Monday, December 30, 2013

"The Nest is Quiet"

Wow! What a whirlwind of a year it has been.  Can 2013 be coming to a close already? Really? It seems just like yesterday that we were in the exciting planning stages of the wedding and all the events that go along with that most blessed day.  The nest was a mess, we were remodeling and the kids were moving in and out. We took in a new pet, a rescue Boxer that we named Lola.  I tripped and fell in Belk and tore my rotator cuff, had physical therapy and now am scheduled for repair surgery.  I took a walk out on the wild side and started a blog. Had a migraine that lasted about 20 days.  Our house was broken into. Our daughter purchased her first home and we helped with the move and settling in. As a mom, I've had some big emotional moments in 2013. Good emotional moments though.  The kind that you look forward to. The moments where you can sit back and say you've done your job and hopefully done it well.

I can now say, for the most part, the nest is quiet. Some times, real quiet.  Transition, moving ahead, growing pains. No more, "Shh...turn the TV down. Don't wake up the kids." We can play the TV as loud as we want or not at all. We can sit in the dark or have all the lights on without anyone looking at us like we are weird. Do I miss all the doors opening and closing? Do I miss the pitter patter of feet on the stairs? Oh yeah! Do I miss hearing "Mom, have you seen my kicks?"  "Mom, do you know where my keys are?" "Mom, did you borrow my bracelet?" I miss hearing that so very much. However, I'm so grateful that they have launched and embarked on their own. They have started their own lives as adults and I'm so proud of them and wouldn't change a thing. 

The changes that have taken place this year have caused me to grow and relax a bit. Not a lot mind you but some.  I look at things a little differently these days. Some things you just can't change and fretting and stressing just doesn't make any difference or help. I'm praying this year will be a little less busy and a little more relaxing. I'm praying the same for you. I'm praying for peace, health and happiness for you. I'm praying that the Lord will bless you in big ways and that you will seek Him when His ways aren't clear. Let Him direct your path.  

I so appreciate the new friends that I've made the past few months through the blog. Thank you for being so kind, for reading and for your comments. You have made this new adventure much easier than I ever expected.  I'm looking forward to the new year and the new adventures that await us. 

An Old Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rain fall softly on your fields.
Until we meet again.
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

With love, Fifi

This picture was taken at "Thankmas". Missing are my sister Melissa and her family who live in Romania and Melissa's son who is a student in Lynchburg and my sister Mary who was at work.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Joy to the World! The Lord is Come!


We just finished  a get together with my side of the family.  Not everyone was able to be here but we had great food, and enjoyed being together. My sister, Melissa, lives in Romania, with her husband Brad and son Luke, her son Matthew is a student and is spending Christmas with his fiance' and my son Brad and his new bride, Kayla, are with her family. Dad read the Christmas story and talked to us about Joseph, Adam and Jesus and then he prayed with us.  I love to hear my daddy pray.  I remember as kids sitting around the kitchen table and we would have our nightly devotions. Dad would teach us about God being all knowing, all powerful, etc. and then he would pray with us and for us.  I don't think that is something that I will ever tire of. What a blessing it is to have parents that pray for you.

Tomorrow is a little more of the same. Breakfast with James' parents and Kristen, lunch at James' parents house. church at 4:00 then dinner tomorrow night with our kids. May each of you have a very merry, and for you Jeff Wylde, a happy Christmas.  Remember that the greatest gift of all is Jesus. He gave His life for you and me. What an awesome most precious gift.

A gift to you from me. David Phelps singing "O Holy Night!"

Merry Christmas my friends.



Until we meet again!

With love, Fifi


Thursday, December 12, 2013

An Evening Out on the Town

It has become somewhat of a yearly tradition for my Aunt Sonja, my parents and I to attend the Piedmont Wind Symphony Christmas Concert.  http://piedmontwindsymphony.com/ Each year they have a guest artist and we have heard some of the greats, The Three Tenors, Paul Anka, Kenny G and this year, Neil Sedaka.  It's such a great time to get out for the evening, just sit back, relax and listen to the Wind Symphony, the guest artist and enjoy our time together.

I love listening to the music of the 50's and early 60's.  It takes me back to my childhood.  My mom has a beautiful voice and I remember her cleaning house and humming or singing tunes from her teenage years. "Wake Up Little Susie" and "Sugartime"  are just two that comes to mind. And my Dad...oh my goodness...he would love to sing "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" while acting it out. "Acting it out" meant pressing our heads on his shoulder and holding it there while he sang to us. Needless to say, that would get on your nerves in a hurry. You just couldn't get away. Oh, and I can't forget "Blueberry Hill." That must have been one of Dad's favorites. Dad bought a collection of albums one year called "Autumn Leaves" and he would put those albums on the turntable at night and we would all go to sleep listening to their favorite songs of that era. I think that is why I love to go hear artists like Paul Anka and Neil Sedaka, because I have such fond memories associated with that music.  It wasn't music of my era but my parent's era.  It links me to them.  It gives me a connection to them.  It gives us something in common and it reminds me of my childhood, when things were more simple.

I'm so thankful for my childhood.  We were well cared for, were loved deeply. We were taught how to make biscuits and gravy from scratch. I could cook a full meal at 12 years of age. (Thanks mom!) Dad taught us how to change and rotate the tires (yes girls can rotate tires) and mow the grass.  We hung clothes on the line, raked leaves, shucked corn, shelled peas, rode bicycles together as a family and went on some awesome family vacations. We helped cut wood.  Well...Dad cut wood. We piled it on the trailer. We worked hard and played hard but we did almost everything as a family.  Then when the day was done, it was time for a little music from the 50's.

