Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rain, rain, go away...


The view out my office window for the past several days.

If I had a dime for everytime the word "Ark" or "Noah" appeared in my Facebook news feed, well, I'd be sitting on a beach in Tahiti right now instead of wishing the rain away.



I am pretty sure the ground must be super saturated right now. I know my tolerance for thunderstorms and tornado warnings is! In the past two months, we've had to vacate our office THREE times due to the sirens.

(Of course, we spend the time standing in front of a wall of glass, watching the storm.)

My yard? Looks like a river runs through it. I have no idea where poor Delta spent last night - the other two (apparently more intelligent) dogs bedded down on the front porch, where it was safe and dry. Delta hasn't been seen since last night.

It makes me SAD to think about her in the storms all alone!

Anna Marie has ended up in my bed, due to the storms, for the past several nights. You'd be surprised how small a king sized bed can be with two adults and a nine-year-old! I don't even remember when she climbed in last night. I am tired and sore, from having to contort myself to accommodate her twisting and turning. Oh, my kingdom for a full night's sleep!

I'm glad I have a frozen dinner in the fridge here, because there is no way I'm getting out in this mess. No way. No how.

The weather folks tell us that this will move out this afternoon. I'll believe it when I see it. They already weren't forecasting severe weather for this morning, but another warning was just issued for my area.



We'd better be getting some massive May flowers out of all this.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A very Good Friday indeed

Yes, I know there are two inherent problems with this post.

1. It isn't Good Friday, or any Friday for that matter. It's Monday.

2. I posted another post before this one, thus getting me out of sync and possibly ripping a hole in the space-time continuum.

(Or maybe just opening up the Pandorica. Yep, Dr. Who started a new season this weekend! Huzzah!)

But, it was such a good, Good Friday, I felt it needed to be documented. And since I didn't take a single, solitary photo all day, I'm having to rely on the kindness of strangers.

And Flickr.

Like this one:

Soul Fish Cafe

This, my friends, is The Soul Fish Cafe.


You see, I had the day off on Friday, for the first time in, oh, about nine years. And Anna Marie had school on Good Friday for the first time in her whole life, thanks to the massive number of snow days this year. The closer it got to Friday, the more resentful I became of the thought that I was going to have to get up early on my DAY OFF to get her to school. And since it was just a 60% day, I hatched a plan.

We played hooky. Don't tell anyone, m'kay?

I have never, ever asked her to stay home from school - and she did take some convincing. But when I told her we could spend the day with Aunt Manda, and spend the Burke's Books gift certificate Aunt Manda had gotten her, well, that was all the reason she needed to skip school.

(Editor's note: She has not missed a single day of school this year, except for getting checked out early in February when my dad was having open heart surgery. She said we had already messed up her perfect attendance streak with that one.)

We met Amanda and her friend Clark at Soul Fish, and I guess I don't have to tell you what type of food a place with a name like that has.

Slap yo mama food, that's what.

And for dessert - oh, for dessert we introduced Jason to one of the wonders of the modern world. YoLo.

(OOOH. I guess I told a story. I did take one picture on Friday.)


YoLo is one of those really dangerous places, because they weigh the yogurt after you self-serve. No good can ever come of someone with a scale and my food. I'm just sayin.

And you don't even want to know how much Anna Marie's yogurt cost. Trust me.

And then, we went to Burke's Books and let her browse. She spent a wee bit more than her certificate, but she was able to successfully talk Jason into fronting her a few more dollars.

(It didn't hurt that he bought himself a book, either. Seems he can't get the Kindle App to work on his phone, so he has to do things the old-fashioned way.)

We took Amanda back to Soul Fish, where she'd left her van, and took a little side trip to Lit, a local restaurant supply store. And who should appear? Why Amanda, of course! I had no idea, but apparently she'd told Jason she was coming. I think I liked being surprised better!

I don't even think I can put into words what a perfect day it was turning out to be. The weather was PERFECT. And then, you know how sometimes you go into a store, and the music is totally offensive and you want to get out of there as fast as possible?

They were playing soul music in Lit! I don't know if it was our local soul station (because we're in Memphis, so of course we have one) or a subscription service, but when I heard Al Green - man, I could have stayed in that store all day! It just totally set the mood for the kind of day we were having, running errands to special, Memphis-centric places.

Just. Perfect.

