These are uncertain times. Uncertainty seems to hang in the air like a bad odor, seems to course through our veins like a dark dye. It's a car poking along in front of us on a road where we can't pass. We feel trapped behind it.
And I pride myself in trying to live in oblivion by limiting my exposure to the news. I like to be able to speak intelligently about national and global affairs, but the doom and gloom is often more than I care to digest. Whenever possible I try to starve my fear's appetite for looming disaster. I do a pretty good job, so don't expect any riveting posts on current events in the near future. While trying to emaciate my anxieties, I am always trying to fatten my faith.
Oh no, here she goes again...
Faith is this nebulous, obtuse, abstract (yes, I know they all kinda mean the same thing - I just love them) thing that makes people think Christ-followers are straight up nut jobs. It's true. The concept of placing faith in something outside of ourselves seems to make people uncomfortable.
It shouldn't; we do it all the time. For instance, every morning I rush around like a crazy person getting people fed, dressed, and in the car with all the necessities for the day. There's usually not a minute to spare, honestly. And when I put the key in the ignition and turn it, I expect it to crank. I have faith in my nine year-old 112, 000 mile Pathfinder. In nine years it has started every time I have turned the key except once (when the battery exploded - frightful). My truck and I have history; it has been very faithful. For that I am grateful. I demonstrate my faith in my truck by how I live my morning. I don't build in extra time for car issues. I don't have a back-up plan if my transportation fails. I know the car is going to crank. It always has. As my car gets older and more worn, I am headed for a day of disappointment. The first time it leaves me high and dry; my faith in it will take a hit and perhaps collapse all together (depending on where I am stranded, how long it takes help to arrive, and how many children I have in the car at the time).
My point is this - we all put our faith in something. Our money, the company we work for, our spouse, our children, ourselves. That's all fine and dandy until the economy crashes, our company folds, our spouse dies unexpectedly, our children rebel, and we totally come unglued. Those things happen every day.
What are you putting your faith in?
I'll go first, and I'll shoot straight. My big picture faith is in Jesus Christ. Constant. Eternal. Faithful and True. His character and His promises don't change with the Dow; He isn't surprised by the energy crisis, and He can't be usurped by the next President. He doesn't worry or waver, and He is the only certainty, the only fail-safe fool-proof unshakable strength and security in the face of our uncertain circumstances.
But, truth be told, my daily little picture faith is in myself. I tend to think I can handle things quite nicely on my own. Honestly, that never turns out well. I am moody, and impatient, and I often have sharp edges. I can be insecure and selfish and undisciplined and weak. I am proud, often loud, opinionated, and bossy. Really...who would sign up to put their faith in that? I'm taking my name off that sign-up sheet (wish it were that easy...). Seriously, my truck is more dependable than I am. However, ...
There can be certainty. Of that, I am certain! Are you?
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These are uncertain times. Uncertainty seems to hang in the air like a bad odor, seems to course through our veins like a dark dye. It's a car poking along in front of us on a road where we can't pass. We feel trapped behind it.
As we were driving home from school today, I was explaining that we were all going to go to our individual places for some down time when we arrived home. Campbell hadn't had a nap and Carson was biting her sister's head off as soon as she climbed in the car. And I could feel myself starting to break into a momma-may-lose-it-soon sweat.
I proceeded to lay out the parameters for down time - stay in your room and play quietly. If you come out of your room, you must go to bed and nap. Then, of course, they wanted to dissect every possible scenario where it would be acceptable to leave their rooms. In an attempt to squash any ambiguity in the guidelines, I casually commented, "You may only leave your room if you are seriously injured - and there should be blood to show for it."
Carson retorts dryly, in perfect form, "Perhaps [she really did use perhaps] if we catch on fire we can come out of our rooms." No smile. Not a hint of laughter - just pensive exhaustion.
I played along, "Yes, after you stop, drop, and roll, you may inform me of your combustion."
"What are we suppose to do if our head catches on fire? Stop, drop, and roll won't really work then." I suggested a headstand and then thought better of it. A flip. A flip would still involve a roll. And so it was settled...
1) If you are not familiar with the photography of Christina Grissett (she is local), you must go check out her blog at http://christinagrissett.blogspot.com/. I just have to go over to her site every now and then to see what beauty she has posted since my last visit. I am so drawn to her work... And she has some cool tunes there as well. Really diggin' these two right now - "Lay Your Head Down" by Keren Ann and "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson (somebody please tell me how to post songs within a post where you can play them when you read about 'em).
