100 Things About Me

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!

32 thoughts on “100 Things About Me

  1. Pingback: My one year anniversary! « Stray Thoughts

  2. Enjoyed your 100 things very much. On your comment about being prideful I heard this recently and thought it was so good:

    “You are not self assured, you are God assured.”

    I think that says so much.
    Susan

  3. Wow! I learned a few more things we have in common. (cake decorating classes, calligraphy, and lack of a green thumb), and a few surprises(you dated a mannequin!) 🙂

    Also, the need to get our pictures into better albums is something else we share. I got to go to a class this week about digital scrapbooking. I am looking into it some more. I think it might be the route I need to take to accomplish my goal. It doesn’t involve the need to constantly spread things all around and put away. I have too much stuff around my house already. Also, since I have a digital camera now, it would be easier. Plus, I am getting to feel more and more confident on the computer, sooooo, it seems like a good fit. Maybe we can work on that together!?!

  4. SC was my home as well for several years. I would return with joy if God called us back, but we are currently doing our stint in GA. I enjoyed reading through your 100 things. May God continue to bless you in being the hands and help to missionaries, creating ministry opportunities for you to glorify His name!

  5. I enjoyed your 100 things. We have quite a few things in common. Dallas, Tx is my hometown. I moved to Norcross, Ga and from there my home is now in Louisvivlle Ky. God has his hand on your ministry to reach people thru your website. You bring joy and happiness to all that read and enjoy it as much as I have. May your days been filled with sunshine and happiness until you meet him on the other side.

  6. I loved this! What’s so wonderful about Christian women? They’ll open up and share all this stuff and without ever meeting I feel like I know you! And I feel safe to share about myself. My husband was just bemoaning how he hadn’t made friends at his new location where he’s been for over a year now, yet men spend so much time putting up walls and posturing so no one knows their faults or weaknesses, not realizing how much they are missing!!!

  7. I looked in my freezer about 15 minutes ago to see what I could make for dinner tomorrow. I had a package of frozen chicken tenders so I decided to google “chicken tenderoin recipes”. Your site came up with a recipe and I began reading your “100” list.

    The first thing that caught my interest was the meaning of your name. Through many events God has has been reminding me lately that we are only pilgrims and strangers in this world. I was amazed at how many times this week that very theme has turned up- it’s as as if God won’t let me forget it. Many times I find myself if a tug-of-war between the desire for the material and the eternal. The Lord knows I need constant reminders- even as I search the web for recipes:) One of my favorite songs is, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace”. I try to keep that song on my lips throughout the day.

    To make a long story shorter, as I kept reading I noticed that you went to BJU. I also attended BJU. Then I read that you were a Home Ec major. I was a Home Ec major as well! What are the chances me of coming across your website while searching for a chicken tender recipe?! I could say “it’s a small world” but I feel the Lord led me here to remind me once again that “this world is not my own, I’m just a passin’ through”. Thanks for sharing the meaning of your name.

  8. I enjoyed reading through your “100 things” too! What a neat idea. I’ll have to consider that for my weblog. It is truly wonder-full how God leads each of His children in different paths, but all leading to eternal Glory in His Presence.

  9. I did the google, Barbara needs and your site was first…Barbara needs randon thoughts; I read your list. then about you, then your 100 things and we could be sisters. I also hate being called Barb (or Barbie); although I have just let my 9th grade girls Sunday school class call me Bible study Barbie. I’m on Facebook. If you ever get on FB, friend me. I’ve done a similar list on FB of 25 Randon things that is now up to 32. Oh, I had the same comments about the meaning of my name. i liked your scripture references.

  10. I came here through Alice’s blog and have enjoyed reading this post tremendously. I hope to be as faithful in my walk with God as you are and have a happy marriage many years down the road just like you. God bless you, Barbara 🙂

  11. Wow! Amazing how the Lord works in our lives. I came across your site while googling ladies luncheon ideas. Read your blog on that and enjoyed the pictures. Then I read your 100 things…so many similarities with my own life. Almost everything from #61 through #80 would describe me as well! So many times I feel like there is no one out there like me…but obviously, there are! (However, I have acquired a love for iced coffee!)
    Right now I am trying to finalize decorating plans for a ladies luncheon at our church that is coming up in two weeks! Our theme is “Jesus is the Light” and we are using lighthouses for our main decor. Glass vases with shells and candles will adorn the large round tables. I just don’t know how to tie in all the other small details to make it memorable for those attending.
    Thanks for creating this website! It has been an encouragement already!
    Sharon

  12. I came to this post to respond to the latest comment from Sharon, and I enjoyed reading back through many of these! I hope I e-mailed you all individually — please forgive me if I didn’t. Your comments are a blessing to me and I enjoyed sharing.

