The Post About Literature

I am mixing a Beth Moore conference and reading for a nice cocktail of a weekend.

Here is a top ten of books I love and recommend: (in no particular order)
1. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold: A 14 year old girl is killed. We meet her as she is exploring heaven and witnessing the current lives of her family and friends.
2. Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller: His best book (even better than Blue Like Jazz). We are all looking for redemption and it can only be found in one place.
3. The Road by Cormac McCarthy: A story of a father and his son after the apocalypse. Won the Pulitizer Prize and made my list. Mr. McCarthy should be proud of both.
4. Amazing Grace by Jonathan Kozol: Poverty is crushing. This shaped my perspective of government and my responsibility as a citizen.
5. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers: Retelling of the Biblical story of Hosea. Crazy great.
6. Mary Poppins series by P.L. Travers: #7 Cherry Tree Lane is one of my favorite places to visit. She is a heroine to be respected (unlike the skanky Ariel)
7. Emma by Jane Austen: Austen writes detailed and in-depth characters. Mr. Knightly is the fairest of them all.
8. Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis: I think this is Lewis' best. A senior demon mentoring his demon nephew in the ways of temptation - ways used against me on a daily basis.
9. Developing the Leader Within You by John Maxwell: Leadership is all about influence. This book outlines how to use that power for good.
10. America: A Citizen's Guide to Democracy's Inaction by Jon Stewart: Funniest. Book. Ever. My Mom bought it for me even though the Supreme Court Justices are naked. I love her.


The Post About Marital Bliss

I have been in 9 weddings. I think I am done. My closest single friend is not akin to things like unity candles and padded books for guests to sign. My best friend has been married almost 10 years. It is hard to believe. I mean it is isn't that hard to believe - they both put God first, then each other, then my adorable godsons. Which is different. You often see couples strap their toddler to a pedestal and he doesn't come down until he posts myspace pictures of himself smoking a doobie which he bought with money he stole from his Mom's purse. I would argue that then it might be too late to reprioritize.

The longevity of their marriage is only hard to believe because she is married to Joseph. And he is really hairy.


The Post About One Pound

It's time for a snack before heading to the gym. I have a drawer at work full of healthier snacks infused with dried fruit, nuts, and fiber. However, this is my choice.

Is there a better snack? Baked cheese and hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ for freshness. Note that the picture says "one pound." FYI - eating one pound of cheez-its will cause you to gain more than one pound - I am not saying I know that for sure.

But you will be happy - that I may know for sure.


The Post About Caryann

As I mentioned yesterday, Caryann is moving. It’s not like I was surprised by her announcement a few weeks ago… I had been privileged in praying for her and the doors God was opening and closing. So when she got the official word – I was over the moon. How great to be able to know with confidence that you are exactly where you should be in life, right?

Caryann is many things. She tends to run behind. She is frugal to the point of obsessive. She is a bit of a hoarder. However, that is just a snapshot. She is funny – in person, by text, through email, over the phone, in myspace comments – pretty much funny all the time. She is uber laid back and doesn’t let hardly anything stress her. She loves Lost and House and workplay and food and traveling and politics. She is willing to mock all things mockable.

Best of all, she is a friend indeed. Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” I am kinder, funnier, wiser, more loving, and definitely more committed in my relationship with God because of our friendship. I am grateful to Him and to her.

Bonus? Christmas in California.


The Post About Pizza

In the South, we seem to always celebrate and mourn moments in life with food. I have a friend who is moving to California for a new job, so you know food had to be involved. She had almost moved to Chicago, so we decided to break bread at Tortuga’s. This lovely establishment serves the snazziest Chicago-style pizza. It is cheesy and thick and surely not on my healthy eating plan. If you are by way of Birmingham and needing a saucy fix – Tortuga’s (with three convenient locations…)


The Post About Dirty Jobs

Mike Rowe. He and George Clooney have convinced me that 40-something men can possibly be attractive. I haven't completely converted yet - my apologies to all the "mature" men out there...

It is the only reason I ever watch "Dirty Jobs" or want to buy a Ford truck. Mike Rowe.

I read this interesting tidbit in Newsweek last week and I found my inner-Jamie rising up...

"...the airwaves are overrun by TV shows about people—er, men—with dangerous, physical, soot-collar jobs. If people want to come home from a hard day's work and watch other people put in a hard day's work, more power to them—these shows attract tons of viewers. What's annoying is how they suggest there's a fascinating character study happening beneath the surface. What makes someone do this for a living? They seem to ask. We've got a theory: money, and lots of it. Want to see a really dangerous job? How about a woman working for minimum wage at a big-box retail store who can't afford health insurance? Marvel as she scans groceries, aggravating the carpal tunnel for which she can't go to a doctor. It might not be as visually compelling a show, but it would certainly be more relevant."

The presidential election is uber-important this year. I am not yet convinced as to which candidate better represents the issues that are most important to me. But I do know that a lack of affordable and adequate health care for citizens of this country is a serious problem. I write that as someone who didn't have it for 7 years and now does. (Of course, my insurance only has to cover check-ups right now. What if I developed an illness that it wouldn't cover?) I write that as a daughter of parents who pay almost $1000 a month in order to have basic coverage. I write that as a sensible human being who knows that people get sick and deserve help without needing to sell the kidney that the stone came out of.


