Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day /Simple Pleasure

We have had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Our grill has been used several times this weekend and I love it! After we spent sometime at the pool, (because we had about an hour of S.U.N. thank you Lord!) Chad grilled chicken and I whipped out some cornbread and green beans. We ate inside since I STILL have not found a picnic table. I really need to get myself together and do that, we've only been here three years....sigh.

Chad took the girls to work a booth in our local Memorial Day parade this morning so I had about 5 hours of extreme quiet. It was heavenly. I fixed myself some Pecan Torte coffee, took an extra long shower and then settled in with my Bible and journal. I guess you could say I had a mini-retreat. It was my Simple Pleasure of the week.

Yesterday our pastor brought a powerful,bold word based on John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." (ESV)

He reminded us of the sacrifice Jesus made for each and every one of us and the freedom we have in Him. He beautifully and boldly reminded our church how blessed we are to live in this country where so many men and women have died so that we can simply start our car and drive to our church.

This morning I started thinking about my story, my spiritual freedom and the path that I've taken up to this point in my life. Just spent time thanking God for godly parents, Sunday school teachers and teachers in elementary, middle and high school that made a spiritual impact on my life.

As I got to my twenties I started thinking about the Bible teachers that have greatly impacted me. Some well known, others were women in my local church. Women who pushed me, challenged me and got all up in my business until I got into small group Bible study. I am so thankful for them. They are part of my story.

One teacher/author that I had the privilege to sit under for a weekend at our church in Tennessee, was Dee Brestin. (Falling in Love with Jesus; Friendships of Women...)

I treasure the book she signed for me not because she signed her name, but because she penned a personal message to me. She challenged me to keep asking God to give me song lyrics. She had spent no time with me one on one to know that was heavy on my heart. The only reason she knew I had written anything was because a friend of mine sang one of my songs, "Whole Again" during the conference. (The timing of that song in the conference is a story in and of itself!) I will never forget walking away and looking down and seeing her words to me. She had spoken them TO me, but to see them written in the front of that was just a powerful moment in my life.

Dee has started blogging! I would love for you to go here and check it out! I know you will be blessed.

I hope one day to be able to look her in the eye and tell her just how much she has influenced my life.

So how about you? Do you have anyone who has guided you in your spiritual journey to freedom?

One more thing. We had family pictures done last week and I want to share two of my favorites!


Anne said...

Hello! I'm Dee's daughter :) My husband and I are helping my mom with her new website - we pretty much live and breath it right now...haha. We saw you linked to her blog and came to check out your blog. I loved that story you shared. And, your girls are beautiful! We were wowed at that picture of them - beautiful family :) - God Bless!

Leah said...

Guides on my road to freedom... Definitely Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer. Also Karen Porter who was my small group leader at the CLASS seminar I attended. She gave me much to think about regarding ministry. My pastor who is also my friend.

Praying for your upcoming retreat.


jenmom said...

Oh Stephanie! The family picture and picture of the girls are absolutely beautiful. The Lord has truly blessed the Parsons with a awesome family!! Who did the pictures? I love outside photos! Have a blessed week!

Angela @ Refresh My Soul Blog said...

Hey thanks for giving Dee some pub!!!
Love that story! I did not realize that! So cool how God works. He is good. :)

LOVE your pics too girl....Great stuff.
Love you!

jodi said...

I love to think about and thank God for the incredible women He put in my path to freedom. And Stephanie, I'd have to count you and your encouraging blog as one of them. :)

Your family picture is great, but the one of the girls...WOW! Beautiful!!!

Fran said...

You know how much I love looking at those pictures!!! *smile smile smile*

I'm grateful for the women who have taught me along the way.

Lora said...

Your pictures are beautiful Stephanie! I loved your sweet tribute to Dee. My friend Linda reminds me of Dee. Linda always encourages me to ask the Lord and wait for Him to answer.

Melinda said...

Oh, those pictures!! SO beautiful!!

Trail guides:

My mom.
My Aunt Mary Ellen.
My youth pastor, Tommy.
A group of "Titus 2" women from different states, all through the years.
Beth Moore.