Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Pumpkin Spice? Oh, No,You Didn't!

(Please note that while this post has veered a tad from it's usual "be joyful in all things" approach to life, it's still written in all good fun. Read it as such. Thankyouverymuch.)

Look. I'm just a gal who loves her autumn. I don't need anything fancy, just a sweatshirt over my head, crunchy leaves under my flip flops (yes, I am still wearing them in the middle of October) and a nice cup of hot coffee in my hand. That's it. Well, maybe a book thrown in for good measure.

Here I am minding my own business when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a host of items all with labels that have got to be erroneous.  "Why" you ask? Because everywhere I look from the middle of Sept until Thanksgiving Day, are products that tout "Pumpkin Spice." Enough already!

Now, give me a decent slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and I am perfectly fine, but I prefer apple or key lime. Go ahead and offer me a pumpkin spice cappuccino and I probably will consider your sweet offer. But beyond that, dear reader, I am confounded with the abundance of pumpkin spice offerings. As, in, someone should be fired for allowing these products to get past the brainstorming stage. But here they are on grocery shelves in all their orange-y brown glory. The following are the worst of the worst.

Enjoy.

Or, do as I have done and almost lose your lunch over the very idea . . .

10. Pumpkin Spice Gum. Are we so enamored with this flavor that we have convinced ourselves that chewing pumpkin spice 24/7 is really a good idea? Heaven help us.


9. Pumpkin Spice Sparkling Grape Juice. Now, I don't mind a good sparkling juice, but pumpkin juice? **shiver** Those are two words that should never be used together. Never.



8. and 7. Pumpkin Beef Jerky and Pumpkin Beef Spice Balls. I am not even kidding on these two items. I found the actual recipe for the spice balls. And jerky has it's place, but not next to the pumpkin spice. My advice? Do not try these at home. You have been warned.



6. Pumpkin Salsa. Hey, go ahead and do the vegetarian thing. Do the organic thing. And do the pumpkin flavored thing, if you absolutely must. But don't, under any circumstance, mess with my salsa. Adding pumpkin to it, is crazy pants. Seriously crazy pants, folks.

5. Pumpkin Spice Listerine. I ask you, "Has the world gone mad? Has it gone absolutely bonkers?" This item seems to be proof of that very thing. Listerine pocketpaks are as nasty as can be. Adding pumpkin to it only adds insult to injury, if you ask me.


4. Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles. I have tried various chip flavors and consider myself somewhat of a potato chip connoisseur. No, that's not right. I am a downright chip snob. It takes quite a chip to convince me to part with my hard earned money. This ain't it, dear reader. This ain't it.


3. Pumpkin Spice Mallows. Now, I suppose, if you are hard up for some kind of sweetening agent to add to your coffee or tea and you are a pumpkin spice fan, this might do in a pinch. If you are seriously desperate. Other than that, I wouldn't waste the calories.

 2. Pumpkin Spice M&Ms. Before you think that this doesn't sound too bad, take a gander at the M&M's face there on the package. I think it speaks for itself. Marketing Fail. Blech!


The absolute worst offender of them all though has got to be . . .

1. Pumpkin Spice Kale Chips. There is no good reason to eat hard, crusty kale flakes. At any time. In the history of, well, EVER. Adding Pumpkin Spice does not change that fact. It's just all kinds of no. As in, heck no.


So there you have it, dear reader. The top 10 weirdest items to ever carry the pumpkin spice label. Think you have an item that is more disgusting than those on this list? Prove it and comment below!  ;)

Joyfully not participating in anything pumpkin spice this season,

Monday, October 16, 2017

Under Construction with Saint Peter

How's that for a doozy of a title? How in the world could I possibly be arrogant enough to put myself in the same category as Peter from the Bible? Read on to find out!

Responding Responsibly


Last week, I was sorta in a car accident. I say "sorta" because the vehicle that got hit also flipped. When it finally landed (seemed to take forever and yet happened so fast that I could barely process it), it landed so close that it rocked into my mom mobile. It was surreal. Like a movie where you wear the embarrassingly unfashionable plastic glasses and sit in the first row of the theater (my least favorite place to sit).

Everyone walked away. Remarkable. Two vehicles totaled and a minor vehicular casualty, but no one went to the hospital via ambulance. Thank goodness.

As I stood at the side of the road, I remember thinking not only how grateful I was that I and my vehicle were spared from major damage, but also that I had a responsibility to respond in a way that is pleasing to Christ. Yeah, there I was on the side of the road, watching the clean-up, worried about if I was going to be able to pick up my daughter from volleyball practice on time (I didn't) and whether or not my van would be drivable enough to get me to work over the next couple of days (It is). I was worried about the others involved in the accident, but once I was assured they were okay, I was terribly annoyed. I knew there would be a lot of hassle involved (there is). Even in the midst of all that, uppermost in my mind was that I needed to honor the Lord in my response to this accident. Who could possibly see me respond in a Christlike fashion?

