Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another great Christmas and a blessed year!!

Christmas is already over and John and I are now back in Florida from a wonderful visit to both Mississippi and Alabama. This Christmas was wonderful! Not only did we get to see most of the Davis and Kirkpatrick family, but we also got to see the Hollomon family! This was the first year since my mom's parents passed away that we got to spend Christmas with them and boy was this a treat! The only one that didn't make it was my cousin Chris and I hate he didn't get to come, but maybe next year! John and I are so blessed to have the best families in the world!

It was so great to get to visit with family and eat some great food! Leaving is always the hard part, it seems to always remind John and I of our wish to live closer to home. I hope one day we will be able to live a little closer to family, but until then I will remain content that God has great plans for us here in Tallahassee.

While we were in Alabama, we got to attend John's church back home, which has been a rare occurrence over the last 3 years. Most of the time when we visit his parents, we have to spend Sunday driving home. The minute we walked in people were so excited to see us. It amazes me how friendly they have always been towards me. His church is a really small country church and has always treated me like they have known me as long as they have known John. This church is such a testament of Christ's love. I thank God for allowing us the opportunity to visit John's home church once again, but more importantly the impact they are having on their community.

Today, I have spent most of the day taking down all of the Christmas decorations and washing laundry from our trip. I have always loved putting up Christmas decorations, but taking them down is not near as much fun... At least I am almost done!!

My mom and dad are coming to visit this weekend and are also bringing the rest of our Christmas present, since we could not fit it all in our car. They gave us some beautiful light fixtures for our home and I can't wait to get them up! This was such a great gift and John and I could never thank them enough for this!! I am excited we are getting to see them again for a few days!!! When you live far from family- you cherish every moment you get to see them!

It's hard to believe that another year has already gone by. This month last year, John found out they were shutting down the plant he worked at in Valdosta, GA and he had to look for a new job. I can honestly say that without going through that event in our life, I would not be the person I am today. It's the neatest thing to see God take a situation such as a job loss to help you develop perseverance and to help you grow stronger with Him! God has blessed us so much this year with John's new job, new friends, a new home, a new church and many other things. As our economy continues to weaken, I am currently grateful that John still has his current job and we are able to pay our bills. The future looks so uncertain with the industry John works in, especially since they are shutting down plants every month and most of the companies are having major financial problems. So far we have been blessed and his plant has stayed in the clear. I continue to try and remain calm, knowing God is in control and He will get us through what ever this economy throws are way. I will always remember how God took care of us last year and that no matter what we will endure in the future that he will take care of us once again. I am so thankful I have a God that will never leave me nor forsake me!

I am excited to see what the future for John and I holds and to experience all that God has in store for us in 2009!! I pray that no matter what you are going through that you not forget that God is always there and He will never leave you!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas is almost here!!!

Well Christmas is almost here and I can't wait to see my family!!I have finally finished my Christmas shopping, which I am very happy about. The traffic and crowds out right now in Tallahassee are getting worse by the day. I am guessing due to the economy there are more last minute shoppers this year waiting to see if sales are going to get any better.

Tomorrow night John and I are hosting our Sunday School Christmas party, so most of today I have been cleaning the house. It seems like I constantly need to dust this house, and I can't seem to get rid of it all. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to let me know. It's really funny how the older I get the more I notice I am like my mother. Ha! Did I really just admit that?? My mom has always never had a problem entertaining and hosting events are their house, and John says I am just like her in that respect.

Christmas time is one of my favorite times of the year. One of the reasons is cause I get to go and visit family! If you have ever lived away from your family, holidays are times you always look forward to!!

Some of the best memories I have as a child are during Christmas time. One of the Hollomon family traditions that I miss the most is getting to eat Gumbo at my Daddyer and Memi's house. Memi was always such a good cook, and I regret not spending time with her in the kitchen. She could cook anything and boy when she cooked it was not just a few dishes it was a delicious feast!! Another favorite memory is getting to spend the night with my cousins Chris, Julie and Jon, at Memi and Daddyer's house during Christmas. We would always pull out all of Memi's blankets and sheets and make pallets on the floor, so we could all sleep in the same room. I will never forget some of the pranks we would play on the first person who fell asleep! Tooth paste or shaving cream in the hand was always a funny prank.. boy those were the days!! All of these wonderful memories really make me miss my grandparents on my mom's side. Ever since they both passed away, we rarely get to see our cousins since they live in Texas, but this year there is a slight possibility they might be coming for Christmas and eating lunch with our family. This would be a really nice surprise if they do end up coming!!

Also, for the first time ever the Davis family will not be together on Christmas day for lunch. As much as this saddens me, I know the older everyone gets the harder it is to get everyone together. I do feel blessed that for my entire childhood and most of my young adult life, I got to spend Christmas with all of my aunts, uncles and cousins. Thanks to my mom and dad's influence, I truly understand the importance and meaning of family!

As important as family is, the real reason we should celebrate Christmas is even more important. With out Jesus' birth we would not have eternal life. Instead of getting all caught up in the stresses of the Christmas season, I hope you will stop and remember the real reason we celebrate this glorious holiday and that is due to Jesus' birth. Happy Birthday Jesus!!

Just remember, if we take Christ out of Christmas we have nothing!!

Mississippi and Alabama here the Kirkpatrick's come!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bring the Rain....

Well it's a gloomy day here in Tallahassee. It's been raining off and on all day. Last weekend we got to go visit John's family and have a late Thanksgiving with them. John was in his best friend Jamie's wedding in Alabama on Saturday. It was really nice getting to spend some time with John's family, but at the same time made me sad we don't live closer.

