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“that song”

So, Tim Smelser is one of those preachers who seems to have a knack for speaking on a topic that just really resonates with you.  Last night was no different.

(It’s not online yet… remind me and I’ll keep checking to post a link to listen.)

The general gist to start off with was songs that just really mean something to us.  He told how remembered one song meant a lot to his parents who were missionaries over seas.  It was one they sang after their Thanksgiving dinner where a number of American missionaries had gathered.  (Sorry, I don’t remember the details now.  I didn’t write it down!)

It automatically made me think of Amazing Grace.  This song will always hold a very special place in my heart.  We always sang the first and last verse of it and said a prayer before we started every show at the Dinner Theatre.  A few of us “theatre kids” sang it last November at Stephen Elrod’s funeral for this very reason.  I’ve now lost three other of my good theatre friends, only adding to how special this song is to me.

But Tim called our attention to the end of a verse that we probably kind of gloss over usually.

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. – Mark 14:26

So there was at least one song that Jesus sang as His last.  One that his disciples probably never heard or sang again without remembering him.  That “one last song” probably meant a lot to Him, too.  So what was it?  Do we know?

Well, if you look at the traditions of Passover and the Psalms they sang, the last songs He/ they sang were probably Psalms 113 to 118.  (Click that link to read.) I’d especially encourage you to read Psalm 118.  It’s really kind of cool to think that that could have been the last song He heard and sang.  It ends with “give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever.”  It’s nice to know that He had some words of comfort and reminders of His Father’s love there at the end.

So, I’ll leave you to read and ponder that… and end with the words to Amazing Grace…

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost, but now I’m found.  Was blind, but now I see.  When we’ve been there, ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’ve first begun.

“Hi, my name is Helen…”

And I’m a Type 2 diabetic.

Just like Paula Deen, evidently…

I was diagnosed about 6 or 8 years ago now.  I’m on medications and doing decently well, not as stellarly since I haven’t watched my diet and exercise as well.  But I’m no where near death or illness from what my doctor says… or doesn’t say!

My health problems (including diabetes and others) can probably be traced to a combination of genetics and lack of better habits.  The crux of the problem stems from the fact that I am 4’8″, which is specifically from my Turner’s Syndrome (TS).  (See my blog post “the girl who lived” under TS.)  Being so short makes is hard to lose weight and hard to maintain weight loss.  It also makes it easy to gain weight and to develop other problems that can come from that.

The diet I was instructed to follow, by an actual dietitian, is actually pretty easy and I caught on fairly fast.  (Now just to get back to sticking with it and throwing in some exercise?!!)  Her instructions to me were to only eat between 30 and 45 grams of carbs per meal and 15 and 20 per snack.  She even gave me a list of how some fruits and veggies count.  I even have a list from her of ones that DO NOT count!!  (They’re just so low, there’s no point trying to count them!)

The first key I picked up on is that it’s all about what you put together.  If you eat fries, don’t eat a bun or drink regular coke.  Well, don’t drink regular coke period.  I dropped all regular sodas like a hot cake after I heard how many carbs are in there!!  (I am NOT wasting my time/ carbs on that!)  I drink either diet sodas or water.  Sometimes I find tea sweetened with an artificial sweetener and I can go for that.

Let me give you a quick fill in on what the typical American consumes in one meal without even realizing.  (This is fast food, but I bet you do almost the same!)  The average person will go to a fast food restaurant and order a hamburger meal.  That bun is 33g of carbs.  The fries are 29g, and that’s a small order.  And don’t forget the drink at 66g  for only 20oz of regular Coke.  That’s 128g of carbs for one single meal.  Congrats… you just TRIPLED what you should have in one meal.

I highly recommend CalorieKing.com.  It’s SOO helpful if you’re trying to watch what you eat.  FYI, it also has information for restaurants, so be sure to check that out.  Another thing I’ve noticed, is that if you know you’re going to eat out,  many restaurants now have their nutrition information posted online.

As always, please feel free to leave a comment or question… I don’t mind at all and will try to find the answer for you!!

Lunchbox Review… chicken nuggets!!

I eat lunch out pretty much every day.  I know, not the best health-wise.  I don’t have much of an option.

1.  I MUST leave work for one hour for lunch.  No eating at desk!

2.  We don’t really have anywhere for me to “go away” to eat that’s on campus and not outside.

3.  I’m not going home, because I always regret it and never want to leave the house again.

4.  It’s just simpler on me.

There are several places close enough for me to eat and be back on time.  A lot of my decision on where to eat at lunch is based on whether or not I have another errand.

Today I needed to go pick up my prescriptions, which is another story, but nixed my usual place when I have that errand, which is another story as well.  I decided to try out Chik-fil-A’s (CFA) new GRILLED chicken nuggets!

Am I wrong, or has anyone ever offered such a thing?  I don’t recall and am thoroughly disappointed now that we, as a society, have been deprived of such a thing!

I ordered the 8-count meal.  The $5.18, or about, was not a bad price and is about what you expect to pay at CFA.  I picked at the fries as I drove to get gas and finished up the meal back on campus.  The fries were good, as always.  But MAN… the nuggets were REALLY VERY good!  I was impressed at the flavor they had.  The juiciness was also just right, as well as the size of the bites.

I heard about them from a friend who’s daughter has Celiac disease and can’t eat gluten.  (The new kids meal with the grilled nuggets is actually gluten free!)  I liked the idea because it means no breading and no carbs.  It really just made for a perfect lunch for me today!

it wasn’t the best of times…

Today’s one of those dates that sparks a whole flood of remembrances.

Well, actually, my anniversary kind of starts it off.  Today just kicks it off.

Two years ago today, we had just walked into the wedding reception of one of my college and theatre classmates.  Anthony checked his cell phone and had a call.  He went and returned it, it was a former coworker.  Anthony’s other former coworker had passed away.

Fast forward about a month.  My cell phone rings, it’s Stephen.  My friend Dodd had come home and found my best friend Cliff slumped over dead.  It appeared to have been a heart attack.

More time passes, and I’m not sure the timing, but both Anthony’s uncle and another former coworker pass away from illnesses.

This past August, I managed to discover on Facebook that my other best friend, Jason, had passed away.  Another heart attack.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do: trying to let our mutual friends know what’d happened.

Halloween, and my nephew is born!  But sadly, tragedy strikes again in my life the next day.  My former director and theatre professor, Stephen, who was the one who called me about Cliff and I’d just seen at Jason’s memorial in Bonifay, had passed away.

That’s all on top of the times I miss out on something with my family back in Montgomery… or just plain ‘ol miss them!!  Oh, and the usual crummy stuff in life that’s just “my lot in life”.

It’d be perfectly logical, at this point in your reading, to think there can’t be a decently, loving God if anyone has to go through this kind of loss or hurt in a two year span.  But notice I’m not done writing…

God’s blessed me and “held my hand” through all of this.  Namely He’s given me a wonderful man to stand by my side as my “best-friend-ever-of-all-time” and husband.  He’s given me friends to literally stand by me, hold my hand, or hug me.  Maybe all of the above.  He’s given me so many precious memories of these people and the chance to smile, laugh, and remember them fondly with friends to ease the hurt and pain.

So while life is pretty crummy, I’m trying to remember that with every storm there comes rainbows and plants that grow (flowers and vegetables alike).

“Then I look to You (then I look to You)
and the world’s alright with me (and the world is alright).
Just one look to You
and I know its gonna be (its gonna be).
I think its gonna a lovely day.”
Lovely Day by Out of Eden

“Totally repackaged”

A tall, thin tow-head walked into the auditorium Sunday night.  Oh, I knew it was him when I saw him.  There was no doubt it was him even if he was what seemed to be just a shell of the man I’d seen on television many times before.

Lawrence Pfohl was the guest speak this past Sunday at New Beginnings Christian Church.  Don’t know that name?  Well, how about the name Lex Luger.

Luger talked about his past.  He mentioned playing professional football for 15 years and busting his way through lines of players.  He also mentioned his 15 years in professional wrestling.  This was a man who was at the very tip-top of his game for a long time, holding multiple top titles.  But he describes it as a “self-centered, Lex-centered life” of chasing “fame, fortune, and glamour.”

It wasn’t until five years ago when “the Total Package” found himself sitting in a Cobb County Jail cell that he realized something had to change.  The wrestler had already had a near-death overdose experience and multiple run-ins with law enforcement.  One of the things that helped him turn his life around was a chaplain he’d befriended.

The Pfohl house was not known for attending church.  So it was a bit awkward and un-nerving for the former pro-wrestler to find himself about to enter a Sunday evening service at his friend’s request.  This was just the first baby step Luger took in finding his place with Christ.  On April 23, 2006, gave his life to Christ, ironically on the same couch that just the year earlier he had overdosed on.

Since then, the wrestler has grown in Christ.

“I’m a kindergardener now,” he proudly said after having described himself as an spiritual infant before.  His message that evening was riddled with nuggets from the gospel itself, a true indication that this was no longer a “Lex-centered” man but now a Christ-centered one.

Life has not been without its challenges for him.  Three-and-a-half years ago, Luger awoke to find himself paralyzed from the neck down.  Doctors told him and his family that there was a less than 5 percent chance he would ever even be able to move from the neck down.  This same man was not only able to walk and talk and shake hands with fans Sunday night but had even driven himself to the event.  That vibrant, gentle man who gave his testimony that night may be “totally repackaged”, but I think he likes it that way!

“I am NOT a clothes horse!”

For those of you who’ve never met me in person or just never noticed, I am not a clotheshorse!  Neither am I a fashionista by any means.  I’m not saying that I dress like a slob, I’m just not fashionable.  So that’s where television and friends come into play.

