Thursday, August 26, 2010
Now, when I visit the Dollar Tree, I usually end up spending about $10 in the aisle with memo pads and grocery-list pads. I have packages of index cards that I have never opened, but just had to buy. Why would I need index cards? Oh well, if you need to borrow some, you know who's got 'em! I have the multi-colored ones too.
I am more faithful in the pen department. I find one type of pen that I like, and I stick with it. I have used the basic papermate pens forever. I love the way they write. The idea of a different writing surface is more inspiring, but the pen has to be one I can depend on.
I have little pads in various places throughout the house. You never know when you may need to jot down a to-do item, or something that you don't want to forget at the store, a phone number or email address. Honestly, if you ever doubt what to get me as a gift-which as anyone who knows me knows is absolutely unnecessary-anything related to paper, notebooks, memo pads, folders, blank cards, file folders, etc. I love 'em all!
I also like to type-which I consider writing. I will sometimes open Word and type to my heart's desire. The things that I truly love about the technological progress I've witnessed in my lifetime are email, blogging and a little texting. I am not a fan of talking so much, but I don't care at all to drop you a line. Although these forms of writing are very useful and ones that tend to satisfy me to some extent, I will always love the movement of the pen strokes across the page as that blank piece of paper transforms into a lovely poem, a heartfelt letter, a crucial list, or simple brainstorming.
I guess this means I could never go completely green?
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sometimes, I feel like God does something just for me. I felt so blessed for the beauty He allowed me to see that day. It also reminded me of a lesson that He taught me about the clouds a couple months ago.
As you may know from my previous posts, I enjoy the teachings of Beth Moore. The ladies at our church do two of her studies each year, and I personally read some of her books. A few months ago, I found out about her "Personal Reflection Series." These are 90 day devotionals. I just started the one on David last week, but before that, I did the one on John. On day 64 of that devotional, I learned something that I hope I will remember anytime there's a cloud in the sky. Here is a exerpt from that day's lesson:
Yes, when Christ returns to this groaning soil in His glorious splendor, every eye will see Him. But until then, He sometimes comes with clouds. God's glory is so inconceivably brilliant to the human eye that He often shrouds His presence in a cloud (see Exod. 16:10; 24:15-16; Lev. 16:2; 1 Kings 8:10; Luke 9:34). But one day, as Revelation 1:7 says, the clouds will roll back like a scroll and Christ will stand before us revealed. He has much to disclose to us in the meantime, and we'll be greatly helped when we accept that clouds are not signs of His absence. Indeed, within them we most often find His presence In the July 29 entry of his classic devotional My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers wrote figuratively of clouds:
In the Bible, clouds are always associated with God. Clouds are the sorrows, sufferings, or providential circumstances, within or without our personal lives, which actually seem to contradict the sovereignty of God. Yet it is through these very clouds that the Spirit of God is teaching us how to walk by faith. If there were never any clouds in our lives, we would have no faith. "The clouds are the dust of His feet" (Nahum 1:3). They are a sign that God is there. ... Through every cloud He brings our way, He wants us to unlearn something. His purpose in using the cloud is to simplify our beliefs until our relationship with Him is exactly like that of a child—a relationship simply between God and our own souls, and where other people are but shadows. . . . Until we can come face-to-face with the deepest, darkest fact of life without damaging our view of God's character, we do not yet know Him.
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest(New York: Dodd Mead & Company, 1963), 211.
Beth Moore, John: 90 Days with The Beloved Disciple (B&H Publishing Group, 2008), 306.
After reading this, I realized how many days I had looked out my window only to be disappointed at the sight of clouds. This reading made me see that I should take comfort in the sight of clouds because they are a reminder of God's presence. There are many, many verses in the Bible that state this exact thing. Some of these were given in the above exerpt, but I would like to share some more with you.
One of the examples that we are most familiar with is the presence of God in the form of a cloud during the exodus of the Israelities:
"And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way;...He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day," Exodus 13:21-22
"and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud." Exodus 16:10
"for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat." Leviticus 16:2
"Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud," Isaiah 19:1
"and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven," Daniel 7:13
"While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." Matthew 17:5
"and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Matthew 24:30
"And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Mark 14:62
"And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." Acts 1:9
There are several more, believe me. It was hard to refrain from including them all.
As I was looking up these verses in my concordance, I of couse had to look up the origin of the word. In the old testament, the word cloud is from the Hebrew word anan, which means to cover. As in covering the sky. The example listed was nimbus or thunder cloud. (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible-KJV)
In researching that on the internet, I found out that nimbus clouds are also nimbostratus clouds. These are the clouds we see when the sky is completely overcast. When the whole sky is one giant cloud. This makes sense, doesn't it? It would have to be that sort of cloud, because the glory of the Lord cannot be contained. Nimbostratus are most certainly rain clouds. So, when you see these clouds in the sky, you can know how the Israelites saw the sky as they were led by day.
