Tuesday, December 14, 2010

If I ever lose my faith in you...

Sometimes, it happens. I'm riding along in my car, listening to some of my old, favorite secular music, and God comes in...

It is said that all things serve Him, and that every good and perfect gift comes from Him...including the gift of music composition and song-writing. So, it stands to reason, though we may try to bend, distort, cover up, or ignore the truth, or wipe away the fingerprints, if you will, of the creator and author of our inspiration, some will remain...no matter how few. And, sometimes, it happens, that I can see those fingerprints. When I do, a drive home from work, listening to a secular station, turns into a time of worship or a moment where God ministers to my heart. One such moment happened yesterday to "If I Every Lose My Faith In You" by The Police.

Sting is singing to a person, about a person. He says he could lose or has lost his faith in everything else in the world, but if he ever lost his faith in this one person, all would be lost. When I heard it, I was also thinking about a person...the person of Jesus Christ...and I agree with Sting.

I don't have much faith in science or the progress of man. Sometimes, I am frustrated with or saddened by the local church, often I feel like I have no clue what I'm doing or where I'm going, and I feel like the whole world around me is just a big lie. Friends and family may disappoint or hurt me, current events scare me, my own failings may leave me feeling powerless and hopeless. At one time or another, I will find myself realizing the futility and frailty of all the things I want to place my faith in. I have and likely will continue to let some of those things, those people, those institutions go. I may even see some items of my moral code crumble and fall. Some dreams will likely die. But, even if all of those things happened all at once, I would be ok, because only one things is necessary...only one person is necessary.

I could lose my faith and hope and joy in everything I currently hold dear, but, if I ever lost my faith and hope and joy in my Lord, then and only then would I be lost, or, as Sting says "There'd be nothing left for me to do." Nothing left...indeed.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Ok, so, clearly, I had a little "single AGAIN at the holidays" meltdown yesterday.

To quote John Astin's character from Night Court: "I'm feeling much better now."

Well, "much" might be a bit of a stretch, but, I'm determined to get over myself and be about others ("again", I say with a whine) and get into the Christmas spirit.

Here's my 12 step plan:

Step 1. I put up the little Christmas tree I have in my office. In years past, I've baked some sort of tasty treat and invited folks to stop by to see the tree and have a snack. I'll do that on Monday. Tasty treats always make Mondays better. DONE, partially.

Step 2. I texted for 15 minutes with my brother who is recovering from mouth surgery. It has nothing to do with Christmas and it was gross, but, it goes with the "being about other people" thing...so it counts. DONE.

Step 3. I sent an email to my family and invited them to go see some lights and then get beignets and coffee afterwards. Since they are contractually obligated to spend time with me, I didn't break out into a flop sweat as I sent the invite. I've received one response, so far. It was from my dad. He said he'd rather stay home and look at Christmas lights on his computer. DONE, with a side of rejection.

Step 4. Watch Elf - soon. Laugh.

Step 5. Put up my dang blasted tree and invite one person over for coffee to enjoy its beauty.

Step 6. Do something fun and special and meaningful for the person who's name I picked this year.

Step 7. Go to my company party. Alone. Mingle. Ask people about themselves. Don't sit in a corner and wait for people to notice my loneliness.

Step 8. Listen to my favorite Christmas music. Jam.

Step 9. Write notes to a few special folks.

Step 10. Watch "It's a Wonderful Life." Cry.

Step 11. Read Luke 2, daily.

Step 12. Rejoice in the Lord. Repeat. (Phil 4:4)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bah Humbug?

Generally speaking, my Christmas tree is up the day after thanksgiving. In fact, most of the month of November is focused on determining the theme and color scheme of my tree, scoping out bargains and acquiring the required decorations to make my vision possible. Then, on Thanksgiving, I go to my parents and eat food. The next day, I haul all of my Christmas decor out, pop Elf in the DVD player and get to gettin'.

Not so this year.

This year, whenever I think about putting my tree up I get anxious, bitter, cranky and "down in the mouth", as they say.

"They" being 80 year olds.

This year, I just have nothing in me that is excited about all the hoopla associated with Christmas. I tried blogging about my favorite Christmas things. That didn't help at all, so, obviously, my next step was googling "ways to get into the Christmas spirit".


The following are the suggestions I found (and my anxious, bitter, cranky and "down in the mouth" response to them):

1. Deck the Halls...

Tina McScrooge says: What for? I'm the only one that will ever see it!

2. Trim the tree...

Tina McScrooge says: See previous answer.

3. Bake Christmas Cookies...

Tina McScrooge says: I'm dieting, thankyouverymuch!

4. Go to a local lighting display...

Tina McScrooge: The kids might like this.

5. Host a Holiday movie night...

Tina McScrooge says: That would go over about as well as my two failed Holiday open houses and my failed attempts to get folks together for my birthday, bowling, or laser tag. I'm already paying eharmony $10 a month for rejection, I think that's enough effort, thanks.

6. Go shopping with friends...

Tina McScrooge says: See previous answer.

7. Send out holiday cards...

Tina McScrooge says: Psh! and gives a vigorous eye-roll.

What google didn't say was "get over yourself and your ideas about what Christmas should be like and remember what it is about.:

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus Christ

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.  And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 

 Whether I have a tree, friends with which to share holiday festivities, or ever have more than myself to put on a Christmas card is not what Christmas is about, and like Charlie Brown and that dumb twig of a tree, if that's all I'm focused on nothing this holiday season will be right.

The decorations, the music, the lights, the parties, the family time, and the gifts are lagniappe, not the main thing. The main thing is: God sent His son, light came into the world and I am forever changed.

And, forgiven for every one of my McScrooge moments.

To that, Tina McScrooge says: You're right. I'll shut up  now.

Yes, I love technology...

About two years ago, I moved into a new position at work. That new position came with three things: my own office, a second-hand laptop, and a company phone. Shortly after I'd settled into my new office, I got the call...the call to set up my new phone. I was told I could have a blackberry.

I died of joy.

Please keep in mind, this was 2008 and up to that point, my personal cell phones had consisted of a Nokia the size of a tape dispenser and a pink flip phone that didn't have texting capabilities. So, getting a blackberry, with all the bells and whistles of the day was better than Christmas...Christmas when I was 10 and still got really good, exciting gifts.

Since I had died of joy and come back to life, I was still trembling, but somehow managed to ask the following question: "C-c-can, can I have...a red one?"


I died of joy again.

Then I got better and my phone came in and it didn't leave my hand for 72 days straight.

I programmed everything. Synced up my email. Customized my ringers. Changed the wallpaper. Added Facebook notifications You know, the usghe.

I was in love and certain that my new red blackberry was the best thing on God's green earth. Yes, even better than nachos and iced coffee from Starbucks. Separately. Not together...cuz that'd be gross.

My love for the blackberry lasted longer than my second-hand laptop, which basically imploded after 3 weeks in my possession. To this day, I don't understand it. I customized it. Make it pretty. Bought it a purple leather case. Nevertheless, the motherboard gave up the ghost and I was given yet another second hand computer which is still with me.

As of today, I can't say that about my blackberry.

We'd been growing apart for a while, actually. 

See, I met another phone. One that had a huge screen. A touch screen. Without cartoony, 90s looking icons. One that didn't take 3 years to open a web page. One that took good photos. One that completed me. 

That phone was the iPhone. 

When they first came out, I didn't pay them much mind. But, over time, well...they grew on me and that grewing turned into love, and that love demanded to be requited.

So, I got my own personal iPhone.

And I died with joy. Well, from joy-induced dancing. 

But, I got better.

And the blackberry? It fell to the bottom of my purse and was rarely seen again.

Until I got the call that I was getting an upgrade on my work phone.

The phone was set up today.

And, I didn't die with joy. I have an iPhone for each hand and I'm sorta like "meh. no biggie."

I guess the thing with iPhone #1 really is love.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thirteen things I love about Christmas...

Because twelve is boring and predictable...

The Doctor Who Christmas Special. After many months of being "Who-less", this Christmas special is just what I need to tide me over until the regular season starts up again.

Going caroling.
I don't get to do it every year, but when I do, I always leave feeling very happy, very full, and very thankful.

Cooler weather.
Nuf said.

Wearing coats.
Here in south Louisiana, we don't have many opportunities to wear coats or even jackets.
So, when December rolls around, and there is a sufficient chill in the air, I get super excited about being able to accessorize with something new.

Speaking of something new, I bought this little beauty today. I heart it.

Hot Chocolate.
When I was younger, mom would always make a big pot of hot chocolate on really cold nights.
Now, whenever the weather drops, I crave a cup of this deliciousness.
I love the feeling of warm insides when everything else around me is chilly.

Spending time with my cousins. 
We've gotten to a point in our lives where, holidays and funerals are really the only times we see each other.
It makes me sad...and love the holidays even more.

Holiday gatherings with friends.

Christmas movies.
Sigh and Smile.

The Christmas story and nativity scenes.
Seeing the gospel presented all the time, every where, when it is mocked and spurned and shunned every other month of the year brings a tear to my eye. Its a beautiful change of pace and very peace-giving.

The music.
Hearing the gospel proclaimed all the time, everywhere, even on "regular" radio, again is a beautiful, peace-giving thing.

I love the lights and the ornaments and the smells. I especially love getting my house decorated while listening to music or watching a movie and then turning off all lights but those on the tree.

Specifically, the Eagle Brand recipe.

Giving presents.
I don't really care if I get anything. 
I love buying and wrapping and giving gifts to others.
It doesn't feel like Christmas if I can't give gifts to the people I care about.

What do you love most about Christmas?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Things that make me happy...

In no particular order...

Capturing photos of kids with their tongues out.
So much better than a straight-forward smiling photo, any day!

Spending time with my weird family.
I wish I could say the above was an isolated incident...but it's not.
No, wait, strike that...I don't wish I could say this was an isolated incident.
We're weird. We're here. Get used to it!

Spending time with friends.

My new, uber-cool aviators.
I have wanted them for months and totally convinced myself I couldn't pull them off.
But, I was wrong. I totally rock them!

Having red hair.
Its so much better than boring dark blonde hair.

Rollin' with my homies. Jammin' to our jams.

Having friends visit my house.
Preferably, when they call first so I can make sure I'm wearing the proper undergarments.

Red lipstick
Also, giving "savage" smooches.

Pedis with the girlies.

This little booger.
Oh, how he melts my heart.
When my first niece was born, I didn't think there was any more room in my heart.
Then, I fell in love with her brother. Then they had a baby sister and now, they have Pookie.
Each time, they just fit in there and I have a new definition of "full".

Its helped me believe the impossible is possible, even for me.

Watching Saints games with my family.

Singing praises to my Lord.
Nothing even comes close to this, really.
Its in a category all by itself.

Little toes.

Remembering this time, this place, and the friends I made, and the stories they told, and the laughing I did.

Having real photos of me and my girl together.
Not lame, fake photoshopped ones.

11:30am on Fridays.

Making silly faces.

Try to stay sad or mad or depressed while blowing bubbles.
You can't do it!


Fun earrings.
Both wearing and buying.

Jim from the office.

Whenever Matt Paxton is on Hoarders.
He is the only sane person on the show.

Mike Rowe.
And, facial scruff.

Reading this woman's blog.
And, dreaming that we are friends and I get to visit her at the ranch.
Is that weird?

Walking in the Quarter.

Especially when it is for other people.

Drawing hearts.

What are some of the things that make you happy??