Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Make-up Recipe

I've searched high and low for a lip exfoliant that is similar to the one I used to use from MaryKay with no luck. It would gently remove the dried and peeling skin off my lips and re-smooth them in the dry winter months. Then, I came across this great, more natural recipe. It is simple, easy to make, requires items I normally have around the house, keeps my lips softer than stuff I have bought, and I don't mind if a little gets swallowed (its food rather than unknown chemicals with weird names). Give it a try:

Honey and Sugar Lip Exfoliant
2 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)
1 Tablespoon honey

Add honey to make it less thick or sugar to make it thicker depending on your preferance.

Place on lips (probably not the whole bowl)
Leave on for a minute or two (put more on if you want)
Gently Scrub in a circular motion for a few seconds
Rinse off
Repeat in a few days if your lips are still flaky
Extra can be saved for a few days or used on feet

Monday, March 15, 2010

Yet More Proof Giving Up Facebook was a Good Idea

You know what's better than Facebook? How about playing board games face to face at the coffee shop with five different people this weekend? : ) Not only did I get to interact with these five wonderful people who amaze me every time I see them, but people from the shop came up and chatted about the game and asked what we were fun!

My co-worker informed me the other day that the year 1975 separates the technology natives from the technology immigrants. This is the year Pong was released for home use. It marks the first time in history humans interacted with technology. A pixel on a screen could now be controlled with the flick of wrist. And now, I can instantly let my 200 friends know where I am with the point of a finger on my touch screen. We interact with screens on a daily, hourly?, basis. People born before this date are the technology immigrants. They did not grown up with this face to screen interaction. Those born after Pong have not known a world without screens (at home, at church, at the bank, at school, in the car, at restaurants, etc). Screens have become almost lifelike to us. People are as comfortable, maybe even more comfortable sometimes, interacting with a screen than real people. A recent article I read talked about how it is easier to say sentimental things online and make a bigger deal of these encripted messages forever stores on a network drive somewhere in outer space than to say them face to face.

My friend, Liz, posted this on her facebook (how ironic):

Toughest college test: No cell phone, no Facebook

It is the same kind of de-sensitizing that I hope to accomplish (and see being accomplished) by my Lenten fast of denying Facebook (though, I'll admit, I've cheated extensively).

Now, I'll admit. Technology is great. Its why you can read my blog and people can share thoughts. Its why I'm even still in touch with Liz (a high school friend I haven't seen face to face in years). But it must be used sparingly and we must remember our main form of interaction (face to face, eye to eye).

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Why I Gave Up Facebook For Lent

I came upon this article today and it hit me, this is why I decided to give up Facebook for Lent:

Police: Couple nurtured virtual child while real baby starved

Now, one could argue that the comparison to this article could be a huge leap. The truth is, there is no real baby behind the virtual infant they were caring for. On facebook, behind the photos and wall posts and status updates, there are real people. So, I have to be careful about drawing too close a comparison between the two. Virtual facebook friends still have bodies, souls, and spirits. I still could meet them in person whereas the couple's avatar baby never has or will exist.

Its not that I'm letting babies die while I play on the computer, but in a similar fashion, I sometimes let face to face friendships wane and real people go unnoticed as I spend hours chatting and reading about "friends" with whom I have little personal contact or never would have crossed paths with again but find their online profiles interesting. I am allowing my real friendships to die off while nurturing my virtual ones, giving them a disproportionate amount of time. Giving up facebook has made the people I see in real life all that more real and encouraged me to foster or re-ignite relationships with people I see or could see frequently. It has allowed me to give them my undivided attention and not be distracted by the draw of the virtual world. It has allowed me more time to play Wii with my neighbor girls, something I've seen pay off as they are now constantly knocking on my door showing me their new passports or asking to come make crafts. It has given me more time and brain power to pray for my upstairs neighbor who came to my party and think of ways to reach out to him. Giving up facebook has been a good move.

So, why is facebook so enticing? It is so much easier to sit in my pjs and chat with multiple people at once, but how much effort it takes to get dressed and out of the house to meet a friend in real life. I would argue that both can be equally fulfilling and the ease of online makes it enticing, but it blinds us to the reality around us.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

An Altar of Dreams

It still seems weird to say "I'm celebrating Lent". Maybe "observing Lent" is a more appropriate phrase, but either way, being a Baptist celebrating Episcopalian Lent while attending Lutheran Lenten services has been quite eye opening. I've learned about the meaning of Lent, about Jesus spending forty days in the wilderness and being tempted by the devil with things like self-sufficiency and power. But most of all, I've learned about giving stuff to God. Lent is understood by most as being a time of giving something up. Even non-practicing Christians will sometimes observe the season. People give up coffee, chocolate, smoking, etc. then after forty days of re-defining and bending the rules (after Easter) they get it back. The concept of Lent reminds me of the story of Abraham in Genesis 22.

Abraham and his wife, Sarah, were old in age. They were in their hundreds! And yet, God told them they would have a child. When this child was miraculously born, they laughed so hard they named him Isaac (which means he laughs). Fast forward many years and God tells Abraham to take his precious son, Isaac, up to an alter and sacrifice him. In those days, people would sacrifice animals as a payment for their sins, but to offer up your son was bizarre. How hard it must have been for Abraham to obey God and offer Him Isaac. Abraham took Issac to the altar. He obeyed God. In the end, God told Abraham not to sacrifice his son. He saw what priority Abraham gave God in his life. Whew! What strikes me about Abraham is his willingness to give up Isaac for God. He put what he valued most on the altar. So often, we say we love God more than anything, but we let other things consume our lives. We let them become idols and, though we would never say it, we let them become more important to us than God. What do I need to put on the altar?