Friday, May 25, 2012

Going home.

I know what they can never go home.


But you sure can visit.

Our family leaves next Friday on a road trip to Virginia.  People have been asking if I'm getting excited.  Honestly, not yet.  I am always excited for a road trip...going anywhere anytime, the open road, tunes, the adventure excitement unknown...the small towns, strange trees, vast bridges and eyes and soul devour it all.

But the preparation is a lot of work, yes?

My perspective all changed yesterday afternoon though.  My Onnie, our true Southern girl, was talking to her friend as I drove them to youth group and she was bubbling, glowing, bouncing a little in her seat...gushing about all we will do and eat when we get home. To Virginia. 

She made our hometown sound a magical Southern land, where apple butter and fried chicken fills every kitchen table, nighttime bursts with fireflies twinkling, and the weather is always perfect, be it humid rain, sweltering heat, or gentle breeze. 

Was it just the innocent and cloudless filter of childhood she was remembering through?


But there was another clue in her words which pointed to the magic of home.

In every sentence out of her mouth, there were names attached- Nana, Papa Larry, PoPo, Gamgam. Papa Ron. Granny and Pa Meador, Granny Lumsden, and Grandma Hurst.  Uncle Grandle and Aunt Alice.  All my precious Aunts and Uncles, and Ron's too.  The girls' Uncle Ben and Aunt Michelle, and first cousins Luke, Gabe, Christian, and all their other cousins too...I could go on and on. 

Relationships make places and memories special, yes?

And there was more...

Laura said to Onnie, "Virginia sounds like so much fun, and with so much to do!"

Onnie paused.  Replied:

"Actually we don't really do a lot.  We hang out with family and eat.  And play outside a lot.  There are no electronics in VA- you play in the woods and take care of chickens, and pick vegetables.  And you eat really good food.  It's awesome!"

Yes, that's and food, and playing and working together outdoors.  It really is that simple most of the time.  It does sound pretty awesome, doesn't it?

We are incredibly blessed with our large extended family.  I am humbled by the precious lessons they've reinforced in our girls, especially the value of contentment with the simple and free pleasures in life. 

I am not a huge Country music fan, but I feel this song sums up how we feel about the South, and about our hometown...the joy of simple things which bring deep contentment.

"Well it's funny how it's the little things in life that mean the most
Not where you live, the car you drive or the price tag on your clothes
There's no dollar sign on a piece of mind
this I've come to know."

Truth, yes?  

Honest- I think I am pretty excited to go home now.

So, whether you are traveling this Memorial Day weekend, or staying at your home, I hope you will take a few moments to ponder the simple things in your life and be thankful for them, especially family.

Peace dear readers.


You know I like my chicken fried

Cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio up
Well I've seen the sun rise
See the love in my woman's eyes
Feel the touch of a precious child
And know a mother's love

Well I was raised up beneath the shade of a Georgia Pine
And that's home you know
Sweet tea, pecan pie, and homemade wine where the peaches grow
And my house it's not much to talk about
But it's filled with love that's grown in southern ground

And a little bit of chicken fried


Well it's funny how it's the little things in life that mean the most
Not where you live, the car you drive or the price tag on your clothes
There's no dollar sign on a piece of mind
this I've come to know
So if you agree, have a drink with me
Raise you glasses for a toast

To a little bit of chicken fried


I thank God for my life
And for the stars and stripes
May freedom forever fly, let it ring.
Salute the ones who died
The ones that give their lives so we don't have to sacrifice
All the things we love

Like our chicken fried

*Picture resourced from

Monday, May 7, 2012


Thoughtful words:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity 

As I sit here on a rainy Monday favorite kind of morning to be honest...watching the flickering flame of the lit candle on my desk...all this potential bubbling inside of me, with words, sounds and mental pictures, this quote speaks to me.

Honest:  Today I feel like a cluttered and broken down shack.  My fears, hurts and hang-ups loom large.

I have dreams inside me too but I know my limits.  A cottage sounds nice, yes?  Cozy, which is my favorite word to describe a home.

However, a palace...castle...Wow.  I imagine one on cliffs by the ocean...Prince Eric's castle in The Little Mermaid...fresh seafood every night...les poissons les poissons. 

But that seems impossible, for me anyway.  I would be glad if I evolved into a water-tight dwelling that kept the cold out. 

Hope: God doesn't have my limits.  He sees all the potential inside you and me, and says to us:

"This is quite easy for me, if you will let me."

In the book of II Kings in the Bible, three Kings and their armies were commanded by God to invade Moab.  They assembled, marched for seven days...and then they ran out of water.  Man and beast were about to die of thirst.  Needless to say, they were angry and confused...if God called them to this task, why were they going to die painfully without even attempting what they were called to do?

They found a man of God- Elisha- and asked him to inquire of the Lord.  (Back then...before Jesus...talking to God was a little more complicated.)  He did inquire of the Lord, and said they were to dig ditches all over the valley because God was going to bring much water they would need the ditches to hold it all...and even more astonishingly, He was going to bring it without wind or rain.

*This is the point where you are sitting in the shack in the middle of a hurricane, about to be blown away, drown, or knocked unconscious by steel beams whistling by...and God says He's about to move you into a have zero resources and there's no castle in sight...

Honest- those Israelites were probably thinking this was crazy talk.  Elisha finishes up this dramatic speech with a gauntlet, a challenge, a promise...

"This is easy for God to do.  He will also hand Moab over to you."

And boy, did He!  The next morning, water rushed the valley, the Moabites mistook the sun shining off the water as pools of blood and thought the three armies had slaughtered each other.  They decided to go plunder the camp and marched right into a trap. The Israelites were one hundred percent victorious.  Oh, and they weren't thirsty anymore either.

But did you catch that?  This is easy for God to do.  Turning my shack into a living castle is easy for God to do. Sure, it's going to be work...the armies had to dig the ditches in the blazing sun with wracking thirst...but it's not a hard thing for God.  I only have to be willing to trust His promise, face my fears, and allow Him to beat down closed doors inside of me to build a new, strong foundation.

What would a castle feel like anyway?  Hmm...peace, joy, security, contentment...all my needs provided.  Doesn't mean an endless holiday, storms and invading armies and famine will still come.  But the walls will be strong and the resources plentiful to withstand any attack.
Do I want that?  In the deepest, most guarded parts of my I truly want that?
Yes, please.  Times a million trillion.
Peace...and yes, work...dear readers.

*Above image from