Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving! (Is there anybody around that does not know this?)
So, after that bold revelation where can I go from here?

I have been reflecting this month. I took a challenge the first of November to post everyday on Facebook a statement that started, "Today I am thankful for....". It was my job to fill in the blank. It has been wonderful.

Lots of my friends also did this. It has turned November into a time of reflection and gratitude. What a blessing!

As I have looked back over my life and this past year I'm extremely thankful for my blessings. I have had window opened and blessings poured in.

Don't get me wrong - this has been an extremely difficult year. We have faced many challenges. We have lost many things. We have battle scars.

But, praise the Lord!!! He has brought us through. He has carried us. He has shown Himself strong. He has been our Rock and our Strong Tower. He has blessed us. He has been our All in All!

There are so many ways that God has blessed us. He has moved mightily... so many areas where "if it had not been for the Lord on my side ..." so many things that could have turned out differently. There are so many many places we have seen the Lord's Hand make a difference and change circumstances, people, hearts, outcomes.

I am extremely thankful this Thanksgiving. I am overwhelmed with gratitude, joy and life.

Thank you for being my friend, family, link... however you are connected... I appreciate you.

My prayer is that you will be blessed beyond measure as you take this day to stop and reflect and say "Thank You" to those who have touched your life. Make a very special acknowledgment to our Father, who has been the Author of every good and perfect thing in your life!

Blessings as you celebrate a Happy ThanksLIVING!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Baking Memory

I am baking cookies. Yesterday I mixed them up and baked one pan. Today, I'm baking another pan. I'm trying hard not to bake lots of them. We are all watching our weight and sugar intake.

These are actually fairly healthy... okay, don't laugh... they are oatmeal with whole wheat flour and flax seed.... plus nuts and a few chocolate chips... okay, sugar, too!

As I was mixing them up yesterday I had a flashback that brought a smile to my face and a chuckle.

Years and YEARS ago when the children were little we lived in Albany, Georgia. I had a great friend that lived right down the street from me. At that time, she had 3 children (the 4th was born a little later). Our children were close and loved playing together.

This particular memory of me baking cookies involves these friends. I had mixed up the cookie dough and her children lined up with their hands together reaching out. It took me a minute, but I soon figured it out... they wanted me to put cookie dough in their hands. They ate almost the entire batch of cookies before they were baked!

I laughed and laughed at them. They didn't want the baked cookies, just the dough. (I bet their favorite ice cream is "cookie dough"...)

This morning as I was baking another pan of cookies and stuck a bite of cookie dough in my mouth, I remembered again... smiled and chuckled and took another bite of dough for my good friends who have now grown up and are experiencing a wonderful, fulfilling life far from south Georgia.

Thanks, Sherry for the gift of your children and the blessing they have been to me!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Random Dozen - and Things :)

This is #12 of the 12... Check out Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee for more!

1. If you could master one sport, what would it be?

WATCHING... Hugsum would love for me to enjoy watching ANY sport. Much to his dismay, I am not the least bit interested in any of them. I love to walk - does that count as a sport? No? Well, I did master that. If I have to chose, guess I might like to do Water Ballet... as a little girl I imagined myself as a beautiful swimmer. Didn't happen... I do a great dog paddle.

2. When you make a major purchase, do you go with your gut instinct, or do you do research to make an informed decision?

I have normally thought about it for a LONG time and casually looked into it. (Hugsum is the big researcher.) I look and look and then go with my gut instinct. I am not always known for my wise, good purchases. Maybe I should re-think my method. Hugsum usually goes for quality and he makes good choices (look at the choice he made in a wife! - don't apply that to the choice I made in a husband, because I DID make a great choice there!)

3. There is an old kids' game that says you can find out what your movie star name would be by using your middle name as your first name and the name of the street you grew up on as your last. What is your movie star name?

Louellen Vistavia... I'm sure I would have been well known - as "WHO is that and WHAT is her name???"

