Thursday, June 25, 2009

just one more day

I have more things to do today than I can even count, but I couldn't resist taking a few minutes to post what seems to be an answer to prayer.

By this time tomorrow morning, our family will be headed south to the gulf coast, in a rented vehicle, where we will complete the paperwork to purchase a van that we have never seen, but have committed to buy.

The reasoning for this is simple ... our old van needs a new transmission, which costs roughly the same amount as the thing would be worth if it was in really good condition other than the transmission problem ... but that isn't the case. It has been a good vehicle, but the time has come to say goodbye and move on to the not-so-simple search for a newer vehicle.

We thought it would be a fairly simple process, but let me tell you ... we were wrong! We have been praying for a month that God would lead us to the vehicle we needed. And during that month we have been driving my parents' 1992 Mazda Protege ... a little small for 5 people, but we have managed, even without air conditioning during an extremely hot June here. While we were open to whatever option God placed before us, we still had certain expectations of what we thought we needed. Apparently, God not only had a different understanding of what we need, He also has a sense of humor.

The van we are buying is the same make and model as the one we currently have ... the one we said we had NO desire to own again. It is also older than we thought we would buy and it is the color I said emphatically that I did not want.

So, why are we buying it?

Because when presented with two options, we felt that this one is the one that is the answer to our month long prayer.

So, barring any further surprises, we will drive home on Sunday in our brand new (to us, anyway) van. Complete with air conditioning, including rear air, which will make the kids happy, a working transmission and a working radio ... which I haven't had in about 7 years ... and all I can say is Thank you, Lord.

And I can learn to like white!

PS ... just so you don't think we are completely crazy for buying a vehicle that we haven't seen ... Ronnie's mom has seen it and driven it and we are buying it from the dealer where she bought her last vehicle. We may be a little nuts, but not completely crazy ... yet!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible, but I can't say that I have been living this way lately.

I have been struggling with circumstances that I cannot control and they have truly dominated my thoughts over the last few weeks. Sadly, the only thing I have to show for this time is chaos in circumstances that I could have controlled. Now, I am frustrated with everything and feeling guilty for the wasted time.

Now, I am declaring NO MORE! I do not believe that God intends for me to be wallowing in my circumstances. So tonight, as I prepare for our church services tomorrow, I will go to bed counting my blessings and leaving the circumstances in HIS capable hands.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

a day in the park

Today, I took the kids to meet some friends for a picnic at our city park. We got there early and I managed to get a few pictures of the kids before the camera battery died. Let me just tell you that it was HOT! Even in the shade it was still hot. But the kids and their friends had a great time, and I enjoyed visiting with their mom. I wish that I had coaxed a little more life out of the camera battery so you could see just how filthy my kids can get. Of course, if you have kids of your own, you can probably imagine just how they looked. I wouldn't have minded too much if I hadn't needed to go to the store after we left the park, but we went anyway, filth and all!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

forty five and twelve

On this day, 45 years ago, my parents were married. 33 years later, Ronnie and I chose to "borrow" their day for our own wedding. Now, 12 years later we are still celebrating on this day (not that you could tell it since today looked just like any other Sunday). We are truly thankful for the years God has granted us and for the lessons He has taught us over the last 12 years. On this special day, I thought I would share a little of our history with you.

First, I want to share just a little about my parents' wedding day. They grew up in the same town and went to the same church for most of their lives. Daddy is 5 years older than Mama and he loves to tell the story that when she was in 7th grade he saw her walking into the church and told one of his buddies that he'd like to marry her some day. Several years later, he and his cousin asked Mama and her best friend out on a double date. The story goes that the guys flipped a coin to see how the pairs would be for the night. Daddy ended up with Mama's best friend ~ who was very happy with the arrangement, and wasn't at all happy when Daddy asked Mama out a few months later. They were married in the summer between Mama's junior and senior year of high school when Mama was only 16 and Daddy was 21. Because of Mama's age, her father had to be present at her wedding. In order to accomplish this, they were married in her Daddy's hospital room where he was recovering from a broken back. Not the most romantic way to begin a marriage, but 45 years, 4 children and 11 grandchildren later, I don't think it hindered anything. As a side note, the other two people who shared that first double date have been married almost as long as Mama and Daddy have. Ain't life strange?

