“A Glimpse of my Daddy”

When I was a young girl, I prayed for a baby for our family. Many birthday wishes  and prayers were always the same, “Please, Lord, give our family a new baby”  It was my quest! When I was 12 and my sister was 15 , my prayers were answered when we got our little brother. William Reed McMahon, Jr.  We all were excited. I remember so well when Mother told us how my big, strong Daddy, actually cried with tears of joy when he saw our Billy for the first time.

 

My Daddy lived a life filled with ladies. At any one time in our home, for special occasions, there would be 8-10 ladies around the table.  His mother, his sister, his mother in law, his grandmother in law, aunts, friends of his mother in law and her mother, mother and of course, Anne and me.  Daddy would be the lone man at the end of the table. He loved every one of those ladies and willingly would help when asked if he could do something for one of them. I never heard him complain, wishing he didn`t have to spend time helping, or wishing he had time for himself. His heart was so full of love and compassion ,that is just came naturally.

He loved well. It was only natural that when he saw his son that God gave him, he was over joyed. Oh the things they would do together and the things that he would teach his son to build. We all were blessed and our family was complete.

Daddy had only 8 years with this son of his before God took him home to be with Him. Our lives changed forever that year when cancer invaded our little family. Memories had been made with his son, our Billy, but as the years have gone by, those memories have faded for him. He only had 8 years to know his Daddy. I had almost 20 years to engrave it all in my heart. I can still see in my mind, his love and kindness and  he fleshed out for others.

God gave me a physical glimpse of my Daddy the other day, through this grown son of his, my little brother.  We three siblings, Anne, Bill and I,  met for lunch with our aunt, Daddy`s sister, who is going to be 80 this year. We were discussing some upcoming events about her car and what needed to be done. After trying to figure out the best thing to do, my brother looked at her and asked, “would you like for me to go with you one day next week to the dealership to talk to them?”  As he offered to take off from work, to help, she nodded her head and said,”yes”, with a feeling of relief. He said, “no big deal, I will be glad to.”

At that moment, I looked at him and said, “you are just like your Daddy” It was just so real, as if I was seeing Daddy, all those years ago, saying those same words to any one of those ladies who depended on him.

Today, all of those years later, I still pray for that baby boy, that has now grown up.  The prayers have changed to prayers of praise. I thank God that during those 8 years he did life with his son, Daddy taught him a lifetime of love and compassion for others, and in doing so,  taught him to shine for Him.

Love you Daddy….

It takes an army

I have often heard those words.   Well, I am here to say how true that is. I am most thankful for my army of friends who were there for me recently…

The wedding was over 6 weeks ago. It is a wonderful memory NOW…. but during the planning and getting ready stages, there were several times in my mind that things could have gotten a little stressful….. if I had tried to resolve small problems on my own. Thankfully, that is when my army of friends showed up at just the right time… So, so many people to thank , who were there for us. So many friends helped throw parties and offered their time to help us, and loaned us things to use.  But here are a few highlighted members of my army…. and they probably don`t even really know what an important part they played.

I always think that no party of mine is complete without favors and this wedding was just a big party that we were planning for the reception..so, I was on the search for the just the right party favors.   I finally saw these really pretty cookies, all iced with the initials on top, and zeroed in on them.   I really wanted to duplicate them and have them in little clear bags, tied with a little saying on there.

In my mind, again, I thought it would not be that difficult after I found the right recipe.  I found the cutest little ridged cirlce cookie cutter at Michaels to use and I was ready to get started.

I made the shortbread cookie from a borrowed recipe from Pam,  and for three nights, I made a 5 dozen cookie recipe… Things were looking pretty good at this point and the cookies looked good so far.

 

My friend, Pam, had made these before and used fondant to place on top, so I wanted to do the same. thing as she told me about it…. I got the ingredients out,…. 16 oz bag of white mini marshmallows, 3 tablespoons of water, 2 pounds of powdered sugar and 1/2 cup crisco shortening.

My two grandsons were over that day, Heston, 9  and  Leif, 3, so they happily came in the kitchen to help with the fondant process.. LOL… they liked the part about the crisco. You dig your hand in the crisco can and coat your hands with it then knead the other ingredients together.. until it is all smooth..

 

We worked on that stuff for a long time and got it smoothed out pretty good , mixed and ready to roll out. But after adding the blue food coloring, it was a really dark blue and not the pretty aqua that I had wanted. and invisioned in my mind.!!. It was good practice but not what I could use…

I went back to get more food coloring and found a different blue. This time, I added just a drop and it went a long way and was the most beautiful Tiffany blue color. Yay!!

Pam insisted on coming to help me ice them.  She told me later, much later after the wedding that she just had felt so sorry for me doing all of them by myself, and wanted to help!!! I didnt know I was that pitiful!!  With both of us working, it went much easier and faster.   She got the fondant shapes wet after I cut them out and then stuck them to the top of the cookies. They looked so pretty at this point .

 

She had to leave for an appointment after we were finished with the fondant, but I assured her that I was ok and could easily put the W on the top of them….  We even tried a few W`s before she left to be sure I knew what I was doing…….Big mistake..

