Friday, January 29, 2010

If I only had a week to live.... (CONT'D)

A few weeks ago I was presented with a question, "IF you only had ONE week to live, What would you do?" I would still have to keep my job, so that rules out A LOT. Over the past few weeks, I have really been thinking about what I would want to do before I die. I already have a list of things I would like to do, but that could not be accomplished in one week.
So after thinking about this question extensively, I am coming to the conclusion that I would do exactly what I am doing right now. I would spend time with friends and family. I would honor my commitments that I had made. I would marvel at God's Creation every morning and every night.
I was listening to a sermon the other day and the pastor said "You will never be COMPLETELY satisfied on earth, because you are not in heaven with your Father. You can be happy, you can do things you enjoy, but you will never COMPLETELY be satisfied. Only God and spending eternity with Him can satisfy you."
PRAISE GOD. Ultimately, my goal on earth should be/is to live for Christ, further His Kingdom, and show His love to other people.
This earth, this story, this life is all about Christ...NOT ME.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Love and Aid

The Channel, the music venue where Jennie and I volunteer, is holding a benefit concert for Haiti this Thursday night. Come out, enjoy some great music and support those who need it most right now. 100% of the proceeds from concert and merch sales will go to help. This is going to be an amazing night - don't miss it! I took the rest of the copy off of the Rice Bowls web site. Rice Bowls is an incredible organization - please check out their web site to learn more.

Rice Bowls, an Upstate ministry to overseas orphanages, invites you to Walls: A Haiti Benefit Concert. This will be an evening of worship with musicians Lee McDerment, David Walker, and Josh Ridings. All proceeds go towards relief and rebuilding efforts in Port-au-Prince, Haiti at Rice Bowls’ partner orphanage, which was severely damaged in the recent earthquake. Come support Haiti - experience an incredible concert while also hearing from those affected by this devastating natural disaster.

Thursday, January 28th 6:30PM – 10:00PM

The Channel
26 Orchard Park Drive
Greenville, SC

Across from Outback Steakhouse in the Haywood shopping area in Greenville.

$10 at the door. 100% of proceeds from concert and merchandise sales go directly to relief and rebuilding efforts at Rice Bowls’ partner orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

About Rice Bowls:
Rice Bowls works in over 1,000 churches, schools, and organizations in its mission to feed the body and spirit of orphans in the name of Christ. Rice Bowls is an Upstate, SC based non-profit ministry that was founded in 1980. Website:

About Rice Bowls’ Partner Orphanage in Haiti:
Rescue Children, founded by Spartanburg resident Lynda Morrison, cares for 11 children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. While the children are all safe, the orphanage building, its security wall and its surrounding community suffered severe damage. Rebuilding and outreach efforts will begin immediately. Donations directly to these efforts can be made at

David Walker has been the worship pastor at CrossRoads Community Church in Greenville, SC for over 5 years. His CD “Closer Than Angels” was released in December of 2008.

Lee McDerment is the worship pastor at NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC. His latest CD is titled “A Matchlight in the Dark.”

Josh Ridings is worship pastor at Hope Point Community Church in Spartanburg, SC. His CD “Sing Out Loud” was released in September of 2009.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Young Woman Weighing Herself
As with my other New Year's resolutions, I know that it's important to write down and tell others about my goal to lose weight. I know this is a common one, but I have to tell you - I hate this goal. I've tried to lose weight in the past, I've been on diets, diet programs and I've even run two freaking half marathons! You would think that the training for that would help! (it probably did; I'm just being whiny.) Anyway ... here goes.
I want to lose weight. I want to be skinny and healthy and wear cute clothes and not be out of breath by doing a normal activity like taking the stairs. So Jennie and I signed up for Greenville's own weight-loss "festival", Activate Upstate. Jennie is also becoming a gym rat and is going to join the coolest, swankiest gym in town! I, on the other hand, will force myself to actually visit the workout room at my tennis club. We'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tips for Conserving Energy

I had a bit of a crisis about a week and a half ago. With such cold temperatures in good ol' South Carolina, a pipe froze and burst. It flooded about 2 1/2 rooms in my house. I was able to call out a Fire/Water specialist, and he ripped out my floor. The pipe was fixed and the floor was dried out. Everyone did so in a timely manner, except insurance. An insurance adjuster came out to the house yesterday and gave me the whole floor! So I will be getting all new flooring in my house--such a blessing!
The adjuster made a few comments that I thought was very good advice, so I wanted to share them with you.
1. Everything in my house is electric, so the hot water heater has to work harder when it is colder--thus using more energy. I purchased an insulated blanket to wrap around the hot water heater. Since the hot water heater is in the garage, this helps the tank from getting to cold.
2. You can also set your programmable thermostat to a lower temperature during the day. This saves your heating bill 10% on average. (
3. The adjuster also made a comment about the black hoses that are on washers. They are under so much pressure that they burst and flood the house. You can purchase wire mesh hoses that expand and contract with the pressure.
4. When he goes out of town, he shuts his water off. This isn't something that you normally think about, but it will give you peace of mind when you are away.

