Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Blues

I got 'em. No matter how hard I try to fight them off. Then I hear this song...

And I feel better.

*Please scroll down and pause player before watching video

Word of God speak...

What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!
Matthew 10:27 NLT

**Still a few days left to enter ItTR's Counting My Blessings Giveaway!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Counting my blessings

I have been richly blessed in my life. Abundantly so. Starting from my very beginning. But maybe not in the way you might be thinking...

You see...I'm adopted. By these two right here...they chose me! ME!!

My Mom and Dad. My first blessings.


Then there's that special, wonderful man that I shared my life with. I know the Lord hand-picked him just for me! And what a blessing he was...each and every moment of our life together. And while it is my life's greatest sorrow that he is no longer here, I treasure what we shared and I await the day when I'll see that precious face once more and hear the words, "Hi Sweetheart..." Oh...

My Sweet Hubby...My Prince.


Our children! Nothing is ever the same once you add children to the mix - it's like even the quality of the air is different somehow! Days are more magical and the mundane is once again fresh and new! And grandchildren? Well, don't even get me started!! I well remember the day each of our grandsons entered the world and how my Sweet Hubby and I could not stop smiling with sheer joy!

Blessing upon Blessing!


My Lulu. It's no secret to those who know me that I love dogs. I love them. Dare I confess it here? There are some days I even like them more than people! Why? Gosh, just look at the news headlines! Because they don't lie, they don't hurt. They are pure, devoted and loyal. Yeah. I love dogs. And I love this one in particular!

My girlie...


My friends. I can't count them in the hundreds like maybe some can, but the ones I have are tried and true. They have seen me at my worst. I hope they have also seen me at my best. I won't be posting any pictures because I'm afraid if I do, I'll have to take a recount! But you know who you are and I hope you know how very much you're loved, appreciated and prayed for every single day!


My faith. I don't have words for this, so I'm not even going to try. Just suffice it to say that without it, I'm nothing at all. Nothing. With it, I'm still standing. Thank you, Jesus - to you be all the glory - always and forever! By the way, if you don't know my Jesus...drop me an email (you can contact me through my profile) - I'd love to introduce you to Him - He's been waiting your whole life to get to know you!


**In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'd like to have a little giveaway.
Won't you indulge me, please?!**


Remember a while back, I attended an Extraordinary Women conference with my friend JJ? Well, as always, you - my bloggy friends - are never far from my mind!

These are for you!

The Power of Praying Through the Bible by Stormie Omartian signed by Stormie, just for you.

And yes...I truly bought it with "you" in mind. And I will be praying over this book until it leaves my home for yours. I hope it richly blesses you as you find power, strength and the love of our Savior as you read through His Word.


As well as A Woman's Path to Emotional Freedom by Julie Clinton, also signed by Julie.

Julie is the President of Extraordinary Women and the host of the conferences. She is so soft spoken yet uplifting and absolutely charming! I love the question on the back cover of this book: "Do your emotions sometimes control your life?" HA! Well, I don't know about you, but I can sure raise my hand! This book was not available at the conference - it hadn't come out quite yet...but I ordered copies soon after. Again, I ordered an extra copy with one of you in mind. And just like with Stormie's book, I will be praying that the recipient of this book will find, as it says on the cover, "God's Promise of Hope and Healing."


Here's how to enter:

1) Simply leave me a comment about how you've been blessed in your life.
2) One blessing per comment please, but no limit on comments! Let the blessings flow!
3) Wanna link to your blog? Great, be sure to leave a comment telling me you did so!
4) The same goes for Facebook...just be sure to leave me a comment that you linked my blog!
5) Just started following my blog? Be sure and leave me a comment!


Comments will remain open through December 1st and I'll select two winners sometime Thursday, December 2, 2010. As always, I'll be using this.

**Note: I would like the books to go to separate people, so should the same name be drawn twice, I will use this to draw again until I get a different name for the second book. :)


May God richly bless each and every one of you and yours this Thanksgiving. If you're traveling, I pray His mercies over you both going and coming. Don't forget to offer up an extra prayer of thanks for the men and women of our Armed Forces who are away from their families taking care of our Nation's business and keeping us free.

Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world: It is not he who prays most or fasts most, it is not he who gives most alms or is most eminent for temperance, chastity or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God's goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it.
~ William Law

So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.
Galations 6:9

Saturday, November 20, 2010

He's brings me great joy!

Our youngest son, Matthew, just returned from attending this conference in San Diego. If you've been reading here for a while, you know that Matthew is finishing up his Ph.D. (May 2011!!) and neuroscience is his thing!

I love how he honors his Dad, always...he's wearing the "Purple Ribbon" pin because November is National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

His Dad used to sit for hours and question him about this...or that...hanging on every word, listening intently. And would then ask for more. What always surprised me was that "science" was so not his thing (my Sweet Hubby was a "numbers" guy!) but where this child of ours was concerned - you'd have thought "science" was all that mattered because his Dad could not get enough! Those were special times, for both of them, and I know those conversations are deeply treasured and sadly missed by Matthew every day.

I, too, love to listen to him talk about his research (because science is my thing!) and even though I don't understand the application of all the science, what I do understand is very exciting! But I'm not Dad, you know? I listen differently - I know that. It'll never be the same...and I feel inept and like I'm failing him in some way that I can't "fix." Oh - how a mother's heart hurts for her children.

Anyway. Sorry. Where was I?

Today, we were having a chit chat about San Diego and his experiences at the conference. Specifically, the presentation of his research data on the last day of the conference. It's always a nerve wracking time for him, even though he always does really, really well! (Hey, I'm his Mom - I'm allowed to brag! Expected to, even! After all, our Heavenly Father set the precedent of a proud parent, remember?)

And a voice from heaven said, "This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy."
Matthew 3:17 NLT

This trip, just as in the past, he made some excellent connections. In fact, he was approached by someone in particular and had a conversation with this individual that I have been thinking about a great deal. Now this was no one that you or I would know by name (unless you're in that field of research too - and then, wow - what a coincidence!), but someone that left Matthew with a LOT to think about. Important things. If there's one thing I know about my son - those wheels won't stop turning! Oh talk about Jeremiah 29:11...Matthew - He has such plans for you - 0f this I am sure!

For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

As I drove home in the waning sunlight from running my errands, I couldn't help but think back to 26 years ago, to that tiny little baby that I snuggled so tightly. Let me tell you - I was overcome with thanks to my God Who saw fit to bless me with such an amazing son! Because he has, each and every day since the day he was born, been an incredible blessing! Oh, and after what I heard today...I have a feeling that one day, perhaps not that far off in the future, he's going to be a blessing to many. And I am already in tearful thanksgiving for that.
Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.
Hebrews 13:15 NLT

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Reflections on clarity

This morning, one of my devotional readings was about clarity. I have now been thinking about it all day. I love when written words resonate so profoundly that they clatter around in your mind - like an object you can't get enough of, turning it over and over in your hands to look at it from every angle! Just as a kaleidoscope is different with every turn, so have my thoughts been...yeah - it's been that kind of day.

God's Word does that for me.

Here's one of verses that was attached to my devotional today. I typically read in the New Living Translation, although I have many translations here at home and an app on my phone that gives me instant access to them all. This passage moved me to read it in multiple translations...I offer it to you here in the two that made me close my eyes and breathe in deeply.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.
All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT

We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
1 Corinthians 13:12 The Message

Looking forward to clarity. But in the meantime, enjoying my walk with Him in the mist.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

For my Dad...

Well, my Mom’s graciously allowed me to hijack her blog to share some words about my Dad on this very difficult day. Although today has been filled predominantly with feelings of sadness and emptiness, I’d like to focus my attention now recalling some happier times…

My Dad was a remarkably selfless person who defined his happiness not by what he owned, but by the love he shared with his family. He found great joy in some of life’s simplest treasures. Believe it or not, some of the biggest smiles I ever saw light up his face were precipitated by placing a large (we’re talking dinner saucer large) stack of pancakes in front of him. Combine that with bacon and fried eggs, plenty of butter and piping hot maple syrup and you had yourself one very happy man. And I do mean combine as in layering eggs and bacon in between discus-sized pancakes served to him hot off the griddle by his adoring wife. I never quite understood it, as I only ate eggs scrambled and preferred some separation on my breakfast plate. But to each their own, right?!?

