Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Awesome Book Up For Grabs

Way back in the beginning of all blog things, the other Gayle brilliantly started a discussion group about the book "For Women Only" by Shaunti Feldhahn. I was part of that group, but miserably failed to participate like a good bloggy friend. :(
However, I read the book and it was so awesome and insightful, that it helped me to understand what makes my man tick a little better. Always a bonus, right? SOOO, when my good buddy, Heidi, did a review of the new book by Lil Miss Shaunti entitled "For Parents Only" and decided to give a free copy of it away, I was ON IT!
This is your opportunity, all you parents of tweens and teens, to get a never before seen glimpse into the mind of that person who sits at your breakfast table with an attitude to shake the earth's core (or maybe that's just me....see, I told you I need the book).
Just go to Heidi's blog and enter the contest while I pray fervently that HSB eats your entry thereby increasing my odds. Good Luck (even though I don't believe in it)!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Going Back

Boy, it's been awhile....are you still with me out there? I haven't had very much to say lately, because I have been kind of in a reflective mode. One where all I can do is listen and just take it all in. Times like these are often where the deepest of deep thoughts come in, but I wasn't able to blog about it because it simply would have taken brainpower, energy and time that I seriously needed elsewhere.
I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I really did. My sweet brother and his family came down and, as usual, we have really enjoyed having them. We went to go see the Bee Movie last night with the whole family and had a great time. I was so blessed to be sitting there with all of these people that I really love, and it reminded me to continue to give thanks to my God during this holiday.
My brother brought down a bunch of boxes and a cedar chest from my Grandparents home where we were raised. They had been transported all over the place with my Dad after my precious Grama passed away in 2000. He finally gave them all to my brother and I to go through after all these years. I cannot tell you what it felt like to open the cedar chest that contained so many family keepsakes from a time even long before my Grama. And the smell....I can't believe it still smelled like home after all this time. My brother and I just buried our faces in the handmade quilts and blankets to deeply breathe in something we never-ever thought we would sense again.
The home that had been in our family since 1853 was sold after my Grandfather died 11 years ago. I am not what one would consider a materialistic person, but I have grieved the loss of that house from the moment it was no longer "ours". It won't go into details here, but my poor Grama never wanted it sold either...and I know it completely broke her heart when it happened.
I guess I will just leave it at that.
Anyway, it's amazing that something any other person on the planet would consider worthless, can be something so precious and irreplaceable to another. As Mark and I were going through one of the boxes, he pulled out this statue of a cute little dog that always sat on the hearth of my grandparents fireplace. Of course, it didn't mean a hill of beans to him, and he was getting ready to put it in the give-away pile. But, when my eyes fell on that worthless little dog, you would have thought we had struck oil. The memories came flooding back about how my Pap, ever the animal-lover, would admonish us with "Now, don't you touch that. Hear?" But, as soon as he would walk out of the room, neither of us could help but sneak in a quick stroke of it's glassy smooth head. That thing sat in the living room of our home through every single family gathering, every single homecoming and every single lazy Sunday afternoon. It strangely was representative of who we are and where we came from, and when I showed it to my brother, he was just as happy to see it as I was. He will now reside, in his proper place, on the hearth of my brother's fireplace.
Even better than finding our old friend, were the love notes between my Grandparents that were stashed in the far recesses of a safe with all of the important documents that they had (including the original paperwork for the sale of the land in 1853!). I cried so much when I read these beautiful expressions between the two people that I completely adored. One of them was even stained with the coffee that was discussed in it. Another one was quite literally sealed with my Grama's kiss. That one really made me cry.
I went to bed last night with every single emotion stirred up imaginable. It was good to reflect on something that seems so far gone and so far away because it brings to the surface, my heritage. I don't think about it very much, because frankly, it is so painful. I miss these two people who practically raised me more than words could ever express. I would give anything to call them up to ask how to tend to a certain vegetable, or to share a funny antic of the kids, or just to say that I am sorry that I was such a rotten teenager. I would give anything to tell them how much they meant to me and how I wouldn't know the Savior that I now serve without their influence in my life. I would love to hug them and kiss those wrinkley cheeks one more time, but I can't. Not this side of Heaven anyway.
The amazing news is that one day I will be able to and for that, I am thankful on this Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Let it snow...

