Wednesday, August 31, 2011

10 Really Good Movies

1- Secondhand Lions. A tale of 2 elderly, eccentric uncles (Robert Duvall, Micheal Cain) with a hidden fortune on their property. Their young nephew Walter gets dumped off for the summer by his mother (Kyra Sedgwick) and he hears of the action adventures his uncles experienced when they were young men. Heartwarming, heartbreaking, and plenty of dogs, which you know I love. Wonderful family movie.

2- A Beautiful Mind. Russell Crowe stars in this true story of a brilliant mathematician with mental illness who receives the Nobel Peace Prize. Lengthy movie, thought-provoking, nominated for many awards. I finally saw it a few weeks ago and it now rates as one of my all time favorites. Watch this when you can set aside some time without distraction.

3- Everybody’s Fine. This movie hit home for me because our family has had similar circumstances over the last few years. The story revolves around a widower who is trying to hold his family together after the passing of his wife, who was the glue for him and his adult kids. Robert DeNiro, quite possibly one of my top 5 fav actors, gives a stellar performance in a role like I’ve never before seen him. Drew Barrymore plays one of his daughters who helps him past one of the most tragic times in his life. You do not want to miss this one.

4- A Rumor of Angels. This is a tender story of a wise old woman and a traumatized young boy who witnessed his mother’s death in a car accident. Vanessa Redgrave stars in this bittersweet movie that did not get rave reviews mainly because of its spiritual content. I enjoyed it because I do believe in a hereafter and the comfort that it brings. I do not necessarily believe it the way the movie describes it but I was ok with the presentation for a fiction movie.

5- The Blind Side. Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw in the story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family. Great family movie, one scene not suitable for children.

6- All the Twilight movies. You know the vampire/werewolf/teenage girl love story saga? Love them all!

7- Meet the Parents. Okay I had to put a comedy on the list and this one I love. I have watched this one umpteen times. Ben Stiller and once again my man Robert DeNiro. hilarious!

8- Gran Torino. Clint Eastwood as a disgruntled Korean War vet who sets out to reform his neighbor, a young Hmong teenager, who tried to steal his prized possession: his 1972 Gran Torino. A story of friendship, death, gangs and racism but this movie gives a taste of the real world.

9- The Bucket List. Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two men dying of cancer who set out to fulfill a list of things they want to do before they die. In the process they become the best of friends. This movie draws one into thinking about mortality and living life to the fullest.

10- Independence Day and Men in Black only because Will Smith is hilarious and aliens are an interesting concept. I mean I like both movies but Will and aliens are a winning combo at the theater or on DVD.

It's your turn. Got any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Facebook Fans Whoo Hoo on Thankful Tuesday!

Today is Thankful Tuesday here at Pics! I asked my Facebook Fans to tell me what they are celebrating. So I have my Pom Poms up in the air and I’m shaking them like crazy because we have so much to CELEBRATE here at Pic, Prayers and Pom Poms! Here we go:

1-    I’m so excited that I have 30 Facebook fans. I know it’s not huge but I am thankful for my faithful friends who "liked" me this week. These are peeps who want to thank and praise God for the great things He has and is doing. And maybe I'm kidding myself but maybe they want to read my blog too.

2-    Chelle has so much she’s thankful for: “ Woo Hooing because we serve an Awesome God and He’s showing up and showing out in my life. I am so humbled by everything He is doing and wake up every day breathless to see what is going to happen.

3-    Jennifer says,” I am a big FAN of what God is doing in & through your life!!! WooHoo!!!"  Thanks my sweet friend. I’m a fan of what He’s doing too!

4-    I celebrated time with hubby and wrote a post about it here.

5-    Me again. I thanked God for second chances and my niece Jennifer Amened it!

6-    My new friend Joni says, “Thanking God for the storms......I lean on HIM more and trust Him as He is my anchor!” I praised Him cause He’s faithful.

7-    My niece Christina (Tina) says, “I am thankful for this baby and that he is so healthy and hasn’t had no complications through this pregnancy and thankful for Taylor and my mom and thankful to still have my dad and thankful for my whole family and that I’m still here and thankful that I’m loved!!!” You are loved my dear.

8-    Chelle comes back again and celebrates some more, “I am thankful and blessed to see another day and to be able to share the love of Jesus with others. I am surrounded by wonderful friends who have become like extended family and I able to practice pouring into to others and change lives. Thank you to Jesus for letting me know I was someone worth dying for…” Oh my gosh does that not speak volumes! Pom Poms people!

