Thursday, August 31, 2023

Thursday thoughts & the life of a friend


Good morning, friends! Most of you know that my mom-in-love's best friend died very unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago. We attended her memorial service last week, and it was wonderful for a few different reasons. I thought I'd share some thoughts on that here today...not just about her friend who is now with Jesus, but on loving people well and telling them how we feel about them, while they're living.

I'll start with that one, because it may be one of the most important things I'll ever encourage you with here on my blog. Don't wait until a funeral to tell someone how you feel about them! I'm a big believer that we need to say all the things to the living, so that means that every week, I try to tell people thank you and why I am so grateful for them and the influence they've had on my life. We are never promised tomorrow!

Secondly, make the phone call. Take the phone call. I've always known that life is fleeting, but this year, more than ever, I've seen the shortness of it all. When my sister died, I remember wishing that I'd called her on her birthday. I texted her, because I knew it was hard for her to talk because of her breathing. She died about a month after that, from pulmonary fibrosis. So, make the phone call. Take the call from that person you never want to talk to; do it anyway, because it's the right thing to do. You never know the impact that kind of thing could have on someone.

When I listened to story after story of how Nita lived her life, I was encouraged to live in that same kind of way that honors Jesus. She loved everyone, she had joy that was contagious, and she was the ultimate servant, all for the sake of making Jesus known. She loved to make things, so she was forever crafting things to give away as gifts; she volunteered joyfully for everything she could, and she never uttered one complaint; she was known for giving away more than she had to give. 

I was so inspired by her life! Maybe you will be too. The Bible talks about things like this, and one verse that I love that reminds me of that kind of living is found in 1 Samuel 12:24.

Above all, fear the LORD and worship (serve) him faithfully with all your heart; consider the great things he has done for you. 

I'll leave you with some pictures of sweet Nita. 

One last thing, and I'll be done: we are not meant to walk through life alone! Do you have a friend like this? Phyllis (my mom-in-love) and Nita were best friends who were more like sisters. My mom has that same kind of friendship in her best friend Pam, and they've been friends for over seventy years! I have this kind of friendship as well. Do you? What are you waiting for, if you don't? In order to have a friend, you must first be a friend. Don't just be a "friend"; be a great friend! You'll never regret living your life that way and having that kind of relationship with someone. I am so thankful for mine! 

Thanks for reading my blog today, friends. Love to all. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

What's Up Wednesday ---> working at Cornerstone Bookstore & CafƩ and what else I've been up to lately


Happy Wednesday, friends! I'm joining in with Sheaffer and Shay for today's post that is about my new job, some details about everything that goes with that, and what I've been wearing and been up to lately. A couple of you asked me to do this, so if that was you, thank you for the request, and here you go. I hope you get to read this while you drink your morning coffee; that's my favorite way to read blog posts!

Did you know I have a new job? For the third time in one year's time, I am saying that. In case you're new, I started working for an attorney's office on our town square last August, and worked there until December, when I was hired by our town's school district as an educational assistant in the reading intervention room at one of our local elementary schools. The job was temporary, and I worked there from the end of January until May, when school let out for summer. 

I spent a glorious summer doing nothing but reading, catching up on cleaning and laundry, seeing friends, dating my man, traveling to the beach, and lounging by a pool. I wasn't bored at all, but I knew I would miss working, and I started wondering if I should look for another part-time job. (The job at the attorney's office was VERY part-time, and then I started working full time at the school. This job is part-time, thank the Lord!) I was offered a full-time job at church, but I turned it down for lots of reasons, mainly because of aging family members. When I asked them to keep me in mind for a part-time position, this job became available and they offered it to me. I have to laugh, because I just think it's funny how the Lord works. It's been a dream of mine forever to own a bookstore, and you can't get any better than what I'm doing now, which is just running one and not having to deal with the major responsibilities that ownership would bring.

Basically, I'm living my dream and having the time of my life. I worked yesterday and started repositioning things in a way that made sense to me. Here are a couple of pictures I shared last week...

And after working yesterday, I took these to share what I'd accomplished.

I open the bookstore on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, for a few hours each morning. I'm also open during church hours, which means Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. It's so perfect! We sell Bibles, books, Bible studies, journals, and small gift items. Additionally, we sell drinks and snacks for people coming in during church hours. I will also have to open the bookstore anytime there's a funeral at our church, but it would only entail me being there for about an hour. I make coffee all day long while I'm there, and I have discovered that my church family cannot live without it to drink. šŸ¤£ That being said, I've learned a few things.

