Monday, February 27, 2017

she's back....

This mama goosy never ceases to amaze me.
Every year about this time,
 she sets up camp in the same spot.
Not tucked back in the woods where she and her little egg will be safe,
but right by the side of the road,
out in the open,
where everyone can see what she is doing.
Now admittedly she does blend well with the pine straw,
but really...
I fear for her every year.
This picture was taken with my phone out of the window of the van,
Probably her mate is nearby,
although I didn't see him.
If I had gotten out and approached, 
I bet he would have made a bee-line 
straight at me.

I love God's creatures.
Bubba assures me that she knows exactly what she is doing.
And yes, every year, after a long wait,
sitting in the same spot day in and day out,
she reaps her reward.
But...I would want a little privacy.


Friday, February 24, 2017

a very cool picture....

....of the Tybee Island lighthouse.

I love this lighthouse.
It is a short walk from our condo.
I have often envisioned myself living in one of those cottages at its base.

Tybee has my ❤.

Update on the condo....
As of yesterday,
the huge hole in the ceiling had been repaired.
Now to have it painted one more time,
then we can start the long process of getting it up and running again.
We have decided to up our insurance a little bit
just in case Hurricane Matthew set a precedent for storms to come.
Storms do seem to follow a set pattern many times.
We are looking at getting it back on the market on April 1st.
It has been in repair mode for 5 months.
The island of Tybee seems to be coming back to life.
The beach and plenty of places to stay WILL be ready for summer.
So often I think of "What will heaven be like?"
I wonder if there will be beaches...
places to lay on the sand 
and watch the mighty ocean do its thing,
to contemplate the greatness of our God in His perfect place.
I hope so!

Our God, so worthy of worship!
So much to think about,
long for,
look forward to.
Earth is just a tiny taste of what is to come for those who believe.

Oh by the way
Here is my new IPad mini...

look whose podcast was available to me today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

writing the pages of her life....

About Grace.....

I talked to my sister last evening.
always nice to hear her voice, 
to know how it goes over there on the other side of the country..

On Saturday December 3, 2016,
Grace's life changed forever.
Carrying her much loved violin she stepped into a crosswalk
and her feet have not touched the ground since...
not one time.
Because of the nature of her injuries,
the repair work that was done,
she cannot bear her weight until all is completely healed.
She gets around in a wheelchair
while waiting for God to finish His work.
She is home with her husband Ivan in their little apartment.
Teri is her live in caregiver.

As the days of uncertainty stretch ahead,
(there is no end date for this suffering)
I hear that she is patient and kind,
never complains,
never asks why,
helps all she can,
works really hard at her therapy,
and is getting really good at waiting.

I chose the book above for her post tonight.
Her story is still being written.
Her life began anew on that night almost three months ago.
What God has for this precious couple is known only to Him.
She has come so, so far.
She is coming back to life slowly, steadily.

I write tonight to ask you to continue to pray for Grace, for Ivan, for Teri.
Pray that Grace will continue to heal.
Pray that God will continue to bless her with a sweet, precious spirit.
Pray for Ivan as he graduates and looks for a job,
as he ministers to his young bride,
as they try to honor God in their circumstances.
Pray for their financial etc.
Pray that God will continue to give Teri energy and patience in her role as caregiver.
I could go on and on.
God has blessed so much already.
He has heard those prayers.
Thank you so much.

I pray that Grace's new book, as it is being written, will bring much hope to all who are suffering.
It is in Christ that we can cope with such pain and sadness.
I pray you know Him tonight.

Monday, February 20, 2017

yesterday....feeding the sea birds

We are continuing to bask in this beautiful weather.
Went to the beach yesterday with Harry and his Granddaddy.
I grabbed some stale bread on the way out of the house.
It took a little while,
 but finally we had about 25 birds
 and squawking around us.
They would come and take the bread crumbs out of our hands,
catch them in midair,
and fight each other for every last scrap.
On the way back from the beach we named all 25 of the birds.

Here are just a few....
Snapper Two
Mary Poppins
and on the list goes.

A couple of Harry musings...
1. "Grammy, do you think you would like to live on a ferry boat?"
Seems like that would be very monotonous and limiting
going back and forth from one side of the river to the other don't you think??

2. "Grammy, do you color your hair?"
"I don't see very much white."
Bless you child!

3. Our Christmas tree is still laying back in the woods behind the house....
dead as a doornail.
"Grammy, if you leave the Christmas tree where it is until Easter, we can hide our Easter eggs in it."
*Why is it always SO hard for Bubba to haul that thing off??

Harry and I watched the second Harry Potter movie when we got home.
We stayed up very late.
We ate ice cream and Coca Cola cake.

Oh, speaking of the Coca Cola cake....
Bubba absolutely loved it!
He has requested it be his birthday cake in May.

Snapper and Snapper Two going for a bread crumb in mid air.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

the little shop on the corner....

....of Broughton & Whitaker.

Yesterday I put my Nike Free 4.0's on and went to
downtown Savannah.
It was a beautiful day...just look at that blue sky.
In case you've never been,
downtown Savannah is a relic of the past.
New shops encased in old buildings....
most all of the original architecture intact.
I love to walk and take everything in.

Tonight is dinner with the family.
Bubba is cooking some roasts and fixings and I just made this
Coca Cola Cake from scratch.
Should be good with coffee.
Still celebrating St. Valentine and all of his sweetness.

Tomorrow night we have a date with Harry.
We will take him to the beach,
then to Papa's for fried shrimp.
Then he and I will watch Harry Potter movie #2 together.
There is no school on Monday because of
President's Day.

Thanking God today for His beautiful world,
for good things to eat,
for His word,
salvation through Jesus our Savior,
and that we can know Him.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

cute kids blog

This is Lucy.
I love her so much.
She gave me a Rice Krispy Treat for Valentine's.
She knows just what I like!
She is eleven years old.
She is the best granddaughter ever!
I am so thankful for her.
She may be a budding chef.

I don't know whether you had noticed,
but the bottom half of my left front tooth has been missing for a while.
It shows up in pictures as a gap in my smile.
In accordance with the aging process,
I have to try a little harder to present myself in public
 aging gracefully.
Today my dentist fixed that tooth for me.
I am more than happy and all smiles.


My birthday continues tonight...
Longhorn for dinner.
I have a coupon for a free birthday dessert....
probably a Molten Lava cake.

This is Eli.
He is almost ten.
He likes chocolate milk,
Toby Mac,
and Minecraft books.
He also likes to style his hair and wear cool shoes.
I love him too.
He may be a budding photographer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines's Day

Everything is hearts and flowers today.
It's a stay at home dinner for me and my Valentine.
Low country boil...
shrimp, corn, and sausage by candlelight.
a big bowl of vanilla Blue Bell ice cream
 with cherries and chocolate on top,

And for our viewing enjoyment...
 Fixer episode and then early to bed.
Not so for Bubba, of course.
He likes the news and sports channels.

That's what makes for a good marriage...
finding just the right amount of togetherness and apartness.

What really holds it all together?
The love of God and our desire to please Him.
That vow we took so many years ago
where we promised to be true to each other until death parts us.
All that we have made together...
children and grandchildren,
our legacy of love for each other and little eyes always watching.

*photo of granddaddy by Eli...
I'm telling you he's got an eye for it.

*Congratulations to Eli for getting a solo in the Grandparent's Day Program.
We are so proud of you!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

my birthday party

The birthday corner!
Archie did most all of the wrapping.

Gus was sick but managed to attend the party.

Every year we have LouMalnati's Pizza flown in from Chicago.
It is so delicious!

Opening Archie's gift and admiring the card he made for me.

Lucy gave me flowers,
daisy's, a long time favorite of mine.
Her card was hand made as well.

I blew out all of the candles with one blow.

As you can see,
all of the precious cards had the same theme...
an adorable panda in a zoo setting.
I love.

My birthday was so wonderful this year.
I am so thankful for my husband, 
our children, 
and our grandchildren.
Bubba gave me a new Ipad so that I can blog when we go on trips.
I love birthdays...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

birthday thanksgivings

Today is my birthday!
It is also the day we worship our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
This morning my precious Lucy came into church bearing this small bouquet.
My heart was filled to the brim with love and joy.

all throughout the day,
your thoughts and wishes poured in on facebook.
Each one is special and thrilling to me.
I always say...
there's nothing like a "facebook birthday."

Thank you all so much!!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

another year

God has granted me another year of life.
I am so thankful.
His faithfulness and lovingkindness have never failed me...
not one time.
This month is flying by 
and I have been enjoying every day of my birthday month so far.
Tonight, Bubba is taking me to Pearls Saltwater Grill,
one of my favorite restaurants.
Yesterday he came in with a bouquet of roses.
Lou, your card is here but I'm saving it for tomorrow.
Looking forward to 
"My birthday on Facebook" tomorrow.
Lou Malnati's Pizza from Chicago is waiting for tomorrow night
at the David Cleland house.
What joy!
I am so very blessed!
God is so good all the time.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

God puts eternity in man's heart

After reading this article I said, YES!!
Finally someone
put into words what so often lies hidden in my heart.
I will relate it here on my blog tonight....
for me, to always have access to,
 and for you as well.
 because maybe you have felt this same way.
It is a little on the long side,
more than I usually write,
but I will take the time to get it all on.
Eli spotted this cloud when we walked outside after dinner one night last week.
Somehow it just works with this piece.
I hope you love it as much as I did.❤

From The Blazing Center
Written by Randy Alcantar
Pastor at Cross of Grace Church
El Paso, Texas

Why Are Our Happiest Moments Tinged With Sadness?

I think the first time I felt it I was staring up at the sky.

