Saturday, December 31, 2011
Okay, wait a minute am I doing this right? It's been so long I didn't know if I would even remember how to login to my blog! This year has had many up & downs, good times & bad, laughter and crying. Without all life wouldn't be very interesting now would it? I am thankful that I have lived to see 2012. I have only made one New Year's Resolution and that is to write more both on my personal blog and on our church website.
I hope to see y'all around more in 2012.
Hey, is there anybody out there...
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Hmmm I wonder what my parents would have said if I told them I wasn’t going to do something. I can’t even imagine the wrath. Oh, and just for the record, my Dad and Mom didn’t spank me. I think I would have rather received a spanking. My Dad would get down the Bible and teach us. Before I had time to utter another word I would feel so condemned by my actions.
When this child told me his concession to church, with his Mom standing right there, I was left dumbfounded. I didn’t even reply because I didn’t know what to say. Now, I realize that I could have said many things like ‘What if God only answered your prayers on Sunday morning, and Wednesday night?’ or ‘What if your Mom & Dad only fed you on Sunday morning, and Wednesday night?’ What would you have said?
What would you do if this were your child? Please help me to pray.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
International Sue Bonnets
I love black and white quilts!! This one has just a little burst of color. Do you see it?
The appliqué on this was gorgeous.
These are just a few of the pics I took. I'm sorry they don't do justice to the quality of the quilts. I was using my iPhone to take pictures.
I'll have more tomorrow.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
On December 22nd 1994, I lost my 3rd child. Believe it or not, I am at a loss for words. I am not like the people in this article that carried the baby to term and were able to hold it. No, my baby died in my womb. I was about 12 weeks pregnant when the baby died, and my body didn’t try to miscarry. I would have carried the baby to term, but it wouldn’t have been a live birth. If I remember correctly, I believe my due date would have been in June of 1995, but we chose to have the doctor take it that December.
I was never able to hold my baby or name it. I’ve always thought it would have been a boy, but I don’t know. After testing the doctors told me I lost the baby because of what is called ‘Trisomy 13’. Most babies born with this defect do not make it to term, and if they do they usually don’t live long. A trisomy pregnancy can be many different things depending on which chromosome has three instead of the normal two. The result could be anything from a cleft palate to down syndrome to dwarfism.
It took me years to grieve. At first it seemed like it didn’t happen to me. I was separate from this tragedy that occurred in our life. Then one day I was sitting in church and someone was singing a song about Jesus’ have a rocking chair, and I lost it! Yes, I mean sobbing, bellering, squalling, lost it… It was almost 2 years after I lost the baby. I had to leave the sanctuary. Charlie took me home and it was like it had just happened.
I know that God has a plan. I always wanted to have at least four kids, but I guess that wasn’t in God’s plan. I have two children that I have watched become wonderful young adults. Different people have different ideas about when a baby has a soul and I don’t want to get into that discussion. Suffice it to say, it makes me feel peace to believe that I have a child that I’ll meet in Heaven.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
As I said we’ve been working in youth ministry for 16 years and we’ve watched an entire generation become adults. The teenagers we started with are now parents and we have their children in our youth department. Looking back the youth that we had the most impact on are the ones we took to camp each summer. Camp Awanita, one week in the summer away from worldly distractions. No cell phones, no television, no radios, no video games, only each other and the Word of God. Yes, we would play games but they were always Faith building games. We watched these teenagers walk away knowing something they could build their life on. The challenge we had was only a few would come. If I remember correctly our highest number was 56. I think our last trip to Camp Awanita was in 2006. Our interested numbers have become so small that it isn’t cost effective. There are too many other offerings in the summer that the teenagers of today are pulled to like sports camps & band camps. I’ve heard many parents say we can’t afford both, and I’ve raised two teenagers so I understand that. I’ve also been told ‘If my child doesn’t go to this sports camp then they will have to sit the bench during the next season.’ They think this sports camp will make a drastic change in their child’s life; making them a better player. What they don’t realize is that a Christian Camp will make them a better Christian and could firmly plant their child on the Rock, Christ Jesus!
For years I’ve watched mega churches attract youth with things our small church just couldn’t afford; parties, pizza every Friday night, big trips, large youth centers, concerts, etc. We’ve had parents in our church want us to spend a large chunk of our budget to take their kids to amusement parks, beaches, etc., and we’ve really struggled with this because we keep coming back to where is the Word in all this foolishness. I’ve had people say ‘Well it’s good for those kids who might run with the bad crowd to be with the good crowd and it doesn’t matter what you are doing with them.’ ‘Keep them off the streets.’ I understand that to some extent; however what are you teaching them? Are you helping them lay the groundwork to become good adults or are you just teaching them life isn’t ‘fun’ without some kind of party?
