Thursday, July 31, 2008


It is so difficult to believe that my BABY will be 15 on Saturday! Where has the time gone? To say it flies is an understatement...I think it's on warp speed! Hours may seem to linger, but days, weeks and months fly by. Do you ever wonder what you've done that truly makes a difference? Has your life been worth it? Have you wasted time? (Who hasn't?!) These are the thoughts of those leaning towards a mid-life crisis. No, I don't think I'm having one - in fact, I'm probably past the age of that. But at various times in our lives we do wonder what we are doing that really makes a difference.

I love the story of Elijah told in 1 Kings 18-19. Yesterday I read of Elijah's victory over the prophets of Baal and today I read of his fear, no outright terror, of Jezebel! How quickly our mountain top experiences can turn into a valley of uncertainty! I think Elijah is the ultimate "drama king." He goes from taunting the prophets of Baal to wanting to die in less than 30 verses! By the time we get to 1 Kings 19, he is worn out, and I wonder if he feels like nothing he does makes a difference. After all, he defeated the prophets, but nothing seemed to change - Jezebel was still up to her old tricks.

At the end of that section of the story we see that God had it all under control. He had a plan for Ahab and Jezebel, for Elijah and for the nation of Israel. When we feel like our time has been for nothing, we need to remember that God's still working in and through us. Maybe we can't see where we've made a difference, but God can. In our everyday living, God is working. As we raise our children, God is working; as we develop our relationships, God is working; as we serve on committees, God is working; as we clean our houses, serve in the community, run our errands, God is working.

If we allow God to work in and through us, even though time flies, we are making a difference, in the lives of our children, in the lives of those we love, in our community and in our jobs.

So this year, we will again measure Drew on the door frame, who is now at least as tall as his dad if not taller. We will celebrate with gifts and a special meal. We will hold on to these time continues to fly.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The God who Provides

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while. Can't believe it's been a week since my last post. We've been busy with some projects at home, and getting Drew ready for camp. He left out on Sunday and will return on Friday; his birthday is Saturday; and we leave for a week at the beach on Sunday! Can you say overwhelmed! We're working on a little remodeling at home as well as picking up birthday presents and trying to figure out how to fit in the Little Mountain Reunion and Drew's birthday!

This morning in my quiet time, I read 1 Kings 17. What struck me about this chapter on Elijah was the different ways God provided for him. He ordered the ravens to feed Elijah at the brook. Then when the brook dried up, God sent Elijah to a starving widow in Zarephath. Out of her emptiness, God provided for both Elijah and the woman and her family. Then when the widow loses her son, God, through Elijah, performed a miracle. And all of these to the glory and praise of God.

I'm also doing the No Other Gods study by Kelly Minter. In the session I did last night, Kelly discussed how God provided for Abraham - a ram in the place of Isaac. She noted that even though Abraham thought God was going to do it a different way, He still was Jehovah-Jireh - the God who provides. Are you going through difficult times? Are you looking for God to provide in a specific way, and can't see it? Maybe He is providing in a totally different way than you think.

See from my 1 Kings 17 reading this morning, I think God provides for us in many different ways - through nature, through others and through miracles. What amazes me, is that through the destitute widow, God provided. She would never have dreamed that by sharing what little she had with a stranger, Elijah, that God would bring her back from the brink of death - "She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah." (1 Kings 17:15-16)

In all these rambling words, I want you to see Jehovah-Jireh today. When your life is helter skelter, He provides. When you feel empty, He provides. When you feel on the brink of dying - maybe not literally, but emotionally or spiritually, He provides. Maybe not the way you think...maybe not in the way you're looking for...maybe through nature, maybe through others who seemingly have nothing to offer you, maybe through a miracle. "The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you given them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing." (Psalm 145:13b-16) What more do you need?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Anybody out there feeling lukewarm? About anything? About everything? Seems like lately I can't get excited about too much. This afternoon I was thinking that I need to get out of this funk. Everyday is a day to rejoice over something. But it just seems that the UGH of the details of life are getting in my head. You know the UGHs - when you try to get something done at work but no matter what you do, you can't make it do right. I have this on-going battle with the folding machine, and it wins EVERY time. Sometimes you try to help someone, and it comes out ALL wrong. They're aggravated you "got in their business." Or even though you tried to make the words come out right, they didn't. Now you've got fences to mend. Or you ask questions that really have no hidden motive, you're just curious, and now they are overly cautious when they speak to you.

No, not all of this has happened today (except for the folding machine!) or this week or even this month. But, you look back and wonder - did I make a miss-step here or there? What happens to me is that I begin to back away - away from the curiosity, from the extra effort, from the conversation, from the folding machine! (I wish!)

Anyway, I'm not sure of the answer today - except that God is. He is whatever you need at any time...all the time. I found this on the All Access blog. Check it out. And just remember that HE IS your King of Kings! And there's NOTHING lukewarm about that!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

Do we have any of those lazy, hazy days of summer any more? Ours seem to be more like the crazy! This week, however, may be a little more laid-back, at least for Drew. He can sleep in, spend time with his buds and catch up on summer reading. In a way I wish summer was slower-paced like I imagine it used to be...back in the day. But I notice, that when things get slower-paced, I tend to skimp on my quiet time. With school out, I have the opportunity to sleep later, and I do.

I feel disconnected lately - from God. I know He's still right here with me, but I'm not taking the opportunities to connect with Him. Instead, I'm sleeping in and ignoring a necessity of life - spiritual life. I realized this disconnect yesterday and last night made a pledge to get up at 5:30. Well, I had good intentions, but fell back to sleep after I cut the alarm off, but did manage to get up by 6:00. And I had time to pray, read, get outside for some reflection time. It makes a big difference. Now if I can just keep it up....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Reflections on Being an Only Child

After I delivered my son to his job today...first job...babysitting, I thought about life as an only child. I consider myself an only child. My parents divorced when I was in my early 20s and promptly remarried. At which point I gained step/half sisters. (All age-differing excuses aside, I am a TERRIBLE sister.) At any rate, when I was younger, I used to say that I would NEVER have an only child. For some reason I thought it was a difficult load to bear. (What did I know!) Well never say never. After battling infertility for 10 years, along came a miracle baby boy, and no more.

I think the thing that worried me about only children was the fact that there was little opportunity to develop social skills. You have to remember that back in the day when I was an only, my mom didn't work - stayed home with me until I was in middle school. Needless to say, my social skills were lacking and developed very late. At times, I still feel like I don't socialize well. But that's not the problem today. I HAD to go back to work, and Drew went to the sitter's with his cousin and other children and promptly developed (what I think anyway) are great social skills.

However, I do notice one thing where we are alike...we both like our quiet time. When I went to the filming of the Bible study the Patriarchs, I spent a week with three wonderful friends. However, by about the second or third day I was missing my quiet time...really alone time. My dear, dear friend Katie recognized it right away. And now I am recognizing it in my child. Make no mistake he loves to socialize. I just notice that he also loves his quiet time, time to chill, time to relax with his family and time to just be.

Maybe being an only child isn't so bad after all.....

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The BEST Story

I heard the best story this morning. I had WNOK on the radio as I drove to work, and they were talking about the Home Run Derby that was held last night. (Can you believe that my family - BASEBALL JUNKIES that we are, missed it.) Well, they were talking about this player by the name of Josh Hamilton and telling his story. Evidently, he was a great prospect back in the day until he hit the DL list and found drugs. Thus started years of a downward spiral until he hit rock bottom. However, when he hit the bottom, God was there waiting on him. The story is a miraculous where God picks Josh up and brushes him off and puts him back in baseball, where last night he hit 28 home runs in the first round. The story brings tears to my eyes. He now says that he wouldn't change a thing about his past. God uses it everyday to help someone else. He professes it to be a God thing! I've linked a couple of the write-ups here. When you have time, read it. God is truly amazing when we surrender to His will.

Josh's point? There's always hope with God. Fight the devil, because Jesus is there fighting with you and for you! To quote Josh, "Alone, I couldn't win this battle. With Jesus, I couldn't lose." Amen

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like...

No, not Christmas...Vacation Bible School! This is one of the wonders of working in a church. You get to see the transformation from "normal" Sunday school rooms to vacation bible school rooms! Our theme this year is the rain forest, and our leaders have done an excellent job beginning the decorating process. Vines adorn our hand rails, the jungle hangs down from the ceiling, and animals are hanging from trees! How exciting!

Every year I wonder how we can take the magic and excitement of VBS and make it carry through to our "normal" activities. Why is it that one week a year we laugh, play, learn and experience wonderful adventures in God's word? Is it because a lot of people work hard to pull it off? Is it because we only seem to be creative that one time a year? Is it because we only have energy for that one week?!!! I guess some of it is that we can't always stay on the mountain top, we have to come back to the valley and be "normal." Wish we didn't have to.

I recently listened to the song Everything by Lifehouse which was the focus of this year's youth Sunday skit. It's a wonderful song, and a line in it goes, "How can I stand here by You and not be moved by You?" I've been wondering that about myself this week. How can I have the Holy Spirit living inside of me and not be moved by Him? How can I become so accustomed to the notion that the power of the living God is inside me, beside me, behind me and ahead of me that I don't even notice? I want to become more aware of His presence and act accordingly. Just like with VBS, I want to recognize the rain forest of God's love all the time, not just one week a year. I don't want to be normal any more - I want to be different!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I just saw an ad for the "perfect fleece for summer." Obviously they do not live anywhere below the Mason-Dixon line. Fleece and Summer are two words that just DO NOT belong together. Get real!

Not Cool!

My schedule is totally out of sync! K is home with D for a STAYCATION and I am here at work. NOT COOL!

Since my hubby is sleeping in, I am unable to pull this bag of bones out of bed for my normal routine. "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." So, needless to say, I am starting my day without my Quite Time. NOT COOL!

Not only that, but for the past two nights we have not gone to bed until after midnight. Now, if you know me, you know we're usually in bed by 10:30. We enjoyed our 4th of July weekend so much, that on Sunday we didn't want it to end and stayed up to see the 11:00 edition of House. We have just "found" this program, so even the reruns are new to us. Bedtime - 12:15 and up with only 6 1/2 hours of sleep - NOT COOL!

Last night, our Chapin All Star team played their first game. It was supposed to start at 8:00 but didn't start until 9:30. The game, a pitcher's dual, was over at 11:30. But, of course, you're so excited after the game, there's no way you can go home and go to sleep. So we watch the end of the Braves game from LA - and bedtime comes at 12:30. Six hours later it's time for the alarm clock to go off. NOT COOL!

So today, I am running on coffee and the giddys! I have got to get back on schedule somehow. My morning devotional time is precious to me...not only that, but I'm hoping to hear a word from God about a couple things, but how can I hear a word if I'm not in the WORD? It reminds me a little bit of last night's game. Clinton had a pitcher that was BRINGING IT! He struck out 12 batters. But you know what, we didn't stop battling. Every boy that walked up to that plate went up there with the desire to get on base, one way or the other! That's what I have to do. I have to have the DESIRE and PERSEVERANCE to find time for my morning time, one way or the other.

Oh yeah, our pitcher was "on", too. He also struck out 12 batters. And in the top of the 7th inning we got on one way and scored another way. We won by 1 run: 1-0. WAY COOL!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Wonderful Weekend!

I'm sitting here watching the Braves in the top of the 16th inning - that's right 16, five hours of baseball after a 2-hour rain delay. Don't you know they're tired! I've been reflecting back on what a nice weekend it's been. Friday we had a family barbecue and that evening went over to friends for fireworks. Saturday was a lazy day, and in between the laziness was some house cleaning.

Today it would have been VERY, VERY easy to sleep in. But K and I both woke up in time for church. (I think maybe God was nudging us.) I know that there's ALWAYS a blessing waiting for you at church - it may be in a hymn, a sermon, a choir anthem, or the greeting of a friend. However, the flesh is countering with the comforts of a Sunday morning bed...but not this time.

My blessing today was powerful to me. It's summer and it's 4th of July weekend, so as is normal, attendance was down. I noticed the same for the choir - we had 5. So I expected that our Music Director would play a piano solo. But came the familiar tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and the choir began to sing - softly, VERY softly. Then I noticed that the congregation little by little joined in. I was so touched. The hymn was a favorite of all, so I know deep down they wanted to sing. But, to me it was a true picture of the church, the body of Christ, pulling together to get the job done, helping each other out. Tears came to my eyes, as I tried to sing along with this fav! I was truly blessed.

God is good...all the time!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Growing Pains

K just called to say that they are working on not only a railroad crossing but also a side street. So there is a reason for the congestion besides growth. WHEW!

OK...I have just checked a local TV station's website to see if there's a major accident on I-26, and I see nothing! But, see, I just knew there had to be some kind of problem...Chapin traffic is horrendous! I left at 11:25 - supposedly before the lunch crowd - to head to the post office and then meet a friend for lunch. Traffic was backed up EVERYWHERE! I couldn't believe it! Where were they coming from and where were they going to? What has happened to this sleepy, little town? I believe it is waking up - big time! The secret is out about our city, and it is growing and no longer sleepy.

Those who were born and raised in this area miss the sleepy town. Heck, I've only been here 25 years, and I miss it. Growing towns are good and bad. No longer do we know everybody - see my prior post! Yet, we like the conveniences of local doctors, good schools, new restaurants and shops, meeting new friends.

Sometimes growing (personally or as a town) is no fun. The carefreeness of life leaves us, and we experience jams. Even the smallest things aggravate us - we blow things out of proportion, and we long for the simpler life.

God is there for us through it all. As we grow physically, spiritually, relationally and even as a town, He will see us through the jams, aggravations and adjustments. He is our rest - Matthew 11:28-30.

May everyone have a safe, enjoyable and restful July 4th weekend. Thank you, Lord, for our country and the freedom we so often take for granted.

Never Underestimate...

