Thursday, September 20, 2018

Life Lately

Before I get started, I have to begin with the sermon my pastor preached in church this past Sunday.  It was titled, God's Unseen Hand, it will go down in history as one of my very favorite he has ever preached.  I'm going to attempt to paste the link to the sermon, I hope it works! 

If that doesn't work, go to this website:  Click on "I'm Family", then go to Media, and scroll down until you see that sermon pop up.  It's about forty minutes, but it never seems long when he preaches. 

I love talking about how amazing God is, and how awesome His providence is.  I have taught this to my boys for as long as they were young enough to stand still, and I always say to everyone that I do NOT believe in coincidence.  God has a purpose for every single thing that happens, and He uses it to accomplish His purpose.  In praying yesterday, I had one such moment with an instance with Drew.  I'm going to pause there, and continue on first, and when I get to Drew's part, I'll explain.

After a crazy weekend, on Monday, I had to replenish what was eaten out of our pantry and refrigerator.  I've gotten on that Monday grocery shopping thing lately, and have been for several weeks in a row, now.  That was about the extent of my day.  I came home and put back on comfy clothes, and enjoyed a night at home with my family.  Originally I had made plans to attend a womens event at our church, but I stayed home to be with my family.  It had been a minute since I'd had a night at home. 

Have I mentioned that I'm a homebody?  I am.  I finished a GREAT book on this night, too. 

On Tuesday, I had bible study, but I missed it this week, because my dad-in-love had a knee replacement surgery.  I wasn't sure if anyone was there with my mom-in-love, so I went and sat with her for part of the day.  I was there by about ten, then we ate lunch together and talked with Wiley's sister and her husband.  Turns out they were already there when I arrived, and I was glad to see them.  I came back home for a while and then made dinner.  We ate quickly and cleaned up in the kitchen, then we took some dinner to them in the hospital.  They always keep him for one night after his surgery, just as a precaution.

We had fun visiting, and I was glad to see him sitting up and looking great.

And then....

Todd fixed the clock on the wall, above that entertainment unit.  The maintenance man had been in there like three times to do this job, but never succeeded, so Todd jumped in and did it instead.  I caught him on that chair, and we all cracked up.

He did fix the clock, by the way, of COURSE my handy man of a husband did. 

Yesterday, Drew took my car to school downtown, so I was glad at the opportunity to stay home and catch up on bible study homework, laundry, and some cleaning. 

He had his first test at school yesterday, in anatomy and physiology, and he has another one today.  About God's providence....Drew had totally forgotten that he needed to buy a pack of Scan Tron sheets for tests in this class, and while he was dressing yesterday, God brought it to his mind.  He got there early and bought three packs, because they're so inexpensive, and then he noticed that a couple of his classmates forgot theirs.  His professor asked if he would mind sharing his with them, and she would give him plenty back to repay him.  I just think that's really cool, that she saw him being prepared for class, and then asked him to help out those two that had forgotten...out of a whole classroom, she chose Drew.  I think it's awesome that she saw him being helpful, and that she trusts him enough to call on him.  Also, God had him buy extra so all this could happen.  That is just one teeny tiny way that we see evidence of God's unseen hand at work in our lives, but He is always doing things like this!  My pastor encouraged us to be on the lookout for such moments like these.  I like to write them down in my journal, so that I can look back and remember.  He is so good to us!

I made some roasted okra for lunch for Noah and me, and it was delicious, and beautiful. 

(Is it weird that I think food and pictures of food is something beautiful?)

(Slice it, drizzle with olive oil and plenty of sea salt, or regular salt, then roast at four hundred degree for twenty to twenty five minutes.  It's supposed to get crunchy, but mine never did...but it was still really good.  It's not slimy anymore, when you roast it.)

Yesterday afternoon, I threw on some proper clothes and went to watch my best friend's little girl. 

