Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hidden Blessings

I woke up at 3:00 a.m and could not go back to sleep, so have been up for hours already. Yesterday was spent dealing with another problem related to B's services (she's disabled) and I never found time to sit and read the blogs I follow or read the links at Tuesdays Unwrapped. I'm achey and sore and frustrated. I've prayed, cried a little, and read my bible looking for comfort and answers. When daylight finally peeked through I spotted this in my backyard and the first words out of my mouth were, "Thank you, Lord." We have been watching this tree for weeks and saying that we needed to call someone to take the tree down. I was dreading the expense and this tree is in a neighbor's yard, but hanging over ours. I just knew it was going to come down, take out the fence and crush our garden. My garden is just a few tomato plants and some peppers and herbs, but this is the first time that we have had such success. We have these beautiful tomato plants that are full of big tomatoes and we are just starting to enjoy the fruits of our labor. T-Bone is out of town and B is at camp, so my dinner last night was a tomato sandwich. It was so good. I was so happy. I was so proud that the tomato came from my garden. The tree is down and I know that T-Bone and his chainsaw can finish the job and my garden is untouched. There is a limb that came so close to taking out the tomatoes, but it miraculously missed. It seems so small, but it is such a blessing. Thank you, God, for the hidden blessings in big messes.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Holding On To Summer

Summer has faded away. The heat is still here and the pool is still open, but for me school starts next week. I intentionally kept this week unscheduled. B is away at camp and T-Bone is very busy with work, so it's pretty much just me hanging out with The Bird. We made our last Monday afternoon to the library yesterday and today we have a tea party planned with real cookies and lemonade. I am not happy about returning to my current position, but at the same time feel God has kept me there for a reason. God knows how I'm always trying to see beyond what is right in front of me and how I wrestle with the future. It's a season of growth for me to trust him, to keep on keeping on, and to know great things are unfolding and that maybe I just don't see it yet. Instead of feeling anxious and sad, I'm going to enjoy every second of one of my last "stay at home" mommy days. I'm going to rejoice and be glad in this day the Lord made and gave to me. I'm going to trust in his master plan for me. I'm linking this post to Tuesdays Unwrapped over at Chatting at the Sky. What are you holding on to today?

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

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

While we were watching The Bird play in the yard last night, T-Bone looked at me and said, "wanna have another one?" My first response is to scream and strike him, and it reminds me of the guilt I feel over The Bird being alone. We didn't start soon enough and I'm too old and too afraid to jump in again. I know I couldn't work with two and I'm our health insurance, so quitting is not an option. Also I am so happy with "just" The Bird. She has my undivided attention and my heart swells with joy when I look at her and see God's blessing on our life.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Manic Monday

I have a crazy week ahead of me and am desperately trying to ignore the fact that two weeks from today at this time I will be sitting in a faculty meeting-a nice welcome back from summer. Last week I had to take a round of steroids to try and break a cycle of hives I have been having since February, so I was a bit crazy. Hopefully it worked and I (my husband too) am hoping I never need steroids again.

A couple of years ago I opened an online boutique and since I went back to work full time I have been trying to decide where to go with the shop. The economy has not helped any and I have been very undecided about the future of my shop. Anyways, I participate in a clearance sale in Atlanta and it is this week. Lots of work! Tagging, packing, hauling, and it was a nightmare getting help this year (everyone traveling). It is a great sale and if you like children's boutique clothing-a shopping fiesta! Things I need this week are lots of prayer and physical stamina and strength.

Cuckoo-Boo Ponytail Holders & Zanzibar Road

I could not resist these little ponytail holders for The Bird and have a cart full at Etsy. These may save her from the back-to-school haircut I have planned next week. A little retro fashion statement from Cuckoo-Boo at Etsy. She also makes pacifier and badge clips too.

