Tuesday, September 30, 2008

love that never fails

Tomorrow morning at 8:o6 am is the one year anniversary of my mother's death. This morning Lucy and I took some flowers to her grave site. We also left a mini white pumpkin there.

I am convinced that one never gets over the death of their mother. When I least expect it, a sense of sadness and loss will overcome me. I miss her more now than I did when she died.

I wish she had been able to get to know these wonderful little personalities that are her great grandchildren. I want to call her and relay the latest news. I want to tell her how our family has fallen apart since she left us and find solace there.

Moma would have been so sad....it would have broken her heart.

Nothing could have prepared me for what has happened in my family.....I face it only with the grace and faithfulness of my Lord which is new every morning.

"Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope. The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is Thy faithfulness." Lamentations 3: 20 - 23.

Everything else may fail, but God's love for His chosen ones never fails. I move forward in that one extraordinary truth. To God be the glory!!!!


Sunday, September 28, 2008

i'll find you something to do

When David and Amanda were growing up I never let them say, "I'm bored."
I would always say in response, "If you are bored I will find you something to do."
Even to this day I cringe when someone says that they are bored.

We live in a world whose primary motive is to entertain us. Satan knows that if he can distract us from God and His word that he can have his way with us. Remember, Satan's primary goal is to destroy the work of God and to take as many people to hell with him as possible.

It's like we have to be doing something exciting all of the time or we cannot be happy. We are overly stimulated by the electronic world that we live in and when there is a lull in activity we become bored and agitated.

From my notes on the pastor's sermon this morning:

"The best way to conquer boredom is to nurture a sense of wonder."

O friends, here is the answer to boredom and depression and anxiety.......

Look at the heavens and mediate upon the awesome power of God. Think about how big is the universe and how small we are.

Look at a flower and know that all man can make is a cheap, ugly imitation.

Look at the sun that God created and realize that without its warmth we could not live.

Look at a newborn baby (little Brett) and marvel at the fact that God formed him in his mother's womb......knit him together there to be a tiny human life.

Look at the vastness of the ocean and know that it's waves will not come one inch closer than God ordains them too.

Look death squarely in the face and know that it is not the end but only the beginning for those of us who are believers in God's Son Jesus Christ.

Read God's word every day and wonder at the truth that is there. How God wrote this book and perserved it for us so that we can know His plan and purpose for us as we sojourn on this earth.

Every page is a wonder in itself.

One of my favorite phrases is "the wonder of it all."

No one can possibly be bored who knows the God of the universe and His precious Son Jesus.

Don't ever tell me you're bored......I'll find you something to do....cathy

Saturday, September 27, 2008

just hangin' around

Today was a very beautiful day....not a cloud in the sky. No humidity......a gentle breeze.
The sun was in all of it's full splendor warming and comforting those who walked under it's intensity.

About mid-morning we decided to spend the afternoon at the beach. We packed a picnic dinner, Erika made some delicious chicken salad, and we took chips and such.....a feast to behold. (sorry I talk about eating so much in this blog. I think it is one of the supreme pleasures of life.)

The beach was crowded with people, the lure of the gorgeous day being too much to resist.
While taking a stroll with our feet in the water, we ran into two very special guests who are enjoying our condo this weekend.

Later we pulled the babies across the street in the wagon to the playground and picnic area.

The picture above of Lucy hanging from the "jungle gym" brought back very special memories to me.

When I was a girl of nine or ten my Dad installed a play gym in our backyard......we lived across the street from my Aunt Clyde and Uncle Dan on 35th St. We both lived on the corner, so while they were eating they could see over into our yard.

When I was sixteen my uncle wrote me a very sweet note reminding me that most of the time their view would be "Cathy hanging by her knees from the top post of the swing set."

I loved to get in that position and stay there as long as I could......I would get tired, come down, and then climb right back up to hang some more.

Three things I remember most about my childhood:

Playing mother to my dolls in my playhouse
Reading everything I could get my hands on
Hanging from the post upside down on the swingset.

I still love to play grandmother to my babies and one of my passions is reading, but I don't hang upside down anymore. I think I will get Bubba to install a bar in our back yard for that very purpose.