I did not throw on makeup.  Everly did not mind that I was without it, it turns out.  I came back home after this and ate dinner, then started a new book.  I didn't put it down until I was halfway through it, either, it's THAT good.  I had a really great library haul the last time I went.  I get to watch her again on Friday afternoon, and then I'll be with her on Tuesday next week, as well.

Today I am doing more of the same.  Bible study homework, laundry, vacuuming, house stuff....and then tonight we finish the bible study two of my friends and I have been doing with some young ladies from our church.  We're doing another one, but we have a three week break before we'll start back.  Meanwhile, I'm also going through the book of Malachi with some sweet women from church.  Even though I had to miss, I've been keeping up with them.

It's been significantly less busy around here this week, and for that, I am thankful. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

daily walking

I came across this on Instagram early this morning, and I immediately took a screen shot of it.  It was posted originally by Sacred Holidays, an organization I follow on Instagram, and it was too good not to share on my own feed.  I'll let you see it for yourself.

It sticks out to me because these days, everyone says something along the lines of, "Do what feels good!", or "Do what makes you happy!".  But that's not the way we're called to live, if we are believers and followers of the Lord Jesus, and if we confess Him as our Lord and Savior.  The world may think that and get away with it, but we're supposed to look a lot different than the world around us.  Here are several verses that tell me why I know this to be true. 

These are some from the Old Testament, and are found in Leviticus.

Leviticus 11:44-45 says this: "For I am the LORD your God, so you must consecrate yourselves and be holy because I am holy..."

Leviticus 19:2 says, "Speak to the entire Israelite community and tell them: Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy."

Leviticus 20:7-8 says, "Consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.  Keep my statutes and do them: I am the LORD who sets you apart."

(In context, God was speaking to Moses in these verses, and was giving him instructions on what to go back and say to the Israelites.)

Here is another, this one from the New Testament. 

1 Peter 1:15-16 says this: "But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, 'Be holy, because I am holy.' "

Be holy...the Lord has set us apart from those who do not belong to Him.  That doesn't mean we will get it right one hundred percent of the time.  We are all sinful beings, and we mess up thousands of times each day.  But we shouldn't continue on in our practice of my mind, there are intentional sins that are committed (things like promiscuity, adultery, slander, murder, gossip, quarrels, taking the Lord's name in vain), and there are unintentional sins (like thinking a mean thought, saying something we shouldn't, snapping at our husbands for no apparent reason).  Does that even make sense?  Like I said, that is not in the bible, it's just the way I think about sin and meaning to sin or practicing it, and just waking up in the morning already such a sinful human being. 

What being holy and set apart DOES mean is living out every single day the faith in Jesus that we profess.  It means we are kind.  We are humble, and we place the needs of others before our own.  We confess when we are wrong, and we very quickly make amends.  We spend time with the Lord every single day.  Even if it's not actually sitting down to read the bible, we should be talking to Him and praying every single day of our lives.  We should be reading His word.  We should take that word that He gave to all the different writers in the bible, and we should apply it to our lives. 

We are to be holy, because He is holy.  We should be pointing others to Jesus, in our conduct, in the way we look and dress, and in the way we speak.  We shouldn't be talking so much that we don't give Him time to speak (I don't mean audibly, but through His word).  We should be living a very reverent, worshipful life, and not just on Sunday, when we go to our nice, comfy churches and sit.  We should consider every single moment in the day a chance to worship the Lord in how we conduct ourselves. 

We have to live IN this world, but we don't have to act like this world.  We should look the opposite of everyone around us, if we are in a room full of people we don't know, because chances are a lot or even most of those people are not believers and followers of Jesus.  We should always be looking for opportunities to represent Him to those around us.  For some people, we may be the only glimpse of Him they ever see.  That's a sobering thought! 

We have a responsibility and we have a charge.  Be holy, because He is holy.  It's pretty simple.  Like I said before, we are human, and daily we really mess things up, but God is a merciful God, and He forgives us, and He lavishes His grace and love upon us.  To the best of our ability, we should be living this way, if we belong to Him.  I am telling myself this, not just random people who may be reading this.  I pray every single day that His Holy Spirit would fill me anew and lead me and guide me.  And a million times a day, I have to confess something to Him and ask Him to forgive me. 

