Archives for October 2013

You Might Want To Seize This Opportunity

This will only make sense if you’ve read my book (no pressure if you haven’t, though – NO PRESSURE), but I just saw something on Twitter that made me so happy and would no doubt send Martha into HIGH ALERT at the Walmarts.

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Time’s-a-wastin’, y’all. Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

We might all need to stock up while we can.

(It can’t hurt to stock up!)

(Because they’re perfectly delicious!)

(And so hard to find!)

Things I’ve Been Meaning To Mention

– First and foremost, I FOUND MY CREAM SHIRT. I know we’ll all enjoy being able to sleep again. (edited to add: The shirt was in a load of laundry – I found it when I was sorting through the pile of clean clothes on the guest room bed.)

– Next. I have a book signing this Saturday (October 19th) in Memphis. It’s from 1-3 at {Social} a shop for gracious living. The address is 660 S. Perkins, 38117. The store will have copies of my book for sale, and if you’d like some books personalized for Christmas gifts, this would be a great time to make that happen.

(I kind of hate myself for that last sentence.)

(I am so bad at book promotion.)

(But that doesn’t change the fact that I would be so happy to see some of y’all there.)

– One of our all-time favorite singer/songwriters, Dave Barnes, has a concert right here in Birmingham on Tuesday, October 22nd. Gabe Dixon is also performing, and he is another musical treasure that you do not want to miss. The concert is at WorkPlay, and it’s such a fun place to listen to music and hang out and enjoy a laid-back date night.

So, in summary: Dave + Gabe + WorkPlay = an insane amount of musical talent in one convenient location. Tickets are only $20, and that is a bargain, I tell you. A BARGAIN.

– Our church is hosting a conference called The Gospel at Work on November 22-23. Here’s the idea behind it:

This conference was born out of a desire to help Christians think and live differently in the workplace: What is God’s purpose for my work? How does the gospel change my work? It’s also designed to help Christians think wisely and practically about their work: How does applying the truths of the gospel help me manage differently? If you work a 9 to 5, will someday be working a 9 to 5, or are in between working a 9 to 5, then we pray that this conference will build you up.

David Platt is teaching, as is Harry Reeder (one of my favorite preachers) and Greg Gilbert. There are some great teachers leading break-out sessions, too. Registration is only $49 until October 31st. Here’s more info if you’re interested.

– Considering that it took me about ten years to realize that that the Target logo is in fact a target, I found this list of hidden messages in company logos absolutely fascinating. And I imagine that it goes without saying that I’d never noticed the FedEx arrow. (via)

– My friend Kim posted this video on Facebook, and I think it’s so fun. Plus, if any one wants to take on this routine as a talent in the Miss America pageant, I will be BESIDE MYSELF.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

The Big Boo Cast, Episode 29

Well, today’s topics are very varied. And occasionally there are some sound issues and rumbles (I kept moving my microphone, and apparently that creates noise), but let’s just use our imaginations and pretend that this whole podcast operation is highly professional.

This time around we talk about rugs (seriously. rugs.), old youth group skits, air travel, why we’re at the mercy of dentists, teacher conferences, movies (and how Gravity seems to be a really big deal), pasta (and also cheese), our deep, heartfelt enthusiasm for Les Miles, and who knows what else. We’re pretty much all over the place.

Also, here’s the Les Miles video that we talk about (and love so much).

You can click here to listen. Or here. Or, as always, you can subscribe on iTunes if you’re feeling particularly fancy.

Hope y’all enjoy it!

The City Doesn’t Sleep, But I Would Enjoy A Nap

It was a couple of months ago, I reckon, when the folks at Tyndale asked Melanie and me if we’d like to go to New York City and have lunch with our new friend Jane, who works for Barnes & Noble. I was all about it except for the fact that, well, I have a job where they sort of expect me to show up on Monday mornings. But my boss (who is awesome) gave me his blessing to go forth to the Big Apple, and that is how I got to spend a good portion of Sunday morning, among other things, listening to a couple of cats meow like crazy.

Seriously.

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There was a woman on my flight to New York who was traveling with a couple of cats. And if their reactions were any indication, cats don’t enjoy any part of taking off or landing.

The flight from Birmingham to New York City is only a couple of hours, so I landed at LaGuardia around 12:30 and met my Tyndale friend Carol at baggage claim. We hopped in a cab, and for the next 45 minutes, I spent a significant portion of time thanking the good Lord Almighty that I was not the one doing the driving. Everything seemed way more crowded than usual – maybe because it was so pretty outside and people were out and about – but eventually we made it to our hotel, and Carol and I decided to walk up to Central Park while we waiting on Melanie to arrive.

Now what I should probably tell you is that the day before I left for New York, I ran in Nordstrom Rack to return a sweater, and while I was there, I decided to make a loop through the shoe department. I’m really not much of a shoe person, but I have recently recognized my need for a fall / winter shoe option that isn’t a Volatile clog. I hoped that I might find a fun pair of booties, and lo and behold if I didn’t run across an option that I found particularly sassy.

