Tuesday, September 29, 2009 0 comments

Life is...Beautiful even when messy

Life is a lot of things, and I've been trying to back in the swing of things lately - like blogging. So when I walked in the house yesterday and saw this poor hosta I was thinking how time flies and the season is changing again already. But then I looked closer - this weather-beaten-ready-to-give-up-for-the-year hosta is blooming!

It amazed me. The whole rest of the plant is ready to die for winter, but it's giving it one last bloom for the year. It's blooming even though I think it's died. It's giving life when I percieve it to be dead. It's beautiful even though I thought the rest of it was ugly.

The placement of this bloom is not in an obvious spot - it was under a dead leaf on the backside of the plant. I had only caught a glimpse. I moved the dead part to see the full bloom.

Is any of this sounding familiar? Don't we feel that way sometimes - that we are dead, ready to give up for the winter, but there's this small glimpse of a bloom that "someone" sees (that would be God). And only God can move the dead parts so the full bloom can be seen. Don't be afraid to bloom, dear ones. God will help remove the dead parts so everyone can see the beauty!

...proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. (Isaiah 61:2,3)
Saturday, September 26, 2009 0 comments

Friday Fragments - on Saturday

} So what if I haven't posted in awhile? I'm posting now.

} I FINALLY finished the book, "Follow the River," by James Alexander Thom. It's this amazing real-life story of Mary Ingles who was taken captive by Shawnee indians in 1755. Her whole life was destroyed - the whole community was killed, including her mother. She, her sons & sister-in-law, and one other man were taken across the teritory hundreds of miles from home. Pregnant on the journey, she had to give up her baby, see her boys and sister taken away, and herself given into slavery. She escapes with a fellow captive and makes her way back home with no shelter, loss of tools, loss of sanity in her fellow traveler, and no food in sight for weeks. This woman had such strength and determination. I could never have done what she did. Even George Washington admitted she was more courageous than he. I love history - especially when the stories are real - and I highly recommend this one!

} Last Friday, we had visitors. I had to call and tell that to Bill specifically since Tom is wanting a dog REAL bad out "in the country." This little fella just showed up. I knew he had to be the neighbor's, and sure enough, the "babysitter" showed up a few minutes later. (for more pics - go to Thru The Lens) His name is Pistol - and that's certainly what he is! I see him and Joy (the babysitter) exploring the field across the road. I wonder if I should warn the cows.

} So I've been unemployed for a couple of months now. And no unemployment checks. I would check and the system would say I have credits - but no checks. What? How does that work? And since you can't get a live person on the phone, I went down to the office. This was the scene at 7:30 in the morning! Needless to say, the wait is the hardest part. I took a book - and my crochet project. (Rebecca, admit it - you're proud!) The guy behind the counter scared me when he disappeared inthe back for a few minutes. But when he came back he told me I would have all my checks in a couple of days! Praise the Lord - and a big "I love you!" to that guy. And let me tell you, this place can give the people of WalMart a run for their money!

} Bill went with me to take the garbage and old nasty stuff to the dump last week. We're just enjoying the afternoon - windows down on the truck - gorgeous day really. Then all of a sudden - POW! I hear this huge POP sound, Bill yells and starts beating at his back, and I instinctly slow the truck down to help pull his shirt away from his back. Turns out, this evil not-so-little hornet hit his hand, made a "bee-line" down the back of his shirt and stung him square in the back. And he was just telling me about his one-and-only other nightmare experience of going to the dump when he was a teenager. I foresee never getting help going to the dump again.

} So why have I not been posting? Have I been real busy? No. Have I been going in another life direction? No. Have I gotten lazy? Ding-ding-ding! We have a winner! Side-effect of getting used to being at home and too much facebook-game time. Time to get out of that mode! I've been praying hard for direction. Should I go into full-time ministry? Should I go back to school? Should I start my own business? Should I work two jobs? So many options...just looking for a confirmation from God on a direction at this point.

Love these Friday Fragments! For more - go see Mrs.4444 @ Half-Past Kissin' Time: Friday Fragments?

Or even Sara's Friday Freewrite:
OrdinaryAndAwesome.com is the Chronicles of My Ordinary and Awesome Life, Family, and Thoughts. OrdinaryAndAwesome.com is the Mostly Wordless Wednesday headquarters as well as the home to several original awards and memes.

Grace & Peace to you all!

Monday, September 14, 2009 0 comments

Total BOY weekend.

See this bow? I had purchased it when I got home from my trip to Ireland 5 years ago totally thinking I would practice and then bump-up to the real model like I used in Ireland. Well, this one was still in the package when the guys found it in the barn. It's the perfect size for Tom, Mr. Robin Hood in-the-making.

There was a lot of father-son bonding with this thing. The first lesson - never shoot at someone. Boy, the first experience with the bow lasted all of 2 minutes when Tom shot an arrow over Bill's head while Bill was getting the hay bale out of the car.

The next day proved Tom to be a much better student. Good thing too - he hit the bale 90% of the time - AND made some bullseyes!

