Give Ear to My Words

Friends, I come to you today on my knees.  I need you to join with me in prayer.  I got an email today telling me about a precious little three-year old boy who will be in surgery this morning anywhere from 6-14 hours to remove a brain tumor.  

I’ve been reading in 1 Corinthians 12:26, it says, If one part suffers, every part suffers with it, if one part is honored, every part rejoices.  This is referring to all of those who love the Lord as the whole body of Christ.  Friends, we have a part of our body that is suffering today.  Please pray for this special boy, whose name is Joseph.  You can read his whole story HERE.
My own little two-year old nephew, Jacob is in the hospital today as well with complications from his pneumonia.  Please lift him up as well.  Let us claim these verses today:
Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing.  Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.  In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.   Psalm 5:1-3
Here is our prayer:
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them forever sing with joy.  Spread your protection  over them, and those who love your name may rejoice in you.  For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.  Psalm 5:11-12
Thank you for your prayers.  Please visit the link to Joseph’s site and be sure to leave a comment for them.  You can leave one here as well for little Jacob.  Thank you again!


The Beautiful Tree or How I Couldn’t Do Christmas Without Him

Like the rest of those folks raring to get into the Christmas spirit, we decked our halls for Christmas this past weekend.  Alan, bless his heart, pulled out the seven 20-gallon Rubbermaid totes and various and sundry bags and boxes from the little storage doors off of our bedroom.  Colin helped carry the totes downstairs, and the decorating commenced.  Alan put our tree together and fluffed, while I cleaned and dusted.  

The kids were busting at the seams to get ornaments on the tree.  Since, we had just helped my mom, whom we affectionately refer to as Sue Sue, put her tree up the kids were pros by now.   I whipped up some Scotch Bars.  As they turned from gloppy goo to caramel colored goodness in the magic of the oven, their smell permeated the air.  The delicious aroma intermingled with the sound of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, as we listened to the all Christmas music channel on TV. 
It was beginning to look a lot like Christmas to quote a popular song.  Colin and Faith ran from the ornament box to the tree and back again, only stopping to say, “Did I make this?” or “Hey, it’s a John Deere tractor.”  After getting us going, Alan said he was going in the garage to finish up a project.  
“Sure, no problem.”
The kids and I continued to lavish the tree with ornaments – shiny balls, the kids’ special hand made ones, Hallmark cuties, and ones from mine and Alan’s childhood.  Usually, as we place them on, I stand back and admire the beauty but not today.  The more ornaments we hung, the more help the tree needed.  What was happening? 
Alan had taught me to hang the smaller ornaments near the top and the larger ones at the bottom.  Growing up, we hung them anywhere.  But when I married a graphic designer, I soon learned that the Christmas tree was a piece of art and was to be decorated as such.  I thought I was following Alan’s Golden Rules of Decorating, but something had gone awry.  
It took me a few minutes to swallow my pride enough to call for help.  You see, friends, I am a control freak, and I’m detail oriented.  Surely I could make the tree look as beautiful as Alan.  I just can’t reach the top very well, I told myself.  More minutes passed, the tree was going downhill fast.  
I stuck my head in the garage.
“Um, Alan, are you going to be through anytime soon?  We could use a little help.”
“What is the problem?”
“We don’t have you.”
Alan chuckled a little and assured me he’d be right in.  Before we knew it, the tall, gorgeous man – God’s gift to Christmas trees – known as my husband came in and with a discerning hand moved ornaments here and there.  When he finally stepped back, angels were tooting trumpets somewhere.  It was beautiful.  I had to admit that without him I just couldn’t do it.  
The next couple of days that same train of thought was with me every time I glanced at the tree.  And then one day during my time alone with God, He spoke to my heart.  

