Sunday, April 13, 2014

What is your greatest desire?

I admit. I do daydream in church. But, that’s also why I bring a spiritual notebook with me. If you’re curious, it’s teal and has little golden dragonflies on it. I am constantly writing things down as the sermon goes on. I draw, doodle, scribble down ideas, and yeah, that’s just how I process information – no matter who is speaking. So, today, I was incredibly inspired to write a blog loosely based on the sermon and somewhat based on ideas that have been floating around in my head. Here are a few things that I wrote down in church (which may or may not have been spoken in the sermon verbatim): Be part of something extraordinary. With God, comes hope. What are your priorities? What do you make time for? What is the primary thought in your mind on most days? What is your greatest desire? The last thought really struck me. What your greatest desire is right now, in any kind of earthly sense, will not necessarily be your desire tomorrow or in the future. I think about this often (oddly enough) whenever I am with my girls at Orange Leaf. You know? The yogurt place? I’ve noticed that a high percentage of the people who walk in to Orange Leaf are almost frowning. Not that it’s a bad place to be. It’s not! What’s striking about the frowning is that it’s a really, super awesome place to be, not to mention, tasty! What, What?! It’s not like going to get a flu shot or something. (It’s flippin’ yogurt!) At Orange Leaf, you get to put all kinds of neat-o toppings on the yogurt and mix and match flavors – whatever you desire in Yogurt Land. Yet, so many people that walk in have pained expressions on their faces. They grab a bowl and do the necessary evil…you know…“get yogurt.” Oh, gah! Sometimes, they don’t even talk to the people that they walked in with – weird – right? They sort of chow down in silence, stare into space or mess with their phones. So, here’s the thing about that scene. If your “greatest desire” is not spiritually based, I think that it would be like going to Orange Leaf. So, you’d walk into the “Greatest Desire Shop;” get what you desire most (with all the fixings) – and it could be anything – love, a relationship, marriage, children, money, a college education, a job or a better one, and the next thing you know, you’d want something else once you get it. Maybe not right away, but a few years down the road, your greatest desire would probably shift. So, what IS your greatest desire? What do you live for? What do you spend your days working toward - ultimately? Have you even thought about that? I think it’s a question worth pondering. After all, wouldn’t you want your greatest desire to be something that is worth your time? Many of us are guilty of packing our lives with so much “stuff” – activities, etc. All those expectations and all those obligations that are oftentimes, not even truly necessary. We pack our lives with them and our kids’ lives with them, and we’re constantly running around in circles – without even thinking about what we’re doing. (What are we doing?) So, be honest with yourself. What is your greatest desire? If you could have it, right now, would you ultimately be satisfied for the rest of your life? If your greatest desire is not in any way spiritually based, then it is not lasting. It will rust. It will fade. It will rot. All in time, it will become meaningless. Seek what’s true. Seek what’s lasting. Focus on what truly matters in eternity.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Musings from Being in my Car 8+ Hours!

Okay, I know this is random, but I had some thoughts to share from being in my car a lot today. Just things that flew through the old brain, for your complete amusement:

GRITS - I like that. I am a girl raised in the South, and I kinda like the sound of "GRITS." It's first off, pretty yummy as a dish, so that is a plus. It also sounds like: "Don't mess with this group of gals cause we are tough." (Gritting your teeth.) Which made me think of my grandpa and how he used to say that during the Depression, they ate Poke and Grit for dinner: "Poke your feet under the table and grit your teeth." All and all, GRITS resurfaced a few times on the road.

If Twitter has "Tweet-ups," then what does Facebook have? Face-offs? Face-to-Faces? Face in your Space? I mean, is there a term?

I saw a huge 18 wheeler with JESUS written as big as the surface on the trailer area. So, what was that 18 wheeler transporting? You have to wonder.

You know you have a great Dad if he makes a bunch of extra pancakes and freezes them for you.

You know you have a cool family, when everyone actually sings "Happy Birthday" to you on a voicemail...with one family member singing: "Happy Birthday to you, I live in a zoo. I live with four monkeys, and I might be one too." That is just awesome!

You cannot lose your spunk, no matter HOW bad your day is if you have an extremely high ponytail. Can't be done.

If you are working with a group of people, and suddenly everyone glazes over...order pizza. Works like a charm. I have seen the magic of hot pizza work many a time in my day.

You can really depend on the "kindness of strangers" sometimes. People are not all bad. You just have to really go with your gut here. Eyes are the windows to someone's soul. You have to search there first, and then, form your gut feeling.

