Nov 27, 2008

Driver's Permit

My darlin' teen studying on the way to take the test to get her permit this week.
Mama realizing that we'll be switching seats soon.
Mama praying the roads are this sparse when she starts driving.
Knowing the Lord goes before her and is her rear guard.
Praise His Name!
Studying while waiting in line. Notice the binding of her book. Oh yes, she has studied.
Taking the test...
Waiting to hear the results...
That darlin' smile means yes! She passed!
Time to sign the name for the permit card - it was the only part that darlin' teen had to redo,
Yes ma'am, please try again.
The machine would not register her delicate signature!
A lovely blue background for her permit picture.

Curls On A Lovely Girl





Nov 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Came Early

Our Thanksgiving celebration came early this year. We celebrated Thanksgiving with the Salesman's family when we were on our way home from Hilton Head. A I prepare for a quiet Thanksgiving at home this year, it has made me think of an article I wrote at least 5 years ago entitled "Thanksgiving Came Early":

Gathering with family, leaves changing colors and cooler weather have made for some of my fondest Thanksgiving memories. The men set out early to hunt, the women put the finishing touches on the holiday meal and table as cousins romped and played in piles of leaves. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, and for as long as I can remember, has been my favorite holiday.

But one crisp October day, at our household, Thanksgiving came early. The aromas we encountered upon returning home from a soccer game could not be associated with the traditional fare: turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. No, our noses were burning; the stench was incredibly disgusting! My first thought was a skunk had been our uninvited guest. My second thought came after our youngest child opened the door to the basement bathroom where Lilly Belle , our dog, stayed while we are gone. Normally, I'd describe Lilly Belle as a cotton or snow ball. But Lilly ran from the room disguised as a charcoal briquette or a watermelon seed ~ black! Back to my second thought, "Dear one, did you leave your paint open in Lilly's room?" No, she had not. Not only was Lilly black, but her room was black. From floor to ceiling, of this once all white room, all we could see was black. It was the singe of smoke from melted drywall, blinds, and flooring that burned our noses. And the remnants of the cause of the fire lay in an unrecognizable heap on the floor ~ a hairdryer. A hairdryer that had been used before leaving to blow-dry Lilly Belle's fluffy fur after her bath. As the reality of a fire weighed firmly on us, thanksgiving came:

"Mama, I'm so glad Lilly Belle is okay."

"I'm so thankful the fire was contained in only one room."

"We are blessed to be alive."

"Lord, I'm so thankful that our home is still standing."

Gratefulness just sprang forth. The attitude of thanksgiving was flowing much like the Psalmist when faced with adversity. My mind went immediately to Isaiah 58:11 - "And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones, and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail." As I surveyed the scorched room, I held onto His promises. I thought back about times in my life that I've been burned by sin and literally felt like ashes or soot. But glory to God! He gives hope of a watered garden in places of gloom! The unchanging God can take a parched life and supply living, changing water. Feeling the once sturdy wall crumble between my fingers, I'm reminded of this temporal life on earth and more grateful for God's eternal glory, grace and promises.

He commands us in I Thessalonians 5:18 to "In everything give thanks". I believe we experienced the "in everything" in this fire. Not the picking and choosing of good to be thankful for; but the evidence realized of knowing that our God is in control and that "all things" of Romans 8:28 included this fire. As we started the clean up process, I was more satisfied than having pushed back my chair from the spectacular feast my mother-in-law labors over each Thanksgiving. Satisfied, yes. Satisfied that He is allowing us on a daily basis, instead of once a year, to glorify Him by being able to experience a "thankful in everything" heart that only He can give.

Nov 25, 2008

Six Random Things About Me

My friend MICHELLE at "Because I Love You" tagged me today with a game of "Six Random Things About Me!" So... Here are the rules as I choose to play along:

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6).
3) Write 6 random things about yourself.
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

MY SIX RANDOM THINGS:

1. My oldest teen got her driver's permit today! It really seems like we just brought our dear bundle home from the hospital in her bonnet and booties. My, the years fly by. I guess I'll have a chauffeur now! Home James! Except she's a darlin' young lady and I don't quite see myself being comfortable with teaching driver's ed from the back seat.

2. My dear husband says that I should be living on a farm because I get up so early in the morning. I have not always been an early bird. I remember my dear mother saying to me in high school, in her sweet southern drawl, "Now Lora, am I going to need to put your bed on the bus today?"

3. Oh, I'm a joyful noise maker. My dear, talented sister-in-law tells me things like:
"Your piano really needs to be tuned."
"Your youngest has perfect pitch."
So, just give me a tambourine. I can do the noise thing.

4. I enjoy organizing cabinets, closets, drawers, etc. I have so much fun when a friend asks me to help organize her kitchen. Serious fun. So if you lived next door to me, I'm certain you'd have your spices alphabetized and on a spin-a-bin.

5. We have not had a TV in our home going on five years now. We tend to have more conversations in our home these last few years. Which is probably why I feel like "I am so sorry, would you please forgive me?" is one of my most used phrases.

6. Bicycle riding is relaxing to me. And I'm not talking the spandex and a helmet riding kind. I'm more like Jessica Fletcher (when we had TV, I did my ironing around Murder She Wrote) with a European market basket on the front, ringing the little bell and waving at my neighbors. Yes, that kind of bicycle riding is very relaxing to me.

Here are my six tagged friends:

Adrienne

Cheryl

Groovewoman

Luanne

Patty

And if you've not been tagged and would like to share something random about yourself in the comments, please do so.

