Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Weekend Wrap Up

We had my parents here with us for the long weekend. It was wonderful. They were supposed to be here Thursday afternoon, but both of them had the dreaded stomach bug AGAIN. That changed their arrival time to Friday afternoon. They needed to get away as much as we needed to see them. It amazes me to watch them with Chad. They adore him and he returns the affection. Their as proud of him as they are one of their own children. We spent Friday afternoon watching the girls swim and then Friday night we printed bingo cards out to play along with the T.V. show on ABC. It was so much fun.

Saturday, we knew we wanted to get them to RELAX so we indulged Dad in one of his favorite pastimes. He loves to walk through new houses and houses under construction. I love to see him relax.

Sunday was the best day. Jerry Vines was preaching at our church and Dad really enjoys hearing him preach. (Dad always went to his church in Jacksonville when he was down for exams and classes during seminary.) Since it's hard for them to get away on Sunday's it was so neat for them to be here on this weekend. That's God working it out. They needed the encouragement. We spent Sunday afternoon with our dear friends Ron and Pam. We cooked out at their new house and just visited. We all needed the comfort of familiar friends. So often I feel like I'm getting to know people, which I love doing. But there is just something about spending time with those people who "get" you. Who love you and know what makes you tick. It was just a fun afternoon/evening. :)

Which leads me to this weekend. I can not wait!! I've got some dear sista's coming in for a grown up slumber party. I'm praying right now that God will give us a wonderful time together. I'll post pictures after it's over. These are all girls who love the Lord with every cell of their being. They are such an encouragement to me and I love them dearly. Okay, the tears are starting and Chad is sitting across the living room giving me the "What did I do?" look.

I stumbled across this quote today. I love it. It sums up so much of my testimony. I just wanted to share it with you.

"God is God. Because He is God, He is worthy of my trust and obedience. I will find rest nowhere but in His holy will, a will that is unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to."
– Elisabeth Elliot

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Why Do I Sing in the Choir?

Before I launch into this subject, I want to thank you for your comments and e-mails about Chloe's reaction to her new bike. (For those of you who e-mail me, I promise it's safe to post a comment here!!)

I think it's important for you to know how Emma responded to her sister's gift. Emma was just as shocked and a little confused about what was going on. After all, it wasn't a birthday or anything. As we went out to ride, Emma looked at me with tears in her eyes. I knew this was coming. She said, "Mom, I know that I'm getting Chloe's old bike, but I don't have anyone to give MY old bike to. Who can I give it to?" We were so worried about her feeling left out, but she hadn't felt that way at all. Soooo, as awesome as Chloe's response was, to me Emma's was just as great.

Okay, on to the subject at hand. I've been playing the piano at a couple of different churches quite frequently and have really missed my "home" choir. Tonight was my first night back at rehearsal. I looked forward to this time all day. Rehearsal has always done wonders for my weary soul and body. While I love being at home with my girls, I especially needed the time away today.

What I didn't expect was to hear so much grumbling. There is an attitude among some in the alto section like you wouldn't believe. Just grumbling and complaining. I was really holding my tongue and praying. I didn't get the "okay" from God to respond to the grumbling. I by no means agreed with what I was hearing, but I'm learning that sometimes no words are just as powerful. So, I listened and prayed.

This was hard for me. Our worship pastor and his staff cover each Sunday's service in prayer. I know that they do because God moves each week in a powerful way. (Over and over again we see how God orchestrates a theme in our services.) They do a great job of picking music that not only glorifies God, but lines up with scripture. They have, what I see is one of the hardest ministries in the church. It's impossible to "please" 8,000 different people each week. They realize this and their concern is pleasing God and leading people in true worship.

