I got to spend a little time with the "O" family this afternoon in Austin, see the great new house, the old married couple, and this growing boy. My new philosophy is that it's OK to buy a child's affection, as long as it's not your own....so we played with some toys I brought, and worked on bonding after a long separation. I am determined to visit with my old friends, and their 'new'-growing kiddos on a more regular basis, despite the distance. Plus, old friends got to be that way b/c I like you guys so much, I have kept you around on purpose, and need more of those quality, no drama, all dialogue days!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
My cousin Holly has been talking about the pastor, and author Don Piper since she read his book 90 Minutes in Heaven a few years back (most of the family has now read the book, but she started the trend). This morning we made a three hour journey down I-35 to hear his testimony in person. He has a miraculous story to tell about death, and life (yes, that's reversed on purpose). It reminds me of something I heard at a service project I participated in yesterday, which included an amazing guest speaker-Maimi McCullough. "...for Christians, earthly problems will be as close to hell as we will ever get." It gives me hope for the future, and motivation to make sure we all get to see each other again at the pearly gates!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Wow, what a way to begin a week. My good pal Sonia and I drove out to a Bed and Breakfast called Le Retreat in Gainesville. The town itself is so cute, and the house was precious. The lady who runs the house drops by to check and make sure we are OK, but other than that, we had the run of the place. It is the cutest place! There are four large bedrooms with themes Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall-all quilts and decor match the theme. There are also four bathrooms (this lady was a genious)-Japan, France, Australia, and the Carribeans. All the walls were painted fabulous colors....and the lights, fans, and goodies provided were fabulous. She provided everything-quilting magazines, ironing boards, cutting boards, work tables, comfy chairs, all the kitchen supplies for meal preparation (minus the food-we brought that). She also has supplies for scrapbooking retreats, but basically-you have to lock in your days-and there aren't many others available b/c you are guaranteed your same time frame for the following year-and we've already booked our stay next July. We arrived on Monday and stayed through Wednesday. We met up with 5other ladies (with others coming and going on Monday) and I loved watching the pros create some really amazing pieces-we stopped for meals, quick trips to the local quilt shop-and sleep, but then we worked like mad women(or should I say, happy?) at the hobby we all love. I have now completed the top to my 'next quilt'...I bought the fabric at a quilt show a year and a half ago....and I have other projects lined up. I guess you could say this weekend I was 'piecing' my quilt-I'll take the top and bottom fabric to a quilter to do the actual 'quilting' now,then I'll add a black binding. On the way home, Sonia and I stopped by this quilt shop I've been dying to visit...and that's where trouble began, again. I have now bought another quilt project (it's not the only one, but I'm excited about this fabric!). I can't express how peaceful this week has been! I'm so excited about next July, and I have another retreat planned in Oklahoma in February to get me through the year! I'm including a picture of this weekends quilt-I'll be posting another one in a few months when it's 'completely, complete.'
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Yesterday I attended Melissa and Sean's beatiful wedding. EVERYTHING was very personalized, and they were able to create a really fun feel from start to finish. A small group of work pals sat together and chatted, and enjoyed watching the newlyweds celebrate!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Today I celebrated a pretty big milestone....a girl's first 29th birthday! It was a good day. My Mom made me my 'traditional' birthday breakfast this morning (something we have done for every birthday in the Robbins' house). Holly joined us for an early show of Mama Mia. My Mama Mia took the day off, and we hung out this afternoon and did 'girl stuff' together. We picked up a cake from Stein's....previos post attest to the fact that-I love that place, and so this year....I wanted a cake from my favorite sweet shop. This evening the rest of the family joined up, and we headed to a restaurant in Historic Downtown Plano called Kelly's Eastside, and then back over to my house for cake, gifts, and a game of Mexican Train Dominoes (my current craze). The day was full of sweet surprises, and fun calls from friends and family. I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many thoughtful people. I still have a few fun outings with groups of friends planned, but this day was definitely a great start to the last year of my legitimate 20's!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I often think I like to serve, but this Sunday the sermon I heard pretty much wrapped up some of the struggles I still am working through with 'serving.' The pastor mentioned that people often don't mind serving, until someone treats them like a servant. That really rattled around inside my head. I don't mind doing difficult, physical, or dirty task, as long as I'm the one directing myself. This week I've been working on a project for someone that I've been a part of for the last month and a half. I was feeling frustrated with the leadership, the way that 'we' are being treated, and feeling really critical of other's work ethics etc etc etc....and I thought-OK-I still don't have this serving lesson down! I don't believe the bible ever teaches about serving....as long as you are being treated with respect. The only thing I recall is how the server is supposed to serve, NOT a list of stipulations and conditions under which is is OK to serve...and not to serve. In my head I was rehearsing the things I wished I could say in response to this week's frustrations. This evening I finished up a 'just for fun' book I was reading and went through a page of devotionals from a book I've had by my night stand for quite some time....and the versus were screaming my name! What an incredible God! How can there be a world full of billions of people, and just as many major and minor problems...and yet, God took time this week (and every week-I just don't listen very well) to deliver this very personal (and ongoing) lesson to me. He planted that sermon in the pastor's heart, He had me set my devotional book down days ago at just this place in preparation for when my heart would be ready to hear those words. I even marked the place I planned to stop with a book mark, and from the first one I read, to the last, each was written to convict me of these struggles. How wonderful to have a Loving Father who has a personal relationship with each of us. And....in case I start my complaining again to any of you at the break of dawn when I head back in to do my project, please direct me to the following versus as I continue working towards a MUCH more humble serving heart. :O)
"Honor Christ by submitting to each other." Ephesians 5:21
"So be careful not to jump to conclusions before the Lord returns as to whether someone is a good servant or not. When the Lord comes, He will turn on the light so that everyone can see exactly what each one of us is really like, deep down in our hearts. Then everyone will know why we have been doing the Lord's work. At that time God will give to each one whatever praise is coming to Him." 1 Corinthians 4:5
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I look forward to a day I am brave enough to carry around my testimony on a piece of cardboard for the whole world to see, and I know the backside will be full of hope with the mess I call my life He has, and will continue transforming into His message.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
I've had the pleasure of spending a few lazy days at home this week (minus one trip for 'stickers and stuff', I've pretty much been around most of the day). These are the sort of scary positions my dogs spend most of the day in while patroling the grounds. I will say they do move from room to room with me as I float about, but once planted-it's straight back into formation.