Update: Thanks a ton, Mark!
2) The other day Campbell and I saw a tractor driving on the road. She was fascinated by that and wanted to know where it was going and what it was going to do when it arrived. I explained that it was probably going to a field to get the ground ready to grow some crops. "Crops?" she asked.
"Yes, crops are foods grown on a farm like corn and beans."
"Crops?" she asked again.
"Yes, farmers grow crops."
"Like for your feet?"
And then it occured to me that she was saying Crocs. No wonder she kept asking...
3) Fireproof: Chris and I saw the movie Friday night with many other Florentines - our theater was packed out. Found this on the website tonight and thought it was worth sharing:
FIREPROOF is the third feature film from Sherwood Pictures, the creators of
FACING THE GIANTS and FLYWHEEL. With hope-filled, heartfelt storytelling,
the moviemaking ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church continues to touch
the world from Albany, Georgia.
Ministry will continue long after FIREPROOF opens this
fall. Cast and crew understand they are ambassadors for the film's message of
hope. And, as with FACING THE GIANTS and FLYWHEEL, proceeds from the movie
will help build Sherwood's 82-acre public sports park in Albany-with walking
trails, a fishing pond, horse stables and riding trails, tennis courts,
baseball fields, and soccer fields. Albany residents already enjoy many of
the amenities, with more on the way.
"I think there will be even more ministry opportunities with
FIREPROOF than we saw with FACING THE GIANTS," says Sherwood Senior Pastor
Michael Catt. "We don't do this so that people will pat us on the back. We do it
for God's glory."
I just bought our Fireproof tix for the 7:35 show for Friday night, and there are only 60 seats left for that time. You may want to run by sometime today or early tomorrow if you are planning to go tomorrow night - especially if you are going with a group!
Just wanted to pass that info along...
My submission for the September Style issue of She Magazine:
I like brown – and black – even when they’re not really “in.” In fact, I have so many brown t-shirts that my friend started calling me Brownie (Get it? My name’s Cookie….Brownie, uh, anyway…). I think that makes me predictable and boring - not stylish. I am symmetrical; I like to match. I like to super match. I’d love to be hip and get my nose pierced, but I’m just not. On a good day, I might throw on one of my four favorite pairs of jeans, chunky heels, a t-shirt (yep, brown or black), a sizeable belt and maybe a jacket or vest. I always wear the same shade of the same brand of lipstick (Spice Sachet, thank you very much) regardless of the season, and I use the same purse well into the wrong season. Contrary to the wardrobe rules of my fashion-forward spouse, if an article of clothing has short sleeves it is spring, summer, and fall attire here in South Carolina. If there are long sleeves, it is a winter garment; I don’t care what color it is! I think the issue is more a lack of creativity than a lack of courage, but my style is more than my unimaginative apparel.
An ice-cold 20 ounce Diet Pepsi is my style. Zumba at the gym is my style. Jack Johnson, fresh air, a good book, good friends, good food, a nap, and laughter are my style. I can wear them well.
Carson, on the other hand, takes seriously her sense of fashion as a six year-old. She creates ensembles in which all color groups are well represented, and they inflame my matching sensitivities. I do my best to allow and encourage her expression whenever possible, but she is aware that our styles are different. In fact, we were recently shopping in the shoe department in Target. We struck up a conversation with the nicest sales associate, and I was conveying my disbelief at the resurrection of jelly shoes. Who knew that even they, the most grievous of fashion offenses, would enjoy a new day? The sales lady proceeded to enlighten us on the current trends as reported by one of the morning shows; matching was no longer cool. O horrors, I thought. Apparently it is much more chic to couple different colors and complementary textures. As we wrapped up the morning show recap and parted company, Carson looked up at me with a justified expression and said, “See, Momma, that’s my style!” I had to give it to her, so – as it turns out – my daughter is fashion-forward too. She describes her style as funky and comfortable, and she is in to bling and dazzle and sparkle and shimmer and glitter and glow and pink. She owns ninety-seven tubes of lip gloss (not really) and has far more purses than I do.
Junie B. Jones is her style. Stuffed animals and The Magic Schoolbus are her style. Chick-Fil-A, a dance tune, her cousin – Lily, any surprise, Kit, and playing school are her style. They are part of her groove.