Oh, how I hate to be the next one to say that Christmas is exactly 7 weeks away, but I will because I want you to check out my sweet friend, Ruth's contest. She is crocheting completely adorable snowflakes and giving us the chance to win them. Click on her name above to head that way!
So where are you on your Christmas planning? Are you well on your way or does the thought of it make you cringe? As you might have guessed, I will probably retain the knot in my stomach over Christmas right up until Dec. 25. Then, I will acquire a new knot over the fact that everything I just bought has dropped to clearance level prices.
But you know what? I refuse to be a butt about it this year. My tendency is toward being the biggest Scrooge alive, and I have my very valid reasons (well, at least they are valid to this Scroogette), BUT that is miserable and nobody likes miserable, right?
Honestly, I am so thankful that we celebrate Jesus' birth and I really love all the sounds and smells and spirit of the season, it's just the commercialism and the bondage that it creates....ooops, I let that slip.
I guess I am getting ahead of myself though, seeing that it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, and who could possibly have issues with that holiday?! ~BURP~

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Crazy 8's

So since I have had serious blogger's block, I was completely thrilled when my good, in-real-life buddy Kim,over at Reformed Grits, tagged me. This is a Crazy 8's meme and it is HARD! I am not sure that I will be able to get 8 things for all of them, but I will make the attempt.

8 things I am passionate about:
*My Father
*My husband
*My children
*Teaching my kids of God and His unfathomable grace and love for them.
*God's truths being rightly divided...I am soooo passionate about this one.
*Growing in my walk and not ever settling down into complacency.
*Figuring out God's plan for me.
*Oh, and I love coffee...alot.

8 things I say often:
*"I'm losing my mind"
*"Give me a minute, please."
*"Give me another minute, please."
*"Put the dog down!"
*"Do you know how much I love you?"
*"Wanna go get coffee?"

8 books I've read recently:
*Get Out of that Pit by Beth Moore
*Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Terri Maxwell
*Ruth-A Portrait by Patricia Cornwell
*Sitting by My Laughing Fire by Ruth Bell Graham
*The Well Trained Mind (again) by Susan Wise Bauer
*A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot (a signed copy, thank you very much)
*South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston
*Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper

8 things I want to do before I die:
*I want to go to several places in Europe for an extended amount of time.
*I want to be remembered for who I was in the Lord (so whatever that has me doing, I guess).
*I really do want to go back to school (all in God's timing, though).
*I want to see my kids actively and passionately serving Christ.
*I want to enjoy some wonderful years with my sweet Mark after our kids are grown.
*I want to reach as many people for God as He will allow me.
*I want to laugh like crazy when my grandchildren drive their parents nuts (and then give them some candy...with lots of sugar and even more love).

8 songs I can listen to over and over (and probably have):
*Above All
*Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
*Be Thou My Vision
*In Christ Alone
*(Ok y'all, confession time. I am not into music like a normal person. I mean, I don't hate it...but I don't have to have it. In fact, I drive my family beserk because I would MUCH rather listen to talk radio when I am in the van, than music. If I ever get in the mood for music, it is usually classical or Praise and Worship/Hymns. Beyond that, I don't really dig it. Just for the record, this isn't some legalistic's just a preference. I know, I'm weird.)
*Soooo, moving right along....we'll just pretend those last two aren't there....
8 things that attract me to my friends:
*REAL-I seriously cannot do fake or superficial. I just. flat. cannot. It usually only takes people about 5 minutes flat to figure that out with me.
*Their love for God.
*Their realization that we all need a little (or alot of) grace, and that they give it.
*That their families are highest-priority, second only to their Lord.
*Their honesty, even when it's not easy.
*Their ability to laugh like jr. high boys, oftentimes uncontrollably.
*Their ability to cry like the Momma's we are when we hurt.
*Lastly, and this is key: That they accompany me to Starbucks. Everything else would just be out of whack if they quit doing this. Everything.

8 things I have learned in the last year:
*How to truly forgive and be free.
*That God's grace is so much more boundless and undeserved and beautiful than I knew before.
*That contentment doesn't come naturally, therefore, it isn't that widely practiced.
*That my kids are growing up waaaaaay too fast.
*That "it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all".
*That I don't like 105 degree heat.
*That in a severe drought, you don't have to cut your grass very often.
*That I cannot, in good conscience, spend $4.37 on a latte on a daily basis (or even weekly, truthfully) God help me.

8 people I tag for this meme:
But please let me know if you decide to participate! I would really love to read these things about y'all!