Tuesday, May 31, 2011


On Saturday, I went to Aiken. Michael and I felt like we had gone home. Like we were visiting family, and our house was still just down the street. Aiken is, in reality, a day trip on the interstate. But Saturday we were there, at our friend's house where lots of summer parties happen, where my own son's birthday party once occurred, and I was chatting it up with the girls. And I was watching a little boy, James, jump into the water, go underneath the surface, and swim to the ladder. Over and over and over again. No vest. No swimmies. Just James. I told Jennifer, my friend and little James's momma, just how impressed I was with his swimming skills. And this is what she said:

"Thanks. Jesus taught him."

And I said:

"Who's Jesus?"

Jennifer (smiling slyly) - What? Patty, you don't know who Jesus is?

Me - Yes, I know who THE Jesus is. But what tangible being does James associate with Jesus?

And so Jennifer explained. One day last summer when James was even smaller than he is now, he and the big kids played together in the baby pool during that dreaded time called adult swim. When the whistle blew, and the big kids abandoned the baby pool, James stayed to play in his safe shallow water. And Jennifer turned her chair to watch the big kids, but so she could keep James in her vision. James splashed and splashed, going in circles. Finally, he came up to his momma and announced that he now knew how to swim. For real. When Jennifer questioned him, James explained that Jesus taught him. THE Jesus had taught little James how to swim. Then he proceeded to go under the water and swim across the baby pool. After that, he got in the big pool. No vest. No swimmies. Just James from that day forward.

The funniest part is that a few days later, James decided that since Jesus had taught him to swim, and he was now like Jesus, he figured he could probably also walk on water. Unfortunately, that test didn't go like James expected. But still, he trustingly jumps into the water falling beneath the surface and swims just as Jesus taught him to do.

Makes me wonder what waters I could dive beneath if only I had the same trusting faith in Christ as my teacher as James. No vest. No swimmies. Just me.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Growing Up

I have a lot of time to myself today. In fact, about four hours. For some, this can't possibly be enough. For today, for me, it is almost more than I can handle. When I realized I had this much time and that it was not yet half way over, I broke down. Panicked. Because I realized that in two months my youngest will start kindergarten, and I will be alone. Every day. For seven hours at a time. I temporarily decided that I needed to home school. Not for them. For me. So that I won't be left alone.

Once I had calmed down, I realized that what my husband teasingly said to me a few weeks ago is true.

"Someone is going to have some growing up to do come August."

And that someone is me. I am going to have to learn to be comfortable with time for myself, with myself, with my thoughts. When my oldest went off to school, I was chronically ill, and looking forward to some time to rest. My husband was the one that teared up when we dropped him off. But now, I am on my last child, and having only two, I got no practice time between having the first and the last. This is it. Anywhoo... This new phase of our family's life is not just big for the kids, it's big for all of us.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back in the saddle...

And I'm back...

Yesterday I went to the library to use a computer because I was having withdrawal symptoms. And I sadly let the world know my old, ornery computer died. It was a love/ hate relationship we had. During Lent, when I was blogging daily, it would cause great frustration. See, for months, it has been acting up, jumping pages in the middle of my reading or typing. Flashing old web pages in my face randomly. Skipping to the bottom of a page, then the top, then back down again, all while I tried to keep my place. Good times, me and that computer. Michael stopped using it months ago when it started behaving badly. He had no patience, though I knew it was only because it didn't feel well, and I tried repeatedly to clean it up and make it better. Well, my brother in law, Patrick, is going to try to revive my files now, but otherwise, it's mainly gone.

And so, as I was leaving the library unsatisfied, my close friend, Cindy called. She has an extra computer, and she brought it to my house and set it up for me. So that I may blog. (And pay bills, but who wants to talk about those?) She also brought me a bike helmet for my youngest so he could ride safely on his new, hand me down, big boy bike with training wheels. She also brought me washers to fix the bolts on those same training wheels that keep collapsing. How fabulous is Cindy!?! She saved me lots of time and money, and she did it because as she often says, "I just ask that people remember the grace I show them, so that they may do the same. I don't expect anything in return from the recipient, and I have faith that grace will come to me in another way when I need it."

I needed that.

See, the whole reason Cindy knew I was having all of these issues was because I rang her doorbell to borrow her tools to fix the bike because our tools were stolen a few months ago. And then I proceeded to take her wrench and unload all my pent up frustration right onto her shoulders. And she accepted it.

So, to Cindy, thank you! I can't wait to "pass it on."

And now, off to catch up on the news...

Monday, May 23, 2011


Our computer is broken and I am stranded from the outside world. In fact, I am currently at the library ignoring my children in order to type this brief message. So, just to let y'all know, I am offline for awhile. I will be back someday, and when that day comes, we'll reconnect. I can receive email on my phone, but responding is difficult. In the meantime I have lots to say and lots of issues to work out, so I can't wait to get back together with my computer very soon. Writing it all down - all those issues - helps sort the thoughts out clearly. So, until we meet again here in blog world, I'll be wandering around, befuddled, keeping all these thoughts to myself.

Lots of love,


Monday, May 16, 2011

Stopping Satan

On the way home from church, Key shared with me what he got out of church. Key won't go to Sunday school because he wants to hear the sermons. He told us he isn't big enough yet to understand them, but he still likes to listen. Sometimes he can get something through the messages. Key said that yesterday, as Father Hule talked about us all being sheep, that he understood a lot of that sermon. But Key then went on to inform us that what he really understood best was the prayers. God bless my precious children. They teach me so much. Really.

Key - When we pray in church, it looks like God is shining on Father Hule, and he's looking up at God, and Father Hule is like a messenger, and his light shines on the congregation. And when we are all praying together, we are all looking down, so we are shining our prayers down on Satan. And Satan can't have any power when we are all aiming God's power at him. It's a big chain - God to Father Hule to us to Satan. Do you think that's right, Mom?

Me - Yes, Key, and I love the way your mind works.

Together, through prayer, we are rendering Satan helpless. And it all starts with our one true power source.
God Almighty.

And it was explained through the words of an eight year old.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Daily prayers


World - I pray for peace. (Of course.) But seriously, I pray that the people that keeping getting hurt and victimized, the ones that cannot leave home free from fear, the ones that have too little food or water or love or family, that those people feel God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit today. And I pray for the ones that cause the fear and terror and selfishness that leaves others trembling or hungry or both. I pray that those people turn towards you and take a step towards you and open their palms to you and let their anger and hatred and own hurts drain through their fingers and litter the ground. I pray for the whole world.

Country - I pray for grace. I pray that our politicians and president and all those in positions of voting leadership offer a bit of grace today and in return feel grace given back to them. Because in our stubbornness, our country suffers, and the citizens pay the price. I pray for these same leaders to humbly seek your guidance and I pray that they figure out a way to communicate. Really and truly to hear each other. I pray for our servicemen and women and I pray for all those separated from their families that they find a way home soon. I pray for our police and our gangs and our victims and our incarcerated - that they have a moment of peaceful heart and clear mind. I pray for all the clutter of our lives - the mess we have made with our excess - that we find a way to get it all under control. I pray for the USA.

Community - I pray for outstretched hands. For the hands of our neighbors, that those are the hands of healing, not of hurt. That we care for each other and feed each other and lift each other up. I pray for the churches and the missions and that people of the community feel Jesus through hands today. For the hungry and the struggling student and the lonely and the overwhelmed and the underwhelmed. For each person to feel Him. I pray for Columbia and all of South Carolina.

Friends - I pray for my close, dear friend Christie, who had the most beautiful baby boy in the entire universe yesterday. He is almost as cute as my kids:) Actually, he's fabulously adorable. I pray for Jason who is now a daddy and for their whole family as they learn how to be parents. I pray for my friend, Laura, who is single momming it while her husband is gone on duty every week and for all the people whose paths I keep crossing that are single parents. I pray for my sweet bible study friends - that they feel and know God intimately and that He holds them each in the palm of His hand. I pray for Miss Christy and every woman I have the pleasure of working with on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. And I pray for all my friends, all the ones in Aiken and Tennessee and Columbia and wherever, near and far, new and old, because without friendships I would go crazy, lala... I pray for friendships.

Family - I pray for my husband. And my babies, Key and Kelly. And my whole extended family on both sides. There's a lot. I pray for our past, our present day, and our future. Family that has gone ahead and all of us to follow. I love my family with a fierceness that only gets stronger with each passing year, and I pray for blessings they can see and taste and feel deeply each and every day. I pray for family.

Me - I pray for discernment. For patience. For wisdom and grace and humor and a light heart. For courage through You. For a life full of joy and awareness and free from fear. For my house to sell and my children to feel comfortable in a new home. For stability. I pray for me.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I need a pedicure. And an eyebrow wax. And some general beauty time that I keep pushing aside. What I really need most of all is to get back to reading and praying daily, like I did during lent. When I promised God and y'all that I would write for forty days, I felt convicted to follow through. And through those writings I was able to reach out to people, but I was also able to reach back into my heart where some things were getting overlooked or ignored or plain denied. Since Easter I have been so, so tired. Lots of obstacles have come our way, and the extra energy needed for grace and patience has honestly drained me. Completely. I have been telling myself to get back to the writing, but then I tell myself to get back to the writing when I have energy.

Then, I read this:


And I realized that the writing gave me the energy for my days, not because I am the next Faulkner, but because in my writing I slowed down and spent time with my Lord. There would have been no way for me to complete forty entries in a row otherwise. So, I am going to get back at it. I make a promise to write three days a week for one month as a start. The threes are for the Trinity, and the month will get us to Pentecost.

And now, I must go at least get dressed, bushy eyebrows, winter feet, and all!

Monday, May 2, 2011


Today I'd like to add strawberry picking to that list of grace filled activities my children could do over and over and over and over....

Truth. I could too. Last Friday, the boys and I went to pick these delectable berries, and we came home with two bushels. I slipped in the mud and got all kinds of stinky dirty. It was some of the most fun, carefree moments I have had in a long while, and not until I got them did I realize how much that time was so desperately needed.


My boys.

Wholesome food.



So wonderful, we went again yesterday with our friends. And got two more bushels. Canning will commence shortly...

Do you think God looks at us and says, "Why yes, that one is growing nicely. She's still a bit green and young, but wow, is she ripening. Just beautiful!" ?