Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mas is Over

Phew! We made it through Christmas. This year the holiday went really well for us. We actually drove through 300 miles of fog to get to Springfield from Memphis, and then 450 miles of rain and snow (sometimes mixed) from OKC to Memphis (it's a 500 mile trip). It let up a few miles outside of Memphis, and we were reminded that Memphis must be the Promised Land.

We both have amazing families. We stayed with each family for 2.5 days—we try to make it as even as possible. Much Wii was played, and Guitar Hero 3 was a hit with the adults under 40. We ate and ate, opened gift after gift, and went to bed later and later. Now, it is time to recoup and decide how to spend our Christmas monies.

However, besides the picture in the previous blog and some caroling, we didn't do a lot of thinking about Jesus. Part of that was the Sunday sermon did not have a focus at all on the birth of Jesus, and part of it was that we got so wrapped up in the other holiday stuff. I'm okay with it, though, because it is hard to balance consumer Christmas with spiritual Christmas. Also, the importance of Jesus' birth goes far beyond one day a year. Remembering Christ daily seems to take precedence over celebrating one day. Plus, as a C of C member, I know that Christmas wasn't really Jesus birthday! Maybe we should drop the Christ part and just call it Mas—the season of more. Merry Mas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Reason for the Season

Spotted in Strafford, Missouri, during our holiday travels…it doesn’t get much better than this!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What is My Legacy?

From time to time, I have a tendency to go into philosopher mode and post something on the blog. Ninety-five percent of the time I hold back; however, I often run into recurring themes in my life and I feel a need to pass it on to you. Take it or leave it, but at least think about it for a second.

The question I've heard in self-help books and from motivational speakers is this: What do you want your legacy to be? I come up with grandiose statements in my head—loving husband, father, and Christian who did it all and still had time for his friends. BUT, what I, and probably others, often run into is this question: What is my legacy now? This can be haunting question if you let it. People who complain they don't know who they are or why they are here may be fighting a legacy battle. What if the legacy you think you can't find is the one you are living right now? What if your legacy set for you by family, friends, yourself, is to be a wanderer, or an unrealized potential, or the family project. That's a sobering thought, at least for me. Nobody is legacy-less.

Hope comes in when you realize you can be different than the path set out for you. I'm trying to do this. I don't have to be here for what others put me here for—a huge statement indeed. It is possible for me to live a life for myself and God and start my own legacy. Col. 3 attests to this (and I paraphrase)—not until I rid myself of my human-given legacy and the things that old life includes will I begin to find my place in Christ as a new creation. Not all legacies given to you by others are bad, but they'll never be yours or feel like yours until you completely embrace them yourself. I don't want my legacy to be, "He lived up to other peoples' expectations so well,"? or even, "He was just like so and so"?—no offense, so and so. I want my legacy to be, "Ben,"? and then everybody laughs to themselves because they know Ben. So, if you are struggling with the legacy question, maybe it is time to ask yourself whose legacy you are trying to live up to or carry out. If you don't like it, change it—but be ready for struggle.

These are my thoughts and opinions only, not empirically validated statements.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

We Have a Wii

This is probably no big deal to most people, but we (or Monica with my b-day money) somehow ordered a Wii off of Amazon last week. Apparently a co-worker had a watch on the item, alerted Monica when it came up, and we got it for retail, and not from one of those special people trying to sell them for $500 and causing false supply and demand—bless their hearts. Anyway, my recent rants about materialism have been challenged, and I gave in to this guilty pleasure. It happens.

Last week Monica told me that she did not want me to play it too much because she did not want me to get better at it than her. I told her I was “naturally” better at it anyway and it wouldn’t matter. In fact, I specifically told her she had never beaten my bowling score. She beat me 158 to 150 the first time we played! Hey, sometimes us naturals have bad games. . .