Monday, December 31, 2007

farewell 2007

I am so happy....I am estatic. I got this picture on my blog all by myself. I am learning, slowly but surely how to manuever on this machine.

This picture was taken Saturday night at Mark and Amanda's house. These little boys were fighting to get away. Both were sick and a little cranky.

We got home to Tybee at about 3:30 this afternoon after a wonderful weeklong frenzy of Christmas with our families. Bubba managed to remove all of the peanuts that Robbie gave him from their shells and into a zip lock bag. He is very pleased.

The year is almost over as I write this, my last blog of 2007. It has been a very difficult year for me, but probably my most rewarding in regards to spiritual growth. God has manifested Himself to me in so many ways. I have come to crave His word daily to merely survive.

God added to and took away from our family this year.

Eli and Harry arrived with great joy. We marvel at God's handiwork in the birth of these new lives.

Death came and visited us twice in 6 weeks with the passing of our mothers. The same is not to be feared because I was there when the angels took my mom to be with the Lord. My hand laid gently on her neck as I felt the beat of her heart slowly recede. There was no fear, only peace.

The grace of God got us through as He promised it would. It is truly amazing to feel God's presence working within you. There is no substitute.......His spirit is either in you or it is not. His Spirit is comfort, it is peace, it is an immense sense of well-being when the things of the world are falling apart around you.

Acts13:52 "And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit."

To everyone's house that we entered, thank you for the hospitality. You all are what makes life so special. Laughing, talking, eating together, sharing our lives....what a blessing!

God has given us each other to pilgrim along together to the promised land. We bear each other's burdens and we share each other's joy. We are all truly blessed.

Farewell 2007.......

Sunday, December 30, 2007

that we may ponder

The fire is still burning and the tree is still lit here at the Cleland home. It was good to be back in Georgia today after a wonderful Christmas trip to be with our children and grandchildren.

God is so gracious to give us traveling mercy for all of the time we spend on the road.

Tonight we will go out to celebrate the coming of the new year a little bit early. In many ways it is hard to believe that this year has passed......so much has happened.

We left a very sick little boy in Louisville this morning. Eli , bless his heart, is really struggling to get over an ear infection. I always told Amanda that I could tell when she was sick by looking at her eyes. Eli's eyes told just how bad he felt. I hope he is better this evening.

Jake is getting over his tonsillitis and was delightful to be with. Mark has a bad case of bronchitis, but he arose early this morning to fix waffles for us.

Amanda and Mark did get to go out to eat by themselves last night, but by the time they had administered all of the medical treatments, I doubt how much they were able to enjoy their meal. Oh, I remember those days in the dead of winter when it seemed as if our little ones would never get well.

We'll be praying for you guys!

Tomorrow we will leave to go home to Savannah. I hear it's going to be cold down there for a few days. That's okay......I'm looking forward to resting and doing nothing for a while.

Luke 2:18 "But Mary kept all of these things and pondered them in her heart."

Oh what wonderful things Mary had in her heart after the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ......this tiny little Son that God entrusted to her keeping.

Oh that we too would keep all of these "Christmas things" and ponder them in our hearts that we may know joy all through the coming months.

To God be the Glory great things he hath done.

Friday, December 28, 2007

here we are again



Thanks to David I am able to publish another photo on my blog.

Here we are just a little while ago. Lucy was not particullarly interested in doing this shoot as you can probably tell.

No snowman.....just too cold out. We napped instead. Bubba made chili for dinner and we are doing a chocolate fondue tonight thanks to a wonderful gift from Amanda and Mark. We are using Frankie and Sally's new serving plate and Robbie and Mary Ann's coffee and sugar cookie gift. Wish all of you could join us for this snowy evening treat.

We are leaving in the morning to return to Louisville and then on to Atlanta on Sunday. We regret that we were not able to see the folks in Green Bay.......that would have make it all complete.

Until tomorrow....c

it's snowing!

My wish for a "white Christmas" came true, but our trip to Green Bay got cancelled.

We started realizing last night that it was not going to happen.....the trek through the snow would be too treacherous for us to attempt with the little ones.

It has been snowing steadily since 8:00am and is to continue until 5:00pm. We already have a "winter wonderland"..........trees and shrubs are bent low with heavy white snow on their branches.

What an amazing phenominum snow is:

white
delicate
gentle
soft
quiet
renderering everything that was brown and ugly beautiful again

Job 38:22 "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow?

Does this verse indicate that there is a place where God keeps the snow until He gets ready to allow it's beauty to overtake our world?

Thank you God for the awesomeness of a world gone white if only just for a little while.

Psalm 51:7 "Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow".........a sinner's cry to God for forgivesness. What a clear picture a snowy day presents to a terrible sinner such as I.

Later on, when Lucy gets up from her nap, we are going to put her in her bright red snowsuit and boots and build a snowman. What fun! Right know she is having a hard time going to sleep because of all of the excitement.

Maybe in a little while there will be some pictures on my blog again......

From cathy in her delight of being caught up in a snowstorm.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

christmas all over again

It is 10:12am here in Arlington Heights and we just finished the first round of Christmas morning. It was quite an "opening" event. David and Erika received a digital camcorder to record these precious children.....we have it (the camera) charging now.

Our trip to Chicago was deamed "mr. toad's wild ride." Doug and Mike's 8:00pm flight to Israel was cancelled and they were put on a 5:20 flight instead. We had to gulp down our delicious lunch and hit the road running.

When we encountered traffic backed up for miles on I65, Doug (who was driving) spun around in the median to backtrack and take the backroads to Ohare........it was an interesting day to say the least. We didn't hear anymore from them so we assume they made their flight.

I needed so badly to stop at a restroom, but didn't dare mention it. After we dropped them off Bubba and I headed straight for McDonalds. Oh what a relief it was!

Of course when we arrived at David's we headed straight for Lou Manate's pizzeria (I crave this pizza). Somehow, while we were waiting, Lucy's hand got pulled out of joint, and she wailed the whole time we ate. Thankfully, it was so noisy that nobody around us could even hear her sobs.

As we were making plans to take her to the emergency room, I started putting on her coat. I took her injured hand in mine to gently place it in the sleeve when I felt the joint pop back into place. She stopped crying immediately and the crisis was over.

Everyone is now calling me the "healer."

We are expecting four inches of snow tomorrow. My "white Christmas" wish may come true after all...........we are hoping that we will be able to go on to Green Bay. We will need to see what the weather will be doing "up north" before we go.

Continuing this never-ending Christmas..............love and my thoughts are with you...Cathy

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

the morning after

I heard him very early. He was crying and whimpering and all out of sorts.

Nothing like yesterday morning. Jake seems like he's getting sick. Eli already has a bad cough.

Christmas is over, but that's okay......it was a wonderful day.

Today we leave for Chicago and tomorrow morning we will have Christmas all over again with David and Erika and Lucy and Harry. A week of Christmas is fine with me.

We will leave at 10:00am and drive to Indianapolis where we will have lunch with the Bookmans. We are driving Doug and Mike to O'Hare to catch a flight to Israel. Lord willing we will arrive at the Cleland home around 5:00pm...

I am overwhelmed with thankfulness and joy.............may the spirit of Christmas abide with us all through the year.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

two little boys on christmas day

It started early and it ended well.

Two little boys in footed pajamas seeing what Santa brought for the first time.......looks of wonder on their faces as they realized that this was no ordinary morning.

A tall tower of blocks with all of his favorite characters, a tool set including a drill that really works, Mickey's binoculars that see "far off" and "close by," a beautiful stuffed "Nemo" among many other things.

Mark was home by ten (from work at UPS) and then the adults had their time..................Amanda was getting impatient as she has always wanted to be the center of attention on Christmas morning. She did get her time in the spotlight.

We all took an afternoon nap which was very needed. Mark cooked steaks for dinner which were marvelous and then we started opening presents again........everything from our families.

It was a very different Christmas as we did not leave the house all day. This has never before happened to me in my whole life. I stayed in my night clothes until two.

What a happy day we had...what a joy to see these two little boys love and enjoy their family. What a wonder they are as they learn and grow and experience new things.

They are asleep now.....they were exhausted in a good way. I wonder what they were thinking about before their dreams took over?

When Jake says "grammy" I melt as I do when anyone who loves me says my name.

Christmas is love.

God loves us and gave us the gift of eternal life through His son Jesus Christ.

Love from Cathy on Christmas night......

Monday, December 24, 2007

time to play santa

Greetings from Louisville on Christmas Eve......we arrived about 4:00PM after a 7+ hour trip from Atlanta. All went very well and we are looking forward to Christmas morning. It is cold, but I have not seen any snow yet.

Our time with the "other" Cleland's was wonderful. We spent yesterday afternoon talking and enjoying a warm, crackling fire. Their house was decorated beautifully, there was hot cider on the stove, and goodies to nibble on.

