Saturday, May 31, 2008

Then Sings My Soul "Hey God"

Go check out Amy for more on Then Sings My Soul.

It's Saturday!!!! We are heading to Chattanooga to celebrate my dad's birthday a little later this afternoon. A quick trip, but it will be good to see everyone. (Plus I get to look at some fabric for piece of furniture for my bedroom!!!)

With the music give-away going on. (See the Richie McDonald post if you haven't already.) I thought I would share one song off of the CD. It's entitled "Hey God".

This chorus is incredible. "You have your ways, you have your plan..sometimes mysterious and hard to understand.... I am humbled by your grace and everything you do....." There is meat in this song.

It's a live performance, although performance isn't the right'll see what I mean.

Bet you want to leave a comment on my give-away post don't you?!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Does the name Richie McDonald ring a bell????

UPDATED TO ADD: It's Friday afternoon and I would just like to say if Richie McDonald needs a keyboard player....I would like to volunteer and can provide references upon request. I can hardly stand it anymore...this CD is AWESOME!!! GO and pre-order dozens of copies and give them away to your friends!!!! That is all....

Let me refresh your memory if you don't realize why you know that name. Richie McDonald was with the group Lonestar for several years.

After God impressed on his heart it was time for a change, he branched out into a solo career. Chad and I had the privilege of seeing him in concert with Jim Brickman in December. And we ALL know how I feel about any evening that includes Jim Brickman. Anyway...we're talking Richie McDonald here. :)

I was blessed, I mean, sneaky enough to get a preview copy of his new CD "I Turn To You".

To be honest, I wasn't too sure how I would feel about this CD. Everything I had read indicated that it was clearly Christian, but since I don't know that much about Richie I just didn't know what to expect.

The first thing I do before I ever listen to a CD is take out the cover and read it. EVERY WORD. It makes me feel like I "know" the artist better. Oh friends. This man loves Jesus. This is a quote from the inside cover...

"Hey God, I don't believe I ever thanked you....enough for all my blessings. At a turning point in my life when I needed you the most for guidance and direction you were there to give me the answers and show me the way. I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to finally record music where you and Jesus Christ are the stars."

And our God is the star. No question about it. I have listened to this CD for 3 days and I love it more each time. These songs ignite something in my soul that drives me closer to the Father. At this moment my favorite song is "Walls", but I also love "Hey God".

If I could say one thing to this artist it would be this. Thank you for being obedient to the Father's nudge. The rewards from this CD will be eternal and you may not realize until glory just how powerful your stand for Jesus was. Blessings follow obedience.

Here is the deal. I'm going to strongly suggest that you go out next week and buy this CD. You will be blessed. BUT.....

Before you do: LEAVE A COMMENT!!! I have been given permission to give away the preview CD!!!!! OR don't leave a comment and I'll keep it for myself!!!

JUST KIDDING....I want to share this with you....

I'll draw for a winner on Monday night June 2 and announce the winner of this, as well as the book give away from earlier in the week on Tuesday, June 3! first two give-aways on the same day!

Thanks Amanda at Brickhouse Direct for donating the preview CD!

Wouldn't You Know...

Just a few short days after I post about being content, I'm given a pop quiz. Just like Him isn't it! I guess He wanted to see if I was going to walk my talk.

The first test came at the pool Tuesday. A couple of other mom's and I were chatting. The other two kind of got into this "who can outdo the other" conversation. I hate those. They compared everything from square footage of their homes (which isn't that different...we all have the same builder) to their landscaping. This is where my pop quiz came in.

As they compared their plants, vines, annuals....they were both getting on the other's last nerve. It was very obvious, but neither one of these ladies was going to be the one to stop it. One of them kind of joked with me and made this comment..."so...when are you going to do something with the beds in front of your all haven't added anything yet. Everyone else has?"

Excuse me?

This was not only a test of being "content" it was a test of me controlling my mouth. I didn't say much other than, "Well you know...spending money on landscaping has been the last thing on our mind over the last year." I would love to tell you my tone was meek and merciful and oozed the fruit of the Spirit, but it didn't. It was defensive and I was doing everything within my power not to break down into tears. How crazy is that!!!

The subject changed. One mom left and I was left to chat with the offender.

I know her well enough to know that she just speaks whatever is on her mind without thinking. I know she didn't mean to hurt my feelings and she probably didn't intend for that statement to come across the way it did.

I was over it pretty fast and we had a pretty decent conversation, but her comments have stuck with me all week. Which leads me to believe that God wanted to just see how content I really was. I told Him that her comment made want to forget about doing anything in the backyard and just focus all my attention and money on the front..what people see....but that isn't the plan.

You see, the plan is to get the backyard going...this is the place where we spend time with family and friends. It's where we talk, pray, relax and weather permitting I do Bible study. It's very important to me that it be an environment that is welcoming, peaceful, a place where you feel the presence of God. (which is our prayer for the rest of our home as well) I know and have accepted that it is a process and since I know from past experience that God is the ultimate landscaper, He will show me some great deals and provide everything we need to create this dream garden. I'm totally okay and very excited about it. After the back is going and as we have the money, we'll add some to the front. That has been and will continue to be our plan.

