Friday, June 20, 2008


Oh my goodness, has it been crazy!

Seriously! You have no idea!

I took a new position at work (which I think will be a really good thing for everyone...I hope, anyway). I've basically been living and breathing and sleeping and dreaming about the job. Last night, I met some friends for coffee and though I was enjoying the company and conversation, I was thining of things I needed to do and new techniques and so on.

I'm sure it will calm down...and I'll have something more substantive and interesting if not mildly amusing to say again soon. In fact, I guarantee that in the coming weeks there will be a new post of such epic comedic proportions that I will win an award...or laugh alone in my room. One or the other.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Interview with a 3 year old.

Good afternoon, everyone.
Today, I have the great pleasure of interviewing my 3 year old niece, also known as "the diva".
Our interview takes place on the counter of my parent's kitchen. The Diva is sitting on the counter in her panties...and nothing else. This is generally her outfit of choice.

She has dimples, so she can get away with it.

Me: Hello, diva, how are you?
D: (Smiles. Shows dimples. Holds up 3 fingers.) Um, I three years old. And are you have a paper here? (Grabs mouse.) What is this? I can play on the 'puter? I three years old.
Me. Ok. Hang on, hang on, hang on. Let TiTi ask you some more questions. Ok?
D. K. (Shows dimples again.)
Me: So, what is your favorite color?
D: Pink. (Picks up the phone) Are this your phone?
Me: No. So, what is your favorite animal?
D: Um, the pink.
Me: Pink is a color. What is your favorite animal?
D: Um, a giraffe. (spies donut box) Can I have a donut?
Me: After we're done.
What is your favorite food?
D: Um, red beans. (picking up a picture) Um, TiTi, dis is Sharnay.
Me: Yes, I know.

Then there was a knock on the door and then there was cake. So the interview was ubruptly over.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hide and Seek

"Dear reader, you must realize that God has only one desire... His desire is to give Himself to the soul that really loves Him and to that soul which earnestly seeks Him. And yet it is true that this God who desires to give Himself to you will often conceal Himself from you - from you, the very one who seeks Him! Now why would God do that? Dear saint of God, you must learn the ways of your Lord. Yours is a God who often hides Himself. He hides Himself for a purpose. Why? His purpose is to rouse you from spiritual laziness. His purpose in removing [the sense of His presence] from you is to cause you to pursue Him." -- from 'Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ' by Madame Guyon

HT: Andrea

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

There is a way...

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12)

My friend Casey is one of the most encouraging people I know. First, I know she loves that's a great foundation for encouragement. But more than that, no matter what I say or how I say it, she always manages to look up at me with those big, bright blue eyes and say something just plain sweet and noble, true, pure, lovely, admirable or praiseworthy (Phillipians 4:8). She doesn't just help me to see some phanthom silver lining, she encourages me to believe the best about God, His portion for me, and hope in what is unseen.

And did I mention she's just plain sweet?

Well, she is.

Anyway, she did it again tonight. She asked about a particular area of struggle for me: my weight. And though I feel like I'm doing worse than I have in a very long time, she lifted me up and made me not only feel encouraged about what God is doing in me right now, but hopeful that He will do something more specifically in this area.

I just love her.

As I drove home, I thought over our conversation and her encouragement and what I felt the Lord communicating to me through all of this. It was a basically this: There is a way.

Lately, I feel like I've been falling into the trap of making my efforts to combat sin about the method. My battle with food is the food (types, quantities, frequency, cravings). My battle with singleness is with the desire to be married or with making myself marryable. In any given moment, my battle with worry and anxiety is with the particular circumstance.

This just isn't true.

My battle with sin is not betweeen me and food or me and singless or me and a person or me and a circumstance, it is between me and the Lord. When I indulge or otherwise try to satiate myself or order my circumstances, I am trying to control and order my life without God...instead of God.

No wonder I just wind up frustrated and a big fat mess!

There is a way that seems right to man...often that way looks like a new diet, a new venue to meet single men, actively pursuing what I think will make me happy...but the end is the way to death - to feeling separated and distant from God.

I feel the encouragment the Lord had for me this evening, and perhaps for some of you is this: whatever it is, whatever your sin looks like, it is not the issue. He is. No matter how we try to sugar coat it or justify or find reasons to talk ourselves into beliving otherwise, if there is an area of consistent sin in our lives we are not walking rightly with the Lord. The solution is not devising a plan of action to attack that thing or avoid it (though repentance and fighting temption is necessary). The real solution lies in drawing nearer to Christ. He has borne our griefs. He has paid the just penalty for our sin. His stripes have made us clean. And it is abiding in Him that will truly change us and allow us to walk uprightly before our God.

There is a way.

