Stealing Faith

humor for relationships, family & life

26 Responses to “Are You Pregnant?” When You’re Not Pregnant At All


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NYYU6ksWB1I/Ulrm1LMQJFI/AAAAAAAAAE4/IkSg7kWavQg/s1600/Bloated+Belly.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NYYU6ksWB1I/Ulrm1LMQJFI/AAAAAAAAAE4/IkSg7kWavQg/s1600/Bloated+Belly.jpg

I’d like to talk about something close to my heart — literally. The lard baby.

 

Last week Jennifer Garner – yes, that Jennifer Garner who is able to pull of a seriously crazy Thriller dance imitation in the movie 13 Going on 30 and is married to Ben Affleck – blatantly stated that she has a baby bump… without a baby inside.

 

Friends, Jennifer Garner has a lard baby, too! She told Ellen Degeneres all about it, summing it up with these words: “I am not pregnant, but I have had three kids and there is a bump,” she explained.

 

“From now on ladies, I will have a bump. And it will be my baby bump. And let’s just all settle in and get used to it. It’s not going anywhere. I have a bump. Its name is Violet, Sam, Sera.”

 

I’m not sure there is a way for me to like a person I’ve never met more, but if there is, Jennifer Garner has just paved the way.

 

I haven’t had to deal with magazine readers scrutinizing my midsection, or bold headlines discussing my fertility. But I have had strangers ask me when I’m due with my next child. The only thing is… I’m not pregnant and we’ve made it medically unlikely that I my uterus will ever again house a rapidly growing tenant.

 

Perhaps you, too, have experienced that awkward moment when people break the law of never asking a woman when she’s due without visibly seeing her stomach lurch, making it blatantly obvious there’s either an demon-possessed intestinal tract or a fetus fighting for space in that midriff. My lard baby has been celebrated while waiting in line at a Love’s rest stop, in a sporting goods store, at a homeschooling conference… at all of these lovely locations when you’re really not thinking about sucking your gut in.

 

No one really wants to be on the receiving end of the situation, but it still happens — and what are you supposed to say in response?

 

I typically try to take the high road and explain to people I had four tenants in my uterus in a space of six years, I love potato chips, and I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to the function of my own sweat glands. I try to smile and encourage them that I’m not upset and lately I’ve been telling myself that (now that I’m nudging 40-years-old with my tippee-toes) it’s a compliment these strangers think I’m young enough to be in the process of replication.

 

But, my friends, I also feel the need to prepare some creative come backs. If you have any, please leave them in the comments. In the meantime, here are twenty-six clever, tart, and/or hilarious responses to “When Are You Due?” when you aren’t due at all I’ve found (and embellished):

1. “I’m not pregnant, but I just ate a meal the size of an infant hippopotamus.”

2. “I’m actually not pregnant — perhaps that’s just one of the many things you can’t tell by looking at my body’s size and shape.”

3. “Oh no, that’s not a pregnant glow. I’m just super attractive. Thanks for noticing!”

4. “Don’t worry.  You’ll be the first to know when it happens because I always tell strangers before family.”

5. “Why?  Do I look fat?!”

6. “Actually, I just gave birth…but my body doesn’t realize that yet.”

7.  “I don’t have a baby in my tummy. It just looks like I do, thanks for encouraging me to support the Spanx brand.”

8. “I prefer not to talk about that. It’s bad luck.”

9. “My OB once said he never assumes a woman is pregnant until he sees a head coming out. Maybe you should do the same.”

10. “Nope, not pregnant yet, but we are having so much fun practicing! Would you like any tips?”

11. “YES, I am going to have five fat babies and name them all Dave! They shall be known as ‘The Daves’.”

12. “Wow, that’s awkward.”

13. “That’s a rather… personal question, isn’t it? What other personal questions would you like to ask me?”

14. “Oh, enough about me – let’s talk about you! When are going to >insert overly-personal life event here<?!”

15. “I hope not… it means my birth control isn’t working.”

16. “We’ve been trying for so long… (looks away) I think I might be barren.”

17. “Why do you ask?”

18. “Actually I’m infertile. Do you think you’d like to donate your eggs? I could pay you.”

