Thursday, September 23, 2010

Daddy's Hands....

This entire year of blogging, one of the hardest topics for me to blog about has been the topic of fathers.  I have started at least 3 or 4 blogs about fathers or about my dad in particular, and haven't published any of them.  Not even on Father's Day.   I think the reason is that fathers (and on a more personal father) are so important, emotional, and complex that I have a hard time putting how I feel about it all into words.  And for someone that loves to talk as much as I do...that is saying a lot.  I feel like whatever I say, or however I say it, it's not going to be enough.

The thing is, I want to write about my dad.  I love my dad so much.  His role in my life is so essential to who I was and who I have and will become that I can't really keep it inside anymore.  Every time I talk to him, even if it is about checking the oil in my car, it is a precious reminder that he thinks about me, cares about me, and loves me.  Our relationship has been complex and hard at times, but my heart is so soft and raw for my daddy's love.  The thoughts and memories I write about will be random and unorganized, but I want to write about him...about us. 

My earliest memories are of my dad.  I wanted to be just like him.  When all the other 4 and 5 year old little girls were dressing up in tutus, I was wearing blue jeans, a flannel, and boots so I could go "work outside" with my dad.  My hair would be a curly mess on top of my head...just like his.  I didn't want my mom to fix it or put it up in pigtails.  He would split the wood for our fireplace and let me take small logs over to the wood pile.  I was helping my daddy.   He was so handsome and strong. He always wore a goatee.  I remember once when he shaved it off when I was a kid.  I really didn't like it.  He didn't look like him anymore.  I liked the way his beard would prick my forehead when he kissed me.  It was different from my mom's soft kisses.  My dad loved to rock in his rocking chair (he still does).  I would climb up in his lap and he would sing me the Kookaburra song.  "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree...mighty mighty king of the woods is he....".  I sang this same song when I tried out for 4th grade choir.  I got in.   He didn't really like to sing and he wasn't particularly good at it, but he would sing for me anyway, which made it even more special. 

My dad was a karate teacher and when I was little my mom and brother and I would go and see him compete in tournaments.  My dad was larger than life.  I remember watching him compete.  We would all be on the edge of our seats.  My mom would occasionally cover her eyes, but I never did.  I felt like if I kept my eyes on him that somehow that would help him win.  I remember the relaxed concentration he had.  One hand protecting his face, the other landing a punch to his opponents kidneys.  Most of the time, my dad would walk off the mat victorious, sometimes with broken ribs or a broken nose...but no complaints.  I remember running to hug him.  So proud that my daddy was so brave and tough.  He would lift me up in his arms and show me off to everyone.  I would be covered by his sweat, but I didn't care because my daddy...the guy who just calmly wiped the floor with a guy big enough to be in the holding me and is proud of me. 

When my dad would get home from teaching karate in the evenings, I would run over and say..."Daddy look..!" or "Daddy listen to this....!"  I always tried to have something ready for him to see or something exciting to tell him in order to get his attention.  I knew that he was tired so I had to have something really captivating to show and tell or else I might miss my moment.  I think this is where my penchant for story telling started.  If life wasn't exciting enough to keep him from walking past me and into his rocking chair, then I would have to make it more exciting.  Kirk tried to do the same thing, but his stories were much too over the top.  Kirk and I would be hopping around my dad as he walked in the door and Kirk would start with, "Hey Dad, Hey Daddy, Dad, Hey Daddy...guess what!?  I played with a bear in school today. Yeah. Yep. Ah huh....A REAL BEAR!!!!  It was so BIG!"......  Before Kirk could continue on with his tall tale my dad would tell him that lying is bad and tell him to stop telling stories.  Unabashed, Kirk would just run off to complete the story to my mom who was happy to hear all about the big bear Kirk wrestled during pre-school recess.  That was my moment of opportunity.  I would wait for my dad to shake off the bear story, then I would tell him about how I got an A+ on my math test.  Wrestling a bear at recess was, unfortunately, more likely than my getting an A on a math test, but I knew that that was what was important to my dad.  So I would say it.  And he would smile and tell me how proud he was.  We would sit in the living room. Me on the couch, he in his big brown lazy boy rocker.  And we would watch M.A.S.H. and eat finger-sized slices of colby cheese dipped in ketchup.  This was our thing.  This is what we did.  Katie Tater Bug and Daddy.  That's what he called me....Tater Bug.  Sometimes if I could manage to out run my mom, and get onto my dad's lap, I would be able to stay up past my bedtime.  I would crawl into his lap, lay my head on him, and listen to his muffled laughter bounce around the inside of his chest.  As I got older and either couldn't comfortably sit on his lap anymore, or didn't want to sit on his lap anymore, I still did my best to catch him at just the right time to keep him up all night talking.  Those moments where I had my dad's full attention are forever burned into my memory like a  perfect snap-shot.  Some nights my dad would come home with treats for Kirk and I.  I don't remember what he would bring Kirk, but he would always bring me a Skor bar or a Sugar Daddy (which was my mom's favorite).  Kirk and I would come out of the forts we made in the living room out of pillows and blankets and grab our treats.  It wasn't about the fact that I loved Skor bars.  It was about the fact that while my dad was away, he thought of me.  Did he look at the Skor bar first and then remember me? Or did I pop into his head while he was doing something else and that sent him on a quest to bring me back a Skor bar?  I didn't know.  I didn't really care.  The point was that he thought of me.  My dad was and is a man of few words.  The most I ever remember hearing him talk when I was a kid, was when he was teaching.  My dad was a school teacher before he was a karate teacher.  He is a natural speaker.  When he is talking about something that he is interested in or loves, he is truly captivating.  I think that is where Kirk gets his amazing ability to speak, lead, preach, and inspire people.  When Kirk preaches I see him making the same facial expressions and hang gestures that my dad makes.  I joined my dad's karate class just to hear him speak....just to be near him.  Even if it wasn't just to me that he was speaking.  I loved to see his eyes shoot open wide when he was trying to make a point.  He was so expressive.  When my dad would do karate demonstrations at the schools he would let me help him.  I can't tell you how special I felt when he called me down in front of all my peers and he would let me show everyone my self defense moves.  In all honesty, I didn't really like karate.  In fact, at one point I hated it more than I think I have ever hated anything.  But I stayed in my dad's class for as long as I could stand it just so that I could watch him, hear him, even mess up a move on purpose so that he would come over and correct me.  My dad was a track star in high school and college.  When I got into 7th grade, I joined the track team.  I had never run a day in my life.  I quickly developed shin splints, but continued to train because my dad told me that he would come to one of my track meets.  I'll never forget the track meet he came to.  I was running the 200 meter relay.  I was the anchor.  As I stepped out onto the track into my position, I looked up into the stands and I saw my dad sitting there.  He had made it.  When the baton hit my fingers I took off like a rocket.  I had never run so hard or so fast in all of my life.  My lungs were on fire and the cold wind was making my eyes water, but I knew my daddy was watching and I wanted to make him proud.  We won.  After I got home that night, my dad told me that he was so proud of me.  He couldn't believe how fast I was.  He told me that he had to do a double take because he couldn't believe it was me he was seeing.

My dad and I have been through a lot together. There are so many aspects of who I am that come from my dad.  My dad writes poetry.  His heart is sensitive and caring.  He is easily moved and easily injured.  His facial expressions may tend to be hard, and his appearance tough...but his heart is tender.  When he smiles or laughs it's like light the light of a million suns after the darkest night.  My dad loves to learn and he loves to teach.  He loves to laugh.  He loves to tell stories. He loves good music, the ocean, his best buddy Bailey (our dog), and sitting out on the river.

He loves my mom with all his heart. He holds her hand and cuddles with her and kisses her whether there are people watching or not.  He smiles at her while she is telling a story. Sometimes he'll reach over and grab her hand while she's talking. He loves my mom for who she is.  He tells her she is pretty all the time. He is proud of her for not only how beautiful she is, but how hard working and dedicated she is, what a great mother she is, what a great partner she is, and how entertaining and fun she is.  He knows what he has.  He found his best friend.  They have made it through things that I can't imagine facing.  "What God brings together, let no man separate..." (Mark 10:9).

I've been jealous for my dad's love and attention since I could speak and say, "When I grow up, I want to marry Daddy!"   No one on Earth can melt my heart like my daddy.  Through our ups and downs I have been able to forgive him and he has been able to forgive me.  We have both messed up a time or two....but who hasn't?  The fact that we have both made mistakes only allow us to understand each other all the more.  I feel like over the last few years as I have become a new person in Christ,  I have been able to become like that little girl again.  I'm not afraid to be vulnerable to my Dad anymore.  For all the time that the devil stole from us over the years...God has brought a complete renewing.  Our relationship is totally new.  Better than ever. Sometimes when I am home, and my dad is sitting in his rocking chair, I'll come over and sit across his lap like I did when I was little.  I wrap both my arms around the back of his neck and lay my head on his chest.  He smiles and chuckles as his 20-something daughter finds a comfortable spot.  He kisses my forehead with his rough goatee. Sometimes, after he realizes that I'm not getting up, he'll start rocking me.  These are the moments that I feel God the closest.

