Thursday, May 23, 2013

And Sometimes...You Just Wish Your Arms Would Fall Off


I did my first official work-out with a trainer today.  Which means that I'm not really typing this post.  I'm using my Jedi mind powers to manipulate the keyboard because my arms are in full-on rebellion right now.

My trainer is awesome and he decided (as made obvious by the title) that I needed a little work on my arms/upper body area.  And well...I knew I was out of shape but OH  MY WORD THE BURNING!!! 

When it was all over, I was a sweating, quivering mass of Jell-O.  I didn't cry and I didn't toss my cookies...but I may have said the Lord's name out loud once or twice.

In reverent prayer, of course.  As in, "Oh Jesus.  JE-sus.  JAY-SUS!!!  FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY TAKE MY ARMS! TAKE 'EM LORD! They've been good to me!  They don't deserve all this abuse!  Do whatever is in Thy Holy Will to do with them just MAKE IT STOP!"

(Ok so maybe that was a little bit extreme and I didn't quite go there...but I wanted to.)

However sore my body may be...the thing is, I did it.  And everytime my body said " gon' hafta put a stop to this!  We cain't do this!" I just remembered all the OTHER times my body said I couldn't...but I did.

Due an issue with my knee, I've decided to walk the 5k instead of run and lower the impact so as not to do major damage.  So instead of walk/shuffle/walk I'm just walking.

But I'm walking longer and faster to compensate.  I'm up to 30 minutes at a 3.7 mph clip.  After that I've been hopping on to the elliptical for a 20 minute fat-burner session.  Hopefully next week I'll be able to up my walking speed to almost 4 mph and do more time on the elliptical.

Plus the personal trainer work-outs.

It sounds like a lot, and it is...but I'm so determined to see this through.  I've been off the sodas for about 6 weeks now, and I've been working out for three weeks.  I lost another pound this week but more than that...I'm defeating the voices in my head that keep saying I can't.

Because y'all...Yes. I. Can.  And the more I do it, the more my confidence grows.  Each workout does more to chip away at the feelings of shame and defeat for having let myself get to this point.

I'm doing it.

I'll bet you can do it too.

Rotating on Mimi's playlist this week:

Revolution on the Dance Floor - I don't know who recorded this.  My kids downloaded it.
California Gurls - Katy Perry
Bring It On - Lenny Kravitz
American Idiot- Green Day
So What - P!nk
Live and Let Die - GnR
Back in Black - AC/DC
Mama's Broken Heart - Miranda Lambert
What Was I Thinkin' - Dierks Bentley
Last Dance With Mary Jane - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Don't Have A Title For This Post

I know.  Butterbean and I are all about keepin' it classy on the blog.

That and I just didn't have any titles that were doin' it for me, ya know?

So...remember the other day when I was all "Oh I don't know how much I weigh, I'm not worried about the number on the scale" and all that?

You don't? don't think my issues with my weight is riveting blog material?

Whatevs.  Just pretend you're interested.

Anyhoo last Thursday I ventured out to the Walmarts and bought myself a scale .  And it only took an hour of some serious prayer and fasting before I figured out how to turn the thing on.  I am all sorts of what the young folks savvy.

I hopped on the scale and the number was (embarrassingly enough) 2...1...4.  YIKES!  At 5'4" I should only weigh somewhere in the 125-135 range.  That's roughly 90 pounds of extra baggage.

ERMAHGERRD I've been carrying around the equivalent of an 8th grade physics nerd for the past 20 years!  Complete with pocket protector and horn-rimmed glasses!

(No offense to all you physics nerds out there.  You guys are neat-o!  And smarter than me!)

So yeah...that day was kind of a bummer...but I didn't let it get me down too much.  I kept to the plan...I hopped back on the treadmill Monday and stepped up my game.  2 minutes of brisk walking and 90 seconds of jogging.  To say that my body went into shock over Truffle Shuffling for 90 seconds straight would be like saying the Pope is Catholic.  It's sort of an understatement.

First my calves started in with "Ummm hey lady...things are starting to heat up down here.  How's about dialing it down just a hair?"

When that didn't work my knees started in with, "Hey...we're getting seriously ANNOYED with you and your exercising shenanigans."

