mysterious ways...

i hope you had a chance to read the story about this chaise lounge and my sweet friend sharon. we decided that it might give out too much information that really wasn't my story to tell and so i have removed it because the last thing i would want is for this fabulous story to end up telling things that aren't my story to tell. so if you want to hear the whole story, you can ask me. or sharon. and we will tell you how GREAT God is and how He is always doing a thousand things... even from a photo of a chaise lounge....

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(the rest of this story has been removed. but i left the poem and Scripture verses in. because they are really really good ones to read...)

God Moves in Mysterious Ways by William Cowper (1731–1800)

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

(my addition. apologies to willy cowper)

He takes my simple photo shot in jest,
and uses it to spur;
an answer to a prayer is blessed,
as is this story when it is heard.

 

ephesians 2:7-10 (the message)
Now God has us where He wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all His idea, and all His work. All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work he does, the good work He has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

moms surviving may...

so at the beginning of may i was talking with some other moms about how ROUGH the month of may is for moms...

and one mom mentioned that her mom always wanted to throw a "mothers surviving may" party at the end of may to celebrate their victorious survival of may. but that she was always too tired at the end of the month to throw a party.

not to mention that no one's house comes through may unscathed. and certainly not fit for a party or human eyes.

but that mom lived before facebook...

so 48 hours before may ended i created a facebook event and invited every mom friend on facebook. i even created a little graphic for our party. 

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and we had us a little "mothers surviving may" party at a local restaurant on friday night. just met there for as long as anyone could. drop in for drinks, dinner, or dessert. and toast to our survival of may.

i learned something interesting when i was subbing a few weeks ago in a middle school history class. casualties of war are not just those who died in the war... they are also those who were injured and couldn't continue to fight. those who ran away. and those captured by the enemy. 

so i know there we a lot of casualties of the month of may. there were times i wanted to run away. times i was injured. times i thought the enemy had captured me. but at the end of the month there i was having a survivors dinner...

and there were also some other survivors... battle worn. weary. scarred. and yet ready to lift a glass to the ending of may.

we ended up having the BEST time. an eclectic group of ragtag veterans of the MAYhem of may. proud to be alive. and happy to have a drink in our hands. or a sugary dessert on our fork...

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sometimes the best times are fairly spontaneous. just a few friends on a patio. laughing. reminiscing. enjoying each other's company. meeting new friends. and celebrating that we survived may. with a little help from our friends.

and the funniest part of this whole story is that i called the friends that i remembered being with when i heard about the idea for the party. they remembered somebody saying that their mom wanted to throw that party. but for the life of us NONE of us could remember whose mother had originally had the idea. the month of may had killed our memory.

so i can't even thank the original creator of "mothers surviving may". but i know she is out there. and i toast her for coming up with the idea and even though she never was able to throw her own party, i think she would celebrate with us that we were able to pull this together and make it happen.

and she would be THRILLED that may is over. for another year...

"you can live without answers...

but you can't live without God."

that was the message given by price's granddad at his memorial service. col. leak thornal speaks at beach church frequently and something about his booming colonel's voice just makes you sit up and LISTEN. i need a booming colonel voice.

a photo of price that i took a few years ago for his business flyers. he ran a lawn service named "price cuts."

a photo of price that i took a few years ago for his business flyers. he ran a lawn service named "price cuts."

so just to update those of you who don't really know tallahassee news... friday morning i woke to numerous texts from friends about price thornal. (a 19 year old ole miss student who grew up in tallahassee. we are friends with his family. and have been for as long as i have been alive. i have blogged about their sweet family many times.) they were all asking if i had heard the news of his car accident. i had not. until then.

price and his momma at his sister's wedding. 5 years ago. 

price and his momma at his sister's wedding. 5 years ago. 

so it has been a long week. a sad week. a good week. the gospel message was spoken over me and by me so many times in this week. that always makes it a good week.

social media was actually a real help to me through this week. being able to grieve publicly in small ways and connect with others was so comforting...

this was my status update on facebook on friday...

thought of this quote today on this dark but ultimately Good Friday. praying that we all remember the Good News that everything sad is going to come untrue because some days on this fallen earth are just really sad...

“Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What's happened to the world?" 

"A great Shadow has departed," said Gandalf, and then he laughed and the sound was like music, or like water in a parched land; and as he listened the thought came to Sam that he had not heard laughter, the pure sound of merriment, for days upon days without count.” 