I tried to push the icing in little baggies and cut the tiny hole in it, but the letters looked horrible and were all different sizes.  After trying for a while , I just had to rub the messed up letters off the top of the cookies, so I would be able to correct the mistakes, I tried again.   I soon realized that I just couldn`t make it work to look good. Now, I could have easily, at this point, sat down and had a good cry, LOL… and I did consider that but then another friend came to mind. She had made cookies for Lara to use to ask her friends to be  one of her bridesmaids…

I took a chance that she was in town, and gave her a call. She was not only in town but eating at Chick Fil A, right around the corner from me and said she would be glad to stop by and get them and do the W for me.. Oh my, what a weight was lifted as I handed all those pans over to her to take home… I didn`t worry any more about them…

When I picked them up the next day, Kristen had put those W`s on there perfectly, each one looking exactly like the other.  Cookies done, but it took my army  of friends to make it work.

We tied those cookies up in a little plastic bag, and put them in this huge bucket with gold ribbon  and beads tied around the top of it. They were placed on the table by the door at the reception, for the guests to take one as they were leaving.. I almost forgot to take a picture of them, but got this one before they were all gone…

The week before the wedding, I had the programs all layed out and ready to print, with the sketched image of the church on the front of it. My daughter in law, Rebecca, had drawn  it for a wedding gift for Lara and Steven and had sent me the digital image to use. I got the paper ready, I thought I could print 50 at a time. I did the first 50, the fronts and as I was turning them over to put them back in to do the back, I noticed a smudge on the front of one. I got my glasses  on and looked closely only to find out the smudge was on all of them!!!!! Something was going on with my printer that was causing it to do this on each one. OH MY GOODNESS… less than a wekk to go, and I was trying to cross this off of my list to do that day.  I had planned to go see my friend, Patsy, who owns Village Press in Mountain Brook, after I had them printed that day. She had told me to bring them down and she would help me score and fold them . I had to call to tell her I couldn`t come that day, that I had to figure out what was going on with my printer.  She immediately told me to send her the digital file for them to print for me.    “No, I didn`t mean to have you do that, I will try to  figure it out and come Monday to fold them. with you.”   I will never forget what she said to me, “Don`t take away the joy it would give me to do this for you”.  With maybe a tear or two forming in my eyes, I told her that I would send it on to her. Wow…. it was mid afternoon when we talked. After dinner, she shows up at my door, with the programs in hand, all printed and folded and ready to take to the church the next week in a beautiful white wicker basket.

This is the beautiful drawing that Rebecca did and let me use for the program.

Thanks to my army of friends, Pam and Kristen who saved the cookie project…Patsy graciously solved the printing problem before it had time to get huge and cause stress in the Lazenby household.. caught just in time… She was a huge, huge part of my army who stepped up on my behalf, as was Rebecca, as she shared her drawing before she gave it to them, for us to use on the program.

I cannot close without including my sweet Tom. He usually is in the background, just encouraging and watching as we get things done, but willing to do whatever we ask.  The last two things that popped up that  week before the wedding….. were pretty large….

 

 

to be continued in part 2…

Thank you for reliving these special times with me..  it was truly magical to look back and see how it all came together…

Have a great week,

Love,

Jane

Buttons and the faith of a child

It all started as I was talking to a sweet young friend to see if she would like some craft rhinestones to use for art projects with her little girls.  I added in the conversation,  that I had some doilies too if she was interested. She was excited to get both items but what she doesn`t know is that I found some old buttons  that I am adding into her stash.!  LOL…..

 

I used to collect buttons but now, I have no use for them, cause my sewing days are long gone… I used to collect “craft” treasures to use, and inherited so many others from projects that Mother and I did together.  I still love these things. I could still keep them in their little boxes, neatly tucked in my full closets of things I may need one day. BUT, In my de-cluttering mode, that I am trying to do a little at a time, it makes me happy and gives me JOY to find homes for things that were once treasures to me…

 

Her  bag is all ready to deliver soon but as I am still busy and moved on to other areas to re-evaluate if I like or not, (really? I ask myself, do I really need to move furniture from one area to another TODAY? and do I really need to go through that heavy basket underneath the table TODAY?) and moving a few things from one spot to another,I get to that heavy basket.  I lean over to pick it up, (and by the way….”OUCH!!” I felt that!!!  not as young as I used to be and these old bones don`t move quite as good as they used to.., )  to take in the den, close to my sofa, so I can sit for a minute and look through it. I wanted to look through BEFORE I toss any old books out,  just in case I might need something from there? I wanted to look through hurriedly so I could move on to something else on my de-cluttering  list and scratch this off…..I am about half way finished….  with one stack to indeed get rid of, one stack of torn out pages to save in a folder somewhere, just in case, and one stack to save as is, when I come upon this book..

Seasons of the Heart

 

I remember it. The cover is very familiar to me. Yes, it was hers. Yes, I kept it knowing it was special, but haven`t looked at it in a while.. So, I flip through the pages and come to a short story called, “Baskets of Buttons”,  and of course, I sit down to read it..

The author  starts off by saying under the title, “sometimes it is their childlike faith from daughters that the greatest lessons are learned.”  and then she adds on the front page of the book, ” I remember in the solitude of a moment shared, my mother became my friend.”     Oh man, a tear jerker I am sure, is coming up, but I read it anyway….. just because….

