Blessed

2.25.2008

Blessed...
...to have a piano.
...to be able to afford lessons for the boys.
...because they enjoy playing.
...to have a home filled with music.
...to be their mom.




Monday's Memory of Mom


Several years ago, my mom gave me most of the old family photos. I love looking at them. I have a few of my dad when he was a little boy, but I don't have any of my mom when she was a little girl. I wish I did.
 
The earliest picture I have of my mom is her graduation picture. She was 17. She started school when she was 4. 

 

I love that she signed it. I just now noticed that she circled the "i" in her name. Haven't we all done that at one time or another in our growing up years? How funny, that I never noticed that before.
 
I treasure anything with her handwriting on it. I love looking at her handwriting.  Her penmanship was superb. A few weeks ago,  I found a letter that my mom wrote to me. It brought me to tears to see her handwriting. It could have been a grocery list and I still would have cried. I placed it in my Bible, for safe keeping. I need to write more things to my children in my own handwriting. My penmanship isn't pretty like my mom's, but it is mine and it may matter to them one day. 

Laurie and I

2.24.2008

I love this picture...Me and my BFF

 


Comfort Zones

2.22.2008

I think it would be safe to say that we all have comfort zones. Comfort zones where we like to stay in the physical world, like our homes, our cities or our favorite stores. We have comfort foods that we enjoy at celebrations or during times of stress. One of mine is baked rice. Yummy....And comfort zones where we like to serve in our churches. 

Yesterday, I found myself WAY out of my comfort zone...

Wednesday night, a call for help came to our church from a mom with 3 children. She had left an abusive situation and was at a hotel, however, she only had enough money to stay the one night and had no food. After prayer meeting, a deacon asked me if I would be willing to buy groceries to deliver to her and take a check from the church to pay for a few more nights at the hotel. Everything that was within me was screaming, "Ask someone else!!! This is OUT  of my comfort zone." My mouth said, "Sure. I'll do that." I turned to Cheryl, my dear friend and sister-in-Christ, and asked if she would be willing to come with me. Oh, was I ever relieved that she said yes! Cheryl is calm and practical. I figured this was in her comfort zone, so she could support me as I took myself out of mine. A match made in heaven for this excursion. 

The next morning, as Cheryl and I were shopping for groceries and talking up a storm at Wal-Mart, I casually mentioned how what we were doing was way out of my comfort zone and I was glad she was with me.  She informed me that this was out of HER comfort zone, too! What??? Yikes!!! Okay...At least I wasn't the only one nervous. I guess that's good...Right? Right...

Cheryl placed me in charge of doing all the talking. I talk a lot, in case you didn't know. *wink* That's IN my comfort zone. :-D 

Making the delivery and meeting the mom along with her children went really well. I found I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. Seeing the look of gratitude on the mom's weary eyes took away all thoughts of myself and my unimportant comfort zone. Seeing the children being excited to have some of their favorite foods in the sacks (thank you, God, for leading us in our food choices!) put things in perspective. And, God,  being merciful and kind, poured His blessings out upon me...

Know what? I hope I am asked to do this again. I want to do it often enough that it becomes part of my comfort zone.  

Have you stepped out of your comfort zone lately? 


9th snowiest winter in 135 years

2.19.2008

I don't remember the last time we have had such a snowy winter!  Yesterday I heard our area is breaking records for the snowiest winter. Russ sent me the newspaper report that said, "Seasonal total to date is 54.8 inches — good for ninth on the list of snowiest winters in the 135 years that records have been kept. An additional 8 inches — which seems eminently doable in light of the more than 20 inches that have fallen so far this month — would vault this winter's snowfall into third on the all-time list, eclipsing the 62.4 inches that fell in 1959-60."

Which is why I don't remember the last time we have had this much snow...The last time we did was the year I was born. :-) 

Here are some more pictures of our snow.



















Monday's Memory of Mom

2.18.2008


Last week, I shared my first memory of my mom. I thought this week I would share the last few memories of my mom. The rest of the posts will be the in between memories.
 