Now.....before I go any further, let me just say that the front...does not look bad. We just haven't added to what the builder put in!

I wasn't real sure where I would wind up as far as a spiritual application goes. We could talk about our tongues and the power they have. OR, we could talk about being wise with the resources you have and not spending what you don't have. Then there is patience....(Yikes! There's a whole novel with that one!)

God gave me a different lesson. This one took me by surprise. I was soaking in the tub Tuesday evening after "THE COMMENT" was made. Really talking to God about why it bothered me so much. Here's what ran through my mind.

"Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever and a crown is not secure for all generations." Prov. 27: 23-24

I had read that early Tuesday morning, once again He was giving me exactly what I would need for that particular day. God reminded me of my ultimate goal for the backyard.(and our home) We want to use that space for His glory today and for years to come. The girls and I have had some great conversations out there. It's a place where we invest in our "flock". And seeing as they refuse to stop growing, at some point they are going to leave. I want to use every minute to prepare them for the next stage of life. For our family that backyard is a place where everyone feels safe enough to let their guard down and talk about life.

If we were to neglect that area and just focus on the front yard, the part people driving by see, would we be so quick to grab a cup of coffee and go out back for after dinner conversation? Probably not.

Don't get me wrong, I've got some ideas about the front too! But for right now, that isn't where our focus is. We've got to complete the work inside that fence around the backyard before we can work on the front of the house. (If all goes as planned, the work on the inside of that fence, will produce enough to cover the front too.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Two weeks ago I received an e-mail asking me if I would like to read and review a new book and then host a giveaway on my blog. My interest was peaked and I clicked on the link to read about the author.

I knew from the first line that YES I wanted to read this book! You see, it's written by a Southern Baptist preacher's daughter. There was already a common bond as we are both in the club known as PK's. (preacher's kids)

I responded yes and last Friday I received this book....

Trespassers Will Be Baptized The Unordained Memoir of a Preacher's Daughter by Elizabeth Emerson Hancock

I'm a little over halfway through and let me tell you....I have laughed out loud more reading this book than I have in a long time.

As she described GA's, Acteens, Women's Missionary Union...I cracked up. So many of us good little GA's (Girl's in Action is a mission themed "club" for elementary age girls) remember just waiting for our turn to reach Acteens,the teens version of GA's and as Hancock calls it "Eagle Scouts at the Seraphim Level". (Between the sash, the sceptor and the fancy dress you wore at your recognition service, you can tell that southern women will turn everything into a pageant.)

I relate to so much in this book. But I as I turned to page 153 and saw some of her family pictures. I literally laughed out loud. There on that page is her father's official Southern Baptist Convention portrait which was taken at the yearly convention in Saint Louis Missouri, 1987.

GIRLS. My sister and I were at that convention with my parents! We have the funniest stories of that trip! BUT, we did not have "convention portraits" taken. Thank goodness my dad thought that was a waste of God's money. (In other words, the church was to cheap to pay for it.)

I think one of the most hilarious moments was Elizabeth describing her mother basking in the sun with her "Redbook" magazine tucked safely inside her "HomeLife".(this is a Christian family magazine) Everyone knows that a pastor's wife would NEVER want that little piece of information in the hands of the lay people, even though we ALL know they have their own copy of "Redbook" laying on their coffee tables!

But here is the bottom line. You do not have to be a Southern Baptist to appreciate this book. You will absolutely relate to her and I can guarantee that you will have a great laugh.

If you are a PK and have grown up in a glass house, you will appreciate this.

If you are a deacon's child and have listened to your parents "discuss" the PK's, you will appreciate this.

If you have ever taught GA's, Acteens, RA's, WMU, Mission Friends....Sunday School... you will laugh out loud and get the biggest kick out of Elizabeth's candid story telling.

IT'S SO WORTH YOUR TIME! Laughter is good for your soul and I can guarantee you will laugh at the book and more importantly, YOURSELF!

So here is the deal....if you need a fun book to kick off your summer reading, leave me a comment! The publisher has been very generous and is giving away 5 copies of this book. I believe the release date is June 4 so you are getting a sneak peak!

I will draw names on Monday evening June 2 and announce winners on Tuesday, June 3!!!!


You do not have to have a blog to win. Just comment under anonymous and leave your name. If you win, you can e-mail your info.

FYI -----This will not be the last give away this summer....I hear that there is a music giveaway coming soon........

Monday, May 26, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

How has your weekend been? I can honestly say, this has been the strangest holiday weekend of my life. Oh, don't get me wrong, it's been packed full of activity, but I feel like I haven't seen my family much!

We had an incredible Sunday morning worship time with David Phelps. He did an incredible arrangement of "Bring Him Home" from Le Miserables. Very fitting for Memorial Day Weekend.

After lunch and a quick nap, I headed out the door for Lilburn. The retreat ministry I'm involved with "Freedom's Call" had a singing engagement. It was a great evening, long program, but a great evening.

I got home around 9:30 and found two little girls almost asleep in my bed. Daddy had worn them out at the pool while I was gone.

