Monday, June 29, 2009

Direct Correlation

Too often I'm reminded that my time or lack there of spent with the Lord directly affects other aspects of my life.

- When I'm in the Word or in constant conversation with God, I tend to be more patient, more forgiving, attempt at more selflessness, I'm a better wife, a better sister, a better daughter, and a better friend, etc.

- When I'm not in the Word or not in regularly prayer beyond meal time, my flesh cries out. I'm irritable, I'm selfish, I'm consumed by gossip, I'm controlling, I'm overall less fulfilled because I know I'm not where I'm supposed to be.

It's amazing! Over and over in my life I'm reminded that there is a direct correlation with how I act and respond in comparison with how my walk is doing with the Lord. The power of the Holy Spirit within me allows me to have the strength to step out of all those fleshly cries and desires, but when I'm not consumed with the Lord, rather consumed by the world, I do not call on that power... rather I allow my flesh to win out in those situations.

Sometimes it's frustration how the Christian walk works: you try and try to live by the Spirit, but often mess up and let your flesh cry out, but at the same time I'm thankful for it too because I'm daily reminded of God's awesome and amazing Grace! That it's not about me, because I can't get it right on my own. It's about our Lord. About the cross and him covering my sin with his blood!!! I just need to wake up the next morning, submit myself to the cross again, laying all my burdens, all my control freak nature, all my sins, all my worries, all my struggles there at the foot of the cross and walk towards him. And when I falter again, He'll pick me up with patience and set me right again.

I'm reminded of Romans 7:7-25 when I write this tonight. Paul writes:

7What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet."b]">[b] 8But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

11For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.c]">[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

So thankful for grace!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Fine Cargo

“A man's age is something impressive, it sums up his life: maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves. A man's age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories.” - Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry

The quote above is how I've begun Pop's (my hubby's grandfather, his dad's side) life history. After spending countless hours so far compiling the resources I've been given regarding Pop's life, I am beginning to see his life story unfold onto the pages that I write. So far I've used the timeline Pop made a few years ago documenting key points each year of his life, a scrapbook made by the family historian, internet research, and the memories and stories from Pop's loved ones. It's been a great experience so far, and I have a feeling it's only going to get better.

Today, my hubby and I had the opportunity to sit with Pop and talk more about the things he has seen and done throughout his 94 years. The picture above is from today. It was a great day. I had given my father in law a rough draft of the history last night. I wanted him to get a feel for what I had compiled so far and let me know what he thought as well as any additions he knew I should make. This morning, he gave Pop the same rough draft to look over.

What a great experience. We arrived at the house around 11am and from the moment I stepped into the door, Pop was raving over my compilation thus far. He told me how great it was and asked me how I knew so much about his life, even things he did not remember. He has been struggling a bit since his bout of pneumonia about a month ago and since has had his memory fail him quite a bit. He does not remember giving me the scrapbook or timeline. He does not even remember writing such a timeline, something that has been a fabulous reference point for my work thus far. Today we got Pop talking again about things he did remember, asking questions and listening to him reminisce and go into story after story about different things in his life. For example, my hubby asked Pop about his first car. He quickly responded without a pause, "I bought it in New York City, on 5th Ave". It was a studebaker, he told me. What beautiful details he gave today, giving me many additional things to add into my compilation.

Today was a good day with Pop. Working on compiling his life history is an experience that has already been so neat for me.

Friday, June 26, 2009

MJ's Passing...

The world through the eyes of a 10 year old boy:

Cousin 1: "Is it true that Michael Jackson died?"

Mom: "Yes, dear it is."

Silence for a few minutes...

Cousin 2: "That's too bad, he was a real good basketball player!"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Daddy's Girl, no doubt!

He didn't tell me how to live;
he lived, and let me watch him do it.

~Clarence Budington Kelland

Father's Day - a day to make us stop and tell our daddy's how much they mean to us! A good day. I should tell my pop more often than not, because I think he's the greatest.

In typical Daddy form, he reminded me and the other two daughters that we do not need to get him anything, simply a card is fine. But of course, Dad's always thinking of us instead of him. We did not listen and worked on getting him a good gift. However, Dad's hard to shop for, he'd never let you know if he disliked the gift. You could wrap up a brick for the man, and out of true love he'd tell you it was the greatest thing he's ever received. He's too good to us.

