Say yes to interruptions

Many of you know that my home is a mixture of ages, seasons, and developmental stages. My husband and I are wrestling through being over the hill and journeying into the 50’s.  Also living in the home is a middle schooler, a soon to be sophomore in college, and my parents who are in their 80’s. My oldest visits often and brings our first grandbaby to snuggle with and play games. Her games consist of waving goodbye and giggles.

Yesterday I had a choice to make. Do I keep my schedule to go to yoga, or attend an event with my parents at church. In God’s providence and timing, I ended up at church singing hymns, listening to God’s word, and being filled with a generation of people who know how to love and be kind.  I’ve been in the working world for so long handling conflict, I was surprised by joy to find simple, loving conversation.  For every comment I made, they had words of wisdom that poured into my life. From nervous thoughts about my new job to a dirty house, they would gently smile and their eyes seemed to look far off to remember and encouraging words were shared.  I felt no judgment just continuous emotional hugs–sincere, authentic love.

One lady shared that she was 60 years old when she took a management job at a bank and that it made all the difference in the world for her financially and professionally.  Another person shared that if people come to your house to see what’s in it versus visiting with you then don’t worry about them.  I’m seriously overwhelmed by the boxes and clutter in my house from cleaning out three offices as a school social worker for 23 years.  So if you come over, you just might see a mess.  That needs to be okay.

Sitting across from me, a man shared how he had a wonderful dream about my husband and he had the sweetest smile. The lady sitting next to me shared her memories of doing Tai Chi in her backyard. I sprung to attention and shouted, “You are my soul sister!” I laughed and shared how I do yoga on the beach or outside and my children always say I’m embarrassing them. My long time mentor reminded me to not strive for more money, but more time with your family.  In the end it’s your family you cling to, not your money.   Over and over again folks would hug and share how much they love and enjoy each other.

It’s moments like these that brings your cynical mind to a place of purity and rest. Oh be careful not to let the world convince you that most are unkind, most are selfish, and that there is no time for the simple–singing, eating a meal, and speaking kindness into each other’s life.

Today I was able to do what I missed yesterday, and it seemed so right to do the activity today.  What man plans, God may change. There are times we need to stick to our schedule, and there are times to abandon and listen to your soul not logic. Time marches on. I will always remember sitting next to my mom and dad singing Amazing Grace.

Live now

Live spontaneously

Be kind

 

Your life is a garden

Pictures were taken at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

http://www.lewisginter.org/

Your life is a garden filled with beauty, wonder, and work.

The colors, smells, and diversity amazes you.

The rain may come, but you understand its purpose to replenish the earth, and you welcome the downpour of grace.

You play, work, and find solitude in your garden. God meets you there.

As your garden grows, inevitable change occurs.

You are blessed by new relationships, and you witness the true garden that is pure and filled with the glory of the Lord.

Daughters become mothers, mothers become grandmothers, and grandparents become great-grandparents. Growth, change, and God’s beauty to behold!

As seeds are planted and sowed, we realize the joy of the work and God’s provision.

We do not know what the future holds, but we do know Who holds our future.

Thank you, Jesus, for our family, little baby toes, the work, the rest, and most of all, for this beautiful life you’ve given to each of us.

Thank you, Jesus, for Psalm 32:8! We claim that you will instruct us, teach us in the way we should go and that you will counsel us with Your loving eye on us.

Good morning God! This IS the day that you have made!  We will rejoice and be glad in it!

 

 

 

You can always come home

Home.

the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

Your dwelling place is uniquely different. The decor, the smell, the pictures on the wall, as well as the food in your refrigerator all support your idea of a safe, happy haven. At the end of the day, you come home to let your guard down, throw on your pajamas, and recharge. The people who greet you may or may not be encouraging, but most of us would say that our family is our refuge. We acknowledge challenging times with those we love can make it hard to come home sometimes but in a lifetime of walking through the front door and settling in, we can agree home is where the heart is.

My father wrote me a letter recently. He felt led to encourage me to move forward. How can we move forward with confidence? So many quotes and scriptures could provide the stepping stones for us to embrace change, but the bedrock of embracing change is the constant–home.

I have this long rope in my home with duck tape covering one inch of the end of the rope.

When my vision is short or my circumstances are dictating my moods and actions, I’m reminded of my focus.

Home.

My eternal resting place becomes my reality and all the nonsense and struggle seems doable, a part of the journey versus a setback. When I look back through the years, my home has been a place of refuge, chaos, joy, confusion, peace, new beginnings, traditions, loss, celebration, and a constant…

My life may change but the constant is home–day in and day out– I can come home. One day we will have a perfect constant –heaven. Thank you, daddy, for creating a home on earth for me, and for pointing me to my Daddy and my eternal home.

