Wednesday, July 29, 2009

57 years ago today

57 years ago today, in Newport News, Virginia, I was born. My parents always told me that it was a most exciting day for them. They were most excited that I had been born healthy. Two years earlier their first child, a son, died when he was two days old. It was devastating to them, so they were most apprehensive when I was born, and so grateful for a bouncing baby girl.

My parents named me Lea Beth, the Lea is from the Bible (even though it should have been spelled Leah) and Beth was just a name that Dad and Mom liked. I went by my full name until sometime in high school and at that time, I dropped the Beth and just went by Lea.

I have felt very celebrated today. The day began by the girls at the office having a celebration f or me. They have always referred to me as "Momma Lea" and treat me very special. It was a great beginning to a super day! My family celebrated with me this evening at a habachi grill. What a fun dining experience it was. I have never been to a habachi grill, so that made it all the more enjoyable. They made me a balloon hat and sang to me and my family showered me with gifts. It has been a memorable day for sure!

Today marks the beginning of my 57th year. I pray that there will be more good than bad this coming year. But, just as in the past, regardless of what comes my way, the Lord will go before me and will walk with me through whatever comes my way and He will see me through. What blessed assurance!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why do I blog?

I thought that maybe folks might wonder why I blog, or for that matter, why does anyone blog. Perhaps it seems as a waste of time to some. There are many reasons that folks blog. For some it is to promote a business, for some, a cause, and for others it serves as a connection and sharing with others. My reason would be the latter, a way to connect and share a part of my life with others. And, I enjoy reading other blogs and began to think that there might be a few folks that would enjoy reading a blog I had written. Thus, I entered the "blogging world" about 4 months ago.

I have found a website that prints blogs and makes them into a book. I was so excited when I found it and will definitely be using their services when I get about 6 months worth of blogging done. I am hopeful that they will be something that my children will enjoy one day.

My blog design has been a work in progress ever since I started it. I have never been completely happy with the layout, but it took a lot of "trial and error" to get it to the point that it is today. It also took the help of a "fellow blogger" that was sweet enough to lend me a helping hand. I am very pleased with the overall look now. I wanted something that was pleasing to the eye, but still had a certain "cuteness" to it. :)

Now, a blogger loves comments, so I hope you will take the time to comment occasionally. Yes, it takes a minute, but that's not much out of a whole day. :) I probably have 4-5 regular followers at this point, but I'm hopeful that my followers will grow as time goes by. But, if it doesn't, it will not keep me from blogging because I blog for myself, if someone else enjoys it, then that's just "icing on the cake."

If you received this blog through an email, please do go and actually check out my newly designed blog. I think you will like it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Dad, he really is human............

I bet my "blog followers" read that title with much interest. Since my Mom's death, 7 1/2 months ago, I have gotten to know my Dad in a whole new way. First, I never really thought about what either my Dad or my Mom would do if something happened to one of them. But, I guess I thought my Dad, being the spiritual giant that he is and the wisdom that he possesses, would just pick up with his life and go forth. How crazy! Ministers have emotions and feelings just like everyone else. They are not above grief and hurt and need the same support and encouragement that all of us do at such a time.

I am NOT just now realizing the deep grief and loss that he has felt since Mom died, but have just reflected and realized that for a time I seemed to have forgotten that he is only human. To see him grieve the loss of Mom has made my grieve all the harder. I have wanted to do something to make it all better for him. He has often said to me in these past months that there is nothing anyone can do (outside of prayer and support), it's just something he has to come through. And, that's true with any of us.

It was about a month ago that he shared with me that he was beginning to feel the "fog lifting" and the adjustment getting some easier. I was so thrilled and have prayed earnestly for that to happen. I don't know that I can describe the deep feelings that I have for my Dad and the love and honor that I feel he deserves. It has done my heart good to realize that he really is human and feels and shares the same emotions as everyone else. I imagine that many of his friends have likely had some of my same feelings and have felt he was exempt from the real grief that others feel. I imagine their eyes have been opened just as mine as they have observed and shared with him over these past months.

My prayer is that the fog will continue to lift and he can find true happiness for the remaining years of his life. Yes, my Dad really is human and that causes me to love him even more.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Catching Up..........

It has been a little over 2 weeks since I posted a blog and I have missed it so much. But, once again, we have been gone. I can post from my laptop, but loading pictures using my cell phone as my modem, just does not work so well. And, I wanted to be able to post pictures.

We are so glad to be home. We were suppose to leave again this Wed. for Point Clear, AL and decided on Friday that home just felt too good to leave again that soon. We have been "on the go" since May and have grown weary, so we canceled our trip.

We had such a good time in Des Moines visiting with my baby brother, Joel and his family. Joel has and always will hold a very special place in my heart. He was born in March before my 13th birthday in July. I have always felt very motherly towards him and feel "grandmotherly"
to his two precious children.

Ashley will be going off to Northern Iowa University in mid August and Warren will be entering the 8th grade. They are such good kids and a real joy to be around. I am just sorry that we live so many miles apart and cannot share in each other's lives more.

Of course, going to Stillwater was exciting as usual. Clancy continues to grow by leaps and bounds and is still such a happy little boy and appears to already love his CiCi and Poppa. We are so grateful that we are able to go as much as we are and to share in his life.

In closing, I'm not sure that I will ever fully adapt to anything but a traditional way of worship. I'm reminded of that fact everytime we sing one of the old hymns and this morning really reminded me of that fact. We sang I'd Rather Have Jesus and the words of that song rang through my heart and I had to ask myself, would I really rather have Jesus? Does my life exemplify that I would rather have Jesus than anything this world affords? It's easy for me to say that it does , but the important thing is that my life live it out in each day. My prayer for this week is that I would REALLY rather have Jesus than anything this world affords. Does anything else really matter? I do not think so.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

35 Year Celebration!

In the fall of 1973 Tommy and I were living on Savannah Avenue in Monroe, LA. He was working for Commerical Insurance Companies as a claims adjuster and I was working at First Baptist Church, Monroe. Tommy had heard that State Farm Insurance was going to be placing a new agent in Bastrop and he wanted to apply for the position. I wish that I could tell you that I supported him in that wish, but I did not. I was 21 years old and as far as I was concerned life was going along just fine. We both had good jobs, had bought a new house and had a relatively new vehicle. Besides, he had moved me 1000 miles away from my family, so why couldn't he live at least 25 miles from his. Being the driven man that he is, he went forth with his desire and made the necessary contacts to find out how he could apply for the position. He just continued to tell me all the positive things about the position and figured I would "jump on board" sooner or later.

A few months later he was approved for the position and we would begin preparing for him to begin on July 1, 1974. There was much to do, selling our home and finding one to buy in Bastrop, finding office space for him to rent and furnishing it with the basic items he would need to run the business. Our funds were very limited so we bought an older small home and remodeled it. He found an old building to rent and hung his sign and opened the doors. He had his work cut out for him. State Farm would pay him a subsidy for the first 2 years, but it was not near enough for us to live on, even with my working. So, off to Bastrop National Bank Tommy went to see about getting a loan. When we signed the papers for that loan, we were both scared too death and wondered how in the world we would ever be able to pay it back.
As the saying goes, "the rest is history." That was 35 years ago and along with a lot of hard work and a very good staff, Tommy has built an agency that now houses over 2400 policies. We are so thankful to the Lord for His giving Tommy this opportunity and to the people of this community for their loyal support throughout the years. Of course, it wasn't long after we moved and Tommy begun his business that I realized it was a good decision and Tommy was most wise to ignore my attitude and go forth with what he thought he should do. It has and continues to be a "good ride."

My Aunt Wanda

My Aunt Wanda was the reason for my trip to Virginia last week. She is my Mom's sister, and is the only sibling left out of 5. She was the oldest of the children and celebrated her 87th birthday this past May 10th. She is the mother to 4 sons, the Grandmother and Great Grandmother to many. Her husband, my Uncle Frankie, died about 12 years ago and she manages to fill her time with her family, her yard, her church, volunteering and traveling. She is a remarkable woman to say the least. As you can see from the pictures above, she continues to work in her yard and leads the life of someone in the 60's. I have a lot of admiration for her and can only hope that I have inherited her genes. I feel an extra sense of closeness to her now that my Mom is gone and I think she feels the same way about me. I just wanted to share this amazing woman with you through my blog. Thanks for reading!