19. “Oh, Heavens, no, I can’t *stand* children!”

20. “My insides are a rocky place where [husband’s] seed can find no purchase.”

21. “Not yet, but the night is still young!”

22. “Are you really that interested in what goes on in my bedroom? You don’t look like that type.”

23. “No baby, just fat!”

24. “I am not pregnant, but I will assume you are admiring my lovely glow.”

25. “I’m not pregnant, just wearing a tummy enhancing dress.”

26. “OH MY HEAVENS —  WHAT DO YOU KNOW THAT I DON’T?!!!”

 

Again — I’d love to hear your own comebacks in the comments. Jennifer Garner, the lard babies of the world, and I both thank you.

 

What I Learned from my 20-year High School Reunion


hbobis / freeimages.com

hbobis / freeimages.com

I recently had the privilege of attending my 20-year high school class reunion. Considering the amount of angst I felt while considering my participation, it seems reasonable that a blog post is in order about what I learned from the event.

 

(I’m still in a state of shock that there’s a “zero” after that “two,” but that’s beside the point.)

 

I didn’t attend my 10-year reunion, as I was newly married and didn’t want my husband to realize he’d married one of the class nerds. The 20-year reunion was a little less threatening to me as I’m more comfortable with myself and who I’ve become. Even so, it was nerve-wracking to wonder if these people were going to be mean and petty or decent adults.

 

Here are my observations:

 

1. We’ve all gotten fat(ter). May I just say it’s unfair that Spanx has not yet gotten around to marketing their products to the masculine demographic because wearing a panty with the squeezing capability of turning a newborn calf into a squirrel was a large part of my willingness to appear in front of people who only remember me as a girl all elbows and knees and frizzy hair. The dudes just don’t have access to the same physical aids. Such is life.

 

Our diets and lack of physical activity have taken their toll on us all. I blame childrearing and an abiding adoration for potato chips. Perhaps others can only say their jobs keep them too busy to spend the hours working on their physique. Whatever the excuse, all of us (some a little more than others) are an inflated version of our 18-year-old selves. That’s alright. We’re all still in there and we’re all pretty forgiving of the occurrence because we’re all guilty.

 

But really. I wore Spanx and even though I almost gave myself a black eye trying to pull them up after a potty break, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

2. We’ve realized this getting older thing isn’t black and white. I was pleasantly surprised to see all of the members of my graduating class talking to one another. By the end of the night they traditional stereotypical groups did tend to separate out again, but it wasn’t in an exclusive way – it seemed to be a natural process of people catching up with those they spent the most time with in high school.

 

People shared pictures of their kids, mentioned divorces, talked about jobs won and lost… and were generally supportive of one another whether they were talking accomplishments or failures. There were many different life paths in one room for a select period of time — and I don’t think anyone there thought they “had it all figured out.”

 

3. I’ve moved past high school. I was pleasantly surprised that everyone I spoke with was genuinely friendly and cool but at some point through the evening I realized it doesn’t really matter what my high school comrades think of me and how my life turned out. I have nothing to prove to them.

 

I am absolutely accountable to my husband, family, and close community… but not to people I see once every twenty years. They are welcome to have whatever opinion they’d like of how my life is turning out but that opinion is not needed for me to continue with my own adventures and lifestyle. What liberation!

 

4. It’s worth going. If you’ve been hesitant about whether to attend, based on my own experience, I’d encourage you to do it. The reunion was most certainly a surreal experience in many ways but it was also enjoyable and I was genuinely happy to spend time with people I haven’t stayed in touch with over Facebook. Not everyone shares openly on social media, face-to-face conversations are quite helpful!

 

5 Tips for How to Help A Grieving Friend


foobean01 / freeimages.com

foobean01 / freeimages.com

I wrote this five months ago, published it as a status update three months ago. This week a friend asked me to send it to her and I realized it has never made it to StealingFaith. Hope it’s useful to you – five months post-event it still rings true to me.

 

My father passed away four days ago.

 

His passing was in many ways a relief, as now he is free to be in heaven, away from the decline that kept him confined to bed and unable to care for himself. We miss him desperately but are also at peace with the reality that death is an unavoidable companion to life.