I had a "moment" today. You know the kind, where you think you just might lose it and let someone have a piece of your mind. (Not that I have enough to start giving away, but...) I went to make a routine deposit at the bank, and that's when it happened. They didn't know me. I had a check signed by my husband and a deposit slip that, to their eye, did not go together. The lady came back and asked if the bank usually allowed me to make a deposit like this. Well, yes. Then she turned off the sound, and I could see three of them gathered around the check and deposit slip. That's when I felt it rising up in me. We have been customers for 20+ years. How dare they question my right to deposit my husband's check. I wasn't even getting any money back, for heaven's sake... I started thinking, I'll just change to xyz bank. They know me there. Then I did it, I said a small breath prayer. "Please, Lord, help me not to lose it with them. Help me to be loving in my response."

Another lady came back to the window and asked me to sign the check---which is when I told her we had been customers for 20 years. They explained it was routine when the names did not match up. I asked if I had given them the wrong deposit slip. Then I realized it. My husband goes by his middle name-the check is listed in his first name. When I explained this, they were overly apologetic. In the end, I thanked them for being so observant. In this day and age, you just never know who is doing what with your information. As I drove away, I thanked the Lord that I didn't lose it. They were just doing their job - and very well at that.

We all want to be known. You know what, we are not only known but we are heard. God knows our names, He knows who we are. He also hears us - hears our breath prayers, and sends us the self-control (and other types of the fruit of the Spirit) to keep our cool when we need to. Never underestimate the power of prayer, even in the small, irritating things in life. He hears and He knows and He answers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What's that Dish?

Game shows seem to be the in thing now on TV. Last night at my house, I played the "What's that Dish?" game. A little background, I was trying to be the "good" wife/mother last night. (I'm sure you don't have good wife/bad wife at your house, but we do at mine!) Anyway, instead of going to ball practice I decided to stay home and fix a meal for my boys. K wanted to try to start eating healthier with a salad, and Drew wanted his favorite dessert - which, needless to say, is NOT healthy. So, "Good Wife" goes to the grocery store and purchases items for both dishes. I come home and fix a fruit salad, green salad, fry chicken fingers (not healthy), and fix dessert. As I'm plundering through the fridge for baking items, I notice several, did I say SEVERAL, containers with something unrecognizable in them! As I pulled them out and opened them up - YUCK, YUCK, YUCK. One was so covered with green and white "stuff" that I could not even figure out what it was. Being "Good Wife" last night, I took it outside to the woods to throw it out. I beat the Tupperware container on the ground to get the contents out, the dish became recognizable. "Hmmm, strawberries!" I said. Can't remember the last time we had those! I'm not sure the Tupperware will be re-usable....

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wondering... you ever wonder, "Where's the excitement?" I've wondered that about church lately. (Can you say that out-loud in print? Guess I just did.) Do you ever feel like you're missing something? It's right there, but you just can't reach it. I've been feeling that way lately. Maybe it's the fact that I did not get to Deeper Still for my on personal "revival." The worship & praise time at these events is just awesome. Maybe it's the fact that, with baseball, we've missed church on a regular basis. Maybe it's because we're on a sporadic schedule with Bible study. Maybe it's just me. As I was walking and listening to my i-pod, I heard Point of Grace sing Begin With Me. And I quietly heard the Spirit whisper to my heart, "It needs to begin with you." Ouch! Begin with me? I want it done for me! Isn't that the way we are? It's so much more fun to be the receiver of the Spirit than the giver of the Spirit. Begin with me. Hmmmmm.

So there you have the reason for the theme Be...gin. I need to be - be the love of Christ to others, be a servant to others, be...gin to tell of the excitement of the Good News. Beginning again. As Avalon sings, "It's a brand, new day." May I be a brand new creation of His. Be...ginning Again!

One of "Those" Days

Are you having one of "those" days? I think I am. It was a day my first cup of coffee was delayed because I had to take my osteoporosis medicine. I don't think I ever caught up on my "half-caff" allotment. And as I think about it now, I'm beginning to crave an afternoon fix! It's been quiet at work with everyone gone here and there. And it's a good day to go here and there because for a South Carolina July day, it's gorgeous outside! I'm doing a little bit of clock watching, wondering what to fix for dinner, mentally making a list of things that need to be done at home, and looking forward to the 4th of July weekend.

I regret we did not go to the Deeper Still event in Atlanta. I sure missed a great time of worship & praise with Travis & the team. So close and yet so far. But I'm loving keeping up with the news on LifeWay's new All Access blog. This will turn your day around! Looks like a large time was had by all.

So welcome to the new blog page for Susan B. I guess I felt today was a good day to reinvent it. To maybe take a different track. Learn some new tricks. And just who Christ has called me to open to something that new again!