If you are going to wear go-go boots most days, be prepared to ruin your tights. They get caught in the zipper a lot.

Oh, and if you listen to an 80s station long enough, you are going to hear that song "I want my MTV." It's the most dreadful thing when it comes on.

Finally, as I was driving home, I passed a sign that this church in Sulphur put up. I'll leave you with this: "You can't change the past, but don't ruin the present by worrying about the future." Sound advice.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Let Your Heart be Light!

This song lyric "let your heart be light" has been dancing in my head for a few days now, and I think it’s because it struck me this year as something more than just a line in “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” It’s a powerful line. It’s a visual line. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that we can rise above circumstances. Circumstances and all situations can seem so very permanent or immovable, and many times, they are. But having a joyful disposition should be the goal at all times because ultimately, that is how to keep hope alive.

There are great stories of people who have overcome tremendous adversity or survived life-threatening situations all based on willing themselves to remain positive. It’s a conscious choice to strive for joyfulness. It comes more naturally to some than others, but whenever the world seems to be heavy, better than worrying about it to bits, especially things that are not able to be controlled, allow some light into your heart.

Picture your heart as a place that can have light shining from it at all times, toward people you love and people you meet, yes, even that State Trooper who is stopping everyone who lives between Sulphur and Lake Charles and giving out tickets for Christmas! Anyway, I read a blog about this song, and what I liked about it was this thought: “We don’t sing because we are happy. We are happy because we sing.” So, let your heart be light and be filled with light, laughter, gratitude and song this holiday season and always.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Math…So, really, besides calculating a tip or a good deal, who needs it? I was thinking about this the other day. I was always decent at math, but I have to be honest, it’s not my “thing.” The idea of working with numbers all day long is…I’ll just leave it as..."unappealing." It's like the time I found myself with go-go boots and love beads in the Engineering Building at LSU, and a friend from one of my English classes (Jesse) asked in a hushed voice, "What are YOU doing here?" Yeah...I just needed to print something, but I felt like a total freak in that building.

OKAY, I get the need to 1. Add, 2. Subtract, 3. Multiply, and at times, 4. Divide, but for real, we DO have calculators. Does anyone in education realize this? I think it’s good to teach kids to do these things, but as adults, how many of us do multiplication tables with three digit numbers four layers thick? We break out the ol' calculator, but like I said, the Fab Four of numbers – I “get.”There are other aspects of math, however, that I don’t “get.” Take “F.O.I.L.” Remember this from algebra? “First, Outer, Inner, Last?” Whaaaaa? So, when does this scenario happen in real life?

Let's explore "F.O.I.L." (This is straight from a math website):"What if you have something like this: (4x + 6)(x + 2)? That's where we use the FOIL method. FOIL means first, outside, inside, last. That's not too hard to remember if you say it in your head a few times." am just trying to imagine this "F.O.I.L." thing occurring...Hmmmmm...I know! You’re walking down the aisle in the store, and you think: “Gee, I need to use the F.O.I.L. method?” Really? I am just asking. I have never had to use F.O.I.L. besides covering up leftovers with it - chicken and what-nots.

What about “imaginary numbers.” What IS that? The last test in college, I filled in “C” because it had an imaginary thingy-ma-jig stuck in there, and I thought: “Well, “C” looks good, and I’ll be done with math forever if I fill it in.” It must have worked because I scored an “A” that semester. The mystery remains for me that with an INFINITE amount of numbers that go on FOREVER, why do we need to “imagine” more?Or “matrix” problems. Remember? What the heck?

Check this website for a view of the torture we endured in high school:

This is pulled from the website above:Combining this formula with the above result, we get (0.6 0.3) (0.6 0.3) = (0.6 X 0.6 + 0.3 X 0.4 0.6 X 0.3 + 0.3 X 0.7)(0.4 0.7) (0.4 0.7) (0.4 X 0.6 + 0.7 X 0.4 0.4 X 0.3 + 0.7 X 0.7)

In other words, we have
(a b) (e f) = (ae + bg af + bh)(c d) (g h) (ce + dg cf + dh)

(OH, YEAH, THAT MAKES FREAKIN’ SENSE) To me, the “Matrix” has mainly resulted in a movie with MAJOR product placement for sunglasses. Also, it reminds me of a really confusing time in my life when after seeing the “Matrix,” someone asked me when I caught on that “Neo” was the “One.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said to rearrange the letters in his name, and I thought for a minute and said “Leni?” Yeah, the symbolism was lost on me because I thought they were calling him “Neil” the whole time. What the heck kind of name is “Neo?”

