Monday, June 30, 2014

What I Learned in June

Most months I try to link up with Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky for the what I learned this month post... but she is taking a break for the summer. However, I have really become cognizant of things that I'm learning, and thought I'd go ahead and share.  It amazes me how I have started seeking out learning opportunities. So, here you go... what I learned in June.

1. The first video to play on MTV was Video Killed the Radio Star. Kind of ironic, don't you think? Rod Stewart was the first artist to have two videos played in one day.  And Michael Jackson's Thriller Video was 14 minutes long. 
And is it just me, but does that singer sound just a little like a souped up Kermit the Frog in the beginning of that song?

And just so you know, I researched this after an extensive conversation between Wallace and I on the way home from Louisville.  I'm not sure how the topic came up, but Iphones are awesome.  And if I learned it on the internet, it has to be true, right?

2. The Cheesecake Factory doesn't open until 1130 during the week.  I may have cried, just a little.

3. Thanksgiving truly was not recognized as a national holiday with the Pilgrims.  In fact, it wasn't until the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln that Thanksgiving became a day set aside for national thanks.  And because that probably seems totally crazy for me to be thinking about Thanksgiving... I was reading Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker and it talked about the holiday, and then I looked it up to learn more, because I knew I'd be writing about what I learned this month... and also, pie is in season anytime, even if pumpkins aren't.

4.My Grandpa used to call us kaddidlehopper all of the time when I was little.  To my amazement, this wasn't just a term he made up.  There was a character, Clem Kadiddlehopper, on Red Skeleton.  Chances are, my Grandpa was familiar with that character.  Check out this clip of Kadiddlehopper.

I learned this when reading about Red Skeleton in The Ones Who Hit the Hardest, about the Pittsburgh Steelers. Again, I don't remember how the two went together, but when I read kaddidlehopper I had to keep looking, because that word has been so much a part of my childhood.

5. The terrible towel is a legend in Pittsburgh.  I have one hanging in my office at work.  The terrible towel was created as a marketing scheme by Myron Cope, who initially informed his boss that he didn't do marketing, and then changed his tune when his boss suggested that he might be fired otherwise.  The line Myron Cope used to encourage Steelers fans to bring a terrible towel to a game... get a yellow dish towel. "If you don't own one, buy one. If you don't want to buy one, dye one."  The terrible towel I have now has printed on it "The Official Myron Cope Terrible Towel." I've seen pictures of babies in Pittsburgh swaddled in these in the hospital.  Sometimes I wish Caleb was born in Pittsburgh for just that reason.

6. Electronic Monopoly- yes, there is such a thing, where players use an ATM card instead of paper money.  That seems Un-American to me, yet is completely a sign of our times.  I was amazed when Caleb enlightened me.

7.  Kentucky law about bathing once a year- yes, we really have a law that says this.  I am appalled. 

8. The Wright Brothers are buried in Dayton, Ohio, in Woodland Cemetery, as is my Great-Aunt Virginia and Great-Uncle Paul.  A truly beautiful cemetery with some fabulous looking grave markers.  And no, I'm not strange, I promise.  I've just always loved to visit old cemeteries, look at the tombstones, and reflect on what those lives might have been.  OK, maybe just a LITTLE weird.

9. I may have known this, but I forgot it.  Casey Kasem was the voice of Shaggy on Scooby Doo. 

10. An octopus doesn't have eight legs- it has eight appendages, and six of those are now classified by marine biologists as "arms". What?  (See, buzzfeed is good for something!)

11. Sometimes, it really is nice to just rest.  I've enjoyed this month of family, reading, relaxing, swimming.  Wallace and I said this was going to be our best summer ever... and a month into it, I'm pretty sure that so far it is.

Be blessed!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Tonight, I'm Gone with the Wind

At the beginning of the summer, I had two books that I really wanted to read. 

Ok, I have a to read list that is extremely long, but these two books I really, really wanted to read. 

They just might be the epitome of Southern American literature.... in my humble opinion, at least.

So, in June, I fell in love (again) with To Kill a Mockingbird. Scout Finch and Jem, honorable Atticus, and Boo Radley... well, they remind you about what family truly is and that sometimes, the good guy does win the war, even if you lose a battle. 

And in July, I'll be reading the best book ever.

