Wednesday, March 31, 2021

what's up Wednesday


Happy Wednesday! I am linking up with Shaeffer from Shaeffer Told Me To and Shay from Mix and Match Mama for this blog post. I'll jump right in.

What we're eating this week:

Well, Monday night we had grilled chicken with veggies and there are leftovers. We had pizza last night because I really didn't want to cook and I know that is terrible, but it was true. Also, if I cooked, I had to go to Kroger and I wanted a day at home. I was busy all of Monday and after a night with lots of people here, I need time to decompress from all of that, even as much fun as it was. These are introvert problems. I'll go to the store today and run a couple of other errands while I'm out, then I'll figure out the rest of the week from there.

What I'm reminiscing about:

Everything, thanks to Timehop and Facebook memories—mostly the days when my boys were little. Spring was our favorite time of year, because it put us all back outside. Baseball (and later lacrosse) went on, bike rides happened, the driveway was always full of the neighborhood kids (still is sometimes, but with friends not in the neighborhood) and lots of other fun things like that. Also with March being birthday month, we did other things related to that as well, like when we celebrated Dad. We would go to his house and they would fish and drive his riding mower and then come inside and crash or play games like Twister and Pick Up Sticks. We always had friends with us, too.

I took the boys and their Mimi to the Orpheum on this night twelve years ago! They all loved  those Magic Tree House books and this night there was a play there based on those books. They LOVED the play and we had a blast taking them downtown for such a fun night.

What I'm loving:

Seeing all the green in the trees and bushes! After months of dreary days, it's always so good seeing sunshine and the pretty green things outside, excluding pollen. Tis the season for everyone to wash their cars off every single day.

What we've been up to:

It seems like nothing but birthdays. Ha! We've had lots going on. Graham is busy looking for a house to buy and is going to see one tonight, Drew is working and making plans for after the summer involving him working in a hospital, Jonah and Noah are wrapping up their school work and getting ready for graduation and all the fun things coming up that honor them. I need to get pictures made and find pictures to send in to several things. I may work on that today, actually.

What I'm dreading:

Nothing, really. 

What I'm working on:

Senior stuff for the boys, making sure they have all that they need to wear to special events, turning in grades and requesting diplomas, writing for our next Bible study coming this fall (Esther!) and keeping up with the normal day to day chores that involve running a home. I really need to spring clean and go through a bunch of areas in the house and finish up some painting. I'm rolling my eyes at myself, because I still haven't finished painting. I keep setting deadlines for myself, and they keep going right by.

What I'm excited about:

Lots of possibilities with friends this coming month...more about that on another day, though.

What I'm watching/reading:

I started watching One Tree Hill. I'm so invested, but even so, I don't know how much more I can take. I'm hoping it picks up soon. I'm also watching my regulars—This Is Us, New Amsterdam, The Resident and The Good Doctor. I am reading, but not as much as I wanted to in March. That's what happens when I watch too much tv, but I had several nights in a row at home alone and I caved and started a new series. I'll write about my books on here later today.

What I'm listening to:

Ben Rector, a spring playlist someone made that I follow, a K Love playlist and another one called Everyday Inspiration—all on Spotify.

What I'm wearing:

Jeans or leggings with flowy tops is my uniform. I got a few cute ones that are new on Friday of last week! I also got two other cute tops I can wear for church and I'll wear one of them for Easter. 

What I'm doing this weekend:

I don't know yet! Sunday is an early and long day for us because of choir and tech team stuff for my husband and there being two services, so probably we will come home and eat and then I'll take a nap. Drew and Graham are coming home from being out of town that weekend, so we'll do a family only birthday dinner for Drew. I can't believe he'll be 21! 

What I'm looking forward to next month:

Drew's birthday, senior stuff, time with friends and family, the mountain retreat I mentioned, planning a mini-trip or a day trip with some friends for May or June...lots more, but I'll end with those.

