Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Onboard Navigation

This past week my husband and I had to drive to another city for a doctor appointment. Before leaving our driveway I "plugged in" the address of our destination in the onboard navigation and asked for the fastest route.  The "sweet woman" immediately said, "please proceed to the highlighted route and your guidance will begin".  Once we got out on the highway she periodically would say, "continue on the highlighted route."

Each time that we were approaching a place where we could possibly veer off of our "preferred route", she would start gently warning us of our upcoming turn ahead.  As it got closer, she would again remind us that just shortly ahead we would be making our turn.  Finally, as we got to the appointed place to turn, she would once again remind us to turn to stay on the correct route.

We followed directions fine on the way to the appointment, but on our way back home, we became distracted and were not listening to our instructions at one point and we missed a turn. After a few minutes of silence, the "sweet woman" recalculated our route and very patiently and politely told us what we needed to do to get ourselves back on track again.  She didn't seem to be upset with us at all.

It got me to thinking......

Is this not a lot like our trip through life as a Christian?

Many years ago, I made a decision about where I wanted to go.  I made Heaven my"HOME" destination and God planned out the route for me to get there. His Holy Spirit is continually urging me to "continue on the highlighted route".  But, so many times I have ignored His directions and gone my own way.  Sometimes I intentionally go in a direction that I know is not His preferred route for me--despite His repeated warnings.

When I make a wrong turn or I choose to go in a different direction from the preferred route He has planned for me, He patiently recalculates my route. He never seems to get upset with me.  If I take the time to listen, He will tell me where to turn and what I need to do to get back on track.

He knows where I am going.

He has mapped out my route.

He has calculated how long I will travel.

But what happens when I get "behind the wheel" of my life?  I get distracted.  I take a wrong turn.  Sometimes I am WAY off track, but He patiently recalculates my route and guides me back onto the preferred route. 

I need to remember to start out each day with my destination as "HOME"  and ask Him to "RESUME GUIDANCE".

Hebrews 2:1  "We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away."

Thank you that you have planned out a preferred route for me to lead me to my final destination of Heaven. When I do make a wrong turn, help me to listen to that still small voice and follow the leading of your Holy Spirit to get back on to that preferred route that You have for me. Thank you that you never lose your patience with me. Thank you that you are always "onboard" with me, guiding me, if I will only listen and follow your directions. Help me to start out each day listening to my "onboard navigation" telling me the way that I should go. Amen.

Friday, September 26, 2008


This was me awaiting a
very special delivery that was due on September 26th just a "few" years ago.

I did not find out whether I was having a boy or a girl ahead of time, but I had really prayed for a little girl throughout my entire pregnancy.  I had also prayed that I would have a quick and easy labor and delivery (this was back in the days of "natural childbirth"!), that I would have about a 7 lb. baby (the doctor had said I might have to have caesarean if any larger) and that I would NOT HAVE TO HAVE AN ENEMA!

Walt and I went to the County Fair on that Thursday night, September 25th.  We got home, did our Lamaze exercises and got in bed about 12:15 am.  About 15 minutes later my water broke and contractions started.  When we left for the hospital about 4:20 am, contractions were about 6 minutes apart and over the next 5 minutes they got to be TWO minutes apart!  Walt had the car floor-boarded and we made it from home to the hospital (which was about 20 miles) in 11 minutes!

After getting me into the hospital, he went back down to park the car and to get the camera, and by the time he came back upstairs, this little head was crowning!
God answered all my prayers! There was NO time for an enema (PTL!) and Rebekah Faith was born at 6:29 am and just look at what she weighed in at!  God is Good!

Your dad's first comment to me was, " Well, honey, you got everything you wanted all the way around - a short labor, no enema and a little girl!"

3 months

5 months 

12 months old

1 year birthday party

5 year old kindergarten - First Place in Poem Contest

Christmas 1985

I DID get everything I wanted!! 

Faith , you have brought so much joy to your Dad and me, to our entire family and to all of those who know you. We are so proud of the beautiful young woman that you have become!

You are the best daughter any mom or dad could have.

You are the best sister any guy or girl could ever have!

The best wife a man could ask for!

And the best NANA ever!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY , FAITH !! May God richly bless you on your special day and may He grant you the deepest desires of your heart.  May this be your best year yet!

