Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's Saturday

I can't believe it's Saturday.  When you don't leave the house much it seems like the calendar and specifically what day of the week it is doesn't really matter that much.  To most families the weekends mean that the family will be together more but my children are both in college.  They work on the weekends so they are not home then either.  They are home on Sundays so that is our day to worship the Lord & spend time together.

However, I have learned to cherish everyday.  Charlie has been helping my Dad this week with a project so he hasn't been at home, and it feels like things are somewhat back to normal.  He'll probably be helping him for the next week or so and I hope that we'll be able to establish some sort of routine.  With both of not working and just being at home all day, every day it has kind of worn on both of our nerves.

In 2008 I had the opportunity to be at home for about 9 months.  During that time Charlie worked from daylight to dark so I didn't see him very much.  We had so many financial obligations that he had to work as much as possible so we could pay our bills.  Fast forward to 2011, we were both working and had very good paying jobs but we decided to downsize.  We got rid of our house, and yes, I say it that way because it was such a burden.  It was a money pit!  We have a smaller vehicle.  Yes, it is a little Ford Ranger and only fits the 2 of us but that is all we need.  The kids both have vehicles so why do we need a gas hog?  Our bills are down to our rent, insurance, and utilities.  We don't have any debt.  God has been good to us.  He saw our future and what we thought last year was horrible turned out to be a huge blessing.

Last October we were on vacation with my Mom & Dad and we were talking about where we saw ourselves in 5 years.  Charlie is 40 now and I'm not far behind.  I remember telling them then that I'd like to be a stay at home wife.   That it might seem old-fashioned but that I'd like to be able to take care of Charlie by keeping the house, his clothes, and making sure a meal was on the table when he got home from work.  We'd like to build a house; something small just enough for the two of us and room for future grandchildren to play.  Maybe have our own business.  Little did I know that less than 30 days later I'd be given my separation notice.  It never crossed our mind that in January Charlie would receive his separation notice too.  What our plans for 5 years were in October haven't really changed much.  God has just given us a different path to get there.  In reality it may not take as long to acquire the things we wanted to.  What we thought would come last, the opportunity of owning our own business, has actually come first.

Charlie is trying to start a new business.  It's a slow process because we didn't have money in savings.  We do have a couple of loans (money we loaned out when we had it) coming due and we hope to use that to help start his business.  Right now Charlie is getting the necessary licensing and insurance.  Once we receive the paybacks we hope to buy him a work van.  He already has a couple of companies lined up that will supply him work once he is licensed and insured.  Like I said, it's just a slow process.

People laugh when he tells them I am a stay at home wife, but I don't care.  My house is clean, our laundry is done, I'm able to help others when asked, and I'm here when my kids need me.  Even though they are adults themselves they still need their Mother!  You'd be surprised the talks we've had on Tuesday mornings or Thursday afternoons that otherwise we wouldn't have had if I'd been at work.  I'm thankful that God has given us everything that we need.  Our bills are paid, and we have food in the pantry.

I find happiness and peace from the beauty that God creates like the flowers above.  If God can take care of them and bring them back every year then why can't he take care of me?  What more could we ask for?


Friday, March 30, 2012


You know that feeling you get right before something big is about to happen?  Maybe your first date, or a big event that you have been looking forward to?  You know the are excited, but you also feel a little bit of dread because what if something goes wrong.  What if all your plans are thwarted?  

I woke up this morning with that feeling but as far as I know I don't have any big plans.  I feel like something is about to change in our lives, but I don't have a clear feeling on whether it will be a good change or a bad change.  The one thing I do know is that God is in control of everything.  I've been talking to him this morning and I know that whatever happens that I'll make it through with the the Lord guiding me.  

Maybe this is just so I will be prepared when the time comes...


Friday, March 23, 2012

Showers bring Flowers...

I think last week or maybe the week before last I posted these...
which I assumed were a type of daffodil, right?

Well then yesterday out of the same plant have bloomed these...
Okay, so what are they?  and how did they come out of the same plant?  The daffodils are gone and in their place these other white flowers have appeared.

I am the first house on a long driveway and the driveway is lined with these beautiful purple trees.  Can anybody tell me what they are?

Then out of no-where my neighbor has these beautiful tulips that have sprung up... I just love spring!  I know what these were, hahaha..

Isn't amazing how the Lord works?  We have had many torrential downpours over the last few weeks but then we've also had beautiful, warm sunny days.  God was giving his plants the needed food and water to not only survive but thrive!  He does us that way too.  I've been going through a rainstorm but I know God is going to bring us out into the sunshine and we are going to THRIVE!!!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012


When I was in elementary school I learned how to embroider in school.  I'll never forget coming home from school and the excitement of knowing how to do something crafty.  I guess that was my first endeavor into any type of sewing.  My grandmother lived with us at the time and she could crochet so we came up with a little Christmas project that we could do together.  She bought men's handkerchiefs and I would embroider the person's initials on them and she would crochet a scallop around the edges.  I wish I could find just one of those handkerchiefs that we made together.
The instruction booklet for the Quilted Butterfly
Many years later and my daughter was staying with her grandmother, my mother-in-law, for the summer.  Lethia was an awesome woman.  I don't think there was anything she couldn't do.  When my daughter came home that summer she brought with her several embroidery kits.  My mother-in-law had these kits left over from many many days gone by.  She said they used to have hostess parties back when she was young and they'd sit around and embroider these little squares.  My daughter and I embroidered a few of these together and then like projects do they were pushed to the back burner.  My daughter became a teenager and embroidery wasn't any fun anymore.

A package of one of the Hostess Programs that has never been opened.
Now fast forward to today, or should I say about 3 weeks ago.  I was going through my craft stash trying to sort things out and I come across these embroidery kits.  Immediately my mind went back to Lethia and I began to cry.  I couldn't look at them without crying.  However the more I thought on it I decided that I would embroider these little squares by hand (all in red thread my new found passion) and then I would somehow make a quilt out of them.  One that we could have and cherish forever.

The package that hasn't been opened is for a Daisy pattern.
It has the thread, needles, instruction, and printed muslin.
Tonight it's seems that I was having trouble getting settled.  My nerves were really bothering me and my mind was going a hundred miles an hour.  I didn't feel like pulling out the sewing machine, or cutting out anything, but then I remembered those little squares.  For the last few hours I've sit here trying to remember how to do a basic chain stitch.  I could hear my grandmother's voice in my mind as she would say "Now hold the thread in a U and put it around your needle" She would tell me to hold it tight so I wouldn't lose the thread.  Memories....
The hearts my daughter embroidered many years ago

The heart I embroidered tonight.  
A few minutes ago my daughter walked into the room and she remembered the little project that she'd started many years ago.  She asked me if I still had the squares that she'd embroidered with her grandmother, of course, I said Yes.  She pulled them out and began to look at them.  I could tell by her face that she was hearing her grandmother's voice just like I did.  You never know what kind of impact you will have on someones life.  I was thinking tonight as my nerves have settled down how my mother-in-law would tell me "To just stay steady with the boat." and "Don't give up" she'd say, "God is just about to move".  I've needed to hear those words again but she's so far away.  I wouldn't bring her back if I could but tonight God let me hear those words in my mind by looking at a few pieces of embroidery....


Friday, March 16, 2012

What a Beautiful Morning!

I woke up earlier than normal this morning because Charlie is scheduled for his exam today.  Please pray for him that he passes.  He's very nervous.  I know he'll do fine but tests make him anxious.  He'd rather do the physical job and let someone test him on that rather than have to take a written test.

Since I woke up earlier I had the opportunity to watch the sunrise.  This is no where near as early as I used to wake up for my 'job'.  I was at work by 6:30 everyday! HA I didn't get to see the sunrise then either because I was already in the office with no windows.  but I digress...  My subject this morning was the sunrise.  Isn't it beautiful?  I was in the kitchen making my morning coffee and heard the birds chirping.  It seemed like they were calling me.  I went out the front door and immediately ran back in to grab my phone so I could take a picture.  It was beautiful!!  We had a ferocious thunderstorm last night and it looked like the new buds on the tress would literally be pulled from the trees.  But this morning the trees are just covered with little droplets of water.  You can't tell from the pictures but there was also a light fog this morning but it wasn't a scary fog, it was more like a stage curtain.  Almost like the Lord was raising the curtain so we could start this beautiful day!