9-    Last but not least Chelle, whom I’ve yet to meet personally but intend to spend some time with very soon gave me great encouragement when she said, “Woo hoo for Pics, Prayers and Pompoms!! “ Yeah!
10- I'm thankful for Shining Lighthouse Ministries.

That’s what this is all about on Thankful Tuesdays. Join the rest of us as we pull out our symbolic or literal Pom Poms and cheer for anything, anyone, and thank God for His many blessings.

If you’d like to receive regular updates from this blog look in the right side and find the subscribe button and either follow or subscribe by email. Just do it and join in the CELEBRATION!

Oh how I’d love it if you’d join in the fun on Facebook. Just sign in and search for Pics, Prayers and Pompoms, then “Like” my page.  Am I asking too much from you? We’re building community here folks with all likeminded people, it’ll be worth it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Celebrating Togetherness Through Big Brother TV

I'm a reality TV fan. Is that sad or what? However it promotes camaraderie between The Train and myself. He watches Big Brother 13 and Survivor with me. It's amazing how reality TV brings us together and makes for great conversation.

Train: Hey I watched a fight on YouTube between Shelly and Jordan today. Wonder if they'll show it tonight?

Me: Oh I want to see it. I hope they do. Well if they don't I can see it on Youtube too.

Train: I saw an interview with Jeff after he got kicked out of the house. Connie asked him why he thought he got voted out. He said, "Cause I'm Big Jeff." He was joking but I hate it when he refers to himself in the first person.

Me: I do to. It's weird. Did he say why he really thought they got rid of him?

Train: He thinks they're all jealous of his success playing the game.

Then the two of us settled down and watched another episode and I actually got to see the fight between Shelly and Jordan, the fight between Shelly and Jeff. And the fight between Shelly and Adam. Wow was there anybody Shelly wasn't fighting with or lying to last night? Nope not really.

But we love it that Porsche is stepping up her game just like Jeff told her to. If you don't watch or missed it Jeff put Porsche on the block and said he did it to give her the chance to play the game insinuating she'd not been playing up til then. Hey Hey Jeff she played well bud when she won the Power of Veto and left you on the block instead of using it on you. Even under your intimidation and prodding she stood her ground.

Then we watched as Porsche also won Head of Household this week but released Pandora's Box on the house. Although she won $5000 it brought back pairs. Pairs will play the game together, win and lose together for one week. Bad, bad timing for this to come into play.

Celebrating today time with my honey. Love is full of surprises and I never thought I'd see the day I would watch 26 episodes of National Geographic documentaries about WW2. And. Like. It. Even more surprising is the Train enjoying Big Brother with me! God does work in mysterious ways doesn't He?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Only In His Mind...

As he lay in the hospital bed I watched as he drew in a deep breath as if he was smoking a cigarette. I had seen him do this thousands of times over the years, but this was a hallucination. The pain medication had taken him to a place he loved, a place of indulgence with cigarettes, beer, and all his favorite food. His imagination took him there because he had not been allowed to go for weeks since his colon ruptured.

My father was a strong, virile man, my hero. When this awful tragedy happened I watched as he became a weak, frail man who didn’t know the world around him. And this day he was no different. He was enjoying his imaginary game so I played right along.

“Hey can you get me a chocolate milkshake?” I shook my head and said,” Are you sure about that?” He took another long draw from his Winston and said, “Oh yeah, it will feel good on my throat, I’m so thirsty.” Knowing he could not have anything pass between his lips I told a lie, something I didn’t do very often to my daddy, “Ok, next time I go to McDonald’s I’ll bring back a chocolate milkshake.” That seemed to satisfy for the moment and he replied, “Thanks sweetie and how bout gettin’ me another pack of cigarettes too?”

When I left his room that day I did not know it would be the last conversation I would have with him. The next day he was put into a drug induced coma and passed away a week later. He is in heaven waiting on me now.

We found two cigarette butts in his heavy marble ashtray at home. I keep them in a Ziploc bag, in a box, in my closet, in my mind, in my heart…

This was originally written as a response for The Red Dress Club but I am submitting it today for a new prompt from The Dare To Share link up Loss over at the The Lightening and the Lightening Bug.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Set Free

Dark, nothingness, self destruction.

Help, love, acceptance.

