Thursday, December 31, 2009

And I Read (2009)

In January...

I began the Year of Patience
I turned 27
I began 99 Powerful Questions
Corey was diagnosed with Diverticulitis
Granddaddy became very very sick

And I Read...

At the Breakers by Mary Ann Taylor-Hall
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon
Servant of the Bones by Anne Rice

In February...

I restarted Disciple I (at 5:15 AM!!!)
I tried to read Anna Karenina
I did a girls weekend with The Fab Five
Corey gave me an iTouch for Vday
David wowed me with a prayer for his Granddaddy
I gave up books for Lent

And I Read...

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
Lost Women of the Bible by Carolyn Custis James
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
Same Kind of Diffferent As Me by Ron Hall
Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus

In March...

I visited Mama
I went to Ashley's baby shower
Haydn turned 7
I celebrated Purim with friends from church
I visited Brandon
We mourned for Debbie

And I Read...

Three Willows by Ann Brashares
Hillbilly Gothic by Adrienne Martini
Plan B by Anne Lamott
(these were audio books, as I gave up reading for Lent)

In April...

We started "Complaint Free" living (as a church)
Leila and Cat drove up for a day of shopping
We celebrated our first Holy Week with FUMC Tupelo
I went back on ADHD meds
Our church hosted (and I attended) North MS Happening #1

And I Read...

Are You Happy by Emily Fox Gordon
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
Grace (Eventually) by Anne Lamott
Michal by Jill Eileen Smith
Small Ceremonies by Carol Shields
Sweet Potato Queens Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit by Jill Conner Browne

In May...

I spent a weekend in Brandon
David turned 5
Savannah turned 9
I fell in love with Seven jeans
We spent a day with Savannah in AL
We went to Orange Beach
I spent a lot of hours in my "hermitage" at church

And I Read...

The Box Garden by Carol Shields
Father Melancholy's Daughter by Gail Godwin
Love by Toni Morrison
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
Sula by Toni Morrison
Unless by Carol Shields

In June...

I wore my tiara in Nat's memory
I entered a couple of writing contests
My Godson, Caleb, was born!!!
My nephew, Anthony, was born!!!
Lynn's daughter, Anna, was born!!!
All three babies were born on the SAME DAY!!!
I took a week of vacation ALL BY MYSELF

And I Read...

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop
Each Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles
Elvis and the Dearly Departed by Peggy Webb
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson
The Noticer by Andy Andrews
Tar Baby by Toni Morrison
Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven
Zelda by Nancy Milford

In July...

I was the photographer for VBS
Uncle Greg was diagnosed with cancer
I saw Wicked with Rosemary and Mary Payne
Uncle Greg accepted Christ
I took Abby and SK to SLI
I went to the midnight premiere of Harry Potter with the fab Kimmi-Pooh
Worked with Common Ground in Montgomery, AL
Took the boys to Edventure with Mom and Wayne
Published in the book Everyday Musings

And I Read...

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish
Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles
My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath
Perfection by Julie Metz
Poemcrazy by Susan G Wooldridge
Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall

In August...

My sister got a promotion
Uncle Greg left this world in a whirl of prayer and scripture
I studied Heaven by Randy Alcorn
I gave a sermon at my home church
A local boy was killed
I reread Revelation

And I Read...

Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout
Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
The Chosen by Chaim Potok (reread)
Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
The Spirit of Sweetgrass by Nicole Seitz

In September...

My brother was hospitalized and I worried a lot
Corey lead worship at The Pointe
Spent time with girlfriends
Had tonsilitis
Found out I am being considered for a Featured Poet spot
Started a spending fast
Took Haydn to his first Pack meeting (Cub Scouts)
I was given the chance to teach Creative Writing

And I Read...

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis
Perelandra by C. S. Lewis
The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory
You Were Always Mom's Favorite by Deborah Tannen

In October...

I was excited to find out Jennifer Knapp is back
I spent a lot of time in my "writing cubby" at church
We had dinner with the Shepherds and had a lovely evening
Drove to Brandon to be with a friend at a rough time
Edited Corey's midterms

And I Read...

Faith, Hope and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw (Best book I read ALL YEAR)
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LeFleur
Poetry Matters by Ralph Fletcher
Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia by Patricial Neely-Dorsey
The Shack by William P. Young
We are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg

In November...

Granddaddy was hospitalized
The boys took a painting class at Main ARTery
I saw Where the Wild Things Are with Corey and the boys
I completely reorganized my bookshelf
I saw a play at TCT with Meredith
The boys and I went with Corey on the Winter Retreat
We spent Thanksgiving in Brandon with Amanda's family

And I Read...

That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis
Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner (reread)
The Devil in the Junior League by Linda Francis Lee
Rape: A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates
I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

In December...

We had a great visit with Savannah
We prayed hard for a friend in a coma (Come on, Andi, you can do this!)
I had a poem published on This Fabulous Blog
Corey and I got to hang out with Scott and Mandy
And Mandy painted me a SWEET owl
I got a root canal
I went to a few Christmas parties
I taught poetry in Haydn's class
I read Shel Silverstein to Aimee's class

And I Read...

Matters of the Spirit by Danny McKenzie
Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher
The Way of the Mystics by John Michael Talbot
Unfinished Desires by Gail Godwin
The Patience Stone by Atiq Rahimi

2010: Year of Trust

Sometimes, my themes can be a warning before the year begins.  For instance, when I realized 2009 would be themed "Patience."  I was more than a little bit afraid.  An impulsive dreamer doesn't want to be told, "By the way, the next year is going to be long, and you will need to be patient because everything will move slowly and you'll do a lot of the Hurry-Up-and-Wait-dance."  And, yes, this proved to be true for 2009.  Between my children, my writing, and other things, I needed a lot of patience. 

A theme can also be a lens for looking at events in a new year. When the going got tough in 2009, I tried to see "How can this situation teach me patience?"  Looking at each obstacle through the lens of patience helped me to BE patient. 

2010 is the Year of Trust. Usually, I get a word and then stumble onto a verse that fits with my theme.  This year, I got the verse first and then the word followed.  I was reading a blog from one of my writing students at Main ARTery (Thanks Kay!) and came upon this verse:

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."  Daniel 3:16-18

What stood out to me was "even if he does not."  It was like a punch in the gut.  I have talked a lot about having faith in God, but have I ever considered how I would feel if He did NOT do the things I think he is going to do.  Can I trust Him even if He isn't following MY gameplan?

Natalie once posted a verse that convicted me, similarly:

Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him... Job 13:15

And so followed the word: Trust. 

Can I trust Him? 

Well, 2010 is on my doorstep, and I suppose it is about time I find out.


Monday, December 28, 2009

A Wonderful Christmas

Published an Elvis poem
Really love that blog
Wearing my apple hat today
The apple hat always makes me feel fun and confident
Savannah is as beautiful as ever
She donated her hair to Locks of Love
We saw Mandy and Scott last night
How two people can be so much alike is beyond me
But Mandy and I manage
And now I need to see Knight's Tale
How did I miss that the first time around?
Mandy painted me an owl
My owl is fabulous and fun
She will go on my wall
She needs a name
I think I will call her Sophia
It means wisdom, after all
Scott called us nerds
We were just trying to read Chaucer in Olde English
Why am I not using punctuation today?
Other than question marks
I do not know
We visited Corey's church from when he was a youth
Fun stuff
It has been a wonderful Christmas


Friday, December 18, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Tupelo

Tupelo has been a good move for us.  I do still miss people from Brandon, but it's been a little over a year and I am pretty at home here now.  A lot of this is thanks to groups like my Remnant sistahs and the Mystics of Tuesday morning.  Working on Media Team and allowing myself to make friends.  Tupelo is also a rather artsy little town, and I moved here determined to take my writing seriously again.  I have been more willing to take risks, and those risks have paid off.  I taught my first creative writing class at Main ARTery.  I have been able to teach poetry in a couple of classrooms.  I am publishing here and there. 