You can check out more energy savings tips on:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Purpose Driven Life

My Bible study group has started a new study. The Purpose Drive Life by Rick Warren. I know MANY churches went through this study a couple of years ago. I somehow missed out on that and never had the opportunity to go through the study. Looking back now, I realize that it was not the right time for me. Lately, I have been searching. Searching for purpose, searching for meaning in my everyday life. Most of the time I just feel very lost and this can get very discouraging.
So when this book was considered for our group, I was very excited. I got a little behind on the reading the first week (because of traumatic home events), but I will get back on track.
What I have read so far has been amazing. It speaks directly to me and my struggles.
One sobering idea in the book is "It is NOT about YOU." Society as a whole is very selfish and narcissitic. It is easy to get caught up in this trend and look for self fulfillment in YOURSELF. Everytime I try to find purpose within myself, I fail.
I almost feel stupid for JUST realizing this, steps, you know?! I will get there, slowly but surely.
Another idea from the book that is humbling: "God created you for a purpose. He knows your entire life before you were even BORN." It is incomprehensible to fathom that God knew me before I was born. How can you not find joy and love in this simple fact? He knew me, He loves me.
I am really excited to continue the journey through The Purpose Driven Life.
Have you studied The Purpose Driven Life? What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Big Sneeze

I review for BookSneeze

I'm going to start reviewing some great (hopefully) books from Thomas Nelson Publishers, soon, by participating in Book Sneeze. If you're a blogger, you can request and review books, too! Check out Book Sneeze and sign up. The application was easy, and it may even drive more traffic to our beautiful Banana Copenhagen, a land of magic and wonder.

The first book I requested is called What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. These guys sound familiar? They wrote those Boundaries books and do the seminars (the one that Jennie wrote about a couple of posts ago!). Also, that title basically speaks to my heart, so I'm really looking forward to reading and reviewing the book. Look for the review soon!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas in January

I just bought all of my 2010 Christmas decorations! I bought a new (bigger! brighter!) tree, a beautiful velvet tree skirt that I want to wrap around myself, garland! and BLUE ornaments that I am so excited about. Unfortunately, society wants me to wait until next year to put up the decorations (especially since I just took down my 2009 decorations). I just can't believe I waited for sales, got great stuff for 75% off and I LOVE IT! I almost never save on purpose! Ohhhhhh.... hurry up Christmas 2010.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My journey to SELF Discovery, cont'd: What if I only had a week to live?

I made my weekly....I mean monthly trip to my counselor this past week. She always asks me hard questions that I have been trying to figure out for, well, my ENTIRE life. I am aghast when she wants an immediate answer and, in turn, she is annoyed when I don't give one.
This week her questions was: If you had one week to live (and you still had to work), what would you do?

ME: Um........Um......Maybe go out west......?!?!?!!??! I don't know.

HER: If YOU had ONE week to live, YOU would GO OUT WEST?!

I am always dumbfounded when she asks me random questions like this. A job puts major restraints on my ideal “dying” week. My real answer is: If I had one week to live; I would quit my job, convince my family to travel to Italy with me and die in the beauty of Tuscany.

So I have been racking my brain....WHAT would I do?! Another side note I should probably mention, I have to document this in photographs and bring them back to her. So I can't just dismiss the question, which is what I would probably would have originally done. She knows me so well :)
I have a few ideas—so we will see how it transfers to photographs.

Imagine you had only ONE week to live and you still had to keep your job, what would YOU do?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lattes - Good for the Soul

High angle view of a coffee cup with a spoon and a saucer
A few months ago, Jennie and I started a tradition that we call "Coffee Wednesday". It started out that we would go to Barnes & Noble and sit at the Starbucks and look through magazines during our lunch hour. It was a really relaxing time for us, and we looked forward to it every week.
Well, since then it has evolved into something even better. We found a local coffee shop in Mauldin, the charming Downtown Coffee, and we get to sit, sip, and chat with Anja. No matter what is going on at work or in our lives, Coffee Wednesday makes us happy. It's a great break to our week, and we love getting to catch up with each other.
Sometimes, I'll be working on something, and Jennie will write to me, "It's Coffee Wednesday!" and it just brightens my day. As soon as we step into our wonderful little coffee shop, it's like we're in some magical land that strips us of our problems.
So today - it's Coffee Wednesday! Can't wait!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Resolutions take a lot of Resolve

Soccer ball entering the net
We are at that point in the year when everyone is talking about their New Year's resolutions, so I'm just going to go ahead and jump on the bandwagon. I've read some blogs with great advice on making and keeping resolutions, so here's my two cents: Set your goals. Don't listen to those who say you can't do it. DO IT.
I wrote down my resolutions (there are a lot of them - I'm already breaking the rules of setting only a few goals), and I keep one copy in my wallet and one copy hanging in my cubicle. Some of my resolutions are specific (Run another half marathon this year in less time than last year), and some are very vague (Read the Bible). This is a balance that I know I need. Some are things I planned on doing anyway (Read Fearless with my friends), and some are things I have never done before (Take a writing class or attend a conference).
One of my resolutions is to do things outside of my comfort zone, which is probably going to be the hardest resolution for me to keep. I really like to give myself excuses and let myself off the hook when it comes to this. But, I know that some of the best life experiences come from putting yourself "out there", so I'm moving ahead with it.
The great thing about a new year is that we have so much to look forward to in the coming 12 months. We have no idea what the future holds; anything is possible. That's why I let myself break rules when it comes to making resolutions - I really believe I can do all of these things in the next year. And the worst thing that could happen is that I don't. So what? I'll have a great year trying!