I Wish I’d Thought of That

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a series of articles belittling the reality show Biggest Loser.  Since that time, I’ve also admitted to enjoying Jillian Michaels’ workout videos. Beth, a dear friend of mine who has guest posted here, and blogs at Exceedingly Abundantly Above , strongly disagrees(ed) with me. I have come around to her side for the most part. I can see the merits of the show.

However, I have big beef with reality shows in general. I find the concept extremely idolatrous (isn’t there even a show exploiting that concept). They either engender an increasingly sick obsession with ourselves, a pure lust for fame; or, they demoralize us “normal” people. This morning, Patrick and I were reading the news during our Saturday morning coffee. We came across this article: Why Americans are Willing to do Terrible Things to be Famous, by Keith Ablow.

My point exactly.


Friendship Poems All Over the Place

A few months ago, we did a Starbucks give away here on Predatory Lies. Well, I thought that recipients would take friends out to coffee and see already established friendships flourish. Boy, was I lucky! I found a new friend in the craziest way! She has commented on this blog before, and then she won a set of gift cards so I had to learn her address and guess what – she lives in my home town!

We’ve still never met, but we have now exchanged cards and small gifts and I have tiny glimpse of her precious, unique personality. How big is our Awesome God!

Here’s my reply poem to her, as she recently posted one that referenced our new-found friendship.

OH my goodness, you make me smile!!
Forget the distance, the space and mile.
It takes hours, minutes or days to see,
Passing time to touch, to reach.

But a thought!
Just a moment, and it’s shared so wide.
Others we’ll never see,
Now share the love ‘tween you and me.

The Velveteen Rabbit once was told,
Reality can’t be bought or sold.
Neither can friendship, it takes belief,
I believe in you and me.

So here’s my kiss, on your precious cheek,
And I’ll squeeze your hand.
This tiny peak,
Into your soul.

Thank you for opening your heart.
Like a flower, your fragrant grace
Escaped the hours.
Of space,
Of distance, of mile.
New, old, REAL friend,
You make me smile.

Shopping Pains

I can’t make up my mind.

If I don’t hurry, they’ll leave me behind!

Red stockings? Green?

Cinnamon or Vanilla bean?


I can’t make up my mind,

If I don’t soon, they’ll leave me behind.

Should I buy Dad great coffee,

Mom – flavored tea?


I can’t make up my mind,

If I don’t soon, they’ll leave me behind.

Does Mom want new gloves,

Can a tie show my love?


I can’t make up my mind,

If I don’t soon, they’ll leave me behind.

Does my sister wear tall,

Does Pete still play ball?


I can’t make up my mind!

If I don’t soon, they’ll leave me behind.

The mall is closing, Dad’s jingling the keys.

Oh if everyone was just easy to please!

Free Starbucks!

I’m writing this as I sit at home (where I never write well) with a cardboard cup of instant coffee. Don’t ask. It did remind me however, that tomorrow, I get to give you a FREE $5 gift card to Starbucks. As we’re discussing mentorship this month, my hope is that you will take someone under your wing or duck underneath theirs and share a cup of coffee. Pray together, love on each other, share Jesus.

Just make sure you show up here tomorrow and make a comment. I’d love it if you put a link to Predatory Lies on your blog or in an email to a friend. Tomorrow I will pray with you here too. Know that you are daily prayed for.

Sharing Jesus, who is our joy. abby


Don’t forget that tomorrow is the first, free Starbucks gift card giveaway! Let’s get chatty! All you have to do for a chance to win is talk with me here this week. Tell me about a mentor or someone you have mentored.

Tell me about your prayer life – how do you intercede? do you pray the scriptures? with music? do you kneel? do you pray intentionally?

I’m anxious to hear from you and I wish we could share a cup of coffee personally!

Starbucks Has Nothing On Me!