4. Would you rather give up your favorite music or your favorite food?

Do I really have to make a choice? Since my favorite food is a cookie and I have pretty much already given them up, then I guess food would be the easiest to give up. I always have a song in my brain and at any moment may burst out with a lyric or two... Music would be harder!

5. There are two types of banana preferences. One is pristine yellow, almost to the point of being green; the other is spotty and more ripe. Which is your preference?

Again, I'm in the middle. I do not like them green and "crisp" (they make my teeth feel funny), nor soft and mushy. I want them just beginning to ripen with only a very few brown spots.

6. Your favorite tree is?

I love Dogwoods. They are beautiful in the spring when they start blooming and in the fall their leaves turn a beautiful red with red berries. They don't get real big, but are so pretty and their "story" is sweet.

7. On a scale of 1-10, how tech savvy are you?

About a 5.5 ... not a complete idiot and not really "with it" either.

8. Has H1N1 touched your family?

No, Praise the Lord! I have friends, but no one in my family (that I know of, anyway).

9. Are you an analytical person, or do you just accept things the way they are without questioning or scrutinizing?

I am both... it depends on what something "feels" like. I grew up "accepting", but then I always seemed to "know" things. Now, I'm not as sensitive so I do scrutinize more. I'm sure it came from being burned a few times.

10. Is your personality more like that of a dog, cat, or Koala?

Probably like a Koala. Even though I've never personally known one. I like the idea of sitting up in a tree observing quietly. I even like eucalyptus - never eaten it, but enjoy the smell. I can come down and participate if I chose, but I enjoy the view and watching much more than participating... unless it is eating cookies. I'd come down from my perch to eat cookies.

11. Do you keep in touch with friends you made years ago?

Yes, I do. I am blessed with great friends. I am thankful for the internet, email, blogs, Facebook, etc. These all help me stay in touch easier. I'm horrible at visiting, picking up the phone or writing a letter. But, I will email.

I'm still friends with someone I've known my entire life. In fact, my daddy (a pastor) preformed the wedding for her parents. We were born a month apart (she's the oldest!) . I'm also still friends with someone I met in 2nd grade and I'm blessed with friends from every church we have ever pastored.

12. You are checking out at a grocery store. In the express lane, there are more people than the regular lanes, but of course, their load is less than those in the regular lanes. Which lane do you choose (assuming you qualify for the express lane) and why?

I will go to the shortest lane , or the one with the fewest groceries to be checked out. I do that because I do not like to wait in lines and am usually supposed to be or WANT to be some place else!

Now, run on over to Linda's at 2nd Cup of Coffee to read other answers and participate!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This Day!

This day I'm praising God!
This day I'm so thankful!
This day God showed Himself strong.
This day was long and hard.
This day God answered.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pushing on Past Those Roadblocks...

The more I think about doing things, sometimes, the harder it becomes. I have a tendency to over analyze things. I find that when I do, I am far less likely to step out and do what ever it is that I'm considering. Besides, I make myself miserable and torture everyone I talk with about it.

One of the things that prevents me from moving ahead is that I have to get out of my COMFORT ZONE! Yikes!!!! I remind myself that "I have never done this kind of thing before!" After all, I might have to get up earlier or give something up or stay up later. I might have to say "no" to something else. I could make someone mad or disappoint them.

It is so hard to change my routine and start something different and new. It is such a stretch! I am so afraid of failing that I don't want to try. Then I realize that if it is something that I can easily do, then it probably is not God pushing me to do it. If it is something that ONLY God can do, then He will get the glory and He will enable me to do it.

It is a decision. Almost everything in life that is important or meaningful takes a stretch and work and stepping out. We can't remain "comfortable" and make a difference. We must make an effort to learn new things and grow. We can't move to the 2nd grade until we learn to subtract after we learn to add... we must learn to multiply, divide, and work with fractions.

If we just take one step at a time, then the comfort zone is a little easier to stretch... We don't have to move from 1st grade straight to college. We take one grade at the time.