Our trip to the library a couple of weeks ago was so fun and one of The Bird's favorite books turned out to be one she pulled off the shelf and thumbed through by herself. I had Caldecott and recommended reading lists in hand and was scanning for author's names when she brought it to me. We have fallen in love with Welcome to Zanzibar Road. It stars Mama Jumbo and Little Chico. It is also set up as a chapter book, so we felt very big while reading this book.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Perfect Summer Days

Yesterday was a nice day spent with a friend and her daughter. First, we went blueberry picking at Berry Patch farms in Woodstock. We picked until we were very sweaty and the little one asked for water. Our bucket had 3/4 of a pound, which I think is pretty good for a three year old. Next, we went to my friends for lunch and then off to the pool. The Bird loved my friend's neighborhood pool. It had a kiddie pool with fountains and I was actually able to sit on a lounge chair and chat with my friend while thumbing through a magazine. The pool usually wears me out having to be on high alert and I usually just end up staying in the water with her the whole time. Thunder roared in the distance and ran us out of the pool late afternoon. It was a great escape for us, since I knew The Bird was only going to leave her friend and the pool kicking and screaming. My productivity from a couple of weeks ago paid off when I was able to open the freezer and retrieve a bag of bolognese sauce (made from a Pioneer Woman recipe), boil some spaghetti, pop some bread in the oven and bam, dinner was on the table. The Bird was so hungry (even though we had eaten all day off and on) and pratically shoveled her spaghetti down and gobbled up the bread (after licking it first). We still weren't finished and went to swimming lessons. The Bird is now a minnow and quite happy about her newly acquired skills. When we got home, she ate a bowl of corn flakes and after reading three library books fell asleep. The last words I heard from her were" I love you, my mommy" and she was out.

Yesterday was the kind of summer day you want to have and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The friend I was with is fairly new. We shared an office last year at school and have so much in common. I had already had my quiet time this morning and was feeling very motivated and reflective this morning. After breakfast, I did one more email check and had another Crosswalk that I usually don't get (I get Encouragement for Today & Girlfriends in God) called Crosswalk Women. Time allowed me to read it and a passage the author wrote about her journey to write a book really touched me.

"I've discovered the Holy Spirit as my Teacher. I've spent the last 3 plus years watching as He has led every step of my writing journey. I've felt Him stir my heart as words pour onto a page and can catalog His tutorage--how He's led me to just the right person at the right time to learn what I was ready to learn. He never sent new information before I could receive it. But, He always gave it just in time. Only God can do that." (Paula Moldenhauer at
(I'm not writing a book. As you can see, I am not even a very good writer. I'm too careless and hate to proof and edit, but if I get bogged down in that I won't even bother to write.)

What this meant to me was how I was not ready for some things last year and now I see so many things changing. It is like I did not get the things I was needing or wanting until God knew I was ready to receive it. I am thanking the Lord today for continuing to encourage and show me how he is working in my life.

(I wanted to post a picture of the bird picking blueberries, but T-Bone made off with my camera this morning. Here is a pic of the sauce I made a couple of weeks ago. Yes, you should make it too.)

John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Miracles Everyday

God never ceases to amaze me. As I have stood before him asking that he hears my answers, he answers. The answers seem to come while I am not looking. They come when I relax and finally hand over the doubt and fear I had been wrestling with to him. He was going to give me my answers anyway. You have to wonder if he smiles as he watches us hold on to things that we need to hand over to him. I'm enjoying the miracle of a Father that listens, that loves, and that wants me to come to him. Visit Chatting at the Sky for more everyday miracles.

This picture is of Percy. She is my Bird's beloved baby and I never know where I'll find her. I though this was a bag that needed to be folded and stored, but turns out, it was a "sleeping bag". "Mommy, she is sleeping leave her alone."
Pslam 139:17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Vintage Style

I just love vintage styles. Little dresses made by grandmothers in cotton print fabrics. The Bird has a little pile of outgrown dresses that were passed down to her from her Yaya. Yaya had been saving the little dresses for forty years before one of her children decided to bless her with grandchildren. She also had stored a soft little pair of blue jeans that belonged to T-Bone. It was the dresses though that make me smile and think of simpler times. Times when women put curlers in their hair and hung clothes on the line. I can't buy my Bird any more clothes-she is stocked till she is five-but look at these sweet dresses from Patouche. Made to be worn for years by going from dress to tunic. I love them and want one of each. The skirts are fun too with big pockets and aprons. You can buy them at Patouche's Etsy Shop. Tell her I sent you and maybe she will send one to The Bird's overstuffed closet too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


