Sunday, September 21, 2014

Camping Fifi Style

I am not a camper! I do not like camping!
I do not like damp pillows, sheets and blankets. I do not like leaky tents.
I do not like lightning and thunderstorms when I’m sleeping in a tent under trees, or anywhere for that matter. I do not like spiders, bugs, snakes, toads or anything that resembles the aforementioned critters.I do not like feeling “sticky.”  I do not like to walk a ½ mile (slight exaggeration) to the “facilities”  in the dark by myself with only a flashlight at 2:30 in the morning. Nope! Not at all.  I do not like seeing my own shadow at 2:30 in the morning on the way back from said facilities. (insert scream)

However, I have made a few adjustments over the years because James does loves camping and all of the above. (I think he does anyway. Well, except for lightning.)  I have learned to put my bedding, (yes bedding) pretty shabby chic sheets with ruffles, quilts (several in fact) pillow and my sleeping bag in a Rubbermaid tub first thing in the morning. This is very important. I take them out when getting ready for bed at night. They are so nice and dry. I make up my bed on the cot provided by the best camping husband in the world, turn down  my sheet over  my quilt made by grandma, (some of the quilts are used as padding) and sleep as peacefully as possible. Then repeat next morning. After I make up my bed, I put the lid on the Rubbermaid tub and use it as a night table for my clock, phone, water bottle, flashlight and any other necessities that I might need in the middle of the night. I take an oscillating fan with me. This drowns out noise and provides a nice breeze. (In cooler weather, I take a space heater. J  So, toasty.)   If electricity is not an option there are battery operated versions available.  In some circles this is called "glamping."  An LED flashlight is imperative. Regular flashlights are just inferior. You cannot see the skunks, raccoons and other vermin in nearly enough time with an inferior flashlight at 2:30 in the morning when taking said trek to the facilities.  We have a very large tent.  I sleep on one side. He sleeps on the other.  It just works better that way. Trust me! (Remember, I am NOT a camper.)

Now, there are things that I do love about camping.  Yes, I said it.  I LOVE some things about camping and I will list them. 

I love the quiet and just being outside. I love the beauty of God’s creation. I know. It makes no sense. I love being outside, just not sleeping outside. Don’t even try to figure me out. You will surely get confused.  I love spending time with about 30 of the best in-laws a girl could ever have. Yes, in-laws. We go camping with James’ family. His mom’s brothers and sister (well Aunt Mary sort of goes. She’s a day-camper J ) All of the cousins and their children and  friends of many, many years.  I can't leave out the smell of the rain. I love rain, just not the hitting me in the face in the middle of the night inside of my tent kind of rain.  I love, love, love the food. We cook like there is no tomorrow. Full breakfasts, a sandwich lunch and all out food fest for supper. I’m talking envy of the campground.  James and Uncle Earl start cooking BBQ on Saturday morning about 6am and cook all day. This is serious business folks. They are not playing around. And just let me tell you, there is no better smell than bacon on the campground. In addition to bacon, we also had eggs, pancakes, sausage, grits, BBQ, pork chops, potato salad, slaw, baked potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, ribs as an appetizer, (you can't make this stuff up people), hamburgers, hot dogs, homemade beanie weanies. Did I mention dessert? Homemade ice cream, banana pudding, pound cake, chocolate chip cookies, rice krispie treats, brownies, crock pot lava cake,  (Family, if I left something out, please don't be upset. I'm sorry) You will notice a didn't mention one green item. Nope not one green item. No salad, no green beans, no broccoli. NADA. Let a man plan the menu and you get pork, pork, and some more pork, and they throw in a little starch as a side.

The sound of boats on the lake. 
A walk through the woods, down to the lake with my best friend.
Sitting by the campfire listening to the different conversations going on.

Singing "Amazing Grace" with your husband’s four year old cousin.  Seriously, look at those eyes.

Sitting quietly, reading a book.  Having conversations about salvation with a new member of the family, who just happens to be a pretty neat kid.
Listening to the crickets. They never get tired, do they?

But the #1 thing I love about camping is this…when it’s all over, I get to shower in my bathroom and sleep in my bed and trek across my bedroom floor to use the “facilities” at 2:30 in the morning without an LED flashlight because of the threat of vermin creeping down the path.  Ahhh.....home sweet home.

Ephesians 5:20  And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

*Food and  family campfire photo credits go to Cary Hendrix Johnson

Until we meet again,  Fifi

Friday, September 12, 2014

What If...

