Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Bitter Cup.....

We attended Church today with a sweet Friend.

It amazes me, how God knows exactly what we need, when we need it.

I say that all the time.

And I know, it shouldn't surprise us.

I mean, He IS God, after all.

But, He places us in the exact spot we need to be in, in order
to hear the exact words we need to hear.

Such was the case today.

As soon as the Pastor spoke the title of the
Message, I knew it was for me.

"How do we drink from the cup we hold in our hands?"

Hmmmmm, now think about that for a minute.

"How do we drink from the cup we hold in our hands?"

The text was taken from Matthew 26:36-46.

I'm gonna paraphrase.

Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray.

He is sorrowful.

Very sorrowful.

Actually, sorrowful to the point of death.

While He's in the Garden, He prays 3 different times to the Father.

The Pastor brought out today how each time was different.

I mean, honestly, if you read the story, it all
seems like the same prayer to me.

"Don't make me have to do this, but if I have to, your will, not mine."

That seems to be the jest of it really.

Today, I saw something different.

Give me a minute and let me explain.

What is the bitter cup?

To Jesus, it was the cross.

To us, it could be any number of things.

Loss of a child.









The list goes on and on and on.

It may be one thing or a combination of things.

What do we do when we are handed that cup to drink?

Most of the time, we do everything but drink from it.

I know I do.

I get sad.

I cry.

I scream.

I get angry.

I yell.

I stomp my feet.

I throw temper tantrums.

I become bitter.

I shut out people that I love and that love me and care about me.

I get mad at God.

I stop praying.

Yes, I said that.

I stop praying.

Sometimes, I throw the cup.

Sometimes, I walk away from it with no intention of ever going back.

Today, I learned how I should hold the cup, how I should drink from it.

I learned how Jesus did.

In His first prayer, He surrendered His will.

In prayer #2, He accepted God's will.

In the last prayer, He teaches us to never quit praying.

I know from personal experience, we stop praying
when it becomes hard or the cup is bitter, when
that is the time we should be praying the hardest.

I know we are more than our circumstances and are not defined by them.

I often wonder why God has forgotten about me and just exactly where is He?

I forget He is the One who brought me here to begin with.

He is the One who served this bitter cup.

There are times it IS hard to remember that.

It seems like today, as soon as I got out
of Church, I was given a refill of an extremely bitter cup.

I'm not so sure I held it, or drank from it well.

Actually, I know I didn't.

I'm mad.

My feelings are hurt.

But I am trying to remember, God sent me to that
Church today to hear THOSE words because He knew I'd
feel like I had been slapped in the face.

He knew that bitter refill was coming.

The hurt is still there.

The anger is still there.

And yes, I've prayed, even today, for God to take
this cup and pour it out or give it to somebody else.

But if He doesn't, and to be honest, the chances of that
happening are not looking good at this point, I know He IS Faithful.

He will turn this TEST into a TESTIMONY.

I can't wait to see it.

Love you MUCH!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Princess Gracie.....

My Husband and kids, with the help of some of my family,
threw me a surprise 40th birthday party last night.

It was my first birthday party.

My Mother, who nearly has heart failure
at this statement, adamantly denies this.

So, let me say, for the record, it is
the first birthday party I remember.

Heart still beating normally, Mom?


Let's proceed.

Obviously, they have been planning for a while.

They rented out our local Community Center,
hired a DJ, and we danced the night away.

My Cousin's Husband, Jeff, who is an award winning
BBQ man, smoked some meat and boy was it YUMMY!!

Add some baked beans, potato salad, and pecan twirls to
that and you've got the Southern Girl's perfect Birthday Bash.

Here are a few pictures for you.....

Me and my Princess cake

Haley and Kylee


I love these Girls!

Singing Karaoke

The DJ, Crazy A and I

Princess Gracie

I really appreciate everyone's hard work to make my night fabulous.

I had so much fun.

Thank you to my Friends and Family who
came and celebrated with me.

I wish you, my Blog friends could have been there.

Love you MUCH!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me.....

Happy Birthday to ME!

Yes, Friends, today is BIG day.

The Big 4-0 or the New 20, as I like to call it. =)

It has been an amazing day.

A really awesome friend called and sang to me, my Mother called and sang to me, my Doctor called and sang to me, and a co-worker, along with one of my Patients sang to me.

That's a lot of singing, huh?

It was great!

I enjoyed every one of them.