Hope, confidence, wholeness.

Celebration! LIFE! Freedom!

Prompt from my friends at  Write on Edge. Great challenge to write a story in a tweet. 140 characters.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mother/Daughter Look Alike

The lovely Fox (daughter) and I took a trip to Charleston in July. We wanted to see if we looked alike so we took some crazy pics of ourselves. this is the result of the best time we've ever had together! This is also Day 2 of Shamelessness, Act A Fool.

I know feet aren't something everybody likes to look at but I like nice looking feet. These are nice feet don't you think?
 Here we did our eyes. Similar in many ways huh? Even the shape of our eyebrows. The Fox can raise one eyebrow higher than the other when she laughs real hard or smiles real big. I can't do that.
Trying for noses here. We knew they were very different before we took the pic because she has her daddy's nose only it's more womanly,,, does that make sense?
Now I know we don't look very smart here but we were trying to see if our lips were the same. I'm not sure if there's a resemblence because it's hard to tell with all the puckering going on.

Hands. I love hands. However after viewing this pic I discover just how wrinkled my hands are. So I am in a regular routine of handcare now. I'll take another pic in a few weeks and we'll see if they have improved.

After a very long day of touring Charleston and acting crazy with the camera the giggles took over and I could not stop laughing. Then The Fox got started and this was the result. We're pretty good with a camera don't you think. I mean in hysterics and still taking pics!

So do you think we look alike? Do your kids look like you?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Didn't Know She Knew

This is my response to a  prompt from Write on Edge. I have several memories that I could have written about but most I can't put on paper at this time. This is the one I felt I needed to write about for now.

This week we asked you to explore your worst memory.
What was it? How did it affect you? What would you have done differently, if anything? We wanted you to imagine the act of writing it would free you from it.
Some of you have memories too personal to share. We understand, and we are grateful for those who are sharing with us.We are a supportive community here, and I am sure that will continue as we read and comment on your pieces.

She told me she remembered. I didn’t know she knew.

My daughter shared with me about the time she sat outside the bathroom door crying. Me, I was inside in a bathtub full of water. The door locked, the water hot, the steam billowing up, the mirror fogged.

I longed for another place and time. I wasn’t sure where that place and time was but I didn’t want to be there.

I longed to disappear into the air just like the steam. Invisibility would be best for me.

How heartbroken I was the day she told me she knew why I was in that room of despair and defeat.

I admitted that her fear was real. I did not want to go on. I lay in that tub contemplating if I could actually do it. Time lingered on and she said she waited. She knocked. I don’t remember. She asked me if she could come in. I don’t remember. Memory slips during depression. I do remember  why I didn't do it. She and her little brother were my reason for living.

My little girl was frightened she would lose her mommy that day and I was unaware of it. The memory of that day is vague but the memory of her tears as she recalled how scared she was at the time is fresh in my mind and heart. I am sorry for the pain I caused but I am thankful she finally shared it with me just a few years ago. We found opening up, being real and transparent is when healing begins.

My beautiful daughter is now 27 years old, a middle school teacher and in the process of working on her doctorate two nights a week. I am proud of what she has accomplished but I am in awe of who she is becoming. And I know hard experiences like this one helped make her the strong, compassionate woman she is today.
As for me I have found my identity and finally realized God's love for me is real and alive inside my soul. This is the truth that makes me whole. Does depression ever creep up on me sometimes? Yes but I know truth. I take meds. I have friends and family who know where I've been, some have been there too, and they accept me anyway. This keeps me sane.
30 Days of Shamelessness, a challenge from Lance My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog.

I am not ashamed that I like the television show Little House on the Prairie. It was one of my favorites growing up.

Me, brother, Mama and Daddy would eat dinner and gather in the living room for television almost every night. My brother and I laid two kitchen chairs down with the backs propped up like a ladder and used then as a contraption to lay on in the floor. No remote in those days kept one of us close to the TV set so we could change it to one of the 7 local channels. If my memory serves correct Channel 2 hosted Little House on the Prairie.

 I loved Mary Ingalls. As a child I thought she was  beautiful with her blond hair and blue eyes, a far cry from my mousy brown hair and hazel eyes. She inspired me for many years as she became blind, got married, became a teacher, had a baby, lost the baby and still carried on through crisis after crisis.

