Saturday, January 30, 2010

Who Do I Look Like?

This is me.

Take one camera, three tons of eye shadow, half a cup of hair spray, a corset, a necklace purchased at the ren faire, and add a healthy dose of Photoshop.

And there you have it. Me.

Can I be really honest? I stare at this picture. I could gaze at her lips all day. But when I look away from her lips I get drawn into her eyelashes. This woman is beautiful. This woman is hot. This woman has absolutely no idea how special she is.

That's why she's looking down, after all, and not into the camera. Because sometimes she thinks she's more beautiful when she's someone else.

This woman has flawless skin. This woman's nose is not too big. This woman has perfect hair and is not a single pound overweight.

This is also me.

Notice again the skin, the lips, the eyes? This woman is strong. She faces her llife and does not let it stare her down. She is vibrant, and powerful. Hot when she needs to be hot and cold as ice when necessary.

Me again.

Scared. Alone. Yet somehow, still very present.

Perhaps you recognize this one.

Childlike, naiive, innocent, yet her eyes hold a shadow of something.

Is this getting closer to the real me?

Does a Photoshopped image reflect who we are?

Does a retouched picture, with no acne, fewer chins, no crow's feet, and a generous filter really show who we are?

Does it say anything that I did the photoshopping myself?

Who am I?

Who do I wish I were?

Certainly not who I see in the mirror most days.

But if you are into the Doppleganger craze on Facebook you'll know why I was looking to see what celebrity I look most like. It is disheartening, especially when I see the gorgeous celebs that my friends actually do look like. I mean really, I've only got like one option.

Depressing, isn't it?

So I choose not to participate in Doppleganger week... at least not until I get up the nerve to put up the picture I really want to.

Yes, they are fabulous. Just try to look away.

But until then, I will look back to who I was when I didn't realize that anybody was looking, and I'll see that I was perhaps the most beautiful then.

And, maybe someday, young women will start doing Google searches for me, for their own Doppleganger searches. Because I will be able to show the world that any size, any weight, can be dead sexy, if you believe in yourself.

You don't even have to Photoshop it at all.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fictionary Friday - Translate

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Translate v. To explain in terms that can be more easily understood; interpret.

Fictionary Definition:
Translate adj. A world-traveller who has managed to be late for multiple engagements on multiple continents; habitual, widespread lateness.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Won't You Stop Being... My Neighbor?

I've just done something decidedly unfriendly.

Yes, That's right. I have unfriended someone on Facebook.

I'm kind of in this guilt stage about it now. I mean, it's not like he got a big message saying "Dude, you suck, and Janet doesn't want to be your friend any more." But still, at some point I know he's going to come looking for my profile. Especially because we had been in the middle of a back-and-forth on both my status and a link I posted.

Here's the deal. This person, let's call him Martin, is one of those very opinionated people. Very opinionated, very outspoken, and not always tactful.

And he's a Christian.

He used to go to my church so of course I became friends with him on Facebook, and sometimes he would write comments that made me cringe just a little, but then other times he was just a normal person with whom I was friends on Facebook.

Sometimes when I was done cringing at something that Martin had wrote on my wall or as a comment, I would wonder why I was still friends with him. And then I would remind myself that I don't like to be flippant about my friends list on Facebook (I don't) and so why bother removing him if he wasn't a big huge headache?

A month or two ago, however, a mutual Facebook friend made a mention about how she had had to really look hard at her list of Facebook friends, and make some tough decisions. Now, she didn't get any more specific than that and far be it from me to assume, but I really just got this feeling that she was talking, to some extent, about her Facebook friendship with Martin. But, as I was not certain and again he wasn't being a big headache, I decided to leave well enough alone.

Until tonight. (Yesterday/last Wednesday/two months ago... whatever time words work best for you as you're reading this).

Tonight Martin made a comment on both a link I'd posted, and a status update of mine. Both comments were probably the third or fourth in a string that had other, non-mutual friends' comments, and both were highly opinionated. One of them seemed, to me, to be a very poor example of how a Christian should express themselves. (Especially because it was on a link to an article responding to a Christian who had expressed himself badly in the press and thus gave Christians a bad name, again. Irony? Methinks.)

I attempted, in each string, to reign him in. Neither attempt worked. I thought about unfriending him, then decided that I should be more patient and try again to help him see how what he was saying was not constructive. That didn't work either (honestly it could have been a failing on my end as well).

But after the third comment on each string, I realized that should any of the first few people (people who either aren't Christian or don't know Martin) actually look back to see who commented after them, they might be terribly, horribly offended.

Suddenly I felt a headache forming.

I had to weigh my options. What was more important--showing the love of God to Martin by allowing him to continue commenting and attempting to show him the callousness that his words showed towards people with whom he disagreed? Or protecting the friendships of these other people who commented quite benignly on my posts, people who probably know I'm a Christian and who might get the impression that I somehow condone these harsh statements of Martin's?

So I deleted Martin's comments, my responses, and then with a heavy heart, I unfriended him.

I debated whether I should message or email him to tell him what I was doing and why. And I remembered that this mutual friend of ours must have been including him in her friend decision-making, because he actually asked me at one point to convey a message to her because he had "somehow lost his connection with her during one of the Facebook updates."

If only that had been the case.

So I didn't say anything, because I realized that if other people have felt the need to move on, then maybe I could feel the freedom to do so as well. And I couldn't find a polite way to say "I don't want to try to deal with how you write, even when you try to explain yourself afterwards, because you still sound just as ignorant as you did the first time, and please dear Lord please don't write back to this because I don't want to get into an argument about why we should or should not remain friends on Facebook."

I mean, really. How do you say that?

But I still feel like crap. I just unfriended someone I've known for years. But you know what, when he put those words out there, he opened himself up to people reading them and judging him, and not only judging him but judging me, and judging "Christians." Not that I need to pussy-foot around non-Christians, but I just couldn't see how allowing someone to have hateful words on my Facebook page would be a light for any of the non-Christians with whom I'm friends.

I tried to use this as an opportunity to grow in my abilities to deal with difficult people, but I believe that a public forum is just not the place I want to hash this out (for the abovementioned reasons.) So, he is no longer my friend, in Facebook, and likely in life, once he figures out what happened. Not that I won't be open to taking him back at some point, but I will have to be careful about it.

