Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tornadoes & Tiaras

{Before I start raving about the royal wedding, I have to say today's been an odd mix of devastation and celebration. One minute I'm hearing heartbreaking stories from my beloved Alabama and the next I'm tearing up watching Prince William marry his Kate.

It's made for a bit of an emotional roller coaster.

Please know that it's with great respect for those effected by this weeks' storms that I continue with my royal wedding experience...}

Princess Diana married Prince Charles in 1981, the year I was born. I don't remember much about her life, but I vividly remember her death and watching Princes William and Harry at her funeral. I'm just a year older that Prince William, so I feel some sort of generational connection. I've loved seeing his courtship with Kate Middleton unfold and the day they announced their engagement, I took their wedding day off from work, anticipating a Forester-style wedding celebration!

But then the tornadoes came.

Since Huntsville's been without power since Wednesday night, we mobilized our wedding celebration and headed North in search of a TV so that we could watch the Royal Wedding. We ended up in Columbia, TN, receiving evacuee rates at our hotel.

I dutifully set my alarm for 2:55 AM since LIVE coverage from London started at 3. In her typical, celebratory style, my mom brought us some "Queen for a Day" treats, including a pink crown, scepter and candy jewelry. I also sported my Acteen Coronation tiara all morning- We are hardcore!

I thought Kate's dress was absolutely breathtaking and loved the the solemness of the wedding ceremony.

I read about a disorder where people feel that famous people are their real-life friends and I I've diagnosed myself! I felt so thrilled for this beautiful couple on their wedding day and pray theirs is a marriage that will last.

"Waity Katy" is now Duchess of Cambridge and future can you not love that story?!?!

{Yes- these are pictures I took of the TV's another disorder I've had for years!}

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Columbia, TN

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Till the Storm Passes Over

We were blessed last night to be spared from the many tornados that touched down in surrounding areas.

The death toll so far in Alabama is over 150. And from what we hear there's much devastation near us.

We spent last night huddled in my parents basement and lost power at some point last night, along with the rest if Madison County. My dad and I ventured out around 10pm to check on Southside and seeing Huntsville in complete darkness was creepy and apocalyptic. They are saying we might be without power for 4-5 days and that boggles my comfort-loving mind, but praise God we are safe!

Here it comes...

This is the tornado at the Greenbrier exit...about 10 minutes from us.

So glad Jeanine had a car charger for my phone!

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dear Diary,

Journaling has always been a regular part of my life, but it's been a long time since I started an entry with those classic words!

My very first diary had Teddy bears on it and is where I recorded such important events as getting gum stuck in my hair! Ahhh...the drama of a seven year old!

I'm not sure at what age my diary became a journal, but over the years I've filled many a volume with my thoughts, dreams, fears, prayers, heartaches and loves.

As life got busier, journaling got harder. During college it was all I could do to write bullet points once a semester!

A few years ago, I discovered the answer to "how do busy people find time to journal?" The answer: a five-year journal!

The beauty of such a journal is that there are just a few lines each day for me to more getting overwhelmed with an entire blank page! Each day of the year has it's own page, but slots for five years on each page.

This week I started year four in my journal. So when I journal about today, I'm also reading what I wrote in 2008, 2009 & 2010.

This can be a mixed blessing since it's not always pleasant things I'm reliving, but the biggest blessing is seeing the Lord's faithfulness in my life. I journal, not just for me, but for future generations. I want my life to be a witness to the Lord's faithfulness. That's not to say each journal entry is a spiritual one, but taken as a whole, I want my journals to glorify my Savior!

"I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which He is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us— yes, the many good things He has done."

Isaiah 63:7

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Celebrate 30! {Week 6}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

I vividly remember waking up on Easter mornings when I was a little girl and going to the small country cemetery nearby for our church’s sunrise service. After a short sermon, we’d sing songs like “He Arose” and “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” then go eat sausage biscuits provided by the local family restaurant. We’d then go home and change into our pretty new Easter clothes, go to church and hurry home for an Easter egg hunt with the eggs we dyed the night before.

The best part of my Easter this year was singing in our “Hope is Alive” program at church. It combined two of my favorites: Easter and music! As a choir, our goal is to “set the table for worship”, allowing those who choose, to come and worship with us. This morning we had banners, lilies and sign language all wrapped in beautiful songs of HOPE.

Over the years, the traditions have changed, but my spirit of worship at Easter has only deepened, as my relationship with the Lord has gotten stronger. As I’ve faced the challenges, temptations and disappointment of life, the depth of Christ’s sacrifice for ME is often overwhelming. I try to keep that spirit of worship throughout the year, but I do love having one day where the church as a whole celebrates His life, death and resurrection.

I’m particularly drawn to John 20:16 where Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene after His resurrection and calls her by name. Can’t you just hear Him call YOU by name? Of all the things the Lord is to me, PERSONAL Savior is one of the most precious.

