Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday Praise-I was Glad

I am glad, very glad to have been in the house of the Lord today!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Photo Friday-River Time

I'm linking up with Diane Bailey today for Photo Friday.

Last Saturday, we {okay, I kind of decreed we were going to go} decided to throw responsibility to the wind and go on an adventure.  I had one go where the water was running and the rocks were big! In my neck of the woods, the first place that comes to mind is Little River Canyon.  One of my favorite spots on God's green earth, it acts as a balm to my soul.
I spent many, many afternoons happily stomping in creeks as a child. I love to have my feet in running water.  Doesn't have to be swift, although I like that.  I especially love to sit on a big, warm rock and watch the water flow over my feet. The carefree feeling evoked isn't replicated anywhere else in my life.  If fact, given the choice...I think I'd choose time at a shallow river or a good creek bed over the beach. {Gasp!! I know I'm in the minority}
Anyway, I threw bathing suits and sunscreen in a bag, grabbed some towels and off we went! Little River Canyon is about an hour and a half drive from our house and we were pretty quiet as we rode. It was as pleasant as could be.  Just the two of us and the radio, headed toward the Canyon.
It was obviously the choice of many people on Saturday and quite crowded.  But we managed to find a spot and chill out for about two hours. Delightful.
We watched children splashing and letting the current sweep them down the rocks smoothed by centuries of rushing water. 
Some folks brought their dogs and we loved watching them get in the water.
We saw fish and snakes {yuck!} and I spent a long time watching butterflies and bees feast on a flowering bush.
The song of the current and the warmth of the sun combined with the gentle kiss of a breeze made the event like a glimpse of heaven to me. 


Yep!  A little glimpse of heaven on earth.

I'll be thinking of our afternoon on the river tomorrow when
I'm doing the laundry and cleaning the house.
And remembering to be thankful for the time away last week.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Fifty-five things I Love and Admire about my Amazing Rocket Man!

Today is an auspicious day in my world.
My husband, the Amazing Rocket Man, is having a birthday.
And while I won't tell you his exact age...I am happy to share fifty-five things I love and admire about him.
His steadfast faith in God. Lived out daily in his life,
expressed differently than my own,
but as firm a faith as I have ever encountered.

He is a man of deep integrity, more so than any I have ever known.
Integrity would be one of his defining characteristics. 

He has the most deliciously sharp, dry wit!
He is seriously the funniest human
I know and his laughter comes easy and often.

His intellect is amazing
He is smart in ways I never knew existed. I mean, he IS a Rocket Engineer and all, but his intellect goes beyond those formulas for propulsion. His mind is astounding and he uses it for good in the world.

He is loyal.

He is faithful.

He is honest.

He is self-disciplined.
{I am not and I do so admire this in him. I wish it rubbed off or I could catch it from him by osmosis. So far...that hasn't worked out for me}

He is selfless.
He puts the concerns of others above his own. 
I could give accounts of things he has done in his career and personal life
that are downright inspiring, but

He is an humble man 
He wouldn't want those details of his life plastered on the world wide web.

He is a leader.
He is the type of leader whose example speaks volumes. If his guys are working on the weekends...he's right there with him. He knows the names of the custodians in his building and thanks them for their efforts.  He led a team during a crucial project who would have, I believe, stormed the gates of hell with him and re-engineered the air conditioning. 

He has such a sense of purpose and lives intentionally.
More than anybody I have ever met, he always knows the reason he does what he does.

His analytical mind.
Which can also be daunting.
But I admire the way he can break down a problem
and get to the bottom line.

He is practical.
I can be practical. 
There is a difference...subtle but often telling.

He is a generous man.
I have never seen him turn down the opportunity to help someone in need.
Never. And he wants no kudos for his acts of generosity.

Then...there is his tooth that is crooked.
It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful and he has the most beautiful grin.
I love that tooth and when he grins at me and I see the crooked tooth...I'm a goner. Please don't tell him.  He already owns me, but he'll know he owns me if he gets wind of that tiny piece of information!

He winks at me!
After all these years, he winks at me and flirts with me in outrageous ways at times.

He loves his Mother well.
 He is so good to her and it is one of his most endearing qualities.

He tells the best stories. 
I adore listening to him tell stories.  He really ought to go on the storytelling circuit...he's that good.
I especially love stories of his Granddaddy and Granny. He can tell a story about their foibles without being demeaning.  It is so obvious when he talks about them, especially his Granddaddy, that he loved them wholeheartedly and their influence on his life was great.

He has the ability to find humor in almost every circumstance.
The corollary is he has the outstanding ability to laugh at himself. 

He is a man of  great strength.
Both in body and in character.

He is courageous.
He is willing to take risks.
Perhaps his greatest act of bravery was to enter into a
second marriage after being hurt so badly the first time.
That act alone gives him hero status!

