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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Something Old, Something New

Someone reminded me that there is nothing new under the sun. How true that is as we see hard time coming to this nation and remember that this world has seen hard times before. But God's church always prevails. Such a sweet comfort to my heart to know that God reigns.

We need to humble ourselves and pray, folks.





Update:

I have a new nephew. He was born 07/20/09 and has been the sweetest little baby! He was named William David and we all call him Will. His daddy calls him Will-I-Am and his sister calls him...new baby. (ha!) I wonder how in the world my brother and sister-in-law do it. Taking care of 3 kids, 3 and under, definitely keeps a person running.

I also got to be in a c/section with one of my friends! I had forgotten how wonderful the mirable of life really is. May we never forget that getting here, in one piece, perfectly healthy is a miracle.

And friends from church had their 5th...a baby girl!! She's has the sweetest little face and I will never forget her older sister's face when she first came in the room looking for her new sister. Priceless.

Aren't babies wonderful! *sigh*



Saturday, August 8, 2009

The state of affairs these days are kind of scary, don't you think? Especially if we would sit and think about what could be, remember what has been or even see what is occuring in our world right now.

If we would let it, thinking about our leaders (and I use that term loosely) could put us into a state of fear. If we would let it.

Thankfully, we don't have to live in a state of fear. We can, instead, live life knowing that we have a Sovereign Who reigns over all--that includes you, Mr O.--and can allow things to continue, or change the heart of a leader with just one thought, or one word.

And that brings me to another thought.

I hear so many ranting about our President, forgetting that God has allowed him to be there for a purpose. No, I didn't vote for him and no, I don't agree with just about everything he stands for, but he is my authority (I'm SO thankful he's not the Authority though *whew!*) and I must pray for him.

Do you know how hard it is to pray for someone you don't like? I just have to keep reminding myself that Saul of Tarsus once persecuted, hunted down and killed Christians, but by the grace of God (what a beautiful phrase!), He saw fit to bring him to his knees and save him, change his heart and give him the zeal to spread the gospel just as he was once spreading lies, death and destruction.

Is there any reason to think that God couldn't perform such a miracle again? So I pray, and I encourage you to pray, that He will work in the life of our country's leader(s), put someone in their path that will speak truth to them, bring them to their knees and use their power and God-given authority for the glory of God.

History proves that the church flourishes in persecution, not in apathy, so I pray, Pray, PRAY that this little bit of persecution now is enough to point us, as a nation, to Christ.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dr Bill

It's hard to say that I'm sad when a brother/sister in Christ passes away. I can't miss them because I know where they are. I shouldn't be sad because they aren't.

Right?


But I do miss those who go before us to Paradise. One of the kindest men I know was taken Home last week and I miss him.
And I'll tell you why.



-He never failed to hug and kiss my face EVERY Sunday.

-He told me (almost every Sunday) that if he was 40 years younger he would talk to my dad.

-He was concerned about my health and told me so every chance he got.

-He truly showed forth Christ in all he did and said.

-He loved his Lord, loved his church and loved his family...physical and spiritual.

-His smile was infectious and genuine.







And those are just a few....




Love you Dr Bill!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Change My Heart, O God

You ever been fussed at. The person giving you the piece of their mind is really in the wrong and all you want to do is point that out in a kind voice...while holding them in a half-nelson.

The old Susanna would have done definitely administered the choke hold but would have never used the kind voice. I actually told someone today that I was sorry (?!) despite the fact that I didn't really do anything wrong. Soft words were heard instead of the truth.

But my purpose in telling you this is not to show how good I am but how good God is. As I thought back to this episode and my reaction I was really shocked to remember kind words coming from my mouth.


Reflecting on all this surprisingly comforted my heart as I see how God has done a work in my life, assuring me that I am His because the Susanna before Christ wouldn't have reacted in such a way.



Thank you Lord for showing me your work in my life even in hard situations and reminding a hurt heart that Your love is "underneath me, all around me".

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Refreshergy. Happy Times. Lovin' Life.

I think I've finally figured out why I haven't blogged in a while. I've actually been kind of busy, which I didn't realize until I started going through my pics for just one month.



The month of May has been full of laugher, reminicing, happy tears, graduations, dancing, games, a mountain, fellowship, family, friends.











