Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cake to Cupcakes

Pretend that you are a great chef--you love to bake, and cakes are your favorite. You enjoy the time spent in the kitchen and the aroma when that lovely cakes comes out from the oven. Ahhh! You don't mind that the prep time is long, the ingredients a little pricey. It's worth the outcome.

Suddenly, things happen in your life. Priorities change. The extra time you used to have is spent on the computer learning how to apply difficult software to something that should be simple. Hours fly by on the clock, but you've made baby steps toward the goal. You're getting calls to substitute--which is great since child #1 will be looking at colleges soon, and child #2 will get braces by the end of the summer. You're also making day trips to pack up your parents' house which you hope to have on the market by late spring. And, then, you have your regular days of carpool and laundry and groceries and meetings.

Now, instead of having time to bake those delicious cakes, you only have a few minutes. You do have time to open a box of cake mix and throw together cupcakes! This, my friends, is where I am in my running life. I have been reduced to a cupcake. Smile if you want, but the stress over reducing my miles and races has just broken my heart. For over 10 years, I've done the "big" races. Lots of fun and lots of training miles. That equates to lots of time on the road and trails. Suddenly, I am scheduling photo shoots during the time slots where I used to run and run and run. Photo shoots are fun too--they bring me so much joy! God has opened a door for me and plan on holding His hand in this adventure to see it through.

My running girlfriends have planned a trip to Ohio in May to run the Flying Pig Marathon. I have wanted to run this one for a while--just the name is too cute! And the main color they use is PINK! I want to do the entire 26.2 miles--I've done it before. But, my training time has been reduced to a cupcake. I don't have the time that it takes to properly train for the race. I DO have the time to train for the half marathon (aka the cupcake). But you know what stands in my way?


There, I've said it! I said it to Hubby on Saturday through tears. I'm past the crying part now. I'm still in the praying part. I know that God hates pride. The selfishness goes right along beside that ugly "P" word. Listen to this scripture from Daniel 4:37--" And those who walk ( or run!!) in pride he is able to humble." It's sifting time sisters! And it ain't pretty! I am taking this to the Lord each day. I know that in His timing and His way, I will be able to rise to the occasion of running a cupcake and being excited and enthusiastic and joyful. He has pulled me out of that type of pit before. And He will do it again if only I truly repent of that ugly "P" word.

So, there you have it. Runner Mom is going to go all the way to Ohio--an 8 hour trip. I need the time with my chickadees to laugh, eat, shop, and run...and of course, talk! I am going all that way and only running half the distance that I normally run. But, I will get through this, and I pray that I will bring Him glory! That is worth all the cupcakes in the world!

Sweet Blessings,

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Change My Heart

I took a few minutes this morning to read a couple of blogs. I was reading Darby's blog, and she referred to a family in Alabama. Read her words and see what jumps out at you.

"The house is unbelievable and as wonderful as the images are, the house is even more beautiful in real life, I wish you could see the bedrooms, bathrooms and Mitch’s office! Mitch & Gaye have been incredible mentors to Justin & I for many years. They absolutely love the Lord and have used their fabulous house for His glory and I’m so happy for them!" ( This home is going to be featured in the Feb. issue of Southern Living.)

So, what struck your eye? Yes, I love beautiful houses and would love for someone to turn mine into one! But look at the sentence Darby used to describe the owners of the house. They have been mentors to Darby and her hubby. They love the Lord and have used their house for His glory. Stop...think...pray.

"Father, have I used my home for your glory? Or, am I waiting for it to all come together decorated and fluffed up so that it looks great? Sometimes I'll put off having others over if I don't have time to clean and dust. God, change my heart! I truly want my home--that you have provided for us---to be for your glory. Show me how! I love you, Lord. Amen."

This really has hit my heart today as I look around at the piles of laundry waiting to be put away. At the kitchen island covered in memorial thank you notes. At the hardwoods now showing doggy prints from the rain. Hmm....what should I do? Change my heart, Father God. Make me more like you.