How dare we come into rehearsal or a worship service with an attitude that there is only one style of music acceptable to God. How dare we sit and grumble about a style of the song instead of meditating on the lyrics. There is a message behind the melody and style. How can you say that singing scripture is not the type of music that pleases God? I just don't get it. If you're that unhappy, find a place where you can worship without grumbling! My parents taught me that you respect the authority God places in your life. I believe that our church staff is part of the spiritual authority in our lives, and they deserve our prayers, love and respect. (Now, if there is something that contradicts scripture in a song or action, then by all means go to them in the way scripture teaches us to. If you're unhappy because of a musical style then keep your mouth shut.)

Satan wants nothing more than to destroy unity among believers. The enemy is using this issue in more than one church. In fact, it seems that every music ministry seeking to draw people into worship is battling this. When will we wake up? It's a ploy of the enemy to hinder the worship of Almighty God!!! We have a choice. We can come to worship, be it rehearsal or corporate worship, with the attitude that I'm going to glorify God. Regardless of the style of music, regardless of what others are saying, I'm going to worship my God. Or, we can come with a chip on our shoulder, an attitude of rebellion and discontentment and be a discouragement to those around us. I don't know about you, but I need Jesus! I don't have the time or energy to fuss and argue over a style of music. It's not about my personal preference, it's all about HIM. It's about His glory reflecting off of our faces to people who are hurting and searching.

May our personal styles never get in the way of the message of Christ. Let's find ourselves face down in worship, so that we may face up to the glory of our Father.

Monday, May 21, 2007

New Bike


Chloe received quite the surprise Saturday afternoon. She has been saving her money for this bike, since January. This is a "real" bike with handbrakes and gears. It is blue with polka dotes on it and according to her, matches her eyes.

This bike arrived shortly after a particular grandparent left. (The bike shop delivered it) The mere site of this beauty of a bike evoked tears of joy. Chloe's mouth was on the ground in surprise. Even the sweet lady from the bike shop cried when she saw how happy Chloe was. It was one of the few times Chloe has been completely surprised, she was blown away.

Chad and I were blown away by the generosity of the gift, but even more blown away by her immediate response . She came inside to call and say thank you. When she went upstairs to get her tennis shoes on, we heard this "conversation" coming from upstairs. So we, like all good snoopy parents, crawled half-way up the stairs to listen. She was thanking God for being so good to her and for using this grandparent to give her this bike. She then broke out into praise songs. She was very aware that every good thing comes straight from the Father. She had thanked the earthly giver but she didn't forget to thank the ultimate giver and that just brought tears to my eyes.

We've talked about how extravagant this gift was. It was unexpected and brought great joy. It was a generous, lavish gift just for her. Much like the gift of Jesus. Our God, gave us the most lavish extravagant gift, His only Son. This was a sacrificial gift like none other. His only Son's life. The very thought of it brings chills to my body. I know the joy of giving a gift and what satisfaction it brings when the recipient accepts it with heartfelt gratitude. What it must do for God when someone accepts His gift! Just like this grandparent planned this surprise just for Chloe and took great joy in her response. God gave the ultimate gift when He sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sin. He takes great joy when we come to that place where we acknowledge Jesus as the one and only way to the Father and accept Jesus, the greatest gift, as our personal Savior. Even the angels rejoice when one comes to this point in life. How great the Father's love for us.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Nights

It's the first Friday night of pool season in our neighborhood. The water has been frigid and so far only the under 10 crowd are brave enough to actually get in!! I have enjoyed getting out with a good book and a cup of coffee or tea and soaking up some sun while my girls shiver in and out of the water.

This afternoon, after I took the eldest of my offspring to a friends house, I grabbed "The Who" (E's nickname) and took her over for a late afternoon swim. She loved it. There were some little girls from up the street we hadn't met yet, so she met some new friends and I got to talk to two other mom's. During our conversation I was very casually able to talk about the Lord and church. Come to find out, one family goes to our church and haven't plugged into Sunday school yet. This led to talking about women's Bible study, a subject near and dear to my heart. It was a refreshing conversation. I'm praying for more like them.

