The peeps!

The peeps!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

This is the day


About 9:15 last night the surgeon came in and told us things went well. They were only able to do three by-passes as his heart was in bad shape and they did the valve replacement. We all got to go and see him and then go home to get some much needed rest for evveryone. My sweet baby sister brought us some yummy food and I am so glad she speaks my love language - purple hull peas!!
Sweet man spent the night in the ICU waiting room as he didn't want anyone to not be there in case anything happened. He and his brother went in to see him at 5 am and he is still on the ventilator but could nod his head and squeeze their hands as they spoke to him. Thank you Lord. Long road to go but hurdle one down!

This is the day that the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad in it!!!

My mother-in-love came in the hospital room this morning saying that. This is also the day father-in-love has his by-pass and valve replacement. We already claim victory and are anxious to jump this hurdle. Today I will gather with the rest of my in-love crew and I am sure we will spend the day laughing, being told we are too loud, answering many phone calls, drinking a lot of coffee, but mostly praying for our precious "pawpaw".
If you don't mind - your prayers would not be wasted on us one minute. Thank you in advance for them.
We serve a Great God and we will rejoice and be glad even on the hard days.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Claiming the Word

Thanks to all the prayers offered up, we turned a corner and are doing great! PawPaw is doing better every day and his body is getting stronger so that he will have his surgery this week. We are hoping Tuesday but just don't know yet. Long, long road ahead but he is ready to get this thing started he told me this morning. Keep up the prayers and we thank you so much for them.

My heart is heavy tonight. My sweet father-in-love is in the hospital and we want so desperately for him to get stronger. He is in need of a quintuple by-pass and heart valve replacement. Not small stuff. Huge stuff. Long recovery stuff. Right now the doctors are trying to get his body strong enough to go to surgery.
I don't understand some times how the Lord has blessed me so. My family of origin is so wonderful and to think that the Lord brought me to another wonderful family is almost more than I can stand at times. Blessed, Blessed, Blessed. Shamefully blessed. Praise you Lord. Times like this call for putting my faith into action. Does my theology match my reality? I am doing a study on the names of God and am learning more about Him every time I learn a new name.

My Elohim- God as Creator, created my father-in-love for a wonderful and special purpose. Devoting his life to sharing the gospel and ministering to the needs of others. Has he been accomplishing his purpose? Read this :One Faithful Couple

My El Elyon- God most High is the Sovereign ruler of the Universe!!!! He is great and He is good. His plan is perfect and we trust in His provision to sustain us.

My El Roi - God who sees knows the answers to all the questions we have. He knows and is in control. We can trust in Him and are reminded our faith is not by sight.

My El Shaddai - God who is All Sufficient reminds me His grace is sufficient for us, and His power is perfected in our weakness.

I am so proud to be a part of this family. My in-loves are precious, fun, and fiercely devoted to family and watching their legacy being lived out. My father-in-love enjoys nothing more than being the number one spectator in ALL his families lives. He is the greatest cheerleader his grandkids have ever had. His patience and ability to have an appropos story for any given moment is a true gift. And does he ever love to laugh. He and his three boys just like to laugh to see who can be the loudest! He wins every time. He tickles himself. Oh, how his sense of humor has lightened many a dark moment over the last week! He is a handful.

He and little Gra-hay share a lot of laughs.

MawMaw and PawPaw are crazy about their great-grandboys.

But these are the ones that started it all - the Bobies and Bobettes!!!

Rarely have any of the grand kids had any sporting event or awards assembly that these two aren't in the audience - beaming with pride.

This pic was in Tampa where these two youngest were born. Several years later of course!
Funny how life throws curve balls and you can't imagine how just a few days before things seemed so normal. Then life happens. This may sound strange, but struggles like this are a blessing. Think I am crazy? James 1:2 tells us to "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." My in-loves have shown incredible perseverance through many hardships in their lives. NEVER, have I seen or heard them doubt the goodness of our God. They claim the promises given us in Levitucus: "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new EVERY morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him."

Yes, He is our portion.  So... our family is Hurting, Struggling, Praying, Questioning. But more importantly, we are Waiting,  Trusting, Persevering, and Claiming His truth.

"And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

Work it for good, Lord, work it for good.

Petitioning your prayers,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Birthday Wishes

Proverbs 15:20
A wise son brings joy to his father

Happy Birthday to you!!! Sorry I am late in posting this, but the day has been hectic. When all the busyness is over I promise you the biggest, deer and antelope steak, homemade mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans (straight from the can) and chocolate chip cake birthday dinner you can stand!!! Dad and I are so proud of you and the man you have become. You bring us so much joy and we love you more than you know. You are always there for us and we hope we let you know how much we appreciate you. To see how much love you have for your family is a gift for us beyond words. You are not just a great son, but a great uncle, brother and grandson. A lot of people love you very much. We are blessed. Here are some pics of you that make me happy:

You are so silly but that is how we like you! We wouldn't know what to do with you if you were any other way. Thank you for all the happiness you bring and never forget how much we love you. Hope your day was the best it could be and remember we will celebrate later and it will be a great time.
Happy Birthday Son!!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bye-Bye Baby

Well, gone are the days of Barbie Dolls, big hair bows and smocked dresses. They have been replaced with homecoming dresses, mums and sparkly high-heeled shoes. Sniff, sniff! Baby girl is gone to her first homecoming dance. With a boy. He can't drive so that is a little bit of a load off my mind. And I don't even think he noticed the shotgun on top of the entertainment center behind his head during all the pictures! Baby girl did though and was quite mortified. She better get used to it. It was dress up for real tonight and I am torn between pride at how beautiful I think she looked to sadness as to how grown she looked.
I am however thankful she still hugged and kissed her dad bye in front of the 80 people there taking pictures (pandalerium!!!) and blew her mama a kiss from the trolley steps. I hope she didn't see me cry.

Homecoming Week

What a wild week we have had! It is Homecoming week! Baby girls FIRST Homecoming week. Every day was dress up day - Jersey day, Nerd day, A day in LA -(she was Taylor Swift), Decades Day (her grade was the 50's) and Dress up day. Tonight is the big dance and she has a houseful of ladies coming to help gussie her up!!!! Momma is just not good enough by herself anymore. I will post plenty of pics of her from tonight and also from her First high school cross country meet she had this morning! She did fantastic. Busy day for us so I better get off of here, but here is a little collage of the week thus far:
Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Memories Afresh

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.

I have mentioned many times before about my large extended family. My mama was one of ten kids and visits back to her parents (my grandparents) house were always noisy, rowdy, and tons of fun. I was reminded of all those times last night when my mama had her siblings over to celebrate birthdays. She made chicken and dumplings, turnip greens, and one of my aunts fried hot water bread. Well, I wasn't invited, so my baby sister and I offered our services to help our sweet mama prepare all the food and to help eat what they could not - purely selfish motives! Shhh- don't tell our mother!
Have you ever been so awash with a memory that you thought you couldn't catch your breath? I felt like that over and over last night. To see all of my aunts and uncles and my mother gathered at the table together sharing a simple meal and laughing their heads off was a true joy for me. I was reminded of all the times we would gather when I was a little girl. I had the coolest older cousins on the planet! They would rake these huge straw piles into "houses" and they would hurl me headfirst into them! We would go scouting in the woods behind my grandparents house and spend hours out there. No tv, ipod, cell phone, or nintendo games. We just had to rely on each other to entertain ourselves. We were NEVER bored. But as much fun as we were having, the grownups seemed to be having more. I can remember thinking I can't wait to be grown so I can hang out with all the adults. Well, I got to last night and it is really funny how I felt like a little girl again and ached for those times with my grandparents.
See, my grandparents were poor. They had ten kids and only one income. Not an unfamiliar thing back then. My mama tells us constantly how they never knew they were poor. That was news to them when they found out. My grandparents supplied them with so much love and love for the Lord, that they couldn't help but be bound to one another the way they are today. Don't misunderstand, they aren't hanging out every weekend but when they are, they are as thick as thieves. I used to feel sorry for my daddy and all the other men that married the "sisters". If that sounds kind of cultish it's because they are. In the early years the men just kind of all hung back looking bewildered and scared all at the same time! My mama and her sisters have so many things in common, one is they are all phenomenal cooks, but the biggest tie that binds is their ability to boss. But, I noticed once again last night that the "in-laws"  just hang out with each other and give them all the space they need to just be brothers and sisters.
It really is true that the older you get the more you treasure your family. Mine are certainly a treasure of the best kind.
This is seven of the ten. One brother is in heaven with his mama and daddy and two other brothers were unable to be there.

Did I mention that my aunt fried 60 pieces of hot water bread and one of my cousins was digging in the trash looking for a remnant of some because he wanted more? Yes, it is true, we have no shame when it comes to our hot water bread.

These sisters have been praying together A LONG TIME. Many of them were for me and I am so thankful. Thank you Mama and Aunt Pat for praying for all your family.

Aunt Pat and Uncle Darrell are the oldest two of the ten. I love that they are holding hands, just like they would have when they were 5 and 6.

At only eighteen months apart, people get these two confused often. I could always tell which was which by the one bossing me the most. Oh wait, that didn't work either.

Baby sister and me. We are wannabees. We have the bossy thing covered, but wannabees in all the other areas. Missed our other sister.

I hope these babies realize what a blessing their heritage is. I intend to tell them often.

I love to see my mama laugh. Aunt Libby looks startled at something someone said. She fakes shock. She is the baby of the ten. Don't let the title of baby fool you - there was plenty of boss left to go around to her. I know - she was in charge of me a lot.

Lots of laughter, good food, and hugs. Just like I remember when I was a little girl. I feel certain that if Granny and Grandaddy were not so busy doing heavenly things in heaven, that they would be holding hands and smiling at their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild gathered together. The fruit of their sacrifices.
Here comes that ache again.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Things that made me smile

This past weekend was BEAUTIFUL!!!! Fabulous weather, birthday celebrations, getting ready for deer hunting and a lot of what I love- being with my family. Here are a few things that made me smile:

All the family boots for the family farm at my mama's house
Two of my favorite boys planning out deer business
Sweet baby Graham driving the tractor. He is a little dude huh?
A lot of work and effort finally making it to its destination!
Another one of my boys doing what he loves, climbing up a tree to a deer stand!

Some of the grandbabies being hoisted up in the air in the frontloader by the man who is a safety freak! Sometimes you just have to get crazy right old Paw?
The gorgeous sunrise God allowed my sweet man and  me to share with each other

The absolutely delicious breakfast my mama made and we got to dine al fresco as a result of some great weather.
What a great long weekend. Lots of laughs, good food and great fellowship. I wish I had a picture of my mama's apple pie. It made me smile a lot. And made me cry when it was all gone. We ended the weekend by celebrating my precious mother-in-love's birthday. She is so darling and loved so very much by all of us. Happy Birthday MawMaw!!!!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Not All About Us

What a glorious thing I was able to witness and participate in this weekend. Baby girl's cross country coach wanted to teach his team that everything in life is not all about them. Grand concept for teenagers to learn especially these days, right? Anyway he is a wonderful coach and teacher because he cares so much for these kids beyond his classroom doors and beyond what they do on the track. He is a fine christian man who loves the Lord. Any way he came up with this idea for a 24 hour Going the Distance run for St. Jude. His idea was that we would have someone on that track for a full 24 hours and possibly get donations to help support that. He and his good friend who is our girls basketball coach and also a fine christian man came up with the idea and organized the whole thing. TWO MEN ORGANIZED IT!!! Ha ha! Their goal was $4,000. The kids worked hard to raise money in the weeks prior to the event and that goal was met before the event even started. They started running at 7 on Friday evening while our first home football game was being played. We won by the way - Go Panthers!!! The Lord provided us with some incredible weather all day Saturday and the track was full.
On Saturday afternoon a young lady named Sarahbeth showed up. She is 16 and has cancer. Some long named kind  of cancer that I can't even spell much less fathom that my child would have. She is the epitome of grace, beauty, and God's glory. She came and helped work the event, visited with the kids and beamed the whole time so humbled by what our school was doing for a place that is life to her. At the end of the event our coaches were physically and emotionally exhausted. This is what they were able to show Sarahbeth we had raised:

I don't know if you can read it but it says, $20,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it? We are still just in shock. That precious little boy up there had Hodgkins disease but is in remission now. What just killed me was how both coaches undeniably gave God the credit for what happened yesterday. Couldn't have been anything else. What a lesson for these young people. Sarahbeth was so sweet to all of them and thankful for their efforts. I think she blew them away. They were so taken by her attitude. She is a beautiful girl and not ashamed of her hair being gone and I am crying now just thinking about her caring bridge page where she over and over said,"God chose me for this." And we think we teach them.
All the girls wanted their picture made with her:
We want Sarahbeth to run our starting lap next year at our second annual Going the Distance run. If these kids learn that everything is not about them and that they have the power within them through Christ to help others, what a change they can make in this world. That goes for all of us. Even when things look grim, our El Elyon- Sovereign God- has a plan. I don't want to miss out on it!

Friday, September 3, 2010

In Honor of his Birthday

Today is my sweet mans birthday! Happy Birthday Jon! His smile lights up my day.

In class yesterday I taught on the subject of Honor (medieval romance and the concept of honor among knights! Riveting to me, not so much for others!) As I thought about Jon's birthday and what I wanted to tell him, the word honor kept coming to mind. It is one of those words that is both a noun and a verb. You can honor (v) someone and also show honor (n) to someone. An abstract word that refers to respecting others and being a foundational concept in all human relationships. I always want Jon to know that I love him, but today I want him to know that not only do I love him, I also want to honor him. I want him to know he is extremely valuable in my eyes. I want him to know that who he is and what he says carries great weight with me. I want our children to see me honor him as well. He does so much for all of us. Me, our kids, our grand kids, our parents, our employees, our friends. He always makes me feel so special and spoils me relentlessly. Today I want him to be feel special and honored.
I love you with all my heart Jon. I honor you as my husband and thank God for that opportunity everyday.
Happy Birthday to my very Best Friend!