Friday, November 28, 2008

The Shack

**Disclaimer: If you are content with how you 'view' God, don't read this book. You probably shouldn't read this post, either.**

I read The Shack, by William P. Young yesterday. I do that, sometimes. I get so into a book that I finish it in one day. The Shack isn't a long book, so that's not necessarily a huge feat, but it tells you what I think of this book.

And now, every person I see, I want to grab them by the shoulders, look into their eyes, and tell them to read this book. It's not often I get like this. I told Hubba Hubba about 42 times last night that he needed to read it.

The Shack has affected me in ways I will probably spend a long while understanding, but let me try to explain a bit of it, anyway.

First, you need to understand a bit about me. I met Jesus when I was 4, and regardless of what anyone has to say about the spiritual understanding of a 4 year-old, I know that's when I first met him. Sure, our relationship has grown and changed over the years, but that's where it began. Reading The Shack was another giant step forward. What has already (in the one day since I've read it) begun to change my relationship with God is the theology in it.

That word, theology, is enough to make some people decide not to read the book. So please understand when I write theology, I mean it in what I think is the truest sense of the word: studying God, and how we think of God. Theology doesn't have to be paragraph after paragraph of huge words like transubstantiation, although I suppose paragraphs like those have their place. They're in the books Hubba Hubba is more likely to read than I.

Smack dab in the middle of a great story is some good "stuff" (I don't want to keep writing theology) that challenges what I think are some common misconceptions about God. Some of it might make you uncomfortable. Some of it will probably relieve you greatly.

So, as I said in my disclaimer, if you're comfortable with how you 'understand' God (do we ever really understand Him? I hope not!) then you probably don't want to read this book. However, if you think you might want to see God in a way that makes Him much more relevant to your life, read this book. Also, if you are angry with God, read this book. You'll have a lot in common with Mack. If you think God is distant, read this book. If you're just looking for a good book to read, then you can still read The Shack.

And let me know what you think!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Meanwhile, back at the farm...

Last night seemed like any ordinary night. There we were, sitting peacefully in the living room, watching The Cosby Show, which is one of Hubba Hubba's favourites. (I won't tell you some of the others, it might embarrass him.) It was a good episode--the one where Rudy's sick, and Claire is up for partner at her law firm, so Cliff has to take care of her. Funny, funny stuff. At least BoBo doesn't get his temperature taken "the baby way."

But back to our story. As I said, it seems calm and peaceful. Our family, watching good family programming together. A show I don't mind Wiggle Man watching. I guess he had a problem with it, though, so he did what you do when you have one of those problems:

He called 9-1-1.

Seriously. He'd been playing with our cordless phone when suddenly we heard a man's voice on the speakerphone. Hubba Hubba grabbed the phone, realised it was a 9-1-1 operator, and explained the situation.

Our story doesn't end there.

Twenty minutes later, 2 state troopers pulled in. With a spotlight attached to one of the cop cars. One officer came to the front door, one came to the side door. I was so nervous, I couldn't find the light switch for the porch light. Yeah. They're required to check out all 9-1-1 calls these days. Even accidental ones made by toddlers. They were very kind about it, thankfully. Maybe they have toddlers of their own at home.

Needless to say, Wiggle Man is banned from the phone until he's 46.

My brother-in-law, a former 9-1-1 Chief himself, found the whole thing very amusing.


On a completely different topic, I wanted to address some of the issues that have come up about Twilight.

The whole reason I began reading the book was to understand the hype, and be able to talk intelligently about it. (Sort of the same reasons I read books like The DaVinci Code.) I wasn't necessarily planning to end up liking it. Which I do, actually.

The vampire thing really doesn't bother me from a Christian perspective. I mean, we're dealing with mythical creatures. No one has a problem with the Narnia books (also favourites of mine) simply because they have pretend creatures in them. But C.S. Lewis, for the most part, maintains the traditional line between "good mythical guys" and "bad mythical guys/witches/evil guardians". Just because in this case the "good guys" are mythical creatures we typically cast as "bad guys" doesn't mean we're glorifying evil. In fact, I think it has a lot to say about judging people/vampires/werewolves/unicorns/other pretend things for who they are and what they do, rather than what category of fairy tale character they fit into.

