Ana’s Story

September 30, 2007 at 11:55 pm | Posted in Good causes, Inspirational | Leave a comment

Last Friday I was actually home to catch Diane Sawyer’s interview with Jenna Bush, daughter of Pres. Bush, on 20/20. Hubby and I sat riveted to the whole show as she talked about her personal and private life and her latest internship with UNICEF.http://www.unicef.org/Diane mostly wanted to talk about what most people would think a journalist would want to talk about: her dad, her mom, her life as the President’s daughter, her famously tough grandmother, and her new engagement. But she brought light to an issue that was near and dear to her heart, working with children who have been stricken by AIDS and poverty.
I think hubby said it best when he said, “I had no idea she was doing such good things, if you left it to the press I would have thought she was just another drunk party girl.” It is interesting to me that if she had not come forward herself to talk about her work with UNICEF that infamous picture of her sticking her tongue out at the press might have been our lasting image of her. I would not have known she has devoted the last few years of her professional life to inner-city school kids as a teacher. In a world of Lindsay Lohans and Paris Hiltons it is nice to see young people using their stature in this world to actually do some good by bringing to light issues that we need to change.

I was most proud of her because she went to work with UNICEF as an intern with no stature and no agenda-she just went. She went through the same process I would have gone through as an intern, she received no special treatment, she did not use her dad’s name- she went on her own merits. When Diane Sawyer asked the families she had worked with for months if they knew who she was, they only replied, “Ms. Jenna”. When she informed them that she was the daughter of the President of the United States they were awestruck. She went, she got her hands dirty, she did the work she was called to do and she wanted no fanfare except to bring light to the situation she wanted to see changed. How inspiring. Shouldn’t we all be challenged to do more in this world? To pass on some of the blessings that we have been given? Isn’t that the best way to spend our time on this earth?

She has written a book, Ana’s Story, about a young teen mother living with AIDS who especially touched her heart. I have already ordered her book – it should be excellent. Bravo to her for making a difference in this world! Bravo to her for setting a good example. Bravo to her for being a responsible human being!

Baptism

September 28, 2007 at 1:04 am | Posted in Church, Inspirational | Leave a comment

Last Sunday, our church had over thirty people baptized in the first baptism service in our church’s history. It was defenitely the biggest one I have ever seen! Some of our kiddos who are such awesome helpers each week in Kids Gathering got baptized! We all laughed, cried, and cheered as we watched Moms, Dads, husbands and wives, Grandpas and grandkids come together to begin thier new lives together! It was such a great day to share with our church family!

Check out all the baptism pics at:

I’m only happy when it rains. . .

September 27, 2007 at 1:58 am | Posted in Thoughts | Leave a comment

But, I am not happy when it’s complicated. (those of you who were nineties kids can appreciate that). Seriously, enough with the crazy weather! I am ready for a soaking kind of rain that makes you wish you had a tin roof you can lay in bed and listen to the rain pounding on the roof! Even more importantly, I want a rainy day where I can stay snuggled up under my Memow’s quilt and watch Gone with the Wind for the 8 millionth time and drink Tazo green tea and honey. The kind of day where the only form of exhertion I want to do is pick up a long forgotten and neglected book and turn the pages (if I have the energy). I love it when the world seems to stop and everyone battens down and has a day to remember why home is such a good place to be. Not to mention that the hope of having any kind of colorful fall is long gone, I just hope that my trees survived the long summer.

My best friend lives all the way across the country in Arizona and one of the many things that keeps me from picking up my life and moving out there to live with her is the sheer fact that it NEVER rains! I simply love it to much to give it up! I am one of those people who could live in Seattle and appreciate it. (McDreamy, anyone? HMM??!!) Maybe I will one day, who knows?

The forecasters (haha- Oh, Lisa- REALLY?) have been saying the rain is coming for three days now. I walked out my door earlier for my nightly walk when my neighbor told me to stay close because the rain was coming “any minute now”. (thanks for the optimism Jay) Two hourse later I am still waiting. I wish it would come in time to prop open the window and sleep the night away. If only I didn’t have to go work tomorrow, that would be perfect!

Bring on the rain!

THE OFFICE SUMMER VACATION

September 26, 2007 at 1:47 am | Posted in TV | Leave a comment

Two days and counting until the Office season premiere!

Bring on Fall!

September 26, 2007 at 12:21 am | Posted in Photos, Thoughts | Leave a comment

I am so ready for FALL! It is my favorite time of year! In hopes of ushering out the 90 degree temps I cleaned out my flower beds and planted my Fall mums! Here are some images of the strongest of the strong which survived the drought!

