Rose Colored Glasses

Years ago someone very close to me once ( or actually several times) said that I viewed life through "Rose Colored Glasses." While that may have been true then, I have found that sometimes life needs a little help to look better than the hard realities that we face day in and day out. I have discovered over the years that we all need encouragement that we are not in this alone. We only get to live this life once and I want my life , imperfect that it is, to be an encouragement for those around me. Do I get it right every single day?!?........."Absolutely not!!!!" But "His mercies are new every morning," and for that I am eternally grateful and forever hopeful "rose colored glasses" and all.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's almost Thanksgiving.......WHAT????

I am totally convinced that something happens to time when you hit your 40's. It seems like I barely get my Christmas decorations boxed up and Thanksgiving is here again. I have a love/hate relationship with the holidays. For the most part, I think I could hide away in a mountain cabin from mid November to New Years' Eve. While I can't really pinpoint the time that I started feeling this way, I think it would probably be my early 30's. I've always had those grand illusions that the holidays should be like a Norman Rockwell picture.......oddly enough, it never turns out like that. When our kids were small, it was fun to do Christmas with them. It took very little to make them happy. We were limited in the funds department, so that dictated simplicity. Somewhere along the way we've given way too much emphasis on gift giving and running here and there. Last year the holidays went fairly well, but I realized a couple of weeks after New Year's that I had truly missed the whole meaning of Christmas. I honestly don't remember giving Christ much thought at all. I got the gift buying done, the groceries bought, the decorating done, I attended all the obligated events...but when all was said and done, I really forgot the true meaning of Christmas. While, I take full responsibility for my lack of acknowledging that Christmas is Christ's birthday, not doesn't help that all this Christmas hullabaloo starts before the Halloween candy is gone. Thanksgiving doesn't even get it's day.......what with all the "black Friday" beginning at midnight stuff. I did notice over two weeks ago that the "harvest" decor has been relegated to a small corner of shelving at the local DG one aisle down from the 50% off halloween candy, while there is shelf after shelf of Christmas stuff. I am already feeling that dread of the weeks to come. All that trying to buy stuff for people who don't need anything or even particularly want anything ( anything that's within our budget anyway)......all the trying to figure out the "holiday" schedules and places to be.... While I love many aspects of the holidays,(mostly music and movies) I am always so happy when it's all over for another year. My question is this the way it should be? Shouldn't there be more to it than this? And....if I think it should be different, then what am I going to do about it? For one thing.........I refuse to start the Christmas season before we've celebrated Thanksgiving. For another thing, I am going to make it a point to set aside time every single day of the advent to focus on the one who's birthday it truly is. I am going to trust His guidance as to how to spend my time and money this Christmas. What about you? What will you do?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do You Smell It?

Do you smell it? Ask my family and even some of my coworkers and they will tell you I am the "Queen of Smelling Things." I have a very keen sense of smell, and at times this is a curse not a blessing. Today it is a it smells like Fall!!!! It is crisp and cool (59 degrees on my back porch when I got up). It smells clean and fresh.......... and even the way the light filters through the trees makes me know that this long awaited season is well on it's way. I love Fall!!! The cooler mornings, the light wind, the leaves changing, football.....heavens! it's just about perfect. I always stand amazed at the wonders and delights that our God has for us if we but look up and out. I am just as amazed and awed that He loves me!! Me who can be just as mean as a who snaps at her husband for asking just one more who yells at my daughter who spends too little time on her knees and in His Word and too much time in front of the idol known as a Sony Bravia 46 inch who is lazy, and grouchy, and self righteous, and judgemental!!! He loves me even in all this. But.....He loves me too much to let me stay that way. Just as I can smell the scent of Fall wherever I go today, we are to be the fragrance of Christ wherever we are. I pray that God uses me today to be the aroma of Him. I pray that He does the same thing in you. Have a great day in Him! But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of him everywhere. 2 cor.2:14

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dry Spell

It's the hot, just past the middle of August, days in Alabama. Times that I've heard referred to as the "Dog Days" of summer. While I don't really know what that means........I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the scorching sun and stifling air that we experience every year around this time. It is usually very, very dry. Gardens wither up to nothing....grass gets really crunchy......the ground actually gets cracks in the top layer of soil from the lack of rain. As dry as things are.....the humidity is awful. It can take hair that you've spent half an hour working on about thirty seconds to wilt before your very eyes. You can hardly get from the house to the car before you feel the sweat run down your back....It's just hot....and dry.....did I say that already?!? This summer we have had more rain than normal, which has kept things alittle greener than we've come to expect.....but the hot days are still here. While my physical self is ready for some spiritual self is in even worse shape. It is about as dry as a normal Alabama summer. How did this happen? Why did I let it happen? It's a "slow fade" for happens before I even realize I'm dried out. My quiet times with the Lord happen less and less until I can't remember when I actually had one. I'm throwing out emergency prayers to the someone calling 911! It usually takes some major "knockdown" to make me realize the state of my sin sick heart. This time it came in the form of very hurtful words said by me to one of my children. Words that were used in a fit of anger.......words that resulted from a major pity party of which I was right smack dab in the middle of. There's an old saying that goes something like " one who is wrapped up in ones self, makes for a very small package!" I can attest to that. I was so wrapped up in myself that I was just swinging at random. Somewhat like a blindfolded child with a stick and a pinata. I may be the only one who does this but just in case I'm not.....don't you just love the moment when you realize what a fool you really are?!? You know that moment when you feel about as low as the belly of a snake! And then to top it off........because while you were behaving so poorly.....and while your words were mean and hateful.....those same words spoke things that you never intended. I hate it when that happens, don't you?!?! You are right in the middle of your tacky, little pity party, feeling so entitled to your little fit and wham!!! You slam someone else with your poorly chosen words and attitudes. You hurt someone else all the way to their core because of your selfishness. My nature is typically that of a "pleaser." I don't like not being liked or accepted. But, in this "pleaser" personality must have been taking a nap!! Knowing that I had upset my child bothered me immediately, but after finding how deeply my words really wounded this child........I was almost overcome with grief!! I said all of that to say this. Had my spiritual life not been in the state it was in, I honestly believe that my words and actions would have been a little kinder. The sad thing is, this precious daugher of mine, was trying to be the spiritual light I needed and I shot her down.....thinking,in my hateful state, that she was being just a bit too spiritual for me. I wanted someone to just roll in the mud with me....not point me in the right what does that say about me? First and foremost, it says that I am a sinner in need of a Savior!!!! And second, it tells me that I need to make my walk with the Lord the top priority in my life. I am so thankful that He seeks me out and calls to me and NEVER gives up on me. He wants me to throw away my pride and my sense of entitlement and let Him be, not just my Savior, but my Lord!! Thank you my sweet Jessie, for forgiving me and loving me in spite of my ugliness. I love you so much and I am so proud of the woman you are. You will be such an asset to Luke in ministry. Always be true to the One who loves you even more than I do!!
I'm always your biggest fan! Mama

