Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness Week is Coming Up

Apparently, last Saturday at precisely 4 p.m. at the Rave, it was opposite day. Hopefully you missed it, wherever you are, but Dave and I ran head first into a "random act of rudeness" or, what I like to call, "things that make you say "RAR". And I've got the lump to prove it.

So, my kids have gotten big and their own lives that they like to pursue, so Saturday afternoon last, Dave and I found ourselves in this big house all alone, and instead of drawing some beer to cry in, we decided to go see a matinee of The Bucket List. Who knew that the theatre would be packed? We walked all the way up one side and not two seats together. Just one here and there. And we had one popcorn and one coke to share. Then we walked all the way up the other side, still no deals.

But way up at the tippy top, there were 2 seats a couple of seats off, and then a bit down 2 more seats a few more seats off. So, I apologize to the lady at the tippy top for interrupting her previews and state the obvious, that there are no seats together and I was just wondering if she might mind move over ONE SEAT so my hub and I and our popcorn and coke can sit together. She looked me straight in the eye and said that yes, she minded. I turned 5 shades of red (embarrassment, not anger) and apologized again, and told her that was totally cool (which I didn't really think so, but I was just trying to acknowledge and move on) and that I would just sit in the seat next to her and Dave was going to take the one a couple down. No worries.

EXCEPT there were worries, because she calmly told me that her coat was in the seat, so I could not sit there. By now, I have added 3 shades of red, plus 2 big fat tears welling up. And my jaw was on the ground beneath her coat and the seat I was trying to sit in. I picked it up and put it back in place so I could, again, point out the obvious, that the theatre was packed and there were just a few seats available, and this was one, and I had bought a ticket and all for just such a time as this. All she said was,"I bought a ticket, too" and turned away from me so I wouldn't bother her anymore.

I didn't really say "RAR". I wanted to say, "Did you buy a ticket for your coat?" But I didn't. We just turned around and slinked down a few rows and asked 4 people (who all, of course, had overheard and seemed just as stunned as we were) if they wouldn't mind moving so we could sit together. They didn't mind, even though it was more of an inconvenience to make room for us, and we thanked them profusely as we tripped over them going in, and again on the way out.

And the movie was worth it. Jack Nicholsen and Morgan Freeman. Come on, you already know it's good going in, even if you get a big shiny lump on your forehead from encountering a random act of rudeness on the way.

By the way, National Random Acts of Kindness Week is coming up, February 11-17. After reading this, I think we all know what NOT to do. To get more ideas of what TO do, go check out www.wakw.com, or Steve Sjogren's ideas to change the world at: http://www.servantevangelism.com/ideas/search_ideas.php.

Also, go rent Evan Almighty (another Morgan Freeman flick) to get caught up in the spirit of ARK (or acts of random kindness) which is a more euphamistic acronym than RAK. And, anything is better than RAR!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

When Mosaics Collide

I stayed up all night last night reading Amy Grant's new book, Mosaic. I actually received two copies for Christmas, one from my mum and one from my hub. I took one of them back to Borders, since that is where they both came from, and asked them if I could return 1/2 of one from my mum and 1/2 of one from my hub, since I'm not about hurting feelings, and they said that would be just fine, and that made me really happy.

Anyway, once the fam faded off into z's, I grabbed a cup of Chamomile and my book off my nightstand. I thought I would just crack into it a wee bit before following the fam. But, since I practically cut my Christian teeth on her Age to Age album, yes, I said album, as in vinyl, that I played on my record player, I found myself on the last page at 5 a.m. with a dried out tea bag in my coffee cup. I'm sorry if that offends, but I don't really do tea cups.

I don't really pull all-nighters much in these days of 40-Love. But how much fun was that! Like sitting up into the wee hours with my elbows on the table listening to an old friend. Doesn't get much better than that.

I really liked my book. Was a bit sad when I ran out of words to read, but I guess she got sleepy, so I turned off the light and drifted off to the mosaic of her music swirling about in my head, which was a really lovely lullaby.