I'm looking forward to spending a little time tomorrow with my Father-in-Law and one of his friends. (They are up from Florida.) We haven't seen in-law set "A" since Christmas and we miss them terribly. (We meaning the girls and I. Chad spent a long weekend with his Dad in January snowmobiling in Utah.) I hate that Zuzu won't be with them, that will just give us more incentive to make a beach get-a-way.

In-law set "B" has had a rough week. Their beloved boxer bull-dog "Gabby" passed away last Saturday night. They got the call from the vet on Sunday afternoon. It was 13 years ago this fall that Chad and his little sister Lindsay went and picked Gabby up from the breeder and brought him home to their mom. He was a big baby, very gentle. When the oldest set of twins were toddler age boy did he take a beating!! They napped on that dog, crawled on that dog even shared goldfish with him. Once they were walking, they chased that poor dog all over the place. He kept that "somebody help me" look until they moved out!! But,secretly I think that dog loved the attention. My mother-in-law can't say much about this right now. I feel bad for her, she loved that dog like a child.

This week, I'll be planning for the next two weekends. Memorial Day weekend, my parents are coming down. Hopefully, my siblings and their families will be here as well. My dad is turning 60 and we want to surprise him by having all the kids and grandkids in one place. Then, the following weekend, Chad and the girls are leaving and my "Sista's" are coming in for a grown up slumber party. I am so excited!!! I just hope they will all be able to come. I'll post pictures from both weekends so you can check out all the excitement. :) It should be a fun 2 weeks.

I'm still praying about the lady up the street. So far I haven't had an opportunity to speak with her. I'm sure God is orchestrating something. He is so cool like that isn't He!

Oh, by the way here's a major praise. Chad landed himself a HUGE insurance client this week. We've been praying for two weeks as he prepared and delivered a quote to a potential client. We found out yesterday he got the account. Girls, this is so big and all the details coming together the way they did are nothing but a big ole' flashing yellow neon arrow point straight to God. God is in the details of our every day life. I say this often, and I'll say it to the day He take me home. He wants to be included, ASK HIM TO BE!! Invite Him to get involved!! He's just longing to show you some great things.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This morning was beautiful. Chloe and I got up early to finish up her assignments for the day, she had a play date this afternoon. As we took out the trash and tended to some plants I'm attempting to keep alive...we were overcome with the smell of smoke. It hit us the moment we stepped outside. Our eyes started to water, and we both got a little choked up. I later heard on the news it was from the fires in South GA and Florida. I can't believe we can smell it all the way up here!! It makes me so thankful for the rain we're receiving now, I just pray that those areas south of us get it too.

Anytime I think about wildfires, I think about how powerful they are and how hard it must be to fight them. But I also think about how fast they can destroy God's creation. I have a neighbor who is kind of like a powerful wildfire. At the point I'm typing here, I don't know her name and it's not from being unfriendly. She walks everyday with her pepper spray in one hand and her cell-phone in the other. She has 911 and the Gwinnett County Animal Control on speed dial. Fortunately, she lives around the corner from us. She doesn't like animals or children. In the past 6 weeks, she has called the police, and/or animal control at least 10 times on our neighborhood pets. She has complained specifically about two families each time. Those families were told if they were called again they would take the dogs and the owners would have to pay $200 a dog to get them back. Now, I'm not an animal lover, but that's a little extreme.

Since our driveway has become the "hang-out" for the bike gang, (on any given night there are 5-10 kids riding bikes and our driveway is like home-base for parents and children alike) we have heard all sorts of stories. We listen and smile, say oh my and do not add to the stories. (We're trying to stop a little of the gossip that goes on)

I've decided to try and befriend this lady known as the Dog Nazi. I was helping Emma with her handwriting yesterday and she was copying Proverbs 15:1 "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." It hit me, the only time people around here are talking to her is when there is a confrontation. So, I've asked God to give me a "situation" to speak kindness to her. So far, the girls and I have been able to get a half-hearted wave and a very forced "hello" when she's walking. That's a start!! We are putting Proverbs 15:30 into practice. "A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones." I'm praying that we can bring a little joy to her heart and that God will open the doors to share the GOOD NEWS with her. I believe she is just like us, she has a hurt that needs God's touch.

