Monday, September 29, 2008

Women of Faith Nuggets

Oh friends, I'm still floating after this weekend. It was wonderful. Can I share, in a random sort of way, a few of the things that were special to me?

First...prayer IS the battle. I referenced it Saturday evening, but it is the place we get our orders from God! It is SO important and I was so convicted over my lack of time spent in prayer lately.

Second, and this thought just took my breath away: You have never lived an unloved moment in your life. God has always and will always love you. Even when it doesn't feel like it, you are loved.

Then Sheila Walsh said this..."Pouring out sorrow makes space for grace." That made me feel so much better about getting flat and crying my eyes out over a few things.

Sandy Patti commented during her testimony that she had talked about grace for years, but it wasn't until she NEEDED grace that she fully understood it. Amen to that....and let me tell you she did a beautiful job of sharing her story with us.

As powerful and beautiful as each speaker was, and as much as I took from each one I kept thinking that there has to be ONE thing that God wants to impress on me. There was...

Saturday this verse was referenced

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NLT)Don't you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will bring ruin upon anyone who ruins this temple. For God's temple is holy and you Christians are that temple."

For whatever reason this verse just really stood out to me so I asked God why? I LOVE my fellow believers! But God impressed on me specifically verse 17. "God will bring ruin upon anyone who ruins this temple. For God's temple is holy and you Christians are the temple."

For quite sometime I've been led to verses like this. I just "assumed" that God was talking about thoughts, gossip, attitude toward His church...that sort of thing. BUT, the more I prayed asking Him to search my heart and mind to show me where my attitude, actions or thoughts needed to change...the more UNsettled I became.

This weekend however I knew exactly what He has been trying to beat into my brain...

It's my physical body.

I haven't been taking very good care of it. Most days, I drink A LOT of coffee for breakfast, skip lunch and eat dinner with the family. Most nights, I have a popcorn snack before bedtime.

Exercise...well that just doesn't happen. Occasionally I'll take a walk, but for the most part I count playing with the girls in the backyard as my entire exercise routine. As fun as that is, it isn't enough.

I've had this attitude that since I'm not"overweight" I don't really have to be watching what I eat and exercise is optional. I KNOW, I KNOW...I AM WRONG!!! Go on and laugh out loud, I know it sounds ludicrous!

SO....God has been trying to get my attention and I've been ignoring it.

Last Monday on our way home from Charlotte, I started feeling really strange. Just really weak. I attributed it to the heat in the church we were in, the long drive and it being VERY late. Tuesday, the headache came and didn't go away until Friday morning. Then of course, Women of Faith meant a late Friday night and an early Saturday morning. By the time I got home on Saturday evening, I was plum tuckered!

I say all this to say...God is showing me that I need to take better care of the temple He has entrusted to me. How in the world can I keep up the schedule that He is calling me to keep when I'm skipping meals and living on coffee.

Conviction fell hard on me.

So, I've spent sometime today brainstorming on what to eat for breakfast and when I can work in 30 minutes of exercise. Here is what my new schedule looks like.

5:00-5:30 walking on treadmill. I will borrow Chad's MP3 player, listen to praise music and have some prayer time.

5:30-6:00 my time in the word before the girls and Chad get up and need something.
(my coffee maker is set for 6:15 so it will not be ready until AFTER I've exercised AND had my quiet time.)

I will eat breakfast with my girls INSTEAD of starting laundry, emptying the dishwasher and getting a head start on dinner while they sit at the bar and watch me rush through the morning chores!

I've posted this because it will keep my accountable. Feel free to ask me how the schedule is going, you will keep me honest!

I want so badly to as Hebrews 12:1 says run with endurance the race that God has set before me. I want to run it to the best of my ability and right now, my diet and lack of healthy living is keeping me from running my best.

God used this weekend to open my eyes to this. I know that for most of you this won't seem like "much", but it is HUGE to me. It is fresh to me. I questioned posting about it, but God said to do I had to. :)

If you were there last weekend, share your thoughts!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Filled Up

And I'm not talking about my gas tank...we are still in search for gas for my car!!

I'm talking about my heart, my mind and my soul.

Filled to overflowing.

Women of Faith this weekend was simply an extravagant gift from God to me. I was surrounded by some precious mom, the two ladies from her church, two of my Freedom's Call partners, our church women's ministry director and a host of women I do not know!