Well, in honor of my Dad’s birthday this year, I decided to remember him in a way that was uniquely his. Above is a picture of my first “Dad’s breakfast” at Cracker Barrel. Although not nearly the same size as the beloved hotcakes my Mom regularly churned out for her Prince on weekends, CB features some rather tasty buttermilk pancakes that come out slightly crispy on the outside while remaining light and fluffy on the inside. They were his favorite pancakes away from home, so coupled with my recently found love for a great fried egg, I was eager to take part in something that was so special to him.

When the food arrived, I slathered the crispy pancakes in butter, carefully tucked my eggs and bacon in between, then finished it off with steamy syrup. I carved a wedge out with my fork as creamy golden yolk spilled out around the sides. The first bite was simply magical, a wicked amalgamation of sweet syrup, savory bacon, crispy, tangy pancakes and rich, buttery egg. The connection I felt at that moment between he and I was palpable. I fought back swelling tears as I worked on that bite, savoring the physical sensations hitting my palate as well as the countless fond memories of sharing breakfast together as a family. I was hooked.

The overwhelming emotion of today has left me with little in the way of an appetite. However, I managed to put away “Dad’s breakfast” for dinner, along with several cups of black coffee (his standard, opposed to my cream and Splenda). I ate every bite. I had to. He wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Dad, I desperately miss this and everything else that made you so uniquely you. The void left by your departure from this world to the next, and final, adventure is simply unbearable most days. Until the sweet day when we’re reunited again, I’ll cling to all the indelible memories you’ve left behind.

Love Always,

Your baby boy,


My Prince

~ In loving memory ~
9/3/48 - 11/9/08

No words will ever describe the emptiness; no ocean could contain the tears.
I love you. I miss you. Always.

Forever...then Rome

Monday, November 8, 2010


2010 is rapidly coming to an end (can you believe it?!) and my thoughts have begun creeping into 2011...

You may remember that I chose a "focus word" for 2010.


What a wonderful word...and oh how I have clung to it this past year! I have read Scriptures over and over and over again...especially this well-known one:

For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
And this one:
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.
Romans 12:12 NLT
And this:
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that through patience and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Romans 15:4 NLT
And here:
Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.
Job 11:18 NLT
And oh yes:
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.
Psalm 39:7 NLT

You see, God's Word is full of HOPE...and I have turned to it again and again, over and over, day after day this past year to help me through some pretty dark days. Days that I have not shared here.

So. A new year is coming and I have been thinking about a new focus word. Did I even want one? I really liked having one this year...I like having that - well, focus! I decided that yes, I did want a new word for the New Year. And so...

I have come to a decision. I have a new word in mind. I've kind of been "living with it" in my head for the last week to see how it feels. So far, it feels pretty good! I think I like it...

I believe that words have power, don't you? After all - God spoke everything into existence!

I already know that there are plenty of Scriptural references for my potential focus word...I can hear them rattling around in my brain as I type! And my hope (ha! no pun intended, but I like how that happened!) is that by having my focus be on this new word and the Word of God surrounding it, that it will be made manifest in my life. Yes...I'm liking this word more and more!

How about you? Do you or will you choose a focus word for the upcoming year?

I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours.
Mark 11:24 NLT

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Unexpected jewel

In April of this year, I went down to Savannah to visit the friend I spoke about in this post. We always have the best time together - the days pass much too quickly - and I wish she lived closer so that we could see each other more often...sigh...

Where was I?

Oh yes! My visit! afternoon while I was there, we spent hours (literally hours) in her local Lifeway store. We were specifically looking for a Beth Moore study that we could do together via IM/phone (we chose this one!) and that took the longest time because you know how I love Beth do you pick just one?!

We finally decided that we had been in the store an embarrassingly long amount of time and that we should probably haul our purchases up to the register and check out.

