26 February 2011

meet the family

I'm sure none of you remember Tracy...

Poor Tracy.

Anyway, so I busted out ye olde Barbie box for MK earlier. She played with them/looked at them for about 3 minutes and then left.

I decided it was high time to introduce the remaining (mostly) healthy cast... and a few short memorials to those who've gone before.

So without further ado...
(PS Click on their names if you'd like to see their former glory. It's really depressing.)

I have no explanation for their hairdos... except that I felt the need to chop and alter everything I got my hands on. I don't guess much has changed.

Julia also suffered from an unfortunate skin-grafting accident.


Another long-haired Barbie who was once amongst my population was this one...

image borrowed from 1000barbies.com

Yes, she came with a tube of Dep. I can only imagine what that did to polyester Barbie hair. The only memory I have of this classy gal was her naked self hanging by her matted hair from the clothesline with several swimming-pool-abused and mildewed sisters... like so many skinned squirrels.


Teen Courtney doll whose given name has escaped my memory
Straight off the plantation.

Where she moved after hanging out with Mariah Carey.

PS Never Google the words butterfly and tattoo together unless you're interested in seeing a lot of unfortunate crack-baring, muffin-top-surrounded tramp stamps.


Kenneth and Michael

Big pimpin'. Straight thuggin'. Insert other ghetto phrase-ology. My apologies for the lack of links on these guys. Apparently Ken has found his way into the hearts and homes of gay men who collect Barbies and maintain blogs that will make good little church-going gals blush. Don't ever Google Ken. Consider yourself warned.

And speaking of gay, in my short-lived Ken search, I did happen upon this guy, who also once graced my Barbie community...

Meet Earring Magic Ken
Image borrowed from lynneslovables.com

George Michael?


Pocahontas meets early-90s formal wear meets Chiquita Banana.


The poor, orphaned, lone child of the group. I don't remember creating any official family members for him. He had a twin sister, Stacie, who as I recall experienced a trampoline incident in which she lost an arm. She is no longer with us.


And this...
this is Sister Vestal.
She wouldn't take nothin' for her journey now.

One big happy family.



21 February 2011


A recent tangle with a wildly popular romantic drama left me with a lot of thoughts concerning what's real and what's just not.

I've noticed that watching these movies or reading these books that women are supposed to like make me feel, well... weird.

The movie I watched most recently was this one...

Or if you don't recognize the movie by that picture, maybe this one will ring a bell...

Still drawing a blank? Here's another...

You get the idea. I'm sure you got the idea after the first picture, but there's a reason I posted all three. I'll get to that in a minute.

So, yeah, I guess it can be said that The Notebook is a special case sort of movie that falls in this category. Glenn Beck calls them "bonnet movies," but that's beside the point for now. Yes, it's different. It's raw, it's got a bunch of real-life issues, and it ends in a nursing home for Heaven's sake, but again, beside the point.

The only word that I could come up with to describe the movie was passionate. The whole movie was just nearly painful for me to watch because of how heavy it was with passion. I came away from the movie wondering at my own lack of passion...

Well, why don't I feel like that?

But why doesn't Hubby act like that?

What might things have been like if...?

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Oh brother. What a pitifully easy target I am, Satan... shoot me! Shoot me!

So, in all my thinking about movie vs. reality, I started sort of a mental list of things that either happen beyond the realm of real in these stories or things that are oh-so-present in the real, but are conveniently left out of pretend land.

That takes me back to the three redundant pictures and brings me to item numero uno:

1. Gravity. When was it? Maybe last week that my dear husband decided to "dip" me. No, we weren't dancing and I'm not sure why the urge hit him, but whatever the case I ended up on the floor. Forgetting to use your dominant hand when you decide to randomly "dip" your wife is real. Falling on the floor is real. Gravity is real. I'm guessing that if I decided I was gonna take a running leap into my man's arms, we would both hit the floor. Not graceful. Not wistfully romantic. No heart swelling. Just contusions. And maybe a sprain.

2. Laundry. Sigh.

3. Puking kids. Puke in movies is either only implied and never seen or played off as comical. The inevitable picking partially digested pepperoni and pickle pieces out of the carpet fibers is never really included. Human reproduction would probably come to a screeching halt if they showed these things in movies. Puke is real. Pickle pieces are real.

4. Extended and repetitive business trips. Only the heart-wrenching parting and/or the joyous/passionate/in-your-face airport PDA reunion is shown. The part where the transmission falls out, the basement floods, the dog has to be put to sleep, the kid fails his midterms, African termites attack the foundation while the husband is away... these things are omitted.

5. Any combination of #3 and #4.

6. Dishes. Unless, of course, the woman is at the sink and the man comes up behind her to nuzzle, tickle, pinch her tush, and otherwise distract her. Dishes are a part of everyday life, folks... not a segue to the bedroom. Baked on lasagna and boiled over chicken water are not turn ons. Have you ever seen boiled over chicken water on a movie? Chicken water is real.

7. Slobber. I'm sorry, but it just happens when you smooch with reckless abandon. Admit it, guys... and I'm not seeing too much drool involved in all the Hollywood tonsil hockey going on out there.


And as long as we've covered puke and drool, I might as well say where is the snot? There's a lot of tearfulness, but I've never seen a really ugly cry on a movie. I've never seen any snot. And for that matter, when are these people using the bathroom? Does the lack of gravity affect bodily functions?

I think I've reached the end.

What it boils down to is this...

Movies are not real. And even though I know this with my brain... kind of... there must be some part of something in there that doesn't really get it. Somewhere in my sinful, flawed, human brain, I hear that slithering whisper...

See how it could be?

