The intention of this blog is just to share with you the way God works in my everyday life. I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Until We Meet Again

On Christmas Day, Hazel Porter went to Heaven for the ultimate Christmas celebration!  What a time to leave this earth!  I'm sure she made it just as the festivites were getting started.  She probably greeted everyone as an old friend, even if she hadn't met them here on earth.

Hazel was born September 27, 1922.  She was the thirteenth child of David and Sally Floyd.  She was the last one of those kiddos to leave this earth, and of all of them, she was here the longest.  She had a wonderful life, and I think even if it hadn't been, she still would have thought it was, and she would've lived as if it was.  But, it really was.  She loved all her brothers and sisters, and they doted on her.  Every year at the Floyd reunion, her neices and nephews, great nieces and nephews, in-laws and her immediate family gathered to her side to celebrate just being family.  The stories told, memories shared, photos of the past and ones taken to record the present all celebrated the love between these people.  Hazel was the tie that binds.  She was the last of that generation.  She was loved and respected and admired by all her family. 

She had certainly gained success in this world.  She was a teacher and principal.  I think she lacked one credit of having her doctorate in education.  In her obit, I know her achievments were listed.  She had been on educational committes and boards that I cannot remember the names of.  She was also instrumental in the DARE program that is now in schools.  As it was said at her funeral, "she was ahead of her time.  She advanced through the education program when it was a man's world."  And that she did.  She was widowed when her daughter was eight, so that would probably put her in her mid-thirties.  She stepped up to provide for her daughter and be both parents.

Of all the things that Hazel accomplished here on this earth, the most important was that she let her light shine.  If you knew Hazel, you knew she was a lover and follower of Jesus Christ.  You knew that she was a lady.  You could see the evidence in her daughter that she was a wonderful mother.  Her son-in-law even says she was the perfect mother-in-law.  I know she was a cherished aunt.

I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Hazel all that long, but I truly loved her.  She was a spitfire.  She had brass, but her kindness never made her seem harsh.  She was a lovely person, and I am thankful that I had the pleasure of knowing her.  I am thankful that when I refer to her, I can proudly say, "Aunt Hazel."  She will be missed.

Friday, December 23, 2011

All Wrapped Up

I really should be cleaning, but I'm not!  I got everything clean yesterday but the living room and Chase's bathroom.  I did do all the dishes, but then we just had to eat again last night, so the sink got filled back up.  I let them go last night and they are still sitting there as I type.  But, oh well, they will get done.  I also have quite a few things that need to be ironed, but I'm not too worried at the present.

This morning, I finished writing James in the King James Version, and got about half of the first chapter in the New International Version.  In about a month, give or take, I will be leading my wonderful sisters at Garner in another Beth Moore Bible study.  Obviously, James.  This is a new study, Beth's latest, and I am so excited!  Mom and I have been watching the videos together in preparation, and each time we sit down and I get ready to hit "play" I am already about to come out of my seat. 

Beth Moore is just another human being, like the rest of us.  She too is a sinner, saved only by the grace of our loving Lord.  But, she really allows the Lord to use her, and she thrives on His word.  Her love for the Lord and His Word is contagious.  We have only watched three sessions so far, but I have already learned so much.

It is one option of the study to write the entire book of James.  It's really not all that long, only five chapters.  As a matter of fact, I wrote two chapters while having my oil changed the other day.  I decided, for myself, to write it in both versions because I mostly use the KJ, but in the studies we mostly use NIV.  Another option of the study is to memorize the entire book.  She suggests doing it over a five month period, a chapter per month.  I haven't decided whether or not I will attempt that one.

On another subject, today is Christmas Eve, Eve.  Yesterday was the first day of winter, so we should start seeing the days getting a little longer each day, slowly but surely.....Tonight, we will be spending with family and tomorrow will be the same.  I am really looking forward to that.  I love being with everyone and catching up and getting hugs and eating!  I love seeing my nieces and nephews and younger cousins open their gifts, and offering to hold the littlest ones so their mommas can eat or just take a break.

I guess everyone makes the same progression with their feelings of Christmas, but it seems to be ringing so true to me this year.  As I reflect, I remember my brother and I trying to convince my parents and grandparents to open gifts before we ate.  I know that as soon as my mom got the gifts wrapped and put under the tree, my brother and I thoroughly inspected all of them.  We would lift them to weigh them, shake them, even smell them.  The anticipation was almost too much.  My mom would compromise a little and let us open our stocking as soon as we got up.

Then, as I got a little older, I started wanting to give out gifts of my own.  Actually, I remember the first year I got gifts for others.  I have no clue how old I was, but I'm pretty sure I was still riding in the cart.  (Maybe not though.)  I was shopping with my mom and granny, and it was somewhere like "Hearts" or "Hills."  They had these round tables in the aisles with small prewrapped gifts sitting on them.  I showed them to my Granny and asked her if I could get them.  Of course, she was eager to encourage my generosity.  I know that I got my dad and papaw these little screw drivers that had changeable heads.  And, I think I got my Granny a paper weight with a red rose in it.  That's all I really remember.

As I got older, and had a job, I couldn't wait to start buying......or giving.  Everyone teased me because even before Thanksgiving, I was dying for them to open what I had got them.  I would beg them to "just open this one, you'll still have another one to open on Christmas Day." 

You know, I'm not so sure that God was anxious for His Son to die, but I think He was anxious to save us.  I think He was ready for all to know His Son, and I know He is anxious for us all to receive His gift of salvation.

In the past years, mostly since I've become a parent myself, I am fine to wait till the right time to open gifts.  I still get a little excited about giving others something I hope they'll like.  For the most part, however, I tend to forget about the gifts.  They're more of an after-thought, or a bonus to the festivities.  When I think of Christmas, I think of the special services at church, and being with the ones I love.  (and my aunt's million dollar fudge.)  I think of Jesus.  Why does it take so long to come around?  Why is it a process?  Why do we not have those feelings when we first give out hearts to Christ? 