I've received countless phone calls, and txt messages and an overwhelming number of Facebook messages.

I went to Lunch with a group of co-workers who all share January birthdays.

We ate at the new Japanese Steakhouse in town.


The whole time the man was cooking and doing all his tricks, I was thinking "I wish I had my camera so I could put this on my Blog."


Thank you all for making my Birthday special.

I am immeasurably blessed.

It is because of you, my amazing Family and Friends, I was able to have such a fabulous Birthday.

Love you MUCH!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Bitter, Party of One.....


Bitter, party of one.

That describes me today.


I'm not sure why.

Nothing new is going on.

Nothing has happened.

It is just the way it is.

It is the way I am.

I don't want to be this way.

It's my birthday week, afterall.

I should be happy.

Joyful, even.

Instead I'm bitter.

I am really so ill I can't stand myself.

That's pretty bad.

I'd really like to curl up under a blanket and forget about everything and everybody.

If I'm honest with you and myself, that's what I want to do.


Ok, enough about that; let's talk about something else.

My cousins and I had a Girl's Day out Saturday and traveled to Auburn for the National Championship celebration.

There were 80,000 Auburn fans in attendance.

It was great!

We had a really good time.

I laughed so much.

Here are a few pictures for you.

This was too cute!

A beautiful day in Auburn, Alabama for a National Championship Celebration


See, my weekend was great.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

Love you MUCH!


Ms. Bitter

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Ugly Truth, Snow, and Painting for a Cause.....

Hayden left this morning.

I am some better.

I haven't cried, today.

Thank you for asking.

I had a great Heart-to-Heart with a Friend this
Week who encouraged me to be the
best "Aunnie/Mom" to Hayden that I can be.

To focus on all the memories He and I have
made and to look forward to new ones we're going to make.

I also heard truths that were very hard to hear.

Thank you, for being a great Friend.

You never cease to tell me like it is, yet provide unyielding support.

Though it may not seem like it, I really
appreciate your honesty and candor.

I know you have my best interest at heart.

You are an amazing Friend, and I love
you more than you will EVER know.

We got 7 inches of snow here last Sunday
night and still have snow today.

Crazy, isn't it?

We had a blast playing in it.

It was so pretty.

I don't know how those of you that have it
all the time deal with it though.

I KNOW, you all are chomping at the bit to see some pictures!

Well, without further ado, here you go.....

Hayden and I

Me and Baby Girl

The Eldest

Kylee and Haley

Yours Truly

This is Sunday night at the beginning of the snow


This is BEFORE my ride.

This is AFTER.


Don't you just LOVE my outfit?

Sweatshirt, Pajama Bottoms, Cute Rain boots, Auburn Toboggan.........

Aaaaaah, yes, fashion statement, for real.

I do LOVE my rain boots!

Seriously, we had an awesome time.

This has T-R-O-U-B-L-E written all over it!

Isn't this gorgeous?

I just LOVE it!

Last night, our Church hosted "Paint for a Cause".

It was a painting session to raise money for our Honduras Trip.

Kylee and I went and had a great time.

It was nice to have my baby girl ALL to myself.

That doesn't happen often.

Our masterpieces.

After this experience, we decided.....
1.) Yes, I will be keeping my Nursing License active
2.) Kylee will be attending College after High School
where she will major in something besides Art.


We did have lots of fun though!

I thought this was funny.....

This is how my kids see me most of the time.


Hope your weekend is fabulous!

Love you MUCH!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Show Me How.....

I'm not really sure why it happened or how it started.

One minute, I'm sitting at my desk, typing away and the next,
I have tears streaming down my face.

I, suddenly, am overwhelmed at this whole situation.

It's just wrong.

To be perfectly honest, it makes me
really mad and really, really sad.

My heart aches.

I want to vomit.

I can't breathe.

There is a war going on inside my head.

I am so hurt and mad, yet, I feel guilty for not
being happy with what I do have and what time I can spend.

Hayden has been here since Sunday, but all I can think about is when
he has to leave and more so, WHY he has to leave.

Why can't I just be happy he's here?

Why can't I just enjoy it?

Why can't I just savor the moment?

Why is my heart overwhelmed?

Why do my eyes well up with tears?

Why do I feel such bitterness?

I see him smile.

I watch him play.

I hear him laugh.

I see how happy he is and I'm sad he has to leave it all.

I tell myself, I'm not gonna do this.

I tell myself, I will be strong.

