Archive from September, 2013
Sep 30, 2013 - Devotional    4 Comments

Dabbling in Thievery

My conscience is needling me. I have something to confess. I stole this week.


But before you report me, let me explain.

I went to [a local store, omitted to protect the innocent] to pick up a few items, one of which was a pack of Chapstick to donate to a charity drive going on at work. I retrieved the other items on my list and ambled through the “Dollar Section” on my way out. This is never a good idea for me because I often find some trinket or treasure that I seemingly cannot live without. And, alas, this happened again last week. I saw this pillow and thought it looked like me!

Hot Pillow

Exhibit A

Colorful, happy, crafty and delightful. I had to have it. I checked the bin and noticed that it cost $3. No biggie. I still felt it was worth it. I went to check out and everything rung up just fine except the pillow. It was missing a tag. The cashier asked me where I picked it up from and when I pointed toward the dollar bin and offered to retrieve another so it could be scanned she said, “Oh, that’s okay, I’ll just manually put it in as a dollar.”

There was a decision at that moment. I knew it cost $3, not $1. I had ample time to correct this kind woman who was trying to save me a bit of time by overriding the system. I drew in a breath — Then I said nothing, let her ring it up incorrectly, and briefly considered it a $2 victory.

That was thievery number one.

I paid and exited the store into torrential rain. Being without raincoat or umbrella I ran to my car and quickly tossed my bags into the trunk. As I pushed my cart into the corral I noticed the Chapstick sitting, unpaid for, in the cart.

Thievery number two.

That Chapstick was the crux of this trip to the store! I couldn’t leave without it. I snatched my raincoat from the trunk (who do I keep it in the trunk? Does it do me any good there on normal days??) and returned to the store with my “hot Chapstick”


Exhibit B
Hot Chapstick

I reentered the store told them what had inadvertently happened and paid for the Chapstick. The clerk smiled, and thanked me for returning and being honest as she passed over my purchased lip balm.

My conscience was appeased… momentarily.

I have a phrase that I often repeat to myself when I am faced with a choice. Whether it be doing my taxes or billing at work or any sort of financial decision or test of my integrity. I say, “My integrity is worth more than that.” As in, “I could say internally that it was an accident and I didn’t mean to walk out without paying for this Chapstick, but my integrity is worth more than $3.”

But the problem was, I had stolen two things that day. Both were sins of omission, but only one was remedied at this point. In some sense I felt more guilty over the underpaid pillow because I had the chance to correct the cashier, but chose not to. Almost instantly a verse that I memorized in Sunday School in fourth grade popped into my mind. Luke 16:10 reads, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” I viewed this moment as a training exercise. I strive to be honest with much. Therefore I must be honest with little. I strive to be faithful in grand plans. Therefore, I must practice faithfulness in everyday occurrences. The phrase again returned to my head, “My integrity is worth more than a $2 discount on this pillow.” Wanting both to prove to myself that I value my integrity and wanting to enjoy the pillow without it being a constant reminder that my honesty is only worth $2 to me, I braved the rain yet again, returned and paid for the pillow.

Hot Pillow

Purchased Pillow.
See how much prettier it is now that it was obtained honestly?

It might seem silly and I don’t mean to pass judgment on anyone who may have had a similar situation. But my soiree with shoplifting, my flirtation with larceny, my dabbling in thievery was a true lesson for me!

Sep 28, 2013 - My Story    No Comments

5K for the 27M

Slavery still exists.

I wonder how many people know that.

And it’s not a little problem.

There are more slaves in the world today that at any other time in history. 27 million men, women and children are enslaved.

I first heard about this modern day plight at Passion 2012. I learned more of the story this past January where I, along with 60,000 of my closest friends, got to shine a light on slavery. Today I ran a 5K and raised money to continue that task.

We want to rescue. We want to restore. We want to prevent.

It’s an awe-inspiringly, gigantic task. But I serve an awe-inspiringly, gigantic God! There is much work to be done and many lives to be changed.

Today I rose before dawn, laced up my Mizunos, and fought human trafficking one stride at a time.

