Jennifer’s Mighty Life List: How to be a Baptist Exhibitionist

Inspired by Mighty Girl and a long list of other women who are setting grand adventures into motion, I thought I’d share my own list. Or at least, my list so far. Which is not quite 100 yet, but is 36, which happens to be my current age. Funny that. Anyway, I’ve been building this list since last Thanksgiving, and for some reason it makes me extremely anxious to share it with the universe. Which is dumb, I know, but I’m not an open book and this feels really exhibitionist.

Well, here goes:

1. Drive a race car.
2. Get a pilot’s license.
3. Live on an island.
4. Speak French fluently.
5. And maybe Spanish, too.
6. Go back to France.
7. Make wine.
8. Make homemade cheese(s). (1/30/10: ricotta)
9. Visit New York.
10. Take a helicopter tour of interior Maui.
11. Ice skate.
12. Replace my cheap wine glasses with fine glassware or crystal.
13. Break out the china and silver for something mundane, like spaghetti or hamburgers.
14. Travel to Java to see the volcanos.
15. Learn to scuba dive.
16. Write a novel.
17. Learn to sail.
18. Visit every island in the Caribbean. (Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel)
19. Teach my nephews and nieces to drive a stick-shift.
20. Visit the zoo, a really great zoo like San Diego or Fort Worth, with a child. (San Francisco Zoo w/ niece Dejohna)
21. Hike into the Costa Rican Monteverde or Santa Elena Cloud Rain Forest.
22. Take Handsome on a surprise, last-minute, exotic vacation.
23. Expatriate.
24. Touch the sandstone walls of Petra.
25. Skinny-dip in a stranger’s pool while the entire family is out of town.
26. Own a convertible.
27. Begin drawing again, including art classes if necessary.
28. Buy a little black dress.
29. Celebrate the New Year in Paris, New York, Sydney, Rio de Janiero, London, and Dubai. (Paris 1998/1999 & 1999/2000 <–Millennium! Awesome!)
30. Go back to school to get the degree I never knew I wanted: English Literature.
31. Find the perfect recipe for wonton soup.
32. Make homemade marshmallows. (Christmas 2009)
33. Learn to tango.
34. Take drum lessons.
35. Road-trip across the American Southwest. See meteor crater, grand canyon, four corners, etc.
36. Witness the crab migration on Christmas Island.

Ok, I showed you mine. Show me yours!

Crash Bang Boom!

Bikes are a lot of fun. A LOT OF FUN!

Until you fall off and scrape your knee. And bruise your hip and shoulder. Not so much fun.

Life lesson: When you fall down, get back up and ride. Because you’ll look like a loser walking your bike home. But you’ll look cool if you climb back on and keep going. Especially if you’re smiling and laughing. Then the world thinks you’re adventurous and fun-loving, instead of a total spaz.

Update: I only THOUGHT my pride was more injured than my body. But do you know what? My entire right side feels like it has been punched by the pavement and then mocked for being so fragile. Anyway, I’m not smiling and laughing so much as whining and cringing. Yay me.

We the People of Such Weak Faith

And please, can we stop with the Protestant self-aggrandizement about Christian America? What part of America do you think Jesus is especially pleased with — slavery, internment of the Japanese, or our singular focus on entertainment and the amassing of wealth?

Don’t get me wrong, I love this country, and believe that as far as brutality, racism, and oppression go, we are a far sight better than most civilizations in human history. But perhaps, when the instinct to start painting an ethereal Jesus into those pictures of the Founders signing the Constitution takes hold, we would do well to remember that no one is righteous, no, not one, and that all this business about God’s special purpose for America makes a heretical muddle of Biblical teaching about the citizenship of God’s people.

It seems far more likely that we are born into this country, fellow Christians, not because God decided to bless us, but because He knows our weak faiths and frames couldn’t handle being truly oppressed in places like Somalia or Pakistan or China. Think about it — God can place you anywhere in history and space, and he chooses not to make you a martyr under the Romans or Muslims or Communists, but an upper-middle class white person in the most prosperous, healthiest, and safest country on the planet. You think that’s because you’re especially righteous? Think again. If America is a special haven carved out by God, it’s because he knew his weakest children needed a safe place.

– Tony Woodlief Christian America?

Click over and read the whole thing; it’s totally worth it. And go ahead and add Tony’s site to your daily reading list because he’s always this good.