Gratitude over all of this hit me yesterday, after a morning of coffee with the Remnant girls and then working with Renee and Sherry for a while.  When Renee left, she gave me a hug and a kiss and headed out.  I had a memory of one of the first Media Team meetings I attended.  Renee referred to me as the "dark horse," because they didn't really know me yet.  I was an unknown quantity in the equation.  It seems that, even though I still feel like the new kid sometimes, most people have solved for X and decided to keep me.

Thanks y'all.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Free WiFi

I am sitting in Atlanta Bread.  I have been here all morning.  I met Sherry.  We looked up images for Media at church.  Renee joined us.  We ran into Harris.  Corey is here with his prayer partner.  They meet here every week.  There is a fireplace next to me, and it is really quite lovely.  They have free wifi.  So, I am able to sit here and look up journals and other places that publish poetry.  I can write up cover letters and send in submissions.  Sure, I could also do these things from home.  However, at home, I don't do them.  At home, I remember that I need to do a load of laundry or unload the dishwasher or finish putting up the Christmas decorations.  At home, there is always a distraction.  Here, it is just me and my computer.  Free refills on my Diet Coke.  Friends in and out at any time.  Warmth and peace.

*contented sigh*


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Inspiration

Things that inspire me lately:

haunting images, audio books, Nikki Giovanni, Gilmore Girls, children at play, metaphors, fun words, friends, celebrations, Elvis, colored leaves, stained glass windows, empty churches, Prayer Room, Aimee, school, Corey's studying, coffee mugs, Christmas ornaments, classy decor, fancy dresses, thrift stores, England, Israel, dreams of travel, kid-art, meeting new people, Helping Hands, the AIDS infants in a hospital in Florida, people who choose to love even when it is hard, Camille and Crofton, Yoga, Christian mystics, the women who I meet with to talk about Christian mystics, Raigan's sermons and passion, silliness, generosity, crazy dreams, beautiful newborns, Leila's pregnancy, my kids, greeting cards...


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Meds

My favorite doctor gave me some lovely meds and I am feeling 100 times better already.  I tend to get a sore throat if someone else within 5000 miles of me has a sore throat.  My tonsils happen to be HUGE.  Every doctor I have ever seen has remarked on the hugeness of my tonsils.

Perhaps I can sell them for science?


Sunday, December 13, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Rest

I have another sore throat.  Off to the doctor in the AM.  David is complaining about his ear hurting, so I will probaby take him with me.  I spent the day resting.  Lying in bed, reading, snacking...


Saturday, December 12, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Comfortable Friends

I am sitting at Aimee's house. My boys are playing Legos. Her son is
in the recliner and her girls are playing in their room. Aimee is
curled up on the sofa. We painted with water colors and ate Chicfala
and fiddled with iPods and now we are being lazy. I am so grateful for
a friend to do nothing with.

Heather Truett
-Sent from my iPod

Friday, December 11, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Kitchens

Even me, the non-cook, can appreciate a good kitchen.  And, when IN a good kitchen, I feel a strong desire to learn to cook better and more often.  There is something about a kitchen.  It is the heart of any house.  You can tell a lot about a person by the type of kitchen they most desire.  My dream kitchen is a wide open space, bright with lots of natural light.  It would also have plenty of cabinet space and a walk-in pantry. I like a breakfast nook ... a bay window and a window seat.  I want music in my kitchen and lots of seating.

I spent the majority of today with Melissa, in her kitchen.  We baked cookies.  Meaning, she baked cookies and I nestled Reese's cups into them when they came out of the oven.  We talked and ate and laughed.  It was a good day. 

Whenever I am with Leila, we end up spending time in her kitchen.  Same with my trips to see Amanda or Cat.  At Mom's, I am in and out of the kitchen all day.  The houses I feel most "at home" in are the house where I feel welcome in the kitchen. 

So, yes, today I am grateful for kitchens.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - TV on DVD

I seldom get really into a series, b/c once I am into it, I have to see Every. Single. Episode.  And... I have to see them in order. DVR enabled me to become addicted to Private Practice, Project Runway and a couple of others here and there.  Hubby and I are recording V, and we recording the whole last season on Monk to marathon some weekend. However, it was DVD that first allowed me the beauty that is Grey's Anatomy.  And, for that, I will always be grateful.  ;)

Currently, I am getting into Gilmore Girls.  That is what I watch while folding laundry, addressing cards, etc...  I had never even seen an episode, but I knew a few people who loved the show.  My Minime, Sara, is a fan, so I figured I would be as well.  Then, when Paige and Mary Clair dressed up as Lorelie and Rory for Halloween, I decided I had to understand.  So, Netflix is helping me with this new addiction.  It is slow though.  1 disc at a time can take forever.

Laundry is much easier to get done with I am treated to a great show. 


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Christmas Parties

I always enjoy the parties at this time of year.  Last night was the staff party, and we played Dirty Santa.  Yummy food and laughter all around.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


Monday, December 7, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Church Family

Years of being a ministry spouse has shown me some good churches and some.. well... some that I will hold my tongue on in a public forum.  I have been loved and looked down on, helped and hurt.  By God's blessing, the last 5 years have been filled with the loving and helpful, almost entirely.  To illustrate why I am so happy in our current church home, let me share a conversation from yesterday. 

Corey and I attended a Christmas party (where the most fabulous Italian Cream Cake ever baked was served) at the Craig's beautiful home.  While, there, we ended up standing in a group with Desiree, Caroline, Andy and Katherine (Andy being our senior pastor and Katherine his wife).  We were talking about the last year of life, how we have settled into Tupelo and enjoy being here.  Caroline and Desi were telling Corey they needed him to stick around until their children were old enough for the youth ministry.  We talked about how many years until he finishes school and how the plan is to be here AT LEAST through that.  Hopefully, we will stay after. 

Caroline said maybe he should go ahead and work for his PhD when he finishes his MDiv, if that will keep us here longer.  Everyone laughed.  I exclaimed that I am not sure I can handle him going to school that long.  It is hard work for all of us.  Caroline gestured to Desi and said, "We'll take care of you, Heather." 

And, see?  This is home.  This is family.  This is how "Church" is supposed to work.

Thank you, FUMC Tupelo.  We love you too.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Themes

I think I heard of themes from Dana.  The first year that I chose a theme over resolutions was the Year of Freedom.  And, I did choose that one.  I was struggling with some personal issues that I wanted to leave behind.  That was a wild ride.  2005 was the Year of Freedom, and it was an amazing (though also tough) experience.  2006 was the Year of Contentment.  I don't remember how that one came to me or if I chose it.  I remember a verse I had on an index card in my kitchen, back then, that said something about praying for just enough food to eat and not to be rich.  That year really challenged my ability to be content, regardless of where God called us.  It was a good experience.

2007 was the Year of Purpose and Vision.  I was sure this meant I would find my dream career.  I did end up with a full-time job by December, but what the year really showed me was that God had a purpse and a vision for my future and I needed to rely on Him instead of myself. 2008 was the Year of Laughter and Possibilities, and it was certainly full of both.  My closest friendships truly solidified that year and I found my children growing into real little people that I greatly enjoyed laughing with. 

