Monday, January 29, 2007


As part of the cell phone generation, I'm a fairly active text message user. I'm not quite as addicted to it as some of my college students at church, or possessors of the ultimate PDA/Blackberry that provides a full-blown keyboard, but I can hold my own.

When I first started text messaging, I had no idea what predictive text was. I just did it the old-fashioned way. Three punches of the number 2 for the letter C, two punches of the number 2 for the letter A...and so on. Antiquated, yes, I know. Predictive text is a mobile phone technology that does a little thinking for you so it takes less keystrokes to enter commonly-used words. I tried figuring out predictive text, but somehow never did, and got very frustrated in the process. I don't think there was anything in the owner's manual...if I even knew where that was at that moment. So, I continued to struggle along.

Then, one day, my friend, Ashley, whose husband works for Verizon, was patient enough to take my phone and figure out how the predictive text worked to show me. I couldn't believe it! Text messaging accomplished in half the time...genius!

As with all technologies, we're never happy...always wanting more. Big screen TV isn't enough, it has to be high definition. Cable isn't good enough, it has to be DirectTV. And, can't catch all your shows? You obviously aren't a member of the TiVO Generation. Even though my predictive text was great, it wasn't perfect, and many words I commonly use aren't in the predictive brain of my cellular phone.

This weekend, I discovered that my phone is getting smarter. I'm a fan of Qdoba Mexican Restaurant. I'm convinced that when I get to Heaven, along the streets of gold will be an unlimited number of Qdoba restaurants....and replete with Starbucks at every heavenly corner. So, I text the word "qdoba" frequently when making plans with friends and, because we're never technologically happy, I get frustrated at having to spell out Qdoba. Well, after a few uses of it this past weekend, it miraculously became part of the predictive text dictionary. Life is good.

...Now, if I can just text message my order ahead and avoid those long lines at Qdoba...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Heart Tattoo

A few years ago, my friend, Teasha, was ironing some clothes and had an awful mishap that caused a burn on her hand. It didn't require a visit to the local ER, but her lamenting included the statement, "It's my wedding hand!" You see, she had burned her left hand and being the extreme planner that she is, she immediately realized that could scar her hand for future wedding pictures. You know, those "Two hands with the rings" picture. At that time, she wasn't dating anyone, but was concerned nonetheless. I'm happy to report her hand completely healed and she is ready to roll whenever she's blessed to be a bride. But, we still use it as joke material..."oh no, not your wedding ear!"...."oh no, not your wedding elbow!"...any chance we get.

Last Friday night, I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich. You can't beat two slices of whole wheat bread with fat-free American cheese to make a comfort food that's slightly health conscious. As I heated up the buttery skillet and began the ceremonial sandwich flipping, a dreadful thing happened. Some of the melted butter splattered out of the skillet and on to my (gasp) wedding hand! Now, that wasn't my first thought, actually, but after it happened, I chuckled a bit. It wasn't bad at all, and after I wiped the splatters to avoid a kitchen fire, I was fine. That "I Can't Believe It's not Butter" sure acts like it's hot butter. I was tough enough to resist even putting ice on the tiny little red splotch on my hand.

By Saturday, my tiny red splotch had materialized into a reddish scar-like area and the funniest thing happened. That burn spot had developed into the shape of a heart. I smiled and realized that my wedding hand had now been tattooed with the symbol of love....a heart. I truly think it's a sign. Surely love can't be too far away.

...and for all the naysayers out there that may think I'm stuck in some romantical fog, I've included photographic proof...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Mining for Rubies

As I've grown in my Christian faith, I've read over and over the 31st chapter of Proverbs. It stands as the measuring stick for godly women. When my Mom passed away, the pastor used this passage as his text for her funeral message, and my Mom definitely was a great example of a Proverbs 31 woman.

Reading the Scripture has become a bit mundane for me, and hard to apply at times due to the fact that it speaks mainly of women as wives and mothers. I've asked myself, "How can this apply to me now?" Knowing that the Bible is the living Word, surely there is application there. So, I began my quest. Diving into this Scripture can be painful for a gal who truly wants to be married, but isn't. But, being a godly woman has to start before, I committed to dissect this passage. Over the coming weeks and months, I plan to go through the entire section of Proverbs 31 - from verses 10-31 - and highlight my findings and understanding of a 31 woman in the 21st Century here on my blog. Today, I'll just focus on verse 10.

"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies."

The most interesting thing about this passage that I discovered while studying commentaries is that it is proposed that King Lemuel is really King Solomon and this chapter is filled with lessons from his mother. Let's think about that. Solomon's mom was Bathsheba and we all know her sordid tale....bathing on a rooftop in full view of the vulnerable David, who has his way with her, has her husband killed, and grieves his sin. Who better to instruct her son on how to avoid the wrong women, than someone who's made mistakes in the past. This is the same principle why Daddys never trust their daughter's suitors because they know from whence they've come.

Noble character, or "virtuous" as other translations say, is translated as an inner strength. The same Hebrew wording was used in Exodus when describing judges and the selecting men for those roles. A good judge is a rare breed, and finding a woman who gains her strength and wisdom from her fear of God is equally as rare. When seeking a wife, it sounds like a daunting task, but it doesn't appear that way with the frequent weddings we all may attend. One of my favorite bloggers, Carolyn McCulley, put it well. "Everyone says they want to be married, but rarely do they say they want to be a wife." Being a wife of noble character carries a lot of weight and responsibility.

