Friday, August 28, 2015

Gifts Found in August 2015 - Part 3

August 15th
3 Gifts Ugly-Beautiful

1.  The Gift of Messes:  The following lines in "Through it All", sung by Colton Dixon, could sum up a good part of my life:

"I have won and I have lost.
I got it right sometimes
but sometimes I did not.
Life's been a journey.
I've seen joy,
I've seen regret..."

Yes!  So true of much of my life; but...

"Oh and You have been my God
through all of it."

Thank you, God, that you have been with me through all of my life's messes..."Through it All"; and that...

2.  The Gift of God's GraceFrom Ann Voskamp:  "Yeah, you know those places where we're feeling empty?  Those formless places in us, our family,our year -

Right where our hopes haven't happened yet - the Spirit of God hovers now.  right where it's dark and it's deep, our Divine Helper hovers close.  Right where it's formless, it's not ever, ever, ever hopeless - because we have a Father who hovers near, His love spread over us like wings (Genesis 1:1-2).

And right now?  Right over our darkest, emptiest, most hopeless, most unspoken broken place - Grace hovers so close, it touches us, lights us...

Grace loves us -"

Oh, yes!  His Grace finds our ugly; our hidden; our deepest darkest places...and He covers us with His Grace and Light!!

I just love how Ann's words fit right in...oh, yeah!  She is the one who has brought the "One Thousand Gifts" to us!!  And, she never fails to have just the right words for me, when I am needing to hear or read them!

Thank you, Ann, for your beautiful, on-time words!  And, thank you, God, for bestowing these beautiful words in Ann's heart so she can share them with her readers!

3.  The Gift of Crafting:  My hobby is scrapbooking...I enjoy gathering with friends to create pages ("layouts" in scrappin' language!) that will hold photos and memories.

One of our events is called "Ugly Paper"...each participant brings three sheets of "ugly patterned paper - or, something we just have no idea what to do with!

We also include three sheets of solid paper that coordinate with the other paper.  Then, we are given a package of someone else's papers to create a are a few completed layouts from our last swap:

How can anything Disney be "ugly"!  And, there is nothing ugly about these layouts!

Thank you, God, for talented ladies who can create something beautiful from something "ugly"!

August 16th
3 Gifts of Family

1.  The Gift of Church FamilyComing together in Worship today, we celebrated in many ways as a family - a Church family.

We shared in music - singing and listening; guitar, flute, piano and organ - all bringing us together, as family...

We listened to His Word from Ephesians and John.

We celebrated three "stages" of lives:

a baby dedication;

presenting a Bible to one of our 2nd graders (a tradition in our Church family);

and a scholarship was presented to one of our Seniors, headed to college.

And, as many families do when we get together - our Church family gathered at the Table of our Lord to partake of Holy Communion.  In His body and His Blood, we are joined together as the Family of God around His Table...

Thanks be to God for His unfailing, unending Love.

2.  The Gift of Family Ties:  I am blessed with great family ties; my two brothers and I are close, thought not in miles.  I am also close to my two sister-in-law.  I also have two cousins I keep in touch with, thought they are also not very close in distance.

I am happy that my two girls are close - especially now that they are both adults, and mothers...which means the kids - cousins - are also close.  Again, my son is not close in distance; but close in all other ways.

What a blessing to have such close Family Ties.

3.  The Gift of Memories:  As we look to our past, what memories do we have of our family?  I wonder what those memories are that Bobby has of his past - his parents, his siblings, his first wife, his son...

I know there has been a dis-connect in these relationships; and, some have re-connected somewhat, but not completely.

I thank God for the memories he has, and pray for the re-connecting he hopes to have.

August 17th
3 Gifts in the Morning

1.  The Gift of Peace and Quiet:  Waking up in a different environment; no loud TV, or cat meow-ing; just semi-quiet voices hurrying school-age kids to get ready...

Hanging out at my daughter's house makes me feel I'm living in a home-fashion magazine: so clean, yet lived-in; such beautiful decorations, yet so welcoming...

I miss the Peace and Quiet when I go back home; yet, it is "home sweet home"!

