Saturday, May 31, 2008


Dad had to have a procedure done on his fistula yesterday, so as soon as I could bug out I headed down there. Shain was already at the hospital.

He was in such great spirits! We had a good time until they came in to give him a bath!

Shain and I walked around downtown for a few minutes while they were getting him cleaned up and looked for locations we could use. He will be posting some of the results of that on our blog.

Then we headed back up to the hospital and Dad was asleep when we arrived, but with just a jiggle of his leg, he shot up and sat on the edge of the bed. Shain helped him get to the bathroom via his wheelchair. He did such a good job getting himself from the bed to the chair and back again. I was VERY impressed with his mad transfer skills!!!

He was really clear in his thoughts. I had come prepared to stay in case the surgery caused him to be foggy, but he wasn't at all, so after a visit I headed home.

I'm looking forward to Sunday when I can get up to see him again.

We took a couple of pictures during our visit. Just looking at them makes me smile. It is nice to have Dad back!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lemonade....That Very Special Drink

My Grandmother was a very good cook, and I suppose she still is, although at 84 she doesn't have the stamina to cook as she did when I was growing up.

That was her life. When they farmed, her job was to provide meals for the hands that came to help. And I never remember going to her house when she did not have a cake displayed on the counter, and cookies in the cookie jar. She could even make homemade corn dogs! Now that was amazing to my little girl mind (and to my big girl mind too).

She made lemonade one day and gave us as glass after Bobby had finished cutting her grass. We asked her how on earth she made her lemonade taste so good, because, frankly, it was the best I had ever had.

She said, "Oh, well, I don't really know. I just add some lemons and sugar til it tastes good."

That set me on a quest to make really good lemonade.

I took a whole bag of lemons and 2 cups of sugar and added it to a gallon pitcher and filled it up with water, and, by George, I had my OWN wonderful lemonade.

Now, I know some people love to just eat lemons. My sister puts a little bit of water with her lemon juice and drinks it (I don't understand how she still has stomach lining left).

Lemons themselves can be so sour we can hardly stand to eat them, but something magical happens when you add some sweetener to the juice, you have one of the best drinks (in my opinion) that you can find anywhere.

I know I have mentioned before, more than once, my love for the writings of Paul. Especially I love the passages in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 where he talks about a problem in his life.

"And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

What an attitude to have. Paul realized that the Lord worked through his problems to provide him not only with strength, but with the Lord's strength. And isn't that what we really want?

Lately, life has handed me a bag of lemon's it would seem. Circumstances have been sour to say the least in some areas, and I long to have God remove the problem that is plaguing my family.

But, when I stop focusing on what I see as lemons, and add in the sweetness of His grace, well, my problems taste a whole lot different to me. And I realize if these present situations didn't exist, neither would some other things, like the closeness I have developed with my brother and sister that has allowed miles to become meaningless and these bitter times to become more palatable as we face them together.

I need Your strength, Lord, for I know without a doubt that I cannot make it on my own. Your grace has been sufficient for me, even in these days when I feel so overwhelmed and under prepared for all that I have faced. It is those times when I don't know how to take the next step I feel Your strength, always, surrounding me and giving me what I need to make it through. And I know that problems come, but I also know, that come what may, my life should glorify You. You are the burning in my heart. Every day that I live. All the Glory, All the Praise, is to You!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Soap Box Hero

From my lofty view here on my soapbox, I can see some things so clearly.

And it is because if this crisp, clear vision I am writing this today.

I know it is incredible to think I have an opinion about anything, but.....

I do~I REALLY do!

And since this is my blog I will therefore and hereafter thereunto....~ehem ehem~....impart unto you my probably not so humble opinion on the following subject:

The World Is A Messed Up Place

Case in point--Bobby and I were strolling through WalMart. I was talking incessantly about some issues of *concern* in my life at present when I happened to clap my eyes on a dude with his entire tighty whitey behind in full view above his low hanging pants.