"There are so many blessings that you have given me.  Things I take for granted everyday.  The beauty of creation and the promise of salvation, Lord help me to remember when I pray.  Thank you for the things that I never thank you for, for giving everything I need and I still I ask for more. It's not that I'm ungrateful, I'm just forgetful Lord, so I thank you for the things that I've never thanked you for.  When my way grows weary and rest is hard to find, and sometimes I can't see my way through.  And when it seems that I am blinded that's when I need to be reminded that the strength I thought was mine it came from you!"


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hannah's Story

This is a story of overcoming – a story of prayer – a story of perseverance – a story of obedience – a story of being a servant of God.  Hannah’s story shows how God intervened on an ordinary woman’s behalf.  Hannah’s story is significant in the Bible because God used her for his purpose. 

The story begins in 1 Samuel 1:1.  The chapter begins telling about a man, Elkanah, with two wives: Peninnah who had children and Hannah who had none.  In Biblical times, and even in some countries still today, it is considered a disgrace if a woman is unable to bear children.  The woman is looked down upon, ridiculed by others, and even ashamed of herself.  For what good is she if she is unable to bear sons for her husband?  Hannah felt as if she was a failure.  Each year Elkanah, with his entire family, went to Shiloh to worship and make sacrifice to the Lord as the custom decreed.  Elkanah would give a portion to his wives but by the custom Peninnah always received a portion for herself and each of her children.  However, Elkanah always gave Hannah, the Bible says, a worthy portion because he loved her.

In verse 6, the Bible tells us that Peninnah provoked Hannah for to make her fret because the Lord had shut up her womb.  I’m sure Peninnah was jealous because Elkanah loved Hannah so much.  This happened year after year until Hannah was so miserable that she wouldn’t even eat.   Elkanah didn’t understand why Hannah wept, and even asked her in the 8th verse “Am not I better to thee than ten sons?”   The Bible doesn’t specify how many years this went on but it does say “year after year”. 

In this story Hannah longs for a child, but maybe you are longing for God to move for you too.  Have you been longing for something in your Christian walk?  Have you had a trial that has seemed to last for years?  How long have you been down-heartened?  How long have you felt hopeless?  Do you have an illness that only God can heal?  Maybe you feel as if God isn’t hearing your prayers.  Maybe you are longing for him to move in a big way or send you a direct message.  Maybe your desire is to have a closer walk with the Lord, to feel more of his spirit.  Maybe you don’t know what you really want – you just know that you feel an empty space in your heart that only God can fill. 

Put yourself in Hannah’s shoes as she knelt at the altar and prayed fervently.  In verse 11 Hannah made a vow unto the Lord “…O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but will 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.”  The Bible continues on to through verse 13 to say that Hannah continued to weep and pray and the words she spoke only in heart because her lips moved but no sound came out.  In verse 14 the Bible says that the Priest, Eli, watched her and thought she was drunk.  Hannah explained her plight to the Priest and Eli answered her in verse 17 “…Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou has asked of him.” Hannah received her answer.  She immediately went out and ate.  She was no longer sad because God had sent her the answer.  She believed!

The promise came to pass and Hannah bore a son.  She called him Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord.  Remember, Hannah made a vow.  Elkanah continued to go to Shiloh to offer the yearly sacrifice but Hannah didn’t go with him.  She knew that when she took Samuel she would have to leave him there because she had promised the Lord.  She did not take her vow lightly.  Elkanah told her in verse 23 to stay with the child until she weaned him. 

Hannah kept Samuel with her until he was weaned, probably about 3 years old, and then she took him to Shiloh for the yearly sacrifice.  She remembered her vow and she had to let him go.  Can you imagine how hard it must have been for her?  However, she knew she must be obedient.  When she came to Eli, she told him in verse 26 “Oh my Lord, as thy soul liveth, my Lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord.”   In verse 27-28 Hannah said “For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: 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.”

