Tuesday, May 29, 2012


We're all shaped by the things that happen to us in our lives.

In my growing up years, I struggled with trust.

And inevitably, I brought......I bring.......what happens in my personal life to my relationship with Jesus.

It's an ongoing challenge for me to trust - even Him.

But.   There's an even greater consequence for me if I don't.  I read this in my study notes in my Bible this morning.  "Lack of trust in God always prevents us from receiving His best."

I won't know His best for me if I don't trust Him.

Trust Him with my children.

Trust Him with my marriage.

Trust Him with my health.

Trust Him with my dreams.

Trust Him with my hopes.

Trust Him with my destiny.

Trust Him with the very life He's provided for me.

Here's the thing.     For much of my life, I felt I knew better.     My plans and my decisions had to be better than His.     How could what Jesus wanted for me be better than what I wanted for me?    


I have no idea how I lived in that mindset, but I did.   For many years.

All the while, He waited for me.    He didn't impose Himself on me.     He didn't take away my freedom to make my own choices.  

So, I did things the way I wanted to with very little thought of Him.

I had to learn the hard way.

I'm not sure at what point that changed.      Yeah, I probably do.       I had to fail at my own attempts.    I had to come to the end of myself.    I had to see for myself that my way was not the best way.  

As He walked with me through mistakes and failures, I grew to trust Him.

And I saw Him faithful to me,

- in times of failure
- in times of heartbreak
- in times of sickness
- in times of loss
- in times of emptiness

I saw Him faithful.

And my Trust in Him grew.

And my life began to change.

I wish I had known then, what I've come to see now.   Since I've learned to trust Him, He's made my life so much richer and more meaningful.   I've come to understand what abundance really means.    

He's opened the flood gates for me in every important way.     Bringing people into my life.     Blessing me with friendships and relationships.    Giving me opportunities and experiences that have greatly impacted my life.     Providing for me in every way you can imagine - relationally, spiritually, financially.      Being faithful to provide for my needs.    Answering prayers.    Showing Himself to me when I read His word.    

All of that has come, as I have trusted Him more.

I try not to think about all the opportunities that were lost while I was living out my life, my way.     I wish at a much earlier age...... He was the greatest desire of my life.    I don't focus on what I can't change.   I have to lay all of my past down before Him too.    He's used....and will use..... that part of my life time and time again anyway.  

Instead, I want to trust Him today.    And from this day forward.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Best Part of My Day

It's Memorial Day 2012.

And the best part of my day was getting caught in an afternoon down pour.     It's been a hot day -- and once I felt the first few sprinkles, I grabbed a broad rimmed sun hat, took a seat in my lounge chair in the backyard, popsicle in hand......and let the rain pour down!

Ahhh......a wonderful moment.     Drenched.   Refreshed.

I should do this more often.

Friday, May 25, 2012

People Do What They Want To!

I was just thinking.    I bet Amelia Earhart never sat around wishing she could take flying lessons.  

Maya Angelou probably never tucked her writing aside and said, " no one would be interested in my poems."

And it's hard to imagine Mother Teresa living out her life on the sidelines wishing there was something she could do to help people.

After many years, I have come to realize a simple truth.

People do what they want to!

Is that shocking news for anybody?

That truth goes for me too.

I'm trying to be more intentional with things that are important to me.   The things I really want to do.

For instance.  I was not letting last year go by without a trip to Kenya.   The door had closed on three different opportunities for me to go to Africa on a mission trip.   I  REALLY WANTED TO GO!    When a fourth trip came across my path.......well, actually, it didn't come across my path.    I went looking for it.  When the fourth trip came to my "attention" and I was invited to join a Kenya team from Newspring Church, I jumped in with both feet!

When I looked at the dates of the trip, I saw that we had a major fund raising event during that week at work.    I knew my staff they would be fine running it without me.  (and they were.)    I realized I would miss the first Thanksgiving EVER with my girls & my husband. (Secretly, I imagined they would have a whole new appreciation for me if I was away!)   Ha!    It's just one holiday.   Just one meal.   I didn't have all of the money I needed to cover the trip, but I knew that God had given me a desire for serving in Kenya -- and I knew He would provide it.   He did.    And I went.

So, when someone says to me:

"I wish I could go there!"

"I've always wanted to try that."

"I wish I could run a marathon."

"I'd love to get in really good shape"

"I've been meaning to call you."

"I would love to go on a mission trip."

