Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sleepless. But not in Seattle.

It's 6:24 a.m. on Sunday morning. I fell asleep on the courch watching a movie with Mister Bloomin' Life and awoke at 4:30 a.m. Stumbling off to the bedroom, pillow in hand, I brushed my teeth and fell onto my glorious cool, clean sheets. Normally when this happens I fall back to sleep peacefully in my own bed. But this time I did not, could not sleep. I tossed. I turned. I got frustrated. Finally, I just got up. I just hate this. Today (Sunday) is not going to be a good day if I don't get some sleep. The living room is tidy now, as is the kitchen. I took a shower and washed my hair. I feel like something is bothering me, but I'm not sure what it is. I feel like . . . I don't know. My soul is disturbed.

So much is going on right now:
  • I'm fostering four little kittens that a mama cat left in my garage. They were quite sick but a rescue organization in town is helping out with meds and such.
  • Another kitten from a different litter/mama showed up; he hasn't been to be treated yet and is sleeping in a cage on the front porch. He can't be near the other kitties because they may still be contagious. This little guy seems to be pretty healthy. We'll see.
  • Something ate me up, y'all! I found four lone star seed ticks on me Thursday and Friday, but it looks as if some fleas or something just tore the rest of my torso up. I'm miserably itchy and uncomfortable. Benadryl makes me too drowsy, so I bought some spray-on itch stuff at Wally World Saturday night. We'll see how that works.
  • Little Miss heads off to college in a month.
  • Time to get ready for the new school year.
  • I've got some health issues going on, and the doctor has no clue what the problem is. My lips have been swollen for several weeks now; this causes them to become very dry and my skin cracks in the corners.
  • I think I'm just going crazy.

Well, time to go dry my hair. Am feeling a little drowsy, but I know that we'll be leaving for church in three hours. Hope preacher has something good to say this morning!

Talk soon.

J.L.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Food for thought in these tough times.

Life. Is. Hard. Period. Though the truth of the matter is that life doesn't have to be hopeless. But, according to this article about America's Unhappy Birthday, many Americans are allowing high gas and food prices, the war, and other circumstances dictate how satisfied they are with life.

All I got to say on the matter is this: Breathe, People! Yes, things are hard . . . challenging . . . hard . . . right now, but our country has been through far worse than this! What about the war fought on the very soil of our great country that won us the FREEDOMS we enjoy today? Or the war fought less than 100 years later between the UNITED States (or UN-united at the time)? Starvation, hatred, uncertainty, and death that left women widowed and children fatherless also brought a greater FAITH and resourcefullness that we have lost in our present society. One of my favorite parts of that article was the elderly woman who talked about the time during World War II and how foods, clothing, and so many other things were rationed out to citizens. How did they make it? They ADJUSTED, either doing without or making do. And I loved the part where the guy talked about how our identity should not . . . does not . . . come from what we own but from who we are. What we need to adjust is our way of thinking about our stuff! We also need to remember Who takes care of us and Who's in charge of everything.

Right now we are preparing to leave for youth camp so I don't really have a lot of time for a lengthy diatribe. But what I do want to share with you are two chapters from the book of Psalms in the Bible. It's funny what God does for us sometimes. After reading the article referenced above, I opened my Bible this morning to read while eating breakfast. What I randomly opened up to (sometimes I'm daring like that . . . just open and read) gave me strength and encouragement in the hard times we are facing now.

You can take your own Bible and read the passages, or you can just click the links below to take you to the chapters. Either way, I want to ask you to read these chapters over and over again in the coming weeks. Saturate your heart, soul, and mind with the words there.

Psalm 25

Psalm 27

Just a little note about my absence lately. I really have been just enjoying doing things this summer that I do not generally get to do during the school year. Even though I've got plenty that I could blog about, I've also got lots to do around here while we're on summer break. I'm just in a very relaxed-come-what-may way of life right now. I'm breathing before I take a deep breath later this summer when school starts back!! I'll be holding that breath until next May. I'll be a lovely shade of blue by then! LOL . . . Anyway, I'll eventually get back into blogging regularly, maybe with a few funny stories thrown in.

Love you all and thanks for reading!

J.L.

Psalm 25:15 Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD

Monday, June 30, 2008

Mom in the bathtub . . .

Do you remember when I wrote this:

Um, and maybe my oldest daughter who never allows me to see her unless she's fully dressed, but when she needs to talk, always chooses to do so when I've decided to relax in the tub. I finally put up a curtain, albeit a lace one, so that I could have some privacy. She sits in my bathroom floor to talk about life's problems.

The classic scenario in our house is me in the bathroom and one of the kids coming in and asking, "Hey, mom. What're you doing, mom? Are you in the bathroom? Okay. Well . . . blah, blah, blah." And me replying with something like, "Do you mind?" It seems that nothing deters a kid who wants to talk to mom, regardless of her current activity.


Well, you have to read this comic from today! It's so hilarious and fits along perfectly with my life!

http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/archives/003226.php

J.L.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I AM a bum! Plus, the many faces of me.








Totally and without apology, I admit that I am being a total bum right now. No! NOT a hiney bum, though I am sitting around on my bum lots and lots, which explains why I can't fit into my skirts right now! Anyway, I am being just a L-A-Z-Y bum cause school's out, 4-H is somewhat in hiatus, and we don't have tons of "gotta do" on our calendars! And it's totally awesome! But I do miss y'all . . . do you miss me? Hopefully you do, cause I just love to be missed!

And guess what? The best person in the whole world will be missing me next week: Mister Bloomin' Life. Along with three other adults, I am taking twelve kids to church camp next week! This is a first for us . . . and hopefully only the beginning of a great summer activity for our kids. Only . . .

Brother Bloomin' Life and Sister-in-law Bloomin' Life are expecting a baby soon . . . only BUMMER! She is having her labor induced while I'm at church camp! How the heck am I supposed to focus on my relationship with the Lord and on making sure our kids are focused on the real reason for teen camp, when all I can think about is my new little niece and that I won't get to see her until two or three days after she's born? That stinks!

Oh, hey! Get this! I have a Gmail email account, right? So I was thinking about how Little Miss Independent and I get online and chat the night away sometimes. Seems like we talk more on Gmail chat than in person! How S-A-D is that? So, anyways . . . I was just thinking that the "g" in Gmail really stands for GOSSIP mail! LOL . . . so, back to my life . . .

Can you believe that this year is half over already? And guess what? I think you should know that CHRISTMAS is less than six months away! How's that for stress? LOL . . . You're welcome! Mom and I did some Christmas shopping today at Belk since they had some great jewelry (pronouned jury in Georiga) and bags (purses) on 50% off, plus an additional 50% off.

Plus, I bought a new little . . . uh . . . sweet nothing on clearance for myself. Or maybe you could say it was for Mister, though I didn't take pictures this time to send to him to see how he liked it. Nope, not when my 13-year-old wasn't with me to ask questions.

So, anyway, that's kinda some things going on with me right now. There's really lots more, but Bertha Mae is itchin' to try on that sweet nothing for Mister, so I gotta go before she busts a seam . . .

More ramblin' later . . . and trust me . . . there's lots floating around in my brain that I can't wait to get outta there!

Julia

Monday, June 16, 2008

I love CHEERIOS!

This was fun to do . . . and I just happen to 'be' my favorite cereal! LOL . . .

Julia




You Are Cheerios



Like other Cheerios eaters, you want to be a responsible adult.

But you can't help but still be a kid at heart!



You try to make good decisions. You're a clean cut, conscientious person.

You're the type of person who would never skip breakfast.



Part of you thinks that breakfast is too important to miss...