I have a funny system of reading books. Because my bookshelf is so overcrowded, at the beginning of the summer, I selected seven books and sat them on my bedside table. As I've read one, I've replaced it.  Last night I finished the book I was reading and told Wallace to select a number between 0-7... and he chose the number that corresponded with Gone with the Wind.  As I picked it up he must have saw the look of love on my face.

"Are you going to read that?" He asked, looking at the size of the book.

Oh, yes. For about the seventh time.

I first read Gone with the Wind in high school.  I can remember pulling the cover over my head as Sherman marched into Atlanta, continuing with bated breath as Scarlett and Melanie traversed through the wilderness, the Yankees just a short distance between them. What would happen? Would they make it to Tara?

And I may have cried a little when Rhett left.  I wanted to shake Scarlett because Ashley just didn't seem like who she should be with, yet she still pined over him.

I've learned a lot from Gone with the Wind.

1. There is no place like home.  Ok, this line is from the Wizard of Oz, but Scarlett takes it serious, too. As she comes upon a war-torn Tara, her heart breaks and mine did, too. Tara was her Father's legacy.  Gerald O'Hara knew that land was the only thing worth fighting for.  Tara became her legacy, and she was willing to fight for it. To defend it. To be courageous even as she faced the enemy.

2. Birthin' a baby can be difficult, especially when the doctor is too busy with Confederate casualties and you have to help deliver a baby that belongs to the man you love... with the help of a whiny teenager. My favorite line of the movie just may be from Prissy: "Ms. Scarlett, I don't know nothin' bout birthin' no babies." I repeat it often when talking about nursing specialties, because I have no desire to work OB. 

3. Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Nothing is more desperate than sewing your dress from a set of curtains. And might I add that she looked beautiful in that dress?

4. Tomorrow really is another day. I love Scarlett for many reasons.  I love her because she brings to mind everything that I imagine in the South.  I love her dresses, her pouting, and even though I don't necessarily like her manipulation, she is a better character for it.  She is determined and courageous and willing to fight for what she wants... which isn't necessarily always a great thing. But what I really love about Scarlett is when she decides to procrastinate, because if you know me, you know that I am a true procrastinator. When Scarlett declares, "I'll think about that tomorrow," I want to stand up and cheer. Yes, Scarlett. Tomorrow. 

If you've never read the book and like to read, go buy it now. I'll let you borrow mine when I get done.  I have an old hardback copy in my living room, but it isn't for reading.  I also may have let Kami borrow one, and never gotten it back, but that is ok because I am a true lover of this book and believe that everyone should have their own copy.

And if you compare it to the movie.... well, it's better.  Of course, I always say books are better than the movies.  This is truly one of the only books that I can vividly picture what the author is trying to portray in my mind. 

So, there you have it.  My happiness for the next few days... spent with the gentlemen and ladies of the South. And, perhaps, some who are not gentlemen or ladies...

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Life Vision

This week winds down a five week study through Proverbs 31 OBS Ministries of Derwin Gray's A Limitless Life.

I've also been reading Pursuing the Intentional Life by Jean Fleming.

The past six months have been filled with changes, some good, some bad.  Actually, this time last year was froth with indecision and uncertainty so really the last year could be defined as a catalyst for this post... maybe not necessarily for myself, but for people that I love.  And since I turn 35 in September, these past few weeks have been a reflection of my life now and where I want it to go.

How fitting that one of the assignments on the blog this week was to craft a life statement and a life vision.

I've tried to do that before, but struggled.  The exercise had us answer five questions related to where we wanted to be in ten years, how we've wanted to be seen, things that make our soul sing (I love that), and generally just reflecting on life.

Always before, when I struggled with crafting a vision or a mission statement for my life, it is because I was wrapped up in doing.

I frequently defined myself in the things that I did.  I'm a mother,  a coach's wife, a nurse, a teacher, a student, a reader, a football fan... you get the picture.

And while all these things are true, they don't really define me. All of these roles point me toward an eternal destination. All of these roles provide me with a way  to impact others for Christ. The point of life isn't how great a mom or wife or nurse or teacher I am... but rather, how much glory do I bring God as I am doing those things?  And I'm realizing that it could be so much more...

I have a bucket list of all kinds of things I want to do before I die.  My goals have often been centered on professional accomplishments.... what can I DO?

