In some ways it feel very awkward to do this! But I have read and enjoyed different bloggers’ “100 things” posts on their blogs and thought this might be a neat way to celebrate my one-year blogging anniversary.
1. I prefer Barbara to Barb. No offense to the Barbs out there, just my preference.
2. I was named for my parents’ sisters. One was Barbara Ann and the other was Lora Lee. So I became Barbara Lee.
3. The name “Barbara” means “stranger.”
4. When I was younger and my friends found that out (somehow discussing name meanings seems to go around every few years), someone would almost always say, “Yeah, you’re the strangest friend I have.”
5. Some years ago my pastor preached a message on Christians being “strangers and pilgrims” in this world. That helped me make peace with my name and gave meaning to it.
6. Then I also found a verse saying the Lord “loves the stranger.”
7. And another saying, “Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Those helped, too.
8. My family has always called me Barbie.
9. The Barbie doll came out when I was about 4 years old — maybe Barbie was a popular name back then.
10. I wanted to be called Barbara by people outside my family as I neared adulthood, but it sounded funny for my family to call me anything other than Barbie.
11. I turn 50 this year!
12. I have mixed emotions about that.
13. I am glad to still be alive on this earth and hope to be for another 50 years!
14. But 50 seems…so much older than 49.
15. I was born in west Texas.
16. I spent my childhood in southern Texas, in and around Corpus Christi.
17. We moved to a small town outside of Austin when I was around around 11 or 12.
18. I didn’t like it. It was very clique-ish, more so than any place I have ever been before or since.
19. But the Lord used that in my life.
20. We moved to an even smaller town, less than 200, when I was about 13 0r 14.
21. High school kids had to ride a bus to the town I had moved from, about 10 miles away, because that little town didn’t have a high school.
22. The town had one traffic light.
23. Our house was “the house on the second hill.”
24. I loved that house – you could open windows on both sides of the house and get a great breeze though it.
25. My mother left my father when I was 15 and took all five of us kids with her to Houston.
26. Talk about culture shock!
27. My father was an alcoholic. That made for some difficulties growing up. He did become a Christian about 6 years before he died. I wrote about that here.
28. The first few months in Houston were very hard for me — new place, no friends, broken family.
29. God led me to a Christian school and provided the means to attend, which I wrote about here.
30. I had attended mostly Lutheran churches and a Lutheran school in 1st and 2nd grade, then attended again for a while in high school. I do remember being taught basic truths and Bible stories and a need for faith, but I was never told that I needed to personally repent of my sins and trust Christ for salvation.
31. In 3rd grade I went to a Baptist church with a friend from school during revival services.
32. I did go forward at the end of the second service, but later couldn’t really remember what happened or what was said.
33. I attended that church sporadically.
34. When my parents divorced and we moved, it caused a crisis of faith in my life in which I sought the Lord. I knew enough to know where to go when in trouble. God led me to the Christian school I mentioned earlier and then to the church associated with that school. Eventually I wrestled through where I stood spiritually and was saved.
35. I wrestled for many years with assurance, whether I was really and truly a child of God. And thankfully He patiently worked with me on that issue, which I wrote in more detail here.
36. Through the Christian school and church I first heard about Bob Jones University. Yes, the one you may have heard about in the news over the years. Let me just say — don’t believe everything you read. It’s by no means a perfect place (no institution on this earth is), but the Lord used it greatly in my life and there are many people there who love the Lord and desire to make Him known and further the spiritual growth and knowledge in the Word of those who attend.
37. I wanted to major in English Education.
38. I decided that was impractical because “What can you do with an English major besides teach?” I saw many of my classmates not go on to college and decided Home Economics Education would be more practical.
39. I’ve developed and interest in and desire to write over the years and so many times I wish I had stayed with an English major. I did minor in English and therefore was able to take more than the required English courses, though.
40. After a few years of feeling that I had missed the Lord’s will and wasted a lot of time and money, and talking this over with my husband. we concluded that possibly the Lord did lead in that decision. The Bible courses, chapel, devotional times in the dorms, exposure to so many other different types of Christian people, exposure to a Christian viewpoint in other classes were all instrumental in my spiritual growth. I did not come from a domestic background: my mother worked full time and commuted across Houston, leaving not much time and energy for domesticity. So the Home Economics courses were useful in that regard. Plus the Home Economics major included a lot of courses on the family and child care. Not coming from a Christian home, I truly valued these courses in my desire to establish a Christian home of my own.