Yes, I may be a 70's girl but I love my 50's music.  It will make me smile every single time. Thanks Mom and Dad for loving us, teaching us about life and how to make it in this world. Thanks for making our home a happy place and  for singing "Sugartime" and "Put Your Head On My Shoulder." Thanks for giving us good memories and for ending each day on a happy "note".



"Put Your Head On My Shoulder"
Paul Anka

Merry Christmas!

Until we meet again,

Fifi

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Life Interrupted

I went into work on Monday morning which is my normal day off. I worked for a couple of hours then headed out for a day of running errands, lunch with my Aunt Sonja, Christmas shopping and a couple of appointments...then my phone rang. Life Interrupted.

"Mom, where are you? CPI is trying to reach you. Someone broke into the house."  What, our house? I called CPI security and sure enough they were pretty confident that our house had been violated. The glass break detector, the front door and an interior door and the motion detector all had been activated and a man's voice had been heard inside our home all within just a short time. Our house, on Monday morning at 11:30 in broad daylight. Life Interrupted.

Isn't it amazing how fast plans change?  Right before Brad called I couldn't wait for lunch.  After the call came I wasn't hungry at all.  I no longer "had" to go shopping. My appointments were cancelled. Everything else went on the back burner. Just fifteen short minutes after Brad's call, I was standing inside my splintered, front door looking into my house with a police officer by my side, my alarm screaming, hesitant to walk in my own home.  Life Interrupted.

This is my safe place. The place where I go to get away from all the hassles of the outside world. The home where we have lived our entire married life. The home to where we brought our babies from the hospital.   The place where my children come for Sunday lunch.  Where we gather when our hearts are grieving and we need to be together.  This is where we "meet" when there is a crisis and we need to troubleshoot. This is the place where we have laughed and cried. Where we've shared joys and heartaches. This is where we've made memories.  Now, someone has entered into our home, without an invitation, and they took something of ours. Something that the police won't find in the pawn shop, at a flea market or a yard sale. They won't find it in the back of a panel van or in someone's car with others just like it.  What they have taken from us can't be bought or sold. They have taken our sense of security and our peace of mind.  Life Interrupted.

"Is the alarm set?"  "Yes," "Are the doors locked?"  "Yes!"  "What about the back door?  Did you check it?"  "Yes." I set the alarm clock and turn out the lights. "Are you sure you checked the doors?" "YES! It's o.k. I'll double check." Life Interrupted

As I lay in my bed going over the days events I'm reminded in Isaiah 41:10 that God is with me even when I'm afraid.  "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  I love how I can go to my Bible and find a promise from God that will be just the right message for just the right time.  Even when my life has been interrupted by people that set out to do me wrong.  I'm so glad that as I lay my head down tonight that I know the Peace Speaker. I'm glad He knows me by name. I'm glad that no matter what happens, ALL is well.  I will say this verse tonight as I go to bed and remember that the God that loves me is right there with me and will strengthen and help me. I may even repeat it a few times. I'm so glad this promise holds true even when my faith waivers and shakes.

Have you had time of a "Life Interrupted?"  Have you had a similar experience?  If so, I would love to hear about it. Please leave me a comment below and tell me about a time your life was interrupted?

May the peace that passes all understanding be yours tonight, and I pray that you know the Peace Speaker as I do.

Fifi





"Peace Speaker" Heritage Singers














Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Master Bath Remodel

It has been a little over a year since we decided to tackle our master bathroom remodel.  We took a wall down between two very small 80's bathrooms and made one nice sized master bath.  I can honestly say this was probably the biggest project we've ever done but the most rewarding by far. Every time I go in there I smile. I love my master bath. If I ever move I'm taking it with me. Seriously...where  I go it goes.  We had lots of help from family and friends and it took right around five months to do. Some of the project was hired but most was sweat equity. James' dad is the man! He totally gets props! That man is a workhorse.

The tile is a great color and I love that I can change the colors of the towels with the seasons.  Right now I'm using pumpkin colored towels and they pull out the orange in the tile.  I will switch those out right after Thanksgiving with Christmas colors. Last year I used red with aqua.

The pictures begin after demo. As you can see we took everything out totally down to the studs and put in moisture resistant drywall. Previously there was just regular dry wall. I hope you enjoy. 






James bartered for the tub and we refinished it. It is early 1900's and was originally a claw foot that has been converted to a pedestal tub.  We bought a reglazing, resurfacing kit from Lowe's and saved ourselves about $1500.00. (That price was quoted, pick up, reglaze and delivery.)  We did the work outside and I would highly recommend that.  If it ever needs it again we will have to move out for the weekend. The fumes are incredibly strong and I'm not sure we have enough ventilation to survive. The tub however, looks great and it has held up well. I bought the stool at Home Goods.


This cabinet is an apothecary cabinet from the original Lula Conrad Hoots Memorial Hospital in Yadkinville, NC. This cabinet has been used for a doll cabinet, dishes and now for towel storage.
 I like it best here. The basket was handmade by a special lady in Jamaica when James was there on a missions trip several years ago.



