Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Recap

We all went to Carla's on Christmas Eve. I arrived around noon and Carla and I went to Publix to get items for dinner. We decided on sandwiches. We had done the elaborate dinner last weekend and there were presents to be unwrapped, so we didn't want dirty dishes to come between us and presents! We got yummy rolls from the bakery and I had portabello mushrooms on mine with tomatoes and romaine and peppers. And Kettle Chips!

Papa won this 25lb Chocolate Santa from Kilwin's. Yes, 25lbs. The Santa and Natty weigh the same. And Kilwin's Chocolate is really, really good.

We opened presents. Carson got a gorilla costume and toys. The girls got laptops from Nona and Papa. I got one too. Natty didn't feel good and was later diagnosed with a double ear infection. Poor baby.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The New Year

I am gonna ring in the New Year with my friends Remi and Sara. Sara and I went to college together. Remi is French and they are missionaries in Cyprus and home on furlough. I am going to do the Daniel Fast again this year as an offering of first fruits for the new year.

Nehemiah 10:35 "We also assume responsibility for bringing to the house of the LORD each year the firstfruits of our crops and of every fruit tree".

I want 2009 to begin with spiritual giving, a simple consecration of self and time.

The Daniel Fast is obviously derived from Daniel Chapter 1 in him not eating of the King's meat. I already do not eat meat, so this is not a sacrifice, but bread, dairy and sugar of any kind will be a change. This website offers helpful information for others who may want to do the Daniel Fast:

I want to spend these first three weeks (and the other remaining 49 for that matter) with a focus on Christ and our relationship and with an awareness of and dependency upon Him. I believe that certain things only come about through prayer and fasting. I want to learn to set my mind, will and emotions in the back seat in all things, including eating. This is an area where I often allow my emotions to overcome and that is not good. It is a small, small sacrifice to make. So after a visit to Kroger, I have a refrigerator full of fruits and vegetables and am looking forward to the Fast. My end goal is simple and all I could ever want in this life, more intimacy, learning to make more time for Him, and seeking His face.

As Heidi says, "I don't fast to get favor, I fast to get hungry".

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas in Virginia

I am going to Virginia for Christmas. I am going to Mama Deane's to rest. She appropriately quotes from Mark 6 in reference to her lovely home on the River in Norfolk. "Come ye apart and rest awhile". It's not the desert. It is a lovely place of peace and solace. I met Deane in Mozambique. I recall the day quite vividly. I had only been there a few days, maybe a week, and was starting to get a little uncomfortable in our tiny house with so many people. I heard a commotion on the front porch and went to answer the door. There was a woman standing there dressed from head to toe in white linen, with about 6 suitcases, all colorful and matching. She had a Southern accent. I wanted to love her and welcome her in...but we had 10 people in this house and there was just no way she was movin' in with me. I admit I kinda gave her the cold shoulder as I began to think of another human being sharing the already overcrowded bathroom, consuming the water that I had just hauled up from the well at the bottom of the road. I stared her down, rather than hug this precious weary one. I thought she was nuts and just fell off the turnip truck showin' up in white linen to Africa of all places. Little did I know at the time, that I would fall in love with Mama Deane and all her suitcases and her white linen and her Vera Bradley and her colorful jewelry, and her humongous heart. I have learned more from Mama Deane this year than I probably have from anyone in a very long time. She has taught me about giving. She practices what she preaches, she loves to bless others and she gives wildly, because her faith and her trust rests in her God. She's been hurt, disappointed, crushed, and she uses those places of brokenness to make herself a vessel for God to use to bless others in need. She is amazing. She is a living, breathing example, that you can't out give God. She tries.