Lucy, we can hang together.

Until later....cathy

Thursday, September 25, 2008

my calendar

A dear friend of mine e-mailed me the other night with a date for a possible time for us to get together. She lives out of town and we have been trying to do this for a while. The two of us as well as some other of our friends from high school all turned sixty this year......can you imagine that?

I told her in a return e-mail that I would pencil her in on my calendar for a certain date in November.

The next day I got to thinking about what I had said so prim and properly......"I will pencil you in on my calendar."

My calendar, dear readers, is an absolute joke. It is twelve pieces of paper run off from the computer and held together with a fancy orange and yellow paper clip. It is the worst looking thing I have ever seen.

My calendar sits right here in front of my computer....I scribble on it, take down phone numbers, manage the condos, write down e-mail addresses, street addresses, and addresses of places I want to visit.

I have people's diagnoses, how to get rid of deer, long numbers that I have no idea what they mean, zip codes for unknown addresses, and whatever else kind of nonsense I have jotted down.

I even have this written down:

"Sunday's child is full of grace." Why? I don't know

I have a church e-mail address, several number count-downs, and that I turned sixty on February 12th. (as if I didn't know)

I don't think I've got a snooty bone in my body, but I was sure sounding uppity when I said I would "pencil her in."

Don't go out and buy a super duper "let's get organized" calendar for me please.

I like it just the way it is. It's me.......and I keep up with things pretty well.

Night, night Cathy

ps.....sometimes I don't know what the date of the day is.......but that's okay, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

can you identify this building?

In the future, now and then, I will be posting pictures on my blog that have had a sinificant place in my past.

If you know what this building was used for many years ago, please leave a comment and include any fond memories you may have. I will do the same.

Please disregard the rather strange looking blond guy holding up the street sign. He saw me taking this picture and started posing.

I just got news from a friend that a very lovely and kind Christian lady passed away in her sleep this morning. Mrs. Thelma Hewitt was almost 89 years old. What a fitting homecoming God had planned for her........to close her eyes to sleep and to wake up with Jesus.

"As for me, I shall behold Thy face in righteousnes; I will be satisfied with Thy likeness when I awake." Psalm 17:15

with sympathy, Cathy

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

up on high

One of my most favorites things is to come to my computer and check to see who has sent me an e-mail. You have no idea how it thrills me when you do. I just wanted to say that.

These are the twelve balloons that we purchased for Harry's birthday party.

Our "gathering room" room has a vaulted ceiling which is about 20 feet high.

While trying to tie these balloons to a chair, they got away from me......... drawn by the ceiling fan with a loud whoosh quickly up to the apex of the room. Of course everyone gasped and then laughed at the predicament.

It took Bubba on a ladder reaching up as high on tippytoes as he could to grab the ribbons and bring them down. You know........life is really something to laugh at most of the time.
People comment from time to time about the fullness of our tables at our many frequent parties as viewed on this blog. For this one there were six more people in the dining room. We had twenty-one in all. I love it!!! Lots of family and friends around our tables enjoying the food, laughing, and engaging in fellowship. Ages one to eighty-nine. What a joy!!!!!
Such rich, full blessings from the Lord God Almighty.
Praise Him from whom all blessings flow.
Love, love, love, Cathy

Sunday, September 21, 2008

sometimes you just need roses

He brought them to me yesterday.......he knew that I was sad and he wanted to cheer me up.

Of course they were totally unexpected.....he picks his times to surprise me very carefully.

Thanks Bubba for knowing me so well and caring so much when I hurt.

For the first time in my life I am getting better. God has taken me through some real times of testing in these last few years and all I can say is that I am learning to put my complete trust in Him and His Son Jesus Christ. I can almost feel the tension and anxiety melting away from my body.

It is a time of great triumph in Him and I am so thankful that God has given me such spiritual richness in these ongoing terrible times with my family. (yes, I am still in the midst of them)

I know that there will be tough times ahead and that I have much more to learn of His grace and His ways. Life in this world will always be full of conflict, but it is what lies ahead for us in heaven that keeps me going.

