Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Life's Little(are you kidding?) Surprises

Sometimes life just moves along, at a steady pace, like rocking in a rocking chair. It feels ok, routine, relaxed, and then WHAM! You're knocked upside the head, or that comfy old rocking chair just collapses! You're shocked, stunned, and thrown completely off kilter.

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.

I feel like I'll go through this battle with her, knowing that really I won't feel anything close to what she will be experiencing. But I long to share in her suffering, to be there with her, to take some of the burden and pain from her. I suppose the most important thing I can do for her is pray, and pray hard I will.

If someone out there in cyberland stumbles upon this blog, I hope they will say a little prayer for Judy too.

I am reminded that my God is Jehovah Rophe, my God who heals. And, He is Jehovah Shalom, my God of peace.

"For I will restore health to you, and heal you of your wounds," says the LORD.
Jeremiah 30:17

Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Friday, January 11, 2008


I just love it when I think about, and when God reminds me of His love. I think sometimes we spend so much time trying so hard to be good enough, and work hard enough to earn His love. We feel that we approach him most often asking for forgiveness and apologizing. We forget how much He loves us, that we don't have to earn His love, He freely gives it because he wants too. We forget how proud He is of us, and that, you know what? We actually please him to the point that he celebrates us! I'm so thankful for his love. But I'm also so very thankful that He just simply accepts me, with gladness and happiness, and His acceptance and love is unconditional. It's for me, just who I am, including the garbage as well as the treasure. He is proud of us! We make Him happy. He rejoices over us! He sings love songs about us! Look at this...

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.
Zephaniah 3:17

Now how's that for a love song?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

On Being A Southern Belle

One of my belle friends, Jennifer, posted this on her blog. and I love it. I wanted to post here too. Jennifer is a perfect example of a true southern belle. I'm so glad there are belles still out there in the world today.


How to be a Southern Belle:
--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.
8. Sweat.
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

A Christmas Birthday

My daddy turned 80 years old this past Christmas day. A celebration was in order! And not your ordinary late Christmas afternoon cake and presents. Our family held a celebration at the beautiful Chateau Elan. Fabulous surroundings, terrific food, lots of family, tons of fun. What could be better? I'm so thankful to still have my daddy. This is a picture of the entire crowd, our family, plus a few scattered friends and cousins. Happy Birthday Papa!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

In Memory of Meredith

I did not know her, never met her. But I've connected with this story in a way that I don't think I ever have before, to any other tragedy. Maybe its because I've spent most of my life hiking in these mountains, rafting its rivers, and yes, I've hiked alone, and even with a dog and a small child on a variety of the trails that run through the North Georgia Mountains. Or, maybe its because her body was found just a few short miles from my house, in a beautiful deep forest that I love and claim as mine. Or, maybe its just because Meredith was a beautiful young woman, doing the same kind of things I loved to do at her age. Or, maybe its because I'm a mother, who can't imagine the pain of losing a child, in such a horrendous manner. Whatever it is...God rest your sweet soul Meredith. I'm sure heaven has mountains and trails that you never imagined.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A New Year

I've never been one to make new year's resolutions, mainly because I'm afraid of the disappointment of not keeping them. But here are a few things I'd really like to work toward this new year. Notice I said "work toward." Completion would be an added bonus!

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!