Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Month: June 2013 (page 1 of 2)

A friend like that

Steak ‘n Shake has a happy hour. Did you know this? For sure. Every day, 2-4pm, half priced drinks – including shakes. This, my friends, is a better deal than the Sonic After 8 shake deal simply based on cost of product per ounce. The SnS shake is waaaay bigger for $1.50 than the Sonic mini for $1. 

And how did I stumble into this intel? I have a source. Her name is Megan. She also informed me that Red Robin french fries – all you can eat, btw – are best dipped in their ranch (TRUE STATEMENT) and that you can ask for a refill basket of said fries while you actually wait on your burger. This chick is nothing short of genius. Oh, and when it comes to birthday free meals, she’s got you covered. I can now give you a complete round up of when to hit which restaurants based on how long from your birthday you have to redeem the meal. 
Simply put, everyone needs a friend like this. Trust me, your life is better for it. 
I began reflecting on the other friends that one simply must find in life.
1. A mechanical handyman. Technically this one came into our life thanks to my husband’s likeability, but I take some credit as I told JJ that I wanted to have Brent work on the car, since his wife and I worked together. It turns out that he also knows a thing or two about plumbing, heating, and pretty much anything with a motor. Even though we’ve moved a distance, we now live with complete confidence we won’t be taken for a ride when it comes to purchases of things that involve motors. All of this, and he makes my husband extremely happy when they finally get together to eat a basket of wings. 
2. A friend that speaks snark. Sometimes people do stupid things. And then you find how hilarious you are at telling others about them. Now, you can’t just post that to FB to let your jerkiness shine to everyone – but a well composed random text sometimes hits the spot. Knowing they won’t think less of you just puts icing on the cake. 
3. Nerd alert friend. I keep a list of a few friends that when conversation flows, I can comfortably let the nerd out. No need to hide the fact that I’ve read random books about drug addiction or follow a blog by a funeral home director nor is it worrisome that I’ve found the information completely fascinating. These friends appreciate the nerdiness and sometimes even ask questions. Bless you. 
4. Dancing friends. Not such awesome dancers that you feel inadequate because you’re sure they’ll be on DWTS next season, but confident ones that you want to join as soon as you see the shoulder start bouncing. *Allison, I’m looking at you.*
5. A friend with connections. I’m not talking backstage passes at the concert or free movie rentals for a year. Instead, I’ve learned that finding a good stylist, chiropractor, doctor, dance class, yoga studio or organic meat source isn’t a task to undertake in solidarity. Finding that friend who knows your personality and understands what you value when they make a recommendation is priceless. 
6. The friend that is nothing like you. I’ve got a couple of these… we just don’t live the same path of life. I LOVE it. Not only does it keep me humble, but it opens my mind when I see that they are healthy, happy, normal (whatever that is) individuals. I don’t have the secrets to life. There is more than one way to skin a cat or make a dinner. The fact that these friends love me and choose to talk to me although I’m a complete nutcase solidifies how necessary it is to keep a stash of friends that don’t always agree – but always love. 
7. Family friends. They have to be around me because they’re family, yet we choose to be together because it’s fun. I love this combination. A level of honesty emerges when you know they’ll always be back. (At least, in our family this is true). There’s something to be said for the people that you can make fun of freely, though if anyone else were to say a negative piece, you’d have to punch them in the neck because hey, that’s my family
I have numerous friends that don’t fit into specific categories, which is probably a valuable category in itself. But time and again I’ve found myself thinking, “what would I do without…” And I always come to the same conclusion: I’m so glad that that for this long in my life, I don’t have to find out. 
Thanks, friends, for being good friends. 
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Going for the Ask

Prayer, in general, is tough for me. I’m not a prayer warrior. I talk to God, I try to listen, but I’m not one who is good about carving out time in silence and solitude to laundry-list my needs and wants while awaiting response. Honestly, writing and contemplating are some of my best prayers, though I do try to make a point to reflect on my days and the people in them and the ways I hope to see God move. 

