Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Like a Blue-Footed Booby

One day last week, Allyson and I were looking at a two-page magazine layout of birds from all over the world. Some of them were beautiful, some were amazingly colorful, and some were just weird. My favorite was one of the weird ones, just because I liked its name. Have you ever heard of the blue-footed Booby, indigenous to Ecuador?

"Look at this one, Allyson," I said. "Guess what it's called? A blue-footed booby! Isn't that a funny name?"

She laughed politely, scrunching her brows as she tried to find the humor. After a moment she said, "Oh, yes. It's funny that a bird has blue feet."

"Yes, that's funny. But isn't the name really funny? It's a blue-footed BOOBY," I repeated.

She covered her mouth as realization dawned. "Oh, you mean like your..."

I deflected her hand, which was reaching toward my... booby.

"Yes," I said.

"That is a funny name!" she said, and we both laughed ourselves silly.

I probably would have forgotten the incident had it not been for our  family walk that evening. Bill had succumbed to Allyson's begging and allowed her to hold Lola's leash--which seemed like a risky move to me. One glimpse of a Chihuahua, and she could pull Allyson's arm out of socket. Fortunately, Allyson quickly relinquished the leash to Bill.

We hadn't even made it past our side yard when Lola started jerking Allyson back and forth. We were lagging behind a few yards while Bill stooped to pull a few weeds and toss them into the gutter, but I could still hear Allyson muttering at Lola.

"Lola, you're like a... blue-footed booby!" she scolded.

It was an apt comparison, actually. According to Wikipedia:

The name booby comes from the Spanish term bobo, which means "stupid" or "fool"/"clown". This is because the Blue-footed Booby is clumsy on the land, and (like other seabirds), they can be very tame and therefore easily captured, killed, and eaten by humans.
Other than the part about being eaten by humans, doesn't that sound an awful lot like Lola? She's rather on the dumb side, and very tame, and definitely a clown.

A few days after the walk, I asked Allyson why she'd called Lola a blue-footed booby. "Was it because she's silly?"

"No," she said. "It was because she was jumping around so much I thought she was trying to fly like a bird."

"Oh," I said.

I just love to see how Allyson thinks.

And I love our Blue-Footed Booby. Yes, I'm started to realize that. I really do!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Why I Love Jesus

I've been tagged by my friend Victor for a meme called Why I Love Jesus.

The rules for this meme are:
- Those tagged will share 5 things they love about Jesus
- Those tagged will tag 5 other bloggers
- Those tagged will provide a link to those they have tagged as well as the originator of the tag; to encourage others to visit them.

To quote Victor: 'Now this is a great idea because as a Christian community we should encourage each other and visit each others' Blogs if only to say "Hello". I know we don't always have something to say in the comments box; but just "Hello" would encourage Bloggers in that they know they have been visited and their efforts appreciated.' [Amen, Victor]

Here is a list of blogs I encourage you to visit, starting with Victor's. Just click each name to visit the blog--and remember to leave a comment!

Victor Gentle Jenny Jara Melissa K&C's Mom

If I've just tagged you, please post a comment on this entry with a link to your meme. Hopefully you will get around to it more quickly than I did!

My Reasons
How I'd answer this question probably depends on the day. Here's what comes to mind as to why I love Jesus (in no particular order):
  1. Because He loved me first. He loved me while I was yet in my sin, and unlovable in my own eyes.
  2. Because he set me free from my guilt and shame. He bore my sins and gave me His righteousness. He removed my sins as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12)
  3. Because although He lives in a high and holy place, he still chooses to dwell with me. (Isaiah 57:15)
  4. Because he gives me rest when I am weary and burdened. (Matthew 11:28)
  5. Because He is encouraging and enabling me to love others as He loves me. There was a time when it was very difficult for me to open my heart to another person, but now I am finding delight in making many new friends.
What about YOU? Why do you love Jesus? 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Please Pray For Laura

Yesterday Laura received some discouraging test results. Please pray for her healing, and pray that God helps her feel His presence and His comfort today. Pray that her faith is strengthened, along with her body.

Thank you!

Update 4/13/11 11:56 AM: Please visit my friend Gentle's blog for a suggested prayer you can pray for Laura.

Click here

Please take a moment to read the encouraging scriptures God gave Gentle as she prayed for Laura this morning. We are so thankful for your prayers.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

You Can Be an $11 Blessing

I need to ask a small favor....

As you may know, in November I will be participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure® event, a 60-mile walk over the course of three days. Net proceeds from this event are invested in breast cancer research and community programs.

I'm walking for my dear friend Laura, who has breast cancer that has metastasized to her lungs and brain.  Laura inspires me continually with her courage, strength, and faith.

