Hoping we don’t get snowed in- 12 inches of snow heading our way this evening! NC, we hope to see you soon!
Welcome to Meredith, NH, folks!
*Post title: “Mistletoe,” Colbie Caillat
1. Judging the X-Factor- Confession time. Michael and I watch the X-Factor. Go ahead, judge away. I have never watched a reality tv show in my life until this fall when Michael decided he wanted to give the X-Factor a try. Here’s the deal guys, we like it. Trust me, no one is more shocked than me. I actually enjoy a reality tv show?! What.The.Heck. So, I saw this article on Grantland and laughed a lot. While the authors make fun of some of our favorite contestants (Carly Rose and Emblem 3) and actually like Beatrice Miller (seriously?! she is the worst singer, in my opinion-because my opinion on music really means something), I still think the article is funny and worth the read, whether you watch the X-Factor or not. Again, bring on the judgement.
2. This cover of “Heartless” is absolutely fantastic. Some of you may know this, but I LOVE Kanye West. I don’t care that he went off the deep end at the VMAs or that he’s currently dating a Kardashian of all people, The College Dropout is one of the best debut albums ever and I will forever get excited with each new single he releases. So, if you’re like me and think West is one of the best things to ever happen to radio, check out Kris Allen’s cover of one of Kanye’s more recent singles, “Heartless.”
43. Sam Tsui and Kurt Schneider have done it again. They have released their Summer Pop Medley for 2012. This may or may not be one of the youtube highlights of the year (let’s be real, it is). While I think I liked their 2010 and 2011 medleys better, I have watched this multiple times and it has yet to get old. If you like games, count the number of songs you think are included in this medley. There are always a few that just get a note or two. Enjoy!
*Post Title: “This Week the Trend,” by Relient K
I feel like for the past year, every time I write a blog post, I start it by apologizing for not writing for so long. This one is no different. Sorry for the lack of writing, friends! I decided today that there are a lot of fun things coming up that we want to be sharing with y’all, so it was important to start blogging again.
Last week, I came across a template for 25 things to do this summer. It was meant for a family, but I’m going to use this blog as my outlet to list my goals for this summer. Also, 25 is a lot for one person, so I’m just doing 15. Since yesterday was the first day of summer, I figured I’d better get started on this list!
Annie’s 15 Summer 2012 Goals:
1. I have deemed this the Summer of Prayer. I think I’ve admitted to y’all before that I am quite possibly the world’s worst prayerer. I hardly ever pray. This is a love, trust, and priority issue and, frankly, it’s sinful. So, this summer, with the grace and mercy of Jesus, I hope to pray more.
2. To go along with my Summer of Prayer, I want to re-read A Praying Life by Donald Miller and maybe even Mighty Prevailing Prayer by Wesley Duewel, courtesy of my Junior-year Bible study leaders.
3. I want to read more in general. If you haven’t noticed, I get captivated by the TV. But here’s the thing, I LOVE reading. And we have these awesome rocking chairs on our porch that I really need to take advantage of more.
4. Go to the beach. Okay, so I’ve already gone, but what’s the point of making a list if I can’t go ahead and check at least one thing off?
5. Go to the Farmer’s Market or LOMO Market truck weekly. I’ve grown to have a special bond with Kroger, but let’s face it, they do not have good produce, and Michael and I eat a lot of produce. It’s time to take advantage of the things Durham has to offer and buy locally and fresh!
6. Call long-distance friends more. That’s right, I’m talking to you, Jenna and Lauren. This isn’t really summer-related, but it is a goal of mine, so I’m adding it anyway.
7. Find cheap flights to NH so we can go to the annual Labor Day Fortin campout with Michael’s family.
8. Take evening walks with my husband. We’ve done this a few times and I really just love it. And, who doesn’t love summer nights? Plus, it stays light till basically bedtime, so we’ll be able to go no matter what time Michael gets home from playing golf.
9. Grow more cherry tomatoes and jalapenos! We have a mini porch garden. One pot of 2 cherry tomato plants and one pot of 2 jalapeno plants. So far, we have picked 4 cherry tomatoes! I’m super excited for more to come!
10. Memorize Scripture more. We have a friend in our Small Group who quotes scripture almost every time he speaks. It is so encouraging and Michael and I have said multiple times about how we want our conversations to be saturated with God’s Word. Thus, we need to memorize more of it.
11. Find a home. Michael and I have been looking at houses for a couple months now. I would really love to find our next home this summer!
12. Take advantage of summer TV shows like Melissa & Joey, Baby Daddy, and even some Big Bang Theory reruns. (What, I’m not giving up TV completely!)
13. Visit family. Go see my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephews. It’s been too long since I’ve seen them, plus I have a new baby nephew I can’t wait to love! Head to Wilmington for a weekend to visit my family there. Wilmington is one of my favorite cities on the planet and I want Michael to fall in love with it too and get to know my 313973 relatives that live there.
