Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hearing God in the Silence

As we travel our life’s journey, we can get enticed by the glitter and glamour of the world. Our eyes are drawn to bright lights and our ears begin to listen to strange music. This infatuation with the world begins early in our lives often starting when we are but babies in the crib staring at the mobile spinning round our heads. We become accustomed to noise and forget that in silence we often find sweet repose.

Silence can be unnerving and the source of discomfort for many individuals. Yet, the scripture informs us that God speaks in a still small voice. When I recall some of the most touching moments in my life, they didn’t take place under bright lights and loud music but in calm stillness. I remember whispering in my babies’ ears as I rocked them to sleep that I loved them. Holding those wonderful gifts from my God were precious and memorable times.

I remember the first time that Mark told me that he loved me. He said it in a soft voice while his arms were wrapped around me. He didn’t shout it at the top of his lungs but quietly told me with a sincerity that I knew was real and lasting.

As mere mortal men and women, we understand that often the most cherished things in life are said during peaceful, quiet moments. Yet, we frequently wonder why we can’t hear the voice of the Father amidst the chaos and confusion of our lives.

The past week, I have been able to be still and listen. I have had the time to seek my Father in quiet moments. As I began to plan activities for today, I realized that I had a peace and joy. This joy wasn’t because of the tasks that I had laid out to do, since usually cleaning the refrigerator, microwave and changing the bed lines doesn’t excite me, but because I had a sense of His Divine Presence and His Perfect Peace.

During my sweet husband’s sermon on Sunday, he spoke of doing all things (from the great to the small) as unto God. That part of his message came back to me this morning. All things we do as unto Christ whether singing in a service if front of hundreds or cleaning the oven. Our attitude is so important because it is a reflection of the condition of our heart.

Heavenly Father,

Allow my heart reflect your loving presence in my life. Please let my actions, words and decisions show others how much I love and trust You.

Please watch over all of my children this day. Guide the steps of Christi, Bobby, Michael and Paul. Cover them with Your love and protection. Restore this family.

Be with and protect my dear husband this day. Give him joy and laughter.

In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


After starting and stopping and starting and stopping, I finally managed to complete a college degree. This has been a desire of mine for years. However, due to life's circumstances, it got put on hold several times. I received my diploma in in the mail with an official graduation date of April 4, 2008 which was one day after my fiftieth birthday. Mark bought me a frame for it.

Well, I went into the office with it and looked at the available wall space. LOL We have a large window on one wall the back wall is lined with bookcases and over the desk is "Mark's shrine" (LOL).

Mark's wall!

Now, granted, I hung all of those diplomas, ordinations, and awards up to honor my sweet husband. This man means the world to me. I am proud of him and can't imagine my life without him.

A favorite picture of my Wonderful Husband and me!

Spring Concert at Brewton Parker College

However, back to me and my diploma, I then turned to the remaining wall and managed to find a small space to hang my diploma over the piano along with other stuff of Mark's - his antique music and a cross-stitch that I made for him when our sons, Bobby and Michael, were young.

Finally, my little lonely Diploma!

Renaissance peasant Paul


The things that we do for our children sometimes amaze me. Paul had told Mark and me about the Renaissance costume he needed for school sometime last week but he added, “Don’t worry mom, I know exactly what I am going to be and wear. I am going to be a peasant – simple and easy.” I thought that meant he had his costume ready.

Monday night, while eating supper before rushing out the door to get to revival services where Mark is leading the worship, I nonchalantly asked Paul what he was wearing for his costume and what day was he supposed to wear it.

He begins describing to me how he is going to make his costume. I asked him what shirt and pants he was using to do this. He innocently replied, “Oh, I don’t have the clothes to use, you have to go buy them for me.”

Shock. I asked him, again, when he needed this costume and he replied, “Wednesday. I wear it to school on Wednesday.”

The last time I checked this small southern town doesn’t sell Renaissance peasant costumes. My plan changed – totally – for both Monday evening and Tuesday day. A friend called and wanted to know if I would grab dinner with her, I told her that I had just finished eating. So, we decided I would go with her and watch her eat while I drank something. Then, we went to Wally world where I bought fabric and a pattern.

Tuesday, I started preparing the pattern to cut out Paul’s costume at 7:30 AM. My phone kept ringing off the hook. I had originally planned to make him: pants, shirts, hat and shoes and if I had time (what was I thinking?) a vest. I got the pants and shirt completed before I had to get ready to leave the house at 3:00. I finished the shoes last night after revival services. He didn’t get a hat or vest. LOL

Here’s a picture of him. He wouldn’t smile for me because he told me that he was a poor and sad peasant. BTW, he really liked his costume.

Looking sad and poor.

Finally a smile.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Amazing God

Today, He revealed His amazing care and guidance to me, again. Why do I go through periods of doubt? I have been praying for His direction and for His still small voice to lead me in the direction that He would have me to pursue.

This morning, I was chatting to my Father God. I say “chatting to” because that’s what I was doing. I was just telling Him my feelings and thoughts and not really expecting to hear anything specific from Him. But then both suddenly and gently, He spoke to my spirit. I was telling Him that I knew, practically, that I needed to try and get hired by a school to teach next year but that my heart’s desire was to spend time on my writing and to try and get published as a Christian author.

I stopped chatting for a moment because I was, even while talking to God, doing my usual multi-tasking as I sat at my computer. I had opened my emails and there were several that I needed to read. But, God only needs a moment to claim our attention. I felt my spirit stirred and the thought, not my thought, came to me, “Debbie, you can do both.” I realized that God had stopped whatever He was doing and was speaking to me.

