Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.


For a long time I had wanted a pretty set of white dishes for my kitchen. I already had a pretty set of floral dishes and another set with fruit on them but I was a little tire of them. Plus, I could only use plain white or some other solid color tablecloth. Being thrifty....or as some people might even say- stingy....I had been hoping to find a good sale. I looked at several sets of white dishes but none of them just really "caught my fancy".

That is until one day about a month before Christmas. I was in one of my favorite "boutiques"....the Salvation Army Thrift Store... with hubby and our little 3-year-old granddaughter. Hubby was browsing around and I had walked with grandbaby back to the corner where the toys are kept. As she looked through the several bins of toys I glanced at the dishes and brick-a-brack sitting on the adjacent tables. I saw some white dishes covered in dust and thought to myself that they looked pretty good to be in a thrift store! I was actually just interested in the dishes, bowls, mugs and desert plates. Then I saw that there were a whole lot of pieces to this set of dishes. A complete set for 8 people. And also a teapot and a creamer. Only the sugar bowl was missing.

I turned a piece over and saw that it was made in England by Johnson Brothers. Quickly I signaled to my hubby to come over where we were and told him I was interested in buying these dishes. As they were not marked as to price, he walked up to the front and asked the ladies who run the store how much they were asking for the set of dishes. In just a minutes he was back. He sort of pursed his lips and slightly shook his head and said..."You may not want to hear this." My heart sank. "They want $50 he said." He thought that would make me say I didn't want them but he didn't realize what nice dishes these were, nor did he realize how totally I had fallen in love with them during the few minutes since I had discovered them sitting on the cluttered table! I was just about to say, "I'll take them!", when hubby smiled and said he was kidding. That they actually only wanted $10. For the WHOLE set!

I started putting those dishes in the basket as quickly as possible and hurried to the front to pay for them! I could hardly wait to get them home and wash all that grayish dust off them and see just how beautiful they could really be! The ladies were so nice at the store. One found a big box and another found some old newspaper. I carefully wrapped each dish in the paper so they wouldn't get broken on the hour's drive back home.

Several pieces still had the barcode sticker on the bottom of them so I was able to see exactly what style they were...."Regency White". I looked them up on Google just out of curiosity to see about what they cost. Was I ever surprised when I looked up JUST the teapot and saw that it alone cost almost $50. Wow! I really got a great deal on some beautiful dishes! I recognized it as a gift from God. He does things like that for me all the time! And I appreciate it so much!

After I had washed all the pieces they gleamed like white pearls. I was in love! They make me smile every time I drink a cup of coffee from a mug, or eat from a plate, or have my cereal in a bowl. They just make me happy! Do you have things like that? Things that just make you smile??

The BAD:

I usually eat oatmeal for breakfast. In the microwave for 2 minutes 20 seconds on power level 7. Every morning. It cooks great. Or it DID until one morning last week! I put it in to cook just like always except that when I opened the door when the timer went off, the oatmeal had boiled over and made such a mess! I was just aggravated to tell you the truth. I was running late and didn't have time for this mess! I picked the bowl up and sat it down on a plastic lid on the counter so the counter wouldn't get messy. Then I wiped up the spilled oats out of the microwave. As I started toward the garbage can with the messy paper towel in my right hand I decided to pick up the oats...sitting on the plastic my left hand. And quick as a wink, it happened!


One of my beautiful, pearly white, makes me smile every time bowls slipped right off that plastic lid and made a dive onto the kitchen floor! It broke into pieces! I wasn't smiling anymore! I was so sad that one of my special dishes had been broken because I had been careless! Nothing to do but pick up the pieces, wipe up the oatmeal, clean the floor and start over. But you better believe I have been much more careful with my dishes since that day! I want to keep the rest of them all in one piece.

That morning after I had everything cleaned up I thought about something. Anger. How just as before the accident I was happily going about my routine of cooking my breakfast, sometimes I am happily going about everyday life not knowing that something upsetting is just about to happen. And how a good day can go sour when something makes me angry. I can get so angry that I "boil over" and make a big mess of things! There are even times that in being careless with the way I try to "clean up the mess" of my anger, I actually break things beyond the fixing point! I know that God can't look on me with a smile when I'm full of anger. I can't even smile when I'm full of anger. I don't want to let anger cause me to break some precious friendship because I don't "cool off" before I reach my "boiling point"!