Maybe not everybody is so susceptible to the power of suggestion, but I will admit that it's one of my weakest areas.

If you fall prey to these same sorts of things, consider with me the possibility of giving those things up.

Falling on the floor may not be uber romantic... but let's face it... it's funnier.

And falling on the floor seems a lot less dangerous than falling into temptation and putting your home on the chopping block.


The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking.
Be careful if you think you stand...
You just might be sinking.

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away.
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray.
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away.

People never crumble in a day.
It's a slow fade.


09 February 2011

blessed, still...

Thank God that He dwells with man.

His ceaseless mercy makes me more than a conqueror.

And a small victory is a victory still.

The past couple days have been filled with quiet communion... He's let me walk on my own for a few steps, His hand always sure at my back.

Even when the sun isn't dazzling me, it's still there.

Those shaky steps have been scary for me, as I know I'm always so close to those familiar pits waiting to swallow me up. It was as my foot slid once that I had a revolutionary, new idea. An idea so new and amazing that the Psalmist just wrote about it a few thousand years ago.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

Isn't it interesting how God reveals these truths to us at just the right time. He knew when I would be most receptive. The Gardener knows His vineyard.

I was lost in the midst of festering worries when these things came to me as if I'd never known them before. A language I'd never heard.

Mine is a blessed life.

And nothing can change that.

If I wake tomorrow to the voices of my dear ones or if I wake no more, I am blessed.

If my world is rocked with news of the unthinkable tomorrow... I will be no less blessed than I am today.

Regardless of all, my end is the same.

I know why Job could say "blessed be the name of the Lord."

I've always known, but now I know.

I will always be susceptible to sin, but today God has conquered a stronghold for me.

He hems me in, behind and before.

He lays his hand upon me.

And such knowledge truly is too wonderful for me.


08 February 2011

carry me

Tonight's bedtime rituals were interrupted by a toe injury.

And even though there were no visible wounds to show for it, my big, brave, swashbuckling, lightsabering, dragon-slaying wonder boy was completely dissolved into a puddle of devastation.

I tended to his hurts for what seemed like an appropriate length of time, but the tears lingered on.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I'm tender-hearted toward my kids, but after a certain point, I maybe tend too much toward the "buck up, little soldier" drill-sergeant attitude. Keep calm and carry on. Time heals all wounds. Hurt now, cry later. All words I've lived by.

Such was my attitude when, after a good 10-minute cry, he didn't want to walk on his hurt toe.

"Carry me, Mama," he wailed.

And as I picked him up, I couldn't stop myself thinking how silly it was to let him indulge in this pity party. It was such a minor injury, after all... there wasn't even a mark on his foot. It probably didn't even hurt anymore. And besides that, lugging him around makes my back hurt.

But somewhere between the kitchen and his bed, I remembered all the times I've asked to be carried.

The times that I've all but disappeared into bitterness and hurt and disappointment and unmet expectations and anger and the list goes on and on...

Carry me, Lord.

He could have told me to "man up." He could have told me that my hurts didn't matter in the long run since they're bound to burn up someday with the rest of the dross of this world. He could have chided my worries and fears for their idleness.

And, oh, the wounds He suffered! How He could have shamed me by showing me the nailprints in His sweet, sinless hands!

But He did none of those things. He knew the time, this night, would come when I would learn all those things.

Instead, He just carried me.

He rested me, His little lamb, across His shoulders and He carried me.

All the way to the cross.


What wondrous love is this,
That caused the Lord of bliss,
To bear the dreadful curse
For my soul, for my soul.
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!


10 December 2010

what I need for Christmas

Most days I don't understand more things than I do understand.

I don't understand the failings of this human flesh. This existence. I don't understand how to parent my children. I don't understand how to be the Proverbs 31, virtuous woman kind of wife I'm called to be. I don't understand how those I hold most dear seem to love me in spite of myself. I don't understand how, at 25 years old, I'm still being hurt and allowing myself to be hurt by careless, unthinking people who claim to carry within them the love of a sinless Savior.

There's not much that I do understand. And, honestly, I spend most days in a fog of confusion.

But at the end of the day and with ever increasing awareness, I understand to the extent that my frail mind can manage... that I need Jesus.

I need Him not because that's what I was taught as a child. Not because personal passion is a trendy thing to blog about. Not because I belong to a baptized body of believers who also need Him. And not because I'm feeling particularly small and low today.

I need Him because I am broken and undone. I need Him because without His breath I am just dirt.

And in this special season... as I near the end of my rope and am overwhelmed by the busyness of all the things I've added to my own to-do list... I hear a faint whisper. So quiet that it goes all but unnoticed. A dim star in the distance that's best seen in the peripheral but is lost in the decorations and car lights and crowds and receipts and bank statements.

But day by harried day, night by lonely night... as the state I've gotten myself into becomes more apparent to me... the whisper starts to ring in my ears. The star grows brighter.

Follow me, the star beckons. Come and see the Child.

Come to Bethlehem. Look into His face and calm the storm in your soul.

Rise up out of the angry current and walk on the waves.

Lay your hurt beside His manger and let Him carry it to the cross.

And as I hasten toward His calling and begin my journey to the stable, I'm being show what I most need for Christmas.

In this season... and in every season... I need the simplicity of a manger, the patience of a man who went from door to door seeking a place for his wife to rest, the willingness of a young woman who endured the discomfort of carrying a Baby and travailed with the labor of bringing the Savior into a world which both needed and despised Him...

And most of all, I need the bloodshed of the cross. And the grace to die there each day.

For all these things. For the things I don't even know I need...

He is sufficient.

Merry Christmas, my friends. Won't you meet me at the manger?