Human Trafficking 5K


Sep 22, 2013 - Quotes    3 Comments

Our Crazy English Language

Yes, I’m nerdy.

I freely, and of my own accord read a book about the English language, linguistics, history, and the evolution of language. Here’s a small tidbit that made me smile.

“Language, never forget, is more fashion than science, and matters of usage, spelling and pronunciation tend to wanter around like hemlines.”

The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got That Way by Bill Bryson

English and How it got that Way

Sep 20, 2013 - Devotional    2 Comments

A Hospitable Life

Sometimes I see people.

I hold doors. I help carry boxes. I let them in traffic. I send encouraging notes.

Too much of the time, I don’t see people. I rush past them onto the elevator. I miss seeing them in the lunchroom. I fail to follow up on their rough days. I am too focused on my own tasks. But I’ve found that I like myself much better when I see people. I don’t want to be so focused, driven, or oblivious that my life is inhospitable to changes in plans or needs that come up.

It is one thing to spend five more seconds to hold a door for a colleague, but I want my life to be hospitable in larger ways. I want to have time and energy to hear others’ stories, to really listen. I want to have time in my life for others. Sometimes I feel like I am pushed in so many different areas and I guard my free time fiercely. I need downtime and recharge time. But I do not want to be a hoarder of me-time. I want to hold it more loosely, to be willing to share it. To have time to bless others as well as be blessed myself.

I like myself best when my life is hospitable. I like myself best when I see people and share life with them.

Does anyone else struggle with this?


Sep 17, 2013 - Devotional    1 Comment


FOMO is an epidemic.

I am a FOMO sufferer… and you might be too.

I will fight FOMO.  Kiersten Mosley
Kiersten Mosley

FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out. It’s the anticipatory angst I have when invited to two events the same night and I have to choose. It’s the feeling of sinking I have when I know fun is going on without me. FOMO  causes me to stay up too late and overbook myself, preferring to be tired, but present at everything rather than having to deal with FOMO’s  irrational fears.

And if that wasn’t enough, FOMO has an evil diagnositc twin, JOMO.

JOMO = Jealousy Of Missing Out.

I think of FOMO as anticipatory and JOMO as reflective. I fear missing out in the future and I am jealous of missing out when I see how much fun was indeed had. JOMO has no doubt grown in exponential proportions since the advent of social media. Everyone looks happy, engaged, active, and well put together in social media. We don’t post unflattering pictures or status updates like, “Doing nothing tonight, but trolling through Facebook watching everyone else have fun.” (Though such statements are no doubt true!) We have fear of missing out and jealousy of missing out based on a skewed perception of life.

The opening statements are true. FOMO is an epidemic. I am a FOMO sufferer … and you might be too. I will fight FOMO. And the first piece is awareness.

United against FOMO!


Sep 14, 2013 - My Story    No Comments

Traffic and Surprises

“Holy Traffic, Batman!”

That was the start of a particularly distressing series of texts last night. I was meeting friends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a special Friday the 13th event.

I thought I was meeting four friends, not three million of my closest friends!

Photo credit Disney

Photo credit Disney

I left work, drove toward Disney, sat in traffic for 45 minutes, finally passed through the single parking attendant station, was told the parking lot was full and was directed to EPCOT. I was unable to move across four lanes of traffic and missed the turn for EPCOT and found myself at Downtown Disney. I parked and figured I could always catch a bus to the park. Only buses don’t go to parks from Downtown Disney, only to resorts. At this point, it has been two hours since I left work and I felt barely closer to my goal. I wandered around Downtown Disney for a while and stopped in to get dinner (with an accompanying 20 minutes of lines).

All throughout this time there were text messages flying through space with ideas of how to beat the crowds, park where we could walk, and find each other in the crowds. My blood pressure rose a few points each text and each minute that passed. My goal was blocked. My patience thin. I was alone and tired. I stood with my chips and salsa in hand and pulled out my phone to write back, “Not worth it. I give up. Headed home.”

And I heard my name. 