My lungs couldn't talk to me because they were busy huffing and puffing, but I could sense they were somewhat put out.

But I didn't listen to them.  Oh no.  I just kept imagining I was that firework that Katy whatshername keeps singing about.  I couldn't really help that.  She was singing in my ear so...what was I to do?

Then I thought about what it would be like to just be able to listen to some music and bust a few moves without seriously endangering myself or others around me.  I imagined myself in a sparkly outfit dancing and glittering across the stage and my spare tire spoke up and was all, "Easy there Beyonce ...two things are wrong with that scenario.  1) You have no rhythm and 2) You have no rhythm."

But I just rolled my eyes and kept on shuffling.  And then...I weighed myself again on Tuesday.

The number on the scale said 2...0...9!  5 pounds in 4 days.

Y'all...when I saw that I broke into some dancing that would have made BeyoncĂ© cry.  Or cringe.  I don't know which because 5 POUNDS! MIMI LOST 5 POUNDS!

Yeah.  It was what you might call...A Moment.  The first of many I'm sure.

That 8th grade Physics nerd is goin' down!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Jesus Jukin' The Gym

You all may remember that last week I began an exercise routine known as the Couch-5K.

Or as I like to call it, Death On A Treadmill.

The first time wasn't bad.  I actually left the gym feeling like a boss, because I'd managed to do the thing and you know...not die.

On Tuesday and Wednesday last week I didn't do the workout, I just walked.  Then Thursday rolled around and I went back to the gym.  I popped my earbuds in and stepped on to the treadmill to do my version of the Truffle Shuffle,  and my body was all, "Whoa. Wait...what?  Didn't you do this Monday?  Why do we need to do this again?  Don't tell me you're gonna make me do this for reals!"

I was all, "Shut up.  Just stop talking to me.  I'm listening to Kelly Clarkson, and she says that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

To which my body replied, "Keep shuffling lady and I can make that happen."

But I prevailed.  I showed my body that I was the boss of it and not the other way around.  And then something strange happened...I began noticing a phenomenon that normally doesn't happen to me unless I'm in church and the preaching is particularly fiery and brimstoney-ish.

I was sweating.

It was oh so lovely to behold.  In a smelly sort of way. 

Friday I went back for more.  My body began the usual arguments which then turned to pleading, and bargaining.  But I wasn't having it.  No ma'am.

I'll admit that it was a little difficult for me to get over how I must appear to everyone else who was working out.  But I looked over to the right of me to the skinny Minnie who was climbing the stairs endlessly...only she was sidestepping her way up the stairs.  She looked just as sweaty and ridiculous as I did.  She caught my eye and by unspoken agreement, we looked tactfully away from each other and didn't fall off our machines laughing at our silly selves.

I took comfort in the fact that she probably felt more uncomfortable than I did.

Plus, I had unwittingly and single-handedly Jesus Juked the entire joint.

(Pretend that was a really smooth segue into what I'm about to tell you)

Years ago I participated in the March for Jesus.  For those of you who may not remember, some people got together and thought Jesus wasn't being worshipped enough in public, so they came up with the March for Jesus.  And they sold t-shirts.  A friend of mine gave me one and I love it because it's soft and gi-normous.  I had grabbed it for my work-out Friday morning and didn't really realize what I was doing until after.

It has a picture of Jesus and the Crown of Thorns on the front.  On the back it says, "He walked for me, so I'll walk for Him."

Thereby informing everyone around me that this is not just a work-out for pleasure...oh no my young muscle-bound friends.  I was there on a mission from God. (Name that movie!)

Now, if only Jesus and the Father did the Truffle Shuffle.  It would make my suffering on this earth so very worthwhile.  (Stop looking at me like that Holy Rollers!  I'M JUST KIDDING!)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Time For A Change

I love the color green y'all.  It's one of my favorites...but honestly, with this new season of life that I'm in...I was getting a little tired of it.

So...TA-DA!!!  How do you like it?  I think it's pretty cool.  The posts are a little easier to read...the blue fuzzy background reminds me of summertime and well...I like it.  So you have to like it too.  Because rules.

You might also want to take note of the added page at the top...Mimi's Movin' and Groovin.'