By the end of 2008, we had made the move to Tupelo and I was in a new church, struggling to make new friendships and find my place.  As clearly as if a voice had spoken aloud, I heard the word, "Patience," while sitting in an Advent service listening to Raigan preach.  I must admit, this was the first theme I found terrifying.  Contentment was a pretty daunting challenge, but Patience?  Patience made me shiver. 

And what a year it has been.  I thought the word patience was intended for my relationship with my children and my need for friendships, etc...  Though I have learned valuable lessons in both areas, it was a totally different situation that ended up requiring every drop of patience my family could manage, this year.  I was hoping 2010 would be the Year of Fullfilment and God would reward us for our patience, but He has other ideas.  We will keep being patient and we will see our family made whole... in His time.

Soon, I will blog about my theme for 2010.  It's another scary one.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Felcities 12/4/09

It is Friday again.  I love Friday.  Tomorrow will include a parade which is awesome in and of itself.  Add to that, my oldest son will be IN the parade.  YAY!

If you'd like to join in Friday Felicities, visit Becky.

Pants with words all over them
Shel Silverstien
Reading to kids today
Writing compliments from Raigan and Aimee
BFF having a GIRL
Phineas and Ferb
Funny things people say


30 Days of Gratitude - Babysitters

Especially the kind that don't charge you.  :)

The lovely Abby C watched our boys Monday night while we went out for our anniversary.  We had Olive Garden (heavenly) and managed to find a showing of Blind Side that wasn't sold out.  GREAT movie. 

Then, last night, the church had childcare while we were at the clergy Christmas party.  Good to see some old faces and some new.  Yummy food.  Chocolate cheesecake.  Some BEAUTIFUL singers. 



Wednesday, December 2, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Thrift Stores

I love thrifting.  I feel like I am on a treasure hunt.  I can spent a whole day shopping and still spend very little money.  It is a stress relief that I indulge in once in a while.  I especially love thrifting when I am in SC.  I can go with Mom and Ashley then.  We have the same thrifting styles, so we shop well together. 

I spent some Christmas money at City Thrift yesterday and had so much fun. 


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - My Marriage

8 years today.  I read once that marriage isn't meant to make you happy, but to make you holy.  I am grateful for a marriage that does both.


Monday, November 30, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Art

Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, and when I walked into Wesley Hall for the Invitation, I was blown away by a piece of artwork added to the worship space.  A beautifully talented church member, Nancy Collins, painted this...

I am so grateful for the people who can make art like this and for this art being shared.  It is breathtaking in so many ways.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Advent

This year, I am making a concerted effort NOT to be a Scrooge.  I am purposely shifting my focus from commercialized Christmas issues to Advent.  I would like to experience this as a season of expectancy.  Advent as Pregnancy...  being pregnant with Hope.  I always love ruminating on Mary at this time of the year.

For 2009, I am going to step back and look at the ways God is working in my life and the lives of my family and friends.  I am going to be open to what is coming.

Today is the first day of Advent.  Andy preached a wonderful sermon. I scribbled notes while he talked, because images and phrases were overwhelming me.  I am sure, for instance, there is a poem about water coming soon.  I have a list of water symbols in my notebook. (This due to an amazingly beautiful infant baptism).  I also wrote down...

  • "Divine Disruption"
  • "fearsome and cataclysmic events"
  • "A dead false god will never surprise you."
  • "Disruption can be good. Disruption can bring some sense of hope."
  • "God comes in the middle of all this chaos in life."

I cannot stop the chaos that is Christmas in the Ministry.  But, I can remember to "be still and know" in the midst of all the chaos.  I will go to about 5 billion parties, play Dirty Santa, sing carols, watch cantatas, make crafts, write cards, wrap presents, travel to see family, and I will take time to remember why I am doing each and every one of these activities.

Now, hold me to it.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Conversation

There is something about good conversation.  It makes you feel alive and involved in your world.  A weekend with good friends was full of conversation.  Movies and crafts and shopping and cleaning and cooking and driving... and talking.

I hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving.


Friday, November 27, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Friday Felicities

I am very grateful for this "meme."  It was started by Natalie, who was living a thankful life right up until she wasn't living at all any longer.  And, I am willing to bet, she is grateful in heaven too.  See, the thing about gratefulness is.... it requires humility.  You cannot be grateful to someone else, God or human, unless you humble yourself and admit you need the help to begin with.  You must acknowledge that you cannot do it on your own. 

So, in this spirit, I offer you my Friday Felcitites... Things I am grateful for this week.

Thanksgiving with Amanda and Steven and their family
Taco soup
A day with Leila
Seeing New Moon unexpectantly
My favorite black shirt
Babies and baby bellies
Real conversations with my children
Fun facebook chatter
Dinner with Aimee and Chris and their kiddos


Thursday, November 26, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Stephanie's Blog

Reading Stephanie's blog today and on other days.  So often, she reminds me, in her gentle and genuine way, to pay closer attention to my children, to their words and actions.  Our kids grow up.  They grow up fast.  We need to take the time to really experience them while they are still babies and small children.

Thanks Steph.  I appreciate you.  I am thankful for you.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Early Mornings

I was not a morning person until this year.  I started praying for God to make me into a morning person.  And... He did.  Amazing, right?  My favorite early mornings are when I meet some girlfriends (the Remnant Sistahs) at Starbucks to start my day.  It sets a good tone for all the hours that follow.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Slow Days

I crawled into bed for around 4 hours this afternoon.  I think I am now recovered from the weekend.  There is just something about a nap.  It is different than sleeping at night.  It is a treat, a reprieve from stress and day-to-day life. 

It was a slow day.  Corey and I caught up on DVRed episodes of White Collar and now we are watching Pink Panther with Haydn.  I made dinner, typed a poem from the weekend, watched half of a movie, finished reading I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb and started reading Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Camp Food

It has been lovely not having to cook or worry about meals at all this weekend.  Really.  And, ya know, the best meal has been grilled cheese sandwiches yesterday.  YUM!  And we had pecan pie, friday night.  Heavenly.

Last night was a very emotional evening.  Today was pretty relaxed and fun.  Sad that we go home tomorrow.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Song

"How He Loves" by John Mark Mcmillan. David Crowder Band has done a
version but John Mark's is so emotional. We are singing this tonight.

Heather Truett
-Sent from my iPod

Friday, November 20, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Retreat

Don't you just love a good retreat?  I have been craving one lately.  This weekend, I am sort of getting one.  I say sort of, because I will be helping lead the youth on their Winter Retreat, and the boys will be with me.  So, I don't know how much retreating I will be doing alone, and I tend to think of a good retreat as being full of solitude.  Community yes, but also solitude. 

I am grateful for this retreat.  It is the first time I have gotten to go along on one of Corey's spiritual retreats.  I have helped on mission trips, and once I went on a ski trip, but the spiritual trips have never worked out for us.  The boys were so small, and it is hard to do much with two littles at your feet.  However, at 7 and 5, we decided they are big enough to come along this time.  A couple of years ago, they went on a Houston mission trip with us and did pretty well.  Now, they are very excited about Camp Lake Stephens. 

Have a beautiful weekend!


30 Days of Gratitude - Community Theater

This is yesterday's post.  I was going to write when I got home from the play, but I fell asleep.  Meredith had an extra ticket to see Dearly Beloved at The Lyric, here in Tupelo.  This is the play I auditioned for and did not make.  Seeing it, I know that I did not fit a single part.  I should not have been cast, even if my audition had been of Emmy-winning quality (which it was not).  The play was hilarious.  If you ever get a chance to see this performed, please do.  Honey Ray made the show, it seems, but each character was well-cast and talented.  Meredith and I left with sore cheeks from all of the laughing and smiling we were doing. 

