Saturday, June 24, 2017

Southern Living Magazine comes to life!

One day last week I was able to do some major window shopping at the  Southern Living (yes, the magazine company's) only store in the United States.  The widow displays alone made me drool.  But when you walk is all over....
Every detail, from live Southern Living Plants, to even the cutest T-shirts, everything in this store  called my name.  There was even a golf bag and club covers calling my name and I don't golf!  This is definitely a store I could get myself into some major trouble...from cute clothes to the perfect napkins and my dream swing bed, I wanted it all!
And, of course, how can a Southern girl not love a store with a variety of deviled egg plates to choose from? 
Even decorative Okra was, you can't get much more Southern than that!!! 
Make sure not to miss this gem if you are in the area:

Friday, June 23, 2017

Happy National Pink Day!

Happy National Pink Day!  Life is not complete without a little pink in it, at least for me.  I loved it as a little girl and I hope I always love it! 
These were left on my doorstep today with a note from a very special friend.  She has spent the last few days visiting with me and I am so glad she did.  It is so amazing to see how God orchestrated the beginnings of this friendship 30+ years ago, but it didn't come into full bloom until the last few years.   He knew to bring us together at just the right time, when we each would need it.

Although, we don't often get to see one another, we share secrets that I can't imagine sharing with anyone else . The last few days have been late nights (2-3 AM every night) full of talking through the issues each of us are dealing with in our lives and catching up on the small details that we will often skip over in a phone conversation or email.. There was plenty of laughter and tears shared but we both needed that. She understands my spiritual battles and doesn't judge because she knows where I am.  I think we all know how rare it is to have a friend who will get in their car at 3:30 pm in the middle of the week and drive 5 hours to spend a few days with you just because she senses you need it (she was right!!!) 

Sadly, we (collectively) seem to get so busy with life and things that really aren't that important in the long term picture that we lose track of the human cost of being busy and not intentional with our relationships, whether with friends or family.  This week showed me true sacrifice just to be friend....not because she had too, but because her heart needed to be a friend. She knew I didn't need to be alone this week and so she stepped in and filled the gap.  I am taking that lesson to heart and hopeto be able to pass it along one day.  I am so thankful that by the time she left, my blessings seemed far greater than my challenges. 

P.S. Please click on the "follow me" to the right. As I am trying to get back into blogging in a more regular capacity it is encouraging to see that your are there!  Also, a little note in the comment section telling me how you found me would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Keith & Kristyn Getty "In Christ Alone"

I woke up this morning with this song echoing in my head. It is all I have been able to hear all day. Wonder if someone is trying to tell me something? I pray my heart can hear the message.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Lost with no direction...

This morning I had to sit down and write because I feel the weight of the world on me right now from many different directions. I am struggling with my walk with Christ. I am praying but it is just is hollow. My heart broke this past week when I read about a wonderful, Godly woman who's life has publically unraveled and I felt the shadow of my past float across my path. Mostly, right now my hardest struggle is in being a Mom (and not seeming to be able to give a  Godly response and what HE wants to see from me and what my children want from me.) I also have some upcoming struggles in my job as my company moves to phase out my position (and that of 500+ others,) not to mention having gone back to college full time.  So on top of struggles and stress...I have a healthy dose of fear thrown in there for good measure.

Let me preface this with saying I am not a victim of circumstances.  That is a term I will not accept. I am just being real with my life. I am not a victim, I am hurting...there is a difference. Today I have so much to do and my body and mind just don't want to do them.  It seems my life and myself are in a battle of wills. 

I am longing for the days when I could pray and feel that reassurance and peace because, quite has been gone for a while.  I am not asking why, I am just not asking at all.  I am struggling to trust because I KNOW in my head and although I do not question my faith one bit, my heart is not in the game. I am in no way perfect.  I don't deserve an easy ride any more than anyone else...but I am weary right now.  I am weary with this world.  I am weary with pain others are dealing with, the realities of life, ....just weary. 

I read something this morning that I want to share and I will be spending some extra time with these words trying to glean the meaning for me from them. These words were written for me, I know, but they may touch you more than any I could write so I do hope you will find something here that will make you less weary and together we can find our way back.

 These are pieces  taken from an article by Janet Perez Eckles entitled, "Ten Reasons Your Prayers are not being Answered."

"1. You’re dwelling on worry.

I was dwelling in the house of worry, I was abiding in the home of frustration and words of fear resided with me. John 15:7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."

Yes, I am dwelling on worry. It is all around me and although everyone says, everything will be OK...inside my eyes are rolling and I keep thinking "that is easy for you to say."  You aren't the one with children to take care of and an uncertain future.  I am so tired of hearing it...I would much prefer a hug.

"2. You need forgiveness… and to forgive.

I prayed, but was clueless about the prerequisite of forgiveness…or my need to forgive others. Gulp.
Mark 11:25 “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Forgiveness has been one of the main spiritual goals of my life in this past year and I have made great progress.  I finally feel free of the weight I carried for so, though, I feel the weight and need of a true, honest forgiveness from others.  I will probably never receive it (or know if it is granted) but I need freedom from my failings and shortcomings. Yes, I understand Christ paid for them already but right now...I desperately want and need to feel forgiven because I have carried this burden of being unforgiven and added to it regularly and quite honestly, I don't know if I would know how to feel without it.

"3. You’re focused on the problem, not the Solution.

