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Name: Linda

Location: Texas

I am a wife, mom and grandma. I am doing what I've wanted to do all my life. I am a Christian and I love the Lord.

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Friday, June 29, 2007
Reflections of Him

Several days ago Iris honored me with this award. It is to be awarded to five people “who have been an encouragement, a source of love, impacted you in some way, and have been a Godly example to you. Five Bloggers who when you reflect on them you get a sense of pride and joy…of knowing them and being blessed by them.”

“This award is for the best-of-the-best so consider who you pick carefully. This award should not be given to just anyone. If you’re going to do the award don’t just write a few words and slap it on you Blog. Write real thoughts about these Bloggers and what they’ve meant to you. If the Bloggers you pick have already been given the award, don’t be afraid to it to them again. They deserve it as many times as it’s given.”

I began to think of who I would give the award to. It is very difficult to narrow it down to five, because truly everyone I visit blesses me in some way. I finally made my choices, and before I had a chance to write the post two of them, Dawn and Cyndi, gave the award to me. They all had such lovely things to say, and I feel so very humbled. I’m not at all sure I deserve such an honor.

Here then are the five I have given this award to:

Iris – her sweet spirit is a reflection of the Savior who dwells within her heart. Her love for the Lord and for her husband and son are deep and abiding. Her desire to be used of the Lord through her writing is realized every time she publishes a post. She encourages, uplifts and inspires everyone who reads her words. She works so hard to see that words that bring honor and glory to the Lord are available to everyone. She has helped me over and over again with grace, patience and love. She is so very dear to me.

Dawn – was one of the very first Bloggers I met. We have many things in common so it’s such fun to read her posts. We are at the same stage in life – empty nest, precious grandchildren and entering a new season of life. She is a gifted story-teller. I especially love the stories about her family and her childhood. She has a great sense of humor and is a talented musician. I love all these things about her, but the think I admire the most is her faith. She has shared the stories of the difficult times, and over and over again I am amazed that her faith never wavered. She is an example of steadfast faith and love to me.

Cyndi – she is young enough to be my daughter, and I feel such a strong attachment to her. I think all it took was reading one post, and I knew there was a depth and richness to her faith that touched my heart. She shares from a heart that desires to know the Lord in a deeper way and in the sharing she edifies and glorifies. She and her family have a deep burden for the lost. It is a testimony to the “realness” of her faith that her children have such a heart for missions. She has a terrific sense of humor – and I love that. She can make me laugh and cry and feel so thankful that I know her.

Chris – I have only known her for a short time. I have been drawn to her Blog by the genuineness of her faith, and her very gifted way of sharing what is on her heart. She is so well read and shares things that bless and teach me. She balances all of the areas of her life with such grace. She is an inspiration to me.

Linds – I have enjoyed getting to know this special lady. She lives far away – in England (a place I would dearly love to visit some day). It is fun to see the little differences in our lives and a blessing to realize that the things we share are those things which are really important. She has had to deal with life-changing events over the course of the past year, and she has done so with faith and great grace – and a wonderful sense of humor. I have laughed with her and wept with her (across the miles) and have come to have a deep admiration for her.

I’m not sure any of these special ladies has yet to give out this award, but if so the rules can be found here. In my heart of hearts I award every one of you. You have all blessed me in ways I cannot express. You have indeed become my “sisters of the heart”.

  posted at 7:26 PM

Simply Trusting

I am over here today.

  posted at 9:06 AM

Thursday, June 28, 2007
Thankful Thursday

If it wasn't thursday, and if Iris wasn't hosting Thankful Thursday at Sting My Heart, I would have to write a thankful post anyway. I am so thankful.