Last night we all dressed up and went to the candlelight service at their church. It was elegant and beautiful............Robbie is a wonderful pastor and speaker and his messages are always so well done. Of course, to hear Mary Ann play the lovely Christmas music on the piano is a joy in itself.

After the service we went out to dine in an elegant restaurant and returned home to open our presents. This morning Mary Ann made homemade waffles for our breakfast and Robbie made an early morning fire.

I say all of this to say, thank you for sharing your gift of hospitality with us. It is truly a joy to be in your home.

Now we have to play "Santa." Our goal is to thrill but not overwhelm

Mark and Amanda's main goal is to teach them about God's "indescribable gift," Jesus Christ.

We'll be up early I'm sure!

Merry Christmas with love...Cathy

Saturday, December 22, 2007

a white christmas maybe?

Tomorrow we leave for our Christmas trip. Normally we do Christmas here in Savannah, but this year has been anything but normal.

I don't like routine anyway. I like for life to be spontaneous.......new and different things happening all the time. Things that broaden your mind and especially your heart.

We are retracing the route of our trip in Novemeber.............Atlanta, Louisville, Chicago, and Green Bay. The further north we go the more hopeful I am of finding a "white Christmas."

In fact, I'm looking forward to being in everyone's lovely decorated homes this year as I was not allowed to put up a tree or any decorations because of our move and this trip. I have surely missed most of all my live, sweet smelling tree and all of the lights. Maybe next year!

Strangely, though, my heart is closer to Christmas than ever before, and I am estatic to soon be with those I love.

We're off to see Daddy and Aunt Dottie.......and to Frankie and Sally's house tonight to have shrimp and crab legs.

The "joy" of Christmas is in the heart. It is in loving and being loved, it is in giving to others.
It is the "peace" that is in your heart because you "are right again with God" because of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

"Praise be to God for His indescribable gift."

Friday, December 21, 2007

for estelle

Today is Estelle's birthday. Estelle is Bubba's sister and my sister in law.

I won't say how old she is because that doesn't really matter.

What matters is for her to know that we love and appreciate her.

Sometimes in all of the hustle and bustle of everything we forget to say those kinds of things.

Thank you estelle:

for never forgeting an important date in our lives
for keeping up with everybody
for loving us in spite of ourselves
for what you do for others
for loving our babies
for kind words of encouragement
for overlooking our many faults
for your servant's heart

This is one of my favorite verses and when I read it I think of you.......

"And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifice God is pleased."
Hebrews 13:16

We will celebrate at Longhorn tonight and then on to the Patterson home for dessert.

God bless you dear one as you start on your next year....

Thursday, December 20, 2007

a day in the life

It was red and it had ketchup on it. He had gotten used to wearing it and was functioning very well. Jake's cast had become a permanent fixture around the house.

Yesterday Mark took Jake to get a new cast....a little bit tighter since the swelling had gone down. It was also below the elbow rather than over. Happy days have come again......the doctor said the break was healing so well that the cast may come off completely two weeks early.

Hold that thought....

Eli is having a little problem with his sitting up, pulling up, standing up ability. His doctor suggested that a therapist come by the house to evaluate the little guy. That happened today.

Jake was in his room when this lady doctor appeared. In a little while he wandered out to where Amanda, Eli, and the doctor were chatting about Eli's condition.

Well.....he thought that the doctor was his grammy. He started calling my name over and over and putting on his welcoming show for this lady. At one point he started playing with some balls. As he threw the ball across the room the cast came off and went flying through the air finally to land with a loud thump.

By this time Eli is crying, the doctor is trying to calm Eli and Jake, Jake's broken arm is flopping in the breeze, and Amanda has placed an hysterical call to the doctor. In a matter of minutes all hell had broken loose.

Mark was called to come from work to take Jake back to the doctor for his third cast. As Jake is being carried away, he's crying for his grammy to come with.

Eli will have to be checked out later...................nothing much came of the visit today.

A day in the life of a house filled with babies.

I wrote another post today......be sure to scroll down and read.

waiting at the window

David and Erika's house in Arlington Heights has a big picture window looking out to the front. It is very easy to see anyone coming to their front door.

On Saturday for some reason Lucy got it in her mind I was coming to her house that day. David said she spent about 15 minutes standing on the sofa looking out of the window for her "grammy."

Remember the "Homer" shoes that caused Bubba to fall down the stairs when we were last at their house? Well Erika came down in them over the weekend and Lucy said "gran - di - daddy." In her mind those were Bubba's slippers. So "where's granddaddy."

Knowing that a little two year old remembers us and is looking forward to our arrival makes it easier to be so far away.

I don't know little Harry very well yet.....we are just getting ourselves acquainted. I hear he's smiling now and that will be something to see.

Oh, by the way, Erika wore the "Homers" down to the basement and fell up the stairs coming back. Hopefully those slippers will not even appear this time around.

Lucy, keep up your watch.....we'll by driving up to your house very soon. We'll look for you in the window.

Merry Christmas..............it's all joy!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

to be led by a star

Matthew in his gospel gives the account of the wise men or magi that sought the Messiah at His birth.....Matthew 2: 1 - 12.

To me this brief vignette of the wise men is nothing short of amazing. We aren't given a lot of information, but we know that:

they came from the east
they were scholars
they studied astrology and astronomy
they incensed King Herod to multiple murders by suggesting that there may be another king
they followed the star in the east to where Jesus was
they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy
they fell down and worshipped the child Jesus
they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh
God warned them in a dream not to return to Herod
the magi left for their own country by another way
they were never mentioned again

We do not know how many wise men there were and we are very certain that Jesus was no longer an infant in a manger when they appeared to visit Him.

What is so intriguing is, what made these men seek Christ?

What made them leave the dark world of the occult and set out on a long journey following a star?

What makes any of us seek Him?

No mere man is going to wake up one day and decide that he is going to seek God. There is nothing in our sinful nature that would ever want to seek Him...........sin rejects God.

God seeks us out and puts His Spirit in us and gives us the faith to believe what is written in His word.

Romans 10:17 "Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of God."

God spoke to these wise men and told them to follow the star in the east and it would lead them to the Messiah. They did what God told them and they found Him just as God said.

Their response: They fell down on the ground and worshipped Him

Our response: We do the same...........there is no other response in the face of God.

That beautiful, bright star led them to the indescribable gift......Jesus Christ.

My oh my they must have had such stories to tell. I'm so glad that God included this passagae in His word.

Monday, December 17, 2007

a stack of pancakes

Nobody would know that a fifteen story building once stood there. Each floor of the building was neatly compressed into a stack about 20 feet high. Bubba and I rode by yesterday afternoon to see how everything looked after the dust had settled around the building implosion.

It is amazing that one can dynamite a building and it all stay so neat. An engineering marvel to say the least.

There is a great view of the Talmedge Bridge now from the Truman Parkway.

My mouse just broke down, poor little fella. I am having to navigate with my fingers which I am not as familiar with. This renders me slow and slower.

A new restaurant:

AJ's on the Back River on Tybee Island
dining on the dock
sun setting in the west
water like glass
mild temperature
romantic music playing in the background
dusk falling quickly
A diving pelican
fresh asparagus
good, good seafood
beach bummy but classy
we want to go back soon..........................

I spent three hours waiting to see my doctor today for fifteen minutes.....there ought to be a law against such torture. I am going to bed even earlier tonight.......the Christmas gifts can get bows tomorrow.

Christmas Eve is one week away. It is all so exciting!!!!!!

he's making a list,
he's checking it twice,
he's gonna find out,
who's naughty or nice.

santa clause is coming to town.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

moma's fudge

A lot of people thought that she made the best fudge in the world. Pure chocolate cocoa and sugar and butter loaded with fresh pecans (pe-cans). It would melt in your mouth.

It was always a big event at our house when mom set about to make a pot of fudge. It was never throw a few ingredients in a bowl and stir.....no, no. It involved a make-shift double boiler. It took a long time and the result was not always a happy one.

Most of the time moma's fudge turned out perfect, but every now and then it was a complete failure.

I was told that failure was always the result of too much "humidity" in the air.

Now those of us who live in the south are especially familiar with this heavy pool of moisture that hovers in our airspace on a quite regular basis.

too hot? "it's the humidity"
Feeling poorly? "it's the humidity"
bad hair day? "it's the humidity"
Marriage falling apart? "it's the humidity"

"The humidity is the result of all failures in the south according to us.

My moma was ill for a very long time. One night Bub and I made a date with her to make fudge. We wanted to write her receipe and watch her technique.

It was the last time she ever made her fudge and it turned out perfect.

Yesterday Amanda called and asked if I could put my hand on her "Gi's" fudge receipe. She wants to make it for Christmas.

I found what we wrote down that night. I will e-mail a copy to her......but I am skeptical. Moma was a "dump" cook. She worked from her head instead of a written receipe.

I hope we can duplicate moma's fudge, but I don't have much hope.