The tile is from Lowe's and is Castle Stone and the color is Harvest.
Winston Shower Door in Winston Salem installed the frameless shower enclosure.




The plumbing supplies came from Hughes Supply and the small cabinets and mirrors were purchased at Home Goods. Rugs were purchased at Lowe's. Shelf in between mirrors was purchased at 
Garden Ridge. Apothecary jars are vintage and were given to my by my mom.


White, Seafoam green, brown and orange towels were purchased at Target.
(I've also used gray towels also from Target.)  


The wall where  the cabinet is sitting used to be the door to the hallway and is now closed in. Laundry basket and towel hook are from Hobby Lobby. I bought the wire locker basket at a shop in
 Blowing Rock, NC.  Starfish are from Anna Maria Island, Florida.  The lamp was purchased at 
Treasures Decor in Clemmons, NC.
http://www.treasuresdecorconsignments.com/.  Love, love, love this place. 

The vintage medicine cabinet came from James' grandparent's house.  I didn't paint it. Just cleaned it and James hung it on the wall. It was perfect just like it was. Some things are just best left untouched.
 This was one of them.

I hope you have enjoyed my "tour." It was sort of a 30th anniversary present to ourselves and we are enjoying it very much.   

We are incredibly thankful for family and friends who shared their talents by laying tile, finishing drywall, crown molding, electrical and for helping draw the plans to scale and of course James' dad for his day in and day out tireless effort in planning, scheming and overall good natured self and 
hard work. 

Until we meet again,

Fifi












Friday, November 22, 2013

Making Memories

I'm not a big "shopper." My aunt Sonja could shop all day every day and never tire of it. I can hang for a few hours but then I'm done. However, I do love spending time with those I love while they shop and if I happen upon a great deal then that's even better.  Last weekend Kristen and I went shopping at the Tanger Outlets in Mebane.  She needed a few items and I went along just for the ride and really to just spend time with her. I had to laugh as I watched her shop.  She is a unique shopper in that she goes in the store and knows within seconds if there is anything in there for her.  She was like a speed demon in that store. I kid you not, we left Winston Salem at 4:00, drove to Mebane, shopped and we were eating dinner at 6pm.  Done, finished and on our way.  No need to touch every item in the store. She knew what she wanted. We went in. We conquered and were victorious and home at 8:30. It is a little over an hour drive from our home to the outlets. Honestly, I hardly knew we had even been shopping. We laughed, had fun, experienced a random act of kindness, which was very cool by the way, and conquered Tanger Outlets in less than an hour.  Most importantly though, we spent time together and made new memories. Memories that will hopefully last a lifetime.




My Aunt Sonja, me and my daughter, Kristen

Memories...I remember shopping many times with my Mawmaw Polly.  That lady could shop like no other and could outlast me any day of the week.  I called her one night, after having spent all day shopping with her,  and asked her if she was o.k.  She said yes, why?  I told her my feet and legs were killing me and I could barely walk. She just giggled in that shy little giggle of hers.  She had walked the mall all day long in heels and stockings. I had worn tennis shoes and sweats.  I'm telling you she was a seasoned shopper. Me, well not so much.  I laugh when I remember her accidentally knocking things off the rack and walking away like nothing happened. What? I would pick the items up and put them back on the shelf.  She was so smooth. Or the endless shoes that she would try on.  Did I mention endless shoes.  She could give Imelda Marcos a run for her money. She would finally purchase the "perfect" pair and wouldn't you know it, the next week we would go back to the mall to return them. Yes, that's right, return them.  She was the best returner ever. You couldn't give me a million dollars for those memories. They are priceless to me.  Especially this time of year.  I can't go in a store decorated for Christmas and not think about her. I look at ornaments and think that she would have liked this one or that one. She absolutely loved Christmas. I always felt privileged to decorate her tree on Thanksgiving day after we finished lunch.  It was a special time and a memory that is very special and dear to me and I miss her dearly.




 "Me and my Mawmaw Polly"

I have a new daughter in law this year and she and our son will be spending Thanksgiving with her family. We've been talking about new traditions that we can begin that will be special to our family since they will miss most holidays here. Since they will be traveling, we've decided that us girls will get together on the Monday after Thanksgiving and decorate the tree here at my house. I will have dinner ready when they get home from work and then we will start decorating. Remembering and reflecting on the old and making new.   

What are your favorite Thanksgiving or Christmas memories or traditions?  Will you be making any new traditions this year?  I would love to hear from you.  Leave a comment at the bottom and tell me a favorite memory or a new tradition.

Until we meet again,

Fifi

I have been delayed in publishing this post because I couldn't find this picture of me and my precious Mawmaw. I had packed up all framed pictures when we remodeled earlier in the year. Mawmaw Polly passed away in November 2009 and this is the last picture of the two of us together.  I couldn't publish this post without this picture. I just couldn't.  James was diligent in searching until he found it. Thank you honey for being patient and for looking behind me in the same box that I had looked in five times and finding this precious photo. I love you!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Billy Graham


"Our country is in need of a spiritual awakening." Billy Graham

This was a quote from Billy Graham in an interview in Asheville, NC as he celebrated his 95th birthday this week.  What a soldier for Christ this man has been.  He has preached the Gospel and many have been saved through the message that he has proclaimed.  I didn't stay up to listen to his broadcast but will catch it later. I was tired and James and I called it an early night and went to bed.  

As I read that quote this morning in the headlines, I thought that this is the same thing that we've been saying at our church. I think any Christian would love to see that happen in their lifetime.  We've (our church family)  been praying for a revival. A real revival. Not just a meeting but Revival.   Before that can happen though,  we must get rid of things (sin) that hinders that from happening.  I've been searching my heart and asking God to forgive me of sin in my own life, worry, doubt, those "things that easily beset us" and I believe that others have as well.  There is a quickening in the hearts of members of our congregation
Our churches are in need of a spiritual awakening.

In addition, we need people who will stand up for what is right.  We need more preachers in our pulpits who will not be afraid to call us out for our sin. We don't need "feel good" messages. It's obvious that those kinds of messages are not working. Our pastor said this in a message a couple of weeks ago "I don't need the truth to make me feel good. I need it to penetrate me to my core." We need to stop worrying about if people walk out from our services feeling good about themselves and worry about if people are walking out redeemed and changed. That's when our country will experience a spiritual awakening.  We've been too soft.  We are afraid that we might hurt someone's feelings. That someone might not like us anymore. Guess what? I'm preaching to the choir. I'm talking to me!  But my heart is changing.  I'm not willing to just sit back anymore and be quiet about it and be afraid that someone  "might" not ever speak to me again. I don't think I can. However, I believe that if we share Jesus with the love of Him in our hearts that we won't offend. How can someone turn away from you when you love them so much that you want them to live forever.  I saw a quote a couple of months ago that said, "How much must we hate someone to not tell them about hell."  I don't believe another quote has ever affected me more. Do we get it, really get it?  We need to start sharing what we know, WHO we know with our family, our friends and our neighbors. God's Word says that no man knows when He is coming back. What if it is tomorrow or next week?  I'm pretty sure that I'm not ready to face God knowing that I've not shared His love with people that I care about or at least tried.
Our homes are in need of a spiritual awakening. 

So I challenge you, my friends, and especially my fellow church members, let's pray for ourselves first. Ask God to change our hearts and start a work in us.  Let's pray for our country, our churches and our homes. Then I challenge you to tell someone about the One who gives you sustainable joy. Let's tell someone why we are able to get through crisis and still have joy. Let's tell someone we love them and we want them to know about the One who gave His life for them. I've prayed as I've written this post. I've prayed that the Lord would stir our hearts to pick up this challenge.We can't individually be a Billy Graham but we can collectively tell millions. If I tell one or two and you tell one or two and those three or four go and tell... then our country will start experiencing a spiritual awakening.
"Our country is in need of a spiritual awakening." Billy Graham


I love this song.  It has the words and tune of the old hymn that we've all heard at our churches and on the Billy Graham Crusades but it has a  new bridge that is so awesome. Gets me every time.

Just As I Am, Travis Cotrell


With love and until we meet again, Fifi







Monday, November 4, 2013

Farmer's Market Veggie Tray

This weekend we celebrated Kristen's home purchase with a housewarming party. Kristen's lifelong friend Tiffany, threw the party and she did an awesome job. Thanks Tiffany!  There was pumpkin dip, mini sandwiches, chewy pecan bars, chips and dip, hot spiced apple cider and she asked me to bring a veggie tray.  I always toy with picking up a ready made tray and then decide at the last minute to do one myself.  They are always fresher that way. I saw a picture on Pinterest that inspired me to make a tray that was a little bit different than the norm.  So, I headed to TractorSupply
 http://www.tractorsupply.com/ and purchased a small galvanized bucket.  Then it was to my favorite grocery store, Whole Foods.  http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/winston-salem.  In my opinion, you can't find better carrots than organic.  They are the sweetest carrots ever. Raw or cooked you just can't beat them. I purchased cauliflower, carrots, celery, red, orange and yellow bell peppers, grape tomatoes and cucumbers. In addition, I purchased kale.  Kale has a such a pretty frilly edge that is perfect for garnish. I used a basket tray, washed, dried and placed the kale in the bottom of the tray and turned the bucket on its side.


Then I placed the cauliflower in the bucket and made it look like it was "spilling" out. After the cauliflower was situated, I then placed the carrots and then followed with the rest of the veggies. 




Here is the Pinterest version below.
spilled milk veggie tray

I love copying ideas that I find on Pinterest.  Do you do that too? Some of my projects end up o.k. others not so o.k.  I think this one turned out just fine.  Maybe you will be asked to do a veggie tray for the holidays.  Now you have a new idea that's different than just the normal round tray with the dip in the middle.  

As we enter the Thanksgiving season find something to be thankful for each day.  

Psalm 107:1  "O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good:
 for His mercy endureth forever.

Until we meet again, Fifi

Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 Days - "Thankmas" - Day 31



Ducky Dynasty amazes me.  I can watch the reruns and laugh just as hard if not harder than I did the first time that I watched it.  Some people say these guys are for real others say it's staged. I say I don't care. They are funny.  Uncle Si totally cracks me up.  I think every family should have an Uncle Si in it. Don't you?  Family gatherings would never be the same. That's the thing about the Robertson's. Family is important to them.  They work together. The guys hunt together. The ladies cook together. They all come together to eat and they pray together. We are in a society where many families don't live near each other anymore.  We are spread out everywhere.  When I grew up my mom's parents lived less than a mile away and my dad's parents lived less than three miles from us. Now our grandparents are gone and my immediate family is spread out. One of my sisters lives in Romania. That's not just around the corner. It even gets trickier around the holidays. Right?  And with the holidays right here everyone is making plans. Who is going where, what time are we getting together, are we eating here or there, etc??? Many questions arise and sometimes feelings get hurt in the process.

My dad's family started a new tradition after the passing of my Mawmaw in 2009. It was just too hard to think about having the same traditions without her there.   The entire family had always had lunch together on Thanksgiving day and then breakfast on Christmas morning at her house. Now she and the house were gone and we had to come up with what to do.  So my aunt came up with what we now call "Thankmas."  The extended family, aunts, uncles, cousins, children, grandchildren all get together at my aunt Sonja's on a day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It works for us and we have a great time together.  Traditions sometimes have to change. It's not always easy but circumstances dictate sometimes doing something different.  "Thankmas" is our new tradition.



As you go about your planning this holiday season, try to keep your emotions in check. As you prepare your table, prepare you heart also.  Remember when you have everyone around your table that it's not about how beautiful the table looks or how masterfully the turkey was carved or how perfectly the potatoes were mashed (inside joke). It's about who you are with.  We aren't promised tomorrow. Make a memory and make it a good one.

Until we meet again,

Fifi

This is the last day of the 31 Day Series.  Thanks to www.thenester.com for hosting.  It has been an incredible challenge for me and one I didn't think I could accomplish.  Thank you readers for being so gracious to read each day.  With love, Fifi  



"Love and family can get you through anything." Miss Kay

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

31 Days - Through the Years - Day 30



Last week, James and I celebrated 31 years of marriage.  We have been through a lot in these 31 years.  The birth of two wonderful children, lay offs, job changes, grief, loss of close friendships, broken hearts, challenges, blessings and victories.   I mentioned in a Facebook post last week that neither one of us was perfect but I didn't know of anyone else that I would rather be imperfect with. "Big Daddy" as he is affectionately know by some of our friends, is the kind of person that gives with everything he has.  He is a hard worker and a great provider.  He is faithful, trustworthy and has the most tender heart of anyone I have ever known. The heart he has for his children amazes me at times. They have such a respect for him that it brings tears to my eyes when I think about it.  He is the one they call when they need sound advice.  I'm the one they call when they need consoling and a shoulder to cry on.   His discernment with people is unbelievable and I always go to him to get his opinion and 99% of the time he is correct. He loves the Lord and is sensitive to the Lord's voice.  He has the heart of his Papa Hendrix made over.  He makes me laugh daily.  If you know him at all then you know that must be true.  This man, that the Lord chose to allow me to live my life with, is precious to my heart.  I always want to honor him and our marriage . Happy 31 years sweetie. Thank you for being who you are. I can't imagine growing old with anyone else but you.  I love you so much and pray that we have many more years together.  

I saw this on Pinterest not too long ago and thought it was very fitting for us. It's just too cute.


Until we meet again,

Fifi



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

31 Days - A Ticket Just for Me - Day 29


Yesterday proved to be an interesting day for me.  Expired inspection sticker + expired tags + police following closely behind = ticket.  Yay me!!  Just a little pause in the day, sitting on the side of the road, watching all of the cars go by.  Lalalalalala. Oh, and that made me late for an appointment. Less than two hours later I was in a license check being conducted by the sheriff's department.  I mentioned to the deputy that I had already received a ticket earlier in the day and then asked if he was going to ticket me again.  With my current run of misfortune I just wasn't sure what was getting ready to happen.  He assured me that it would be redundant to do so. Thank you, thank you very much. 

I'm always looking for a lesson and I'm sure there is a lesson in here somewhere. Being stopped twice in one day by law enforcement doesn't happen often. Does it?   Anyway, I'm expecting to figure out the lesson sooner rather than later. I usually do.  I will definitely keep you all posted.  It's just a day in the life.  So, tomorrow it's off to my favorite auto inspection center, Mock Tire, for an inspection then to the DMV to renew my tags.  When I saw the image below I thought it totally fit the above situation. I must have had some free time lately. Haha!! Have a great day and make someone feel special!


Until we meet again,

Fifi



Monday, October 28, 2013

31 Days - New Mercies - Day 27


A couple came to our church several years ago to sing. The lyrics to one of the songs they sang stuck in my memory and I catch myself humming or singing it quite often.

"His mercies are new every morning.
His grace is sufficient for each brand new day.
Memories of yesterday's failures are gone.
His mercies are new as I wake with the dawn."

I'm so glad that we get a fresh start each day. I love the line that says, "memories of yesterday's failures are gone."  We all make mistakes. Say things we shouldn't say. Think things we shouldn't think but His grace and mercy is enough. I'm so thankful that I can come to him with a repentant heart, asking forgiveness and come away with a brand new start. 

Let's take this day by storm and do something for God today.  Be kind to someone. Share the joy that Jesus has placed within your heart.  Today is a brand new day!

Until we meet again,

Fifi





Saturday, October 26, 2013

31 Days - Over the Brim, continued - Day 26


...Little did I know, that as I jumped out of the car, without my Bible, that I was being prepared for what God would be challenging me with and calling me to do the very next day.