Cause y'all...I have passed the stage of being  pleasingly plump.  You can read all about the whys and wherefores and what's up with that's on the page, but basically, I'm tired of being old, worn-out, and fat.

I can't do anything about the first thing, but I can certainly work on the other two.  All those old fears of "but I'll look ridiculous working out with all those skinny people" are being shot down with dosages of truth.  Because the truth is...I can't look much more ridiculous than I do now.  And it's only going to get worse with time, neglect, and gravity.

Besides...everybody's got their battles.  That cute little 20-year old stick that's sweating out her soul on that stair master like she's Tallahassee searching for his all-elusive Twinkie?  Honey, she could be fighting financial troubles, depression, family stuff, hassles at work, or...maybe she's like me and dealing with a body image/health issue.  Or maybe it's just zombies.  WHO KNOWS?

We all have our issues y'all...some are just better disguised than others.  So why should I be concerned with how I look in front of someone who has her own personal brand of crazy to deal with?

Yep.  That's what I thought.

So...a new look, a new journey, and...da da da da...a new grand-baby. 

Thaaaaaat's right y'all...I'm 'boutta be a Mimi again!  Come September, Butterbean's gonna have a baby I've got to think up a moniker for him.  Maybe Butternut? Butterscotch?  Butterfinger?  I dunno.  Some things just can't be forced.  Some things require contemplation and the alignment of certain heavenly bodies...and a really good bottle of wine.


I can't afford wine.

Well..y'all that about wraps it up for me today.  Keep the 'Bean in your prayers...because one of her issues is being the ONE AND ONLY.  We'll see how that works out for her this fall.

Should be more fun than fighting a herd of bloodthirsty zombies. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ohio...Where Church Gets Done Right

Y'all.  I had the opportunity to go up to Ohio this past weekend and visit my cousin and her precious family.

The drive is easy...straight up I-75...for several hours.  Then 3 rights and I'm there.

I was so looking forward to the weekend...I was going up to do some training and meet some fabulous people (Sara, Katie, Brandy...I'm looking at you here) and just do some all around gabbing and gossiping (Oh, I'm sorry Jessica...I meant to say "praying") and catching up in general.

My cousin is a hoot and even though she's lived in Ohio for a hundred years a while, she still has the most southern accent of anybody I know.

And that's saying something. I was saying...the drive up to Ohio is pretty much a straight shot.  Nothing much to see except gorgeous views from the top of Jellico Mountain, beautiful horse ranches in Kentucky, and breath-taking sprawling farmland in Ohio.

Oh...and then there was this:

Photo from The Ohio State University.

Okay, okay...there weren't really Ohio State fans standing there doing the O-H-I-O.  But there was (I'll get to the "was" in a minute) what the locals lovingly referred to as "Touchdown Jesus."

Yep.  That is one giant statue of...well...You Know Who.

(Unfortunately, as I was driving by...I couldn't just whip out my camera and take a picture for you since doing that at speeds of 70-ish miles an hour is not advisable by the Department of Transportation.  Mimi did not want to end up in Jesus' arms right at that moment so she sagely followed that piece of advice.)

Now y'all...that is what I call doing church RIGHT.  Wanna "cast your net" and "be a fisher of men?" Erect a giant Jesus statue in your front yard in full view of the highway.  Why my goodness...the "fish" will be jumping into the net what with all the accidents caused by the copious amounts of rubbernecking!  All you have to do is have a faithful group on standby to thump 'em on the head with the Word as they're being wheeled into the ambulance.   This is nothing less than an act of sheer evangelical genius in my opinion.

But seriously y''s what's kept me awake nights since I've seen this:  why didn't they have Him doing the Heisman stance?  It would be like He was saying to all the traveling sinners, "Stop! In the Name of Love! Beeefore yew braaaake my heart!" (Because that is totally how Jesus would sing that song.)

Anyways...turns out that maybe Jesus (As in..The One and Only) didn't like the "Touchdown" version since (true story, you can Google it) "Touchdown Jesus" got hit by lightning in a bad thunderstorm and burned right on down to the ground.

But make no mistake my friends...this sad development did not deter our Ohio-an brethren and sistren.  Nosirree.

