Monday, September 30, 2013

31 Days of Grace - Where's The Topping?

It seems like lately that I'm getting more and more "forgetful."  I know, here comes all the old people jokes. But really, seriously forgetful.  Having too much on my mind forgetful.  For instance, not turning on the music at the recent Rehearsal Dinner for our son's wedding.  Or, getting in the car and driving half way to work before realizing it's Saturday and I'm not going to work, I'm going to my daughter's house. (Her house is in the same direction. I just didn't turn on her road.) Or totally forgetting a doctor appointment. I mean it wasn't even on the radar.  Or Sunday, I forgot to put the topping on the fresh apple crisp. James took it out of the oven and brought it to the dining room and Brad asked, "where's the topping" and I just looked at the dish of baked apples and said, Topping????  Hahaha!!!  This is baked apples."  We all laughed about it but I felt terrible.  The topping is his favorite part of that particular dessert.  I'm not sure why I didn't remember.  I've been making this dessert for years.  Again, I guess I have too much on my mind.  Too many things to do, too many things to worry about. Not enough time for this or that. Well in my mind's calendar anyway.

Then I'm reminded....reminded of why this is happening. Why? Because I'm trying to do all of these things. All of this stuff. I'm trying to do it all on my own.  Why do I continually do this?  LOL Because I forget.  I forget to let go and let God handle all of the emotional turmoil and upheaval.  I forget to ask others to help me until it's too late to ask or just say no.  So I just say "I will just do it myself because it's easier that way anyway." (I had great training in that department.) Then my wagon is full and running over and that's when the forgetfulness starts.   The one thing that gets on my nerves about other people is the thing that bothers me most about me. Is it that way with you too or is it just me?

So...this is a great time to try something new. Right? Why not? Everything else is topsy turvy in my life right now so what's one more thing.  I'm going to try really hard to let go.  Let go of the emotional things that are out of my control anyway.  God has control over those things.  Why try to "fix" it when I have a Savior who is very capable of handling any and everything that comes my way.  I will try to delegate or just say "No" when I know in my heart that I just can't do anything else. I may not master this new plan, but certainly it can't get worse. Can it?   Don't answer that!!!!

Do you struggle with these things as well? Leave a comment.  Maybe we can help each other. And please, feel free to share my blog with your friends.

I Peter 5:7  Casting all your care on Him, for He cares for you.

Until we meet again,


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Round Man"

Today, a friend of ours will be laid to rest. "Round Man" lived a short life by some standards.  At 76 years of age he lived those 76 years to the fullest.

I came to know "Round Man" when I started dating James.  James, "Round Man" and several others shared a love of dirt bikes.  This was a new world for me. Growing up in a home with three younger sisters, dirt bikes were completely foreign to me.  I followed them around to trails in the mountains, watched them race, even rode some trails with James occasionally.  After we married, life happened, house was built, dirt bike was sold, kids came and James no longer rode but "Round Man" kept right on riding.  At some point he switched to 4 Wheelers but he still did what he loved.

More important than his love for riding dirt bikes and 4 Wheelers was his love for Jesus and his testimony in the community.  He was forever trying to make sure the kids in the community were on the straight and narrow. James has many stories about "Round Man" checking up on the teenagers to make sure they were living right.  He was a faithful man.  Faithful to God, his family and his church.  You never had to guess where he stood on a subject because he would tell you.  You might or might not agree with him but you would know his opinion.  He was faithful to the end. Never wavering in his faith in the Lord Jesus.

Last night there were a few hundred people that showed up to pay their last respects.  Our community will miss him. A church will miss a dedicated member. A family will miss a husband, father and grandfather. However, because of a decision he made many years ago his story doesn't end. He chose Jesus to be his Savior and we will see him again.  His legacy lives on in the lives of his children and grandchildren and they can rest in the assurance that they will see their father and grandfather in heaven some day.

As I was thinking about "Round Man's" life I wondered what would people say about me when my time had come.  Would they be able to say that I was faithful to God, my family and my church?  That I stood for what was right?  That I cared about those around me and the condition of their soul?  When my time comes will I still be singing His praises? I sure hope so.

This song has been such a blessing to me.   It is recorded by Matt Redman. I catch myself humming and singing it all the time. I'm dedicating this post to our friend and loved one, Mr. Boyd "Round Man" Poplin. "Round Man" we love and miss you and will see you again.

Until we meet again.


