Thursday, April 29, 2010

You Are Loved

Several years ago, my very sweet niece put her ipod earbuds to my ears, and played this song for me.

For some reason, I really needed this song today. I loved it then, and especially now! Thanks BabyK

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

He Had a Headache...

...or did he cause it to come on himself. Haha!

I had posted these pics on Facebook awhile back, but got to thinking that some of our family and friends who are not on FB may get a kick out of seeing them as well.

Math must have been the culprit to give him the headache. ;)


















Don't Need Help, but Beautiful When Someone Comes Alongside Us

I love this...

Philippians 4:11-12 (The Message)
Content Whatever the Circumstances
10-14 I'm glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you're again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don't mean that your help didn't mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Letting Go-I Will Waste My Life

I've recently come to the realization that sometimes we must let go of things and people we hold in too much high esteem, in order to move forward. This can include family and friends, things that occupy our time, or even material things. We have to be willing to truly let go.

Not that those people won't always hold a special place in our hearts, or those things we do, but I'm talking more of how we hold them in such high esteem...and trying to please them, be accepted by them, and going overboard toward insanity to try to meet their expectations. Too much energy is wasted on the worry over it, when that energy could be focused on the things of God...pleasing HIM.

Our lives have to be about meeting God's expectations FIRST, and pursuing His perfect will for our lives without our compromise OR our subtle manipulation to try to get "our way".

When God is our first priority, we will receive less disappointments and more peace and joy.

Bible verses that we've always quoted without batting and eye such as Matt 6:33 or Romans 8:28 (which are two of my favorites)...become REALITY in these crossroads of life. Or in time of rejection, uncertainty and aloneness. One can be in a home full of family, and still feel very alone.

If we truly put God first above every other care and concern, we don't get caught up in the need for approval or acceptance. God accepts us as we are and gently moves us in the direction He has for us.

I don't know I've just noticed lately that many things, and even people are being stripped away. It could be by their doing (life just gets busy and takes us in different directions) or even by my own huge screw ups, however either way it is ultimately God's doing. He uses ALL things to bring us closer to Him, and the plans He has for our lives is far greater than even our mistakes or shortcomings. I'm not saying they won't ever be brought back into our lives at some point, but for now it is for the best. I'm not going to sit around wasting large amounts of energy on trying to figure it out either.

I'm so glad to have a loving, merciful God in my life. People generally are not quick to forgive, merciful or loving when others screw up. Or when people are different than they want them to be. There are even some people out there who basically cut off others if they don't do what they think is normal or proper behavior, or if they mess up and say things born out of much hurt. They refuse to see the truth of their part in it, or don't even attempt to see through the painful mask. Yet, they expect quick forgiveness and acceptance when they do. Oh yeah, I've been the giver and receiver of these kinds of treatment! Don't think you haven't at some time or another. ;) We all sin and we are all capable of being mean and ruthless.

Not Jesus though, He still loves us no matter how ugly we are, and His grace, mercy and patience with us is so amazing. I can't say that I have much patience toward others either, but He is definitely working on me in this area!

Through being stripped of some relationships with people, it amazes me how God gives back even more meaningful ones. Those who are new, or have been there all along, loving, supporting, and praying for us behind the scenes. Those who do this without needing a pat on the back or expecting one single thing in return! They are just loyal, faithful friends who love Jesus better than they love anything or anyone. They know that we appreciate them because we don't have to write a special note of thanks, it is understood because they know our hearts.

Letting go doesn't mean we will fall away forever (although in some cases that could be necessary). If we are all it or not, we will all be in heaven together one day. Would be nice if we could learn to truly love one another even through the shortcomings while on this earth.

It is just a matter of keeping things in better perspective. Which is, to fully trust God alone, where before we may have put more trust in man or even ourselves. And haven't we all at times???

God will have no other god's or idols above Him. Which means...if we have idols in our lives, He will remove them...because He loves us that much! We have to release into God's hands.

Today, on from here out, I ask myself, where am I wasting the energy of my thoughts? Am I wasting them for Jesus (which is the BEST way to waste time and thoughts) or am I wasting them on things that only bring more pain and hurt...and lead me astray from the things of God. Where am I wasting my life?

Jesus said that our mother and brothers are those who pursue HIM above all else. The Bible says this

Mark 3:32-35 (New International Version)

32A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you."

33"Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked.

34Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers!

35Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

It isn't God's will according to what others think for you. It is God's will according to His work us, and what the Holy Spirit is speaking to us (through the Holy Bible) to do.

God, I Will Waste My Life for You!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Good Article on Friendship

Learn How to Keep Friends by Debbie Mandel

As we get older, we find that we have fewer friends. Not because they have died, but because we have let them die in our hearts. We don’t invest the effort, the personal attention, friends require. We collect many acquaintances along the way, but maintain fewer friends. When we were children, making friends was easy and natural. We were emotionally freer then, unafraid to open our hearts and communicate our feelings and needs. We didn’t fear rejection the way we do now. We didn’t keep score regarding who called whom last. We didn’t hold on to argumentative words, but instead forgave readily and completely.

