Change Is Good

Making some changes around here.  I thought we were due for a bit of freshening up.  It may take a while for all the changes to be made, so please bear with me as we are moving forward.  It you notice anything glaring out at you please leave a comment and let me know.  I hope you come back soon to see how it all pans out!

Fresh winds are blowing!

Changing in grace,

Teresa

What I’ve Learned From Watching 7th Heaven

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We just finished 7th Heaven.  All eleven seasons.  For the past few months that is all the TV we have watched. My husband is a great man. He watched the entire show with me without complaint.

It became my therapy of sorts.  It was how I slowed down at the end of the day.  It got me through one of the most stressful seasons in which I’ve lived. It preached to me in ways that sermons and fellowship with others could not. It met a need I had that I still can’t quite put into words.

It was a great season, but now it is over and time to move on, although I will miss checking in on the Camdens.  I do have some take aways  that can be applied to living life well, so I thought I’d share with you a few of the lessons 7th Heaven can teach us all.

1.  Family should be there for you no matter what (and you for them).

2. Family can be anybody that you open your heart and sometimes your door to.

3.  Your secrets are not really a secret, somebody always knows.

4.  Your sins will always find you out (Numbers 32:23).

5.  Forgiveness is a wonderful thing – to receive and to give.

6.  You should not be afraid to take risks and try something new.

7.  You should always honor your commitments and keep your word.

8.  Prayers are always answered; sometimes even the way you hoped.

9.  Helping others is necessary for living a balanced life.

10. Breaking bread around the table with friends and family is therapy, even if it’s just Pizza from your local Pizza parlor.

11. Death is certain and brings pain, but there is healing in the grief process.

12.  We all make mistakes, but we are not defined by the mistakes we have made.

13. Life is beautiful in all it’s messy turned upside down glory.  Especially, in it’s messy upside down glory.

14. Falling in love is wonderful.

15. There is a God who loves us unconditionally and he has a sense of humor.

16. Sometimes you need to go home again.

17. Life is a miracle to be celebrated.

18. When you’ve done all that you can do take a road trip to gain perspective.

19.  Choose to live well.  You do have a choice.

20.  Everything is going to be fine.

I’m sure there are many more lessons to be garnered from 7th Heaven, but these seem to be the overriding theme and I for one needed to be reminded of these truths.

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Finding grace in my own 7th Heaven,

Teresa

Linking up with Emily P Freeman of Chatting at the Sky.  Click on over to read what others have learned.

What I Learned In March

I always think I’ll keep a list of things I learned. But, of course, I don’t.  Then at the end of the month, I’m left wondering just what I learned, or even if I learned anything.  I search the depths of my mind for any morsel that will prove that I do pay attention to what is happening in my world. 100_2932 Evidently, this month a few things stuck (mostly from the past few days, hours even), so here goes in no particular order:

1.  I learned that I like the taste of Trader Joe’s chocolate chips better than the store brand or that popular brand (you know the one with the cookie recipe).

2.  I learned that Homes.com has vastly overestimated the value of my humble little cottage.  I mean, I don’t live in California.  If I did, it would be worth what they say it is. 100_2871 100_2879 3.  I learned that I love, love, love the newest DQ Blizzard, the Fanniversary Blizzard in honor of their 75th anniversary.  Go get you one now or as soon as possible. Thanks, Gwen for making me want one.

4.  I learned that Conway Twitty’s real name is Harold Jenkins (I may have known this before, but forgot – it sounded familiar when I was reading about him).

5.  I further learned that the name Conway Twitty was a compilation of two cities – Conway, Arkansas and Twitty, Texas.  Nowadays people seem to use their own names, but back in the day it was very popular to have a stage name, especially if your original moniker was deemed uninspiring.  I heard one time that the way to choose your name if you were a country singer was to choose the name of your first pet and your Mother’s maiden name.  In case you were wondering mine would be Mittens Maddox.  (A gray cat with four white paws named Mittens at my grandmothers that I claimed.) If you’re interested, my husband’s would have been Boots Logan. Ok…moving on.

6.  I further learned that during his 35-year career, Conway had over 100 albums and 55 number one singles.

7.  One time a lady was having a heart attack at one of his concerts and refused to leave with the paramedics until she heard Conway sing Hello, Darlin’.  Seems someone got a message to him, and he sang the song for her so she’d go to the hospital.

All the info in numbers 4-7 came from this website where you can find much more information about him.  Click on over to read the rest.

8.  I was getting a little scared about my blogging break and the fact that words wouldn’t come, but then a couple of other bloggers (here and here) really encouraged me to embrace this time and see what God is teaching me and to journal with pen and paper.  I’ve been slowly, but surely taking their advice.  Thanks, Barbie and Deidra for your encouragement it is helping.  I’m learning to take this season in stride and let God set the pace. 100_2797 9. I’ve also been more intentional the past few days about making time to be in the word.  For me, it seems to sink in better at night, so I’m learning it’s ok for me not to be a morning person.  I’m learning that it’s ok to fit my mold and not everyone else’s.

10.  Just tonight, I became aware of some thoughts I have about my writing and how I want it to impact others.  There is more to learn here as the thoughts are written down and processed.  As I was praying about my writing, one thing I realized is that I want my writing to make people feel like they have come home.

11.  I also realized that I love the sound of a pencil scratching across paper.  I usually write in my journal with a pen.  Tonight I wanted to jot down a thought before I forgot, and a pencil was all that was available, so that is what I used.  It was so satisfying to actually hear my thoughts glide across the page.  That means I need to get my bouquet of pencils sharpened and ready.

12.  In case you didn’t know, that bouquet of pencils comment in number 11 is a reference to a quote from You’ve Got Mail,  probably my most favorite movie ever. Ever. I knew that, but you might not have. Now you do. Go watch it, and you can thank me later. Although I can’t imagine why you haven’t already seen the movie.  Also, this reminds me of my friend Cindy who once got me a bouquet of pencils for my birthday because she knew I loved that quote from the movie. That is a good friend. PM.mail.quote 13.  I discovered that a bunch of supermarket Roses can be arranged in Blue Mason jars and give days of enjoyment, and they are even more enjoyable when you share two of your three bunches with friends. 100_4258     100_4278   What about you?  What have you been learning – please feel free to share in the comments.

Would you like to join the party?  Go on over to Chatting At The Sky and see what other people are learning in March.

Learning Takes Grace,

Teresa

Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus

We must focus our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

Hebrews 12:2

Last year I decided to give up some things for Lent.  I even came up with a graphic to post on my refrigerator based on a suggestion from an online post I had read.  This was my formula: water instead of cola, gratitude instead of complaining, prayer instead of worry, 1 x 6 = encourage, which meant I should encourage at least one person each week of Lent.

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They were worthy goals. However. . . .

You already know what the however means, don’t you?  Of course, I didn’t last through Lent.  When a friend suggested that I could probably take weekends off, I gave myself permission to have a cola on weekends which led to a cola at other times.  I am still struggling to give cola up completely.  I still struggle with the whole gratitude thing, but I think I’m getting better.  Worry? Me? The answer to that is for another reflection.  I don’t know if I was encouraging to anyone during that time or not.  I hope so, but I didn’t keep track.

I failed to succeed because I failed to prepare my heart for the true purpose of Lent, which is “to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection.”  I got on the bandwagon on a whim; so, I was doomed to failure from the beginning. As with most things in life, there was a lesson to be gleaned from my failure.

I learned that sacrifice is nothing without obedience.  Obedience is a daily submission to God’s will for my life.  Godly obedience is not the kind of obedience that sounds like a bunch of rules.  Rather, it is a willingness to give Him complete control; it is an acknowledgment of His sovereignty.  Obedience sometimes requires sacrificing and changing plans.  It is 365 days a year, including the forty days of Lent.

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If I need to stretch and grow in my walk with the Lord (and I do), Lent is a good place to start because it puts the focus on Christ and His ultimate sacrifice.  He was obedient to the will of the Father because He knew it would be our salvation.

During this Lenten season, whether you have a list of things you are sacrificing or not, I hope you will “turn your eyes upon Jesus [and] look full in His wonderful face, and [allow] the things of earth [to] grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”  My prayer is that you will surrender your life to Him in total submission during Lent and beyond.

Looking to Grace,

Teresa

This Lenton reflection was originally shared with my congregation at First Baptist in Morehead, KY as part of their Lenten Season Reflections on Sunday March 22, 2013.

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My Lately

I started writing a post.  It is not ready for the public.  It may never be.  I really don’t know what is going on with this not writing and it is starting to scare me a little bit.  I trust that God has a plan though and in the meantime I am still here, even though not exactly here.  Not here writing.  Hopefully soon.

While we are waiting for the words to come, I thought I’d share some pictures of my lately.  Just Random shots of recent snows, a small depression glass dish I found to fit a lid I already had,  and supermarket flowers I arranged.

