Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'll be the first to admit it...

I've been a major blog slacker this month!!!!  Life has actually not been over-the-top busy, which is incredibly unusual, I just haven't been focused enough to sit down and post anything.  I have a "part 2" to my last post (which was 2 weeks ago), but I'm not finished with it.  I'll post it soon...

So, let's see - in the past 14 days life has consisted of

1.  celebrating the Day o' Love at home - I made one of Brad's favs, Alice Springs Chicken, and we watched a movie.  It was a quiet night at home, and neither one of us had school work to do - it was great! :)
2.  painting (not fun painting, just doors in our house)
3.  helping Brad lay wood floors!!! (they are BEAUTIFUL, and he is AWESOME!!! Pictures soon!)
4.  graduate school - BOOO
5.  having a colonoscopy (oh what FUN that was...NOT...)
6.  cheering for our boys and girls basketball teams on at the Regional Tournament (from home)...and, our boys WON!! They're now in the state playoffs - GOOOOO WILDCATS!
7.  and, absolutely L.O.V.I.N.G. the Spring-like weather we have had...I even broke out the flip flops one day!  It has been wonderful!

And, y'all I haven't gotten my camera out one.single.time.  in the past few weeks!  I know, I know - what is happening to me???  I'll get back on track soon, I promise :)  Brad and I are just very consumed with getting some things done in our house right now, and I haven't been able to focus on much of anything else.  March will be a better month for me :)  Love y'all!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wait. Hope. Trust.

I have shared this with y'all before, but the Lord always seems to have to knock me up side the head to get my attention sometimes.  Over the past few weeks, 3 words and 1 verse have been repeatedly put in conversations, sermons, and Bible Study.  Does that ever happen to anyone else?? 

A few weeks ago in our Bible Study we are doing with our youth, we were reading out of Isaiah 40.  We were watching a video segment of Louie Giglio, and he was referring specifically to Isaiah 40:31.

I have a Parallel Bible (you can find a zillion of them on Amazon) that has 4 versions in one Bible.  It's WONDERFUL when we are doing Bible Study to be able to see what the different versions say, and helps to better understand the text.  Anyway, I always automatically look at each one when hearing a verse to see how each is written.  This is what each of them said for Isaiah 40:31:

King James: 
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

"But those who hope in the LORD, will renew their strength, They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

New American Standard:
"Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary."

New Living:
"But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.  They will soar high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint."

Hmm, each version translated the verse all verbatim to one another except for one word was different - wait, hope, wait, trust.  Louie went on to say that the Greek translation for the word "wait" is literally "to hope" or "to trust".  (So, each version is right...this is not a debate about a particular version of the Bible being right or wrong - don't get side tracked!!) 

Isn't it interesting that the word "wait" - which instantly makes me fidgety - means the same thing as "trust" and "hope"??  Waiting somehow is a negative word to me.  When I think of "waiting" on ANYTHING, I get annoyed, fidgety, and think of all the reasons why I don't/can't wait.  But, when I think of "trust" and "hope" I feel like there's possibility and certainty of something better happening soon.

Brad and I always, always, always, seem to be in "waiting" mode...did I say always??? (The frustrating, fidgety kind of waiting)  Waiting to do things in our house, waiting to make plans about our future, waiting for a baby, waiting until we're finished with seminary, waiting on job opportunities, waiting until we have more money saved...waiting, waiting, waiting.  Whether it's for 5 minutes or 5 years, waiting drives. me. insane.  But, the Lord reminded me of this verse that when I wait for Him, He will give me strengthWhen I put my hope in Him, He will renew my strengthWhen I trust in Him, I will find new strength

And, His strength will make the waiting, the trusting, the hoping much less of a load of burden and much more a load of joy. 

But, what happens when - after waiting and being FAITHFUL to Him, feeling you have been completely OBEDIENT to Him - His answer to your waiting is not "Yes" or "No", but "Not yet - continue to wait"?? 

...to be continued...come back tomorrow for part 2 of this rambling insight :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Land of Ma'am

Today, I was in a meeting with someone from Oregon, and she made a statement that stuck in my head.  She was sharing that when she landed at the Birmingham airport, she called her husband to let him know she had landed in Alabama safely.  He responded by saying, "So, you're back in the land of ma'am!"  She went on to say that she loves the South, particularly Alabama, because most people are so welcoming and hospitable and call her "ma'am" - something that is rarely heard in her home state. 

That reminded me how much I love the South and how proud I am to call it home :) 

I love
our ice cold sweet tea,
our Southern drawl,
our nostalgia to the past,
our long, hot summers (I'll feel differently in July I'm sure!),
our excitement over an inch of snow in the winter,
our love for college football :),
our yummy food (biscuits, gravy, grits, fried chicken, and so much more),
our AMAZING produce in the summer,
our beautiful farmlands,
our words - ("y'all" and "fixin' to" just to name a few!)
our Southern hospitality,
and yes, that most of us still say "Sir" and "Ma'am"!

It's great to live in the Land of Ma'am!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ellie Jane!

Our sweet girl - Miss Ellie Jane - had her first birthday a few weeks ago!
She of course had no clue, but we couldn't let the day go by without having a little celebration :)  The 4 Favorites just adore Ellie, and were very excited to celebrate her birthday.  Since I love pretty much any excuse to decorate, we had the kids over for a sleep over and we partied while they were here.  I had helped a friend decorate for her daughter's birthday party several months ago, and the theme was "Pink Poodle"; I had made these polka dot tablecloths and pink poodle fabric runners for that, so I got to reuse everything for our "puppy party"! 
I made them each a little party hat out of felt, complete with a black paw print on front and paw print ribbons to tie them on...
We had paw print cupcakes from the bakery, and we made bone shaped Rice Krispie treats for our party snack.
We sang Happy Birthday to Ellie with a cupcake, but don't worry - we didn't actually let her eat it.  She got to celebrate by having some chicken :)
It was a GREAT party...
After the "party" the 4 favorites had a BLAST! (They always do...they play so good together!)
We all had a great time with the kids here, and celebrating our little Ellie being in our family!  It was a great weekend!
Happy Birthday, Ellie!! 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Life in a List

1.  We have had revivial with David Engesath at church this week, and WOW...it has been sooooo soooo soooo good!  God is doing great things at Mt. Vernon!!  David is not just a "preacher" but he is a potter, and he does pottery during his messages.  It is so powerful, and makes the verse "I am the potter, you are the clay" come to life!!

2.  Last weekend we had the 4 Favorites over for a spend the night party...we had a GREAT time!  While they were here, we threw Ellie a birthday party for her 1st birthday.  It was so cute, and the kids had an absolute B.L.A.S.T. at our puppy themed party!!  Pictures to come soon!!

3.  Speaking of Ellie, she had surgery today to repair her right leg and knee.  She has a little genetic knee problem, and the vet felt it should go ahead and be fixed before she got too much older.  She is having to stay overnight, and I will be able to pick her up tomorrow.  Say a little prayer for our sweet fur baby...I hate the thought of her being in any kind of pain :(

4.  Now that revival is over we will be getting back in to FULL SWING of finishing up some home projects that we have started.  I forsee lots and lots of painting in my future...and, then we will be laying hard wood!! YEA!!!!! 

5.  I booked the first wedding for 2011 last week!!  The past several weeks have been a wonderful break from flowers and catering and decorating (although I absolutely love all of it!!)  I'm enjoying my "time off" because I know my calendar for the year will be jam packed before I can blink!