He is so good to show us our sin, when we ask, and the bible says that He is our helper, and our strength.  I pray this inspires someone today to examine their own hearts, and to spend time with Him.  You'll never be sorry for spending time with the Lord!  Once you do that and start to do that consistently, you'll be sorry for any time you DON'T spend with Him. 

Love to all.   

Monday, September 17, 2018

a wedding weekend

We have been looking forward to this weekend since Tyler proposed to Terri several months ago.  I think it was about this time last year that he proposed, or maybe it was October or November, but the day arrived, and family poured into town for the joyous occasion.  And then, as fast as it approached, they started leaving town again, or are leaving today to resume their normal lives.  It was a whirlwind of a weekend.

Our celebrating began Thursday night, when everyone arrived.  Mom and Bill made a giant Thanksgiving style dinner, since we are never all in town together during the holidays.  Here were all the grandkids.

They're in birth order from left to right.  Jaret, Erika, Tyler, Devin, Austin, Graham, Nicole, Drew, Jonah, and Noah.

Handsome, sweet Austin.  We never get our picture made together! 

I got some sweet baby girl sugars, but I only got a picture made with Kinsley. 

Friday dawned, and it was a normal day, until that afternoon when we joined in the festivities at the rehearsal.  We didn't have to be there, I just wanted to go and be with family.

Kinsley and Kylie, Terri and Tyler. 

This is a gorgeous old home on the property at Heartwood Hall.  The inside was to die for beautiful!  You can tell it's old, and the floors and stairs were all original, you could tell by just walking on them.  If you know me AT ALL, you know I love historic homes. 

After rehearsal we went to the dinner, here in Collierville. 

Sweet Tyler.  I love his awesome bear hugs.  Seriously, I'm a hugger, and he gives the greatest.  He was so nervous!  We were trying to give him some pointers to calm him down.  As funny and crazy as he is, he hates the thought of people paying close attention to him, and that was what was making him be on edge. 

Our dinner was delicious. 

The next day we had to be there at five for pictures, and let me just say this.  If any of my kids ever threaten to get married in an outdoor ceremony (unless it's seventy degrees or below), I will disown them.  It was hotter than Hades and if not for the awesome makeup I got from my niece who sells Limelife, all my makeup would have melted right off. 

I love the outdoors.  I do NOT love the outdoors if it's hot. 

I cannot even think of words for this picture.  My great nieces are beautiful!  They were the flower girls.  Their dresses were basically giant clouds of tulle, and they could barely walk.  (Their pretty mommy took this picture.)

Look how beautiful my sisters are!  Their dresses were amazing.  All of them!  The top one is Lisa on the left, and Debi, and then Trish is with Debi on the bottom one. 

Debi and me. 

My pretty mama and step dad walking down the aisle.  (Thank you, Debi, for these pictures!) 

The structure they stood in front of.  It was so pretty!

Running down the aisle....they were so tired, but they did so good.  Erika and Kyle are amazing parents and these girls are little angels.  Truly...I am not just saying that because I'm biased.  I'm a believer that kids take on the personalities of their parents, and you can tell they're disciplined because they are so well behaved.  They will go to anyone, and they rarely ever fuss, even when they're exhausted.  Also, know that I hardly ever compliment kids, because nowadays, well behaved kids are hard to find.  These girls are AMAZING.

They're married! 

The reception was was in a barn. 

The inside was decked out with candles and twinkling lights.

My favorite wedding date.  I will just let it be known that I love this man...even though he watched an entire football game on his phone at the wedding reception.  And maybe through a bit of the wedding.  I cracked up when my brother in law Mike told me he would sit be Todd.  I looked at them at one point while they were eating and just about choked.  They were just silently eating, watching the game together.  Two peas in a pod.

