Wednesday, March 27, 2013

from the archives: friends

Written November 11, 2010...

"A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails." ~ Donna Roberts

I have a friend who has a way of making me remember even the smallest of things that make us laugh together, and if just for a moment, all is right again in my world.

"I found out what the secret to life is: friends.  Best friends."  Ninny Threadgoode, "Fried Green Tomatoes"

My best friend?  My best friend is the one who sticks with me through thick and thin.

"True friendship comes when silence between two people is comfortable." ~ Dave Tyson Gentry

I know with one friend, in particular, silence is golden.  It is in what not is said that the most is said.

"Silences make the real conversations between friends. Not the saying but the never needing to say is what counts." ~ Margaret Lee Runbeck, Answer Without Ceasing

It was once said that an awkward moment of silence is averaged about every 20 minutes in a conversation.  It's in those pauses and the recovery from them where you find friends who truly get you.

"But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away." ~ Dinah Craik, A Life for a Life, 1859

I have one sounding board friend that is just amazing.  We vent, we rant, we rave...then we laugh, we love, and we move on.  To sum it up, it's awesome.

"The tender friendships one gives up, on parting, leave their bite on the heart, but also a
curious feeling of a treasure somewhere buried." ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Southern Mail, 1929, translated from French by Curtis Cate

I have said goodbye to my share of friends as either I have moved or they have moved away and on with their lives.  Our roads ran parallel for a time and then a fork in the road took us down separate pathways.  No matter how long those pathways continue on, the memory of those parallel miles together are sweet and treasured.

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive." ~ Anäis Nin

My life has been widened, enriched, and given a boost by friends who open new worlds to me.  Whether by adventures abroad or at home, a life well lived for the benefit of others and for the glory of God is sometimes the simplest form of inspiration.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

from the archives: sweet and happy

Written December 31, 2009

Sometimes I do think the busy-ness of life takes away from living. Priorities become jumbled. Adventures are postponed. Voices go unheard. Hearts get broken. Lives are changed.

Then it a moment unplanned and quite unexpected...sweetness and happiness are found.
In the simple things. By the quietness of the moment. Through the making of a new friend.

I found myself again. Living...Laughing...Loving.

All the things I dreamed of were happening. For this moment, I was found. Renewed in who I am, refreshed in my spirit, I was taking in every moment and hoping they would never end...yet thankful for the memories in case they did.

To this day, I am still amazed at the change one journey made in my life. 

a pool story

digging pool They began digging our pool today.
It was snowing.
Just flurries off and on throughout the morning, but still, snow in GA on March 26th!
This is just wrong on so many levels.
It's not funny, but, then again, it is.
We will always have a good story to tell while lounging by the pool in the hot sun.
"Remember when they dug out the pool..."

Saturday, March 23, 2013

My Saturday

P1170238 This morning started out just like the weatherman had forecasted...cold and rainy.  I had two boys hoping that he was going to be wrong because they each had a game scheduled for today.  Tim's football game was called off early...Alex's game wasn't called off until game time had rain and lightning removing all doubt in anyone's mind whether or not to start the game.  A & T went off with Nana & Pawpaw once Alex's game was called, so they had something to look forward to even though the games were cancelled.
P1170239Hubby and I made our way running errands, finding a few light fixtures for the new house along the way.
Once back home, I began on a task that has been looming around way too long.  Looking at a move in the next couple of months, I have been boxing things up that are not necessary for life between now and then.  Today, I pulled out the remaining toys from the storage closet.  I've been working on sorting, assembling, and boxing up the baby and toddler toys that my boys have outgrown over the years, but that I keep around for the nephews and friends' babies when they stop by for a visit.
I had stored all the Playmobil sets together in a storage containter.  I knew that I needed to separate the parts into their appropriate sets and get them ready to sell.  My boys gave up Playmobil once Legos walked through the door and into their hearts.  :) was the day!
P1170244In between loads of laundry, I sat with a pile of parts and my laptop sorting and putting together (again) these Playmobil sets.  Of course, it would have been easier if I had kept the manuals, but somewhere between our last move and now, they have disappeared.  (Most likely I will find them in a couple of days.)
I discovered a really cool website to help me figure out what goes with what set with the help of Google.  Between that and photos of sets on eBay,  I turned an overwhelming task into an afternoon of memory lane walking as I put together these toys that once held my boys's attention for hours of their childhood.

I am happy that it's over, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I first imagined.

