Monday, December 29, 2008
For this new year, I feel the need to just keep my options open. I think alot lies in store for me this year so I'm keeping my stress level as low as possible. Don't you know those new year's resolutions/goals can just be another layer of something that you have to do. I think I'll just keep striving to be better at the things I feel are important and give my attention to the people who need me. Self improvement, yes, thats it! To be better at what and who are most important in my life.
Here's to new beginnings. Happy New Year!
I have some wonderful pictures from Christmas. I'll post a few this week.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:9-11)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Anyway, Saturday's the big day. Here's what I'm planning:
Iced Ginger Cookies (a yummy cookie from my friend Jeannine)
Chubby Hubby Cookies
Kathi's Mom's Melting Moments (find this fantastic recipe on Kathi's blog http://www.lavenderlaceandthyme.blogspot.com/ )
Sea Island Bars
Cheese Wafers (for a little something savory)
Brin's Crock Pot Christmas Candy
Kathi's Peanut Butter Balls (you'll find those on Kathi's blog too)
I think that will do for now.... wish me luck!
I have been young and now I am old. Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging for bread. Psalm 37:25
Praise God His descendants aren't counting on me!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I think another reason may be because we're all putting into perspective the knowledge of what this Christmas means to us as a family and the time we have left with Judy. Her cancer is progressing and her energy is waining. I know she worries that she is not up to shopping, spending hours picking out just the right presents for each of us. It will be difficult enough for her to travel to Georgia for Christmas. The journey will not be easy, or light this year. She comes in spite of pain, weakness, and fatigue. But she comes. She wants to be home for Christmas. I'm sure she feels the importance of this particular Christmas holiday. As for me, I struggle with trying to figure out how we'll get through it. Knowing......
I've been so blessed with a large, loving and devoted family. God has been good to us. Mama left us way to soon, as least too soon for my liking, but I have been blessed to have two loving parents, who taught us to love unconditionally. Sometimes I look around and see that not everyone has had the kind of love that I grew up with. Or, somewhere they lost it along the road to becoming an adult. Thank God He granted me the blessing of a strong and loving family. And whats so cool is that now I'm old enough to see that the blessing was extended from generation to generation to generation, even now to the youngest generation.
So this year, there will not be the large bustling noisy crowd ripping open gifts around my daddy's Christmas tree. But just those presents will be missing, nothing else. We'll still be a large, noisy, laughing, loud bunch cutting up and teasing one another, eating until we pop, or fall asleep, celebrating my daddy and baby brother Jason's birthday (yes, they are both Christmas day babies so an afternoon birthday party is in order) and generally having a grand time. What better gift to one another?
"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby, age 7
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
But for the past few days I've wanted to Christmas shop, I've wanted to listen to Christmas music, and look at this season's newest in holiday decorating. I've even planned out my Christmas baking. I'm not a baker. I have a super cool KA mixer, that I've used all of about 3 times. I'm scared of it. But Christmas baking? Yep, its on my list. And, I've bought a few presents this week, and organized my Christmas cards. Yessirree, I've got it bad.
I hope its God giving me joy for a holiday season that I've dreaded, with a sense of sadness, fearing that it might be our last with Judy. I've wondered how in the world will we get through this Chistmas season? I've watched all our family, even those who live oceans away, planning to be here for Christmas, to spend it together, with Judy and her family. I've been overwhelmed at just the thought of what this Christmas could mean for us, and how we would handle it.
Yet, in the fear, God has given me joy. Joy for a season, for a babe who came for me, for us, in spite of death. Joy for a babe who conquered death. Joy for a babe, a man, a savior, who longs for us. He's a mighty God, yes He is, who can send joy to interrupt the sadness and fear. Only Him.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I voted a couple of weeks ago, during early voting. I am soooo glad that I did. I read this morning that voting lines started hours before the voting locations even opened up. By 7:00 a.m. this morning, in my town, some lines were almost 100 people long. I hope people will not get discouraged, or tired of waiting in line. Voting is so important, and such a priviledge. This campaign has been so divisive, and so critical. So go out and rock the vote. Be patient, be congenial, and be proud!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
This is a picture of my mom, with her mom (my granny) and her sisters. My mom is the one on the end in the white sweater and dark scarf around her neck. From left to right, Aunt Sue, Aunt Dottie, Granny, Aunt Elsie, and Mama. Don't they look like they were just having so much fun? I wonder what they were saying and laughing about. They look so happy and so silly. I'm guessing this picture was taken probably in the late 40's or very early 50's.