I saw Carol and Amy across the crowded arena this afternoon. We were all getting our praise on with Nicole C. Mullen. (In my glorified body I'm going to have arms like hers.) AND a sweet kiss from the King was the moment I met Jess!! She found me in the coffee line this afternoon. :) Let me just tell you, she is the sweetest most beautiful young lady! I can't wait to see her again.

The worship team was wonderful.

The speakers...powerful and bold, and at the same time delicate and vulnerable.

My sides hurt from laughing HARD.

My eyes are puffy from tears.

My heart..

It's full.

I saw living, breathing Trophies of Grace on that platform.

It was so precious to see women in all "seasons" of life. Each one pouring out the message God gave them.

There was one thing God spoke to me and I'll share that Monday, but I want to share a thought that just hit me in the gut. Last night Sheila Walsh shared. (She followed Max HELLO would you want to follow that???) Well she did and I'm telling you, I could have listened to her all night long.

Anyway...she said something to the effect of: we act as if prayer is meant to stop the battle from coming. BUT prayer IS the battle! It's where we get our orders from the Commander and Chief! Goodness gracious I'm starting to get worked up. I can't wait to get into her book!

There is so much I want to tell you! SO much. I want to thank you for praying for the lady I mentioned in my previous post. (The lady who buried her daughter just one week ago) God used each and every speaker to minister to her.

I'm telling you, I felt like God had written her a letter and each speaker had a paragraph or two to give her. She allowed herself to grieve this morning. Something I'm not sure she's been able to do yet. It was hard to watch, but at the same time, she was receiving a word straight from God and I think she was overcome with it all. Praise Jesus for this weekend for her. I'm still blown away at the timing of this event in her life. mind is working overtime and Chad is actually asking to hear about the weekend, so I'm going to go talk his ears off.....

Have a great Sunday.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Friday!!!!

Happy Friday to you.

I'm overwhelmed this week at God's faithfulness to me, in spite of my failures.

I'm humbled at how His kindness leads me to repentance.

I'm grateful for forgiveness.

I'm amazed at how His precious Word never ceases to speak.

I'm so blessed that He saw fit to let me go to Women of Faith this weekend, and more than that...I'm so glad that the timing of this event is so precious.

My mother and two ladies from my parent's church are on the way right now to go with me. One lady buried her mid-thirties daughter last week. I won't share circumstances with you out of respect for that family, but will you pray especially for this sweet lady? She is so excited! God knew that she would be going through one of the hardest points in her life the week before this conference. I'm asking Him to show off and fill her up to overflowing this weekend. I'm already thanking Him for her anticipation of Him.

I'm so grateful for my man and my daddy. They are on little girl duty this weekend. I've already heard talk of bowling, a trip to Sam's, and my favorite was "date" night with dad and daddy mack. I'm quite sure Chloe and Emma will have a blast this weekend.

My heart feels full, but I want more of my God.

I can't wait to share with you what He does this weekend!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008



I read this verse today and this translation just really captured my heart.

Psalm 139: 17-18 (TLB)

How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can't even count how many times a day your thoughts turn towards me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!

Sometimes His love for me just amazes me. I don't ever want to get over it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oh what a night...late September back in...

One year ago, September 15, 2007, I along with three women I barely knew, drove to Greenville, SC to meet with another lady. It was to be my "final" interview so to speak, Freedom's Call. I was so excited to become part of this team of women. Women who share the same passion for the Savior, His Word and seeing other women experience Him.

Over the past year God has been so busy in each one of our lives. If you were to talk to any one of us, we would tell you that as much as we want to be doing this ministry thing ALL THE TIME, we want to be at the feet of God MORE. And let me tell you, this past year each one of us have experienced a season that has done nothing but keep us on our face before Almighty God. Believe me when I say, I really think He wanted each of us to experience heavy stuff so that when we stand before a group of women, we can understand from personal experience what they are feeling.

I think it was very fitting that our first team event was almost one year to the day of the anniversary of me joining the group. (Oh and get this! It would have been on the exact date, but Jill, who organizes conferences for a certain author that oh...wrote "The Prayer of Jabez", had a HUGE conference last week. The church we were at last night was able to move the date so we could cool is that?!)

Okay...enough of my walk down memory lane here are some pictures!!!

I'll give a brief disclaimer here: The air conditioning in the fellowship hall/gym we were in..did not work yesterday. It was about 102 degrees in there!

But God.