14. Take more pictures! I realized that Michael and I have a total of like 5 pictures of us from our first year of marriage and that is not okay with me! I want to document our life. Thus, be prepared world, Annie is going to have her camera out and ready 24/7!
15. Blog more. So many fun things happen during the summer, that I should take advantage of actually having things to write about! And, besides, I’ll have to keep you updated on how these goals are going!
HAPPY SUMMER, FRIENDS!
*Post Title “Summer Girls,” by LFO
I promise to legitmately write on here soon. But, for today, I just wanted to share some of my favorite articles/blog posts from the past week:
My friend GraceAnna posted a link to this article in her blog: “How my Mother’s Fanatical Views Tore us Apart.” It’s written by Rebecca Walker, the daughter of feminist leader Alice Walker. A fascinating view on the consequences of the feminist movement by someone who is about as close to the movement as you can get.
As a TV lover and Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, I thoroughly enjoyed this post from Zooey Deschanel and friends’ blog project Hello Giggles: Five Ways Buffy the Vampire Slayer Ruined my Life
Thank you, Grantland, for this gem: 20 Vital Observations from the Elite Eight. Basketball fans, ch-ch-check it out
And, lastly, a little promo for Duke’s student newspaper The Chronicle and my sweet friend Sanette Tanaka, editor in chief. I love North Carolina. I love the South. I know what it’s like to be a true southerner and go to the not-so-southern school that is Duke. This article was perfect: “Our Minds Were Gone Carolina.”
*Post Title: “This Week the Trend,” by Relient K. I apologize for the repeat in titles, but I’m at work and have little time to look up another perfect song lyric.
So, I’ve read a few more chapters of When People are Big and God is Small, but I’m too overwhelmed by it to recap now. Instead, I’ll go with a lighter post I’ve been planning in my head for a while now.
Annie’s Top 5 Favorite Sitcoms of all Time.
You heard it! I’ve talked about how I am a little too obsessed with sitcoms (television in general, really). I’ve always loved sitcoms. Thirty minutes of non-stop laughs and characters you grow to know and love. There are two requirements. The first is that the show must have aired for at least three years. The second is that it is a list my favorites, not the most quality (although, for most I think it’s still the case). Which are my favorites? Which do I recommend? Here they are, folks:
5. Wizards of Waverly Place- Go ahead, make fun of me, but I LOVE the Disney Channel. I think it’s that the shows are legitimately funny but don’t have all the immoral crap seen on the rest of television. Wizards of Waverly Place is funny. It’s smart. It’s weird. The actors are actually really talented. I love it. And, it had to be pretty quality to spring Selena Gomez into stardom.
4. Boy Meets World- Part of me wanted to make this my all time favorite. I had reason to put it in every place on this list, but I went with fourth because I have really grown to love the top three choices as I have gotten older. Who doesn’t love sweet Cory Matthews? I laugh every time I hear the word squirrel (Remember when Eric’s name was Plays With Squirrels?). I’ve considered naming my first girl Topanga. I don’t know if there’s a show that has warmed the hearts of people of all ages as much as Boy Meets World. It should be in everyone’s top five.
3. How I Met Your Mother- This is my favorite show right now. There is no character on tv that makes me laugh as much as Barney Stinson. I have watched all seven seasons and I think a little part of me is going to die when the series is over. Lilly and Marshall get my vote for best tv marriage. Jason Segel is just fantastic in everything he does. I may even like Alyson Hannigan better in HIMYM than I did in Buffy. It really is the perfect blend of comedy and seriousness. Of absurdity and reality. You cheer for the characters and get to watch them truly grow over the years.
2. Friends- I don’t know if there’s anyway for Friends to not be in every top 5 out there. Ten seasons. Several Emmy awards. Characters you can’t help but love. Characters whose personalities you know perfectly. Characters who you really think are your Friends. Situations that are hilarious. Writing that is impeccable. I laughed and I loved through all ten incredible seasons.
1. Seinfeld- No question in my mind that this is legitimately the best sitcom of all time. Not just my favorite, but the BEST. Jerry Seinfeld’s writing is hilarious. George is the laziest character that you can’t help but adore. Kramer is the most absurd character to ever be created. Elaine is exquisite in everything that she does (New Adventures of Old Christine, Christmas Vacation). The only thing that may have kept this show out of the top spot is the awful series finale. However, the minor characters that you’ll never forget (Soup Nazi, Man Hands, Close Talker) and the fact that nine seasons were created about characters who legitimately do nothing, give Seinfeld the number 1.
Honorable Mentions (either because they didn’t quite capture my heart the same way as the aforementioned or because they haven’t yet met the 3 year requirement):
Sonny With a Chance
2 Broke Girls
Now go, watch, and enjoy.
*Post title: Quote from Seinfeld Season 2, Episode 5 “The Apartment”
Alright guys, as promised, more reflections on my reading of When People are Big and God is Small.
