Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Friday, May 31, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Imagine

Every week Lisa-Jo picks a post that is quite least it is for me.  There are some limited rules and if you need a springboard to writing this is a great place to start.  The most important rule of Five Minute Friday is leaving an encouraging comment for the person who linked up before you. So, set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back
here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

OK, are you ready? Please give your best five minutes on:::



When I saw the prompt for today all I could think about was John Lennon's song, "Imagine."  It continued to play in my head as I began to gather the lyrics for my post today.  I love the song and it is one of the few Beatles songs I can actually play on the piano.  I like to sit at the piano in the cool and quiet and imagine that I am a famous pianist.  I am not....I cannot read music....and really only play by ear.  But it is fun to imagine. I have always been able to imagine.  When I was a child I created stories in my head....about my life....about my future.....I never had imaginary friends....but boy did I have an active imagination.

Imagine there's no heaven(this is my least favorite line.  I believe in heaven.  I like to imagine what it will be like when I joined my loved ones there some day.)It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one.

I am a child of the 60's/70's.  I grew up with strange thoughts and beliefs taking place....yet I was grounded in the church.  My parents saw to that.  I am thankful that they gave me this firm foundation....and sometimes....if I close my eyes really tight...and find my happy place....I imagine.  I imagine what it will be like to live in a world that is at peace, and see my loved ones again. 


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Women's Study Bible - Signature Series

About The Book (from back cover):  The Woman's Study Bible New International Version is a priceless treasure, poignantly delivering the Word of God to a woman's heart.  It provides the tools for the reader to dig deeper in the The Word with inspiring articles by Anne Graham Lotz, Stormie Omartian, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Roberta Hromas, Kimberly Daniels Linda Dillow Kathy Troccoli, Dee Brestin, and Emilie Barnes.  It helps you to get acquainted with over 100 women in the Bible, there are hundreds of verse-by-verse notes,  it includes over 300 articles on topics for women, there are book introductions and outlines, and tons more.

My Thoughts About The Book:  The Woman's Study Bible is a extremely informative, easy to read, and encouraging. The copy I was sent is the NIV version.  The text was so easy to understand compared to other versions of the Bible. This is definitely a Bible geared specifically and only for women. I was very excited to review this Bible. I was out of town and actually used the bible in church and found myself caught up with all the helps that really enhanced the sermon I was hearing.  They really clarified the sermon topic for me.
I really enjoyed this Bible. I recommend this to anyone searching for a nice Bible to give to a woman, girl, graduate, or possibly even a bride.  The color scheme of this Bible is earth-toned, soft, feminine and attractive, but not too "frilly" as to be distracting.

Disclaimer:  My review copy (received from Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program/Shelton Interactive  for the purpose of this review) is a hard copy version.

Hodge Podge With A Green Thumb

"Here we are again, smack dab in the middle of the week, although it feels more like Tuesday don't you think?  Monday holidays always throw off my internal calendar. You should know it doesn't matter if you answer on Tuesday or Wednesday or some day later, just answer. And link here to Joyce's blog! Don't forget to add your link! "

Here are my answers to Joyce's questions for the week~

1. What question do you often ask yourself?  What were you thinking?  This is especially done when my day does not go as planned.  Do you grow roses?  What's your favorite color of rose?  Ever been given a dozen roses?  Where was the prettiest rose or rose garden you remember seeing?   I have two knockout rose bushes.  I can't kill them.  The pink one on the side of the parsonage came with it.  The red one in the back yard Susan gave me on my birthday the year my mom died (2011) and she planted it.  Both of them flourish.  I love roses.  Yellow/blush/coral are my favorite colors.  I have been given a dozen roses a few times in my life.  Charles Wetherington gave me my first on my 18th birthday.  My next door neighbor Edie Gunnel painted me a picture of them so I could have them forever.  My favorite rose delivery was when my friend Debo sent me two dozen the school....from my secret admirer.  LOVED the reaction they got!  The prettiest rose garden I have ever seen was in Ireland at the National Garden.  It was amazing.
3. Do you read the freshness dates on grocery store products?  Will you use eggs past their 'use by' date? Take medication that's expired?  Buy a dented can?  It depends on what it is....yes I read the dates....and yes I throw out things if not used near past due dates.
4.  Should athletes be role models?  I agree with Joyce and I too think in the eyes of children they always have been, and likely always will be, and that's what matters. For better or worse.   Kids look up to athletes and as such I'd love to see athletes rise to the occasion...  Some do...and some don't.