The graduation was the most exciting this year because a precious girl who I've known since birth (ahhhhhh! I'm so old!!!), graduated from high school. I couldn't believe how much I cried. She's beautiful, her heart is gracious, her personality delightful and her smile infectious. Congratulations Elizabeth!










Lanie had her dance recital--3rd year--and did great! She loves to dance and always has. She had two dances this year and successfully did both. I particularly loved when she went up to get her award and said into the microphone, "My name is Alayna and I'm 5. years. old." Adorable. I was in the balcony but I'm pretty sure she heard her Aunt Susanna cheering for her.










A few friends, my sister and I decided to go to Oak Mountain this year for Memorial Day which was beautiful! We first canoed a little as we waited for the rest of our company to meet up with us. When Joanna and I ventured out, our other friends had just arrived so we rowed over to see them. Unfortunately, we have super rowing skills and rowed right into a giant bush on the shore line. I attempted to row us backward. Joanna just laughed.

All this rain has really payed off because Peavine Falls were the biggest I've seen. We hiked (if you call it that...we barely got out of breath) down to the falls and played around the waterfall, found a salamander, took pictures and then walked down the creek a little ways to find a pool that was a little deeper. There was a God-made rock slide that went right into this pool which made the water all the more inviting. Joanna and her friend were the only ones that slid though. I'm chicken if the water's too cold.



Then we had a good time looking at God's creation and wondering how anyone could not see that this world has a Creator with a special design in mind.

We headed down to the beach at Oak Mountain lake which was packed with people. Once again...didn't get in the water...too cold...and I didn't want to get my hair wet.



We brought a volleyball and since there were 6 of us, we played a few games of 3-on-3. Little did we know but there was a family watching us, wanting to play. After about our 3rd game, an interesting character approached us asking if we wanted to play their family since they had six who wanted to play. We figured--hey, 6-on-6, that's a real volleyball game. We're in--little did we know how eccentric the family was. I'll refrain from commenting on the different personalities, but I will say that we had opportunity to witness.



Our few games of playing the "interesting" family brought a crowd and, according to the family member, the next group would play the winner. Us. So we played a group of teenage girls who cheated horribly and still lost. Then a group of Mexicans that were a lot of fun. Then, what I will call the melting pot of Oak Mountain...there were 4 gentlemen from India, 2 Mexicans and 2 from our "interesting" family.

I'm sad to say. They beat us. Our last game and we didn't win!!


But we had fun. And I fell. Which is just par for the course. How can sand cause a scrape on my leg that looks like rug burn?!











This trip to Oak Mountain was so refreshing though. I used to go up there all the time with my cousin but work and life has kept me so busy that I haven't been up there in years. It made me reflect on how busy I keep myself and how I need to stop and refresh the soul sometimes, remembering my Creator and remembering that my life is but a vapor. All this makes me thankful for the days I've had and the times of rest that come just when I need them.










We serve a loving God, don't we?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

...and that was the month of April.

There've been a few fun things that went on since my last post. I'll see if I can catch you up.



1. Lanie turned 5!! She had a princess party and it was, thankfully, uneventful. By that, I mean no injuries. We usually have some kind of story about the birthday parties and I'm just glad this one went off nicely. Daniel kept his eyebrows, no children were almost suffocated in the moon walk because of adults trying to jump and no balloons were accidentally set free before the party even began.
2.I went to see the Gardners in Colorado!! I can't even begin to tell you how much I miss that family. I had a 10 year old flying buddy and ever since we've been back we've been planning our next trip out there. We might even decide to fly to England one time just for fun--it's just one of the places we both want to visit, so why not go together, right?
While we were out there we:
-played kickball (beating the boys 5-0 one time, and 10-0 the next time!!)
-ate a lot of good food (Marie is a great cook and I love, love, LOVE her pimento cheese spread!)
-went window shopping which turned into people watching. Colorado is quite liberal...and interesting.
-I got to ski!! I never made it off the bunny slope, but I don't care. I had a blast!
-saw the Rockies and they. are. breath-taking. The weird thing is, they're pretty rocky. Like, very little grass and trees.
-kissed Mary Morgan every day. That baby girl is just precious!


3. I got to see Wicked, musical!! It. was. amazing! I didn't think I would like it as much as I did, but now I can't wait to see it again. Then we found the outside stage door and waited for the cast to take pics and meet them. Very fun!
4. We just finished up ball season so we've spent a lot of nights at the ballfield. Josh's team did better this year. He played 3rd base or left field and we got to cheer really loud and embarass him like we always do.