You remember decorating the tree, Carol?  You are just like that with your life.  You think you can do it without me sometimes.  You become sure of yourself and send me off to the garage.  “I can make it look just as beautiful,” you say.  But you can’t, and you don’t.  You mess up and end up calling for help.  The times you let me control and decide the placement of all things – I make you beautiful.  When people compliment you or your life, they are really complimenting me.  You couldn’t do it without me.  Please, remember that whenever you see a beautiful tree.  It’s not the tree or the ornaments that make it so beautiful, it is the skilled hand of the decorator.   
I thought about that for a few minutes and then asked “God could you give me some blinking lights that twinkle?  You know how I love to sparkle.”  And then I thanked God for Alan – I couldn’t do Christmas without him!


I’d like you to meet…

Howdy Y’all out there in blogger land.  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I know I did. We had lunch at my mom’s house with my Memaw and Grandmother.  Good times were had by all.  It was a small crowd compared to the masses that usually flock around the table but fun nevertheless.  

I’d like to take some time to introduce to you the people on my blogroll, otherwise known as “Links to Good Stuff.”  If you are confused, scroll down and look to the right on the side bar.  You will find a list of links.  Each link represents a blog I like.  I just thought it would be good fun to tell you about each one.  
In alphabetical order:
1.  BooMama – This lady is one of the most hilarious bloggers that I have ever read.  If you need a good laugh, just click on her blog.  She can make baking cupcakes sound like the funniest story you’ve ever heard.  If you’ve never been to her site, click away.  You won’t be sorry!
2.  By Design – This is the professional site for a group of very talented ladies from my church.   Two of them happen to be my friends!  DeAnna Cox is in the group and she also has her family blog listed below.  Theses ladies can SING! Check out their site.  You can listen to music clips, buy their latest CD (think Christmas gifts!), or contact them about coming to your church to sing.  If you’ve never heard By Design sing before, click on over and give them a listen.  Your ears will thank you.
3.  Cheaper By the Half Dozen – Marybeth Whalen is from the Proverbs 31 ladies.  I fell in love with her when I read her book For the Write Reason.  She has a wonderful blog about her family and her daily walk with God.  She is a very talented writer and an incredible mother of six!  You’ll love her, too.  Give her a visit.  
4.  Faith Lifts – This is the website that posts daily devotions.  Each lady who posts here always has something wonderful to share.  (Yes, yes, I am bragging on myself!) This is the site that my devotions are posted on every other Monday.  Want a blessing? Click on by.
5.  Hebron Baptist Church – I’ve got to brag a little on my own church.  This is the church where we are members.  It is a VERY large church, over 10,000 members.  That was a big change from the little hometown church I came from, but I love it.  Our pastor Larry Wynn is incredible.  The website is really cool. You can watch past sermons.  One of my favorite things is watching the services live if you can’t attend.  (READER’S WARNING: If you decide to do this, be aware that your singing sounds much louder when your lonesome self sits in front of the computer and tries to sing along to the music.  I tried it out for you.  I’m just nice that way.)  There is a lot of cool stuff on the Hebron website, so go check it out.  If you live anywhere in the Dacula area or in the nearby vicinity, you CAN’T miss Christmas on the Corner!! Now I’ve got your curiosity up, and you have to go visit Hebron’s website to find out all the details.  
6.  Mourning Into Dancing – This is the blog of one my fellow writer’s at Faith Lifts.  I LOVE this girl’s blogs.  She has a way of being so completely honest and open.  Sometimes she says things that are mirror reflections of my own heart.  God is really using her openness to reach out and grab readers.  Don’t miss her site.
7.  Notes from the Soul – What an incredible blog!  This blog belongs to a friend from Sunday School, Stephanie.  She is the sweetest, cutest, talented, sold-out for Jesus girl you’ll ever meet. She sings, she plays the piano, she writes music.  She has Jesus from her head to her toes, inside and out.  This girl is the real deal.  If Jesus formed a choir today, Stephanie would definitely be asked to be a member and not because of her incredible voice – it’s her incredible heart. Don’t miss out on a blessing.  Go and visit Notes from the Soul.
8.  Proverbs 31 – Who doesn’t love the Proverbs 31 ladies?  This is the organization that I get daily devotional emails from.  This group is comprised of a wonderful group of ladies.  Go give them a visit.
9.  Signs, Miracles, and Wonders – This is the blog of my friend Amy.  Amy is the friend God brought me as I began this new chapter of my life called “Writing.”  What a gift she has been.  Amy has the most touching story about her son Spencer.  If you don’t do anything else today, go to Amy’s site and read about why she chose the name Signs, Miracles, and Wonders.  She has been witness to a miracle.  You don’t have to be around Amy very long to figure out God has so much more in store for her.  I like to hang around her just to see what God will do next!  Amy is also a professional speaker.  If you are interested in getting her to come to your church, click on over and give her a shout.  She is a busy lady and is booking up fast.  Don’t delay!
10.  The Cox Connection – This is the personal family blog of my friend DeAnna from By Design.  DeAnna is also in my Sunday School class and we’ve been knowing each other for years.  She is so sweet and has the most precious family.  DeAnna has such a heart for God, and, by golly, she can SING!  Again, go to the By Design website to hear music clips.  You won’t find a finer example of a Christian woman.  
11.  The Stokes Story – I’ve saved the best for last!  Ha! Ha! Okay, that and it had something to do with it beginning with an “S.”  This is the blog of my good friend Amanda.  If you talk to me on a regular basis, then either you know Amanda or you’ve heard me talk about her.  We always joke that we don’t know how we survived before meeting.  Amanda is in my Sunday School class and is one of my closest friends.  She is the one I call who will actually listen when I am fretting over the tiniest detail of something completely silly like… will these curtains match the dust ruffle close enough and are my shades of lavender a little off?  Amanda is also the person I can call when I need someone to listen or need to be lifted in prayer.  What a blessing she is to me. Go by and visit her blog and read about her precious family.  You’re sure to love her, too.
Well, I’ve made it through.  I’ve introduced you to all of my links.  Take some time to click around and visit.  This is my bloggy-world version of a tea party.  More finger sandwiches?



