Saturday, September 29, 2012

until the whole world hears

The Lord is near all who call out to Him,
all who call out to Him with integrity.
Psalm 145:18
Thursday evenings find me at soccer practice this fall.  Not only are both my boys playing on teams, I am the assistant coach of a team, too.  This week, our head coach was away. Insert me running practice.
In the middle of practice we huddle up for team devotions.  Sometimes it's very challenging to keep the team's attention during these few moments...distractions are abundant outside in the middle of a field.  Trains, kids, adults, bugs, grass...even the moon, I found out this night...can distract little minds.
I had forgotten my coaches' book (Shh! Don't tell anybody!), but knew the verse dealt with authority.  Trying to load up the book on my phone, we began discussing what authority is and who is in authority over us.  We had began this discussion last week, so we just built upon what we had talked about last week.  
We discussed how it is important to follow the authority over us...why there is a need for authority...and how the guidelines set by authorities are for our good.  We went on to establish that God is our ultimate authority and the Bible is His Word that gives us both knowledge of who He is and guidelines on how to live a life glorifying to Him.  
In these few minutes, their attentions were no longer scattered.  
God was moving among us in our little huddle of 7.
Continuing to build on authority, the kids agreed with me that rules and guidelines are set for us out of love, not out of meanness.  We also agreed that it is difficult at times to obey the rules set for us when our parents or other authority figure is not around to see us and what we are doing.  We should obey even though they aren't there to make us help remind us of what we should do.  This led to discussing God's omnipresence.  (I used the dime words with the kids, not the dollar word.)
One little boy asked, "God can see me if I hide under my covers?"
"Yes," I said, "He's everywhere with us."
One little girl, eyes open wide with curiosity, asked with surprise and amazement "God can see us even if we hide under something?!?" 
I was then reminded that even in the middle of soccer practice, God wants the truth of Him and His Word to be known by all and it's a blessing to be able to speak the Truth into young, impressionable hearts.  
I am humbled at being given the opportunity to be used to share His truth in this way.
Sometimes, the part of the world that needs to hear the Truth is in the middle of the soccer field in your very own community.
Where can I go to escape Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
If I go up to heaven, You are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there.
If I live at the eastern horizon
or settle at the western limits,
even there Your hand will lead me;
Your right hand will hold on to me.
Psalm 139:7-10

Thursday, September 27, 2012

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art...It has no survival value; 
rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” 
~C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

This group of TX/AK family of great value to my life!  
The other evening, they gathered together for dinner.  I was not there, wished I was, but felt as if I were.  
I began getting texts and fb notifications from my friends telling me that they wished I was there and how much they love and miss me.   They even tagged me to be with them at the restaurant even though I was hundreds of miles away.  How sweet is that!?!

One cannot have any better friends than these!  I am blessed!

{photo courtesy of M. Guerra}

Saturday, September 22, 2012

the last minutes of summer

As I am typing this, 2 minutes and some odd seconds are what remain of summer 2012.  It has been a wonderful summer...filled with warm weather, sunshine and rain, and many memories.
I was looking back over some of my photos and I realize that I didn't take as many as I probably should have of the normal, everyday kind of days.
We had many a day on the road or airplane leading us on adventures to places known and unknown.  But, equal or more were the days where we basked in the sunlight in our very own yard.
The days of summer went by way too fast as a whole, but some days were long in and of themselves.  If I were to do those long days over again, I would change up our routine and find something else to do in those hours to help pass the time and make special memories along the way.
I have learned (and relearned) a few things this summer...
I overplanned some things and underplanned others.
Comfort doesn't always need to come first.
It's the little things that make biggest memories.
Spontaneity is the spice of life.
Raindrops equal fun.
Life is too short to put off getting together with friends.
There's a fine line between control and chaos.
Miles are all that separate true friends.

So long, summer.
Hello, fall.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Grandma's Visit

Having my mom down to visit for a few days this week was wonderful.  We took the 3 days she was here and simply enjoyed our time with her.  No major plans necessary.  A refreshing time...tons of fun and laughs and Phase 10!
Her only request in coming was to go to Cafe Pig for some of their Brunswick Stew.  I was totally okay with this request...their stew is the best in all of GA and, just possibly, the entire country.  In the opinion of yours truly anyway.
We took Mom out to Cafe Pig for her birthday on Tuesday.  The day it decided to pour down rain.  It made it the perfect weather for a great bowl of stew.  We were not disappointed in our lunch choice, as usual.
Grandma always makes life better.  I'm so thankful we are able to see and visit with her several times each year even though we live 8 hours apart.
Alex and Tim agreed that this was one of the best weeks we've had in a long time.
We love you!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Grandpa's Tree

"A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart."
~Author Unknown

Earlier this year, while we were visiting Grandma and Grandpa Miller, Alex discovered a little cedar tree growing in a can behind the house.  Excitedly, he showed my mom and I his treasure and asked why it was in a can.  Mom told him that Grandpa Miller had put the tree in that can about a year ago.  He has watered and tended to the little tree, not really having a plan for it, though.
Alex's question was, "Can I have it?"
We sent him to find Grandpa Miller to ask him.
Of course, the answer was yes.
So, the little tree came home with us to Georgia.  And, has sat in that can, being watered and tended to by Alex (and the rest of the fam) all summer long.  
This week, however, the tree was given a newer, bigger, although still temporary, home.
We are in the process of selling our house.  We are also in the process of building a new one.  Alex did not want to plant the tree at the house we are leaving, so we have to wait and see where a good place for the little tree will be at the new location.  Until we move, too, we cannot plant it in the ground or we'd have to go over and water it everyday.  Not possible. 
Therefore, until sometime in the spring, the little tree has a new home in a larger flower pot.  
I had to smile when we were visiting at Grandpa's a couple of weeks ago and he told Scott of my tree on their property.  "Janet's Tree" he called it.  When I was little, not for sure of my age, Grandpa had a little tree and asked me to help him plant it.  He/we chose a spot out by the road and it still stands there today.  (My sister has a tree...and I'm pretty sure my cousins have trees, too.)
I remember planting that tree.  I remember watching it grow over the years.  It now reaches high into the sky.  It reminds me of my grandpa's love...firmly grounded, always growing, providing shelter, offering a resting place.
Now, a tradition continues, although here instead of there...thanks for the tree, Grandpa!

"What is it about grandparents that is so lovely? I'd like to say that grandparents are God's gifts to children. And if they can but see, hear and feel what these people have to give, they can mature at a fast rate."
~Bill Cosby

Saturday, September 8, 2012

it's the simple things...

Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is the man who delights in life, loving a long life to enjoy what is good?
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from deceitful speech.
Turn away from evil and do what is good; seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 34:11-14

a note...

a box of buttons...

a handful of grapes...

a truckload of bees...

using a rolling pin...

a midwestern sunset...

...they make me smile.

Found a blog to link up with about some of our favorite things over at finding joy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Stationery card...getting a head start!

Wishing You Merry Christmas Card
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