Monthly Archives: September 2011

Something I Haven’t Done In A While

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I did something today I haven’t done in a while. I went outside. lol Seriously, I haven’t been out of my house in a few days. I thought it was time. I took my camera with me. I just walked to the mailbox and back. For y’all that have seen my driveway you know the  round trip is two-tenths of a mile. Literally. Here is what I saw along the way.

At the bottom of the steps were these little creatures. Fire Ants. I’m not at all crazy about them, but I do admire their hard work. Every time I see ants I think of the verse that says, “go to the ant, you sluggard, and consider its ways.” If you don’t know any thing about fire ants here’s what you need to know. They can make very, very big mounds and if they bite you, it really, really hurts. Hence, why they are called “FIRE” ants. The bite leaves a blister.

These beauties are at the front of the driveway. When I pull up, I get to see their beauty. We got them from My Man’s grandmother.

I noticed that the Crape Myrtle’s leaves are changing color. Fall is here. A relief from the heat!!

I was blessed to find these acorns on the ground. The deer have been in the yard eating all they can. I think me and Boo will go pick some today and use them to decorate with. That is if the deer don’t get to them first.

A little blurred, sorry. I do consider dandelions weeds, but I still think they are pretty. I never would turn down a handful picked for me by my kids.

Buddy decided to join me on my walk. haha

I’m looking down on this and it’s hard to tell what this is, but it is an oak tree. It is one we have been trying to get to grow for a couple of years now. The deer keep mowing it down each fall. Not this year. I’m going to put something around it so they can’t get to it.

I call these October Daisies because they bloom in October. It is about to open.

Bandit decided to stop for a drink in the fish pond. I caught her lying in it the other day. She was cooling off. lol

The leaves are beginning to fall. Soon, everything will look different.

The mums are fixin’ to burst into color.

I saw this morning-glory as I was walking up the porch steps to go back inside.

God’s glory is all around us if we will just take the time to notice it. Hope you enjoyed the walk as much as I did. Love y’all!

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Why I Need a GPS

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“The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord.” Psalm 37:23

I love my oldest son, Will. I’m not meaning to pick on him. To be honest, he is directionally challenged. He knows this and that is why he bought a GPS. He is from the age of technology and a map just doesn’t cut it for him.

TomTom ONE 3rd Edition - US (including P...

Before, he got his GPS he needed to go to the mall for something. Now, the mall is like 45 minutes from our house. Remember, we live out in the country. So, I told him how to get to the mall using the by-pass.

I’m going to share with you the final couple of directions in getting to the mall. That’s all you need for the point of this story.

Now, you  get  off at exit 18 and turn left. Go over the bridge and make a right-hand turn. You are there. So, when you leave the mall you have  to make a left-hand turn to get back to the by-pass, but you  also have to remember to get in the far right lane so you don’t miss the ramp on the right. Does this make sense? I thought it did.

All Will heard was “far right lane.” I thought common sense would tell him, “ok, I came from my left to get here, so I need to turn to my left to get back to the by-pass.” He got in the far right lane like I told him, but he also made a right-hand turn. He called me and asked, ” am I supposed to be seeing railroad tracks? I don’t remember railroad tracks on the way here.” He was headed farther away from home. I just told him to turn around and he would see the exit ramp. If worse came to worse he could just go straight and come through downtown and on home. If only he had had his GPS.

I heard a comedian, Michael Jr. talking about using a GPS. He said that when you make a wrong turn the GPS doesn’t leave you, but will recalculate your position and tell you where to go. He said God is like a GPS. Sometimes we don’t listen well to the directions He gives us and we make wrong turns. God doesn’t leave us either. Sometimes the roads we turn down are rough and a U-turn isn’t possible, but God will navigate us to a better road. We may be taking the long road to get there, but what we see along the way show us His grace and mercy.

