Wednesday, November 25, 2009

To Touch A Woman's HEART...It's Always the SMALL Things that WORK the BIGGEST

The gift

I decided to write a small entry about how to touch a woman's heart , and leave an imprint of your love there. This may apply to men as well, but I know it works for most women. I will admit it may not work for a woman that values clothes, jewelry, and new shoes above ALL else ( and I know women like this ), but for most women, this is a biggie.
But it always comes in small packages or gestures.
Take for instance my gift from my son a few days ago, pictured above. I was busy working on my computer, he had been playing outside...then he comes running in to where I am ( dirt on his shirt, pants, and shoes and face )...and stands there and looks at me. I stop what I'm doing, turn towards my little love-bug, and he thrusts this sad little past-it's -prime pink azalea blossom at me.
I look down at it , and of course it fills my heart, because it did not matter that it was perfect...but he took the time when he was chasing balls in the yard, to stop,  and picked it off the bush for me.
Hi tee-tiny bug in  jar

After I took it from him, thanked him profusely...he then walks away to go back out to play. I look down at the flower..smiling , look back up...and see he is watching me from the dining room doorway . I gave him a big smile , and thought , " How wonderful to have a gift from my  little boy , and appreciate it...and then he sees how much I do. "
My young son is not a momma's boy, he is probably more of a daddy's boy ( or maybe an even split) , as they play so much when he does something like this , it really touches me. 
Out of all our children, he is the one that does not verbalize his love.
So instead, he gave it to me through a small blossom.

One of my mom's favorite things to say about men was that they weren't any good until they were over 50. I sometimes think they are not any good once they are over 11 ( JUST kidding-sorta).  But truthfully , men and women just get lazy about the small things that warm each other's hearts.We usually KNOW what small things ' thrill ' our spouses , but we are all so busy with all the important and then equally trivial moments of our lives that we become neglectful of each other.
Plus so many people these days are too busy twittering strangers, face-booking a new acquaintance , blackberrying their time away , to stop and remember who that time really needs to be allotted for. Hours and hours of triteness.
Wasted minutes and hours become wasted days and years.

Life is so very short.

 Small things are the flower blossom, or flowers in general...not expensive bouquets...simple. Maybe your wife likes to cook...get her a new cookbook. Maybe she is a her some super cushiony socks. Maybe she has been wanting the newest best it and put it on her pillow, surprise her. Write her a love note , most men are incapable of long sonnets...just something simple from your heart to hers. Make her cup of coffee for her one morning.

I think we all need to just stop , like my little boy that day did...with all his running around...he saw the blossom, thought of who would like it, and took the time to bring it to me.
I am going to try to do this much more myself for the people I love.

Love makes life really, really good.

I hope you have a day full of love,

" ..And now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. " 1 Corinthians 4:13



Saturday, November 21, 2009

Two GREAT Hotels in Charleston, SC--INDIGO Inn & ANDREW Pinckney Inn

Me and my son on the third  floor of the INDIGO INN this Summer

Whenever we go to Charleston, South Carolina , we always stay at one of two places. There are many downtown hotels and bed and breakfasts , and we have stayed at about six different places here before. I am going to start with our very favorite, The Indigo Inn and then I will tell you about The Andrew Pinckney Inn. I will include their web site links by their photos for you to check them out that way too.

Indigo Inn
Link to the hotel: 

Here is the front of the Indigo Inn, it is a smaller is the Andrew Pinckney. I do not like large hotels, charm wins out over ostentatious to me every time. There is a large parking lot directly in front that you have to pay 10-11.00 per night to park in, but that is standard here in Charleston as parking is at a premium here.

Center courtyard with atrium, and a fountain

The above center courtyard is where you take your breakfast to, after you get it inside, and relax or take it back to your room on a large silver tray. There was always plenty to eat, fresh cut fruit, cereals, pastries, bagels, ham biscuits, and more. Plus coffee and juices.

Other view of courtyard

When we have our breakfast here, little wrens come down to try to persuade us for some crumbs and we always oblige.

Original jostling , bouncing board

They have some original Southern Jostling boards downstairs by the courtyard for kids or adults to bounce on.

Outside your rooms are the original old wrought iron Charleston benches. 

There are only 40 rooms her, but it is in downtown Charleston and two blocks from the Market, restaurants, museums,and the harbor. The staff is always helpful , and the afternoon wine/beverages, dips, cheese & crackers, fruit, and more is above average in quality for most hotels. It is located at 1 Maiden Lane off of Meeting St. I have the website link at the top picture.

Now let me show you the Andrew Pinckney Inn, right down the street from this one.

Andrew Pinckney Inn
Andrew Pinckney link 

This hotel is also full of charm, most of the rooms are actually across the street from this in a old building. This is the original 1700's building here. They have more limited on site parking, at a fee, and there is a few places behind here to park, or you have to use the parking garage across the street. They have rooms laid out with period furniture, like the Indigo, and they have a terrace for their free breakfast they serve at the location across the street. They do not have wine and cheese in the afternoon, but they do have fresh cookies, coffee and lemonade all during the day in their office. This is a larger hotel than the Indigo, but it is also very charming and you are right in the middle of historic Charleston. You can walk to anywhere you want, no driving once you are here as this is so close to everything you will want to see.
Make sure you stop at the little brochure stands in each hotel as you can get discounts off almost anywhere you want to go , tours, and some local restaurants. 

Andrew Pinckney Inn

Remember when you come here in the Summer it is HOT and HUMID. I do not think many people realize the deep South's weather until they visit Charleston in The Summer. Spring and fall of course are not as bad, but the gardens in the historic neighborhoods are most lush in the Summer. You can go on walking tours or bus tours to see the entire area as well. There are numerous bed and breakfats and hotels in Charleston online, you may find a treasure yourself in one. The rates vary for these hotels, I recall 129.-220. a night, higher on the weekends and also remember you can get your Triple -A discount , military, etc. when you get rates.

Enjoy your day,

" It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name , O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night. " Psalm 92:1-2


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mini- FIELD Trip to CONFEDERATE Soldiers Cemetery in COLUMBIA, SC

Entrance to Cemetery of Soldiers

My little boy had a half-day of school yesterday , so I decided to take him on a mini-field trip to a local cemetery in Columbia, South Carolina...the oldest cemetery here, and show him one of the oldest Confederate soldiers cemetery in the United States.
I had seen this cemetery when I drove through a few days ago, my mother is buried in this graveyard  ( it is a large graveyard with many acres of different cemeterys ),further down and I was planting pansies back there.I would say it is never very pleasant to go to a graveyard anyway, but Elmwood cemetery is beautiful as far as cemeterys can be. Huge old oak trees, many are live oaks, beautiful old antique monuments , and if I did not have my mother buried there , I would probably appreciate the surroundings even more.
It is in downtown Columbia, with the river running down aways beside it. Anyway, I took my little boy with me and on the way there I tried to explain to him about the civil war, Abraham Lincoln, Sherman burning most of Columbia down, and about the soldiers who died in the we were the losing side of the war. I also told him this was on the National  Registry of Historic Places , trying to whip up some excitement in him in the backseat.

Then I told him I would get him a Happy meal at McDonald's when we were through.
That was the first smile I got out of him on the way there.

What I was surprised at was how small it was. We parked and got out to look around and take some pictures, it was an overcast...windy day.
Above is the entrance arbor above that says, " Confederate Soldiers 1861-1865 ". This graveyard was made during the civil war and used then and afterwords for the remaining civil war veterans.

This was the neat old granite memorial dedicated to the soldiers that says " This memorial is dedicated to confederate soldiers buried in unmarked graves in this cemetery. Some known by name , others by initials, twenty-five known but to God. " 
As history tells, the original records of the fallen soldiers was sent to a downtown church, that Sherman burnt down, and subsequently , all the original records of who all these men were and how they died was forever lost.

It was nice when people used to credit more to God on public markers than they do now , like they did on this one.