2.  The Gift of a "Do-Over":  Ever want a "do-over" know, you've had a bad day; said or did something wrong; treated someone badly; over-looked an opportunity, etc. etc.

Well, each day when the sun rises after "resting for the night", we have the perfect opportunity to do just that -


Thank you, God, for a new day and the opportunnity for a "Do-Over"!

3.  The Gift of Meditation:  In the quiet of a morning - becoming more routine! - I sit in quiet and peace, reading the Bible, the morning devotion, reflecting on God's Word.  sometimes, a verse sticks with me; and some verses come back on other days - a Word from God...

Listen for God's voice in the peace and quiet...

Do you hear Him speaking to you?

August 18th
A Gift Red, Read, Written

The Gift of the Story of My Life:  Recently, I wrote a post for the tuesday @ Ten prompt, "Who Are You?  I Am..."

{Check out that post here}

It isn't always easy to write about oneself; and that is what I wrote, taken from a couple of different sources I had written them for.

But, my story is unfinished; I am still on my life's journey.  Only God knows the outcome!

August 19th
3 Gifts in Church Travel

{Today is the start of a little vacation trip for us; so, it's a "travel" day!  This is why I changed the "gift" for today to Travel!}

1.  The Gift of God's Masterpiece(s):  As I drive along the interstate, headed to our vacation destination, I can't help but see the beautiful blue sky, with a mixture of white and gray clouds...

And, just as we focus on His Word when we gather in church, I focus on His Masterpiece(s)...

"The skies proclaim the work of His hands..."  Psalm 19:1b - NIV

2.  The Gift of Welcome:  As we cross into Georgia, just before the Welcome Center, the sign welcomes us with:

The welcome station was filled with shaded areas for picnics, walking your dog, or letting the kids run out some energy...plenty of greenery and flowering plants.

3.  The Gift of Hospitality:  Just as we gather at the Table of the Lord at Church...when traveling, it's always nice when you can gather around the table with loved ones for a delicious home-cooked meal.  I am thankful for both of these occasions!

August 20th
3 Gifts of Serving

1.  The Gift of Sharing:  They prepared, served and cleaned up; they shared their home, and they served to our, drink, a place to stay, to sleep, to be "at home" with them.

For these gifts of serving, I am truly grateful!

2.  The Gift of Filling Needs:  The servers at Chick-fil-A are always so polite, welcoming, and open to "fill our needs" - refilling drinks, delivering our food to the table.

And, at the "original" Chick-fil-A, The Dwarf House, they did the same thing...a tradition of serving; of filling the needs of customers!

3.  The Gift of Greeting:  Several restaurants, including the fast food, call out a greeting when a customer walks in...

At The Varsity in Atlanta, as a server or a cashier is available, they call out "What'll Ya Have?"  "What'll Ya Have?"

August 21st
A Gift Straight, Curve, Turn

{This sounds "travel-related" to me!}

And, with traveling comes taking unfamiliar routes...some are straight, others may curve this way or that; and sometimes we miss the turn and have to u-turn!

Thankful for the chance to travel and see the USA - like we did in our "early years" together.  And, thankful for safe travels and not getting lost!

This ends Part 3; make sure you check out Part 1 and Part 2.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Simple Woman's Daybook - August 24, 2015

Linking up with

It is Monday - and just coming off a few days of vacation, I am having trouble getting caught up!  But, I will get this written, even if it's tomorrow before I get finished!

{I still have to download all of the photos I took, plus some that my brother and sister-in-law took - when my camera battery died; note to self: buy another battery for a back-up!!}

So, here goes...

For Today:
August 24, 2015

Outside My Window:  It is HOT, the sun is shining, and we have errands to do!

I am Hearing:  The ceiling fan running; my computer whirring - since it hasn't been used in a few days!

I am Thinking:  We need to have more "get-aways" to relax and enjoy our retirement!

I am Thankful:  A safe trip, both there and back; but especially the drive home...we were in rain almost 4 hours straight; on and off rain, sometimes falling so hard we couldn't see the cars in front of us.  Everyone drove with their hazard lights blinking so we could see each other!

The Beautiful Sky
on our drive north

The Cloudy Sky
on our drive south

I am Praying for:  Our pastor and his wife; he is retiring early so he can do some interim pastoring before really retiring.  Thankfully they are staying in the area so his wife can continue her job - which she loves!

I am Wearing:  Jeans capris; a tan shirt with blue and gold flowers; and my crocs - until I change shoes to go shopping!

I am Creating:  In my mind, I was creating photographs while driving, both yesterday on the way home and on Wednesday as we drove to our destination...the sky is so beautiful, I wished I could somehow capture it all!

I am Going:  Shopping!  "Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard is bare, as in, practically empty!

I am Wondering:  What is in store for the rest of the week?!

I am Reading:  Almost finished reading the second story, "Dreams", in Nora Roberts' two-story novel.

I am Excited That:  We had an awesome time during our visit with my brother and sister-in-law!  They sure do know how to make us feel "at-home" and to show us the sights!

I am Learning to that:  I am still capable of driving a long distance!  And, I am also capable of planning and executing a fun trip for us!  Perhaps there will be more in the future?  In our past travels, my husband was the one who planned it all out and did most of the, I can be the one!

In My Kitchen:  Meat thawing for dinner; "Hamburger Helper" for tonight!  Leftovers for tomorrow?!  Hopefully not's a "special day", at least for me!

Around the House:  My bags from the trip still need to be unpacked completely, and things put away.  I still have several bags of scrapbook stuff left from before we left; my main focus was in getting ready for the trip, not organizing my other stuff...that will come now that we are home!

I am Pondering:  The words I wrote for the Tuesday @ Ten prompt, "The Words I Live By..." using the scripture from Genesis 1:27:

A Favorite Quote for Today:  

I am blessed with so many friends...and yes, many of those I have are through Facebook, or blogging!  I have never met them personally; but have connected in so many ways to "their heart and soul".

A Fave Scripture Thought Genesis 1:27 - note above "pondering"!

Photos to Share:

On the Way to Georgia!

Relaxing with Mr. Cathey
at The Dwarf House in Hapeville, GA
{the original Chick-fil-A}

Remembering Where We Parked
"Thanks, Smiley!"

Barbara and Bobby
entering the Georgia Aquarium

Ready for the 4-D Show
Pat, Barbara, Bobby and Bill
(the Photo-Bomber was not with us!)

World of Coca Cola
A few of the decorated bottles
from the 1996 Olympics

Dinner at La Bamba Mexican Bar and Grill
A great way to end our vacation!

And then, we made our way
back to Florida after a 
great visit with family!
{I couldn't get Bobby to post
where the "holes" were...
the sun or the car window!}

And, another week with the Simple Woman's Daybook comes to an end!  Check it out again next week!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


With Vacation and being away from the computer for much of the past 5 days, I've just about run out of time for this week's Tuesday @ Ten!  It's a good thing we have a week to write on the prompt that Karen provides for us; but time is running out!

So, this week's prompt is "The words I live by, and what that means to me..."

I have never really thought about having a motto, or a mission statement, or a mantra or whatever that I "live by".  There are no particular words that "show me the way" to live my life...

Yet, there is a whole book full of words and phrases and poetry and stories and parables!

Yes!  If I had to point to the words that I live by...

It would have to be those found in the Holy Bible - the Word!

There are many words here that "show me the way"; and still, it's hard to point to just one word or one group of words that would be "the words"!

I guess the words in this verse would be the essence of what I live by (or try very hard to live by):

Found on Pinterest

I live in the knowledge that we were created "in His own image" - in God's image!

So, what does that mean to me?  It means that if I am created in God's image, then I must look like God; I must act like God...I must be like God!


You are also created in His image!  So, that means that...

You must also look like God and act like God and be like God...

Hmmmm?!  Interesting!

Take another look at the quote above...not the quote itself, but the picture!  This little bird looks into the water and sees...his reflection.  But, that is the image of his creator, the one who created him "in His own image"!

So, here's my thoughts about this:  If God has created each of us in His own image; and we look like God and act like God and are to be like God...

Then, are we not all the same?  Sure, we look different; but, in His eyes, are we not all the same?  Are we not all equal?

Should we not treat each other with the knowledge that we were all created by God and loved by God; and are, in His eyes, equals?

Many around us would say, "No!  We are not equals!"  But, what I have learned from the Word is that God loves us all and if we are to be like God, then we are to treat others as equals...

OK, so I may not be finding the words to adquately share how I feel or why I feel this; but, this is how I feel and the words that I try to live by!

Can't wait to read what words others' have shared! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Gifts Found in August 2015 - Part 2

August 8th
3 Gifts in Summer

1.  The Gift of Heat:  I admit, in the COLD weather - nothing like the cold up north; but cold for us! - I yearn for the warm Summers!

But, Summer is not my favorite time of year...

Yet, it's a time of longer days; the school-age grandkids are out for Summer Vacation.

So, trips to the pool or the beach are great!  Short, or even longer, vacation trips are great!  We even have fun together just hanging out!

But, I am so drained by the end of the day - NO ENERGY!  And the call for an afternoon nap is clear, and I sometimes answer that call!

2.  The Gift of Sundays - The first day of the week...or is it the last day of the week?!

However you view it, Sunday is a day of relaxing...and, as August comes at the end of a long, hot Summer - although September can be quite warm also - we think of hot Summer days as rest and relaxation, especially after FUN days in the sun!

Found on Pinterest

3.  The Gift of Disney's "Frozen":  I love the movie "Frozen"; in fact, I love all Disney movies...but, a fave is "Frozen".

{Let me apologize now if you are tired of hearing "Frozen" anything!}

When I first read the words "3 Gifts IN SUMMER" for today's gift...well, I automatically sung those words "In Summer", just as Olaf did in the movie!

I love Olaf; he is so...what?!  Innocent?!  Little does he know that "In Summer":, well, that isn't exactly a time for a snowman, now is it?!  I don't think I'd want to ruin his excitement, either, by telling him the truth!

Thank you, God, for the innocense; of excitement, looking forward to another time of FUN!

{And, yes I am going to do it...but you don't have to listen if you'd rather not!!!}

Found on UTube

August 9th
A Gift Hole, Whole, Half

The Gift of Everlasting, Never-Ending Love:  There is a hole in my Soul, O God...waiting to be filled with Your love!

And yet, no matter how full of Your love I may be, there is forever a need for more...

Because I am not whole without Your love, and I continuously need re-filling!

Yet, even if my sould should be only half full of Your love, it would be enough to sustain me.

Thank you, God, for Your Everlasting, Never-Ending love.

August 10th
3 Hard Eucharisteos

1.  The Gift of Grace:  Sometimes I think back to things I've done in my life...not the good things; those "other" things that I'm ashamed I did.  Those things that He forgives me for;

Yet, I can't even remember if I ever confessed them to Him...yes, I know He knows; just as I know He forgives...

IF we confess our sins.

And, that's why I "wonder" if I actually confessed to Him...Yet, I also know there is His Grace...

2.  The Gift of Thanksgiving:  And yet, we are told to "give thanks" - in everything!!  "Through it all!"  Give thanks!  No matter how good or bad or whatever...

Found on Pinterest
"Mother Letters"

And a response to this quote from about 2 years ago:

"And one day you'll look back, and you'll laugh at the embarrasing, see the purpose in the pain, and realize that it was all meant to be.  And that makes it good."

So, giving thanks to God for my life's experiences - "the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly, the inspiring, the not-so-glamorous" - and knowing from Thanksgiving, and covered by His Grace...

there comes...

3.  The Gift of Joy:  And when I receive God's thanks in all things - I receive JOY!

So, today God, I thank you for "remembering my past experiences", and for Your forgiveness and grace of those "not so lovely" ones!

EUCHARISTEOS (Greek for "to give thanks") a hard Eucharisteo means those things in which it is hard to see the blessing.

And knowing that God has forgiven my past experiences - even the "not so lovely" ones - I can say:

YES!  Grace + Thanksgiving = JOY!


