Mr. Popcorn likes for me to lead a short devotional in our adult Sunday school class each week. Last Sunday the devotional was from a little book called Making a Good Marriage Better. The average length of marriage in our class is about 17 years, Mr. Popcorn and I skew it a little with our 28 big ones. The couples in our class have good marriages apparently since they are still intact after many years, and who doesn't want to make it better? We discussed that in Genesis 2:24 we are told that two shall become one flesh. Walking around as two people with two personalities, two intellects, two this and two that, as one flesh? Is this possible? Well, yes, it is. Is it hard? Yes, so hard. For the Popcorns it is something that fluctuates all the time. Sometimes we feel like one, act like one, are one. And sometimes we don't. Yep, that's right. The marriage pendulum swings wide, doesn't it? Each moment a certain balance must be met. A teetering seesaw whose fulcrum is all at once physical, mental, and spiritual attraction packaged in our actions, our glances, our words, and our touch. As long as that balance is maintained a marriage can flourish. Keeping our mate's needs above our own is the secret to maneuvering as one flesh and keeping the seesaw in play. As humans, we can't do that without lots of prayer and giving up ourselves to Christ daily. Only with His help can we keep both sides of the seesaw suspended allowing all four feet to dangle joyfully during the ride.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Family portraits....aren't they lovely? Posed, pretty, and everyone looking dapper. The sun just so in a cloudless sky, our faces awash in beautiful light. The long lens of the fancy camera capturing just the right glint in the eye and cock of the head. Freeze framing what we wish our lives looked like every day. But because we are frail creatures of dust, family pictures only tell part of the story. Life and love within the confines of family isn't as perfect or as easy as it appears in a thumbnail shot. Christ loves us unconditionally, no strings attached, even though we are vastly imperfect. I tend to attach requirements to the love I am willing to give because I am human. In a way, I require a certain element of perfection measured in relation to my needs. Do you bring me flowers? Do you whisper enough sweet nothings in my ear? Do you obey me? Do you make grades that I can tell my friends about and be proud of? Will you get into a college that will be a fitting reflection of my success? Do you make curfew? Do you wear what I want you to? Do I approve of your friends? Do you celebrate my birthday with enough fanfare? Do you do you do you??? Everything loops back to me me my my. God gives us the opportunity to practice loving others unconditionally starting with our family. He designed families as little worlds in which we learn things, important lessons about ourselves through our relationships with our beloved husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, sons, and daughters. Within the context of family we can keep on loving each other when we are disappointed, disgruntled, grumpy, moody, sad beyond words, filled with resentment, or just out of sorts. We can watch as a family member loses his temper, spends too much, makes poor decisions, wastes talent, or is just plain annoying and yet forgive. Isn't that what Christ does? Behind the camera's eye lie real lives with real sinners as participants brimming with opportunities to model the love, grace, and forgiveness we freely receive from Him. Family life is a laboratory of the Christian faith, a living, breathing analogy. So while the photographer's camera has snapped a flattering, picture perfect portrait of the Popcorns, we are far from perfect...but our imperfections are made bearable by living in His perfect love. 1 John 4:11 Dear friends since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love has been brought to full expression in us.
*****The Popcorns thank our friend and world renown free lance photographer Ken Childress and his assistant, Michael*****
Posted by Popcorn at 12:02 AM
Thursday, July 24, 2008
This is one of my all time favorite pictures. This is the group of women I work with at this little gift shop. I love them, and their dogs. I have worked at Magpies for almost five years and have loved every minute of it. It smells good, lovely music is wafting in the background, it is fun, fun, fun. Magpies has been total therapy for me over these years. "Happy" therapy. The ladies (as we call ourselves, as opposed to the "girls" which are the young teenage girls that work there) share many things in common such as children the same age, four of us have college kids at the same far-flung college, husbands, and yes, dogs. The owner, pictured in the middle with Pearl the maltipoo, got married in May and we all traveled to her hill country wedding, wore boots, and celebrated with her and further bonded...Our biggest hurdle of the day at Magpies is "What color tissue do you think will look good in this bag?" or "What font should we use for this monogram?". One of us knows almost every person that walks through the door and people love that. Our customers say it feels like visiting some one's home when they shop at Magpies. We celebrate each other's birthdays with decadent cakes, we know whose having a root canal, we know who grilled last night, we know whose daughter has a softball game, we know whose mom is coming to town, (and whose mother in law.....), we share recipes for food and for life. These gals are my friends, my sisters, my counselors and my posse. I better go, I have to be there at 9:45...
