To all my Tumblr followers out there… I’m thinking about switching blog domains. I’ve set up a new blog on Wordpress and I’m trying it out. So for the next little while, I will be posting on Wordpress and not Tumblr. I might be back. I might not. Still undecided. In the meantime, my new blog address is vmatheny.wordpress.com. Come visit me. =)
I haven’t actually blogged anything in a while, other than book reviews and quotes. Nothing about the happenings of our life, nothing deep and thoughtful. Well, this isn’t necessarily one of those deep and thoughtful ones, but it’s just about life.
Today was one of those days. Work was crazy. I felt like everyone was out to see how if they could push my buttons and get a reaction out of me. Lucky for them, I don’t blow up easily. lol. And it was coming from all directions too. Dealing with lazy/obnoxious/unhelpful coworkers. And the customers. Oh my goodness the customers. Now, working in retail, you’re gonna work with some interesting (I’m being nice there) customers. It’s just the nature of the job. But it must be a full moon tonight b/c all of the crazies were out. Stubborn. Senile. Ignorant. Difficult. Just plain weird. It was enough to make anyone want to pull their hair out. There was one woman who was lucky that she was someone else’s customer instead of mine because I don’t know how I would’ve handled her. She came in to buy a range. Tried to pay for it with food stamps. Really?! So glad she wasn’t my customer. lol.
I was super busy all day. Usually we’re slow enough that I can spend a lot of time sitting at the desk fiddling with designs or whatever. Not today. I hardly sat, or even stood still for more than a few minutes. And then when it was finally time to leave, I walked by the exit doors to go into the breakroom. It was thundering and lightning but not raining yet. Good. I can make it to the car before the rain hits. Negative! By the time I walked into the breakroom and got my purse, the bottom dropped. Wonderful.
But there were a few good points in the day. Luckily, being busy means you’re actually selling some stuff. Today was my biggest day since I’ve been back in cabinets. And the sales were actually cabinets! That sounds funny, but usually when we have decent sales it’s because we’ve sold some appliances. I only sold one little dinky freezer in appliances.
Micah and Lauren came and ate lunch with me. Casey came by to visit. I got home and Micah had cleaned the whole house. He’s awesome. =) And tonight is game one of the NBA Finals. Lakers vs. Celtics. Hopefully the Celtics will win and give me another good point to my day.
The game has already started, so I’m going to wrap it up. Til next time!
Mystically Wired: Exploring New Realms in Prayer
By: Ken Wilson
Prayer has always been one of my weaknesses. For some reason it has always been difficult for me. I’m not sure why that is. I’ve never done a whole lot of study on it, and I don’t have near as much personal experience with it as I should.
Having said that, I wasn’t sure how much of this book to take seriously and how much to discard. That is something that I have had to be careful with with these books I’ve been reviewing. Thomas Nelson publishes a lot of religious/spiritual/Biblical titles. I had a teacher in college who had a good policy about reading books like this. “It’s like eating fish. You eat the meat, but spit out the bones.” I’ve had to be on my toes to be able to discern between the meat and the bones.
There were a lot of things in this book that I disagree with. Lots of talk about “charismatic” prayer and Christianity. Lots of talking about “spiritual experiences” in prayer. Jesus communicating directly with us through prayer.
But on the other hand, it wasn’t all bones. There was some meat in there as well. Wilson gave some good practical advice for getting into the habit of prayer. Some I had heard before, some I hadn’t And the ones I had heard before, he expounded on further than I had ever heard. Like finding a specific place to pray. He also talked a lot about meditating. I had never thought of meditating as more than just thinking about something. Wilson goes deeper into, giving suggestions of Scriptures to meditate on, and how to actually go about the act of meditating.
One of the ideas that I really liked was the concept of prayer intervals. Sometimes people talk like you’re only a good Christian if you spend at least an hour in prayer every day. For beginning pray-ers, that’s a pretty daunting task. Wilson instead proposes the idea of praying at set intervals throughout the day, for just a few minutes at a time.
Another thing I liked about the book was the fact that Wilson didn’t assume that just because you are a Christian that you automatically have a good prayer life, or even know how to pray. The few studies/lessons I have heard on prayer tend to assume that. He talks about how when you are first starting your prayer habits, your brain will offer some resistance. Just like it does when trying to develop any other habit. And that’s ok. Normal, even. That was encouraging to me. It helps to know that I’m not the only one who has ever felt like prayer was a chore, the only one who has had difficulty in developing an actual desire to pray.
Honestly, I probably wouldn’t recommend this book to just anyone. There were a lot of bones to spit out. A lot of tangents to weed through. Although, I would recommend the basic tips that he offered for beginning a prayer habit. I’m definitely planning on trying a few out myself. Maybe you’ll hear some more on that later. =)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This commercial came on last night before the game. I laughed really hard. Dwight Howard is my man. =)
The Heart Mender
by Andy Andrews
This book was nothing like anything I’ve ever read before. The format is very unique: almost like a fiction and a non-fiction rolled into one, but I’m not going to expound on that anymore, because I don’t want to ruin it for you. =)
The book begins in first person from the author’s point of view, which is a bit unorthodox for the type of book I was expecting to get. The author, at his home, finds a can buried in the sand. Inside are some buttons, a medal, a few pictures, and a few other similar odds and ends. He becomes enthralled with the origin of these artifacts and begins research. They were from the WWII era. And they belonged to a German. So how did they end up buried in the sand on an island off of Gulf Shores, Alabama? This is the answer that the author seeks out. He does research on the internet and talks to some people who have lived in the town for several years.