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I sent Melanie a picture from the store to make sure that I wasn’t misguided about the appeal of the fringe. Fortunately she pretty much high-fived the booties all the way from San Antonio (that sounds very awkward, I admit), so I pledged my loyalty to those booties right there in the shoe department and asked the Lord to give us a long and happy life together, hallelujah and amen.

Well. Sunday morning I decided that I would wear the booties on the plane so that I didn’t have to cram them into my suitcase, and when Carol and I decided to head up to Central Park, I didn’t have the option of changing shoes because the bellman had already taken my bag up to storage (our rooms weren’t ready yet). The boots and I fared pretty well as we made the trek to the park, but after we strolled around for several minutes and took in the sights, it became crystal clear to me that those booties were not in fact made for walking. Those booties were made for standing or perhaps sitting. And that is why I looked at Carol and said, “Um. Yeah. I’m gonna need to run in somewhere and buy a pair of tennis shoes.”

So that is exactly what I did. I don’t know when my feet have been more delighted by a spontaneous shoe-related decision.

We spent the rest of the day walking and hanging out and talking and eating supper at Morandi, which was PHENOMENAL (and yes, the caps were totally necessary to express the full range of phenomenal-ness). I also snapped a few pictures of Times Square when we were on the way to supper because HELLO, I AM A TOURIST, I DO NOT LIVE HERE.

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I love that place.

Monday morning I slept until the wild and crazy hour of 7:00, and after watching the Today show for the first time in, oh, 14 years, I headed to Starbucks for the ministry of the Pike Place. Mel, Carol, and I were planning to meet Jane at Craftbar at noon, and I was really excited about having lunch there because I watch way too much Top Chef and am just a little bit fascinated by Tom Colicchio. When we left the hotel, we thought we’d walk for a little while and then find a cab, but we ended up walking the whole 30-ish blocks because the weather was delightful and the scenery was even better.

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(YES MA’AM, Project Runway people – I was so excited to see it in person.)

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Lunch was such a treat on so many levels. Jane is delightful, which I totally expected, and it was so fun to talk about books and the South and Texas and family and food. Melanie mentioned in her post yesterday that we enjoyed a cheese tray that was a revelation (I have thought about it at least 16 different times since I got home), and we also had an appetizer called pecorino fonduta – which was some yummy melted pecorino cheese that was topped off with honey and pine nuts and served with toasted bread. OH MY WORD. I don’t know that I would have put any of those things together, but sweet mercy it was delicious. I ordered the buttermilk fried chicken for lunch because, well, I need not forget my heritage, and it was fantastic. My favorite part of the meal was the kale that was prepared like we’d fix turnip greens down here, right down to a sort of spicy vinegar that I would love to be able to replicate. Absolutely divine.

But you know what? The company was even better.

After lunch we had a couple of hours to kill before we headed to the airport, so we took a cab to Madison Avenue, walked up to Rockefeller Center, and after a couple of quick stops to find souvenirs for my people, we walked over to the Free People store. I told Melanie when we walked in that I fully expected her to lay down a stone of remembrance before we left; she was in her fashion element, and it was a beautiful sight to behold. I bought a purse that has already brought me all manner of joy, and somehow Carol did not in fact run screaming into the heart of Manhattan when Melanie and I spent upwards of 15 minutes discussing the various features and also merits of a sweater that caught Mel’s eye and eventually won her heart. It was a special time.

Not too long after that we walked back to the hotel so we could grab our luggage and head to the airport. While we were waiting for a cab, I tried to my best to take in the sensory overload that is New York City: lights and horns and food carts and street vendors and buses and dogs and so. many. people. It’s one of my top five favorite places – so different than where I live and how I live – but so beautiful for so many reasons.

It was around 9, I think, before my flight to Birmingham pulled away from the gate – it was delayed and then delayed again – so I had plenty of time to think and play Candy Crush and text and play Candy Crush and check Twitter and play Candy Crush while I waited at the gate. It was a short trip but a long 36 hours (if that makes any sense), and I was ready to wiggle my nose and snap my fingers and get on to the house without having to sit through that pesky two-hour flying time. Plus, I knew that I had to be at work at 7:30 the next morning, and as much as I love my job, that thought did not exactly inspire feelings of peace and contentment because sometimes, if I’m being totally honest, I wish I had a little more flexibility with my time (but then I tell myself, BUCK UP, MYRTLE – SO DOES EVERYBODY ELSE).

But once the plane took off, I stared out the window for a few minutes – and right about the time that those two chimes sounded to let us know that it was fine to turn on and use our portable electronic devices, I saw the most beautiful sight.

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It’s a big ole world, y’all. And something about all those lights reminded me to be grateful that I get to be a part of it.

Hope y’all are having a great Wednesday!

If I Could Bring The Room Down For A Moment

I have been a terrible, no good, very bad blogger this week. I am deeply sorry. I mean, assuming that bad blogging necessitates an apology which, yes, I guess it could. But work has been, um, lively, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to salvage a book chapter I’ve been working on (my first draft of it was wrong, wrong, so terribly wrong), and then there’s been the fact that I’ve had a standing appointment with the DVR from 8:30-10 every night. That new season of Survivor isn’t going to watch itself, you know.

And here’s the other thing. Earlier this week (well, Monday and Tuesday, to be exact), I talked to a group of older teenagers about pornography. Oh, listen. It was just as light and happy and carefree a time as you might imagine. Except the total opposite of that. I just felt burdened and yuck and maybe a little bit scared. Plus, I am by no means an expert on the topic. I don’t struggle with watching the porn (I’ve started calling it “the porn” because that is the only thing about this particular topic that makes me laugh), but I do have friends and loved ones who are (or have been) tangled up in the mess of it all. Not to mention that I am deeply concerned about what’s going on in our culture as far as the porn is concerned, and I. HATE. IT. I hate what it’s doing to our marriages and our families and our kids. I hate that it’s so accessible. I hate that it grabs hold of our minds and convinces us to pursue an illusion instead of a real-live person. I hate that it drives us into isolation and shame. I hate that there are women and men who feel like they’re empowered by something that enslaves them. I hate that the people who work in the porn industry ever found themselves in a situation where that was an option for them – and I hate that Lord only knows what holds them there.

You may be picking up on the fact that I have Many Strong Feelings where the porn is concerned.

I’m also well aware that some of you may be wondering if you’ve clicked over to the wrong website and BY THE WAY WHATEVER HAPPENED TO TALKING ABOUT TV AND BACON?

So just bear with me for a second. Because there’s a very good reason why I’ve mentioned the porn today: this sermon by Matt Chandler. It’s called “Freedom in the Fight,” and you want to talk about words that are grounded in Scripture, seasoned with salt and full of grace? Have mercy. I cannot recommend this message enough; in fact, I’m pretty sure that I could cross over from “recommend” to “flat-out bossy” because OUR CULTURE NEEDS THESE WORDS. He covers a ton of ground – marriage, covenant, sex, porn, fantasy – and he speaks to each issue in a way that is convicting and edifying without being condemning. The sermon is a tremendous resource if you have older kids / teenagers; and whether porn is an issue in your family or not, this sermon is also a good check-up for anyone who’s single, in a relationship, or married (I haven’t been able to get the words “ferociously committed” out of my head since I listened this past Tuesday morning).

All righty. Thanks for being patient during this departure from our regular subject matter. I’ll try to get back to something concerning TV or bacon in the next couple of days. Or maybe even people cooking bacon while they watch TV. That would be the best of all worlds.

Love y’all.

Antidotes And Also Cure-Alls

Hi.

This morning I decided that today I’m going to post a bunch of stuff that makes me laugh and smile because OH MY WORD BRING ON SOME HAPPY.

1. Tim Hawkins on Worship & Prayer

I’m sure that some of y’all have seen this already, but a friend sent me the link earlier today, and the first minute and a half was just what I needed.

2. This past Friday night I went to see NEEDTOBREATHE with my friend Heather. The show was at WorkPlay, which only holds about 300 people, and it was a top 5 musical moment for me. Pure joy from start to finish.

NEEDTOBREATHE 10/5/13 from boomama on Vimeo.

The song is Washed by the Water. You can buy it right here. Also, the NTB guys are on tour right now, and they’re deliberately playing smaller venues. If they’re in your area, you don’t want to miss them. What a treat.

3. Capri Blue Candle-in-A-Jar

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It has been scientifically proven that the smell of this candle makes any bad day a whole lot better.

Well, not so much with the actual “science.” But the smell is still divine.

4. All righty, Southerners (and people visiting the South) – apparently there are 100 places we need to eat now. I mean, I’m guessing that we’ll have to pace ourselves, and of course we can’t be 100 places at once, but I LOVE lists like this one. Such a great resource if you’re on the road and want to try out some new restaurants. The list spans from Texas to D.C. and all the way down to Miami, so it covers some geographical ground for sure.

For what it’s worth, I also got totally sidetracked by this list of 70 spectacular Thanksgiving sides. I am intrigued by the two-cheese squash casserole.

5. The Sweeney Sisters’ Christmas Medley

I know. It’s not anywhere near Christmas. But I have been looking for this video off and on for about three years (I posted it once before, but then it disappeared from YouTube), and I was so tickled when I found it today. In addition to the fact that it is singlehandedly responsible for my consistent overuse of the word “anyhoo,” this video is also, in my opinion, the funniest five minutes in SNL history.

Watch more Sweeney Sisters videos on Frequency

Oh, that is a blessing.

Hope y’all are having a great Monday!