After all, I didn't speak to anyone much, mostly because I was still in shock and trying to take periodic assessment of my person and my van. I did ask several of those involved if they were okay and I did answer questions from the police officer and firemen. But I was afraid of communicating too much and allowing my annoyance to show through . . . A-hem.

Pretty is as Pretty Does

Not long after arriving home, I called my parents. I do this often. It helps me to vent and process life
as I live it. As I was conversing with them, I made a statement that was rather unfortunate.

 Unfortunate because it not only included a few choice words (eeks), but I was overheard by one of my children (double eeks), who then did what any kid would do: tell his siblings (triple eeks!).

As soon as the statement was completely out of my mouth (and before I knew I had been overheard), I thought of Peter. As in Biblical Peter. Yeah, Simon Peter. The "I would never deny you," and then he did exactly that, Peter. Yeah, him.


Now, I know, at least a little bit what drove Peter. The shock and emotions of relief, annoyance, and incredulity were so overwhelming during that conversation with my parents that though I knew the words were about to leave my lips, I didn't stop them. I didn't want to stop them. I wanted to feel the heat of them on my tongue. I wanted to feel the weight of them as they hung in the air. I wanted to punish the person of whom I was speaking. I imagine Peter must have felt much the same way, only to a much greater degree.

It was in that moment that I could relate to him in a way that I've never been able to before. I have always wondered how he could deny Christ. Wow, the emotion that must have roiled inside him enough to deny the one person he called Master and said he loved most. It may be a stretch to compare the two situations, mine and Peter's, but they are both dishonoring . . . 

When I was little, my grandma was fond of saying, "Pretty is as pretty does." To which I now respond, "Ouch." My words certainly were not honoring the Lord. And they were a terrible example to my children in that moment. The three people who are my prime witnesses as to how I live my life.

*sigh*

Under Construction - Yes, Still



Do you know, that one of the angels at the tomb spoke of Peter specifically? After Peter denied Christ in his His most heart-wrenching moments, the angel commanded Mary to speak of Christ's resurrection and said, "Go and tell the others and Peter." Wow. That is some kind of forgiveness. I have that same kind of forgiveness. The best way I know to show others how much I appreciate His forgiveness is to live it out in such a way that my responses to life's ups and downs is to honor Him. Hopefully, in the next situation, I will respond better.

Peter did. In fact, after his forgiveness, he was no longer the emotional, out of control follower of Christ. Rather, he became a strong, steadfast disciple that lead many to Christ.

Admittedly, I am a work in progress. But my goal is to become more Christlike. Honoring Him is the best way I know to do that.

Forgiveness

 


Do you know you can have that same forgiveness? Regardless of how you have lived your life up to this moment in time, He will forgive you, if you ask out of a heart that is determined to do a 180*. And you don't even have to do a 180* all at once, nor do you have to do it alone. He will help you, little by little to live a more God honoring life. See, the thing is, we are ALL a work in progress because we all fall short. But once we accept Him, He sees us through the lens of his Son, Jesus. What a tremendous, undeserved gift.


Won't you consider Him today?

Joyfully,

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Recapturing A Childlike Spirit


Most of us remember the magic of childhood. Or at least the meaningful moments that standout because they seem magical. It's a special time of wonder and imagination. Somewhere along the way, we lose sight of this because we stop dreaming. We stop thinking that anything is possible. When we stop believing in things we can't see, a slow deterioration of the childlike spirit begins. Unless we can reignite the magic that we had as children we will fail to live life to the fullest.

Sand Castles

Childhood is filled with Whimsy. We believe we can touch the sun. Somewhere along the way the world tells us we can't and we believe it. Although we can't really touch the sun, that whimsical spirit that allowed us to believe we could do just that is what we need to keep. We must continue to stay be excited about life and about learning. We may remember those long summer days when we used to play with cornhole boards, run in the sprinkler, and lay on our backs watching clouds turn into princes slaying dragons. What a blissful time of life.

The End of Innocence

When we lose that fanciful, capricious enthusiasm, we also lose a portion of our innocence. Life can feel as though it closes in on us. We become students from a different school of thought. We allow to-do lists and grown up responsibilities to crowd in, eclipsing our childlike sparkle. We forget about what it felt like to catch butterflies and see the sun rise. We lose a part of who we were in our youth.


Recapturing the Spirit

Some of us are lucky enough to realize we need to recapture this whimsy.We understand that it's possible to embrace realism and still believe in things that we can't see. Some of us are strong enough to return to who we used to be for the sake of enriching the person we should become. Although naysayers may question our judgment and say we embrace childhood a little too much, we must reacquaint ourselves with that childhood spirit of imagination without boundaries.


Somethings in childhood should never die. The freedom of the spirit, the expression of joy, and the beauty of the sunset and moonlight. These wondrous things power the imagination. We should carry this spirit with us as we grow to help us to see God's hand in each of the smallest of details. Dare yourself to recapture this enthusiasm.

