Friday, April 29, 2011

No turning back

This morning I thought about doing the 30 Day Shred for the month of May.  Just found an accountability partner.  So, there will be two of us cussing at Jillian simultaneously.  Bring it on, hoss.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


The following is a clip from here that I saw on the Livesay's blog.  I really like it.  It applies to ministry, yet also to all of our relationships.  I think we can all relate to feeling loved and feeling burned by someone else.

 ... pouring into people.  At the end of the day, the deposit of God in each human spirit is an incomparable treasure waiting to be unpacked by someone who has eyes to see.

However, humans are also the most fickle and undependable commodity on planet earth

In our American culture, talk is cheap and relationships are easily shattered.  This is a riddle I simply have never been able to solve.  I watch hard-charging, ideologically driven people commit to a community, whether it is a mentoring relationship or a business or ministry.  So often in just a few months or years there is a grand announcement of how flawed the others are and an explanation of the utter imperative of parting ways.

On the other hand, I watch the incredible durability of dysfunctional communities.  People routinely remain in toxic relationships for decades, no matter how they are counseled to leave.

I think of Solomon’s summary of romance in Proverbs 30:19.  The wisest man in the whole world just shrugged and said it is an insoluble mystery.  The man with 1,000 women had no clue what made the male/female relationship tick.

Likewise, I know a whole lot about what makes individuals tick, but I shrug and admit total powerlessness when it comes to handicapping the trait of loyalty in community.  I have no idea who will be there for you or for me three years from now, in any of our three scenarios.

So it is a paradox for me.  On the one hand, people are an enormously good investment.  There is no other investment that can give you a higher return.  And there is no other investment so high risk and prone to failure.

It can be quite crazy making at times, because the most natural context for investment is through community.  God designed the community of family to be the tightest community, with numbers of other community structures around that.  We invest the most when mutual love is involved.

Look at these four data points on a line.  Imagine investing in your own child whom you love, in a close friend, in a casual acquaintance, and in a total stranger.  The further away we go from the love-based community, the less sparkle there is in the idea of sacrificial investment.

Yet, the deeper the love is in community, the greater the pain when you do not get a return on investment.  When you consider the four people in the previous paragraph, and all of them turning away from both your spiritual resources and from their relationship with you, the ones you loved the most will hurt you the most.

Into this picture, we need to bring a larger world view and revert to focusing on THE King and His Kingdom, not our little world.  We must invest in others because of the Kingdom.

If there is a massive God-explosion, will that investment in them benefit the King?  It is quite possible that it will.  It is possible (especially if they listened to it!) that they will be in a better place to serve the King because of that investment from me that did not generate community.

I am not complaining, nor do I teach people to be loyal to me.  I am simply stating that when hard times come, I know I can only bank 100% on the King.  I don’t invest in people in order to buy security for myself in the future, although investment is so much more fun when it is in the context of a loving community.

Once that issue is settled, then I am emotionally free to invest for the King, not simply to invest because I love someone.  Do I invest more in my love-based community.  Of course.  It is more fun.  But I am prepared to look at all sorts of people, to identify those who are possibly open to change, and to invest in them quite apart from any personal return on investment.

When things go really bad or really good, I think there will be some people out there who are of value to the King because I sowed something into their lives.  And there will probably be a lot of people who have been massively unchanged by anything I said or did for them.

That irony is immense.  People are the best possible investment you could make at any time.  And they are the worst.

Expecting people to be there for you as a result of your investment is an iffy proposition.  Investing in people in order to position them for the King, while you have no expectations for yourself, is a much better framework...

Copyright April 2011 by Arthur Burk

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pregnant in Heels

Has anyone watched this?  I've only seen one and a half episodes and I have to say that I think I have another show to watch - at least something to enjoy once in a while.  I don't think I'll be having kids anytime soon, nor would I be able to afford Rosie Pope, but when I do and if I can, I would totally hire her.  She's awesome.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


wedges for the summer.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Family Fun

My parents and I headed to Wilmington, NC after work on Friday to spend Easter weekend with my Granddaddy.  We got to town around 8:30 and met Granddaddy, Aunt Phyllis, Uncle Joe and Theresa (Uncle Joe's lady friend) at Wild Wing of all places.  I was totally down for draft Blue Moon and fried food...and it didn't disappoint.  Whilst using the restroom, I noticed that McFly was playing there that night at 10:30.

I used to see McFly a good bit when I lived in Columbia and was excited to see them for the first time in years.  Thanks to the hour wait for a table, we were able to hear them sing a bit.  Yes, the lead singer was wearing the same red suit he always wore.  At some point Aunt Phyllis and I had to make our way to the front of the stage and dance.  Everyone else went home, but she and I stayed.  We even made it on stage not once, but twice, to dance and sing with the band.  Awesome.  Mom came back to pick us up around 12:30 (because we didn't have a car) and it kind of felt like middle/high school again.  Love it.

Saturday, we ate the best grits ever (thanks, Mom; apparently half and half and a few sticks of butter do the trick) and sausage, then ran errands for Granddaddy, grabbed Cook Out for lunch -- including milkshakes.  Yum!  We hung out and then had a typical Herring supper: fried squash for an appetizer, lightly seared Ahi tuna (gone before we sat down for supper), salad, crab cakes, and fried shrimp.  It is no wonder I love food.  And cocktails.  And dancing.  Yes, Aunt Phyllis brought a Wii to Wilmington so we had Herring family evening of Just Dance 2.  Can I just say that it was hilarious and my calves are still sore?!

