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Archive for September, 2008

Late yesterday afternoon SB announced he wanted to go to the grocery with me.  Huh?

I looked at him with a questionning eye of, “You’ve GOT to be kidding!”  But no, he was quite insistent that we load up and go together.  It’s not like we were in a sports car with the roof down holding hands and singing the chorus to “Rock Me Gently, Rock Me Slowly” or anything romantic like that.  For Pete’s sake, it’s Kroger!

So I waited for him to light the grill because “by the time we got back it’d be all ready to grill our stuff and all.”  He’s such a multi-tasker, ya’ll.  In fact, he taught me everything I know about multi-tasking.  *cough cough*  Whatever.

So on the way, we needed to make a left hand turn except there was another car waiting to pull out from the road we were getting ready to turn on.  As we got closer, it became more obvious that the waiting car was clearly in the lane that we would turn left into.  Well… it wasn’t really a marked lane because after all, we do live in MS.  In fact, we don’t really need marked lanes or anything.  We’re just smart enough to know which side is ours and which isn’t.  Except for the car waiting to turn.

So instead of waiting for the car to go ahead and pull out – even though the person was clearly in the wrong- SB decides to just cut it left in front of the car – turning on the passenger side instead of the driver side.  You follow? I sure hope so because I can’t think of another way to describe this.

And he looks at me and says, “Do you think I made my point?”  “Yep, I’m quite sure you did, honey,” I answered back.  Then I said in my I’m-as-brave-as-you voice, “You did what I would’ve done!”

And you know what SB said then?  “Well, you would have to be really careful.”  Is there steam coming out your ears too?

I looked at him and said, “Why on earth would you say that in the tone of, ‘Just because I did it doesn’t mean you should. Don’t try this at home’?”  His mouth fell open and then he laughed and said, “You think you’ve got my number, don’t you?”

And I said, “Of course I do.”  Now there’s really no place for him to turn.

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It’s a simple enough concept people.

You know – the times and the situations we all find ourselves in periodically and we question ourselves, “How did I end up here?”  Like when we voluntarily decide to go back the orthodontist as an adult because sometimes the first time wasn’t enough torture.  Or when we offer to keep someone else’s pet and it pees all over your house.  Or when you organize a BIG event… or if you’re the speaker at a BIG event… like I’ve been blessed with this coming weekend.

And the preparations for this spectacular weekend in the metropolis of Brooksville, MS (population about 237) have been like ropin’ Jello (and another tradmark symbol should go here if I only had a brain).  Imagine trying to tie up Jello and hold onto it.  It wiggles and jiggles and we giggle because it jiggles.  I digress.

Actually, this event is an annual women’s conference and over 100 women are signed up for it.  I am SO honored to be the speaker this year. 

But.

I am

such

a

procrastinator.

Actually, I haven’t intentionally put off my preparations. I’ve been seeking Divine Wisdom from the Spirit and clearly, it’s been a process.  Whenever I get to speak, I have to be careful that what I say is not about me or what I think these participants are supposed to hear. I’m learning (and relearning) that if I try to do it my way, it will be a less than stellar “God is in the house everybody say, ‘Amen'” event.  And because I don’t take this lightly, I’m inclined to be a little more patient with the process of “Let me get this straight, Lord, you REALLY want me to say THAT?”  “Yes. Yes. and Yes, my child.”

So please pray for me ya’ll (all 3 or 4 of you that I know read this, and those who don’t let me know you’re reading, I’m asking for complete coverage in prayer on Saturday from you too…).  The preparations have been like ropin’ Jello but the majesty of His Word never wiggles.  It’s been nailed to the cross and has stuck for all eternity.

I’m ready to dig in. Are you?

Where’s my spoon?

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  1. something more to eat than the soup diet. 
  2. an early Fall morning
  3. making few promises, but keeping the ones you make
  4. Redemption
  5. Forgiveness
  6. waiting on new opportunities to blossom
  7. old friends (not literally, just the kind that are like an old sweatshirt – soft, comforting, that you can go to time and again)
  8. girl time
  9. country road riding
  10. watching the sunrise in Montana (breathtaking)
  11. a new tube of lipstick
  12. new glasses that don’t pull my eyebrows
  13. the gift of inspiration
  14. my favorite pair of jeans
  15. watching baby deer from my kitchen windows
  16. a hilarious trip down memory lane

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This weekend I had the pleasure of speaking at a fall conference for the ladies of Tula Baptist Church here in MS.  If you’re wondering where Tula is, it’s down a country road between Oxford and Pontotoc.  It was a wonderful time and the food variety started my mouth a-watering the minute we stepped in.