I tell myself, I. WILL. NOT. CRY.


It doesn't work.

I feel a huge knot in the pit of my stomach, a lump forms in my
throat and tears begin to stream down my face.

I'm praying.

Praying for understanding.

Praying to make sense of it all.

Praying for peace.

I know there is a plan.

I know there is a purpose.

I still can't see it.

I can't make sense of it all.

I wonder, what could be the purpose?

Why does this have to be this way?

Psalm 119:25-32
I'm feeling terrible—I couldn't feel worse!
Get me on my feet again. You promised, remember?
When I told my story, you responded;
train me well in your deep wisdom.
Help me understand these things inside and out
so I can ponder your miracle-wonders.
My sad life's dilapidated, a falling-down barn;
build me up again by your Word.
Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
grace me with your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,
I post your road signs at every curve and corner.
I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me;
God, don't let me down!
I'll run the course you lay out for me
if you'll just show me how.
~The Message

I'm praying for Him to SHOW ME HOW.

Love you MUCH!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We're Here.....

Auburn played Oregon Monday night in the
BCS National Championship game in Glendale, Arizona.

It was a very nerve-wracking game.

My beloved Tigers beat the Ducks 22-19, with the above field goal
from our AUsome kicker, Wes Byrum.

I took this at one of our games this year in Auburn.
Isn't it beautiful!

Congratulations, Tigers!

It has been an amazing year.

Now, only 8 months 'til the 2011 Season Opener against Utah State.

Until then.....

War Eagle!

Love you MUCH!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm In Love.....

I can't even begin to tell you.....

How in love I am with these smiles.





In Love.

Love you, MUCH!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

He Had His Hands Where?.....

Today after Church, we decided to have lunch at the Restaurant
loved by many for it's fresh salad bar.

Right after we were seated, a group of ladies came
in and were seated right next to us.

7 of them, to be exact.

The youngest of this group was no less than 70, the oldest 87 or so.

Their appearance spoke money.

Don't you dare......

You've seen it.

You know EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

Ok, where was I?

Each of them spoke with a thick, Southern accent.

If you weren't looking, you could be fooled into thinking a bunch of very classy, very elderly Paula Deen's were at the next table.

They were loud, and each of them spent their fair
share of time fighting to talk over the next.

I must confess, them being loud was ok with me.

I was, after all, trying to listen to what they were saying.

It was like lunch and a show for one small price.

I would loved to have pulled up a chair and joined in.

I kinda felt like I had, only they didn't know it.

The poor waitress was drained trying to get
them to be quiet long enough to order.

Even though they had gone on and on about
their favorite food items there,
once it came to ordering,
they acted like they had never been there before.

A few of them had coupons for "Buy One, Get One Free".

Those that didn't, were highly offended Mr. Postman
had not left one in their mailbox.

They spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how
such an atrocity could occur.

When some of them got up to go to the Salad Bar,
the ones left behind, started having Hors d'oeuvres
made up of each other.

It went something like this....

Eleanor- "I don't know how in the world SHE got one of those
coupons. She doesn't eat here. She never even
gets out of her house except for when her kids come home."

Mabel- "It HAS to be something her daughter signed her up for.
You know, since she married that Doctor, she thinks she is sooooomething else."
**Nose turned high in the air**

Eleanor- "Either that or she is using her credit card a lot.
She may be having to do that."
**Spoken with much hope and satisfaction**
"You know, when you use credit cards,
they sign you up for all sorts of things."

This much I know is true, women of all ages are the same.

At this time, the others rejoin them at the table and an
array of topics fill the air.

Sybil- "How did you all enjoy the Service today?"

Groans erupt from everyone.

Not a good sign for whatever Church they just came from.

I snicker, out loud.

I can't help it.

Dorothy- "Well, I will say it. I didn't enjoy it, at all.
The music was too loud, and the Preacher preached
waaay too long."

"Yes", "You are right", "I agree", from everyone.

Dorothy- "I am not sure what kind of music that was.
I felt like I was at camp, not the Lord's House."

Margaret- "That music has gotten out of hand.
He just thinks he can do whatever he wants.
If Deacon Smith was still alive, this would not be happening."

"Yes", "You are right, "I agree", from everyone.

Faye- "I didn't think Pastor Matthews would ever stop preaching today.
He ran us so late; we almost didn't get a table here."

Eleanor- "Have they taken the clock down from the back of the Church?
We need to check when we are there next week and see
if it is still there. Maybe the battery is dead."