And as I've embraced my word of the year, "be", I'm reminded of what God tells me.  "Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:11).

At the beginning of the year, I sought out the first part of that verse.  Be still and know that I am God.

As I'm reflecting, though, I see that when I am still, just being and not focusing so much on the doing, my ultimate purpose in life is realized.

For Him to be exalted. For Him to be glorified.

Through me.

Through my actions, my roles, my responsibilities. When I am in His Will, allowing Him to reflect through my life, He is exalted. He's exalted every time I teach a student how to do an assessment focusing on the patient as a person, and every time I tell a student to keep at it.  He's exalted every time I bring a popsicle to the gym and brag on my girls.  He's exalted in every peanut butter and jelly sandwich I make for Wallace.  He's exalted when I am at a football game and the fan from the other team is driving me crazy, but I compliment their players because they are just kids, too. He's exalted when I don't yell at Caleb (Oh, this one definitely needs work). Every smile I give to someone in Walmart, every time I hold a door open, every time I let someone else out in traffic... He is exalted.

They will know us by the fruit that we bear... because His light will shine through us.

Let it no longer be what I can accomplish, what I can check off my to do list, what goals I can reach.

My life vision in 140 characters or less, "To live full of Jesus, love, compassion & encouragement, a light to others, giving honor to those before me and leaving a legacy of grace."

P31 OBS Blog HopMay I do this as a being... and bring You glory.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Five Minute Fridays- Lost

When I read the word for the prompt this morning, I almost laughed out loud.  Wallace and I were in one vehicle driving home from Destin, with Papaw, Nana, and Caleb in another vehicle.  Both cars were comparing GPS systems for the most reliable way home.

GPS systems are great.  They didn't fail us as we journeyed to Destin for the first time this year.  On the trip home, I thought about how nice these inventions were.  I could even speak into my IPhone, for crying out loud, and figure out where the closest Bob Evans was.  (For wondering minds, it wasn't close enough, and I had to settle for Cracker Barrel instead). 

Today on the trip home I thought about how much fun the journey places can be, especially when you have a full tank of gas and know where you are going.

But the journey can turn into no fun really quick when you take the wrong turn, especially when it's because a mechanical voice told you too.

Especially when your cousin is starting his first high school varsity football game, and the GPS was supposed to take you to the football field, and you instead ended up in a field in the middle of nowhere.

"You've arrived at your destination." It announced... with no football lights in sight.

Oh, to be lost...especially when you thought you knew where you are going.  Especially when you thought you were taking a shortcut.

We are like that a lot.  I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel lost sitting in my living room.  I feel lost staring at the computer screen.  I feel lost driving down the road, knowing exactly where I'm going.

But if we are listening to the true navigator, the true GPS, we are never really lost...

we may just be taking the scenic route.

And that's what makes life fun...

Linking up with Five Minute Fridays where we are given a prompt and write for five minutes without editing. Today's prompt- LOST.
Five Minute Friday

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Limitless- Snap it end in sight.  No end to even imagine.  Whatever you can think of, and even more.  Kind of like standing on a balcony overlooking the ocean.  It stretches out in front of you, blue, waves rippling as they gently reach the shore.  It seems infinite, and to our eye, it is.  Just a few clouds breaking the view to let you know where the ocean ends and the sky begins... except the ocean doesn't really end at the sky, it just looks that way.

 Because sometimes you really can't see that distinction. Sometimes the ocean may be a little murky, and you're not sure what is in the water with you.  You're not sure if you will make it as the waves break over you, knocking you down.  The salt water gets in your nose and it causes you to choke a little.  As you stagger to the shore, you feel beaten and broken.  Unsure of your next step... and maybe when you reach the shore you find it isn't soft sand, but rocky and rough.  You've reached your limit.
 Except you haven't, because with God there is no limit.  He wants to make you limitless, just like the ocean. And when the sun comes out and the Son is within you, that's possible, because His Spirit can do all things.  All things. There are no limits. No limits to His grace. No limits to His love.  No limits to the work He wants to do within you and through you.  More than you can ever imagine.
The sun comes out, and the view is beautiful...and it is you. And Him in you. 

Limitless.  No stopping you now. Get out there and shine.

  P31 OBS Blog Hop

Friday, June 20, 2014

Five Minute Fridays- Release

Release... let go.  Unchain. Become free.