Lo, they picked themselves up off the ground, dusted themselves off and resurrected re-erected a new statue.

Photo by Sarahlobster (I did not make that name up) via Tumblr.

There ya go.  The newly improved...more loving and huggable Jesus.  Beat THAT southern bible belt-ers!

(Now...I know there are some of you reading this going..." can you make fun of Jesus?" Honey-buns...I'm not making fun of Jesus.  I love Him.  But I am poking fun at the group of Master Gold Level Believers at the church where Huggable Jesus is located.  However, I want you to know that though my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek, it is in sisterly love y'all. Sisterly love.)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

All's "Hair" In Love And War

So just so that you don't think that Butterbean has dropped off of the face of the earth...(she totally hasn't...I mean but she HAS been a little busy what with walking and toddling and learning new words and basically being a toddler.  She's swamped.)

Here's a little convo we had just recently.  Please overlook the empty boxes and dead plants in the background.  It's not that I'm against cleaning up my front porch, it's just that I didn't do it BEFORE I started clicking away.

So...Butterbean has a little bit of an issue with her hair.  And she came to me, her very loving and very wise Mimi.

 Butterbean: Ummm...hey Mimi???
Me: Yes my little love?
Butterbean: Um, well, um could you maybe help me out with something?
Me: Of course I can, my angel.  What is it?
Butterbean: Oh,'s my hair I mean...

 ....just LOOK at it, it's just you know...LAYING there. And stuff.
Me: Uh-huh.  I see.  Well...have you thought about putting a little hair clip in it?
Butterbean: What's a hairclip?
Me: Well, I think I have one here (digging in pocket) um, yes, I do.  Here ya go kid.

 Butterbean:  What the heck is THAT?  It's the most WONDERFUL thing I have EVER SEEN IN MY WHOLE LIFE!!!
Me: 'Bean honey it's just a hair clip...let's dial down the enthusiasm just a bit mkay precious?

 Butterbean: YAY!!! I HAVE IT!!! I HAVE THE HAIRCLIP!!!! LOOK IT'S A HAIRCLIP!!! BY THE POWERS OF GREYSKULL...(wait Mimi...that's from He-Man.  I don't even know who He-Man is...)
Me: (Sorry) Um, yes baby, that's a hairclip.  Here...let me show you how to put it in...

 Butterbean: OKAY!

 Butterbean:'re gonna give that back right?  Mimi?

 Butterbean: Man, she is totally ignoring me right now.  I can't believe this.  What's the deal here?  Why did she take my hairclip?  I loved it so.

 Me: There you go precious!  What do you think?
Butterbean:  Oh yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about.  Beyonce' ain't got nothin' on me baby!  Talk about puttin' a ring on betta put a HAIRCLIP on it girlfriend!

 Butterbean: Hold on a minute Mimi, I think you need a close-up of this.  Let me get on my ride and roll on over to you...
Me: Uh, 'Bean honey that's not really necessary...I have, like hundreds of shots here...

 Butterbean: Let me just scoot on a little get your camera ready Mimi!
Me: Uh...Bean that's close baby...just know...

 Butterbean: Just. a. little. closer.
Me: 'Bean I'm bout to fall off the porch honey...

Me: Uh 'Bean, honey this isn't normal darling.  Just BACK THAT PONY UP A LITTLE MIMI LOVES HER TOES DARLING!!! SHE'D LIKE TO KEEP THEM!!!

Butterbean: Are you ready Mimi?
Me: (Completely melted by those eyes) What toes?

 Butterbean: do I look?
Me: *sigh* Absolutely adorable.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Hi...I'm Mimi and I'm Melaninally Challenged...

Don't let the title confuse you.  I'm not mentally challenged (contrary to popular belief in the Mimi Supreme household) I am melaninally challenged.

Melaninally challenged - to be unable to scrape up enough melanin to produce anything close to resembling a tan. 

Webster's and Merriam you are welcome.  I'll be expecting a share of the royalties soon after my pet sea monkeys arrive in the mail.

Look y'all...what I'm trying to say is...I am not only a white woman...I'm a pale white woman.  And...I know...this is quite possibly the most trivial first-world problem EVER...but it IS an issue.

