Sunday, December 11, 2011

We're Alive!!!

Well, it's been approximately 985 years since I last posted. Life came along and just happened. We have been busy! In the last several months, Olin got a job, I got a job, I lost my job, my mother-in-law had back surgery, school started, Christmas is only two weeks away, we had Thanksgiving, and my dad and step-mom came up for a visit! tired just typing it. We truly believe we are where we are as a part of God's plan for our lives. We have good days and bad days. It's been a really hard year. However, we are looking for the favor in our situation and most days we find it. We want to be present in the moment and really try to learn what God is showing us in each situation. We are grateful to have a roof over our heads, a car to drive, a healthy boy, and a job for Olin. We are aware that we have a lot more than some people.
My dad and step-mom came up for a visit from south Louisiana! I hadn't seen them in about 11 years or so. I believe we had a good visit and we were blessed to have time with each other. It was good to re-connect and for them to get to meet my boys! We had a week of really good cooking by Ms. Paula and time with family. Seth calls going to my uncle's house "going out to the farm" and he loves it!!! There are goats, chickens, tree swings, and four wheelers. What is not for a boy to love?
I would tell you I will try to post more but I always say that! Ha! I really am going to try to. This blog is one way of me remembering what happens in our little family from time to time and when I don't write it down I don't remember. :/ Praying for friends and family members that are in changing seasons this Christmas! Love you all~!

"I will not dwell on what was lost. I will build on what remains." -Pastor Steven Furtick-


Sunday, September 18, 2011


Hi blog world! It's been quite a while since I last posted. There have been many good, hard, messy, wonderful, and scary things going on around here. It's a lot to process. I can just about guarantee a post will go up about each one but first I have to finish processing them!
I am posting to ask for prayer. Specifically for the following things:

*Clear conviction on a medical procedure that may or may not come to fruition.
*Open or closed doors on the house we are in the process of acquiring. There have been some red flags.....
*The job application that is in. I've already interviewed. Just waiting to hear back from them now.
*A good attitude when dealing with the hard stuff. I keep reminding myself of what my "other mother" would say...."That's what love does". Maybe it is...but just being honest that sometimes it is hard to do what love does.

There are several more things going on but the list is getting long... :) I would love the opportunity to pray for things that anyone that reads this blog needs as well. Just comment or email me and let me know!
I promise to follow up within the week and fill everyone in. I am anxious, nervous, scared and excited. God is planning quite a season in my life....and I know that it is all in His perfect timing. Praying that I can go through it glorifying Him.
Have a great Sunday everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Have Some Thoughts

I had some thoughts about some things this morning so I thought I should get them all out here....on this ol' bloggy...that I never blog on.

Many of you that know me know that a few weeks ago, someone I like to call a good friend of mine passed away. I was beginning to take piano lessons from him (He has been to the White House to play-he is that good), he sang in my wedding, he had the sense of humor of 10 men, and he was one of my greatest prayer warriors and encouragers. I have been trying to figure out what it all means. He was 58 years old. He has a beautiful family and he loved the Lord with everything he had. Why did he have to go? I like to think the Lord had a spot open in the choir and needed a piano man. Whatever the reason-HIS timing is perfect. In my own selfish vain, I began to wonder what God was trying to teach me out of it. I couldn't believe how impacted I was by his death. I think because it hit so close to home and reminded me of my own mortality. In the last few weeks I have realized several things.
1-Never put off what you have in your heart you want to do. For example, piano lessons. I should have started years ago. Now I have missed an opportunity to learn from the best.
2-Hold my husband a little tighter every day. I may nag, fuss, etc. What if he died tomorrow? Would I be pleased with myself when thinking about the last time I said anything to him? Would they be nice words or would they cause me to live years in regret?
3-Never take having a spouse for granted. Yes-we need our own time and space within the day-but never take for granted having someone to share my bed with. Never take for granted the kiss on my forehead that I get every morning as he leaves for work. Never take for granted that everyday he greets me with "Hey, Beautiful". I never know when the last time I hear those words will be.
4-I should strive to live my life as a testimony for God. I should be humble about it. Almost 1000 people showed up to Charlie T's funeral. He would never have imagined the number of people he impacted. That's what made him as amazing as he was.
5-It's never too early to decorate for Christmas. Charlie T started in September every year. He relished all of the decorations and they brought so much joy to everyone who had the pleasure of seeing them. In his honor, on the day before his funeral, several people on his street put their Christmas trees up. He knew how to celebrate the birth of our Lord and he did it in the finest ways possible!!!

I feel quite certain that there are many things the Lord is trying to teach me through all of this. I can't begin to imagine what his family is going through. If it affected me this much, I can only imagine their pain. However, I know that I know that I know that I know that his family is firmly rooted in their belief of God and that His ways are perfect. We may never understand on this side of Heaven. We may question God-we wouldn't be human if we didn't. However, at the end of the day, we can rest knowing that Charlie is where he is supposed to be and he got there on the day he was supposed to. Through our belief in God, we have hope. A hope that we have a future and that His best for us is more wonderful than we could ever imagine. My prayers stay with this family as they go through their grief. I grieve for the people that will never hear him play or sing again. I rejoice because he has joined a choir more beautiful than we could ever imagine.

