Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wonderful and Tasteful Book

This isn't the typical book that I write about... no thought-provoking words of wisdom. Well, maybe some. :)

For Christmas, I received this gift as a stocking stuffer from my sister-in-law. I did not take offense because of it's contents, and in fact, I am obsessed with this book. I highly recommend it!

It's called "Eat This, Not That" and was featured on an episode of The Biggest Loser. It highlights simple food "swaps" that can save you calories... and therefore pounds! I like it because it's not always the obvious "Eat grilled chicken, not pepperoni pizza." Some of them are a little surprising. For instance, it is better to have a 2-scoop Hot Fudge Sundae from Baskin Robbins, than 2 scoops French Vanilla and Peanut Butter on a sugar cone. (See, that's what I call a good swap!) The book contains the obvious categorizies: Restaurant, (the only restuarant that received an A+ is Chick-Fil-A, my favorite!), Best Foods, Worst Foods, Etc. But it has some fun, and surprising categories: The best and worst Salad Dressings, Cheeses, Breads, Beers, Crackers, Soups, Frozen Treats, Etc.

I like the shock factors: Did you know that "espresso has 35% less caffeine than a cup of brewed coffee." or that a "Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll has 813 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 117 grams of carbs"!!!!! I thought I loved those!!!

Anyway, it's an easy-to-read, and fun book. I'm a visual person, so when I'm walking through the grocery store, I mentally picture some foods on the right hand page of the book, and I automatically know, it's a "not that" item!!

I highly recommend that y'all pick it up!!

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Thought of the Day

I was listening to the Word 100.7 the other day. It’s a Christian, talk radio station and for the most part, I like it. It’s actually pretty controversial at times, and not your typical, extremely conservative station – which is probably why I enjoy it. You get the occasional person who calls in with their ultra-conservative view and sometimes there is an on-air fight.

Anyway, I was listening to it over the weekend, and even though I didn’t hear the preacher’s name, I did hear a little nugget that he threw out: “Compassion is kindness in Action.” Many of us have kindness in our hearts, but do we show compassion? He spoke about how we often “feel sorry” for someone, but rarely do anything about it. We see the little starving kids on tv and “feel sorry” enough for them that we usually change the channel to avoid taking action. We see a homeless person on the street and might “feel sorry” for them for a little while, but I’m willing to admit that my typical reaction is to reach down and make sure my door is locked, and then quickly pick up my phone to pretend I’m talking to someone so that I don’t have to make eye contact with them. Yes, I agree, that it may not always be safe to just roll down your window and give a desperate stranger money. But, do we can still do something. We can earnestly pray for their souls… that they would come in to relationship with Jesus Christ. That God would send someone along their path who isn’t scared to give them money, help them out, or show compassion by hugging and helping them. I’m as guilty as anyone.

Sometimes, we can’t physically do anything, but we can always do something… even if it’s little. And most importantly, even if it’s prayer.

Here's a great link I found to a word on Compassion.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

An Easy Read

This isn't my typical, long, heart-felt post. It's quite the opposite - I'm just sharing a little decorating idea that I stole from the Ritz-Carlton foyer while my husband and I were there for a Christmas Party. :)

Quick story though - This is the first year we haven't had a Christmas tree. I'm actually ok with it. We don't have alot of room for a tree, and honestly, I didn't want the mess. Plus, the money I would have spent on a tree, I instead spent on decorations. (So, next year, when I have a house, I will have the best of both worlds, a tree and great decorations.)

So - this is what I saw at the Ritz... and I thought it was such a cute idea. I wish I would have taken a pic of the whole table, because it was FULL of vases of different sizes.

So, this is what I came up with to put on my table. (Oddly enough, the marble on my table is almost exactly like the marble on their table). Next year, I would like to add more vases and sizes to the collection.

(Vases and fake flowers from Hobby Lobby for under $15 total. Most of the Christmas bulbs are from last year's tree.)

Not as fancy - and not real flowers, but I think when I add more to the collection, it will look really cool.
Can't wait for next year!!!!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Walking in Obedience

So, I’ve decided that I need to walk in obedience more than I do. How often is someone else waiting on the other end of my decision to be obedient to God?