I know that it is being in the scripture so much that has made the difference in my life. It comes from knowing God and His plan and His ways through His word that saves me from a life of torment.

I cannot count all of the blessings that have come to me through these terrible years. They make the bad days pale in comparison. I wish I could convey these things to everyone I know. I know joy in spite of the meaness......I know love and I know that I am loved.

Every Sunday God has something for me in the message.....today it was this:

"As the grinding edge of undeserved suffering makes close contact with our lives, our response will cause us to become either a more polished vessel (i.e., Christ-like), or else it will mar us with a deeper root of bitterness. In short we will either become holy or bitter, depending on our response to undeserved suffering."

Trusting God and being in His word makes all of the difference.

In love, Cathy

Friday, September 19, 2008

be very careful

There is a church on every corner in most cities that we visit. Some are very beautiful. Some are old, some are new........ sprawling and very industrial, designed to take care of large numbers of people. Some are very ornate, gothic, overly done.

My favorite would be a white clapboard building, rectangle in shape, very simple with a lovely steeple on top. No stained glass....just windows with panes that are sparkling clean in the morning sun.

Simple wooden pews would provide seating for the believers who come to worship God, and the preacher would stand behind a nondescript wooden pulpit.

But it is not the building that makes a church.

The true church consists of a group of people who are like-minded in gathering to worship the true and living God. They congregate together in a building for this purpose.....to hear the word of God taught clearly in a way that they can understand and to let their hearts rejoice over the amazing truth they are hearing.

The word of God is what changes people.

Sadly, most churches today are all about everything but the preaching of God's word.

The Bible warned that this day was coming in 2 Timothy 4:3 -4

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths."

O people, I pray that we would desire every morsel of God's truth....that we would crave it as a thirsty man craves water in the dessert. That we would ingest it's warnings as well as it's beautiful promises.

I wrote these quotes down to use in my blog a long time ago but I didn't write down the author.

They are not my own....I pass them on to you because they are so profound.

"Be very particular who you hear, where you go, and what you do in all matters of your own personal worship."

"Do not put up with a grain of error merely for the sake of a pound of truth. Do not tolerate even a little false doctrine."

This one is from John Piper......"The purpose of sound doctrine is to build and sustain great trust in God."

Be very careful...............

Thursday, September 18, 2008

home is where we are

This is the one and only picture that was taken of our trip. We had stopped by the side of highway A1A just north of Daytona. Note if you will the coral colored sand and the Caribbean blue water. It was absolutely beautiful.

We spent our honeymoon in Daytona at the Hawaiian Inn. Not much has changed there in the last 38 years. It is still kind of seedy with a large biker influence. We did ride by the Daytona International Speedway which will thrill some of you readers out there I am sure.......huge place!

The A1A route thrilled me even though so much of the view of the ocean is now hidden by high-rises and beachfront homes. Thankfully there is a national seashore preserve for much of the way where there is nothing but a wilderness. The ocean is maybe twenty feet at the most from the road.

We stopped in St Augustine for a couple of hours. Bubba bought an old cigar box for three dollars and I found a little shop which carried the olive soap and body lotion that is my passion.

So much fun.....these road trips off the beaten path of the interstate. I like to ride and look at all of the sights. We are planning to tour the United States this way. We want to go all the way around the circumference of our beautiful land.

As always, it is good to be home......but I can't wait to go again.

wander lust is me.....cathy

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

darting lizards

Hi everyone.....we are down in sunny Florida enjoying ourselves immensely.
Last night I ate a pound of crab legs all by myself.......delightful!

We arrived at our villa late yesterday afternoon. After getting checked in we decided to survey the property and see what beauty we could behold.

Lo and behold, as we were walking down a sidewalk between a perfectly manicured lawn, these lizards started darting across in front of us. Not just one, but many of them having a heyday. They were not afraid of us....they didn't run from us. As you may suspect, I freaked out, right out in public.

Bubba gave the order for me to walk behind him which I did.......I guess his reasoning was that if one darted on someone, it would be him.

I made it safely out of that situation and haven't returned to that area. I'll tell you this, nothing could have prepared me for those darting lizards.

On our way home we are going to ride up the coast on highway A1A.

This road traverses the ocean for miles and miles. I am so excited about doing this. I want to find an old motel that is on a deserted strip of beach and spend the night. I want to see all the old sights, maybe take some unique pictures, and just lay on the sand.

A long time ago we took this route when my family went down to Hollywood, Florida for vacation. I remember one time our suitcase blew off of the top of our creme-colored Chevy II station wagon. When we stopped and got out to retrieve our skivvies, there were no other cars in sight.

I know it will have changed alot with all of the ugly high-rise condominiums that have been built, but maybe I will still be able to see glimpses of the past along the way.

I hope so.....cathy

Sunday, September 14, 2008

the sun is setting and its time to go home

I think my most prized secular possession is my Canon Rebel.
I love to write and I like to take pictures........these are fulfilling hobbies that bring me joy.
God wants us to enjoy this life that He has given us as we prepare to spend eternity with Him. The good things are but a fraction of a foretaste of what he has prepared for us in heaven.
We took one more opportunity yesterday afternoon to enjoy the beach and the ocean. It was one of those days that take one's breath away.
As I go out into the surf I always say a little prayer asking God to protect us from the sharks. There is no way that those creatures are going to keep me out of the sultry, salty water. I truly love the experience of the ocean too much to give it up.
David, unfortunately, was stung by a beastly jellyfish leaving him with a red rash all over the bottom of his leg and on his foot. We pried the trusty beach patrol away from a gaggle of bikini clad girls long enough for him to get a spray of a new concoction that is supposed to take away the sting.
The sting didn't stop us though, as he was able to stop by the Sugar Shack on the way home and buy us all ice creams to go.
In the morning Bubba and I are taking off for a trip to Florida. We will be gone until the end of the week or maybe longer if the mood strikes......
God is so good and so worthy to be praised. To Him be glory forever and ever......
Your friend, Cathy

Friday, September 12, 2008

a walk in the dunes

Another picture from our photo shoot on Thursday.
These little ones are such a blessing from the Lord.

The Hollingsworth family is back home in Virginia after spending the week here in Savannah with us. There is that strange quietness that settles over everything when they leave.

We all made good use of the beach as summer is still here in abundance. I haven't yet detected that subtle change in the atmosphere that holds the promise of cooler weather.

I had to go into town early this morning, but I was so tired I could hardly function. I made my way back home and into the bed to fall into a deep sleep for about three hours......I woke up feeling like a new woman........I thank God for the rejuvenation that rest brings to our bodies.

Harry's birthday party was a huge success......we did have twenty people around our tables last evening. It was loud and boistrous with lots of balloons and laughter. Harry wore his happy birthday crown and was as good as he could be. I have some pictures that I will share.....maybe tomorrow, when I get a chance to put them in my computer.

Tonight there is a terrible storm in the Gulf of Mexico.......

The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; Your arrows flashed on every side. The crash of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; Your lightenings lighted up the worlds; the earth trembled and shook. Psalm 77: 17 - 18

Let's pray for the people who are being affected........May God have mercy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

at tybee...today

Here we are......my four grandchildren and I . We are sitting on a lifeguard stand down at the north curve of the beach.

It has been a wonderful week with all of them together and it is coming to an end much too soon.

Tomorrow we celebrate Harry's first birthday here at the house with upwards of twenty people in attendence. We are all very excited....not only about the party, but the family gathering as well.

I am especially excited about the colorful mylar balloons that will be floating around.

This morning Amanda and I with Jake and Eli in tow went shopping downtown for Harry's presents. We had a great lunch at Wild Wings. I was so hungry I ordered two appetizers. There's something about all of this swimming that is making us ravenous.

"The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches (spiritual) and honor and life."
Proverbs 22:4

Fear the Lord O people......read and meditate upon His word daily. You will be blessed.

the grammy

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

holding on to summer

We spent the day on the beach.....gorgeous day that it was.

We are holding on to summer for as long as we can.

The undertow was really strong which made riding the waves a battle.

I am tired tonight so this post won't be long.

"Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him."
Proverbs 22:15

The above verse is as encouragement to those of you who are trying so hard to discipline your children wisely....

Keep on keeping on....................love, mom

Monday, September 8, 2008

our whole family

Oh my how our family has grown in these last five or six years.

We don't get to have everybody together very often.

I have a farm table and all of the leaves have to be put in to accomodate everyone.

Amanda and Mark returned from the beach today and we all gathered to swim and eat.

Ham and homemade potato salad, fresh corn on the cob, my wonderful tomato bake, and Amanda's delicious derby pie for dessert. Even the babies ate their fill.....

We count our blessings every one and we are thankful and grateful to the Lord for what He has done.

"Grandchildren are the crown of the aged." Proverbs 17:6

Bubba is slowly improving from his fall. He is driving to Atlanta tomorrow to go to his good friend's retirement party.

All of us are heading back to the beach in the morning to enjoy the beautiful weather.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

bathing beauties

Eli - - -Harry - - - Lucy - - - Jake
Getting this picture was like "loading cats on a flatbed truck."

The first one to get up and leave was Eli.......the rest soon followed.

Who wants to be sitting still for a picture when you could be swimming in the pool.

Thank you David and Erika for all of your help.

Each meal requires a complete washdown of each child, the seat that they sat in, the table where their food was sitting, and the whole kitchen floor.

I was only able to bathe one tonight......It was Jake. I will do Eli in the morning before we go to church.

I just cleaned up all the toys so that they will be ready for in the morning.

Bubba got home at 8:00. He and Frankie had a great and successful day. He was hoarse from talking so much.

I am going to bed....I am beat.....in more ways than one.



It is Saturday morning.

I am here alone with Jake and Eli.

Bubba has gone to a coin show in Florida with Frankie....my brother.

Amanda and Mark are at the condo at Tybee.

So far I have not stopped for a minute since I got up this morning.

Little boys are a handful to say the least.

David & his family are coiming over in a little while and we are going to swim all day.

Will let you know tonight if I survive......g

Thursday, September 4, 2008

she is falling apart

So fickle they are......these storms.

We watch them in awe as they dance around somewhere in the waters far below us.

We call them by their names....a very intimate thing to do.

We decide what we would take with us if we have to evacuate if "she" decides to strike.

We get up every morning and head to the computer to see what "she" has done overnight.

We try to imagine the devastation "she" may leave if "she" chooses us.

We look at models and tracks, we fill our cars up with gas, we buy water and plan how we will cook our food if "she" passes through.

And then "she" falls apart, "she" is sheared like a lamb, "she" is downgraded to nothing.

We won't admit it but we are disappointed......we have lost a close friend.

Maybe we will feel a few of her tears and her last lingering breaths as she passes by........

Farewell dear Hanna

Amanda and family are looking at an ETA of 12:30 am this evening. Sadly, I probably won't be able to stay up to greet them. Things will start popping around here in the morning......I have to be ready.

I finished Revelation today....

He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Awed by it all, Cathy

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

boarding up

I took a walk down the beach this beautiful afternoon. No humidity and a gentle breeze with white, puffy clouds blowing around made it almost perfect.

Some people were boarding up their windows in preparation for the coming storm.

If you are not familiar with "boarding up," you may not live in a hurricane prone area.

This is the process in which people buy huge sheets of plywood and nail them over their windows so that the wind will not be able to break the glass into a million little pieces.

Areas to our north seem to be Hanna's target, but you can never be sure it won't wobble a bit and change its course.

As I was walking back a lovely conch shell had just been washed ashore.......you know the kind that you can hold to your ear and hear the ocean.

I was carrying it proudly when a nice lady stopped and asked if she could see it. She was amazed that I had found such a beauty as she had never had the pleasure. I asked her if she would like to have it and she accepted with great thankfulness. O what joy giving brings!

We will go back to the mainland tomorrow to be home for the arrival of the Hollingsworth family late tomorrow night. They are coming a day early to be out of the path of the storm.

They reserved three nights at our condo months ago and I pray that it will work out for them....... that Tybee will not have to be evacuated. The three days that they are "honeymooning" here will be Jake and Eli alone time for Bubba and I.