I've learned that I get really hot while working. I am always on the move, restocking, straightening, ordering, cleaning, and organizing. I worked yesterday and walked myself to death. I've learned that dresses are better for me to wear, because of how hot it can get in there, which is why I've ordered several new ones. I have learned that I have missed people! I've been in choir for so long that I'd forgotten what it's like to see people who aren't in choir. I love choir, don't get me wrong! But I've missed other people. I've learned that there are lots of ministry opportunities working in a church. Just yesterday we had someone looking to shop in our clothes closet, and I got to meet and talk with a new friend, her mom, and her cousin. They spoke very little English, but it was wonderful to be able to have that opportunity. 

Even though it doesn't matter how I dress, as long as it's business casual and appropriate, I wanted to have some new things since I'll be working at my church. Because of these things mentioned, I thought I'd share some of what I've been wearing lately.

First up are these two dresses I bought two weeks ago from my favorite boutique, The Paisley Rooster. (Todd calls it The Paisley Chicken. šŸ¤£)

Two dresses in the same style, but with different prints. These may look familiar to you...

Because they're the same style of dress. I am definitely the kind of gal who likes to stick with a good thing, in case you didn't already know that. I know that most of you do understand that about me, particularly because I don't love shopping for clothes.

Next up is this dress I ordered from Shein. 

I love this dress and am blown away by how great it feels and looks, especially considering the very inexpensive price! I ordered similar dresses in dark green, and one in a black and white gingham print. I figured to make them more appropriate for cooler weather, I'll throw on a cardigan, like the black on above, or a jean jacket. 

I bought these jeans a few weeks ago, and I love how they fit. They flare at the bottom, and I love the cropped length because I'm short. 

I bought this top at the boutique I mentioned above on the same day I bought the two dresses. I bought a second top, one that will be perfect for fall, and in that beautiful mocha color that I love. I also bought a dress in a shade of that color from Shein, but I don't have pictures yet. And here are a few more things I've been wearing recently. 

As far as what else I've been up to, I've been reading, decorating for fall, dreaming about that and things for the bookstore, and I've been hanging with friends. I hope you come back to read this week! I'll be sharing about the books I read this month either tomorrow or Friday. 

What have you been up to lately? I'd love to hear from you! Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all! 

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Tuesday -- the one where I talk about Sunday, parakaleĆ³, and a God story


Happy Tuesday, friends! I thought I'd share about something fun I did on Sunday. I'll back up with a little of the backstory first. 

Most of you know I love worship music, I love books by godly authors that are relevant to me in this stage of life, and I love to be with girlfriends. All of those things combined for one perfect afternoon in Nashville on Sunday. I discovered on Friday (Thursday?) that my favorite blogger/author/podcaster Sophie Hudson was in Nashville speaking at a women's event at the church where Travis Cottrell leads worship. It was a free event, so Missy and I talked and decided we wanted to go. Add to that the fact that our friend Teresa lived nearby and that she wanted to go as well, and that's how we found ourselves in my car with bags of snacks for the road after church on Sunday, heading east toward Nashville. 

We had been planning on taking a weekend trip to go see Teresa soon, but we've never been able to nail down a date. We decided that we needed to go so that we could see her, even if it was just a quick day trip. We pulled out of the parking lot of our church at 12:30, we made one stop at the half way mark for gas and a restroom break, then we pulled into the Olive Garden around 4:00. We decided on a location that we knew would have great food, and that wasn't too far from the church where the event was held. It was so good to see our dear friend!

We ate a delicious early dinner, then left in plenty of time to drive to the church, and get spots at a table. 

I had to take a picture of the steeple. Did you know that I have a thing for them? Missy had ridden with T, so I had time to kill since I beat them there. 

I'm so glad we left after church, because if not for that, I might not have remembered to bring a Bible and my journal. Here we are about to go inside! I'd gotten directions from a sweet lady who told me where to park and which door to enter. Brentwood Baptist Church is huge! It's also beautiful. 

Because I love women's ministry, I took pictures of this to show my friend Amy, our director of women's ministry. Some things that I love and took note of: I loved how the tables were decorated simply. Also, all that was served at this event were bottles of water and "friendship tea". I also love that they had a craft planned for us to do while we waited.

And I loved that they do everything with a QR code! I laughed over this picture below, because they were comparing grandchildren. They each have grands that are either a young toddler, or a baby. Yes, I am younger than them both. šŸ¤£

We made friendship bracelets! The name of the event was Gather. 

