Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday

Well, it was another wonderful day with my future proxy family. We forfeited the movie and spent the day at the Mall. I got my hair trimmed. We started the day off taking one of the family to the subway station so she could get to the airport for her flight home. We were also waiting for another family member to meet us there and go off to the Mall for our 2nd annual Black Friday shopping adventure!

While we were waiting, Dave turned up the tunes and Marie jumped out of the back of the truck and started dancing with him in the parking lot. What fun! So, against my daughters wishes, I jumped out too and we had a street dance right there at the train station! It was awesome! I felt so to be me...and nobody made fun of me...and others were dancing and being crazy with me! It was wonderful!!! We danced through several songs like, "whip it" LOL... until it was time to leave...without a care in the world....these are those unforgettable spontaneous moments I live for. I'm building new memories to cherish already...but, there are lingering memories of these types of spontaneous moments with my best friend and children that hover and make me long to relive some times in the past.

I know that nothing is guaranteed in this life...people come and go...and it doesn't matter how much you love them except for one thing: The more you love them, the more it hurts when the good times are merely distant, yet cherished memories.

Ultimately, there is One who will always love and never leave. I am counting on Him to get us through the framily break up. In all honesty, I think the only one who needs help with it is me... For whatever reason...I think I am the only framily member who wants to relive those beautiful lost days. Yes, this is bittersweet, and sometimes I wonder how I will ever get through... but I can do all things through Christ....and He is already working out the kinks.

Okay, enough depressing for the happy present...Last night, Tiff, Marie, and I were doing some Superman line dance thingy in the balcony. We laughed so hard I could hardly stand up. Then Dave blasted some Toby Mac this morning while we were all getting ready. It was recorded live in Texas. It ROCKED! We were all having a good time then. Man, is life always a party around here?

At the moment things are quite subdued as I am typing from Barnes and Noble still here in Atlanta. I think it would be inappropriate to dance here LOL. Besides, my dance partner is at home with her proxy baby sister. Tomorrow Tiff and I head back to TN. I feel homeless...or hometween. Humboldt doesn't seem quite like home anymore...and Atlanta isn't quite home yet. It's a very melancholic place to be...but also exciting at the same time. God is at work and I anticipate what He is going to do. I'm letting go of the plans I have made for me...losing control of my destiny...and giving it to the only One who knows what to do with it. I'm taking a leap of faith...diving in to the unknown. I know He is holding me. I'm not afraid...well maybe just a little. Man, I love how music ministers to me!!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Picture Perfect

Things couldn't have gone smoother for Thanksgiving dinner. We put on our festive aprons and everyone had their part in preparing the meal. Jeanie fixed most of the feast and the rest of us were responsible for clean up duty. The table was dressed in full array with candles and autumn/Thanksgiving centerpieces and a variety of Thanksgiving china. The pinkish red holiday punch was served in beautiful wine glasses.

We all took turns from oldest to youngest, sharing the things we are especially thankful for this year. It was such a blessing. Jeanie was so happy to have her entire family and closest friends gathered around the Thanksgiving table. I could only have been more blessed if Justin had been here.

After the meal, the transition from Thanksgiving takes place as we vote on the Christmas classic to watch and we all begin cleaning up to Christmas music. However, we had a bit of a twist as Dave put in the Johnny Cash band and we listened to songs like "Ring of Fire"...that didn't have quite the same effect as the Christmas music...but it was still fun. Eventually the Christmas music came on. So we were cleaning up Thanksgiving dinner and listening to Christmas. The transition began taking place.

After the dishes were finished, we all got into our Christmas pajamas and sat down in front of the fire with our coffee/tea/eggnog. Jeanie knitted and I crochetted as we all watched Miracle on 34th Street. The Christmas season is now in full swing as today is black friday and we are taking our 2nd annual trip to the Mall of Georgia for shopping adventures, lunch in the food court, winding up the day with a movie. This year's feature is Australia. (I heard it's a great movie...thanks for the critique, Sooby!)

