Just a quick little post - to tell you all what happened this morning...
We had just finished opening up all of the gifts. Paper and stuff still all over the room. And in the quietness of the moment, I said, "it would be PERFECT if Jonathan could call right now." It was only a minute (if that long) and the phone rang and IT WAS HIM. Calling from Iraq!!!! Now, how wonderful is that?
He had a 1000 minute phone card - a gift sent to him and we are so thankful! - (which in reality is only 90 international minutes from Iraq) - and I think we used the whole card. We all talked and passed the phone around. He could not be here with us... but we were able to talk to him.
Once again...so thankful for technology.... and the gifts that allow us to connect across the miles.
Blessed beyond measure!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Just a quick little post - to tell you all what happened this morning...
Monday, December 24, 2007
So I join the ranks of sharing a song...
Today is Christmas Eve... full of the excitement... and anticipation of Christmas morning. Under the Christmas Tree is full and running over with gifts for the ones we love the most on this earth. Family is sooo precious and the time that we get to spend together is priceless.
But this is the song on my lips today...one that my children sang in a musical when they were little. It has always been a favorite of mine....so I share it today (if I can remember all the words)... and want you to respond with more answers to the question that is posed in the song...
What can I give to the King?
Give to the One who has everything?
What can I give?
What gift can I bring?
What can I give to the King?
What can I give to the King?
Give Him a heart that's opened up wide...
Give Him a life that's got nothing to hide...
Give Him a love that's faithful and true...
and He'll give it all back to you!
What can I give to the King?
Give to the One who has everything?
What can I give?
What gift can I bring?
What can I give to the King?
What can I give to the King?
Think about it... what is your gift to the King?
Does he have your heart...fully?
Do you live your life with nothing to hide (not that you can hide anything from Him anyway)?
Do you really love Him more than anything?
My prayer for me and for you too...
is that this year we will desire Him more than anything this world has to offer. That we will give him every part of our lives.
Now this is not my New Year's post...
Just today and tomorrow...
What will we give to our King?
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Often you hear people talking about multi-tasking... especially women/wives/mothers.
Well... my newest feat is MULTI-EMOTIONS. I am completely full of several at once these days. Sometimes that is why the unexpected overflow (you know how they just spill out of our eyes).
First, and most importantly, at this time of year... I am full of Thankfulness. It starts in November with Thanksgiving and just keeps going right on into December.
And as we begin to decorate the house with lots of candles and lights (and sing "Jesus, the Light of the World"), I am full of thankfulness for God sending his Son to be our Savior "Jesus,the Light of my Soul". I am thankful for the Light sent to this dark world. I am full and I sing.
As I begin to buy presents for our family and friends... I am full of thankfulness for the precious treasures that they all are in our lives and the Joy that each one brings in their own special way. I thank the Lord for the gift of Love.... it fills my heart and I sing.
As I go to church and hear the Christmas Carols from young and old alike... I am full of Thankfulness for my church family...and I sing with them.
As I make the preparations for Christmas morning...for the entire family to be together (except our Jonathan this year)... I am full of thankfulness for the provisions that we have and the precious time that will be spent together. And I sing. "Jesus, I just want to Thank-you!"
The next emotion welling up in me is excitement. I am so excited. I get excited about Christmas. The whole season. I love the decorations... and the shopping.... and even the wrapping (after it is done). I love the cooking...the candy... the songs - even the silly ones - And I especially LOVE my family coming to my house.
MawMaw and PawPaw will come on Christmas eve and spend the night. MaMaw will come on Christmas Eve and then come back on Christmas Morning. Jen, Andy, Aubrey and Emmie (their dog) will come on Christmas morning. We are hoping that Brantley will be able to come after having Christmas with her family :) And Julia and Ronnie are COMING from Virginia. They will get here on Saturday and they will stay with us until Wednesday!!!
I am so excited - what is the saying?... I am just beside myself! I can hardly wait.
I thought it was hard when I was little... I think it just gets harder. I absolutely love them all coming. We will eat breakfast at 9:00. Then we open the presents. There are stockings hanging in front of my fireplace for everyone (complete with names on them). They will be filled to the rim. (We have all been really good this year!) We will give and receive presents from each other. Our living room will be filled with paper/ribbons/boxes and of course, the presents. You will not be able to see the floor!!! We will laugh and share and give and have a wonderful time together as a family... and I AM EXCITED just thinking about it... and preparing for it. Let's see - could we sing "Over the river and through the woods to MommaDee's House we go..."
Then the next emotion that I am juggling is sadness. Even in the midst of all of the celebration and the love and the fun and the laughter and the goodness... just thinking about Jonathan not being with us makes me SO SAD. As I have posted many times already, we are so proud of him. We are so thankful for all of the troops that make the sacrifice of time away ... so that we can continue to be free. But regardless, it makes me sad. I sure hope he will be back on his base so that maybe we can have some SKYPE time and see his smiling face. But if not, maybe if he can get through, we can at least have a phone call to pass around the room. (We did that when Julia was in Germany.) It is not the same as them being with us...but it sure helps.
Oh, Jonathan, we love you and miss you so much. All the time, but especially during the holidays. You make me proud... but I am still sad.
And if I had time to write about more... there are other emotions mixed up in with these three... but these are on the top. And often overflow.
I sing... I get nervously excited... I cry. Sometimes all at the same time. I think that is MULTI-Emoting (?)
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Just wondering.... am I able to wrap up Christmas in a box. No doubt I have tried.
(I can't send the Christmas dinner - but I understand that will be served. )
I did send the stocking - complete and full with Christmas candy and little wrapped gifts.
I also sent a dvd - for the viewing pleasure. I sent cd's for music to fill the air.
I should have sent a candle - but really did not think that the soldiers would burn it.
I kept thinking, "surely there is something else we need to put in here. What else would he want?" (besides Brantley)
I just wanted to wrap up Christmas.
