Friday, July 31, 2009

And Why Not...?

There are so many Fun-Factor ideas out there!

What Are They Thinking.....?

If you are at a loss for words -- call me I'll tell you what she's thinking.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Auhhhhhhh, Did You Catch That?

Have you ever heard the phrase "More is caught than taught?" The idea is -- what we do speaks so loudly that it is hard to hear what we say with our mouths.
I'm reminded of this today because my dear Annie is being challenged by a serious diagnosis of her mother. Her heart is broken and her schedule is stretched by the demands of being a homeschooling mom and a respectful loving daughter to her mother during this scary time.
So, here is "The Deal"....

"Honor your mother and father that it may go well with you and your days may be long on earth. This is the first of the ten commandments with a promise"

When God makes a promise we can take it to the bank in spite of what Goldman Sachs stock is doing.
Annie's children are going to observe her. They are going to catch on to what honoring their parents in the midst of a busy hectic life looks like. Someday these kids will be grown and in a similar situation. They won't have a classroom book to reference they will have their memories.
How to order their days and resources will be evident because they will have had the ultimate audio visual aid -- their parents.
In times like these I am more acutely aware of my gratitude for God's instruction book -- the Bible.
No rearranging the furniture when the house is on fire. Just grab the Instruction Manual and go - girl - go!
My friend Sue had this on her blog today. How FUN!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What's for Supper?

Sunday our pastor told a story about a dinner that he was invited to that changed his perspective on "plenty to eat" . He encouraged us to see ordinary experiences as possibly a feast the Lord has set before us. ("Thou prepare a table before me" Psalm 23) Sometimes we look up and realize that we are seated at a lesson.
That is how it is with our next door neighbors.
They have two children who have become dear adopted grandchildren to us.
Clio is a bubbly seven year old who calls us Papa Joe and Mrs. Honey. She brightens up our day anytime she pops in our door. She loves to play over here and sometimes we have parties where she picks out the dishes and sets the table.
August is nine. Each time we walk out our back door and he is playing in the drive we know he is good for a hug and often a giggle. He has cerebral palsy and although his mind is only as developed as a toddler's he is a source of inspiration.
The parents of these two exceptional children are Ilene and Chris. They have poured out their lives under challenging circumstances and crafted a good life.
When I was a new Christian I felt like I needed to learn a whole new language.
Words like redemption were not familiar.
A wise older Christian woman explained to me that redemption is like redeeming a coupon. You take something ordinary like a paper coupon and it becomes a valuable token for getting a good deal at the store.
When something or someone is redeemed the value goes up.
I have often thought that August's life has been redeemed by winning the parents lottery. They remind me of the man in the attached video.
The song in the background of this
video is “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”
But who is the redeemer? The Dad in the video who participates in triathlons with his son? August's Mom and Dad? AS I look at the gleam in those boys eyes' I have begun to understand that it is us who have been redeemed -- by August. Ordinary parents became extraordinary by just pressing on in the presence of a redeeming meal set out by ... ? I know Who my pastor would say.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Anda One Anda Two...

This is the print I bought for our grandson Jacob's nursery. He is 13 now and the print was moved to the grand daughter's room after it was redecorated in pink.

One day while Avery and I were waiting to be seated at Steak and Shake she casually informed me that, "I'm the only Christian in my family."

"Really? Why do you say that?"

"Well, I have that certificate on the wall in my room," she replied.

Isn't it wild to understand deep in your heart that God is passionate about His devotion to you?

My daughter in law Annie called yesterday and told me to check out this you-tube video. Thank goodness she warned me to get a Kleenex.

Plaque or no plaque -- no matter your color scheme -- God is waiting to dance.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

I found this in my box of memories. These were some of the kids from Eastern College who came to our house each Thursday night for a home cooked dinner and Bible study. What a life!