41. I had thought for a while that the Lord might want me to be a missionary, but for various reasons concluded He didn’t. But I have developed a desire to help them as I can here at home. Once when I heard a message preached about those who helped Paul along the way in his missionary journeys, I just knew in my heart that that’s what I wanted to do.
42. I was unable to find a job on campus first semester of college. When I applied in the library for second semester, I sat and looked at the application and just prayed for the Lord’s will. I needed a job, but I didn’t see how I was going to fit work into my schedule. I was going full tilt just to keep up with classes.
43. I later found out that they didn’t really need anybody at that time, but the man hiring felt sorry for me.
44. Those two facts are significant because I met my husband at the library. He worked there also. I did enjoy my four years at the library much more than many other campus jobs that were available.
45. Because of the heavy class load and work hours and my inexperience in using my time wisely, it took me five years to complete a four year course.
46. Jim and I were married when I had one semester (but just three courses) left and he had two.
47. It wasn’t hard being a “student wife” the first semester: it was fun because we saw each other all the time. We even had a job together cleaning five banks in the evenings.
48. The next semester was harder because I was out of school, we worked different places, and I felt like I hardly saw him.
49. He graduated and we ended up staying in Greenville for fourteen years. We hadn’t planned to, but every time he sent his resume out, only the companies in Greenville responded. He was a Physics major, Math minor, and his professional career has mostly been in the textile industry, most recently in color applications. Textiles used to be the one of the major industries in this area, but, like so many other things, a lot of it is going to other countries.
50. We had a brief four year stint in GA, just west of Atlanta. Didn’t like it much.
51. We moved back to SC, but not in Greenville, a little over nine years ago. SC is home to me now.
52. Jim and I have been married for 27 years.
53. We have three boys who will be 23, 20, and 14 by the end of the summer when they’ve all had birthdays.
54. I’ve been privileged to be a stay at home mom since expecting my firstborn. I wanted to be available to them not just when they were little, but also when they were teens.
55. When I was 38 I contracted a neurological illness called transverse myelitis. I couldn’t walk and had little energy for a long time, but God graciously granted some measure of recovery, enough to pretty much function and do what I needed to do as a wife and mom. There’s not much energy left over for a lot else, though.
56. I feel awkward talking about things I do by way of ministry because I am all too prone to vainglory and pride and the desire to be seen and acknowledged. Yet I am blessed when I read of other people ministering and how the Lord used them and helped them. So I am wrestling with sharing some of that. I discovered through various times of trying it and feeling extremely frustrated that my gift is not teaching little children besides my own. I enjoy more the behind the scenes things — filing, ordering tracts, organizational type things. Plus I love ladies’ ministry and being a help to missionaries. I don’t see myself as a “leader,” yet the Lord has
pushed me through opened doors to be in charge of certain areas of ministry. It’s very much a matter of faith, not natural ability!
57. Let’s see…43 more to go. What else can I tell you?
58. I love Mexican food. Having grown up in southeast Texas, we grew up with a lot of “Tex-Mex” variations of dishes.
59. I love chocolate! I don’t really care for dark chocolate or white chocolate and prefer semi-sweet to milk. Favorites: brownies, chocolate chip cookies, devil’s food cake with fudge icing.
60. I can’t eat ice cream. Lactose intolerant. Didn’t start having trouble with that until my mid-40s. I do take Lact-aid with any dairy product, but since I seemed to be affected the worst by ice cream, I am just afraid to try it. It’s probably for the best: I don’t need the calories. But some summer days I think about it!
61. I like hearts and heart-shaped things.
62. I like pink roses.
63. I like bears, but I want to be careful not to get too little-girlish with them. Some might think all bears are childish. In recent years I’ve limited bear-related things to Boyd’s Bear figurines. I love the detail and the expressions.
