Friday, November 28, 2008

Andy + half shaven = half beardcore

Andy is SO weird! I guess that's why he makes a good student pastor.

This is what he decided to do before we get Santa pictures and before he goes to the UGA vs. GT game tomorrow. I guess if you can't make fun of yourself, you're too uptight.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Thanksgiving Prayer.

Dear Abba,
Tomorrow, I will celebrate Thanksgiving. So right now, I want to thank you for all of the blessing you have given me. I want to thank you for my family. For my wonderful husband who was created for me. I love him and am so blessed and thankful to have him as a partner in this life. I am SO proud of him and the man that he is in you. He is a warrior, and he fights for me and my children. He protects us, encourages us, believes in us and is always giving to us. He brings me joy and comfort. I feel complete in him and most importantly, he makes me laugh. :)

I want to thank you for my children. I have never met angels until they were born. They are only 5 and 3 but I can already see their incredible connection to you. They bring me more happiness than can every be typed or even expressed in words. Their smiles and kisses light up my life and I would be content to watch them grow up forever. Their sweet spirits and unbridled joy are gifts that most people never receive...and you gave me two. Thank you Abba.

Thank you for my Mom and Dad, without them I would have been lost. Thank you for their amazing support and comfort. Thank you for their encouragement and never giving up on me. Thank you for their unconditional love. They have been a great representation of your grace and forgiveness. Thank you for my brothers, Age and Chew. They are amazing boys. And they are growing into incredible Godly men. Age has your joy and sense of humor. He will be a great leader and he will carry your light into dark places. Thank you for our special relationship. And Chew, he is wise beyond his years. You have given him the ability to speak truth into lies and trust into doubt. What a gift. Thank you for our special relationship. Thank you for the closeness that our family shares, it is a rare treasure.
And for Mayhay. Thank you for giving me a sister that is brave, beautiful (inside & out), compassionate, gifted, disciplined, bold, funny, eager, motivated and seeking after your heart. She is becoming everything that you have called her to be. She is rising up and following after you. Thank you for her willingness to go into all the world to share your truth and freedom. I am so proud of her. And I am super lucky (blessed) to have such an amazing sister and best friend. Go with her, be with her, protect and guide her.

And last but not least, I want to thank you for Tara. Many people go through this life without a relationship like mine and hers. Deep, deep colors. :) We may not be related by blood, but we are connected at the heart. God, thank you for Tara and all that she means to me. She is a woman of you. Of your heart and mind. She encourages me, challenges and lifts me up. She is also a part of my family. Forever will be.
Abba, I have a bajillion things to be thankful for. But all my relationships, especially the ones with my family (including T), are the most important things to me. They will never fade. They will be the only thing besides what I do on this earth for you, that will follow me into eternity. So God, thank you. I am a rich, extremely wealthy woman of you.


(Oh, and other relationships that I cherish deeply are my incredible small group, work peeps, all my students & fellow inside-out leaders! Just can’t blog about everyone or it would be never-ending! But I do pray for you all often I LOVE YOU ALL AND AM SO THANKFUL FOR YOU!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Viva la Clark Salon

So Elvis has taken over my work. He is addicting! You find yourself humming, uncontrollably. Who knew there was a 24 hour channel on XM called "Elvis Radio". Channel 18 if anyone was wondering. I have discovered a lot about Elvis that I never knew. He made over 31 movies. SERIOUSLY!?!?!? That's a lot of movies! Another thing is that Elvis transcends age and gender. Everyone loves Elvis. No matter who walked through our doors, everyone mentioned the King. (Some a little more passionate than others of course!) You can listen to 16 hours of his music and only hear 3 repeats. There are some seriously cool remixes of his stuff...He also had 31 number ones on the charts. People have some weird memories of the man that's for sure. In between songs, people tell stories. Some are cool and some are long winded and awkward. Anywho's, work has been interesting the past couple of days, that's for sure. Nothing like some Jail House Rock to get the party started!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Shack.

So pretty much everyone that I know and care about has read this book. And EVERYONE has an opinion on it. It reminds me of this past election, everyone has a stance and everyone feels strongly about it. Many people that I have talked to did not like the book at all. Although, most of the people I have talked with has very mixed emotions about it. I for one, will say that I had emotions about it, but the were NOT mixed. I loved it. Everything and every part about it. In my opinion, it was a glorious and wonderfully told story about the heart of God, Papa. :) That was one of the favorite parts of the book for me, the fact that it refers to God as Papa. I have a name for God myself, Abba. (Which is "papa" in aramaic.) So obviously, I liked the book right off!

One of the main things that put people off about the book is that Papa reveals himself to the main character as a bigger black woman. First let me say, that God is capable of showing whatever part of himself to us that he wants. It made perfect sense to me that he did that. The main character had a bad childhood, with a father that beat him and his family growing up. It was a stumbling block for the main character to see God as a father figure, so he revealed himself to him as something that (for him) was easier to relate to. I also loved how God appeared as the trinity. Three separate entities. I believe that that was important as well, to show the different roles that Abba, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit plays in our lives.