Nov 24, 2008

I Hope You Dance

At the seashore, my oldest teen was in her own world and danced and spun around in the water. I snapped picture after picture wondering what she was thinking and just thrilled that whatever joy was going on in her heart and mind was being expressed. She was oblivious to passers-by and she seemingly did not have a care in the world. I thought of Zephaniah 3:17 and how the LORD exults over us (as written about here.) And I also thought of the line "will I dance for you Jesus?" from the song I Can Only Imagine . But, these pictures just seemed to fit some of the lyrics to a Lee Ann Womack song:

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
Dance....
I hope you dance.
I hope you dance...
I hope you dance.
I hope you dance...
I hope you dance...
(Time is a wheel in constant motion
Always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone)
I hope you dance...

Memory Monday



How are you all doing on Memory Monday? I am loving the accountability. This week, I put the first two cards on a kitchen cabinet and I've carried the current card with me. I am using a set of deck of 52 playing cards that our church had memory verses printed on for our church wide Embrace The Word campaign.

This week's verse, from memory:
Matthew 1:21
She will bear a Son; and you shall call His Name Jesus, for he will save His people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21 (Yeah, I got it!)
And thank you my darlin' oldest teen for listening to me on the way to worship Sunday morning and helping me out with punctuation.

Last week's verse, from memory:
Isaiah 45:5
I am the LORD, and there is no other; besides me, there is no God; I will gird you even though you have not known me.
Isaiah 45:5 (added one extra word)
Week one verse, from memory:
Psalm 119:11
Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.
Psalm 119:11 (Yes, I got it this week!)

And here is the verse for next week:
Isaiah 53:6
All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him
Isaiah 53:6

Nov 21, 2008

Hilton Head Island

From the moment we arrived, the Lord's creation sang its song:

I was thrilled to have a table all to myself in our room for my Bible study. One morning a note on my Bible greeted me from Baby asking me to wake her so we could go to breakfast together. When I woke her, she blessed my heart by telling me she knew I would find the note if she placed it on my Bible. I found the Rick Warren book in the hotel nightstand and I loved the picture of the woman jumping on the bed on the do not disturb sign!
The teens were thrilled because in their room was a table. And not just an ordinary table either.
While the Salesman was in class during the day, the teens and I were amazed by the creatures at the seashore.


My favorite picture of the Author. She is stylishly wearing one of the matching scarves we bought while in South Carolina.

And my favorite of Baby and her hat.
Seashore hugs, because I love to hug.
And my heart delights when I see the teens hug too.
Girls, girls, girls.Thank you Lord for darlin' teen girls.

Nov 19, 2008

Staying Home

We've just returned from nine wonderful days of traveling. We took a gazillion pictures and I'll be posting them soon (with the teens help, of course!) So today, I'm posting a devotional that has to do with a trip we had planned to take this summer.

"But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD." Jonah 1: 3

This summer we had greatly anticipated a trip of nine days of no lessons or appointments, just Grandma's country cooking, Grandpa's garden fresh fruits and vegetables, tender sister-in-law conversations and wee cousins squealing and playing - It WAS going to be splendid. But when our attitudes, actions and reactions were self centered, self serving and self loving, the trip was cancelled. There were heart issues that needed to be dealt with and not swept under the rug in order to spend time at a mini-family reunion of sorts. Our family union was not intact. Staying home purposefully was painful. I wanted to go. While unpacking, the Lord gently reminded me that I was like Jonah - in action - but not of God. There was nothing wrong with the trip we had planned; but ignoring actions that did not reflect Him needed attention. I could not show up and answer, "I'm fine" when my own actions reflected otherwise. So the crisis came: do I take time to mend my fellowship with the Lord? Do I seek family unity? Or do I say, "Get in the car and hush till we arrive and then I'm going to eat fresh figs and sit on the porch swing!" My family would have seen that I had seaweed wrapped tightly around my head had we gone on the trip.

God told Jonah to go to Ninevah. Jonah was on the go all right; but straight to the belly of a fish - his own self willed trip. God used this time when Jonah's home was decorated with fish scales to do a heart change. In Jonah chapter 3, he goes where God wanted him to go. Our family needed some time at home (or in the belly of a fish) to allow the Lord to heal our hearts. Are you like us? Are "things" being swept under the rug in order to go out and continue going your own ways? If God is prompting your heart, seek Him, ask Him to reveal any thing that is not pleasing Him:


Lord, I pray when You speak, help me not to cry "Oh, no!"
Help me Lord to be willing to go where You want me to go
Give me wisdom Lord to discern and then do Your will
Clearly tell me to launch out or lead me to be still
Lord, with You alone, unite my heart
Before I get busy and just "anything" start
I want to do Your will, Your way
Help me Lord, day by day. Amen

Like Jonah, going our own way and doing our own thing will lead us to feeling like we are drowning in the deep (Jonah 2:5). God wants to accomplish great works through you. Allow Him to do a work in your heart by asking:

Lord, am I honoring you with my attitude?
Lord, am I honoring you with my actions?
Lord, am I honoring you with my reactions?
Lord, are my activities honoring Your will or mine?

He has Kingdom work for you to do, join Him!

Nov 17, 2008

Isaiah 45:5


Welcome back to Memory Monday, week 2.
This week's verse from memory:
Isaiah 45:5
I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God: I will gird you, though you have not known Me. Isaiah 45:5
This is the second time I've typed this verse, the first time, I slaughtered it and realized, I needed some more work. I decided to get the punctuation right too.
I carried my card with me to Hilton Head last week and have been toting it around here in the Carolina's. I had been feeling pretty good about having brought two cards - But, I forgot to pack the card for next week, so I'm going to review the verse from last week:
Psalm 119:11
Your Word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.
Psalm 119:11
Reviewing this verse this week, I got the wording right - Thank You Lord! I will update this post when we return home to add the verse for this week. How are you doing with Memory Monday?
Edited to add memory verse for next week:
Matthew 1:21
She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.
Matthew 1:21