Well.... let me just quote one of my favorite children's Christmas stories. If you have been in the Warren house at Christmas time.... we have read it or quoted it for you...
It was quarter past dawn...
All the Whos, still a-bed
All the Whos, still a-snooze
When he packed up his sled,
Packed it up with their presents! The ribbons! The wrappings!
The tags! And the tinsel! The trimmings! The trappings!
Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mount Crumpit,
He rode to the tiptop to dump it!
"Pooh-pooh to the Whos!" he was grinch-ish-ly humming.
"They're finding out now that no Christmas is coming!
"They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do!
"Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
"The all the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!"
"That's a noise," grinned the Grinch,
"That I simply must hear!"
So he paused. And the Grinch put a hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low. Then it started to grow...
But the sound wasn't sad!
Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn't be so!
But it WAS merry! VERY!
He stared down at Who-ville!
The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook!
What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
"It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"
So...thanks to Dr. Seuss and Mr. Grinch....for the reminder. I cannot wrap up Christmas and send it. But it will come. For both sides of this world. And our family will sing and celebrate the Birth of our Savior - either here (in Alabama) in our usual "traditional" way or there (in Kuwait) in a new and different way. Regardless, Christmas will come and we will Rejoice!
For over two thousand years ago...God sent his Son - his only begotten Son - and gave us the first Christmas gift. Wrapped in swaddling clothes.
And the angels sang.
Glory to God in the highest! and on earth Peace, Goodwill to men.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Okay, I've just been tagged by Jessie for the longest meme ever invented. It's self explanatory, so I'll just dive right in. Oh, and if you don't make it all the way to the end, I tag Darlene, Tricia, and Alison. 'K here goes.
(By the way... I had to look on google to see what a "meme" was! lol!)
1. What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now? Dial and some kind of body wash :)
2. Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator? Uh, no.
3. What would you change about your living room? The twelve year old carpet and the couch too.
4. Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty? Clean (and have been since yesterday. They just refuse to put themselves away!)
5. What is in your fridge? still leftovers from Thanksgiving
6. White or wheat bread? both... but I love the whole grain from panera.
7. What is on top of your refrigerator? uummmmm... tray with nice stainless in it .. and a pretty soup bowl and some leftover bread
8. What color or design is on your shower curtain? have a door
9. How many plants are in your home? 5 real ones... not sure how many fake ones
10. Is your bed made right now? not yet... been on the computer with Jon this morning... but will be before I shower :)
11. Comet or Soft Scrub? Soft Scrub
12. Is your closet organized? Sure. but only I understand the organization.. lol
13. Can you describe your flashlight? what? mine is just a small black flashlight. Nothing fancy.
14. Do you drink out of glass or plastic more at home? plastic.
15. Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now? does milos count?
16. If you have garage, is it cluttered? well... compared to a few months ago... no... I COULD get the car in it if the door opener was fixed..
17. Curtains or blinds? Blinds. old little ones... that needs to be replaced
18. How many pillows do you sleep with? One.
19. Do you sleep with any lights on at night? nope...Hal likes it DARK. I would if I could..,.. just a night light in the bathroom.
20. How often do you vacuum? ummmmmmm not enough
21. Standard toothbrush or electric? Standard.
22. What color is your toothbrush? blue and white this time but really just whatever color I get from my dentist.
23. Do you have welcome mat on your front porch? yes... Faith, Family, Friends
24. What is in your oven right now? my Pampered shelf round stone. Where else can you keep it?
25. Is there anything under your bed? no...thanks to FLYLADY... I have it completely cleaned out
26. Chore you hate the most? ummm depends on the day. Sometimes I just hate unloading the dishwasher...how lazy is that???
27. What retro items are in your home? ?????
28. Do you have a separate room you use an an office? yes.. Julia's old bedroom and I LOVE IT!!!!!
29. How many mirrors are in your home? six
30. Do you have any hidden emergency money around your home? don't think so...
31. What color are your walls? beige for most of the house. Still the old (twelve year old - do you see a pattern here?) blue and fruit wallpaper in the kitchen. My office - dark blue - DARK blue - Julia style :), The "grand-baby" room - yellow - Jenifer Style, the guest bathroom light green. Oh, yeah.. the dining room . - DARK burgundy (12 year old style)
32. What does your home smell like right now? Christmas tart :)
33. Favorite candle scent? what ever the newest tart is
34. What kind of pickles are in your refrigerator right now? Dill chips
35. Ever been on your roof? The porch roof... will go there again today - to put up Christmas Decorations.
36. Do you own a stereo? not any more...
37. How many TVs do you have? two
Two. One in the den, and one in my bedroom.
38. How many phones? Uh...three. Plus our two cells.
39. Do you have a housekeeper? Ha! Yeah, her name's DeeDee. Lately I've been thinking of letting her go... (that was Jessie's answer... but I agree lol)
40. What style do you decorate in? not sure - never finished - always changing...
41. Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints? Not a floral person- but have stripes now... Want some solid (leather)
42. Is there a smoke detector in your home? yes... three - one on each floor.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Our Soldier Son has told us about using night vision glasses on his recent mission. This led to a discussion with my husband for him to help me understand it a little more, since I know absolutely NOTHING about military equipment - how it works - and/or the reason to use it.
But this particular piece of equipment has intrigued me. I have gone to several web-sites to read more about it. (Thanks to the Google search engine). So, at least I understand it a little bit more.
So, this is the direction of my thought process.
Night vision: being able to see clearly in the dark. A good thing for our soldiers. Not a good thing for the enemy. They may think that they are hidden in the darkness of the night - but in reality - they are not. Night Vision reveals all.
