Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Prize!!

Oh. my word!

I've won something! It's a PRIZE!! I visited Mari's blog last night, and she had listed my blog as the recipient of the Arte y Pico award! How cool is that? Thank you darling girl!! I don't feel deserving of such a thing, but I don't turn down prizes!!

The rules for this award are:1) You must pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award, based upon creativity, design, interesting material, and that also contribute to the blogger community.2) Each award must have the name of the author with a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.3) Award-winners must show the award and put the name and link to the blog that awarded it.4) Award-winners and the one who has given the prize must show the link to the Arte y Pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.5) These rules must be included in your post.

I can only choose 5--There are so many others that I would like to add! Just check my blogroll!!
1. A Planting of the Lord--Kimberly
2. Joy in the Truth--Sharon
3. His Ways...are not our ways--Paula
4. Chatty Kelly--Kelly
5. Sheep to the Right--Carol

Please visit these blogs for a great blessing!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

This darling little puppy dog that we adopted last summer from the Humane Society is the reason my family missed a cookout today! Doesn't Scarlette O'Hara--her actual name--look adorable? Well, adorable as she is, little miss "Fiddle Dee Dee" loves to pull, chew, and destroy! She ripped the screen off of our porch last summer, and my sweet hubby and child# 1 and child #2 spent the morning rescreening our porch!! It looks wonderful, and we're planning on eating our supper out there minus the bugs and mosquitoes!! Yay!

While they were screening, I was with "Team Dirty Feet" on the mountain getting in some miles. There were only three of us today--Chris, Robin and myself (Cheri has a stress fracture and is in a boot She would appreciate your prayers!!). It was Chris's birthday, so Robin and Chris' s darling wife, Lisa, planned a surprise party after the run. Chris knew we were grilling out, but he didn't know that he was the guest of honor !!

From the left: Chris and his family, Cheri and her family, Me--family at home, Scott and Robin

Happy Birthday, Chris!! I really enjoyed meeting your wonderful family!!

Scott, you rock!!! Those were great dogs!!
It's amazing how spending just a little time with others develops a relationship. That's exactly what God wants us to do. Just spend time with him in an intimate relationship by praying, reading His Word, and listening to Him. I want to share this "Creed for Life" that I read in Experiencing God's Power in Your Ministry by Mary Southerland. The author is unknown. It's wonderful for those in ministry as well as for your daily life. Y'all enjoy!
Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself to others. It is because we're different that each of us is special.
Don't set your goal by what other people deem important. Only God knows what is best for you.
Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.
Don't let life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future.
By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.
Don't give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
Don't be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each other.
Don't be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn to be brave.
Don't shut love out of your life by saying it is impossible to find.
The quickest way to receive love is to give it away.
The fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly;
And the best way to keep love is to give it wings.
Don't dismiss your dreams. To be without dreams is to be without hope.
To be without hope is to be without purpose.
Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been, but also where you are going.
Life is not just a race, but a disciplined journey to be savored each step of the way.

Blessings this Labor Day Weekend!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Leap of Faith

First, thanks to all of you who responded from my previous post about a name for our Women's Ministry! Y'all had some wonderful thoughts! I am going to jot them down and put it before the other gals at the meeting next week! I am really excited!

I have to tell y'all about last night! Lysa TerKeurst spoke at a nearby church in our town. Y'all, it was was so good to see her and her precious assistant, Holly! It's been several months since I attended She Speaks in Charlotte.

We had a delicious meal (pork tenderloin, yummy in-season veggies, and baked apples--the chef at this church is none other than the father of Food Network's Tyler Florence!!). Then we gathered in the sanctuary for music and Lysa. God was just all over the place. She shared her little heart to us. Oh, my...she has a story! And, praise God, He used her brokeness in a way that eventually glorified Him! The radical obedience that she has and her faith are such a testimony to our glorious God!!! Many of the women attending accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, and some agreed to just say "Yes" to His calling. As Lysa has said, "He qualifies the called!" Have you heard that call to step out of your comfort zone and meet with Him? Have you felt His wooing you to do something different in order to serve Him? Then, by all means, pray to Him and take that bold leap of faith! So many of us miss the boat because we're unwilling to get in it to begin with! We only have so many days on the kingdom calendar (Beth Moore), and I don't want to miss out on something that God has planned just for me! The laundry can wait! (It usually does!!). That golden opportunity that God has placed in your lap for this day is for doesn't go on the to-do list! Pray hard, chickadees! What is God whispering in your ear today?