Last Friday was my husband’s work Christmas party – usually an exciting event, but since I was out of town for 2 weeks, and so sick that I couldn’t talk, I didn’t have a chance to go dress shopping until the night before the party. So, my shopping on Thursday turned out typical… nothing fit. Ok, well, actually they did fit, they just wouldn’t zip over particular assets (if you know what I mean.) Stuff like this is always so frustrating for me. So, on Friday, I decided to leave work a little early and try again. The party was 2 hours away – I was a little stressed. So, I attempt the Galleria – several stores; Banana Republic, Betsey Johnson, Katie (Kate?) Miller, Macy’s, the list goes on. No luck. I finally ran over to Terri Costa. They had lots of really cute dresses. They are pretty fancy though; wedding dresses, prom dresses, pageant dresses, but they also had some very cute, inexpensive dresses too. But still, no stinking luck.

In a last-ditch effort, I run over to a store that I have seen a few times, but never actually been in: Whatchamacalit Fashions. Weird name, but great store. I walked in and prayed that God would help me find a dress and that he would give me favor in that place. (Hey, God cares about the little things too.) Again, I found fancy dresses, but this time, very few of them were actually in my price range. (I mean, this is a one-night event, and even though it was at the Ritz-Carlton, I wasn’t planning on wearing this dress again). So, I’m in the back of the shop looking at the clearance dresses and I only find TWO in my price-range. Seriously? They had a $99 rack and there were 2 in my size – and guess what? They did NOT fit!!! By this time it is almost 5:30 (and we are leaving for the party at 7:00). I kept looking at my staticky hair sticking up in the mirror and I realize that I still had so much to do to get ready and I still didn’t have a dress. On top of that, I had been dealing with a major sinus infection and my voice was gone. The sweet little lady helping me saw me finally give up and I started walking out the front door. I heard her say something to the owner of the store, and she yelled for me to come back. The owner said, “Honey, your party is in an hour – we have to find you a dress!” With as much voice as I could muster up, I politely told her that I would just wear my dress from last year. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. So then I politely told her that I didn’t plan on spending much on a dress and that I was really fine wearing my dress from last year. She told me to come back in and she would “work with me” on the price. (I’m in sales, I know what “work with me” means.) I was a little disgruntled and panicked and impatient, but for some reason I agreed. I went in to the dressing room and the owner and associate proceede to start throwing me every dress in my size. I still had a hard time fitting some things in, but as I’m putting them on, I realize that the price tags say $300, $400, $500. I was thinking “NO WAY!” to myself. I finally opened the door with this amazing, long black dress on, that fit so perfectly (and it was long enough to wear heals with!) and it was so great for a fancy Christmas party. The owner of the store and sales associate loved it. I loved it too, but knew the price was too much. She said she would give me 50% off. Nice offer, but still not spending $150 on a dress. I told her my budget was more like $100 max and again, started to politely tell her that I was fine with wearing last year’s Christmas dress. She looked at me and said, “Ok. You can have it for $100.” I was like “What!?” No way. I felt so guilty and I almost didn’t want to accept it, but then she said, “You be blessed and you take it for $100.” I started crying. I looked at her and told her that she was obeying the Holy Spirit because I had prayed for favor in that place.” She grabbed my hand, and obviously knew exactly what I meant by my statement because while she was walking me to the register (squeezing me tight), she prayed over me! She prayed peace and joy over me and asked God to heal my sickness! She gave me a big hug and told me that she loved me and that God was watching out for me because I had asked for His favor.

It was so amazing. God knew my spirit needed lifted (and I needed a dress), and he provided for both. But, this lady’s obedience reminded me that so often, I ignore the Holy Spirit’s prompting. Sometimes I just think that it’s my own flesh thinking it and not Christ. But so what?! What’s the downside of blessing someone whether or not it’s really from God!? The end result is that they still get blessed.

Anyway, I wanted to share that story – not so that you will go to Whatchamacalit and try to cheat the owner out of money, but to tell you that the owner (and the associate who was saying “Yes, Jesus” all the way to the register), are amazing women of God and they deserve your business for your next event. Also, to remind you that God desires to bless His children and pour out His favor on our lives. I don’t deserve any good thing, but God still wants to give them to me. How amazing.

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