Fathers are important.

I love my Dad. 


Randy's Daughter, Katie Tater Bug

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Timing is Everything....

I always hear people say, "Timing is everything"...and I have to say that I agree, but I would also add this in order to make it totally accurate: "God's timing is everything". I can want something all day long and do all that I can in my own strength to make it happen....but until God brings it about in His perfect timing...I am like Sisyphus pushing a boulder up a hill only to see it slide back down again.

I guess what is hardest for me is when I feel like I am asking God for something that is good for me or good for someone else (i.e, praying in what I think would be His will)...and the prayer isn't answered quickly (ideally 5 minutes after utterance, complete with thunder crashes and maybe some mountain shaking...nothing too theatrical).  Am I crazy for assuming that God had no idea that my friend needed help, or a person at church needs a job, or a friend of a friend needs healing, until I took 10 seconds between asking for my Christmas list of things to briefly mention it?   Yes...I am crazy for assuming that, but that doesn't mean that just because God already knows what we need before we ask that we stop praying, kick our feet back, and await the outpouring of blessings.  Praying to God, whether it be intercessory (for others) or for yourself, is how we acknowledge that we understand that it is God who is in control and not us.  I used to get so annoyed with my brother when I would call him for advice and every single time he would say...."Let's pray about it".  It's not that I didn't believe in prayer, but I just wasn't used to depending on God more than I depended on my own understanding, answers, and strength.  My brother understood that it is through prayer and faith that our answers will come.   

I lift up my eyes to the hills- Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip -
He who watches over you will not slumber;
Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you
The LORD is your shade at your right hand;
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm -
He will watch over your life;
The LORD will watch over your coming and going
Both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121

I was talking with one of my best friends last night about God's timing.  We both discussed how there have been times in our lives where we know that we need to stop doing something because it isn't good for us, and even though we pray to have the burden taken away or that we be removed from the unhealthy doesn't always happen for way longer than we had hoped.  Why wouldn't God want to immediately rescue us from something unhealthy or bad for us?  Why wouldn't He just take it away when we ask Him?

We came up with multiple reasons (and we love to make lists)... 

1) God doesn't always lift us out of unhealthy or bad situations when we ask Him because sometimes we have to hit rock bottom in order to never go back to that person, place, or thing.
2) It is through enduring pain or hardships that God shows us our true strength in Him.
3) God's glory is revealed ever greater when you have to wait for Him.
4) We weren't ready yet.
5) God was waiting for us to really mean it when we ask Him and not just say it because it is something we should say.
6) Just because something sounds like a good idea doesn't mean that it is a God idea.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

I think we also have to take into account that God gives us free will.  We are free to be disobedient and ignore His still small voice (and His loud booming voice as well).  Although our mouths may be saying, "please take me away from this", our hearts may be saying, "regardless of how bad this is, it is familiar to me and I am too afraid to leave it."  God isn't a vending machine shaped like a cuddly teddy bear, but when we read Romans 8:28 and see that, "...God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose," we sometimes interpret that as if He is.  Just because God is good does not mean that we are immune to hardships.  A "good" parent doesn't give their kids everything they ask for and never give them discipline.  Along with blessings and mercy comes a balance of justice and discipline.  God is good because He loves us too much to spoil us and leave us as selfish, weak, jellyfish-type people.  We endure hardships so that His glory can shine.  It's something that we can't comprehend easily, but His glory is our purpose.  It's not about us.  It's about Him. 

I suppose it all comes back to learning patience and having faith that God will answer your prayers in His timing.  Two things that don't really come that easy to me.  I talk about patience a lot because it really is central to living a Christ-like life. But the best part is...our patience doesn't come from within comes from the Holy Spirit. When I look back over the years and remember all of the prayers I prayed...okay more like "begged" to God, I am SO very thankful that He didn't answer some of them.  I would pray for something that I thought I wanted or needed based on my very limited knowledge and understanding of the "big picture".  Only God lives outside of space and time.  Only God can take my prayer and hold it in His hand until it's time comes.  Only God knows what is best for me and for others.  God knows the desires of my heart....He put them there long before I was ever born.  He knows me better than I will ever know myself.  When I feel like things are "falling apart", what is really happening is that God is saving me from something that wasn't for me.  For that, I fall on my knees in thanksgiving.  There are so many amazing things happening my life and the lives of my friends and family right now that I am almost afraid to be happy or excited about it.....and then I Father delights in blessing His children and He does so whether we deserve it or not.  Thank you, Jesus for your Grace.



