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Thursday, December 27, 2007


Pakistani opposition leader and human rights advocate, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated today in a suicide attack after she spoke at a political peace rally. In 1988, Bhutto became the first female prime minister of a modernized Muslim nation. Shortly after her induction, she was booted out by militant force---only to win future elections and succumb to militant dismissal again.

Since then, Bhutto has been the subject of a political smear campaign, with shady and unfounded allegations of corruption. Previous to today's occurence, Bhutto survived other assassination attempts, one of them just this past October. Suffice to say, this woman was not very well liked by old-school Pakistanis.

In 2002, I was privileged to sit a mere 20 feet from this remarkable woman at an MTSU speaker's session and listen to her passionate pleas for unity and progression in her chaotic country. Her death reminds me of how thankful I am to live in a country of political and religious freedom. Sure, the good ol' US-of-A is seriously dysfunctional, but I don't fear for my life when I tell people whom I vote for or the God I worship. I am so appreciative of my civil liberties.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Dominic the Donkey

Who needs a hippopatamus when you can have a donkey for Christmas?

Here's my gift to you.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Shoes

A night of boo-hooing makes you sleep through your impossibly loud alarm and arrive late to work. Two-and-a-half hours tardy, to be exact.

I'm wearing new shoes today. They're chocolate brown, suede loafers, and they've got a chocolate brown velvet ribbon wrapped around the foothole, and then tied in a neat bow on top. They're very WASP-y, channeling Charlotte York-Goldenblatt.

I feel better today.

"Why does life seem unfair?"

Tonight, I had one of the most incredible and spiritually moving experiences of my entire life.

For the past hour, I've laid in my bed sobbing. It's been a really, really rough month and it's come to fruition tonight. I'm incredibly sad about Mamaw. I'm worried about mom. There are trust issues and conflict in my life with changing relationships. My living situation for the upcoming year is uncertain. I am so plagued by grief and loneliness. I'm struggling right now, and my heart is sorrowful.

I want God to answer "why this" and "why that." I asked him through unidentifiable blubbering and gnashing of teeth. Ok, not really, but my sobs kind of sounded like I was speaking in tongues. (See, I can be sad and still have a sense of humor). Anyway, I didn't get answers.

By this point, I'm so mad at myself for questioning God's grace, and the self-loathing begins. I've been doing that a lot lately. I consider myself a really confident gal who knows her true beauty is celebrated by her Lord, but it's not been at the forefront of my mind. In fact, I've shoved it away in place of thoughts that are tearing me down.

You know how something like that grows and grows. At first, it's only a little chip, and then before I know it, I've whittled away a huge chunk. And trying to put that back together is difficult.

So I'm wallering in my self-absorption, and am begging God to just put me out of my misery and send me off to la-la land for the night. But my eyes won't shut. And I can't turn off everything that's racing through my head, much like the headline ticker at the bottom of a news broadcast.

I felt compelled to turn on my lamp. I did so and continued to lay there and whimpered. My eyes made their way over to my Bible, and I stared at it for a long time. I know what's in the Bible. I know it offers hope and peace and comfort. But I resisted picking it up anyway. I didn't want any of that tonight.

I lay there for at least another fifteen minutes before I finally decided to stop being stubborn and pick up the dadgum Bible. Can I say that? Dadgum Bible?

Still whimpering. I thought I'd open up to the "Psalms of Ascent," the chapters we're reading in the Beth Moore Bible study at work. But on my way there, I hit Psalm 73 first. I don't know that I would've glanced at it otherwise if I hadn't had several verses underlined. However, it did catch my eye, and I skimmed it looking for comfort.

I found it. I read it three times and by the third time, I noticed that I started to regain a bit of my composure. Then, I glanced down at the supplemental reading passages---you know, the little boxes in your study Bible that serve as "application explanation"---and in big bold letters: "Why does life seem unfair?" I stared at it a moment and then broke out in laughter. It didn't sound like laughter, because I was still crying so hard. It's a little embarrassing to recount, yet entirely true.

Maybe you were waiting for me to tell you of some sort of moving mountains, parting seas, flashes of lighting and rumbles of thunder. Or, that I was visited by an angel with a message or some writing appeared on my bedroom wall. None of that happened. It may sound like a Christian cliche to say that I believe God yanked me to Psalm 73 tonight. And even after reading the chapter and the additional material, I'm still not un-sad. But--God spoke to me tangibly, spoke deeply to my heart, and reminded me that His love is sufficient.

I know that I've been running on an empty love tank for a long time. The laws of nature illustrate that you can only pour out what you have coming in. I don't have a lot coming in right now, yet I'm certainly shoveling what I do have right out the door. And most of you probably know that I don't like to ask for help, and I certainly don't like to show weakness.

I have no reason to doubt or lose faith because God has shown me time and time again to be patient and wait for his plan to unfold. And he has placed individuals in my life that shepherd me.