The Post About Tap Shoes

I spent one Saturday last year watching a marathon of So You Think You Can Dance and do you know what happened? I began to think I could dance. I'n now hooked on that lovely little nugget of entertainment every Wednesday night. And I still think I might can dance.

When I was a little girl, my mother took me to dance classes behind the grocery store where we shopped - almost in an alley. (Looking back, slightly shady.) I think I went for one and only one class and decided I didn't enjoy the shoes. And truthfully tap and ballet shoes are for hardier soles than mine. You would think it would be foreshadowing my future love for flats. But truthfully, I would rather be teetering around in nice 4 inch patent leather wedges than flip flops any day.

Two rabbits for the price of one.


The Post About Stephen

I love Stephen Colbert. Seriously.


The Post About Perfection

My friend, Caryann, was describing a friend of hers as “the perfect package.” You know – gorgeous, intelligent, funny, compassionate, blahbidi blah. It came up because her friend may be on the market for a boyfriend soon and Caryann was easing my worries for her – thanks. This begs the question...if this lovely lady is the perfect gift and therefore will have a boyfriend approximately 10 seconds after breaking up with her current boyfriend – then what kind of box does that make me? (And Caryann for that matter...)

I seem to always be working on me being closer to perfect. It's why...
...I work out (although I say it's for health reasons).
...I slather eye cream on 2x daily.

...I read Newsweek and Real Simple and CNN daily.
...I scrutinize 100 hairs a night looking for those pesky white ones (thanks Dad)
...I pray for kindness first when I recite my fruits of the spirit prayer.

It seems like a bit much, don't you think? Perhaps if I spent as much time pushing back those thoughts as I did pushing back my cuticles – I would realize that I'm not such a shabby gift box, after all. I have a good sense of humor; I'm passionate about anti-poverty issues; I love my family; I have a snazzy house; and I can type 65 words a minute. It may not be perfect, but who is?


The Post about the Sabbath

I am sitting at Books-A-Million with two fun friends and we were chatting about the Sabbath. One of their friends, who is a Christian, observes the Sabbath on it's Biblical basis from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. He does not go to places that are open on this day as part of his commitment. An honorable task.

My friend Caryann mocks me for my love for a bookstore, that is Christian in mission, but is open seven days a week. No Sabbath for its employees. Is that okay? Should I shop there? (even though the coupons that are abundant in nature help me be a good steward of my money...)


The Post about DG

How familiar does this sound? You are patiently waiting by the radio with your blank tape ready to press "record" so you can catch the Garth Brooks song you requested approximately 2 hours earlier.

Or how about this scenario? You spend $18 on a CD because you love the newest song by a fab new artist, only to discover that Rico Suave will be the only hit off that album.

One more... You download dozens (of perhaps hundreds) of songs you found being "shared" by a new friend in Wisconsin on a little site called Kazaa. Who knew that none of those methods were ideal (or legal)?

But now - we have iTunes and other Hydrox sites that shall not be compared to the Oreo of all music stores. I thought it was a savior in an Internet window. Considering I struggle with what professionals call "delayed gratification" (aka DG) this has not really been the case. I can estimate a total of 570 songs I have purchased online in less than 2 years, plus another 40+ CDs I bought in the store.

Too much.

Why? You partner the DG with ADD and there is never enough music. Steve Jobs? You're welcome.

Of course, if you are really interested in some great music - might I recommend my latest download: Albertine by Brooke Fraser.

She is super snazzy and perfect for a rainy night like this. (I am an enabler.)


The Post about Working Out

She looks innocent enough, right? This is Christy Mixon. She is my friend. However, she is also my personal trainer. I think it benefits us that she was my friend first. It's not that it's hard. Well...I take that back - it is that. She pushes me. Not in a way that makes me mad (sometimes) or makes me want to quit (sometimes), but in a way that makes me better. She doesn't yell or shove - she just asks me to show up and try. And I do.

This has definitely reminded me of my relationship with God. He is my friend. He is also my personal trainer. He pushes me. I sometimes get mad and want to quit. But He makes me better. He asks me to show up and try. And I do.

Thanks to both of them, I am stronger. And my burden is much lighter...


The Post about Talking to My Parents

My parents and I had a really great conversation this past week about all kinds of things. I am so glad to be able to have "really great conversation(s)" with my parents. They probably thought it was impossible since most of my chats with them started with one of the following:
  • "I didn't plan my money well this month."
  • "I locked my __________ in my ________."
  • "Can I have this?" (said while pointing to food, dishes, books, furniture...)
But in the last few years, I have become more stable and they have found that somewhat interesting. We talk about politics, religion, family, world events, etc. The thing is we don't always agree. Which has taught me the best lesson of all - listen. In my 20's, I would have just climbed up on the soap box of the moment and started pointing fingers and taking names. My 30's have calmed me down a bit which makes those talks much more enjoyable. (although sometimes I still feel myself feeling quite soapy at times...)

