Archive for October, 2014


My Favorite Things: Misfit Shine…


Did you read the title of this post and have this response? “Say what?” I’m not sure I agree with the brand naming for this product, but I like the product itself, so I honestly don’t care what they call it.

After my brother’s death, I gained some of my weight back. I’m not proud of that, but a variety of things occurred to help me pack on the pounds. And for the record, I never returned to the “overweight” category, but I got darn close. So, how did I start combating that? I decided to give myself the goal of running a 1K. For runners that probably sounds lame, but after 4 heart attacks and several visits to the ER for anaphylaxis, I think I have to be extremely cautious about this goal. On the other hand I needed a goal that would force me to change up my treadmill routine. I’m now up to 5 minutes of running. That, again, sounds lame, but if you also know I haven’t run since high school, then maybe it’s understandable that 5 minutes of running is monumental.


Fast 5: Oh, Bad Obadiah…


Confession Time: I often loathe reading my Bible. (I’ll wait for my Christian friends to gasp in horror from that little statement.) It’s not that I don’t want to hear what the good Lord wants to say to me through His word; it’s just that a good portion of the Old Testament is an odd collection of writings about times I have difficulty relating to modern life. In the words of Beth Moore, “It’s not always about you!” and I agree. Sometimes I just need to study those ancient writings and wait for the Lord to tell me its relevance.

If you also sometimes struggle to to read your Bible often or you have decided it’s a total waste of your time, may I suggest some of the following tips to help with that? Here they are:

1. Find a translation that works for you. I’m currently partial to the Message (or the Bible According to Eugene, as I like to call it–Eugene Peterson is the author of this paraphrase.) because it puts difficult passages into everyday English.


Word of the Week: hegira

Book Club News: Do you have your copy of Twirl? No? Well, what are you waiting for? Go here to get your copy of MIP‘s November 2014 Book Club Selection!

Fast 5 Posts: For 5 Wednesdays (with the exclusion of holiday Wednesdays!) I’m going to give my insights on 5 Books of the Bible. If you can’t read each of these books in one sitting, we need to have you evaluated for ADHD. So grab your Bibles (or beg, borrow or buy one, if need be) and find Obadiah and see what it says about Biblical times. I will do the same and let you know on Wednesday what I’m learning about this under-appreciated part of our Bibles.

My Favorite Things Update: This coming Friday is not only Halloween, but also another installment of My Favorite Things, so as you put out the bowl of candy (that your family will hopefully NOT consume right before that “witching hour” approaches), grab your laptop, phone or tablet and read the blog and wait for those cute trick-or-treaters.


Slow Reader Friday: Beating Goliath


I have been reluctant to divulge the exact location of my small town in Texas, for fear that one day, some stalker will decide to stalk me! Since this is highly unlikely because less than 200 people read this blog on a good day, let’s just say that my small town is prominently featured in Art Briles’ Beating GoliathFor those of you who are not football enthusiasts, Art Briles is the head football coach at Baylor University. And if that doesn’t send any bells or whistles off in your head, Baylor used to have one of the worst records in NCAA recent history. Until Art Briles arrived. Now, one of his quarterbacks has won one of the most prestigious awards in college football, The Heisman Trophy.

If that’s not impressive, then maybe this will get your attention: Earlier this fall Baylor was ranked # 4 in the country for football and managed to pull out an impressive win against a formidable opponent, TCU. And Art manages to do that with every program he takes on.


Children of the Day Post 9: 2 Thessalonians 3

Children of the Day

Today marks the last Children of the Day post, but have no fear–next week Wednesdays will feature a new feature: Fast 5 Reflections! What is “Fast 5”? It’s a study on the five shortest books of the Bible: Obadiah, Philemon, 2nd John, 3rd John, and Jude. Who’s the author of this study? Yours truly. Yes, I agree–we’re in trouble now! We will look at a new book each week and “weave” this study around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. And since Christians rarely give these books their due diligence, I hope it forces all of us to find what we should appreciate about some of the briefer “elements” of the modern Bible.

Before we can focus on that, let’s conclude our study by summarizing Beth‘s next to last video and on the beginning of the last week of homework for 2nd Thessalonians. Here’s what one might have missed if they were unable to hear her discussion of 2nd Thessalonians 2:


Word of the Week: fantod

Book Club Members: This Friday is the Slow Reader Friday review of Beating Goliath by Art Briles. I will also announce the November MIP Book Club Selection on Friday. Tell me what you thought of Coach Briles’ book here.

Children of the Day Posts: This Wednesday will be the last Children of the Day post. We’ll be starting a new set of posts called “Fast Five” after that. Stay “tuned” for details.

