Initially, ‘Glasses of Grace’ started because my niece, Grace, had to get glasses for reading. Since grace is such a spiritual topic and the fact that my niece is such a doll, I started thinking about the ways God shows us His grace on a daily basis. From His servings, His glasses, of grace to us - to seeing the world through the eyes of grace (or Grace, since she had new glasses and better sight), it made sense in more ways than one, so a title was born. Blessings and all, this is my life…

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Memory Lane

I have been camped out on Memory Lane all day today.....Kate turned 13 today and I can hardly believe how quickly time as flown. Seems like just yesterday my sister called and asked if I could take her to the doctor because she wasn't feeling so great...John had already gone to work for the day. So I called in to my work and told them I'd be late, then took Patty to the doctor. While we were there, her water broke and we dashed over to the hospital and had this sweet little bundle of joy arrive several hours later. There is no way I could have known then how much I would love being an aunt, but God knew just how much I needed this sweet little thing in my life. She's been a blessing since day one and I'm thrilled that God chose me to be her aunt. Below are a few pictures from my stroll down Memory Lane.....

At the hospital, me and my new niece, affectionately called 'Sweet Girl'







One proud aunt a few weeks later at home

Kate...August 1999




Kate and her boa in all her glory....probably 5 or 6 years old














Wild hair, but what a sweet smile!


And now.....13 years later.....

she's still one sweet girl, and I'm still one proud aunt! :-)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A fun meme

I had a comment from Lynne on my last post that she had tagged me for a meme...so I had to race right over to her blog to see what it was...fun stuff....different stuff, so here goes:

ACCENT: I took a quiz a while back that said my accent was southern...I'm sure I'd have to agree! You can go here to take it for yourself (!!)

I DON'T DRINK: Coffee (except at my Aunt Winnie's at Christmas for some reason), tomato juice (or anything 'groovy' like that)...I can't think of anything else right now.

CHORE I HATE: All of them...although when I do get motivated to get them done, I feel great when I can see how much better things look!

PETS: One sweet kitty and LOTS of dust bunnies....they just keep multiplying! :-)

ESSENTIAL ELECTRONICS: Oh my word...my computer, preferably my laptop at home, my phone, and my PDA. I'm thinking about an ipod, but haven't bitten the bullet on that one yet.

PERFUME: I liked Premonition by Mary Kay, but they quit making it a few years ago. I haven't found anything else I've just loved, so I don't wear it much.

GOLD OR SILVER: Some gold, but usually silver.

INSOMNIA: Not lately! :-)

JOB TITLE: Doer of whatever needs to be done! :-) There's no one else to do it!

MOST ADMIRABLE TRAIT: I have NO idea, but I would probably say dependability as a whole and loyalty in my friendships.

KIDS: None except my Sweet Kitty (I keep saying that because it's her name), although I would take my nieces to raise in a heartbeat.

RELIGION: I was raised Methodist, but am now Baptist through and through.

SIBLINGS: One sister, Patty

TIME I WAKE UP: Either when my alarm goes off at 6:15, or when my cat decides to start walking on me to wake me up. Sometimes I just sense her being there and I'll open my eyes and she'll be sitting there by my pillow staring at me! :-) This is funny...if I know she's there and just want to mess with her, I'll act like I don't know, then she'll reach her paw out and tap me on the cheek a couple of times. If I don't do wake up or acknowledge her then, she'll tap me again and extend her claws, not much at all, but just enough to poke me to let me know she's there. It cracks me up when she does that! :-)

UNUSUAL TALENT OR SKILL: I don't know if it's unusual, but I can play the trumpet...other than that, I don't know.

VEGETABLE: That I like or don't like? I will try most of them now that I'm adult, but I hate beets and asparagus (although I've never had them...they just look gross!), and I don't know what saurkraut (sp?) is made from, but if that's a veggie, add it to the list. I hate the way it smells!

WORST HABIT: Spending money that I don't have, which I've really been guilty of lately...I am also an impatient driver

X-RAYS: Can't even remember the last time, although I am sure it was at the dentist.

FAVORITE MEAL: Hamburgers on the grill.