When I read the prompt, I thought how nice that sounded.

Like when you hold your breath and you don't realize it... and then you take that big breath of fresh air.

Or even when the air is thick with electricity, dark storm clouds overhead, wind blowing... and then the cloud bursts, releasing a torrent.

And then I thought of my little sister, who at the age of 3 was locked in a car. 

In the middle of July.

Completely an accident... she was in her car seat and as I turned to get her out, I bumped the door shut.

The keys were still in the ignition.

No big deal, though, because she knew how to release the car seat latch.

I pleaded and begged through the window.

"Come on, Kami.  Open up the latch.  Just push the button."

She'd shake her head no, tears welling up in her big brown eyes, her little pig-tails bobbing back and forth. 

"Come on, it's hot.  Just get out of the car seat."


Not going to do it.

And the temperature was 98 on the bank sign, and sweat poured down her cheeks, and fifteen minutes had passed and I was frantic.

Finally someone brought a pair of keys and I unlatched her.

"Why, Kami?"

"Because Holly told me never to get myself out of the car seat by myself."

And isn't life like that? Don't we all stay locked up sometimes because of what other people have told us or what we've told ourselves or how inadequate we feel?

Come on, take a deep breath... and release it.

It's time to break free and let loose.

Linking up with Five Minute Fridays, where a word is given as a prompt and we write for five minutes unedited.  Thanks for stopping by. Five Minute Friday

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Zephaniah 3:17

"The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save , he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in His love, he will joy over thee with singing."- Zephaniah 3:17

"The Lord your God is with you.  He is mighty enough to save you. He will take great delight in you. The quietness of his love will calm you down.     He will sing with joy because of you.”- Zephaniah 3:17, New International Readers Version

When Caleb was little, this was one of my favorite verses.  I especially loved it in the NIRV translation, which was what his Adventure Bible was written in.

My favorite part was the "quietness of His love will calm you down."

Caleb needed a lot of calming down... but so did his Mama.  Maybe his Mama needed it more.

As I think about this verse, I am overcome.  First of all... He is in the midst of you.  Is with you.  Is encamped around you.  He's everywhere you are, He's everywhere that I am... He's before us, after us.  He knows where we are headed.  He's promised never to leave us or forsake us.  He's not just sitting in the room with us, not even listening... He's completely committed to journey with us, leading the way and carrying us when we can't take another step.

And He is mighty.  Stop and think about that.  I am weak.  I cower in the face of many things.  I let my fear paralyze me, keep me from moving.  But He is not afraid.  He is mighty.  When I think of the word mighty, I think of an army. Or a lion.  Our God is mightier than those.  He is strong, powerful, and full of whatever we need to overcome.

He will save.  Not maybe.  Not might.  But will.  Every.  Single. Time.  The Work has already been finished for us.  He will save us physically.  He will save us financially.  He will save our heart, our minds, and make us a new creature. All we have to do is aks.

He will take great delight in you... He will sing with joy because of you... oh, wow.  How I need someone to "delight" in me.  I mean, Wallace and Caleb love me, but sometimes they tolerate me... and that's ok, because I'm the same way.

But God?  He's infatuated with me.  He loves me.  I make Him happy.

We make Him happy.  When I think about delight, I think about the exhilaration of roller coaster rides, dripping ice cream cones on hot sunny days, the giggle of a baby.  Joy you just can't hold in.

And God delights in us just like that. 

All those sappy love songs?  They're nothing on what God writes... about us.

The quietness of His love will calm you down.  When you are scared, nervous, angry... just be still and know He is God. When we do this, our blood pressure drops, our breathing slows, and things begin to seem possible.

His calmness is enough.

Just stop and think of what this verse means to you.  Our God is so great... but He is quiet about it.  He's not bossing us.  He's loving us. 

And reminding us that we can truly live a limitless life, if we just pause and let Him take control, and trust Him fully.

Thank you, Lord.

Linking up with the awesome bloggers on the P31 OBS Blog Hop. Y'all rock!
P31 OBS Blog Hop

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Story Worth Reading

"The only people who truly know your story are the ones who help you write it."- Unknown

These past couple of days I've been thinking a lot about family.

These past few months, actually.