In order to de-stress and experience true happiness we need to connect more deeply with others. Our friends remind us of the song in our hearts when we have forgotten the words. Our friends give us objective advice when we are too close to the big picture. Our friends listen to our troubles without judgment and with great compassion.

However, friendship is not always idyllic. We grow and change; likewise, friends move on. They might speak their truths, often upsetting us unintentionally. To preserve and nurture a special relationship, a friendship that is more positive than negative, requires honest, assertive - but not aggressive- communication. Here’s how to communicate:
  • Choose the proper time and place for your discussion. If the other person is stressed, or busy, even if you need to vent, control yourself and wait. Timing is everything.
  • Begin with a neutral topic, something you both agree on. Say something pleasant to your friend. Affirm what he or she does right, even if at the moment this is a big reach for you. No one wants to be pelted with critical remarks.
  • Avoid judging your friend, or using adjectives that convey criticism. Try to objectively, clinically, and briefly describe the action or words that have upset you. Keep the details concretely to the point. Don’t digress and include past indiscretions.
  • Express your feelings about what happened. For example, “I felt humiliated when you revealed my secret in public.” “I was sad when you didn’t come help me unpack when I moved into the new place.”
  • Communicate specifically what it is you want your friend to do, or not to do. No one is a mind reader.
  • Now that you have cleared the air, let it go. I mean really let it go and make plans to have a good time with your friend.

Slip Slidin' Away... will not believe what just happened to me at the grocery store!! HAHA

This weekend we have stayed in and rested. Our daughter is sick with sinus crud, and I have chest crud and wheezing. So, daughter has a hankering for ice cream b/c her throat is sore. Keep in mind, I had not been up long from an afternoon nap....

I put on my shorts, shirt, flip-flops, and drive to the grocery store. After selecting my cart; I am heading to the wipe-y things to wipe down the cart; I feel something is sliding down the back of my thigh. I look, and it is little portion of something black (I had on dark brown shorts). Not knowing exactly what it was, I tried to tuck it back up into the shorts pant leg. I am heading across the floor...with the cashiers doing their whole... "Welcome to _______blahblah" spiel.. the usual "yell to greet" customers.... It happens....

All of the sudden, the black thingy slides down the back of my leg...slip slidin' away...and drops onto the floor. I look down, and low and behold it is a pair of black underwear that got stuck up inside of my shorts (must have been from dryer static)

Anyway, in one panicked swift swoop....I gather up the black "undergarment" and shove it into my purse. All the while HOPING that I won't get "busted" by the camera's, and mgmt thinking that I've shoplifted something!!! How embarrassing would THAT be!!! To be escorted to the back office, questioned... with me saying, " was just my underwear officer". :o

Out of my peripheral, I noticed that a few cashiers and those in line were looking right at me.

Ugh, how embarrassing!!! Yet, kinda FUNNY too!! I push onward and into the first isle...ducking into the fruits and veggies. HAHA

Oddly, while I was checking out, the young dude at the register was EXTREMELY kind and overly friendly to me. Hmmmmm....wonder if he saw...I hope not!! lol

Only something like this could happen to ME!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

7 o'clock- I Only Have Eyes for You

So tonight my husband blew me away, and totally caught me off guard. I mean, the women usually remember these types of things, but he has always been thoughtful about remembering special "dates/occasions". My memory is just horrible. It is so bad... that I make lists, and mark calendars, and still forget to even look there.

We've been together for 20 yrs today (soon to be 19 yrs of those being married yrs). As our Gaga used to say...that would be about 7 happy yrs, or something like that. ;)
There is some truth in that. I mean, ALL of the years are special. However some are sweet, some are bittersweet...and some are just comatose blurs, honestly.

Then, at some point life gets hard. Can't say exactly when or how, but the trials become becomes overwhelming for some. Well, it did for us for several years. It isn't anything I would even begin to go into on a short bloggy blurb. If everyone is honest about their relationships, they would have to admit there are mountains and valleys.

However, in the midst of it, God has always been faithful. He has always been our source of strength many times when we didn't have it in us to carry on. Jesus has alway been walking right beside us, and even carrying us at times.

We read things like "Footprints in the Sand". We read about God carrying us through tumultuous times. It is only when it becomes REALITY to us we truly know what these writings mean. For each of us it can mean something totally different. It can be dealing with our painful past, or losing loved ones, suffering sudden financial distress, or personal illness...any of those or many others can be the "walk through the valley of the shadow of death".

For our little family, we have been touch with a bit of most of those I wrote.

Yet...something about this very moment in our lives, we are beginning to see the sunshine after the storms... in a fresh and new way.