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100_4244 100_4251100_4277100_4255 In addition to snapping pictures and arranging supermarket flowers I have been watching a lot of 7th Heaven.  We started from the beginning and are now in season 3. I loved that show when it was on originally and it seemed a good fit for me right now.  I think watching it has been some kind of therapy for me and I’m still working through the why.

Grace is good,

Teresa

 

All About The Love (for Rocky)

Love is

It seems to be the season of Love. Christmas was barely over before stores started peddling their wares. Reminding us that we need to shower the one we love with goodies that show them just how much they are loved.

Maybe it’s just me, but I want to be showered with love every day. And by showered I don’t mean Candy, flowers and cards. Although, those are nice and I’m not going to refuse a gift on any day of the year if my love wants to shower me with treats.

I’m all for that of course, but love is so much more than a date on a calendar that reminds us to tell people we love them. Love should be an everyday occurrence. It should be told in all the ways we interact with the one’s we love.

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I feel so blessed to have that kind of Love.  A love that is constant day in and day out.  A love that is not fickle or conditional.  A love that was given to me over thirty years ago with a promise that it was forever.  My love has fulfilled that promise beyond what I could have dreamed.

I am blessed to be living a daily love, so in honor of my husband, who has loved me so faithfully, I wanted to share these words with you.  I wanted to publicly declare that I am so thankful to be loved so well.

Happy Valentines Day, Babe!

In case you need more convincing of just how great this man is and how much I love him, I have posted some links below to other posts in which I’ve written about how wonderful he is.

Prompted By Worship,      This Man,      Love Speaks In Everyday Moments,     A Sweet Curious Moment

Thanks for indulging my mushy side for a few moments.  It is, after all, Valentines Day weekend.

Loving in Grace,

Teresa

Nodding to the Not

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I did not choose a word for 2015.  I did not set goals, or make resolutions, or sum up my blog or give a state of the blog address or list my most read post of the previous year.  I did not usher in the New Year with any kind of fanfare.

So far, this has been the year of Not.  So, I guess you could say in my non-conformist ways of not doing so many things that other bloggers seem to do and that I have done in the past, I inadvertently chose the word “not” for my 2015 word.  Except, I did not.

“Why not?”  you may ask.  I don’t know.  Remember, I’m into Not doing, so why would I know the answer to not?  I haven’t even written on my blog since December 31, when I wrote an end of the year “what I learned” post about Rearranging Furniture so I could link up with Emily over at Chatting At The Sky.  So, I guess you could say that I sort of did a year end summary. I’ve done these “what I learned” posts before though, so just following my norm.  I don’t think it counts or reverses my not’s in any way.

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So, here’s the thing.  I want to write.  Truly, I do.  I write things in my head all the time.  Almost everything that comes into my world has potential for an essay or story of some kind, so the words are always at the ready, so to speak.  For some reason, I haven’t been. Ready.

There could be a reason for this, or maybe it just is.  Maybe it’s the season in which I find myself currently residing.  Maybe it’s fear that I don’t really have anything to say.  Maybe it’s exhaustion.  Maybe it’s unanswered questions. Maybe I need to find my sense of place.

All I know is that it seems to be a season of unwritten words that float on the outskirts of my mind, just out of reach of pen to paper, or more accurately, finger tips to keyboard.  It doesn’t feel like it’s going to end any time soon.  Or, I suppose, it could end tomorrow. Either way, I have decided to embrace this journey of “not” and see what it’s about.  I am not going to fight “nothing”.  I am just going to rest and see what develops.  Or, not.

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So, I think this means, in case you haven’t already noticed, that I’m taking a blogging break.  There, I said it. I’m taking a blogging break.  I don’t know for how long.  And, I don’t exactly know why.  I hope there is a purpose and it’s not just laziness.  I hope I figure out some things about my writing, or about me, while I’m not blogging.  And, I hope you don’t forget about me because I won’t forget about you, the few, who read my words.

It seems silly to worry that I’ll lose you in the lull, and it seems even sillier, to let the fear of losing you be the reason I don’t take a break, when a break is clearly called for.  I have to trust that when the words are ready to be read you will welcome me back.

In the meantime, please know that I value you and the time you have given to reading my words and encouraging me along the way.  Some of you are silent readers behind the scenes; Some of you are friends and family I’ve known a long time, others are people I’ve met through this fascinating world of blogging and you have become true friends.  I will not forget you and even though I’m on break I will still be reading your blogs or seeing you on Facebook.

I haven’t laid down my pen for good and my hope is that there will still be words put to paper while I’m on break.  I hope there are words written that I can someday share with you.  I appreciate being kept in your prayers while I am on hiatus.

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Nodding in Grace,

Teresa