Community theater is a wonderful thing.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Romans

I love the book of Romans.  It is the first book I remember doing any sort of in-depth study on.  That was back in middle school, I think.  It was at Mom's church, I know.  David Zeller used to teach it.  I found my notes from that a few weeks ago.  Over the summer, I reread Romans.  This time, I read it in The Message and fell in love.  Every verse seemed aimed right at me.  It was like a direct conversation with God every time I sat down with my Bible. 

I am working on a gift for a friend, and I am using a lot of scripture.  Today, I pulled out my summer notes on Romans to select a few verses.  "I love Romans!"  I exclaimed.  Corey ignored me.  He is, by now, used to my seemingly random announcements.  I am, generally, making them to myself or to Jesus.  LOL! 

Disciple reading has finally progressed to the New Testament.  We are finishing up John, which means Acts is next and then... Romans.  Yup yup.  I am excited.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Small Groups

I am thankful for the wonderful small groups our church offers.  I am doing Disciple with my Remnant sisters.  This group meets early on Thursday mornings, before work and school gets underway.  Last spring, I studied Esther with a small group on Thursdays as well.  This fall, I have joined a group that does Yoga twice a week and a group that is studying the Christian Mystics (today we talked about St Bernard).  Once a month, I meet with a wonderful group of people to talk about books.  On Sunday nights, I lead small group for Junior and Senior girls. 

I have been at churches where very little was offered.  I have been at churches where I could not participate because there was no childcare during meeting times.  And I have been to wonderful churches like this one, where people are hungry for God's word and for community.

Praise God!


Monday, November 16, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Yoga

I am very grateful for Yoga lately.  I did lose a few pounds when I started doing Yoga regularly.  And I have found that I have better posture since making it a habit.  But, what I love about Yoga is how it can be a spiritual experience, a way to involve my body in prayer and in fellowship.  There are some truly lovely women in the class I go to at church twice a week.  I am blessed to get to know them. 

I always hated exercise classes, because I would end up feeling behind or out of step.  It was more work than fun.  Yoga is very much a set-your-own-pace workout.  No one has ever looked at me funny if I cannot hold a pose very long or am too tired and return to child's pose.  I can close my eyes at the start of class and focus on some words of a prayer or an image of God.  By the end of class, by Savasana, I am relaxed.  So relaxed that, sometimes, I feel tears pushing at my eyes as we lie there in silence.  All of the muscles I normally keep tense, keep steady holding myself together, are loose and released.  It's like letting go and crying when you just can't take it anymore.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

30 Days of Gratitude - Books

Raigan challenged us to start keeping a daily journal of things we are grateful for.  Well, we already do that, as a family.  Before the boys go to bed, we open our Grateful Book and each of us writes down one thing we are thankful for from that day.  And we leave a blank space next to Savannah's name, at the boys' insistence.  This simultaneously warms and breaks my heart.  But, that is another blog for another time. 

I was thinking about Raigan's challenge and also about how I have not been blogging with much passion lately.  I decided to challenge myself to 30 Days of Grateful Blogging.  I will write, each day, about something I am grateful for.

Today?  Books. 

I reorganized my books this past week.  They had been in egg crates, stacked in my craft room.  I turned the egg crates sideways and made shelves.  All of my "To Be Read" volumes are scattered in the closet floor.  I also have a basket full of books to give away, a stack of borrowed books to return and a stack of library books.  Oh, and I have a box filled with Bible Study workbooks and that sort of thing as well.  I am a bit of a bibliophile. 

I somehow doubt this surprises anyone.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Felcities 11/13/09

I am actually considering a volume of poems about the simple pleasures of life.  I would call the book Felicities.  What do you think?

In the meantime, here are my Friday Felicities in honor of Natalie Rose and hosted by Becky.

Friday Felicities

Kettle brand chips
Lisa Frank coloring book
good progress reports from my sons
makeshift bookshelves
predicting the winners on Project Runway
long convos with the BFF
paranoid doggie making me laugh
Corey fixing my vacuum
Breve steamers with vanilla and honey
soft leather journal
Laughing with friends


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Currently: November 2009 Edition

Current Books: I am finally reading I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb. Got my giant hardback copy over a year ago, at the Brandon library, for $1.  I am also reading The Way of the Mystics along with a group of women from my church. I am keeping The Soul of Rumi in my purse and reading in quiet moments.

Current Playlist: I burned a CD for the van with a few songs that speak to me right now.  "Warrior is a Child" by Twila Paris, "Unanswered Prayers" by Garth Brooks, "Believe" by Nichole Nordeman, "Only Hope" by Mandy Moore and "Refine Me" by Jennifer Knapp, among others.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Tostino's Pizza Rolls

Current Color: Candy-Apple Red

Current Fetish: Owls

Current Food: Hubby's fried eggs

Current Drink: Love my diet pepsi

Current Favorite Favorite: Poetry.  Rumi's poetry especially.

Current Wishlist: I want a trench coat or something else casual but not too casual

Current Needs: A buyer for our Brandon house.

Current Triumph: Teaching a complete course at Main ARTery.

Current Bane-Of-My-Existence: My own tendency to worry and struggle instead of trusting God.

Current Celebrity Crush: Kate Walsh.  I love her.

Current Indulgence: Banana Pudding Ice Cream.

Current Mood: Content with streaks of melancholy.

Current #1 Blessing: Genuine friendships.

Current Slang or Saying: eh.

Current Outfit: Black pants and a pink tee.

Current Link: Southeastern Literary Tourism

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Felcities 11/6/09

I look forward to making this post every week.  I have so many blessings.  Please visit Becky and join us in remembering Natalie with our grateful hearts.

Friday Felicities

Lines from Rumi
My writing cubby at church
Texts with Desiree
Feeling a wee bit better this morning
Owl Notebook by my laptop (thanks Ash)
Writing new poems
Crisp cool air
Being able to rant to my best friends
Knowing they still love me
Hot showers
Pizza rolls
Banana Pudding ice cream from Blue Bell
My cute loud doggy
Corey doing the dishes
Haydn's new love for drawing
David learning to read so well
The cooler side of the pillow
Modern Family
Sharing lines from Modern Family with Meredith
Time to read


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Still Cannot Find Spell Check

Clergy is a funny word.
It is!
I finished my perfectly predictable fluff book.
It was perfectly predictable.
My throat is still swollen.
I cannot seem to shake this.
I have the best in-laws in the WORLD.
Modern Family is the best new show this season.
Regretsy is the best blog to kill time on.
I did write a letter for a friend today.
Does that make me semi-productive?
Corey took the kids to school and cleaned my kitchen.
I love that man.
I've been looking for Honey Ice Cream.
Mandy found some.
I have had no luck.
In the meantime, I love Banana Pudding by Blue Bell.
Had the best book group discussion Mon night.
I love our church book group.
We read Mudhouse Sabbath, for this past meeting.
Lauren Winner is simply fabulous.
It was my selection for the year and I can't help but be thrilled that the other members loved it.
My reading can be a bit eclectic.
Meaning, it isn't always certain that others will like what I like.
Saw Where the Wild Things Are.
Lots of good talking points with the oldest.
Youngest, as predicted, just thought the monsters were funny.
Haydn brought his sketchbook home to show me.
He draws a ton of tornadoes.
He also draws robots, cars, aliens and fish.
When we buy a house, I may let him have a weather mural painted on one wall.
Can you believe it is Novemeber?
I am not prepared for the holidays.
*deep breath*
And where did the spell check button go?


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Will Goodness Ever Prevail?

November came in cooly and brought strep throat along for the ride.  Gr.  I fought bravely for a couple of days, but yesterday I gave in.  I fought the sick, and the sick won. So it has been a few days of ice cream and books and computer games. Tomorrow, better or not, laundry must get folded and dishes must get washed. 

I am reading a piece of fluff fiction right now.  I would probably be embarrassed, except that I read so much non-fluff that a chick lit novel here and there seems acceptable.  Every once in a while, I like a predictable story.  The main character will have a life changing experience.  She and the handsome and seemingly unattainable man will fall in love and live happily ever after.  The arrogant snotty women who we all love to hate will get knocked down a notch or two, or else reformed.  Goodness will prevail.  At a time in life when it seems to be taking forever for Goodness to Prevail (2009 being my Year of Patience, remember?), I could use a story where everything gets wrapped up just like I want it to. 

My oldest has turned into a little artist.  He took a painting lesson at Main ARTery and then started drawing in his spare time.  He especially loves characters and cartoons.  His teacher is encouraging this, and I am grateful for that.  He needs an outlet and has had no interest in playing sports.  At least, he doesn't want to play them with anyone other than his daddy. I think he will get some drawing books and sketch pads for Christmas. 

Corey's Granddaddy has been hospitalized.  I am not sure of all the facts.  Last I knew, however, he was sitting up and joking around with people.  They are keeping him until Friday "for observation."  I have heard heart attack and stroke and phneumonia and even the word "oncology."  Please pray for Granddaddy.  I love that man.


PS  Why did blogger do away with the Spell Check option?

Saturday, October 31, 2009


I have the reading gene.  I can't help it.  Granted, I also don't WANT to help it. 

When I think back to being a kid, I can remember my Daddy reading.  He read while he ate dinner.  He read in the bathroom.  He read in bed.  He read... well, he read everywhere.  The only time I can remember him not reading is when he was on the computer.  Then, go back a generation, and you have my Papaw.  He read his Bible constantly.  That Bible is tattered to bits and covered in his scrawl.  Go back one more generation to my great grandfather, and you get to the good story.

He spent the summer selling his used books.  Then he spent the money on new books.  When it got cold he hibernated in a cabin and read.  Summer came and he sold those books, bought more, and started over. Now, don't go thinking this made him some quiet scholarly type.  He was once kicked off a farm for impregnating BOTH of the farmer's daughters.  He abandoned his children after their mother was run out of town.  He was found, dead, on some railroad tracks.  Odds are, someone killed him.  And, odds are, he deserved it.  But, hey, the man liked to read.

Now, here I am, never without at least one book.  Seldom without three.  My purse has two compartments.  One holds my wallet and keys, etc...  The other holds a notebook, a journal, a book on writing, a novel and usually one or two other books of some kind.  Welcome to my world.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Felcities 10/30/09

Friday Felicities in honor of Natalie and hosted by Becky.

Elliot Smith
Regina Spektor
Trunk or Treat
Cinnamon Pecan Straws
Diet Mountain Dew Ultra Violet
Being in the newspaper
Opening a pretty new journal
CS Lewis' Space Trilogy
iTunes gift card from Greg
Reading Oz to my boys
Family plans tonight
Starbucks with friends at 6 AM
Halloween candy
Letting the poem out
Sweet words about me from hubby


Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Felcities 10/23/09

It is a rainy dreary day here. I am thinking about the couch and last nights DVR-ed TV shows. First, however, it is time to honor Natalie's memory by praising God for the blessings of the past week, the little ones. These are the things that bring a smile to our faces. Join us by visiting the Mr. Linky over at Becky's.

Friday Felcities

Haydn drawing at his desk
David's good school week
"Grateful" with the boys
Corey at home
My gray sweater
Bright blue ink
US's worst dressed list
Fiona Apple
My fave place to write at church
Unexpected gifts
Sarah Dessen books
Curling up under a quilt Mom made
Scripture texted to me


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Bit Like a Jungle

I am sitting at church, surrounded by plants and sunlight. It feels a bit like a jungle. I like sitting here with my computer. I get more done. If I try to work at home, I get distracted by the 5 billion other things I need/want to be doing. It is like a line from one of Fiona Apple's songs, "Home is where my habits have a habitat."

I have been editing Corey's midterm. He has done a great job of spacing out his work over this semester, so far, and doing tasks one at a time. This midterm was a tough one though, and the poor man didn't sleep at all last night. There is just so much going on in our lives all at one time, good and bad things. All leads to stress. Anyhow, I read through his papers when he finishes and correct his sleep-deprived typos. I must say, I do not miss writing academic papers. They are not nearly as much fun as poems and essays and journaling.

I am about to head over to Main ARTery, where I am teaching today. My mind is on Natalie. I am going to read a piece I wrote about her. Our topic today is unsent letters.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts. - Voltaire

Friday, October 9, 2009

Friday Felcities 10/9/09

In memory of Nattie-Pie and run, lovingly, by Becky.

Friday Felicities

Poetry books
3/4 sleeves
5 AM laughter
Round Table Discussions
David's excitement about the Pumpkin Patch
Modern Family


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Currently: It's Fall Y'all

Current Books: I just finished The Shack. We will be discussing it at book group, Monday night. I can't wait. I am about halfway through Just Listen by Sarah Dessen. Seems she has a couple of new books out that I need to check the library for. I also read the first two books in Lewis' space trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra. And, I am about to start week 17 in Disciple I. I think we are headed into the New Testament.

Current Playlist: Derek Webb. Jennifer Knapp.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Ice cream

Current Color: Chocolate brown and aqua blue.

Current Fetish: Poetry activities

Current Food: Pizza rolls. So not healthy.

Current Drink: Diet Pepsi.

Current Favorite Favorite: My husband, who is carrying the weight of our world on his shoulders. He is a truly amazing man.

Current Wishlist: Bathroom rugs and bookshelves

Current Needs: Dental work and our house to sell

Current Trimph: Completing 3 weeks of Yoga

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: A recurring headache that I cannot find the cause of

Current Celebrity Crush: McSteamy

Current Indulgence: Being lazy today

Current Mood: Content with bouts of stress-induced worry.

Current #1 Blessing: The 3 boxes delivered from yesterday.

Current Slang or Saying: It happens.

Current Outfit: Dark-wash Levis, a red tee and black flip-flops

Current Link: Jennifer Knapp is back.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Felcities 10/2/09

Friday Felicities

Amazon deliveries
Haydn reading ET
24 oz Diet Pepsi
Corey getting to eat at Edna's
Mailing funny greeting cards
The Shack
Facebook connecting me to friends
Baby cuddles
David having four 'blue' days
Book fair
Binders and notebooks and pens
My Mom chatting on Facebook
Carrie texting to Mom's status (LOL)
Haydn getting my jokes
Yoga for release
God's Word

Join us! Hop over to Becky's and sign the Mr. Linky!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Felcities 9/26/09

It is that time of the week again. FRIDAY! Time to honor our God and the lovely Nattie-Pie by signing the Mr. Linky on Becky's Blog and listing our happies on our own blogs.