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Changes

The past couple of weeks have brought some changes to our lives here on our little hill in the woods. Good changes, but changes none the less. First change is: First born and son in law have interviewed and will possibly take a church at least a couple hours farther away than they are now. While I knew with them being in ministry, there would always be the possiblity that they would live far away......I don't think I really camped out on the idea. I just know that if this is God's will for them, He will make it okay for me and son in law's precious Mama. No two mama's have ever loved their children anymore than we do. Having them 12 hours away for the past five years has not been for the faint of heart. I think we've done pretty well in our adjustment, but there are still times when I just have to get my hands on that child for just a little while. I miss her more than words can say, but I know she is where she is supposed to be......and I have every confidence that the Lord will provide!! Second change is that baby girl is engaged!!! She went to the beach on Saturday with her sweet boyfriend and his family.......and he surprised her with a proposal (and might I say, I right nice piece of jewelry) beachside on Sunday afternoon. So, wedding planning is in our future around here. I know my sweet man is thanking God that he only has two daughters right now! Baby girl starts nursing school in two weeks, so it may get really interesting around here in the next 10 to 12 months. I am thankful for so many things in my life and one of them is being a mama to these two magnificent creatures. I do have to admit that on more than one occasion, I have tried to find out where a mother can go to resign from this "blessing" as I have been fairly certain that being a mother was going to kill me...literally!! I have experienced some dark days in these twenty eight years( with most of those being the wonderful "teenage years") and I have on occasion felt the same feeling that was expressed by the famous Bill Cosby when he spoke of the joys of parenthood...saying,"I brought you in this world, and I can take you out!!!!" More days than not, I am very glad I let them live!! It is wonderful to see your kids grown, happy, and making good choices. It has been a wild ride, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world!!! I love you Jessie and Jodi.............I'm looking forward to the days, weeks and months ahead with you girls!!!! I'm so proud of you...... and for you!!!xoxoxoxo Mama

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!!

Happy Birthday, my sweet Jessie. Twenty eight years ago we prepared for the greatest life change we would ever know. At the ripe old age of 21, I was sure I had this "mama" thing nailed down. I was well read in the baby care and "raising" department. I had at least one full semester of child growth and development under my belt..I had babysat a few times.....I was fairly certain that I was gonna be the poster child for motherhood. I did have a little fear of the pain involved......but I had that planned out as well. I knew about natural childbirth, but was pretty sure that this was for women who weren't as enlightened as I was.......and me being the brilliant nurse that I was and also being the biggest wimp I could think of.....I knew that the epidural would be my best friend!! My control freakish ways started very early in my life. Our plan had been to get through nursing school, get a job, pass my boards and get pregnant. We accomplished this right on schedule. We were so excited about having a baby. We got your room and little sweet, unisex, baby things together in the classic pale green and yellow colors. I washed and had all those little baby clothes smelling like Ivory Snow ,and looking so organized in your chest of drawers. We had the baby bed and cradle ready to lay our sweet bundle in. And then the literal bottom fell out. We found out that the house we were renting had been sold, and we had to find somewhere else to live. So.....the week prior to your arrival, we found another place to rent and we spent that week getting ready to move. The house we found was less than clean, to say the least...... and germaphobe that I am, we had to do some harddown cleaning. We also made one false hospital run during this week in the midst of all the other craziness. I was fairly certain that I was going to have my baby in the middle of highway 82 in the Sipsey swamp area. Had I known what I learned after 18 long hours of labor, I wouldn't have stressed so much about the Sipsey thing!! Thanks to some wonderful friends and family, we started the moving process the day before you were born. We were in the middle of moving loads of stuff when I decided that I was in labor. I know that your poor granny Gail would have probably liked to kill me off about that time. Picture this poor, pathetic humongous pregnant woman walking around doing little of nothing and bawling the whole day for no apparent picture that in the 100 degree heat that we enjoy in Alabama in July..........and we have a window unit air condtioner. Need I say that it was not a pretty sight. On the eve of your birth, your daddy and I loaded up and, with granny and aunt Tammy close behind, we headed to DCH. I wasn't in labor, but they decided to keep me overnight since we lived so far away. Finally about 5:00 the next morning, my contractions worsened and I was finally in true labor. It's funny now to look back about being so anxious to be in labor, and then hardly being able to wait to be finished with it. We didn't know if you were a boy or a girl.....and though I had always said I wanted boys ( I knew what teenage girls were like, and didn't think this was something I wanted to sign up for!) honestly, it didn't really matter to me.....I just wanted a baby. When you finally made your long anticipated arrival at 11:04 p.m. that Thursday night.........we were beyond thrilled!!! You were the most beautiful thing that I had ever seen. Ten fingers, ten toes, wrinkled and pink, very little hair.......but oh my rivaled any princess every born. The next morning after all the commotion had died down and there was nobody there but you, and daddy, and me.........we unwrapped you and checked you out. You were absolutely perfect!!!! Nine long months of hope and anticipation was beyond anything I can describe. This child that we wanted so much was finally here. On that day, you forever changed our world for the better. I had no idea that I could love anything or anyone so much. I loved watching you sleep, and hearing all those sweet little baby grunts and sighs. I even loved the way your eyes would scrunch up tight when you were crying. I loved your smell.....I would bury my nose up in your little neck and just breath in your sweet scent. My poor attempt to describe to you just what you meant to us 28 years ago, and now 28 years later is very inadequate. You have been such a delight to us. Your passion for life and compassion for others certainly make a mama proud. You have always been wise beyond your years, understanding things that you really shouldn't have been able to understand. You are truly a magnificent creature.......God did really good when He formed you in the secret place. You are beautiful and smart and so much fun!! On this, your 28th birthday, I wish you every happiness in the world!!! Enjoy your special are very much loved!!!!XOXOXOXOX Mama