If you have any creative ideas, leave a comment. I'm thinking of a small flower basket to hang on her front door knob.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day?

This has been such a different Mother's Day for us. We intended to make a surprise visit to my Mom and Chad's mom up in Chattanooga, but the stomach bug is still visiting our family. We spent most of the night with Emma in the bathroom. Thank goodness she seems to be recovering much faster than Chloe and I did. I guess there is a difference in being sick while traveling and being sick in the comfort of your own home. I'm glad for her that she got the comfort of our home!!

This day has brought a wave of emotions like none other. When we got home yesterday, Chad a huge bouquet of white and red roses on our breakfast room table. I read the Mother's Day/Anniversary card from him it was, as usual, very touching.
At lunch time, the girls started looking at those roses. They asked Chad how many there were and I said 13 for the 13 years we've been married. Chad said, "count again". Well, I hadn't counted, just assumed. So I began counting and there were 13 red roses, one for each year we've been married. Then Emma asked why there were 4 white roses.

I knew immediately, and Chad knew that I knew. It was to be between us, but Chloe quickly piped up. She had figured out there was a rose for each of our children. He had included the two we haven't met but love and think of daily. The two we will hold in heaven. The two who would turn 11 and 10 this year. The two that made us realize how much we wanted to be parents. The two that made me realize how deep I could love someone I had never seen or touched. God used the loss of these babies to begin a fresh love affair with Him.

You see I felt the loss of children I never held or touched, but I loved those babies with my whole being. This was that deep mothering love. It was different than anything I had ever experienced, it was deep and it was fierce. How hard it was for us to walk through those times. It made me think of my God and how hard it must have been for Him, my Abba Daddy, to watch his Precious, Sinless, Beautiful Baby Boy die a cruel horrible death..... for me... for you. How deep His love is for us. How fierce His love for us! I pray God is so much more than a crisis God to you, I hope that you are in head over heals in love with Him and His son Jesus.

Saturday, May 12, 2007



This is my Great-Aunt Vene on the Left and my Grandmother on the Right. This picture was taken after we had laughed so hard our sides hurt and they were in tears. Grandmother told us on the way home they sat up every night until 11:00 or later just talking and laughing and crying. I'm so glad my girls were able to meet their Great-Great-Aunt. How often does that happen?!??!!!!
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New Mexico Pictures


The girls and I at the Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge in Roswell, NM. We spent 2 days here exploring God's creation.

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New Mexico Picture


Chloe, My Mom and Emma after climbing a sand dune at White Sands. It was so beautiful there.

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Home Sweet Home

What a long week we've had. Chad picked us up in Douglasville this afternoon and we pulled into our driveway around 2:30. We made great time today. Yesterday was another story. You already know that Chloe and my Mom were sick all day Thursday. We made several stops that day and were so exhausted Thursday evening. Chloe finally stopped "getting sick" around 10:00 Thursday night, slept great and woke up a little hungry. Mom, slept well but still didn't feel great. Up to that point, Emma, Grandmother and I showed no signs of this thing. That was until lunch.

After lunch I started feeling bad so Mom took over the driving. We stopped six or seven times before we made it to Meridian, MS. I don't ever remember being that sick. Fortunately, Chloe was feeling much better, Mom was okay, Grandmother and Emma still showed no signs of having this.

