Archive for September, 2009

Then We All Held Hands and Sang “We Are The World”

I learned something about myself this weekend.

I think I already knew it though, so it was more of a re-affirmation. If that’s even a real thing.

Anyway, where was I?

I learned that I love big masses of people gathered together for a single purpose.

That’s it in a nutshell. I could stop now, but then it wouldn’t be worth the time you’re wasting at work.

Michael and I got tickets to the MSU vs. LSU game in Starkville on Saturday. We passed off the kids to the people they like even better than us, and hit the road. It was wet and muddy. There were people everywhere, getting drenched. We parked over a mile from the stadium and walked through mud to get there.

I’ve not been that happy in a long time.

I told Michael that walking through a storm in a crowd with mud everywhere would be a nightmare with kids, but is the perfect day when it is just us. I can’t explain that.

The game was fantastic. I mean, it didn’t end well, but good grief, the excitement alone made it worth every minute. The crowd’s energy was awesome. The school spirit and single-mindedness of the event was overwhelming.

I LOVE THAT.

I think that’s why I love concerts. In New Orleans last January, I was one of thousands of people who love Brad Paisley. We were all there in that room, singing his songs and screaming our lungs out.

Again, it’s that singular focus thing.

I’m going to see Beth Moore at a Living Proof event in less than two weeks. I am excited about her teaching, but I am ECSTATIC about the worship time. I get to go with my mom. We haven’t had many experiences where we just get to worship together without one of us being tied up with choir or kids or something. To be in a room with that many women would normally make me a nervous wreck. I don’t like girly events. But to join in worship with women who are focused on what God is going to do that weekend is awesome.

That is one of the reasons I love church. People go for lots of reasons, but when you get in the sanctuary, it’s obvious that our staff has worked hard to make sure that we put our focus where it needs to be. And then we all are joined by a bond that only comes from Christ.

Along the same lines, but totally superficial…this is why I love the Canton Flea Market. Thousands of people joining together to shop? Yes, please.

So in my self-discovery this weekend I realized that I like being part of the crowd. Not necessarily the in-crowd, but a crowd simply made up of lots of people doing the same thing.

And throw in some candle lighting and someone playing Kum Ba Yah, and I’m in heaven.

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September 28, 2009 at 4:31 am 1 comment

Is It Really Easier?

To ask forgiveness, that is? Or have recent events proved that permission may be the better way to go?

I have read about more mea culpas in the past week than I care to know about. Whether it’s in politics or entertainment, it seems as if the trend is to mess up, then clear the air with a semi-heartfelt apology.

That doesn’t work for me. As anyone who has any interaction with people would know, once you say the words, they’re out there. An apology doesn’t erase the damage done. In a marriage, it’s so easy to say hurtful things to the person you love the most. In friendships, we all know “mean girls” (or guys) who just say rude, catty things that hurt. We know people that love to “one-up” us.

And while an apology helps, it doesn’t take away the fact that they said it. It’s always there to remind you that someone had that thought at one time, regardless of how guilty they feel about it now.

I’m aware that it is impossible to go through life without saying something hurtful at some point. I know I will! I just think that using an apology as an excuse to shoot your mouth off about whatever comes into your mind is a terrible way to relate to people.

We live in a world of Too Much Information. Anyone can comment on any news article, video, picture, tweet or status update if they feel so inclined. We put ourselves out there, and should be ready for the consequences, regardless of what they are. God made our brains to be able to form opinions and have thoughts and feelings about things that matter to us, but the world has given us the opportunity to share those thoughts with the rest of humanity. There is no more mystery. We no longer have to wonder what being a movie star would be like. We see their every move. We can live vicariously through any celebrity we want, and then talk about them as if they were our crazy neighbor.

I think Kanye West is a primo example of someone who would MUCH rather ask forgiveness than permission. Permission is not in his vocabulary. He never has to ask if he can do anything. He only answers to himself, and apparently, his answer to himself is always, “Yes”. He can apologize all he wants, and he will, because the apology keeps him where he wants to be…in the news.