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Don't you just love how God works? I wholeheartedly believe in the power of prayer and God's omnipotence. never ceases to amaze me when He answers my prayers. I don't do too well at "making a long story short" bear with me. Some twenty five years ago, Tony and I joined a little church in the community where we still live. This church was such a delight for us. We had spent several years prior to joining this church in what can only be described as living in rebellion. As teenagers, we had both made professions of our faith in Jesus. But neither of us had ever made Him the Lord of our life. We had several years of living very much outside the will of God.........but as He lets us make our choices, He also lets us have consequences of those choices........and in our case that almost cost us our marriage. As God would have it, we bowed the knee and turned back to Him. In what can only be attributed as a miracle from God......He healed a broken and bruised marriage and turned it into something that has withstood the past twenty five years pretty well!!!
When God healed our marriage, we realized that we needed to be in church with the precious 3 year old daughter that He had blessed us with. We did some church visiting before we found our "home" at Hebron Baptist Church. This was a small country church with a small membership and alot of the members were related either by blood or marriage.....but these precious folks took us in and loved us like their very own. We had alot of fun, fellowship and spiritual growth during those years. Being a small church has so many advantages, but one disadvantage is sometimes not having many children....... and while this is not an issue with younger children, it can get to be an issue when you have "youth" age children. When our youngest was beginning the "youth" years, we didn't have any other kids her age at church. Our kids had participated in youth activities at the church in town for some years, but as our oldest was ready for college and the youngest was only thirteen, this was a problem. I have always felt that kids need a good youth group, and while our small church provided for that when our eldest was a "youth", we just didn't have the kids when baby girl got there. I also believe that families need to worship together. Taking all these things into consideration.....we started praying about what to do. We felt that God was directing us to go to the church in town where baby girl would have a youth group. Just let me say that leaving this "family" at Hebron was the hardest thing that we had ever done. We had been there for fifteen years, we had seen both our girls pass through the baptismal waters in this church. We had grieved the loss of precious members and we had laughed and cried, sang and danced
sorry about that, we didn't dance....we are Baptist......I got carried away in the moment! get the was HARD to leave. We were welcomed with open arms at Carrollton Baptist Church and we grew to love the people there. We have had some wonderful times in this fellowship of Christians. I was so blessed to be a part of a biblestudy group for young women called "The Sisterchicks!" I grew to love those girls like they were mine. We have celebrated the birth of precious babies, we've grieved the death of beloved family members, the pain of divorce, and we have laughed like complete idiots at and with each other.....but more than anything else, we grew together in our love for our Lord. Tony and I have wonderful memories that we will carry with us forever. In the past couple of years, we both have had a spirit of unrest. We have talked about what to do, we have prayed about what to do.....we have ignored what we felt like we needed to do for fear of hurting those we love.....but if you have been in this walk with the Lord for very long, you know that He speaks to you in times of unrest. We had been diligently praying about what He would have us do. As much as we loved our Carrollton folks, we just really missed "home." We also worried that maybe you can't really "go home." We decided to go back for "Homecoming" the third Sunday in May, and suffice it to say, we felt like we had truly gone "home." We decided to go back the next Sunday, just to see if we still felt the same on a "regular" Sunday....and we did....maybe even more so. There are lots of new faces there and lots of the old faces are gone..........but it still has that sweet, sweet spirit, and we now know that you really can "go home"!! I don't know what God has planned for us, but I'm excited and looking forward to the ride!! Pray for us as we find our place in what God wants us to do.
I hope you will find your place in your body of believers this Sunday. There's just nothing quiet like worshipping our God in the fellowship of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Have a great and safe weekend.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sad Times

