30 July 2009

Nerves of . . . steel?

It's ridiculous how nervous a person can get. It's 8:45am, the agreement was to play my "featured listener" interview on-air at 9:20am. Ok, not to burst the bubble, but this is a pre-recorded interview, which means, I already did it and yet, I'm sitting here, stomach in knots over listening to myself on the radio. How lame is that? My hands should not be shaking right now (especially not when attempting to type!). This is ridiculous.

It probably doesn't help that I psyched myself out yesterday by reading, by chance (not in preparation, I'm lame, not OCD), an article detailing dumb things said in job interviews. You know it's bad when you read those and half of them you ask yourself, that's not that bad, is it? But, now, in hindset, or I suppose it's foresight at the moment, as the interview is, of yet, still un-aired, I wonder . . . does one mention they haven't done anything but check e-mail all morning and are still, in fact, in their pj's when doing a 10am radio interview? Or is that something social convention says to keep quiet about? Or a former love for J.C. of N*SYNC fame (or infamy) - is that something a mature adult (or one who likes to feign maturity) actually discusses in public? Or should I be hiding that fact in shame?

I suppose only time (3o min) will tell . . .

28 July 2009


"You shall not see your countryman's ox or his sheep straying away, and pay no attention to them; you shall certainly bring them back to your countryman. If your countryman is not near you, or if you do not know him, then you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall remain with you until your countryman looks for it; then you shall restore it to him. Thus you shall do with his donkey, and you shall do the same with his garment, and you shall do likewise with anything lost by your countryman, which he has lost and you have found. You are not allowed to neglect them." (Deuteronomy 22:1-3, emphasis added)

This passage in my reading this morning hit me right between the eyes. While it may be true that a stray ox or sheep are not anything I encounter in my daily jaunt to the mailbox or my local Wal-Mart, it is also true that I do tend to take more of the innocent bystander's role in various situations rather than the action-person or solution-finder. Most times when I come across an unfortunate situation (such as one described in the next verse: Deut. 22:4) I often think to myself, "Aw, that's too bad . . . I would help, but . . ."

And the "but" takes on various forms: ". . . I really don't have the time," "I don't have any knowledge in that area; I wouldn't be of any help," "I'm sure help is already on the way."
The real truth, however, is that I am scared. I live in my happy bubble filled with happy people that I know and with whom I am comfortable. I would give them anything they needed (except only the shirt off my back in extreme situations as that leaves a girl in a rather awkward/inappropriate state). If I found the ox of a friend, for sure I would return him. But the ox of a stranger? Even with a phone number on the tag, I'm not sure what I would do. I do hate to make phone calls.

What I'm saying is, like many people in our world, I am afraid of the unknown and while I want to help people, I usually find it easier to just look the other way than "butt in" someone else's problems. They can find their own way, I figure.

And yet, the Bible does not so quickly let us off the hook. Not only does it advise us to help our neighbor in need, but we are "not allowed" to ignore it! Yikes! Thus, in walking/driving right on by, I am no longer an innocent bystander, but I have very quickly taken on the role of disobedient child of God. And that is not a role I cherish.

The Word of God is clear, the heart of God dwells in me, I should not deprive his hand of help to any in need. Lord, work through me.

23 July 2009

Deals, deals, deals!

I just spent $19.53 at Big Lots - quite a splurge for a couple who will make a special trip to McAlister's for free tea so that one of us doesn't have to pay to try the rumored amazing-ness of said tea. What, then, would cause us to throw our well-planned budget to the wind?
I'm glad you asked.
On a tip from my big sis, we made a little jaunt over to Big Lots (between the free tea and picking up some free road trip listening material from the public library) to check out their DVD deals, and color us excited to find Seasons 1-3 of "The Flintstones" as well as Seasons 1-3 of "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" (which even the store clerk was stunned to see in our hands when we were checking out - guarantee you he spent part of his paycheck tonight!) for only $3 each! $3! Can't beat that with a stick (especially considering TV on DVD is round 'bout the only TV we do in this here residence)!

To add to the excitement I performed the sick ritual I always undertake when I believe I did well with a certain purchase, I looked it up on-line and sho' 'nuf we gots ourselves a DEAL, ladies and gentlemen! The Amazon prices on our new TV specials ranged from $30-$40 for EACH season we procured. Score one for the team!

Thanks for sharing in my excitement - I get a little proud sometimes. All that to say, check out your local Big Lots if you're looking for some good, low-cost entertainment. Now excuse me while I take part in a little Yabba Dabba D-action (I couldn't resist).

22 July 2009

On parenthood . . .

For the past ten months I have been changing diapers, washing baby parts, waking earlier than desired to provide nourishment to a tiny body and clapping with joy at each sign of a new development, such as crawling, which brings this diminutive person closer to being a self-sufficient adult, while at the same time not considering that terrifying future wherein my daughter won't actually be this giggly bundle of cliched joy. And, yet, it is only just beginning to sink in the severity of this new role in my life.
I am a parent.
And as such, my responsibility is not solely to provide for the physical needs of this precious child of mine, but to foster her spiritual and moral development as well. And that's a whole lot more than I ever allowed myself to consider before.
Frankly, it gets tiring. The task of training a little person what is acceptable and what is not is not for the lazy, which, I'll admit, is a category in which I could oft place myself. It would be much easier to simply "let that one go," but this is when I remember, her choices aren't the only ones with consequences. If I "love" my daughter too much to discipline her, or I'm too tired to tell her "no" this one time, where will I find her in sixteen years?
Sigh. Life was much easier before I had to worry about this kind of foresight. But then, it was a little more boring, too. And I know, as the days go by, a couple of well-timed swats and stern "no"s will be quite a fair trade in exchange for a disciplined, respectful and cherished daughter who will one day be able to make choices on her own - and not just any choices, but the right, God-honoring choices necessary to live a purpose-filled life.
What an honor to guide her toward this goal!

09 July 2009

Addicted to Free

Yes, it's true. My name is Angela and I'm a free-aholic, in case you couldn't tell from my FREE Birthday Extravaganza post. As a stay-at-home mom, I don't find I have much expendable income, and even if I did, free beats cheap any day. Thus, I spend parts of my days signing up for free samples (that's free stuff, plus something in the mailbox other than bills, what could be better?), taking surveys for money (surveyspot.com, check it out if you have free time to take surveys), and generally signing up for free programs to earn, you got it, free stuff.

My new faves:
swagbucks.com (if you sign up following this link, you help me out, but don't feel obligated, please!) - a search engine powered by Google and Yahoo which gives you the opportunity to earn points (called swagbucks, hence the website) for free things, most excitingly, amazon.com gift cards (plus if you get friends to sign up, you get a buck for every buck they earn) - if you want to be even more swag savvy, you can download their swidget, which I check obsessively for codes to get more bucks. Also, you can download their toolbar, or if you use firefox, designate swagbucks as your search engine of choice in your upper right search bar, and you'll use it automatically any time you need to find something - free money, people, can't be beat!

mypoints.com - ok, so it's not new to me, really, but they send e-mails (about 2 or 3 a day) for junk I don't usually want, or offer points for buying things at their partner sites, which I don't usually do, BUT what I DO do is click on the links in the e-mails. Each clicked e-mail gives an automatic 5 points, and does NOT cause more spam to you or your computer. I simply click, close the tab that opens, because I honestly don't care about the site, usually, then delete the e-mail. Takes 3 seconds, 5 points. BAM! I've earned much money in free clothes (I think my total is up to $70 to date - now that's over two years, but $70 is $70). If you're interested and want to help me out, let me know and I'll e-mail you a referral link. Or if you're impatient you can sign up without my link, just don't tell me, or I'll cry.

Finally, Disney Movie Rewards, which gives you points with each code you enter from qualified titles on Disney DVD. Also, you can get 50 points right away by entering the code "GOOFY" and another 100 points by taking a one-time survey. From that and going through my own collection of Disney movies, which always had the codes and I always ignored them, I already have 850 points, which means I already do qualify for some rewards (most of them, to be sure, are pretty lame, unless you like mini-posters or High School Musical, but as can be imagined, there are some things worth saving up for).

So, yep, those are some of my recent free faves. Hope I was able to welcome at least a few into the wonderful world of free (since I referenced Disney earlier, you think they'd let me borrow their phrase just this once? I sure hope so - I can't afford a lawsuit - unless I can pay for it with my Movie Rewards).

And as my Wal-Mart cashier said last night when I bought Hairspray on DVD for $3.26 after tax, "You can't beat that with a stick!"

08 July 2009

Come again?

Our credit card company called us today. Turns out they were concerned because we had not been using our card. How sweet. When I informed the polite woman on the phone that they had not done anything wrong, rather, we had just made the choice not to use credit cards anymore, she, in turn, out of the concern from her heart, I'm sure, replied:

"Well, in light of the economic downturn, we are encouraging our customers to use their cards for everyday items so they can avoid going into debt."

Now, I know I'm no financial guru, but last time I checked with Dave Ramsey (and my common sense) using a credit card was not the most efficient way to avoid going into debt. Call me crazy, but I do think there's a reason it's called credit card debt.

Rather than invite logic into the conversation, I simply stated, "We're fine, thanks." They are so thoughtful.