Hands down, my favorite recipe right now is my morning protein shake. Now, before you go back to reading someone else’s blog, or back to your email or to make yourself a sandwich – take a look at this scrumptious concoction. I admit, the first publication of this recipe was not a protein shake.

Eating Well, a wonderful website and even better magazine, published this recipe as a frozen mochaccino, an excellent (and cheaper) version of Starbucks Frappuccino. Being a vegetarian, I’m always on the prowl for more protein that is NOT cheese, egg whites or tuna. And, being a former Starbucks employee, having lost my discount there, I am always on the prowl for yummy drink substitutions.

I have provided a link to the original Eating Well recipe, here, but if any of you are even moderate health-nuts with a tub of protein powder in your pantry, at least try my version.

Abby’s Protein Shake (that I literally drinks every single morning, and would like to drink 2 a day!)

1 Cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk [I use Almond Breeze]

2 packages artificial sweetener

1 scoop of protein powder (vanilla or chocolate depending on your preference) [I use Isolyze]

1 Tbs. cocoa powder or PB2 if you like peanut butter and who doesn’t?

At this point, if you want to add some pizzazz, you can add a Tbs. or so of Davinci flavored syrup

And NOW for the secret ingredient: frozen coffee ice cubes. The day before, save your left over coffee, add a Tbs. or so of instant coffee to double the strength and freeze in an ice cube tray. I add 8 cubes + 1 regular ice cube to my mixture.

It’s so easy. One blender – toss it all in and blend like crazy! The longer you blend, a whey protein will tend to thicken and volumize. I love that it usually overflows one Eskimo Joe’s cup and I get to drink the rest straight from the blender.

If you make this recipe as I have listed above, and use a sugar free flavored syrup, your drink (the whole thing) will have about 190 calories. It doesn’t get better than that!




Decadent Desserts

Relax, it’s Friday!  The little lie: Dessert has to entertain the tongue.

Dessert.  Dessert on the day.  Like a cherry plopped lazily on top of twisted, whipped cream as it slides down the sugary, white mountain.  Relaxed, diffused, released.

My first deep exhale everyday, happens as I step onto my back patio, cup of coffee in hand, balanced to perfection with unsweetened, vanilla almond milk.  I place my Bible and journal on the patio table and sink into a chair.  The sun’s already risen, but barely slicing through the ancient trees that frame my backyard.  Brave snoops the perimeter of the fence for errant squirrels before settling on my feet with his own, “hufff.”

My spiral journal collects the hustle of yesterday.  It reminds me of the possibilities of today.  As I write, I pray, and peace wafts from the pages.  It’s a deep, cathartic stretch of my mind, like yoga.

Forget the caffeine.  Coffee is the common denominator, the secret ingredient in my daily delights.  From the first sip in the morning sun, to the mid-day writing session in my “office.”  I work all day long, anticipating my chance to really work.  Finally, at the sun’s highest peak, I pour my fourth cup of coffee from the second urn from the left at Panera Bread.

I top my decaf with an inch of hazelnut, a dash of two percent and settle into a straight back wooden chair.  Dessert on the day.  I’ll leave the pastries and succulent chocolates for those who mistakenly think dessert must entertain the tongue.  I gaze at my computer screen and wait for creativity to strike.  Sometimes I’ll pluck thoughts from my journal or prayers that morning.  Suddenly, if I’m lucky, words pour unprovoked from my fingers.  A story rises, filling me with the satisfaction of a perfectly baked confection.

The theme continues through the evening.  Especially at my parent’s home, with other devoted coffee lovers, the night winds down to the put-put of the percolator.  Daddy and I sink, two adults now, into bulky chairs.  Or, Mom and I cuddle on the sofa with warm mugs of something (she prefers hot chocolate or tea).  Maybe there’s music, maybe some cards, but always a hush, a sigh and release. The sun sinks this time, over the same edge of the fence where it announced the morning.

It’s amazing to tell you this story and realize that I still feel stressed sometimes.  How does that happen with so many impromptu opportunities to exhale?