What I’m Reading …

Here’s a look at what I’m reading. I’ll have a review coming up soon. As soon as the people I live with let me finish reading it anyway. You know, priorities. Let me know if you want my copy when I’m finished. I’d love to pass it on.

More: Messes to Miracles

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Long, Lost Lipstick Review …

The long, long Lipstick Review is back! I know you were awake at night wondering where it went. So I shall keep you wondering no longer …

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
One of my most favorites … Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil. I wear the color Sex Machine. Nars has the unfortunate habit of giving their makeup sexually charged names. So purchasing their products can be a tad tricky. But that’s what the internet is for, right? One of Nars’ best sellers thankfully doesn’t look good on me so I don’t have to worry about its name.  I’m sure they do this to embarrass the straight-laced girls who were given the Life Cycle Library as ‘The Talk’ and who shall remain nameless. But, yes, I am quite familiar with the Life Cycle Library if you were wondering.

Back to the lipstick … It’s in my top five, probably top three, favorites. It is long-lasting without being to dry and flaky.  It still goes on creamy but isn’t all gooey and tacky feeling. It’s a pencil so I can throw it in my purse or the car and don’t have to worry about it melting all over in the summer months.  And there are oodles, 19 to be exact, of colors to choose from and find your perfect match. It comes in glossy or satin but matte is my favorite. It’s best for us girls who like lips that look like lips and not shiny disco balls most of the time. (But Nars does have that options if that’s your thing.) One of my favorite things about this lipstick is how great it is for layering with others. I can change its color from light to deeper just by what’s under it. And I still reap its benefits by wearing it on top.

The downside: At $26.00 it’s a tad pricey compared to the supermarket stuff.  But this does last me for-ev-uh.  I only buy one or two sticks a year. It used to be difficult to find and I could only get it on the website or in a mall.  But these days there is a Sephora in every JC Penney’s store, even in my little hick-town. It’s becoming much easier to buy without having to pay shipping.  I don’t always like the makeup that has a bunch of mineral oil and chemicals. I lean towards the natural products. My skin just does better. No where does it mention that this does not have those icky things. So I am assuming it does. In fact, if you want an ingredient list you have to email them. I think I’ve said it before, we ladies eat most of our lip products. So I don’t want to be eating too much yucky lip goo. “Lipstick, it’s what’s for dinner.” Bleh. But if I’m going to die from eating too much yucky lip goo ~ I’m going to die looking good in this stuff!

If you have a hot date you need to get gussied up for or if you are just running errands with the kids, this lipstick will do both jobs well.  If you only want to buy one lip product, this is a good one. So if you have peachy or yellow undertones, have fun buying that Nars bestseller as your color choice. But if you are pink like me, save some of the Sex Machine for me!  (So tacky, I know.)

On a side note: I have just realized while I complain about the chemical ridden lip products, none of my reviews have been about the natural products that I love. The next shall be just that. My all time favorite lipstick, which is not just my favorite, but natural as well!  Too bad I only do reviews about every nine months, eh?

For your viewing enjoyment ~ or torture depending on how you feel about Kenny Chesney. But as soon as Evan hears this playing he will want to hear his favorite singer over and over. And over.

Who’s It All About?

Years ago I was attempting to review the Sunday morning sermon with a younger Evan. It came down to one point. That our lives should be all about Jesus. I said to Evan, “Who’s it all about?” His answer? “EVAN!” Yes. Most of our days are all about Evan. But in all honesty I don’t want them to be about Evan or even Jesus. I want them to be all about ME.

Recently, the bible verse 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 has been in the public eye for a particular part of that verse. I’ll save that discussion for another day. But what I’m most often affected by in this verse isn’t the part that is making headlines but the part about greed. Jonathon Parnell wrote an interesting article about a year ago for Desiring God that mentions how there is only one area of this verse that is celebrated today, the headline maker.  But I beg to differ. I see greed celebrated and encouraged more and more. It’s a consumer-driven, me-time, “all about me” world. And I am no different from the rest of the world.

Except I have Evan.IMG_3946

Evan reminds me every moment of every day it is not about me. Oh, believe me, I fight this feeling with all I have at times. I text my sister at least once a month telling her I am so tired of everything being all about everyone else. Just once I want it to be all about me. My sister is a good text-listener and she talks me off the ledge. At least until the next time I feel overwhelmed.

It’s really difficult to not list all of the things I wish I could be doing sometimes.  I get caught up in the Facebook world of what people are doing, buying and loving in this world.  I know, I know, Fakebook.  It isn’t the real world.  But it is a glimpse into what others are doing while my special needs world keeps me locked down quite a bit.  It is times like this I have to remind myself that maybe God really did know what he was doing by giving me my Evan.  My days really aren’t supposed to be all about me.  They aren’t supposed to be about me at all.