For those that don't know, my mom died of breast cancer. She went through chemo twice and lost her hair twice. She had just gotten back to the huge afro style that she wore for at least 20+ years, when she went back for the second round of chemo and lost it again. Never once did she complain. She would say, "It's only hair." She was beautiful with hair and without. The love of Jesus shined through her.
 
My mom became born-again, late in life. In the last 10 years of her life. The transformation was amazing. She was a whole new person. Amazing....
Two days before she died, I was sitting on her bed talking to her. At this point, she could still talk, though it was physically draining on her to do so. I said, "Momma...It's okay to go. We'll be okay." ....I tend to be the dramatic one in the family. My nick name was Tallulah, after Tallulah Bankhead. She was before my time. :-P....She looked at me and laughed! Laughed! She responded, "Honey, you don't have to worry about that. I am not sticking around here one minute more than I have to. I am ready to be rid of this body and be with Jesus." I have to laugh at myself.  I was being sooo serious and making sure she knows she can leave me behind, when she was like, "Let's get on with the show!" I want to die like that. :-) Die knowing that I will be waiting for my family, so leaving them here on earth isn't difficult.
 
The next few days, she slipped farther and farther away. Like she was deep inside of herself. At one point, she whispered, "Who is that tall man over there?" There was no tall man in the room. At least one we could see. :-) Her last words were strong, clear and coherent. I can't remember exactly where in the dying process they occurred...The day before she died?  Two days before she died? That whole time was a blur for me...She said, "Hallelujah! We're saved!"
 
Hallelujah, she was saved...
See you, soon, Momma! See you soon! 

Digging out...again...

2.17.2008


Where is our global warming? We could use some about now!

Take this amount of snow and double it. That's how much we got today. We are all tired tonight. The snowblower broke. We had to shovel the second round of heavy wet snow by hand. Ish...

I'm going to post more pictures tomorrow. I don't remember ever having so much snow in one winter season. 

Confessions of snob...

2.15.2008

I am a computer snob. Yes...That's right, a snob! The beginning of my snob transformation began two years ago.
 
A co-worker of my husband upgrades to the latest and greatest Apple laptop almost every year, and he was selling his Apple Powerbook G4 17" laptop. Russ asked me if I would like him to buy it for me. Uhhh....YES!
 
Two reasons:

1~ I love getting new electronic things. I love gadgets. :o)
2~ I had never owned an Apple computer before. My Laurie has always had Macs, so I had heard from her how wonderful they were.
 
I had my new-to-me Apple  laptop only a few days when I realized I was in B~I~G trouble. I knew I would never want to go back to the Microsoft PC world.
 
Since then there was another update and I now have a MacBook Pro sporting the new Leopard OS. Ahhh...There is nothing like a Mac....Until...Well, as with all electronic gadgets, something goes very wrong. My Mac got sick after a OS update. It was very sick....I cried. Pathetic, huh? For two days, I had to use my hubby's Dell laptop. I was N~O~T happy. I became so frustrated with how long everything took, the hoops I had to jump through to get it to do the simplest things. Like send an email without playing 20 questions first. I was willing to leave the internet world forever, if I couldn't have my Mac back.

Pathetic....Wrong...I needed a reality check.
 
As I was in my weepy mode over a sick computer...The thought came to me...When is the last time I wept over a lost soul? Oh...The shame that flooded my soul...People are dying in their sins, lost forever, and I am weeping over a computer! A blessing that God had given me had become my god. I worshiped the created, rather than the Creator. I began to weep over my sin...And God, in His mercy, poured out His love and forgiveness upon me. He reminded me of His promise:

...He who has begun a good work in me will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ...

I am a work in progress and God used a sick Mac to get my attention on the important things. The great commission. Sharing the Gospel to a dying world.






The song, Rescue the Perishing, can be found on the CD, Not A God, by Billy and Cindy Foote. I highly recommend all of their CDs. :-)

My Grace is sufficient for you...

