Thursday, February 21, 2013


So, as I was assessing 2012 at the end of December, I decided that one of my goals the things I really wanted to do in 2013 was to write more on my blog.

And I jumped right on that as you can tell...being how it's February 21, 2013 and all...and how I've written only a couple of times so far this year. Or maybe just once.

In my defense, and admittedly a weak one...I've started this particular post about 20 times and each time I delete it (I really don't know how that would be a defense of anything).

When my sister, Leanne, and my daughter, Holly, decided that I really needed a blog, they set it all up and sent me on my way. Not gonna lie, the whole thing was really intimidating to me and I just "let it set" for quite a while. I'm not the most tech-savvy person you've ever met (I'm sure those two would agree)!

Plus, there's the whole putting-yourself-out-there thing. It's scary. I don't like conflict, and the thought that someone would judge or criticize me for something I might write...that unnerves me. Of course, this would assume that anyone besides me reads this blog. I'm a pretty private person, and I keep my family close to my heart in good times and bad. I'm not one to air out my "binness"--good or bad--around town. My thoughts are my own, and are based on how I was taught by my parents growing up, my experiences during my life so far...and my convictions, which come from God. I guess I also probably have some thoughts on things that are just my preferences, for whatever that's worth. I've learned a lot from my mistakes, but I'm far from having "arrived." I have to rely on God daily, because, as my Grandma Ellen used to say, things "go to hell in a hand-basket" when I don't. And there are times when I don't. More times than I want to admit.

I'm a slow learner.

Anyway, it's one thing to write a Christmas letter, or a funny Facebook status...and yet another thing to peel off the layers and share pieces of my heart...with anyone other than my family. Which, was the whole purpose behind starting this blog...for my family. Because, really, other people would never understand me. Like, how I tend to use humor to cope in/diffuse situations, even when it's not appropriate. Like the time at my GRANDMOTHER'S FUNERAL when, during the service, mind you...we joked about how we should've dressed her in a Hawaiian muumuu and a lei...maybe a camera around her neck...and how she would have just DIED of embarrassment at the tackiness! We were laughing so hard that our shoulders were shaking and our noses were running. I'm sure everyone thought we were overcome with sorrow instead of trying not to laugh. My Grandmother was the opposite of tacky. She was always "put together" and lady-like. She is the one who asked the florist at my wedding to please match her corsage to the color of her fingernail polish. So the funniest thing to us was picturing her prim and proper Southern self all decked out like a tourist.

See? That's such an easy train of thought for me to follow...easier than thinking how much I miss her, especially now that my own Mom is gone; how I used to call Grandma every Saturday for 20 years, and she would frustrate me one minute, and have me cracking up the next; how God used her to impact our family, thru my Mom, thru my sister, Robin, in ways that are immeasurable.

So you can see how people might not understand how I I handle things.

And I was also thinking that, after the stress of our move, and Holly and Aaron's subsequent move, I just wanted a new focus for our family in this new year. Something besides the boxes and the mess and all of the frustrations. I wanted something new, something fresh. I wanted a WORD FROM GOD...a word that would take the way I had been thinking...and refocus my thoughts on GOD and on HIS plan in all of this. But what? What word? Peace? Contentment? 

And then I read THIS post from a blog that I've never read before...

And God showed me His Word for me and my family this year:


It was everything that I was not...
the waiting...
the enduring without yielding...
the bearing patiently...
the remaining fixed in a state...
the continuing in a place...
the accepting without objection...

I was fighting against it all, and I don't know why. Because, even reading it just now...His way sounds better.

So, I'm done.

And it feels great...

to abide.

"...abide in My love." (John 15:9)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Few Hours Ago...Last Sunday

It was this past Sunday.

We were getting ready to leave for church. I was pretty excited because Holly and Aaron were going to be visiting our church AND visiting a SS class. We agreed to meet them in the parking lot, so they wouldn't have to walk in alone. We had looked on the website at the classes offered, and they had chosen one they wanted to try. SCORE! It was in the same building as our class...right around the corner!

(I know, I know...Jim says I'm not gonna be happy until all of our children pack up and move close to us so I can see them every day)

(What, like that's wrong?)

As we walked into the building, Holly asked if there was a place to get coffee before class, and there was. She busied herself getting her drink fixed just like she liked it. I looked at Aaron and said, "she's a mess, isn't she?" He said, "oh, yes ma'am."

I don't just hit me then. She was dressed all cute, as always. And she had her hair up on her head in a knot/bun-thing. And something about her hair or her mannerisms or something right at that just took me back to her as a little girl.