****dogs and humans left to right****Jackson, Popcorn, McKauley, Raelynn, Lily, Zoe, Peggy, Queso, Sandra, Charlie, Michelle, Sonya, Pedro, Pearl, Megan, Maggie, Stephanie, Susan, Kai
Posted by Popcorn at 4:45 AM
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Weird. That's what it is. Weird that I would blog on "stuff" yesterday and then today's sermon at church was, and I quote, "Connecting With God's Power: Power Over Greed"! Boy when the Holy Spirit wants to get my attention about something, this is what always happens. The topic becomes a recurring theme in everything I do, everywhere I go. Even a stroll through a favorite antique store became a classroom for the topic serving as a prelude, a heads up to the final whammee this morning. The gist of the sermon today was to make us aware of our tendency towards materialism. Our appetites for things that never seems satiated. The desire for things grows exponentially with the next acquisition. When we have things beyond our actual needs, the potential for being owned by things looms large. Then what have we got? A bunch of cars, houses, furniture, footstools, forks, plates, toys (big and small) serving as detours and roadblocks to the abundant life the Jesus offers us. Our littered landscape of stuff blocks our vision..physically and spiritually and causes us to lose sight of the satisfying life that requires no purchase, no spending, no sacrifice or compromise. Our path to happiness is clearer if not cluttered up with the possessions of life we think are so vital. So I'm having a garage sale, I'm making a Goodwill drop, and I'm bagging stuff up for someone that can use it. I'm on a stuff diet as of today. (can you hear Mr. Popcorn cheering and high fiving me in the background?)
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Goodness, Popcorn must really be having a relaxing summer. My blood pressure tonight was 91 over 67. Now that is some low bp for Popcorn. It might have something to do with...
1. the past two days I've had very little stress...nothing really pressing that HAD to get done
2. miraculously all laundry done and put away
3. all three kernels happy, in and out of house, and present at several meals and all present and around table at dinner tonight chatting about various light hearted topics.... this is good for a mother's soul (and blood pressure apparently)
4. Popdaughter2 spent night with Gramcorn and her cousin Sarah last night and shopped today after they ate a fun lunch...again, very satisfying for a mother to know that daughter, cousin, and mother having fun together
5. Hubby and popson looked adorable doing yard together today as viewed from my rear view mirror driving off to have a mani and pedi this a.m.
Seems to be a recipe for a healthy bp reading....How's your summer? Keeping blood pressure in check, or aggravating it?
Posted by Popcorn at 9:43 PM
Friday, July 18, 2008
Today I had a little snippet of time and walked through a cute little antique shop. I love to wander through shops with lots of furniture. Usually this one has great sideboards, armoires, and tables...which I need to NOT buy any more of.....but today the store was mostly just stuff. Old dusty dishes, cups and saucers, lemon juicers of old, dolls, toys....and I have to tell you a wave of, well, sort of melancholy washed over me as I strolled through. It was so sad to me that all of this stuff was once some one's treasured belongings. Something they had spent their hard earned money on. Things they displayed proudly in their homes, served their guests on at parties, and items their children played with. I started thinking about all of my stuff. When I am dead and gone, my stuff will probably show up on shelves like these and some lady will wander by, and maybe even purchase something that used to be my treasured belonging. That will be all that is left of me, a bunch of dusty pictures and footstools, and forks. Ugh. I had to leave. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Ran next door to TJ MAXX to look at the new stuff....oy.
