Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jon & Kate Plus 8

Basically since it began, I have loved the Gosselin family and enjoyed getting a glimpse into their lives raising twins and sextuplets, although feeling slightly voyeuristic at times. Aside from the cuteness, I was drawn to their authenticity (good and bad), family-focused lives, and heart for Christ. While not explicit on television, after reading their story on their website, it was apparent they are believers.

This last season I did not watch as frequently. Partially due to my hectic schedule and lack of a DVR, but I was also slightly turned off by the direction the show was going. Rather than being a look into the family’s day-to-day lives, it was heavy laden with product integrations. You’d think with it being my career this wouldn’t bother me; however, it seemed to change the heart of the show.

As with many people, I have been burdened by the tabloids’ stories of sensationalizing an impending divorce, affairs, etc. Given that, I had conflicting thoughts as to whether to tune-in to the season premiere last night. I was curious to see how they would respond, though was not sure that I wanted to support it since I think they should stop filming. Well, my curious side and practicality got the best of me knowing I am not a Nielsen monitored house, so me watching would have no effect whatsoever on ratings.

I was so very disappointed and clicked off my TV at the end with a heavy heart. Although they did not specify their reasons (which frankly, it’s none of my business anyway), both Jon and Kate spoke of divorce and potentially the sextuplets’ fifth birthday being the last family picture. Jon was in the episode sparingly as he was having a weekend “off,” and seemed bitter during the few interviews he partook in. Both said any decision they make would be for the betterment of their children.

I of course do not know the specifics, I do not know them personally, nor do I know their true hearts. At the same time, I am saddened by this news and truly hope for the sake of raising their family and maintaining the covenant they made to one another, they have a community of believers in their lives to pray for, love on, and encourage them to persevere through this obviously difficult time in their family. I also hope they really evaluate whether they should continue filming or turn off the cameras.

Is it sad I just spent an entire posting on a family I don’t know? Oh well…

Friday, May 22, 2009

Till Gabriel Blows His Horn

Five years ago tonight, I officially graduated from the fabulous University of Texas. Aside from this, 2009 also holds two other significant anniversaries: 10 years from high school and five years from starting work. Having only attended for a year and a half, I could give a flying flip about the high school I graduated from, so aside from knowing this year marks my 10 year reunion (which I will not be attending), I could really care less. Random memory, though, I’m a big journaler and fairly recently flipped through old journals. I was a little grossed out to find 10 years ago I thought I would marry my then-boyfriend. Some of you know the story of that relationship and I’m sure would join me in praising God that he had different plans!

My official five year work anniversary is Sunday. Yep, I’m a go-getter and started work two days post graduation! Anniversaries are a huge deal here and while we celebrate each year, the five-year increments receive extra attention. Five years includes a jacket (it’s a new style, though I haven’t seen it yet), an extra week of vacation and sick days, and a membership to Cooper’s Fitness Center should you choose to partake.

Anyway, in honor of these anniversaries, I thought I’d highlight a few special memories from each of the last five years.

I entered the workforce and started on Red Lobster…Became an “adult”…Made my first big solo purchase (a red couch!)…Began attending Watermark.

I officially joined Watermark and made the joyful commitment to begin serving in student ministries!...Researched and got my very first car, a shiny black Volkswagen Jetta…Longhorns killed OU for the first time in five years!

My little small group joined Lisa and Kristin’s, creating the wonderful trifecta…My mom graduated from her Master’s program and officially became a principal!...And we can’t forget the Longhorns winning the 2005 National Championship in January!!

Our fabulous community group began!!...Heather and McKenzie joined our family through marrying my brother… I transitioned off Red Lobster and onto Reliant Energy, Zales, and Hyundai…Our girls started high school.

I was “promoted” to supervisor and took on the M. D. Anderson account…Began CR…Jen joined our small group!...God graciously brought me through some very tough situations with the help of my wonderful community, family, sweet Mel, and my precious co-leaders.

I know 2009 has some wonderful memories ahead as well, including moving in with Katie in a few weeks!!! YAY!!!

And because today marks five years of being a Texas Ex, I have to include the song near and dear to all Longhorns’ hearts. And a few pictures of the beautifully orange tower during 2004 commencement. Hook 'em horns!!

The eyes of Texas are upon you, all the livelong day
The eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot get away
Do not think you can escape them, at night or early in the morn'
The eyes of Texas are upon you
Till Gabriel blows his horn!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

No Other Gods

Recently, my community group completed the study “No Other Gods,” which I’d highly recommend to anyone. The study focuses on our modern day idols; modern day in that not very many Americans worship statues and such, at least that I know of. In any case, my eyes were opened to idols I grip so tightly, many of which are not bad, per say, just detract my heart from Christ. The author, Kelly Minter, is an excellently raw writer, weaving powerful Biblical stories with practical, genuine applications.

It’s been several weeks (maybe even a month?) since we finished and, though I have not sat down and intentionally thought through my idols recently, just this morning God stirred my heart revealing one I hadn’t recognized that is deeply entwined in my heart.

