a little Saturday miscellany

It’s been a crazy week — big project at work — so the blog has dropped way down on the priority list. I’m enjoying a lazy morning today, though, so here are a few links:

~ A reminder for clueless jerks: DON’T DRIVE SLOW IN THE LEFT LANE.  Can you hear me shouting “Amen!”? The article mentions that Georgia is aggressive about writing tickets for this, but I’ve never seen it happen.

~ Socialists are scarcity deniers. Which is just another way to say that they live in the land of fairies and elves.

~ The ten item wardrobe. I’m seriously interested in this.

~ Busyness is not the problem:

“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Rather than commanding us to try harder to find him, God tells us to be still and know him. Stop. Enough. Cease striving. Because he is God and he is moving and doing glorious things in both the sunshine and the rain, whether we stop and notice or not. We must not miss out because our hearts are too busy.

Though I would never admit it, it’s almost as if I want to streamline and organize and simplify my life to a point where I no longer need God to get me through my day. But my strengths and abilities will fail, again and again. I need a Savior every day.

Perhaps feeling overwhelmed and inadequate isn’t such a bad thing if that is what brings me to my knees and shatters my false sense of security. To the place where I realize my planning and intelligence and coping mechanisms mean absolutely nothing if I’m not becoming more and more like Christ and resting in the strength and presence of my creator, the author of my day. More of him and way, way less of me.

Read the whole thing.

~ I need to watch some more things like this to get me in the mood for football season. It’s been a long HOT summer, and I’m just not feeling it.

That’s it for now. Happy Saturday, y’all!

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random thoughts

~ A peeve: internet recipes with a 1,000 word essay and 75 pictures BEFORE the ingredients and instructions are revealed. I *might* want to go through all of that AFTER I determine if the recipe looks like something I can (or want to) manage and if the ingredients are readily available and don’t contain something nasty like curry powder.

~ Thank you, Jesus, for Tylenol PM.

~ When I started knitting about two years ago, my reading life suffered. This summer, our move disrupted my knitting, but my reading life prospered. Now I’ve picked up the needles again and am hoping for some balance.

~ I recently got an Amazon Dash button. It’s pretty cool.

~ A line from A Three Dog Life that has me thinking: “What are you doing?” Paul asks. “I’m taking a poll,” I say. “What is the one thing that stays stable in your life?”

What is the one thing that stays stable in your life?

~ I cannot wait until this election cycle is over. Campaign signs have taken over Tallahassee, and they’re an eyesore.

~ Sometimes I think I might sound like an old lady.

~ That could be because I’m in a season of poor sleep. Last night I took the aforementioned Tylenol PM because I had a terrible headache that would not let up. But then a big thunderstorm rolled through after midnight and kept me awake for a while. And then just a few minutes later, it was time to get up.

Off to work now. Feel free to share your random thoughts in the comments.🙂

“Change occurs among other people…”

habitFrom The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg:

When people join groups where change seems possible, the potential for that change to occur becomes more real. For most people who overhaul their lives, there are no seminal moments or life-altering disasters. There are simply communities–sometimes of just one other person–who make change believable…

“Change occurs among other people,” one of the psychologists involved in the study, Todd Heatherton, told me. “It seems real when we can see it in other people’s eyes.”

…Belief is easier when it occurs within a community.

“…living as if you are in charge of the world…”

From Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives

Ephesians 2:1–10

What’s behind all of your wrong anger? Whether you are angry about something trivial or something serious, your wrong reaction reveals that you are living as if you are in charge of the world. You believe you have the right to judge the people around you and the way God is running the world. Think about when you get angry. Aren’t you insisting, “My will be done; my kingdom come”? Anger is merciless. Anger sees, punishes, and gets rid of all offenders. But God has chosen to be merciful to wrongdoers, including someone like you, who struggles with taking God’s place in the world (Ephesians 2:1–5). God’s mercy brings life to you. If you struggle with bitterness, if you grumble, if you yell and argue, then you need God’s mercy. You will receive mercy and help when you confess to God your struggle with trying to control everything, with wanting to be God, and with judging those around you. God’s just anger toward sinners like you was poured out on his Son on the cross. Because Jesus died, you can be forgiven and have a whole new life. When you honestly confess your sins to God and ask him to forgive you for Jesus’ sake, you will receive forgiveness and the gift of God’s Spirit. The Spirit will give you the power to express your anger not your way, but God’s way.