Saturday, September 21, 2013


I looked out of the church office door earlier this week and saw a young lady standing by the front steps of the chapel. There was an older gentleman there with her. I had started out to the mailbox but when I saw the two folks at the front steps I stopped.  I stood there and watched them for a few minutes. I was a little apprehensive about going out. We have people that come to our church doors weekly asking for money, gas, food, etc. There are times that I'm completely at ease.  Other times, I'm very nervous and anxious. I always try to follow my intuition, discernment, the Spirit's leading or whatever you might call it.   Jeff, our Worship Pastor, came down the hall and I mentioned that there were a couple of people on the front porch of the church.  He said yes, that it was Rose, a homeless young lady, pushing a grocery cart and Tom, a homeless Veteran, riding a bicycle and living in an abandoned building. He had been talking with them. After speaking with Jeff, I decided that they were probably harmless and took the mail to the box. I was headed back inside when I felt "prompted" to go and speak to them. Rose, a very pleasant young lady,  was very talkative, much like myself, and the conversation flowed freely.

Rose is 18 years old. She had been kicked out of her home by her mother and was given 20 minutes to pack any essentials she would need. With no place to go and no job to make a living, she struck out on her own, hitchhiking across the country. She had found a kitten a few days prior that she named Cookie.  She was giving such great care to that kitten. Care that she probably craved for herself as well.

Jeff had found out that Rose had relatives in Asheville and he was in the process of getting her a bus ticket there. In doing so he had found out that she couldn't take the kitten aboard the bus. She said that only if we found the kitten a home would she go. Fortunately, one of our church families was able to take the kitten and Jeff and Josh took her to the bus station.

I haven't been able to get Rose off of my mind. Others have come through our doors and left and I haven't given them a second thought, but for some reason Rose has stuck. She touched my heart. I don't know why. I thought about my own children.  What would they have done in the same situation. What would I have done had that have happened to me? Could I have survived?  I have prayed for her. Prayed that she was able to get to her family in Asheville and that she arrived safely without harm coming to her. I pray that she read the LIFE book that Jeff gave her and that her heart would be touched by the words in that little book and that we were able to impact her life for the short time that she was here.

How many people do we come in contact with everyday? People that are hurting or that need encouraging? How many chances do we get to make a difference in someone's life?   Do we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit to tell someone about the Lord when we get a chance?  Do we take every chance to offer a kind word or deed? I will still listen to that small voice that "warns" me but I think I will be more open to show some kind of hospitality to those that are "sent" my way.
Hebrews 13:2  "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."

Until we meet again,


* Names have been changed to protect identities.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Favorite Things

It's the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas. Fall! Well it's the most wonderful time of the year for me anyway.  I thought I would list some of the reasons why:

1. There is that change in the air. No other seasonal change is like Fall.
2. James and I celebrate our anniversary in October.
3. Our second child was born in October.
4. Our church celebrates it's Homecoming/Anniversary in October.
5. The Dixie Classic Fair is in October. (Nothing like the smell of that food.)
6. Chicken Stews are in October. (I'm not fond of chicken stew personally, but the social part can't be beat)
7. The colors of the leaves on the trees.
8. Thanksgiving
9. Festivals
10. Apple Desserts.  Did I mention Apple Desserts???
11. Coffee just tastes better when it's cool outside. It does!!!
12. First wood stove fire.
13. Sweaters and Boots

14.Chili Beans
15 Bon Fires
16.  Smores
17.  Motorcycle rides with friends on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Those are just a few of the reasons I love this time of year.  Are some of these your favorites too?

Take some time to get together with those you love.  We aren't guaranteed tomorrow.   In the words of a former basketball coach of my son, "make a memory."

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

Until we meet again,


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Chiming of the Hour

Well, the rehearsal is over and so is the rehearsal dinner.  We sure do put a lot of work and effort into something that is over in such a short time. We have shopped, packed and repacked for weeks getting just the right items for the rehearsal dinner. Thanks to many trips Home Goods and World Market the dinner looked perfect. We (I) wanted everything to be just right for Brad and Kayla. I planned and planned and talked things over with the experts.  You know, those mothers who've done this before. I made lists, scratched things off the list and made new lists over the past few days, weeks and months. Preparations for a day that would be remembered as one of the most important days in the life of my son.  My first born.The baby and toddler who wouldn't stay in the nursery at church because he wanted to be with me. The little boy who loved to curl up in my lap to hear me read "Dumbo the Flying Elephant" over and over again.  The little league pitcher that needed me to come out and play catch while he practiced pitching.  The freshman basketball player at R.J. Reynolds High School who wasn't sure he wanted me to speak to him when I came in the gym because he wasn't sure what the other guys would say. The high school senior and college basketball player who looked in the stands to make sure that I was watching and always wanted to know where I was sitting.  The high school basketball coach who needed me there because he needed to know that someone behind him had his back.

Well today that little boy is a man.  He is now all grown up and things will be different in our family.  A good different.  A different that mother's look forward to for their sons.   One of the sweetest and most precious East Tennessee girls I've ever met  will be joining her life with my son and starting a life together and we couldn't be happier for them. The church is decorated,  the caterers have been contracted  and everything is in order. And at approximately 5:00 this afternoon, a bell will chime and that handsome son of mine will enter a beautifully decorated church and turn and watch his beautiful bride come down the aisle with her father. He will probably tear up because his heart is as big as Texas and I will steal glances at her but I will watch him. Why, because a mother of a son encouraged me to. She said every eye in the church would  be on the bride but that I needed to watch Bradley and see his face as as he sees his bride the first time in all of her finery. She said no camera could catch that look or emotion.  Wow!  I don't know that I would have even thought of that. I'm so glad she mentioned it.