I come from a family of very independent women. My grandmother was fiercely independent, very artistic, and I think way ahead of her time. She was a painter, photographer, and ran away from home at 17 years old to marry a full blooded Cherokee indian. Can you imagine the scandal at that during the days of early 1900's? She eventually married two more times after her first husband. Two of my favorite memories from her are the rose garden she tended in our backyard, and the smell of her oil paints and turpentine from her studio upstairs in our home. To this day the smell of paints and turpentine whisk me away in a second, back to that room and among all the colors of her palette and on her table.
My mom was also creative, a photographer, writer of historical romances (we always teased her about writing smut novels) and could draw beautiful pictures. She loved drawing with just pencil. She loved all animals, big and small, and we always had a house full of dogs, cats, sometimes even bunnies, guinea pigs, hamsters and even a chicken or two. She loved good books and instilled in me a love of reading and old books. She was so excited when home computers and the internet came along. She was writing her books on a word processor long before any of us even had home computers. And she was on bulletin boards and in chat rooms before I even knew what they were. She was cool like that. All my friends loved her. And later, after she died, I had friends that came up to me and shared secrets they had shared with my mom, things she had done to help them during difficult times in their lives, that she had never even shared with me, nor had my friends told me. I was amazed at her compassion that extended beyond what my family was blessed to know, and that my friends had come to know.
My mom would have been 75 years old today. I've always felt she left us way to soon, so full of life and vivacious. But I like knowing she's in heaven, and on my side up there, probably shaking her head in amusement and agreeing with God about some of the crazy things I do, and most especially about my hard headedness and stubbornness, probably laughing and getting a big kick out of me too. I hope so.
Happy Birthday Mama!
Monday, September 29, 2008
My friend Char sent me this magnet this weekend. The second arrow which is harder to see says "No Longer An Option." It made me think, life changes in so many ways, doesn't it? We never know what twists and turns our paths will take. Some paths are straight and narrow, smooth and easy. Other paths are bumpy, rocky, even broken and dangerous, like a path I once hiked along side a canyon wall. I was so afraid of slipping and falling.
As I've gone through these months of fear and hope and then fear again with my sister as she has battled ovarian cancer, I'm reminded that we never know where life's paths will lead us. But one thing we know for certain. He who is able will never forsake us. He holds us in the grasp of his mighty hand, never letting us fall off that cliff.
I found this quote from Tony Snow. I wondered if he was facing his cancer when he said this. But it sums up pretty well the path I'm on right now, and maybe Judy's too.
"We want lives of simple, predictable ease—smooth, even trails as far as the eye can see—but God likes to go off-road. He provokes us with twists and turns. He places us in predicaments that seem to defy our endurance and comprehension—and yet don't. By his love and grace, we persevere. The challenges that make our hearts leap and stomachs churn invariably strengthen our faith and grant measures of wisdom and joy we would not experience otherwise."
Friday, September 19, 2008
I'll think about the other stuff another time... Hurry home Judy! I can't wait to get my arms around you.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I really wanted the chicken "pops" when I was a child, and I was exposed plenty of times. All of my siblings had the chicken pops, almost one after the other. In fact, my two sisters had it together at the same time. I can remember lying in the bed with them, just knowing that my time was coming. Then I too would receive extra pampering from my parents. I too, would get to stay home from school, laid up in the bed, enjoying chicken soup and new books that Mama would bring home from the library. Shortly after, my baby brothers followed suit, and they too received the special "gifts" that came from being sick with the chicken pops. But wait! What about me?? Alas, I never ever broke out with the childhood illness that everybody gets. I totally missed out on all that fun.
