Saturday, January 29, 2011

Singing over me -

"Sound of Your Voice" ~ Third Day

"I ran away from Your love,
but You waited for me, yes You waited for me.
And then I heard Your song,
singing over me, singing over me.

Now that I hear you, Lord
I want to know you more,
I want to know you more.

Sing Your song to me,
Oh there's no greater thing
than to listen to the sound of Your voice,
when I hear Your song,
I want to sing along,
and listen to the sound of Your voice,
the sound of Your voice.

Lord, I am calling Your name,
and I'm waiting for You,
Yes, I'm waiting for You.
So won't You show me Your way,
and I will follow You,
Yes, I will follow You.

Singing over me,
Bringing peace and mercy,
with a song that never ends.
Singing over me,
Marvelous and holy,
Lord, I want to hear Your song again!

Sing Your song to me,
Oh there's no greater thing
than to listen to the sound of Your voice,
when I hear Your song,
I want to sing along,
and listen to the sound of Your voice,
the sound of Your voice.

I want to hear Your song, I want to hear Your voice.

I ran away from Your love, You waited for me, Yes, You waited for me."

Friday, January 28, 2011

STS-51-L "Challenger" -

Today marks the 25 anniversary of the Challenger explosion and loss of the STS-51-L crew when an O-ring failed on one of the space shuttle's two SRB's, causing the External Fuel tank to explode and causing Challenger to disintegrate midair, at 73 seconds after liftoff. All seven crew members died after their module crashed at 207mph into the Atlantic Ocean. It was January 28th, 1986 at 11:38 EST.

I wasn't alive then.

In fact, after Challenger, shuttles and all missions were grounded for 3 years until the year I was born, 1988. My family moved to FL after Challenger, but once you are a part of the NASA family, you are always a part of the NASA family. I've watched the video coverage from that day, feeling the countdown of those seconds like drumbeats, listening to the chatter over the speakers, and after 60 seconds goes by .... years of watching shuttles climb into the sky, I relax. Because everything is normal, and perfect. Then at 73 seconds, a flash, and the explosion of the fuel tank and you know that things are horribly wrong and they aren't going to make it, and I jolt back in my seat. I blink. I rewind it, and I watch it again.

No matter how many times I watch it, I still flinch and jerk back and think "did that really happen?" it did. and 17 years and 4 days later, I would know how it felt to lose NASA family, as we lost Columbia and her crew on their return to KSC.

Even being born after the Challenger explosion, I still feel the loss keenly. I've talked with NASA workers and people who knew those from Columbia, and heard them talk about the terrible "same-ness" between Challenger and Columbia. Loss of astronauts is loss of astronauts, no matter what year. And loss of friends and family stays the same. I've noticed something among our NASA pride. We are protective of our losses and our memories. We rejoice hugely in our victories and pray for safeties and mourn our losses.

I love NASA and I love the Kennedy Space Center. This is my home here.
I plan to always honor and remember the ones we lost, because I think they deserve our respect. Even as the shuttle program comes to a close ... the families of NASA will continue to remember, to share the memories and experiences of our special lives here. :)

Please pray with me on the last few missions for what I always pray for our astronauts.
A. Safe liftoff and flight up, and safe flight down and landing.
B. For hearts to be changed and moved by the GLORY of God in space.
C. For the telling of the wonders of Creation and God's glory to be told.
D. For space travel and exploration be so used by God to expel all other ideas of creation.

If you all have any memories or thoughts about the Challenger, please comment and share with us! It feels so odd and yet so normal to blog about such a hard thing, and yet feel like when you look at pictures and read the accounts, that you are writing of family, in a way. :)
It's a special thing to be a part of. Thank you, Daddy for working so hard for NASA and Boeing!

Oh the glories that we will see, even beyond what any astronaut or satellite or probe could EVER see, when we see the heavens and stars in all their glory one day with our Savior!!!
With love, and remembrance ....
~ Jean Marie ~

Job 22:12
"Is not God in the height of heaven? And see the highest stars, how lofty they are!"

Psalm 147:4
"He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name."