 

The post-death days, however, are a little different. I tend to believe that there are as many ways of grieving as there are people. I, myself, have cycled through sadness, anger, laughter, joy, and tears many times over each day!

 

I have always had a fear of what to say to people who are going through the loss of a loved one.

 

I don’t want to say nothing, because obviously it’s a big deal. Yet I feel uncertain because I don’t want my words to cause pain to the survivor, I want to honor the life of the person who died.

 

It’s scary to me!

 

Now that I’m on this side of the death experience, I have a few ideas of what might help.

 

1. Acknowledge it. Death is uncomfortable. I know it’s awkward to you and it’s hard for me to talk about it, but at least say something. A stumbling comment is more appreciated than silence.

 

2. Don’t require a response from me. So many people I run into will say, “How are you doing?” in the kindest way possible. I want to answer them. But our non-thinking cultural response is, “Fine,” and that’s an outright lie. I’m not fine. I’m broken-hearted. So I scramble to find an appropriate response, which is a little like popping the lid on a soda can that’s just been dropped – you might get more than you bargained for coming out!

 

Another way to greet me might be, “I’m sorry to hear about your dad. I’d love to talk about him with you when you’d like.” Give me the freedom to break down with you or walk away still smiling and worried about my grocery list (or whatever I was doing when I ran into you). I truly appreciate that you care, but the feelings are too raw to open up to every casual acquaintance.

 

3. Tell your stories. I’m in a season of coveting every memory possible. If you have any memory of the one who passed, share it! Simple statements about my dad like, “He always smiled like he was genuinely happy to see me,” is like a healing ointment to my soul. It doesn’t have to be long or detailed, it can be an observation of their character, a physical characteristic, or work they completed while alive. I do love the stories, but I’ll take anything you give me with joy.

 

4. Let me tell you stories. I realize that right now I’m a broken record and I’ve got one thing on my mind, my father. I want to preserve him in my memory, to make sure there are still elements alive of him through the skill of remembrance. I need to tell memories, even if I’m crying through them. Be my listening ear, don’t be afraid of my tears, just sit with me for a spell.

 

5. Remind me it won’t always be like this. There will come a time when I don’t sting all over with loss. Gently, softly allow me to wallow in my grief now and then gently, softly, remind me it won’t always feel like this. Invite me to do things. Don’t be offended if I say no. I can’t tell you what I’m ready to do from one hour to the next right now! So please, Just keep inviting and when I do come out – rejoice with me!

Give me Pitchy Shivers


Yep. It's official. I love a capella.

Yep. It’s official. I love a capella.

In addition to the random things that give me shivers I’m going to add solid a capella.

 

Every time I acknowledge my love of a capella music I feel like I should be wearing an appliqued sweater and getting my hair set once a week. After all, a capella is the sole province of the Sweet Adeline’s and Barbershop Quartets, right?

 

Apparently, wrong.

 

A few months ago I dragged my dear, sweet husband to go see Pitch Perfect. There was only one other couple in the theater and once the show was over we chatted with them. They were enjoying their retirement years by directing their local Sweet Adeline’s group and eating their dinner at 4:00 p.m. so they’d be all tucked into bed by 5:30 p.m.

 

This gave me the impression my adoration of this film for the vocal stylings (not entirely for the content, although there were some laugh out loud moments) cemented my place on the AARP list of distinction.

 

Tonight I went on a search for a new Pandora station based upon Straight No Chaser, the Pitch Perfect soundtrack, and a group called Pentatonix. I followed a random link on Facebook to Pentatonix and listening gave me goosebumps and made my brain soar!

 

When our college student child wrangler came over for the evening I tried to tell her how excited I was to be listening to this new station. I bashfully admitted to liking Pitch Perfect and she said:

 

“Oh! I LOVE Pitch Perfect! All my friends do, too! It’s kind of the cult classic for my generation, right along with Mean Girls!”