Campbell, as a three year-old, is not too focused on fashion yet. But she has had one shoe preoccupation: her clearance Target-version UGG boots. During the cooler months she wore them with everything, even dresses. During the summer she has sported them with cut-off jean shorts that were too short a long time ago and a Mickey Mouse t-shirt. Our morning decisions revolve around whether she’s feeling one ponytail or two that day. She has shown some minor interest in piercing her ears, but her parents are implementing stalling tactics for the next couple of years on that one.
Cuddling with her two favorite blankies is her style. Dora and her ladybug umbrella and big-girl cups and popcorn are her style. She digs cutting with (safe) scissors, and she can rock some corn on the cob. Her favorite things are her finest accessories.
Now the husband brings some highly contested fashion regulations that I often balk. I treasure his opinion, but I’m not sure I trust his rules. I take them with the proverbial grain of salt. He creates uniforms within his clothing options that he cycles through every week. Once a shirt is married to a pair of shorts, there is little chance a different grouping will occur in the future. Chris prizes his Olukai flip-flops, his cheap but current jeans, and his clubbin’ shirts (even though we don’t club). He was voted Best Dressed in his high school class; maybe I should reconsider my dismissal of his advice.
Clemson football is his style. Edging our driveway and encouraging our grass are his style. Good running shoes, bodies of water, pineapple casserole, and old school headbands are his style. They suit him.
So, there it is. There’s not that much style in our house; at least not in the way we dress. Who knows, maybe the year of brown will roll around again before too long. We’re a fairly predictable pack of Cawthons, each with our own quirks and preferences. High fashion or not, that’s just how we roll…
If you subscribe to my blog, I'm pretty sure you got a really rough draft of my last post. And the neurotic English teacher in me can't stand it. Please come over to the site for the corrected version - where the videos work like they should. Had some technical difficulties getting those up...
For those checking out the movie Friday night (in Florence), it will be showing at 7:35 and 10:30. I'm knowing we'll be catching the 7:35. Probably wouldn't hurt to get your tickets in advance...
Dawg! Where have I been? I've missed my own self... I guess this new layout business wiped me out. Naw, I had no intentions of being off a week, but life just happened that way somehow. Oh yeah, this was article-writing week, so I was really focused (and antsy) about getting those done. Next month's issue of She is the annual breast cancer survivors' issue; make sure you pick one up!
Okay, let's get down to business. Get out your calendar and the trusty red pen. Draw a big ring around next Friday night - September 26 and write DATE NIGHT! Isn't it way too easy to allow Date Night to fall through the cracks? Chris and I have tried to do better. We planned a Date Night for the past three weeks, and it only actually happened once out of three attempts. The list of complications are daunting. It's expensive. We don't have a sitter. We're too busy; there's no time. Honestly, if it were the priority it should be, we would make it happen. It's just that simple. We could partner with another couple and keep each other's kids each week. And we should never be too busy to make time for our marriages. When we are, that's scary stuff...
If you are anything like us, we often merely cohabitate and pass each other during the day. Not because we consciously choose to live that way but because we DON'T consciously choose to carve out time for each other. After school and work and homework and extracurriculars and dinner and bath and yardwork and housework and bill paying and... What's left to give? Often times, not a lot. Take me up on this and arrange a sitter if you need one for Friday night.
Might I suggest a really yummy dinner at your favorite restaurant? Or a picnic in the new Veteran's Park (for you Flotown readers). And then plan to see this movie...
I know you Growing Pains fans have been looking for a chance to see Kirk Cameron again, and here he is... Did you love him as much as I did? This movie was made by the same folks who brought Facing the Giants, and as you saw, the premise is fireproofing your marriage. Fireproof will be playing at the Swamp Fox. Looks like a date movie for sure. And a great opportunity to support a movie that promotes the sanctity of marriage. How else can we communicate our desire to the entertainment industry to see great movies that aren't morally and spiritually bankrupt?
So shoot me an email or leave a comment if you might like to sit together or grab some dessert afterwards. It could be like a blog group date. Or not...
'Cause you might have your romance thing going on that you don't want to wreck by hanging out. I understand. So you can go home and make your own ...