We stayed until the very end.  This was us sending them off for the night, and then yesterday morning they flew out for the honeymoon.  It was a beautiful weekend, and I thoroughly enjoyed being with our family.  We stayed and helped the family members load stuff into their cars, then we came home and crashed.  Yesterday was church day, so we were there at eight thirty, even though I felt like I'd been hit by a train, but thanks to the sound guy, he gave me some Aleve gelcaps and I was good to go for the day, pretty much.  Last night we had a night of praise, and then we went to Booya's to eat afterward, and then I slept peacefully until five a.m.

Well, if you made it this far, good job.  I love writing about events like this, because I have them forever to look back on.  You know that's why I write on this blog, it's partly for me to have all these wonderful memories.  I also try to write to encourage and to point others to Jesus.  He is so good, y'all, and I am thankful for this wonderful weekend, and for the fun memories that were made. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Life Lately

Hello.  Remember me?  The one who keeps taking a blogging break, without meaning to?  It's just that things have been busy, and kind of mundane.  Nothing super exciting has been going on, and when that happens, and you don't have an idea as to what you'd like to write about, you just don't write. 

I thought I'd share a little of what's been going on in the days that have passed since I last wrote.

I've been decorating for fall.  I did this last Wednesday, actually, but I added this little pumpkin on Saturday, after I shopped at Marshall's that morning.  I also bought a really cute new purse.  I haven't had a new purse in a while, and that's not really what I went to Marshall's for, but when I started browsing, I saw several that I liked, in different color options.  The one I went with is a taupe(ish) gray.  It's sectioned, and it closes well, and there's a shoulder strap AND cute handles that I wear in the crook of my arm. 

While I was gone, Todd and the two younger boys were doing this.

They were at an Alabama game.  They left around nine that morning, the game was at two thirty, and they were back home by eleven. 

I finally finished a book I'd been reading, and I've been making my way through the one that you see on the bottom of this stack.  It's really, really good.  I'm a little more than halfway through it. 

This made me laugh out loud.  I am super selective as to who borrows my books.  I don't offer them to just anyone.  I have loaned some out that were never returned to me again, so I learned my lesson the hard way.

Unfortunately, today is back to normal here, weather wise (which is mid and upper eighties), but I have been LOVING the cool mornings and nights.  I pulled this big ole flannel blanket back out and have been keeping it at the foot of our bed, and when I went upstairs to get dressed the other morning, I loved how cozy it looked. 

I've been having to make breakfast for Drew, and have FINALLY perfected my omelet making skills.  He has to leave home Monday through Thursday at either eight o'clock or eight thirty, and during the days when he's in class, he doesn't eat lunch in between the two he has each of those four days.  He may snack on something small, but he stays on campus usually, and eats late in the day when he gets home.  Because of that, I've been having to make him a pretty substantial breakfast.  Sometimes it's sausage biscuits, but the last two days it's been a cheese omelet with salsa and toast from the oven.  I make him coffee to go and he takes a big cup of water with him each day.  Unless he forgets them, like he did today.

Also, speaking of Drew, it was just us downstairs last night as he worked on stuff for his classes, and I offered to type something out for him really quick.  This was him proofreading before he went to print it out.  I asked him how classes are, and his answers are so short.  He'll say they're fine or even boring sometimes, but I know that'll pick up as he gets further along.  He was working on English and statistics last night.  His favorite classes are on Mondays and Wednesdays, which are anatomy and physiology and psychology. 

I'm really proud of him.  It's not easy being at home still when most of your friends are away at school. 

