Thursday, January 27, 2011

What's in a Name? (Part 1)

I have always known where I got my name, Sarah Elizabeth; Sarah being most immediately from my paternal grandmother, Sarah Opal, and also historically from the bible, Sarah, Abraham's wife. But today I felt like it would be a good reminder to look back on the women that held my name before me, so I started in Genesis 16-21 where Sarah was originally Sarai.

Sarai is most famously known for not being able to conceive a child and, afraid of embarrassing her husband, Abram (later renamed Abraham), for leaving him without an heir, she sends him to her maid, Hagar, so that they can make a baby and carry on the family name. But as women typically do, she changed her mind. As soon as they'd done the deed she told Abram that he was stupid for going to Hagar and she was stupid for letting him. Abram (trying to avoid the classic wife nagging session) told Sarai she could do whatever she wanted with Hagar to get back at her (I see this same principle still in effect today: the man's bad behavior is overlooked by the vengeful wife who instead turns all her venom on the "other woman"). 
This leads Hagar to running away where she meets an angel who tells her she will have a son by Abram and he will grow up to be a wild child. Now at this point in the Old Testament soap opera (I like to think of it as "The Old and the Fruitless") Abram is 86 years old. Jump forward 13 years to Abram's 99th birthday, and the Lord appears to Abram and promises him that he will be the father of many, many children and descendants, and not through Hagar, but through his wife, Sarai. So he renames him Abraham ("Father of Many Nations") and here's where my name first comes into play (Genesis 17):
15Then God said to Abraham, "As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.
 16"I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her."

So to summarize, my predecessor started as a barren woman who never thought she could have a baby, but ended up being the mother of one of the greatest men (Isaac) in all of the B-I-B-L-E. The thing I really like about Sarah was that God used a COMPLETELY normal person to do this awesome thing. See, God tells Sarah that she will have a child and she has gone so many years trying and failing to have a baby that she actually LAUGHS at God out of disbelief.  But God sees her doubt and decides that he's gonna follow through with his promise anyway, because he's cool like that. So God blesses Sarah with a son when Abraham is 100 years old and Sarah says, "God has made laughter for me, everyone who hears will laugh with me," and they name him Isaac, which means laughter.

I am thankful to have been named after two wonderful women, my Memaw Opal who was the sweetest, most generous, and best hugging woman that I am convinced ever walked the face of this earth; and Abraham's scared, hurt, and unbelieving wife, Sarai, who God used even in the most unlikely of circumstances to prove that what really matters is how big God is, not how little our faith is.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Winter Blues? Or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

First of all, can we just talk about how it is either incredibly fitting or incredibly comical that the acronym for this winter depression is SAD? This can't be just a coincidence, some scientist out there thought this would be an awesome joke to pull on the American public and is snickering in their suspenders as we speak.
However, I can't help but feel like even though the name is a joke, the disorder is not. People really do get sad in the winter! I for one, am highly susceptible to the winter blues. I always get mopey, irritable, and antsy during the long, cold, winter months. I need my sunshine!
Think you might have it? Check out the article below.

What is seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?
Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that affects a person during the same season each year. If you get depressed in the winter but feel much better in spring and summer, you may have SAD.
Anyone can get SAD, but it is more common in:
-People who live in areas where winter days are very short or there are big changes in the amount of daylight in different seasons.
-People between the ages of 15 and 55. The risk of getting SAD for the first time goes down as you age.
-People who have a close relative with SAD.
What causes SAD?
Experts are not sure what causes SAD, but they think it may be caused by a lack of sunlight. Lack of light may upset your sleep-wake cycle and other circadian rhythms. And it may cause problems with a brain chemical called serotonin that affects mood.
What are the symptoms?
-If you have SAD, you may:
-Feel sad, grumpy, moody, or anxious.
-Lose interest in your usual activities.
-Eat more and crave carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta.
-Gain weight.
-Sleep more and feel drowsy during the daytime.
-Symptoms come and go at about the same time each year. For most people with SAD, symptoms start in September or October and end in April or May.
How is it treated?
Doctors often prescribe light therapy to treat SAD. There are two types of light therapy:
1) Bright light treatment. For this treatment, you sit in front of a "light box" for half an hour or longer, usually in the morning.
2) Dawn simulation. For this treatment, a dim light goes on in the morning while you sleep, and it gets brighter over time, like a sunrise.
Light therapy works well for most people with SAD, and it is easy to use. You may start to feel better within a week or so after you start light therapy. But you need to stick with it and use it every day until the season changes. If you don't, your depression could come back.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


One thing that is bothering me right now: 
I know everyone else loves the snow, and as an idea, I do too. But as a walking, freezing, driving reality, I have realized something about myself this week. I, in fact, do not like snow very much. I find it annoying and yucky and besides the fact that it is very, very white, I don't really like much about it. Here are reasons I do not like it:
-Everybody FREAKS OUT on the roads and you'd think it was the apocalypse.
-Buying regular groceries is impossible as every woman in the four state area is packed into Walmart shopping for what appears to be the apocalypse.
-I sat in a gas station line for 20 minutes waiting to fill up because apparently everyone in the whole world needs a full tank of gas in the car they will not be driving because of the road conditions (due to the snowpocalypse).
-Where there is snow, there is below freezing weather and I HAAAAAAATEEEEE being cold. period. I want to go back to last week where it was 50 degrees in January. That is the part of Arkansas weather that I love!
-After a couple of days it will build up on the side of the road and be brown and black and gross looking. Now the only thing going for it, the pretty, sparkly, white powder part, looks like watery dirty piles everywhere. Worst.
-I don't like the idea of being stuck in my house for days at a time. I am not a good enough meal planner to have stuff just laying around to cook for two weeks of being shut in. Plus I get stir crazy really easily.
-I dislike when public services are shut down. If I can make it out to your restaurant, shop, service provider, then you can too.

I realize that this sounds really depressing and demanding, and I accept that. I feel depressed due to the snow and cold and therefore demand that life continues as normal. Is that too much to ask?

Monday, January 3, 2011

These are a Few of My Favorite Things...

Well once again the holidays are over and once again I am ready to move on with the new year! As much as I love holidays with our families, moving between 6 Christmases is just a lot to handle, so by January 1st I was ready to say goodbye to Christmas and New Year's and hello to 2011!

Here are some of the amazing Christmas presents that I got this year:

My new Nikon D3100-SO excited about this little guy. I have always loved taking pictures and looked forward to one day owning a camera that could meet my passion with quality. I can't wait to have some beginner's training sessions with my sweet friend Brooke Robinson! She is an amazing photographer (you can check out her stuff at

My next favorite gift was my 4D Concepts rolling craft organizer! I love this thing SO much! It is three feet tall and has tons and tons of bins to hold all my stuff. I can finally have separate containers for stamps, inks, paints, accessories, and a separate bin for each color of paper! I admit my nerdiness on this one...

My last favorite gift was my NASB Ryrie Study Bible that Garland got me. This bible is cool for two reasons: 1) Garland gave it to me to replace the bible that Bosco ate (which was the bible that Garland gave to me on our wedding day inscribed with my new name), and 2) it is a NASB cross reference and commentary bible, so it pretty much tells me anything I would want to know about scripture in the most literal translation possible. This bible makes studying so much easier and it makes researching passages much less intimidating. I would highly recommend it!

Thanks to all my favorite gift givers for such a wonderful array of presents! 
Hope you had a merry Christmas and Santa gave you everything you asked for.