I've debated about posting this issue, but decided that I would do it. What issue am I talking about? The issue of which I speak is the death of our old dog, Missy. Our beloved pet of 15 years went to doggy heaven one week ago today. For those of you who are not pet lovers, this seems very silly...but to those of you who know exactly how I feel. This was not some "high breed" dog, but one that was a mixture of chihuahua and fiest and who knows what else. She came to live with us when my kids were little. She was easily the kindest, sweetest dog.........ever!! She wasn't a barker ( until old dog aged senility took over)......she endured being dressed up like a baby doll and strapped in a doll umbrella stroller and being carried around by a rambunctious seven year old without even so much as a whine. She loved us, and we loved her. Before her old age took her hearing, a mere whisper of "let's go ride in the truck" would set her in a tail spin. The only thing she liked better than going for a ride was sitting with her "Daddy" at night and snacking while they watched t.v. This dog could hear you unwrapping a piece of cheese from anywhere in our house. She was the first indoor pet I've ever had and she just ingrained herself as a member of our family. She was never quiet herself if one of us was not in the nest at night. She would frequently wander around and sit posed looking at the door waiting for the "wayward" family member to return.....and might I say that she was always excited to see us....whether we had been gone all day or had just gone to the mailbox and back. I once heard a comedian talk about the fact that dogs have no sense of time, and she proved this to be true time and again. In the last couple of years, she hasn't been herself. Her hearing was gone, her vision clouded by cataracts.....she appeared to be lost much of the last few months. Arthritis had played ugly tricks on this once active and playful dog, rendering her unable to navigate across the room at times. She seemed to lose all her joy the last few weeks......I never saw that tail wag anymore. She seemed to be in pain much of the time and would even pull back from our handling her at times. As hard as it was, we had to make the decision to have her put to sleep. I kept praying that I would just come home and she would have just gone to sleep, but that didn't happen. So.....last Thursday, I took her to the vet and he took care of her. We brought her home and buried in the back yard under the pear tree. Not a day has gone by that I haven't looked for her as I walk in my house. I would have never believed that I could become so attached to a little critter...........but I did....and I have already done it again......TWICE!!!! Several months ago, in anticipation of what I knew was inevitable with Missy, we brought a new puppy in..........a teeny, tiny little chihuahua that we named "Trixie." About a month after we brought her home, baby girl moved back home with her little fiest mix dog "Effie." Needless to say, it is like "Dog" central station around here all of the time. But it is fun! As I was mourning the loss of the "old" dog, I was chastising myself about the stupidity of letting myself get attached like this again..........but honestly, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Pets just love us unconditionally....they love us when we aren't lovable. I've heard and read that people who have pets live longer and happier lives...........I hope that's true.....but regardless of this, I'm glad I've got my four legged babies. They sure make my life interesting!!
Hope you have a great...long and safe Memorial Day weekend!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Long time no blog

I can't believe that it's been more than a month since I have been on this blog. So much water has gone under the bridge since then. We have celebrated the resurrection of our sweet Lord. We experienced the horrible tornadoes that swept through our area on April 27 causing so much devastation and destruction. These terrible storms will be felt for years to come. So many lost everything they had, and other's their very lives. We were so blessed to be spared. I don't understand why things like this happen..... but I do know that nothing comes to us until it has been filtered through God's hands. In the wake of all this devastation, it has been so heartwarming to see how people have rallied to help those affected. We need to continue to pray for those so horribly touched by these storms.
A couple of weeks ago I had the good fortune to get a free trip to the beach with my good friend Laura, her daughter Emily, and Emily's friend, Anna. It was 2 days of gorgeous sunshine, fresh salt air, clear aqua blue water, and white sandy beaches.....not to mention good "girl" talk, lots of junk food, tons of laughter, and awesome seafood!! It was a great trip with some great girls. I am so blessed to have some wonderful girl friends. Friends that love you when you are not lovable.....friends that
love you even when you snore...friends that love you enough not to let you stay in the pit that you might be wallowing in. There are so many things that I love about being a woman, and one of the biggest things, is that we can have the friendships that we do with other women. I just can't imagine what my life would be like without my "girlfriends"!!
Last Saturday, I got to be with my mom at her 50 year class reunion. It was fun to watch all her classmates mix and mingle...women giggling like school telling tall tales.....just watching as they shared school memories and caught up on yesteryear......and then my sweet man, babygirl, and I went to homecoming at our old church on Sunday. We had a great time of food and fellowship.....not to mention some mighty fine preaching and good ole southern gospel felt like "coming home." This is the place where we, as young adults, came back to is the place where we watched our precious children walk the aisle and profess their faith in Jesus is the place where we forged lifetime friendships with people we view more as family than friends.
I am going to make a real effort to be more diligent with my blogging. In the meantime.........have a good week!!! Life is good.....enjoy it!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Time flies when you're having fun (and sometimes when you're not!)