Laura with Son Samuel

I want to do something special for Laura in honor of the one-year anniversary of our friendship, which is this Monday (4/11/11). I don't really understand it, but Laura feels a special connection with the number 11. When she feels discouraged or afraid--or when she's really happy about something--she often notices 11s around her. For example, she might see an 11 on a license plate or road sign, or on a digital clock. She feels the 11s are God's way of telling her He's close and He loves her.

On the 11th, I'd like to absolutely shower her with 11s, and at the same time raise money for a cause that she supports passionately. Would you consider donating $11.11 in her honor? If you can't give $11.11, could you give $1.11? In my heart, this isn't about the money, but about being a blessing to Laura.

You can read more about Laura's story on my 3-Day page

Here's how you can help:

1. Make your donation here.

2. In the message section, enter a message to Laura (e.g. "Blessings, Laura!"). You can also enter your name if you want it to display.

3. If Laura's story moves you, please forward this request to others.

4. Whenever you see an 11, pray for Laura and her family.

If just 111 people give $11.11, that's $1233.21--enough to provide 10 free mammograms!

P.S. If you don't see this until after April 11, you can still donate. I will make sure Laura sees all your messages.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Surrounded by Beauty

I'm sorry I've been so quiet. I've been overwhelmed with busyness lately, and I'm trying to slow down. My head is full of stories and news and revelations, but I only have time today to tell you one story. This time I'll try to make it quick. (I know you've heard that one before.)

If you're a long-time reader, you may remember my customary grocery store prayer. As I dropped by the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Sunday, I realized I hadn't been saying that prayer for awhile; I'd just been too busy, too frazzled to think about anything but my grocery list and all the chores waiting for me back at home.

Before I climbed out of my car this time, I paused and asked God, "Please, let me see with your eyes today. Help me to love someone while I'm here."

I'd already forgotten my prayer by the time I was pushing my cart down the second aisle, but God hadn't forgotten. As I dropped some apple cider vinegar into my cart, I looked up and stopped in my tracks. A lovely woman was approaching from the other end of the aisle, and I couldn't help noticing her beauty. It wasn't the kind of beauty you see on a magazine cover, though she was definitely pretty. It was more of an inner beauty, a glow, a visible peace that reminded me of the Proverbs 31 woman: clothed in strength and dignity. She was a tall black woman, maybe 10 years older than me. She had perfectly coiffed corn rows (is that still what they're called?), and she wore black heels and a white and black floral-print dress that was feminine but not frilly. It looked like she might be coming home from church, though it was 2:30 in the afternoon.

As I passed her, trying not to stare, a little voice in my head said, Tell her. Tell her she's beautiful. I literally shrugged it off, figuring she'd think I was weird. I slowed my cart to a crawl and edged past her, my eyes glued to my groceries. DO IT! the inner voice insisted, and I felt my heart speeding up.

I stopped the cart and spun on my heels. She happened to be looking my way, so I just let the words spill out. "You look beautiful today!" Immediately I thought, How crazy! Why would I say "today" as if I knew how she looked on any other day?

I don't think she thought I was crazy. But she was surprised, shocked even. She gave an audible gasp, and her hands flew to her throat. "Th-thank you!" she stammered, a wide grin making her even more beautiful.

My grin was probably even wider. "You're welcome," I said. "Have a good afternoon." And I ducked around the corner, a spring in my step. Laughter bubbled up inside, and I covered my mouth like Allyson when she's so delighted it makes her shy. I felt like I'd just surprised someone with a little gift, a just-because-you're-special gift. 

That's when I remembered last week's video from my new Bible study, Living Your Life as a Beautiful Offering. In the video, Angela Thomas recounts a story of a day when she was utterly drained, physically and emotionally. She'd been drenched on the way into the airport, and she was not having a good hair day, to say the least. She had recently gone through a divorce, and she was feeling ugly inside and out. As she walked to the baggage claim after her flight, an older gentleman with an Italian accent told her, "You are beautiful to me."

She felt as if God himself had spoken to her, and she was sure He had used that stranger to remind her that she was so beautiful in His eyes, that He was "just wild about her."

As I finished my shopping, I wondered if God might have just used me to remind that strange woman of His love, if maybe she'd needed that message just then. Despite the usual minor grocery store annoyances, I was still smiling when I got to the parking lot.

I'd almost reached my car when I looked up and saw a middle-aged woman and her teenage daughter. Both of them were smiling as if they might be sharing a joke. The older woman wore a pretty white and black blouse, and the girl wore a fuchsia blouse that looked striking against her flawless dark skin. They were both quite pretty, but what I really noticed was their strong resemblance. Looking at the mother was like seeing the girl in 30 or 40 years. I thought of how God had made each of them with such loving care, how he'd knit that girl together in her mother's womb.

This time I didn't even hesitate. "You two sure make a beautiful pair!" I exclaimed.

"Thank you!" they said in unison.

"Have a good afternoon," the mother said, and the girl smiled shyly at me.

I don't know what's gotten into me, but I can't wait to see what I'll do next!


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