Wednesday, July 31, 2013

boys in the house


It is supposed to be ready on Monday.
This was taken yesterday.
They have the bead board up and painted,
the walls are painted sea salt,
and the flooring has been delivered.
I just love how it is turning out...
my beach house at 
Southbridge.

Jake and Eli love visiting.
Every evening 
they ask if they can go see how the house is progressing.
They love seeing where the bunk beds will be
and the closet for their
books and toys.

We couldn't go tonight because of the storm....
a wild thing
with deluges of rain, lightning, and thunder.
We got in some extra reading 
since we didn't go anywhere.

My Dad's house did close today.
I didn't go to the closing because of the boys.
Bubba stood in for me,
and he and my brother Frank saw it through.

Hard to believe 
that six months after his passing we are done with everything.
God has once again carried us through
a most difficult time.
It has been a very sad day for me,
but I rejoice in the goodness of my God.

Eli lost another tooth tonight.
He is brave and strong and funny...
a delight.
Jake stood by his brother all the way through the process,
which really didn't take too long at all.

"And now abide faith, hope, love,
these three,
but the greatest of these is love."
I Corinthians 13:13


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

live for eternity


"Oh that men and women would learn 
 to live with an awareness
 that one day 
they are going to die.

Truly,
 it is a waste of time 
to set our hearts on a dying world and its short-lived comforts and pleasures, 
and for the sake of momentary pleasures,
  lose a glorious eternity in heaven.

Here we are
 striving,
 laboring,
 exhausting ourselves about little things, 
and running here and there like ants on an anthill, 
and yet after a few years 
we will all be gone 
and another generation will take our place.

Let us live for eternity.
Let us seek His kingdom and His righteousness 
that can never be taken away from us."

JC Ryle



Monday, July 29, 2013

update


On Friday morning,
the Hollingsworth family
will leave Lanexa, Virginia,
headed south 
to live in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Bubba flew up to Richmond, Virginia, this morning,
and is, as I write, headed south on I-95,
hopefully to make it back home tonight.
He is driving Mark's car,
as Mark will be driving a big truck on Friday.
They are frantically packing
and doing all of the things that moving requires.

We are keeping Jake and Eli
during this process
so that they will have some normalcy
and fun to finish out the summer.

Erika arrived home this afternoon
from her trip to
California.
She and her family are reunited tonight.
Gus stayed here with us while she was gone.

Daddy's house closes on Wednesday.
Bubba and Frank will finish cleaning there tomorrow.
What a blessing!
We sold it "by owner."

Our new house closes on Monday
and we haven't had time to even think about that.
I haven't packed one thing.

We will leave
 after the closing on Monday
 to take the boys to their new home and to help where we can.

All that to say...
it is not about us at all.
It is about being ready to help when the need arises
and to not worry about the rest.
These days and times are in God's hands.
It is He who gives
the strength and power and energy to get us through.
To Him be the glory.

"Let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ."
Philippians 1:27



Saturday, July 27, 2013

the red lighthouse....


across from Jetty's
 restaurant
on the intercoastal waterway
in Jupiter, Florida, 
where Amanda and I ate some of the best crab cakes
in the world.

Talk about a girl's trip...
she and I packed a whole lot of fun
into a very short time.

Back to the lizards.
The purpose of our trip was to find a new home
for the Hollingsworth family, 
which we did!!

Greeting me just outside each home we viewed 
was a super large lizard
perched just where I had to walk by.
I managed to overcome my fears and go inside.

The townhouse she chose was great...
plenty of room and storage
in a beautiful location.
There is a huge screened in back porch.
Trapped on the porch is a lizard...
running around frantically,
trying to get out.
Also,
I saw a lizard run under the door into the garage.
(I am hyper-vigilant in lizard sighting.)

Lastly...
we just had to have an Einstein Bagel before we left,
(chocolate chip with strawberry cream cheese.)
I chose a table by the window.
While gazing out,
I saw what I thought was a chipmunk
munching on a tidbit in the courtyard.
I called it to Amanda's attention...
"Amanda, what is that?"
"Mom, it's a komoto dragon."
It's tail actually curled upward.
Reptile central.