We couldn't love you more!
Mom & Dad

To all my blogging friends:  Please pop over to Faith's Blog and wish her a Happy Birthday!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Something To Smile About!

I got on Bloglines during lunch today to read a few of my favorite blogs and my new blogging friend Hollie brought a big SMILE to my face by giving me this award!

I enjoy reading her blog so much. She is so cute and has such a great sense of humor. She always makes me smile! If you haven't visited her blog yet, please click here to check it out.

Thank you so much, Hollie! I am so grateful that you read my blog and for the award!

Characteristics for the Smile Award:

1. Must display a cheerful attitude.

2. Must love one another.

3. Must make mistakes.

4. Must learn from others.

5. Must be a positive contributor to blog world.

6. Must love life.

7. Must love kids.

These are the rules for The Smile Award:

1. The recipient must link back the the award’s creator

2. You must post these rules if you receive the award.

3. You must chose 5 people to receive the award after receiving it yourself.

4. You must fit the characteristics of the recipient of the award, as posted by Mere

5. You must post the characteristics of a recipient.

6. You must create a post sharing your win with others.

7. You must thank your giver.

And without further ado, here are the 5 people that I would like to pass this award on to:

1. Dawn - I think of Dawn as my "eternal cheerleader"! Her comments that she leaves on my blog always lift me up. I am always encouraged by reading her posts. She loves her kids, the youth of today and the Lord! She is leaving for the Mayo Clinic this week for a long awaited appointment regarding knee pain. Please check out her blog and let her know that you will be praying for her!

2.Betsy - I love reading her blog! She is such an awesome Mom, approaching the "empty nest" years, that loves her children so much! She is also a teacher so her students must be so blessed by her as well. Her blog always makes me feel uplifted and leaves me with a smile! You have to stop by and visit her - you will be blessed!

3. Jenna - Any of you that know Miss Jenna know that you cannot read her blog without smiling. God has gifted her with an amazing ability to write and express herself. She has an amazing family and friends and you will become part of them as you follow their adventures!

4. Cindy - Cindy is a new friend of mine in the blogging world. She has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and is just beginning her battle. God has given me such a burden to pray for this sweet mom dealing with a difficult "storm" at this time. Her strength to fight this battle and the wonderful stories she tells about her precious children always lift me up! Please pop over to her blog and let her know that you are praying for her!

5. Faith - Many of you know that Faith is one of my daughters. She has so many wonderful friends that are part of her life and so many interesting things that happen to her. God is working in her life in such a mighty way. I am encouraged in MY walk with the Lord every time I read her posts. She and her husband are dealing with infertility and would covet your prayers. Please drop by her blog and let her know that you are joining with many of us to cover them in prayer. You will be blessed by reading her "walk of faith".

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Praise The Lord!

Walt and I headed out about 10:30 this morning and were faced with the situation of no one having gas in our area!  We finally found some at a BP station that I had seen had gas yesterday. We had planned to only put about 10 gallons in, but after speaking to some people at the pumps and learning that none of the stations in our area, other than this one, had any gas, we decided we better fill up.  Here is my "Cowboy" filling up the truck. 

We then headed to Winston Salem because I had a follow-up appointment at Wake Forest Baptist University Medical Center.


I am on a 6 month check-up schedule following a biopsy on my face that I had several years ago.  Each time I go, the doctor takes photos of the place on my face and has been delaying surgery unless the area starts to change. (They are really watching it closely because my daughter had Melanoma.)

When I got there today, the nurse put me in a Surgical/Treatment Room and I must admit that I was a little nervous. My doctor came in with my chart and all of the previous photos.  He did a full body scan on me --he checked me from head to toe, even looking in between my toes, inside my mouth and in my eyes!  (Melanoma can manifest itself in ANY of these places.) 

I had him look at every "spot" I could think of on my body and, Praise The Lord, he said that all of  my "spots" were OK and there were NO changes in the place we have been monitoring!  He said there was no need to do surgery AND he released me this time for 1 year! GOD IS GOOD!

Walt and I left there and headed to my favorite place to go while in Winston Salem!

Are these not some of the most beautiful Mums you have ever seen!  I love Fall and it is really starting to feel like Fall and look like Fall here!