So, I'm off to do my makeup and dress for this occasion. The next time we talk I will be a mother-in-law.  I only hope that I will be as good as the examples set before me.  Thanks Mom and Linda!

If you think about it, pray for Bradley and Kayla as they start their life together.

Until next time.


Proverbs 29:11  "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Daughter the Teacher

We knew years before she did that she would be a teacher.  As a matter of fact, she fought it. "Mom, I'm going to be a marine biologist." "You are? and swim with sharks?" "SHARKS?!?!?" "Mom, I'm going to enroll in the dental hygiene program and  be a dental hygienist." "You are? and touch the inside of someone's mouth?"  "Ewww,.. that's disgusting." She's such a germaphobe.   Kristen was a teacher before she ever had real students. She would line up her dolls and teddy bears on the stairs, would stand at the bottom and hold her Bible or story book and teach those dolls and bears.  Whether it was Bible stories that she learned in Sunday School or reading a story that she had memorized from my reading to her she was always in teaching mode.  I think it took her three changes in majors before she settled on Elementary Education. (insert smile here). She's a natural.  She has a gift. It takes some people years before they find their true calling in life. I believe she has found hers. She may tweak it in years to come but I believe she will always be involved in some form of education.  I could sit and listen to her talk for hours about the unique personalities of the children in her class and how she figures out what makes them tick.

Sometimes I wonder what my gift is. Romans 12 6:8 says, "We have different gifts according to the grace given to each of us.  If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve;  if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."  I think that I have the gift of encouragement. My family, however, would probably say I have the gift of gab.  My friend Sharon has the gift of serving. Whether it be someone that is sick (she takes food) or a young couple that needs a night out, (she babysits) she gladly gives of herself in these ways.  Some people are natural born leaders. Some folks are blessed financially and they give graciously when needs arise.  Whatever our gifts are I believe that we should give of that gift freely.

I have been really convicted lately about how I have hidden my gift and myself from others.  I have asked God to forgive me and help me to give of myself more freely and I believe that he has answered that prayer. I feel more freedom now than I have in such a long time to approach folks and encourage them in their daily walk. Yes, people that I know, but strangers as well.  I've asked God to give me boldness in speaking of Him to those around me and he has answered that prayer as well. I've met some wonderful people who proclaim the name of the Lord and some wonderful people who need to know Him as I do.

I pray that if you are reading this today, that you will search your heart. Think back and see if there is a time that you have asked the Lord to be your personal Savior. If you can't pinpoint a time, ask me how to know Him. I so want you to know this Savior of mine. I would love to see you in Heaven someday.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rescue Me

In October, it will be a year since our beloved Boxer, Macy, passed away. She was six months old when she came to live with us and was a part of our family for 12 years.  She came into our home needing someone who would love and care for her. She had never had that. Macy wasn't the most beautiful Boxer you've ever seen, but to us she was gorgeous.  Being rescued from a life of abuse and a dog fighting ring, she had scars and wounds that were visible but the scars your couldn't see, the ones on the inside were much more prominent. She considered us her family and instantly became very protective of us. If you planned to come into our house you had better call first or patiently wait at the door before entering.  Sharon, my best friend, was the only other person that Macy would allow into the "inner circle" but outside the five of us, you were a threat.  I never felt fear, when alone at home, as long as I had Macy with me.  I knew without a doubt that she would protect me to the end. She made it her mission to be on alert 24-7.   On the day that she passed, Kristen gave her a blueberry muffin (one of her favorite treats), and she passed with me by her side. Just like we had been for the last 12 years.

I can't help but think if Macy cared this much about protecting  us, how much more does God care about protecting us, His children whom He bought with a price.  He protects us from the enemy who is roaming about seeking whom he may devour. In Deuteronomy 4:24 God's word tells us that He is a jealous God. A definition of jealous on says to be jealous is to be vigilant in maintaining or guarding something. I believe that God is more vigilant in guarding me than Macy was in guarding me in our home.  I don't know about you but I can't make it without my guardian, my protector, my shield, my provider. 

I know that at times I have needed  the peace from knowing the Protector and knowing that He has me in his sights ready to step in and rescue me when I step into harms way  .Do you need to be rescued?  Do you need the peace that comes from knowing the Prince of Peace?  Do you need a guardian for your soul? Ask me how you can know Him. 

This song has been such a blessing to me. The David Crowder band sings it.  I hope you like it as well.
(there may or may not be ads before video)

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