It's all a process really.  We do not come to Christ fully accepting of all that entails.  It takes growth.  It takes a desire to seek Him daily.  It takes steps.  Can you imagine the progression from start to finish?  Once we get to Heaven, it will be Christmas forever.  We will celebrate Jesus for all eternity.  Right now, we are just getting prepared for the ultimate CHRISTmas festivities! 

Celebrate Jesus!  Merry CHRISTmas!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Do You Hear What I Hear?

One of the things I like most about this season is also one of the things I most dislike about the season.  I think Christmas is wonderful.  As a Christian, this is such a wonderful time of celebration, love and remembrance.  We celebrate our Savior, the King of kings, coming to this earth as a helpless babe for the "soul" purpose of saving us.  Dying for us.  We remember those days of old, the original Christmas.  We remember those who have gone on but made Christmases past so memorable.  We attempt to share and show the love of Christ to others mainly by gift giving and getting together over a scrumptious meal.  In the midst of it all, usually somewhere in the background, we hear different renditions of "Sleigh Ride," "Jingle Bells," and "The Christmas Song."

As a child, I couldn't wait till the first Sunday morning after Thanksgiving because I knew we'd be singing Christmas carols at church that morning.  Those songs in the back of the hymnal, tucked away for this joyous time of year.  It seemed as though those songs not only called for smiling faces and glistening eyes of praise, but it also filled your heart and soul with warmth that radiated throughout your whole body.  "Joy to the world, the Lord is come...."

Then, I became an adult, and I got a job while going to college.  The hustle and bustle of the holidays became my reality.  As I folded shirts over and over and over (so much that I even dreamed about folding them) those same songs played in a continual loop through my eight hour shift.  Those songs were stuck in my head for weeks after the season was over.  Christmas in the retail world is almost forced upon you.  When I began working retail, nearly fifteen years ago, at least they waited till after Halloween to start adorning the stores with Christmas decorations and merchandise. 

For the few years I spent working retail, my childlike wonder of the Christmas season was stifled.  The joy of the season was beyond my ability.  What was so happy about cranky people wanting something for nothing, complaining because we were out of boxes or that we didn't have more registers open.  No, those holly, jolly souls zapped the Christmas spirit right out of me.  As a matter of fact, I began to dread Christmas.  Those songs that played over the PA system were like annoying jingles from your least favorite commercial, or that song on the radio that nearly causes you to wreck as you hurriedly try to change the station.  The fact that they were stuck in my head was enough to drive me crazy, and I usually opted to sing them in an annoying voice to somewhat vent my frustration.

Thankfully, oh sooo thankfully, that time of my life is long since over!  Praise the Lord!  I have regained my love of Christmas, and the reason for the season-not Santa Clause, bargain prices or gift exchanges.  I have even more reason to love Christmas because I experienced the retail world and because I am no longer a part of it!

But, the love/hate relationship of the songs is a never ending drama in my mind.  I still feel like we're trying to make our now itunes money count by beginning to play them well before Thanksgiving.  At church, I still want a little worship music mixed into the service and not all Christmas songs.  I like Bing's "White Christmas," and no other version suits me.  Karen Carpenter's "Merry Christmas Darling,"  and Mariah Carey's "Joy to the World" are an absolute must.  But when I hear some of those Muzak favorites, I still cringe a little. 

The songs about the real, true meaning of Christmas will never make me cringe, or will never grow old for me.  They are what makes us stop and think about that glorious night so many years ago, when God Himself decided to grace this earth with His presence.  He decided to leave all the splendor of Heaven to be born in a manger.  He was born, so that He could die.  For us.  And so that we wouldn't have to die, but could live with Him for eternity.  Now that's Christmas, and that's worth singing about.

Merry CHRISTmas!!!!  Celebrate Jesus!!!!

What's Coming Through My Speakers This Season:
  • The Angels Cried - Alan Jackson & Alison Krauss
  • There's a New Kid in Town - Alan Jackson & Keith Whitley
  • Breath of Heaven - Amy Grant
  • Do They Know - Boyz II Men
  • Silent Night - Boyz II Men
  • Labor of Love - The Isaacs
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Karen Carpenter
  • Merry Christmas Darling - Karen Carpenter
  • There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays - Karen Carpenter
  • Mary Did You Know - Kathy Mattea
  • Joy to the World - Mariah Carey
  • O Holy Night - Mariah Carey
  • O Come All Ye Faithful - Matthew West
  • Leaving Heaven - Matthew West
  • Christmas Makes Me Cry - Matthew West & Mandisa
  • Christmas Time is Here - MercyMe
  • Blue Christmas - Michael Buble
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas - Michael Buble
  • Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow - Michael Buble

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I'm not sure at the moment if I have done a "Thanksgiving Post" every year or not, but I just can't help myself.  I love stopping and taking the time to think about all of my blessings.  I could never list them all, but I like trying to think of either as many as I can, or the most significant ones.

Usually this time of year, a lot of the people on facebook will daily list something they are thankful for.  For example, Day 17 (since today's the 17th) I am thankful for paint brushes, or dental floss, or subtitles....whatever it may be.  I think that's really cool, and I have been trying to do that this year, but I'm several days behind.  I just committed to do my best.

Shew!  I am truly thankful for so many things that it's hard to know where to start, or how much to expound on each thing.  What is most on my mind at this moment is Ladies Bible Study.  (A side note on that-I always wonder if that should be "Ladies" or "Lady's."  In the church bulletin, it always says, "Ladies," so that is what I usually write or type.)  I really enjoyed being the facilitator for this most recent Bible study.  I loved all the prep work and getting little gifts for the girls, and doing additional research, and the organization, etc.  I am also thankful that I have been asked to do the next one.  I really feel this is what the Lord wants me to be doing.  At the same time, however, I am also thankful for the break right now.  We finished up Monday night, and I have a little over two months till the next one starts.

