Monday, December 29, 2014

He Makes It Personal

I'd like to say that I've done a decent job.

Of following Him.

I haven't.

I'm a total and complete.....wash out at times.

Who am I kidding?

Many times.

But I do love Him.

I really do.

And the thing I've seen happen in me this last year.


Is that I'm paying closer attention.

To the personal things.

The things I know He provides for me.

I saw one last week.

I'd been working long hours on a project at work.

And woke up tired.

And a little grumpy.

I left the house in Due West for the drive into Greenwood.

Topped the hill right outside of town.

And there it was.

Bright pink skies.

Just plain.  Stunning.

An incredible sunrise.

And at the very moment I saw it.

My favorite Christmas song started playing on the radio station I tuned in.

I'd been listening to the all-Christmas station for three weeks without hearing that song.

Nobody was playing it.

But right at that moment.

I got the stunning sunrise and my favorite Christmas song simultaneously.

And I knew.

It was from Him.

For me.

And it was personal.

I was really struggling with a question a few months ago.

About a situation in my life?

Had I done the right thing?

Made the right decision?

The back & forth of the struggle.

Was wearing me out.

And on the day I finally decided to stop wrestling with it.

And start asking Him to give me some kind of confirmation.

I got the card.

Inscribed with a hand written note.

From a co-worker.

Who had no idea about the question I'd been struggling with.

But there it was in black and white.

My confirmation.


It was as if the hand of God had written it.

So specific to my questioning.

From an unsuspecting co-worker.

But His way of speaking truth over me.

And the clincher?

The note was written on a card that featured one of my favorite artists.


It was on that card.

His way of giving me the confirmation I needed.

And on that day.

That particular struggle ceased.

Because He was personal.

Probably the biggest example this year.

Was the hummingbird.

A hummingbird that appeared in my living room back in July.

At 5:00 a.m.

As I sat down to do my quiet time.

Yes, the door to my porch was slightly ajar.

So it could have come in through that small space.

But in the darkness of early morning?

Right beside my chair?

At the moment I opened my devotional and the first sentence read:

"as you listen to birds calling to one another....hear also my love for you."


It was for me.

And I knew it.

And it was personal.

My love for Him is flawed.

And sometimes I'm full of doubt.

More often....... just full of myself.

But He still provides it.

Personal encounters.

Showing me.

In a way I can see and experience.

That He cares about me.

That He loves me.

That He's with me.

And......He makes it personal.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

50 Things I Love

There's something very revealing.

When someone shares.

What they love.

You gain some insight inside.


Just for fun.

Here's just a few of mine.


My life changed there.
The kind of change that you never get over....that kind of change.

Anderson Cooper.

Admit it.
He's adorable.
My favorite news anchor.
Smart. Serious.
And surprisingly funny.
When he gets tickled on air & giggles, you see a  totally different side of him altogether.

Anne of Green Gables.

I raised my girls on the stories of Anne Shirley.
And Green Gables.
Romantic.  Endearing.  A favorite.

Going Bare Footed.

My shoes come off the minute I hit the door.
I try never to cover my feet until the dead of winter.
Even's reluctantly.

The Beach.

It reminds me of how small I am.
Peaceful.  Calming.  Restoring.

Arlington National Cemetery.

I first saw in on Kate's 8th grade field trip to Washington, DC.
The sacrifices it represents is hard to take in.

Beth Moore.

She's my favorite bible teacher.
And this side of heaven.
The single greatest spiritual influence on my life.
The real deal.


My favorite fruit.
I keep a bag of them in my freezer.
They top my cereal.  My oatmeal.  My pancakes.

The Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Just the sight of them.
Is home to me.

Glass Bottles.

I'm drawn to them.
Holding a single flower stem.
Or placed near the light.
Better yet.
Placed on my very own bottle tree.


At my house.
We go big at breakfast!
Mostly on the weekends.
Pancakes....bacon....fruit.....and a strong cup of hot coffee.

Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina.

Ancient oak trees covered in moss.
Amazing statues.
My girls grew up sipping tea, watching performances & enjoying quiet walks through these gardens.
Some things never change.


Made on camping trips.
Or in our fire pit.
Sitting around one encourages conversation.
Pull up a camping chair.
Lean the flames.....and talk.

Chai Tea Latte.

The best ones?
Made at Aroma's Coffee or E City Java.
Always.......with whip cream!




Served Hot.
Drizzled with Honey.
Slightly crusty &  very dense.


Since I was little.
I've never been without one or more.
Interesting creatures.
My constant companions.

