Sunday, August 21, 2011

Let's Pick Up Where We Left Off..

Where has the time gone?  I cannot believe that the last time I posted was on May 18th!!  And to think, I had such high expectations on that date, that I was jumping back into the blogging that I love so much.

Well..here we are some 3 months later....so let's just pick up where we left off.  When I last posted, I was just beginning my new "position" at my part-time job in the restaurant where I had previously been working as a Hostess. To say that I was a little fearful and apprehensive about the prospect of waiting tables for the first time in my life, would have been an understatement!  I think that most people have waited tables at some time in their lives, but I never had.  I began working part-time in a dental office when I was 15 years old and never had the opportunity to wait tables.  So...at age 54 (Yikes!)...I waited on my first guests in a fine dining restaurant!  And, I am here to tell you that I absolutely LOVE it!

I have known for some time that my "love language" is "Acts of Service", so this is "right up my alley".  There are so many things to remember and I am still learning how to think ahead and know what my guests are going to need before they even need it, but I truly love taking care of them. I love seeing people have a wonderful dining experience, and I really take pride in offering them the best time service I possibly can. I am currently averaging about 23% in tips, so I am thankful to God for providing me with this opportunity and helping me to learn all that I have to learn. I can do ALL things through Christ!

On another happy note, we have a new addition to our family.  For some time now, I have wanted a little "lap dog"...in a house filled with 2 big dogs and a 13 pound Ragdoll cat!

So, without further ado...

I am pleased to introduce to you, Isabella, who we affectionately call, "Izzie".




"Izzie" is a Bolognese puppy and currently weighs about 7 1/2 lbs.  The vet expects that she will probably weigh about 10 lbs. when full grown, so she is the perfect addition to our pet family. When I found her through a friend on FaceBook, I knew absolutely nothing about this breed, but only that she was a "lap dog" as I had wanted for sometime AND she was adorable!  I drove 4 hrs. (round trip) on the Friday before Memorial Day in a terrible storm, and as soon as I saw her, I knew she was mine!


Bolognese are of the Bichon type and have a single coat which flows in loose ringlets; sort of woolly, rather than silky.  They are not to be trimmed or clipped.  They are very intelligent and have a very keen sense of hearing. (The girl can hear a pin drop in the house next door, but thankfully, she is NOT a "yapper"!

After researching more about this breed, I learned that they were bred in Italy to be companion dogs --- and companion dog she is!  They are known for forming a close bond with their owners.  She is in the middle of everything and is clearly the boss of EVERYONE in the house.



Thus, the name "Izzy-Busy-Body" that we have nicknamed her!





Another reason for wanting a new puppy was that my Boxer, Champ, is now almost 11 years old and is starting to "slow down" a little.  The vet said that it would be good for Champ to have another dog around - that it would help to keep him young.

I think she was exactly right, but I'll let you decide for yourself....

video

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A New Venture


There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day lately...but, then again, if there were any MORE, I'm not sure WHAT I would do!  I was really in hopes that life would "slow down" just a little after my daughter's wedding at the first of April, but so far, I have not seen too much change in the pace.

I am continuing to work as a hostess (several evenings a week) at the local restaurant that I worked at prior to Grace's wedding, but I am now taking on a new venture...SERVING!  A month or so ago, the General Manager of the restaurant asked me if I would be interested in learning to be a server.  He said that I should be able to make more money for the same number of hours worked and he thought that I would be good at it.  My first response was, "Sure!", but then as I began to think about learning something all new, I started having second thoughts.  And, after the first night of training (on a SATURDAY night), I was having serious reservations...and I'm NOT talking about the dinner kind!!

For those of you who haven't discovered this yet, memorizing and retaining information starts to become a little more difficult after "a certain age"...and I have definitely passed that said age! I had no idea of all the "details" that go into running a Fine Dining restaurant...right down to how many inches away the from the table chair sits!  And who knew that each chair at every table has a "position number"?!?!

This week, I will be taking my "Menu Test" where I will be expected to write down EVERY ingredient in each of the Appetizers and Salads on our menu. I have made 3 x 5 index cards (much like I use to memorize my Bible verses) and have been trying to learn all the ingredients, but I must say that I am still struggling with some of the dishes.  I haven't even begun to study the ingredients in all of the Entrees yet, which I will be tested on next...not to mention the extensive wine list!