Sweet Blessings,

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wisdom and Teeth

Child #1 is on the couch sleeping peacefully thanks to a "happy drug" prescribed by the oral surgeon this morning. Yep, he had all 4 wisdom teeth removed at 8 today. Such a fun way to spend a day off from school. And, the weather is just perfect outside! Sunny and in the 60's! I plan on running in a bit. I need child #2 to come and watch brother sleep while mama runs!! How exciting will that be?

I am working on my photography website as I shared with you all. I'll tell you, if you are as computer illiterate as I am, even the easiest sites are HARD!!! I have gotten really frustrated with my lack of skills and the slowness of my computer--but, praise the Lord, it is working! Baby steps is the way to go. Plus, I am having to learn how to use Photoshop. Have y'all ever used the newest version(CS4)? My word, it's hard! There are no instructions! You have to find tutorials from other websites. Or, you can pay $$$ for one-on-one instruction!! Simply taking pictures is the old-fashioned, you have to have computer skills as well to have a successful business! Please pray for me!

This sorta correlates to God's instructions for us. Thankfully, after years of telling the Bible stories, they were written down for us. We can simply open His Word and read it for ourselves. We don't have to go all over the place trying to figure out His will for us. Or do we still do it?

If you simply skim over your Bible, you will miss the beauty of His wisdom! You have to dig in the Book to find those nuggets of truth that He has just for you. Spending uninterrupted time with Him is something that has to be done in order to truly understand. I know that I keep going back to Mary and Martha, but that story speaks volumes to me. Mary "got it!" She wasn't flittin' all over the place trying to pick up the house and prepare the meal and dust the furniture, etc. She sat. She listened. She was quiet! It's the same back then as it is today. We have to listen to Jesus through the Word. Remember the story of Eli and Samuel? Samuel didn't realize that God was talking to him. He was so young, he thought it was Eli calling out to him. Nope, it was God.

Are we listening to God today? Do we hear His desires for us? He has a purpose for each one of us if only we will stop and listen.

I had no idea that this post was going to turn out like this! I guess God had plans other than my own! I WAS going to ask if any of you knew a thing about Photoshop CS4!!! If so, please share your knowledge with me!! Thank you! Help me get out of "frustrated land!"

Y'all have a wonderful day!

Sweet Blessings,

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'm Back!! For Real!

Happy Saturday! Our computer was finally cured of its virus on Thursday afternoon. Praise the Lord!! And I truly mean that! It has been out of commission for almost a month. I have not had the opportunity to visit your wonderful blogs--unless it was after ten each night, and child #1 wasn't working on his AP Biology or something hard that mama can't help him with anymore. It was so easy when we were just sounding out words and matching patterns...gone are those days. If you are there, enjoy each glorious moment 'cause it only gets harder!!

Thanks for your continued prayers and calls and cards! Bloggy friends are the best!! I just love y'all!! :). Today is Mama's birthday, and she had a very busy and fun day. I want something like that when I turn 82!

I completed thank you notes today from our family to those who sent flowers and food and other things. It is such a joy to share God's love through these little notes. I saved the hardest ones for last though. As I wrote, I cried and missed my daddy some more. Lots of hugs and support though from Hubby. And I know, this is normal. It's just part of the grieving process. I'm just thankful I have such a great support group in my family and friends. What a blessing.

I officially began training for a marathon this week. Not sure which one! Marci, I had mentioned Little Rock a post or two back. Then, we ALL realized that it's only 8 weeks away! None of us were where we needed to be mileage-wise to attempt that one. Not this year, but I will run it at some point! It just sounds too cool! I'll let you know. We are seriously thinking about the Flying Pig Marathon in Cinn., Ohio in early May. That gives us over 100 days to train!! Having a focus right now is very good for me :).