This made me start to cry...............I'll write more later.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

great was the fall

The earth shook, the booms reverberated in my chest, the building was obliterated in four seconds flat in a cloud of dust.

The building implosion this morning at 8:00 am was far more exciting than I thought it would be.

We left at 7:00 am and got within 200 yards of the building......front row viewing! Large crowds of people started assembling......the excitement grew with each new person that arrived.

A helicopter was circling overhead and there were police cars and ambulances everywhere.

At five minutes before eight all of the sirens started going off and the workers ran over to where we were standing. At exactly 8:00 we heard the first of the booms.......nothing happened and then all of a sudden the middle of the building caved in and then the sides followed.

The cloud of dust looked just like the 9-11 disaster.......it was eerily similar in a startling way.

When it was over everyone started clapping and yelling and saying, "That was awesome."
It was.....I'm glad we saw it in person. We may never see it again, but will always remember the fun and excitement of this particular Saturday morning in December.

Bubba said, "Let's go before we get overcome by that dust cloud." We did....we weren't.

McDonaldson's hosted us for breakfast afterwards. They put egg and cheese on my biscuit again....they just can't get it right.

Please go back to yesterday's blog, "in the fulness of time." I claified an important point on Jesus being born under the law and keeping it for us.

Friday, December 14, 2007

the good news is christmas

This is my third post on this Friday, December 14th.

This is a continuation of my previous post concerning the scripture below.

Galatians 4: 4-5 "But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons."

There is no way that we of the created human race can keep God's perfect law. The requirement of our holy God is that we be perfect but sin changed all of that and God cannot tolerate sin. Sin separates us from God and His good blessings.

Isaiah 59:2 "But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear."

But the good news is Christmas.......it is the advent of Jesus into the world to redeem us who were in a helpless state.

To be redeemed means to be bought back. Jesus paid the price of death for our sin nature and God accepted His sacrifice on our behalf.

I Corinthians 7:23 "You were bought with a price"....... Jesus' shed blood.

Because of the faithfulness of Jesus to God's plan of salvation put in place before the earth was formed, we who believe have come back into God' family as His adopted sons and daughters.
Our relationship with God is restored.

I can't get over this...............it is so amazing. It sets my insides ablaze with joy and wonder.

The scriptures that I have used in the last few weeks are meant to glorify God and His Son Jesus Christ and to explain the true meaning of Christmas which is so much more than lights and tinsel and gifts and parties.

Christmas is the very essence of life lived for eternity in the very presence of God.

I close with this incredible verse full of hope and promise.

I Corinthians 2:9 "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him."

"in the fulness of time"

Galatians 4:4-5 "But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons."

God decided before the earth was created, before mankind rebelled against the authority of God, to send Jesus into the world to pay by His death the penalty for our sin nature.

Before the foundation of the earth was in place this plan had already been set in motion. God determined the exact time that Jesus would be born and the exact time that He would die and the exact time that He would rise victorious from the grave.

The time that Jesus spent on this earth was not random.....it was carefully planned and executed by our loving God.

"When the fulness of time came"........... The word "fulness " in this context means "the completion of a period of time that was beforehand ordained and appointed."

"God sent forth his son"........... The God who created and sustains the earth and who made us was kind enough to send His Son to save us from eternal damnation.

"born of a woman" Jesus was born into this world by His mother, the same as us. The difference being that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and since the Holy Spirit is also God, Jesus is God's Son.

Matthew 1:18 "Now the birth of Jesus was as follows. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit."

"born under the law" the law(ten commandments, etc.) exists to show us our sinfulness before our holy God. There is no way that we as sinners can keep God's law. We can try very hard but we will always fail at some point.

Jesus as fully man was "born under the law," but because he was also fully God. He (Jesus) kept the law perfectly. It was not hard for Jesus to keep the whole law of God because He was without sin. God accepts what Jesus did on our behalf and counts it to us as righteousness. (just as if we had keep the whole law ourselves.)

There is only one stipulation from God in all of His grace to us; we must come to God His way, through Jesus:

John 14 :6 Jesus said to him, " I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me."

God brought our Savior, little baby Jesus, into the whole about 2000 years ago. He is God's gift to us.

Praise be to God for His indescribable gift!

(I'll do vs. 5 later on tonight.)

the big bang

I have always, all of my life, wanted to be a part of a building implosion. It is going to happen tomorrow morning at 8:00 am.

There is nothing left of it but a shell. The insides of the building have been picked clean. It is devoid of any signs of life.

I have been watching it for months. It is on my route to and from town. It is the old 15 story Stubbs Tower.....an eyesore in a city that sits low to the ground. I have no idea how close we will be able to get, probably not very, but it will be something to see and hear I am sure. I will give a report Saturday afternoon.

Bubba was on an overnighter last night, so I immersed myself into wrapping gifts. I got a lot done considering I get so sidetracked with other things...........

getting a drink of water
talking to my aunt on the phone
checking for e-mail
looking in the yellow pages for a shop I want to take Daddy to today
getting a snack
checking what's selling on Amanda's e-bay business
cleaning off the bed so that can get into it
etc.

I cannot stick to just one task for very long...sound familiar?

I watched the sun rise over the ocean just now.......breathtaking.

God's gift of a new day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

christmas shopping for the little ones

The building is a cavernous warehouse filled with screaming babies. It is a place that I normally avoid at all cost.......it is the dreaded Toys R Us.

I took a deep breath this afternoon and entered into the wonderful world of children's toys. Most of the time I will leave the toy selections to the younger "Santas," but today I had something in mind.

Little Eli, who is nine months old, just loves "Nemo" of "Finding Nemo" fame. I was searching for something to do with this cute little fish to thrill Eli on Christmas morning. My search was to no avail. No "Nemo" to be found.

I left "The Disney Store" back in DC and do not have a source here in Savannah. If anyone happens to see any "Nemo" stuff that baby Eli would like let me know.

One positive thing did happen in Toys R Us.......I ran into an old, good friend. We laughed that we used to get together to let our kids play and now we are buyings gifts for our grandbabies. Such is life as it moves along.

Speaking of Christmas morning, it has always been such an exciting time at our house.........kids up early out of the sheer excitement and buildup from days before. I know two little boys who get up early every day.

Jake and Eli we will meet you early Christmas morning at that amazing tree that suddenly appeared in your living room if God is willing.

Until then, I'll be making merry in my heart.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

a diamond tiara

It's in a big, very old house on the east end of Broughton Street. The place where I get my hair cut intrigues me. The old staircase reminds me of my grandmother's house on Habersham St.......the one with the shiny, waxed bannister I would slid down when I was a child.

The windows are floor to ceiling and they had them open today with the curtains blowing in the breeze. There is a fireplace in every room. This house has really not been restored, it's kind of "as was" but I love it. I think I would like to live in one of these houses, but I just don't know for sure.

All this to say I got my hair cut today. I was going to go shorter, but Jacinda, my hairdresser talked me out of it. A haircut for me consists of not cutting the hair off, but thinning it out.

I wind up with a ton of hair on the floor and my hair is no shorter but it is definitely less hair. So I have been shorn once again.

The sheets that I wrote about earlier, the ones that are falling apart at the seams have now been put on the bed at the condo. I have missed them for a whole week. I can't wait to crawl in tonight. I couldn't bear to part with them much less throw them away. Maybe Bubba won't notice......

We took Aunt Dottie out to lunch today. We all had crab au gratan at Johnny Harris'. Last week she was "Queen" for the week. She had a crown and a sash to wear. She never did appear with those two items on her person after she received them. She doesn't like things like that.

I told her I wouldn't wear a paper crown either, but I would wear a diamond tiara. She agreed wholeheartedly.

She won the big prize in Bingo for the month of November.........a fifteen dollar gift card to Wal-Mart. Estelle spent it for her......lots of chocolate covered peanuts and cans of cashews. A lady named Mary is her most stiff competition..... We'll see what December brings.

"Hark the Herald Angels sing,
Glory to the Newborn King."

Monday, December 10, 2007

the fog persisteth

I walked down by the ocean this afternoon. It was like being somewhere very far away..........no place I had ever been before.

The sun was fully shining, but the fog had crept in again from the ocean to cover everything with a veil. The ocean looked like it was a crystal mirror....... the large sea bird a swan.

Everything was slighly out of focus and I could only see about 20 feet ahead of myself.

I heard an airplane over my head but I never did see it........I looked until it's roar was quieted in the distance.

There were lots of little riverlets to step over....streams heading back to sea from the mounds of sand left by the storms. I got my shoes wet, but that's okay.

It is delightful to be on the beach in December. There are no human sounds to disturb the essence of nature....the roar of the waves, the bird calls, the rush of the water being pulled back out to make another wave.

Just before dark the fog pulled back out to the sea and revealed a clear and shining beach and ocean. Several dolphins were putting on a Christmas show for us. They were glad that the curtain had been pulled back.

