Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Birthday Month Begins!

If today is the first of my birthday month - then we have just celebrated Son One's birthday.

Daughter One, K5, Son One on is 25th Birthday

A cool gift he received was the book Happy by Pharrell - it is a wonderful book - with a wonderful personal message at the back.  It is probably intended for children - and he encourages them to spread "happy" in all places.

I think we can all do that.... spread happy.

Nephew Three, Son One, Son Two
Recently on social media platforms users have used the month of November to document reasons they are thankful.  I wish we took the same time and wrote our "thank yous".  I miss the old fashioned thank you note sent through the mail.  I guess that is partly because as a child growing up - I loved getting mail and I loved to write.

So rather than just sit back and wish we all did it differently - I will quit talking about it and actually do just that.....

Want to join me?

Let's celebrate My Birthday Month - with old fashioned, hand written Thank You Notes!

The note I will write today is a message to the leadership of LIFE.  We had a wonderful time at their Major convention in October and listened to their reason for developing this company.  Their purpose is to provide life changing information to people.  It isn't something most of us haven't heard before - but it is something that we cannot get our hands on every day in a simple convenient way.  Through LIFE we can access motivation material (material that helps us spread Happy) - on our phones, in our cars, and in books we read.

All of us at Ruby Falls near the Tennessee / Georgia line.

As with much of my life - things seem to come full circle.  Just a few years ago in 1982 I went to a leadership convention in Atlanta Georgia as part of the National Future Homemakers of America.  We got to take the incline rail up Look Out Mountain.  I remember that trip - it was so much fun and so inspirational for that 17 year old Perrin High School student.  I felt like my view of the world - just got smaller and things that I thought were outside my reach were easier to imagine.

I got to ride that incline rail again.....

This time with my family.  

We even found a set of pictures from that time before.

All of this makes me want to ask - what are we doing today that will come full circle in our future?

I am so thankful that my parents sought to find a way for me to learn about so many different things when I was growing up.  My mom will share today that she wanted me to have a view of the world and realize that whatever I wanted to do - I could do.  That summer that I went to Georgia - was also the summer I went to Brazil.  My parents encouraged me to learn and grow and see the world and the possibilities that lie within that world as something within reach. 

During that summer I attended a state leadership conference and submitted an article to our state FHA magazine.  

What my mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
~Michael Broome~

I think another Thank you note will be to Mr. Broome.  That quote has certainly made a difference in my life -

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

LIFE is a Dream!

Kerry tells me that I am a person who takes ordinary circumstances and turns them into extraordinary events!  He is right.  I suspect I learned that way of perception as I was growing up - my parents always instilled in me the need to pay attention to what God wants for your life.

Some of the highlights along the way that have led me to this time and the assurance that I am exactly where God wants me to be....

While in junior high I participated in the UIL Poetry contest.  The Touch of the Masters Hand was the poem I read.  I still can recite the poem without the printed copy.  What an incredible poem - 

Then in high school - I became an extemporaneous speaker.  The UIL contest of Persuasive Speaking was my platform.  I competed at the district and regional level and as a senior placed 5th in Regionals.  This of course was without in real speech training.  But that led to my career pathway of getting a degree in speech and teaching speech for several years.

My dad's secretary asked me one day (as a junior in high school) - what I planned to "be when I grew up" - and my answer was Oh something in public relations  - my mom told me last week that she always thought I should go into public relations too.  I can still remember talking to Nicki that day - in the Perrin ISD school cafeteria.  Little did I know that it might take a while to come to that public relations dream.

There of course have been other signs along the way - that much like reading a literary work the symbolism is evident once you finish the "book".

Oh yes "book" - my friend Crystal has been encouraging me to write a book for quite some time now.  I had no idea how to even really go about that endeavor but with LIFE - I will write a book (some time in my future) and LIFE will help me market that book to readers everywhere.  Pictured below is Crystal, Kerry, me, & Brent.  

LIFE encourages us to dream - to remember those dreams we had growing up.  LIFE wants us to reach for those dreams.  For some it is a new car, new house, secure retirement, pay off all debt - each of us have a different perspective on the dream.

For me LIFE is the dream.  

I have always wanted to be a part of a community.

I have always wanted to be in a position to truly help others.

I always love speaking!

I always enjoy sharing with others what God has done in my life.

I have always truly loved serving.

Now I have a system in place that shows me the way to do those things every single day with proven results as I own my own Leadership Company.

LIFE is my Dream.

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

They Lived with Her In Laws

I am so thankful and I have much to write but yes they lived with her in laws for 3 months ......

And it was perfect .....

To be finished ...... here are a few random pictures from the last year or so....

My wonderful Daughter One & me in NYC from April of 2014

My Daughter One with Grandson One & Granddaughter One (kg5)

My Son One with his kg5

Son One & Daughter One on his wedding day with his Pap

K & kg5 at Mimi's house

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Abound....An Old Word that Sounds New

I think the word abound is an old word.  I use that phrase to describe words that I feel like we do not use anymore.

But I think I really like the word abound.

Merriam-Webster defines abound as "to be present in large numbers or in great quantity - be prevalent"

My Bible dictionary even mentions abound (yes I have a Bible dictionary - I have more books that some small real libraries - that is a blog for another day but oh my word - I love books!).

This all started when I was at my computer this morning.  I have a screen saver of pictures with scriptures and other phrases to keep my focused on what's important - this one flashed by this morning and caught my eye.

I tend to stand at my computer quite a bit and it is only increased lately.  I have the absolute wonderful opportunity to keep granddaughter one (Kg5) on Mondays & Tuesdays.  Oh how my life is just perfectly blessed!

I love music and lately I have been turning on iTunes to an album of Christian music songs and I sing while she falls asleep.  

We actually do quite a bit of singing and dancing - she will grow up loving all kinds of music.  Most of all I want her to grow up knowing and feeling the love of Jesus.  I want Jesus to fill her with joy and peace as she believes in Him so that she can abound in hope.

Abounding in hope - that is what we all want - right?  There has to be more!  We must have hope that our belief is real - that we do serve the God of hope.  

Abound in hope - Great quantities of hope!

To me one of the greatest passages about hope is in John 14.  I remember this passage best from almost 25 years ago.  I was in Graham Regional Medical Center and Kerry opened his Bible and read this passage as I was put on seizure alert and wondering when that premature baby would be born.

Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, trust also in me.  In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you...

That baby (son one) was born about 24 hours after Kerry read the passage to me.
Son One at 4 months.  He was born 7 weeks early!

To understand abounding in hope - one must know Jesus and accept His grace.

For more on this grace - prepare2prosper

Yes!  Let's abound in Hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.  And let's share that with others - share that as we love.  

Extra note - over on the other blog - prepare2prosper - you will read about a man in our community who was larger than life.  A man that while I did not know him well, his son has spent many days in our home with nephew three, and we have gone to church with them and watched many, many football games with his family.  His dear friends are my dear friends and I have been a small part of helping during their loss.  Well - imagine my surprise when I read his obituary.... his mother's name - Greta... The only Greta that I have heard of before (well except for the famous one) was this baby...

God speed Jeff! We will see you soon.  Please tell your mom that another Greta will meet her one day too.  

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Showers of Blessing Continues

He never talks to us.  In fact he never really seems to know we are there.  A while ago in his rough, tired, lived a hard life voice he told us "I can't hear".

Well not being able to hear doesn't keep one from recognizing pure beauty and wanting to gaze for just a moment.

I am not sure why I am so surprised and taken aback each time - but I am.  This isn't her first visit to Horizon Bay but each time someone's life is impacted by her.  Someone is blessed and those showers just pour from heaven.

He stopped walking with his walker, grabbed the wooden rail and touched her feet and told me how perfect she was.  He wanted to know how old she is and fortunately she is 3 months old and I could make the hand gesture.

We stood there in the hallway for several minutes - he just looked at her - just smiled - and his eyes held joy - his eyes recorded the blessing.

Earlier in that visit she had sat with her great grandfather (my dad).  One of the caregivers said "I have never seen him interact this way"

Babies do that - they allow all of us to interact on a level that we don't with others - because our age doesn't hinder our desire to interact - and there's not any condition that overcomes our bodies on this earth, that can keep us from naturally gravitating towards the blessing that is showered.

The showers poured from heaven that afternoon -

"Look at those hands - you need a picture of her holding her hands."

"She's just a dumpling.  Sweet dumpling.  It has been so long since I have seen one that little."

"Look at those eyes, she is just beautiful."

"How old is she."

"Look at those feet."

And each time the smile on their face was complete with joy.  I wish each one of the Clare Bridge family members could have seen each one with our blessing.  She brought joy to their lives -

He sends the showers in all kinds of places and our blessings just continue.

Seriously if we truly wanted to improve the quality of life for our elderly (us someday) we would build daycares and retirement homes (nursing homes too) right next to each other.  We would find a way for our aging communities to help us as we raise those daycare children.  As for me - I am going to make myself go every week and take as many children as I can find.  The joy - the interaction - the BLESSINGS are just too great to miss!  Can you join me?  Can you find a child to take to visit someone who is aging?  

I always went to the nursing homes when I was growing up.  Our church would sing at the ones in Jacksboro and then later in my life my aunt and my grandmother were both in the home in Collinsville.  It doesn't bother me to visit the aging - I am guessing that is because these ones that I visit now made sure that I went when I was younger.  I don't think they did that because they thought they would be there one day - they went and they took me because it made a difference for their daughter......... and the ones I visited.

Psalms 71:9
Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails.
Proverbs 16:31
A gray head is a crown of glory; It is found in the way of righteousness.
Isaiah 46:4
Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you.

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pi Day - March 14

Well I totally missed Pi Day.

Oh I was here but I had no idea there was such an event.  I did what I usually do on March 14th - think about my Grandma Cannon.  She was born on March 14, 1900.  I have always thought that was so neat that she was born in 1900 - made figuring out her age easy for all ages!
My Grandma Cannon receiving an award for her service at the Denton State School. 

Notice the line in my browser at the top in the screenshot below....  "Celebrate Mathematics on March 14th" - that could be why I missed it.  I haven't so much celebrated math at any point in my life.  Oh at one time I thought I could major in math - I made it through Cal I and on day 1 of Cal II when I thought the teacher was speaking a foreign language - I knew I had to go somewhere else!  (I ended up in Spanish - a truly identified foreign language...)

I noticed some friends of mine on Facebook with the Pi symbol on their arms...

It was after seeing this picture that I really had to go figure out this Pi Day.  From the Pi Day website:

"Pi (π) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Pi is a constant number, meaning that for all circles of any size, Pi will be the same.

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.

Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern."

Now I understand why Rhonda's family has the Pi symbol on their arms.  It was on March 14th of 2010 that Rhonda said her earthly good bye to her son.  I totally understand why she would want a constant memory of him.  I understand why Rhonda would want to remember her son for her lifetime - for infinity.

I must say I think Rhonda (and her family) can cling to that hope of infinity because of their love for Jesus.  (I am not being presumptuous - I have had several God conversations with Rhonda and I have worshipped in Austin with her daughter before.... they are Jesus people.)

Rhonda, Me, Candi, Mike - Getting ready for the Rotary Banquet just a few years ago!

Perhaps Pi can be all about Jesus and His love for us.

Jesus is constant.

When calculating Jesus' love for us it is infinite and without repetition and it certainly doesn't have a pattern.  

Jesus is the same for any of us. 

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Year of the Goat?

I first learned about the Chinese New Year when I went to Vegas about 16 years ago. Our first Vegas trip was a learning experience on many levels.  We learned how to play cards - learned how to walk and walk and walk - and learned about the Chinese New Year.

We tend to go to Vegas around the same time each year (unless we are celebrating a birthday) so we have the opportunity to celebrate the Chinese New Year each year.

Well celebrate isn't exactly what we do - but we do enjoy the beautiful decorations that the hotels will create.  The Bellagio has the most amazing displays.

This year's trip was for Son Two's birthday (which is actually in July - but we celebrated in January)

We will try to stay at The Linq next year.  Near the casino is a jumbo camera and you can take your picture as you walk by.  The Linq was formerly The Imperial Palace.

Son Two (and everyone but me....) rode a ZipLine down Freemont Street.

This week there seems to be several opportunities to learn about dates and calendars.  This week also included Ash Wednesday.

When I googled "Chinese New Year" and "Ash Wednesday" both instances showed links to "Things to Know About....."  We are certainly a society that likes to know about so many things.  Sometimes that knowledge gets all jumbled up and we forget to "know" about the things in life that are really important.

The Chinese New Year is important to a billion people and I would suspect that Ash Wednesday is important to almost that many too.  Both are significant times for people to reflect on certain things.  Both are interesting to me.

I also find it even more interesting that this year they occurred in the same week.