 5.  Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first explorers to reach the top of Mt. Everest on this date (May 29th) back in 1953.  What's something you hope to achieve in your lifetime?  Being at a book signing for a book I have written and had published.

 6.  What would you do if you had twenty acres of land and the money to develop it any way you choose?   Build something to house all my family for reunions, special occasions, etc.
 7. If I invite you to a party with a 7 PM start time, what time will I actually see you there?

 6:45 for sure.  Being on time is important to me. 

 8.  Insert your own random thought here. Are you taking a vacation this summer/year?  Where are you planning to go?  Do you do the same trip each year?  I am currently at Panama City Beach, Florida until tomorrow morning.  This is our second year and we also take others trips throughout the year.  This will be our big vacation this year.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Three M Kinda Day: Marcie Has Eyes, Mishap For Me, and Meeting Little Miss Amelia

Marcie's eyes never show up in pictures so I grabbed a shot of she and Lyndi.  She is really trying hard to keep her eyes open for me.  I think she looks too cute.  There is so much mischief in her eyes....this is one of my favorite things about her.  She has such expressive eyes.

My Mishap took place as we left the motel to go to Destin.  I tripped on a speed bump....well didn't actually ankle turned...and I fell....face straight on the concrete in the parking deck. My glasses and packages all went sailing.  The ear piece on my glasses was bent knee was skinned up pretty good, and I am headed for a shiner where my face hit the cement.  This is the Rock Mills second falling event.  Paulette fell yesterday, had to go to the Doc in a Box and her right leg is skinned...and her ribs bruised.  Less than 15 minutes we after she told us what happened to her....yesterday.....BAM....Karen was on the ground.  We stopped at a CVS enroute to Destin and got some first aid supplies. 

Meeting Miss Amelia:  We met Frank's daughter Amy, and her daughter, Amelia at Starbucks at Destin Commons....the real one.  We actually stopped at the Starbucks for the outlet mall...wrong one.  Amy and Amelia were waiting for us four miles down the road.  We hopped in the car and went to the right place.  This was a special day.  This was the first time we have ever seen Amelia....our granddaughter.  She will be a year old in July. She is precious.  It took her a bit to warm up to Frank....she liked him...and would smile and giggle at my arms...or in Amy's.  Finally she decided he was ok and I grabbed a couple of quick shots of them together.  She is every bit as pretty as her mom. 

Amy and Amelia.  Two of the most beautiful girls in our lives.  Amy is a red head with creamy skin, and long gorgeous hands.  It was great spending time with them both. 
 Three generations:  Frank, Amy, and Amelia - Starbucks at Destin Commons, May 28th, 2013.  We headed back to our hotel.  The gang is eating tonight as a group at Capt. Jack's.  This has been an interesting day for sure. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day is More Than a BBQ

Today is a day I must stand up and shout.....Memorial Day is more than a BBQ!!!!!!!!  It is so much more than that....and the history of it is being forgotten.  "Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead" (Source: Duke University's Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920). While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all. Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 - 363) to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee. 

In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it. Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored, neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day.
While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country. There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 50's on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3d U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn, a practice that continues to this day. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye's Heights (the Luminaria Program). And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years. To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps." The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.  But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend in with the National Holiday Act of 1971, it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."  

My father fought in WWII in the Pacific Theater.  My husband in Vietnam and father-in-law in Vietnam and Korea. 

I have countless family members and dear friends who fought in Korea, WWII, WWI, Vietnam....some came home.....others did not.  My son-in-law,  nephew, countless former students, and friends are currently active.  I thank you for what you do....for the choice you I can sleep safely at night.  To those of you out in blogger land if you ever get a chance to go on a trip of a lifetime....go to Washington D.C and see all of these great memorials....GO!  You have to walk them, touch them, watch the people there....I will touch you in a way nothing else will ever touch you.  God Bless America!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

What a Woman Needs (Service at Woodlawn United Methodist Church)