  13. I “happened” upon your blog on the Christian Women’s website and have read many of your articles. The 100 things about me is so interesting and I already feel like I know you. I’ve been blogging for 18 months and it’s geared to being a grandparent. After my first was born 2-1/2 years ago and I realized how quickly I was forgetting all the funny/amazing things he said and did I decided to blog so I wouldn’t forget. And I love it. I even have some subscribers now! Since then the older one just welcomed his baby brother into the family last month and my other child will welcome his first in September. So I’ll have three!!!!

    Your 100 things about me article was such an inspiration I’m doing to do my own – mostly for my family. I bet there are things my kids don’t even know about me. Mostly, at 57 years old, I hope I can remember some of the stuff. It seems like every day things get foggier and foggier. It’s that “oldtimer” syndrome that’s taken hold ever since menopause.

    And I just be if I remember one thing it might help me remember another and then another.

    Anyway, thanks much.

  14. What a great page! I love your 100 things. This has to be the best I’ve seen. It’s great the way you sort of made it into a short life story. I may attempt this someday. If I do, I’ll try to remember to give you credit. 🙂

  15. I enjoyed reading that. 🙂 I stumbled upon your page when I did a google search for the quote about “words” you have on your blog. I scrolled down and for some reason your link was the one I chose to click on. So many of your 100 things I could relate to or have in common with you. I don’t know why, but I kind of felt comfort in reading them. Anyway, you sound like a really interesting and kind person. Thanks for sharing.

  16. I follow the books in wordpress and I bumped into your blog. The 100 things about you…Its really interesting!! It impressed me a lot. I felt most women are facing same kind of situations… only the intensity differs. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Hello Barbara! Have you ever thought of making spiritual scrapbooks? a spiritual scrapbook is a book of Scriptures and spiritual sayings and hymn lyrics, etc. I have a perpetual spiritual scrapbook going for my daughter. (I gave it to her and then I add pages as she goes along in her life and either she gives me something to add or God gives me some Scripture, etc. that will be a help to her with whatever is going on in her life at the time.) I also took a tiny Hallmark photo album (3″ X 3″??) and turned it into my “Little Book of Joy” putting Scripture on each page that has to do with joy. I also have a large spiritual scrapbook of Scriptures and other things that have been an encouragement to me or have meant something to me. Sometimes I leave it on my coffee table for visitors to look through!

    Warmly, Carolyn

  18. Pingback: Together on Tuesdays Introduction « Stray Thoughts

  19. p.s. Just read 100 things about you, Barbara, and had to tell you that I have a dear friend who has been a penpal for 45 years. ( We met at a youth for Christ week end as teens.) Her name is Barbara Lee and she is from Rochester,NY.

  20. This was really fun to read, and I see you and I have several things in common, or at least close: when I was 12, my mom and I moved from a really small town to Knoxville, Tn (big city-she remarried); my dad was an alcoholic (and has now gotten saved); I have to wear mascara, can’t eat much ice cream (a little intolerant), have always battled shyness, and my husband and I have 2 boys (the third is in heaven). There are more, but I thought I’d quit there. Okay, so, don’t know if you actually wanted to know all that, but it was neat reading your list, and seeing all the things we had in common. 🙂 I look forward to following your blog!

  21. Just found this, I too have been dx with TM. If you live anywhere near NC, we have support meetings and would love to have you as our speaker one month.

  22. Barbara, ,I have often thought about putting some of my writtings “thoughts” on the internet. God has given me so much, I speak to groups, I am working on several books, but I believe God gives us these things to share. I look forward to following you. We have about 33,000 people in the world with Transverse Myelitis. I felt so alone the first six years after my attack as I learned to walk again. I had so many questions and no one to answer them. Then I read Allen Rucker’s book, “Best Seat in the House” and joined four TM groups on face book. Even if you did not come to our group as the speaker, we would love to have you just come to “meet and great”.

  23. I like your interesting way of ‘listing’ various milestones and life experiences. I found you on this year’s 31 Days. I’m still struggling with blogging. Can’t seem to get it right. Anyway, I’m learning new things from others.
    I saw in your other blogs your interest in biographies, specially missionary biographies. I’ll look for that blog and comment more. Many names are familiar. My parents were missionaries, so were all my four siblings and I. I’ve just written my mother’s story – and want to delve into more stories.

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