Friday Felicities

Main Artery
Keeping my grocery list on my iPod
Funny things my kids say
Sharing favorite books with my boys
Our new "Grateful Journal" routine
Chatting with Mary Stewart when I go by the church
Creative Design meeting yesterday
CS Lewis
Grey's Premiere
Corey took the kids to school today
Corey picked the kids UP from school yesterday
Movie night with my hubby tonight
The Polsgrove yard sale tomorrow AM (I love yard sales)
French Pedicure
Blossoming friendships
Catching up on Disciple
Looking forward to The Way of the Mystics
Talking books with Camille
My favorite hidey-hole at church

It was a good week. But not. Once again, despite a week when I felt sickly and stressed-out, I have a TON of happies to list... more than usual. Candle flames just seem to sparkle brighter in the darkness.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Currently: September 2009

Current Books: I just finished reading You Were Always Mom's Favorite by Deborah Tannen. Good book. Tannen writes about sisters and how their language reflects their relationship. I enjoyed it. Now I am reading Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Wiener. It reminds me a little of Summer Sisters by Judy Blume. Amanda suggested it and then Leila gave me her copy. Sarah Vance lent me Just Listen by Sarah Dessen, so I will read that soon. And I just got the space trilogy (C S Lewis) in the mail from Mandy and The Singer by Calvin Miller from Bookmooch. During my writing sessions, I am reading Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg.

Current Playlist: I am on a Derek Webb kick, craving his new album. I want to download it from so that I can get the uncensored version. Also, I just burned some Jamie Randolf and the Darkhorse onto a CD for the van. Jeff sent me some of their stuff and I like them. Especially "Pirate Girl."

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Current Color: Dark blue denim

Current Fetish: Lyrics

Current Drink: Way too much Diet Pepsi

Current Food: I had my first ever bowl of shrimp & grits yesterday, and it was heaven in a bowl. (THANKS DESI!)

Current Favorite Favorite: My pretty french pedicure. Mostly because getting it was so much fun (imagine about 10 women in the salon, all together, giggling)

Current Wishlist: This and This and This and This and This

Current Needs: Gotta sort through our dental insurance paperwork and see which local dentist to make an appointment with. And I could use someone to fix the a/c in my van.

Current Triumph: I did some mega-cleaning and organizing this week.

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: Did I mention the a/c not working in my van? Of course, I should not worry about that. Plenty of people out there who don't have reliable transportation at all... who have no a/c in their homes... or no homes.

Current Celebrity Crush: Henry Cavill

Current Indulgence: I slept for 12 hours last night. WOW!

Current Mood: Mostly good.

Current #1 Blessing: A husband who supports me in so many ways.

Current Slang or Saying: "Just Sayin'" after seeing that Daily Show clip where they make fun of CNN.

Current Outfit: Ann Taylor jeans, brown Jones New York tee, hair in a pony tail and barefoot

Current Link:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

5 Under 5

Totally snitching this from Cheri.

5 things that can make me happy for under 5 dollars...

  1. 24oz Diet Pepsi
  2. Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
  3. Used Books
  4. Breve Steamer with vanilla and 2 packs of honey (Starbucks)
  5. Fresh new notebooks

I'm a happy girl.


Monday, September 14, 2009


Sometimes I journal in my notebook. Sometimes I write poems. I sometimes I scribble down quick notes to myself or words that I want to remember for later. I also use my notebook for writing practice and prayer. It is a mishmash of life, much like my blog, only more personal.

Snippets from my Notebook:

Some days
I live in Recluse, Wyoming.
Next to the sky, all big things look so small.

I don't feel like swimming today, but watching my boys in the water is fulfilling in another way.

In this town
I always see her shadow.

You either make dust or you eat it. - Coffee Mug

If you see a man on top of a mountain, you can bet he didn't just light there. - Coach Rupp, UK

My head is full of thoughts. They just don't come out as good poems very often,
it seems. I think too much. I can't stop thinking.

Genesis 3 - "know" = "experience"

Today, I gave away
a poem.

Our heads are round so that thoughts can change direction.
-Francis Picabia, Painter & Poet

I spent lots of time shopping and planning so that I would always have the right things to hide behind - Shauna Niequist

The smell of my passion fruit & guava candle takes me back to our first
month in Tupelo.

Weak King Henry gave his power away in an effort to prove it his.

Lucifer's pride is deep cancer.

I walked in on a revival
being held between two women
and one God.

She drew in a deep breath
of nicotine
as she drove past me

I remember the pink bedspread in the room I shared with Carrie...

Why is there only half a fence
around that house
on Green Street?

My shoes are dirty from an earlier walk across a damp field.

Brief little pieces of my thoughts. I may type up some of my writing practice pieces. I did a few this week.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Felcities 9/11/09

Ya know, what a perfect thing to post on September 11th. The little things in life that I am grateful for this week. Life itself. Please join us in remembering Natalie by signing the Mr. Linky at Becky's with your own list of happies.

Friday Felicities

Ice cream
Garden Salsa Sun Chips
Being able to email Haydn's teacher
Dr. Bell liking my devotions
Reading silly poems to the kids
The way God uses dreams
My helpful husband
Bag of goodies from Leila
Harry the Potter with friends


Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Felcities 9/4/09

Finding my favorite professor in Facebook
Going through old poetry
The Tudors while I fold laundry
the labyrinth at St James Catholic Church
Plans with Cat and Leila for tomorrow
Lifeway trip with the husband
Learning new words
Seven jeans for $40
Teaching Haydn the word "variety"
Itty bitty ice creams, dropped off by a beautiful friend
God's blessing in our friends' lives
John Mark McMillan lyrics
What are your happies this week? What things make each day a bit brighter? Share on your blog and then sign the Mr. Link over at Becky's Blog. :) This is done each Friday, in memory of the beautiful Natalie, who taught me to see the blessings in my days.


Thursday, September 3, 2009


At last, we come to Laodicea. This has to be the most quoted letter from Revelation. It is the "lukewarm" section of scripture. In The Message, at the start of this letter, Jesus is referred to as "God's Yes." I love that.

So, the lukewarm. These people aren't exactly hypocrites - not in the same way He wrote about in the other letters. They are simply satisfied with themselves. They no longer see their need for God. I relate this, today, to the Religious Checklist people. They go to church on Sunday so they can check that off their list. It is part of their routine. They are good people. They give to charity and check that off their list as well. They say a prayer and check the list. Their relationship with Christ has shriveled up to nothing, but they are okay with that most days. Life is pretty good. They get by.

But God loves them. He doesn't want to lose them to this boring existence. He wants them to turn to Him, to run to Him. And, because He loves them and knows what is best for them, He will do whatever it takes to get their attention again.

He stands at the door. He knocks. Will you answer?


Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing
through the churches. (Rev 3:22)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Passionate Patience

Ahh... Philadelphia. The city of brotherly love. Not the one in the US though. Obviously.

We are in Revelations 3, starting with verse 7. I love this description of what Christ can do with "David's key in his hand." It says, "opening doors no one can lock, locking doors no one can open." That is a prayer I often pray. I will ask God that if it is His will that such-and-such happen, would He please open the right doors. And when something seems to be God-ordained, I will ask Him to close the door on me, if I have read the situation wrong. In other words, "lead me not into temptation."

He praises the church for being true to Him, for not denying His name during the rough spots. There are hypocrites around this church, as there were in the others. Jesus encourages the believers with these words: "watch as I strip off their pretensions and they're forced to acknowledge it's you that I've loved." WOW! I have to admit, of all the letters, this is the one I wish God would send to me. That is a nibble of pride on the fishhook, though, isn't it? To want others to be forced to acknowledge God's love for me? I choose to hear this as encouragement for my husband's heart, in situations stemming from a painful past. His heart is true, and God does see that.