But a bigger part of you knows it's too fun to miss!

Cooking Meme

The rules:1) Answer all the questions honestly.2) Tag at least three people.
When was the most recent time you were burned?
Gee, I really don't remember. However, we have a gas range and sometimes I forget and leave the salt and pepper shakers sitting on the stove when I'm cooking. Ouch!

Can you cook?
Oh, yes! Being married 22 years and feeding a family of seven FORCES one to learn how . . . and quickly!

If yes, name your specialties (three max.)
Hmmmm . . . any type of roast in the slow cooker; breakfast casserole; chocolate cake

If yes, do you like to cook?
Actually, I really do enjoy cooking, so long as I have all the ingredients I need and am not having to run to the store in the middle of preparing something!

If no, do you want to be able to cook?
N/A

What color is your kitchen?
It's an off white/creamy color with an apple motif. The border has green, blue, and red in it, so it's easy to switch up my decor.

Do you bake?
You bet! But I don't do that often because, you know, hips don't lie, baby!

If yes, do you like to bake?
Yes, even more than I like cooking in general. I think because it's not something I do all the time makes it more enjoyable.

If no, do you want to bake?
N/A

What color is your apron?
Hmmm . . . well, I have several, but I do not wear them much. My favorite is one that belonged to my maw-maw that I believed she sewed herself.

I tag:
Coffee Bean
I Am Fearfully and Wonderfully the Maid
Whoever else wants to do this meme

See ya!

J.L.

Do I talk too much?

Do you talk too much in your blog?
Created by OnePlusYou

Cardboard Testimonies: Find your hankie

So . . . I've been away for a few weeks and had fully intended to give a rundown of where I'd been and what I'd been up to. Funny thing. God changed all that. I have something more pressing to share with you today.


A friend of mine, a dear, sweet, Christian homeschooling mama, sent a link to me yesterday for a YouTube video called Cardboard Testimonies. I really had no clue what it was going to be about . . . now I'm just sorry I didn't watch it sooner.

As I watched the video, several thoughts were running through my head (what else is new?):

  • What would my cardboard testimony be?
  • We never know what crosses other people are bearing.
  • We never know how our trials can touch others and bring glory to God.
  • It is amazing what God does in the lives of man, though man doesn't deserve any of it.
  • God's grace is utterly AMAZING!
  • I am thankful for second, third, fiftieth, hundredth, and millionth chances!
  • I am glad God doesn't give up on us.
  • I am so unworthy. Not worthless, just unworthy.

I think my cardboard testimony would be that I have lived in constant fear and worry for most of my life. But recently I've really begun to understand that I'm really not in control of ANYTHING in my life, except how much trust and faith I put in the Someone who loves me more than anyone else in this world loves me. Peace doesn't come from a life free from trials and tribulations. This is where it comes from:


Isaiah 26:3
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.


Philippians 4:6, 7
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.


To live in peace regardless of my circumstances, I must: keep my mind on God and trust Him; make sure I am not dwelling my my problems; pray, petition God, & give thanks to Him.

Not so long ago, while struggling foolishly with a decision regarding the coming school year, I realized that I cannot always wait for God to show me what's going to happen before I step out on faith and follow Him.


Think about Abram. He had no clue where he was going, but he was obedient to God, packing up his little family, and setting out to go wherever God led him. And though he utterly trusted God, it was not always easy, I'm sure. What about his son Isaac? God had promised him this son for years and years and years. He also promised that his seed would be as the sand of the earth. But then God asked him to sacrifice that very son. Again, obedience reigned, though I am certain he was wondering what God was up to. At the last minute, God spared the son and provided a ram in the thicket.


Obedience and sacrifice, or the willingness to do so, often go hand-in-hand. In many situations, I really believe that God wants to see how far we're willing to go in order to be obedient to Him. Obedience often requries us to humble ourselves before God, which will ease our trial if we're willing to do so. What I also believe the Bible teaches is that obedience, sacrifice, and humility bring us blessings we do not expect to find.


Romans 5:
3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.


James 1:2-4
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.


We have many trying experiences (tribulations) in this life. God says that they should make us steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity (patient) and bring us gained knowledge through direct participation (experience), and, ultimately, trust, reliance, confidence, dependence (hope) and maturity and soundness (perfection).


So, this is my cardboard testimony:


A life lived in fear of the unknown.
(FRONT)

PEACE in my heart and mind! (BACK)


Now that you know my cardboard testimony, will you share yours with me?


Love you all,


J.M.

Friday, June 6, 2008

What time of day are you?

This is pretty cool and describes me perfectly. Pretty amazing. Be sure to try it for yourself.




You Are Sunrise



You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.

You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.

Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.

All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.

God's A'Workin'

I have read a few blog stories the past few days about situations God has placed a particular few bloggers in. Of course, God is always putting every one of us in situations, but a few bloggers have chosen to share their experiences. They're worth a mention and I think you would be equally blessed to read what they've written.


Please feel free to share with me if you've had similar things happen to you! I love, love, love God stories!

Talk soon!

J.L.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Coffee Bean is having a contest

And I really think you should check it out! It's for a good cause.

See, my friend C.B. has something called Spasmodic Dysphonia and this week is National Dysphonia Awareness Week. To make more people aware of what it is, she's hosting a contest for a Starbucks card. So, go check out Coffee Bean's contest! I know she'll appreciate it!

Make sure you follow the rules so you'll be entered!

J.L.

Did you know . . .

that the word friend is only on letter away from the word fiend?

Scary, huh?

J.L.

I'm here, I promise!

Gee, time sorta sneaks away from you when you're busy, say, LIVING YOUR LIFE instead of blogging about it! I can't believe it's been an entire week since I last posted. But, I promise you that I'll get back into the swing of things here in a day or two. In the meantime, you can bite your fingernails while I prepare to talk about:




  1. Twin boys getting their driver's licenses


  2. How to get the "tummy tickles" back in your marriage


  3. A visit to Stone Mountain on my anniversary . . . including five kids, my mom, my niece, and a family friend


  4. How I lost 1000 +/- pounds this week


  5. What the heck was happening in this picture:


I better go before I change my mind about posting that picture. Lord, please don't let my friends desert me.

Talk soon!

J.L.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Songs That Make Me Cry

So, it's not a big deal that I cry. Crying makes me feel lots better when I do it and it doesn't bother me much to cry in front of others. Especially Mister. And for some reason it always seems to make him laugh . . . or giggle . . . or get really nervous . . . or whatever. All I know is that I can't even look at him when it happens. It would just make it worse, I think. In his defense, he isn't really laughing at me or mocking me. Truth be told, He just knows me so well and knows what flips that switch that makes the tears flow. He always gives me a big hug though, so it's okay.

I calls songs that make me cry 'stupid'. But they're really not stupid, cause if they make me cry, they must be sayin' somthin' good.

Pioneer Woman and Righteous Buzz shared today about songs that make them cry, so I thought I would share the two that have really touched me. No, they are neither Christian songs nor gospel music, and yet they reach really deep into my heart. Ironically, they are both by the same artist and deal with the same basic idea: life passes too quickly, things change before we know it, and we'll really miss the kids and our lives as we know them now.


You're Gonna Miss This (Click to watch video)

Then They Do (Click to watch video)


It was not so long ago that I dreamed of being old enough to be a cheerleader . . . when I got to the fifth grade! LOL . . . but suddenly I was beyond fifth grade and in high school, dreaming of graduating and getting married.