I left Bible study with that Bible in my hand and took it home with me.  I had decided to ask someone at the church how long it had been there, If it had been there for an extended period then I was going to use it instead of letting it go to Goodwill.  The next morning, I picked the Bible up as I walked out the door and took it to work with me. (For those who don't know, I work at the church.)  I asked one of the gentlemen that works there with me and was told, yes, keep it, it was unclaimed and would be taken to Goodwill if I didn't take it. SCORE!  God knew all along that I didn't need that Bible.  You see, I have several Bibles. Not one quite as nice as that one but I have several to choose from. 

I went about my day as usual until there was a call from a young man who was across the street at Wal-Mart and wondered if he could get a ride to church on Sunday. A few minutes after I told him we would work out a ride for him he came to the church and rang the bell. I opened the door and we began to talk.  After some discussion he mentioned that he didn't have...you guessed it....a Bible. I asked him to wait just a moment, walked into the office, picked up the aforementioned Bible off my desk and took it back to the lobby and gave it to him.  You see, God had equipped me from the beginning. He knew that I would need that Bible on Friday morning. Don't you just love it when that happens?  As I was relating this story to a friend this weekend, he said to me, "we should never be surprised by what God does but still be amazed." It's just like God prepared Gideon.  He gave Gideon the exact number of men that he needed to fight the Midianites.  He equipped him for battle.  He prepared him.  In Judges 6:12 it says "The Lord is with thee, thou mighty warrior." 


He is with us. His word tells us time and time again.  He goes before us and prepares us for what He wants and needs us to do. Just trust Him.  


"Today, you're getting tugged out of the shadows. Now, lift up your head and act like it." (Priscilla Shirer, "Gideon")



Until we meet again,

Fifi







Thursday, October 24, 2013

31 Days - Spread Kindness - Day 23


I would like to revert away from my "continuing" story today.  James and I had an "encounter" with an individual the other night.   We went into a into a place of business that we had never been before. We were not accustomed to procedure in this particular type of  business so we were a little unsure of how the system worked. We walked up to the counter and told the gentleman that we would like to purchase a bus ticket and he, the security guard, mentioned that "she" would be back in a few minutes and that he didn't know where she went.  We said o.k. no problem.  We waited for less than a couple of minutes when he asked us what we needed.  When we didn't say the correct "words" and I'm not sure exactly what he "needed" to hear, he rolled his eyes at us. James tried again to explain to him what we needed and the gruff security guard huffed and puffed and shook his head and took our money. James commented that the man was a bundle of joy.  I said "don't get me started."

After he came back several minutes later with our bus ticket in hand, I decided to explain to him that there was no need for his rudeness. I told him this was the first time we had ever purchased a bus ticket and that we didn't know the procedure.  He started to explain all the reasons he had been rude. Poor James. He didn't know what I was going to do next. My blood pressure had to be sky high. After I finished what I had to say, I then told Mr. Security that kindness went a long a long way and we left.

I've thought about that encounter many times since Tuesday night.  So much so, that I've waited until tonight to post about it.  I don't want anyone to ever say that I was rude to them. I don't want to make someone feel dismissed and unimportant.  I'm sure that in my hurry and haste that I've probably done this before and if I have, I'm sorry.  Let me say this, you are important to God.  He loves you no matter how people treat you in public or at home. If you are on the other side of this story remember that  "a soft answer turns away wrath." Proverbs 15:1 Try to remember that you never know what a person is going through or what they have been through.


Until we meet again,

Fifi


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

31 Days - Over the Brim-continued - Day 22


continuing 

...You might even be amazed at how He equips you to do what He asks.  I sure was.

Every fall our ladies have a video Bible study series. We've used Beth Moore in the past but this time our study is with Priscilla Shirer.  I had signed up back in the summer and for some unknown reason I thought I would have plenty of time. What was I thinking? Well, last Thursday night I'm eating dinner and I'm thinking here we are in lesson three and I am already two lessons behind. I had missed the first two because of the wedding and with my daughter's move. Satan was really working on me. "You don't have time for this."  "You are already behind."  "You are tired."  "You've never been busier."  "You could be doing something here instead." Blah, blah. blah.  I was letting him talk me out of going and almost did. Then I said. "I'm going even if I don't get anything out of it. YOU are not going to talk me out of this. I will show you."

So, we left the house, James dropped me off at the church and drove off (already late for an appointment) and as I watched him drive out of the parking lot I realized I had left my Bible in the car. What? No!! You can't go to a Bible study without your Bible. Oh, wait! There are always Bibles around the church. People leave their Bibles at church all of the time.  So, I go to "lost and found" and I find a large Bible. (No! Not large print.)  OK. I'm all set. This is great. I have a Bible. I'm ready. Breath in...breath out.....ahhh....

Our Bible study is on "Gideon" and God began to speak to me from the moment we opened our Bibles and our study books. Now remember, I haven't even opened my study book at home.  It was like God was saying my name instead of the name Gideon. The topic is exactly what God has been working in my life about for the past few months. (I'm a slow learner sometimes.) I've been getting there, slowly but surely. Maybe cautiously is a better word.  We were talking about asking God to open our spiritual eyes so that we can see Him more clearly than ever before. In the next section we find that God is preparing us as He works through our daily lives, that even our most mundane tasks are often preparation for what He's calling us to do tomorrow. Priscilla says: "They can carry clues to what He is leading us to learn and accomplish as we faithfully serve Him."  Then this jumped off the page... "Today, you're getting tugged out of the shadows. Now, lift up your head and act like it."

Little did I know, that as I jumped out of the car, without my Bible, that I was being prepared for what God would be challenging me with and calling me to do the very next day.