 

And my heart did a happy dance of joy while also dying inside a little. Because Mean Girls… well, that’s one of the movies I made my husband watch with me when we were first married and he was ever so accommodating and if he finds out Mean Girls and Pitch Perfect are lumped together as a cult classic for the generations… well… he may not be able to forgive me.

 

So I’ll just try to keep that little tidbit from him for now.

 

All this long story can be summed up in a few things.

 

A) If you want to fall in love with vocals, check this out: Royals – Pentatonix

 

B) If you want to get into the holiday spirit with some a capella you need to check out Straight No Chaser – 12 Days of Christmas

 

C) If you’d like to see the song that literally makes me coo in happiness, check out Just the Way You Are & Just A Dream (mashup)

10 Spot Ramble: Perfume


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photos71 / stock.xchng

I spent the day smelling like tomato soup.

 

And it wasn’t because I spilled that actual substance on my being.

 

Somehow or another, probably because of something really complicated like the law of aviation or thermodynamics, the little bottle of perfume has turned. What used to be a lovely concoction of citrus notes of lemon, along with basil, white rose, and white jasmine has become a personally overwhelming aroma of lunchtimes favorite congealed liquid meal, tomato soup!

 

This is a continuation of random odorific events in my life. Yesterday I rode a plane (all by myself!) and switched seats because my original parking spot was saturated with the sour smell of body odor.

 

I’m thinking the person in that seat before me was more nervous about flying than I! At least I don’t think I sweated so badly I left a funk embedded in the naugahyde seat coverings…

 

Regardless of that fellow travelers unfortunate aroma issues, the truth remains that after I got to the hotel (defying death once more in a hotel shuttle that appeared to be moments away from falling to pieces), slept hard, woke up, showered and then sprayed my first world scented luxury, I was stuck with an odor I did not expect.

 

Here’s the truth: I don’t like smelly like a soup, despite it’s undeniable comfort-food rating. Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup are a combination I remember vividly from my childhood. I just don’t embrace the soup. It’s a congealing food item and that scuzzy skin the soup develops is in the same gross-out classification system as spiderwebs, using words like “moist” and “probe,” and the sight of a rabbit wearing a Harvey costume.

 

It just doesn’t feel right.

 

I’m curious about what really happened to take my perfume to the dark side? I searched Amazon for a clue and found this disclaimer in the product description of my favorite scent:

“Recommended use: daytime.When applying any fragrance please consider that there are several factors which can affect the natural smell of your skin and, in turn, the way a scent smells on you.  For instance, your mood, stress level, age, body chemistry, diet, and current medications may all alter the scents you wear.  Similarly, factor such as dry or oily skin can even affect the amount of time a fragrance will last after being applied.”

 

OK. Seriously. Since when did a perfume need a legal abdication of responsibility for its stink??

 

This description helped me realize there’s a whole lot I don’t know about perfume, so it’s definitely time for a 10 Spot Ramble: Perfume Edition. Without further ado – your top 10 bits of fragrant trivia:

 

1. Perfume and Football go Hand in Hand. (And not just because of the copious amounts of perspiration on the field.) Perfume historians believe that they found evidence of the use of perfume 3,500 years ago when they saw a series of murals in Queen Hatshepsut’s temple in Thebes. These showed an Egyptian fleet sailing off to get myrrh and other exotic aromatics from the Land of Punt. I believe Punt is located to the south of Pass, approximately six miles northwest of Blitz.

 

2. It’s all about gods or poop. Your call. The word Perfume comes from Latin and means “through Smoke.” Incense was first and foremost used to waft prayers to the gods, but was also pleasing for the olfactory nerves and in addition it concealed bad smells from sewage drains.

 

3. It Might Make You Hungry. (Which validates the tomato soup aroma from today.) The earliest modern style of perfume was created in 1310 for Queen Elizabeth of Hungary. This fragrance, known as “Hungary Water” was a blend of rosemary, thyme, and verbena essence in brandy. Originally it was used as tonic water as well as a perfume, and physicians prescribed it to gargle with for all sorts of ailments!