Scripture: "You can be sure your sins will find you out." A good thing for righteous living. Not a good thing for the enemy of our souls. Satan loves darkness. He wants you to have secrets and shame. Little thoughts to convince you that if others do not know - then it is not a problem (whatever your IT is ) He wants you to stay in darkness. But Jesus is the light of the World - He reveals in the light what goes on in the darkness. (Night Vision huh?) He loves us so much that He will not let us continue or prosper in our sin. He sees and knows all. You cannot hide even the smallest secret sin from Him. And in due time, if needed, He will reveal it. He definately will pinpoint it to us in our spirit/conscience. He will convict. He wants you to confess and be clean. - Righteous living. A life that is free of guilt and shame. A restored life. A freedom that can only be obtained by the cleansing work of the Blood of the Lamb.
So, think about your life.... Do you have a secret sin? One that you have allowed the enemy to convince you that it is ok as long as no one knows? Well, your Savior knows. He has night vision. He sees all. Even what is hidden.
How do we avoid being trapped into secret sin? Accountability. Everyone needs to be accountable to someone. Does anyone have your email password? Access to your accounts? All of them. Do you have anything that you would be deleting quickly if you knew that someone else would be looking tomorrow? That is a sure sign that it is a secret sin. Not to say that we have to reveal all to everyone. Just someone. Someone who will hold us accountable in all areas. Someone who loves us and who desires the best for us. Think about your life/situation. Certainly this is not the only area that could be addressed - just one. What area and/or areas do you need to open to an accountability partner? A spouse? A godly friend?
Now, you may say...DeeDee, where did this all come from? To be honest -I'm not really sure - except after talking to Jon and Hal (and google search engine) about the technology of night vision.... these thoughts kept coming.
So.... I thought I would share....
Have a blessed day!
(I actually wrote this on Nov 20th - but since that was Thanksgiving week - I just saved it in draft form... to post this week)
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Since it is Thanksgiving morning .... and I have not finished cooking for the day.... this will have to be short and sweet :)
But I did not want to miss this opportunity to say "We have so much to be thankful for." And especially this year... I am thankful for our freedoms. Because I have the proof that it is not free. Many have given their lives.... many have given their service... many have and are missing this day with their families - so we can continue to be free. So... with that in mind - I want to say THANK YOU. Thank you to Jonathan. Thank you to Co Company, 1-167 INF, 4th Alabama National Guard. Thank you to all of the many others who are celebrating this Thanksgiving Day away from your family in service to our country.
Jonathan, You are missed greatly - every day - but especially on this holiday. You are loved. You are prayed for - constantly. You have made us all so proud. We can hardly wait for you to come home - but today - We just are hoping for some time on SKYPE :) - to see your smiling face.
And for the list of what else I am thankful for... My Savior. My husband. The rest of my precious family-all of them. My Church family. My home. My friends. And I could go on with many more ....
but......My kitchen is calling me - I really have to go cook lunch.
Much to do...
Have a blessed day!
(oh... and I am soooooo thankful for my BLACKBERRY phone that keeps me in contact with Jonathan!!!) - seriously!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Happy Birthday Danny!
Just some thoughts for today...
We don't get to see each other very often. But that does not mean that I do not think of you. I have many special memories.... that come to my heart and mind.
I think today I may just list a few...
I remember :
- sitting on the steps in Oldfield and both of us having the hiccups and trying to sing. Then laughing our heads off.
- falling on my bike (the really large scar on my knee) and you helping me to clean it up and putting bactine on it.
- going to Wind Creek every AEA (that is what we used to call Spring Break) and going swimming no matter how cold it was!
- watching you play baseball.
- you pitching a perfect game! I was so proud!
- cheering for you on the PACKERS - and going to Panama City for a "bowl" game -(or for some reason - lol!) Regardless... I was cheering you on!!!!!
- us both going to Birmingham to spend a week with Damon and Johnny in the summer (swimming in the pool in the park behind their house)
- and then going back to Larry's/Cindy's for you and Martha's/Buddy's for me (swimming at the pool at the apartment complex down the road)
- Larry spending the entire summer "watching" us when we lived on the Old Rockhouse Road.
- Fishing at the pond behind our house - or maybe I should say - you fishing - and me watching!
- Our pony
- the family camping at Wind Creek.
- going with our youth group from the church for a day at the lake. You and I were sitting on the cable that marked the swimming area.... and there was a storm coming and the lightening flashed in the distance and we both felt the shock on the cable and took off for the shore. You waited on me.
- The "Quarry Stompers" - Danny, DeeDee, Donnie, Peggy, Sam, Mikey, Mike, Gray - remind me - who else?
- the tree house - the double decker- and you guys trying to keep Peggy and me out...it didn't work. We enjoyed your hard work :)
- camping out in the front yard - Peggy and me in the camper - You, Donnie, Sam (and probably Gray and Mike too) in a tent. You guys could build a good camp fire. And then you tried to scare us. Boys will always be boys huh?
- you coming to pick me up from a JV ballgame - and some "bully" big guys had scared me.... and when I got in the car and told you about it... You took off around the block to go back and take care of them for me. I had to BEG you to just go home.
- you shaving your beard for my wedding (that was the last time huh?). Just because it did not look like my big brother to me - yet :) Then you paid for my pictures.
- you helping us move from Birmingham back to Sylacauga. We looked like the "Beverly Hillbillies" moving on that flatbed truck. And your Dodge truck loaded down too! ha!
- helping you do all of your Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. (Julia has continued that tradition with Jonathan - or maybe I should say - Jonathan has continued that tradition with Julia)
- cutting your hair, especially those times when we would come home from Texas - and I would trap you in that little bathroom - and cut away - and talk your ears off.
- being there with you at the hospital when Stephanie had her wreck and then watching you take such good care of her as she recovered.
- coming to the Golf Course - for Creative Memories - and loving the time to visit with you.
- the family pictures at Christmas (along with yours and Dena's videos - I still think we could win some money for some of those!)
- "Can you hear me?" - just watching you guys have such fun with your presents!
- being at the hospital for Dad's last surgery and the week that followed with us all in the waiting room.
- me, you and Paul standing with Mother as we said our final good-byes to Daddy.