Chad had commitments this morning in our local Memorial Day Parade and festival, so he was out the door before 7:00. The girls decided that they agreed with me and would rather spend the morning at the pool as opposed to putting on their karate uniforms and walking in the parade. So we spent most of the day playing with our neighbors and working on our tans. :)

It's a little after 2:00 and Chad has just walked through the door. FINALLY, we will all get to have some family time. I think we'll spend the evening grilling chicken and working on our "mudpile". It's coming along... I just may add some pictures later this evening to show you the progress.

Hope your day is filled with family, friends, and good food....:)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Then Sings My Soul

Thanks to Amy for hosting! Be sure to say a prayer today for Amy and Carol from Sheep to the Right, as they speak this weekend at a women's conference.

This week I chose a song off of an older Hillsong CD. It is the first song that Emma really sang...LOUD. She LOVED this song and we have just about worn that track out on the CD.

After a week full of shock and a heavy heart, I felt like I needed to put on some fun praise music. This is one song that always changes my attitude and more importantly my focus.

Blessings to you today....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Do you have what you need?

Wednesday afternoon I managed to cut the index finger on my left hand. This wasn't a small cut. A better description would be a slice. A very clean slice by the sharpest pair of scissors I own. It was one of those cuts that you don't really feel until about 2 seconds after you've been cut.

I did what anyone would do, held it tight and ran to the kitchen sink to run water over it. When I got a look at it, my knees went weak. It's a straight cut, but at an angle....and it's deep. (Don't ask how I did it, I don't want to be laughed out.)

Chloe and Emma knew right where the box of neon band-aids were and grabbed a purple one for me. I put it on and attempted to go about my day, but it seemed that everything I touched sent a wave of pain through my poor little finger.

Yesterday morning after I had worked in the yard, I knew that I needed to replace the band-aid, but guess what...

Apparently we've had a lot of "paper cuts" lately and there were no more small band-aids. Only the BIG bandages that are meant for your knees or some other large area of your body. NOT my skinny finger. But it was what I had and honestly, it was throbbing so I didn't care how many times I had to wrap that thing around! The tighter the better.

Chad popped home for a minute and asked why in the world I had that huge bandage on my little finger. He laughed and said, I'll be back.

A few minutes later he returned from the drugstore with a box of appropriate band-aids. They fit much better and to quote Chloe "they have anti-oxidants I mean antibiotics on them to kill germs".

Chad took the old bandage off and got his first look at the cut, cringed and put the new bandage on. Much better. I can actually type a little this morning. Still hurts like crazy but everyday chores are easier with something that actually fits the need on my finger!

I read yesterday in Proverbs that "A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences." Prov. 22:3 (NLT)

This morning, these verses from Prov. 23 stood out

Verse 12 "Commit yourself to instruction; attune your ears to hear words of knowledge."

Verses 19-21 "My child, listen and be wise. Keep your heart on the right course. Do not carouse with drunkards and gluttons, for they are on their way to poverty. Too much sleep clothes a person with rags."

And finally from Prov.31:21 "She has no fear of winter for her household because all of them have warm clothes." what in the world do these verses have to do with my cut finger? I'm so glad you asked.

All too often we hit a crisis. A "winter", or a time of need in our life. We call on friends to pray, we question God's hand in it all, we quote all the verses about God being in control and having a know how we are! We all do it. And quoting the Word is powerful. But.....

To be truthful, we haven't been preparing for the winter. We cost along, enjoying good times, having fun. We may or may not acknowledge God each day. But slowly over time, we little by little deplete the spiritual pantry. Before we know it, a winter storm hits and we are totally exposed.

Over the last few weeks, God has been showing me why He is big on planning ahead. By that I mean digging into His Word each day. God uses His Word to prepare our hearts, minds and souls for today's sunny sky AND tomorrow's unexpected winter storm. He is our winter coat. He is a fully stocked pantry. He is a huge wood pile ready to keep you warm.

I didn't have the proper band-aid for my finger. I hadn't given band-aids a second thought....until I needed them. If I had taken an inventory of our first-aid kit last week when I glanced at it in the pantry, I would have known what I needed.

The same principle applies in our spiritual life. The time to get to know God, or to fill our spiritual pantry, is before the winter storm hits.

God is challenging me and I challenge you to not waste a minute. Don't take for granted the spring time, and forget that seasons change!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Prayer Need

I awoke this morning to a quiet house. At the point I'm typing this, Chad and I are the only ones moving around. This is quite unusual in our home.

A few minutes ago I finished up my time in the Word, grabbed some coffee and flipped on the news. The first thing I heard was "Christian music giant Steven Curtis Chapman and his family"...well that got my attention. It's not often that Christian music artists are in mainstream news.

I'm sure most everyone has heard that his five year old daughter (one of the girls they adopted from China) was hit by an SUV in their driveway yesterday. She is with Jesus this morning.

My heart immediately broke for them. This is the verse that I thought of, I had just read it Psalm 22:19 (NLT) "Oh Lord, do not stray away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!"

God has known from the beginning of time that yesterday was going to happen. It wasn't a surprise to Him. In one way that is comforting to me, but at the same time my heart is so heavy.

Who hasn't been blessed and encouraged my Steven Curtis Chapman's music? I know I have. Who hasn't been inspired by them in the last few years as they have financially helped families who are called to adopt, bring those children home? Our family has.