Today, I sat in a church in Dayton, Ohio, and celebrated the life of my 93 year old great-aunt.  It was a touching service, complete with I'll Fly Away, I Can Only Imagine, and memories from her daughter and grand-daughter.

They knew her story, because they helped her write it. 

She also wrote a lot of their stories, too. 

The pastor spoke of her Christian heritage that started with Poppy and Mam. 

That same heritage that my Grandma Na's story was written with.

As her grand-daughter talked about Aunt Virginia, the stories she shared made me laugh, partly because Aunt Virginia was so spunky, but also because the stories were somewhat familiar, because the same thread that was weaved through her family was weaved through mine.

It's funny how two women, separated by 10 years and many miles, could be so alike, yet so different.

Aunt Virginia was the last sibling living in my grandma's family.  She was the second oldest daughter.  My Grandma Na was the youngest daughter. 

But even though 10 years separated them, they were raised with the same values.  Above all, Jesus. Then family. Then serving others.

Today, the pastor preached about our legacy, and how to live is Christ and to die is gain.  As I sat and listened, I thought of how for Aunt Virginia and for Grandma Na, that verse was just as true as it was for Paul.  Their day to day existence was living for Christ.  They loved Jesus.  You knew it when you spoke to them.  And to die, just meant for them to be with Him.  

Jesus should be palpable.  He should be oozing from our very being.. and I'm not so sure that is true for me. There are a lot of times I don't love people like I should.  There are many times when I am impatient and judgmental and crabby.

But the great thing is that He knows that.  After all, He's the author of my story.  If anyone knows how it goes, it is Him... and He loves me completely.  He's also the perfecter of my faith... so if my story doesn't look so great now, He's just not done with the editing.

Keep writing, Lord Jesus... and hopefully people will keep reading and find their way to You.

Give my Mamaw a hug, Aunt Virginia... and since I didn't see you again on this side of Heaven, I'll see you in Heaven. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Relay Snapshots

There are some moments that you want to freeze and remember in your mind like a picture. 

Those "firsts", "lasts", the most memorable times that you are sure you'll never forget.

And sometimes, in the moment, you don't even know they are important. 

This is one of those moments.

Today, as I sat at Douthitt Park getting ready for this year's Relay For Life of Breathitt County, I pictured this in my mind. 

I couldn't remember what Grandma was wearing, but I knew Papaw had on this jacket, and I knew he'd have a smile on his face.

This time last year, my Grandma and Grandpa stayed at Relay later than I did.  Memories were made with my cousins and aunts.

We never really thought we wouldn't be able to snap a picture like this again...

but isn't that how life works?

For so many individuals who fight cancer day in and day out, they appreciate each and every moment.  They know that tomorrow is not promised, yet they never give up hope.  So many of these individuals come to my mind as I type this.  I'll see many of them tonight, decked out in their purple survivor tee-shirts, circling the track and going to the middle of the stage to allow us to celebrate their lives.

As Holly reads the names of these survivors during the luminary ceremony, I'll think of their faces, and the faces of their loved ones.  I'll focus on what they went through or may still be going through, and think of survivors in other counties, such as my inspiration, Debbie Hogg.  For many of them, their stories are a part of me... maybe only in third person, but still close, because one good thing about small towns is that we know each other and most of the time love each other, especially when tragedy strikes. 

As the luminary ceremony goes on, I zone out as I read the "In Memory" names. Names that are as familiar to me as my own.  Family friends like Todd Noble. School year friends like Brad Lockard and Kevin Rice.  Family like my aunt Jo. 

And this year, Mamaw Na... who beat vocal cord cancer but lost a battle with heart failure.

I usually do pretty well reading those names.  I'm not going to lie, it's emotionally exhausting, because for so many of them I know how hard they fought.  I remember how their families grieved. For some of them, I might have cared for them as they lost their struggle.

Tonight, though, I can't promise that I won't cry, because I've been teary eyed all day...

and that's ok.  The spirit of Relay is Celebrate, Remember, and Fight Back.  Tonight, I'll celebrate my Papaw Jr. as he circles the track for the Survivors Lap. I'm pretty sure in his head he'll hear Mamaw say, "Come on, June."  By Relaying, I'm fighting back, providing hope.  Relay dollars support cancer research. Our committee support the work of Hope Lodge, to provide cancer patients and their caregiver a free place to stay during cancer treatments.