Embrace it and let it encourage you again.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Upcoming Film Release "Goodbye Christopher Robin"

If you were a character in the Winnie-the-Pooh series, which would you be? Tigger -- chaotically happy? Piglet - steadfast, but a worrier? Pooh - easy going and pleasant to be around? Or would you be Eeyore - reclusive, sorrowful and always expecting the worst? Roo or Rabbit? Perhaps a combination of two or more of the characters? Go ahead and take a moment. I'll wait . . .

My kids have confirmed that I am Piglet. At least according to the definitions set forth by Gray Matters in his blog post called, The 4 Temperaments Theory, As Explained By Winnie the Pooh Character. (You can find his post by clicking here).


Coming next week is a film I am excited to see, "Goodbye Christopher Robin." I will be posting a review next week. Until then, enjoy the official trailer and the press release below.

GOODBYE CHRISTOPER ROBIN is a film that takes us to post-war England and the lives of the Milne family.  A.A. Milne, an author and veteran of The Great War suffering from PTSD becomes inspired by his son to create characters that we all know and love today.

The film explores the ways we heal, and the sometimes complicated bond between children and their parents – especially when the child shares a spotlight alongside a treasured icon.

GOODBYE CHRISTOPER ROBIN stars Domhall Gleeson (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Revenant, Unbroken), Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Suicide Squad) and Kelly MacDonald (Brave, Nanny McPhee).  It is directed by Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn, Woman In Gold) and written by Simon Vaughan and Frank Cottrell Boyce (who you may or may not know wrote famous children’s book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). 

The film opens  Oct 13th.

(You can click this link to find the official trailer)

Joyfully,

Friday, September 22, 2017

Humbling Yourself Changes Everything -- Guest Post by Tricia Goyer

How does humbling yourself change everything? Tricia Goyer shares her #walkitout story today on Notes of Jubilee.  Thanks Tricia!

How Humbling Yourself In Your Time of Need Changes Everything
by Tricia Goyer


The other day I was cooking dinner when my six-year-old son rushed into the kitchen.

Beads of sweat slid down his red face. “I’m so hot. You never get me anything to drink.”

I stirred my spaghetti sauce with one hand as I turned to him. “Excuse me?”

His voice rose in a full, high-pitched whine. “You never give me anything to drink!” He waved his hands and dropped to the floor.

I took in a breath and then released it, telling myself to keep my voice steady, calm. “I’d be happy to get you a drink. I just need you to ask.”

He kicked his foot against the floor. “But I want a drink now!”

“I know you do.” I peered down at him. “And as soon as you ask the right way I’m happy to get some some ice cold water.”

And then my son stood, smiled up at me and asked so sweetly for a drink of water … NOT!

Instead, he whined and fussed more. Finally, I asked him to leave the kitchen.

You know what? He never did ask. In fact, he didn’t get anything to drink until fifteen minutes later when we were sitting down to dinner. He was so bent on complaining and whining—in feeding his discontent—he didn’t want to release his control in order to ask me for help. I would have gladly given him the drink he requested if only he asked in the right away.

Feeding Our Discontent

I wish I could say this is just a little kid issue, but I’ve been there myself. During my teen years I lived in that storm of discontent. I complained when things didn’t go my way. I worried. I fretted. I fought. I even took matters into my own hands when I found myself facing an unplanned pregnancy at age 15. My own fears and worries led me to a choice I now regret—I had an abortion.

It wasn’t until years later, at age 17 when I was pregnant again, that things took a turn for the better. It’s then I humbled myself and turned to God. By this point I realized the whining, complaining, and acting out wasn’t getting me what I wanted or needed. At six months along, I wrapped my arms around my growing stomach and prayed, “Lord, if you can do anything with my life, please do.”


God showed up big time. He not only gave me Himself (which is the best!), He has also led me on a journey where radical, and wonderful things, have happened. This has included marrying a wonderful Christian man, having two more kids, starting a crisis pregnancy center, mentoring teen moms, adopting seven more children, and writing over 70 books!

God didn’t just offer me a cup of cool water when I asked. He opened the floodgates of blessing. But it took me humbling myself and seeking Jesus to meet my needs.

This reminds me of a Scripture I was reading just this morning,

 I called upon thy name, O Lord, out of the low dungeon.
Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.
Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not. O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.
 Lamentations 3:55-58

Mumbling, complaining and griping is easy, but they rob us of having our greatest needs met. Yet when we humble ourselves and turn to God, things will change for the better.

When we call to the Lord, He hears us. When we turn to Him, He comes. When we call to Him, He reminds us that He is present and we have no reason to fear. When we place our needs in His court, Jesus redeems our life.

It took a lot to humble me as a teen—two unplanned pregnancies in fact. Yet I’m thankful that I learned back then that when I turn to God He will meet my needs. He will meet them in more wonderful ways than I ever expected.

*****

You can read more about how God can show up radically in your life in the book Walk It Out: The Radical Result of Living God’s Word One Step at a Time (http://amzn.to/2wi1Cwi).

If you pre-order Walk It Out before October 1, you’ll also receive 30 Days of Prayer as You Walk It Out FREE! Details here: http://www.triciagoyer.com/walk-it-out/


Joyfully,