So today we stand in the gap for the Chapman's. We pray that they are wrapped in the peace that only comes from God. We pray that even in this tragic, horrible accident that they would see God's hand. But friends I think this morning, we get real practical. We pray that God would give them strength to put their feet on the floor. We ask that God would put inspired words into that mommy and daddy's mouth. They have other children that are going to need their parents this morning, and I imagine that they are exhausted. So we pray that God would hold them up and give them the strength they need.

And remember, that when we grieve we do not grieve as those who have no hope.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Look, Summer Projects and Other Ramblings

I love the new look. Ashley at Great Grabbie Designs did a fabulous job and was so easy to work with. She definitely has a gift. :) Thanks Ashley! Go check her out here and see some of her other creations. I think you'll be impressed by what you find there.

She took my love for all things French and my favorite piano picture and put together an incredible header. Lean in real close and I'll let you in on a little secret. When I opened up the proof last night....I cried. I cried over a blog header. Can you believe that?! I know, some of you do because you know me well. :) I even got up last night and opened it up again to look "one more time". I am in love!!!

The new blog design has sort of kicked started my summer projects. First of which is a new thing for me. Sewing. I was given a really nice sewing machine for Christmas and have started to spend a little time with that machine. Not as much as I would like, but now that school is out, I'm hoping to buckle down and do some creating. So far I've made Chloe a little shoulder bag to carry her Bible to church in and Emma an apron. This is uncharted territory for me, so you probably won't be seeing lots of finished projects for a while!

I've been inspired by some really neat "new" to me blogs. One is Nesting Place. I LOVE this blog. She and I share the same idea that home should be safe and a haven to come to.

She shares some great decorating ideas, check out her window mistreatments. This is one idea that I'm going to be using this summer. In fact, I've got a jar for my loose change to start saving for fabric for my family room curtains. I'll probably use a little of her mistreatment ideas when I finally (after 2 years) do something with these windows. You will be seeing some before and after of these windows once the project is done!

Since we put the fence up last December, we have the beginning stages of my dream secret garden. (Love that book!) Since the budget doesn't allow for me to go to the Patio Shop and pick out my dream patio furniture, I'm going to venture out into the world of yard sales. Rhoda at Southern Hospitality has inspired me to start looking at thrift stores and yard sales for pieces. Since I prefer old stuff anyway, this is the perfect way to create the old garden of my dreams.

First on the list: An old table and chairs or stools. I can not wait until we can eat outside! We grill 4-5 nights a week in warm weather and I would love to be able to just eat outside.

So far, we've planted a pink and a white dogwood tree. They are full of beautiful green leaves! I haven't' killed them yet!!!! We brought home some monkey grass and a couple of hostas from mom's the first of May. The monkey grass was planted in the backyard on the "mudpile" and the hostas went in the bed next to our front door. We put some of our herbs in hanging baskets and Emma's tomato and Chad's pepper plants are in huge planters on the patio.

Friday night, we planted some pink and white flowers (I don't know their official name this is all new to me) out front and I have a few left over so they are going to go on the "mudpile" with the monkey grass. Hopefully that will help cover that area a little bit.

So I ask you this, what are your favorite plants, flowers, bushes....? What do you grow that can withstand my black thumb and would do well in the GA heat?!!!?!?

I'm posting about these projects for one reason. Accountability.

As my pastor preached on Sunday....we need each other. In every area of our lives, we need friends to push us on when we get tired. To encourage us when we venture into uncharted waters and to give us a holy kick in the behind when we stop in our tracks.

So many of you my blogging buddies are excellent seamstresses, incredible gardeners and homemakers who really make home a haven. You inspire me to make the most of what God has given me, to be content with what I have and to use the resources I have to create that haven I desire for my family.

For the first time in a LONG time I can say that I am content. I don't feel the need to hurry up and buy a whole bunch of stuff to get the project done. It would be great to just have the resources to do that, but this project is about something else. This backyard project will be a slow one. The transformation will be gradual. I have a feeling God is going to use this process to teach me something.

He is in every detail. His eye is on every sparrow, every lily in the field and He cares. He sees the image in my mind's eye and I'm believing Him to show me how to make it happen.

You better believe there will be some pictures along the way. :) I don't want to forget a thing!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Changes....They Are A Comin'

I have an incredible blog siesta working on a new look for Notes From the Soul...

Not real sure when the new look will arrive, but I can't wait for you to see it!

I've seen a little and can I just tell you I am giddy! The colors, the theme....I can't wait to see the finished product. This girl has a special gift. :)

Okay...I'm off to finish dinner before my people get home!

Have a great evening!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Can You Tell School is Out?


Although we really school year round, our lighter summer schedule has arrived!!! The girls are excited, but this year, mom is just as excited.

We've enjoyed today even more since dad had part of the day off with us. This is how I found he and Emma after they did some yardwork.

Chloe doesn't like to read out in the sun, so she found something to hold her attention.

She's pretty good at this. Well...maybe I should drop the pretty and say INCREDIBLE! Her current record for consecutive jumps is 75. (she says that is a "conservative estimate")

This afternoon I'm baking the Sopapilla Cheesecake (off of the LPM Blog). This is the third time in 10 days that I've made this. My family loves it. This dessert is the entire reason I'm not stepping on the scales for at least two weeks. I'm making it to take to a family in our Sunday School class who just had their third baby...a sweet little girl. I sure hope they enjoy it as much as we do. :) I'm sure enjoying the smell that is coming from my kitchen right now!

