Saturday, May 30, 2009

a new life

"For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother's womb.

I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them." Psalm 139: 13 - 16

God has opened Amanda's womb and she and Mark are expecting their third child.

We are grateful and humbled by this newest blessing.

I will be going with her on Thursday to get the first ultrasound.

Please join our prayers that she will have a safe and healthy pregnancy.


Friday, May 29, 2009

lucy and nathan

I just got back from my 30 minute power walk.......
lubed the joints and got the heart pumping fast.

Lucy called while I was out and left a message for me to call her. She was getting ready for bed and wanted to tell me that she loves me.....THAT made my day.

Today Lucy and I had lunch at Casey's Grill with Aunt Jackie, Emily, and Lucy's new found cousin Nathan. They hit it off right from the start. Nathan is five and he aspires a career in astronomy. He likes to build things and do creative art projects. Nathan and his mom Emily live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We were very glad to get to spend time with them.

Casey's Grill is a very delicious place to eat by the way.

On Sunday we are going to DC for a little getaway and then on to the Hollingsworth's home in Lanexa to stay with Jake and Eli while Mark and Amanda take a little trip to celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary.

My words for today...............

There are so many ways to share God's love. People need our tangible help, a smile, our cheerful, encouraging words or just a time to sit together in silence. They need our prayers, our compassion, and our time. They need hope in Christ and in His blessed word.

Praise be to God for His indescribable gift.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

carved in the stone

I had Lucy and Harry in their double stroller early this morning wheeling them down Broughton Street while Erika was getting her hair cut and styled at my favorite salon "B Street."

We had a great frolic in Chippewa Square throwing pennies into the fountain and making wishes on them. The children ran and climbed and brought smiles to the faces of the working people who were passing by.......

The last square that we visited had a huge statue of John Wesley honoring him and his life and work in Savannah. He was the founder of Methodism in case you forgot. His marker said that he lived beside this square, which is one block from the Savannah River. It also said that he could be seen often praying and reading his Bible in the garden beside his home. He lived from 1703 until 1791.

Carved in the stone of his statue were these words:

"My heart's desire for this place is not that it be famous or rich,
But that it may be a religious colony.
And then, I am sure it cannot fail of the blessings of God."

John Wesley knew the truth.........It is only as long as a city or a nation honors God that it will receive His blessing. Oh if he could see us now. How sad!

Erika looked ravishingly beautiful by the way.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

another birthday bash

In this family we are always celebrating something. Yesterday we honored the birthdays of Bubba, Robbie, Aunt Dottie, and Jake, even though Jake was not here.
We had a grand ole time at Johnny Harris' and then on here to the beach for present opening and ice cream and cake.
Not forgotten yesterday were all of the people who have died in the cause of serving our country.
Also the blessing that all of us have had to live in the times of freedom and prosperity.
Read history and you will appreciate that blessing more and more.
"The beginning of the end of War lies in Remeberence." Herman Wourk

Saturday, May 23, 2009

the literal end of the road

What do you do when you come to the end of the road.....when the road sign is pointing into the water?
Well, you get on a ferry.
Bubba and I took a little trip down Florida way yesterday. We got our fill of antique shopping and didn't buy a thing.
On the way home I asked if we could go all the way up my favorite highway....the A1A that runs the whole east coast of the state. Many times you are driving within 50 feet of the ocean. There is so much beauty to be seen when you go that way.
There is one minor obstacle between northern Jacksonville and Amelia Island....a massive river and no bridge.
So we paid $5.00 and rode over on the huge ferry that you can see pictured above. It was so much fun!
I love adventure and exploring new places.
Just got home but wanted to share this.
night, night, cathy

Thursday, May 21, 2009

bubba blowing out his candles

Bubba turned 65 years old today.
I can hardly believe that I have a husband who is that old!
Not that I am that far behind him.

Jake and Eli called early from Virginia to say, "Happy Birthday granddaddy."

I think he had a good day.
He and David went out to lunch at Hilliards and then to see a movie.

Erika cooked a most delicious lasagna meal complete with ceasar salad and garlic bread.
I provided his favorite.....a cheesecake with fresh fruit on top.
Coffee was the perfect compliment.

Lucy and Harry danced and laughed with the wrappings and bows.
The candles on the cake kept relighting themselves.
The little ones thought that was the best.

What did I give him you say? A t-shirt and some shorts...what else?

Is this man blessed or what?

to many more good ones....cathy

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

jake's 4th birthday

I was sitting on a granite rock down by the jetties at the beach when I got the call.
Amanda, alone in Memphis, had been ordered by her doctor to get herself into the hospital right away to prepare to give birth to month before her time was due.

