LollipopandPearls Theme Song

"Lollipop and Pearls" - Jared Kraft

Monday, March 30, 2009

I need your "animal" help!

Below are some photos of my non-human "babies" ~ Molly, the cat; Zack, the young black lab mix; and George, the old man black lab/chow mix. Please let me know which # photo you like best, so I can submit it to the website .

Thanks and blessings to you,


1. Miss Molly chillin' in the sunshine

2. Zacky-Boy, my little hunter, who feels it is his job in life to bring to my porch every single animal he either kills or finds dead. He's always so proud of himself, and just wants us to be proud of him! YUCKY!

3. "Now, Mama, how can you refuse that face?!"

4. George, the elder of the crew, who just is tired of being on the camera! He's saying, "Leaf me alone, would ya'?"

5. "Do I look pitiful yet?"

6. Zacky-boy's eye!

7. "Too pooped to pop!"

Now, what's your vote?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Medecine of Laughter!

Yesterday in Nashville, TN. it was in the 70’s; this morning it was in the 30’s! What’s up with that?!?!?!? I started laughing when trying to decide what to wear to church. We were greeters, and frequently greet at the main door leading outside (of course this Sunday I was greeting inside!) So, rather than the planned wardrobe for today of jeans and flip flops, it became jeans, tights, full shoes and a long warm coat! I had to just laugh…..

On the way home I began thinking about laughter, and how it does the body and the soul good! Remember the saying “laughter is the best medicine?” Even Abraham laughed when the Lord told him that he, at age 100, and Sarah, at age 90, would bear a son (Gen. 17:17). Sarah continues the laughter in Gen. 18: 12-13. I’d laugh, too, if the Lord told me I would be having a child at 53! In fact, laughter may not be all I would do!

So for the next few days I will blog about laughter! I need a good dose of a safe, all-natural, free, good-for-the-body-and-soul medicine that’s contagious! Contagious? Medecine? That’s an interesting thought! Perhaps you could use an extra dose, too. So I hope you will sit back, relax, and enjoy the laughter….
Most of what I share on this blog vignette that is not from my own little mind I found at I must give credit where credit is due!

“Please Lord, if you can't make me skinny - make my friends fat!” (a bumper sticker)

Seems only fair to me, does it to you? I can look at food and gain weight. In fact, if I’m in the vicinity of food, I can feel my body increasing in size! LOL!

A study was done by Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana, on laughter and smiles, and below are some facts they found (interspersed with some things I have added to hopefully bring a smile to your face):
13 muscles are used to smile, but 47 are required for frowning.
• You have to smile nearly a quarter of a million times to make one wrinkle.
• Cortisol helps suppress your immune system. Levels or Cortisol can be lowered by laughing. Therefore, laughter can help prevent disease.
• Related to exercise: you can benefit from laughing 100 times a day as much as you can from 10 minutes of rowing.

“Whenever I get the urge to exercise, I lie down until it goes away”. (another bumper sticker)

My Mom used to say to my sisters and me: “Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone”. Being alone has it’s benefits at times, and can be a good thing, but God created us for fellowship with others. Which do you think friends would rather share with us~ laughter or tears? Yes, true friends will share both with us…but laughter is known to relax muscles, reduce stress, pain, depression and tension. So laughter can be a distraction to what is making us sad, and give relief, if only temporary, from the stress of the moment! Milton Berle said “Laughter is an instant vacation!”

A man: God, how much is a million dollars to you?
God: It is but a penny.
A man: God, how long is a million years to you?
God: It is but a second.
A man: God, could you please give me a penny?
God: Sure, just a second.

Now, I know you are laughing! That’s funny, I don’t care whatcha say! (Larry the Cable Guy)

Now for some more laughter/smiling facts: (
15 minutes of laughter equals the benefit of 2 hours sleep.
• One good belly laugh burns off 3 1/2 calories.
• Laughing for 15 seconds adds 2 days to your life span.
• The Chinese laugh more than any other culture in the world. They work hard, they play hard and the laugh hard!

A young lad was visiting a church for the first time, checking all the announcements and posters along the walls. When he came to a group of pictures of men in uniform, he asked a nearby usher, "Who are all those men in the pictures?" The usher replied, "Why, those are our boys who died in the service." Dumbfounded, the youngster asked, "Was that the morning service or evening service?" (from

Grandma Sent a Letter to Her Friends
Honk if you love Jesus
Dearest Ones:

The other day I went up to a local Christian bookstore and saw a "Honk if you love Jesus" bumper sticker.

I was feeling particularly sassy that day, because I had just come from a thrilling choir practice followed by a powerful prayer meeting, so I bought the sticker and put it on my bumper.

I was stopped at a red light at a busy intersection just lost in thought about the Lord and how good He is, and I didn't notice that the light had changed.

