Wednesday, March 1, 2017

And two years later....

At one point, I thought this blog would serve as an on-going electronic journal of my life but I never really was disciplined enough to write on a consistent basis.  There was a period of time when it was a little easier because my story needed actual written words to be real, even to me, and then I'm pretty sure I didn't want to see those words for a while.  You keep thinking life will settle down, drama will become a distant memory, and.....

So March 1, 2017 arrived at about 12 hours ago and for the first time that I can honestly remember, I was grateful that a month was over and done with.  February, 2017 was not an easy month.  I've lived long enough to recognize the blessings and gifts that come in the midst of hard times, but those hard times seemed to hammer our hearts pretty regularly for 28 days.  Here is a glimpse of what our month looked like:

February 1 - spent the evening with my BFF supporting her as we watched her daddy prepare to meet his Lord and Savior.

February 3 - He met Jesus 

February 6 - Funeral

February 12 - spent the evening saying goodbye to two people who have become family to us as they prepared to head towards Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore the next morning, desperate for help for an incredibly special 10-year old little boy with several medical and emotional issues.

February 12 - we got word my husband's brother passed away in South Georgia

February 13 - the most awful flu I've had in 35 years took me out in about a 30 minute window.

February 14 - 15 - 16 - Completely out of the game with the flu - in the bed trying to survive :) while still taking care of our fur babies because my husband was in south Georgia attending his brother's funeral.  Also, texting and talking with our loved ones in Baltimore who were going through horrific issues trying to get treatment 

February 18 - we noticed our beloved dog, Lacie's "rear-end parts" did not look right and made an appointment on Monday with the vet

February 20th - vet appointment.  Lacie has anal gland cancer - we probably have about a month with her.  Hearbroken.

February 22nd - one of my closest friends winds up in the ER with on-going GI issues but is sent home after receiving fluids, etc.

February 26 - she goes back to the ER and is admitted and is still there as they attempt to find answers.

February 28th - our "family" in Baltimore calls to say that insurance has quit paying for treatment and they are on their way to pick up our little buddy even though he is no where near ready to be released.  We also get word that my friend in the hospital locally is not responding to medications/antibiotics as they hope.  Still searching for answers.

Thank you, God, for a new month and a new beginning.  Through each and every moment of the last 28 days, You have been faithful and you have been enough.  We stand on faith that you will create a new thing and we will choose joy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Time flies when you are having fun!

December 19 was my last blog post - really?  I would love to argue the point but the internet doesn't lie.  At least, I don't believe the dates lie.  I'm confident there are many, MANY lies on the internet - just try googling Elvis Presley and see what you get.  I'm pretty sure you can find someone who is certain the King is alive an well!

So, here is a quick catch up from the last four plus months:

1)  Christmas came and went.  We were in our own home for the second Christmas after decades of Christmas times spent in Kentucky.  It didn't seem as strange this year but the emptiness remains.  I miss my momma and daddy terribly at this time and having no one that can now talk with me about my childhood Christmases is a very significant truth to accept.  That said, Stu, Mattie, and Augy were there for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning and we were happy and blessed!

2)  New Year's Eve - the crud overtook me about 8pm  that evening and kept me squarely in bed on the big New Year's Day holiday.  The end.

3)  Nothing terribly significant in January or February.  Well, except, it snowed.  This is Georgia people - we document every snowfall with pictures - lots of pictures!

4)  March 1st took me to Austin, TX for a professional conference.  I LOVE that city.  It helps that my niece and her family are there and they met us at the airport, took me to a fabulous BBQ joint for dinner and then I got to go back to their home and walk around in their sweet world for an hour or so. It was a special time and I can't wait to go back with Mack and spend some quality time with them.

The conference was good one on training ad we got to stay at the very recently opened J.W. Marriott downtown which was also a pretty cool treat.  We walked around downtown Austin one evening and enjoyed some of the cool shops.  Fun fact - the first Whole Foods was in Austin and we saw that landmark as well!

 Anthropologie - Austin - no additional words needed

JW Marriott lobby - lemons in the water - pretty fancy
I took a few quick trips to Nashville in March - the first with Mack to help move Stu and Mattie into their new little bungalow home.  So cute and so much better for them than being in an apartment with their little family.  A few weeks later I went back for Mattie's baby shower and got to spend some time with her and her sweet friends and family.

