Tuesday, May 18, 2010


“We heard the heartbeat today!” The excitement of the first time mom and dad was evident even through the phone.

So, this leads me to a question.

Have you heard the heartbeat of the potential that is deep within you?

The dream…..the vision…..the hope…..the promise…..

Do not be overwhelmed by the unknown.

Do not doubt. God did not make a mistake.

Rest in Him. Be still.

Listen for the heartbeat and rejoice over the stirring deep within.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I Love Living in the South

I love living in the South.   Let me quickly say, it isn't that I have anything against other parts of these beautiful United States.  I've lived in a few places like Missouri, Texas, Michigan, Indiana and I've travelled to many states and even to other nations.    However, it is Tennessee and the South that has captured me (& Israel, too, but that's another blog).  Where the South is concerned, it's often the little things that just make me sigh and smile.

Sometimes it's overhearing the slow smooth drawl of an elderly woman or a little child putting three or four syllables in a word that should only have two. 

Seasonally, it is the little Green Acres stand that sells plants, fruits and vegetables over on the road about a mile from my house.  It isn't even that I stop by that frequently, but when it's open, something just seems right in my southern world.  I often drive out of my way, just to pass by it and I smile.  Every time.

I enjoy going into a restaurant and getting to order a vegetable plate with pan-fried okra and a big tall bottomless glass of iced tea - and have to clarify if I DON'T want it sweet.  

It is the little things that grab my attention and often my heart. Like a big old slab of wood I saw propped up against a pole.  In big black sloppy hand painted letters it read "cabbage tomatoes cukes" followed by a big 'ol arrow pointing down toward the farmhouse on a road with rows of corn growing on each side.  No doubt - in days to come the word corn would wind up somewhere on that roughhewn sale sign, too. I remember saying out loud when I rode past it - "I love living in the south."  It was somehow endearing.  A sign. Go figure.

I love that we still have towns with city squares.  Not big and flashy like Times Square in New York, but quaint and welcoming.  The kind of place with locally owned speciality shops, antique stores and a fudge or ice cream spot.  It's where you walk in pleasant weather and smile and say hello to people you don't know, but who you feel a kinship to. It's a place you saunter through because for some reason fast walking doesn't quite seem appropriate. If you are really lucky, there's a little bench where you can sit and relax and just soak in the scenery - which typically is filled with big tall oak trees, beautiful flowers, children, families, and retired folks.

I enjoy driving past country churches - whether the building is clapboard or brick or aluminum siding or even block. Some people think it's crazy that we have so many churches down here.  I suppose they have a point.  Especially in my county, but I do like seeing the variety of old, new, beat up, sparkling, trucks, vans, cars, and motorcycles parked up close and side by side on a random evening.  I often wish I could just get a peek of what's happening inside.  I guess cause I know in spite of its flaws and imperfections - inside that building - there's folk gathered in there who are community - family who chose to get together.  It's especially sweet when I can put down my window and hear music and praises rolling outside of the church and floating up to heaven.  Additionally, I have to admit I get a kick out of the names of some of these little gathering places, but with so many - I guess they had to get creative after awhile.  

Just this week, flipping channels on my radio on the way to work, I stumbled upon the local award winning country music station. If I stop on this particular station, usually it's because they do have the best traffic reports and around Christmas time they do play hilariously clever songs.  This particular day I stopped because someone was praying.  I mean like seriously praying. I just wasn't used to hearing praying on this particular station. I later discovered that they were promoting a local gathering for the National Day of Prayer.  It was stirring and it was powerful.  The DJs were gracious and obviously moved.  They went from that into playing a beautiful rendition of "God Bless America".  It just made me smile all over myself.  Cause anyway you shake it up - God was using this little pastor to pray over airwaves and into cars, homes and offices and into the lives of people who were just hoping to hear some country music that morning.  Instead, tucked ever so neatly between someone like Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood was this heartfelt prayer calling individuals and a nation back to God. I had to wonder if there wasn't some Betty or Bubba who was reminded of what it was like to pray and maybe their hearts were nudged and stirred. Maybe they remembered what it was like to hear their momma or daddy or grandparents pray. Just maybe that prayer made a difference.  Amazing what God can and will use to stop us and turn our eyes back to Him.

There is so much more that warms my heart around these parts. It's not perfect, the good Lord knows we have our troubles and our issues - but it is home. For the privilege of living here I consider myself blessed and grateful.
I do love God and yes,  I do love the South!