It is a good thing someone else loves Jesus; because if he hadn't honked, I'd never have noticed.
I found that LOTS of people love Jesus. Why, while I was sitting there, the nice man behind started honking like crazy, and he leaned out of his window and screamed, "for the love of God, GO! GO!" What an exuberant cheerleader he was for the Lord..
Everyone started honking! I just leaned out of my window and started waving and smiling at all these loving people.
I even honked my horn a few times to share in the love. There must have been a man from Florida back there, because I heard him yelling something about a sunny beach.
I saw another man waving in a funny way with only his middle finger stuck up in the air. When I asked my teenage grandson in the back seat what that meant, he said that it was an Hawaiian good luck sign or something.

Well, I've never met anyone from Hawaii, so I leaned out the window and gave him the good luck sign back.

My grandson burst out laughing; why even he was enjoying this religious experience.

A couple of the people were so caught up in the joy of the moment that they got out of their cars and started walking towards me.

I bet they wanted to pray or ask what church I attended, but this is when I noticed the light had changed.

So I waved to all my sisters and brothers, smiled at them all, and drove on through the intersection.

I noticed I was the only car that got through the intersection before the light changed again, and I felt kind of sad that I had to leave them after all the love we had shared, so I slowed the car down, leaned out of the window, and gave them all the Hawaiian good luck sign one last time as I drove away.
Praise the Lord for such wonderful folks!

Well, that’s enough laughter and information about laughter for today! I just know you are doubled over from laughing, and I don’t want to make you sick in the process. Enjoy the moment, and we will resume tomorrow.
Meanwhile, anything funny you’d like to share with us? If so, please do so in the comment area and let us laugh with you!

Blessings for a fabulous week ahead,

“Lolli” aka “Lisa”

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thank-you for the sweet award I received....

This is the Lemonade Award,... and I was recently given it by my friend @ Truthful Tidbits ...for having an "Attitude of Gratitude". I am humbled by her recognition. She also is an inspiration to me. Please go to her site and be blessed by her attitude of gratefulness!
I thank you so much for awarding my blog. I am pleased that you have found it worthwhile and pleasing to God.

Linda wrote this on her blog:

Lisa "Lolli" and multi -faceted wife, mother, and grandma. Serves her family, her church, her fellow bloggers and her God with zeal. She has a loving and joyful heart, and a zest for life. Always bringing a smile with her comments.

I, too, want to pass on this award to some fellow bloggers, and they are listed below:

Gwen @
Gwen and her husband, Scott, are personal friends of ours, who have already adopted 2 precious angels from China and are trying to adopt from Ethiopia now. You will love their story and her site. Please go and visit.

Melissa @
Melissa, too, is a good friend, whom I love and admire so much. She and her husband, Joe, have 3 precious boys, one with Downs Syndrome, who is facing open heart surgery this coming Tuesday. Please pray for them and stop by and say hello! You will love her sweet spirit and her passion and zeal.

Traci @
Traci, another precious friend and co-laborer on the mission field with me, has a beautiful family and a heart for children in Africa. She and Jim have 2 biological children; they adopted little Levi from Ethiopia a little over a year ago, and have asked God to open the door for more children. Guess what! They received their referral for 4 more siblings, and are in the process of raising the necessary funds to bring them home. A lovely, gentle, passionate, truly Godly woman, after God's own heart.

Katie @
This is a site you will want to spend a lot of time on. Katie is an amazing 20-year old, who graduated high school, went to Uganda to check out an American orphanage; came back home to go to college, and the Lord would not leave her alone. As prophesied by a pastor while she was there, she returned to Africa to teach a Kindergarten class; and is now the legal "Mom" to 10 or 12 African children, serving their full time. Her story is absolutely AMAZING! She was in our home a few months back, and I am looking so forward to the day the Lord allows me to go visit her in Uganda.

Jenn @
Jenn is an amazing lady and friend, who serves full time on the mission field in the Dominican Republic, where we go each summer and serve. This beautiful lady has the joy of the Lord oozing from every pore of her being. She loves life, and she loves people....her ministry is powerful, and she is a person others want to be with.

Christi @
I just found Christi's site, and long to spend more time on it. I also have a passion and love for the Haitian people, so I know I will enjoy her blog.

Pam @ is a creative soul, whose artwork I love! I enjoy seeing her mix media, and be totally free and creative with her style. It inspires me to get out of my "tight" comfort zone and become more free in my artistic expression.

Lynette @ I can really say in this short paragraph is that this is an absolutely incredibly spiritual lady, who has been through more than most of us will have to endure in life; yet, she has relied on her Lord to carry her through. She has chosen not to be bitter; rather to be better because of it. She has written a beautiful and moving book about her life and is working on another. She's probably the most humble Christian I have ever known (even though I only know her through blog land). You MUST spend some time on her blog!