Years later, as my own children contracted chicken pox, and went through the agony of the itching, I wondered and worried, "Oh gosh, will I get it now, as an adult, and a busy mom who does not have time to be in bed with the chicken pox??" I pampered my babies as my mom had pampered my siblings. And, I counted my blessings as the chicken pox once again passed me by.
So....why now? I'm too old for this, well, no one really has to know that, but you know what I mean. Anyway, I just don't get it. How did the chicken pops find me after all these years? I thought I was well hidden.
Would someone please draw me a nice cool oatmeal bath? And bring a good book from the library, and maybe a nice cup of tea too?
Monday, September 15, 2008
But, we were introduced to our new mascot, Uga VII at the opening game this year. He's a gorgeous dog too. I'm sure he'll be a fine mascot. I hope he has the personality that Uga VI had.
I think it will just take some time for him to adjust to all the pomp and circumstance of being one of the most beloved celebrities in the state of Georgia.
So, for now.... GOOOOO DAWGS! SIC 'EM! WOOF WOOF WOOF!
P.S. Hi Kathi! Thank you for being such a faithful blogger friend. :)
Friday, June 13, 2008
I don't know if anyone is even still visiting me here. But if you are, thanks for checking in on me. (((Kathi))) Thank you for asking about me, and thinking about me. I"m going try to be better about posting more often.
My sister Judy is doing very well in her fight against ovarian cancer. She has finished six rounds of very aggressive chemo, has no hair, but is feeling great. Her doctors are very encouraged that her numbers look good, and her cat scans look good. They tell her they are very impressed with how good she looks and feels. She has handled chemo so well, and not had as bad a side effects as many do with the kind of chemo she has received. Her appetite has returned so she has gained about 10 pounds, which is really needed. And she says she can feel her strength and stamina returning with each new day. So we continue to hope, and pray for a miracle.
The family and I are leaving tomorrow morning for a week at St Simons Island, one my favorite places on earth. Each time I go, as we cross the causeway over to the island, I always feel myself exhale, breathe deeply, and my muscles relax. I need it bad!
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Thursday, May 1, 2008
I love the May Day tradition of leaving baskets of flowers on the door steps of those you love. I remember when I was just a little girl, my mom would help my sisters and I fix up little May Day baskets for our neighbors and family members. Sometimes they would be tiny little straw baskets that my mom or grandmother had picked up from somewhere, other times I can remember making the little baskets from construction paper. We would line the baskets with fresh grass, picked by little hands right out of our back yard. Then we would add fresh picked flowers, whatever was in bloom, from my mom and grandmother's garden. My maternal grandmother always lived with us, and she was an incredible gardener. I remember rows of rose bushes, full, fragrant, and colorful. I remember iris, and day lillies, and dahlia. And my daddy's azalea bushes, full of pink and white blooms in spring. But as a child, what I loved best were the tiny little wild violets that grew at the bottom of our backyard, under the shade of the big oaks. I thought those were the most beautiful little flowers. My sisters and I would play down there for hours, imagining ourselves as princesses, or orphans who lived in the woods with all the friendly animals (our ducks and cats and dogs played that part well).
Yes, May Day meant summer was just around the corner, the flowers were in bloom, and soon we would be swimming in our neighbor's small lake. And, May Day meant sharing that joy with neighbors and loved ones, in the form of sharing beauty. Celebrate!
My lover spoke and said to me, "Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come; the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me."
Song of Solomon 2:10-13
This is what I long to hear from the One who loves me.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I have a close friend who is in this place right now. And, I'm stepping out there to guess that she also feels her biological clock ticking. She would desperately love to have a child, while she is still physically young enough. Please keep my friend in your prayers. She faces a few obstacles before she can even consider attempting to conceive. Pray that God might find it in his good and perfect will for her to have a healthy baby. And to remember that regardless of the outcome, God always has her best interests as the desires of His heart.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
So today, I jumped, way out into the deep water. Only mama's not here, but I'm not alone. I told my boss today that I intend to resign my position. I have too many other things calling my name. I've worked 8 years in politics/government at this one organization. Before that I spent many years in higher education. I'm not one for big changes, especially where it affects my security. Some might call it a paycheck.
