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Sunday, July 27, 2008

I Don't Know a Title!

I just know that I have seen God today.

A girl with limited language and limited knowledge came to church with her offering. She's 28 and can't really reason as to why, but she brought it, in her Princess wallet, just to give to Jesus.

The sky was clouded as we walked into church. When we came out... it was blue.

A little girl, with her head on the window in the backseat of the car, wanted to know where Jesus was right then. She just wanted to know.

My husband stood today and taught from God's Word.

A heart bowed before Jesus at His altar and poured itself out because of gratitude, and another because of pain. He met them both there.

A bird's nest sat empty at the top of a column at church. Until the mama bird arrived and three little heads popped up to be fed. Imagine... being fed at church.

A little boy was being pushed in a buggy down the hall. He blew a kiss at his dad as they drove away.

He's everywhere.

Today, I noticed.
Friday, July 25, 2008

Count Your Blessings

My mom use to always say, "If you look around hard enough you will find someone dealing with a lot harder stuff than you." And man, is she right!

This past week, while I was cooking supper, my phone rang. I didn't recognize the name on the caller ID but for some reason I answered it. The lady on the other line told me her name and she explained that we had a mutual acquaintance. She told me that she knew that I had a child that dealt with Sensory Auditory problems and that she was really at a loss with her 4 year old son. Her friend mentioned my name to her and gave her my number (which was fine!) and she wanted to know if I could give her some advice.

As she talked I remembered that our mutual acquaintance had mentioned a lady that went to her church that was struggling with her child. I was beginning to make the connection so I just listened.

She explained that he was extremely bright... can name all of the dinosaurs, knows his letter, numbers, shapes and colors, etc. but the only way he really communicated was on his terms. If you asked him questions, he could not recall the answer. If you change his schedule, he freaks. If you change things at home he can't handle it and the list... the very familiar sounding list... continued.

I told her about the course of action that we had taken with our daughter. The educational specialist's, the psychologist's and the occupational therapist's information were discussed and the school choices were contemplated. We talked for a while about our seemingly identical situations.

Then I asked, "So, how are YOU doing? It is sometimes a lonely feeling when your child is a little different."

And that's when my mom's common quote began to ring in my ear.

"Well, the chemo makes me really tired. My boys are not use to seeing me sleep so much. I have enjoyed being home with them this summer. I will start radiation before much longer and I am glad that school will be in by then. It's my main concern to be sure my boys are cared for. My husband is a teacher too, and he usually gets a summer job, but we have all been home together. We are making ends meet. Yes, I have lost my hair, many lymph nodes and a breast, but I am here and I can care for my family. They are working with me in physical therapy to help me regain the use of my shoulder where they removed the nodes so my shoulder won't stick out funny. Overall, I am hanging in there though."

I sat there in total silence.

Lord, I have not one complaint to bring to you today. My gratitude far outweighs any struggle that I am facing. I believe You allowed that lady to call just to show me how selfish I am. I have complained to you far to much about my healthy and wonderful life. My heart goes out to her and her family as they face many hard battles. Lord, thank you for opening my eyes and for being a personal God who uses others to show us who You are. You are strength. You are hope. You are all that we need. -Amen
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lookie, Lookie, I Got Cookies!



Isn't THAT cute? That's one of the items that I ordered at the Atlanta Mart recently! I am so excited that they came in so quickly!! It's just a little jar of small round chocolate chip cookies with an adorable label and super cute ribbon, but it makes me smile!




They come with all sorts of labels... birthdays, hostess gift sort of things, all holidays have labels, and LOTS more... AND you can custom design one for a business or for a special event! How cool is that??

It's just so cute. I just had to share!

Have a good day!
Friday, July 18, 2008

Jesus Loves Me

I have written a post by this title before, but that really doesn't matter to me. I have to admit that I need to be reminded of Jesus' love over and over again. It seems to be a theme for me these past couple of weeks. Let me tell you why!

As Faith and I were walking through the Atlanta Mart we came upon this booth that had the CUTEST stuff. There were those little wooden signs that say things that you hang around your house and those adorable wooden letters that people usually hang in their kids' rooms. Just super cute stuff! I stopped to get some information and Faith noticed a sign that said, "Jesus knows me, this I love." She pointed it out to me and I just stood there. It was SO precious and almost made me cry.

I DO love it that Jesus knows me. He understands all that I deal with- insecurities, uncertainties, problems, frustrations, hopes, dreams, and cares- He knows them all because He created me and there is just such security in that He knows it all and loves me all the same!