Another area that prevents us from pushing on is POOR TIME MANAGEMENT. We waste lots of time... on the internet (guilty), day dreaming, watching tv, reading things that are not enriching, talking on the phone, sleeping... you get the message. I'm not condemning us. We all need some "down time" and time to rest and relax and for recreation. But, it is when those things control us and prevent us from doing what is really of eternal value and beneficial.

We all have lots of commitments and things that need to be done. We are pulled in so many different directions. I think that we could all probably manage our time better. It seems that the more I have to do, the more I get done.

If I don't have much to do, I suffer from the IGAD disease (pronounced eeeeegad!) it stands for "I've Got All Day"... meaning that I piddle around and don't get anything done. Then all of a sudden I realize the day is almost over and I haven't done much and should have done some things so I rush around and don't really do anything well, get in a dither and a bad mood wanting to blame someone else for my lack of productivity.

We all know that we do what we want to do. We make time to do what is important to us. We make choices. We also know that we don't do lots of things that we should... Our instructions are: seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added.

Maybe it is time to re-evaluate our activities to determine the eternal value of what we are doing. If what we spend our time doing will not make a difference in someone's life or if in 5 years won't matter, then maybe we need to consider not doing it.

Sometimes I know I SHOULD be doing something, but I just don't WANT to! I know it is something that God wants me to do, but.... what I'm really saying is "I'm choosing not to do this"... that is REBELLION. (you could call it disobedience, but it is really just plain ole rebellion)

Sometimes when God asks us to do something, we think it will cost us too much. So, we give or do something else.. . we even make "sacrifices" instead of doing what He asks. I used to tell my children that "you are happy when you obey". God desires obedience more than sacrifices. With obedience always comes rewards and blessings.

I don't know why it is so hard for us to see that. It is like we don't trust God to take care of us and think that somehow He is trying to take something from us and hurt us. When He is really trying to bless us and protect us.

You know, we really are the happiest when we are doing what we KNOW we are supposed to to because we don't have to carry around the guilt and bad feelings and hide when we aren't doing what we should. We have a feeling of accomplishment and joy when we obey. Obedience has great rewards.

So, what is it that you have been holding back from doing? What is it that you WANT to do that you haven't done?

I'd like to encourage you to step out... pray about it and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the roadblocks and show you how to get through them. We can overcome, we can press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling. We can accomplish great things in the Kingdom.

We have a purpose. We have a calling. We are here for a reason.

If you don't know yours, then I encourage you to pray - without fear - and ask our Father to reveal it to you and then step out into your call and purpose. You will be so happy that you did!

Blessings... I can't wait to hear how God is using you!

Fall Into Flavor - Nuts...

This is the last week for Linda's Fall Into Flavor. This has been lots of fun, even though I did not have a recipe to share every week. Please go over to Linda's 2nd Cup of Coffee and find many more wonderful recipes (WAIT..... read mine first!!!).

This is supposed to be comfort foods. My "go to" comfort food is a cookie. I'd rather have a cookie any day to most ANY other food - except maybe NUTS! If you put them together, then I'm in heaven! I don't indulge myself as much as I'd like - just because I can't ... for health and weight reasons.

Here are a few of my favorite easy nutty cookie recipes...

Chinese Rocks
(or Wedding Cookies, or Lady Fingers - depends on how you shape them or know them)

1 stick of butter (yes, REAL butter) 2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 cup Self-Rising Flour 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 Cup broken pecan pieces Powdered Sugar

Mix nuts and flour - set aside. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla. Add flour and nut mixture. Form into balls (or fingers or crescents) and bake at 45 minutes at 300 degrees . (they will be firm and light brown - don't burn...
Roll in powdered sugar while hot....then again when cool if you want then real white.