And there have been many many more - So - today - as I tell you Happy Birthday - I also tell you thank you. For many special memories. For always knowing that you were there and that you still are just a phone call away. I love you more than I think I can even express. And I am so thankful for the wonderful storehouse of memories that we share. We are so blessed!
I love you Danny!
Hope you have a wonderful day!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Just a few thoughts sent your way....on your birthday.
Hope you have a wonderful day. You are not yet an "official" member of our family... and yet you are. You are the precious bride that we have prayed for - for all of Jonathan's life. Jonathan calls you his perfect little puzzle piece... and I understand why. You complete him.
You love him. That is one thing that this mom has always wanted for her son. I love the way you love his happy-go-lucky personality - I love the way that you care. I love the way that you push him to be the man that God has called him to be. I love the way that you encourage him. I love the way that you build him up. I love seeing him happy. I love seeing the two of you together (and look forward to that again). I love watching him watch you. I love the way that I see him ADORE you. And I could go on and on and on....from both sides - I love that too....
The old saying goes "a daughter is a daughter for all of her life, but a son is a son till he takes a wife." Now, I remember thinking while holding him as a newborn in the hospital, "Lord, please give him a precious bride who will join our family and not take our son away from us." Don't get me wrong - I also know that he is to "leave father and mother and cleave only to his wife" and we want him to to do that. And I know that you will always be closer to your mom and rightly so... but just know that we love you like a daughter and we are so glad to have you join our family.
Regardless of all of my rambling - Happy Birthday Brantley - You are a treasure! and we are so blessed and so happy that God has put you and Jonathan together. I hope you have a wonderful day!
I love you gal!
Friday, November 2, 2007
Several years ago...
while going through a very tough time in our lives and in Jonathan's life, I wrote this poem.
I share it today for several friends of mine who are struggling right now.
God it is so hard just watching...
Watching him walk away from You.
Knowing You see all
You are watching also.
I know You see the end that I cannot see
So... there is no worry in Your watching.
I keep hoping in my watching
to see him return.
No more time wasted.
No more days lost.
No more grieving for his hurt
that self-inflicted hurt.
Watching...for it to be over
for freedom again.
Life he was created to live.
Life testifying of You and Your glory.
Lord, I am watching
hurting (for him)
knowing...rejoicing will come.
And today we are rejoicing... we have our son back. Not literally - as he is currently in Kuwait/Iraq. But we have him back. And we rejoice to see how God is using him in so many ways. Even the hard times can be used to help others going through similar situations.
I share this to give hope - and to let you know that we understand from a parent's perspective. Jonathan is sharing with many from his perspective... and God is using it. With more people than he even knows...as I get reports from others who are reading his blogs and comments.
So, for my Jon....
We are so proud of you. Not only for the service that you are giving to us all as you defend our freedoms. But also, for your willingness to be transparent with your life.
The apostle Peter - had to be sifted as wheat - but Jesus said to him..."Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." (Luke 22:31-32)
You too, have been sifted... how precious to know that our Savior prayed for you (He kept watching). And now, that you have turned back.... you are to strengthen your brothers! And that is what you are doing....Keep on keeping on my son!
(And..... as I have heard Beth Moore share in her Bible studies.... remember that you do not have to ALWAYS go on the field trip to learn a lesson.... Sometimes, just learn from the Book!)
Love to you my Jonathan...
Love to you my friends...
Knowing that our Savior is watching and praying!
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Today is Jenifer and Andy's 4th Wedding Anniversary.
A day of remembering....
Jen is our youngest child....and yet the first to get married. (She always told Julia that she would get married first!) What a beautiful day. What a beautiful wedding. We were so exhausted when the day was over....but so pleased that it was just what Jen had always wanted. We were also so thankful for the Godly man that God had given to her. Just as we had prayed for all of her life.
They were engaged in March, 2003 ....and the race was on.
- She had to find the perfect dress.
- She picked out the flowers.
- Dresses for the bridesmaids (9 of them).
- We looked at pictures of cakes and talked to Andy's Aunt who was making them for us.
- Talked to the Caterer- and talked again - and talked again.
- Hunted for the right aisle cloth.
- Picked out music and talked to the soloists.
- Had Julia to find the String Quartet and the Trumpeter.
- Wanted special candelabras.
- Secured the hall for the reception.
- Bought centerpieces.
- We even had chair covers.
- Looked for candles for the tables at the reception.
- Talked to the florist a second and third time.
- Had the dress pressed.
- Took the Bridal pictures.
- Had the dress cleaned and pressed again.
- Had a practice run on the hair.
- Talked to the photographer.
- Last minute - added a videographer to capture it all for us.
- Had the nails done.
- Went to the tanning bed.
- Even exercised to make sure that the dress would still fit :)
- And all of the other details that I cannot remember right now.
Stress to the max some days. Jen had lists and she had lists for me. She would call me to check and see if I was on tract for the day.... with my assignments :) We enjoyed the journey (most of the time). And on the days that we did not- I would remind her that I intended to enjoy this - so we needed to re-adjust.
Our lives literally revolved around one central thing..... The Wedding Day. She wanted everything to be perfect for that moment when the doors would swing open and she would walk down that aisle to her groom. She wanted to be ready and beautiful for him....without spot or blemish. And ready she was! - What a beautiful Bride!
One of my favorite passages is Titus 2:11-14
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait (look) for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. "
What a picture..... One day the skies will open and our Savior is coming for His Bride. We too should be making preparations for that glorious day. Oh, that we would live our lives in such a way - saying no to ungodliness and worldly passions. That we would live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the here and now. Taking care of all of the details of daily life - with one thought in our mind- we are going to meet our groom. He is coming for us.
Just as our lives literally (and sometimes frantically) revolved around preparations for November 1, 2003....
What a difference it would make in our daily lives - if we really were "looking for the glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ."
Ponder those thoughts with me.....
Happy Anniversary Andy and Jen.
What treasures you are!
