessed it, on the mannequin. So while a lady came over to help him dismember the arm off the mannequin, I meander around the front end by the cash registers. Key chains, note pads, dog toys. Stacks and stacks of soap. I thought exactly what you're thinking. Soap? From Old Navy? Gross. Who buys soap from Old Navy?
I took one smell of this one named "Ginger Citrus" and there was no turning back. I wanted to buy two, but I tried to practice some self-control.
I clutched the soap in my hands and inhaled deeply over and over. I hoped no one saw me.
Drew Jones made his way to the front, small thermal in hand and I say "I'm getting this, it smells like childhood."
I recently found out some bad news. It's not me, but a friend of mine experiencing the kind of horrible stuff that unfortunately this world offers us sometimes.
I am grieving. I haven't been able to stop thinking, hoping, praying about my friend. Sometimes this empathy of mine can be burdensome.
I wonder, how does God do it? How does he see the sorrows and pain of His people and not just come here and take us all back with Him. The answer comes to mind as quickly as the question is posed: Because he is God and he sees the story from beginning to end and back again.
I want to be His sweet shining light, in a dark world full of trouble I want to look you in the face and pour out his smiles, acceptance, healing, grace, hugs. I want you to see and believe. I want to lock arms with you. I want to kiss your face and for you to feel not my lips, but His.
But I am so tattered. And I can only hope and believe that tattered is exactly the kind He is looking for.
Without trying, Drew Jones and I have become Jeopardy people.
We come home, talk about our days and get dinner started to the tune of Alex Trebek.
The people who used to own our house left us a t.v. in the kitchen and so it makes this routine quite convenient.
That actually has nothing to do with what I was planning on writing...
While watching a particularly entertaining Oprah show she showed this clip of a huge surprise her crew pulled off for her. It was a block party on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. 25,000 people there and the Black Eyed Peas on stage:
And so it finished and I sat there alone in my living room smiling, tears running down my cheeks.
Truth be told I felt silly for responding with such emotion. But they cut back to the show and one of the people dancing explained how it was life changing for him. He said that it must be what heaven is like. All those people dancing with such unity, he said it felt like joy rising.
That is exactly it. Don't you think?
(licks pen) (just kidding, who actually licks their pen? Gross.)
Things to do in this life:
1: Be in a flash mob dance
2: Get a flash mob dance as a surprise gift 3: Be a guest on Oprah (for a happy reason)
We had a great time visiting with family this weekend.
My mom and Ken made THE BEST Thanksgiving dinner I have ever had. Everything was made from scratch including three awesome pies. It's too bad that I was so stuffed by the end of the dinner that I could only manage two small slivers.
We celebrated my birthday too. I got to open presents! Here are a couple of the thoughtful treats I received...
My sister gave me this.
She apologized that the gold sticker on the lid of the box was already torn.
She explained that she bought it awhile ago and couldn't help herself from opening it up again to look at it.
I don't blame her.
Thank you Stacia, it is just adorable.
My mom and Ken specially ordered this book for me.
The illustrations are fantastic and of course I love that it is about a red bird enjoying the seasons.
My mom explained that it would be good reading for a little one someday. Very true.
The ladies (myself, Ashley, Ciara, Laura) were hankering for some girl time. So we got together at the Reale's lovely home and sent the boys to the Simula's to play some poker.
I had bought this little kit to make crocheted, beaded rings. I have no idea how to crochet (but Ciara does!) so I took it to have a little help and learn how.
I got it at the same church sale as the pillows. The kit was from 1971 and the directions were less then helpful. So instead of me making one, Ciara tackled the task with Laura as her coach.
It turned out so cute:
We ate home made potato soup (thank you Ashley!yumyum) we shared about things happening in our lives. We laughed about how it was likely the boys decided on strip poker and were probably a man fest of pecks and socks. It was fun.
Ashley shared about an experience she recently had while out of town. She went to a church and witnessed a healing miracle. A woman had one leg significantly shorter then the other giving her back pain. The pastor laid hands on her and prayed for the shorter leg to grow, and it did. It actually grew too much and he asked God to take it back a bit.
Get ready for a confession in:
I was highly skeptical, and I admitted it. I asked Ashley a ton of details about what she saw (they all checked out...not to mention Ashley is one of the most honest people I know). I confessed to my friends that I've been having a hard time with faith lately. That I have heard so many second-hand stories and believed them at face value, because...well, because I chose faith. But lately I've been disappointed. Why have I never seen anything incredibly miraculous? Why have I never experienced some event that is undeniably a miracle of God?