And I'll remember.  I'll remember my Mamaw, and I'll also remember that life isn't about the temporary.  I don't think it is coincidental that three books I've been reading this week have quoted the verse from Revelations about no tears or death in Heaven, and how He will wipe away our tears. 

And as I face tonight, I'll focus on those memories, and try to save them in my mind.  As my Aunt Nora posted on Facebook, I'll cherish dancing in the field with my family, holding hands with Caleb sometime through the night, winning Name that Tune, listening to my cousins laugh, watching Papaw try not to fall asleep in the chair...

Remembering that joy and sadness can go hand in hand... and this first Relay without Mamaw, though emotional, will be special as my family continues to heal. And I'll know that Grandma will be looking down, and will be saying, "Will someone please make Junior get up and walk a lap around that track? "

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Diet Coke vs. Living Water

There's nothing like a good Diet Coke in the summertime... or anytime, for that matter.

My son would say this about a Mountain Dew.

Millions in the south would say this about a sweet tea.

But sometimes 8 oz isn't enough. Or a 12 oz can.  Or a 16 oz bottle, for that matter.

And only that beverage of choice will do.

Especially if you are Wallace Bates, who believes that Diet Pepsi is poison to the system.

As the coach's wife, I'm responsible for certain things.  One of my responsibilities includes making sure Wallace is hydrated. This begins before we get to the gym.  Wallace knows what kind of pop every gym in southeastern Kentucky sells in their concession stand, and he will remind me to stop and pick him up a couple of bottles of Diet Coke if the gym sells Pepsi products.

At around 8 minutes before the game, Wallace and his girls head back to the locker room.  If the gym sells Diet Coke products and I haven't bought the pop in advance, I head to the concession stand and get a Diet Coke.

Another Diet Coke is purchased at halftime.

And usually he needs to stop on the way home and get another bottle.

I do this because I know Wallace. I know his routine.  After 14 years of marriage, I know what he expects and anticipate his needs...and the biggest need that he usually has during basketball season is a continuous supply of Diet Coke, clipboards, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

But even if I'm on my A game and have those Diet Cokes ready before he asks, he eventually drinks them up, and gets thirsty again...

Because as wonderful as Diet Coke is, it is temporary.

This week in Limitless Life, we talk about the woman at the well. This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible, largely because it gets personal and highlights the love of Jesus for all of us. In this story, Jesus comes to a well where a nameless woman is drawing water.  Jesus is thirsty and asks her to give him a drink.

Let me pause here and retract my earlier statement about there being no drink like a Diet Coke.  If you've ever drunk out of a gourd water straight from a hand-dug well, you've drank a small piece of Heaven.  My great-aunt Emma had a well like this on her porch, and when I was little, I can remember lowering the bucket, pulling it up, slowly, because it was heavy and full of water, and then using a dipper to drink that cool, refreshing water...

The woman needed refreshment like that.  I need refreshment like that.

The Samaritan woman was shocked that Jesus was even speaking to her, much less willing to drink water out of her dipper.

Jesus answered her question with an unclear answer, at least one that didn't make any sense to her.  Basically, he told her she should be asking him for water.

The woman was confused. Jesus was probably dusty, tired-looking.  He had no bucket, no dipper, no way to access water.  But he was promising her living water.

"How?" She asked...

"Whosoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whosoever drinks of the water I shall give him shall never thirst.... a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

The woman was astonished.  Jesus wasn't finished, yet.  The woman in need of refreshment was beat down in life.  She was ashamed, and was at the well in the middle of a hot day, trying to avoid anyone who knew anything about her.

And then she met Jesus, who knew everything about her.  As he told her of her life, she became more amazed.

"Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did; is not this the Christ?"

The thing about Diet Coke is- sometimes it makes me more thirsty, and eventually I run out of substance in that bottle.

The thing about Jesus- sometimes He makes me more thirsty, too... thirsty for His Word, His presence, His acceptance, His love... but He always has more.

Living water.... out of a well that will never run dry.
P31 OBS Blog Hop

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Snap It- Fellowship with Him

Quiet time- fellowship with Him.  My Bible study books (Limitless Life is on my Kindle), my Bible, my notebook...

The sound of the pool pump.  Birds  chirping.  The wind blowing.  Frogs croaking. 