And as far as passing this on, I'm with Tonja....if you are reading this, consider yourself tagged...and let me know if you do it so I can read yours!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dependence

"Lord, “cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You” (Psalm 143:8). I know that when I try to run the race without You, I get off course. Thank You that even if I become weak and stumble, You will help me to rise again and continue on. And though I can’t see exactly where I am going, I’m certain that You can and will enable me to get to where I need to be. Thank You, Lord, that You are teaching me how to walk in total dependence upon You, for I know therein lies my greatest blessing. "

— Just Enough Light For The Step I’m On by Stormie Omartian

Monday, August 27, 2007

Party Hardy...or Hearty Party?

These last two weeks have been crazy busy so I am glad to finally have a couple of days where I don't have much more to do than to just go to work every day and read blogs! :-) As busy as things have been though, it has been good on many levels, and it beats sitting around bored, you know? Isn't it funny how we sometimes complain when we have too much to do, then complain when we are bored and have nothing to do? Well, I'm not complaining because I've loved it all, I'm just glad to have a couple of day to myself. (You can do that in the truest sense of the word when you live alone!)

Out of the last couple of weeks though, the most fun thing was that we had a huge surprise party for my Dad on Saturday. He is 70 today, but you would never know it. He has an 87 acre tree farm, a new company he just started (!!), and just ended a landscaping business he had with a guy for 20 years. He's up and out every day before many of us are heading to work, and he doesn't get home until after dark! The man just loves to work.....imagine that! He is the second oldest of 15 living children (my grandmother had 18 in all!!) and was raised on a farm in Heard County, so all he's ever known is hard work. He made a good living for our family when my sister and I were growing up. I didn't really realize how good we had it at the time, but he's done well for himself and I'm proud of him.

My parents divorced about 10 years ago. My Dad is remarried (as is my Mom) and we absolutely LOVE his wife, Brenda. They've been married about 5 years and we could have never asked for anyone better for him. She is a wonderful person, a great step-mom and she is fantastic to my nieces, so there is really nothing more we could ask for. Her birthday is in February, so when me, my sister and my nieces took her to dinner for her birthday, she mentioned that she wanted to have a party for my Dad since this was a 'big one.' We had breakfast together a couple of months ago and began planning the guest list, etc, and true to form, we kept thinking of people to invite. By the time it was over, the guest list was huge. We wound up with about 85-90 people who were able to come and everyone managed to keep it a secret! :-) I was the RSVP person and everyone that called said they were so excited about this party, thrilled to have been included in the guest list, and couldn't wait to see my Dad. It sort of surprised me that only about 4 of his siblings came, but if they'd all come, there would have been at least 20 more people! It meant a lot to my Dad to see people that he hadn't seen in years and it meant a lot to my Dad, Brenda, my sister and me that so many people made it a priority to be there. We were thrilled. Personally, I was glad that people who have been 'family friends' for years, since my sister and I were little girls, had a chance to meet my step-mom because my parent's divorce was very ugly and, as devastated as my Dad was, I was glad that people could see he that he has moved on has a good life now. It just was a good day all the way around. We were pooped when it was over, but it was so much fun.

My sister and I intended to get lots of pictures, but with that many people there, keeping up with food that needed to be replenished, talking to people we hadn't seen in forever and just being hostesses, it was almost an impossible task. I did manage to get a couple of pictures of Daddy when he first came through the door. He'd seen all the cars outside, but he had no idea until he drove up that anything was going on....proof of this being that my sister was cutting his grass on Friday and he told her not to worry about it when it really did kinda need it, and his choice of wardrobe for the day! :-) He says he 'kinda thought' something was going on, but he hates to be outdone, so he would never admit that we pulled anything over on him. :-) But we know differently, no matter what he says. :-)

Here are a couple of the pics when he first got there. My aunt said she thought he got teared up when he came in, but I couldn't tell. Unfortunately, these were all the pictures I was able to get.

"SURPRISE!!!"

My Dad, speechless....

Greeting guests...my Aunt Winnie, my FAVE, and family friends, Shirley and Powell (Aunt Winnie's husband, Uncle Ray, my other FAVE, was our ploy to keep Daddy busy until 2:00!)

A look into the den to see about 70 more people! :-)

My sister talking with Debbie and Jack, our newlywed neighbors when we were growing up. Their children were the first kids I ever babysat...I was all of 10 years old. Debbie has been a huge influence on my life spiritually and morally. They live about 2.5 hours away, so we were thrilled they were able to make it.

And a fun time was had by all...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Praying God's Will

Praying God’s will
Is easy enough
When it involves simple goals
And everyday stuff

Like a good grade at school
Or a raise at work
Even sometimes for others
Who may act like a jerk!