Other people have problems with the sensuality of the book. And yeah, there are scenes in the book that I wouldn't want my daughter to read. (Not that I have a daughter, but you get the point.) I do, however, have a young son, and as I alluded to in the beginning of this post, there are things in our culture I'm not comfortable with him coming in contact with. Which is why, as a parent, I make decisions about what he sees on tv, what movies he watches, and what books I read to him.

I think this is an issue of age appropriateness. The people I have recommended the book to are all grown adults, married themselves, who are unlikely to be affected by the kissing scenes. (Which, in reality, are rather tame compared to some of what's out there in the mainstream media--but that's another soap box.)

I guess my point is this: Let's be aware, as parents and role models, of what we allow the children in our influence to read, watch, and listen to. Just because something is targeted at 14-year-old girls, doesn't necessarily mean it's appropriate for your 14-year-old daughter to read. Let's make our own parenting decisions, instead of letting the media do it for us. Let's remember that there are things that are appropriate for adults that are not appropriate for teenagers.

And let's look for the good lessons in books like this. Lessons like abstinence. (Yes, it's because of his vampirish strength, but also because Edward values marriage. No one talks about that part.) Lessons about the nature of good and evil, and redemption. Commitment. Sacrifice.

What are your thoughts about these books? I've said my piece--what's yours?

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Late Not Me! Monday

Well, everyone...I'm sorry. I normally get this done much earlier in the day, but this cold I have is kicking my tail. I'm either miserable, or in a over-the-counter-drug induced haze.

Here are just a few of my meager offerings for this week. Check out MckMama's blog for the ultimate list of Not Me! Monday-ers.

This week I did not

*ignore Wiggle Man when he's playing with the pot lids that he's not allowed to play with. I'm a very consistent Mommy.

*I did not let most of the morning worship slip by me yesterday while I simply went through the motions. I have not been doing that for the past few days due to this monster cold.

*I am not having trouble typing simple words like "monster" and "typing."

*I did not let my brother-in-law give me a shot of "medicine" last night that totally cleared out my nasal passages, for a few minutes anyway.

*I did not try to use a coupon for fried onions to get 75 cents off of chicken today. I totally read that coupon, and knew it wasn't for the chicken.

That's all I can come up with for this week--hopefully next week I'll have a little more to offer you!

Oh, and to answer your question, Sky--I liked Twilight. The book is better--I felt like perhaps the movie was put together too quickly, in order to ride some of the hype from Breaking Dawn's release this summer. The movie just felt rushed--although Hubba Hubba thought it was the longest movie ever. Also, I want to see it again when there aren't hordes of 14 year old girls giggling and screaming at Edward's every line. :)

Did anyone else see it? What did you think?

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Well, all things considered, today went fairly well. I was able to sing, for the most part. (Although I did give our Fabulous Sound Woman free reign to turn me down if I sounded horrible, and just turn up the rest of the team. Perhaps she did.)

Our meeting with our church went about as expected. Unfortunately, the church in Kenya hasn't sent the proposed contract to our church yet, so there was nothing for them to officially decide upon. We presented our ideas, answered their questions, and now we wait. Again.

Hopefully by the time our church meets next, they'll have the contract in hand, and maybe we'll know a little more. We'd appreciate any prayers you may want to send up for us!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Tomorrow should be interesting.

Hubba Hubba, Wiggle Man and I have all been sick for the past couple of days. (Although, not so sick that I didn't go see Twilight last night...)

But back to the point. Tomorrow, of course, will be jam packed. Because isn't that the way it always is when you're sick? Not only do I get to lead worship tomorrow (which always sounds great when you can't actually breathe through your nose) but we have a pretty important meeting after church about our proposed work in Kenya.

It's kinda the most important meeting we'll have. It's The One. The One where All Things will be decided. When we'll find out Those Decisions is still a mystery to me, but I do know that tomorrow is important.