Thursday, September 16, 2010

Country Roads Take Me Home....

I'm so sorry to leave you all hanging after my life changing blog about shampoo and conditioner.  I know that you have been waiting in strained anticipation to read the next installment of Cleanliness is Next to Godliness, but I am afraid I am going to have to disappoint you and talk about something else (Shampoo Update: I have been doing really well with my shampoo/conditioner conservation plan.  I have even dabbled a bit in using only one body wash at a time.  I guess a tiger really can change it's stripes!)

A few weeks ago I took a little bit of a vaca/long weekend and went back to WV to chill with the McNemar clan (pronounced Mick-Nee-Mer.....or Mac-Neh-Mara, if you are a telemarketer).  I haven't taken a "real" vacation (you that involves a beach, overpriced souvenirs, large amounts of debt, and jet lag) in over two years; but to me there is really nothing better than sitting out by the river with my family.  You can see stars, hear crickets, AND say things like this: "MOM, can you bring me a diet coke?" (and I don't even have to tip her).

At one point during the weekend there was a whopping 10 McNemars under one roof.  The suggested number of McNemars per household is 4, but because the house had such high ceilings we thought we would take a risk.  If you want a McNemar stampede all you have to do is utter the following words (not necessarily in this order): ice cream cake, river, relax, Sharon  McNemar's famous spicy scalloped potatoes, party, relax, free food of any kind, buffalo chicken dip, relax, Randy McNemar's famous steaks or hot dogs (basically anything that can be grilled), sleep, AND relax.  If you haven't already noticed, there is a theme here.  Let me break it down for you; the McNemar's love to eat, relax, and sleep (sleep is a deeper form of relaxing, but for emphasis I decided to list them both).  We do other things like work and such, but if you want to see us doing what we were made to do....just pop on over to my parent's place and watch us in our natural habitat. 

I wanted to list a few highlights of my time spent in my hometown of Buckhannon, WV. 

1) This conversation:

Me: Mom, you never let Dad make any decisions.
My mom walks over to my dad and starts rubbing his back.
Mom: Raaandy (in a sweet voice), Katie thinks I don't let you make decisions.  Is that true?
Dad: Sure, you do.  You let me decide to ask you to make all the decisions.  What's for dinner?
My mom smiles at me slyly and walks away.

2)  Playing "Where's Kylie?" with my cousin Heather's little girl. And where was Kylie????? Kylie...was everywhere.  Kylie is just over a year old and is completely adorable...I could just put her in my pocket.  She fell asleep on the living room floor between Heather and I as we were having a slumber party.  Things I learned that night: Kylie loves going through purses and playing with lip gloss, Kylie loves to do things she knows she's not supposed to do, and Kylie doesn't like to go to sleep because she is afraid she is going to miss something, basically... I learned that Kylie and I are the same. 

3) A conversation I heard at 8:30am Friday morning at The Daily Grind between three septuagenarian Buckhannonites while they had coffee and read The Record Delta (the awesome local newspaper: big ups to Brian Bergstrom and Katie Kuba!!)
Old Man #1 wearing a members only jacket: Why can't everyone just leave Lady Gaga alone?
Old Lady with standard grandma hair cut: I know!  What's all the fuss about?
Old Man #2 wearing knee socks and orthopedic shoes:  The kids like her music, that's for sure.  My granddaughter is dancing to one of her songs for cheerleading.  I don't see anything wrong with it.
Old Lady with standard grandma hair cut: Well, those cheerleaders practically wear nothing but their underwear these days, so that makes sense to me!
They all start laughing.
I am sitting at the neighboring table with my jaw hanging open hating myself for not having a video camera.

Now that we have all of that nonsense out of the way...on with the show....

