Monthly Archives: July 2015

Welcome to Friday <3

Wrapping up the week here with some random thoughts and pictures from vacation, so thanks for stopping by…

IMG_4186

The following is just a collection of thoughts and photos from the journey…some are just goofy and some are meant to make you think…you decide which is which…

Russ and I enjoyed traveling with my cousin Kenny and his wife Betty. We have been blessed with so many friends-who-feel-like-family, but what a great time we had with family-who-feel-like-friends…

IMG_4352as a point of possible explanation…we were taking a “Happy Birthday to you” photo for Kenny’s dad, my Uncle Theron…and I am guessing Kenny thought it was a video on account of he likes to sing…either that or my hairspray was causing him to hyperventilate.

We toured Fort Sumpter while in South Carolina….IMG_4282

The whole building of the fort is impressive…they hauled rock from the north to create an island and then built the fort. What is left after the Civil War is a structure one third of it’s original size…

IMG_4297 (1)

There is so much history, and yet the unavoidable issue of slavery…how it came about…why it came about…and it boggles the mind that people thought it was okay to just grab people out of their native land and drag them across the ocean to work in their fields.

IMG_4300I read that it was the only way they could afford to operate the large plantations to produce product that was in demand.

I confess it makes me wonder about our current voracious appetite for new and better clothing, housewares and electronics at “affordable” prices that come from across the sea…often made in sweat shops in other countries and I wonder if we have really learned anything at all from history.

Thankfully, the people of Charleston have learned from recent history…IMG_4201and we saw evidence all over the city of hospitality and a community united to heal and move forward from events of this summer.  (See Wednesday’s post “When we just have to ask why”)

Then there is the amazing phenomenon of…IMG_4381fried green tomatoes with Tasso ham on grits…oh my…I would endure the mind-numbing humidity just to have another plate of them.

Russ headed back to home on Thursday … he had a date with some people to go to a Cardinal game on Sunday…(photo by Becky Guynn)IMG_4699I don’t let anybody look at my husband like that nor him back at them…but this one…I’m more than okay with…<3

But I missed him…and he missed this amazing sunset in Charlotte..IMG_4577

Kenny, Betty and I watched the sky go from the palest of pinks to increasingly vibrant color…at one point, Kenny said….God has a lot to say tonight…

And I thought of my recent memory verse project…

The heavens declare the glory of God, the firmament shows His handiwork…IMG_4575

and as I drove home Thursday evening after watching the boys…and passed the farms and fields of home…the song of praise continued…

Day unto day utters speech IMG_4815and night unto night reveals knowledge.IMG_4812

There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 2010 09 05_0465Their line goes out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. IMG_1137

God bless you this weekend…if you doubt His existence…look up.IMG_4195

The sky…every day over you and me…no matter where we go…no matter what happens around us…the sky itself is evidence of His glory <3

 

 

 

 

Two Left Feet

IMG_4015

Before we left on vacation, we did that pre-vacation purge and clean. Don’t ask me why except that the thought of something drastic happening while we are gone makes me want to leave the house less cluttered and very clean.

In my active, and dramatic imagination, I want to make sure if anyone enters our home in our absence they won’t be thinking…THIS is how they lived????

So on the Saturday, when I should have been packing, I was gathering up the stacks of clothes and such for Russ to take in to the donation site.

I had thrown in a pair of black flip flops that I had worn and smeared with pink color while hurriedly putting polish on my toes. A trip to Old Navy had provided their replacement so off they went.

Please do not judge me. I am fragile and I know how wrong all of that sounds…Besides; it gets worse.

We put the last of it in the car and he started the engine. I headed back in the house where my new flip flops sat right in the middle of the entry way – because THAT is how we live…and lo and behold, I realized that they were both left foot flip flops!

IMG_3922

I ran out the door, waving wildly and caught him just at the end of the drive.

Imagine his joy.

I dug around in the bags and pulled out the two rights-that-made-a-wrong and sent him on his way. Please don’t ask me why I didn’t just exchange them…follow Russ’s example and just chalk it up to me being me. I grow on you. Trust me.