How about you? Is anger sometimes a weakness in your life too? With God's help we can overcome this weakness.

"Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools." Ecclesiastes 7: 9


Thursday, May 28, 2009

The 1...2...3...Dress

"She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple." Proverbs 31: 22

I made a dress last week for my granddaughter. It was SO easy that I called it "The 1...2...3 Dress" because that's how many steps there were to making it. I had been meaning to sew something for her for a long time but had just been putting it off. When I was "young" I used to make clothes for my kids all the time, but in the last several years sewing started hurting my back.

The reason that I finally got with it and made her dress last week was because she was in a desperate situation! More than a year ago our pastor's daughter made several cute little dresses to sell at flea-markets. She had bought brightly colored girls T-shirts and then sewed a coordinated colored print material on the bottom for the skirt. As a gift to my granddaughter she sent a pink dress to her by me. It had a pink printed skirt with teddy bears on it. And my grandbaby just LOVED it! A few months ago she go so attached to it that she would pull it out of the dirty laundry basket before her Mama could wash it! She wanted to wear it every day when she was home. It was getting pretty worn out and...smelly! ha In fact baby girl had nicknamed it her "Stinky Bear Dress". She would BEG for it when it was being laundered!

The Bear Dress was getting a little small...and pretty wornout... so I told her that I would make her another dress. I had some Little Mermaid material at home. I also found a little tank-type T-shirt to match it. It didn't take me half a day to make her another dress.

Here's where I got the name The 1...2...3 Dress.

The first step was to take the material and cut off enough for the length of the skirt....which could be short or long. I made this one sort of in-between.

Second step was sew the "back" seam of the skirt together and hem the skirt on the machine.

Third step was to gather the "top" of the skirt and sew to the bottom of the T-shirt.

Voila! One! Two! Three! There you have it!

On Saturday we went by to pick up baby girl to go on church bus visitation with us. Usually the first thing out of her mouth after she gives me a hug is "GanMamma....what did you bring me?" Sometimes it's nothing but a hug. ha Most times it is some little something ranging from a toy or a video to a piece of bubble gum. I had the Little Mermaid dress behind my back on a hanger. When she asked me what I had brought for her I pulled the dress out from behind me and gave it to her. She was SO happy! She said, "Oh Wow!" Then she hugged and kissed the dress. THEN she hugged and kissed me. :) And she insisted on wearing the her princess tiara.....on visitation that day. She was the main attraction of every place we went! (Smile)

Now I think she wants a Princess Dress to go with her Mermaid Dress. We'll see! But it would probably be a good idea to have two so that her Mama won't have such a tug-of-war with her at laundry time! ha

Could be that some of you have a Little Mermaid or a Princess in your life that needs a new play dress! Try this! It's as easy as 1..2..3!

"Sewing" precious memories!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

He is Acquainted With Our Ways


"Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways." Psalm 139: 3

I'd like you all to be praying for my good friend Felesha who is the director of the Sav-A-Life Center where I volunteer. She and her family are far on the other side of the world, probably just arriving in the Ukraine as I write this. They will be there for three months as summer missionaries. This makes several years in a row that they have done this. We will sure miss her at the center but at the same time we know this is something that God has called her family to do! Thankfully, He has surrounded her every movement and is "acquainted with" all her ways!

Last week I had to miss my regular Thursday work at Sav-A-Life due to having to take another test concerning my blood pressure problem. I was so disappointed to have to miss work because I always look forward to my day each week at Sav-A-Life. And I was especially disappointed last week because I knew Felesha was to leave yesterday to fly to the Ukraine and I would not see her again for three months. When I called to tell her I was sick, we talked on the phone and planned that we would try to fit in a moment or two to see each other in the busy, busy three days she would have left.

On Friday I had to go to the lab at the hospital to sign some papers about my test. Since the hospital is located in the same town where Felesha lives I was hoping I could run over and see her for a minute. I had bought a couple of brightly colored bracelets for her and had them with me. As I walked back to my car in the hospital parking lot I was planning to call and see what she was up to. But something else must have gotten my attention because I never got my cell phone out and I cranked the car and started to leave.