Top Mommy Blogs Update: We Christians aren’t supposed to covet, but I still covet your rating at Top Mommy Blog. Click the button to the right of this post, please! Thanks!

Good morning, Word Lovers! Last week’s Word of the Week (WOW) was billingsgate. No one had a guess for this word. So, let’s consult Merriam-Webster Online: coarsely abusive language. Maybe that’s why my readers didn’t know it? None of us engage in billingsgate???

Today’s WOW is fantod. Here are my guesses for the definition of fantod: 


My Favorite Things: Keurig Machines



If you followed my posts on FB prior to the start of MIP, then you know that I have been a long-time supporter of Keurig machines. I confess that I’m pretty picky about my coffee in the morning–it can’t be too strong or too weak; I prefer Hazelnut coffee to all other flavored versions; and any syrup or creamer additives can’t taste “cheap.” That last part is a standard offering at most fast food establishments and convenience stores, unfortunately.

Until the Keurig machine I couldn’t find a cheaper alternative to my favorite coffee place: Starbucks. The hubby calls Starbucks “Starcrooks” due to the excessive amount of money charged for a Hazelnut latte and I tend to agree with him. Thus, about the only time I allow myself this luxury is when my darling family gives me gift cards for my “hallowed” coffee shop.

That is, until I discovered Keurig machines.  And I happened upon them unexpectedly. In fact it was an accident. It was probably around 2007, but it may have been sooner, honestly!


Children of the Day Post 8: 2 Thessalonians 2

Children of the DayIt was a relief to watch Beth’s video on 2 Thessalonians 1 last Sunday. Why? Because she chose to talk about a subject that most of us agree is essential to Christianity–the second coming of Jesus and avoided some topics that we, even as Christians, have a variety of opinions that can cause some lively discussion! Here is a little of what Beth said about his return to planet Earth:

1. Relief will come to those who are in discomfort.

2. Eternal “relocation” will be assigned.

3. We will marvel.

4. Jesus will be glorified by the “saints” around Him, because they will be perfected and complete.

This last statement floors me. If I believe that Jesus died in payment for all of my faults, mistakes and stupidity, then that must mean that Jesus thinks there is at least one redeeming quality about me that is worth crucifixion. And while that concept alone does floor me, it floors me even more to know that Jesus will be excited to have all of us around Him when He comes again. In fact 2 Thessalonians 1:12  states that we will be glorified. Say what? Come again? I must have misunderstood you, Paul. I shouldn’t be glorified, but yet there it is in black and white. The Message interprets it this way, “If your life honors the name of Jesus, then He will honor you.”

Guess I’d better get busy honoring His name, then! If that isn’t a reason to get busy and do good things for this decrepit world of ours, I don’t know what is. And trust me–this week’s homework cries for us to honor Him in a decrepit world because it talks about the “end times.”

I don’t know about you, but I have trouble reading and talking about the end of the world as we know it. The counselor in me took over this week and asked myself (Yes, I talk to myself–probably an indication I should seek counseling!), “Why do you hate this topic so much?” Hmmm….good question. But here are the possible answers:

1. I don’t like thinking about evil consuming our planet and someone so despising Jesus and His followers that they would have the audacity to claim they are God.

2. I am scared, that if this period of time occurs in my lifetime, I won’t be able to withstand all the persecution and will wind up caving to this evil.

3. I don’t completely know how to interpret these events as listed in the Bible and thus, I grow weary of trying to discern what’s symbolic and what’s literal.

Do any of these possible answers sound like you? Please tell me I have some company here! The Day 2 and Day 3 homework really made me feel this way, so it probably comes as no surprise that Beth’s writing in the Day 1 homework resonated with me far more.

It has always been a “bee in my bonnet” that all of us (Yes, Christians, too!) often put on a facade when around others so that people will think we “have it all together.” I get particularly irritated when a person in authority does this. Why? Because the Bible clearly states that all of us have screwed up–none of us are perfect!

There is a huge danger when we put on these facades and try to avoid difficult subjects and the ugliness of our lives. Those subjects gain power through our fear of them. And what we fear often paralyzes us at best and wrecks whole families and communities and nations at worst. It is far better to discuss these subjects, learn about how to deal with them in a healthy way and forgive anyone who falls prey to their tenacious claws. That’s when fear is dispelled and those nasty subjects suddenly don’t seem so powerful. They’re now manageable–they’re survivable. In fact God will probably use those experiences to make us even better equipped to help others through similar situations–equipped with compassion, patience, and understanding empathy.

So, why do we put on these facades? Because we want people to like us. And we think people won’t like us if we aren’t perfect little muffins. Well, sports fans? Generally speaking, when I show all “my warts,” people like me better. Don’t ask me why–they just do. Maybe because they see a little of themselves in my shortcomings? Maybe because they can breathe a sigh of relief that it’s okay not to be perfect? So, how do we get brave enough to show our warts to each other?