So…I just thought I would bring up some old school math for everyone. Feel free to comment on when this type of advanced math comes out in real life! I would be interested to know!PS - This is totally dedicated to my big brother!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

What Your Hair Says About You!

Have you ever gotten sappy and reminiscent one evening, and looking back over old yearbooks or pictures, realized that your quiet evening of going down memory lane turned into a nightmare – a real freak show? (Yeah, I am so glad that I was in elementary school during the 1980s). But, let’s pause in the 1980s before moving along with the more serious aspects of this post – like how your hair can impact your very life, presidential elections, etc., beyond mere fashion! Duh, dun, duuunn…

The 1980s Pause:

Take the banana clip. What the heck IS that thing? Did someone get really bored over breakfast and think –wow – this is the next big thing? I personally think that it’s a Mohawk for sissies. I mean; do you want to have a Mohawk or not? It’s just a trial run. Never understood that one…and when they malfunctioned…not a pretty sight.

Moving on to the crimper. So, if God wanted you to have a heart or star crimped in your hair, you would have been born with one – eh?

Bangs…yeah…guys don’t really get off the hook on this topic. La, la, la, we all know about the poor bridal portraits with the poof bangs (perhaps bedazzled banana clips), but, the guys…mullets, feathered & sprayed bangs? David Hasselhoff…

Oh, and a glance back tribute to the 1960s – gotta love the flip. Must have been such pressure to keep that major cowlick wave peppy all day in humid Louisiana…

Be c“hair”eful…When Your Hair Defines You:
Take Tina Turner, Elvis, Richard Simmons, Donald Trump, Conan O’Brien…their hair is almost as important as what they do. Would Richard’s jogging in place still have the same impact on camera without the rise and fall of his curls? What a branding crisis if Conan suddenly went bald?! Or, Donald Trump…oh, yeah, maybe he is already bald. That’s a great mystery. Point being, hair is a status symbol, and sometimes it takes over more than you know. So, if you have had the same haircut for over 10 years, you might fall into a category where your hair defines you - in part. No pun intended.

So, “The Part” – It’s Part in Your Life:
A hair part can decide things like presidential elections. Rumor has it that Gore should have parted his hair on the other side. Might have changed a vote or two.
So, the right part is feminine, and the left part is masculine. You have got to wonder about people who change their part midstream though. They might be screaming for an intervention of some sort.

The Freak Flag:
Crosby Stills Nash & Young sing about it. You know; how hair can be a “freak flag.” It’s a type of rebellion used mainly by adolescent males, musicians of any age, or just die hard hippies. It’s a statement – for what it’s worth. So, if you are flying a freak flag and are unaware, you might want to reevaluate. For some reason, it’s the opposite with women – the ones that shave their heads like SinĂ©ad O’Connor.

So, the next time you mousse up, squirt the gel, hot roll or tease the bangs – just think about how your hair might be saying more than you think!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


My best friend from college and I devised a “toothpaste theory” whenever it comes to relationships, and for the life of me, I can't remember how this evolved. I think that it was the brainchild of my best friend, and we most likely embellished it along the way. Anyway, it has been a mainstay touchstone for the success of relationships in our lives, so before you laugh at this, you might want to at least consider the sound scientific research that I am about to present. Oh, and I have written it in the sense of “girl meets boy” and then proceeds to psychoanalyze boy...based on his toothpaste. Make sense to you?

So, we've all been there. Giddy, in love, wondering if this is “the one.” Compatibility is huge, but instead of looking at obvious things to tell if it's golden, all you really have to do to see if there is a strong cosmic connection is tell your significant other that you need to powder your nose. Then, while you are in the bathroom, take a hard look at his toothpaste. There is much that you can glean from such a seemingly “innocent” tube of toothpaste, but it has evidence written all over it!

I am not talking “brands” as much as the actual state of the toothpaste tube itself, but perhaps more qualified Toothpaste Analysts might delve into more complicated theories like…Is whitening involved…vanity? Anything sparkly about the tube…girly? Is there something particularly patriotic about Aquafresh...might he join the army one day? Those sorts of deeper questions. Hmmm…

Keep in mind that there is no right answer here. Just FACTS. You have to decide for yourself if you are compatible or not. So, let’s get into the theory:

1. The Bunched Tube:
The toothpaste tube has one of those doodads on it that allows you to always have the paste bunched up near the top of the tube so that it is easy to get the perfect dollop onto your brush. You know; those plastic things that you slide up as you use the paste?

