Catching up… I know you know how it is. ;-)

This and That.


Yep – I know you know how it is… because I’ve watched many of you walk through it, or something similar, yourselves… and sometimes something’s just got to give.  Right?  If I haven’t mentioned it a time or a hundred, my son is graduating from High school in a few weeks {eek!} and though I’ve known (or at least hoped) this day was coming for the past 13 YEARS of public education– it still seemed to sneak up on me and catch me by surprise.  So I’ve been operating in somewhat of a fog lately.  A fog of forms to fill out, announcements to address, and decisions to be finalized.  I know you know how it is.  In fact, I remember quite well several of my blogging friends whose blogs went practically silent during this particular season of their lives.  And now I understand why! ;-)

The Senior-Mom-Fog and the fact that people’s worlds are going crazy right now in Nepal and Baltimore and in so many other places… it just doesn’t seem that I have been able to pull together anything worthy or witty enough to say that would be of benefit to anyone.  Somehow when people’s lives are being devastated, posting silly pictures of coffee sayings just doesn’t seem to be appropriate.  But then again… maybe they are.  Because there is always tragedy around us, and there is always room for joy in the midst of the burdens of life. Hmmmm…..  Just some random thoughts I’m pondering on my porch this morning.

{Insert space of many minutes trying unsuccessfully to segue back into Senior-Mom mode… so I’ll just jump right back in.}

I wanted to share a few Senior pictures of Nathan.  My friend, Elizabeth (who sometimes does Smelling Coffee TV with me) took all but his formal one and edited them beautifully.  I can’t believe this man-child is my BABY BOY!!! (And, this little boy had such a large neck that his shirt wouldn’t button or lay normally across his chest – even though it was cut down the back – so it had to be photo shopped closed, and the bowtie had to be photoshopped on!)


After so much seeking the Lord for direction and provision, Nathan will be attending Mississippi College, a Baptist college outside of Jackson, MS, and we are so excited!  It’s where my brother, sister, and I went, and in a million years, I never dreamed that we would live where our children would be able to go there too, if God so called.  We don’t know anyone attending as a freshman this year, but if you do, please let this mama know! ;-)
Nathan has surrendered to full-time ministry and will be majoring in Christian studies.  At this point, he wants to be a children or youth minister.  We’re so proud of him, and know firsthand that this isn’t an easy or financially profitable way of life.  But if it is what God has called him to do, then we know that God will faithfully take care of Nathan and his family just as He has faithfully taken care of us (and everyone else who serves the Lord – whether in full time paid ministry or full time life-style ministry.)
Have we ever talked about his hair?  And why we let him grow it out?  {I think I have a post in the draft pile called “Why we let our son grow long hair” that never made it to publication.}
The short version of his long hair is that several years ago Nathan asked if he could grow out his hair.  When we looked at the scope of rebellious things teenagers could be doing these days, and the fact that he wasn’t doing any of them, we told him that he could do it for a year.  We put three stipulations on it though: 1.  Before senior pictures were taken, it would be cut.  2.  He would keep his face clean cut and shaved, and 3. If he did rebel in any of those other teenage areas, he would lose the privilege of long hair.

{I’m sure that you are already responding with your own opinions on the subject right this moment – but that’s how we handled it at the time.}  Well… two years later, as you can see, he still has the long hair.  And in the senior pictures, no less!  And with some facial hair!

The bottom line for our family was that we had to decide what really mattered.  What did it matter that our son had long hair if his character remained intact?  What even does some facial hair matter?  Because we are in the ministry, I’m sure that many have had opinions on whether we were right or wrong in this, but everyone in our church body has shown us and Nathan great grace.

By the time for senior pics to be made, Nathan wouldn’t have looked like himself without his hair!  It’s actually very beautiful!  We decided to pick our battles, and let our son have this bit of “individuality.”  I’m sure that one of these days, he’ll come around to getting it cut.  But for now, I’m so thankful that we didn’t deny him this desire.  And that’s why we let our son grow his hair out. :-)

And now, I must get back to addressing some envelopes.  Thanks for sharing in these moments of our lives with us.  We’ll be doing this again next year.  Same time, same place, when Abigail is a senior.  {Eek! – I should go on and double address envelopes now!}
So thankful for you all~



Throwback Thursday – HELP in understanding your man!


Need to understand your man just a bit more?

Throwback Thursday on

This is the BEST help in understanding our husbands that I’ve ever read (except from the Bible). If you’ve been struggling with wondering why your husband acts the way he does, or why he isn’t like “so and so’s” husband, this might be your answer, and what you can do about it!