So I am headed there, to sit on her quiet little dock with a cup of coffee, my book reading for school, and maybe one or two from Mama Deane's library, and my iPod. I hope to go for long runs if the weather permits and simply rest. Mama Deane has the most amazing library of books ever! They are on shelves all over the house, and often you will find multiple copies of the book. Like your very own Barnes & Noble! and she gives them to you!!! You best be careful. If you say you like will come home with it! What a heart! Last time I was there she literally gave me the shirt (polar fleece) off her back as she wanted me to be warm while I waited in the airport. Just about once a month I will find a little package on my back stoop...a recently discovered book that Deane thought I would enjoy, sent to my backdoor via the convenience of! It is the greatest treat for me. Books and Packages are two of my favorite things! She says she likes me because she doesn't have to "re-educate" me. It makes me laugh. She likes people who think like her. She is extremely opinionated. So am I. We get along. We shake our heads when we come to the realization in our conversation that not everyone thinks like we do. So we both left little chunks of our hearts under the big stars in Africa. Deane is sponsoring several boys there, paying tuition for them to further their education, one boy is in medical school. She beams when she talks about them. So we'll sit by the fire, and talk about her boys in Africa, politics in the United States and abroad, shake our heads in disappoinment at all those people out there that just don't see things the way we do, solve all the world's problems, eat grits and drink sweet tea.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Round 1

We went to Carla's yesterday for a Pre-Christmas Celebration with the McCarley Grand's. Emma Grace pretended to be a little old lady with Poppie's cane. She is such a ham and a performer, I have no idea where she gets that. Carson wanted to play Hide and Go Seek, Marco Polo style? Not sure what that was all about. It takes the fun out of hiding and scaring the daylights out of each other if you ask me. Mom and Dad played with the Punkins. Granny held the Baby...and yes, he is a baby...not an overweight 5 year old as he appears to be here, sitting on Gran's lap. He is 9 months old. 9 months! Catherine was around somewhere...I know because I flat ironed her hair. I think she was upstairs watching "Gidget". She's 11 and way too cool to hang with us. I had a Christmas Party last night and was supposed to wear a tacky Christmas sweater...Mom hooked me up.

Christmas Menu

Carla is the best cook in the whole wide world. It's like having Paula Deen for a sister! Minus the Virginia Slims. She even is kind enough to support my pescatarian lifestyle. This is just a sampling of yesterday's meal.
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls Cider
Breakfast Casserole

Mom's Curried Fruit



I had Baby Shuggar for Dessert...

I know it is cruel, to make a baby go nekkid at Christmas. But it was almost 70 degrees on this day and I cannot deny you these rolls. The clothed version is not near as much fun, just count the rolls on that arm...And there is sooooo much shugar to get on the nekkid version too. It's better than Rum Cake.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rum Cake

I'm gonna bake this for a Christmas Party. Granted I had to borrow the Bundt Pan from Betty, not sure if you can trust the baked goods of one who has to borrow pots and pans......oh! and she even brought me the brown sugar, enough for the recipe, as she had a little and I was out or if I did have any I am sure it is hard as a rock. So I am still going to attempt it. I'm gonna dry this dark rum called 1 Barrel, it's Belizean. Wish me luck. I'll let you know how it turns out. And if it's good, I will make another while I have the bundt pan on loan and bring it Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