Monday, July 07, 2008
I don't read 'dog stories' anymore. I don't want to read about a dog's death at 2, or 20-I don't want to know that everytime you read the book-the dog always dies, I prefer my characters living at the end of a good book! But...I just accidently read one (it was a gift from someone). Let me start with-it was a beautiful book, and it was so well written, but my throat hurts so bad right now from all the tears. By about page three I realized this lady was writing about the lessons her dog taught her-I know past tense writing when I see it!That's all it takes for the waterworks-even KNOWING a dog is going to die in a books starts me crying. One of my favorite little frivilous blessings to thank God for, is the companionship of my two dogs. So now, I'm going to go and squeeze my dogs necks until they refuse to sit still anymore, but I am posting my three favorite things the author said about dogs, I love it when someone else says the words I wanted to say, but have never been able to string together. So, a few of my favorite quotes that Anna Quindlen was able to put on paper in Good Dog. Stay
"Human beings wind up having the relationship with dogs that they fooled themselves they will have with other people. When we are young, it is our significant other, when we are older, it is the symbiosis we manage to fool ourselves we will always have with our children. Love unconditional, attention unwavering, companionship without question or criticism."
"For children, the point of having a dog is something like the point of having a mother and father. Our job is not to do but to be, not to act but to exist. We are bedrock, scenery, landscape, to be often ignored and then clung to during difficult or frightening or, occasionally, happy times. My mom, my dad, my dog, my home, immutable, to leave and then to return to at will and leave again."
...and my favorite....
"But the life of a dog is not much of a mystery, really. With few exceptions, he will be who he has always been. His routine will be unvarying and his pleasures will be predictable-a pond, a squirrel, a bone, a nap in the sun. It sounds so boring, and yet it is one of the things that make dogs so important to people. In a world that seems so uncertain, in lives that seem sometimes to ricochet from challenge to upheaval and back again, a dog can be counted on in a way that's true of little else."
Sunday, July 06, 2008
This weekend, I picked up the long awaited, much anticipated New Kids on the Block tickets! My friend Amber and I are headed to the concert in October, and I can't even muster up a little shame when I share this news. We may not be friends by the end of the concert b/c it turns out we BOTH had a crush on the same New Kid (Joe!) (along with a few million other 10 year olds around the world). Ahhhh to be young.....living in a bubble (that obviously had very poor accoustics b/c I used to call this 'music'). I can't imagine why I'm still single with this sort of swinging social life, and pool of interest ;o)....
July 4th this year included a picnic with family, visited by a few grasshopper friends, and followed by a great fireworks show. Today's church service included patriotic music, including the songs from each military branch where church members and visitors who have served, or are serving stand during each of their songs-it gives me chills every time I see it. I always love July 4th-but there is really something exciting about a 4th of July during an election year-it brings us back to country roots. I'm looking forward to voting in November!
Friday, July 04, 2008
I have heard about Kaboom Town for years, I've passed the signs, and listened to the radio ads since my teenage years.....which were a FEW years ago....and this year-I finally went. It was the most crowded fireworks show I've ever been to, but now, I completely understand why. The fireworks we amazing, a live stage hosted acts all evening, with vendors to keep you well nurished, and a movie projected on a live screen closed out the evening after the fireworks. We were also treated to a military air show for well over an hour, which is something I've not experience-complete with paratroopers.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Last night I went to the Myerson with a group of friends. For three days there was a conductor in town who had written the score for the TV mini-series Blue Planet. The orchestra played live as we watched the scenes on the large screen anchored behind the orchestra. It was truly beautiful, and I would recommend it if it's coming to a town near you. There were some breathtaking moments, and some that made me laugh. Anyone that knows me well knows that I have a fear of whales (stemming from too much Jonah and the Whale requested as a child, and recurring nightmares to this day)....I will say I'm pretty sure this series has cemented that fear. I'm boycotting Shamu for awhile. There were three songs that left me really sad. I know there's a circle in life (I saw the Lion King ;o)), but I don't like to see it. In the end-it served it's purpose-this is real nature, not Disney-but I always prefer the happy ending.