I finally finally started using my Google Reader and I'm just obsessed. If you follow more than a few blogs, I would highly recommend it. Actually, you are probably already using Google Reader :) Just in case you're my neighbor here under the rock though, I wanted to mention it. You just need to sign up for a Gmail address. Then you can go to google.com/reader and type in the addresses of blogs you want to follow and voila. They pop up as they're updated! It's MAGIC! :) So that said, be sure you link your blog in the comments if you have one! I would love to follow along. I've clicked over to several blogs in the past couple of weeks and I thought they were all lovely, but I keep forgetting the addresses. With Google Reader by my side, I am more prepared.
Adam was in the bottom two on American Idol WHAT?! Go Alison! Go Fieyro!
I pulled a muscle in my leg trying to do a new workout DVD (let us pause for a quick game of word association: lunges = Dante's Inferno). People have been raving about this DVD and my only conclusion is that some people like pain. Be gone, ye masochist exercisers! So I decided to ease back into working out with something a bit more low impact. I typed "low impact aerobics" on YouTube and this is what came up. Hilarity. I couldn't find my white Reeboks or my leotard, so I went for a walk instead.
Takeila Bynam has a really sweet review of Paperdoll as well as an interview. Takeila is a lovely person and I had fun chatting with her about the book. Whenever I do interviews, or try to speak in front of people, I get nervous and stuttery and just generally awkward. That still happened (ha :) but Takeila made it fun. I know you're sweet enough to look over my awkward nerdiness, so I'm posting the link ;) Please try to ignore my twang. It is a permanent part of my voice. If you love books, you'll have fun browsing around on Booksalatte (she combined two of my favorite things to make a word!)
The time has come. You may now string up the pinata. You may fill up your hypothetical paper cup with fluffy looking pink punch. Release day is (pretty much) here! :) Yay! I wish I could throw a party we could all attend. Despite my rabid tendencies toward introversion, I really do like planning things like that. (Of course, parties I plan tend to involve really posh things like pizza rolls, brownies, Wii tennis, and multiple viewings of The Goonies. And usually there are only like three people who come.) Alas, despite the many wonders the interweb has given us, I can't give you brownies (or heartburn) or a big bowl of Starburst.
But I can do a giveaway! So if you're interested in nabbing a copy of Paperdoll, scriggity-scroll down to the end of this post for further instructions. :)
I've told you a bit about Paperdoll already so there's a good chance I'll repeat something here. The book started late one night (April 27th to be exact :) a few years ago. I was reading John 4, which is the story of Jesus meeting with the woman at the well. Despite my intentions to skim through and then go to sleep :), the story started to resonate in some particularly awesome ways. I realized all the questions the Samaritan woman (whom I began calling Sam in my notes) was asking Jesus were the same questions I was (constantly) trying to process in my life - particularly issues of romance, worship, and worth.
In a very kind non-condemny way, Jesus told this lady the places she was currently looking for love were all leaving her empty. He listened to her smart questions and gave her smart answers (which is one of a billion things I love about the interactions He had with women. He spoke to them with the kind of respect some people didn't, and still don't, have). Not only does the story speak to the issues above, but it applies to all sorts of stuff: materialism and obsession and hopelessness and loss.
My favorite part of the whole thing is just that he thought a very ordinary girl was worth waiting for. He loved her enough to remind her she didn't have to walk around in shadows anymore. She wasn't defined by her past or by her mistakes or by how many guys wanted to go out with her. She was loved, just like she was, more than she could ever fully comprehend or understand. And she had a fan-stinking-tastic message to carry to the world :) It blew my mind the night I read it. It still does. Paperdoll is my very feeble attempt to process how that story is getting tangled up in my heart.
Here are some more interesting tidbits:
Things mentioned in the book: broken seashells, mummified lions, go go boots, water, flux capacitators, everlasting gobstoppers, perms, scars, sparrows, secrets, wells, paintbrushes, sunsets, sunrise, freefalls, and perfect little paperdolls (of course) :)
Things not mentioned in the book: weed eating, barbecue (sorry Aaron), bassinets, basset hounds, termites, aluminum foil, Thai food, politics, pit bulls, porta-potties, netti pots, rice farming.
