Monday, May 26, 2008

Blessings Monday - Answered Prayers

It's "Blessings Monday" and today I'd like to share the blessing of answered prayers. My heart is joyful because of answered prayers...

A couple things I've been praying over in the preceding weeks:

  • K's Mom has markedly improved. Her bout with menengitis, pulmonary emboli, and emergency surgery resulted in a month-long hospital stay. Many thanks to all our friends and family praying for her recovery. It has been a trialsome time, but she is home and healing with an expected long road of recovery ahead. K has been visiting each week for a day or two to help around the house, provide some one-on-one support for both Mom & Jim and to witness the answering of praying in action. Many more thanks to our Lord of Healing who has graciously granted improving health for Mom and incredible peace for all of us during this difficult time.

  • I have so missed my pony for two years. I have pined over her absence in my life. Sometimes I would sit and stare at her photo with tears streaming down my face. She's been on loan to a college equine program in Kentucky. Her arrival there was through precarious circumstances. We had left her with a family who had to leave unexpectedly and thus they handed her over to the college. The college was aware that I could not retrieve her at the time for financial reasons mostly. I had no home for her and no money for transport. I re-connected with the college recently and they insisted that if I'd like to have her back that I have to pay them board for the 2 years she was there. It would have been nice for them to tell me this upfront, but at the present time this is a mute point. I expressed my disappointment to the Director who agreed to cut the board expense to half, which is still slapping me with a $2400 boarding bill. I prayed and prayed for wisdom and discernment. Taxes this year put us under pretty badly... then there was the emergency expenses for car repair and travel. After much deliberation we agreed that we would take the plunge, pay the price, and bring my baby home. Even once the bill was paid I had no idea how I would haul her or where I would keep her. My bestest friend has stepped in to fill those gaps. She has secured a great home for her with a lady who is also an acquaintance of mine AND we three will likely go for her before the end of June. I'm thrilled! I'm delighted! I'm relieved! I'm like a kid at Christmas who knows I'm about to get the gift of my dreams! God is so good!

God is so gracious and his blessings are abundant. I have trusted in Him and He has responded kindly. If you'd like to bless many by sharing or be blessed by reading about other's blessings, head on over to Amazing Graze Farm and join us!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


What Works-For-Me this week????

I have one of those Scrubbing Bubbles shower spray cleaner. When the bottle of cleaner is empty, I refill it with my own cleaning agent. (usually vinegar/water/baking soda) It leaks a little at first because there is no seal to break, but it works just as well as the latter. Occasionally I buy the replacements, but really... why should we?

And that is what works for me this week!

Hit-up Rocks In My Dryer for more fantastic ideas.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesdays With Jen... My Memoirs

So we were planning a wedding!!! How exciting!!! We set the date, September 2, 2000 and booked the church and the reception hall. Our church has a wedding coordinator who only charged $50 to coordinate the entire ceremony at the church. Now there was $50 well spent.

We attended "marriage classes" with the pastor for several weeks before we tied the knot. Something he taught us was that we have to establish a plan for dealing with conflict. I've often wondered what that plan is in our life as I'm not sure we ever actually solidified that part. I am certain that we have had our share of conflict and it has taken some years to learn how to deal with each other in the midst of it. Something we learned about 2 years ago was that sometimes we fight because when one of us has an issue the other tries to fix it. We expend great efforts in offering solutions and suggestions. What we had failed to realize is that sometimes we just need to be heard! Imagine that!!! I can honestly say that this was a huge breakthrough in our relationship! We now are able to just tell the other "I'm not looking for solutions." and obviously that's our cue to SHUT UP and LISTEN! Anyway... I am certain that the Pastor had a good point; however I wish he could have offered some practical solutions at the time.