Goodness gracious, where does the time go?!? I am not sure what I've been doing for the past two weeks, but I've sure been busy doing it. I don't know if time really does pass faster as you get older, or if it just takes you so danged long to get anything done, that it just seems like it moves faster. I remember when it seemed like an eternity from Christmas to Christmas. Now it seems like I just get all that stuff packed up and it's time to get it out again. I find that I now judge the passing of time as to the once a month things that I have to do at work. I have a couple of "chores" that I don't enjoy doing, so I say a huge "whew" every month when I check them off the list. But just like Christmas, I think that I just checked 'em off the list and it's time to do it again. Some nights I crawl into bed and wonder if I did anything that was worthwhile that day.....did I say or do anything to encourage somebody or help someone out? Did I do anything to "show" Jesus to someone who needs Him? Sadly, I know that lots of days go by that I get so caught up in myself or what I'm doing that I am completely oblivious to the hurts and pains of others. I hate that I do that......why do I do that? I have answers.....sometimes I'm just selfish....sometimes I'm just lazy......sometimes I'm complacent......and sometimes I'm just disconnected and I miss things. Are these excuses? Well....yeah....I guess they are. I find that I'm usually harder on myself than others are, but I still don't want to waste opportunities to be what God wants me to be. Does He want me to be perfect?? No!!! He knows me.....He just wants me to be available and willing. That would be my prayer for today....."Help me to be willing and available. Help me to use the hours in my day as You would have me to."
If I can do that, I will accomplish what He has for me everyday. Here's hoping that you have a great weekend, and that you get some down time and maybe get something done that you want to do. You know "Time Flies" when you're having fun and even when you're not!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!!!!!

My Dearest Jodi,
At exactly 10:18 p.m.,twenty three years ago tomorrow, God completed our family. We entered that hospital not knowing whether we would be welcoming a little boy or a little girl. Twenty three years ago we didn't have ultrasounds unless there was an issue with your pregnancy, and even those who had them were never 100% accurate where the sex of the baby was concerned. So we had the baby bed ready with the yellow gingham bumper pads, and the tiny little baby clothes all washed and "Ivory Snow" smelling...... and completely gender neutral. Oh there were predictions by family members that you were a boy and a couple of "boy" outfits had been purchased......but in my heart of hearts.......I wanted another little girl. I had experienced one precious girl child and I wanted to do it again. After an early morning arrival at the hospital and a long, laborious day, we were blessed with a 6 pound 13 ounce, 19 inch beautiful baby girl.....and life as we knew it was forever changed.You have brought much joy and sunshine into our life and just enough rain to help us grow. have probably brought a storm or two as well.....but we won't take that up here!! (smile) You are quite a magnificent creature.....some of God's finest handiwork. You can be fiery and fearless at times, and at other times as soft and tender as dandelion dust. You amaze me. You are you know that? I have often told you that you can stir emotions in me that no one else can. You call me out and challenge me when no one else would dare to. You can be my very best friend and my worst enemy all in one. Through out these 23 years we've done some life haven't we? We have laughed until we were snorting and wheezing......we have cried until we thought we had no more tears.........we have fought tooth and nail.......we have prayed over each other.....we have played......but more than anything, we have loved!!!
I can't imagine my life without you. You are are are are mine, and for that I am so very thankful!!! I hope that your birthday is a great day!!! I love you with all my heart!!!! Mama

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Fever

I think I officially have the "fever"!! You know that itching to just be outside. I would like to say that I am hankering to dig in the dirt, work in the yard....all that good stuff..........but that would be a lie....I've got me a hankering to throw a quilt out on the grass and just lay there like a pig in the sunshine!! I would probably do that if it weren't for that dratted yellow pollen everywhere. Even so, I am sneaking outside every chance I get just to experience the delights of spring!! There is just nothing like it. The dogwoods are almost in full poor azaleas(that we gave a drastic pruning last year) are trying to bloom. Everything is budding out and turning green. I love me some spring time humidity..........slight breezes and the smell of flowers just doesn't get any better than this!! I try to remember these days in July and August when I would like to move to Alaska or somewhere a little cooler, and in the dead of winter when I can't seem to get warm. It's easy for me to forget these beautiful days when I'm in the midst of "not so beautiful days." Reminds me of my spiritual life....God is so good to me and He has blessed me beyond anything I could imagine.....but how quickly I forget His care when I'm having a bad day....when a coworker is on my last nerve.....when my man doesn't do what I thought he should have....when I feel bad...when Jodi doesn't think I'm too smart.......when......well, you get the idea.. How easy it is to forget how good life is when things aren't going so well. How glad I am that God isn't wishy-washy like I am. He's always there.....His timing is always perfect.........His love is always extravagant. As I am enjoying these first days of spring......I want to remember the author and artist of these days....Thank you God for who you are and what you do!!! Keep me ever mindful of You!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Better Days Ahead!!