As my sweet friend Phebe and I ran this morning in weather in the teens--and I know that's NOTHING compared to what some of y'all have right now! Mercy, it's cold out there!! Oops, didn't finish that first thought--imagine that! Phebe and I had great conversations. It took our minds off the cold--really! I promise! Phebe has a great faith, and I love to talk to her about things in the Bible. I completely forgot to tell her that I have started reading through the Bible with Wendy Pope from Proverbs 31! I have been faithful in my reading although I couldn't post my comments with the other girls taking this! But, now I can.

I've read and been reminded of many great stories and truths this past week. One that really hit me was the fact that the people gave God different names for different reasons. In Genesis, Hagar called God "El Roi," which means "God sees. " This past summer when I attended She Speaks in Charlotte, I received a name of God that had been prayed over just for me. The name was Jehovah Jireh which means "God will provide." I didn't think about it too much until this New Year's Eve. I received a precious comment on my blog from Wendy Blight--who is so sweet! She wrote this: "I pray now that Jehovah Jireh will provide for you and your family's every need. For all the times you have given so freely, I pray the Lord blesses you tenfold. Praying for strength and peace." Notice the name for God that she used...Jehovah Jireh! God's timing is so perfect! This name didn't make sense to me until the last day of the year when Wendy used it to bless me. Y'all, God will provide if we ask Him and let Him. Isn't this just awesome?

If you've ever researched the names of God, which one truly touches your heart? Why? I would love to hear! Thanks for sharing your precious thoughts with me. I hope to visit your blogs over the next few days to catch up on what you have been up to. Stay warm, y'all!

Sweet Blessings,
Susan--Yep, I accidentally deleted the name box again!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010--A New Decade

I hope that y'all had a nice New Year's Eve...we ditched the grilled steaks and baked potatoes 'cause hubby wasn't feeling 100%--and I do not grill!!! Mercy! We are going to enjoy that meal tonight.

Things are going well with my family. Thank you all for your precious comments and continued prayers. They are felt and appreciated. We are just taking it one day at the time.

I have been house smells like lemony scented Pine-Sol! The floor is actually clean enough to eat from--but I wouldn't suggest doing that! The decorations and trees are in the attic, and the goodies have been eaten. But, Christmas is much alive in our hearts. Some of you may do this. We save the beautiful cards from family and friends, put them in a basket and place them on the kitchen table. Each night, before we say the blessing, we choose a card and include that family in our prayer. What do y'all do with your Christmas cards after Christmas?? Just DO NOT tell me that you throw them away!! That breaks my heart! I have 19 years worth of cards filed away(actually tucked in an extra chest of drawers!) It drives my hubby looney, but they are special-- friends took the time to send us greetings and love, and I so appreciate that.

Did any of you start a new resolution? I would love to hear about that! I had a great run today--perfect weather. Looking for a new marathon to do. We are actually considering the Little Rock , AR one in March. It's just a very LONG drive. Marci, are you near-by?? I also started a new Bible Study with Wendy Pope. I plan on reading through the Bible this year! I personally hold y'all accountable to keep me encouraged! Don't you just love bloggy friends? I also read that Yolanda is hosting a Bible Study too--check that one out too--see her Dec. 21 post.

Our computer is still "under the weather!" It's been 4 weeks this Sunday! I am using hubby's laptop--still! Sometimes it cooperates and sometimes...well, I cannot leave y'all messages sometimes. I am reading your posts! I truly dislike computers! We have tried an anti-virus thingie, but it was not 100%. We'll get it up and running..I the end of next week. I really am ready to launch my photography business--website and all, but if the computer is not cooperating, it's really not the right time. Patience, oh grasshopper! I did have a photo shoot yesterday morning! It had to be inside due to the weather! It was so much fun!

Ok..I have truly rambled today. And, it's my blog, and if I want to ramble every now and then, it's alright! I'll do better next time. Y'all enjoy your evening...have fun watching those bowl games. Mine is on tomorrow afternoon at 2--Go Gamecocks!

Sweet Blessings,