People mentioned include: Chase, Melanie, Ashley Judd, my sister, my mom, Gilbert Blythe, Chris Martin, Katie, Jimmy, Reese Witherspoon, Kate Chopin, Aunt Ruth, Bob Dylan and my Granny (how could you not want to be on this list?! :).
People I Do Not Mention: Ron Popeil, David Hasselhoff, Willie Nelson, Adam Lambert, the ShamWow salesman, Danny Tanner, Long John Silver.
Awhile back, someone mentioned the book sounded like a tear jerker, and there are certainly parts that affected me that way (not parts I wrote, just things I learned). However, I hope the book makes you laugh or smile at frequent intervals as well :) I'll post a couple of other segments later this summer, but I wanted to start with something a little but more fun and snarky. Are you comfy? Plenty of punch? Wah! I'm so nervous/excited (nexited?). This segment comes from a chapter about status and stuff obsession called Dear Veruca Salt.
(from chapter 5, p.190)
Dear Veruka Salt,
Your grand finale song in Wonka Tower has always been a personal favorite of mine, and I think I have finally discovered why. For years, I've convinced myself that we are very different, you and me. I decided I wasn't as selfish as you (or as obnoxious), but I also decided that I would never scream over the silly things you seem to be obsessed with, like golden tickets or golden eggs. What is it with you and gold?
Lately, though, I've been rethinking this issue. I've tried to fill my life with silly things, too. I'm guilty of wanting all the wrong things -- golden eggs that scramble into big golden breakfasts and then are gone .(I would abandon that dream if I were you. Next year, the oompa loompas will probably build a more durable egg anyway, one that fits in your pocket and has internet access.)
I scream as loud as you because I am surrounded and inundated by the pressure to have more stuff. I think I'll taste life more fully when I have it, but sometimes what seems sweet goes sour in my mouth. I'm beginning to see that golden eggs are all too common in my world but that contentment is not. This is some dangerous ground you're dancing on, V.
Take a look at all your greedy little friends. They're getting stuck in chocolate shoots and turning into blueberries and burping bubbles the size of baseballs. You are no different than them. You want something all the candy in the world won't satisfy. You keep screaming. You keep getting what you want. But what you want, or get, isn't making you happy.
I think I know why.
For me, it sometimes takes sitting on a rotten egg pile to realize my heart's most piercing cry. I want love. I want something real. I'm tired of sugary imitations. I'm tired of buying the right clothes and driving the right car just to prove I matter. It's all egg shells and pottery shards in the end. The stuff you want is just stuff. A year from now, you probably won't even remember you wanted it. One hundred years from now, you'll be gone and the stuff will be dirt. Before you dust rotten eggshells off your designer dress, think about this: you have the potential to leave behind something good and real. You can experience a love that matters and moves you.
"Taste and see that the Lord is good," is what the Psalmist writes. That kind of love will root deep into your soul, flood your senses, change the way you see the world. Golden eggs, golden tickets, and 10,000 tons of ice cream will never satisfy your deepest longing. Or mine. But this love, this one perfect love, will.
You know what's kind of ironic? Gold doesn't matter much to Him. Gold is just pavement up there. You can put on your Asics and run on the stuff. His goodness doesn't shower down in gold coins and gold tickets. I see it in compassion, in passionate advocacy, in imagination, and in His people. He offers a secret to survive all the fake -- genuine gratitude. He offers a treasure too beautiful to be paired with a jingle - love that never crumbles or goes away.
I've decided that's what I really want. Because when I'm living in the fullness of His love -- when I'm loving His people, when I'm walking through this world looking for how I can give, when I'm watching the sun sink down into the mountains, glittering, glowing, reflecting His glory for me to see - it's that moment, loved by God and sharing His love, that I feel like the richest girl in the world.
His love will blow your mind. Taste and see.
Love (and golden eggshells),
If you are interested in winning a copy of Paperdoll, leave a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite candy is (I'm trying to follow our Veruka Salt/party theme). Next Thursday, I'll toss the names in my I ♥ Jim Halpert coffee mug (I'll try to remember to dump out my coffee first) and pull out a name. And then volia! :) Feel free to comment regardless, but if you don't put your favorite candy in the comment, I'll just assume you don't want your name tossed in the mug o'fun for a book. Conga line, anyone?
Thanks for partying with me :) What's new with you this week?