As I was standing aside while the sweet ladies prepared the food spread, I overheard a few of them discussing how early they had gotten up that morning.  I giggled to myself and thought, “Here’s a great opener for me!”  And of course, I couldn’t resist.

After the speaker introductions, I grabbed the microphone and went on and on about how wonderful the food was.  I mean, hashbrown casserole, cheese biscuits with homemade jellies, spinach quiche, homemade scones, baked apples, fresh strawberries, cheese grits…you get the picture.  Basically, it was a feast put on by southern women who can cook!  Then I proceeded to tell them that I bet none of them had gotten up as early as I had.  They all raised their eyebrows in doubt.  I think I got their attention.

You see, I spent the weekend in Oxford at Grand’s house and I took Sadie and Lily with me, primarily because there was no room at our boarder’s place because evidently our Bulldog fans are still traveling to see us lose, but that’s bunny trail for another day.  Grand always loves to see the girls, but they’re usually a little restless anywhere away from home.  And so they got to sleep with me. 

Around 4 a.m. Lily began her stand-up-and-shake-all-over-until-she-notices-me escapade. I rolled over and coaxed her back into snuggling with me.  That lasted about 4.25 minutes and she was up pawing me.  So I thought I could go ahead and run them outside to potty and then we’d come back in for a couple more hours of sleep.

I got up and put on my pajama bottoms which had come off because I was a little on the warm side with two furry dogs cocooned around me.  Since I was just going to walk out the back door with the girls and run them back in after they pottied, I opted to not fumble around for their leashes… or my shoes.  “It’s just in and out”, I reasoned in my sleepy stupor.

Something went terribly wrong the minute I opened the door.

I’m not sure if it was the fresh dew on the grass, or the fact we were in a different place, or the fact that my sweet, adorable, precious, loving, faithful dogs decided in 2.7 seconds they were through snoozing for the night and were ready for an adventure.  Sadie was first to leave the grass and started a prissy little gait.  Not to be left behind, Lily took off after her. And I was standing there at 4:30 (IN THE MORNING) calling for them and trying to bribe them with a treat.  I must have been invisible to them and not speaking at all because I think they must not have heard me.  It surely wasn’t that they were ignoring me.  Not MY girls.

So off I went – following behind them bare feet and all, chasing behind them… house after house around the big loop and the next street over.  They were in backyards, in carports, and moseying up to front doors in the wee hours of the morning.  And there I was flailing behind them…in my pajamas and NO SHOES.  My feet are still raw.

About 20 minutes later I was able to coax Lily to me and I grabbed her by the collar with a death grip that said, “If you try to move, you’ll never play tennis ball again.”  She stayed beside me licking my wet, grassy toes.  Sadie was doing everything she could to avoid coming to me and darted and ran off with that look about her that said, “Catch me… IF YOU CAN! woof, woof”  About 10 minutes of her shananigans and I was fuming so I started walking back to Grand’s with Lily in tow.  Sadie kept her distance but followed along – still meandering up to each house as we walked past them.

At this point we were closer to Grand’s but rounded the corner where some construction for “green space” is going on.  There’s nothing green about it yet since a few days before they had dumped a new mound of dirt in the area and the rains came and washed it into the street.  Yes, we walked through the mud – all of us.

By the time we got back to Grand’s, it was 5:15 a.m.  I was wide awake, my feet were muddy and wet and sore, and Sadie and Lily thought nothing of their adventure… as far as they were concerned, it was just another frolic.  We wiped off and went back to bed – just as those sweet little women at Tula Baptist Church were getting up to prepare their dishes for the morning.

So the lesson for the day?  When you visit your Mama and take your two Labs and have to get up in the middle of the night for a potty break, be sure you do whatever it takes to put the leashes on those sweet babies.  Your feet will thank you.

