...the Life and Times of Karolyn Lewis.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rainbow Flags and Bibles

Warning: This post is intolerant in nature. You do not have to read it.  It will not hurt my feelings one bit… not even the tiniest.    

Am I the only one out there who wishes stores would just be stores?  Why can’t Starbucks just serve amazing, overpriced coffee?  Why can’t McDonalds just serve fries and burgers?  Why can’t Target just be, well, Target?  Why, oh, why must corporate giants align themselves with controversial, political issues? 

I’m sure you know where I’m going with this…  the great debate on homosexuality.

I am a Christian.  Let me expand on that:  I am one of those Christians… those that believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is true.  All of it. 

After reading scripture, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that God hates—yes HATES—homosexuality.  God hates sin period… lying, stealing, gossiping, gluttony, homosexuality, fornication... SIN.  Why does God hate sin?  My best guess is because it separates us from Him. 

Most people are on the “hate the sin, love the sinner” bus, and I’m inclined to reserve a seat there myself.  We’d be in a sad state if God hated liars, thieves, gluttons, adulterers, and homosexuals (the list goes on, but…).  We are all sinners.  We are all in need of God’s grace, His salvation.  A quick read of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (posted at this end of this entry) shows us that God is in the business of changing fornicators, homosexuals, thieves, drunkards, etc, and making us fit for a relationship with Him.  

My mom reads my blog so I’ll refrain from confessing my shortcomings, but BELIEVE ME, I am in no position to judge others.  My life-long list of sin is pretty grim.  What I am in a position to do, however, is read the Word of God, confess it as true and holy, and try my best to live by its standards.  Sounds easy, huh?  Even with freedom of speech and freedom of religion, it’s harder than one may think.  Have you seen the “So many Christians, so few lions” t-shirt?  (No doubt a reference to the feeding of Christians to lions in the Roman arenas, I am impressed by the creativity; but the message is still the same: let’s get rid of the Christians).

Somewhere along the way, our society has lost its ability to disagree.  We’ve lost the right to a conservative opinion.  Let a Senator or an actress speak out against homosexuality and she’ll be crucified on CNN.  Let a teacher in the public school system vocally disagree with same sex marriage and he may as well pack up his belongings and kiss his classroom goodbye.  Conservative opinions, once spoken, can be lethal to the speaker. 

The media call it Hate Speech.  How ludicrous!  It’s not hateful for me to say I don’t agree with homosexuality any more than it’s hateful for me to say I don’t like anchovies. It’s my opinion.  If you don’t like it, de-friend me, don’t vote for me, delete my blog from your reader.  It’s ok.  Really. 

How helpful would it be if we flushed “political- correctness” down the toilet and simply decided to be kind?  Is it kind to rally and hold a sign saying GOD HATES FAGS?  Absolutely not!  Is it kind to picket abortion clinics and call hurting women murderers?  Absolutely not!  Most picketers would benefit from a good whop upside the head with the signs they hold (is this an example of Hate Speech?  Speaking out against those who actively “speak out against” with picket signs? Oh, the double standard…  We live in a time when the only thing we don’t tolerate is intolerance).  Yet, I digress… 

A dear friend and I were solving the world’s problems in a telephone conversation the other day when she began to speak of God in a way I had never considered.  As best as I can, I’m going to relay, in her words, what she’s been exploring in the Bible study class she attends:

God is merciful, loving, gracious, and slow to anger. At the same time He is righteous and just and holy and steadfast.  All of these attributes co-exist in perfect harmony within Him. His mercy is a perfect mercy; His judgment a perfect judgment! 

One attribute doesn’t overshadow or dwarf the other and they never work against one another.  They work together in harmony. When we focus only on the attributes we like about God, we have a very distorted view of who He is.

There are times we extend mercy to our kids when mercy is not what is best for them.  Not so with God!  When He grants mercy, it is a perfect mercy.  It is for our benefit. There are times we are patient when we should not be patient.  Not so with God!  God’s patience is perfect.  It’s on the mark – at the right time and the right place.   