Dorothy- "I thought Pastor Matthews should have
worn gloves for Communion."

Miriam- "I thought so, too"

Sybil- "I really didn't want to partake in Communion after I saw
his hands on the bread. I mean, you never know WHERE his hands
were right before he touched that bread."

No, she did not!

Yes, she did!

What did I do?




I'm sure Pastor Matthews wouldn't appreciate Sybil and her
Blue Hair Gang telling the whole Salad Bar Restaurant
he had his hands, well, wherever......

Miriam- "I saw Dr. Oz on T.V. saying there was truth behind the saying,
"An apple a day, keeps the Doctor away."

Mabel- "Oh, really?"

Miriam- "Yes, that is what he said."

Eleanor- "I guess that means I don't have to feel guilty
for eating apples anymore."

Chorus of "Why would you feel guilty for eating apples?"

Eleanor- "Because there are 100 calories in each of them."

No, women do not change.

Faye- "I eat fried fish."

Gasp, complete silence.

It's like confession.

They all look at her like she has grown 2 heads.

Eleanor- "You kill the nutrients when you fry it."

Faye- "Sometimes, I only believe half that stuff they tell you."

Side note....
Faye is the oldest of the group, I don't think missing
a few nutrients will hurt her at this point.
If you want fried fish, then by all means,
have you some fried fish, Faye.
Heck, have you a whole "mess" of fried fish.

I really don't know exactly how much a "mess" of fish is,
but my Granny use to say it and it seemed like it was always a lot.

Ok, I've digressed.

Our waitress, who by the way, was not wearing a stitch
of make-up and looked like she
just stepped out of a fashion magazine,
came to our table to ask us how everything was.

"It was great!", I said, laughing.

With a huge smile, she said, "The food was really, really good today?"

I said, "The food was great, but the entertainment was priceless.",
nodding my head to the group next to us.

She said, "They have worn me out.", smiling the entire time.


For the record......

1.) This exact scene played out during our lunch today.

2.) I have no idea who these ladies were.

3.) I made these names up completely.

4.) I have no idea what Church they attend.

5.) The name of the Deacon, as well as the Pastor, was changed.

6.) Our waitress really didn't have any
make-up on and was breathtakingly gorgeous.

7.) I easily, could have not liked her,
had she not been so darn sweet.

8.) Their age estimates are correct.

Have a great week, Friends.

I hope the first week of 2011 is as entertaining as my lunch today.

Love you MUCH!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Twenty Eleven is Fun to Say.....

Happy New Year!

I wonder how many blog posts have that title today?

I had it as mine but must admit, I changed it, to be different.

Can you believe it is 2011?

Where has time gone?

Doesn't everybody always say that?

It sounds so cliche-ish.

But it's true, where has the time gone?

I turned 39 and had THE WORST birthday of my life,
which, for the record, had absolutely nothing to do with turning 39.

Yes, that means this year, I will be celebrating the big Four-O!

I heard that 40 is the new 20, so that's what I'm counting on. =)

2010 has certainly seen it's fair share of both good and bad times.

I witnessed a COMPLETE healing of my youngest
daughter, Kylee, from a terrifying nightmare called Seizures.

I learned that sometimes God does use Flashing Neon Signs to show us what He wants us to do, and I realized, I like that approach, A LOT!

I saw the movie Dear John, and have never
left a theater more emotionally drained.

I learned who Gucci Mane was. I swear, I thought he was a designer.

I was reminded over and over God keeps His promises.

The girls and I went to Gulf Shores for Haley's last Gulf Coast Classic High School Softball Tournament.

I saw firsthand, God can and does use ordinary people to do extraordinary things, as I traveled with 30 other people in April to
San Bartolo, Lempira, Honduras on a medical mission trip.

I rode a zip-line over the most beautiful waterfall in Honduras.

I learned sometimes in life we are forced we must take detours.

I quit my job after 22 years.

It was the hardest, yet, most liberating decision of my life.

I had a new friend come in to my life who taught me the following...
"There is an old quip about how to make God laugh:
Tell Him your plans!"
Thank you, Earlene. I love you MUCH!

I was reminded over and over in 2010, that His plans for me are FAR better than my plans for me could ever be.

I saw my first born, a member of the National Honor Society, graduate from High School and become a college student.

I FINALLY got out of the SUV and in a car again.

There was a boy who stole my heart.