But nevertheless, mom, and the girls tried their best. Mom purchased him the Mini Keurig Single Cup Coffee Maker. He's been looking at it for months, but never pulled the trigger, so
Mom took the plunge for him instead. Kelsey got him the movie WALL-E, which I'm looking forward to borrowing, and the Kcup filter for Dad to use his own coffee with the coffee maker. The hubby and I bought him a 60 Kcup sample pack so he could figure out what brands and flavors of Kcups he would enjoy. And Robin and her hubby sent him an awesome salt and pepper shaker that is in the shape of a hamburger. The top bun and fixins are the salt, and the bottom bun and meat are the pepper. Very cute! Plus some seasoning and spices for the grill. Very nice!

Minus being bothered that his girls spent money on him, rather than themselves, I think Dad enjoyed all the gifts. I sure had fun taking pictures of the present opening. Enjoy...


Monday, June 22, 2009

Leave You Wanting More

I'm learning that the more vacation time I take, the more I itch to experience vacation. Why is that? Shouldn't it be that I itch for vacation time only when I've been without for awhile? Shouldn't it be that after a vacation I feel well rested, ready and willing to tackle the work load ahead of me?

Instead, I take three and a half days off earlier this month to travel to Florida, and the same week I come back I'm geared up and ready to be out again. Or like this past weekend, I take a Friday off to experience a fabulous three day weekended at the lake extravaganza, and all I want to do is go back. Something is not right about that. Sure it means I had a good time, and obviously want to experience more of that... but somewhere there has to be feeling of fulfillment after vacation when you're ready to get back into the real world. I'll have to work on that feeling.

Nevertheless, yes, we went to the lake this weekend and I took an extra day off to enjoy the fun, sun, and fellowship of good friends. We had the excuse that our weekend adventure was to celebrate Jeff and Erin Marie's birthdays. We made a cake and sang to them - see picture below.

In addition to the birthday celebrations, we grilled out hamburgers one night and had a shrimp boil the next... YUM! We hungout at the pool all day Friday, and adventured on the lake Saturday. Those that were left on Sunday got some addition pool action then too. Everyone left a little crispy from the sun (especially on our shoulders), but I can attest that everyone seemed to have a blast. Good times.

Oh, and after all the awesome book recommendations, I totally forgot to take a book with me on the three day adventure. So, I found myself reading a book found on the shelf at the cabin... I DID IT. Yup, that's the OJ Simpson book that the Goldman family released. The title is actually IF I DID IT, but the IF is typed so small within the I, you'd believe it was actually titled I DID IT. I got through 65 pages or so while we vacationed. Interested read, but I'd never buy it myself. I got through the section from the Goldman family explaining why they released the book, and the portion of the book by the actual author who wrote all the OJ told him. I then was able to get through two chapters of OJ's portion, and left it at that. Definitely not the type read I expected, but interesting enough.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Power of Prayer

I'm sure many of you remember our friends with their son Greyson who has TSC. We helped with their fundraiser for TSC and asked our friends and family to keep them and especially Greyson in their prayers. At the time the fundraiser began Greyson had been reduced to ONLY 2 seizures a day. Sounds crazy doesn't it, but this was a great improvement from his past.

Needless to say, after much prayer, I want to update you all... Greyson has been seizure FREE for 6 weeks!!!

Here is his mom's blog update about the matter:

Thank you for your prayers!!! We'll continue to pray for one another and see the power of prayer move in our lives! What a testament to our God!!! Even in the middle of the storms, He is walking with us!

Book Corner

After completing the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer (VERY GOOD!!!) I am left with an appetite for another good read, but am hoping for a different direction. I have not yet decided if I want to go fiction or nonfiction.

If you have some suggestions, throw them my way - the comments section is wide open on this one. If you don't mind, please give a quick reason as to why you're suggesting it.

I'm going to look over my book shelves in the next few days to see if anything tickles my fancy. I know I have more than a few on the shelves that have not been read yet. I love buying books. When I was single, I would go to Borders on occasion and just pick up reads as the cover and back description interested me. I'd come home after spending over $100 on new reads and just bask in my new collection. The smell of a new book is something I enjoy. Weird, huh? Needless to say, my frequency of reading and especially frequency of book purchasing since I've been married has dropped dramatically. I wonder why? ;)

I remember my friend Tabitha recommending "Mistaken Identity" at one point. I'm not sure who the author is but I wrote the title down in my day planner one day after her suggestion. So who knows, I might pick that one up before the 3day weekend begins. (I took Friday off for the lake, very excited!)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Favorite Weekend Pics

Braving the storms in the area, and ultimately having one of the most intimate and beautiful wedding ceremonies I have ever seen, Thomas and Myia were married Friday night. Regardless of the power outage in the small chapel, Mr. & Mrs. Bennett pursued their union before family, friends, and most importantly God. The chapel was lit by candle light and because the electricity was out and the prepared music could not be played, Myia walked down the aisle to a gentleman singing Amazing Grace. Simply beautiful and a moment they will not be able to forget as they pledge their vows to another and God and committed their lives to each other. Congrats Myia and Thomas! We are so very excited for you.

Thankfully the reception at the Dixon had power and we were able to celebrate Thomas and Myia's marriage. Below are some of my favorite pictures of the night.

Above is one of the very creative sitting chart cards at the reception. Everyone was given a set seating arrangement. The guest names were listed with one of the selected words next to it, such as Indulgence, Cinema, etc. Each section of the tables held their respective card. Above is an example of the Indulgence section. Very cool. Major props, Myia!!!

Above, the beautiful bride and groom. Congrats!!!

In addition to the wedding on Friday night, we enjoyed a very low key, laid back Saturday. The hubby and I slept in - something that does not have happen often. Even though we're childless at present, our fur babies always wake us by seven or eight in the morning. This morning, however, I did not wake up from the dogs until almost 10:15am. It was fantastic. One up, we watched Elizabethtown on the couch, ate some grub with the family at On the Border, and caught random movies on the tv the rest of the evening until my hubby headed to hang with the boys. I stayed on the couch the rest of the night. Very nice!

Below are two of the multiple pics I took while at lunch Saturday. My hubby and I with our niece, Grace.

I'm looking forward to Sunday School and church in the morning. It's amazing how missing two weeks worth from being out of town can make you miss folks so quickly there. I'm ready to catch up with our SS class and experience the fellowship while getting a word from the Lord.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another Year Older

Happy Birthday, UFrank!!!

Thanks for being a constant follower of my blog and a regular comment poster. I always look forward to your comments!

Love you much, and wish you the greatest of birthdays! Can't wait to visit with you guys next.

Go Blue!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

History of One's Life

Below is a picture of part of my family taken during our family reunion in October 2008. From left to right (top) you have my sister in law - Leah, brother in law - Kevin, father in law - Larry, Me, My Hubby, (bottom) cousin in law - Matthew, Grandfather in law - Pop, and niece - Grace. That's part of the McGoo bunch right there. This post will refer to the man in the center there - Pop.

At 94 years of age, Pop has definitely experienced some of the world changes that have been seen over the last 100 years. With every new decade he has seen the world interact in different levels from WW1 to WW2 to the Industrial Revolution to the Cold War era to 9/11 to an African American man standing as the President of the United States. Talk about some dramatic changes!

I've been asked by Pop to help pull together much of the items he has kept over the years to document his life. In essence I am attempting to condense all the items into a history of Pop's life for him and his family to enjoy. I am honored to have this task at hand.

If you can't already tell, I enjoy writing. This blog has been an excellent medium for me to utilize my writing skills or interests or whatever you want to call them. I'm pretty sure my writing style is somewhat linked to my heredity. My daddy is an awesome writer. From emails, to letters, to anything you can think of that puts pen to paper or fingers to a keyboard, my dad does well with the written words, and I think I get any amount of writing skill or interest from him. Needless to say, with this thought in mind, writing up a history of Pop's life seemed exciting, interesting, and something right up my ally.

As I've spent a couple hours so far pouring over the pictures, stories, times lines, family trees, and information Pop has provided for me, I'm quickly humbled by this man's life and all that he has seen. In the same way, I am also quickly reminded about my youth... how do I, a young 26 year old, pull together a history such as this? Pop have lived through things that I only have read in history books. Already it has been more than interesting to look over the way of life during Pop's youth, and I look forward to learning more about my Grandfather in law.

Let the project continue.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

1300 Miles, FL Sun, and a Coldplay Concert

After putting almost 1300 miles on our car, and being away for 5 days we are back home and in the saddle of the daily grind. What a fabulous, whirlwind trip!

From my nonstop reading of the Twilight series to my hubby's wonderful shrimp boil. From outlet mall shopping to great hangout time with my hubby, mom, dad, UFrank, Aunt Terri, and some friends. From watching little kids do the cha-cha slide at Elmo's Grill to seeing my hubby and friends get crabs and tear into them at Nick's. From the beautiful clouds and crashing waves of the ocean to being told by Beach Security that bottles were not allowed and we could be charged a $500 fine. From Tuesday night until we headed to Nashville on Saturday morning, we had a great time in Florida.

The beach was perfect on Friday, I don't think I could have asked for more! The temperature was amazing and made for a truly relaxing day. As we enjoyed the sand, waves, and rays, the clouds canvased over the sky. It was awesome how at the exact moment that I began to be too warm, a cloud would cover the sun for just a few minutes and offer an awesome breeze. Each time this seemed to give me the right amount of relief before the sun poked its head out to greet and warm us all again. It was awesome. Another day to have like that would have been just perfect, however we had to make our way to Nashville for the Coldplay concert Saturday.

The Coldplay concert was AMAZING!!! After a long drive from FL to Nashville, the hubby and I spent a few hours relaxing at my sister's house before heading to dinner and the show. The trip was well worth it as Coldplay put on a fantastic concert. I was not sure what to expect from them, but I was fully entertained and thrilled with the experience! Kelly had seen them perform the last time they were in Nashville and he was also thoroughly satisfied with the performance this go around. GREAT SHOW!!!

Now it's time to get back to the daily grind... real world, non vacation time, here we come!

Above is a shot of the blue crabs we enjoyed at Nicks in Destin. Mmmm Mmmm Good!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Look

Heather looks at Kelly...

Kelly says, "Don't give me that look!"

Heather replies, "What? The look that says 'You already know the answer, so why are you asking the question?"

Kelly responds, "Either that or the look that says I'm in trouble... I know that one well. I get that look a lot."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's Fungus!

So we made our way to the Destin area of Florida yesterday, ready to relax, visit some family, read the last book of the Twilight series, and catch some rays. We made it into town about 8pm last night, grabbed a bite to eat and jumped right into visiting with my rents, and my fabulous aunt and uncle.

This morning, the hubby and I woke from the pull-out couch (so thankful for a free place to stay!!!) and found the condo empty, as the rest of the fam was partaking in an early tee time. We relaxingly got ourselves together and headed to the pool ready to read, listen to music, and enjoy the sun on our skin. As we arrived to the pool, we quickly realized that the sun was nowhere in sight and by judging the cloud coverage and color of the sky, we knew the sun was probably not a good thing to bet on the rest of the day. Nevertheless, unhindered, we stretched out on the pool chairs and enjoyed the cool Florida air while taking in the books we brought to pass the time. After about two hours of hangout time, our growling tummies encouraged us to take take a different route. We found ourselves at my hubby's happy place just in time before the sky opened up and the rain poured out.

The rest of our rainy afternoon (which the fam believes we brought with us) was spent reading, shopping, and hanging out with one another. We finished the evening with a great shrimp boil by my hubby to commemorate our last year trip to this same condo with friends. Yum, Yum! Now with our tummies filled, it's just a matter of time before we put ourselves to bed.

Hoping for some sun tomorrow, but the forecast does not seem too positive. However, we're on vacation! We'll make the best of whatever weather we get tomorrow, looking forward to another day!

In other news, the "best" conversation of the day consists in these quick lines below:

My Hubby - "Don't any of you like mushrooms??? What's wrong with you guys?!!"

My Mom (his mother in law) - "No! It's a fungus!!!"

Monday, June 1, 2009

2009: Year of the Baby (for my friends)

I'm beginning to believe that 2009 is THE YEAR OF THE BABY (for my friends)! Seriously craziness with how many folks in my world have had babies already this year or are expecting them to be born by September .

As of today, there are 7 folks in my immediate social realm (work, Sunday School class, or good friend) that have had their babies this year, one of those folks had twins so that is seven babies so far. In addition, there are 7 more ladies looking forward to meeting their babies before the end of September.

If you didn't catch that, it adds up to 15 new children in my immediate social network from January 2009 to September/October 2009. What?! And what if some folks haven't announced their pregnancy yet, waiting for the first term to end, we could have more babies coming before the end of 09! My friends have been busy!!! And it's keeping the social calendar busy with baby showers too!

Speaking of baby showers, below is a great photo of one of the showers we've had recently. The hostesses are posing with the honoree, Meredith (who we're all pointing to). Good times!