Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Time Ups and Downs

Happy Spring  to one and all! Here are my answers to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you want to play along then copy and answer on your own blog, then run back over to Joyce's blog by clicking here and add your link to the party. See you there!

1. Setting aside the real March Madness (NCAA Basketball) describe something happening at your house this month that might earn the title 'March Madness'?  Getting Income Taxes ready to turn into the Preparer.  Stuff was moved all over the place when I was in the hospital and I am still finding receipts and such.
2. What's a favorite made up word from your childhood or a favorite from your children's childhood? Does your family still use the word today? If there's a story behind the origin please share.  Alas, I did not have a made up word when I was a kid.  My mom was a stickler on using words that really existed.  This carried over to my children as well.  If she thought you were using a made up word you would have to go get the dictionary, look it up, write 5 sentences using I made sure I never used them.
3. Will you be doing any spring cleaning now that the season is upon us? I read here a list of 15 quick (under one hour) spring cleaning tasks. They were-

clean out a drawer, vacuum furniture, whiten tile grout, dust the nooks and crannies you don't get to year round, degrease kitchen cabinets, wipe down walls, go behind furniture, wipe down ceiling fans, vacuum the mattress, clean the range hood, wash baseboards, shine the stainless steel, clean out vents, tackle the windows, and wipe down gadgets

Of the fifteen 'quick' tasks listed which two most need doing at your house? Will you do them?  I will be cleaning out drawers, vacuuming furniture and drapes, moving furniture around, wiping down ceiling fans, and several other small activities. These excite me.  I find stuff I did not know I was missing.   I will save the big stuff for after school gets out.
4. A favorite movie set in Paris or New York?  An Affair to Remember and Saturday Night Fever.  Paris would be Ratatoille (spelled wrong I know).
5. What's put a spring in your step this month?  Spring Break for my school system begins on Friday.
6. Did you ever want to be a teacher? Why or why not?  I did not ever want to be a teacher.  I wanted to be someone who bummed around the world and wrote in her journal and was published for her amazing works.....or work at the BBC in London on some grand Shakespearean project.....I ended up being a teacher....and feel that was the road best taken. I guess the Father really does know best.   I love my job.

7.  What's your favorite floral scent? Do you have this somewhere in your home or maybe in a perfume? How do you feel about florals in food? How about wines with floral notes-yay or nay?  My favorite floral scent is lavender, hands down. I am allergic to a lot of gardenias....but I love the smell of flowers.    I have lavender all over my house in live and essential oil format.  I love florals in food....if they are edible.  I even like wines with some floral notes.
8. Insert your own random thought here.  My 45th class reunion is this summer.  Susan and I have attended a few of ours and left the hubby's at home.  We have really enjoyed meeting up with our classmates, finding out what they are doing, and hanging out with each other....oh! and reliving our lives growing visiting places that only exist in our memories.  This year I think we are going to make a trip of it and bring the guys with us.  The other side of reunions:  I went to Frank's 30th in Fort Walton, Florida.  We went to the mixer on Friday......I had a blast.....he was miserable.....and we did not go back on Saturday.  Have you ever attended a class reunion and how did you feel about it?

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Luck of the Irish - Happy St. Patrick's Day.

St. Patrick's day is the one day of the year when we all can be a little bit Irish.  It is one of those holidays that everyone loves but might not be quite sure how it all started.  Lá Fhéile Pádraig - or the Day of the Festival of St. Patrick - is a cultural or religious celebration which is on the 17th of March, which is the date notes as the traditional death date of St. Patrick (ad 385-461) , the foremost patron saint of Ireland. But the day not only celebrates the arrival of Christianity into Ireland, but celebrates Irish culture and heritage in general.  St. Patrick's Day in London emerged after the end of World War II and it was through St. Patrick's day that members of the Irish Country Associations would meet up with their fellow county ex-pats and walk behind their county banners, celebrating their Irish identity.  It's from this tradition that our Irish Day Parades today have evolved. The city of Chicago dyes the Chicago River green to celebrate the day. Savannah dies their fountains.  Green beer can be found in any good pub.  My favorite tradition is the serving of corned beef and cabbage.  I LOVE IT!....One day a year.  In 2009 I was fortunate enough to be in Dublin for St. Paddy's Day.  It was remarkable and remarkably crazy.

If you ever get a chance to visit Ireland you must go.  It will claim your heart.  I know it did mine.

Happy St. Patrick's Day !

