Thursday, October 31, 2013

keisha kirkland

It was all over the news today.  "Local news personality loses her battle with cancer."  It is definitely a sad day for her family and friends.  I did not realize that her daughter was so young.  Cancer is such a terrible disease.  I am saddened for the Kirkland family.  It is a great loss and my prayer is that God will show His face daily and allow them to feel His presence and experience peace in their lives.

Having said all of that, I have to share with you my initial reaction to the article on the WYFF4 website.  Keisha Kirkland "loses"  her battle with cancer.  Really?!  While her time on this Earth certainly came to an end, I would have to disagree...

 "As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God.  The time of my death is near.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.  And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return."  2 Timothy 4:6-8

From where I sit, she definitely won.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

just another wednesday post

 Said the writer.

I don't even know how to caption this one.  It is a pretty simple truth.

I have definitely stepped into the boat and am drifting off into the sea of brand new things.  And it is BEYOND exciting!
 Enough said.

Sometimes you really do just need a hug.  A big one.
 And I am not going to wait anymore.  I am moving along.  With a big 'ole smile on my face (most days!).

I am not completely resigned to this one as of  yet.  But it sounds good, right?! 
This one is my favorite for this week!  It makes me grit my teeth and smile all at the same time.  There are always going to be those people who cannot find the time to keep in touch with you.  Even though they "really want to."  
My mom will be thrilled (not!)  with all of the quotes.  I cannot help it.  I am obsessed.  Most of them just make me feel good!  I spend so much time, that I don't have, searching the internet for profound quotes such as these.  I really enjoy reading them, so why not force them on you as well!  :)
Today I learned that I don't hate fifth graders.  LOL.  I have shared with you before how I am enjoying teaching in regular ed. classes.  I do not teach anything over third grade.  Except for today.  I (like always) did my mom a favor and agreed to be in a fifth grade classroom for part of the morning.  And I ACTUALLY liked it!!  I think I would consider doing it again! 
I realized something today that really gave me butterflies.  I just got back from Pawley's Island.  Next month I will be spending Thanksgiving in Myrtle Beach.  In December I am heading back to Dollywood, and today, some friends and  I began planning a February trip to Charleston.  EEEK!!!! That, my cyber friends, would be the sound of sheer excitement! YOLO baby. (You Only Live Once)
I think I will close tonight by sharing some prayer requests with you.  I have not done that in a very long time.  So many of you contact me via email or text messaging and offer encouragement and support.  It means so much!  I definitely covet your prayers.  Here goes:
  • Always pray for me to recognize (and accept) God's plan for my future.
  • My college classes. 
  • JP to have continued success in second grade.
  • JP is having issues sleeping again.  This has been a very long and exhausting battle for me.
  • Last week I was made aware of an opportunity... I am praying about joining the writing team at my church's main campus.  I think it could be very exciting! 
  • My family as a whole.
  • My other dad, Dale and his family.  His father is sick with Cancer.  Pray for his comfort, and peace for the entire family.
  • I, along with Mike and John (I think), will be singing this Sunday.
  • And many, many unspoken requests.
That's all for now, folks.  I hope everyone has an amazing Wednesday.  Just one more day until HALLOWEEN!  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

do you hear the birds?

I met her in the nursing home last week while visiting with family.  She rolled herself into the room where we were sitting and talking.  She was quiet.  When she spoke,  I could barely hear her.  And when I did, nothing she said made sense.  She didn't stay long...she was on a mission.  She wanted out.  From her wheelchair, she made her way over to the door, setting off the alarm more than once. 
               She wanted outside.  A staff member finally came over and raised the blinds so that she could see out.  And while her only view was a parking lot filled with cars, it seemed to make her happy.  If only for a moment.
They pushed his wheelchair out onto the patio of the rehabilitation facility. Cancer took up residence in his body two years ago and he is tired.  It is a beautiful day.  He closes his eyes to enjoy the fresh air while his son and daughter in law are engaged in a conversation.  "Can you hear them?"  he whispers.  "Can we hear what, daddy?"   replied the son.  "The birds." 
I was sitting across the table from him.  I never heard the birds. 
If I could share one thing with you today, it would be this:  Open your eyes to everything and everyone that is around you and do not take your gifts for granted.  This has been the recurring  theme of my spirit lately.  Maybe because I have experienced so much loss this year.  Or maybe because I am watching my loved ones care for their loved one who has very little time left here on this Earth.  Or could it be that, while watching the sweet lady fail in her attempt to taste the outdoors, I knew I was on my way to the beach that afternoon. 
God is really trying to show me that, while I spend a lot of my time boxed inside the small, stuffy room of worry,  life is steady passing me by.   There is so much around me to enjoy.  Both people and places.  And I consistently take it all for granted. 
          Life is beautiful.  LIFE IS SHORT.
The precious souls mentioned above do not know one another.  I am sure that their life stories are very different.  However, they do have one thing in common.  While I am driving (slowly) down the highway of healing, their directions for me would be the exact same.
Stop and listen to the birds. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

pawley's island

We had a wonderful weekend on the Island.  As always, it was a much needed break from reality.  I was sort of like a dog this (Sunday) morning, driving down the frontage road with the windows down and the sun roof up...I almost hung my head out the window to let the wind blow through my hair!  Literally... there is little in life that compares to the smell of salt air.  At least in my opinion there isn't.  Heaven.

I took these pictures this morning while a lot of you were in church!  (Smile!)  My sanctuary looked better than yours.  Just sayin'.

Again, we had such a nice time.  Jackson and JP had a lot of fun on the way down... Megan and I were ready to start drinking after four hours in the car with them, but we survived!  As you can see, pictured above, JP lost another tooth.  He is growing up way too fast for me!

This week is a busy one for me.  I am teaching THREE days, which I try NOT to do.  I am a sucker for certain schools, I guess.  I get caught up doing "favors" for people.  (wink, mom)  I have a quiz, a test and a research paper this week.  Eeek!  It will all work out.  I will just have to take another mini vacation when it's done to recover... Poor me, right?

My Thursday night writing class is over.  I am so sad about that... I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I completed (well, almost) my manuscript for the first children's book.  It will be ready to be shipped off (hopefully) by next week.  My instructor had a GREAT idea for one part of the story, so mom and I need to re-write the small part.  It shouldn't be a big deal.  I am super excited!!

Well, I gotta run take my test... I will leave you with a few more beach pics.

 This would be me and Megan relaxing on the beach. A perfect evening...

 And a perfect sunset

 JP was pooped... Gracie is a Clemson fan, so we dressed her in South Carolina attire for the night!  GO COCKS!!  (Hal is burning a hole through the back of my head b/c he said he was tired of feeling like the paparazzi was following him around!  LOL )  Oh well, too bad!

 We found TONS of starfish... JP loved it!

 JP, Jackson and Hal throwing the cage in to catch crabs

Love these two!  I am so blessed.
HAPPY MONDAY, friends!  

Friday, October 25, 2013

i love... (friday favorites)

 To read, write, learn, study, educate

 To laugh with my son

To eat peanut butter pretzels
 To look at Kip Moore

To support Guatemalan adoption

To see how my other children have grown into such beautiful people
To see how much my baby has grown 
To spend time with my cousins
To ride roller coasters
 To walk around Furman

To be on the beach at Pawley's Island
To sit on the rocks at Jones Gap
To swing at the playground 
To hold these babies
To be a part of important events in my (extended) family's life
I spend a lot of time sharing my (broken) heart with you guys and not nearly enough time sharing how unbelievably blessed I am.  My mom and I were talking just this week about how blessed I am to have the best friends that I do.  I do not take that for granted.  I am fully aware that there are people all around me who are not fortunate enough to have ONE best friend, much less several! 

There is NO WAY in the world I could do life WITHOUT these girls.  We have literally been through life, death, heartache and laughter together...  And I look forward to living the rest of my life alongside them! 
Yes I do!!
...and my other sister and brother  (not the greatest picture, but the only recent one of us all four together.)
Obviously, in addition to my best friends and my sister and family, I am BEYOND blessed with a mom and a dad who support me through thick and thin.  And then some.  My mom is my number one best gal and my dad is my hero.  In more ways than one.
Believe it or not, I could go on.  I will stop for now...this is most probably boring to you.  It was very therapeutic for me, so it's worth every minute!
That's this week's Friday Favorites!  Have a super weekend!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

i love c.s lewis

My favorite is the last one.  I am filled with many desires.  Much pain.  And, some days, little comfort.  I began praying for God to fill me with His peace.  The kind that "passes all understanding."  As I have been praying this, God brings 1 Peter 2:11 to my mind.
 "Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it."
This explains a LOT.