I was walking to work this morning thinking about patience.  I realized that even though I am much more patient that I have ever been....I am still really impatient when it comes to certain things in my life.  For example, after almost 4 months I am just now able to really run again after hurting myself in my half marathon.  It's been really hard having to wait and take the time that I needed in order to heal properly.  It drove me completely crazy to not be in control. And once I did heal, I wanted to get back to running 6 or 7 miles at a time, but I couldn't.  The doc told me that even though I feel like I can keep on running....I need to start off at one mile and very slowly build back up to longer distances over a six month period.  He told me that the reason I got injured to begin with was because I increased my run too quickly.  He said that three months of training is not enough to build the appropriate amount of muscle strength in order to sustain for 13.1 miles.  To me, three months seemed like a reasonable amount of time to train for a half marathon...even though I have never run a race before in my life and had never run more than 4 miles before.  (I should also mention that along with being impatient I am also prone to stubbornness.)  But this smarty pants doctor guy thought just because he went to school to study such things that he knew better than me and advised that someone take at least six months and ideally an entire YEAR to train for their first half marathon.   I figured that I would be sore after the half marathon, but I never planned on taking this much time off.  And the reason that it has taken me so long to heal is because I ran after the half marathon even though I knew I was injured and that it was too soon.  I knew I was further injuring myself, but I didn't want to stop. Running is good for you....why stop?  When something is good for you, why would you have to stop?  This was just another lesson to me about why God should be left in the drivers seat.  I need to be willing to take things slowly as I begin running again so that I don't hurt myself.  Thankfully, I am learning to pace myself.  Over the last few years, I have learned to run my own race, at my own speed, and remember that taking time to heal and built strength is a very important part of living a healthy, joyful, and peaceful life.  When I think of patience I always think about how Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead after four days of being buried in a tomb.  Mary and Martha, Lazarus' sisters, thought that Jesus had taken too long to come after they had sent word that Lazarus was ill.  They had seen Jesus perform miraculous healings for complete strangers, so it makes sense that they would assume that He would heal his close friend Lazarus as soon as He could.  I understand how they felt because that is how I feel about things in my life sometimes.  I can't imagine why Jesus wouldn't immediately answer my prayer....especially when it is a really holy and godly one.   : )  But Jesus did raise Lazarus from the dead and by doing so showed just how awesome and powerful God is.  He could have healed Lazarus from wherever He was, but He waited until He came to Bethany so that people could witness that Jesus is God.  I also think back to Moses and Aaron when they were trying to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.  God gave Moses and Aaron the ability to perform miracles in front of Pharaoh in order to show God's power, but God continued to harden Pharaoh's heart no matter how amazing the miracles were nor no matter how bad the plagues were.  Why did God do that?  Why did Jesus wait to raise Lazarus and why did God have to show multiple miracles and bring multiple plagues to Egypt before finally bring the deliverance He promised?  It is so that God's power, glory, and sovereignty could shine.  God's promises don't diminish as time passes.  It is in the waiting that we are able to fully appreciate and experience God's hand in our lives.   Learning to rest, wait, and heal has been a hard lesson for me.  In the fast paced world we live in today, resting is seen as a weakness.  God continues to show me that not only is rest good for my body and soul, but that it is essential to building my relationship with Him (and others for that matter).  It is during times of rest that I am able to hear His still small voice and just bask in the knowledge that He is in control. 



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness...

Sometimes when I am at CVS or Safeway and I start walking down the shampoo/conditioner/body wash/fake nails aisle I will randomly remember that my conditioner bottle felt a little light that morning and ...henceforth...I must purchase another bottle.  (I like to walk down every aisle just in case I forgot to add something to my "list" of things I need.  And by "list" I mean...a mental list that I make as I walk down aisles). The problem with my subconscious conditioner tracking is that it tends to be a little off.  Apparently what feels light to me is in fact another two weeks worth of conditioning.  The real problem arises when not only do I pick out a new bottle of conditioner, but then I tell myself that I think my shampoo bottle is feeling a little light as well.  (Does anyone else run out of conditioner before shampoo?  I, admittedly, have the tendency to overcondition.  But I was just curious if I was the only one.)  And I feel pretty confident in saying that everyone knows that you don't mix shampoo and conditioner brands.  It is clearly stated on the shampoo bottle instructions (my bathroom reading material of choice when there are no other options) that you are to follow with the same brand/type of conditioner...rinse and repeat people! Rinse and repeat!  Far be it from me to question the scientists at the Herbal Essences beauty lab. So, in order to avoid a cataclysmic disaster brought on by waking up late, hoping in the shower, and finding that I am completely out of hair care products...I keep what I like to refer to as "Katie's Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash Disaster Stockpile".  I live in a studio apartment, which doesn't allow for much storage so I had to make a I stockpile canned goods, fresh water, medical supplies and flashlights....or do I stockpile beauty products.  I live in DC, so it would seem like the most intelligent stockpile option would be the one involving canned goods; however, I chose to go with the SCBW Disaster Stockpile (I love acronyms).   Here is my reasoning:

1) Due to an overabundance of clothes and shoes, I have no space left for stockpiling....unless I utilize the shower!!  My SCBW Disaster Stockpile has found it's happy home on the edge of my bathtub and on the shower caddy that precariously hangs on my 50 year old shower head.  Canned goods and flashlights wouldn't last in this volatile environment.  They weren't made to withstand moist (I can't stand that word..moist...just..ew!) environments.  But the engineering geniuses at Johnson & Johnson have created casings that will outlast even a year's worth of showers (aforementioned findings were gathered from an extremely unscientific study accidentally done by me when I realized while moving last year that I had had a shampoo bottle for over a year and had not thrown it away or used it all up.  Go ahead and judge, but honestly, I think that's pretty impressive.)

2) If there is a disaster in DC to which I will have to resort to canned goods for my sustenance, then I'm probably not going to last very long unless they figure out a way to preserve Chipotle or Five Guys.  Beets, green beans, and corn will get old fast.

3) What if everyone stockpiled food and emergency medical supplies, but no one even though about hair care products and now they are willing to barter with me for some shampoo!?  It could happen!

Okay.....that was a large bunch of ridiculousness.  I apologize if you wasted any brain cells on that.

When I get my new shampoo and conditioner home from the store, I place it in my shower (the SCBW Disaster Stockpile home base).   But, what usually ends up happening is that I get bored with the shampoo and conditioner that I had previously been using and say, "Hey, I wonder what this new stuff is like!?" and I give it a try.  It's just sitting there....beckoning to me from it's colorful bottle...offering promises of fruit-smelling hair.  I tell myself that I am just going to try it once and then use the rest of the old stuff, but inevitably, I just start using the new stuff.  My shower is full of almost empty shampoo and conditioner bottles.  The only thing about this whole mess that is redeeming is that at least I don't throw the almost empty bottles away and waste a few days worth of good hair cleansing....I keep it until it's gone (even if it that would require I keep it for a year).

I have hair product commitment issues and I think it's about time I face it. 

I am setting a challenge for myself.  I vow to buy shampoo and conditioner and use the least amount that I possibly can and still have clean, shiny hair.  No more being wasteful.  I also vow to use said shampoo and conditioner until it is completely empty, and only start using a new bottle once the old is gone. So what if the all natural shampoo that I spent $20 on makes my hair smell like the bottom of a gorilla's foot.  I made a risky purchase and now I (and everyone within wafting distance) have to suffer the consequences.

I hope that once I complete this challenge that I will be able to move on to other products such as body wash, but for now.....I like to keep my body wash options open.  Some days I want to smell like cool cumcumber, and some days I want to smell like a fresh sea breeze.  Baby steps.

Don't even get me started on my dryer sheets.

This completely pointless blog was brought to you today by the letter A.

For Awesome.



K to the T

Charity: Water

Some of my very favorite bloggers are joining together in order to raise $30,000 in 30 days for Charity: Water.

During the month of September, 30 bloggers will be working together in order to reach their $30,000 goal and bring clean drinking water to the dying in developing nations.

1. 100% of the money donated to Charity: water goes towards water projects.  2. $20 provides 1 person clean water for 20 years. According to Charity: water, if they reach their goal of $30,000 it will provide clean water to 1,500 people (300 families, 6 entire communities).
3. After you give, charity: water will keep you up-to-date with the status of the project you gave to, provide you with GPS coordinates of exactly where the well is being built, and take pictures and video along the way.
4. Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity: Water, leads these campaigns every September because it’s his birthday month.
5. is the site where you make your donation, and where you can track the progress of our specific 30 Bloggers, 30 Days, $30,000 campaign.

Please join me in supporting this amazing cause.   Personally, I always forget how blessed I am to have clean drinking water.  I fill up my bathtub with enough water to provide hydration for half of a village...then I pull the plug after about 10 minutes and go about my life without even blinking an eye.  People risk their lives walking miles a day just to fill up a gallon jug of dirty, contaminated water.  I complain when I run out of Britta filters and have to drink regular tap water.  I fill up a cup of water, take a few sips, and then end up pouring out the rest because I didn't feel like drinking it anymore.  What I take for granted is worth more than gold.  What I take for granted can save lives.  Before you take another sip of water or take a nice long relaxing shower....please pause and pray for the millions and millions of people that can't even imagine what clean water tastes like.  Love you all and thank you!