And I mean that in all sincerity, made it cooler on the platform area than on the floor. I am serious about that! (If our faces look extra shiny, just imagine it's a holy glow instead of sweat.) Once again He reminded us He is in control.


from left Amy, me Debbie F. and Debbie M.
We were singing "The Solid Rock" here. (Travis C.'s arrangement)

This was during "Everlasting God". Debbie F. is reading the Isaiah passage about being lifted up on wings of eagles during the middle of the song. Notice we had no hand held mics. Nope...they handed us four lapel mics when we walked in for soundcheck. At first we all looked at each other like..."do what?". Once we got wired up and got our sound check we LOVED IT!!! It was SO freeing to be able to MOVE around handsfree...So Cool.. :)

Jill had Debbie M. write a short drama..this was my acting debut. It was a riot.

Jill bringing the Word. She spoke on:

New Beginnings...

This church has a new pastor and the message was so timely. For us too!

I wish you could hear her! You feel like you are having a conversation with her while she teaches. Jill reminded us that once we are covered by the blood of Jesus, God sees us as His beautiful, glorious bride. She challenged us to make the statement out loud each day..." I am the Bride of Christ!" Boy, doing that totally changes your perspective. I had to stop, look in the mirror and say it SEVERAL times this afternoon. (I had a bad, bad attitude.)

Toward the end of Jill's teaching, Debbie M. sang "Beauty for Ashes". As she sang, Amy walked in the back door, weaved in and out of the ladies and wound up on the stage looking pretty nasty. She sat down with all her junk and began to dig through her bag.

I won't give away much more, because I hope one day you'll see it in person, but during the song Amy takes off the old and puts on the new.

Each lady left with a wedding ring to remind her she is the Bride of Christ. It was touching to see them come forward to receive their ring.

What a night. It was almost ten before we got on the road and I pulled into my driveway a few minutes before 2:00 this morning. BUT God has been gracious and we've had a good day..and I will probably go to bed EARLY tonight. :)

Thanks Melanie for taking pictures for us last night! THANK YOU Durham Memorial Baptist in Charlotte for hosting such a lovely evening. You made us feel right at home and were just a beautiful group of women. It was an honor to serve you.

After last night, I can hardly wait for Women of Faith this weekend!!! My mom and two ladies from her church are coming down to go with me!!

If any of you are going, leave me a comment and let's try to meet up there....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Thought

Our pastor preached on "security" this morning. Being secure in who you are in Christ.... here is the one thing that I keep thinking about.

"Only Stephanie can fill the spot God created for Stephanie to fill. No one else can do it."

If I'm going to fill that spot the way God intended, I had better be talking to Him to find out how He wants it filled. How can I know which way to go if I'm not listening to Him or spending time in His Word?

I had the honor of hearing this sermon twice this morning and I added to my notes the second time...God couldn't have timed it any better for me.

Man I love it when He does that.

I'm off to Charlotte Monday morning for a conference with my Freedom's Call buddies. We would be so honored if you would say a quick prayer for safe travel, we are driving back to Atlanta after the conference Monday night. (I'm driving so the other girls would GREATLY appreciate your prayer support!)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday Mornings

I love Saturday morning. It is the only morning of the week when everyone can be relaxed. You know, get up when you want to...shower when you want and generally be lazy together. Not so much this morning though.

I've been awake since 4:45...that is when "the cricket" started singing. We had an entire weekend of cricket excitement a week ago. The thing "sang" 8-10 hours straight Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. All.Night.Long. Chad...well....Chad wasn't exactly in the best of moods after several nights of constant chirping. We thought that the thing had died or moved on. I even thanked Jesus for it!

I woke early this morning to an all to familiar "chirp". It doesn't really bother me, but it annoys the hound out of the man. (It was all I could do not to lean over and whisper in his ear..."It's baaack!" I'll have you know, I controlled myself.

I knew he wanted to sleep in so I got up and started making breakfast. (From scratch pancakes, just call me Martha Stewart. Those of you who know me in real life can stop laughing now. Thank you.) As I was coming out of the pantry, I looked up to find Chad, arms crossed staring right at me. His words to me were:

"Did. you. hear. it."

No smile, no good hearted chuckle. Just a flat, monotone, ticked off "Did you hear it?"

I had to laugh and told him yes, I heard God's creature serenading us in the wee hours of the morning...okay maybe I didn't say THAT. I did say yes and I really tried NOT to laugh at him, but a little bit slipped out. He started laughing and enjoyed breakfast.

Right now...he's outside working in the yard. (I think he's hunting down crickets.)

The girls are taking their American Girl dolls on a walk.

And I, I'm enjoying silence.

Trust me it won't last long. There are THREE MAJOR FOOTBALL GAMES ON TODAY!!!!
And we are going to need to cheer LOUD once our beloved Vols take on those nasty Gators.