Well, I felt pretty silly in a variety of ways by this time.

Later in the week, I was listening to a very intelligent woman who was being interviewed on the news about the reality that science is now able to clone at such a sophisticated level that, by taking genetic material from the remains of mammoths and using elephants, they could actually bring mammoth populations back.

She pointed out that since mammoths are social, they would have to make several male and female so they could have families. She also detailed why they probably won’t do this because where would we put these mammoths to support all of this social networking of such large animals.

Well, I just stood there with all kinds of thoughts and questions bouncing around in this blonde brain…and here are only a few that I conjured up in mere seconds…

* How cute this little scientist was with her short haircut and perky glasses

* What on earth would cause people to think they know all about mammoths and what they like and how they act from bones?

* How did someone that young get so smart?

*Did science learn NOTHING from the Jurassic Park movies?

* With all that is begging for research, why are we trying to figure out how to bring mammoths back?

* Who do we think we are that we can mess with stuff like this?

* What kind of a mind do people have to even begin to come up with cloning?

And then I thought this thought…the most intelligent thought we think we have…God’s wisdom makes it look like foolishness. (1 Corinthians 1:25)

IMG_3941

So basically: a bunch of scientists sitting around figuring out how to take DNA from extinct animals, copy it and make something living, when compared to what God’s thoughts are, is about as foolish as my little flip flop fiasco.

And yet…He has chosen the foolish things of this world to shame the wise…
1 Corinthians 1:27

So He takes a woman with two left feet and not enough sense to take her shoes off to polish her nails to remind you today that His strength is made perfect in our weakness…that He shines His magnificent light through our jars of clay lives…that He who called YOU is faithful…and His glory is being revealed in us as we follow Him.

IMG_4075

May God bless us as we seek His wisdom and follow Him with our right foot and our left <3

When we just have to ask why <3

When we made our vacation plans back in the winter, it was centered around a conference in North Carolina.

We were meeting up with my cousin and his wife so research pointed to the city of Charleston as a great place for our two and half days together…

we didn’t know at the time what that city would mean to us..

all of us..

as Americans and Christians…

IMG_4103

We didn’t know we would be standing outside of this church..IMG_4096

where saints had gathered to pray together…IMG_4108

and they welcomed a stranger, who ALMOST didn’t do the unthinkable because their kindness was so impressed on his heart.

Version 2

But he did…

IMG_4110

and while it appeared that evil won that battle…

IMG_4099

forgiveness overruled….

IMG_4107

because…

IMG_4101

And as we stand outside the doors of this church and take it all in, I find myself echoing the words of Martha in Luke 11…Lord, if You had only been here

because in her human mind, in my human mind…such an invasion of evil into a sacred place just has to mean that somehow Jesus wasn’t there where He was supposed to be.

I ask it when situations shout that perhaps, somehow, God has missed helping His beloved children.

I ask it when evil invades homes of dear friends where Jesus has always been welcomed as Lord of all. And yet the enemy wreaks havoc as if there is no one to restrain him.

I ask it when what is precious to us, as believers, is ripped from us and we feel abandoned by God. When I can almost hear the mocking voice of the world asking me…where is your God now?

And I have to say to Him….Lord…if YOU had been HERE…in the midst of all of this…surely You would have stopped it.

But He was there.

He is always there…He has promised to never leave us or forsake us.

He is in the midst of the worst of humanity.

In fact, He bore the worst of humanity.

And that is what this precious congregation knows.

And it will not be taken from them.

That in the grief and the pain and anguish and hard questions…they must forgive as they have been forgiven and trust that Jesus is who He says He is…The Resurrection and the Life     John 11:21-25

IMG_4095

And that is what I must remind myself when I ask the hard questions.

Even in what I do not know and cannot understand…I will place my trust in Him <3

 

Still decompressing..