Well, there you have it in a nutshell... oh oh ohhhhhhh!!!! speaking of nuts...

This morning, I awakened in my beautiful room overlooking the lake and tree tops. I watched as two squirrels worked diligently on their nest. It was quite entertaining watching them chew off branches and run up and down the trees, taking the branches to their nest. I was entertained as the larger squirrel seemed to be doing the biggest part of the work. I even laughed out loud once as the larger squirrel struggled to get this HUGE branch through the other branches and the little one just kept running around him and climbing over him. Later on, I saw the little squirrel carrying a rather large branch of leaves up to the nest. I think he got in trouble. LOL.

Speaking of trouble.........

I thought I was in trouble last night because I spilled my tea on the white carpet. But Jeanie was so kind and said, "that's okay we have the carpet protected. I'm sure this will clean right up" and it did! Woohoooo! OH oh and salt... LOL... this one is not just funny but 2x funny!

When we made our coffee/tea last night, Jeanie had switched canisters and moved the sugar to a larger canister while putting salt in the smaller one. I was unaware of this. Soooooooooo

When young David spit coffee (all over the carpet) from taking the first big gulp of his salted drink, I couldn't figure out how salt ended up in his coffee. How dumb is that? LOL. Then later that night when I fixed a new cup of tea (after spilling mine), I also got duped. Took my first big gulp and ...well thank goodness I was standing by the sink and not the white carpet that had already been annointed twice!!!!

It was a great day....we all had so many laughs.

Oh one last thing...this is really funny (but you had to be here). There is a bad chair at the dinette table in the kitchen. Dave, Marie, and I were having breakfast. Tiffany came to sit down and sat in the bad chair. Everything was fine until she moved..LOLOL I am cracking up as I type this...the chair leg gave out and Tiffany crashed into the table. She wasn't hurt and quite embarrassed and we all laughed our ends off! LOLOLOL.

Okay, gotta go get my make up on so I can be ready to participate in the busiest shopping day of the year! Thanks to all the dedicated retail workers for all your hard work and dedication on this day full of crazy, whacked people like me who enjoy participating in the mad rush of holiday frenzy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mashed Potatoes

I am eating mashed potatoes right now, in honor of the gentleman pictured with me almost twenty years ago. I only have a couple of pics of grandpa on the puter, so I went with the one that included me, even though I look little like that anymore! LOL

I loved Thanksgiving meals with my family. We alternated whose house the meal would be served in, sometimes at our house and sometimes at my grandparent's, but I liked it best at Grandma and Grandpa Prince's.

When I was home in Ohio last month and looking at old pictures, it was interesting to note how many feasts we really had at their house. Their dining room table was always filled up with great food, but my favorite has always been the mashed potatoes. I love a table with a giant bowl of smashed tators on it!

Grandpa was always amazed at how much of those mashed potatoes I could put away and would tease me by telling me they were gonna grow hair on my chest! LOL

I miss Grandpa and watching him nap in his recliner after a big meal. Oh, and I can still hear my Grandma's voice and the way she would say my name. Precious memories for me this Thanksgiving Day.

Now for seconds on the tators!

Thanksgiving in Atlanta

Well, we arrived in Atlanta safe and sound! Thanks to all those who prayed for us. It was a bit difficult to stay awake the last hour but we made it.

As we got out of the car, Tiff and I could hear Marie cheering loudly as she celebrated our arrival. Right away, I recieved a blessing...felt..wanted and loved in that very expression of joy. But then, I was greeted with a huge hug from Jeanie and the nostalgic smell of Pumpkin pie. The table was already set last night for tonight's dinner. It really felt like Thanksgiving had arrived. Then, when I got upstairs to my room, my towels were on my bed Jeanie style with a Christmas present wrapped on top.