Things are all out of whack around here! I've been tryin' to keep up with the Joneses of the blog world and get a new look. Well, that hasn't gone well at all. I'm still tryin', and we'll see what happens. Come on in; sit a spell. What can I get you to drink? Just please overlook the state of affairs; the sidebar's a mess; my links are gone, and everything could use a good dustin'.
We're still open for business during renovations; just please excuse my mess!
This morning I tossed a medium-size kitchen rug into the washer, and I fully expected my Maytag Dependable Care, Quiet Plus, Heavy Duty, 3 Speed Select, Super Capacity, 14 Cycle machine to let that rug have it. A short time later I went back in to discover the washer turned cattywampus (how much do you love that word?) and about four feet out of place - in the middle of the blasted room. By all appearances, roles had been reversed and the rug had done a number on the machine.
Does your life ever seem like that? You should be runnin' it, but somehow it is runnin' you. Did I just hear a "Yeees!" through my screen? Well, that has been my experience of late - for about the past month (yes, it does seem to have coincided with the start of the school year, go figure...). I have been feeling like a wilted two-day old balloon; you know the kind that just barely hovers above the floor. And there has been a pin hole in my balloon with pressure being applied to both sides to squeeze out all of the remaining air. Do you know that feeling?
So I sat down in a moment of solitude and listed what I perceived to be the pressures depleting my balloon: the need for other people's approval - the need for certain people to like me; guilt and regret associated with my grandmother's death; the needs of my children and my husband; frustration with myself over poor choices regarding food, time management, discipline of my girls; and just the mountain of To Dos that are ever swarming in my head.
Somehow I felt immediately less burdened when I put my pen down. I crawled in the bed (yes, at 9:30 am - my girls were at school) and peacefully rested for an hour. When I awoke, I lay there - very still and snug - and treasured silence. The verse that I had encountered twice in the past two days gently broke the surface of my stillness to say, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). And it was at that point that I got it.
I had been praying and reading Scripture every morning, but - I came to realize - they were selfish prayers of request - with little to no praise or confession and no silence for listening. The static of self absorption, sin, and busyness was blocking our communication.
I came face to face (again) with the reality of impossibility. I cannot be all I want to be nor can I do all I want to do. I cannot be super mom, writer extraordinaire, merry maid, household manager, super-healthy woman, selfless wife, blah, blah, blah... Because I am a finite being bound by space and time. But I serve One who is not. He is infinite and limitless.
And that's really a great place to be. I can know joy here, and I can know peace here. There is a whole bunch of freedom to be found in accepting the impossibility of my own desires. I still cannot do everything and be everything that I want to be. BUT I can be and do everything He wants me to. And I can know that He will perfectly equip me for His purposes.
Unfortunately, I do tend to allow my own expectations and desires to leave me cattywampus every now and then, and we have to readjust the load just like I need to go do right now to my own washer. Oh dear, I forgot all about that...
Okay, so let's unpack this thing (for those of you who haven't been around in a couple of days, you need to read this before proceeding with this post). I'll start with the four fabrications:
- I have always taken great pride in being a brunette, so I have never dyed my hair blonde.
- I did not write for The Tiger, but I sure do wish I had.
- I am not writing a book and don't really aspire to. Well, I take that back; I would like to but I have no idea what it would be about...
- I don't think I will ever teach another day in an English classroom. Don't get me wrong, I loved it. I just never figured out how to manage the paper load. I do think I will work, but I'm not sure what I want to be when I grow up...
So, now let's turn some attention on the things that are true. I have to add my own disclaimer, though I was quite wayward as a high school and college student, not one of these experiences involved the consumption of libations of any sort.
- I always wanted braces and got them right after Chris and I were married.
- I woke up from having my wisdom teeth removed in the drive-thru of the CVS at Cashua and Second Loop. Ms. Ruby's animals were still frequent fixtures at the newly opened store at that point.
- My dad, my five year-old sister, and I were in the truck when I wrecked it. We all walked away with a scratch a piece. We were not buckled and there was a loaded rifle in the truck with us (you know, that's just how we roll in Marion...). It is only now that I fully realize God's protection on that day; He is too good to me. I could've gotten my license before 17, but I was just too afraid after that.
- My mom is hard core, man. She did make me stand in the corner and wash all the dishes, but she rocks!
- In the school fundraiser, teachers were auctioned off. The highest bidder was allowed to pie their teacher. Two of my students got into a bidding war, and I went as the most expensive teacher (not sure that's a compliment at all). That really was quite fun!