Friday, March 22, 2013

from the archives: Lessons in Alaska

Wednesday, October 13, 2010...
When they saw the courage of Peter and John 
and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, 
they were astonished and they took note 
that these men had been with Jesus. 
Acts 4:13
Yesterday, I received a phone call from a friend whom I met in Alaska earlier this year.  She was at Native New Life and thought of me, so she called and left me a message during the service so I could hear the singing taking place.  What a sweet thing to do for me.  It moved me to tears to hear the singing and to know she'd do this just for me. 
I've been missing Alaksa alot lately.  Having had a reunion of sorts here in GA last week at our mission conference with people I have come to know and love and serve with in Alaska, it took me back again in my heart and mind.  Add that to my phone call last night and well, you find yourself reading about my time in Alaska with GraceWorks for this week's walk to remember.
Alaska ("Wow! '08") was life changing.  Coming to Alaska, my life revolved around my kids, my husband, and my youth leader responsibilities.  They defined who I was.  On Tuesday, day 4 of our 10 day trip...I fell apart. I was homesick and missing my boys so much. It had been our first day at the Boys & Girls Club...and all those kids hugging on me and wanting to be near me.  One little girl even called me Mom (and continued to do so all week). Satan tried to get me down and told me that I had no right to be here hugging on these kids when my two were left at home. This was all taking place as we were making dinner. I left the kitchen in tears and called home. It didn't help. I knew I had to get alone and pray. The doors to the big sanctuary at Muldoon Baptist Church had been left unlocked to my surprise, so I went and flat out laid myself at the altar sobbing. I told God everything (good thing he can understand blubbering while sobbing).  All of a sudden I heard His voice asking me, "Do you love me more than these?" and I saw my two boys' faces. Then I saw Scott's face. Then I saw the word "leadership". I sobbingly answered yes and His reply was so real, so simple. "Feed my sheep." The three things I missed the most had to be put in perspective. God called me to AK to feed His sheep and I now knew it.
I rose up changed.
Do you know, the very next morning at the Alaska Food Bank I was able to share Jesus with a young Jewish boy volunteering there.  Teaching the Bible lesson each day at the club was such a joy after that...God's presence was so totally evident.  Probably more evident because I had my priorities straight for the first time in a long time.
God taught me in that moment that I am to love Him first and give Him my firstfruit.  My first and foremost title is "Daughter of the King".  He loves me more than anyone.  He desires my attention more than anyone.  He deserves my love and attention more than anyone.  I cannot be for others what they need until I am with God and get what I need from time spent with Him in His Word and in prayer.

It's a struggle to remain in Him and His strength.  Satan does what He can to distract me and keep me busy so that I forget Whose I am.  The best thing I will ever do is spend time with Jesus.  I want to reflect His goodness and mercy to those around me so that when others see me, they are seeing Him.        

from the archives: Ice Cream Treat

September 2010...
While on a recent weekend getaway to Hilton Head Island we enjoyed an evening walk over to a local ice cream parlor, Frozen Moo, to get some ice cream. 
The young man serving us chuckled as Tim politely ordered a scoop of vanilla in a cup, "Out of all of these choices, he wants vanilla?" 
I think that's what I love most about Tim...the simple things in life make him the happiest.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

penser en français

20120825_132524 (1) Back in August, (when the weather was wonderfully, awesomely hot and I had a tan), I found a fellow homeschooling mom selling "French in Ten Minutes a Day" cds for a great price.  The very same day I picked them up, I pushed that puppy into the car's cd player and began my first ten minutes of French.
I had big dreams and high hopes.
I still have big dreams and high hopes...
...but, I must confess to still being on that first cd.
My ten minutes a day has turned into a lot of days...many rewinds and play-it-agains...many, many repeats.
Now, I do not listen to the cd every time I am in the car.  I probably never even listened to it at all during December.  Sometimes, I'm only in the car for 10 minutes at a time.
However, I had an epiphany the other day.
I caught myself thinking in French for the first time ever.
Limited French...French 101, have you, but French, nonetheless!
Something is beginning to click among the already learned English and Spanish words in my brain and some French words are making their way to the top.  This is no small feat, having to fight off the influences of Spanish, "Southernese" that I'm hearing every. single. day. (it hurts my ears at times, if I might add kindly),  "Northernese" that I have picked up from my college days, and the "Indiana southern w/Pennsylvania Dutch flavor" from my life in the Hoosier State.
I may only be on the 11th track of the first cd of six, but I've invested many 10 minutes in these lessons and have made some progress.  I have a goal to speed up my progress in the next few weeks and listen to more of the language lessons even if I am not able to grasp all they are trying to teach right away.  More exposure has to increase my knowledge, right?  That's what I'm going with anyway.  I am hoping to get the book, complete with sticky notes and flashcards, for Mother's Day.  Maybe seeing some of les mots will help me retain even more.
Why try to learn French at 40?
Why not?  :)