Oct 5, 2015

Silver linings.

1.  Rainy fall and miserable homecoming. 

2.  Chicken poop on my porch.
3.  Burnt up computers, printer problems, and vacuum issues.
4.  Puberty.

5.  Holes in my down bedding, dog pee on rugs.
6.  Work and sport schedules, cancellations and late nights.
7.  Torn ACL's.
8.  Not blogging for three years.
9.  Living 400 miles from family.
10.  Budgets and bills.
11.  Insurance and premiums and claims.
12.  Unfolded laundry that gets all wrinkly.
13.  Cold coffee.
14.  Not enough yarn for a 3 skein cowl.
15.  Lemon Larabars. 
16.  Prayer requests that I didn't pray for.
17.  Bible reading plan reminders that I'm behind.
18.  The name Jesus is divisive.  
19.  Trending news stories.
20.  Cancer.


1.  The sun is peeking, grass is green, leaves are turning.
2.  The chickens have started laying again.

3.  New toys.

4.  Teenage humor and manly sounding laughter.

5.  Fall cleaning, carpet cleaners, shiny windows.
6.  Hurricane Joaquin sent much needed rest our way.
7.  Athletic trainers and sports medicine, caring coaches, supportive team.

8.  Blogger saved it all.
9.  October wedding shower.
10.  Hardworking husband.
11.  Health and coverage.
12.  Fluff cycle.
13.  Fresh Yuban.
14.  Yarn balls.

15.  Peanut Butter Cookie Larabars.
16.  Answered prayers.
17.  Fresh start.
18.  Jesus is all inclusive.
19.  I see you, non-trending, good people.
20.  Chemo, radiation, recovery.

Dec 10, 2012

Psalm 118:26-29

  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
    From the house of the Lord we bless you.
The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
    up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will praise you;
    you are my God, and I will exalt you.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.
My boys surprised me five years ago with a spindly pine that they had cut down all by themselves.  The tree has progressively grown bigger and stronger, just like those two blond boys with big grins.  The LORD is good, His love is enduring.  I praise Him for so many Merry Christmas's with Drew and Finn and I pray for many more.  I thank God, who sent His beloved Son, to save mine.

Dec 6, 2012

The rhythm of a small town.

 Nate began taking guitar lessons at Downtown Music three years ago. The owner, Gabe Stalnaker, and him became good friends.  He began spending more time there, longer lessons, drop by visits, recording songs, setting up for summer concerts, and more lessons.  About a year and a half ago, he was feeling something.  He couldn't explain it to me, but the best I could understand was that he wanted a ministry opportunity with youth and music.  He met with several people, prayed for understanding, and waited.  And waited. At the same time, Gabe had been feeling called to ministry and was praying for a church to open their doors for him to pastor.  One thing led to another, several months of tossing ideas around, waking up in the night, and prayers, we all took a big step of faith.  Gabe accepted a ministry opportunity in Tennessee and Nate accepted the keys to Downtown Music.  We, okay I, have weak knees and a weaker stomach.  I don't know what the next year, even the next month is going to bring, but, for now, we are managing a music store in downtown Rocky Mount, Virginia and I fully believe and trust that God opened that door for Nate.  We could never replace Gabe Stalnaker, we aren't looking for anything else but that God can be glorified at Downtown Music and we can keep the doors open for all of the music students to continue their lessons.  There are six amazing teachers, you name the instrument and one of them can teach it.  Banjo, guitar, fiddle, harmonica, mandolin, piano, drums, etc.  There is a small recording studio, four classrooms, and a lot of love for music.  There is a stage outside for the summer concerts when the students showcase their talent.  We have some new ideas hidden in our heart and we'll just keep praying and see what God allows to happen.  We are taking it slooow but it's been pretty exciting to add our own small touches to the shop. 

Our first big event is Come Home to a Franklin County Christmas this Friday night, December 7, from 5:30 to 9.  Drew will be marching in a small parade with the middle school band at 5:30 and then Cable 12 will be filming the students at Downtown Music playing Christmas music.  They amp the music out to the street so you can stand outside the window to watch.  The downtown is full of vendors, horse and buggy rides, all of the stores are open, and lots of craft vendors.  I will be inside selling cinnamon rolls and brewing Starbucks coffee.  (Homemade creme de menthe syrup, whipping cream, and candy canes for a peppermint mocha if you so desire.) Proceeds to benefit We Care of Franklin County.

