It was a good year. It was a great year. We had snow in Prattville! In February!
We moved. Again! Our church secretary is having a difficult time keeping us with us.
We laughed. We loved. We celebrated birthdays and anniversaries. New babies! Elle Elizabeth came into our family and Shelby into Matt and Tara's! We lost weight, and yeah okay, so we gained some of it back. But not all of it!
The recession got bad, then began to get better! History was made and records broken. Through it all, we served a King. A King that always has at heart the best interest of His people. A King that never lies nor breaks a promise. A King that continues to heap blessings upon His followers. A King that shall reign into Eternity. Forever and ever.
I don't make New Year resolutions. I have a hard time with them because I am constantly changing my mind about most things like diet, exercise, eating healthy. Things like that. Instead I promise myself I shall try to do as much as possible to be a healthier human, a more compassionate friend, a more devout Christian, and a more relaxed person.
I promise myself to do what I can to make sure John feels loved and needed, my daughters and their men are assured of my love and appreciation, and that my grandbabies know without a doubt that their Nan would lay down her life for them. I am a very blessed woman and I know it. I shall continue to remember the Garden when times are stressful and not be distracted by angry and unhappy individuals.
Wow, what an awesome year. 2010 - look out. It's only going to get better!
It was a good year. It was a great year. We had snow in Prattville! In February!
She is working hard in therapy and battling the ever present pain. They are still working to balance the pain meds and some days are better than others. Through it all, they both continue to be a living inspirational story for those of us that know and love them.
Their first Christmas without precious Helen and they were dressed, with family, and had smiles for others. The days ahead will be difficult and there will be valleys to go through, but it is in getting through the valleys that we are able to view from the mountaintops. And I have no doubt that God has some really awesome plans in store for these two children of His.
I grabbed these photos from Stacey to share Christmas in Mississippi with you. Austin got a Wii and along with his competitive streak, he should have a blast with it! Alaina got a huge dollhouse and bike and is in doll heaven. They will be here the first of January and I can't wait to see them! There will be more photos to share when we celebrate Christmas once more!
Our sweet Leslie and Austin ~ these two are buddies and pals. Forever.
Sweet Elle ~ it's going to be fun watching her grow this year. Bittersweet, as she is the last one for them, but fun nonetheless! To all of you, have a restful week before ringing in the New Year!!
Elle Elizabeth. Happy. Healthy.
John and I are thankful as we continue to grow in health, in love, and we find peace in the blessings being showered upon us daily. May you and yours have a most delightful time this Christmas season and may you have infinite moments of love and laughter ~
Did you ever see Nights in Rodanthe?! No, then you should rent it. Soon! Yes?! Then you know the home of which I speak! Here's the beautiful home, Serendipity, on the Outer Banks. Beautiful home, right on the ocean. You had an awesome view from most any room! Tonight while catching up on some of my favorite blogs, I saw that Julia, of Hooked on Houses, had an update to a prior post. I loved this movie and was saddened to read of its apparent demise and the problems the owners are experiencing. Read on ~ (and you can click on the photos to go to the post!)
The above photo shows the home after Hollywood finished adding decks and new painting. You can read more about this on Julia's site. Note how close the ocean is! Apparently, while filming a hurricane blew in and delayed things a bit!
Noah looks up to you and you're there to help, to laugh, to play, and yes, to argue when he gets on your nerves. The last time you were here you showed him how to make a robot with the Lego's. He was so proud of himself! And I was proud of you.
I've been asked what I remember about the Garden, as in what was there, who was there, was there a sun in the sky. You get the idea. I've already told you I saw three that I knew and loved ~ my father and John's parents. What I have not talked about much was the 'being' that I knew to be standing on my right, on the edge of my peripheral vision, but I want to save this for another post.
But back to what I saw, what I remember, was a lush and vibrant garden. Intense colors, but not garish; full blooming plants, fully leaved trees; and there was an order to everything. The beds had tall flowers in the back and followed through with shorter flowers until they edged out at the side of the path. I only remember one such bed, and it appeared to be long and wide. Off to my right, behind Jim, were trees and grass. Thick, green grass, but not tall, maybe ankle height. I do not remember seeing any brownness, any withered flower or wilted shrub. The Garden was as healthy looking as those I loved. And it stretched out toward the horizon.
I felt the breeze on my face and saw leaves moving on the trees. It was odd that I felt the breeze because afterwards I realized that the ones I saw were not aware of me. I did not hear anything, almost as if I was on one side of a window pane. Although they were within easy walking distance of only a few feet, I somehow knew they didn't know I was there. Had I been allowed to stay, they would have. I feel sure of that. But this was not my time. It was not to be.
The path went out from where I stood and curved back to the left, past my father. He was wearing khaki colored slacks and a light blue short sleeved shirt. Remembering past pictures of him while he and mother were dating, the style was much like it was during that time. I still am amazed at how young and healthy he looked. Although I never knew him when he was that young, I knew he would know me and I looked forward to having him wrap me in the hug I know so well. John's father stood across the path, in his overalls, and he was laughing. He was always laughing. Standing there with his hands in his overall pockets, with his head thrown back, laughing. I didn't hear him but I felt his happiness. Miss Ora Lee was near me, on her knees with young plants. The earth was rich, dark, and loose. She and Jim looked as they did 27 years ago when John and I married, but much healthier here. Supreme peace permeated my soul.
I did not see a sun but it was daytime as I know it. No clouds but a blue, blue sky. I have been asked if I saw any animals and you can read that post here. No I didn't. But that does not mean they weren't there. I can't tell you how long I was there, only that it wasn't long enough. It felt like only minutes. Every pore on my arms tingled and I felt highly excited. I have already told you my first thought was "Johnny is going to be so excited when he gets here!" I knew I was separated from him, I knew where I was, I knew I was not on earth. And this knowledge did not sadden me in the least. I.was.so.elated.
It was more than I ever imagined. This was The Garden. His Garden. And I knew it with every fiber of my being. I curled my toes inward and the path was soft gravel. No pain, softness. Some have asked what I was wearing. I have no idea. I never looked behind me, where I felt a great void or darkness, nor did I look beside me, where I know a being was standing. I never looked up. I was so totally fascinated with what lie in front of me that I saw no reason to look anywhere else.
I can tell you how easy it is to die. You blink, you inhale, and you're there. There is no memory of how you got there, what path you took that brought you to this, be it accident, natural causes, whatever it took to bring you to this moment, is behind you. Forgotten. His beauty awaits you, with those you love. I have a few thoughts about this too, that I'll share later. Suffice to say, I knew I was separated by death from those I love here but there was absolutely positively no sadness. I knew I was joined with those that are there. Dying is easy. Living is what's hard. What's painful. If I could impart just a minute piece of how easy it is, how excited you'll be, how painless it is, you would see that you need never ever fear death. He truly has taken the sting away. But, that's another post as well.
It's been a quiet, cold, windy day here in our fair city. I slept late and woke to the smell of coffee! I love the way that man fixes coffee. Our favorite football team rolled over Florida to snag the SEC title. Again! And now I'm feeling sleepy and comfy. What a really neat kind of day.
We are so thankful you are in our world. Your Pa and Nan love you and look forward to watching you walk boldly through life. Happy Birthday, 'laina!