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Songs and Jewelry Boxes

I was 11 years old, living in South Louisiana. My hair had a wing span wider than a large bird and my pants were tight-rolled. And I lived with my daddy.

The first time I can remember meeting my father I was 9 years old. He had came to the Carolinas to visit and I went to my uncles house to see him. They were boiling crawfish and I tried one for the first time that night. In hindsight-I would have done just about anything my dad asked me to do in order to impress him. He was taller than the pictures led me to believe and his hands....well, they were the largest, strongest hands I had ever seen. I still, to this day, could pick his hands out of a line-up. You see, when your daddy picks you up for the first time you can remember, you seem to memorize everything about him-especially his hands.

Fast-forward a couple of years and I was living with my dad in Houma, LA. It's a little town way in the bayou and I spent two culture-shocking years there. For someone that had never been away from her grandmother or North Carolina, the accent and food rocked my world a bit. It was a couple of years that were definitely a definition of ebb and flow for me. I remember getting saved and my daddy being there to watch me get baptized. I remember my dance recitals and how before I moved there I didn't even know little girls took dance classes. I remember grasping still-even though my daddy was in the same room-looking for some clue of security. I wanted to know that at least every once in a while I was the most important girl in his world. I wanted his full attention. Everything he did was momentous to me. I remember him coming home from a one month stay in Trinidad and bringing me a small round jewelry box. It has flowers on the glass part on top that have flaked away through the years, but the outlines are still there. And when you opened it, it played a song. You see-I believe that this is the first time in my life that my father shopped, picked out, and bought something for me by himself. I imagine him in a little sidewalk shop in Trinidad picking it up and inspecting it-looking to see if it was good enough for his girl.

And so, out of everything in my life, and all the many moves, it has been saved. It has never been put in storage or left in a box for long. It is my prized posession. And today it quit playing. My husband can't figure out why or how to fix it without taking it apart and I wouldn't dare dream of it. And the saddest part? The one that gets me the most? I can't remember the song it played. At all. But maybe-just maybe-this is God's way of ending that song-that chapter of my life that I remember with a few fond memories and the more plentiful sad ones I cling to-and He has started to make me sing a new song. One riddled with memories of weddings and sweaty little boys. Of babies and friends and a renewed relationship with my daddy-one that is set by my terms. Maybe that 20 year old jewelry box can just hold my wedding rings now-or maybe I will ask for a new one and finally pack it away. Quit trying to make it work and accept that it may never play again. Some days it's hard to make adult decisions-to be quite honest. But I know that I know that I know that I know that He is writing a more beautiful song than I could have ever imagined or composed.

Here's to new songs and jewelry boxes.......

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding

I was one of those people. I woke up at 4am Friday morning to watch the Royal Wedding. My husband, the wonderful man that he is, woke up to make me "royal waffles" while I watched. I had that feeling of nostalgia. I thought of how she felt getting ready in the hotel with her people around her. I had a moment of thinking I wanted to re-new vows so I could do it all over again. I kept having the same thought over and over again-wow, she is lucky!

And yes, she may be the same time I am blessed. I am sure that in the middle of all the chaos, she felt like every other girl feels on her wedding day. Take away the servants, the 2 billion people watching.....and to her it was the same thing. At the end of the day she was just a girl...standing in front of a boy...asking him to love her. (Name that movie) Sure, she may be a princess now but I am too. She will now be treated as royalty, but I am too. And that kiss? The one on the balcony of Buckingham Palace? I had that the middle of a field in front of a couple billion less people but I am quite certain it felt the same.

Tonight instead of sitting around wishing I could do it all again and my wedding could be more "regal", I am choosing to appreciate my king. I am so happy for the new couple and I can honestly say I know EXACTLY how she feels being married. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Snapshots and Songs

Most memories of times in my life are framed by snapshots and songs. I have always emotionally connected to music and pictures. Maybe, in some weird way, it's been my way to preserve things I want to remember.

The old hymn "Love Lifted Me" can take me right back to the pew in Webbs Chapel Baptist Church, with Lester Heavner singing bass somewhere among those in attendance. I can still hear my Grandma Kiser standing beside me singing it. Her voice is something that I will always remember.

A picture of me as a small girl, sitting on Grandpa Kiser's lap outside of their house, eating a popsicle takes me back to a time that I didn't have a care in the world and one piece jumpsuits looked cute on me. My Grandpa Kiser was the first man whose eye I was the apple of. To a girl, this is everything.

The song "I'm Movin' On" by Rascall Flatts. It defined everything in my life at the time I packed my car and moved to Chicago. It was the hardest, yet most rewarding, choice I had made up until that point. I had to get away-pack up everything and glean my life of unsettled experiences and move on. That year turned me into a woman. I learned that I could make good choices in spite of things that tend to hold me back.

I remember a season of my life that was defined by remote control cars, men in cowboy hats, and playing house. It was a defining time in my life. One that I have learned to take lessons from and pack it away into a neat little package. I can take it out from time to time and put on some Al Green, and remember. Then I put it back away until I need it again. "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" was one of the songs in my life that will always define certain things for me.

Dancing to "We Will Dance" and taking those lyrics to heart. Making a hard decision to lay it all out there for a man and trust. Definitely the most rewarding decision of mine to date. Hardest thing I have ever done. Definitely the most rewarding at this point in my life and I don't think anything will ever take the place of that.

I could list songs for hours......Some of the ones that I hum around the house now are Dreamin 'Bout Babies (Tracy Lawrence?), Maybe (Kelly Clarkson), and Free (Steven Curtis Chapman). My friends and I are like walking episodes of Glee, so there are definitely hundreds more-but these stick out.

I hope when I am old and grey I can still pull out some Al Green or Steven Curtis Chapman and relive a piece of history. I hope I can walk outside on a fall day and listen to Lenny Williams and be a young woman again. Or raise my hands in worship and remember the night Seth accepted Christ at church. I hope this weirdness about me never changes. I see everything in snapshots and songs-and I kinda like it this way.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Hallmark Holiday

Valentine's Day-possibly the most disputed holiday in the calendar year. Some people spend hundreds of dollars to celebrate, while some refuse. Some call it Singles Awareness Day (I was one of those not long ago) and some people just never weigh in on it at all. They couldn't care less one way or another. I have always loved it. Always. Sure, some years when I was single were very hard but I always found something to do to celebrate. Either it was hanging out with my other single friends or someone God had put in my life that needed to be loved on, I always had a reason to celebrate it.

Now I have two men in my life to celebrate it with. Two boys that told me Happy Valentine's Day this morning. I will have dinner with them tonight (home cooked-keeping it simple), and we will exchange our small valentine's. I don't take a second of it for granted. My boys are my blessing and I am well loved. It is my own personal redemption story. We tell each other in small ways all year long, but Valentine's day-to me-is a day that we can take extra time out of our busy everyday lives to concentrate on it. It becomes a priority on this day-not just something we "squeeze in"...

So to all the cynics, celebrators, singles, marrieds....Happy Valentine's Day! Praying that wherever we all are in life that we celebrate the sacrificial love of God-our true blueprint for how to love everyone else in our world.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Amazingly, We Survived

Short post because there are lots of things that I NEED to do today, but not a lot of things that I WANT to do. Ahem....

My husband attended a meeting in Charlotte last night. This should not be a big deal. However-if you know me, you know I am a 90 year old trapped in a 32 year old's body. I am not a person who does well after dark when my husband isn't with me. I use to be very independent and this didn't bother me at all. However, with age comes the wisdom (or insanity) that scary people come out after dark and I. WANT. NO. PART. OF. THE. SCARY. Within 10 minutes of him leaving, my mini-man and I had smoked up the entire house with a steak biscuit in the microwave which Seth announced smelled like a dead racoon. Now we live with a dead racoon and I don't know if he will ever leave. I then proceeded to find things to clean for hours. I couldn't sit down because if I sat down I remembered that it was dark out and, for the love people, my man wasn't home!!!!! (For the record, Seth did not know that I was nervous about this. I don't want to pass this on to him-so I kept it quiet.) The bad part about the cleaning is that now I'm afraid that he will find reasons to be gone in the evenings more often so I will clean the house without him having to help. You see-it's become a never ending vicious cycle. Me, Olin, The dark time, Cleaning.....It's like a vortex. At least in my head.

The good part of last night? Seth announced, for no reason, that he was going to go scrub the bathroom. I think I am rubbing off on him with my cleaning streak. Amen, Hallelujiah. Keep Hope Alive.....

I'm hoping there will not be anymore late night meetings in Charlotte anytime soon. I really think it's for the best. :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Checking In

My computer is not being my friend this week. It will pull up everything else...except my blog. What in the world??? My husband and I can't figure out what is going on to be able to fix it. All that to say that until we figure it out I probably won't post a lot. Not that I did before, but I was trying to get better about all of that.

As of last week, my husband and I were both layed off from our job. We worked together, which is why it all happened at the same time. We are trusting and praising God and trying to maintain that perspective through all of this. I truly believe that God is teaching us to have security in Him and not in a paycheck. Please keep my family in your prayers as we try to figure out what is going to happen with all of this and as we begin to hunt jobs. While there aren't a lot of jobs out there, we believe that God has already made a provision for us to have one.

To end on an "up" note, there is a modeling agency in Charlotte that is interested in meeting with Seth. We are going to meet with them Tuesday afternoon. Seth loves to pose for pictures...really loves it...and we have decided to fully investigate whichever agency we decide to go with. Any amount of money he earns, after his 10% to church, will go into a college fund for the future. We are praying for discernment when choosing an agency to work with. We in no way want to compromise Seth's school time through all of this and we have decided that as soon as he doesn't want to do it anymore we will stop. At the least, it will be an adventure and we are excited about that!

I will try to update as much as possible and hoping we get the computer issue figured out soon. It had a virus the other day and we had to wipe it. It would pull up my blog until we had to do that. There is no telling what is going on~ I hope everyone is having an amazing 2011 so far!!