Shelley Costanza

Posted by Shelley on Apr 26, 2006 in bible study

I just sat here and did a search on George Costanza from the Seinfeld show. As usual, the internet simply amazes with the amount of information it contains all about a fictional character. At any rate, I was most interested in episode 86, that is the one episode where George does the opposite of everything his instincts tell him to do. (read the script here… www.seinfeldscripts.com/TheOpposite) Again, I began relating to some television show and started that “introspective” look at my own self.

What has fascinated me about this was I didn’t know it was episode 86. I found that after searching the word “opposite” and the name “George Costanza” in my little google box at the top of this page. The websites that came up just based on my search were really something. The ones that struck home with me were all financial related… I clicked on one site and it was all about investing and went something like this… Like Costanza, Rule Breakers have the courage to do the opposite, and occasionally they profit hugely from the risk… All George had to do was transform himself into “Opposite George”.

Anyway, long story short, I started seeing a common thread here. George was finally all about taking a risk. If you know of his character, that is very anti-George. I mean, even financial analysts have used his character to make a point about money. Amazing! And many of the sites I visited used that Seinfeld episode to demonstrate courage, transfomation and the possibility of success… (unlike most of George’s life)… like the above states, “occasionally they profit hugely from the risk”… watch episode 86 to fully understand how loser George allowed his own weakness to become his very strength. If I’ve lost you, never fear. Maybe I can write a Bible Study based on this sitcom (ha ha). No really, I think me and George have at least one thing in common. If what you are currently doing isn’t working, change it. Take a look at George’s thoughts:

George : Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable, I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but … I was perceptive. I always know when someone’s uncomfortable at a party. It became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every of life, be it something to wear, something to eat … It’s all been wrong.

Sister, if you’re reading this and you feel this way, please know God is all about taking a weakness and making it a strength! Transformation, courage and the possibility of success are yours in Jesus name! You just have to start living it, like our buddy George. Okay, it’s an offbeat example, but it makes sense to me. What do you think?


Here’s That Recipe (it didn’t taste this healthy!)

Posted by Shelley on Apr 23, 2006 in bible study

Chicken Lasagna Florentine (slow cooker recipe)

2 cans cream of chicken soup (reduced sodium), 1 10oz. package of frozen chopped spinach (thawed, drained and squeezed dry), 1 9oz. package Tyson frozen diced cooked chicken, 1 8oz. carton of reduced fat sour cream, 1 cup of 1% milk, 1/2 cup grated parm. cheese, 1/3 cup chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 9 uncooked lasagna noodles, cooking spray, 1 cup shredded part-skim mozarella cheese

Combine first ten ingredients in large bowl, stir well. Place 3 uncooked noodles in bottom of 5 qt. slow cooker coated with cooking spray, breaking noodles in half to fit inside. Spread one third of the spinach mixture over noodles, sprinkle with 1/3 cup of the mozarella. Layer 3 more noodles, half of the remaining spinach mixture, and 1/3 cup of the mozarella. Top with remaining noodles and spinach mixture, sprinkle with remaining mozarella. Cover with lid, cook on high setting 1 hour. Reduce to low and cook 5 more hours or until pasta is done. 8 servings, serving size about one cup = 339 calories, 24 grams protein, 12.5 grams fat, 31 grams carb… maybe use the whole wheat noodles for less carbs/better carbs? Enjoy!


The Dog Whisperer

Posted by Shelley on Apr 21, 2006 in bible study

Have you had a chance to catch this show on cable? It’s like a supernanny for dogs or something. This guy comes in and resolves the issues between dogs and their owners. It has been one of those shows I actually sit down and watch! And I think I am learning something!

For example, the last episode I was able to catch had to do a with a beagle who was going nuts in his own backyard sniffing and whining. Well, we are reminded by the Dog Whisperer that beagles were bred to sniff things out and this behavior is natural. But when he becomes obsessed with it his owners don’t know what to do, it’s like he needs doggie prozac or something. I started relating to this dog and continued watching.

Well, the Dog Whisperer tells the family he needs more to do. He has this natural instinct that is taking over b/c he’s got a lot of energy and they need to get him busy. He suggests walking the dog with a backpack of weight on the dog’s back. This way he is challenged plus the added weight may help him think he is really doing something more than a simple walk. There were other suggestions but you get the idea. The dog needed some diversion, a healthier way to express himself and use up his energry thru the day.