Those cake pops were adorable - they had baby cowboy boots!

I love this girl and her goofy faces!

5)  It's April now and here's the scoop on this month.  Easter arrived early in the month and we were blessed to have lunch with dear friends who are family.  Lacie got a new Easter toy and she may just be the happiest gift receiver in our home.  Stu and Mattie celebrated their first anniversary on April 19th and Stu turned 30 on April 24th.  I am working to figure out how I'm going to explain it when he is soon older than I claim to be! :)

Lacie and her Easter duck - she keeps her toys very close!

So now you are caught up and I know it has been overwhelming to see such an exciting life. 

Stay tuned for more - hopefully soon!

Friday, December 19, 2014

till He appeared and the soul felt its worth............

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O Holy Night has long been my favorite Christmas song.  Singing those lyrics at the top of my lungs, I feel the angel choirs joining in.

Christmas is less than a week away.  December and this holiday season is almost gone for another year.  Once again, this year, it has been a different season.  My parents are gone, Stu and his family live in another state, we've changed churches, and my heart and soul are finally beginning to grasp this need for genuine rest from much of what I have filled my life with for several years.  When I allow Him, God is at work deep within.

I am officially on vacation at 5pm tonight until 8am on Monday, December 29th.  Stu, Mattie, and Augy will be in Tuesday evening and leave after breakfast on Christmas morning.  That means much of next week will be spent with just Mack and I at home. Different - yes, but I am ok with it this.  I believe it is exactly what is supposed to happen this year.   I want to go look at Christmas lights, shop without stress for a few remaining gifts, eat our favorite foods, savor being at home, and read!  I believe I am going to find moments to seek Jesus, contentment, and for my soul to find its worth.

May your Christmas be filled with great joy, moments filled with wonder, and an understanding of the gift of the birth of the Christ Child.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Still thankful.....

  “Suppose for a moment that God began taking away from us the many things for which we have failed to give thanks.  Which of our limbs and faculties would be left?  Would still have my hands and my mind?  And what about loved ones?  If God were to take from me all the persons and things for which I have not given thanks, who or what would be left of me?”

 Patrick Henry Reardon through Father Tim in Out to Canaan

November has come and gone and I am thankful for so many things.  I love that we have a month where we take the time to be much more vocally thankful for all we have, but I am sad that we need to find a month to make that plan.  It is no secret that I am a fan of the Mitford series of books by Jan Karon.  Although I read them many years ago, I have always remembered words spoken by Father Tim in one of the earlier books about being thankful.  When I began rereading the series a few months ago in anticipation of a new Mitford book FINALLY arriving on the shelves this fall, I found the above quote again.  It hits home with me every single time I read it.  I am pretty good about giving thanks to God for my home, family, work, friends, church, and even things like music and fried chicken (immensely important in my world!) but I don't often give Him thanks for the fact that I have my hearing so that the music even matters or that I can taste that fried chicken.  I have a friend right now who is going through chemo treatments for breast cancer and nothing tastes good to her.  

As I go into December, I want to continue to be so intentional with my gratitude for all that I have been given.  It is so easy during this holiday month to anticipate what we are going to get, rather than what we already have.

Early in this quiet morning on December 2nd, I am already grateful for the blueberries that God decided to create so that my BelVita breakfast biscuit would taste so wonderful, for the fact that my son called to say hello, that I have on a wonderful, soft sweater that keeps me warm as the cool air blows into my cozy office.

My plan is to write often this month.  I began "The Greatest Gift" advent book by Ann Voskamp yesterday and I want to talk a little more about that tomorrow.

For now, just a quick picture of one of my greatest blessings - my precious daughter-in-law who has struggled this year with medical issues, a miscarriage in early summer, and challenges with her son and custody stuff.  She was in a great place over Thanksgiving and wanted to take a picture with me - pure joy!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Something to write about.......

I keep waiting for something really worthwhile to right about - something that I will want to remember as I look back years from now.  Not much happening in that way right now and I am beginning to realize that I need to write about THAT!  These days are gifts and I know that much more now than I did many years ago.  You have to walk through fire in order to appreciate the coolness of the air around you at other times.  You have to see the faithfulness of God in your hardest moments in order to recognize His presence in calm days.

So, for now:

1) I am so excited that it is going to finally be sweater and boot weather this weekend.  My favorite outfit in the world is my favorite pair of jeans, one of my beloved sweaters, a scarf and boots.  I also got a sweatshirt from work that I love.  It is amazingly soft and not too heavy.  I am not normally a fan of sweatshirts - they just aren't girly enough, but when I added the plaid scarf - I was pretty happy.  The fact that it just screams fall doesn't hurt either.

2) That can also be a challenge because when you finally find your favorite brand of jeans (Vintage by Nine West), you tend to buy them frequently "just in case you can't find them in the future".  You can also be called out for having a sweater obsession.

3)  There are worse things to be called out for.

4)  I made chicken and dumplings this weekend.  They were from scratch in my book.  In yours, maybe not because I will own that there were canned biscuits and cream of chicken soup involved in the recipe but I had to flour and cut up those biscuits people. Let's give credit where credit is due.  They look pretty good, don't they?

5) God is at work within me to define what my relationships look like.  I have such a desire to love on and encourage but I don't know what that means yet - a few, a few more, or many.  Your prayers are appreciated.

6)  This week at work is pretty hard, our kids are going through a few rough moments, and yet I know, we are blessed beyond measure.  For those things that challenge me, i can name 50 more that don't so that I am not overwhelmed.  Thank you Jesus.

May this day bring joy to all and may His light shine brightly through us!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

In This Season...

While it is October 22nd and I am gently grieving that fact that Fall is quickly slipping away, I am doing better this year in slowing down enough to appreciate random moments. Doing better - just that - still so much to learn.

A few ponderings from past weeks:

1) Choosing to stay quiet about a random fact that will only bring frustration or anger to the person I am sharing with - even if it seems like a really good story.  Most of the time, i am learning that I am simply hoping that by sharing, the person i am sharing with will affirm MY views.  I want them to be frustrated or angry right alongside me.

2) Facebook - yes or no?  Greatly believing it will soon be a no for me.  Two main reasons - I learn very little good from it and what I do learn, most I could find out in other ways.  Also, it is simply a time stealer that I allow to rob me all too often of something I find precious and seldom in excess.

3) Instagram - oddly enough, I genuinely see it as a way God is allowing me to be an encourager.  That still means I need to ask daily that my "self" won't rear it's ugly head and want people to like and follow me.  Encouraging one may be all I am ever called to do.

4) I want to start sending birthday cards again - in the mail.  Real birthday cards with real writing and a pretty stamp.

5) If you pray each day for someone who has hurt your feelings, God closes that hurt in His time, not yours.

6) I really love my family - they are my whole world.  With this new little one on it's way, my boy's first baby, I am so grateful as I realize all over again, that God allowed my heart to immediately accept Augy as our own.  This will be our SECOND grandchild - God is so faithful.

I think this may be the ticket for me for a while in the blogging department.  I'm finding a peace even as I type by putting my thoughts and my heart "on paper".

If you are reading this, have an amazing day and may God richly bless your ponderings!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

If we are breathing, we are changing...........

I have been known to tell people that the only good thing about turning 50 is that you begin to become more comfortable in your own skin.  It is easier to accept who you are while understanding there are still many things you could probably work on a bit more.......

I've had six years now to become more comfortable and still keeping working.  In the last six months or so, I feel as though I've heard God speak to me about the fact that I've done a great job of accepting who I've created myself to be - not necessarily who HE created me to be.  Cooking and baking have never been something I enjoyed and I spent nine seasons with amazing young women in a mentoring/Bible study program called Apples of Gold talking about the fact that I am not a cook.  Guess what?  I am loving spending time in my kitchen these days with my Kitchenaid mixer and I am actually producing baked goods that people will eat!  I made some chocolate chip pumpkin bread last week that was really good!  Who knew!!

Instead of planning a schedule filled with time away from home, I am learning that I recharge best by spending time at home. I NEVER thought I would really enjoy spending time with little kids but there is one little boy who joined our family last year who has me wrapped around his little finger!!

Don't get me wrong, there is still a big part of who God created me to be in what I have been all these years.  I guess I am just learning not to define myself but rather allow God to continue to define and refine me.  I can enjoy cooking and baking AND still enjoy being that crazy girl who wants to have fun.  I can simply "be" and rest in the fact that God isn't done with me yet. 

I figure as long as I am breathing, He isn't done............