What else is new:

I think that covered everything and more. Oh! Crash is doing really well, my dog who had his ACL repaired. He goes to the vet again tomorrow and if he's healing well with the first one, we will get his second one scheduled ASAP. It seems like a lot, I know, but it'll cut down on his time that he has to spend confined to a small space. He will be like a new pup once it's all over and done with! He's been an excellent patient. 

Thanks for reading! Love to all.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Daddy' 90th Birthday celebration


We celebrated Daddy's 90th birthday last night! It is crazy to even write that sentence. I cannot believe he's that age! 

Here we are the morning after Todd and I got married.

We have always been close, from as far back as I can remember. I remember when I was a little girl, he used to lay down with me every night to tell me stories while I fell asleep. He always had really nice pajamas, with a button up shirt and pants, and I used to hook my little finger through the tag in the back of his shirt so he would stay there with me all night. Of course, that never happened, because I'd relax and let him go. 

We love music and that love has always been a huge part of our relationship. We also love Uno and that was too. He is who made me the Uno Queen because we played every night after dinner. 

I grew up and started life on my own as a married lady, then a mom and we just grew closer and closer. We were always meeting for lunch when I worked full time, then he started taking off half days on Fridays, which is how Fridays with Dad got started. And now all boys are grown and we're back to just us once again. The circle of life is strange, isn't it? He is also equally as close to my siblings and I know they're as thankful for that as I am. 

We had a great night celebrating Dad. I made the dinner, but my sister Trish was in charge of the phenomenal dessert and some decorations, which I didn't even think of. We're a great team, she and I.

Graham was the first one home and Sandy took this of them after they'd looked at his truck. I wish I had a picture of Dad next to Graham's truck, but I love this one that San took. 

My brother Paul and sister Terri couldn't be here, but Paul had the idea of doing a Zoom call when we did the cake. That was the best idea and Todd made it all happen. He had to work through some kinks while he was at work on Monday, but it worked perfectly and Dad was so surprised! This was them while we sang to Dad.

Trish and me with Dad.

The grandsons in town are (left to right): Drew, Noah, Graham, Jonah and Devin. 

Todd also grilled our dinner for us. He was the superhero of the night, for sure, all after working his regular job and going on a call out yesterday afternoon with the sheriff's department. 

Dad got a gift card to his favorite store and a new flag for his flag pole. We got the greatest night in return. We laughed and reminisced and they told us fun stories from their weekend in Hot Springs, complete with a meal someone bought for them (strangers, no less) and a ton of people singing to Dad and making a huge fuss over him. It was a wonderful ninetieth celebration! We are so very fortunate that we're able to celebrate him and I promise, we do not take it for granted. 

I had to document this very special night for the archives of my blog. Thanks for reading along! Love to all. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

four somethings- March

I can't believe it's already almost April! As busy as March was, the month dragged on for what felt like forever. I'm linking up with Heather for this monthly post and I will jump right in.

Something loved:

I loved celebrating three out of four of my handsome sons! Graham turned 22, Jonah and Noah turned 18. My sister Debi (in this picture above on the left) was here to join in the fun! Trish is another sister, in the middle of this. Debi and I were laughing because of how much we matched that night. 

Something read:

I'll share my books for March this week sometime on my blog, so come back and check out that post! Also, I'm away from my book journal and I can't remember the three books I read this month. In the meantime, I've been reading lots of music in choir practice. All our music is new to me and I have actually had to pick up the piece of music to try to read and follow along. I don't read music well, other than following along if I'm able, so this is quite the task for me. Usually I listen to the music over and over and learn it that way. 

This is not a recent picture, but one I took of us about four years ago at a Christmas worship night—but we always have fun at choir practice! This picture pinpointed how I have felt the last two weeks in choir practice when I went in unprepared. 

It makes me laugh.

Something treasured:

Times in Bible study are so near to my heart. I love serving women by helping out at Bible studies each week, whether it's helping with the worship or leading a small group. I love that we can sit and study together and I love the relationships that are formed as a result of all of our talking and getting to know each other. If you're ever able to attend a Bible study, I encourage you to go! We ended Philippians last week and it was very bittersweet to meet that last time. 

Something ahead:

I have a fun trip coming up in just a few weeks! I am part of a writing team at my church and we write Bible studies for women in our church (and around the world, Lord willing) to study the Bible inductively, which is verse by verse. Our next book we're writing on is Esther and we've already gotten started! The five of us who make up the writing team are escaping to the mountains for a few days in just a couple of weeks. I can't wait! We always have a blast when we're together and we end up laughing ourselves silly. It'll be a fun and fast few days, I am sure. 

Thanks for reading my blog! Love to all. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Friday Favorites 3.26.21

Happy Friday, friends! I'm linking up with Andrea today for this blog post. 

This isn't my typical favorites type blog post, where I take you through my week with fun stuff and things that stood out to me. I thought I'd share about one thing that I do pretty often at our house that is one of my very favorite things to do—how I go about hosting birthday parties. 

Today is my dad-in-love's birthday and we had him and my mom-in-love over for dinner last night. We also did this two weeks ago for three of my four sons and we'll be doing it all over again on Monday night for my dad's 90th birthday. Additionally, I always do something for my mom and Bill as well, on their birthdays. I grew up with birthdays being a big deal, and I love carrying on the tradition Mom handed down to me. 

So, without further adieu, here is how I go about hosting a party.

I've mentioned this before, but I keep the house marginally clean. (Don't ever look too close or use a white glove or anything, but it stays pretty neat and I vacuum almost everyday because of the dogs.) I always have my quiet time in the mornings like it's just any other day, then I make my list of what all I need to get done so that I can have a time frame in mind. I always start with knowing what we're eating both for dinner and dessert and I know that we always eat around six, unless Drew is working and we start at 6:15 so that when he gets home at 6:20, we're just sitting down. 

I had originally planned for us to have something entirely different, but thanks to the rain, I had to go to plan B. I ran to Kroger and got all my ingredients after writing down all that I needed and the recipe for future notice. Yes, I am an adventurous cook. Both dinner and dessert were new for me (spinach lasagna and a coconut cake). I came home and pulled everything out of their bags and categorized everything. I always start by making dessert first, because in this case, it needed to be refrigerated. 

It's basically a giant mess for a few hours. Once I've made everything, I clean everything I use as I go. I made the cake and some brownies for the people who don't like coconut. I paused to eat lunch and sit for a while, then I got back to work at two. I went ahead and organized everything I'd need for the lasagna as I cooked, then assembled it to be put into the oven at five. I started a load of dishes in the dishwasher so that we had an empty one afterward, then I started putting things away. I cleaned the counters off, vacuumed, then I went and pulled out all the plates, utensils and cups we'll need for tonight. I had coffee ready to be made with cups out and sweeteners and cream, and everything was ready for us to eat at 6:15. 

I always make the salad and bread last, but when I got the lasagna out of the oven, it needed to sit for about fifteen minutes, so that's when I put the bread in. I make my own garlic bread with a loaf of French bread from the deli, then toss the salad very last. 

I'm pretty organized about it all and I've done this for so long that I don't even think about it anymore. I have a system by now and though it does take time and preparation, I have always loved doing this. About those new recipes I tried out, both were DELICIOUS. I'll be keeping them close by for future reference. I wasn't sure about the coconut cake, but I bought a white cake mix and coconut milk, along with flaked coconut for the icing. The cake got its flavor from the milk and the icing was homemade cream cheese icing, then topped with more coconut flakes. I kept it refrigerated, because for some reason, I like it to be cold when I eat this kind of cake. Though I love it, until today I thought I was the only one who loved it so much. Turns out that Drew loves it as much as me. ;)

I hope this post inspires you to host a family birthday dinner sometime soon. It's my preferred way to celebrate, because we are a large group and I feel like my food is just as good as most restaurants and it's more relaxed being here at home. Thanks for reading along! Love to all. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

a few things


Happy Thursday, friends! I thought I'd share a few random things on my mind.

This picture always brings a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. It's so hard to believe this wasn't that long ago, but my dear friend Eileen on the far right has since passed away and is with Jesus now. This was such a fun day! Eileen and I had made plans and when we met, she whisked me away to a little coffee shop on our town square and we met Missy and Barbee. They surprised us with little Easter treasures, potted gerbera daisies and milkshakes! It was such a fun and sweet day and I loved that they surprised us.

It is shocking to me that this was seven years ago. SEVEN! We used to love to go to Costco for lunch and shopping after church on Sundays and this was us doing that. Todd, Graham and Jonah were watching a March Madness game on Todd's phone while we ate and were laughing all the while. Graham had his arm around Todd. 

I took this today at Bible study. We've had to meet in the sanctuary all semester, which seems like way too much space for a small group of us, but we've made it work and have only had to move around a time or two. It was Amy's turn to teach on our last lesson of Philippians and it was so good! I have loved getting to hear different teachers all semester long and they're all incredibly gifted.

I ate dinner super early yesterday, before church. I sautéed these veggies in low sodium soy sauce, a drizzle of olive oil and a tiny pad of butter and put it all over rice. It was really good! I've been on a raw veggie kick and most days I've been eating those and hard boiled eggs for lunch.

I made a tray full of these hot ham and cheese sliders the other night for dinner. All I do is cut a whole package of Hawaiian rolls at one time, load them up with ham and cheese, put their tops on and drizzle them in a sauce made of butter, soy and Worcestershire sauces and poppy seed. Bake them for about fifteen minutes at 350 degrees and serve them while they're warm and the cheese is all hot and melty. They are delicious.

I have had the sweetest quiet times this week. I've been in Numbers for a while now and am nearing the end of that book, but I've also loved the portion of Psalms I've been in. This particular chapter is one of my favorites. 

Speaking of favorites, we are celebrating my dad-in-love's birthday tonight! Because of that, I will probably skip my usual Friday Favorites post, so in case that happens, I'll see you back here on Monday. Thanks for reading my blog! Love to all. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Wednesday in the Word


Happy Wednesday, friends! Today is our last day of the Philippians Bible study at my church, the one that I helped write back in the fall of 2020. I cannot believe it's over after today—I'm always a little excited about a break from studying, but it's always bittersweet to see it come to an end. I grow to love the ladies in small group so much and I'm always sad that we don't see each other regularly when we don't meet. The study was so good and I'm not saying that because I helped write it, it is for sure one of the better studies I have ever done. I love the book of Philippians and all that Paul charged the church of Philippi with us then, and us today. If you've not read the book lately, you should! It's short, you could read it in just a few minutes.

I am still reading along in my Everyday With Jesus Bible and I am still loving the layout. It's refreshing to read a few different parts in the Bible all in one day and I seem to get more out of it, at least for now. I love chronological Bible reading, don't ever think I don't, I just have to take breaks from it from year to year. I said all that to get to this post and the reason for it today. I pray it encourages you.

Yesterday I was reading in Numbers, chapters 23 and 24, about Balaam and Balak. (Why couldn't they be named Jethro and Bruce? It'd be so much easier to distinguish them.) In this event that I was reading of, Balaam was the "good guy" and Balak was the king. Balak was pretty mad at the Israelites and that they had set up camp nearby. He wanted Balaam to curse them, but something curious happened. 

*Before I move on, we really don't know a lot about Balaam from Scripture. His character is a bit fuzzy, like a few others in Scripture, but in this particular event, the Lord used him greatly and I was encouraged by what happened in this passage.

Balaam went to meet with God and there, God met with him. It says in Numbers 23:5 that the LORD put a message in Balaam's mouth and told Balaam to return to Balak and relay to him what the Lord had told him. So Balaam goes back and proclaims his message from God and when Balak was mad about it, his response to the angry king was, "Shouldn't I say exactly what the LORD puts in my mouth" (Numbers 23:12)?

This happens almost word verbatim again in the following verses and it's in this section where we get a powerful characteristic trait about God. It's in Numbers 23:19. "God is not a man, that he might lie, or a son of man, that he might change his mind. Does he speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?"

This isn't where I'm going with this post, but don't you take comfort in that? God does not lie and He doesn't change His mind. He speaks and acts and He promises and fulfills each promise. I loved reading that!

The third time this happens, when Balaam goes to meet with God, we are told in Numbers 24:2 that the Spirit of God came on Him. Once again, he went and proclaimed the vision that he had seen. Needless to say, Balak was furious with him and sent him to his home, but Balaam did not regret proclaiming what the Lord had told him. In Numbers 24:13 Balaam says that he could not have gone against the LORD's command, that he had to say what the Lord said. There was one more instance in which the same thing happened and at the end of the passage, Balak went one way and Balaam another.

Here is what I took away from reading this yesterday, listed out for you like a good Southern Baptist girl does. Before I start that, this reminded me of how we can deal with difficult people. I'd say Balak was about as difficult as they come.

First, before we ever agree to do anything, or even speak about something with one such person, we should go to the Lord in prayer. Here is a great verse to pray when you don't know what to say:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Second, we can trust that God will give us the words to say to one such person. In Luke 12:12, Jesus Himself told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would teach them what was to be said. If that was true then, it's true for us today, because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, according to Hebrews 13:8.

Lastly, we should aim to let the Holy Spirit guide us in what we say, for those of us who are believers in and followers of the Lord Jesus. I'll give you an example, because I am a practical type gal and I love a good mental picture. Do you ever feel extremely frustrated at someone and when they come in to the room and do or say something innocent, you get the feeling you are about to go off on them? It doesn't have to be an angry outburst, it could be a biting remark or a sarcastic smirk. Right before that moment where you lose your witness, do you ever almost tangibly feel like someone is putting their hand over your mouth? I cannot be the only one who has done this, I trust everyone reading knows exactly this moment in time I am speaking of.

We may call that "thinking before speaking", but I call that the protection and leading of the Holy Spirit, for those of us who walk intimately with Jesus. I have felt in my spirit that at a certain time when I am less than friendly, that I should NOT say what I want to say in such moments. I am always so thankful when I feel that nudge to just delete my comment before I post it, or to keep silent. If I'm able, I like to slip away to somewhere private so that I can pray. 

I know I have said this before, but it is always so very important to consider what our words and actions say to others. Are you impatient and rude with someone when you're out? I have been before and I've had to confess it to the Lord in prayer and ask His forgiveness. We will always battle our own flesh, so we have to be diligent. Do you speak so sweetly behind your computer screen or with the stained glass crowd, then go home and berate anyone and everyone in your path? That speaks a multitude about your heart, in both kinds of circumstances. The difference is what we do with that conviction that we feel, when we feel the stinging stab of it. Do you carry on and ignore it, or do you pray and then ask forgiveness, both from God and the person who deserves your apology?

I've not arrived at this moment of a perfect life, my friends. I stumble everyday and it takes diligence on my part to fight the sins of my flesh. I have to spend time with Jesus, without Him I am a miserable human being. I can't even go a day without Him in it, I am so very dependent on Him! I love to share things from my life that the Lord has taught me, either in a physical way or through His Word. So this is me, sharing with you. 

Don't feel discouraged that you'll never change, you will when you seek the Lord through prayer and reading His Word. If you don't know what to pray, may I suggest a resource? One of my favorite books of all time is The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. I also love her other books on praying for your kids, both as kids and later on as adults. There is a version for your husband, too, if he is a reader.

Spend time in prayer! I don't have hours and hours to spend each day, so sometimes my prayers are short and sweet, but other times I make sure and take the time to sit. This takes discipline! I sit down with a journal and I always start with praising God for who He is and thanking Him for all that He has done. I make sure and spend time praying for myself, because like an older friend once told me, if you don't pray for yourself, it'd be like trying to help passengers on a distressed flight without first helping yourself with oxygen. If you don't have what you need, you can't give others what they need! I always spend time in confession and I ask the Lord often for a pure and clean heart, based on David's prayer in Psalm 51. 

If you can get to a location where you're alone, do that. I cannot pray when people are coming and going, so I usually wait to have my quiet time after everyone has left for work for the morning. Go outside, go for a prayer walk, go drive around—whatever it takes, get alone with God. I don't ever recommend praying silently. For me, I am sidetracked if I'm not speaking a prayer out loud to Him. I like to use a journal, because I like to keep track of special requests there. Everyday I pray for my family under this roof, our parents, and our friends. Just yesterday, I started a new thing, that was inspired by an idea from another friend. 

Because I can't keep track of who I pray what for, I wrote down all of our family members names on little pieces of paper and put them inside this prayer box. When I've finished praying for them, I write the date on the back, fold it up and place that one in this glass jar. I also wrote down our missionary friends, persecuted believers around the world, our nation, governing leaders, law enforcement and emergency personnel. I don't take the time to pray for them everyday, but this way, I know I'll consistently pray for them over a two week course.

Here is one blog post I've written on the topic of prayer over the years. Here is one where I share about my prayer notebook. If you need a place to start these are good resources, but there's not a right or wrong way to pray. I know the more I "try to be good" at prayer, the more I stumble. I just close my eyes and picture Jesus sitting across from me at my table, and I just pour my heart out to Him. The more you do this, the more comfortable it gets. 

Read His Word, live out the Word and apply it to your life. Ask the Lord to help you and He will, I assure you. I pray this has encouraged you today! I'll see you back here tomorrow, probably for something a bit more fluffy and lighthearted. Thanks for reading along, friends. Love to all. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

when (the) church hurts


I heard a statement recently, from someone who has been hurt by someone in the church. When I say "in the church", I mean within the body of believers that makes up the church, not the actual church building. (I realize my picture may have thrown you, but that's just a cute chapel that used to be nearby.) Anyway, that got me to thinking about what we do with the ways that people hurt us. 

First, people are people and people are HUMAN. Not one of us is a perfect human being and because of our sin problem, we will always battle our "flesh" or worldly tendencies. We can let our flesh win, or we can operate by the power of the Holy Spirit. It's always a battle between the Spirit and the flesh. Operating by the power of the Holy Spirit requires time spent with Jesus in prayer and in reading His Word.

With sinful people all around, myself included, sometimes we say things we shouldn't or act in a way that is less than nice. We all give in to this from time to time, but when we act out in this way, it's important for us to make amends to anyone we may have hurt. Meaning, if I had a bad day and someone calls me on the phone and I am rude with them, it is my responsibility to own up to what I did and to apologize with heartfelt meaning.

When someone who is a believer hurts us, it's important to remember that they are equally as human as you and I are—and even if they never apologize, it's important to forgive them. I can speak to this, because up until recently, I have held a grudge against a pastor from long ago. I won't go into it, because it's water under the bridge now, but he never apologized and for my own good, I had to finally move on and forgive him even though he was never repentant.

Like I said, he is human and what he said is on him and between him and the Lord. Someday he will answer for what took place and how his harsh words caused both my husband and me to stumble in our walk with God. (We've since gotten over this.) 

But see what I mean, when you don't let things go? People are human and though I'm not excusing him, by not forgiving him, it was like something was festering inside of me and it was growing and growing. That is exactly what bitterness and anger will do, if you let them go on unchecked. They eat away at you! There is a verse that talks about this, in Colossians 3:8—

But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth.

In that same chapter, a bit further down, there are instructions on how we are to live, if have been saved from a life apart from Jesus, verses 12-15, and I'll write them out for you.

Therefore, as God's chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful.

From these verses, do you see how when we act in those ways and put on those things, that peace rules in our hearts? It's true! The enemy likes to trick us into harboring a grudge and bitterness in our hearts. We have to be careful in NOT living like that, though or our hearts will become bitter and hardened. As believers and followers of Jesus, we should always be asking for a soft and pliable heart. We want the Word of God to change us within our heart, so that bitterness doesn't rot us from the inside out.

What is in our heart always comes out of our mouths. 