Things are going well here. Our furniture arrived this morning at 8:00 - intact. Most everything has been unpacked and we are feeling settled in the condo.

I"ll be writing again.......God willing. It is so much my pleasure. c

IMMANUEL, GOD WITH US

God planned this day before the earth's foundation was laid.......the day Jesus Christ our Savior would be born.

He planned it to be one of the most extraordinary days in the history of the earth that He would soon speak into being. It was a day most profound, but all but a few people missed it's significance.....just like today.

A tiny little baby would be born in the city of Bethlehem. He would be called the Son of God, Immanuel, God with us.

"Matthew 1:23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son: and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means, "God With US."

Even before Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, the plan for Jesus to be born into this world was already complete.

He was a fully human man, but He was no ordinary man.....He was also God. He would never sin, and because of this our Holy God could accept His sacrifice on our behalf.

Yes, He was born to die.

What happened at the cross was planned in eternity past as well.

The cross was not a tragedy, it is a victory. Satan was defeated and we are reconciled to our Holy God.

The tiny baby in the manger so long ago was the Son of God who did for us what we could never do for ourselves (make ourselves right with God).

Let this be the reason we celebrate....

Saturday, December 8, 2007

in a fog.....

Hi everybody...I'm still here.

It seems as if I have gotten myself into a fog literally and physically.

Tybee is covered with a "pea soup" fog..... A bright, sun-shinny day is enveloped within minutes and becomes damp, dreary, and cold.

We can hear the big ships blowing their foghorns, but we cannot see them making their way in and out of the river. How lonely it must be out there on the ocean on a night like this.

I have tried to write two other times today. Nothing would come so I gave up.

I think the move and the trip finally hit me. I slept a good while this afternoon.......I am feeling better but will go back to bed soon.

Thank you all for reading and holding me accountable.

Maybe tomorrow this island and I will emerge from the fog.........until then, I sleep.....c

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

keep moving

Wow! The work doesn't stop when you reach your destination. There is so much to be done with all of the "stuff" that was packed up and marked "condo." I have worked all day (almost) and it doesn't even look like I've accomplished a thing.

I set my Bose cd player up first thing so that my work would be more pleasurable, and I did crash at 2:11 for a nap, but for the most part it's been work....work....work today.

Most mornings I turn on Fox to find out what's going on. Last week they did a segment about "sitting down." You may have seen it too. Well, it seems as if all calorie burning stops when we sit down......when the "buttocks" hit the sofa it's all over.

Yesterday was a wash for me as I sat down for 8 hours straight. Plus I had a Chick-fil-a chocolate milkshake for the road. I did do a lot of heavy lifting unloading all of the boxes and bags from the car when I got here but I doubt "that" even burned up that milkshake which I knew I shouldn't have gotten but did anyway.

Are you familar with this lame reasoning? O poor me....I'm on this long trip and I deserve this milkshake. It will help me feel better. Well it didn't....it made me feel bloated and slightly nauseated all afternoon.

They said that the key to keep from gaining weight is to keep moving.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator (I do)
Park far away from the door of the market (I do)
pass up the chocolate milkshake (most of the time)
Stop taking naps in the afternoon (forget it)

I'm getting my bike out of storage tomorrow...the weather here is delightful. I'll be pedaling around the island again for my part.

until later.....c

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

signing in from tybee beach

It was a little after 4:00 pm when I crossed the beautiful Talmadge Bridge into Georgia and Savannah. It is a lovely view every time.

I kept thinking all afternoon that I have come full circle. We left Savannah in 1989........that was eighteen years ago, and today I came back. So many things have changed in those years away
........I come back completely changed from the person I was when I left.

It has been an incredible time of growth, opportunity, new friends, travel, weddings, grandbabies, sickness, health, death, intense hurt, and incredible times of joy and love.

The most important thing that happened to me throughout these 18 years gone by is what my God has taught me about Himself, His Son, and His Word. I wouldn't take 100 million dollars for the grace that has been shown to me by Him

Bubba is about six hours behind me. He left at noon after the movers loaded the final item on the eighteen wheeler. It was headed off to Pittsburg, PA, to pick up another load. Who knows when I will see my stuff again.

We are staying in the condo temporarily as Bubba continues to look for a job. Everything will be stored so we can take off in a minute flat if need be.

What a blessing to see that ocean outside my window again. What good protection I had today. My trip was a joy. I made a Christmas tape and a new secular tape and life was good on the road.

Signing in from Tybee Beach.....c

Monday, December 3, 2007

lots of tears and pain

Amanda was giving Eli his breathing treatment last night.....he was hating every minute of it. Mark was playing with Eli trying to distract him from his torture. While all of this was going on, Jake fell off of the sofa. He landed on his hands and knees face down.

He cried for three hours and then he went to bed and to sleep. He woke up early and started crying again. Amanda called this morning to tell me what had happened. Since there were no bruises or blood they decided that he was just sore. No doctor needed this time....nosiree!!

Amanda just called to say that Jake's arm was badly broken at the wrist. He was on his way to get his cast.....bad news for a two year old and his parents. Please pray for him.

The movers will come between 8:30 and 10:00 in the morning. Bubba will stay until they are done, but I will head for Savannah early. We are down to the dregs now and very ready to be done. When we get to Savannah pretty much everything we own will be in storage.

Sometimes we look at each other and say "what are we doing"........but most of the time I like this lifestyle because I am adventuresome and hate routine. It keeps life very interesting.

Question: Why are we ungrateful after all that God has done for us?

For Jake: Be brave little man .....hope you feel better soon.

I'll be signing off in Washington, DC......it was a nice stay.......c

Sunday, December 2, 2007

goodbye and goodbye to

apartment #1117
the view of the dc skyline
not having to turn the heat on
sweetwater
cumberland valley
walking to the pentagon fashion center mall
cake love
the shoe shop on U street
the view of the washington monument from anywhere
ole town alexandria
the fresh market
nordstrom across the street
walking to dinner
tyson's 1
hamburger hamlet
riding by the white house hoping to catch a glimpse
the navy exchange
the place where the planes attacked the pentagon
capital hill baptist church
my little kitchen
mark deaver preaching through luke
living on the 11th floor
the walk to church
tyson's 2
the architecture of the row houses
snow
having visitors up
disappointing my children because they love to come
the potomac river
the cherry tress in the spring
watching for the light on top of the capital
being where brit, mort, and fred are
five guys hamburgers
long afternoon naps
watching the planes take off
riding the elevator to get home
feeling like I'm on vacation
what could have been

wistfully......c

Saturday, December 1, 2007

the packing goes on

Hi........I hear some of you want to know how the move is coming. Well, we are living amongst a sea of packed boxes. I have managed to get them all neatly arranged up against the walls so that we can at least walk around.

Amanda, we went to "Five guys" today for our last of their good hamburgers. Bubba said that we should open up one of these in Savannah. I said I don't want to work around food for a living. He agreed.

This afternoon I have had a sense of melancholy about me....not that dreaded depression but just sadness. It seems as if we never got to do what we wanted to do while we had the opportunity to be here in the northeast. That's okay. God is good and His way is the best.

The David Cleland family was honored today with a church-wide shower for little Harry. The outpouring of love that was shown is so amazing. We thank God that He has met all of their needs concerning his adoption and necessities through this very generous body of believers.

David called me early to say that Lucy was wearing her new coat and pink boots that we gave her for her birthday......she will be two on Wednesday. When she opened the box she went nuts over the boots. She loves shoes better than anything else. She got that from her grammy.

They got their first major snowfall in Chicago today. We are expecting freezing rain tomorrow. Our trip to church may be a little difficult as we have to walk a ways to get there. I guess I will have to wear my boots.

I really enjoyed writing "Why we need a Savior." I hope you enjoyed reading it.....

Until tomorrow....c

for the third time

The Bible is the story of God's redemptive work on behalf of mankind whom He created through His Son Jesus Christ. The story begins in the book of Genesis and ends with the book of Revelation with Jesus' last words being "Yes, I am coming quickly."

God had it all planned before He set the clock of time in motion.

There would be a way for man to be reconciled to God......but only one way:

John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me."

When you study about God you learn that He is holy.....He cannot tolerate sin of any kind. Therefore when Satan brought sin into the world through Adam and Eve, he polluted the whole human race. Everyone who is born into this world is born with a sin nature.

Psalm 51:5 "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me."

God in His lovingkindness allowed His Son Jesus Christ, who is also God, to take our sin upon Himself as payment (atonement) for our sin. This is the miracle of salvation........

Jesus came to this earth as a baby, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born to Mary, fully human and yet fully God. He never sinned (because He is God) and so God accepted His sacrificial death on our behalf.

We who are believers rejoice in God's indescribable gift, Jesus Christ!

To try to come to God on our own would never work. We could not stand before our holy God without experiencing His wrath against our sin. But when we come to God through His son Jesus Christ, God accepts what Jesus did on our behalf and counts us as righteous (perfect) before Him.

This is the answer to why we need a Savior.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!

again, why we need a savior

God existed in eternity past. Before He spoke and made the earth, He already knew that man was going to rebel against Him and sever the relationship that He had planned for them to love Him and enjoy Him forever.

God created the angels before He created the earth. The angels were to do His bidding and minister to His creation.

One of the angels wanted to be equal with God. This angel, who was known as Lucifer, and other angels who joined with him rebelled against God and were kicked out of heaven.

Lucifer is one and the same with the serpent who approached Eve with his cunning lies. He came down to earth to establish himself as the ruler of God's creation. His desire was to destroy the work of God in creation. He thought he had won.

God is omniscient. God knows all things, and His knowledge is always absolute knowledge. It is perfect knowledge, a complete knowledge of everything.

Ephesians 1:4 "According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world."

Before the earth was created, God already had His "plan of redemption" for His creation in place.

God the Father, God's Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit all met together in a holy council and at that time God designated His Son Jesus Christ to defeat Satan (Lucifer) and reconcile man back to God.

Just think about this and how it shows God's great love for all who would be brought into existence after the world was created.

I've mentioned this before........before we can understand what Jesus did, we have to know God.

To be continued.............

Friday, November 30, 2007

why do we need a savior?

God created the earth and everything in it. He made man and put him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it.

"Then God commanded the man saying, 'from any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.' "

Then from the man he fashioned woman to be his "helper suitable." They were then in perfect fellowship with God on a perfect earth.

These two were named Adam and Eve and at this point they did not need a savior because they had not broken God's commandment and thus their felowship with Him.

At some point, probably very soon after they were created, Satan came to Eve in the form of a serpent and he posed this question to her,

"Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?"

Notice that God's command was given to Adam, but the serpent came to Eve to plant his seeds of doubt about God in her mind.

And this is how Eve responded to the serpent:

"From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat of it or touch it, lest you die.' "

Notice that Eve added a little something to God's command. God did not say they could not touch the tree, only that they were forbidden to eat from it.

And the serpent responded back to Eve:

"You surely shall not die! For God knows that from the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

This is the point at which sin entered the human race of which we are all descendents and we are all also quilty.

When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they did indeed die....not a physical death, but a spiritual death......a separation from God who had created them to love Him and enjoy Him forever.

What Adam did in the garden of Eden is accounted to all of us who have lived after him. At this point Adam and Eve needed a savior and everyone who has lived after them including us need a savior, a mediator to reconcile us back to a right relationship with God our creator.

To be continued......

Now back to packing............

Thursday, November 29, 2007

christmas shopping

I do it at other times of the year for birthdays and such. At Christmas it is intensified because there are more people to shop for at one time. It's time to start shopping for Christmas!

I think about each person that I buy for and try to think of something they would like and then I set out on a diligent quest to find just the right thing. It gets very personal with me.

I think that is what makes Christmas so magical, all of the twinkling, sparkling lights and the capacity to make dreams come true. Ever since I was a baby, Christmas has always been a magical time of year.

I literally believed in Santa Claus until I was 10 years old. Even when I found my doll crib in the trunk of the car, I justified in my mind that Santa was just storing it there and would pick it up later on his rounds.

There is so much joy in giving...........thats what it's all about.

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift." Jesus who was born in Bethlehem.
"God and sinners reconciled." Praise be to God for His wonderful gift.

I will switch gears for a minute because Bubba did something incredibly funny this afternoon. I wasn't here, but he told me about it and I laughed all through our dinner.

Bubba talking:

"I was cleaning my things out from under the sink and putting them in a box to take to Savannah. I found my big bottle of listerine and decided to fill up my little travel bottle and throw the big bottle away. When that was done there was a small amount of mouthwash left in the big bottle so I decided to rinse out my mouth with it. I had a good time of swish-swishing and then I spit it out in the box that I had just packed."

I will not comment yea nor nay on this except to say that I had noticed that the house was reeking of listerine when I came home. I didn't say anything, I just thought he had gone wild with the mouthwash.

I just think it is funny. He did too!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

boxes, boxes everywhere

I left the apartment for a little while and when I returned, dozens and dozens of boxes all put together had appeared. Bubba got busy with the tape gun while I was gone and now they line the walls waiting to be filled.

I feel overwhelmed. If I don't start a project first thing in the morning, it is hard for me to jump in later in the day. If I can just get the first box packed I will go like gangbusters, but I really just don't know where to start. I will get it done by Tuesday......the closer the deadline the faster I work.

The last time I mentioned David's car, it was going to be totaled. I found out last night that they were able to repair it after all and he is picking it up tonight. We are all very thankful that God has provided for him once again.

I have a set of king-sized sheets that I dearly love. They are "Charisma" sheets and they are the softest of the soft. I love the way they feel on my skin.

Well, they are falling apart at the seams. Each washing renders them softer and softer and more and more fragile. Both pillowcases have a two foot slit on one side.

Bubba even suggested this week that I buy a new set and he never suggests that I buy anything. He misses the point completely..........I have two new sets, but they are not like these. It takes years to get them "just right."

I have promised to give them up when we move, but I don't think I can. More than likely they will be on the bed at the condo next week.

"Maybe I'll mend them with a needle and thread.
Probably I"ll keep using them until they start to shred." (poem by cathy)

I love old things the best.

Thought for tonight:

"When in doubt give thanks." Pretty good philosophy, huh?

getting it right

I was up at 5am this morning.....maybe I've slept it all out. I hope so!

I have been thinking about Christmas.....the way we celebrate this holiday. Christmas is synonymous with Christ's birth, but I cannot justify the two in my mind.

I love Christmas....the sights, the sounds, the smells, every aspect of this season excites the fartherest reaches of my soul. I know that one can justify a corallation between the things we do at Christmas and the birth of Christ:

The giving of gifts.....Jesus is a gift from God is just one example.

The holiday of Christmas is now consumer driven. It represents the worst of our materialistic society. It has become "tacky" to say the least.

The coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into this world is the single most important event in history. This miracle of God is meant to be celebrated by true believers every day that we live.

There is much to be enjoyed in the upcoming season....I am very excited about all of it, but let's make sure we glorify God and His Son Jesus Christ and seek Him in His Word.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

we are nomads

The news came by e-mail just a little while ago. The movers will be here next Tuesday to take our things back to Georgia. I will leave that morning to return to Savannah.....Bubba will leave after the deed is done.

Now we have to put the boxes together and start packing. What goes to Tybee in this box, what goes to storage in that box, and on we go.

The lady at the storage house miraculously called today and said that a big, climate controlled unit had just opened up. I think we now control about 75% of that place. We are nomads.....no doubt about it.

I have gone back into my sleeping mode again. The festivities in Savannah and the trip back home must have done me in. I slept for 11 hours last night and took a two hour nap this afternoon.

I don't understand this sleep depridation thing that goes on with me.....When I catch up I am fine, but until I catch up, forget it. I tried to do a little Christmas shopping today and couldn't hardly put one foot in front of the other. Hope I'm over it tomorrow when the packing starts!!!!!

By Charles Spurgeon:

"O believer, learn to reject pride, seeing that you have no ground for it. Whatever you are, you have nothing to make you proud. The more you have, the more you are in debt to God; and you should not be proud of that which renders you a debtor. Consider your origin; look back to what you were. Consider what you will have been except for divine grace.

Great believer, you would have been a great sinner if God had not made you to differ. O you who are valiant for truth, you would have been as valiant for error if grace had not laid upon you.

Therefore, don't be proud, though you have a large estate - a wide domain of grace, once you did not have a single thing to call your own except sin and misery.

O strange infatuation, that you, who have borrowed everything, should think of exalting yourself."

We are nothing except by the grace of God. Our next breath is a gift from Him. And we would be proud?

For tonight, Cathy

Monday, November 26, 2007

so much foolishness

Darkness was about the face of the earth when I got up this morning. I turned on the coffee and waited for the steaming brew to settle in the pot. I look forward to getting up early and having my coffee while the world is still quiet, anticipating the new day.

After a while I switch on Fox news to make sure nothing unforeseen has happened in the night. After wading through so much foolishness, I came upon this interesting bit of news.........

Someone is trying to ban fires in fireplaces in people's homes. Where else would this insane idea come from but our own San Francisco, CA. They say that the smoke going up the chimney causes pollution in the air.

My heart sank. The epitome of satisfaction during the winter months involves me sitting in front of a warm fire, wrapped in a soft throw, reading a good book.

What if this catches on? Will I have to resort to a lawn chair on the deck in front of a "chimnea" wearing Bubba's fur parka? I am heartsick over this prospect.

The main priority I have if I get another chance to live in a house is to have a fireplace, maybe two or three.......please don't take this pleasure away mr. lawmaker.

No news on the move yet....will keep you posted.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"i gotta go home"

I have heard so many good things about him. He is one of the reformed pastors that I have listened to on tape so many times. Ligon Duncan preached at our church today.

He preached from Numbers 12: 1-16 and it was done masterfully. His message was as clear a rendering as I have ever heard and I hung on his every word.

When Miriam and Aaron started to grumble against God's servant Moses, God's wrath was kindled and he struck Miriam with leprosy on the spot because of their sin. Her brother Aaron pleaded with Moses on her behalf and Moses cried out to God for Him to heal her.

Moses was a mediator between God and his sister and brother. This is a perfect picture of what Jesus Christ, our mediator, does for us in our sin. He cries out to God on our behalf and God forgives our sin because of Jesus.

What a perfect way to start the Christmas season with a message about the absolute necessity to come to God through Jesus....there is no other way.

The movers come tomorrow at eleven to give us an estimate on how much it will cost to move all of our things back to Savannah.

I am sad to leave. I will miss seeing the skyline of DC out of my windows and I will greatly miss our church, but it is the right thing to do.

"I wanna go home,
I gotta go home'
Let me go home,
I'm just too far
from where you are,
I wanna come home.
I miss you you know."

From "Home" by Michael Bouble'

Friday, November 23, 2007

be still my heart

You should see it.......the moon came up full in the late afternoon and it is shining out over the ocean. The goodness of God in His creation is indescribable. I just look upon it in wonder and thank Him for putting on such a show outside my window.

Our Thanksgiving has been a blessing.........quiet and very special just as it should be. We have carried on in spite of the loss of our mothers such a short time ago. We used Nana's pots and pans to cook our meal and we remembered when she was the one in the kitchen cooking for her brood.

When Bubba's delicious fried turkey turned out a little charred on the outside we thought about how much my mom would have liked it like that. She always wanted her meat "well-done." Dad chose to stay home and we took him a big plate of food.......he just couldn't do Thanksgiving this year.

We leave tomorrow to go back up I-95 to DC. Unless some miracle takes place we will pack up and head south, back to where our roots are. Like I said before, Savannah is home.

I am calm, I have spent time with people who love me and that is all my heart desires.

As we look toward Christmas, let us be mindful of the advent of our Savior and not be swept away by the madness of this season.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

again, giving thanks

The table is set, the turkeys are waiting patiently to be the center of attention, all is quiet until morning. Very soon the kitchen will come alive with the wonderful aromas of our favorite dishes.

We will gather around our tables and be nourished once again with the bounties of the Lord.

It is a happy day, a day to just stop and enjoy being together for one more Thanksgiving Day.

From the Psalms:

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord."

"I will praise the name of God with song, and shall magnify Him with thanksgiving."

"Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good."

"Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart"

"Give thanks to the Lord; for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting."

"I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousnes, and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High."

"I will give thanks to the Lord with all of my heart."

"Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name."

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift." Jesus Christ

To all I love, you will be missed tomorrow.............

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

give thanks with a grateful heart

"Rejoice always;"
"Pray without ceasing;"
"In everything give thanks for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Amazing.....in our unending quest to find God's will for our lives.....there it is right there in I Thessalonians.

It is God's will for us that we should give thanks in everything.

Look at the verse again.....it does not say give thanks for everything. It says give thanks in everything. It is easy to say, "Thank you God for all of my marvelous blessings , Amen." It's not easy to say,"Thank you God for this suffering I am going through. I know it is from You for my spiritual growth."

Why does God admonish us to "give thanks in all things?" Because it shows the condition of our heart. A heart that is "in Christ" is a changed heart. It no longer seeks its own selfish desires. It is willing to take His good gifts as well as His trials without grumbling and complaining.

If we are "in Christ," we are God's children. We have put our complete faith and trust in Jesus Christ as God's only way to be reconciled unto Himself.

God loves us and wants to fit us for the new earth and our eternal life with Him.

"Giving thanks in all things" shows God that we love Him and appreciate what He has done, and is doing, and will do for us in the future.

Again, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift."

afternoon delight

There are people swimming in the ocean.......that's what a beautiful day it is here at Tybee Island, GA. I have had to drag out my capris and sandles again.

We have finally made our short term plans for the future. Here they are:

We will return to DC on Saturday
A moving company will come on Tuesday to give us an estimate
We will leave DC sometimes during the first week of December
We will return to Savannah
We will live here at Beachside Colony through the end of February
We will start renting 321 (SBRC) on January 1st, 2008
We will put 236 (Beachside) back on the market on March 1st, 2008
We are buying ourselves some time before making the decision on where to settle permanently.

So there you have it for the time being.

It has taken much time and prayer to come to this conclusion. We are satisfied for now.

Come back later, I'll have a verse or two to share.

Now I have to go sit on the beach and read. Cathy

Monday, November 19, 2007

i like it the best

I think I like Thanksgiving best......

warm days
cool nights
the smell of smoke in the air
the anticipation of being with the ones I love and who love me
getting out the good china
the feel of crystal against my lips
brilliantly colored leaves
planning the feast
counting my blessings
short days hurrying into night
candles, candles, candles
eating with real silver utensils
bright sunlight
A fire in the fireplace
being wrapped up in a soft blanket
eating the meal
walking on the beach after stuffing myself
having dessert with a good cup of coffee
the fun and fellowship of it all

II Corinthians 9:15

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift."

Jesus Christ who makes it all possible.......

top down kind of day

been down one time,
been down two times,
never goin' down again!

David made a CD for me that I like alot. None of them are songs that I would have chosen, but I have grown to love all of them.

There is a catchy little tune on #9 that repeats the above phrase over several times....you may have heard it yourself.

It is a "top down" kind of day at Tybee and I had my sun roof open on my much loved drive to the beach just now. I listened to the words and realized that they describe me to a "t."

I have felt your prayers and I am strenghthened and encouraged.

God is definitely working in my life in amazing ways. I am trusting Him to see me through.

I have a wonderful Bible verse to share later this evening, so come back. I'll be writing.

I'm going to get a little snack and take a little nap. (and do a little dance)

C

Sunday, November 18, 2007

searching in the trash after dark

I wasn't going to blog tonight because I didn't think I had one in me, but after having a small bowl of ice creme I feel somewhat more like one will work it's way out.

I have offered a chance for Bubba to blog once in a while on my site. I am so surprised that he has agreed to do it. I don't have any idea when he will publish his first epistle. I am sure it will consist of his side of the story of some of the things I have written about him.....or who knows, he may come out with something uniquely his own. We shall all wait with baited breath.

Bubba told me just now that I had done a lot of "stupid" things this weekend. I had to agree with him.

Yesterday I filled up the tank of the van with gasoline and then proceeded to fly down to the beach, pick him up, and fly back into town to make an appointment. After being flagged down by a kind man in a truck at a stoplight, we realized that I had left the lid off of the tank which was dangling down and the little door cover open.

In the course of all that "flying" we lost about a fourth of that tank of gold. $3.05 a gallon. My life moves faster than my mind. Things like this would never happen if Bubba would just get my gas for me.

We use a percolator to make our coffee. This morning as I was cleaning the grounds out of the filter, I dropped that necessary part into the trash because it was so hot. Going on with my work, I left it there. When we left to go into town we bundled up all of the trash and Bub took it down to the recepticle.

Just now I realized that the filter part was missing. I searched and searched and then remembered what I had done.

The man of the house was dispatched to see if he could retrieve it. Now, going through a large trash container in the dark during a football game was not in his lineup for tonight but off he went.

The filter basket was gone.......for some strange reason all of the trash was collected today (Sunday). I just can't figure this one out. Anyway, we have a "Mr. Coffee" to use in the morning.

I say all of this to say that I got blindsided again this afternoon......I never see it coming. Please pray for me....Love, Cathy

Saturday, November 17, 2007

totaled

It was a good and generous gift. Erika's Dad drove it from California and gave it to David to use in his ministry. It was a 1993 GMC Jimmy. The best thing about it was that it was paid for....no car payment necessary.

This past week David was rear-ended and yesterday he got the news that the insurance company was going to render it totaled. He will get a check for $1,500 and have no car. Some things just don't seem fair.

Lots of things in life are not fair, but it's how we deal with these things that form our character.
Inconveinences, hardships, unexpected mishaps to name a few can wreck our lives or make us more like Christ.

He knows what you need, sweet David, and He will provide.

Little baby Harry has slept through the night for the last three nights. Now that is something that can make a weary parent happy. I miss that tiny one......What a blessing.

I have a situation in my life, the one I write about now and then, that is a real challenge. Though it is very hard for me, I try to do what is right and good in the sight of God. If I am faithful then I have hope that God will intervene and do His work of changing a heart.

Ezekiel 11:19

"And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh."

Only God can do this, not me....