" I've always wanted to get my pilot's license"

"I would love to go back to school"

"I've always wanted to volunteer."

My question would be:   Do you really want to do that?

Cause if you did, you would do it.

Simple truth.

People.... do.....what...... they........ want...... to.

Astounding discovery.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Just a Starting Place

Most of you know that my daughter, Kate, is getting married in about a month.

Yeah, we're in all out wedding planning mode around here, but Kate's wedding is going to suit her style and her way of doing things.    Frugal.    Simple.  Beautiful.   Friendly.    Intimate.   Unique.   One of a kind.     The service will be in a small church in Greenwood.    The reception will be in our back yard.  

Yep.   Personal.   The reception setting will be just like that song "The House that Built Me" by Miranda Lambert.   I cry about every time I hear it.    Many of us have that kind of house in our life.    Where we did the bulk of our growing up.    Home.   And as the song goes, her "favorite dog is buried in the yard" too (that's the part that always gets me!)     It'll be BBQ, shrimp & grits & tomato pie at the reception.  Hay bales to sit on, music, her wedding cake sitting atop a rustic slice of tree stump, quilts & maybe even a vintage Ford truck sitting as the centerpiece with sweet tea served off the tail gate.

As these days count down, I'm having a great time.    I've vowed (and so far so good) not to have a spirit of stress or anxiety surrounding the planning or this wedding.     My goodness.   There's enough stress and anxiety in this world not to bring it into a wedding.   True?

I told Kate this morning in an email.    This is just a starting place for "you and Josh."     I had no way of knowing when Scott & I got married 30 years ago, what a great partner he would make for me in all the years that followed.     Kate won't know that right now either.     She's marrying a very special young man.  We're crazy about him.  She knows that God lined up their lives and circumstances so they would meet and fall in love.

There's a million ways they'll both see in the years ahead that this marriage & partnership was exactly what God had in mind for them.   That's a lot to look forward to.

But for now.

It's just the starting place.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

I Fired Myself


I'm at a place in my life when responsibility is a dominant theme in my life.

I know I'm no different than many women with families & homes & jobs (whether you work in the home or outside the home.)

We're all balancing and handling responsibility.

It can be overwhelming.  

I'm responsible for my family.  My girls are grown, but I still feel responsible for their safety, for their security, their general well being and their comfort.  I'm responsible for my home.  For processing the laundry, for pushing up the thermostat before I leave to go to work each day, for watering my plants and cleaning out the litter box.  I'm largely responsible for our finances....for paying the bills & for balancing our checkbook. For being concerned when the savings account gets too low, when tuition is due or books need to bought for school and when the FAFSA report needs to be completed....... (which reminds me....)

I'm  responsible for making sure hair appointments get made and dental check-ups are scheduled.   I'm responsible for the agency where I work. Responsible for my employees, for our budget, for making sure things operate well, that we reach more people and raise more money, that my staff feel appreciated.  

I'll be honest.

Sometimes responsibility weighs heavy on me.

Sometimes I long just to be free from it.   I feel sure my life would be easier or better with less responsibility.  

My favorite bible teacher, Beth Moore, said something very profound recently about this very thing.  We sometimes take on more responsibility than God ever intended for us to carry.  

That was a revolutionary thought for me.

God didn't actually need my help solving the difficult problems of a friend.  He never intended for me to be responsible for that loved one's health or happiness.   My girl's ultimate safety and security was never mine to provide.    Yes, I did have to deal with the FAFSA report and pay tuition on time, but my family's finances belong to Him.  He's responsible for my staff, my home and my family.

So, I did the only thing I could do when confronted with these truths.  

I fired myself from some responsibilities.    

I did.    I fired myself from some very heavy responsibilities that I never should have shouldered in the first place...... and a strange thing  happened.  I began to feel relief.  

Yeah,  He still expects me to pay the bills and change the litter box.   Many of the other responsibilities, however, that I tried to carry......I sensed Him tell me -- "I've got it....trust me with them.  They belong to me.   Not to you."

Ahhhh......what a revelation.   The God of the Universe doesn't need my help.    Who would have thought it??

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

This post is written for my mom, Mary Robertson Hendricks, but you're welcome to read along with you like.

Happy Mother's Day, mom!    Here's thanking you for:

- providing a good home for me & my brothers when we were growing up.

- all the sacrifices I know you made raising four kids within a short span of years.

- always making sure we were in church.

- being brave enough to take us on road trips by yourself when dad was busy building a new business.

- that green jello stuff with cream cheese & pecans you whipped up from time to time.

- making holidays a special time at our house.

- giving me an appreciation for history at an early age.

- Saturdays at the farmer's market in Greenville as a kid.

- allowing me to be one of the boys:  riding motorcycles, go carts, horses, playing football, etc.

- realizing when I was in the 6th grade that handmade clothes were no longer cool to wear.

- renting shabby beach houses at Pawley's Island during the summer.

- encouraging my love for art & signing me up for drawing & painting classes along the way.

- making sure I took advantage of traveling when the opportunity came.

- not lecturing me for withdrawing from USC at the beginning of my sophomore year without
   discussing it with you first.

- not getting mad on the ride home from USC with all of my belongings when I ran your
   prized Audi off the edge of the road and blew out two of your tires.     
- supporting my decision to transfer to Clemson, even though you knew it was mostly to be with Scott.

- always giving me a good bit of freedom to make my own decisions.

- enduring the lengthy pages of instructions of how to care for my children when I
   left them in your care.

- investing a great deal of love, attention and time in my girls.

- respecting my opinions, even when they didn't coincide with yours.

- walking through my cancer diagnosis & surgery & recuperation with me.

- always making me feel that you were in my corner.

- never, ever missing a birthday, a special milestone or event in my personal or
   professional life!

You've been a good mama to me - I love you very much...Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Screen Door Art!

The sound of a screen door is a strong childhood memory for me.

As it opened......that familiar creeeeeeking sound....followed by the whopppppping sound as it slammed very sharply closed.  

Everybody had a screen door in the country.  You didn't need a door bell back then.   The screen door announced anyone's comings and goings.    I soon found that the further you pulled the screen door open, the louder the whoppppping sound when it closed.   Fun!

I blogged a while back that my job has allowed me to do some makeovers - renovating traditional senior centers in this area to more intimate, warm, friendly cafes.   One of my favorite decorating items in the makeovers has been screen doors.    Here's a few that I used.   Who knows.  You might be inspired to incorporate one in your home.

A really large wall in our first makeover in Abbeville presented a challenge & screen doors (minus the screen) was a creative solution.   We painted the door frame an accent color, added artwork & a cool piece of art was created!

This senior dining room  in Abbeville had little personality when we started.  The hanging windows and screen doors added a lot of interest to the room - serving as floating walls that added a little more intimacy to the room. 

The same idea was used in the makeover we did in Greenwood.  A red door on a yellow wall was very striking.  The large wall clocks look great in the biggest space.  We added some metal art & canvas art to complete the piece.

During the makeovers, I bought a number of doors at a great place called Old House Salvage Company off Hwy 25 between Greenwood & Moonville.   This over sized screen door was very rustic - but I loved the way it looked.  I brushed off the dirt & cobwebs & used the door to frame out some coffee art.   I love this door.

Another BIG wall in Edgefield was covered well by screen door art.   The photos of pets in this art & some local pictures of Edgefield made this a personal & interesting wall.

This was a large dining room at Edgefield's Senior Center, transformed into the "Village Cup Cafe."
These floating screen doors sectioned off the room around this seating area.

Two more screen doors placed behind this sofa area created a little more privacy.

I've gotten A LOT of use out this idea!   When Kate & I set her little house up in Charlotte a few months ago, we added some screen door art to her dining room.  Love the red clock!   She picked out the diner style plates & the bicycle.

So....what do you think.  Got a spot picked out to hang a door in your house??

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Coincidence? Are you kidding?

It's been an anxious few days for me.   My annual cancer scans and tests were last Friday.    I've tried to stay focused on other things since Friday, but my mind and imagination are powerful opponents.    I know God understands how I feel.  I don't have to pretend I have it all together.  

I wanted to get a short blog out tonight to honor His faithfulness to me.   This morning, I got up early to do my quiet time.

As He would have it, the next chapter waiting on me this morning was Psalm 91.    This is what I read:

He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
He is my God, and I will trust Him.
For He will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease.

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in the darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.

I stared at these verses this morning - knowing they were there for me.  His word made very personal and relevant for me.   My faith is very simple.    I believe God speaks to us through His word.    When I come to Him....needing and asking to hear from Him.....He responds.   Coincidence?  Are you KIDDING me?    His word is relevant and true and timely.

And my scans and tests?   I got the results today.   They were all normal.     YAYYYYYYYYYYYY!
Thanking God for his faithfulness and my health tonight!