The author`s  daughter, Jennifer,  was 9 years old. She had been shopping  with her mother one day at the dime store,( remember them?, lol..) and had found her dream purse. The tag read, $8.50.  With money short, her mother encouraged her daughter  to save up and come back if she really wanted it. She was hoping it would instill perseverance and diligence in her daughter`s youthful  spirit.

Several weeks went by and Jennifer came to her mom and said that she had saved the money and could they please go get the purse at the store?  Her mom cautioned her that it might be gone since it had been several weeks. With her daughter`s lips quivering, she answered back, “but I know it is still there. I saved the money for it, and I prayed. Please Mom, lets go and get it.”

As they got to the store, the purses from the display were indeed gone. They both looked diligently through the store and spotted it on the clearance table. It had been marked down to $6 but had several buttons that held the side together, missing.  Jennifer was delighted but  her mom was silently thinking it would be impossible to find little pearl buttons exactly  like the ones on there  to hold the purse together.  Jennifer just smiled and said “that is ok, Mother, I will   pray for them”. How could this little girl have such faith, so childlike,  simple and   unconditional and yet so far from hers?  They went home with a slightly soiled and  broken,  bargain purse.

That night, she  very gently washed it  and placed it with her other treasured things by her bed.  She woke up the next morning and cried out with excitement as she ran to tell her mother, the buttons were there!! They were on top of her purse.

God had known how important they were to her. Hidden in lining, no one had noticed when they purchased the little purse that they were there.

Through Jennifer`s eyes and faith, her mother had been reminded about something big. Nothing is too small for God to notice and touch with a blessing to encourage our hearts . If God could answer her prayer about missing buttons, He could hear her mother`s prayers for their lives.

The buttons on the purse held it all together just like His love holds us together, if we just run to Him with our prayers and believe.

 

When I read that little story, it  almost brought tears to my eyes. Something so simple as buttons can be reminders of His never ending love for us. Some people would say “Coincidence”    I don`t even go there, but I just stop and  immediately thank Him for caring enough and loving me enough  to send that little reminder  today… If He cares so much for the little things, how much more He cares for us when we reach out to Him…

 

Did I finish all my de-cluttering list today? absolutely NOT. I will never be completely finished, I am convinced of that… but I did make a small dent and that is all I can expect. After all I do not want my expectations to become my biggest disappointments!!  That could happen easily if I put too much pressure on myself!!! So I just do a little along and continue to get that Joy, when the LITTLE is accomplished… which actually could be the BIG….

Have a great week,

Love, Jane

 

Buttons and the faith of a child

Life is not always a perfect Pinterest picture…

From the title, one might think this is going to be a deep LIFE lesson entry, but not so much this time. It is just a transparent look at everyday life. You just have to live with the punches and go on. If we compared our lives with the seemingly “on the outside”,  “perfect” pictures posted on social media  (pinterest), none of us would measure up. Life is real..  Life is a learning adventure. We make mistakes, we are not perfect. But through it all, if we choose joy and laughter, our mistakes make grand adventures and great memories!!

This was the results last year as I made my grandmother`s famous Peach Meringue Pie. She would make at least one every summer. We usually waited to have it in July when her favorite peaches were ready to be picked. Papa would go to the peach park , pick them himself, and bring baskets home to share with everyone. It was the clear seed, as she called them, that she waited for. They were late bloomers but the peach would fall off the seed when you pealed and cut into them. It was a treat we looked forward to each summer. Lots of the time, she would make the crust, and roll it out, and I would mix the peaches and mother would do the meringue. NO ONE could do better meringue than Mother did. It would always stand so tall and pretty. Occasionally it would have a few “tears” as she called the drops on top, but it always would taste yummy. With any left over crusts, she would roll it out, pat with butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top then roll up and cut into little slices. These were treasured little bites that were anticipated about as much as the pie itself!!

Well, after my grandmother was gone, mother would continue the tradition and her pies were equally as good as the ones our Loisie would make. Now, years later, with Mother gone, if I want to have one, the responsibility falls into my lap. , Just know, that each time, it is really kind of a gamble how the meringue will turn out. That is certainly NOT my strong point of cooking but last year , when I made the pie, the meringue was exceptionally high and pretty, and I gave myself a little silent pat on the back.. LOL….

My daughter in law and grandsons were visiting from Dallas and with her birthday coming up next week, I decided that when I had them for the send off dinner a few nights ago, and for her birthday, I would make the famous peach meringue pie for a special treat.   The peaches were a bit of a disappointment this year. I had gotten some that were so overly  ripe that they didn`t even make it til time to make the pie. I found some at the grocery store that were way too hard and not ripe enough. I stopped at my local farmers market up the road and got me a basket of pretty good ones. So, I was ready. I had all the ingredients, even remembered to get the whipped butter to have on hand. I separated the eggs… and added the sugar to the egg whites and a dash of cream of tarter as they both used to do. I turned the mixer on, and turned the bowl around to get it all in the beaters, and stood there and mixed and stood there and mixed some more and it just refused to fluff up!!!! Upset with myself and with the thought that maybe I had gotten a bit of egg yolks in there. I didn`t have my glasses on so that was quite possible.  Or maybe there was  a drop of water in  the bowl from where I did not dry it good enough and perhaps that caused it to flop…. whatever,  I dumped it out and washed the bowl and dried it really good and started over. As I was getting everything ready to put in the bowl, I realized that I had put a dash of corn starch in the last time  instead of the cream of tarter!!!! no wonder it was a flop!! still a bit exasperated at myself for the oversight but happy that I had figured out the problem, I carefully put that dash or two of cream of tartar in the bowl with the sugar and egg whites. The mixer was on again… it started to beat and get fluffy… I stopped when I thought it was enough, another mistake cause perhaps it should have stayed in longer and mixed more, but whatever again, so I took it , and spread it out on the baked pie to go back in the oven to brown… It looked ok at that point, even when I pulled it out of the oven all nice and browned, I was feeling pretty good..