So fast forward to this past Wednesday night. My friend, Beth, sang the offertory song at church and as the music started I just felt this warmth come over me. She sang "Jesus Loves Me." Such a simple song that children sing in Sunday school just made me tingle all over!

Jesus Loves Me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak but He is strong
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so.
I do know that Jesus loves me just like I love that Jesus knows me. He loves me in spite of my sin. He loves me enough to die for me. He loves me in spite of my mistakes. He loves me. He just loves me.
Sometimes I wonder why Jesus puts things in our paths over and over again. I have heard several pastors say that if you read it more than once (in God's Word) that He's trying to get your attention, so listen up! We have had a lot going on lately with my wrecking the car, trying to decide what to do next, my husband's work, my family relationships... and the list goes on and on. Sometimes it's easy to not feel very loved in the midst of the madness.
My Jesus just wanted me to know that He's still here... loving me through it all.
I'm not real sure why I wrote all of this. Maybe you needed to hear that Jesus loves you. He does, you know. He honestly could not love you more! He loves you more than any human love you have ever known and His love is unconditional. You can't earn it. You can't lose it. It's always here and it's always perfect.
Thank you, Jesus, for putting things in front of me over and over again until I realize that it's You at work! Thank you for holding me close in the middle of all of my uncertainties. May this post bring You glory and may someone be reminded of Your love for them through it. Lord, help me to love others the way You want me to love! You do love me. I love knowing it. Amen.
Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Romantic Comedy

Sometimes it's nice to have a change of pace. We get so accustomed to the TV and the noise, and honestly, I get sort of tired of it. So, the other night, while cooking dinner, I decided to do something about it.


I was just cooking tacos so that was nothing special, but I did decide to get our Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole CD's and have them playing in the background. Caroline yelled from upstairs, "MOM! What is THAT?" I just kept cooking.


My husband walked in from work and as he came into the kitchen he had a huge grin on his face. "Wow, that's nice!" He said. He looked through the mail and then came over to hug me. We started swaying to the music and just stood there dancing for a minute. It literally brought tears to my eyes! "What's wrong!? Did I do something?" No, it was the shear sweetness of the moment that brought those tears on! It's not something that you do everyday... stop and enjoy one another for just a minute, and it made a huge impression on us both.


As the tacos cooked we decided to get out the candles as we set the table. We lit them and prepared our plates and then we called Caroline down to eat.


"Caroline, I want you to stand beside your chair and let "the man" show you how to be seated like a lady. Then when you are seated, put your napkin in your lap and keep your hands there until we say the blessing." I said.


Steve walked over and pulled out her chair. She grinned so big and blushed!


"Now, say thank you!"


"Thanks, dad."


"Now daddy will do the same for me," I explained.


He came and pulled out my chair. I sat down.


"Mom! What do you say!?"


"I was getting to it! Thank you." We could tell we were losing the romantic momentum at this point!
"Thanks, honey," I said.


My husband sat down and we bowed to say the blessing. Before we could start Caroline said,

"So, did the power go out?"


Oh girl. You have so much to learn! Romance and kids just do not mix!


One thing that we did take away from that night was that it's our job to teach her how she is to be treated as a woman. We need to be aware and show her that a man of character will treat her with respect even at this early age. Both my husband and I talked to her that night about "the man" being the one that should lead when it comes to praying with her.
She needs to see the example lived out in front of her now so that she will, one day, seek to date and marry a man that will honor God with his life. I pray that she learned a little bit about being treated with honor and that she sees her daddy as an example of a Godly man that wants to care for us to the glory of God.
What about you? Are there things that you do to pass on the lessons of honor and Godliness to those within your realm of influence? I would love to hear your ideas!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Girl's Gotta Eat!

And so while we were in Atlanta we did!

One night we went to HardRock Cafe'! My WORD it was loud in that joint! And we were so tired that we didn't want to hollar to each other ... so we just ate. And watched!

Before we were seated they started playing "Y-M-C-A. It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A a" and the music got LOTS louder and the wait staff found themselves doing this....





That would be one girl standing on a chair doing the hand motions to "Y-M-C-A" and one guy pushing that chair all about the restaurant! Yes, PUSHING HER AROUND! It was an accident waiting to happen in my book, but fun they did have!

We also placed our drink order (man, we are big spenders! Water all around!!) and the waitress came out with waters in both hands and one balanced on her head! YES! Balanced on her head!

I almost asked if she had been a water carrier in Africa or something before finding her place at the HardRock. Then I thought that might not go over so well. So, I refrained. I SO wished that I had seen her coming from the kitchen or I would have taken her picture! It was really pretty amazing!


We also went to The Varsity on our way home! Have you EVER eaten at The Varsity??

It's a really old place and the people taking the orders yell, "What d' ya have? What d'ya have?" while waving trays in the air when they are able to help the next customer. It's pretty fun and you have to go there at least once in your life!

Oh, lands sakes alive the onion rings are to. die. for! Yes they are! AND I got a Frosted Orange. I just have to say it, "Shut up! That thing was soo good!" I slurped that thing all the way to the bottom! (Sorry Faith!) I just could not let a drop go to waste! Maybe Faith will write a post with her pics of her food. She just could not resist!! It was SO delish! Healthy? No. Delish! Oh sista! It rocks the house!!

So fun times were had by all and good eats too!
Monday, July 14, 2008

What's In Store at the Market?





Well, more than you can imagine, that's what! Unfortunately, we can't take pictures in the Atlanta Merchandise Mart or I would show you soooo many cute, cute things! The building on the right is Building One of the Mart. Isn't it HUGE!?



The good news is that Faith and I have a little booth that will be sporting some of the things that we bought so you can certainly go here and check out our web site! Not everything is listed yet, but we would love for you to stop by! OR if you live in our area, leave a comment and I will tell you where to go to find us!


ANYWAY, I can show you the craziness of the city and the inside of ONE of the three buildings looks like this!! It's an atrium that goes up 18 floors and there are TONS of shops inside. It's quite overwhelming to have so many choices, and by the end of the day we were totally exhausted!! I can not imagine trying to figure it out on my own!!





I honestly wish I had taken pictures of some of the people there. Some of them were dressed in high heels and "dressed to the nines" just to walk around and shop. I mean out-of-your-mind-high-heels people! We would just stand and stare. In total awe. Of the madness. And laugh. Yes, we just shook our heads and laughed. Then we would walk away in our flip flops. HA!



Then we would see just crazy fashion choices. Sandals with socks on some men. That's ALWAYS pretty. Low cut tops showing WAAYY too much skin.. YOU ARE AT A MARKET OF SHOPPING WOMEN HERE! Are you kidding me?? Who are you trying to impress? Oh my!



They also try very hard to get your attention at the Mart. They will publish a schedule each year where they advertise that they will hold a "Salad bar in building 3 on floor 7" and you just show up for a free salad! Problem is... there's like a gazillion people at the mart! If you are not there RIGHT when it starts.. well, too bad sista! That stuff is gone!


Some companies also do give aways, and a BIG thing to do is give out shopping bags. Check out this chick. They had her body painted and she stood at the entrance just to give out bags!


You really need to check out Faith's blog and read the story of how we met the "Bloggy Celeb" BooMama! I won't try to retell it, but it was quite the adventure! Here she is!!
She was so sweet and would totally deny being a bloggy celeb. She was there helping her sis-in-law with her booth of JJ designs.. jewelery cases. They are really cute and the booth was even cuter! Check out BooMama's cutie apron!
There's more to share, but laundry, a dirty house and a kid that has been with Mimi is calling! Got other things to do, but please stop by the web site or the store if you would like more info.! We would love to help you shop for personalized and CUTIE things for your friends and family!
Ta ta! :)
Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The 4th, Family and Friends

It's Wednesday and I am JUST now getting my pictures off of my camera from last weekend! It has been a busy week!

The 4th weekend was really fun! We got to see several of our friends and hang out for dinner, fireworks and even all went to a movie later in the weekend! We were out late a lot, but it sure was fun! :) That's what summer's all about though! Being able to stay up late and play!

Here's Caroline with Becca in their matching 4th shirts! They are pretty good buds! Since she doesn't have any siblings Caroline tries to claim Becca! :)

I cut off their heads! Oops!
Here she is with Becca and Emma. What a mess!


We also got to see my husband's family just before the 4th. Here's Caroline with Gracie! My new niece dog. (Can that be an identity as a relative? A niece dog?)



It's actually pretty impressive that Caroline is down on her level. She has always been kind of afriad of dogs so this has been a good thing for her!


We don't have a real vacation planned this summer, but we have had lots of fun seeing family and being with friends. I would not mind a get away, and maybe one will be planned at the last minute. Right now we will enjoy the everyday.


Water gun fights with the neighbors' kids...

fireworks with friends....

dinners with family...

cookouts at home...

Swimming at the neighborhood pool...

taking naps...

eating peaches...
Hope you are having a good one too!
Sunday, July 6, 2008

My Soul is at Rest

Today's message at church was just for me! (Well, I am sure that God had everyone in mind, but it FELT like it was for me! I love how He's a personal God like that!)

