Friday, September 23, 2016

our father . . .who art in heaven

Sunday was a very special day for many reasons and I will blog about some of those other reasons later (I want my daughter-in-law to have the opportunity to blog about it first).  Sunday, we worshipped as a family (and extended family and friends) in our Contact Contemporary service. One of the components of worship is that we recite the Lord's Prayer together. You may know it:

Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed by thy name.  Thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory.  Forever.  Amen.

So why was this special?

On one side of me sat my mother-in-law and husband.  On the other side sat my son, daughter-in-law, and  grandbaby girl.

Behind me sat George and Alice and Thomas and Laura and Brooke (some of these special folks are pictured below).

As we recited the ancient words (that are still as applicable today as they were all those years ago!), I could hear their voices (not baby girl's -- YET!) . . .our voices were joined in common prayer.  Our voices were joined together with all those around us - family and friends - but they were also joined with all the saints who have gone before us.  Our voices were joined with the voice of Jesus as he taught the disciples how to pray.

As I was sitting there, I was overcome with the meaning and the beauty of that moment in time.  So often, we (I) recite the Lord's prayer . . .just out of habit . . .we (I) don't think about the words . . .we (I) don't think about the meaning . . .we (I) don't think about what we are praying.

For that brief moment last Sunday, I thought of all those things as I prayed.

Thanks be to God.

Alice, Thomas, Susie (mother-in-law)

Brooke (we feel like she is one of ours)  and Laura (she is ours!!)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wednesday HodgePodge - on time!!

1. Thursday (September 22) is the first official day of autumn in this part of the will you welcome the season? I know some of you have been celebrating way too early, but it's official now so permission granted. House Beautiful recently listed ten ways to make your home smell like fall (you can read the list here) What's a scent you love this time of year and how will you add it to your home?
I am welcoming the season by . . . .spending a few days at the beach!  It is still in the 90's here (and at our house, too) so it doesn't seem like fall.  There have been a few mornings (at 5:15) when the air has had a hint of fall!!
I have horrible allergies so I'm never interested in "fake" scents but do love the scent of pumpkin spice . . .and turkey and dressing baking in the oven . . .

2. Apple pie or pumpkin pie? Apple cake or pumpkin bread? Warm apple cider or a pumpkin spice latte?
I really love apple roll and that was not one of your selections!  I also love pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins - yummy!!  I'm not much of a coffee drinker so I guess I would vote for warm apple cider BUT it has to be a lot cooler than 90 degrees outside before I can enjoy drinking it!

3. Do you suffer from what is sometimes referred to as an afternoon slump? What helps ward it off before it hits and/or tell us what helps you shake it off once it's here?
I sometimes suffer from an afternoon slump.  If I'm home, I love to take a 20 minute power nap!  When I'm at work, I usually have a diet pepsi and get up and walk around the office for a few minutes.  I would love to eat chocolate (reese cups!) everyday at this time but . . .better not!
my co-workers know me well!
4. Ladies-how have your friendships with women inspired you or made you a better person? For the men here today- how have your friendships with men inspired you or made you a better person?
I have been blessed with an amazing group of friends.  They are awesome women and make me want to be a better person - always!!

5. Are you a people pleaser? If you said yes, do you think that's a good or bad thing? If you said no, do you wish you were more of a people pleaser? 
Yes, I am a people pleaser.  Sometimes it is a good thing . . .and sometimes it is not a good thing!!

6. The seasons are a-changin'...share a favorite song relating in some way to change (not necessarily seasonal change, it could be change of any kind).
I can only think of one song about change - it is an old worship song -- "Change My Heart, O God" - Change my heart O God, Make it ever true  - Change my heart O God, May I be like you!

7. What do you wish would never change? 
Things always change! 

8.  Insert your own random thought here
We are on a mini vacation . . .Lunch today was delicious and extra special because Emma was with us!

We walked on the beach at sunset tonight - so beautiful!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Last week's Wednesday HodgePodge on Tuesday of this week . . .just a tad behind!

I was really busy last week.  Every day I wrote "blog" on my to-do list and every day, I drew an arrow to the next day.  I'm pretty sure that the link is closed where I can connect up with other hodge podgers and Joyce is taking a break from her questions this week . . .so what the heck??  Here is last week's:

1.  Are there any men or women in blue on your family tree?
I almost said "no" . . .but I think my first cousin's son (does that mean he is my second cousin?) is a sheriff.

2. Are you someone who suffers from the Sunday night blues? What helps you get over it?
I suffer from it a little - simply because I always have more to do than I have time.  I am VERY blessed because I get to go to work in an awesome environment and work with people that I really enjoy.  Of course, there are some days that aren't so great . . but that is life!!  Several other members of our family suffer mightily from Sunday night blues.