Living Proof Live, Aug 2011, Columbus

On the final night, all of the ladies brought me gifts!  I was so honored and surprised and blessed!  I couldn't believe that they all went in to get me something!  I am still amazed when I think about it!  It made me feel so loved and appreciated!  I am truly blessed!

As far as a little break in between studies, I am thankful for that!  I am thankful for the time to prepare for the next study, but I am mostly thankful for the time at home and the opportunity to catch up on housework and finish up on some projects and just tie up some loose ends.  I like that I don't have any specific responsibility that I have to tend to.  I can sleep in or get up early.  I can plan to clean today or tomorrow.  I can do laundry all day, reading a book in between loads, or go get groceries and stop at an antique store to browse on the way there.  I love home.  I love my home.  I love my husband who makes this specific dwelling home.  I love Kentucky, and this family farm specifically.  I love being a homemaker and making a cozy little place for my family to rest after a weary day out in the world.

My family.  That should go without saying.  This is not limited to my husband and stepson.  It also goes beyond my parents, brother and sister (in-law).  I am thankful for my grandparents those who are 80 years old and still kickin' it, and the two saints who both left this world over a decade ago.  My great-grandmother, who was the only great grand-parent I had the privilege of knowing.  My father-in-law, brothers and sisters-in-law and their spouses and my nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.  My wonderful mother-in-law who's now livin it up with Jesus!  My aunts and uncles and cousins and their spouses and children.  Then there is my wonderful church family who I treasure.  My husband's extended family who we see at the reunion every year, and some of them at church on Sunday.  I am blessed beyond measure with family!  They are all great! 

I was blessed to talk to my brother on the phone twice today, and I am thankful for that.  I am thankful for my sister-in-law, his wife, Rhonda.  I am thankful that she just fits right into our family as if she was always there.  My stepson, Chase, who just blesses my heart.  I am so proud of that young man and his kind heart.  He is so fun and loving.  A great kid all around.  My parents.  Where would I be without them.  Two Christian warriors who raised me to love Jesus and give my life to Him.  They were strict and tough growing up, and now they express that same love through friendship and fellowship.  My man.  Thank God for creating a man that is my perfect match.  My soul mate.  My best friend.  George makes life for me.  We have so much fun together!  What I am most thankful for, where George is concerned, is acceptance.  He takes me just as I am.  God bless him for that!

My guys

The Parents

Brother & Sister(-in-law)

Hmmm.....I am thankful for those wise souls that lend counsel and encourage diligent pursuit of God and His ultimate wisdom and guidance.  I am thankful for Bible studies, devotional books, Sunday school quarterlies, and the one and only good book, The Bible.  I am thankful for Christian romance novels, sudoku puzzles, spider solitaire, and a good episode of Law & Order.  I am thankful for a little extra spending money, a Coffee Frappuccino, and a full tank of gas.

I am thankful for my animals, Scotty and Scarlett, and my cow, Cicely and her calf, Tyson.  I am thankful for the other cattle that graze out my window and the other animals in my life, Miss Marple (my parents' cat), Apollo & Gryffin (my brother & sister's cats), Janie (my father-in-law's cat) and Felix and Boone (my bother-in-law's cat & dog).  Oh, and who could forget Elliot, Maggie Mae, Wallie and Bella.  (other K9s in the fam)  I love animals.  I am thankful that God put these little & big friends on this earth with us.





Apollo & Gryffin

I am thankful for texting, email and instant messaging.  For someone who doesn't like to talk on the phone, these are all great inventions.  But, if I do have to talk on the phone, I am thankful for bluetooth. 

I'm thankful for the simple things in life, like toothbrushes, deodorant, etc.  I am thankful for heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer.  I am most thankful to be able to open the windows on the in-between days.  I am thankful for quilts, especially those made by the wonderful women in my family.  My favorite being the throw that my momma made especially for me to match my living room and cover me head to toe.  I am thankful for good food, mostly home cookin, country cookin.  Soup beans, green beans, greens, cornbread, salmon patties, fried potatoes, chili, vegetable soup, corn casserole, french toast, biscuits and gravy, among many, many others.

I am thankful for my Creator, Sustainer, Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Friend, Everlasting Father, Comforter, Defender, Wonderful Counselor, Lover of my Soul, and Lord.  I am thankful that the Most High sent His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sins, and defeat death and the grave so I could spend eternity with Him.  (John 3:16)  I am thankful that He invites me to come before Him (Isaiah 6) and stand before His throne, and only because of the blood that covers me, I am worthy to stand before Him.  He loves me and wants a personal relationship with me.  I am thankful that He can give me peace like a river, and freedom to live with Him. 

I am thankful for this blog, and the opportunity to share what I am thankful for.  The list continues, but I'm afraid my computer would blow.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Words of Significance

At the beginning of the year, KLove-a Christian radio station, encouraged their listeners to select a word for the year. I didn't go to their website, or fb page to post mine, but the word "covenant" kept ringing in my ears. Since that time, I feel that the Lord has spoken to me in single words. He will impress a word upon my heart, and then the lesson begins. Some of the words have all different aspects, some of which I may never learn, but I pray I will. I think this became so interesting to me when I realized that the Bible has different Greek or Hebrew meanings for a single one of our English words. When you see the word rejoice, such as in "rejoice and be glad," it means to leap for joy.

The word, love, I have learned can be two possible terms. There may be more, but these are the two that I am aware of: agape (ah-gah-pay) & phileo (fah-lay-o). Agape is Godly love. And since God is love, this is love in its truest and most sincere form. The purest, realist, most complete love. Unconditional love. Phileo love is brotherly love.