Garry and Brenda @
Our precious friends who are full-time missionaries in Kenya. This amazing couple and their beautiful girls love the people of Kenya. Both Garry and Brenda have amazing voices (Garry just put out a new CD, which you can purchase from their site); Brenda has created a sewing ministry for the women in the area slums to help them earn a living to support their families; and they recently started a church, with Garry pastoring. Please visit their site and keep them in your prayers, as they serve in some unstable, unsafe places in Africa.

Again, I am honored and privileged to have received this award from Linda and am honored to pass it on to others whom I love and respect.


Clean up....

It's the weekend, and that means it's time for me to clean up my house! UGH! Like Maxine, I'd rather sweep my house with my eyes. It's not so much the sweeping as it is the cleaning out the junk, throwing stuff away that's unnecessary, scrubbing the bathrooms, watering indoor plants, etc. etc. etc. Bottom line: I don't like cleaning! PERIOD! If I had the extra money I would SO hire someone to clean my house at least once every two weeks if not once a week.

Thinking about that today reminded me of some clean up that needs to be done inside my soul, as well. Many negative things have occurred recently: sickness among friends and family; dissension amount immediate family members; my car is broken down after 250,000 miles and is not fixable, meaning we get a new used car, which means money we don't have; we lost a young friend to suicide, to name a few. The enemy of my soul delights when these things happen and wants to keep adding to and piling on more negativity. BUT GOD....(you know, my 2 favorite words in the Bible) has given me all authority OVER Satan. I have the ability to extinguish those flaming arrows before they even get to me, with the Lord's help of course. Yet, I often cave in and don't exercise that authority that He's given me! What is my problem?! "My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness!...On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand!" I know the words, I claim the I need to act on those words, and stand on the rock of Jesus Christ, as I purge things and people from my life who are not healthy for me...that don't build me up, rather tear me down...and ask the Lord to "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." (Ps. 51:10)

So, to cleaning I must go! Have a fabulous and blessed weekend.

And, BTW, if you did not see the teaser on "Nightline" last night of the debate over whether or not Satan is real, check out this link and you can watch the full interview in 5-minute increments.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes...

When Janna, our eldest (now 27 years old) was about 9, she was watching me wash the car. I was standing on a step ladder, washing the top of the car, when she came outside and said, “Mama I want to help”. So, I gave her a bucket and a sponge and asked her to wash one of the tires. She sat on the driveway and washed, and washed, and washed….and washed…washed…that one tire. She was scrubbing the rubber part like there was no tomorrow! I told her that she need not worry about the rubber part; that once I moved the car it would dirty again anyway. As I was walking past her to the other side of the car, she mumbled something that wasn’t quite clear to me. However, since she was in a Christian elementary school, I kind of thought she may be saying something Scriptural. So I asked her to repeat it. She said, very simply, “Momma, the Bible says, “Do everything as unto the Lord”! I stopped in my tracks, dumbfounded, yet so humbled and moved to the point of tears….my young daughter had not only learned the Scripture, she understood what it meant, and was applying it to a real-life situation. I leaned down, hugged her tightly and kissed her on top of her head. She said, “Momma, why are you crying about that?” Then I spent the next few minutes telling her how proud I was of her for learning God’s Word and applying it to her life~ and how she had taught me such a profound lesson in that moment!

A few years later, in middle school, she wanted to try out for the school softball team. Tryouts were going to be over a 3-day period. The day tryouts started, she was home with a very bad case of the flu. I called the coach that afternoon and explained that she wanted to be there was quite ill, and would likely not be there the following day either. She assured me that was fine, that she could try out on the 3rd day. The 3rd and final day comes and she is still home with a fever, but begging to go so she could try out for softball. I explained that she could not go with a fever, but assured I would contact the coach again. They were going to have the names of the players listed on one of the school doors the following Monday morning (this was on a Friday). When I explained her situation to the coach, she promised that they would NOT post the list on Monday, and that they 2 coaches would work with her alone on Monday, allowing her to try out for the team. Can you guess what happened? Monday morning they had the list of the team members posted on the door! A done deal! I was unaware of this until she got in my car that afternoon after school and she told me. I was furious! I was hurt for my child! I felt offended and lied to! I went straight home and called the athletic director at the school and gave him a mouthful! My daughter was so upset with me, as she did not want me to make a big deal out of it. When I hung up from speaking with him, the coach called me and apologized. She then stated that they only had a certain number of uniforms and no funds to purchase any more and they felt comfortable with the team they had chosen; however, they would allow Janna to try out the following day. “What are you thinking?” I asked. “You’ve chosen your team! Do you really think I will let her come and try out for the 2 of you so you can turn around and tell her yourselves that she did not make the team…that you only have a certain number of uniforms…blah, blah, blah? No, absolutely not!” I hung up the telephone shaking, tears streaming down my face, and sweet, precious Janna looked at me and said, “Mom, it’s OK. Evidently God did not want me to play on the school team. He must have something better in mind for me!” Oh my goodness! Here we go again, with my daughter reminding ME what the Scripture said, and calming me down~rather than vice versa! Again, I am stopped still in my tracks, again humbled, and in awe of how God would us my child to teach me, the adult and supposedly her role model, how to live like Jesus would live! And, once again, I hugged her, told her of how proud I was of her, and thanked her for giving me the gift of admonishment to take God’s Word to heart.