 

4. Perfume Can Mimic Parenting. Perfumes can also contain animal ingredients, although nowadays many of these are created synthetically for ethical reasons. Some of these animal “fragrances” include honeycomb, civet, musk, castoreum, and ambergris (whale vomit!). Ambergris really is whale vomit!  It’s a waxy grey substance regurgitated by Sperm Whales which often washes up on beaches. Aged ambergris has a sweet, earthy scent, and has a wonderful mellowing and enhancing effect on other fragrances. Because vomit makes you mellow.

 

5. The Most Popular Fragrances can Also be Monikers for Your Gal. The two most commonly used flower essences in modern perfumery are Rose and Jasmine; which are staples in commercial perfumers’ palettes.

 

6. Is That You I Smell or A Decomposing Animal? Back in time when bathing was a rare luxury even the rich didn’t indulge in very often, perfumes were used to cover up unpleasant scents that came as a result of such questionable personal hygiene. Rich but rather smelly, European aristocracy relied on these expensive mixtures to help mask the “scents” produced by days and even months of not bathing.

 

7. You Are Your Own, Self-Created Scentsy. You don’t need to waste half of the bottle to ensure long lasting smell, one spritz on your chest and one in the back of your neck is all it takes for it to smell great all day long. These zones turn into “hotspots” in times when we’re scared or excited (due to the increased blood flow) and the scent that was subtle just moments ago, starts releasing faster.

 

8. Sensory Overload is Avoided with a Trinity. When you are testing new perfumes, don’t try more than three at once – your nose can’t differentiate the aromas. You’d better wait for a while till your nose is in a proper condition to evaluate accurate smells after applying on your skin.

 

9. Scented Gloves Started it All. Europe did not use perfume much until the sixteenth century when Catherin de Medici came from Italy to marry the future king. She wore gloves of perfumed leather and suddenly everybody wanted this because she was a trendsetter.

 

10. When Jewelry and Perfume Fell in Love. Van Cleef and Arpels are not bizarre examples of onomonatopoeias. In 1976 Van Cleef and Arpels introduced ‘First’ – a very appropriate name for the first perfume by jewelers.

 

Thanks for sticking around for the 10 Spot Ramble, my stinky friend. May all your days be joyful and missing tomato soup scent. Do you have any perfume facts to share?

 

 

8 Really Misleading Movie Titles


Bubbels / stock.xchng

Bubbels / stock.xchn

It was a hot date Saturday night and Mr. Casanova and I headed to dinner and a movie.

 

We don’t get out much, so the anticipation leading up to this event was huge. We picked out the movie, Gravity, about three weeks ago and looked forward to our dinner rendezvous on the other side of town.

 

We didn’t anticipate it’s Homecoming day for the local university. Our dinner location was packed. So was our second and third choice. We were all set to scrap the romantic plans and hit Taco Bell when we passed Cold Stone Creamery and decided ice cream for dinner sounded fabulous!

 

And then they didn’t have cherry pie filling and who wants to have cheesecake ice cream without cherry pie filling? That’s a travesty and it was not going to fly on Date Night.

 

We walked out of Cold Stone in dejection, wondering if we would be eating a movie theater pretzel for dinner, when we realized we were right near the Hot Wok. We’d never been to the Hot Wok before but it was on our list of new restaurants to visit and it’s called Hot Wok, which is a name I could chant under my breath repetitively just for fun.

 

Hot Wok was awesome! Loved the Hot Wok. Took the last bit of my cashew chicken in a to-go box and later discovered it was like having a styrofoam box of toots on my lap but that’s a different story.

 

Now. Gravity.

 

Gravity. Gravity. Gravity. It was not uplifting. It was the worst case scenarios of EVERYTHING, set in space. And it was a poor date night choice.

 

I told Lizard we are never going to another movie the critics like. I’d rather go to movies with horrible reviews but make me happy, like the Cutting Edge or Elf. I had absolutely thought Gravity would be a romantic comedy set in space, instead I was on a continual, apprehensive adrenaline rush watching people’s faces get hole punched by space station shrapnel.

 

Kind of a downer.

 

It reminded me of the time I became scarred for life when a friend invited me to go see Seven by telling me it was the new Brad Pitt movie that Disney had produced.

 

True Story.  Scarred.