I read this quote yesterday and just had to share it with you because so many of you are my friends.

"Real friends are those who, when you've made a fool of yourself, don't feel as though you've done a permanent job."

Now THAT sounds like a good friend doesn't it?! Chad is so blessed to have a friend like that. I should say the two of them are blessed to have each other.

I think the quote above fits them. What do you think?

YES! Those of you who are our Chattanooga buds. You know exactly who that is. Can you believe these two? One led worship and the other tech directed. Scary isn't it!!

I will say this..I'm thinking that the Mac was a whole lot of techie fun. Do they come in Pink? :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturday

Thanks Amy for hosting! Check out Signs Miracles and Wonders for TONS of great will do your soul good.

This week we've spent a little more time outside. We've planted some flowers in our front beds and last night, Chad planted his famous pepper plants.

I never cease to be amazed at how God designed things. The flowers and the peppers are small right now, but they will grow and fill out and eventually consume the space they are in and maybe more! They are beautiful now, but the more they mature, they become gloriously (is that a real word?!) beautiful.

This song talks about God making everything glorious. It's David Crowder and the clip is from the Dove Awards filmed back in April. (I believe it was April!)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

High Court

This morning after everyone had some reading time, the girls asked me if we had one of those things a judge uses to make everyone be quiet. I looked at them and said "a gavel?"

"YES!" they squealed.

I told them that no I do not keep gavels in the craft closet, but if they looked around, I'm sure they could find something that would work.

They did. I'm not sure which Barbie movie this toy is part of, but they found a scepter that came with a Barbie. That was their gavel.

Then Emma asked if I had a black robe. Ummmm, just the one with pink polka dots. That just wouldn't do so they used their treasured pink Strassburg robes.

They came down. One dressed in her robe carrying the scepter/gavel, the other in pj's.

They headed into the guest bedroom, shut the door and I heard someone say "Hear Ye, Hear Ye."

My curiosity was peeked big time, so I asked them what they were doing.

Their answer..."Holding Court"

Well okay then. They recessed a couple of times for a snack and to take turns being the Judge, but this game went on for a couple of hours. For whatever reason, they were captivated by this game.

Emma came out once without Chloe and told me she was on trial and fixing to get on the "testimony steps". I asked her if she meant the witness stand and she told me no. Their step stool was the testimony stand and that was where she would beg for the judge to go easy on her punishment. (I didn't ask what she did. I was afraid of what this particular child would tell me!!!)

As Emma skipped back to take the "testimony steps", I thanked God for my girls, and their love for each other. They love to play with their friends, but they are just as happy to hang with each other, I hope that never changes.

I thought about Emma going in there to take the testimony steps and this verse popped into my head...

Hebrews 4:14-16
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that Jesus is sitting beside the Father interceding on our behalf. He's hand delivering our requests and when we don't know what to pray, He fills in our blanks!

Emma was hoping that Judge C. would go easy on her punishment. In their court, she had been found guilty and understood that there would have to be a punishment. When she came out a few minutes later and told me that Judge C. was going to forget her mess up and erase it from her file, I smiled. She went on to say that Judge C. had given strict orders to the village NOT to speak of this offense again. Wow...

That is what our God does. He forgives. Lovingly forgives everytime. To top that off, He doesn't bring it back up. We may bring it back up, the enemy may bring it back up, but God doesn't.

I needed the challenge today to forgive someone, but more importantly, to NOT bring the offense back up.

Proverbs 17:9
He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

14 years ago at this moment....

I was sitting in a salon getting my hair done. It was our wedding day! I had a real nutritious breakfast consisting of a coke and a Three Musketeers bar. The lady doing my hair had quite a job. I had bronchitis and could hardly go thirty seconds without coughing. That on top of the massive amount of hair that I had, she had her work cut out for her....and this sweet lady did it as a gift. Said she couldn't take money from us on our wedding day..what a sweetheart.

I was surrounded by my girlfriends and my family all morning. I guess the cough syrup is the reason I don't remember every detail of that morning... :) That's okay, I remember the rest of the day and that's what matters!

Chad has the funniest story of that morning. He awoke to an empty house. NO ONE was home. So he went to McDonald's and ate breakfast. (McDonald's and Coke/Three Musketeers..we were such healthy eaters!) While there, he ran into some of our church friends who we would see later in the day at the wedding.

They told me at our reception that they had run into Chad that morning as they were finishing up their breakfast and almost went back in for another cup of coffee so he wouldn't have to eat alone! Little did they realize, that this is Chad. He has to have some alone time, especially before life altering events! Although he has said repeatedly over the years, even before we had children, that the day our children get married, they will not wake up to a quiet, empty house!!! He plans on savoring each minute of that day with them. (Bless his heart, we have two girls...he's going to be broke on those mornings!!)

It was a great wedding, and I have nothing but good memories from the day. I tried to take a picture of our wedding photo, but it didn't turn out! I'm struggling with the camera today. It doesn't want to cooperate with me this morning. Normally, I can navigate my way around stuff like this, but this morning I do not have the patience for it!!!