A good writer would stop her post with that previous sentence so you can ponder and pray about it--which I hope you will! But, I have a little more to share with y'all! Lee, forgive my writing skills (and other English teachers as well--I'm only a kindergarten teacher!!). Y'all, after Lysa spoke, I met some other girlfriends from bloggy land!!! It was so cool! Of course, we were wearing name tags with our real names! I didn't know who Carol was! Those real names didn't click! We needed to know who Sheep to the Right was, etc.!!!! Once we established all that--oh, my, fun!!! I did get a picture of Lysa, Janet, and myself. Y'all---this is such a God thing! I saw this darling girl--Janet--that I thought I was meeting for the first time. She lives in NC. We got to talking, and I realized that I had met her over two years ago while house hunting! She and her husband were selling their house in a neighborhood near ours, and I took a look at it one Sunday afternoon. It was precious! And, that talented former Miss SC had MADE all of the window treatments!!! They were simply gorgeous! Fast forward two years, and God crosses our paths at dinner last night! How cool is that? I just love God moments:).
Me, Lysa, and Janet


Friday, August 22, 2008

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Hey, y'all!!

I have not dropped off the face of the earth! School started here this week, and I have actually substituted for the past two days! Quite a change from the lazy days of summer just as recently as this past Monday!! Oh, my! I love subbing! The children are precious, crayons are in one piece, lunches are WAY too early (I'm eating my turkey sandwich at 10:40 am!!), and best of all, NO LESSON PLANS! Subbing has its advantages! I also am getting up at he crack of dawn--not to run--but to work! Finding time for my "quiet time" is a struggle! I personally enjoy spending time with the Lord first thing in the morning! It just seems to get my day off to a better start! And if Jesus did it, I can at least try to also! Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. Mark 1:35 I will try to get caught up over the weekend and read your wonderful new posts!!

God's vision for our church's Women's Ministry is growing! I am so excited, ya'll! We are scheduled to have a planning meeting on Sept. 3! It's just around the corner! We are inviting a cross section of women of various ages, and those who are married, single, widowed, etc. to pray, dream and share what God has laid upon their hearts for our church. Our mission statement is to have women fall in love with His Word. The verse for next year is "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." Mark 12:29.

Here's where I need a little help from my bloggy friends!! I CAN'T think of a cute name for this group!!! All I can come up with is "Dream Team." That sounds like Michael Jordan and the Olympic basketball team from years ago! That is not what I envisioned this group to look like!! Do y'all have any ideas? I would love to have a great name for it when inviting ladies to attend. I'm sure that we'll have yearly meetings such as this, so some continuity would be wonderful! Help!! And bless your sweet little hearts!

Hope that y'all have a fabulous weekend! Child #1 has his first cross country meet in Charlotte in the morning, so that's where we'll be until lunch! I am really excited! I hope that he has fun and enjoys the event.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Muddy Legs

Me, Robin, Renee, and Mike

Our family is enjoying the last weekend of summer before school starts next week. Child #1 is in Georgia with a church group tubing down the Chatooga River. Child #2 had a sleep over last night. They spent the night in a tent in his friend's back yard--the dog slept with them! Hubby is finishing up a 60 plus mile bike ride in NC. And I just finished a trail run with some of my buddies in a nearby State Park about 40 minutes away. We are an active family!

The trails that we covered today were great! They were all runnable-woohoo! No rocks to climb. We did share these trails with horses. Lots and lots of horses!! Not only did I have to watch my footing for roots and rocks, but I had to be on the lookout for surprises from those gorgeous creatures!

Today, there was an equestrian event at the park. There were horse trailers everywhere! Each time we completed a loop of running, there would be more horses and riders. It was really cool!

After the run, I was extremely sweaty, muddy and dirty from the trails. I went into the ladies room to try to clean up before getting back into my sweet little friend's car!

Look at the mud on our legs--gross!

Well, there were no paper towels or soap, so I made do with water from the sink and my bandanna as a washcloth . Y'all, I must have looked a sight! I had one leg in the sink scrubbing off the mud when a little boy wearing a huge cowboy hat walked in. He looked at me and didn't say a word! He went straight to the other sink beside me and began to wash his little hands. He never glanced at my face--just my dirty legs! I finally made the first comment. He answered---with more of a southern drawl than I even have! He was getting ready to ride his horse in the competition. He had been riding for a VERY long time. I inquired as to how old this darling child was. He was 4! Y'all, he is still washing his hands--no soap either! I asked him the name of his horse. He replied, "Awesome!" Is that just not precious?? I did ask if his mom or dad was going to lead him around the corral when it was his turn to perform. His mom was. He's still washing those little hands! I finally told him that I had been running and was trying to get some of the mud off of me before getting in the car and going home. He gave me an"Ohhh!" while continuing to wash his hands. I am sure that he had been told to never speak to strangers, and I was definitely a stranger! And even stranger was that I was scrubbing my legs in the restroom sink at a park! I've never seen a 4 year old wash his hands for that long--the water was still going. I was afraid that his mom was going to come and check on him to see why he had been gone as long as he had! Well, he finally turned off the water--after 5 minutes or more and walked out the door. He was just precious!