Back to my word for 2011, covenant. When I think of covenant, I think of more than a promise. I think of a binding agreement. A document with the King's seal. Something that is ventured into with complete surrender and not even a fleeting thought of not following through or even a doubt of whether you'll be able to keep your word. You make a covenant promising as if it has already happened. You are more than determined to keep your word, it is as if you are saying, "Consider it done."

Balance is another good one. I feel that balance is one of the main keys to a healthy, happy life of service to the Lord. I think many times we feel pushed to do things that we are not ready to do. Whether we are condemned by others, driven by our own guilt, or our self esteem or need for approval, we are not always driven to serve by a call. This is what I have learned and it may only hold true for me, but it is a guideline I live by:

There are things that we are asked to do, and there are things we are called to do. Once we are called, by the Lord, or by a need in ministry, our first step should be to pray. When we pray, we are seeking the Lord's direction. If there is no time to pray, if the answer must be immediate, it should be no. Now, let me make this clear. If it is a commitment, it should be no. No life changing decision needs to be made on a whim. If you get to church and you are asked to be in the nursery for that particular service, I think we should probably say yes, unless we have made a previous commitment.

If the call comes for anything that is going to require continual service and commitment, we should always consult the Lord before we decide. "A need does not constitute a call."-Beth Moore, Breaking Free. If you are asked to become Sunday School Superintendent, you need to seek God's will. Has God ever answered you in haste? I mean, when we pray about something, how often to we get a quick answer to our prayer? For myself, it seems as though all the answers I seek come just in the nick of time. We get to the eleventh hour, and when we are just about to give up hope, He says, "Oh, by the way, here's the answer to your question."

So, my conclusion to that is that God encourages us to take our time in making decisions so we'll know if we're doing it to bring Him glory, or ease our minds, or make us look good, or make us feel good. Our goal should always be to bring Him glory, and sometimes we can knock out the person fit for the job in our haste to be a good servant. Or a "good Christian."

Twice in the last month I have been asked to do two separate, completely different ministries at my church. Both times I have declined, and I have absolute peace about it. I honestly believe it was a test. Sometime before, I felt that I was called to women's ministry. When this came about, in my prayers, I felt the Holy Spirit specifying "Women's" Ministry. Not Children's Ministry. Not the Jail Ministry. Not Visitation. Women's Ministry.

Shortly thereafter, I was asked to serve in a children's ministry that would be a pretty long commitment, and would be during the Sunday night service. I agreed to pray about it, and almost immediately, I felt the Spirit whisper, "Women's Ministry."

We don't have to take on everything coming and going. We sometimes convince ourselves that "I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me." I really don't think that meant we had to do ALL things and that we'd still be able to make supper, get the dishes washed, the kids bathed and in bed, read an extra chapter or two in the Bible before bed, spend time with our husbands, and then have a perfectly restful night's sleep only to wake up at 5am to work out, put a casserole in the oven for a church member who recently had surgery, get showered and apply full make-up and style our hair, wake the kids up and lay out their clothes. After making sure the kids have had a full course breakfast, packed their lunches, checked their homework, we gas up before picking up the other three kids we drive, all the while we have praise music blasting in the mini van while we referee arguments and try to give a daily pep talk. Once the kids are dropped off to the elementary, middle and high schools, we stop by the neighbor's to walk their dog for them while they're on vacation then we notice that our husband forgot both his briefcase and lunch this morning, so we run by our husband's office to drop it off to him. We put in our "drive-time devotional" cd, to work God in there somewhere, and head to the church to make copies for AWANA that night, dropping of the casserole on the way. While at the church, we manage to volunteer for two other ministries, and end up cleaning up the dishes in the kitchen that the last group seemed to have missed. On the way home, we run in the store to get milk and bread and pick up some extras for tonight's supper. We make it home with an hour to spare before we have to pick the kids up and manage to throw a load of towels in the washer while we iron the kids clothes for church that night. But, don't we feel good! And won't our rewards be aplenty once we get to our final resting place! Ahhh, resting place. It has a nice ring to it. One day when all the stress of this life is over, we'll be at rest.

Is that balance? You know in the Bible there are times (come unto me, and I will give you rest) when the Lord talks about rest in the sense of "Sabbath rest." We are meant to live abundant lives. Happy Lives. Peaceful Lives. It's not a contest to see how much we can do. It is putting our best effort into what we've been called for, not what we feel obligated to do, or guilted into doing.

Those are just a few of the words that have been going through my mind. Words that the Lord has used to impact my life. There are more, but I'll save those for another day.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Late Summer and Bible Study

I have been intending to post for weeks now, but haven't really had the chance. In all honesty, it is usually more of a "spur of the moment" thing for me. There are the occasional times when a certain topic crosses my mind and I think, "I should blog about that."

Anyway, on the 22ND, I will begin leading my first Ladies Bible Study. I am so excited! I have been preparing for this for many years, but the actual grind work has been going on for the last few months. I have watched the entire study on video, Beth Moore's "Breaking Free." Taken notes and typed them all up. I have purchased things for "my girls" that I thought would go along with the study and hopefully give them mementos and maybe even needed supplies for this event. Gathered addresses and sent out post cards. This week I have made copies, and copies and copies........Today I punched holes in all of those copies. Maybe on Monday or Tuesday I will get things into the folders. Our church secretary will be ordering the member books on Monday, and then we'll be set.

Tomorrow, a friend from church and I will be heading to Columbus to see Beth Moore at Living Proof Live. I am very excited! I am praying that this will be the reassurance from the Holy Spirit before our Bible Study begins.

You know, about 10 years ago, I had moved home from Lexington where I had studied at UK. After I had been home awhile, I began to feel that the Lord was laying it on my heart to teach women. I began to have a desire to teach an all women's Sunday School class or something similar. Now, ten years later, here we are. God doesn't always do things as soon as they come to our minds. When we have the chance to think on them and begin to feel that it was our idea. He usually waits until we've begun to give up, or blow it off as just a dream, or doubt we ever really had the idea to begin with. Being a Christian amounts to a lot of waiting. I think it's really God waiting on us, not the other way around. We always accuse Him of making us wait, but He really waits for us to "man-up," or grow up or wise up. He kindly waits till we are ready. Such a Gentleman. It's so much like a parent who has a toddler that keeps saying, "I can do it." "Let me do it." "I can do it myself." And, once we try and fail and then put our pride aside, admit we need help, and then demand it, He kindly comes to our rescue, over and over again.

I am not saying that I am ready to lead this study, but I am willing! And I am so thankful that He is allowing me to do it. I pray that He will be glorified!

This summer has been busy, but so much of it has been spent at our church! And that is so cool! VBS, Kids Kamp, and more recently, Youth Week where our youth had their very own revival. They also went to camp, where many of them made professions of faith, and several have been baptised. It has been an awesome summer.

Chase is now back in school. His second year of middle school started last week. He is probably going to be taller than me before the year is over, if not by Christmas break.

So, things are moving right along. The iron weed, golden rod and Joe pie are all out. The humidity has simmered down a little, and the greens have all gotten darker. The days are shorter, and I am anxious to buy pumpkins and see mums blooming. I am just thankful to be alive!

God is good.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Times They Are A Changin'

Lately, everything has felt different. Nothing feels the same. Sure there are things that I still feel secure in, but even those things are growing. They may be changing for the better, but it's still a change.

My Dad, who has never been sick, had two life-threatening surgeries this year. In January, he had a VERY infected gall bladder removed. If he would have waited any longer.......Well, let's just say we're all glad he didn't. Then, last month he had a cancerous tumor removed from his kidney. Yeah, the "C" word. We have all experienced devastation somewhere in our lives that was related to that worse-than-a-four-letter word.

No offense Mom and Dad, but I see you getting older. I don't like it. I want it to all stay the same. I want you to stay the way you are. I want to always be the one in need of you, and not the other way around. That doesn't mean that I don't thoroughly enjoy doing things for you, but you are my stability.

Chase just finished his first year of middle school. He is only a few inches shorter than me-today anyway-by next week he'll probably tower over me. That seems to be the rate at which he is changing. I can still remember the summer before George and I were married and taking that little knot-head to his first VBS. He is now too old for VBS. Riding in the car to church, he hadn't yet become a glasses wearer. Now he uses contacts. His voice is not that sweet, little singing voice that would belt out "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Now his deep voice yells from the dug out, teasing the opposing team. I once pushed him in a cart and he would turn his baseball hat inside out and put it back on his head. Now he dances to the music played over the sound system as we walk down the aisles.

No longer do we sing along with the Veggie Tales as we drive to and fro. He is usually playing his DS while I listen to my ipod. He carries a cell phone, tells me how to use mine, and can text unbelievably fast. This morning at church, he helped take chairs out of the Sunday School room and stack them in the hallway. This past week when we were at the pool, I reminisced about taking him into the kids area. Now he is going down the slide with ease, and standing flat footed in the "deep" end.

Earlier in the week, the oldest member of our church, Mrs. Blanche Moore, passed away. Friday night, I looked out my living room window and watched a cow give birth to a bull calf. Four years ago, I battled anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia. In two months, I will lead the women of my church in our Fall Bible study. My niece, who was 16 when George and I started dating, has been married a year already, and in November will give birth to what will probably be the cutest baby that ever drew a breath. (I say this because Brandy and her husband, Heath, are just the cutest people you've ever seen. And, they are both as tiny as you please!)

My nephew Charlie (Brandy's brother) and his wife Kayla just celebrated their 8th wedding anniversary. Kayla has been teaching for probably 5 years now. I remember going with her to set up her very first class room. A month or so ago, Charlie was ordained as a deacon. They have been trying for 6 years this month-same as me and George-to have a child.

My great-niece, Nikea, starts high school this fall, and will be turning 15 in September. In March, our nephew, Derrick, and his wife Shara gave birth to their 4th child, our 5th great-niece/nephew. In January 2010, their 2 month old son passed away, and the December a year prior ('08), Shara miscarried.

Last Sunday, our 18 year old nephew left for Parris Island. I'm sure I don't have to tell you what that means. Just 2, 2.5 weeks prior to that, he lost his grandfather. His mother, Victoria, spent years trying to have a relationship with her father, after he'd abandoned them when they were little. Now he is gone, and so is her baby. One to eternity, and one to the Marines. The irony.

One thing never changes. God. Thank God! Thank God that He doesn't change. I am thankful that we can grow in our relationships with God, but that He will stay right there, waiting for us to catch up. His laws do not change, although society's moral standards change daily. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is calm and still and in Him there is peace. He always works things together for the good.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Her Price is Far Above Rubies

Really, I would only consider myself a part-time mom. Every other weekend I put the mom hat on, and I wear it ragged. The outfits I choose to wear that weekend purposely match the hat itself. I don't have to make the hat match the outfit. As fitting to my personality, I go all or nothing. This hat does not just cover my head, but it's rain proof and shields me from the sun all at the same time. I go full force. But Monday morning, I can barely get out of bed, and typically I don't schedule anything very serious or important for the Monday's following a "Chase-weekend." As far as actual work goes, there aren't too many additional chores with a third occupant in the home. Really, it is so much of a pleasure that any additional work doesn't seem to be of any significance. George says it's just that I push myself so hard mentally that's why I'm exhausted.

Why? Why do I push myself so hard? Why do I rethink things? Why do I keep the prayer lines hot those 48 hours? Why do I question myself? Why do I obsess over oxi-clean, french toast and video games? And, why on earth do I get up at 5am both Saturday and Sunday?

Sure, there is a part of me that doesn't want to give the ex anything to talk about. I want to cover all the bases and tie up any loose ends. There's also that glitch in my personality that pushes me to obsess over any task that is set before me. But then there's that desire. There's the desire to be a mom, and make the most of the opportunity set before me during those short 48 hours that God blesses me with a boy. As Beth Moore would say, "a man-child." I want to drink it up. I want to savor every opportunity to wash those little tighty-whities, buy bubble gum flavored toothpaste, and play "I Spy" while we drive to church. Those tighty-whities are not near as small as they were 8 years ago. They are no longer adorned with Scooby-Doo or Sponge Bob. They are now purchased in the same section of the store as Daddy's, along with shirts and jeans-albeit small, but still in the men's section.

Above all, I want to cherish this blessing that God has so graciously given. I don't know if the Lord has children in store for my womb, but I have a precious boy who needs me if only on occasion. This is my purpose, and I have know that since meeting my husband. My reason for being here is wrapped up in a now 5' +, 100+lb, blond-haired, blue-eyed (now with contacts) good-humored, kind-hearted pre-teen. If I can be anywhere close to the mom that I am blessed to have, I will feel that I have done right by him.

I have a lot to live up to though. I have the greatest mom. I knew growing up that she was a wonderful mother, and I have always been thankful for her, but now I really get it. She is awesome! The 31st chapter of Proverbs describes the ideal woman. Every time I read that chapter, I feel as though I am reading a description of my mom.

My Dad had surgery yesterday. My mom, with grace and determination stayed right there the entire time. Honestly, it feels weird to make that statement, because I know her. I know there's no where else she would be. But, I realize some people do not have the grit and the heart of service, loyalty and love that God put in my momma. We were surprised to learn that my dad was going to have to be put in SICU following his surgery. Naturally-for my mom-she already knew she was staying. I think if my mom had to sleep standing against the wall in the hallway outside SICU, she'd just shrug her shoulders and say, "I'll be fine."

My mom can so easily put herself aside and be ready and willing to do whatever is needed of her by her loved one. She is a true servant of the Lord, and His love comes through her in her care of others. I have never known someone so selfless and loving. I appreciate her so much. I am thankful to have her as my friend. I am so honored to have her as a role model. She is a wonderful follower of Jesus Christ, a loving, submissive, protective wife, and a total rock star as a mom. And, to 3 cats, one dog and the aforementioned pre-teen, she is the epitome of a

I love you Mom! I am so thankful for you and I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.....Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

Proverbs 31: 10-12 & 25-30

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Church, Basketball & Sunshine

Just a warning, this will probably be very random.

As I type this, I am watching the UK game. Well, sort of watching. It makes me nervous to pay to much attention to it. If I hear the crowd get loud, one of the announcers actually say something worthwhile, or a buzzer sounds, then I will look up at the TV to see what's happening. Otherwise, I occasionally glance at the score to make sure we're still ahead. If we get behind, I may have to turn the TV off all together or just change the channel and then check the final score later on.

I don't think any other sports fans in any other state feel the pressure like Kentuckians. I think in some way, we think they need us in order to play. Notice I even said "to make sure We're ahead." We think that's OUR team and we depend on them, but somewhere down inside, we believe the feeling is mutual. It is, what am I saying. Have you ever been to Rupp!?! The only feeling that tops being in Rupp Arena is the moving of the Holy Spirit. I don't care if your married or you've had babies, for most of us Kentuckians there is one game that was the happiest moment of our life, and one-involving another blue & white team-that was the worst moment of our life. We can relate most events in our life to how it fell in relation to basketball season, how far KY made it through the NCAA tourney that year, and a certain player or players that stole our hearts that season.

An example would be: I relate my childhood to the Kenny "Sky" Walker years. Middle School was John, Sean, Richie and Deron. Then there were those depressing-what was that coach's name?-years.

Any Kentuckian, no matter their design style will proudly display a poster of the cats with that season's schedule in the same room as Monet or Van Gogh. We see royal blue, and know the correct name for that color is "Kentucky Blue." We all own something in that particular shade, whether it be a t-shirt, hoodie, garden flag or the collar on our dog. It's just sacred here. By the way......they're up by 14 right now. Shew! Nerves, nerves!

Another highlight to this day, other than the game, is watching it with the windows open. As you know, most of basketball season is spent with the heater on, so the combination of Kentucky Blue on the TV, and Robin's Egg Blue in the sky are very pleasant. It makes for an anything-but-blue day. Thank God for the sunshine after the rain! The river's are still high after steady rains most of the last couple weeks, but today is a wonderful, much needed break.

This morning, I had the privilege of going out to church to take part in training for a new ministry. If sunshine and basketball don't make you feel good, being around your brothers and sisters-in-Christ certainly will. I was pretty anxious when I went this morning. I was asked to participate in this ministry, and I have felt inadequate ever since. I know it is not one that will make use of any spiritual talents that I may have been blessed with, but one where I will rely solely on the Lord. I guess that's the only reason why I knew I should accept the invitation to do this. I am not capable or equipped, so hopefully I won't let my pride get in the way. Hopefully I won't go into this thinking "I can do this." But, will be assured that I most certainly cannot, and only HE can. I hope that He will use me.

So, that is my Saturday. It's half time, and we're up! WooHoo! Gonna go try to catch my breath before the second half starts and I have to find something else to distract me while my boys play their hearts out.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Gotta Have It-Well, I used to.

Tomorrow will make 6 months since I've had a drink of pop. That may not sound like much, but trust me, it is. For me anyway. I have loved pop-or soda-since I can remember. We used to get Pepsi in a 4 or 6 pack of what I think were 16 oz bottles. Once we'd emptied all the bottles, we returned those to the store when we purchased our next pack.

Then there was the fact that my Papaw worked for Pepsi. Of course we had to show our support by drinking the stuff. One time I remember going to see my grandparents when a new version of Pepsi came out, and trying it there for the first time.

When I would spend the night with one of my friends growing up, we'd grab a two liter and some cups and ice and spend the night downing Pepsi, giggling and talking about everything under the sun.

At one point, I quit drinking caffeine, so I mostly drank Sprite, but I would have the occasional Caffeine-Free Pepsi. Ahhhh! Tastes just as good as the caffeinated stuff. Of course, I didn't limit myself to Pepsi alone. I've had more of my fair share of Coke, and who doesn't love Dr. Pepper, Mt. Dew and Root Beer?

Unfortunately, my love affair with these carbonated beverages has ended. Now, those little bubbles and that layer of foam are nothing but a memory. I will admit there are days when I enter a convenience store and stare longingly at the coolers lining the back wall. But, for the most part, it is just the memory of the taste that drives me to do so, not a craving.

I am thankful that I've made it a whole six months without a drink-of the right stuff, baby-not the hard stuff. I don't touch that other stuff. Anyway, as always, God gets the glory, cause I'm tellin' ya, I was addicted. I drank Pepsi or Coca~Cola day in and day out. I never tired of the stuff and savored every sip. Why did I quit? It was an addiction, something that consumed my thoughts. And, it wasn't too good for my kidneys, my waist line or those pearly whites. So, all in all it was just better to try to go without.

Just for yucks and giggles, here are a few videos of old Pepsi commercials............Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Home is Where the Heart Is

At the end of January (Jan. 26Th), my dad had surgery to remove his gallbladder. He was in a lot of pain leading up to the surgery, and actually had to have it removed earlier than the set date of surgery. After 6 days in the hospital, he finally got to come home. Praise the Lord!

Fortunately, or unfortunately, I have had my fair share of surgeries. I didn't want to be one of those aggravating people who thought they knew all the aspects of surgery and advise my dad to death, but I wanted to help. I tried offering suggestions, or at least preparing him for certain aspects, and he still wants me around, so hopefully I didn't act like a know-it-all.

He seems to be recovering well, and is seeing an improvement daily. Again, thanks to the Lord.

While all of this was going on, I wanted to be with my parents the entire time. Certain responsibilities and snowy weather prevented some of that, but I was able to at least visit him in the hospital every day he was there, even if only an hour or two, and I was with them when he was discharged.

I love my parents, and I really enjoy being with them, but when there is something out of the norm going on, I absolutely hate to leave them. The rest of the world can wait. I literally have o force myself to go do what needs to be done and leave their company. Many of the evenings, I left so I would make it home before dark. I did that for them, not for me. I would've stayed. In fact, I considered spending the night with them, but I knew that would've probably been going overboard. If I let loose, I would have full-blown OCD, and I am not making fun of those that do. That is just the simple truth.

I think it was the day after dad came home, I called to check on him. We were talking about how it is when someone you love is in the hospital or sick, etc. My dad said that in recent years, he had truly learned the meaning of the phrase, "home is where the heart is." He recalled one of my hospital stays, and how he and mom wanted to be with me. That was how I felt while he was in there. I know they're all grown up, and that I am their daughter, not visa versa, but I still would wonder, "What if they need me?" Thankfully, I have a greater-than-great husband who understands and had no complaints.

It is true though. Wherever our heart is, that is where we long to be. Kind of like that longing that is in all of us. Sometimes, it comes out in an appetite for material things, a drive for success, many failed relationships, the 'need' to make more money. However it surfaces, it all stems from the same thing. We are all longing for home. We are all longing for Jesus. Even once we have Him in our hearts, the longing is only pacified. Our true heart's desire is embedded in us to be with our Creator. We will never be satisfied until we are home. Until that time comes, we need to spend every moment we can with our Father. We need to ask ourselves, "What if He needs me?" We need to be ready and willing to do what He asks of us. And, we need to do it because we love Him, and all else pales in comparison.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Clean As a Whistle

Ahhh. I have that wonderful feeling that all is well in the world. I am sitting here basking in the glow of my freshly mopped floors, my gleaming countertops and glistening faucets. Perfect vacuum cleaner rows line my carpet just like a freshly cut lawn, as "Pacific Fresh" Lysol lingers in the air. Of course complete Utopia would be no stains on the carpet, windows so clean you had to touch them to make sure they were there, and a place for some of those things that just seem to hang around waiting for a permanent home.

No earthly thing pleases me more than organization. I love it when there is no ironing that needs to be done, towels are all folded and put in the cabinet, there are no dirty dishes in the sink. Nothing stresses me more than a mess. Don't get me wrong, we live in our home. There are days when I wouldn't even want my parents or closet friend to stop by for fear of them calling the producers of "Hoarders." (Ok, that's an exaggeration, but I'd at least like for them to have a place to sit.)

Strangely enough, no one else's mess seems to bother me that bad. Smells.....well, those do bother me. Sorry. But, if I were to come to your house and it was less than perfect, I would more likely feel right at home than offended. Trust me, I have a tween boy living here part time, and a husband. No adjectives needed for the latter. We live on a farm with cow poop, and dry feed, plain ole dirt and an occasional strand of hay here or there on the floor. We know all about grass stains and dogs that roll in dead stuff, kitty-cats with muddy paw prints, and did I say cow poop? Then there is lime dust from the steel mill, my clumsy spills of coffee on the carpet, sugar on the counter, cat food drips on the floor and crumbs in the couch cushions.

Those few precious times when the things above are non-existent, those are the moments I drink in. Then, I get thirsty and there goes the "no dirty dishes in the sink." It's kind of like sin. Can you imagine how refreshing and clean we will one day be when we are sin-free and perfected in Him?! When we are in Heaven, we won't have to stomp our feet on the porch to knock all the snow off our boots, but more importantly, we will have no guilt, because we will be away from sin and temptation, and the tempter himself. We will be whiter than snow.

