Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tis the Season for Volunteers!

Everyone can relate to hearing a song and then singing it for days. Right?? My tune this week really isn't a song, although God has definitely been whispering the words in my ear. It's what we talked about at Life Group just last Sunday - "faith without works". I have to ask myself if I knew God planned to call me home tomorrow would I be proud or embarrassed? I think you can all safely assume the answer. So I asked myself what is holding me back? I thought of a couple good excuses and then measured them against the picture of me standing before God. As I imagined God shaking his head and sighing as I made my way into heaven (tail between legs), I realized it's time to get off my butt!
I sat down with my laptop and started what I thought would be an hour+ long search. To my surprise, within 10 minutes there were more opportunities than my fingers and toes could keep up with! I thought WOW, how naive am I to not realize there are so many opportunities to volunteer in Knoxville?? Using John's quadratic equation I realized we have enough adults and children to put forth a pretty strong volunteer effort! Our mission, should you chose to accept it is pretty clear. Who's with me?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Chandler's update

Thought that I would give you all an update on all that has happend with us this week. The meeting that we had with the kids case manager went really well. By the time we got to the meeting I had realized that we already had most of the things tht we were going to ask for them to give us. I realized that everyone really does care for the kids but sometimes I lose site of it because I get so caught up in what is going on at the time. We got to air some feelings and get a small amount of feedback on what we sould be doing to help Taylor. All in all it went very well.
My surgery went okay. The surgeon said that is is not type of cancer that is the god one. He thinks that it is the squamous cell type that can come back somewhere else on my skin. We will know difinitively when the pathology comes back. My next appointment is on Oct 2. I am not really worried about it because I really don't have the time. Imagine that. I have nt had much pain, just some every now and then.
My back is some better. I started physical therapy today. I pray that I can get better soon because I am supposed to go to the DR two weeks from tomorow. I really don' want to miss that. I really believe that Satan is trying hard to keep me from going and doing
God's will. We did get my car back on Thursday. Boy, am I glad. I hated that rental.
My dad is not doing very well. He has become very lethargic and confused. He has been on the morphine drip for two weeks now. I will be surprised if he makes it through until next weekend. I just don't want him to suffer anymore.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Movie Night

Hi Friends! I've got a couple of things everyone needs to know about. Guess we'll see how often y'all check the site and if this is going to work for our group.

1. We will not be having regular mtg. this week, but the Hocketts have invited us to attend Emory's baptism and celebration at their house following. There is also Sacred Assembly at Providence later that night. Anyone know what time?

2. We forgot to tell y'all about this the other night. Providence is planning a family movie night for all the YMLGs. Think drive-in movie style, in someone's back yard, with a sheet hung between two trees. It'll be on a Friday night, Oct. 5th. We'll be meeting at Brooke and Justin's (don't have a last name at this point). Kids are welcome and each group is supposed to bring a pot of chili and fixins, and a dessert. We'll let you know what time and give directions as the date approaches, but go ahead and mark your calendars. We should probably organize who wants to cook what. And of course the other question is what movie. Any suggestions?

(FYI -- You might remember our conversation from a week ago. Movie night is a good, in the middle option, to invite friends who aren't in a LG. By "in the middle," I mean, more intimate than Sunday morning but perhaps less terrifying than going to your first Life Group meeting -- Ha Ha)

PS -- If you're not up to posting, just click on the "comments" button and give us some feedback. Thanks guys! Y'all are the coolest!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Zen and the Art of the Yard Sale

So we're planning to have a yard sale this Saturday. I'll believe it when I see it. I don't
mind the selling, I don't mind the sitting outside all morning, I don't mind bickering over dimes and nickels. I really just hate getting ready for the thing. Getting all of the stuff together. Figuring out prices (is this non-working extension cord worth 50 cents, or just 25?). Putting stickers on all the stuff. Deciding which junk people might actually buy, and which junk is just entirely too junky. Makes my brain hurt.

But, to temper my loathing, I am psyched about Thursday night. We're going to Nashvegas to see a Rich Mullins Tribute concert, starring a bunch of our favorite musicians - namely Andrew Peterson, Jill Phillips, Andy Gullahorn, Ben Shive, etc. You guys know that Square Peg Alliance shirt I wear from time to time? It's those guys. And you will probably get tired of hearing me say this, but Rich Mullins is the greatest Christian singwriter. Ever.