I was at the exit waiting for traffic to clear so I could pull out when who should turn in the entrance to the parking lot but Felesha herself! We both had a surprised look on our faces and started waving at each other. I made a u-turn and drove back in the parking lot where she had stopped. We got out and visited for a minute and I was able to give her the bracelets and give her a goodbye hug.

You know one way I KNOW God is acquainted with our paths? Because Felesha said to me..."I don't even know how I got up here to the hospital....I was supposed to be headed the other way to the bank! I just turned in here so I could go back the other way!" I was so excited to know that God had brought her there by design just so we could say goodbye before she left! What a blessing that was!

Sometimes God is preparing our way and guiding our steps EVEN WHEN WE DON'T KNOW HE IS! Isn't that awesome!

God is good!

I pray you will see His hand in your life today!


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Happy Memorial Day Weekend


Below is something that was in our hometown newspaper 2 years ago. It was a street survey asking people what Memorial Day means to them. This is my oldest son and his answer. I have blacked out his name because he is such a private person. I won't say more because his statement says so much.

"O say does that star spangled banner still wave?

O'er the land of the free, And the home of the brave!"


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday in the Word

(from Psalm 107: 25-31)

A few weeks ago I was reading in Psalms and came across a verse that stood out to me: "He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still." Psalm 107: 29 At the time I was needing reassurance during a time of storms of various kinds in my life. So I didn't pay much attention to the verses preceding verse 29. Today while reading a devotional book, the author brought out some things I had missed.

I had only dwelt on God's ability to CALM the storms. I had not given too much thought to the fact that sometimes God CAUSES the storms! "For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits'end." Psalm 107: 25-27

Sometimes God uses the storms of life to get our attention and make us realize that we need Him. "Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses:" (Psalm 107: 28)

And THEN...after we realize our need and cry unto Him..."He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still." (Psalm 107: 29)

And what should our response be when God calms our storms? "Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven." (Psalm 107: 30)

We should be glad! But not glad only, but also thankful. "Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" (Psalm 107: 31)

When God rescues you from a storm, praise Him for it! Praise Him in private, praise Him in public! Praise Him morning, noon, and night!

Praising Him today for all that He has done!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunny Days Are Here Again

The sunshine is back ! After having rain every day last week the sun was a welcome sight today! I had a song running through my head all morning. Partly because of the beautiful sunshine and partly because I was planning to see my grandbabies after not seeing them for over a week. (They had been on vacation in FL) The song was "You Are My Sunshine"! I love to sing that to my grandbabies cause that seems to best describe my feelings for them!

"You are my sunshine. My only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are gray. You'll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away!"

To those of you who prayed for my speaking engagement for Sav-A-Life last Friday night, Thank You! It went really well. The ladies were were very responsive. In fact there was one lady who had just retired.... Friday was her last day at her job.....that came up to me afterward and said..."I want to be a volunteer! What do I need to do?" I told her the first step is to come to the office and get an application to fill out. To that she replied, "I'll be there Monday morning!" I don't work on Mondays so don't know if she followed through today or not. If not, maybe she will soon. (Update! She DID come in and get an application! PTL!)

Here is the Bible verse that I am meditating on for the last two weeks of May: "I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever; with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations." Psalm 89: 1

I pray that not only will I sing "You Are My Sunshine" to my grandbabies but that I will also sing "Jesus Loves Me" with them and tell them about the faithfulness of the LORD!

What song runs through your mind and heart when you are happy?


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fruitful Seasons

"Nevertheless He left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." Acts 14: 17

Yes, indeed! We are still getting that rain from heaven. And in response to the rain, we are having fruitful seasons already. With our strawberries! Hubby picked over a gallon of the ruby red beauties this morning. They are sitting on my counter now waiting for me to wash and take the leaves off. Then I will sweeten them just a little bit and put in bags and freeze. They will be SO good on ice cream or in a strawberry cake later on. These strawberries are extremely good. They are not at all like what we buy at the grocery store which have been brought in from California or Florida. Hubby's strawberries are a little tangy and a bit more robust. Ummmmm! You'd have to just taste them to know what I mean.

