Tuesday, March 20

Guilty Pleasures

Once upon a time, before I married Adam, I eschewed reality shows as the (mostly) mindless foolishness they are. I saw how the landscape of television had changed since the advent of Survivor and I wasn't impressed.

I can't recall exactly when I discovered that Adam is a bit of a reality series junkie. It may not have been until after we were married. He likes Survivor, American Idol, The Apprentice, Hell's Kitchen, The Bachelor, and probably a dozen more that I can't recall just now. I scoffed. But then I started sitting down to take a look at some of them.

Now, I still can't stand The Bachelor or Survivor, but I'll actually sit contentedly through an episode or two of The Apprentice, and Hell's Kitchen can be quite a bit of fun. I used to watch American Idol regularly before Adam started working nights (and my favorite judges all left the show).

dance sequinsI'll even confess through a sheepish blush that I've actually been counting down the days until Dancing with the Stars came back on for their 14th season, which is only 3 or 4 more than I've watched. The season premier aired last night. I haven't seen it yet, because Adam had to work, so we'll be watching it tonight on Hulu.

I'm not entirely sure what the appeal of the show is. I just find something refreshing about watching usually-pampered celebrities having to work at something that (amazingly, every season) is so much harder than they were expecting. Nobody really wins anything--there's not a cash prize or a charity donation or anything more than a goofy trophy and the privilege of saying, "I won."

It's purely entertainment. Then again, maybe that's what's so appealing. No one has their life changed with a huge influx of cash or a dream job, yet almost everybody talks about how being a part of the experience taught them something about themselves they'd never known before. And if that's not enough, there are lots of sparkly costumes every week.

And, I mean really, what could be more fun that watching macho football players becoming self-actualized while dressed in hot pink sequins?

Monday, March 12


When I was a kid, my grandmother had a small wall hanging in her bedroom. It was a collection of tiny wooden plaques attached to one another like a long train heading up an imaginary track next to the door frame. Each piece of wood had a single word painted on it, "love" and "joy" and "peace" and some others. It was years before I connected that decoration with the verses from Galatians 5.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

I read that list again this morning as part of my devotional time. I realized with dismay that my life more closely resembles the previous verses most of the time. Paul pointed to actions which make our focus on our own pleasures painfully obvious:

... hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy ...

And yet, it doesn't have to be this way. I looked at the "fruit of the Spirit" verses again. What would my life look like, I considered, if I were to truly allow God's Spirit to shine through me?

Living my life with Christ at the center, I have the power to
  • care for myself and others with God's own heart
  • delight in God's attention to every detail
  • recognize that God holds me by the hand, no matter what my circumstances
  • relax in God's perfect timing
  • make life easier and more pleasant for those around me
  • choose God's best in every situation
  • remain true in my commitments to God, to myself, and to others
  • temper my anger and my frustrations with God's grace
  • be deliberate in my actions and reactions
Frankly, that sounds like a much nicer life to live than the one I'm generally inhabiting. Which makes me question, why don't I simply allow God to work His power in me, all the time? Instead I'm continually giving my heart to Him only to wrest it from His hands, screaming like a two-year-old, "Mine, mine, mine, mine!"

What exactly is it I think I'm gaining?

Thursday, March 8


I have this grievance to air. Well, it's not exactly a grievance. I'm a bit perturbed by it, but it's not all a bad thing. It's hardly a catastrophe or anything. Really, it's more of an annoyance than a complaint. Even then, the issue has redeeming qualities.

Maybe I should just start at the beginning.

You see, a couple of years ago I bought a pair of sweatpants. I needed something a little roomier than my usual size (as you do when you're six months pregnant). They fit fine and I wore them for the rest of my pregnancy and for quite some time since. All was well.

Then this past summer, I really made a go of the whole low-carb diet and I started to drop some serious weight. In fact, as of yesterday, I'd lost more than 90 lbs since I'd bought those sweatpants.

Only, I wore those pants yesterday. Out of the house. Same pants: no pins, no stitching. Granted, they were roomy, but they weren't falling down around my ankles.

Which brings us to the crux of my quasi-complaint. On the one hand, it's fabulous that I've been able to continue wearing the same clothes as I've been losing weight. I certainly can't be running out to replace my whole wardrobe every 15 lbs, so the fact that this one pair of sweats has lasted me all this time is really a good thing.

On the other hand, it's a little disheartening that I've lost nearly 100 lbs and I'm still wearing the same pants!