Funny how life changes, and begins to mold you into a different person. "Life happens." I think I saw that somewhere, maybe a bumper sticker or something. But my roles are changing, as I take on more care for my aging father, wanting to be more available for my sister, and just wanting to do things around my home, and for my family, and children, that I haven't had the chance to do before. Why suddenly do I feel that I need to fulfill a missed role of domestic goddess, or stay at home mom, or something like that? Its like a long lost desire, that was pushed way way down inside, and piled upon with stuff like career girl, money maker, independent woman, modern mom. Now, suddenly it's breaking through all the "stuff." And why now? When three fourths of my children are grown and out of the house, and my baby has become a teenager?
I don't have the answer. All I know is that now is the time. And part of me is giddy with excitement over this new season in my life. And the other part is scared as heck of the unknown. My friend says "Girl, you are giving up that salary? You are in the prime of your earning years." But what will that salary cost me? My soul? My time? My freedom? My last chance to grasp on to....what is it? Peace, and home, and stillness?
I'm glad I'm not out here in the deep all alone. I'm thankful that Jesus, through his Holy Spirit, makes himself known to me, and guides me and reassures me. "I am your provider." I feel like I am embarking on an unknown adventure with Him. And he has tons to show me, and to teach me. Lord, teach me to trust wholly in you. Open me up to your teachings and the lessons you will lay out for me. Let me be worthy of this blessing.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Also, my friend Serah tagged me. I've never been tagged before either. So for fun, I'm going to keep up the tag. Here are the rules:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your entry.
5. Let the six people know by leaving a comment on their blogs.
So, here are six things about me:
1. I hate sitting in a restaurant, or any other place where there are large objects hanging over my head. Objects like chandeliers, TVs mounted from the ceiling or wall, etc. I have this fear about the object falling and smushing me.
2. I drive too fast. Yes, I have a need for speed. I'm not a reckless driver, but I have a problem keeping it at 55.
3. I got a new digital camera for Christmas, a Canon S5IS, and I still haven't taken it out of the box.
4. When I was a teenager I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic. You wouldn't know that now seein' as how I haven't even looked at my new camera. Shame on me...
5. I have about 7 specialty certifications in scuba diving. I use to love to dive, but haven't been in a few years now.
6. I love to hike in the woods in the winter time. Something about the cold air, the crunch under my shoes, the look of the bare trees. I love the woods and the mountains in winter. And I don't understand that because I don't even like the winter season.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I hope a couple of my fellow bloggers don't mind if I used them as guinea pigs.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sometimes when we get ready to step off into the deep, into the unknown, its an extremely frightening thing. We become so comfortable with what our lives are, and the things we know, that we can touch and feel and see, and perhaps even the idols we have made. Sometimes when God calls us to something so very different, so out of character for us, its easy for us to question Him. "Are you sure about this God? I mean, it looks kind of risky to me." Honestly, I think God must love me alot, to endure all my "are you sure's." Sometimes I think he probably just shakes his head at me and thinks, "Child, look what I've brought you through. Are you saying you can't trust me in this particular "thing?"
So my life is taking a different path, one thats huge for me, and scary. Not scary in a bad sort of way, but scary in an exciting, new adventure kind of way. Yes, thats Him, the God of new adventures. And I'm so glad I can trust Him, even in the deep, even in the unknown.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psm 143:8
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. Prov 3:5-6
Friday, April 4, 2008
Azaleas are on my mind, probably because the azaleas in my garden and around my house are just beginning to bud. I think in the next week or so I'll have lots of pink and white around my house. Azaleas are one of my favorite signs of spring. I just wish the flowers lasted longer than a couple of weeks. The picture on my blog header is of azaleas in bloom on a wrought iron gate in Savannah. I love Savannah, especially in the spring.
I'm also eagerly awaiting the bloom of the wisteria and jasmine. There are only a few things as sweet to me as the smell of wisteria in bloom in the spring. I love the big grape like clusters, and the soft sweet scent. I always know that summer is just around the corner when the wisteria blooms.
