Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Gift of a Memory

I think I've mentioned here a time or twenty that I have a really bad memory.  It is one of the reasons that I started this blog.

Don't worry, I haven't been diagnosed with anything.  It is just that with five children and now six grandchildren, sometimes events run together for me.  So I record them here so that I can refresh my memory from time to time.

BUT...there is one memory indelibly lodged in my mind.

It was the summer of 1978...June to be exact.

My mom worked at Boyd & Nichol's General Store in Fountain Hill, Arkansas.  She was a butcher there at the time.  (This was before she started nursing school.)

Boyd & Nichols was a true general store.  About half of it was groceries, but the other half had anything you could, overalls, tools, implements, farm supplies.  ANYTHING!

During this one week in June of 1978, I was offered the temporary job of sacking groceries.  You see, the regular 'sacker' was out of town for the week attending FFA camp.  (Future Farmers of America...though I believe he works for the Ashley County Sheriff's Department today, not on a farm.  But I digress.)

So, this was my first paying job.  A one-week stint at sacking groceries at a general store.  I was quite excited by the prospect of earning my own money...and even more excited that it was a one week only job because, really, who wants their entire summer interrupted by work?  (Oh, the irony of wasted youth.)

I really can't tell you much about that whole week.  I don't know how many sacks I filled and carried out or how much time I spent stocking shelves.

BUT...right around lunch time on my last day (Saturday) I had an experience that I have never forgotten.

I had sacked groceries for a woman and was carrying them to her car just out front of the store.  As I approached the car I noticed two boys with her.  I'm sure they were not with her in the store...but they seemed to have miraculously appeared as we walked toward the car.

One of them was a few years younger then me, very talkative and friendly.  The other one looked near my age and was quite handsome.  The older brother opened the back door of the car for me as I moved the groceries from the shopping cart to the backseat.  I remember giving him a hard time about letting me, a girl, do the heavy lifting of a very large bag of dog food.  And then, he closed the door, walked around the car, climbed into the driver's seat and was gone.

I'm sure it was a scene that had played out several times with many different people throughout that week's worth of work.  But for some reason I never forgot his face, the way he spoke or his reserved friendliness.

Fast forward just short of two years when I met him again and learned his name.  Jim.  Jim Goode.  Yeah, the one I have been married to for almost 33 years now.  (Our anniversary is next month.)

I've always wondered why THAT memory remained so vivid to me for all that time.  (Admit it, two years is a long time when you are a young girl.)  And why it still remains so rich today.

But earlier this week I was reading Melanie Shankle's book "The Antelope in the Living Room" and I came across this quote which just really says it all for me.

"It's shocking the things I don't remember from college, but I remember every minute of that first meeting. I remember what he said and what he prayed, and looking back, I think it was God's gift to me because he knew this man was going to be my husband and there were things I'd want to remember."

Melanie Shankle AKA Big Mama
"The Antelope in the Living Room"

That crystal clear memory from 1978 was a gift from God for me...because He knew I would want to remember it.  He knew it would be a treasure for my heart.

Oh, and the reason I bought the book?  (Aside from the fact that I have loved her blog for years.)  Did you see that kudu mount on the cover?  Yeah, I have a similar one hanging in my living room right now.  Only ours has a blue wildebeest right across the room to match.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Few More Easter Pics

Proof positive that William was at our Easter gathering!

Davin (6 1/2) with Parker showing off the lizard he caught in the backyard.

Brooke (6 1/2) found the most eggs.  That basket was overflowing.

Maddux (5) --  it is so hard to get a picture of this boy looking at you.

Elliot (1 1/2) dragging her princess basket behind her.
I just love this sweet smiling face!

Delayne (1 1/2) -- Miss Attitude looks like she's posing for some Baby Gap ad or something.  It was our first time seeing her in pigtails.

Weston (6 months) and Pappaw -- I love that look on his face.
 Like him and Pappaw are intently deciding on how to do something!
Now, is it just me or aren't they all just 'GRAND'???

