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I’ve been repeating Philippians 4:6 in my head the past two days:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

I couldn’t remember where it was in the Bible (and I was too lazy to look for a concordance), but I knew that part. And I couldn’t quite remember the second part, but I figured it was something about how God would meet your needs and answer your prayers. But then I figured out where it was and read the next verse:

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Dang. I’m not looking for peace. I’m looking for an answer. More specifically, a yes answer. But God says His peace is what I need, not a yes.

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Henceforth, anyone using the following phrases shall be immediately punched in the throat:

“You can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
This is almost never used correctly, and when it is, it’s overused.

“It is … and it isn’t.”
Be decisive. “And” has no place in that sentence.

“Bonding [time]”
The concept is good, but the word “bonding” is way too corny for what can happen when people spend time in real community. Applies to any use of the word other than in reference to materials being joined together with glue or other adhesive substance.

“That’s what she said.”
Who am I kidding? This never gets old.

A note: Finding a good word is not to be confused with getting a good word, which is Christian for, “someone shouted something Biblical at me that I needed to hear.”

The good word for today is velleity.

I discovered this word a few years ago and swore to incorporate it into my regular usage, but – and this is truly the height of irony – my dedication to doing so was evidently inferior to my desire to do it. It’s the height of irony because the definition of velleity is just that: the desire to do something that is outweighed by the effort that must be put into actually doing it. It means wishing something without putting forth the effort to pull it off.

I suspect, however, that velleity is not intrinsically bad. The connotation is negative, to be sure (my velleity keeps me on the sofa all weekend rather than out doing something constructive), but I bet there are some things it’s okay to let go of in this fashion. Maybe.

Just read in Money magazine that the more television you watch, the more you spend. A sociologist at Boston College found that every hour of television we watch in a week, we spend roughly $200 a year. So if I average 14 hours a week (two hours a day is pretty reasonable, right?), I’m spending an extra $2800 (in addition to the outrageous amount I’m already paying for satellite).

Money, always good for a laugh, suggests that if you can’t turn off your TV completely, at least change the channel. “No one ever looked at the PBS anchor and said, ‘I’ve got to get a blazer like that!'”

Mike’s granddaddy Jud turns 98 this coming weekend, and my great-aunt Pearl will be 99 this October. Both of them are remarkably sharp in the mind to be as near 100 as they are, and Mike and I have both spent several hours listening to their stories. Granddaddy Jud’s tale about the first time he shoed a horse is worth hearing over and over (which is handy when you’re a Nelson and you hear the same stories a lot). Aunt Pearl’s memory of December 7, 1941 can bring tears to my eyes.

It may be time-consuming to visit your older relatives. You may have to yell at them to be heard (heaven knows Mike and I have done our share). You may hear the same story a few different times. But when they’re gone, you’ll be so very, very glad you did.

I woke up this morning with Mike Nelson next to me, with memories of last night (dinner at Five Guys with my parents, brother, sister-in-law, granddaddy and his wife; then a full-moon-lit kayak paddle around Lake Lanier). Came downstairs, and by the time the coffee was brewing, my parents were awake.

I made cream-cheese-stuffed monkey bread for breakfast (with bacon on the side, of course). Mama and Daddy packed up to leave after breakfast, and Mikey and I are going to Home Depot and Pike’s to get yard stuff. It’s overcast and an extraordinarily pleasant 68 degrees (quite unusual for June in Georgia): a perfect day for digging in the dirt. I play tennis this afternoon, and we grill out tonight with a fire in the fire pit.

I’m not sure it gets any better.

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My friend Kristen made this picture of Mikey and me when we were in Savannah earlier this year. When she first sent it to me several weeks ago, I flipped through it because it was blurry, but it’s now one of my favorites.