Everything that I have learned over the past several years about the heart of God, what he cares about, values, why he created and what he desires were all in this book. He desires relationship, and that relationship is NOT forced, it is based on choices. Not selfish wants or needs, but selfless giving. True friendship.

God is NOT into rituals, institutions, or religion. Not into power or control, that only leads to selfish desire and unhealthy ambition. He doesn't want to simply be the highest priority in your life, he wants to BE your life. The importance of forgiveness, and the danger in holding in bitterness and pride in your heart. Why we shouldn't judge, why we CAN'T judge. Our desire for control in our lives and how we must give up control to be completely free. That we were created to be loved, and denying ourself love would be like clipping the wings to a bird, making it incapable to fly.

That whether or not we want to admit it, HE knows and desires what is best for us. That he can ALWAYS take something ugly and evil and turn it glorious and beautiful. That I am a beautiful MESS! Just because God always knows the path we are going to take, doesn't mean we don't have a choice in the matter. The one thing Abba wants from us is our trust, that we trust him to know and do what is best for us.

One of my favorite moments in the book is when the main character, Mack, is sitting down for breakfast with Papa. His is upset and questioning Papa about him punishing people.

So he asks, "Honestly, don't you enjoy punishing those who disappoint you?" At that, Papa stopped her preparations and turned toward Mack. He could see a deep sadness in her eyes. "I am not who you think I am Mackenzie. I don't need to punish people for their sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It's not my purpose to punish it; it's my joy to cure it."

I love that. People think that God's desire is to punish us when we do wrong. But that is NOT his heart or desire, he wants to free us and cure us from the darkness that sin brings into our lives. Thank you Abba, for wanting me to be free! For wanting to cure all of the sickness and yuck that is inside me.

There are SO many things like this that I love about this book; honestly, there are too many to list. I already want to read it again. One last quote to end this post....

"My purposes are not for my comfort, or yours. My purposes are always and only an expression of love. I purpose to work life out of death, to bring freedom out of brokenness and turn darkness into light."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What's your heart tied to?

So the bible is clear...where your treasure is, your heart will be also. Treasure in this world=money. So, where your money goes there your heart will be as well. If nothing else, this makes me think where my heart is. I mean where does my money go? This is easier for me to gauge now that I make tips. I have a wad of cash in my pocket, what do I spend it on?

It has become increasingly apparent to me that my heart is in my stomach.

I love food. Like, love it. All of it. I spend my very hard earned tips on food. I should just sit on the side of the road and hold a sign that reads: "Will shampoo for a cookie." No kidding. Feel free to laugh at me. I do all the time.

Seriously though, what do you spend your money on? If you have an extra $10, $25, or $100, what would you do with it? It will tell alot about you... and be honest with yourself. How are you ever going to grow or learn if you never fess up to your short-comings? Mine is my stomach. I know that I need to work on self-control and distinguishing what is a need and a desire. I need lunch, I don't need Alley Beans full supply of home made giant cookies. Oh, but they are good....NO! Self-control, wait, I think I still have one left downstairs....STOP! YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN? I HAVE PROBLEMS!

So I'll make a deal with you... you help hold me accountable with my tip money, and I'll help you with whatever you are willing to open up with me about. Let's do our best to help hold each other accountable in keeping our hearts tied to something worth having our heart tied to... and I rather it not be indigestion. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beauty School Dropouts and Flobots?

So as a lot of you know, I quit school to work full time. Yes, you can sing the song from Grease next time you see me. Feel free. I just wanted to update you all on how it is going. I LOVE it. It is going SO well. I definitely made the right decision for me and my family. I am learning a ton, and am already cutting some hair. I am working at Clarke Salon, it is off Bells Ferry. So it is super close to home. Just wanted to let you know that I am very excited about the future and looking forward to all that is to come.

Oh, and just in case any of you were wondering...the Flobots are fantastic. Their show was incredible and I can't wait till they come back to the ATL. If you like a compilation of rap/rock/ should pick up their album. They certainly have a message they want to convey and are passionate about change. I like that about them. Seriously, their show was amazing. Had a great time...Thanks for being my bodyguard Joe. And for protecting me from the sneezing man in the bushes. So weird. And a bit freaky.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Scarf Some Sweets Benefit

Hey everyone! I just wanted to let you all know about a benefit that I am some friends of mine are putting on for Amanda. It will be an amazing night of fashion and desserts. Literally, you will be eating desserts while watching a fashion show! It will be an awesome time had by all so I hope that you buy a ticket or table and come hang out with us on December 6. If you would like to come be a part just contact me. All of the money raised will go to help Amanda's outreach efforts in Cambodia and Thailand. Thanks and hope to see you there!

The benefit will be held in Towne Lake on Saturday December 6, from 7:30 to 9:00pm. The cost is $10 a plate or $40 for a table. (4 seats per table) There is also a VIP table available ($100) that will have special seating and a take home gift per seat (some desserts and a skinny.) Please call me or email me if you are interested. Limited seating available so let me know soon!

Friday, November 7, 2008

My babies

Here's a quick video Andy made (for Amanda) showing the kids playing in our guest room.

Kids from Andy Jone on Vimeo.