I cut out, mid sentence, and bellowed across WalMart "PULL UP YOUR PANTS!!!! THAT IS RIDICULOUS!!!"

The guy turned around abruptly, interrupted during his search for the perfect cereal, (as did everyone else in the grocery section), and with his mouth agape, jerked up the clothing article in question and sped down the isle.

I mean, why on earth would anyone think it is OK to walk around with their entire behind in full view for everyone to see?

That is just ludicrous!

And here is the other thing that just burns my biscuits!

When did being immoral become the norm, and being moral cause people to question??

For instance, I know young people that are doing their best to live a life they will have no reason to regret 10 or 15 years down the road. And because they are not all over someone of the opposite sex, because they are not drinking and partying, because they are not having sex in the closets at school, they are subject to the worst ridicule imaginable!

It is simply unreal.

In the times of old it was those of questionable moral character that faced torment from their peers.

Not so in this day and age. And it's not just young people who take part in this. I know of a teacher that questioned a young person's sexual orientation because they were not engaging in inappropriate behavior with someone of the opposite sex, because they have been taught that there are some things you can only give once, and that gift is wonderful and special, they were questioned by someone that is supposed to be upholding a positive image for the young people they teach.

I was appalled. I frankly wanted to go in and bean them in the face with my soapbox, but that is another story.

We have reached a place where wrong behavior is the accepted, and right behavior is condemned. We wonder why our children's school work is suffering, why gangs are increasing, and why more and more young people are ending up parents. We wonder why STD's are increasing so rapidly among school aged children, why drug use continues to escalate.

It is no wonder to me. I have noticed that most children are not raised anymore by parents standing perilously atop a soap box, sharing their views, teaching their believes, and in turn giving their children something to believe in. Increasingly children are raising themselves.

I shudder to think of the next step beyond the full view tighty whitey's in WalMart. Because it won't stop there. With no boundaries, no instruction, there is also NO Limits to what will happen.

So I salute YOU, the true American Parents out there, the ones who are not afraid to shout it from your own perilous perch. I send out my praise to you who still teach your children there is a difference between right and wrong (and that difference is not *we is right and they is wrong*).

And I say to you, don't give up, don't back down, and don't give in! We may only be a remnant of those that have gone before us, but our voices together will still carry!

Here's to all the Soap Box Hero's!! Keep on keeping on!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sweet Dreams

There are so many quirky things I have hung onto from my childhood.

I remember when I was little we always said the same thing each night before we went to sleep.

"Good Night, Sweet Dreams, See You In The Morning."

Nothing fancy, but it was part of the nightly ritual.

Bobby and I raced down after work to check on Dad again. He is still having some confusion. Still having moments when he just can't remember where he is or how he got there.

He was pretty pooped out from dialysis and PT getting him up a couple of times today, so he slept the whole time we were there. His eyelids would flicker some and he did speak to us, although I would have doubted he would remember our visit (my sister told me he actually did!).

He was all slumped down, sideways in bed when we got there. Bobby and I decided before we left that we would get him all straightened out and prop his leg back up before we headed home.

I told him our intentions and his eyes popped wide open.

"WHERE did we get a HOSPITAL bed?!?" he wanted to know.

"Dad," I said, "Remember, you're in the hospital."

He just looked at me for a moment and then shook his head and began scooting up in the bed.

On the way home I told Bobby it must be so scary to wake up time after time and have forgotten each time where you are.

Lord, bring my Daddy some peace tonight. Give him restful slumber and sweet dreams. Awaken not only his mind, but his soul, Lord. Renew and refresh. I love you!!!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

When You Are Old

Bobby is staying with my Dad tonight.

He is still pretty confused.

My Mom said after his surgery, when everyone left to get lunch except her, he broke down. She said he made her hold up his leg so he could see it because he couldn't see it or feel it.

He didn't remember anything about it at first and was upset that his leg had been taken with no one telling him first.

It's strange how the mind works. I know my Dad is in there somewhere, trapped by this incessant confusion that won't let him go. I ache to talk to him again, to see just a glimpse.