In mentioning to my daughter today what I was blogging about, she said, “Well, Mom, you can take it a step further”. She told me that one of the neighbor girls, who is much older than our 3 ½-year old granddaughter, had mistreated her last week and hit her on the head with something. Then, she didn’t even follow up by saying she was sorry. Janna and Mike were both frustrated about it, and simply told Carleigh that she would not be able to play with the neighbor girl anymore. Carleigh, our granddaughter, said, ‘Well, Mom, just because she was mean to me doesn’t mean we cannot be friends. Sometimes I am mean to people, but they can still be my friend.” My daughter said that she, too, was humbled and recognized the truth being spoken to her from her young child.

Out of the mouths of babes we can learn a lot….if we but close our mouths, open our ears, and let our heart be filled!

What a mighty and precious God we serve!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Ultimate Blog Party!

Thanks for visiting my site, and I hope you will join in the fun this week at “The Ultimate Blog Party” (see link on right side bar). You can get all the details at “5 minutes for Mom

My name is Lisa and I am the wife of Rodney. We live in Franklin, TN., a quaint town just south of Nashville (we are a “suburb” of Nashville, I suppose). We live in a wooded area on an acre of my parent’s 7 acres of land, where they built a home in 1974. My Mom and one sister still live there; my father passed away 8 years ago. My other sister lives with her 4 children about a mile away, so we are very blessed to have family in close proximity. We are close to the city, yet still in the country, with deer rambling here and there, turkeys strutting around the yard frequently, and lots of other critters, as well. We have 2 dogs, 3 cats and one Balled Python named “Princess” (she belongs to our son.) Rodney is Engineering Manager at A.O. Smith Water Products in Ashland City, TN., and enjoys riding his motorcycle 45-minutes one way to work each day. This June we will have been married 27-years; our relationship has gone through highs and lows, ups and downs, good times and bad. Yet, day-by-day we have made the decision to do what we can to nurture our relationship in honor of the Lord, ourselves, our children and now our grandchildren.

We are extremely proud parents of 2 daughters: Janna, who is married to Mike, and is the mother of our 2 granddaughters; Britney, who is a NICU RN at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville; and Benjamin, who is a freshman at Christ Presbyterian Academy. We have 2 gorgeous granddaughters, Carleigh, age 3 ½ and Macie, age 4 ½ months, who bring us so much joy! They live exactly 10 miles from us, so we are incredibly blessed to be able to spend time with them often. Our family has also been blessed to be treated to a family vacation with my family every year since I was born (with the exception of the year my father died, and that year was just to difficult to consider it). Below is a family photo just before Macie was born in West Palm Beach, FL. Then photos of our grandchildren. BTW~ I am “Lolli” and Rodney is “Pop”, so together we are “Lollipop”; and my children and my grandchildren are my priceless pearls; thus the blog name “Lollipopandpearls”!

I am a daughter of the King, a child of God; that is first and foremost. I love to attend Bible studies and teach studies, as well. I am currently teaching Beth Moore’s “Esther” and am teaching a study that I am writing as I go on “Acts”. I co-lead a women’s group in a study of Max Lucado’s “He Chose the Nails”, which is an absolutely incredible study. I am a member at Cross Point Community Church, where for the past 7 summers my family and I have gone on an annual mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Our church sponsors a Haitian pastor in the Dominican, Moises, who is trying to bridge the gap of hatred between the 2 countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, who share the island of Hispanola. We are building him a church and feeding center and hope to have it complete by this summer! Through this experience we have come to love the people of the DR like family. In fact, we have a Dominican “son” and “daughter”, both of whom have married in the past year or so. It started out as a sponsorship when we first met them in the DR; then turned into a true feeling of family, with them calling me “Mom” (even though both of their biological Moms are still living). Vivianna married a dentist in Arizona and they recently had a baby boy named Luke (see photo below). Because her Mom could not leave the DR for her wedding, I was honored and privileged to serve as “Mother of the bride” in their wedding; Britney (aka her sister, my daughter) was one of her bridesmaids. Our “son”, Amaury, married within the past year to Catherine, one of the FT missionaries through GO Ministries ( Their picture is also below with us on our trip last summer.

I love to water ski, snow ski, read, write, play the piano, sing, scrapbook, doing anything artsy, and am a watercolorist. I have included a couple of my paintings below. I enjoy having the creative outlet; just cannot seem to find enough time to use it. I also love to travel, and have privileged to travel to several other countries, and many places within the US. I hope to return to Ghost Ranch, NM in September with my watercolor teacher, gail Mcdaniel for her last hurrah teaching workshops there. I have been 3 other times, and absolutely cannot get enough of God’s beautiful creation out there. If you ever get a chance to go to this part of the country where the famous watercolorist, Georgia O’Keefe, lived and painted, please do so! You will not regret it.

So, that’s me in a nutshell…a BIG nutshell. Thanks, again, for stopping by, and please join in the fun of “The Ultimate Blog Party”.

And, oh by the way, I love to win things, though I rarely do. So my top picks for prizes are listed below in order; beyond those I would be happy to win anything!
#17~Fire polished Czech Bead Bracelet by Jenna's Jewels
#21~$50 Target gift card from Agoosa
#1~$100 gift certificate to "A Horse to Love" provided by 5 Minutes for Mom
#2~Bracelet from Sidney Andrews
#19~$50 Target Gift Certificate by Shoot Me Now
#USC21~ Free Fotomural from

Blessings on your week,

Lisa (aka “Lolli”)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Life Interrupted

“A Life Interrupted”

While enjoying our week of R & R at the beach, and while our children are enjoying being with one another, some playing in a baseball tournament, others just hanging out with their buds from back home (many from our school in Nashville~ Christ Presbyterian Academy~ come stay at locations very close in proximity in Destin, Fl., so our children can be together), we received devastating news. One of our friends/students, John “Shep” Case, took his own life. A sophomore at CPA, Shep has been with our school for a year. He was a football player, an excellent student, and a personable young man that seemed to love life and people. We don’t know details, other than the funeral will be taking place tomorrow, while many are still out of town. Details don’t matter; what DOES matter is that Shep’s life was interrupted, and his family is completely broken, as are his friends who now have to pick up the pieces and go on with our own lives. There are no words to say that will comfort…or explain…or fill the void. God can, and will, do that with time, and for that we rejoice. The school will have counselors on hand next Monday morning to work with our students from a Christian perspective on how to begin processing this information. For that, we are extremely grateful. Meanwhile, we parents are trying to find the appropriate words, not to explain the ‘why’; rather to explain the ‘how’ we go on from here.

I want to try and use this time to help my son, Benjamin, understand how precious life is. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem (my sister said that, and I thought it was so profound and true)! Life will be full of trials and rocky rough roads for each of us. The Bible even warns us of that: "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." ~ John 16:33 Then it goes back again to my 2 favorite words in all the Word: “But God…” He has overcome the world! HE is our source of strength when we feel we cannot go on another moment; HE is our peace when we are in total turmoil; HE is the One who will carry us all the way through and be the constant in our lives. And He desperately wants us to bring everything to Him, down to the most minute detail, and trust Him with all of it, whether we can see a way out or not. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. ~ Matt. 11:28

Yet I know that right now these words probably don’t mean much to many going through the agony of the reality of his death. That’s OK! God can handle the ‘not understanding’, He can take the questions, and HE understands that WE DON’T understand. 2 Cor. 12:10 says: “That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” We are weak humans, on a journey of becoming more and more like Christ as we go; yet, we still have the human component that is weak in trying times like this.

Right now, Benjamin and 3 of his buddies are laying across his bed in our rental condo on facebook, looking at the memorial site for Shep (if you are interested in visiting it and you have a facebook account, the address is I know this is part of their processing it all, and that’s wonderful. They are holding one another up; they are nurturing one another by loving in the way guys do; they are questioning, they are struggling, they are reminiscing about being in class with him, they are curious about how things will be when they return to school; they are going through the grief process, and it’s good!

Please pray for Mark and Polly Case and for Shep’s brother, as they face visitation tonight and a memorial service in the morning. Please add them to any prayer lists you are a part of, for daily strength to endure and to carry on life without their precious Shep. And please pray for all of the CPA students, for the faculty and staff and counselors as they assist our children through the grief process; and for us, as parents, as we love our children well and make ourselves available in whatever way we are needed.

Thank-you and blessings on each of you,

Lisa (aka “Lolli”)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday's Walk down Memory Lane

When I was in elementary school, I attended H.G. Hill Elementary, which is now Hillwood Middle School. In those days it was not uncommon for me to walk with friends to school, as it was only about the distance of 6 blocks. My mother was a stay-at-home Mom, and was very actively involved in my sisters and my school. She was a “clinic Mom”; she volunteered at extra-curricular activities, and made sure to be in the know always. There was a strong sense of security in that for us. However, in spite that, every time I heard a siren of any type pass by the school, I HAD to go to the office and call home to make sure my Mom was OK. To this day, I have no idea why that was of such concern to me. Perhaps because we lived so close by in a neighborhood setting, I just “knew” that, if a siren was in the area, it had something to do with my Mom. It was horrible to live with that type fear. Also, many afternoons my Mom would pick me up from school. In those days we had an old purple car (my sisters and I called it “The Purple Bomb”), a Plymouth of some sort I believe. I was horrified that, when Mom picked me up, my friends would see ME getting in THAT car. I used to beg her not to pick me up and spare me the embarrassment. Didn’t work! And one last elementary school memory: my best friend, Sandra, and I usually walked to and from school together. She lived across the yard from me on another street, and our moms had mapped out the route we were to take to and from school. One afternoon we were strolling along, deep in conversation, as always, and decided to take an “alternate route” so we’d have more time to walk. Mind you, we KNEW where we were and where we were going all along. What we DIDN’T know was just how long it was taking us to lollygag our way home. Meanwhile, our mothers were scared to death; they had both called the school, they had gone out looking for us in their cars, and could not find us anywhere. Can you guess what their next MO was? They called the local Metro police department. About an hour after we were due home, here comes a police car. He pulled up to us, rolled down the window (that’s in the days when it was safe), and said, “Are you Lisa? I said, “Yes, sir!” Then he said to my friend, “Are you Sandra?” She replied, “Yes sir!” He went on to inquire if we knew what time it was and that our mothers were worried sick that we were not home. Of course we had not even pondered those questions. Next thing you know, we were put in the back of the police car and taken to our respective homes! I don’t remember the consequences once I arrived home (if any); but I can guarantee you one thing; that NEVER happened again!

Please click on the "Wednesday's Walk" link on the right side bar if you would like to read other people's memories and/or would like to join in the fun!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

As promised, I am continuing on this week with the weather theme. Today was absolutely gorgeous! Clear, bright and sunny skies, with no clouds in site. Just a slight breeze blew, enough to keep one from getting too hot. Suffice it to say that, in the 3 hours I sat out there, I got too much sun. Now, I am burning, with no one to blame but myself. It was just so good to see the sun; I wanted to bask in it for a long time. I feel refreshed when outside, soaking up some rays. I feel happy when I see the clarity of colors in nature~for example, the emerald, turquoise, sea green of the waters today is a color no artist can re-create! I know, because as a watercolorist, I have tried! Only the Master Creator can duplicate that exact color, and it is breathtakingly gorgeous! I enjoy the clean fresh air at the ocean’s edge, and the clean white sand beneath my feet. I came in late in the afternoon refreshed and relaxed from being in the sun all afternoon And…while out there re-filled my spiritual tank with lots of the Son!

Our pastor, Pete Wilson, challenged us to spend the 28 days before Easter reading one chapter of Matthew daily, leading us into a time or preparation for the celebration of His resurrection from death. I fluctuated from that to the book of Ezekiel that I’m reading “just cuz”….I’m preparing my notes on Acts 5-7 for my Sunday evening community group, AND studying Beth Moore’s “Esther” for my Tuesday morning study. So, you see, truly I was filled on the outside with sun and the inside with Son. What more could I want or need?

Weather-wise this was the type of day we all would like to have all the time! No real waves, no clouds, clear skies and water, lots of sun coupled with much rest and relaxation! I know there will be other days not so bright; and this I also know: the Holy Spirit is my constant, no matter the peripheral circumstances of my life! So, enjoy the photos below and: welcome to my world this week!

Love and blessings,


Monday, March 16, 2009

No Sun but lots of Son!

Continuing on with the weather theme today~here in Destin, FL. It was overcast when I got up this morning. Occasionally the sun would peak out, as if to taunt me. Then the clouds would return with a vengeance. With the warm 70 degree temperature, pop-up thundershowers in Florida this time of year are not unusual. There was a stillness in the air and the clouds, while dreary, were steady…until late in the afternoon. Gradually the skies turned a gun-metal gray and the showers began, lightly at first, then suddenly hard rain fell, drenching the earth with puddles formed quickly on the roads and in grassy areas. Driving visibility decreased to nearly zero; it was next to impossible to see the lines on the highways; and as the torrent continued, so did the angry attitudes of drivers on the road!

I have experienced many days like today, feeling like it almost was not worth it to even get out of bed. No matter where I went, what I did or didn’t do, it was as if a dark cloud was following my path and raining on my every parade. I try to remember my favorite two words of the Bible during those times: “BUT GOD…” No matter the complaint, the circumstances, the pressures, the anxieties, the frustrations that I experience GOD is still on the throne and He is STILL IN CONTROL!