As the sun went down a few stars came out, then a few more, then the sky split open. On a moonless night, the Milky Way stretched from one end of the horizon to the other.  As the astronomers walked us through the constellations their voices faded until I felt it.

It came over me as dizziness, then joy, then loss, then longing.
It was so beautiful that I felt....almost....sad.

I felt it again on a beach holding my wife's hand with my parents playing with my two sons nearby as the sun was setting. I took a picture and looked at the picture and the world felt like it slowed down to a heartbeat. It was a perfect moment but sorrowful because it was fleeting.

I felt it as I turned the last page of the book I was reading. The evil vanquished, the good prevailing.
After so much loss the characters said goodbye. It had been a better book than I'd dared dream, 
and yet I felt like a hole was ripped open in my heart
 because that world was over and I couldn't go back.

Why is it that so many of our happiest moments are tinged with sadness?

At first I thought it was just me,
then I found that CS Lewis felt it too.
He writes in the Weight of Glory.....

"The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust in them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing.
These things.....the beauty, the memory of our own past......are good images of what we really desire, but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers, for they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have not yet visited."

In moments of great, overwhelming beauty, sometimes we cannot help but feel a great joy and a great sadness. Why? Because it's as if in that moment our hearts are awakened and we finally feel the full longing we push down deep within ourselves. The longing bursts out because it sees a glimmer and a glimpse of what we long for, only to find it not yet fully revealed.

Ecclesiastes says cryptically, that God "has put eternity in man's heart," yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. (Ecc, 3:11).
While there is always a lot going on in each line of Ecclesiastes, we at least can clearly see the preacher put his finger on this longing we have and the reason for it. 
We long deeply because God has put eternity in our hearts.

There is something in us saying, "This can't be all there is."

On normal days we settle for a few minutes of quiet before our phone starts pinging alerts, a decent meal, a novel distraction after work. But moments of sublime beauty remind us that we long for so much more. We long for a return to the garden before sin entered the world and it was all wrecked and broken. We long as Graeme Goldsworthy would say, 
to be in God's presence, 
in God's place, 
under God's rule....
with all the unending beauty it entails.

In this world we glimpse so much of God's goodness and we should thank Him for it. And yet the best Christmas is tinged with sadness because of the family member who recently passed away. The best vacation is tinged with sadness because we know it will end. We know that we can't have it all. The problem is that deep down we know that we can't have it all. The problem is that deep down we were made for it all.

I am trying to learn to embrace the fact that my happiest moments of life may only make me long for more. That's okay. I was made for more. One day, everything from our relationships to our past to our future will be renewed. and the moment we imagine true happiness will be eclipsed by the weight of something truer and better than we can even dream today.

So I'll keep searching for drops of this everywhere I can find it,
 and I'll keep longing with CS Lewis:

"And with that plunge back into my past there arose at once, almost like heartbreak, the memory of Joy itself, the knowledge that I once had what I now lacked for years, that I was returning at last from exile and desert lands to my own country."
(Surprised by Joy)

The End

So there it is.
I wonder if anyone read till the end.....
if this touched anyone else.
If so, you are my soul mate. I will know you in heaven.
I would love to know you now.
"At first I felt it was just me."

"....there is no intermission in the joys of heaven.....
there shall be no expiration of them.
When God has once planted His saints in paradise,
He will never transplant them.
'They shall be forever with the Lord.' "
Thomas Watson.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

tiny photographer

Eli, my grandson, is nine.
When we arrived at the Manatee viewing lagoon,
 he asked to use my camera.
You know, that is one of my prize possessions.
He did quite a good job capturing memories for me.
In fact, he took over three hundred pictures.
The above is one of my favorites....
Jake and his Grammy.

Below is a Manatee.
a great big wonderful gentle giant.
God's imagination in the creation of animals
always astonishes me and causes me to 
offer praise and glory to the One,
the great God of the universe,
who spoke these beings into existence.

The Manatee viewing area is at the site of a huge power plant.
They come to this body of water in the winter
because the water is warmed from the energy produced at the plant.
Soon, when the weather warms the water elsewhere,
they will move on,
only to come back next winter to this same place.

Thanking God tonight for grandsons and the mysteries of nature.

Monday, February 6, 2017

february came

Just home from a little jaunt down to Florida.
Bubba and I got to spend some time one on one with Jake & Eli
while Amanda and Mark had a little "getaway."

She surprised me with an early birthday party
complete with a cake, flowers, ice cream, and a present.
Needless to say,
it was a wonderful start to my birthday month.

What a joy to be with my family,
to celebrate and enjoy just being together.
These trips to South Florida are always special.
The weather was divine...summer-like.
Such a beautiful place!

Having the boys all to myself is a real treat.
They are growing so fast,
but they're still "little boys" with a great love for
 Grammy & Granddaddy.

So thankful today for traveling mercy for all of us.
For good health,
 and a "heart full of joy" to bring home here to Georgia
as I remember all the fun and laughter.