Archive for November, 2008

Anne Lamott

November 30, 2008

Anne LamottI have now read three books by Anne Lamott.  I must say that I really like her a lot.  Reading Anne gives my soul room to breathe.  I have been ruminating on why I like reading her and the best thing I can come up with is that she doesn’t hide things.  She doesn’t hide the things that suck.  She doesn’t hide her failures or her idiosyncrecies.  She doesn’t hide her inconsistancies or her impure motives.  She is out there with just about everything.  But to say she doesn’t hide things does not mean the oppsite is true; it does not mean she flaunts th pridefully; it does not mean she doesn’t give a damn.  Anne is just much more comfortable with, or at least stopped trying to control, the fact that she is a human.  She does not seem to be drunk with the illusion of perfection.  This is very refreshing and I feel as though I have been able to take slow deep breaths not just with my lungs, but inwardly.  That’s a nice feeling.



November 30, 2008


Photo by raymaclean

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
I you are kind, people may accuse you of sefish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people wil often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

— Mother Teresa

10 Cognitive Distortions

November 29, 2008

A while back I got a list of what have been referred to as the 10 Cognitive Distortions.  The list I have is from a book titled Feeling Good, by David Burns.  Instead of typing the whole list up, I looked online and wikipedia has a version that while slightly different in the write ups, is the exact same list.  It can be found in full here:  This list is very insightful.  It is amazing how much of this we fall prey to every day in our lives.  When I read it through the first time I began to realize that while there are some of these that I do more than others, I have fallen for all of them.  It was very helpful to see it in black and white.  So here it is.  Enjoy!

  1. All-or-nothing thinking – Thinking of things in absolute terms, like “always”, “every” or “never”. Few aspects of human behavior are so absolute.
  2. Overgeneralization – Taking isolated cases and using them to make wide generalizations. 
  3. Mental filter – Focusing exclusively on certain, usually negative or upsetting, aspects of something while ignoring the rest, like a tiny imperfection in a piece of clothing.
  4. Disqualifying the positive – Continually “shooting down” positive experiences for arbitrary, ad hoc reasons.
  5. Jumping to conclusions – Assuming something negative where there is no evidence to support it. Two specific subtypes are also identified:
    a. Mind reading – Assuming the intentions of others.
    b. Fortune telling – Predicting how things will turn before they happen.
  6. Magnification and Minimization – Inappropriately understating or exaggerating the way people or situations truly are. Often the positive characteristics of other people are exaggerated and negative characteristics are understated. There is one subtype of magnification:
           Catastrophizing – Focusing on the worst possible outcome, however unlikely, or thinking that a
           situation is unbearable or impossible when it is really just uncomfortable.
  7. Emotional reasoning – Making decisions and arguments based on how you feel rather than objective reality.
  8. Making should statements – Concentrating on what you think “should” or ought to be rather than the actual situation you are faced with, or having rigid rules which you think should always apply no matter what the circumstances are.
  9. Labeling – Explaining behaviors or events, merely by naming them; related to overgeneralization. Rather than describing the specific behavior, you assign a label to someone or yourself that puts them in absolute and unalterable terms.
  10. Personalization (or attribution) – Assuming you or others directly caused things when that may not have been the case.  When applied to others, blame is an example.

I’m trying

November 27, 2008

tvAs I write this, I am enjoying a few moments of silence.  I am trying to maintain my sanity during this trip to hang with my family in NC but it is hard for sure.  The TV was on almost the entire evening last night.  I got away with putting Christmas music on for a little while so that was nice.  The TV has been on ALL morning.  Thankfully it is the Macy’s T’giving day parade so at least it is tolerable (in comparison to other rather unsavory choices).  I cannot count the off color jokes that have been made and the multipe references to how unhappy people are that Obama will be our new president.  I even heard one, “He won’t be my president.”  What does that mean anyway?  Maybe next time I should say something like, “Well, what country are you going to apply to for citizenship?”  Hah.  Then there’s the cocophany of nerf guns that are going off.  They are REALLY loud when you cycle through them.  If I have children, I wonder if I will let them play with guns.  At this point, I think not.

So the reason it’s just me and my Grandfather here is that my toe has been acting up lately…I think it has been feeling good to the point of my forgetting I still need to be gentle with it.  There is also a weird place that I wonder if the incision is doing something strange.  I sure hope not.  Interesting that I am in the middle of Shane Claiborne’s The Irresistable Revolution and have been reading here.  More on that later.

All that said, I am not miserable.  I hope everyone out there in the blogosphere is having a great Thanksgiving Day.  And for those of you who aren’t, well, I hope it passes quickly. 

Photo by striatic

Happy Birthday to Me

November 26, 2008

bday-cakeSo I have been 28 for a week now.  It doesn’t feel much different than 27 except the possible exception that I am quite cognizant that I am closer to turning 30.  : )

My birthday was GREAT!  I woke up and decided to have breakfast at the Waffle House.  I love the Waffle House because I feel like I am stepping back in time when I go in there.  It’s like the twilight zone.  I got calls from my mom and my friend Jen to start off the day which was lovely.  I worked most of the day but the guys I work with in the maintenance shop took me out to lunch at Ruby Tuesdays.  I tried something new and it was very delicious.  I left early and had a bit of down time before heading off to church for dinner and Bible study.  It was nice because I actually got there in time to have a relaxing meal instead of having to battle traffic and then eat quickly.  Then to top off the evening, I was treated to dessert by my friend and mentor ‘A.’  I had tiramisu and Bailey’s and Cream.  It was great!

It was a long day and I was very tired by the time I got home, but I felt loved and appreciated and thankful for another year of life.  In reflecting back on this year, it has been both exciting and trying.  In my 27th year of life I really began to understand God’s call on my life.  I also took the first steps towards that call and started seminary and became an Inquirer.  It has been a year of change.  The ideas and ideals that I have held for many years have been re-evaluated in this year of life and some of them have been replaced, others have been tweaked, and still others remain on the table as unsolved mysteries.  I preached and led a worship service for the first time too and that was an amazing experience.  I started this blog.  I met some new friends that have blessed me immensely.  I also celebrated my one year anniversary of resigning my commission in the Navy and walked down the aisle as the Maid of Honor in my Mom’s wedding.

In the midst of all that this were many tears, quite a few laughs (some from the toes), many hours of friends patiently listening to my end of conversations that all too often turned into monologues, and quite a few good books.   

All in all I can say this: I am glad to be alive.  As trying and gloomy as some of my days have been, I am still glad to be here on this third rock from the sun.  And I am glad to be a part of the Kingdom now.  So 28, here I am!  What will this next year of life bring?  No body knows.  But I am hopeful that God will give me the grace and strength to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God.

Photo by: zappowbang