Wisteria and jasmine should be the scents of the south. I'm looking forward to the bloom of jasmine too, on the lattice of our deck. Dear hubby has to cut that wild thing back every year, its a giant. But the scent of jasmine on a soft summer night's breeze is like nothing else in the world. The sweet scent of jasmine evokes memories in me like few things do. What is it they say, that smells are the strongest memory recallers, or something like that? Jasmine on a soft summer night takes me back to my childhood like a fast train back in time. Once again I'm a little girl, in my great grandmother's yard in Savannah, feeling the steamy warmth, still lingering at nightfall, from the heat of a July afternoon. Or, I'm down on Jekyll Island again, smelling the beautiful flowers from the vines that grew up around the iron rails on the porch entry of the little efficiency we would occupy in the spring. Jasmine smells like home to me.
Today its cool and rainy, feels almost like February instead of April. But we're thankful for the April showers. We've been in such a bad drought for so long. The rain will help, although we could use a lot more. When I look outside my window on a gloomy wet day like today, its nice to be able to anticipate the "springy" things to come. Its poppin' out all over!
Happy Spring y'all!
Thursday, April 3, 2008
So, in the last month or so, I've read three books. Here are my reviews, in the order in which they were read.
Deep Dish, by Mary Kay Andrews: I like Mary Kay Andrews writing. I loved Savannah Blues and Savannah Breeze. Weezie Foley is one of my all time favorite characters. I also loved Hissy Fit. Her characters have endeared themselves to me, and I've found her main female characters sassy and fun. Deep Dish was different for me. I still found it to be a pretty good book, and I loved the male character, Tate Moody. There was one thing that bothered me in the book and it was the very frequent use of the F word. Now, I'm not all that bothered by the occasional use of the F word in literature, and have myself been known to sling a few cuss words around when provoked to anger. But in Deep Dish, the F word was used constantly. To me the routine use of it, when it added nothing to the story, was overkill. Also, I was bothered by the use of Jesus Christ as slang, and how often it was used in the book. There were a couple of times that I literally cringed at how the name JC was used. I think had the F word and the name of Jesus Christ not been used soooooo much, it would have made it a much better book for me. Aside from that, the story was fun, in Mary Kay's usual crazy way. I enjoyed their travels to coastal Georgia, a place near and dear to my heart. And I found a number of the supporting characters to be colorful and amusing. I give Deep Dish 3 stars out of 5 primarily because of the language.
The Will of Wisteria, by Denise Hildreth: I loved this book! Denise Hildreth is another one of my favorite authors. www.denisehildreth.com She also has trilogy of books, Savannah From Savannah, and the others that follow, about a young woman named Savannah, obviously from Savannah. The Savannah books made me a huge fan of Denise's writing. I highly recommend the Savannah books as well, for fun, and laughter, colored with a bit of faith. The Will of Wisteria is about a family of shallow, selfish, spoiled siblings who have to meet the demands of their deceased father's will in order to inheirit his gazillion dollars. The demands made by the father have the potential to be life changing. Denise takes hard to like people, weaves them into the beauty of the story, and by the end of the book you are in love with them. This was a lovely book set in Charleston SC and I really enjoyed how she wrote about Charleston and the outlying islands. The book will make you laugh and cry. It was nice to read something that wasn't riddled with bad language or graphic sex. In fact this book is uplifting and hopeful. I give The Will of Wisteria 5 stars out of 5.
