Ah, Autumn ~

sweaters, hot cocoa,
snuggling in my cloud
cooler weather!!! yay!!
ah, autumn, you hold part
of my heart, the other half
belongs to winter, my dear.
and it's on it's way!
so snuggle in,
grab a good movie, or book
and let's wrap ourselves in throws
and the coolness of autumn ~

Hello, Summer!

 Remember these days?
Driving forever to get to the sand
that stuck to everything!
But who cared??
We were going to the beach!
Someone always got a jelly fish sting
and someone always got sunburned
and we all slept piled in the back seat
on the way back home.
But oh, the joys of those days!
Thanks, mom and day.
We didn't have a pond
but I bet some of you did.
And we all had a dog.
Summertime in the South.
Watermelon eaten in a rain shower
fresh veggies and cornbread
no school until after Labor Day!
Now my style is inclined to this
A lazy day in the shade
Lots of pillows
A book, or two
Huge glass of sweet tea
with lots of ice
and retirement ~
Life is good.

What is My Calling Now, God??

I struggled on my calling after a divorce. There were feelings of letting God down as a good wife along with all the hurtful thoughts Satan throws at a hurting heart. With a three year old depending on me, I headed to a different state and a new job.

Having a blind date a month later, at a Sunday night worship service, led to a growing love with a man where my heart felt safe. Knowing God was as important to him as he was to me, our relationship deepened and led to very short courtship. Again, God works in mysterious ways. Within just months of our marriage, my beloved grandmother was diagnosed with stomach cancer and I was able to help my mother with 24 hour care. Isn't it amazing that He knows what's coming when we still feel Life is just nicely rolling along?

Fast forward and I began trying to get pregnant, which had always been difficult. Earlier, I had turned in an application to teach thinking if I made my requirements too particular they'd never call. "Man plans, and God chuckles". They called. And I got pregnant. I received a call to teach a second grade class at a local elementary school. I didn’t want to teach. I wanted a baby. However, an early miscarriage took place and in August 1986, I began teaching a small group of children. With each passing year I fell deeper and deeper in love with the blessing God had given. For twenty years I taught second grade with a great staff, with those that became best friends. I loved my calling and where God had definitely led me.

April 21, 2006. A scheduled outpatient procedure with a Dr we’d yet to meet. They simply had an opening and we were to meet him prior to the procedure. Never met him. And Life as we knew it changed. God allowed Satan to create anger, chaos and horrid mistakes within that procedure room which resulted in my death. Then God stepped into this chaos and order was restored. What followed was resuscitation from a Dr called up from ER, as the Dr in charge had charged out of the room in anger, and the next 77 days in an ICU room. I became a very, very sick patient. Five days after the mistakes made by a doctor, who clearly was dealing with issues of his own, my body began a hard fought battle with ARDS from lungs that collapsed during the procedure. I died twice more during the days my precious family and friends lived through on the wings of prayers of thousands. (Years later we were still meeting people, who when they heard my name, told how they and their church had prayed for me. For us.)  I began a long 18 month recovery upon returning home July 1, our 23rd wedding anniversary. 

I had taken a two year Medical Leave but three of my five specialists diagnosed me with PTSD and could not, in good conscience, give their approval that I be allowed to return to my classroom, citing my health issues rendering me incapable of being an effective teacher. My principle, one of my dearest friends, concurred. It broke my heart. It was 'my calling' and 
left me in a dark place of “where do I belong, God?!”  Anger that he allowed it was tempered with the blessings that came with the accident. Blessings we couldn’t ignore. But still I struggled to find ‘my place’ in the world.

Our children had their own families. My health kept me from jobs and volunteer work I yearned to do. Years of counseling helped with the PTSD, but brought to the surface events I'd tried hard to forget. Crimes against women I was told not to speak of, though I was the victim. Subjects we shy from and, sadly, creates feelings of isolation. With counseling, I moved from victim to survivor. It then reaches a point you have to use what you’ve learned and let Him lead. My prayers went from “Why, God” to “What now?!”

Thankfully, God never gives up on us. He brings those into our life with the wisdom to lead us to where he wants us to go. It’s still been a roller coaster the last 12 years, with health issues and wanting to go where I felt led. Only to find He had other plans. Friends I loved that left. Friends that came into this ‘new normal’ bringing their knowledge, their love, their
friendship. I remain amazed at how God works to show himself to us.

I never question anymore. I’ve come to know and love the Holy Spirit as I never had before. I’ve thrived with the immeasurable help and love of the Lion of Judah. A God that never left. Was always near. Forgiving. Second chances. Waiting for me to realize I only need to allow him to lead me where he wanted me to go. Friends that pray with me and over me.

With me, an oldest child that was used to being in control, he had his hands full. But he never let me go. And I am eternally grateful for the last 12 years and its blessings. April remains a month of remembrance, some days of hibernation and crying in the arms of a man that understands, realizing I lost years of teaching in a classroom that had become my home away from home with children that became beautiful pieces of my heart. Dear friends I saw each day. But God had other plans and Life goes on. My counselor asked once, if knowing everything I now know, would I go through it again. My answer? A quick "Yes!" For His blessings upon us and our family and friends that walked through this journey with us are infinite. And still occurring.

My time in heaven when I died in that procedure room is another story. A beautiful one that gets me thru the rough times. You'll find it up on the left side bar, a '77 Day Sleep'. There is a heaven. There is a thin line between reality and eternity. There is a mighty and loving God.

PS~take that, Satan!