If you have taken a wrong turn have enough common sense to ask for direction. Get into His word and seek it. He will show you the way. Don’t be surprised if He wants to take the scenic route and it takes a while. Be patient and enjoy the ride. He is doing the driving, let Him.

You can check out Michael Jr’s explanation of the GPS here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCYTbUXOkjc

By the way, Will…he does use the road map God has given him everyday.

 

 

Best Advice Ever!!!

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“First change your attitude, then change your life.”-unknown

I like that quote. I found it in Mary Hunt’s book The Financially Confident Woman. I like to read her books for financial help. They are totally from a woman’s point of view. A lot of what she says applies to men, too. She rephrased things in a way that doesn’t feel so legalistic, but practical. For example, she doesn’t like the word “budget.” She calls it a spending plan. She feels budget means you can’t  be flexible where a spending plan can be altered to go with the circumstances as they change.

One of the best pieces of advice she gave to me was to change my attitudes and beliefs about money. She made me take a good, hard look at why I spend money the way I do and some bad habits I need to change.

The first attitude I need to change is that money isn’t for spending, it is for managing. There, my first bad habit was shown to me. I will go out and spend money on things I don’t necessarily have to have, then wonder why I don’t have enough to pay the bills. Does that sound familiar to anyone? Lesson learned…pay bills first and plan to set aside some money to go “spend” anyway I want.

The second attitude I had to change was my attitude about giving…tithing. In Malachi 3:10 God says, “bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” I have tested Him in this and I have to say that whenever we tithe the whole 10% we have never gone without. But, still I felt something was missing in my attitude. Then it hit me. Tithing is a part of worship. When I not only put the money in the plate but truly pray that it be used for His glory and truly give my thanks for that weeks provisions, the blessing rain down.

I have also had to realize that it has been God that has provided the jobs we have had so, that we could earn the money we’ve made. With My Man being self-employed I thought we had job security. You can’t fire the owner right? WRONG!! God took that business away. At least temporarily, I hope. MM hours at his job got cut again 2 weeks ago, but I am trusting that it is all a part of God’s plan. Shoot, I know it is. One of the blessing from tithing, I’m learning to be content.

Mary says that before you can really change your old bad habits and start new ones you have to change your attitudes. She was right. Without the attitude to back up the habit, the habit won’t last long and you will be right back where you started. And, that is not where I want to be.

I Wish Mine Looked Like That

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I look through magazines and wish that my house looked like that. Pretty flowers on the tables, fresh fruit on the kitchen counters, beautifully decorated rooms, everything is in place. But, the one thing that I notice is how clean they all are. Yea, I know…it’s a magazine shoot so, they are going to be clean.

The thing is I do know people who actually keep their houses looking like that. No matter what day of the week or what time of the day it is, I can go to their house and it is spotless. This includes drop-in visits, to which they say, “oh, please excuse my messy house.” I’m thinking, “Really…SERIOUSLY…What mess?”

On any given day you can come to my house and you will likely see this.

My kitchen counter

The dining room table. Dillon has taken over.

He also took over the living room.

I don’t really mind these messes. They can be quickly cleaned if I have notice of you coming over. Just don’t look in the closets or the laundry room where I will hide everything. LOL I would like for my house to look like one in a magazine, but I like it even better that the house feels lived in. I don’t mind feet on the couch or coffee table. I’m the first one to put mine there. The unmade bed won’t kill me.

What I have been thinking about today are the people who look all together on the outside but are all messed up on the inside. They are going through struggles, trials, and difficulties we know nothing about. They want to appear as if nothing is wrong and everything is in its perfect place. They don’t want people to see the “mess.”

If you are going through a difficult time know that it is ok for someone to see your mess. I’m not just talking about Jesus here. He knows what the mess is. But, don’t be afraid to let a friend in to see the mess. Don’t make excuses for it. If the mess is really big, ask for help…prayer at least. Your friend may have had the same mess at one time and knows exactly how to clean it. Or at least how to help you start to clean it.