It is a very fast-paced job and, at this point, I am wondering if I should just stick with being up front at the Hostess stand where I can just "Smile and Wave, Boys...Smile and Wave".  I know I can handle that!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Busy Past Couple of Months...

Well...once again I am returning from a rather lengthy time of being MIA.  I can hardly believe that the last time I posted on my blog was when I was beginning my Beth Moore "Breaking Free" Bible study!  That alone tells me that it has been AT LEAST 12 weeks since I blogged...because my class ended last week!  Yikes!  Where does the time go??

Speaking of "Breaking Free", it was an amazing Bible study and I have to admit that I am kinda sad for it to be over.  I met some wonderful godly ladies and learned so much about the captivity and bondage that the enemy can sometimes keep us, as women, in.  How exciting it was last week to hear testimony after testimony of what the Lord has done in the lives of so many as a result of this study!  I plan to start back through the study at my own pace and just take my time...because there is just too much awesome information to absorb in 12 short weeks and I don't want to miss anything the Lord has for me!

In the midst of this in-depth Bible study, (what was I thinking!)  my youngest daughter, Grace, got married! It was such a joyful time for our family as God sent a wonderful man into our family that He had chosen specifically for Grace and Emma!


It was an absolutely perfect day...the wedding was outside on the Green in our neighborhood and the weather was beautiful!  It was very simple, but everything about the day was just as I had envisioned.  We were blessed to share this special day with about 100 of our closest friends and family members, which made it even more special!


These are just a few of my favorite memories of the day...


Me and both of my girls


Father of the Bride and all the handsome groomsmen


Me and my sweet girl dancing


One of my friends made the cake and it was amazing!  It was almond pound cake and each tier had three layers. Each tier had a layer of Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting and also a layer of Cream Cheese frosting and the cake was iced with a Butter Cream Icing!  I can't even begin to tell you how delicious it was...OR, how gorgeous it was!


We had the Reception at the restaurant where I have been working as a Hostess a couple of nights a week for about a year now and it was just the perfect little Saturday afternoon venue. We had a DJ and there was lots of dancin'!!


Hmmm.....Not sure why my son-in-law, Chad, is the only one going the opposite direction, though?!?! LOL

Welcome to this big ole' crazy family, Josh! We couldn't be more tickled to have you be part of it! We thank the Lord for bringing you into Grace and Emma's lives...as well as into ALL of our lives and we already love you to pieces!


God has now blessed me with TWO amazing son-in-laws! I thank the Lord for the godly men that He has provided for both of my girls! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's TIME....to BREAK FREE!!

Over the years I have done a number of Beth Moore Bible studies. The last one I was a part of was on the book of Esther and it was an awesome study. Every one that I have been a part of has been great...so you can imagine my excitement a few weeks ago when I learned that my church would soon be offering one of her studies that she has recently updated.  

On that Sunday morning, I saw this "promo" for her "Breaking Free' study and as I watched I KNEW that I wanted to be a part of this study, but more importantly, I felt in my heart that God wanted me to be a part of it.


I dropped my registration for the class in the "connection box" at the back of the church on my way out that morning and have been counting down the days until it starts.


Well...it is FINALLY here!  My "Breaking Free" study begins tomorrow night.  Over 100 women are signed up to go through this study with me and I could not be any more excited about what God is going to do in my life and the lives of each of these precious women.

The class is a 12-week commitment...with 5 days of homework each week and class for 2 hours every Wednesday night.  I would have to say, I am a little concerned about all the demands that I currently have, with my work schedules and all the details of my daughter's upcoming wedding...so I covet your prayers as I commit to this study. 

Please pray that I will discover the victory that only comes in complete surrender!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Siesta Scripture Memory Team - Verse #3

\
I can hardly believe that it is already time to memorize our THIRD verse of scripture in the Siesta Scripture Memory Team challenge for 2011.  There are so many verses that I want to commit to memory this year, but for some reason I had a hard time settling in on one for this week.

Last night as I was reading, I ran across this passage in Malachi and I felt like this was the ONE that I was supposed to choose for my SSMT Verse # 3.



Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, 
and the Lord listened and heard.  
A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence 
concerning those who feared the Lord and honored His name.

Malachi 3:16 (NIV)

How awesome is this!  When I am boasting in the Lord with a friend over a cup of coffee, writing a post on my blog, sending an email, or speaking with a girlfriend on the phone - the Lord stops what He is doing and pays attention to what I am saying! He listens and He hears and His heavenly "secretary" is recording the "minutes" from my conversations in a "scroll of remembrance".