One of my favorite shows on TLC is What Not to Wear with Stacy London and Clinton Kelly.  I think the main reason I love this show is that I get to learn what they learn.  I can take away the tips for dressing that the two of them give the unsuspecting “clients” and put them to use in my own life.  And it’s great to see the true transformation in these people.  Stacy and Clinton give them back a pride in themselves and help them see that they truly are worth putting the bit of effort into dressing.  Not to mention, some of the final makeovers are just stunning to see!

I also take a lot of clues from friends.  I take notes on what’s in style, quasi based on what I see others wearing and quasi what looks good on them too.  Now, if you want someone to follow as far as a blog, I can definitely recommend my stylish friend, Sarah Gilliland.  This new mom of twins majored in apparel merchandising at Auburn University and always seems to be well-dressed, whatever the occassion.  Today’s blog post actually inspired this post and has a couple of things to look for in next season’s styles.  So check her out now and go head and be following her blog so you get a heads up on what all is going to be in style for the fall!

So what is my own personal style?  I suppose I confess that while we’re on the subject.  I don’t necessarily have a very definitive one, but if I were to name it, I suppose it’d be “casual professional” for the most part.  Now, if I’m left to my own devices, it’s jeans and a t-shirt of some sort (either solid cotton or printed from various sources).  However, since I do work for a living, I have to maintain some sense of knowing how to dress.  Typically, it’s a pair of slacks and a nice solid colored shirt.  I don’t really do skirts or dresses since they’re just not very practical to me.  Not to mention, hose are just not comfortable and thigh-highs aren’t much better.  So I’m not fancy but look nice enough with some classic jewelry added to polish it off.

Got any tips you’ve picked up over the years?  Anything you’re dying to ask about fashion-wise?

it ain’t easy bein’ single…

If you’re born single, why wouldn’t you just want to stay that way?  It seems like most every single person alive at some point develops some deep desire to have a significant other.  Now, how that happens and when varies as much as each human being does.  Part of it ends up with each of us developing our own ideas as to how and when it should happen both for us and for others.

When I was a little girl, I was just like every other little girl.  I dreamed up just how I thought my life should go.  I wanted to be a teacher, which meant going to college.  Now after college is when I wanted to get married.  So that means being married by about 25.  Then would come children.  So that probably gets me to about 30 before I’m married with children.

Let’s not talk about how many wrenches were thrown into those plans… well, okay, let’s.

It all started with being diagnosed at 12 with Turner’s Syndrome.  It’s a chromosome abnormality that means not only am I short, but I can’t have children of my own.  So that disrupts that plan, whenever it comes about.

Now I’m sure guys thought I was short and cute and sweet, but I never dated a soul through junior high and high school.  Oh, don’t get my wrong, I had some crushes (and no, I’m not naming them here!).  I just never had anything remotely resembling a relationship like that.  I had plenty of friends at church and school.  My family loved me, my friends loved me well enough, so I was fine and had a good life.  I wasn’t missing anything as far as I was concerned.  College was just more of the same with even better and closer friends and more crushes.

The day my sister got married that all changed.  I’d been so busy living my life, I’d not put much thought into it until then.  I remember sitting in my bridesmaid’s dress in the house of the theatre after her wedding.  That’s when it hit me – and hard!  I was alone with no prospect of finding someone to date, let alone marry.  There was no one at work and not likely to be.  There was no one at church and who knew if there would be.  My hobby was theatre and there wasn’t anyone there with no real prospect there.  And I most certainly wasn’t going to a bar or parties to meet someone to marry.  I knew that was no where near the kind of man I wanted to be in a relationship with and eventually marry.  So now what?

Then I finally gave in.  I set up an eHarmony account.  It took me hours to do the questionnaire, but I really learned a lot about myself and the kind of guy I should be looking for.  I met a few guys, but most just kind of dropped off.  Good riddance, they weren’t wasting my time!  I had a couple of real heartaches from a couple of the guys I actually met and went out with, but I survived like every other girl does, despite the tears.

I was matched with Anthony the first part of December 2005, just a couple of months after I’d joined.  By Jan. 11, 2006, we were emailing and becoming good friends.  He was such a sweet, good friend and listened to me vent about a couple of heartaches.  We finally met in person on Oct. 22, 2006, at the Starbucks on the Eastern By-pass in Montgomery.  We were officially a couple on Dec. 27, 2006.  The day before my 33rd birthday was one of the best days of my life.  Anthony proposed!  It was a day I’d really been waiting for over 20 years.  I was ecstatic and planned a wedding over the next few months. We were married on Jan. 2, 2010, thus ending my life as a single woman.

There are times that I miss being single and not being attached to someone, but not enough to go back.  I loved my life, but I love it just as much as I do my husband now.  There are things I learned along the way that I pass along, so stay tuned for that!