Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Fashion Issues

I've learned that fashion designers have their heads up their butts. I went shopping in KC with a friend this weekend. We went to get Bible School supplies at this great store over there but she said we couldn't go to KC without going to Nordstrom's shoe department at Oak Park. Okay, twist my arm. We looked around at the clothes there and I was suprised to see all these empire waisted tops with full skirty things. The shirts mostly looked like maternity wear. On the flip side, I saw these pregnant women with tight stretchy shirts that proudly proclaim the baby bulge. It's like the world is turned upside down. When not pregnant clothes are loose and flowy with lots of room for a blossoming bump but pregnant clothes are shrinking so as to look like regular clothes stretched and pulled over said bump. What is up with that. Please don't think I am suggesting to pregnant women that they should wear clothing that hides the baby bump or is huge and flowy. Wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing. However, who wants to wear those empire wasted tops that are similar in cut to what my three year old wears. There is a difference between youthful and childish. Sheesh!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday Cleaning Curtains

I am not a religious cleaner but when I do my bi-annual window cleaning, I do the curtains too. I take them off the rod and run them through the dryer for 10-15 minutes with a Bounce dryer sheet. I have used the housebrand in a pinch but the more expensive kind really works better. I rehang the curtains while they are still warm from the dryer. They are dust and wrinkle free. I have mostly valances and toppers but my mom has rental houses and has used it with drapes and sheers. The tumbling heat gets out the dust and wrinkles and the dryer sheet gets the odors. With some of her houses, renters have violated the no smoking no pets policies, and unless the smell is really bad the Bounce takes care of it. My home doesn't have those odors, but the dryer sheet smells good and freshens up dusty window dressings. It works for me.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Isn't that the truth

Today's Family Circus is scarily true of our society.

The comic shows the mom showing Dolly a Crucifix, and the caption is "I like seeing Jesus in the manger better."

Don't we sometimes like the Christmas Jesus more than the Easter Jesus. We don't want to think about His sacrifice and pain on our behalf.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Three Year Old Logic

"JE put me in there, but she was wrong, I was right" --JO

"Why were you right?" Me

"Because she was wrong"--JO

That makes sense when you are three, I guess.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Testimony Tuesday

Jules at Everyday Mommy linked to this post encouraging all Christian bloggers to share their testimonies on their blogs. It hit me that this was a fabulous opportunity to share what I have been working through over the past year.

For years, I have been reluctant to share my testimony because I didn't feel I had a good one. I have heard all these really dramatic stories of people coming to faith out of some pretty awful circumstances. At church conference a few years ago, I went to a women's lunch and the speaker shared her testimony, the journey from lesbian college proffessor, whose area of study was women's literature, and queer writing, living with her partner in a very settled lifestyle, to Christian, pastor's wife, mother.

In the face of that I got to thinking about my testimony. Instead of intimidating me, as I expected it got me thinking about what my testimony might be. According to Miriam Webster online dictionary, a testimony is "a public profession of religious experience" So, with that in mind, I decided that everyone's testimony is worth listening to, because the are the public profession of what God has done in my life.

I was born in a Christian home, with a rich heritage of faith. I read in our family reunion book about my great great grandfather who settled in Kansas in the mid 19th century. "He was a devoted member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in early childhood. He was always in his place at church. He was noted for his integrity, honesty, and uprightness...much cash was entrusted to him." This was taken from his obituary. While faithful church membership isn't necessarily a sign of faith, the fruit of his faith is played out in the children, and grandchildren.

I don't remember a time when I didn't know that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and that I must commit myself to Him. I am still working through my ideas here, but I think that Christianity was presented not as something I should chose but as something that is just my life. I use a silly analogy, my parents never said, "If you go to college...", they always said, "When you go to college...". Even as a little girl I knew I would be going to college. I don't think I realized that I had an option, so by the time I did realize it, I didn't need to decide, I was going to college. I don't want anyone to think that my faith is as unthinking as my college attendance. It isn't. At some point, in middle school, it became more that what my parents passed on to me and it is wholy mine. I don't have a lightbulb moment which I can point to and say, "that is when I became a Christian". I remember one traumatic scene with my parents, when I threw myself on my bed, crying and wailing at the unfairness of life. I remember thinking no one loves me, but God niggled me, He loves me. I started to feel convicted about my earlier childish behavior, and wept my remorse, asking for His forgiveness, and "recommitting to Him". For me to recomitte to God, I believed that I had committed to Him previously. That happened before we moved to Topeka, so I had to be around 10 to 12.

I have always felt that my testimony isn't interesting enough to share. It is not a spectacular tale of radically changed heart. I believe now, that every testimony has merit, and that God works in each person. The blessing that I received from a godly heritage is as wonderful as the blessing a reformed crack abuser reaps. By the grace of God, I was spared that hellish existance. Exodus 20:4 says that God punishes to the 3rd and fourth generation of those who hate him, and shows love to a thousand generation who love Him and keep his commandments.

"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments."

I have never subscribed to the theory that every bad thing can be traced to a specific sin. However, bad things are a result of sin. Sometimes they are consequences. King David sinned with Bathsheba. In youth group we tallied up that of the 10 commandments, we could make a case for most of them being broken. God forgave David, even calling him, "a man after God's own heart"; yet David still faced consequences for his sin. The baby born of the adulterous affair died, and David's family was very dysfunctional. Sin has consequences that forgiveness may not wipe out.

Because of the heritage of faithfulness in my family, I was spared exposure to lifestyles that lead to painful consequences. God can use any testimony for His glory, even my undramatic one. So a testimony is the story of how God has worked and is working in your life. We should all be able to point to real ways in which God has worked and is working. For me, right now this post is an example; I want to share my faith, in a way that I wouldn't have felt comfortable about a couple years ago. I would have felt that I didn't have anything worth contributing, but as He has shown me, just because the work was less tangible, doesn't make it less real or less important. I didn't see Him working in my great grandfather's life, since he died before I was born. I can feel the effects, though in the options open to me and the choices I didn't have to face.