Thank you for caring...c

Friday, November 16, 2007

it's a man thing

If there is any ball moving on television except a soccer ball, Bubba is watching it. I think it is a man thing. I am SO not interested that I can sit, read, and fully concentrate without being disturbed.

Once in a while I will look up when Bubba gets excited to see what is going on, but I just can't get into it.......my femininity completely rejects all of the ruckus. When someone mentions a standing or statistic I have no idea what they are talking about.

I have absolutely no problem with Bubba doing this.....I will even ask him who won or what quarter it is, but that is as far as I go.

David shares this love of "ball watching" with his Dad and there are many phone calls between them to discuss the latest "game." They really enjoy each other this way and I am glad for them.

Last night after our eleven hour trip we were exhausted. Bubba went to the sofa to relax and I went to bed to read. He found a ball moving and settled in and then he drifted off. In the course of time the ball did something really great and David called his Dad to discuss.

The ring of Bubba's cell phone woke him up. He jettisoned himself upright and off of the sofa in a flash to run down the hall for his phone. Unknown to him his glasses fell off of his face and onto the floor. He stepped on them, messed them all up, and had to spend some time at Lencrafters this afternoon getting them repaired.

The amazing thing is that I didn't hear a thing. As I said earlier, "it's a man thing."

We also got into a discussion of "handerchiefs" this afternoon. He asked me to look him in the eye and swear that I was not throwing his away. Now this came out of the blue. I told him even though I now and always have questioned the sanitation of blowing one's nose into a piece of cloth that I have to deal with at a later time, I have never ever even thought of throwing one away.

The discussion went on and on. I suggested that he use man-sized tissues. I lost.

He said that he needed to buy some new handkerchiefs, but he couldn't find them anymore. To me that proves my point. They need to be outlawed except to offer to a lady when her tears unexpectedly well up. Men should always have one for that special touch.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

funny/serious

I knew it was coming.........I had suspected it for months. Amanda confessed this morning that she likes my funny blogs more than my serious blogs.

I just have to say that all of my blogs cannot be funny....what about the other readers who enjoy the serious blogs more than the funny ones?

Just for the record....sometimes I just don't have any "funny juice" running through me, and believe me, I cannot conjure up "funniness."

Usually when I sit down to write I don't know if any humor will come.....if it does come, it comes naturally. Unnatural humor is not in the least bit funny.

Amanda also gets very upset if my blogs don't come until late. Now late for me has to be before nine o'clock because I go to bed just after that.....I'm just joking Amanda.....I love that you love my blog!

The truth of the matter is that I blog from my heart....what's in there comes out. Sometimes I probably share too much, but it somehow helps me to put thoughts into words. Thank you for reading.

Bubba and I just walked over to the mall to grab a burger at "Johnny Rockets." We have eaten in many of these over all the years of our travels, but the one here in DC, just a hop, skip, and a jump away, has a sign that reads, "Cathy Eats Here." I think it's a "sign." I always have.

I am rested, feeling much better, mentally stable, and tomorrow we leave to go back to Savannah. I pray that I can maintain my condition....one minute at the time.

Amanda will be proud...nothing serious tonight. By the way, what do you prefer??

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

lightening for the rain

Today Georgia's Governor Sonny Perdue was mocked for praying to the God of the universe on the steps of the capitol. What a sad commentary on our times. It has become abhorant for Christians to gather in a public place to pray.

Our God, the one true God, answers prayer. He sends the rain and the hail and the thunder and the snow from His great storehouses in heaven. He alone is able to do this wondrous work.....no created being on this earth could accomplish such a feat. He alone will send the rain when He chooses to do so.

To bow our heads before God and humbly ask Him for rain is the right thing to do.....there is no other hope but God. Read Chapters 17 and 18 in the book of I Kings to see what happened when God's prophet Elijah prayed to God for rain.

God may answer these prayers now or He may choose not to for a while, but we can be sure He knows what He is doing. He is in control of everything.

Job 10:13 "When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightening for the rain, and brings out the wind from His storehouses."

Do we realise what kind of God we serve???

David got rear-ended on his way to work today. A teenager in a huge SUV rammed right into the back of his well used and loved Jimmy, a gift from the Bookmans. Thankfully he was unhurt and the car is still driveable, but there will be hassels ahead.

Sometimes I think we take for granted God's protection as we drive the highways and byways of this land.

I'll be back to the ironing board now......I watch the TV show "House Hunters" when I can. I can get lots done in that 30 minutes.

Until tomorrow, Lord willing................C

Monday, November 12, 2007

yak/nak

It was a part of the prepartion music that we sing before the service begins. I had never sung this song before, so I read the words instead. The fourth verse was noted as one of great magnitude: "God Moves in a Mysterious Way" by William Cowper (1731-1800)

"Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face."

I love this verse! We can never understand the mind of God. We don't have the resourses in our finite selves to do so. But we are told to trust Him as He is presented to us in His word.
This is the part I love best: Even when He is disciplining us (trials and tribulations) He still loves us and smiles His favor down upon us.

What a great God we serve.

Bubba took me to PF Changs tonight.....the only Chinese restaurant he will get anywhere near. We always get the same thing, crispy honey chicken with a side of spicy garlic noodles.

The last time we went I made the mistake of ordering something different that had an authentic Chinese flavor and he swore that he would never go back again. Tonight was a victory....we went back to the "tried and true."

I love to try different things, but for that I have to go by myself or with someone who is equally adventuresome.

Something new that I learned today......a female yak is a nak. I bet you didn't know that either. Most people just call all of them yaks though because with all of their woolly growth no one wants to take the time to distinquish gender. I think that is a wise decision...

It's cold, it's rainy, it's dark.......I'm going to bed to read. Night to all.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

moma's blue sweater

I gave it to her because it was so soft and because it was blue. I knew it would make her eyes sparkle even more than they usually did. She loved to wear it as she always got a compliment.

I found it last weekend when we were going through her things. I brought it home and have been wearing it all weekend. Bubba complimented and said I looked beautiful in it. It will become my new cuddling-up garb. It reminds me of her and that is good.

I am reading "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer. David said I would like it because it is weather related. Here is what a review says about the book:

"Time collapses as, minute by minute, Krakauer rivetingly and movingly chronicles what ensued, much of which is near agony to read........a brilliantly told story." (Kirkus)

I have been moved to list the highest peaks on each of the seven continents:

Everest 29,028 (Asia)
Aconcagua 22,834 (South America)
McKinley 20,320 (North America)
Kilimanjaro 19,340 (Africa)
Elbrus 18,510 (Europe)
Vinson Massif 16,067 (Antarctica)
Kosciusko 7,316 (Australia)

There are some men who have climbed all "seven summits." I don't enjoy climbing the three flights of stairs at our condo. I don't think this would be something I would enjoy. I would enjoy the view from the "top of the world," but maybe I'll just wait until I get to heaven.

Quote by David Garland:

"The Christian life is not a fast track to glory but a slow, arduous path that takes one through suffering. The suffering so visible in the lives of the apostles is not some tedious detour for an elite volunteer corps, but the main highway for all Christians."

The above is good to keep in mind and remember lest when a time of suffering comes to us we should be overwhelmed by it. We have to remember that we're being prepared for glory. We have no idea what God has for us to do on the new earth, but we are in training for our job in eternity right now while we are still on this earth.

To the new week and the challenges ahead I pray.....God have mercy on us."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

twizzlers

I found them in the Hollinsworth's Halloween candy bowl. They were small so I took three of them to eat on our trip. They whetted my appetite................

On the trip home last Wednesday I wandered inside the gas station and bought a small three pack "just for the trip."

Bubba was appalled when I opened one and ate it in front of him. He gagged and laughed and made a super big deal out of what I was doing.

Thursday when I went to the grocery store I was tempted and succumbed to a large pack of long ones. They are cherry flavored tiny round tubes that are stripped off one by one, coiled up, and popped in the mouth. There are eight tubes of absolute ectasy.

These will be the last that I buy.......I certainly don't need to have a regular diet of these dyed, red things but.................they are so good and the process that I go through to eat them is so much fun. I will eat one per day until they are gone and then no more!

Eli finally succumbed and was taken to the doctor today because he is wheezing.....he will be on breathing treatments for a while. These treatments make babies into screaming monsters while they are being administered.

Jake has continuous diahrrea and his "little huncas" is torn up again.

Mark is sleeping off his pain from his elbow operation.

Mark's mom came into all of this last night for a long planned pleasure trip to see her grandbabies. Little did she know.

Lucy and Harry are better but still not best.

Evidently, this was the week for all babies to get sick. May the Lord bless them with restored health very soon........so that their parents can survive to see a new day.

Quote by Gordon Fee:

"This is an invitation to experience one of those rare, unguarded moments of total honesty, where in the presense of the eternal God one recognizes that everything, ABSOLUTELY EVERTHING, that one "has" is a gift.

Friday, November 9, 2007

hot pepper vs. jalapeno

This afternoon I used the last container of shrimp in the freezer to make shrimp creole. Yesterday while at the grocery store I bought what I thought was a jalapeno pepper to use in the receipe.

Bubba is a fine cutter-upper. He gets it done quickly and he does it with expertise. This afternoon when I got home he was already well into the task of getting onions, celery, and peppers into the pot. Since we weren't sure of the hotness level of the pepper, I advised him to just put a little bit in the mix but..........he proceeded to use the whole thing.

He insisted that the pepper I bought was not a jalapeno but a "hot pepper." Excuse me......I thought the term "hot pepper" would be the generic term for all peppers that are hot. He insisted that "hot peppers" are in a class by themselves and they are hotter than jalapenos would ever hope to be.

The shrimp creole was devastatingly hot......hotter than any I have ever made. We drank half of a pitcher of tea and had to use bread as a buffer.

Questions:
1. Is there such a thing as a "hot pepper" in and of itself?
2. If there is such a thing as a "hot pepper" is it hotter than a jalapeno?
3. Did I spell jalapeno right?

Now, on to more important questions:
1. O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?
2. Who may dwell in Thy holy hill?

1. He who walks with integrity
2. He who works righteousness
3. He who speaks truth in his heart
4. He who does not slander with his tongue
5. He who does no evil to his neighbor
6. He who does not take up a reproach against his friend

He who does these things will never be shaken.

"I have set the Lord continually before me:
because He is at my right hand I will not be shaken,
Therefore my heart is glad."

I am getting better. Lots of rest and lots of striving to keep the Lord "continually before me."
This is something I have to do and it is hard work.

from cathy on a dark, rainy, cold night with lots of warm thoughts.......

Thursday, November 8, 2007

medical and surgical report

It feels like a bandaid does when it's being pulled from the skin. Baby Harry experienced his first laser treatment this afternoon for the port wine stain and he didn't enjoy it one bit. The one good thing is that once it is done there is no lingering pain. His next treatment will be in January. Ours prayers are with you little guy.

Lucy is very sick with an upper respiratory ailment that has made her miserable.

Mark had surgery on his elbow this morning. Amanda had gone to get his pain medicene filled when I called. The surgery went well and quickly and now he has recuperation ahead of him. We pray that his long ordeal with this situation will soon be over and that he will have full use of his elbow again.

Jake is getting better from his unknown illness that relagated him to the sofa and constant showings of the video "Nemo."

Eli's only problem is that the time change has thrown him for a complete loop. He takes after his grammy in this regard. I feel the need to go to bed at 8:00 every evening.

I will close with a qoute:

"Always tell the truth.....then you won't have to remember what you said." Mark Twain

good frosty morning

The trip took thirteen hours. We arrived at the Warwick House just before 9:00 pm. I can't say that it was a bad trip......we talked alot and the time went by quickly.

Our foray into the town of Goldsboro, NC, added a couple of hours onto our trip. I was excited to stop because I figured there would be tons of antique stores for me to browse while Bubba was attending to his "business."

"Historic downtown Goldsboro" was touted on all of the signs. I thought I had arrived at "hog heaven." On further inspection my hopes were dashed as there was not even one good shop to explore. The best I could do was a thrift shop filled with every awful thing that you see at the worst of the worst of garage sales.

I did enjoy my walk and I was amazed to see so many "thai" and "sushi" restaurants. What exactly is going on in "historic downtown Goldsboro?"

Bubba will talley the exact milage of our circuitous trip and I will report that later. It was such an amazing journey until I got to Savannah. I'm praying that one day that situation will be resolved if only in my mind. Maybe at a later time I will be able to write about what so frequently "lays me low," but not now." I do appreciate all of your prayers.

All grandbabies except for Eli have fallen ill in the last few days. All mommies are homebound and going "stir crazy." I remember those days so well. My only advice is to enjoy their "stillness" and hold them close. When they are well they never slow down or stop talking........this too will pass.

Harry has his first laser treatment today....please pray for the precious little guy.

Bubba just passed through and asked if I would blog again today......I told him I didn't know if anything would happen that would be "blogworthy." I guess we'll just have to see.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

a time for everything

"Meet me at Peppino's at 11:45," Bubba said as I pulled away from the driveway. "I will be there," I answered.

I went on to do some errands, looked at the clock, and realised that I was getting ready to be late which Bubba cannot tolerate. So I speeded up and made it right on time.

I went in, ordered my drink, got my chips and salsa and began to wait. Fifteen minutes later, still no Bubba. I decided to call to see where he was and in the course of the conversation I made the discovery that I had arrived an hour early.

I got to the restarant at 10:45 instead of 11:45. He came on and we ate an early lunch. He told me that I had to accept and abide with the time change. The problem wasn't that I hadn't "accepted" the change, it was that the clock in the van was still on DST.

I take a lot of flack about my inability to function in the face of time changes.

We will complete our journey back to DC tomorrow. It will be a long day as we have to stop in NC for Bubba to do some business. We left two weeks ago today.

I am afraid we are going back into cooler weather. These days at Tybee are absolutely perfect.....the ocean is caressing the sandy shore with it's gentle waves. The sun is at it's brightest, and it's slant casts beautiful shadows. It is just cool enough at night to cuddle up under a quilt......I love, love, love being at the beach in the fall.

May all who read this blog be blessed with the knowledge of the love of God and His son Jesus Christ. We need no more..............

Monday, November 5, 2007

24/7 with cc

I am guilty of: eating good food to gain comfort

The food I could eat every day: ice-cream

I'm thinking about: YOU

If I could be totally wild, I would: Move to Italy, live in the Tuscan Hills in a restored villa, walk to the village every day to buy bread, grow my own veggies, and tour the whole peninsular in a Mazda Miata with my hair blowing wild in the wind.

What are you most vain about: My clothes

One thing I never want to do again: Go inside a nursing home

I'd like to learn to: use my computer and my digital camera in the most proficient manner possible.

Something most people don't know about me: I was in the "Miss Geechee" pagent when I was a freshman at Armstrong. (I didn't win)

Words I live by: The Bible

My favorite body part: My heart

My family: cherished and loved

My work: Making our home the most beautiful and comfortable place in the world.

My passion: The Lord Jesus Christ

My hometown: Savannah, Ga

I found these questions in the "Skirt" magazine published in Savannah.
I want all of my readers to email their answers to these questions back to me. PLEASE

Sunday, November 4, 2007

the grand total

It was everywhere......in drawers, in pockets, wound up in tissues. Moma left little surprises for us all over the place. When we added it all up we had found more than one hundred dollars. We left it all on the counter......for later.

The task was completed about 4:00 this afternoon. It wasn't easy, but it was necessary. We saw lots of memories in her clothes, some dating back to childhood. Moma loved to dress stylishly, even in the nursing home.

I am unable to process my situation right now. I am better....but feel kind of numb inside. Of course I can't say alot, but things are not good. The stress level in my body is causing great pain and suffering. Only God can work this all out and I am trusting in Him.

The beauty is my assurance that God is in control of these circumstances and He will not allow more than I can bear. This is meant for my good and my spiritual growth. I only hope that I can be faithful and that can only be accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit working through me.

In the meantime:
"But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore my beloved brethren, be
steadfast,
immovable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."
I Corinthians 15: 16-17

The fact that you are praying is such a blessing to me....Love, Cathy

Saturday, November 3, 2007

peace that passes all understanding

God has granted peace for me. Thank you for your prayers.

This is and has always been the pattern of my life. It is very familar but always unexpected if that makes any sense.

I cannot say alot, only that it is and always has been the reason for my suffering.

It is also the reason why I cling to God's word. It is absolute truth in a world that doesn't make any sense. It is stability in a world of chaos.

I thank God for the progress I have made and continue to make in my journey of life. I cherish those who love me and embrace every good thing that comes my way. As I've said before, I am above all most richly blessed.

Teri and I have made some progress in cleaning out moma's things. We have found a little money(she always tucked it away and never went back for it.) We have all three agreed to be honest and report everything we find.

Look what verse was in line for me to read this morning:

Psalm 18:6 "In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried to my God for help.
He heard my voice out of His temple,
And my cry for help before Him
came into His ears."

Isn't God good?......He heard my prayer (and yours) and gave me peace.

To God be the glory forever and ever!

Friday, November 2, 2007

"a restless evil"

The comment on yesterday's blog summed up my situation exactly. I have never been able to put it into words like that.

Tonight I write because I am totally beat down. Bubba even brought me over here to blog because he said it would be good for me. Please don't ask me to call any names.....I won't do that. God's grace sees me through. This is not new. It has been going on for most of my life.

James 3:
vs.5 "So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire."

vs.6 "And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set upon our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell."

vs.7 "For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by the human race."

vs,8 "But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison."

The tongue destroys,
God's word gives life........my soul is only revived by thinking and believing His truth.

I have been given another dose of poison....
I will survive because no one can destroy my soul.