Spiced Nuts
Bring to boil in medium flat bottomed pan:
1 cup sugar 5 Tablespoons water

1 teaspoon Cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Salt 1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 pound Nuts (I use either raw peanuts or pecans)

Turn heat on low and stir constantly while cooking until all syrup is taken up in the nuts. Put on greased pan or waxed paper. Separate into pieces before becoming completely cool.

Pecan Kisses

Beat together to for soft peaks:
1 egg white 1/4 teaspoon salt

Slowly add:
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 3/4 cup brown sugar

Fold in:
1 - 2 cups pecans

Drop on greased pan and cook for 30 minutes at 250 degrees....
SOOOOOO good! make a double recipe because you will eat one yourself and you want to have some to share!

Blessings... now run on over to 2nd Cup of Coffee and check out the other delicious comfort foods!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Breaking Through those Road Blocks...

Do you have dreams and plans still unfulfilled? Have you given up hope of seeing and doing those things that excited you just thinking about their possibility?

Are you aware of callings that you have not stepped into? Have you stopped daring to look ahead to the future because of the broken dreams and hope deferred?

There are so many things that hold us back in our life.

We CAN move ahead. We CAN accomplish and succeed and fulfill those things that we have not dared to do before. We CAN break through those self made barriers of thought that have prevented us from moving ahead.

It is important to look at what might be stopping us. Identify what the roadblocks are. Half the battle is knowing the "enemy". When we realize what we are fighting we can develop a plan for defeating it.

These enemies or roadblocks prevent us from doing what we want and need to do. They destroy our hope and joy. They hinder our future.

Here are some of those barriers that we face -

FEAR: we all fear things ... we battle fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of man, fear of lack, fear of loss ... The devil is a master mind at feeding us fears. He knows what buttons to push and what lies to whisper in our ears at the appropriate time. Fear has the ability to incapacitate us...

Fear is the opposite of faith.
Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love and power and a sound mind!
We need to cast down those vain imaginations that exalt themselves. Those things that tell us we "can't" and replace them with faith.

INSECURITY: The lies that say, "I'm not as good as ... or I'm not a teacher... or What if they don't listen?... What if I mess up and get it wrong ... I just don't know enough ... I'm not as smart as they are ... I'm too fat ... I'm too skinny ... I'm too young ... I'm too old ... I don't have as much as they do ..." We have all had those thoughts that torment us.

Remember, when we are doing that we are comparing our weakness with their imagined strengths and we will always come up short. The devil will make sure of that!
At times like this, it is good to remember that it really is NOT about "me". It is about what I'm trying to do and accomplish. It is bigger than "me". It is about God. If He brings you to it, He will bring you through it. If He gives you the dream and vision and desire, then He will also give you the ability and tools to accomplish His calling.

He said He will never leave you nor forsake you. He has been given all power in heaven and earth and He will be right there with you. So, what do you have to worry about?
He will give you whatever you need to do what He called you to do. And, He who called you is able to complete that which He started.

Have you identified with these roadblocks? Have you realized that you can push through to the other side and see your dreams and visions again?

I sure hope so. That is the goal here... I want to encourage you (and me) to reach for the prize of the high calling... to go for the goal ... to stretch ... to push ... to succeed...

Stay with me, come back because I have more...

praying for YOUR success!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Road Blocks

Have there been things in your life that you have not done even though you wanted to do them? Even things that you knew you were supposed to do. Are there "things" stopping you - like just being afraid?

I know too well about the road blocks that prevent a person from moving forward. All the excuses for not accomplishing or completing or stepping out...

I think everyone experiences lots of emotions about things that are important to us that we want to do - whether it is go back to school, start a new business venture, speak to someone, teach something, or try something new. There are so many things in life that are out there that would be fun or enriching or exciting or benefit us - but - for whatever reason we have, we back off and do not do it.

The unknown can be very intimidating. The insecurity can be debilitating. The lack of discipline can rob us of producing. The rebellion can stop the blessing from reaching us.

I have been there too many times. I have failed because I refused to even try! I have allowed life to pass me by for the fear of making a fool of myself (called PRIDE!)