That being said, prayer also has not been a big “struggle” as I know it can be for others, specifically in the belief that God will answer. I think if Snapple did a series of “big questions for Christians that make it difficult to believe” one of the lids would read “if God will give you anything you ask ‘in His name’ why do some prayers go seemingly unanswered?” 
Yeah, good question. Those kind of topics I generally pass off to someone smarter because I could give a lot of reasons but none of them really satisfy the intentions of the asker. I’ve lumped the general topic into a category of my own faith called “ambiguities I’ve simply come to terms with.”So imagine my surprise when during his message this week, my pastor mentioned Jesus’ words to the disciples about asking for anything in His name and I spent the rest of the sermon cross-referencing and pondering. But I largely have Esther and my months spent with her book to thank. 
What caught my attention was the similarity in language between what Jesus told his disciples and what King Xerxes told Esther (and, related, what King Herod told Herodias’ daughter after a banquet dance in Mark 6): ask me for anything you want and I’ll give it to you. Both kings added up to half my kingdom onto the oath. 
Observation #1: Jesus is talking like a king. I have a feeling this was kind of a big deal. I’ve come to decide that any patterns that repeat through scripture (or history) are worth noting, so if this was a customary way of kings to talk to people they are pleased with (and it seems like it is so), by Jesus using the same language he is insinuating something about himself.  Kind of like if I were to walk in the door after Christmas shopping and say, “ho ho ho!” – you would know that my allusion was making reference to what I thought about myself. 
I’ve written very little, but thought quite a bit about, how we in our current society understand so little about what it means to live in a kingdom with a ruling monarchy. We live in the privilege of democracy and simply lack the experiences to fully comprehend what it’s like to have a king of any sort. So, with time and study, I hope to post on this topic again (surely someone smarter than me has already written about it. I’d guess NT Wright would have something to say, yes?), but Jesus’ talk on prayer while elevating himself to the level of King seems significant but lost on our culture. 
Observation #2: Jesus one-ups the kingly tradition. He doesn’t put on the “up to half my kingdom” addendum  Nope, it’s all there for the grabs. What is His is on the table for the disciples. And us. 
Observation #3: No one ever took half a king’s kingdom. If a king just gave away half a kingdom, surely that would’ve been recorded, right? And it seems like this language was at least common enough for little ol’ me to pick up on, so there must have been ample opportunity for someone to take advantage. But yet, nowhere in history do I recall an average Joe – let alone little ladies like Esther or Herodias’ daughter – walk away with a good half a kingdom. 
Which leads me to believe that the offer was more of a statement about the relationship with the person to whom it was being offered than it was a blank check. I found one place on the internet (and we all know that everything on the internets is true, right?) that said kings often spoke this way to people of their inner circle that they trusted. It wasn’t a prize for being good – that dance was so awesome, it was worth the whole SouthEast Plains! – it was a way of announcing that this person is pleasing to me. It spoke to their character and their worth. Hidden away in the offer of half a kingdom is the knowledge that the person to which it was being offered simply won’t take it – they’ll only ask for what they need. (In Esther’s case, when she was offered half the kingdom she said “dinner would be nice.”) There seems to be a level of trust on the part of the offerer that puts the recipient in a place that wouldn’t want to abuse the place of privilege. 
I believe we can go boldly before the throne of God and ask for what we need. We need not fear that we’re asking “too much” of God. But the invitation Jesus offers – repeatedly, because he’s all the time telling us in the Gospels to ask and receive – might not just be about our needs or even our wants. Perhaps it’s about our place in relationship to Him. 
Maybe it’s not the blank check that many Christians proclaim, but something worth even more than “half the kingdom.” Maybe it’s the confidence that we’re a part of Jesus’ intimate circle. Maybe it’s the knowledge that Jesus doesn’t just love us, but he likes us. He trusts us. He wants to empower us to do “even greater things” by giving us everything we would need. Not just with half the kingdom in our hands – but the whole thing. 
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A few kindly suggestions

Dear Creator of Heaven, Earth & the Birthing Process,

What a wonderful miracle you’ve created, this idea that little ol’ me can participate in creating and growing something. In my own body. I mean, geez, there’s something in my body right now that isn’t really me but it has it’s own heart and legs and brain and lungs and circulatory system. And soon (please, very soon) it will operate on its own based on the functioning of those said systems. The whole idea overwhelms me. It’s more humbling than an iPhone (and, come on – thousands of songs and shows, in your pocket? While you check your email? Craziness). So, I begin by first giving props at the overall amazingness known as gestation. 
But after a few rounds, I’ve come up with a list of suggestions. You know, “opportunities for growth” and the what not. If I may, I’d like to share a few. 
1. Great job on the gaining weight thing so that I can sneak in a few extra helpings of dessert. However, could we install some safeguard to ensure that those extra 25-30 lbs come back off again? Like, during that whole miserable birthing process? No one really wants to wear the maternity clothes home from the hospital. Kinda a cheap shot. 
2. Starting the endeavor with something as awesome as sex? Genius. Providing scientific evidence that the same thing would help at the end of the process, when one totes a large watermelon over the gut? Not as helpful. Also, I think this disproves some sort of feminist theory on your “nature” and sides with the menfolk on this one. (I also secretly think some male scientist developed and “proved” this theory. This scientist probably had 18 children and hated the no-sex-for-6-week rule and so he came up with this work-around instead). 
3. Hormones. Can we please work it both ways? I’ll endure the random plights of tears if you could also allow for sudden outbursts of laughter. I mean, how many kudos would you get when people commonly would say, “everything is funnier when you’re pregnant!”?
4. Inducing labor. Other than the suggestion of #2 above, the other recommendations include walking (again, with said watermelon toting) or consuming something that sounds like it goes on an engine (what is castor oil really for, anyway?). I believe a fair and reasonable list of options should include: 
  • Massage
  • Chocolate
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolate ice cream
  • Naps
Like I said, you’ve done a great job with the concept. I just believe the 2G might sell a bit better. Something to consider when you’re looking at the bottom line and the needs of your customers. 
A loyal participant
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