2.13.2008

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9


Not your strength,
not your wisdom,
not your prayers,
not your experience;
but "My grace"—My free, My matchless grace, independent of all works and efforts, independent of everything in the creature—flowing wholly and solely, fully and freely, out of the bosom of Jesus to . . .
the needy,
the guilty,
the destitute,
the undone.

You who are tried in worldly circumstances, who have to endure the hard lot of poverty —"My grace is sufficient for you."

You who are tempted, day by day, to say or do that which conscience testifies against —"My grace is sufficient for you."

You who are harassed with family troubles and afflictions, and are often drawn aside into peevishness and fretfulness—"My grace is sufficient for you."

Our weakness, helplessness, and inability are the very things which draw forth the power, the strength, and the grace of Jesus!

Believer, your case is never beyond the reach of the words—"My grace is sufficient for you!"

The free, the matchless, sovereign grace of God, is sufficient for all His people—in whatever state, or stage, or trouble, or difficulty they may be in!

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

(J. C. Philpot "Strength Made Perfect in Weakness")

Monday's Memory of Mom

2.11.2008

I think it's fitting to start the very first Monday's Memory of Mom with the first memory I have of her. I was in the hospital with hepatitis. I think I was 3...Maybe not quite 3 because I know that the nurses potty trained me. My mom said I was stubborn and refused to go for her on the potty chair. That would be true. I do have a bit of a stubborn streak. :-) The isolation room, that was to be my home while I recovered, was an ugly green. I call it bathroom green. The ugly green color that old gas station bathrooms are painted. I have often wondered why people would chose that color. Blech! I was standing in the crib, holding on to the cold, steel bars. I wonder if I was crying. I don't know...I do know that I could see my mom and dad waving at me through a tiny window in the grey door. The kind of window that has the chicken fence wire in the glass. She was waving and smiling...I wonder if she was crying. I don't know....I do know that I would have been crying if Haley had been the one in the crib and I was the one waving through the glass window. Waving and smiling with tears rolling down my face....

Paddle, paddle, paddle your kayak....

2.10.2008


Guess what I'm getting for Valentines Day.... 

My mom...

2.08.2008


This is my mom, Marilyn...I wish I could remember when this picture was taken. I think she was in her early 50's. Not much older than I am now. She went to be with the Lord in August '06. I still have times when I think, "I need to tell my mom...." and then I remember she isn't here on earth. But you know what? I don't wish her back here. I know that, one day, I will go to be with her and we will be worshiping Jesus together. That's the day I look forward to!

I began this post late last night and began to cry, so I ended it. There is so much to say about my mom and I felt like there was no way I could say all that I want to say.

All morning, memories about my mom have been flooding my mind. I'd say to myself, "Self, you could write about that!" I mentioned to Marilyn (I don't think she has any idea how much I love that she shares my mom's name) that I was thinking about writing a weekly memory about my mom. She said it was a great idea, so that's what I am going to do. A Monday Memory of Mom. :o)

New pictures of Brooklyn


Our first family photo

2.07.2008

I found this picture tonight and it made me laugh. Look at Mitchell! He hasn't changed much in the last 7 years. This was taken by Marci at our first Barta family Christmas. We haven't had a family picture taken in a long, long time. 

2 + 1 = JOY!!

Nevin (17), Reagan (13) and Mitchell (11)

Manly Men!

2.06.2008

Russ and Dave: Manly Men!

This is my favorite picture...The look on Russ' face is priceless!


Brooklyn @ 6 months


Brooklyn looks like Kayla in this picture...

however, she looks like Holden is this one. 

Awwww....Let's just say she is adorable, no matter who she looks like! 

My granddaughter

Brooklyn with her mommy and daddy, Jen and Steve.

Brooklyn with Holden and Kayla

Brooklyn Kayden


Snow Dogs!!




I had to give Clay and warm bath to melt the snow off of his tummy. The snow on him doubled his weight!





*giggle*

2.05.2008

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