Some Times God Winks

Cup of Tea -- painted by Joe Honeycutt

I discovered Jasmine Tea on a trip to England and have been homesick for it ever since. Sure, I know I can buy it in the grocery or tea store here but it is not the same. Tea is religion in England and the flavor of their tea was spiritual to my taste buds.

While I was in Philadelphia last week I found a tin of English Jasmine Tea at a dollar store.

This morning I made a cup fearing I would be disappointed .

But, no I was transported to Marble Arch in London again!

Of course I regret not buying loads of the tins but I also realize this tea was a gift.

I receive it. I have seen the Lord enable flimsy people like me to navigate cancer or worse with a miraculous grace. But sometimes it is the little graces -- like the sip of a sweet memory -- that reminds me of God's kindness to me.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cole's Regret

Bed in Summer

In winter I get up at night

And dress by yellow candle-light

In summer, quite the other way,

I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see

The birds still hopping on the tree,

Or hear the the grown up people's feet

Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,

When all the sky is clear and blue,

And I should like so much to play,

To have to go to bed by day?

By, Robert Louis Stevenson

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Goodness -- Gracious!

We picked up right where we left off....

A Vermont Mill on a pristine day

Sweet dreams in a friends home

A Louis Comfort Tiffany window in Kathy's church

Look who showed up for dinner in Gillian's garden

When God doled out spiritual gifts He dealt me the hospitality card. I've spent a lot of time looking over the fence wishing I had a "real" gift. Like healing or prophecy or I don't know.... walking on water?

Today I returned from a trip up north where I enjoyed being the house guest. I got to sleep in a foreign bed, see fresh sights, look at someone else's woodwork and not be compelled to dust it.

Dear friends cleared their calenders and welcomed me into their daily worlds.

They were gracious.

Gracious: (adjective) indulgent, generous, displaying divine grace or mercy, kindness.

I have a fresh perspective on this unflashy gift of hospitality.

Goodness -- responds to a request

Graciousness -- asks if there is anything else I can do?

Goodness -- shows up

Graciousness -- shows up excited

Goodness -- serves

Graciousness -- serves with a cherry on top

Goodness -- doesn't gossip

Graciousness -- spies people at their best and spreads it around

Hope you enjoy some photos of my trip.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gone Fishin'

I'm getting on a plane and heading to Philadelphia for a reunion with my girlfriends then heading to Vermont. I'll be back to this blog on July 24th full of stories and bargains and good cheer. See you then.

Beautiful Feet

(Click on Title)
Sunday evening we had the honor of attending a baptismal service for two young boys Adam and Alexander. It was held at our pastor's pool and the faithful showed up with snacks and love. I always claim that the Baptists take away your martini and hand you a Krispe Kreame donut. Which vice is worse?
It was a sweet time of celebration and we wanted to mark the moment for those boys with a gift.
This is the letter we enclosed in their box of new Nike shoes.

Dear Alexander:
Isn’t it fun to be the person with the “good news”? Imagine you were the first boy to know who won the Super Bowl or who was named the next American Idol!
That is what it is like to know the good news of Jesus dying on the cross to forgive us of our sins and give us the biggest life imaginable.
This is what the Bible says about those kinds of people:
Isaiah 52:7 (The Message Bible)
7-10 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger bringing good news, Breaking the news that all's well, proclaiming good times, announcing salvation, telling Zion, "Your God reigns!"

Since God thinks your feet are more beautiful now that you are a Christian and you will tell others about Jesus – we thought they would enjoy some beautiful shoes.
We just guessed at the size of your feet so we put the receipt in the box for you to return them and get the shoes of your choice.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Peace of Wild Things

by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

These Are the Days...

When I looked at the calendar this morning I realized next week is our grandson Cole’s birthday.
“What do you want from me and Papa Joe?” I asked.
“Well, Suz – it would be more fun if you could wait until you are here in August and we could do something together” He replied.
My heart swelled up about 10 times its size. I felt like a movie star!
You may kiss my ring –-- if you must.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Woke up with This Poem on My Heart.....

