Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the fairest blossom

Thank you so much for praying for my sweet father in law. When we got to the hospital yesterday he looked much better than i had expected....his color was great and he talked up a blue streak! Today they are running several tests to determine exactly what is going on. There is talk that they may have caught the renal situation early, but we are far from out of the woods. he is still very sick and fragile....i do continue to covet your prayers for him.

I woke up early this morning & just laid in bed thanking the Lord for His blessings. for friends and family that i treasure dearly. for gestures that touch my soul and warm my heart~especially those that present during tender times.

i want to share a glimpse of a couple of those gestures that touch my soul.

my sweet katie has been a mentor to me for years. she has cried with me, prayed with me, brought me scrumptious dinners, and taught me what it looks like to love my girls unconditionally. she surprised me last spring by taking two images i had shot of caroline at the tulip house and made them into amazing oil paintings!!

my dear friend fran has been another mentor to me....coming along side me especially during my time as a young widow. she called one day a couple years ago and told me she needed to swing by....she walks in with an enormous framed oil of caroline~ she had spent the better part of a year working on. i don't think i've ever been as speechless as i was that moment. incidentally this photo was taken at a different tulip shot, but what is so special to me is the dress she's wearing. my mother in law and i took a quickie smocking course years ago. we each made a bishop for caroline....the dress she's wearing is the one made by her....priceless gift , both of them.

my friend kristin is uber talented artistically! the image below was taken days after we found out that gregg would need to start chemo. my lifelong photographer took these images for us which proved to be our final family pictures with him. he & savannah had such a precious relationship....
one sunday night at church kristin hands me the gift she's been working on for months....a breathtaking pastel of gregg and savannah.
i've never seen a more lifelike perfect image
a labor of love that will be an heirloom for savannah and her generations to come.

(the images i've shared don't begin to do justice for these paintings
the later two are each 30x36 and are spectacular
just a little tip....i emailed copies of katies paintings -the top two oils --to kinkos
they printed them on canvas & honestly its hard to tell those two aren't the real thing)
priceless gifts for which i could never begin to repay these precious friends
i see generosity like this as a form of God's love for us being displayed through human hands
a gift i never wish to take for granted
thank you my dear friends katie, fran & kristin
my love for you is endless
& my words of gratitude not enough

Gratitude is the fairest blossom
which springs from the soul.
~Henry Ward Beecher

Monday, March 30, 2009


~ herb and his sisters circa 1923~

Dan's precious daddy is very sick. His sister called late last night and explained some symptoms that pop pop was experiencing. She & I talked and felt like he needed to get to the emergency room immediately.

Dan & I are headed there now....things sound very, very serious. The preliminary report is that he is in renal failure.

He was perfectly fine a week ago when he came and took all the girls out for icecream, perfectly fine.

You might remember that last summer his dear wife, Dan's mom went to be with the Lord.

Please pray for this precious man and for the doctors treating him

....a sweeter man you will not find.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

~~on tiptoe~~

I remember the first time I heard Louie Giglio speak. I thought he was one of the most gifted speakers I had ever heard~ bringing the word of God alive in such a dynamic way. Someone completely so in love with the Lord it was infectious. 20 years later, I can tell you he continues to be my number 1 fave teacher..... as far as guys are concerned,
Beth Moore is my all time most favorite female speaker :)

Louie is the founder of the Passion Movement which has, for about a dozen years, reached college campuses & ministered to many countries all over the world.

Louie, along with Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman have actually begun a church here in Atlanta.
I am so fired up excited about this I can hardly contain myself!!

These three guys have played a huge huge role in completely changing the sound of contemporary praise and worship. Their finger on the pulse of the next generation.

Chris moved here from Texas ( i think) and Matt moved here from England. Their heart to touch Atlanta & thus, touch the world.

Currently meeting one sunday evening a month in various venues. Each meeting the offering going to various charities.

Sunday night was their second meeting. All six of us headed out. My expectations were ridiculously high. I'm all over Chris's music & haven't heard Louie live in forever. I was completely giddy driving over there , so excited to see what the Lord had in store. I had wondered if we would be privileged to have Chris lead worship as he's currently on tour.

Sure 'nuf...they were all there, give or take another couple thousand folks.

music amazing

Louie phenomenal

Worship pure

over 50K raised to help free women from the bondage of prostitution

church? now that's what i'm talking 'bout

I'll get to my entry title soon ~ promise

So just before worship, I glanced over & recognized Melissa Moore-- as in daughter of fore mentioned Beth Moore. (actually she's married now -couldn't recall her married name).
So I decided to go introduce myself, you know -feeling all outgoing and friendly. I mean Chris Tomlin is moments away from rocking the house, so i'm fired up.
We chat
she's gorgeous

I think i mumbled something like....ummm...are you melissa? umm....Moore....I read your blog...I'm praying for you and Angie and your fantastic trip
( you know, the ole' celebrity- blog -name- drop).....