I have felt pretty sorry for people who don’t know who he is, or care about any of this. For example, my sweet grandparents watch the news every night. I’m sure they have had to see the replay of his obnoxious interruption of Taylor Swift’s speech over and over. Most likely, and I could be wrong because they’re cool, they don’t even know who these people are! So why is it headline news? Because that’s how we roll, giving airplay to those who misuse their celebrity and steal from others moments that clearly don’t belong to them.

I am irritated at myself for even writing about this, but this thought has been in my head, and so I wrote all of that to get here: I have imagined that God must be so sad at the state of affairs on this earth he created. I imagine we have hurt his heart badly. I can only assume that he would be disappointed that the people he made in his image and loves so desperately can act so vainly and selfishly. It hurts my heart to think about how it must hurt his.

Then those of us that know him run to him every time we mess up, knowing that he will forgive us, rather than consulting his word BEFORE we make the mistake. I’m terribly guilty of this very thing. We misuse the grace he so freely gives.

So just as I start to think that our selfishness and sin must be the worst it has ever been, I remember the story of Noah. Before God told him to build the ark, this happened (Genesis 6):

5 The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.”8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

Apparently, things were really, really bad with mankind. Quite possibly, things were more evil than we could imagine even with our desensitized brains.

Then, after the flood, God made a promise to never wipe out mankind again. So as sinful as our world is now, God is keeping his promise to not destroy humanity. That tells me that he knew when he flooded the earth that things would be this way. And that tells me he is in complete control of our society, even though it seems to be spinning out of control. He flooded the earth when it was as bad as it could get. He has not had the need to break his promise to us since then. He was aware then, and is aware now of where we are and where we are going as a species.

He knows that we need him. He knew then that he would send Jesus to redeem us. He knows the condition of every single heart that beats on this earth.

My heart can be so ugly. It can be so hard and stubborn and unyielding. It can be ungrateful and petty and selfish. I can act just like I don’t know who in the world he is, and I can forget so easily what he has done for me. And yet he hasn’t flooded the earth because of sinners like me. He instead floods his love and his mercy on me and fills me with all of the goodness of himself. He lets me run to him and call him Daddy. Then I get to start over, with a new and tender heart. I get to learn how much better life is when I get permission from his word, rather then depend on his grace to cover my myriad of mistakes. I’m free, but I need his authority over me. I need his guidance. In those boundaries, I’m free to be who he made me to be.

And that is easier, and more effective, than a press-conference apology any day.

September 16, 2009 at 4:56 am 1 comment

It’s Quality, Not Quantity…

But I want BOTH!

I realize today that I have only posted 5 times in a MONTH. Y’all, it used to be 5 times in a week!

Life is clearly taking off at breakneck speed, and I’m caught in the wake of it all.

If I could, and in my dreams I do…I would have a full day every week to write, to sing, to rest, to read my Bible, to paint my toenails, to go through my outfits and decide what accessories I might need for Fall, to peruse magazines and websites and make a notebook of design ideas for my next house (which is a dream in itself). I would play in my makeup and learn to put it on better. I would try new hair products. I would watch Cosby Show reruns on YouTube and laugh. I would go for a walk and get my heart rate above its usual molasses pace. I would call a buddy and shoot the breeze.

But such a day is not going to happen, and while it’s fun to think about, would probably be way too indulgent for me anyway.

So I carve out a few minutes here and there. I paint three toenails, change a pullup, fix a cup of juice, glue an action figure’s head back on, and then paint the other two, hoping that the other foot will get painted before I have to make a public appearance.

And when I do have to go somewhere, and look down and see three of ten nails a sweet shade of blue, while the other seven are a lovely au natural, I think of the faces that I kissed, the giggles that I heard, the songs that we sung, the games that were played and I realize that I’m content with my new fashion statement. It’s a look I like to call, Just Be Thankful I Got Here Dressed.

