Monday, December 15, 2008

Defining Joy

To be totally honest, I've had mostly good days here in Texas, but last week during the night on Saturday night, I woke up from a dream and cried like I haven't in years. I think it was my very soul going through separation and loss. It was the worst grief I've experienced since my sweet daddy went to be with Jesus. Poor Mark was at his wits end. It lasted for several hours and even bled over into the morning. There were no words to explain it. My soul was literally groaning in agony. I put it aside as I tend to do and probably fed it over the week with some M & M's and other various chocolates....chocolate covered pretzels, in fact.

When I got to church yesterday the sermon was the beginning of a series on the gifts of Christmas. The first was "Joy." The pastor used several examples of real joy including what Job felt after losing his home, family, land, and as he was scratching boils over his entire body.....he felt the love of God and counted it all joy. True joy comes only after intense sorrow and suffering. Joy is not related to more temporal "happiness." Joy involves the soul. It has nothing to do with our circumstances. It has to do with the condition of our souls. Mine is secure, covered by the blood of Jesus. He will not leave me or forsake me. I've heard all this before, but now it really has penetrated my heart. He has called us to this place. I am leaning on Him as I never have before. And I know that I am exactly where he wants me. Broken and at his feet, trusting him for every breath I take. It is so much easier to hear him when I'm totally broken. His sweet promises whisper in my heart and mind. "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thess 5:16-18

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalms 16:11

Why he would do this for me, the worst of sinners, I can't fully comprehend. The fact that he did is testimony of his goodness and grace.

Amidst the sorrow, the joy shines through. I love my husband and the time we are having to act like honeymooners and the freedom of no expectations placed on us. We are enjoying making this house our home and exploring our new town together. We are waiting for clear direction as to what comes next, where he would have us serve, but we know our God is our future. He will direct our paths and has a wonderful plan for us. It is all good.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:10-12

To God alone be the Glory. Great things He has done.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Decorations Pictures and requested Sewing Room Pics

Here is the mantle in the family room! There are 11 stockings hanging here! The stripey ones are the additions to our family, Lindsay, Charissa, and the reddest/greenest is COLTON'S waiting for Santa to fill!
This is taken from the family room looking into the kitchen. This is my cookie tree. All the ornaments are for cooking or made of things that are supposed to be edible. It was a lot of fun. Under it is my "It's a Wonderful Life Village." My Dickens is still in Nashville! It will be here Dec. 18, so it won't see the light of day this year!
This is our Christmas tree. The first year to use a pre-lit tree. It sits in the art niche as they call it in Texas (common in houses here). Just off the entry.

This is my sewing room from the doorway. Jane is positioned at an angle (she is sooo long!). That cabinet was made by my daddy for mama, but he signed the back that it was to go to me. Mama let me go ahead and have it. I love having it there to hold all my supplies. You will also notice my "T For Texas, T For Tennessee" quilt hanging on the wall. The center of that top was made by my precious Hope House Quilters for me. Then they gave me fabrics to complete it as I chose. I used Terry Atkinson's Monterrey Medallion for the setting. My sewing hutch is to the right. On the opposite wall is a bookshelf with all my books, patterns, and assorted kits, etc.

The Sewing Hutch ready to go!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New pics on Lindsay's blog

Go to to see some Christmas pics of Colton. They will get you in the Christmas spirit for sure!

Monday, December 8, 2008


It's funny, (not really, just a part of God's hand in my life and definitely NOTby accident) but I've been re-reading some novels by Francine Rivers, the Mark of the Lion series beginning with A Voice in the Wind. They chronicle the fictitious life of the daughter of Jairus' son, the boy Jesus raised from the dead. This girl, Hadassah, was the only one of her family to survive the Roman invasion of Jerusalem and was sold into slavery in Rome. She served her owners with love and dignity. She was continually thankful for her life and where God had put her to serve despite her very difficult circumstances and hardships and persecution. I know it's fiction, but it reminds me of how I need to look past myself and see the greater purposes God has for me and my life. I highly recommend this series of 3 novels. It helps me to put my circumstances in perspective. Surely there were those like this fictional girl who were bold enough to share their faith, love their captors, and give themselves to the truth of the gospel no matter the cost. Something to ponder. and I have a lot of time for pondering these days. (copied from a letter I wrote to a friend.....So, Friend, if you are reading this, I wrote it to YOU first! Thanks Sweet Friend!) Go to the library or bookstore and CHECK IT OUT!


A couple of holiday pictures for your enjoyment!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Its Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

I know I've been slacking in my blogging duties, but life has been busy with Thanksgiving and all.

We've had visitors from the East! Mike and Francine Creecy, some of our best friends dating back to our days in Russellville, KY, were here for Thanksgiving. Their oldest daughter, Rebecca, and her hubby, Brad, live here in Houston, so we spent Thanksgiving together. The Creecy's younger daughter, Sarah, was with us, as was Grace and we had a great time eating, watching football (GO TITANS!) putting together a puzzle, playing Wii and finally singing karioke! Yes, even Mark participated! So fun. It was a different Thanksgiving from any we've ever had, but it was great fun. We missed our families so much, but having the Creecy clan here was certainly a sweet gift. To add to that, Sarah will be moving here in January, so there will be more reasons for Mike and Francine to visit!

I picked up Grace from the airport on Wednesday and we made a beeline for the Galleria, a huge 3 story mall in Houston. We had fun looking at all the stores we couldn't afford to even go in and shopping the sales at Neiman Marcus. Grace found a purse she loved on SALE for $1400.00 and I looked at bargain shoes for my niece, Lucy. I saw lots she would have loved on sale from $900 or so to the $600 range. What a great buy:) If you believe we purchased anything, you don't really know me! It was fun to shop, but really crazy to think people really spend that much on purses and shoes! I feel extravagant to spend $50 on a knockoff purse! Give me Target anyday!

Grace and I hit the sales at Kohls and Target on Friday. We did really find some great things. Ho, Ho, Ho! Then we adjourned home where Grace spent the rest of the entire day on a project for school. She spent most of Saturday on it, too. It paid off, though, as she earned a 169 out of a possible 170 on this huge project. Yea for Grace! It was wonderful just having her in the house.

We took Bear and Dixie to the very large and nice "Millie Bush Bark Park" in the George Bush (the first one) park near our house. It has two very large cement ponds for the dogs to swim and both had a great time. They were worn out by the time we got home and Dixie needed aspirin the next day for her aching muscles!

We put up the Christmas tree on Saturday and I must admit there were a few tears. It was a new tree (we bought it on sale last year), in a new house, in a new city. Sometimes homesickness creeps in which is only natural I suppose. Rest assured, though, God is here and comforts me all the time! I'm reminded of those who went to far places all throughout history and God was with them as He is by my side constantly. We are a continuing line of people following where God would have us be. And if He is with us, it doesn't matter where we are. I am complete with Him. My Jesus Calling for today tells me that "those who have drawn near Him trustingly uttering His Name will be filled with inexpressble and glorious joy. (I Peter 1:8-9). " (By the way, if you need a great devotional book, try Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. It's wonderful!)

I'm continuing to practice on my quilting machine. The mechanics of it are improving, but I have a way to go before I put my needle in anyone else's work!

There is a new update about Colton from Lindsay on her blog. There are cute pictures of him as well. He is so long! Totally off the charts.

I've made a new friend at church. Her name is Joy and we went to lunch and on a tour of Sugarland, TX, yesterday. She has been an answer to prayer for a sweet friendship. We share a love of being creative. She makes beautiful jewelry, paper art with handmade cards and things and is also an accomplished potter. I'm sure she will appear in pictures soon. We were invited to dinner with their small group (called Life Groups here) before an event at church next Sunday evening. It's called Christmas Cafe and a couple from the church makes all these great desserts and there is a coffeehouse type show of Christmas music performed. We are really looking forward to that!

By the way, we have a new email provider, thus a new address. I wasn't able to save my address book, so email me with your address! My new address is I look forward to hearing from you!

Well, I'll stop for now. The trouble with waiting to post is that the post becomes soo long!