The best question that came out of the conversation was "What do you do about the sin of others?" Billy Graham said once "It is God's job to judge, the Holy Spirit's job to convict, and our job to love." We all agreed on that one.


The Post about Reading

This weekend I had such big plans. Reglaze a tub. Organize my office. Clean out the cabinets. Plant flowers. Wash my car. Read a good book.

Do you know which one I did? Read a good book.

Here's the problem. I have ADD. That affects your life in several ways, but no more so when reading (in my opinion). I cannot start a book I like and not finish it the same day. Because of this, books should be under 500 pages and NOT be part of a series. I picked wrong on both accounts. My Books-A-Million personal shopper, Miss Samantha Granade, had recommended Twilight by Stephenie Meyer many moons ago. I post-it-noted-it in my brain for such a time as this. Combine that with $7 at the store and some free time and I was off. Sadly, I did not know that there were two sequels (also cheap), so I found myself wrapped up in Forks and all that takes place there. The 4th book comes out on August 2.
I have made no plans that weekend.


The Post about Too Much Food

My Mom loves to cook. Actually, she may not love it. I have learned that the Baby Boomer Generation can sometimes do things they don't enjoy. Like stay in jobs for 30 years, retire, and say "I hated that place." My Mom cooks at least 6 dinners a week and has for as long as I have known her (a long time...) She may or may not like to cook. No matter...

She cooked on the 4th for the family, which normally consists of 9 healthy eaters. However, 6 of them are at the beach so it was down to 3 snazzy folks. One of which is trying to eat healthier. The menu included:
  • pork chops
  • hot dogs
  • chicken breasts
  • fried green tomatoes
  • caesar salad
  • potato salad
  • cole slaw
  • pork rinds (random)
  • cheesecake (my contribution)

Needless to say - there were leftovers. And, I gained 1.5 lbs.


The Post about Being Alone

I had a pretty fabulous conversation with a young friend last night about being alone. She was struggling with friends moving, friends hurting her, and friends who aren't there. My encouragement was that of my pastor's on Sunday. Steve is in a series on Faith and the Family. Sunday was for the singles.

I will have to blog about my feelings on the church and singles another day.

One of Steve's great points was that we are not alone. Deuteronomy 31:6 says "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.""

No matter the cause of our loneliness - He is with us. Now does that always make us feel better? Maybe not. Do I think it made her feel better? Maybe not. However, I think in those moments of frustration is when we go to Him and tell Him we don't like it. Will He change it? Maybe not. But at least we are in conversation - never a bad thing.
Joseph asked us last night in Resonate what time of the day is our favorite... Mine is that moment I wake up early and realize I have one more hour to go - sweet sugar!


The Post about Starting a Blog

I am attempting to blog. I have usually avoided the commitment due to my pride of trying to be witty and eloquent. I have sacrificed those goals in order to capture some moments. Bear with me.


The Post About Me

I started blogging July 2, 2008 as a way to share random moments with my friend Caryann who moved 2,100 miles away.

Here is my first post:
"I am attempting to blog. I have usually avoided the commitment due to my pride of trying to be witty and eloquent. I have sacrificed those goals in order to capture some moments. Bear with me."

What I've found is more and more folks have chosen to bear with me. Thank you.

A Quick FAQ
Why is the blog called Jamie's Rabbits? My name is Jamie and I have this frustrating habit of “chasing rabbits” when I speak - ask any of my coworkers. This simply means I tend to get off topic and follow after another subject. My blog tends to be a different "rabbit" every day.

Who are you? Event planner, marketer, blogger, single (but on the prowl), sister, daughter, aunt, fairy godmother, friend, small group leader, volunteer, consumer, and Christ follower.

Consumer? What do you consume? More than I should. But here's a short list:
Should I send you stuff? Absolutely. Particularly anything related to the above list.

What do you write about? The rabbit tales generally revolve around things I find amusing. Some get a tad more serious and some get a tad more ridiculous. There is no theme. Unless random is a theme. Is it?

What are your best tips to newbie bloggers? Learn to love Google search and don't be afraid to ask smarter people who understand the term "h-t-m-l" for help. Plus, camp out at www.problogger.net and take the next round of classes from www.decor8.com.

Why should I read your blog? That's really your call. I find it's a nice break from things that make you stress out like jobs, children, driving, and lines at the supermarket. I do not condone surfing the web while driving. Do as I say, not as I do.

May I email you? Why, yes you may.

May I follow you? Sure.

May I marry you? There is an extensive screening process, but if you own a Chick-Fil-A, there is a special expedited exception.

Are there any disclaimers about my experience at Jamie's Rabbits? Yes. This is a personal blog. I'm responsible for no one's opinion other than my own. And even then, that can change, evolve, devolve, or be influenced by pretty things and even prettier people. I reserve the right to delete any comments I find to be icky. I also reserve the right to determine what "icky" means. I make no promises that archived content is still valid, but I am continuously crossing my fingers. 

I also make no guarantees you will enjoy your time here, but here's to hoping.

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