Saturday we had lunch with friends and Tom got to play on this great playground, and shoot hoops and all sorts of other stuff with Lynn's son, Michael. And there was more bow & arrow fun when we got back home. He also found a new pet, Toader. You guessed it - a frog. He spent an hour trying to find it again after he made it a new "home" out of a shoebox filled with grass, twigs, rocks and a lid filled with water. Toader apparently was winning at hide-and-seek since Tom did not get to take him home with him.

Sunday was his first real football (flag) game. It was crazy! All these little guys (and gals) running around in their uniforms and mouthpieces, practicing on the sidelines, and the fans in the stands all in their respective teams' colors. Even family dogs were getting in on the cheering spirit. Tom asked me to come, and I was honored to be there.

So the weekend was full of testosterone! Hmm...gonna need some princess time soon I believe!

grace & peace y'all!

Friday, September 11, 2009 1 comments

Friday Fragments

} I am so thankful for Mrs.4444 for starting this concept of just dumping tidbits into one place so the whole thing doesn't have to make sense. It's just a perfect image of my life right now!

} This week's been kind of a blur. My days are starting to all run together. I'm now "browsing" for a job. Unemployment checks have not kicked-in yet, but I'm still ok for now.
} Had dinner last night with an older couple from our church. Bob is a Korean War Veteran, and Delva has had a lot of tragedy in her life. but to get to spend a few hours with them, sharing stories and life was just priceless. Bob is actually Delva's 2nd hubby. Her first died young of a massive heart attack. And after hearing about her own tragic childhood, family cancer stories, then that - I didn't know what to say! I stumbled out, "Well, now you have Bob!" Her reply? "Oh, I didn't like him to begin with." Oh man, the story that ensued. Poor Bob! But he didn't give up and now they've been married 20+ years. Everyone has a story unfolding.

} Ok, ok...I've finally gotten on-board! I'm using my own grocery bags instead of plastic! I've been influenced by friends over the years, and I've been recycling everything I can for months now. Well, I finally made the leap today. I bought my first two bags - insulated even! I never imagined those bags would hold so much. And I even tested them out - I made two other stops before heading home, and my ice cream wasn't all melted! Now if I will just remember to take them with me when I get groceries!

} It's finally happening! We're having a concert celebration at Greenville Christian Church to celebrate the church's 175th anniversary...just a year late. There's a time capsule that will be opened and history to be told, but the overall theme of the night? Wait for it........The 80s! Since the time capsule was closed 26 years ago - 1983 - that makes for a night filled with plenty of fun material to have a concert with! Not only that, but it will be interactive. All I can say right now is - check your closet for your best 80s attire!

} The new season of shows is almost here! YipppEEEE!!! I only get 5 channels (8 if you count the 2 weather channels and one old B-movie station), so my options are limited. Plus, I need a really good excuse to be crocheting/knitting more!

Love these Friday Fragments! For more - go see Mrs.4444 @ Half-Past Kissin' Time: Friday Fragments?

Or even Sara's Friday Freewrite:

OrdinaryAndAwesome.com is the Chronicles of My Ordinary and Awesome Life, Family, and Thoughts. OrdinaryAndAwesome.com is the Mostly Wordless Wednesday headquarters as well as the home to several original awards and memes.

Grace & Peace to you all!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 0 comments

Life is...like school

Life is like going through school...you are always learning (or should be). Be it something new and exciting, or lessons learned from bad mistakes and failed projects, but we should always be learning.

My great-grandma died at the age of 98. And right up to the moment she got too sick to move - she was still learning new things: new words, puzzles to solve, crochet patterns to master, people's birthdays, historical tidbits, you name it - she had a learning spirit. I just hope I can hold on to that kind of spirit in my life.

With my time off from a job I've been learning a lot about myself - mainly how burned-out I actually was. How trying to live-up to or exceed the expectations of others only leads to emptiness. That I am not worthy to be saved, but because Christ loved me He died on a cross for me - He has made me worthy to be co-heir with Him. I've learned how even cats can have separation issues. How just because I can figure something out - doesn't mean you have it figured out, and I am learning to see it from your side of the table. I've learned I have too much STUFF in my house! I've learned that mulch disappears after a storm. I'm learning how to be still and KNOW that GOD...IS.

And there's going to be TESTS! Oh my is there ever going to be tests! Do you know when you're in one? Does God do the testing - or just allow it? Does He grade on a curve? How do you know when you've passed a test? Does everyone get the same test? How do you study for those?

There are plenty of times when you need to study alone: study the Word, pray, meditate, take a nap, hike a trail, or pet the cat to relax - you get the idea. Then other times you need a study group. Get with a fellow group of like-minded souls (believers, friends, buddies, whatever), and get real. Circle the wagons, so to speak, during trials. Come to the round table, O ye knights (in tights, or flip-flops - whichever) in preparation for battle that starts in the mind.

What about the answers to the tests? Will we know this side of eternity? I present to you one of my all-time favorite versus: Jeremiah 33:3 - 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.' That's God speaking! He'll reveal the answers to you if you pay attention in class!