And OH do I ever have a lee-tle bone to pick with the local, ahem, "meteorologists" around here.  Oh, I know, I can't control the weather...blah blah blah, but here's the deal weather people:

If the month of the year is April, and you've got your happy (or as Phil Robertson would say...happy happy happy) little sunfaces showing on the tv screen here's what blows through the cavern that is my mind...


Thaaat's right.  Just because I can't use the sun's rays for what God intended them for...perfect honey-kissed skin...doesn't mean I'm not still affected by them.  I get WARM y'all!  So I use the capris for some air-conditioning AU NATURAL.

Cause y'all...nobody wants to see Mimi sweat.  Ain't nobody got time for that!

But what has happened this year? It's April.  I've got the sunfaces, I've got the capris, I've got my pale-ashy skin...which is now turning a nice shade of blue because OH MY LORD THE COLD!!!!

The sun (and the weather people) has hoodwinked me y'all.  I been had.  I tell ya I been bamboozled.  And a lot of sweet, innocent little passersby who woke up this morning with no idea of what was in store for them today are now having to have medical attention because SUNRAYS BOUNCING OFF OF PALE WHITE SKIN = TEMPORARY BLINDNESS.

Yes weather's possible that you are responsible for a small yet very devastating public health hazard.  Because even though Meatloaf thinks two out of three ain't bad (or in this instance, 4 out of 5) some is.

Very bad.

The only silver lining in this whole thing is the looks on my kids faces when Mimi breaks these bad puppies out.

It almost makes it worth the frostbite.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Why I'm Not God

I know the posts here have been extremely few and far between.  Sorry about that.  I've been keeping quiet lately, trying to read more of the Word, and live more of the Word...rather than just run my mouth about it.

I'm writing today because a Big Event is happening and I have Some Thoughts.

Big Thoughts if you will.

My son, the younger of my two, is about to graduate from high school in a few months.  So naturally  he's been thinking rather hard about Life After High School. 

His father and I have been insisting on college since he was old enough to pronounce the word.  I mean, that's what all good parents in America do, right?  Education is the key to the American Dream, so we pushed and shoved for college right out of the gate.

But college is our dream. 

Not his.

Ever since he was little, and I mean 4 or 5 years old, my son has talked about being in the military.  When he got to be around 7 or 8 he started talking about it a lot.  When he was in middle school, his favorite channel became The Military Channel.  And it was about that time that he started talking about being a Marine.

Now...I can't say I'm thrilled about this dream.  I'm just not.  I'm proud of him, and I support him to the fullest...but I do not like this idea.

We thought we had him talked into at least trying a semester at college at UT Chattanooga.  Then last week he came home with the news that he'd met a Marine recruiter at his school during lunch, and wanted us to go and meet with him to talk about...things.

It became crystal clear to me in that moment that this really wasn't going to go away.  This wasn't just a pipe dream for him.  He is going to become a Marine.

Later that night after much pleading for prayer at church, (it was a Wednesday...thank goodness) it occurred to me that I could cry and beg and plead...and probably get him to enter college.  But it also occurred to me that perhaps if I did that, I would be standing in the way of God's plan for C.  And here's where it gets really nasty.

Everybody knows that the Marines are the first ones into battle.  And given that our country is still engaged in Afghanistan...and may possibly make a move on concern for my son's well being is well founded.

Especially when I look at the people in this country.  Do I want my son sacrificing his youth and possibly his life defending freedom not just for the people here, but elsewhere in the world?

I mean c'mon...we're talking everybody here.  Righteous and unrighteous.  Deserving and undeserving.  People who wouldn't so much as spit on my son if he were on fire.  Do you see where I'm going?

Why should my son possibly give up his life to protect freedom for murderers...rapists...child molesters...and on and on and on.  Do they know his heart?  That this isn't only a dream to him...but a driving force from within?  He feels compelled to stand for us.  That he would be less of a man, less of an American, if he doesn't do it.

Have any of those people in Congress..the ones who have the power to send him to war on a whim seen his sweet smile?  The tenderness of his heart?  Was the President there when he was born?  The politicians and judges and all in charge, did they watch him endure taunting and bullying only to persevere and be given awards and be recognized by his football coaches and peers as a man of integrity and character?  He could have turned nasty with all that he's been through...but he didn't.  He forgave and loved and moved on. 

