Seriously, this blog post is going to be like the horrible church budget meetings that happen once a year. If you're an old school Baptist, you know what I'm talking about. Old school Baptist's have perfected and perpetuated this horrible beat-down of a meeting. When I was a kid, they straight up did the annual church budget meeting right after the alter call on Sunday mornings when kids were squirmy, bellies were rumbling, and people were trapped in their pews. Up comes some man that is half-dead and well over the age of eighty to talk about church finances and to take a vote of approval.
This is ludicrous.
As if someone is really going to stand to their feet and say, "I don't think the youth pastor is worth that much money!" "I object to the increase in the budget for the Children's department! When I was a kid you didn't go to church expecting goldfish, apple juice, and Veggie Tales!" "Do we really need a budget for florals?"
Each year I waited for some blue-haired, disgruntled member to object and prolong the meeting well past 12:00 noon (Which is a cardinal sin in old-school Baptist world. Church services are an hour. Period. And trust me, the Holy Spirit knows this too). I figured once someone objected and kept us in the church till 12:30, they would never do the meeting on Sunday mornings again, and then I could get to my much anticipated lunch date with Shoney's, which is is what everyone else was thinking about anyways. Beating the other churches to the all-you-can-eat salad bar with endless mounds of cubed ham and fake bacon bits.
I prayed for a disgruntled church member every single year.
(That's right. I said it. I'm from the South where Shoney's is still a mighty fine outing for hard-working families. I spent many Saturday nights dreaming about that salad bar).
So, much like the horrible church finance meeting that was imposed on my precious Sunday afternoon eating experience as a child, I am going to impose all business on you here today. Sincere apologies.
First, let me address my physical location and condition.
I am trapped in my house with an almost two-year-old and I need to be rescued.
Tomorrow will be day three in North Texas of no school, no driving, and no way out. These snow days have NOT been fun. By about eleven a.m. I am ready to pluck my eyeballs out. I've got a two year old in a 900 sq. foot apartment, intermittent power, and I am on the verge of using up all the allotted creativity that God has given me to mother this child with. I am running low on sanity (and milk) and I have cabin fever.
If you are one of my readers from France, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, or Brazil (or any other readers/countries I may have left out) note: do NOT come to the United States right now. While you're at it, I'd stay away from Egypt too. One third of our country is under a severe winter storm. And it has made its way all the way down to Texas. And that's just wrong. Texas is supposed to be a haven from the harsh cruelties of winter. If you want winter, you live in places like Chicago, Boston, Minnesota, or Colorado. If you hate winter, but do not mind sweating a gallon of water out of your armpits each and every day of the summer (while also swearing at mosquitoes and paying through the roof for your air-conditioning bill)... you live in Texas.
You live here for the heat. The Dallas Cowboys- yeah right. The authentic Mexican food. The "everything is bigger in Texas attitude". The ribs and bar-b-que. You don't live here because you enjoy winter. And I follow suit with most Texans when I say that I hate winter. And last night it was seven degrees here. And I wish I knew how to calculate that and put it into Celsius for you other hemisphere readers, but I can't, so all I can say is, seven degrees Fahrenheit is really friggin' cold.
Needless to say, we are fine, just a bit whiney. So for all of you friends and blog readers in places like Chicago, Kansas, Minnesota, Boston... your plight is worse than mine. Be careful. Stay warm. And consider this your official invitation to come live in Texas... where the biggest problem is usually just gushy armpits during the summer months. Not all this Mr. Winter business.
For all of you who took the time to fill out the survey about this blog, Thank You! Your input was incredibly resourceful and valuable. Your opinions were flattering, humbling, and insightful. I can't thank you enough for your time and for caring about the content of these pages.
If you live in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area I'd like to officially invite you to The Gathering, taking place at The Mosaic Cafe inside of Irving Bible Church next Thursday night, February 10th from 7:00-0:00 p.m. Ryan and I will be doing a night of music and stories about our bizarre journey as we have followed God's unconventional call on our lives. The Gathering is for young adults, but if you read this blog, I don't care how old or young you are, come join us! I will be there at 6:00 p.m. for any blog readers who want to come early and grab a cup of coffee with me. For more info on this FREE event, visit Irvingbible.org.
*Ryan would like it to be well documented that he is not interested in talking. He's just there to play guitar... We will see about that :) *
Speaking of speaking events...
You may have noticed that I have been making changes to the blog lately- okay- almost daily! Thanks for bearing with me as I dabble around and figure out what the heck I'm doing! One of the changes to the blog is the addition of a "Speaking" page. Here's the scoop: the band has been traveling for 18 months straight. We have done three major tours, numerous summer camps, a whirlwind of radio interviews, released a new album, and visited all but about 4 states in the past year alone. And all of that with Annie in tow! Needless to say, we need a break from heavy touring. All of us do. So we are slowing down our touring schedule for a short time to rest and re-coup. During that time I will be doing a limited number of speaking engagements. Thus, the "Speaking page." If you need a speaker for your upcoming event, or just want to create an event so we can share cupcakes, coffee, and stories... the speaking page will hopefully tell you all you need to know to make that happen.
Supporting this blog...
I love the community we have created here, and as long as people are still reading, it is my desire to keep writing about the world around me and the ways I see God collide every day with real life. If you enjoy following this blog, I'd love for you to help me get the word out about it. There are several new ways you can support my blog. First, if you have your own blog or website, please add my button! All you have to do is copy and paste the code into your account. If you want an example, check out Meggan Schwirtz's blog, who graciously added my button with the greatest endorsement ever! Thanks Meggan (Don't tell anyone that I paid you, OK? OK.) Next, please pass this blog along to other bloggers, friends, family members or church members and include it in your blog love/blog roll list!
In answer to a question asked a few days ago, YES, please feel free to use the content of this blog for your church's material! Just include the web address at the end and that is perfectly sufficient!
Another way to support this blog is to support the author. The broke, starving musician author!!! I'm trying out different forms of advertisements on the blog. Not because I want to. Trust me, if I had money, I would not want a dime for a single word that I write. But, I seriously need a haircut. And if enough people buy a few things off of my Amazon Favorites List... eventually, in like two years, I can go get one!!!
I don't want to throw a bunch of things on here that I don't believe in and I certainly do not plan on changing content, EVER, in ANY way to appease or attract advertisers. So for now, I'm sticking with a few things I like. I'm currently, slightly addicted to Amazon and GroupOn. So as of now, that's what I'm going with! I tell you about things I love, you buy them if they look good to you, I get a tiny small percentage, you get something fun for yourself... we all go home happy and one step closer to a haircut!
Why All the Changes?
I love and deeply treasure the friends I have made here on this blog.
I've spent a lot of my life doing things half-heartedly.
I realize I am totally blessed to have the platform and voice that I have.
I want to use everything I've been given- wholeheartedly- to love on the world around me.
For me, that means not just singing music. It means finishing my book. Speaking to people around the country. Writing more often on the pages here. Taking full advantage of every opportunity I have to love people well.
I don't want to live life like a big scaredy cat. I want to go for it. It's everything I don't want to do but I know I need to do. So...
I'm doing it. Thus, change must happen.
If you're stuck in the snow... happy snow day to you. If you are elsewhere in the world, have a lovely day friend.