I Love you
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
and the learning continues....
Our first question this week, was "Could you please give us some tips on how you take pictures of an almost 18 month old?" When she just laughed.... we knew that this was not just drama for us.
I really wish you could see us - well, no, actually I do not! Up until now, all I wanted was just cute snapshots. And I have succeeded to get some. But, when I know that I have to take samples for the entire class to see, and when I know that they will be critiqued, and when I am supposed to be getting certain angles, certain lighting.....etc.... all of a sudden our Precious Aubrey does not want to accomodate. It is as if she knows we are trying hard - and she is avoiding the camera. When she sees us coming, she turns her head or runs away.
It was a scene. I was laughing so hard I could hardly see through the lens. I finally reached the point that it really did not even matter any more - I was just snapping pictures and hoping that with the editing that I can do - I would come up with four decent ones to take to class.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
If you read Jenifer's blog - you already know that we are taking a photography class together. Last Tuesday was the first - so this week we have had to take close up pictures and work on simple backgrounds. Of course, you know that means lots of pictures of Aubrey. I will show you the samples that I took with me on Tuesday night (Homework) Our teacher does not want to see all 32 pictures that we had to take - (I cannot imagine why???) We are to just bring 4 to 6. I am sharing four with you.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Today Hal, Candace, Brantley and I went to the Family Readiness Group (FRG) Meeting for Jonathan's Unit. How thankful I am for the leadership and the support. But as I sat there today, my thoughts were on the reality that each of us were there for only one reason - because our loved one is at WAR. For some - a husband, for some -a brother, for some - a father, for Brantley - her future husband, for Candace - her future son-in-law, and for Hal and me - the reason is our Son. Jonathan is at War. Real War.
So, when I got home, I had to look up one of my verses that I had given to memory a few years ago... I needed to read it. I needed to meditate on it for a few minutes. I needed to be reminded of the Rock that I am holding on to. I needed to claim it one more time. I needed to refocus.
II Chronicles 20:15b says, "This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's'."
A verse for Jonathan - A promise for me. Faith in the Lord and His Word. This battle is HIS...
So, I lay down my fears. I put aside my anxiety. I wipe away the tears. And I stand on the Word.
Thank you Father...
Friday, October 12, 2007
The Apostle John says in III John 1:4 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
Somedays you just have those "No Greater Joy" Moments. That is what I am feeling today.
Joy just watching Julia grow in the new role that God has given her as a wife to Ronnie. Seeing her display His image and reflect His glory in her home, through her work at church, in the words that she so beautifully writes on her blog and encourages us all in our walk with our Lord. Pure Joy for this MOM.
Joy as I read Jonathan's blogs and see what God is doing in his life on the other side of the world. Knowing that he is in our Lord's hands - and growing. Learning. Becoming the Man that God wants him to be. And he is stretching us all to think about our own lives and where we are in our journey. Joy unspeakable for this MOM.
Joy as I watch my Jenifer as a wife to Andy, mom to our precious Aubrey, and working so diligently at our church. She is bringing Glory to our Lord by her life. She is fun (as always) and growing in each of these roles so beautifully. She keeps me on track:) So Much Joy for this MOM.
Joy Joy Joy - more than I could have imagined - for God giving us Andy, Ronnie and Brantley. You are who I have prayed for all these years - and are treasures to this MOM. Your lives bring honor to our Lord and You are Joy to me! You bring Joy to me!
Abundant Joy even at her young age, as Aubrey chooses her Kid's Praise DVD's over Veggie Tales :) - She is soooo cute. She dances with MommaDee as we sing Praises to our Lord - and raise our hands to say "Thank you Jesus". (She thinks it is "touchdown" - but her crazy MommaDee shouts "Thank you Jesus".) I can hardly wait to hear it from her little voice. JOY - ABUNDANT JOY for me!
And there are more...
Because you see, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth," also applies to those who have been a part of our lives for these years.
Joy as I look at Jessie's blog and read of her journey. It is a delight for me - to read of her life with her husband, Keith and their two precious boys. She is honoring our Lord and that gives me - "No Greater Joy".
Joy as I listen to Nathan's songs that are posted on his myspace page. He is serving our Savior and God is opening up doors of opportunity - What joy to this Sunday School teacher!
Joy as I talk to Jessica and hear her heart toward the ministry with Billy. God has wonderful things for the two of you - and I have JOY just watching.
Joy as I meet with my Women's Ministry Team - and see them so willing to use their gifts and talents together with me. So much more is accomplished because they serve beside me. You ladies bring me joy.
And there are more....
I will have a new label added - No Greater Joy. And I will update this role call of Faith along the way.
I have NO GREATER JOY. Keep on keeping on my precious children. You have given this MOM Joy - Joy - Joy - more than I could ask or think.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Having computer woes - hopefully will be back next week.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Interesting comparison -
When my uncle was drafted and sent to Vietnam, Granddaddy had a phone installed. Now, it is not that they could not have had a phone earlier - he just saw no need. But when his son was being sent to the other side of the world - the need arose. Just perhaps, he would be able to call home. So, they installed the phone. I do not remember whether he ever had the opportunity to call or not. Regardless, communication is so important with the ones we love and we usually do what we have to in order to have the opportunity.
Fast forward to today. I have bought a blackberry phone. Not that I could not have gotten one before now. I just have never wanted one. Oh, I have heard the raves about blackberrys - and about anyone who ever uses one - are given the name "crackberry" because they become addicted to it and love it so! But until my son was sent to war - I just never saw a need. However, now I want to be able to get emails sent directly to me - wherever I am. So, I begin my journey with my blackberry phone. I am still learning. But I can answer the phone, I can send emails and I can receive emails. Communication is so important with the ones we love and I have done what is necessary to have that opportunity.
