Thursday, October 31, 2013

Homemade Characters

We are talking Homemade Costumes - easy to hard - over at the Camp Lovely Blog today.
This is one of my all time favorite pictures of the boys. They are ages 3 and 7 in this picture. 
The magic years.
I am getting teary just looking at it.
Those faces.

Okay, I am going to go find a tissue, but you go should check out the Camp Lovely post, where you will find a pint size Nacho Libre and Little Red Riding Hood among others, I promise it is worth a gander.

Tonight is our Annual(ish) Halloween Hoopla, and tomorrow is my Grandaddy's Memorial. 
It's should be an interesting 24 hours. I am fortifying myself with lots of coffee and prayers.

I wish for you a lovely evening,
Peace and love friends,

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

what i saw, and a little bit about this blog

This past Saturday, while the menfolk hunted, Jeanetta and I hunkered down with all the kids at Darley Farm.  I worked on my proposals, she worked on potato soup. Once the soup was done my eyes were crossing and  we decided it was time for a little flea marketing break.  Luckily for us there was a local antique and flea show happening just down the road, so we stole away and did a little window thrifting.

I am in-love with this adorable globe/desk lamp. Such a great mid century piece. This would be great on Wylie's desk. If he ever used it. Let's be honest. Everyone does all their work at the kitchen table. 

I've told you that I was a HUGE Lady Di fan right? These dolls were in amazing condition. But they cost a fortune. And I am not really a collectible doll person. And their faces are weird. Charles looks completely wigged out and Diana looks like she went to the MAC counter on her way to the church.
But still, what a great find.

I know I am about five years behind with this reference, but Hello McDreamy!
Someday I will own a vintage card catalogue. Someday.

I already have about three six hanging light fixtures waiting to be revamped and used. No way I could justify bringing another one home to hang out in the hall closet. But I did love the colors on this one so much

This was the most precious little medicine mirror cabinet ever. I would have loved to purchase it.  The vendor who had it for sale is local. Wondering if I can track it down. I have no idea where I would put it, but I really think it needs a home.
Non-Buyers Remorse.

Just fun and cute. Not my style at all but I loved all the colors.

 A classic. One day I am going to find the perfect and affordable USA map. But right now I don't have anywhere to hang it, so I didn't feel too bad about leaving this darling behind.

Redwork on white linen is always a favorite 

The only thing I purchased  was a bracelet made entirely of vintage white buttons. It's adorable. And I forgot to take a picture. Perhaps later on I will remember to Instagram it.


So lately I have seen a lot of blog post about why people blog. Is it over? How commercial should one be? Should you have sponsors/giveaways/ads? Do you blog for others or for yourself? Is it a hobby or a job? 

There is a lot of thought dancing around the blogosphere. There are conferences and workshops and tutorials and oy vey, it all makes my head spin.

My blog, like my life, has seen it's fair share of phases. 
This is my 1808 post. 
I have been doing this for almost nine years.

This little slice of Internet space has served so many purposes for me. 
It has been a creative outlet, a way to make new friends, a way to be inspired by others, a way to promote my businesses, a way to chronicle our family life, and  a place where I can stretch my writing wings a bit.
It has been a habit, a passion, a burden, a joy. 
Occasionally I will chase a rabbit down a hole, and get lost thinking about Branding or Traffic or Optimum Posting Times or Cooperate Sponsors. Occasionally I feel like I should be doing this better. I should post more, I should write deeper things and stop doing things like showing you what I didn't buy at the flea market. Sometimes I think I should have two blogs - one for writing about faith and one for pretty things. Or that I should get more focused in my posting. 
But most of those thoughts are nonsense. And they are the sort of things that rise up when I am tired and stressed and feeling particularly brittle to the touch. When I am feeling behind on everything in my life - not just blogging.

Mostly what I have done, and what I plan on continuing to do, is playing it by ear, taking this thing one day at a time. Sharing bits of my life- the thrifting, faith, food, kids, worries, celebrations, successes, failures, and writings - with you as they happen. 

