Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Bird in the Hand...

Folks, it's been pitifully long since I faithfully posted. Forgive me. If anyone is still following, I promise to do better at updating at least once a month. This blog got pushed to the back burner last spring when I began working on opening a private practice with 3 other friends & clinicians. With that being said, we named ourselves Sparrow House Counseling. (our website should be up & running in t-minus next week or so) We have our official Open House this week and I thought I'd show you the wooden sign we hung in our waiting room yesterday (forgive the iPhone photo quality):

I love our logo. Many, many thanks to Switch Creative Group and Kimi Dallman, also of former K-Life/Kanakuk fame, for handling our branding, logo, website and stationary. We could not have begun to market ourselves out of a paper bag.

Currently, I'm working on finding a fun collection of prints to be hung above my desk. I'm used to the classic ones you see on the walls of some therapists' offices: the kitten posters admonishing you to "Hang in There!" or the ubiquitous Thomas Kincaid paintings. I think my style is eclectic and that I'd rather my clients get a few snapshots into my head. Here's one that's going up:

I ordered several of those. I also have a great Hammerpress print, a little bird perched atop a cowboy boot, that will go up. Many thanks to Missy Williams who has held my hand along the way. She handled everything from choosing our paint colors to doing our space planning. I'll post a photo of my office once the dust settles (that only takes about 6 months, right) so you can feel the zen.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Ahhh, Mexico

Well, you were sure I was dead, weren't you? I'm not. I've been just a bit consumed by other things...TBA. But for quite awhile we've had this lil' vacation planned with David & Missy. With no kiddos, or as we say here, "sin ninos."

Missy, or Misty, as I like to call her, has been chillaxin'.

Getting some sun...

Deep convos by the pool...

Here's my classic feet shot (shout out to Today's Letters)

Hi, little hermies! (These guys were all cloistered together, livin' life.)

Miss, getting her fly-fish on.

And here is the fruit of her labor: Donde' esta tu pescado?

More to come...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Photo Update

Life has been hectic. I will have much more to share come May but until then I'll just post some recent photos from Easter.

Davy had her first two Easter egg hunts. She can't quite pronounce egg - it sounded more like "I-agg." But she really got into it. And she talks so much now! Lots of jibberish and jabbering but her most repeated phrases are "that's Momma/Dada/anyone else whose name she can say", "Go bye bye!" and of course, "I poo-poo."

Airplane! I took about 5 different shots here but she could only talk about the planes overhead.

I hate this photo. Easter was muggy & warm and since we went to the 8am service, I didn't have time to shower and get all ShaNaNaNaNa. Russ and I were so beat by the time we took this photo but since we're terrible about taking family shots, here you go.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Food, Inc.

I am so sleep deprived this morning, so bear with me. This could very well sound like a rant but I would be remiss and completely disobedient to not post about this.

I had been wanting to watch the movie, "Food, Inc." for quite awhile. My hesitation to do so was the thought that it would make me sick to my stomach or pressure a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. It did neither of these, by the way, so if these are reasons you've yet to see it, please - watch it now!

Just over a year ago Russ began seeing a homeopathic doctor to treat his blood pressure without medication. That began a long journey for us in learning about food and how it can be used to heal medical problems. It hasn't been a fun journey. We've relapsed almost weekly. But after watching this documentary last night, I'm more than ever convinced that so much of what we've been learning is essential and needs to be practiced as routinely as possible.

I rarely eat beef. I do love a steak from Capital Grill every once in awhile. I'm not a huge burger girl. I will probably completely discontinue eating burgers for several reasons now: after learning about the problem with feeding corn to cattle and 1) what it does to the cow plus 2) what it does to my own body (I'm talking about e coli issues), I just feel sickened.

If you can stomach it, please go watch THIS VIDEO by the Humane Society documenting calf abuse at a slaughter plant in Vermont.

I am convinced that beef and chicken can be good for the human body. However, I am also convinced that our food industry is suffering from the same issues that are rampant across our country and bringing about the financial enslavement of those in the lower eschalons of our tax brackets. When lower income familes cannot afford fruits and vegetables in local grocery stores, they are forced to put money into the pockets of large conglomerates like most fast food chains that offer the almighty Dollar Menu.

A growing problem in America is the "corporatocracy": private corporations and conglomerates control our government when their executives end up in different branches of our government. Do you know who Monsanto is? I didn't. Monsanto has gained a monopoly that has had devastating effects on the American farmer. (By the way, Monsanto invented Agent Orange.) If you never watch "Food, Inc.", please educate yourself about the corporatocracy happening in our food industry. Your health and the health of your children is at stake.

Stuff I've been doing:
  • Buy Organic. Yes, it's more expensive. Shopping with a conscience will put a strain on your wallet but you can buy smarter at most large grocery stores, Walmart included.
  • Buy local. See if your town has a Farmer's Market. Dallas has an excellent one. I miss living across the street from it.
  • When you crave a burger, choose grass-fed beef. Simply staying away from McDonald's (listen, I love me some McDonald's fries - I'm not hatin'!) or other fast food chains can make a difference in the treatment of cattle.
  • Buy range-free eggs. Our family eats eggs every.single.day. That small decision can greatly effect Tyson - one of the conglomerates I was warning about above.
  • Check labels. For every staple in your diet, there is corn syrup in that food that is fueling the food industry's obsession with chemically manufactured food. DO NOT BUY FOOD WITH HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. Yes, I know this is most sodas. You'll be surprised by how much better you feel on plain, 'ol H2O.
Stuff I Will Start Doing:
  • Look into food co-ops. This one takes place across the street from my office. Hmmm, easy?
  • Plant a garden. I've been saying this for so long. After watching the movie, Russ prayed that we'd get our butts in gear in learning how to do this.
  • Buy produce in season. This one little choice can greatly effect our supermarkets and the conglomerates who control our food.
Things to know:
  • Monsanto now controls 93 % of soybeans and 80% of corn grown in the US.
  • Tyson, Cargill, Swift and National Beef Packing Company control 83% of the beef packing industry.
  • Smithfield, Tyson, Swift and Cargill control 66% of the pork packing industry.
Over & out. I am in dire need of a nap but the future on that looks bleak!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Answer

I've realized something: music is a medium by which I feel closest to God. I spent my morning off scouring YouTube for videos of songs I love. The video above is called "The Answer" by Shane Barnard & Shane Everett. And I'm going to go out on a limb to say that this song has probably had the most impact on my life than any other song. Gasp! I know!

In 2002 I went through a debilitating clinical depression. It had probably been brewing for almost a year before and I certainly handled it in ways that only exacerbated my symptoms. I had no idea what was happening to me partly because I'm a performance-driven person and partly because I had never experienced anything like it before. As the symptoms mounted, I even decided on a date for my suicide, worked out a plan.* If you've been through a depression you know what happened to me: exhaustion, insurmountable self-loathing, loss of interest in work and friends, crying jags, loneliness and unending emptiness. It was like God went and hid behind the clouds.

Music would sometimes make the clouds part. I could sense God in those moments and the reprieve from the crushing sorrow was refreshing. This song was probably played more by me in the summer of '02 than I can ever recall. Because I was in full-time youth ministry during that time, depression felt like I was marked for ruin. It was while I was on a mission trip to the mountains of Venezuela that I discovered this song on the album "Psalms". I would listen to "The Answer" over and over as a means of separating myself from the idea that I had become anathema.

"I have found the answer is to love You and be loved by You alone. All right.
You crucified me and the world to me
And I will only boast in You. All right."

That was all I had.

Katy, you'll remember this: our K-Life group had a golf tournament during that summer and because I was so completely physically & mentally exhausted, I spent the entire time worrying that people could see through me and that they were discussing my failures and shortcomings every time I turned my back. The paranoia was awful. But I made it through the day, fake smile on my face and my body feeling like it would collapse. As soon as I got in my car, I immediately turned on this song and I can remember sensing that the Lord was truly smiling down on me. That He was there, in my car, that He loved me, that He was carrying me. I wept and wept and played this song on repeat while I drove home.

The truth became clear much later (after therapy and a year of working the 12 Steps): I was never meant to be "good enough" for youth ministry. I was never meant to boast in myself or fill up on myself. The Answer was that I've been crucified in Christ (Gal. 2:20) and I have nothing to boast in but Him (Eph. 2:9). Who knew the pathway out of depression was that simple?

ANYWAY: that was a LOT of history to tell you that God has used music in my life to rescue me from depression, to draw me to His side, to give me moments of joy, to help me express myself, to make sense of Scripture...the list goes on. Are you like me? Or do you have other mediums by which you feel near to the side of God?

Go here to find out how you experience closeness to God.

Quiz from Sacred Pathway by Gary Thomas.

*If you are experiencing symptoms like these and think you might be suffering from depression, you can go here to find a Christian counselor near you.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow Angel

The snow is beautiful but my poor child looks like a vagrant: Christmas jammies, toggle coat, oversized pastel mittens 'n stocking cap and feaux Uggs that won't stay zipped. Everyone loves a hot mess.

Thoughts from the Tundra

It's snowing lovely big, fat flakes right now and Lil' Bit is taking an early nap. Ahhh. Just finished the coffee pot and wish I had some profound thoughts to spatter here but, alas, I got nothin'.

So I'll share a random memory.

Growing up with my younger brother was often a lesson in patience when it came to the dinner table. Josh was the quintessential picky eater in our family. He often turned his nose up at the most simple of meals. I remember (fondly?) the night when my dad warned him that if he didn't finish the rest of his hot dog, by God he was gonna get a spanking. Josh sat for hours with that 'dog stuck in his chaw, after the plates had been cleared, the table wiped down...and eventually in the dark when we all simply left the room. Kid had an iron will.

Anyway, as he got older Josh discovered barbecue sauce. But by "discovered" I mean that it became like his mealtime blankie, something that was required for him to hold a fork in hand. It was often my job to set the table for meals and I frickin' hated when my Mom would ask, a bit anxiously, "did you remember the barbecue sauce?"

As a Southerner, it's a requirement for you to be a fan of barbecue. But after years and years of smelling that crap doused over all kinds of food - eggs, sandwiches, pork chops, tacos - I got to the place where just the slightest whiff of barbecue sauce could turn my stomach. Even long after I had moved away and lived on my own, I still had a bad reaction. Once at Kanakuk, someone saw me turn my nose up at the mention of BBQ and asked, "girl, what kinda person hates barbecue? You must hate kissin', too!"*

You guys have any bad memories associated with certain foods?

*no, indeed kissing is still on my list of favorites.