Highlights from 2007

Wow!  That is my response to 2007.  God really knocked my socks off this year.  He has done amazing things in my life.  I thought it would be fun to give the highlights to 2007.  Of course, there are too many to show them all, but here are some of the good ones….

1.  FAITH’S NEW BED – Faith turned three in Feb. and graduated to a big girl bed.  This was a big step for Mama, too.  No more babies in the house! Sniff, Sniff.
2.  CINDERELLA VISITS OUR HOUSE – We had a real live Cinderella in our very own home.  One minute she was cleaning the floors – the next she was being transformed by a fairy godmother (who you may recognize as Anna Beth from The Stokes Story).  A transformation right before our very eyes!  Amazing!
3.  EASTER – What’s not to love about Easter?  We hunt candy filled treasure in the yard and celebrate Christ’s Resurrection!  Colin and Faith are smiling after the annual Easter Egg Hunt at Stone Mtn. First Baptist.  Notice Stone Mountain in the background.  
4.  MY FIRST 5K – I ran my first 5K on Memorial Day!  This was a great accomplishment for me.  I have since run two more.  My goal is to run the Peachtree Road Race this year.  This is me after the race. 
5.  MY PARENT’S 40TH ANNIVERSARY – My mom and dad celebrated their 40th anniversary on June 3, 2007.  Their marriage has always been a model for me.  The have respect, love, and loyalty.  But the thing that gives their marriage extra spice is humor!  Thanks Mom and Dad!
6.  SPRINKLER FUN – Running through the sprinkler is a rite of passage into childhood.  I enjoyed watching the kids frolic through sprouts of water.  It might just be possible that I took a gallop through the old water shooter myself (and no there are not any pictures of that!).
7.  FIRST VISIT FROM THE TOOTH FAIRY – Colin lost his first tooth in June before we left on vacation.  We were thankful for that because the tooth fairy might not have found us at Disney World!
8.  DISNEY WORLD!!! – This was the best vacation ever!  We went to Disney this June to celebrate our 10th anniversary.  We went there on our honeymoon, as well.  This time we stayed in the park, and my parents joined us for a few days.  We all had a blast!  
9.  SCARLET IS BORN! – You’ve heard me mention my two best friends, Mary Ann and Allison.  Well, here they are!  Our mothers were friends when they were pregnant with us.  That is how long we’ve known each other.  Allison gave birth to Scarlet in July, and Mary Ann and I got to be in the birthing room!  If you don’t believe in God, just watch the birth of a baby.  It really is a miracle!
10.  OUTLAW APPREHENDED – $100 reward for anyone with information on the whereabouts of one Rowdy Colin “Ants in the Pants” Hatcher.” Ants in the Pants” is the leader of the notorious Hatcher gang… Artful Alan “Quick Draw” Hatcher, Cookin’ Carol “Quick Wit” Hatcher, and Feisty Faith “Sass Mouth” Hatcher. 

UPDATE:  HATCHER GANG APPREHENDED JULY ’07
11.  PAPA AND NANA’S 60TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY – You don’t find many couples who have celebrated 60 years of marriage.  Alan’s grandparent’s are the sweetest most devoted couple I know.  We had a professional portrait done to commemorate the occasion.  This is our little flock with Alan’s parents, brother, and grandparents.
12.  GLORIETA! – God really showed off for me when He called me to Glorieta.  He asked me to move out of my comfort zone, and I said yes.  He provided me all of the funds to go to the Glorieta Christian Writer’s Conference in New Mexico.  It was my third time flying and only my fourth time to be away from Alan overnight in our ten years of marriage.  This is my partner in crime, Amy.  I wouldn’t have survived the flights without her. 🙂
13.  HARVEST TIME – This year we were able to pick the pumpkins we planted in Papa and Sue Sue’s garden.  It was really neat to get to see them from start to finish.  Riding in the Gator was an added bonus.  
 15.  MATCHING CHRISTMAS CLOTHES – Does that make me really shallow that I absolutely love to have matching clothes for the whole family?  We usually only pull that off once a year at Easter, but this year we got them for Christmas, too.  I loved every minute of it!!  
16.  THE HULA HOOP REVIVAL – Last but not least is the revival of the hip swiveling spherical miracle – it’s the Hula Hoop!  Colin got a Hula Hoop for Christmas.  He is a pro at it already.  Have you tried to Hula Hoop lately?  I have this whole scientific theory as to why it is harder for adults to Hula Hoop, but that’s for another time.  This Hula Hoop revival in my home leads me to the start of a new year.  I, Carol Hatcher, am embarking on a Hula Hoop adventure, swiveling hips and all.  I figure if I can even try to Hula Hoop for 30 minutes a day, I will swivel my hips away.  It’s gotta work.  It’s just gotta!!  Run to Wal-mart and you can join me.  For $4.88, it beats the cost of a gym membership.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Carol

Carol

Bring In the New Year

Hey, everybody!  Help me bring in the new year by visiting me today at Faith Lifts.  My devotion posted there is also an excerpt from my book Woven.  I hope you enjoy!  
Click HERE to read my devotion.
Carol

Carol

Humble Beginnings

I got a very special card this Christmas.My grandmother gave me back a card I made for her when I was about six or seven.  It’s a beautiful Halloween poem.  Read it and I’m sure you’ll agree.  Ha! Ha!  Well, I’ve told y’all that I’ve always loved to write, but I didn’t say I was always good at it!  

For those of you who can’t read the card in the picture, it reads:
On Halloween
On Halloween
I’ll go to town
and wear my trousers upside-down
and wear my shoes turned inside-out
and wear a wig of sauerkraut.
(**spelling corrected)
Ah, the beauty of a good rhyme.  I hope you enjoy.  
Carol

Carol

His Beginning – Part 3???

