Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving on Friday!

Oh, I hope that y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We surely did! We take turns hosting Thanksgiving in our family. This year, we went to east Tennessee to give thanks and share blessings with Hubby's family. This also meant that the only thing I had to do to prepare the meal was to put ice in the glasses! Seriously! My mother-in-love DID let me wear a family apron to make it look as though I had participated in the food cooking! But, I did not! Wait a minute, lest I tell a fib! I did get to put the cheese whiz in the celery stalks! Sorry about that! I did two things this year! (And only one person ate the stuffed celery, and it was not me!!)

Wanted to share a few of the pictures from our get together! Of course, we found a race to run on Thanksgiving! I let the boys run, so I could take pictures...which I LOVE to do! And, it saved us some money! Those races add up!
Child #2 and me before the race--a little chilly down on the riverfront! I'm sporting my new precious Peruvian hat that a darlin' friend brought me from the church mission trip this summer.
Child #1 cruisin' down the final stretch. He had way too much fun! First race for him since Cross Country season.
Child #2 came flying up soon after.
Chillin' after the 8K (which is almost 5 miles). Just about time to get back to the house and start getting ready for the turkey!

Auntie, me, and mother-in -love in the wildness of trying not to burn the rolls (which were home-made, of course!!!) .This apron is not quite my shade of green, but....!
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever...for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Psalm 107: 1,9. As we drove home this afternoon in the brilliant sunshine, I thought about my blessings. Due to a rockslide on I-40, we detoured through towns and communities that we'd never seen. Some of the homes were so pitiful...poverty in the mountains still exists today. We see those in poverty overseas, and our hearts break. What about those right down the road from our homes? Houses that look as if they could topple over. Kudzu growing from old pick-ups in the front yard--this house was not abandoned--there was smoke coming from the fireplace. These were truly "the least of these" that Jesus speaks about. I wondered about their Thanksgiving meal...the condition of their for the rest of the week...steady income. Then, knowing the only thing that I could do for them was to pray for God to bless them and meet their needs. Driving along the twisting road, we saw this scenerio over and over. Oh, I pray that God would truly bless their hearts and their lives.

Sweet Blessings!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bless Those Hearts!

Once upon a time, there was a Mama who loved to shop for bargains...for things she could repurpose (buying someone else's stuff that they were tired of!). This was fun! This was pretty cheap too! Last January, she and her sweet friend, Teresa, discovered 2 Broyhill chairs at the Thrift Store. These chairs were in great condition and perfect for the study that she was redoing. So, for the low, low price of $20.00 each, Mama bought these Williamsburg blue and mauve floweredy chairs with the intention of making her own slipcovers.

Slipcovers 101 Tutorial was a complete failure!! Mama just couldn't get the seams to match, and it was plain 'ol ugly! So, she began calling and asking around this textile town for the names of people who could make slipcovers. Poof! A nice lady said that she would do it on the side (she worked for a nice man who sold custom draperies on E-BAY) for the price of $45.00 each!! Mama was thrilled! Beyond thrilled! So, last January, she met the nice lady at CVS and gave her one of the chairs and the other two pillows for her to create beautiful slipcovers. Mama had visions of cute monogrammed pillows tossed casually upon the thrift store chairs--which she reminded Hubby were a bargain!

Nice lady called Mama in the summer to let her know that she no longer was working for nice man with the nice sewing machines in a very busy warehouse that made custom draperies. Nice lady was ordering her own machine and would be working on the chairs soon. Very soon! In her own building behind her house. Mama is patient.

School begins! Mama checks in regularly to see if the slipcovers are done. Mama heard lots of stories as to why the chairs weren't finished yet. Mama is patient.

Thanksgiving is two days away. Nice lady has had chairs for 1o months. Hubby is READY to have a place to sit in the study besides the desk chair! Hubby implores Mama to call and tell nice lady that we need chairs back now...not next week, but now, pronto! Mama calls nice lady coming home today from subbing! Nice lady is thrilled to hear from Mama. In fact, she asks if Mama is sitting down. Mama usually sits down while driving the Mama mini-van! Mama gets her hopes up a little bit. Maybe....just maybe, the slipcovers are ready, and Mama can pick them up!!! What a wonderful surprise for Hubby that would be! Nice pretty slipcovers FINALLY adorning the two chairs in the study. Mama waits patiently for nice lady to tell her the news.

Well, nice lady doesn't use the words that Mama really wants to hear. Instead, she begins to talk about the FIRE that destroyed her warehouse/building over the weekend and that she was sorry but Mama's chairs are NO MORE! yesterday is gone! Mama is in shock as she drives down the road. No nothing to sit on in the study. But Mama does ask if anyone was hurt--a fireman with smoke inhalation had to be hospitalized. Bless his heart! Bless nice lady's heart! Then....nice lady asked for Mama's address so she could send a check from her insurance company to Mama! What?? Money for Mama's losses? Mama is still holding her breath until the check arrives in her mailbox. Bless Mama's heart!

Mama is desperately clinging to this Scripture! A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

Thank you for praying for nice lady--Mama is praying that nice lady is telling the truth! And this is a true story! Mama could never make up anything quite like this one!

Sweet Blessings,

Monday, November 16, 2009

Things I Love!

I took photos on Saturday afternoon of a high school senior who is just beautiful and precious to boot! We've done swim team with her since she was tiny. She also runs cross country, and we see her quite often at meets. Needless to say, we had a BALL!!! We went to a farm owned by some wonderful folks at our church. The property was simply breathtaking. Many brides have been photographed there for their wedding portrait. I could see why.
Is she adorable or what? Y'all, I am simply having a great time doing what I love!
Another thing that I am loving is spending time in God's Word! Oh, it is so rich in Truth! I keep finding nuggets hidden in the pages just for me from God! This Wednesday, I am leading a workshop that I mentioned awhile back--praying the scriptures for your husband. I cannot wait to share more nuggets of His Wisdom with some of our gals at church. It is so exciting to see how God can use each of us for His purpose. Please keep these ladies and myself covered in your prayers! I really do appreciate it!
Here is the scripture that I am leaving y'all with today: "For God is not a God of disorder but of peace." 1 Cor. 14:33. I am trying to become obedient to that--therefore, the dishes are calling to be unloaded from the dishwasher, and the clothes need to be folded. Order...order!! And, once I get all of that done, I am pulling the Christmas boxes out of the attic and cranking up the music! Got to when it's 75 degrees outside!!

Sweet Blessings!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Beginning and the End

Bless your hearts! When you people come to my blog, you NEVER know what will greet you! Orange Children are on parade today!!!! The boys junior varsity cross country team painted themselves at the State Cross Country meet on Saturday. They spelled out Go!Mavs! (our mascot is the maverick) Child #2 is the first exclamation point in that first picture!! Those kids had the MOST fun standing out in a dusty field painting letters and painting the names of the varsity boys on their backs! The JV girls got in on the fun and helped out too. I just stood there and laughed and took pictures! This was one of the highlights of the season! The beauty of this team is that the kids have bonded and are more like brothers and sisters than anything I've ever seen. They pick on each other but will take up for each other in a skinny minute! They all cheer their teammates good races and ugly ones alike. And the parents...oh, mercy! We have a ball! We have spent the past 3 months together twice a week! The majority of our parents make it to most of the events. We, too, have bonded! I am going to miss my buddies!!
This has nothing to do with cross country!! Saturday night, after flying back home, I "fru-frued" up a bit (gone were the pink running shoes and t-shirt!). We had "Holiday for Her" at my friend Phebe's church. 25 women in the church decorate a table--they pick the holiday of their choice. Then, they invite 8 friends to join them for a delicious meal, singing, and a guest speaker.

Here is Cindy, me, and Phebe. We love to run, and Cindy is our bicycle babe!
This night gets you in the mood for the upcoming holiday season. Here's my question for y'all today! When on earth do you begin decorating for Christmas? I have a friend who has already begun! I still have not gotten my pumpkin people back in the attic for their 12 month nap! I did buy two Christmas presents today! That's it! I need some encouragement to get on the ball! Let's hear your ideas for getting ready to decorate. I'll get to the decorating part in another post!
Still have errands to run! Have a fabulous day, my friends!

Sweet Blessings!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday #3

Hey, y'all! I cannot believe that this week is almost over! It has flown by! I am subbing today and tomorrow in third grade...we will have a blast! They are a precious group!