I want to share with you from our trip…

I know you are waiting so patiently for the slide show…but first I must de-tox from overdosing on Suhwait Tay (or as we call it in the Midwest…sweet tea)…grits…and saying “ya-ALL” after everything ya-ALL.

See??????

I can’t help it.

Oh…and I also find myself saying yes sir and yes ma’am to everyone…no matter how old they are or how young they are…cause the south…ya-ALL….whoops. This one may be harder to break than I thought.

So while you are waiting for the full report, here is one of my favorites from our last day in Charleston….IMG_4549This reminded me of my old Airstream days with my parents, though they didn’t sell boiled peanuts out of it…

Hoping to pull a recap together for tomorrow, but for today…check out what happened back here at home when we weren’t having to water much and then left for a week…

IMG_4669

You might think I have a big old green thumb, but that, my friend is straight up a weed….as you can see in the after picture…

IMG_4677

I just haven’t been checking on the planters this  year and this thing was able to sneak in looking very much like the real plant in the center.

Of course, I know it’s plant name, but I don’t want to get all technical on you so the fanlike green stemmy thing in the middle of the pot.

Since things have dried out in our absence, I was doing real watering and dead-heading last night and discovered this intruder that had overtaken the planter.

It was no small effort to remove it…because….

IMG_4670I believe it might be related to a corn stalk.

So I pulled and tugged, but super carefully so as not to uproot the geraniums, ivy and … that green, fanlike, leafy thing in the center.

How easily, with such a tiny bit of neglect, this unwanted weed was able to completely overtake the loveliness of what was intended.

And after a week on the road, with only time for snippets of study and meditation…I sat down to read and pray and catch up on my quiet time this morning. I found a couple of weeds there as well….

already gaining some space in my heart…

digging in some roots that would take away from the beauty of God’s plantings in me.

It doesn’t take long…for weeds to choke out the Word planted in us.

IMG_0390

May God bless you as you tend to your heart daily…

let His Word guide you into identifying weeds that are masquerading as good plantings.

Be diligent to pull them out while they are just beginning to take root.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Proverbs 4:23 NLT

 

Hey…it IS good to be back home again…

I know you all enjoyed the guest writers last week!

And Russ and I enjoyed a time of refreshing as we visited some of the Southeastern United States.

But as John Denver pointed out…and I paraphrase his idea because you know…that copy-write thing…that home is much like a friend we have not seen in far too long…

IMG_4666I don’t know when I have been gone from home for a whole week.

I love home…I love to travel…but oh..how I love home.

I love coming down the street and pulling up in front of our house.

I catch my breath and look at the home that I can take for granted without a little absence. With fresh eyes I see it and I kind of fall in love with it and think if we were house hunting…this would be the ONE.

Just the way it should be, with the flowers and a flag and the porch and, yes the spider webs around some of the lights and a nest of wasps we can’t quite find and even the critters subletting the shed and …

it is…home.

And I am home…

IMG_4649

I love opening the front door and the smell of apple cinnamon plug in’s and whatever else makes this house smell like the best place on planet earth to me.

IMG_4650

And while a lot of organized and efficient people might empty  suitcases and put things away and go through the mail…I just go from room to room and remember that THIS is home.

The place where our everyday life has been lived for minutes and days and years.

IMG_4660

I look at the calendar and see appointments and commitments penned in and I feel grounded again, because this speaks of normalcy and routine.

I text friends and know they are just across town, and if we had time we could meet for coffee. It makes my heart soar.

I put a load of laundry in because it is possible we will want some clean clothes tomorrow, and then head out to take a walk on one of my familiar routes.

I notice tiny colorful birdhouses hung from a tree at the house on the corner. A summer project I guess.

I  smell grills cranking out Midwestern summer food. Maybe barbecue chicken, maybe burgers.

I hear a neighbor on his cell phone out on his deck across the way. I see neighbors walking dogs and pass the party barges out on the inlet of the lake.

IMG_4668

And I think that of all the beautiful scenery we saw on vacation, there is nothing quite as lovely as the sights around our very own home.

It is good to get away…it is better to come home.