still small voice

I honestly don't even know where to begin or how to attempt to share this message. But I do know that I just have to share it. Last night in class, the leader guy stood up in his above garage room where we meet twice a week, in his sock feet and jeans, and simply shared what was on his heart. Toward the end he pointed to a lady in the back of the room and asked her to share what she had shared with him earlier. Someone handed a mic to Rita. Rita and her daughter drive all the way from Alabama to come to class. She runs a Christian school and they come all that long way in a white church van. I am not sure how old Rita is, but her daughter is about my age. Rita just has this way about her. You are drawn to her because she is real. She has a smile on her face and a look about her, you know she can be trusted, you know she is strong, you know she is honest and genuine, you know she's a good cook. She has long hair and bangs. She has a sweet face and an Alabama accent and a big mother heart. She takes the mic and says, "You know how God just tells you to do something? Well, I just knew God was telling me to go somewhere. I didn't actually hear His voice or anything, but I just knew that he had me get up in the middle of the night because he wanted me to go somewhere". She begins to describe a road near her house and how she was awakened about 1:00am, with thoughts about this place, this dead end road near her house, and how she just knew that God wanted her to go there...right then. She woke up her husband and told him, "God wants me to go somewhere". He woke up and said, "That's good" and rolled back over. She told him, "No, he wants me to go to that dead end dirt road and you're going with me". So they get up. At 1:00 in the morning, and get in the truck and drive to this dead end dirt road because Rita heard a still small voice. She says they were in the car for about 20 minutes. To me, that is a long time to sit in the truck, at a dead end, in the middle of the night, with a grumpy husband. She said she just kept thinking, "My husband's gonna think I'm crazy". As she was telling her story I started to feel her pain. You know that still small voice. I've heard it before. Sometimes I have acted on it, other times, I have rolled back over and forced myself back to sleep. I suddenly became nervous for her, knowing what it is like to put yourself out there and knowing what the grunts from her husband must have done to her racing heart and butterflies in her stomach. I have wrestled with those thoughts in my head and convinced myself that I am not crazy and other times I just let go and realize that maybe I am nuts and my cornbread ain't cooked. After about 20 minutes in the truck, Rita said they saw headlights and a car came flying down the dirt road, coming to a halt at the dead end. She said a woman got out and asked, in an angry tone, "What are you doing here?". Rita simply said, "God told me to come here." She said the lady started weeping. She said she had seen the woman before but didn't know her at all. Rita said she then got out of her truck, and got into the passenger seat of the car with the lady. There she found a gun and a suicide note. The lady had come there to take her life. To take her life! To take her life! The lady had come out of desperation, because she felt alone and unloved. And God in Heaven, Creator of the Universe woke up a little woman in Alabama and told her to go somewhere, because His beloved daughter was about to take her own life. Rita simply went when she heard the word, "Go!" and a she saved a woman's life and brought her hope and a revelation of just how precious she is. I'm undone.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


My friend Beth's husband affectionately refers to me as, "when's Company coming?" "are you talking to Company?", "tell Company to come over and help me download music?"...Last night I had Company of my own. Dear, sweet, Sarah. I met Sarah in Mozambique. On my first day there, I get assigned to House 15. I walk into my room, both bottom bunks are taken. "Dang! I am too old to be climbing up a bunk bed", I say...aloud, to myself...but then again, there are rats in Mozambique, so I will count my blessings and climb the ladder...but rats can climb too.... I throw my stuff on a top bunk, the one on the left, because I always choose left...over right, nothing political, just another quirk. I soon learn the name of the bottom bunk occupant. Sarah. She's from Georgia. Lawrenceville to be exact. She went to UGA. She has beautiful red hair and more freckles than me, and a smile that lights up a Continent. I almost killed her while we were there. The beds were really rickety. I commented daily on the rickety bed, but never once did anything about it. Until, one day while climbing down, the rickety bed fell apart and my mattress and the large boards underneath came crashing down on Sarah's. Praise Jesus she had gotten up earlier. I guess I told her about that? Anyway, she is amazing. She is a missionary in Africa with street kids and loves working with poor, stinky, steal from you in a heartbeat street boys. She has great hope and faith that Jesus can change them and she sees it happen all the time. She takes them into town for pizza and bumper car rides and their first ever milkshake. She's watched little boys die of AIDS. Our hearts are there together. She's here on furlough. She makes me miss it. I loved just having her here, in my home. I think we could sit for hours in silence and just "be". She brings a peace and comfort wherever she goes. She's awesome.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Some more about Hebem'