This first person narrative pretty much leaves you hanging. The author never discovers anything concrete. You then begin reading about a young German naval officer. The story goes on to tell you how he came to be in the Gulf of Mexico, and later in southern Alabama. The theme of the book is forgiveness. Forgiveness in situations where you aren’t sure you possess the strength to forgive. Forgiveness when it means letting go of the anger that has come to define you. Forgiveness of the person who represents everything that you are angry about. And that’s all I’m going to tell you. You’ll just have to read to find out more. =)
I really enjoyed this book. It was a pretty quick and easy read. Towards the end, I couldn’t put it down because I was so interested in finding out how it ended and whether the author had actually discovered the story behind the artifacts of if he had just created a fictional story from them. Either way, it’s a great story. I would definitely recommend it to anyone.
Happy Mother’s Day! Since I can’t be with either my mom or my mother-in-law today, I figured I would post something for both of them. =)
Growing up, I never really thought much about what my mother-in-law would be like. I guess most girls never do. They think more about the husband. Society has such a negative view of in-laws that it’s pretty discouraging to think about when you’re still unsure of what you’re gonna end up with. Now th at I am married and a lot of my friends are married, I have realized how amazingly blessed I am to have the in-laws that I have. I hear about friends whose in-laws have tried to talk their sons out of their engagements. I hear about girls who can hardly be in the same room w/their mother-in-law because they can’t get along. Of course, I joke that my relationship w/my in-laws is awesome b/c they live thousands of miles away. =) But in all truth, that really stinks. My mother-in-law is an amazing woman and I wish I could spend more time with her. She inspires me and makes me want to do so much more. I look up to her because she is doing what I will be doing one day, and she is so good at it.
Here are some quick memories of my mother-in-law and just a few things about her:
*She is an awesome person to go to for advice. She always has God’s will in mind, so you know what she tells you is based on His Word.
*She sometimes forgets what language she is speaking. There have been several occasions when we’ve been in Brazil that she has turned to me and said something in Portuguese and then walked away without realizing that I had no earthly idea what she said. It’s hilarious. Sometimes she does realize it and we just laugh about it.
*She is an awesome alto. And that is a challenge in Brazil b/c there is not 4-part harmony. =)
*She has always been very understanding when I’ve been to Brazil. She understands that it is all very different to me still and that it can be hard. Especially the first time I went.
*She is always looking out for her kids. Always.
Unfortunately I don’t have 3 years worth of memories with my mother-in-law. I have a month or so at a time, about once a year, year and a half. But I treasure the times that we do have together, and I look forward to many more. Love you Mom!
My mom. What to say about my mom…She’s one of my best friends. And I hate living so far away and not getting to spend time with her more often. When we do see each other, everyone else in the family tends to get a little annoyed b/c we are talking non-stop for at least the first few hours, catching up on everything that has been going on. My mom is a nut. She’s absolutely crazy. In a good way. We have so much fun together. All of my friends love my mom, which I know not a whole lot of people can say. Recently, my two best friends here in TN both told me separately “I really miss your mom. We should go visit soon.” Growing up, I never realized how hard Mom worked to keep the house clean and get us where we all needed to go. The house is always clean, although it’s never as clean as she would like it. She’s a bit OCD about it actually. lol =) Now that I’ve got my own place, which by the way is probably one-third the size of hers, I realize how much time she puts into it. During the summers, my mom (and dad too) always made sure I was as involved as I could possibly be in youth group events. Even if it meant having to cart me all over town, or all over the state for that matter. They always supported me when I played sports…or rather when I rode the bench while I watched the rest of my team play. During volleyball season, they would be at every game. All 60+ of them. My mom would go out in the drive way and practice with me.
Here are some specific memories I have of my mom:
*Mom used to let me sleep in bed with her when Daddy was at work. At least until I would start kicking. =)
*Once, at my 14th birthday party, she tackled my best guy-friend, who I happened to have a massive crush on. No, let me clarify: she BODY SLAMMED him. We were playing football in the front yard and the guys wanted to play tackle, but my parents said no….unless they could play too. Drew will never forget that birthday party. lol.
*On the same note, shortly after Micah and I started dating, we went home to visit for the weekend. There were several of us who went. I think it was for Big Spring Jam. I was sitting in the living room, and suddenly I hear yelling coming from the kitchen. I’m not sure what instigated it, but Mom had Micah in a headlock in the floor. We had only been dating for like, 6 months. I’m so lucky he didn’t run away screaming after that. lol. =)
*Mom (and Dad) were always involved with the youth group. They would chaperone camp and retreats. They would host devos. And when I was in middle and high school, I didn’t always consider it a good thing. Especially when I would go off to camp for a week and my 6-year-old sister would be there, still annoying the fire out of me. lol. But now I realized that it was a blessing. There are a lot of kids out there whose parents don’t even go to church, much less get involved.
*On these youth trips, my mom was often among the conspirators when pranks got pulled.
*When I was in college, Mom didn’t mind me bringing friends home for the weekend. Even when I brought them by the carload…3 carloads even. lol. She was fine w/me bringing one or two or three….and once I brought home 16. Mom cooked for everyone. Sat in the living room and played Mafia with us. Took us to Wings and a hockey game. I think there were 19 of us in the house total getting ready for church that Sunday morning. It was one of my favorite weekends ever. And if my mom wasn’t so cool, it wouldn’t have even happened. =)
I’d like to add some more, but this post is already getting pretty long, so I’ll wrap it up. So to both of my moms: I am so thankful for you. I wish we got to spend more time together b/c you’re an awesome example of a Christian woman for me to look up to. I love you so much!