I slept very well once I finally made it to bed (around 2:00 am). When I first awakened, my eyes were still closed. Then the thought came into my head, "You are not home, you are waking up in Atlanta and the sun is coming up over the lake...quick, look out the window!" So, I sat up and turned to my left (the bed is sitting up against the window overlooking the lake) and sure enough, the sun was just beginning to light up the tree tops. The lake was like glass with a crisp, clear reflection of the beautiful trees, blue sky, and soft, puffy white clouds. It was so beautiful! It's easy to praise God when you wake up to that!

Today, I announced to my precious friends here, who have shown so much love to may family over the years, that I will accept their proposal to temporarily move in with them next summer and begin a new life here in Atlanta. I presented them with a gift and a card. In the card I announced my decision. I listened and watched as it was read aloud. I watched the excitement build on each of their faces as they began to realize what I was telling them. Then I listened to their cheers as they celebrated our decision.

I would like to thank God this Thanksgiving for family, friends, restoration, healing, this place, and new beginnings.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

God is Alive and Active

I wrote a post once about being older and wiser and some of the things I hate about that. You can read that post here. I was inspired to write that post because it is difficult to watch someone you love and care about rebel against God. It is difficult to watch them throw away potential and blessings for the things of this world.

Today I am rejoicing because the subject of that post has turned back to God! God never stops wooing His chosen. HE IS SO MERCIFUL!

That post was written almost three years ago and I can tell you that my heart has broken for that person and those caught in similar circumstances. I never stopped praying and thanks to MySpace and Facebook, I was able to keep tabs on some of the goings on in that person's life, even though it disturbed me at times, it also gave me the sense of urgency I needed to continue praying.

Not too long ago contact was reestablished, and yesterday we met for lunch. I have tears welling up now as I recall the experience of hearing her share about her life and what God is doing in it. She even confessed that she has kept tabs on me! LOL She said she always kept things I have said, or Katie has said to her, in the back of her mind. Finally she relented to the conviction of the Holy Spirit! Praise God!

Prayers need to continue so that God will surround her with Godly role models who can walk with her through this spiritual journey. I am praying that God sends to her and her husband a couple wise in the ways of God, that they would help the both of them grow in the Word and in Christ. I am so excited at the possibilities here!

I just can't stop smiling! I am basking in His love today and enjoying the wonder of His unfailing mercy, endless forgiveness and infinite patience.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

When Christians Get Dirty

Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13:10-17)
While reading Hidden In Plain Sight: The Secret of More by Mark Buchanan, the author helped me to gain insight into the "foot washing" principle.Hidden in Plain Sight

When we accept Christ as Savior...He saves us for God and from God and washes us clean. In God's sight, we are blemish free because He sees us through the sinlessness of His Son, Jesus who stands in our place.

Jesus taught the disciples that once He makes us clean, we are cleeeaaan, totally clean...but now and then, we may get a little "dirt" on our feet, or in our lives. In other words, Christians may get a little "dirty" simply by living in this world and all Christians have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters to help wipe away that "dirt".

Jesus said "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet." What He is saying is that He washed us clean, but things in this world will tarnish can creep into our lives and make us dirty.

Consider that slow driver that was "in your way" on the day you were running a bit late for work...what were your thoughts? Were they Godly?

Consider the television programs or movies you watch...would you watch them if Jesus were your guest this evening? Would He approve?

How about the music you have been listening to lately? Does it glorify God?

Have you been poking around Internet sites that are totally inappropriate?

Are you harboring any grudges against anyone?

Taken the Lord's name in vain? Ever say "Oh My God!" when surprised/startled?

PigpenThere are many many ways that the world's crud affixes itself to us. We may not even notice the dirt on us piling up, and we won't notice because like Pigpen, we won't be bothered by "girls or mosquitos". In fact, if we aren't noticing it, we may be worshiping the lord of this earth, rather than the One True God. Jesus tells us to help one another wash this crud away in our lives. We are responsible to one another to do this. We should help one another get rid of the dirt that infects our lives! We sometimes refer to this as accountability.

