There’s a touch of Fall in the air!!

This Labor Day weekend, I am so so grateful for this little touch of Fall as I sit here on my sun porch, and watch a beautiful sunrise and enjoy just a few moments of solitude.  My thoughts keep wandering a bit over the last two weeks and I realize how very blessed I am.  We here in Mississippi have been going on about our business while Hurricane Harvey wreaked a bit of havoc on Houston and the surrounding areas.  Oh don’t get me wrong.  We survived Katrina so our hearts and our prayers are certainly with the people of Texas.  I actually have some Texas people who I have been very concerned about.  I am grateful to say that all of my Texas people are safe. I hope that if you have Texas people yours are too.

But, it has been a busy two weeks.  Actually the whole month of August has been somewhat of  a whirlwind.  Working at a school, it’s crazy time.  But add to that launching a bible study, helping one kid move, Fall cleaning at the lake, getting ready for company and it has been a hectic two weeks.  Plus celebrating one of my BFFs 50th birthday!!. My old body aches just a bit, but my heart sure is full.

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My kids are coming today and I am so ready for some family time to just sit and laugh and eat and fish and ride fourwheelers and the boat and do some bonding.  Last year we had my sweet daughter in law’s whole family here but today we will just have our family plus her brother and his girlfriend.  But right now I get to sit here alone and think and reflect.  I love sitting here and listening to the woodpecker in the tree and the geese as they go flying by.  There is another bird out in the trees right off my porch who is being quite noisy this morning.  I wish I could get a good picture of that woodpecker.  He is beautiful.

One of the many swirling thoughts I am having is:  Why is it that we Christians are always so in awe and amazed that God would bless us?  His word says that he wants to.  Yet, we will every time be in awe when He does.  Approximately nine months ago, after the death of my sister I began to feel that God was leading me to do something. I shared with a couple of people that I felt God birthing something in me.  I then forgot that specific statement but kept searching for the answer as to what it was.  See I had prayed this prayer to God that if I had to hurt this bad please let it count for something.  I never knew how bad it would hurt to lose a sibling until I actually lost one.  You see it’s always been the four of us.  There were 4 Seamans girls, and now there are threeFullSizeRender-10.

Then, this past week the day after the bible study launch, where 47 women came together to study God’s word together, I was sharing how it went with a few friends at work. One had been there and the others had obligations and couldn’t and one of the ladies made a statement.  “Your baby was born, this is what you have been working on.”  I went back into my office and I remembered that statement that God was “birthing” something in me.  And I realized that we are just a couple of weeks shy of 9 months since we lost our sister.  I am so in awe as to what God has done here and brought together.  I am so looking forward to what He is going to do with all of us.  I am praying for testimonies after this study from women that show God’s faithfulness and what He wants to do with us, with ALL OF US.

I am also thinking about these adult children who are coming to visit today with the sweetest little grandson anyone could ask for.  When he smiles his whole face smiles, just like his Mama and the brown eyes that he got from his Daddy just have that little bit of mischeviousness in them that his Daddy always had.  Every time I look at him I see a picture of his Daddy in my minds eye that brings back a memory and makes me glad all over again that God granted me the privilege to be his Mom.

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Just having this lakehouse itself is a blessing that I never thought we would have.  It happened in a quick instant it felt like.  Actually the process took about 2 and ½ months when the first thought crossed our minds and the papers were signed.  I can still scarcely believe it.  Especially if you know my man who puts more thought into everything he does than the average bear. Yet now we have 2 years worth of memories here and we fall in love with the place even more every time we come.  I still love my life back in Madison, but my weekends tend to be here at the Lake where I get to pretend that I am a country girl.

As I get ready for my day, I am so grateful to God for what He has done in me, in my marriage and in my children. Y’all have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend and Be Grateful!

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever, Aman.

Ephesians 3:20-21

August Breezes, Blessings & Prayers

I went for a walk yesterday. I have been desperately trying to get back on my exercise program and to get back to eating right.  So yesterday morning I decided to get out and take a morning walk.  If you are not from around here, you may ask what the big deal is about this, but you have to understand that I live in Mississippi. You see while I would never be able to live up North because my body would never acclimate to cold weather for long periods of time (like over a week), living in Mississippi there is only one really hard month to live here.  The month of August is usually miserable because of the heat.  You break into a sweat just walking from the front door to your car.  There is rarely a breeze blowing.  In August it is just plain Hot and Still  unless there is a thunderstorm brewing.  So I braved the hot temperatures because I do love a good walk outside when I am here at the lake.  There are so many more sights to see than walking in my neighborhood back home.  So off I went, I put my headphones on, turned on a podcast and set out.  As I was walking there was this little butterfly that flew along beside me for a good while.  I kept wanting it to land so I could take a picture.  (The picture below of me with the butterfly is not from my walk it was taken years ago but the rest are from my walk)  I saw wildflowers blooming, and water pouring out of a drainage pond into a little creek that flows into the big lake.  But the biggest blessing and surprise of all was a cool breeze when I would end up under a shade tree.  I found myself taking a pause in a couple of shady spots just to feel the breeze on my skin.  I love a gentle breeze, it almost feels like a whisper from God.  “I’m still here, and I’ve got you.”

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I’ve had some stuff I’ve been praying about this past week that has sort of monopolized my quiet time and I have to admit it’s frustrating when I’m not sure what the end result of these prayers will be.  I am not a very patient person and many times in my life I have prayed for a burning bush or a pillar of cloud right in front of me telling me which direction to go in.  (Sidenote, I’ve yet to have one.)  But I can say that when I look back I can see God’s fingerprints all over me during those times.  I do appreciate the faith that that has built in me.  You see I have no doubt of God’s deliverance, I just sometimes fear the how.  Because I know that His thoughts are not mine and His ways are not mine. (Isaiah 55:8) I know that he has a purpose and a plan. But that doesn’t mean that my human soul is not going to hurt in the midst of the working out his purpose.  I guess because of the last year or so, I am fearful of that pain.  I don’t want to hurt like that again.  Ever, if possible, though I know it is more likely to not be possible.  But at least for a long time.

 

This week as I have prayed over these things that are completely out of my control, I have had one song going over and over in my head.  “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott and the Scott Family.  You can listen to it here.  When you just don’t know how to pray this song covers it all.  It has been a huge source of comfort for me.  The words in the bridge “Down like a child on my knees all that comes to me is thy will be done.”  I read a series of books years ago that some of you may have read called The Mitford Series by Jan Karon.  The main character in this book would say quite often that when you don’t know what to pray just pray the prayer that never fails.  “Thy Will be Done.”

Thy Will by Hillary Scott & The Scott Family

When I feel God’s whispers in the breeze it blesses and Restores my soul.  I know that even when pain does come at me again that I will survive it.  I know that God has what concerns me.   Psalm 138:8 The Lord will perfect what concerns me.  You see my faith comes in where I know that whether things work out to my liking or not, they are going to be with God’s best thoughts in mind.  I do believe in his goodness.  I know that if I open my eyes I will see his goodness in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13)  Romans 8:28 tells me that All things work for good for those who love Him and are called to His purpose.  I know that he will carry me through it all.  But I also know that in this world we will have trouble so I do have to hang on to the one who’s got me.  I must continue to look for the joy and the beauty.  I also have quite a lot to get done this next week.  In a little over a week we will have our first Restore Bible Study and right now I have about 50 people who say they are coming.  It is scary cool!  So if you are reading this and you are a praying person, please pray for me as I try to continue to lay my concerns down and to get done what God has called me to do for him.   Thanks for stopping by!  Praying you have a great week!!

A Few Clouds Make the Most Beautiful Sunrises

Since we got our lakehouse almost 2 years ago I have become quite the sunrise watcher.  I have taken 100s of pictures and video of beautiful sunrises.  Don’t get me wrong the clouds can be so thick and dark you can hardly tell there is a sun behind them at times.  Except that it does become daylight.  Then the other end of the spectrum are sunrises that are clear and just peak over the trees on the other side of the lake.  And the sun comes up to no particular burst of color.  But then some days there are just enough clouds in the sky that reflect the sun into all sorts of pretty oranges, pinks, blues and purples.  It can take my breath away.  I love when I feel like God awakens me early enough to take it all in.  I can sit in my rocking chair in my sun porch or on the deck in my Daddy’s rocker and I can talk to God and just sit in awe of the pictures he is creating.  I especially like when I sit in Daddy’s rocker because I feel so much closer to him.  I hash out the things on my mind with God and I drag all of my stuff, every bit of my baggage to the cross and lay them down at the cross. When I am watching those sunrises, I become even more grateful for my life, for my people.  The ones I have still with me as well as the ones that I have loved and lost.  God’s sovereignty just overwhelms me at these times.  He paints that sky and he paints my life too.

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The stuff that brings the dark clouds into my life as well as the times I am rocking along on a clear day. Oh Lord, give me enough. I actually pray for just enough clouds to make my life more beautiful. I have known dark days where I could hardly tell if it was daylight or dark except for the hands on the clock. And then I’ve known clear skies where things were good enough that I may forget or push aside my quiet time because life was good and my need didn’t beckon me to spend my time with Jesus.  And then I’ve had times in my life that the clouds were just enough to beckon me to my time with Him.  Times when I had this deep seeded need to spend time with Him because I had stuff or clouds to talk over.  When I look back over my life I truly think these times in my life actually painted the best pictures.  I know that if certain clouds had not covered me I would never have grown in my faith and my life the way I have.  I know that if I had led a life with perfect sunrises every day.  I would not know Him, the one who carries me through and counsels me and loves me quite the same way.

 

So today, I say thank you Lord for a few clouds that paint a beautiful life for me.

 

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!  I will sing and make melody!  Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! I will give thanks to you, O lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.  For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! Psalm 57:7-11

“I wish someone would tell my heart.”

