For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Is it funny that having fun is considered unusual?

Last night we received a wonderful compliment. As our family arrived for church, we split into our normal two-by-two mentality so we could safely lead the children through the busy parking lot. At some point, Robert decided it needed to be a game and yelled, "The team that reaches the church door first wins, or if a teammate from any team reaches the door first, then that whole team is the winner." Robert took off like a rocket. Rob feigned shock. Anna squealed. I watched for cars.

The race was on.

Robert, who had started from several feet behind, shot in front of Rob and Anna, who are much taller and made up ground quickly. I yelled, "Go, Robert! Go!" Rob was yelling, "Hey, not fair!" Anna was yelling, "I'm going to catch you!" And Robert was squealing with glee. I was laughing as I watched the mayhem safely arrive on the sidewalk. The greeter wisely stepped aside as Robert barely touched the door first.

The huffing and puffing and laughing continued as the three racers walked in the door in front of me. It was then that the greeter looked at me and said, "Wow. It looks like y'all are really having fun."

I smiled broadly, "Oh, yeah. This is great stuff."

Rob took the kids to their classes, and I headed across the foyer toward the sanctuary. The greeter's words stuck with me. "Wow. It looks like y'all are really having fun."

He seemed pleasantly surprised. He had said it in a way that made it clear that such fun was not the norm. As I pondered this, I had to confess, such joy is not our usual way of entering church. Typically, we have had the "are you ready yet?" exasperation at home. Then there is the ride to church, which is always "iffy". By the time we get to church, we are usually just glad to have gotten there on time and with everyone wearing matching shoes.

Then I thought of others that I see enter the church. They usually look like we usually look. We walk in looking a bit tired, a bit haggard, a bit weary. They aren't grumpy, but they aren't joyful. They are just where they are "supposed to be".

Isn't that sad? Isn't fun what comes out of a heart filled with joy? Isn't laughter the overflow of a heart filled with wonder? And should anything leave us more at wonder than the ones we love? Is there anything that should fill our heart with glee more than love poured out on us or that we enthusiastically pour out on others?

And should that be less so at the house of God, the One the Bible defines as love?

Now, I'm not saying we should fake laughter and fun so we can put on a good show. However, when Christians who laugh with and enjoy those they love are the anomally, it should make us take inventory of our hearts and attitudes. It should also make us realize how much we can influence those around us simply by having fun. People are used to the haggard, tired, and weary, but wholeness, good-hearted laughing and fun make them turn their heads...even at church.

Sometimes being an anomally has its perks.

Hoping you have fun loving God and those He puts in your life.....

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Getting to Know You

A friend of mine sent me a fun questionairre. If only I knew how to spell "questionairre" or how to run the spell check on this page...... Anyway, my friend sent me this list of questions and info on himself with the idea that I fill it out and forward it to friends of mine. I had fun with it and decided to post it. One friend said it made her cry. Another said he laughed out loud. Hope it does the same for you.

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Good question. My name and my dad’s are the same, but the Lord told me about 12 years ago that I wasn’t named after my dad in HIS eyes. He had given the name to my great aunt as a prophetic word-a calling-over my life, so while my family might have thought I was being named after Dad in the natural, that wasn’t God’s intent.

WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Last week or two weeks ago. I’m not sure. I watch Extreme Makeover Edition, and that always makes me cry.

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? If I can use a Bic fine point pen, yes. If I have to use a fatter point, no.


KIDS? The two coolest ones in the world.

IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Most days. Some days I would just stay away from me, but for the most part, yes, I think I am pretty cool. I think the strange way I look at life and my rather bizarre sense of humor are endearing qualities that add a fun twist to life. And if all else failed, I would have a pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin cream muffin with myself and discuss what I’ve read lately. Besides, could you imagine the fun two of me could have together?!

DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? LOL I only have two I write in regularly. Okay, 3 if you count my prayer journal. As for journals that are full…..I have shelves……

DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes, but at various times of the year, I would gladly give them to anyone who needed a pair or anyone who doesn’t.

WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? As I heard someone say, “There is just something inside me that makes me think jumping from a very tall structure with nothing to keep me from splattering on the surface below me except for a rubberband tied around my ankles isn’t wise.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Well, as with all things, it depends. Most of the time, I will go Frosted Flakes. Not much beats Frosted Flakes. However, peanut butter Captain Crunch has its appeal, too, and if you add three or four spoonfuls of sugar to Cheerios, life can be happy there, too.