Psychological Implications:
Perfectionist who is not particularly spontaneous as a general rule. This person probably has a sock drawer organized by color; all his ties are hung neatly at all times; all his cups match in the cupboard; and he might even have potpourri out on the mantel. This person also probably has wreaths for every holiday ready to hang on the door, never misses anniversaries and is thoughtful.

2. The Evolving Squashed Tube:
It looks like the dude just grabbed the toothpaste in the middle and squeezed. If you date this person long enough, you might see the evolution of it being squeezed in the middle; some paste gets on the tube, but it always seems to get rolled at the bottom and wiped clean before there is a point of no return. Then, voila, the paste is bunched at the top once more.

Psychological Implications:
This person can be spontaneous and let loose every now and then, but he always goes back to what’s important in life. He is not so far out there that he'll forget to pay the car note or something basic like that.

3. Pump Tube:
This is a mystery, so you really have to look at things like…Is there toothpaste running down the cylinder? Is there goopy paste around the top of the pump so that you can barely squeeze it onto a brush?

Psychological Implications:
Look at theories 1 & 2 and try to apply them to this mysterious tube of toothpaste. Perhaps this person has heard of the toothpaste theory and does not want to incriminate himself in any way!

4. Missing Cap:
So, you go in the bathroom, and there is toothpaste all in the sink – dried, wet, or gelled beyond belief. You also see, sort of draped across a hairbrush, an almost empty tube with the life squeezed out of it, and absolutely no CAP…anywhere to be seen.

Psychological Implications:
Run for the hills! This person might not even brush his teeth for one. Eeewww! But, forget flowers on your birthday. Forget him remembering to take out the trash on trash day. He is probably the type to go out and buy underwear at Wal-Mart at midnight rather than do laundry. Or worse, turn them inside out instead!

So, I hope that this helps you in someway either pick the right significant other or…understand your significant other in a deeper way. This has, after all, been a deep, deep, deep, deep psychological journey into the unstudied sciences of “The Toothpaste Theory.”

I am not sure that we, as people, are programmed to not "long" for something. It seems so natural. The whole "grass is greener" bit. But, there is a fine line between setting goals for the future and truly longing for something that you do not currently have in your life. I was struck by this thought one evening in the middle of a conversation with a much older gentleman.

You see, that very same week, I was thinking about how nice it will be whenever my kids are grown and out of the house. (Cough) Yeah, so they are 2 and 8 months…not really happening tomorrow! This conversation really touched me because earlier that week, I had just dreamily mentioned to my husband (no less, after the millionth horrid diaper that I had changed that day), about how fun it will be for us to just go whenever – wherever – however and watch a sunset on the beach – something to that effect.

Well, back to the older gentleman. He said, "Wow, you had better really enjoy this time with your kids. It's a wonderful time. I just packed away our last son and sent him to college. It's so quiet in the house now." That got me thinking how much we (sometimes) long our lives away. It's pretty sad if you dwell on it, but that's why I am writing this entry. It's a way to say – let's not long our lives away – but truly savor every moment.

Here is how I think it breaks down (in most cases):

Baby – Longing to eat, sleep and have that disgusting diaper changed!

Toddler – Longing to communicate and, of course, be the boss.

Kid – Realizing (hopefully) that he/she is indeed not the boss. Longing to be a "cool" teenager instead.

Teenager – Longing for a license to drive, get out of high school and be "free."

College Student – Longing to get out of school and be "free."

Single/Working Person – Longing to get married.

Married Person – Longing for kids, and then the other kid, etc., perhaps a dog or cat!

Once you Have Kids – Longing for peace, sleep, relaxation, and for them to grow up a little and not be so darn needy.

Once your Kids aren't so Needy – What happened? Longing to connect with your kids.

Once your Kids are out of the House – Longing for a full house again. Noise, excitement.

Grandparent Stage – Longing for grandchildren.

Older People – Longing for retirement.

Retired People – Longing for company from friends and family, something useful and meaningful to do, or simply, the way things used to be in the world – the past.

So, instead of longing for things, why not savor what you have? After all, you spend "however" many years longing for it! Enjoy each stage, truly savor everything. Even if you are not destined for marriage or having children, there are other things that you can do that a married person with children might not be able to do as readily. So, it's all in the way that you look at things. The point is to not get stuck in doom and gloom and longing because it's not worth it. We are all on this planet for some reason, and so, embrace the time that you have, and try to make a difference without longing your life away!