I'm not a wealthy person...the ONLY treasure I have outside of Jesus is my children.  THEY (and Butterbean) are my most precious possessions. And I'm sorry...I just don't love you enough to give ANY of them up for you.  Especially not my son.

Which is why I'm not God.

If I had to sacrifice my son to satisfy the requirement of the'd better believe I'd be making dang sure you all were worth it.  And from where I one would make the cut.  You would all need to be making room in your suitcases for marshmallows and weenies because I hear hell is only good for roasting things. 

So thankfully for you, where I sit is not where God sits.

He is seated high above, He knows all, loves all, and His wisdom and understanding have no limit.  For, me, everybody...even the politicians...are worth it.

I don't get it, don't understand it, but that's the way it is.  He has deemed you worthy of the Greatest Treasure, the Daystar, the Lily of the Valley, the Rose of Sharon. 

And as I learn, oh so painfully, the greatness of this cost, I join my voice with Paul's and implore you (and myself) to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."  Eph. 4:1 (NASB)

I hope you hear my heart in this.  The cost for freedom, spiritual and physical, is so high that we there isn't a measuring instrument or scale able to truly count it or weigh it.  Therefore we have a duty first as Christians, and secondly as Americans, to walk in a way that honors Christ first, and then those who gave years of their lives away from families, who gave their sanity, their bodies, their fortunes, and for some...their that it won't have been for nothing. 

We owe so is the least we can do.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A City On A Hill

Well y'all, I've been thinking about some stuff tonight.  So hold on to your hats, go pee or whatever because this could get lengthy.

One might say that I've been in a bit of a funk the past several months.  No need to go into specifics...I'm sure everybody's been like that at one time or another.

Aforementioned funkiness (yeahhh...let's go with THAT word...funkiness...eatcha heart out Chaka Khan...) being the reason that posts have been pretty sparse around here.  Because really?  Who wants to read about a somewhat middle-aged woman whining about her stuff?

Nobody.  That's who.

Fortunately for me though, I have a Heavenly Father who is so crazy about me that He will go to any lengths, use any method, any tool, even go so far as to send His one and only to die for that I can be rescued from myself and live.

I shouldn't have been surprised by it all really.  I had been crying out for some time that my passion for Him just wasn't there anymore.  That I needed to get rid of some pride, do this, do that...anything to be enough.

Enough for Him.

*sigh* Silly rabbit, all works and no grace is for Pharisees.


I sorta, kinda got my wish to have my fire re-kindled, my passion re-inflamed, my hope restored and made fresh.  But it came at a heavy price.'s the thing...sometimes, in order to be filled or, re-filled, with means you gotta get rid of something.  In my case, it was a big old giant that I thought was dead, but was really only wounded...and he came back with some of his brothers to set up house, because I merrily refused to deal with him fully in the first place.

All that to say, this battle has got me stirred up.  And really, me and God are doing good...we're cleaning house if you catch what I'm doing here.  Because all of the funk drove me to my knees and forced me to pray something I hadn't prayed in a while.

God...You are God and I am not.  God...give me back my hunger....give me back my passion for You...give me an all-consuming love for You again.

So and God have this fiery romance thing going on right now.  And it's awesome because I know this is a seismic shift in my life.

I will never, ever be the same again.

And in all of this, just today, I began to think about passion and about how I got passionate for God in the first place...if you'd like to know (and you sort of don't have a choice here. do, but you'll have to sort of like, leave and not read the rest of this I'll be glad to share with you.

Quite simply...the way I started to hunger for a passion for God was...well...I hung out with passionate people.  One friend of mine in particular sort of set the whole thing off.

So it's her fault...thankfully.

I won't call her by her given name here...we'll just let her be known as 'Netters.

She and I crossed paths in a tiny little church many moons ago.  We instantly connected because, it was hard not to love somebody who was so...out there and ga-ga over the moon for Jesus.

She's a talented singer and musician but it's not so much her's how she sings...she gives her whole self..and I had never, ever seen anybody in any little bitty church sing to God like that.