Sullivan's Island, by Dorothea Benton Frank: I'm not sure but I think this may be DB Frank's first book. But its been around awhile, maybe since about 2000. www.dotfrank.com I had never read any of her books before, and thanks to a recommendation from Jenn over at www.beaufortlookout.blogspot.com I decided to check it out. Jenn is a big fan of DB Frank. And, now it seems that I'm a big fan too. I loved Sullivan's Island and devoured it in just a few days. Like The Will of Wisteria, this book is also set in Charleston and Sullivan's Island SC. Its a wonderful story of a middle aged woman, learning to live with divorce, her memories of childhood, and the special relationships of mother and daughter, and sisters. The characters endeared themselves so much to me. Its hard to pick out which one was most special. The book is filled with such a range of emotions, and events that span the racial tension of the 60s to ringing in the millenium of 2000, and a little bit of magic thrown in too. And, it contains one of the most hilarious sex scenes I've ever read. Not a raunchy graphic sex scene, but a downright funny one. I liked this book so much that I went out and bought it (I had gotten this particular copy from my library) and her next two books as well. Thank you Jenn for the recommendation! I give Sullivan's Island 5 stars out of 5.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I am amazed at the grace and bravery that she shows in her battle against ovarian cancer. She has so much determination, and peace about her. Her constant comment is "I can use this as a ministry to others. God has a purpose in this for me." And she did that on Wednesday when we spent the day at the hospital for her third chemo session. Now Judy, being the southern girl that she is, was not about to go off to the hospital, or anywhere else for that matter, without being properly "made up." So we left her house early that morning, looking like we were ready for a shopping spree in Atlanta instead of a day of needles and bags full of chemotherapy. Judy wore this darling blue hat with a cute little flower on the side, it was precious. And a bright blue sweater. Her make up was soft and beautiful. I remember thinking that she literally glowed. How does one glow in the midst of cancer and chemo? She was gorgeous. There was a lady, Camille, that we met that day who was also spending the day in the same room with Judy, getting chemo treatment for breast cancer. Camille was a talker. And, Camille was bald as she could be. After properly making small talk, and chatting about their common issues with cancer and chemo, Camille begins to ask Judy about her makeup, her hat and sweater, and how in the world does she find it in her, in the midst of all her trials, to "fix herself up." Camille said, "I haven't had make up on since I was diagnosed in October." Judy begins to share with Camille about how others will see her as a reflection of cancer, and in doing things that are normal for her, like putting on make up, going to work, etc, she is able to overcome and not be defeated by the cancer. Judy told Camille that God will use people's inquiries and comments as a door for Judy to spread His love and what He has done for her. She began to tell Camille about the Look Good Feel Better program, that works with women who are going through chemo, in doing makeovers, skin care, etc, and how much fun she had at the program when she attended. Not to mention all the cool free make up she received from companies such as Estee Lauder, Lancome, Clinque, Mary Kay, and others. She gave Camille tips on make up and skin care for a cancer patient. Judy complimented Camille on her beautiful clear, creamy complexion, on the bright blue of her eyes, and how to play that up with her make up. By the end of the day, Camille was making plans to attend the next program, and leaving the hospital to go buy new makeup.
Judy's doing well I think. It humbles me that she is so gracious and serene. I want to scream and yell and cry, and beg God to make her well, not to let her die. I want to shake everyone and shout "How can this be happening to her?? WHY is this happening to her?" She is too sweet for this. Why not someone like me, who is not nearly as pure in heart as she is. Yet, I am so proud of her. She is so beautiful, even in the face of cancer. She refuses to be defeated.
I love this verse. Notice how its speaking to a female. God gave me this verse last week while I was at Judy's house. I think it was meant for her.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
I especially love the "that right early." part. He comes before we call. Praise Him.
Look Good...Feel Better http://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org/
Monday, March 24, 2008
Right now, I feel urged to write about other observances of my week with Judy. On Wednesday I spent the day with Judy at the hospital for her chemo treatment. The chemo treatment and the other patients I met are another story too, and maybe I'll get there in that later post. But right now I want to write about the "warriors" I encountered. Judy is being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, located in Washington DC. Luckily for Judy, Walter Reed is one of the foremost research facilities for gynocological cancers. We feel blessed that Judy is at one of the best medical facilities in the world, with a team of nationally recognized medical professionals. Judy is not an army gal, but she is an army wife. Thats why she's at Walter Reed. Anyway...I was overwhelmed at some of the sights I saw there last week, soldiers of all ages there for a variety of treatment. I saw young men with war wounds sent home from Iraq. As I waited at the hospital pharmacy to pick up Judy's meds, there was a young couple, he had lost both legs in the fighting in Afganistan. He was a proud young man, with a smile that lit up his entire face. He could not have been more than 25 or 30 years old. His wife stood serenely by his wheelchair, her hand on his shoulder, her kisses tender on the top of his head. They were not much more than children themselves, living in a hard adult world.