Makes me so thankful that no matter how much technology changes, when I take the time to meet with my Heavenly Father - I do not have to figure out anything new. I just sit and read His Love Letter to me. Or, I just bow the knee. Or, I just cry out - Oh Father - and he hears me when I pray. Communication is so important with the One I love. How precious that the God of the universe, the Creator of it all, the Sovereign Lord, The Prince of Peace, the Alpha and Omega, The Great I Am (and I could go on and on with His names) - how precious that He meets with me - He listens to me - He talks to me. Whenever, Wherever, However - Oh, Thank you, Father. Communication is so important with the One we love and we need to do what is necessary to take the opportunity.
Communication - so important
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Not really sure if I am up to writing yet. But feel the need for at least a little update.
We had a wonderful visit with Jonathan home. Having the entire family together is such a blessing. I had prayed that we would just be able to enjoy the time together and not think about what was coming. And God so graciously answered! We had a great time...
To start - Jonathan proposed to Brantley on Friday night :) What a celebration we all had! From the Warren side of this - we are all extremely happy. Brantley is such a blessing. And there is no doubt that Jonathan is crazy in love with her! And I will let the Robersons speak for themselves - but I love how they all love my boy! They have accepted him in their family...that is something that we have prayed for all of his life. Well... enough about that for now. I am sure that more will follow in the next year as plans are made.
We went back to Hattiesburg on Wednesday, Sept 19th. We had a send off picnic by the lake on Thursday. We said our good-byes. We hugged. We cried. Hard. Harder than I can even express. Only those who have walked this road before us understand. Makes my heart skip a beat just thinking about it. Hard. It was a long drive back to Alabama. Very little spoken.
Oh, now don't get me wrong. We have a peace. We have assurance that he is in God's hands. We know that God is not at all surprised by any of this.
So - we are also relocating our church this same week. The final move. We get back home running (on empty). So many details to finish for the open house and the first service. So many people helping - but much that only we can do. In our exhaustion, we work all day on Friday (after returning from Mississippi) until about 12:30 a.m.
Saturday morning - still much to do before the open house at 2:00 p.m. I would like to tell you that I always have my quiet time before I leave the house - but I am afraid that is not true. But somehow, even in the rush to get things finished, I knew that I must sit with my Savior before I left for the day. I knew that many would be there for us and that many would be asking how I was doing. Some would really want to know - others just ask because that is the thing to do. Regardless, I knew that I would have to answer. How do you answer that question... How am I doing? I would not have the time in three days to tell you all that is going on in this head and heart of mine. I had to have an answer. As I sat to read my Bible and meet with my precious Lord - I ask Him to meet with me there - and that I was not getting up until I had a Word from Him for my day. In my daily reading (where I was for the day) I came to Psalms 73:26 "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" That was it - my rock to hold on to for the day. I quickly wrote the verse on a small piece of paper - and put it in my pocket. And literally all day, when someone would ask how I was doing - I would put my hand in my pocket and squeeze the piece of paper - and tell them, "I am holding on". Holding on. That even when my flesh (I was so physically exhausted) and my heart (hurting so bad) may fail - God Is the strength of my heart and He is my portion forever. Holding on.
Thank you Father.
We made it through the day. Holding on. It was a wonderful service at the new building on Sunday. And this morning, Jonathan was able to call from Kuwait. He is there - settling in and doing fine. One day closer to coming home. :)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
I have decided to upgrade my blogging and see if I can add pictures.
I have already added to the last two posts...One picture of my family. And on the post about loving your husband - I have added a picture of me and my wonderful husband of 31 years!
Oh but you just wait - I have over 500 pictures on my 1G memory card - Hal knew it was a bad thing for me to get a card that large :)
This should be fun...
Sunday, September 2, 2007
For the ones who come and read with me...I have not been too regular at posting lately. Sorry.
I have lots going on in this head and heart of mine. I will try to put it in words.
I talk to Julia almost everyday during the week. At least while she is driving into work. It is enough to keep up with how she is doing and a little of what is going on in her new "married" life. But I miss seeing her. She has been in and out of our home for several years now...with the year in Germany...and then the year traveling with Wings of Morning. But it is different now... it is permanent. I am so happy for her and Ronnie. But I still miss her. She is coming home in two weeks and I can hardly wait.
That leads to the next thought...
I talk to Jonathan several times each week. Probably more while he is a Camp Shelby than I did when he was here. But when he was here...I saw him every week on Sunday. At church...then lunch at the Mexican Restaurant...and then with the group on Sunday nights here at our house. Then sometimes he would come by here on his way to work during the week. I would get up early and fix him a lunch and throw in a good breakfast and vitamins (always in MOM mode). Regardless, I miss him like crazy. He is coming home in two weeks and I can hardly wait.
But that leads to the next thought...
It will be soooooooo good to have the whole family together. We are making plans. When will we go out to eat? When will we have family and friends come to the house? Will we get to watch the ballgame together? Ronnie will be here with Julia for the weekend. Julia is staying the whole week. Jen and Andy and Aubrey will be here with us. MaMaw, MawMaw and PawPaw will be here part of the time. Brantley will be at Jonathan's side - wherever he is :) We will all be savoring each moment that we can squeeze into Jonathan's schedule.
So the next thought....
We all know what is coming. When he leaves this time - he is going to war. He is our soldier. He is defending our freedoms. He told me he is going to war so that maybe one day his son will not have to...
My faith is strong. He is in the Lord's hands. Scripture says in Psalms 91:11-12 "For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone. " I am claiming that one. He will have angels protecting him. Here is another one: Isaiah 52:12b "For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard. " That is good. The Lord will be before him. And the God of Israel will be behind him. That is sweet protection.
But I will miss him. I know that a year goes by fast. But not from this side of it.
And Julia will go back to Virginia - it will be Nov. or Dec. before I see her again. I will miss her. Thank the Lord for phones...but they just cannot replace a good hug - a sweet smile - a face to face talk. But I will take what I can get and be thankful for it.
I am so blessed with my family. Blessed beyond measure.
