Deactivate my what??

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Flowers- the last item on our shopping list!

In search of the perfect shrug to compliment our Easter Sunday outfits, the girls and I headed out to the mall yesterday. Shopping with my daughters is always an adventure- one that I often have to give myself a “pep talk” to do. Gotta have a planned route, set clear expectations, and we buy absolutely NOTHING that is not on our list…okay, I mean the imaginary list that is in my brain because even if I did write one, it would be lost within seconds of finishing it…

Anyway, we arrived at our first destination, and much to my delight, the return I had to make first went off without a hitch!  I quickly found the perfect shrug for myself and made the purchase.  It was almost too good to be true- no lines, no hassle, girls were as good as gold…. and then we proceeded to exit the store.

As soon as I passed by the tag sensors, the alarm went off.  Boy is that thing loud!  I think it’s even louder when you are the one setting it off.  My face turned beet red, and the girls were mortified. I stepped back, and at that same time an elderly lady was walking towards the sensors with her bag in hand.  We stepped through at the same time, and sure enough- it went off again.  The elderly lady shot me a disapproving look, and I quickly went back to the check-out counter and they checked my bag.  Nope- no sensor tag. I tried to exit the store a third time, and once again, the alarm went off.  The sales associate waived me on, and the girls and I journeyed onto store #2.

They walked far enough behind me that I could tell they didn’t want the horror of being stared at if we set off another store alarm.  I approached the sensor of the next store, and turned to smile at my girls. Surely it wouldn’t go off again!

Much to my horror, it did- this one seemed even louder.  I noticed people were staring at me and my face started getting red again.  I walked through the entryway and someone asked me if they could help me.  I said I needed to find a shrug for my girls to wear, and oh, by the way– I keep setting these darned sensors off!  She was baffled, too, and said not to worry about it.  Another sales associate approached me and asked me if I was wearing Ann Taylor Loft jeans.  What a strange question…why yes, I was wearing Loft jeans…

“Sometimes there is a sensor in the jeans that set off our alarm system.”

“Well, that’s crazy!  I’ve had these jeans for ever and they have never set off any alarms!”

“How about you follow me- I can deactivate it for you.”

“You mean deactivate my butt?” I asked her, trying to stifle my giggles.  The girls were completely mortified at this entire situation.  I followed her to the register and began feeling up and down the seams of my jeans.  She waved her magic wand up and down my sides and backside, with no luck.  So, I did the only thing I could think to do- I reached down into my pant legs and much to my relief- I found the culprit.  I turned my jeans down and she cut the tag out with her scissors.

There were way too many people staring at my backside at this point, and all I could do was laugh. Even the girls were hysterically giggling and hiding behind clothing racks.

So the next time you set an alarm off in a store- be sure to check your backside… you might just need your butt deactivated!

The Last to Fall

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some foliage may leap

at the first sign of autumn

while others will tarry

before hitting bottom

The leaves yet to fall

get a bird’s eye view

a forecasting of all

they’re jumping into

Growing up, I often felt like an outcast. Tall, overweight, pimply and awkward.  I was quite frequently the last one picked in school to be on any team of any kind.  One perks of not being “chosen” first was that I was able to observe and take in the scene- I have always loved people-watching! 

As I was out walking the other day, I noticed fields of gold crumpled leaves on the ground.  Almost all of them had already fallen, but there were just a few still clinging to the branches.  It was a beautiful sight. And it all reminded me that there is a season for everything… and that every dying leaf will eventually be “picked” off the tree.

And I am overwhelmed this morning knowing that all those years of feeling like the last one to be chosen- that I have been “picked” by Him, and that by His grace, I won’t fall into a pile of decaying, moldy leaves… but that I will be continually made new by His Spirit.  I have “fallen” for Him… There is a time for everything- and His time is always now!

I am loved, I am chosen, and I am His!

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens- Ecclesiastes 3

Silver Linings

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stunning sunset…

Splendor in the sky

He exceeds expectations

with silver linings

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captivating sky….

 I almost missed this-

brought to my attention by

my youngest daughter!

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Psalm 19:1

From rising to setting sun, may the name of the LORD be praised.  Psalm 113:3

I am slowly learning to release all my expectations and to enjoy the moment.  Our “holiday” weekend was not a traditional one.  The four of us spent the entire Thanksgiving day together.  There was a time when that would have made me sad- thinking that it wasn’t really Thanksgiving unless everyone I called family was under the same roof.  But we had a wonderful day… filled with rest, relaxation, and quality family time.