Now, this dog had a backyard to die for, a lovely pool, etc. He would swim and enjoy his family but he was obviously in a season of his life where he still needed more of a healthy challenge. He’ll get older and settle down but right now they needed to identify what else he was lacking, since his natural breeding was becoming obsessive.

So, I began thinking about my own life. How crazy is that? But I already mentioned I was relating to this dog. I am in my own backyard, with all the amenities, but I still need more because of the way I was created. That is, if we look at this from a Christian perspective wouldn’t you agree there is a need in our life that only God can fill? We look lots of places for it, obsessing over stuff that just isn’t filling the void. When we are able to acknowledge he made us to know him we can invest ourselves in giving, serving, reading and studying. And somehow we might just not need doggie prozac. At least that is my conclusion.


Two Birthdays, One Anniversary and A Funeral

Posted by Shelley on Apr 18, 2006 in Real Life Stories

By 7pm tonight all I really wanted to do was stare at one blank spot on a big white wall. Alone. In the quiet of nothingness. Maybe this computer screen counts? Don’t I wish!

In the past four weeks we’ve celebrated an anniversary (11 years) and two birthdays. One of which involved a spend the night party and lots of planning (no, it wasn’t Mike’s). And of course Easter. I mean, I’ve bought and eaten my way thru the last four weekends like it was going out of style. Then to add to the celebrations we also had a major downer. Our twelve year old cat died. We just knew we were missing her the past couple of days and didn’t discover it til this morning. She was known as Jackie the Cat and you can actually see and learn more about her over at www.mikeshaw.net.

It’s amazing how quickly I went from present to past tense. And since we really don’t know what happened I’m sort of stuck in that feeling us mothers get… like, I should’ve been there. What could I have done? What did I not do? She was a gift to me from Mike around the time I graduated from Auburn. Which of course made her our first “child” to a degree. Honestly though, when the real Shaw children showed up on the scene both my cats took a major back seat. I mean, they want to be in your lap, and I become enormous when pregnant and I just can’t handle another being wanting to be in my pregnant space. Then, when the babies get here and you nurse… well, you know how that goes, I didn’t want much of anything even touching me for a long time! So, here I go, realizing the separation that developed over the course of the last seven years is something I can’t recoup now.

After Mike had the heartbreaking duty of burying her we talked about it on and off all day and I imagine we will for a while. A part of our youth went away today. And all I wanted was a few minutes to grieve about it. That has truly been the hardest part. To remain on task in the present but wanting to remember the past and not fall apart about it… Where is that blank wall??? (oh, we all know the answer to that one, the bathroom, right girls?)


In the Light of Things

Posted by Shelley on Apr 14, 2006 in songs

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. matthew 27:45
I don’t know that I can really understand the kind of darkness my Heavenly Father demonstrated upon this earth as his Son became my ugly sin. Fortunately, because I am a born again Christian I don’t have to relive this dark moment in history that Jesus took on himself. Instead, I look forward into the book of John, chapter twelve, where Jesus himself states,

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness…v.46

As many of my thoughts turn somber on a day like today, I am so grateful to celebrate the upcoming Resurrection Sunday exactly where Jesus directs me to be… in His light.

I wanna be in the Light
As You are in the Light
I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, Lord be my Light and be my salvation
Cause all I want is to be in the Light
All I want is to be in the Light

taken from dctalk’s song, “In the Light”


Right Time, Wrong Panera Bread

Posted by Shelley on Apr 11, 2006 in Real Life Stories

I knew after posting my comments last night on early morning time with God that this Tuesday would set itself apart from the rest, meaning, if I did manage to get up early just really how would that affect my day?

I woke up to the sound of breaking glass in my kitchen… there, RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE COFFEE POT, was my cat running from a drinking glass which was shattered into a million pieces. I thought, oh please… could I at least make coffee without having to dance around shards of glass in the wee morning hours of this day? So, half asleep, mind you, I sweep, inhaling the grounds from yesterday’s coffee (still left in the coffee pot), hoping that it will wake me up. To be honest, by the time I got it together the baby was waking up so maybe 5 minutes of quiet time??? Does anybody know what I’m talking about???!!!

Later that day, I was meeting folks for lunch. I showed up at the right time. At the wrong location. But you know, one other person met me there and the other two were in another zip code. So, we went ahead and ate, making the appropriate celphone calls to figure out who was where. Oops. On to the rest of this Tuesday.

