Friday, January 15, 2010

All Christians Aren't Crazy

Couldn't resist posting this link. However, I cannot make the link work. So please copy and paste.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


A few nights ago I dreamed that there was a global disaster. (I watched Knowing a few weeks ago and apparently it infiltrated my subconscious.) In the midst of water surging over the earth, I lost my family. As it subsided, I ran around yelling frantically for them. Someone pointed to a crying baby on the ground, telling me that it was Charlotte. She was far too small, but it was a dream, and natural disasters that shrink babies are not out of the ordinary I suppose. But I wanted to know for sure that it was her, so I searched the little body for signs. There was a giant white scar down her chest, but there were three (instead of two) chest tube scars, so I was desperate to find some other identifying characteristic. Not once did I think to look at her hands. Isn't that odd? I suppose that my subconscious doesn't care too much about Charlotte's missing thumbs. Of course there are days when I worry too much about what's ahead. Will she be made fun of by other kids? Will her surgery be successful? What challenges will she face with less strength and dexterity in her hands? But I try to pray when those moments arise, trust in God, know that His plan for her is better than mine. Curiously, I didn't wake up freaked out about my imaginary natural disaster, but encouraged about my daughter and the road ahead.

On a similar note, I had a terrible dream last night. Someone was trying to kill me. I used to have these dreams all the time, until a friend pointed out that maybe I should try praying about it and stop watching scary crap on tv. So I did. And, for the most part, the dreams stopped. Last night I watched a crime show on tv. Why? Why on earth did I go against my better judgment? Because I forget the lessons that I have learned. Because I'm human and fallible and often do things I know I shouldn't. As a result I am chased around by scary girls who moved in across the street, accidentally run into giant spider webs while trying to get away, and wake up tense, holding my breath, on the verge of screaming. Note to self, do not watch crime dramas any more.

Making a Promise

I found a yellowed, rodent-nibbled piece of paper, folded and rolled into a little scroll, in our small attic closet this week.

I Bruce B. Holland do promise to quit smoking or give up (Waunita?) as of 4:00 P.M. Sunday September 12, 1954.
(signed) Bruce B. Holland

I googled Bruce B. Holland. He's a pretty famous dude. CEO of Holland Construction. Earns an 8 digit salary. Contributes to various campaigns. Top 100 contractors. Only 60 years old though. He would've been five or six. Pretty sure he wasn't making a pact to give up smoking. Or even writing in cursive for that matter. And I'm not sure who or what the word that looks like Waunita is. But I am so darn curious.

I wonder if he was successful? I have my doubts. Not because I'm cynical (which I sometimes am), but because it was an "or" statement. He wanted to leave himself some options, which probably means he wasn't serious about quitting either.

I've been trying to stop picking at my fingernails. I told God a few years ago that I was going to stop. I thought if I told Him, then surely I would follow through. I didn't. It's amazing the effort that it takes to stop a bad habit. So I'm going big now. If you see me looking at, messing with, or chewing on my fingers, stop me. I might not like you very much in that moment, because I hate being told what to do, but I need a village. I know, I know. Just pray about it more, God will give you the willpower. But I believe that God doesn't want everyone to sit around, staring at the sky, waiting on Him to supernaturally take away their problems. He tells us to be wise, to make choices. So I choose to not write my plan on a piece of paper that no one else will ever see, but post it for the world to read.

I Christy Alley promise to quit abusing my fingers as of 2:30 p.m. Sunday January 10, 2010.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Retail Antitherapy

You know how they say that some people use shopping as therapy? I've heard that for some, pleasure centers in the brain are triggered when they buy stuff. I think that I have the opposite of that. Instead, my displeasure center gets stimulated.

For example, I decided that this year I would use some of my Christmas money to buy a pair of boots. From the beginning, I could see these boots in my mind...tall, black, 2 1/2 or 3" skinny heel, real leather, straight (not slouchy), little to no bling. Real leather was necessary because I am a shoe killer. As in, I wear my shoes for years. Just ask my sister who is very tired of the brown loafers I've been wearing since '97. My two pairs of fake leather boots all lived very short lives, no good. So off I went on my boot search. DSW, JCPenney, Bass, Nine West Outlet. I bought a pair at Nine West that I knew I shouldn't--they were 4". I wore them around the house for 30 minutes, then took them back the same day. TJ Maxx, DSW (a different one), The Shoe Dept, Dillards, Macys, Sears--nothing. Nordstroms, Bakers, Nine West, Rockport, Dillards (a different one). I fell in love with a pair at Dillards that didn't fit. I bought an acceptable pair at Nine West, came home, and called five different Dillards in search of the boot I really wanted. Ordered it over the phone. Now waiting five business days to try it on and return the other pair. This is absurd. But I can't throw down more than ten bucks without feeling 100% confident that I'm getting exactly what I want and that I'm going to get significant use out of it. Am I crazy? Don't answer that. If I were not the crazy money pincher that I am, I would have bought these:

Only $500. And not real snake skin, in case you're wondering. The sales lady said that if they were, they would be "much more expensive(!)"