So here are a few little thoughts on what I can tell you about the future here at Jolly Goode Gal:
Dear friends you are not my target audience. You are friends and pen pals and acquaintances and readers and peers. This means that my blog will probably never be a Bid Deal because you are a bit of menagerie and there is no pinning you down to one demographic or special interst group. But that's OK. In fact it's beautiful. I like who you are, and who we are together. You are a Big Deal to me.
I will always host giveaways because as a thrifty gal I like free stuff. But I will only ever giveaway stuff I already love myself. No fake product pushing here. Mostly I like to give away books (OK, so I am book pusher. The rumors are true) and cute things. 
I wrote a book so from time to time I will promote it here. 
Also I have friends who make cool stuff and write cool books. I will promote them from time to time as well. I like to share the love, spread the wealth, and walk in kindness. .
I like it when you comment
I have to be honest. Sometimes when a post doesn't get a single comment, my smile turns upside down. But I am not a great commenter myself, so I get it. No hard feelings. But I do like it. If you were wondering.
Speaking of being honest, that is what I strive for more than anything. 
I try to be honest.
Even if that means that sometimes all I honestly have to share is pictures of what I didn't buy last weekend. 
And I try to be tender. 
Which is why sometimes I will tell you things about myself that aren't so great. Ways in which I am broken, or worn out. Ways I am failing and flailing. Sometimes I will moan about the same thing for six months. Thanks for hanging in there with me when that happens.
I live at the crossroads of Beauty and Mess. Sometimes it's fun and sometimes it's boring. Sometimes it's cool and sometime's it's the awkward kid who won't stop talking even when no one is listening anymore. And lots of times it is full of grammer mistakes and off-centered photos.  But it's where I live and where, for the time being, my blog shall remain. 
I am always glad you stopped by.

And that's the truth ruth.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

life at the intersection - Lisa Scandrette and a GIVEAWAY

 Today's post is part of a series I am hosting called At the Intersection, and it is all about how other gals out there -gals like me who are mothers, artist and followers of Christ - juggle all three areas of their lives at once. 
I am so excited to share with you this interview with a new friend of mine. I met Lisa on a very Friday, under a very small tent, when I gave a very poor excuse of a small Homemade Year workshop at the Wild Goose Festival. Luckily Lisa was very gracious despite my complete frazzled self, and the next day we sat and chatted for a long time under another (much larger ) tent. We chatted about kids, and faith, and stewardship, and working, and writing and crafty things, and I found myself wishing that she lived a lot closer to Arkansas. Later that day I had the wonderful pleasure of hearing Lisa and her husband Mark present on their new book Free. I feel inlove with the concept of their book, and the heart of their message, and I knew that I wanted to feature Lisa here on the blog. So, without further, adieu, here's Lisa...

Name: Lisa Scandrette
Blog Name: Farmgirl Creates (My blog has been mostly a private catalog of things that I have made.  I haven’t been overly active there lately.) (Lisa and her husband also run
Art Form:  I sew, knit, write and try all kinds of new fiber craft forms.  I am currently learning to spin.  Writing is a resurrected endeavor in the last year or two.
Kids Ages: Mark and I have three children:  Hailey (19), Noah (18) and Isaiah (16)
Relationship Status: happily married
Other Job(s) besides blogging/creating: I teach and do administrative work for ReImagine, a nonprofit that seeks to help people integrate the life and teachings of Jesus into every day living.  I also homeschool our youngest.  (I’ve graduated the other two, who are in college now.)
Expression of Faith: ReImagine has small groups of people who try to live out the teachings of Jesus together and it is through these relationships and others that we find church.
Where Do You Live? We live in the upper flat of an old Victorian in the Mission District of San Francisco.