I thought we were alone in this struggle then I received an email that led me to a discussion about youth ministry. I realized that we are not the only people that have seen our youth become young adults without a foundation in the church. They don’t know the Word. They are now just looking for the next party or event. I would like all my friends to read this article. It is very enlightening, and makes me to know we are not alone in feeling that our youth of today is being ‘amused to death’. Christianity Today
I think you’ll like it. Come back to my blog, comment and let me know what you think. Do you agree?
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Are you standing at the edge of your chasm? Can you see your prize but you can’t obtain it because you are unable to see the path? Let Jesus show you the path. Step out on Faith. His promises are sure.
This reminds me of the place in the Bible where Jesus was walking on the water towards the disciples’ boat (Matthew 14). When the disciples saw Jesus they thought he was a spirit, but Peter said to him “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Jesus said one word to Peter “Come.” The next verse says that Peter walked on the water. He stepped out on faith in Jesus’ word. At that moment he had no doubt that he would walk on the water. As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, his prize, then he walked on the water. When he took his eyes off his prize he started to sink.
Sometimes the path is only revealed one step at a time. Do your children or husband in my case play video games? Mine do. I’ve watched them play many games and in several of those games the path will be unseen, but as they take a step the block will appear under their feet. Sometimes they misjudge where they should step, the block doesn’t appear and they fall to their demise. Many times in our path towards our goal only the next step is revealed and not the entire path. Sometimes I catch myself wishing I could see into the future; especially now that my children are embarking on their adult paths. That isn’t the plan. I’m sure if the entire path was revealed we would become overwhelmed, and get wrapped up in fear and worry. Remember Jesus’ knows our path. We should live our life for him, keeping our eyes on him, and take our steps in faith; stepping forward in trust and obedience. If we were to take our eyes off Jesus, and take the wrong step, remember that Jesus will save us just like he did Peter that day on the water. Just don’t let the fear of falling keep you from taking the step.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Yesterday I wrote about my baby boy so today I thought I’d write about my baby girl.
Mary Elizabeth, the ‘date’ she was born had always been a day of sorrow for me. You see her ‘birth’day is March 18. My granddaddy died on March 18, 1977, and then my Mama Mary Dell died on March 18, 1990. In my mind it was only fitting that when I went to my doctor’s appointment the morning of March 18, 1993 that the doctor would tell me that my baby girl was in distress. He said if I didn’t deliver soon that her life was in danger. I was only 19 at the time and completely alone. Charlie was on his way to a job 2 hours away in Atlanta, and my Mother was 2 hours away in Knoxville TN. Being the stubborn person that I am I told the doctor that I would not let him induce labor or give me a C-Section and that if she was meant to die or if she was meant to live then so be it. Well she is just as stubborn as I am because at 6:30 that night she was born in to this world completely natural.
There are so many things that I could say about my daughter. She is the child of my heart. She is the one who will walk up and give me a hug just when I need it. I remember when she was about 3 years old, she looked up at me with those big blue eyes and said “Mama, will you be my best friend?” She had on her favorite outfit. The one with the lady bugs on it! She wanted to wear that outfit everyday to preschool. She has always been my best friend. We go shopping together. We have our nails done together. We have our hair cut together. You get the point.
Beth is one of those people that loves completely. When she decides you can be a part of her bubble then you are truly blessed. However, she doesn’t love easily. She was born during a time in my life where I thought I was all alone. I wouldn’t let anyone close for fear that they would hurt me. I think I passed that feeling on to her. She doesn’t let many people get to know her. She appears to be a quiet person when you first meet her, but give her a little bit and she’ll talk your ear off!
She is extremely creative. When she picks up her sketch pad & pencil it’s like magic comes from her fingertips. I love to watch her catch that perfect moment by drawing or on camera. I’m not sure whose side of the family all this creativity came from but she is very talented. My grandfather was a sign maker. He created signs by putting pencil to paper long before computer graphics where around. I’d like to think that she inherited her creativity from him. I know he’d like that too!