How God can be perfectly merciful, just, gracious, loving, holy, protective, judgmental, jealous, terrible and a host of other things at one time without one quality working against the other is crazy-hard to understand. 

I am more than confident that God is loving and merciful.  However, I am also confident that His love and mercy do not make Him any less holy or righteous.  Moreover, His love and mercy do not grant us a free pass to live any way we want. Beware!  God’s love and mercy will lead you out of your sin, but it will never, ever allow you to remain there.  We cannot put all of our eggs in the love basket, yet many of us have. 

Why I chose to pipe in on this subject, I do not know.  Homosexuality is at the forefront of not only the political scene, but my MSN homepage and Facebook newsfeed, as well; and Christians seem to catch the brunt of the controversy.  Celebrities are “celebrated” for defending the honor of gays and lesbians and Christians are labeled “haters” for holding on to the Word of God. 

Maybe I want to take a stand for righteousness in a kind, non-hating-kind-of-way.  Maybe I want to join with other Christians who try (as best they can) to lovingly take a stand against same sex marriage and the cultural celebration of homosexuality.  Maybe I want to defend the attributes of God that so often get ignored. 

Maybe I just want to buy a set of sheets or a cup of coffee or some fries in good conscience.  


I penned the above a month or so back and never published it to my blog; I guess things seemed to calm down for a bit and my frustration lessoned.  Then Chick-fil-A busts out in support of traditional marriage and I must say I was proud of them.  I chuckle at myself because I hate to hear corporate America in support of homosexuality, but I love to see the rare case of Biblical alignment. 

Although many Christians will condemn me for this, I will still buy things from Target and Starbucks and McDonalds.  If we boycotted every business that doesn’t hold to Biblical, traditional, conservative values, we’d be hard pressed to do business anywhere in the United States --and we’d get awful tired of waffle fries.   

My advice to you? 

If you like good chicken and great service, eat at Chick-fil-A.  If you don’t, go somewhere else.   

If you disagree with the way someone lives or thinks, remember that KINDNESS is never overrated.  Having a loud mouth and mean spirit profits very little. 

And lastly, you can’t hold a Bible in one hand and a rainbow flag in the other.  Please put one down; and know that whichever you end up holding, I will be kind to you. 

... and if you are one of the few that have stuck this out to the end… thank you.

As promised…

9Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1Cor 6:9-11

Thursday, July 26, 2012

On Open Sea

One of my favorite places to be is on the water with my family on a calm day.  I'm not a big fan of going far out.  I've been miles and miles and miles off shore on not-so-calm-days, and, well, it weren't pretty.  There is no fish in the world worth that, my friend.  

But our local, untouched coastline... it's nothing short of overwhelming.  

A few weekends ago, we loaded the kids in the boat to pick up a few scallops.  It turned out to be a fairly productive outing, even though we didn't get the first scallop; we never even made it to the picking-up-scallops-place.  Instead of masks and snorkels, we strapped on our good Samaritan hats to save a drifter.  Seriously.  We were halfway to Scallop Central when we found a guy drifting along holding up his sunken, water-filled jet ski.  He had floated along for nearly 3 hours before we found him.  Crazy thing is we didn't leave the marina until 4:30 or so, much later than normal people decide to go scalloping.  Anyway, we helped this tired, sunburnt, dehydrated guy into the boat, gave him a towel and a bottle of water and took him and his sunken jet ski  back to shore.  We were on the water for over 3 hours and only picked up a human.  No scallops for us.

A few days ago, we gave Round 2 a shot and headed out. Although we kept our eyes open, we didn't see anyone needing anything more than a just a small dose of common sense. It was a perfect day to not have to save someone.   

I was hoping we'd see dolphins and we did!!  One even jumped and twirled in the air for us!  Too bad I didn't have my camera at the ready for the acrobatics.  

I love the view of the marina from the water.  Such a fun little place.

While Lee was getting the boat loaded and pulled out of the water, the kids and I played along the water's edge.  We take some much for granted...

The hard part of scalloping begins when you get home...


That little bit of scallops only set us back $84.  I'll never complain about sea-food prices again.  

I'll just complain about gas prices.  Boats use a lot of gas.  

And just in case you don't believe we're quite backwoods enough, I'll leave you with a little bit of proof...

That's my boy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Parenting 101

Chapter 1:
Have very few rules.  Keep them all.

Chapter 2:
Don't try to reason with your kids.  

Chapter 3:
Try your hardest to keep a straight face while you're actively forgetting Chapter 2.

Case in point...

Liliana was M-A-D at me for making her hurt her head and she would not rest until she fussed at me about it.  

I appreciate any and all prayers.


And just in case you're wondering about our house rules...

This sign hangs in my kitchen.  The list came straight from my brain.  If you're wondering why it's so simple, well, that's why.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Time's a wastin...

I waste a lot of time.
A LOT of time.  

I documented my entrance into the world of Mac in a post you can read by clicking here.

Like many others, I've given a rather large portion of my heart to my iPhone.  I keep it with me at all times and will turn around to fetch it if I forget it at home.  If evolution were real (which I have bet my eternity that it's NOT) I would probably come back as an Otter Box. 

Even though I don't need to spend another millisecond with phone-in-hand,  I've added a few things that have made my mobile experience a bit more irresistible:  Camera +, Diptic, and a Lifeproof case.

Camera + and Diptic are both super-fun, photo editing apps that are compatible with Instagram.  Totally worth the 99cents.  If the owners were smart, they'd give you a free, two week trial, and then charge you $10 a piece for the apps.  I'd totally pay it.  And this is coming from the girl that thinks Goodwill is expensive.

  So here are a few pictures from my camera roll... 

Passin the time while waiting for our food brings out the goober-ness in all of us.   
Henry's FIVE!!  I think I quit buying cone hats and cutesy plates two kids ago.  

Alpha-males unite.  Lee is hangin' out with our big rooster, Goliath.  

Somewhere in the midst of all this picture takin, I found the time to make S'mores on a Stick.  
Those are hand-made marshmallows, my friend.  Be impressed.  

Did I mention my Lifeproof case is water proof?
That's bad out.  

Now instead of rafts and water guns, the kids ask for my phone.  

My deep thinking girls.  Molly wants to be President when she grows up.  Michal wants to be Beautiful and Rich.  

At our house, we don't kill snakes.  We chase them down, dive atop them, wrestle them into submission and then bring them closer to the house for further inspection.  

Then we pass the little critters off to the children.  

By the way, there is no "me" in that "we."  It's all Lee and the kids.  I abhor snakes, as any good Christian should.  (Just joking on that one...  I know plenty of Jesus lovin' people who keep snakes- and I'm not even talking about the Alabama Sand Mountain people).

If you can pull your eyes away from the Satan like creature wrapped around Zeb's wrist, take a look at Liliana in the background...  too cute.  

And if you think there should be a law about taking pictures of half naked kids holding snakes, I'm inclined to agree, but that is a pool in the background. 

And here's a video of Michal and Molly swimming in said pool:

Did I mention that I LOVE my iPhone, and that my Lifeproof case is water proof?


Lest you think I've made an idol out of my mobile device, I also take it to church and use it to make notes during the sermon... copying scriptures from my Bible app and all...  
Here's a picture of my notes from church yesterday...

So if you run into me at the local grocer's and want to know what the Bible says about committing your  life to Jesus and pursuing a lifelong friendship with Him... I can whip out my iPhone and show you.  What would Steve Jobs say about that?  I've got all ideas he'd encourage you to pay close attention.  

(And if you'd like me to email you these scriptures let me know, I'd be more than happy! I've been wanting them on my phone for a while now. I'm hoping to change all of these to NKJ or NIV-- didn't realize I was cutting and pasting out of KJV)   


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Short End of the Stick...