My daddy’s letter:

Thinking about you this morning, and praying for you as well. I felt I should pause and write you some thoughts I have regarding your transition to your new job.

First of all, the sermon I heard yesterday by Gabriel Swaggert had some very inspiring points. He talked about the time Israel was suffering a famine because of their wicked ways, but he spoke of how God through Elisha said I am going to pour out a blessing on you. Gabriel also spoke of the time God’s people were facing the Red Sea, and the Egyptians were about to catch them. God said, “Move forward!”  They did and God opened up the Red Sea for them to cross to the other side.

This morning in Louise and my devotion time, the story was about God calling Abram to leave home, country, family and friends to go where He would lead them.

I know you are apprehensive about your change in jobs, but God is telling you to move forward and He will make the way for you. Moving forward you will be leaving a job of security, friends, and a place where you are comfortable. A new land of opportunity where you will be a blessing, and you will be bathed in prayer asking God to bless you as well.

You are loved by your Saviour, your husband, your children, your grandchild, and by your Mom and Dad. It will be a great experience because of God’s Spirit watching over you, and remember you can always come home!

I love you Anna, and I pray you will see God’s love in the morning because you have put your trust in Him. I pray that He will show you the way because you have lifted your soul to Him. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord cause His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Love you, Anna,

Dad

A moment can change us

The moment happened in a blink of an eye, but all events leading up to the moment were calculated by God himself. The God moments. You and I could argue that these moments frequent our day, but there is something about a moment in which you experience time standing still, and you step out of your surroundings.

The list was long and the time was short. Why is it that we save cleaning day for just before an event occurs in our home. Prepare, study, create, wipe down, pick it up, vacuum, and now it’s time to engage. It was a sweet group of girls who came to Bible study that night. Considering it was Superbowl Sunday, I knew attendance would be low. My soul was in a different place.  A good place.  A place of receiving and noticing. Flowers were fragrant and red, Valentine’s Day hearts were promises to be written and mailed to loved ones.  Sweet, young ladies gathered around the table as we wrote our Valentine’s day cards.  We were listening to Natalie Grant’s new album when “How Great Thou Art” came on. I asked if they knew this old hymn–they all are growing up with contemporary worship, which I love, too.  I started singing, and truly just felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. Singing, giggling, talking about who to write our Valentine’s Day cards to, and eating yummy snacks. These young ladies are truly so special to me.

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I looked up while singing along with the song, and she caught my eye.

Like those romantic moments in movies or the time someone is overwhelmed in a crowd and all becomes silent and slow-motion, she looked at me with an expression I had never witnessed from her and time stood still. In a moment, her endearing, baby eyes seemed to say, “I’m so glad you are my grandmother.” It was as if she had finally realized just how blessed she was to know this love, and her smile turned up ever so slightly to confirm this realization. In a moment, we connected in such a way that showed living evidence of God’s eternal love and grace. God’s presence filled her and shined from her eyes and soul.

She loved me without knowing me. Pure love and acceptance.  I walked over to her and took her from her mother’s lap. She seemed to leap into my arms, and then the kiss. One, big, sloppy kiss on the cheek confirmed what she was trying to say.

What a post. If you’ve made it this far, I can only say, “You had to be there.” It’s as if my 51 years of life led to this moment. There will be more hugs and kisses, but the first realization of love between a grandchild and her grandmother will happen in a moment, and everything builds from that interaction.


When heaven opens up and rains down love through the life of a child, all the things that worry us and make us fret seem ridiculous and insane.

Thank you, Holy Spirit for preparing my heart and helping me to be mindful and aware of this shower of love.

Adelaide, Gigi loves you, too.

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Isn’t it so fitting that Jesus came to us as a baby? In the innocence of a baby, He looked into the eyes of humanity, and said, I love you with an everlasting love.

He knew you since the beginning of time, and He loves you perfectly.

I pray He will reveal His love to you in such a way that you draw near to Him. He has Holy “kisses” to share and delights in you.

Image result for jesus delights in you

 

 

 

 

DIY Bath Bombs

Thanks to brightnest.com for their wonderful recipe and instructions.

bathbombs
http://styletips101.com/beauty-tips/diy-bath-bombs.html
Valentina and Laura would like for you to watch their video on how to make bath bombs! You will be amazed. The aroma filled our house with lavender and essential oils.

Video clip below. Please click on link or watch video  

https://flipagram.com/f/128yPqiaboT


 

 

She’s A Lady

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Valentina Hebb singing Polly’s song, She’s a Lady:

The Program honoring Polly’s life:

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Tom Lloyd, Polly’s brother, singing a song he wrote, Heaven’s Avenue

Polly’s treasured song through the years.  As I went through her scrapbooks, I was reminded that I sang this song at her retirement party!   She loved the Gaithers.

