" For God himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything." Acts 17:25

About Me

About Me

About Me

Welcome...I'm delighted that you chose to visit! I started this blog in March 2010 and I am so happy that I did. It has made me more aware of the many ways that God is blessing my life. I have made some special friends who bless,teach,encourage,and entertain me! My desire is to be an encouragement to you. I hope you will tarry for a while and that you will come back to visit often.

Friday, April 30, 2010

say yes to "the dress"!

Something very special happened Sunday. My sweet girl received a gift, a blessing, an answer to prayer. Before I tell you what it was, I have to take you back a couple of months. She and her fella had been dating for over a year and were talking about marriage. Her close friends knew this and several of them, already married, had offered the use of their dresses. She and I talked and she said,"Mom, having a dress to keep is not important to me. I just want something beautiful to wear on my wedding day." She didn't want to try on any dresses until she had a ring on her finger, but once that happened, she talked to her friend Kimberly. They are about the same size and she thought if any of the dresses that were offered would fit, hers might. So, Sunday evening she, her best friend (and maid-of -honor), and I went for the try-on. It was amazing... the dress fit as if it had been made just for her! And it is beautiful... a dress she would have picked out if we had gone shopping for one. We all just smiled and laughed and hugged and thanked God for His provision. Kimberly was so excited and happy to be able to share her dress.... thrilled at the thought of watching her friend walk down the aisle in her dress. My sweet girl was overwhelmed by Kimberly's generosity and by the absolute perfection of the dress! And I was just.... well, you can imagine! What I didn't know until a few days later is that on February 28, my sweet girl prayed (and documented in her journal) for a dress. She asked her Heavenly Father to provide one.......one that would not cost us anything. "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4 What a kind and loving Father we have! We have been smiling for almost a week thinking about this special blessing and gift from Kimberly and our great and awesome God! She and I will never forget that moment..... when we knew it was "The Dress"!

Here is sneak peek......

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

gifts of spring

We have been surprised, through the years, at the birds who have chosen to build their nest near or on our porches. One year, a house wren built hers in a wreath on my front door. We were fascinated as we watched her fly away every time we open the door and fly back as soon as we got in our car to drive way. She was faithful and raised her babies until they able to fly away. Our kids thought it was great! We keep a large plastic bag hanging on our back porch that we use to hold smaller bags to recycle. We've found nests in those several times. The first time you walk out the door and have a bird burst out and fly away, it's pretty scary! This year a cardinal chose the small flowering plum tree that is within arm's reach of our back porch. The mom was kind enough to fly away so I could take the picture above! Aren't the eggs precious? I can't wait to see the babies! We feel blessed that they seem to trust us.

The small azaleas that line the front of our house, the ones we prune, haven't been so pretty this year. The blooms they have are vibrant, but they are scarce. However, the large bushes on the left side of the house... the ones we tend to ignore, have been beautiful! They are a happy sight to see when I pull in the driveway. I LOVE SPRING!
I'm so glad God thought of it .......

"every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of lights..." Jam 1:17

a new discovery

Spent the weekend with my dad and step-mom. He is improving every day and doing so much better than I expected at this stage of the recovery process. God is good!
Now, for something humorous. The Thursday before Easter ( and the day after dad's surgery), I went to a service with Mema (my step-mom) at their church. There was a light meal beforehand. When the pastor greeted everyone, he said, " We have "bookoo" food... that's french for a lot!" Of course, everyone laughed. Well, today, I saw a bumper sticker on a van that said "I love bookoo. com". I smiled and wondered what that could be. So, I looked and it is an online yard sale..... like craigslist except much smaller. You click your location (or somewhere near by) on the map and the list of items comes up. I didn't spend much time there, but it looked interesting. So, if that intrigues you, check it out and let me know if it is helpful to you.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

a taste of sweetness

Many of Dr F's patients are very sweet and thoughtful. They show up regularly with good things for us to eat. Today a gentleman brought peanut brittle. Normally I am not a big fan, but this was very good. Not hard to bite or chew... sticks to your teeth a little bit, but, hey, that's what brittle is suppose to do! :-) And it's made in the microwave! So, if you'd like to try it, here's the recipe:

1 cup raw peanuts
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 /8 tsp salt
1 tsp margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda

Grease (or use cooing spray) a cookie sheet. Combine first 4 ingredients. Cook in microwave on high for 4 minutes. Stir. Cook 4 more minutes. Add margarine and vanilla and stir. Cook 1 minute. Remove from microwave, add baking soda. Stir rapidly. Spoon out and spread quickly onto prepared cookie sheet. Cool and break into pieces.

I don't know if peanut brittle is a southern thing or not, so I would be interested to know if it is popular where you live. :-)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

movie night... not quite what I expected

I had the house to myself last night so I rented two movies, bought a Krispy Kreme doughnut, brewed a cup of decaf and settled in for a night of relaxation and entertainment! I rented "Amelia", the Amelia Earhart story with Hillary Swank and Richard Gere. It came out some time in 2009, but I never saw it. Well, it was interesting to learn about her personal life... her marriage, her personality, her other interests. She wrote and spoke very poetically, she was tender with children (though she never had any of her own), and she was selfless in her support of other women in aviation. But there was no chemistry between Swank and Gere, so the love story was sort of unbelievable and the movie was just too long. It kept going and going!! I spent the last 15 minutes at my computer blogging just listening to the dialog.
The other movie was one that came out last Christmas. It looked like it would be cute and funny... not! It was "Everybody's Fine" with Robert DeNiro and Drew Barrymore. The truth is.. it was sad.. the whole movie was just depressing. The worse part was one scene where DeNiro is with his 14 year old grandson. He is pretending to be mad about some very bad golf shots and uses profane language over and over for about a minute. The interesting thing is that was the only profanity in the whole movie and it was in the scene with the child...my goodness. I never like that (the language) in a movie and try to avoid it, but that really made no sense at all. So, long story short, if you haven't seen these two flicks, save your money. Use the ten bucks to buy a pizza!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

will you marry me?

Yes, my sweet girl is engaged! Her fella popped the question Saturday. He had asked J for permission to marry her, so we knew it was coming, but we didn't know when. She was very surprised and is very happy. They are talking about a date in September, so the next 5 months are going to be fun and exciting. I've been the mother-of-the groom twice, which was lovely. Now, I get the unique experience of being the mother-of-the bride. I already feel the tears coming! :-)

"the world will know you are mine by the way you love one another"

J and I took my dad home from rehab Thurs and spent the weekend with him and my step-mom. It is going to be a long recovery, but he is doing much better than I had expected. I know that is an answer to prayer and I am very grateful. We'll be going back and forth for a few weeks trying to be as much help as possible.
They live right across the street from their church, but their pastor is about the only one who visits or helps much. Kind of sad to think that the arms of that part of the body of Christ don't even reach that far. Of course this isn't the first time I have seen the church fall short in ministering to its own. We offer to help..."let me know if I can do anything", but we get busy and don't follow through. I think maybe a better approach is to ask specifically "What can I do to help?" and to ask it often. Or to do something that is always appreciated like cook a meal or offer to spend some time with the sick/elderly/recuperating family member so the caretaker can take a break. If we are serous about ministry and our heart is open, I know the Holy Spirit will give clear and specific directions. Our Heavenly Father knows what the need is and He promises to meet it. Wouldn't it be a wonderful blessing if He used one of us, His children, to do that?

Monday, April 12, 2010

a lesson from the carp

Yesterday, I wrote about the small fish that J caught in the pond at the park this weekend. In the same pond were some very large carp... about 2 feet long. They were swimming in schools of 8-10. Carp are plant eaters, so they weren't at all interested in the worms or crickets on J's hook. The water was clear so we could watch them as they navigated the pond.....round and round, back and forth.
As I took a break from my book and watched them, some interesting thoughts came to mind. I've always heard "there is safety in numbers". Do you suppose that is why they swim in schools? By God's design, their instinct is to stay close to protect each other? It made me think of God's design for us... to be part of the Body of Christ. He knows we need fellowship and encouragement from fellow believers.That is why He commanded "forsake not the assembling of yourselves together". We are safer, less likely to get in trouble when we are accountable to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
It was interesting that they weren't the least bit tempted by those "goodies" being dangled in front of them. They know what they were made to eat, what they need to live and grow. Oh, that I was like the carp! I know what I need to live and grow in Christ, but sometimes I pursue other things. Things that look pretty or taste good, things that tempt me to forget why I was made. I pray that I would be as single-minded as the carp..... keeping my eyes on Jesus. He is "all I need for life and Godliness!"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

visit to the great outdoors

J, the hubby, and I went camping this weekend. It was predicted to be beautiful, perfect for camping, but we knew we needed to make at least one trip to see Dad during that time. So, we did some investigating and there is a park with a campground 5 miles from the hospital where he is in rehab... about 1 1/2 hours from our house. So, on Thursday morning, we made the decision to go and on Friday morning, we headed out!
It is a very nice place with a Wild Animal Park, a huge playground, lots of places to ride bikes, a lake, a pond and a creek to fish in and it was only $16/night to camp! It was a relaxing time.... something we both needed. Here are some pictures.

beautiful wisteria... dogwood and azaleas were blooming, too!

a random tree growing on a tiny island in the middle of the lake... notice the Spanish moss!

trees reflecting in the creek

the fisherman caught about 50 bream in this pond... the biggest one being about 3 inches long!!
he had a great time catching them and throwing them back... fun way to spend a morning :-) I watched, took pictures and read my book... nice!

Friday, April 9, 2010

springing into thankfulness

Jeninfer at Trading Beauty for Ashes made a list of things she is thankful for this spring. It inspired me to make my own:

...the vibrant colors of azaleas, especially when they are planted in a bed together so the colors contrast
... tiny new green leaves on a giant oak tree
... the smell of the earth tilled in our back yard waiting for tomato plants
... the enjoyment my hubby gets from shopping for those tomato plants
... anticipating the juicy goodness of those tomatoes... yummy!
... cool mornings with bright sunshine
... sitting on the swing on our patio with a cool breeze blowing on my face
... waking up to the sound of birds singing in our trees
... no heaters or air conditioners needed
... being surprised every time something new starts to bloom
... birds in the bird bath... really bathing!
... the new birth in Christ that spring brings to mind
... and the resulting gratitude that calls me to worship

"Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord" Psalm 150:6

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

working for Him and him

I was a stay-at-home mom until our youngest, our daughter, was 13. At that time, we had one son in college and another about to graduate from high school, so I decided to look for a part time job. I wasn't sure what to expect. I had not been in the workplace in 25 years and had limited marketable skills, so I prayed and asked God for direction. When I saw the ad in the newspaper for the position of file clerk in a doctor's office, I thought I met the requirements... someone with organizational skills and the ability to file alphabetically!! After raising 3 children, I definitely knew my abc's...ha! ha! Ten years later, I am still there and my responsibilities have expanded. My boss, the doctor, is a wonderful guy. He is generous and kind and takes very good care of his employees. Our office manager is the sweetest Christian you could ever meet and she has become one of my BFFs. I work with pleasant people that I really like and to make things even better, my daughter is now working there also. What a treat to spend every day with her!
At lunch today, my sweet girl and I were talking about people who are miserable in their jobs but have no choice but to remain there. I am always grateful for my job.... part time with flexible hours so I can work around my family's schedule, great atmosphere, two minutes from my house. But, today as we talked, I was reminded again that I am blessed. God provided the perfect job for me in a place where I am free to talk about Him, encourage my co-workers, and, hopefully, do work that brings glory to Him. Every year, when I have my evaluation (and get my raise...yea!), I tell Dr. F that God continues to use him to bless my family. I hope that blesses him.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

home again

After a week, I am back.... back at home, back at work, back at my computer. It was a rough week, emotionally and physically exhausting. But God is good. He answered our prayers and met our every need. My dad did amazingly well through the surgery and is now in rehab. Hopefully, he will be back home with my step mom in about 10 days.
My dad's pastor is a great guy.... caring, insightful, funny. He has been so thoughtful and faithful to call and visit and pray. He is young, early 40's I would say, and has been at their church for less than a year, but he and my dad have become big buddies. You see they have the same spirit, the Holy Spirit, abiding in their hearts.That is their common bond. It is a sweet thing to see him hold Dad's hand and pray, to hear him say "I love you brother", to know he truly cares. It has blessed and encouraged me to see his pastor's heart. He read this Psalm before Dad went to surgery and it has been resonating in my heart all week.

Psalm 121 "I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil, He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever." Amen!