Boys in general get the short end of the stick.  Girls have way more fun.  

I'm talking kids, here, not adults.  But it pretty much applies to adults, too.  At least if you're me.  

Girls get to play dress up, put on make-up, and paint their toe nails and finger nails.  Girls get to hang shiny things form their ears and push baby strollers around the house.  Girls get kitchens from Pottery Barn and miniature versions of real-life metal shopping carts in which to ride stuff all over the house.  Girls get play vacuums that make real noise and pick up real dirt.  

Girls get all the fun.  

Here, little boy, go bounce this ball.  

When my sister-in-law was pregnant with her second,  her oldest son prayed hard for a "skirt baby."  Honestly, I think he saw all the cool girl toys we had around our house and he wanted some of those toys for himself.  Girl toys are fun.  

The cycle rarely ends.  Little boys grow up and work hard so the little girls they love can continue to have all the fun.  
Tisk, tisk.  

I am a Stay at Home Mom, and in efforts to not offend other SAHMs, we are extremely busy.  There are a mountain of things to do... EVERY DAY!  If you add doing a bit here and there for your husband's business, the load is heavier, but... a busy day of laundry, book-keeping, cleaning, and cooking in my pajamas beats time at the office in slacks and heels any day!  So being a woman isn't all fun and games, but it can be more comfortable.  

I've been trying to kick it up a notch with my boys, and I started in my sewing room.   I've been making things for the men in my life.  It's much easier (and "funner") to sew for little girls, but I'm determined to sew for my men.  I've sewn Lee a quilt you can see by clicking here, and I've sewn Zeb a rug cover and bedspread you can see by clicking here.  

The last few days I've been sewing shorts for Hank the Tank.  He's five and still thinks it's extremely cool that I can make him things.  I've made both of the boys boxers several times and I love to see them run around the house in their under shorts.  Sewing wear-in-public boy shorts is a bit... what's the word?... hoaky, maybe? But I gave it a go and was pleased with the results...  

These are made from a really flimsy fabric that may be a seersucker/rayon blend (if there is such a thing).  I have NO clue how well it will wash up, but...  The fabric was just sitting there in my closet, so no biggie if it's a bust.  

I did add a green tag and gave the hem a few extra details to keep it interesting.  

Henry is talking to command central via his camo watch.  Maybe boys get to have a little fun...

I made these out of a sheet so they feel a little more like swim trunks, but to school, they will go! I wish I had done the pockets bigger and higher, but I don't dislike them enough to fix them.  With a long tee it looks just fine.  

This last pair is my favorite!!  The orange piping down the side is genius!  Also lots of orange topstitching  on these.  I've never sewn with piping, but I LOVE it!!!!  I want to pipe everything from here to Tinbucktoo!!

I had a great time sewing for my little guy!!  Now I'm thinking I may be wrong about girls getting all the fun...  I've been noticing quite a bit of laughter, chasing and foul smells (with girly "ewwwwws" following) coming from my guys.  


I made Henry one pair of shorts that was way too small, but they fit Liliana just fine.  I added a ruffle to the bottom, appliqued a shirt, and told her it was a Bethany Hamilton outfit.  We're big Soul Surfer fans, 'round here.  A few months back, Liliana asked if she could cut off her arm; after much thought I told her no.  

She needs that arm.  How else would she put on spider man googles to read a Christmas book in the middle of July?  Lili-shmili.  


On a side note, I'm NOT a fan of the "Girls Rule, Boys Drool" attitude.  Boys are amazing!!  Boys- even at young ages- deserve respect from girls.  My girls don't- and won't- wear t shirts or have things that insult boys.  How can we expect rude little girls to grow into respectful ladies?  Let's train our girls to honor men even at a young age.  And let's train our boys to treat girls as precious gifts.  

Sew on!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Surprise! Surprise!!

