Monday, April 27, 2009

Book Review - The Noticer by Andy Andrews

In the newest Andy Andrews book, The Noticer, a mysterious man makes his rounds through Orange Beach, Alabama giving a healthy dose of perspective to its residents, changing lives as he goes.

The Noticer is a book filled with everyday wisdom wrapped up in the story of Jones, the strange old man who has a knack for showing up at just the right time. People in crisis find themselves sharing their struggles with Jones and find their lives changed for the better. The wisdom is directed to a wide audience - married couples, singles, old, young and in between. Most of it I had heard before, but some truths are always good to be reminded of.

The most meaningful part of the book for me was when Jones was talking to an older woman who felt the best part of her life was behind her. He shared the story of one man who had saved two billion people, and pointed out that the man would have never been in that position if not for the actions of those who had come before him. His point was this:

"'For the truth is, who knows who it really was whose single action saved the two billion people? How far back could we go?' Jones reached over and took Willow's hand. 'And how far into the future could we go, dear lady, to show how many lives you will touch? There are generations yet unborn, whose very lives will be shifted and shaped by the moves you make and the actions you take...tonight. And tomorrow. And tomorrow night. And the next day. And the next. No matter your age, physical condition, financial situation, color, gender, emotional state, or belief...everything you do, every move you make, matters to all of us."

I like that. I think everyone wants their life to make an impact on the world around them. Sometimes we will see that impact, most of the time we won't, but that doesn't mean there is not an impact.

It is a good perspective to be reminded of.

The Noticer is filled with perspectives that are good to be reminded of.

So, if you want a quick read and a dose of perspective I think you will enjoy Mr. Andrews newest release.

Monday, April 13, 2009

On a Mission

It all started when I cleaned out the laundry room.

Then a garage sale was planned.

Now I'm on a mission to purge the house of junk!

Every time I look into my clutter-free-everything-in-its-place-with-very-little-useless-junk-sitting-around-taking-up-space laundry room, I get inspired.

Inspired to dive into the next room, fill garbage bags with trash and transfer items to my growing try-to-sell pile.

Its exhilarating! It makes me feel light and airy as items leave their shelves and find new homes far, far away.

It makes Kory a little nervous and causes him to hide his stuff, but I will not be stopped!

I will not let myself be held hostage by the growing stuff in my closets any longer. Its time to throw off the shackles of junk clinging to our house and purge like there is no tomorrow.

Watch out kids, your rooms are coming up and everything is up for grabs!

This momma is on a mission, so look out house, here I come!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What's for Lunch?

I'm in a rut.

A lunch making rut.

The boy's don't seem to mind. I think they'd be happy to eat peanut butter and jelly for weeks on end.

I mind.

I'm tired of grilled cheese sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ham sandwiches, frozen pizza and macaroni and cheese (I know a gasp just went out at that last one from my family. My name is Megan and I love Kraft Macaroni and Cheese...)

Yesterday I got creative and made grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.

Yeah, I'm in a rut.

This is where you come in: What are your favorite lunchtime meal creations?

I really, really want to know!

Monday, April 06, 2009

A Weekend to Remember

It was never intentional. Yet, somewhere in the busyness of life we started to miss each other.

He was busy with work. I was busy with the kids. We were both tired. Once the kids were in bed we'd veg in front of the TV, or he'd work and I'd read.

Like I said, it was never intentional, but somewhere we started to drift. We weren't connecting like we used to. So we decided to do something about it.

I believe every marriage can benefit from a little continuing education. For us, that involved attending Family Life's Weekend to Remember marriage conference.

We first attended one of these conferences around our 5 year wedding anniversary. A couple of weeks ago we attended again (our 10 year anniversary is coming up in a month). The information was basically the same, but the impact was noticeable and profound.

We were reminded of simple truths:
  • "Every marriage is either moving toward oneness or drifting toward isolation." And if you are not intentionally choosing oneness, eventual isolation is the result.
  • "We must choose to receive our spouse as God's perfect provision for us."Receiving is NOT based on our spouse's performance.
  • "Differences are God's tools to teach us to trust Him and His goodness. God uses our natural differences, weaknesses, and selfishness to build oneness."

We were given a clearer understanding of what love and respect really mean. We were reminded and taught ways to improve our communication and conflict resolution. And, we were given time to reconnect. Time to focus on us away from the busyness of life.

I have to confess going into the conference there were a few "things" I hoped Kory would take away from the weekend, ways I wanted him to improve. He did, but through the weekend I discovered that I was the one that really needed to change. And, those areas where God convicted me have resulted in new fruit in our marriage.

If you have never been to a Weekend to Remember, I would highly recommend it. Whether you are feeling isolated or connected to your spouse, every marriage can benefit from the wisdom shared at these conferences. I think you will find the investment it takes to go well worth the effort.

To see upcoming conference locations and dates go here.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A Trip to Target

I had the luxury of going to Target by myself yesterday.

My mission was to get Easter Basket goodies for the kiddos.

I came to a realization while I was there.

Sometimes I have a hard time making decisions. (I actually knew this already, but it is in these kind of situations this little dilemma likes to manifest itself.)

Because these shopping trips are filled with the little, won't-even-matter-a-week-from-now kind of decisions. You know like which kind of crayola writing utensil to buy. Should I get her colored pencils, markers or crayons?

It was a tough decision. My stomach was in knots. I ended up going with none of the above and settled for sidewalk chalk.

When in doubt, go another route. That's what I always say. Not really, I just made that up.

In the end, everything turned out okay. It only took me 30 minutes and 3 laps around the store to decide on four items. And I'm not even taking anything back.

To top it all off, the checkout lane managed to persuade me to purchase a last minute impulse buy. It was too good to be true. They were only $1.50 and my kids thought I was the coolest.

I opened up a package as soon as I got in the car.

I think it is probably a good thing I don't get to take many trips to Target by myself. :)