The part of this Scripture that says "she is worth far more than rubies" always fascinated me. Ok, so a godly woman is a precious jewel. Ho hum. So, I decided to research it more. I knew there had to be depth in the use of that jewel to describe a virtuous woman. Dating back to the high priests in the Old Testament, rubies were part of their rabbinical robes, and even more interesting, rubies were part of the architecture of Solomon's Temple. Ah-ha. Men equate things intangible better when tied to a tangible. He knew the worth of the building of that temple, I'm sure, and equating that to the worth of a noble wife surely made his eyes widen.

I did a little study on mining rubies. They aren't the easiest jewels to mine. Generally they are found in the secondary deposit, which, in layman's terms means, you have to dig deeper to find the rubies. It is quite primitive manual labor to uncover a ruby. Like rubies, virtuous women are hard to find. You have to dig deep, and not just take a quick glance at a woman and think, "Oh she's virtuous." It requires many hours of "digging." Plus, the true ruby is most beautiful when it's gone through the most abrasion within the soil to refine it. Truly a woman that has been sifted much through a life of challenges will most certainly make an excellent wife.

Maybe you are a guy out there looking for a ruby. If so, don't take the first rock that falls at your feet. Dig for the good stuff. Maybe you are married, guy or gal. Cherish the beautiful ruby wife you have and ladies, be the strong and gracious wife you promised on that wedding day. Or maybe you are like me, and single. Don't get discouraged in the deep, soil-infested life you may find yourself. One day, a man who is willing to dig deep for the precious jewels may just be the one visiting your soil.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Save Wilbur

Last weekend I saw the remake of Charlotte's Web. I was so excited because the story by E. B. White is by far my favorite piece of children's literature. I still have my original hardback copy my Mom gave me with my name written in the front. How I cherish that book.

The first field trip I can remember in school was to go to the movies and see the 1973 animated version of the movie. It moved me even as a seven-year-old. I can remember shedding some tears and thinking..."where's Mom?" and realizing it was ok to cry without my Mom's loving arms around me.

I so loved the original that I was somewhat skeptical of this Babe-like remake. There wouldn't be the musical numbers from the original. You can't stop singing "A Fair is a Veritable Schmorgasboard-orgasboard-orgasboard" after seeing Templeton roll around the fairgrounds eating every drop of discarded food he could find. Paul Lynde was an excellent voice for Templeton. But, I loved the story so much and once I heard Julia Roberts was playing the voice of Charlotte, I was willing to give it a chance.

If you've not read the book or seen either movie, do all three. It's a wonderful story of friendship...filled with a little spider that made a difference in a runty pig's life. Wilbur was "some pig" and Charlotte rounded up the barnyard troops for a "terrific" journey to save the life of this "radiant" animal. The "humble" surroundings of Zuckerman's farm was the perfect setting for a little girl named Fern to plead for the life of a tiny little pig named Wilber. And, we learn that miracles happen in very ordinary places.

I was thrilled that the newest version still retained the narrator. Rex Allen was the narrator in the first animated version and his soothing voice reminded me of many a Wonderful World of Disney episodes. The 2006 version is narrated by none other than Sam Shepard. If Sam Shepard participates in your movie, you know it's quality.

Pick up a copy of the book at your local library or bookstore. I am thrilled that E. B. White is stirring the pages of the written word for a new generation, much like JK Rowling has done with her Harry Potter series. Read the story, but have some tissues handy. Then grab up all your closest friends and family and head to the theater to see this newest production. And, when your tears have subsided and you are headed home, pick up a copy of the 1973 version to watch at home. You'll be doubly blessed.

One of the taglines for the 2006 movie has been "Help is Coming From Above." Look even higher than the rafters of the barn, beyond Charlotte, and I know My Help does come from above.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Times Square or Pasadena?

There are many traditions surrounding the "ringing in" of a new year. Watching Dick Clark host the Rockin' New Years Eve (what a brave man to continue to participate in this given all his recent health challenges) and eating black-eyed peas for good luck on New Year's Day. My celebration each year, no matter whether in the comfort of my home or at a party, includes watching the ball drop in New York's Times Square. This year's festivities seemed to be like all the college bowl games - sponsored by a high-paying company. Target provided tons of "word-fetti" that dropped from the sky, and special glasses that would make the fireworks display during the ball drop appear like miniature Target bullseyes. Marketing is everywhere.

I've never been to New York and although attending the New Year's Eve party in Times Square seems to be one of those things you want to do at least once, it simply isn't that appealing to me. Now, if I was safely tucked away in Trump Tower and could view it away from the maddening crowds, I'm there. Maybe it's a sign I'm getting older, but I've had friends give me reports of their experiences from the Times Square front lines and it's not my idea of the grandest way to ring in the new year.

Now, one of my other favorite traditions for New Year celebrations, is watching the Tournament of Roses Parade. As a small child, my Mom and I would never miss this broadcast. CBS used to be the only station that carried the coverage - with Bob Barker as host no less - but now it's shown on multiple stations, even on HGTV with no commercial interruptions. Since my name, and my Mom's name, was Rose, I thought this parade was just for me! I was fascinated by how they built the floats and loved the fact that the parade lasted for two hours!

As those organically-laden floats moved down Orange Grove Boulevard, I dreamed of being in those grandstands watching it live in sunny Southern California. Odds were the weather on January 1 in Kentucky wasn't as pleasant as it was in Pasadena. This year I relished the parade even in the multiple reruns of it on the Travel Channel when I was lacking in other good New Year's Day viewing. One day, I hope to attend the Rose Parade live and in person.

Times Square or Pasadena? I'd definitely choose Pasadena.