Friday, January 21, 2011

5 weeks of joy -

Lucy Mae has been ours for 5 weeks ago today!!! A few things have changed... ;)
*She is no longer 2.6lbs. She is now 4 lbs.
*She is longer, bigger, and a growing puppy! (I don't think she'd hold still for a measuring tape)
*She is 12 weeks right now, and will turn 13 wks. on Monday!
*She knows her name, and comes when she is called. She definitely knows the word "no." ;)
She has run into our lives with full loving force, and even though she's a lot of work ....
we wouldn't have it any other way. She is so so worth it. :)

Dear Lucy Mae ...
My precious, darling little puppy. You have captured my heart and filled the gaping hole that I thought would never be filled again after our sweet baby Mopsie who died 6 1/2 months ago. I thought I would never feel that joy again, that if we got a dog, surely it would never be as special. Joy had left our house in a very tangible way, and I was crushed without hope of that return.

... but then God said "yes", and we got you. We got in the car with you, and my heart realized HOPE in the most real way in a few years and HOPE exploded into a million little pieces of JOY.

Not 5 minutes mine, and I was already in love with the sweet puppy you are. You love to be near me, and fall asleep on my lap every night until you go into your snuggly little kennel. You dream and woof and run races and dream of eating in your dreams and it's the cutest thing ever. You stretch and yawn and are cuddly in the most babyish way and I love just watching you.

You love to show your love to me by licking my face until I am laughing so hard. You respond quickly! to laughter!! You love to respond to the differing tones of laughter, and you have not known me to cry yet. Except for tears of joy. You have known those.

(no makeup and pure joy here. haha.)

I didn't just want you so badly, Lucy Mae ... I needed you. I needed a dog so badly. :) And you are just the perfect little one. I whisper to Jesus so much how thankful I am for you. I think you hear me sometimes, because you reach up and lick my chin.

You are a puppy, so everything is new to you. You don't know what squirrels are yet, because you walk along, and you are like "TWIG! ... no wait. LEAF! LEAAAAAF!!!*pounce*....GRASS!!" and it reminds me how very special our world is, when you are 8 inches tall, or when you are 5 1/2 feet tall. You are enraptured by new sounds, and will stop mid-chew to stare wide eyed in that direction. You LOVE the sun. You love lying on my stomach and being outdoors.
... and I love it TOO!! :D

Today we had rain. We had a lot of rain. And today I took you out to walk through your first rain puddle. You were NOT enthused. I tapped the water with my finger, and you were enraptured! I could see your eyes "IT MOVED!", hahaha, and then you smacked it with your paw, "WET! GAH! WET!!", your ears swiveled in disapproval and you backed up, but I drew you in again, and splashed a little with my wellies. Then I walked across the puddle, and pulled you with me.

You could not believe I was making you get your paws wet. How inconsiderate, since clearly this puddle was something to be hated and feared ... the moving wet thing. You got to the other side and shook off all 15 drops of water, and WAS NOT GOING BACK. In fact, I have a defiant picture of you looking the other way, ignoring me. But I made you do it. And you took your sweet time coming back across, watching the water move, water dripping off your nose and paws, and I think you enjoyed it more. :) you were SO CUTE.

... and then you sat down by my boot and looked out across the water.

and I remembered again how thankful I am for you.
You became that best friend that lives in my house 24/7 that always loves, forgives and is cheerfully by my side that I missed so much. You fill every day with joy now. Joy that I had no tangible grasp on in those months before. Even when you make a mess, or chew on something, or don't listen to me, or wreak havoc .... I will never stop loving you. I look forward to all that God does in our lifetimes. :)
Happy 5th week of being ours!!!
I love you, my sweet sweet baby Lucy Mae.
Thank you, my loving Savior, for so sweet a gift to me.
~ Jean Marie ~

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Black Bean Soup -

Hey, y'all ....
If I somehow had a Southern accent, like I've always dreamed I would have, then you could just imagine how that would sound "heyyy yaaaa'll" with all the drawn out sweetness that brings literal tears to my eyes. *sniff* ok. So I might be a little emotional tonight.

... but never underestimate my love for the South!!! (as you saw 2 posts ago)

So this is a recipe post with probably the least inventive title EVER, except I couldn't come up with a title that would sound better than calling it the recipe name. and now! on to the next topic in order! Aren't you positively on the edge of your seats!? You should be.

There is this newfound thing that I love cooking with. To say I love cooking with it is a vast understatement. Kind of like saying Lucy Mae might like to lick people's faces. I put this in anything and everything unless it is supposed to be sweet. Soup? put 'er in. Stew? dash-dash-dash. Mashed potatoes? shake-shaaaake!! Other things I can't think of? chock it in!!