When it all comes down to it, I think the status update I posted after unfriending Martin really does sum up the situation best:

Janet is sad when people fling words like excrement. Sometimes you can try to avoid it, or try to see it as fertilizer for growth, but sometimes you just have to step out of it, and move on.


Post Script: In the time it took to write this post, he figured out that I unfriended him. Perhaps I would have done better to wait until he was no longer online. And now he has sent me a message asking what he said to prompt this.

What should I say? Or should I even respond at all? Have you ever been in this situation?

Advice is very much appreciated... I'm swimming in murky waters here!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be."

~ John Heywood ~

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Smell Me, I'm Sexy!

This is not me.

But maybe one day it will be.

Except I will have more curves.

Yeah, now we're talkin'.

But this post isn't about pictures (although I could quite easily make it about the very very very interesting pictures that come up when you do a Google Images search for "Woman working out" and "Curvy Woman."

But that's beside the point.

The point.

The point is this: I smell damn sexy when I work out.

You read that right. I swore.

Oh, you were more shocked at the rest of the sentence.

Well, it's true. When I'm stuck outside in 97-degree humidity helping a friend move, I do not smell good. But somehow, after an hour of cardio-crazy Zumba, I smell amazingly good. And it's this weird thing because it kicks in at a certain point in the workout, because I'll be sweaty, sweaty, whatever, and then all of a sudden in the middle of a song I'll be like "Ahhh, there it is. Now I'm sexy."

I kid you not. I don't like the smell of my sweat when I'm helping a friend move in eleventy-five degrees. But there's something about the odor that wafts off my toning muscles or something--it just smells... good. (Of course people will prefer the smell of their own pee over the smell of others' so I'm sure it's not saying much to think my sweat smells good--who actually signs up for an experiement where you have to smell pee, anyway? But even a couple of days later my workout clothes don't smell musty and gross. They smell like sexy sweat.)

I mentioned this to some friends, who are now officially a part of my in-crowd, because a) they didn't look at me like I'm crazy and b) I can never let them get mad at me and spread this nonsense I say to other people.

One of them actually did say that it could be my pheremones. And then she patted me on the head and backed slowly out of the building.

But I think she's right. I mean, you see someone working out, and they look all slick and yummy, and if you go up to them sometimes they smell like two-week-old underwear, but sometimes they don't. I think it's all about the pheremones.

Or the endorphins. To quote a movie I should never tell people I actually like this much: “Exercise gives you endorphins--endorphins make people happy and happy people just don't shoot their husbands... they just don't.” (10 points if you know the movie)

So, if you think of it that way, maybe it's my endorphins leaking out. Because Zumba sure does make me happy, even when it's totally kicking my butt. And happiness is sexy. (Maybe this is God's way of making me feel better about the fact that I have to work out to lose weight, as opposed to "pass out" or "eat out" or "peace out" which are three things I'd normally rather be doing)

I like thinking of it that way. Next time I get on the bus after Zumba I'm not going to feel bad about being sweaty and gross. If anyone looks like they notice, I'm just gonna go right up to them and say:

That's not sweat you smell, it's happiness. And you look like you could use some.

So take a big whiff.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! White Elephant Gifts and AFTER Holiday Holiday Parties

Alright everyone, wecome back to Be My Guest Monday! If you're interested in being a guest blogger, please click on that super cool link.

Today I've got such a great guest blogger. Carissa over at GoodNCrazy taught me everything I know about avoiding the dreaded ( problem. As someone who prefers to respond to comments via email, Carissa's "Dear No-Reply Blogger" post helped me to share the knowledge with my readers too. (if you haven't done this yet, please do!) She's also got tons and tons of amazing blog advice--you really must check her out! After you read this post, of course. And now I give you a chuckle with Carissa and...

The Best White Elephant Gift Ever!
And Why AFTER Holiday-Holiday Parties Rock.

Goldfish ANDY Best White Elephant Gift

goodncrazy blue dots
My husband's holiday work party got postponed. And then cancelled. And honestly no one was sad. There was already too much going on with piano recitals, school plays, cookie exchanges and decorating the dang tree! Don't get me wrong I love Christmas-time and I love the hubbub too... but at some point in order it retain some semblance of sanity... you gotta pick and choose the items on your Holiday To-Do list...
That party re-scheduled itself for this past weekend. And it was so much fun. And pleasant, and I didn't feel rushed or like I was overdrawn on my babysitting account from asking friends to watch my kids too much!

They still held it as a White Elephant Gift Exchange, and the home where it was held still had Christmas decorations up... I have officially decided THIS is the way to do it. Plan each year to hold a few events AFTER New Year's. What's wrong with the piano recital being scheduled for the 2nd week in January? I'm still happy to hear my 9yrold's rendition of Angel's We Have Heard On High! And like I'm not gonna be thrilled to eat cookies in January, same as December? Hello.

What did we bring home?
Seriously. I think the best white elephant gift ever:
A Goldfish! Complete with $2 plastic bowl, food and green vinyl tree. I was the last one to choose a gift; I happily stole that fish. It had already been dubbed "Andy" by the attendees, and passed around a few times. So there you have it. Our children have a new pet goldfish: please meet ANDY.

goodncrazy blue dots

GREAT Ideas for the Best White Elephant Gifts:
You have to plan ahead for some of them so don't forget!