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Blessed Easter

Our family gathered last Saturday to celebrate our Risen Savior with a big meal and an egg hunt.  And honestly, I took not one photograph...but Brianne did.

So, I'm cheating and taking the photos from her Facebook page.

Derrick, Meagan, Davin and Delayne

Matt, Kelli, Maddux, Brooke, Weston and Elliot

Josh and Brianne

Brian and Deborah
 Not sure why there are no photos of Will...but I promise, he was there!

Danielle, Brady and Parker
Our special guests

Jim and I with the children before the egg hunt
We enjoyed a large Easter dinner followed by the Adult Easter Egg Hunt due to conflicting nap schedules.  Finally, around 4 o'clock we were able to get everyone up and alert at the same time for the Kids Easter Egg Hunt.  Later in the evening we spent a couple of hours playing a nine person game of Liverpool Rummy.  Yeah, that was an exercise in patience!  

I'll post a few more photos tomorrow.  

Hope y'all had a Happy and Blessed Easter!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Beauty of Spring

I love wisteria. Absolutely love it.

I don't have any planted in our yard, yet every spring I am greeted by beautiful purple blossoms several places along my drive to work.

And every spring, I snap photos from the window of my truck and promise myself that I am going to stop one day and take a close up.

So, on the last Sunday in March as I drove home from lunch with Bri, I did just that. Hopped a muddy ditch just off of 290 in Waller to capture the fleeting beauty of wisteria.

Ahh, Beatutiful!

I am so glad I took the moment to capture its glory and to breath deeply of the scent...because just a few days later these lovely petals were washed away in a thunderstorm.

What beauty surrounds you today? Take the time to really notice it...and to enjoy it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday was a Monday.

You know, THAT kind of Monday.

A Monday that followed a holiday...that followed a busy week...that followed a company function...that followed a busier week of preparation.

Papers literally disappearing from my desk. Vendors emailing to ask why I had sent money, even though I held their invoice in my hand. Others questioning where checks were that we mailed in February...even though the other one mailed at the exact same time to the exact same address had arrived long ago. My day just seemed to be spiraling out of control with one problem after another.

And so it was that on Easter Monday, I found myself nearly pulling at my hair and begging The Lord for a piece of Sabbath (and a peace of Sabbath).

Just an hour or two alone.

Just a bit of silence that I might hear Him and find myself.

But it wasn't to be. I had errands to run on my way home. A trip to the grocery store to make. A package to deliver to William. Guests at the house when I arrived. Dinner to make (although it ended up being tacquitos). Time spent with my Hero in front of the television and discussing everything that crossed our minds.


I opened my email and found that we were having a package delivered to the house today. I had ordered a bit of rand for our upcoming trip to South Africa. Not much, just enough to buy a soda at the Jo'burg airport or to pay for lunch on our journey to Polokwane. Pocket change really. We learned during our last trip that you want to have a bit of local currency on you when you arrive. The exchange rate at the airport is horrible. And even though most everyone accepts credit cards, there are always those little things that come up.

For this reason, I had gone online Sunday night and placed our order of rand not sure of when it would arrive. The bank will only deliver to the address on the, it was coming here instead of to the office.

And just like that, The Lord gave me a piece of Sabbath.

I don't why I was so surprised that He heard me or that He answered me. But I was.

And I will also admit, that when I actually received that silence to hear Him and find freaked me out a bit. I was tempted to fill it with laundry and decluttering and Facebook and television and "_________" (fill in the blank).

But in His tenderness, He met me right where I was.

He sent a message that I needed to hear through my devotional reading.

He revealed my fear of being alone with Him...and my own thoughts.

He wooed me to sit out on the deck listening to the birds and to finish reading "The Rest of God" by Mark Buchanan -- where He spoke to me again of Jacob's wrestling with God.

He reminded me of a broken commitment to read through the New Testament and met me so sweetly in the words of the apostle John.

And then He moved me here, to share with you and to record for my forgetful self that He not only meets our needs but He does exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.

Hallelujah and Amen!