I think chapter three really sums up my fear of man: “People Will Reject Me.” Way too often, my thought is “What if they think that comment is stupid?” or “If I act that silly then they’re going to think I’m weird.” or “What if they argue with me over my point and I lose the argument?” The fear of being rejected by other people has impacted my life more than anything else-any other fear, action, circumstance, or belief, sadly to say. Why is this the case? Welch says that “the praise of others-that wisp of a breeze that lasts for a moment-can seem more glorious to us than the praise of God.” As crazy as it is, knowing a person likes me can seem more exciting than knowing the God of the universe loves me. I’m bothered by this. Why do I do this? Well, the answer came in one of the most convicting statements of the chapter: “Fear of man is always part of a triad that includes unbelief and disobedience.” Fearing people means that we don’t believe God is who He says He is. That God is the all-powerful God of the universe who loves me completely and having His approval is all that matters, and all it takes to gain that approval is to truly believe in Jesus. When we don’t really believe that, we do things to please people, even when they don’t please God (disobedience).
Chapter 5: “The World Wants me to Fear People.” We live in a culture that praises feelings and needs. We make decisions based on feelings alone and believe the world is supposed to give us what we need to feel appreciated, loved, and good about ourselves. If our needs are not met, it is other people’s responsibility to meet them. What does that have to do with fear of man? Relying on our feelings instead of God “erodes the fear of God” and therefore “will intensify the fear of man.” Relying on other people to meet our needs means we are controlled by people, and not by following the Lord. The only one who can fully give us everything we need, emotionally and spiritually, is Jesus. Praise the Lord for the cross and for the love of the Almighty.
*Post title: “No One Loves Me Like You,” by Jars of Clay
So, I’m in a ladies book club at church. We meet once a month to discuss a Jesus-related book (you know, the kind you find in the “Christian Inspiration” section at Barnes & Noble). I am really bad about finishing these books. This month, I am determined to read the whole thing. For one reason, I want to be able to fully participate in conversation. The main reason, is that I need to read this book. This book is me. It gets at some of my biggest struggles. To tell you the truth, I’m a bit afraid to read it. I know it’s going to be convicting. I have a feeling it’s going to make me actually address things I prefer to pretend don’t exist or aren’t that big of a deal. So, here we go, God, use this book as You will.
When People are Big and God is Small by Edward Welch. That is this book that gives me butterflies. That is the book I want to talk about over the next few weeks on here. I figure, if I plan to write down summaries/thoughts, I will be held slightly more accountable for finishing it and for actually putting what I read into practice. So, here goes nothing.
Chapter 2: “People will see me”
Chapter 1 basically explains that all of deal with fearing people more than God. Chapter 2, deals with shame. Shame, we’ve all been there. We are either ashamed by what we have done or by what has been done to us (or both). Welch explained that in today’s world a secularized term for shame is “low self-esteem.” And, that much of our fear of man is actually a manifestation of our fear of God. We are afraid of being fully seen by God, but can’t really grasp that, so instead become afraid of being seen for all we are by other people.
From the very beginning, this chapter hit home. Shame. As much as I hate to admit it, that is something all too real to me. For the past few years I have preached vulnerability and honest relationships where we’re not afraid to share difficulties with each other. However, inside, I was terrified of those relationships. I was afraid to admit just how much the opinions of other impacted my day-to-day life (because, in all honesty, it’s pretty embarrassing. I’m sure we’ll go into this more later in the book). I rarely told people just how hard physical things were in me and Michael’s relationship before marriage. I never told anyone when I was angry or jealous, which was more than I like to admit. I like to think I have little to be ashamed of, but in reality, I was constantly hiding. I think the part of this chapter that hit most home was when Welch explained that shame is often seen as “thwarted pride.” We didn’t get things we believed we deserved. He says that “low self-esteem usually means that I think too highly of myself.” Welcome to my life. In college, I had this friend that was loved by everyone. I’m serious. Everyone thought she was absolutely amazing. I can’t tell you how often I thought of ways I was better than her. I had to. It was the only way I kept myself from feeling completely worthless. I believed life was unfair because more people adored her than they did me, yet I believed I was more worthy of their adoration. As I look back over the last two years of school, I see the damage my “thwarted pride” caused that relationship. It led to anger, jealousy, and bitterness. It became difficult to truly love her. I put on a happy face and I don’t think anyone but Michael knew how hard it was for me to even be in the same room as her. While other things caused some of the tension between us, I believe it was my shame, my thwarted pride, that ruined the friendship. Oh, how terribly I need Jesus.
And, I guess that’s where I’ll end, just as Welch did. Hebrews 10:10 says “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.” How beautiful is the sacrifice of Jesus. His death and love has covered my sins and therefore, taken away a reason for shame. I just need to believe with confidence that when God sees me, He sees Jesus and His opinion of me is more important than the opinion of other people. Join me on this adventure. I’m excited to see what God has in store for the next few weeks!
*Post title: “Much Afraid,” by Jars of Clay
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