Why my grandparents are better than yours

Why my grandparents are better than yours

Grandparents are great, aren’t they? They are nice and fun and awesome. And here’s a secret about grandparents:

Mine are better than yours.

That’s right. I went there. Mine. Are. Better. What’s that? You want me to prove it? And you want me to use pictures as a visual aid? Fine, but this is the last time today. I present to you the following evidence that my grandparents are better than yours.

These are my grandparents:

Hello

Cute, right?? I call them Mamaw and Papaw. Which leads me to the first reason my grandparents put all other grandparents to shame: You can totally call them Mamaw and Papaw, too. My grandparents will instantly adopt any of my friends (a trait my mother inherited) and extend their grandparent-ness to you. They will pretend you are theirs and ask you all sorts of questions, and then you get cookies. I know they have real names, but I think they would consider a legal change to Mamaw and Papaw – that is how dedicated they are to being your fake grandparents. Try them out – you’ll like them. Oh, sorry, what’s that? You hate awesome jokes and the Game Show Network? Then you have NO SOUL and my grandparents are not for you. The rest of you, look for a message from me with their address – GROUP VISIT!!!

Reason #2 my grandparents kick grandparenting booty is Mamaw’s crocheting. She is the quickest crocheter this side of the Mississippi. She can crochet anything. I’m pretty sure she crocheted the Mona Lisa once. Okay, fine – but she could. She makes doilies and blankets and sometimes she makes a super-complicated thing that has no name, shows it to you, and then unravels the entire thing. That is how awesome of a crocheter she is: she doesn’t even care about the awesomeness – she is beyond it. She takes your compliments and crochets them into a blanket, gives that blanket to a cute puppy and then after he snuggles up in it she makes another one and unravels it in front of that puppy, but it’s okay because he has the first one. You’ve just been Mamawed.

“COME AT ME, KNITTERS.”

The next reason my grandparents are this best can be summed up like this:

That, my friends, is a digital picture frame. They have a digital camera. However, my grandparents don’t like to take the little card out of the camera and put it in the frame, but they want to use the frame. So all day long, the frame flips between the time, the West, flowers, and the weather. All day long. Tell me that isn’t fabulous. And if you ask them about it, they will very patiently explain to you that the pictures that come with the frame are better than the ones they took anyway. That’s what we call a win-win.

The next reason is Christmas. Every year, Mamaw decorates their house like they are in an indoor Christmas competition. And if there were such a thing they would totally win every year because Mamaw is not kidding around about Christmas. Every year, Papaw says he wont put up any more decorations for her. Every year, he puts up more decorations for her. He secretly loves it. They have plates, tablecloths, magnets, statues, villages, singing toys, clocks – they even have a toilet seat cover with Santa’s face. A toilet. Seat. Cover.

Don’t mind me. I’m just here to make you comfortable.

The next reason they are awesome:

My grandparents tell each other they love each other all the time.  And they mean it. They have been married for 51 years, and my Papaw still writes cute love notes to my Mamaw :) How can it get better than that?

So there you have it. Irrefutable evidence that my grandparents put all other grandparents to shame. They are not just grandparents, but super-duper, are you even for real or is this a dream, have some free gum grandparents. I love them and I am so glad I get to be their granddaughter! Don’t forget – YOU CAN BE THEIR GRANDKID, TOO!!!

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Deep thoughts by K-Veld

Deep thoughts by K-Veld

Fair warning: This is about to get deep. Like, deep. Okay, maybe not deep enough for italics. Read it, and if you think it’s deep enough for italics, let me know.

Ahem.

I have been struggling with something lately. Between my mom going in and out of the hospital so often for awhile, and my friend passing away earlier this year, and just the general stresses of life, I have gone through a very… unprayer-ish time in my life. I felt like praying to God for anything was kind of useless, because it seemed like He was going to do whatever He had already planned on anyway. I felt like I was blaspheming by thinking that, and I wanted to stop. But I couldn’t get it out of my head. I wanted to pray, and to keep up the faith that I had known all my life. I have been a Christian for 16 years – I should be able to get over this bump in the road. But I just couldn’t do it. It got to the point where I would start to pray, but I felt so defeated that I just got a few words out and then stopped. Daniel would pray for both of us, me telling him what to pray for in the hopes that God would hear Daniel even if He didn’t hear me.

Then I began to wonder if I had done something to make God not listen to my prayers. Was I not faithful enough? Had I not prayed enough? Maybe He was mad because I didn’t read my Bible enough. I tried to fix all the things that I thought could be the problem, and I tried to pray again. It still didn’t work. I felt so far from God, and far from everything I knew. My whole life is based on my faith. If I had a question before, I just asked my parents or my pastor and it was answered. But now, I couldn’t even think of the right way to ask the question, let alone find an answer. This had never happened to me before. I wasn’t the one who questioned her faith. I was the one with answers, with the ability to show people the silver lining, the one whose beliefs weren’t shaken even when her mom got cancer or her dad lost his job. To have that taken away from me was so completely terrifying and confusing that I didn’t even know where to begin to return to my previous way of life.

I finally sought counsel from a very wise friend of mine. We shall call her Q. Her name doesn’t begin with Q but I think it’s mysterious and James Bonds-y and I like it. I told Q all of these things, and we talked at length about what I had been praying for. I was waiting for her sympathy, a pat on the shoulder, maybe a violin or two playing in the background while a sad kitten walked by. Instead, she thought for a moment, and then asked if maybe I was being selfish with my prayers.

I was completely stunned. And offended. I was ready to walk away and never speak to her again. But we were in Starbucks, and I hadn’t finished my drink yet, so I stayed. I <3 Starbucks. I argued with her, asking how praying for my mom to be well, for my dad to find a job, for my friend to recover could be selfish. Those were prayers for other people. And I wasn't asking Jesus to give me a pony, or to make it so my husband got a 1000% raise just because it would be nice to have extra money. These were legitimate, life-and-death prayer requests. I didn't expect God to say yes to every single thing I asked for, but I thought maybe He could give me a couple of these.

Q then gave me some invaluable advice: God doesn’t see things the way we do. You can go ahead and let out a “duh” if you would like to. We rate things: kicking a dog is bad, stealing is worse, murder is even worse, lying is not so good, punching your friends is mean, and streaking is discouraged. But God doesn’t see sin as bad, kind of bad, or worse: It’s all the worst. Sin is sin. Whether that means you tell a lie to your boss or shiv a guy in prison, sin is always sin. I have always known this. I think all of us do, even though we forget it. But here comes the part that I totally did not think of: The same goes for prayers and prayer requests.

When we pray to God, He hears us. He hears every prayer. We pray to do well on tests, or for someone to get well, or to get a promotion. And none of that is bad. But, once again, we rate things: In our minds, praying for a friend to be cured from cancer is probably one of the most important things we can pray for. It was to me. I thought that surely that was something God had to say “yes” to. But as much as it hurts us to lose someone, and as much as God hurts when we hurt, He doesn’t rate things like we do. All of our prayers matter to Him. But not all of them get a “yes,” no matter how much it would mean to me or to a friend or family member. I wanted my friend to get better because it was sad and painful to see him go – but him staying was not what God had planned. My prayer requests were for earthly things, even though it didn’t seem like it at the time. That’s the thing about all of the requests we bring to God: If they don’t work for His good and in His timing, they don’t work. This is something that we as humans can’t always wrap our minds around – some things will just always hurt us worse than others, because we can’t see the big picture. Losing a friend will always hurt worse than stubbing my toe. And not having a prayer answered the way I want will always be hard to deal with. But if I take things to God in prayer and leave those things with Him, instead of taking them back to fix myself, I don’t have to deal with the hurt and sadness and confusion by myself – God is fighting that battle for me.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t pray for sick friends or people in need. Praying is how we communicate with God. We should continue to speak to Him, thank Him, and come to Him with our requests – remembering that He loves us too much to say yes to whatever we ask for. Does that make it easier? No. Seeing a loved one hurting will never, ever be easy. That is one of the sad parts of this world. But God is so far above and beyond this world that once we get to heaven and see how the plan all comes together, we will rejoice over the times He told us no.

Happy Thanksgiving!

K-R-I-S-T-E-N

K-R-I-S-T-E-N

My name is Kristen. (Hi, Kristen.) My parents named me this in an attempt to give me a name that was slightly unique but not so unique I never make a friend because other parents are scared of my family’s values. And while my birthday is very close to Christmas, and while I know “Kristen” and “Christmas” sound similar, my parents did not take this into consideration when naming me. My dad is very adamant about this point. For the love of all that is holy, please don’t ask him if I am named after Christmas. You will regret it. Also, don’t ask him about the civil war, but that’s unrelated.

However, all this aside, the most aggravating aspect of my name is not that I share it with so many people in spite of my parents’ best efforts. (One of my BFFs has been renamed Other Kristen just so we have a way to distinguish ourselves to our friends.) It’s the fact that there are so many ways to spell it and pronounce it that no one ever gets mine right, including my great-grandmother. But she gives me presents, so she gets a pass. The rest of you, please continue reading.

The name Kristen is pretty simple. It’s only seven letters. And it’s phonetic. What you see is what you get. You might find yourself wanting to say Kristine, or Krista, or Kristy, or, on one weird occasion, Kelly. Fight that urge. It’s a bad urge. It’s the kind of urge that will get you pinched on the arm. And, for the love of everything, please do not ask me if I am sure if I am saying and/or spelling it correctly. It’s been 24 years. I’m sure.

And now that I have a grown-up work email address, a Facebook account, a Pinterest, a Gmail account, etc., I find myself eternally baffled by the fact that people constantly misspell my name. Like all others who have my name, I consider my spelling to be the most correct. None of the letters repeat, the “K” gives it that unique flair – not a lot of words start with K, you see. Okay, fine, but not as many as, like, M. But regardless of how you think it should or could or would be spelled in your mind, it doesn’t change the actual spelling of my name. If you’re writing me a message on Facebook, and you’re just not sure how to spell it, you can just look up about two inches and, what’s this?? My name is ON my Facebook page?? Quick, write it down, before someone notices and corrects it for me!! The same goes with email… and everything else. I hate to brag, but I am a champion speller. And even if I wasn’t, I am 100% sure how to spell my own name.  I know I’ve said that already. But apparently it’s a difficult concept to grasp.

So, in conclusion:
Give me a K! (K!)
Give me an R! (R!)
Give me an I! (I!)
Give me an S! (S!)
Give me a T! (T!)
Give me an E! (E!)
Give me an N! (N!)

What does that spell???  FERNANDO! No, I’m kidding. It spells Kristen!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!