Happy Thanksgiving!

While the Thanksgiving’s over the years have been each different.  Growing up as a child I recall we had a group of friends who we would either go to their home or they would come to our home.  They were the McDonald family and as kids we would go through the Black Friday ad’s circling the things we would want to see under the tree then the mom’s would get up early and try to get one or two things off those lists.   There was the adult table and the kids table as well.  Many memories were made including a song about my brother “Johnny Corn Cobb why oh why do we love you!”  We would sometimes go to work with my dad and watch the newest release along with the hundreds of other families who had eaten too much but wanted to spend time together.

Then those times ended and we had Thanksgiving with our small family.  As us kids grew up, I would work on Thanksgiving and the dinners were just another day to celebrate on the calendar.

As I got married we would go home for Thanksgiving each year but over the years we would have a Thanksgiving dinner with my family and some friends in Iowa.  Those were some of my favorite Thanksgiving’s but the best one was when my bonus mom and dad cooked dinner at their home and it was one of the first time’s my mom had cooked a turkey.  Lily held the heart of the turkey.  It was memorable!  Both my grandparents were still living.

Then there were the Thanksgivings following my back surgery and my parents came down to have dinner with us. I am grateful that we were able to create memories of Thanksgiving in our home!  Now this year is different and  I look forward to creating new memories with Byron and his family with the time that I have.

Working retail is a different beast as we give up our Thanksgiving’s to serve the people who are wanting to get the best deals on stuff.  That is all it is, stuff that won’t matter years from now!  What will matter is the memories I create with family.  That is what matters.

For this I am grateful for the warm house I am in now, for the laughter of five children that awoke me this morning and the love that overflows from many places!

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Thanksgiving thoughts

Today while I was at Wal-Mart I observed that they don’t open until 8p.m. on Thanksgiving night!  Great call!  Wal-Mart may be one of the largest box stores around and they get that family matters.  I’ve worked in grocery stores that were open until noon on Thanksgiving day and that was because they were small family run stores where the owners family was making sure the doors were open.  I don’t need to state where I work as those who read my blog know this already.  We are opening at 5p.m. on Thanksgiving day to get an edge on the competition.  Is an hour really going to make a differences in sales to help get the company into the black?  When did we loose the importance of Thanksgiving as a day that we set aside to give thanks for those who came across on the Mayflower?  But rather we are more concerned about making a dollar.  While I know my store leader will be there, where will the people in the corporate office be?  At home with their family.  Shouldn’t those who are in the higher positions take pay cuts that will help the company long term rather than hope for a quick fix on Thanksgiving by an hour or two?

Ring Shopping

Well, this past weekend Byron and I went ring shopping, yes for an engagement ring.  To get the info out of the way here you go:

How long have you known each other? Since July

Isn’t that awfully fast?  It’s all a matter of opinion and when God is at the center of a relationship you allow him to lead.

While he has not YET proposed but will sometime around Christmas I am told, we have a date set.  The reason we have the date set is because he coaches wrestling and we need to check out when was after that and also when we would have our kids at the same time.  This marriage is not only about us but it’s also about brining two families together.  We also know the importance of the time alone following the wedding and he will have spring break AFTER the wedding.

This relationship is like none other.  I’ve blogged about it.  I have stepped back and allowed Byron to lead.  That is God worked on my heart and prepared my heart for Byron prior to us ever meeting!  With God’s help Byron is the leader in this relationship.  God has taught me about his love that I am so unworthy of through Byron.  I am growing and learning still!

When we started talking about marriage he was the first to bring up the premarital counseling classes!!  I didn’t have to say a word but I was thinking it!

Nashville Weekend!

Last weekend Byron and I headed to Nashville on Saturday to go to the long awaited Vanderbilt/Gators game!  It was at 6:30 at night and being on Vanderbilt’s campus on a football night was quite interesting as there were hundreds of young kids out in front of frat houses partying.  I thought to myself is this a small taste of spring break?  We were tired after the game and stayed down in Nashville.  The next morning we got up and I had scoped out a few churches.  After all your in Nashville there’s a church nearly on every street corner!  We went downtown Franklin to the Frothy Monkey where we had scrumptious coffee and blueberry muffins!  Next we went to the church that Michael W Smith founded “New River Fellowship.”  I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, perhaps more of a mega church but what transpired as we walked through the doors was the presences of the holy spirit.  The building had pews and was intimate.  You could feel the authenticity around you as all walls were torn down.  We worshiped and it was a beautiful thing.   There was preaching by Jack Moorning, Smitty’s son-in-law and singer in Leeland.  He preached on the Holy Spirit and put tithing into perspective as this, “My money is not mine but Gods.”  Perhaps I have heard this but it resinated with me deep as money is a continually struggle for me to give that 10% right off the top.  Pastor Jack preached on the Holy Spirit and the service ended with a prayer and dismissal.  It was nothing fancy but rather simplicity!  I thought to myself if I had no connection or reason to stay in Indiana, I’d move to Nashville just for this church!  Next time I’m in Nashville/Franklin I’ll be making a stop at New River Fellowship!

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Dusting the blog off!

Hi ya!  It’s been a long while since I have posted!  I have been knew deep in school work and in work itself along with this beautiful relationship and kids!

A few things I’m learning!  As I set off to finally finish my bachelor’s degree at Anderson University, I never imagined what would happen.  I thought okay I’m going to attend these classes and finish the requirements to get the piece of paper to get that job.  Well, God has other ways of using what we think is just another task to mark off the check list of life for GOOD!  I have been in a course over the past 5 weeks called Christian Communities and Vocation.  Going into the course I didn’t think much of the requirement but rather just saw it as something else to be checked off the list.  Well in the 3rd week, God broke me and I sat weeping in class as I was realizing the impact my dad’s life had on me.  Also, I was realizing the importance of priorities.  This last week has been one that I didn’t expect either.  Last Tuesday we were given the task of writing a 12 page paper.  At first I thought your giving us a week to write a twelve page paper.  CRAZY!  The first four pages were a contemplation pages where we wrote on a life experience that was guided by a question.  We then had to ask someone we respected but didn’t know us all that well to read it.  I asked my store leader at work to read it.  I knew he would be reading it on Saturday night and I was kind of nervous because I was very vulnerable but yet at the same time the long I thought about the questions, the deeper I dug into my own layers of life and quite honestly it’s a good thing we only had a week to write the paper because I would have rewritten it five times over if we had longer!

The other thing I’m learning is God’s unconditional love and undeserving we are of it.  I am learning this through my relationship with Byron.  Having not experienced the kind of love that he shows me and the way he treats me in the past, it’s a whole new experience and the way that God is using this for me to understand how we are very undeserving of His love but he choose to die on the cross for us is HUGE!!!!  I am so stinking grateful for Byron!  God has blessed me more than I could have imagined!

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