I am linking up with Truth 4 the Journey today to share five things that I am thankful for. We would love for you to join us! 'Tis the month for thankfulness!

1. I am so thankful for good results from my Mama's surgery. Whoohoo! God is good! The surgeon removed 18 lymph nodes, and all 18 were clear! Our God is still in the business of healing! She will go back next week after the oncologist and endocrinologist have determined the best plan for her treatment. She said to tell you all "thank you" for the prayers and please keep them coming!!

2. I am so thankful for my precious husband! Bless his heart! He met with our accountant yesterday to get the real scoop on my starting my photography business! There are several legal errands that I need to do, but God is helping me to take it one step at the time!

3. I am thankful that a workshop I am leading in a few weeks at church is being prayed for and that women are signing up! It is based on a devotional that Renee Swope did back in June! It's how to pray the scriptures for your husband. I cannot wait to see what plans God has in store for these ladies!

4. I am thankful that cross country is ALMOST over!! I love it...don't get me wrong! But I am so ready for things to settle down a bit on Saturdays at our home! The kids are running at the State meet in Columbia this weekend. Running, picture taking, and eating....I will be in my element!!

5. I am thankful that my sweet friend from She Speaks and one of the Proverbs 31 gals is going to meet me for coffee (She'll have the coffee, and I'll have sweet tea! I still haven't learned to like that stuff yet!! Mama keeps hoping that I will!) on Friday after school. Lynn Cowell is speaking in Roswell, Ga. on Friday morning, and will be nearby on I-85 to stop for awhile and visit! She is just darlin'! I can't wait to see her!

Now, take a minute and reflect on some things that God has done for you this week! Count those blessings, chickadees!! Share some of them with me if you get a minute! I would love to hear them too!

Sweet Blessings!

Monday, November 2, 2009

"God Moments"

On Sunday after church, I spent some much needed time enjoying "God moments" on the trails. The fall colors were just gorgeous and so vibrant. One of my trail running buddies and I simply ran. No certain distance. No certain speed. We just ran and talked and talked and talked. We stopped when we wanted and just listened. Utter silence. No cars, phones....anything. Just us and God's creation.

As we traversed the winding trails, our conversation was filled with serious discussions....mama's surgery, her son's new school--she moved 100 miles away from me due to her husband's job! It was also filled with joy over the changing of the leaves! We'd jump over a patch of leaves, and both of us would be so squeal about one that was both red and yellow! "God moments!" Before we had even left the parking lot to run, a group of Japanese families were grilling out under the picnic shelter. (It smelled wonderful!!) Also under the shelter was a family member playing a keyboard! On the side of a moutain!!! I had never seen such a thing! As Cheri and I left for our run, he began to play a familiar hymn, and the other family members joined in! It was beautiful! I knew the words, and I listened for Jesus' name in another language! I've never begun a run with church music like that before!

This morning, I had another "God moment" after reading my e-devotional with Wendy Pope. She challenged her readers to put aside fear of not succeeding and not understanding God's Word to join her in reading through the Bible in a year. I have so much on my plate right now, I almost laughed! Then, God spoke to me through these words.

Isaiah 50:4b, "He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught." (NIV)

Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (NIV)

Proverb 2:1-5, "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God." (NIV)

2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (NLT)

Stillness and peace came to my heart. Could I actually do this? Would I have the discipline that it requires? Before I could just shake my head "no" and go on to read my next email, I ordered my Bible study tool for January. It's a new Bible! We have so many Bibles here at the house, but this one is different. It is a chronological NLT that is set up to be read in a year. Wendy says it is only 15 minutes a day. I spend 15 minutes a day on the phone! I know I can spend that time with God!

I forwarded this devotional to some friends of mine. Several of them have responded "yes!" I love it when women say "yes!" to God! If you are interested as well, click on Wendy's name to read her devotional today! It is very encouraging and motivating. I would love for you to join me in this adventure! I'll need all of the encouragement I can get!

My mama goes back to the doctor tomorrow morning for her follow-up. I just got off the phone with her. She said that she is SOoo ready to get the dressing off and take a shower! I totally understand. I'll keep you posted! We'll know which treatment she will need then. We are really praying for the homone pill and no radiation treatment. Thank you all for your prayers! We're still holding onto them! Please keep them coming, you precious friends!

Sweet Blessings!