Growing your own strawberries in your garden is a bit harder than running down to the grocery store and picking up a box of fresh strawberries or a bag of frozen ones. Picking strawberries can be a backbreaking job. You have to get right down very near the ground to find them. So that means either you have to stoop over or get on your hands and knees....either one of which will get my back started hurting in a hurry! Thankfully hubby usually does the picking.

Truly the Lord is "filling our hearts with food and gladness".

I should get in the kitchen and get busy cleaning and fixing those strawberries. I think I will give myself a reward of a big bowl of Cool Whip (less calories than ice cream you know!) and strawberries when I get done! Ummmm. I can hardly wait!


I'm done! I put four bags of berries in the freezer and left out a small bowl for us to eat.

And now it's REWARD time! Couldn't resist the urge to have a cup of coffee and a 1-point chocolate cupcake to go with the Cool Whip and strawberries!

Thankful today for all God's goodness!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Love in Action

I've been trying to get my thoughts together today for a speaking engagement Friday night. I'm to speak to a group of ladies about one of the loves of my life....the Sav-A-Life Center where I volunteer once a week.

This will be a group of Christian ladies at a local church that I will be speaking to. I'm sure they all agree with and stand behind what Sav-A-Life stands for. But it crossed my mind that we can believe in something and at the same time not do anything about it.

What I want to get across to this group is that you can not only passively love the unborn and support choosing life but you can put your love in action!

As James talked about in the New Testament, we need to put action with our faith.

"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." James 2: 17-18

Some of the options for putting your love in action are:

1. Go through our training and become a volunteer counselor. Or if you don't think counseling is for you, you could answer the phone, clean the building, or come and help stuff envelopes when we mail out our monthly newsletters.

2. Donate. Either money or baby items that we use in the center. We give away baby items such as diapers, shampoo, bottles, blankets, bibs, etc. at each of our free parenting classes.

3. Pray! If you don't have the ability or means to donate your time or money, then donate your prayers! They are so very important to our ministry.

I ask each one of you reading this today to please pray for not only our Crisis Pregnancy Center but like-minded centers all over the world. More women are making the decision to choose life instead of abortion but with over a million abortions each year....lives are still at risk!

Please pray for me as I speak on behalf of Sav-A-Life this Friday night.

Eternally thankful,


Friday, May 8, 2009

And So I Thank the Lord

We've had a lot of rain lately here in the south. My rain gauge is proof. And those two and a half inches came all in one night! I've been hearing people saying over and over that they're sick of the rain. Tired of it! Want it to stop. To go away!

Careful what you wish for! Just two short years ago we were having a drought. No rain. All the grass was an ugly scorched brown. Some of the trees died. There was a very real threat of forest fires out here in the country where we live. It was scary.

Right now everything is so GREEN! The trees. The grass. The weeds. The muskadine vines. Just a beautiful, lush green everywhere.

Sometimes we take things for granted I think. We just take it for granted that we will get just the right amount of rain. Not too much. Not too little. But when it does get dry and the ground is parched, then we start complaining and praying for rain. On the other hand, when we get a lot of rain and everything is growing at such a fast pace we just take it for granted. We enjoy it and expect it.

I remember the night before I got married. Our pastor took my husband-to-be and myself in his office and talked to us after church that Wednesday night. The only thing I really remember about that talk was that he told us to never take each other for granted. He told us that it was really easy to fall in the habit of expecting each other to do certain things. I'm sure that sometimes God is taken for granted in our lives. I need to remember that God sends the rain or He can hold it back. I should remember always to thank Him when He supplies my needs.

Back when I was just a young girl one of my friends that lived next door and I would sing a song that she called the "Johnny Appleseed Song". I'm not sure where it came from but we would sing it with all the gusto we could muster. It went like this:

"O the Lord is good to me. And so I thank the Lord.

For giving me, the things I need...

the sun and the moon and the apple seed...

.the Lord is good to me!"

And so He is!

"Thank you Lord for all the beautiful green-ness you have put before my eyes daily. Thank you that we don't have to be thirsty. Thank you that we don't have to worry about our woods catching on fire. Thank you for the rain!"

"He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth." Psalm 72: 6


***Saturday a.m. update****

This is what is going on right now in north MS. :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ponder Your Path

Here is a picture of the path that I take on my daily....possibly semi-daily....hmmm...maybe bi-weekly lately because of all the rain....walk down my driveway. It is little more than a path in the eyes of most people and yet it is a path that is dear to me because it leads me home.