John 13:14-17 “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

If Jesus is the model that God has given us then what did he do when he pulled away.  Did he travel the world to just see the sights?  Did he go shoe shopping?  I’m no biblical scholar.  (Umm, extreme understatement, I am aware.) But I do remember that the times Jesus did pull away from others was to pray or to be found in the temple, not the mall.  I don’t remember him saying anything about deserving some me-time.  If anyone was overwhelmed with the needs of others it was Jesus.  Once people knew of his healing powers he was in some demand.

I don’t have healing powers.  But I am in demand within my family.  They need me.  Almost 24/7.  I am learning to be okay with this.  It’s where God has placed me.  He will give me the rest I need, when I need it, if I go to him first.  I can be a bit of a whiner when I reach my limit.  Thankfully, God has given me a husband that sees my need for a few hours of alone time here and there.  What I need to learn is I might get more out of that time if I used it the way Jesus did rather than in the ways of the world. Jesus recharged best this way.  Maybe I should give it a go too. Rather than it being all about me.

Bad vs. Good (and Hands that are holding…)

I laid in bed last night awake and my first thought was “That was bad.” My second thought? “No, that was good.”

After a long day at the doctor’s office in the big city my gang of rednecks likes to unwind at the mall food court.  At the top of Evan’s favorite things to do list is the mall food court.  It’s his reward for a good day at the doctor.  Then he just wants to walk and walk in the mall.  We don’t go in many stores.  That’s a little too overwhelming for all of us.  Just walk.

But on this final trip on the escalator Evan lost his balance.  He gradually started going backwards while the escalator traveled up.   He said, “Uh-oh” and I had a hold of him.  I felt his balance shift.  But I couldn’t stop the force of gravity.  His biggest concern?  His prized bag of Apples to Apples cards was also headed downwards.  This is bad.  As I let him sit all I could think was why isn’t there an emergency stop in the middle of this thing? I’m going to have to wait for something bad to happen at the top before I can find the emergency stop.  By only the grace of God he scooted off without incident.  And so did the ‘cards bag’, fully intact.

As many special needs parents know, this is where it could have gone really bad.  This is meltdown territory.  More of God’s grace left us with a quiet corner of seats that we made it to safely.  Only a few tears of emotional letdown occurred. At this point I was ready to take on that escalator and go back to it and yell, “YOU SUCK!” While taking on all escalator inventors and telling them about the stupidity of their creation.  Evan was handling his meltdown well but my meltdown was just under wraps.

We high-tailed it out of the mall after everyone had calmed.  I turned on the radio and the first two songs had the words “Jesus by your side” over and over in them.  The third was telling me to “Exhale”.  Don’t tell me God isn’t still speaking today. He talks to me most often this way. I think he knows this is how I hear him best, through music.  And I don’t think any old song would have applied. Because the next song was about Jesus making me ‘Flawless.’  While that is true, it wasn’t really applicable here. I think God knew my attention span had ended and he finished his talk with me. I know God was reminding me that he was by our side. It took two songs for me to hear him say it.

It could have been a bad day. I am so thankful for this day’s ending and the reminder that Jesus was by my side. That makes it a good day.

Psalms 139:10 “… even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Passing Judgement …

Passing judgement on others. It’s so easy. I do it a lot. Last night my husband said to me, “We should be home just in time to make fun of all the news people.” It’s pretty much what we do for entertainment. Wrong, I know. But hey, we don’t get out much.

Today I got a little dose of my own medicine.  Someone has passed some judgement on me by what was seen.  Knowing nothing of the details.  I truly believe Christians are the worst at this.  I can say this because I am a Christian.  There.  I said it.  I. Am. A Christian.  And get this.  I have tattoos.  <GASP!>  UNFOLLOW!!  Yes. I also follow tattoo artists on social media.  DOUBLE UNFOLLOW!!

Guess what my fellow Christians?  Yesterday I was in a tattoo chair and had a conversation with a man who wasn’t a Christian about my beliefs in Jesus.  What?  Yes.  He also has a child with special needs too. Deep conversation happened in a tattoo chair.  Several hours stuck face to face with a stranger led to the chance to tell him … ‘I get it.  Special needs can be dang difficult. And here I am on Facebook if you have a question.’  Some of his Facebook is hard to look at for me.  So I don’t.  Facebook has options for that.  But if I unfriend him (like my fellow Christian did to me) and he has a question, then what?  Door shut.

Yeah, it’s a tough world.  I won’t be looking for it.  But if we Christians continue to shut ourselves in our little boxes because we don’t like something about the non-Christians, then who is telling them about the hope they can have in Jesus?  This guy’s world is tough.  But so is special needs.  My husband asked how does someone handle special needs without the hope of Jesus?  I just don’t know.  That has got to be the toughest.

I pass judgement constantly. Seeing someone pass judgement on my little tattoo day felt silly.  No wonder non-Christians don’t want anything to do with us. I am the worst when it comes to passing judgement. But maybe I should be making more of an effort to stop.

1 Peter 3:15 “… Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”