I want that heavenly "secretary" to have "writer's cramp" from having to write so quickly to record all of my conversations that honor the Lord! 

The Message puts it this way  -- the names of the God-fearers were written down, all the names of those who honored God's name.

I don't know about you, my sweet friends, but oh, how I want my name to be written among the God-fearers and those who bring honor to His name!

When I live my life in reverence and awe of who He is, He stops what He is doing and listens in to my conversations! Isn't that amazing!

When my life honors God, He keeps a historical record of my conversations in a scroll of remembrance that is being recorded in His presence!

Oh, Lord...how I pray that my life would bring honor to Your name and that there would be PLENTY of stuff to write in your scroll about me!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Joshua!


Twenty eight years ago today, I received the precious gift of a son,

Joshua Reid Davis. 

Since the very beginning of your life, you have always been a "night owl"... making your debut into this world at 4:36 a.m.!  You've remained on that same "time schedule" to this day!  LOL

You checked in to the world at 7 lbs. 3 oz. ... a mere 51 minutes after we arrived at the hospital!  Most everyone that saw you thought that you resembled your dad when he was a baby.

*******

My favorite President of all time, Ronald Reagan, was President of the United States. Leg warmers, scrunch socks and designer jeans were popular fads and "It's Raining Men" was one of the most requested songs. Feathered hair and side ponytails were popular.

******

We have surely been through a lot together since that morning 28 years ago....

You have taught me so much about life.  Your zeal for life is contagious and your love for the Lord and for others is refreshing. You have "never met a stranger" and everyone who meets you thinks that you are such an interesting guy.  You are well-read and knowledgeable about so many topics.


I thank God for the blessing of a son.  It has been an awesome experience to watch God work in your life, especially over the past year, and to see you mature into such an awesome young man. 


Just as I have prayed for you (and your sisters) for many years, my prayer for your life today remains the same:

That God would fill you with all the fullness of His will; with all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 

That He would teach you to walk in a manner worthy of the Christ which you profess.

That He would create within your heart a desire to please Him in everything.

That He would so work in your life that you would bear fruit in every good work.

That He would so create a desire in your heart for the things of God that you would continually be increasing in your knowledge and understanding of His ways.

That God would strengthen you with all power and might according to His glorious supernatural power, so that steadfastly and with patience that you would be able to endure all kinds of trials.

And that the Lord would let you so live a life of thanksgiving for His work of grace --that you are part of His inheritance -- translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.



It is so exciting for me, as your mother, to see God answering many of the prayers that I have prayed over your life.  God IS faithful!

God has begun a mighty work in your life and I  am confident that He will complete it!



Happy Birthday, Joshua...I love you!
Mom


"And this is the confidence that we have before Him that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked of Him."     
I John 5:14-15

Saturday, January 22, 2011

End of a LONG, LONG Week......

This week has been an EXTREMELY long one!

My office is usually open 4 days each week, but because we were closed for 2 days due to snow a couple of weeks ago, we were open 5 days this week to try to accommodate all the patients that had to be rescheduled. It is amazing how much more demanding working one additional day can be!  AND...we are scheduled to work 5 days NEXT week, too!  I think my boss is already rethinking his decision to add these two additional days! We are ALL "pooped"!

In addition to my "regular" job, I also work several nights a week as a hostess in a local restaurant.  I started working here about a year ago,  knowing that there would probably be an upcoming wedding in our family in the near future. Sure enough, on May 4th of 2010, I came home from working that evening to this romantic sight on my patio:


My daughter's fiance', Josh, had built a fire in the outdoor fireplace and he had spelled out "Will You Marry Me" on my patio - in tea lights! How sweet and romantic is that!

Now, their special day is FAST approaching!  On April 2, 2011, my daughter, Grace, and Josh, plan to be married and our family could not be more excited!


As for my second job...what started out as a means to earn extra money that would be designated for their upcoming wedding, has actually turned into something I really enjoy! I call it my "No-Brainer" job....meaning that after my more stressful "day job", my working in this fine dining restaurant is really enjoyable. I love people and since my love language is clearly Acts of Service, it is "right up my alley".