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? And disrupt those hugging bunny ears? You have to be kidding.

DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Uh….no. Physically-I have given up the idea that I need to lift weights to be buff and impressive. I may not be buff, but I like to think I am impressive. Mentally, spiritually, and emotionally-I’m in training, and I’m getting stronger.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Like there is only one? I like chocolate ice cream with milk poured over it. I think the crunchy part is funny. I like mint chocolate chip and chocolate almond in a waffle cone. If I am feeling really decadent, Tin Roof.

RED OR PINK? Well that isn’t fair. Red for most “dressier” events, but a strong pink for everyday sass.


WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Pop Kohler. He was a prince among men, and he saw me as I wanted to be seen, and Robert would have adored him. He had a wonderful way of accepting and seeing good in people.

LAST THING YOU ATE? A dark chocolate bar. I drank a root beer from Taco Bell, too. It was a moment of tasteful delights!

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The A/C and hum of the computers


FAVORITE SMELL? Rob. The kids after their baths. Rain. Plum blossoms. Freshly cut hay.

THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Their smile or laugh, I think. I try not to analyze that. Some folks just draw me in and some really don’t. I haven’t found a definite reason.

DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I adore him. He is kind and wonderful and strong and gentle and a safe place and….my very dear friend.

FAVORITE DRINK? Tea. Very sweet southern tea.

FAVORITE SPORT? You mean there is a sport besides basketball?! Seriously?!

HAT SIZE? LOL You mean hair size? I have so much hair that hats just pop off like an air rocket. Only air rockets are far more glorious to watch, and they go up much higher. My inglorious hat sort of slides up and then falls to the side in a rather sad and disappointing sort of way.

FAVORITE FOOD? Whatever I am craving at the moment. What kind of question is that to ask a woman?! Although, I was asked what my idea of ambrosia is once. The Grand Marnier truffles at the Marine Room are right up there. I also like my mom’s salmon patties. That is good eating.


SUMMER OR WINTER? Decisions. Decisions. Summer, I guess.. I like the beach. I like the pool. Winter is sort of like summer on qualudes when you live in Texas, so it’s like asking “hot” weather or “not quite as hot” weather.

HUGS OR KISSES? Well, I prefer the all chocolate kisses myself. I think when you start mixing in the different flavors, it gets weird. However, person to person, you can’t beat a good hug.

FAVORITE DESSERT? You truly expect me to pick one? I can’t pick one ice cream!!! I think Tiramisu, but simple chocolate cake with chocolate icing is divine, too. Oh, and there is Oreo Delight. Did I mention the Grand Marnier Truffles?

WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? The Forbidden Emotion (about anger), The Confidant Woman, My Utmost for His Highest, my Bible, Raising Responsible Kids, Is There Life after Housework…..I think that is it. OH!!! The Secret Garden-gotta love Big Bed Time with two delightfully warm and snuggly kids.

WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I don’t even know the last time I had a mouse pad….

WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Rob had football on while I talked to Lisa. I did some of the Food Network Challenge where they were making structures from sugar confections. I decided to wait and watch it on the DVR with Anna. It is a bonding thing.

FAVORITE SOUNDS? Robert’s laugh. He has the most whole-hearted laugh. Anna’s singing. Rob. Rain. The ocean. Laughter, the good, belly laughs that don’t hurt anyone but make those around smile and want to be part of it. I also love to hear folks sing in off-the wall places. One time, I was standing in front of a book rack and started singing “Lolly Lolly Lolly get your adverbs here…” and beside me this man sang, “Father, Son, and Lolly get your adverbs here.” Stuff like that can stoke my happy pipe for days.

ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Well, rolling stones are usually indicative of some earth moving phenomenon, which can be a bit disconcerting. On the other hand, June Bugs, which are bealtes, are wonderful little critters that exist-in my opinion-for the sole purpose of flying into a woman’s hair (the bigger hair the better, which is why we see so many of them in Texas) and bouncing off the door closest to the night light thus causing a little thumping sound, when done with lots of June Bugs, can sound a bit like rain, which can be very relaxing. However, if they have just enjoyed a good intake of Mountain Dew, they sound more like small bits of hail, which is a bit creepy, but strangely entertaining in its own bizarre way. In any case, they are harmless and a delightfully fun way to introduce a young boy to the awe-filled reality of bugs. Therefore, I would go with the beetles.


WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Worship sign, photography, writing, teaching, and loving on folks. At least I like to the think I am good at the last one.