The power to change comes from God's grace. I keep saying this to myself over and over as I feel powerless over so many things. I'm talking daily challenges-housework, budgeting, parenting. There are several things I want and need to change to make life flow better around here. There are habits that need to be changed. Today I'm getting my boxes out and clearing the house. I'm down to three and half weeks of summer break and a house still full of clutter. If we don't love it or use it, it needs to go. Today I'm asking God for his help and confessing I can't do it on my own. I know he cares even about these little things that drag us down.

1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What does it mean to be a friend of the world?

My quiet time usually provides me with some guidance and peace for the day, but this morning I used the study notes to continue the sermon from church on Sunday. I'm baffled and confused and asking God lots of questions this morning. The most confusing is: what does it mean to be a friend of the world? Not of people, but of the world system. What in my life reflects the world rather than my commitment to God? I started to wonder if I should be blogging. Also lately, I have disliked Facebook and have been avoiding it, because I am seeing a friend post things about her marriage that I don't like. This was my little unexpected "gift" of the day. Conviction of getting some things right in my life and questioning. I'm linking this to Chatting at the Sky for Tuesdays Unwrapped.

Psalm 40:8 "I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Enjoying the moments....

I wish I could say I finally started my Spring Cleaning for Normal People from Simple Mom, but after the Bird's swimming lessons we went to the library. If I decide I want a book for myself or the kids I just go buy it, so I have not been in the library in years. I loved it! The Bird has baskets and shelves full, but I thought she needed some new and I'm trying not to spend (yeah right, two Misha Lulu clearance items and a Pink Chicken dress today). We have a nice little stack of "new" books now and new clothes on the way. Tomorrow I'll start my cleaning....

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day

I love little messages that God sends through messengers. One blog I follow Renee Swope: The Journey of My Heart sent a message to my heart that said, "this is what you need to do." The journey she is going on is different than mine, but the words God gave to her spoke to me in a different way about the turmoil I create with trying to control our future. God told her to "Just be where you are. Be fully where you are and look to see why I have you right there, right then." I especially love the "be fully where you are" because I always feel distracted and like I'm not giving the right here and now my all. Today is Independence Day and I expected to straighten the house, prepare some food, play in the pool, and see some fireworks with family and friends in celebration of our freedom. I think I'll also enjoy the independence from my nagging thoughts and enjoy being fully where I am today. Here is picture of my bird looking out the window of the Georgian Terrace onto Peachtree Street in Atlanta fully enjoying where she was at the time. What sort of independence are you celebrating today?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Prayer

Psalm 142
You Are My Refuge
A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave. A Prayer.

1 With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD. 2 I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.
3 When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. 4 Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul.
5 I cry to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living." 6 Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me! 7 Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Just lemonade, please!

You have heard the saying "if life hands you lemons, make lemonade". Bushels of them keep getting handed my way and after having quite a little "fit" yesterday have decided I'll just order the lemonade. Ahhh, lemonade cool and refreshing. Actually my favorite thing is limeade with club soda. I really did ask my Heavenly Father to just hand me some good. I need a break from the bad that I have to dig around in to see the good. Even as I say it, I know it sounds petty and childish, but about once every three months my emotions just bowl me over (PMS) and because of the past year, this is what I cried, "Can I have something good? Just one little thing?" Now I know my life is full of good, I look around me and rejoice in my family and know we have many blessings, but it's big things that lack closure that seem to be taking a toll on me (I even get hives). I need to make a list that highlights the good I have found in the bad, but today I'm recovering from my emotional outburst. I pray, I seek, and I think I listen. I've asked God for an authentic faith that is more than just saying I'm trusting and believing. I am; I really am. I know the Lord is in His Holy Temple and he still rules. It is always comforting to know that no matter how we are feeling, God is the same. God gave me kind words in my turmoil-Encouragement for Today-and I made limeade with club soda topped with a sprig of mint.

Paula Deen's Lemonade Recipe

Psalm 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them.