Naturally you would think that Hannah would have felt great anguish at leaving her child. However the Bible says in 1 Samuel 2:1 that Hannah rejoiced.  She praised God for answering her prayers.  At that time she never knew if she would have more children. 

The Bible goes on to say that Elkanah and Hannah visited Samuel every year at the time of sacrifice.  Each year Hannah would take him a little robe that she had made.  Eli blessed Elkanah and Hannah because of the child they lent to the Lord asking the Lord to give them more children.  Elkanah and Hannah went on to have 5 more children; 3 sons and 2 daughters. 

God’s purpose was fulfilled through Hannah.  Samuel went on to be a great prophet to all of Israel.  She poured out her heart to God, surrendering it all to him, and made a vow.  When God answered her she paid her vow with the sacrifice of her child.  Have you surrendered it all to the Lord?  Do you need freedom from your trial?  Do you want God to intervene in your life?  Give it all to him; all your worries, all your pain, all your struggles, everything.  Believe he can make a difference and when he does be obedient to his Word.  Praise Him in all things.  You will receive peace as Hannah did and blessings for your obedience.  


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Homemade Frappuccino Recipe - Frappe

Vanilla Frappuccino

Please check out the recipe on Lulu & Joy !  I think you'll love it!


Friday, March 2, 2012


When I went out to take the picture this morning I didn't even look down.  I literally stood on my porch and took the picture of the dark clouds.  A few minutes ago I walked outside and I noticed this pretty flowers blooming just to the right of my steps.  It was kind of like God said to me "See what happens when it rains and then the sun comes out?"  I didn't plant these flowers.  I didn't water them.  I've not tended them.  God did it all!  Isn't that awesome?

Matthew 6: 25-34
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.  Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  Behold the fowls of the air: for the sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.  Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

As I was writing this post I could hear the birds chirping and then the sun peeked through the clouds and started shining into my room.  Then before I even finished the clouds opened up and the rain started pouring down.  And just like I wrote about this morning, the sun is shining through the rain!  God is so Good!!


Sunshine While It's Raining

From my front porch 3/2/2012
Have you ever seen the sunshine while it's raining?  Wikipedia calls it a sunshower or a meteorological phenomenon.  I call it God!

The last few months have been exceptionally rainy for us literally & figuratively.  It seems like here in East Tennessee it will rain a few days and then you might get one day of sunshine.  On Wednesday night the storms that were passing through were so ferocious that we actually called off our church service.  Then yesterday was beautiful.  The sun was shining so brightly and the temperature topped off at 75 degrees.  Now today we are expecting another day of rain & storms.

This natural weather pattern made me think about my life & the trials we are going through. God doesn't always let it rain.  Sometimes he sends the sunshine to lift us up.  I know that this trial is just a phase in our lives and for some reason I feel like we are just sitting still.  Almost like we've decided to dwell in this valley.  I am an impatient person and I want something to happen.  I need something to change.  I want to move!  I don't want to dwell in the valley.  I know that the climb up the mountain is going to be tough but the mountain top will be worth it all!

Charlie has decided rather than go back to work for a company that he will start his own.  He has done electrical work for years but he has always worked off of the company's license.  So, he went a couple of weeks ago and took the class necessary to get his electrical license.  Now he's studying, studying, studying to take the test.  He's taken several pretests and has done well on all of them.  He just has to schedule to take the actual test.  I think he's scared that he will fail.  He is extremely talented and knows what he is doing so I know he'll do fine, but getting him to believe that is a different story.  Once he's passed the test and we get everything set up, business license, insurance, etc, then he already has a company that is going to let him sub-contract.  They have work lined up for him already.  So, I sit here and wait...  Please  pray for him that God gives him the confidence to take the test and then that he'll pass so we can get passed this waiting game.

Starting your own business is not going to be a breeze.  I know that.  My Dad has been in business for himself my entire life.  I understand the pressure of running a business.  It's not always easy but the good out weighs the bad.  It will also allow Charlie to be available as needed at the church too.

Today I'm waiting on the rain but I know the SUN will shine again!