Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Operation Birthday: The Last Week

Two missions to complete: 1) Karaoke 2) horseback riding

I have tried to this point to share experiences from my list in single blogs but I did these on the same day and I'm just a bit tired.  And this day wore me out even more.

Horseback riding was super fun.  I hadn't ridden on a horse since high school but I did ride a camel twice last year.  Horses are much easier than camels to get on and for the most part can be fairly mean.

Horses, though, are really fun animals.  This was my husband's first time riding which gave us/me the chance to say some pretty funny lines such as "Can you control that thing between your legs?" and "Watch out Bill! (his horses name) You're being mounted by a virgin!"  And of course things just got more in the gutter from there.

We rode for about two hours with a short break to chase down one of our guides' horses and to enjoy the views around Pine Mountain.

Part 2 of the day ended with some Karaoke.  Since I don't drink anymore and have to limit my caffeine, karaoke time for me was all about pure adrenaline.  And the cheese dip helped to.

I decided to go with Patsy Cline's "Crazy" as this is he-who-shall-not-be-named-in-blogs and my "song."  I think I did pretty well.  I may not be going to Hollywood but I didn't have anyone covering their ears and since my kids were there that is saying something.

The real hit of the night was my daughter who decided that the dance floor was hers and got shuffling even after someone sang :"Party Rock."  She's a wild one.  I have no idea where she gets it from.


Until Everyone Hears (about God - not my karaoke),

Friday, February 24, 2012

Operation Birthday: Day 15

Today's mission:  Clean up the Valentine's dinner mess because a commercial was being shot in my kitchen

I know that this isn't in order and I know that this wasn't on my list but it was fun to frantically clean my house so that they could shoot just a few seconds of a commercial in my house.

I cleaned so good that the lighters on the gas stove didn't work and we had to start it the old fashioned way.  Its finally dirtied up again and will light now.

For the finished product go to the link below and click on the video.  My kitchen is toward the end.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Operation Birthday: Day 22

Today's Mission: Repent and Believe the Gospel

I realize that I haven't blogged for the past few days but when you go on a youth retreat it gets a bit difficult to do so.  Plus as you know "what happens on the retreat stays on the retreat."  Except when the youth leader blogs and has great stories to tell.

I'm not sure how all youth groups work but mine doesn't always play by the rules (and they often ask - "What rules?")  This can get them into a bit of trouble sometimes but it can also be a lot of fun.

Initiation rituals after lights out, getting others to sing with us at lunch, laughing at Bejeezus of Hepzibah, and greeting others with random hugs makes me smile.  It makes me remember that even though our mission is to make disciples, making disciples can be a fun process.  In fact, it must be.  That doesn't mean we don't have serious moments, it means that God wants our joy for Him to spill over into all parts of our lives so that we may  have abundant life.

Today is Ash Wednesday.  Today I got to go to an assisted living facility and lead a service where I placed ashes on willing residents and asked them to repent and believe the Gospel.  It was serious but it was fun too.  I met someone who was 105 and I realized after meeting all of these people and after spending the weekend with some crazy youth that one day I will be the old lady causing all the trouble in the nursing home.

And God and I are okay with that.

Until Everyone Hears,

Operation Birthday: Day 18

Today's Mission: ROAD TRIP!

Today began a road trip with my youth group to Epworth by the Sea.  It was pretty amazing.  I've got LOTS I could say here but "what happens on the trip stays on the trip" so....

Until Everyone Hears,

Operation Birthday: Day 17

Today's Mission: Go to Alvin Ailey in the ATL
Surprise Celebrity sitting behind me ---> Baton Bob

I was excited about Date Night and for checking Alvin Ailey off my list.  As we headed off to downtown, he-who-shall-not-be-named-in-sermons-or-blogs was pleasantly positive even though he was inwardly feeling tortured.

I got excited as we sat down and I wondered if this crowd would be okay with me dancing in the aisles during "Revelations."  As soon as I thought the thought, my question was answered.  I noticed a person with a stunning hat on.  I had been a bit upset at the lack of good hats so far but this one was all shiny and sparkly.

As I turned back around I was tapped on the shoulder and handed a few postcards tied together with a pretty bow.  It appeared that Baton Bob was sitting behind me and he was ready to party.

He was more entertaining than most of the show as he gave his commentary as things happened.  You could tell that he really enjoyed the show because he brought his majorette whistle with him and would blow it repeatedly when everyone else was applauding.