I thought about his comments after he left the ladies' room. He was so confident in his riding skills. How many times are we able to boast that we are able to accomplish this or that on our own? Adults tend to do this more than children. We want to do it our way, our timing. We need no outside assistance. This child boasted in his skills as well, but.....his mom was still in control by having a tight grip on the reins of the horse. She would never let them go for fear of what the horse might do if it were stung by a bee or scared by a loud noise. She was there in case her child needed her. That mom would never leave her 4 year old alone on a horse. As a Christian, I know that although I want it my way, it might not be the best way! I know that God is in control of my life. He's holding the reins tightly so I won't fall off either. He is there to keep me safe. Hebrews 13:5 says that "He Himself has said,' I will never leave you or forsake you'." I have that confidence in which I can boast--He's always going to be there just for me! He loves me that much! And He loves you that much, too!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ask and You Will Receive

Hey, y'all! Hmm....I just realized that I sound like Paula Dean! Love that lady, but I actually talk that way too!!! Random thought! Anyway, I wanted to give you an update and send out a huge prayer request!!

I have been praying for God's will in a ministry opportunity at my church. We have certain activities for women, but we don't have a Women's Ministry per say. Yesterday, I met with our Sr. Pastor and our Director of Christian Education. We prayed and discussed this area of growth for our church ladies as well as those in the community without a church home. I have been praying about this for months--even before She Speaks! And His perfect timing, showed up at our meeting as well! Y'all, it was so much fun! It was all I could do to sit still and not use my hands to "talk" as I shared the research, the emails, the phone calls, and the prayers that have been going on for months. I was just so excited! When we take a BIG God out of the "box" and truly trust and obey Him, He can open so many doors for ministry that we've never even thought of! Woohoo!!!

Here's where I need y'all to come in!!! Bless your sweet little hearts! We have a handful of women with young children that need childcare. These girlfriends want a morning Bible study. You can see where I'm going with this!! All of our nursery workers are in school during that time. I am going to place an invitation in the church bulletin to see if any older women or some who would like a little extra Starbucks money would be willing to step out in faith for 6 weeks! One day a week for 1.5 hours! Not too much to ask...I hope! Yolanda's post today is right on target for me! It's on taking your requests to God in prayer. If we don't ask Him, we don't receive. I want to invite you to join with me for the next couple of weeks to pray that if it's His will, He will provide nursery workers for a morning Bible study. Would you mind doing that for me? I would so, so appreciate it, girlfriends! Y'all are awesome. I will keep you posted on what happens--promise!

Thanks so much!! Y'all are wonderful.
Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. Matthew 7:7-8


Sunday, August 10, 2008


One tank of gas to fill my car.....$59.00

One pair of school shoes for child #2......$39.00 (They were on clearance!!)

One Mighty Meaty pizza from Mellow Mushroom......$23.00

One night on the town with my boys......PRICELESS!

Summer is winding down, and my boys wanted to take Mama out on the town for one last time before school starts again. So, they pooled their money and talked Daddy into lending them a little more...just in case! Then they asked me out on a Mama/sons date last week. Both politely asked where I would like to eat. The first restaurant that came to mind was downtown. The atmosphere fun....great macaroni and cheese and fried squash....jazz music....rustic was on the tip of my tongue. Then, knowing that it wasn't quite THEIR favorite place to dine, I turned the tables to see where they would like to eat downtown. They looked at each other and replied in the same voice...." Mellow Mushroom!" Pizza it was! Y'all, it was delicious!

After we finished off an entire super large pizza, we tried to walk it off!! We have a beautiful vista on the river with spectacular falls--when we 've not had a drought for a while! Families and businesses alike bring folks there from out of town. It's just lovely!

We ran around down there in the sweltering heat until the boys felt that they could handle the grand finale!! Ice cream--and yes, I could have purchased an entire carton of Breyer's ice cream for what we paid for two small cups!! But, I kept my mouth closed. It was hard....but I did!

God has blessed my hubby and me with two wonderful boys. They're far from we all are. But He entrusted us to love them, teach them, and protect them while they are "on loan" to us. One day, we have to let them find their place in God's great big world...and to make a difference by sharing the love of Christ with others. In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus is teaching to His disciples. He says," You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Our prayer for our children is that they will shine the light of God into the lives of others. With school only a week away, the opportunity to share with teachers, classmates, teammates, and administration is at hand. Actions sometimes speak louder than words. That, my sweet little friends, is just PRICELESS!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Hill

Remember when you were a little girl (sorry guys!!!) and you got your first bike? The one with the banana seat, big basket on the front and if you were lucky, a bell to ring when you were speeding down the street? Life was rode in your yard, to the houses of friends to play, and to your Grandmama's--if she lived close enough to you! You'd put your baby dolls or Barbies in that basket and take off like a streak!! Woohoo! Life just didn't get much better!!!

