Monday, September 30, 2013

Why You Should Peruse...

...the inflight mall magazine.

This reading material has classic items for pure hilarity (and purchase should you so choose)!

Take this example (I believe it was in the same edition as this beauty)

People - seriously. Start looking at the inflight shoppers magazine. There are gems within its pages. I'm sure the travelers around me wonder I'm taking photos of the magazine and shaking silently with laughter. If only they too would open this magical magazine to partake of its wonders.

I can't wait to see what treasures are within it's glossy pages when I travel for Thanksgiving! Camera battery needs to be charged and ready to snap some photos (in airplane mode of course!).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lesser Known Fact and When Memory Fails

Many people don't know this about me (unless they are from my middle/high school era), but I play/played the piano. I took lessons for I think 7ish years.

Funny story how that happened. To tell you how NON-confrontational Hannah and I were as kids, we would write our parents letters. Yes, I know that sounds strange. Thinking back, I think my personality preferred that method in case the answer was no. (We wrote a letter to mom with check boxes about getting our ears pierced too. This still makes me laugh! Mom- do you remember this???)

So Sister and I composed a letter to our parents. Not full of drama or anything (insert sarcasm). It read something to the effect of, "ALL of our friends are involved in something and we don't do ANYTHING. Please let us choose an activity." See? No drama at all!

Our parents gave us the go ahead to choose an activity to participate in. I chose piano, Sister chose guitar, and Little Buddy chose baseball.

There are many stories I could tell about piano lessons. Waiting on the loveseat for my lesson while the student ahead of me finished up (she was an adult and would make faces about doing the homework while the teacher wrote it down), feeling my hands could never stretch an octave because my fingers are so short, feeling sick every time we had a recital, feeling such a sense of accomplishment whenever I would finish a book (and then finished all the colored levels! Yep, dork right here).

My favorite story has to be about this piece.

(Whenever I go to mom and Dad's, I try to find a time to sit down and pound out some old tunes. This happens to be a favorite, though I have become quite rusty with lack of practice).

My last recital, I was able to choose my own piece, so being the crazy romantic girl I am, I chose "Canon in D".
My teacher really pushed for us to memorize our pieces, which I was not so good at. This one, she was convinced I could memorize it, because it does follow pretty similar patterns throughout. So I adopted said brilliant plan and decided to go for it.

Recital day comes. I'm one of the last (because at this point, I'm one of the oldest students and the more advanced students always went at the end).
I go up, hand my piece to my teacher, and sit down at the piano.
I get half way through the piece and CANNOT for the life of me remember what comes next. My brain starts racing thinking "You can't make it up. People KNOW this song and they'll know you are faking it." To which I then wanted to giggle, because how funny would it be to start inserting other random song in the middle of "Canon in D".
So I did what any rational person would do, I look up at my teacher and say, "I have no idea what comes next."

Now you need to know, my piano teacher is one of the most proper, sweet, quiet women I've ever met and she was our pastor's wife. She gets flustered and comes up and points to the spot where I left and returns to her seat WITH THE MUSIC IN HAND!

So I play a few measures and stop again and say, "I really have no idea where I am." Repeat rushing up on stage, but this time the music stayed.

Lesson learned. Do not attempt to memorize a piece of music.
Also, do not ask Abby to play "Canon in D" for your wedding. I can play the ipod for you, but that's it! :)

Good memories.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Childhood Flashbacks

Remember footy pajamas?

The kind you would zip up from bubble, ankle bone to just under your chin?

Remember how warm they were and if you were made to wear them before it was cold enough, you would sweat buckets inside of those things?

And remember if you were too hasty in the zipping process, the excruciating pain associated with zipping tiny bits of flesh into the forever long zipper? Makes me shudder just thinking about it.

Sister and I loved wearing footy pajamas as kids. Even as teens, we would reminisce about those great things. She is wearing her purple footy pjs in this photo as we read together. Loo at that awesome head-thing I'm wearing! We loved the hat/covering/thing. (Sister - we are sitting in your tiny chair!) 

Recently I was out and about and stumbled across adult sized footy pajamas. I know, I know, they've been out at random times in recent years, but these were in a class all their own. 

What in the world?
Yes, I judged. I texted sister and asked if she wanted a pair of these for Christmas. I received a resounding "NO!"

Let's keep the footy pj's for the kids. I think I'll go try to find some for the baby darling instead.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pause and Participate

I've blogged in the past several months about the lessons the Lord is teaching me. It is following a "P" theme, so this post continues this theme with pausing and participating.

This is going to get real, so if you don't want real, move along. :)

In moving back to the states, I knew I had to step back from involvement in nearly everything that had been the norm. Letting go of a lot. Super hard. I was reaching a burn out level and I could see the train wreck up ahead if I didn't stop. The Holy Spirit was smacking me upside the head because I was quickly falling into the trap of being a "poser". (Thanks, TJ, for the book that smacked me in the face! - slight sarcasm included). I know the lingo, the words, the actions, the script - I could easily keep playing a part, while dying a little more in continuing to give without being refueled. This tank was about to be on E and I was going to be stranded!

I needed a break. Desperately. To the point where I was praying some intense things to the Lord to restore. It didn't mean I had stopped loving the people I was privileged to walk alongside of - I did/do. And I miss them. But I am not Jesus - I'm not the end all (though our pride loves to argue with that, no?). I needed some time to be like Jesus and be in solitude.

Moving to a new place does that. There are no connections. I went to church where no one knew my name. That was WEIRD! As strange as that sounds, I needed that. I needed to be a nobody.
And the Lord was restoring. Restoring desire for Him. Restoring joy. Restoring rest.

So I am in a season on pausing. I'm not teaching a Sunday school class. I'm not leading a women's Bible study. I'm not meeting with a small group of girls at youth group. I'm not leading a discipleship class for kids. I'm not teaching in chapel. The play button had to be stopped. (Never mind the fact, thinking of the people associated with each of these activities brings tears to my eyes, because I love them desperately). I've deliberately paused.

A few weeks ago while visiting Virginia, I was talking to my parents and some others about the itch to get involved. The church I've settled in has some INCREDIBLE opportunities - meeting with a person one-on-one to practice English, kid's ministry (shocking, I know!), local/global ministry opportunities, youth group, and more. But not yet. The Lord has continued to speak over me the need to pause and participate. Participate by being involved as a participant. A lot of this is due to the fact I need to build relationships with people, and ministry is an easy place for me to "hide". So instead, I'm choosing to participate in other things for now. Spanish on Monday nights (y'all, that is a story in itself and one of the funniest parts of my week. I've discovered I cannot understand Spanish spoken with a gringo/Texas accent. Whoa!), Ladies Bible Study at church on Tuesdays, Professional women's Bible study on Wednesdays, and possible small group on Thursday. Yep, I'm still a classic over-committer.

The Tuesday study is doing Gideon by Priscilla Shirer. Part of her study is designed to use hashtags (love it!) as a way to summarize each lesson. One of mine from this last week the Lord keeps impressing upon me is, "My season and role right now matters." I have a whole blog post that has been brewing for the past few weeks, but another time.

While this is a new season with totally different roles, they matter. It's a time of pausing and participating. Perfect.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The 40ish Awkward Seconds on Sunday Mornings

I've pegged the most awkward time during any church service (this is of course, my opinion).
The greeting time.

Those words you dread when the worship leader (typically) says those fateful words, "Turn and greet those around you."

Have you eve prayed, "Please, Lord, let me forget about the greeting time. I don't want to shake the person's hand next to me (unless he is a good-looking single man, then I'm all for it). The fake smile? Not feeling it, Lord. Say my name to another person who won't remember it and I won't remember theirs either? No thanks "? Yeah, me neither. :)

The only time I can recall REALLY enjoying those times was in middle and high school. It was the only time during church where it was seen as acceptable to talk to your friends during the service.

Even being somewhat of an extrovert, I dread the greeting time. Let's add in uncertainty of cultural customs. At my college church and in Panama, I never knew if the person I was greeting expected the kiss-greeting or just the fragile hand-shake or if it was a hugger. Then let's go back to the states and visit the Virginia church where I can't remember where I am and people know my name, so I assumer we must know one another, so grab them in a hug. They jerk away, completely confused. Apparently, we weren't that close.

If the music team needs those seconds to drink some water or rest their voices for just a moment, do it during the video announcements or have someone play a nice interlude and ask the congregation to spend a few seconds in silent prayer. I'm ok with that.

Now let's add in what happens when your church does the awkward greeting time TWICE! Augh!
At the very beginning (I need to start being late) and then after a few songs.

I know, I know, it's supposed to somehow cause people to make connections and meet people, but frankly, a five-second awkward handshake and perhaps name exchange doesn't create a long-lasting friendship. And then if there is no one sitting around you, you just stand there awkwardly, uncertain if you should move around to "find" someone to greet.

Maybe I need to come up with some unique catch phrases or actions for this time.

* "Greetings." (It is the  greeting time, let's call it what it is).
*"MynameisAbby.I'm31yearsoldandhaveagreatjobIloveandthinkthisisaweirdwaytomeetoneanother.Tellmeaboutyou" (Say this is in a rushed breath and see what happens).
* Grab said person's hand and pump it up and down four times and say the following (one word per handshake pump) - "Good to see you!"
* Sit down and put your head down as though in deep prayer.
* "How do you really feel about this part of the service?" Maybe they feel just as awkward.
* Go up on the stage and shake all of the music team's hands. No water break for you! :)
* Text someone you know and greet them virtually.
* Continue to plaster on the smile and shake the hands around you and remind yourself it's just a few seconds.

Oh the greeting time.
It's worth it, I guess. Thankful the Bible called it, "This too shall pass..."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What It's Really Saying....

I saw this recently in a fitting room.

It's the nice way of saying, "Don't leave the crap you try on in here!"

While the real message is much shorter, it doesn't quite offer the type of image or customer service a store would want to portray. So instead, we get the paragraph version. (Which I'm ok with since I'm wordy too!).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Am I missing Something About the Squirrels?

This was a half-page spread in the recent Sky Mall magazine.

Is there a recent squirrel trend going on that I don't know about?

Slash/who would want the creepy squirrel blanket? I feel pretty confident it would give me nightmares.
I would have nightmares about their tiny teeth chewing up everything in sight and their little clawed-feet crawling all over me. Ugh! I'm getting the shivers just thinking about it!

Slash/who would want a mounted stuff-animal like squirrel on the wall? It's like screaming, "I'm a Wanna Be Hunter and bought this squirrel on Sky Mall!"

So for those of you who were also uninformed, squirrels are the new trendy animal.