The word accountability often brings to mind a person holding another person accountable for some grievous sin. Jesus wasn't talking to his disciples here about horrific sin, but about simple, small and sometime unnoticeable things that could subtly cause harm to His children and hinder a relationship with Him. He was warning us in a way, to watch out for the small stuff.

We are to be holy, and set apart from the world. The world is dirty, and we must count on our brothers and sisters to help us brush off the dirt that gets on our feet every day.

Reposted from August 2007

Cleaning Out the Refrigerator

Katie is cleaning out the refrigerator and she said "It's funny how you think you have food until you clean out the refrigerator and then you realize all you have is bacteria and ferns."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chuck's Blogging!

Chuck finally has a blog: Northbrook Church Blog

Go read, go encourage, go comment, just go see it!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunlight Burning at Midnight

You might think I'm weird, but the foliage in my back yard is at its beautiful peak right now. I have a golden umbrella over a large portion of my yard and two dogwood trees with red leaves. Then in the distance all the other trees in the neighborhood are changing too. Leaves are everywhere and my back yard is covered with them. At dusk on this crisp fall evening, I couldn't stop myself...I put my Frenchesca Battistelli music on and went out back to dance and praise God under the golden umbrella of foliage. One of the lines in the song, "Beautiful" is about God's love being like sunlight burning at midnight making my life something so Beautiful Beautiful. I Looked up through the trees and I could see spots of the blue sky and a few stars peaking out. I thought about stars and how they are like sunlight burning at midnight. It was one of those moments when I received a small taste of heaven on earth!



I am harvesting blessings amongst my trials. Justin is so far away and I miss him so much. Here, I have to deal with the aftermath of a terrible car accident and a traumatized daughter. The blessings....

Justin is doing so well and I am so incredibly proud of him. So many from friends and church members are writing and sharing letters with me that they have written back and forth. Tiffany and I have been surrounded by a plethora of love and support from our church family. They have rallied around us and there are a few who are trying to help me get going with another vehicle...and get Tiffany driving again. So far I have not been able to coax her to get back behind the wheel.

I took her to a progressive dinner tonight. It is an annual youth event with our church. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this; it is when the youth group travels from home to home to eat 1 course of a 4 course meal at each stop. They go to one home for appetizers, then the main course, then the desserts, then cocoa/coffee/tea/cider. This year they combined the last two in one house. That was the house where I volunteered to serve. It was such a sweet time of fellowship.

So, I started the day with a nice warm bath. Then, I met my best friend and daughter for lunch. Then, I came home and found lots of energy through the crisp, blustery fall weather. So, I finished cleaning and organizing Justin's room. It looks like a new place!

I wrapped up the day with the progressive dinner. We had dessert, cider, and hot cocoa, a cozy fireplace, great piano music (furnished by one of our youth), and lots of fun conversation.

Then, as I was leaving, I walked out the door to the smell of fireplaces burning...beautiful colored leaves, and a cool crisp fall breeze. It was perfect. I thanked God for my harvest of blessings!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Seattle's Best

Katie and I went to Seattle's Best today and I decided I wanted a cinnamon roll from Cinnabon. I got a "mini" roll because the last time I had a full sized cinnamon roll it sat in my stomach like a concrete brick all day. It was not pleasurable at all.

I really enjoy going there for coffee almost daily. I do wish however that Seattle's Best was designed more as a coffee house, instead it is basically a Subway with a window at one end to buy Seattle's Best coffee.

It was a lot better when we could sit outside during the warm summer months because inside they usually have two dualing tvs blaring. They are never on the same station. It's chaotic and it's a shame.

Seattle's Best is also good for simple coffee drinkers like me. If you like frou frou it probably isn't for you because the drinks don't seem to be made correctly, as least not from the point of view of the people I've gone there with.