Today's mission was a hit with a surprise twist and I hope Bob's night was as fun as mine!

1 Samuel 19:23
As he was going there, the spirit of God took control of him also, and he danced and shouted all the way to Naioth.

Until Everyone Hears,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Operation Birthday: Day 16

Today's Mission: Attend a worship service at OM with Carolyn

Expectation:  Some nice music and prayer.

You may have noticed I didn't blog about Day 15.  I did have a cool event happen but I'm waiting for the results before I post the particulars.

This morning I was tired.  It was foggy and drizzly and I really wanted stay home in pjs and read a trashy novel.  But since I had to leave the house, pjs were not an option and the novel hasn't been purchased yet.

I was supposed to meet our choir director Carolyn at a place called Operation Mobilization.  She had told me about their Thursday worship services and I asked to go with her.  Operation Mobilization or OM is an international Christian mission organization.  They have worship services every Thursday to celebrate what they are doing and to pray for their missionaries.

While I had once been excited about going, today I just wasn't.  Today I was just checking something off my list.  Today was not going to excite me.

The good thing about God is that He will work even when I'm not in the mood for it.

I can't tell you that I experienced amazing music.  I can't tell you that I heard an amazing sermon that changed my life. I can't tell you that I was greeted with Starbucks, doughnuts, and hot cookies.

But I can tell you that I had an experience of God.  I felt God's presence.  I was moved to pray for people that I didn't know but I felt as if they could feel our prayers.  I felt a renewal for my passion for mission.

I believe we all have a mission field.  I'm in one right now.  If you are ready to transform some lives and help save the world.  Let me know.  We can do it together.

Matthew 28:

18 Jesus drew near and said to them, 
         I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.19 (I)Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,20 and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.

Until Everyone Hears,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Operation Birthday: Day 14

Today's Mission: make an amazing meal for the family.

The menu:

  • chicken parmigiana
  • spaghetti and meatballs
  • salad
  • garlic bread
  • key lime pie
  • chocolate chess pie
  • derby pie

It was our brother Kyle's birthday so he came by and we enjoyed a great feast.

I don't have to cook the rest of the month.  There's enough left to last that long.

Genesis 26:30

Good News Translation (GNT)
30 Isaac prepared a feast for them, and they ate and drank.

Until Everyone Hears,

Monday, February 13, 2012

Operation Birthday: Days 12 and 13

Mission: make a viral video.

This was a two day mission.  One was making the video.  The other was for editing.  I'm not sure if this video will actually go "viral" or not but it is definitely cute enough to do so.  

Our youth group went to visit two of the "Recycled Kids" from our church.  Lamar Wallace was one of them.  Lamar is over 100.  But for some reason he can get jiggy with it like he's 29.  We asked if we could dance with him and he was all for it!

The result is our valentine greeting for the world.  God loved the world so much He gave us His only son.  We love the world so much we give you Lamar and The Cupid Shuffle and if it makes you laugh we'll tell you about God and His son too.

Share it if you can.  I'll let you decide what "it" is.

Until Everyone Hears,

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Operation Birthday: Day 11

Today's Mission: Party!

I enjoy a good party.  I enjoy throwing a good party even more!  But when I'm the focus of the party yet I have no say in it, I get a bit nervous.  I start asking the "what if" questions:

What if they have balloons? (I have a major phobia)
What if all they have to eat is mushrooms and cucumbers? (I don't eat fungus and cuke seeds are too strong a flavor for me)
What if I'm not dressed right?
What if I say the wrong thing?
What if others don't have fun?
What if no one talks to me?
What if I don't convey my appreciation enough?

Before you start thinking that I'm a worry wart or wonder where your invitation went, let me tell you that my party for close family and friends was a worry free one.

We had a marvelous time and it was a great celebration.

The women and the children joined in the celebration, and the noise they all made could be heard for miles. Nehemiah 12:43

Until Everyone Hears,

Sis' girls with my Dori

A different sis - Johnsafanda

Stepmonstor and me

Daddy and me

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Operation Birthday: Day 10

Today's Mission: buy stuff for the amazing family dinner I'm making, work on a video, enjoy a kids movie night.

Accomplishments: waited 2 hours and 30 minutes in the eye doctor's office.

Sure they can make an appointment time but they can't keep the appointment time.  I checked my kids out early from school for this and then did not have time for grocery shopping or energy to do much of anything else.

I did however have the energy to sit on the sofa and watch Tangled.  My three year old asked a ton of questions like, "Can I go into that TV and hit the mean lady?" and "Why are they singing AGAIN?"