~ David Powlison

monday miscellany

From around the net:

~ If it makes you happy:

But what is the problem with being happy? Isn’t happiness a good thing? Doesn’t God want me to be happy? Again, it depends on what we mean by our use of the word “happy.” Happiness must be rightly ordered. Our happiness must be subject to our holiness. God does not want you to be happy when it is at odds with you being holy. When these become disordered we fall into the same problem as the nation of Israel at the end of Judges. The result of that tailspin was, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Happiness unchecked will always lead to doing what is right in your own eyes. And when we understand that the “heart is deceitful above all things” (Jer. 17:9), we can quickly understand the problem with doing what is right in our own eyes.

Instead, Christians should acknowledge that love is the answer but should labor to define that term as the Bible defines it. Happiness falls far short of love. Happiness is an emotion or state of mind. Love is something so much more.

~ A brief history of the Hawaiian shirt.

~ A free Bible study on how to change the way you think, act, and experience life.

~ Lean in on Sunday morning.

~ Don’t have time to read books? Try this one weird trick.

Happy Monday!

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saturday

Today has been a perfectly lovely day:

~ Paul’s brother and his wife are in town and stopped by for a visit. I can’t believe I didn’t think to get a photo of the brothers!

~ Paul and headed up to Thomasville for lunch and a couple of errands:

beemer

gear

George & Louie’s for lunch:

gandl

~ A stop at my favorite yarn shop. I just love this place! I love that when I walk in Cadence calls out, “Hi, Anne!”

lys

~ A stop for an Icee on the way home (I know, I know… it’s not Whole30. But I felt like we were on a little vacation, so I indulged. It’ll be okay.)

iceestop

ic

drive

I hope you’re having a good Saturday, too!

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“do what you’re good at.”

Earlier this week I linked to a thought-provoking post — You’re not meant to do what you love. You’re meant to do what you’re good at. A friend shared it on Facebook, and there was a bit of pushback in the comments. That got me thinking deeper about the subject — which is exactly why blog posts and Facebook are useful. The disagreement in the comments was of the “you shouldn’t crush anyone’s dream” variety. But I think the original blog post was a pushback against just that mentality. Our culture is functionally narcissistic — what makes me happy? what do *I* want to do? And hell hath no fury like a person who has been told he’s not good at something.

The more I think about the original post, the more I agree. We should be pointing our children in the direction of serving with their gifts and abilities (and helping them to find out what those are) instead of encouraging them to follow their hearts. See the difference there? One of those directions is others-focused and the other is self-focused. Yes, occasionally these two worlds collide, but not always.

I was raised to work hard and to aim for excellence at whatever job I held. And I’ve learned that I’m the kind of person who can make herself like just about any job. I’ve never held a mind-numbingly boring job, but some of the jobs I’ve had may well be mind-numbing to others. Sure, there are jobs I really don’t think I’d want, but if I had to to it, I think I could jedi-mindtrick myself into seeing the worth of it and digging in. I’m very grateful that the job I’m in now is challenging and interesting and never boring. But I never grew up thinking that my passion was balancing numbers or solving daily mysteries or replying to emails. As it turns out, however, that’s where God used my gifts and abilities and circumstances to put me to serve right now. It wasn’t my dream, but I’m glad about how it’s turned out. It’s satisfying to know that I’m where I’m supposed to be, even if that’s a different place than I thought I’d be.

I often counseled my children to find what they loved and to figure out how to get paid for it. There’s truth in that to be sure. But if I had it to do over again, I’d add the part about finding what you’re actually good at.