I’ve reprinted a condensed excerpt from a book called CREATED TO BE HIS HELP MEET by Debi Pearl. The whole book is wonderful, and can be ordered here on Amazon.  In fact, I think that this is one of the best marriage books for women ever written.

Read… enjoy… and love your man for who he was created to be. And let me know if it makes a difference in your marriage. (I’m so excited for you – because I already KNOW that it will!)

Condensed excerpt of Created to Be His Help Meet, chapter 8:

3 Types of Men

God is dominant — a sovereign and all-powerful God. He is also visionary — omniscient and desirous of carrying out his plans. And, God is steady — the same yesterday, and today, and forever, our faithful High Priest. Most men epitomize one of these three aspects of God. No single man completely expresses the well-rounded image of God.

Mr. Command Man
A few men are born with more than their share of dominance and, on the surface, a deficit in gentleness. They often end up in positions that command other men. We will call them Command Men. They are born leaders. They are often chosen by other men to be military commanders, politicians, preachers, heads of corporations, and managers of businesses. Winston Churchill, George Patton, and Ronald Reagan are examples of dominant men. Since our world needs only a few leaders, God seems to limit the number of these Command Men. These men see life as if they are looking from a high mountain, they see the big picture rather than individual needs.

They are known for expecting their wives to wait on them hand and foot. A Command Man does not want his wife involved in any project that prevents her from serving him. If you are blessed to be married to a strong, forceful, bossy man, as I am, then it is very important for you learn how to make an appeal without challenging his authority. We will discuss how to make an appeal later in this book.

Command Men have less tolerance, so they will often walk off and leave their clamoring wife before she has a chance to realize that she is even close to losing her marriage. By the time she realizes that there is a serious problem, she is already a divorced mother seeking help in how to raise her children alone. A woman can fight until she is blue in the face, yet the Command Man will not yield. Yielding would be against his personhood. He is not as intimate or vulnerable as are other men in sharing hi s personal feelings or vocation with his wife. He seems to be sufficient unto himself. It is awful being shut out. A woman married to a Command Man has to earn her place in his heart by proving that she will stand by her man, faithful, loyal, and obedient. When she has won his confidence, he will treasure her to the extreme.

A King wants a Queen, which is why a man in command wants a faithful wife to share his fame and glory. Without a woman’s admiration, his victories are muted. If a wife learns early to enjoy the benefits of taking the second seat, and if she does not take offense to his headstrong aggressiveness, she will be the one sitting at his right side being adored, because this kind of man will totally adore his woman and exalt her. She will be his closest, and sometimes his only, confidante. Over the years, the Command Man can become more yielding and gentle. His wife will discover secret portals to his heart.

If you are married to a king, honor and reverence is something you must give him on a daily basis if you want him to be a benevolent, honest, strong, and fulfilled man of God. He has the potential to become an amazing leader. Never shame him, and do not belittle him or ignore his accomplishments. Make it your life’s goal to become his queen.

Mr. Visionary
God is a Visionary as seen in his person, the Holy Spirit. He made some men in the image of that part of his nature. Prophets, be they true or false, are usually of this type. Some of you are married to men who are shakers, changers, and dreamers. These men get the entire family upset about peripheral issues, such as: do we believe in Christmas? Should we use state marriage licenses? Should a Christian opt out of the Social Security system? The issues may be serious and worthy of one’s commitment, but , in varying degrees, these men have tunnel vision, tenaciously focusing on single issues. They are often the church splitters and the ones who demand doctrinal purity and proper dress and conduct. Like a prophet, they call people to task for their inconsistencies. If they are not wise, they can be real jerks who push their agendas, forcing others to go their way.

Visionaries are often gifted men or inventors, and I am sure it was men of this caliber that conquered the Wild West, though they would not have been the farmers who settled it. Today, Visionary men are street preachers, political activists, organizers and instigators of any front-line social issue. They love confrontation, and hate the status quo. “Why leave it the way it is when you can change it?” They are the men who keep the rest of the world from getting stagnant or dull. The Visionary is consumed with a need to communicate with his words, music, writing, voice, art, or actions. He is the “voice crying out in the wilderness” striving to change the way humanity is behaving or thinking. Good intentions don’t always keep Visionaries from causing great harm. They can stir up pudding and end up with toxic waste if they are not wise. An unwise wife can add to the poison with negative words, or she can, with simple words of caution, bring attention to the goodness of the pudding and the wisdom in leaving it alone. Every Mr.Visionary needs a good, wise, prudent, stable wife who has a positive outlook on life.

The wife of Mr.Visionary should be just a little bit reckless and blind in one eye if she is going to enjoy the ride. If this is your man, you need to learn two very important things (beyond how to make an appeal). Learn how to be flexible, and learn how to always be loyal to your man. You will be amazed at how much happier you will be and how much fun life can be if you learn to just go with the flow — his flow. Life will become an adventure. You will actually begin to feel sorry for the gals married to the stick-in-the-mud, steady type. And once you get it into your head that your husband does not have to be “right” for you to follow him, you will FINALLY be able to say “bye bye” to your overwrought parents, even when they are screaming that you are married to a crazy man. People looking on will marvel that you are able to love and appreciate your husband, but you will know better because you will see his greatness.

Greatness is a state of soul, not certain accomplishments. Over time, this type of man will become more practical. If you are a young wife married to a man whom your mama thinks is totally crazy — then you may be married to Mr. Visionary. Right now, purpose in your heart to be loyal to him, and to be flexible; then, let your dreamer dream. Lean back and enjoy the ride; it should prove interesting. Visionary Man will talk and talk and talk to his honey if she approves of him. He will be subjective, thinking about feelings, moods, and spiritual insights. One of his greatest needs will be for his wife to think objectively (proven truth) and use common sense, which will help keep his feet from flying too far from solid ground. He spends his life looking through a telescope or microscope, and he will be stunned that what he sees (or thinks he sees), others do not seem to notice or care about.

Mr. Steady
God is as steady as an eternal rock, caring, providing, and faithful, like a priest like Jesus Christ. He created many men in that image. We will call him Mr. Steady — “in the middle, not given to extremes.” The Steady Man does not make snap decisions or spend his last dime on a new idea, and he doesn’t try to tell other people what to do. He avoids controversy.

Being married to a Steady Man has its rewards and its trials. On the good side, your husband never puts undue pressure on you to perform miracles. He doesn’t expect you to be his servant. You do not spend your days putting out emotional fires, because he doesn’t create tension in the family. You rarely feel hurried, pushed, pressured, or forced. The women married to Visionary Men look at you in wonder that your husband seems so balanced and stable. The wife of Command Man marvels at the free time you seem to have. If your dad happened to be a Steady Man, then chances are you will appreciate your husband’s down-to-earth, practical life for the wonderful treasure it is.

When you are married to a man who is steady and cautious, and you have a bit of the impatient romantic in you, you may not see his worth and readily honor him. You may be discontent because he is slow and cautious to take authority or make quick decisions. A bossy woman sees her husband’s lack of hasty judgment and calls her Steady husband “wishy-washy.” His steadiness makes him the last to change, so he seems to be a follower because he is seldom out front forming up the troops. There is no exciting rush in him, just a slow, steady climb with no bells or whistles. You wish he would just make up his mind, and that he would take a stand in the church. He seems to just let people use him. There are times you wish he would boldly tell you what to do so you would not have to carry all the burden of decision-making.

Some women equate their husband’s wise caution and lack of open passion as being unspiritual. His lack of spontaneity and open boldness may look like indifference to spiritual things. However, he is like deep, deep water. The very depth makes the movement almost imperceptible, but it is, nevertheless, very strong.

He will be confused with your unhappiness and try to serve you more, which may further diminish your respect for his masculinity. Disappointment and unthankfulness can make you wearier than any amount of duties. His very steadiness keeps him on his middle-of-the-road course, and it will drive a controlling woman crazy.

This is why many disgruntled ladies married to Mr. Steadies fall victim to hormonal imbalance, physical illness, or emotional problems.

Know Your Man
Wives are very much flesh and blood, and as young women, we don’t come to marriage with all the skills needed to make it start out good, let alone perfect. When you come to know your man for whom God created him to be, you will stop trying to change him into what you think he should be. The key is to know your man. If he is Mr. Steady, you need to learn to be thankful and to honor him as the one created for you in the image of God. Your husband’s gentleness is not a weakness; it is his strength. Your husband’s hesitation is not indecision; it is cautious wisdom. Your husband’s lack of deep spiritual conversation is not a lack of caring; it is simply the cap on a mountain of intense emotions.

If this describes your man, you need to learn how to stand still and listen; then let God move your husband in his own good time. Ask God for wisdom and patience. Seek to always have a gentle spirit. Stop expecting him to perform for you, to pray with the family, to speak out in witnessing, or to take a bold stand at church. Stop trying to stir him up to anger toward the children in order to get him to feel as though he understands how badly you are being treated. Let him be the one God made him to be: a still, quiet, thoughtful presence — for you!

A Steady Man likes a woman to walk beside him, yet grow in her own right before God and him.

He needs a resourceful, hardworking woman with dignity and honor. It is important to Mr. Steady that his wife is able to be self-sufficient in all the mundane tasks of daily living.

These men can be some of the most important men in the church, because their steadfastness is sure, and their loyalty is strong. They make wise, well-thought-out decisions.

Typically, Steady Men do not become as well known as Command or Visionary Men. They are not odd or stand-out men. They are not loud. They are neither irritating nor particularly magnificent. Women and men alike envy and desire a Command Man. People are often drawn and compelled by the Visionary. But the Steady Man is taken for granted

Much of this book has been written to help young wives learn to honor, obey, and appreciate the Steady Man just as he is.

Mr. Steady will enjoy the company of others and be most comfortable spending time in small talk with whoever is around. Of the three types, he is the one that will be most liked by everyone. Mr. Steady is always in demand. He belongs to people. He does not focus on the eternal picture like Mr. Command, nor is he looking through a microscope as Mr. Visionary, but he does respect both views as important. His vision is as a man seeing life just as it is. He can shift his sights to the sky and know there is more up there than he can see, and he wonders about it. Or, he can stare into a muddy pond and appreciate that there is a whole world in there that he knows nothing about. In most of life, he is a bridge between the other two types of men. He is a very necessary expression of God’s image. Of the three different kinds of men, it is more important that Mr. Steady have a help meet who likes him just as he is.

I’m praying for you and your marriages today. Love to you all…



Monday’s Makes Me Smile – the “From My Phone” edition

Happy Monday!

First of all… I have to show you this: I got the neatest app for free the other day.  It’s called Kaleidoscope Camera and it’s literally like having a kaleidoscope in your pocket to pull out and enjoy at any time!  Kaleidoscopes have always fascinated me, and I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent wasted playing with this in my “spare time” – ha!

But look – this is the normal photo I took with my phone’s camera.

And these are the ones through the kaleidoscope camera.  (I had to adjust some lighting on the photos.)  If you will enlarge the photos, you’ll see the original picture tucked in there over and over… amazing!

Isn’t that something?  I feel like an artist! ;-)

This past weekend we had a local festival called Crosstie.  James, Abigail, and quite a few of our FBC Cleveland friends ran in the 5K.  I… well… I took pictures of everyone I knew as they approached the finish line.  So the picture below is of my peeps, and then the other pictures are my artistic rendetion kaleidoscope camera pics of the awards ceremony after the race.  Be sure to enlarge the pictures to see the details.




Ok… one more, then I’ll stop… for today. ;-)  This is the side table beside my bed.  My Bible, a few books, my Vera iPad cover, and my glasses.  I’m just fascinated! 

Ok… enough of that!  I promise!!! While my husband and daughter were doing the 5k, and my son was using his muscles working at his job on Saturday morning, this about sums up my exercise for the day:    

Right??? ;-)  I’m feeling a little like this cutie below.  Anyone else?


A few other funnies for the week:

So true!  Right?


One more:   This is for you, Chris. I love you, my brother!

May the Lord bless you and keep you this week~


Throwback Thursday: Want to Feel Like You’ve Lost 100 Pounds?

The secret to feeling like you've lost 100 pounds.

Try forgiving. This is a Throwback Thursday post that bears repeating because the weight of bitterness is overwhelming… and sometimes we’ve carried it with us for so long that we no longer realize we could be free. Forgiveness:  The best {emotional} weight loss plan there is! ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~ In yesterday’s Sunday […]

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Spring & Summer Fashion for 2015

Spring and Summer Fashion 2015.

In February I was getting my hair “done” -as we say in the South- and began my semi annual perusual of the Spring fashion magazines gracing the tables. Though we were having a rare “cold spell” here in the Delta, and the kids were out of school for a snow (ice) day, Spring really was […]

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Throwback Thursday – When FAITH is Fragile or Broken

Encouragement for difficult times.

  I was scrolling through some posts on my blog the other day and landed on this one… and boy! did I need to hear these words again!!!  Seems lately that when I look around at what my eyes can see and the sheer “impossibility” of being able to make things work on our own… […]

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Monday’s Makes Me Smile -

Easter FBC Cleveland 2015

Happy Monday-After-Easter, everyone! Today, this picture and what it represents totally makes me smile: (Photo from FBC Cleveland’s Facebook page) Our church is in the midst of renovation and we are meeting on folding chairs in our fellowship hall… so for our main Easter service, we rented the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State […]

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What Easter Means to Me {An original poem}

Jesus is Risen!  He is Risen, indeed! A blessed and happy Resurrection Sunday to you all~ What Easter Means to Me A fresh start. A clean heart. Forgiven pasts. True Love that lasts. A Holy embrace. A face to Face. Man’s Peace restored forevermore. Love far and wide – for me, His bride. The Savior […]

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