I walked in with Grandmother to check in and the Front Desk Staff at the Holiday Inn Express (Exit 153) were wonderful. We asked for a roll-away, and they had it down in no time. They could tell I was sick and offered to open up the kitchen and bring me toast, tea, or whatever I needed to settle my stomach. ( I think My mom told them I was very sick and needed the roll away or a separate room!) Anyway, if you are ever in Meridian, MS and need a hotel, I highly recommend this one. They were wonderful to us.

We got on the road this morning around 8:30 and met up with Chad in Douglasville. After the excitement of seeing Daddy and Paddington, Emma said her tummy was upset and we needed to get home quick. She made it home, but the tummy bug has hit again and we've been washing, and cleaning ever since. I'm still sick and poor Chad is having to do some of the things Mommies usually do. He's been great and quite a help, but when you have 3 bathrooms and 2 have sick people in them, it's no fun!!! I'm very blessed to have him. He had marinated steaks to grill for us tonight, and all we girls wanted was soup. Oh well, maybe we'll feel up to grilling them Sunday afternoon.

I'm going to attempt to post a few pictures tonight. And I have a very funny story for another day, but right now, I'm exhausted and need to go to bed. Thanks for taking the journey with us.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Today started at 4:45 a.m. when Chloe touched my shoulder and said, "Mom, I threw up in the bathroom, can you help me clean it up." I jumped up to help her back into the bathroom just in time to get sick again. She has a stomach bug of some kind and has thrown up at least once an hour since she woke up this morning. Sooooo, we only made it to Sweetwater Texas today. We all needed to stop and rest and I'm not sure how long it will take us to get home!!

Please pray that Chloe will be healed and that my Mom, who is starting to get sick, will feel better after a good night's sleep.

God has been so good to us, the weather forecast showed severe storms through, but we haven't seen one yet! Even today we saw dark clouds all around us, but never saw a raindrop!!

God is so good.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Today has been crazy. We got a great start and headed into town to tour the historic district. It was a little disappointing, but we saw some beautiful older homes. It greatly improved our impression of life in this city!! We planned to do a little shopping and then let the girls swim all afternoon. (Our secret plan to wear their little bodies out so they would travel well!!) Grandmother called at lunch and told us she had told her nephew we would ALL be at their church at 5:30 to hear his daughter's choir concert. Now, I'm all about youth choirs, if you know me you now that I got my start in music ministry there, but this is a little different and we really don't want to go. But, we are going and I'm praying that my attitude will greatly improve. I can pack and do the things I planned to do this afternoon when we get back. Mom and I have bribed the girls with a DQ Blizzard when this thing is over. It's really going to be hard on them, but......... It's not about me!!!! My heart goes out to this young girl, she needs encouragement, and I was able to get her to speak at dinner last night so maybe that's why we are going. Maybe we can encourage her to hang on. Her name is Ann, if you get a chance say a prayer for her. Thank!!!

Well, well, well. What to say about this evening..... When we got in the car Mom said, "What was your favorite part of tonight?", my comment was "It's over?" And yes, I'm serious. I love all types of music classical, pop, you name it, I normally like it. This was sad. This church appeared to be a fairly large Methodist church. We learned when we got there that this was their spring concert for their 3year old -12th grade choirs.

The youngest choir was 3 years - 1st grade!! There were 6 children. The next was 2nd -5th and there were about 15, the 6th -12th grades had 25. These children looked bored out of their minds. I felt so bad for them. They are forced to wear robes and stand completely still. The oldest choir held their folders and buried their heads. The most "contemporary" thing they sang was "Word of God Speak". I love this worship song, but they watered down the rhythm. It's so sad, there are so many awesome things to do with children and youth these days, these kids are being taught the same songs my mother was taught!

To me, there is so much more than music wrong here. Our Pastor recently gave a startling statistic that the majority of college students raised in Christian, church-going families, choose to walk away from church and more importantly their faith the first chance they get. It breaks my heart to think out of those 25 teenagers most of them will leave church life after graduation. How can we continue to turn our heads to this. When will we understand that tradition does not equal holiness? Our Pastor has really been pushing the point home that we have to BE the church, it's a living thing not a building stuffed full of tradition!! Oh my, I could go on forever. I just looked at those kids tonight and felt so bad for them. I'm so thankful to have grown up in the church I did. One that gave us an avenue to express ourselves. And I'm even more thankful for the church we are in now!!