To Be Continued....

Until we meet again,

Fifi

Monday, October 21, 2013

31 Days- Over the Brim - Day 21


My heart was blessed so much yesterday.  I can't remember ever being in a service when the Spirit of God moved  like He did in the early worship hour. My cup was literally full and running over as was many others. There's a lot I don't understand but this one thing I do know...sometimes when God is working in your life and He is answering prayer and your heart is full to the brim, you just can't help but let it overflow. God is alive! No matter what's happening in our world. No matter what's happening in Washington D.C. No matter what's happening in our towns or in our homes.  No matter what's happening all around us, He's alive, He's working and He desires to have a personal relationship with each one of us.

Yesterday afternoon, at a True Love Waits Ceremony, for our teens, our youth pastor demonstrated that with so much noise in our lives, (i.e. the internet, TV, Ipods, cell phones, game boxes, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, and the list goes on...)it is so easy to we drown out Gods' voice. It all starts out as fun but it can consume us. Let's work together to not let that happen. Let's take time out each day for the quiet.Take time just to read God's Word and to pray.  In Psalm 46:10 He even tells us to "Be still..." Get up just 30 minutes extra in the morning.  Take your Bible to work and go to your car or an unused office and read on your lunch hour. But do it quietly and listen. You might be amazed at how you begin to hear Him.  You might be amazed at how He begins to work in your heart. You might be amazed at what He asks you to do. You might even be amazed at how He equips you to do what He asks.  I sure was.

To be Continued....


Until we meet again,


Fifi

Sunday, October 20, 2013

31 Days - Sunday - Day 20



Lord, I thank you that your mercies are new every morning.  Looking forward to being in God's house today.  Will I see you there?

Fifi





Friday, October 18, 2013

31 Days- Prayer and Reflection- Day 18


I will be taking the next couple of days off for prayer and reflection. So...during these "31 Days of Grace" I'm hoping you will show me little "grace."  I will be using the time that I normally blog to pray for specific burdens on the hearts of friends and for burdens on my own heart.

Blessings.


Until we meet again,

Fifi

Thursday, October 17, 2013

31 Days - A Shot in the Arm - Day 17



No....not the flu shot.  A spiritual type of shot.  A mid-week booster shot that holds you over 'til Sunday. That's what choir practice is.  It's not just a time when we come together to practice our notes and prepare the songs that we are scheduled to sing on Sunday, although that's important.  It's also a time of worship and a time of prayer.  A time of coming together corporately to get us through the rest of the week.

It is so incredible to sit in choir practice on Wednesday night and look around and see what God has done in our church. When I first started singing in the choir, at times there would be just me and maybe one or two others in the alto section on any given Sunday.  To sit in a group of altos now that number from 25 to 30 each week is such a blessing. Last night I sat and just listened to the precious voices of the people beside, in front and behind me. Each one with their own story, their own burdens. I listened to them lift their voices to God, singing "Total Praise." What a sweet release from the struggles we face day in and day out.  To come in to God's house, sit with God's people and sing "Your peace You give me, in time of the storm...You are the source of my strength, You are the strength of my life."  I'm so thankful and feel so blessed that we can come together and sing praises to the Lord and I want to take that hour and 15 minutes for granted.

What is your "shot in the arm?"

This is the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir singing "Total Praise"




Have a blessed day!


Until we meet again!
Fifi





Wednesday, October 16, 2013

31 Days -Good Food - Day 16

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I love to cook. My mom started teaching me to cook when I was very young and I could cook a meal at 12-13 years of age.  I'm not afraid to try new recipes and nine out of ten times I will "tweak" a recipe to make it better. Cooking for James makes is even more fun. That man loves to eat!  We met 32 years ago today and there has only been one meal since that time that he hasn't liked. It was a crock pot recipe, shared by someone that I worked with at the time, and it really was bad. In recent years I've tried to cook more healthy meals.  Not so much fat, more clean eating. whole foods, etc. Last week I saw a picture of a meal on another blog and thought I would try it. There wasn't a recipe, just a picture.  So...I thought I would share it with you today.  


Pan seared tilapia; oven roasted garlic, purple asparagus; sauteed onions and green peas; 
and fresh tomatoes.

If you read my blog yesterday, you know that I love things from my grandparents. The glass on the table and the scale in the window both belonged to my Mawmaw Smith.

(Purple asparagus seems to have a sweeter taste than regular. Just for the record, when you cook purple asparagus, most of the purple fades. )


I Corinthians 10:31
So whether ye eat or drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God.





Tuesday, October 15, 2013

31 Days -The Unexpected- Day 15


Last summer, out of a couple of different circumstances, Phyllis, a special and dear friend of mine asked me if I would like to take a trip with her to Pennsylvania.  Her Sunday School Class was taking a bus trip and Guy, her husband,  had paid to go but something had come up and now couldn't go.  I jumped at the chance! I had always wanted to see the Amish county side and I never go anywhere with Phyllis that there isn't an adventure.  Phyllis is an author, vocalist, children's choir leader, teacher, speaker, interviewer of mankind...you name it, she can do it. Fortunately, she asks me to go with her at times when she speaks at different ladies conferences.  I always come away encouraged, blessed to meet ladies who love the Lord and honored to meet ladies to have been blessed by the ministry of this child of the King, this prayer warrior and mentor to so many.  I always feel humbled that she loves me and calls me friend.  So, this trip was a little different in that it was all fun. However, God sometimes uses those times to prick our hearts and speak to us
when we least expect it.