Frank, Wil, and I attended the Mosaic service at Woodlawn United Methodist Church today.  It was a contemporary come as you are kind of service that took place about three miles from our hotel.  I am so glad we went.  The speaker was not the one who was supposed to was a lovely young woman named Cameron who is one of the certified lay speakers at the church.  The church is doing a series called Desperate Households. The topic dealt with what a woman wants/needs from a man.  There were six points:  1.  She needs a man to be close(spiritual, emotional, psychological).  Gen. 2:24 - make eye contact, value, smile at her; 2.  Open Up - talk to her; 3.  Understand - hear her - you don't need to fix it guys....just listen.....maybe even you want me to fix this....or just listen.  1 Peter 3:7...women are like a ceramic are like a copper one.  We (wives) need our husbands to be burden bearers - just like Christ; 4.  Make Peace - be sensitive - step up and make peace in the home.  Let us know you care enough to make peace.  1 Cor. 7:28; 5.  Be Loyal - Malachi 2:17 wondering eyes break trust.  Commit your marriage to God....daily!; 6.  Honor her-Proverbs 28:29-31 - She is your treasure.  If you follow these 6 simple steps....she will do them in return.  As I sat there and listened I thought of my own precious husband who excels at these.  He is a wonderful husband and lets me know I am his treasure...daily. 

For supper tonight the gang was cooking hamburgers and hotdogs....but we wanted some seafood so we scoped out the local restaurants and chose Billy's Oyster House at 3000 Thomas Drive.  Our server was Jordon....wonderful....and the food was amazing.  If you are ever in Panama City and want some amazing seafood this little dive is where you need to go.  It was amazing!  We spent the rest of the evening on the deck at the hotel and visited.  I love this place!  Tomorrow is a big day.  We will be feeding around 40 on the deck at the hotel...and then Tuesday is the big day.  Be sure to check back and see what is up.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Panama City Bound

This is our second year to come to the Driftwood Lodge in Panama City Beach.  This year we came down on Saturday with the rest of the gang.  Last year we came down after church, but Mike Brewer  is filling the pulpit for Frank in the morning.    We will be here until Thursday.  I have to tell you that I love this place.  The Gilmore family run an amazing place and if you like mom and pop places you will love this one.  I would rather stay here than a condo.  The sunset is from our little balcony porch on the second floor.  We left Rock Mills at 7 this morning and got here somewhere around 1.  The ride was interesting because we traveled with Marcie and Tracy down roads I have never used to get here.  The scenery was lovely.  We had to wait a couple of hours for our room to be ready so we hit Walmart and loaded up on our groceries.  A little after 3 they let us know we were good to go and we unloaded the car.  While we were waiting for everyone to get here the kids swam and we watched a set up for the wedding on the beach of Justin and Tristen.  The balconies of the hotels were packed with well wishers who were NOT invited to the wedding....yet, attended any ways.  It was a lovely wedding.  The bridesmaids wore a coral chiffon dress that seemed to float in the breeze.  The bride wore satin and lace and was  just beautiful.  After the wedding and once everyone finally got here and we cooked steaks on the grill about 6:30.  Dinner was delish.  Tracy is magic with a grill.  It is now nearly 10 and the pool is quietening down, the kids are all tucked away.....and I am headed that way.  Frank and I are attending the 9:45 Mosaic service at Woodlawn United Methodist Church.  I cannot wait.  Frank rarely gets a chance to be ministered to.  Lyndi, Tracy and Marcie's daughter is coming in about 4 in the morning.  She had to work til 11 tonight.  I can't see what tomorrow brings.  The McCarleys are going fishing on the pier at 5 and then to St. Andrews to fish the jetties.  Sherry and Keith, Celia and Chris and Libby are not with us this year and are sorely missed.  I have a big surprise for my readers but you will have to check back in with me on Tuesday to see what it is.  Think you can wait that long? 

Friday, May 24, 2013

It Is All About The View

Writing regularly and for even five minutes stolen here and there during early mornings or late evenings or during nap times and any fringe moments one can carve out can be free therapy for any writer’s soul.
So, let’s do this thing. Let’s write.
Set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on the word:::









To springboard into writing today I thought I would share with you some of the views I love.  I have to be honest....these are some of my all time favorites although there are many many more.  I love the views from trips I have made.  Mt. Ranier's majesty is a breathtaking view whether you see it from Tacoma or Seattle.  It leaves you knowing that there is a God.  The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland are amazing too...especially if you get to witness the view with a friend you love.  The view in the Everglades is dark, somewhat frightening but has a draw that leaves you wanting to see more.  Castles in Kilarney, the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Dunguness lighthouse(and several others), my kids at the Grand Canyon, and my list of views continues.  I love it when I have the chance to see a view that is new.  I love to see views that I see everyday and find new things about them.  I love to open my eyes and just take in all the views God has placed in front of me.  I want to keep my eyes open and alert so I don't miss one of these awesome views.  I am an amateur photographer and the views that I see behind the camera lens often amaze me beyond belief.  I see the view in my head and when I snap the shot and capture it forever that view is permanently embedded in my mind.  I love taking shots of my youth girls, the families at our church, the flowers from one of our church members yards, babies that are younger than 6 weeks old....Sometimes I feel as if life is my viewfinder from my childhood.  I put the lens before my eye....and smile.  In the Smokey Mountains there is a place called Maggie Valley and there rests a billboard that claims, "Lawh what a view."  I feel that way about is all about the view.  Psalm 102:19 tells us that  “The Lord looked down from his sanctuary on high, from heaven he viewed the earth,  I can imagine him saying....."Lawh what a view!" 