What are you asking Him for today? He's listening!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

March Recap

What I did: (Warning -- March is a CRAZY BUSY month around here!)

  • 1st - Went to MainStreet America and toured houses with my honey.  We walked and talked and dreamed...and realized that we want to pursue building our dream house soon.
  • 4th - Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday at the office.  We enjoyed a big lunch of red beans and rice with Haydel's Cream Cheese King Cake for dessert.  YUM!
  • 4th - Also the last night of the Tuesday Night Bible Study with Beth Moore.  Powerful!  Moving! And though I am sad to see it end, I pray that the Lord does an even mightier work through her teaching in the future.  Whatever form and wherever that may be.
  • 6th - Ladies Night Out at Rodeo Houston with Reba 
    The Ladies with our driver, David.
    Jenn, Mary, Annabel, Robin, David, Stacy, Teri and myself.
    Stacy's mom, Nancy, was taking the photo.
  • 8th - Stacy's 50th Birthday Celebration  
    Jim, Robin and I surprised Stacy for her 50th birthday with dinner and an evening out on the town.  Oh the stories that we could tell...but won't.
  • 11th - Girl's Night Out at Rodeo Houston with Jason Aldean.  
    Alison, Stacy, Robin, myself, Kim, Bri and Josh...the lone male to brave a limo full of ladies.
     Meet and Greet, Baby!  
    Me with Jason Aldean!
    He has been one of my favorites for years.
    Love his music.
  • 13th - Wine Garden and Shopping Day at Rodeo Houston.  Great time with dear friends, and, oh we also saw Maroon 5.  I didn't realize how many of their songs I had heard before.  (And I got my boots shined for the first time!  They look better than new!)
    Robin and I at the Rodeo Houston Uncorked Wine Garden before seeing Maroon 5.  We bought some really cute dresses that I am sure you will see before this post is over.
  • 16th - Family Dinner at Alicia's with most of the family because our Number One Son finally came home for a visit!  Yay!  We have missed him.
  • 17th - Saint Patrick's Day at Rodeo Houston with Luke Bryan  
    Stacy, me, Robin and Kelley dropping green chicken feathers all over Houston!
  • 20th - Night Out with My Girls at Rodeo Houston with Blake Shelton (minus Kelli who couldn't go at the last minute).
Meagan, Bri and I waiting for the Rodeo to begin. (And this is one of those really cute dresses I told you about earlier.
Not pictured is Kim, Chelsea and Dina who rounded out our group for the evening.

  • 24th - Table of Grace with dear friends who give some of the greatest advice EVER!
  • 29th - Luncheon at our house with the Ladies of Fellowship at Field Store. We had a great time, even though I was so behind with getting Jim out the door to his turkey hunt that the first arrivals graciously offered to help toss salads and make sandwiches.

What I learned:

  1. Listening to the Holy Spirit's promptings can be scary...and oh so rewarding!
  2. Sometimes your input into a situation can bring about a great collaboration.  So, humbly express your ideas and share past experiences that pertain to the situation.
What I listened to:

  • Still listening to Casting Crowns "Thrive"...but now I'm partial to "This Is Now".  It is the story of Peter through his own comparison of his life before and after the denial.  Oh, how I relate!
  • Luke Bryan's "Crash My Party" -- My favorite is 'Play It Again'.
What I read:

  1. "The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath" by Mark Buchanan.  This book was highly recommended at the Women of Faith: Unwrap the Bible Conference I attended in February. And since I had just finished listening to 'Wonderstruck' by Margaret Feinberg where she lit a fire in my heart regarding Sabbath...I figured I had better pick it up.  And, OH MY GOODNESS, did the Lord ever have a holy laugh over me when I picked up the Sunday School book on March 30th to prepare for the next week's lesson on Sabbath!  His timing is impeccable.
  2. Matthew - (most of) John for the Lent Challenge.

I know this is really late, but we are without Internet at home again and work has been so busy that I hadn't taken the time to update on the last few events of March.  I would love to hear what is going on in your life today.