I think especially, this week, of the people he has so lovingly placed in my life. I am, of course, thankful for my family. I feel as though I am so very blessed. However, I was thinking about the other people in my life:

First of all my heart is so full of gratitude to all of you, my precious blogging friends, who have prayed for us. I don't know how to adequately express how much it means to know you are being prayed for. We got six and a half inches of rain at our house today. While just thirty minutes away, our son and DIL didn't get much at all. God heard and answered our prayers - yours and ours. Had they gotten the amount of rain we did, we would be pulling soaking wet carpeting out of their house (as we did once before about three years ago). They are predicting more rain over the next few days, but we will just continue to pray and trust God to protect their little home. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS - MY PRECIOUS SISTERS.

I am thankful for my "real life" friends. Seven of us met for lunch yesterday to celebrate Abby's 50th birthday. We talked so much the poor waiter had difficulty getting our order. Some of us haven't seen each other in a few years, and yet it is just as though we were all together a day ago. We just pick right up where we left off. We first got to know one another in a small group Bible Study. We have learned together, prayed for each other, laughed until our sides ached, and cried when one of us was hurting. I know I could call any of them at any time of the day or night and they would be there for me. There are times I think I could make it on my own. That just isn't true. These Godly women aren't just fun to be with, they encourage me, hold me accountable, rejoice with me, teach me and always, always point me to the Savior. I am so thankful for them.

I'm thankful for the Godly leaders in my life. Our Pastor teaches me in such practical terms what it is to live a Godly life. Our music minister inspires me to live a life that glorifies the Lord. I watched him closely last night during choir practice. His love for the Lord Jesus just radiates out of every fiber of his being. Less of self and more of Jesus - that is how he challenges us to live. When we see Christianity modeled in the lives of those in leadership, it blesses us.

I have one other thing I want to thank the Lord for. My Dad has had a constant cough for months now. It is literally just wearing him out. The doctor has given him antibiotics, allergy medicine, cough medicine - nothing seems to help. Yesterday he ordered a chest xray. We were concerned. He has had prostate cancer, and I think that was in the back of all our minds - the worry that the cancer might have come back in a different place.

The xray came back fine. His lungs are clear, and we thank You Lord with all our hearts. We still don't know what is causing the cough. Perhaps it is allergies. After one more round of antibiotics, we will see how he does.

Thank you again - each one of you who prayed for us. You are very, very dear to my heart. In fact - you are just as much my "real life" friends as my "real life" friends.

  posted at 4:26 PM

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
In Other Words

"When there is little awareness of real need
there is little real prayer."
Donald S. Whitney from Spiritual Disciplines
for Christian Life

Years ago I worked as a volunteer at our local V.A. hospital. I was assigned to work in the o.r. waiting room. The nurses or doctors would call when a patient was coming out of surgery, and I would tell the family and friends waiting to hear the news that someone would be coming out to talk with them soon. Sometimes, after talking with the doctor, there were those who looked so upset. I often asked if they would like me to pray with them, and never once did anyone refuse. In our time of deepest need we instictively reach out to the only One who can help. I don't know if all of these people were Christians. Probably some of them were, but even those who weren't wanted to somehow touch God.

I have noticed that we can be very casual about God until, that is, we find ourselves in a desperate situation. I know there have been long periods of time in my own Christian life when I hardly prayed at all. I was busy; I was doing just fine; I was too guilty over repetitious sins. There was always an excuse.

I have come to realize the importance of prayer. I'm thankful it didn't take dreadful circumstances (although there have been some of those since). It took seeing God through eyes that were finally opened to the great need of my heart, knowing that life without Him just wasn't very satisfying, that separation from Him with my silence hurt His heart as well as mine. How desperately I needed a close relationship with Him.

I think there are people all around us who are going about their lives never fully aware of the true need of their heart. They fill the empty places with all sorts of things that never truly satisfy. It isn't until they recognize their need of a Savior that they pray from the heart. I think everyone sends up little prayers during the course of their life when things look rather dark. I believe it isn't until we realize that we are separated from God by our sin and we need to be forgiven that "real" prayer begins. Then prayer becomes as necessary as the very air we breathe.