How did you find your creative niche? Was this something you have always done, or did you fall into it by accident?  
Some of my earliest memories are of sitting under a quilting frame, watching the hands of my grandmother, my great aunt and my mother push their needles up and down through the quilt while they exchanged family news and talked about plans for their summer gardens.  When I was nine, my mom taught me to sew. The first thing I recall making was a sparkly red polyester pants suit that I wore to the 3rd grade. I come from a long line of women who sew, so I was immersed in it my whole life and many of my clothes were handmade. I took up other fiber crafts as I grew, but I would say knitting is the other major creative outlet for me. I started knitting about 14 years ago because it was portable and I could bring it to the park so that I had something to do while I watched the kids play. I like to keep my hands busy.

I loved writing as a child and all through my teen years.  It fell by the wayside when I had kids, but I have revisited my writing in the last couple of years and am  exploring and trying to sharpen those skills once again.

Where do you create? Office? Kitchen table?
 I work best in a tiny little room off of our kitchen that I call my office--it was meant to be a pantry, but we’ve added some cupboards and a countertop.  It holds my computer and has space for me to sew.  This is where I write, think and create when I am at home. My knitting goes with me wherever I go and is perfectly portable!

Do you create best in solitude or in the middle of chaos? 
I am an introvert, so my creating time is often also a good time for me to get some solitude.  I definitely need solitude to write. However, I can have a great time knitting or sewing with some friends if the opportunity arises.

How does your faith influence your creative process?
I believe that we were created to be creative, so that when I am engaging in creative process I am drawing close to the Creator. In addition, I use the things I create to pray for people.  Most of the items I make become gifts to others--while I create I pray for the recipient.

How does that process influence or enrich your faith? 
Creating beauty mirrors the creation of God and enjoying and being an active participant in that beauty refreshes my soul. I find that when I write, I need to reflect and process a great deal. I often end up seeing where God has been at work in me while I was unaware.

Sometimes I feel as if writing, parenting, and the practicing my faith are all drawing from the same well inside me, that they tax the same part of my heart. This means that quite often I find that I have depleted all of my resources pouring into just one of the three, leaving the other two wanting.  Do you have this same issue, or is it just me?  
For me, I think it depends on the medium. Writing requires lots of resources. Knitting and sewing, on the other hand, tend to recharge me. I would also say that the landscape of parenting has changed for me in recent years as my kids are reaching adulthood. It is taxing in different ways than when they were younger and perhaps taxing in chunks rather than consistently....

What do you do to recharge, or refill the well,

In the creative process?  To feel inspired, I read good stories and blogs of all kinds, spend time in nature, poke around fabric and yarn shops to look at materials, pick up a book or a magazine that has new ideas.

In parenting? I get together with friends who are in a similar place in life and talk. Friends remind me that my feelings are normal and that I’m sane. I take some time for solitude and prayer. I go for a walk--the endorphins and the fresh air do wonders. I do something fun with my family. Sometimes I read books about parenting.

In the practicing of faith?  I try to practice consistent rhythms of prayer, journalling, scripture reading and solitude. I meet regularly with friends who share my faith journey to encourage each other. I try to take a day once a month for a time of retreat--an extended time in solitude with God, often out in nature.

Do you have any advice for other mom's out there who are also trying to learn how to live out their callings as artist, mothers and followers of Christ? What is something you wish someone had told you earlier on?
          Well, I think someone did tell me, though I couldn’t feel it at the time:  There are different seasons of life. You will have sometimes more and sometimes less energy for the different callings in your life at different times. It’s okay. It’ll balance out in the end.  Also, when you pursue your callings as a mother and an artist, that is part of your pursuit as a follower of Christ. It’s not a separate thing.   Ask yourself, how do I bring the spirit of Christ to my task of mothering or into my creative process? 
          I am also comforted by the awareness that I am made to be a particular person, with certain gifts and limitations. It is to me, as a package of all those gifts and limitations, that these callings have been given.  God knows me and I am enough to rise to the challenge.  God will not give me more than I can bear, with God’s help.  (Though sometimes I may want to take on more than I am meant to do at any time.)