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday Hodge Podge

Hello to all out there in blogger land and welcome to another edition of The Wednesday Hodgepodge...add your link to the bottom of Joyce's post by clicking here and then go see what the neighbors are saying. Here are my answers to Joyce's questions for the week~

1. It's National Bike you own a bicycle? When did you last ride a bike?
I do not have a bicycle and have not since the old Schwinn back in 1963. Bike riding hurts my knees something fierce. 

2. What's something you learned in school that wasn't part of the curriculum?
Poetic styles of Beatles lyrics taught by Thaddeus Trotsky in the 10th grade.  How to get along with everyone when my school was desegregated during my high school years.

3. What's a food you've never tried, but would like to try? What's a food you've tried, and will never try again?  I am a safe eater and do not like internal organs or food that looks like it did when it was breathing.  Saying that though...I would like to try Scotland.  I will never eat beef tongue is nasty.

4. Have you been more demanding on yourself lately or less? Why? Do you think that's a good trend?
More demanding because it is the end of the school year and there is a lot I need to accomplish before Friday, May 24th.

5. Who is your favorite book, movie, or TV show villain?
Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz. I feel triumphant when she melts.

6. How concerned are you about identity theft?
It doesn't keep me up at night, but it's definitely on my radar. I find myself paying close attention to my surroundings when I use a card.

7. I saw this last question on Dawn's blog and asked if I could share. Everybody hop over and say hi, but first answer this...would you rather have an ordinary home in an extraordinary place or an extraordinary home in an ordinary place?
I am with Joyce here.....definitely an ordinary home in an extraordinary place. I'm all about a great location!

8. Insert your own random thought here.  Sometimes songs just really nail me to the wall.  A good friend of mine shared this song with me and I want to share it with you.  The singer reminds me of Josh Groban....but this song, Roads by Chris my least for now.  I hope you will click on the link and listen.   Do you have a song that is your theme?  Care to share it with me?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Prayer for Oklahoma

Yesterday was a terrible weather day.  I have family and friends who live in the area where the tornado touched down and was very nervous for their safety until I got word that they were all ok.  I could not stay off the news, twitter, or facebook....hoping...waiting.  Yes, my friends and family were ok...but many others were not.  Today I want to just take a few moments and lift up a prayer for the families affected by this devastating tornado.  God Bless You All!
God Is Our Refuge
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.

(from Psalm 46)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Crazy Day - Part Deux

Frank and I have no hot water last night we decided to run to Gedney's for dinner.....forgetting of course that they were closed on Mondays.  That prompted us to run to LaGrange for dinner.  While headed to LaGrange we both saw a man stumble and fall out of the woods.  He did not get up when he fell so we turned around and went back to offer assistance.  By the time we returned to him he had semi-crawled to the edge of the road and appeared to be trying to flag someone down.  We stopped and got him to sit up next to the car.  He had been hit upside the head a number of times and was complaining of a massive headache.  Shortly after we stopped a Georgia Highway Patrol stopped...and then a few minutes later a Sheriff pulled in.  Of course we could not leave the scene because we had to answer questions and the young man was leaning up against my car.  He obviously had been drinking and admitted this to the police officers.  He had been at a State Park nearby and was trying to make it to his cousins house but became disoriented.  Once the ambulance arrived and they loaded him up we were released to go.  As I sat there watching the scenaio unfold I wondered if anyone we knew had passed....seen us stopped wtih not One but TWO police cars and an ambulance and wondered what the Rock Mills UMC preacher and his wife had been up to. if you saw know the rest of the story!    We were just being Good Samaritans.  What a crazy day...part deux!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Crazy Day

I think I saw myself coming and going yesterday.  It was Senior Recognition Sunday at our church yesterday.  I love this day because after the service we have a luncheon honoring the graduates and their families.  We only have one graduate this year.....Carissa. 

The beginning of the Crazy Day.  Prepared the food I was taking, rehearsed the special music I was doing, made sure gifts were wrapped.  After church and a brief stint at the luncheon Frank and I hopped in the car and drove an hour to attend another graduation celebration for another one of my sweethearts.....Trina.  She graduated from college.  She is the mother of young Noah, wife of Jeff, DIL of my friend Deborah.  I am extremely proud of her.  It is hard enough to go to college as a teenager, fresh out of high school or community college....but to attempt it with a full time job, a young son, and a hard.  I know.....I have done it. 
Her party was at El Rauncho Grande in Alexander City.....and hour away.....but that was ok....because after running in on this party.....we had a preconference meeting at Trinity UMC ...ten minutes from the restaurant.  We would be there from 2 until after four.  Annual Conference for the North Alabama Conference is June 2-4 at Birmingham Southern(That is going to be part of my crazy week.....upcoming......vacation, conference, they are not in the same day.....they are in three different states).  What do I have to say to what I know as my Crazy Life sometimes....."Bring It On!"

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Happy 11th Anniversary

Today, 11 years ago, my beautiful daughter came down the aisle and became the wife of Brian Jones, her high school sweetheart.  It was a blessed day because not only did she marry the man of her dreams, she married her best friend.  I first had Brian as a student when he was in the ninth grade and thought he was amazing.  I knew in my heart that he was the kind of young man I wanted Kat to date/marry.  Two years later when he was in the 11th grade and she was a ninth grader they met.  He went home and dreamed he married Mrs. Harrell's (last name at the time) daughter.  In October of her 9th grade year the two of us went to Six Flags with her friend Jill and her mom.....and Jill's brother Jeff and his good friend, Brian!  That was the beginning of this Cinderella story.  They were in the band together, Brian graduated and went off to college.....Kat graduated and went off to college......and one sunny day at the Shakepeare Festival Park in Montgomery....Brian planned a wonderful picnic, took his guitar, sang her a song, and asked her to be his wife.  She said yes.  Now here we are 11 years later and their life is taking a new turn.  In January they will be starting phase two of their lives together as missionaries in Moldova....and their lives continue to be blessed by God.  They are an amazing couple with an amazing love story.  Happy Anniversary to two people I love to the moon and bacK.
Life With Brian and Kat

My favorite shots of them are when they look at each other.  There is so much love in their eyes.  When you meet them.....and walk have been blessed.....fully.  Happy Anniversary and wishing you both many more....with love.

"By My Side"

Don't you get ahead of me

and I won't leave you behind

if you get unhappy

show me a sign

there's no love like lost love

no pain like a broken heart

there's no love like you and me

and no loss like us apart

promises promise is

only a word

and when softly spoken

is never heard


and a heart

is not a stone

and is fragile

when alone

by my side

by my side

won't you be by my side

by my side

by my side

won't you be by my side

my care for you

is from the ground up to the sky

it's over under up above

down below and to the side

no use in pretending

no use in saving face

my love is never ending

you are my saving grace

by my side

by my side

won't you be by my side

by my side

by my side

won't you be by my side

Friday, May 17, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Song

I can take a deep breath. I made it. It’s Friday.  One more week of school.  Graduation is May 24th.  I am so glad to have Five Minute Friday to chill to this morning.  Thank you Lisa-Jo for letting me have a place to freewrite/brainstorm/write/release.

Got five minutes? Let’s write. Let’s write in shades of real and brave and unscripted.
Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right or not.

“Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.” ~E. B. White
1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back
here and invite others to join in.
Be generous and leave an encouraging comment for the person who linked up before you. That’s the best part about this community.
And if you don’t have a blog, feel free to leave your five minutes of writing as a comment. And we’ll love on you there.
Today’s prompt is one of my favorite words:



I am a writer, singer, listener, and lover of songs.  Songs can lift me up (Testify to Love and Wagon Wheel I will rock on during my hour drive home each day), songs can make me cry (Walking Her Home, It Is Well, and Take My Hand Precious Lord - because they remind me of my parents) (Roads, In My Daughter's Eyes, and You Raise Me Up - because they are so powerful and just overcome me),  they can make me laugh (455 Rocket reminds me of Amanda's speedy driving....and makes me laugh.  Mighty Quinn - Kat and I call each other so we can share that song when it comes on.  I will miss that when she moves to Moldova in January).  Songs fill my heart at church sometimes and speak to me more than the message does.  I love singing songs.  Sometimes on my way to and from work I will pump up the volume and belt out songs all the way there.  It makes the drive go by so much faster.  On warm afternoons coming home I will roll down all my windows, pump up the volume, and sing to my hearts content.  When Amanda and I sit down and work on songs my heart is light.  There is nothing like the melodious harmony she shares with me.  Our hearts seem to just bust out of us and go soaring into the sky when we least that is how it feels to me.  I love working on new songs with her, writing new songs with her, pulling out some good oldies and belting them out.  I love when we sing our songs with other people.....but you know...with Amanda....I could sing with just her and be happy.  She is the harmony to my song.  Harmony is my favorite part of a song.  I would rather sing that than lead any day.  Amanda has a powerful lead voice and it is so exciting to push our voices to the limits on any given song.  Songs are my life.  I wish I lived in a musical and could just bust out in song whenever the score tells me too.....oh wait....I do do that.  Poor Frank!   When we came home from South Carolina a couple of weeks ago....Marcie and Frank were subjected to church and a concert in the car.  I sang for probably 2 hours.  Frank gets it all the time....this was Marcie's first experience.  Wonder if she will ever ride with me again?  I hope so.  I love an audience when it comes to a song!


The Color Of Hope

About the Book:  Hope shines brightest when all seems lost.  Stephanie London led a life of comfort and ease in St. Louis before feeling inexplicably drawn back to her father’s roots in the tiny Southern town of Hope Springs. Charlotte Willoughby has lived there all her life and longs to make a new life somewhere else. Stephanie doesn’t know exactly what she’s doing there—or how to occupy her time. And Charlotte doesn’t understand why, despite her overbearing family and reminders of her failed engagement, she’s suddenly led to stay.  Despite its small-town charm, Hope Springs itself is at a crossroads. After a failed reconciliation attempt by two well-meaning pastors, the town is split along racial and cultural lines, with little hope for redemption.  When a terrible tragedy puts Hope Springs on the national radar, the entire town is tested, and both Stephanie and Charlotte feel their lives unraveling. In the midst of heartache, though, they’ll discover the true color of hope . . .

About The Author(In Her Own Words):  "My life is marked by one big bright neon line down the center, showing a clear before and after. For twenty-seven years, I lived without Christ, and everything was colored by the things of this world. Growing up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, raised by divorced parents, black, female, college and law school-educated—all of it and more informed my opinions, decisions, attitudes, and actions.
All of it gave me a ground-level perspective.  But in my mid-20s, God, in His lovingkindness, began to draw me—by dragging me halfway across the country from the D.C. area to Madison, Wisconsin. Away from friends, family, and the diversity I’d always known, I was miserable. I cried out to God . . . the God I’d heard about in Catholic grade school. Didn’t they say He could perform miracles? Then surely He could get me out of there!  God did perform a miracle, but not in the way I sought. He didn’t get me out of Madison. He changed me forever in Madison. He saved me, raised me, and seated me in heavenly places. Suddenly I had an aerial view. The bright neon line was drawn, and my “after” would begin.  But I didn’t understand any of that at first. I had no idea God would change everything about my world. With broad brushstrokes, He began to paint over my perspective as I grew to know Him and His Word. We did eventually leave Madison. We moved to Dallas, then St. Louis, where we’ve lived for ten years. But as the seasons of our lives shift, that same “coloring” process continues.  I haven’t had a single day yet where something about my perspective didn’t need adjusting. As a wife of nineteen years and mom of two teens, I don’t have to look far to find a challenge, struggle, or worry. Add the other hats I wear and, well, you can probably identify.  But no matter the issue, when I color my perspective in Christ, things change. I find hope, peace, and joy. I find eternal wisdom. I find truth."
My Thoughts On The Book:  The Color of Hope picks up where Hope Springs left off. I fell in love with Hope Springs  from page one and was so happy to be reviewing another one of Kim Cash Tate's books. the author deals with real life issues in her books in a fictional manner. In this set of books she deals with racial issues, romance and bullying.  Tate is a powerful user of words as she lets you get inside the skin of her characters.  By the time you have finished reading it is as if you are family, or at least old friends.  I highly recommend reading this book! You do not need to read Hope Springs before this book unless you are really interested in getting to know the families better, but I recommend it too. I look forward to reading many more books by Kim Cash Tate.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Book Sneeze. Thomas Nelson's review program for bloggers, Blogging for Books. I was not required to write a positive review. All they asked for was an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.