Friday, February 26, 2010

Devoted to _____???

So, bloggyland friends, what are you all devoted to? Is it food--see above semi-homemade cookies? Is it the computer? Is it an addicting tv show? Is it exercise? Many ideas might be floatin' around in your heads. But it's what's in our heart that truly counts.

I've mentioned before that I'm doing an online Bible Study with Wendy Pope( see my sidebar). It's fabulous. God is really opening my heart and eyes to so much! We are finally through Leviticus--whew!! And now we dive right into Numbers....mercy!

Listen to this nugget in Lev. 27:28

"However, anything specially set apart for the LORD--whether a person, an animal, or family property--must never be sold or bought back. Anything DEVOTED in this way has been set apart as holy, and it belongs to the Lord."

Wendy shared that we who have accepted Christ belong to the Lord. We have been set apart. God is never going to let us go! He loves us, and we belong to Him, the God of the universe! Will we pour that same devotion out on Him as we do other things that we are devoted to? We are reminded in Matthew 6 that we cannot serve two masters. We have to choose what is most important in our lives.

Some people are totally devoted to their children and spouse. Others are climbing that corporate ladder and believe that giving 110% of their time to work is the way to go. Still there are those who cannot say the word "no," and have nothing left to give at the end of the day due to exhaustion.

Personally, I am learning that I need and desire to give God my best, my first fruits, each day. I am spending more time with Him in the early morning than I am running. This is huge from Runner Mom! And y'all, I am loving it! The runs still occur, but they are not at the top of my priority list. Nor is the mileage. But God is! I am amazed as I watch the Old and New Testaments tied together!

So, what are you devoted to?
( A quick update on the push-up challenge that I offered to y'all at the beginning of the month..I will be doing 26 push-ups tonight before bed. I am starting to make sets of them. 26 is too many for me at one time!! Told y'all I have no upper body strength! But, I'm working on it!)

Sweet blessings!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Big "9-0"

This weekend, we traveled down to the low country in SC to celebrate my darling aunt's 90th birthday. Here she is, Aunt Helen, me, and Mama. Mercy, there were a ton of people there. It was a drop-in on Saturday afternoon. Some people I knew, but most, I had no idea! Aunt Helen was enjoying the moment! (And, FYI, I have not done a thing to these pictures! Forgive the brightness!) Her son had put invitations in both the Baptist and Methodist Church bulletins, so we didn't have a clue as to how many would show up!! By the time we left, over 100 good folks had dropped in!

And this precious lady is Maude. Maude is Aunt Helen's dear, dear friend ( I don't think I should use the term BFF here! I might offend one of her other dear friends!) Maude, y'all, is 96 years old!! She is STILL driving!! And, she is as sharp as a tack! They were darling! Can you just imagine them running errands together? Going to church and sitting together? Precious!

This group of wild children belong to Mama and Aunt Helen. All of them are grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Growing up and visiting my aunt and uncle was so much fun. They had a humongeous backyard that we played in. My uncle had these streams of crayfish--which I did not eat-nasty! But you could fish in his backyard. Pretty cool for a city slicker like myself! And, I am SO not a city slicker!! I grew up in a darlin' little town which still has no stoplights.

Now, we were trying to get all of these cousins to play almost worked but not quite. The picture turned out good anyway! Mama and Aunt Helen will love it! Putting teenagers together that don't know each other is just"weird" in their terms. I think about how I love to meet new people! Guess it's my age--old!

I didn't take a picture of the food, but it was out of this world! The barbecue was the BEST I have ever eaten! It was a sweet BBQ-not mustard based, vinegar based or tomato based! Just perfect! I was so busy running around taking pictures and meeting people that I didn't have time to make a plate. When we got ready to leave, child #1 made his mama a plate to go. Y'all, the only thing wrong with that was I couldn't go back for seconds!! Mercy! Delish!! All of the Food Network people would have had a hissy fit over it. Sorry...but I "heart" me some good BBQ!

The moral of this story...spend time with those you love! Make an effort to travel when needed. Take lots of pictures! And share stories of growing up with your youngsters. They might actually remember them!!

Sweet Blessings!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Computer Blues

Y'all, I have just spent a good portion of an hour writing a post that I thought was pretty good. Really. But, maybe God had other plans. I am using my new pink computer---it's sooo cute! It's a laptop, and I am not used to this. Somehow, my wrists clicked on a button, and my entire post was gone....disappearing into cybespace air! Had I saved it during the process??? Of COURSE not! That would be too doggone easy! Oh, well! C'est la vie! ( Yes, you chickadees, Runnermom DID take several years of French many moons ago! Only a portion of it remains in my little 'ol brain.) Well....I can't and won't even attempt that post on Downs Syndrome and the Samaritan Woman again! Seriously.

So, I will simply ask you a question. An easy one. Promise.

Are you giving up anything for Lent? If so, are you willing to share?
I'll go first.

I am going to give up being prideful! No, I wish that I could, but I am human and that's something I have to die to daily. But, I CAN try to be focused on this and strive to "be less of me and more of Him." That's a huge leap of faith. But, with prayer and staying focused on this, God can do a big work in my heart if I am willing to step aside. One thing that I have done--and this is through much prayer--is getting up and spending time with God before running. Not after! I am trying to put Him first. It's all about Him.

Happy Lent!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Got JOY??

The Lord your God will bless you...and your joy will be complete. Deut. 16:15
I simply love scripture that refers to the word JOY. Happiness is nice--it only lasts just for a while. But, give me some joy that will last forever!
"Joy is the fruit of a right relation with God. It is not something people can create by their own efforts"--this is straight from the Holman Bible Dictionary from
JOY that comes from praying and seeing God's hand as a friend gets a job after being out of work for over 15 months. Praise Him! JOY that comes from watching my precious mama experiencing a "hike" (actually it was around 30 steps!) on a mountain top Sunday after church. Her face simply lit up from being in the mountains in the winter weather. JOY that comes from watching an overweight child struggle to attempt a tripod(the first step in standing on your head!) and succeeding after several attempts--and her classmates giving her high 5's! (I subbed in PE today and had the biggest smile on my face and heart!!). JOY that comes from studying God's WORD and GETTING IT!!

What about you? What brings your heart joy? What scriptures do you just cling to that refer to joy? I would love to know!

Sweet Blessings,

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

"Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
but the space heater is so delightful,
as long as you love me so......
let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!(Even at the beach!!)"

"Frosty, the snowman, was a jolly happy soul,
with a red wool hat and some running shoes,
and 2 eyes made out of leftover candy corn......

Frosty, the snowman, had to hurry home that day,
but the children know he'll be back again
but right now he's in LA (should be DC but that doesn't rhyme!!)"

Can y'all believe the snow that has been dumped on the southeast??? This is crazy!! My 90 year old aunt who lives not far from Charleston was making snow angels this afternoon! No....just kidding!! She cracked up when I asked her about it though! My hubby and boys are out playing in the dark snowy yard right now! Forget the Winter Olympic opening ceremony...the games have begun at our house already!!! And tomorrow, the snowball wars will begin! They are even talking about canceling the Myrtle Beach Marathon in the morning!
All I can think of is God shaking out His storehouses of snow on us! And, I'm humming "Indescribable" as I write this post! Who knows which Bible verse references that part of the song??? I would love to know!!!
So, what are you all doing this weekend???Share your thoughts!!If you don't have snow, what were your favorite things to do with snow when you had some?

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Birthday and a Challenge!!

Good morning, my friends! It's finally sunny here! Whoohoo! I took this picture a little after 7 this morning. Child #1 celebrated his 17th birthday yesterday. Wow, that must mean that I'm getting old!! Not! We searched for a "new" car for him to get back and forth to school and to cross country and track practice and to meetings, etc. People, I am just about to drown in carpool! It consumes hours of my day--HOURS! I love my precious children, but this extra car is going to be such a blessing! We prayed about it and searched Craigslist. This one appeared after church yesterday. It's a '98 Acura. Very reliable and all the belts and "stuff" had been replaced. The owner's family owned an auto shop, so they've kept it up. There was low mileage--amazing on an 11 year old car! And the best part of all--it was the exact amount of money that we wanted to spend--which was not a lot! God is good!
We went to our Youth Super Bowl party at church last about food and fun! There were over 80 kids and adults there. The sad part was that our youth minister is leaving for San Diego on Tuesday, so last night was his going away party as well. We are really going to miss Mookie!
Mookie and Austin, aka Child #1--no telling what Mookie is saying here!Hubby with the cake. Of course, being the thoughtful mama that I am, I made sure that some of the candles were the ones that would not go out--the obnoxious ones that keep relighting over and over again! Gotta have my fun too!
After all of that food, today is definitely a running day! I cannot wait! I have a challenge for you all as well! Child #2 and I are doing this and have been successful so far! It's called the:
Here's what you do! On Day 1--which is today for you, simply do one push up. Just one! Tomorrow is Day 2--2 push ups. The next day is Day 3, so 3 push ups! You get the picture!
I am on Day 7. I wish that I had started this on January 1, but I didn't read about it until 7 days ago!! A group of people here in Greenville--30 of them--decided to take on this challenge. They did push ups each day. By December 31,2009, which should have been 365 push ups, only 8 people remained!! And, only 2 of those were women. Y'all, everyone who succeeded was over the age of 50! One man was in his 70's! We can do this!! You pick the type of push up! It can be military or the girl push up where you are on your knees. There is ANOTHER one which has more assistance. After dislocating my shoulder--yes, on a trail run several years ago!!!--I HAD to strengthen it. But, YIKES! It hurt so badly! Using a wall, gently lean into it with a push up stance. Feet should be at least a foot and a half from the wall. You should feel your muscles working. If not, you are not using your body's resistance. Do these assisted push ups until you can get to the floor and try the others. Whatever works for you!
The ladies who completed the challenge were amazed at the difference of how their arms looked! I am all over this strong arms thing!! Join me!! It'll be FUN! You can break your push ups into sets as the numbers climb higher. Encourage your Hubby or kids to join you as well! I want to know how y'all do!! Just be honest!!
Y'all have a wonderful day!! Oh, and I loved the comments from my question last week!! Great ideas! I appreciate your sharing.

Sweet Blessings,

Friday, February 5, 2010

Outside the Box

My backyard looks like the shallow end of our community swimming pool! Mercy! We are definitely not in a drought anymore!

Thank you all for your kind and encouraging comments about my website! I am still tweaking the thing!! I just want to take pictures, but there's a little more to it! Sorta like life. We just want to do the fun things--Bible studies, shopping, running, eating, decorating, etc. (Now that's my list!) But the laundry grows taller in the basket, and the dishwasher still has to be emptied to be refilled so that you can see the bottom of your sink. And, carpool still happens. It's a cycle that we all are a part of. Doing real life. As long as we do it with some joy, we're headed in the right direction :). ...For the joy of the LORD is my strength." Nehemiah 8:10

Wanted to take a quick poll with you all today! Pretend (or maybe some of you don't have to pretend!!) that you have one entire day to do ANYTHING in the world that you wanted to do...anything! Describe your day to me! I can't wait to see what you have to say!! Take your time and really think outside the box.

Sweet Blessings!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Blessed are...

Greetings from an icy place! My portion of SC received ice--not snow--on Friday night. (I tried to insert a picture here, and my computer is not cooperating!) Typical! Instead of throwing snowballs, my hubby and boys threw chunks of ice at each other in the Cracker Barrel parking lot last night much to my embarrassment. One of the wait staff was in her car taking a break as she observed their "fun." She was "just a" giggling--loudly! I did apologize to her and walked away quickly to my car. Mercy!

Huge praise! I finished the photography website yesterday, and it has been sent to the "powers that be" to check it over. Then, in a day or two, it should go LIVE!! Y'all, Susan Hood Photography will officially be in business!! Whoohooo!!! Saturday, with the ice and all, I stayed in my pink polka dotted jammie bottoms and an old sweatshirt all day--bedhead and all! Hubby and I worked and tweaked and uploaded and deleted until my eyes crossed! The only thing missing is the music. I simply didn't have the energy to download, upload and play with it last night after Bible study. But, I didn't have to have it ready for the "Go Live" button to work. It will come. Please keep this God adventure/business in your prayers! I can't wait to see what He has in mind!
****UPDATE!!! My website is now live!!! It's'll have to cut and paste that! I'm too excited to do it right now!!! :)

The title of my post(finally!) is "Blessed are..." I think immediately of the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. I hope you do too because....I need your creativity!! I will be teaching my adult Sunday School class about these on the 7th. Besides the fact that they are the "positive teachings" from Jesus in comparison to the "Thou shalt nots..." from Moses, what do you get most from them? How do you apply them to your daily lives? I want them to become real! The one that has so ministered to me in the past 6 weeks since Daddy passed away is "Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Mat. 5:4" Y'all, we have truly been blessed by sweet words, hugs, cards, food, emails, and more. To me, that exemplifies this scripture and makes it real! I am looking for the wisdom needed to teach this beautiful lesson from Christ. Again, I am stepping out of my comfort zone. I am used to teaching little people--kindergartners to be exact. Not 30-40 year olds who are smart! Their questions are tougher. If I can't answer one, it doesn't bother me--I can always say "Who would like to help me with this one?" Hey, I'm not shy about asking for help as you already know!

So, share your wisdom, your websites, your references, your thoughts, your ideas right here with us! I cannot wait to see what y'all come up with!

Stay warm today! And, BTW, (Randomness occuring here) Beth Moore's new book on insecurity is being released tomorrow! I think I need a copy!

Sweet Blessings!