It has to sit and cool so I tucked it away on the counter as I was finishing getting dinner ready. I glanced over at the pie and saw the meringue almost shrinking before my eyes!!!   Oh well, maybe it would still taste good, I was hoping…..

It was enjoyed even with the flop of the meringue and I laughed about it with Rebecca, remembering the days back when Loisie and Gaga used to make it. Sorry she didn`t get to taste theirs, but she got a glimpse of what it was all about.

Not perfect as the picture, but that is just life, right? I tried… LOL…..

So, Happy Birthday, Rebecca!!! Happy and blessed to have you in our family, to be the mother of my grandsons and a wonderful wife to my first born, and my special second daughter…  Love you and appreciate you enduring the flopped pie, but acting as if it was the best thing ever!!!

Here is the recipe that has been passed down if anyone  wants to try it for yourself. If you do, and if you can remember, send me a picture of your version!!

Happy Saturday and the happy “almost” start of a brand new week.

I am thankful to be perfectly imperfect!!!  I give myself permission to be me, and laugh at the imperfections and turn them into grace moments….

Love, Jane

Reflections of His love

 

Today I was on an ordinary quick run to Walmart. It was a beautiful sunny day, when I got out of the car and headed inside. I finished my list, and was looking for the quickest check out line to get into. Hurriedly I found one with just a few people in front of me, and turned into the  aisle.  All of a sudden, A huge clap of thunder sounded, and a short moment later, there it was  again. The elderly woman behind me in line said, rather quietly, “Oh, is that thunder?” I turned around to see her in her motorized wheelchair and commented how it had come from no where. It had been sunny when we both walked in. Neither of us had umbrellas, we said to each other, smiling at the thought of leaving them in the car when we needed them. I assured her that I would help her get to her car if it was pouring when we left.  We probably only had about 5 or 10 minutes to exchange words but I found out a lot about her in that short time. She was 89 years old, had downsized to a garden home, where she had lived alone for 8 years since her husband had died. She was all alone and lonely.  She said that her daughter wanted her to move again, probably into an assisted living place, and she just didn`t want to do it. He daughter lives close, and she sees her often but her son is out of town and she   doesn`t see him as often… She has a little dog, who she loves so much and was buying food for him today????????.  She is a bit hard of hearing, which we all are to some degree, and she says that  she doesn`t see too well. She says that her  daughter would rather her stay in but she  still likes to get out by herself sometimes. She said she visits with her daughter, to her church.  i told her about my bible study and how we would love to have her   but  she didn’t think she would be able to come visit with me  cause it was too far.

She paid for her groceries with a check, but could not reach the screen to sign, so I did it for her. “is that legal?”, she asked… we assured her that it was ok. As I helped put her groceries on the belt, then back in her basket, she whispered to me that she wished I could come home with her…She was teasing, but smiling at the same time,  She spelled her name out for me to sign  N E L L   she said it made her mad when oeople would misspell it.   she said we should get a plastic bag for  our head in case it was raining when we left.  lol!!  I laughed and mentioned how my grandmother used to do that!!  i thought she was teasing but as we were leaving together and heading for the door , she reached out to grab her a plastic bag and even offered me one????  As  we got to the door, we could see  the rain had stopped but the bag stayed on her head. I Put her bags in her trunk since we were parked close to each other and as if she were my own mother, I reminded her to leave the heavy things in there until someone came to help her. !!    WE said our good byes and I watched her drive off  in her little maroon sedan.

 

She was such a sweet interuption to my afternoon   I couldn’t help but think of her life before this season. Happily married with two children to raise   Now, grown and out on their own, her husband gone and Nell is living alone   She chose to smile     Her sweet smile and eager conversation was such a reflection of His love to me …  Thankful HE shared her with me.  Today.

 

I may never see Nell again but I hope I do .  I would love to have another talk with her

Reflections of His love

You have made my day joyful????

i took this picture as I drove up the long windy road to Bob and Bonnie Alvord’s ranch a few days ago  I marvelled at the reflection in the water of those beautiful trees   What an awesome reflection of His love to experience.   I am thankful I was able to see His artwork that day …

have a great week,

love.

jane

Taking America for Granted

This was going to be my day.. Staying home,  with a million things on my to do list.. I have put things behind me to save to do one day, and today, was the day I had planned in my mind to get started. As  I began to walk aimlessly around,  trying to figure out where to start, my eyes fell upon a shelf in the garage.  (I did have a purpose to go out there, to get my crock pot from its new home on the shelf so I could start dinner. ) The problem being, its new home just happened to be right on the same shelf where I had put a stack of old books to go through one day. The first one on the top of the pile was old and I could tell, it had a story to share. So I picked it up gently to  study the cover. As I opened it up to see the date and where it had come from, the first page just flipped open.  “Taking America for Granted” was the title of the very first article. This book  was actually the 30th addition to the Readers Digest Series. 1951, it had been written and published. Funny to me to read and be reminded of how smart people were back then. Maybe we should take a break from the people who we elected to be looking out for our best interest today and listen to what people of the past had to say. It is all so true , what this author wrote. We do take our lives for granted and this entitlement season  which so many people are preaching, is going to kill us, as a country.  Even in these times that the author was writing about circumstances then, I cannot even begin to imagine what in the world he would be thinking if he were here today, to see what we the people are doing to each other.   These are the words from an editorial in Vogue as written for them.

There was a time, in this country when even a whole day of life was not taken for granted, much less water, shelter, a safe night`s sleep. Now, by reason of a uniquely bountiful heritage, we take for granted too much. We assume. Expect. Insist.

Nowhere else in the world is this possible. Nowhere in the world is it wise. We not only accept, unthinking, the great urgencies  of food, shelter and clothes, but the whole spate of little things that make up a way of life, a standard of living, a pattern of security.  we assume that some kind of transportation will get us to work. We take for granted the protection of our locked front door, a roof to our living room, heat, lights. We expect our children, bursting with vitality and vitamin B, to knock our hats askew with the vigor of their welcome. As breathing, we take for granted a hot bath soap. The evening newspaper, penicillin and sodas at the corner drug store. We assume that young husbands will, with their bare efforts, make a successful future for themselves, that older husbands will retire on what, over the long years, they have put away, for savings, of course, are inviolate. We expect our daughters to have an evening dress We cheerfully assume that some decent men will get voted into public office. We know that the veterans can get a GI loan, and assume that, with it, one of them will start a future U.S. Steel. Another will marry, and produce an Edison, a Jefferson, a Carver. We take for granted that we will not be shot, imprisoned, or have our everything confiscated, that our children will live to grow up.

What we forget, what we forget every day, every moment, is our own history. That it was not entirely to give us those delicacies of life, these luxuries, become, necessities that those men stayed on a Valley Forge for 22 cents a day, that Abraham Lincoln did that fine, unpopular thing, unwavering, that over 56,000 men died in prison camps between 1961 and 1964, that later, half a million lay in their cream and radios that innocent, bewildered women were burned at the stake, bore children during Indian attacks, suffered cruel lampooning as pioneering educators, were partners in the greatest pioneering adventure of all, the sweep to the West.

 

It is good to remember what our simple right to vote cost other human beings. Perhaps they had no thought of us, as individuals, they were concerned with making their America. What they made is what we have. To take this heritage unthinkingly , for granted is a first step to losing it.

Have a blessed day.

Jane

Full heart, new season

We are in full swing of the wedding season at our house. 3 weeks and counting. I thought once the big decisions were done with the venue and the vendors, the rest would just glide on in and we could count the days down. LOL… After all, I had been through this twice before when both of my sons married. The only difference that I didnt factor in was,  this time, it was my daughter…… YOU THINK?!!!!! This time around it is ever so slightly different. So many decisions, conversations, calls, messages, and commitments to be made. And oh yes, giving money to the vendors, was a big part of this preparation too… and in the midst of it, sweet memories are being made. I get to see the excitement that she wears each day. I get to see the little things that made her fall in love with him, as he shows his heart to her so many times, in so many ways. I get to see her be passionate about each detail as she organizes and arranges plans for the wedding. . We get to share special times together as things are picked out and she asks for my opinion.. It is a busy time, and a good time, this new season of ours.

I have had mother`s wedding dress in the closet upstairs for over 7 years. I know that it will never be worn again, as it is, so I was trying to think of ways to use it, to embellish the wedding coming up in a few weeks.

Carefully, I cut the beautiful sleeves off .. 🙁  I can use the end of the sleeve to give our florist to tie around the flowers., I must admit, it was a bit hard to make that first cut…Mixed feelings, ….. ….but did it anyway…… and with each snip of the scissors, I got a little more excited about using it to share with Lara.     here she is on her special day, in the dress…, April 29, 1950

Another fun fact, if you notice the heart necklace she has on? My daddy gave it to her on their wedding day. It is engraved with “Because” written on the front and a personalized message inside,  that was their song, that was sung at their wedding. Years ago,  Mother had given the necklace to Lara, cause she knew she loved it. We have gotten a new shorter chain for it, so she can wear it or her wedding. Love that…..

So, after a few trial runs, I finally figured out how I wanted to  do the garter.., using her lace. Here is the other  bottom part of the sleeve with those covered buttons and button loops.. that I cut off first…

and I sewed it sideways onto the double faced ribbon that I was using. I found some old lace of Mothers and stitched it on the other side…

then stitched it all up by hand. My machine was acting funny, and the thread kept getting broken, so after I found my glasses, I whipped the sides together and pulled the elastic through it..