Just as the clouds remained steady all day, God’s presence, His love and concern, His forgiveness remain steady. “BUT GOD…” Scripture reminds us that “His mercies are new every morning”. The clouds will roll away in the sky; tomorrow is a new day and the prediction is for sun! Even in the clouds of my life, the SON is always predictable: He’s there by my side, facing every new day and whatever that day holds. All I need to do is armor up (Eph. 6:11) in preparation, usurp any attempt on the part of the enemy to thwart God’s plans for my life for that day, and live victoriously! “This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it!” (Ps. 118:24)

One more blessing from today: in spite of those clouds in the sky, look what the Lord brought to my line of vision, right in front of my condo:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

This morning I sat on the balcony of my condo in Destin, FL., before the rest of the area woke up (well, at least the area in MY condo…aka teenage boys and my sister!) The hypnotic effect of the tumultuous waves sent me into an almost subliminal state of thought;analogies of the ebb and flow of the waves of life invaded my thoughts. As I gazed at the horizon, the waves seemed fairly gentle and calm. The future for me, as I know it, seems much the same~nothing much to contemplate, let alone be anxious about. Closer into the shoreline the waves contained a bit more activity and strength. It appeared as though the wind strength determined the ferocity of the waves. Yet I realize this was but an illusion, as the wind strength was constant. In the Word “wind” is associated with the Holy Spirit. No matter who I am or what I do; no matter where I am or when changes occur in my life; and no matter why life comes against me and how that is manifested, the Holy Spirit is the only person in my life that always remains constant! The wind over the ocean is constantly changing. As the water below the surface swiftly churns, the waves mount, eventually reaching a peak, then toppling over, losing form and strength as they flatten, become foamy and disappear into the sand of the shoreline. Eventually the turbulent circumstances in my life will lose their shape and disappear into the fabric of my life, as well. As I am walking through those times, however, I want the Master Weaver to weave beauty from the disorderly into the tapestry of my life!

In the midst of this methodical thinking, I also saw the red flagof “warning”~danger, water is not safe! No swimming or surfing! Enter at your own risk!” Within moments, as if no forewarning had been given, there were swimmers heading straight for the water~not unlike us, when we ignore the warnings of the Holy Spirit and continue down a precarious path of life. We may know the warning, understand the way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13), and still be determined to enter those raging waters anyway!

As the day wore on the temperature continued to rise, the wind calmed a bit, and the rough waters receded if for a while. Eventually the horizon was concealed by threatening thunder clouds, and the forecast rapidly changed. The remainder of this week calls for “isolated thunderstorms” certain days; others may bring severe storms, and the prediction may be accompanied by a ‘watch’ or ‘warning’. Again the similarities of the forecast and life are amazing. I will continue with this theme throughout the week.

Just below our condo stands a flagpole with an American flag blowing in the wind. Late this afternoon it was framed against a backdrop of the bright, beautiful sun. I am again reminded of the freedoms we are privileged to enjoy in this country. And, again, as the wind gently blew that flag I am reminded of the words of THE SON: "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” ~ Heb. 13:5b. Even in the midst of and in spite of the storms of life Jesus will be with us always (Matt. 28:20) Our God is an awesome God indeed!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Emerald Coast

It's Spring Break 2009 and my sister, my son Benjamin and his friend, Sam, and I are in Destin, FL. for a week. This photo is what we see standing on our balcony! I know, it's tough, but somebody HAS to do it! For the past 18-years or so we have been bringing my children down here for Spring Break. Many families from the school come down here, as well, so they have lots of friends to hang with on the beach. That has always made it so much fun for them, and makes it much easier for my sister and I. We can relax and do our own thing, knowing that they are safe and close by. Our normal routine is to rent a 15-passenger van, have them take out the middle seats, make a pallet in the floor, complete with a foam mattress about 5" thick for the boys to sleep on (please don't tell the police! It's hard for them to sleep with no seat belts in the floor!) We pull out of our driveway in Tennessee about midnight and drive straight through for 8 hours while the children sleep. By the time we arrive in Destin, we have to awaken them to eat breakfast. The Lord has always blessed us with the privilege of being able to check in the condo way before normal check-in time (due to "snow birds" checking out about Spring Break time). We unload the van, let the children stay here and play while we go grocery shopping. Needless to say by bedtime that first night (tonight) Dinah, my sister, and I are ready to crash! The view is absolutely gorgeous, and the R & R we receive is so needed and such a blessing! It allows me time to be creative (scrapbooking, watercolor paining, working on my altered book, working on my Bible studies, reading, etc.) I'm no longer the sun-goddess I used to be (much to my I'm paying for it!). I just love getting away from my normal routine of life and relax in the beauty and majesty of the blue and green waters and snow white sand of the Emerald Coast.

And one more thing: thank-you so very much to all of you who have visited my blog and left treasured comments. I have tried to reply to each one of you; however, when I try to link up through your site, many of you don't have contact info listed. So, I appreciate each and every one of you and are trying to bookmark your sites and visit each of them regularly. I would LOVE for you to come back and visit often (or become a follower/friend!) May you be blessed as you so richly bless me!