Father, may I never again distance myself from You with prayerlessness. I need You more than anything else in this world, and I need to spend time talking to you. Without you I can do nothing, but with You all things are possible.

For more writing on this great quote please visit Laurel's blog. She is our host for this week. You will find a warm, loving welcome there.

  posted at 5:04 PM

Monday, June 25, 2007
Jesus - My Rock

My dear friend Dawn has challenged me to write five things I dig about Jesus. She said it was hard to limit it to five, and she is right. Here are five, but I believe the number is limitless. We will spend eternity telling Him all of the things we love about Him.

1. We sing a little worship song in our church that puts this one into words for me. The
Chorus says: “Of all the things about You that I love, I love the most that You first
loved me.”
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
When I was at my worst, He loved me enough to die for me. I cannot fathom such
love. It makes my heart just burst with love for Him.

2. Jesus, with indescribable humility, left heaven and all that encompassed to come to
earth in the form of man. He was forever changed as He became Son of Man as well
as Son of God. I can hardly get my mind around that. He will always bear the scars
of the sacrifice He made for me. His humility draws me to Him – knowing how
far above me He truly is.
“Have this attitude yourw3elves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He
existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the
likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by
becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2: 5-8

3. He is my peace.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to
you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27

4. He has given me eternal life and saved me from all condemnation.
“Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me,
has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into
life.” John 5: 24

5. He never changes. It is the firm foundation that supports my very life. No matter
what circumstances come into my life, no matter how everything around me seems
to shift I know that He will never change. He will always be all He has promised to
“ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today , yes and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

Jesus is my everything – my hope, my joy, my life. I cannot imagine how I could live without Him. If it were not for Him, there would be only despair and sorrow when the inevitable storms of life hit with a force that threatens my very existence. He has promised to be with me; promised that nothing will ever separate me from His love. I have found His promises to be true. I love You Lord Jesus.

I’m not going to tag anyone else. I think this is one lots of us will want to do. Feel free to participate and let me know if you do. I am excited to see what you have to say.

  posted at 1:33 PM

Sunday, June 24, 2007
We arrived home very late last night. It was such fun!! We had a great time with the grandkids and there were no mishaps!! Thank you for your prayers for safety. My spirit soared and my smile got bigger and bigger as I read all your sweet comments. You are the best - the absolute best.

I am totally out of "kid shape". It shouldn't be that hard to get five children (and one of them a teenager and a huge help) organized, but I found myself running to catch up with myself!! I felt a little better when my six year old grandson, who is just a non-stop ball of energy, fell asleep watching a video yesterday afternoon. I think we just try to cram too much fun into too little time. I really do love spending time with them.

The littlest one has just "mastered" potty training - so we spent a great deal of time in the bathroom. The poor little thing is going to think there is no other topic worth asking about other than, "Do you have to go potty?". She actually did very well - only a few little "mess-ups".

Our son and daughter-in-love had a great time. It was so good to see how rested and happy they looked when they returned home. We all sat around the kitchen table sharing news, and I looked at my son and my heart just filled with joy. He had the sweetest smile and just looked at each of the kids in turn with such love. I'm so glad they had this time together. Peace and quiet are a rare commodity in a house filled with five active children.

So Grandma and Papa were wicked and slept in today. I don't think either one of us even thought about getting up in time for church. I'm going to try to catch up with everyone over the next few days, but for now I think I see a nap in my near future.

I have a meme to write and awards to give out. I'll be working on all of that. Right now I feel a little fuzzy headed. Totally pathetic!!!

Have a blessed sunday everyone, and thank you again for your prayers. They mean the world to me.

  posted at 1:02 PM

Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Thankful Thursday

This Thursday we will be on the road heading east to Houston to baby-sit the grandkids for a few days. Saturday is my daughter-in-love’s birthday, and our son asked if we could watch the kids for a couple of days so he could take her away for a special birthday celebration. He has made reservations at a B&B. She is absolutely deserving of a little “r and r”, and we are happy to spend some time with our grandchildren. It will be all five of them this time. Our granddaughter, who is fifteen, is a huge help, and she will be home this time. If you think of us, just pray for safety. I just want everyone to be “intact” when mommy and daddy return home.