Hopefully by then I won't be breathing solely through my mouth.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I felt like a 7-year-old all over again.

I knew something was different when I Wiggle Man woke us up this morning. Thankfully, he's not one of those kids that insists on us getting him as soon as he wakes up. He's content to sit in his crib, talk to himself, and play with whatever's on hand.
So I lay in bed this morning, not wanting to leave the warm bed, but trying to figure out what was different. What had, in fact, seemed different even when I woke up earlier that morning.

I blame it on the fact that I've lived where I have for so long. I didn't recognize the light right away.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I take no responsibility for this...

I convinced this wasn't me. But not so convinced that I'll publicly blame Hubba Hubba.

At any rate, make sure you put away sippy cups of milk.

I know you know this. I knew this.

Unless, of course, you want to make your own cheese.

Monday, November 17, 2008

And now it's time for...Not Me! Monday!

Good morning, everyone! I missed last week's Not Me! Monday for a pretty good reason, I think. I was enjoying a couple of days at a friend's beach house. It was very very very relaxing-if you don't count driving back into town to lead worship. But that's a whole other post. Seriously, check it out if you want a good laugh. At my expense.

Anyway, as always, check out MckMama's blog for the original and best in NM!M fun, as well as links to other bloggers participating this week.

Here are my shortcomings, in all my glorious denial:

This week...

*I did not start listening to Christmas music on the radio. I was not excited to find the all-Christmas station because I'm already sick of all my CDs.

*I did not put the cat outside because of the messy wound on her ear, fearing it would get all over the carpet/furniture/Wiggle Man. I am not listening to her whine outside as I type.

*I did not have to spend almost 2 hours cleaning my room because my sister-in-law was coming to stay with Wiggle Man while we went on our aforementioned mini-getaway. I did not remove several bags of trash along with multiple loads of laundry from our room. Or one half of our room, anyway. I did not discover dust I hadn't realised existed. Everywhere.

*I did not succumb to the many M&Ms we had out last night for our family get-together. I will not eat the leftovers today, because I have a bridesmaid's dress to look incredible in next month, and my willpower is invincible when it comes to M&Ms. And caramels. And brownies, and Ben and Jerry's and basically anything whose first ingredient is sugar.

*I did not let Wiggle Man eat the part of his sandwhich he dropped on the floor. Ew.

*I am not wondering what that smudge of goo is on the floor, because I cleaned it up last night when I first noticed it. Ahem.

*I am not trying to figure out how to smuggle Hubba Hubba out the door to work so that Wiggle Man does not realise he has left, thus avoiding his morning "Daddy's left" hysterics. No, I want Wiggle Man to learn that we leave sometimes, but we come back, and that we always say goodbye. I wouldn't sacrifice that just for a little peace this morning. No way.

That's it, friends. Or, more honestly, that's all I can think of right now. Check out MckMama if you want to see how to join in the fun, or if you're just looking for another amazing blog to read!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Ate Some Birthday Cake Yesterday

My own, actually. That's only remotely blog-worthy because my birthday was in the summer.

The cake Hubba Hubba procured for me was my all-time favourite--a yummy marble cake with the best butter cream icing ever. What makes it so yummy is that the marble cake isn't just chocolate and yellow cakes marbled together. It's yellow cake with actual fudge swirled in.

Naturally, I wasn't about to let any of this deliciousness go to waste. So when my party was over, and I'd had my fill of cake, I wrapped up a dozen or so indiviual slices and froze them.

After last night, I have one piece left.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hmm...I didn't even realise I forgot to title this one...

You know how you go away for a couple of days, and it's relaxing and fun and everything you want it to be? But then you come back and spend the next week catching up on everything you didn't get done while you were away?


It's been that kind of week. I've been running around like a maniac it seems, trying to get caught up on the cleaning, shopping and both part time jobs. Oh, and of course--a missions committee meeting.

We got back from our "mini-break" Monday night. I spent all day* Tuesday working on a powerpoint presentation we ended up not using, and then quickly putting together booklets to hand out with information on our project.