This Saturday my husband and I will celebrate our twenty-second wedding anniversary. I can still remember the weeks of anxiously waiting to become Mrs. to My Love. What an exciting time that was . . . and it seemed like it would never get there! But, of course, it did . . . and here we are nearly a quarter of a century later(!) with a college-age daughter, two boys who are seniors in high school, and two younger daughters who will both be finished up with school within fours years. Mister has been at his job long enough that he can retire shortly after that.


It seems like only yesterday that my kids were playing out in the back yard in the sand box and on the playset. I remember days when my yard was littered with Little Tikes cars, a Mickey Mouse playhouse, a ride-on toy called Cappy, shovels, buckets, a Flyer red wagon, and Lord knows what else. I remember getting the boys two Lab pups for their fourth birthday, as well as getting Little Miss an American Girl doll for either her eighth or ninth birthday. Now we're watching them (and helping them a bit) buy their own cars, work their own jobs, and become responsible young adults and citizens (Little Miss will be voting for the first time this fall).


Prophetically, I wrote a poem several years ago about how quickly time passes and how things change before we know it. Little did I know that how true those words are and how, literally, my children would spend little time in the sandbox after that!

The Sandbox

As I looked out the window today

Where the children like to play

The wind did bring to my ears

The children's laughter, joys, and tears

Past, present, and future on my heart,

Then I realized with a start -

All too soon the days will be

When no chldren the sandbox will see.

However then shall we fair,

with no noisy children there?

Babies today, grown up tomorrow

Such a thought, potential for sorrow.

But help us, oh Lord, strong to be!

Raising them up in service to thee!

Childhood lasts but for a spell,

Happy we'll be if in your presense they dwell.

The world needs those who would go,

Spreading the gospel to those who don't know.

Use the, Lord, send them please,

This is our prayer when on our knees.

Julia Faulkner/October 22, 2000


Life passes by so quickly . . . and our lives change at the blink of an eye. As much as we wish for things to stay the same, they won't . . . they don't . . . and they can't. If we all stayed our mothers' little darlings forever, who would there be to grow up and have the next generation? It makes the heart hurt nonetheless, and we have songs such as these to remind us.


So, hold them close, tie the apronstrings to their little hearts, lift them up constantly to the Lord in prayer, and be prepared to release them to the life God has chosen for them . . . to live their own lives . . . to allow them to make mistakes and not-so-great choices, and, ultimately, suffer the consequences of those choices . . . and to make you the proudest parent in the whole entire universe.


Excuse me while I go cry.

Love to you all.


J.L.

Monday, May 26, 2008

My Bookshelf

Hey! I saw a really cool thing on somebody's blog today where they set up a bookshelf so that folks can see what they've been reading. I decided I really had to have that, so I set up my own account and added a bookshelf to my blog. You can see it on the left sidebar. But, dudes, guess what? I realized that I'm reading a bunch of books at one time! LOL . . . have I ever told you that I get distracted? Yeah. Kind of like the rabbit trails that I chase on occasion in my posts. I guess I'm just the kind of woman who likes to live life to the fullest. I just have to cram as much into life as I can cause you just never know!

The bad thing is that I try to do too much and end up feeling overwhelmed. . What's a girl to do? I guess at least recognizing my fault is the first step, but beyond that it's hard to overcome it. At least I might be able to keep myself from becoming even more distracted and overwhelmed by not buying more books, more craft supplies, more material . . . blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, check out my bookshelf and let me know if you've read any of the books listed. It would be great to know what you think of them.

Talk soon!

J.L.

Voting is now open!

Now that we've come to the end of the week of featured videos, please vote for your favorite. I can't wait to see the results! You can find the poll in the center column of the blog.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

J.L.

For Whom Would You Give Your Life?



Hi Y'all! Hope you had a marvellous weekend. What are you doing today? I think we are getting together with my family for some KFC at the park. Hopefully it won't be crowded by the time we get there. I would actually love to be in the mountains right now enjoying some of the picnic areas in the National Park. Oh well. Maybe soon.


Sorry that this last video is late being posted. I had wanted to post it Friday but was really distracted for some reason. And on Saturday we were gone for a good part of the day . . . and I was distracted. LOL . . . Sunday was Sunday, as usual, so I didn't get it posted then either. However, can I just say that this is one of those things that worked out perfectly? What better video could be played on a day when we remember those who have given their lives fighting for their country. Although, I think most people see it as a holiday to kick off summer. Yeah, I am guilty as charged.


Anyway, as I said last week, freedom isn't free. It costs dearly. Not in money, but in lives. As my Chick Magnets get closer to adulthood and consider the military as a career, I am ever aware of that fact. Especially with a war currently going on.

  • Am I afraid? Yes.
  • Do I wish there wasn't a war? Of course.
  • Am I against war? No, it's a fact of life. The Bible is full of wars and battles.
  • Am I against this war? Not if it means we are safe in the country we live in and we are able to keep our freedom. If we were not aggressive in this fight, if we sat back and pretended everything was okay, we would be in big trouble. Had we not taken the upper hand, we would be fighting them on our own soil. I don't think we want that. Just ask the men and women currently fighting for us over there. They will tell you how much we are hated for many reasons, but mostly because we are perceived by them as being a Christian nation. For this reason, we are considered infidels.


I have really been moved by my study of the history of the USA and the Constitution of the United States of America with my children. As I become older and more interested in history and government, I realize what a unique situation the birth of this nation was. Though we have had our troubles, and continue to do so, we have been so blessed with many rights because of men who wrote the Constitution wanted people here to be truly free and self-governed. And even though many of them were Christians and were champions for the right to worship God, they also recognized that people had the right not to worship God if they so chose.


But something is happening here. Our rights are becoming compromised by those who do not believe the Bible and there is the very real threat of from other religious groups who do not believe we have the right to choose to be Christians. People do not want to hear Truth any more and they will do what they can to silence it.


At this point in time, the threat to Truth comes in the form of the push for laws to be made to make it unlawful to preach Truth from the Bible. This may mean fines, jail time, or the eventual push to license preachers. Look at other countries where Christianity is not accepted, where it is hated, where Truth has no place and is squashed, and you will see what could happen to us. Look at the laws in those countries and you may possibly see what could happen here in this country.


Though our forefathers came to this country to escape the governments that controlled religion, and though they came here to escape persecution and death because of their beliefs, things seem to be swinging in that direction once more. How many years down the road are we talking? Who knows. But all things point in that direction. Let the right people be elected to office and it could happen in short manner.


Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion . . .
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;


In the United States of America, we know little of religious persecution in this age because we have been blessed with being born into a country that was founded on godly principals and the right to the free exercise of religion. But what if the day comes when we won't be allowed to preach the Bible? read the Bible? own a Bible? speak out against wrong and preach for living right? What if church services had to be held in secret in order to protect believers? I can't even begin to think of the freedoms we have in regards to religion that could be snatched from us at the stroke of pen all because others don't believe Truth.


One thing that the United States is known for is the championing of freedom, not only for herself but for others as well. Even though we do not wish for it to happen, the very real possibilty is that one day she will have no freedoms of her own. This great country may be humbled and brought low by her rejection of God and Truth. One day, we may be meeting behind closed doors.


John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.


Today, as we kick off that wonderful time of year we call summer, don't forget to thank God for those who have given their lives so that you might be free. Free to worship. Free not to worship. Free to openly preach the word on the streets or in the church. Free to live a life of peace. And ask yourself if you take freedom for granted because you've never experienced anything but living in freedom and peace.


Love you all!


J.L.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Something totally fun!

Read my answers, then copy and paste to your blog, making sure to change the answers before posting. Can't wait to read about you! Please post a comment back here with a link back to your blog.

The Letter A

Are you available? Nope! Happily married for 22 years.

What is your age? 40

What annoys you? Um . . . redneck mothers who scream at their kids in the store.