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The human suction cup

I don’t know why I’m so stubborn sometimes.  But friends, I am.  And I don’t know whether or not to be proud of this personality trait.

But basically, I’ve been this way all my life.  Cue the womb. 

My mom will tell you the story of the fact that I was born 2 weeks after my due date.  And as a breach baby… I was doing it my way – sticking my toe in to test the world before I allowed myself to come barreling out.  I feel sure she’s forgiven me for 1) being late and 2) basically causing her more pain in childbirth than any normal child.  Mom, I think we were even when you cut my bangs using scotch tape!

Next example. I hated getting close to any type of a water drain and would often break out in pitiful cries of desperation as Mom would lay me down under any running faucet to wash and rinse my hair.  And NO AMOUNT of consoling could stop the screams. 

Cue the bathtub. 

I’d stand over Mom while she washed and rinsed L’s hair screaming at the top of my lungs, “Don’t let her go down the drain!!! Momma, PLEASE don’t let her go down the drain.”  It was sisterly love in the deepest way, friends.  And L. would wait for me while Mom washed my hair while I flailed and yelled to not let me go down the drain.  And then there was this unfortunate accident when I lost a shoe down a gutter drain in downtown Paducah, KY… and it was COLD outside.  Today, I don’t go near those types of drains.  I’m scarred for life.

And just when you think this blog couldn’t get any longer, I shall tell you how I really crafted my stubborness. 

I’m the baby of the family.  There you have it.  And just to make sure I was a recognized part of the family… with a will… and a way… if something didn’t suit me, I’d march down the hall, slam my bedroom door and hide myself in my closet, sitting precociously on my toy box -pouting.  And when that ceased to work any longer because Momma would come in to drag me out and set me straight, I’d suction myself to the ground causing her to have to pry me up about 957 times before I was 3 years old.

And when one’s husband decides he wants to tickle her until she cannot breathe, this practice works well. And apparently, Lily Pad Brown, has learned the same behavior whenever it’s her turn for a bath.

I don’t know why she resists because I’m pretty sure she’s too big to be washed down the drain.   I guess the human suction cup knows no boundaries, my friends.

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Several of you (the few who read this blog) are aware that I’ve given up caffeine.  No, no. It wasn’t on my own accord but I have to admit the cold, decaffeinated truth.

It has worked.

Aside from the first 3 days about a month ago when I gave up caffeine (ie., coffee, soft drinks, CHOCOLATE), I’ve not had headaches!  It is quite a phenomenon because you see, most every day I used to wake up with either a migraine… or a really strong headache.

And before my feet could get going very far, I would pop some Excedrine Migraine, drink a cup (or two) of coffee and do the same in the afternoon.  So the cycle continued day in and day out.

But I’ve given up my old ways, with a little of my own sheer grit and MANY, MANY prayers and the Lord has blessed.

I’m pain-free and feeling better than I’ve felt with much more energy than when I first began my coffee addiction…er…love affair.  What’s my point?

Is there something that you’re addicted to? I’d like to know.  I’ll be waiting in the comment section with some words of encouragement.  Lay it on, friends.

Words of wisdom together. Check. Check. Check.

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Steven Curtis Chapman

I’ve only listened to the music of Steven Curtis Chapman for as long as I can remember. I’ve never tired of his music or the messages of a life with Christ that resonate in every note, tone, and word he writes and sings.  One of my favorite songs is The Mountain, but there are many, many others that have touched my heart and life as much as they’ve touched so many others as well.

And I never tire of hearing him speak about being able to dance with his “Cinderella” again.  The path this family is walking is no doubt incredibly difficult, yet God’s promises that He will never give us more than we can handle are shining through this family’s faith in a way that only God can design.

And the heaviness in my heart this morning, at 2:30 a.m, as I’m reflecting on the path the Lord carved for SB and me to live fully in Him as we said goodbye to the dreams of our own “Cinderella” five years ago, is being lifted from me daily by the same God who surrounds the family of SCC.

We are sometimes called to pass by broken dreams on this journey.  But around the corner, Hope steps out, Comfort takes our hand, and the God of broken dreams carries us when we feel we cannot take one more step or dream one more dream.

“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again…My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you”   Psalms 71:20, 23

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