God must know I need some encouragement right now. Yesterday, I had a knitting date with my good friend Natalie. We knitted, un-knitted (we dropped stitches), and talked. She listened to me as I poured out some hurts in my life that I've been internalizing for a long time now. Natalie built me up and edified me. She prayed for me, a long prayer, a specific prayer. I am so appreciative, and want to publicly thank her.

I don't write these things so you will feel sorry for me---I know I'm being really lame right now. I write this because I feel the need to be transparent. I need to record what's in my heart, so that someday I can look back and learn.

And just so we can all keep perspective about my attitude and this blog post, note that I only cry about once per quarter. Seriously. I'm fine. So don't you all start commenting about how you feel sorry for me, k?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Leader of the Band

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket A contributor to many of my childhood memories made on family vacations and cross-country car trips died today. Dan Fogelberg,
of mid-70s/early-80s folk-rock and bluegrass fame, lost the battle with prostate cancer at only 56-years-old.

Dan was a beautiful songwriter, and through my eyes and imagination, his music was a soundtrack to my parents courtship and romance. I don't remember a single car trip where we didn't listen to a tape (that'd be a cassette tape) of Mr. Fogelberg's harmonies.

I guess it's all just "Part of the Plan."

I thank you for the music and your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom when it came my time to go
I thank you for the kindness and the times when you got tough
And papa I dont think I've said 'I love you' near enough.

The leader of the band is tired and his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man
I'm just the living legacy to the Leader of the Band.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Get thee to Stila immediately. They're having a "Virtual Warehouse Sale," and have heavily discounted prices!!!

Click here for all the fabulous beauty booty!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hell has officially frozen over.

You ever have one of those days where your time would be of better use to you outside the workplace? I mean, you legitimately have more work to do outside the office than lies in your inbox? Today is one of those days.

You'd think that my inbox would be overflowing because I was out for a day and a half last week for Mamaw's funeral. But truth be told, it's only partially full, and most is junk that needs to be deleted anyway. I'm in a holding pattern right now, waiting on artwork to route, approvals, and for events to occur. It's going to be a pretty boring day. Shockingly, I think that's the first time I've ever said that at my new job of eight months. Toto, I don't think we're at Adtec anymore...

However, the tables are turned in my personal life. I have so much to do and so little time to do it, that I'm stressed out. I've got Christmas shopping to do, a filthy apartment to clean, about four loads of clothes to wash, two pies to bake from scratch, Christmas cards to write, an empty-refrigerator to refill, and so-on-and-so-forth. Not to mention that I need some personal care, like a pedicure, an eyebrow wax and a haircut. And it'd also be nice to find some time to visit a couple of friends and maybe read a chapter or two in my book club book...

And here I sit at work...watching the clock. It took me almost an hour-and-a-half to get here this morning, because of an overturned dump truck and two other fender benders in my way. You'd think that my tardiness would at least be making my day go by faster... *sigh*

Sunday, December 9, 2007


It's 8:08 on Sunday evening, and my five-day weekend is finally over.

I got news late last Wednesday night that my Mamaw passed away. As a result, I've spent the past five days in Jackson, TN dealing with all that goes along with death.

I'm sad, exhausted (both physically and mentally), worried and joyous all at the same time. I miss my Mamaw greatly, and Christmas is going to be really hard this year. I don't want to go to work tomorrow, because I need to detox my body and my mind. I'm concerned about Mom and I just want to go home to her and give her a great big hug. And, I'm tickled pink, because my grandmother has met her Creator and Redeemer. And is probably enjoying all of her favorite hobbies--probably painting a portrait of Jesus holding her infant daughter that died so many years ago.

This weekend wasn't void of a ton of memories of mamaw, family, and all kinds of shenanigans that occurred in her care. The highlight of my week was my reunion with my cousin Steven, whom I haven't seen since high school.

I was very honored to speak at Mamaw's funeral, and mentioned that I've been able to get to know her more in the past three years than I have in my entire life. I think that's because I've had the opportunity to know Mamaw in my adult life, rather than through a child, teenager, or collegiate's perspective.

I am all of the above, and I am at peace.

Mary Ethel Young Robinson
July 7, 1918 - December 5, 2007

Mary was born in Savannah, Tennessee, July 7, 1918, the daughter of the late Sydney Johnson Young and Velma Lucas Young. She was educated in the city schools of Savannah and upon graduation, won an art scholarship to Harris Advertising Art School in Nashville, Tennessee where she began her early training as an artist.

She was very active in high school in basketball and track, winning many ribbons and was voted best girl athlete in her junior year. She was Miss Savannah in 1938. She later became a secretary for the state when WPA and ADC were active.

Mary was a Methodist all her life and has been an active member of the Hays Avenue/Aldersgate choir since 1958. She was a life member of United Methodist Women, Irene Wheat Sunday School Class and Faye Hassell Circle serving as treasurer. She was a charter member of the Savannah Art Guild and a lifetime member of the Jackson Art Association.

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