Tuesday, April 1, 2014

15 Things I Never Thought I'd Say

Sometimes life surprises us.

We do, say, experience, like, or believe things we never would have anticipated.

Here's a list of some things I never thought I would say.

1. I love homeschooling.
Homeschooling was always an educational option in my husband's mind. I resisted the idea of home education during the entirety of our dating days. And then I resisted the idea of home education during the first few years of our marriage. And then, I read this book and realized I wouldn't have to fill my closet with denim skirts, make a bun with my hair that could not be cut, or say goodbye to my mascara. (It is my cosmetic staple, otherwise my eyelashes disappear and people think I am sick.) 

Our choice to home educate was an intense time of wrestling for my husband and me, and I was scared of the burden I thought accompanied this monumental task. And I thought it would end up sucking the joy out of life and leave me worn and ragged. But I was wrong. Oh, so wrong. Home education has been one of the greatest and most surprising blessings of my life.

2. Cheesecake is yummy.

I am a picky eater. I have been since my early days. I was so picky I was subjected to a "taste of the week" by my mother who felt I needed to expand my culinary horizons. I am still slightly traumatized. I digress.

My pickiness, however, was more often determined by my whims and not from actually trying the food. Before you berate me, please understand I was an equal opportunity exclusionist. I rejected my fair share of desserts as well.  Cheesecake, sadly, was in this category for far too long. And then I got brave and tasted raspberry cheesecake during a weekend marriage retreat while facing the romantic view of a lake. The rest is history and often shows up in its double chocolate form for my birthday.

3. Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables.
My mom likes to recount my double-fisted days of carrying around raw broccoli and calling them trees. As I grew, the stench from cooking this green veggie was enough to cause mild nausea. And then, as a mature and growing-up adult, I decided to actually try these cooked arbors. And now this super-food is a staple in my diet.

4. I was skinny in high school.
I thought I was overweight. Partially because I can clearly recall as a ten-year old sitting in Dr. Gaines' office while she read from the ridiculous chart that matched a person's actual height with their most desirable weight. Nonetheless, I felt fat and that mindset has lived with me all my life, regardless of my actual size. I look back now, in my post-pregancy body (x3), and realize that sweetly beautiful high school junior who'd never been kissed, was lovely just the way she was. And skinny. I never would have believed it then or ventured to say it.  But now I can. I was skinny in high school and rocked those parachute pants.

5. Sure, you can have PB & J for breakfast.
Parenthood leads you to speak crazy words. Desperate times, ya know? And sometimes, you learn the battles you thought were worth fighting aren't really that important...like the occasional odd meal at breakfast. Now excuse me while I go tell my son to stop sitting on his sister's head.

6. Using an e-reader isn't so bad.
I am old school. I need to engage all my senses (well, maybe not taste) when reading a book. I want to hear the binding as it collapses on itself and opens up a fictional world to me. I want to inhale the aroma of an old book from the library shelf. I was to touch the paper and see the bookmark keeping my place...you know, so I can see how blasted far I really am in the book. For these, and many other prejudicial reasons, I long eschewed e-readers. I turned my nose up and dismissed them. And then, I was on vacation and needed a textbook for a seminary class and Amazon saved my behind. And then a book I was drooling over was offered for like $2.99. And I actually used my Kindle and found out there's a lot of advantages to engaging only 2 of my 5 senses when reading. I can highlight passages in the color of my choice and then it logs all my highlighted sections in own special list for my use at the touch of the screen. It's pretty brilliant...and organized. I like organized. So all in all, I no long view e-readers as literary pariahs. OK, that's a little dramatic. In other words, I'll keep the Kindle and actually read some books on it.

7. Red onion tastes great on salad.
This is pretty self-explanatory. I have long cooked with onions (and then picked them out of the finished dish) but I never thought I would find myself eating raw onion on my salad and loving it!

8. Washing dishes is a happy place for me.
I didnt' grow up with a dishwasher. I was sure doing the dishes occupied one of Dante's levels of hell. For all but 3 months of my married life I have used, and loved having a dishwasher. My goal is to run the dishwasher once a day but inevitably when I have been disciplined and cooked at home (and not given my husband puppy-dog eyes so he agrees to going out) I find I have more dishes at the end of the day than space in the dishwasher. So, I shine up the sink, fill the left side with sudsy water and find a happy place. The kids leave me alone, my hands are enveloped in warmth, and I can let my mind wander as I look out the window toward the backyard. Who knew that hand-washing dishes would serve as a mini spa in my kitchen?