After tonight, I ache even more for Ann. She must really love music to sing in that choir, and I want so bad for her to experience Jesus in a real way. I wonder if she realizes that He is ALIVE and wants her to run to Him. I long for her to feel in the deepest part of her body that God loves her just the way she is. That she doesn't have to hide behind anything. She is a beautiful young woman. I know that several of my "sisters" are reading this and I'm asking you to lift this young lady up with me. How easily this could be one of our daughters. I'm going to get my "Your Girl" book by Vicki Courtney out when I get home!! (If you haven't read this book and have a daughter, get this book. It's an easy read and opens your eyes to many things.)

We pick Grandmother up at 8:00 a.m. and head to Abilene, Texas. If you've read all of this, you must be a pretty awesome friend. I love you!!!

Oh yea, my man would like you all to know that he was having Chicken Cordon Blue, a baked potato and Spiced Mango Tea for dinner. He would also be baking a Lemon Meringue pie for dessert. (He really is a great cook, now if I can just get him to do all that for me!!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

This morning, I was startled from sleep by the sound of heavy rain and thunder. Our hotel room was illuminated by lighting. Roswell was under a flash flood watch. We had planned to spend the morning at the wildlife refuge and the weather didn't look like it was going to cooperate. We took our time getting dressed, ate a casual breakfast in the lobby and decided to go ahead and go to the visitor center at the refuge. God was so good to us once again. We drove in some pretty heavy rain and wind but the closer we got to the refuge, the better the weather became. It stopped raining and we were able to enjoy the visitors center and the driving tour. If you are ever in Roswell, this is a must see. The center is beautiful. We were the only people there today and the employees took time to talk to us and tell us about the refuge. There were two videos, one about the refuge and one about the dragonflies that live there. They were wonderful and even Emma sat there captivated by the information. The neatest thing was that all of this was free! They operate on donations. So we were glad to drop a little into the bird feeder and take home a new bird book and dragonfly book from the gift shop.

After the inside tour, we headed for the driving tour. It's an 8-mile loop that takes you around the Pecos river. We saw jack-rabbits, all kinds of duck and water fowl, a Paragon Falcon and Emma got to see a turtle. (she loves turtles) Living in the refuge are deer, bobcats and coyotes. We didn't see those! The landscape is breathtaking. On the drive in you see typical open land for cattle to graze. Once on the refuge property you see all kinds of wildflowers, plants, and cactus. We were amazed at one of the overlooks. You could see dry desert like earth, the river, lush greens around the water and then the beautiful mountains. It was breathtaking. I hope our pictures turn out!!

Tonight we ate Mexican with my Great-Aunt, her son Bernie and his family. It was wonderful. We get a kick out of people listening to us "talk southern".(I have to admit, I poured it on a little thick a few times today. :) They just seem to get a kick out of it.) After dinner we went back to Bernie's home and visited a little while longer. We laughed until our sides hurt. My Great-Aunt and Grandmother are good friends and they are having a blast together. Apparently, they have been sitting up until 11:00 every night chatting about life. They were both emotional tonight. I have to wonder if they are clinging on to each minute, Aunt Vene will be 83 this week and has suffered several strokes. Her speech is fine, and she's still doing fairly well considering what she's been through the last few years. She doesn't get out much so we were tickled to death she wanted to go for Mexican. I realized tonight how much she and Grandmother look alike. I wonder if that is how Valerie and I will be when enter out 80's? I hope so.

We are having a good time, but I miss my man! When we talked tonight, he had fallen asleep in the den. Bless his heart, he had a frozen pizza for dinner tonight. I felt really guilty about going on and on with how good our dinner was tonight!!