  • Toilet Seat
  • Enema
  • A Giant Stalk of brussel sprouts. (who knew they grow that way??)
  • A Moo Moo
  • Date Night Kit: Barry White CD, duct tape, and Nickelodeon Slime
  • Dancing Cowboy Santa
  • A Sacrificial Sock
  • Fruit Cake
  • A Box of SOS Pads: (and if there's a $ limit, tuck the cash inside to surprise!)
  • Rattlesnake meat in a can
  • Pogo Stick
  • Blown Up Photo of Self (autographed of course!)
  • Paparazzi Starter Kit: disposable camera, and copies of teen beat magazine preferably with Robert Pattinson on the cover
  • A Giant Box full of hotel toiletries: soaps, mini shampoos and lotions
  • Ugly Lingerie or Loud Gaudy Pajamas
  • Bottled Peach Pits: plan ahead, and when bottling peaches, fill one with only the pits!
  • Goofy Phones: Antlers Glued On or Pink and Furry
  • Used Appliances: Like an old dish disposal
  • Cassette Tapes of Donnie And Marie
  • Live Animals: Like a Goldfish, or Guinea Pig
  • Old Spice
  • Fedora Hat: from Ross or other discount store
  • Loud Annoying Toddler Toys
  • Hello Kitty ANYthing
  • Bad Home Decor: think plastic light up flowers
  • Toilet Seat Warmer (They really make these??)
Come on.. I know you have great ideas too.
What's the Best/Worst/Funniest White Elephant Gift you've ever seen?
Carissa Rogers goodncrazy
Carissa Rogers of
Find her on twitter as @CarissaRogers

"In my former life I was a molecular biologist. In my current life I am the chief researcher of bloggy html, parenting dos (and some don'ts), new recipes and for spice I pretend to be a photographer...I started blogging in February of 2008. I love the bloggy world where I share and connect with thousands of people about the happy, the sad, the rotten, and the silly! I have 3 crazy kids and one good husband. I hope to connect with you too!"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I'm a Singin' Fool

Ok, I'll admit it:

I like show tunes.

You may now stop following me.

No wait... please don't go! I'm cool, really! (although anyone who tries to convince other people that they're cool are, of course not cool.) So, um. Yeah.


Now I've gone and done it. I've lost you forever because I'm a show-tunes-loving fool.

Ok, ok, I know you're still there. Why do I know? Because you're still reading this! And if you're still reading this, than you're either A) very nice/forgiving; B) interested in where this post is going almost against your better judgement; or C) secretly (or not so secretly) a show-tunes-loving fool too.


Which one is it?

Please tell me I'm not alone.

I'll tell you my favorite if you tell me yours.

Here's a clue:

Yes, one of my favorites is "On My Own", from Les Mis. Of course, I really adore a whole bunch of Andrew Lloyd Webber's music.

So really, now that I've gotten that little secret off my chest (and I feel much better, it is nice to be honest with you)... what's your favorite?

Because I know you wouldn't have read this far if you didn't have one. :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fictionary Friday - Outdate

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Outdate v. To make antiquated or obsolete.

Fictionary Definition:
Outdate v. (For an individual) to run out of women or men in a city, town, or country that he or she has not yet dated. "That guy sure is proliferate. He outdated Scranton in just 3 weeks!"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Say WHAT????

Have you ever had a moment when you said something that absolutely mortified the person you were talking to?

And you had no idea why?

Picture this. I was about 12. I was reading a book. I always read far beyond my age level, so my books had big words in them.

For example, the book I was reading at the time concerned a girl, and a person with whom the girl was having a heated conversation. After a biting remark from the second party, the girl suddenly and quite forcefully expressed her response. Only the book used an odd word for it.

So, like the trusting, honest, pure little girl that I was, I walked into the kitchen, right up to my mother, and dropped this little gem:

She just stopped. And looked at me. Her chin sloooowly dropped as her mouth went slack. "Ummmmm..."

I'm sure she was thinking "Dear God, please make the last 4 seconds of my life so they never happened."

And all of a sudden I came to a realization (I think it was God speaking to me in response to my mother's prayer): Apparently some words have two meanings, and while they are actually somewhat different, they're similar enough, and one is "naughty" enough, that one must never, ever say either of them out loud. Especially to one's mother.

All I remember is slowly, deliberately, backing out of the kitchen. As if it had never happened.


So... how about you? I know everyone's got to have a story like this. What's yours?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?"

~Martin Luther King,Jr.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! Instant Life

That's right, it's that time again... Be My Guest Monday!!! A great big huge hey-howdy to everyone out there who made their way over from Kathryn's awesome blog, Singing in the Rain. If you haven't seen her blog yet, you need to stop by just to see how beautifully violet it is. Really. I mean, look at it:

I'm positive and relaxed and happy just looking at this gorgous blog. And Kathryn has allowed me to re-post something she put up on my birthday, actually. Since great things happened on September 7th, I asked to share with you, dear readers, these wise words. When you're done, please stop by her blog and check her out. And if you're new to Out of the Extraordinary, welcome! I do hope you'll spend a few moments on the rest of my blog after you're done reading this:

Instant Life

The very first cruise (and only one so far) that I have been on was on my honeymoon. And I loved it! The ship was beautiful, the water was beautiful and we were having a lovely time! About the second or third day in I started getting sea sick. They said that the ship was experiencing 8 foot waves and that it was not normally that rough. Not knowing I would feel sick, I never brought medicine so my husband went and bought me some from the ship's store. I honestly didn't think the medicine would help any. To my way of thinking the ship was still rocking and the waves were still 8 feet high. How could the medicine stop that? But almost immediately after taking the medicine it calmed my stomach and I felt instantly better! I was amazed, I didn't think I would feel that much better that fast! The rest of the time I did not hesitate to use the medicine if I needed it, I knew that it would make me feel better fast, and help me enjoy our time.

I was thinking the other day how much we want our life to be like that medicine. All around us we see and want instant gratification. Think about it:

Instant Gravy
Instant Potatoes
Instant Oatmeal
Instant Messenger
Instant Approval
Instant Prints
Instant Loans
Instant Replay

and much much more! Just google "instant" and you will get a list of things that you can get instantly. And it doesn't just stop there. How many of you have ever wished for the time to pass to a certain date? Maybe until you get married, until your husband gets home from a deployment, until you have your baby, until you get a job... the list could go on and on.

I don't think it's a bad thing to wish for these things, but what about enjoying the time you have now? Instead of getting everything instantly why not ask God what he has for you to learn right now?

Sometimes, it is a good thing to wait. We have all heard the saying, "Good things come to those who wait." I think that is very true, especially if you are spending all your time worrying and waiting and not enjoying the time now. You can miss out on all the good things that come in between all that waiting. So instead of wishing for something to pass, may it be a deployment, a time period, or anything else, determine to be patient and enjoy the here and now, and see what you can learn! You may be surprised at what God has in store for you!

"We shall never have more time. We have, and always had, all the time there is. No object is served in waiting until next week or even until tomorrow. Keep going... Concentrate on something useful."

"The man for whom time stretches out painfully is one waiting in vain, disappointed at not finding tomorrow already continuing yesterday."