By, Ruth Harms Caulkin

The Day is long

and all that I must do

too much for my small strength.

When at length

the day is through,

shall I find

I failed to tap

the Infinite Resources

forever open to the weak

who seek?

Shall I die


not getting?

Shall Joy


for my sake

-- who would not


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Can't Afford a Safari This Year

So I decided to go bargain hunting at Goodwill.
Look what I found.....
Cost of boots? $1.99 Just what my back porch needed.
Cost of purse? $5.00 (it's new)

Yeah -- this one is new, leather and cost? Five clams.
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, the thrill of the hunt!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Momma Told Me Not to Go....

From the time I wore these.....
My Mom told me not to walk around like this because my feet would keep growing...

Just to prove her wrong and to be uber cute I crammed my feet into these.....

And today I just resigned myself to these.
Shoulda listened to Momma!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Laugh's on Me!

I'm afraid I used to take myself way to seriously. My self esteem hinged on being cool or right or special.
When I gave up the control of my life to Jesus something died and most of that self conscience perspective fell away as I tucked myself under His wing and let Him sort it out.
The ability to often laugh at myself was a newly acquired freedom I found. Good thing because I have ample opportunities to exercise that benefit.
Yesterday morning I flounced into the Beaver Street Farmer's Market in fine spirits. Fresh, cheap, abundant food is my kind of heaven.
About eight cartons of $1.00 blueberry pints, a couple dozen fresh eggs, and a bushel of Georgia peaches into it a sweet faced lady came up to me and said, "Your skirt is hiked up in the back." She said it with such casualness that I assumed it was just a minor tuck.
Ohhhh contrair. The back of my billowy skirt was all the way and ever so neatly tucked into my 100% ready for summer, No-body's Secret, cotton underpants. I had essentially mooned every Hispanic or African American male vendor at the market.
Let me just say that before Jesus was my CEO this incident would have sent me home immediately never to grace the five for a dollar mangoes again.

Galations 5:1
1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (to pride).

But I'm here to say that after a proper blush and wardrobe adjustment I was able to stay and finish my mission.
I hope those who haven't chosen my path can at least be encouraged or amused by the gift of my freedom.
Today is the 5th of July and I'm still celebrating Freedom -- from me.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mother Goose Is Home!

In my blog titled “And Then A Hero Comes Along” I told about our two geese being hit by a car early in the morning of May 13th.

Today Joe and I went to the kind Vet's office that has been treating her and brought her home to the duck pond. Dr. Hart declared her "a miracle".

She has a very pronounced limp but it is music to our ears to hear her quack outside our windows.

She brought along two duck friends from the animal hospital. They had been mauled by a dog and look a little worse for wear too.

I'm going to name one of the ducks "Nelson" because I imagine he must feel like Nelson Mandella walking out of the prison of a cage into the beauty and possibilities of life on our little pond.

The staff was sad to see them leave after weeks of caring for them.

I hope they are happy and nurtured by the many families who visit each day.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

In the Good Ole Summer T-i-i-i-i-ime

My son Rush took his boys Cole and Jacob to do this yesterday. He is such a good Dad and that makes me see God’s faithfulness to our family. Hope you are making the most of these summer days.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

But You Got to Have Frrrrrrrrrrrrends - Bette Midler

My schedule has slowed down enough that I'm just feelin' my feelings these days. One of those feelings is gratitude for my friends.
My friend Linda is going through a divorce and some days we just need to talk some trash to work it out but I know her heart and she will be true to herself even if she can't remember who that is right now.
"A friend knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words" A couple of years ago I went through a real rough spot and my friends listened, admonished and loved me through it.
"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."
Today a friend took me out to lunch a month before my birthday because she isn't going to be here for the big day. She is the same friend who took care of me after my surgery. (Funny aside -- I remember taking off my clothes before the surgery and the next thing I remember is riding home in her car. It took about a week of recovery for me to realize she got me from gown to dressed to home. She is my friend for life. She knows too much)
Friends. Write one today?