Since I have been working in this local area for the past 11 years, I know many of the guests that frequent our restaurant.  I sometimes say it is like a "Cheers" setting because we have so many "regulars" that come in every week...some of which have their "set" table that they sit at each time they come in.  Some even come several times a week!  Our atmosphere is a very "family" atmosphere which has definitely led to the great success that our restaurant has experienced over the past 7 years.

Last night was the first night of  Queens Feast  - a semi-annual event here in the Queen City.  It is an opportunity for the people of Charlotte to "dine like royalty" for thirty dollars a person over a 10-day period. Many of the upscale restaurants in our metropolitan area participate, giving guests an opportunity to choose an appetizer, entree and dessert -- all for the $30 fare. It also brings a great boost to our local economy in the process--with the July 2009 event serving over 80,000 dinners for an estimated local impact of $3.76 million.


The first night of Restaurant Week was a great success...with our restaurant being on an at least an hour wait most of the night. Unfortunately, we also had to turn away many disappointed guests who waited to the last minute to make their reservations.   ) :

Now that this LONG work week has finally come to a close...I am so excited to have today off!
I have lots of projects that NEED to be done around the house...i.e. mail to sort, bills to pay, 2010 tax "stuff" to be filed away...you know, "fun stuff" like that!

Now... whether or NOT I will DO anything of those things....remains to be seen!


How about you?  
Do you have any exciting plans for the weekend?




Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Interruptions...or Divine Appointments?

This past Thursday morning, as I was having my Quiet Time with the Lord before leaving for work, the Holy Spirit impressed upon me during my prayer time to pray that I would be an encouragement to someone that day that needed encouraging. The last thing that I wrote in my journal that morning was asking God to bring someone across my path that day that I could be an encouragement to.

Shortly after arriving at work, I placed a call to a business colleague and God CLEARLY answered that prayer.  He had me call a person I had not spoken with in at least 3 months and this person, on this very day, was dealing with extreme loss, grief and pain and just needed a "shoulder to cry on" and a listening ear.   God had scheduled a "Divine Appointment" for me!

I had an opportunity to share the love of Jesus and the comfort of the Holy Spirit to this person experiencing so much hurt and pain in her life right now.  I was filled with compassion and my heart broke as she shared with me the circumstances that she was currently facing in her life.

Have you ever had a coincidence that was so special that you felt like God was in it?

I believe many times those "coincidences" are divine appointments -  "meetings" which are God led or inspired.

God is Sovereign. He is all-knowing and all-powerful. He knew that on this very day that this person would need a call from me...to listen to her, cry with her and most importantly, covenant to pray for her. He knew that I ALSO needed this appointment! The more that I shared with her about my faith...the more MY faith increased!

I couldn't help but wonder about how many appointments that God may have orchestrated for me in the past that I was "too busy" to see.  


Those divine appointments that I may have viewed as "interruptions" to my already busy schedule. 


Those situations that came across my path that I ignored because I didn't have time to "get involved".

As I thought about this encounter throughout the rest of the day, the Holy Spirit convicted me of the times that I have not allowed my daily life to be led by the Spirit.  I was challenged to slow down long enough to see, REALLY SEE, the people He has placed in my path; people that need to experience the love and compassion of Christ.  To take a second look at the "interruptions" in my schedule and see possible divine appointments orchestrated by my Heavenly Father.

I was reminded of the lyrics to a popular Christian song by Brandon Heath:

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity.


Give me Your arms for the broken hearted
The ones who are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see.


I pray that, as I go about my daily life, that I would be sensitive to the divine appointments that God, in His Sovereignty, has arranged for me. I know that if I am willing to be led by the Holy Spirit, GREAT things are possible!

Make me willing, Lord....


Give me YOUR eyes....
                                       YOUR heart....
                                                                 YOUR arms....    
                                                                                            Give me YOUR love, Lord! 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Siesta Scripture Memory Team - Verse #2

In 2009, I joined the Siesta Scripture Memory Team (SSMT) for a one year plan of scripture memorization with Beth Moore. God used His Word to speak to my heart in amazing ways that year!

I have been looking forward to the beginning of 2011 so that I could make another commitment to memorize 24 passages of God's Word over the next 12 months. I found in the year 2009 that the accountability of memorizing scripture with other ladies was such an encouragement.

So.....On January 1rst, I decided to join the Siesta Scripture Memory Team again this year. I've got my spiral bound index cards and and I am already on my second entry for 2011. 