Other happenings that are not pictured are things I've been doing at night this week, or in the day time.  I had book club Monday night, out in the country at my friend's house, and that is always fun.  We eat good food and talk about the books we read together.  We've been doing this for about a year and a half now.  I started back to the Malachi bible study that I'm doing, after missing two weeks in a row.  And we met Tuesday night for another bible study, this one that three of us older women do with three younger women.  I had a special practice last night at church, a rehearsal for our praise and worship night that is this Sunday night.  Tonight we're all going to Mom's and Bill's for a family dinner, because my WHOLE family is in town for the wedding that will take place this weekend!  Tomorrow night is rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, Saturday is the wedding, Sunday is church most of the day, Monday is a women's thing at church, and Tuesday night I had made plans for dinner out with one of my best friends that I haven't seen in way too long.  To say it's been crazy is a huge understatement.  It is slowing back down after all that, though. 

Well, I need to go and get started on a few things before the plumbers get here.  (We have a new leak, oh joy!  This one is upstairs, over the boys' bathroom.)

Thanks for reading.  Love to all! 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  This week was kind of a blur, since I was out of town from Friday afternoon until Monday afternoon.  I spent the next couple of days getting things back in order from being gone for a few days, then before I knew it, it was Thursday night. 

I'm linking up with Andrea (and her friends) over at Momfessionals for this blog post. 

Hands down, my favorite part of the week was celebrating my sister Trish's fiftieth birthday in Nashville. 

(That was water in the bottle.) 

And also my sister Lisa surprising her by showing up to the weekend, was another favorite.

(Left to right: Debi, Lisa, Mom, Trish, me.)

And this one, just because.  We had so much fun!  We laughed til we cried, we shopped, we ate, we stayed up late, we swam, we caught up with each other and had great quality time together.  (Can you tell quality time is my love language?)

Like I said, this will forever be one of my favorite weekends ever. 

When we shopped in Franklin on Sunday, I splurged a bit and bought a couple of things for myself, one of which is this adorable cup for my coffee.  (The other was a really cute pair of gold earrings.)

It's by a company named Swig.  I think people use these for wine, but when I saw the lid with the slide closure, I was hooked.  I love my coffee hot, hot, hot and this definitely keeps it that way.  If I know I'm going to be away from it for a few minutes, I close the lid and it's still piping hot when I come back.  This is my new favorite coffee cup.

The fall bug bit me this week, and I pulled out all the decorations.  It's really my sister Trish's fault, because she bought me this new candle from Cracker Barrel on our way home Monday.  It's so yummy smelling!  Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love all the cute decorations.  They will stay in place until Thanksgiving night.  I even made some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins with homemade cream cheese cinnamon icing for my hubby for dessert last night, and they were DELICIOUS. 

Favorite things abound in this picture: cup, candle, quiet time stuff.  I was having a morning yesterday (and ended up having a mini version again last night), and the Lord was gracious to lead me to some passages in the bible to help me through.  One was from 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, and the other was from Ephesians 6:10-18.  I love when He does that! 

Last, but not least: weddings are my favorite!  I get to see my nephew Tyler and his fiance Terri tie the knot next Saturday night, and I can't wait.  Also, my whole family will be here for it, most of them from Colorado.  It's been fifteen years since all the daughters, spouses, AND grandkids have been together, and we are all eating dinner at my mom's house next Thursday night.  The two angels on the left will also be here, and y'all.  They are the flower girls in the wedding!  I'm dying.  I cannot wait to see it all, and see everyone.  I'll write all about it on the Monday following the wedding.  To make things a tiny bit more crazy, we also have a night of praise and worship at my church that Sunday night, and that'll take up part of the time.  It's going to be a long, whirlwind of a weekend that is going to fly by. 

I'll be recovering the Monday after, most likely.  And possibly the Tuesday after. 

Well, I need to get a few things done before my dad comes over for lunch today.  Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

girl's weekend getaway birthday trip

That's a mouthful, but it's accurate.  My sister Trish had a milestone birthday this weekend, and like we did with Lisa when she turned 50, we made plans for a girl's trip.  Originally my mom and I were the only two going, because my nephew is getting married in less than two weeks, and we didn't think Lisa and Debi would be able to come twice, so close together.  But Debi was able to make it work right away, and Lisa decided she could too, but we didn't tell Trish.  The original plan was to stay one night, but with them, we stayed THREE. 