I was a very shy, timid, insecure child. I grew up thinking that everybody in the world was smarter and better than me. I was so shy that I would NEVER answer a question at school - even when I knew the answer and the teacher called on me. I would lower my head, turn bright red and almost burst into tears, but never say a word. I would take a zero for a grade rather than give any type of oral report. I would get "sick" and stay out of school for days and weeks if necessary to avoid giving that report.

I wanted people to speak to me, but was so afraid that they would. I was tortured by thoughts of "what if I say the wrong thing? What if my voice squeaks? What if I have bad breath? What if they were not really speaking to me, but the person behind me?"

I would dwell on what the proper response should be if they actually DID speak to me. Was I supposed to say "HI!" or "HELLO!", or would that be over doing it and too enthusiastic, desperate sounding? Would "hey" be too informal or too indifferent? What would they think?

The turmoil and agony I went through in school was horrible. The imaginary world of being rejected tormented me and I went through life frozen and afraid.

Thankfully, God did a great work in me. I am able to speak to people - even speak first - with confidence and assurance. I am able to stand in front of a crowd and speak and sing and teach. In fact, I enjoyed my speech class so much that when I exempted my last speech (I had made 100 on all the other ones) I was so disappointed and begged to be able to give it!

How did this happen? Through prayer and perseverance. Through taking my eyes off myself and knowing that what I have to say is important. It came from a relationship with my heavenly Father and a revelation of who He is and what He thinks of me.

I have much more to share on this... and I will later...
Are there areas in your life where you are frozen and debilitated and unable to act? I'd love to hear about them and pray with you....


Monday, November 9, 2009

Fall Into Flavor - pizza

I am jumping late today with my comfort food and the Fall Into Flavor meme by Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee.

I have been lax in my posting recipes. It isn't that I don't love to eat and cook and I don't have a plethora of wonderful recipes.... I have been out of town and worn out and forgetful..

So, today, I am in town and eating and had a moment of lucid thought... oh... today is the day to post a recipe for a wonderful comfort food.

I pondered what I could share that would be delicious and easy and fun...

Then, this afternoon - about 5 - I began to wonder what was for dinner. Our daughter, bless her heart, called and informed me of what they were having for supper. I was immediately hungry and wanted it. So, I asked for the "recipe".

Here it is:

Go to Little Caesar's....

We have a brand new Little Caesar's Pizza that opened very close to us. They have pizzas ready at all times... Large pepperoni for $5... yeah, we made the run and got breadsticks too.

I can't tell you how comforting this was to me. I did not have to cook. I did not have to wait and it was very filling. It was filled with memories ....

Back in the dark ages when all our kids were home and younger, we ate Little Caesar's on a regular basis - at least once a week. (I don't think they have changed anything in 20 years - not even the price!)

Then we moved ... 45 minutes away - in the far away country where there was no pizza. We would make a pizza run to Albany, Georgia and get at least 3 pizzas. We had to because one was eaten before we could get home.

Then we moved to another town and it was only 25 minutes from the wonderful world of pizza. We would make the pizza run to Valdosta, Georgia and we added bread sticks. We had to get 2 or 3 orders of those because we ate those on the way home. (It became known that if you didn't ride with the pick-up person, you didn't get to inhale bread!). We would even sometimes buy as many as 10 pizzas and bring them home and cool them and freeze them so we could have them faster.

So, even though this is not actually a recipe for how to cook a pizza, it is a recipe of extreme comfort and ease and happiness... Enjoy!

Now, go over to Linda's and get some REAL recipes!


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Another New Bloggng Friend

Today I got a new blog. A friend from years ago has decided to blog also. She has lots to share. I do hope that you will follow her, too. Meet BJ Funk and "Life is Hard, but God is Good".

Welcome her to blogland and also go back and check out again my friend Pam Merwin at Lace and Southern Grace.

I know that you will be blessed by both these new bloggers.

Friday, November 6, 2009

It's MINE!

