Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Front Porch Sisters

Tuesday is Bible study day for me..which I always enjoy. I attend a Bible study at a church other than my home church and it is a bit of a drive to get there but I have so enjoyed getting to know these ladies and, although, I usually only see them once a week, I have made some wonderful friends. During this morning's study, the thought came up about being "givers"...not just giving our money but giving our time and sharing with others the abundance of all that we have been blessed with ourselves. It really tied in perfectly to what I was thinking about yesterday...it seems that every time the Lord is trying to teach me something, it usually takes several days and several different avenues to accomplish it (I must be a slow learner).

So, still pondering the thought of looking beyond....I wanted to introduce a group of very special friends I met at a woman's conference several months ago. This conference was specifically to help women with their speaking and/or writing skills and endeavors and I was super excited when I originally registered to attend. However, as the time grew closer, I became more insecure and nervous about going. My goodness, how God richly blessed me at that conference. I was able to meet a friend I had only known previously through her blog. There was an instant friendship and I was so happy to have someone to start the conference with me. We chose a table for the opening meeting and one by one, God began to fill that table – one we thought we had chosen by chance – with amazing women. Amazing, not just because of their love for the Lord but also because each one was allowing God to use her life experiences (some similar to mine and some very different) to better serve Him. We all instantly felt connected...it was a wonderful weekend.

From that group came the View From the Front Porch...a blog specifically about serving God by serving others. It is worth the time to stop by - and you can read about the special friends I made....most have great blogs of their own!! Here is the link if you want to check it out........

http://theviewfromthefrontporch.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 29, 2008

A New Point of View

This weekend we finished up our annual missions' conference at church. What a great week we had! For me, it really was a time to readjust my perspective...to look outside my own box to notice not only a world in need of a Savior but also my own neighbors and community. I don't live right in the city but we are definitely in the heart of metropolitan suburbia and, around here, it is quite common (at times, even preferred) for folks to "keep to themselves" or "mind their own business" - basically, become self-absorbed. It takes deliberate thought to avoid falling into that way of thinking but I do believe, as Christians, we have to make the effort.

There is an older song by the Gaither Vocal Band called "New Point of View" about seeing things from a "heavenly frame of mind"....it has great lyrics which I searched all over the internet for but could not find. However, it is a great reminder about our perspective. Anyways, it was a great weekend - and a good week of meetings last week. This week will be about regrouping - getting the house back in order (it doesn't take long to get undone, for sure), making some "real" meals for dinner instead of last week's rush ones, and some time for fun things as well. I would love to visit a pumpkin patch...the weather is perfect and I'm so itching to try my hand at white pumpkins like I see allover blogland! We will have to see how that works out........

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Miss Em

When I decided to begin my blog, I thought I would post during the week and leave Saturday and Sunday as a day of rest for my computer...but here I find my first weekend is a day to celebrate - and I simply could not let the day go by without a thought for my daughter. As hard as it is for me to imagine, my first- born blessing and bundle of joy - my only daughter - is actually turning 20....TWENTY!! It seems impossible. I can truly remember like yesterday the day she turned 13 and I thought it was unbelievable that she was a teenager - and now she is an adult young woman!! Even with my very small memory, it really is not too hard for me to recall every detail of that beautiful fall day when she rushed into the world......my goodness!! When they were babies, I would write my children a letter each year on their birthday and, quite honestly, it has been a while since I stopped doing that (why did I stop doing that??) but I thought today I would share a couple of my thoughts to my sweetheart....

My Dear Smook,

As I think back to your first birthday..and then reflect on the years in between...I am struck by the thought of how quickly time goes and things so rapidly change and, yet, at the same time how so much remains the same. After several long weeks of trying to prevent your arrival too early, you still arrived some five weeks early. For such a little girl, you were very healthy but so very small! Your beautiful red hair was already evident with your halo of orange downy "fluff"! You immediately captured our hearts and became the joy of our life. Your chatter and talk...your singing and smiles...your laughter and dancing filled us with happiness. Your every accomplishment made us proud.

Fast forward twenty fast years...yes, you still are petite and your red hair is still beautiful - and, yes, you still are wrapped around our hearts (and our little finger!) You have been through so much - more than anyone should have to face at only 20 - but you are only stronger, wiser and more independent. And you make your mother proud. I pray you know this birthday how very loved you are.....

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl. Love, Mommy

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

Although fall has been on my mind for several weeks now, the weather, too, is finally saying fall around here. We are very fortunate to enjoy all four seasons in my neck of the woods (although I do my fair share of grumbling during those winter months)! There are so many things to enjoy about fall but these are a few of my favorites.......

Candles -
vanilla, sugar cookie, maple, cinnamon and apple cider
Flannel Sheets
Hot tea with Honey
Scarecrows
Pumpkins
A brisk walk with my puppy
Sweaters
Comfort foods -
homemade soup or chili, casseroles and breads
Sleeping with the windows open and
Snuggling under the blankets for "just five more minutes" in the am
International banquet during our annual Missions Conference
Anything, and everything, Pumpkin! -
bread, cookies, dip, lattes and even french toast made with pumpkin bread!
I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend. The weather here is rather wet and dreary but hopefully we will have a chance to enjoy time outside before the weekend if over.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

WELCOME!!

Welcome to my blog...however you managed to get here, I am so glad you stopped by. It has been literally months that I have considered the idea of a blog of mine own and have finally decided to just get started. During the last months, I have read and re-read so many wonderful blogs...I have been encouraged, inspired and entertained. I have tried wonderful new recipes, admired so many beautiful homes and have learned much from what God is doing in the lives of so many! And most of these ladies I have never met and probably never will....but, isn't it great how the internet can be a wonderful thing!

I have thought much about what I want this blog to be......because I can tell you that you will not find a lot of great recipes (at least not original ones) or inspiring craft ideas. I don't think there will be wonderful photos of my home or anything for that matter - I am terrible with a camera. However, I do hope to share a bit of my story....my life.

I am a wife, a mother, a friend, an aspiring author but , most importantly, I am a Christian. My life, like so many of yours, has been filled with lots of "normal" days, some mountain-top experiences and some deep walks through the valleys...especially over the last two years. However, through it all, God has been faithful and He has been good. I hope this blog will help to keep me focused on that goodness, will be a reminder of the blessings of my simple life and will glorify Him.

I hope you will stop by again soon.