Thursday, November 23, 2017

Catching Up and Happy Thanksgiving

Warning!  Long post!

The following was a post I started at the end of October, post-retreat a month before.  I will add a few pics and start a new post. If you don't feel like reading, no worries.  Just let me say, Happy Thanksgiving!

I can't believe how much time elapses between each of my blog posts.  Honestly, I hate the pace that I seem to be keeping right now.  Just minutes before, I was chatting on line with a Verizon rep trying to get an update on my iPhone.  It took a hour to get an order processed.  It took changing my password three times, due to my lack of knowledge, accuracy or something.  At the end of the process, I just put my head in my hands and cried. My photos are taking forever to download and forward to email so I can share with you my going-ons of the past month. 

The Women of Covenant Retreat was wonderful, but just not long enough.  I needed more than a weekend.  Being the director means countless hours trying to get a planning committee together and on the same page.  Fundraisers are viewed differently by different people and money is always an issue.  I opted to find a beautiful setting with great accommodations which always means more money.  We believe in the end, we found the perfect place with the perfect speaker and music director for the weekend. 

Maybe next year, we can go later when the leaves are changing.  Can you imagine this setting in peak Fall season?

My desire was to have everyone together in the same lodge.  We housed and slept 27 women comfortably.

Bible Journaling classes were a part of our weekend.  
We laughed, we ate, we prayed.

We built an altar.
 We presented our request before God.

It was what we needed...just a little longer.
Pictures from the last month. 
For this I prayed...

God hath granted the desires of my heart.

I am thankful.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Home...a place in the heart.

When we first moved to Nashville, I felt like we were on vacation-pool, new apartment with all new, sparkly appliances and hardware, kids and ice cream whenever I wanted, AM coffee and caramel creamer as much as I liked and a 2-3 hour quiet time.  Hummmm.  The mountain view was perfect.  An outlet mall 15 miles one way and another 30 miles the other way.  Church with no commitment and my chance in 55 years to just "Be." I went to the grocery store and didn't see anyone I knew and it was nice.  Starting over in a place "where NOBODY knew my name,"  (SINGING to the tune of Cheers.)

A therapist once told me, "You've never left home."  With the move, I left home and was experiencing a new kind of freedom.  I heard recently that we all run from home, only to search frantically to find a way back.  Like going on vacation, we long to get away but are so happy to return to the familiar.

About 6 months into the journey, I began to long for home, the familiar, to run into someone I knew at the grocery store, to find a place of community.  I longed to go "where EVERYBODY knows your name."

We bought a new house.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine a new home or rather, a new "house."  It wasn't "home." Grateful? Yes, but again, it wasn't home. The pictures on the wall were the same, a pink bedroom with my favorite pieces of milk glass and my favorite cabinet full of ironstone.  But. Not. Home.

There was a restlessness in me to go home.  But "home" was no longer there.  Mama and Daddy and the home place were gone and my little home where we raised our children was now occupied with new owners, a new little boy to run the small hall, throw a ball, and shoot hoops.

Please don't get me wrong, the children are home, but God is teaching that I can find "home" in Him alone. Still, holidays are hard.  The weekend of Labor Day the children were busy with children and homes of their own so we decided to leave "home" for a couple of days. 

Just a few miles down the road (an hour's drive), is Burgess Falls State Park. 

There's nothing like the rushing water to calm the restless soul.

We made several stops along the way finding rest in the cleft of a rock.

There was a fence to keep us from falling off the side of the mountain.  I'm telling you, it was scary at times and I'm not usually afraid of heights.  However, I've got to know that I have something or someone who is going to catch me if I fall.

Just when we thought we were almost there, we saw another hill to climb.  I asked a sojourners coming down how close we were.  Her reply, "Oh, not far.  About 1/2 there."  Really?
We could soon see the view from the top. It was breathtakingly beautiful. We began the journey back and the road was even and less rocky.  We relaxed and took a deep breath, we were headed home.
But this!!!  A baby copperhead. 
I learned a little bit on our trip away from home. 
1.  I thought at first that maybe we'd stay near the waters and just enjoy the rest.  Of course, there was more to see, something bigger than we could imagine.  God doesn't want us to stay safe.  Rest is brief and there will be more paths to walk and hills to climb before we get to the top.
2.  It's okay to rest awhile. When the journey gets rocky, he will hide us in the depths of His love and we will know the safety of the Rock.
3.  There will be more hills to climb before we get to the top, and beauty will be beyond what we can comprehend on this journey.
4.  On our journey "home," we must be sober and alert. I did have a thought that maybe there was danger off the path and I didn't dare wander, but when the road seemed easy, I became less careful.  Someone else observed the danger first.  Along the path, we need sojourners who will point out the pitfalls ahead. 
This weekend is our ladies retreat.  I'm so in need of retreat, escape, getaway to relax and regroup, rethink.  That's the RE in retreat, I guess.
My second born granddaughter, is always full of life.  My time now with the babies is less with me working but she drops by occasionally to see me.  She loves talking to our adult care members.  They enjoy her.  This was my birthday so it was an extra special because she came to see me.

David enjoyed Grandparent's Day.  I rarely get to attend any activities with the children during the week.  My job is very demanding, and I wonder sometimes if it's worth it. I love it, and I know that God gave it to me.  It's providing for our needs.  If I had not gotten this job, I imagine we would have been heading back to Georgia.  David was giving our situation until July to change.  I started to work with this new company on July 1.  I have to believe that for now, this is where I belong.  David is still missing "home." It sometimes honestly hurts me that he hasn't found "home" with me and the kids, but he's got to work through it's meaning just like I've had to.
Who can resist this smile?  I mean, really!  This is home to me!

My decorating is minimal these days.  Blogging will be more about the "home" of my heart.  I still try to make it feel like my other home, but this is the new and I'm learning that it's really not a place or a people. It's more what's in the heart, a state of peace...peace with our Father and His family...and of course, mine too.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Written 5 months ago.  Old news now...

I've been catching up on my blog reading , yes at 3am. Once again, a medication change. I'm gonna get through this one. I want to get better. I have fought the doc on this one for years because getting off makes my anxiety worse but staying on it causes symptoms of dementia and I've had lots of changes lately. I can tell a difference in just cutting down on the dosage. Tonight was my first night completely off of it and I am anxious and awake. I really need your prayers to get through this.

(This is from a draft written in April.  Since this time, I am off of anxiety medications completely.  I have quit The Loft and started a new job as Program Director of an Adult Care Center. All I credit to the grace of God.  I would not have ever imagined that I would be doing this at this time in my life.  I expected to stay retired, but that is not what God had planned.  I am loving my job and look forward to growing with an incredible, well-established small company who still believes in caring for its members first!)

We celebrated my MIL with a surprise birthday party in April. We went home but stayed at a nearby lake.  Not having to think about the home place and no longer having a home there made going home easier.

In June, we celebrated Connor's graduation from Pre-K.  He started real kindergarten this year and can't be happier.  I can't believe class starts each day at 7:15 am.  This is ridiculous and hard on a little boy and his family.  He seems to be adjusting so all is well.

In July, we celebrated Independence Day with the family and fireworks.

The kiddos loved it and were not scared one bit.  We had them all day.  That morning, they played under the sprinkler. 

We are teaching our babies that you don't need high tech to have fun! All kids need to learn how to play outside and enjoy the little things.  They seems to have a good time at BonBon and Grandy's without the need of technology.

Connor learned to ride his bike without training wheels. With all the cheering and applauds, you'd think he was in the World Series.  The neighbors were impressed with his family's celebration. 

This little girl's personality is a little me.  She has us in stitches much of the time with her many faces.

We attended a Nashville Sounds Minor League Baseball game.  The kids enjoyed the concessions and all the hoopla.  Baseball is about family fun.  It's not always about the game when you have little ones.  I'd rather watch them anyway.

This kid!  Ahh, he's our only boy right now and he knows it!

Our miracle baby is growing up to have quite a personality.  Her mommy and daddy are getting ready to try again for another miracle.  I hope you'll believe with us. 

So, I'm gonna take the first Saturday morning I've had in months to drop by and visit.  I think of all of you often and hope all is well.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Blogging Less and Working More

I seem to be blogging less and less.  It's been a month since I've posted anything.  There are reasons for that.  I am working more hours at The Loft Outlet because we are short-handed.  When I'm not working, I'm working my Mary Kay business.  Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you.  I'm doing Mary Kay once again.  This is my 4th go-round.

I loved my booth.  It was fun doing what I loved at the time. It's just not easy to do here.  The cost of rent is unreasonable.  I don't go pickin' enough to make it profitable. I've always loved Mary Kay. I've used it off and off since I was 12.  I've found that so many in my circle here were either consultants or use the product and have no consultant.  I've already made back my investment.  So, here we go again.  You can check out my website  Bonnie's Pretty and Pink

I see the babies often.  They are growing.  I get the sniffles just thinking about them growing up.  Cora, my first baby girl, turned three this month.  She's mixture of beauty and mischief.  She is a girl after my own heart, a mix of many faces.  She swings from shrills and thrills to tears in a second flat.  She is a beauty and the spitting image of her mommy.

Her cousins on both sides play like they are all family.

I enjoyed seeing family and friends at the annual Top Nazarene Talent event at Trevecca Nazarene University (TNT at TNU). 

It made me miss home just a little bit.  Well, a whole lot!

I can't believe how very much the kids have changed in two years.  My nephew played a mean game of Competitive Frisbee.  He's visiting colleges.  I'm hoping for Vanderbilt but he's looking at University of Georgia and Georgia Tech.  His major will be Mechanical Engineer.  Right now he's rebuilding a motorcycle. 

Our miracle baby is a little bit of sunshine. 

She loves playing mommy and doctor.  
Bless her heart, with her allergies, 
she knows exactly what the stethoscope is for!

She begs her mommy to go to "Bon-Bon's house."

I guess Nashville is becoming home.  

At least, it feels like it when the kids are there
or we are hanging out together. 

It doesn't feel so much like home today. 
I lost my daddy in March 5 years ago.
My brother died in March and his birthday is April 14.
If you don't know the story you can read it here.

Connor man doesn't really care for baseball. 
He'd rather wait for the treat at the end of the game. 
He's ready for soccer. 
His mommy registered him for Kindergarten last week. 
I don't think she's ready for this. 

For Lint, I was going to give up Caffeine and Diet Sodas.  
The first two weeks were great.  
I got up every morning and walked on the treadmill, 
had my quiet time, ate healthy
and then I was hit with a headache like I've never had before. 
I missed work and went to the doctor twice.  
Needless to say, I fell off the wagon.  

I'm getting back week.

I start a part-time job of being a companion to a 
precious lady in our church.  She's a beauty.  She like to have
her nails done and enjoys walking and eating out. 
I'll looking forward to spending time with her.  

May you be blessed with a peace and joy during this Holy Week.
Remember, He became like us, so that we could become like Him.