Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lent 2012

Catholics and Christians are not the only people who participate in Lent. Neither are the fad followers on social networks because Lent is the in-thing to do. I was once a Catholic schoolgirl and I still participate. It is a period of 40 days devoted to fasting and abstinence. People typically "give up" things they are attached to. Last year, I gave up specific items for Lent. This year, I took a more mature approach.

While reading Jen Hatmaker's 7, I considered three questions when trying to determine what to "give up" for Lent.
  1. What in my life, if taken away, would alter my value or identity?
  2. What causes an unhealthy change of attitude, personality, or focus when "it" becomes threatened?
  3. What is the thing outside of God that you put everything else on hold for?
My first thought was food. Seriously, I am most happy when food is in my mouth. No joke. It comforts me. It soothes me. It fulfills me. But I gave up certain foods last Lent. My second thought was liquid crack, Pepsi. But I gave Pepsi up last Lent. And besides, I just purchased a 12-pack. That certainly can't sit in my fridge untouched for 40 whole days. My third thought was books. But that would mean giving up spiritual and Bible study books that I read along with fiction. Plus I have book review and manuscript commitments. For a split second, I thought about joining Chickadee with Daniel's Fast. A split second! See where this is going? At this rate, I would be skipping Lent 2012. So I thought about it on a broader scale.

"Need" and "want" are not interchangeable. Americans tend to forget this. I personally have a bad habit of justifying purchases based on what I "want" instead of "need." Another question proposed in 7 really got me to thinking. "Would Jesus overindulge on garbage food while climbing out of a debt hole from buying things He couldn't afford to keep up with neighbors He couldn't impress?"

My Lent 2012: No excess. No overindulgence. No irresponsible spending.

I will only purchase what I need, not want. I will use items I already have instead of spending money on more, more, and more. I will still eat chicken, but it doesn't have to be fried and smothered in gravy. I will still drink Pepsi, but not my usual 12 oz. can per day. I will still read books, but only from my public library or my To Be Read pile. No sense in purchasing new books while I already have tons to read already. Sorry Amazon Wish List, you're being put on hold. I will still wear makeup, but crack open the new items I have yet to wear rather than splurging on sale items from Ulta and Sephora. Instead of grabbing food from fast food joints, I will cook the food already in my kitchen. No more handing my debit card over for that cute new pair of jeans when I have stacks of unworn jeans in my closet. And this hurts my heart, but no purchasing boots when I already own pairs that my pretty little feet have yet to step into.

"I will reduce, so He can increase." ~ Jen Hatmaker

I will also "Pause & Pray." My mind is in rotation 25/8. I rarely take a moment to just pause and meditate. Take a quiet breath. So I will make a conscious effort to pause during random moments of my day to pray.

This will be a challenge but I am looking to make it a lifestyle. I am hoping this Lent season will last more than 40 of my calendar days. Share your Lent 2012 plans.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

At This Very Moment

At this very moment I am jamming to Johnny Kemp's Just Got Paid, dancing in my snuggie while I type, inhaling the scent of a Dark Mint Chocolate candle and nibbling on Girl Scout Cookies.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Something I Miss

I miss the carefree days as a child. Playing on my swing set and gazebo. Riding my 12-speed bike around the East side of Detroit. Watching shows like Full House, Family Matters, Cosby Show, and A Different World on Friday nights, then waking up Saturday morning to watch Saved by the Bell and Wonder Years. What I really miss is the ability to sleep in. Now I have an internal clock that goes off at 6 a.m. every morning without fail. I miss adjusting the thermostat without a second thought. Now I keep it at a steady temp to keep control of my heating bill. Being an adult sucks. There are responsibilities. There are bills to be paid. The 1st of the month used to just symbolize a new month. Now the 1st of the month means a mortgage payment is due. There are critical life-changing decisions to make. Moves to be made. Money to earn. The list goes on. But this is what I miss: a carefree childhood.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Brit Chick in my Head

I am a Brit chick in my head. London, England UK is my hometown. Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) is my neighbor. Eight-time Grammy Award winner Adele Adkins is my BFF (singing about our hometown in the video below). Shopaholic Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is a close friend. Even though sales tax is a whopping 17.5% on most goods, we shop together on Oxford Street in The West End. I even speak in a faux British accent. It's a fun game I play when meeting strangers. Little do they know, I'm just a chick from The Motor City. 

One day I'd like to actually visit and experience London town. Spend an evening at the Central London Theatres. Stroll around The British Museum in Bloomsbury. Listen to live jazz while dining at Quaglino's. Indulge in a formal afternoon tea. Watch the sun set at Waterloo Bridge. Witness the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Crawl through the best London pubs. Then wake up Sunday morning to sound off on a random subject at Speakers Corner. Can you tell I am obsessed with living the British life?

The well-known gospel hymn Beulah Land references my feelings perfectly: I'm kind of homesick for a country to which I've never been before.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My iPod Shuffle Playlist

You can learn a lot about a person from the music he/she listens to. I put my iPod on shuffle. Below is a list of the first 25 songs that played.

  • When the Cookie Jar is Empty ~ Michael Franks
  • Next ~ The Weeknd
  • Nights Over Egypt ~ The Jones Girls
  • Venus vs. Mars ~ Jay-Z
  • Free ~ Destiny's Child
  • Millionaire ~ Kelis & Andre 3000
  • Rack City Remix ~ Tyga and 'nem
  • What If ~ Jaguar Wright
  • Promiscuous ~ Nelly Furtado & Timbaland
  • Promise ~ Ciara
  • Better That We Break ~ Maroon 5
  • Say Hello ~ Jay-Z
  • Lions, Tigers & Bears ~ Jazmine Sullivan
  • Ephipany ~ Jill Scott
  • Little Red Boat ~ Angel Grant
  • Million Dollar Bill ~ Whitney Houston
  • Gimme What You Got ~ Al Jarreau
  • November 18th ~ Drake
  • Funkin' for Jamaica ~ Tom Browne
  • Never Givin' Up ~ Aaliyah
  • Bodies ~ Drowning Pool
  • Focus ~ Joe Budden
  • Vivrant Thing ~ Q Tip
  • Ace Us Remix ~ S.O.T. the Fam
  • Anniversary ~ Tony Toni Tone

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Last Purchase

I needed a session of retail therapy and went on a boot binge. My last purchases are all boots. Fashionable, comfy and classic. See pics below.

Brown Ugg Boot Keychain

Chestnut Classic Ugg Boots

Black Over the Knee Boots

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super. Bowl. Sunday.

Today is Super Bowl 2012. I'm only here for the commercials and snacks.

And the best Super Bowl 2012 commercial is once again Detroit's Chrysler commercial. Our commercials are so intense and real, like our city. The message sticks with you long after the 2 minute commercial has ended. In fact, I fell asleep last night hearing Clint Eastwood's raspy voice in my head. "It's halftime in America." Watch it below.