But when it comes to a life,
The rubber meets the road.
We always want healing
As the end to a load.

But God’s ways aren’t ours,
So do we pray for what’s best
Or continue selfish prayers
That put God to the test?

I know the answer
But the older I get
The more real it becomes
And the more I fret.

It’s hard to let go
And accept God’s plan
But that’s why He’s God
And we’re only man!

His plan will prevail,
We continue the race
Trusting God as our source
As we rest in His grace.

This is a re-post from a while back, a poem I wrote in about 5 minutes, but I just needed to post it again as a reminder to myself as much as anything.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wonder how they felt?

In a small mid western conservative town, a new bar/tavern started a building to open up their business.The local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers.Work progressed, however, right up till the week before opening, when a lightning strike hit the bar and it burned to the ground.

The church folks were rather smug in their outlook after that, 'til the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means.

The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the buildings demise in its reply to the court. As the case made its way into court, the judge looked over the paperwork at the hearing and commented, "I don't know how I'm going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner that believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that doesn't!"

I'm sure we've all been at least a little guilty of this from time to time, but it's a sobering thought, isn't it?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Create in me --

A Pure Heart
by Jon Walker

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10 NIV)

Oh God, create in me a pure heart ...

A heart that won’t run with lust after physical pleasure,
A heart that obediently refuses what you’ve rightly and wisely fenced away as sin,
A heart of love that never insists on its own way (1 John 2:16).

Oh God, create in me a pure heart ...

A heart that knows no greed when it looks upon worldly treasures,
A heart that thinks of others, and not itself,
A heart that argues for love instead of fairness.

Oh God, create in me a pure heart ...

A heart that never boasts about what it has or what its done,
A heart that walks humbly, not trying to appear more important than it is,
A heart that takes no pride in the flesh.

Oh God, create in me a pure heart ...

A heart that chases after you,
A heart that looks to you for its provision,
A heart that trusts that you are at work in others,
A heart that does not manipulate people or circumstances,
A heart that looks upon the things above and not the things below.

Heavenly Father, renew a steadfast spirit within me ...

A spirit committed completely to you,
A spirit that is not double-minded,
A spirit that is focused, and single minded on your purposes,
A spirit resolved to know Christ and Christ alone.

© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.

This came via e-mail this week and I just felt like I needed to share it because I have wanted to post about this for a while, but just haven't known where or how to start. I am finding more and more with time that this is the biggest prayer that I have. I got an issue of Disclipleship Journal several years ago with the main topic being about purity. Now I admit, when I saw that word, my immediate thoughts went to the 'True Love Waits' campaign and things like that, but as I read the article, I was both amazed and humbled at the magnitude of what it described as life purity. I don't have the article with me now (I loaned the magazine to a friend a while back and need to see if I've gotten it back, so I can't look anything up) but it drove home the point that I need to constantly be in check of, among other things, my motives, my responses, my relationships and indeed, every area of my life.

I am conscious of these things, but I fall short probably more often than I'd care to admit. I am an impatient driver, I am short-tempered with my family at times, I am not always selfless in my motives, etc, and I hate to see these things in writing (!!), but I do know that God is at work simply in the fact that when I do or say something that I know is wrong, I feel convicted almost immediately. I can also see that He is bringing things and people into my life that will hold me more accountable and I am thrilled about that. (More on this part later, I'm sure!)

I know HE wants this pure, clean heart even more than I do.

"O Lord, grant me the satisfaction of pleasing You; not in work for You primarily, but in relationship with You. I would be like the woman (who anointed Your feet with expensive perfume) spending herself totally, wastefully, on Your behalf. Cause my single-minded goal to be that of satisfying You first. Then will my longing heart be satisfied in a love relationship with You.
-- Catherine Marshall & Leonard Le Sourd, My Personal Prayer Diary, Chosen Books, 1979.

Terrible Two's

I had a little "Terrible Two's" challenge tonight from my friend Kathy at Justabeachkat , so I couldn't pass it up. I love stuff like this and she thought I'd be one of the first to do it, so I am! I didn't want to let her down, plus it's fun. I hope you'll do it too, and let me know when you do so I can go check out your answers too.