 

The whole experience helped me notice there are some movies you should just know the whole story about before walking in to them blind, or you’re liable to walk out with a heaping portion of Regret you paid a solid $9 to experience. Also, sometimes movie titles are misleading. For example:

 

  • We Bought a Zoo. This is not a Madagascar version of a family film. The pictures that kid draws are eerie and the creepy crawlies still give me goose pimples.
  • Being John Malkovich. Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich! The redeeming feature of this movie is the 1/2 floor and that makes me happy, but the ending… you should prepare yourself that what you expect is not what you get unless you like… well… Malkovich.
  • Napoleon Dynamite. There is nothing French or explosive about this movie. It’s hilarious and to this day I make liger comments, but if I’d been looking for a piece of historical pyrotechnics I would have been sorely disappointed.
  • Cinderella Man. There were no chorusing birds or carousing mice. There wasn’t a fireplace to clean. It’s a boxing movie and it brought tears to my eyes and inspired me but, nope, no evil step mother and no prince to rescue them all in the end, they had to make their own rescue.
  • 12 Monkeys. Brad Pitt was on a creepy roll there for awhile with Seven, Fight Club, and 12 Monkeys. Suffice to say there were no bananas, no throwing poop, and no monkeys. Definitely not a Disney movie, either.
  • Grease. Did I miss something? It’s a classic – that’s whhhaaaaayyy more raunchy than I ever realized when I watched it as a young thing – but I didn’t notice a bit of pig lard. Or vegetable oil. Or any lubricating ointments. Ew… I said ointment. Sorry.
  • Salt. Not a cooking flick. This is no Julia and Julia where you can garner some nice tips for how to flavor your food. It’s a gritty movie of deception and multiple double-crossings and Angelia Jolie pulls off being a passable dude. Not a seasoning. Definitely.
  • Chariots of Fire. I stole this description because it’s so much better than what I would write: Sounds Like: The most awesome film Ray Harryhausen never animated, crammed to the toga-tops with belching hell-lizards, winged racing carts and blazing skirmishes with chillingly rheumatic armies of the undead. When In Fact: A handful of stringy, translucent blokes in thoroughly depressing short shorts splash through the grey shallows of a windswept Scottish beach, recreating a true story about 1920s men running fast and winning stuff. A bloody good one, mind. But still.

 

What are the movies you’ve seen that knocked you off guard like a sip of Sprite when you’re expecting water?

 

 

Hot Mess Tribble


ericaI’m friends with a lady who befriends Tribbles.

 

OK, I admit it. That’s an overstatement in the “I caught a fish this big,” kind of way… so let me start over.

 

There’s this picture floating around the World Wide Web these days:

 

Betty Chu's English Angoras

Betty Chu’s English Angoras

 

No, it’s not a picture of the result of cotton candy machine in gastrointestinal distress! But I wish it were. Cotton candy is my very favorite of all treats designed to make your body shut down in sugar shock and just looking at this rabbit makes my mouth water.

 

But it’s not to be. That is not cotton candy.

 

It’s false cotton candy advertising — kind of like those plastic grapes people use as centerpieces on their tables. They look so good! My mom had these and they were a constant temptation throughout my childhood. Sometimes I just couldn’t stand it and would gobble one of the plastic globes down.

 

It was always a disappointment.

 

Back to my story and the picture, I know the woman beaming next to that big ball of fuzz – her name is Betty! I know someone famous!

 

Well, maybe I don’t know her precisely, as I certainly don’t know her in the Biblical sense of the word and also wouldn’t be able to pick her out of a crowd unless she was carting her big ball ‘o rabbity fluff, but I’ve been in her general vicinity and I’ve said, “Hi.”

 

So it’s like we’re best friends.

 

Anyway, Betty raises some of the most beautiful English Angora rabbits in the country and I met her earlier this year when we traveled to national rabbit show. Each of these rabbits takes an amazing amount of care to keep the hair clean and unmatted, although they can be shorn like sheep and their fur used for spinning and other lovely yarn-ish items.

 

It’s definitely not a rabbit breed for me, as I like low maintenance. Half the time my kids walk around looking like they just stuck their finger in a light socket and earlier this week I found a bit of dried apple sauce acting as a fixing agent in Tres’ hair.