Mark, at a conference, dropped everything he was doing and made it home in plenty of time. I arrived via airplane two days later.

I will never forget what it was like holding that tiny bundle in my arms for the first time. A new era of our lives had begun.

That was four years ago.

This morning I made the "Happy Birthday" call. Jake talked plainly and excitedly about his day plans and then signed off with a quick, "I love you grammy." There is nothing better than that!

Happy Birthday Jake.....I love you too.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009 name is cathy

I am getting close to my 600th post and the completion of two years of writing this blog almost daily. I cannot believe it. I have always loved to write and this gives me the opportunity on a very small scale.

I do know that I am a work in progress. God is not near finished with me yet. Just when I start to think that I have a good grip on the Bible, He shows me something that I am struggling with from a whole new perspective and I am plunged into a fascinating journey of new discoveries.
Right now it is Romans 12: 9-21......."Marks of a true Christian."

Just take this one statement for instance....."Bless those who persecute you."

My reaction, "Oh God, please, you don't really want me to do this do You?" But He does. It's not a suggestion, it is a command.

So there....He is working in my heart through His word and that is a good thing......but these are very hard lessons.

What is really amazing is that people read what I write. You tell me that you find blessings and inspiration from my words. That is from God and not me. I am only another conduit for God's word. I love it and I hope that comes through my writing to you.

Thank you so much.....I'll be looking for reader # 22,222.

goodnight with love.....

Monday, May 18, 2009

a bed that gets higher and higher

We are having some wild and crazy weather here on Tybee Island.
No one has even dared to venture out on the beach today.......
It is quiet except for the gentle falling rain and my washer and dryer.

An early tropical system is to hit the Florida straights today and bring wet & windy conditions up the coast for the rest of the week. Love it........absolutely!

I am staying home today doing chores.......
My washer is so small that it takes twice as long to get the laundry done.
I have found that dishwasher detergent is an amazing way to get the shower clean.
My stacks are growing and need to be dealt with.
And my bed....oh the bed; it is a work in progress.

First of all we found that the frame was put together incompetently. After removing the mattress and box springs and outcropping the bed risers, repairs were made and newly cut bed slats were installed to stabilize everything.

After putting the bed back together, I laid out my new foam mattress topper adding two more inches of height.

I now need a stepstool to get into the bed. It is ridicously high, but O so comfy. Erika will be so proud the next time she sleeps in it.

Today I add the crowning touch....the bedcover and shams.

One more thing.......I just finished wrapping the ugly black bed risers in white tulle tied with ribbons because as the bed got higher, they stuck out like a sore thumb.

All in a days work and the perfect outlet for my creative juices.

yours truly, cathy c

Saturday, May 16, 2009

a dime in the sand

Just got back from a walk on the beach.
Darkness crept in from the east and swirling storm clouds from the west hastening my return.

The waves were pounding every other sound away....
making it the perfect place to calm my soul.

There is something about the ocean that causes me to stop and take notice of the smallness of my "self." All of the things that seem so devastating to me melt away when I allow thoughts of God's greatness to filter into the crevices of my mind.

I think that is what He wants His children to know. What we have to endure while we are in this sinful world is but a mere breath. His goodness and lovingkindness lasts for eternity. Keeping our minds fixed on Him will keep our soul at rest.

By the way....I found a dime in the sand.
I wanted to stay and dig for more but it was too dark.


Friday, May 15, 2009

the ? annual tybee island beach bum parade

I know.....kind of crazy. The whole town turns out hours before the actual parade starts with the most intricate and amazingly accurate water guns I have ever seen.
Thousands of people lines the streets and carry buckets of water from truck beds lined with plastic and cooled with dry ice.
This is a huge event.....we watched from the third floor and stayed dry. By the time the parade finally rolled down the street Harry was through.....ready for bed. Next year he WILL have a water gun.
I guess it is good clean fun......just hope the adrenalin dies down and they are not running around at midnight still shooting their guns and hollering.
Never did see Jack Kingston. I presume he was ducking and trying to avoid the inundation.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

keeping harry

He's in there asleep.....I think we wore him slap out even though he and I took long naps this afternoon.

Except for Harry biting my leg in a fit of happiness and hitting me hard on the lip with a play doctor's kit tool, we have gotten alone just fine. (Both hurt really badly:(

After we got back from the playground, he and I were sitting on the deck together looking at the ocean. He was drinking his milk out of his cup which he proceeded to throw over to the ground below much to his delight and dismay. Granddaddy had to make his second retrieval trip of the afternoon as some toys had gone over earlier.

We think that Harry is relishing in his first time to spend some days and nights with us all by himself.

David and Erika and Lucy are on a conference trip to North Carolina until Saturday.

Thank you God for the blessing of Harry
For that delightful laugh
For how he communicates with his eyes
Our joy and surprise when he says a word
For his daring spirit to try everything on the playground

thanks harry for keeping me young at heart............yg

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

her little hand in mine

Lucy and I went shopping today.
She needed a pair of sunglasses to keep in my van.
Because I always wear my sunglasses she needs to do the same.

visited aunt Dottie
ate at the gorilla
shopped for the sunglasses
played at the play area.

Afterwards we went went to the candy shop where she chose a lollipop and I chose a chocolate covered cherry for out treat. (She dropped her sucker on the floor but had it back in her mouth before I could stop her.) I cringed, but figured the damage was already done.

As we were walking to the car, I noticed that she took my hand. I was humming a tune and she was humming a tune and there we went down the mall holding hands and making music.

I am struck by how much she watches what I do and how she copies.

Never doubt.........children pick up your ways. That is how they learn. Oh what a responsibility we as adults have. Role models we are at a high cost.

I finished the 900 page Winds of War last night and will be starting the 1039 page War and Remembrance tonight. I am completely enthralled.

Here is a quote from the last page........

He, Victor Henry, the lead character, a career Navy man, is thinking.....

He could almost picture God the Father looking down with sad wonder at this mischief (the II World War). In a world so rich and lovely, could His children find nothing better to do than to dig iron from the ground and work it into grotesque engines for blowing each other up? Yet this madness was the way of the world.

He had given all his working years to it. Now he was about to risk his very life at it. Why? (At the end of the first book, The United States had just entered the war.)

Because with all its rotten spots, the United States of America was not only his homeland, but the hope of the world. Because if America's enemies dug up iron and made deadly engines of it, America had to do the same, and do it better, or die. (This still holds true)

Some of the best reading material of my life!!

Thanks for the movies of the books, Bobbye. I am thrilled that I can see all of these rich characters portrayed on the screen. Tell George I understand why these books are his favorites.

Monday, May 11, 2009

the question I most want an answer to

Here it is:

Why do the people who love you and in whom you take great joy want to hurt you and put you in your place?
My heart is heavy because I just do not understand.

I was reading my Bible and the Holy Spirit compelled me with the love of God.
Here are the promises He gave me earlier this morning:

God is my refuge
God is a rock of strength
God is a stronghold
God is my rock and my fortress
God has seen my affliction
God knows the trouble of my soul
God is gracious
God has my times in His hands
God will deliver me from those who persecute me
God is lovingkindness
God has stored up great goodness for those who love Him
God hears the voice of my supplications
God preserves the faithful
God hides us in the secret place of His presence

All of these are found in just one chapter in Psalm (31)

"Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5

Sunday, May 10, 2009

to the windows

Today is Mother's Day.....and a mighty fine day it has been.
The flowers that I am holding in the picture above were given to me by David and Erika and Lucy and Harry.

After church we went to the Mother's Day buffet at the Hyatt in downtown Savannah. One whole wall is nothing but windows looking out at the boats going up and down the river.....hence the name "Windows."

What a blessing to be a mother.
What a joy to see the fruit of the years invested in the babies that we were entrusted with by see them honor and respect you in their adult years.

Just now my phone rang and it was Amanda. "Hi mom, how was your Mother's Day?" She lives far away, but she is always near to my heart.

Now they are raising their own little people.......The progression of life goes on.

The most important job in the world is to be a good mother.
To raise our children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord so that they serve Him all the days of their lives.

Tonight God, and always.............bless the mothers everywhere.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

she did it!!!!!

This is my niece Lindsey Jacobs

After working very hard she graduated today with a Masters in Speech Pathology.

She is an honor graduate sporting a 4.0 average.

She was awarded a scholarship and the title of Star student.

We are all very proud of her accomplishment.

She achieved all of this under tremendous adversity.

This afternoon we did what we always do in this family....we celebrated with a party.

Lindsey.......we love you and will watch your career with great expectancy.