3. I read the color blue is an appetite suppressant since there are very few naturally blue foods out there. How do you feel about blue cheese? Love it or blech? If you're a fan, what's something you like that's made with blue cheese?
I used to detest Blue Cheese but a local restaurant makes this incredible salad -- great greens, blue cheese, toasted pecans that have a sweet/spicy taste, strawberries, and I like to add chicken.  The dressing has a hint of "bite" in it.  I really enjoy blue cheese on that salad!  Here is a link to the recipe.

4. We can't head in to the Labor Day weekend without a related question, can we? Complete this thought: I work best when____________________.  Well, Labor Day is sadly over.  How can that be???  I work best when I have a little pressure.  I set deadlines for myself.  I also work "ahead" - I can't stand to be trying to figure something out at the last minute - unless I'm teamed up with someone who works really well at that point - then it is ok!

5. 'Everything yields to diligence.' Antiphanes Your thoughts? (on this particular quote or on diligence in general) I'm going to skip this question for now.  I may . . .or may not come back to it!  After much thought, I think that MOST things yield to diligence.  I think if I'm diligent in my walking and eating healthier, the goal of better health will be met.  But I think there are some things - maybe a job search? - where you can be diligent but unable to find employment . . .not sure that is a good example, because I guess you could get a job at McDonald's.  I'm going to ponder this one some more.  I would love to hear thoughts from others.  I need to read what other people have said on this one.

6. The National Park Service turned 100 years old on August 25th. Have you been to many of America's National Parks? If so share with us a favorite or two. Which National Park would you most like to visit before the next birthday rolls around?
I've been to Red Rock Canyon in Nevada - I just looked it up and it is a National Conservation Area . . .not quite a national park.  I've also been to Garden of the Gods in Denver but I looked it up and it is a National Natural Landmark.  I was beginning to panic thinking that I had never been to a National Park so I looked up the list - whew!  I've been to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park!  I've even been to two national parks in Hawaii!!

7.  Bid farewell to August in seven words or less. Bye Bye - see you next year!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I'm making The Best Lasagna Ever by the Pioneer woman for our young adults tonight.  It is such a good recipe!!  I think it is the combination of the meats and the slices of cheese that make it so yummy!!

Monday, September 5, 2016

One Foot In Front of the Other

Several weeks ago, a 65 year old man in our church was training for a triathlon.  He was hit by a car and was severely injured.  He is in rehab now and will be going home soon.  Everyone has been amazed by his recovery - he still has a long road to go BUT he has progressed far more rapidly than most of us would have progressed.  From what I understand, the doctors attribute this rate of recovery to the fact that he is in excellent shape from all of the exercise, etc.

Over the years, I have participated in various exercise options.  I was actually a pretty good volley ball player and an excellent kick ball player (a million years ago!).  I also played catcher on a church softball team for a couple of seasons.  My roommate, Karen, and I worked out at a local gym when we lived on Valley Avenue (I'm sure we were looking for guys!!)  I dated a guy (before Mark!) who was a runner and so I ran for a few years.  I even ran in the Vulcan Run - before metric . . .I think it was 3 miles maybe.  Actually, I was still running before Mark and I married.  After we married, I went to Jazzercise a couple of nights a week.  I took tennis lessons for a while when my kids were young (I was never good!).  For the five years or so before I went to work at the church, I went to water aerobics about 4 days a week.  I've been a "walker" on and off.

Where am I going with this litany???  I have a heel spur (pump bump) that has popped up this summer and I haven't been walking.  I've been feeling sluggish and tired.  I tried to rest it.  I tried to stretch it (I have very very very tight Achilles tendons and hamstrings - remember, I have hurt both hamstrings in the last few years).  I finally decided, "to hell with this!"

For the last month, I've been walking again.  I've been getting up at 5:15, putting on my shoes, and heading out into the neighborhood.  The first two weeks, I walked very slowly.  I found an older pair of tennis shoes in the closet and I cut the back out of one of the shoes so there would be no pressure on the pump bump.  I've been stretching REALLY WELL before and after walking.

I'm finally beginning to walk a little quicker and a little bit longer.

It is still dark at 5:15 when I normally walk but this morning, I didn't wake up until 6:15 or so and the sun was beginning to shine.

I've been putting one foot in front of the other!  After walking, I come in and strap an ice back around the back of my foot and put another ice pack on my lower back - it really helps!!

Our neighborhood is such a beautiful place to walk!!

I love how our house looked this morning.  The sun was shining between the houses across the street from us and shining right on our house!!

What do you do for exercise?  If anything ever happens to me, I want a shorter recovery time - let's get into better shape and live healthier!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Time! Time! Time!

Where does time go?  I cannot . . .I simply CANNOT believe that today is September 3.  I think I missed July and August!  Wah!!!!