*Because of Wiggle Man, "all day" naturally refers to whatever time I could squeeze in between chasing him down, giving him hugs, feeding him, changing him and checking on him. And a flute lesson. Oh, and I picked up groceries.

I don't remember Wednesday.

At least, not much of it. I do remember that it was busy. And I roasted a chicken for dinner, which my in-laws were happy to help us eat. We were happy to have them eat it, especially since my father-in-law had spent all day re-siding part of the house, and my mother-in-law had come to cut Wiggle Man's hair during Jeopardy.

Yes, Jeopardy. Ever since he was little, Wiggle Man has loved Jeopardy, and the Wheel. He becomes a baby zombie. Perhaps this is bad parenting, but we totally took advantage of that. My mother-in-law came over, shears in hand, and we strapped him into his chair and turned on Jeopardy.

It worked so well my mother-in-law was even able to use the clippers a bit on his baby sideburns.

That brings us to Thursday, which is, of course, known as Crazy Thursday around here. Not much happened besides a lot of music teaching. And I ate lunch.

Hopefully today I can finally get caught up--at least on the piles of laundry. Seriously. I have no idea what I'm even going to wear today.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

There's A Clarinet In My Bathroom...

There really is. Or, at least, there really was. Wiggle Man has found an old clarinet we had lying around (for my music studio...decor, not for actually playing, heaven forbid...) and has adopted it as his own. He marches around with it on a regular basis. You could say it has replaced the spatula for him. I had to step over his beloved clarinet to leave the bathroom this morning, as he'd brought in it, then left it.

Our weekend away was wonderful, even if it did require two trips back into town. It's about an hour drive. Unless you're me. Sunday morning.

I am what you might call directionally challenged. I chalk it up to learning to drive later in life. But really, maybe it's genetic or something.

At any rate, there I was, leaving the beach very very very early Sunday morning. I left 2 hours before I needed to be at church. (I always give myself extra "getting lost time" if it's the first time I've driven somewhere. Even if I've been there lots--if I've never actually been the one driving, I tend to get lost.)

Not surprisingly, I missed the very first exit. Or rather, I exited before I even got on the parkway. Long story. The gist of it is that I thought an arrow pointing to my right referred to where I needed to go. Not so much.

After a half an hour's "detour", I got onto the parkway, and everything was going swimmingly. Until I got to the next route I needed to take. There was a detour. Again, the signage was a little confusing, and I ended up backtracking for a bit, before realising that no, I was going the right way all along.

I like to think I'm a good driver. Directionally challenged, yes. But a good, safe driver over all. So, I'm carefully checking the speed limit. I see it's 35, so I slow down to 35. Eventually, I start getting nervous about how late it's getting, and with no other traffic to help me gauge my speed, I'm going 50. I don't realise this until I see another car coming down the road towards me. At the same time I realise I'm going 50, I realise this car coming towards me is a cop. Crap.

Crap, crap, crap.

He goes past me. I see him brake, then make a u-turn and start following me. I'm sweating like a pig, hoping and praying he decides to cut me a break since I'm now going exactly the speed limit. I get hopeful as he keeps following me, sans lights and nerve-wracking siren. Until I realise he's just waiting for a good spot to pull me over. Which he eventually does.

I have never, ever, ever, ever been pulled over before. Never. I've been in cars when other people have, but never have I been a driver pulled over.

I may have been shaking to the point that it was difficult to give the officer my license and registration, but I did not cry. Waiting for him to check my license and registration took forever and I was suddenly afraid the registration was expired (it wasn't) but I did not cry. I thanked him kindly when he just gave me a warning, and I still did not cry.

Not until after the officer left, anyway.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

No Rest For The Wicked...Well, Maybe A Little...

Hubba Hubba and I are trying very hard to find some time to get away, just the two of us. This is the best we could come up with.

We leave tonight to go stay at a friend's beach house. (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!) Wiggle Man will stay with his Auntie and Uncle, or rather, they'll stay with him. Tomorrow morning I drive back to town to lead worship, then head back to the beach to spend the rest of the day with Hubba Hubba. Monday morning he drives back to town to work, and then back to the beach. Then we both head back to town so I can lead my worship team rehearsal Monday night.