Currently reading :
Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far
By Amy Grant
Release date: 16 October, 2007

Thursday, January 3, 2008

What My Bookworm Ate in 2007

  • The Tennis Handbook, by Sue Rich
  • The Fourth Bear, by Jasper Fforde
  • Dante's Inferno
  • Everyday Matters, by Danny Gregory
  • Dante's Purgatory
  • Monsignor Quixote, by Graham Greene
  • Dante's Paradise
  • The Supper of the Lamb, by Robert Farrar Capon
  • Where Angels Fear to Tread, by E. M. Forster
  • Travels With My Aunt, by Graham Greene
  • How to Read Literature Like a Professor, by Thomas Foster
  • The Life You Save May Be Your Own, by Paul Elie
  • The Complete Stories, by Flannery O'Connor
  • Washington Irving's Sketchbook
  • Bird by Bird, by Ann Lamott
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves, by Lynne Truss
  • The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fennimore Cooper
  • The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy
  • The Treasure Principle, by Randy Alcorn
  • Moby Dick, by Herman Melville

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Resolution is a Strong Word

Resolution is a Strong Word It's that time of year again. Time for a little R&R, and by R&R, I mean, of course, reflection and resolution. It's New Year's, after all. Who's resting and relaxing? Maybe retching [sic, literally] and recovering from 2 much bubbly last night? But that's not really what I'm talking about here. That would be gross, and if your current mood is hungover, it would probably make you hurl again, and that would probably make me hurl, and I really don't feel like that right now. It's not my favorite. Doesn't even make the list. Not any list. Well, maybe a top 10 non-favorite kind of list.

Speaking of lists...and you thought I was digressing, which is a bit judgmental on your part, but confronting you about that ranks up there right below vomit...and anyway, you're just trying to change the subject, and this is MYspace after all, and I was speaking of lists. And not just your average Amazon wish list, which you can remove from your cart if you change your mind. Also it comes with a receipt and you can just return it, which is like putting it back in the cart and taking it back to Amazon and then removing it from your wish cart if you change your mind.

But we're not talking about stuff in a cart here. Unless the cart we're talking about is the cart called our soul. (Note to copyright that cool metaphor.) A little r&r. Although isn't it funny how resolution ends up being a really too strong word for what we mean, and we end up taking them out of the proverbial cart.

But anyway, Sunday last at the Vineyard, Dave Workman talked about his lists: the top 3 coolest things that happened in 2007, and the bottom 3, or "things I screwed up", and exhorted us to make our own. So here goes mine.

My top 3 things coolest things that happened in 2007:
1) We started going to the Vineyard. We had already been doing some reflecting over the summer as we found ourselves with empty laps and a house full of teenagers with scissors aimed at our apron strings. They are the most amazing, beautiful, cool, delightful, excellent, fun, goofy, huge hearted...kids in the world. We have good relationships with our kids and we work hard to try and make sure the ground is good for them to grow, so to speak, in our home, and beyond, where we can have influence. Not in a control freak sense. God is in control. More in a "being compelled by the love of God" for our kids sense. So we were talking right before school started about our kids, their happiness, and their passion for God and etc., and wanting to make sure we were in a church where the love of God was real to them, where they were ministered to, nurtured, engaged. "Coinkidinkly" the Vineyard was beginning a series called "Spark: Igniting a Passionate Faith". Voila. Even we observed the obvious dots, connected, in the form of the Hand of God pointing us to where we happily be. Coinkidinky my arse.

2) Methinks we are settled into our new home and life, not on cruise but smooth sailing and basking a bit, and the rear view mirror flipped so the headlights aren't so blinding.

3) I have settled into a place in life I like to call 40-Love, where I have found a personal niche in tennis, which I had to find after my mean old kids all got taller than me, and their own lives besides, leaving me with said empty lap and so-far-protected but fraying apron strings. Not to mention the cool tennis community I've found myself happy to have landed in.

My bottom 3:
1) I discovered I have a "zone" that I can get in, and actually miss out on life around me, especially the 3 most important and not-so-little lives around me, that I have to be careful not to fall into.

2) I didn't do a lot of writing in 2007, which is really sad to me, because it is one of my favorites.

3) I spent a lot of time just feeling jaded, instead of polishing it and letting it be beautiful.

So that's what's in my cart. And it's time to checkout.