Sunday, January 23, 2022

Soup Season?

 I love to read reviews!  Whether it's on Amazon or allrecipes, reviews can be very helpful to know if I will like a product or recipe.  We tried something new that was pretty yummy, so I thought I'd share it with you.

It's definitely soup season around here.  North Florida is supposed to be in the 20s this morning and a few times this week as well.  That's cold for us Floridians!  Plus, my hubby's asthma has really been acting up.  Poor guy.  So, I figured some soup was definitely the thing for us!  He's not much of a fan of canned soups.  Actually he isn't at all.  With revival prep happening, I didn't have time to make homemade.  So when I saw this packet, I thought I'd give it a try.  

All you do is add your own cooked chicken and water.  Simmer for 15 minutes and it was done.  I also added a potato that I had cooked in the microwave with skin on and just peeled it when it was done.

And the verdict?  He loved it!  And my kids did, too.  Wow!  I was impressed!

So, this is a definite keeper for us.

How about you?  Any good products that you've tried lately?

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Exciting News! Our family is growing!!

 I was able to add another special page in my prayer journal!

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Today I said goodbye to my Mam-maw

  I am so thankful that the Lord worked it out for me to go to Michigan to see my Mam-maw. Her health has been declining for a little time now and when she fell shortly before Christmas, she started feeling much worse. Hospice has been called in. Even though I know I will see her again in heaven, it still breaks my heart to know that we will have to say goodbye to her here on this earth.

As I walked into the house and went to the bedroom, things were quite different. Normally there was a queen bed in the small room her and Pap-paw used to share. Instead there was a hospital bed and a nightstand next to it full of medical supplies. When I walked in Mam-maw was so happy to see me. She was very weak and frail- looking in her bed, but her smile made me feel right at home as usual and always very loved. She was so glad I was there and I was so glad to be there.

 I spent the next 5 days trying to be a blessing in whatever way I could but in return, I was the one that was blessed by being there. I shared moments with Mam-maw where she would ask me to read from the Bible. Whenever I would read a passage she would have me write it down so she could read it again later. She would also have me sing hymns to her. The one she had me singing the most was "The Sweet By and By".  Have you listened to the words of that song lately? It was quite hard to get through but yet comforting at the same time.

Mam-maw knows she's not doing well. She felt bad that we had to take care of her.  One day she told me "I've had a good life. I've had a good church and I've always wanted to go. I've had a wonderful family and good neighbors."

It's amazing how often she talked about church. She talked about the church she grew up in as a little girl, Carr's Branch Baptist church. She also talked about the church she got saved in at a Revival meeting, Little Baron Baptist church. She talked about her church,  Frenchtown Missionary Baptist Church where she's been a member for 61 years. She talked about visiting Winkler Road Baptist Church and then she talked about visiting my church, Victory Springs Independent Baptist Church, and talked about how she was there for opening day and for several of the Anniversary services. I heard her tell several people over those few days to stay in church. It is her passion, you can tell. She loved serving the Lord in church! We all take that so easily for granted.

I was also able to see my mom and my aunt Robin care for Mam-maw tirelessly and lovingly.  It's amazing all that they are doing but with such compassion and love for their mother.  But I know it's because Mam-maw is reaping what she has sown for so many years. She has always been a caregiver to anyone that comes her way, whether it be to feed them a meal or to comfort in any way.  She has been there for so many people.

As I left this morning it was very hard. Very, very hard. First I looked around the old farmhouse where I had so many memories of my childhood. I remember Mam-maw babysitting me and rocking me.  I remember watching adults sit around snapping beans and talking. There's so much laughter that has been shared in those walls.  There are so many memories around the dining room table as we squished in as many people as we could. I remember sleeping upstairs where there's two bedrooms that are joined together so it's really four beds all together. I remember as a kid thinking it was a big slumber party as our uncles told us scary stories before bedtime . I thought of all the sounds heard in that home, for instance the creaking stairs or the way the furnace comes on and how you can hear it throughout the whole house. But laughter is what I really remember the most.

She taught me that moments together are so important. She taught me that it's a treasure to just "sit and talk." She always took time to stop, look you in the eye and make you feel loved.

Then I said goodbye to Mammaw this morning as I left to go to the airport.  I hugged her tight and noticed my tears fell on her cheeks. I told her that she is the best Mammaw ever and that I love her so much. I can still hear her say, " I love you." I don't ever want to forget. 

So I may have said Goodbye. But really it's just a see you later. I'm so thankful for the hope of heaven and that goodbyes aren't permanent.  One day we will laugh together again. What a day that will be!

There's a land that is fairer than day
And by faith we can see it afar
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there
In the sweet by and by
We shall meet on that beautiful shore
In the sweet by and by
We shall meet on that beautiful shore

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Silas turns 13!

How can it be that my boy has turned 13??
We had so much fun celebrating him all day long! Of course we started off with the gifts :-)
Then he wanted to head to a new State Park. He chose to go to fanning Springs State Park. We had never been there before and we absolutely loved it! It's a very small park but the Springs are beautiful.

It was a chilly day for North florida. We woke up to the 40s that morning. But one of Silas's goals was for us to play volleyball at their sand volleyball court. We had a great boys against girls competition. I wish I could say that the girls won but, hey we needed to let the birthday boy win right? 

The Springs are 72° year round. The kids talked us into letting them get in so even though it had warmed up to the 50s and the water was 72 it was absolutely freezing!

 What made it even neater is that there was a manatee in the springs!
The kids didn't quite swim out to where the manatee was. But we definitely have plans to head back there in the future! And who knows maybe we'll even be able to swim with the manatees!
For lunch he wanted to try the KFC that was just built on our exit. He has a running tally of who has the best chicken sandwiches. Kentucky fried Chicken now ranks number three!

 We finished off the day having funnel cakes for his birthday cake. It was a wonderful day celebrating our wonderful boy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

2022 VSIBC theme

I love our vision service at VSIBC!! Patrick and Josh start preparing for it months beforehand.  
This year our theme is 'Revive thy Spirit, Revive thy heart.'
We have great plans ahead with bite size goals for each month for our church.
I can't wait to see how the Lord will bless!


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

A New Year, A New Plan

It's here!  We said goodbye to 2021 and now we are on to 2022!  I love Christmas and holiday time, but there is just something fresh and exciting about looking at the year ahead.  I love sitting down and evaluating what worked last year and what didn't.  I love looking at the year to come and ask how I can do better.  It can just be so refreshing to wipe the slate clean and begin anew.  Anyone else with me on that?

This year Tabitha bought me a new planner.  Her and I can be so alike in many ways.  We love to plan and prepare.  Last year she tried a new planner from  In the leafy tree tops.  She loved it and as I watched her fill it up, she knew it was what I needed (or should I say wanted!;o)  ) too.  So, when I opened up my new planner from her on Christmas,  I was quite excited!!  I have enjoyed ( and felt pretty overwhelmed) filling it all in.  It is very detailed!! But, now that I have it all set up, I'm excited to work the plan!

As I've been filling in my planner for my coming year, I'm trying to keep in mind Isaiah 55:8-9,

 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

I know the Lord wants me to prepare and plan for my family.  I want to do things decently and in order.  But, ultimately, my life is in His hands.  There will be days that I have everything planned out perfectly and all ready to go, but He may choose to direct my steps differently.  So, in my planning this year I want to be diligent, yet flexible.  I want to live on-purpose with goals in mind, yet be willing to listen to the Holy Spirit's leading and let Him direct my path. 

I've been praying about a word to focus on for this year.  I am so excited about it and I will be sharing it soon!!

As I've looked to the year ahead, I've been reminded what my Mam-maw prayed when I was with her in November.  She prayed several times, "Lord, help me to always do right."  It was a sweet prayer, and that's my desire, too.