The Letter B

Do you live in a big house? Sure, if only Mister and I lived here . . . not so big with seven people living here.

When is your birthday? September

Who is your best friend? Besides Mister, my bff is Laney and I've known her since 7th grade. How lucky is that!

The Letter C

What's your favorite candy? Whoa . . . Snickers and Milky Way . . . Sweettarts . . .

Who's your crush? My sweet love, Mister Bloomin' Life.

When was the last time you cried? A few days ago.

The Letter D

Do you daydream? Yes, mostly about Mister. :-)

What's your favorite kind of dog? Redbone coonhound

What day of the week is it? Thursday

The Letter E

How do you like your eggs? Scrambled

Have you ever been in the emergency room? Yes, mostly with my kids. The last time was when my son broke his leg.

What's the easiest thing ever to do? Judge others.

The Letter F

Have you ever flown in a plane? No, but I'd like to.

Do you use fly swatters? At my mom's, yes; here, no. We don't own one.

Have you ever used a foghorn? LOL, no! But maybe I should get one to wake up the kids every morning? HA!

The Letter G

Do you chew gum? Not much.

Are you a giver or a taker? Mostly a giver, but sometimes I gotta take just to keep going.

Do you like gummy candies? Yep! Laney and I used to go to the mall and buy them by the pound! LOL!

The Letter H

How are you? Right now, I'm tired and feeling a little overwhelmed by the number of projects I want to accomplish over the summer.

What color is your hair? Dark brown/reddish

The Letter I

What's your favorite ice cream? Moose tracks, turtle tracks, mint chocolate chip . . .

Have you ever ice skated? Yes. We used to have a rink down the road a piece. I have stitches from a little incident.

Do you play an instrument? Dulcimer, but right now I'm missing the strings off of both of mine.

The Letter J

What's your favorite jelly bean brand? Sweettart brand . . . oh my gosh! They taste just like sweettarts.

Do you wear jewelry? Yes, but very simple styles. My favorite is my cross necklace.

The Letter K

Who do you want to kiss? My Mister. Oh honey . . .

Do you want kids? ROFL! Depends on how they're acting at the moment . . .

Where did you go for kindergarten? Asbury

The Letter L

Are you laid back? No nearly enough . . . cause there is so much in life to be serious about.

Do you lie? Yes, but mostly it's just that I am not totally truthful about things. I've really tried to start being more honest about stuff.

The Letter M

Whats your favorite movie? Facing the Giants, Persuassion, Hope Floats, Princess Bride

Do you still watch Disney movies? Yep.

Do you like mangos? Never had one.

The Letter N

Do you have a nickname? Yes. Mister calls me Sunshine.

What is your real name? Julia Melinda

Whats your favorite number? Hmmmm . . .

The Letter O

Whats your only dream? That the entire world would be saved and nobody would have to go to hell.

Are you an only child? Nope.

The Letter P

What fear are you most paranoid about? Something happening to one of my kids . . .

What are your pet peeves? Um . . . when redneck mamas let their kids run wild in the store.

What's a personality trait you look for in people? Friendliness

The Letter Q

What's your favorite quote? Gee . . . look on the right side of my blog . . .

Are you quick to judge people? Yes, when I don't take the time to try to understand them and why they act like they do.

The Letter R

Do you think you're always right? Thankfully no, I do not. Only when somebody else is wrong! LOL . . .

Are you one to cry? Yes, when I am tired, stressed out, and worried. I also cry over movies, songs, books . . .

The Letter S

Do you prefer sun or rain? I always love the sunshine, but a rainy day snuggling with Mister is good too.

Do you like snow? Yes.

What's your favorite season? I absolutely love autumn and spring.

The Letter T

What time is it? 11:29 p.m.

What time did you wake up? Gee . . . about 7:30 I think.

When was the last time you slept in a tent? A few years back when Mister took me camping at Stone Mountain.

The Letter U

Are you wearing underwear? Right . . . .

Underwear or boxers? Victoria's Secret ;-) LOL . . .

The Letter V

What's the worst veggie? Greens . . . ick!

Where do you want to go on vacation? I would love to go to the mountains.

The Letter W

What's your worst habit? Procrastination . . .

Where do you live? Georgia, south of Atlanta.

The Letter X

Have you ever had an x-ray? Oh yes.

Have you seen the x-games? Not really.

Do you own a xylophone? Nope.

The Letter Y

Do you like the color yellow? Yes! My great room is yellow!

What's one thing you yearn for? More time with Mister. We've been way too busy lately. I also want my kids to always seek God's will for their lives.

The Letter Z

Whats your zodiac sign? Not that I care . . . but it's virgo.

Do you believe in the zodiac? Not one bit.

Favorite zoo animal? I love watching the gorillas.

Still she stands



Where were you nearly 7 years ago on September 11, 2001? I was at home getting read to teach science to my three oldest children and my nephew. My husband was finishing up getting ready for work and happened to have the television on in our bedroom. I don't remember if I walked into the bedroom for something or if I heard the commotion from where I sat at my computer in the living room. Either way, I was soon aware that a plane had crashed in one of the towers. As shocking and disturbing as that was, nothing could have prepared me for what happened unexpectedly just a few second later. All I could do was ask myself why two planes had flown into the towers. How in the world could that happen? Could it get any worse? You know the answer. Yes. As my husband and I stood there staring in disbelief at the television, the two towers came crashing to the ground.

I don't remember the exact date, but a year or so later, our homeschool choir presented a patriotic program and included the song There She Stands by Michael W. Smith. There was not a dry eye in the auditorium.

I realize that not all of my readers are from the United States and thus may not share my patriotism, but I've just got to say that I feel very blessed to have been born and raised in this great country. And the reasons don't really have a lot to do with September 11, 2001. Even had the tragic event never occured, I would still be proud to be called a citizen of the USA.

This year I have been studying the history of the United States of America with my three high schoolers. One of the things we studied was about why some of the original settlers came here. Sure, there was the issue of searching for riches, but things got really serious when certain Christian groups were targeted and persecuted for their beliefs. In order to find reglious freedom, they left everything behind to come to a wild, most uninhabited country where they could worship God as they saw fit. Granted, things have not always run smoothly since then, but this is a country where we are free to worship God . . . or not. And we are not told how to worship God either, which is a problem the early settlers faced in their native homelands.

Though some . . . and maybe many . . . would disagree with me, I would call the United States a Christian nation because of its origins and because of the beliefs of her early settlers. I am thankful to have been born in a country that has Christianity as its main religious preference, though the government in no way forces anyone to be a Christian.

If living in this country and having the freedom to choose to worship God means that we have to defend ourselves against those who do not wish us to have the freedom, then that's just the way it will have to be. After all, freedom isn't FREE!

That's all today. I'm kind of tired and have had my blood sugar drop suddenly on me a couple times the past few weeks while I've been out running errands. It happened this morning and now that I've eaten, I feel weak and tired.

Thanks for reading this week and for all of your comments. I appreciate your time and your encouragement.

Love,

J.L.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

One last thought . . .

Hebrews 4:15
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities;
but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
J.L.

Nahum 1:7



So . . . here we are on day three of my favorite videos from YouTube. I don't particularly like YouTube itself because of all of the trash people put on there, but praise the Lord for the good that is there.

Anyway . . .

Have you ever read the book of Nahum? I guess I must have since I highlighted Nahum 1:7 in yellow. It says:

The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble;
and he knoweth them that trust in him.

I love the part that says He knows those that trust in Him, and here's why.

