real life conversations, pt. 6

Me: "Five years ago, would you have imagined that you'd be making grocery store runs to buy me apple juice boxes, making my lunches, sitting on a couch rubbing my feet... and watching Glee?"

Doug: "Of course."

(My husband is a wise man.)


a challenging excerpt

"My biggest fear is that I will hear Jesus' words and walk away, content to settle for less than radical obedience to him...

I am convinced that we as Christ followers in American churches have embraced values and ideas that are not only unbiblical but that actually contradict the gospel we claim to believe. And I am convinced we have a choice.

You and I can choose to continue with business as usual in the Christian life and in the church as a whole, enjoying success based on the standards defined by the culture around us. Or we can take an honest look at the Jesus of the Bible and dare to ask what the consequences might be if we really believed him and really obeyed him...

If Jesus is who he said he is, and if his promises are as rewarding as the Bible claims they are, then we may discover that satisfaction in our lives and success in the church are not found in what our culture deems most important but in radical abandonment to Jesus...

Based on what we have heard from Jesus in the Gospels, we would have to agree that the cost of discipleship is great. But I wonder if the cost of nondiscipleship is even greater.

The price is certainly high for people who don't know Christ and who live in a world where Christians shrink back from self-denying faith and settle into self-indulging faith. While Christians choose to spend their lives fulfilling the American dream instead of giving their lives to proclaiming the kingdom of God, literally billions in need of the gospel remain in the dark."

- David Platt, Radical


chocolate, church & maracas

Possibly the most random post ever.

First - make these Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars. The recipe is from Annie's Eats. Lynz blogged about her site awhile ago, and I have been hooked since!

Second - Doug went with our pastor to a conference at North Point Church in Atlanta, and ironically, this video was played. It's a parody of evangelical worship services, and it's spot on. Hilarious and disturbing.

Third - It's the weekend! Zooey is ready to par-tay.


just chillin'

On Sunday afternoon, Doug, Zooey & I were lounging, and this is how Zooey fell asleep.

Then she woke up and sat and looked at us for awhile...

Then she jumped up on the couch with us to hang out.

See? I don't always torture my dog.

Although, someone IS excited about flip flop weather!


recently i'm... (6)

Excited About: 1) Chelsea is the FA Champ!! (If I was an English fan, I guess I'd say "Chelsea are the FA Champs!") 2) 12 days til NY!

Reading: Radical by David Platt.

Watching: Well, I thought that Pam & Jim's baby was the season finale, so I haven't been watching The Office. So Doug & I caught up this weekend (thanks, Hulu!). Not very impressed... I think the time has come to pull the plug, NBC.

Cooking: Well, Doug was out of town 2 weeks in a row, so I didn't do too much cooking. I did make my favorite salad - Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing. Yum!

Laughing At: This video. Amazing! I need a turtle so I can teach Zooey this new trick.

Planning: Debbie's baby shower! See some of her maternity pics here!

Thankful For: My first sunburn of the year! We had a car wash at school on Friday, so I got some prime time in the sun. My arms a little itchy now, but at least I'm getting some color...

Craving: an ice cream cone. Specifically, Mackinac Island Peanut Butter Fudge in a sugar cone from Dairy King. Sweet, peanut-buttery bliss.

overheard in church

Man, to young boy walking by with Swiss Army knife: "Oh, you must have the Sword of the Spirit there!"

Young boy: "It's called a switchblade!"


mrs. parton goes to prom

Last night I went to the Junior/Senior Banquet... a.k.a., my second prom. Well, third, if you count the one that Doug & I walked through on our way out of a concert one time. But that's another story entirely.

I went because:
1. Next year, Marisa & I will be responsible for organizing the Jr/Sr Banquet.
2. I was asked to take the photographs!! & the pictures turned out pretty nicely! Hooray!

Here's our sophomore officers (minus our male treasurer) and Marisa and I.


if zooey had facebook...

Zooey Parton: mom made POPCORN!!!!!!!!!! BEST DAY EVER!!!!!!

Basic Info
Birthday: June 21, 2009
Parents: Douglas Parton, Rachel Parton
Relationship Status: Single
Looking for: Random Play
Current City: Plymouth, MI
Hometown: Somewhere in Kansas
Religious Views: I love Jesus!

