G-burg

We made our way back to the great state of Tennessee on Wednesday. After settling in to yet another Hampton Inn, we decided to head out amongst all the other Spring Breakers.

Josh and I considered ourselves officially old or maybe having officially “made it” in life. The kids ran off to ride rides. We sat and had coffee and shared a cinnamon roll and talked.

Then, as if God was saying, “I’m proud of you two and your attitudes and generosity to your kids so I’m going to reward you,” WE GOT TO SEE WOODSTOCK FRIENDS IN TENNESSEE!!!!!!! I just loved seeing each of them.
These two picked right up solving the world’s problems and adding a little sarcasm along the way.

Boyce College Visit

Thank you for bearing with me as my blog is acting more as a scrapbook and memory keeper this week than as a reflection on life or scripture. This is life! Things are happening at break-neck speed, so this is my effort to keep up.

Boyce College is located in Louisville, Kentucky. The school is closely associated with Southern Seminary. Dr. Albert Mohler is the president. I appreciate their commitment to God’s Word and that they don’t accept federal funds and can operate according to God’s Word without fear.

Everyone was so friendly and kind and helpful. I loved it! But I’m not the one going to college. Sooo, this is just one step of many in this process. Where she lands, only God knows😊

We ended with Dave & Busters with games and food.

Louisville

We had a calm, uneventful drive to Kentucky.

We enjoyed a tour of Louisville Sluggers Museum. The tour guide seemed nice and knowledgeable, but we couldn’t understand a word he said with his mask on🤷🏼‍♀️

Fun day! We ended with Outback for dinner and back to the hotel to sleep. Next stop, Boyce College.

First stop, TENNESSEE

The Lord has graciously blessed us with long time friends, The Koesters. Ruby and Katherine were in nursery together from their very first months of life! As two year olds, they shared the bond of being the baldest two year olds in the group. Maybe that’s why they stuck together. Mary and I met some time during their toddler years and were fast friends. She is the most hospitable, generous, kind and thoughtful person you could encounter. I absolutely love this whole family. Her son, Ben, is graduating from UT this May and getting married in May as well! He and his fiancé, Bailee, are moving to North Carolina, so we have even more reasons to see each other. What a huge blessing.

They fed us, gave the kids UT apparel and then took them on a tour of the campus!

Ruby didn’t put her UT apparel on🤷🏼‍♀️🙃

Ruby spent the night with Katherine while we headed to the hotel for a great night’s sleep. We woke up the next day and made a stop at Waffle House, which happened to be Olivia’s first time eating there! Love introducing people to some of our favorites.

Now, off to Kentucky!

44

I turned 44 years old on Tuesday. These years in my forties have been fruitful in a hidden, personal kind of way. In 2015, I had an impression of God picking me up and carrying me away. Sounds mystical and odd to some, but it was real to me and I journaled about it and told Josh about it and then moved on with life. Over the course of those next six months it became evident that we were going to be picking up our life in Georgia and planting ourselves in Charlotte, North Carolina. And now, from this point in life, I can look back over these almost five years and see how that impression of God carrying me has been so true of this season. Couple the growth and stress that come with a major move with raising teenagers, and I have a recipe for lots of prayer and an increasing realization that I don’t know much of anything. I mean, I hope we are doing this right, but doubts abound. Life is challenging and someone always needs a little extra attention, a little more instruction and training, and always more money. 

There are some things I reflect on over the course of 44 years and feel as if they were wrong turns, bad decisions, seasons of floundering, suffering, mistakes, missteps, darkness, or meaninglessness. I know mentally that God always sees me, always knows the path I take, but I must acknowledge it sometimes feels like His eye is not on me or maybe He isn’t paying as much attention as I want Him to. 

Deuteronomy 1:30-33  says, “The Lord your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place. But for all this, you did not trust the Lord your God, who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go.”

About these verses, G.Campbell Morgan says, “…we learn that in the government of God nothing is haphazard. How often life is a wilderness way! As we journey, there seems no map, no plan, no time table. The truth is that our God is not only accompanying us on the march; He is ever going before us, selecting the places of our pausing. Wherever at night we pitch our tents, the place is chosen by God. That is all we need to know.” 

I was challenged in remembering the faithfulness of God over my whole life, that He is fully trustworthy. Looking back on past seasons, I can say that I wish I had trusted Him more. Looking ahead, there is a list of things I am tempted to worry about or situations I might like to manipulate—but instead, I want to be carried into these future seasons in my strong Heavenly Father’s arms, trusting Him to go before me and show me the way in which I should go. He is faithful and will do it. 

Ruby and her car

We found a car for Ruby last weekend! While she was at a musical with a friend (have I told you she is so much like her Gran?!?), we bought it and parked it sideways in the driveway so she would see it when they pulled up.

They drove to church
And they are driving to school! Can you say Mama has worked herself out of a big part of her job?!? It’s weird and good at the same time.

There’s nothing quite like teaching your kids to drive and then letting them actually drive off with most of your heart buckled up inside.