I should have said
" hi i'm paige,
freaky blog stalker
and think it must be amazing to be you
beth moore's daughter 'n all
christain royalty in the flesh
next time beth's in town & ya'll are up for lunch
just text me
i'm in"

but i refrain
she tells me she's glad i came over and "saved her"
turns out a couple of guys were flirting with her
maybe God will give me brownie points for that one.

on to the main reason for my entry

Caroline was maybe as excited about going as I was. She can belt out some tunes I tell ya.
She was dressed in a kickin' ensemble
complete with black patent leather ballet flats
had her pink bible, a journal and glittery pencil
chruch requirements for every 8 year old
she took 3 pages of notes

During the final worship, with heads bowed
I could hear a little tip tap noise
I peeked opened my eyes , glanced down
to see those precious little ballet flats up on tippy toes
realizing sweet Caroline had both arms straight up
reaching up to heaven
eyes closed
face up
standing on tiptoe
touching the heart of the Father in worship
the most precious site i've ever had the privilege of witnessing

matthew 19.14

Jesus said,
Let the little children come to me,
and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

oh that I would have a heart that desires to reach out and touch Him

He delights in our worship
He delights in a pure & simple heart

(ps--the link for Passion City Church opens up to their event on Good Friday. don't be confused...the church is free....this is a seperate event they are hosting. we'll be there. give me a holler if you want to hook up)

Friday, March 20, 2009

spring's first day

13 years ago today , on the first day of spring
i sat in a hospital--
the doctor told us gregg "might" have 3-5 years
(he ended up with 8 months)
the results were positive for melanoma.
his story is here.
a season change indeed
i was more amazed that life kept going for the 'everyone else' out there
i needed time to catch my breath
i needed time to make sense of the senseless

five years later
i was at a different hospital
on the first day of spring
sweet caroline elizabeth came into my world
a sign of new life & new beginnings
another change of season
all wrapped up in blond hair & blue eyes

I don't want to spiritualize what is not
but the truth is she could have been born any one of the other 364 days that year
but God allowed her to come that very day
I choose to see that precious detail as a tender gift from Him
The One that knows I'm all about the details
The One who saw every tear
& heard every prayer
The One who knows I need order in the midst of uncertainty
The One who knows how i struggle with fear

The scripture says His mercies are new every morning
& that there is a time for everything
for every season
I still struggle with fears, especially health related
but having another baby girl who's daddy is my soul mate
was a gift i never could imagine possible
a reminder that even in the midst of a storm
He is there
He loves me
& He is the giver of all good gifts

Each year on her birthday I love to tell her ,
"Listen Caroline, the birdies are singing Happy Birthday to you"

Sweet girl wears her "my birthday is on the first day of spring" as if it were a national holiday.
Happy Birthday sweet child of mine

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
psalm 139. 17~18

Monday, March 16, 2009

what 14 looks like

what 14 looks like on madison~
new funky bob
1, 163 songs on her ipod
red nails
still hates green beans
literary crush~edward cullen
has read pride & prejudice 32 times ( or so)
has read the 7th harry potter too many to count
messy room
callused feet from 11 years of dance
tender hearted
best friend~ anabel
owns 10 pairs of heels
owns 0 pairs of sneakers
movie lover
gifted program social studies
advanced math
daily IM with her sweet aussie friend kirstie
seven jeans
campus life leader
easiest child to please

Thursday, March 12, 2009

on my bookshelf

A couple of years ago I unintentionally began a campaign to become a book worm. Being a former CSI, Law & Order , and Food Network groupie- I basically had to go cold turkey. Now, except to hang with one of my girls, I watch little to no tv...like ever. I have however completely whizzed through many wonderful books and feel this is a much better way to spend my time. With the added demise of my four favorite magazine publications, I am more focused than ever....climbing in my crisp white linens each night to snuggle up with my chosen book.

When we rolled over our calenders to begin 2009 I decided I wanted to do a better job of documenting what I've read. I am by no means a literary critic, I'm not even in a book club for crying out loud, but here are a few that I've read this year & some of my thoughts.

To Kill a Mockingbird~ just finished this one ...what can i say--amazingly written. had to slow down to enjoy the beauty of this one. Atticus Finch-definitely a literary hero of mine & that Scout-to think she is Caroline's age- I love it. Wish I could speak the same beautiful language in my everyday dialogue that Harper Lee has written with ( already I've made a grammatical error). The copy I purchased had the ruffed edges....love that. Hoping to include more classics in my repertoire.