We exchanged gifts this morning, and this is what Chad gave me. Okay...the pictures show what he gave me last Friday.(My guess is that is when this gift was delivered and he just couldn't keep it to himself any longer.)

A little history...we went to Bermuda for our honeymoon. Beautiful island and I can't wait to go back. On the island is a heavenly place called "The Bermuda Perfumery". They are a family owned business dating back to 1928. You can tour the facility and gardens FOR FREE. This tour allows you to see how they make perfume, from start to finish. It was so cool.

While we were there for seven days, this particular day was my favorite. (Perfumery in the morning, a hidden beach in the afternoon.)I promise you I thought and said "This is what the Garden of Eden must have been like!" All the color, the variety of plants and flowers, the smells, it was stunning. How can anyone say we are here by accident?

While there I, of course, bought a bottle of perfume along with several gifts for family members. I LOVE most of all their fragrances. (one in particular gives me the worst headache known to man, but I know exactly which one that is and stay far away from it!)

For our second anniversary, Chad ordered a new bottle for me and I was completely surprised. That was 12 years ago, I haven't had any since then.

Back to Last Friday afternoon, I walked into our bedroom after Chad came home. Let me tell you I was just lovely to look at. It was bathroom and floor day on my cleaning list so I had been cleaning with some wonderful smelling cleaners. Any makeup that had started the day with me, I had sweat off and I was in cleaning clothes...get the idea.....REAL attractive. :)

So I walk in the bedroom and there is a beautiful box wrapped in silver paper with a pink ribbon. (my favorite color) I looked at it figuring it was an early mother's day gift. But no, it was my anniversary gift. He knows me well enough to know that after I see the wrapped gift, I have to open it. I did use some self-control and waited about 5 minutes. Of course, the twitch in my left eyebrow was out of control and I couldn't quit fidgeting.

He was gracious enough to let me open it and this is what I found.....

I tingled, imagining what could possibly be inside this little bitty pink box from Lili Bermuda!

This was what I found

Sorry for the fingerprints! Didn't realize they were there until I posted this!

There are seven tiny bottles here. Each holds different fragrance. Chad said he wasn't sure what he bought 12 years ago, and if I would even want the same one. He bought something that had a little of everything they make so I could decide which one I wanted.

Aren't they beautiful!

So here is what I've worn so far. This is already one girlie post ,so I'm including a little of their descriptions. :)

"Lily" which is what I bought on our honeymoon and what Chad gave me 12 years ago. It's description says "Wild Muguet, Tamarine and Pear Flower. LOVE THIS.

"Passion Flower" Heady Gardenia, Passion Flower and Mimosa. It is a little stronger, but I like it.

"Frangipanni" Captivating Orange Blossom, Ylang Ylang, Patchouli and Jasmine. Different but I LOVE it. To me, this one is fun.

"Pink" Pink Mimosa, Grapefruit and Peonies. THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE. It is so feminine and pretty and the name, have I mentioned I love pink? It's light, but it last all day. I LOVE IT and plan to save my spare change to purchase a big bottle!

This was simply the most romantic gift he could have given me. I LOVE IT!!

To find out more about Lili Bermuda go here

This morning he brought in another gift bag that was full of some songwriting books, and a beautiful photo frame. He never ceases to amaze me. He scored a 1O this year on the gifts!

Thanks Chadwick for an incredible anniversary! Maybe we can find a sitter and have dinner out this weekend...hint, hint.... :) I love you....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Quick Idol Comment

Clearly, David Cook is the next American Idol.

Unless something wacky happens, it looks like it will be the battle of the David's next week.

Holy Motives

Two words that have been on my mind the last two weeks.

After being challenged by the statement "we are drawn to things that feed our egos, yet starve our soul", God impressed "HOLY MOTIVES" into my heart.

Why am I involved in the things I'm involved in? Is it because they are part of a calling or do I choose to participate in some activity just to be seen or heard? All questions that I felt like I needed to spend a little time mulling over.

Part of the answer came as I drove home from Chattanooga after the conference a couple of weeks ago. The girls were occupied in the back seat while I had a silent conversation with God.

I was overwhelmed with everything that had gone on that weekend as well as the week before I left. I couldn't wait to share it with Chad and a few friends, but the last thing I wanted was to sound puffed up. How do you share good news and excitement without it being prideful?

The Lord impressed on my heart that I was to only share with people who have been in the trenches with me. People who pray for me and this particular area of my life on a regular basis. It's a handful of cherished loved ones. Some family, others who are family by choice.

Here are just a few of the verses that God has given me over the last two weeks.....

1 Chronicles 28:9 "Acknowledge the God of your father and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts."

Proverbs 5:21 "For a man's ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all his paths."

Proverbs 19:21 "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."

Oh how my heart is prone to wander from His plan. Even in doing good things, "church" things it's easy to become distracted and loose sight of the calling God has placed. Sometimes, it's okay to say no! God doesn't call us all to every task. I want to serve Him and serve Him well in the areas He has chosen and purposed for me to serve in.