What are some specific challenges you are facing right now in all three of these areas? 
As an artist, I am feeling pulled to develop my skills. I am rusty with my writing skills and need to develop a more regular practice if I plan to pursue writing in the future. In my sewing and knitting, I’d like to branch out more and experiment with original designs.
As a mother, my kids are beginning to leave the nest.  It is an exciting new time for us all.  Though it is good, it is new territory and I find myself mourning some of the time when they were younger.  It is hard to watch them experience adult sized challenges and heart aches and I am just learning how to be a mother at this stage of life.

As a follower of Jesus, I am always growing as life changes and grows.  As my kids leave home I find myself asking questions about purpose and calling again.  I want to press close and hear what God is saying to me right now.  I am finding that some of my personal “shadows” are evident to me and I am in need of some soul care.

How can I, and my readers, pray for you?
  I’d like courage, wisdom and confidence for this transitional stage of life for me.  It seems like a time for making many new decisions about how I will spend my time and who I will become.  It almost feels like the transition from adolescence to adulthood, though I know myself better this time around.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers regarding the interplay of art, faith, and parenthood in your life? Any experiences or practices you would like to share?      
    Establishing practices and rhythms helps me to incorporate what I value into my life.  When things become a rhythm, I don’t need to think about them quite so much for them to happen.

Here are some of my rhythms:
  • a 45 minute walk when I get up in the morning to get some exercise and clear my head.
  • Mark and I go on a date every Friday night to connect as a couple.  It’s on the calendar and we check before scheduling anything else in that spot.
  • We take a Sabbath once a week for refreshing, rest and connecting with the Creator.
  • I sit in stillness prayer with a couple other people from our community every Tuesday morning at 7:15.
  • I journal, pray and read in the quiet hour of the morning.
  • We make pizza and watch a movie with the kids on Saturday nights.

Regular rhythms take intention to develop or change, but once they are in place, they happen nearly automatically--like showering or getting dressed.

Any questions that I didn't ask that you think I should have? If so, what are they and what are your answers? :)
“You and your husband recently released a new book called “Free: Spending Your Time and Money on What Matters Most.  Tell me about that.
          We see people longing to live into a life of meaning--doing meaningful work, spending time loving the people around them, making a difference in the world in terms of global justice, living lives of beauty and goodness.  “Free: Spending Your Time and Money on What Matters Most” leads readers through a process of defining what matters most to them, aligning their values with their time and money, practicing gratitude and trust, believing they have enough, creating a spending plan, maximizing their resources and living generously.  It is meant to be worked through with a friend or with a group of friends. We’ve had the privilege of walking with many groups of people through these steps and have seen people take bold choices to become more free to pursue the life they feel called to.  This book is the fruit of those group experiences and our own learning about living a life of simplicity over the course of twenty three years.


When Sweet Man and I went away for our birthday weekend, Free* was the book we begin to read and process together, and I can honestly say that we both really got a lot from it. There is still so much more for us to go through - this is not a quick read, it is a game changer. Figuring out how to be good stewards of our time, money, and gifts is something that we have been discussing for the past year. Discovering Lisa and Mark's book has been so helpful in that process. 
Free being good stewards - not in order to receive blessings or wealth - but out of a response of love and gratefulness to God. Free is not about getting more, but about managing what we have, where we are. 
Free is a great book to use in a small group setting, between couples, or as a personal project. 

Lisa and her publishers have very generously offered to
 give away a copy of the book 
to 5 lucky winners! 

To enter the giveaway leave a comment on this post with your email address and I will draw the names on November 5. Good luck!

*(Disclaimer: I purchased my copy of Free myself and contacted Lisa regarding the interview and the giveaway. All opinions are my own :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

belated birthday post

Sorry that posting has been sparse. I have a huge writing deadline next Friday, that is keeping most of my creative brain cells busy. I promise that things will pick back up in November ;)

 A few weekends ago, before Camp Lovely, before my Grandaddy left us, Sweet Man and I retreated to a lakeside cabin for our birthday weekend. 
We needed this weekend. I needed this weekend. 

One of my all time favorite authors - Barbara Brown Taylor said this
Salvation is a word for the divine spaciousness that comes to human beings in all the tight places where their lives are at risk, regardless of how they got there...

To say that I had some "tight spaces" where my life and heart was at risk, is an understatement.

So we ran away.
To our favorite sort of place. Someplace quiet, someplace lo-fi, someplace with water, and trees, and a whole lot of calm.
We sat on the porch in the still twilight listening to the rain.
We read books, and went to bed early, and listened to the ducks chatting and enjoyed the comfort of being together, just the two of us.
On Saturday we went fishing. Well, Sweet Man went fishing.
I road along in the boat and soaked up the sun and read to him from the book Free.
And we talked about things.
About our family life, our financial life, our house, our work, our dreams, our future.
We talked about stewardship.
About being good stewards of all of it - the time we have with our kids, the talents we have been blessed with, our money, our time, and our energy.
Some of the conversations were hard.
But mostly they were good. Really good.
They were salvation.
They "opened(sic)  a door in what looked for all the world like a wall."  (BBT) 
Which is pretty much how God works. 

We came home from that weekend with some very clear directions for our life as a couple and a family.
We came home with a filter of heart-rooted priorities (not agendas) which we are doing our very best to run most of our decisions through. Even (or perhaps especially) some rather big decisions.
I cannot express how freeing this has all been. 
Not that things are perfect, or that I have all the answers, or that I don't still freak out from time to time. (In fact I had a little meltdown just yesterday.)
But there is a rootedness in my heart that wasn't there before. 
There is a peace and a settledness that is new and refreshing and so very welcomed.
And that is so very good.
Right now, it is life.

Next week I am going to share some more with about the book Free, I think you will love it as much as I do.

Till then, 
Have a lovely weekend.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Camp Lovely CraftAway 1

All pictures in this post are by my sister and fab photographer Jemimah B. 

So if you follow me on FB or Instagram or Twitter, you may have noticed that I am part of a little something called Camp Lovely and that a few weekends ago we went away on a little adventure we  called CraftAway. This is a little bit about all of that.

Camp Lovely is a group of 5 friends who came together around the same idea -creating experience's of community for crafty gals like ourselves and gals like YOU! 
Someone once asked me how I picked these friends for this adventure. 
My honest answer was-and is- this "I didn't pick them, they all picked me. And we all picked each other!" It just sort of happened. Like the first time someone dipped a french fry into their Frosty or a strawberry into melted chocolate... It was just magic.
Since the first time we ever all gathered, one thing has been on our minds - to figure out a way to host some crafty camping retreats. Taking inspiration from Meg, we wanted to find a place where gals could gather and craft, flea market, and eat yummy food and find friendship and camaraderie.
But we wanted to put our own spin on the craft retreat idea. We wanted to do it Camp Lovely style. 
So after months of planning, the big weekend was finally here. We had all sweet talked different friends from church and work and playgroups to join us for this adventure at campground lodge on top of Petit Jean Mountain (where the beds already all had adorable handmade quilts on them btw) which is about an hour and half outside of Little Rock. 
Our unique location   meant lots of s'mores and laughter around the campfire, breathtaking views, and late night glasses of sangria, and yes, bugs. 
After all this is Camp Lovely. 
We are crafty gals who also love nature and the outdoors, so most of our overnight adventures will include extra visitors like bugs and dirt. If that's not your thing, that is OK too. We will be hosting some "towny" events as well - Day Camps and evening mixers and smaller gatherings for those who "don't do bugs,"  but in our heart of hearts we are camping gals. It's just how we roll. 

Over the weekend we completed six easy crafts - from beading to sewing to wreath wrapping. We wanted to make sure that each camper walked away with several cute items they could keep or give as gifts, and perhaps even try a new craft skill or two!
 But it wasn't just crafting - we also went on a picnic, did some flea marketing in adorable Downtown Morrilton, sat on the cliffs and enjoyed the view, napped and feasted outside under the stars.
The weekend was absolutely lovely, and the gals and I learned so much. (Like why having a Craft House would be SO much more convenient. We will be doing some serious investing in Rubber Maid tubs over the next few months.) I am so grateful to have friends like these in my life, who will take on such wild and crazy adventures with me!