I have been dealing with some real insecurities lately. It has been a little hard to admit, but sometimes I deal with being insecure in my relationships. I sometimes get caught up in what others do or say, and get my feelings hurt, rather than keeping my eyes on Jesus and what HE has for me!

THEN today at church Dr. Rummage reminded us that God has a vision for us! AND it's a greater vision than we have for ourselves!! MAN did I need to hear that!! Mainly because it reminded me to get my eyes off of myself and onto what HE has planned!

I really think that in whatever insecurity I might deal with the enemy gets in there and uses it to tear me down. He deceives me into thinking that I am less than I am. I find that he takes one little thought that I might have and magnifies it so that I dwell on it and make it bigger than it is! THEN that insecurity gets so big that it consumes my mind... and THAT does not honor God!

I loved the sermon today because it reminded me that I can do ANYTHING (including overcome my insecurities) because "God can and God lives in me!" I was reminded that I can rise above because of God's strength and that "His presence is more intimate that I can imagine." I sure needed to hear that!!

When we are struggling with feeling inferior to others or feelings of loneliness God is right there! He is carrying us and He loves us so much that He wants to carry us through! It's funny how you can feel lonely in a crowd, isn't it? But we sure can feel that way! How awesome to know that even in that crowd our God is there and He is loving us more than we can imagine??


The awesome scripture passage was from Ephesians 3:14-20:

Eph 3:14
For this reason I kneel before the Father,
Eph 3:15
from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
Eph 3:16
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
Eph 3:17
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
Eph 3:18
may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
Eph 3:19
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Eph 3:20
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us...

Lord, thank you that Your love is SO deep, SO wide, SO high and SO long that I can not fathom it! To know that you have an endless supply when I feel lonely or sad is such a comfort. Help me to be so rooted in Your Word so that I might be strong in You! Sometimes I don't understand how I allow my circumstances to take over my thoughts and feelings. Thank you for knowing that about me and for loving me anyway!! Please forgive me for being insecure and for not trusting You in the everyday life sometimes. Help me to live victoriously everyday and free in all areas of my life! I love you Lord! Help me to love You more!
Amen-
Wednesday, July 2, 2008

STINKY! But God's STILL In It!

So, friends, yesterday I had a wreck. BUT I promise you that God was so in it!! He was in every detail.

Yes. A stinkin' wreck.

I basically plowed into the back of this guy that had just tried to stop his own car from plowing into the back of another car. There was a big line of stopped traffic... well, it had to suddenly stop because someone suddenly decided to stop... and turn left...without warning.

My crazy air bags came out and the dust went a flyin'. And my horn was stuck. Just a blarin'!

We were ok though. Me and my girl were just fine. The only thing that sore today is that arm that I broke a few years ago. But we were fine... we ARE fine. God was definitely in it!

The police came. The firetrucks came. The guy that we hit was really nice... and patient. Everyone was very nice and patient... actually it was sort of amazing considering the circumstances. God was in it!!

My husband was getting off of work and he was headed our way. We did have to wait for him in all of the traffic that we caused, but he came and hugged us and put us in his car. Oh, yes, God was definitely in it!

My daughter just cried a little... when the sirens came! Not when the wreck happened. I have prayed for her to be brave lately. God was in that too.

And He was in the fact that I was suppose to keep my friend's kids yesterday, but she changed her appointment to Thursday so they weren't with me. He protected them too. How great is our God?

He also used my daughter to tell the policeman (that tended to have a little bit of a mouth on him) that she guessed "we won't make it to church now to meet our daddy. We would be too late!" Oh, witness to him girl! You just tell him about church! Loved that!!

I don't know why we had the wreck, but we did. I have thought about all of the "What if's" and then been so thankful that they weren't! We could have crossed the yellow line and been hit head on, but we weren't! We could have not been wearing seatbelts. My God was so in it!!

Maybe you are facing some sort of wreck on your life. Maybe it's not a car wreck, but some other wreck that you really don't understand. It's true! It's really stinky at times in this life!!

But DO you have a relationship with Christ? He promises us in His word that He will NEVER leave us! He is in every situation that we face. Many of those situations are totally out of our control and, honestly, if we didn't have a God who loved us this entire world would spin totally out of control.

It also says in His word that in Him all things hold together. (Col. 1:17) Had I not known where my strength was coming from, this old girl would NOT have held together! He brings peace in the chaos of this life and there is such comfort in that!

Oh, I pray that you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord. He is so amazing. His Word is truth and His salvation is sure! I just can't help but praise Him! He is my Rock, my Shield and my Protection! I will praise Him in all things! He is worthy of all praise!!

Cling to Him and to His word with all that you have! Let Him carry you! He so wants to love on you in your circumstance!