We made some wonderful memories on the "Big Boat" cruising to The Cayman Islands, Mexico and Jamaica.

I started a new job.

Once again, He reminded me His plan is far better than mine could ever be.

I felt what it was like to be the "New Kid on the Block".

I was made a part of "The Sword" and formed some amazing friendships.

I made my first real slide-show.

My Blackberry crashed and I lost everything.
(No, I didn't have it backed up, before you ask).

Some of you would ask why this is monumental, however, those of you that know me, know how "close" my phone and I are. =)

My baby girl turned 14 and somewhere along the way evolved into this beautiful, amazingly, unashamed witness for Christ.

This is the same daughter God surprised me with
while I was on birth control pills.

No, I was not taking antibiotics; The Father knew I needed her.

The daughter we tried for 3 years to have turned 19.

Yes, that would be the same one I cried for, prayed for, got mad for, asked why for, and prayed and cried for some more, until I literally felt prayed and cried out.

The one that voted for the first time this year.
Yep, that's her, she turned 19.

I saw the love and pride I have for my children
grow beyond measure in 2010.

I faced heartache I never knew possible when my
baby boy was taken from our home

I found out, all too well, what people meant by the words,
"It feels like your heart is being ripped out of your chest".

I realized, more than ever, it is entirely possible for your heart
to love a child more than words and have absolutely no
idea you didn't give birth to him.

I felt anger, bitterness and hurt toward God.

Don't gasp.

It's no secret; He already knows.

In fact, He's known for some time now.

Know what?

He's still madly in love with me.

There were times I didn't want to pray.

I felt the Spirit interceding on my behalf.

I felt YOU interceding on my behalf.

I was taught to Savor Each Moment.

I got lost in his eyes.

I cherished each kiss, each laugh, each smile.

I had my first picnic on the campus of Auburn University.

I only watched a few minutes of the Auburn vs Arkansas game.

I learned, there are Family and Friends I could depend on.

I learned, there are those I could NOT depend on.

I learned, there are some really, really sweet people in my life.

I learned, there are some really, really mean people in my life.

I learned, though people mean well, they say
some pretty stupid things.

I took a lot of pictures in 2010.

God brought a sweet Friend in my life, whose vocabulary doesn't include, "What's the big deal?", "You will still get to see him some",
"It will be ok.", or "It will all work out".
She knows it doesn't always work out, it's not always ok
and that winning the consolation prize isn't really winning.
I love you, Jamie!

I was Batgirl.

I read about a Father who begged Jesus for his daughter's life.

I realized, really for the first time, that God, Jarius and I all shared something in common, the loss of a child.

I was told to not be afraid and just believe, to SEE the UNSEEN.

I was given a choice, see the hurt or The Healer.

I fell in love with my Section 39, Row 48, Seats 24, 25 Friends.
I know, without a shadow of a doubt, God placed you in my life.
I love you, Phil and Diane, more than you will ever know
and I am so thankful God brought you in my life.

God showed me how He takes care of us when we don't even realize it
and how He protects us even when we don't know we need protection.

He reminded me He sees the WHOLE picture of life,
not tiny snapshots like I see.

I realized how much I love lazy, no make-up, hair pulled up,
glasses on, pajama days at home.

I watched the best player in College Football,
Cam Newton, lead my Auburn Tigers to an undefeated regular season.

We also won the SEC Championship game against
South Carolina and will play Oregon in the
BCS National Championship Game next Monday night.

It was reemphasized to me people love a scandal and there
is no greater rivalry than the Alabama-Auburn rivalry.

Did you know Auburn beat Alabama this year?

Cam Newton, the pretty Auburn quarterback, with the gorgeous
smile, won the Heisman Trophy.

I painted my first picture, a cross, that looks
like it is in dire need of Weight Watchers.

I saw, again, why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

I witnessed a Christmas miracle when Hayden spent
Christmas Eve with me and woke up Christmas morning at Home.

I learned, there are people who keep their word.

I learned, there are people who don't keep their word.

Most importantly, I learned, God is always Faithful.

Yes, 2010 has certainly seen it's fair share of both good and bad times.

I never meant for this to be a "Year in Review" post.

It just worked out that way.

I am looking forward to the New Year.

I have watched God work in ways I never knew possible in 2010.

I can't fathom what He has in store for me this year.

I hope you and your family have a blessed 2011.

Happy New Year, Blog Friends!

I am so glad you are in my life.

Love you MUCH!