 If you want to see more about this wonderful weekend you can also visit the CL Blog.  There you will find post about our great Camp Lovely Sponsors and see more pictures from our fun weekend!

If you would like to become a Camp Lovely Camper and join us for our next CraftAway please send us an email at  info {at} camplovely {dot} com and we will add you to our mailing list!

And if you would like to stay updated on CL happenings please follow us on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.  Our next event is a fun one - a Craft Swap on November 8 and it is FREE for all!  Clean out those craft supply closets and drawers and join us for this fun evening. I will be there with bags full of goodies to share :)

Thanks again to all the Camp Lovely Craft Away Sponsors:

PS- Thank you for all the love and sweet words you have shared with me upon my Grandaddy's passing. There is still much to be done to care for my Nana, and reading your kind and loving comments has boosted my spirits in so many ways.

Friday, October 18, 2013

My Grandaddy

The picture below was taken sometime in the spring of 1978. That is me on my Grandaddy's knee. To the right, and my mother is holding my brother Joshua. My cousin Matthew (three days younger than me) is to the left, sitting next to my Nana and my Aunt Kathy. Standing behind the couch are the four Jackson brothers. My uncles Paul, Timothy and Brent, as well as my Daddy, Johnny Jr.
I love this picture because this is where my memories start in earnest. I am three, my brother has just been born, and life is great.

The house this picture was taken in is the house that I have known my whole life, and chances are it will be sold before the end of the year.
But that is another post.
In the early morning hours of Tuesday morning my Grandaddy passed on to the next leg of his journey.

There are so many things I will miss.
I will miss the way he loved my Nana, his love of Baskin Robins Ice Cream, the way he could recite the entire Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke by heart, his telling of a Billy Goats Gruff, and the way he always snuck the children in his life a little spending money no matter what. I will miss hearing him preach, and seeing him stretched out on his chair napping. I will miss the way he pushed his glasses back up his nose.
But most of all, I will miss his smile and I will miss his voice. 
When your Grandaddy is a preacher, his voice becomes as much a part of your sense memory as a smell or a song.

Yesterday we laid my Grandaddy to rest in a small family gathering. 
Below is his obituary as written by my Uncle Tim.

Obituary for Johnny Joe Jackson Sr. 

Borrowing a line from D.L. Moody, Johnny Jackson Sr. used to say with a wry smile, “One day you’re going to read in the newspaper that I’ve died. Don’t you believe it!”  By this, “The Preacher”, as Jackson often referred to himself, expressed his absolute confidence that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

Johnny Jackson slipped quietly from this life to the next in the early hours of October 15 after a weeklong vigil in which he participated with great faith, humor and courage. He was 85. The boldness and resolve with which he made the end of life decision to discontinue dialysis reminded some of his trademark quip: “I might be wrong but I’m not confused.” Johnny spent most of the week leading up to his passing by encouraging family, friends, peers and protégés who visited his hospital room or talked with him by phone. His last conscious words were to Carlene, his wife of 64 years: “I love you, Sweetheart.”

He was Pat and Ruby Jackson’s second born child, arriving May 3, 1928. He must have looked like a “Johnny Joe” to Ruby because that’s the name she put on his birth certificate. He grew up in Camden, Arkansas, with his beloved parents and siblings: Pat Jr. (d.1956), Jimmy, Billy Ray (d. 1936), Homer (d. 2011) and Zada.

“Of all the adventures, privileges and honors I’ve had in my life,” Johnny often said, “what I cherish more than anything else is my family.” Johnny and Carlene have four sons: Johnny Jr., Paul, Brent and Timothy. The family grew and was enriched in love by four daughters-in-law, eleven grandchildren and six great grandchildren. “Granddaddy” loved each member of his family – praying for them by name every day and keeping up with the big and small events of their lives.

After his family, Jackson loved (mostly in this order) preaching and being a pastor; serving in the offices and institutions of the Southern Baptist Convention; playing golf; and cheering for the Arkansas Razorbacks, New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys. Of this last item it should be noted that Johnny Jackson was a fierce competitor and loyal fan. During a forty-year stretch, he only missed attending two Razorback football home games. “One because of heart surgery and the other due to poor planning.”

