Friday, August 30, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Worship -

From Lisa-Jo Baker, the Gypsy Mama"On Fridays around these parts we like to write. Not for comments or traffic or anyone else's agenda. But for fun, for practice, for joy at the sound of syllables, sentences and paragraphs all strung together by the voice of the speaker. We love to just write without worrying if it's just right or not. 
For five minutes flat."

Today's prompt: Worship

Worship: 
Noun - The feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.
Verb - To treat someone with the reverence appropriate to a deity, 
To give honor to one who is highly worthy of receiving it, to one who is highly revered. 

~ Go ~ 

Worship. We immediately associate it with church, with the morning service...but it's not just that. That is such a small part of all it really is. Worship - is a way of life. 

I don't think that ever became more clear than when our dear family friend died a few years ago, and church was something I dragged myself to, stood in silence and tears and choked my way through hymns. To home we would go, and I'd bawl my way through writing in my diary what it had all felt like. 

Worship, it had seemed, was the farthest thing from my mind. 
But God...was the closest thing to my mind. And only in the last year or so have I seen with a full heart and with tear-filled eyes, that worship was unfairly defined by me. 

In every whispered midnight prayer, it was worship
In every cry and tear and wail of sorrow, and every upheld hand to touch the sky, it was worship
In every hug and cleaning the kitchen and brokenhearted letter I wrote, it was worship

Worship isn't defined by Sunday morning, it is defined by praise.
It is defined by the way my heart can stand still in awe at a glorious sunset.

July 8, 2013 ~ Tennessee


It is defined by the way I choose to believe, to hope, to go on.
It is defined every day that I wake up and thank God for another day. 

It is every day that I know He loves me, and I live in the joy of knowing I am redeemed. 
It is giving honor to the One Who has bought me with a great price. 
He Who is so highly worthy of receiving it, moves my heart to offer my reverence by it -
Worship. 

~ Stop ~ 


As always, I come out of Five Minute Fridays so joyful and incredibly blessed. I love this.
I hope you join me sometime! Thanks for reading and sharing.
Much love always,
~ Jean Marie ~

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Georgia Visit -

Man, I felt like I just received a present. I came back to my blog after taking a break for dinner, and there, lo and behold, all the pictures were uploaded for this blogpost. I mean, ignore the fact that I did all that work, and just realize that it FELT like someone else had done it. hahaha.

Well, back in July, the 24th, to be exact, I had been having a super stressful and emotional week. So what did I do? I wrote Emily and asked if she would like a visit, and if I could help with projects around the house, and for Georgia's upcoming 1st birthday party, and sweetly....she said YES.

So on a Wednesday morning, I drove over. And it was such a great day. We went to Publix and bought Nutella and then ate it with crackers and ate it without crackers, and watched Behind the Scenes of the Lion King, and watched Simon's Cat and watched amazed as Georgia right away grew extremely excited about the cats on the screen, took photos of G having a super splashy bath time after dinner, played around with my GoPro with the cats, and playing with Georgia .... I came away so blessed and with a heart so full in the very best way.

We shared and talked and blinked back tears sometimes, and just vented. Then we'd laugh hysterically and just say it how it is, and then we'd be quiet...and start all over again on the next topic. I just flat out love being best friends with Emily. She's the bomb diggity. She's such a sweet little sassy pants.

Ok. On to the photos!! :D

G was all of 10 months when I took these photos, now she is 11 months! And in a few weeks, she will be 1 year! It makes me get all melty and possibly head towards a meltdown over how fast she's grown up.


You know I can resist a lot of things, but not a giraffe diaper. Nope. Not that. So insaaanely cute.


I mean, she comes by the cuteness honestly, but holy cow. LOOK AT HER. mmmmhmm.


Emily playing with Oliver....


"Do you want to come see Ollie, baby?"


"We are allowed under the table? Well this is fun..." 


Yep, the light was crazy-sweet. 


"Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-daaaa..."


Blowing bubbles. (she's wearing the diaper still, I promise)


"Hmmm. Your camera looks different from Mama's...." 


That tongue!!


Told you. Giraffe patookey. 


Oh my heart. 


Those sweet little feet. 


Climbing the stairs!! 


Oh, that wrinkled brow of concentration. 


She was playing with a box on the floor.....


.... when suddenly she spied her Mama.
If that doesn't make your heart melt, you might not be alive. LOVE. that face.


"Shoes! Putting on our shoes!! Going to Publix for Nutella!" 
By the way, I bought that shirt-dress for G from Janie and Jack and I adore it. Obviously. 


Doll baby. 


Reading nursery rhymes to Georgia later that afternoon. 


I love every single minute with her. 


But I'm not sure she understood why I started laughing hysterically at the nursery rhymes. I couldn't even read straight! She kept looking at me like "Yes. I know these. Why are you laughing about it?" Hahahahaha. 


Sweet thing. So much fun to be near her and watch her grow up. 


Adorableness to the nines. 


Runt-Runt watching the rain and the grass move in the breeze. 
BY THE WAY. My name suggestion for Runt was Captain Jack. I was out-voted. 


He's got some African in him. He is such a sweet cat. 


Bath tiiiiime!! This was fun, because obviously, Emily is always giving the bath, and can't have soapy-sudsy hands and hold her camera and watch G at the same time! So I had fun clicking away.

She is like the perfect imitation of a Kewpie doll. If you have no idea what I'm talking about.....it is because your grandmother or your mother never told you. Because oh my word. Look


So stinkin' cute. 


"Hiiii Georgia!!" .... "Hi Mama!" 


A Mama's hands. So amazed over how God has blessed my dear friend. 


Yawn! So tired! 


All done! 


Oh my gosh. Her smooshed grin hidden in the towel. 


Those arm rolls!! 


So happy. 


Emily & Ben are so photogenic, and G completely inherited it. 


Mohawk baby. Hahahaha. The look on her face cracked us up SO much!! 


"I have no idea what they have done with my hair, but I'm so happy I don't care..."


"Ok. I'm done with this hair thing now. Time for cuddles, kisses and night-night." 


Auntie Jean Marie and Georgia Rose. 


And here are some "raw" clips filmed on my camera, of Georgia's day! :D


She and Emily were THE best possible "therapy" I could ask for that day. Such a sweet, relaxing, special, normal day. It did my heart a load of good to just unload my whole heart onto someone. :)

SO thankful. Thank you for having me, Emily! 
I love you three sooooo much. 

With love always, 
~ Jean Marie ~ 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"Cold is the Night" -

Good evening, all ....
 It's only been a few hours since I've started listening to this new band, and already I've been uplifted, gleefully stomping my feet, and also moved to tears. This particular song went straight to my heart, and I wanted to share it here tonight, at this place that has known the heartbreak and the joy, and knows the long road and all the burdens that we carry through these Shadowlands. Tonight and tomorrow and all the rest of our days, may we know the joy of our Lord taking our burdens and carrying them for us, and know that He steadies us every day with mercies for this life.

I've seen the things that I must do, but Lord, this road is meant for two...
so I am waiting here for You. 

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~

Click the title of the song to listen along. 


"Cold is the Night" by The Oh Hello's ~ 
"Cold is the night without you here, just your absence ringing in my ears.
And hard is the heart that feels no fear, 'cause without the bad the good disappears.

Long is the road that leads me home, and longer still when I walk alone.
Bitter is the thought of all that time, spent searching for something I'll never find. 

Take this burden away from me, and bury it before it buries me. 

Many are the days I've wanted to cease, lay myself down and find some relief. 
Heavy is the head that gets no sleep, we carry our lives around in our memories. 

Take away this apathy and bury it before it buries me. 

Steady is the hand that's come to terms with the lessons it has had to learn.
I've seen the things that I must do, but Lord, this road is meant for two...
so I am waiting here for You. 

Take my hand and set me free,
take my burdens and bury them deep,
take my burden away from me,
and bury it before,
bury it before,
bury it before it buries me." 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sadie Beth Darling -


Dearest Sadie Beth darling - Happy 25th birthday today!!! You are now a quarter of a century old!
(Just like me and Lauren....but don't remind her. She gets this look on her face that says "thin.ice.")

I found all these deliciously heavenly photos from back in March of 2012, when I saw you last. :) Well, I mean, when you were in FL last. Because I see you often through the wonderful world of Skype. ;)

I turned on Alison Krauss and had the sweetest time editing these for the blog....gazing into your happy eyes and seeing again how your face lights up with joy, and your hair wisps in the wind. What a joy you are!
And I'm not just being sappy, you look stunning, sweetheart. 


Remember this sunset trip to Playalinda Beach? We saw Portuguese Man O'Wars, and you stomped out "Hello" on the beach in huge letters, and we laughed hysterically and teased you: "That's great! That's the first thing aliens will see. You are so friendly. "HELLO TO ALL THE ALIENS." Hahahahhahaaha!!And then we ran down the beach in the cold wind in slow motion singing the Chariots of Fire theme song. Hysterical. I would post a video if we didn't sound like shrieking 5 yr. olds. ;) That was such a fun, easy night when you were here.


And then we went to the Lighthouse .... TWICE. Because the first trip, I was the only one who took my camera, and then after we left for lunch, Rach kept saying "Man, I really want to go back up. Can we go back up? Can I take my camera up this time?" So back up we went, to my GREAT JOY. Because there are few things I love more than 2 knee workouts in one day plus being so high up in the air and getting more time to gaze at the sea and boats. Seriously. We were such happy little clams.


And I didn't even mind the drive back to the lighthouse, because we were having so much fun, and I was just glad to be making memories with you. We had some special times in the middle of the stressful ones. ;)


Daddy says "She really does look SO Irish.", meanwhile I'm thinking how fun it would be if you'd move to the States someday.....you know, if you got married or something. ;) I'd looove that!

You have such a loyal, gracious, faithful heart in friendship. Even though these have been hard years for both of us, we still make time for e-mails and Skype/embroidery dates, and you make time to listen to me, to see how I am. I've been SO incredibly blessed. I wanted to thank you so, so much for that. Sometimes I just don't know what to say, and just want to be silly and laugh, and you go right along with that. After all, I wasn't named "Plonker" for no reason. ;)


I love that you share life with me. You write me with concerns and prayer requests and worries. Oh, our worries. ;) You know worries of mine, and I know worries of yours. It is what best friends talk about, right? I know sometimes you feel inadequate, I can just hear it in your voice, or your words, and I want you to know that God is working a beautiful work in you, and how do I know? Because you are HIS, my darling. Because He will never let you go. Because He has promised to perfect you in all things, through His grace.

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 
always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 
for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, 
that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."
Philippians 1:3-6 

You are so special to our family, and to all who know you here. We love who you are. 


By the way, love...your birthday present will be late. Why? Because I haven't bought it yet. Why? Because I haven't found anything yet that I adore. Thus, I haven't bought anything. Why does it need to be something I adore? Because I adore YOU, and I want it to be special enough. So there. :D 

When I do find it, you know it will come with an over-filled birthday card and lots of love and hugs and kisses like things from me always are. :) I want you to feel loved and know you ARE loved. 

Sometimes you tell me you don't know how I love so well. Well, I will tell you. It has been because I have been loved so much by others, and so incredibly by Jesus Christ. I'm pretty convinced it doesn't show as much in everyone because they choose not to show it. But you know me. Hugs and cheek-to-cheek photos, holding hands and squeezes out of nowhere and wiping tears off cheeks is my heart's love. And this blog is the way I can send all of that straight over the Big Blue to you. So know I'm writing straight from my heart, and meaning every single word. From me to you. With hugs. :D

I'm so very grateful for that first e-mail, way back when we started college together. Now we are both doing separate colleges, and loving sharing life with each other. God was so kind to bring you along to me.


So before it gets too late, let me just thank you for one more thing.

Thank you soooo much for all your encouragement and love for this place. This place where I write. I love this place, and sometimes when things are particularly hard to get down in "ink", you will write me a really sweet e-mail and let me know you knew. You knew what I was trying to say. And that means the world!

And even in the times when you were here, and I felt awful and upset for not being the perfect hostess, and got mad because we got lost, and withdrew to my quiet space, and wanted to just lose it - you knew. You just patted my hand and gave me a smile and gave me some time alone. Thank you. :)

And at the end of this past May, when I least expected anything...a card came in the mail. It was a sympathy/I'm praying for you card for the hard anniversary coming up in June. I stood there in the kitchen and cried. It meant SO much to me. Nothing could have touched me more.

Your heart is shining brilliantly all the way over here. Across an ocean and a huge expanse of sky, your heart is touching mine, and your words are spilling out like a joyful rain, and you are blessing others.

I have been blessed to know you. You, honorable, precious Sarah Elizabeth .... Sadie Beth.  

I loooove this photo of you, by the way. 

On the sweetest days, may JOY fill and run over in abundance. May you know His face shining so brightly that everything you SEE is His hand in all things, all of His love lifting you higher and higher up that mountain.

On the hardest days, know you can rest in the love that won't ever be less - God's love for you as a daughter: beloved, redeemed, chosen to always be His, called to abide in all He is and all you are in His grace.

So Happy 25th birthday, sweet bestie. I love you so much. Thank you for being friends with me. 

Much love always,
~ Jean Marie ~