Enough time on this computer it's a cool, beautiful fall morning and I'm headed out to pull some weeds and plant some flowers on my mud day that backyard is going to look good!

I hope your Saturday is filled with fun and family!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

God Stop Friday

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I've known since Tuesday what I wanted to share with you this week. In fact, I've avoided posting so I didn't slip up and tell you early!!

The women's ministry team I'm part of (Freedom's Call) has an event this Monday, Sept. 22 in Charlotte. It is the first time since I've joined the team that all five of us have been at an event together. To say that we are excited is an understatement. God has done quite a bit of work in all five of our lives over the last year preparing us for our "now". It is a year of testimony that sends me to me knees each time I think about it.

Jill our teacher, asked the worship team earlier in September if any of us still had our wedding dresses and more importantly, could we still get into them!! Well I'll have you know....I do and I's the proof!!

THIS is a God Stop in and of itself, but this isn't what I'm about to pop out of my skin to tell you! (Maybe pop out of the dress...!)

At the end of Jill's teaching she wanted one member to sing "Beauty for Ashes" and for one of us to come out in our wedding dress.

Well.....I could get in, but walking around was another story :) Things, ummm, change after babies. ;)

Anyway...Monday night we came up with a really cool thing to go on during the song, took a video of it and felt like it was awesome. We had chills just watching it.

Jill loved what we had come up with, but still felt like we needed someone IN THE DRESS. SO...

We began to pray. Since we were less than 7 days away from the event, renting a dress was out of the picture.

One of our worship team members (the girl that will actually be the main character in this drama) was running errands with her husband on Tuesday. While he stood in the LONG line at the tag office, she ran across the street to a thrift store just in case they had a dress we could use.

They had three. (Understand, Amy is about an inch shorter than me. Dresses that fit us don't exist!)

Of the three dresses only one was anywhere close to fitting her so she grabbed it to try on.

It was perfect! It would slide over her "bag lady" clothes she would begin this drama in. PLUS it was pretty, I've seen it and it is very pretty!

She looked at the price tag $69.

$69 she didn't have.

Then she noticed a strange yellow sticker on the tag. She asked the clerk what that meant. This was her response...

"For today that dress is .99"

99 CENTS GIRLS!! 99 CENTS!!!!!

When she checked out she wound up paying $1.05 for a wedding dress. you think it was any coincidence that Tuesday was the day THAT dress would be marked down? I don't. That was nothing but God Almighty showing off for Freedom's Call.

He was our Provider once again.

I can't wait to see what He does in Charlotte on Monday night!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I haven't posted in several days. Don't get me wrong I've wanted to, but for whatever reason, I did not feel as if I could. These are a few of the things that have been occupying my heart since Friday:

Hurricanes, cancer, epilepsy, crohn's, suicide, divorce, abuse, financial distress....

These are all things that are on my prayer list. Some were added in the last day or two.

Each one of those words represents a person and/or a family I care deeply about. When I think of these words, a face pops into my mind. A few of those faces wake me up in the night.

With everything in me I want to "do" something. Something that my human hearts says is more than praying. I feel helpless because there are somethings I just can't fix.

You probably "got" this concept a long time ago but, I'm a slow learner! (My parents will verify this!) When we pray we tap into power and resources we can't begin to understand. I wonder if we will ever really understand just how powerful our prayers are?!! Why do downplay prayer? Why do we act as if it's the last thing we can do? It's the BEST thing we can do!!

So tonight as I look at all those situations and see those faces affected by these life altering circumstances, I am thanking God for being God. I'm thanking Him for loving and caring for each person as if they were the only one on the planet.

He is able. He can handle it. He is it. And I am humbled that the great I AM hears me when I talk to Him. He HEARS ME!! He HEARS YOU!

Friday, September 12, 2008

God Stop Friday

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

My, now real life, siesta Patty hosts God Stop Friday each week. It's designed to be a post to document something God has done for you this week. I think of it kind of like a virtual Stone of Remembrance.

You know that last night we had a Bible study here at my house. It was such a sweet time. I knew almost from the point Carol asked me to lead, what it should be on. After a couple days of praying, God confirmed it.

I began to pray that God would bring only the women He wanted here. I would rather have 3 women who really want to seek Him than 15 who just want to chat and talk shopping. NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH TALKING SHOPPING, I just knew that this night wasn't going to be that type of fellowship.

