Friday
Jul182008

mickey mouse pancakes

My grandpa liked to claim he was a Cubs fan. I'm pretty sure he started following them only when he realized it would cause a reaction out of me and my sister. In the summertime, I would walk into my grandparents' house, and the first words out of his mouth were, "How about them Cubs?" followed by an uncontainable laughter. I must have explained to him 100+ times that the Cubs were the #1 enemy of my beloved Cardinals while he just smiled.

Sometimes, he would even have the game on their enormous big screen TV in the living room. Every few years, my grandparents would save up their money and combine their funds to buy a new TV for a Christmas or Anniversary. And every year, it was bigger than the previous TV by at least a foot. I would always ask him the score of the game, and he would give me some ridiculous answer; which proved to me that he hadn't actually been watching the game, but only flipped over from his usual programming of Family Matters (he loved Steve Urkel), Jeopardy (where he provided an answer to EVERY question, even though he rarely got any right), or some cheaply produced movie on the Sci-Fi channel.

Of course, grandpa had "his chair" in the living room to watch TV in. It's actually where I picture him the most, I suppose because I loved crawling into his lap when I was younger. As I got older, I would sit next to him and play cards; Kings in the Corner was our game, and my grandpa usually let me win. It's also from this chair that my grandpa stated his famous lines, attempting to give me advice on life. Whenever I was hungry, he would simply say, "There's some sardines in the fridge that'll make hair grow on your chest." If Jenna and I sang along to a TV commercial, he'd respond with, "What did you do with the money your mom gave you for singing lessons?" And anytime I would tell him about a boy I liked, he would ask, "Is that the boy with one ear longer than the other?"

I suppose now is the time to tell you that my grandpa was not REALLY my grandpa, although he's the closest thing to a grandpa I've ever known. A few weeks after I was born, a couple named Tom and Fran Morgan started watching me in their home while my parents were at work. Because they watched their grandchildren as well, I grew up calling them "grandpa" and "grandma", and never thought of them as anything different. When I finally realized they weren't my actual grandparents, they didn't allow me to call them anything different. My grandpa would introduce me as his granddaughter, followed by a "Doesn't she look so much like me?" People would agree, and we would laugh, knowing that we didn't share a gene pool.

There was never a day that I didn't know that my grandpa loved me and was proud of me. He told the stories of changing my diapers as if it was an honor. On my birthdays, he always called the local country radio station (which I NEVER listened to, but he never remembered that) and had the DJ that day make a special announcement. In the mornings when I'd arrive at their house before school, my grandpa would always put a little bit of his aftershave on me because I wanted to remember what he smelled like throughout the day.

Each year, my school would have a pancake breakfast to raise money for a cause I currently can't remember, and every year my grandpa would cook for it. I remember standing in line, waiting impatiently to get up to the window...because I wouldn't be handed a regular pancake like all the other kids. As soon as he saw his granddaughter, my grandpa would pour the batter into three circles on the grill and wait until they joined together to make the perfect mickey mouse pancake.

I will always love mickey mouse pancakes.

Tom Morgan
April 3, 1937--December 19, 2007

Sunday
Jun222008

blast from the past

OK friends...I'm not too sure who reads this blog, so consider yourself fortunate that I am actually sharing this information:) For those of you who have only known me for a year and a half (everyone in Louisville), this may be more humorous. But for all of you, it's a lesson learned on how NOT to document your life online so you won't be completely embarrassed when you find your online journal a few years later. 

 

This was a website I created when I was a senior in high school and carried it through my sophomore year in college. I'm still actually rather impressed with my basic knowledge of HTML (the pictures and links pages don't work anymore, and i never actually finished the site...oh well). I was OBSESSED with Switchfoot, so everything is based around lyrics to their songs. My online journal contains some, uh...interesting things! Let's just say I was definitely boy crazy, a little too postmodern, and probably the most random person you'd ever met.

 

This one's a little less embarrassing...it's my journal from when I lived in AZ, for the most part. After skimming both of these sites, I've come to the realization that I've grown up a lot.

 

 

Thursday
Jun192008

influential?

A couple of weeks ago, I had one of those Sundays where I really didn't feel like going to church. If it wasn't for my good friend Renee, I probably wouldn't have...but because I have a hard time saying no to anything, I went with her. The weekend's sermon was on parenting young children, and since I have no children, I assumed that it wouldn't apply to me. Usually, I'm the one who tries to convince people that everything can be applicable, but even I couldn't convince myself that listening to this sermon would be more beneficial than a few extra hours of sleep.