“How much of human life is lost in waiting.”

“Between the wish and the thing life lies waiting.”


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Comment Snob

Full disclosure, I wrote this Thursday night. If you commented on my post on Friday I love you and this has nothing to do with you, it's all my own failings. And so I give you:

Comment Snob.

Just to be clear, I'm talking about myself. I have become... a comment snob.

Yes, in just the span of weeks, during which I really worked my blog and my networking and visited a whole lot of your blogs and commented wherever I could and emailed back right away... during those weeks I could be guaranteed at least a few comments on each of my blog posts. It was quite nice... and I have gotten used to it. I have become a comment-expecting snob.

Unfortunately, it didn't last. (The constant commenting, that is. And maybe it's fortunate, given the realization that I came to)

On Thursday I posted something I was super-proud of... my new email signature. A small thing, but it had meaning to me. I eagerly roll-called over at SITS, a blog devoted to sharing and supporting other bloggers, one where commenting on each others' posts is a way of life, and then....


I kid you not, I actually went back to SITS and tracked down my comment to make sure I'd saved it. Because how dare someone roll-call and NOT come read my excellently-written and witty post? How DARE they not comment???

Wow. Crazy much? (The answer is yes. And if by some chance you are reading this, Ms. Commented-after-me-on-Thursday, I do humbly apologize. I don't mean to disparage you so much as myself here.)

So then, Thursday evening I checked my email and lo and behold, I received a comment! One of my lovely followers, Katie, left me some kind words. Hooray for her. And hooray for my inner monster.

What I found rather funny, and not at all Freudian, is the fact that when I was typing my response email to her and explaining that I had become a comment snob and so was eternally grateful that she had, in fact, commented, I actually typed "comment snot" by mistake. (And you know what, Freud? I did it again just now.)

You see, there's a difference between being a Comment Snob and a Comment Snot. It's like Coffee Snobs. They can be a pain in the butt if you're somewhere (like, say outer Mongolia) and there's no Starbucks. But at least they know what they're talking about. "Coffee Snot" reminds me of some high school kid who thinks she knows what she's doing but only just two weeks ago found out that frappachinos have espresso in them. (No wonder you like them, hello.)

So yeah, a Comment Snot is, in my mind, someone who knows enough about how things work (or ought to) to sound like she knows what she's saying. Yes, commenting is a lovely wonderful thing. It is not, however, a pre-requisite to having your own blog. And for that matter, if you're reading this thinking "hey now, she hasn't commented on my blog in forever!" yes, you're right. I've only had just enough time in each day to write two blog posts, roll-call, look at the featured blogger, and comment on the one person ahead of me on the roll-call. That's it. So I do think I have not yet even attained the mastery of blogging that is being a Comment Snob, because I have not been doing it enough myself.

Nope, I'm just a whiny, self-absorbed snot who needs affirmation and has decided that it comes in the form of comments.

And what, you may ask, makes this post about being a snot Extraordinary? Why, the fact that I actually A) discovered something about myself and B) admitted it to all of you. That's pretty darned extraordinary to me. :)

If you're not afraid of stroking my comment ego, please let me know how you deal with getting (or not getting) tons of comments.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fictionary Friday - Marginalize

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Marginalize v. To relegate or confine to a lower or outer limit or edge, as of social standing.
Fictionary Definition:
Marginalize v. To adjust (widen or narrow) the margins of a paper in order to make it fit a required page length.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Have an Extraordinary Day!

Ok everyone, I've done it.

I've officially added "Have an Extraordinary Day" to my email signature. "Why is this," do you ask? Well, if you haven't noticed, I try to do it anyway, at least when I'm responding to your comments or leaving a comment on your blog. It's my "thing." I hope you don't mind it terribly.

I personally love using this, it makes me so happy (except, of course, for the fact that "extraordinary" is a rather tedious word to type. But you're worth it). About a month ago I started adding it to my Out Of Office (so many people use such boring ones. I like to be inspiring), and this year it's what I write in my work birthday emails. Yes I'm the person who tracks all the birthdays and workaversaries in the office, so I like to send out emails. And every year I've sent a different "happy birthday" email. It's just one line, like "hope your day is super-fun!" But in 2010 I'm hoping everybody's day is Extraordinary.

I would add that to my work email signature too except mine is already pretty long as-is, so I don't really need any more lines just yet. (Besides, it would look weird in my birthday emails.)

But I love the idea of having my non-work account end with something. I mean, I can write "Thanks" and usually did, but that's so very work-oriented in my mind, since that's where I learned it. (I do really appreciate having something to end my emails with though, that really stumped me for a while before I got an office job. How do you end an email without sounding abrupt if you can't say "love?" Just say "thanks!")

"So why," do you ask, "should I care what this crazy girls' email signature is?" Well, because I just realized that it is (or hopefully will be) a reminder of the power that exists in words. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7 - Ha! I snuck the Bible in atcha) To restate: As I think in my heart, so will I speak or act or write. If I am angry and petulant, my emails tend to come out that way. If I am excited and happy, the same. So if I am about to write a lengthy diatribe on how someone whose life touches mine did something that I don't agree with or do not like, and I open up a fresh email and see "Have an Extraordinary Day!" do you know what that means? That means that I will have to either A) erase those words because I don't feel them or B) rethink my whole reason for emailing until I can at least end it in an extraordinary manner.

Wow. That's pretty deep, right? And for those of you who may be wondering, I don't practice diatribe-writing all that often, but I do tend to write before I think sometimes. Or what about those times that you decide to beg off a meeting or housegroup or party or whatever, and you get tempted to make up a false illness or something just so the other person will think "Oh yes, she does have a good reason for not coming". Well, I have decided not to be that way. People can see through your lies more than you know, so we may as well all state the truth. With love and tact, yes, but the truth.

So, dear readers, this is my new year's gift to myself: a new email signature. Let's see how it goes. :)

And don't forget...

Have an Extraordinary Day!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"Fall down seven times - get up eight."

~Japanese Proverb~

Just Do it Anyway.

**Just a note. I wrote this today for my other blog, Moments of Majesty. But I realized that this is an Out of the Extraordinary story as well. So I hope you enjoy it.**

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13)

I've been reading The Power of Accidental Increase by Steve Sisler, and it's been really ministering to me. To the point that I was doing everything I could not to weep on the train home yesterday. I was reading the part called "Embracing your Weakness."