Ronnie and I met while I was in college and he was serving as youth minister in a town nearby. There weren't very many people his age in the church so one of his friends invited him to come to a BSU (Baptist Student Union) function and that is how we met. We met in September and began dating in November of 1995. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward a year to the night Ronnie proposed to me. I was pretty sure of what he was planning, but I didn't want him to know. I did think that we were going out for the evening, but he picked me up and took be back to his house where he had prepared a candlelight dinner. After we ate, he left the room and came back with a huge vase of roses, which he set on the table in front of me and then got down on one knee and proposed. I would love to tell you the wonderfully romantic words that he spoke, but I don't remember them. I can't even tell you what I said in response because I don't remember that either, except that it included me saying yes. What I do remember is looking at the roses and realizing that some of the decoration in the vase was on fire ... he had set it a little too close to the candles still burning on the table.

Now, if Ronnie were telling this story he would most definitely tell you why the flowers were such an important part of the proposal. Some time early in our relationship, I had mentioned something about the necessity of flowers being present if I were to accept a proposal from anyone. I wish I could remember what prompted me to make such a bold statement, but I can tell you that I would have said yes with or without the flowers. If nothing else, they did provide some comic relief.

I really what to share a few details about our actual wedding day, like how I wouldn't get dressed because my mother wasn't there and no one could figure out where she was. And maybe a little about how I had only met the minister the day before the wedding and how he kept trying to make us laugh during the ceremony. But, right now it is late and I am tired, so those stories will have to wait for another day. I am sure you are crushed, but try to hang in there!

I do want to take the time to tell you that while we haven't had a perfect twelve years, we have been, and continue to be, incredibly blessed. God has brought us through situations that I wasn't sure we would survive. I am thankful for the man that God chose for me. I am thankful for the life we have together and for the future we look forward to. I am also thankful for the example God gave us in our parents. What a blessing. God is good.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Look Up!

I have not been in a good place lately. There is no real need to go into the details ... we have all been in this place. Frustrated. Afraid. Overwhelmed. Confused. Emotional. And the list could go on.

Lately, my life has reminded me of the Dr. Seuss book, Oh, The Places You'll Go! My favorite passage is one that my kids can't begin to understand. But, I would be willing to bet that most of you have been there, and if you haven't, just hang on, you will be.
You can get so confused that you'll start in to race down long wiggled
roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The Waiting Place . . .

What are they waiting for? It doesn't really matter, does it.
What am I waiting for? I am not even sure that I will know it when I see it.

But, I don't want to stay here.

It's Wednesday, so we had church tonight. I didn't even want to go, which means that it was exactly where I needed to be. We only have about 20 or so at our mid-week prayer meeting, so it is easy to look at the faces of those sitting in their usual places around the sanctuary. And tonight, as I was struggling in the quicksand of my own waiting place, I began to think about their lives and the waiting they have done and are still doing in many cases. They each have a story and they each have been faced with the same decision that is staring me square in the face right now.

Do you trust Me?

It is easy to answer this question when things are going my way. But, that is not where I am today.

The question still remains. Do you trust Me? Do I? Do I trust Him to guide me when past mistakes paralyze me with the fear of repeating them? Do I trust Him when my mother's test results show that she needs to begin her chemo again next week after only having a one month break when she was hoping for two? What about when I can't see where He is leading and my husband's job is hanging in the balance? What about when my friends are hurting and I don't know how to help? What about ... and again the list goes on.

So, how do I answer this question? If I am really honest, I have to tell you that the answer is "no." In my own strength I don't trust God to be and do all that He promises. Thankfully, He doesn't expect me to do it in my own strength. Tonight, someone shared an article published in The Baptist Record that really brought things into focus for me. This statement says it all:
Regardless of what is happening down around your feet, Jesus is still
Lord and God is still on His throne. In the revelation of His own death and
departure Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God,
believe also in me" (John 14:1). Look up and not down!
My problem is that I have been studying the shifting sands around my feet and ignoring the God who wants to lift me out of the dirt and set me on solid ground.

He's just waiting for me to look up.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

a mixed bag

I haven't posted in a while, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to catch up a little of what has been going on around here.