In the New Testament, those clouds are from the Greek word nephele or nephos, simply meaning a cloud. The branch of meteorology that studies clouds is called "nephology." Which comes from that Greek work used in our Bible.
I just think it is so awesome that when we see a cloud in the sky, we can certainly know that God is there. Most of us like sunny days without a cloud in sight. I know those are the best days for going to the pool or laying out in the sun. But, now that I am aware of what significance the clouds hold, I won't mind a little partly cloudy.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
When I started dating George, I not only fell in love with him, but I also developed a love for cattle and everything associated with them. I think they are beautiful animals. The cows are usually excellent mothers. Some of them are just as skittish as the others are pets. The calves are always adorable and full of life. I just love watching them and learning about them.
Yesterday, George and I had to take 2 cows and a bull off to the market. I absolutely love going to the market. Honestly, it does stink, and it is very loud. (Imagine hundreds of cattle bawling at the same time.) All the same, it is energizing to me. If George and I have a day where we want to go loafing, quite a few times we've just drove to the stockyards to watch them sell.
My favorite part is walking around on the catwalk that hovers over the pens with the cows in them. They are separated out by seller, and then new owner. There are four or five workers on horses riding through the lot running the cattle into their correct pen. That is my dream job. And, I truly mean a dream. That is not a job I would really work to obtain. I wouldn't do training and actually apply. I just mean, it is something that I dream about doing but know will never happen, and that is the best part of the dream.
Anyway, we didn't get to stay long, but we did go to my second favorite place, Cracker Barrel, for breakfast. Good ole country cookin for a cowboy and his cowgirl wife.
I love farm life and everything about it. Did I mention how blessed I am?
Thank you, Lord.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
At the time of that study, they were discussing that Beth would be in Lexington Aug. '10. That seemed like forever away. I think it was at the beginning of this year that I contacted one of our church secretaries via FB and asked if any tickets were left. And, thankfully there were.
So, this past weekend was the big weekend. I was kind of nervous. I had never gone on my own little excursion since George and I got hitched. I kept telling myself over and over, "It is only one night. And! I get to see Beth Moore LIVE!" I was the first one at the church, which made me doubt the date and time. Then when others arrived, I found out that we would more than likely be sharing a double bed with one of our wonderful sisters. "It's only one night, and I get to see Beth." Then, we get to the hotel, the Hyatt no less, we go to check in and they do not have the type of rooms we had reserved.
Ha! Now we are talking about the possibility of four of us sharing a king bed. "It's only one night. Surely there will be some floor space where I can sleep. Oh, and I get to see Beth." All the while, outwardly we are trying to let our light shine as we smile through gritted teeth. I think all of my co-horts were whispering the same words of encouragement to their own hearts.
Well, the Lord blessed us. Finally, it was worked out that we would get a King Standard with which we could fit one roll-away bed, and a King Suite where we could hopefully fit two roll-away beds. Upon entering our suite, we also saw a sectional couch where one body could hopefully find some z's. Again, the Lord blessed us, because we were charged the rate of a King Standard for the suite, and the roll-aways were not added to the bill.
Anyway, now to the good stuff.......We hurriedly put our stuff in the room, fixed up and headed back downstairs to eat. After eating, we make it to the gates just as the crowd starts to squish in. Oh, and did I mention we were at Rupp? You know, it is nearly as sacred as the Lord's house. I'm sure there have been nearly as many prayers and praises offered up in there as any church in Kentucky.
Our group actually made it down to the floor. Yeah, the floor that has been graced by the steps of those such as Jamal Mashburn, John Wall, Rex Chapman, Rajon Rondo, Tony Delk and many other greats. So, now the phrase that was running through my mind was, "Wow! Not only do I get to see Beth Moore LIVE! but I am sitting on the floor in Rupp Arena." Looking around at the 11,000 women filing in from all directions, I realized how blessed I am to be a woman, a Kentuckian, and mostly a Christian.
The worship was uplifting and Spirit-filled. Then Beth took the stage. In her introduction, she revealed that our lesson would bear the title, "Eat. Pray. Love." That very night, the Julia Roberts movie, "Eat. Pray. Love." was also debuting at theatres all over the country. But our lesson would not be on what was going on in the movies, but about God's people Israel in the book of Jeremiah.