It is positively WONDERFUL! and it is ... White Pepper. This stuff is the best ever...because I don't LIKE seeing black flecks in my eggs and what-all-else. I like seeing nothing. (you know what I mean) White pepper isn't spicy right off the bat in the way that I usually am like "too much black pepper! ACK!". No. Oh no. White pepper is like "I'm mild. Your sinuses tell me that I am here. Yes. I am. In a mild hot way." and then it heats up your throat all the way down like a Florida sun in July. And mild little un-Mexican paleface me ADORES IT.

If you don't like Black Pepper, Red Pepper or anything that scares you about pepper, try White Pepper. It will rock your boots, socks and clothespin-on-your-nose OFF. I remember the first time I used it and I put like half of a teaspoon in this pot of soup, and when I told my mom, she about choked. Because it was a lot. But I could handle it, and my dad was happy, and the soup was good. :) But you might want to start out small, and build up. It IS pepper, after all. haha.

Now with a review like that, GO OUT AND BUY IT. I dare you. In a total ladylike, one cook to another sort of way, and in a completely gracious Southern manner. Buy some White pepper.

So tonight we needed a vegetable side, and I thought, hey. Why not have some soup as a side? So I made up this recipe for Black Bean Soup, and it had White Pepper in it, and I ADORED IT. The soup, I mean. It was SOOO GOOOD. Now I have people from Cali and friends who already have probably the best ever recipe for this, but ... BUT. It was so good I thought I'd share it anyways. Because it was 5 stars from my family. And because it's my recipe. ;)

Black Bean Soup Recipe from the kitchen of Jean Marie.

2 cans black beans (undrained)
1 cup mild salsa (unless you want medium or hot or kill-me-now)
*Disclaimer: Mild was all we had. which is why I used a cup of it. the wimpy stuff.*
1/8 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp. white pepper (the powder of champions)
1/2 cup whole milk

1. Dump beans into saucepan and heat, smash beans up the sides of the pot with a wooden spoon while you wait for the beans to heat up. (aren't you impressed with my total backwoods cookin'?)

2. Stir in salsa. (shortest directions ever)

3. Add in seasonings and bring to a soft boil, stirring and continuing to crush the beans to make the liquid a thickness more like sauce than soup. (yes, I literally wrote that on a recipe card)

4. After it comes to a bubbling boil (I love wrecking cooking lingo), turn the heat down to low, and slowly add in the whole milk. Taste, test, and add more salsa, white pepper or milk, depending on your opinion of your day and the world in general.

5. Serve in bowls with a dollop of rich sour cream on top and Enjoy it!!!

... and no blogpost on Home and Happiness is complete without one of my faithful companion, Lucy Mae.
Our sweet little mischievous darling.

With love from my home to yours ...
All our hope in Thee, O Christ, is stayed ...
~ Jean Marie ~

Abby girl -

Dear Abby girl -

Today it was your birthday!!! :) We all heard it a bit too late to call you up and serenade you with our more enthusiastic-than-perfection-singing of a birthday song, or to suddenly land on your doorstep towing 900 balloons that someone endorsed us to buy. Ahem.

But we still wanted to tell you, Abby .... that we love you!!
You have earned our love with your sweetness and joyful manner whenever we are with you.
We love to spend time with you and listen to your stories, and laugh along. :)
Thank you for so blessing our family with your precious special self.
Happy 10th birthday, Abigail!!! May God bless this coming year.

We love you!!!
~ Jean Marie and the Fambrough Family ~
with kisses from Lucy Mae!! :D

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Manufactured Cold-

Winter Wonderland. If you count Winter Wonderland as a place without: Snow, Ice, Sleet, and Nightly Freezes, then yes....Florida has a winter wonderland. haha. :) We DO get cold. and some freezes. and frost! but mostly we get ... SUNSHINE!! It's what we are famous for. So on those winter days when the 72 degrees just ain't cuttin' it, and you are aching for winter to come back, then you gotta' make your own cold.

Or buy it. Like I did today. One Grande Mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks to split with a best friend. :) and it was COLD. :) and ICY. Ahhh, winter in Florida, you are my friend. ;)

I:Heart:Faces said that if you don't have a snow picture, then just make sure you have something COLD in your picture .... so I got creative and thought, hey. That iced coffee was COLD. and boy, Sweet Mother of Pearl it was SO SOOO GOOOOOOD.

Hop on over to I:heart:faces to see all the SNOWY PICS from the rest of the USA, yes, all the states but FL had snow a few days ago .... and enjoy looking at the amazing fluffy white stuff.

With love to ya'll!!!
~ Jean Marie ~

Saturday, January 15, 2011

In a small way -

"WHAT? Where did you ... who said that?! Are you sure? What?"
"... well, okay. I guess I might be cute. Maybe. In some small way."

Hahahhaa. She's like the cutest thing EVER. We love our Lucy Mae!
~ Jean Marie ~

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Due any day -

Due any day now .... is a little boy named Avery John.
A long-awaited precious little bundle of sweet baby that is all theirs.
I get simply overwhelmed just thinking about him ... come soon, little baby boy!
Come in God's perfect and beautiful timing, Avery. :)

Your Mama and Daddy simply can't wait to at last hold you in their arms, and cry tears of joy and relief over you, and take you home to show you where love lives in your house.

I just can't wait to hear of your birth, Baby Avery!! I love you so much already.
Love love love you sweet baby boy,
~ Auntie Jemmie ~

Please pray with me for the safe arrival of Little Avery, and safety and comfort for his parents.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Beautiful in His eyes-

To Sadie Beth, who I thought just might need this today.

Sadie Beth, you are not perfect. I am not perfect. But you have a heart that longs for God. If you didn't, you wouldn't be so very hard on yourself about being so imperfect. It is our imperfection that Jesus changed into beautiful perfection that is ours to inherit, and will one day be fulfilled.

You are beautiful because of what God has given you. A whole, pure, white, clean heart and the Holy Spirit indwelling. You are beautiful because Jesus lives in you. You are beautiful because you love Jesus, and His light radiates from your face. You are beautiful because deep inside, you are desperate for God, and desperate for His glory.

I don't want a "new you" for this new year. God doesn't want a "new you", He doesn't NEED a "new you", and He doesn't ASK for a "new you". He just asks for YOU. For your surrender and whole heart. He knows you can't do it alone, and He knows you are gonna fall flat and trip and fall down the mountains in ugly ways. Because He knows we aren't perfect (remember?). But He takes us as we are: imperfect, ugly, desperate, wounded, stumbling children with blindfolds on, and He gives us the Holy Spirit and dons us in white robes of majesty as we kneel at His feet and say "Thy will be done, O Lord.". We don His beauty when we surrender to His reign.

He loves us with an unchanging and unending love that will never ever run dry. It will never be quenched, or put out, or cut off. He loves us more than all the earth and all the heavens. He loves us more than the angels and the cherubim and seraphim and the sun and the moon. He loves His redeemed and will never let them go. He will never forsake His little children.

He longs for us to know in full His love for us, and one day we will, but until then, we must grasp as much as we can, that God loves us yesterday, today and tomorrow, forever and always, He loves us. He bought us, and redeemed us with the price of the One He loved best, His own Son! He knows the sin we do, He plans every step until we SEE HIS FACE.

We are His. The redeemed. The children of God. Know it, embrace it, rejoice in it.
Because of Christ ... We, my dearest Sadie Beth .... WE ARE BEAUTIFUL.

"Before you ever took a breath, long before the world began,
Of all the wonders He possessed, there was one more precious!
Of all the earth and skies above,
You're the one He madly loves,
Enough to die!

You're beautiful, You're beautiful,
You are made for so much more than all of this,
You're beautiful, You're beautiful,
You are treasured, You are sacred,
You are His.
You're beautiful ...
In His eyes."

I think you are pretty wonderful myself, and you are beautiful to me, Sadie Beth. :)
I love you,
~ Jean Marie ~

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


One of my favorite girlies is the subject for my smile entry this week. :D I spent the afternoon today with her and her siblings, and in the middle of one of the most giggly and happily unruly soccer games in their backyard, she ran up to me and said "LOOK!"! The palms of her hands were covered in spare grass pieces and dirt, and she happily smeared them on my legs, as I pretended to shriek in horror. :D This only caused more laughter and giggling, and I was only happy to oblige as "Team A." lost yet another goal to "Team C." because I was hampered by an adorable child wrapped around my left leg.

It was such a wonderful afternoon with some of my favorite children ever. :) Little A. turns 4 years old this month, and seeing her run around in joy and laughter and craziness was so so sweet to see. I love little girlie A. and her whole precious family!! Thanks to A's Mama for letting me use this shot! :)

Hello to Jasmine Star, for being our guest judge! EEK! :D
Happy 2nd birthday to I:Heart:Faces!!
P.S. Oh, and yes. I did lose the soccer game. :) 25 goals to 17 goals. ;)

Monday, January 10, 2011

EmilyCase -

Yesterday was EmilyCase's 19th birthday. ;) But because it was Sunday, I had to wait until today. And because I was up late editing a few pictures and trying to figure out what to say, is why it's in the afternoon, and I'm just now getting around to blogging this. :)

Oh EmilyCase. Where do I start? I start by smiling so hard until I start laughing. And I don't even have to have a memory in mind. :) She's seriously one of the sweetest, nicest, most adorable friends I have. and I have sweet, nice and adorable friends. In short, I don't know a person who does not like EmilyCase, and that's the truth. :D

I have toooo many memories to write down. hahaha! But one of my favorite ones comes with a picture. It's from my 22nd birthday afternoon out with Gabe and EmilyCase. Just the 3 of us. Having an awesome time go-karting (my first!) and dinner (where EmilyC. flat out refused to eat squid to Gabe and I's sadness) and then ice cream and walking on Daytona Beach on one of the prettiest evenings of that month.

So there we were, walking the beach in the dark, eating the best ice cream ever. The moon reflecting off the water, and the boardwalk on our left with all its lights and music, and we keep finding things on the beach. You know, cups and broken sunglasses and bags. And then we are like "is that a jellyfish?", because there was something white billowing in a puffy way on the sand, and I walk over, and it turns out to be a shirt. A SHIRT.

We kind of stared at it and then looked at all the um ... tourists walking by, and looked back at the shirt, and Gabe says something about "SOME where. OUT THERE. is a GUY with NO SHIRT!", and we all broke up into hysterical laughter. It was hilarious. We laughed about if for at least 10 minutes, and people probably thought we were insane.

So we took a picture when we got back to the parking garage, and I wrote on it later, and we all got a kick out of it again ... it continues to be one of those awesome memories for us. :D

Gabe & EmilyCase, that night was SERIOUSLY one of the best nights of my life.
Thank you so much for it!!! :D

Hahhaahhahaha! I love my Train Mouse. It takes very little to cheer me up when I see that face. In fact, I will laugh so hard that it's impossible to keep a straight face for 5 minutes. :D

She can hold her patience when people are complaining about little things, and she really enjoys running a cash register and driving the golf cart for Barberville. ;) She's also gorgeous. Did I mention that?

Tricia and EmilyCase. She's over the moon excited for Tricia and Cody getting married this year. And from what I know, she pretty much adores Tricia, they are like 2 peas in a pod. :)

She takes these AMAZING amazing pictures, and I just toddle along behind, trying my best to keep up with her and Lauren and all their shutter speeds and blingy cameras. ;) *giggles*

She looks like the most adorable thing ever in her winter cap and smiles for as many pics as I want to take. She tells me how to fix my manual outlook and tells me over and over how to fix my HTML for this blog. hahah. ;)

... and she lets me tag along with her family to the fair and goes on the CATERPILLAR RIDE just because she loves me. And if she goes, then Tricia goes and then Cody goes. So there we were, standing in line. Cody: "man, this ride is gonna be awesome." (hear the sarcasm). Me: "YES! it IS! Muwaahahaha!" Cody: *silence*. Tricia: *punches Cody lightly in the side*. Cody: "Jean. Your ride is AWESOME." (totally sincere face) Me: "Thank you!!!" ;) hahhahhaha. And then I handed my camera to a FAIR WORKER and we all about died in shock. yeah. it was the adrenaline surges of stupidity or something. but look at that awesome picture. :)

In short ... I really really really love this girl. She is one of my bestest friends. We've only fought once. and it was over a map. and she forgave me. I continually forget that she is 3 years younger than I, because she is so amazing at waaay too many things. She runs an Etsy store, crochets and takes pictures and blogs, and is a daughter and asister and loves her two kitties ....

She loves the Lord and goes to conferences and makes dresses, and watches movies that make us laugh hysterically and then quote them for months afterwards all over FB. ;)

She drives the double go-kart at the speed track and we sing "Danny Boy" at the top of our lungs until we can't breathe from yelling about where Gabe is trying to pass us....

.... and she's stubborn about eating things she doesn't want to eat.
Dearest EmilyCase -
Thank you so much for being the special friend you are to me. :) I tried all day to get this blogpost up, but kept getting frustrated because it all sounded so redundant. I mean, of course, you are sweet and stubborn about squid and adorable. We all know this. I guess I just wanted to remind you of it. I love you so so much, my dear friend. You have blessed me countless times over, through e-mails and phone calls and blogging, through FB messages and pictures, and just wanting to be with me. You made my 22nd birthday one of the best, simply because I was the happiest little 22nd year old redhead being with 2 of my favorite people for a night. It meant the world to me to not worry about anything or anyone, and just have fun. :)

You let me call you and talk and talk and cry over the phone after Mopsie died and I didn't even realize until later that you weren't feeling well. You stood up for me when something didn't go right. You pray for me when I really desperately need it, and you held me at Barberville when I was so sick of goodbyes to my favorite people that all I could do was sob into your shoulder.

You greet me with a huge hug and squeal about the things that you know matter to me. I love being with you and around you, and I love your family. So happy 19th year, T. Sweets!

I pray God's most abundant and merciful blessings upon you and those you love, for your Prince someday, if God so wills, for your family, for your joy in Him to only increase ....
for the glories of Christ to be revealed in your life, and for His hand to uphold you always!

You mean so so much to me, my sweet sweet Train Mouse.
I love you!!!! hugs and kisses,
~ Jean Marie ~

P.S. Lucy Mae can't WAIT to meet you sometime!

Photo credits: Lauren! with my camera. ;) of Emily and her brand new Canon 7D!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Says it all -

Sweet Miss. Susannah S.
Her sweet smile alone tells you it was a very very good day.
Wonderfully filled with laughter, hugs, games, music, beautiful weather, precious fellowship.
I'll let the photo speak for all of us when I say we had a very good day today. :)
Happy Birthday again to my dear sister ....
With love,
~ Jean Marie ~

Friday, January 7, 2011

Little Hugs -

I remember being little and fighting over something or other with my sister. I was the typical little rebel thing, NOT going to be nice back to my sister, who was clearly in the wrong. Mama would have us apologize and then hug to make up. One of three things usually happened: A. I refused and got spanked. B. I hugged her without meaning it and she knew it. C. I would hug her and not mean it, and before I knew it, I was sorry. ;) We didn't fight that often, but most of it was probably my fault. maybe. I'm not taking the blame for some of it. Hahahaha.

I can still remember a lot of those hugs, when I was little, and my cheek would be pressed against her shoulder and we would say "I love you". :) There was sweetness in knowing that we were always sisters, ready to back each other up in a crowded room. One look, one arched eyebrow, one move, we were on the other side as quick as we could to divert any "unwanted conversation" to some more .... less anti-homeschooling topic. ;)

Kimberly stood up for me in tennis, when I got bullied by the other players ... hey, it wasn't that sad, I mean, I wasn't very good, and I was small, so the other people got frustrated. But I tried, and I always had Kimberly. 45-0. nice. it got old fast. Water breaks were great in 110 degree weather. :) Kimberly always swam better, played better, she could sew and embroider and had neat-perfect penmanship, she could actually TAN, she could draw things that looked alive (and not like marshmallows and sticks) and play piano better, she never got in quite as much trouble as I did, and somehow her hair was less frizzed into a brushed pyramid than mine. Ohhh the jealousy. ;) hahah.

I took small gleeful comfort that I could: Climb trees better, fit in smaller spaces, and had red hair. And that kind of summed it up. Hahahaha. Needless to say, we fought but I loved and adored my sister. And I still do.

We still give little hugs, and I love every minute of it. We share that sweetness and special bond of sisters, even though we are pretty different now. She's like this demure Scottish lass, and I'm this outgoing talkative butterfly. haha. She's quiet sometimes, and I'm quiet sometimes. She's talkative when she wants to be, and I can (obviously) chatter my head off.

She has loved Jesus since she was 5, and it took me until I was 11 to love Him.
We both love Him with deep passion, and wait on Him for His glory to be revealed in our lives, it's not easy, and although we try, we don't always wear His name with glory.

But we share this: We are both desperate for God. We ache and long and pray with a passionate plea for His glory in our mountains and valleys more than we have in years, we dream and we think about what God can do, what God will do.

.... and we wait. We wait together. For the glory of God ....

on the day of the 24th year of your birth, dearest sister,
I give you many little hugs from me.
I love you, Kimberly. I always will. No matter what.
With love from your little sister,
~ Jean Marie ~

~ Psalm 116: 1-2, 4-9 ~
"I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.

.... I found trouble and sorrow.
Then I called upon the name of the Lord; "O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!".
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.
Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For You have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living."

Thursday, January 6, 2011

True Light -

{Psalm 65: 4 - 8}
"Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You,
that he may dwell in Your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
of Your holy temple.

By awesome deeds in righteousness you will answer us,
O God of our salvation,
You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth,
and of the far-off seas;
Who established the mountains by His strength,
being clothed with power;
You who still the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves,
and the tumult of the peoples.

They also who dwell in the farthest parts are afraid of Your signs;
You make the outgoings of the morning and evening rejoice."

{Psalm 56: 12-13}
"Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God;
I will render praises to You,
For You have delivered my soul from death.

Have You not kept my feet from falling, that I may walk before God
In the light of the living?"

"For all the Saints" ~ by William How (1864)

"For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress, and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain, in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

O may thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of Paradise the blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of Glory passes on His way!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Alleluia! Alleluia!"

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Be Undismayed -

Psalm 42: 6-8

"O my God, my soul is cast down within me;
therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
and from the heights of Hermon, from the Hill Mizar.

Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
all Your waves and billows have gone over me.

The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
and in the night His song shall be with me - "

"Commit thou all thy griefs and ways" ~ St. George
(the Original Trinity Hymnal #560)

"Commit thou all thy griefs and ways into His hands;
to His sure truth and tender care, Who earth and heav'n commands.

Who points the clouds their course, Whom winds and seas obey,
He shall direct thy wandering feet, He shall prepare thy way.

Give to the winds thy fears; Hope and be undismayed;
God hears thy sighs, and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.

What though thou rulest not? Yet heav'n and earth and hell
Proclaim, God sitteth on the throne, and ruleth all things well!

Leave to His sovereign sway to choose and to command;
So shalt thou wond'ring own, His way how wise, how strong His hand!"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Before the mountains -

{Psalm 90}
Verses 1-2
"Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

Verses 13-17
"Return, O Lord! How long?
And have compassion on Your servants.
Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us,
the years in which we have seen evil.
Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children.
And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes establish the work of our hands."

Monday, January 3, 2011

Face of 2010 -

Hey, ya'll!!!

This week at I:Heart:Faces, they challenged us to find our "best face photo from 2010" and I thought "how on earth do I decide?" Do I choose a wedding photo? or a baby shoot photo? What about a surprise picture ... and how on earth does it make it "the best". And I knew I was in for a hard decision....until I trundled through my archives and realized a picture that I had been soooo excited about when I got home and put it up on the mac.

I had attended the fair with one of my dearest friends, {EmilyCase} and her dad, her bro and soon-to-be-sister-in-law, and it was so SO COLD. I mean, we live in FL, but it was early November and our area was shivering from a cold snap. ;) We had come prepared with scarves and jackets and gloves. I had come prepared to spend time watching my dear friends scream their heads off on insane rides that made me feel sick. ;) It was great.

We were standing in line for them to ride the swings, and the setting sun just spilled this golden glow over everything from the western sky, shining through the fair lights and turning them even more bright, and making my already darling friend more beautiful. :) Not until I would get home would I realize that I had just gotten my first ever "Fair Bokeh", and I was over-the-top-excited! :) So this was definitely one of my favorite pictures of 2010.

Not to mention the sweetness of those memories and the night I rode the Ferris Wheel for the first time. Yes, going up, I thought I was going to die, and then coming down, I thought it was the best thing ever. And my friends only made me laugh hysterically about it. :D

Thank you, EmilyCase, for being my 2010 Face Photo! :D I love you darling.
~ Jean Marie ~
Hooray first post of 2011!!

More photos!! Enter and have fun. :)