Thank you, Lord, for the good report that I received today!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Our Special Day

My sweet blogging friend, Megan, recently got married and has been posting her absolutely beautiful wedding pictures for all of us to enjoy. Her pictures look like a celebrity wedding!

She has now opened it up to other people to share their wedding photos and I decided (a little reluctantly) to share mine. I'll be honest, at first I didn't think I would post any because mine are just so.....well..... OLD, but I decided to post just a few! That's all ya'll will be able to take!!!

My husband and I were engaged at Thanksgiving in 1977 and were married February 26, 1978. This picture was taken at our rehearsal dinner at the Christian Fellowship Association. I was 20 yrs old and he was 24. ( I always tell him that he was old enough to know better; I WASN'T!!)

Let me just introduce you to Nottingham Lace. Lots of Nottingham Lace! I absolutely fell in love with this dress when I first saw it, and knew it was the one! (Though, now, for the life of me, I am not sure what I was thinking! LOL) Actually, I STILL love it very much!

We were married in a beautiful Methodist Church in Columbus, Georgia where my Mother still attends to this day. Our wedding was at 3:00 pm on Sunday afternoon.

This was one of the "double-exposure" pictures that we had in our album which, by the way, was PRETTY high tech for 1978!

Was he not the cutest thing ever? Now you see why I had to say YES!

The church has one of the most beautiful stained glass windows that I have ever seen. I miss that a lot of churches now no longer have stained glass in their worship centers. How beautiful is this?

This picture was taken outside the church after the ceremony.

Thanks for sharing in our special day from almost 31 years ago! I would love to see your wedding photos, too, so go here to share them with all of us. (Hey!...if I can share MINE, anyone can share theirs!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Special Weekend Visitor

Not a lot going on to blog about lately except THIS special little visitor that I had Saturday at my house! She has finally learned to hold up 3 fingers in preparation for her 3rd birthday on "Noctober" 4th.

She's even ready for NEXT year on "Noctober" 4th!

She had a little friend's birthday party to go to on Saturday afternoon and here she is all ready to go - with her monogrammed "purple pack-pack" that Nana gave her and her bunny purse from last Easter that Mimi gave her.

"You stay here, Mimi! I be right back. I come back tomorrow!"

Her and her momma spent the night with me and here she is Sunday morning ready to head to children's church! Miss Hollywood!

Ready to rock and roll!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Obedience - Rather Than Perfection

I am continuing on in my "Behind Those Eyes" study and learning so much from it. Lisa describes many of the roles that we, as women, often play trying to impersonate the women that we want to be , or, many times, the women that we want everyone to THINK that we are!

As I began reading about the first "character" in our study, "Ms. Perfection", I must admit that I did not expect to find ME in that chapter. (That's not me!  I'm not Ms. Perfection, that's so-and-so!) But guess what -- there I was right there in the pages of that chapter, too!  I'm gonna pull in my toes and hide them under the table so that they won't get stepped on anymore!

In her book, Lisa says, "perfection is perhaps, the most common characteristic that women impersonate.  We get caught up in the trap of trying to appear perfect for others."  

We  try to appear to be the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect employee, the "perfect package". The perfect package is "the woman who knows it all, sees it all, whips it up for dinner, and sells it for a profit."  I am WOMAN hear me ROAR!

What God is reminding me of through this chapter is that, first of all, I will never be perfect! In my flesh, there is no way that I will EVER be perfect!  It's not possible! I need to come to terms with the fact that my self-worth is not determined by what someone else thinks about me.  No one else is perfect, either!  They may just be a better impersonator.

My "peace comes from my relationship with Christ, not my weight, my clothing size, what car I drive, or how many church functions I attend. Peace does not come from pleasing others, but from obeying God.", says Lisa.

I must admit that, as a middle child, I have the "Peacemaker Syndrome".  I want everyone to get along and be happy with each other and I wear myself out trying to make sure that happens.

My goal needs to be OBEDIENCE, not perfection!

He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."
Luke 11:28

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Truth From The Inside Out

My first "Behind Those Eyes" Bible Study Class was last Wednesday night. I bought the book and started reading the first 2 chapters, which was our assignment for the first  week. God immediately started "stepping on my toes", in Chapter 1, about  the big "A" word --AUTHENTICITY.