That was it.
Probably won't be able to visit again.
Maybe will have to take one of those 
"How to conquer your fear of lizards"
courses.
I think that involves spending 
one on one time with them.

maybe not

Friday, July 26, 2013

these two swans...


...were floating in the lobby 
of the hotel that Amanda and I stayed in 
while we were visiting Florida.
Their names are 
Bach & Beethoven.
Pretty much the whole time we stayed,
they were bathing themselves
 and plucking feathers.
Never could get them to assume their
swan positions.

Anyway...
on to my funny story.

I am scared to death of lizards...
bottom line,
sometimes I freak out.

Well, we were leaving on Tuesday morning
all dressed up
rolling our suitcases out the door 
and down the walkway.

All at once Amanda stops
and starts talking to a lizard
 that is sitting to the side of the walkway.
"Okay little fella,
you need to decide what you are going to do."

Now this lizard was not afraid.
He did not scurry away as most of them do.
He stood his ground,
staring me straight in the eye.

A man is coming up the walkway in the opposite direction.
He veers to the side off onto the grass
to allow us to pass.

We don't pass.
That lizard looks right at me and darts between my legs.
I scream..
the man laughs and just walks on by.

I am convinced that he has run up my skirt
and was lurking somewhere
up there.

Before I would get into the car I shook my skirt in every direction
including up and down.
My daughter calmed me 
and assured me
that the lizard had not gone up my skirt
and had run and hid
from all the commotion.

Lizards taunt me,
they really do!

more to this story later......



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

jupiter beach


I cannot for the life of me get them bedded down before
eight o'clock.

I have three little boys camping here tonight....
four counting Bubba.
By the time I get them
read to,
bedtime snacked,
jammied,
toothies brushed,
kissed,
and prayed over
I am spent, done, finished for the day.

I am crawling into bed right now.
I will keep my funny story in my head until such a time
as I can do it justice on this blog.

Just one last thing....
When I finally accomplished all of the above,
Eli was in tears.
He wanted to sleep with the 
Spiderman 
action figure that I bought him today,
and that toy was nowhere
to be found.

After soothing Eli for his loss 
and bidding them goodnight,
I couldn't wait to sit down and read my e-mails for the day.
Into my room I slid,
shutting the door,
and falling into my chair.

Ouch!
I sat down hard on that lost plastic
Spiderman,
but oh the joy of going to Eli's bed and telling him
I had found his toy.
This is what he said to me,
"Grammy, you didn't find it,
your bottom did!"

Love, love, love these kids!




Tuesday, July 23, 2013

amanda and i....


....just got home from paradise.
I have a story to tell,
but it won't be until later tonight.
Just thought I would say hello since I've been gone for a while.
cathy

Hi again...
I cannot tell my story tonight...too tired.
Will write it tomorrow.
I will say this....
Amanda and Mark are moving to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
She and I took an absolutely delightful trip,
 just the two of us,
down there on Sunday 
to find them a place to live and thrive.
It was so much fun!

As for my story, I will just say this.....
Palm Beach Gardens
 has to be the lizard capital of the world.
More to come.....

Saturday, July 20, 2013

"a dry and thirsty land where there is no water"


"O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water."
Psalm 63:1

Our bodies need water,
we cannot stay alive without water.
When I am hot and thirsty,
nothing satisfies like a cool glass of refreshing water.

Our souls need God,
we were created to be one with Him,
to seek Him, to thirst for Him.

Augustine said,
"Thou, O God, have created us for Thyself,
and our hearts are restless 
until they find their rest in Thee.

Imagine,
 being in this desert,
 looking for water and not being able to find it.

This world without God,
without His word,
is a dry and thirsty land without water.
People are dying of thirst for God
and they don't realize what they need to stay alive.

And Jesus said to them,
"I am the bread of life.
He who comes to Me shall never hunger, 
and he who believes in Me
shall never thirst."
John 6:35

This minute,
will you believe and be saved?


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Archie


This is our newest grandson.
His name is Archie.
He is five years old.
Right now he lives far away in China,
but hopefully,
very soon,
He will be here with us.

Maybe 
when we sit down to eat Thanksgiving dinner 
in our new home,
he will be sitting at the children's table.

Does anybody think he looks like Harry?
I do.
Just look at that smile.
Erika fell in love with this little guy,
the first time she ever saw his face.
He speaks no English.

Please pray for him and for his new family.
Pray that Archie will sense our love and prayers for him.
Pray that he will stay well,
and that even now
 God is preparing his heart to know Him.

Check it out.....

https://www.adopttogether.org/cleland



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

my safe place


I love my Tybee Island....
this is the lighthouse at the north beach area.
I think this lighthouse is one of the prettiest anywhere.
Lighthouses give off light..
they lead and guide people to a safe place.

That's what God's word does.
The word of God sheds light and truth
into a very dark world that does not make sense,
The Bible leads and guides us..
it helps us to know how to navigate this life
and find our way into eternity.

This morning I didn't take time to read...
this afternoon I feel very far away.
It doesn't take much for me to sink into old patterns
of thinking and doing.
The Bible is my lifeline and my safe place.
God reminds me of who I am,
why I need Jesus (my sin),
and what I need to do to stay close.

The Bible is my anchor
 my safe place,
 my good day.
The Bible keeps me from drifting off into the abyss.
It is my armor,
and my delight.

Thank you God for giving us Your words.





Sunday, July 14, 2013

this sink


To be getting a brand new, 
not even completed home,
was not even in the far reaches of my thoughts.
You can just imagine,
when this became a reality,
the decorator in me started working overtime.

When I first laid eyes on this sink,
it literally became the catalyst
for all of my ideas for the rest of our house.

This is a farmhouse sink...
I have always wanted one...to me,
it is a piece of art.
How could you ever get tired of doing dishes,
if you are doing them in this sink?

The house already had a sink..
it was stainless steel.
The builder is having to pull that out
and refit this one for me.
He is the greatest!
Love it that he accommodates my dreams.

This sink...
thank you Lord for Your goodness to me.


Friday, July 12, 2013

for us to do......


"Be kindly affectionate to one another 
with brotherly love,
in honor giving preference to one another;
not lagging in diligence,
fervent in spirit,
serving the Lord;

rejoicing in hope,
patient in tribulation,
continuing steadfast in prayer;
distributing to the needs of the saints,
given to hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you;
bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
and weep with those who weep.

Be of the same mind toward one another.
Do not set you mind on high things,
but associate with the humble.
Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Repay no one evil for evil.
Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.

If it is possible, 
as much as depends on you,
live peaceably with all men.

Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good."

Romans ~ 12th chapter



Thursday, July 11, 2013

the story of the house....


.....because so many of you have asked.

It started around Bubba's birthday back in May.
We went out to tour
some townhomes down on Wilmington Island.
We looked in six,
we made a bid on one,
that bid was turned down.

A couple of weeks later
we decided to look at some houses at 
The Landings.
I think there were about seven.
We found one that we liked,
put a bid in,
and that one was turned down
even though our bid was the highest.

Okay...that was two negatives....
two rather strange negatives.
What, if anything, does God have for us?

Next time we branched out.
Still looking on the islands
because 
we definitely didn't want to stay at Southbridge.
(too far to drive.)

Our real estate agent, Lara,
was sitting in the backseat on our next foray.
Back to The Landings we go.
Kind of tentatively she asked this question...
Cathy & Henry,
"Is it about the house, the money, or the location?"

We looked at each other and promptly replied...
"All three."
She replied....
"I have the perfect house for you...
Cathy, it has your name written all over it....
But...
It's in Southbridge."

Long story, ending shortly...
Our new house is in Southbridge
and we have no doubt whatsoever that this is the house
that He had for us all along.

@choosing to be happy
with the location.
Two out of three (ain't) bad.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

just a day at the beach


Very early this morning,
as the sun was coming up over the ocean,
I looked out
and saw this conch shell that sits on my deck table.
It was glowing.

That was the beginning of a very miraculous day.
Of course,
for me, every day spent on the beach is
miraculous.

In the middle of the morning,
a shrimp boat parked right in front of our condo.
That is a sure winner for dolphin lovers.
Dolphins follow the shrimp boats
because the shrimpers throw out food for them

Today was an exceptional day.
There were droves of them
playing and jumping and gliding around out there...
couldn't look at them enough.

Later in the afternoon
Erika, Harry, Lucy, Gus Trish, Nathan and I
ventured out into the water.
What we saw before us was better than any aquarium show.
If there had been music,
we wouldn't had been surprised.
The dolphins, the seagulls,
the pelicans and all of the other small sea birds
joined together in a jubilee.
It was so exciting to be a part of something so awesome.

When we came back up to the condo to dry off,
we looked out into the water
and it was over.
Not a bird or a dolphin in sight!

The show was just for us!
We are sure of that.
God, thank you for giving us a small glimpse
of your wonders.

ps....Lu and I are currently watching
"A Dolphin Tale."



Sunday, July 7, 2013

the boys of summer


Jake and Eli playing ball.
Real sluggers they are!
I love these guys...
so much!

Learning to Trust God

I don't have any trouble trusting God in the most important thing...
my salvation.
God has clearly shown me in His word
what a sinner I am 
and how much I need a Savior.
Jesus died to take away my sin nature,
to give me power over the remaining sin in my life,
and to put me in a right relationship with God.

I am bought with a price......
the shed blood of Jesus.
I have been given a new heart,
and the ability to understand His word
by the working of His Spirit 
deep within my soul.

Having all that, I say this....
I struggle to trust Him in the little things,
the small details,
the tiny,
 nitty-gritty daily dealings of my life.

I see sin manifest itself when I least expect.....
in a thought,
a motive, 
a desire,
a word.

Overcoming sin is a daily fight...
an on-going, never-ending battle 
with the unseen enemy. 
 O Lord, help me to know Your word more and more,
so that I can overcome sin.

Lastly, O God,
help me to remember that overcoming sin
brings glory to You.
May Your power be manifest in me.

.





























Thursday, July 4, 2013

a little back porch


I like windows
 that come all the way down to the floor.
Lets as much sun in as possible,
and plenty of openness to see the rain falling from the sky.
I will throw those doors open 
and let the fresh air come blowing through.

In case you missed my blog last night,
this is the back of our new house.
Plenty of room for my 
outdoor dining table and chairs.
I would like to hang outdoor curtains around this space.
Will plant a little garden
and have hydrangeas all over the yard.

To own a home again...
how wonderful.
Not since we left Fayetteville 
have we owned 
a little spot of earth to call our own.
God's blessings to undeserving sinners....
grace.

Off to celebrate the Fourth of July!






Wednesday, July 3, 2013

our house


First let me say...
this "house hunt" has been a long process.....
not without many twists and turns.

Without a doubt we know
that we were carried along in this decision
by our Maker...
the One who knows our hearts,
the One who set His love upon us.

I am convinced that we have the best
real estate agent that ever lived
who through this long process
has become my friend.
Never met anyone quite like her.
She makes me happy just to be around.

This house is a gift from God.
It is 85% complete.
I get to pick out most of  the "good stuff."
I will write about those things as we go along.

The inside is unique.
We got it in time to make it ours.
It will be 
beach/ cottage
with just a few touches of complete elegance.
I am so excited.

All glory goes to God
who "daily loads us up with benefits"
when we seek his face.

Happy Fourth everybody!!!!
Love those fireworks
and that
red, white, and blue.




Monday, July 1, 2013

my hutch


In the process of buying our new home,
this hutch 
was always the main consideration.
After touring about 30 houses,
many of which did not have a place for this piece,
I finally said,
"Maybe the hutch needs to go."

What?
How could I have said such a thing?
This hutch is one of my most favorite things.
It holds my treasured dishes,
 it displays my holiday cheer.
It makes me happy just to gaze upon it.

There you see my current
July 4th display.
Got those star plates new this year.

Tomorrow we sign the contract on the new house,
God willing.
Then I will share the details with everybody.
What a blessing!

Those are the last of daddy's hydrangea's.
Think they look good
on my red & white checkered tablecloth.
Festive!

"I know that there is nothing better for them 
than to rejoice
 and do good in their lives, 
and also that every man should eat and drink 
and enjoy the good of his labor ~
it is the gift of God." 
 Ecclesiastes 3: 12&13