Monday, February 23, 2009


My husband emailed me this today. It made me laugh really hard.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Seventeen Thank You Notes

It all started with this.

Go ahead and read it if you haven't already. I'll wait.

That post was important to me, because it was the first time I realized that I could actually diffuse my anger and hatred for something, even something as inconsequential as a piece of furniture, albeit momentarily, by writing a simple blog post. Afterward, I felt much better.

Like a healing had taken place.

So, it really began as an experiment in creative writing as therapy.

And what do you know? It worked.

Boy, howdy, did it work.

Well, a little over a year later, on a lark and a whim, I posted this. That directed you to this. You really do need to click on that link to see it.

BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT CURRENTLY SITS IN OUR LIVING ROOM!!! (In a soft, lovely, warm cappuccino hue.)

Although, you're probably not surprised, because you're probably one of the seventeen families/people represented who donated to the Buckland Family Couch Ministry.

"Thank you" doesn't even begin to appropriately express how we feel about this couch.

You should also read all 63 glowing reviews that this couch has received on Haverty's website to see that I am not exaggerating my deep and profound love for this couch. I LOVE this couch. It's perfect. It is truly the most wonderful, beautiful, comfortable, stylish, amazing couch I have ever seen or had the privilege of sitting on, let alone owning. It's the most grown-up, adult-looking piece of of furniture we currently own. It totally transforms our living room; it no longer looks like the dwelling place of a college student...or multiple toddlers. And not only is it remarkably stylish, it's comfy, too. In fact, Ren and I both fall into a deep, non-waking comas any time we lie down on the thing.

The funny thing about all this is that I had actually made peace with my current couch set-up. After I'd been whining to God a little while about desperately NEEDING a new couch, I felt like He'd given me an idea. We threw, literally threw, the split-wide-open section of the our old couch downstairs, and replaced it with a semi-stylish futon which had been sitting upstairs and was hardly being used. Somewhere down in the depths and recesses of my personality, I had gotten in touch with my Inner Thrifter. I restuffed the back cushions with the stuffing from the unused sections, so while it was incredibly lumpy and uncomfortable to sit on, hey, at least it looked better!

In all seriousness, what you don't know is that just the day before the couch arrived, I was crying out to God asking Him if He'd forgotten about us. I have been growing weary, feeling like my faith was on its last scrawny, little legs. I asked God for something big, something tangible, something I could see, to give me hope. God has been taking care of our needs. All our basic necessities are provided for, but there's very little at the end of the month with which to actually go out and enjoy. Something always has to get cut. We have food, clothing, and shelter, but the clothes are several years old, sometimes have holes, and the food is, at times, only slightly more than beans and rice.

There are days when I can push through all that, paste on a smile, pull myself up by the bootstraps, do all things through Christ who strengthens me, keep fighting the good fight, keep on keepin' on, or whatever positive thinking mantra one tells themselves to keep from going crazy.

Then there are days when you can see no end in sight. That's when it's almost too much to bear.

And that's when God sends angels in the form of family and friends to lift our loads, making the burdens seem not quite so unbelievably heavy. And the road not quite so lonely.

I want to share something with you that I wrote in July of last year, not to depress you, but, hopefully, to let you in on how long we've been struggling and what that's actually been like for me:

Father, will You, out of Your abundant resources, please provide us with a new couch? I would like a new couch and a new love seat. Or a new sectional. I'd take either option. Father, Your word says that You own the cattle on a thousand hills. Father, I don't own any cattle. All I'm asking for right now is a new couch. Will you please provide us with a new couch? Our current couch is literally falling apart. Every time I look at it, I want to cry.

Father, do You love us? Do You care about our wants? I know that You have given us all that we need. We have enough. But, God, what about our wants? Do you care for, provide for those as well? Father, I feel like I've been doing without quite a bit lately. More than I am used to, frankly. I guess I'm still rich compared to the majority of the world.

Father, am I supposed to boldly ask You for things? Or am I supposed to be content with what I have? Why do I feel so guilty for asking You for a couch? You can do that, can't You? Will you?