After many years of walking through some REAL challenges, it is like God is pouring His refreshing healing rain on us as a family.

It only seemed fitting that my husband would remember this day, and present his special thoughtful gift to me, as I was playing a worship song for him (that I had learned today). The song is called "Shadowfeet". The words are so fitting.

Walking,stumbling on these shadowfeet
toward home,a land that i've never seen
I am changing: less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when i began
and i have sensed it all along
fast approaching is the day

when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

Theres distraction buzzing in my head
saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
but I've heard rumours of true reality
whispers of a well-lit way


You make all things new


When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

God is amazing! I learned this song on piano today, a song that had more sharps and flats in it than I am knowledgeable to know how to play!! haha! However, when things are done in the strength of the Lord, He gets the glory so no man (or woman) can boast.

Sooooooooo, why did my husband cause me tears tonight? Well, they were happy tears that only he and I could know the depth of. Tonight, in a sweet way, he reminded me how much he loves me. Not just words, but every thought and emotion and step we have taken together as a "unit" living for the Lord. Seriously, the past few weeks of been like crawling out from the end of the tunnel...kicking and screaming our way out...literally!

Today, he was called into work unexpectedly; he had this evening all planned out. He had to PRAY to make it home at the precise meet the 7 o'clock in the p.m moment. He arrives home about 6-6:30-ish. The children and I had just returned from the library. Dinner was going (compliments of our chef daughter), and he sits down to the computer, to do his normal thing of checking emails and unwinding from the day. I play for him the worship song God taught me today. ;) As I was approaching the end of the song, it was getting closer to 7 pm. Little did I know what was going on while playing the song for him, he was searching for a song of his own on youtube to play for me.

At exactly 7 pm he swings around in the chair and have to stop playing piano now...and you have to open this right now. He starts this song on youtube.

This is not just any song, but a song he dedicated to me when we were dating. Approx. 19.5-20 yrs ago; he had stayed up late to dedicate a love song to me. He TAPED (on cassette) of himself dedicating this song to me. When he picked me up to drive me to work the next morning, he popped the tape in without telling me. It sounded like the regular radio station to me, but it was actually my then boyfriend dedicating this song to me...the sweetest thing!

So here is our apologies for the album cover, but it was the only vid of the original song. ;)

In the past 5-7 yrs we have struggled and endured a lot of painful things in our lives. From time to time we lose sight of the sweetness of our relationship. Our God is the restorer though, and the redeemer. He redeems the time in one moment!

So, my husband starts this video, and hands me a card. Of course, I was already crying before I even opened the card. We were both filling with tears. It was like remnants of pain released together from us, along with receiving more of God's healing. This is part of what true love is.

The card:


Which read:

I don't always tell you right then and there when you're doing something that's making me fall in love with you all over again, but I want you to know that it happens all the time.

He wrote:
Flower, Exactly 20 yrs ago tonight my life changed for the best. I love you more than you'll ever know. Thank you, Pooh Bear

Healing is coming full circle in our lives. It was such a beautiful moment. God isn't finished with us yet, but we've come a long way with the healing as individuals and together as ONE in Christ.

Wedding vows are a covenant to one another, and most of all a covenant together with God...not to be taken lightly. When we said those vows, we never knew the impact of what it would be like to LIVE those vows. Actually, we still have yet to live out! We have in many ways to this point, and God has been our source of strength. I'm not sure how anyone has such a full and meaningful life together without Christ being the center. Even in the painful hard times, we still have the inner joy and hope of knowing that Christ is our sure foundation.

I, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband),
to have and to hold,
from this day forward,
for better or for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish;
from this day forward
until death do us part.

To my husband, here is a song dedicated to you. I love you, and God loves you even more than I ever could. He surely fills in the gaps where I miserably fail as a wife.

Even though it isn't our "wedding anniversary", but the anniversary of the night we met....I'm dedicating this song to you. It tells the story of us.

Twenty years ago today, I met the man that would be my partner for life. God brought us together in such a unique way, and He has walked this journey with us, and continues to keep us on the journey with Him. He blessed us with two beautiful children, and a blessed life together. "All things DO work together for those who love the Lord, and who are called according to His purpose". (me paraphrasing from Rom 8:28)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Photos

Photographing these two was not a pleasant experience! The kids were in their rare hyper mode, and not too cooperative.

Here's what we got. I'm not too thrilled with them, but at least it is something to show for their 2010 Easter pics! ;)



And a few fun ones of the woogie!



Friday, April 2, 2010

Where Does the Time Go?

This is a collage of two photos that I created in photoshop. One is of our children as babies...which was taken by our friend Bert Blackburn Photography in Lenoir, NC, and the other of them older (12/09) was taken by my friend Kristie Johnson in eastern NC.

I can't believe how fast our children have grown!!!! Where does the time go?