I met an older gentleman, Mr. Hails, who was getting his weekly bloodwork for his own cancer treatment, who had spent several years in Korea, during the Korean war. He gave us a history lecture on the Old Soldiers Home in Washington, where he lives. He told us about the Mexican American war, how the Old Soldiers home was built for the wounded soldiers of that war, so they would have a place to live. And, about how Abraham Lincoln had a home on the grounds of the Old Soldiers Home because he felt safe there, and could escape from the pressures of Washington and the Civil War. Mr. Hails was proud to be a historian, and a patriot. He told Judy how pretty she was, and asked her how old she was. He was precious, full of words, and history, and happy to spend an hour with us, chatting with two "younger" ladies.
I was humbled at what I saw at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Men and women, all ages and all colors, from different wars, proud of their service, many of them wore their uniforms, their medals, and their injuries with honor. I winced at those that were not much older than my own sons. Humbled, yes, thats the word, and honored to be among them. I felt like another world had been opened to me, one that up until then, I could only imagine. Often I found myself holding my breath, overwhelmed, and I would have to remind myself to breathe. Later I pondered on the thought that everyone should experience what I experienced on that day, to see the things and the people that I encountered, see determination, pain, pride, and tenderness all in one place. Warriors, yes, every one of them.
Walter Reed Army Medical Center http://www.wramc.amedd.army.mil/Pages/default.aspx
Focusing on Easter Sunday is great and goodness knows, lets never take our sights off of the miracle and enormity of Jesus' resurrection. But, please indulge me for a minute...the humanity of my excitment gets to me sometimes. But...can't you just imagine the excitment the next day?! Oh. my. gosh. He's back!! Are you serious? Are you kidding? No, he's here!! Just as he said he would be. I can't help myself, but I love to think of what must have been happening the day after Jesus' resurrection, with his disciples and family and friends. Surely there was indescribable wonderment, and oh the power of the past few days. Do you think they celebrated and wept and laughed among themselves? Do you think they danced and sang? Or maybe they were overcome with prayer and an awesome stillness, the kind that shakes you to your foundation so that you can't even speak.
I don't know why I like to think about Easter Monday and imagine....
I pray I'm worthy of His torture, of the horror of what He indured, of His ultimate sacrifice. Lord, let me live my life always in appreciation, always striving to be what you see that I can be. Let your pain and torment be not wasted on me. I love you.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Later that day, we sat glued to our television as we watched the weather reports about the storms that kept rolling through our area. It was the strangest feeling to literally see tornadoes, not one but several, move along the weather radar path, headed right toward us! And to watch the weather outside as the storms barreled down on us! We spent about 20 minutes in our basement when the weather man told us to, and when we heard the tornado sirens going off at the school up the road from us. As we sat in the basement, watching TV down there, our phone rang off the hook. My daddy and my son were also in the line of fire, in the next town over. My poor daddy was scared to death. I wanted to be there with him.
Luckily, all of us survived any major damage. But some of our neighbors and friends were not as lucky as they had to deal with downed trees and power outages. Its a miracle no one in our area was killed and we are thankful.
As nature would have it, the day after the storms was a gorgeous spring day, perfect for Palm Sunday. I love it when nature shows off, but I think I can do without the tornados, high winds, and hail. But I'll take a good thunderstorm anyday.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I love this sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning...
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, - I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, with all my life! - And, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
And, of course, this favorite truth:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails...
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, 13
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
John 16:33: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Fear was such a powerful emotion last week, and I'm still bothered with it even now. Funny, how God knows exactly how to zero in on that. I hope He will continue to work on me, and on Judy, in the face of our fear, and remind us that he is Jehovah Shiloam, and Jehovah Rophe. His will be done.