I embellished it with a pair of beautiful earrings, one on each side. Now, let me remind those of you who know me, about how I save way too much stuff. But, some things that I love, I cannot think about getting rid of and this is a great example. I love beautiful rhinestone  jewelry, most of it is fake, but really pretty fake. My grandmother had lots of it, as did her friend and as mother did….  I ended up with a nice stash of it. These rhinestone earrings were part of that stash that I have neatly put away in a special place that will not get lost… So, I thought the earrings added just the right Bling, to finish it off.

Lara is not real big on having traditional things just because they  are customary at ceremonies. She really didn`t want to have a garter to have to throw after the wedding, but… partly to have a picture made with it   and maybe partly cause I wanted her to have it for the picture, she decided it would be nice to have. Now that it is made and checked off the list of things to do, I move down the list to the next project…. which I will tell  about in another post, but it is the reason that I cut up the dress in the first place. update coming soon….

As I am finished and look back at the garter, and as I looked for the wedding picture to share here, it made me a little sentimental. I love to think that Mother will be   there in different  ways, with Lara on her special day. They had a sweet bond, the two of them,  and I know Mother would have been so happy to see Lara using her things .

With a full and thankful heart, I  am anticipating this wedding in three weeks. Looking forward to  the new season that it signifies..

Life happens, seasons come and go, we get older much too quick but the constant in our life that never changes, is our hope we have in Him.

So today, I thank Him for past memories that we can use to create new ones. I thank Him for bringing these two together and for the life that He has planned for them.  Happy almost wedding day, Lara and Steven!!!

 

Have a great new week,

Love, Jane

Memory of a spring drive down the road

A short time ago, we went out for a ride, Tom and me.. it was a fun day,,but I kind of forgot about it as time passed and life happened. Today, it popped up  on my facebook memories . and I remembered all over again, the details… it is the simple things in life, that are so precious and this was a good reminder of that for me. You don`t have to spend a lot of money, go to expensive , impressive places, just spend time with those you love. Nothing compares… So here is a retake on that day, when we just started out on a drive together..

 

On this beautiful day, Tom and I venture out for a drive down 280. We stop at McDonalds to get us a fish sandwich then we are off. Spring has officially come to Birmingham. We have never been to the Morgan Creek Winery down the road so we turn in to take a look.  As we go in the front door, they are having a wine tasting and everyone moves down to make room for us! I don`t even like wine, but not wanting to be rude, we step up to the places they have made for us… As I look down the counter, I see not one or two but about 10 bottles of wine, each opened and ready to be poured for a taste!! I almost choke at the smell as I bring it up for a taste but manage to swallow my sip of the first one. Wow…. she said it was dry. Is that what “dry” tastes like, I ask myself. I try to hide my face and the taste rolls down my throat as to not let anyone see the look I must surely be making… The next is a bit sweeter, she says… to me, it still smells. The look isn`t quite as bad, I am imaging, on my face after this one, but still…. it is hard to swallow. After a few more, I have one that is almost a little good, still not one that I would like to have more than one swallow of though….. They even have a Vulcan wine, complete with His picture on the front. I think that one might actually be a good one to buy for a gift if you were looking for something that screamed… Birmingham, to give someone.

 

 

I finished the tasting and backed away from the counter, trying to figure out what I could eat to get the tastes out of my mouth!! Just kidding, but I still don`t get the whole world of wine. Guess you have to acquire a taste. My taste buds are already ruined with diet coke so they don`t quite know what to do with any of the finer drinks… Tom tells me that was certainly not the usual grape wines, but muscadine wines, whatever that means!!…We skipped the wine tour because by now,  the lady had told us about another sight to visit… Miller Cheese House in Vincent. She said it was only a short drive across 280 and they had lots of samples. Well, she said the magic word… samples. So we set off to check it out.

As we found it and drove up, Tom says…. “Well, looks like it is closed cause there are no cars there in the parking lot”…” but the lady told us it was open” , I said. So we pull up and see a little lady sitting on the porch swing. When she sees us, she gets up and goes back inside to wait for us.  This is a pretty big size room and she tells us that Mr. Miller had met some Amish people in Ohio and Indiana, who make all the products that they have in the store now. He sold his dairy farm and started importing their products. They do have some cheese and home made butter but mostly canned things. So, we taste some of the samples, we buy some apple butter, peach salsa and blueberry syrup, then we headed back out to our car.

Tom is happy when we stop at Starbucks to get his daily cup of coffee from there. I am happy to get my cold diet coke. We are just simple people, liking simple drinks…
.
. Our adventure took us to a few new places around Birmingham. We saw some things that we would not have seen had we not ventured off the main road. But as we pulled into our driveway, I thought to myself… it is nice to be home!

Have a great day,
Love,

Calvary Love

These words were  shared recently in a devotion at my Bible Study. My watercolor picture I included here , “You are my sunshine”  represents the  Love shared between this Grammie and her grandsons…. as we think about Calvary love and what it means….

 

This was Stacha Conway inspired through a class offered by Brandi Dayton…

 

I love what this missionary wrote so many years ago, and how they are still so true today…. Do we love well?

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

“ If I speak in the tongues of men or o angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding long or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all that I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

Amy Carmichael, an Irish missionary to India during the early 20th century puts it like this… If I have not the patience of my Saviour with souls that grow slowly, if I know little pain til Christ be formed in them, I know nothing of Calvary love.