We all know that I delight in keeping my grandchildren. They are lots of fun and bring life and laughter into our home.

They also teach me so many lessons as I'm trying to teach and train them.

One of the things that happens frequently is that one will be playing with a toy. Another will run up and grab it and run away. The first will yell "IT'S MINE!!!! GIVE IT BACK!!!!"

My response is to say, "No, it is MINE and I allow you to play with it. But, if you don't share then I will take it away and no one will play with it. Now, ____ give it back and apologize for taking it from ___".

This usually works. Sometimes we have a fight and it is not returned so willingly. Everyone has taken possession of something and has claimed rights and privileges. After all they have it in THEIR hands!

I realized that I can be that way. I take possession of "my" things. I hold tight trying to keep it in my possession. That is not wise. Everything I have was given to me. God gave it all to me. Every good and perfect gift comes from God. He asks for 10% of all my increase. He asks for offerings...

He tells me to give to the poor, to share what I have.

As I hold on tight to "my" things, I am sure that God is there saying, "no, it is MINE, and I want you to give it and let go of it".

He only wants to bless me. He wants to give me more. He wants to use me to bless others. He promises to give me seed to sow that I might reap a harvest. I stop the blessings in my life when I hold tight to what I have. I prevent myself from "getting" more by not letting go of what I have.

I want a harvest of love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faith, patience and self-control... I also want a harvest of "things". I want a harvest of blessings... therefore, I need to plant those things in the lives of others.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. Whatever you sow, you will reap...

There are some things that I have sown that I pray for a crop failure. The only way for that crop failure is to repent, ask for forgiveness.

I can do what we have learned to do with our grass. We "over sow" more grass seed and fertilize it and it grows and chokes out the weeds.

So, if we have sown bad seed (weeds), after we repent and ask for fogiveness, we need to "over sow" some good seed and pray over it and believe for and expect (fertilize) a good harvest that will choke out and cover the bad.

God is so wise. He does things backwards according to the way of the world. "Give and it shall be given to you, good measure, pressed down and shaken together will men give unto you..."

Yeah... I'm planning to let go of some horded things and plant some good seed...
How about you?


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Eating Out At LongHorn -

If you work for or are associated with LongHorn, I'm sorry. I do not mean this personally. I'm just sharing my experience.

When we were in Georgia last week I met a friend a LongHorn's for lunch. I had not been to a LongHorn in a long time. We had a great time that day. I enjoying visiting with my friend and meeting a new friend. It was a wonderful experience. My meal was delicious!

I talked about the salad that I had gotten so much that Hugsum decided that he wanted one, too. It was on a special menu. It was a grilled vegetable and chicken salad. It was huge and sooooooo good!

So, we went to the LongHorn here. It is only a year old. There were only like 4 or 5 cars there. The place was practically empty. It seemed strange considering most restaurants in town have waits of at least 15 - 30 minutes and many are longer. But, we walked right in and we were OVERLY greeted.... very strange. They were just trying so hard to be friendly. I can't explain it, but I almost turned and walked out. Anyway, we were seated immediately and there was NO ONE else on our side of the restaurant. Again, I wanted to turn around and say, "thank you, but I changed my mind".

Then our waitress was also overly animated and way too friendly. I explained that I had been in Georgia last week and had eaten a grilled vegetable and chicken salad that was on their menu, but I didn't see it tonight. She smiled and assured me that they had the EXACT salad, but were redoing their menus. So, I ordered that. Then Hugsum also ordered it.

She looked confused and said, "so, you would like this as your meal?" Well, yeah, it was a huge salad...

She brought us half a loaf of bread... I might add a SMALL loaf. We were hungry and inhaled it. She came and very dramatically asked if we'd like another half loaf. (like either we were pigs or they were very generous) We said, "no, thank you". (but in reality, I could have eaten about 4 of those suckers!)

When she brought our salads they were very small... a side salad and had no chicken. She came back to check on us. I said, "where is the chicken?" She looked confused and said, "it doesn't come with chicken!"