Posted by Popcorn at 6:50 PM
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Ahhh summer. Lazy days, the sound of water splashing....barbecue chicken on the grill....evening bike rides.... don't you love it? If only! The Popcorn's schedule runs at killer pace especially when a car is out of the rotation and at the Dr's. office as is the case this week. Here's a peek at yesterday...
Up at 6
Pad downstairs, flip on coffee
Back up to make sure popson in shower
Drive popson to early workout by 7
Back home to make sure popdaughter is moving around
Downstairs to put finishing touches on lunches for two kernels
Drive popdaughter to work by 8
Stop by Whataburger to pick up popson's fav breakfast
Stop by Starbizzle to pick up remaining popdaughter's fav iced coffee
Back home to make self presentable
Walk to neighbor's house to let Holly(Australian shepherd) out, feed Holly, talk to Holly, water patio plants
Grab extra shirt, towel, flip flops, lunch bag, get in car to pick up popson at 8:45 and take to work by 9
Stop at coffee shop to finish studying for Bible Study must lead at 9:30
9:30-11:30 Bible Study with precious friends
11:30 run cushion to chair back to store, loved chair, bought chair
Bought gift at same store for lake house friends
Grocery store because hungry for tenderloin for dinner, plus so easy
Home to sort things from room popdaughter "cleaned out" night before (oy!)
1:00 Pick up popson from work
ok, did try to get in a little swim but clouded up, gave up
laundry whirring between all above, so dealt with laundry for a while
checked on Holly, talked to Holly, fresh water in bowl
Dinner in oven, made salad
Served Mr. Pop and popson dinner plates, popson's 5:45 piano lesson looming large
Kissed them bye, disappeared upstairs...
Got self re-presentable for choir at 6:30
Planned to get popdaughter 2 from work at 6, but popdaughter 1 added a need to plans...
Drove popdaughter 1 to Mr. Popcorn who had driven popson to piano at church
Popdaughter 1 met friend there, left for evening
Traded two seater car with Mr. Popcorn for four seater tag teaming for more shuttling....
Traded jobs with Mr. Popcorn who now left to pick up popdaughter 2 at work
Drove to church, picked up popson and popfriend, drove to pool party
Raced back to church by 6:40 for 6:30 (oy) choir practice
Choir practice til 8:30
Drove to Super Churchlady's to pick up dress,(darling, precious dress, thanks SCL!!) visit, pick up popson
Home.....whew...exhausted...but still....cleaned up remaining dinner issues, started dishwasher
folded more laundry, put away...
walked down to check on Holly, talk to Holly, pet Holly, put Holly up for evening....
Walked home, fed Charlotte...then FINALLY...
launched into get ready for bed routine...teeth, face, blah blah blah
fell in bed next to already zonked Mr. Pop..
tried to read, yea right....lights out.... : 0
Summer's killin' Popcorn.
Posted by Popcorn at 5:00 AM
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I get emotional when I look through old photographs. So, emotional am I indeed as I paw through my pics choosing some for this post. If the measure of a happy life is having a loving family, then mine is immeasurable. Yesterday would have been my dad's 68th birthday had we not lost him to lung cancer December 22, 2002. So as you can imagine, I've sort of been lost in thought about Dad, Mom, our lives, and his death. This post has the potential of becoming way too long, so instead I'm going to offer a few words of tribute, then a visual essay of the man, husband, father, father-in-law, and the papaw that he was. Pictures really do speak a thousand words, so I'll spare you those thousand and just let you see for yourself. I wanted to post this yesterday but was still schooling myself on scanning photos into the computer, plus once I started looking through the pics, I could not stop....Mom and Dad were high school sweethearts in the 50's in a small east Texas town, Linden, Texas. He was a football stud, she a majorette and a gifted baton twirler. All high schools in the 50's had baton twirlers at their football games. I think my mom even took twirling lessons. They were football king and queen together. They married in August of 1958 right after they graduated in May and went on their senior trip to Galveston. I was born in October of 1959 and in 1964, my brother Daren was born. My childhood was vintage southern. They made a big deal out of Christmas, we dyed eggs at Easter, we went to Linden to visit grandparents and to sit on porches summers and holidays, we went to church every