On Friday, we learned two points on "Eat" and then on Saturday, we learned two points on both "Pray" and "Love." They are as follows:
1. I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruits. (Jer. 2:7 NIV)
2. When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight. (Jer. 15:16 NIV)
1. You will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. (Jer. 29:12 NIV)
2. Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (Jer. 33:3 NIV)
1. I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. (Jer. 31:3 NIV)
2. Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; His love endures forever. (Jer 33:11 NIV)
It was so wonderful and so refreshing. The Lord opened my eyes to things I had never considered. One thing that really stuck out to me as we traveled with Israel during her search, is that God wants to be a part of every aspect of our entire lives.
Jeremiah 2:2b ...you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown. NIV
Then, in Jeremiah 4:3, "Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns." NIV
Beth showed us how God wants to break up our desert land, those places that are hindering our growth. HE wants to plow those up so that we may bear fruit in all areas of our life.
There are other things that stick out in my mind. I know we were all blessed. On Friday night, we didn't start trying to sleep until 1am or after. I got to listen to two of my roomies talk things over as I tried my best to nod off. Five am came very quickly and by 6:30 we were back down to eat again and rush off to the rest of the conference.
Once again, we were seated on the floor, and I sat in awe. This time, my awe wasn't so much over the blue cushioned seat under my butt, or the numerous championship banners hanging from the ceiling, or the Kenny Walker, Louie Dampier and Jack "Goose" Givens jerseys hanging to my right and left. Even through my red, sleep-deprived eyes, I could see my Saviour. I could see Him in the hands raised in praise, the tears that trickled down blush covered cheeks, the eleven thousand voices singing "Victory in Jesus," the hugs of my beloved sisters. He was there with us.
I will have to say that was one experience I will forever hold dear. I pray that the lessons I learned will go with me throughout my walk and add to my testimony. I am so blessed. It was only one night, but I got to see Jesus. Oh yeah, and Beth.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Every year, on the eve of the first day, I would be a nervous wreck. Thinking about it now makes me nauseous. I would have trouble sleeping that night, and be wound as tight as a drum the entire day. Then the thoughts that I had to go do it all over again the next day would wear on me until that second day was completed. I finally settled down about a week into it, but those same nerves plagued me every Sunday night into Monday. Thinking back on this makes me so thankful that I am not in school. Shew! There are some really good attributes to getting older.
This year, Chase started middle school. He is now officially a Raider, no longer a "Raider-in-training." George and I were blessed to have him the week that he started school, and I had the privilege of taking him and picking him up every day. I loved ironing his clothes the night before and laying out his lunch money. I was right at home filling out the stack of paperwork that was sent home. My favorite was getting to hear all about his day on the drive home. Then, on Friday night, I got to drive him to his first dance. Memories were created that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Chase Heading to School
I also can't help but think back to other school experiences of my own. On August 12th, 1996, (2+ years before Chase was even born) my Papaw passed away. The following day, I started my senior year of high school. My Mom also had surgery that year, and I drove myself to school for the first time. While I was a freshman at UK, my Granny passed away. That same semester, UK canceled classes for the first time in years due to snow.
My first day at UK, I missed my first class because I couldn't find a place to park. I called my mom in tears, and then my sister-in-law who ended up taking me to my next class. My first day at Vocational School, I was extremely early. Then, when I started at Marshall, I was late to my first class because of parking. Shew! Those are not very good memories.
My best memories of school were made by the people I shared the experience with. I really liked my 1st, 4th and 6th grade teachers. Once I went to 7th grade, I was in "Jr. High." My favorite teachers there included, Coach Easterling, Mr. Shearer, and Mr. Huffman. Then in high school, it was Mrs. Hensley, Mr. Buck, Mr. Calhoun, Mrs. Anglin, Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Wilcox and Mr. Sparks. Of course I also had some pretty good friends and classmates that made the whole experience more tolerable.
WOW! Look at that traffic!
I think everyone adapts to the school routine. It effects more than a few people. The students and teachers are not only effected, but so are the parents, step parents, grandparents, and anyone who faces school traffic going to and fro. There is no longer the freedom and light-heartedness of Summer. Now, we are held to this frame of mind, this schedule, this routine. Bedtimes are enforced, meals are healthier and more substantial. No more ice cream as an early afternoon snack. Even the packs of gum are put up for "adults only." Of course, we do this for the sake of learning...to better ourselves. The things that we learn most from though are the experiences we have along the way.
I don't miss school, but it was a crucial part of my life. It is not that my education has played such a strong role in where I am now, but it was the lessons I learned that weren't in those books that shaped me into the adult I now am. It was mostly the people that God used in whatever way.
First Day was a Success! Look at that Smile!
By the way, Chase's shirt read:
One day I'll be famous, but for now I'm stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons.