Thursday, September 6, 2012

From Guatemala with Love

Sweet friends! In the past few months, God has truly opened my eyes to see and hear what the "least of these" experience.  Our family has prayed about what it is He wants us to do during this season.  In addition to mission trips--local and foreign--He has shown us something that we can do which is such a  small thing in my opinion.  Let me explain.

As many of you know, we have two boys.  Boys that are very athletic and very active and busy.  The boys also have humongous appetites!  Imagine that. The manager at both Costco and Publix love it when I come strolling in several times a week!  We TRY to maintain a food budget at home, but it is amazing some weeks. Throw in eating out once a week....usually not even twice a week, and the budget has been destroyed.  We love to see our boys eat....especially when it's something healthy :).  So, whenever we  go out as a family, the bill at the end of the meal is over the top! Seriously. Even chic-fil-a can have a huge dollar amount on the register. Can any of you all relate?  I thought so.

A while back, we were given an opportunity to sponsor a child in another country.  Basically, it meant that we would just not eat out one of those times when mama didn't feel like cooking. And, the amount that we would spend on our meal was usually more than what it costs to sponsor a child.  Ya'll, it is only $38.00 a month....not even a meal out at your favorite sponsor a child!  Most of you readers are able to do this.  Unfortunately, in our busy lives, we don't think about this until later. I have done that many times over.  After our first foreign mission trip last summer, I am trying to make a conscience effort to make a difference.  Our family sponsors two children in two different countries.  We have a little boy (8) in the Philippines and a little girl (9) in Guatemala. That's two meals that we don't eat out each month. Just two!

I encourage you to click on the link and read about these precious little ones that need your help! Compassion International has been around longer than I have been on this earth! (And, that's quite a few years!). It serves needy children through their local churches....churches that have known and served and loved these children and their families. 

Just go here:

I challenge you to sit down with a glass of iced tea or Coke or coffee and surf this page instead of catching up on Face Book or reading your email.  Those will still be there in a while...promise! I have stepped out in faith to be a voice for these children by becoming a Compassion blogger (which means I truly need to blog on a regular basis again!) And, for another piece of exciting news, I am going to Guatemala in January with Compassion International to meet our little girl that we sponsor! I am beyond excited about this opportunity.  I promise to keep y'all posted on this adventure! And, it will be one!!

So, will you come back by the blog and let me know that you did spend time on the sponsor website and that you and your family will prayerfully consider sponsoring a child? Please?? And, if God whispers to your heart to take this leap of faith, would you let me know?  I will be praying for you.

Sweet blessings,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Noonday Sample Sale....soon!!

Hey sweet friends! Just wanted to let you know that Noonday Collection is having an amazing summer sale....first of all! They have marked down some beautiful pieces that once we sell out, they are gone! They are also marking down some favorites that will be back in the fall, but are on sale just for you!!! You can visit the sale here!!

Coming up on September 4, we will be able to share with you our gorgeous fall line of new jewelry and accessories and "beyond amazing" scarves and purses!! I cannot wait! I will be ordering these new samples in the next few days!! And that means that I will be putting some of my beautiful and fun spring and summer samples on sale for you all.  They will be reduced from 20-40%.  I will take that money from the sale and put it right back into the business to purchase new samples.  It all goes back to support those who are less fortunate by providing them a sustainable income as they try to work their way out of poverty.  This is something that I pray about and dream more poverty. I just thank you for your support in this wonderful business that God has placed on my heart during this season.

I CAN give you a Sneak Peek of some of the pictures that have been shared with us! I am loving the jewel tones this fall!

OK, just check out that darling bag and the cuff and the scarf! Loving this! And, here's another one for you to see...

Another fun bag and look at all the bracelets!! Love this too.

So, in order for me to have these beautiful and fun pieces, I really do need to let go of some of my favs from this summer. I will try to have the sale up over the weekend. It will be cash and checks only.  If you are local, then I can meet up with you and get your goodies to you. If not, there is a $6.00 fee for shipping and handling.

Hope you are as excited about the new items as I am.  But, I am even more excited about helping a mama in India or Ethiopia or Peru be able to stay at home with her child and continue to create her art that we are falling in love with--which is her way out of poverty!

Sweet blessings,

Friday, July 13, 2012

Peru, Here They come

Yes, sweet bloggy friends, I know that it's a hit or miss with my posts! That's just the way we are rolling during this season of life! But....I did want to share some fun pictures with you all today as our Peru Mission Team left a few hours ago.  They are headed for the airport in Atlanta, then to the airport in Miami, then to the airport in Lima, Peru, and then to the airport in Cuzco, Peru! I am tired simply typing out all of these checkpoints!

During the next ten days, they will be traveling (of course!), rebuilding an orphanage in Urubamba (Not sure if that's the exact spelling, but it's how I sounded it out. Spell check didn't know either!), playing with the children that Scripture Union is serving, and sharing the love of Christ to the "least of these." After trips such as these, many times we find that those who we think we are going to serve, actually serve us instead! They have so little, and they are still filled with the joy that only comes from Christ. My prayer for them is Col. 3:23--"Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord, and not for man."

Thank you in advance for your prayers. Our entire family did this mission trip last year.  This year, my oldest, will be representing our family. He is surrounded by precious ones from our church and nearby churches.  Here are some pics that I took this morning as they packed up the bus and headed down I-85!

You live among the least of these, the weary and the weak
  And it would be a tragedy for me to turn away. 

All my needs You have supplied 
When I was dead you gave me life
How could I not give it away so freely?

And I'll follow You into the homes of the broken
I'll follow You into the world
I'll meet the needs for the poor and the needy God
I'll follow you into the world.

Use my hands, use my feet to make Your kingdom come
To the corners of the earth until Your work is done.
'Cause faith without works is dead
 And on the cross Your blood was shed
 So how could we not give it away so freely?

And I'll follow You into the homes of the broken
I'll follow You into the world
I'll meet the needs for the poor and the needy God
I'll follow you into the world.

Sweet blessings,

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summer Project #1

You know, even in the middle of wildness with the end of school, I need a crafty project to help me refocus just for awhile.  This week, I was thumbing through this month's "Southern Living" and a picture caught my eye.  It was the floor of a porch on a house down in Louisiana.  It was a lovely blue with portions of dark brown peeking through from distressing.  Hmmm.....I have dark brown on the floor of my back porch.  Pondering....

The floor is ugly and worn....but I love my back porch.

Yes, grace is there....a cute sign created and purchased from a homeless shelter in a downtown church.

And a variety of shells from our many wonderful trips to the beach....such sweet memories.

But the dingy 20 plus year old paint remains....until the picture in the magazine reminds me that Lowes is just down the road a ways!   So....a shopping I go!  Love this shade of blue!  It's called  Woodlawn Blue Angel. 

And begins! Since I do not like to tape off while painting--a lazy streak---I am very meticulous as I sweep the color on.  And, another important factor that Hubby reminded me about is not to paint myself into a corner!  He is so sweet :).

After two days and two coats of paint, I am done!  All of the porch furniture is back in place. A sense of new and fresh replaces the old and dingy.  I like it.  Several of you all have shared about your upcoming projects on FB with me.  Let me know when they are done and post those pictures!

Happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How Deep Are Your Roots?

I love this picture of the tree by the stream.  It reminds me that if I am going to keep growing in my faith, I have to grow my roots deep in His Word.  And, sometimes, it isn't easy!

During this season, I am praying about several opportunities that let me serve Him right here at home.  They are mission based, but don't require immunizations or passports.  So, I pray and I wait.  I pray and wait some more.  And, some more!  I learn to Him through His Word, devotionals, songs, prayers, and folks that I know are walking along that path with God. I see. I hear. I get it!  But, then I question myself! This is a hard thing that He is asking me to do in some ways.  It requires complete trust and obedience.  You know, some days I believe I can do it, and a few hours later, I am questioning again!  Mercy! Do any of you all ever feel that way?

  But then, I go to His Word and hear Him speak to that place in my heart--the place only He can fill:

35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,[a] you were doing it to me!’  Matthew 25: 35-40

I have heard this Scripture all of my life.  It's not a new one that God gently led me to.  But, I saw it with fresh eyes and a tender heart yesterday.  That's how He speaks to me....when I am not  really looking...He surprises me with a Word. I just love surprises!

 Praying about growing my roots deeper, my friends.

Sweet blessings,

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tea Anyone?

As one gets a bit older in age--I really am not referring to myself or my friends here---one realizes that one needs to slow down (Did those words actually come from my mouth?) and just visit.  Mama and Daddy used to tell me that constantly.  Oh, I tried to sit and visit, but when I could see that the dishes needed to be unloaded from the dishwasher, or I needed to throw another load of laundry in the dryer, I would keep "visiting" but would begin to multi-task.  My sweet hubby reminds me that when I multi-task, things don't always work out for the best--the way that I invision.  I hate to admit it, and please don't tell him, but he is right! Shhh!

For the past few years, a darling girl that I grew up with (we're talking kindergarten all the way through high school) has been organizing a yearly get-together with the girls in our high school class.  The last two years when I saw the date, I already had plans.  This year, "darling girl that I grew up with" let me know 6 months in advance the date of our get together! In essence, put this on your calendar now and do not plan anything else! So, I did! Mercy!

The day came for the luncheon.  I drove down to Columbia to ride with another friend to the restaurant.  I have no sense of direction, so I figured it would be the smarter thing to do than to ride around the state of SC for an extra 45 minutes looking for this little town! On the way to Ridgeway, my other friend mentioned that we would have to wear hats....I'm thinking that my running hat is 100 miles back at home.  Guess I won't wear a hat.  And, found out that this restaurant was a tea room! Mercy! I have never done a tea room before! I'm a chick-fil-a gal through and through! I simply decided that I wouldn't worry about it! I just wouldn't wear a hat.  Period.

Weeeelllll, when we got to the restaurant, 10 of my friends that I had not seen in FOREVER y'all...and I mean over 30 years for some of us....came up and suddenly, this huge lump formed in my throat! Mercy! Tears flowed as we hugged and loved on each other! It was so good to see the precious girls that I had grown up with.  It was truly a blessing from above as we played dress up in big old floppy hats just as some of us had done years ago in the little red playhouse in my backyard.  Time stood still for awhile.

We were served lunch, and it was simply delicious! We tried varieties of hot teas...and the girls at my table agreed that we liked our plain 'ol sweet iced tea the best!  We caught up on children, grandchildren ( I still cannot get over the fact that some of my sweet young girlfriends are young grandmothers!!), husbands, and others who couldn't be there.  It was truly a sweet time.  When we had to leave, it was so hard.  More hugs and kisses and " I love you's" went around the group.  Y'all, time does not stand still.  I believe that it gets a little faster each day.  Make each day count.  Don 't wait until tomorrow.  Make that phone call or write that note (snail mail is still wonderful!). Make plans to sit and visit for awhile with your friends.  It's so worth every sweet moment.

Wanted to share a few of the pictures that I took--and that my friend Teri took too! Hope you enjoy!

Sweet blessings,

Monday, January 30, 2012

"My GOD is so big, so strong and so mighty......"

That was the song that came to mind when I saw this fun picture when I was in Nashville back in November.  After a great women's conference, I headed over to Franklin to visit with friends that I hadn't seen in years.  Kim and I spent time laughing, taking pictures (of course!), eating and shopping.  It was so much fun!

Makes me realize how strong and mighty our God truly is.  I trust Him with the big ticket items....but how about the small, everyday things? Something I have done forever is learning.  I know what good study habits look like and apply them when learning new information.  I try to convey this to my kids as well!! Sometimes, I am successful!

This year, rather than making New Year's Resolutions, I have decided to try to memorize Scripture.  Some amazing ladies have really encouraged me--y'all know who you are!  Seems like this should be a relatively easy task, right? Wrong-o! It's not a strength of mine.  A beautiful woman in my Bible study whose heart is so big for God, encouraged myself and others to ask the Holy Spirit to teach us.  So, I think I am going to take her advice and pray about this small item....but it's huge to me! To hide His Word in my heart, to be able to share it with others without fumbling through the concordance, to share what He has taught!  There truly is "...nothing my God cannot do!"

Sweet blessings,