I guess more than ever I want only to walk the path God has charted for me. Even when that path seems so foreign! God is trustworthy and I believe with all my heart that His path is the safest and the best for my life.

He knows the deepest desires of my heart, ALL of my motives the holy and the unholy. But you know what I'm finding on this journey? The more I know Him, the more those desires change. And I like His ideas for my life a whole lot better than I like mine! He's a 100 times more creative than I could ever be!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Weekend

WARNING before you begin...this is a detailed account of this weekend...Read at your own risk...if you choose to continue, grab a cup of coffee to keep you awake! This is mainly for my girls...

Carry on dear friends....

This has been a great Mother's Day Weekend. It started on Friday when Emma couldn't stand it anymore and gave me the one Jim Brickman CD I didn't have..."Greatest Hits". I love that child. She loves to give gifts and will spend hours thinking about, asking questions and creating the perfect gift for someone. I love that about her.

Chad was at the office most of Saturday, so the girls played with a little friend from up the street and I cleaned house, caught up on laundry and read. Once Chad got home, he took the girls out for a little while. It was nice to have some chill out time alone. As much as I love having a houseful of kids here, it sure is nice to have the house to myself!

My day ended when Chloe asked "May I draw you a hot bath?" Oh yes she did, and you know what, I let her! It was great, but I could here the door chime on our security system beep. (It beeps every time a door is opened.) I bet that it beeped 100 times while I was in the tub. They were up to something and "drawing my bath" was a distraction. That's okay...I loved every minute of it.

Atlanta had some severe thunderstorms last night. About 4:30 this morning, it sounded like a bomb had gone off. The thunder was incredible and I was wide awake. Wide awake with a hot, scratchy, itchy throat. YUCK. I hate allergy season. I thought I had kicked this out of my system earlier in the week, but's back. So I tossed and turned until a little before 7:00 when I awoke to:

"Good Morning Mommy. Happy Mother's Day!" The two prettiest little things in the world were standing beside me grinning ear to ear. They shared cards and Chloe gave me a great devotional book based on women in the Bible. (She was quick to point out "she" was in there and named the page.) They both admitted that they had been awake since the thunder bomb had occurred and they just looked exhausted. So Daddy and I made an executive decision to stay home from church. They crawled in bed with us and giggled about book titles they had seen at LifeWay last night. Apparently "Bad Girls of the Bible" and "REALLY Bad Girls of the Bible" just cracked them up.

It wasn't long until they got up "to go and do something". A few minutes later, Emma came in with an apron on and a napkin thrown over one arm. She announced, complete with air quotes, that "Today, Chloe would be my cooker." She then went on to lay the napkin over my lap and say in her best British accent "and Mother, I will be your wiper." I looked at Chad and said, "I guess this is what we have to look forward to in our old age....." They soon brought me breakfast in bed. I have NEVER had breakfast in bed so this was a treat.

We have spent the rest of the day just hanging out together. We did manage to hit Sonic during happy hour and got 1/2 price cherry limeades! That is always a treat around here.

It was a wonderful day that has been full of laughter and love. The only thing that could have made my day better, would have been to look my mom eyeball to eyeball and say I love you! Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Then Sings My Soul

I really missed this last weekend so I'm looking forward to spending part of my mother's day checking out all of your sites!

Earlier in the week I mentioned that I was going to be having a Mini Retreat with the Lord while Chad and the girls were at karate. Thursday night was my first date with the King. (doesn't that sound better than mini retreat?)

After they left and I got dinner going, I gathered my Bible and journal, turned on some music and just got quiet.

Because I was intent on listening to the Lord, (and I'm easily distracted) I picked music by my all time favorite instrumental artist. (Chad would say that I have a one-sided love affair with him, but that isn't really true.) When I grow up, I want to play piano like this man....

For me, the most intimate worship time comes when I'm alone at a piano. That is why I'm choosing to share this piece with you. It takes me to a place where I can't help but hear from my Savior....

Have a blessed Mother's Day weekend.

Enjoy Jim Brickman's "Angel Eyes"

Friday Fun


I have this super spiritual post running in my mind. It kind of goes along with the thought I was soaking in yesterday, but today the pollen has taken over my head and I can't seem to focus. Jesus, Send the Rain.....please :)

Let me tell you what I've accomplished today. (this is what over the counter allergy stuff does to me) I've moved furniture. Yep...moved a yellow wing chair out of our guest bedroom/piano/sewing room into my breakfast room corner. I needed something new in that corner and I love having a comfy chair in there.

After I got the chair in position, I decided I needed a small table to set books and what not on...there is not a small table not being used in this house, so I grabbed a wicker hamper, slapped Mamaw Wolfe's silver tray on top of it and there you have it....

After I moved furniture, and the girls had lunch, I sent them upstairs to read for a little while and I sat down to read blogs. For some reason, the allergy medicine that had hyped me up has now made me REALLY relaxed, and talkative...(explains my phone conversation earlier with a friend doesn't know who you are!)

So I'm sitting down reading different blogs and Rocks in My Dryer has posted about something that I've been putting off doing this spring. Something that triggers all sorts of emotion. The type of emotion that brings wailing, gnashing of teeth and tears.

Swimsuit shopping.