A good person produces good out of the  good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of his heart. Luke 6:45

Something else I've learned about people who hurt people is that hurt people hurt people. Did you read that right? Read it again. Hurt people hurt people. People don't just do and say things because they're in the mood, they usually act out in a certain way because of the condition of their own heart. That is why I always take it back to everything being a heart issue between them and God. Either you are walking with Jesus or you are NOT. Put one person from both of those categories in a room full of people and you'll be able to tell them apart. 

After realizing that people are human and nobody is perfect, it's important to let it go. Elsa had it right, it turns out, when she sang that infamous song. Most likely, they're not sitting around thinking about what they may or may not have done. So, accept their humanness and let it go and move on with your life. We all know people like this, who can't seem to move on and they're miserable people. I feel bad for them. 

That is my encouragement for you today. I know I need this reminder every once in a while. Do you need this reminder today? If so, spend some time praying about the situation and release it to Jesus. 

Love to all. 

Monday, March 22, 2021



Happy Monday, friends! I am linking up with Tanya today for her Hello Monday linkup. 

My weekend started off with my dad. He came over on Friday and we had a really good time together as usual. We had hot dogs, chips and baked beans for lunch. I always make him coffee while he's here and also as usual, Callie sat at his feet and followed him around everywhere he went. Callie is our German Shepherd and she ADORES my dad. It's really sweet how protective of him she is. He always tells me she's his favorite dog that we have. ;)

I took him home and came home to make dinner, of which NOBODY ate except for me. Everyone had plans or wasn't hungry. Todd worked that night and everyone was busy doing their own thing.

On Saturday I went out with my mom and Trish. We had lunch and went to an antique shop called Southern Vintage. I haven't been there in ages and bought two things. One is a cute saying painted on a sign and the other is this turquoise birdcage. I'm thinking of leaving it at my table, it's so cute there! I originally bought it for the deck.

I also loved this tea towel, took a picture of it and texted it to my best friend.

I came home and got comfy and finished the book I was reading, then I ate some black beans and rice for dinner and caught up on New Amsterdam. Then I started a new show, One Tree Hill. I'm not sure how I missed out on this show all these years, but it's good and I watched a shameful amount of episodes last night. (And again today.)

Church was bright and early this morning, then I came home for lunch and sat with Todd for a bit, then I had choir practice at three this afternoon. I was back home and comfy by six and here I sit, watching this show and working on blog posts for the week. Church was SO GOOD today and so was choir practice, though my voice still hasn't recovered. I suppose I haven't pushed hard to sing like I did today at practice since one year ago. Our old worship pastor always pushed us like our new one does now and I'm out of practice. I was laughing at myself over this, because it made me feel old while we were rehearsing. Insert face palm emoji here.

Meanwhile, Twinkles the cat has lost her marbles and meows to go outside ALL. THE. TIME. and then she practically cuddled up next to Chip over the weekend. 

Other good things from the weekend include, but are not limited to, the following:

Noah got home yesterday! He was out of town with Alex and his family, and I missed him so much.

I have somehow managed to stay caught up on laundry. It's a miracle.

I spent quality time alone with the dogs.

I found a new show to watch!

I also succeeded in FINALLY getting Mom and Trish to watch Gilmore Girls, my all time favorite show of all of my favorite shows.

It was so good having a worship pastor again! I appreciate the people who led us throughout 2020 and how they volunteered their time and efforts to make it smooth in the year without an actual worship pastor. They all did a phenomenal job and I could never thank them enough.

There are so many other things that I'd normally be able to think of, but I am about to fall asleep, so I'll wrap this up. Thanks for reading my blog! Love to all. 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Friday Favorites 3.19.21

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals for this blog post.

I have a long list of favorites from this week, so buckle up! 

It's no secret that cold/cool weather is my favorite, but I've also enjoyed sitting outside on warm nights and watching a show or two. Todd was out there watching this game Saturday night and I went out there Tuesday night to do the same. This deck and sitting out there is my favorite. 

I hope to see the boys and their friends sitting out there in days to come. It's such a great hangout spot! There's tons of seating and cushions, and who doesn't love magical twinkling lights?