Every now and again sunshine peaking through the clouds.

And sometimes, I just sit...

But not nearly enough. 

Being in fellowship with Him means seeing Him everywhere.  Sometimes I don't get my quiet time in.  Sometimes I have days, like the day when this was taken, when quiet time was interrupted and my plans changed.

The storm clouds rolled in and thunder rolled in the background.

But always... He is there.  No matter where I am. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer Reading =)

So, my goal for June is to read a book a day. I'll update this post occasionally with the books that I have finished.

As for what I am currently reading:

A Team of Rivals, about Abraham Lincoln and the men who surrounded him.  It's thick, about 900 pages according to my Kindle, and each chapter takes about an hour to read, so most likely I'll be reading this one all month long, but I love Lincoln and love this time period. 

Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, a novel about an emancipated black lady who made dresses for Mary Todd Lincoln.  It's a nice complement to the other Lincoln book I'm reading, because it seems to be very historical, and a lot of the characters are discussed in the non-fiction book.

They Almost Always Come Home is a novel I'm reading on my Kindle.  I got it free, but it seems to be pretty good.  It's about a woman whose husband has gone missing on a wilderness adventure. Their marriage was in turmoil before he left, so she's not sure if he's missing or if he just decided not to come back.  She decides to go to the wilderness to try to find him.  She's on her first day where I'm reading right now, and it is actually pretty crazy to think about.. I know I'd have no clue about how to survive!

For the Bloom Book club, I'm getting ready to start Pursue the Intentional Life, which is something I really need to do.  I love the Bloom book club on Incourage Me, because Angie and Jessica are so down to earth and funny! They always pick really good books, too. 

With Proverbs 31 OBS Ministries, I'm reading Limitless Life by Derwin Gray.  So far, it is really good.  It's about changing labels we may have placed from our past and replacing them with labels from God.  Yesterday's chapter was about going from a Mess to a Masterpiece- I can really relate to that one!

I'm reading Dan Brown's Inferno.  It's the follow-up to The Lost Symbol I read last month, which was a follow up to the DaVinci Code.  I love his books because they have historical information in them, and are fast moving, hang on to the edge of your seat type reading.  I don't read them at night, much, though...

I'm also reading AMMA: The Life and Writings of Amy Carmichael.  Carmichael was a missionary in the early 1900s in India.  I'm just getting started on it, but I can tell that it's one of those books that is going to make me think.

I'm still reading Ask Me Anything, Lord, by Heather King. Heather is a friend on Facebook and I love her writing.  This book is just taking me a while because I get to the end of the chapter  where there are questions and have to pause to reflect on those questions, and also trying to stay caught up in the book clubs I'm participating in... but it is so good.  And I'm always amazed when something I'm reading in one place shows up somewhere else, which is what happened in two of the chapters of this book I've read so far.

And last, but certainly not least, The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle.  You might remember that I suggested her book Sparkly Green Earrings, about her having a little girl... and it was awesome.  I read it in one sitting.  This one, though, may be even better. Perhaps it is because I can relate so well.  While she may be in Texas and I am in Kentucky, her life is just spot on... complete with the husband who thinks a Cabela's magazine is quality reading material.  I have laughed so hard that I cried, and several times Wallace has asked me what is wrong. And she's got an antelope in her living room. At least I won the battle and the coyote, deer, and turkey are upstairs... Seriously, get this book.  Married or not, you'll not regret reading it.

To read books: Blossom Street Brides with another book club, The Ones Who Hit the Hardest (about the Steelers... duh), Uncle Tom's Cabin, Gone with the Wind, A Season to Remember (Also a football book), Gone Girl, Takedown Twenty, Silver Girl, A Framework of Poverty, Without a Word...

And sometime I plan to write an IRB application that may or may not be due in a week and I haven't even started on. 

But first I think I'll go finish a book today.  I'd love to hear what you're reading in the comments!!!

June 1- A Beautiful Offering by Angela Thomas
June 2- Starting New (Blossom Street #9)- Debbie Macomber
June 3- What Women Fear- Angie Smith
June 4-  The Antelope in the Living Room
June 5- Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker
June 6- They Almost Always Come Home
June 7- To Love Me
June 8- The One Who Hit the Hardest
June 9- To Forgive Me
June 10- Takedown Twenty
June 11- A Season to Remember
June 12- Ask Me Anything, Lord
June 21- Whence Came a Prince
June 23- Inferno
June 25- Limitless Life
June 26- Silver Girl
June 28- Blossom Street Brides

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

You Done Good, Caleb

It all started going downhill with a flip-flop.