Ashley and Ciara shared encouragements and view points. And then there was a break in conversation and Laura jumped up out of her chair and exclaimed "I'm sorry! I just have grown up seeing these sorts of things (miracles) happen! And I know it's true and God does them. And the kind that Ashley saw is one of the easiest most common miracles to pray for!"
She goes over to the kitchen table and drags a chair towards us.
"Most people have limbs that are slightly different lengths, it's common for them to be a bit off. And it can cause any number of problems."
We are all just staring, anticipating.
(she is talking to me.)
(I am completely freaked out.)
"No really sit, let's check your legs out."
I contemplate saying no and laughing the whole thing off. But my curiosity gets the better of me. Plus I can tell Laura means business.
So I sit. She tells me to press my back all the way to the back of the chair and make sure it's pressed evenly. I do. She holds out my legs, wraps her hands around my ankles and puts her thumb on that little ankle bone that pops out on each of them.
Sure, enough there is about an inch and a quarter difference between them. AN INCH AN A QUARTER. WHAT?!
I'm thinking, there is no way this is possible, that my legs are uneven. So I continue to push my back against the back of the chair. Checking and double checking again that I am completely straight.
With her hands still on my ankles she begins to pray in faith out loud. Ashley and Ciara are praying silently. And I am just sitting there suppressing nervous giggles, staring at my uneven legs.
She prays and commands and praises in the name of Jesus.
and you guys,
MY STINKIN' LEG GREW.
I couldn't believe my eyes. (but I had to)
We all noticed but it wasn't completely done. It was still about a 1/4 inch shorter. So Laura continued to pray.
AND IT GREW EVEN
We all stared at my legs blinking. I got up and walked around the kitchen a bit. I mean, my leg just grew over an inch, I wanted to make sure it didn't have growing pains or something. (It didn't) And just to reassure, Laura didn't pull or press or adjust my legs in any way. She just prayed.
The night before this I had tearfully shared with Drew Jones my doubtful thoughts about God and miracles and healing. I had told him how sad it was making me.
In the morning Drew Jones came and prayed for me in bed before he left for work. He prayed that God would show himself to me and increase my faith in miracles and healing.
I had forgotten that Drew Jones had even done this until we were riding home that night. I was sharing with him what happened and he reminded me of what he prayed that very morning.
Drew Jones got home from work and was like, "Do you remember hitting me with a pillow last night?"
To which I laugh, thinking he is kidding around, as he often does.
He assures me he is serious and tells me how he got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and I sat up and hit him in the face with my pillow.
I am laughing just writing this.
This is nothing compared to the time I wound up and kicked him in the groin while having a bad dream. I had just taken self-defense classes and unfortunately for Drew Jones, I'm a pretty good student. I even yelled "NO!" like they teach you. Can you imagine waking up to that? Here is typical Drew Jones character though, while clutching his man-parts in pain he is wiping tears off my face asking if I'm okay.
I'm surprised the guy still risks sleeping in the same bed as me. Livin' on the edge.
Speaking of pillows, check out these adorable ones I found at the church sale across the street for 1 BUCK A PIECE. Double score.
I want to start a movement to reject celebrity gossip.
A movement where we, as an intelligent people realize that the golden rule applies to the famous as well. We collectively recognize that they, in fact, are human beings with souls and feelings too.
You gained some weight and go to the beach for a vacation, then see unflattering photos of it in a national magazine with a headline that reads "She's Let Herself GOOOO!"
Or you have a very hard, sad breakup. And everyone and their brother not only knows but has an opinion about why you deserved it.
Sometimes Drew Jones and I go to the magazine section at Barnes and Noble and spend time looking through really expensive art and home magazines.
The last couple times I have overheard some really ugly talk about people in the magazines.
One conversation between two young women went something like:
"Ugh, she is so ugly though, I hate her. Look at how fat she is"
"Yeah I know, I can't even believe she is in a magazine. So gross."
The other conversation I heard was between two guys. The conversation sounded painfully close to the previous...except they were talking about a man in a magazine.
I don't even think they realized how harsh their words sounded...I think they were just, you know, talking. The secret weapon of judgment though, is that it boomerangs. The way we judge others ends up being the way we assume we are being judged...or the way we judge ourselves.
I didn't make that boomerang thing up... For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. -Matthew 7:2
What if it became trendy to reject gossip? The way that being green has become trendy. Wouldn't it be awesome if grocery stores stopped selling celebrity gossip magazines because people just didn't buy them anymore. I mean, people stopped buying hummers right?
What if instead of judging the people we see on the cover of US Weekly, we prayed for them? Sincerely.
We all need grace. So lets start extending some. :)
(steps down from soapbox)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
I cleaned their house today and this is how it generally goes: Ding dong! (I ring the doorbell)
Clark answers with Jack right behind him in his footie p.j.'s.