Yeah, that's right. Your weakness.

Steve pointed out that we all have weaknesses, but knowing what they are makes us strong. Self-understanding is a great strength. But don't only know what your weaknesses are, embrace them. There are some things we can get better at. If I don't speak French well right now, I can take a class. But my maximum level of cognitive skill will stop at some point. And I have to be ok with that. Or think of it this way... I will never ski well. I just won't. I don't have the balance for it. Could I take lessons and practice and get better? Yes, certainly. But would that be an appropriate use of my time? I mean, really? Will I ever be phenominal? Is Skiing that "Thing" that I will be known for? (Only if it's for my spectacular falling). But you know what, God has already used my spectacular falling abilities. I was at a ski trip with work a couple of years back, and a girl fell and hurt her knee quite badly. I, personally, had just done a head-over-heels snowball fall. It took me a few minutes to find all of my equiptment. But when I did, I noticed that she was on the ground, because I had fallen right by her. So I was able to stand by her and keep people away, and get someone's attention so they could go get help. If that's not God directing me in my weakness I don't know what is. :)

So you might think that the more appropirate scripture verse would be the one about how we're all different parts of the body and we can't all hope to be the good skiiers. But that's not the point. Ok, ok, a little extra scripture never hurt anybody, here it is:

Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. (1 Corinthians 12:14-20)

Are you happy now? Ok, good. But here's the thing about that first verse I put up there. Sometimes understanding we're weak, and doing it anyway, is what God calls us to do. Or maybe He calls us to do it in spite of our weaknesses. And how on earth do we do something that we don't do well? The best that we can. We stand firm, not in ourselves, but in Christ.

Because we will be found out. No one can pretend to be perfect forever. Even me, and I've tried.

But Steve brought up the tale of an olympic swimmer. Do you remember the Summer Olympics in 2000? Eric Moussambani had just learned to swim a year before. He wasn't good at it. He was in a qualifying heat with two other men, both of whom got disqualified for false starts. So here is Eric, a swimming pool, 17,000 people, and several TV cameras. Did he give up? Did he say "I know myself and I'm not a good swimmer, so I'm not going to waste anyone's time"?

No. He did it anyway. He swam because that's what he was there to do, despite his weaknesses. He swam slowly, with much splashing, and got to the point where the announcer was afraid he would actually stop. But he didn't. He kept going. And he got a standing ovation from men and women who 30 seconds earlier had probably been laughing at him.

But he kept on. He did it anyway. He didn't let his weakness hold him back from what he had flown to Sydney to do.

So what does this mean to me? This doesn't tell me that I should take up Skiing. No, I don't have the heart for it. I don't know why Eric chose swimming, but he desired to do it. I have no desire to ski. But what this tells me is that there will be times in life that, for some reason, I am being looked at and asked to do something, and I'm just not good at it. Do I listen to the monkey on my shoulder, who is screaming in my ear that I suck at this and I should just give up and move in with my parents and watch TV in their basement all day because that's all I'm capable of doing? No. (Dear Lord, no.)

Don't listen to the voice of adversity. Listen to the voice of God. Prepare yourself to not be perfect. Prepare yourself to be in tough situations. (Read about the Armor of God sometime.) Prepare yourself, to stand. To keep on keepin' on. To do it anyway. Because if you remain true to your calling, even if it is in a place of weakness, you will see it through.

And next time you think you can't, or you're worried about looking stupid in front of people, just watch this. It's painful, but beautiful. Sort of the way our lives are. Cheers.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! Magical Moments

Hello and welcome to Be My Guest Monday!!! It's my goal and honor to host a guest blogger every single Monday in 2010. And for my first official guest blog, I have been blessed with a phenominal post by Heidi from Cake Crumbs. Mmmmmm... cake crumbs.

Please enjoy this amazing post, then check out her blog. Make sure you click on Cakes By Heidi: Oh. My. Goodness. Beautiful. Cakes.

If you've stopped by from Heidi's blog, welcome!! I hope you enjoy her post, and feel free to nose around my blog too! And now, without further ado...


Magical Moments

On a warm summer afternoon my three girls and I decided that it would be a great day for a walk around our rural block.

We began our journey with my youngest and middle child in the double stroller. My oldest daughter, Kira rode beside us on her big girl bike. As we made our way around we visited with the dogs and cats that lived along the way, and listened to the incessant babble from my five year As we walked parallel to a field that held goats Izzy became very excited. “Mom can we look at ‘em,” she asked.

I parked the stroller and Izzy climbed out. While the girls were busy looking at the goats I noticed there were cattails a little way down the road.

"Let's go look at the cattails," I said as I dragged all three of them up the road, it took only a moment for them to realize what I was talking about and then the race to be there first was on. The girls stopped just short of the cattail plants barely saving their shoes from a damp walk home.

“Mom, why are they in water?” Kira asked with a inquisitive look on her face.

As I caught up to them I recognized this as a teaching moment and said, “Cattails need a lot of water, so they grow in the ditch where there is always plenty of water.”

A little breeze stirred the air and set the blades of the cattails in motion.

“Do you hear that sound?” I asked them, they nodded yes and I continued, “that’s called a rustle. It’s the music that cattails make.”

They listened very intently to their enchanting sound.

“Can you see the brown stuff at the top of the cattail stem? Do you think it’s hard or soft?”

“Hard,” said Kira

“Hard,” echoed Izzy.

“Let’s pick one and see.” I stepped as close as I could without landing in two feet of water, and broke off a stem that I could reach and then held the brown top out to my girls.

“Its soft!” Kira said in astonishment when she felt the fleece like treasure.

“I want to see,” begged Izzy.

I turned the head toward her and she rubbed it back and forth, “ooh soft.” She said.

“Why's it soft?” Kira asked in a puzzled voice.

“Well let’s take it home and wait for a week and we’ll find out.”

We picked a cattail for each of the girls, including Emma.

“Now when we get home you can't touch them for the whole week. Can you do that.”

“Yes!” Kira and Izzy chimed in at the same time.

Once we were home we put the cattails in a jar, but that lasted all of five minutes. Through the week they were used as magic wands, cooking spoons, swords, golf clubs, baseball bats and drum sticks along with anything else their imagination cooked up.