I heard someone say, the extent of joy/love that one brings to you is the extent of the pain of missing them. As much as the heart loves....is how much it hurts when they are gone. Bitter Sweet. That is probably the best way to describe it all right now. Sweet times together that I can hardly wait for. Then bitter hurt as he leaves for war and as even as she goes back to Virginia. Not at all the same....certainly not on the same level...but each with its own degree of pain. Bitter Sweet.
Friday, August 17, 2007
"It (our salvation experience) should determine every decision that we make...."
Like how will we treat our husbands? How will we honor them? How will we love them? How will we "do them good and not evil" all the days of our lives?
Sometimes the Amplified Bible helps in really "seeing" a passage. "...and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband - that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly." Ephesians 5:33b
Did you notice that this does not say "and let the wife..... if he is a Godly man/husband." It does not say "and let the wife....if he is doing what he needs to do." That is where we get off track so easily. We want to measure how we do - by how he is doing. If he is good to me - then I will be good to him...... and on, and on, and on.
Now, do not get me wrong, if I were writing or speaking to the men - it would be easy to tell them (and I have on many occasions) - that if the husband will love the wife like Christ loved the church his precious wife will have no trouble submitting to/loving him. But ladies that is not the topic today. Nor is it our responsibility to tell our husbands such. We are told to love our husbands. To respect and reverence him. To notice him and honor him. Now look at this next one - to prefer him. (think about that one for a while) To defer to him, praise him, love and admire him exceedingly.
When was the last time that you took the time to just admire YOUR husband. See him through the eyes that first attracted you to him. He is the same man. Have you told him lately what you admire about him? He needs your sincere praise. (SINCERE) Ask the Lord to help you to focus on being the wife that God has called you to be.
Ladies - love your husband. When you get your eyes off of what he is or is not doing - and focus on what you are called to do - it sets you free! Or maybe I should say that it keeps us so busy working on ourselves that we no longer have time to worry about his role. My role is more than enough for me to handle :)
I will end with a thought that I read in a book years ago and have tried to keep it fresh in my mind. "I am not my husband's personal Holy Spirit. My job is to make him happy. The Lord will make him holy."
(The picture is from July 2006 - Just a few days after our 30th anniversary)
Ponder those thoughts with me - and let me hear from you.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
I have been praying and thinking and thinking and praying about how to approach this last topic from the quote.
"It is the event that should determine every other decision that child will make--from how she will spend the Sabbath to how she spends her money, from her choice of clothes to her choice of a husband...."
Her choice of a husband.... We certainly should teach this truth to our daughters and to the young ladies in our lives that we may influence. Their salvation should help determine their choice of a husband. We can speak with authority from the Word of God that he should be a Christian. A Christian girl is not to be unequally yoked with a non-believer. But not just a Christian...he should be a Godly man...that she can respect...because if she does not respect him, then how will she ever submit to him? He should be a leader for her. He should have a vision of his mission in life. She should share the same mission. If they are to be "one flesh".... they need to be on the same page for their lives together. Individuals - yes - but on the same journey to be like Christ and to serve Him together with their gifts and talents. Their jobs/vocations will certainly be different. I am not talking about that. I mean their vision for serving the Lord. However, with that in mind, we need to also remember that this is a process - for all of us- men and women alike. We have not "arrived" - we are just on the journey. God is not through with us yet - so make sure that we also teach them to see the potential in the person. We should ask the Lord to help us see them through His eyes. It sure helps to keep us from gaining a "holier than Thou attitude".
But for this blog...most of the ladies who come and visit with me are already married. Your choice of a husband has already been made. So with that in mind, I really want to go in a different direction and add some other thoughts. "It (our salvation experience) should determine every decision that we make...." Like how will we treat our husbands? How will we honor them? How will we love them? How will we "do them good and not evil" all the days of our lives?
That is where I am going on the next few blogs... but have to go for now... My precious grandbaby is awake and needing me :)
Maybe I will be back later tonight...while the thoughts are flowing!
Let me know your thoughts, I love hearing from you...
and if you want private discussion, you are welcome to email me.
Blessings to you all,
Monday, July 16, 2007
So...I continue from the last blog. (If you have not read it - then please go there first!)
"It is the event that should determine every other decision that child will make--from how she will spend the Sabbath to how she spends her money, from her choice of clothes to her choice of a husband...."
My choice of clothes - not only the ones that I buy - but also what I will wear today. Ladies, we need to make sure that we are modest in our dress. Now that does not mean that we cannot be "cute". Just modest. My ladies know that "I love me some Chicos" (on sale of course!) but we must always remember that this too is an area in our lives that reflects our relationship with our Savior. I am not free to wear anything. I am bought with a price.
I remember hearing Bertha Smith speak at a Southern Baptist Convention years ago and she shared that she prayed about what to wear everyday before she got dressed. Have you ever done that?
Makes me think of a Friday morning when I was working for the Dean of the School of Education at Samford. I had only been in that office for a few days. I remember thinking, "Today is Friday - it is casual dress today." (not jeans casual - just more casual than the rest of the week) As I picked out what I was going to wear, it seemed as if the Lord was telling me to wear this really dressy pant suit. Now, I would like to tell you that I had prayed - and that I was listening - but that is not so. I actually stood there in my closet and argued. "Lord, I do not need to be that dressy today. Today is Friday. I can dress down a little today."
But, the uneasiness in my Spirit would not leave. So, I reluctuntly put the pant suit on and went to work. When I got there - they were already busy preparing for the day. I asked what all the frenzy was about - and they informed me that the Governor of a neighboring state would be coming that day. We were hosting a small reception for him in our office. I nearly shouted "Thank you Jesus! You knew that I needed to be dressed up - and You cared enough to not let me wear the wrong thing." I probably would have gone home - I know I would have been uncomfortable.
Regardless, it taught me a lesson - Bertha Smith had it right. God knows what we need to wear today! And He cares. The question is - Do we take the time to ask?