This has definitely not been one of my better weeks. I awoke bright and early Monday morning, not to have the lovely quiet time I had envisioned on Sunday night when I had preset my coffee pot and my alarm clock. No...I awoke to my grown daughter telling me she had been up all night "throwing up." Words every mother wants to hear on a Monday first actions are to get her a glass of ginger ale and then banish her to the UPSTAIRS for the duration of this malady, as I am all the while blasting all our breathable air with Lysol. I warn her father of her possible contagion and then pray that we don't get this "virus." I don't pray for friends, family, or the missionaries............I'm praying "Dear God, PLEAAASSSEE don't let me or Tony get this know I think I'm dying if I throw up!" Well, just so you know.....we didn't get it............Thank you Jesus!!! During this spraying and praying, I had a minor meltdown about things being left out that should have been picked up and put away from the night before.......and as I sometimes have been known to do, I heaped on a few other things that had been under my skin for a day or two. I never said that compassion was my spiritual gift......I did realize after the morning drama that I had a killer headache and still some niggling pain in my eyetooth that had started over a week ago......As the day progressed, I didn't improve physically nor did my attitude improve one iota. By days end, I was primed and ready for a little sit down and have it out conversation. I was not occured during supper....and it got ugly!! Sparing the details, issues were discussed, and in some cases resolved..........but "ugly" had done happened.....and you know "ugly" can be very much like squirting too much toothpaste out of the can clean it up, but you can't put it back in the tube. Then you are left feeling like a complete failure again!!! I did what I do most of the time when I am just spent out on emotions...I went to bed!! Tuesday wasn't much improved.........toothache continuing............progressing.........moving up into my nose!!! Emotions somewhat better though. Enter Wednesday..........I awake to pain on and in the left side of my face all the way to my cheekbone. I can touch the area below my eye and feel it all the way to my tooth!! Yay!! Can't put it off any the dentist I go.....absess.........rootcanal.....enough said. Back home.....back to bed for the afternoon. Wake up 4 oclock or so......feeling better than I have all week.....face sore....tooth sore......but not the kind of pain from earlier.......Talked baby girl(she's all more stomach bug!) into going to church with me....our group is starting a new bible study "Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl" by Lysa Terkeurst, (She is one of the most gifted writers/teachers I've ever seen......this book is at the very top of my all time favorite books.) and I wanted baby girl to experience this study. She obligingly went with me, actually drove me, as I was still suffering with my tooth!(smile)...I really was!!! Anyway.....we went......we had a great time.........enjoyed it tremendously....We start home.....get about a mile out of town (we live 3 miles out of town) and my 6 month old car begins to make the most horrendous noise and the oil light comes on, followed immediately by the engine light.....we pull off the road ( a very muddy, soft mess as it has rained for two days)...GREAT......what else? We call Tony, and he comes to get us...He discovers that there is oil all over the engine and hood, but none in the actual motor where it should be...We leave my car(did I tell you this car is six months old?) locked on the side of the road in the dark. We come home, contact the roadside assistance number and have the car towed to the car dealership in Tuscaloosa(at this point,I am using the word "we" what I need to say is "he") Fortunately, we have an extra vehicle.........although it probably gets 5 miles to the gallon coasting downhill. That's a story for another day ( I'm realizing that I have several stories "for another day.") Long story short ( aren't you glad?!) the dealership did something wrong when they changed the oil a couple of weeks ago and the filter blew off and spewed all the oil out of the engine. Easy fix.........praise the Lord!! Poor Tony hardly slept last I slept like a log!! All this stress and pain has just zapped me out!!!! Needless to say, I am very glad that tomorrow is Friday. I may stay in the bed all day,not too much to do for that, though it will be tempting! Time changes on Sunday......I always dread that because it just about kills me for about two weeks. We've got a fairly busy weekend planned....hopefully some rest and reflection time will be found too. I really need to do some refecting on this week. I told someone today at work........that I really feel like satan is after me.....he usually reserves this for those he deems as a threat.....I certainly have not given him any reason to feel threatened by me this week. I wish I could say that I had handled this week in a Godly way.......I would be lying if I said that. Please don't think that I'm proud of this just makes me all the more thankful that Jesus loves me even in my "ugly." Makes me want to be better.........makes me want to dig a little deeper, pray alittle harder, love a little better!! I hope you all have a great weekend.........I'm planning too.....and a better week next week!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Birthdays and Such

It happened occurs every year on the same day, but it sure seems like it's happening at least twice a year now. Yes, I had a birthday this week. The 49th one no less. I am quickly moving into the next half century of my did this happen??? Yesterday, I was just 18!! Seriously, I really don't mind getting older, especially if it means I'm still alive and hopefully getting wiser. However, I do realize that age does not necessarily guarantee wisdom. I have seen an unfortunate case or two of that in my 49 years. I have had a great week.... my birthday was especially sweet(and I'm not talking about the cake or the Key Lime Pie---that's a story for another day). I am truly blessed to have wonderful family and friends who made sure that my day was very special. I am, indeed, very thankful for those people that God handpicked to be a part of my life!! Birthdays and other momentous times like New Years, and the beginnings of the Fall season, and the beginnings of Spring(not sure why I don't do winter and summer).....I tend to take stock of my life and where it's been, and where it's headed. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with what I've seen God do in a particular season of my life and sometimes I'm wondering if I missed the point altogether. Sometimes I'm open to redirection and possibilities, while at other times I'm wallowing in a pit of some sort. But always, during these times of reflection, God is there. He waits on me to acknowledge that He's been there all along the path....that He has pulled my sorry self out of the ditch, or off some detour more times than I can count. I am so thankful that He doesn't give up on me like I tend to give up on other people because they just don't think like I think, or they don't do things like I think they should. How many times have I in my self righteous mode thought "well if they don't do things the way I think they should, then I am just done with 'em!!" Of course, I usually don't speak these words out loud( though on occasion, I have been known to do that), lest someone "think" less of me! Who do I think I am??? What if God treated me this way??? But He doesn't do it that way....He loves me anyway.....He doesn't leave me there to stay!! He graciously and gently (sometimes not so gently) redirects my path.....letting me know my error and the course of correction.......then He sets me down and lets me go again.....forgiving and forgetting my sin!! Wow!!! What a God!!!! I know this started off as a post about my birthday and getting older.......but actually the thoughts behind it went back a couple of days before my birthday. Sunday afternoon, I climbed on the back of our four wheeler with my man and went for a ride. As we were easing through some of the wooded area across the road from our house, we passed a spot that had been an old homeplace out in the middle of the woods nestled back for no one to notice. You know where you can tell that a house used to be....the trees are placed in a different pattern than your typical pine/hardwood pattern and there are old scrubby looking shrubs or "bear" grass. Sometimes you can see part of an old chimney that's left, and occasionally you catch a glimpse of some old iris or buttercups peeking out that someone may have lovingly planted at some point in time. Anyway, I am fascinated about old home places.......those I described above and those that look like someone just moved out and left it..........the building still standing, but barely, with old rotting wood that's never seen the stroke of a paint brush. It always spurs my imagination as to what that old place has seen in its years....what the people who lived there they lived their life......what became of them.....why someone hadn't "kept the place up." As I was pondering this stuff on that warm and relaxing occured to me that someday someone may pass my "homeplace" and wonder the same things. I've said all that to say this.....our life is fleeting. Someday all these things we have treasured and deemed so important will be rusting or rotting.... and no body will remember who lived at that old "homeplace", all those treasures may be broken and buried under piles of rubble. Now I'm not trying to be depressing.....far from it......I think the Lord was nudging me to recognize and remember that we are here for such a really short period of time, in light of eternity and that we should make those years count for something other than "things." We are all leaving a legacy of some sort........what kind am I leaving???? what kind are you leaving?? I certainly desire that it be more than a pile of rotting wood and a few scrubby bushes. Just food for thought. Have a great weekend!!