Then I crashed at 8:30 pm exhausted from all the celebrations this month and from the unnecessary waiting at the eye doctor.

Welcome to the "F" years!

James 5:7
Patience and Prayer ] Be patient, then, my friends, until the Lord comes. See how patient farmers are as theywait for their land to produce precious crops. They wait patiently for the autumn and spring rains.

Until Everyone Hears,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Operation Birthday: Day 9 (aka the actual birthday)

Today's mission: 72nd floor of the Westin, shopping at Mall of Georgia

Other Bonuses: flirting with the hair straightener guy, coming up with an idea for a comic duo, eating a cake pop for breakfast, flowers from my man, Varsity for lunch,  not getting sick from lunch, a late dinner with my man, notes and flowers from my boys, lots of plans for future birthday missions, lots of well wishes, a surprise appearance by those-who-shall-not-be-tagged...

One TIRED 40 year old.

  • New King James Version
    Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Until Everyone Hears,

Operation Birthday: Day 8 (a day late and a $ short)

My First Shoes

My First 40 something Picture 

Today's mission: girls night in!

I have a three year old who has learned very quickly the importance of girls night out (or in).    She asks on a fairly regular basis when she and I can have girls night.  For her, girls night is all about the popcorn and coke that she deems as a requirement to all girls' nights.  She also strongly believes a movie should play a key role but knows that it is not crucial.

The men of the house scored some free Hawks tickets for the evening so it was a perfect opportunity for girls night.  She and I (and a few other friends) were able to celebrate my last night of my thirties.  The thirty-something decade was surly a great one.  I had an amazing time during this tenure.  I visited Vienna.  I preached the opening of a new church. I had a baby girl.  I completed my Master's degree.  I visited London and Paris. I became a dog owner.  I met amazing people.  .I read through the Bible.  I learned how to paint.

So as I sat with my friends to ponder the importance of these years, I enjoyed a tall glass of one of my favorite cocktails - limeade mixed with a fiber supplement.

I know how to party.

He-who-shall-not-be-named-in-sermons-or-blogs snapped the above photo at 12:01.  My first minute of being 40 was exciting.  I got flowers and hugs and then shooed everyone out the door because I was about to turn into a pumpkin.  It was, after all, two hours past my bedtime.

Proverbs 22:6
  • New King James Version
    Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Until Everyone Hears,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Operation Birthday: Day 7

Today's Mission: Spa Day

How am I able to afford all these luxuries you ask?  Gift cards left over from Christmas.  Its a great strategy when your birthday is 1.2 months after Christmas.

Today I was able to get a massage (photo not permitted and author would not like it shown in either case).  Then I had a lunch with some great friends.

It may not have been the complete package but it was very relaxing and enjoyable.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:7

Until Everyone Hears,

Operation Birthday: Day 6

Technically its day 7 and I'm breaking #5 on the list: blog daily with pictures.  But its late and I didn't really do anything from the list today so I'm gonna turn back my clock and pretend I am doing #5.  Can I do that on Thursday too? (actually turn back the clock I mean)

As for a picture,  here you go.....

That's me after the clock is turned back.  Or my daughter.  She is a mini-me.

Psalm 97:9-11

New International Version (NIV)

9 For you, LORD, are the Most High over all the earth;
   you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the LORD hate evil,
   for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
   and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines[a] on the righteous
   and joy on the upright in heart.

Until Everyone Hears,

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Operation Birthday: Day 5

Today's mission: worship God and plant some seeds for further missions.

I had a great day at Hopewell UMC. I've got something planned for the youth to help me check something off my list next week.  

Other than that, there was some sporting event that I had on the TV while I ate snacky food.

It was a good day.

Exodus 20 - 
 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Until Everyone Hears, 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Operation Birthday: Day 4

Tonight's mission: go to a place where I have to wear formal attire.

I was kind of at a loss on this one.  I'm not one to dress up often and he-who-shall-not-be-named-in-sermons-or-blogs' idea of dressing up is wearing jeans and a shirt that isn't a t-shirt or sweat shirt.

Either I was going to have to drag my date kicking and screaming or book a cruise really fast.  Neither was really an option.

But thanks to my amazing friend Lynda Owens I was able to pull this one off.  She was a major player in the Miss Sandy Creek pageant this year.  I had already planned on attending since two beautiful girls from our youth group were entered.  