You’ve Got Mail

September 26, 2007 at 12:18 am | Posted in Thoughts | Leave a comment

I have had so little faith in the mail system as of late. I guess I should interject that I have no qualms with the mail carriers who work so hard 6 days a week (well, except for the fact that they make my dogs go CRAZZZY once a day!), but just the system in general. First, it was the lost parking permit for work. Let me just begin by saying that the fact that I have to PAY MONEY to park where I WORK is insane to me. In fact, I think it should be illegal. To pay to park my car in a lot where it does not even sit for at least half of the work day eats me alive! Shocking, that something ticks me off I know! So, the standard permit that you have to re-order every year (really is this the best way to spend a half hour of my work day?) got lost in the mail. I finally had some kind soul who does not even work on my floor track me down thru people finder and deliver said permit, albeit two months late, when she received it in her STUDENT mailbox. Puhlease, me a Vandy student? Does it look like I have an extra 50 grand hanging around? I had already battled with the parking people about a ticket they have written me for not displaying the updated permit. When I contacted them a month ago when the permit was a no-show they told me not to worry that it eventually would turn up. Well, guess who was hot when a bright yellow ticket appeared two days ago? Ugh, appeal, appeal, appeal it is such a pain. Anyway, my faith has now been restored because my cousin Scott, who is in Iraq, got his package less than 6 days after I mailed it! It took me longer than that to fill out the dang customs form! I can not believe it! Those packages must have sprouted wings! So excited he got it! Looks like my faith is restored in the system. If they can get a package to the Middle East in six days, I will wait two months for a parking permit, even if I have to pay a dumb ticket – but I don’t have to be happy about it!

Faith is not believing that God can, but that God will

September 26, 2007 at 12:13 am | Posted in Thoughts | 1 Comment

I am tired of hearing about OJ. I am sick of Brittany. Paris Hilton’s hair is hideous- well it is. But, why do I care? I love people.com, but it is a huge waste of time. Why can’t we have more intellectual conversations on religions, politics, world views (just to name a few)? I get sick of the same old gossip and now I feel I have to take a break from it. I have recently told some of my friends when we were shopping at Target (yes, I say it French- you should too) that I would love to be “that girl” who can wear super cute necklaces and headbands and stay up on all the latest fashions and care and give a rip about fashion. But, DO I? Hmm, something to ponder. Perhaps if I spent as much time and money giving to good organizations as I do at Target and the mall and the home stores to improve the house that will never be to my liking, would it make a difference? Anyway, all this has lead me to wonder about the true importance of things. I found an article someone shared with me and I think this sums it up. It is Ben Stein’s last column he ever wrote:

Ben Stein’s L ast Column…============================================How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today’s World?As I begin to write this, I “slug” it, as we writers say, which means I put a heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading is “eonlineFINAL,” and it gives me a shiver to write it. I have been doing this column for so long that I cannot even recall when I started. I loved writing this column so much for so long I came to believe it would never end..It worked well for a long time, but gradually, my changing as a person and the world’s change have overtaken it. On a small scale, Morton’s, while better than ever, no longer attracts as many stars as it used to. It still brings in the rich people in droves and definitely some stars. I saw Samuel L. Jackson there a few days ago, and we had a nice visit, and right before that, I saw and had a splendid talk with Warren Beatty in an elevator, in which we agreed that Splendor i n the Grass was a super movie. But Morton’s is not the star galaxy it once was, though it probably will be again.Beyond that, a bigger change has happened. I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to.How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today’s world, if by a “star” we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model? Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails.They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world.A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to a road north of Baghdad. He approached it, and the bomb went off and killed him.A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a family desolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad.The stars who deserve media attention are not the ones who have lavish weddings on TV but the ones who patrol the streets of Mosul even after two of their buddies were murdered and their bodies battered and stripped for the sin of trying to protect Iraqis from terrorists.We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of our magazines. The noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on military pay but stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships and in submarines and near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they live and die.I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who is eating at Morton’s is a big subject.There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament…the policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if they will return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery; the teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic children; the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards.Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of a real hero.I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters. This is my highest and best use as a human. I can put it another way. Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier or as good a comic as Steve Martin…or Martin Mull or Fred Willard–or as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer as Fitzgerald. Or even remotely close to any of them.But I could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, above all, a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to be my main task in life. I did it moderately well with my son, pretty well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister’s help). I cared for and paid attention to them in their declining years. I stayed wi th my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then into a coma and then entered immortality with my sister and me reading him the Psalms.This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the soldiers in Iraq or the firefighters in New York. I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human.Faith is not believing that God can. It is knowing that God will.By Ben Stein
What a way for him to go out- he could not have said it any better.

Podcasting

September 26, 2007 at 12:10 am | Posted in Tech Gal | Leave a comment

I love my new obsession of podcasting! Where else can you get Pride and Prejudice and listen to it when you want? I have also been loving my daily Bible Reading at the end of the day during a long commute! It keeps me grounded and focused on the important things in life! It is my new favorite obsession!

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