I will give thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs of people I will praise you. 
Psalm 35:18

I thought it only appropriate to do a post on what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.  I am so blessed.  Take some time in the next few days to consider what makes you thankful.
I am thankful for…
1.  A God who was willing to send his only precious son to die on the cross for me and pay my debt.
2.  A husband who thinks I’m beautiful, can fix any computer anomaly, knows how to run the vacuum cleaner, and often says my three favorite words – “Let’s eat out!”
3.  Healthy children.
4.  The personality of a little boy who runs home every day to change into his Peter Pan costume and actually believes that he uses the “force” from Star Wars to open the automatic doors at Target.
5.  The feistiness of a little girl who is most often seen with angry brows but points out to her daddy when she is in trouble that “Look Daddy, I’m looking my happy brows at you.”
6.  Friends who pray for me and honor me by asking me to pray for them.  
7.  Alan’s job that provides a home for us and allows me to stay at home with our children.  
8.  A church that constantly challenges me and creates an atmosphere to grow.
9.  The opportunities that the Lord has given me to write.
10.  My new mac computer that came with the photo booth application that allows me to take all the silly pictures of myself.
11.  God’s grace.
12.  Parents and grandparents who love Jesus and taught me to do the same.  
13.  My parent’s retirement that will allow us to spend more time with them.  
14.  My home church Stone Mountain First Baptist, and the fact that they all hug me and love me whenever I’m there.  
15.  The privilege of prayer.
16.  God’s plan for my life.
17.  Best friends that I’ve known since birth that would do anything for me.  Thanks Mary Ann and Allison!
18.  Coupons.
19.  My Bible.
20.  The fact that two little somebodies call me Mommy and think that I can do anything.
Happy Thanksgiving!