Focusing on the situation often distracted me from concentrating and meditating on God’s law, on His promises and instructions. Proverbs 28:9 “If one turns away his hear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination."

No kidding.  Problem is all I see.  Solution seems futile and I need God's intervention to be able to see past it.

"4. You’re wallowing in the pain.

Why do we allow bad news or painful details to drown out what Jesus says?
John 14:12-14 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

I don't know why we allow bad news or pain to drown out what Jesus says.  I am sure that is what I have done.  I am not counting my blessings (sounds simple, hmm?) but rather hiding behind the pain.  I also hold my pain inside very tightly, it is mine...stay away.  I have to learn to let go of it.  I am tired of holding it.  I have carried pain in one for or another for so long I can't remember what it feels like not to have it safely tucked inside. Time is short in life and I do not want to continue to carry this. 

"5. You’re praying, but not believing.

It was easy to pray and pray. But believing, truly believing it was done became a struggle.
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Yep....I am unwavering in my faith but my belief is not there. Why am I not praying back His words to Him?

"6. You haven’t taken time to reflect to discover wrong thinking.

Reflecting on my past, the mistakes made, the selfish ways, the incorrect thinking and all the dark places my heart trudged through needed to be exposed before the Lord.
Psalm 66:18 “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”

Ha!  I haven't taken the time to do my laundry much less reflect on wrong thinking and the lies Satan has sold me.  I can readily recall my mistakes but I can't recall a moment of clarity and right thinking. 

"7. You haven’t gotten quiet and listened for God.

In silent moments, reassurance that God heard me erased anxious thoughts.
1 John 5:14 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

I run from the silent moments.  That hasn't always been the case but I find myself hating those moments more than anything.  Silence means alone....alone means fear for me right now.

"8. You haven’t prayed for wisdom.

Wisdom to know what to ask for adds anxiety. But God addresses that too.
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts are like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

No, I haven't.  I am a twisted up ball of anxiety and I am over looking the One who could unravel it.  I am the doubting one like a wave on the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

"9. You’re trying to find the right words instead of letting the Spirit intercede.

In desperate times, the heart is broken, confusion reigns leaving us without words.
Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Lately, actually for the first time in many, many years...I have had the desire to draw and paint.  Maybe God is looking for my prayers in a different form and all I am concentrating on is an eloquent prayer to offer to the ceiling?

10. You’re not seeking the right thing first.

Matthew 6:33 ”But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." And God did add what was missing—a new awareness of my need to seek Him first. And in the process of seeking Him first..."

This point hits me square in the eyes.  I have not been seeking the right thing first.  A couple of months ago I let myself get caught up in myself and  what I wanted. I haven't been able to find my way out...because I was seeking me not Him.

Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker and author of four books. Her best-selling release, Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God’s Fiesta invites you to experience the simplicity of finding joy even in the midst of hardship, With engaging stories, Simply Salsa gives practical steps to overcome heartache and celebrate life once again.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Game Changer....Roomba!

My sweet Mother and Daddy recently sent me a goody that I can't tell you how much it has helped me and changed my life!  I came home from a business trip to find a big box sitting in my bedroom and inside it held the grand, life changing ROOMBA!  Years ago, I had a first generation Roomba and until it literally pooped out from use. I loved it as well...but I have to say it is improved and when you have 2 dogs living in your house....this is a life saver.  I love it because I can just push a button and it runs about gathering all the stray, all over the house, fur that escapes from my furbabies constantly.  It tells me when it needs to be emptied, when it needs to be charged and my fortune (well, not really my fortune but that would be fun!)  I am already so attached I think I might have a heart attack if my Roomba went away!  Not only does it keep the floors cleaner, by picking up the excess hair it also keeps the hair off the tables and furniture better.  It is truly a must have, and though, worth the money!

My planner....the unplanner day :-(

This morning, (albeit Saturday - and waking me early on a Saturday can be a dangerous thing,) I managed to wake up at a  reasonable hour on my own...or maybe the phone rang or something...grrr. EITHER WAY I had a plan today and that plan is a yearly tradition and a day of excitement! It is the day I get my new planner for the upcoming year!  There is just something about a new planner....with nothing written on the pages...only filled with possibilities!  I even tweeted that today was my official #buyinganewplanner day! 

So, I got ready, did some errands here and then headed off to Lilly Pulitzer for my new book of possibilities.  For many, many years I only used Lilly planners but when my world changed a few years ago, I pulled back from Lilly because I was doing a lot of re-evaluating what I like and what I might have been "expected to like." I even gave away all my Lilly!    Fortunately, in the last year or so, I have come to realize I am truly a Lilly girl and have been adding it back into my wardrobe because it is me.  I am bright colors, with a pop of surprise here and there. I am a dreamer and Lilly embodies that.  So, this year I  knew this year I was going back to a Lilly planner.  It is nice to be confident in my what I like and not what I may have been liking or involved in just because it was expected of me!

Unfortunately, I had my dates wrong and the Lilly Planners won't be released until Monday... whaaaaaaaa!  I am so sad.  This afternoon I was going to start putting in my class due dates and appointments and start my new year or possibilities with organization at the top of the list!   Now...I have to wait until Monday...p.o.u.t.

On a positive note, though, I did score a great deal on a super, fun phone case for only $9.00 because all the new versions are for the IPhone 7 and I am using the antiquated 6!

So...planner Monday it will be and organization will be my motivator!!!