I will be gone until Sunday, but I wanted to post my Thankful Thursday post before we left.

I am thankful for the unchanging character of God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. As I read other blogs I am so encouraged to see the way God is working in your lives. He is consistently faithful, always forgiving, and full of grace and mercy. He hears us when we pray, and He answers our prayers. He gives comfort when we are grieving and peace where it seems no peace is possible. He protects and provides. He draws near to us when we draw near to Him. There is no shadow of turning with Him. He is always just who He says He is. It is the bedrock on which I build my life. I don’t have to worry about whether it will shift or somehow fail.

I am thankful that God’s word is true. It is alive and powerful and life-changing. What was true thousands of years ago is true today. I love it when I pray about something and then find a verse that perfectly answers that prayer. It amazes me when I read a verse I’ve read a hundred times before and suddenly find it has new meaning for the here and now. I am humbled when I read a portion of scripture that convicts my heart and shows me the way I should go. I am brought to tears when a verse ministers to the very place my heart was hurting. I rejoice in the hope and encouragement I find within its pages.

I am thankful and humbled by the knowledge that before the foundations of the world God chose me to be His child. There are times I feel, just as Paul did, that I am the chief of sinners. That He could love and forgive me just amazes me. That He would call me child fills my heart with a love for Him that grows and grows. He has never given me what I deserve. Instead He has poured His mercy and grace into my heart. When I stumble and fall over and over again, He is there to pick me up. He only allows into my life those things that will eventually work together for my good. You are amazing God!

Thank You Lord for the richness of Your blessings.

You will find more Thankful Thursday posts at Sting My Heart - Iris' wonderful blog.

I' ll see y'all on sunday. Have a blessed few days.
  posted at 7:27 PM

Monday, June 18, 2007

You will find me over here today. I would love to have you join me.

  posted at 10:41 PM

Sunday, June 17, 2007
Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the incredible fathers in my life.

The first picture is my Dad with me and my little sister.

The second picture is our two sons.

The third picture is my Dad and three generations of our family.

I have been so blessed with the Godly men in my life. My father, my husband and my sons - all of them love the Lord and love their families with all their heart. I honor them today for the strength and faith and grace and wisdom in each of their lives. Thank you Lord for these precious Dads.

  posted at 10:35 AM

Saturday, June 16, 2007
Ruth Bell Graham

There have been so many eloquent things written and words spoken about Ruth Bell Graham. I haven’t anything more eloquent or different to write, but because she has meant so much to me I felt I just had to write a little something.

I came of age in the sixties, a time when women seemed to want to change all the rules and redefine so many of the things I held dear. Aspiring to be wife and mother just didn’t seem lofty enough – after all, we were told, we could be anything we wanted to be. So I thought I had better want to “be” something. I knew I didn’t want to be a teacher, so I decided Social Worker sounded like a lofty enough goal. I even convinced myself the Lord had called me to it.

After one miserable year at college, I knew He hadn’t. A year later I was married and blissfully happy doing exactly what I had always wanted to do. Had I been born a generation earlier, I would have fit in perfectly. As it was, I found myself a bit of an anomaly. Everyone else was going to college, starting careers and becoming an activist of one sort or another. Free love was the thing – not marriage.

One day I picked up a little book written by Billy Graham’s oldest daughter Gigi, who happened to be exactly my age. It was a book about “home” – the home in which she was raised and the home she and her husband were establishing. I inhaled that book like a fresh breath of air. It was through that book that I discovered Ruth Bell Graham. She became for me a wonderful role model. Of course my own mother was the one who first modeled Godly womanhood for me, but here was someone “famous” whose life was exactly what I wanted mine to be.