I might have been in love with Charles Ingalls for a few years. He was gorgeous, strong and took wonderful care of his family. I always saw him as the hero all the years I watched. And I saw him cry. When Charles cried I cried. It never failed. That man could bring me to tears then an can bring me to tears now as I watch reruns. I love him still.

Although Laura was the main character of the show and I liked her somewhat she just never floated my boat. I'm not a tomboy type and she was. She could be on the whiny side and I don't like whiny, unless it's me that's whiny. One thing I did enjoy was her relationship with Pa. It reminded me of my relationship with my dad. He would have done anything to protect his little girl and she loved him to the ends of the earth. Same with me and my dad. I miss him.

Nellie, Willie, and Mrs Olson I disliked  because even as a child I could not stand to see the materially privileged hold their wealth over the heads of the less fortunate. Truth is the Ingalls were more fortunate in many ways as they had love, acceptance, truth, faith, kindness and real true heart. They never even knew they were missing anything. Where love abounds there is wholeness.

OK so I like Little House On the Prairie and I am not ashamed of it. What are some of your old favorites? Come now don't be ashamed tell me.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wedding Day with a Glitch or Two

The Hound’s wedding day was a success. However there were a few glitches.

1-     I forgot to order the bride’s bouquet. Luckily after a few phone calls I found a florist who said she could have it done by 3:30. Awesome! The wedding was at 4:30.

2-     As I was blow drying my hair at 2:45ish I got a phone call. On the other end was my hubby. The conversation went something like this:

You’ll never guess what happened?

Don’t tell me you had a flat tire!

How did you know? I did. I saw a big piece of metal in the road and ran over it.


I didn’t mean to run over it! Anyway I’m on the side of the road. I’m gonna try to make it on time.

What! You better make it on time. I’ll come get you if I have to, no I can’t I have to get to the florist first and get the bouquet….

3-     Understand the wedding is at 4:30. I am frantically trying to remember what I am supposed to be doing while blow drying my hair and praying, “Please God get him there, get him there.” He got there.

4-     3:40 The Hound, The Bride and me jump in the car and head to the florist. We make it on time, grab the bouquet and head to the courthouse.

5-     4:00 I talk to my sister-in-law and she tells me the courthouse I planned on going to was not in the place I thought it was. This is a common thing that happens to me often. She gave me directions.

6-     4:03 I am flipping out again. My sense of direction is not "on target" so I am questioning where I am going and whether I will get there by 4:30.

7-     4:06 The Fox calls wanting directions and because I am so frantic I’m not sure I even know where it is so I can’t tell her. She freaks out, “Its 4:06 and you can’t tell me where to go to see my brother get married?!” After a few choice words between us we hung up. I called hubby and had him deal with the irate Fox.

8-     4:20 We pull in to the parking lot, go inside, have a seat and wait to be called.

9-     Finally we are called. We go into an empty courtroom and find the judge waiting to get started.

10-  The Hound and The Bride stand before a very kind judge who performs a perfect ceremony that ends with a heartfelt prayer.

The courtroom became a warm family gathering celebrating a wonderful couple who intend to spend eternity together. We could not have asked for a more perfect wedding than this one. It was God given and God ordained.

I am thankful that He can turn frantic into calm, cold into warmth, harried into peace and time into more time. I’m thankful He can take a woman who forgets to do last minute things and make her messes right.

The wedding was small, intimate and beautiful and that’s just the way it was supposed to be. Pompoms are in order here.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Prayer for Growth and Change

Dear God,
There comes a time when I have to realize some people just don't change. Some of us don't even think we need to change. I find it a shame that we can't see there is always room to grow, always room to love people a little more.

I believe if we ever get to the point when we think we've come as far as we can it is detrimental to our overall growth. Whether it be physical, spiritual, mental or emotional we get stagnant and it effects us in more ways than one.

Relationships can't grow if I refuse to forgive, accept, or love. If I am selfish and won't take the time to invest in other people then in the end what will I have left.

I have looked at the example of Jesus many times and He loved, forgave and accepted people right where they were. If they needed a kind word or deed He was willing to give. He gave so unselfishly to everyone around Him. He gave unselfishly to the world when He took all the horrible sin, disease, hate, unforgiveness, selfishness, self-serving acts of all the world on Himself.

Looking at myself I have to ask "Am I willing to love unselfishly?"
"Am I willing to put the interest of others before my own?"

Certainly in my own flesh the answer is a loud "No." I admit that to You Father.