Oh, Timehop. Sometimes you're my favorite and sometimes you make me cry. Surely these boys should still be this little. These days when they were so young were truly the best days of my life. Everyday was an adventure and we were ALWAYS up for one. 

We loved going on picnics, we loved long rides with the dog(s), we loved being outside, we loved finding new places they could run around and play hide and seek, we loved being on the town square every Friday night as we listened to bluegrass music while they ran around with friends, we loved Fridays with Pappaw, going to the zoo/children's museum/anywhere downtown, we loved having friends over, we loved cooking together and a million other little magical moments. We didn't have very much in terms of money, but we were abundantly and richly blessed with time and adventures. These guys have always been full of joy, just like you see in these pictures and they still are. One thing I always hear is how they're all always smiling. 

If you're a mom with littles at home, DON'T BLINK. Babies don't keep. Before you know it, they'll all be grown and you'll have more time on your hands than you care to admit.

New journals are my favorite. My friend Rhonda sent me this beautiful, personalized journal before Christmas. The cover is navy blue with a cross made out of flowers and I just started using it this week, when I finished the one I started around December the first. Even more than this journal, I love a thoughtful gift. I had been out the day I got this in the mail and I was shocked to receive such a sweet and unexpected gift. She wrote me the sweetest note to go along with it, which you know I saved. 

Look at the bottom of the page—I love how each page has a verse with my name inserted into it! It's by Paper Sunday, for anyone who is wondering.

I stayed home all of Wednesday and Thursday, which was glorious, and cleaned out three areas inside the house—our closet, the tornado closet under the stairs and the bookshelf in the living room. Look at all these Bible study books! I've spent the last fifteen years of my life raising boys and being a student of the Word of  God. My very first Bible study was on the book of Daniel and looking back over it yesterday, it was only by the guidance of the Holy Spirit that I as able to complete that study. The first part was easy, but the second part on prophecy was a doozy! Prophecy books intimidate me, needless to say. 

A lot of these are old Beth Moore studies, along with some by Lysa TurKeurst, Priscilla Shirer, Kay Arthur, Jen Wilkin, Anne Graham Lotz, Stasi Eldridge and maybe a couple of others. These are not all the ones I have that I've completed, it was only what was in the tornado closet. My others are on bookshelves throughout the house. I posted this picture on social media and asked people what they did with old studies like this and the overwhelming answer was to keep them. I did toss some of them, but I kept all of the workbooks and a lot of the Precept studies I've done. 

Like I always say, Bible study is my favorite. I can never get enough and I don't ever see that changing, Lord willing. These days I enjoy helping to write the studies for women in our church and I still love doing some of them by the ladies I mentioned above. One of my favorites that I have ever done is The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer. 

I love looking out the windows and seeing color and buds on the trees. Springtime color is one of my favorite things to behold and it gives me such a vivid spiritual picture of Jesus giving us new life when we put our faith in Him. 

These words with the box around them in my Bible are some of my favorite. 

I saw this on social media early in the week and it is one of my favorite things from the whole week. These words are so true! I always tried to be that mom who swam with her kids, even though I hated what I looked like in a bathing suit. Life is short! Embrace the moments the Lord gives you in life with your loved ones, like I said earlier—you'll blink someday and they'll be over. 

I am reminded of what one of my favorite bloggers and authors Sophie Hudson said one time—how she wished that someone had told her that one summer that it was the last summer her son would ask her to swim with him, that she'd known that she was living in the golden days of his childhood and that she would have lingered there just a bit longer. 

Whew. I can't hardly write that without getting a lump in my throat and teary eyed, as I write this in my quiet house. 

According to some blog statistics I looked at a bit ago, my posts from Thursday and Wednesday were your favorites. Scroll down a bit and read them for yourself, if you're interested! 

That's about all I've got, my friends. Thanks for reading along! I hope you have a great weekend, I'll see you back here on Monday. 

Friday Favorites, 7.12.2024.

  Hi, friends! As you can tell, I'm forcing myself to be here often, because my life needs to resume some sort of normalcy right now; th...