And here are a few pics of my nieces and nephews. You know. The ones I always talk about. They are pretty cute, I think.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Method To My Madness

I know my blog url address is a bit long and my title seems a bit odd so I thought I'd explain myself since I did actually put some thought into my choices. My reasons:


1. I like them. Do I need a better reason than that?


2. I see now that they spark conversation and I'm pretending that that was one my original reasons for choosing them.


3. When you suffer, whether with pain, loneliness, loss, emotional strain, depression (and I could go on with reasons to suffer)...you start to thinking. Sometimes you get to thinking about things you shouldn't.
When I have a bad day of hurting and I feel completely worn out, I wonder if God is even paying attention to me, if He even notices that I don't feel good. I know it's a silly thing to wonder, but in my flesh, I think it. Sadly, it usually occurs to me, after the fact, that God is there and He does care and He is paying attention. And that thought seems to come later, at church, or listening to my music long after my pity party has passed. So the url is a reminder for me and came from the last verse of the hymn Jesus I Am Resting, Resting...

"Ever lift Thy face upon me as I work and wait for thee;
Resting 'neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, earth's dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father's glory, sunshine of my Father's face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting, fill me with Thy grace."

As I suffer, and as you suffer, we must, must remember that we are ever 'neath His smile; which is a wonderful thing to remember when our thoughts are of nothing good. And we should remember that "earth's dark shadows" do flee, though at the time we feel like they don't, or won't, or can't.

The title of my blog is another hymn that I'm not going to quote because of all the verses and I don't think I could pick just one verse.
Abide With Me is the title of that hymn and once again it reminds me that there isn't a moment when He isn't near. If I ever feel He's far away it's because of my own thoughts, sins, emotions...not because He isn't actually near. I love the psalms, but there are some hymns that just speak my heart and speak to my heart in ways that I can't seem to put into words.




Those are my three reasons for my rather long url and odd blog title. Aren't you glad you know now?

Are you resting 'neath His smile?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Few Days Of Refreshment

I was delighted to house/dog/pregnant kitty-sit for a few days for friends and pretty excited to have a little alone time. I guess I didn't realize how alone I would be because I had no internet!!!! I was forced to actually find something else to do with my time other than checking emails, facebooking, blogging, and so on.
But I found this time to be even more refreshing than I'd hoped. I would walk the dog down a quiet road with woods on each side, watching her bolt after a squirrel as if her life depended it. I could stop and reflect on lovely trees, blue skies with fluffy white clouds, crisp spring air and thoughts of the Creator Who made such things for me to enjoy.



I am so caught up in my busy life at work, the tired drive home in traffic, a quick bite to eat before I fall into bed with my computer, hoping to keep some access with the outside world through my laptop before I lose consciousness...that I've seem to forget to just stop and, for lack of better phrasing, smell the flowers.
To just stand, looking up at, breathing deeply with my mind full of the God who delights in me. Well. It's overwhelming at times.






And not just that. These dear friends have a library!


Be still, my beating heart! Oh books, come to momma. So many...and yet I chose just one.


The quiet, the solitude did wonders for my worn out mind and it makes me wonder why I don't visit my family more often in Va where I could sit and rest the mind, soul, spirit. I do believe a trip is in order. Soon.
And thank you, wonderful God, for giving me this time to think on You, reflect on Your goodness to me and repent of not thinking on You more.



Then to make my time visiting this home even better...the cat had her kittens!!!! Four fluffy, adorable kittens! She had two late in the evening and I waited up for another hour and a half thinking there would be more. When two seemed to be it, I went on to bed but when I woke the next morning there were two more! Two calicos (females) and one black with a little bit of white and a solid white one (both males). I just can't stop looking at them and it reminds of when my own cat of 17 years, who's been gone for almost a year now, who had two litters a year for many years. I miss having kittens around. I almost wish I had told the family that there were only three kittens and steal one away to love. I wonder if I could talk my mother into another cat.
*sigh* kittens...babies....they're just wonderful, aren't they?
As I waited on the family to return, sitting on the steps of their open library, staring at the blue sky, blooming trees, feeling the wind blowing, watching that precious dog look for dead animals to bring up to me....wait, what?!

*gag!*
*Remember the blue skies. Remember the blue skies...*

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Ever Tried to Put A Trampoline Together?