But praise Jesus that when He came to reside in me as my life I don't have to be selfish, I can give all in His strength. When I am willing to allow Him to be love through me I find I can do it rather easily because Your precious Son said in Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

When I give Him my burdens, sin, sandpaper people, hard circumstances, and selfishness I will find He takes those burdens and gives me rest.

I do not want to stay the same. I want to grow more every day. Thank You Father that You have given me a way to do that.

How about you? Do you want to grow and change or are you happy where you are right now?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Today's Prayer: Son is Getting Married

Dear God,
The Hound is getting married tomorrow. What an amazing thing to be happening to my baby. Yes I know You have told me to let him grow up and I am seriously trying. Is this what you meant? To make him stop needing me anymore and start depending on another woman.

Yahoooo! Celebrate good times come on!(I'm singing) My pompoms are flying high!

Seriously it probably won't change much but maybe just maybe she'll get some of the whining and she'll have to look into those big sad eyes when he wants her to do something. Giving in to him will be the only thing she can do and she will. Then she will be mad cause she didn't have the guts to tell him no! Ahhh it's her turn.

Yes I have raised a spoiled young man but he has a good heart and a bit of ambition. He's looking for his dream but hasn't quite found it. I know You're leading him. I can relate because I'm only just finding mine. We are in fact a lot alike as I am spoiled too. But I'm 47 years old for crying out loud, don't I have the right to be spoiled after all those years of spoiling two kids?

Now that he's getting married there may be grand kids in my future. Don't You agree I need to rest up for more spoiling. I hear it's a lot of work when it comes to those grands. So with The Hound hitched and The Fox out on her own I'll recuperate from all those years of hard work and get ready for another round.

Thank you God for the opportunity to have kids to spoil, for kids that are finding their way, and for the blessing that The Hound has found a good godly woman. More than that thanks for the love and grace You share with me every day. You are quite the awesome One.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hip Hip Hooray!

It's my first post to Pics, Prayers and Pompoms! I'm excited to finally have a blog dedicated to photos and encouragement. There's no telling what I'll come up with here.
For now I'm just going to start and post a few pics from my trip to Charleston South Carolina with my Daughter who I so lovingly refer to as The Fox. My son I call The Hound and hubs is The Train. Here goes....

OK so I'm an architectural fanatic. I took so many pics of buildings and homes it was really sad but I can see so much beauty in the structure and colors. I am particularly fond of old decaying buildings such as barns and shacks. I'm not sure why I like this kind of stuff but that's me and I'll give myself a high five if nobody else will.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Are You Afraid To Walk Through This Door?

[caption id="attachment_1743" align="aligncenter" width="153" caption="Enter in the door."][/caption]

The Room of Grace is a safe place.  It's the place you go to take off all your masks and be yourself. As you walk through this door you know everyone accepts you even if you have visible sin and if you are hiding invisible sin you're free to confess it. As a matter of fact the people there encourage you to confess it. Then as you release your 'stuff' more masks fall away.

This Room of Grace holds the key to your true identity. Jesus lives here. He's always been here loving and forgiving, holding out His nail scarred hands to all who will take them. His light shines brightly in the room and yours does too because as His child you feel free with Him. You aren't perfect and He knows it but His love is never affected by your imperfections. You never have to hide in shame from God or the people in the Room of Grace.

There is another room the Room of Good Intentions. In this room you are encouraged to wear a mask every day. If you even think of divulging your sin you know you will be judged by the people here.  In your imagination you think God will condemn you too. So a "perfect" person submerges. Perfect on the outside but suffering of guilt, shame, loss of identity, pain, and hurt on the inside. You have to "pretend" a lot when you live in this room. You can never be who you were created to be because it's all about performing for everyone. Performing for your husband, kids, church family, co-workers, friends, and all the time being someone you don't really want to be.

Maybe you have some fear about opening the door to the Room of Grace. Don’t be afraid just go on in, there’s at least one friend waiting there. Yes there’s probably someone you know already in that room. She/he is ready and waiting to help you along. Waiting to listen, to love and to accept you right where you are right now at this time and place in your life.  Its Jesus extended through flesh and blood.

Maybe what you're reading right now has struck a chord and you realize you are living in the Room of Good Intentions. Isn't it time to be YOU, the new creation you are in Christ? The Christian life lived by working, trying, striving and earning is just too hard and it was never meant to be lived that way.