Shannon has a great little giveaway from Lands End going on....I love Lands End. So I'm hopes that I'll win and can just swimsuit shop from the comfort of my leather chair. (That way I can eat Ghiradelli Chocolate Raspberry treats to help with the horror of the whole experience.)

Last year, I had planned to buy a new Lands End swimsuit and even went on-line, entered all my stats (measurements) and created a virtual model. You can have her "try on" the clothes you're thinking about buying. Needless to say, I got depressed when I started picking out swimsuits, so I just pulled out the old black tank and stuck with old faithful.

This year though, I HAVE to purchase a new suit. No getting around it. Old faithful is 5 years old and lets just say....she's just not as supportive as she used to be...

So, I'm heading back to my virtual model friend and since a few of my "stats" have changed, (decreased praise the Lord) we will seriously be looking at swimwear this afternoon. (Our pool opens in one week, there isn't much time!)

So....offer up a prayer that I will have discernment beyond my years and that Chad will have a very generous heart when I make the big proposal for the super expensive suit of my dreams.... Our 14th anniversary is this coming Wednesday, so I'll just tell him it can be my anniversary gift.... :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Soaking In a Thought

"....we are drawn to things that feed our egos, yet starve our souls......"

This was one of the things I jotted down in my notes last weekend.

Why do I choose to spend time, energy and emotion in activity or relationships that do nothing but drain my soul?

Why do I care so much about having the approval of another human being?

Why do I allow one person's opinion, be it good or bad, determine my mood!

I don't know if I'll elaborate on this, but this statement has been on my mind for the better part of three days, so I thought I'd share it with you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Let me hear your ideas!

This past weekend, I was challenged to take mini-retreats with the Father. We all need to get away and recharge the soul, but few of us have the resources or the time to find a week or weekend to actually be alone with God. For the most part, finding time for quiet(Bible study) times in the morning comes easily for me. It's finding time for uninterrupted prayer that is hard. And we all know that as important as time in the Word is, time being still and silent with the Lord is just as important.

So, I'm taking some of Amy's advice and finding opportunities during the day for mini-retreats. She gave several suggestions, but my favorite creative idea involved the car. Her tip was every time you come to a red light...turn down the radio, sit quietly and ask God to speak to you.

She got me thinking, and I've been trying to find creative ways to design my own mini-retreat. Here's what God has impressed on my heart so far.

Every Tuesday and Thursday Chad and the girls have Karate. They are gone for an hour and a half. I've decided that during that time, I will have my mini-retreat. The plan right now is to get a new prayer journal just for that time, and just listen and journal what the Lord impresses on my heart. Of course, I'll probably light a few candles and play some quiet praise music.

So what about creative! Think about it and then share your ideas, I bet you come up with something really cool!

One more really cool thing that has absolutely nothing to do with this post....

Right now the sun is coming in our family room windows and casting a shadow of a cross onto the wall opposite the window. Thank you Lord for reminding me of your great sacrifice for us.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Live, Love, Laugh Thoughts

It's Sunday evening and I'm still absorbing what God did at the Live, Love, Laugh conference.

The women's ministry team at Dallas Bay out did themselves once again. These girls can pull together a wonderful weekend. :) It was obvious from the moment they asked me to come that they were already covering May 2nd and 3rd in prayer. They expected God to move and He did. I'm honored to have been part of it.

The worship team was incredible. They learned a couple of new songs and sang their hearts out for Jesus Friday and Saturday. Thanks girls (and guys!) for taking your role as lead worshippers with such grace and dedication. It was a precious gift to stand on that platform with you. Friday night when we walked up the steps and I got my first glance at the ladies in front of us, my heart skipped a beat. It took my breath away and I was overwhelmed and honored that God allowed me to be there.

Micca Campbell and Amy Carroll from Proverbs 31 were the speakers this weekend. God used each one to say very specific things to me. Friday night as Micca spoke, I thought oh Lord, thank you so much for giving me my word on Friday night! I was just blown away at how on target her message was in a specific area of my life right now. But He wasn't done.

Amy took the platform first on Saturday and she just added another layer to the cake God had prepared for me. I was blown away again at just how specific the message was. He was moving and stirring in the hearts of many women, and we were only halfway through the day.

As Micca shared during the last session, I couldn't help but think of my story. The road I've travelled and the way God has moved and worked in my life. Looking back, I see His hand all over the place, even in the times I'm not proud of. It's thinking on those times that I'm amazed at the way He loves me.

One thing that really stuck out to me on this weekend was that both speakers didn't come with a "feel good" sugar coated devotion. They brought the Word. God gave them life-changing truth to share. Don't get me wrong, they were funny, excellent speakers! BUT, they brought the Word and challenged us to leave as changed women. Women who would make a difference in their family, their workplace and their church. THAT is something near to my heart.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm honored that God saw fit to let me be part of this. Can I just tell you that it's on weekends like this that I feel totally complete...this is what God called me to do. Wow...that's the first time I've written that down. I've felt it for a long time, but to actually see it in print is very emotional.

I'm sad to say that I did not take one picture. I KNOW!!! Not one...I'm hoping that Angela (Refresh My Soul) will have a few up on her blog! Hint. Hint!

I'm off to catch up on some much needed sleep! Have a great Monday.