While reading in Proverbs, I was reminded that God gives us some instructions on staying on the path. Not the physical, earthly path, but the right spiritual path.

Read with me in Proverbs 4:

18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

As Christians we have been justified by the blood of Christ, therefore we are called "the just". This verse says that our path, or our life, is like a shining light. One that shines brighter and brighter until we are called Home to be with God. If our light instead grows dimmer and dimmer, it's because we have let sin become stronger in our lives until it blots out the light within us.

19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

On the other hand, the "wicked", or the unsaved, don't even realize they are going down the wrong road because their lives are so dark with sin that they can't even see the path, much less the obstacles they are stumbling over.

26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

Think deliberately about where you are headed in your Christian life. Be like Daniel and purpose in your heart that you are going to serve God. Let that be set in your life. You will not be so easily swayed then when temptations come along.

27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

When you have made up your mind to serve the Lord...just DO it! Don't get off the path to the right or the left to make a detour if you know it is something that isn't what God wants you to do! Don't go places where you know in advance you will be tempted to do evil.

Sometimes our spiritual path may not look like much to others. But to us, it should be very sacred. Very special. Because it is the path that leads us HOME. Our eternal heavenly home!

And do you know something else? We and others around us are not the only ones watching the path. God also watches us as we travel our everday roads. And He thinks deeply about what He sees.
....."For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings." Proverbs 5: 21

Keep on walking!


Monday, May 4, 2009

We're Not Here For Long

I have to admit it! There are some days when I just feel plain ole OLD! You know what I mean. Those days when my neck and back and other joints ache and hurt because of all the damp, cooler weather. Those days when my vision seems dimmer and blurrier. Days when my energy seems to be missing.

I am not complaining. Just stating the facts. There are just some days when I feel my age more than other days. And usually that just makes me feel more thankful than ever for those days when I do have more pep and energy.

Contrary to what a lot of people would like to think, our bodies were not make to last forever. (That is, since the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden.) We have a limited time frame for this earthly flesh we call home. "For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust." Psalm 103: 14

Our lifespan compared to God's eternity is just like grass that comes up and then dies in the hot summer sunshine. Or a wildflower that comes up beside the road and blooms for a week or two.
"As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the fields, so he flourisheth." Psalm 103: 15

My Daddy was 96 years old when he passed away. Just a few months before he died we were talking about "old times'. He made the comment that it only seemed like a few short years since he was a teenager and getting married. Time passes so quickly. Then we are gone. "For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more." Psalm 103: 16

Seems sort of like doom and gloom huh? Oh NO! I think God only gave us these examples of how short life is so that we would not waste all our time just dawdling around thinking we had tons of time left to get something done for the Lord! He wants us to remember that the only time we really have is NOW! Now is the time to work. Now is the time to share. Now is the time to worship.

"But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;" Psalm 103: 17

"Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name." Psalm 103: 1

Let's "make hay while the sun (SON) shines!"


Friday, May 1, 2009

The Sun.....and the SON

I'm not really an outdoor person. Give me a good book, an old movie, a piano, something to cook, a blog to read or write, or something to sew and I'm a happy camper. But recently my doctor tested my Vitamin D level and found it lacking. From an online health site I found this: The most common cause is inadequate exposure to sunlight. Thus, vitamin D deficiency occurs mainly among people who do not spend much time outdoors. Some of the symptoms are pain and weakness.

So, I have started taking Vitamin D supplements and also have started trying to get some sun every day. (Well...not the last part of the week because of all the rain.) One day when I was out walking in the sun I just stopped and stood there and let the sunshine soak into my skin. If felt SO good!

I thought about how not getting enough sun could be bad for you. I also thought about how not getting enough of God's SON is bad for you! Have you ever made some kind of bad choice since you've been a Christian and then instead of going straight to the SON and repenting you tried to avoid Him? I have! And then it seems that things just get darker and darker and the SONshine gets dimmer and dimmer. And the symptoms of pain (heartache) and weakness (ineffectiveness) start showing up. Opps! It's time to get back in the full beams of the SON ! It will feel SO good!

"If the SON therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8: 36

Basking in His light,