Seriously!  Does anyone else feel like time is moving at warp speed?  Yes, I know the facts - there are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day - yeah yeah yeah!  I KNOW all those facts but it seems like it is spinning faster and faster.

I met two friends for lunch yesterday (there are usually four of us but one was with her "children" who drove into town).  When I was getting out of my car, one of my friends was standing in the parking lot waiting on me.  I actually looked at her and said, "I'm tired."  Sometimes I feel like we live life at a break neck speed.

BUT . . . .the office closes early on Fridays (we still work our 40 hours - just in case you felt like the church wasn't getting their money's worth :-) ).  I had planned to go straight to the grocery store from the office.  I ended up staying a little longer to finish something and I came straight home and TOOK A NAP.  (I know I have a million caps in this post)  Mark is at the farm and I slept in (until 6:45 which is an hour and a half longer than I normally sleep!!) . . . .AND . . .I took a nap today!!

I haven't blogged lately because I haven't had anything to say (hahahahaha!) - actually because of the situation above - T.I.M.E. (or lack of).  I don't even have any fun pictures to show you.  I'm getting ready to host a baby shower next Saturday and I'm excited about that!!  Maybe I'll have pictures to share.  I've been crafting (I found time to craft) and planning out the table decorations.  I hope it is going to be as cute on the table as it is in my head.  I'm also working an Emmaus walk and our team meetings began last weekend.  I haven't worked one in a couple of years so I'm really looking forward to that time at Camp Sumatanga.

One exciting piece of news (exciting to us!) . . .Emma is going to spend the night with us tonight.  Son and lovely wife are hosting a football watching party and Miss Emma is going to sleep over with us.  If I show up to serve communion at early worship tomorrow with spit up on my shoulder, you will know why . . and you can smile sweetly at me!! 

Selfie of Glenn and Emma

I'm excited about having an extra day off this weekend.  I'm looking forward to a few more naps . . .and a pedicure . . .and washing some windows . . .and cooking . . . and just being home. 

Time!  How have you been spending your time?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday HodgePodge

Joyce does a great job of writing these questions every week.  Check out her blog and answer the questions!!

I didn't participate in HodgePodge Wednesday last week . . .I just couldn't formulate answers to the questions.  I know that sounds crazy . . .and maybe I am.

It's National Waffle Day (August 24th)...what decision are you currently 'waffling over'? (or share one you've recently 'waffled over')
I would rather talk about REAL waffles on National Waffle Day!  My husband LOVES waffles and his birthday was on Sunday and I actually got up and made waffles before church.  He is the one who originally taught me how to make waffles!
I don’t think I’m waffling over any decisions right now.  I don’t tend to “waffle” too much.  I think I “waffle” over where to get lunch more than any other decision.   Several of us tend to say, “what do you want for lunch?”  “I’m good with whatever you want.”  “Do you want Arby’s or Zaxby’s or Paw Paw Patch?”  Just fyi – we had Guthrie’s for lunch and we all ordered the same thing – the chicken finger box (or whatever it is called).  One co-worker said it was a box of yummy . . .and she was right.

It's the middle of August, but I'm already seeing lots of autumn-related posts. Do you think we rush the seasons? If so, does that bother you?
We probably do rush the seasons.  We are looking at Pinterest for ideas for whatever is coming up.  Since I work in a church, we are always working a season ahead anyway.  We have already begun planning for Advent and Christmas.

I saw (here) an end of summer bucket list that included-
make s'mores, read a new (or favorite) book in the park, eat something delicious and bad for you at a state fair, be a tourist for the day, have a pot luck picnic, book a last minute summer getaway, relax by or in the pool, take a hike to watch the sunset, have a day on the lake, try a new summer recipe
Which activities on the list might you squeeze in before summer officially comes to a close? 
I will make s’mores in the fall; I’m always reading; our state fair is in the fall; we will probably have a picnic on September 17th when we go to the Preserve Jazz Festival (but it might be more planned out than pot luck); we have booked a last minute summer getaway . .. that is actually happening during the first week of fall . . we are going to the beach!  I keep trying to get back to the neighborhood pool but we’ve had a lot of rain lately and I’ve been extremely busy.  Probably not going to take a hike to watch the sunset nor try a new summer recipe (though I am always looking for great and new recipes!).  Mark will spend time on the lake at the farm but I’m not sure I will be on the lake unless someone invites us to go somewhere over labor day.

Your favorite summertime 'art' found in nature?
Our grass is so incredibly green and lush and so are all the trees.  Alabama is really quite lovely.  It is just so stinkin’ hot lately!  I also love the yellow butterflies that appear every year around this time and into September and October.  Our sky (when it is not raining) has been amazing lately and we’ve had an unusual number of rainbows.  Lots of art!!