So anyway, Carol calls me around 4:15 to say that it looked like it was only going to be the two of us plus Amy and possibly our friend Amanda. I was completely okay with that because as I said, I had asked God to bring who HE wanted. Was I disappointed that more ladies weren't coming? Yes. But I was trusting Him.

Carol and I hung up and I began to pray for one lady in particular. She's been on my mind all week long and I felt in my heart that she was supposed to be there.

I began to pray that God would move whatever mountain was keeping her from coming. Then I asked if she was to come, that He would work it out for her husband to come home earlier than normal and tell her to go ahead.

I sat out five plates, five forks and five glasses, not knowing who was going to show up.

Carol and Amy arrived, Amanda arrived and then in casual conversation Carol says that this other sweet lady was going to come.

I told them what I prayed and then Carol went on to tell us that our friend had called at the last minute to say that her husband came home a little early and told her to go to Bible study if she wanted to.


He used her to remind me that YES! He hears and answers our prayers. Sometimes faster than others, but He does answer!

These five ladies blessed my socks off last night. We had a great time of fellowship and they made the Bible study come to life for me.

I will remember this particular Bible study as the one where I couldn't concentrate and felt SO inadequate...BUT I will treasure what God did between the five of us in my living room. He really is Alive and Active, we saw evidence of that Thursday evening.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Just a Quick Thought

Tonight is Bible study at my house.

Here is one of the things we're going to talk about...

God did not deliver us (forgive, save, restore) to stay in the same spot. He delivered us from something to take us TO something.

Oh and that word I referenced here is Promise.

I wish I had thought of this earlier, but I didn't. Even if you NEVER comment, and I know who you are, ;) would you please leave me a comment and tell me about one of God's promises that has been "life" to you. I would love to be able to read a few tonight...with my real life siesta's.

Have a great Thursday!

Monday, September 8, 2008

What Shelly the Turtle Taught Me

Our weekend was over so fast and we had a hard time getting started this morning. About the time we were all ready to just go back to bed, I looked out the window and "Shelly" was back.

Shelly is a turtle that Chad found in the street in front of our neighborhood last week. He brought it home to squeals from Emma who has ALWAYS loved turtles. (in fact her favorite dress as a toddler was a sweet little bishop style smocked dress with turtles around the neck...too cute)

So anyway, Shelly escaped from our backyard last Wednesday while we were all at church. There were many tears. Emma expressed her grief by drawing a picture of the turtle crawling in the grass and writing this above her..."Shelly. We lost her." Oh the drama.

Back to this morning, I looked out the loft window and saw Shelly, or one of her cousins, hanging out in the road in front of our house. I jumped out of my chair and said "GIRLS!! SHELLY is out there!"

In not time, we all found shoes and were sitting with this turtle on our driveway. Emma asked her all sorts of questions. I wasn't convinced that this turtle was the same one that Chad had brought home, but the girls were "absolutely sure". They kept saying that's her mark, we KNOW that this is Shelly. Well okay, who am I to argue with these two...and after the first 45 minutes of school, I really didn't have the energy to argue!

We sat there for quite sometime just watching this turtle. Bless it's heart it was scared to death. I asked Chad later if "Shelly" from last week had a specific mark on her belly. He said, yes and that he had shown it to the girls. They were right. They had spent very little time with this turtle but they knew there was something special about her.(or him)

I was reminded that there are times when we, as Christians are drawn to each other. We may not know each other very well BUT we recognize the bond we share, the Holy Spirit. That was made clear to me tonight.

We came home from an errand to find the entrance to our neighborhood blocked by firetrucks and police cars. Our hearts sank as we realized that a horrible accident had taken place, the car that was so badly damaged was our across the street neighbor.

This family is the type of neighbor you want to have. So it was very disturbing for the girls to see his car like that.

I've suspected for sometime that they are believers, we seem to leave on Sunday's about the same time...I see her with her Bible, but we have never had a conversation long enough to find out for sure. (I'm really a little embarrassed to say that to be honest)

This post is so long, I'm sorry....but I've got to share what happened.

Anyway...we got home and had several of the neighborhood kids in our yard. Chad and I were doing some yard work when I saw her pull back into her driveway. (She had been at the entrance with her husband waiting on the ambulance to arrive) She hurried in and shut the garage door, I just prayed.

It wasn't anytime and that door went up again. I caught her attention and walked over to find out that her husband was already on his way to the hospital and she would meet them there. When I asked "can I do anything for you?" Her only response was "pray". I stepped closer and said "Can I do that right now with you?"

