Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Embracing Easter

This Easter season has been difficult for me to embrace. I think it's because it seems so early in the year. I am realizing though that the celebration of Easter should be more important than the celebration of Christmas. I read a message board the other day and a woman was speaking of how the birth of Christ would not have brought salvation without His death. I never thought of it that way before.

I find there to be an assault on Christianity that is really disturbing. The world view is Christians should be perfect and if not, then you are without faith or you are a hypocrite. Truly that makes me want to stand up from the rooftops and proclaim that if we could be perfect, Christ wouldn't have had to die to begin with. Seriously, without His blood, my righteousness would be as filthy rags. I can't imagine trying to live by the Law. If you read the first 5 books of the Bible and see everything the law entails, could you do it? I dare say, nobody can, that's why they had to take sacrifices and offer a blood offering. The priests that went into the holy of holies to present the sacrifice had a rope tied around their leg in case they weren't in a holy enough state to be in the presence of God. Sin in the presence of God causes death and the priest might die and they would drag him out of the room by the rope on his leg. I find it amusing that so many people that proclaim to not need God or not believe in Him at all, can hold Christians to such an impossible standard while they feel they have no need for grace or forgiveness. I have to sit back and realize that I'm asking a wordly person to operate in a supernatural anointing that is not theirs. The eyes of their hearts have not been opened to receive and I have to understand that.

That said, there is a complete abuse of grace in many instances. Some Christians believe that grace gives them a license to sin, but that's not the case either. The blood of Christ, his death, and his resurrection should mean more than fire insurance. The gospel says we are to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice and that does indeed take some effort on our parts. We can't sit back and rest on our laurels and say, "that's ok, grace applies." The biggest area that I think that we lose ourselves in the area of love. We have so been trained to look out for ourselves that we become selfish and can treat others inappropriately, especially when it comes to our spouses. God called us to be set apart. He didn't call us to live like the world and rely on grace. So many women today want to be the "man" in the relationship and that sets our entire house out of order. It's part of the curse to be honest. God said that men would rule over us and we would fight against that. So, our part is to recognize it and let our husbands be the heads of our homes. We can't do that if we are not willing to give him grace. Believe me, this is something I am learning. We can't ask for grace and not give it to others. What is grace? I heard someone say a long time ago.... Grace is getting what you don't deserve and mercy is not getting what you do deserve. We need to live a life that is rich in mercy and grace because THAT my friends, is what the crusifiction of our Savior did for us.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Is it really never too late?

"It's never too late to be who you might have been."
George Eliot, author

"Yes there are two paths that you can go on, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on."
Led Zeppelin, rock group, "Stairway to Heaven."

"It's not too late, it's never too late."
Three Days Grace, rock group, "Never Too Late."

So maybe I don't have to be the same person I've always been. Maybe it's not too late to wake up and reverse course. Maybe I can be wild and crazy and turn my whole life upside down. Plenty of other people have done it, and the earth didn't spin off its axis. Maybe it's the impending arrival of spring, maybe I've had too much chocolate, or maybe people really can change -- whatever the cause, I have an overwhelming, all-consuming desire to be the complete opposite of who I've always been. To just play a little, try on different personas until I find one that fits. Maybe every decision doesn't have to be a matter of life and death, maybe it's okay to follow my whims instead of agonizing over what the "proper" thing to do is, or whether people will be shocked or disappointed in me if I start being myself for a change. Maybe there really is a light at the end of the tunnel, if only I can find the courage to follow it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Call Me Paranoid.....

...but they are all out to get me.

I know a conspiracy when I see one. Everywhere I turn, there they are, those evil tools of the Devil--grammatical errors. Why does no one know the difference between its / it’s, they’re / their, or who / whom? It may seem a petty thing to obsess over, but it’s an occupational hazard I can’t escape. I love writing and reading. I did want to be a reporter, after all, and after several years of spending my days worrying if I’ve punctuated properly or observed subject-verb agreement, I can’t seem to think of anything else. And they know that. How cruel, how low, to use my weakness against me like that!

It happens so often that I know it can’t be accidental. They’re trying to drive me insane. Why else would 95 percent of the population insist on committing every one of the Seven Deadly Grammatical Sins. (Actually, I think there are more like 100, but seven sounds better. Artistic license, and all that.) I can’t even read a book, my lifelong refuge, without being assaulted by typos of all shapes and sizes. Is nothing sacred anymore? Every page has at least one sentence missing an “a,” or a “the,” and there are so many misspellings I’m convinced monkeys must have written the damn thing. Wait...what I am thinking? Monkeys probably would do a better job.