Much has been said of Ruth Graham as wife and mother. She was an amazing woman. I wonder if she knew how she encouraged young wives and mothers by her practical, observable love for the Lord – lived out as she steadfastly supported her husband and cared for her family. I read everything of hers I could get my hands on. I have quoted her so many times. Her love of the word, her practical wisdom, her wonderful sense of humor, her love of adventure – all inspired this young wife and mother to draw closer to the Lord.

I feel as though I have lost a dear friend. I’m sure there are thousands and thousands who feel the very same way. Her life is a tribute to a heart sold out to God, to a life lived in surrender to His will, to a deep, abiding love of God. What a glorious legacy she leaves to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and to those of us who watched a life lived to the fullest.

  posted at 11:59 AM

Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Thankful Thursday

As it happens, today is my husband’s birthday. I can’t think of anything or anyone better to write my Thankful Thursday post about:

1. I am thankful for his faith. His love for the Lord is evident in every thing he does. I have seen his faith remain strong in the face of health problems that would have literally destroyed me. His faith encourages me when I falter. I watch in amazement as he continues to offer praise and thanksgiving in the face of pain and suffering.

2. I am thankful for his tender heart. Of the two of us, he is the much more sensitive one. I have seen him cry with those who are hurting. He simply cannot drive by the disheveled man standing on the corner holding a sign that reads “Need help. Family starving.” His heart is so easily touched by anyone in need.

3. I am thankful for his giving heart. When he sees a need, he responds with more than anyone would ever ask. I’ve been know to gasp a bit when he tells me how much he wants to give to help someone or to support a ministry or meet a need. He is completely selfless. He doesn’t just give money. He gives of his time and talent wherever he can. He built our home and can fix just about anything. He can build a car from the engine out. He never hesitates when someone needs a helping hand. He doesn’t let physical limitations stand in the way. He does everything with his whole heart.

4 .I am thankful for his wonderful sense of humor. He is the master of the witty comment. He is so much fun. The grandkids are crazy about him. Whenever the family gathers, you will find him in the middle of a crowd of gleefully playing children. All the adults will be sitting around the table enjoying coffee and conversation, and Papa is off somewhere entertaining the kids.

5. I am thankful for his love – it is deep and steady and unfailing. He has forgiven me when I know I don’t deserve it. He puts my needs above his own – always. He buys me flowers for no reason, and he always opens the car door for me. I feel cherished and honored and protected.

6. I am thankful for his fearless spirit. He goes where I usually fear to tread. He isn’t afraid to try anything new. He is athletic and good at whatever he tries. He’s not quite as active these days, but there were days when he played a mean shortstop on several soft- ball teams, basketball, volleyball – just whatever happened to be going on. Just today we were riding our bikes down a steep hill, and he was going full speed ahead. He didn’t even slow down to make the turn into the school driveway. If I wasn’t afraid of falling off my bike, I would have shut my eyes. He’s the adventurous one. I’m the one yelling, “Be careful!!”

7. I have known him nearly all my life and have spent the past forty years of my life as his wife. We went to the same church and the same schools. We started going together in high school. We’ve grown up together through the good times and the difficult times. The love grows deeper and richer, the days are precious. I am thankful that we will be together for eternity.

Happy Birthday Honey!!

For more Thankful Thursday posts visit Iris at Sting My Heart.

Oh - and that little cutie with Papa is our youngest granddaughter.

  posted at 8:40 PM

Monday, June 11, 2007
In Other Words

"Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and
knows the One who is leading." Oswald Chambers

When I was a child, I never worried about the future. I didn't fret about what tomorrow would bring. I didn't try to control everything in my small world. I didn't worry about where my life was heading or the circumstances I found myself in. I had no thought about how I would get my next meal or if the bills would be paid on time. I simply trusted that my Mom and Dad would take care of all that.

It wasn't even a conscious thought. From the time of my birth I had been taken care of - fed, clothed, loved, and protected. When it was time to travel, I didn't worry about the weather or the driving conditions or keeping safe. I allowed myself to be carried to the car, strapped in and taken wherever it was my parents wanted to take me. When I was sick, I didn't have to frantically look around for help. My Mom and Dad took care of me.

