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.

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