Tuesday, July 19, 2016

We All Change

Its funny how we all change as we get older, experience things throughout our lives, see things differently when we really go through hard times.....it's called growing up.  As a child, I saw many things a child should have never seen or experienced. But looking back, I believe God allowed that stuff to benefit me as I got older.  He didn't make it happen, the devil did, but God turned it to the good as His word says.  
Romans 8:28
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose".  

I've watched my Mom go through some really difficult times. We've experienced many together.  We've had our ups and downs and our relationship suffered greatly for many years.  But the way I grew up, I knew how important family was and is,  so we fought through it and now we've both changed.   There were times I thought my Mom was a weak person for not standing firm or for taking abuse.  I watched her give in time after time as my heart broke for me and for her.  Knowing that our relationship would take yet another blow.  Even though, at times, we were on different pages, we still had a deep love for each other and knew how important family was so we struggled through.  The pain we both experienced was was awful and I would never want to go back to those days for anything.  It's finally that when I suffered with septic shock and was in the hospital on life support, that something finally broke.  I remember waking up from being on life support, I felt something I had never felt before....an overwhelming feeling of love.  I could see (spiritually) the word "Yahweh",  in brightly in-bedded white letters,  on my forehead.  Things had happened that were unexplainable to most but I knew what had happened.   I was in His presence while in a coma.  As I laid there in that hospital bed, the tv was on.  Joyce Meyer was telling a story about what she had endured with her dad and how she finally forgave him when he was dying.  She had had an epiphany.  I began to cry.  My life changed that very instance.  I had been saved for many many years, but I had never experienced the feelings I had that day.  I had never truly forgiven Mom  and Mom carried so much guilt for what had happened in my life.    Neither of us could really move forward because we were both holding on to junk we needed to let go.  

Mom was at my home holding the fort down, as they say, while my husband and Aunt spent their days and nights with me at the hospital.  When I finally came home, she was there.  As I came in, I was so weak and frail, I had to sit in a chair by the door.   Mom was at the bottom of our stairs looking at me like a little child.  I could see that she wanted to run and grab me up, but she was scared.  I looked at her and started telling her about my stay and what all I had experienced spiritually.  I told her that God had told me to let go of it all and forgive her completely.  She burst into tears.  I got up and went to her.  We both embraced each other and wept. That day was the beginning of our relationship as Mom and daughter.  That day I began to see my Mom in a whole different light.  I saw Mom take more junk that she didn't deserve, go through battles that would make anyone fall, but I also saw that something had changed in her.  I saw a fighting spirit.  I saw her come out from things that she had taken her whole life.  I saw her becoming stronger, more confident, more resilient.  She became stronger in her relationship with God.  And our bond has become something I had always dreamed it could be.  I have a Mom who is my very best friend.  The love we share is amazing.  She has grown so much. 

It's amazing how so much turmoil and bad things can either make or break you.  Sometimes you don't even realize it and think you're doing great.  But God always has His divine purpose and knows the desires of our hearts.  He gave me something far greater than any riches in this land could ever give me.....my Mom.  We really should write a book. 

As I go through this chapter in Mom's life with her and her husband, I sit and am amazed at how strong my Mom really is.  She is the sole caregiver to her husband who has cancer.  Her whole life revolves around making sure he's taken care of.  She is so kind and loving.....even after going days without much sleep.  I've even watched Carl change, because of Mom's love and endurance. 

I see Mom has changed in so many ways, stronger in her faith and life and I am so proud to tell the world she is my Mom.  So you see...... I am the one that has changed....because Mom was always this person but I just never saw it because I needed to change.  It was me the whole time that kept her from forgiving herself.

Oh how I love Jesus....for opening my eyes, making me into what He wants, allowing me to see things so beautiful.  I love my Mom so much!  Please pray for her and her husband as they fight this battle together.   

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Jacket to Remember

Recently, Anne from White Lace Cottage posted a photo of her wearing a cute ruffled blue jean jacket.  The ruffle on the jacket grabbed my attention!  So I decided to make my own rendition.

 I have so many blue jean jackets but didn't want to cut them up because I still love them all.  I had some of Mammaw's clothes and decided to make a jacket from one of her shirts that I would have never worn but wanted to keep.  She wore this shirt and a skirt many times and looked so beautiful in it.  I knew she would be so proud with me for making it into something new since we both loved to sew.  I've never held the title at making clothes, she did that.  But I have to say, it turned out so cute!

I'm a casual gal...I love blue jeans so I paired the black shirt/made into a jacket with a striped tank and some white boat shoes.  Kind of a nautical look.

I'm not a skinny girl either but I do love my curves. The ruffle just makes it curve so much better than just hanging straight.

I did take it up in the back to add more of a fitted look.  The shirt had shoulder pads in it and I opted to take them out at first, but then decided to keep them.  I used a dark denim for the ruffle and lightened this photo up so that it could be seen....but in reality, it really looks like a deep navy, almost black. 

I love to rework clothing, giving them a whole different look.  
So it really is a jacket to remember.  A memory of Mammaw and a new life.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Gag at a gnat

Have you ever pondered how flowers grow?

When you plant that little seed in the dirt, you never know how it's going to grow exactly, but if you plant it in rich soil,  you nourish it, pamper it, and feed it....it usually turns out beautiful now doesn't it?

I had a conversation with a few friends this past week and our words got me to thinking.  If you surround yourself with negativity, that's what will be in your life.  If you are looking for perfection, you'll never get it because we all know nothing is perfect on this earth and no human has ever been perfect other than Jesus.

The King James Bible tells us to study to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15), to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12)....those scriptures are pretty self explanatory to me.  

I also love the scripture that says Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.  (Matthew 23:24)
We make it so hard on ourselves when it really is so simple to serve God and to have good lives.  We will still face hard times because it says That ye be children of your  Father which is in Heaven: for he maketh the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and unjust.  (Mathew 5:45)  So being a child of God doesn't state we will not go through trials, but that in all things work together for the good to them that love God. (Romans 8:28)  But there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:  but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able; but will with temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may  be able to bear it.  (1 Corinthians 10:13) 

With all of the scripture throughout the Bible, the stories we read, why do we make things so complicated on ourselves?  Because it has been in man since the eating of the apple which brought forth sin which was pride, that we know all, see all and hear all.  Everyone wants to be the head, the leader, the one in the spotlight.  They want to call the shots and not be submissive.   
Now if weeds get into the soil that you planted your seed in, then they will choke out the flower.  Study for yourself, don't listen to man solely.  If they can't give you scripture, then don't listen to them.  
Stand for God!
 I am standing for God and if I die today, I am a winner.  If I live, I am a winner....with God in my heart, I am and always be a winner no matter if I stand alone or with many.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I remember....

My mother loves to write...she has a way with putting words together that make you swoon.  I am a picture person...that is my tale to tell.  I've always loved looking at pictures.  I remember as a little girl, studying photos, down to every last detail.  My husband says I am a very detailed person, lol...guess that's why.

I went out the other evening as the sun was going down.  Everything was so pretty, the birds nestling in for the night, the crickets singing, the honeysuckle smell in the warm summer breeze....I want my photos to make you feel that.  Like I do when I see and hear it all.

As I looked around, I began to think of all of the memories that have been made here.  Maybe I need to pair up with my Mother and write a book...her words and my photos.

That road.....
How many years I've traveled this road.  Sometimes flying like a speed queen and others taking my good ole time.  Watching my oldest daughter come around the bend after getting her drivers license.  How relieved I was to see her in that white car of hers.  Many family members and friends coming to visit....some good visits and others not so good.   Watching the school bus bring my babies home to me. 

This gate....
Pulling into the graveled driveway, listening to the crunch under my wheels.  Seeing that house and knowing I was home.  This gate could tell a few stories...one about when my husbands truck went backwards out of the driveway and hit this gate then went into the creek.  I will never forget watching him run as fast as he could trying to catch it all the while I was praying the truck wouldn't destroy our newly installed gate. 
(that prayer was answered)

That fence....
We've always had a pool.  When our girls got a bit older, we had boys and men drive by glaring at them as they sunbathed and swam.  So the fence went up!  I've watched the wood age to the most beautiful silver color.  Much like grey hair.  How many times I've had a paint brush in hand but have stopped...I am so glad I've never painted it.  Can you believe I am saying that?!

The fire pit...
All of those rocks were carried by my husband and I.  The sweat, the body scrapes and aches!  All for something that we could all sit around and share.  The tall tales that have been told, the laughter, the tears....it's a sight that I cherish as I look out onto our yard.  

The hand made swing set....
Oh how our daughters spent hours and hours playing here.  The slicky slide, the swings, all long since gone.  But their laughter and smiles live on  in my heart.

This mountain....
Through every season, I've always loved this view!  How many have looked at this very mountain through the years and remembered like me?

And the gorgeous sky!  I remember as a wee little girl, riding with my aunt and her asking me what color I thought God's favorite was?  I said blue because of the sky.  I've always loved looking up and imagining God looking down at me.  I've had many talks with him while looking at the sky.

I guess what I am trying to say is that all of the memories I have and have made, will they carry on like mine have with someone?  I hold so many sweet memories in my head and heart.  That's what I love about blogging...being able to share my life.  And maybe,  one day after I'm dead and gone, my photos will still be here along with a piece of my heart.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

And Life Goes On

We had a great Memorial weekend!  After the renewal, we had to put things away and that was a job since it's been close to 90.  But I'm not complaining, I'll take the sunshine over the weeks of rain anytime!