I can honestly say that God blessed me with such loving and giving in-laws. Even though technically they are only my family by marriage, they treat me as if I am their own daughter. John's mom is one of the most giving persons I know. While we were there, we got to visit with some of John's cousins, his Aunt and Uncle and his Nanny. His nanny sent us home with a huge tin of homemade Caramel popcorn, which is very delicious!! Overall, it was a great weekend and I am looking forward to visiting again for Christmas!!

This week has been really busy for John. He has had several visitors at the plant, that are keeping him really busy. I spent some of Monday decorating the front door and entry of our house for Christmas. This was the first time I have ever tried to hang garland over our door and it wasn't the easiest thing to do with out a helping hand, but I managed to get it up there. Since a lot of the homes in our neighborhood including the front entrance of our subdivision are decorated for Christmas, I thought our house needed some decorations as well. I will try to post some pictures of our Christmas decorations for you to see. I still need to hang the wreath I made, but I am waiting on John to put a screw in the door.

Yesterday, on my way to do some much needed Christmas shopping, I heard a song on the christian radio station that really spoke to my heart. The song is "Bring the rain" by MercyMe. I am going to post the lyrics in case you have not heard this song.

"Bring the Rain"

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that
I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings
You glory And I know there'll
be days When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to
praise You Jesus, bring the rain

I am yours regardless of the clouds that may
loom above because you are much greater than
my pain you who made a way for me suffering
your destiny so tell me whats a little rain

[1st Chorus]

Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
is the lord God almighty
is the lord God almighty
I'm forever singing

[2nd Chorus 2x]

everybody singing
Holy holy holy
you are holy
you are holy

This song truly expresses the attitude that God wants us to have and live out during painful times in our life. I have seen so many Christians that have had circumstances happen in their life and instead of clinging to God and drawing closer to Him they turn away from God and blame Him for there pain. This really saddens me to see people blame such a loving God.

Back in 2003 my cousin Kristen, who was 12 at the time, somehow aspirated Staph Aeurous pneumonia in her body and within 24 hours it had destroyed her lungs and she was put on a ventilator. After many nights and weeks in the hospital, God chose to take her home to be with Him. I spent many nights and weeks trying to figure out how this could happen to our family, and God finally taught me to see this situation with a completely different attitude. You see we are only on this earth to give God glory.Our job is to honor Him in everything we do. I am so very thankful that Kristen's passing not only, brought people from all over the US to their knees in prayer, but also left a legacy to the people who knew her. It has been so encouraging to see God glorified in this situation. God has allowed Kristen to be a great testimony in my life, and I have had the privilege of sharing it to many. I can confidently, say that the day Kristen arrived in Heaven to be with our wonderful and almighty Lord, she was told "well done good and faithful servant". This tragedy, has not only brought Glory to God, but has challenged me to live each day as if it were my last and to make sure everyone I know will one day have eternal life just as Kristen is experiencing. It is my prayer that no matter what situation we may encounter, that we will realize that Jesus is much greater than any pain we may encounter and to suffer for His glory is an honor not a tragedy.

Sorry this ended up being so long, it's just what has been on my mind lately. Hope you enjoy the christmas decoration pictures.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What I am thankful for!!

Well it has been a while since I have posted. This is mainly because I was out of town the whole week of Thanksgiving. This year was the first year that John and I were not visiting family on Thanksgiving. Since John is in a new job and wasn't able to take as much time off we decided not to make the drive home.

This year, I had the privilege of spending Thanksgiving week helping out a dear friend we made while we lived in Valdosta. My friend's daughter was having surgery that week and her husband is currently serving in Iraq. John and I decided that I would go help her out and he would drive up Thanksgiving day to be with us.

This past week allowed me to gain a new appreciation of military families. You see, I had never really been exposed to the military life style until we lived in Valdosta. I can honestly say that military wives are very strong women!! I kept thinking how much I missed being away from my husband for one week, and then realized that's nothing compared to what my friend was going through. Her husband had been gone for several months already and will not be home until the middle of Feb. This week helped me realize how blessed and easy I have it compared to these families! I now am truly thankful for what are military does and has done for our freedom! I am truly grateful I was given the opportunity to spend a week and help my friend out with her adorable little daughter!

Even though it is already past Thanksgiving, I still want to tell you what I am thankful for. There are many things that come to mind such as my family, John's family, my wonderful husband, and John's job, but most importantly I am thankful for Jesus' death on the cross, His forgivness and the gift of eternal life. I believe that this is most precious gift one can receive and I will always be grateful for this gift! A lesson God has been teaching me lately, is that He shows up all through our day, but we often never notice Him. This is because we don't acknowledge Him. I was emailed this story a while back and it has really changed that way I look at my day. Here is the story:

"I was in the waiting room and I saw an old friend with his wife - they're both in their 90's. He's working hard to care for his wife because her health is really deteriorating. Because it had been raining when they came in, my friend asked the dentist if he could help him get his wife out to the car. My dentist came back in, really touched by what had happened in those two minutes - so touched that he brought it up two more times. He said, "When I went out with George and his wife, it wasn't raining. And George said, 'Isn't it great that the Lord stopped the rain long enough for us to get out to the car?' Then he just looked heavenward and said, 'Thanks, Father.'"

Now isn't that acknowledging Him and noticing God working in the details of your day.If you don't, you'll miss God and you'll miss the joy that only comes from the Lord. But if you do train your heart to go on a daily "God hunt," you'll experience what the great preacher Charles Spurgeon talked about when he said, "He who looks for providences (or God actions) will never lack a providence to observe."

If you haven't been seeing God a lot lately, it's because you haven't been looking. I challenge you to go on a God hunt everyday and you will be amazed at how many blessings you were not noticing before!! I am thankful that I have a God who works in my life everyday!!