Next, God warns that a time of testing is ahead. He wants them to know He will honor their faithfulness and take care of them through the trials headed their way. The Message uses the phrase "passionate patience." 2009 is my Year of Patience, remember? So I am drawn to this verse, to this letter, in a deeply intimate way. I want to finish the year and see that I have been practicing "passionate patience." I want God to see that in me.

Jesus ends by telling the church He is coming back. Sometimes, we forget this. He will return. We need to hang on to that.


Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing
through the churches. (Rev 3:13)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Felcities 8/28/09

Taking a morning break from the letters of Revelation to post my Friday Felicities in honor of Natalie. I hope you will dash over to Becky's Blog and join us in counting our blessings, just the little ones. The ones that make each day a bit brighter.

Friday Felicities

Aimee and Renee
David, this morning, saying, "Save More. Spend Less. At Walmart."
Postcard from Ashley W
Owl notebook and card from Ashley Q
Yard Sale: Lucky Junction on my iPod
My crazy dog pouncing like a lion
Burt's Bees from Melissa
Sweet words from my husband
Haydn's teacher


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wake Up!

Moving onto Revelation 3, we come to the letter to the church at Sardis. This is a great letter to read when you need some motivation. I have been there, this month, and some of these verses seemed written just to me. Sardis is another church filled with hard workers who are dead inside. God tells them He can see straight through them - through all of their service projects and committee meetings and programs for the children and youth. He sees through the fancy videos and coffee bars and bookstores... all of the building plans and fall fests... In the second verse, He says, "Up on your feet!" He can't be speaking physically, because they are obviously already on their feet physically, running around doing all this "busy work." Here, God speaks to the Spirit.

My Spirit hears Him. "Up on your feet! Take a deep breath! Maybe there's life in you yet."

This is their wake up call. Come on Sardis, remember Me? Remember what I told you and what My prophets told you? Remember the Message you are supposed to be working for?

This is their warning. Sardis, it is time to get out of the spiritual bed, get the metaphorical blankets from over your head. If you don't do this now, you will not get another chance. I will come back. I will surprise you with my return. You will be caught off guard and left out of the celebration. You will sleep through the very event you are supposed to be hoping and planning for. Only those of you who are truly seeking after Me will be in this parade, this festival to beat all "Fall Fests." We will march before God. We will march with Angels. And you?

You will be asleep.


Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. (Rev 3:6)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You Will Get What's Coming To You

The last letter in chapter 2 of Revelations is to the church at Thyatira. As a writer, I just want to share that I love the phrase, in The Message, that describes the angel for this church: eyes pouring fire-blaze. I wish I had written that.

Again, the letter starts with praise. Look at all the people are doing for Christ! They are faithful and are serving others. They persevere. He is impressed. However, there is a "Jezebel" in their midst, a false prophetess. Let me point out that the problem is not her gender. Jesus did not have John write, "How dare you allow a woman to prophesy and teach?!" No, the problem is in what she teaches. She is leading people astray and no one is doing anything to stop her. God is about to stop her. Here is a chilling line from the letter, "Then every church will know that appearances don't impress me. I x-ray every motive and make sure you get what's coming to you." *shivers* EVERY motive? I'll be honest here; my every motive has not been good. I don't WANT what is coming to me in some cases. You?

Don't worry, though, He goes on to say to those not involved in this "outrage." Life will not get harder for the innocent bystanders. No, He will reward the conquerors. I pray to be a conqueror.


Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. (Rev 2:29)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cheap Grace

The letter to the church in Pergamum. What an interesting name. Sort of funny sounding... but not a funny letter at all. It starts out with an angel and a sword and a tone of anger. I pray I am not deserving of such a letter from Jesus. This one makes me shiver.

Still, He starts off with a bit of positive. He understands that these people live in a place surrounded by evil. Under the very throne of Satan. Yet, they have not denied His name. They are still following Him. He is glad of this, but not happy with the ways they are willing to bend the rules and manipulate the truth to let others slide by. He wants them to stop. He is about to destroy the evil-doers and it is best that the church not be wrapped up in that mess. Like Lot fleeing from Sodom, Pergamum needs to pull away from the Nicolaitians and the Balaam crowd.

Balaam was known for his role in bringing down the people of Israel, encouraging them to become part of sexual worship and other such idolatrous practices. The Nicolaitians believed that, since Christ had redeemed them and they lived free in Him, they were free to do anything they liked, no matter how sinful. They cheapened grace and insulted the sacrifice made for our salvation. You can imagine how these people could tear apart a church.

My favorite part of this letter is the very last line, which I will end this entry with. I have no commentary on it, because I do not know what I think it signifies. There may be a post on it later, when I have had time to let it ruminate.


Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing
through the churches. I'll give the sacred manna to every conqueror; I'll also
give a clear, smooth stone inscribed with your new name, your secret new
name. (Rev 2:17)

Monday, August 24, 2009

It Won't Last Forever

Still in the second chapter of Revelation, we have the letter John is to write to Smyrna. Here we have a bit of hypocrisy upsetting God. He can see the church is filled with pain and poverty, but He also sees the wealthy members. He sees those who are pretending to be humble while walking around with their noses in the air.

The sin isn't in having wealth, it is in your attitude toward wealth. We visited some church members yesterday, and when I realized what neighborhood they lived in, I was surprised. Not that the neighborhood is bad, just that the houses there are huge, and the kids in this family don't seem snotty or spoiled at all. Because their family is genuine and giving and caring. They don't rub money in your face or look down on those of us who do not have as much. The church in Smyrna was filled with a mix of these people and the snobby people as well.

God writes to warn them of suffering to come. Satan is about to test and try them. It won't be pretty, but at least they now know it is coming and know what it is. This is sure to weed out the pretenders. I am comforted by this verse: It won't last forever. Praise Him, it will not last forever!


Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing
through the churches. Christ-conquerors are safe from Devil-death. (Rev

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What's The Point

Having finished Song of Solomon, I have started Revelation. It has been a long time since I read Revelation, and I have never read it in The Message. I did Chapter 2 this morning. What I am enjoying in the letters to the seven church are the concepts applicable to my own life - to anyone's life. I think, as I read, I will share some of these things here.

The first church John is directed to write to is the church at Ephesus. The beginning of the letter seems wonderful. God has seen their hard work. He likes that they do not tolerate evil. These are what one would call "good people." They stand up for their beliefs. They follow the rules and insist on those within the church having right doctrine and proper actions.

This letter reminds me of a rule I follow when editing someone else's writing. Always talk about what you like before pointing out areas that need improvement. Soften the blow, so to speak. The people of Ephesus are "good" people, but they are missing the point. John is to write, "But you walked away from your first love—why? What's going on with you, anyway? Do you have any idea how far you've fallen? A Lucifer fall!" WOW! A Lucifer fall... that is pretty heavy stuff. So, they weren't always this way. They, at one time, were not only hard workers who knew right from wrong and behaved accordingly, but also they used to be in love with Christ. Somewhere along the line, the heart left their actions. And what use are actions without pure motive?

For me, this is a reminder to run away from legalism. Not that it isn't important to do the right thing. It is very important. God praised Ephesus for how they hated evil and kept their people from it. Hard work is important. Your hard work furthers the kingdom. It is needed. But if you do not love God, eventually, the hard work will wear you down. If you didn't love your husband and continue in an intimate relationship with him, you would get pretty sick of the housework and the bills and the family gatherings. You would think, 'What is the point?'

And that is God's letter to Ephesus, in my own words. Come on Church, what is the point? You do good and act right, but you don't love me at all. I am losing you.


Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing
through the churches. I'm about to call each conqueror to dinner. I'm spreading
a banquet of Tree-of-Life fruit, a supper plucked from God's orchard. (Rev

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Felcities 8/21/09

Friday Felicities

Written prayers to read aloud
Sharing poetry with friends
Ice cold Diet Pepsi
Haydn's excitement over this weekend
Encouraging note from Emily Davidson
Girlfriend time at the coffee house
Van repair cheaper than expected
Library books that just seem to jump out at me

Please drop by Becky's blog and join us in sharing our happies.


Monday, August 17, 2009

She's Got Real Chutzpah

When I saw Cheri last month, she brought me books. One quick way to become my favorite person is to bring me books. They make my heart go pitter-patter. I just finished reading The Spirit of Sweetgrass. God got a good chuckle at my expense when I picked that one up. I decided to take a break from Heaven to let what I have been learning so far sink in. Some subjects require rumination as I go along. Anywho, here I am, trying to take a break from the topic of heaven, and I pick up this piece of Southern lit lauded as good by Pat Conroy (who can always convince me a book is worthwhile) and gifted by Cheri. Halfway through the book, the main character dies and goes to... HEAVEN. She tells half the story from her new home in the afterlife. HA! Yes, God, I get it.

When I went to pick a new book off of my To Read shelf, my eye caught on In Other Words, which is also a gift from Cheri. This book is full of words from all around the world in lots of different languages. I thought I might share a few with you. Tonight, I will share some Yiddish words.

Chutzpah - Unmitigated gall, brazeness beyond imagination. The classic example is the boy who killed both his parents, then threw himself on the mercy of the court because he was an orphan.

Bupkis: (bup-kiss) literally, beans. Colloquially, nothing. "You're gonna sue me?! You know what you'll get!!?? Bupkis!"

Kvell: to burst with pride from the achievements of your loved ones.

Mishegoss: (mish-uh-goss) neurosis, craziness, psychological shtick, insanity, wacky idea, idée fixée, foolish notion. "Did you hear his latest mishegoss? He's quitting law school to become a drummer in a heavy metal band!"

And, because I was too lazy to type the definitions out of the book, I copied them from Bubby's Yiddish Glossary.

What's YOUR favorite word from another language?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Currently: August 2009

Current Books: I just started The Spirit of Sweetgrass, which Cheri brought me last month. I love stories from the lowlands of South Carolina. Speaking of, Pat Conroy has a new book out. I will have to see if the library has it and put it on hold. I just finished The Other Boleyn Girl and The Queen's Fool, both by Philippa Gregory. I now have the first season of Tudors coming from Netflix. I am partially through Heaven by Randy Alcorn.

Current Playlist: Ringtones galore. LOL! I turned on my sister's old phone, since mine was messing up. I have been downloading free rings from

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Diet Coke

Current Color: red

Current Fetish: leaf motifs

Current Drink: Just discovered Diet Mt Dew Ultraviolet

Current Food: Pasta

Current Favorite Favorite: The Complete Book of Christian Prayer

Current Wishlist: Bookshelves, running shoes, armband for my iPod

Current Needs: Patience. Always a little more patience.

Current Triumph: "Preaching" on a Sunday morning. No PowerPoint slides to guide me. Just my scribbled notes and my heart. God is good.

Current Bane of my Existence: Satan's schemes and lies.

Current Celebrity Crush: Zoey Deschanel

Current Indulgence: Ben & Jerry's

Current Mood: Content and looking forward.

Current #1 Blessing: The best friends in the world. A ton of them. Only God could bless me with so many amazing people all around the world.

Current Slang or Saying: I can't think of anything. Lately, I am talking a lot about Heaven and God's plan.

Current Outfit: A red, white and blue striped Tommy Hilfiger dress. Will toss on sandals before we leave. And my new white leaf earrings, probably.

Current Excitement: School is back in!

Current Link:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Felcities 8/14/09

In honor of Natalie. Join us at Becky's Blog.
Friday Felicities
Psalm 139
Scripture from Cat
A budding friendship (AIMEE!)
Note from Cheri
Raigan telling Corey I am her labyrinth-friend
New red streaks in my hair
Time with my sister, last week
Greeting cards galore, to send
Card from Meredith, in the mail
diet Pepsi
Breakfast with hubby and kids
Laughing at Marie Antoinette (movie)
I could name so many this week. Isn't that something? It was a rough week... maybe the roughest week of the whole year, and yet I have seen more blessings than I could begin to count. Life is funny like that, huh?

Thursday, July 30, 2009


am: content today.

think: a lot about what God is doing in our lives right now - where He is leading us.

know: who I am and who my friends are.

hate: that so many people are so riddled with hate.

don't: want to see my husband hurting anymore.

can't: fix it.

will: trust God for the "how."

won't: worry about tomorrow, for today has enough worry of its own.

miss: having my four best friends within miles of my house.

fear: it being my fault.

feel: so full of so much, and I want to write it all down and share it all with everyone.

hear: Haydn playing in the living room.

smell: popcorn from the rainy day movie time.

wonder: what I will write here in a year.

regret: only things I didn't do or didn't say.

love: my husband more and more each day. I know that sounds cheesy and cliche, but it is true.

dream: strange things that I tend to remember in spurts throughout the day.

care: about my sons and my stepdaughter, my husband and my family, unborn babies, neglected children, hurting people, broken relationships...

always: feel like I need to be doing more.

am not: sure what God is up to, but I am along for the ride.

believe: that God keeps His promises.

sing: loud, with the Wicked soundtrack, in my van

smile: a lot.

laugh: often. It is good for you.

collect: Oz stuff.

play: Bejeweled 2 on my iPod.

write: poetry.

await: reunion.

cook: some.

trust: my husband.

intend: to be faithful.

search: for Heaven.

look: younger than I am, I guess. But I am happy with my appearance, most days.

shout: to be heard above the roar.

whisper: in church, to tell my kids to sit still.

conquer: worries.

listen: to the still small voice on the breeze.

live: every single day.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Currently: July 2009

Current Books: Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall (for review) and Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist (borrowed from Mandy). I also just bought Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg, for writing inspiration, and Amazon Vine sent me Donald Miller's newest book for review. I finished PoemCrazy by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge and want to get my hands on her new book.

Current Playlist: the mix CD Lana made me.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Ben and Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream. I cannot stop eating this stuff. It is heaven in a pint-sized cardboard container.

Current Color: Dark teal, like the pool at the Craig's last night.

Current Fetish: Organization. Crates and baskets and shelves and boxes.

Current Drink: Love me some Diet Pepsi.

Current Food: Pizza rolls.

Current Favorite Favorite: Being at home for more than a few hours at a time.

Current Wishlist: Bookshelves for the living room, pedicure

Current Needs: Ya know, I can't think of anything to put here. Our bills are paid. We have plenty of food in the house. The kids are healthy.

Current Triumph: Completely cleaning out and reorganizing the boys' bedroom (with their help, of course)

Current Bane of my Existence: People who disregard others so they can have what they want.

Current Celebrity Crush: No one. But, I am curious to see who will be cast as Scott in The Beautiful and the Damned.

Current Indulgence: I got up before six and went to Starbucks to study my Bible and read. I like the early morning quiet.

Current Mood: Content.

Current #1 Blessing: Corey.

Current Slang or Saying: dunno

Current Outfit: capris and a tank top.

Current Excitement: A prayer retreat I may go on, date night with hubby this week

Current Link: Steph's new blog for kids' activities

Disqus for Madame Rubies