Gracious, parenting is NOT for the faint of heart. I often tell Josh I feel like I’m living at my wits’ end at all times in this season of life. Lots of big breaths and learning what to harp on and what to let go. If middle school boys would decide black tennis shoes are more cool than white tennis shoes, all the middle school boy moms would be much happier and less frustrated. It would be a start anyway.

Just call me “Druie”

Everyone wants to be remembered for something great after they are gone from this earth. At the rate I am going, I am likely to be remembered for my ability to do laundry or maybe my stellar weekly grocery store runs.

Faced with this quandry of how I might be remembered, a random thought occurred to me over the months we were sequestered to home last March, April, May….until we realized we could indeed go on with life. While we were home eating all of our feelings, I decided to try and find Druie’s famous cherry pie recipe. Now, you may be wondering who Druie is.  Well, the facts are that she is Josh’s grandmother on his dad’s side. The opinion, of which an in-law, such as myself, best not question, is that she is the best cook to ever walk the planet. 

I recently asked Josh for some of his favorite dishes by Druie, and he smirked and said, “You know, everything she touched was just the best thing you’d ever put in your mouth.”  Alrighty, then. He continued, “Fried chicken, cubed steak, pork chops, corn, field peas, dressing, lemon meringue pie, cherry pie, strawberry pie…”  Abruptly interrupting him, I asked if he was fully aware that I was not at all a great cook when he married me. He said he didn’t need to eat like that on a regular basis anyway. So, it truly is no secret that cooking isn’t my favorite thing. I do it almost daily. I wish I loved it. I wish I cared enough about food to even take a second look at a recipe that involves more than four steps, but I do not. 

During our Stay-at-Home order, I made a “Cherry Delight” recipe which got raving reviews from Josh and may have been as close as I was going to get to matching the famous Cherry Pie dessert Druie made. To be fair, Irvin had tried a couple of recipes that just didn’t cut it, so my work was made easier by his previous efforts. Also thanks to Irvin, I have Druie’s Thanksgiving dressing recipe written out with clear instructions for “the best dressing known to man.” I don’t think Josh would celebrate Thanksgiving without it. 

Now just because I don’t regularly fry up chicken or whip up a pie to die for doesn’t necessarily mean that I can’t be known for my cooking skills some time far in the future when I am old and gray or maybe when I am no longer walking this earth. Here’s my plan. I am going to have my grandkids call me “Druie.” Over the course of the years and the story-telling and the recipes that will be passed down, the coming generations won’t know which Druie was the original G.O.A.T. cook. In the blur of the lines of who is who and when she lived and where, I might get even half the credit for being an amazing cook as she was and maybe it will be said of me, “you know, everything she touched was just the best thing you’d ever put in your mouth.”

Catching Up!

Amazingly, we are already in March! I want to sit and blog. I have started several drafts and have yet to return to them. Because LIFE! I’m living it, that’s for sure. Recording it and expounding on thoughts seems like something that may need to wait. One day. I hope.

In the meantime, let me use photos to catch us up.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Mothers of teenagers need a dog. The faithful one in the house that isn’t emotional or dramatic. She still wants to sit with me every chance she gets. She goes on walks with me, happily. She greets me with a smile and hugs when I get home. If I could just train her to unlock the door and help me unload groceries and maybe put away her toys, this relationship would be near perfect.
Found this old photo on my phone. Gracious, time has ticked right on by. I love this kid. He turns 14 this month.

Josh and I are doing proactive things to stay healthy and keep this pill holder filled with vitamins and probiotics rather than Blood pressure medicine or some other medicine we can keep from taking. Some choose to wear masks on walks outside alone or alone in their car or even double masks. Others of us are listening to scientists and doctors and upping our Vitamin D and K. Taking Quercitin and Zinc and a multivitamin and probiotic. We’re trying to make good food choices, rubbing thieves or On Guard oil on the bottom of our feet at bedtime, and I go to the gym three times a week like it’s a job and enjoy walks with Rolo often. We are getting 8 hours of sleep, too. There are things you can do to be a healthy person. Wearing a mask is just not one of them.

Mack played in his first middle school baseball game and got a hit and ended up going home eventually, so that was super fun! I’m proud of him for jumping into baseball at his age. It seems most boys have played their whole lives. Mack has not—and he wants to let us know “y’all should have made me play when I was little.” Well that’s exactly what we didn’t want to do! You know those parents. Dad was a baseball player so little son has to play and like it, too. Mack liked football. We went that route for a while. Now we’re trying baseball. It is what it is. He’s got a lot to learn, but no matter what you do, there’s always more to learn!

Ruby has prom April 1, so we have to find a dress soon. And we hope to get a car for her this month, so that’s a lot to think about!

And here’s Molly. She can sometimes be found randomly videoing things around the house. Who knows what she is doing with the footage?!?? I just need to approve it beforehand.

Hopefully there will be more lively, interesting blogs to read in the near future! Hang in there with me. ❤️