And, I can:

Thank you, God...just...Thank You!

August 11th
3 Gifts of Metal

1.  The Gift of Transportation:  A car, a truck, a motorcycle, a bike, a train, a bus...

So many ways to get from one point to another.  We can all be thankful for being able to get where we want to - quickly!

Unless...the traffic on the major highway is crawling, or sitting still!  Thankfully, we made a u-turn and took a different route, arriving a few minutes late for our monthly breakfast. we were leaving, another couple was just arriving - they were not so lucky and ended up in traffic for an hour and a half...

Thankful everyone was OK - still not sure of the reason for the traffic jam; probably construction combined with an accident!

2.  The Gift of Music:  I love music, most of it anyway!  But I don't love heavy metal (or rap!).

Found on Pinterest
Shared by

And, if muusic does share what our feelings are, then perhaps a bit of heavy metal may show those deep, dark feelings we may hide inside!

Perhaps a bit of current or contemporary Christian music would help at this time?  Here is one that has meant a lot to me lately:

Thank you, God, for music in which we can share our feelings...

And that "You have been my God Through all of it!

3.  The Gift of Food and Safety:  Microwavable!  A quick meal or a warm-up...

Fast-paced lifestyles require fast-paced food!

But, be careful what you put into the microwave...One day I headed off a disaster by stopping my husband - just in time! - from putting an aluminum - metal?! - pie tin into the microwave!  That would have been bad!

Thank you, God, that I saw what he was doing.  He hates to be "observed"; but was glad I "saved his life" that day!

August 12
3 Gifts Half-Hidden

1.  The Gift of Compansionship:  Underneath the facade; the "I'm just acting this way (like I'm "retarded", "stupid" or whatever - his words!) so you'll think I need to go to a nursing home...

{My husband has a real phobia about being in a nursing home!  He is always doing/saying these things, by no prompting from me!!}

What does that mind of his think he looks like, or acts like?  And, what does he think a nursing home is for - stupid people?!  Or people who are sick and need nursing care?

But, deep inside - half-hidden - is he only wanting companionship; a person to share an evening with?  I think he is there somewhere - the man I once knew...but diseases like dementia or Alzheimer's disease have taken that man away.

Thank you, God, that he does forget these outbursts; help me to "overlook" and forget them, too!

2.  The Gift of the Sun:  On an overcast, cloudy, or rainy day, the sun may be Half-Hidden behind all the rain and blackness...

Yet, we know that somewhere the sun waits to shine; sometimes peeking out from the rain and clouds to surprise us with -

A Rainbow!

3.  The Gift of Story:  I love to read - all kinds of books!  The characters come alive as I read the story; as the plot continues, I look forward to "what happens next".

But, within the story are always words that touch me inside...whether a thought or a conversation that "hits home", reminds me of a situation in my life; or a word or two (or more) that really get me to thinking...

These Half-Hidden words are what make the story more real, more me!

God uses everything, everyone, around us to speak to us!  Thank you, God, for words; for stories that reach me as I read the words!

August 13th
3 Gifts in Green

1.  The Gift of Rain:  Yes, the rain is a gift from God!  And, the rain nourishes the beautiful green trees, lawns, shrubs - all part of God's beautiful masterpieces...

All along the road, sprinkled with other colorful blooms, God's masterpieces open my eyes to the beauty all around us...

Just open your eyes to His beauty!

2.  The Gift of Finances:  I'm really proud of my daughter and her husband; they are really generous in giving to others when the needed arises; or just because!

Today, while shopping for school supplies for her boys, my daughter also helped me with a couple of tops and three pairs of shorts/capris.  I really needed them, and she was happy to do it!

3.  The Gift of the Psalms:  My favorite book in the Bible is Psalm.  I love to read them; perhaps, a major reason is because I love poetry, and the poetic flow of the Psalms is so beautiful!

Although they are all beautiful, one of my favorites is the 23rd Psalm...which speaks of "green pastures", a gift for today.

"The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down
in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters;
He restores my soul..."

I can just picture those "still waters" and that beautiful "green pasture"...

Thank you, God, for leading me to rest; for "restoring my soul."