- The underclassmen egged our senior Halloween party and I caught one in the eye. There is a picture of me walking into the building in our senior yearbook with a caption that says, "Cookie is eggcited to be here today!" I love that...
- I did fall all the way down at the prom :-( The whole evening was quite harrowing, really.
- "When a man loves a woman...." sniff, sniff. Sad but true...
- Jumpin' J's can hook you up with some chicken livers! I know it's gross, and I don't care...
- After I got the fake nails, I loved to walk around the classroom and tap on my students' desks. So fun! I kept them until we had to make room in the budget for a baby, and the acrylics had to go.
- We had so much goofy fun in Marion! One of my friends was a cheerleader, and she had four or five different uniforms. One night all of us dressed up in a uniform and went cruisin' a nearby town. All of the uniforms were very different (same color scheme), but we totally passed off that we were all MHS cheerleaders. We even went out into the grassy part of the town square and started building pyramids. We also climbed our town Christmas tree (an enormous magnolia strung with thousands of lights) smoked cigars and sang Christmas carols. The police officer doing his nightly rounds was quite bewildered by the "singing Christmas tree." We tried to get him to join us, but he gently sent us on our way. Growing up in a small town was really quite fun!
My junior and senior English teacher also added his own experience to the list (I'm mad I didn't think of it to start with!).
True or False: As a junior in high school, Cookie Eaddy once slapped a classmate, the superintendent's son, so hard that he carried the imprint of her hand for 3 full class periods. Yep, true! We were in the middle of English class, and the aforementioned miscreant had been baiting me for a few hours. I calmly stood up and walked over (picture the scene, everyone is seated and engaged in study) and walloped him, and I turned around and returned to my seat. My teacher, my own inspiration for becoming an English teacher, paused to watch the whole thing and promptly resumed the lesson, knowing that said fellow surely deserved his beatdown. He did. And in my defense, I remember getting in a scrap with the same gentleman in fifth grade, where he gave me a bloody nose. We're even now, I guess.
So, there you have it! I so enjoyed bustin' out some oldies but goodies with ya. Tomorrow's date night, so maybe Chris and I'll go splash in the Flo-town fountain by Olive Garden just for ole times sake...
On the first day of class I would often ask my students to share about themselves; specifically, they would be asked to divulge two truths about themselves and one lie. We, as their classmates, would have to guess which tidbit was not true. Well, as your luck would have it, class is in session. Are you game? Of the tidbits listed below, four are absolutely fabricated.
- I had braces as an adult.
- While still waxed on anesthesia from having my wisdom teeth removed, I lifted my head and opened my eyes to see chickens strutting around the CVS drive-thru area.
- While driving with a learner's permit, I rolled my dad's truck several times in a ditch. I did not get my driver's license until I was 17.
- My mom made me stand in the corner as a teenager.
- I dyed my hair blonde as part of a dare.
- A student once donated $40 to a school fundraiser in order to be allowed to put a creme pie in my face.
- If I had a son, I would want to name him Carter.
- I do not like chewing gum.
- When I lived at home, I had to wash all of the dishes by hand even though we had a perfectly functioning dishwasher.
- When in college, I wrote for The Tiger, the Clemson student newspaper.
- I was egged at a Halloween party.
- I fell down during the Senior walk at my Senior prom.
- My first car was a blue Ford Tempo.
- I have decided to return to the classroom as a high school English teacher once Campbell enters 5K.
- As a teenager, I liked to watch myself cry in a mirror while singing Percy Sledge.
- I love fried chicken livers.
- My first purchase with my first teaching paycheck was professionally applied fake fingernails.
- My friends and I use to cruise in Marion. We would pretend that our car died, and we'd get out and push it down Main Street.
- We'd also ride around in the trunk with the top pulled down and then pop up to surprise the unsuspecting driver behind us.
- I have recently begun writing a book.
Can you guess what's not true about me? Probably leaves some rather disturbing truths...
You totally hate me right now because you are going to be singing that all day! C'mon, at least it isn't as bad as the recommendation from my last post :-)
I've been thinking. Some of my favorite posts over the summer have come from your emails, comments, and questions. Whatcha got for me? Shoot me an email (email@example.com) with a question, a series topic, etc... I don't make any promises, but I will give due consideration to anything you send my way. I ain't skerred...