Fast forward 20-30-and more years to the bike I now own. It's a road bike. Put your two fingers together and that's the width of the tires. Gone is the banana it's place is an uncomfortable hard seat. No more cute basket....replaced with a tiny black canvas bag that velcros under your seat. It's just big enough for CO2 cartridges, tubing for flats, car keys, and cell phone. ( I have no idea what to do with the CO2 cartridge, but my hubby said that I needed it so I have one!!) I now wear a helmet and riding gloves. No one wore a helmet when I was little--they didn't even make them!!!

This morning while riding on a "gently rolling" course near home, I was ready to tackle the hardest part of the ride...the steep downhills. I don't know what grade these hills are, but to me, it's a very high percentage!!! Most people have fun flying down the hills. I, on the other hand, lock up in fear and put the "grip of death" on the handles. I can't find the brakes fast enough! This grip is so intense that on long rides, my entire body suffers. The next day, I'll wake up and be sore all over! It's just not worth it! I would much rather be running!

There was very little traffic in the industrial park where I rode. It's a loop that I repeated 3 times. Unfortunately, the HILL was there all three times. I put the bike in a lower gear as I crested to the top of the hill anticipating what was to come. The low gear helps me to stay"grounded" and more in control as the speed increases going downhill.

At the top of the hill, I took a deep breath and leaned forward. Gravity took over, and I FLEW down the hill! The wind was in my face and all I could do was to pray that God would keep me safe from unexpected rocks in the road or huge trucks that could causes me to tighten my "grip of death" even more.

Isn't that how it is with so many of us? We want to be in control--in the driver's seat at all times. If only we would release the"grip of death" and hang onto God's wonderful plan for us, we'd be fine! He wants us to be "grounded" in Him, in His Word. When we are "baby" Christians, our walk is like that first bicycle. We are taking little steps--or rides--in familiar territory. Our family, our friends, and our churches support us and are there if we fall off the bike and skin our knees. As our faith matures, God calls us to be a little more adventuresome--the road bike. It can take us to unchartered territory. We may need a road map (or a cell phone!) to help us get back to our home. For those who have been walking with Christ for a little while, we're like that bicycle. We have to trust Him and obey His directions. If we choose not to, we'll wind up getting lost--in more ways than one! He has the perfect route for us. It has easy flats to coast, hard hills to climb, and those steep grades to enjoy the wind in your face! If we don't get off that baby bike and trust Him, we'll miss out on something absolutely wonderful! I Corinthians 2:9 says it beautifully. " No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." I don't know about y'all, but I WANT to see and experience the plans that He has just for me!! How awesome is that???

When I made it to the bottom of the hill on loop number one, I realized that I never touched the brake! I was too busy experiencing the wind in my face and the confidence that God was flying down the road right beside me having just as much fun as I was. I think I even heard Him holler "Woohoo" flying down the hill!!


Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm So Excited!

Hey, y'all! Happy Friday! As the title suggests, I am a happy camper this morning! First, I finished my last class yesterday for teacher recertification--I don't have to take another one for 5 years!! Woohoo!! Second, I completed my long run of the week this morning without having to cut it short due to the heat and humidity! Another praise!! Third, I am going to see Beth Moore tonight at a local church where she is going to be simulcast from Kentucky(??). I can't wait to see what words God has laid upon her sweet little heart to share with the rest of us! I've got my Bible, my notebook and pen, and my over 40 glasses to see the tiny print in said Bible! find something cute to wear in my junky closet!! Next week, I am going to set some manageable goals with my housecleaning--including the closet, junk drawers, and the really scary place--my youngest son's bedroom!! Oooh! But, that's next week!

I have just finished reading, THE SHACK, by William Young. Several of us in bloggy land and here in my town want to discuss it. Y'all, it's a really interesting book! I got so much out of it. I encourage you to read it and see how you think it lines up with your relationship with God. I am not going to write about it on my blog because I want you to read it without having any preconceived notions. Feel free to email me if you've read it and want to discuss it. :)

In a previous blog, I had mentioned that I had a lot going on with decisions in my life. I truly have appreciated your words of encouragement. Y'all are great! God has shown me many truths in this. I am not going to go to the interview for the full time job. It's clearly not in HIS plans for me at this time. I hate to waste someone else's time interviewing for a position that I know HE isn't going to bless for our family. HE has shown me some awesome things through HIS Word and from other folks that HE will put into play according to HIS perfect timing ! That, my sweet little friends, is what I need to do-- simply follow HIM with faith and obedience. I am just so excited!!! I can't wait to see what HE's going to do next.

Y'all have a wonderful weekend!! I am counting down the days until that sweet little Lysa T. comes to Greenville to speak! I can't wait to see her again and hear what else God is doing in her life.

Hugs, y'all!