Yes, when we show them, there are some who will not like us. We’ve all had experience with that, haven’t we? Beth reminds us how to have the courage to be real on page 169, despite this: “If we don’t get our inherent need to be significant met by Jesus, we will shape a deceptive persona from the malleable clay of our vain imaginations.” We get the courage to be real from Jesus.

Jesus isn’t and wasn’t everyone’s “cup of tea,” either. And yet, that ridiculously ostracized guy wound up saving the world. And saving me just so He could honor little old me someday. Now, if that doesn’t make you feel better about your warts, I don’t know what will. And when you feel better about your warts, they suddenly are easier to share with others openly. They just don’t seem as important to cover up as they once did.

So, put away the wrinkle cream. Take off the Spanx. Chuck the hair dye in the trash. Use a little less make-up this week. Buy a bigger pair of jeans. Forget to dust your furniture. And tell someone about your warts. It’ll be okay. Jesus said so. 😉

Friday’s Post: Another “My Favorite Things“…

You Might Also Like: Children of the Day Post 7; Children of the Day Post 6; Children of the Day Post 5; Children of the Day Reflection # 4; and Children of the Day Reflection #3


Word of the Week: billingsgate

Book Club Update: I don’t think like Art Briles, but I wish I did. Ready for more of Beating Goliath!

Children of the Day Survey: In a few short weeks, we will be done with Beth Moore’s Children of the Day. If you are participating in this study, please go here to tell me what you would like to do next. It’s only 6 questions and they’re all multiple-choice. Thanks!

My Favorite Things! Last Friday I started a new feature on MIP. Go here to see it!

Top Mommy Blogs Update: If you are enjoying my posts, would you be so kind as to click on the Rate My Blog button to the right of this post and rate MIP? Thanks so much!

The guessing by family members continues for Word of the Week. This week my father-in-law contributed what he thought froward might mean: A presumptious attitude or action. Putting yourself out in front. So, let’s see if Merriam-Webster Online agrees: habitually disposed to disobedience and opposition. Pretty darn close and if we added in connotations to the definition, I’ll be the the father-in-law is right. Did you guess correctly, too?


My Favorite Things: A Tempur-pedic Mattress


love sleeping

I’m a chronic viewer of the CBS series, “Survivor.” When the kids were younger, it was often a family event to watch it together. If you watch that series for any length of time, undoubtedly, you will ponder the following question: Could I be a strong contender and live in the barren wilderness for 39 days without any creature comforts? I, long ago, decided that I would fail miserably playing Survivor simply because I want everyone to get along and if you deprive me of food, a migraine results and then I get just plain grouchy. When I get grouchy, any semblance of a “filter” for my mouth goes right out the window. (My family is saying, “You have a filter????”)

And even if I managed to be on the winning team a lot and we had great hunters and fisher folk on the team, I would be grouchy for another reason: I’m getting old and I like my stuff. I know it’s not “politically correct” for a Christian to say that–I’m supposed to need nothing but Heaven and a relationship with God, but the truth is, I sure do hope Heaven includes my favorite things. And thus, I am starting a new feature here at MIP on Fridays: My Favorite Things.

Hopefully, this feature will put a smile on your face and if you don’t have something I rave about, prompt you to think about putting it on your real or fantasy wish list. No, I’m not getting paid to review these items. I just know that I often add such items to my life because of what a friend or family member told me about their use of the same item. I promise to give you the good, the bad, the ugly and the silly about each item and then let you weigh in, too through your comments.

Most of my favorite things have entered my life one of two ways: My hubby bought it or it became a “marital issue.” When I say it became a “marital issue,” I mean that if we don’t do something about it soon, the hubby and I are going to need marriage counseling. And since I doubt this counselor will ever get the hubby to a counselor, that means buying something.

One marital issue involved sleeping arrangements with the hubby. We started out married life with a water bed. That was great for him and lousy for me. Why? Because he’s considerably larger than I am, so he felt like he slept in a comfy hammock while I felt like I was doing a back bend the whole night. Since I’m not a contortionist nor Olga Korbut, this was no fun. So, my brother- and sister-in-law gave us their old conventional double bed. Problem solved, right? Wrong.

That bed had seen better days and was my sister-in-law’s childhood bed, too. Thus, when the hubby and I went to bed at night, we both rolled to the center where she had apparently slept her whole childhood. Now, you would think this would be fine for both of us as newlyweds, but the hubby had a mean snore in those days, so listening to a sound that resembled a herd of elephants trumpeting their disdain for all mankind right next to my ear was not exactly sleep-inducing.