What if.....
What if we prayed...
What if we really prayed....
What if we really prayed and put into action what we've been taught? What if we put our tennis shoes on and walked our neighborhoods and stopped in front of each home and prayed for the people in each house?  What if  we prayed for God to meet the spiritual, physical, emotional and financial needs of our neighbors?  What if we prayed for God to speak to our neighbors about their need of Him?  What if we prayed for our churches to be a light in our community?  What if we prayed that God would use us in our communities to be a witness for Him?  What if we were bold for Jesus Christ? What would happen? 

What if?

There are a group of us that do this each Thursday night.  We walk and pray for people that we've never met, seen or know anything about. It's a beginning. It's something. It's something more than just sitting on a pew. And occasionally we meet someone. Someone who is thankful for the prayers. Someone that needed a blessing that day. Someone that needed to know that they were being prayed for.

What if....
What if prayers...
What if prayers were answered?
What if lives were changed?
What if our churches and communities were changed?

Just something to think about...

Until we meet again, Fifi

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Change Stinks, or Does it?"

The landscape is changing. Again. The earth moving equipment was moved in and parked across the street from our house a couple of weeks ago and for a few days, sat silent, unmoving and making no changes. Just sitting there, seemingly staring and taunting me every time I looked out the window or walked out the front door. The land that James’ grandparents owned. The field where we played kick ball, baseball and where Brad “tried” to secretly teach Kristen to drive a stick shift while their dad was out of town.  Yes, that field.  The field where deer sneak in and out and come across the road to our front yard to eat our acorns.  Last week the silt fence went up. This week the digging started.  We walked over there this evening and sadness filled my heart.  Sadness for days gone by. Sadness for yesterday.

We wanted to see them one last time. We walked across the road and across the property.  We came upon the barn and an old corn crib that was used later as a storage building. Both buildings are now old and dilapidated. No longer usable and in fact, dangerous. By the end of the week they will be gone. Hauled off on a dump truck. 

As James and Lola walked on in front of me, I started thinking about the new homes that will be built and the families that will be moving in those homes. People that the Lord is placing, basically, in my front yard. Opportunities to build relationships and all I have to do is just walk out my front door.  I’m reading a book that is altering my “spiritual” life these days.  I’m no longer satisfied to simply just “do church” week in and week out. I want more. I NEED more. My soul is convicted about not doing enough. (Transparency? Totally!)  I want to reach my family, friends, my neighbors and community.  Do you ever feel that way too?  I asked myself this question “Why is it more scary to surrender to God’s will than it is to live out of God’s will?”  There is great peace in knowing that you are living in the purpose and plan that God has for your life.  I think, for me, that I’m so afraid of rejection or of offending  someone that I just don’t do or say anything. That’s just not good enough anymore.  We must share Jesus with others. We are commanded to do so. Sharing what He has done for us is not just for Pastors, Evangelists and Missionaries. He has done a work in us and we need to tell others about it. People are dying without Jesus because we’re not telling them about Him! 

I decided last weekend, on a family camping trip, that I would just jump right in and get down to business. No need in planning out what to say and when, just get started and let the Lord work out the rest. James’ cousin, her fiance’ and his son were there. I’m guessing this young boy is around 12 years old.  He is the coolest kid. Smart as a whip and he quickly became one of my favorites. He was helping me tear down our campsite and pack up our gear.  We were having a great conversation and I asked  “T” if he went to church. He said “yes” and then he asked me this. “Shouldn’t you be asking me if I’m saved.”  Have you ever been schooled by a 12 year old?  I said “Well, I was working up to that.”  We continued our conversation and I asked him to tell me about when he got saved. This was his answer, “I cried and cried and cried when I gave my heart to Jesus.” Oh my goodness. Yep! “T” is my favorite right now. I wanted to bring him home with me.  I learned something from “T” last weekend. Boldness.  If a 12 year old can be bold, so can I. 

So…are you saved? Do you know Jesus? Do you know that He loves you and that he loved you so much that He died for you?


Until we meet again,  Fifi

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What? I've been Blogging for a YEAR???

August 28 marked the day for my blogiversary! Is that even a word? I think so.  I've been blogging a year now and I can't believe it. When I started this "journey" of sorts, I didn't know if I would stick to it or not. I've had a couple of miniature breaks here and there but for the most part I've stuck with it.  Thank you all for sticking around and reading. It means a lot that you’ve been here with me. 

Have you ever watched someone walk on a tight rope?  Most of the time they will have a safety net placed beneath them. The net is there for a reason. They have taken precautions so if they fall the net will catch them. It will prevent them from injury or even death.   We, as children of God, have a safety net as well. God is that safety net. He is right there waiting to catch us if we fall. He is there to protect us from danger, to guide and direct and to carry us when we can't seem to carry ourselves. We only need to call on Him.  Take your cares, concerns, and burdens to Him.  Breathe his name, Jesus~

Until we meet again, Fifi