But, I still love Seattle's Best coffee!
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Friday, November 07, 2008

From Death to Life

Hebrews 2: 14- Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. 15 Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

I have just come out of a place in my life filled with fear, pain, and sorrow. I was enslaved to pride, selfishness, self-pity, self loathing, fear of loss, fear of lonliness, fear of rejection. I wondered how a woman of faith could ever come to be in this position. I doubted my own salvation. I kept trying to fix things, trying to handle situations that God repeatedly told me to let go of and let Him handle. But I thought I knew better.

I am guilty of trying to control and manipulate situations (make no mistake about was situations...not people) that I should have left to God. I just kept making a bigger mess by trying to "do the right thing" when the only right thing was to surrender to Him. I held on to things that were not for me to hold on to. When I don't let go of what I have, I miss out on so much more that He has for me. I know this now.

I am so thankful for my Savior who became human so he could experience death in order to conquer it once and for all. He never had to do that. I don't deserve it and never will. Oh how He loves me! Oh how He loves us! He died to break the power of the devil...who I recently gave some authority in my life. I have been believing lies that He has been pouring into my brain on a daily basis. I gradually became weaker and weaker as I surrendered to emotions and oppression instead of surrendering to my Lord who never left me alone for one second. He stayed there, reaching out to me, waiting...waiting...waiting....for me to surrender all to Him. It is what He died for. He broke the power of death and I felt as if I was dying spiritually...and I must confess, there were a lot of moments where I wanted to die physically. He died to set me free from this but, I just couldn't see it. I couldn't let go. I didn't trust Him or anyone else.

He stepped in at my lowest point. When I was ready and prayed to see Truth (even if I didn't like it), He showed me that I needed to stop looking at others and letting my joy depend on people. I needed to stop pointing my finger at others' flaws and start investigating my own. I needed to stop being a victim of my own selfishness, fear and pride and start trusting Him with the things that seemed to be killing me.

I reached the point of total brokenness and surrender. I finally gave it all over to Him....and He set me free and yes I am free indeed! He embraced the cross he bore for me...and all I must embrace my own cross that causes me to die to myself in order that I might experience the same victory over death that Christ did....and life in Him.

I have been resurrected in a sense...just like the day I got saved. I have died to my old self again. God saved me once..but every time I die to things that need to be gone..I experience new life again. I have died to who I was a few weeks ago and God has brought me to life as a new creation once again. I am changed. I am growing.

I prayed for Him to empty me this year. He told me I was going to go through a season of letting go as a result. I had NOOOO clue what was about to take place. It blindsided me. It was overwhelming and I was NOT prepared for what He was about to do....but He did it. He emptied me....and now has filled me again...with ways He could not before because other things were in the way. I have been restored to grace. I have been born again again...and baptized in the Holy Spirit! I am alive, alive, alive....hallelujah! All praise be to the Lord my God...the King of glory!!!! He loves me...and that IS more than enough!!!!!!

I AM BACK PEOPLE! Wooohoooooo!!!!!!


Yay! The photo I took while in Las Vegas last year was chosen for inclusion by Schmap Tourguide Company. Go see my pic and more on the Las Vegas - Hiking & Climbing page.

How fun!

No, no money for it, just credit for the pic, but still, how fun!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Thank You

For all of you who have been lifting me up in prayer...THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I truly believe I have been delivered from a very long and difficult time in the desert! God has moved in my life over the last week and it hasn't been fun, let me tell you. But, I have finally let go of some thing I needed to let go of and accepted some things I couldn't accept. I have learned from mistakes along the way and I am at peace with God. I know who I am in Him and I know Whose I am. I know the truth about me and the Truth that lives in me...and that is what is at the top of my list of important things in the world! I have been restored to fellowship with my Lord. I have received a new beginning. Please continue to pray as the process is not complete...I have grown so much but I still have some things in my life that need to change...and some 40 year old habits that need to be modified. Praise be to the One who leads me by the still waters where He restores my soul.

Justin's New Address

SR Blakely, Justin, P.
Ship 9 Div. 803
3415 Sailor Drive
Great Lakes, IL 60088-3415

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I am thankful the election is soon to be over and that God is still sovereign.