We've all been there...and we've all been proven wrong when we walk away from the very thing we didn't want to do with a new perspective on what it means to be a follower of Christ. This was no exception. I walked away after listening to a message on raising Godly kids with so many questions:
--How do I attempt to influence people?
--Does my influence bring fame to Christ?
--Am I motivated to be an influential leader because of the glory God receives?
--How do I measure my success as an influential leader?
As I started to evaluate my honest answers to these questions, I realized that many of them were rooted in pride.

There were 2 lies that I could immediately identify that I had bought into. First was the lie that doing all of the right actions would make people look up to me. Maybe you're like me...you realize this isn't the truth, but for some reason, you keep attempting to make it work by getting involved in all the "right" things, mostly because of obligation. The problem with this approach is that it isn't focused on transformation...it's just an attempt to get as many people to live their life the way you live yours because you have things, for the most part, together.

The second lie is closely tied with something I love, and that is language. Perfectly crafted sentences are beautiful to me. But sometimes, this strength of mine can become a stumbling block. It's like trying to discover which key on the ring will unlock the door you are standing in front of. If I explain myself perfectly, and it doesn't automatically result in the response I had hoped for, I will try again...and again...and again. And the problem with this is that I give MY words too much power and focus very little on letting the Spirit speak through me.

Both of these lies are rooted in pride; in the fact that at the end of the day, I evaluate my success as a leader on whether a person did what I wanted them to or not. But the work of advancing the Kingdom is about denying yourself. It's about being humble and not demanding attention or praise, but pointing all things back to the Creator. To be influential, as a Christian, is to walk closely with God. It's to boldly speak of what He has done, and what He continues to do in your life. It's to study His Word and let His wisdom flow from your lips. It's living with joy in all circumstances and speaking the truth in love and reconciling relationships and following through with commitments.

At the end of the day, these things are far simpler than trying to manipulate an image of yourself that has the appearance of perfection. Humility is far more attractive to those God has given you the honor of leading.

 

Saturday
Jun072008

anger, facebook, and Ephesians 3:20-21

    This summer, my discipleship group is going through The Truth Project. Pretty intense stuff...and I'll be sure to write all about what I'm learning this time through. But a couple of weeks ago, we took a break from the in-depth worldview study, and watched Rob Bell's "Store" Nooma. It's one of my favorites.


    In the lesson, Rob Bell talks about what it means to have a holy anger. Our anger is usually rooted in selfishness, therefore manifesting itself in unhealthy and sinful ways. But there are things worth getting angry about. Often times, we are encouraged to label what we enjoy in order to direct us towards some sort of purpose in the future. But it is also a valid question to examine what makes us angry in the world...

    There are many things worth fighting for that are part of a larger cause. In my own life, that which makes me angry directly correlates with an experience I've had where God has allowed me to see something outside of myself. 

    I'm angry about the lack of hope there is for the poor after witnessing life on the reservation, where people seemed to be trapped in a life of fear and despair since they have no resources to help them out of their current situation. 

    I'm angry about the genocide that is happening in our country and the injustice against those who have not yet been born ever since the first conversation I had with someone on a college campus after being trained with Justice for All.

    I'm angry about the fact that every night when I go to bed, Milton (my Compassion child in Kenya) has to wake up in  a world where his family is dying from AIDS.

    I want to be a part of bringing the peace of God to each one of these situations. But there's something else that has been currently making me mad. And this is in no way on the same scale as any of the other things I've listed above. But there's still something I can do about it. 

    Poor communication makes me angry. One place that I particularly see this is online. My heart breaks for people who are more transparent and vulnerable on their facebook page than they are in a one-on-one conversation with someone. It hurts me to see people seek gratification and approval in the form of facebook comments.

    It's easy for me to get a negative attitude about this. So instead of letting my anger manifest into complaining, God has challenged me to think about the ways I can be a part of His redeeming work in our culture. I've made it my goal to pray through all of my facebook friends. 

    I'm excited for the story from an old friend about how God is working in their life. I'm excited for the acquaintance that I'll get to know better through this. I'm excited to see the power found in the name of the Lord impact a life that needs encouragement. I'm also excited to see how I change as I learn more and more what it means to celebrate the discipline of prayer for those I am called to love.

    "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen!"

 

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