During his studies and following graduation from Ouachita Baptist College (1951) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1956), Johnny pastored churches in Arkansas and Texas. Most notably he was pastor of Forest Highlands Baptist Church in Little Rock, AR, from 1966 until 1986. He served two terms as President of the Arkansas Baptist Convention. He served eighteen years as a trustee for Ouachita Baptist University. He was elected Chairman of the SBC’s North American Mission Board in 1991. His passions for Bible study, history and travel came together in the 21 Holy Land tours he led for Dehoney Travel. In ministry, nothing exceeded his love of missions and his support for missionaries. The work and family of Morris Wanje in Kenya, East Africa, held a special place in Johnny’s heart.

After entering semi-retirement, Jackson served seventeen churches in Arkansas as interim pastor. During those interims, The Preacher faithfully practiced the less in vogue pastoral arts of visiting people in their homes and praying with people in hospitals and prisons. During his interim pastorate at First Baptist Church in Maumelle, AR, Johnny Jackson entered his 65th year of public ministry. The congregation surprised “Bro. Johnny” with a public celebration of that remarkable milestone.

Johnny Jackson Sr. was buried in a private graveside service shortly after his passing. A public celebration of his life will be held at First Baptist Church, Maumelle, AR, on Friday, November 1 at 10AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to OuachitaBaptist University.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Endings and beginnings and carrying on as always

First of all, let me say this. I have a teenager.
And it is glorious. And it breaks my heart.
He is both big and little all once.
Grown and childish.
Man and boy.
Exuberant and melancholy.
Brilliant and distracted.
I love him so, so, much, and I pray that I do right by him everyday.
To be the kind of mother he needs - not necessarily the kind he always wants.

I'm sorry things have been a little sparse around here. 
There is a lot going on.
There is a book proposal in the works.
There is a new roof being considered.
Other changes down the road are a daily topic of conversation.
There is a house full of people I love who keep making laundry and dirty dishes.

But mostly, what is keeping me occupied is that my paternal grandfather is very sick, and may not be with us much longer.
There are lots of hospital visits to see him, and other visits to sit with my grandmother confined to another bed across town.
There is a lot of sitting, and being, with spurts of preparing for what lies ahead.

Between these visits we took a little trip to the pumpkin patch.
We have celebrated Spec's birthday.
We have roasted marshmallows around a fire with good friends.

The contrast between life ending and life continuing is stark, and bright, and so up close that sometimes I cannot see anything else.

This week, I was sent the following words from our wonderful deacon, Joanna. Praying these words -be it morning or night - has helped so very much, because as each day rises, there is no way for me to know lies ahead. Endings and beginnings and carrying on as always, all together in bright, stark contrast to each other.

In the Morning
This is another day, O Lord.  I know not what it will bring
forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be.  If I
am to stand up, help me to stand bravely.  If I am to sit still,
help me to sit quietly.  If I am to lie low, help me to do it
patiently.  And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. 
Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit
of Jesus.  Amen.
-The Common Book of Prayer

much love

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

World of Colour

My sweet friend Alison and her family recently moved to Aberdeen, Scotland. While normally, I would be green with envy about such a bold adventure, in this instance I know that even though there are a million things wonderful about this move, there are also a million things that have been - and continue to be - hard about this move. 
But true to her sweet nature, Alison is doing her darnedest to see on the sunny side at every turn. This is includes jumping right into the wonderful world of travel blogging, attending the TBEX travel blogging conference and participating in a special blogger tour of Ireland (I know, green, right?) 
Today Alison is passing on some of the travel love, by tagging me in a travel photo challenge called 
Capture the Colour. Here are my selections - make sure to go check out hers as well, or maybe even get a last minute post in yourself!

White - Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Green-Moss Mountain, Arkansas

Yellow-  San Antonio, Texas

Blue- Alexandria, Louisiana

Red-Little Rock, Arkansas


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