My brother and his wife bought a trampoline for their kids on the day after Thanksgiving. I remember the date because I was there and, my sister and pregnant sister-in-law attempted to put in the back of a truck. By ourselves. It took a while. And it's been sitting in their garage ever since.


Maddie turned three on the 18th of February and we had her birthday party a few weekends after. For some reason, we decided to put that thing together. It seemed easy enough but when you get too many opinions together at one time it takes a LOT longer than it probably should have.


The first dilema was how to put the rods/bars in order. You would that "A" would go next to "B" and then comes "C". After discussion we all agreed that yes, that is the order they should go. But after we laid "C" down then what comes next? There was no "D", so the the debate began as to whether you would start back over with "A" or if you would place another "B" down and go backwards. Personally, I can't believe we even had the debate but it did last for approx. 20 minutes.
I also learned that no one wants to actually use a manual screwdriver. When you have a mechanic who uses power tools for a living, he is quick to share with you how much he does not like having twist a screwdriver. So the debate began again as to who would use the screwdriver...the one who uses one for a living (brother #1) or the one who was the owner of the screwdriver (brother #2).

*note...these "debates" were not held in a mean, arguementative manner but in the typical Vaughan way. We picked on the person mercilessly. So when brother #1 didn't want to use the manual screwdriver he just picked on brother #2 until he did it himself. And the onlookers laughed.
We, the onlookers, also took time to play a little basketball, making sure that the ball bounced towards those working....


...or read up on how to jump on a trampoline, including some fancy jumps. I particularly love the figurines.


Some would take a break and use the trampoline before it was in actual proper working order. Maybe they were just overly excited. They are definitely very good at pretending because they look authentic to me.
Once we got the frame together things seemed to move much faster. Brother #2 took charge of attaching the springs from the black jump-on part to the frame...because he was the owner...and we felt like we needed a break from all our supervising...and it's fun to watch people work.

Once we all had our first jump then we decided to be safe (as one should be) and put up the safety net. That took time too and the two oldest were volunteered into that thankless job.

But the end project was so nice. So fun. So fulfilling.








Who would have ever guessed that it would take 4 hours straight to put up a trampoline? Only the Vaughans.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I've Got A Friend Who Owns A Viper



That's right. A Dodge Viper.


One of the most beautiful sports cars I've ever driven.








Ok. Fine. It's the only sports car I've ever driven. I had intended on just riding in it and next thing I know I'm in the driver seat heading ever-so cautiously around the parking lot.
We drove down a residential area just so I could get a feel of the clutch and warm up the tires. (apparently the tires have to get warm or you'll fish-tale at faster speeds)
I could not believe the looks we got. I hadn't even pulled out on the road yet and people were driving by honking horns and rolling down their windows to yell, "nice car!".
I felt like such a liar! It wasn't my car but my pet peeve of proper car etiquette required a smile, nod and thank-you wave. I suppose, just out of politeness I must pretend it's mine. Right?
At one point a young boy was running off his porch towards "our" car asking for a ride!


I just don't understand boys and cars. My friend, who is a fellow female, and I appreciate the beauty of the outside of the car and the fact that its black (which is very slimming) but it doesn't go much deeper than that.


We headed out towards the interstate since our tires were warm, my friend driving this time, and discovered that we decided to venture out at one of the worst times of the day...rush hour. That can make you a little nervous but most people steer clear of the sports car for some reason.
We hadn't been on the interstate long when I noticed a significantly older lady driving a Kia van passing us and to keep our status as "cool", admonished my friend to speed it up. (no offense towards those who drive Kia's or vans, but when your in a sports car doing 45-50 mph on the interstate?!....I think you get my drift)

I drove home and the top was off the car so my hair was, shall we say, wind-blown (which is just a nice word for "nasty rat's nest) and my hands frozen so that I could barely shift. But who cares!!! We were in a Viper!!!

*note*
I wouldn't suggest taking such a car to an outlet mall for a quick shopping excursion, finding a toy store that's going out of business and buying up large plastic toys. The trunk is nothing to talk about and what started as a short trip to the mall ended in a "where are we going to put all this stuff", now I'm riding with plastic buckets and shovels in my lap.




Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sovereignty in Sickness and Sadness

As our office comes up on the one year mark of when Dr Perry found out about his cancer, I can feel myself getting overwhelmed with sadness...because I miss him.