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wednesday Hodge Podge 300 and Counting

300? Say what??? It's true! We've reached the 300th edition of the Wednesday Hodgepodge, so go us! And to celebrate we've got a brand new Hodgepodge button. You can grab the code from Joyce's sidebar by clicking here to include in your post.  Is it not beautiful.. One item of business-Joyce has declared  next week Spring Break in the Hodgepodge, so no Wednesday Hodgepodge on March 15th. Joyce and her daughter will be visiting the west coast.  I don't know about you but I am a bit jealous. The Hodgepodge will be back in action the following week, March 22nd.  Want to participate?  Answer on your own blog then hop over to Joyce's blog by clicking here  to add your link to the party. Be sure to visit a few a leave a little bloggy love.

1. What is one area of your life where you're a perfectionist? Is that a good thing?  I am a perfectionist when it comes to singing.  It is a good thing most of the time....except that I hate to mess up.  It kills me.....and then I worry about my performance.  I used to be really bad and actually throw up before performing in public.  I HAVE outgrown that.
2. What's something you find perfectly ridiculous?

3. What's a skill you've developed by way of that old fashioned saying, 'practice makes perfectAgain it has to be singing.  I took voice lessons, I sing all the time, I do scales....I practice, practice, practice
4. What's your idea of a perfect breakfast?  Oatmeal with fresh berries and toast.

5. What's a trip, holiday, vacation, or day outing you've taken that you'd rate a perfect 10? Tell us why.  They would all be perfect 10's if I was really honest.....I have several.....Pacific Northwest with Amanda and family and Kat.  PEI with Kat, Nantucket with my SMAK group, Niagra Falls when Nick walked across the falls with Susan, Amanda, Linda, and Missy, Mackinaw twice with special people, Italy with my daughter, Kat and dear friend Mary is my number one.  England, Ireland and Wales with Mary....and Hawaii for Mary's 50th birthday.  Any trip I take with Frank is always a 10.  I love to travel, especially with special people in my life.
6. What quote or saying perfectly sums up your life right now? If you can't do perfect, how about one that comes close?  Every perfect life is a parable invented by God. Simone Weil

7. How would you spend $300 today?  I would send it to my daughter and son-in-law in Moldova for Stella's Voice and to help stop human trafficking.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.  Our Spring Break is the last week in March.  When you were in school did you have Spring Break and what did you do?  I grew up in South Florida and Spring Break was crazy in Fort Lauderdale/Miami with all the colleges coming down.  Those two towns were off limits for me during Spring Break I live in Alabama and everyone here goes to the Gulf Coast....I still avoid the beach during Spring Break.  Believe was never like Where The Boys Are portrayed it.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wearied and Burdened

One of my favorite verses is found in Matthew 11:28:  "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

There are so many times in my life when this verse has been there for me.  I remember when my brother died, my grandparents, my parents, .....and then there was Mary.  I can remember my cell phone buzzing at 4 in the morning....I knew it would be one calls me that early.  I sat there and read the text in horror and disbelief. The first thought in my mind was NOOOOOOOOO!  How could she leave me?  How could she be gone? We had so many plans!  We were planning to drive Route 66 this summer!  She was the picture of potential. So much going for her. She had been through so many challenges and had come so far...I remember the gastro bypass gone wrong....and chuckled.  Then more shockwaves rippled through the core of my heart followed by a landslide of sorrow.  I woke Frank up in tears and he silently held me as we both felt the enormous grief permeate through us.  Mary was gone!   All who knew and loved her grieved. In our homes. On social media. In our conversations. In our prayers. In our hearts.  We grieved deep with a pain that stings fierce.
We grieved for Bill, the boys, the grandkids, for the empty seat at their dinner table, and the empty gape in their hearts and home. We grieved for her friends, BRHS, and our community. We grieved because death hurts. 

As we gathered in the community to celebrate her life many stories were shared. I struggled to breathe.  She was my soulmate.  She was my sister from another mother.  I hated cancer.  In the sacred sanctuary of God’s presence, we were reminded that God is the healer of the broken and as I looked at her family I saw brokenness. We were reminded that death is not the end for those that place their faith in Christ. We were reminded to cherish those we love and to keep our eyes wide open to the needs of those around us.   I stood on the stage to sing and could not breathe.  I hurt.  Even today, five years later the weight of it all still sits heavy on my heart. I remember pouring my heart out to the Comforter and sensing His peace in the middle of the grief. The burden remains, but the pressure of it is lightened in His presence. And I’m reminded that God’s strength comes to me as I yoke myself to Jesus and allow Him to share in the carrying of my grief. In doing so, I am locked into His power that walks with me step by step through every struggle.  I found myself wondering....when life is jagged and darkness taunts us like a bully, how can we see beyond the despair that grips us?  I did find in the depth of my pain that... when grief runs deep God’s comforting love runs deeper still.  The peace I was longing for and the rest that I was desperate for would always be found in the arms of Jesus. And those arms are constantly reaching out to us.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29).  This is the invitation Jesus gives to each of us. Will you accept his invitation?