He is the way.

He is the only way.

That is truth and life. Amen.

The. Best. Dream. Ever!

So one day, I was visiting a friend at the hospital. It took me a really long time to find his room. I spent what seemed like hours roaming through a maze of hospital corridors filled with sick people, wheel chairs, carts, mop buckets and, inexplicably, a toy chest. When I finally did arrive at my friend's room, he was in bed with his foot up in a sling and some sort of monitor attached to what I believe was his liver. It didn't look good for what I thought was a slip and fall. And, everything was dark...weird. As I left and walked through what looked like my neighborhood grocery store parking lot, I was greeted by my boyfriend. He was tall and dark and latin (just the way I like 'em) and he accompanied me the rest of the way to my car. On the way there, we had to cross a little concrete median and as he led me over it safely, he turned and kissed me. I smiled, continued walking to my car and humming. Then I realized I was wearing a long, red, shimmy dress...and I was singing. And all of the people in the parking lot were singing...and dancing. I was dancing too. They were doing everything I did. I did a kick ball change, so did they. I did jazz hands, so did they. I did the snap, kick, spin, they did the same in perfect formation. "This is SO cool!", I thought, and continued dancing. I was leaping and twirling and, yes, shimmying my shimmy dress. I even leaned back on a car and kicked my legs up in the air. Oh, and I weighed about 125.

It was the best dream ever!

What abou y'all? Any fun, crazy dreams you'd like to share?

Coffee and Men.

Confession - I love Starbucks.

I love iced coffees and caramel frappuccinos so much, I'd consider matrimony. If the coffee were a man...or at least had arms.

I like to snuggle.

Anyway, as a single woman, I take all the creature comforts I can get, and Starbucks has been a faithful (albeit expensive) friend these past 5 years. My loyalty is proven by my bank statement and the fact that most of the cashiers know my drink. That, my friends, is like when a cute guy you thought had no idea you existed says your name. I remember the first time it happened like it was yesterday, I smiled from ear to ear, I got a little flippy in the tummy and hummed all the way to work. Later, I wrote about it in my journal. Well...not really...but it was a special moment, nonetheless.

Its sorta sad to think that the last time I had a flippy tummy, "he said my name" moment with a man and not a caffeinated beverage was in college. His name was Thomas and, oh my, did I have it stalker bad! We'd been in several classes together and, though he was extremely shy and walked sorta hunched over ( no doubt from hours and hours of studying in the library), I just thought he was the best thing ever. I wanted to have his half Asian, nerdy babies.

Spoiler Alert!

I didn't.

Proverbs 16:9 says: The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. The Lord has had to redirect my plans regarding men a lot over the years and though, in the moment, it's been times REALLY the end what I feel most is relief. Oh, and also really, really silly. Regardless, after the Lord's establishing redirects my steps, there are no regrets. The exact "whys" aren't always revealed, but it is always evident that it was indeed God working out His best.

Thomas is one example. I literally stalked this poor boy and all he wanted to do was read his text books in peace. But there are many other guys who's babies I didn't have. The most recent example played out almost entirely over e-mail, across three states and was with someone I met once and spoke to in person a grand total of 20 minutes. I wanted this man's babies most of all, even though he was a Yankee and liked hockey. I wanted his babies more than Al's Hispanic, muscle-shirted babies, or David's tall, dark and athletic babies, or even Thomas' babies. I prayed so hard and so long, but in the end God said no. And, though the "no" was about as unpleasant and unwelcome as a day without Starbucks, God's wisdom was plain. Each "no" was his best for me and them.

I could sing a Garth Brook's song right now...but I won't.

You're welcome.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Things I'm thankful for: The Dudler

I remember the first day I met the Dudler. It was at my parent's home in the backyard on the deck. He was tiny, barely more than 2 years old and spoke to me in a perfect sentence and with perfect articulation. I was amazed. He then proceeded to climb into my lap and chatter away about who knows what. I was intrigued by this pint-sized person who was at once very grown up and very much a kid. He was full of energy, talked non-stop and was very easily distracted. As time went on and he became a part of our family, some of the things that were intriguing about him became challenges to caring for him. I like him. I enjoyed him most of the time. My love for him came later.

The visceral, instant love I felt when the Princess was born wasn't there for the Dudler right away. He was not a part of me. He was almost a "kid" when I met him. His family situation was difficult, even frustrating at times. He was difficult and frustrating at times. So for all of those reasons, and I'm sure many others that involve sin on my part, love took a while. I remember the day it came though...

