Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Fridge Chronicles

We're one week into our crusade for a better tomorrow...namely the fridge clean-up effort. You can see for yourself how things went.

Those vegetables on the top shelf are literally sitting in a pool of sludge. The jug of iced "tea" has been there for weeks. The milk was never even opened and is now well past its due date. I expect a live birth any day. Tune in next week for an update of The Fridge Chronicles...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kindly - adj: of an agreeable or beneficial nature

Last week I received a delivery of a beautiful arrangement of flowers. They came as thanks for a service I provided to someone. They were unexpected and are sitting on my desk now, brightening my workspace and reminding me of someone's thoughtfulness and gratitude.

A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine bought a beautiful centerpiece for me at a charity event. He gave them to me, not because he's trying to woo me or had some sort of motive...but simply because he wanted to give me something I would enjoy.

I've been reflecting on kindnesses done for me. One that comes to mind over and over is the time I was at a family's home for a church event with some junior high kids. At the end of the evening, I went out to my car and drove home. It wasn't until the next day that I realized my car was quite a bit more shiny and clean than I remembered it being the day before. Turns out, the dad at the house I was visiting washed my car while it sat on his driveway. He did it simply because he wanted to and because it was a way of doing something kind and thoughtful for me. That was several years ago. I still remember it as being one of the nicest things someone has done for me.

So I'm thinking this week about what kinds of nice things I could do for others. I encourage you to do the same. Something as simple as washing someone's car could make a memory that stays with them for years to come.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Things You Should Know

There are certain things you should know if you're over the age of...oh let's say 20...just to be lenient.

Here are some of those things, in no particular order.

Eke and eek are two different words with different meanings. They are not interchangeable.

Same rule applies to loose and lose. Please. Just...don't.

Know the correct saying or colloquialism before you quote it. No, it is not a doggy dog world. Nor are the ideas of March upon you.

If your last name ends with an 's' please know the rules for making it plural and/or possessive. Yes, the Jones family can come to dinner. No, we won't be having dinner at the Jones's. We might water the Joneses' plants. Mr. Jones' bunny is adorable. And you can keep up with the Joneses if you like.

There will be a pop quiz.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Office (Refrigerator)

This is what it looks like. On a good day. Maybe I should start blogging about the life of the office fridge. At least our public radio credentials are mostly intact -- there's soy milk, lots of yogurt (though not much of it is organic), groceries from Whole Foods and Vietnamese take-out. Basically our fridge screams "Hipsters work here. Lazy ones."

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Things I should probably not say to boys...

"If you go to this event with me, you have to make out with me afterward."

I'm sure he knew I was joking. I mean clearly it's a joke. No one would take me seriously. Right?
I guess I'll find out...

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Fear of commitment?

Sunday at church I was sitting in an aisle among several friends. A guy I know asked if he could sit next to me and I told him that was fine. He then proceeded to sit down one seat away, leaving a space between us. I gave him a funny look and said "Um, so you don't want to sit next to me?"

He got a puppy dog look on his face and replied "I don't want to fall in love."

Monday, September 06, 2010

Being Beautiful

As long as I can remember, I have hated my body. I hit puberty relatively early in life, around the age of 10. I also began gaining weight around the same time...and have never remembered a time since then when I didn't feel fat, ugly or undesirable.

Yes, I know I'm sharing a lot. You don't have to keep reading if it makes you uncomfortable.

My lifelong battle with my weight has shaped nearly every thought I have about my personal appearance.

"I am ugly," I tell myself. Oh sure, I have pretty green eyes and quite nice lips and killer eyelashes. But, in my mind, my fat body negates all those. It doesn't matter how nice my face is, if my body looks the way it does with all its jiggles and stretch marks and flab.

"No one could love this," I think critically, as I stare at myself in the mirror. "Who would choose me, when there are so many beautiful women out there?"

And, unfortunately, my life experience reinforces that thought. The one serious relationship I've had ended when the guy cheated on me and left me for a much younger, much thinner, much more physically beautiful girl.

So to fight those fears, I remind myself that the Lord doesn't see as men see, for men look on the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. But even then, I end up in the spiral of self-hatred.

"Why, Lord? Why did you make men that way...so focused on physical appearance?" I plead. "You could have made them to look at who a person is, rather than how a person looks!"

Then the Lord gently reminds me that I am doing the very same thing that I accuse men of doing: I am more concerned with my body than I am with the state of my heart. I worry more about looking beautiful than about being beautiful. I think more about having a lovely body than about having a lovely character.

So I work to refocus my heart and energy on what really matters. And I try to remember that beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
This is true. But every woman wants to be beautiful.

Earlier this year, a man who I respect and admire very much looked me in the eye and said "I want you to know that you are beautiful." It was the only time I've ever heard a man say those words to me. And it was the only time I can remember believing that it might be true.

As much as I treasure that moment, that one experience only takes me so far in my effort to overcome nearly 20 years of thinking negatively about myself.

Then last week I stumbled across something called the Beautiful Women Project. It's an art exhibit depicting the torsos of 120 women between the ages of 19 and 91. As I looked at the images of real women, I was struck by how few of them look anything like what we see on TV or in magazines. In fact, most of them look the opposite. But...they are beautiful.

They aren't perfect. They aren't ideal. But they are beautiful. They are fat. They are flabby. Some have breasts that sag. Some have no breasts at all. But they are beautiful.

They look like me.
And if that's the case, then I must be beautiful too.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Try Coloring OUTSIDE the Lines

Yesterday I went into the staff kitchen to warm up my frozen meal for lunch. One of my coworkers was already using the microwave, heating up her own lean cuisine. I patiently waited, and chatted, as her food cooked. When it was done, she made no move to take it out of the microwave. So I politely asked "Is that yours? Is it done?"

"Yes, it's finished," she replied. "But the box says it needs to sit in the microwave for one to two minutes before you remove it. So you'll have to wait another minute or so."


Another coworker happened to overhear this exchange and kindly came to my aid by gently saying "you know, it's ok to just let it sit on the counter for a minute. It doesn't have to sit inside the microwave."

Coworker Number 1 coolly ignored that hint and repeated firmly "wait another minute and then I'll take it out."

If I were a different kind of person, I would have pulled her lean cuisine out of the microwave and plopped it on the counter. But I'm not that kind of person. So I sat there and waited to warm up my lunch until she deemed that it had been "resting" long enough and freed up the microwave for public use.

I love my job.