I was listening to a song that he liked to listen to in surgery earlier this week. It talked about getting to heaven first, waiting on the far side banks of Jordan. Kind of a bluegrass/gospel song by the Carter family. Really sweet song but sad as it reminds me of someone who's already in heaven that I miss a lot. Needless to say, I cried.
So when I got to work I was REALLY missing him and wishing he was here to talk to, pray with.



God has a way of giving me just what I need at just the right time. I sit down at work, tears still on my face, to check my emails and the short devotional that I get by email every morning messed up my pity party. God is just what I need, when I need. He's the One that comforts in sadness. He heals affliction, pain, sickness. He helps bear the cross. He is all I could ever want.

Wow. Talk about conviction as I want so desperately to see Dr Perry one more time because he was such a rock in my life, to realize that there is only One Rock. One who is greater than I. One who is greater than Dr Perry. One who can give me everything that my heart was desiring.


I had to share that with my coworkers during our devotional because I know that we're all suffering with the same type of broken heart. And then a new conviction hits me!


Someone shares a John Piper story of the sovereignty of God with the landing of the plane in the Hudson all the way to the inauguration of a new president with seemingly dark motives. If God is sovereign in the lining up of geese to fly into the two engines of plane, to the perfect belly landing in a cold Hudson River, to placing a pro-choice president over a nation, could he not be sovereign in healing the emotionally broken heart and healing the physically broken body of a sad, hurting girl? My woes seem kind of mild in comparison, don't you think. Yet He still cares. He still orchestrates all that goes on in my life.



It never ceases to amaze me as I look back and see how God works in my life.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Gift Of Clumsiness

That's right. I've got the gift.

So I'm at work, in a room with the doctor, patient and patient's husband. I think we're done and I'm unplugging the computer to take it out in the hall with me but my doc decides on an impromptu prayer. I'm ok with that.

So I plug back up the computer and turn to walk to the others to hold hands and pray but...
I trip over the cord and fall into the husband. They all start laughing and asking if I'm ok and I pretty much just want to pray and get out of there so I mumble something unintelligable and bow my head hoping they won't see my red face that seems to be getting redder and hotter as the seconds go by.

And what does my dear doctor do?! He starts his prayer with..."Dear Lord. Thank you for laughter and light moments in times of pain..."
I considered using all my strength to sqeeze his hand that I held in our circle of prayer but he might need it in surgery tomorrow.



Why do I have the gift?! And why do I use it almost every day?!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Think About Blogging A Lot

I'm always thinking about how I need to blog about this or that thought/occurance/funny story but never sit down and actually type it out. Wonder why that is? I'm not so busy that I can't take 15 minutes of my day to write. I think I'm just...dare I say it?...lazy.


Christmas/New Year's was wonderful. I am so thankful that my immediate family lives near (one brother is about 7 minutes down the road and the other is about 12 minutes). But even though they're near we kept the road hot, let me tell you. I'm convinced that children make holidays so much more enjoyable. I think my favorite quote was my 4 year old niece who wanted to play "Clean Santa" this year instead of "Dirty Santa". Such a doll.

I know that Christmas isn't about the material things but I got one of the best presents EVER!!! I asked for an iPod pretty much since October hoping to get some gift cards to the Apple store to go towards one. Instead, my family bought me one!!! One that holds ALL of the music I have!!

I. heart. my. iPod!!!!! Who knew I such a small item could give me such great happiness.




I have a song running through my head all day. Is that weird? I find myself randomly bursting out in song as I'm walking through the crosswalk to work, bringing stares from all in my path. Do I care? Not really.



I get a mini-devotional every morning by email and earlier this week I got one that stuck with me. It talked about holiness. That's right. Not my forte. I suppose what spoke most to me was that he (J.R.Miller) informed me that holiness begins with my thoughts.

"Unholiness is very subtle. It creeps in when we are not aware. It begins in the heart. At first it is but a thought, a moment's imagination, a passing emotion, or a desire. Hence the heart should be kept with unremitting diligence. Only pure and holy thoughts should be entertained."

I just never took holiness to that extent, thinking in such a shallow way that my actions proved holiness. Knowing deep in my heart that holiness begins so much sooner than what people see. Keeping my thoughts holy, pure....why is it so hard? Why wouldn't I want to think holy?

Oh the struggles.