9. It's okay if you don't like me.
I am a recovering people-pleaser. Everyday, it's a choice to live for more than what people might think of me. Being a child of divorce can sometimes lead people to adopt the role of appeaser and I lived much of my life trying to make and keep everybody happy. Two things happened. 1) I was fatigued and 2) wait for it, wait for it...I was never successful. Winds up that you can't make everybody happy. Who knew? Oh, well, yes, Abraham Lincoln did. Anywhoo. Ever so slowly, ever so gingerly, I am bravely whispering until I can shout it that it's okay if you don't like me. I am living for more than the approval of others.

10. My worth is not determined by my performance.
There is so much baggage here for me. So many issues and reasons why but it all boils down to this...I was in my thirties before I realized I had succumb to the lie that what I did = what I was worth. And now several years later, I am finding freedom in proclaiming that my value is separate from my performance. Like all lies we've broken in over time and have allowed to accompany us, this one tries to creep in and sabotage me, but I am so on to it. My worth is NOT determined by what I do, what I say, or how I say it. 

11. God calls women to ministry.
I was raised Southern Baptist. That fact, therefore, should explain why I never, ever thought I would speak these words. I was told I would make a great pastor's wife or children's teacher. But called to vocational ministry where a women would teach men? Oh no. 

Then I was introduced to the Church of God (Anderson) when my husband was only my boyfriend. And then prominent male voices in my life affirmed the call they saw but I couldn't. And I wrestled with the teachings of my childhood that would have limited God's plans for me. And in November 2004, I stood before peers and colleagues and declared God had called me, a woman, to ministry. You see, the chromosomal configuration of females don't disqualify them from ministry. It's something I never predicted I would say.

12. I wish my clothes could smell like smoke one more time.
My papa was my hero and I was the apple of his eye. He died suddenly 23 days before my thirteenth birthday. I still remember the coral sweater I was wearing that February morning when I heard he was gone. My papa was also a smoker, which meant every weekend visit meant coming home smelling like a cigarette with legs. And I really didn't like it. one. single. bit. I hated it. But in the days, weeks, months, and years that followed his death, I found I would have given anything to complain just one more time that my clothes were Pall Mall scented. If they were it'd mean he was here and I would gladly endure any size nicotine cloud for that to happen.

13. Ice cream is delicious when infused with coffee flavor.
It does not escape me that 1/3 of my list concerns food. Don't judge. Food matters. I digress. again.

This statement is a no-brainer for java lovers everywhere. I, however, do not belong to that club. I am part of the coffee club whose mantra is "loves the way it smells, gags on the way it tastes". I have tried coffee. I really have. And then I discovered Mocha Frappes and found myself blissfully aware of the benefits of the coffee-flavor. And then I uncovered Ben & Jerry's best kept secret...Coffee Toffee Crunch (aka heaven in a cardboard container). All of this has led me to one conclusion: chocolate and coffee in frozen dairy form is one of the things that makes life worth living. After Jesus, Paul, my children, friends, and such. 

14. I would never choose to go back to my wedding day.
Life is too good now. I have never been more secure and settled in my marriage than I am now. My husband and I know how to better love each other. We have clearer perspective more of the time. We are braver. Steadier. Stronger. Surer. My wedding day was wonderful and everything it should be, but it was only the beginning. The journey is sweeter and more precious now then it has ever been.

15. I'd rather not have a fountain Diet Coke from McDonald's.
Uhh...nope. Never said it. Never will.


  1. Love your blogging. Always makes me smile. Love you.

    1. Thanks, Kim! Smiles are great...glad I can help give you a few!

  2. Darn, girl...you make me think, smile, wipe a tear, reminisce and love the socks off you as a sister in Christ. Called to ministry??? I'll fight the man who says it isn't so. And if by now you're so accustomed to reading e-books, you may have had the experience that I have indeed had: while reading a hard-copy book, I came upon a new word and (just for a moment) had the urge to tap on the book to bring up the resident electronic dictionary. Keep writing...awesome stuff.

    1. Brian, I am humbled by your words. Thank you.
      And how could I have forgotten about the electronic dictionary? Another benefit to an e-reader!

  3. I am blessed to call you my sister in Christ! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for your affirming words, Chris. You are a blessing! Thanks for stopping by!