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." Matthew 6:19-20

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig!!

We made it back from our cruise safe and sound, albeit with a little more than we left with ( and I'm not talking about purchases or luggage!)  Just let me say that I looked around to see if the buffet had been prepared when I got up this morning in Carrollton, Alabama.  For five days, I have been subjected to more temptation than I would have believed......but man was it good!!  We had a great time........the boat was great, our suite was fabulous and quiet roomy with our own balcony for private viewing of the never ending ocean. I have never seen so much food in my entire life and being the southern girl that I am, I couldn't risk offending anyone by not partaking of such a fabulous feast as often as I could.  It was tough, but somebody had to do it.....from what I observed there were many who shared my concern of not offending!!  Might I say, that even though we had a great week........good food, good entertainment, awesome weather, and beautiful surroundings......getting home always feels so good.  Of course there were no "towel creations" or chocolates on my turned down bed last night, but the feeling of crawling in my own bed felt pretty danged good!!   This was a wonderful week for us and something I hope we get to do again someday!  We may have to start a "Cruise Club" in place of a "Christmas Club."  For those of you who have never done the cruise thing, I highly recommend it!!  It was well worth the 30 year wait.  Well, it's time to get back to the real world........I did not detect any wonderful aromas coming from my kitchen as I sat down to blog, though my man did prepare a mighty fine lunch for us today.  I think he could tell by looking at me that I wasn't quiet ready to let go of my "vacation" week.  Anyway, the water is boiling so I must be on my way to prepare whatever culinary delight I can come up with being that I haven't been to the grocery store in about two weeks.  Hope you have a great week.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sailing Away

My sweet man surprised me on our 30th anniversary with tickets for a cruise.  We made the crazy choice to get married on December 27th, 1980.....the getting married wasn't the crazy part.....choosing two days after Christmas was.  It sounded so romantic at the time.  What we have discovered over this 30 years is that more times than not, that day just gets swept up in the holiday craziness, and we hardly even realize that we've had an anniversary.  We have always tried to do something to celebrate our special day, even if it's three weeks later than the actual date.  But for this momentous occasion, we celebrated the actually day with our girls.  We went out to dinner and then to "Sips and Strokes" to paint.  Tony was a really good sport about that, being the only man in a room of about 50+ women. It was quite entertaining!!!  Back to the cruise though......we sail tomorrow for five days.  We will board in Mobile and then have stops in Cozumel and Calica.  I am so excited!!!!!!!  For a country girl from Pickens County.......this will be a treat!!  From what I have heard about the food.....I'm thinking that we will bring back more of us than we are leaving with.  I know that they have exercise facilities on board, and I wish I would be motivated enough to use the equipment, but given the choice of "all you can eat food, and all you can exercise facilities"....hmmm, which do you think we will do?!?!  I'm just sayin'! 
Anyway, I can hardly wait to get there.....hopefully I will have many a story to tell when we return. 
Hope you all have a great week!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Tongue

Earlier today a precious friend and I were catching up on each others life and the dreaded subject of "the tongue" came up.  We didn't really call it that........I think we called it "hurtful things people say"!!  The old childhood taunt of "Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is such a lie!!!  We all know it, but sometimes we feed into that mentality when we inadvertently( and even sometimes intentionally) say things to people, and about people, that we should have never said.  Notice I said "we"......there are precious few who have mastered the ability to just "keep thy mouth shut, when thou should be listening!!"  How many times did I say to my kids......if you can't say something good about somebody, just don't say anything at all!! And how many times has God whispered in my ear or tapped me on the shoulder and said the same thing to me?!?  If I had a dollar for all those times, I would be a rich woman indeed(financially anyway). Why is it so hard for us to keep our mouth shut? Why do we think that we have the right to voice an opinion about everything and anybody? What is the need in us to point out the short comings in others?  Does it make us feel better about our self?  Does it make us feel important......or smarter......or better liked?
Sometimes I think that is exactly why we do it...........if we can point out someones weakness, maybe ours won't be so visible.  Why don't we feel secure enough in our own skin to avoid the pitfalls of pointing out the ugly in someone else.  How many people do you know that haven't been hurt in someway by something someone else said.........true or not!?!  Sometimes I think we just say things carelessly without regard to what the consequence of those words can mean to someone. Sometimes these things are said without thinking, but sometimes that are said with much thought. Which is worse?  The pain for the "talked about" is still the same.  Maybe I need to do some sweeping around my own backdoor, huh?  Words have the power to bring life and death.  We have to be careful of what we say and how we say it.  I've heard people say, "well that's just how I am, I can't help it."  Oh yes you can.  The book of James speaks very boldly about our "tongue."  It is a small instrument , but it can cause great harm.  God doesn't just throw us to the wolves, He is right there with us every step of the way.  The Holy Spirit can and will give us the power to rein in that tongue.....He wants to do that for us!!  Do I think I have this figured out.......ahh no!!  I know the theory and I know the power........I just choose to ignore it sometimes.  For a talker as myself, I find myself in over my head more times than not.  Proverbs 10:19 says "When words are many sin is not absent."  I think that might have been written about me.  But back up to Psalm 141:3 and it says "Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips."  A modern day rendition of this is "Oh Lord, keep your arm around my shoulders, and your hand over my mouth!!!"  Words aptly spoken!!!!  Let's be bearers of light and healing, not hurt and heartache.