Which room do you live in The Room of Grace or The Room of Good Intentions? If you aren't able to live as YOU then you are in the wrong room.

Romans 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

1 Corinthians 15:12 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

Check out GraceFull Women today for a great post by my friend Jennifer. Read her Rescue Story.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Has Your Ship Sailed?

It crossed my mind as my son and I talked about his college education…. how can I expect him to know what he wants to do with the rest of his life NOW when I have just found what I want to do with mine at the age of 47? Strange how our expectations of our young people are so rigid isn’t it? But it’s always been that way.

At the age of 46 I was given the opportunity to do something I had forgotten I loved to do. Turned out I can’t stop now and I’m attempting to make some sort of a living at it. I have found my calling, my gift, my talent in the middle of life.

Guess what? My ship hasn’t sailed without me. I wondered if it had because I couldn’t find my ship for so long.

It’s here! I’m on it, sailing out to sea. Sometimes it’s a rough ride, the waves toss me about. But I’m on for the ride of a lifetime.

Do you feel your ship has sailed without you? Wrong! There it is! See it over there in the harbor? Yes, that’s yours. Get on board and begin your new adventure.

You know… the one you’ve wanted to begin for a while now but you just haven’t taken the time, effort or money to try.

Maybe you just don’t have enough faith to push off and get in the water. Is that it?

Here’s the deal. You’ve been created to do it, called by your Creator to give the world around you your gift. Will you keep your light hid or will you let it shine bright? It’s your choice.

I’m sailing away. See me over there on that sailboat? Yeah, that one! Look for the Light and shine yours.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Feeling Misunderstood

Have you ever been misunderstood? It seems to happen to me often. I have good intentions and never intend to hurt or cause problems but others seem to misconstrue my actions or words the wrong way. My motives are usually pure and good but sometimes you'd think I was a deceiving snake by the way I'm perceived. Is it because I don't always conform to the way they want things done? Or because I don't agree with everthing they say? I used to but those days are gone. I love people and I am so very tactful (most the time) but I now think for myself. Maybe I take for granted that what I think is always right. Maybe I'm prideful. I think I'm gonna be thinkin' on this thing for a while.

I'm just wondering could I possibly be so blind to what I say and do? Do I see myself one way and others see me another? It is really beginning to bother me.

This is all I have to say today. Just needed to voice how I was feeling.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Normal Is A Good Thing

I'm over at Christian Women's Online Network today. How about popping over there and checking out my post? I'll love ya forever. If you like it please let me know by clicking the "like button" and/or leave a comment and we'll talk about the post. I believe you'll want to once you read it.

Today’s post is a prompt from The Red Dress Club, Red Writing Hood. we were asked to repost our favorite Red Writing Hood prompt. Here it is and I hope you'll fall in love with the heroine Lina. This is a continuation from her story. If your interested in her past read I Never Left Her, The Prison Cell From Hell.

The buzzer buzzed and the large metal door opened. She walked through to the other side with a slow shuffle, making her way to the long table in the middle of the visitor’s area. Her visitors would be there soon, her babies would see her once again in this horrid place. They would smell the rancid body odor, see and hear things they shouldn’t and feel the shame… again.

Ben and Lacey lived with her sister now. Lynn had a spare bedroom with twin beds set up, ready and waiting for them the very day Lina was sent away to prison. The sisters had tried to better prepare the kids for their mother’s long absence by taking them shopping at Wal-Mart to pick out comforter sets. Kids get excited when they get new things right? The tears came quickly as she thought about the hugs and kisses they willingly gave her for the new bed sets and McDonald’s Happy meals on that last shopping day.

Did they understand what she had done? Could they love her knowing the kind of person she was? Forgiveness, was that even possible? Lina sat staring down at her hands. Thoughts of what those hands had done ran through her mind. Life could have been so different…

Every month when Lynn brought the kids to visit the same dread, shame, and guilt plagued her as she sat there waiting.  She felt like a  coward  during their time together.  Apologies, tears, and sorrow seemed to command their time as the three of them tried to be some sort of a family while in such a cold, barren place. Lina didn’t want this for her kids.
 “God,” she whispered, “let this time with my babies be sweet and special. You know how much I love them, let them know it too. Please take this shame and guilt away from me just for a little while. Maybe if I don't feel it they won't either.”

As Lina lifted her head Ben and Lacey ran to her, hugging her furiously, but were immediately whisked away by a tall female guard standing close by. They knew the drill but were determined to  hug their momma before getting caught.