We had a time of worship, which was amazing, then Sophie took the stage.

Many of you know Sophie from her role in the podcast, The Big Boo Cast. I know her from the early days of blogging, where she was Boo Mama, Melanie Shankle was Big Mama, and when Travis Cottrell joins in, he's known as Fry Daddy. šŸ¤£I love both of the ladies I mentioned, and have read their blogs since I knew who they were. They've both written several books, of which I've read them all and they're working on new books that will come out in 2024. I have had the privilege of meeting them both!

Here's when I got to meet Melanie, and this is one of my favorite books of all time that she wrote.

And here's when I got to meet Sophie, when she came to my area, and one of my favorite books that she authored.

Missy and I traveled to Dallas to meet Melanie and her best friend Gulley, which is also when we went to McKinney. We had the most fun on that trip and it was our first best friends trip when it was just us as adults and not as youth leaders with a bus full of teenage girls. Sophie was here in our area the night I met her, and to this day, that was one of my favorite events ever. Both of these ladies are similar, but I relate to everything that Sophie says, and her accent just makes her even more endearing. She is one of the most funny people I've ever heard speak. 

It's funny that even though we wanted to do this and go and have fun together, the reason that we went was because our friend needed some girlfriend time. She's gone for months without seeing friends from here, and it was way past time to remedy that. Oddly enough, Sophie talked about a word that summed up the whole evening—parakaleĆ³, which means to encourage, to exhort, to admonish, or console. It was such a wonderful and encouraging afternoon and evening, and it was worth the seven hours spent in the car in one short span of time in a day. We weren't really sure about going to this, for just the one day and coming back that evening, but it because obvious that the Lord wanted us to do this, and He made the way for us to be able to go. He worked out every detail and amount of time, down to the minutes. Isn't He sweet to do that for us? He certainly doesn't have to, but He knows what we need even when we don't. We all needed that time together, and we needed to be encouraged. Basically, we parakaleĆ³-ed so that we could be parakaleĆ³-ed. How amazing is the Lord??? He never ceases to amaze me. 

He's such a good and loving Father to us! So that's my story from the week about a kiss from the King. I love hearing God-stories, don't you? Do you have one to share? I'd love to hear it, if so! Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all. šŸ–¤

Monday, August 28, 2023



Happy Monday, friends! I'm linking up with Holly and Sarah for today's blog post. How was your weekend? Mine was great, because I got to spend time with my favorite birthday girl, also known as Mom. Happy Birthday to you, Mom! I love you so much and am so thankful for you!

We will celebrate her tonight with dinner at their house. 

My dad came over for lunch on Monday. It was good to see him! It'd been a couple of weeks since he'd been here. I canceled last week, and met him and Sandy for dinner instead. I made us chicken salad, and we enjoyed catching up. My sister Trish stopped by, then Sandy came to get him.

After he left, I left to get gas at Costco, then I went to get my nails done. 

I have been wearing bright colors all summer, then I started wearing neutrals after that. I was ready to get something darker, since it'll be September at the end of this week. This is OPI's Less is Norse. I grabbed a gyro sandwich for dinner, then came home to eat it and wait on my sister to get here from Denver. She flew in for the weekend to surprise Mom, and I picked her up from the airport when her plane landed at 9:30. I took her to Mom's house to stay the night, then came home and crashed. 

I was up early Saturday morning, and I watched this adorable movie on Hallmark. I loved the actors, who are married to each other. I piddled around here all morning, then I got dressed and met Mom, Trish, and Lisa in town to spend the day together. We shopped, we ate lunch, then we split up so that Lisa could get back home to shower for a wedding.

It was so much fun! While I was gone, Todd was up to something on his own...

He bought a motorcycle! He's wanted a Harley for as long as I've known him, and Saturday was the day his dream came true. I'm so happy for him, and his new hobby, that will probably become my hobby as well. I am planning on starting to ride with him, when he's more confident. I'd like for him to get used to it for a few months, then I'll jump on with him and we'll go on day trips together. I promise you, he didn't stop smiling all day long after he came home with this! We went to dinner at our favorite local place, then he went cruising, and I came home to shower and get comfy. 

We were at church early on Sunday, and then after church, I did something fun with my best friend. I'll share more about that tomorrow, though, since I'm writing this post on Saturday night. I'll have pictures and details tomorrow, so come back and check it out! 

What was something good from your weekend? Thanks for reading my blog, friends. Love to all!

Friday Favorites, 7.12.2024.

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