As I was cleaning up the house the following week I picked up the lone surviving cattail, it's stem was bent and broken, the tip was gone, and there was a hole in the side that was the size of a nickel that was beginning to fray. I sighed and lifted the garbage can lid planning to let it share its brother’s fate, but stopped. I had wanted to teach them something about cattails.

I quickly called the girls and when they came I took all three of them outside onto the porch. As we stood on the warm windless day I held up I held up the cattail and asked them, “What do you think a cattail is made out of?”

“Fur” said Kira.

“Cats” said Izzy.

I took a pinch of the frayed edges around the hole and spread them across my palm.

Kira took a closer look and said “They look like dandelion seeds.”

“Yes they do, they are actually a lot like dandelion seeds. These are cattail seeds the brown part of a cattail is made up of trillions and trillions of seeds. Can you see the part at the tip of each seed that flares out like an umbrella?” They nodded. “This little fuzzy thing allows the wind to carry each seed away from where it started so a new cattail plant can grow.

“Do you want to see how cattails end up growing all over?” I asked.

"Yes!" They all three shouted just because they could.

I took the seeds between my thumb and forefinger and threw them up into the air. It had been a windless day, but at that moment a small breeze began to blow, and caught the seeds and sent them flying in all directions.

Giggles erupted from around my knees as all three girls watched with sudden excitement. Emma, who was one at the time, started down the stairs to chase after them and Izzy quickly followed. They ran and giggled after the little torrent of seeds.

“Mom,” Kira said, “can I throw some?”

I handed her the cattail.

She ripped handful after handful off and sent billions of seeds floating into the now still air. With no wind to carry them away they just hung in the air around us, it felt like time had stopped in the middle of a snowstorm and individual snowflakes stood all around us. Suddenly a gust of wind whipped through the cloud of seeds, sending them into a kind of dance. They swirled up from behind the garbage can and twirled up around the eave of the house only to continue higher and higher until, as one, they turned in a wonderful dancing cloud that rained down around us.

My two younger girls stared up in open mouthed wonder as the seeds brushed across their cheeks and swirled around their little bare feet.

In that moment all was silent, it was as if we were caught up in a world all our own.

Kira whispered, “It’s like magic!” I looked down and watched as her shoulders drew up in a smile to match the one on her face. She crinkled up her nose and giggled in delight, twirled once, threw the cattail at me and took off down the stairs to join in the ballet.

Izzy suddenly broke from her trance and began twirling, sending puffs of seeds dancing around and around her. She giggled and exclaimed, “They’re like dancing fairies!” There was magic in her step and sparkles in her big blue eyes as she grabbed Emma’s hands and together they spun in circles and giggled even more.

Another gust of wind picked up and sent seeds into a little twister turning and dancing down the driveway.
Emma let go of Izzy’s hands and padded after it, as she reached its center she stretched her arms out to either side and the twister became her dance partner. Round and round they went. Her curls lifted up as the whirlwind took to the sky, her small face watched it sail away with awe etched in every feature.

Amid such a display of wonder my thoughts turned to the wise maker of this world and all the wonders that he has created for us here on earth, and how he takes opportunities, whenever we allow him, to teach us. Just as I taught my girls through experience what a cattail is, what it is made of and what it sounds like, my Heavenly Father took an opportunity to teach me through experience of his majesty and grace, his beauty, his wisdom, his kindness, and his love. As I watched my children enjoying the beauty and magic that surrounded us my heart filled with awe and gratitude and love. I realized that these are the moments that I came to this life to have, this is what I once dreamed of in the preexistence, to be surrounded by my beautiful smiling children with magic and wonder in their laughing faces. I feel so blessed that I was able to share this magical moment with my little ones. And that I chose to come to this life and experience the wonder and joy that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have created for us.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Blog Awards are the Best!!

Just when I was sitting here at the computer thinking "I wonder what to blog about next" and "wow, I have to get up in less than 4 hours, I'd better post something quick," I checked my email. And what to my wondering eyes did appear... but a blog award from Kathryn at Singin in the Rain!! Hooray!

Isn't it just the cutest?

The rules for this award are to bestow it upon up to 15 other blogs that you have newly discovered and think are just fantastic.

Ok, so did I not just mention that I have to get up in less than 4 hours? So here are 5 blogs I have recently begun to follow, in alphabetic order. (Because everyone usually does "no particular").

1. Cake Crumbs mmmm.... cake. (seriously, check out her cake)
2. Cheap Therapy because who doesn't need therapy?? (and she has an Etsy shop)
3. Kelly At Home or outside, either way her photos are awesome.
4. Live in Imagination ah, I love to live in my imagination... that's where I am a size 6.
5. One Girl's Journey to the Altar and what a journey it is!

If you're someone who knows I just started following you, please do not feel left out!! If you would like to guest blog for me, I would be more than willing to give you a big ol' call-out and a Be My Guest award of your very own! Read my Be My Guest post if you're interested, and haven't already reached out to me. :)

And stay tuned tomorrow for my very first guest post!! Wooo hooooooo!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fictionary Friday - Magnitude

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Magnitude n. greatness of size or amount.

Fictionary Definition:
Magnitude n. an over-important attitude or disposition, typically found in teenagers and politicians.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm Not Superwoman, and That's OK

This is not me.

Oh, do I wish it were.

The really funny thing is, while I was scoping out online images for Superwoman I kept finding them on blogs by women whose posts were pretty much the same: "I'm not Superwoman, and That's OK."

They totally stole my thunder.

Ok, Ok, maybe it doesn't all have to be about me. And maybe it shouldn't. Because really, none of us is Superwoman (or Superman, for that matter). None of us can do everything we think we should do, and sometimes we can't even do everything we want to do. But what's really killing me is the fact that I'm writing this, at 10:50pm, from my office. Because I'm still here. Working.

Yes, technically I'm not working at the moment. But once it hit 10:30 I figured I'd take a break to blog so when I get home I won't even have to turn on the computer, all I have to do is take out my contacts, wash my face, and go to bed.

It's really funny... I'm single. I have a cat (not something high-maintenance like a dog with a small bladder). I work, I go to Zumba, I go to Bible Study, I go to Worship practice (when I'm on), I go to school Sunday nights, and I sleep. And I eat.

Does that sound like a lot? 'Cause I guess it kinda does.

What just grinds my gears though is the friends of mine who are married, have multiple children, and seem to be way more productive than I am. Of course some of them don't have full-time jobs, but still. Is it actually possible that my job is so very stressful that it's sucking the life out of me? Because I don't know how I can't handle work and my activities lately. Maybe it's just because I've had a lot of projects and I came in twice over the New Years weekend. And I'm still here tonight.

But what this post is really about, what it needs to be about, is the realization I had today when I was in the bathroom (seriously if I had a toilet at my computer I'd probably get so much more done... not because of the time savings but because there is just something that makes you think well when you're on the john). And that realization is...

Maybe it's ok that this is all I can handle.

*Whew* That was hard. Like really, really hard to type. If you read my Wit and Wisdom post yesterday, you'll see a quote that I likewise had difficulty with.

If you do just enough to win just 51% of all your battles, you'll win the war.


Like seriously, really? Because a 51% is an F.

Hi, my name is Janet and I'm a recovering perfectionist.

And I ask myself how, seriously how on earth can I not handle everything on my plate?

But today I had to think "You know, maybe it's just that my plate is small right now." Oooh, ouch. That's another hard one. Does that mean that I just naturally can't handle much? It's kind of like taking an IQ test and thinking really? That's it? That's the best I can ever be? (And to show you how insane I am, the last time I took one was on Facebook, the pinnacle of accuracy, at 2:45 in the morning, and I got a 127. That's not too shabby. I clearly just have issues.)

So what do these jumbled thoughts become now? Well, I had to put them together with a couple of other things. First--as I said earlier, when I went looking for Superwoman images I found a number of blogs by women who felt the same way. Perhaps even you do, on occasion. So I'm not alone, no matter what my situation is, in feeling overwhelmed by it.

Secondly--I think to something I read in The Power of Accidental Increase today, about how we can only go so far on our own power, and then we absolutely have to let God handle the rest. So really honestly, no matter how big or small your plate is, and no matter how much stuff is piled on it, there is no one (NO ONE) who can handle it all without the grace of God. So when the plate feels a bit too heavy, maybe we just have to stop trying to carry it all by ourselves.

And Third--I have to quote myself back at myself. (I hate it when that happens, especially in the same day.) I'm keeping up a second blog that I write in the mornings. You see, I'll be getting up in 7 hours from now (and remember I'm still at the office) to listen to some worship music, read the Bible, and generally attempt to hear from God. And today I got a fantastic Moment of Majesty... I realized that Jesus can fix anything.


So yeah, I'm not Superwoman. I'm not ever going to be, no matter how much weight I lose, no matter if I get a movie deal tomorrow and quit my day job and hire a cadre of servants. I. Am. Not. Nor. Will. I. Ever. Be. Superwoman.

I'm just Janet. An Inspired Dreamer.

And that's ok.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.


"Instead of planning to be perfect, plan to do a little better. Win 51% of the battles, and you'll win the war."

~Martha Beck~

Monday, January 4, 2010

Be My Guest Monday!

Alllllrighty, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the first of hopefully 52 (and then some) Be My Guest Mondays!!!!!

*applause, applause, wild manic cheering*

Really sir, put your pants back on. Seriously. It's not that exciting.

But wait... it is!

Because I'm super-duper excited. Why is that, you ask? Because I've decided to start something big with my blog this year. Big. Huge! I've decided that I want to have a guest blogger Every. Single. Monday. (minus this one, of course).

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, the lady's crazy! Crazy I tell ya! In order to have a guest blogger every Monday each of her readers will have to do a guest post. AND she'll have to get at least 12 more followers!! Can she do it before the second hand on the clock strikes noon? Will she meet her deadline? Or will she be left... BLOG-LESS??? (Duh duh duhhhhhhhhhhhh.)

Seriously folks. This is why I need guest bloggers. Because I'm a little bit nuts.

Ok, honestly, really seriously honestly. I want to post a new Guest Blogger every single monday for the rest of 2010. I've done some reading on guest blogging and it's a pretty cool deal. I mean think about it, it's all about the laws of reciprocity. I ask you to guest blog, my followers read you and maybe fall in love with you (not instead of me, but in addition to, of course) and you get new followers. Meanwhile, on your blog you've informed your readers that you're doing a guest post on my blog, so your loyal followers come to my blog to check out your post, and they nose around (because your followers are all nosy people, I'm sorry to say) and they decide that I have a writing style that is quite awesome also (although in no way better than your own) and they decide that life would be perfect if they could just follow the both of us, which, thanks to modern technology, they now can.

Now, because I value what little amount of street cred my blog has (which I think is now nothing since I actually just said "street cred") I do have ground rules for being a guest blogger. I posted them back on November 29th, back when I first got the idea, but I will reiterate them here, because A) I have a few clarifications and specifics, and B) I think it's important that you all know how I'd like it to work. Because I do want this to work. I'm terribly excited at the idea of having you wonderful people make my blog even more extraordinary than it already is. :)

So, without further ado,

The Ground Rules for Guest Blogging at Out Of The Extraordinary:

1. This blog is about finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary. Now, don't be alarmed. If you look at my posts they're not all world-class treatises on transforming the world into an extraordinary place. Sometimes you just have to recognize that the ordinary... is extraordinary.

2. If you've ever commented on a blog post of mine, there's a good chance I'd want you to post. So please, comment below to say you're interested (if you didn't the first time around), and make sure you have your email set up so I can get back to you.

3. You must follow this blog. It's the laws of reciprocity here. I would hope that you enjoy reading my blog enough that you want to be a part of it, not that you want to hijack someone's blog just for fun. But then I know you'd never do that.

4. Please send your post in a Word Document and no more than 1000 words. (.doc please, not .docx) unless you know of a better way. And, if you've got tons of videos or crazy bloggy things that I've never done before, please be willing to help me learn how to post them. And seriously, 1000 words is a lot. So they'd better be good words. :)

5. Please send your posts in as soon as possible... I've got lots of Mondays coming up! If nothing else, I need your post by the Friday of the week before I post it. But feel free to send me a post any time, and I'll fit it in the next open week.

5. I do get final say over what gets posted. I'm not trying to be a control freak, but it is my blog. So please, understand that I've only got my reputation and my readers' interests at heart. I don't see myself slashing through your posts with a red pen. Unless you have tons of grammatical errors. Then we might have to talk. :)

So ok, that was how to be a guest blogger on Out of the Extraordinary in 5 easy steps! I do hope that you're still reading, and that something in you says "why yes, I would like to post something." Even if you're not sure what, leave me a comment, and we'll talk. I look forward to working with you. :)

And remember... Have an Extraordinary Day!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Not That I Don't Love Peanut Butter...

Hey readers!!! I need your help. If you read my last post, you'll know that I just started a 21-day fast. I'm excited about it, but I also freak out just a little bit every year when it comes to the fast. Why? Because I don't cook. I love to eat, I love to set a pretty table, but I do not cook.

So here's the thing... I have 3 rules for my fast: No Meat, No Wheat, and No Processed Foods. Now, that last one is just a tiny bit flexible because otherwise I'd only be eating apples for the next 19 days. Put it this way: Corn Chips pretty well toe the line on being not processed. :)

This is where you come in... do you know any good vegetarian receipies? I'm ok with dairy and I have a huge bag of rice I'm planning on eating my way through, but I'm gonna need more forms of protein than just peanut butter and cheese.

There's a little box right down below my post... do me a favor, and give me your favorite no meat/no wheat recipies, would ya? If you have a link to your favorite recipe that you or someone else has posted that's awesome too.

Well, that's my blog post for today. It's not flashy, it's just a cry for help. Please help me. :)

**Plus, stay tuned Monday for my first Guest Blogging post. I will set the ground rules for how it's all gonna work out. I do hope that you would consider being one of my guest bloggers this year.**

Ok that's it for me. Have an Extraordinary Day!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Let the Fasting Begin

If you read the title quickly you'd think I had said "feasting." Or, if you know me, you'd assume I merely left out a letter. Alas, it's not the case. I will, in fact, be fasting for 21 days. Beginning now. Well, technically beginning two hours ago (12:00am on Saturday January 2nd for those of you who don't read this the very moment I post it. And why don't you, anyway??) :)

Anyway, my church begins each year with a corporate fast. The main body of the church follows this schedule: Week 1: Cut down all eating to two meals a day (no snacks). Week 2: Still no snacks, and only one meal a day. You can drink juice and have broth when you're not officially "eating a meal." Week 3: no meals. Juices and broths only. Well, "soup" is ok but it can't be like steak and potatoes soup. More along the lines of Cream of Potato.

Now, this fast doesn't work well for everyone. I will be honest and tell you right now that this fast did not work well for me. Why is that? Because it messes up my already not-happy metabolism, because I would gorge myself during my "meals" and then starve for the rest of the day. Of course, the point of a fast is not to change the rules in order to make it easy, mind you, but there is a consideration for dietary needs. Someone who has diabetes, for example, may choose to fast other things rather than food, or they may fast one type of food (like all junk food) and also fast television. In the past two years, however, I have found a structure that works well for me. I didn't think I was going to do it again this year until I was on the phone with a friend and it hit me that yes, I need to do this. What I do is eat by three simple rules: No Meat, No Wheat, No Processed Foods. In the spirit of Full Disclosure, "no processed foods" isn't always a literal rule. What I try to do with that rule, however, is remind myself that Doritos are not allowed.

So I can eat as much as I want, as often as I want, but I can't have sandwiches (If you know where I work you know how hard this is), spaghetti (the only thing I can cook well), chicken (the only other thing I can cook), or Macaroni and Cheese (seriously people, this really cuts out everything I normally eat). The additional twist is that I don't have the money this year to spend on buying salads every day, so I actually have to budget for what I will eat, go to the store and buy enough to keep me from eating my fingers but not soo much that it goes bad, and I have to remember every day to bring it in to work. If those aren't things that will remind me to pray every day, I don't know what will.

Also, we were all urged to consider fasting something in addition to food this year. Since I don't watch TV at all, that's not an option. I could choose to fast Facebook or email or (gasp) blogging, but right now I consider any sort of social networking system a part of my attempt to grow towards creating income outside of my workaday world, so those are out. But one thing I can give up, and one thing that will make me really aware that I'm doing it is... sleep. Yes, I have decided to give up one hour of sleep a day for the next 21 days. What that means is instead of getting up at 7 for my 9-6 job, I will now get up at 6, and try desperately hard to stay awake long enough to read the Bible (or books about the Bible), listen to worship music, and otherwise spend time alone with God. I'm kinda excited about this, although since it is 2am and I have to get to the office for a little while I am already realizing that a whole hour is going to be interesting.

But I think it's going to be worth it. So what I will be doing now is keeping up with an additional blog. This blog is essentially my online faith journal, and you are under absolutely no obligation to check it out, but if you have any interest in following along with my fast (and hopefully this will go much longer than the 21 days), please check out Who knows, maybe God will speak to you through this blog. I certainly hope He does, should you choose to stop by. But never fear, Out of the Extraordinary is my primary blog and I will be keeping up on it as well. So please continue to follow and leave your comments... I don't think I would still be doing this if not for all the support I've gotten from you wonderful people.

So, here's to 21 days of fasting and prayer. I pray that I will have the strength to overcome my physical urges and the wherewithal to persevere, and that my ears and my heart would be open to what God has for me in this next 3 weeks. And I pray the same for you, dear reader.

Do you fast ever? What do you fast, and for how long? I'd love to hear some of your stories.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Last Year | This Year

Last year I went to England.
This year I will follow my heart.

Last year I organized a recognition ceremony for the entire company.
This year I will recognize who God has made me to be.

Last year I turned 30.
This year I will turn heads.

Last year I lost 25 pounds.
This year I will lose my fear and negativity.

Last year I saw the Addams Family.
This year I will redefine "family".

Last year I was alone.
This year I will realize that the Holy Spirit resides in me forever.

Last year I didn't know how I could get by.
This year I don't know anything that can stop me.

Last year I didn't know how to love.
This year I will see and feel with the eyes and heart of God.

Last year I tried to see what I could get.
This year I'm gonna see how much I can give.

Last year I couldn't wait for the year to end.
This year is what I was waiting for.

Welcome to a new day, a new life, a new year.