No eggs were dyed this year and no one brought me a sausage biscuit at dawn, but this Easter was one filled with much gratefulness and worship as I thanked my Savior for His sacrifice. He is risen…He is risen indeed!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Tummy

I just had the most enjoyable lunch with my dad at Happy Tummy, located at the newly "remodeled" Lowe Mill.

We both enjoyed the BLT on their famous Fred Bread as sat outside on their oversized porch, with views of Monte Santo and totally enjoyed the hippy, laid back feel of it all!

We splurged and split dessert- peanut butter balls- which I'm pretty sure were just hunks of frozen crunchy peanut butter, but oh, so good!

We didn't explore the other shops at Lowe Mill, but from what I saw there's a great selection of artists, jewelers and the like.

Pretty sure the Happy Tummy will be a Huntsville landmark for a while, so go make your tummy happy!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Celebrate 30! {Week 7}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

I’m so thankful that I was able to learn fundamental truth about God, His word and Christian living at a young age. As a little girl, my life with filled with God’s word everywhere I looked- church, school, home, even the music we listened to- everything was about the Lord. Those early years of fortifying truth in my heart, gave me the solid foundation I stand on today.

Of all the truths I learned as I child, I’m beginning to think one of the most important was learning the Biblical account of creation. This has been a soapbox of mine recently because I’ve noticed that one of the biggest lies Satan has infiltrated the church with is lies surrounding the creation account. He has so clouded the church’s mind with half-truths mixed with popular opinion and “science” that even mainstream believers are confused on how to Biblically answer a skeptic’s questions on creation.

I’ve written before about my admiration for the ministry of “Answers in Genesis” and I regularly follow Ken Ham’s blog. When I read his post today, I mouth gaped open. It’s a heartbreaking peek into the half-truths believed by the church and how it’s negatively affected my generation and those following.

The article below is taken from and is Ken’s response to an article written by the pastor at First Baptist, Jefferson, GA. FIRST BAPTIST people!!!! This isn’t a wacko cult. This is mainstream Christianity.

I hope you’ll take a minute to read the article (click here) so that you can grasp the gravity of the situation. Take it as a challenge, as I have, to educate yourself and those around you with TRUTH.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Celebrate 30! {Week 8}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

One of the most influential groups God has used in my life in the last two decades has been Bible Study Fellowship (BSF). My first BSF memories begin when my mom joined the day class when I was in middle school. We were homeschooling at the time, so Abby and I would take our schoolwork to one of the church classrooms where sometimes the Teaching Leader’s microphone would be piped into our classroom. I probably wasn’t taking lecture notes yet but thanks to Pat King I was getting a taste of things to come!

My mom continued in BSF as I finished high school and entered college. During my sophomore year, she started teaching in the School Program. It was that year that BSF became the most precious to me, because she would share what she was learning through the “Life of Moses” and though I was 300 miles away, those lessons encouraged and inspired me.

It was with great enthusiasm that I joined BSF when I moved back to Huntsville in 2005. That first year’s study of Genesis was a pivotal point in my life, as I learned to apply Old Testament truths to my everyday life. And not only did the Lord bless me with a fantastic Group Leader (Laura Martin!), but with a group of peers I was so hungry for. Even though Huntsville’s my home, when I moved back soon after college, all my friends had moved away and I starving for girlfriends. The Lord used BSF to meet that practical need in my life as He also met my spiritual needs.

In a few weeks, I’ll be wrapping up my sixth year in BSF (my fifth as a Group Leader). Not only has the Lord used each lecture, discussion time, and Leaders’ Meeting to speak to me, but He has used the organization and discipline of BSF to keep me grounded in His word. I’ve been given the opportunity and tools to dig deep into the books of Romans, John, Matthew, Isaiah and into the “Life of Moses.”

Of all the changes the last six years have brought to my life- jobs, churches, houses, friends- the one constant in my life has been BSF. Each Monday morning and Tuesday night, I KNOW I will be surrounded by Godly women who are dear to me while we delve into the treasures that await us in God’s word.

It’s truly where my heart has found a home.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Celebrate 30! {Week 9}

{As I countdown to my 30th birthday, each week I’ll be sharing a spiritual milestone…thanks for helping me celebrate 30!}

One summer as I was working at Camp Victory, a friend loaned me her copy of “By Searching: My Journey Through Doubt into Faith” by Isobel Kuhn. Isobel’s story is one of sacrifice and inspiration as she describes her call to the mission field in the early 1900’s. As she grew in the Lord, she felt a growing conviction to give up her worldly amusements and described this process as “extinguishing her tapers.”

Because the Lord was already working in my heart about some of my own worldly amusements, I found her journey fascinating. The Lord also used Romans 12:1-2 during this time in my life:

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

The challenge of that scripture coupled with the inspiration of Isobel Kuhn caused me to question many habits and behaviors in my life…and still is. The whole call to holiness and separation thing is a difficult one for my comfort-loving self to grasp, let alone find victory in, but I’m grateful I serve a Potter who daily molds this lump of clay into His image…slowly, but surely!