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that my boys want to be in law enforcement as a career. This isn't a big surprise to me because they have such servants' hearts. They care about right and wrong, and they love to help people. I think that my boys will be the type of officers who really care about helping the people they have to arrest or come to the aid of, regardless of whether or not they know the people.

People in the community or in society think of law enforcement as those people who either help them when they are in trouble or are the ones who haul them off to jail when they break the law. They trust the men and women in law enforcement even when law enforcement doesn't know them.
Unlike law enforcement folks though, God knows every person who puts their trust in Him. He knows those who put their confidence in His ability and strength. He knows those who believe that He is the source of strength and stability when all is chaotic in life.

You know, I am so thankful that I can know Him, but I am even more grateful that He knows me!!! Psalm 139 says that He has known me since I was curiously wrought in my mother's womb! Verses 17 and 18 tell me that . . .

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me,
O God! how great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand:
when I awake, I am still with thee.

Just imagine the precious thoughts that God has towards you and me! Think of how many thoughts He thinks towards us! There are so many that we could never count them all!

You know, there are many people that we put our trust in that have no idea who we are! And I'm fairly certain that they never think about us if they do not know us!

This year is an election year. How many constituents do you think elected officials know by name? How much do they know about the lives of those people they represent? We trust these people to make wise choices for us, even though they have no clue about us and have never met the majority of us. On the other hand, even though we've never met Christ or God face-to-face, we have learned to trust them with our very lives, and we know that they think about us. Christ is in Heaven ever making intercession for us.

Let's just stop for a minute and think about the fact that God knows every detail of our lives. How does that make you feel? I'm utterly overwhelmed by that fact. How can God know intimately the lives of all those people who put their trust in them? I have no idea. I'm just thankful that He can . . . and that He does.

I hope that you enjoyed today's video and remember that even though we may not understand why God loves us like He does, the fact remains that He does. We can rest in knowing that He knows those who put their trust in Him.

Love you all!

J.L.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Do you ever feel like this kind of mother?

Grouchy/guilty mama . . .

If you say no, I won't believe you! LOL . . .

J.L.

How Very Amazing, How Very Undeserving



Psalm 8:4
What is man, that thou art mindful of him?

This is the most awesome song EVER! It is one of those that just reaches out and grabs your heart, leaving you forever changed.

Do you ever ask yourself that ages-old question, "Why"? I have . . . and often. It was something that really bothered me lots of times before I was saved in 1990. I was 22 years old, had been a wife for 4 years, and a mama for one year. I was a member of a Christian (denominational) church, though I was attending a Baptist church with my husband. As any 'good' Christian should be, I was very involved in the ministries of the church. On any given week, you could find me keeping the nursery, teaching VBS, or heading up the Cubbies group for Awana. I tried my best not to sin. But, as the Bible teaches, that's an impossible task! So, I would sin, though not because I wanted to, but I did. And then I would beg God's forgiveness. Though instead of peace, there was just confusion and a very real fear of dying.

Then there would be days when I would ask myself, "who am I?". I couldn't find an answer, and it was a very bothersome dilemma.

Along about the spring of 1990, in May or June, God began to deal with this sinner. Can I just tell you that it was a pretty confusing, terrifying, confusing, uncertain, confusing time for me? Did I mention that I was confused? I had been baptized at age nine, I loved God (I really, really did!), and I wanted nothing more than to please Him. But something was obviously very, very wrong. How could I not be saved if I had been baptized, worked in the church, and loved God?

I felt very, very, very alone because:
  1. My daddy was very upset I had married a Baptist
  2. My husband thought I was saved
  3. I thought I was saved
  4. I was a good girl
  5. I didn't think I could talk to anybody about this
Put confused and alone together, and what do you have? ME, a soul that God was dealing with concerning her salvation. And can I just tell you that as I look back on things, I am thankful that I didn't talk to anybody else about this? If I had, I might've been more confused. I am glad that it was God and me. Me and God.

It's hard to say what was going on in my mind during that time, aside from being alone and confused. But there came a day, a Sunday morning, when I knew I could not go on any further. I had to get this settled and put my confusion aside and called out to God! Being as honest as I knew how to be, I told Him I did not know if I was lost or saved, but I did know that I was a sinner. I confessed how I believed Christ died for my sins. And I called out to Him in faith, asking for my sins to be forgiven and for Him to save me.

And guess what? HE DID! HE DID! HE DID! Praise God He did!

People, Christ gave HIS life for me, you, and the whole, entire, stinkin', sin-filled world! Even though I knew this and believed it to the point of salvation, it wasn't until some months back that I finally realized what this means:
  • For every wicked thought
  • For every unkind word
  • For every broken commandment
  • For every rebellious act
  • For selfish action
  • For all ungodly, unholy, contrary-to-His-holiness behaviour

HE DIED FOR US! We were His enemies . . . and many of us continue to be His enemy. And yet . . . there He is, willing to take us into God's family just by the simple act of turning to Him and receiving His gift by faith.


Did you listen to the words of that song? Did you really hear them?

  • His heart was broken mine was mended - through His suffering He made us whole
  • He became sin now I am clean- by the bearing the very thing that made us dirty and stinking in His sight, He made us clean
  • The Cross He carried bore my burden - that cross represented our sin burden
  • The nails that held Him set me free - though He was held to that cross by the nails, it brough us FREEDOM!
  • His scars of suffering brought me healing - this Man's body was mangled and mutilated, and through it all we were healed
  • He spilled His blood to fill my soul - through His blood we are complete
  • His crown of thorns made me royalty - He wore a crown of mockery, only to turn around and make us royalty
  • His sorrow gave me joy untold - and through His suffering and agony, He filled us with joy unspeakable and full of glory
  • He was despised and rejected - He was, and still is, an innocent man, received then mostly for what He could do for others
  • Striped of His garment and oppressed - and they tried to stiffle His ministry and shame Him, but their actions only brought God's plan to fruition
  • I am loved and accepted - You and I didn't deserve what we have received, but have received it only by His shame and suffering
  • And I wear a robe of righteousness - and all because of Him are we considered righteousness . . . we've been given new clothing . . . Heavenly clothing
  • His Life for Mine, His Life for Mine - Oh yes! The innocent for the guilty!
  • How could it ever be? - Who but God could do such a thing?
  • That He would die, God’s Son would die - Who would YOU die for?
  • To save a wretch like me - Your enemies? drug addicts? prostitutes? pedophiles? murderers? raptists? drunkards? "good" people? liars? homosexuals? adulterers? idolaters? witches? thieves? the covetous?
  • What love divine - only by a divine love could someone die for people like that
  • He gave His life for Mine - For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son . . . not for my life only . . . nor yours only . . . for for all of mankind

If you have not thanked God lately for the place He brought you from, why not do that today? Why not do that right now? Thank Him for making bearing your shame, paying your price, making you whole, cleaning you up, making you royalty, and making you free! It should be something we do each and every day!


1 Corinthians 6:11

And such WERE some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.


Amen?
AMEN!


Glory, hallelujah!


J.L.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Never, ever give up!



Can I just be honest with you? I cannot tell you the number of times I just wanted to give up and quit . . . my marriage . . . parenthood . . . homeschooling . . . I just get so weary sometimes. It is very, very hard to see the end result of our efforts, but we'll surely NEVER see what could've been if we just up and quit. One verse that comes to my mind each time I'm tempted to quit is Galatians 6:9:

And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

This verse just screams out to me "Don't give up! The day is coming when you'll be rewarded for your hard work! Never, ever, ever give up! You've come too far! Hang on just a little longer! DON'T YOU QUIT ON GOD!"

The truth is, all things are in God's time. Romans 5:6 tells that that even Christ had to wait for God's timing:

For when we were yet without strength,
in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Mark 13:32 tells us that He is still waiting on God's timing:

But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no,
not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

It may take everything you and I have to walk the path and bear the cross that God has given us, but we cannot quit and expect to get anything out of it. What if the day you quit is the day your reward comes? what if the day you quit praying is the day that person you were praying for was supposed to get saved? what if . . . what if . . . what if . . .? We never know.

The above video is from the movie Facing the Giants. I didn't see it as the theater, but we did buy it on DVD. Can I just tell you that this clip is the most powerful scene in the entire movie? The attitudes of the players, especially the captain of the football team, are changed because of what the coach asks this young man to do.

One thing that stands out to me is the fact that he is blindfolded through the entire ordeal. He cannot see a thing. He does have a goal, but he does not know how far he is from it. All he knows is that he just has to keep on trying; he cannot quit, no matter how much it hurts, no matter how much it burns!

Can I just tell you that every time I watch this, I am utterly in tears. I imagine that I am the one doing the death crawl, and I cannot see the end of my endeavor. I have a God-given goal, but I have to trust Him to get me there. Right beside me is God cheering me on, screaming for me to give Him my very best. He is there telling me not to ever quit, letting me know I am almost there.

As the scene begins, the team is so down because the team they are up against on Friday night is the best around. The coach urges the captain of the team to give his very best for his team. If he gives up, then the rest of the team will too. By the end of the scene, the captain and all of the team realizes that they can do whatever is necessary to reach their goal. No matter how much it hurts and burns, they won't quit!

My life is very much like that. When mama is discouraged and wants to quit, so will the rest of the family. So mama has to rely on God, though God often asks for more than she thinks she can give. Then she realizes that her team . . . her family . . . needs her, and it will take God cheering her on to keep her from quitting and reaching the finish line. God never leaves her alone. God is always by her side. Mama can do anything with God's encouragement.

People, never, ever give up! Ever.

Love in Christ,

J.L.

A Week of My Favorite Videos.

So . . . . a few days ago I came across a few videos from YouTube when I was doing a search for on Google for something. I had the bright idea to share these videos with you during the coming week. A few of them have been curculating through email the past few months, but don't let it deter you from watching once again. They're that awesome!

I'll be posting one video per day. At the end of the week, we'll do a little poll to see which one y'all liked the best.

Now, these are not my own videos. Remember, I'm computer illiterate. My husband has to show me how to do something a dozen times before it sticks! LOL . . . Anyway, all of the credit goes to whomever posted the videos on YouTube. I'm eternally in debt to you for your knowledge. God bless you! No, really! I mean it.

Now, on with the videos!

J.L.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thinking about Daddy

So . . .

I've been thinking a lot about Daddy and all that happened during this same week last year. And while I don't want to go into it all right now, I'll just say that it was pretty emotional those last few days.

It's funny how as time progresses, my grief and pain has turned into something else. Maybe a sadness of sorts. It mostly happens when I see pictures of him. I miss his strange sense of humor, his smile, and the way he laughed. I can still hear it now if I concentrate hard enough. It was a little devilish chuckle that was quite contagious.

Even though my dad wasn't very outwardly affectionate with us kids like I am with my own, sometimes when I look at his picture, I would just like to be able to hug him and feel his soft beard brush up against my cheek.

Dad used to bring me little treats, even after I got married. Snickers bars and Mr. Goodbars. Yummy. If I was not like my dad in any other way, it was our addiction to all things sweet. It's be really awesome to have some treats from him again.

I think I got my love of NASCAR from Daddy too. I remember as a little girl going to see dirt-track races down the road from our house. I was a little thing, but I remember it. And I remember so many Sundays of him watching the big race on the TV at his house.

Maybe that's the hard part about losing somebody you love, especially a parent. There is so much that is suddenly taken from you . . . the hugs, the kisses, the influences, and so much more . . . so much that you can't get back. But, then, why would you want to when you know they're whole, happy, and with the Lord?

J.L.

Our only hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 & 14
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

I am so thankful that Christ conquered death and had the victory over the grave!

1 Corinthians 15:55
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

I praise Him that my dad, and all believers everywhere, only pass from this life into the next. Who would want to come back from THAT?

Love you all. Thanks for reading.
J.L.

We miss you, Daddy


But you must be having a wonderful time with Jesus.
Love,
Sissy

Monday, May 12, 2008

Continuing drama of "How to Get a Massage". Or: Is that guy gay?

So, what we've learned so far is that I got a gift certificate to the spa last Mother's Day and it took me months to finally use the thing. Funny how something I'd always wanted so badly just kinda sat around for a while before being used.

What I should explain (because my new friend, Deb made an excellent point) is that the two massages that I've had at a spa have been totally therapeutic. I get these huge knots in my shoulders because I get stressed . . . and the stress leads to tense shoulders because that's just where it all goes to. At one point I was actually in physical therapy because of the pain radiating from my shoulder and all the way down my arm. I was in constant pain. Always. Every minute. No kidding. Pain relievers didn't even help. Anyway, when you go for a massage, they do ask if there are any areas you would like them to focus on and I always answer 'my shoulders'. So, even though I was too chicken to have my nails done, choosing the massage was supposed to help get some of those knots out of my shoulders.

Anyway, on to my story. I'll lay out the instructions step-by-step for you.

  1. First, call the spa to make your appointment. Act surprised when a guy answers the phone. Assume he's probably gay by the sound of his voice. Wonder to yourself if he just answers the phone or if he provides any services in the salon. Consider that maybe he's a hair stylist. Don't give it a second thought that he might give massages. I mean, only women give massages in salons, right?
  2. Show up for your appointment, but first, take a bath and shave your legs. Don't want to have pricklies now, do we?
  3. When you walk in the door and there is no one at the desk, have a seat. Read a magazine. Tell the lady who finally asks if you need help that you're there for a massage. Don't look too surprised when she says 'he'll' be back in a minute. Start to get nervous.
  4. When 'he' walks in and asks if he can help you, tell him why you're there. Try not to let your eyes pop out of your head when he talks. It's rude to stare.
  5. Start filling out the paperwork given to you about your health history. There are certain health conditions which pretty much disqualify you from getting a massage. At this particiular salon, this might not be a bad thing.
  6. When 'he' asks about your weekend, talk about how busy you've been for the past four days. Don't fall out in the floor laughing when he responds with a "Guuuurrrllll" (as in 'girl' in a gay guy sort of way). Focus on filling out your paperwork. Read the instuctions three times.
  7. Don't hyperventillate when he says he'll be right back, and he's going to go get things ready. Try not to look too confused as you try to figure out who will be doing your massage.
  8. Notice the line on the paperwork that explicitly says that massages are for theraputic, non-sexual purposes only. Breathe out.
  9. When you're finished with your paperwork, give it to 'him' and fight the urge to run from the salon.
  10. Try not to freak too much when you get back to the massage area and you finally come to grips with the fact that he is going to be doing your massage. Ignore the 77 knots that suddenly pop up in your neck and shoulders.
  11. Wonder what God thinks about all this. Wonder what all your Christian friends would think if they knew you were going to get a massage from a guy. A possibly gay guy. Try not to think about how your husband is going to feel about this. Figure out a way to call your husband.
  12. Try to change your mind. Wonder what he'd think if you said you need to come back when a woman was there to give the massage.
  13. When he tells you to get 'ready' (ie . . . take your clothes off) and he'll be back, do the following: grab your cell phone, call your husband, breathlessly tell him that a guy is doing your massage but that it's okay cause he's gay. Repeat as necessary cause you're trying to whisper. Quickly hang up.
  14. Take your clothes off, but leave on the undies. That's just gross! Quickly get under the covers on the table. Wonder how you got into this mess.
  15. Try to relax as he begins your 'relaxing' massage and tries to carry on a conversation with you.
  16. Talk about your husband and kids. A lot. Tell why you homeschool your kids. Talk about God, your church, why your nineteen-year-old doesn't date, and whatever else you can think of. Give him your whole life story.
  17. Wonder what kind of spa hires a guy who talks about how girls' bodies have changed so much since he was in school. Cringe when he uses a vulgar word to describe a certain part of a woman's body.
  18. Wonder what he means as he tells you to turn over and 'lock 'em down'.
  19. Ask him about his life, if he's from the area, where he went to school, and all that kinda stuff. Put two and two together when you find out where he grew up.
  20. Listen to him talk about make-up, doing hair, being OCD, and how he hates to do nails. Funny thing that: he hates to do nails and I'm chicken to have mine done. Go figure.
  21. Try not to faint when he talks about his 8-year-old son and step daughter. Feel really confused. Wonder if he's confused.
  22. Feel guilty that your husband and kids used their money to buy you something they knew you'd like, but then you didn't really enjoy as much as you hoped to.
  23. Get dressed as fast as you can, pay the cashier, and high-tail it out of there.
  24. Wonder if you should have the guts to ask for a woman.
  25. Laugh about it with your friends.
  26. Blog about it.