Next stop? A new queen-sized mattress and box spring. This worked well for us until the last 10 years. At that point two things changed for us: The hubby was on the road more and more for work and we both battled more arthritis. Now why would that mean a mattress change, you ask?

Since we sleep apart more than we sleep together these days, we have both developed a tendency to hog the middle of the aforementioned queen-sized bed, along with the corresponding covers. Since the hubby is still somewhat bigger than me, this means I usually wind up clinging to the side of the bed in the hopes that I won’t be thrashed by my hubby’s ever-moving arthritic parts. If he is wonderfully still, my own arthritic hips wake me from a sound sleep and I am up searching my purse for Aleve in the middle of the night. By the time the Aleve has fully taken effect, I am wide awake. No bueno, sports fans.

Then, the hubby invited me on one of his business trips and we stayed in a hotel with a Tempur-Pedic mattress. At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like this concept, since the bed felt a little on the firm side to me, but when I woke up 8 hours later in the same position, I realized I was so, so wrong! I felt absolutely wonderful the next day because I was so well rested! When I returned to the ol’ queen-sized bed at home, I was, again, miserable and consuming Aleve.

Anyone who has ever priced these comfy mattresses already knows “they ain’t cheap.” So, we priced the “clones.” Thankfully, a good friend told us they had purchased a clone and it was a miserable experience for them. They recommended swallowing hard and paying for the real deal. Other friends echoed the same sentiment. Thus, we saved our pennies (almost literally in those days!) and bought a king-sized mattress, the accompanying box spring and 2 pillows.

Our set was delivered in January. Big mistake! Why? Because memory foam mattresses “harden” in the cold and new Tempur-Pedic mattresses need time to “relax” when first unpacked and put in place. The first week I thought we had made one very expensive mistake! But as time went on, I loved it more and more and now, wouldn’t be without it.

The bigger size allows each of us to “sleep in the middle” without disrupting the other. Plus, the structure of memory foam prevents the need to move a lot in bed and even when moving, it doesn’t shake the rest of the mattress as conventional mattresses do.

What I didn’t anticipate is that I would no longer feel the need to get up and take Aleve. In fact in a few months of use, I never had to take it again for arthritis! It even seemed to help when I was sitting in one place for long periods of time, like driving across the state of Texas or during long airline flights. I attribute some of this to also exercising more regularly, but I did exercise regularly before the bed arrived and still had arthritis issues.

A few years later the youngest son proclaimed his older brother’s handed-down bed “shot” in the mattress department. We decided it made sense to replace that bed with a queen-sized Tempur-pedic when we compared the cost to pillow top mattresses and the clones. Why? By that time Tempur-Pedic made a cheaper alternative with a shorter warranty (five years less). Since we knew his bed would ultimately be the “guest room bed,” and wouldn’t be slept in all the time, we decided it was worth the gamble. The result?

I have to kick the youngest son out of it when he’s home from college despite new mattresses in his room! And last year my mother-in-law (who suffers from chronic back pain) so loved it that she went home and purchased the adjustable version for her own use! Her back felt much better after sleeping on one. Now, every member of the family has one, including my brother.

And that brings me to another point that is worth considering when purchasing: These mattresses and box springs are very heavy. For a petite person like myself, it can get interesting picking the corners of the mattress by myself to change sheet sets. But now, I’m used to it and probably have better arm muscles as a result.

Think you may want to save your pennies for one? Here’s the bottom line of things to consider:

1. Don’t purchase in cold weather. Wait until at least spring and don’t purchase after fall.

2. Try out all the different Tempur-Pedic models in the store. You may be surprised that you like a lower-cost version over a higher-priced version. We picked a “middle-priced” model.

3. If cost is a concern, wait for at least a 0% financing deal. I don’t believe in going into debt for one of these. Pay it off early if you can and pay on time!

4. If free pillows aren’t an option when you buy, they may offer a free sheet set. I found that deep pocket “regular” sheet sets work just fine and are cheaper.

5. If free pillows are an option, try them out and decide if you like them. Some people don’t!

6. Don’t purchase if you intend to put them on a four-poster bed frame or other kind of frame that will make it difficult for you to put on fitted sheets due to the heaviness of the mattress. I chose a footboard for ours with a lower profile so that the top of the mattress was clearly above the top of the footboard by several inches to make it easier to reach the bottom of the mattress. Even better would be to go without the footboard if you can.

7. If you have kids, expect “visitors” in your new bed. 🙂

Your thoughts?

Monday’s Post: Are you froward? (And no, that’s not a typo!)

You Might Also Like: The Odd Days of October, Lessons I Probably Shouldn’t Have Learned at Women of Faith, What My Cell Phone Says About Me, and The Odd Days of September