When I was old enough to get around on my own two little legs, I didn't have to worry about where I was going. There was always a hand to hold on to. If I happened to misstep and fall, there was a loving hand to pick me up and loving arms to comfort me. I was never allowed to wander too far off. Someone who loved me was always watching.

And now I am grown. I have lived long enough to know the terrible dangers life can hold. I know that life can sometimes take me where I don't want to go. Illness can come when we least expect it. Accidents happen to even the nicest of people. Jobs can suddenly come to an end leaving us with crushing debt and no way out.

However, I am still Someone's child. There is Someone who loves me and is taking very good care of me. There is Someone I can trust when I don't know where life is taking me. Someone who will provide for me - who will take care of my every need.
He is there when I wander off or misstep and fall, ready to pick me up with His strong right hand.

If, by faith, I will put my life in His hands I can rest on His promise that He has a plan to prosper me. I may not know the details of that plan, but I know the One who has made the promise. He is faithful. He will never leave me or forsake me. He will lead me in the paths of righteousness. Nothing will ever separate me from His love.

I am once again a little child - throwing myself into the arms of the One who will never let me fall. I don't have to know where we are going. I know Him.

Please visit Iris to read more "In Other Words" posts.
  posted at 7:58 PM

Sunday, June 10, 2007
Lavender Hill Pictures

This will be the last post about lavender. These are a couple of pictures I tried to post earlier and couldn't. Blogger is feeling more kindly toward me tonight.

  posted at 7:10 PM

Our Lavender Day
First I must apologize for not posting any pictures. I don't have a digital camera (I'm working on that, but on a fixed income I have to take things slowly) so I don't have any pictures of my own. I did, however, have pictures of one of the farms we visited, but for some reason I am not being allowed to post any pictures this morning....sigh. I'm sure it must be me, but I can't figure it out.

I shall just have to tell you about our Lavender Adventure. We got a nice, early start so it was still cool, and there was a lovely breeze. We visited three Lavender Farms. The first two were very nice, but it was the third one that took the prize.

All of the farms have beautiful lavender fields. They look so pretty - long rows of full green bushes with those lovely lavender flowers sticking out above the top. When you look down the row, you see that a wave of that beautiful color set against the blue of the sky. All of the farms had lots of lavender products - lotions, soaps, dried lavender sachets, hand towels with lavender flowers embroidered along the edges. The smell was just wonderful.

The second farm we visited had chairs set up in the shade of giant oaks where there was a man making arrow heads and a lady playing soothing music on her harp. My husband was fascinated by the man making arrow heads. When I'm finished here, I promised to look up how the Native Americans made them. They couldn't possibly have made them with the tools this man was using.

The last farm was the one that we all liked the best. The lavender fields were gorgeous. However, it was the landscaping of the grounds that was just breath-taking. Everywhere you looked there were flower beds filled with a variety of flowers. The patio of the stucco farm house was just filled with blooming potted plants. Behind the barn there was an area that had a vegetable garden and a beautiful rose arbor with a bench swing hanging underneath. The setting was idyllic. I asked the lady who owned the farm if she did the gardening herself. She just smiled and pointed to a young Mexican man and said that he was responsible for all the landscaping. He was pleased when we complimented him on the work he had done. I wonder if he'd like to come and spruce our place up a bit!!

They were serving lavender lemonade, lavender ice cream and lavender cookies at this farm - Lavender Hill. We sampled the lemonade and ice cream - delicious. It was beginning to get rather warm, so we just rested in the shade of the giant oaks for a little while before heading to the town square to see the Lavender Festival.

There was quite a crowd and a great many booths filled with everything from lavender products, to quilts, to jewelry, to sun catchers..... We visited a few, but it was getting really oppressive by then so we decided to call it a day. My Dad usually finds a shady spot and a chair and just waits for us - so we found him and headed on home.

We stopped for lunch along the way and just spent time visiting and catching up on everyone's news. It was a good day. I just enjoy seeing my Mom enjoy herself. I knew this was something she would like, and she did.

Have a blessed sunday everyone.
  posted at 11:48 AM

Friday, June 08, 2007

I will be gone tomorrow. We are going to the Lavender Festival. It is being held in the small town about 25 miles south of us.

The Festival itself will be held on the grounds of the Court House in the town square. We actually rented a house in this town when we first moved to Texas. We lived there for about ten months while my husband built our home here. It was so much what I had imagined Texas to be. I can remember how thrilled I was - a newly arrived Yankee (I now consider myself, after 25 years, to be an honest-to-goodness Texan!) to see actual cowboys roaming the streets, going into the bank, shopping in the one little grocery store or eating at the Bowling Alley where they served the best food in town. I felt like I had really arrived.

There were some down sides to this small town life, but I'm not going to dwell on that. Suffice it to say, life can be difficult when you're new in town. Especially when you're a young child. All of that is far behind us now. We love it here - really love it.

Apparently the soil and climate here are just right for the growing of Lavender. Who knew? Our electric company publishes a monthly magazine that is really brilliantly done. I have learned so much about this wonderful state from its pages. A couple of months ago they did an article on Lavender and mentioned the Festival. There are nine Lavender Farms within a twenty minute drive of this small town, and they are all open to the public not only for the Festival but during the whole growing season.

As soon as I saw the article I knew this would be something my Mom would love. She has two Lavender plants growing in her yard right now. She loves Lavender. I still have a few dried flowers she sent me long ago.

So bright and early tomorrow morning my husband and I, my Mom and Dad, and our daughter L. will be heading out to the Lavender Festival. We have decided on three farms we want to visit - depending on how long we can withstand the heat and humidity (summer is suddenly here with a vengeance). They all offer fields in which you can pick a bouquet, stores where you may purchase all things Lavender, craft classes involving (you guessed it) Lavender, food (having something to do with Lavender I'm sure), music and large shade trees. I think it will be a lovely day.

I shall report back on Sunday. In the meantime....

  posted at 8:04 PM

Thursday, June 07, 2007
Thankful Thursday

I have been looking forward to writing this post for a few days. There is always so much to be grateful for, but I have two very special things I want to thank and praise the Lord for this week.

1. We attended church with our son and his family this past sunday. Before the Pastor spoke, one of the men had a word from the Lord. It was about waiting. He said he had been reading in the Psalms, and the Lord spoke to his heart about a particular passage. He said there are some who have been praying about something for a very long time and have become discouraged because God has been silent. He said the Lord showed him that we are not to be disheartened because we haven't had an answer yet. God just has us in His "waiting room" right now. It isn't that He hasn't heard or doesn't care. He is working something in us during this time. We should not give up hope that our prayers will be answered.

It was as if the Lord Himself spoke that right into my heart. Just recently I was asking Him if I should stop praying for the miracle I've been desperately praying for for years now. I wondered if He just wanted me to accept the circumstances and stop asking for deliverance. I believe I need to continue to pray and to keep my heart open and teachable to things He wants me to learn during this time of waiting.

Psalm 130:1-6 "Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord. Lord, hear my voice! Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If Thou, Lord shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning."

2. I left out one thing that happened on our visit to our kids this weekend. The weather was beautiful (hot - but beautiful) all weekend. It continued that way on our drive home until we were about an hour or so from our house. We noticed the sky was getting very dark to the north of us. Then lightening began to flash through the dark clouds. Darkness had fallen by the time we reached the town that is about a thirty minute drive from our home. We were sitting at a traffic light when suddenly the wind began to blow at an unbelievable rate of speed. It was as though someone had flipped a giant switch. It went from completely calm to winds of probably about seventy miles an hour. The air was filled with dust and debris; the traffic light was blown horizontal; it felt as though the car was going to be lifted right off the road. I was truly frightened. I thought it might be a tornado. My brave husband continued the drive home. It began to rain, and he had to be careful of road signs being blown over into the lane of traffic. I sat with my fists clenched and prayed the whole way home. It was an exciting ride.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief and a prayer of thanks as we pulled into our driveway. I told my husband he'd done a great job of driving and he just said, "The Lord got us home." And so He did.