Well, that's that. Not so funny as shopping at Victoria's Secret, but, my goodness! I never would have thought that a guy would be the one who would be giving massages at a small town spa salon. And what could I say? Nothing, considering that my husband and I had a couple's massage at Stone Mountain last year and he had a woman doing his. We were in the same room together, so it isn't as if he was alone in a room with another woman while mostly nude, though covered up.


You know, sometimes things in life are not always so cut and dried, black and white, or clearly right or wrong. So often there are many questionable circumstances and situations that come our way. It's hard to know if the choices we make or will make are the right ones. But I am so glad that God does not leave us to figure that out for ourselves.

  • Proverbs 3:6 says In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
  • Matthew 6:33, a favorite of mine, says seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
  • Matthew 7:7 encourages us to ASK: Ask; seek; and knock.
  • Psalm 32:8 promises that I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
  • Psalm 73:24 tells of the psalmists who knew the truth that the lord shalt guide me with thy counsel.
  • John 16:13 talks about the Spirit of turth and how He will will guide you into all truth.

On the other hand, many times we get caught in situations that we know are not right. I know now . . . and knew then . . . that I should have left the spa that day. I have nothing against massages, obviously, but the situation I was in really wasn't appropriate. I would have enjoyed it more if a woman had provided the service, but fear of offending this man kepting me from doing what was right. The Spirit that day was really prodding me out the door, but, as happens way too often, I quenched Him. I wasn't alone there that day. The Holy Spirit was with me, trying to guide me in the right direction. I say 'trying' because I wasn't paying much attention. I was too uptight about the whole thing.

So the next time you are caught in a situation you don't know how to handle, or if you find yourself looking for an answer to a seemingly unanswerable question, really be still a bit and listen for the still small voice, pay attention to the Spirit of God that lives in you and guides you, and make sure you apply the ASK principle: ask, seek, and knock on God's door. I guarantee He'll answer or I'll give you your money back. ;-) HA!

Until next time!

J.L.

How to Get a Massage at the Spa. Or: Is that guy gay?

Soooo . . . Gee. Where to start, where to start. Normally, I do not have so many crazy-loco stories to tell, but my life seems to be full of them right now. Let me just start with a disclaimer that says Julia Lynne's life is fairly normal, even with five kids. Then again, what's normal to me may be way out there for you. Who knows. Nevertheless, let's begin, shall we?

Last year during April and May, my dad was battling cancer. Cancer is that disease that rips your heart out and puts it back in with pieces missing. Even if you are healed of it, your life is never the same. If you aren't healed of it, life as you know it . . . or life as your family knows it . . . is turned upside-down, backwards, and head-over-heels. One of the hardest parts was that we were in the middle of our Little Miss getting ready to graduate with the local homeschool co-op. And the closer graduation got, the worse my dad's health became, and the worse dad's health became, the more worried I became about how things would turn out with graduation. Cancer takes you in vicious circles like that.

Even though we were usually over at my parent's house one afternoon a week to eat supper with them, it came to the point during his illness that we were over there several days during the week. I am thankful to God that we were given that time with him, though he did sleep a lot. Things got pretty intense during those few brief weeks.

The Sunday before he died was Mother's Day. Deciding what I wanted for a gift from my family seemed pointless, and I asked them to pick out what they wanted for me. What was more important for me was gifting my mother with something she would really appreciate, considering her circumstances. We really did not know how long dad would be sick; all we knew was that it could be an ordeal that would last many months. Mom was already exhausted and worn out, so we went together with my brother and sister to buy a gift certificate to the spa, hoping she would get a massage or something to relax her and make her feel special.

My husband and three older children decided that they would do the same for me. I was pretty excited about it because I'd never, ever been to a 'spa' before. At first, I thought mom and I might go get a pedicure together. Then I chickened out because I'd like to be fungus-free for the rest of my life, if at all possible. I'm so afraid of getting something from having a pedi or mani. Just gives me the creeps.

So, months . . . and months . . . and months passed by, until I finally committed to getting an appointment for a massage. I had had one last summer at Stone Mountain when we stayed at the Evergreen Conference Center during a meeting my husband had. It was marvelous. Things get pretty tight around here this time of year, especially my neck muscles. So, I thought it wouldn't hurt to be totally relaxed for all of our upcoming activities.

All I can say is that I shouldn't have thought so hard. I wasted brain cells having a thought like that. Who knew that having a massage could leave you more tense when you left than when you arrived?

To be continued. Gotta get ready for an evening out with the youth group.

J.L.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How to Shop at Victoria's Secret. Or: Mothers Have No Privacy.


First, let me just make an observation: Victoria really doesn't seemed too concerned about keeping things secret, does she? As for me, the only person who knows my secret would be my husband . . . and my former obstetricians . . . and all their nurses . . . and anybody who was around when I gave birth. Um, and maybe my oldest daughter who never allows me to see her unless she's fully dressed, but when she needs to talk, always chooses to do so when I've decided to relax in the tub. I finally put up a curtain, albeit a lace one, so that I could have some privacy. She sits in my bathroom floor to talk about life's problems.

The classic scenario in our house is me in the bathroom and one of the kids coming in and asking, "Hey, mom. What're you doing, mom? Are you in the bathroom? Okay. Well . . . blah, blah, blah." And me replying with something like, "Do you mind?" It seems that nothing deters a kid who wants to talk to mom, regardless of her current activity.

Did you ever imagine that when you were potty training them that they'd one day hang around when you're sitting on the toilet? If you're a mother-to-be, consider this fair warning.

Anyway, truth be told, I guess I really don't have any secrets. Or privacy. Sigh.

Honestly, when you have five kids, nothing is sacred. Your reproductive life seems to be everybody's business, especially when your belly looks like it might explode any day and there is only 17 months between your twins and the next baby to be born. And I'm not even talking about the whole birth experience. I'm talking about what leads up to the whole reason you're going to give birth in the first place. Everybody and their brother . . . or, if you're me, your husband's aunts (yes, there is a boldfaced 's' there for a reason) . . . wants to know if you "know what causes that" (as if having kids is a disease). Um . . . right. What I always wanted to say was: "I don't know. Do you know what causes that?" But what I ended up saying was something like: "Yeah, I do. Why do you think we have so many?", with a large grin upon my face. That pretty much shuts people up, though I mean that will all due respect. Except . . . are rude, nosey people due any respect?