Anyway, we went back and forth and I repeated that I had asked for a grilled CHICKEN and vegetable salad. She said, they didn't carry that one. She made me feel like an idiot.

She went to the kitchen and then came back and said, "the problem is that you didn't ASK for chicken to be on the salad. But, I can tell the guys to grill some and bring it out to put on it."

Well, the problem is, it was a SMALL side salad... It tasted delicious, but it was small. We did not want chicken on the side... it was not what we described or asked for.

Anyway, we left hungry and frustrated. Everyone there was hyped up and overly enthusiastic in whatever they said or did making it seem disingenuous. I felt very uncomfortable the entire time.

So, for over $20 we got half a small loaf of bread, 2 side salads and 2 glasses of tea and did not enjoy the atmosphere.

Yeah, we won't be back...

Blessings Galore!

We have had such nice beautiful weather! I don't remember the leaves being so pretty last year. Everywhere I look there is color. I'm enjoying it... Did I mention that coming home from Georgia last week that the Ozarks had beautiful leaves?

Well, I digress...

Thankfully, it has been in the 70's this week. We still don't have our gas turned on. They are coming tomorrow to fix our problem. The grandkids have loved all the little flags in our yard marking the utility lines. I'm sure they will enjoy watching the activity on the patio while they tear it up and fix it.

They are relocating our meter to the side of the house - under the patio. This means that our plans to enclose it are trashed. The meter is presently out by the fence. We would like for it to remain there. However... if it does, then we get to pay a plumber to come and fix our line. If they put it on the side of the house, then the gas company will be responsible for the line - inside and out. So, it really is a blessing.... really... yes, it is!

Yesterday, Hugsum was heading to Oz and also to Joplin, then back home. First he went to work out and take a shower there (remember, we have no hot water). I had gone to our daughter's house to shower and wash my hair. About the time I got out of the shower, he called. His car wouldn't start.

After doing all that we needed to do, it did start and he drove it to Oz. Our good friends own a car dealership and he left our car to be fixed and borrowed one of theirs to drive to Joplin and then home. What a blessing! They are such wonderful, kind, generous people. They take good care of us and bless us.

He got to Joplin to visit in the hospital and realized he had left his pike pass and money in the other car. So, he didn't know how he was going to get home. Thankfully, another friend was at the hospital and lent him some money so he could come home.

In the middle of all this, God's blessings abound. His peace and joy and love overflow. His windows are open and pouring forth.

I love it .... I love that God is faithful. He is exceeding abundantly above ALL that we ask or think. He is not surprised by any of this. He has already made the provision and blessing available.

We serve an AWESOME God!

Blessings ~

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A New Blogging Friend...

A friend of mine has started a blog! I'm so excited for her (and the world) because she has so much to share. I hope that you will join her and encourage her.

Click over and read her blog, Lace and Southern Grace. You will be blessed!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

By the Side of the Road...

Yesterday when Rebekah dropped the kids off she said she saw something on the side of the road across the street. We knew the people were moving and that they were cleaning out.

She ran over and grabbed a doll bed. It has a highchair built into the foot of the bed. It seems to have had other parts at one time, but they were not by the road. It also has some magic marker markings on one of the legs... We found a screw to secure the head to the bed and it was an immediate hit.

The kids played and played. Finally, the older two got involved in other things, so Posey took over the bed...

It looks like she is quite comfortable in it.

I made a "night night" to go in it and they have really enjoyed this "free" toy!

Blessings ~

The Blessing of Warmth

We are having very nice, mild weather here. Praise the Lord!!!!

It is no secret that I prefer warm (HOT) to being cold. I enjoy the pretty leaves changing color, but I honestly dread the thought of winter and the cold that comes with it.

Yesterday was beautiful! We had such a wonderful day of sun and temps in the 70's. This week will be the same. I'm doing the happy dance and smiling!