I didn’t go out shopping on Black Friday, either.  I confess, it seemed like I was missing out on something. I leisurely woke up, drank my coffee, and snuggled on the couch with my girls.  There was no place I would have rather been!

We traveled to see my in-laws over the weekend. Against tradition, we all met at a restaurant for our “holiday” meal.  It was awesome!  No cooking, no clean-up…we were all able to enjoy the stress-free meal and fellowship together. I also got to spend time with my sister while we were back “home”. We had the best weekend!

And as we prepared to head home from visiting with family, my youngest daughter says to me, “Mom- you should look outside.  It’s really pretty.” The odd thing was, I didn’t see her get up from where she was sitting and the mini-blinds were pulled shut- so I don’t know how she knew about the sunset.

She got up, took my hand, and led me outside. I was stunned at how beautiful it was!  Before I knew it, all four of us were in the backyard, smiling and looking up at heaven.

One of the things that made the weekend special for me was my expectations.  I had none.  And to top it off, I didn’t even know the sun was setting as we were gathering our things to head home.

When I release my expectations and put them in His hands, He exceeds them- every time!

A family affair-

huddled close beneath His sky

we take a selfie…

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Evening Swan Song

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overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains at sunset

Blackened branches dance away

into the dimming light of day

they sing their joyful serenade

of an evening swan song.

soon the visibility

of the glowing light we see

will blend into the shadowed trees

and fade into oblivion.

 And each morning and evening they stood before the LORD to sing songs of thanks and praise to him.            1 Chronicles 23:30

Signs and wonders

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Cross in the sky

Signs and wonders in the sky

cross of hope displayed on high 

Your cross of glory, true and clear

The sound of silence in my ear

Peaceful beauty, Presence close

In You, and only You I boast

Signs and wonders in the sky

Your splendor captivates my eye

The ladies from our church went on a retreat this weekend.  There were so many wonderful moments, but this one was pretty awesome!  Several of us went up on a hill to watch the sun set over the Blue Ridge Mountains.  It was exceptionally chilly, but gorgeous!  When you reach the top of the hill, there is a 365 degree view of the mountains.

“The hills are alive, with the sound of music…”  I couldn’t help myself.  Each time I climbed up there, I had to burst into the song from the Sound of Music.  After all, it is my phone’s ringtone!   And the opening scene from the movie is exactly what it felt like being up there.

“Listen!” I said to my dear friend.

It was completely silent.  The atmosphere was so still, I could hear myself breathing.

  Overwhelming peace, and the presence of my Savior flooded my soul.

We quietly took pictures and my friend showed me her camera.  The camera showed a crystal-clear cross in the sky… but the strange thing was that looking in the sky, you could not see the horizontal line of the cross, only the vertical line.  And to the left of the cross, the wispy cloud resembled a dove.

There were signs of Him- of His presence with us all weekend.

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There are signs of His great love for us everywhere when we are looking for Him

a word of encouragement from a friend

an unwarranted hug from my girls

“I love you” texts from my hubby

smiles from strangers

His steadfast love abounds!

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.  Psalm 86:15

Beauty Fades

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High definition vibrancy

a technicolor tapestry

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autumn leaves of  fantasy

one last hurrah, then dormancy

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 beauty’s only temporary

in the near future, we will see 

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nature’s true transparency

the truth beneath flamboyancy 

 The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

A Love Note- Hair today, gone tomorrow

I shed.

A lot.

One day I was standing in the shower, and noticed a wad of hair stuck to the shower wall.   Except that it was not just a normal wad of hair… it strangely resembled the letters EWW.

“Did you see the note I left for you?”  my husband asked me later that morning.

“Yes, yes I did.” I realized that my husband did, in fact, leave me a “hair” note in the shower.

And so the next day, I left him my own little note-

I  (heart) U

Why yes, we have taken to leaving notes in the shower with my hair.

This has continued on and off for many months now.  I admit that when I see my hair stuck to the wall, I can’t help giggling thinking about what to spell with it!

I decide today to leave him a “selfie”.  No, that is not Marge Simpson in that picture below.  It is a self portrait of me- made with love for my husband on our shower wall.   I watched my husband go towards the bathroom and I told him that I left him a note.  He did not disappoint.  I think the whole house shook with his gregarious laughter.

And like a flower quickly fading, my hair portrait is hair today and gone tomorrow.

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