Sunday, November 29, 2009

Don't Yuck My Yum

A Spiritual Perspective on the Materialism of Christmas

Don't Yuck My Yum

This has become a very popular phrase among my circle of friends lately. The short meaning of the phrase is that something that I like might be something that you don't so please don't ruin the fact that I like it. For example, I really like coconut. In fact Mounds and Almond Joy are true treasures at Halloween. But for my step-mom they are torture. She despises coconut so if I see her making that scrunched up face when I'm eating one of these, I tell her, "Don't yuck my yum!"

We all just got back from a cruise for Thanksgiving. Seven of us in two cabins. Three Caribbean islands. Twenty one meals. And 44 ice cream cones (per person). It was loads of fun but in different ways for each of us. Below are a run down of each of our yucks and yums. It made for a very interesting trip.

Karafanda's on the beach

The Yuck's and Yum's of Christmas:

As we started the Christmas season today at church, I'm reminded that there are many yucks out there for me that might be enjoyable to others. I really like the holiness of the holiday. I enjoy the candle-light services and Christmas carols. I love simple decorations and small family gatherings. But I also like the child-like commercial aspect of Christmas. Yes I said it - I like presents, animated Christmas classics that have nothing to do with our savior, and gaudy tacky decorations in the neighborhood that people stand in line to see.


Other people forget about Jesus at Christmas. Some think that tacky Christmas decorations are just, well... tacky. And even more find it just one more reason to over indulge in materialism, food or alcohol. I can go on and on about how these thing are yucky to me but I realize that even if they don't see the "yum" that I see in the holiday, they still recognize it as a holiday. They see this time of year as different and important and regardless of the reason, we all set this special time aside to do something different. And if that's the starting point for us all to agree on Christmas then who am I to yuck your yum?

Have a great Advent/December and enjoy your celebration of the coming of Christmas in whatever way you find yummy!

YUMS: Things we each loved...

taste and see that the Lord is good
  • Shannon - the hot stone massage, warm melting cake, clear beautiful water, hearing French spoken again, getting to wear my awesome silver heels, and being unplugged for a week.
  • John A - warm melting cake, sleeping in, the water slide, the beach, his special cruise water Karafatini
  • John R. - the comedian, fries and pizza as often as possible, the towel animals, dancing with his sister
  • Shane - all you can eat ice cream, getting to sleep in grandma and grandpa's room, the towel animals, the water slide, the shows
  • Dori - snuggling with mom, getting to walk a lot, mac and cheese and some of mom's melting cake each night
  • Grandpa - flirting with all the women on the boat and getting his picture made with three hot young thangs and being asked to have his pic made with a spunky 82 year old lady, having people laugh at his not-so-funny jokes
  • Grandma - being with her family, the casino, the beach, the tiramisu, meeting new people

YUCKS: Things we could each do without...

  • Shannon - the non crispy bacon
  • John A. - breaking his toe
  • John R. - sunburn
  • Shane - getting a black eye by hitting a table
  • Dori - days were too long
  • Grandpa - sunburn
  • Grandma - having a bad blood sugar day

There were many other yucks for some of us but those were some that were yums for others. For instance I walked into my parents cabin and looked at the mild mess and thought "Yuck!". Not that it was that messy but I couldn't have slept like that. Of course to them the freedom of being relaxed in their room was a yum.

Also as you can see, John and I really loved the warm melting cake that is a signature dessert for this cruise line. My dad took one bite and said "Yuck - too sweet!" It just wasn't for him.

Until Everyone Hears,

P.S. - If you want to get more inspiration for ways to get into Holy Mischief, sign up for my newsletter at

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Exponential Equations

the power of prayer

Pay it Forward:

I was recently at a church leadership conference for young, beautiful, next generation leaders like myself and 14,000 of our closest friends. It was an amazing two days that re-energized me and refocused my passion for what I do.

As part of the conference, the organizing team passed out $10 bills to everyone at the conference (I have to say that the money I'm sure was donated by a wonderful sponsor whose name is escaping me). Our challenge was to use the $10 and multiply it to make a BIG difference for the kingdom of God. No other instructions were given. We were just supposed to make a BIG difference. Specific multiples were not mentioned.

Their point was that it might just be $10 to me but since we all got $10 that's $140,000 for the kingdom. I mean I might not be able to do a whole lot with $10 but $140k is a lot more. And if I multiply my $10 by at least doubling it and so does everyone else that's $280,000 for the kingdom of God.

BUT… what if we tried to multiply it more than 2x? And what if I tried to convince others to join in this challenge? Then we aren't just talking $10 and 14k people. We are talking about infinite possibilities; and isn't that was the kingdom of God is all about – the infinite possibilities.
Wow. As I looked at my envelope with $10 and thought about how I held in my hand the possibility for infinite change, I was a bit overwhelmed. And I decided that this was too much to ponder on an empty stomach so I tucked my envelope in my binder (as to not spend my $10 on a burrito at Moe's) and set it down in my chair to hold my spot.

I know. I KNOW! I held the power for infinite change in my hands and left it in a chair in an arena with 14,000 other people. I came back from my Tex-Mex fix ready to worship and change the world only to find that the people next to me had decided to move (I guess that they didn't like my singing) and had taken my binder by mistake. Yes I am giving them the benefit of the doubt that they took my binder as there was another binder still there – just not mine (always put your name on your binder). Of course, when they discovered that they had a bonus $10 – I did notice that they weren't running back to find me.

I wasn't going to let my lost $10 get me down. It wasn't mine to start with. It was for the kingdom and I just prayed that the binder thieves would take their challenge seriously and spend their (now) $20 on something more fruitful than I could come up with.
And I left it at that.

That was until yesterday when the people I went to the conference with asked what we were all doing with our money. Ugh! What money? I'd lost mine within 45 minutes! And I felt that nagging feeling that I hate. The one that tells me God is asking me to do something. Something new. Something different. Something that I might just not want to do. And I said in front of God and everybody, "If I get an extra $10 this week what I was not expecting, THEN I'll decide what to do with it."
A-ha! A challenge! God really seems to laugh when I issue Him a challenge.

It seems that our financial person at the church had just finished setting up the possibilities for online donations. So as web-mistress, I go online to create the button/link on our web site and I decide to test it out. I login to PayPal and discover that we have an extra $20 sitting in our account. I ask my husband about this and he says that we must have sold something on eBay and not cashed in on it yet.
(Insert the sound of how you think God laughs here) So not only did I find my unexpected $10 but it was already multiplied by the time I found it. So I donated it online (I got to be the first to check it out).

Now back to exponential functions. It seems to me that if we have an unknown amount of money and an unknown amount of times it can be multiplied then we have an exponential equation. The amount we are talking about has infinite possibilities.

I keep wondering how I can make the biggest impact. I'm not an inventor so I can't patent the next big thing. My book is only halfway through and as I've never published before I'm not sure it'll be the next best seller.

Exponential Equations Updated Ending:

Since this originally posted, many of you took up the challenge to pay it forward. In fact, from this post and a lot of soul searching a movement of Holy Mischief has begun. I don't know if you have $10 to spare but if you do I challenge you to make at least a $10 difference for the kingdom of God somewhere. And to join me on more adventures of Holy Mischief, sign up for my newsletters at

The possibilities are infinite.

Until Everyone Hears,

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