Doesn't that sound like a relaxing way to spend a weekend? Yup.

Hey, don't get me wrong--I'll take it!

I may or may not get a Not Me! Monday post in--I won't have internet, so it will depend on whether I get it written and scheduled before I leave. Considering all the laundry and packing still to do, not to mention the grades I have to have in for Monday, and the plan for Monday's rehearsal, it may not happen. Or it may. You'll have to check in Monday morning to see for yourself!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Grab A Shoe...Preferably Fee-Fee's....

It started innocently enough. Early one morning, I decided to get a head start on some laundry. I went downstairs to our very unpleasant cellar, where the washer and dryer live. (I fought like the dickens to keep them upstairs, but I lost. There's really nowhere else to put them, so several times a week I must trudge down to my "scary basement.")

I started the washer, filling it with water. I added my bleach, looked down, and there was the most disgusting cricket-spider. What are those things? They're not crickets, they're not spiders...I have no choice but to hyphenate. Can anyone help me out?

Here's what it looks like, drowned, slightly disintegrated in bleach, and thrown with disgust (and a little fear that it wasn't dead, I'll admit) onto our driveway:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's Not Me! Monday!

I really is Monday morning again. This week just flew by for me--I'm still a little exhausted from it all. Good thing Hubba Hubba and I are planning a little overnight getaway next weekend--hopefully it works out!

Well, with Monday morning come the Not Me! Mondays. As always, check out MckMama for the ultimate NM!M fun. She may or may not be posting today--after all, she did just arrive home from giving birth to the most precious miracle baby. So, check out her blog either way--you can join the NM!M party, or read about Stellan's miracle.

This week:

*I did not ask myself on Thursday where the week had gone, because I had nothing done!

*I do not still have a pile of laundry in the bathroom sitting where the hamper should be, simply because said hamper is still in the basement from my laundry attempt a few days ago. There is also not a wet load sitting in the washer that will have to be re-washed for the second time.

*I did not bake a dozen cookies for Hubba Hubba and I to enjoy during our movie night. I did not eat most of them myself.

*I do not have a watermelon sitting on the counter that Wiggle Man managed to pull onto the floor and subsequently crack open. I was not too lazy to take it out to the chickens last night. I am not secretly hoping someone else just takes the darn thing out so I don't have to deal with it.

I am not still tired from the Phillies parade/Citizens Band Park extravaganza on Friday. I do not want to figure out a way to post my picture of the streaker without being offensive.

*I am not typing this with Wiggle Man's fireman's hat on. It is not the only hat he will wear. He is not, for reasons unbeknownst to me, smelling that hat right now. And, ironically, the fire hall's siren did not just go off.

*I am not debating having chocolate Pop Tarts for breakfast. I will eat Cheerios. Like the grown up that I am.

*I am not going to go work out now, just so I can feel better about the Pop Tarts I will not be eating.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

So worth it.

It's been a couple of days since I posted, and they've been doozies! Most of you know that Thursdays are "Crazy Thursdays" for me, so I don't usually get to post. But yesterday--yesterday took the cake. If you saw the Phillies Parade on your news at all, you likely saw a huge mass of humanity crowding Broad Street in Philadelphia. I was in that blob! We stood and waited for 3 hours for the parade to pass by, then ran like the dickens to make it to Citizen's Bank Park, just in time for the ceremony there.

Hubba Hubba, like all Phillies phans, had been waiting for this day his whole life. (He was too small to remember the 1980 World Series.) I, of course, got to have the fun of back-to-back Series wins, thanks to my Jays, so I wanted him to be able to enjoy yesterday to the fullest. Plus, it was my first World Series parade--I was so not allowed to go in '92 or '93.
It was the ultimate Philadelphia day--cheesesteak for breakfast/lunch, a streaker at the parade, a close call with some angry fans nearby, and Utley's "vocalisation malfunction." It doesn't get more Philly than that.

I have more photos posted on facebook, but for the rest of you, here's a sampling!