Friday, February 26, 2010

Painting With A New Spirit

I've painted "things" for close to 20 years now (yes, I started early...smiling here...NOT!).

And there have been projects that I recall from the very beginning that I just LOVED painting.

Like...the horse and rider standing at the top of the staircase landing for Rhonda. Sounds frightening and shocking, but it was pretty wonderful in her home.

Like...the "toddler" room for Becky, the rose arbor, the little girls with their tea party and the doves that carried the ribbons from the walls across the tops of the ceilings.

Like...the "grandfather clock" in the foyer...the shabby chic bedroom furniture that matched all the fabrics in her set...the Mary Englebriet style kitchen - with all the checkerboards...there are many more. It's all been a blessing and fun.

But I don't think I have ever felt the anticipation of joy as last week when I painted the piece for Mackenzie's room.

Mackenzie will be our first grandchild, and is due at any moment. Literally, Lolli and Pop's bags are packed, we are on "standby".

Her Mom and Dad were gracious enough to allow me to paint something for her room, with one requirement.

They loved the little girl "look", but they wanted it to honor and reflect God.

So...they worked in finding all the scripture...

From the beginning...

To the end...(the photos will enlarge if you click on them)

Mackenzie is already blessing us.

(Months ago I began a blog for Mackenzie. If you would like to follow "our" far, visit Lolli and Pops )

Thursday, February 25, 2010


It was a word he used at church, leading up to Radiate 2010.

Pronunciation: \ˌən-ə-ˈmaj-nə-bəl, -ˈma-jə-\
Function: adjective

: not imaginable or comprehensible

I just can't tell you the story alone.

Allison said...

Jenna said...

Kim said...

'Nuff said...

Except the final night we served over 700 steaks, who knows how many hot dogs and 38 were baptized.


Friday, February 19, 2010

CHANGE OF HEART may have already visited "most of this post"...skip to the bottom for the new stuff ;p

If you haven't been here yet...the question for today is:

Have you ever heard of Young Life?

If yes...well - you just know! AWESOME!

If you don't know about Young Life, I would encourage you to check into how it serves high school students in your community ( Originally, Young Life only was possible in the metropolitan areas...but now...THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!

The clubs have realized that children in rural/suburban areas have few activities in their hometowns and weekly activities are crucial. Young Life provides an exciting, fun, worship-filled "CLUB" each Monday (8:08...don't try to figure it out...just go). And summer camps that you would be jealous of!

Last night our Henderson County Young Life (WOO HOO!) hosted our annual fundraiser dinner. Each hostess sets her own table, and invites her own guests. FYI, if you work on a committee that produces dinners as fundraisers...try it! It saves your organization tons of money and effort - plus each hostess brings a table of 8 that you don't have to go out and beat the bushes for. is SO FUN!

And all you "table" ladies at Metamorphosis Monday, this is PERFECT FOR YOU!

If you haven't visited a "Monday" before, click on the butterfly above for a quick visit. Great before and afters by hundreds of talented ladies.

BUT WAIT...can't wait to hear from the ladies at Tablescape here - go look at their beautiful, creative tablescapes!

Lucky for all of you...I have pictures! It was inspiring to see all those tables go from an unexciting beginning...

to sensationally beautiful...(isn't the variety great!)I was only able to post a few, there were over 40 fabulous tables.

There were plenty of fun and laughs...

It was a glorious night, we had tons of fun.

But the real reason we were there...


We heard heartbreaking stories. We heard from some heartbreaking precious kids.

The reality...regardless of a kid's "status", none of them are exempt from what life has given each of them.

The reality...none of them deserve the bad things that happen in life.

The reality...there is so much that can be done to make each of them to live life beautifully. But it takes people who care enough...there's so much each of us can do for children - but we must STOP first to listen. Then DO!

The most immediate thing each of us can do is pray. As you pray today, would you remember "our" kids...then pray for ALL kids - that they might meet someone today that will let them know they care? Then maybe go find an organization in your community that could use you as a volunteer - really, only an hour or two a week can make such a difference!

They need us...all of us.

The song you have been listening to was played for us during the banquet...if you would like to see the video (which is pretty thought provoking), copy and visit

Before you leave today...I wanted to say thanks for so many visits. It astounds me to know you come here each time I post...and I am humbled by your interest.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the beautiful tables, the laughing faces, and remember the hard stuff is part of life, too. But don't discount the beauty, it's the fuel that makes the hard stuff easier ;p

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Biased Highly Esteemed Love

Kids...a joyful sound to my ears! I love them loud, I love them quiet, I love them happy and especially LOVE (on them) when they are sad. I don't care if it is a child that is family, a child I know well...I even pray for children by name that I have never met. I LOVE kids!

I am so thankful to a be a Mom. It didn't happen by birth, it happened because it was His plan. It didn't happen because I wanted it...believe me, if you knew me when I was in my thirties - I thought I would go crazy without a child.

God saved a precious family for me.

These are our children. John & Nicole (top photo) and Justin & Casey (lower photo). Yes, I'm biased...they are beautiful. I don't even apologize anymore for gushing...

I am proud of our kids for so many things...and yes, again - I am biased, a Mom's privilege.

So, I'll pick only one.

I am so proud of how they let Christ lead their lives.

They are way better at it than I was at their age. I was definitely a slow learner.

Justin shared this quote earlier in the week with me, from John Piper ( squeel if you are a Piper fan)!

"Don't marry so you can stop pursuing women. Marry so you can perfect the pursuit of one woman for a lifetime."

