Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer thoughts and thanks...

Just checking in!

As I said before, I have been taking a little break from writing the last while and it's been good. I am taking lots of photos and enjoying the summer with my kids. I have been editing my wedding work and also attempting to satiate my Instagram addiction...not happening. ;)

I am doing well, though. I got over the downturn I took not long ago...God is good about letting me wallow and then helping me get back up. I can't let the things other people do or say control me. If I do, I am putting them at a higher place in my life than God has - obviously not right. I have been pondering this scripture for a while, as well...

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; 
And what does the LORD require of you 
But to do justice, to love mercy, 
And to walk humbly with your God?"
Micah 6:8

So I am thinking that if those are the things that God requires, He isn't asking me to please everyone. He isn't asking me to worry about what others think of me. He wants me to think about justice and do the right things in His eyes. He wants me to be merciful, even to those whom I don't think deserve it (He has always been merciful to me, and I don't deserve it). He wants me to put Him first and just to walk with Him. Those are the keys to living a simple life.

I know I will never be able to fully rid my life of drama and those who create it because humans are humans, but I will continue to trust Him and listen to what He has to say about the people in my life. He has people in this world with whom He wants me to connect - some are close by, some are far away. He has things for me to do and be, and He is continuing the work in me.

So today I want to encourage you to sit back and look at your life. Look past the drama and the conflict. Look past the dark cloud days and see life for what it really is - a gift. We only get one go at it and it's a short one. We do reap what we sow, so try to sow encouragement, forgiveness and love. I am trying to do those things in my own life. I don't want to waste precious time on negativity. I'm not always successful, but God knows the motives of my heart. And He knows yours, too. That's all that matters.

Today, I'm thankful for...

Instagram. It's becoming a serious addiction, but I love that I can see other people's iPhone photos from all over the world instantly. Now all I need is an iPhone4...lol. Okay, so it's a want and not a need, but it would still be pretty fun.

My iPad2...I have been enjoying the crap out of the thing. So awesome and it was so thoughtful of my husband to get me something like that. It was unexpected, but it was a big blessing. He knows I'm not a "flowers and chocolates" girl when it comes to gifts. I like it when someone sees something simple and thinks of me, but I also like it when Sean sees something high-tech and thinks of me. Hee hee...(I'm a gadget girl and I've never been typical when it comes to anniversaries or birthdays. One year, all I wanted was a vacuum cleaner...albeit it was a Dyson, but still a vacuum. Another year, it was a fishing rod.)

Sean's job. He likes it and it gets him home from work by 4pm at the latest. How cool is that? I miss him being laid off, but I know he's a work-with-your-hands and keep busy kind of man. He's a hard worker and a conscientious one and I appreciate that about him.

A break. While homeschooling/cyber schooling can be an awesome thing, sometimes a family just needs a break. Thank goodness for summer! We are still doing educational activities here and there, but it feels nice to let it all go for a while.

Alone time. A few weeks ago, Sean took the boys to Canada for a week. At first, I was a little teary-eyed, but I decided to change my perspective. I realized that I could be sad or I could see the time as an opportunity to do things I didn't normally get to do. So I sat in silence as much as I could, I took a little road trip, I went out with friends almost every night. It turned out to be a lovely week and it was a great time. I spent a whole block of time with ME and I almost never get to do that.

Life isn't all about fun, obviously, but making the most of every day is so important. This is a reminder for myself as much as it is for you.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Advice and thoughts from my Grandmother...

I recently found some old letters that my grandmother had sent me before I left for college at Evangel University and one during my sophomore year. I know there are more of them in my boxes somewhere, but these are the first ones I found.  I loved the memories and advice she shared, so I thought I'd share it with you all. :) My grandmother passed away years ago, but I still have the good memories of time I spent with her and of the advice she would send me in her handwritten letters. Some of it is funny and some of it is just good stuff to think about...especially the italicized part in the third letter. Enjoy!


July 23, 1993 (The day before my 18th birthday, summer before I went to college)

Dearest Sarah,

I hope you have a happy birthday tomorrow...I know you are having a good time with the Myers family. Greet them for me and you teenagers have mercy on the grownups - parents and such!

I guess you are planning a lot for next year. I hope the Mississippi River doesn't block your way. I remember how excited I was when I packed my trunk for college. I had a new trunk and a hatbox traveling bag. Everyone who was anybody had a hat box! I made the money for mine by wiring tags for the Ennis Tag and Printing Co. (Now Ennis Business Forms). It was black, shiny and looked like patent leather.

I found it was best to travel light and don't take everything you have. At first take the kind of clothes and what you'll wear between Sept. and Christmas - or the first time you go home. Make you a budget and don't use all your spending money the first week you are there. Keep your Bible handy and use it every day. Remember a college has rules. You'll learn what they are, so obey them. (Me: HAHAHAHAHA!) If you don't want to obey the college rules you might consider building your own college! Ha!

With love now and always,


October 28, 1993 (During first semester at college)

Dearest Sarah,

I intended to write long before now, but I've had a lot of interference...

I know you have really got initiated into college by now. Whether it is long ago or now, some things about college never seem to change: the long lines at registration, the wait for the mail, the gripes about the food. I think if they served pheasant under glass and finished off with nectar and ambrosia, it would still bring gripes (because it doesn't taste like "Mama's cooking")!

Homesickness is another common experience of all ages. Just be thankful you have had a home life that is worth being homesick for. Imagine what it would be like not to have had a home worth being lonesome for. And you will always have those beautiful memories. Sometimes when you think you can't stand it another minute, take a walk on the campus and look at the nice places and the nice people who are now part of your life. Some you will forget, but many you will always remember and your life might be richer for your memories.

I remember standing with the usual group of students near the dining room waiting for the supper bell to ring. One girl started to sing "Home Sweet Home", and we almost murdered her right there. That was one time that memories of home were most poignant.

I was so doubtful that I would ever get to college. I would sometimes want to pinch myself to see whether I was dreaming or whether I was really in college. Sometimes at night I would console myself by trying to imagine how different my life was and would be because I was fortunate enough to be in college instead of clerking at Perry's the rest of my life.

I worked there (Perry's) on Saturdays and during one year I had to miss college, but I decided that whatever it took to get back to college was worth it. I thought I'd go crazy if I knew I had to look at those four walls the rest of my working years or folding lingerie and putting it back in its bin after some customer had pawed through it...

I love you and I'm very proud of you. So keep your mind on the positive things about college! Why don't you keep a section of a notebook for a diary to write down something you want to remember that a prof. or one of your friends said that day? It will make nice reading for your granddaughter sometime when she wants to know how it was with grandmother when she went to college!

Love now and always,

P.S. By the way, do you have enough money for your books?


January 26, 1995 (2nd half of sophomore year)

Dearest Sarah,

I hope you are settled down and happy at college this semester. Time is passing fast and the semester will be over before you realize it.

I hope you will have something as exciting this semester as you found your teaching practicum.

Whatever you decide to do with your life, I hope you will always be happy in it. And I hope it will be something that will have permanent value and will honor God. I have always felt that way about teaching, even when I felt tired and frustrated. There many other jobs similar...

Do you have a journalism dept. there? I wouldn't take anything for the journalism work I took at Baylor because of what it did for me. It seemed to whet every skill I had and really made me get over timidity and not be afraid to meet people and talk to them.

I hope you can use the money. I don't want you to go hungry at snack time!

I love you,