Remember the arch we made?  I thought about selling it, but decided to keep it.  We have it sitting at the basement door  for now.  We have some work to do to make it permanent.  But I am loving it there...it'll be pretty at Christmas!  I always say that when I do something new outside...my mother does too.  We always think about what things will look like decorated for Christmas!

The flowers are enjoying the pretty weather we are having.  See that little tree on the stairs?  Well, Lucie kept digging it up from another planter I had at the basement door.  I finally had to put it here so she wouldn't destroy it.  Poor little tree barely made it out alive!

Just look at that sweet face.  You'd have no clue she is a digger would you?  

She has dug up our little garden and destroyed many plants.  She even started to dig up these hydrangeas!  That's when my sweetie decided to hook her up at night so she wouldn't have free reign to DESTROY!  lol  But she is a true sweetheart...we love her so much!

There is a song  by John Denver called Country Roads.  It's about West Virginia and we all love it!  This photo is a true sentiment of what a country road truly is here in our beautiful state!
It is HOME and I love it!
I snapped some photos one evening and thought about how much I adore living where we do.  

There is beauty all around us!

Our back deck needs some fresh white paint, but I still think it's beautiful all chippy in the setting sun.

All of our flowers are doing so well too!  

Keeping the porch clean is a task with all of the pollen, spider webs and birds...

But even the spiders are beautiful weaving their webs that glisten in the sunlight.

I finally broke over and cut some of the peony blooms.  They smell so good sitting on the porch with the warm breeze.

After making our bouquets that we carried, I had so many fresh flowers to do something with.  Adding baby's breath, to these peonies in this bird stand, gave that shabby touch that I adore!

I love the pinks with the aqua mason jars!

I have spent so much time on the porch so far this summer...it truly is a sweet place to sit and relax on the swing.  Much needed after this weekend!

I hope all of you have a wonderful week!  

Sunday, May 29, 2016

~All Because Two People Fell In Love~

 We couldn't have asked for better weather or a more perfect day!
For weeks we've watched the weather forecast, it kept saying rain.  After having this day planned for many months and dreaming of an outside event, it was disheartening to see.  But I have someone in my life that created  the weather...GOD.  I prayed for a beautiful day and He answered.

This day was amazing!
I've always dreamed of having a spring/summer, outdoor wedding.  When we were married 25 years ago, it was in the Winter (my most favorite season of all).  I had wanted a cold, snowy day, but instead we got warm temps and lots of sunshine.  Kinda ironic isn't it?  But it was a gorgeous day then and it was another gorgeous day this time as well.

We used everything from around our home.  The canopy was draped with painters drop cloths to hide the bright blue tent.  Then panels were stapled to the ends to create curtains on the front.  Old louvered closet doors from the girls closets were used on the back ends.  Flowers were gathered from the back deck and the chairs were brought from there and inside.  Mike and I made the arch from some tree limbs and a column that we split in two.  Silk flowers came in handy to decorate the tops with.  A sign I've had for years was the perfect finishing touch representing our 25 (really almost 29 with dating) years together. 

"All Because Two People Fell In Love"

We kept it small and simple, only a handful of people were invited.  Not because we didn't want to share this day with others, but because we wanted this day just for us.

We had a very special photographer, her name is Sarah and is best friends with our oldest daughter.  She captured some amazing shots and I can't begin to thank her enough for making our day last forever!  I've had a blast editing them all...so here is our day!
It really is a blessing to have a family that is so talented.   My sweetie DJ's in his spare time.
The song we walked out to was by Third Day called Mountain of God. The words represent us so well.

 The twists and turns, all of the bumps, the ups and downs....well they've not been easy.  BUT....through it all, we've clung onto God and each other.  I pray we make it another 25!

We've made a beautiful life together.  Our daughters, our love, our home....without God, none of this would be here.

Our pastor, Scott, has been right by our side most of the way.  He's seen us fight, love, and cry...but he's always been there for us.  There was no other that we would want to officiate our renewal.   

Telling our life story brought tears to our eyes.  It was truly the most special day!  Having our two daughters standing there with us made our life story visible to everyone.  Two of the most beautiful young women, inside and out!  

We wrote our vows to each other and let me say, we both cried.

This man has had my heart, he's always had it from the first time he said "I love you" to me.  That look of love and care, it just melts my heart over and over.

~True love at it's best~


Freindships, love and family....

And I was so happy to have my mother and Uncle here to celebrate this day with us just like 25 years ago!









Every ounce of our marriage has been worth it!  The smiles we smile are for real, the tears we've shed have turned into hugs and forgiveness.  And our lives have been a result of the commitment and hard work we give to each other.  Neither of us have been perfect, but we TRY....each and every day, we TRY!  And thanks be to the good LORD up above, we have made it this far.


Thanks for sharing in our day!