Friday, April 27, 2012

A random list of stuff about me:

(because it's been a while since we've done this and you are dying for random little nuggets of Valerie-ness in your day-- aren't you?)

1. I prefer to drink milk from a nice heavy coffee mug.

2. I kinda love it when my dog curls himself around my feet when I am laying on the couch.

3. I can't grow indoor plants. Outdoor plants (flowers, herb, and vegetable gardens) thrive for me. Indoor they shrivel at a mere glance from me.

4. I am not overwhelmingly fond of Red Velvet. I know it's a trendy cake/cupcake/cookie/icecream/anythingtheycanpossiblycomeupwithtostickitin flavor right now... but most of the time it tastes like bland-ish chocolate and food coloring. I mean, it's OKAY... But I would totally choose white, lemon, strawberry, german chocolate, and regular chocolate (in that order) and possibly variations on those flavors, before red velvet. If my choice is red velvet cupcake or no cupcake... I'd definitely take the  red velvet cupcake, but that's more about my stance on cupcakes than my feelings toward red velvet.

5. I spend a lot of time searching for recipes I know I will never try to make or feed to my family because my husband would refuse to even try it, and I would cry. Z and I have been in more arguments over food and eating habits than anything else in our marriage.

6. Sometimes I look at my son and go, oh crap, I'm a parent. I hope he turns out okay.

7. Papers, receipts, bills, and mail cover my kitchen table on a regular basis. I hate this. I cannot seem to prevent it, or come up with a workable system of managing it. Thoughts?

8. I lost 9 months of baby weight in 9 weeks! Yay! The problem now is a completely new distribution of the pre-baby weight. Oi.

9. I have an hyper-sensitive nose. Which most of the time is just super annoying.

10. My Grandmother passed away Jan. 2010. I think about her daily. I miss her so much. I cry regularly over the pain of that loss. I don't know if that will ever lesson.

11. I like to take pictures of food. Not in a-- I am a food photographer kind of way. But in a-- lets order a dessert to see if it's pretty... It is! Let's take a picture! Kind of way. A lot of times I text pics of food to my former roommate. I think she appreciates pretty food. (I think?!?!) My dad does this too, only one time contact numbers got crossed in his phone and the thought he was texting pictures of desserts to my sister and for weeks they were going to a nice, but thoroughly confused lady at his church. That story always makes me laugh. I think I would be excited to receive random food texts from acquaintances.

12. My favorite picture this month:
Sam finds surprises in his Easter basket!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On "Christian" Music

I've been writing this post for a while in my head... and then the other day I came across THIS, and I was all YES. that's exactly how I feel.
But let me back up a little bit... You know how I grew up in a christian home, we attended church regularly, we sang the songs, we performed the songs, we listened to christian radio, I attended youth group, youth rallies, screamed for the christian rock stars, and wore the christian t-shirts. I was into it.
And somewhere during and/or shortly after high school, I was all... wait-- there is a whole world of --GASP-- secular music out there I have never explored. And once the dial on my radio flipped to the "not-christian" radio stations, I don't think it ever flipped back.
As you can imagine there was much controversy in my 'christian home' over this decision of mine. My parents would ask if this was a christian song-- or what the song was about. "I don't know, mom. I just like the music." I would say with a giant eye roll, and my mom would tell me that thought process didn't fly with her and the words you put in your head become your truth, so you should carefully consider what you are filling your head with. Even to this day, when my mom gets into the car with me, or hears me singing a song, or talking about a band I like her first question is always-- "Now, is that a christian band?"
And my response is usually something snarky like-- "Well, I haven't recently spoken with the band members about the status of their salvation, so I can't say for sure. But it's not necessarily NOT a christian band." But the question she is really asking is-- are they played exclusively on the christian station? Can I buy their CD at the christian book store? Becuase only those artists are acceptable listening material, apparently.
Which brings me to this concept that I have struggled with since high school-- what is the difference between "christian music" and "not-christian music". Because (as beautifully stated in the post mentioned above) I kinda think that music itself is neither-- that it's neutral. That it can be a tool and a vehicle for our thoughts and worship, but the music itself as no bent either way. That being said-- I always wanted to ask my mom-- can a 'christian' sing 'secular' music and still be a christian? Can a 'secular' artist sing a song to God?
Recently my husband changed all the radio stations in our house to the local christian music station. I was pretty resistant at first. I haven't really listened to christian radio since jr high. I feel like so much of the music played there is cheesy, of poor quality, or really bad theology and people are okay with that because "It's for Jesus"
But I listened in on my husband rocking my baby boy listening to the radio the other day telling him that not all music is good just because it's "christian", and not all other music is bad just because it's not. Yes. Then after a pause he added that likewise not all people who claim to be christian are good people, and definitely not all people who claim not to be are bad people. YES.
That being said, I have kept the radio station where Z set it and have been listening for a couple weeks now. Some songs have grown on me, and I wake up with their truth in my mind, and I like that. Some of the songs really frustrate me, because I disagree with the theology, or I just think they make no sense (hey-- let's throw a bunch or random ambiguous worship-y sounding words together with a good musical hook, and they'll play it over and over again on the radio stations and we'll be millionaires! Okay!) and I turn the radio off when those play. There is one that is theologically pretty offensive to me that I have been ranting about for a couple weeks. The other day, I was spending time with my mom and she happened to be humming that very song-- I stopped her. "WHAT are you singing?" Oh, that song on the radio... "UGH. I hate that song, Mom. The theology is just terrible."
And my mom replied, "Oh, I don't really know what it's about... I just listen to the music."
Whoa. Throwback and a role reversal.
The words you put into your head become your truth, Mom. No matter what the label-- christian, secular, or otherwise, pay attention and think carefully about what you are letting become truth in your heart.