1. Two Names You Go By: Dianne, Di

2. Two Things You Are Wearing Right Now: tank top, shorts

3. Two Things You Want In A Relationship: Give and take

4. Two of Your Favorite Things to Do: Hang out with my nieces, sleep (!!)

5. Two Things You Want Very badly At the Moment: my cat to quit trying to sit on my keyboard, a glass of tea :-)

6. Two Pets You Had/Have: my cat, Sweet Kitty, and a bird when I lived at home

7. Two People Who Will Fill This out First: Not sure. I wish everyone would participate! :-)

8. Two Things You Did Last Night: Went to an awesome Women's Ministry event at church (this was actually Thursday night, but since it's early morning and still technically Friday night, this qualifies!), worked on a word document after I got home.

9. Two People That Live In Your House: just me and my cat...she thinks she's a person!

10. Two People You Talked To Last: my nieces, Kate and Grace

11. Two Things You're Doing Tomorrow: sleeping late, watering plants in the morning...they need it BAD.

12. Two Longest Car Rides: Georgia to Washington DC, Georgia to wherever the Little House on the Prairie stuff is...a vacation when I was a teenager

13. Name 2 of Your Favorite Holidays: Christmas, Thanksgiving

14.Two Favorite Beverages: Tea -- but not too sweet, and grapefruit juice (weird, I know!)

Come on....do it....it'll be fun! :-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I need a money tree!

Of all the things I am or have, a money tree is not one of them!

Don't get me wrong, I like money as much as the next guy, but I'm so glad it is not something that strive to hang onto at all costs, because if it were, this past week would have done me in!

I took my car to get the oil changed a couple of weeks ago and asked them to look at my tires because I had noticed the front one on the driver's side was worn, no doubt because that's where I am most of the time. I figured the other front one was the same way, so I just asked them to check it out. You can imagine how happy I was when I went to pick it up and they told me I needed 4 new tires! UGH! I knew I'd need some, but maybe not all 4 at once. I did run it by some male friends and my dad to be sure I wasn't getting taken, but they all agreed.

So here we are 2 - 3 weeks later. He had told me before they had some on sale that were usually $99.99 per tire, but were on sale for $79.99 each until the end of August, so doing that saved me $80. What I didn't realize, and why I didn't realize it I don't know because I have bought tires before (!!), is that there are charges for balancing, alignment, valve stems, tire disposal, etc. So I march in thinking $320, and the tells me $511 for a total price. GEEZ! I needed them though, so what could I do?

I told them when I dropped it off that it was sluggish in cranking, so I'd appreciate it if they could check that out too. I don't know if they did or not because the guy told me up front that as hot as it's been, starters want to expand and that can make cars sluggish in starting. He didn't say anything about it when I picked my car up from getting the tires and I didn't think to ask. It started fine then and has started fine until last night....

I went to Books-a-Million to get something for Kate's birthday and that's when it started. It didn't want to crank, but I tried a second time and it started right up....so off I go just a few stores away to Target. I prayed when I parked that it would crank when I came out a few minutes later, but no luck. I sat there knowing that my mom is in town and that my sister is at home cooking dinner for everyone, that it was my mom's birthday, and that we didn't need that to deal with right then....so I sat there and tried several times....nothing. So I just said, "God, if you can just let this thing crank a few more times, I will take it first thing tomorrow to get it looked at."

Guess what.....right away it cranked! WOW! :-) I like immediate answer!

So I came home, wrapped mom's gift, went to my sister's, came home about 10:15, then went this morning to find that it was the battery and that it was totally gone. He was sort of surprised it had enough energy to do as much as it did, but I was just thankful! So to the tune of $135, I left with a new battery.

What an expensive week...but this is how it breaks down:

4 new tires.....$511
1 new battery.....$135
The feeling of being safe on the road and knowing that God answers prayer....priceless!

I'm not surprised. :-)

Your Brain is 60% Female, 40% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Another powerful post (but not from me!)

Well, my friend Leanne has another powerful post written yesterday that I just read today....both thought-provoking and informative. She brings up a subject that Kat posted about a few days ago and one that has been on my mind a lot these last several days since I watched a video I got from Kat as well. The subject is inflammatory breast cancer. (Here's the link for that the video: http://www.komotv.com/ibc . Definitely worth watching.)