Mom, Trish and I left around four and headed that way.  Lisa and Debi flew into Nashville and we were meeting them at the hotel.  They ended up going to dinner, though, and instead of meeting them at the hotel, we picked them up from Puckett's Boat House, where they had just eaten.  (We ate on the way, at a yummy country cooking type place, and ran into my pastor, his wife, and another friend from our old church and her family.)  Debi got in the car, and right when we were all buckling back up, Lisa started banging on the window.  Trish jumped out and started bawling.  It was an awesome surprise. 

We went night swimming right away, until all the bugs kept landing in our hair, then we went back to our room and showered, and fell asleep (at a semi normal time).  The next morning we got up and had breakfast, then we headed into the downtown Nashville area.  We were going on a bus tour, and it was called The Music City Rolling Jamboree.  The bus picked us up at the bottom of the CMT building.

It was HILARIOUS and slightly scandalous, but we all had a blast.  Poor Trish was called up to the front for karaoke, on a song that nobody knew, except for the chorus. 

There's this building in Nashville that everyone calls the Batman building, and we were right across the street from it.  You can't see that it looks like something straight out of Gotham City, but oh well. 

On the bus tour, we learned all kinds of cool things about Music City, and it was really interesting.  We saw some pretty buildings, too, but I don't have pictures.

After the tour, we went to a nearby restaurant and had lunch.  It was so good.  Then we headed back to the hotel for a bit, before our evening plans.  We had made plans to go to a play while we were there, but without really knowing much about it.  The play was Steel Magnolia's, which is one of our favorite movies of all time, and I thought it just sounded really fun.  There was dinner you could attend beforehand, so we thought that sounded good too, and bought the tickets.  Imagine our surprise, when we pulled up to a senior citizen's center.  Which was fitting, I guess, since it was a 50th birthday celebration, but STILL.  The dinner was pretty good, and the play was really good, just not like we had expected.  I know we will laugh about it for years to come.  I wish I had pictures of all of us as we pulled in.

We MIGHT have been slightly overdressed, but we just owned it and had fun. 

We went back to the hotel after the dinner and dug in to this cake.

It was AMAZING.  Lisa found this place that caters to CMT's events, and ordered this cake last week.  The place was called Ivey Cakes.

I love this picture of Lisa!  The place was adorable.

The next morning, we got up and went back downtown for brunch.

It was called Louie's Wine Dive, but their brunch food was really good.

Debi took this picture, and it cracks me up!  This bottle was filled with cold water.

We went to a cute little shop that is run by one of Debi's best friend's daughter, called Nashville Roots, and it's in the old house that Randy Travis lived in.  I love things like that.  I took a picture, but it's not great.

Then we went to Franklin for some shopping.

For dinner that night, we splurged and went to Shogun.  We all love Japanese food.

And then, because we needed to walk off some of that food, we went to Walmart and just walked around.

Some of us behaved, some of us, not so much. 

We were going to swim again, but the pool was full of children, so we decided to just hang out in our room, instead.  We started packing so we could get out the door at a decent time the next morning.  We checked out and had breakfast, then took Lisa and Debi to the airport.  Then Trish, Mom, and I started heading back home. 

It was a great weekend, and one we will talk about for a long time to come.  I'm so glad all of us were able to be there to help celebrate Trish.  Our goal was to make her feel like a queen and I am pretty sure we all accomplished that goal.  She is dearly loved and treasured, and our time together was a blast.  I am so glad we had that time, because when everyone is here again in two weeks, it's going to be crazy busy and a whirlwind of a time because of the wedding.  It was good to have all the quality time together this weekend...we don't get that much at all! 

If you've made it to the end, good for you!  I wanted to write this all out so I would have it to look back on.  Love to all!   

Life Lately

Before I get started, I have to begin with the sermon my pastor preached in church this past Sunday.  It was titled, God's Unseen Hand, ...