Easter morning Mom, Dad, Granddaddy, and I went to my cousin's church (she wasn't there):  Port City Community Church.  It was, perhaps, the most contemporary church I've ever been to.  Granddaddy, and even my parents, liked it.  The sermon was great and made me evaluate my own heart and life, and reminded me how beautiful it is that Jesus died for my sins AND then conquered death by coming back to life and is living and active in me.  We headed home for a lunch of ham, green bean casserole, roasted Brussels sprouts and mushrooms, potato salad, bread, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

After a bit, the rents and I headed back to Charleston.  I started reading Atlas Shrugged in the car.  I've been wanting to read it for a few years now and so far I'm really loving it.  But at over 1,000 pages, I think it will take me a while!  All in all, it was a great weekend with the family.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Matthew 28:6  
He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.

Thank you, Lord, for rising, for being alive - living and active!

Friday, April 22, 2011


Can you peel a tangerine (or similar fruit) in one piece?  Turns out, I could.

Five years

Five years flies by.  This year, as I remember my friend Lauren, I'm
  1. Excited to remember her during Easter weekend -- a beautiful time to be reminded of renewal, redemption, and hope.  
  2. Excited to be preparing to go to Haiti -- a place she loved.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chicken Spaghetti

Last week I made PW's Chicken Spaghetti to take to a friend.  I ended up having enough for one 9x13 casserole (to give away) and a good bit leftover.  Possibly because I tend not to follow directions and added more than was called for?  At any rate, I froze some of the leftover portion and then defrosted and baked for supper this week.  Oh my goodness, this stuff is SO good!  It is so creamy and filling, yet not heavy.  I love it.  Give it a try:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I bet it's been a while since you've seen someone so attractive:

Though it was freezing cold at the start of the day, it ended up being gorgeous.  And a few fish took my bait.

Glass 1/2 empty: I'm so little endowed that a fish covered up my bathing suit top.
Glass 1/2 full: my fish was SO big it covered up my bathing suit top.

I'm totally a glass 1/2 full kind of gal.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mission: Accomplished

Courtney caught her a fish!

{{More on this later...}}

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hope this is worth it...

...and LOTS of fish are caught because I just got this email:

Good morning ladies.
I am looking forward to our fishing trip Saturday. High tide is at 7:00 AM. We need to be at the first spot no later than 7:30 AM which means we should leave HYC dock at 6:30 AM.
What do you want for lunch?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Flo Town

What?  You haven't been to Florence lately to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy a night out on the (small) town?  Yeah, I hadn't either.  However, I took a trip to Florence after work last Friday to celebrate my good friend Mary Glenn.  Her first shower/wedding event was Saturday so we made a night of it.  It was fun to get some time around MG's fiancĂ©e, debut my gold shoes, and partake in the happenings of Florence nightlife.  Dinner at Redbone, drinks and dancing at The Fountainhead, meet some of their friends, and then it was time for bed.

The food at the shower was scrumptious -- including a sausage casserole I've never had before but am hoping to recreate very soon.  MG received lots of nice gifts and had quite the turn out.  We were asked to answer this question (and the answers were read out loud) in a room full of well manicured older Southern women:

If I'd known then what I know now...

...I would have let Mary Glenn be the designated driver more often.

{{That actually wasn't mine, but was the funniest.}}

Friday, April 8, 2011

The plants!

Jalepeno Peppers:



Red Bell Peppers:


All lined up and ready to grow:


Saw this this morning:

Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!  I hate mice/rats and the likes.  They really really creep me out...perhaps more than anything else.  Ugh.  Hoping that thing is gone by the time I get home.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Pretty cool sky in the Wal-mart parking lot last night: 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gardening udpate

I finally started my "garden."  Monday I purchased the following at Wal-Mart and Lowes this week:
  • 1 tomato plant with its own vine helper thing
  • 1 red bell pepper plant
  • 1 jalepeno pepper plant
  • 1 rosemary plant
  • 1 cilantro plant
  • 1 basil plant
  • 5 cute little planters
  • 1 bag of potting soil
I hope they all grow!  I also hope that I remember to water them!  I'm still in the process of potting my second round of purchases, but pics will follow.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Party, party, party...!  For my brother and sister-in-law this past weekend.  They got married this past September in Michigan.  It was a smaller wedding and didn't include all of my parents friends.  So their friends graciously threw them a party to celebrate their nuptials.

We had a good turn out of about 60 people including some members of my mom's family, dad's family, and friends that feel like family.  The food was divine!  Including frogmore stew, pepperoni rolls, sausage pinwheels, dips, the best artichoke dip ever, ham biscuits, homemade red velvet cake to die for, and lemon squares.  Toss in cold beer and red wine -- I was stuffed and my thirst quenched.  Thankfully some folks took pictures:

The guests of honor, Nathan and Shannon:
 Mom with her two sisters, Beth and Linda.  Can you guess which one is a sister by blood?
Mom and her brother-in-law, Uncle Matt.

Mom with all of the female party hosts.  So glad they threw this party!
 Being silly with Granddaddy.
 The Herring clan.
Towards the end of the night when most have gone home, that is the time to bust out the karaoke machine and get your dance on!

Courtney and Beth.

Granddaddy, (one of) dad's sister, Aunt Dean, and dad.

The whole gang.  Including the massive serving piece they used for the frogmore stew!  Sans Courtney, taking the pic.

It can't be a bad party when you put a basket on your head!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hooker Heels

I bought these for a wedding I'm in this summer.  What can I say?  I've always loved a good pair of hooker heels.

And yes, I approved them with the bride-to-be first.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Time's Almost Up

This little lady and I have been having the best time.  Look at that face!  I'm going to miss her when Courtney takes her home on Sunday...