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Top Twenty: #9-12

In case you haven’t been paying attention, we’re continuing the list of the Top Twenty Things Every Woman Should Know which is purely subjective and could easily be debated by those who know way more than I do about such matters (and also by the generally cantankerous, I suppose). Today we’re looking at things that are good to know in…pause, please, and prepare your heart…awkward social situations.

#12 A working knowledge of current events. Read the first article on the front page of each section of any newspaper and you’re ready for anything!

#11 Three awesome conversation starters. “Have you lived here long?” “What keeps you busy right now?” “Do you think all your kids will have your receding hairline or just the one?” A few ideas to get you rolling.

#10 One impressive party trick. I can make a really cool noise with a straw. Katie makes music out of glass. What can you do?

And this may be the most important thing to know in social situations…

#9 When to stop talking. Again I draw from the deep well of my own monster mistakes. But that’s another post altogether.

Speaking of #9,


Top Twenty: #13-16

Well, the Twenty’s today have this in common: knowing them could save someone’s life and the life you save could be your own. Literally. Hee. Making myself laugh so early in the morning? Priceless.

#16 How to Change a Flat Tire: Yikes! I really want this one on the list because….well…because, it could possibly be that I’m not entirely sure I could pull it off myself. It’s on my list of goals and dreams for 2008 though. Slacker alternative for knowing how to change a tire: make a goal to learn how to change a tire.

#15 CPR and the Heimlich. I know, I know, you never think you’ll need it. But trust me, a well-executed Heimlich in a busy restaurant will probably get you on the news, or at least a free dinner or something. Seriously, if you ever DO need it, you’ll be endlessly thankful that you learned it. Tons of information (though beware: they seem a little sassy about it) here. Visit this site and then tell me how much you love the picture they chose to illustrate “first aid.” Heh.

#14 How to Use Jumper Cables without blowing up your car. I have experience in this! I have watched smoke curling up from the engine and seen my cables liquefy in front of my little eyes, so I still call my husband every time to have him talk me through it. Interesting aside: I’ve found that the need for jumper cables always occurs on the coldest day of the year. In fact, just thinking about jumper cables makes my hands cold and numb. Weird.

#13 How the Rest of the World Lives. If you woke up this morning, turned on the kitchen faucet and water came out, then you’re in the top tiny percentage of people living in the lap of luxury. If you eat three meals today – even if two of them are Top Ramen – you’re wildly affluent compared to your global neighbors. If you have been fully immunized against disease or have ever been treated by a docter when you were sick…wow…that’s pretty darn wealthy. If you’ve cast a vote, attended church or gone outside without a veil over your face without fear, then you oughta be dancing in the streets today because you are blessed indeed. Bonus points (from Heaven) if you let that awareness motivate you to action.

For perspective on that last one, please read Left to Tell by Immaculae Ilabagiza. It’s a heart-wrenching read, but it’s good for us in America to occasionally let the anesthesia wear off, you know?

SO excited about tomorrow’s Twenty,


May 1, 2008 - 12:06 am

Kristin Bryan - I would like to add an additional “Slacker alternative for knowing how to change a tire”: ORDER AAA

AAA saves my life – I never leave home without it ๐Ÿ˜‰

who needs to know how to change a tire, or remember where their keys are when you have AAA?

Who needs to hold on to their keys on the LAS VEGAS strip when you have AAA (that was a jab at Luke who lost his car keys somewhere on the Las Vegas strip.. good thing for AAA because we would have been stuck there overnight without it)

May 1, 2008 - 4:11 am

Katie - Yay me! I know how to do all those things. Although I am constantly afraid to do jumper cables myself. But my dad made me change and rechange my tire 5 times before I was allowed to get my license. And my tire goes flat every year in 1 foot of snow…figures.

May 1, 2008 - 8:28 pm

bolovesjoe - Slacker alternative to calling Triple A when you lose your keys in Las Vegas: stay overnight and spend a lot of money at a really great restaurant. Helpful ideas are what I’m good at.

Katie, your dad is brilliant. That’s all I have to say.

May 2, 2008 - 10:31 am

Kristin Bryan - Haha, we had just barely started dating at the time.. so I’m not sure that would have been a great plan.. and I’m not sure you would have endorsed it ๐Ÿ™‚

May 20, 2008 - 3:42 am

Phil - Jumper Cables ouch, thats a hard one… I feel like I’ve had to jump a car maybe 30 times in my life and I still mess that one up. Just the other day I was jumping my car to my cousins, and for some reason his cables are the opposite color, and low and behold lots of smoke, and bad things to my little Volkswagen.

Top Twenty List: #18 & 19

Continuing my rambling rant on the Top Twenty things Every Woman Should Know:

#18 How to cook one really great dinner. Just one is all you need to impress your date, your dad or your neighbor, Thad (RIP, Dr. Seuss). I love this site for beginners because it has tons of pictures. And this one is great if you’re anywhere on the scale from intermediate to pro. And two great foodie blogs, just for inspiration’s sake: Orangette and Smitten Kitchen.

#17 The correct usage of the word “literally”. Everyone who knows me well – particularly those who have shared a home or a last name with me – will assure you that this one is very near to my heart. If you take a week and pay attention to the way people use the word, you’ll find it’s almost always wrong. Here’s my rule of thumb: unless I’m looking for an ACTUAL needle in an honest-to-goodness haystack, then the word “literally” does not apply and should not come nigh unto my sentence. Unless the way that girl sang that song really and truly caused my brain to explode, then saying it “literally blew my mind” is not okay. Figuratively…that’s the way our minds generally are blown and that’s the way needles are usually sought for in haystacks. Admittedly, saying “It was so funny I figuratively died laughing,” doesn’t pack the same punch, but – hey – I didn’t make the rules, I just like to talk about ’em!

Well, this post has been very cathartic for me. Thank you.

Wishing it was Literally 87 Degrees Today,


April 30, 2008 - 9:50 am

Corina Burgess - I literally hurt myself nodding my head in agreement with you. OK, not LITERALLY! What’s a little whiplash anyway? ha! I’ve got it down now, I go grab starbucks, then read your blog and it “literally” feels like Im with you. Hey go to TBN online look in the archives on April 25th and watch. Our Senior Pastor Randy Hand was interviewed. Gives you a good glimpse of what we’re doing these days and you might catch me, Jon and Lance in the audience! What can I say since my debut on Price is Right, the camera loves me!

April 30, 2008 - 11:06 am

Jessica Carpenter - Amen on the “literally”. Mike Summers and I have a long (long long long long) running joke about it’s misuse. And you know how good long running jokes with Mike are!

April 30, 2008 - 10:11 pm

bolovesjoe - Jess – yep, I appreciate Mike’s ability to maintain a joke for the long haul and I definitely think you have that anointing as well.

Corina – We watched it and loved it! And I really think I saw you but it would have helped if you would have done the wave, or that dance you used to do in Oneighty after all the kids had left the building. Seriously, we loved your pastor’s vision and heart and humility and can clearly see why God called you there. I hope we can visit someday soon!

Top Twenty Things List: Post #1

You know, I have found that this blog has become an interesting little window. Through it, I think people can see a little more clearly into my life and my rambling thoughts…but it turns out the window goes both ways and I can see you too! And it’s fun! But you should definitely pull your blinds sometimes. I kid! You’re all awesome!

Seriously, most of the posts that I have written have been in response to a question that someone has asked me after I’ve spoken somewhere for some reason. They ask, I try to answer and then I think, “Hey! I should write about that. Right after I finish writing about burnt chicken and CLC dating habits, I’m going to get to that!” So, this post does not reflect a specific question…but it is totally the result of my meeting and knowing and speaking to hundreds of women and being amazed at the things that some know and some don’t. You may not agree with my choices…feel free to rebut, the window is wide open. I promise to post a couple every day until we get to the magic number 1. Most of them are totally free, they just require a little time…and for some, I’ll include a slacker alternative. So…without further preamble, prelude or prejudice…I give you the Top Twenty Things Every Woman Should Know List:

#20 The names of the current US President, Vice President, Speaker of the House & Secretary of State. Bonus points for knowing the names of three other world leaders. Dead ones don’t count unless you know how and when they died. If the death is a particularly good story then I’ll give you a pass on the Secretary of State.

#19 How to win at least one card game. Slacker alternative: How to PLAY at least one card game. Everything you ever needed to know about both the playing and the winning is right here.

It’s gonna be a fun week,


April 29, 2008 - 9:16 am

Tara - So I am confused…are we supposed to answer the question? or are you showing us what we should know? ๐Ÿ™‚
Skip over the answers if you haven’t come up with yours yet, I guess

here are my answers….
If people read the newspaper they should know about these guys…
Nancy Pelosi is the speaker of the house. Everyone knows that. (At least I hope they do!)Condoleezza Rice is the US Secretary of state. George W. Bush is the president for a little while longer w/ Dick Cheney as the VP.Hugo Chavez is in charge of Argentina right now. I am not a fan of him.
Robert Mugabe is leading Zimbabwe
Thabo Mbeki is in charge of South Africa (and Nelson Mandela before him).

April 29, 2008 - 8:06 pm

bolovesjoe - Tara, answers aren’t required, but I always like them! And…bonus points for the names of world leaders which can be randomly dropped into conversations that are dragging. (“How ’bout that Hugo Chavez? He’s a doozy!”)

Coffee next week – I’ll have Katie shoot you a time! M

April 30, 2008 - 12:29 am

Amanda Miller - Let’s see, without cheating…

President – George W. Bush Jr.
Vice President – Dick Cheney
Speaker of the House – Nancy Pilossi
Secretary of State – Condolizza Rice

I think I’m right.

BTW I like your comment about CLC dating habits. Today Dane got a text in OT and said, “I have an important announcement everyone,” and Fab and I (and maybe some others who were too embarrassed to admit it) thought Dane was going to annouse a proposal to Katie.



Matthew 11:28 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Jesus is talking to people here who have been following God the only way they know how. The “way” was chiseled out by God – and then a man made system was handwritten in the margins. And even for those who longed for more, all the doing and sacrificing and performing and pleasing must have left them aching at the end of the day…starving for just a taste of the God behind the veil. Surely, in the midst of all the trying and hoop-jumping, every true God-seeker was longing to catch a glimpse of His face and to know that for even just a moment, they had been seen by Him.

And then came Jesus.

This question He asks: “are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?” is the first indication to them that He knows their secrets. He sees where no one else can see and He cares about the frustrations that live behind the the frenzied actions. I can imagine that every head began to nod and every eye began to well with tears.

Yes, we’re tired.

Worn out? Absolutely.

Burned out on the system? Without a doubt. But it’s all we have. It’s the only visible gauge available for measuring our right standing with the invisible God. There is no other system…is there?

“Come to Me.”


“Get away with Me and you will recover your life.” Big, big, BIG words. They had – in the process of serving and striving – lost the life in their lives. KJV says “you shall find rest for your souls.” That word rest means “intermission or recreation”. In the midst of the busyness of following God, they had lost the powerful pause that needs to built into it all – not for impressing Him, but for enjoying Him. They needed to recover the pause…the intermission…the whole meaning of real LIFE. Because in those moments of meeting with Him, He fits His yoke on us. He shows us how to “walk with Him and work with Him.” Clearly, what they thought was “with Him” before, was not. Much of the activity that was wearing them down and burning them out was – in fact – worthless. Shoot. That’s frustrating. And freeing. And really pretty wonderful.

Loving the pause,


April 27, 2008 - 1:08 pm

Katie - Love it, love it, love it, love it, love it. I’m sure you’ve already heard it, but you should listen to Casey’s song The Moment We Break. It makes me cry every time and it’s definitely worth a download, even before that darn CD ever gets out.

April 28, 2008 - 6:18 am

helenw13 - I believe much of our walk with the Lord is all about being in recovery…I love that translation…that by coming to Him…we will in fact recover our life…exchanging what we thought life was and learning what life lived in Him is…sometimes if I dwell on how I thought I was “doing it right”…I could just curl up in a ball and never get up again…but Thanks be to God…He is much too loving and tender to leave me on the cold lineleum…for that I am grateful…eternally.

Thanks Bo…you always stir up my soul in a deep challenging way yet I know you are on the same road…so I am so glad I have company on this stroll.

Peace to you,


April 28, 2008 - 11:20 am

bolovesjoe - Helen, I’ve recently become familiar with the lines of the linoleum myself…but I think I’m seeing the light of day. ๐Ÿ™‚ That translation made me think of how we say “I gave my whole life to that …ministry/relationship/job…” and I was wondering how many times we give our LIFE life – the very thing that Jesus came to give back to us. Anyway…this one is still forming in my head, but thanks for the encouragement in the journey.

Katie – I will download forthwith and immediately. I hope YOU get a great pause this week. It’s been a busy…um…decade. ๐Ÿ™‚