But after writing this I will not think too much more about The Chinese New Year but I will try to remember Ash Wednesday.  

My college roommate is a practicing Catholic and she doesn't really know this but my admiration for her goes so deep (perhaps she knows now!).  First of all you must know that I pretty much prayed for her before I knew her but God forgot to hear all of my prayer.  I would have NEVER prayed for my college roommate to be a Catholic.  I grew up during a time period when Evangelical Christians were basically scared of the Catholic faith and therefore did a great job of sharing false teachings about the Catholic faith. 

I have a sincere respect for Regina - a sincere respect for how she was raised - and recognize that she loves Jesus and serves Him each day of her life.  Our worship may look different from the outside but the inside is just the same.  

Regina's MIL lives in Perrin and is one of my mom's best friends (all happened after we originally met on the TSU lawn)  Regina brought her MIL to Graham to see my mom and we got to visit!

Regina emailed me the other day and she said... "I think it is so amazing how like minded we are.  It was no accident on the lawn at TSU that day."

Well of course not - I had been praying for a lifetime for us to be roommates.

It may take me a few days but I will come up with my practices for Lent.  I like to participate in the traditional "giving something up" practice.  I feel quite sure that I do not practice as my friend might - but I think as long as grow in my walk and relationship with Jesus then I am on the right path.

That's what new years and new seasons should be all about.... They should be about growing and worshiping and learning more and more about this life of following Jesus.  

Take a look at the website from this internet picture - some interesting things to consider! 

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Showers of Blessing

And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. Ezekiel 34:26

Yes you are right!  One simply cannot describe what it feels like to be a grandmother.  I knew it would be better than I imagined but I was still totally off - by a distance that cannot be measured.

Sweet Baby One is perfect.

But along this 39 week journey something else has happened that simply will never be forgotten.

If you know me you know "how I am".  I wrote the book on controlling and overbearing.  Really - I should be the author.  I sometimes try to not be but that usually requires way to much control and effort and I give up rather quickly and revert back to the "Mama Bear" as my family so lovingly calls me!

Daughter One grew up in Graham but I never knew her until she started dating my Son One.  And since we all do not live in the same town - I have managed to not know Daughter One very well at all.  She's quiet - she doesn't force her thoughts on others - you know pretty much the opposite of me!

And if I am completely - lay it all out there - honest.......... their courtship and marriage hasn't always been easy for me. And I know I have been less than the ideal mother and mother in law.  Oh nothing major - just far from Leave It To Beaver and sometimes farther from where God wants me to be.

But our God works in ways we cannot imagine.

Our God showers us with a blessing when we least expect it and certainly when we never deserve it!

Son One with Daughter One and Sweet Baby One

So when she said "I want my mom and you with Lance to be in the delivery room" - I was honored - surprised - and I simply have no idea why in the world she would offer me that opportunity.  Then we had several more weeks to wait and my heart just became softer and softer until last Thursday - January 8th - my heart was exactly where Jesus has needed it to be.

Our view outside the labor & delivery room was the "Heart Clinic" - I wonder if the people looking out those windows into 4413 saw the same words on the wall.  That's where the "Heart Clinic" was that day - 

My heart finally understood.

The tears started when the doctor came into the room and I took my place next to my son and honestly they just haven't stopped.  I am really not sure when they will.  I know that Daughter One and I will not always get along - I know she will definitely not appreciate that "Mama Bear" (why should she?) - but she forever has my heart.  As I have shared with others about Sweet Baby One's arrival - the astonishment on their faces when I say "I was in the delivery room" - helps me to understand really just how special that was.

Now 2 baby girls have my heart.  One is a woman, mother, and my Daughter One and the other is her daughter and his daughter - my Sweet Baby One.  

Son One shared a devotional as we were waiting ... the scripture from Ezekiel 34:26 ~ 
And I will make them and the places all around my hill a blessing, and I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing.
Son Two told me a while back.... "you thought this baby was going to change others but I think it is changing you."

So true...

In so many ways...

The showers are here and the blessing is more than I ever imagined.  

I have 2 beautiful girls to love - two beautiful girls to share this boy world with me.  

Side Note - best piece of advice I could ever give:  
Girls.... If you want to have a relationship with your mother in law that is simply the best in all the world - then ask her to stand by her son while his baby is being born. She will love you - she will forever be grateful.   

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.