This fall she’ll be spreading her wings. It is time… She has been accepted to Maryville College on an art scholarship. I know she’ll be successful. She has decided to live at home during her freshman year, but I know that it won’t be too long before she decides to move out to. I just don’t want to accept it. She is my baby! When she was young she would hide behind me when people would come up. I would continue to ‘hide’ her if I could but I know that would handicap her in this world because I won’t always be there to shield her. It’s hard to explain…I’ve just always wanted to keep her safe not letting the mean people of this world hurt my baby.
I’ve prayed her entire life that God would send her a special man that would love her so completely, taking care of her even more than I have. I’ve prayed that that man would be a God fearing person. I’ve prayed that he would be someone who will dedicate their life and marriage to God’s service. Now, it doesn’t have to be anytime soon, but I know that she is at that time of her life where she wants and needs her special someone.
I came home a few weeks ago and she was sitting at the table with her bible, a book, and a notepad. She was reading a devotional called “A Lady in Waiting”. She was cross-referencing the book with her KJV bible. The book is about becoming God’s best while you are waiting for Mr. Right. The book explores Ruth from the Bible, and by doing that you learn the characteristics that every woman of God should develop. I went to my room that day and prayed thanking God that my daughter wanted to be a woman of God! Not many in this day want God in their lives. I’m thankful that my daughter has had Godly women to pattern her life after. I’ve by no means been the perfect role model, but I have been forgiven, and thankfully God does use me to work for him. She has also had wonderful grandmothers, aunts, and other church women that have helped guide her.
Today, I am praying that my daughter will find her path in life, and that the Lord will give her contentment. I pray that God will send her true friends, and not those that just pass fleetingly through your life. I pray that God will keep molding her Mr. Right until he is just the man that Beth needs. I pray that she will always be my baby. Most of all, I pray that God will protect her and guide her throughout her life.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Life goes on. The babies you once held tight become adults. The toddler that begged you not to let go of their hand now is that young adult who wants you to let go. The little boy who walked off the field holding back his tears until he saw his Mother is now walking away from his Mother as she holds back her tears.
You raise them to be independent adults, but I don’t think it is ever easy to let them go. I know we’ve taught him right, and now it is time for him to walk on his own. I was thinking this morning of the first steps he took and how we held his hands as he teetered. At only 9 months he walked, not just walked but ran! At 2 he could ride a bicycle without training wheels. I should have known then that he would want to live on his own at a young age. He wants to make his own path. Understandable, isn’t that what we all want? Why then is it so hard to let go?
Last night, Trevlyn asked his Dad & I to sit down and talk with him. He had an important decision to discuss with us. He was such an adult about it all. He had everything lined out. When we first sat down I asked him if we were going to have an Amway presentation. He had his computer out, a folder, and jokingly said he needed to go get his HDMI cable so he could connect it to the TV and let us see his presentation. My baby boy then told us that he had toured apartments and found one that he thought he could afford. He had a spreadsheet of everything he would need from towels, pots & pans, to decorations and furniture. The costs of each were totaled. He had his monthly budget calculated with rent, utilities, and even his entertainment which consists of cable/internet so he can play his PS3. His original date was August 1st. I felt like my heart broke, but I held back the tears. If I’ve been successful raising him then he should be a successful adult, right? Then he tells us that after much prayer he would like to move that out 1 year. He would then be able to save the money each month and move out with a considerable savings. I slowly picked up the pieces of my heart.
I didn’t sleep much last night. The fear that I’ve lived with the last few years made a very strong reappearance last night. What if he doesn’t make it on his own? What if the apartments catch on fire? What if he doesn’t make it home at night? How will I know? I can’t imagine the first night he doesn’t sleep under my roof, but in his own apartment. I probably won’t sleep that night either! I had to remind myself throughout the night that God is not the God of fear, and we are his children. God is much better at taking care of his children than I am!
I remember when I was pregnant with him at the age of 17. I remember thinking this baby will always love me. This will be the one person in this world who will always love me unconditionally. He would fight for me and has. The first few years of our marriage weren’t the best. Charlie & I argued a lot! Trevlyn would always stand in front of me & yell at his Dad to stop. He never wanted us to argue. He has always been my little warrior!