Unfortunately, we did have to leave and make our way back home. We stopped at JC Penney, and ran into about half a dozen families from our church - including our Senior Pastors. I love my church peeps, and it makes me happy to run into them in public!

We totally were taking over that Penny's store.

I felt so blessed by the time we got home. I haven't had a day like that in a long, long time - or maybe, ever. It reminded me how much I love springtime, and MEMPHIS, and hanging out with Jason, AM, and Amanda.

Overwhelmingly blessed.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The price has been paid


I saw this sign at the gas station a couple of weeks ago, and I had to laugh. (Which was odd, since pumping gas rarely puts me in a laughing mood!) Because, yes, my gym membership probably has filed a missing persons report.

I know. I KNOW. Due to some changes in my life circumstances of late, I've not made it into the gym since, oh, before Christmas. My best intentions at schedule change have failed miserably, and I'm left with the overriding guilt that I've turned into one of those people, who pay for a membership to a gym which they never use.


Yesterday, as I was driving around town, I passed the gym of which I am a member. And a thought occurred to me: the price has already been paid.

It doesn't matter that I haven't been through those doors in four months. I could, right now, scan my key and have full access to all the benefits of membership.

Because every month, they're still deducting $15 from my checking account. The price has already been paid.

And then, another thought occurred to me: that's the way salvation is. It doesn't matter who you are, where you've been, or what you've been doing that you haven't "walked through the door." The price has already been paid.

It doesn't matter if you walked through the doors of the church a long time ago and never came back, or you keep "meaning to go" one Sunday but don't.The price has already been paid.

Any time. Any day. Any where. You can "scan your card" - accept His offer of forgiveness - and receive access to all the benefits of "membership."

He doesn't care what's kept us away - He just knows how much better our lives will be once we take receive Him.

What a lovely thought for Easter!

"It was not a haphazard event, or a secondary scheme, but it was the plan of the Lord to redeem" - The Winans

Friday, April 22, 2011



I don’t know anyone who likes that word. Who would? Who would like something that’s too cold to be hot, and too hot to be cold? Although some dishes taste just fine lukewarm, many don’t. I know my mother is a STICKLER for food temperature, and has no qualms about sending something back to the kitchen to be “warmed up in the microwave for a few seconds.”

True story.

One morning recently, I was in a condition I can only describe as “bleary-eyed.” As in, I hadn’t rested well the night before, and I could barely hold my eyes open. My usual morning routine includes reading a few verses out of the Bible, and then having some prayer. But I knew that this morning, I was not going to get much out of a DIY study. Ever have one of those times, when you’re so tired (or distracted…) that you get to the end of a passage – whether in the Bible or a magazine article – and think, “What did I just read?”

Well, that’s where I found myself that morning.

I turned on my computer, and logged on to the Proverbs 31 Ministries website. I read the devotion for that day, but I didn’t think the verse applied to me. The title of the post was “The Unsaved Christian.”

Nope, doesn’t sound like me.

The verse was found in Isaiah 29:13, “The Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.’”

No, not me either.

I had to go into work early to set up for a meeting, and I was flipping stations on the radio and came across the now-deceased pastor of a very, very large congregation in our area. I stopped on the broadcast, and heard the SAME verse from Isaiah as I’d read earlier in the morning, but used in a different context. He coupled it with the passages out of Revelation about churches being lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – and a different word immediately sprang to mind.

Room temperature.

It’s basically the same thing, isn’t it? It isn’t hot. It isn’t cold. It’s just room temperature.

How does something get to that state we call “room temperature?” By adjusting to the environment around it.

You heard me.

That’s how we become room temperature in our relationship with God – lukewarm, if you will – by not affecting the environment around us, but by letting it affect us.

As I listened to that pastor that morning, his words rang in my ears.

“You don’t commit adultery, but you laugh at raunchy jokes.”

“You don’t tell big lies, but you tell little white lies like telling someone you can’t stand that you’re glad to see them.”


Lord, don’t let me become like that room temperature coffee in my cup this morning, that when I topped it off with hot liquid turned that into a tepid mess. Don’t let those “little things” that I think don’t mean much eat away at my passion for You, making me think that good enough is good enough.

Because it isn’t.

Not hot. Not cold. Just lukewarm.

