Archive | April 2014

Get Real!

ImageReluctantly entering the shower, Magic Eraser in one hand, bleach spray in the other, soap scum stared me in the face. After my friend Kathy from my hometown of Carteret, NJ asked if she could come to stay with me in NC for a few days, I suddenly found the motivation to tackle a task I’d cast aside for far too long—cleaning the shower! I couldn’t let her see the shower the way it was. I’d die! I quickly and maniacally started spraying and scrubbing the embarrassingly-neglected tub and tiles.

As I degunked the bathroom, I started thinking about how awful it is that I had let the shower go. You see, I want people to see me in a “Pamela Perfect” light. (That was my nickname as a goody-goody grammar school girl—true story!) I’m far from perfect—I now it and the people who know me know it. Why do we feel the need to make everything look shiny and clean to others? We all have our weaknesses, but we also have been given special strengths to balance it out. We should not be embarrassed.

Alas, in this Facebook-Twitter-Instagram world, we can very easily make ourselves look very good—no, better than that—amazing! On any given day, I see friends’ selfies, often in the same pose every time. You’re gorgeous, girls, even on the self-perceived “bad” side! Sometimes, I see pics of beautiful expensive cars, freshly waxed. Let’s see a picture of your car after the pollen covers the hood! Then, there are people who post pictures only if they are in them. Please, let us see a picture of your sweet child by him-/herself on that special occasion. Workout statuses and health club check-ins can also flood the newsfeed. We know. You’re just trying to motivate us lazy people! Also, statuses (or is it “stati”?) about meal plans occur daily. Doesn’t anybody ever just have a bowl of ramen noodles instead of rack of lamb and lobster tails? Finally, there’s the “karma” memes. Have so many people been burned by others so many times? Sheesh!

People, it’s time to get real. Show us who you really are. Let’s see you in sweatpants and no makeup, awkwardly positioned next to your dirty clunker of a car, with your kids in mismatched playclothes, with a check-in at the fast food joint in front of the Planet Fitness you joined for only $10/month (but never go to), while posting a meme about forgiveness instead of karma! Now that’s real. That’s how God sees us. He doesn’t see what we want Him to see or read what we want Him to know about us. He sees it all, and He loves us just as we are.

Let’s show our true selves to one another. Let’s build genuine bonds with each other. Let’s keep the Magic Eraser and the bleach spray in the shower and out of our Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and Instagram photos. Let’s not erase who we really are.

 “…for in the image of God has God made mankind.” (Genesis 9:6, NIV)


Sriracha…Because a Rut Has Gotcha!

ImageHellooooooo!  Long time, no blog!  Please forgive me, but I was stuck in a rut!  Usually, my creative juices have no problem flowing.  Lately, I have been feeling stuck in a boring routine.  Wake up, make breakfast, get ready for the day, pray sometime during the day, homeschool, make lunch, homeschool some more, internet time, dinner time, throw in some wash so we don’t have to go commando, TV or more internet, brush teeth, crash!  The next day, just hit the repeat button!  I need to switch things up in my life because right now, as grateful as I am for everything and everyone in my life, it’s boring!

In the middle of this stay-at-home mom pity party, my little sweetheart of a daughter Paloma asked, “Mom, have you written a blog lately?”  I told her, “No, Baby!  I have been drawing a blank.”  Then she told me, “You could write about Sriracha Sauce!”  Excellent idea!  Why?  Because it is new and exciting.  She and I are addicted to the stuff.  If you haven’t tried it, you MUST!  It’s sweet and spicy with a ketchupy feel.  It makes all things have zing!  It’s a party on your plate and on your palate!  Sriracha makes simple sweet potato fries into a naughty delicacy!  Burgers become royalty when crowned with the fiery-sweet treasure!  It’s not just for Thai food anymore!

It’s not just for Thai food…hmm!  I’m onto something now.  What else can I use in unconventional ways to “spice of my life” and get out of the same-old, same-old routine of life?  Maybe these ideas can help you, too!

Homeschool:  Ditch the routine!  The weather is nicer now, so it’s time to do some outschooling!!!  Reading on a blanket outside feels different!  Have a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts gift card lying around?  Take the kids for a decaf latte and bring some math with you!  Volunteer and give the kids some real life experience.

Mealtime:  Try a new recipe.  Don’t be afraid.  Don’t feel like the kids won’t eat it.  If they are hungry enough, they will eat!  Eat in a different room!  Using your formal dining room.  Eat outside.  Put citrus fruit slices in your water glasses.  Try Sriracha sauce!

House:  Light a candle, try a new scented plug-in, or just simmer some water, cinnamon, and cloves on your stove in a pot.  Dance while doing housework!  I was inspired by a viral YouTube video recently in which the woman had salsa music and a broomstick!  Use paper plates once in a while and give yourself a break on the dishes.

Entertainment:  Got Netflix?  Try watching a new TV series!  My family and I watched Season 1 of “24” in less than a week!  It was so fun and a special time we will all remember.  Change the radio station!  Try listening to country if you like Top 40 or Rock if you are all about R & B.  You might find a new favorite song to add to your playlist.   Get out!  It can be as simple as a walk around the neighborhood or a trip to the local fruit and vegetable stand.  Entertainment can be found everywhere.

You:  Change your lipstick, change your life!  After my winter of wearing peachy-brown lipstick, I opted for hot pink today.  Wowza!  I feel like a Jean Nate woman…there’s nothing I can’t do! (Under 40 crowd might not understand!)  Switch up your hairstyle.  Try sock curlers.  Put in some highlights.  Get out your bronzer and brush on a new glow.  Wear something that’s NOT neutral.  Think color, darling, it’s spring!  Smile!

Technology:  Shut off the phone.  Take a quick Facebook vacation.  If you can’t do that, allow yourself to be photographed on your “bad” side, which looks good to us!  Post meaningful statuses.  We know you work out every day (just like you know we don’t!), we know you’re gorgeous, we know you want Karma to smack someone in the behind, we know you have 5,472 friends, we know your child (whom we never met) so well that we could find him in a crowd, we know you play Candy Crush into the wee hours of the morning, and we know how “life is good”.  Now, get real.  Share the real you.  Share your pain.  Cry online.  Let us see that you are not a Fembot.  Let us see you during your bloated ponytail and sweatpants days.  It’s OK to tell us you don’t feel OK.  Connect.  You’ll be glad you did, and so will we!

Prayer Time:  We should all pray every day.  Carve out a time to talk to God.  Or, try changing your Morning Quiet Time to Evening Quiet Time or Drive to School Quiet Time.  We can pray anywhere, anytime.  Try a new book of the bible.  Habakkuk is calling out to you!  Write down your prayers.  There have been times when I wanted to pray but I couldn’t—the words would not appear in my mind.  I found it extremely helpful to just sit down and write out my prayers to God!

My friends, make just one of these changes and you’ll feel good today.  Implement a few of these ideas, and you’ll feel like a new woman.  I think I will try a bunch of these so I can feel like I’m out of my rut.  Now, what can I put Sriracha sauce on today?