Anyway, on with shopping at Victoria's Secret.

For a while, I have been getting these gift card things from Victoria offering a free pair of cotton undies, plus $10.00 off of any bra. I had always let them expire cause I didn't really care to pay that much for a bra. And I'd feel really guilty about getting the free undies and not buying the expensive bra . . . or double barrel sling shot as Elly Mae Clampett calls it. That just seemed like a cheesy thing to do. And there's nothing cheesy about VS.

Back in January or February, I received another coupon thingy. Except. This time it included a little fold-out flyer with pictures of VS models in pretty underthings and skimpy nightwear. My husband, er, suggested that there were a few things in there he thought were pretty cool. Or hot. Or whatever. I gently reminded him that I would not look like those models at all in that underwear. He just smiled. And I just groaned. Inwardly. Cause giving birth to five kids didn't leave me with a perfect figure. It's really hard for me to see myself as my husband does. I just glad he doesn't see me the way I see me.

A few weeks later I going to be passing a VS store on my way home from getting an eye exam and decided to stop in to see their selection. Although . . . now that I think of it, maybe my husband should have gotten the eye exam if he thought I would look good in any of that underwear. Or maybe not. :) Ha!

Sorry. Those crazy rabbit trails.

Here is where I give you a list of how to shop . . . or how not to shop . . . at VS. I can share these rules with you because I broke every one of them. And now I'm paying the price.


  1. Do not take your 13-year-old daughter.

  2. Do not decide it would be a good idea to take a picture of yourself with your cell phone camera and send the picture to your husband, even if you can't decide which bra you want to buy. Deal with it, sister. Just pick the one the shows the most clevage. He'll be happy. Reason being for this rule is that cell phone cameras make a noise that your 13-year-old knows and she won't be one bit reluctant to ask you about it. Especially if she doesn't want to be there in the first place. You'll be having a conversation like this: "Mom, is that your cell phone? what are you taking a picture of? are you taking a picture of yourself? mom?" Of course, it was loud enough for the whole store to hear. You'll be giving answers something like this: "Get out of the dressing room area and go stand by the door like I told you to. NOW!" And everybody will know that you're a redneck mama who yells at your kids in the store. Everybody will know that your real name is 'Bertha Mae.'

  3. Do not tell anyone you bought a bra at VS if you broke the rules above. The whole world . . . especially your mother and your other two daughters . . . will know all about your naughty pictures because your daughter has a big mouth. They will find out on a Sunday afternoon after church when you're out eating lunch. You can be thankful that all of the boys were sitting at another table. If you don't understand about God's mercy and grace, then take my experience and run with it. Had the boys been sitting with us, well . . . I can't even imagine how I would've handled that.

Well. That's enough of that topic. Surely it proved as just another example of how a mother has no privacy.


As I was writing about shopping at VS and the fact that my husband still thinks I'm one hot mama, even if I don't like my looks a lot of times, I remembered what God said when He sent Samuel looking for the next king over Israel:



  • 1 Samuel 16:7 . . . for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

I wish it could be different. I wish that man could see the heart instead of having to look only on what's on the outside. It would certainly make life much easier for all of us. On the other hand, I am grateful that God does see my heart.


I hope that what He finds there is a thankful attitude: thankful to be a wife and mother; thankful that He didn't leave me to die and go to hell; thankful for all of the good things He has done for me.


I would also hope that He would find love there: love for Him; love for a husband who sometimes makes me nuts; love for five kids who tend to keep my heart on pins and needles; love for friends and family that's there even when we disagree; and a love as big as His for lost sinners.


I would also like peace to be found there: a peace that comes only by faith in my Creator and Saviour.


Of course, I'd like for a desire to be be a faithful servant to be found there as well.


You know, I was just thinking: Jesus had no privacy either. And then He died for people who hated Him. Us whiney-butt mom's just need to remember that and deal with the fact that when you are a nurturer, when you care about, serve, and reach out to others, you will have little time for you.

There were many times when Jesus tried his best to escape His followers just to be able to eat and sleep.

  • Mark 3: 20 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.

A mother's life is like that, forever giving up food and sleep and whatever is necessary in order to see to the needs of the multitude . . . not matter how big or small her multitude might be.


And just like Jesus, her time with her multitude is limited. Eighteen, twenty, twenty-four, or however many years the multitude is at home, all pass by too quickly. She sends them out into the world to (hopefully) fulfill God's plan for their lives.


Just remember this the next time you are tempted to fuss and rant when you don't get the privacy and quiet you need. It's hard, I know. I fight myself every day over this, all the while lamenting the fact that I have college-age kids, young men who will one day be fighting the bad guys, and five teenagers.


Just remember: this is a period of your life that won't last long. Enjoy it.


Soon you'll be asking for grandkids because you miss having kids around.


Just don't take them to Victoria's Secret.


Love you guys!


J.L.

What Motherhood Means to Me

5Minutesformom is hosting a photo contest on what motherhood means to you . . . or me . . . or whatever pronoun should conclude that sentence. I started not to participate, but then I realized that, as a mother of five, I probably had a word or two I could say on the subject. And Lord knows I've got pictures to back it up. So, here goes.

Motherhood to me is, quite simply, love. A deep, abiding love that causes you to put another ever before yourself. A sacrificial love. Motherhood is passing that love on to another . . . . or maybe several other . . . little human beings. Motherhood is seeing your 17-year-old son not be embarrassed to carry around the little ones at church.



Julia Lynne




My 'other' blogs

I admit it. I've tried to tell y'all before, but I just don't think it came across clearly. One of anything is just not enough for me. Well, I do only have one husband, and trust me, he's enough for any woman. Ah, gee. That didn't come out quite like I meant it. Never mind.

Anyway, you know, look at my life and you'll see what I'm talkin' 'bout:
  • five kids
  • three dogs
  • six chickens
  • four flower beds
  • six pair of flip-flops, not to mention my other shoes . . . and I don't even like shoes
  • two rabbits . . . a male and a female in separate cages . . . no little cottontails around here; that is one thing I don't want more of
  • six bookcases full of books (don't ask me to count them)
  • two crafting areas (that I'm too busy to use)
  • seven KJV Bibles (at least . . . maybe more)

And that's just the beginning.


Um . . . I can't even remember why I started this post in the first place. Hmmmm . . . Oh yeah! To tell you about my 'other' blogs and webpage.


I've been blogging for a few years now. I didn't even know what a blog was at first but then I was hooked. Yeah. Just another one of my many collections.


Actually, I've had my own domain for severl years now, but it's been hard to keep it up. I'm really pretty limited when it comes to things like that, and, God bless his soul, my husband is the one responsible for helping me with all of this stuff, but his job keeps him occupied so much. Some of it I've picked up fairly easily, but some of it . . . well, it's a sad story. No need to trouble you with it now.


Anyway, I just wanted to take a minute to share my other 'homes' on the internet. Blogger is the one I like best as it has more options and is easier to use. I don't know what I'll do with the others. I may eventually transfer all of the articles over here and delete them, but that'll have to wait until I've got more time. Which means I'll be an old lady with white hair and a girdle before it gets done. HA. So, for now, just head on over there to read my ramblgins . . .


That's all for now! I've felt rather 'blah' lately. Please pray for me. I really have been neglecting things lately because I just do not feel good. I would really appreciate it if y'all would come before the throne of grace for me. To be honest, writing really takes a lot out of me because, when I write something, I put so much into it. And I just don't have a lot to give right now and it frustrates me to no end.


Thanks! Love you guys and I appreciate that you would take time from your busy lives to swing by here.


J.L.