Room temperature.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Life with [hogs]


(Technically, I guess these aren't hogs, are they? They're more along the line of "pigs." However, since my recent post was entitled "Life with dogs" I decided to continue the theme. Impressive, huh?)

(But I digress.)

So, what would you think if your mom sent you the following, cryptic text message one afternoon:

"Pigs are here. Call."

Wow. Um, yeah. Call, I did.

It seems that some of the livestock out back (which includes alpacas, a donkey, some goats, and who knows what else) were now, out front. In my mom's yard.

(My friend Jesse has instructed me to make a joke about Legion, but I'm not really sure how. So, I'm inserting it here.)

I told her (from experience, I knew this) that she needed to call the Sheriff's Department. There are no animal control laws in the unincorporated areas of the county, so the law couldn't do anything forceful - but they could help locate the owner. No one lives on that property - they only keep their animals there, and come through every couple of days to feed them and check on them.

Except, no one had apparently done that in a few days, because some neighbors told mom that they'd seen the pigs sauntering around the day before. That leads me to know two things:

1. Whoever is supposed to be taking care of those animals, probably isn't, and

2. We have lazy, lazy neighbors who apparently don't care that there are farm animals wandering around their homes, because NO ONE had called the authorities.


When I got home, no one in my neck of the woods had called either, so I took it upon myself to do so. I found two LARGE adults (one of them obviously nursing piglets) and five babies. They were tearing up my mother's yard, looking for acorns, and tormenting my poor dogs.

The dispatcher was asking me all sorts of questions, like "Who do they belong to? Who owns the property?" And so on, and so on...

Um, if I knew the answer to any of those questions, I would not be calling!

They sent a deputy out. He attempted to figure out who the land (and, by extension, the pigs) belonged to. In the end, he told my dad that he was free to shoot the swine if he felt the need to - the officer can't, because, again, NO animal control laws means he has NO authority.

My dad, just having had open heart surgery, was reluctant to shoot. Also, we pondered who would dispose of two huge adults and five babies once they were dispatched!

(Although, I'm sure Jason would not have minded setting up a spit and smoking a whole hog, in the yard, for Easter.)

I wish I had some grand, glorious ending to this saga. Really, I do. I'm assuming the owner was located, because I haven't seen anymore pre-bacon wandering around. I can only hope so - my three hunters haven't brought back any little piggies, unlike the dead possum they kept retrieving a few weeks ago.


Until I find out for sure, I'm keeping my eye out for any wayward, curly tails.

P.S. My mother (great caretaker that she is) allowed Anna Marie to get this close to those things with her video camera, but I haven't laid hold of any of her top secret swine footage.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Life with dogs


Not pictured: Lucky, The World's Most Patient Male

Life with dogs means... have an escort around your property, ready to protect you from the odd squirrel or snake... spend a small fortune in food, medicine, and vet bills every year, to make sure they're healthy... have an instant alarm system, ready to sound if something - be it animal, vegetable, or mineral - comes into their "personal space"... find them on warm, sunny afternoons, stretched out napping, but they snap to attention at the sound of your footsteps... can hear their tails beating rhythmically against the side of the house as they wait for you to emerge each morning... always have a buddy ready and waiting for a game of fetch... never know WHAT "present" will greet you on your doorstep when you get up in the morning...

...and, evidently, it means that, if an envelope with some cash in it happens to fly out of your purse on a windy day, one of them is going to make a meal out of a $20 bill and you'll never (want to) see it again.

These observations brought to you by Lucky, Delta, and Annie Turner.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The lies we're told

I find myself wondering sometimes, many times...

Does Satan lie to men, as much as he does women? Or are we just more gullible and buy into his deceit more easily?

I am constantly amazed when I hear what he's been telling us women, and at how much we'd rather believe that about ourselves than the truth. Although, I don't know why - it's not like I haven't fallen prey to it myself.

I worked a women's event once, and I was just appalled at what those precious women shared - not because it was scandalous, but because I was struck by the lies. Horrible, horrible lies about who we are, who we aren't and what other people are thinking about us.

All lies.

He tells us that we aren't good enough, that our efforts for ourselves, our families, and the Kingdom are never enough. He tells us that other people are judging us, talking about us, and keeping score of our every mistake.

Sometimes, they are. More often than not, they aren't

Relationships are broken, or never formed in the first place. Homes are hindered. Women never reach their full, God-given potential because we're so bogged down by the lies.