Clinched Hands.

A powerful image & reminder to me.
When i sense myself holding on tightly to problems or trouble.
To let it.
And release it in prayer.


When I see them out the window of my car....or on a plane.
I still try to imagine what shapes or images I see.
Just like I did as a kid.
 Laying in the bed of a truck as we traveled down country roads.


She was quite a presence in the world.
And many women of my generation were influenced by her.
Her vulnerability always appealed to me.
She was mysterious.   And sought after.   And glamorous.
And we could never get enough of her.


Don't get me wrong.
I'm far from a good cook....much less a baker.
But I do love the feel of it in my hands.
Shaping it.  Flouring it.  Rolling it.


But capable of great tenderness.
With a strong sense of family & community.
They're amazing.

Grass Cutting.

There's something very satisfying about it.
The sound of the lawn mower drowns out the world.
And I can look back over your shoulder.
And tell exactly.
 Where I've been.

Green Jadite.

A beautiful color.
Soothing.   Subtle.   Lovely.

Hot water bottles.

A comfort for anything that ails you.
Perfect at the foot of your bed on a cold night.
Between the sheets.
And undiscovered until your foot slides down to greet it.

James Carville.

Just the sight of him makes my conservative husband cringe.
But, there's something about him I love.
Smart, southern, witty.
And when he smiles, his eyes become so squinty......they completely disappear.


I've kept one since I was twelve years old.
Getting my thoughts down on paper.
Always makes things seem more manageable.

Our Kenya Bus.

Just the sight of it makes me smile.
I've logged hours & hours by one of these windows.
Lost in my thoughts.
Accompanied by great friends.
Having some of the most memorable experiences of my life.


I wish she was my aunt or my cousin.
Or my next door neighbor.
That would be awesome!

A massage.

When it's so relaxing you can barely focus to drive home.
You know you've had a good one.

Meryl Streep.

No my book.....comes close to matching her.

Maya Angelou.

Took my mom & my girls to see her several years ago.
She stood on the stage and told stories.
With that voice.
We were all mesmerized.
And I became a huge fan.


I'm a morning person.
Even on weekends, I'm usually up by 6.
I love that it's quiet.
And the possibilities for the day are not yet known.
That only the morning.


I can be content for hours working on a mosaic.
And I like the idea.
That some of my windows.
May actually get passed on from one generation to the next.
Long after I'm gone, some may still be around.
I like that a lot.


The perfect flower.
All that needs to be said.

Pick up trucks.

I bought my very own red one when I turned 40.
She's still going strong today.

Plane travel.

Looking out on the clouds.
And the ground below.
Gives me a better view of the world.
And my place in it.
Give me a window seat, a movie screen & a pillow.
I'll fly contently almost anywhere.

Pride And Prejudice.

A total chick flick.
But so wonderful.
Beautifully photographed.  
Never gets old.


I don't think a more gentle creature exists in all the world.
And to put my hands on one.
Brings me great joy!


Love to walk in it.
Love to sit in it.
Love to listen to it.


There's something incredibly satisfying.
About taking something old, worn out or abandoned.
And seeing it brought back.
To something useful and inviting.
Renovating our old house in Due West.
Was one of the best experiences of my life.
(Not during the actual process, necessarily.)
But a whole.

Screen Doors.

Love the way they look.
Love the way they sound.
Creaking.  Whopping.   Closing.


All kinds of trees.
They remind me.....
Strength.  Endurance.   Life.


I love treasure hunting for vintage finds.
And I've filled my house with them.
The history behind each piece is much more interesting to me..
Than anything new or unused.

Tom Hanks.

Forest Gump.
You've Got Mail.
A League of Their Own.
Sleepless in Seattle.
Saving Private Ryan.
My favorite actor.

The Village Grill, Abbeville, SC

No better opinion....anywhere.
A complete treat to eat here.
Always....always.....always delicious.
Total yum to the last bite.


Over the last ten years.
I've logged over 3000 miles of walking.
I walk off stress.....worry......and problems.
There's something about getting winded from a hard, brisk walk.
That makes everything seem better.

The West Wing.

My all time favorite series.
Smart.  Well written.  
Appeals to my strong interest in government.
And all that's good and decent about our county.


I saw my first grizzly there.
And moose.
And elk.


The peony may be the perfect flower.
But the zinnia is the happiest flower.
In summers that I take the time to grow them.
They supply me with bouquets and cuttings.
For weeks.
Bright.  Beautiful Zinnias.