We spend one more day here and then we head back for Atlanta.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Day 5 Road trip

Okay, so I've been a little too exhausted at the end of our days to post. So I'll try to give you a brief description of each day up to today.

Friday, May 4: We woke up in Meridian, Mississippi, checked out and got on the road by 6:45 a.m. We drove until around 7:00 p.m. and stopped in Abilene, Texas. Now for the story. We didn't think we would make it as far as Abilene, so I called Chad around 3:00 and asked him to look up hotels in the Eastland, Tx area off of Interstate 20. The only thing he could find was a Ramada Inn so he made the reservation, called me back and gave me the exit number. When we pulled in, I just got a weird feeling, but checked in and we proceeded to drive around the building to park and unload for the night. Well... my grandmother and I walked in and I just couldn't stomach the smell, the dirty carpet or the rusty sink and bathtub. We walked back outside and a few other trucks had pulled in and it was a pretty rough looking bunch of men. There had been a few other red flags at check in but I just got on the phone with Chad and we were all in agreement that we needed to "get out of dodge"!! I'm so glad we did. When we pulled into Abilene, we stayed at the hotel Chad had suggested first and it was heaven!! The room was huge and comfortable. The girls got to swim and we relaxed.

Saturday, May 5 : We started early again 7:00 a.m. and we made it to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico around 1:00. Grandmother shopped and strolled the top of the mountain while the girls, Mom and I hiked into the caverns. It was so beautiful and we were once again amazed at the handiwork of God. After we made it out, we drove on into Roswell where my Grandmother's sister (Aunt Vene) lives. We checked in to the hotel and then dropped Grandmother off. She is staying with Aunt Vene while we explore Roswell this week.

Sunday, May 6: Today we once again started early and drove about 3 hours to White Sands. It was a beautiful drive up and over mountains. Before we started up those mountains, we were in the desert. At one point we turned on State Road 13 and I looked at Mom and we had to laugh. It was the 3rd time we saw a sign that says: "WARNING DO NOT PICK UP HITCHHIKERS. PRISON FACILITIES IN THIS AREA." (The only difference was that on Saturday the first one we saw said "Correction Facility" instead of "Prison". The girls were quarrelling and we told them, stop there is a correction facility nearby. It was pretty funny and they quickly stopped.)

Monday, May 7: This morning we slept in.
(6:30 I guess we're still on East Cost time)
We made the decision last night to stay in Roswell and skip Santa Fe. The drive was just a little much for us so we began to explore this little town. We have been shocked by the poverty we've seen. It's been very disturbing to us. The average income of a working adult here in Roswell is $27,000. We decided that there had to be more than what we were seeing here on Main Street. We turned left out of our hotel and just drove. We went about 3 miles and found "Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge". They are only open on Tuesday so that is on our agenda for tomorrow. We also went down to the visitor center. There has to be more here than the UFO Museum and Research Center. Yes, that is the title. And guess what, there is more!!! We found out that Roswell has a beautiful art museum and it's free!! We did that and shopped in the gift shop. It was wonderful and if we're back, we'll go back. The New Mexico Military Institute is here. The grounds are beautiful and the architecture is stunning. The funniest thing of the day happened this morning. Mom was doing her devotion and suddenly burst out laughing. That isn't out of the norm for my Mom, but usually doesn't happen during Bible study. She said, oh you have to hear the key verse in my devotion guide. The verse was Exodus 22:21 "Do not mistreat an alien, or oppress him for you were aliens in Egypt." Here we sit 2 miles from the UFO Museum and Research Center!! (We had been making fun of that place since Abilene, Texas) We are convinced that God has a sense of humor unlike any other!!!