It's an amazing, empowering thing to watch the scales fall off. I know - it's happened to me, and I've seen it happen to others. I've seen the lies of the enemy be destroyed by the light of God's truth, and it's beautiful. It's freeing. When we throw off the shackles of defeat and despair that have been clamped down on us, we feel like we could run a marathon.

Ok, well, maybe a half-marathon. Or a 5K. Perhaps just once around our house.

Ladies (and men, if you're still reading this far) it's time for the lies to end. It's time to see ourselves as God created us, to confront the lies with the truth, and to stop living bound up by that voice whispering in our ear.

What lies will you stop believing today?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A person without self-control... like a city with broken-down walls. (Prov. 25:27-28)

It's our custom on Sunday afternoons during lunch to ask Anna Marie what she learned in Kids Church that morning. Sometimes, her memory is right on, and she can tell me the verse right off the bat.

Sometimes, we have to extrapolate what the lesson was about because all she can remember is the object lesson.

One Sunday a few months ago was one of those "steel trap" days. She quoted the verse with no problem.

"A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls."

Oooh. That's a good one. We talked about what the verse means: how that, just like a city (in Biblical times, at least) was left open to all sorts of calamities when its walls were in disrepair, so too we open ourselves up to problems when we don't exercise self-control.

No self-control in the eating department = bigger pants.

No self-control with our tongues = hurt feelings and misunderstandings.

No self-control with our finances = overspending, debt, and sometimes bankruptcy.

No self-control at school = lost recess.

She told me a few nights ago that this verse has really stuck with her, and that it helped her curb her unnecessary talking in the classroom.

I was thinking about this verse on the way to work this morning. I'd actually been thinking about it in relation to several things I'd been exposed to lately, and then I heard a news report about a woman who, as a child, developed a habit for eating foam from couch cushions.

Yes, you read that right. Couch cushions.

She has been eating foam daily for over 20 years, and recently had to be hospitalized because she had a grapefruit-sized blockage in her digestive track. Made of foam.

"A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls."

I see it nearly every day in the media - on the internet - and on Facebook.

Especially on Facebook.

If you are one of my Facebook friends, you might notice that I go several days at a time without updating my status. It isn't that I don't have anything to say - but I would rather not say anything at all, than to post something (just for the sake of posting) which could be misconstrued or hurt someone.

As Anna Marie's second grade teacher admonished, we need to ask ourselves three questions before we say (or write, or post to our Facebook wall) something: Is it true, is it kind, and is it necessary? If it fails any of these three tests, we might need to think twice.

"A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls."

How are your walls holding up today?

Friday, April 08, 2011

Kroger Shakedown?

shakedown graphic.indd

Sigh. Truthfully, I've been putting this off because I didn't feel I did as well at the store this week as I normally have. I was highly disappointed to find that I'd only saved 25%, not 50 or 60%, so I thought y'all would be disappointed in me.

Yeah, I'm waaaay too hard on myself.

This week's list didn't look really great, but I needed some things that there are no coupons for - milk, eggs, etc. I did find the rice I needed on sale, and had a coupon, even though it wasn't the lowest price I've ever paid for it.


I still think I did pretty well for my money, though:

1 dozen eggs
A pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 boxes of Success boil-in-bag rice
2 cans of black beans
2.13 lbs. of bananas (which are getting more expensive lately!!!!!)
1 gallon of skim milk
1 bottle of KC Masterpiece bbq sauce (for 19 cents!)
4 cans of tomato paste

Total after coupons/sales: $19.91
Total before coupons/sales: $27.17
Total savings: $6.26 (25%)

So, yeah. MEH. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Better luck next week.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Fun for Friday

Do you need a pick-me-up today? Does it seem like your last name is suddenly changed to "Murphey" because everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong?

Hmm? Or is that just me?

Well, have I got a deal for you:

Yeah, I posted this last year, right before the finale, but this morning driving to work I was flipping stations and heard the song. Now, I'm no Miley fan, but after watching this video about a bazillion and one times last May, THIS is what comes to mind whenever I hear the song.

Sigh. I miss this show something fierce. I'm thinking that the boxed set would be a GREAT present for my birthday this year, since I'm going to be halfway through my 30s, but since Jason never, ever reads this blog I guess I'll have to resort to other means of letting him know that.

Movin' my hips like yeah - whatever that means!