You are in my prayers today. Know that you are loved by me and Jesus. Things are already looking better, aren’t they?

Seasons of My Life

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I think our life is much like the seasons of the year. Each has its own beauty and fun. Each has its own trials. In every one we learn something.

I think childhood and the teen years are like spring. Full of newness and discovery. Everything seems so simple in childhood. You have no real worries like what you are going to wear or eat or bills. Mommy and Daddy take care of those. In childhood you are so trusting. That is why the Lord tells us that to enter His kingdom we must become like a little child. He wants us to put our trust in Him like we did our parents.

My Mommy and me!

Oh, you do have the storms of life in childhood. That well deserved spanking, the bad grades, and dating. lol Some can be more serious like parents divorcing. Those would be the tornadoes of childhood. But, all in all, childhood is a good time full of fun.

Summer would have to be the college years and young adulthood. It’s the season you have long for during a spring that you thought would never end. Now here you are. You are leaving home to become your own person, with your own family, that is beginning to grow like a garden. It is a time of work, which means paying the bills, but that’s ok. You find satisfaction in watching your family, home and finances grow.

My late summer, early fall. Will is away. 😦

This season may be the one that we learn to trust again, this time in the Lord. We discover we can’t do this thing called life on our own. We need someone who will guide us and help us learn.

Then comes fall. Some might call this mid-life. Fall snuck-up on me. Summer was one day and fall was the next. The temperature  dropped drastically. That was the day Will went off to college. Life changed forever for me. Then it got a little chiller when Kathy left the next week. I don’t have my family here everyday like I used to. I am becoming an empty-nester. Next August it will become even more empty when Kathy flies the coup forever and marries. I will have to build my first fire in two years when Dillon leaves for college. Yes, I have tears in my eyes. Life is getting somewhat colder. But, I like fall. I like watching my children become young adults moving into their summer years. I look forward to wrapping up in the blanket of grandparenthood to keep me warm. (Is grandparenthood a word? Is now.) Still, that is a few years off. Better be anyway!

My Man and I are going through a final storm of our summer before fall really kicks in. Like the last hurricane of the season, the economy has really set us back. But, with some hard work during the fall of our lives we will be alright for our winter. I am learning to trust even more in the Lord.

I watched my parents go through their winters. My mom’s was so short. I was barely out of the house when she found out she had cancer. She died at the young age of 61. She got to enjoy 5 of her 7 grandchildren before she left us. Will and Kathy were only 5 months old when she died, but she met her only granddaughter.

Daddy’s winter was longer.  His winter was somewhat tough. His summer and especially his fall seemed like one storm after another and he just could barely keep his head above water. I think he had his regrets. Don’t we all? But, he learned in the end to trust again and that’s all that mattered.

Even though his winter was cold, he enjoyed the warmth of his family. Daddy got to meet all his grandchildren and even saw a couple of them reach the end of their springs. He was so proud of them all.

Daddy and Mama at my wedding

My winter is, hopefully, a long time in coming. I never have liked being cold so, I am trying to prepare as best I can now so that I can enjoy it fully. I know that as I learn to trust and become more obedient, my winter will be full of beauty and warmth.

I want to give Dillon a HUGE thank you for letting me use his computer this week while mine is down. I promise to delete everything I saved on your computer except the cross-country pictures. I thought you might like to have them. Love you!

The Changing of the Seasons

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I love the fact that God created the seasons. Each one has its own unique personality, its own beauty. Each season marks the end of some activities and the beginning of others. Each has its own fun. Each has its own trials.

Since Spring seems to mark new beginnings I will start with Spring. New life seems to come out of nowhere. Green leaves bud out on the trees. The grass starts to turn green and any bulbs in the ground pop up and bloom. The noises are different. You hear more birds singing, crickets chirping (at least here in the south) and you can hear the whippoorwill at night. The air warms up knocking the chill out of the air and out of your bones.

I wish this was my back yard!