Okay, I thought I was done with the His Beginning post, but I wasn’t.   I decided to post the rest of that particular chapter from my book.  His Beginning is Chapter 4 of the book I’ve written.  If you haven’t read my other posts, Part 1 and 2, scroll down and read them first.  For those of you who don’t know, I have written a book about finding God’s plan for your life.  Hopefully, I’ll actually get a proposal written one of these days and see about getting it published.  The book is called Woven : Recognizing the Threads of God’s Plan.

This morning our pastor, Larry Wynn, was  talking about the Christmas story and he said some of the same things that I had written about in this next section of my book.  I love it when that happens because it is confirmation from God that I am on the right track.  
So, without further ado – the rest of the story.

Surely, the birth of our Lord was where it began, but it wasn’t.  God’s plan began long before He ever came to the earth in human form.  During the latest Christmas season I gave a lot of thought to Jesus’ birth.  Have you ever thought about how things would be different if Jesus really came as He deserved?  What if royal trumpeters blew news of His arrival from the turrets of a grand castle?  Jesus could have been wrapped in silk and laid atop fur blankets in an ornate hand carved cradle.  He could have, He is the king of all kings, but He didn’t.  Instead, Jesus was wrapped in whatever pieces of spare cloth Mary and Joseph were wearing and was laid in a feeding trough atop a bed of hay.  His arrival was heralded but not by royal trumpeters on top of a castle.  His news was spread by angels who presented it to lowly shepherds in fields with their sheep.  Why? 

Only God can answer for certain why he chose the specifics of Christ’s arrival, but I have some ideas.  I think God chose a simple woman of no means to bear His son to show us Jesus came to save all of us, not just the wealthy.  Being born into a simple family afforded Jesus the opportunity to learn a trade – carpentry.  He was a blue-collar worker.  He experienced the same things we do.  Privilege and money did not pave His way.  That makes Jesus easier to accept.  He is one of us, only perfect.  He understands what we go through on a day-to-day basis.  God chose shepherds to hear the angels’ message instead of the high priests or politicians.  Shepherds were smelly, they had been sleeping in the fields with the sheep, and they were poor.  The first to hear of Jesus birth were not the most Godly but the most ordinary – the most like us.    

This idea of Jesus coming for everyone goes along with the idea of God having a plan for everyone.  Sometimes it’s easy to believe that God only chooses certain people to carry out His plan.  We believe that if we weren’t called to greatness like Billy Graham or Mother Theresa then we weren’t called at all.  I am here to tell you that is not true. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:6 NIV)  God has a great plan for each of us.  How great it is depends on us, whether or not we choose to follow His path or not.  It is easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and think we don’t have the time or energy to find God’s plan for our lives.  Or we can believe the myth that God doesn’t need us.  He does need us and He will use us. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV)  God is just waiting to bless your socks off.  Won’t you let Him?

Carol

Woven copyright 2007 Carol Hatcher

 

Carol

His Beginning – Part 2

If you haven’t read Part 1, scroll down and read it first.  Enjoy!

The blurs of stone in the distance slowly came into focus as houses.  Joseph sighed knowing they were almost there.  He knew it was none too soon.  Mary had been tensing every couple of minutes ever since the sun started to set.  He didn’t realize that baby was so close.  He hoped they could reach his kinsmen quickly.  Soon they began to hear the drone of the townspeople as they busied themselves for the night.  There were many still out on the streets.  The town was full of people who had traveled from all over to register.  Joseph only hoped they could still find somewhere to bed for the night.  Mary was taking deep breaths.  He knew her time was near.  The small house that belonged to Joseph’s distant kin came into view.  Joseph knew that he would be received there, but only if the rooms weren’t already filled with others who had filed into Bethlehem.  He pulled the small mule up to the house and very tenderly helped Mary off.  She placed her hands on the small of her back and stretched. 

            Joseph knocked on the door.  He heard voices inside.  Light spilled out into the dusk as the door creaked open.  He embraced his kin and quickly explained his need for a place to stay.  The tall grey haired man looked genuinely sorry when he shook his head and gestured to all those seated at the table behind him.  As he looked past Joseph and saw Mary great with child, he thought of his stable.  He pitched fresh hay in it earlier that day.  It would be a place to rest.

            Mary needed a place to lie down.  The baby was coming.  When Joseph’s kin caught her eye, she saw his eyes were soft and kind.  They were also sorrowful, so she knew his answer before Joseph even returned to tell her.  When her husband mentioned the stable, she was relieved.  She knew it would be somewhere to lie down.  When she was settled in the barn, the realization that the Son of God would be born in a stable started to sink in.  She wondered what God would think of her now.  Would she still be highly favored?  Those thoughts were quickly swept out as her labor pains started coming stronger and faster. 

           

            When the baby was finally born, Mary had Joseph rip up one of the head wraps she had brought.  She took the strips and swaddled the baby.  Joseph quickly dumped out the bits and scraps of food left in one of the mangers.  He lined it with hay and then the left over cloth.  In it, Mary gently laid the most precious baby boy ever to be born.  The Savior of the world.  God’s only Son.  She sighed and could feel God’s favor.  She no longer worried about the baby being born in a barn.  As she sat in that stable, the sweet smell of hay slipped in her nose.  She crossed her arms and hugged herself and felt Joseph’s strong and heavy hand on her shoulder.  She leaned down over the manger to look in the eyes of the One who would save her, and in his ear she quietly whispered, “Jesus.”  

Woven Copyright 2007 Carol Hatcher

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very blessed new year!

Carol

Carol