Then, there are the times he starts laughing and the laughter is so good and fine,
so deep and true he ends up with tears in his eyes
Those around him cannot help but laugh as well when that happens. 
I love it when he laughs like that!

He kisses me ever-so-softly at night and whispers, "God Bless Molli."
 Those are sacred times and I cherish them.

He has this delightful ability to string words together in creative ways.
A very effective communication tool.
Also? It makes me laugh every time.  Every. Single. Time.

He is a good father.
One of the best.
I'm not sure his children understand this, but I pray they will someday.
He has done hard stuff with and for them and prays for them daily. 

He is good to my children and loves them deeply.
He has been an amazing role model for them.

He loves my parents.
He is gentle and patient and good with them.
He likes them, too, which makes life good!

He is, without a doubt, the BEST Granddaddy EVER!
To my grandchildren, who in no way share his DNA,
but who share his heart.

The way he says, "Moll-li!"
And I know I'm busted.

The way he gathers me close into his arms at night.

When he whispers scandalous, outrageous things in my ears at the most inappropriate places.
{I REALLY dig that!}

He dances with me.
He doesn't like to dance much, but he dances with me.

He's a good sport.
He hates to have his picture taken and he bought me a camera.
Enough said!

He is good with his hands.
In many ways.
Use your imagination :)

His willingness to kiss me.
Over and over again.
In public and in private.
I love kissing that man, and he obliges me with a myriad of kisses.

He is an encourager.
He constantly is encouraging someone to do their best,
to try something new, to reach for the stars. Its just the kind of guy he is.
He fixes things.
If its broken, he can fix it. He just can.

He is concerned about others.

He is very nurturing.

{ahem} Those intimate times we share
That's all I have to say about that.

He is patient.
He will tell me something 3 different ways until I understand.

He teaches Senior Adult Sunday School
He is so good with those precious saints and they adore him.

He ALWAYS strives to do the right thing.
Always. More than anyone I have ever known.
No easy way out for my Rocket Man.

He does hard stuff.
Even when it takes a toll on him.
Even when he is unfairly handed a mess of someone else's making.
He does hard.

He takes me to ride the wind.
One of the greatest joys we share is riding our motorcycle together.

He is always there to catch me if I fall.
Literally and Figuratively.
Always there.

He is protective of what is his.
Whatever it takes, he will protect me.
Because I'm his. And by the way...I love it that he calls me his girl.
Love it!

He makes me feel safe.
Even when life is scary.

He looked past the baggage of my life and loved me anyway.
Warts and all.
And he still loves me.

He knows thing.
Things I would never, ever know.
Random things.
It entertains me to hear him speak eloquently about things I never heard of.

He is easy on the eye.
I love looking at him.
I find him to be devastatingly handsome.
I am a lucky, lucky Mollianne.

He is a good man.
From the inside out.
Unless he's being bad
{And I kinda like that part, too}

He shows me unconditional love.
In word and deed.
United in one flesh, united in one spirit, united in one family.

We complete each other.
We are best when we are together.
We are a fine team and there's not much we can't do as long as we are doing it together.
Here's to you, my darling Rocket Man.
You have made my dreams come true.
I love you.
Happy Birthday

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Praise

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said,
'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Praise: Shine!

Sunday Praise: Shine!

He will make your righteous reward shine....
                                                          Psalm 37:6a

Friday, July 11, 2014

Photo Friday

Linking up with Diane W. Bailey this morning and her Photo Friday feature. 
I love, Love, LOVE taking pictures. Mostly I take them, I look at them, I post some to Facebook or Instagram and then I forget them.  Because, really? 
 I love taking the pictures.
Not so much the editing, labeling and saving part. 
I used to worry about that {perceived} flaw in my character but I've decided to give that up. 
I love taking pictures, so I take pictures. 
This morning I walked through the Prayer Garden at the Church House before I came into my office.  I snapped a few pictures with my phone with no intention of publishing them.  But when I saw Diane's link up, I thought I'd see how my morning walk pictures turned out on a screen larger than my phone.
It really is a lovely garden and I feel greatly blessed to be able to walk through it regularly, even occasionally to sit and spend a quiet moment in prayer among the flowers.

This shy hydrangea  was peeking out cautiously from the cover of her leaves


I caught this bathing beauty still dripping from her morning drink


Rosemary adds a delicious fragrance to my walk


This bit of sunshine  was lifting her face toward the heavens in praise

I love the light and shadow playing on the deck

Those few moments stolen from a busy morning
 have added a depth and richness to my day.

Those kinds of moments remind me
to inhale of God's rich blessings and goodness
and to exhale in prayer.