Rich died 10 years ago, right around my 20th birthday. He was in a fatal Jeep accident - he wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

And since one of my absolute favorite things in the world is when one of my favorite artists covers one of my favorite songs, Thursday night will be a special night. To have a whole bunch of my favorites all performing Rich Mullins songs... well, it's pretty much a dream come true. I'm dying to know which songs get performed, and I'm already wanting to know if I can get a recording of it afterwards.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

An Experiment in Community

CS Lewis & JRR Tolkien had the Inklings. In college, I had the Wolverines on Speed (don't ask). Put Dylan, Petty, Lynne, Harrison, & Orbison together and you get the Traveling Wilburys. Hanks and Spielberg made Band of Brothers. Collaboration is awesome.

That's what I had in mind for this page. A place where we can collaborate. The things we discuss on Sunday night that pop back up in our minds during the week. The prayer requests and praises that happen every day. The Fantasy Football trash-talking that we never get tired of (I'm coming after you this week, Big Easy!).

This is not a place just for thoughtful prose that you spend hours crafting (although I'd love to see some of that). It's a place to put your review of that movie you saw last night, or the CD you just bought (the new Caedmon's Call is fantastic, by the way). It's a place where we can keep up with each other. You don't have to have a fancy knowledge of HTML. Just type and submit. If you have trouble, let one of us know.

A few rules:

1) Don't post anything that you don't want everyone to see.
2) Don't be vulgar, crude, or disrespectful (unless there's Fantasy football involved, of course)
3) Don't criticize someone else's opinion carelessly.
4) Be loving.
5) Be ridiculous.

That's about it. Go ye therefore and blog!!


The Beast of Knoxville

There's a character from the Xmen, known simply as "Beast." His real name is Hank McCoy, and he was a public high school teacher before his beastly form took over and he had to take up residence at the Institute. My son Sam has several episodes from the cartoon version on DVD. (Yes, you can blame my husband for turning him into a comic book nerd at such a tender age). Yesterday I was reminded of the episode that tells how Hank transformed to Beast. When he was a teenager, he discovered his mutant powers. Over time, he learned to control them by reciting Shakespeare. When he grew up and became a science teacher, he developed a serum he could take that worked even better. Several years later, Hank finds that he's developed an immunity to the serum and is out of practice meditating on poetry, which in the end leads to an irreversible physical transformation.

So why am I talking about a children’s TV show? Well, there’s a nice scene in this episode where Professor X and the others are trying to bring Hank back after the beast has taken over. They tell him, “This isn't you. You're stronger than the beast. You have to take control.” Ultimately he comes to his senses when Spike, one of his students, begins quoting a passage from Hamlet.

I often hear myself saying these same things to …well, myself. I often need little pep talks to help manage the beastly rage inside me. Rage, you say? Janna is it really that bad? Well, yeah, sometimes, like yesterday, when I want my baby boy to sleep for more than 30 minutes -- and I’m exhausted from being up with him all night, and my oldest son brings home notes from his 3rd grade teacher that make me feel like I’m raising a delinquent, and the little, middle, girl child (which is incidentally who I was) is playing alone in the corner cutting up tiny pieces of paper -- and oh yeah, it’s dinner time and I don’t have anything cooking. Yeah, those days it’s definitely rage. That is until I let the volcano burst. Then it’s lots of tears and remorse.

That’s when I have to go look in the mirror and tell myself, these are only feelings. This is not the real you. You love your kids. You don’t really want to trade lives with the blonde in the jaguar who sped past you in the parking lot. You’re just really tired. Tomorrow will be a better day…I promise.

I often wish I had a serum I could drink to soothe the savage beast. John seems to think that writing is my cure, but it’s hard to make it a priority in the days of small children, dirty dishes and mounds of laundry. So last night, after John made dinner, he said we should go soak up some beauty next Thursday night in the form of an Andrew Peterson concert. The kids don’t have school the next day, so maybe we can even take them with us. Yeah, it’s a 3 hour drive to Nashville, and of course it costs money to go to the show, but a guy who sings about walking in the rain of God’s mercy and letting it soak us down to the bone is a guy that’s worth listening to. Maybe he has a few secrets to share with us. Anyone else wanna go?