Yesterday was a LONG day. 

I rode to Louisville and back with Wallace so he could turn some stuff in at his Reserve unit. I'll never turn down a trip, especially since I thought I could convince him to drop by the Cheesecake Factory and let me get a piece of Heaven to go...

So, I sat in the car and read while he packed his stuff in.  Then, we swung by the Cheesecake Factory, only to find the doors to deliciousness would be locked for thirty more minutes. Normally, I would have sweet-talked Wallace into going into the mall for the measly thirty minutes, except we had to get back to Jackson because Caleb had an awards banquet at Highland-Turner, so I accepted that I wouldn't get my cheesecake and settled in for the ride.

We stopped at a gas station, and when I walked in the smell of Cinnabon filled the air.  I hadn't brought my wallet in, probably because God was telling me that I didn't need those cinnabon delights that I could almost taste as I walked to the back of the store to go to the restroom. I figured I could get Wallace to buy some when he paid for his pop, only to come out and find him in the car, on the phone, pop already paid for and car already in drive.

I might have cried a little on the inside.

Then, at Logan's Roadhouse, I ordered nachos, only to have them delivered to realize that they had changed their cheese and the nachos really weren't that great.

Out of that disappointment, I got a rare treat at Cold Stone Creamery. Wallace said three disappointments deserved a good ice cream, but personally I think he just wanted ice cream for once in his life.  Or maybe twice.

We made it back to Jackson and the fun really started.  Banquet #1 at Highland Turner, where the flip flop comes into play.

Caleb was looking good in his dress shirt and blue jeans... and his blue flip flops did perfectly match.  Until he realized walking in that they were broken.  A fact he had also realized the day before at church. Not sure why those babies hadn't been thrown in the trash, but now they were on his feet and the flop had quickly come loose from the flip. 

An easy fix, you say... until it came loose again as he walked out to accept his awards.  I would have gotten mad at the lady in front of me who kind of laughed, but I'm quoting the verse, "As much as possible, live at peace with all men." in my head this week. And also, it was funny. And also, he knew it was torn up.

So... at the end of his banquet we had 10 minutes to get from HTS to Jackson for the girls basketball banquet, which is exactly how long it takes to get to Jackson if I am driving slightly over the speed limit and spinning my tires and burning my brake pads (hypothetically, you know.  I assure you that I am a very safe driver. Most of the time.)

Except we had to stop at home to change shoes.  And Caleb couldn't get the door open. And he also could not just put on another pair of sandals... he had to pick a pair of shoes that tied.

And then he was convinced he lost his $20 out of his pocket at Highland-Turner.  I was convinced it would be lost forever if that were truly the case, but being the good Mama that I am (and also because I didn't want to be distracted while I raced to town) I turned around, headed back to Highland Turner, and cautioned him to check his pockets one more time before frantically returning to the gym to look for his money.

Frantic is something he inherited from me.

The $20 was in his other pocket.

We made it to the banquet in plenty of time, as they were still eating and we all know how football players can eat. And also girls basketball players. 

Sitting through speeches from the coach of the football team and the boys basketball team, and finally Wallace, I thought about how maybe I don't need to be in a rush all the time.  And that for once, one time out of one million, I really wasn't late for an event.

And when the audience laughed as Wallace said, "Caleb is just... well, Caleb..." I got to thinking about how blessed I am that he is mine.  And how maybe I don't say that enough.  And also how maybe I am a little too impatient with him.

Then, a "quick" trip to Walmart reminded me that maybe he's just a little slow and deliberate.

But he tried to tip the cashier $6 when he left (after paying for his own stuff) and gave out several hugs to people, and when we got home, he posted this status on facebook:

"I try to live in a way which when I lay down at night, I hope God can say "You done good today, Caleb."

I'm not God, buddy... just your Mama.  And I have so many things that I fail at daily with you.  I am imperfect on so many levels, and I recognize that and wish that I could change it.  But yesterday was one of those days when I am almost 100% positive that God said you done good today, Caleb... now if we could just work on your Mama.