We got out and raked leaves and bagged them. The yard looked nice and neat and clean for about 3 minutes. Then the wind blew and more leaves fell.... This morning the yard is covered again. Poor hugsum .....

It is hard to believe that we have lived here for a year and a half already! Wow.... time flies.... things happen...

When we first moved in, we smelled gas and had the gas company come out and check for leaks. There was a very small leak that did not warrant concern or attention. Sometimes, we would smell gas, but reminded ourselves that it was "nothing to worry about".

Sunday afternoon I was outside on the patio enjoying the beauty and happened to get a strong whiff of gas. So, yesterday hugsum called "the" company and they came out and checked... yep, a nice gas leak between the meter and our house in the line going under our patio.

They turned our gas off until they can get the line fixed. This means finding the line and digging up our patio and fixing the leak and installing a new meter on the side of our house (on top of our new siding :( ). They said our gas will be back on by Friday.

With all that said, I'm EXTREMELY happy for the nice warm afternoons, new siding and insulation and new insulated windows... we have no heat and no hot water. We will remain nice and warm inside our home (may be a little smelly, but warm! - just kidding, we will take baths!)

We are laughing at it all... So thankful that the leak is outside because that means the gas company fixes it for us. If it were inside, we would have to tear up our floor at OUR expense. The unseasonably warm weather means that we are not cold.

God's goodness and blessings are wonderful!

Blessings to you!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lessons Learned ....

In my last post I shared that we had been home to visit my parents. Our first visit was hard. Mama was not having a good day. Daddy was not having a good day. We did not have a good day.

On our way back home we stopped again.

My mama taught me some things about love. She has always loved deeply. She always told me she loved me when I talked to her on the phone or came to visit.

There were times in my life that I caused her much pain and sorrow and hurt her deeply. Yet, she always loved me. She did not reject me or turn her back on me. She just loved me in my stupidity and foolishness.

That last night we were in Georgia mama smiled when we came in and greeted us with love and recognition (well, not really sure how much she recognized us, but she did love us!)

She went to bed about 8. She did not want to stay in bed. She is so childlike that she was afraid she would miss something going on. But, she was SO sweet! Daddy put her back to bed and when I went by her room she was attempting to get up again. So, I just went in and asked what she was doing and encouraged her to lay back down. Then, I had a God inspired idea. I plopped myself on the bed next to her and asked if she remembered when I was a little girl and I would sleep with her when daddy traveled. She smiled and laughed and said, yes that she did.

Our special time got better and better. She constantly patted my face and arm and told me over and over how much she loved me. She had me cuddle up to her and put my head on her chest and just snuggle up. She just kissed my face and told me she loved me over and over and over.

Then she began to tell me that she always loved me... all my life. She loved me as much as the others (I'm assuming as much as she did my sister and brother). She said she wanted me to be the best I could and that she loved me just like I was. No matter what I did, she always loved me. She said that when she was in Macon she was the happiest because I did what she wanted me to do. (That is when we went into the ministry.)

She blessed me. Yes, literally. She said "Bless you, my child, you belong to me."

I managed to keep from crying while I was in there. When I walked out, I knew that I had been given a very special gift from God. It is one that I will always cherish.

I learned many things about love that night.

1. Love is for always
2. Love truly is patient and kind
3. Love never gives up
4. Love really does not take account of things done
5. Love does not die
6. Love shows through even when you don't remember the person - you just know you love them.
7. Love overlooks the bad in people
8. Love will hope for the best
9. Love shows in people's eyes
10. No matter what you go through, if you have love, you can make it
11. Love is faithful and gentle
12. Love is happiest when we are doing what we are supposed to do
13. Love is for us
14. Love will be there...
15. Love understands
16. Love does not condemn when we do it wrong
17. Love helps you when you realize what a mess you made
18. Love is a wonderful gift from God

There are so many more things I learned. I'm so thankful for my parents. I feel the same love from my daddy, too. They have both been a strong tower of love and support for me.