 

There’s no chance I’ll be able to keep up with the grooming needs of an animal sporting a hot mess ‘do like this, but I can still point out my near brush with fame and give a nod to all the Tribble fans out there.

 

You know you want one.

 

 

Unicorn Mancave


Where to start?

Where to start?

It’s not every day you discover a piece of trivia that startles you so thoroughly you make a strange barking like a Pier 39 sea lion to catch your breath.

 

But, lucky me, I have experienced such an event. The news that caused my mirth?

 

The national animal of Scotland is a unicorn.

 

I don’t know about you but my picture of Scotland as a country has been highly influenced by Mel Gibson in blue war paint and Diana Gabaldon in the Outlander book series. These are both solid bits of media that portray the Scottish people as tough, possibly smelly, and rather austere.

 

When I think of a unicorn I have visions of Despicable Me and want to squeal, “It’s so pink and fluffy I COULD DIE!!!!!”

 

I couldn’t help but share this sweet portrayal of sugar and spice and everything nice a unicorn is made of:

 

e5a7_canned_unicorn_meat_parts_diagram

 

Scottish warriors and unicorns are so opposite on another it’s hard to even imagine a kilt-wearing, horn sporting equine.

 

… or is it?
When this conversation appeared in my Facebook feed regarding the unicorn/Scottish national animal discord I cracked up:

 

“No one ever believes me when I tell them this: unicorns are manly. Also, I learned that Viking wore pink. 

That means that four-year-old girls are pretty masculine.

Just think about it: their rooms are covered with pink and unicorns. It’s a total mancave. Also, if you think about it, rainbows are pretty full of testosterone and what not. I mean, God made them after wiping out almost an entire humanity’s worth of bad guys…”

 

Now… isn’t your world just a bit brighter?!

 

Extra Large Portion


Grace like a Hershey's bar.

Grace like a Hershey’s bar.

Today a guy I don’t personally know posted this status update on Facebook:

 

“Grace doesn’t come in different sizes. You can’t give a small serving of grace. It either comes extra large or doesn’t come at all.” ~Carlos Whittaker

 

I follow Carlos, who is a pastor in California (I think), because a few months ago he wrote a blog post I adored. I enjoy following him but wasn’t expecting to be stopped cold in my tracks while scanning my newsfeed this morning… and his insight has had me thinking all day long.

 

Grace comes in extra large.

 

Let me say that again: Grace — the reprieve from the negative consequence  truly deserved — comes in extra large or not at all.

 

You see, as a perfectionist I don’t see grace in extra large. I feel I need to earn my way into a state of grace. If I’ve done a good job homeschooling today, I have the ability to look at the laundry pile and feel like it will be okay — eventually. If I’ve managed to get all the dishes done and a batch of bread baked then it’s acceptable that the bed is not made and the kids wore pajamas all day. If my husband has acted like a buffoon I can tell him I love him but leave an unspoken, “But if you do that again…” hanging over our conversation.

 

My grace hasn’t typically come in extra large. It’s come in little portions of sweetness, kind of like a Hershey’s bar. Hershey’s bars are scored so it’s easy to break into those little squares… but do you know a single person who eats only one square?! I don’t! I gobble a whole row in one sitting if I’m particularly controlled, and the bar is my preferred method of excess when I indulge. It’s just not good enough to have only one little square. You can’t even make a decent s’more with only one square!

 

I hadn’t realized until this morning that I’ve been dishing out my acceptance one square at a time. Sometimes my grace has been extended in a size small, occasionally a large. I can’t remember a time when I have relaxed my guard toward myself or others in a way that could truly be termed gluttonously, largely, extravagantly extra large.

 

And a smidgen of grace is no grace at all.

 

Grace extended with hesitancy or an unspoken, “Well, just this one time,” is no grace at all.

 

I feel like I’ve been hit across the face with this cold truth and will be chewing on this for quite a while as I try to change my natural reaction to something that is much, much more beautiful.

 

Thank you, Carlos Whittaker.  That’s all I have to say about that.

 

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