Along with Spring comes a big change in weather for us in the south. We can get server thunderstorms. We had several this past Spring. The people of Joplin, Missouri are still in my prayers. Just a couple of weeks later tornadoes hit us here in Georgia and destroyed several homes and took life. I do love a good thunderstorm, but not the destruction that can come with it.

I think my favorite season is summer. For one, no school! I love my kids home and going to the lake and playing in the pool.

We usually have a garden in the summer. We grow green beans, okra, butter beans, Crowder peas. I love the smell of freshly cut grass, and fresh flowers. Nothing better here in the South than sitting on the porch in the shade with family and friends and, of course, a big ol’ glass of sweet iced tea!

Fall brings another Southern tradition. SEC football! GO DAWGS!!!!! Along with football comes cooler weather, which is nice after our very hot and humid summers. I love to go to the North Georgia Mountains when the leaves are changing. Breath-taking to say the least!

Kathy took this picture last Spring. Beautiful! Remember those spring storms? They broke off half of this tree and we had to cut it down. 😦

Winter has its own beauty, especially when it snows. We don’t get much snow down here, but when we do we take full advantage of it. Everything shuts down. We make grocery store runs for milk and bread like the world is coming to an end. haha Everything is a beautiful white that reminds me of how Jesus washed me clean.

I love having a fire in the wood stove. I love soup and chili in the winter. Only time of the year I make ’em. I love a mug of hot chocolate in front of the fire while my kids roast marshmallows.

Dillon and Will

Life is like the seasons. Tomorrow I will tell you how.

 

My Popcorn Bowl

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I love my popcorn bowl. It is nothing special. It only cost me a dollar. It is sturdy and I use it for everything. It is like a trusty friend, always there when I need it.

One of the uses it gets is to, of course, hold popcorn. Sometimes I will air-pop some popcorn and the bowl is the perfect size. I wonder how it likes holding popcorn. Does it like the smell of popcorn? Does it feel warm when it hits the bowl? Does it like the feel of the butter when it is poured in? Yea, I know it doesn’t really think all this. I guess personifying everything comes from all the pretending I did as a little girl. But, still if it could talk…

Does it like to hold the dishes when I use it as a dish pan? Is the water too hot? Are the dishes too heavy? Does it like the daily bath it gets?

Or would it rather hold the homemade bread I make? Does it tickle as the bread slowly rises inside? Does it hurt when I punch the dough down?

I think it would like getting its sides scratched as I scrape the sides stirring the Cheerio Treats I make. It may burn when I add the corn syrup mixture hot off the stove.

My popcorn bowl doesn’t do any super-duper important jobs. They are all behind the scenes. Nobody thanks the bowl for helping me make them a yummy treat or washing dishes so they are clean. No one will care when the bowl cracks and breaks. They will just tell me to go buy another one. And I will. It will be put to the same uses.

People can relate to the popcorn bowl. We do a lot of jobs that go unnoticed everyday. I don’t get thanked for washing the dishes. I should since they didn’t have to do it and no one likes to. I don’t get thanked for sweeping the floors or vacuuming, or dusting or for any of the small jobs that I do everyday. But, I don’t mind doing the jobs. I get a satisfaction when I know that I have done a job and done it well.

I can’t help but think about all the small things that God does for us each day that go unnoticed by us. How many opportunities do we miss to tell Him thank you for all He does? Why does it have to be the big things to happen before we thank Him? He deserves all the praise and glory for even the smallest thing because He delights in all, big and small, details of our live. Like Mrs. Dorothy used to say, “He even cares if you can’t find a parking space. If you care about it then He cares about it.”

I am beginning to notice some of the small ways God helps me. I have asked Him to reveal them to me. There are still plenty of others that He will not show to me. I need to remember to be thankful to Him everyday for all He does and tell Him so. A simple thank you goes a long way.

That is one more use my popcorn bowl has now. To remind me to tell God thank you for all He does.