And that's when we found this waiting for us:

This beautiful little devotional was being offered for $5.00. Yep, you read that right...$5.00

We each grabbed one. I mean - for $5.00, why not, right? I love a good devotional and the sales clerk said this was an excellent devotional! I figured that was high praise coming from someone who deals with hundreds of devotionals!

So how come I got home and this excellent devotional was forgotten until recently? I don't know...maybe I wasn't ready for it. Or maybe the entries that I missed are better suited for next year for me...whatever! I believe everything happens for a reason.

What I do know is that what I'm reading now is ah-mazing. Truly. I'm thinking this is maybe the best devotional I've ever used. Just maybe. What I can say for sure is that the sales clerk was right...this is an excellent devotional! And for $5.00! Truly an unexpected jewel!

Want a sample? Here was my reading for yesterday, November 5th:

YOU CAN LIVE AS CLOSE TO ME as you choose. I set up no barriers between us; neither do I tear down barriers that you erect.

People tend to think their circumstances determine the quality of their lives. So they pour their energy into trying to control those situations. They feel happy when things are going well, and sad or frustrated when things don't turn out as they'd hoped. They rarely question this correlation between their circumstances and feelings. Yet it is possible to be content in any and every situation.

Put more energy into trusting Me and enjoying My Presence. Don't let your well-being depend on your circumstances. Instead, connect your joy to My precious promises:

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.
I will meet all your needs according to My glorious riches.
Nothing in all creation will be able to separate you from My Love.

Philippians 4:12; Genesis 28:15;
Philippians 4:19; Romans 8:38-39
from Jesus Calling Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young

I needed that yesterday. In was good to read it again today as I typed it. Such treasure.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow -- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below -- indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 NLT

Have a blessed weekend, my friends...I pray that we'll remember to connect our joy to His precious promises!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Guess who's back?!

It's BabyMac!!!!

Guess I should have titled this post Fabulous Friday!

Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.
Psalm 103:2 NLT

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for

my Sweet Hubby's iMac since my MacBook is in the Apple hospital...hopefully, I'll have her back by the end of the week (that's what I was told on Monday during my appointment at the Genius Bar anyway).

Until then, I'm thankful I've got DaddyMac to see me through!

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT

Monday, November 1, 2010


I love this season...the air that seems cleaner somehow, the bright blue of the sky, the smell of wood fires burning, the color of the leaves turning on the trees, the sound of leaves falling and then rustling in the breeze, that chill in the early morning air! I love it all!

The days are getting shorter (don't forget - next Sunday, 11/7, we "fall" back and get an extra hour of sleep before church!) and soon we'll be turning lights on in the late afternoon to push back the shadows...Okay - I have to admit - I don't like this part so much...but ya gotta take the bad with the good, right?!

It's time for stews and soups and chilis and warm comfort foods! I don't cook much anymore, so I sure appreciate this product - shake/open/heat/eat/yum!

I will say though - I make a mean crockpot chili! My Sweet Hubby loved it! Who doesn't love chili?

Pot after pot of hot tea becomes my companion. I especially love using this teapot...a gift from a dear friend. That's my favorite mug for tea - so pretty and delicate (I love it so much I have a spare in case I break this one! Yep, I'm paranoid like that.). And that's a tea cozy in the background, in toile-esque fashion, my favorite! I bought it here a number of years ago. In fact, my Sweet Hubby and I were there visiting the friend who gave me the teapot! Well, not "there" in that spot specifically, but in Savannah (although we did enjoy several pots of tea there "in that spot" as well as a light snack if I remember correctly)! It was a wonderful time...memories...

How do you celebrate Fall? Do you rotate your closet, packing away summer-wear and exchanging it for heavier (and warmer) togs? Do you rake and rake and rake mountains of leaves to be bagged and hauled away? Do you perfume the air by baking breads filled with the spices of the season - cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger? Do you look forward to that first cup of hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick stirrer? Do you decorate the house or yard for the season? Share in the comments...I'd love to know!

While you're gathering your thoughts I'll go put on a pot of tea...and in case you're wondering - it's this and yes, it's from there!

For everything there is a
a time for every activity
under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT