Saturday, September 29, 2007


Several weeks ago, my sister-in-law Stephanie Lanza Harvey and I were messing about with blog stuff and she rashly offered to design a customized header for my blog. This week I decided to take advantage of her offer AND her talent and asked her to create a new look that would better represent MUSINGS FROM GRACELAND. I wanted one that was both a reflection of both my personality but also the freedom and joy I experience in life due to God's amazing grace.
After many hours and who knows how many bouts of frustration, Stephanie created the fun, free, and just "a bit cheesy" (like me) header you now see above.
This is one of the nicest and definitely one of the most original gifts I've ever received. It makes me smile just looking at it and reminds me of how richly I'm blessed. People like Stephanie and the ways they bring blessings into my life are just more examples of God's goodness. I am often overwhelmed with how much He loves me and I thank Him for putting so many precious friends and family members in my life.
He loves me not because I'm perfect, because I'm far from that, but He loves me because I'm His. And because of this assurance, I can truly dance and sing and laugh and love in this beautiful place called GRACELAND.
Any one who knows me well, knows I love parties. And I love gifts. And I'm always looking for an excuse to throw a party and give gifts. This looks like a pretty good excuse to this big haired girl!
To all of you who have been sweet enough to visit my re-vamped blog, I'm giving you the chance to win goodies.

The first give-away is a gently pre-read book by my favorite grace-touting teacher, Steve Brown. A SCANDALOUS FREEDOM "has the power to help Christian believers who have been struggling to march in a straight line to leap up and dance".

The second give away is a just-for-fun girlie gift....a pink, sparkly purse! Its compliments of my shopping-savvy Mom.

To enter for a chance to win these celebration gifts, please leave a comment telling me whether you want to win the book, the purse, or both items. Please make sure that your comment gives me a way to contact you if you're a prize winner. I'll have a drawing next Sunday, the day that we here at Graceland call "The Sweetest Day of the Week".

Thanks again for sharing in my joy!


MUSINGS FROM GRACELAND receives darling new look from talented upcoming digital genius, Stephanie Lanza Harvey. More exciting details to follow concerning official debut celebration.

To view Stephanie's blogs, follow these links:

BTW, I have to tell you that she's only been blogging since the end of August. She's has done some impressive things with her sites and I love reading her musings. If she's this good already, I can't even IMAGINE what her blog will be like when she's got more experience under her stylin' belt!

Friday, September 28, 2007

But really it was You who found me!

I found You in the most unlikely way
But really it was You who found me
And I found myself in the gifts that You gave
You gave me so much and I

I wish You could stay
but I'll, I'll wait for the day

And I watch as the cold winter melts into spring
And I'll be remembering You
Oh and I'll smell the flowers and hear the birds sing
and I'll be remembering You, I'll be remembering You

From the first moment when I heard Your name
Something in my heart came alive
You showed me love and no words could explain
A love with the power to
Open the door
To a world I was made for

And I watch as the cold winter melts into spring
And I'll be remembering You
Oh and I'll smell the flowers and hear the birds sing
and I'll be remembering You, I'll be remembering You

The dark night, the hard fight
The long climb up the hill knowing the cost
The brave death, the last breathe
The silence whispering all hope was lost
The thunder, the wonder
A power that brings the dead back to life

I wish You could stay
But I'll wait for the day
And though You've gone away
You come back and

And I watch as the cold winter melts into spring
And I'll be remembering You
Oh and I'll smell the flowers and hear the birds sing
and I'll be remembering You, I'll be remembering You

And I'll watch as the sun fills a sky that was dark
And I'll be remembering You
And I'll think of the way that You fill up my heart
And I'll be remembering You

I'll be remembering You
I'll be remembering You
I'll be remembering You

I'll be remembering You


What a grace-filled song. What a powerful movie. It brings me to tears as I think of all that God has done for me. How unworthy I am. How often I'm so fearful and unfaithful. YET...He chose to love me. He chose to provide a way from death unto life. He chose ME!

Thursday, September 27, 2007


"Some of you are so busy doing stuff for God, you don't KNOW God." Steve Brown, KeyLife

I hate how true that often is in my life.

Oh, Lord. Help me love you and know you better.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


The story of Patrick Henry Hughes is truly incredible.

This time last year, I was preparing for my first trip to New England. I was able to spend some glorious fall days in the Boston area with my longtime friend Denise and her family. For years, I'd heard of the splendor of autumn in New England, and through our Five in a Row homeschool studies, I'd learned about cranberry bogs.
But nothing I'd read or seen on T.V. prepared for me for the beauty...and I was there in early fall before things really got colorful! This photo was taken at the cranberry bog just behind the Gregson's home. It was simply amazing!
I must admit, as much as I'm partial to Southern living, our autumn is not as striking in its appearance. Despite that fact, there are still so many things I love about this season. Fall means to me...
Bright leaves * cooler temperatures * the state fair * Troubadour pledges * spider lillies * jumping in leaf piles * pots of soup * my princess' birthday * mums * football * camping with other homeschoolers * boots * umbrellas * long sleeves * candy apples * fireplaces * scarecrows * candy corn * fall festival * hot chocolate * fun socks * pumpkins * my oldest daughter's birthday * cinnamon * turkey and dressing * cranberry sauce * pilgrims * giving thanks * Macy's parade * my second son's birthday * less perspiring * colorful gourds * open windows * jackets * snuggling under blankets * shorter days * longer nights * less mosquitoes

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I finally finished my post in response to being given the NICE MATTERS blog award by Christa and Shauna. Here's the link to see the completed post AND see who I passed this sweet award on to:

Monday, September 24, 2007


...about this messy and incomplete blog. Its going to take a while to complete and that's just time that I don't have right now. Today my T turns 4 and so things are crazy in a good sort of way as we do all the things involved with celebrating a birthday here at Graceland.

I'll get to it soon and finish it up...promise!


As one season ends and another begins, its a good opportunity to reflect on the good times past as we look forward to 3 more months filled with living this life we've been blessed with.

Here are some snapshots of our Southern summer:

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tonight we had our family's weekly pizza and movie night. For their viewing pleasure, the kids had picked the Mickey Mouse version of THE THREE MUSKETEERS. At one point, Donald Duck was talking very rapidly. I have some hearing loss so understanding Donald under the best of circumstances can be difficult...when he's spouting off at warp speed, its nearly impossible for me to understand him.
I quipped jokingly, "is he speaking English?"
To which T answered quite seriously, "no, its Spanish."
What a hoot that little fellow can be!
Yesterday, Super Dad took the 4
oldest kids to a big outdoor extravaganza.
Among other things, they were able to...

shoot guns (this is the SOUTH, you know)...

shoot hunting bows ...

watch someone make handmade stone weapons...

learn about wild birds and the care of hurt ones...
and hold animals including a baby alligator, boa constrictor,
and an albino boa that B. named Issy.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


We love you and hope this next year is an incredible one.

Thanks for all the times you've taken us fishing, bought us pizza, and told us stories. Looking forward to lots more adventures.

---Your Grandkids

Friday, September 21, 2007


Super Dad: THE ILLIAD AND THE ODYSSEY by Homer and THE RIDDLE by Allison Croggon

Moi: THE CLOISTER WALK by Kathleen Norris, CRANFORD by Elizabeth Gaskell, and HIGH SCHOOL! YES! IT CAN BE EASY, TOO! by Cindy Rushton

13 year old A: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen, GREEKS BEARING GIFTS: THE EPICS OF ACHILLES AND ULYSSES by Bernard Evslin, DREAM HUNTER by Elizabeth Knox, PEACE LIKE A RIVER by Leif Enger, THE YOUNGEST MISS WARD by Joan Aiken, THE ILLIAD AND THE ODYSSEY by Homer, I KISSED DATING GOODBYE by Joshua Harris, THE CHILDREN OF HURIN by J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien, and THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH by Jeremiah and God ;)

12 year old B: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen, THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO by Alexandre Dumas, BEYOND THE SUMMERLAND by L.B. Graham,BEATRIX POTTER: A LIFE IN NATURE by Linda Lear, and various home decorating books

10 year old D: SIGN OF THE BEAVER by Elizabeth George Speare and FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING by J.R.R. Tolkien

8 year old P: RICKY RICOTTA's MIGHTY ROBOT books by Dav Pilkey

5 year old LG: Various duck books

3 year old T: RICKY RICOTTA'S MIGHT ROBOT books by Dav Pilkey...of course, he has to have someone actually read the words for him. He's smart, but not THAT smart!

2 year old M: Any book we'll read to her :)

(btw, what do you think of B's new "look"? )

Thursday, September 20, 2007


August was a rough month for us as most of you know. But it would have been oh so much rougher without the many good friends that God has blessed us with.

Just this week, a lovely mom I know thru the Five in a Row boards, sent me a book. The book was a wonderfully generous gesture...but even more wonderful was the quote that she had taken the time to print out and include.

"On either hand we behold a birth, of which, as of the moon, we see but half. To the region where he goes, the man enters newly born. We forget that it is a birth and call it death. The body he leaves behind is but the placenta by which he drew his nourishment from his mother Earth. And as the childbed is watched on earth with anxious expectancy, so the couch of the dying, as we call it, may be surrounded by the birth-watchers of the other world, waiting like anxious servants to open the door to which this world is but the windblown porch."

---George MacDonald from THE MUSICIAN'S QUEST

What a beautiful and profound sentiment. What balm to hurting hearts.

This Thursday I thank God especially for my many friends and their acts of love and comfort---food brought, emails sent, visits made, prayers lifted up, funeral clothes loaned, cards sent, hugs given, phone calls made, children watched---reminders given of God's goodness and provision.

So to beautiful Barbara in Georgia and so many others---too many to even begin listing here---thank you for being Jesus to us during this very rough season of life.

I love you all!



Or in my case, dark M&M's, a good book , and a frightfully needed nap!

Today has been one of "those" kind of days. The days that you wonder if aliens have somehow invaded your home or perhaps some sort of mind-altering drugs were slipped in with the cold cereal. All three of my youngest have been total basket cases at various points in the morning and some major issues with screaming and drama from another unnamed source. Then there is just all the "normal" stuff like the toddler throwing up her chewed up tortilla (which she wasn't supposed to even be eating) on the hall carpet, a nasty potty accident (don't even ask!), and kids fighting over books.

I love my children, I dearly do. I just know that I'm going to FEEL a whole lot more loving once several of the little scoundrels are in their beds this afternoon...including me!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Steve Brown at KeyLife ministry is offering a free cd featuring Shane Claiborne and his Irresistible Revolution outlook. Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE! This is a cd well worth listening to.
Btw, my oldest daughter read this book and loved it. Read more about her reaction at .

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Anakin's Not Perfect (Nobody's Perfect)

I was so upset with myself a few days ago. I hate when I publically goof-up. But being reminded of ANAKIN's mistakes, can make a person feel a lot better. LOL!

And the juxtaposition of this up-beat, bubble gum pop song and the images from Star Wars are a hoot!

Thanks to my daughters B and A for the recommendation. Y'all helped your worn out ole mom smile tonight! :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

In Honor of the Newest Troubadours

Its that time of year again...the time of year when my college social club picks up its new class of pledges. In their honor, I'm posting here what I wrote last year to my dear Troubadour sisters.



Okay, so most of you are wondering what in the world I'm talking about. But a small minority of you know that one of the reasons my college years were so special was because of the sisters I had in The Troubadour Social Club.

When I pledged back in the Spring of 1985, I was the only pledge with just two active members to bring me through the trials of pledging. It was rough at times, and to be honest, I couldn't have done it without my friends who were already members in Silhouettes, another W club. Though it wasn't kosher, they supported me through a challenge that at times seemed impossible to make it through. Early morning roll calls and memorizing lists of names are not in my top ten lists of things I relish.

But through pledging and then being a member for 3 years, I learned and gained so many things. I learned to work hard for something that was worth sacrificing for. I gained skills in organizing events and people that would still benefit me to this day. I learned to work toward a common goal alongside people that were often very different from me and what I was used to. I made some incredibly good (and silly) memories. And I was blessed with lifetime friends. Only having a brother in my family, I gained the sisters I had never had....sisters that I loved then and still love today.

Over 20 years ago, I stood on a stage during Songfest with 2 other Troubadours and sang the club song---

"Like a tiny spark of fire,
Troubadour spirit will linger.
Though at times it may grow dim,
It will always live in our hearts.
So when we part,
Let's keep in our hearts,
The tiny spark of love we've gained---by being a Troubadour."

Who would have ever thought that one day that club would be picking up the biggest pledge class on campus and I'd still be gaining new friends with every group of girls that starts the journey towards "being a Troubadour". Today was bid-day at The W and a new set of pledges will soon be learning songs, painting stuff blue, favoring blue M&M's, and building lifetime friendships.

I love you, my Troubadour sisters, and may the spark of love always shine brightly.
(originally posted September 11, 2006)

" We are standing in a living relationship with a living God, who loves us, and has shown his love for us to such an extent that Jesus died on the cross. Fear falls, and we have the courage to give ourselves for his use without being afraid, when we se we are not giving ourselves in the teeth of an impersonal situation or of a world that hates us, or an inhuman world of men. We are offering ourselves before the God who loves us and he is not a monster but our heavenly Father. He will not leave us in the battle as a soldier discards one piece of military equipment for another, casting it into the mud. God will never deal with us in this way. He will not use us as a weapon without care for the weapon itself. In his hand, not only will we be useful in the battle, but even the blows brought upon us in the battle will bring us closer to himself, because he is infinite and personal and because he loves us."

Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality


Dedicated to my dear friend Janine. Thank you for letting God use you and your gifting in a mighty way. Yesterday's teaching was right on.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

He Loves Me Anyway!

I shared in my last post that I was struggling with the mess-up I'd made on Friday. As a recovering people pleaser, its hard for me to not only accept that I'm not perfect and I'm going to blow it at times, but also sometimes its hard to believe that people will still like me when I've committed one of those boo-boos.

Yesterday I was able to spend time with some of my girlfriends, in person and on the phone, including my new friend Rhonda. Their love and affirmation was truly balm to my hurting heart (and ego).

And then today, God ministered His love to me in so many ways---through the time of worship at church, the teaching by my friend Janine, the adoration of my husband, the kind comment left by Rhonda, and just the awareness of His presence. I set myself up as a god when I try to pretend that I am perfect. ONLY the one true God is perfect. Only the one true God never puts his entire leg in his mouth. Only the one true God never blows it big time. Only the one true God never is embarrassed.

I AM NOT GOD...I AM GOING TO FAIL! Why does it surprise me so?

But what is even more surprising is that God is not surprised. God knew from before the world was formed that on September 14, 2007, I'd say something that would make my face burn! He knew about all my past goof-ups before I did them and He knows about the ones that I'm going to do tomorrow, next week, next year...heck, for that matter, TONIGHT!


You know, those folks who still love me and even like me despite all my foibles are a dim reflection of this truth. Obviously, they can't love me perfectly as God does, but if these folks who themselves are imperfect can still find it in their hearts to want to be around scummy old me, then I should be able to accept that a God who is all good would choose to love and put up with me, too. After all, I am His child. And because He is good, He's forgiving and compassionate and He knows I'm just clay.

A couple of weeks ago my little T drew his very first "person" picture and it was of me. Travis is absolutely crazy about me. Every nap and every night he has to get one big hug, one little hug, one big kiss, and one little kiss or he cries himself to sleep. He says all the time that when he grows up he's going to marry me. He loves me, he adores me, he likes me...despite the fact that I'm often a selfish, lazy, annoyed, and impatient mommy. He sees me lose it big time. He hears me speak with irritation in my voice. He watches me act in not very nice ways. He still loves me.

And God sees all those things and loves me, too.


Jesus loves me this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong,
I am weak but HE is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.

Dear one, He knows. He knows all the bad stuff. He knows what things have mortified you. He knows the things that you desperately hide. He knows that things that you struggle with over and over again. He knows the battles that you've lost and the ones you will lose. He knows all the nasty parts...but He still loves you.

He loves you anyway.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I'm Mortified

You know, I really do know I'm not perfect. But despite that, it still hurts when I mess up...especially when its done publically. I said something that I really didn't mean to say in the way that I said it and now I'm totally mortified. The person involved is fine with me and not offended, but I'M offended. I just can't believe that once again my mouth betrayed me. But then, its happened so many times over the years, I don't know why it still surprises me.

I sure would appreciate your prayers today. I woke up with a sick feeling in my stomach this morning and just can't seem to get over it.

Why is it that we often can forgive others so much easier than we forgive ourselves?

Friday, September 14, 2007


Barbara over at is writing an article that she needs help with. Here is her post:

"I am working on an article on evangelicals who've given up birth control and in conjunction putting together a Web Photo Album called "Filling Our Quivers" as part of my public gallery. This does not mean that you have to have a large family - it just means that your underlying philosophy is that children are a blessing and that you are willing to accept as many as God sends you through birth and/or adoption - and that at some point you stopped using birth control.

You can see my other web albums here.

What I'd like to do is put together one titled "Filling Our Quivers".

If you would like to participate, please email me (megamommy12(at)gmail(dot)com) your photo in the highest resolution possible. Also include text you would like me to put under the picture, beginning with "The ______ Family" and then - if you like - a short bio or encouragement or bit of philosophy or Bible verse you'd like to share (maximum 1024 characters - less than 200 words). Include in your email your permission to allow me to use your photo for my online web album and/or for possible use in online articles on this subject.

Remember, my Our Little Extras album (Down syndrome children and moms) and Mommy, Teach Me! album (children exhibiting independence, order, learning attitudes I discuss in my books and at my blog) are ongoing and you can contribute photos any time.

The Filling Our Quivers album will also be ongoing - but the sooner your send me your picture, the more likely I will be able to possibly use it or link to it for my upcoming article.


Thursday, September 13, 2007


My beloved arrived home about half an hour ago. Its SO good to have him back.

Thanks so much for y'all's prayers,


He's almost home, he's almost home! My darling honey's almost home!!!!!



I'm posting a quick update while we're between thunderstorms. Some have emailed asking for updates about Super Hubby, the weather conditions here, and at least one person said they weren't even aware of Humberto...that's probably because it formed incredibly fast. In fact, I hadn't even heard about it til I was listening to the local Christian rock station at around 6:30 last night. I found an article online that gives more details for those interested:

Humberto brings heavy rain to areas of Mississippi

The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. --Humberto, the short-lived hurricane downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved through Louisiana, sent bands of heavy rain into areas of western Mississippi on Thursday as it advanced on the state.

Several inches of rain, possibly up to 8 inches in isolated areas, was expected in the storm's path before the weakening system departs the state late Friday.

There were no reports of storm-related damage in Mississippi by mid-afternoon Thursday.

"It is making its way toward our area and we expect it to be a tropical depression over here," said Marc McAllister, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Jackson.

McAllister said while rain was possible in northern areas of the state, heaviest rains were more likely along and south of Interstate 20. He said there was the threat of isolated tornadoes in the southern half of the state into the night Thursday, with the possibility of flooding problems on Friday.

The weather service posted a flash flood watch for much of the state. Clearing skies were in Saturday's forecast.

Humberto didn't exist until late Wednesday afternoon, and wasn't even a tropical storm until almost midday, strengthening from a tropical depression with 35-mph winds to a hurricane with 85-mph winds in just 18 hours, senior hurricane specialist James Franklin said at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

"To put this development in perspective - no tropical cyclone in the historical record has ever reached this intensity at a faster rate near landfall. It would be nice to know, someday, why this happened," Franklin said.

The hurricane, which moved into south Texas and Louisiana overnight, was blamed for at least one death. By midmorning Thursday, the system had weakened to a tropical storm but still packed heavy rains as it advanced into central Louisiana.

In Louisiana, state police said there were minor injuries reported after a house was knocked off its foundation in Vermilion Parish early Thursday morning, possibly by a tornado spawned by Humberto as the storm approached the state.


Please continue to keep Jim in your prayers. He still has several hours of travel time to go and delays due to construction and traffic accidents aren't helping him make very good time. Also, please continue to pray for others during this time of bad weather. At least one person so far has lost their life due to Humberto.


He is heading home from a week long conference in Austin, TX and will be driving for several hours through the bad weather resulting from Hurricane Humberto. Please pray for his safety today as well as others affected by these storms.

Thanks so much,

P.S. If you don't hear much from me here on the blog or via email over the next couple of days, you'll know its because of Humberto. Once we start getting lightening, the pc gets shut off. We also lose electricity VERY easily and very often out here so I wouldn't be surprised if we're without power for a good while.


I don't always feel very nice. I get impatient with my children when they actually want to spend time with me when I'd rather be reading or blogging or napping. I think awful thoughts about people when instead I'm supposed to be praying or worshipping God. I get impatient with drivers who don't seem to know what the heck they're doing. And I get judgemental and self-righteous about judgemental and self-righteous people.

But yet, God must be able to do SOMETHING worthwhile in this selfish, lazy, and mean-spirited recovering pharisee because Christa, a Five in a Row pal, has blessed me with the "Nice Matters Award". And that's definitely down right nice of her. Thanks, Christa. You made me smile and maybe this award will help me remember to BE nice when I'm really not feeling like it.

As a recipient of the "NICE MATTERS AWARD", I'm supposed to pass on the award to 7 others who fit the description that goes along with it:

"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you've been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."

Here are my 7 award recipients:

Jessica Vega at COLOR ME ORANGE ( ). Jessica is the Five in a Row webmaster and is always a huge help in that area. She keeps the boards running smoothly and is an ever present help when internet glitches arise. On top of this, she is a mother to 8! 6 of the children are biological daughters who've been with her all their lives. ;) 3 of them are newly adopted children from Ethiopia who have only been stateside a couple of months though they've been a part of Jessica's heart for much longer than that. Her blog is not only well done, but it reflects her love of family, love of living, and love of God.

I know I need to award 6 more folks, but its past midnight. My eyes are starting to droop and my fingers are getting sore. I'll end this for tonight and work on it again tomorrow.

Til then, y'all play nice now, y'hear? ;)


Added to on 9/25

I'm finally back. I guess it wasn't very nice of me to take so long. SORRY! I'm definitely known by those who know me IRL as both a procrastinator and a bit of a ditz. Not a really great combination. But now I'm back to this post and I'll finish handing out these sweet awards to some very deserving fellow bloggers. I'm afraid I'll have to keep it "short and sweet" due to the fact that today is my youngest son's birthday and we're crazy, busy with celebration activities. Each of these ladies actually deserves a book written about their thoughtful, positive ways, but for today, just a listing will have to suffice. But I tell you what, you can either visit their blogs to see examples of their worthiness...or simply use your imagination. If you're envisioning good things, then you're right on target!

The 6 remaining award bloggers are:

Jen Unsell

Drewe Llyn

Rhonda R.

Leslie Nelsen




P.S. I just have to add a thank you to Shauna. She also gave me this award but I didn't realize it until I'd already written my original post. Thank you, Shauna! You and your blog are a daily blessing in my life! BIG KISS!!!!!!

P.S. P.S. You can view Shauna's blog at . Christa's blog can be viewed at .

P.S.P.S.P.S. Does anyone else love to use the old "P.S." as much as I do? ;)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

FALL really is just around the corner!

Today, as the kids and I ran errands, walked across parking lots, and then went outdoors back at home, it actually did not feel like an oven outside. AMAZING! In fact, the low was supposed to have been around 67 degrees last night and the high was only in the low 80's! And that's nearly down-right cool compared to the grueling heat we've en having the last couple of months.

I am SO ready for fall. I love the clothes, the crisp air, going to the state fair, bonfires, gold and read leaves, hot chocolate with marshmallows, and the holidays that are a part of the season.

I love fall and though I know we'll still have more hot days to come, today I was thankful for a bit of a sneak preview.


I had just written the post about wondering about people from my past when not but a few hours later I got an email from someone I knew back during my Southern Baptist Theological Seminary days. Apparently Tim has also been having the same desire to reconnect with pals from days gone by and he had googled my name and found me that way. Tim thinks that wanting to reconnect with people from our past might be a normal phase for folks our age (I'm in my early 40's) . The young adult years can be so busy and transient as people are just "getting started" in life and its easy to lose touch since staying in touch requires energy, time, and sometimes even money.

I think as we get older, we begin to appreciate those things that really matter...I know I have more and more. And when I look back over my life, some of the things that seemed so important in the past, just don't matter that much anymore. And some of those things I sometimes took for granted, like people, are what I realize more and more matter so very much.

I guess when I was young I just didn't realize how easy it was to lose each other. I thought they'd always be around. But they're not and it saddens me to think that some of those dear ones I might not ever find again.

But hearing from Tim brings hope, and I eagerly look forward to seeing who else I'll hear from one of these days.

The Internet has its downsides. We've all heard the horror stories. But I for one am grateful for the fact that its made not only keeping in touch easier, but finding those "lost" ones a more realistic thing to be hoped for.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


We all have them, those people that at one time in our life played such an important part in our lives. Some of them we were childhood friends with while others we worked side-by-side with. Some I knew for ages and others only briefly. Over the years, time and distance pulls us apart. We lose addresses or forget to write down new information. Those people will forever be a part of our past, a past filled with memories that for the most part, at least in my life, are good ones.

Through the internet, I've been able to locate some people that I had no clue where they were. Others, though are still missing...and I'm still missing them. I wonder how they are, what they are doing, if life is good for them or are they hurting and need a friend.

Every now and again, my kids think its fun to do a google search of their own names or people they know and see what comes up. The other day I came up with an idea. Maybe, just maybe, if I list the folks who I've lost touch with they might do a similar search one day, find that they've been missed, and get in touch with me.

So here are some of my missing persons:

Lisa Davis Whitfield

Amy Dance (maybe now Butts?)

Carol Coslet Cho

Kim Grace

Steve Massey

Sheryl (or Sherryl or Cheryl) Boykin

Kathy Ponder

Leanne and Lisa Smith

Cathy (or Kathy) Sue Smith

Mendy (or Mindy) Helber

Ruth Ngomane

Margie Hynd

John Bedor (or maybe Bidor?)

Julie Illewski

Penny and Dee Evans

Dana Webb

Michelle McDonald

Ray and Debbie Cullens (kids Jason and Melissa)

Jane Moreno

Shirley Hawkins

Ruth Webb

Donna Holder

Rhonda Starr

Kathleen Stewart (Southern Theological Seminary)

Erin Mulligan

Sally and Sara (Sarah?) Poole

Sandy and Mark Johnson

Geri Brickell (or Brickel?)

Lou (Louis) and Lee Harlow (kids Matthew and Sara or Sarah)

Staffers/counselors/campers/volunteers at Potter's Wheel/Baptist Village Israel during the Summer or 1987

The Covenant Players who toured Swaziland in the late 1980's

Journeyman who served in Southern Africa during the late 1980's

Members of The International Baptist Church of Mbabane, Swaziland during the last 1980's

Hoping that one day our paths will cross again.

Monday, September 10, 2007

"The Christian way is different: harder and easier. Christ says 'Give me All. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half measures are any good. I don't' want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don't want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent, as well as the ones you think wicked-the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact I will give you Myself: My own will shall become yours."

C S Lewis, Mere Christianity

Sunday, September 09, 2007

IT IS SWEET... relax at the proper time.
I snapped this photo of my little May-May snuggling
with my Grandma Little Mac
the afternoon of Papa Roy's
burial. A peaceful cuddle
was just the right thing for
the occasion.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


When I lived in Swaziland, it was
common to see older sisters toting their baby brothers or sisters
on their backs. It was strange to think that
a 7 or 8 year old was being trusted to care for a
1 or 2 year old as they wandered the
neighborhood with other children or walked
down a dusty, country road to a neighbor's house
often a good piece away. But at least
you could be fairly sure that a parent, or at
least some other caring grown-up, was actively involved
if not right at that moment, then at least the majority
of the time.
Now that's no longer the case. Too many
mothers and fathers have died or are dying leaving
older siblings, often not much older than
babies themselves, as the primary caregivers for
younger siblings.
Brady Denger, a WORLD RACER short-term missionary
in Swaziland, wrote about one such "big" sister and
the little brother she looks after:

Friday, September 07, 2007

SURELY goodness and mercy will follow her...and me...all the days of our lives.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


As a school assignment, my 13 year old daughter read IRRESISTIBLE REVOLUTION by Shane Claiborne. I asked her to write a review of what the book said to her. The insights she shared were amazing.

One thing she wrote was that the book helped her see Jesus for the radical, loving King that He is. The book also helped her see events in her life from a new perspective.

Here's an excerpt from her review:

"A little while before I started IR, I went thru a very hard time where two close friends were arrested, & one came dangerously close. That really shook my world. I remember thinking (& saying), 'I would do anything to take their place. So they don't have to go thru this.' And then it clicked. 'Oh. That's what Jesus did for me.' He didn't want me to go thru what He eventually went thru. So He did what I wanted to do for my friends. He took my place for me. He went thru the worst pain (physical & emotional) so I wouldn't have to.

And He did that for every single person in the world. So, if He would do that for them, shouldn't they get the chance to know about it?"

WOW! What a girl. I am excited to see what God is doing in her life. He's got exciting things in store for her and I'm so blessed to be a part of her journey.

To read the rest of Anna's reflections on IRRESISTIBLE REVOLUTION, go here:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

There are 5 things that every one of us can do to help the 50 million people in our world suffering from HIV/AIDS. Here's how it works:

*Give 5 minutes a day to pray for those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

*Give 5 hours a week to fast for those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

*Give 5 dollars a month to the Five for 50 Fund and support worthy causes.

*Give 5 days a year to travel overseas and help alleviate poverty and suffering.

*Give 5 people an opportunity to join you on your journey.

More details are given in the book, RED LETTERS by Tom Davis. But this is a way everyone can participate and be part of the solution to a world-crisis. All proceeds will go directly to HIV/AIDS projects around the world. The children are worth it!

To join the 5 FOR 50 folks in feeding, clothing, educating, and loving these precious ones, please visit .

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tuesday's T'ism

T's 4th bday is coming up in a couple of weeks so we were looking thru the Birthday Express catalog talking about what theme he wanted. When I mentioned the Backyardigans, one of his favorite Nick, Jr. shows, he responded "Backyardigans is for my 42 birthday".

Now THAT will be some kind of middle-aged throw down!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Casting Crowns --- Who Am I

I am so thankful that God loves me not because I'm good, but because of HIS goodness and just because I'm His child. This life is so fleeting. I praise God He's here to carry me through it and will take me home in the end.

"All the persons of faith I know are sinners, doubters, uneven performers. We are secure not because we are sure of ourselves but because we trust that God is sure of us."


Monday Meme

I got this Meme from Becki at The game is SCATTAGORIES ... and it's harder than it looks! Here are the rules:

* Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the questions.
* They MUST be real places, names, things ... NOTHING made up!
* If you can't think of anything, skip it.
* You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.
* If your name happens to start with the same letter as mine, sorry, but you can't use my answers!

My Name:


1. Famous Singer/Band: The Elms
2. 4 letter word: Ever
3. Street: East
4. Color: Emerald
5. Gifts/Presents: Electric Company dvd
6. Vehicle: Edsel
7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Edison's invented light bulbs
8. Boy Name: Edward
9. Girl Name: Elizabeth
10. Movie Title: Emma
11. Drink: Enfamil formula ;)
12. Occupation: Elephant Educator
13. Celebrity: Elisabeth Elliot
14. Magazine: Ebony
15. U.S. City: Encino
16. Pro Sports Teams: Eagles
17. Fruit: Eggplant ( IS a fruit...Wikipedia says so!)
18. Reason for Being Late for Work: elbow broken
19. Something You Throw Away: Easter eggs

20. Things You Shout: Eeeee-w-w-ww!
21. Cartoon Character: Eggbert (but I do not even KNOW what its about)

It's a challenge, but fun, so give it a go!!!

(Will come back later and try to fill in the blanks. At this time of night, my thinkers not thinking too efficiently).

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Growing up, my Papa Roy had a hard life. His homelife was rough and his prospects in the small Virginia mining town were bleak. At age 14, he forged a false birthdate in the family Bible so he could join the U.S. Navy right at the tail end of WWII.
During the next 3 years, he rec'd special training in diving and other skills that were precursors of the Navy Seals. When he was 17, the truth concerning his enlistment was found out and he was kicked out. During the following years, he would serve in both the army and the airforce plus be involved in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was a helicopter pilot flying MASH missions in Korea, was shot down twice, and once was captured and spent time as a POW before escaping. In fact, it was during the beatings in the Korean war camp that Roy's kidneys were damaged...the kidneys that would eventually fail him and lead to some of the poor health and complications that resulted in his passing. So though he escaped the camp, the wounds inflicted were carried in his body and spirit for the rest of his life.
Roy was one of the untold numbers of soldiers who were willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for their country so that you and I could live free.
Dany, of Children's HopeChest, sent me a tribute to Roy upon his death. I share her message with you here:
"As a retired Navy Girl I'm sending this to you - The Navy Hymn and wish Roy "Fair Winds and Following Seas".
May God Bless all of you.
Love, Dany
Eternal Father, Strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.
O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
and calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!
Most Holy spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!
O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee,
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea."

Saturday, September 01, 2007

We're home!

After being gone nearly a whole week, we're home. We arrived early this afternoon after spending the first part of this week in Birmingham while Roy was at UAB then going down to my mom's home for the rest of the time.

The visitation/funeral service was Thursday night at my home church and the military burial service was Friday morning. The military service was especially moving for us. Hearing a jet fly over during the service and then the playing of Taps brought tears to my eyes. And afterwards, my mom saw an eagle circle round and round over head and then a v-formation of water fowl flew past. Mom felt like these were sent by God to comfort her as Roy was an avid naturalist and even had eagles on his coffin.

Its been a sad, busy, and exhausting week but its also been a week filled with laughter, seeing old friends, and meeting Roy's three sons for the first time. They are all older than I am and though we were strangers, we had some great times just talking and joking around...sharing memories of Roy and telling each other about our lives.

Before I close, I want to share with something very comforting that a friend, Claudia Mair Burney (The Ragamuffin Diva) shared with me:

"My dear sister,

Dying is hard for all concerned. I could discern the end for both my brother and my father, and in those times, my prayer was, "Thy will be done." This is a hard prayer to pray, but it's not a prayer that God doesn't understand. Within Thy will be done is a prayer for healing! Or it could be a prayer for a safe passage to Jesus. Truly seeking God's will is a hard thing, because it doesn't always match our desires. But we can trust that God hears and answers us. Most of all,we can trust that God loves us. That is always something to remember.

St. Francis of Assisi, as he lay dying, wrote the amazing Canticle to the sun. He referred to death as "sister death." He understood that in allowing her to embrace him, she, his sister, would place him lovingly in the arms of the poor Christ whom He so loved.

I believe that St. Francis could see that in Christ, Death has no victory. In the Orthodox Church we say Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death. It's full of mystery. But again, we know God loves us. And blessed in the eyes of the Lord are the deaths of His saints. And He gives His beloved sleep.

I pray you find some comfort in these words. I will be praying God will do His will and trusting that He will."

I thought that was so beautiful. I know it ministered to me and I hope it will minister to someone else dealing with loss.

Thanks so much for all your prayers and other expressions of concern,