If my attitude be one of fear, not faith, about one who has disappointed me, If I say, “Just what I expected,”  if a fall occurs, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I can rebuke without a pang, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If in dealing with one that does not respond I weary of the strain and slip from under the burden, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I can enjoy a joke at the expense of another, and an in any way slight another in conversation or even thought, then I know nothing of Calvary Love

If I can write an unkind letter, speak an unkind word , think an unkind thought without grief and shame, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I can easily discuss the shortcomings and the sins of any, if I can speak in a casual way even of a child`s misdoings, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I am afraid to speak the truth lest I lose affection or because I fear o lose my reputation for kindness, If I put my own good name before the other`s highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I fear to hold another to the highest goal because it is so much easier to avoid doing so, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I put my own happiness before the well-being of  the work entrusted to me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If my thoughts revolve around myself, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I cannot in honest happiness take second place or twentieth, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I do not give a friend the benefit of the doubt, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If  sudden jar or jolt can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I feel  injured when another falsely accuses me, forgetting that my sinless Saviour trod this path to the end, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I feel bitterly towards those who condemn me, unjustly, forgetting that if they knew me as I know myself they would condemn me much more , then I know nothing of Calvary love

If by doing some work, I inwardly rebel, thinking it is the spiritual for which I rave, when in truth it is the interesting and exciting, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I hesitate to obey because so few will understand, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I consent to subject the care of a soul entrusted to me to weakening influences because the world fills my ears, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If monotony tries me, and I cannot stand drudgery, if stupid people fret me and little ruffles set me on edge, if I make much of the trifles of life, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If souls can suffer alongside and I hardly know it, beause the spirit of discernment is not in me, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If there be any reserve in my giving to Him who so loved that He gave His Dearest for me, if there is  a secret “BUT” in my prayers, “Anything but that, Lord,” then I know nothing of Calvary love

If things or places or people hold me back from obedience to my Lord, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If something I am asked to do for another feels burdensome If, yielding to an inward unwillingness, I avoid doing it, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I want to be known as the doer of something that has proved the right thing or as the one that suggested that it should be done, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If personal success or the cup of spiritual flattery tastes sweet to me, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If in the fellowship of service I seek to attach a friend to myself, so that others are caused to feel unwanted, if my friendships do not draw others deeper in and are ungenerous of myself then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I slip into the place that can be filled by Christ alone, making myself the first necessity to a soul instead of leading it to fasten upon Him, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If when an answer I did not expect comes to a prayer I believe I truly meant, and I shrink back from it, if the burden my Lord asks me to bear be not the burden of my hearts choice, and I fret  inwardly and do not welcome His will, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I avoid being ‘Plowed under” with all that such plowing entails of rough handling, isolation, uncongenial situations strange tests, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I wonder why something trying is allowed, and press for prayer that is may be removed, if I cannot be trusted with any disappointment, and cannot go on in peace under any mystery, then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I look back longingly upon what used to e and linger so that my power o help is weakened then I know nothing of Calvary love

If I forget that the way of the cross leads to the cross and not to a bank of flowers so that I am surprised when the way is rough  and think it is strange, though the Word is, “Think it not strange,”….. “count it all joy” , then I know nothing of Calvary love

If the ultimate, the hardest cannot be asked of me, if my peers hesitate to ask it and turn to someone else, then I know nothing of Calvary love, and………… if I covet any place on earth but the dust at the foot of the cross, then I know Nothing of Calvary love…

“And they`ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love… and they`ll know we are Christians by our love”

Have a great new week!!

Love, Jane

 

 

 

“Bits `n Pieces”

I recently gave a devotion for my Bible Study leadership and wanted to share it. It is called “BITS `N PIECES”

 

As I have gotten older, my mind thinks a bit differently about life. Because I have lived way over half of it…  I touched on it a bit when I was talking last year about seasons, and how seasons change as we get older and children grow up and move out.     But truly now, I think a lot about my purpose and the legacy that I will leave my children and grandchildren, giving something that will outlive me. And glorify God. It makes you not look so much  toward the” ONE DAYS”  but to concentrate on the “TODAYS…”

We have had a series at church called, “Leaving a legacy to make a difference” . Psalm 65:11 says,” You crown the year with a bountiful harvest, even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.”

Reminds me that even in the dark times, and hard journeys ,we have the opportunity to work on our legacy… It is not only about the trial and hard times, but how we handle it that makes a difference People will remember how we ran our race….

We  can  make every day a masterpiece, approach it as an empty canvas to give God, as we  have a vision of the finish line… and finishing strong…

This year as we have been studying Timothy, I remember in

2 Timothy 1:5 talks about how Eunice and Lois were believers and Timothy came to faith in Christ while he was young , through their witness and teaching… What a sweet story of the love between Timothy and his mother and grandmother. We CAN make a difference to our children and grandchildren by how we live…….Loved to read about the legacy they both left…

 

A few weeks ago, I was looking for something I couldn`t find, as I often do, and opened a box with papers in it…. I found a folder that I had stuck in there almost 6 years ago.  I can remember the date because in two weeks, it will have been 6 years since Mother lost her short battle with cancer and went home to be with God.. and these papers and boxes came to my house soon afterwards as we were cleaning out her house.  So many times I thought about her life and her things… that were left.  I am always sad to see a sign for an estate sale… it means someone has died and strangers are coming over to dig through their life`s treasures. They were special to somebody and now, they are just stuff to get  rid of..   and then that brings me back to my house and my :STUFF: and if it will mean anything to anyone one day when I am gone?!!  And to take it a step farther…… it overwhelms me and whispers to me, to start now. Go through it and get rid of STUFF you don`t need anymore so no one else will have to do it!!  That is just how my mind works, all over the place!!

 

But as I flipped through the  pages in the box , I came across an old folder that had papers in her hand writing. It was, an opening  that she had written for her garden club. After I read it, In a weak moment,  I texted DeeDee to see if she needed me for a devotion… and told her I would be glad to help out…. You see, I felt like I had found a bit of a treasure… for me…… I love when God does that……. In reading her words, it just reminded me of the legacy she left for us….

As this was  for her garden club installation of officers, I read between the lines  to relate it to how the body of Christ works…  I would like to share it with you this morning

It is from 1978… and she calls it, “Bits N pieces”

I am glad to be here with you tonight. I`ll have to say this is my first installation service and when Joyce asked me if I would please take her place as she would have to be out of town…. Well………., ( I smiled when I read that, because I thought the same thing as it got closer to time for my turn to do the devotion, a little bit out of both of our comfort zones!!)

She said,   In trying to find a theme for tonight, it just seemed natural to use one of my most recent projects to base our service on.

My patchwork  tablecloth. So tonight as we look ahead to a new year together, lets  think for just a minute about bits and pieces, and how they all fit together to make a whole.

As I read that part,  Ephesians 4:16 came to my mind… “From whom the whole body joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love”

And Romans 12:4-5 For as in one body, we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”

Then  she says, My love of fabric goes back a long way, from the time my first daughter was born and I made her first little dress. Then another little girl,   me….. was born and more little dresses.  (She always made blue dresses for my sister and pink for me!  ) all through grammer school, high school and college and weddings. More dresses.  But now my life had taken a different path, 4 ½ years ago, my husband died and I was left with an 8 year old son, and the realization that I would have to try and make a new life for myself with him.

Once again, my love of fabric and lace was to become a very important part of my life.

As my sewing became therapy for me, a little part time business began to take shape.

Those of you who know me, know I make decorative pillows and accessories and wedding invitations. I am always on the lookout for unusual pieces of fabric or lace or tiny flowers that I can press and use in my pictures or invitations.   Side note… it was always a joke she said to me… if anything ever happens to me, my craft room is yours. I don`t want anyone else going through it.. She knew that I wouldn`t throw it all away, but go through it all and either find new homes, or take it home with me…!! And I did, when the time came, to go through every piece of lace and fabric and craft items.. in her sewing room..

She continued……My little pin cushions start off with bit and pieces of lace, velvet and ribbon, then put them all together to make my little “mother`s” pin cushions., as she called them.

Some folks accuse me of driving with one eye on the side of the road, as I seek my little blossoms to press.  Once again,  bits and pieces of god`s beautiful world are put together to make my little pictures

 

My tablecloth started out with many scraps, bits and pieces… some from pillows I have sewn and many

My tablecloth started out with many scraps, bits and pieces… some from pillows I have sewn and many from friends as we exchange scraps to go in our cloths. As the blocks are finished, they are all joined together to make a whole.

Just as my little projects take many pieces to make a whole, so your Garden club takes the work of many to make a whole. So, with your help, as I pieced my cloth together, lets piece a quilt block together.

She listed all of the officers and their roles… handed out paper pieces with numbers …  But please look, she said,  we do not have our complete quilt block yet.

Much of the fascination and satisfaction of quilt piecing is derived from seeing how each piece falls into place and also how no one piece stands alone. , but is dependent upon each other for completion She had them all lay down their block and piece them together….. Now if everyone will place your blocks with the rest…

Even so the success of your club is achieved through each officer doing well, his assignments in cooperation with each other officer. But to complete the quilt, we will add these others… they represent you, the essential elements necessary to complete a well    coordinated club.

And last I am going to add a few gold threads, they represent the golden hands of friendship, that exists among us.. These friendships are the ties that hold our club together. They highlight our time together as they highlight our quilt.

 

This all just parallels with our role as members of the body of Christ.   He is the vine, we are the branches… apart from Him, we can do nothing.    We all have different  roles ,  But He is the golden thread that brings us all together.   We are the bits n pieces, that fit together to make the body of Christ work.   And give him the glory

This is  just a small part of mothers legacy…. That lives on through her words and thoughts on paper.     but more than this, her legacy was her life, the way she intentionally lived it, the love she shared, the smile she always had for others,  her love for God, her example ,  how she treated others,   That is her legacy. She made a difference…

What will  our legacy be? What will we be remembered for?   What will God say about how we lived our life when He greets us one day?  Are we living the best we can, for Him? Did we bring Him glory when we had opportunities?

Matthew 16:27, For  the son of Man is going to come in his fathers glory with his angels and then he will reward each person, according to what he has done.”

 

Our goal isn`t to live on earth forever, but leave something that does…

1 2 3 8

Search

+