So my entry below about Hebem' was a bit of an introduction. I have been thinking a lot about Hebem' lately, not in a longing to go there 'cause it stinks down here kinda way, but in a new way of thinking living from a new dimension, living under an open heaven kinda way. It is all terribly complicated to explain, but the first time I experienced anything like this was in Africa. There was something different about that little compound where Iris Ministries is headquartered. Maybe it was just the great big stars in the sky or the ocean view, but there was something different about that territory and I don't think it was just in the natural. It was something you could feel. There was a peace in the midst of poverty and sickness and theft and chaos. I found myself describing it as an open Heaven. So I am learning in this life, that all the tangible stuff around us is fleeting and so incredibly temporal, but the things of the spirit are what last forever. Every single culture lives by this, but ours, and can tell you that the things of the spirit are far greater than the tangible things we touch. India totally lives by this. So if the things of the spirit realm are more real than this keyboard, I want to know more. If I can see the color of this dust covered piece of plastic, I don't understand why I can't see the things God has prepared for me, not just when I die, but why not now, when I need it most? When my heart and flesh cry out and I want to walk as Jesus did. If I am going to do so, I need to know something of the Heavenlies. Really long story short, an absolutely amazing woman of God came to class last week, shared her simple, sweet, beautiful testimony. I held on to every word as she revealed a life of a little girl, feeling so unloved and unlovely, falling in love with God in a really cool, real, tangible, awesome way. Then she began to tell us of how God speaks to her and reveals things to her in very vibrant detail and of her visits to Heaven. Yep. I already told you, "my cornbread ain't cooked", so you've been warned. So, long story short, she took us there. She encouraged us to use our imagination, because it was created by God and he uses that to take us places and reveal things to us. I guess I saw using my imagination is just extending a hand, so He could pull me up. And obviously this is not some kinda New Age freaky mind separated from your body Devil stuff. My cornbread might not be cooked but I ain't stupid. It is simply coming to a new place with my Creator, not praying and asking for stuff, not even praise or worship, but a place of abandonment and awe and expectation and intimacy with Him. The only other basic of the "steps of going to Heaven" were that one is to imagine themselves as a child. It's pretty much common sense, it is how Jesus tells us we are to come if we want to enter the Kingdom. I really want to get into what I saw, but if you want to know more specifics, just ask. (I have a total of two followers now, both related to me, directly and indirectly, but I still count you!) So! I imagined myself standing before Jesus. I could not see his face, but I could see His hands and feet. I was dressed in blue corduroy Oshkosh b'gosh overalls, white leather tennis shoes with a red nike swoosh and pigtails. He leaned over and whispered in my ear, "I love you and I have been here all the time". He then grabbed my hands and twirled me around, so hard and so fast and it was so exhilarating that it took my breath away. His hands were so incredibly strong. I laughed. He set me down. I then asked Him to take me to my garden. He walked ahead of me and I ran behind him. We came upon a wall, with stacked stones and entered this pretty, lush, green, kinda English garden. Something like this: It was attached to an English style cottage that looked a bit like this. There were all kinds of flowers in the garden, lots of vines and a ton of butterfly bushes that attracted hundreds of butterflies and there were roses in the garden and it smelled lovely. The wall, on the inside had small moss covered hills up against it on either side, to the north and the south. One side was attached to the house on the west. These moss covered hills were almost like as if you had leaned mattresses up against the walls at an angle. You could practically walk by and just topple over and rest on them, lie on your back and read a book. So I did. When I looked, I noticed I was now wearing a dress, a peach colored one and I had ribbons in my hair. There was a woman coming in and out of the house, setting up tea and bringing out sugar cookies and petit fours. She was wearing an apron with a flounce and a white cap. I ran barefoot up the moss covered hill and simply jumped over the wall.
There were puppies there too. And their breath smelled like butterscotch. They climbed up on my chest and nuzzled my neck and made me giggle. Jesus and I ran with the horses and you could just grab their manes and hoist yourself up on them. I asked Jesus where the ocean was because it is my favorite thing and he showed me. We were high above it. I believe this is an illustration of the heights and depths of His love and my garden is in the heights! I wanted to see what was inside the house. I saw a wardrobe and a bed. The house was a typical English sea cottage. It was simple. Furnished with a few beautiful antiques. This is as good a picture as Google and I can come up with. There were chandeliers in the house that were beautiful and seemed to be the centerpiece of the room, as most of the English style furnishings were very basic and only a piece or two in each room. Jesus told me that the chandeliers were made of my tears. I know, I know the Bible says they are stored up in Heaven and nothing is said about being made into overhead lighting, but mine are! And they are stunning gorgeous clear crystal chandeliers that light up a room, many rooms, in my sea cottage. They serve a purpose and sad things were turned into a thing of delicate beauty.