Much love,


Thursday, March 12, 2009

"You've Got a Friend"

Have you ever had a song just get in your mind,you have no idea where it came from, and it seems to be on "replay"? That happened to me the other night! For some reason I was singing James Taylor’s’ “You’ve God a Friend”. Don’t know if I heard it when I was in a store somewhere recently or what….but it played in continuous mode in my head for some time. Then for some reason (and I believe it was the Holy Spirit whispering in my ear, “Hey, Lisa, listen to those words) I pondered the words, and though I don’t believe James Taylor coined the lyrics to be a “spiritual” song, read the words:

“When you’re down and troubled and you need a helping hand and nothing, whoa nothing is going right. Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name, and you know wherever I am I’ll come running, oh yeah baby to see you again. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call
And I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah. You’ve got a friend.

If the sky above you should turn dark and full of clouds and that old north wind should begin to blow. Keep your head together and call my name out loud and soon I will be knocking upon your door. You just call out my name and you know wherever I am I’ll come running to see you again. Winter, spring, summer or fall all you got to do is call and I’ll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Hey, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend? People can be so cold.
They’ll hurt you and desert you. Well they’ll take your soul if you let them.
Oh yeah, but don’t you let them.

You just call out my name and you know wherever I am I’ll come running to see you again. Oh babe, don’t you know that, winter spring summer or fall, Hey now, all you’ve got to do is call. Lord, I’ll be there, yes I will. You’ve got a friend.
You’ve got a friend. A’int it good to know you’ve got a friend. A’int it good to know you’ve got a friend. You’ve got a friend.”

Now, I doubt Jesus would say “ain’t”, unless there’s a Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic complement to it! But, isn’t it true that we’ve got a friend in Jesus? (there’s actually a hymn written by that name—“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”; another one starts “I have a friend in Jesus, He’s everything to me; He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul…). Jesus is constantly knocking on the door of our hearts, wanting us to let Him in. Rev. 3:20 says: “Look! I am standing at the door and knocking. If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he will eat with me.” (NSV) So, as a bumper sticker I once saw says, “If you feel like you aren’t close to Jesus any more, guess who moved?” We are never alone; we are never out of His care; and we are never without a friend! Think about that for a moment! He doesn’t want to just be our Savior, our Redeemer, our Lord…along with all of His other awesome attributes, He wants to be our “Friend”! John 15:13 says: "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (NASB) Have you many friends that would truly lay down their life for you? Jesus already has! He so longs to be our friend, our confidante, our husband….not just a mere acquaintance, or a historical character that we obtain head knowledge about and that’s it. HE wants RELATIONSHIP with YOU! He wants it all day every day of your life! Can you wrap your brain around the fact that the God of the Universe truly wants a relationship with you? How awesome!

He doesn’t just want that relationship when things are going well in our lives, though He certainly loves and desires our praise for that! He wants a relationship with us when we are in the pits of life, when we feel no one understands, when we think we can’t go on…
"Come to me, all of you who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you rest. Place my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest for your souls, because my yoke is pleasant, and my burden is light." Matt. 11:28-30 (ISV) Do you know what the “yoke” referred to in the Bible is? Jesus was also called “Rabbi”; “Rabbi” means teacher, but in the case of Jesus, it means “one who teaches with authority” (learned this from my pastor, Pete Wilson).
His “yoke” was His teaching; so from the Matthew passage we see that Jesus’ teaching, His yoke, is pleasant, and we are to put it on and learn from it.” Our friend, Jesus, wants to be there to hold us up, to guide us along, to bring us “through it” if He brings us “to it!” Truly, “what a friend we have in Jesus!”

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rocky and Rachel Raccoon

Pre-dogs in our family, we had two raccoons that would come up on our porch each evening, after the outside lights were out and we were in bed. We discovered it one night when my husband and I were awakened to a very loud noise outside; we came downstairs, went all around the inside of the house and found nothing. Then we heard it again; we went outside, and looked all around. We have a large metal trash can on the porch where we used to keep animal food. Upon lifting the wooden top my husband had built and hinged to the can, we saw a precious raccoon down inside the can. He had gotten in and could not get out! We left the top open, came inside and let him climb out! I was in love with the beautiful little creature! We began watching every night and would see them come up on the porch and sniff around, looking for some type of tasty morsel. Usually our girls were in bed and asleep by this time (our son had not been born yet). We began opening the window beside our recliner that goes to the floor and would hold our hand out, palm up and flat with an Oreo cooking on it. Over time they would get closer and closer, wanting so badly to retrieve the Oreo, but being skeptical of our intents. I insisted we wake the girls up and let them come and at least watch, if not participate. So we began waking them up and bringing them downstairs to observe, telling them they had to be still and quiet (which was not that difficult since we usually awakened them out of a deep sleep). After a few nights of the raccoons retrieving the Oreos out of our hand and coming back for "seconds", our girls decided they needed to be named. So, "Rocky" and "Rachel" became a part of our nighttime ritual for a short while....until we got a dog....and the rest, as they say, is history! Sweet, sweet memories!