Feelin' the need for a lil' levity up in here, so I'm gonna take on the most FAQ of my life - How did you get the name Cookie? Just between you and me, I am named after this man:
Edd Byrnes. This is actually the first time I've ever seen a pic of the fella. He's cute enough, I guess. Do we resemble at all? No, we shouldn't. He's not my dad or anything. He starred in a TV show entitled 77 Sunset Strip, which ran from 1958-1964. The hunky star, whose character was named Kookie, must have made an impression on my pre-pubescent mom because I am his namesake. When the 'rents had the proverbial bun in the oven (i.e., me) they called it their lil' cookie. To my knowledge, they never intended for the name to stick at my birth, but it did. Ole Edd has a hit single entitled "Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)" that you can download on Itunes or check out in my sidebar. A must-have for any playlist! He was quite the predecessor to the metrosexual - perfectly styled and coifed 'do at all times.
My maiden name was Eaddy. A most unfortunate pairing. I've heard "Eaddy all the cookie" more than once in my day. Certainly there were times I longed to be called Susan or Jane or Sara, but I have grown into Cookie.
As a flirty high school and college student, I tucked my chin, tilted my head, batted my lashes and swore in my most Southern drawl that I was named Cookie because I was sooooo sweet. Huh!
After graduating from college and accepting my first teaching position at TL Hanna (yes, the movie Radio should ring a bell), I declared my name to be Sheila. I abhorred that decision. I really did not know who she was, nor did I like her.
I love being Cookie. People remember my name. They are interested at best, puzzled at worst, why a 35 year-old mom chooses to be called Cookie. I didn't really choose it, but I love being the ole' Cookmeister.
My Grandma Springs was sassy. And funny. And mischievous. And the godliest person I have ever known to walk around in flesh and bones. She met Him later in life and spent all of her remaining days trying to make up for lost time - and, boy, did she ever! I teased her that she might live to be 900 years old because she was allowing God to accomplish so much through her. I wish she had...
- It's a little crazy to think that she was about 37 when I was born (both she and my mom were young brides). That's only two years older than I am now.
- She would take Hershey's cocoa (powder in a can), mix it with sugar and water, boil it just right, and make the best chocolate syrup I have ever tasted. I wonder how many chocolate-saturated slices of bread I have eaten over the course of three and a half decades. A few loaves at least...
- She also baked the best sweet potato pies; she would bake 15 or 16 at a time. They would be covered in brown sugar, so they would kinda be black on top - yummy. Makes my heart hungry...
- She called me the morning of the Ocean Isle Beach house fire last October where seven college students died so we could pray together for the families and the survivors.
- She was an ordained minister in her church.
- She smiled and laughed a lot, but she would not smile in pictures.
- She was married to my Papa for 55 years.
- She came to spend the weekend with me in my apartment in Anderson well over a decade ago. So thankful for those memories...
- She loved the mountains. And staying in her camper in the mountains. And the lake. And staying in her camper at the lake.
- She was phenomenal at sending cards on birthdays. And we have a big family. She and Papa had six children, ten grandchildren, and about a dozen great-grandchildren (love to you, Beck! Thanks for reading).
- She was just love. She wasn't self righteous or abrasive in her faith. The love of a Savior just shone through her care, her concern, her deeds, her prayers, her smile, her humor, her meals, her words.
She passed away Saturday morning. Rather unexpectedly. I miss her.
But there's this paradox between celebration and sadness at the death of one of His. We celebrate for her and we celebrate all that her life was and the scores she touched, but we are sad for ourselves.
Her send-off was perfect. There are few things in life that I would call perfect, but the celebration of her was perfect! As strange as it sounds, it was a great weekend of celebrating and mourning her. We stood under the tent at her graveside singing praises to our God (Psalm 116:15- love that verse!) as a gentle breeze blew across us. Perfect! It was a weekend of worshiping Him for His goodness and His grace and His mercy.
I do have regrets. I regret that I had not seen her since Mother's Day. I regret that I didn't call more often or send cards more often. I regret that I allow the tasks of life to eclipse the value of relationships...
And I want to say, in her memory, that He changes lives in a way that is better than anything we can imagine. He did hers. He did mine. At the occasion of death, we focus of Jesus' ability to change our eternity, but He wants to change our now.
I praise Him. I celebrate her.