The funny thing is that I had gotten this video from another friend, but hadn't taken the time to watch it yet, so when I got it again over the weekend, I knew it was time to stop and take a look. Well, yesterday morning Judy, the girl I work under, mentioned that she had this 'bug bite' that just appeared. (When you've been working together for 22 years, you tend to talk about most everything!) With my radar up from this report, we found this video online, so I sent her the link. It took her a while to watch it, but after she did, she came in my office all pale-faced and said, 'They said 'bug-bite' about 3 times!' She's always been of the attitude that if you go to the doctor like you should, they (or mammograms or x-rays) will catch anything that's wrong and you can just get it handled. I love her to death, but she's a bit black and white in her thinking at times. I was glad to give her something that showed things aren't always the way she thinks because I try to tell her that there are gray areas sometimes....things just don't always go according to plan. I am sure what she has really is a bug-bite, but this has definitely been food for thought for her and for me. She and her husband left today around noon for Florida until next Monday, but the last thing she said before she left was that she's going to see what happens and if she thinks she needs to go to the doctor when she gets back, she will! She also said that if she hadn't just casually mentioned that and I had not told her about this video, she would still have no idea that anything like inflammatory breast cancer was out there. Word of mouth can be a great thing!

All this brings me to Leanne's post. As much as this discussion has been going on in our office, literally every couple of hours since yesterday morning, you could have knocked me over with a feather this morning to read her blog and about her mom's battle with this same thing. I printed it out and took it to show to Judy because I just couldn't believe it. She couldn't believe it either. It is just amazing how God can take one topic and drive it home again and again and again. It's been on my mind a lot, so I just wanted to point you to Leanne's blog again and to say thanks to her for sharing her story and for her transparency. She's new to this blogging world, but I can already tell she's going to have a lot to share with us....and hopefully we'll have lots to share with her over time as well.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Thirsty?


"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God's approval. They will be satisifed." Matthew 5:6

Saturday, August 04, 2007

I'm feelin' OLD!

I have decided I am OLD!

This morning, I decided I wasn't going to mess around on the computer all day....that I was going to be productive and get things done around here that I've just been putting off.

SO.....

I went out about 9:15 and started watering plants and working in my yard. We're on a watering ban, or at least I believe it's still on, so I had to get that done before 10:00. After that, I worked out there pulling some weeds, trimming rose bushes, mixed Clorox with water and sprayed it along the back of the house to clean off parts that REALLY needed it, etc, then decided it was time to get to work in my garage! Boy...did it need it! My sister had given me three sets of metal shelves before they went to Florida back in June, so I put those together, then spent the next 4 hours or so straightening things out out there, digging through boxes that I hadn't cleaned out since I moved here almost 3 years ago (!!), throwing things away, putting stuff aside for a garage sale, sweeping, all that 'necessary' stuff that you have to do to make a place look better. My sister came over later in the day and trimmed some bushes....since she's the horticulturist, she'd told me I'd better not TOUCH the bushes and trees until she showed me how to prune them. Good thing because I would not have done it the way she did!

All I can say is that I came in and had a salad, finished watching a movie I had from Netflix, then got up after sitting for a while and tried (TRIED being the key phrase here!) to walk....UGH! :-) Oh my word! I could certainly tell that I have an office job and am not so used to that kind of work! I was limping around like I was walking on new feet!

It is a good productive feeling though, and when I left to go to Target tonight, I was so pleased with the way my garage looked when I raised the door when I returned home!

Now if I can just get that busy on the INSIDE! If I do, I may post a pic or two. We'll see!

Friday, August 03, 2007

More anniversary fun.

At the risk of making anyone hungry again, Melanie sent me a photo of the caricature they presented her with on Monday (at her 20th CFA anniversary) in addition to a nice watch....and trust me, I mean a NICE watch! This caricature is so cool because it's filled with all the things that are most important to her and that she is involved in. The two guys are her boys who are in college now. Hopefully you'll be able to click on it and make it bigger so you can look at all the detail. (Did I mention that she got a NICE watch too???)

How many employers do things like this anymore? Not mine! :-) Of course, I did get an extra week of vacation at my 20 year mark, so that's nothing to sneeze at either, I guess!

I LOVE this company, this family and their principles, so here's what I'm sayin'....

"Eat Mor Chikin'"

Thursday, August 02, 2007

For Deedra :-)

Well, I have to post something else because Deedra at Nspired by Faith said she craved Chick-Fil-A everytime she checked my blog lately, so Deedra, this is for you (and my other blogger friends)...a quote that I LOVE because it's so true:

"A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often just to save it from drying out completely."
(Pam Brown, whoever that might be!)

Wonder if we can include blogger comments as part of that 'mulch'?