Thankfully, if we've asked Jesus into our heart, He already sees us that way. Of course we continue to sin, because we are not perfect and we are human beings. But, if we have been forgiven, we are washed in the blood of the Lamb, and that is all He sees. Can you imagine looking at your home every day, and not seeing a random piece of lint on the floor, or a timy piece of a wrapper that didn't quite make it to the trash can? No dirt. No stains.

I don't know about anyone else, but I am so thankful that my sins are washed away and in His eyes I am clean, and ready for Heaven.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


First off, today is my man's birthday. Happy 34Th, Babe! I am thankful for you and so honored to be your wife!

Ten days ago, January 1, 2011 (See, today is 01/11/11, then it was 01/01/11...anyway) I had the extreme privilege of sharing my testimony with the Seniors group at our church, known to us as, The Elderberries. For months, I have felt called to share what our merciful Lord did for me during a traumatic season of my life. Actually, I think I have felt lead to do this for over a year now. Within the last year, I have prayed about how to go about this. I have prayed that the Lord confirm to me that it was His will, lest I do it of my own accord and without His blessing.

Throughout the entire year, He showed me time after time the importance of telling one's "story" to others. First, I wrote about it on this blog, entries I have since deleted, but may revise and repost in the future. Then, I typed it out. All 9 pages of it. I read it aloud one day while home alone, and it took 30 minutes! I then submitted the written testimony along with a letter of explanation to my pastor. It was in the middle of summer when our church is normally packed to overflowing with little ones participating in one ministry after another. I had even told him in the letter not to worry about getting back to me till things had died down.

Finally, right before George and I went to Gatlinburg, (was that in October??) I wrote him another letter stating that I realized I had been disobedient-or putting off what God was wanting-by not scheduling an appointment with him sooner. The day after we were scheduled to get back from Tennessee, I went to the church to meet with him. We decided on a few ministries within the church where I could get my start.

So, before long, the leader of Elderberries approached me to schedule a time for me to come. Between us meeting, and the actual event, I set to work on gathering my thoughts. I quickly threw out the 9 page thesis that I felt most of those gentle, elderly souls would fight to stay awake for, or maybe gladly use as a time to get a little snooze in, and I started fresh.

My original plan was to tell much of my life leading up to this specific season I mentioned earlier. I had included my salvation at age five, my first day of kindergarten, leaving home after high school, quitting college and moving home, all the way up to my mother-in-law's passing the year prior to this specific life-altering, God-glorifying, blessed, faith challenging event. As I reviewed all that I had written, I felt like someone on one of those old movies or cartoons who begin at the very beginning......for example, "It all started on a warm day in October, 1978..." I could see heads nodding and eyes slamming shut at the mere thought of it. I needed to skip all that, and get right to the meat and potatoes.

Throughout this time, God was revealing many things to me. I may find a scripture that spoke what I wanted to say, or a poem in one of my devotionals, or a similar personal experience detailed in a Christian living book. I was taking notes on just about everything. Occasionally, I would sit at the computer and type out my latest find and add it to the folder containing my collection. I would practice while I was in the shower. (If George was home, I would simply mouth my words, otherwise, I would speak out loud.) As I was talking, I would think, "No, I don't need to include that." Day after day, I would cut out even more, taking it down to as small a time period as I could.

By the time the "big day" rolled around, I had scratched it all. I still had my typed quotes and scriptures, but I had axed any sort of plan for what I was actually going to say. My outline was appropriately tossed in the garbage, and my heart opened to prayer. Throughout the course of the nerve-wracking day, I made a continual, simple plea to the Lord. "Father, I just want You to use me." At one point, I even said, "Lord, I am taking these quotes and scriptures with me, but I have no intent of using any of them, unless I fell Your prodding."

We arrived late. My nerve-o-meter shot to the top and belted out a panicked alarm in bright red. We had left the house an hour and fifteen minutes before the meeting was to take place. We had intentions of hitting Sears, but it was already closed due to it being New Years Day. So, we headed out for the church, putting us there at what we thought was 30 minutes early. As we turned into the parking lot, we saw a sea of cars. Huh? What is going on? My loving husband tried desperately to console his early-bird wife, but I got a little snappy, and almost to the point of tears.

As we walked in, I felt undependable, unreliable, and a little aggravated that I wasn't actually those things, but had more than likely appeared to be to this group. "They probably thought I bailed!" I told George as we stood in the foyer shedding our coats. He kept saying, "You didn't know. It's not your fault." I kept debating, "But they don't know that!"

We eased in, and already self-conscious, I was now a tad miffed. What a way to be when you are wanting to speak on the grace and mercy of your loving Lord! I pulled aside the leader's daughter to ask what was going on. She informed me that they'd moved the time to 4pm instead of 5pm for the winter months. She realized that I had not been informed of this, but lovingly reassured me that all was well, and the time had been filled with food and music, and there was still time for me to share my story.

O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 118:29

God, in His perfect love for me knew that I would not be best suited to sitting for an hour waiting my turn. Normally, a patient person, when my nerves are all wired, I am a person of action. My passive personality gets aggressively tossed to the side, as my assertive, determined and somewhat bossy characteristics take over, full-force. Being nervous ain't no place for sissies. When your that crazy on the inside, and you still have to maintain control the outside, let me just say, a little bossiness can be tolerated.

So....we were there ten maybe fifteen minutes, before it was my turn. Honestly, that was a guess. I have no idea how long we were there, but it was long enough. (and that is no reflection on the gathering or those gathered-just my desire to get on with it) Fortunately, the Lord enabled me to use our tardiness as an icebreaker, and a humbling reminder that He is in control, and this is all on Him anyway.

I don't remember what all I said, and I used a few of my typed scriptures, but I think only one of my quotes. I was shaky at first, and I got emotional at times, but I felt the Lord working through me. Somehow, he fit all of the pieces together to clearly get across what this servant of His was so desperately wanting to convey. He blessed my heart. Not only did He bring me through the trial of which I spoke on, but He then blessed me again by being able to share it with others.

The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
Psalm 29:11