But that’s not the worst offense. I am alarmed by another growing trend--the indiscriminate use of quotation marks. Quotation marks play an important role: they enclose (shock!) quotations. For example: “I love this woman!” shouted Tom Cruise, as he somersaulted across Oprah’s stage. They also identify titles: Vlad’s favorite poem is “The Raven,” by Edgar Allen Poe. However, an increasing number of people are using them just for the heck of it. For example: the take-out restaurant whose ad says “free” delivery, or the dry cleaner whose sign proclaims “lowest” prices in town. That doesn’t even make sense. What are they trying to say? It drives me crazy. But I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself. I should feel bad for the poor, overworked quotation mark. It must feel so cheap and unappreciated, to be thrown carelessly around like that. Have some respect, will you?

I’ve taken it for as long as I can. Disrespecting the English language that way--it’s sacrilege! I know you all think you’re so clever. Taunting me, planting your wicked little typos all over the place, where you know I’ll see them. Well, I’m pretty clever, too. You see, I know who you are, and I know how to find you. And, I have spies hidden all over the place--just when you least expect it, I will have my revenge. So the next time you see an innocent looking comma, think again. It may actually be one of my minions, lying in wait...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

What I Wish My Horoscope Would Say

“Congratulations! Today is the first day of the rest of your life! From now on, your life will be perfect. Your career will take off, and you will achieve the kind of success mere mortals can only dream about. You will be rich, famous and respected. You will be idolized and adored. You will enjoy perfect health the rest of your life, with not even so much as a sniffle. You will be blissfully happy, and accomplish great things. You will win a Pulitzer, an Oscar, a Tony and a Nobel Prize. You will unify quantum theory and general relativity to find that holy grail of physics--the Theory of Everything. You will explain how the universe works, and will uncover the true cause of all paranormal phenomena. You will cure the public of its obsession with Paris Hilton. You will finally settle the debate between creationism and evolution. You will develop a cure for every disease, and will unlock the key to immortality. You will uncover the true identity of Jack the Ripper, find out who killed the Black Dahlia and determine what really happened to Jimmy Hoffa. You will solve the Reimann Hypothesis. Along the way, your husband will discover his inner Prince Charming, and you will live happily ever after on your own private island. Oh yes, and you will also raise a family of child prodigies who will continue your work after you’re gone. You will determine which came first, the chicken or the egg. And, for your crowning achievement, you will invent a pair of shoes that are both attractive and comfortable. So breathe a sigh of relief, and face the future with a smile, because from this point on, everything will go your way!”

Thursday, March 6, 2008

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be..........

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be...

When I was a child, I had a terrible time deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up. Not because nothing interested me, but because everything did. How was I supposed to commit my entire life to one career when there were so many others that sounded just as appealing? What if I made the wrong decision? What if I spent my life trapped in a career I wasn’t destined for? This really worried me. I think that’s the real reason I wanted to become a journalist. One day I could be interviewing a psychologist, the next a medical researcher and the day after that, a forensic investigator. I would get to live vicariously through them, but I have none of their responsibility. But before I devoted myself to slackerdom, I had big dreams. Here are a few of them:

1. Astronaut
I really liked this one. It sounded exciting, but, alas, I’m afraid of the dark, and I’m rather fond of this gravity thing. So, back to the drawing board.

2. Astronomer
If I couldn’t fly to the stars, I figured I could at least I could look at them.

3. Actor
I was pretty determined about this one. I even sat in on a theatre class in college and did some community theatre, but I discovered that all of the other actors had egos the size of Jupiter and brains the size of a subatomic particle. And the directors were all crazy control freaks. Or maybe I just caught them all on a bad day.

4. FBI Agent
If only I could be like Mulder and Scully!

5. Archaeologist
What could be more fun than digging in the dirt all day?

6. Figure Skater
Unfortunately, I am totally uncoordinated and have no sense of balance.

7. Singer.
Now this one, I could see myself dedicating my life to. However, marriage and motherhood came early to me and I quickly had a shift in my priorities.


"People don’t choose their careers; they are engulfed by them."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I'm Out There Somewhere

I’ve looked under the rug. I’ve looked in the cabinets. I’ve even looked in the attic, but to no avail. No matter how hard I search, I just can’t find myself.
Other people are finding themselves. I see them on Oprah, I see them on Dr. Phil, I read about them in all those women’s magazines and self-help books. (Did I just admit to reading self-help books? Geez, I really need to learn how to have a private thought.) If they can do it, why can’t I? The new me, the true me, the authentic me...she’s out there somewhere and she’s all alone! There must be something I can do!

It’s the new year, and all around me people are setting out to find themselves. Surely there’s hope for me too. So starting today, I will leave no stone unturned in my quest to find myself. Meditation? I’m there! Aromatherapy? I’m all over it! Feng shui, hypnosis, health food, tai chi, religion, positive thinking, herbs, yoga, pilates, past life regression...I’ll try it all! Don’t worry, me, I’m coming! I’ll find you, wherever you are!

By the way, if any of you out there in Cyberspace happen to see the true me, will you tell her to get her lazy butt back here right now? We have work to do!

Easy Ways To Be Happy

In the monotony of daily life, chasing after happiness can seem like an endless, really big project. And sometimes, it is. But sometime...