We were going to see the play "Jonah" and I was so excited. I love plays, dramas, musicals, etc. and I had heard so much about how professionally these musicals were done.  I've heard the story of Jonah all of my life but when it is played out in living color you get a totally different perspective.  Jonah was a man who was called of God but decided to run at all costs.  He didn't like God's plan. You see,  Jonah had his plan all mapped out on his own and it didn't align with what God had planned for him.   So he ran, or rather jumped overboard and it took extreme measures (in the belly of a fish for three days!) for him to see that what God had for him was the right and best plan after all.  I have times in my life when I'm a Jonah.  When I'm so intent on doing what I have planned that I don't stop and seize what God has planned for me.

I've thought about that musical many times since that day. When the unexpected arises I should stop, listen to God and stop running?  Can you relate to Jonah?

Until we meet again,

Fifi


Sunday, October 13, 2013

31 Days - Sentimental Ole' Me - Day 14



I think it's amazing how you can see an item and it will instantly bring back a memory of a person or place.  I tend to lean a "little" toward the sentimental side. My mom is probably shaking her head right about now. She would say that out of her four daughters I am probably the most sentimental one.  All of my sisters have a small streak, but for me, that streak is very strong. I just love things that have a story and I love to know where it came from and who owned it before.  We have items throughout our house that came from all of our grandparents and parents.  As I sit in my favorite chair and look around I can see things that belonged to each set of grandparents and one item from a great-grandparent.  I love having their "things" in our home.  I love the barrel table that my PawPaw Smith crafted with his own hands, a metal milk crate that we dug out of Papa Harris' old barn, a milk glass dish that belonged to my MawMaw Miller and a cake plate from James' Grandma Hendrix. Just things to some but to me a memory. I can get out a dish that belonged to one of my grandmas and I can immediately remember one of them putting a meal on the table using that very dish.

Memories but more than that...a legacy. We have, in this day and time, somewhat of a unique family legacy. To my knowledge, all eight of our grandparents professed to know the Lord and when they passed away all of them were still married to their first and only spouse. Over 200 years of marriage between the four couples. Our parents are both married to their first and only spouse and have almost 107 years of marriage between them. Memories of  people who have weathered the storms of life and whose faith carried them. They loved each other through thick and thin and didn't give up. Memories of people who stood the test of time and strong examples for us to be like them and us to hang in there when times get tough.

As I look at the carefully placed belongings of our family, I'm glad that I can look at each piece and be reminded that these people in our lives cared for each other for many years. They loved and cared for us and left us with something to aim and strive for.
 No words can ever begin to express how precious this picture is to us.

Romans 12:12  Be joyful in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.

Until we meet again,

Fifi


31 Days - Indescribable- Day 13


Happy Sunday Friends.  It's a new day, a new week. Start your week with the Lord!



Saturday, October 12, 2013

31 Days - Too Late - Day 12


A group of us met last night.  A group that went on a mission's trip to Brazil in March of 2009. It was sort of a reunion/get together with the host missionary family that is "home" on furlough. A missionary family that we have come to love and care for very much. We had a great time of eating and reminiscing about our time in the lovely, seaside town, of Jacuma. Our missionary showed us pictures of the project that we worked on while there. He talked about Places...Projects...and then we talked about People.  Specific people...a couple that we had met while on our trip there.  We shared some meals with them.  They were from a different country other than Brazil or the US so we were excited to meet them and enjoyed getting to know them. We had laughed together as we battled language barriers and had a great time getting to know them for the brief time we were there.  It would be two and a half years later when we would learn about their brutal murders and last night when we would learn details of their last days.

As I listened to how they rejected Christ and the free, simple gift of salvation just days prior to their deaths, I couldn't help but think that maybe at some last moment they cried out to God for His mercy and grace.  I don't want to be remiss in asking you if you've ever made that all so important decision to choose Christ. If not, please don't delay. None of us have a promise of another minute, much less another day.  I want you to know that I care about you. Please make sure that you know.  You may not have a last chance to cry out to God. A car accident, heart attack or other catastrophic occurrence could take you out instantly or leave you without cognitive skills to make that decision. Time is short and nothing is more important than this decision.


Please feel free to share if you know someone who might benefit from this message.

With love,
Felicia









Friday, October 11, 2013

31 Days -A Sound in the Distance- Day 11


I heard something rumble tonight and asked my husband if it was thunder.  He said he thought maybe it was the fireworks at the Dixie Classic Fair.  I muted the TV and sat quietly and listed intently for the sound again. "Yes! That's exactly what it is." I started thinking about sounds that are familiar to fireworks in the distance; thunder, the neighbor rolling their trash to the street, the bass on a loud radio in a car, tennis shoes in the dryer, etc.  My mind then went to another sound in the distance.  One that the children of God will hear one day.  Maybe one day sooner rather than later.  It sure does seem that things are pointing toward that day. One day we will hear a trumpet sound and God will be calling us home.


"Midnight Cry" is one of my favorite songs. I especially like the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir's version. 

I Corinthians 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

Until we meet again,

Fifi

Thank you so much for reading my blog. It means so much to me that you stop by.  If you would like to continue reading my posts, be sure to join and follow this site in the upper right hand corner. Felicia