Duck Dynasty, my “Mommy Coworker,” and other Goings-on in my Crazy, Busy Life

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I am thankful this morning for unexpected good things, including my new Ford F150 (our first family vehicle) and Duck Dynasty. That’s a sentence I never thought I’d write. I never pictured myself driving a truck as my primary vehicle, or watching those “silly” rednecks by choice. My main focus for now is still working on my book during naptimes—now I’m on to my book proposal, with a particular editor in view. But in the meantime, God continues to fill my life with other interesting stuff, and I’m glad for it.

For instance, I’ve made a new friend in my next-door-neighbor, who gave birth to twins two weeks before Sam was born. She has been such a blessing to this homebound mama, because she has become almost like a “coworker” (in the business of mothering babies) to commiserate with and compare stories. (We SAHMS miss that coworker/adult banter.) We take the babies for walks once or twice a week, swap books, discuss those books (a built-in book club! What could be better?), and text each other. Tonight we will attempt a movie night at her house once the babies go to bed. God has given me lots of friends over the past few years, and I love their awesome uniqueness equally, but there is something to be said for having friends, and family, close by. Logistically, you can do so much more with family and friends who are physically close.

Construction, and reconstruction, on parts of our house continues—now we are moving into month two. I skipped writing about it when it began, but the short version is that a plumbing leak led to gutting a bathroom and a hallway, and the resulting insurance money spurred us to proceed with other home improvements we’ve wanted for five years. So lately most days around here are noisy and messy, with subcontractors tromping in and out of my backyard and the back rooms of the house. Included in the work are new walls (to replace sliding glass doors), a new window, new carpet, and new paint. I’ll be glad to get this over with, but with the mess around me, my next home project may become purging more of our junk.

Duck Dynasty. I rolled my eyes a couple years ago when some family members described the show, but now my husband has introduced me, and I’m hooked. This is the only television I watch besides a half hour of morning news, mind you. I could easily live without a television. But this show makes me laugh at the end of a hard day; plus, I am encouraged by the Robertsons’ strong example of family togetherness and their un-ashamedness of their faith.

Speaking of faith, my new neighbor friend asked if I would like to read through the Bible with her in forty days to refresh ourselves on the big picture of God’s Word. I said sure, but it definitely won’t get read in forty days! More accurately, I read from two to five chapters a day (I’m almost to Leviticus, and I’m thinking of skipping it this go-round…anyone want to hold that against me?). The more I read the Bible, the more new insight I get. This time I’ve picked up on a couple new things. One example is in Exodus 20, where, directly after God gives the 10 Commandments, he repeats the injunction not to worship or make other Gods—making a special point to warn them of the exact sin he knows they are about to commit with the golden calf! In the instructions for building his temple, I am reminded that God pays attention to detail, and he cares for the details of our lives. In his instructions to hire skilled workers, I take encouragement for my book project that God wants us to be skillful in our trades, and thereby glorify him.

P90X. The weight loss effort continues, with s-l-o-w success. I am still twenty pounds away from my goal (pre-pregnancy weight). But I am working out 3 to 4 times a week after Sam’s bedtime, usually with one of these extreme workouts, so I resist feeling bad about the weight that won’t (yet) come off. I’m doing my part—also trying to eat right—and I can’t do more than that (unless I give up chocolate like my neighbor…and I’m not quite ready for that!).

What else? Sam is doing great. He’s had a few bites of rice cereal, so that will probably become part of the routine soon, to keep up with his nutrition needs. He is spitting up A TON…but I hope that will level off soon with him taking some cereal. Also, my one-day-a-week babysitter, my sister-in-law, is done now that her kids are out of school. So Sambo and I get lots of quality time! Hubby took Monday and Tuesday off for the holiday weekend (which was so nice for our family!), and when he had to watch Sam from about 2 to 4:30 one day (Sam’s fussy time), he asked me how I do this every day! Like with anything and everything else in life, the answer is with God!

This post has been a hodgepodge of goings-on, and I want to end by thanking my Creator (and Re-Creator) God for all of them. My life is so full right now I almost don’t know what to do with myself! But once upon a dark time, I didn’t even want to see the light of day. When I think of the depression he brought me out of years ago, there is only one conclusion to be made: God is worthy of my worship, every single day, and every single moment of this crazy, busy life!

 

 

 

 

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Leaders, Followers, and The Mob Mentality: Part 1

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Photo Credi: “Crowds 2” by 2heads_Advertising

Mobs form for all kinds of purposes and on all kinds of platforms—a group of “Twerds” (Twilight Nerds) standing in line to see the new release of the movie, some gamers getting together to join a virtual world, a group of Christians gathering to worship—but the two things they all have in common are leaders and followers. So, I’ll put two questions to you:

Are you a leader or a follower?

As a teacher and church officer, I’ve observed that most people are followers—and even though I’ve always preferred to see myself as a leader, I’m undoubtedly a follower of certain things/people/movements, too. In my next post I will talk more about leadership, but let’s camp on the follower aspect for now, since everyone can claim to be a follower of something. To get to my second question:

Who (or What) is it that you follow?

To my (at times) chagrin, I often find myself scoffing at popular movements that create mob followings: the Twilight series, Duck Dynasty, Facebook, iphones and whatever else everyone seems to be doing. I’ve gotten into this bad habit of automatically rejecting certain things just because they’re popular, because, I figure, “If everyone’s doing it, it must be wrong.” I think this approach stems equally from my being as Christian (you know, “The path to hell is wide” and all that), as well as from my desire to be a leader (if I want to lead others, I can’t be just like them).

But is that the right attitude to have? After all, as a self-professed Christian, I have to admit I have a lot of fellow “Christ followers” sitting in the same boat. And obviously I don’t think I’m wrong.

A better approach as a Christian and prospective leader, I’ve decided, is not to automatically reject something because “everyone is doing it.” Rather, I must go back to my source of truth and test whatever is being followed, to see if it is noble, worthy, true, and worthwhile (Phil. 4:4). Isaiah says, “To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (8:20).

I’m not going to get onto my anti-technology platform (especially since I just got my first iphone) or my anti-Twilight platform, or my anti-whatever-else platform right now, except to say it saddens me to see so many people (and I’ll pick on Christians especially), flinging away their self-control, their dignity, their morals, to “follow” people, things, or movements that counter their so-called “convictions” or, at the very least, add little benefit to their lives. I know fellow believers who will wait for hours in line to see a midnight opening of a movie, but who can’t get out of bed to go to church. I know fellow believers who will whoop and yell at sporting events and listen with rapture at concerts, but who will barely look up from their iphones (sorry, that slipped in) during a sermon. I ask you: Who or what is it that you follow—truly follow?

Feel free to follow who or what you want, but please, call it what it is. Jesus said you can’t have two masters. You will love one and hate the other. He also said He’d rather a person be hot or cold than lukewarm.

Who do you follow?

I’d like to think I’m in the Jesus camp—that the one thing that would excite me enough to stand in line for hours, to go hungry for hours, to wake up ravenous (metaphorically speaking), is God and God’s word. I’d like to picture myself as one of the disciples sitting on the hillside at Jesus’ feet, unable to wait for his next “new release”—the next words He wants to speak to me. Right now I know I’m not always there. But that’s my desire: to be a “Jerd” (Jesus Nerd). That’s one mob I definitely approve of.

So, who or what are you waiting in line for? And does the person/thing/group at the front of the line confirm you are who you say you are?

Lest I sound too high and mighty for my britches here, in Part 2, I talk about some of my personal challenges in trying to be a Christian leader.