Each had drawn a picture for Lina. Both were excited to show her their pictures and argued about  which one she would look at first. Lina took both in her hands at the same time.

Ben’s drawing was of a house full of people, 1 car in the driveway, and a woman standing large and tall in the middle of the crowd. He said, “That’s you Momma. You’re bigger than everybody else cause your specialer than everybody else.” Lina blew a kiss across the table to her little man.

Lacey’s drawing had 3 large red hearts and many smaller pink hearts all over the paper. She explained in her familiar analytical way, "See, the 3 red hearts are me, Ben and Auntie Lynn and all the little pink hearts," pointing as she spoke," are us telling you over and over we love you, we love you!” Lacey's arms outstretched wide as she demonstrated to her momma how much they loved her. Where was the shame in that?

Today the three didn’t talk about forgiveness, or about how sorry Lina was for things, or how she should have been a better mother… No, today they talked about school, friends, Lacey’s new doll's clothes and Ben's 2nd base position on his baseball team.

Today Lina was a good mother who had raised loving, caring, smart kids. She even forgot for a while where she was and why she was there. Prayer answered.

On this visitor's day Lina, Lacey and Ben were just a normal, ordinary family and that’s a good

Don't forget to check out my other blog Grace Full Women for an encouraging word or two with a little inspiration added in and a lot of God's love to boot.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

She Remains

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]Family heirloom silver napkin rings[/caption]

I didn’t know what to expect that first time I walked in her home. As I walked through her purposefully decorated living room to the kitchen I felt a little uncomfortable. My home was usually in disarray because I was raising small children and my housekeeping skills had not been perfected. So I was a little out of place when I stepped into a Better Homes and Garden magazine.

She was neatly dressed in jeans, a button up shirt and her hair perfectly set. Where was I, in a Leave It To Beaver episode?

I was escorted to her kitchen table which was already set with “real" plates, silverware, goblets, and cloth napkins. Did she keep it like this all the time or was this for me? I have to admit I felt special and she meant for me to feel that way.  Over at my house we used paper plates, cups and napkins. The easier the better. I later found out she had always used her good dishes even when her children were small. This lady was classy and refined and I wanted to learn what I could from

As a young woman I was impulsive and said and did things on a whim. She taught me what it meant to think before I spoke and later I understood that I should do the same before acting too. My mentor gently and wisely taught me how to be teachable.

I have watched her world almost fall apart and yet she remains. She remains in Him just as Christ tells us to do in John 15.

 Because she remains I have a godly woman to follow.

Because she remains her family stays strong.

Because she remains many others see Jesus every day.

And because she remains her legacy will go on.

We have been in ministry together for many, many years and I’ve grown because of my encourager. There is so much I could say but there is not enough space here or anywhere to contain all she’s taught me. The love I’ve received and had the privilege to give in this relationship has been one of the most special gifts the Lord has given to me.

I am blessed to have her on my side and I consider this woman my friend, mentor and partner in the greatest call we have on our lives, loving others to Jesus. Thank you N.

This was written in response to a prompt from The Red Dress Club. Write about a mentor, someone who guided or inspired you. How did your mentor impact your life?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Safari In Georgia? See for Yourself

Hubs and I went on a short anniversary trip to Callaway Gardens this past weekend. While away we stopped of at a safari here in Georgia. Yes I know it sounds lame and we thought it might be a dud too. But we're getting old and wild animals sticking their heads in our car sounded like a bit of a thrill. We went for it! I'm sharing some of the excitement with you today.

[caption id="attachment_1646" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Love this photo of my babe and me."][/caption]


[caption id="attachment_1648" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Zebra wishing he could have more food."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1651" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="We steered clear of this steer."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1652" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Some kind of bull with horns that turned up."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1653" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="My favorite baby in the whole place."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1654" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Three little pigs."][/caption]

Ok so I guess after looking at the pics it looks to you more like a drive thru farm/safari than a wild safari right? Well there was the giraffe and the zebra you saw them and an ostrich which I did not post. And there was an element of danger with that big steer, bull animal coming at us! And the deer and other cows and stuff trying to eat our hands. And the drool was so gross and the big tongues, you did see the big tongues right?! Also what you haven't seen yet is the Walk About part. The animals were all caged but there were tigers and lions and bears oh my! I have pics to prove it.