And I think, as much as this scares me, how much more must my Mom be afraid. I told her tonight I don't think she can handle him by herself unless some of this fog clears up, because if he can't remember where he is, he's not going to remember he doesn't have a leg.

I know that God has his hand on the situation, on us. Sometimes I get in a hurry for God to reveal Himself, show me His plan. This is one of those times.

But then I remember His Mercy....

There was a song several years ago that I loved, still do I suppose...

One year when I had nothing else to give I played it for Bobby for our anniversary.

Now, it has a whole new meaning. I thought I'd share the words with you.

When you are old and tired and grey,
And wear your overcoat on sunny days,
When your brave tales have all been told,
I'll ask for them when you are old.

When you are old and fall asleep,
And death no longer makes you weep,
Though your body aches with cold,
I'll warm your heart when you are old.

You'll still be the same to me,
A comfort, and a mystery,
And I will be old too, you see,
And I'll need someone to comfort me.

When you are old and pale and gaunt,
And a gentle hand is all you want,
I will give you mine to hold,
And I'll be there when you are old.

Yes, I will give you mine to hold,
And I'll be there, when you are old.

My husband and I have had many years together, and, Lord willing, we will have many more. If I never loved him before, knowing he is sitting in that torture devise beside the bedside of my very first *boyfriend* so I can get some rest, knowing how much he loves them, would put me over the edge.

As I watch my parents deal with this present situation, I look ahead to all the things we may face together as a couple, and I thank God I will face them with him.

This Day

Be sure to check out the new stuff Shain has posted on our blog!

He is getting so good!

I am ready to get back to work as soon as things calm down some here!

Leave us some comments and tell us what you think!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Battle Belongs to *MOM*, uh, ehem...The LORD!

When I was growing up I was always such a quiet girl. I would literally get physically ill when I was faced with speaking up about anything. *One year I was voted "Quietest Girl" and my best friend Sherry was voted "Loudest Girl" -- Go Figure*

After Denise was born she was very sick. We were constantly in and out of the hospital with her. One time in particular when she was so tiny, her IV had come out. The nurses had tried -repeatedly- to restart the IV. It reached a point where she just quit crying and was lying spent in my arms.

My Mom was there with me and I finally looked at them and said, "That is ENOUGH! You will just have to find another way to give her medicine! And she is hungry so someone better be finding me a bottle!"

The nurses all scurried away (I wasn't a nurse at this time) and one brave one returned with a bottle.

My Mother just looked at me with her mouth hanging open. She said, "I didn't even know you knew how to speak up for yourself!"

I quickly replied, "I wasn't speaking up for myself, I was speaking up for my baby!"

I have been in the dragon slaying business every since.

I have taken on teachers, school boards, mean little kids who needed to learn some manners (yeah, I would have taken on their parents too).

I remember one incident in particular when Ethan was younger. Something had happened in one of his classes and I was horrified.

I immediately initiated my *Chain Of Command* for such situations.

The next day I received a phone call at work from a rather large man who said "We need to TALK! I've got a problem with YOU!!!"

I said *in my best dragon slaying voice* "Bring it on BUBBA!"

My poor little Ethan said "MAMA! You can't meet with HIM! Have you seen him? He's HUGE!"

Drawing myself up to my full 5'5" I replied, "You think YOUR Mama's scared of HIM? He needs to be scared of ME!"

My kids had no problem letting me fight for them when they were younger, but times, they are a changing...

Now, when a problem comes up and my hackles start to rise they don't want my intervention.

I guess I can understand. What 17 year old boy in his right mind would run up to a bully and say, "Oh yea, well, wait til I tell my MOM! She'll take care of you!!"

*That had better be followed by ==NaNe NaNe Boo Boo You Can't Catch Me== as they are running as quickly as possible, because that would be the ONLY survival technique available!*

Oh, Puleeze Do Not Be Mislead! My fighting days are far from over. I just use different tactics in my battles now.

Because, even though I have stood face to face with many dragons in my days, it is on my knees I do my very best fighting. That is where the true warrior comes to light.