Lynda asked me if I'd like to be a sponsor for the pageant and present the sponsor award for the student who raised the most sponsorship money.  In doing so I not only got to get all dressed up, I also got to help out backstage during the pageant and crown the sponsor award winner (and yes I tried on the crown before I presented it).

This was no "toddlers and tiaras" pageant.  These were real girls who were just a beautiful on the inside as they were on the outside.  It was fun and glamorous. I even got to lace someone's built in corset.  Who knew dresses were still like that?

So thanks again for the opportunity Lynda!  I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

1 Peter 3:2-4

New International Version (NIV)
2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

Until Everyone Hears, 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Operation Birthday: Day 3

Tonight we attempted #24 on my list: a super romantic date night.  I had hoped to combine this one with #10 and see a show at The Shakespeare Tavern  because this month is Romeo and Juliet but alas my date would rather get "stabbed with a knife" than see a Shakespeare play so we went out for a lovely dinner.

On the way there I told he-who-must-not-be-named-in-sermons-or-blogs that this was supposed to be a super romantic date night.  So he looked at me and reached over....


put B98.5 on the radio.

Which may have been a lame attempt at romance if Delilah was still on this channel in Atlanta but she isn't so we listened to Asia on the way to Carrabba's.

We had a great dinner with no children and came back to watch the Disney channel with the remaining awake children.

So romance may not be what it was when we were in our 20's but we''ll take what we can get.

" I went to my garden, dear friend, best lover! breathed the sweet fragrance.
I ate the fruit and honey, 
   I drank the nectar and wine.

   Celebrate with me, friends!
   Raise your glasses—'To life! To love!' "- Song of Solomon 5:1 The Message

Until Everyone Hears,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Operation Birthday: Day 2

Today's mission: Walk into a restaurant and shout, "Hey everybody!  It's my birthday!  Drinks are on me!"

Plan A was to hit Starbucks this morning.  Morning turned to mid-morning and by the time I reached Starbucks (the slow one in the Kroger), no one was really there.  It didn't feel right.  Epic fail.

So I went to plan B.  I called a few more people and discussed it over lunch.  I went to the more popular Starbucks just after a late lunch.  Not as expensive, um I mean, crowded as the morning but still had a good flow going.

My partner in crime JLJ wanted to scope things out so she went ahead to see how many people were in there and I stayed outside.  I wanted to just pop in and make my announcement so I didn't chicken out.

She came out and said there were about 10 people inside.  So I rushed in and shouted my announcement and waited for the cheering and celebrating....

What I got was some crazy looks and one casual dude who looked up from his laptop to say "Happy Birthday." (note there is no exclamation point here)

But one of the people in line said, "Seriously?"

"Yes!" I said.  "I have a list of things I want to do for my birthday and this is one of them."  I put a stack of cash on the counter and told the Barista to keep ringing people up until it was all gone.  She was so excited that she was almost jumping up and down.

Finally people realized I was serious.  I wasn't crazy (visibly). And they really could get a drink for free.  Now the happiness started and people were excited.  Even before they got their caffeine, they were more awake and ready to take on the afternoon.  All because they got some free coffee.

It made me happy.  I got an adrenaline rush.  I'm not sure I can top it tomorrow.  But alas I will try.

Leviticus 23:37
(“‘These are the LORD’s appointed festivals, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing food offerings to the LORD—the burnt offerings and grainofferings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day.

Until Everyone Hears,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Operation Birthday - Day 1

Well here we are.  Day 1 of my month long celebration.  I'd like to tell you that I was greeted by breakfast in bed with Harry Connick Jr serenading me followed by a hot stone massage.  But I woke up to an alarm that didn't go off and had to make my own tea and oatmeal.  It could be worse.  I am fortunate to have tea and oatmeal.

My plan for day 1 was a GNO that had to be postponed on both ends of the G's. So my back up plan went into effect.

I've placed a few painting on ebay as a fundraiser for our youth group.  I haven't had any nibbles but have had a few views. If you are interested, here's the link for one of them:

And some of the pictures are below.  Not a very exciting day for the start of Operation Birthday but I do get an extra day this year for the month long celebration so I'm sure I'll make up for it.

Psalm 2:7-9
Let me tell you what God said next. He said, "You're my son, And today is yourbirthday. What do you want? Name it: Nations as a present? continents as a prize? You can command them all to dance for you, Or throw them out with tomorrow's trash."

Until Everyone Hears,

The Trickster

There is a character in most folklore known as the trickster. The Trickster at first seems to be a bad character. Who really wants to be tri...