The past few days have been somewhat bittersweet for me. Growing up, we did not pay much attention to Mother’s Day, aside from a handmade gift, card, etc. Not that we were ungrateful children, my family tends to place more attention on birthdays and both of my parents’ sandwich Mother’s and Father’s Days. With that said, I have continued that trend in recognizing the day briefly, but not giving it much thought. So, when I was feeling a little off yesterday, Mother’s Day being the reason never crossed my mind…until this morning.

More than anything else in the world, I long to be married and a mother. It’s been a desire for as long as I can remember and, though it is not promised, I have realized over the past few months, that I subconsciously have dates and experiences reserved in my mind for being a wife and mother. For example, once I complete CR, then I’ll meet someone. Or, once I’m married, then I’ll finally go to France. Or, once I have a family, then I’ll finally be able to do X and X and X…you get the picture.

This morning, I realized my off feeling yesterday was related to my grief over not being where I thought I’d be. Not being anywhere, remotely near marriage, let along motherhood, Sunday making it even more abundantly clear. And sneaky ole Satan used it to breed thoughts of being off and undesirable.

Praise God for not allowing it to stop there, me wallowing in the lies being whispered into my ears. Instead, as I was beginning my community group’s new study of Esther (and not getting far after God laid this on my heart), God’s whisper was louder than that of Satan’s. He gently said “Sarah, you desire marriage and motherhood more than me.” The truth of this whisper shocked me to my core, as it is completely true. I dream about being married and having a family, yet rarely do I fill that amount of space or thoughts in my head with the love of Christ. I am like my namesake, Sarah, Abraham’s wife; well, except for the fact that she is married and gives her servant to her husband, but that’s not the point. She does not trust God. He explicitly promises descendants to Abraham and she takes things into her own hands. And he explicitly promises to love me (Isaiah 54:10), sustain me (Psalm 54:4 & 55:22), carry me (Isaiah 46:4), fight for me (Exodus 14:13), betroth me (Hosea 2:19-20) and I do not trust that HE alone is 100%, completely enough, forever, for always.

I’ll end with the lyrics from a song based on Psalm 23 by Jon Foreman, House of God Forever, that encapsulates the desire of my heart. I know peeling my fingers from this idol will not come quickly, but I do long to replace it, and instead grip the Lord even more tightly.

God is my shepherd
I won’t be wanting
I won’t be wanting

He makes me rest in fields of green with quiet streams
Even though I walk through the valley of death and dying
I will not fear, cause you are with me,
you are with me

Your shepherd staff, comforts me
You are my feast in the presence of enemies
Surely goodness will follow me, follow me
In the house of God, forever

Monday, May 11, 2009

Phanty of the Opera

Did you know the “Phanty” of the Opera lives in Dallas?!?!?

This weekend my brother’s family came into town from windy, dusty Lubbock. They arrived Friday night and prior to heading to dinner, I gave McKenzie her 4th birthday present a few months early (her birthday is in July). I embraced my inner Frank Lloyd Wright and built a dollhouse fit with doll furniture. No, I didn’t carve out the house myself, it was a kit, but I did built and paint it. In addition, I made matching bedding with the help of my new handy dandy sewing machine.

I attempted to make dolls for the house myself as I couldn’t find any cute ones that weren’t ridiculously expensive, but since I’m a sewing newbie, she turned out a bit more like a beat-up, electrocuted girl as opposed to the darling image I had in my head. So I opted for a cute little monkey family. The Little Mermaid is McKenzie’s hero, so I made her an Ariel birthday card to complete the gift (FYI - if you haven’t yet, I can almost guarantee you’ll get a hand-made card from me at some point; it’s my new favorite project!).

Friday night we ate at Mi Cocina in West Village (solely for convenience). The trendy atmosphere was quite hilarious to McKenzie, who loved dancing to the techno music. Shouldn’t Mexican food be accompanied by salsa not techno? I’m so not trendy. Saturday, Adam, Heather, and I had tickets to see Rent (which was a great show, by the way) and McKenzie spent the afternoon with my aunt Betty and cousin Libby, eating at Magic Time Machine and playing endless hours of American Girl. McKenzie was enthralled by the treasures around Betty’s house as she’s an artist, she has lots of fabulous decorative accents and such to entice any four year old. Her favorite, a giant, and cute, carrot pillow.

Prior to Rent, A, Heather, and I ate at a hilarious burger joint in Deep Ellum called Twisted Root Burger. While there, I was coined Little Miss Sunshine and A was Dick Tracy. Good burgers, interestingly fun atmosphere.

Are you curious about the “Phanty” reference yet? As I noted in my Christmas posting, McKenzie adores Phantom of the Opera! Sunday, we headed to the wonderfulness that is Breadwinners for Mother’s Day brunch and in true childhood fashion, McKenzie noticed aspects of the restaurant blind to my eyes. In our dining room, there were elaborate chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, sconces on the wall that resembled Lady Liberty holding her torch, an intricate mirror, and a random door at the second level that went nowhere. McKenzie proudly announced this was the Phanty of the Opera place as it reminded her of his home, and that he lived behind the door to nowhere. A and Heather are sure she will request a return visit to the Phanty with every subsequent trip to Dallas.

It was a great weekend and fun to see them all!