Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Iris in my backyard

Oh my, I don't know if you like flowers, but my favorite one is the Iris--just happens to be the Tennessee state flower! However, I fell in love with Iris when I lived in Georgia. My father always had plenty of them blooming all over our yard. His mother always had plenty of them blooming all over her yard! So, it was only a matter of time until I talked him into planting me some when I moved to my first house on 2862 Windy Way. For 9 years we enjoyed my "hand-me-down" iris (whose great grandparents first lived in my grandma's yard in Commerce, GA). But when we moved to Sullivan Farms, I never got around to planting any iris.

However, in August of 2007, I talked my mother into helping me choose an assortment (so we hoped)of my father's iris. We brought them to Tennessee, and planted them in the late summer in the raised bed that surrounds our pool. She warned me that they most likely wouldn't bloom in 08, but this year, WOW! I simply can't get over them! I go outside every morning and walk around admiring them--the delicate petals, their strong stems, the green's silly really but they are seriously amazing. What amazes me is that they do this all by themselves. Besides watering a bit when it gets dry in the summer, I've done nothing!

Makes me think about the best things God does in my life, just given the proper planting, a little water and good soil--and things bloom! And all this time I've been thinking I had to produce the blooms--God just wants me to soak up the nutrients, stretch toward the light, stand firm in the cold and He'll take care of the "show."

Ok...I need to post pictures, but once again you'll have to wait a day or two for those as my camera is with me but the cable that hooks it up to my computer is across the way in my garage office. I hope something's blooming in your yard too!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Prom Weekend

I never went to prom when I was in high school. I know, that's sad. I'm a very well-adjusted adult woman, been married to the GREATEST man in the world for 22 plus years, and would have been proud to have been his prom date, but we didn't meet until 7 years beyond that time in my life. So, when I was in high school, the fanciest dress I ever wore, I wore on Easter Sunday (and mine matched 3 others that my sisters were wearing! Homemade by my loving mother from a Simplicity pattern and pastel blue dotted swiss.)

So, when Mikel landed her prom date, I enjoyed every single minute of it! I loved looking for the right dress, watching her embellish that right dress with her own design (she had to add straps to fit dress code, but added a few other splashes of white to match her date). Then, when it got to be prom day, Kaleigh and I both went with her to get our nails done, and to purchase last minute bobby pins and doo dads.

I loved watching my dear friend (and neighbor) curl her hair, and totally enjoyed listening to Mikel tell me how nervous she was. This is the kid that can stare down a fast-pitch pitcher and hit a line drive when the count is 2 outs and 2 strikes at the end of a tournament, but putting on a dress makes her nervous!
But when he came to get her and I snapped the photos' I didn't smile anymore. Instead I blinked back tears. Where did it all go? How did we get here? When did my precious baby girl grow into this gorgeous young woman? Is there a way to slow it all down? Will she really leave me someday, draped on the arm of her own "knight in shining armor" to never call my house her home again?

Straps and bows--$18.37
Shoes (on sale!)--$12.99
Bobbie Pins--$3.89
Seeing Mikel smile for the camera--PRICELESS

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


This isn't many--but just a few

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Break the beach

I absolutely LOVE spring break. And this year's might go down in my personal history as one of my favorite break's ever. We took our family plus two to Destin, Florida where we unashamedly exposed our winter-white skin to the first rays of warmth (well, it was warm if you laid down flat on your back and stayed there close to the sand--and if your towel was a dark color. Did you know that dark colors absorb heat?). TJ got enough sun to create a burn, and I wore SPF 30 for the first time in my life. But we all came home with a healthy glow--nonetheless.
Tom and I rode bikes, he and Kaleigh played tennis daily (until Kaleigh broke her raquet strings--just like a PRO!), Mikel hung out with her beau, and TJ and Chase found a different group of girls to see each day! (They took a 7 mile bike ride to one set, then talked us into delivering them to another. I've never seen two young men take such full advantage of the beach!) I had all the starbucks I wanted, AND we found a Shake's (great frozen custard that is worth every calorie it holds).
We ate in--and we ate out. It was all good. But most of all--I didn't write anything, I didn't plan anything (well--maybe I made a few plans) and I didn't accomplish anything (except maybe a slight tan line). It was GREAT!
Reminded me of college days when I'd collect apples in the cafeteria line, then buy a jar of peanut butter, a loaf of bread and pool my pennies with my friends to rent a room across from the beach where we'd simply soak for two whole days before we rolled our rear-ends right back up 331N to 65N to Samford's campus before curfew on Sunday.
Those were the days, and so are these. I'll try to get some pictures on here soon.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I'm back!! And so are the future apples!!

Oh my, what a few weeks I've just had. Have any of you ever read "Hind's Feet on High Places?" I'm thinking of offering that book as the "homework" for our women's Bible study gathering at Thompson Station Church this summer. Great book!! Maybe my all-time favorite.

Anyway, Much-Afraid (the little girl who dares to follow her Great Shepherd to the high places) gets caught in a valley of mist. For days she wanders around in that valley. You begin to wonder if she'll ever get to the edge of the mist! Well, that's where I've been these past few weeks.

It all started with my mission trip to East Asia. Great trip--lasting impact--there will be more to that as I get recommitted to this blog. But anyway--while I was there I received a critical email. Not critical in importance, but the kind of critical that makes you scrunch up your eyes, and utter, "ouch." I sensed God's assurance that He was far too kind to try to tell me something of significance through hurtful words, and quickly responded to my sender, and started praying that I'd let it be.

That's when the mist began to fall. The weather got a bit nasty in March--you know, those days when the sun refuses to shine, and even though the trees bloom--you just aren't sure spring has really sprung? (Today, by the way totally blasts that doubt away! It's a gloriously beautiful day and my APPLE TREE IS IN FULL BLOOM!!!)

And then, my computer crashed, my book was pressing me each week, Mikel turned 17, her dog got sick (I'm talking really sick)--and my inner thought life cried "insurrection!" as negative voices out-shouted my commitment to truth, and I sunk into the miry depths that David spoke of in his psalms. Before I knew it, all I could see was mist...endless mist.

This went on for days, weeks even. I started approaching everything I put my hand to with only one thought in mind, "what are they thinking? I started doing ministry for my criticizers! I started responding to the thoughts (or the perceived thoughts) of others and lost my way.

The only oasis I experienced was when I left home to go and speak to other women's groups--oh, what great weekends and dinners we've had this Spring! I thank God for the ministry you shared with me without even knowing you were doing so!

But the best part of this past month was that Tom and Jesus were in the mist with me. Everyday Tom tried to do battle with the voices in my head--it was not pretty. And, all along the way Jesus held my hand.

It was this weekend, while I was speaking to the women at Whitesburg Baptist in Huntsville, AL that I came out of the mist. God reminded me to hold on to His promises past the point of "I've gotta let go" and that soon I'd be walking on the water. He also reminded me that when I can't discern His voice, I just need to go back to the last thing I know I heard him say (this is Tom's advice--and good advice I think). And when I went back to the last thing I know my Father said to me it was this,

I love you.

I'm not sure yet what He wants me to "do" for Him--but right now, I'm just holding tight to that word.

This is a great time of year to reflect on the powerful truth that you and I--we are LOVED by God!

And that is enough.