September 13, 2009 at 8:49 pm Leave a comment

Why It Is Weird to be Me (Or, What Happened Today in Real Estate)

I’m still a little flabbergasted.

We showed our house today. This week has been a doozy, with all the cleaning and a good dose of sickness thrown in for fun. We also have been trying to eat at home more, so there has been lots of cooking going on, which makes for more cleaning.

So the realtor lady called Michael this week and told him she would be showing the house on Friday. I immediately went into “we must clean out all closets” mode. It must have been the fever talking, or somebody slipped something into my spiced tea (I was into Vitamin C this week). We cleaned, we polished, we sorted, we threw out, we wiped, we vacuumed, we rearranged, we…you get it.

Today we got everything in order, and left the house in pristine condition. The realtor lady told me this lady was pretty interested, and I wanted to be excited about that. Truthfully, though, I was so tired, and had worked so hard, that I refused to get pumped up about it, because the disappointment would be more than my germ-laden, exhausted self could handle right now.

I prayed all afternoon. While I drove, while I sat outside at Casa de la Coon (my parents’ house), while I ate, I prayed. I asked everyone I knew to pray, so I knew I had a lot of spiritual backup going on. It’s pretty heady stuff, knowing that so many (meaning more than 3 or 4) are going to the creator of the universe on your behalf.

Let me stop here and mention this: I have the best friends I could ever dream of having. I am in a better place, relationship-wise, than I have ever been. I have old friends that I still dearly love. I have family that is there for me. I have new friends that have blessed me more than I could ever imagine. Considering I spent much of my life feeling “out of the loop” socially, and just kind of weird and a little bit lonely, God has blown my socks off with the precious people he has put in my world.

So there was praying, lots of praying. Around 5:00, we called realtor lady and she was effusive in her praise of our clean, shiny house. Then she got to the story:

The lady saw my house on the website a while back. She lives in Chicago. She is moving to Mississippi this fall and my house was the one she wanted to see. Realtor lady did not know her. They just communicated by email. Anyway, she walked in my dining room and saw our family picture and said, “That’s Anne Coon!”

Seriously. I don’t make this stuff up, folks.

Realtor lady was dumbfounded and said, “Yes, that’s her.” The lady says, “Are Mark and Cindy in the area too?” (That’s my parents who apparently know at least 2/3 of the people on the planet). Realtor lady said yes, they are in Madison. The lady says, “I used to go to church with them and Anne babysat for me.”

I know her well, ya’ll. Really well. It’s been years, but I knew them very well.

I’m stunned. Not speechless, that never happens, but stunned nonetheless.

So anyway…she loved my house. She loved the field behind the house (bless her). She is working on some stuff, and we’re still praying. She hasn’t made an offer yet, but we all feel good about it. **We realize this is not a done deal. But I’m a big believer in positive thinking. Remind me of that if it falls through. Thanks.

I am certain that God is in this, regardless of outcome. There was so much prayer, and still will be, until it’s all said and done. I’m convinced that this was preordained by God, and not just a weird coincidence. God is not anonymous. He shows himself in everything. He doesn’t act randomly. There is a purpose for his glory in everything that happens, in every situation. We may not see it immediately, but I promise if you look, and ask him to show you, he will.

I’ll keep you posted on the outcome. Until then, I’m going to be worshipping the one true God who is good and holy and loves people so much that he brings us into each others lives and brings things around full circle. Only God can do that. People mess things up. God gets it right, every time.

Thanks for praying for us. Let me know how I can pray for you. Thank you, my sweet friends, for being in my world. I’m better because of this whole experience with real estate, homeschooling, and God has taught me so much through the hard stuff. I pray he blesses you in a big way, too.

September 5, 2009 at 3:21 am 6 comments


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