Spring Is Here~But Winter Hasn't Left!

 oh i love old trucks
and petals scattered
under my feet
 like doTerra oils? we do
and i love these combos!
right click, save to computer, and print out
for a sweet Spring quote to frame ~
Happy Spring, dear friends ~

It's Almost Spring! Brrrr

oh, to be spending time walking this street
and taking in the smells of the flowers
and homemakers. or! to live here for
just a bit and soak in the local flavor~
a tablescape for you to recreate.
i love the birds and blues~
a free printable for spring~
an easy vignette for your home,
and mine!
it's still winter in our nation
and even the south, tho we
aren't getting the snow. i love snow.
but spring? it's on its' way.

Winter In the South

i love winter. won't make any bones about it. it's a time of rest. reflection. hot chocolate and a fire in the fireplace. a time to slow down. soft talks at night. soup and crusty bread. endless cups of coffee with various creamers for the holidays. it's my favorite time of the year. always has been.
cardinals. my favorite bird. especially the males with their colorful red in a white world with green hollies in bloom. they remind, and i know not why, of being messengers. they turn up to make one smile. they seem to know when you need to see them. could they be sent to make us remember better times, loved ones no longer here, eternity that will be filled with peace. watch for them. they come when they sense a need. truly. as do dragonflies. but that's another story.
walking on a bridge in a snowy wonderland. romantic. i wonder how many engagements have taken place here? how many have expressed love here? how quiet the snow makes our world. it blankets out loudness, animals settle in to hibernate and sleep. daily outside noise vanishes. all lies dormant. beautifully so.
 i know not where this is other than a street my heart takes me to in my dreams. belgium? rome? paris, oslo? i pray that he will show me these places in my dreams once this life is over and there's beauty i still haven't seen. i wonder, do the people who walk these streets wish to walk the streets here? hmmm ~ 
 sadness. so much sadness. 84 deaths and counting just in our state alone. from flu and flu related illnesses. death is no respecter of persons. we've lost family, friends and oh, we've lost our young. those that die with our dreams. this year has been a terrible one with this illness that takes us to such sickness.
our youngest and her family. just prior to going to look at the christmas lights in the town, suburbs and various areas that still love to decorate and set out luminaries. i miss that as our current home is in a suburb that doesn't but oh, we've lived where they do. and it's not only beautiful but brings us back to the heart of christmas with the lighting of a candle. a star.

Thankfully Blessed ~

 we are so blessed
to have such loves
and to be loved
our children grew fast
and the grandbabies even quicker
truly, where does time go
we are so proud of the adults
they are becoming
and the parents they are
the grands?
very proud of those young ones
that are already moving into
the teen years
our hearts runneth over
with thanksgiving and deep love

Have I mentioned I love Autumn?!

A favorite Autumn post ~ enjoy and have an awesome weekend. Sunday's a'comin' !! By the middle of September we'll be ready to head to the east side of TN!! Then in Winter, back for the sweet snowfall ~ sigh. Life is good.

Click here to read one of my favs for Autumn ~ blessings

Spring Is Here!

no Winter last forever;
no Spring skips her turn ~  
i am going to pay attention to Spring
i am going to look up through the trees
i am going to listen to the birds
i am going to nurture my soul
with his goodness and delight in his creations
this photo, today, made my heart smile
and i cannot wait until i can hold them
and snuggle the little one
heart memories
the bestest kind ~

Winter In the South

ah, in the central South
we rarely see much snow
if any
but we still need fluffy throws,
hot chocolate, and a fire
in a fireplace
 my favorite birds visit!
 and snowmen take the place
of colorful christmas ornaments
we may not get much snow
but we can still look for it
and i do
hoping you get snow
if you love it as much as me
if not?
please send it my way.

Welcome, Winter ~

Welcome Winter ~
we are definitely lovers of Winter
and because I'm a bit lazy with a fire and cup of coffee,
I'm simply going to repost from last year
or click on our phot to enjoy a post from 2011!
and may we all be healthier this year and more mindful
of our infinite blessings ~

It's My Favorite Time of the Year ~

 snuggle in, enjoy the cool temps, enjoy Advent
and waiting for the baby that was born to redeem us!
have a cup of hot chocolate, give thanks for infinite 
blessings, regardless your situation, and pray for 
peace. peace for our country. peace for the world.
God bless you and yours
and Merry Christmas! 

Thanksgiving, 2016

America has much to be thankful for. Our families have much to be thankful for. And I bet if you look around you, you do, too ~ Have a blessed week and a great week. Before you know it, Christmas and Winter will be upon us. And I will be one happy lady! God bless us and God bless America ~

Autumn Yummies ~

Mini Pumpkin Pies ~
and a divine drink,
You use both traditional apple cider & sparkling apple cider. A scoop of ice cream with a sprinkle of cinnamon, an apple slice and drizzled with caramel. Yum! Her blog has many yummies you'll enjoy adding to your recipe book! (I found this on Pinterest, but always try to link back to the one responsible.)

Finally, temps here in the central South are becoming cooler and I loved watching the leaves drifting with the breeze in front of me as I drove home this afternoon. I am one thankful child of The King when it comes to the delightful seasons we have, especially Autumn and Winter! {Heart font!}

A post from this day last year was on Autumn Tablescapes. It was  well viewed and I loved looking back through it a few minutes ago. Maybe you can get some new ideas to use this year! Have a beautiful and God-filled weekend!

I Love to Dream ~

One of my very favorite posts that I enjoy reading and swooning over the photos, is the following ~ I hope you enjoy, it as much as I. And have a beautiful Tuesday. It's still warmer than normal for our part of the world and I'm so looking forward to cooler days that don't shift back into Summer mode and, just maybe, the hint of Winter bliss. Godere ~

~ from The Letter Writer ~

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