One of my favorite things about the store and its location?  It is located along The Crooked Road, which is the Virginia heritage music trail. 

And finally, I would love it if you would like Downtown Music on Facebook and I've even got Nate all set up on Instagram as downtownmusic.

Dec 2, 2012

Jeremiah, Cindy, and Hudson

*Update* Cindy's husband, Jeremiah posted an update.  I soaked in every word because I had so little information for so long.  I understand now that I was better off not knowing how serious... that I just needed to pray.  Still praying for recovery and Hudson's health, but so thankful that I have a lot more praise than pleas.

Jehovah Rapha.  The God who physically heals as in 2 Kings 20:4-5.  This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. 

We've joked about being Blog Friends Forever (BFF) and it seems so flippant now.  Please join me in prayer for the Cook and Covey family.  In early complications with Cindy's health, Baby Hudson was born on Friday.  I don't know all of the details and I don't need to know them, all I know is we've been asked for fervent and urgent prayer.  I lift them up to Jehovah Rapha and trust His plan.  I praise Him for our friendship and I beg for His protection and comfort.

God IS on her side, I'm trusting in that.

Jul 19, 2012

Revealed to little children.

Regina and I have been co-teaching the K-2nd graders for our Wonderful Wednesday's program at Twin Oaks.  Each age group is learning The Seven C's of History from Answers in Genesis.  We have one hour to pack in each lesson, activities, games, prayers, and snacks.  We have a real sneaky suspicion that our kids are the ones that are teaching us.
 The timeline we are creating is posters with each week's C word that changed history.

Corruption week, the kids acted out the Adam and Eve story as they know it. 
 Finn was Adam and sidled up to Sarah and said, "Hey Eve, 'sup?"
 They used modeling clay and pressed their own fossils.

 We tried to impress them by staking balloons to show the width and height of the ark.  You can see here how impressed they were.  We ate our snack "inside the ark" and when it was time to go inside, they looked around confused.  "Wait, we don't even get to play out here?"

 We translated things they said into different languages for the Tower of Babel and played a rip roaring game of Jenga.
 We had a full blown birthday party for the birth of Christ, cupcakes, candles, party blowers, and gift wrap.  They wrote down their most prized possession and folded it up inside a box and wrapped it up to give to Jesus.  Examples:  my puppy, my bike, my iPod, my bible.

Regina and I pray every week that they are getting a small nugget of truth that teaches them a little bit more about the Bible, about God's promises, and increases their faith.  There are times when no one's eyes are looking at us, one boy is pestering, one girl is screeching, one boy is sneaking a peek on his iPod, one girl is bossing and we feel defeated.  And then the moment comes.  An answer blows us away that shows they have heard, a little voice tells us that they prayed with their daddy to accept Christ in their heart last night, a prayer request that brings tears to my eyes, and praises that make me grin from ear to ear.  And I repeat what Jesus says in Matthew 11:25... "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.  Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do."

Jul 11, 2012

Be amazed by what you see through eyes of grace.

There are some artists that we buy as soon as their new music hits the iTunes Store.  I don't listen to clips, I don't read reviews, I just go straight to the BUY ALBUM button.  Matthew West is one of them.  The way that he uses his talent to tell stories in song of real people, real struggles, real hurt, and real love is God-given, Spirit-breathed amazing.  He has a new song called Forgiveness that stopped me in my tracks.  I wiped my tears and said a prayer of thanksgiving for ministry through music and praised God for Matthew West's gift. 

Matthew West - Forgiveness: Mother Forgives Drunk Driver Who Killed Her Daughter from matthew-west on GodTube.

Condensed lyrics...

It’s the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don’t deserve
It’s the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word…


It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It’s the whisper in your ear saying ‘Set It Free’


Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

It’ll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it’s power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you


I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me

Music may not change our circumstances, but it can change how we react to our circumstances.   


 Urban Dictionary definitions:  used mostly in the 80's to describe something awesome or excellent, surfer slang describing waves, the whitest word on the face of the earth except for gnarly that means AWESOME or sweet.

 Ways to use it in a sentence: 
That's totally tubular, dude!
 I got an 'A' on that basket weaving test.  Tubular!
 Man, that wave I hit was TUBULAR!
 That ride was tubular, man. Did you catch that?!

Nate surprised us with tractor tire tubes.  I thought they were for lazily floating along with a book but I was so wrong.  Worth every penny, the possibilities are endless.  Dude.