Father, my heart is growing bitter. I don't trust in Your goodness, mercy, or love right now. A decent father gives his children some nice gifts if he can afford them. Certainly you can.
Certainly He can. And certainly, He has. And certainly, He will.

I know it's just a couch. But to me, it's a symbol that God not only cares about our needs, but also our wants. Things you might be to embarrassed or feel to silly to say out loud. I have to believe that the God who created the universe, who created us, wants us to enjoy this life,and not just merely survive it or endure it.

Thank you, sweet friends and family, from the bottom of my heart, for reminding me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


It is unearned love--the love that goes before, that greets us on the way. It is the help you recieve when you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and desperate and have discovered that your best thinking and most charming charm have failed you. Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there.--Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

An Ode to Mayonnaise

It seems that this world is divided into two types of people: Those that eschew mayonnaise and those that can consume mass quantities of it single meals. There is no in-between. Either mayonnaise totally creeps you out, or it is one of your dearest, time-tested culinary companions. I find myself in the latter group. I love mayonnaise. So...there. It's out. I've said it.

I feel so much better now.

I have always been somewhat embarrassed by my passion for the stuff. It's definitely not the most glamorous, or um, health-conscious thing to eat. And it's impossible to look sophisticated whilst eating something gobbed with the white, greasy goo. When fellow mayonnaise junkies discover one another, there's an instant bond. An unspoken camaraderie. Together, we share in the fellowship of our mayonnaise-y sufferings. We've heard the comments. The jeers. Seen the peculiar looks as we smother our various food items with the thick, white, gooey condiment. I believe that mayonnaise lovers are really rebels at heart. We go on and eat our mayonnaise-laden victuals, raising our greasy fists in the air shouting, "To heck with my arteries!" And we stick together.

I remember one such instantaneous bond occurring a few years ago, when the mom's group I was a member of ventured out for a play date and lunch at the mall. We sat down to eat our Chick-Fil-A, and I found myself sitting across from a young mother and relatively new member of our church. As we pulled out our respective value meals and readied them for consumption, our eyes fell on each others' piles of mayonnaise adjacent to our waffle fries. We looked at our food. We looked at each other. And a profound mutual respect was earned that day.

If you've never tried mayo on your waffle fries, before you scoff, I double dog dare you to give it a try. No, I triple dog dare you. I don't find the obsessive compulsion to do this to any other pile of fries EXCEPT waffle fries. There's just something about the way the pockets (or holes) trap the extra mayo, making it extra mayo-licious. I've been ridiculed mercilessly for my waffle fry habit, even by so-called "friends" and family. People that simply do not understand the finer things in life. People with, I'm just going to go ahead and say it, underdeveloped and immature pallets.

I guess I feel this strongly about all condiments. My philosophy is, Why bother eating something if you can't smother it with something, rendering it completely unrecognizable??? To me, the food is just a medium for the sauce. I've been known to pour copious amounts of mayonnaise and other various sauces on my food at what some would deem "inconvenient" or "inappropriate" times. Whilst traveling at high velocities. Whilst wearing evening wear, etc.

I've been a mayonnaise fan ever since I was a kid. I used to eat mayonnaise sandwiches. It's not rocket science. There's no guess work. It's two pieces of bread with, you guessed it, nothing but mayonnaise. Oh sure, you can throw on a tomato or two if you want to get all gourmet-like. But for me, there was nothing finer, or simpler than a mayonnaise sandwich. Go ahead and make one. You know you want to. Any brand of mayo will do in pinch. And believe me, I've tried them all. But Hellmann's is the best, by far. There really is no substitute.

Not only am I a fan of mayonnaise itself, but I love all mayonnaise-based things. Potato salad. Chicken salad. Egg salad. Tuna salad. Dips made with mayonnaise. And a sandwich just isn't complete without a dollop (or two...or three...or four) of mayonnaise. And I recently stumbled across this ingenious invention. Are you even kidding me??? That's like combining Heaven with even more Heaven. Double Heaven. In a jar, no less. I might never leave the house.

So, tell me. Are you a mayo slut or a mayo prude? Go on. Hit me with it.