Last week, Lee and I shipped the older kids off to camp!  Thirty kids from River of Life went to Georgia and had a blast.  I don't think they had any down time at all.  I know I didn't!  Tropical Storm Debbie messed my plans up a good bit, but that's another post altogether.  

I had been shopping, planning, and sewing for several weeks prior to camp to surprise Zeb with a new room when he came home.  Last year, Michal came home to a new room- complete with a stage and vintage theater chairs.  You can read about it by clicking here.  

Zeb had been sharing an upstairs room with Hank the Tank and that was no fun whatsoever.  Their room was really big and REALLY messy.  HT made it his personal mission to keep it in a state of national disaster.  FEMA would have totally given me money.  It looked worse than the toy section of Goodwill after a half off sale.  

Sooo....  Lee and I decided to move Zeb into the bedroom-turned-TV room downstairs.  Hope you enjoy the little tour...

I love the quilt!!  Made it myself and I'm dying over the vintage feel of it.  It reminds me so much of an old man.  The bed is actually from a bunk bed and the rail is still attached to the side of the bed.  I tried to take it off, but think I stripped out the screws.  Oopsie!  Hopefully Lee will be able to fix...

I made the pillow cases as well and was shocked at how easy and fun they are to make!  I've pinned the  tutorial I used to Pinterest.  It's from a blog called Sew, Mama, Sew. The cases have French seams. Oui, s'il vous plaĆ®t!

The glass, vined basket holds his media controls.  It hangs from the curtain rod.

Not to toot my own horn, but this rug is pretty much the best thing ever.  It was a pain in the caboose to make and I almost quit a few times, but it turned out sooo nice.  All the seams are exposed and sewn with a  zig-zag stitch.  Under neath is a shag, pink rug that was once in Michal's room.  I've already washed it and the edges frayed nicely.  How awesome is it to be able to wash a rug this size?  Not sure why there's a bowling ball in the middle of it, but...  

I love galvanized steel so these curtain rods make me smile-- so manly and fun.  Thanks, Lee, for driving to the store at 9 pm and getting what we needed to make them!  And then coming home and installing...  not the quickest of projects.  

Galvanized steel is pretty pricey, so before you decide to build your own rod, get ready to pay out double or triple what a standard curtain rod would cost.  We get a pretty good discount at the local hardware store, so...

Lee had to take this couch- and the door- apart to get it into the room (when it was a tv room).  I was not about to ask him to take it out again, so I knew I had to incorporate it into the room.  At least it's a decent couch, right?  It's really practical since the kids like to watch tv together.  

The more I brought Zeb's stuff into the room, the more I liked it.  It was a little "mature" to begin with, but with toys, marbles, and a few stuffed animals, it really started to feel like Zeb.  

None of the kids keep clothes in their room.  We converted another downstairs bedroom into a Clothes Room.  You can sees pictures of that room by clicking here.  The closet is now a study nook with plenty of space for books, toys, nerf guns and ammo.  

Dontcha just love the old Risk board above the doors?  Another game board hangs by the entrance door...

Another great little touch is a barn-wood toy box at the end of his bed.  A good friend (who is 80 or so years young) built it for Zeb when he was a baby.  The wood came from one of my in-laws' barns in Kentucky.  It doesn't hold toys anymore, but there are plenty of footballs and soccer balls in there.  Not to mention baseballs, golfballs, and tennis balls.  Did I ever tell you that "ball" was Zeb's first word?

Zeb's first baseball glove hangs by a rope from his curtain rod.  Such a neat little reminder of how much he's grown...

Zeb is taken by his room!  He was sooo shocked and happy.  When he walked in the door from camp I told him he had a huge mess in the TV room to clean up and he was like, "I haven't even been here, mom..." I told him it was full of his stuff and he needed to take care of it.  He slugged and shrugged back to his new room, opened the door, and started smiling.  The exhaustion- mixed with the surprise and happiness- made him tear up a bit!  What a blessing!!

Later that night, he walked into my room and handed me this...

I will keep it forever.  

Zeb, you make my heart happy.