I was at his parent's apartment. His mom had come in and we were talking about some struggles she was having fitting into our family and balancing life and school and work. Somewhere in that conversation she mentioned her son and how she worried that we wouldn't love him like we loved his sister and that he'd never have anything like that. I looked at her, tears welling in my eyes and I said "How can we not love him? He's her brother!" And that was it. I was done. I loved him. He was a part of me.

I wonder what kind of man he will become. He is so smart and gets the gospel. He remembers everything and can be so amazingly kind and loving, it just blows me away. I wonder when and how he will get saved and if I'll get to be a part of that. I wonder if he'll be tall and if I'll get to babysit his children.

I pray he will be a great man, a godly man, a kind man. I pray God will keep him for a godly woman and give him a great heritage. I pray he will never lose his amazing laugh or his desire to know things. I pray God will save him young and spare him from all the things I fear await him out there in the wide world. And, when I pray, I also thank God for bringing him to our family. I can't remember what we were like before him and I can't imagine our family without him.

I love you, Dudler.

"They're gonna kiss, aren't they?" (giggle)

This weekend, I spent most of my time hanging out with the fam. Sunday afternoon, my dad and I decided to watch National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, a movie which will forever live in infamy for me!

Ok, maybe not infamy, (pardon my dramaticism) but I did have a couple of interesting revelatory moments as a result. First, I am woefully uninformed regarding American History. Did anyone else know that there are actually THREE Statue's of Liberty? Or that the president's desk was called the Resolute Desk...and that the Queen of England has one just like it...or that they are really puzzle boxes which hold the secrets to ancient treasure troves beyond our wildest dreams? No? I didn't either! Darned public school education!

Anyway, the second revelatory moment was this: my niece, The Princess, is already a hopeless romantic...and she's only 5! Towards the end of the movie when the action was getting pretty intense and the male and female lead were facing imminent doom for the 4th time in 20 minutes and then it looked like they just might make it and everything would be ok, my niece (who had been napping in my arms and woke shortly before moment of imminent doom #4) said "They're gonna kiss, aren't they?" She then giggled and clapped a little. It was the cutest thing, but I have no idea where she gets this romantic streak from. I mean, none of the women in our family are overly girly and romantic-like. Perhaps she gets this romanticism is from the steady stream of princess movies she's watched since she was born. OK, so I bought the movies for her...but that doesn't mean anything. And, OK, maybe I planned my first wedding at 3, and maybe I had a full-blown wedding binder with dresses and colors and even furniture selections and baby names by the time I was 16 and maybe, up until fairly recently, my movie collection was almost entirely "chick flicks", but still...that is all completely irrelevant and circumstantial.

Then again, maybe she is really just very much like me. I know my dad thinks so. In fact, the other day he was fussing at the Princess for her sassy mouth and called her "Tina."

She's not named after me.
She is sassy like me.
She also doesn't like her food to touch...just like me
And, apparently, she is very girly and romantic, just like me.
Finally, it would seem she is also learning to value modesty and godliness, just like me.

When the male and female lead did actually kiss, my niece covered her eyes. I can count on one hand with fingers left over how many times I've had to cover her eyes because of something inappropriate on TV, but I can say that there have been times when I have averted my eyes in her presence. I know my weaknesses and, being a single woman who desires to honor the Lord in my habits, there are times when I just can't watch romantic scenes in movies or in real life. Its not that I think romance is sinful or wrong or yucky like my nephew does, I'm just trying to avoid temptation. I don't make a big deal about it and can't recall her asking me why, it's just something I do. But, apparently she has seen this and is following my example in this.

My niece's "they're gonna kiss" response tickled me, but her response when they did blessed me more than I can say. Much like old movies that would shut a door or pull a shade or fade to black before intimate moments, my niece wasn't being a prude or shamefully hiding her eyes, she just didn't necessarily need to see the kiss to enjoy the romantic idea of it all. It is a modesty and innocence that has been largely lost in this world...but now I've gotten all serious and I didn't mean to. Whew. Anyway, it was sweet. And after the scene was over, before we looked back to the screen, we looked at each other, smiled real big, giggled again and hugged. That was even sweeter.



Satan is ever seeking to inject that poison into our hearts to distrust God's goodness - especially in connection with his commandments. That is what really lies behind all evil, lusting and disobedience. A discontent with our position and portion, a craving from something which God has wisely held from us. Reject any suggestion that God is unduly severe with you. Resist with the utmost abhorrence anything that causes you to doubt God's love and his lovingkindness toward you. Allow nothing to make you question the Father's love for his child. --Arthur W. Pink

Thursday, June 5, 2008

'Nother One.

So...I started another blog. It will not replace this one. It is just a place for me to post things that are not as "deep and thought provoking" as the things I post here.

Note: my tongue was firmly planted in cheek as I typed that.

Anyway, here's the link:


I don't have kids of my own, but I know people who do. Those people often let me spend time with their kids. It works out well for all parties: I get to exercise my maternal instinct thing, the parents get a well deserved break and the kids get to enjoy my madness and cushiness (which tends to put even the most resistant child into a coma). Good times. Good times.

The other day, I was spending time with three of the aforementioned kids who belong to other people...two boys and a girl. Precious, creative, smart as all get out, and did I mention precious, kids. I was joining them, and another friend of mine for a short road trip to pick up my friend's kid (who is, by the way, equally precious, creative and smart). We all piled in the car and got strapped in and settled and I turned to the little girl, who was applying copious amounts of lipgloss and wearing plastic princess dress up shoes, and said "E___, I really like your shoes!" I really did. I was actually a bit jealous...they don't make those in my size. Anyway, my tiny friend said "Thanks" very matter of factly, and then, after a short pause said, "Ms. Tina, you're a really fat girl", just as matter of factly.

"Yes, I am." was all I could say. And then, I laughed a little.

James 4:6 says, "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." I fell into the latter category in that moment. And, it's good, ya know, to keep it real and know that though there are moments when I'm tempted to think I have it all together and might just be kind of a big deal and the world might just revolve around me...there's a 4 year old waiting in the wings to call me fat.

And that's a good thing.

Ok, so...not really.

Don't let the blog title fool you....I'm not really mad. I mean, I'm not mad in a "I want to pour a pot of hot grits on you" kind of way. My madness is more silly, like the Mad Hatter...and not at all athletic like March Madness...or psychotic, a la Jack Nicholson in "The Shining." Sadly, it is also not so funny as "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."

I apologize.

So why this particular (misleading, demographically-challenged, slightly annoying) title?
Well, that's simple: I thought it sounded funny.

FYI: Most of what I write is just because I thought it sounded funny. And, most of the time, I am the only one who thinks so.

Thank you for your pity.

Moving on...
What is true and helpful and not misleading about my blog title is this: I am fat, I am a woman, and I do have a life. Said life is filled with, um, times...and stuff...and that or those times are filled with people and places and, most often, cameras, food and music, and sometimes sparkley things and always, I repeat, always, lipstick. It is also filled with an overriding sense that no matter how much life and times I get and to what frequency these are filled with people and places and such, there is a God over all, who loves me and chose me and redeemed me...and has a really, really good sense of humor. Oh, and a drastically different sense of timing...but that's another post for another day.

Until then, feel free to kick back, enjoy the madness, and feel slightly more sane (and blessed) for your trouble.

"It must be well"

Reader, if God has given you His only begotten Son, beware of doubting His
kindness and love, in any painful providence of your daily life! Never allow
yourself to think hard thoughts of God. Never suppose that He can give you
anything which is not really for your good. Remember the words of Paul: ‘He who spared not His own Son - but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things’ (Romans 8:32).

See in every sorrow and trouble of your earthly pilgrimage the hand of Him
who gave Christ to die for your sins! That hand can never smite you except in
love! He who gave His only begotten Son for you, will never withhold anything from you which is really for your good. Lean back on this thought and be content. Say to yourself in the darkest hour of trial, ‘This also is ordered by Him who gave Christ to die for my sins. It cannot be wrong. It is done in love. It must be well.’
-- J.C. Ryle

It must be well. It MUST be well. IT MUST BE WELL. Not because I deserve it to be well or have earned favor or it is right or fair or must be well because "He who gave His only begotton Son...will never withhold anything ...which is really for [my] good."

It must be well.

Christ is the seal and guarantee of that promise.


HT: GirlTalk

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Things I'm thankful for: Psalm 103:9-10

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him (Psalm 103:9-10)

I think there are moments in every believer's life when there is the temptation to think that some event or circumstance is punishment from God. It happened to me just yesterday. A situation I thought was certain suddenly didn't look that way and immediately, I thought of all the reasons why it was right of God to deny a "favorable" outcome or withhold this thing from me. That might not sound all that sinful on the surface. It might sound like I'm rightfully acknowledging God's sovereignty and right to say "no" to things. But in my heart, I was believing God was against me...that he was dealing with me according to my sins. This is a lie. Because of Christ, I will never know what it is like to be on the receiving end of God's wrath. Because of Christ I can know that all things work together for my good and God's glory. Because of Christ, I can know that whatever my circumstances, God remembers me and is for me and is showing His steadfast love toward me. Even when or if He says "no" to something I want very badly. His no is not punishment but protection, not and expression of his unhappiness with me but an expression of His love and care, not a withholding of His best but of something that might stand in the way of His best.

He does not deal with us according to our sins...
What a promise!
What a comfort!