Jack exclaims "CANIS!CANIS IS HEERE!" and bounces around holding a play golf club, or a vacuum cleaner attachment, or a mini guitar.
Clark fills me in on how the morning is going...this morning there is an appliance box in the middle of the living room. The best toy ever for a 3 year old. I don't see Lucy anywhere and ask "Where's Miss Lucy?" turn the corner and there her sweet little face is. She was looking for me too, so when we see each other we both smile and she continues to eat her raisins happily. She is dainty and sweet and transcendant.
I head upstairs and Jack joins me. Which I love. He asks me over and over "What doin'?" and I answer "scrubbing the tub!" or "dusting the table!"
He helps me make the bed.
And then jumps on it.
I know I should be upset, but I am just not! I love it.
He tells me he loves me, "Canis, I love you."
I say, " I love you too Jack"
He goes to the top of the stairs and yells down, "DADDY! CANIS LOVES ME! CANIS LOVES ME!"
To which Clark replies: "Of course she does Jack! Everyone loves you!"
Other reason's why I love cleaning there:
Clark always makes me coffee and turns on good music. I can also count on good conversation..maybe even a hilarious story from his childhood. The one today literally made me stop everything and just laugh and laugh.
Their house is one of energy and love. And who wouldn't want to get in on that.
1. Culturally, having a tan = looking better then not.
2. Fair skin shows every little flaw and blemish. And I have my share. (and your share too)
3. I burn very easily. On a family vacation to Florida I became so burned in the first couple hours there that my skin blistered and I cried all night long. Then spent the rest of the vacation under an umbrella.
4. Fair skin = high risk for looking "washed out".
Anyway on our honeymoon (while baking up my pale skin to a nice toasty tan on the Dominican Republic beaches) Drew Jones noticed a discoloration on my back. I made an appointment when we got home at a dermatologist and got my skin checked out.
Since that time I've had three moles removed that tested atypical. Which means they could turn to cancer, so they cut once to check and then cut a bunch more to get rid of it. I get a 4th removed this month.
The doctor sternly advised that I stay out of the sun and protect my skin as if my life depended on it. (which I guess it kind of does)
So I have. I haven't had a burn or tan or a drop of color on my skin in almost 2 years.
And the strangest thing has happened,
my fair skin.
I think it suits me.
And no matter the color, I'm thankful for the way it protects me. I'm thankful that it's healthy.
p.s. I once worked (years and years ago) as a lotion pusher at Victoria's Secret. One time I was ringing a woman out and she looked at me and exclaimed with great drama, "You have the most beautiful fair skin!". No one had ever said that to me before or since and I have never forgotten it. I have spent YEARS hating my skin...not only for it's paleness, but because of the plague of acne that has ravished it for over a decade. The words of a complete stranger some how gave me hope that someday...I might see beautiful skin there too.
I believe that had I not gotten married I would have gone through my entire adult life thinking I was really pretty awesome.
Let me explain.
You know, I was single. I woke up every day sprawled out diagonally in my queen sized bed with pink sheets. I left my socks kicked off under the covers for days. I ate cereal for dinner regularly. It was just me, so I could do that.
Since getting married and intertwining my life and soul with another I have surprised myself with my selfishness. With my lack of patience. With my easily angered-ness. There is something about marriage, the intensity of it, what it asks of you, that has a way of showing you what is really in there.
Imagine my surprise to find I wasn't all sunshine and lollipops.
God has used our marriage as my mirror and I have been humbled.
Daily, I am humbled.
I believe that my husband is a gift to me, with love, from the Father. I believe in treating gifts with respect. Especially if it's the best gift you've ever gotten in your whole entire life. You know what I mean?
Here is the good news: God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. (Proverbs 3:34)
I love Drew Jones deeply. I made a serious covenant with God to choose him everyday for the rest of our lives. To choose love over pride daily. To lay down my life rather than grasp onto it white knuckle style. This is where I can actually find true life, joy, intimacy. I would never have known what this meant on this level, without marriage. Without learning through the Word what God's intentions are with marriage and then with His help walking it out.
And I keep falling down. Sometimes a slight trip, and sometimes an all out embarrassing wipe out. But I get up and try again
because of grace, because I promised I would, because I know it's worth it.
Matthew 10:39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
So I now wake up every morning in a queen size bed with off-white sheets. I'm (almost always) on my side and the first thing I feel is soft kisses on my face from a slow-to-anger, quick-to-forgive husband. And I am so humbled and thankful.
If you want to read some reallygood stuffon marriage check out "The Mystery of Marriage" by Mike Mason. Challenging, well-written, clarifying, sincere.