Her tears said enough. I took her sweet little hand and began to pray and you know what happened?

She.did.too. And I mean P.R.A.Y. with me. I LOVE THAT!!!

That sneakin' suspicion I've had for the past two years was the HOLY SPIRIT saying...HELLO...YOU HAVE A SISTER ACROSS THE STREET....

I knew she was marked with the blood of Jesus, and I get the impression she had been wondering about us. Now we know and when Mr. P. comes home from that hospital, we are going to praise Jesus with them.

As I walked back across the street to my yard full of kids, I thought...okay what about that neighbor, and that one....what if they aren't marked or covered, by the blood of Jesus?

I've got some prayer walking to do......

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Next week, I'm having the ladies from our Sunday School class over for dinner and Bible study. I'm really looking forward to it, this is what I LOVE doing.

I've been asking God what Bible study is to look like that night and I keep hearing one word. It's a word that began to resonate with me about two weeks before San Antonio. In fact, God gave me the word in a passage the morning I left for the Fiesta. Then to top it off, the word Beth taught on was closely related. I'm not going to elaborate too much just in case anyone from class is reading this!

In fact, Sunday morning in between services, a choir member that I don't know very well walks up to me with a plastic bag. She gives an encouraging word to Freedom's Call and then she looks at me and says, "I have something for you. I made this for you with the help of my grandson. It's a _____ box." (The blank is THE WORD I AM DETERMINED NOT TO GIVE AWAY!!!)

I know my jaw hit the floor. I explained to her that what she had put in this box was my primary love language and that I would treasure it. As she walked away, the tears, they were on the verge of rolling and the ugly cry was just about to make an appearance! I was so overwhelmed and honestly I just wanted to get flat before the Lord, but we had to sing one more time...

I say all this to remind myself that even when it feels like God is not moving, He is. He is active all the time. He is working out things even now. I want to live looking for Him and the work of His hands, but I also want to be used by His hands.

That sweet choir member blessed my socks off Sunday morning, I want with all my heart to do that same thing to someone today.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day

We have had a whirlwind of a weekend. It's Tuesday morning and we are ALL struggling to concentrate, so I've declared an early lunch and a nap for everyone.
I'm blogging instead of napping, what is wrong with that?!?!

Freedom's Call sang in our Sunday morning services. As soon as we were done in the second service, I jumped in the car and we headed to TN. We were in two cars and I had Emma with me...this is what we passed at one point.

As soon as we got into town, we began the visits. First stop was Chad's mom and her husband. The girls and Paddington were so ready to be out of the car so it was good for them to stretch their legs. (They walked up the hill to pet the donkey and to see all the goats on the adjacent property. I guess we could count that as a field trip?)

After that visit we headed to my parents to settle in for the night. Remember my issue with the brownies last week? Well...I opened the front door to smell coffee and this....

They were absolutely delicious. (According to Patty...I need the anointed orange Power T silicone baking dish. I'm going on-line to find it, you know here on the mission field in the backyard of Athens, GA I just won't find an orange Power T brownie pan!!)

Monday morning we did some shoe shopping in this little hole in the wall shoe store near my parents house. I was surprised that they had so many name brand shoes so cheap! I was headed down the aisle to the size 6's and something red caught my eye. I stopped and knew that I HAD to try these on...there were lots of cameras and my mother-in-law, who we ran into there, took a video...THAT will NOT be on here. So what do you think?

These were the strangest pair of shoes I have ever tried on, and I have tried on HUNDREDS of pairs of shoes. I could not tell which was the left and which was the right! I switched them a couple of times, and they just felt weird. I did NOT get them just so you know. They were just too much fun NOT to try on!!

However, after we had spent 45 minutes trying on red shoes...I did walk away with these...

My niece Morgan is modeling them and I had to bribe her with chips and dip to get them off of her feet.

We grilled steaks and enjoyed a long afternoon with family. It was nice to just hang out with no real agenda! However, our eyes and ears were glued to the weather channel most of the day. It was hard to enjoy our time together knowing that there were so many families unable to relax and enjoy each other. I'm so thankful that God took away some of that storm's power.

This is what I found in the back of my car as we began to load all our luggage...

They wanted to come home with us...and it was hard to say no. This was the first trip that have been able to say "Aunt Steffie", and that just melted my heart.

Coming home Chloe and I listened to a Beth Moore CD and had a really great conversation on living a Spirit led life..I want to share more of that when I have a little more time and can concentrate! We are off to finish up school and conquer the laundry pile from the weekend!