Polly’s favorite expressions:

“You are a peach!”

“I could just smack your jaws.”

“Up-to-date and highly satisfactory!”

“Just Kidding Lady!”

“Anna Peets” (her endearing term for me)

My sweet Vivian asked if I were okay during the service. I expressed to her the void we were missing from someone who deeply loved us and expressed that love through the years. Vivian so wisely shared that, “It’s our turn!”  We have the opportunity to love like Polly and make a difference in that love.

Polly loved to share the story of my birth. She awaited the call–boy or girl– at work.  When she found out a little red-haired girl was born, she weaved a story of hysterical laughter and tears throughout the office. From birth on, Polly brought joy and adventure to our lives. Her love for music, travel, people, and Jesus wove a beautiful story that will always be a part of us.

Polly truly was a lady. Her character and principles were important to her.

We love you so much Polly Anna…..

Rest in peace and keep singing His praises!

 

 

 

Jelly Toast

I grew up in an older home from infancy until about sixth grade.  My years there were filled with warm summer nights with box fans in the windows, crickets serenading me to sleep, and a pretty pink canopy bed, with pink shag carpet. My yard had large oak trees, and one tree was well suited for a tree house and rope swing.  We’d jump from the tree house ledge on the rope swing and fly through the air.  That was the closest I ever got to flying as a little girl, and it was pretty close.  My brother closest in age to me, loved to dare me to do things; and I aimed to please.  He dared me to fly on the first jump off the ledge, meaning, I would be at the highest elevation.  That day I flew high; however, with gravity, what goes up, must come down. Down I went. Hard. I landed on my feet, and I can still feel the sting. I impressed his friend that was visiting.  I can still see his eyes wide and mouth open.

I’d give a million dollars to have a picture of that tree house and our swing.

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My mom sent me this picture of our home. Much has changed. Trees have been taken down, businesses have popped up around what used to be my backyard, and they have modernized the home.  In fact, the home is a business. Looking at the front yard, my mind went back to a revival night.  We provided worship music, a message, and watermelon.  It was a night of adventure and mystery.  In the dark of the night, we worshiped and poured out love to our neighbors. Folks sat on blankets and sang along with the musical talent on the front porch. When the watermelon was passed around, as a child, I was thrilled. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted watermelon again quite like that night–sweet, filled with water, crisp, and smelled divine.

My family is away on vacation. I’m much older with a full life. I recently became a grandmother. Becoming a grandmother forces you to reflect.  I watch my oldest daughter with my grand-daughter; and I go back. Memories I’ve stored in the recesses of my mind spring forth like a pop-up book–taking you by surprise at the beauty and details. This side of the memory has more meaning. You close your eyes and imagine your grandchildren’s memories they will make with you.

Jelly toast.

Our kitchen had the largest table to fit the whole family for meals. My mom was an amazing cook. One afternoon, a friend was visiting, and she served coffee and jelly toast. I was sitting next to my mom across from the friend.  The window was open, and the toaster on the table.  She would toast the white bread, smother the softness with real butter, and then the grape jelly. Up to that point, I had not really experienced the process of jelly toast.  I guess it was the company, the breeze, the simplicity of the afternoon, but my mouth had never tasted such heaven. I loved the way she toasted the bread just enough to make it warm, but not crisp, or burnt. What was equally unusual was my mother’s change in the rules.  She was conservative.  You ate three balanced meals a day, no snacks in between except for fruit, and over eating was not encouraged.  I thank her for this.  I’m healthy today because of her wisdom and discipline. This time was different. She picked up on my experience of heaven and decided to serve my fantasy of jelly toast.

Like Oliver, I asked for “more”, and instead of turning me out, she served me.  I think I ate about four pieces of jelly toast that day.

On our vacation, we had breakfast together; we had jelly toast. Grape jelly.  Butter. Warm toast.  I told them my pop-up book memory, and my youngest smiled at me. “Grandma made me jelly toast, too.”  We reminisced together.

Life is much like jelly toast stories. We experience the daily grind–work, cleaning, disappointments, chores, going, and doing. The necessary prevails.  In fact, the necessary provides the structure to experience the jelly toast stories. Simple things you do out of love will be remembered and treasured for a life time. The next time you are doing the ordinary for someone extraordinary it matters. You are creating a beautiful pop-up book, in which, your love will be the thematic thread woven in the legacy of your family story.

 

jelly toast

My house is filled with a thousand dreams….

“I just pray that hope will go on living
In this house of a thousand dreams” Martina McBride

When I hear this song–I go back, smile, and the happy tears flow….