Happy Friday!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Praise: The Lord is Good

The Lord is Good
Unfold in beauty, flowers of spring,
Unto your Makers praise,
Whose breath is in the soft, south wind,
Who send the sunny days.
And let the sparkling, rippling rill
Tell, as it onward flows
Our God is great, our God is good;
His hand all good bestows. 
                                                 ~E.E. Hewitt

Friday, June 20, 2014

Taking Care

I work in a large church and have this fancy-schmancy title.  I'm the Clergy Administrator.  That is a pretentious way of saying I'm the Preacher's Secretary. I've always thought if it walked like a duck and it quacked like a duck and it lives in a pond, might as well call it a duck. But somebody decided I needed a title to give me prestige, save my self-esteem and so as not to make me feel belittled (didn't know me very well now, did they?) Clergy Administrator it is.

Among other things, I act as funeral director/hostess when we have funerals and memorial services. While I have some rather humorous tales to tell concerning such events (like the time the funeral home came by with a casket and asked me if I could 'park' Granny in a closet till the service that evening. I'm not kidding. That particular funeral home isn't in business anymore). Today, I had a glimpse of an intensely personal moment. 

I was helping a man whose wife had died. She had fought disease for years, suffering setback after setback. Her body finally gave out, as bodies do, and now she has new life in a new form. Quite frankly, I couldn't be happier for her. To be in Glory with the Redeemer, why, it flat out blows my mind! Her husband, however, is left behind to become a me instead of a we. 

He meticulously planned her service, being very careful of each thing and making sure the proceedings were as they ought to be.  Our staff was vigilant to ensure the service was what he asked for and it was just lovely. When the service was over, I escorted the family out. We stopped in the Narthex to remove the pall and replace it with the magnificent spray of yellow roses her family had provided.

As the spray was lifted and placed carefully on the casket, one yellow rose fell  and fluttered to the floor. The husband, the man who had cared for this woman so tenderly and carefully...her lover and companion and mate, stooped down. He picked up the errant yellow beauty and with great tenderness put it back in the spray.

Y'all. I was undone. Un. Done. His simple act of fixing the flower, one last act of taking care of his wife was only seen by the few of us beside him. I choked back tears at the intimate nature of the gesture I was privileged to witness. 

Taking care. Isn't that what we do in marriage? We structure our lives together in such a way that we are there for those we love best. The one we love above all others. That one. Our spouse.  The one who makes our me into we.  The person who, when we get it right, can help us make just a bit of heaven on earth.

Taking care. I saw an amazing, simple act of taking care today. One that exemplified what I seek in my marriage. That's just what we are called to do for each other.

Our widower followed the casket to the hearse and then the hearse to the cemetery. He came back to the church for lunch and has now gone home. To start his altered life.

I came back to my office to finish the work laid out for me. Much to my surprise, I had a call from the front office to inform me I had received a flower delivery.  I went down and there was an amazing, extravagant display of red roses, nestled in babies breath. The card read, "Love, Ed" and there was no reason at all for him to have sent me flowers.

Other than my husband was simply taking care. Of me. 

I hope you have someone who takes care of you. And I hope you have the joy of someone to take care of. Because I believe the taking care...that is the good stuff of life.

Who me? {flashing big, innocent eyes}Stand up in the chair to take a picture of the pretty roses?
Nah! Not me?


P.S. This was written last fall and never published.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Coming Home

{Taking HUGE breath}

I feel like I'm making a journey home. To someplace more familiar. To this home where I was quite content. Just a little spot of the worldwide web that is, for me, perhaps a bit more comfortable.

Over two years ago, I obtained what I thought was a better virtual home. More grown up.  More sophisticated. Just the spot to launch my  blogging career.  Where I would become a serious writer. {At least, in  my own mind}

And Cleverly Molli is a lovely blog layout. Beautifully decorated by a professional. I spent several months just looking at it.  I became immobilized by the thought of writing words to put in it. So it was a beautiful showcase, not a home. And while I did finally write words there, last fall I temporarily closed up shop. I didn't delete the whole thing. I simply let it go for awhile.

This blog space always felt like my favorite chair.  I wasn't afraid when I was here. I blithely wrote what was on my heart and hit publish.

What changed?

I think my expectation of what I had to write changed.  I thought (silly me) I was playing in the big leagues because now I had put some money into my blog design and domain.  What was I thinking? 

I lost sight, somehow, of the reasons I enjoy writing.  I write because there are things in my head and my heart I need to figure out. I write because I have things to say. I write to tell stories.  I write to capture memories, feelings and events. I write because I love to put words together in such an order as to convey a feeling. I write because I can't paint pictures on canvas, so I have to paint pictures with words.

I write as insurance against the day I could be unable to express my thoughts and feelings, so the people I love and care for can come back and see the word pictures I've painted for them.  I write so my grandchildren will know my heart.

And quite frankly, the pretty site and snazzy graphics don't make the writing any more polished. Or the stories any funnier or more poignant. Or my insights any wiser.

So, why am I intimidated?

I don't know.

I only know this:  I am. I am intimidated. I also know this:  I need to write. So for just a bit, I think I'll come home to this comfy place and do just that. And try to find my voice again.