Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mountains of Laundry--Spring Break Style

Morning, y'all! We just got back in town after a 4 day whirlwind tour of the southeast! Seriously!I have 4 days worth of dirty laundry times 4 people times stinky running clothes on my agenda today! Oh, and of course, we are out of food!

We pulled out Saturday morning for Tennessee to visit my in-laws. Since I-40 west is STILL closed due to rock slides back in the early fall, we meandered through a cute little town in NC--Hot Springs!
Hubby and Child #1 and myself (I'm taking the pictures so I am not in a single shot here!) found this cute little red bridge that was built back in the turn of the century(Actually, we simply turned down a random street to eat a picnic lunch and found it! It was too cold to eat outside, so we inhaled PBJ's in the van. Child #2 was not in a good mood, so he stayed in the van and pouted! Gotta love that age!)
Driving on a bit, we saw a river and got out to stretch. Child #2 is a tree climber, so he was in a better frame of mind at this point. I am just thankful that he didn't fall into the icy river below! Mercy!

We finally made it to Tenn. and had a wonderful meal waiting on us. Palm Sunday was windy and cold in Knoxville, but we felt the warmth of the church through the pastor's message. My friend asked me what nugget I got from it, and I replied that the pastor said on Christmas, many think of Santa. On Easter, the Easter bunny comes to mind. But on Palm Sunday, Jesus riding into the city is on our hearts.
It WAS a little hard to concentrate during service....just a few distractions for this ADD mama. Hmm....let's start with the children marching in at the beginning waving their palm branches. All was good until the little boy who was sitting in front of us began to hit the boys in front of him in the back of their heads with the branches! A few other adventurous little people followed suit, and you could hear the giggles. When "said" little boy returned to his seat, he refused to be still and stop kicking the pew in front of him, so Grandma took him out! Then, during confirmation, a bee escaped into the church because the beautiful stained glass window were opened. Mr. Bee was buzzing around the 6 confirmands, and they were just waving and swatting him away! When it was finally time for the offering, the ushers had walked forward and were at the alter waiting the plates. Mr. Bee came back into play and landed on the face of an usher who started waving wildly to shoo it away. The usher to his right started laughing and couldn't stop! Then, the choir--who were directly in front of the ushers watching this from up close started laughing! Bless the pastor's heart! She went right into thanking God for this gift of laughter! What else could she have done?? Needless to say, it was not a typical service!
On Monday, we loaded up the van again, and were only on the interstate less than an hour before we hit the back roads for Boone, NC. If you remember from an earlier post, we were going to take Child #1 for his first college visit to Appalachian State. Y'all, I saw more mountains in the past few days to last me a lifetime!
Remember the Mitford series from the '90's by Jan Karon? The main character was Father Tim. Well, this is the Episcopal church that it was based on! It was a beautiful church in Blowing Rock, NC! Sorry that the picture is washed out--it was sunny and in the middle of the day! And I stretched it out to make it bigger!

Here is the football stadium at App. State--of course we had to check it out! The campus was very nice, and the tour that we took on Tuesday was great! The really cool thing about App State is that the books you use each semester are included in your semester fee! Amazing! They are only one of three schools in the nation that offer that! We spent several hours touring and meeting folks and asking lots of questions. AND...while we were doing most of this outside, the 38 degree temps and the wind gusts of 20 mph or more,were doing a number on my hair!!!! Y'all, it was awful! I didn't warm up until hours later! And, no, there are no pictures of Mama's wild hair!
Finally, I just had to share this unique picture with y'all. Do you see the farmer riding a regular tractor? Nope! I couldn't believe it when I saw this. Maybe some of you are used to seeing this in your parts, but being a small town girl, this was a first! I made Hubby turn around on a mountainous road--which is not easy to do!- so I could go back and take this picture of the darlin' farmer! The boys were just rollin' their eyes! Bless their hearts!

Sweet Blessings!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Anniversary of Fear to Faith

Happy 2nd (I think!) day of Spring! Except it feels like winter here again!'s cold outside! This weekend's Anne Graham Lotz revival was awesome! Just like a shot of the Holy Spirit! Thank you for your prayers! So many women went to the Cross and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior for the first time. It was a beautiful time in the BiLo Center!

As I was reading my devotional yesterday, I noticed a comment that I had written. A year ago yesterday, I encountered not only an attack on my body, but an attack of my faith. You can go here to read about it. Bonnie, sweet friend and neighbor, I didn't tell you about this, but....go ahead and read! I'll talk to you in the yard later on!! :)

The devotional from JESUS CALLING by Sarah Young is amazing! This is the reading that March 21 began with...."Trust me and don't be afraid, for I am your Strength and Song. Think about what it means to have Me as your strength. I spoke the universe into existence; My Power is absolutely unlimited! Human weakness, consecrated to Me, is like a magnet, drawing My Power into your neediness. However, fear can block the flow of My Strength into you....When you relate to Me in confident trust, there is no limit to how much I can strengthen you."

Fear did block my communication with God that morning. I was in panic mode, and although I tried to focus on Him, I couldn't for that moment. This fear turned into aggravation--not anger--with Him. The next morning, after processing the entire incident, I talked to Him while getting ready for church. I asked Him WHERE was He when I needed His protection on that mountain? He replied to my spirit that He was there. He protected all of us from something far worse. He kept the coyote from attacking over and over again. He placed the right people in our paths ASAP. Just last week, our local tv news reported that a family pet had been attacked and killed by a coyote in its yard. This is a subdivision not far from where my attack occurred. My mama was here watching the news with me, and it just broke her heart to hear about this dog. I'm sitting on the couch with her thinking, "Mama, if you only knew!" We still have not told our families or many others. I did share it in a talk that I gave at She Speaks last summer.

I have the scars that bear the attack. They have faded just a bit. But they are a daily reminder to TRUST in a God that is BIG...much bigger than our fears. I also have a stronger faith that stems from this episode. Sometimes you have to go through valleys (even though I was literally on a mountain top!!) in order to come out stronger and more sure of your relationship with Christ. Just an FYI, Wendy Blight has an amazing book that deals with fear. It's called Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner. I gleaned so many truths from this book. If you have not read it, I highly recommend it. As a matter of fact, it's going to be a choice for our women's ministry's Beach Blanket Bible Studies this summer.

I leave you with this thought....concentrate on trusting the One who loves you more than anyone else!

Sweet Blessings,

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thank Goodness it's Friday!

Ok..after many requests with "pretty pleases" added, I will show you the new hair color--which I might add is slowly turning medium ash brown...Praise the Lord! (It truly was the color of Morticia Addams from the Addams Family!!) On Tuesday, after I posted the last blog entry, we had a track meet. Y'all, half a dozen people--including some of the kids--stopped me and asked what had I done differently to my hair! I am really tired of telling the story!
This picture is from Wednesday night. Hubby and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary! We went to a"fru fru" restaurant here in Greenville--not McDonalds!! I was so excited! It was great just having a couple of hours to talk and not be interrupted by the phone or tv or computers! Loved it! We enjoyed delicious steaks at Stax Peppermill...but it was our waiter that was so great! When he took our drink order, I asked for sweet tea. This is a staple here in the south. To my dismay, he said that they only had unsweetened tea, and I'd have to add Splenda. Well....I simply told him that I'd drink water. He started to walk away, and quickly returned with a grin on his face. He said that he actually had made some sweet tea in the back for himself, and that he'd be glad to share it with me! How precious is that? A total stranger sharing his sweet tea! Gotta love it!

Ok, just want to throw out a quick question to y'all. What are you doing this weekend? And, can you feel spring on its way? It's gorgeous outside today. Sunny and warm out on my deck. Just the place to eat a "gourmet" pbj sandwich and goldfish crackers for lunch! With a coca-cola of course!

Are you all going anywhere? Working in the yard? I would love to hear your plans! I am going to the BiLo Center in Greenville tonight and tomorrow to hear the daughter of Billy Graham! Anne Graham Lotz is going to have her "Just Give Me Jesus" revival going on! I am so excited! Would appreciate all prayers for those attending....especially for those ladies who have never heard the "Good News" about Jesus! We've been praying for this revival for over a year now!'s finally here!

Y'all, enjoy this day!!

Sweet Blessings!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Following Directions

As a teacher, I always encouraged my children to follow the directions....whether written or oral. This is vital for tests, fire drills, etc. And who do you think make the worst "following directions people"?


We NEVER take the time to read the directions ourselves! We pretty much know what is expected and simply do the task at hand.

That's fine and dandy in some cases....not in others! Take last Wednesday for example. It was way past time to touch up the gray roots in my hair! More gray than medium ash brown was being seen in the mirror. So, I grabbed my bottle of hair color by L'Oreal--because I'm worth it!--and proceeded to get rid of the gray like I've done so many times before. It's so simple to color your hair at home. You can multi-task while waiting--laundry, dishes, Bible Study, etc. I knew the exact amount of time I needed to wait...25 minutes. Well, I did this and that and piddled and finally walked by the mirror in the bathroom. People!!!!!!!! My hair was BLACK! The color had only been on for 16 minutes! Something was terribly wrong!

I grabbed the box and read the directions. In BOLD letters and numbers, 10 Minutes to beautiful hair popped out at me! 10 minutes???? I flung open the shower and turned on the water. Praying that I wouldn't have jet black hair for a month, I jumped in the shower. Then I proceeded to yell!

If you own an older home, and the heat pump is located on the other side of the house from your shower, you know why I was yelling! Mercy! The water was icy cold, and I was blinded by the dye coming from my hair. I was plain 'ol miserable! By the time all of the color was rinsed out, the lovely hot water had finally kicked in! I was totally aggravated by then!

But, gets better! After I dry and style it, it's not too least I don't think so. Then, we went to church for Wednesday night supper. I love this! A delicious meal, fun, and fellowship, and I don't have to cook! I did volunteer to help clean up afterwards.

So, I'm standing in line for the chicken pot pie--just chatting away, and a darling little 6th grade friend comes up and asks, "Mrs. Susan, what HAPPENED to your hair? It's black!" Don't you just love the honesty that comes with childhood? So, I explained my predicament, and she was satisfied with the answer. In the meantime, my friend standing beside me was trying not to laugh and trying also to convince me that my hair looked good, and that very dark hair was quite stylish right now. Mercy! I didn't believe her one little bit.

And, I am not including a picture for y'all to snicker at and make interesting comments on my blog! So, I'll leave it at that, and I'll be back to visit in a few days! Hopefully, my hair will be on the way to recovery by the end of this week. Prayers would be appreciated!

Sweet Blessings,

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's Time!

Last night, a new chapter was opened in our lives. Child #1--who is a junior in high school-- made his first appointment to visit a college! Mercy! I am getting old! Actually, Hubby is!! Today is his birthday!! Whoohoo!!

We will be visiting Appalachian State in a few weeks during our Spring Break. It's a lovely place, but...there is too much snow and icy roads, too many miles from Mama, and out of state! So, I've already decided that it's not the place for him to go for 4 years or more. There are several other universities much closer to home that offer the major he is interested in. I, personally, think that is the way to go.

But, this is not about me. This is not about my major or my goals in life. I am having to sit back and let go. Y'all, this is a strange place for Mama to be. I've been helping him with decisions for 17 years. And, now, I have to start letting go. I am in a very different season of my life.

There are so many stories in the Bible that reflect where I am. Letting go of my wants and letting God be in control. I struggled with this in my quiet time with the Lord this morning. But God is so faithful to show me His Word and to give me His peace. I have some pondering to do today my friends.

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." Psalm 143:8

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13

Sweet Blessings!