One year ago tonight I was sitting in a hospital room with two of my sisters, my brother in law, and my niece watching my Daddy breathe his last breaths on earth and be ushered into the arms of Jesus.  I like to think that my Mama and his brother and sister as well as his Mama and Daddy were there to greet him as well.  I can remember sitting in that room that week and praying for mercy for him and then as soon as he took his last breath, all I could think is “Wait Lord, I was just kidding, I want more time.

That is all I can think about today.  I have done other things, I have worked on things, I have perused Facebook and Instagram, I have watched TV.  I planned it all that way to have a very quiet day at home.  But it’s been in my heart all day long that this is the last big milestone.  They say that the first year is the hardest and I think it is probably true.  There is a part of me that is like “whew, I made it” and then there is the part that is sad because I think that people will think I should be “over it.”  And I am not sure I ever will be.  I know that may sound crazy.  I mean, I know it is natural that we are all going to lose our parents one day.  I know that I know where he is.  I know that he is better off. I know that he would not have wanted to live the way he was that last couple of weeks but my heart still misses him so.

My Daddy was not a large man in stature but in my eyes he was huge.  His poor body had been through so much in his lifetime.  He had heart surgery twice, lung surgery, stents in his heart, an abdominal aneurism as well as a hiatal hernia just to name a few but he was our Timex.  He took a licking and kept on ticking.  Daddy never forgot anything a day in his life.  He had a clear bass voice and he loved doing the bass part to “Elvira”.  He never stopped.  When he was sick he did whatever he had to do to get well.  He was on a tractor two days before his last heart attack in July of 2016.  So I know that we were very blessed by his long life and how well he had always bounced back.  I think though that we thought he always would.  He was a perfect girl daddy.  He brought us chocolates on Valentines Day and loved to watch us at Christmas.  He was my hero and will forever be.  He loved my mama well and for that I am grateful.

I am so thankful that he is my Daddy.  I miss you Daddy.

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HELLO WORLD!

 

Well I have finally gone and done it.  I have for years thought of starting a blog but never really knew if anyone would want to read anything I would write.  Over the course of the past year I have truly felt that God was calling me to do this among other things.  I am not sure if I will have anything anyone will really want to read.  It may turn out to be nothing more than the ramblings of an old lady but here goes anyway.

As I was thinking what to put as my first post, I went back into my journal and read my first entry of 2017.

REFLECTIONS

            When I think of 2016 my first instinct is to say good riddance!  My heart was broken in so many ways this past year that there were times I wasn’t sure I could even handle it. 

           I was scared out of my mind when I thought I would lose my sister.  I thought it would bond me and my sisters like never before when she survived.  I guess I was wrong. 

            Then losing my Daddy in August ripped my heart out like never before.  It hurt when I lost Mama but I guess something in me thought my Daddy would live forever.  You lose so much more when you lose that second parent.  You lose your glue that holds your family together and you have to decide if you are going to hang in as a family or if you just become separate families.  It also hits you that the choice is not just yours to make.

          Then there was the other side of 2016.  I became a Grandmother and that shot me over the moon with Joy.  I truly feel warmth in my heart when I think of that little man.  It makes me happy just to think of him.  I get downright giddy when I am going to see him.  I have also loved Ed more when I see how he is with him.  He shows a side to himself I’ve never seen.  It’s also such a joy to see how good Ben and Jordan are as parents.  I knew they would be good parents but they are great parents. 

            Then there is all this worry about Burr and his future.  I will tell you that for me absolutely the hardest stage of parenting has been when my boys are/were in college. I know a lot of this stuff is “coming of age” stuff.  But I truly worry about him daily.  My only comfort is Ben made it to the other side pretty well in tact so that is what I am clinging to. 

            So what are my lessons learned?

            Heartbreak that is so physical you feel like your heart is going to explode right out of your chest.  Will I survive?  At times I wasn’t sure, now I am.  You think it will kill you, but I guess it’s true.  “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  Suddenly petty stuff that used to hurt your feeling is nothing now. 

            Joy that is so so much more after experiencing real heartbreak.  Joy is felt in every fiber of your being.  Not just in your head and your heart.  When Joy comes and you know it will, it’s sweeter than ever before.

Bring on 2017.  Twenty sixteen didn’t kill me.  It made me more determined to live.

 

Yes, this was part of my first entry in my journal in 2017.  Little did I know when I wrote this that my heartbreak was not totally behind me.   I guess it never really is.  It’s called the circle of life.  However, the words still ring true now.  I am more determined to live!  There is just another notch on the heartbreak side when I lost my sister on January 11.  But I am still determined to live.   It has made me even more intentional.  I am much more intentional on looking for his Glory and the Beauty in his creation.  I am also asking him to make me more creative.  This may be one of the ways, with this blog.  But also to use my pain.   I believe that if we don’t use the pain we feel to help others then it is wasted pain.  Please Lord don’t let this be a waste.  I also have learned that I will end 2017 with a little pink in my life.  Carson will have a baby sister sometime around early December.  What I really want to say is “It’s never too late”. And so I will start, I will write, I will paint, I will pick flowers, I will take long walks, I will try to begin now learning a better art form of living.  I will not let the devil continue to beat me up over the things I didn’t get right.