Grace & Peace y'all!
Sunday, September 6, 2009 1 comments

From a teenager!

One of our fabulous teenagers at church posted this on her facebook and I thought I would share it here... (along with some of my own thoughts :-) )

Bill Gates' "11 Things They Don't Teach You In School"

RULE 1: Life is not fair - get used to it. (Even Jesus said life was hard and that each day has enough trouble of its own - but not to worry!)

RULE 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself. (I know this one all too well!)

RULE 3: You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with car phone, until you earn both. (I know this one all too well too!)

RULE 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure. (And you have to play nice a lot longer than with a teacher if you expect to be paid!)

RULE 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping they called it Opportunity. (but it's only opportunity if you can move into something like cashier or salad maker! Learn all you can where you are, it'll come in handy when that 'big break' hits)

RULE 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them. (It's all a choice!)

RULE 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room. (Febreze works wonders!)

RULE 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers,but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life. ('nuff said)

RULE 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time. (and refer to Rule 4 lest you get unvoluntary time-off to find yourself - looking for a new job!)

RULE 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs. (unless Rule 9 took effect)

RULE 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
G&P y'all!
Friday, September 4, 2009 44 comments

Fragment add-on

} Went to see GI Joe yesterday. Now as a kid I was completely into the cartoon. I wanted to be Scarlet sometimes, Lady Jay another - never the Baroness. G.I. Joe was a Real American Hero. But this movie, while keeping true to the superhero movie feel of over-the-top action, ain't the G.I. Joe I grew up with. But I still liked the movie. And of course they left it open for a sequel. The storyline is different from the cartoon, and some of the characters look different, but all-in-all, I will eventually purchase the dvd so I can get some great action time. The toys and stunts are awesome albiet artificial in some places. Hey, it's a cartoon-turned-movie - it's not real.

} Poor Maestro, all tuckered-out from interrupting my blogging time. Just had to share this last little image.
Thursday, September 3, 2009 5 comments

Friday Fragments

} Why have I not been posting lately? Too much to say that I just can't share with the world. No offense.

} Who knew a day filled with 3-hour naps would feel so good?

} My cats have become VERY attached lately. Since I've been home for long stretches of time, when I do go somewhere and get back home, I can barely walk without them under foot. If I sit down, it means nap/lap-time for one of them, both of them if they try hard enough. That means I have to be laying on the couch, one on my belly, the other on my legs. It's almost like having one of those fur throws - only with purring action (and sometimes massages). When I'm on the computer -one's in the window, one's at my feet - or trying to lay between my arms and the keyboarda;sld;flsd.,fsd,fs[p;sdf................................................................ (from Maestro)

} I made cookies for Scripture Sisters this week. Bill tried to convince me to just buy them - until I brought the leftovers home. I should have taken pictures they turned out so good! Sugar cookies with pineapple "icing" decorated with strawberries & blueberries plus chocolate chip cookies with chocolate icing topped with white chocolate chips and a cherry. Hmmmm-MMmmm! Little Miss Hannah ate a few all by herself! That girl can put away some sweets now - and she's only like three feet tall! Good thing for the rest of us we took that walk before Bible study!

} And I just HAVE to post this picture of the "boys." This was their "serious-down-to-business" pose. Tom's still getting the hang of it, and Bill is just so proud! I watched from the sidelines the making of a linebacker-quarterback-tackling dummy, oh wait...that was Bill. LOL! It's one of the coolest sights to watch - a dad teaching his son to play ball...especially if it's done with encouragement and love. It was a role reversal later that night when playing the Playstation and Tom was losing patience with his dad's controller skills. When I heard "Here, dad, let me do it for you," coming from the next room I had to stop what I was doing I was laughing so hard on the inside! I know better - I just watch from the sidelines!

} I never realized until this week just how burned-out I actually was. Part of the reason I haven't posted much lately. Something about myself was revealed to me this week that I did not anticipate - I have for my whole life tried to exceed the expectations of others when in fact, those "others" did not give a hoot about me really. I learned this week that "expectations is premeditated resentment." I cannot live up to someone else's expectations. No one can live up to my expectations. I should learn to not have expectations of others - only myself. We get angry/frustrated/disappointed/sad/discouraged, etc., when other people do not meet our expectations. Then sets-in the resentment. And that is a pit I no longer wish to slip into!

} Still looking for direction for my life's work that God has prepared for me. I just pray He and I get on the same page. When I see someone who is passionate or really loves what they do I think to myself, "I want some of THAT." So that's what I'm praying for - that God gives me the rest and rejuvenation I need to find that passion He has ready for me. What are those things that you guys are passionate about? Please - comments are always welcome!

Love these Friday Fragments! For more - go see Mrs.4444 @ Half-Past Kissin' Time: Friday Fragments?

Or even Sara's Friday Freewrite:

OrdinaryAndAwesome.com is the Chronicles of My Ordinary and Awesome Life, Family, and Thoughts. OrdinaryAndAwesome.com is the Mostly Wordless Wednesday headquarters as well as the home to several original awards and memes.

Grace & Peace to you all!