Weird, I know. But just the vision of her and that memory...not gonna lie...almost made me cry right there.

And then we dropped them off at their class, and walked around the corner to ours. I was really excited! I tried to be nonchalant around them, because Jim and I really don't want to influence their decision about a church home AT ALL. Our prayer has been for them to find their find a class that will be with them thru the ups and downs of life.

About 10 minutes into our class, we see a young couple walk by. The woman is pregnant and clearly upset and crying. The husband is holding her close as they walk, talking to her quietly. My first thought was that there was something wrong with her baby...but then LOTS of young couples come walking by the class, on their way to the stairs.

Well, that's weird.

And then someone comes in and tells us that a young wife and mother from our church...had died in her sleep a few hours before. A FEW HOURS BEFORE.

A few hours before, they were a family. A husband, wife and little boy. A few hours before, they had gone to bed, anticipating the next day because it was their little boy's 2nd birthday. A few hours before, she woke up not feeling well, but was finally able to go back to sleep. And now she was gone.

And it made sense about about all the young couples who had walked by.

And then my heart was in my throat because I put myself in the Mother's situation...and what if that was my baby girl just a few hours ago?

When we got into church, Holly and Aaron said that they had gone into that SS class. The associate minister was there to greet them, and introduced them to the class. Holly looked around and saw that many of the women were in tears. He told them about the young wife who had just passed away. She was a member of their class...and a friend to many in there. After his announcement and a prayer, the entire class left to go be with the husband at the hospital. The minister offered to walk Holly and Aaron to another class, but they declined. At this point, another class would've been in the middle of their lesson or prayer time. Holly said it was really sad and awkward. The pregnant girl had come up to her before she left and said thru her tears, "we are really a fun class and I hope you'll come back."

Holly and Aaron may not ever go back to that class. They may not ever go back to our church...not for that reason, of course, but because they are still visiting around, trying to find their place. But, I told them that that is the kind of class they need to look for. The kind that can meet and greet and laugh and cry...and who rush to your side and surround you when you are hurting.

Jim and I have been there. We were the ones who, after word got out that we'd just had Joshua, and that he had Down Syndrome, within hours, were engulfed by love and support. We were the ones who, when Joshua had his heart surgery, had to be moved to a private waiting area because there were so many people there loving and supporting our family. And years later, when I had a complicated pregnancy and premature delivery with Clark, and 2 years after that, when Clark was diagnosed with cancer...some of those same people were there...donating blood, writing cards, praying over me and my son, watching our other children, providing meals.

That's the kind of small group I want for my kids...and that's the kind of people I want them to be...pouring their lives into service for God, thru the church, thru the body, thru the needy and the hurting and the lonely and the disadvantaged.

And I never want to forget where we've been...and the ones who've walked with us on the way.

"Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." Romans 12:15

Thursday, February 7, 2013


In November of 2011, we began to pack up our home in anticipation of our move to Conway. We...and by "we" I mean "I"...boxed up half of our stuff, and then Jim moved it to a storage that we could make the "fake house" when we listed it with the realtor. You know, like really neat, clean people lived there.


When the time came to move, I boxed and packed most of our things that were left in the house. Jim got the other boxes out of storage, and we moved here to Conway. And unloaded everything into the garage.

And started to unpack.

Jerry Seinfeld does a whole 'spoof' on we spent our whole lives looking for boxes. Boxes for our stuff, boxes to move our stuff...and then when we die, we realize that we've finally found the perfect box...but we're buried in it! 

Anyway...where was I? Oh, yeah...unpacking boxes...

...until our two up in Fayetteville decided to move, and we were happy to go up and help them pack their boxes...and we helped them unpack and get settled in their temporary home...our "for sale" house, which had just been sitting there empty. Then we came back home to our garage, still full of boxes from OUR move.

Now those two are moving their very own FIRST home this time...and we were happy to help them pack up all their belongings. We also packed up and removed the last of our items from our old house (which still hasn't sold) (long story).

We helped them unpack their boxes and got them settled in their new home. In 2 days, both of their cars were snug and safe and parked in their garage.*

As for us? We came back home to our own garage full of boxes, and NO CARS, and started again the process of unpacking.

And when I'm done, no one is going anywhere for a really long time.

Because...if I see one more box... 

"Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." (1 John 3:18)

*And just for the record, Holly and Aaron worked just as hard as we did with the packing and the unpacking. And some of Aaron's family helped with the heavy lifting as well. Moving is hard work. It goes so much faster with many hands, am I right? And they are just starting out and have NO WHERE NEAR the amount of junk like we have accumulated in the 32 years that we've been married.