So, that's where we are so far. I'll post again when I can. When we get home, I'll post pictures.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Day 1 Road Trip

Well, it's the end of Day 1. We have stopped in Meridian, MS to spend the night. We plan to be up and on the road by 7:00 AM and who knows where we'll stop Friday evening. This first day has been pretty uneventful, unless you count Mom misplacing her credit card after our first stop. We didn't realize it until we stopped to check in the hotel, thank goodness I had mine and Grandmother has hers!! We've called to cancel it, and then she made the big phone call to my Dad. It wouldn't be a big deal if this was the second time in 3 weeks she's done this!! Fortunately, my Dad wasn't home yet, so she LEFT A MESSAGE ON THE ANSWERING MACHINE!!!!! Pretty crazy!! We prayed, looked some more, prayed..... oh, well. It's been taken care of and everything else has been fine. I'll post again when I can.

Road Trip

The past few days have been very busy around here. The girls and I are leaving this morning for New Mexico. My Grandmother's only living sibling, her older sister, lives in Roswell and Mom and I are taking her to visit. While they have sister time, Mom and I will take the girls and explore New Mexico. We're very excited. Nobody is looking forward to the drive, but I think that will change once we get going! :) This is our big field trip of the year to say the least. We're looking forward to seeing how the landscape changes along the way. From mountains, to desert!

I'm hoping to be able to blog a little along the way, maybe even post some pictures. But if not, I'll journal and then post it with pictures when I get back. I think it will be fun to spend the entire week before Mother's Day with my Mom and Grandmother, espically now that we live out of state.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend last night. Both of us commenting on how God uses what we view as disappointment, for His good. It was such a sweet reminder that we don't see the entire picture of our life, but He does. Thanks Joan for that reminder. Once again, God speaks to me through a sister and fellow lover of God. It makes me look forward to the June slumber party with a few of my dearest sisters in Christ. :)

If you get a chance, check out the Living Proof Blog. (the link is under my good stuff column) Beth gives a little peak into her backyard and it's beautiful. Makes me want my plants to grow!

Have a great week! Love to you all.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Is the Wait Over?

Well, what a few weeks it's been. I feel as if I've been somewhat aloof with my situation, not on purpose but because I don't feel like I've had the okay from God to share.

About 3 weeks ago, I felt led to do something with a particular song. Confirmation to the nudging was given through my husband and I obeyed. I did exactly what God asked me to do. This act of obedience was completely out of my comfort zone and I shudder to even think of telling you anymore than that! So here I sit in this little town, waiting. It has been the longest few weeks of my life.

This past Sunday morning was the last time I would play at the church up in Gainesville. On the way up there, I had some concentrated prayer time. (I don't know about anyone else, but sometimes I pray the hardest in the car when I'm alone.) Over the weekend, I had come to accept that even though I wasn't hearing anything about this song, I had done what God asked and He would bless the obedience. But Sunday morning I had to tell HIM that. I had to get completely honest about how I felt. He already knows, so I might as well just quit the churchy language and get real. I have such mixed emotions about all of this. He reminded me of the afternoon I finished the song written for this particular thing. I took it into my bedroom, got on my knees and opened my Bible to Is. 55:8-11. I read the passage and placed the lyric sheet on top of my Bible and held it up to God. I told Him that these were His words, that I didn't understand why He was having me do this, but I was giving it back to Him. Whatever He chose to do with it, I was overwhelmed and honored to be apart of it. And I still mean that. I may never hear anything of this and that is okay with me. That song may have been written for the person who opened the MP3 file! It may have been written for something I can't even imagine. Whatever HIS thoughts are for this, I submit to it. Whatever HIS plan is for me, I submit to it.

Verse 11 says "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." I believe with all my heart that God sent that song for a reason, He has a purpose for it. I may never fully understand it, and I am alright with that. There, I've said it and I'm letting it go!!

So now, I'm done up in Gainesville and will be back to the routine in our church home. Still praying that God will continue to give me the opportunity to minister through music and waiting. But now, anticipating HIM more and more.