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.


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