Thursday, July 17, 2014

Her Mother

I haven't blogged pretty much all summer and I'm going to blog about someone else today. Yep, that's how I roll. My blog has actually been on my mind a lot these days. I NEED TO CATCH UP.

But not today.

Today, this post will be about today. . . not last week, last month, or last year. . . but today.

And today I am full to the overflowing. Christina told me to mark off today on my calendar to plan to go to Indian Springs with her to meet up with a distant family member to talk about Uganda. He and his family have been serving as missionaries there for 10 years.

I could take a long story and make it even longer. So here's the short of the long.

I was so blessed by Billy. Christina and I (and Lisa Jones- who just happened to be there at Camp Meeting) drank from his knowledge and his experience. He spoke of story telling and how to use it to disciple others. He even demonstrated this and I was hook, line, and sinker. Our time was sweet in Jesus and I was just so very blessed. He had some words of wisdom for me, "Expect basically nothing and quadruple your prayers."

Christina had also told me she had carved out some time for us to spend with Billy's mother, Beth. Christina compared her to Kay Arthur in the Baptist circles. She was sitting on the porch of her camp-meet cabin. I knew I loved her as soon as she gave me a hug. She was so very full of the love of Jesus. She just radiated him. Honestly, I don't think I've ever met anyone so full of Jesus. She really is indescribable.

Just in conversation she had mentioned her mother and how they prayed everyday together. This struck such a cord in my heart. So a little later on I asked her to tell me more about her mother, to tell me more about them praying everyday together (either by phone or in person). This is what she said:

  • Her mother loved Jesus more than anyone she knew.
  • When she was 8 years old (the oldest of 5) for her mother's birthday they bought her a mat. She prayed so much they wanted her to have something to kneel on.
  • Jesus was more real to her mother than her own children were.
  • One day when Beth was 17 she asked Beth to stay home from school with her. Her mother felt a strong prompting from the LORD to pray, so she asked Beth to stay home with her and pray. They prayed that day until 3:00 that afternoon. 
  • She prayed with Beth everyday until she went to be with Jesus.
This woman, this complete stranger, the 5 of us (a friend of hers, Debby) was there and Beth wanted to know how she could pray for each of us. We each shared something and then we prayed. .. each one of us. It was so sweet, so full of love, so full of Jesus. 

I've been in a very "blah" state lately. Jesus was so sweet to me. He knew how much I needed this even though I didn't know I needed this. He knew I needed to be on this front porch with these 4 other precious women, knitted together in Him, and filled with His love. I'm just overflowing with thanksgiving of how Jesus puts women in my life (both in my daily live and in spots of my life) that point me to Him . . . always pointing me to Him. 

That mother? Beth's mother? I pray I will be that kind of mama to my children. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Best Nature Walk Ever

We have a hiking trail not to far from our house. Hanna loves to go on nature walks (like her Mama). We have been so engrossed in the World Cup around this house of adventure, we decided it was time to turn off the tube and get outside.

We went to the soccer field and Ash kicked around her ball with some drills, Hanna did some flips and turns and ups and downs with her gymnastics, and Jon and I ran together. I love running with him, although 16 minutes to the minute I start to drift behind him. Boohiss!!!

After we all did this a storm looked like it was brewing so we knew our nature walk would have to be short. As we were coming to the end of the trail we saw these two little dogs. They were just absolutely adorable.

So we started to follow them, and they trotted quickly from us. . . like we were in hot pursuit of them.

We sat on the ground so as not to intimidate them. They were clearly very afraid of us. I had wondered many times if someone had mistreated them. We wondered if they were hungry. Jon left the girls and I there to watch them, and he went home and got some food.

The girls and I just sat and eventually they came a little closer. . . not much, but a little. We started fantasizing over bringing them home, knowing we couldn't separate the pack. We even started throwing around names. I suggested we name them after soccer players. Can't you tell we've been engrossed in the World Cup? Ash, Hanna, and I giggled over different names. I did warn the girls, though, I didn't think they were going to go with us. To cope, Hanna exclaimed, "Well, this is an adventure." Yep, baby. . . it sounds like you've been listening to your Mama.

When Jon got back he put some food and water out for them. They were so hesitant, so scared, so afraid. Fortunately, the hunger in their bellies overcame their fear. They gobbled up the food quickly. . . then backed away from us. We kept trying to earn their trust.

This time I went back home to get more food. The girls put out the food leading to a trail to us. These puppies had a little fill, so they were too afraid to come and eat. When we saw their little ribs cascading through their skin we knew they weren't being cared for. All four of us wanted to bring them home with us. I've been teasing my Dad about getting him a dog. He has this cat, and he just talks about that thing and loves it. I told him the other day, "Daddy, you are a dog person, not a cat person. We've got to do something about this. I'm getting you a dog."

Jon kept talking about getting a net and scooping them up. . . like he was some dog catcher or something. Jon would develop a plan how each one of us would grab one. It was really a  lot of fun. Although we tried to win their trust, they still would have no part of us. We really enjoyed watching them and laughing at them and laughing at one another.