One of the nurses, Megan, who works in the Pediatric Hospital where I work recognized me and called out. She too was alone, headed to Hollywood Studios AND she knew Disney geography way better than me. She invited me to wait for the bus with her. We teamed up without looking back!

From that point on my night was totally different. I had a partner in goal and a buffer in frustration. And even though the bus ride, drop off, subsequent walk, and entrance into the Studios took another 90 minutes, my attitude was totally different! Even though the ratio of time in the park to time spent getting to park was shockingly low, I was okay. Someone saw my distress and stepped in. I had a friend.

Megan and I spent the rest of the evening together watching shows and enjoying elusive fireworks. She didn’t call my name knowing how frustrated I was or out of a great desire to save me from going home. She was just being nice. She noticed. Sometimes it is  the smallest of gestures that truly turns a persons day around. My night was redeemed because Megan called my name. What started out as “Holy Traffic, Batman!” ended as “Thanks, friend! So fun!”

How could you share a little kindness and redeem someone’s day?

Sep 9, 2013 - Quotes    6 Comments

The Breakfast Club

I’m a movie geek.

I love movies. Watching them. Analyzing them. Listening to commentaries. And above all, quoting them. There are few situations in life that don’t remind me of some show or movie scene. I quote movies obsessively. So much so that after I speak a particularly well-crafted sentence, more than one person has asked me, “What’s that from?” And I have to say, “From real life, right now. It’s an original thought.” I must have a bit of a reputation for movie quotage.

But as a self-proclaimed movie geek, there are some glaring holes in my movie history. I’ve started keeping a list of movies that need to be seen. These are not necessarily the best movies of all time, but ones that have been adopted for one reason or another into American culture. They’re highly seen and highly quotable. They need to be a part of my movie quote arsenal.

Last weekend some friends and I got together, had Brinner (breakfast for dinner) and watched The Breakfast Club.

Breakfast Club


(Complete with my non-adult Fruity Cheerios cereal!)

As I viewed this flick, giant light bulb turned on as I understood references in everything from movies like Pitch Perfect to shows like Community. I felt invited into a secret club of new quotes, references, and allusions. Plus I got to share the night with delightful friends. We succeeded both in finally understanding old references and in making new memories. It was a splendid time.

I am on the hunt for other quotable movies which have escaped my viewing over the years. Would you like to add to my list of must see movies?

I think Sarah has an idea of a movie to watch next time…



… and she seems pretty excited about it, eh?

Sep 5, 2013 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Marketing Beauty

Marketing wrinkles my brain.

How do we make people want something? Be willing to sacrifice other necessities to purchase it? How do we make a product so appealing in just thirty seconds time? Are we gullible enough to fall for that?

Apparently so.

Lately there have been a few companies who have pulled back the curtain to the marketing land of promise to show us how they make decisions and what they’re really selling. Here are a few examples:


Marketing wrinkles my brain because it tells me to be unsatisfied with my life. It tells me I am not enough without this status or product or achievement or mate. And it takes only 30 seconds to convince me of that.

I want a different mindset. A contentedness no matter my situation. A peace that isn’t product-based. How can such a mindset be maintained when I’m told otherwise so often?

Philippians 4:11-13

“I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Sep 2, 2013 - My Story    No Comments

Space Camp!

I just received a message from space.

I got a birthday package from Space Camp courtesy of my friend Tracy. It had nerdy shirts, NASA stickers, and antigravity paraphernalia, along with this little gem.

Space Camp Tracy


Tracy, and a team of highly trained high school teachers (who moonlight as space cowboys) got to attend adult space camp and perform experiments in microgravity. On my birthday! So, a month later I received my very first microgravity birthday greetings from weightless Tracy.

It made my heart happy that my friend got to have this experience and that she took me with her! I felt very loved that in the mist of SPACE CAMP — where my brain might have spontaneously exploded with nerdy joy — that my friend thought of me, planned ahead and sent me a gift that can never be replicated. Thanks, Tracy! Slow motion, microgravity, high fives to you, friend!


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