I am thankful for a wonderful circle of friends, and the dear "belles" a wonderful group of online friends who have prayed for Judy, and encouraged me. And, especially thankful for Tammy, Roycea, Cynthia, and Chris, my sister Judy's circle of close girlfriends and prayer warriors. These ladies circled around Judy last week and prayed with us, for us, and lifted Judy up out of a dark place. I thank God that he surrounded Judy with these girlfriends. God bless you for your goodness.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
This happened last week, to me, to my sister, to our family. My younger sister was diagnosed with cancer, after going through a very quickly scheduled 8 hour surgery. She has ovarian cancer, after finding a large tumor that originated from her ovary. She has a long battle ahead of her, with chemo and other medical treatment. Thank the Lord, her doctor feels optimistic and feels that with treatment she has a "very very good chance" at recovery.
Friday, January 11, 2008
The LORD your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
Now how's that for a love song?
Thursday, January 10, 2008
BEING A SOUTHERN BELLE IS A LIFETIME OF WORK...SO PRACTICE EVERYDAY
--Offer Mint Julep or Iced Tea to everyone who visits your house.
--Eat grits everyday for breakfast.
--Refer to your house as "The Plantation" no matter how small your house may be.
--Refer to all men as "gentlemen caller" or "beaux".
--Never let a man know you're interested or chase him because you know there are too many men who want you for you to expend the extra effort.
--When you have a dating dilemma and have one gentleman caller over when you are expecting another, claim to be "expired" and excuse yourself for a nap until he leaves.
--Whenever you are asked to do any work, fan yourself and claim to have the "vapors."
--Refer to every party you go to, even a kegger at the local university, as a "cotillion." All other parties are yankee garbage.
--Try to use words like "darlin'", "sweet" or "precious" in every sentence.
--Belong to a country club. If you don't, refer to any club you belong to as a "country club". No one will know the difference.
--Sit under a magnolia tree with a parasol fanning yourself often. Passers-by will take notice of your belle-ness.
--Never marry a Yankee unless you want to be a Yankee by association.
--Never be seen without your makeup and girdle.
Southern Belles NEVER:
1. Never blow their nose in public.
2. 'Pass gas' in public. (Well yes, they really do, but they look at the person next to them in shock and smile coyly)
3. Wear white shoes or carry white handbags before Easter or after Labor Day.
4. Chase after a man... they connive a man into chasing 'them'. Then act totally surprised when 'caught'.
5. Call men on the telephone.
6. Eat large amounts in public... they only nibble and say that they aren't hungry. (A southern belle will eat before a date, then again afterwards! It's not until the 'date' is of a fiancé status that a southern belle orders everything on the menu!)
7. Sleep with a man on a first date! (they get up and go home to do their sleeping!) A true southern belle never lets the man she's after see her first thing in the morning until she's 'got' him.
9. Get nervous or anxious... They're the picture of calm and control.
10. Cuss above a whisper where others might hear them. They use phrases like... 'oh my gosh', 'darn', and 'shoot'.
11. Have a gray hair until they're darn ready to have one!
Southern Belles ALWAYS:
1. Get the man they want!
2. Know the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.
3. Are extraordinary hostesses.
4. Always look their best! Never a bad hair day or never without the perfect thing to wear.
5. Can walk in heels like they're floating on air.
6. Are always a bit mysterious.
7. Are witty and charming.
8. Throw the best parties.
9. Are the greatest cooks.
10. Have style!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
1. Growing more in my spirituality. I want to spend more quality time with God. I want to get better at hearing his voice, being obedient to his direction and his nudgings. I am keenly amazed (and overwhelmed) by this thing called grace, and that he continues to forgive and love and accept and spend time with me, no matter what. I want to do a study on God's grace.
2. I want to focus more on my health, and this is total health, body, mind, and spirit. I'd love to get this extra 10 lbs off my frame, and learn to control and reduce stress, and the effects it has on my total being. I want to eat healthier, rest and sleep, spend time in happy ways, like with my family. Is this the resolution that everyone has each year? I think as I age, and see changes and little health issues cropping up, I am becoming more aware of how important this is.
3. I want to take a different career path, one that is less than a full 40 plus hour work week, one that is not fraught with stress and politics. One that allows me to focus on the ideas I have swirling in my head for writing, keeping my home, working in a more social service capacity, and taking care of myself. Basically, just slow down a bit.
4. Real Estate. I want real estate. Preferably on St Simons Island.
Remember not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth. Will you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19
Here's to new beginnings!