The verse that I have chosen for my memory verse for January 15th is:

Ah, Sovereign Lord, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm, 
NOTHING is too hard for YOU.
Jeremiah 32:17 NIV
I listened to this interview yesterday on the LPM Blog and I could hardly believe that in just 1 short month (from Dec. 13 - Jan. 13) LPM has mailed out 8009 Spirals for their 2011 Scripture Memory plan! Isn't that incredible to think that over 8000 people have committed to memorize at least 2 verses of scripture per month over the next 12 months! LPM also has developed an "App" for those of you that are IPhone or IPad users! How awesome is that! So check it out here if you're interested.


And...don't feel like you can't participate because you don't have your cute little Siesta Scripture Memory Spiral. I don't have one of those, either...I am still just using my plain index cards I got from Walgreens. If I end up ordering a "Siesta Spiral", I will just transfer them over to the new "cute" one later.


So...come on, Siestas....won't you join in with me and over 8000 others and commit to hide God's Word in your heart this year? He promises that His Word will NEVER return void, but will accomplish what He sends it forth to do!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Walt!

Today is my sweet husband's birthday!

I can hardly believe that this is his 34th birthday that we have celebrated together!

Walt, I hope that your special day is as special as YOU are to me! 
May God grant you the deepest desires of your heart this year.

I love you very much and look forward to celebrating the next 34 birthdays with you!


Praying God's richest blessings on you today and throughout this year!  
May this be your BEST year YET!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HONEY!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day Thoughts...

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, 
and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is My word that goes out from My mouth:
It will not return to Me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55: 10-11


Thank you, Lord, that You are the one who tells the snow when to fall...
You appoint when it should come,  and to what degree and how long it shall remain. 
Job 37:6

Monday, January 10, 2011

52 Weeks, 52 Letters - A 2011 Project


I have always had a love for handwritten notes, cards, and letters, but with the fast pace of our current society and the advent of email, cell phones, text messages, Skype and Google Talk, I feel like handwritten letters are a dying art.  I just recently was talking with a friend about this and began feeling impressed in my heart that I wanted to do better in 2011 about writing more handwritten notes, cards and letters.  There is just something very special about letters that are actually handwritten and mailed ... and not delivered to the desktop of a computer!

I think that someone taking the time to write you a handwritten note means so much.  It shows that they put a lot of thought into the perfect card or note, they had to plan ahead to have postage stamps on hand and they carefully thought out exactly what they wanted to say... from their heart to yours!

Who doesn't enjoy getting mail from a precious friend or loved one?  I don't know about you, but when I go to the mailbox and find a handwritten envelope in the midst of the plethora of bills, I immediately grab that card out and rip it open - FIRST!

I am also one of those people who save EVERY card, note or letter that I receive from my loved ones and friends.  I have a card box on my dresser that is OVERFLOWING with precious memories that I have received just over the last couple of years!  I have at least TWO other such boxes in the floor of my closet right now!

I also have another VERY special box that contains every "love letter" that my husband and I exchanged when we were dating - while he was away at college in NC and I lived and worked in GA.  As you can see....I am a little sentimental when it comes to handwritten cards, notes and letters.

When I started back blogging recently, one of the first blogs I revisited was my sweet friend, Anita's, at A Woman, A Wife, A Mom.  I saw this post on her blog and I felt that it was another confirmation that I was supposed to write more cards and letters this year...and what better way to do that than to commit to writing a handwritten note to someone for EVERY week during the year 2011!  52 Weeks, 52 Letters!


The details from the blog that Anita linked to in her post were,

“One piece of “real” mail sent out each week. It can be a letter, a postcard, a care package, a thank you note, handmade art, etc. I’m searching for all of the cards and stationary I have collected over the years and gathering them into one place with pens, envelopes (regular & padded), lots of stamps (.28 & .44), a glue stick, unlined index cards (great for making postcards), and a few USPS Small Flat Rate boxes. Oh, and I’m updating my address book.”

So...Thank you for giving me the extra "nudge" I needed, Anita.  I think this is going to be such a rewarding goal for 2011!

Now.....how about you, my friends?  

Would you like to be the recipient of a nice surprise letter in 2011? Share your mailing address with me, if I don't already have it, and who knows what might happen!

Or, maybe this sounds like something you would like to commit to with me this year? 

I would love to have you join me in bringing some much-needed love and encouragement to others this year ...

52 Weeks, 52 Letters in 2011!