{j.r.r. tolkien, the return of the king} 

i am so ready for the great shadow to depart and for the King to return.

and then i read this amazing article by one of my favorite writers, philip yancey, on saturday... national tragedy and the empty tomb. beautiful words... i used them in my status update on facebook...

"Tragedy rightly calls faith into question, but it also affirms faith. It is good news that we are not the random byproducts of a meaningless universe, but rather creations of a loving God who wants to live with us forever. That "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son" in order to reconcile with his rebellious creation. That by entering our world, the Son took on our sufferings and temptations, demonstrating in person that nothing—not even death—can separate us from the love of God."

"Holy Week offers the template. On Good Friday Jesus absorbed the worst of what Earth has to offer, a convergence of evil and death in an event of profound injustice. Easter Sunday gave a sure and certain sign of contradiction, demonstrating that nothing can withstand the healing force of a loving God. We live out our days, though, on Holy Saturday, aware of the redemptive power of suffering while awaiting the restoration power of creation made new."

"John Donne, a prolific poet and Anglican priest who buried hundreds during the worst years of bubonic plague, and indeed thought himself fatally infected, wrote this defiant declaration:

Death be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so …

One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,

And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

This Easter, the death of death itself is a message that Newtown, and the world, needs to hear once more."

philip yancey from national tragedy and the empty tomb in Christianity today.

price and his niece. photo taken last spring.

price and his niece. photo taken last spring.

and read this tweet by i don't even remember who...

1 kings 8:12 "The Lord has said that He would dwell in thick darkness." He is with you in your darkest moments...

and then via a facebook message a girl from ole miss contacted me about funeral arrangements and did i know since i seemed like an adult. ha.

so i told her what i knew about the funeral and then asked if she wanted to stay with us in our home. she and her roommate accepted the offer and they stayed here. what a gift from God. she was the one who had that video footage of price singing wagon wheel (on the end of the slideshow). had she not been at my house i could not have added that video to the slideshow and it was perfect at the end.

also since we had a beach house at "price's beach" we were able to let her and her roommate go down to the beach after the funeral and walk on the beach at sunset. they were so excited to see the beach that price loved so much.

i kept telling the girls that it was just another way that God was showing us all how much He loved us and cared for us that He had orchestrated it so that they were staying with us. why do we ever doubt that He has the BEST in mind for us? why do we ever not trust His plans are for our good?

we can live without answers. but we cannot live without God...

our sweet new ole miss friend walking on "price's beach" at sunset. saying goodbye until we meet again...

our sweet new ole miss friend walking on "price's beach" at sunset. saying goodbye until we meet again...

a teacher themed baby shower. i got this...

i could have put together this in my sleep. teacher theme? check. baby shower? check. for one of the cutest pregnant teachers ever? check. check. check.

here was the invitation...

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the decor was simple. apples. sunflowers. huge black foamcore boards written on with chalk (who knew? well, now we all know.)

the food was school lunchy. and easy kasneezey. rolls. ham. pimento cheese. chicken salad. fruit and some fruit dips. veggies and homemade ranch. animal crackers. chocolate dipped pretzels. and cookie sandwiches for dessert. milk and juice boxes. plus coffee frappe. a shower standard at the marshall home. and the only reason ashlyn came to town to "help" with the shower/drink the leftovers. i was SO thrilled when ashlyn could come and help me! she is the best party pal in the world. 

i am not big on shower games. but this theme did need some seat work time. so i make some seat work folders with activities for the guests to work on. and i let them work with a friend. there was a math page (match the prices to the baby items.) a writing page (write a letter to baby elliot.) a science page (put together face pieces from a mixture of their parents) and a final exam (with answers provided from sarah's mom about her childhood.) then guests who completed their seat work could have a fun art project (make a baby out of play dough.) we checked over the seat work. everyone passed. then onto show and tell (gift opening time.)

sarah's sisters had brought a bag of diapers for every guest to decorate and they will randomly place the decorated diapers into sarah's stack of diapers so that weary parents can have a special diaper every now and then. to cheer them in the late night diaper changing hours... such a fun idea.

it was such a fun event. sarah and jeffrey are going to be wonderful parents! and i couldn't have done it all without ashlyn coming to town and spending the weekend with me and helping get everything ready in the middle of dessert theater weekend at our church going on also!