Anyway... We set out to plan the details of the wedding and reception. We asked our closest friends and family to participate... My baby sister was to be the Maid of Honor, then my two bestest girlfriends Rene'e and Chrissy, and of course his two sisters, Tammy and Denise were to be bridesmaids. We asked my brother Paul and brother in law Cory to be ushers as well as K's cousin Shawn and another two of my bestest friends, Ed and Dan. We didn't have a best man, we had a best lady... K's best friend Kelly. There was a flower girl, Joyce and a Ring-bearer, Paul (brother and sister).

I'll never forget asking my friend Ed (now deceased) if he would be an usher in my wedding. I took him to our favorite spot, the Dairy Queen, for ice cream. I think he was shocked! Of course he would have to find someone to milk his cows that night, but he was delighted to do so for such an occasion. I'm so glad he accepted and shared greatly in the celebration of our wedding with us.

I found these exquisite dresses in the JCPenney catalog and just HAD to have my bridesmaids wear them. As it goes, we had two different dresses. One was a plum colored suit-dress and the other a long navy blue A-line style dress. The men were to wear black tuxes with silver-gray vests.

I was obsessed with daisies at the time. They were well incorporated into the wedding preparations. There were tiny daisies for the bridesmaids to don upon their up-dos. There were daisy flowers galore. AND... I just happened to find the most perfect unity candle with DAISIES on it!!! I was delighted.

I made special time to shop for my gown. My grandmother, bless her heart, accompanied me to the bridal shoppe. It was a really special date. This was a time when I wanted so desperately to connect with a womanly figure in my life and none better than my Gram-ditties. When we arrived, I told her that I really liked tulle, more so than the satin dresses. She pointed out a plethora of dresses each unique, but specifically only those which met the specifications I had set forth... to have lots of tulle. She was a great listener I guess. It didn't matter which I should choose, for she would be delighted to see me in any of them. I narrowed it down to two different dresses and she helped me select the most perfect one. It was ivory, off the shoulders, and had plenty of tulle... of course. I shall never forget the loving tears in her eyes to see me model my wedding gown. There we were, just she and I... precious moments to cherish forever.

Meanwhile we found a really reasonable caterer who vowed to provide a delicious meal for a reasonable price. It was the caterer's idea to have the wedding party serve the cake after the meal. It made perfect sense... they were the first to eat and thus the first to finish eating. AND... they had a grand time doing so.

We booked a DJ and order flowers... K's Step-Mother ordered our invitations. She is a wedding coordinator herself. Of course... they had daisies on them! Who would have guessed!? I bought jelly jars, ribbon, and fresh cut flowers. Grandma and Aunt Jane prepared the jars of flowers for the tables. We made favors... ordered balloons... collected RSVPs and solidified plans for the big day.

There is so very much that goes into planning a wedding. There were things that HE wanted and things that I wanted and things that we had to collaborate on. But I have to tell you that my wedding day was the funnest day of my entire life. And... maybe next week I'll clue you in on the details of that special day!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Blessings Monday

If I keep up with nothing else, I should at least keep up with proclaiming my thankfulness for abundant blessings... even just once each week!

We ride the roller coaster of discontent on an ongoing basis. You might call it trying to keep up with the Joneses, but that's not truly it. There are those things in life that come later for some of us... for us it is having our own home. Some things occurred to me this past week...

If we had bought the house we wanted to buy 2 years ago, we would have likely foreclosed by now given the status of the interest rates nationwide. Our lender was insisting that we have a flexible rate mortgage... boy am I thankful that God blessed us by NOT giving us that home.

If we had bought the house we are currently living in, we would likely be in similar dire straights as the aformentioned. This place needs a LOT of repairs and the property taxes are outrageous. I'm really glad that God blessed us with a generous landlord who lets us make changes and improvements to the house as we please and who keeps the rent affordable so we can pay our other debts in preparation for what blessing God may have in store for us in the years to come.