Canon never felt like sleeping, in fact after throwing all his food and refusing to get out of his highchair I knew we were in for fun. At some point he took off his diaper. I will spare you the details but we had a trail poop throughout the house today. It finally occured to me, I’ve been at the wrong Panera Bread for way too long! I know my house is really NOT this dirty, I know I have my act together, the bills have been paid and I have some great recipe to cook for supper tonight. NOT! My Panera Bread experience today somehow parallels my life. Being at the wrong place at the right time. Sometimes this is where we do the most growing, the most relating, where we look at our given circumstances and wonder how we got there. It is at these times I am often reminded that before I even even started my day the Lord directed every step of the way. Something to think about.


Afternoon Showers

Posted by Shelley on Apr 10, 2006 in kids

As a married woman and a mother of two young children it occurred to me today that the series of events that brought me to this present life were afternoon showers. Maybe a dozen? Between wedding and baby showers I must have had that many. Gracious giving and lots of eating were contributing factors that brought me to my now thirty something state. I thought of this in the shower. In the afternoon. Not at 6am, 7am or even 8am… I was finally getting a shower at 4pm (which no one told me at the baby showers would really become the case for mothers of young children) and it became clear this was a very different shower than what you usually think of as an afternoon shower. Rush in, turn the water up really loud so you can’t hear the baby cry, lock the door so your first grader can’t burst in… did I wash my hair? When was the last time I washed my hair? Finally, a few short minutes later you open the shower quietly and listen… no crying, no telephone (I think I took it off the hook?)… maybe it’s just the fog from my steaming hot moment of silence still covering up the sounds of chaos. Slowly unlock the door and listen again… it’s still quiet. Not at all like the wedding and baby showers with friends and family gave advice and shared stories. No, this afternoon shower became an escape pod for an overly tired Mom who spent the afternoon outside sweating at the park, attempting to exhaust two children.

Oversleeping got me here today and maybe that’s just as well because I realize now more than ever how very important it is to be up before EVERYONE else and have some time with the Lord. I need to have some time by myself in the Word before the needs of my home must be met. He heard my prayers today and gave me something profound to sit and think about. As I got out of the shower, hurrying to type before these thoughts before they left me, (it’s like an Olympic event just to sit at a keyboard at 5pm in the afternoon,) I decided that this afternoon shower was as important as the ones where you eat petit fors and open gifts. Let me explain.

King David in the Old Testament explains that giving his early and best time to the Lord is the equivalent of a soldier’s preparation before going into battle… he expects that same dedication of me as a wife and mother. How fortunate I am to recognize this and be able to share it with you, Dear Sister! Let’s put on that whole armor of God (you know we need it!) and give him our early and best time. Let me hear from you and tell me how you’re doing on this…


A Second Chance For the Millionth Time

Posted by Shelley on Apr 6, 2006 in bible study

Sisters from Bible Study, this one is for you! You were there today, you know where I’m going with this, of what I am going to remind you. We left there today knowing we had been to a bonafide Baptist pep rally and I don’t know about you but no less than one hour later I was gritting my teeth so badly I just knew I had broken one. Isn’t motherhood wonderful?

We are equipped; however, sometimes that equipment gets a little faulty don’t you think? The real world starts to happen and all of sudden remembering that sign language is not so easy anymore. In fact, some of the sign language I can remember during these times of is not the kind I want my kids to see. So how do we handle it? Let’s start by making the time, like we so diligently did the past 10 weeks, to be in the Word. You’ve got a great start, you have stayed the course, now let’s head out on that limb! I know that’s where I’m headed…

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10


What’s Been On My Mind

Posted by Shelley on Apr 5, 2006 in poetry

It’s amazing but it’s true
A little less me, a little more you
Trying to walk in step
In tandem
It’s getting harder
May just need to give in to this
And realize what I’ve known all along
A little less me is where I belong

Hearing from you Lord Jesus
I’ve made it a game
When your Spirit speaks
I begin to hear
And You silence my very name
To nothing
Realizing I want to be fearless
Doing it all on my own
He tempers me back down
To where I belong

Didn’t mean to write a song
It just came out that way
Seeing ones you love
Feeling forgotten
Isn’t the kind of thing we want to sing
About anyway
Reaching in, reaching out
Trusting that you Heavenly Father
Will place me where I belong

copyright shelley shaw 2006

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