To all your tomorrows, Aunt Cathy

Friday, May 8, 2009

a wipe and two band aides

Erika, Lucy, and I went to the SCAD tour of homes today. Bubba and David took turns taking care of Harry. (David got the stinky diaper today....Bubba got it last week.)
We were sorry that we had to miss the "Sand Art Festival" at North Beach. Just now I walked down with my camera to see what we lost out on.....nothing.
The creature pictured above was the only one that had any resemblance to a sculpture. The rest were only sad mounds of sand. I think we made the right choice.
We got to see the restored home of Liz, our favorite shopkeeper in Savannah. What was most fascinating was the postage stamp sized garden in the backyard. Her husband had built a Koi pond in the center and a garden shed. O to have talent like that.
Liz is doing a wedding tomorrow up in Brooklet at a barn. Country Living Magazine is coming to shoot it and it will also be in Savannah Magazine. Liz is amazing and she is where I get much of my inspiration.
Erika was inspired by a house that had a restored third floor that had been turned into a photography studio. I want that for her one day.............Erika has a natural creative talent for picture taking as many of you know.
We are teaching Lucy to appreciate beautiful architecture and design while we enjoy it ourselves.
She was such a good girl today except for a really bad skinned knee that elicited loud screams of anguish for a very long time. We were walking in front of the Oglethorpe Club when this happened. A man behind a heavy closed door came out to see what "that noise " was. He kindly offered up a wipe and two band aides.
It's those flip flops.....they'll do it every time!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

my grandkids

Jake Barrington Hollingswoth**** the leader, the thinker, the pretender

Eli Mark Hollingsworth**** the fighter, the follower, the charmer

Lucy O'Quinn Cleland**** the communicator, the nurturer, the beauty, the trend setter

Henry Douglas Cleland (aka Harry)**** the miracle, the climber, the one who speaks volumes with his beautiful eyes.

bless these precious children
call them to be yours at an early age
help them to bear their discipline well and to learn and grow spiritually from it
teach them to love and respect and obey their parents
may they be kind and tenderhearted to their family and their friends
but most of all may they love the Lord their God with all that is within them

thank you....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

damage control

The damage to my car is not too bad....the rear bumper will have to be replaced and some touch up done. I can't tell about my neck. It hurts anyway and I don't think it is any worse, but my psyche, that is another story.

I am a very sensitive girl, much to my dismay. How do you get over being talked to like that? It was like the devil himself had jumped out and was accusing me.

That woman had me convinced that her ramming into the back of my van was my fault.

The only answer is in Christ.....there is "no condemnation" in Him. I thank God for the truth of His word.

We are having a gentle is lovely. Pretty good lightening show earlier......I'm hoping for more later.

Please join me in a very specific prayer for our country. Pray that God will make His glory known in the halls and offices and minds of our national government in Washington, DC.

How He will accomplish that I have no idea and we don't need to know. What we do need to know is that "Nothing is impossible with God." The situation looks hopeless, but God can turn it all around in a second.

Pray with me?

thanks, cathy

Monday, May 4, 2009


I had a lunch date with my aunt this morning.

At 11:20 while I was stopped in traffic a woman rammed into the back of my van.
It scared me badly and severely jolted my neck.
That is not the worst part.
She got out of her car, came to my window, and proceeded to call me the most vile, ugly, and vulgar of names. She kept on and on.

I was helpless before her.
I felt in my inner being the shame of her words to me.
My reaction was...........tears. I started crying and I couldn't stop.

The policeman was good to me and sent me off with kind words.
I never made it on my lunch date.

I am raw inside emotionally from all of the hurt from the last years and months and weeks............ now this. I will weather this trial too in Christ and will grow from it. He is always good.

I pray for this vile woman who had her grandson in the car with her. May He open her heart to know Him and put a hot coal to her lips that destroyed me this morning and others I am sure.

I am truly thankful for those of you who love me and keep in touch and encourage me daily.

I had picked out a verse that I wanted to share tonight. I will post it anyway. I hope it is as exciting to you as it was to me.

John 5:24 "Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears my word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgement, but has passed out of death into life."

I cry as I write tonight, but I rejoice in the verse that is written above.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

to the theater i went

It has been a long time since I went to a Broadway play.

A good friend of mine asked me months ago if I would like to go down to Jacksonville to see the play Wicked. "Of course", I said, "I would love to do that."

It was wonderful.....I can't get the tunes out of my head. Wicked is another perspective on The Wizard of Oz. It tells the story of the wicked witch Elphaba and the good witch Glinda and, of course, the Wizard himself.

I laughed alot, got totally caught up in the wild antics of the players, the scenery, and most of all the beautiful music. If you can, listen to For Good. Oh my goodness, it is so beautiful.

My friend and I and eleven other women were there. We stayed at the Embassey Suites hotel and we feasted at the Omaha Steakhouse. There was lots of laughter and girl talk, and on Saturday, a day of shopping. How fun and relaxing and just good to get away like that.

I returned to the beach at 7:00pm last evening boned tired, but full of excitement and good will.

Thank you all for asking me to go. The blessing of life come from all directions.

friends forever, cathy