Because, you see, I know it is not really man that I am fighting. That is not what is truly after my children, I know who the real enemy is. I know the plan of attack this enemy will use.

I realize that I "wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)

It is there on my knees that I give every battle to Him, knowing He is GREATER than the world, knowing He has OVERCOME the world.

Lord, again today, as everyday I give you my children, I give you their lives to use, to mold, to hold. Guide them, protect them, help them to grow. Use them, in all the situations they face, to glorify You. Thank You for giving them to me to love, thank You for loving me that much. And thank You for every battle I've won through You. You are the Mighty God!!

=======As a side note=======

Please continue to pray for my family. We are facing many battles at this time...but He is able!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

In His Hands

Denise is staying with her Papa tonight. He has had a rough day and, I fear, there are some rougher days ahead.

Denise was there when the doctor came in tonight. She said, "Mom, it's like they didn't even hear what the doctor said!"

I gently said, "For just a moment, imagine how you would feel if that were Shain lying there in that same situation after you had been together almost 50 years."

I know that my mother is afraid. My Dad is still unsure what state he is actually in, so he really is not grasping what is about to occur.

My mother is insisting that she wants to stay with him tomorrow night. Her feet are in poor shape, her mouth keeps bleeding, but she wants to sit in the horrifically uncomfortable chair at the bedside of the only man she has ever loved. I have a hard time blaming her.

I told the nurse tonight that my Dad knew he was blessed when he nabbed my Mama. She had the looks of a movie star. The girl asked how he managed to keep all of the other guys away.

He simply stated, "I'd bust their heads in for looking at her!"

It didn't hurt that he was quite a big guy!!

It's 0123 in the morning, and I am thinking about that young couple who found love and have somehow found a way to sustain it over years of ups and downs.

And I am thinking about the day that will coming when it will be time for them to keep their appointment with the King.

Jesus, I have never felt You as close as I do right now. You must surely be carrying me, for in my weakness from this present trial, I know I could not make it to the end without You. I am placing my life, my loves, my all in Your hands, believing in Your promises, knowing they are always true.

Thank You for my Dad and Mom. Thank You for working this time for our good. Every hour I need thee, Lord.

Focus On What Remains

My Pastor preached such an awesome message last Wednesday night that pricked my heart.

I left my Dad a little while ago lying, once again, in the hospital in Valdosta.

He will have surgery again tomorrow, I suppose. From there the water is a little murky.

I just don't know what the outcome is.

But God knows.

My problems and circumstances have never caused Him to become depressed or start taking Valium just to make it through (as my Pastor put it).

I am praying for His perfect will in this situation, as in my life and the lives of my family.

And I can't live my life on "what if's" and "should have's." The past is just that, the past.

But I am going to focus on what remains, for me, for my father. And I'm going to love him.

God, You are good ALL the time. I Bless Your Holy Name!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Baby Girl....

graduated yesterday morning with her Associates of Science in Education!!!

I cannot believe it!! The time has gone by so fast. I am afraid the next two years will too.

You know, Denise, I have so many memories stored up in my heart that are filled with you, the beauty of who you are. And I have so many dreams that are there also, surrounding you and who you are, and who you are becoming.

Never let go of who you are. Because of who He is to you, you have a strength that the world at large can never understand.

And do not allow yourself to become distracted by the flowers in the fields along your path. They may be pretty, and have a sweet smell, but remember, they only bloom for a season. You have something much sweeter awaiting you down this long and winding road you are on.

You have many beautiful days ahead of you, memories of your own to fill the pages of your story. You also have hills to climb, lonely valleys to cross. Such is the way of life, I'm afraid.

I give to you the best advise I ever received. And I received it the day I held my very own miracle in my arms, waiting to leave the safety of the hospital to begin my journey as your mother.

My own sweet Mama stood beside me that day and said, "I'm going to give you some advise right now, and I want you to listen. MAKE MEMORIES."