When he was about eight he went through a phase where he had a hard time dealing with his emotions. He had a lot of built up anger and didn’t know how to vent. The school called me in for a conference. He had discussed with his counselors at length why he had so much anger. Most of it stemmed from the early years of our marriage. You would never believe that what you do in front of your toddler will impact them, but it does! I didn’t know what to do. Of course the school wanted me to take him to a child psychologist and they would put him on medication. By this time Charlie & I were both going to church and trying to live our life for the Lord. I remember calling my Mother as I drove down Red Bud Rd. I was squalling because I felt like I had let down my child. I had caused this to happen, and now I didn’t know what to do. I’ll never forget my Mother’s words. She said “Krista, give him to the Lord, and let God take care of him.” I did that on that day. I gave my child back to the Lord who had given him to me. From that day forward, God changed my child’s heart.
Trevlyn now lives his life for the Lord. He is a very tender hearted, compassionate young man. He’s not perfect, but he’s my baby boy! We always say those are shoulder blades not angel’s wings. I’m sure he’ll make mistakes. We all do. I know he has a great work for the Lord. God has an anointing on his life. I have already seen where his life has impacted others. I will continue to pray, as I always have, that God will keep a hedge of protection around him that Satan will not destroy him. I told him last night, as I have many times over his lifetime, that as long as he keeps God as his number one priority then he can do anything that he wants to.
Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there. 1 Samuel 1:28
Monday, April 4, 2011
To a place where there are no unhappy days
And there are no unhappy words
Standing alone in a storm of life
Without any way to turn
Tears are falling down like rain
From the lessons that I have learned
Yea, I wish that I could fly away
To a land beyond this pain
And lay my dreams on a mountain top
And wash my mind in the rain
Words by Frank Dycus
Psalms 55:6 And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.
Sometimes life becomes unbearable and human nature says run away or hide from the problems. We all know as adults that is impossible. Your problems don’t go away because you pretend they are not there. The song above was written about love & heartbreak, but that isn’t what I am writing about today. I am writing about those problems that seem insurmountable. Whether it be grief over the death of a loved one, sickness, financial problems, or heartbreak.
The last few years it seems that it has been one problem after another in our life. I have been taught that there is only one place you can run, and that is into the arms of God. He will comfort you when it seems that no comfort is to be found. When the fear of life has you in a death grip ask God to take away the fear and pain. When you actually think about it, life is frightening. God didn’t promise that we would never feel pain or heartache, but he did promise that he would never leave us alone.
I’ve always had a fear in my life of being left alone; that the people I love the most would just disappear out of my life. Sometimes death takes your loved ones but more often than not we just get so wrapped up in our lives that we become out of sight out of mind. If it isn’t someone that we see or talk to on a daily basis then they get pushed to the backburner. I don’t let many people get close to me because of that fear. I keep only a few close because I just couldn’t bear it if I lost someone that I love.
I thought that I had almost overcome that fear and then Charlie’s parents died. The first few months after their death I was afraid every time my children left my sight that I wouldn’t see them again. I would panic and my heart would race until they made it back home. Then I started worrying about my own parents. I know that life is not meant to last forever, and my parents are getting older. Eventually they will die, and I know that, but I can’t bear the thought. Charlie tells me that we shouldn’t be afraid of death because that is are only transportation to Heaven, and I’m not afraid of my own death. I simply don’t want my family to die!
Yesterday we went to Dalton and visited Charlie’s brothers. We met out at the cemetery, and I planted flowers in the vases at the tombstone. They kept asking me why I wanted real flowers and not silk like was on all the other tombstones. Loyd always tried to teach me how to plant a garden, and I just never could get it right. One time he & I planted two tomato plants at my house. I tended them just like he told me. I grew the prettiest plants you’ve ever seen, but I never had one tomato on those plants. He would just laugh every time he would see them. Lethia would bring home the Easter lilies from the Easter Memorial Service, plant them in her yard, and just as pretty as you please those flowers would come back the next year. Not me! My lilies would die in the pot within days and I always forgot to plant them. So, yesterday I took my time getting just the right potting soil, and picking out just the right flower. Then we went to the cemetery and they all watched me put those pretty flowers in the vases. I made my niece promise to water them. Hopefully they’ll live and if they don’t well then I know that Loyd will have a good laugh over my attempt at gardening. He always did!
Sometimes I say that Life is not being very nice to us right now. The memories of death seem so close to my mind, health issues and then the financial problems that we are having seem ever present. It looks like everything is going good for a few days and then we come spiraling right back down. Sometimes I think that would like to run away, but then I remember ‘where would I run’? God is right there with me. Without God in my life I couldn’t make it. He is my ever present help in my time of need. This too shall pass! When this time of my life is over I’ll look back and see how God brought me through, and maybe I can use something that has happened to me to help others in their time of need. ‘But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.’ Job 23:10
Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.