Hanna burst out, "Best nature walk ever."

I think we're going back today.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

My Welcome Home

When people ask me how is it to be away from my family for almost two weeks while in Uganda, I pretty much always give the same answer. . . it's hard, but the reunion is oh.so.sweet.

This time was no exception.

Jon and the girls were at a soccer tournament about four hours away. Alec had to work the day that I was returning back to USA soil; therefore, he was in G-town.

It wasn't until 9:45 p.m. when we arrived back at the church. I gave him strict instructions to not be late because I didn't want to be waiting on him. . .bossy mama, I know.

We got there and his car wasn't in the parking lot. I had enough time to get my luggage from the church van, and then I see that green Pathfinder pull up. He parked, and I ran to him. And that boy of mine? He picked me up. Now, that sure will warm a mama's heart and man, that makes a mama feel loved to the Nth degree. He was so sweet, helped me with all of my bags, and I could tell he was just glad i was home.

He and I then went home. I got a good, hot USA shower, packed my bags, and he and I headed for SSI. We didn't arrive until 4:00 a.m. However, my body was still on Ugandan time; to me, it was as if it was 11:00 in the morning.

Alec and I pull up to the condo and we're getting only the essentials out of the car. Jon must have heard us pull up because he came outside to greet us. Precious man of mine. He could have been snoozing away all nestled in his bed. Instead, he had been up since 2:30 a.m. waiting on us. Of course I got me some good hugs and good lovin' from my sweet man. We didn't even go to sleep. We talked and talked and talked. We'd even try to drift off asleep and about 10 minutes of silence the other one would ask, "Are you asleep?" It was a precious reunion.

About 6:00 a.m., as Jon and i were chatting away lying in bed, Hanna burst into the room and came to cuddle. As my girl wrapped her arms around me it was if her whole body was saying, "My mama is back. My mama is back. My mama is back." And then my sweet Ash, she comes into the room with her beautiful smile spread from ear to ear. She makes her way into the bed and just lays as close to me as she can get. Mama is home. Mama is home.

When we got home, back to the Bungalove, that is, we were all lying in Jon and I's bed together watching TV and Jon said, "Now, it's official, everyone is home. We're all in the bed watching TV together." I just love the special memories our family has.

On the way back to G-town from SSI I had to go to Mama's work. When I saw her, she hugged me and held me oh.so.tight. "I'm so glad you're home. It's so good to hear your voice." It was a sweet moment, one I know will be etched into my heart permanently.

And then, when I saw Gdaddy for the first time since I came back. Bless his heart and soul, he doesn't know my name and probably doesn't even know my relation to him. When I saw him he was sitting at his seat at the kitchen table. His head is in a downward position these days (as he sleeps a lot of times in a recliner, and his neck automotically bobbles to the front with his head downward). I went up to him. He didn't even see me. I put my hand on his back and said, "Hey Granddaddy." With a joy in his tone and an effort to lift his head, he said, "Hey, sweet." Even Gdaddy knew I was home and it was good I was here.

A life so loved. . .

I thank my sweet LORD for all of these gifts. They are treasures that are truly from Him.

Monday, May 5, 2014

School's out for Summer

Last week we had our last day of school. . . and it wasn't even May yet. Can I get a big hurrah from the mamas and their kiddos? 

My class HAD SO MUCH WORK. . . like drawing a map of the entire world . . . FROM MEMORY. . .

 Just in case you're wondering and you didn't know. . .
 That's over 500 geographical features. . .
 And not just anyone can do this. . .
 And these kids are quite amazing.
 One child was taking his finals with his parents, so he and Hanna hung out. This is what being with him does to Hanna. I love this kid. He is a hoot. I'm going to miss him next year.
 Here the kids were grading their Latin finals. We were kind of all over the place since it was just Challenge level kids there.
 Although Hanna finished a week earlier and this really, really deserves a post of it's own (I'm in a hurry to get this post written). Hanna and her friends complete Memory Master this year. . . . which means. . .

Memory Masters!! They memorized and recited word perfect:
•160 events & people in a chronological timeline from Creation to Modern America,
•44 U.S. Presidents
•122 Geographical locations(locating on blank world map), 
•24 Science facts (in complete sentences),
•24 history sentences,
•6 Latin conjugations
•Times tables to 15x15, square, cubes, unit conversions, geometric formulas, and the algebraic laws of addition and multiplication
•Definitions for pronoun, noun, adverb, adjective, gerund, appositive, conjunction, and interjection; double negatives; types of nouns; coordinating conjunctions; adverbs telling to what extent; and 65 pronouns.

In total, over 500 facts!!




 Also my Challenge A kiddos read their Apologetics papers defending their faith to an atheist based on creation and defining and defending myths many Christians and non-Christians adhere to.





 I was so proud of them.

Jenn recognized her Challenge I kids. She did such a great job and has such a kind and thoughtful heart.
 Alec got persuasiveness. Yep. . .that says it all.
 I recognized each of my kiddos. I gave them all a bracelet that had a word on it for them. . . to remind them of different things we all need to remember. I prayed over which word to give each child. I choked up a couple of times. I have had such a wonderful year and I do consider it a joy and privilege to have been with these children this year.
 As always. . . if my mouth is moving. . .
So are my hands. . . the proof is in the pudding, right?
 What a GREAT group of kids!!
We all worked very hard this year and stretched our brains MUCH!!! I can't wait until next year. . . until then, I'm going to sneak in some lazy summer days. I hope all of them will as well. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bra Shopping

Today Ash, Hanna, and I were talking about bras. Ash was telling Hanna to never go bra shopping with Jon. Her story went as follows:

Ash: "Hanna, never go bra shopping with Dad. If you do, he will just leave you."

Me: "Why, Ash? What happened?"

Ash: "Well, Dad and I were in Walmart the other day and I told him, 'Dad, I need some new bras.' So he took me over to the bra section and said, 'Okay, you get what you need and I'll be back.'"

Hanna: "Dad was probably afraid people would think he was buying one for himself."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pull My Feet

It's funny those things that remind us of other things in our past that we think we have totally forgotten never to remembered again.

It can be a smell, a touch, a glimpse of an expression on a person's face that just takes you back to another time, another place, another memory.

Just about any of these will do it for me.

The other day on the tennis court Jon got this expression on his face that took me way back to a look he had when we were dating. I looked at him and smirked and felt the butterflies go wild in my stomach.

And then smells, this is probably the strongest for me. A certain scent can take me oh so many places and to oh so many memories. I'm definitely a smell girl.

But then, there's that touch. A touch you don't even know you have in your memory bank. When I was growing up my Dad would always wake me up the same way. He would come in my room and pull on my foot and say, "Michele, time to get up." It was always that way for as long as I remember.

I no longer wait up for Alec to get in from work. I set my alarm to midnight, and if he isn't home by then, then I know to call Georgia State Patrol and put out an APB on him. *Grin*. However, I do always ask him to wake me up when he gets home, just so I know he got here okay.

It's been a few weeks since I've been doing this. And, do you know how he wakes me up? He goes to the edge of my bed and will pull on my foot and say, "Mom, I'm home."

Makes me smile.

Guess it's better than pulling my finger because we all know what explodes when that happens. Har-de-har-har-har.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Here Kitty-Kitty . . . Monday's Adventure

Or I should say "Rootus. Come here Rootus." That is what every cat that ever took up residence in our home/yard was called by James. "Rootus. Come here Rootus." And, it's still the same. Every cat James will see he calls "Rootus." Now what the heck Rootus means or where it comes from, I have no idea. It does make me giggle, though.

Yesterday Cookie was in our shed barking at something. Alec and Hanna thought it may be a snake so Hanna went in the shed. When they came inside they told me all of this. Ahem? Hanna? In the shed? With a possible snake? What? Scares the begeeebers out of me.

She said Cookie just kept barking but she didn't see anything. I then thought about my sweet dog getting bitten by that horrific snake animal. There's just a point when your love for something or someone outweighs your fear, and that was yesterday. I grab a long stick and bravely enter our dilapidating shed. My eyes search here and yonder, from tither and tather. Cookie will bark and then whimper. I'm on high alert, ready at any moment to kill (a snake, of course). And then in the corner of our shed I see this cat with these big beautiful eyes starring at me.

"Shucks, Cookie. It's just a cat. Get out of here," I shamed Cookie. I can't believe our dog is afraid of cats. Goodness gracious. We get him out of the shed and come inside and leave that cat in peace.

I go back to work and the kids go back outside. They then discovered that it was a Mama cat with a tiny baby kitten and three dead kittens. Oh, they were just precious. My mothering instincts immediately kick in and I know we have to do something for them.

I text Jenn b/c she has lots of cat adventures. I'm a dog person, not a cat person. I also call Jon because I know once we feed it, it becomes ours. :) Jon has a friend at work that has so many cats she won't even tell anyone how many she has. He asked her what to do, and she told us to take dog food and water out there to the Mama cat, and so we did.

Hanna was getting really excited. She had even named the little one Junior. Alec and Ash were marveling at the other little kitties who had died by taking pictures on their ipods. We come inside and, of course, keep our scared-of-cats dog inside the house. I didn't want Cookie to frighten her with his barking.

There was a little excitement in the air of being able to watch a sweet Mama and her little one together. We then go back out to the shed to check on them. . . and they were gone. . .just the Mama and her live kitten. They left us and went somewhere else. There was some disappointment, even from Jon who hadn't yet seen them.

Once Jon got home we (meaning Jon) went and got the dead cats up and disposed of them. We were hoping since we removed the dead they would come back. No chance.

It was a fun little break in the day and a fun little adventure. Maybe we're more of cat people then we think?