And now for the absolute best news of the day.....the neurologist was very pleased with Harry's MRI and that the seizure medicine is working. This, dear friends, is such an answer to prayer.
That little boy is so amazing and so lovable. We are so thankful for God's graciousness to us in this matter.

This is my second blog today.....don't miss the first one.


the tybee post office

I went to the Tybee post office just a little while ago.

I love small town post offices because they are the hub of the town.

Everyone knows one another and it is "old home week" for all who come in.

We still get mail at Tybee in our po box so we are in and out a lot.

Today the place was ablaze with talk of the coming of Hurricane "Hanna."

There is definitely an undercurrent of excitement in the air as we all scurry around asking, "What do you think she's going to do?"

I heard someone say, "Of course we will lose power." And then someone else chimed in and said, "We have a generator......come to our house for hot coffee."

I know from experience that the aftermath of a storm is not nearly so cheery as the promise of it's coming.

Hurricane David in 1979 left us without power for well over a week. It is no fun as you swelter in the heat and humidity and thrist for something cold to drink.

Bubba and I going to the beach to swim and soak up some more rays........I will write more tonight as I journal the coming of the "one who languishes in the Caribbean."

from beach bum cathy

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

tiny diamonds

The waves in the ocean were wonderful today.......one right after another, slapping you on the back and knocking you senseless. They made me belly-laugh out loud. What a cleansing for the soul!

Standing among them was like being in the midst of a million little specks of diamonds. If they could have been gathered together they would be worth a fortune.

Hurricane Hanna is kicking the waves up and they are putting on quite the show. She wouldn't let the tide go very far out at all today. As dusk was descending just now it was already pushing back up to the shore.

Who knows what she will do. Amanda and Mark are watching her very closely as they are leaving on Friday to spend a week's vacation here at Tybee.

As we who are believers know, it is God who controls the storms....their courses are set by Him.
We will watch and wait to see what He has planned.

A couple of things.....

One of the bruises on one of Bubba's knees was helped dramatically by the salt water. The rest of his injuries have turned black and blue and yellow. Some are still bleeding, but he adamantly refuses to seek medical attention. We have started tying on tourniquets made from hankerchiefs to curtail the bleeding.

Harry got a great report from the eye doctor today.

Harry needed a hug from grammy immediately after having gotten himself completely coated in sand. Of course I willingly obliged which gave me a perfect excuse to get back in the ocean.

Spanky's beachfront has delicious chicken fingers that completely satiated five hungry swimmers.

If I live to be ninety I want to be still swimming in the ocean.

My summer tan has been replenished.

Thank you so much God for all of Your bountiful blessings and for the tremendous trial that You are seeing me through. You are truly an Awesome God....Thank you.

Love to all who read.......Cathy

Monday, September 1, 2008

back at the beach

I need to let Bubba's injury picture move on. He really illicited some good comments and I like that very much.

It is good to be sitting over the Atlantic ocean again. There is something out there stirring her up, but I'm not quite sure what it is. Hanna is too far south and Gustav is too far west. Maybe she is just restless because of all of the tropical activity out there.

I love this kind of weather.....cloudy and windy. The ocean is gun metal gray with large and tumultuous waves. The air is salty and sticky and full of moisture.

Hopefully by tomorrow all of the Labor Day tourists will clear out and there will be no one on the beach. I wait patiently for the vacationers to leave so that it belongs just to me again.

On the way to the beach today I stopped by for a visit with Aunt Dottie and I found her happily crocheting a baby blanket. One of her nurses is expecting a girl in November and she has started one for her.

Aunt Dot is 89 and still in relatively good health. She had stopped crocheting several years ago due to shaking hands so I hope this one turns out good so that she will keep it up.

I rolled her down to her bingo game before I left.

There is a little girl sleeping tonight in the next room. She is a blessed light in my life. I bought a big floor puzzle of a shark and we have put it together three times. We have eaten our Carey Hilliards bar-b-que. We have read our books and had our goodnight kisses.

We will play on the beach tomorrow if the weather allows. If it doesn't we will watch from the deck.

All is well here by the ocean.

Rest from your labors tonight.

God is in control.