We are down to our last week of summer baseball. I suppose I should be sad, but I'm not. Baseball three nights a week has really thrown a kink into our "normal" routine. Now, I am not what you would call a "scheduled" person, but I do like to be at home some and for the last couple of months we have been going at least 4 out of every 5 weeknights. Ugh! On the bright side though, JW's team is still undefeated. Of course, the best part is that he has had fun and I think has made good progress this year. I will definitely give credit to his coaches for the progress. They have been wonderful ... not once all year have I heard them raise their voices to the boys on the team, except to cheer them on. When correction has been needed, they have done it quietly and with lots of positive encouragement. They have done a great job boosting my very timid child's confidence and have helped him to have a desire to get better and play harder next year. I'd call that a successful year of ball.

We have also ended another great year of dance for LB. She has now completed 5 years of dance and loves it as much today as she did when she started. As a matter of fact, I think she loves it even more now than she did at the beginning. Last year, she did her first solo in the dance recital. She did great and we were extremely proud of her. This year, she and a friend decided that they wanted to do a duet. Their teacher approved and after some discussion, she chose for them to do a tap number to Sea Cruise. They did a great job on their duet, though they did forget a few steps in their 2nd recital, and I think they learned a great life lesson ... when you make a mistake, just keep going. They also learned that sometimes it is easier to dance solo!

On a less positive note, our van is dead. Well, not the whole van, just the transmission. Which, in a van older than my marriage, (it's a 1996) with 175,000 miles, it might as well be the whole van. While we take our time and try NOT to make any mistakes in buying a new(er) vehicle we are driving the car that my mom bought the year I graduated from high school. Early on, my mom was very protective of that car, but gradually, as it began developing symptoms of old age, it became my dad's junker ... the one he uses for trips to the hardware store and such. It has no air conditioning (have I mentioned that I live in the deep south? and it is June!) and we have been admonished to drive it like Daddy ... which means that we can't drive over 40 miles an hour. Let's just say that it has been really, um, interesting for the last few weeks. Oh, and I guess I should also mention that this is a REALLY small car and I have 3 children who can't ride in this car without touching each other ... really interesting.

I shouldn't complain, though and, I am extremely thankful that my parents have allowed us to use the car so that we can take our time in finding a new van. Well, actually, we are looking for the used van that we want to buy. We have already spent more time praying about this decision than we did about the other two vehicles we have bought combined. I guess the up side is that I am looking forward to having something reliable to drive (and it won't hurt that it will probably look better!) and I can honestly say that we have matured enough to know that this is not a decision we want to make on our own ... again!

It is late and I have to get up early to have the older two kids at the 1st of 3 Vacation Bible Schools they are planning to attend this year. This one is at the church where some of our home schooled friends go and will be the kids' 1st experience with a daytime VBS. Later this month they will go to my parents' church and then next month will be our church's turn. Unfortunately, D can't go to any except ours since he is still only 3. It is okay though ... he will get to hang out with Mama most of the week and even has a play date with a friend one morning ... I think he'll survive.

With ALL that said, I hope everyone has a great week and now I am going to bed!

Monday, June 1, 2009


For Today... June 1, 2009

Outside my window... hot sun and grass begging to be cut.

I am thinking... that I don't like cleaning up watermelon that a 3 year old dumped in my kitchen floor.

From the learning rooms... today is the first day of our summer session and we will start our new math in just a few minutes.

I am thankful for... our garden and the opportunity to teach my kids some life skills, like tying the tomatoes and weeding the beans.

From the kitchen... hamburger steak with onions and peppers, mashed potatoes and green salad for supper.

I am wearing... my comfortable, hanging out at home clothes.

I am reading... Whispers of Winter by Tracie Peterson ... one of my favorite authors.

I am hoping... to get our vehicle problem solved this week.
I am praying… for our city elections tomorrow and for a hurting friend.

I am creating... hopefully a sundress for LB this week ... we shall see.

I am going... nowhere today! We'll make up for it the rest of the week.
I am hearing... the kids playing in the yard.

Around the house... lots to catch up on after a busy weekend ... right this minute, I need to be washing the rest of the dishes so I can cook supper.

One of my favorite things... gospel music. We went to a singing last night at my parents' church and it was great.

A few plans for the rest of the week... mostly baseball. We have our regular games on Tuesday and Friday and a makeup game on Thursday. But we only have 2 more weeks, so we'll make it. I am looking forward to the used book sale our homeschool group is hosting this weekend.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Waiting their turn. LB is the one in the middle ~ I haven't figured out how to get all that hair in a bun.

I hope you enjoyed my daybook ... if you did, there are lots more to read and enjoy here.