Redeeming Love~my #1 fave of all time. beautiful story of unconditional love. run grab this one & I dare you to take longer than 24 hours to complete.

Same Kind of Different as Me~ OH WOW! my #2 fave book. wore me out emotionally. challenged many of my convictions. inspired my to love my fellow man ( decidedly a stretch for me being that i can't even tolerate my next door neighbor--literally). wish i could make a difference in my world like these folks. true story. minor spoiler here....having sat beside my husband as he left this world due to the horrors of cancer, there is a part of this book that i doubted i could finish.....glad i did.....i highly recommend this one & i dare you not to be changed
website here

goodness me, that's the last dare, i promise.

Magic Hour~ couldn't put it down...precious story

Firefly Lane~ my #3 fave. wonderful story of a life long friendship...total tearjerker

Big Cherry Holler, Milk Glass Moon~ total winners

Home to Big Stone Gap~ fourth in the series, sitting by my bed waiting to be read. with a cover like this, it too is destined to be a winner

Mary Alice Monroe~ my fave author. love everything she has written. everything.

Grace Based Parenting~phenomenal book!! i don't prefer self help books but had this one recommended to me. hoping i can put into practice what i've learned & wishing i had read this years ago. need to write a whole post sharing some of his words. a must read

Snow Flower & the Secret Fan~ I'll be honest, swapped out a paperback while at the beach on my last day & needed something to read. intense story. started out not liking this one but the ending is beautiful ...totally worth it.

Nights in Rodanthe~in true melancholy Nicholas Sparks form-i give it a fair. much preferred The Notebook and The Wedding. loved one of the relationships which incidentally was omitted from the movie which i found ridiculously boring . someone please give diane lane a better hair cut.

The Off Season~ a little disappointing and totally weird ending.

The Secret Life of Bees~loved it. in my top 10 for sure. loved the movie even more...how often does that occur. cried like a baby . gonna add that one to our dvd library (which gives me another thought --favorite movies post) The Mermaid Chair~bought this in hardback simply because I loved the cover and it mentioned mermaids which follows along in my love of all things related to the sea. tried to read it, thought it was too weird. never finished it. movie was weird enough. what was i thinking? The Tenth Circle~ok, any book who's title is referring to Dante's 9 circles of hell is bound to be too much for me. at the risk of sounding cliche, i need more of a happy ending. well written but absolutely no redemption in the entire book. being the first jodi picoult book i read, i was hopeful the ending would indeed have some one being redeemed. yuck. didn't like that at allCurrently reading My Sisters Keeper~should finish it tonight. do tell, are all her characters completely forlorn? geez

Change of Heart~i'll tell you what is changing-my plans on reading this one. flipped to and read a random page & decided definitely not for me. sorry jodi, i will give you one more try. anyone have any advice? i hate to throw the towel in on a hugely popular author....but really

The Swan House~ ok, this one is actually my #3 fave. not that you care about accuracy here, but i LOVED this story. historical Atlanta fiction. (on a side note~ the Swan House is an authentic old home in downtown that serves an amazing lunch and even more amazing merangue swans for desert).... a must read for all southern girls.

The Dwelling Place~ ( the Swan House sequel)the main character was a little to grumpy for me, but otherwise loved it.

Searching for Eternity~ love Elizabeth Musser's work but found this one a tad disappointing.

Another book I swapped at the beach was Water for Elephants- since everyone is reading it. peer pressure. but truth be told, i hate the circus. hate the circus. years ago i vowed never to go again. think the people are totally weird but most importantly cry like a baby when i see those poor mistreated beautiful elephants. that combined with my inability to handle any sad story about animals, i 've yet to read this one. would someone kindly tell me if i should move forward & give it a try?

True Colors~ just released. love the cover--seashells. trying to decide if i want to purchase this one in hardback or go the way of the library due to the tanked economy.

Dan is cruising through the Harry Potter series--stopped just before book 5 to read Same Kind Of Different thanks to my request. I finished book 5 last year & needed a Harry Potter vacation before I plowed through book 6 & 7 ....my girls think I'm not a true fan. sigh.
Also read the first two of the Twilight series. started sounding redundant so i passed on the last two. movie was a pathetic disappointment.
LOVED The Shack. want to read that one over & over.
Incidentally, on the Beth Moore blog, one of her daughters also did a book post. there is just shy of 2,000 comments of favorite books. i blitzed through the first 400 comments as if i had nothing else to do....looks like The Shack, Same Kind of Different as Me, Pride & Prejudice, & Redeeming Love where the front runners.
Would love to hear some of your faves my friends~