Likes & Interests
Interests: POPCORN, DINNER, SNACKS, WALKS, NEW PEOPLE, bones, barking, audible gas, sniffing my rear end, licking myself, POPCORN, ice cubes, gurgly burps, dribbling water everywhere after I drink, DINNER, pooping, puking and eating it, SNACKS, jumping on the couch, staring out the window, POPCORN, the warm spot by the heater, dad's stray socks, DINNER, cuddling at night, trying to hide before a bath, SNACKS, biting people's hands when they're trying to pet me, WALKS, jumping on new people, standing under mom's feet whenever she's cooking, POPCORN, chasing birds, chasing squirrels, barking at birds, barking at squirrels, barking at people walking by, barking at the blinds when they move, barking at grass, DINNER, trying to sneak out of my cage when mom and dad are eating dinner, SNACKS, digging holes (especially if it's muddy!), WALKS, life in general!
Favorite Music: I'm a music snob - I'll never give up my latest indie finds!
Favorite TV Shows: I love The Hills, but mom won't let me watch it.
Favorite Movies: All Dogs Go To Heaven, obvs!
Favorite Books: Leather bound - delicious!
Favorite Quotations: "DINNER?" - dad & mom, "POPCORN?" - mom, "WALK?" - dad & mom, "SNACK?" - dad & mom

I like eating, romping, sleeping, passing gas audibly, and sometimes cuddling - except when Mom tries to hug me and I just don't want a hug. I hate baths, my shock collar and not being allowed in Dad and Mom's room. I'm good at protecting my family and scaring off predators (especially grass - that stuff is dangerous!). I know how to have a good time, and I know a bunch of tricks. Holla at me if you want to know more!


the warmint

Happy sweet 17th birthday to my darling sister, Emily.

Amazing how some things never change!

You have grown into such a godly, beautiful young woman, and I'm so excited to see what God has in store for you this next year.

I love you so much, little warmint!

(& a very happy 30th birthday to Marla!!)


glamour shots

Having a dog is just too much fun.


mother's wisdom

Happy Mother's Day!

I found myself looking at the cookbook my mom made for me this morning, reflecting on the love & wisdom of mothers.

Before I was even engaged, I told my mom jokingly that the only thing I wanted from her for my wedding was a cookbook with all her recipes. Well, Mom took that to heart and at my shower a couple years later, she presented me with this. Beautiful cross-stitched cover, recipes typed and organized, with personal touches throughout. Fun stories behind recipes, Bible verses, family favorites, inside jokes...
One of my favorite pages, with pearls of wisdom my mother has offered throughout the years:

What are some of your mothers' wise sayings that you grew up with?

These are the 10 that my mom included in the cookbook:

1. If you always put it away, you always know where it is. (Or, the variation of this, "A place for everything, and everything in its place!")

2. Always look in your oven before you preheat it.

3. Make your bed every day.

4. Clean as you go.

5. Never go empty-handed.

6. Parsley is your friend. (This was another adaptable one, the more common dinner time reminder being "Veggies are your friend.")

7. Think backwards (whenever we were trying to remember where we'd put something!).

8. Do it nice, or do it twice.

9. Be a blessing.

10. When in doubt, improvise.

To the wisest, most loving woman I know - Happy Mother's Day, Mom.


friday night fever

Someone's got their dancing shoes on.

quick & random

1. Doug spoke in chapel yesterday! Students and teachers alike have been telling me that he did an amazing job, it was just what they needed to hear, they loved it, etc. I am so proud of my husband and thankful that he was obedient to God's call!

2. As of yesterday, I am DONE grading the freshman research papers! Only a month later than I had originally hoped...

3. Really? They're putting essentially a box over the massive oil leak? Did someone's 5-year old come up with this plan? How else did it take them 3 weeks to come up with that gem of an idea?

4. Twenty-four school days left. Twenty-three and a half, actually. We have a half-day next Friday.

5. May masthead (thanks, Kanye, for the tagline)

6. It's been awhile since I've shared a picture of Zoo, so here's a funny picture of her chomping on a bone, mid-bite, looking utterly ridiculous.


i'm going back!

Family, friends & Internet -

It's true!! I am going back to Africa! My heart feels like bursting with joy & anticipation.

This past November, Doug & I went on a trip with the Charis Foundation to visit two churches in Ethiopia and Kenya, and I have been blessed with the opportunity to return this summer, July 30th - August 9th (Doug will unfortunately not be going this time).

For more information on our previous trip to Africa, you can read here, here, here, here, or here.

I am SO excited to reunite with the amazing people we met, and I am SO thankful that God has enabled us to partner with these churches and share in their efforts to spread the Gospel!

For this mission trip, I need to raise $1,500. If you feel the Lord leading you to share in this ministry with me, you can use your credit card securely at World Orphans. Please include my personal trip ID in the memo field: ST7025-Parton.

Most importantly, please pray for our trip. Pray for unity among team members. Pray for continued building of relationships and the partnership with the churches. Pray for wholehearted reliance on God to do awesome things for His Glory!

Thank you for your generosity and prayers!

"Learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the case of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow."
- Isaiah 1:17


after school snack

Strawberry-Blackberry-Banana-Orange Sherbet Smoothie.


Best served on a deck in the sunshine watching the pup play, all while ignoring papers that need to be graded...

Random fact: Since I started keeping track (Jan. 1st), I've had at least one visitor to my blog from 42 states! Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Vermont & Wyoming - WHERE is the love?!


little spring shelf

Happy May Day!