5 Easy Steps to Win an Internet Debate (a satire)

The internet thrives on political chaos, or chaos in general. Suddenly everyone becomes an expert in law, economics, and telepathy. It would seem impossible to win a debate under these circumstances, right? Wrong! I have developed a sure-fire way to win any debate you enter and I’m willing to give you the secret for free!

Free?

Yes, FREE!

All you have to do is abandon all integrity and respect for humanity.

Really!

It only takes 5 easy steps!

1. Come prepared!

When you’re in a heated, online debate things can escalate quickly. Have a list of unoriginal insults and names ready to refer to. Some examples could be:

Libtard

Degenerate

Communist

Poopy-head

If all else fails the classic, Your feet stink, is available.

2. Find as many random, unverified sources to support your position.

Websites like wikipedia & buzzfeed are winners. Don’t forget to include that one blogger with 3 followers, his stuff is great!

3. Spread the rumors!

If you can’t find the evidence you need, just repeat something you think you once heard. How can anyone refute that? You know what you know.

4. Call for backup

If things are getting sketchy and you feel overwhelmed tag all your friends! Then y’all can use all of the above methods together and overwhelm your opponent into submission.

5. Twist their words around

This may take some practice but can be extremely effective. For instance if I say:

I prefer college football over pro football.

You come back with:

So you’re saying that the millions of dollars poured into communities through souvenir purchases and employment is just a waste!

Bonus:

If things get REALLY hairy, delete the entire thread. That way no one ever knows you lost.

Best of luck!

2%mom

Conversations in the Car

Some of my favorite moments with hf are when we ride to and from school. There are times we ride silent; each wrapped up in their own thoughts or exhausted from long days. Most times, though, we have a mixture of silliness and singing along with the radio. I try hard to appreciate each moment because I know there will come a time when I’ll be making these drives on my own.

For the most part the near-daily treks, and subsequent conversations, are lighthearted. However, the educator in me doesn’t always allow teachable moments to pass by unrealized. Often I’ll manage to slip in a few bits of times tables, an observation on grammar or literature, or a life lesson that ties to her day or comments. I make it a rule, however, not to hound or press and let her guide.

This morning was one of those perfect rides that I’ll carry with me for a good while. We started off with lighthearted banter about how fun I am as a teacher (apparently I’m neither as fun as I think nor as cool as her teacher) and then fluctuated between general silliness and learning moments. It went something like this….

(Warning. Our conversations tend to abruptly change topics with little to know transitions.)

Hf: Mom. Those clouds look dark. You think it’ll rain?

Me: Mmmm, naw.

Hf: I predict it will.

Me: *teacher spidey-sense tingling at her use of “predict”* Yea? What’s your evidence?

Hf: My evidence is the color of the clouds. Before it storms clouds are dark. What do you predict?

Me: I predict that the wind will push those clouds right over us. My evidence is the scientific data that the meteorologist uses to make his weather report and this morning he said it’ll be a sunny weekend.

*Fast forward about five minutes and the weather report comes on the radio and states that it’ll be a sunny weekend.*

Me:*trying to subtly insert life lesson* You know what that tells me?

Hf: *pouting* Yea, you won.

Me: *trying not to laugh* There wasn’t a win/ lose. I was just thinking that that reminds me of that expression about not judging a book by its cover. The clouds looked scary, but were harmless. People can be that way. They can look scary and be super fun or look beautiful and be mean.

Hf: Do you think ____ is awake yet?

Me: I don’t know. Normal people sleep in as late as they can when they don’t have to go to work or school.

Hf: *hangs her head a bit & pokes out lower lip* I’m not normal.

Me: Hey. Who wants to be normal? Normal is overrated and boring. Think about it. Picture your favorite character, your princesses. Are they just like all the other characters in the story or do they stand out? Do they do what everyone else does or do they make their own choices?

Hf: They’re different.

Me: See! Normal does what everyone else does. That’s boring. No one would read a book or watch a movie about people who all did the same thing. Would you want to watch that?

Hf: No. No I wouldn’t. *smiles to herself while getting out her iPad and putting her headphones on.*

*Moment of silence then she does something and her cords get tangled. She grunts in frustration.*

Mom! My cords are all tangled!

Me: You should try hitting it with a skillet. *Laughs at self & subtle Tangled allusion.*

Hf: *rolls eyes* Ugh. You really aren’t funny, mom.

Our chats don’t usually flow so well, but when they do I spend most of the day in a mixture of emotions. My pleasure at the enjoyable conversations and humor at her observations and point-of-view (ok, and at my own hilarious jokes) is interspersed with a sadness at how quickly she’s growing up. While I revel in getting to know the person she is becoming I’m desperately clawing at the grains of sand and trying to slow them down as they gush through the hourglass.

The raw talks, and relatively few eye rolls, indicate to me that in these moments I’m doing something right. I hope that by spending that ride time focusing on her I show her the importance, and joy, of face-to-face conversations and that I’m laying a foundation so that later in life she’ll feel she can still talk to me.

What is something that you do (or did) with your kids that you particularly enjoyed or used as a way to ease a concern for their later years?

Love,

2%

#ParentingFoundation

True Love

Over the past decade I’ve realized something about the evolution of love. It really is like the old cliche, “it’s like a fine wine….”

When love begins to grab hold, it’s roots are shallow- like a pretty spring flower. As time, and life, goes on its roots strengthen into that of an aged oak that stood through snow, and heat, and an Arkansas spring storm (or two) with its fierce lightning and twirling winds. Love no longer concentrates on butterflies and impressions, it’s too busy paying the light bill and shuttling the kids to ball practice.

That shift in the relationship, though, is something I’ve come to truly- dare I say- love. What most young people would look at and consider quite boring, I emphatically embrace.

Our love is not expressed by twenty- seven text messages and fancy gifts. Nor is it the emotional roller coaster of early on. Our love is me getting up a half hour early to fix his coffee just the way he likes it when I know he’s going to have a long day. It’s him starting my truck every time it’s slightly chilly because he knows I can’t stand to be cold.

Love is when he’s worked 12+hours that day and stops on the side of the road to pick me my favorite wildflowers. It’s everytime I make his favorite dinner, and he makes my dessert. Our love is a solid understanding of two souls that have no secrets. We know each other’s fears and regrets, and share the same hopes and dreams.

I see articles about rekindling romance and re-lighting sparks and I say pish-posh. Just because passion and romance are expressed differently does not mean they are dead. I love my husband better than I did back then because I know him deeper. We don’t need generic expressions of love because we know the words and actions that touch each other’s souls.

Sometimes we work in such harmony that we forget we can only exist as a pair. In those moments the heated arguements of young love are not needed. Whole conversations can be had with just a few words, a look into each other’s eyes, and a realignment of souls.

Young love is the hare, and we are the tortoise. We win this race.

Love,

2%

More for Forty and What I’ve Learned

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Today is my birthday.  I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m not nearly as excited about my birthdays as I used to be.  Age creeping up is not always friendly. I’ve decided, though, that this year I’m going to start working towards a goal of being “better” or “more”. This goal includes more than just the usual health aspects. I want to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, employee, Christian. ..a better ME. I’ve even created my very own hashtags to track my journey.
#MoreForForty #MoreForForty

I’m going to take the lessons I’ve learned through the years and try not to make the same mistakes. Thirty-seven years have taught me quite a few things.

1. God has a reason, even if we don’t understand it.
2. Be nice to your parents,  someday your kids will make you pay.
3. Nobody defends you quite like a sibling.
4. Your parents understand more than you ever realize.
5. You catch far more flies with honey than vinegar.
6. A good sense of humor is essential.
7. Never say, “When I’m older I’ll NEVER. ..”
8. Your spouse should be your best friend.
9. Be the friend that you would want to have.
10. Tomorrow is a new day.

I’m looking forward to the adventure that the next thirty-seven years will bring. Hopefully they’ll be as blessed as these last ones.

Love,
2%

The Legacy of Women

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This is my daughter,  Hila Fay. She has just turned five and already has big plans for her future, though they do tend to change from day to day. Some days she wants to be a princess doctor, some an electrician like her daddy, and  still others she wants to work for her “Uncle Munch” and mess with computers (my brother owns AnyWay Technologies an IT company). She was named after incredibly strong women and has the personality to prove it (A bit of advice, don’t name your kid after two strong people; choose one strong-willed and one wuss. Trust me.).

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From the moment I discovered I was pregnant I began to pray that God would give me the wisdom to raise her with a heart for Him.  I try to instill in her a good mixture of self-confidence and humility. I always emphasize that beauty comes from who a person is and not how they look and that her thoughts are important to me.  I want her to grow up believing that people are (or at least can be) more than they appear.

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It would seem to me that this would be the goal of most any parent. I reckon this is why I do not understand the constant treatment of women by the media.  Yes, there are times when I am enthralled by the gorgeous gowns and outfits worn by the elite of our society. However, just like my daughter is more than an impish princess, these women are more than their clothes. 

It is insulting to females everywhere every time a reporter ignores the importance of a woman’s actions to concentrate solely on their attire. Our president and his wife are currently on an official trip and the only things I have seen posted about Mrs. Obama are how wonderfully she matched her outfit for a photo op and how unflattering her bubble skirt was.  Actor George Clooney’s wife is a powerful attorney and while headed into court was asked who designed her clothes. Seriously!?

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If we do not start demanding that the the women of today are respected and more than mannequins what hope do we have of showing our daughters that their hearts and minds are their best assets?

2% Mom

P.S. If y’all seriously can’t come up with better questions feel free to email me.

Out with the Old, in with the New

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2014 went by so fast. It seemed like just last week I was dropping Hila Fay off for her first day of Wee School and now she’s getting ready to celebrate her fifth birthday. The memories, good and bad, blur together like an abstract collage. Perhaps I’m just getting sappy, or maybe I’m finally beginning to understand a tiny bit how God works, but I find myself grateful for all the moments that God allows me.

I’ve discovered that despite how bad I think my life is, when viewed with the proper perspective, there are always things to be grateful for and people who have way deeper problems. I’ve also learned that moments of true joy should be cherished more than jewels and can come from the simplest things: like the laughter or silliness of a child.

I’ve realized that grudges aren’t worth holding on to and forgiveness is more for me than them. God has shown me the value of family, and my family has shown me the importance of God. I learned that my daughter has a temper to rival her mother’s and that even mentioning the word “Frozen” will most likely result in someone busting out in song (…the cold never bothered me anyway.)

2014 also taught me that staying up past 8:30 pm is just plain crazy and that some of the best times can be had dumping buckets of ice over people’s heads. The moments, and lessons, of 2014 go on in a steady stream. My favorite moment, though, falls on the same day every year: December 31st.

This is the night where I pause to appreciate the good moments, learn from the bad, and figure out how to be (not do) better. I plan to read my Bible more, laugh with my child more, and snuggle with my husband a LOT more. 😉

2015 is a chance for new beginnings, like a deep breath of spring air for the soul. I can leave the mistakes of yesterday behind and make all new ones tomorrow. That’ll be ok, though because God will use them to make me better and 2016 will be here before I know it.

Love,

2%

James 1:1-14

Last week our Bible study was on James 1:1-14 (we’re going through the book of James). James is one of my favorite books of the New Testament. I love how plainly the wisdom is laid out. James was/is thought to be the half brother of Jesus and though he was a stringent follower of Christ growing up, he did become one after the resurrection.

To me, the main theme of James is “faith”. The book lays the premise not just to have faith in God but how our actions should be guided by that faith. James starts out strong by reminding us that even in our toughest times God has His reasons and we will be better people-better Christians-because of them.
Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials,   knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. James 1:2-3

Then he moves to “praying with faith”.
James 1:5-8 HCSB
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.   But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. An indecisive  man is unstable in all his ways.
Now, I think that too often we imagine God as some genie in a bottle. Praying “with faith” does NOT mean that we pray believing that God WILL do whatever we ask. Praying with faith means that we believe He can but we trust in Him and accept His answer.

Back in the day Garth Brooks came out with a song Unanswered Prayers. Since then I have heard many people use his phrase “thank God for unanswered prayers”. This is one of my pet peeves. If my four year old comes up to me and asks if she can have a popsicle for breakfast and I say “No” then I have answered her. In the same way God gives us answers but sometimes that answer is “no” or “not now”.

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed to His father asking God to “take His cup” and ending the request with “not my will but thine”. Does any of us seriously doubt that Jesus prayed with faith or that God didn’t answer His own Son? No! Jesus KNEW God was listening and God answered His Son; He said, “No”. Sometimes it’s hard for me to understand why God would say no; but the thing about faith is that I don’t have to understand, I just have to trust in God and His reasons and move forward.

Love,
2%

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken

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How mouth-watering does this look!? I got the idea from a recipe on Pinterest and tweaked it to make it my own. The original directions said to “puree the bacon and make a paste out of it” but that just seemed un-American. Why mess with perfection?

So, you want in on this? Well strap on your best flag-themed apron, turn on your patriotic playlist, and grab your lighter cuz we’re about to do some good, old-fashioned American grilling. Here’s what you are going to need:

1. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2. Mrs. Wright’s bacon (there is no other kind)
3. Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce
4. One of these hammer-thingies

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Ready? Ok, here we go.

1. Take those slimy chicken breasts out of the package, throw them on your cutting board, and beat them (more like a Gibb’s slap to the head than an arch – nemesis butt whooping).
2. Grab a fork and jab some holes in the breast so the glorious bacon juice can seep into the chicken breast.
3. Reverently drape a piece of bacon around each chicken breast.
4. Slap those bad boys on the grill.
5. When each side has slightly browned brush some of that aptly named Sweet Baby Ray’s on each side.

(If you let your grill get hot this should only take about twenty minutes to cook.)

6. Admire your awesome work while the meat rests for a moment.
7. Take a picture and post to fb for all the world to drool over while you enjoy your ever-so-American dinner.

The End.

Love,
2% 

Selfish, Weak, Unfaithful, Immoral, & Just As Forgiven As You Are, My Friend

Some poignant thoughts about church today.

Everyone Has A Story... Again

funny-church-signs-5I’m having a little spiritual battle in my mind these days about churches. My daughter, Rebekkah, has joined a non-denominational church.

Yikes.

I know all the stuff people are always saying about church…”don’t forsake the gathering”, yada, yada. I agree in theory. In reality, I have had some real issues with churches in my own life, and even after 30 years, I still find myself uneasy about stepping into any of them. So, when my daughter comes home and tells me that a woman has implied that my daughter was not saved because once upon a time she smoked pot, all that anger at the presumptiousness of self-righteous twits comes rushing back to the surface.

It is exchanges like the one Rebekkah had her SECOND week at this church that make me not want to attend any. Why do people think they have a handle on other people’s salvation? You…

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