Monday, September 26, 2011


There's something that always seems to make me cry.  I'm not typically a very outwardly emotional person, except for a few things that just always seem to bring on the tears.  Anything related to my parents can make me cry without a doubt.  I guess the daughter part of me is just hard wired with the crying part of me.  The other thing that always gets to me is the thought of God's love being equal for everyone.  Yesterday morning at church I was singing and just letting the words of the song echo in my head, "I know your love for me is good....completely."  While I was singing I looked up and saw the back of someone's head that looked just like that of an old friend of ours.  We haven't seen this friend in years and I know that he is now in prison.  He made some mistakes and got down a bad road and that's where his choices took him.  For a split second I thought that he was in church.  In that same second I realized that it wasn't him.  It did make me think of him and how God's love for him is good..completely.  I then saw the back of another head far up front that I recognized.  This guy is a pastor who has just retired from his church after many years of faithful service.  He's a precious, awesome guy who has just done everything in his power to love God and serve him.  There's no question that God's love for him is good....completely.  By this point I was crying and thinking about how God's love for both our friend in prison and the sweet pastor is EXACTLY the same.  His love is a rushing river that shouts, "Come on! I want YOU! Jump in!"  He loves us.  He really, really loves us.  I don't think I will ever loose my gratitude and amazement about this love.  It is complete and rich.  It doesn't search out the best to love.  It is available for every single one.  This love is "just what I've always wanted." I know his love for me is good.  Completely.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Most Amazing Woman Alive.

I've been thinking about my Momma a lot this week.  See, I like to cook Southern food. I like to make chicken nuggets, the real kind, not out of a box, and sweet potatoes with marshmallows and brown sugar. I like hamburger steaks and white gravy on my real potatoes.  Now I do like to eat fancy food and if you want to cook me up some, go right ahead.  Southern food seems to be "just what I always want."  As long as I'm the one cooking you might think you're eating with Paula Dean, y'all.  I've been digging Southern Plate for a while now.  Christy Jordan seems to be a really nice gal and her food takes me back to days around the table at home.  Back to my Mom.  All this Southern food thinking makes me think of my Mom.  She's a really good cook.  When we were growing up she cooked every night.  She wouldn't just buy a bag of chicken breasts that were all ready to cut up, bread and fry up.  She would buy a package of chicken with the ribs, de-rib it and THEN bread it and fry it up.  She is a real woman.  I was thinking, "how did she learn to cook that way?"  My Grandma Paulsel is a great cook too, but she's from Ohio. I don't think they fry in Ohio.  The deal is she learned to cook for our family because we had to eat.  She cooked good, hearty meals that fed us all so that we could be happy and healthy.  And we were.  And we are.  She's just amazing that way.  You know what else?  She is also the most lady-like woman you'll probably meet.  She's beautiful and gracious and loving.  She has taken care of my Dad through the last year of a stroke and heart attack like a personal 24 hour-a-day nurse.  She reared me and my sisters, teaching us how to be good wives and moms.  I'm still working on being completely good at being a wife and a mom.  I still need Jesus to help me get over me.  But, she did teach us.  She taught us well.  She homeschooled some of us at different times when we needed more attention and to be in a clean environment.  She potty trained us as babies.  This is a very big job, you guys.  I never knew.  She is super-mom.  I talk to her pretty much every day on the phone and I love that. She's my best friend besides Chris.  She is everything that I want to be as a woman, a wife, a mom, and a person.  I love her and I think that she is the most amazing woman alive.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

To Tennessee and back.

We've been planning since last December for our week trip to Tennessee.  We planned and saved and saved and saved and then we went.  And it was great.  Sweet Chris drove through torrential rain from Tropical Storm Lee nearly all the way to Tennessee.  All 19 hours of it. Yes, 19 hours.  The rain slowed us down a little.  My sweet Mom-In-Law, Lonita, went along too.  The babies did great!  We ate yummy food, mostly from The Old Mill Restaraunt.  That place is great; if you ever go to Pigeon Forge skip all the rest and go straight there.  They have a super lunch for $10 that includes corn chowder and fritters.  YUM!  We hiked a mile up a mountain while pushing a double stroller.  Mostly Chris and Lonita pushed.  I think they think I'm weak.  That's okay with me.  We also visited Cade's Cove.  This made me long for more simple times.  Can't I live in a little mountain community and just cook and tend the young'ns?  Well, maybe for a week anyway.  More to come later on my longing for simplicity.  We did a lot of other fun things, like hot tub sitting, candle and wood thingy looking, and Wonder Works visiting.  Oh yeah, we also had bears come and sit on our porch two nights in a row.  That was pretty amazing.  Next time we will put out some tuna so they'll stay long enough for a picture.  The best part of the whole trip was just being able to look at my kids.  Life can be so busy.  Between work, trying to maintain our home, helping Chris run a small business and just running around like crazy people, I feel like I miss some things about our kids.  Last week I was able to just enjoy holding my babies and looking at their faces.  It was really, really good.  It challenged me to slow down and stop running.  I still have a lot to do, but surely I can settle down a little and enjoy.  Also, at the beginning of the week I determined that I was not going to have the normal stress breakout that Chris and I sometimes have when we spend days together.  You know, it's like when you spent too much time at a friend's house when you were a kid and you started to get hostile toward your friend.  Well, usually that is me, the one getting hostile.  It usually takes about two days for us to break-in to being together 24-7.  Not this time.  God really helped me to chill out and appreciate the time.  And I did.  I suppose this was the Tennessee vacation that was "just what I've always wanted."  All but the part where we couldn't get a picture of our porch guests.  Next time- tuna.