Saturday, January 15, 2011

You want a resolution? I'll give you a resolution!

As I've mentioned before, I don't do resolutions.  I simply am not resolute enough to make any sort of resolution.  There you go, it's the honest truth. 

So what did I do? 

I made all of my "changes" at Christmas.  It's a great time to look back and say, "Self, you consumed way too much butter this year.  No more of that.

Also, and this is a personal favorite of mine, it is right before most of my bills come.  The first three months of the year find me paying for quite a few things and I think it's very sill of me to do this immediately following the gift-giving season.  But alas, I've set up my life this way and therefore I must abide by it.  In January, February, and March I will find myself paying for my AAA membership, my GLAZA membership (if I renew it), my car registration, my annual gym membership, and a handful of other things.  It's quite a money draining quarter. 

So I don't make a resolution in January to start saving lots and lots of money because, well, for me it is simply impossible.  The bulk of my annual saving is done in April through September. 

So as I'm sitting here and grumbling to myself about how stupid a New Year's Resolution is, and then I stumble upon a blog written by one of my favorite musical artists: Jason Mraz. 

It's called Now Here's Resolutions and it's all about things you can say or do to update your outlook on life.  I can dig it. 

It's not hard. 

It's not going to change the world. 

But it will change my world. 

My favorite part: 

"So often we say, I HAVE to go to work. I HAVE to pick up some groceries. I HAVE to call so & so. Making a conscious shift and using the words “GET-TO” can change everything. We GET TO go to work. We GET TO pick up some groceries. We GET TO call so & so. I hear my dad say, I HAVE to go check on your grandmother, but I know how much he loves that he can do it. I encourage him to say, I GET TO go check on your grandmother. Pretty soon, we may not have that honor."

So I think you GET TO go look at this blog, and try to transform the way you speak in your daily life. 


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

An amazing Christmas gift

So my Christmas is spent in 3 parts:  Christmas Eve at church and dinner with my father's family, Christmas Day with my parents, gramma, aunt, and uncle, and finally the day after Christmas is spent with my parents, gramma, aunt, uncle, cousin, and Big Mike.  It's sort of a three day celebration, and I look forward to it every year. 

Christmas Eve was going to be the same as every year, except on this Christmas Eve we'd be short one guest: my cousin's son Cameron.  You see, Cameron joined the USMC and he was going to be spending Christmas in Japan on a military base with a bunch of fellow Marine's. 

Now we were sad, but we knew it was something that we had no control over.  Korea was going through a bit of turmoil, and frankly Cameron is not some high ranking officer that can just snap his fingers and go home.  So my parents and I grabbed our things and headed out to church on Christmas Eve. 

My cousin and his sons are very active in their church and it's always a pleasure to see his sons as a part of the Christmas service. 

His oldest son is a sort of altar boy (I'm sure there is a better name) and his youngest son was chosen to lead all of the children to the manger scene this year.  He got to carry the baby Jesus and place him in the manger.  It's a big deal, trust me. 

So after church, we all headed to my aunt's house for dinner and as soon as we stepped in the door of the warm house I heard voices yelling at me.  You see, I was the first one in the door and I expected to see my uncle, my cousin, and two of her three sons. 

Instead I came around the corner and saw my cousin and then my uncle began yelling at me.  Being the type that cannot back down from a good yelling match, I just had to yell back.  But in doing that I neglected to see that someone had gotten right in my face.  I was just about to push this person out of the way when my eyes focused, and I realized that it was him: Cameron. 

Cameron was not in Japan. 

Cameron had flown home for Christmas. 

And none of us brought him so much as a card. 

But that didn't even matter, because my mother and I were already in tears and hugging him.  Even my dad laughed and got a little misty. 

It's a small, but powerful reminder to me about what Christmas is for: it's for celebration of Jesus's birth and it's a reminder to continue giving the love that our God sent to us through his son. 

So I share this with you: a few shots of my cousin's son Cameron and his brothers and cousins on Christmas Eve.  Keep him in your prayers as he's back in Japan and preparing for another tour of duty on an MEU.  (Cameron is the punk in the blue shirt.  His brother Jeremy is the punk in the grey shirt.  The pip squeek they're playing with was the little boy that took baby Jesus to the manger earlier, Ryan.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A little tidbit about me

I covet. 

Yes, I know it's a sin.  The first step to growing and bettering yourself is admitting you have a problem, right? 

Well I'm admitting it.  Everything is always greener in someone else's garden, and I mean that literally as well because I can only grow a few things.  In fact, considering that I had to take several botany classes in college, I'm an embarrassment to the biology field.  I can't grow very much at all. 

But the truth is that I've struggled with this throughout adolescence, my college years, and I continue to try to keep myself in check today.  Just this week, I had to have a little heart to heart with my dear friend about my behavior.  I was in a huff because someone I knew had been recognized for something that I had done, not this person. 

She put me in check.  She told me, "You know?  They just talked about that at church last week!" 

Ouch, double zing.  Not only was my behavior sinful, but she pointed out that I had been spending a bit too much time at work and not enough time at church. 

So I went to my church's archives online and sure enough, Bill Heydorn's words smacked me in the face. 

So I'm going to share it with you.  I challenge you.  I beg you.  I ask you.  Please, listen to his words.  Listen to his justification.  Listen to his advice.  Click here and follow the link for "What's in your bowl?"  to listen to the audio. 

What did I learn? 

You cannot stay focused on God and all of the blessings that He bestows upon you when you've turned around and you're checking out what the people around you have recieved. 

Have a blessed week! 


Monday, January 10, 2011

Okay, I'll say it...

What I'm about to share with you is a very common theme in my life.  I cannot take credit for this, it's from the movie Easy A starring Emma Stone. 

Being a child from the later half of the 1980's, I can totally relate to this. 

"Whatever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in 80's movies? I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I wanna ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey. I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me. Just once I want my life to be like an 80's movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life."

Happy Monday! 


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where's Waldo?

Okay, I kid.  I kid.  It's not "Where's Waldo?" and it's not "Where's Kipp?"  but I have been sort of absent lately. 

Absent on my blog. 

Present in my life. 

For those of you wondering or those of you that care, I'm fine.  I'm alive.  I'm healthy.  I'm happy. 

No, I was not in jail.  (Phew!)

No, I didn't travel to a far off distant country.  (I wish!)

I was simply lining up my ducks. 

I didn't blog around Christmas because, well, it was Christmas and I was pretty focused on my family for several days.  I hope to share a bit more of that with you all. 

I didn't blog about New Year's Eve because, well, I might do that later too. 

And I certainly didn't blog about New Year's resolutions because I don't really make them. 

So here I am, the first week of 2011 has come and gone.  I find myself optimistic.  I find myself peaceful.  I find myself a bit complacent. 

I don't like that last one.  It's sort of like "blah."  I don't do "blah" very well. 

So as I finish this post, I pose a question to you that I'm posing to myself a lot lately:

What have you done to challenge yourself? 

If you can answer that easily, then congratulations.  If you're like me, and you haven't challenged yourself too much lately, well join me in looking for a few mountains (or hills) to climb.  Let's have a challenging (and rewarding) 2011!