Monday, March 28, 2011
As Charlie was walking out the door this morning he said something that made me think about coming full circle. He said sometimes God has to bring us back to the bottom so we can start over. I feel like that is what we are doing. We have our house for sale, and we've already found a house that we are going to move into. It is only about 5 minutes from the church and we love it. It is a little country house. We are just renting it for now. We do have an option to buy it, but we haven't made that decision yet. We will probably move in May after Beth graduates.
Today I was reading a few of my posts from 2008. I posted then about loving being a housewife. How I was saving money on groceries, cooking for my family, quilting, and just being generally happy. It is funny how I remember being so worried about money the entire time I wasn't working, but the bills were always paid. We didn't have a whole lot of extras but we were happy. I can tell from my posts that my memories of that time are accurate.
So much has happened in our life in the last 2 years. Sometimes it seems like when Charlie's parents died that we just stopped living too. When we finally 'woke up' we realized that different things are important to us now. We now cherish the time we have with each other because life isn't forever. We love spending time together but we've always done that. The difference is now it seems like even the little things we do together are more meaningful! I'm not sure what is going to happen over the next few months but I am peace. God is working in our life, and I'm thankful that he has found me worthy for the test. April 9th will be 2 years since we received that dreaded phone call. It was a Thursday afternoon that I'll never forget. Here we are today, full circle, back at the bottom but ready to be remade. I'm thankful that God can take the clay and reform it into a vessel worthy of Him.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I don't have time to do a proper blog post this evening but just to give you a heads up...We are selling our house! Yes, there is a realtor's sign in the front yard. Please pray with me that God's will be done and that we get somewhere close to asking price!!
Sunday, January 2, 2011
The next day I begin to search in the Bible for places where it says "Remember Me". The first that I found is in Judges 16:28 "And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes."
Then in 1 Samuel 1:11 Hannah is praying to God begging him for a child. "And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head."
In Job 14:13 "O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!"
There are many others but the one common thread among these people is that they were all servants of the Lord. They were faithful to God. I want to live in a way that in my time of need I can ask God to "Remember Me!"
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Romans 8:28 (KJV)
My Pastor quotes the verse above often. I know he has been preaching to me for several months about letting God be in control, to have faith, to trust in God, and to remember that all things work together for good to them that love God! I'm sure he'll have to keep on preaching so that I'll remember all these things but maybe, just maybe, he'll not have to preach to me as often!
I already know that this year is going to have a few trials, but I'm am more prepared. I am going into it the year with prayer and asking God for guidance. No more wallowing in self pity! I am going to find the blessings in each and every trial!
This year I will be starting a new job! Yes, on January 5th I will be going to work in Oak Ridge as a goverment contracted secretary! I am very excited about this because the pay is great & ultimately the benefits will be too! I can't believe I've changed jobs 3 times since 2008 but I've finally been offered the job that I'd like to retire with. I will be working 4 days a week, Monday-Thursday, 10 hours a day. That will leave Fridays open for anything I want to do! The 10 hour days will probably be hard for a sleepy head like me but the reward is great!
In May my baby is graduating! Yes, both of my children will be out of high school this year. Can you believe it? It seems like life goes by so quickly. I would love to turn back time but we all know that is impossible. Now I want to enjoy every day, every moment, that they spend with us. Thankfully our kids still like to spend time with their parents! Just last night both of the kids chose to spend New Year's Eve with us. We asked them what they wanted to do and they both said just stay home with y'all and watch a movie or something! Can you believe it? My 17 & 19 year old kids just wanted to stay at home with their parents!
The biggest change to our lives coming in 2011 is that we have decided to sell our house. We currently live in Farragut which is basically West Knoxville. Our church is in Claxton which is Northwest of Knoxville. It takes us about 25 minutes to get to the church and our lives revolve around church. When we moved to Knoxville in 2003 Charlie wanted to live in Karns or Powell. We looked for houses in that area but we just couldn't find anything. My parents lived in West Knoxville so we gravitated there or should I say "I" did. Charlie never wanted to live in West Knoxville. Now that both the kids will soon be out of high school and in college we are going to try to move closer to the church. Our plans are to rent a house in a community close to the church until we decide if we want to buy a house or not.
With just those few things we know that life is going to be a roller coaster during 2011, but I am prepared! God is Good! I know that he'll be with us through it all!
Happy New Year!