Stephen R. Covey is quoted as saying 'We judge ourselves by our intentions, and others by their actions.' Agree or no? Do you define yourself based on your intentions, your actions, or something else? 
Yes, I think his statement is so very true!  I have such great intentions . . .but what are they doing??  Another thought about our “vision” is regarding social media – we see the highlight reel of other people’s lives and the daily grind in our own. 

Are you useful in a crisis? Elaborate. 
I would say that I am.  My husband would laugh and say, “no, she isn’t.”  Years ago (when our kids were 3 years old!), we had straight line winds come through our neighborhood.  We thought it was a tornado.  Sounded like a tornado.  Did lots of damage like a tornado.  Anyway, we had to grab our children and run to the basement.  Later, I told someone that I was so calm.  Mark said, “No, you weren’t.  You were screaming like crazy!”  I only remember saying the first line of the Lord’s Prayer over and over and I remember having to find something for our children to tinkle in!!  I do have a tendency to get “breathy” and talk really fast when in a crisis situation. 

There is one crisis situation where I AM NOT good.  If you throw up, you are on your own!

What's been your go-to dish this summer? Is it something you'll continue making as the seasons change?
I love fresh veggies.  I’ve enjoyed lots of sliced tomatoes.  We have really good tomatoes in Alabama and no, I won’t be eating them once summer is over.  Grocery store tomatoes are yucky.

Adult coloring books are a thing now. Have you jumped on the bandwagon? If not is this something you think you might enjoy?
I own two adult coloring books and two boxes of colored pencils. I thought I would be all over this trend because I have always loved to color.  I have found that I just don’t have much spare time anymore.  A sweet friend gave this one to me last year and I have colored a few pages.  I would like to color more!!

Insert your own random thought here. 
This has been a crazy two weeks at work!  I feel like this is my random thought quite often!  My real random thought is this:  I need one more bed in my house for times like holidays.  I got a catalog in the mail from grandinroad and they have a “classic EZ bed” that I think I’m going to order.  It is like a “blow up” mattress (we’ve used those) but it is on a frame and then folds back up into a case to store.  It looks awesome in the catalog.  I wonder if it is as awesome as it looks???  If I order it, I’ll let y’all know!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Years and Gifts!

I was thinking last week about teaching Sunday School.  I believe that I started teaching in the John Wesley class about 25 years ago.  I just can't believe it has been so long!  Our children were in kindergarten and they will be 30 this year.  How did time pass so quickly?  When I volunteered to teach, my self esteem was at an all time low and I did not think that I could possibly stand in front of a group and teach anything (I didn't stand for many years - I sat!).  It is so funny how God works, isn't it?  He calls us to do his work and he equips us.  I still remember the very first book that I "taught."  I purchased the book from the book table on my Emmaus Walk.

It is amazing how some things have changed in that 25 years.  We sat in folding chairs around the walls of a small room on the second floor.  For the five years previous to that time, we had been in the "bowels" of the building - we literally met in a large closet for over 5 years!!!

Mark and I married in May of 1984 and the John Wesley class started in September of 1984 and Jack Allison was our teacher.  He faithfully taught our class for five years.  He and his wife, Polly, were just the right age to inspire us as young couples.  I can remember going to a pot luck dinner at their house and I can see us in my mind's eye. . .the women standing around in the kitchen . . .and the men somewhere else (out in the yard??).  We were all so emotionally needy (or maybe that was just me??) and we were growing and learning about God and what it meant to be married.

Now rush forward 30 years and we are in 2016.  We use tablets and screens and all sorts of fun stuff.  Who knew that this old lady could learn how to use all that equipment (thanks to Stuart - our young assistant communications director, who has the patience of Job!).

The picture below is from a couple of Sundays ago.  I arrived before early worship service to set up.  I couldn't get my laptop to project onto the wall so I snapped photos of all the important stuff and texted the pictures to Stuart, who was on the opposite end of the building, running the sound and lights for the traditional service.  Of course, it was simply operator error - I just needed to touch a button!!

This last week, I mentioned to the class that the podium  was not really large enough for notes and my tablet.  As I taught, I was actually flinging pages off to the side to make room for the next page.  Two wonderful guys from our class took the podium home to Jim's basement and made a new top - perfect size for a tablet/laptop and notes!!

What gifts has God given you?  Do you teach?  Do you make new podiums?  Do you sing?  Are you an excellent listener or an awesome encourager?  Has God worked in you to grow and develop the gift?

I love these verses from Hebrews 13:20-21 "Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,  equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in you that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

p.s. This is "Lisa theology" . . .I've probably taken this verse out of context but I love the thought of God equipping us for his work on earth.

Let's be the hands and feet and eyes and ears of our Lord Jesus here on this earth.  Let's use the gifts that God has given to each us.