I knew, by him making sure I heard the quote, he is proud to be married and is in the perfect pursuit of Casey for a lifetime. (smiling)

John and Nicole are walking through The Love Dare (smiling) is an awesome experience for couples. I'm excited for them! Have you seen Fireproof...if it...then do The Love Dare.

There is one Dare that I continue to make a priority for everyday life...not just a one time Dare. (In the end, I think we implement almost every Dare with a new priority).

"Choose a way to show honor and respect to your spouse that is above your normal routine. It may be holding the door for her. It might be putting his clothes away for him. It may be the way you listen and speak in your communication. Show your mate that he or she is highly esteemed in your eyes."

Shouldn't we make those we love feel "highly esteemed" in our eyes everyday?

How precious also are Your thoughts to me. How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. - Psalm 139: 17-18

I do hold my husband and children in "high esteem", and I am blessed beyond what I deserve. I'm thinking now, if I treated everyone I meet today with "high esteem" might really make a difference in their day (maybe in their life).

Now I've got my thinkin' cap on (now don't be making fun of our East Texasisms, thinkin' caps can get alot accomplished...), I'm going to build an expanded "highly exteemed" list...(and I'm adding your name next).

Friday, February 12, 2010

Something Good This Way Comes

Suuugggarrr just loook at thaaat snowww (did you "hear" all the syllables we are gifted with here in East Texas)!

We rarely get any snow, and our area has been blessed with a beautiful sight.

For childhood's golden memories
For happy bygone years
The comfort of your presence
In days of joy or tears
For all your love upon life's way -
I thank you from my heart this day.

The kids will be out of school today (thank you to the bestest Supt. ever ;p). I hope they will have the joy of throwing snowballs (don't hurt each other), making snow angels (dry off, don't stay too wet), help their neighbors, and send ME pictures! And parents...get out there with them! This is a once in a lifetime for us - dont' miss this moment. And, send ME pictures!

I am so grateful that (so far) our sweet little community has just been able to enjoy the beauty.

We are so blessed, and truly, good things do come our way.

Even when things don't go as planned...

Have faith something greater will come.

(Like a new deck...and thanks to Travis, already thinking about what the scraps from our little gazebo will become ;p)!

What will become of your "scraps" of life today? Let me know - and SEND pics! Good things this way come...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A RE-run...Another Love Story

I'm guessing by now that most of you that visit my blog regularly are getting tired of me gushing about those that I love.

I could blame these sentimental outpourings on our upcoming Valentine's Day...but that would be a fib. If you really know me, I gush frequently. I'm pretty sure I know people that would like to find out how to turn the gush button off. Sort of like a spicket, just twist that puppy - you know the rest.

But have you ever twisted the spicket the wrong way and the gushing just was greater (insert me smiling)...can you imagine if that happened to me? This is a NEWS ALERT: Run for the hills, women and children first, massive flooding predicted.

Well today, I gush for a woman I had only met, face to face, twice. And both of those times were just a casual "glad to see you again." And I was.

Meet Maria with her husband Jon. I will not go into long detail, actually I could never be blessed enough for all the words to describe Maria.

I ask you to visit here, it's the best way I can introduce the two of you.

Maria will teach you more about living, loving and Christ than most you will ever meet in your lifetime.

So many of us are stepmothers. I have always felt if you are a really good, loving those kids as if they were yours stepmother (I wish I knew how to do that cross the word thing here because I would use it)...that you hate that "step" word. Those kids ARE YOUR kids...everyone is equal. And you should be so good at loving them, that they never doubt it.

This is part of Maria's, Re's, Grammy's large family that she loved so deeply.

This is a precious family that I (and a cast of thousands) care for deeply. No, they are not in my biological family (I wish they were, they are just a beautiful crew).

But through this family I learned about being a REAL (step)Mom...a Mother and Mother-In-Law. And a (for me a future) Grandmother. Their stories about Re influenced me before I even had the privilege of shaking her hand the first time.

Whether God gave your family / children through birth, or through blending - I hope today you will feel His blessings more than ever.

Love on your kids today, your grandkids...I mean really love them. Pray today and each day for them, each one of them by name and purpose.

Re would, I will(forever), too.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

IT is When A Man Loves A Woman

Or maybe I should post When A Woman Loves A Man...

But then, this loving, sexy song wouldn't quite fit the bill, would it?

I've known all sorts of love in my life. Aside from my family, my first two loves were a dog and a horse. I had both by the time I was born. And yes, both dogs and horses are still two of my favorite loves in life.

Following these first sweet loves, life presented innocent loves and deeper loves.

And then IT found me.

Real, true, honest, devoted, love with all your southern heart, knock your socks off, a Christian husband kind of love. I don't know of a better way to describe IT.

IT keeps your life Christ centered, even when everything else is out of balance.

IT (for me), came with the complete package - 2 great kids (now both married, soon to have our first grandchild), precious in-laws and nieces.

IT makes you want to fall asleep on his shoulder, listening to his heartbeat. And wake up in the same spot.

IT encourages you to experience his loves, and a privilege to be his partner.

IT gives you the confidence to just be who you are, no approval is needed.

IT brings warm and fuzzy an entirely new meaning.

IT gives best friend a different definition.

I hope if you haven't had IT, or have never known IT, that God will deliver IT to you. Take my word, even a great life is so much sweeter with IT.

I am so grateful IT found me. What if I had missed IT?

Funny, for the first time in my life, I have no fear of losing IT. I know IT was the love He had planned for me all along (patience had never been my virtue).

For John, my love...from the Bible and our wedding:

Love...bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never fails.
I Corinthians 13:4, 7-8

I love you with every inch of my soul. May we have IT for eternity.

My life is beautiful with you, in black & white and full of color. IT is my perfect place.