I asked her once how she did it.  She said it like this, "When I'm up there on that piano stool, it's just me and God."  I couldn't figure it out, since obviously, it wasn't just her and God...myself and the rest of the congregation were there too.

And it wasn't just how she was how she lived.  She was so eager to talk about Jesus and to learn about Him, and was so fascinated with Him.  What can I say?  I was jealous.

And God used her to light a holy and beautiful brushfire within me.

So to my dear friend...I am thinking of you once again today as I re-start and re-kindle and re-fill.  I can see you, tears streaming down your face, smiling and singing with your whole body...telling everyone about how the old story would never grow old for you.

I give thanks to God that He put you in my path...because I was forever and irrevocably changed.  You unashamedly put your lamp out on a lampstand and lit up the whole house.  You were the city that was set up on a hill for me and in you...He could not be hidden.

Thank you for that.

You are the light of the world.  A city set upon a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 (NASB)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I am Jean Valjean

One word from him and I'd be back
Beneath the lash, upon the rack
Instead he offers me my freedom
I feel my shame inside me like a knife
He told me that I have a soul,
How does he know?
What spirit comes to move my life?
Is there another way to go?

I am reaching, but I fall
And the night is closing in
And I stare into the void
To the whirlpool of my sin
I'll escape now from the world
From the world of Jean Valjean
Jean Valjean is nothing now
Another story must begin!
(Lyrics from Who Am I? as sung by Jean Valjean.
From Les Mis
Written by Claude-Michel Schonenberg and Alain Boublil)
I was blessed by an opportunity to go see the movie/musical Les Mis this past weekend.  My sweet son was my date.  He actually was the one who convinced me to go.  Y'all I don't normally go to the movies.  (Because hello...$40 for 2 cokes and a popcorn is not my idea of a good time.) 
Usually I just wait for movies to get to On-Demand before I watch them.  But my son said I just had to go and see this movie.  He had seen it over the Christmas break and offered to go see it again if I'd go with him. 
Well...long story short (too late for that...sorry) we went.
And y'all.
I was quite simply...blown away.  It's been 4 days and I still haven't quite recovered.  How Hollywood managed to put out a movie that proclaimed the Gospel of Grace so wonderfully and beautifully without totally cutting the Lord out of the picture is nothing short of a true-blue miracle. 
True. Blue.
I'm telling you I practically floated out of that movie theater.  I had to because we had flooded the dang thing with tears. son said it sounded like a symphony in there what with all the sobbing and sniffling and nose blowing.  And when the rest of the audience got into the act...well...I'll just leave it to your imagination.
The is a tear-jerker.  So take some Kleen-ex with you.  Don't be like yours truly and think "Oh I'm not gonna cry." 
Yes.  Yes you will.
The lady to the left of me said she would've shared but she could only find one measley kleenex and it had to last her the entire 2 and 1/2 hours.  I'm guessing she hasn't heard of our Lord's miracle of the fishes and the loaves but whatever.
The two sweet little girls sitting next to my son didn't speak English very well (bless 'em) and they spent the entire movie sobbing in Chinese.  I didn't know that was possible but it is.
So yeah.  Tears.  They will flow like a river. 
But they will be good tears...especially at the end and you smack yourself in the head and realize the full message of what Mr. Hugo (author of the novel Les Miserables which is what the musical is based upon) had to say.  Not that I did that.  I'm speaking hypothetically of course.
The whole thing is uplifting and glorious in ways that Hugh Jackman's shamefully absent (and sadly missed) sideburns have striven-to-be-but-never-quite-made-it in all those X-men movies.
It is what going to the movies should be.
So don't wait for On-Demand.  Shell out the bucks and go.  It's worth it.
But please, for the love of all you and yours hold dear...refrain from singing "I Dreamed A Dream" mournfully to yourself in the shower the next morning as you ready yourself for work.  You may find yourself in a puddle ( see what I did there right?) shivering and sobbing in a fetal position on the floor when your husband starts pounding on the bathroom door complaining that he's late and he's gotta get ready too for Pete's sake.
But at least if it does happen you can reach up and grab some toilet paper for your nose.  If you've remembered to change the roll of course.
But again...that's just a hypothetical.