Sunday while a roast and potatoes simmered in the oven. Every Sunday whilst reposing on the red church pew mom would lean over and whisper a hopeful, "Did you turn the roast off?" and because he had a gruff voice and could not whisper he would say "Yes babe" in a manner that assured everyone else on all surrounding pews that our lunch would be tasty. We went to the beach and he carried me on his shoulders out into the surf. I "rode around" with him in his plumbing truck after he started his plumbing business in 1971. He was the hardest working man I've ever known and did it happily. Enthusiastically, really. Mom tended the home fires and cooked and cleaned her baseboards, and polished her stove with "Jubilee", was "room mother" for our school classes, and had her WMU friends over for lunch when it was her turn and we watched "The Waltons" every Thursday night. We ate dinner at our "dinette" set every night. Evil (yummy) foods like fried steak and gravy, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and the ever popular, salmon patties. My dad enjoyed being a husband, a father, a father- in -law and a grandfather. He relished time with all of us. After he was diagnosed with lung cancer in the spring of '02, he relished it even more. He would often tell my mom how he realized more than ever how blessed he was with her, his two kids, and all the precious grandchildren swarming around him. Reflecting back over my life I, too, realize how formidable some one's presence in your life can be and what a hole is left when they are gone. My parents were married 44 years when he died and this coming August 1 would have marked 50 years. My ability to enjoy life with gusto as well as navigate choppy seas is born of their legacy of stability, support, faith, and love. Would that I gift my three with the same. Happy Birthday Daddy.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Today was my friend Mrs. Pindel's birthday. We have been friends for many-a -year. We met when her youngest daughter was in an infant seat. My earliest memories of her are two-fold...people kept referring to her as "the really pretty girl, you've met her, right?" and our passing in the hall trying to get our babies into the church nursery and get to the service on Sunday mornings. Those baby girls are now in college...both home now for the summer working summer jobs until they return to their campuses in the fall. Whew, Mrs. Pindel, where did all those years go? I'll tell you where they went...play dates, Vacation Bible School, preschool, costume parties in your backyard, Sunday School Christmas parties in your den, painting shirts with puff paint (!), teaching Sunday School classes from adult ladies to elementary school, six houses and 3 zip codes between the two of us (TT, WS, R, T, A, ST. I)( can you figure out those street names poppindel?), friends who moved, got mad, divorced, returned, or stuck around, trips to Warrenton, shared recipes, family Christmas cards, driveway jack-o-lantern carving parties complete with yummy soup served in pumpkins, basketball playing husbands, bookgroup, lean times, joyful times, decorating, five kids, five dogs, countless vacations, gallons of coffee, hot tub confabs late at night, four parents, then in '02...three, bike rides, hairdos, mani/pedi dates, lunch dates, long hair, short hair, blonde hair, dark hair, vans, sports cars, pools, sprinkler systems, landscaping, magazine reading.....that's where they went all right. And here we both are now still friends living just blocks away with all of these precious shared memories..we are a lucky pair of ladies. Furthermore, Mrs. Pindel is the world's best I mean the world's best hostess. I'm talking about the art of entertaining people in her home. She can out cook Paula Dean (her cooking hero whose restaurant she recently visited) (yes, you sure can) and out decorate Martha Stewart. No one can make people feel as comfortable, pampered, and welcome as she can. She has the gift of hospitality to say the least. In January when we were running a half marathon side by side, we were both lost in our music and silent(except for my gasping for air) when all of a sudden her arm reaches out to me and she says, "Care for a mint?" !!! I cracked up and said "only you are the hostess with the mostess during a marathon!" Hospitality comes so naturally to her nevermind the fact that she's busy sprinting 13 miles and high fiving every roadside spectator! Go figure will ya??? So today was her turn. Some of us who love her dearly celebrated with her over lunch, iced tea, and chocolate birthday cake. We attempted to show her the same graciousness that she so willingly showers on us. Happy Birthday dear Popfriend Pindel, Popcorn loves you. xxoo
Posted by Popcorn at 8:23 PM