Just thinking a little this Friday morning…

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“It’s called my back is killing me.”

threedogFrom A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas:

This is my first experience with a dog in heat but the back pain arrived thirty years ago when I bent to pick a canned peach off the kitchen floor and couldn’t straighten up. My second husband seemed familiar with the problem. “My god, what is this called?” I cried as he tried to help. “It’s called my back is killing me,” he said. This version of my back is killing me comes from wearing a pair of stylish new red shoes that pinch my left foot and make me walk lopsided. I don’t know why I keep putting them on except they show off my ankles. At age sixty-three, ankles are my best feature unless you count cake.

read for your life!

I’m skeptical about most studies I see reported because so often the conclusions can be reached by using plain old garden variety common sense, without spending millions of dollars. And others have such a small sample size that any conclusion must be held loosely. While this one may be one of those, it works in my favor so I’ll share it:

The study, which is published in the September issue of the journal Social Science & Medicine, looked at the reading patterns of 3,635 people who were 50 or older. On average, book readers were found to live for almost two years longer than non-readers…

…“When readers were compared to non-readers at 80% mortality (the time it takes 20% of a group to die), non-book readers lived 85 months (7.08 years), whereas book readers lived 108 months (9.00 years) after baseline,” write the researchers. “Thus, reading books provided a 23-month survival advantage.”

Bavishi said that the more that respondents read, the longer they lived, but that “as little as 30 minutes a day was still beneficial in terms of survival”.

The paper also specifically links the reading of books, rather than periodicals, to a longer life.

That’s really the best news I’ve heard all day!

And speaking of reading, I finished a fun book last night — The Swans of Fifth Avenue: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin. Set in the Mad Men era of (mostly) Manhattan, it tells the story of Truman Capote and his “swans” — high society ladies who confided in him only to see him betray them by publishing their secrets. While it’s frivolous reading in some ways — the fashion, wealth, yachts, and gossipy stories — the author offers some keen insights into human nature and behavior. I really enjoyed the writing and will be reading more by Benjamin and adding some of Capote’s works to my to-be-read list.

Now I’m reading A Three Dog Life, a memoir which Stephen King says is his favorite. That, along with the $2.99 price for the Kindle version, made it a must-read.

It’s for my health, y’all!

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monday miscellany

Links from ’round the webs:

~ You’re not meant to do what you love. You’re meant to do what you’re good at:

If everybody did what they thought they loved, the important things wouldn’t get done. To function as a society, there are labors that are necessary. Someone has to do them. Is that person robbed of a life of passion, because they had to choose a life of skill and purpose? No, of course not.

You can choose what you love to do, simply by how you think of it and what you focus on. Everything is work. Everything is work. Everything is work. There are few jobs that are fundamentally “easier” than others, whether by virtue of manual labor or brain-power. There is only finding a job that suits you enough that the work doesn’t feel excruciating. There is only finding what you are skilled at, and then learning to be thankful.

Read the whole thing.

~ What you read matters more than you might think.

~ Sounds like the Navy finally wised up about those ridiculous blue cammies. To modify a meme I’ve seen floating around Facebook, if you’re afraid to speak up at a meeting, just remember someone once piped up, “Let’s put sailors in blue camouflage.”

~ I’m currently reading John Bunyan’s Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, so I found this post on his arrest and post-pluralism persecution in America interesting.

~ 7 Ways to deal with doubt. I especially love #6.

~ An open letter to someone having an affair.

~ The immaturity of addiction:

This rule of thumb makes sense under closer observation. When someone begins to abuse substances repeatedly, they are often exchanging responsibility for pleasure. Many addicts enter this lifestyle to escape hard circumstances, trials, or truths about themselves they do not want to face. Consequently, the lessons they would have learned in meeting these situations, dealing with them constructively, and growing in maturity through them are lost opportunities. If you ever wonder why a thirty year old drug user makes a really dumb choice even when he is not high, it is not just the effect of the drugs on his reasoning abilities. He simply has never learned any better.