August 14th
A Gift in a Ring, Curve, Sphere

The Gift of Sports:  Not an athletic person myself, I do enjoy watching some sports.  tonight we watched the Jacksonville Jaguars (our home-town team!) beat the Pittsburgh Steelers - a "curve" for sure because the Steelers are a BIG name team, and a winning team!

I also love watching baseball, especially my grandson...

Grandson Shayne
Catcher at the FSU 
Summer Baseball Camp

And, a quote that relates to baseball, but also to life!

Found on Pinterest
Shared by

And this ends Part 2 of "Gifts Found in August"!  Join me for the next part!

Simple Woman's Daybook - August 17, 2015

Linking up with

Well, it is Monday; but I've had a very busy weekend, actually ending when I came home this afternoon around 1:00 pm!   

I did not want to miss linking up with Peggy and the other bloggers for "The Simple Woman's Daybook"; so, here I am at 6:00 pm!

And, here goes...

For Today:
August 17, 2015

Outside My Window:  A rather wet and rainy evening, after thunderstorms came through a short time ago...thunder, lightning; and the cat headed to her "safe place" at the first "boom" of thunder!

I am Hearing:  The evening news: a murder investigation; a rape of an eight-year-old little girl; the weather; shootings and robberies and...

Where is the GOOD NEWS??

I am Thinking:  Of our up-coming vacation trip to Atlanta!

I am Thankful:  For my loving brother and sister-in-law who will be "treating" us for this vacation!

I am Praying for:  My friend Carl who is undergoing chemo, and having a rough time; my friend Edith who just had knee replacement surgery; many un-named needs that I see so often on Facebook and hear of at church and other places...God knows their needs!

I am Wearing:  A pair of comfortable gray sweat shorts and a purple flowered shirt; and my old stand-by crocs!

I am Creating:  Just painted a small easel for a gift; also "dressing" a few more Prima dolls for an event in October.

I am Going:  To the doctor's office tomorrow; just a regular check-up...praying no problems surface!

I am Wondering:  If I will survive the LONG drive on Wednesday!

I am Reading:  A two-story book by Nora Roberts; the first story is "Reflections" which I am about half-way through.  The second story is "Dreams".

I am Excited That:  We leave in just over a day for our little vacation.  My brother and sister-in-law are taking us to the Coca Cola Museum and the Aquarium on Thursday; and who knows what else!  Friday my sister-in-law and I will have a "girls' day" and meet one of my "on-line friends" for lunch!  On Saturday we are attending the Annual BBQ Festival in Kennessaw, GA...and at some point, I want to check out the "original" Chick-fil-a - The Dwarf House!

Photo from Pinterest

You can be sure to see more photos from The Dwarf House in Hapeville, GA once we visit it!

Atlanta here we come...

I am Learning to:  Accept other's "gifts" (or blessings) with gracious gratitude!  I may have said this before; but it's still a learning process for me - a "giver"!!

In My Kitchen:  A few dirty dishes to go into the dishwasher; I cooked some scrambled eggs and biscuits for dinner...

Around the House:  In the process of packing for the vacation; so...laundry!

I am Pondering:  God's wonderful blessings!  Just can't believe how blessed I am...but check out my "1000 Gifts" notebook and I see so much that He blesses me with!

A Favorite Quote for Today:  I'm not sure where I read this quote, but I do have the author...

"I don't have to be perfect.  All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect and beautiful journey of my life.  It's a trip more wonderful than I could have imagined."
- Kerry Washington           

A Fave Scripture Thought: From yesterday's devotion, a well-known and favorite scripture from Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV):

"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."

The devotion states, "...despite all I have learned of God's grace, I confess that sometimes deep down I still feel I have to earn that grace."

These could certainly be my words!  What I wrote is: "God gives His grace - freely; often; we do not need to do anything to earn God's grace...

Freely!  God's Grace is Freely Given!

To us; by God...


A Photo to Share:

My brother Bill and I
standing outside our home
in Orleans, France
cir. 1956/57

And that is another Simple Woman's Daybook!  Catch me again next week!!