My salvation experience should determine every decision that I make - even the choice of my clothes to purchase - and then the decision of what I will wear today. Oh, Father, help me to honor you in every area of my life...even the trivial ones.
Thoughts about our husbands coming next --- that, my friends, may take more than one :)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
I want to share a quote from the book, The Legacy of Biblical Womanhood, by Susan Hunt and Barbara Thompson. Speaking about a granddaughter making her "profession of faith"...
"It is the event that should determine every other decision that child will make--from how she will spend the Sabbath to how she spends her money, from her choice of clothes to her choice of a husband. This milestone calls for a pull-out-all the stops celebration..." (pg 16)
That leads me back to the last blog...and where my thoughts have been...and trying to put it in words. Freedom in Christ - but yet a slave to Him. I heard someone say that to be discreet (which is in the list of things that the older women need to be teaching the younger women) means to voluntarily place limits on my freedom. I am not free to go anywhere. I am not free to do anything. I am not free to say anything. I am not free to wear anything. I am bought with a price...I need to live as such.
So, back to the quote from the book. Our salvation is the event that SHOULD determine EVERY decision that we make. How we spend the Sabbath. Do you remember when churches gave awards to people with perfect attendance? (showing my age huh?) But how sad, that is not important to Christians anymore. I remember one year awards...two years...three years... How long has it been since you had perfect attendance? So....How do I spend my Sabbath? Whatever is convenient for the day...hummmmm. Does our salvation determine how we spend the Sabbath? Or has society? You have to determine that.
Our Salvation is the event that SHOULD determine EVERY decision that we make...How we spend our money....ohhhhh, do I even need to go there - especially in the summer- ???? Is the tithe first...or the leftover (after vacations)? Is giving to someone in need even a part of our budget? Are we so in debt for "stuff" that we could not give if we wanted too? And then there is the building fund.... we want the buildings, we want the staff, we want the air conditioning, we want the furnishings, we want the programs....oh, but let someone else pay for it, huh? Am I getting myself in trouble?
Well, that is the first two from the quote. I think I will stop today...and see if anyone responds...what are your thoughts? Freedom in Christ. Discreet. Voluntarily placing limits on my freedom. Salvation - it SHOULD determine EVERY decision that I make.
Next I will address our clothes and our marriage....
Blessings to you all,
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Sunday July 1, 2007
Getting dressed this morning in my "cute" patriotic jean jacket - home alone - my thoughts were racing.
Our Flag represents freedom. The Red, White, and Blue. Many over the years have fought for that freedom. Many have given their lives. Today, my son is not here worshipping with us for that very reason. He is serving our country. He is preparing to go to war. He is one of the ones presently defending this freedom that I am talking about. So, today, I get dressed, get in my car and go to worship. No fear - No threats - No worry - free. I hang a flag from my porch (now with at yellow ribbon at the base) and Thank the Lord for what it represents. I often sing "that is my flag, that is Old Glory, long may She wave!"
But that leads me to the next thought -
Freedom in Christ.
I have freedom because of the price that Christ has paid for my sins. Now before I go any further with my thoughts....I need to tell you that my husband preached a wonderful message on this very thing. Liberty - freedom. (So on a side note- you can hear his message- mp3 format. Go to the Calerabaptist.org website - and download it)
This will probably be my topic for the next few days....Our freedom in Christ...
But before I go for this evening...I must tell you that my precious baby granddaughter has a "cute" patriotic jean jacket just like her MommaDee. You should have seen her! :)
More thoughts coming later-
Have a blessed week!
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Women need women. (Men need Men too) That is a fact. I have just had a wonderful Women's Ministry Leadership Team meeting. It was long - but I think that we accomplished a lot. However, the main thought on my mind tonight after all of our planning....is how much we need each other. Let me explain a little if I can...
Sometimes, the need is for counsel. We need Godly counsel. Oh that we would always surround ourselves with Godly people to point us to the Word. People who are not afraid to warn us. People who truly love us - warts and all. Oh yes, we need Godly counsel.
Then there are times that we need teaching. We can study on our own...but we need to learn from others too. We need people/teachers who will take us with them to the feet of Jesus.
Other times, we just need fellowship. Fun, Food, Fellowship - filled with love and laughter! We need to "let our hair down" without fear of rejection. Some time to just be me! No masks, no fear, no worry. Oh, doesn't that sound good?
Often we need someone to listen. Listen to all of our details. Women like details. And we often need someone who cares enough to listen to them. That will sometimes lead us back to the first need - of Godly counsel... but not always. Sometimes - just listen.
Prayer. Oh, what a need. Someone who will tell you that they will pray for you...and they actually do it. Or better yet....they pray with you now. We may not always be able to give an answer...we may not always be able to give counsel... but we can always pray.
Oh, and we need accountability. What more can I say? Accountable. Would that one thing keep so many of our present day troubles away? When we begin to isolate ourselves from the people who know us well, and love us.... trouble is lurking around the corner.
I am sure that there are many more....but my tired mind tells me to quit here...and see if you have any to add.
We need each other....
Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
This is my personal blog-mostly about my life and my family. I hope to be transparent. I hope to be encouragement. I hope to be real...
But above all... I hope that "the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart are acceptable in Thy Sight, Oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."
In addition to my Tuesdays Together in the Word, these are a few popular posts...
Applauding our Soldier...
Laughing and Aching...
A Baby and A Warrior...
For My Children...
Don't Leave the Car in "D"...
2008 Christmas Tour of Homes...
100th Post (100 random things about me)
Jonathan is Home!!
Happy Mother's Day (to my mom)
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
So I am trying to create my first "real" blog. I am really not sure what I am doing... but feel compelled (or maybe I just want to). However, the journey begins.
I hope to be transparent. I hope to be encouragement. I hope to be real. I hope to point you to Christ - wherever I am in my personal journey.
Join me... I want to hear from you. Let's press on toward that "Mark of the High Calling" together.
Blessings to you,