There was more to it, but that was it for the most part. I asked about the woman bringing out the cakes and cookies and he told me that was God's mother heart. That God has this HUGE mother heart, that loves me like a mother, serves me, dotes on me, loves on me, feeds me cakes and tea. You have a garden too. I don't know if there are butterscotch breathed puppies there, but I can promise that it is awesome and once seeing it, you can never deny His love for you.


I love love love the movie It's a Wonderful Life. It is probably my most favorite movie ever, or certainly in the top 5. I love Jimmy Stewart in just about everything he did (not real big on Westerns, but that is not his fault). He was amazing in Rear Window and everything he ever did for that matter. But, I digress. So I love the character of Clarence Oddbody, Angel 2nd Class. He makes me smile and sometimes I wonder just what my angel is like. Is he "dumb as a rabbit" like Clarence? I don't think so. But Clarence is so absolutely adorable. Just about every single time I hear the word "Heaven", I repeat it back in my mind like Clarence says it, "Hebem". This clip is ten minutes long, but he says it within the first few seconds...just watch!

He's good and He's in a good mood.

The clips below are from Graham Cooke. I suggest you curl up in a chair, pull a blanket over you, turn off the lights, close your eyes, and listen...

The Nature of God, Part 1

The Nature of God, Part 2

He Loves You...for real.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

ebay baby!

Mission accomplished. I journeyed deep into the heart of Georgia, before the sun came up and arrived at my destination just as parking was becoming scarce. The doors had opened at 8:00am and I arrived very shortly thereafter. I scanned my competition...piece of cake. There were not a whole lot of people there, enough that I had to shop quick, but not so many that I was in danger of being trampled. I was really not as focused on the competition as I was the items on display. They had a huge table of wallets, passport holders, planners, key chains, money clips and the like. Some of the wallets were $4.00, so I got a handful of those. They were mixed in with some of the newer season items, beautiful leather ladies wallets, but those were $60.00. So I moved on. If you needed a nice travel rolling suitcase, this was the place to be. I got a red Tumi 22" rolling suitcase, that retails for $395 for $99, still in the box for a friend who had put in a request. (see here) Tumi has recently launched a line of women's leather handbags that retail from $300-$500, they had those for $79 and $99. They had piles of shoe bags and accessory bags for $5.00 and a huge selection of messenger bags for $19.99. I got two weekender bags that retail for $550 for $50! I have posted all of my purchases on ebay and hope to make enough for a new laptop...say a prayer.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

a follower

I was so excited to see a new notification on my blog that I had a follower! I thought, "who could it be?" Nobody reads this, but me, Carla, and Jen. :) I thought perhaps it was a secret admirer. I clicked. It's Dad. Oh well. Glad to know you are watching though. Have fun at The Fox.

Vidalia or Bust

Well, I am headed to Vidalia, Georgia and it's not for onions. Much better than onions. It's for luggage and handbags. As I have shared among my favorite things on , I love the Tumi Outlet and once a year they have a huge sale. They have tables and tables of stuff for $20.00! I completely stumbled upon it one year as I was headed to Savannah for the holiday and always swing by there if time permits. It is a bit off the beaten path. But the little town of Vidalia is charming, as are the little towns north and south, like Claxton, home of the Claxton Fruit Cake. So, if you go, make time to visit at least one small town, stop in the square and go in the local sandwich shop or diner, I am certain you won't be disappointed. I think it was two years ago, I got a variety of stuff like this:
All with matching handbags and soft leather wallets and passport holders that were on the $5.00 and $10.00 tables. This bag retails for $125.00. The handbags are cylinder shaped and will hold either a bottle of wine or 2 burritos from Chipolte'. I can already tell I am going to lose sleep over the excitment. The last time I wound up giving everything away as gifts and kept a set for myself. I use the laptop carrier every day. This year my plan is to buy up what I can, what appears to be the best deals and post them on Ebay, baby! I would love to triple my money. Plus, it's fun.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Davis J - woo hoo!

That's ME! You know how sometimes you just know that you are gonna win? I am an eternal optimist. Every day when I get home I go to the front porch to check it for a package. I never order anything, never expect gifts (except around August 1st), yet I always check... just in case. The few times I bought lottery tickets I could not sleep at night and stayed awake through the 11 o'clock news to see if I had won. So maybe it should not come as a surprise that I would think that I would win this...But sometimes you just know stuff! Like when you are watching those lottery numbers come up and you guess a number before it comes up. You just know it is gonna be 32 and sure enough...32 pops up out of the little ping pong ball machine. Or like when you are listening to the radio and you just know the next song is gonna be "Blue Christmas" and sure enough, the next thing you know, you and Elvis are belting it out. So I just KNEW that I was gonna win! This summer I got this postcard in the mail that I almost threw out, until I saw the words "iPod nano". I already HAVE an iPod nano, but I am sucker for such things. My iPod is currently one of my favorite things ever and I carry it wherever I go. So this little postcard tells me that I can win one. Essentially my health insurance company, UnitedHealthcare, in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Community Health is gonna give away 600 iPod nano's including the Nike Plus running kit in a campaign titled, "Nuts about Health". Which means a pair of running shoes and the iPod compatible Nike chip that when placed in your shoe, will tell your iPod how far you have ran, how fast you ran, how many minutes you ran and how many calories you have burned. I have always wanted one, but talked myself out of it. I used a variety of free sources to do the same thing. I get on and chart my course on a map of College Park/East Point to plan my mileage and use my $7.49 Timex that I got on Clearance at Target to tell me how long I have been running and just do the math on distance and time. So I can get by without it, but if United Healthcare wants to give me one, well that's a horse of a different color! I read the fine print and find out that they are giving away 600 to state employees who do these stupid health modules. Being a proper researcher I found out there are 696,919 people I am up against and determine that not many are going to do what it takes to qualify. I had to log on and register and record my family health history, but then discovered that there is a whole history of my health online with records from my doctors, test results, drugs I have been prescribed and all of that. To complete the modules they want you to read a bunch of 8th Grade Health Book chapters about diet and exercise and at the end of each chapter there was a test. Once you completed one test you had to wait 7 days to take the other portions. So it took me about 2 months to complete the one module necessary for entry into the drawing. But I marked my calendar each week and logged on on the appropriate dates and would quick skip straight to the test, not reading the chapter at all because a monkey could answer the questions. I had the drawing date of Dec 1st marked on my calendar. Yes, I know what you are thinking, "this poor girl needs to get a life". But, I went online today and checked and there is a list of winners!!! is first initial, last name only...But there is a Davis J. And I just know it is me!! I am already looking at nano's to pick out my new color and planning out my next half-marathon with the help of my Nike Plus running kit. Winners will receive their packets by Dec. 20th. I will be looking on the front porch every day till then. :)

P.S. Did you know?
Georgia ranks 14th in the United States for adult obesity
Georgia has the 13th highest inactivity rate at 25.9 percent
Approximately 10 percent (6,700) of Georgians die from obesity each year
Georgia is in the top 15 states for the highest obesity rates for youths ages 10 through 17
Approximately 10 percent of adult Georgians have diabetes
Top three causes of death in Georgia – cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke