Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Beauty of the Rain.....

We had rain mostly all weekend here in Alabama, complete with thunderstorms and tornado warnings. It was nasty.

In complete contrast, it cleared up yesterday afternoon, and was beautiful, and sunny.

As I was driving home yesterday, I was struck by how green everything was. It seemed like overnight the fields had awakened and taken on a new, bright shade of green.

Flowers everywhere had bloomed into an array of vibrant colors. Everything looked alive and anew.

It made me happy. It was gorgeous. I knew though, the rain had caused it.

Here I was, basking in the beauty of the grass, and the trees, and the flowers, yet I was the very one that had griped about the rain, just hours earlier.

See, we want to enjoy the benefits of the rain but we don't want to have to deal with the rain its self. We gripe and complain about the rain, yet we want pretty flowers.

Aren't we like that with the storms in our lives as well?

We want the rainbows, but we don't want the rain.
We want to be strong, but we don't want the trial.
We want courage, but we don't want to be to frightened.
We want patience, but we don't want the test.
We want the destination, but not the road that takes us there.
We want Him to work in our lives, yet we don't want Him in our lives.

I'm guilty of this.

I pray, Lord give me strength, but I don't want to ever experience the battle.

I hope to soon share with you, my blog friends, rain I've experienced in my own life.

Maybe soon.



Monday, March 30, 2009

Not Me Monday, Stellan Style.....

This Not Me Monday is in honor of Baby Stellan. He remains in the PICU for treatment of SVT. You can go to MckMama's site for all the details of his illness.

I DID NOT spend this week consumed with thoughts of Stellan.

I DID NOT constantly check for updates I may have missed.

I DID NOT share his story many, many times.

I DID NOT fall on my face before God and cry out to Him on Stellan's behalf.

I DO NOT pray for each beat of Stellan's heart.

I DO NOT know that Stellan was formed by the very Hands of God.

I DO NOT know that He is fearfully and wonderfully made.

I DO NOT know that The Great Physician knows Stellan inside and out.

My heart DOES NOT break for MckMama and Prince Charming.

I DO NOT pray continually for them, too.

I DO NOT ask God to love on MckMama and Prince Charming as only He can.

I DO NOT pray for his Doctors to have wisdom for his treatment.

I DO NOT pray for his Nurses as they care for Him.

I DO NOT pray that God will use Stellan's story to touch someone that doesn't know Him.

I DO NOT ask you to stop now and pray for Baby Stellan.



Saturday, March 28, 2009

It was a very pleasant surprise to wake up this morning and find MY VERY FIRST BLOG AWARD. Yippee!!! Thank you my BF, Alicia!

Here are the rules for this award:

1) Put the logo on your blog or post
2) Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude <--sorry I couldn't do 10
3) Link to your nominees within your post
4) Let the nominees know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog
5) Share the love and link to the person from who you received your award

I am awarding this to the following:

Jennifer @ Grace Like Rain
Erica @ Scottsville
Lorie @ Thinking Out Loud
Cindy @ Still His Girl
Raechel @ Finding My Feet
C2 @ Christian the Christian

Have a great weekend all



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday......

This was Monday's sunset as we traveled home from our softball game. I pulled off on the side of the Interstate to take this picture. It was breathtaking and I was amazed at its beauty.



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I AM.....

God said to Moses, "~I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: '~I AM has sent me to you.'" Exodus 3:14 NIV

Have you ever wondered just who God is? I mean, really, who He is? In my life, He is all things. How is that possible? He is My Maker, and Creator. He formed me in my Mother's womb. He knows the number of hairs I have on my head.

When I was a little girl, I saw Him as a superhero, someone who would swoop in and save the day. At the age of 7, during Vacation Bible School, He became My Savior, when I asked Him in my heart.

His role, however, has expanded over the years. You see, when there is sickness, He is The Great Physician. When I've lost loved ones, He was My Comforter. When I am in need, He is My Provider. When the enemy is seeking to destroy me, He is My Defender. When I am in need of direction, He is My Guide. When it's dark and I can't see, He's My Lighthouse. He is the Still Small Voice that whispers reminders of Who He is. He is the Air I breathe each day. He is each Beat of my heart. He is my All in All.

When Moses asked God, What if I go to the Israelites and tell them you've sent me, and they ask me your name, What am I going to tell them? God's response is the verse above found in Exodus 3:14. The answer was not complicated, or drawn out. It wasn't fancy. It wasn't a riddle, a puzzle, or a code that Moses had to decipher. It wasn't in a foreign language that required translation.

It was plain and simple.

"I AM WHO I AM. Tell them I AM has sent you."

What does that mean? It means no matter where I am, what I'm doing, or what I am facing, He is Who He is. He doesn't change.

Plain and Simple.


First and foremost, He wants to be your Savior. He loved us so incredibly much that He gave His only Son to die for us. He gave the very best He had, in spite of who we are. You see, He knew us and what we would become and He loved us anyway.

What He's not, however, is a ginny in a bottle that we can snap our fingers at and *poof* our wishes be granted. Sometimes, we have that concept of Him. It's wrong.

Plain and Simple.






Prayer Request.......

Please continue to pray for Baby Stellan. God is greater than any sickness. He is The Great Physician. This has not taken Him by surprise. He is the very One who fearfully and wonderfully made him. He knows him inside and out. He is able to do immeasurably more than we can think or even imagine. What satan intends for harm, God intends for good.
Prayers for Stellan



Monday, March 23, 2009

Not Me Monday........

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

The story I'm about to tell, absolutely, positively DID NOT happen......

My eldest daughter, Haley, is a member of the high school softball team. Before her game started Tuesday, she and her friends were running around, laughing, and carrying on like teenage girls do. They find what they believe to be a weed. They pull it up and start running around with it, passing it around. They were shaking it at each other, and laughing, really having a hi-ho time. A lady from the opposing team sees them, and proceeds up to our Coach and yells, "That's our prized magnolia tree". GULP!

Apparently, the weed they had just pulled up, was not at all a weed but a magnolia tree and obviously a prized one at that. Our girls had absolutely NO idea they had pulled up a tree. Once our Coach was yelled at by the Magnolia Tree Planting/Landscaping Committee President, he did what any good Coach would do, He hunted our girls down and yelled at them, lol.

Thinking they were going to jail for destroying a prized magnolia tree, they took the weed back where it came from, replanted it, staked it up, watered it and prayed over it. Yes, they prayed over it, that it would grow and become a strong magnolia tree and not die.

Man, this so does not look like a prized tree

I hope this works.....

Let us pray.....

These 3 will now be forever known as the Steal Magnolias

Mission Accomplished

My daughter is the Steal Magnolia on the left =)

At the risk of sounding like a bad Mom, I must tell you, I couldn't be mad at her because 1.) I didn't know it was a magnolia tree, either and 2.) It was just too darn funny for me to be mad.

By the way, We did win the ballgame 13-1. My Superstar, Softball Player said, maybe if they had been more worried about softball and less worried about that weed, they wouldn't have lost so bad. I don't know, sounds pretty logical to me.

Have a great week!



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Braces, Xanax, Happy Juice, and Balloons......

Ok, I should be sleeping, but I'm not at all sleepy so I decided to blog. In just a few short hours, the sun will be shining and I will begin a busy Wednesday. I'll start my morning at the Orthodontist with my 12 year old, Kylee. She will be getting her braces put on today. My 17 year old, Haley, has already been there, done that and as you can tell from my pic, I am currently there, doing that (for the second time). Next month will be a year since I had my braces put on. How I ended up with braces at 37 for the 2nd time, you ask? It's a looong story that I will post one day. It is just another testament to my craziness, if you wanna know the truth.

Well, since I am WIDE awake, let me give you the tootsie roll version, short and sweet....I wore braces when I was a teenager. Very uneventful, nothing out of the ordinary. I wore my retainer, as instructed, for the year following their removal. Little did I know, over the span of 20 years that followed, my teeth shifted.

In the age of MySpace, my daughter posted pictures of the family on her profile. I was looking at her pictures one day and one of them was a side view of me smiling. I saw a gap in my teeth, not like a little gap, but like a BIG GAP, where you could do some serious shopping. Now, my family and friends would debate the size of my gap, but it may as well have been the Grand Canyon because that's what it looked like to me. So, 2 weeks later I had braces. I couldn't stand that gap. I didn't know I had a gap that big. Certainly, nobody told me and I didn't look at myself smiling in the mirror sideways. My teeth were perfectly straight in the front or so they seemed.

So anyway, I have braces for the 2nd time and LAST time. I will wear that retainer forever cause believe me, I won't be attending this rodeo again. Yes, my hubby and my friends think it is absolutely ridiculous that I have braces, but I don't care. I thought about that gap all the time. So, hopefully in about 8 months I'll be finished and best of all, GAPLESS!!!

Anyway, back to Kylee, she has hers put on today. She is only excited about the pretty colored rubber bands she gets to have, lol. I will need a Xanax for the appointment, not because braces are bad, but because Kylee is a horrible patient. I'm telling the truth, she is, she knows it and will gladly admit it.

I can't take a Xanax, however, for two reasons: 1.) Because I don't have a prescription for Xanax, good reason, huh? 2.) I have an appointment for an EGD tomorrow @ 1pm and I can't have anything after midnight, which was about an hour and 15 minutes ago here in Bama. That is the procedure where they run the light down your throat and see what is going on in your esophagus and stomach. The GI Doctor is 99% confident I have a narrowing of my esophagus from acid reflux, thus the difficulty swallowing and hoarseness. The difficulty swallowing, of course, from the obvious, the esophagus narrows, food doesn't go down easily. The hoarseness, from the acid irritating my vocal cords. The acid causes you to develop scar tissue, which in turn causes the narrowing. Makes sense, huh? Once he locates the narrowed area, he will inflate a balloon to dilate it open again.

Oh, the marvels of modern medicine!!!! I just praise Jesus, for the happy juice I will recieve prior to this procedure. He also changed my medication around and told me sleep propped up on pillows. I usually sleep completely flat, without a pillow, so this has been quite a change. He said it was like any other irritation, once the irritant was gone, it would slowly get better. I pray this is the source of my problem and this fixes it.

Say a prayer for me. The worst part of the procedure is not being in control. Like, I hate the fact that I will be out of it after the procedure when He is discussing the findings. The nurse in me needs to hear each and every detail and ask questions. Ok, the OCD, control freak that happens to be a nurse, needs to hear each and every detail and ask questions =) There is nothing I can do about it, though, except think of all possible scenarios and make a list of questions for the Hubby to ask, lol. I'll be out of it for a good part of the afternoon so I will catch up with all of you, my blogging friends, as soon as my happy juice wears off.



Monday, March 16, 2009

Not Me Monday.........

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I DID NOT have to follow-up with the Endocrinologist on Wednesday.

I WAS NOT about to pee my pants after being taken to the exam room.

I DID NOT run to quickly use the bathroom while waiting for the Doctor to come in.

The handle of the toilet DID NOT hang up during the flushing of said toilet.

The toilet DID NOT overflow.

There WAS NOT toilet water and pee all over the bathroom floor.

I DID NOT feverishly grab handfuls of paper towels to clean it up.

I DID NOT spend an extended amount of time, and I mean an extended amount of time, in the bathroom performing this cleaning job.

I DID NOT break out into a full sweat from both panic and cleaning.

I DID NOT sneak out of this bathroom and into the one next door and pretend THAT was the one I had used.

I DID NOT have wet pants from flooding incident.

I DID NOT attempt to hide wet pants during exam from Doctor.

I DID NOT about DIE when he reached to feel my ankles and I realized that my pants were slightly wet there too.

It WAS NOT extremely funny once it was over and I was telling my Mom and my friends at work.

I DID NOT immediately think THIS will be my Not Me Monday.

That is MORE than enough for me this week. What did you NOT do?
I look forward to finding out!



Sunday, March 15, 2009


This morning, my Pastor's sermon came from John 13:1-10. These verses describe Jesus, as He washed His disciples feet. Now, think about it, this was a nasty job, one reserved only for a servant and certainly not one anybody else was jumping at the opportunity to do. However, Jesus humbled himself and performed this lowly act.

Humility is defined as: to be or act humble.

Humble is defined as: 1: not proud or haughty : not arrogant or assertive.

Why did He do it? Plain and simple. He loved them. Enough to humble Himself and wash their nasty, stinking feet. Even though, He knew one of them was going to deny Him, and one of them was going to betray Him, He loved them anyway. Exactly the same way He does me! He knows all my faults and failures and believe me, they are numerous, yet He humbled Himself to die the worst death possible, on a cross, all because He loves me.

He knows all the times I have been disobedient to His voice, as He told me what to do. He knows all the times I have been self-reliant, instead of depending on Him. He knows all the times I have allowed pride, arrogance, and fear stand in the way of His plan. He knows when I have been ungrateful for what I have and wanted more. He has witnessed my selfishness, my laziness, and my complacency, first hand. He saw the bitterness in my heart after it was broken by someone I trusted. He listened to all of my excuses, as I tried to justify my behavior.

You see, this list could go on and on, yet, in spite of it all, He loves me, anyway. In fact, He is hopelessly in love with me. I must confess, I really like the sound of that! The Creator of the Universe, The Healer, The Deliverer, The Master of the Wind, The Comforter, The Good Shepherd, The Humble Servant, The Messiah, The King of Kings is hopelessly in love with me!

Know what? He is hopelessly in love with you, too.

My prayer is to become more like Him.

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. Psalms 25:9



Thursday, March 12, 2009

20 Things About Me.......

1. I love writing with blue ink. It makes me happy. =)

2. I love to make lists.

3. I always take my make-up off before I go to bed, usually as soon as I get home.

4. My paper money is always turned the same way -face forward, and in order of smallest to largest.

5. Mashed Potatoes = my ultimate comfort food.

6. I love to balance my checkbook.

7. I am sun-phobic and wear 50 SPF sunscreen.

8. Even if I'm not wearing make-up, I always have on lip gloss.
*(I have an addiction-see previous blog post)

9. I shave my legs everyday.

10. I cannot read music, but I love to sing.

11. I only like the regular chicken wings, not the drumettes.

12.I define exercise as TORTURE.

13. I've been hurt badly by someone I thought was my friend. Because of that, I don't trust easily.

14. Home is my favorite place to be.

15. The TV show My Name Is Earl makes me laugh.

16. I eat peanut butter with my pancakes and syrup....Yummy.

17. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is like Christmas without the emphasis on gifts.

18. I wear contacts but as soon as I get home I have to take them out and put my glasses on because I can't stand them anymore.

19. I love riding on the back of the Harley with the wind blowing in my face. It seems like the "real world" is a million miles away.

20. I love orange jello.



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lip Gloss..........

This afternoon while digging in my purse for a pen, I kept coming up with lip gloss. Now, let me be honest and tell you, I LOVE lip gloss/chapstick. I always have it with me and I am constantly putting it on. I can't stand for my lips to be dry. Even if you see me with no other makeup on, you will never find me without lipgloss/chapstick. Today though, I decided to find out just how many were in my purse. Count them.......1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,..

10!!! Yes, there were 10 of them. That is just in one purse!!!!! That doesn't count those in the car, my make-up bag, the vanity, my softball bag, or the ones I have at work. Why do I feel the need to hoard lipgloss/chapstick? or to have 10 things of lip gloss/chapstick in my possession at one time? Do I think there will be a sudden shortage of lipgloss/chapstick in Gadsden? or Alabama? or even the United States of America? Honestly, I can't answer why. All I know is they make me extremely happy. I realize I may have a slight problem, but not one that I am interested in fixing. In case you were wondering or would lose sleep over it if you didn't know, my favorites are Clinique's Bamboo Pink and ChapStick's True Shimmer Botanical Berry. Speaking of which, my lips are starting to feel dry so I need to go put some on now. =)

Hope the rest of your week is fabulous!



Monday, March 9, 2009

Not Me Monday........

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I DID NOT spend the week consumed with thoughts of my thyroid gland and vocal cords.

I DID NOT spend MUCH time in prayer.

I DID NOT feel many friends and family lifting me up in prayer.

I DID NOT tell my Surgeon that I wanted him to treat my vocal cords like they were Whitney Houston's vocal cords.

He DID NOT look at me really strange when he realized I was not joking.

I DID NOT want to go to my Doctor's appointment alone.

I DID NOT think that if I received bad news, the hour drive home would give me time to deal with it before having to face my family.

I DID NOT hear my dear friend use the words "stubborn", "hardheaded" and "strong-willed" to describe me.

I DID NOT realize that description was 100% accurate.

I DID NOT receive unbelievably great news from the Surgeon.

I DID NOT experience, first hand, how God works.

I WAS NOT overwhelmed at God's presence and faithfulness.

I DID NOT discover new meaning to the words "simple" and "perfect".

I DID NOT have a vase of my favorite flowers waiting on my desk for me at work Friday morning.

I WAS NOT told by a friend at work God told her to pick them out of her yard and bring them to me, even though she had no clue they were my favorite.

I DID NOT have tears in my eyes as God, once again, made Himself known to me.

I DID NOT spend most of my weekend at the softball field watching eldest daughter play in a tournament.

I DID NOT enjoy every minute of it.

I DID NOT love, love, love the beautiful weather this weekend.

I DID NOT enjoy a Harley ride yesterday.

I DID NOT wear my new leather chaps.

I DID NOT think of all the times I have said, "I will never own, much less wear, leather chaps".

I DO NOT realize this post is way too long.

I DO NOT hope you all have a wonderful week and that God will make Himself known to each of you in ways you've never imagined.

I DO NOT anticipate, with excitement, how He will work in my life this week.



Thursday, March 5, 2009

"Simple" and "Perfect".......

I wanted to thank you all for praying for me and give you a quick update. The Doctor said I have only a "simple" cyst and there is no need for any further treatment other than an occasional ultrasound to keep a check on it. He also did a scope on my vocal cords to check them because of the hoarseness and said they are in "perfect" condition. How awesome is that? I am so thankful that God works in ways that can be described with words like "simple" and "perfect". He does think I may have an esophageal problem so for that I will have to see a GI Dr. That, however, is a drop in the bucket compared to what it was thought to be. Again, thank you all for your prayers. I am so humbled to see God work in such a way for ME!!! My Doctor here was so sure of the worst but I'm thankful God had other plans. God meant it for good.



Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Prayer Request.......

Several months ago, I began to have trouble swallowing and I noticed that when I swallowed I could "feel" it on one side. It didn't hurt to swallow, it was just hard to do so. Jokingly, I said I needed a Speech Therapy consult. I dismissed this rather quickly as me eating too much, too quick. Most recently, my voice became hoarse. Everyone has been hoarse at one time or another and again I thought nothing of it. You see, I sing, so I blamed it on the weather combined with my singing. Well, almost 2 weeks ago, for whatever reason, I rubbed my hand over my neck. I felt every drop of blood drain from my head as I felt a lump in my neck. I went to my office and asked my coworkers if they could feel it. Not only could they feel it, they could see it. My Doctor was due to make rounds, so I decided I would wait for him to come and I would let him look at it. Remember, he is my personal friend, the one who loves me in spite of my craziness. In all actuality, I figured he would quickly dismiss it and say, "Gracie, you are being Gracie, it's nothing, you are fine", but would agree to order some tests just to shut me up. He finally came to make rounds and I told him I needed to talk to him. I took him in the med room and told him I had a lump in my neck and I wanted him to check it out. Now remember, I am just waiting on him to brush me off and reassure me that it is nothing. After a lengthy physical exam, he tells me not only can he see a lump but that whole side of my neck is much thicker than the other side. He tells me to keep talking and I say, "I know, I'm hoarse, but I'm not sick. I don't have sinuses or a cough or anything. I'm just hoarse." I tell him about being able to feel myself swallow. Again, I am waiting on him to tell me it's nothing, to quit worrying. He doesn't. He tells me we need to immediately do some testing. He tells me he thinks I have a mass on my thyroid gland and if it is not on the thyroid gland, he thinks it is on my vocal cord its self. He tells me the good news is that no one dies of thyroid cancer these days. Huh, that's my good news????? This past Tuesday, I went for thyroid scans. They confirm I do indeed have a mass on my right thyroid lobe. I am scheduled to see a surgeon Thursday, March 5th, who will decide whether to biopsy it first or just proceed with removing it and biopsy it after removal. I know without a shadow of a doubt, that God is in control. I know that He has a plan and purpose for this time and this trial. He already knows what is in my throat. He already knows the outcome of any test that will be done. I will trust and praise Him throughout this and beyond. I have heard Him as He has whispered reminders to me of who He is. He has wrapped His arms around me and loved me more and more during these last 2 weeks. He has blessed me with amazing friends who have helped me with this difficult time. Again, I covet your prayers, more specifically this week for 1.) My Doctor- To have wisdom to identify the problem and know the optimal course of treatment 2.) Me- To have wisdom in deciding the optimal course of treatment and to have a peace that passes all understanding 3.) My Family- We are a family of faith and we have no doubt where our help comes from. This has been a hard 2 weeks for my Husband, my Daughters, and my Mom specifically. Pray they would experience the very same peace. One of my daughters asked me, "Mom, what if you can't yell for me", as we were driving back from her softball game. Now even though I know this is not likely, the fact that she is worried about it broke my heart. I was a big girl in front of her but as soon as she was in the other room, I had a crying moment! There is a very thin line between being honest with your children and trying to keep them from unnecessary worrying. Pray also, that I will have the right words to say to all of them. Pray they will see Him in me. 3.) My Vocal Cords- Please pray there is NO damage to my vocal cords if surgery is necessary. I have been singing for Him since I was 13. My voice is His and I want to use it for Him. I know that God is able to do immeasurably more than we think or even imagine. For that I am thankful!