A couple weeks ago some friends of ours house was struck by lightning and burned it very badly. It's so bad that it will likely be demolished and completely rebuilt. As K and I sat one evening on our couch watching tv and eating pizza, it occurred to me that our friends have no tv, no couch, not even a plate to eat off of... much less a home. Sometimes the circumstances of others makes us realize how blessed we really are to have this home and all these belongings. What an eye opening experience.

So today I am counting the blessing of our home. I may have counted this blessing before, maybe even multiple times; however, a home of our own is something that we desire so greatly. It takes but a moment for that desire to expand into discontent... and then we day-dream about our someday home and go on to plan our future and how great it will be. That is dangerous behavior! That is why I must often remind myself of what precious blessings we have right here and now. Sure I dream of days to come, but I must keep the perspective that I should dream of fulfilling the Lord's plans for me... not my own. And folks... don't forget to enjoy the moments of TODAYS blessing!

If you'd like to bless many by sharing or be blessed by reading about other's blessings, head on over to Amazing Graze Farm and join us!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday


Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days at Starbucks. But every weekend the store puts out a complimentary newspaper (or two). There is a little basket by the door where they put them. So usually on Saturday and/or Sunday, when I stop by to say "hey" to my Handy-Hubby... I check the basket and take the coupons. The papers are there... free for the taking. I'm delighted to be able to double up on a lot of coupon clipping this way.

My sister also shares her extra coupons. Wahoo!!! Triple the fun!!!

And that's what works for me... Got an idea to share for WFMW? Head on over to Rocks In My Dryer and link up, and/or peruse the other multitude of ideas.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Tuesdays With Jen... My Memoirs

In May of 1999, Keith was in his sister's wedding. It was held in the Cincinatti area in a Presbyterian church. The night before was the rehersal and rehersal dinner. The dinner was catered and served in the fellowship hall of the church. His sister wore entirely white attire to the rehersal activities. I'm not sure why I remember that so vividly, but I do. She was very pretty.

The following day K's Mom, grandmother, and I went to Dillards to have our hair and nails done. This was my very first 'outing' of sorts with his mother. She got all fancied up and I had the hair dresser make mine with big curls. It was a nice time.

The wedding was grand. The bridal gown was simple yet elegant with a lovely veil of white. She was stunning. The brides maids wore satin mint-green dresses that were also very beautiful. Of course the men, and my soldier man, were decked out in tuxedos for the event. The wedding was simple and elegant.

The reception was (I think) near Covington, KY maybe??? I'm not really sure. It was at a community center that had lots and lots of windows surrounding the dining hall. The cake was three tiered with pearl accents. K's grandmother had made centerpieces for the tables. They were castles made out of sugar cubes. It was really sweet... pun intended! There were lots of white twinkle lights. The food was delicious. The DJ played late into the night. We danced, danced, and danced some more.

It was a lovely time. We are nearing the time of their anniversary as the weeks press on in May. The wedding was a memorable occasion and only one of many family affairs I was to attend with my soldier in the years to come.

Blessings Monday

I would just like to say that I have the greatest boss ever! When we needed to leave in a jiffy to be with K's Mom, George (my boss) went out of his way to make sure I wasn't worried about work. It was a Saturday and on Monday there was to be a big meeting. I had planned to work Sunday afternoon to complete the files for the meeting, tie up loose ends, and oh... type the minutes from last months meeting. Oops! When I explained all that was left un-done to George, he encouraged me to think not a bit about it and to get on my way. He went that Saturday and worked on these things. When Monday came, we spoke briefly via telephone, and he proceeded to do every detail that needed to be done for the meeting. Except maybe cleaning the tables with Spic N' Span like I do for my guys... I can't help it. I spoil them! HA! When I returned everything was in its place. Everything was accounted for. He did it all... and I am so very grateful for that. I am blessed to have a good boss... a Christian man who is family oriented and appreciates me as an employee and friend. Thank God for George.
If you'd like to bless many by sharing or be blessed by reading about other's blessings, head on over to Amazing Graze Farm and join us!