I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.  Psalm 17:3b

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Self Control

Self control.........this is a subject that keeps randomly popping up in my life lately.  Another, more hateful word that comes to mind along these lines is discipline.  To be such the control freak that I am, you would think that these subjects would be second nature.  I have discovered through trial and error(and flat out denial) that if a subject confronts me every time I turn around.....there must be a reason for it.  God usually has to point things out to me several times before I get it!!  Such is the subject of this post.  What has spurred this conviction from the Holy Spirit in my life?  Could it be the last three times I hit the snooze almost every morning..... and then that mad dash to get to work only 5 minutes late, instead of 20?  Could it be the way I just can't seem to find a stopping place in whatever mind filling book I'm consuming at night, when I should have already had the light out, so that I might not hit the snooze those 3 times in the morning?  Could it be those great intentions of incorporating physical activity into my mostly couch potato life?  Could it be that last handful of tortilla chips I scarfed down right before I  crawled in bed with my book last night? Could it be that tone I used when responding to a loved one or co-worker today?  Could it possibly be the way I keep planning in my head to sit down to some really hardcore private bible study and scripture memory.........but it just never seems to happen?  Or......could it be the frequent daily neglect of the nurturing of my relationship with Christ?  Honestly....... I know I'm guilty of all the above!!!!  I know that we have a responsibility to take care of our physical bodies.  I know that to be the woman that God wants me to be, I have to spend some time with Him everyday........just being quiet before Him. Not only that, but for this season of my life, I know He wants me to dig a little deeper in His Word.  As I have said before, 5 minutes on the throne with my Journey(devotional book) does not a bible study make!!  So what's a girl to do???  What does the bible say about this?  Well it says that my body is a temple........I'm treating mine like a gas station bathroom!!! 
If I am truly going to try to honor God with my life, I have to take care of myself.........that includes eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep.  Not only that, but I have got to make the choice everyday to exercise self control in my life.  Whether that means keeping my mouth shut when I think my opinion is of utmost importance.......or being nonjudgmental with the people and situations I see everyday....or it may mean forgoing that chocolate kiss that's calling my name.........or it could be getting out there and walking the loop at the hospital with my fast walking/long legged friends. For me, self control is hard....not just hard...........but really hard.....even so, I've been promised that "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."  As I make the disciplined effort to join my life with His, to love Him, to seek Him, to imitate Him then one of the by products of this will be the character traits that I desire.  Those character traits will be a work of the Holy Spirit in me, not just good things that I can manufacture on my own.  For today, I am making the conscious choice to exercise discipline in my life........keep me accountable!!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.  Galatians 5:22

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blogging Woes

I have had some of the sweetest responses and encouragements about this newfound blog, and for that I am so appreciative.  A couple of you have tried to post a comment and for whatever the reason, it won't let you.  I wish I knew why, but frankly.......I have no clue.  I have gone back and looked at every thing I know to look at and I can't find any reason that it won't allow comments.  I will continue the quest for an answer and cure.   For any person who knows me well, it is very evident that I am not exactly computer a matter of truth, I don't really embrace modern technology well. I am easily intimidated and I don't have an adventuresome bone in my body!!  I've only had a debit card for a couple of years because I was scared of it.  We are on our second computer at home, and while I can do basic still disturbs me somewhat when it tells me I have performed an illegal operation....I actually just learned to copy and paste last year!!!  I was so proud!!!!  While I am very, very computer challenged, I do know where to go for!!!  Yes mam, you can find out anything you want to know on "google."  Just type it in and voila(or sometimes longer)...........there's your answer.........usually!!!
I am so glad that my line to God doesn't require all this.....I don't have to wait on the Internet to come up or site to connect........the connection is always wondering if He heard wondering if He is going to be able to comment!!  I'd say that is something to be especially thankful for on this beautiful spring like day!!!  Hope you all have a great day!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Well I finally did it!! I have been pondering this blog thing for awhile now. I have prayed about it and talked about it to anyone that I thought might be interested. I have always loved writing.......letters, cards, journaling.... I felt like this form of writing would be a great way for me to be accountable for how I live my life everyday......the struggles, the pain, the joy!! Life is so good, but sometimes I need to be reminded of that fact. It's in the hard patches that I seem to learn the best lessons. I hope that this blog will be not only accountability for me, but an encouragement to someone else that we are not in this alone. We all struggle with everything from hateful words, to scraping gum out of the dryer and in my case right now......trying to get a strong willed puppy to use the puppy pad. I'm excited about this new path that God's leading me on. Can't wait to see what He has in store.