64. My decorating tastes are somewhere between country and Victorian. Some “country” decorating is way too rustic for me, some Victorian way too fussy.
65. I like lighter (but not babyish) shades of blue, pink and green in clothing and decorating.
66. I do go to darker shades of clothing in the fall and winter.
67. I don’t like red in either.
68. I don’t like peach colors.
69. I don’t care for oranges and rusts except on tree in the fall.
70. I prefer spring and fall to summer and winter.
71. I like a variety of music: sacred, classical, Irish and Scottish folk songs, many Broadway-type show tunes.
72. I used to be incredibly, painfully shy and would panic at the thought of having to say something in a group of people.
73. I’ve been told that some have thought I was “stuck-up” until they got to know me.
74. The Lord helped with shyness greatly over the years, though that’s still my default setting.
75. Probably because of that quietness and reserve, growing up I pretty much had one “best friend” at a time rather than a whole posse of friends. I do branch out more now.
76. I love reading, fiction more than non-fiction. Though non-fiction is probably more beneficial, it’s just harder for me to plow through, except biographies. I love Christian biographies, missionary stories, Christian fiction, and the classics the most.
77. I have been making a concerted effort to read the classics I somehow missed growing up.
78. I enjoy doing and looking at and buying crafts. I got away from making them for a long while when my children were growing up, but have just gotten back into them the last few years.
79. I used to do more cross stitch and needlework; nowadays it is more paper and sewing crafts.
80. I’ve only done one actual scrapbook, but I’ve used scrapbooking techniques for cards and bookmarks.
81. I do need to redo my former photo albums (they are in those stick-on albums that are not supposed to be good for them and which are falling apart now anyway) plus put years’ worth of pictures in albums. I will probably use some scrapbooking techniques and supplies, but I want to be careful not to overdo the decoration to the detriment of the photos.
82. One of the residuals effects of the TM is a balance problem, worse when I am standing still than when I am walking. Just touching something stationery as a reference point helps.
83. I can climb on a chair to change light bulbs — but I can’t let go of the chair. So my tall family members have to do that for me.
84. I once dated a mannequin. Well, not a real one. He was a real guy, but he worked as a fake mannequin. There was an article in the newspaper with a picture of people trying to get him to laugh while he was working.
85. I do not have a green thumb. I don’t even buy houseplants any more because they die. I follow the instructions on the little spike that comes with them.
86. I do better with outdoor plants, as long as I remember to water them. But I can’t stay on my knees long — another effect of TM. It produces a hit-you-funny-bone feeling when I’m kneeling. Very uncomfortable!
87. I can’t use scented candles or soaps and lotions — they give me a headache.
88. I don’t care for flavored or iced coffees, which saves me a bundle of money.
89. I love all the simple carbs that aren’t good for you (donuts, cakes, cookies…).
90. The only make-up I wear is mascara — I feel like I look half asleep without it.
91. I never wore foundation or powders partly because they just never looked right on my and partly because in my youth I had a natural blush and it seemed silly to cover it up for a “natural look.” Now my cheeks are almost perpetually too red and I think some make-up would probably balance it out. But I just hate to mess with trying to figure it out.
92. Plus I tend to sweat (rather than ladylike perspiring) and would probably not be able to keep it looking nice.
93. We’re getting a little TMI here! Moving on…
94. Both my parents have passed away, my mom just a year and a half ago, my dad several years back. They were 67 and 68 when they died. I miss my mom especially. She was my lifelong best friend.
95. I am the oldest of six children; I have one brother and four sisters. My youngest sister was born when I was 17, so we’re quite spread out.
96. I took a calligraphy class but never kept up with it.
97. I took an adult-ed cake decorating class, but it really takes a lot of practice to do that decently. Unless you have a natural knack for it. Which I don’t. I decided I just didn’t want to put the time into making something beautiful that is only going to last such a short time. Thus most of my culinary disasters involve cakes.
98. I took some classes at Michael’s in One Stroke painting. I love it and would like to learn how to do more of it and do it better.
99. I have enough projects I’d like to do and things I’d like to learn to keep me busy for years to come.
100. I’m publishing this on my one-year blogging anniversary. I have so enjoyed my first year!