And, oh, Mama, I have. So, so many. It is those memories that have caused the tears to flow as I write these words. The memories of my little dumplin' all warm and snugly beside me, her breath sweet and hot on my face, her little cherub face soft and peaceful. My sweet little baby.

Congratulations my baby. I love you.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

More Than A Mantle

Tonight my thoughts are on that young man lying in his bed downstairs. Sometimes the responsibility of parenthood overwhelms me.

I am certainly not talking about the earthly responsibility that faces each of us that choose to have children. Although I certainly appreciate this responsibility greatly.

I am talking about the responsibility that befalls us when we have a MAN to raise.

Raising my daughter has been challenging in it own way. But God has been gracious with my girl, giving her that love for her place in the His Word. *Yes, for all you feminist in the world, I believe I have a place, and that I do well to stay in it*

She embraces the role set forth for her, and looks forward, with great anticipation to the time when she can pass on her love of being *womanly and lady-like* and to her role in her family as the helpmate of her husband.

But, tonight, as I sit here thinking about that boy, sleeping soundly in his room, steps away from manhood and all the responsibility that entails, I pray for guidance for myself as well as for my *baby.*

It is these very thoughts that draw me once again to the Word of God. I know that these are more than just words on pages, this is the Voice of My God, My sweetest Friend, speaking to my situations.

Elijah was a prophet. He was also a man. When his years advanced he found Elisha plowing with a team of oxen and cast his mantle onto him. Elisha knew immediately the importance of that act, and leaving his life behind, followed Elijah, ministering to him. (1 Kings 19:19-21)

Then for some 7-8 years, we don't really notice Elisha is there. Elijah continues on in the forefront, Elisha obviously is content to just follow him, serving as his attendant, it would seem.

Until that day when Elijah is carried by a chariot of fire into the whirlwind, it is only Elijah we see.

But that day, we see the mantle again, smiting the waters of the river Jordan, causing them to part so that Elijah and Elisha can pass over on dry ground. It is this day that Elijah asks Elisha what it is he wants him to do for him, and Elisha answers that he wants a double portion of his spirit.

What an impression he must have given Elisha. Those years of attending, of learning, of serving, gave Elisha not only the desire to continue on, but the desire for more.

And as he picked up the mantle, he picked up more than a cloak, he donned a covering. There he walked into the footsteps of his teacher, and put the example he had been watching all of those years to work.

God was faithful in upholding Elisha, because he was upholding the standard set before him by his predecessor.

Tonight I think about my son, I think about the men in his life, great men, godly men, men who are not afraid to walk the path of righteousness. I know the day is coming when one of them will pass by my son, and toss a mantle onto him, give him his purpose, mentor him, and help him to the realization of all God has for him as a MAN.

It will be more than a mantle that will be placed on his shoulders, it will be purpose. And in the time that follows, he will learn the importance of all that he is, and will prepare for all he is to be.

For there is so much I cannot teach him. So I pray for God to let someone pass by, let someone teach him, cover him with the things of God, show him what to do. Then when that day comes he will be ready to be all that he should.

And while I have been more than blessed in teaching my daughter how to love her role in your Word, it is the path my son must walk that I am inadequate to show him. He needs to follow the one that has cleared the path before him already, he needs the one who had already dried the way.

I am so thankful for You. There is so much I cannot do. Help me to do all that I can, and send someone to do what I cannot. Cover my children, Lord. I love You every moment.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Repeat Performance

Life has been so crazy, frantic, scary, and full lately for me I have not had time to focus on some things I wanted to do.

For instance, I want to get a keyboard for the church here, plus I want to get some really nice chairs for our Pastor and any other ministers to sit in and some more decorations.

In the blurred vision I have had lately, that has just not come to pass.

I made a CD at some point last year with the help of Brother Marc Wood and his son Tyler. It was just done there at the church, and in one take, so, I mean, it's not headed for the grammy's or anything, but it still speaks from my heart.

If you are interested in helping with this project, I have listed a few of the CD's for sale on ebay. You may purchase them there with paypal