Saturday, October 14, 2006

What I think about Vegas...

Can you spot me in the middle picture? I have had some bonus time with my sister and her family here in Vegas, after my exciting scrap adventure wrapped up on Wednesday. We have reconnected and had time to relax and just be together. Quite unlike what most tourists come to Vegas looking for.
I have actually felt bad for most of the people I have seen while on my trip here. While walking through the casinos to get to my hotel or to a restaurant to eat, I have felt such a sadness and emptiness for what so many seem to be looking for in this city. Don't get me all wrong, there is glitz and glamour and lights all over, but I just can't shake the heavy feeling in my heart, that the majority of the people in this place are looking for something that they simply can't find in the things that Vegas has to offer.
I've watched people pouring money into slot machines, only to walk away with nothing. I've seen others stack up colorful chips, only to have their cards fold. I have seen shop after shop of 'luxury items' with unbelievable price tags attached, and have wondered who can afford does one justify the purchase? Like a tiny baby tshirt for $97.50, or a bracelet for $95,000.
I definitely have felt out of place. I have wondered how the lives of the people here could be used to help change the lives of others in the world. I may not be seeking office or position to change social policies, but it seems like such an easy place to start. If the money being poured into entertainment and casinos and sex and drugs and alcohol were channeled into our education system or health care or homeland security, it could only do one thing as far as I see it. That is it could shape lives in a new way. It could create a better place, not one that breeds addictions and brokeness and hurt.
So, as I said, I may not have had the typical Vegas experience, but I have learned a lot about love and life and happiness while I was here. I am glad to know that the joy and peace I feel in life is a very real thing in my heart. I am glad to live a life filled with wholeness and direction and grace. I wouldn't trade that for all the money in the world. I have seen a different side of life, and now realize that sayings aren't always true...the grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side. I hope the people that are truly seeking peace and joy in their life in this place will find it in the same way that I have found it in life. Through faith- not through things.


annette said...

Jody, you are so correct in this thought.....and I feel we must have a close relationship with the Lord to be able to see this the way you have.

I see people each day seeking something material to 'fill them up' when the Lord is what they need.

I am glad you had such a fun time in Vegas...and seeing your sister.


Jessica Rabbit said...

Hey Jody, I've been following along here and there with your blog, crying once in a while, excited when you announce exciting things, and cheering right along with you - so I thought I should
Love that you posted this about Vegas...a real version of the glitzed up place of lost dreams
Love reading your blog.
thank you for being you and keeping it real

Crystal said...

You have captured my thoughts and feelings exactly, Jody! I've never been to Vegas and I kind of have mixed feelings about even going.

I'm so glad you got to spend time with your sister and her family! Sisters are the best! And thank you for posting all those cool pictures of you and the other celebrities from Memory Trends.

I've been following your journey up to this trip and crying along with many of your posts. You have such talent at putting your life into words. Thank you for always sharing!

Anonymous said...

This is somewhat what our Sunday School lesson was about today. Contentment. Our society as a whole is not content unless they have more than their neighbor. Spending a lot of money for the thrill to just last a little while.
So glad to see this opinion is shared by others. Maybe if more of us realize this, we can and will change the way of the future and how our children view life.

My girls were told today, they will not be getting much at all for Christmas. They will pick a present out for another child on an Angel Tree. God gave us his son. Jesus gave us a way to forgiveness. We must give back. I vow this year and every year here on out to teach my children the joy in giving, not receiving.

mary h.

Carrie said...

Sounds like a great time all around! Hugs -

Jessica Cornman said...


As you know, I've been following your blog - I was really rooting for you last week and disappointed that you didn't win. But, like you've mentioned before, there is a reason for everything and a greater plan in all this. Can't wait to see what comes next for you. Have a great lovely Michigan fall day!

-jessica :)

Nancy said...

Jody, all of this is so true about Vegas and life in general. True happiness can only be found within ones self and not through glitz and glamour. You are a jewel to share these things. What a blessing you are!

Vicki said...

Jody, I'm sure your light was burning brightly out there for all the others to see. You are a blessing wherever you go :)

Portia said...

Awesome post! I've been to Vegas-- for a convention. It was such an "interesting" place. There's some neat things and some not-so-neat things, like riding the elevator with a "woman of the evening". Strange.

Anyhow... I hate to *ask* for a post... but I'm really looking forward to a post for some good guidance on forgiveness for the one you love here on the earth the most. I can't think of anyone better than you (except Him) to ask... but I love your words.

ScrapHappy said...

PLease tell me how we were both there and did NOT run into each other???!!!

Anonymous said...

I totally hear ya on this one. It's the way of the world. "Buy more things, it will make you happy." And maybe it will...but only temporarily. Then you have to buy more things. But what a lot of people don't seem to realize is that the void in their hearts that they are trying to fill with "stuff" can only be filled with the one true God. THAT'S when you feel true joy and happiness.

Anywho, glad to see you had a great time and got to spend some quality time with some realatives and a chance to escape the cold weather of Michigan. You definitely can't beat that. :P

Jana said...

This is EXACTLY how I felt the first time I visited Vegas. It broke my heart to see families walking around w/small children with all of those images of scantily clad women & sex around them sad.