Tears welled up in my eyes, not because of the message, but because my Father had spoken to me. He could have told me, “Take the dog outside or feed the cat,” and I would have been just as moved. However, He spoke to my deep desire. He had been listening to me as I was mindlessly rambling away.

I had my first official job interview this morning at a local elementary school. I was preparing to go while still very undecided about the path that I needed to pick for next school year. I prayed that God would be with me during the interview and just let the experience be a positive one for those involved.

That was my only attitude as I went into this interview. I wanted to be in the Will of my Father. The interview was possibly the most enjoyable one in which I have ever participated. The principal was affirming and encouraging. She was open and caring. And, she unofficially offered me a position teaching fifth grade language art. This position would include reading, writing, grammar, and spelling. (I know a shocker for those of you who read my blog and have witnessed my grammar and spelling skills!) She has to check my references to make it official.

I told her that I would accept the position if she officially offers it. Needless to say, my entire morning seemed blessed. I left the interview on cloud nine and believing that my God was truly in control and concerned about me. As I neared our home, the thought popped into my brain, “What about Paul?” Mark and I have been trying to decide if we were going to let him continue in public school or go back to being homeschooled. Again, God spoke. The thought, “Paul will be fine. It’s under My control.”

I was broadly smiling as I was driving down the road. I was filled with a sense of my Lord’s peace and presence. He had clearly spoken to me twice in one day in a matter of hours. I had been telling Him that I needed Him just come sit with me on my sofa and speak to me about my future and the plans that I should follow. And while, He wasn’t sitting on my sofa sharing a cup of coffee, He had spoken.

Today has been an amazing day. I have truly felt the presence of my God all day long. I am blessed. God is good and His mercy is ever present in our lives. God revealed an important truth to me today. He is always speaking. He is always directing. He is always trustworthy. I am not always listening, following and trusting. I become entangled by the many voices of the world and allow those voices to block out His precious perfect Voice. I forget how much He loves me and my family. I forget but God doesn’t forget.

Father God,

Today make your face to shine upon me and my loved family. Guide our steps. Give us courage. Speak to us with soft words and shape our lives with your loving hands. Show us how to walk in trust and in faith. I pray these things through the name of your beloved son, Christ Jesus.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Getting to Know You!

I've been tagged by Kearsmom to play a “Who Are You?” Meme.- The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.- Each player answers the questions about themselves.- At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people, posts their names, and then leaves a comment on their blogs, letting them know they've been tagged.

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Mark planned me a surprise 40th birthday party that ended up getting moved to a basement because of tornadoes!
I was still homeschooling Michael and Paul. Paul was doing kindergarten and Michael high school.
Mark was in full-time ministry.
I was thinner. LOL

5 Things On My To-Do List Today:
Well, today is just about over; however, I did my last day of Student Teaching. That was about all the things on my list. 5:30 comes really early. I also showered ate breakfast, lunch and dinner and picked up Paul from school.

5 Things I Would Do If I Were a Billionaire:
1. I would give to several ministries - I would dig a well in Africa or several. I would give to the Mission Board several thousand dollars.
2. I would hire a detective.
3. Buy a house and new cars.
4. Take all of my friends and loved ones on a cruise so that everyone could meet each other.
5. Start a retreat center for ministers and their families who have been hurt by churches.

5 Bad Habits:
1. Eating.
2. Not exercising.
3. Not ironing like I should.
4. Not dusting enough.
5. Staying up late when I need to be in bed.

5 Places I Have Lived:
1. Warren, Michigan
2. Brentwood, Tennessee
3. Murfreesboro, Tennessee
4. Rome, Georgia
5. Louisville, Kentucky
6. Arcadia, Florida

5 Jobs I Have Had
1. Waitress
2. School secretary
3. Accounts Payable Clerk
4. Private Piano Teacher
5. Hotel Clerk

5 Tags:
1. Deborah
2. Luska
3. Texee
4. Jennie
5. Swanny

Monday, April 07, 2008

I am officially done with this degree!!!!!

This has been a long road and lots of work but it's finally completed. I remember looking at the work load for various classes and thinking - no way!! But, with God there is always a way. God has been so gracious to me through this entire process. He is my source of wisdom and strength. Praise be His Name.

Western Governors University sent me an email on Thursday, April 3 (my birthday) and said that I was finished with all requirements and could file for graduation. So, my college mentor sent me the form and I filled it out and sent it back to the school. I was told that this process would take at least two weeks. However, on Saturday, April 5, my mentor forwarded me an email telling me that I had officially graduated with a Bachelor of Arts IN Interdisciplinary Students PK-8. I was shocked to receive that email so quickly. I am expecting my transcripts and diploma in the mail this week. All of the state tests have been passed and I am now completing the final application for certification.

Now, more news......... let's see. I turned the big 50 last week. Totally depressing. I really had no idea it would hit me so hard. Mark threw me a small surprise party while down in Florida on Tuesday evening. I am posting pictures for that evening. Friends came with sweet gifts like black roses, over-the-hill cards and ribbons, pantie liners for irregular bladders, and an array of other thoughtful gifts. Despite the gifts, the evening was pleasant.

We were back home in Georgia on my real birthday on Thursday. The boys gave me some movies. Mark gave me a beautiful watch and a nice camera. Then, they took me out to Ruby Tuesdays for dinner. I wanted to order lots of appetizers and share them for our meal. It was yummy.

Easter 2008: Michael

Easter 2008: Paul

Surprise 50th Party in Florida
Here is the old woman trying to read!

The Owens, Paul and me

The Prices, Mark and me

Linda, me, Mark and Doug