As I was reading the first chapter I started thinking about what the word "authenticity" really means.
"The quality of being authentic; genuineness."

So what does it mean to be "authentic"? 

"Genuine; real; true to one's own spirit, personality or character"

"Being exactly as appears or as claimed; not false, imitation or copied"

In regards to our Christian faith, what we mean when we use the word authentic is "to be real"; "to be honest about who we are". Real enough to say that my life isn't perfect. That I have struggles, difficulties, temptations, and, yes, even failures.  Why is that so difficult for us to do? Why is it so hard for us to just lay it all out there on the table and admit that we are really broken and weak?

One of the other definitions of authentic is "to be like the original; not copied or imitation". As a Christian, my example is Jesus Christ Himself. Being a Christian is about becoming more like the genuine; the Real One.  He is my Original! As I follow Him, I will stumble and fall along the way because of my own imperfections.  The Bible says in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Somewhere along the way we have gotten the idea that Christians don't have problems. Or, we have bought into the devil's lie that if we have enough faith we won't have any problems! I have even heard TV preachers teach this! That could not be farther from the truth!  Jesus' life certainly was not easy!  I wonder why we think that we should have it easy? 

We go to church and put on our smiling faces and our best clothes, and why do we even do that if we already have it all figured out? Why do we need to go to a place to learn, be built up and encouraged if we already have it all together?

God, through just the first few pages of this book, is challenging me to, lay it all down. To admit that I have many struggles, difficulties, hardships, failures, trials and temptations.  To admit that, "No, I am NOT perfect!"  "No, I don't have it all together!"

I guess you could sum it up by saying that He is challenging me to "GET REAL"!! 

Rather than trying to appear that we "have it all together", we need to be laying it all out on the table and sharing our burdens with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Galatians 6:2 says, "Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ". This is one thing that has been such an encouragement to me since I joined this wonderful network of blogging friends.  The people I have "met" through blogging are a great example of what I believe God meant in this verse.  We carry each other's burdens and pray for and encourage our sisters in Christ.

With those definitions of the word "authentic" in mind, I started thinking about just how authentic I really am? Am I really "exactly as I appear or as I claim to be"? Do you know very many people that are? 

As is pointed out in the very first chapter of this study, women are "pros" at impersonating, well......other women. We are so good at "masking" what is really going on in our lives. We camouflage our weaknesses with our perfect makeup, the latest hairstyle, a new designer outfit with a new pair of shoes to match. We think if we smile big enough that no one will know that we are "dying" inside. 

As Lisa points out in her book,   "we often impersonate the women that we want to be  (or those women that we want people to THINK that we area)"    --those happy, spiritual, caring, strong, content, loving women that have everything together. You know the ones -- the ones that drive the expensive cars, live in the golf course communities, have perfect children that go to private schools, take exotic family vacations, have "Mr. Wonderful" for their husbands and, of course, are deeply spiritual.

Why do we do this? It's because we have determined that if we were to show our "real" side, if we were to be authentic, that we would not be accepted.  So we keep our "true self" hidden. And we've gotten quite good at it, haven't we?

Lisa reminds us that what we really crave is unconditional love and acceptance. We want someone to love us in spite of who we are.

There IS someone that loves each of us in spite of who we are. He loves me just like I am. He loves YOU just like you are and His name is Jesus! Let's GET REAL with Him today!

What you're after is truth from the inside out.       Psalm 51:6

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy 6 Month Birthday, Lewis!

Lewis is our Blue Bicolor Ragdoll kitten who was born March 9, 2008 so he is 6 months old today! Below are pictures of his Mother, Cassie Lane, and Father, Ernest, so you can see where he gets his good looks!

I have included some pictures that show just how much our "little boy" has grown in just 6 short months.  We think that we might should have named him "Hoss"!  He now weighs in at over 8 pounds and he is only 6 months old!

He has the softest "rabbit" fur you can imagine. Petting him is literally like sticking your hand down inside of a bag of cotton balls!

HAPPY 6 MONTH BIRTHDAY, LEWIS!  You are the sweetest Ragdoll ever! We love you, buddy!