We pray daily for protection for our loved ones and for us too. I'm sure there are things the Lord protects us from that we are totally unaware of. That night I knew His hand of protection was on us. I am so thankful for His faithful care.

Psalm 91:1-2,4,11 "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!' He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways."

I thank Him for His great love and His faithfulness. He truly is all He has promised to be. For more Thankful Thursday posts visit Iris at Sting My Heart.

  posted at 11:01 AM

Tuesday, June 05, 2007
In Other Words

“What used to make us stumble, God can us to make us stand. What once made us bow our heads in shame, He can use for His glory.”
Joanna Weaver – Having a Mary Spirit

When I first read this quote, I immediately thought of all the things in my life that still make me bow my head in shame. First came the “stumble” – that falling into sin – followed by the shame when I continued to stumble over and over again too weak to stop. It isn’t until I exchange my weakness for His strength that I am able to stand. When I give up trying in my own strength to walk in the way I should, and ask Him to come with forgiveness, grace and restoration I can finally stand.

Instead of talking about myself, I am going to use my husband’s story (with his permission) to illustrate what this quote means to me. When he returned from Viet Nam he struggled the way so many of the other veterans of that terrible war had suffered. Added to the wounds of growing up in a very dysfunctional home the pain became too much for him to live with. He began to drink to numb the pain. At first it was just a beer or two on the way home from work with the guys. Soon it took more than just a couple of beers to feel good. He would stay until late into the night and then drive home.

We were married with two little boys. It became routine to pace back and forth by the window looking to see if his truck was in the driveway. Sometimes I’d pack them in the car and we’d drive around just to see where he was. Sometimes I’d call the bar and ask to talk to him. Nothing I said or did seemed to do any good. It was such a dark time. I was too weak in my own faith to handle the situation wisely. I’m afraid I only made things worse for him.

In time he also began to use drugs. It was taking more and more to make him shut out the things that were hurting his heart so deeply. During this time he was playing softball with the local fire department. One of the men on the team was a friend of ours who had just gotten saved. After the games the guys would all hang out at the fire station and drink. My husband noticed that his friend was no longer drinking. It began to bother him that he was supposed to be the one setting the example for this “baby Christian”, having been saved as a teenager. Instead, he was the one getting drunk.

The Holy Spirit was gently working on his heart. One evening he decided to go to a gospel concert we were having at church. He had pretty much stopped going to church with us at that time. As he sat in a pew at the back of the church and listened to the words of the song, it was as if every word was directed at his heart. The Holy Spirit took those words and ministered to heart that was so broken and hurting and began to draw him back to the One who loved him with an unconditional love.

My husband walked back into the arms of the Savior that night. In his weakness he surrendered to One who is strong. That was over thirty-five years ago. My husband hasn’t had a drink since that. God has used his testimony to bring glory to His name. Whenever my husband tells his story, it blesses those who hear it. What the enemy would have liked to use to make my husband bow his head in shame, the Lord has used for His glory. My husband knows that this is his area of weakness. Sometimes the urge for a nice cold beer is just overpowering, but he knows where that one drink could take him. He relies on the strength of the One who set him free.
II Corinthians 12:9 “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”

To read more writing on this quote please go to Joy In the Morning.

  posted at 11:22 AM

Friday, June 01, 2007
A Little Bloggy Break

I am taking a little bloggy break. We're heading our tomorrow to visit the kids and grandkids. We should be back in a couple of days. I'll be away from the computer just having fun with the kiddoes. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. See you in a few days!!

  posted at 12:39 PM