 The front view with the small grave markers

The markers barely reach to my knees, and there is a glorious gigantic oak beside the front of the graveyard, there is also a small platform behind me that they do memorial services once a year on.

That's my little boy running through, I think he expected to see guns or soldier's hats or something. He is also running because it was chilly but he WOULDN'T listen to his mom about bringing his jacket !

Most of the markers appear to be made of marble, which with time gets soft from the elements, so the inscriptions are hard to make out. If you are a civil war buff though, I'll bet you can figure out some of the regiments and what some of the initials mean. I am assuming troop numbers or rank or something.

One marker

One after another

We saw a few with small confederate flags in front.

He is still running around, but we decide to go check out the large monument in the center.

This seem to impress him the most, plus all the daddy long leg spiders everywhere.

Case in point, photo taken by my son

A large marble obelisk style monument in the center.
This is a large center monument  that the Ladies Memorial Association collected money from various towns in South Carolina to be able to purchase and erect for the fallen soldiers in 1899.

A large granite monument to the far right field of the cemetery.

This appears to be a monument erected by the Confederate women ( United Daughters of the Confederacy ) in honor of the soldiers who did not die in battle but went to a final years, or retirement home , and then passed away. Their names are all on here.

It kept getting breezier, and more overcast...and I was blocking a street as they are only one car width lanes through her, so we had to go.
I expected this to be much larger, but it only had 189 veterans buried there. So I would say this is a small graveyard , there is also one in Charleston, SC of civil war soldiers. I am including a link to the Elmwood cemetery graves of important soldiers that are marked here .Important graves of soldiers.
  You can find this little graveyard, open 365 days a year...daylight hours only and you can google Elmwood Cemetery Columbia, SC and get directions from wherever you are.
We hopped in the car and headed on our way to McDonalds...I was thinking how sad these young men died in the war, nameless markers...and my little boy was requesting a milkshake with his happy meal.
Such is life.

I hope you have a blessed day,

" Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. " Psalm 138:7

Monday, November 16, 2009

Of SPINNING Dogs & SELF-Discipline

I have a spinning dog named Maxine. She is an out of control, undisciplined, spinning dog.
She is a large black lab, my husband adores her, our son considers her his best friend/com padre'...and I am her baby-sitter-mom most days. When I take her for her walks, early evening usually...she takes the leash and runs in every yard for the first block....
and spins,

Taking the leash and spinning, out of control in circles... 2-3 minutes at a time

Getting ready for another spin

In our next door neighbor's yard...our little cowgirl dog

Neighbors comment and laugh at her, people driving by laugh at her, she looks like a rodeo cowgirl dog, spinning in circles...whipping her leash the entire time along with her.

Not only does she spin, she DRAGS me down the street, for blocks. Yes I do have a choke on her...and let me tell you, I use it. She is just so darned happy all the time, that she doesn't care. She probably only weighs about 20 lbs. less than me, and it is a major feat to control her. I am one of those people you see that the neighbors say, " Who's walking who ?" hahaha, NOT.

My son trying to hold her back

She not only spins and drags me, she also tries to fight any dog we run into...10 lbs. to 130 lbs., they are all the same to her. I usually have to choke her ( use the choker ), hold her back, apologize to people for her behavior, get physically on top of her & scold her, she COULD care less, she is happy being out of control and undisciplined.
Kind of like we all are, right ?
We all have areas we are undisciplined, mine are too numerous to name, I will just name the areas I AM disciplined to save time. I am disciplined about what I eat, and exercise.
That's it.
Everything else is a battle royale.
Food is not a huge deal to me, exercise those are pretty easy areas for me.

 As another example , I am disciplined to a greater extent what I watch in the media, but I don't like TV, and am disappointed ( and fed up ) ,in what I see in movies it is easier being disciplined in something that really does not hold much interest to me.
It is way easier being disciplined about something that you do not really care about , or that you have come to a conclusion about personally that you do not struggle with anymore.
It is those OTHER areas, that test us.

I think we are tested with finances for some, shopping habits for some, saving habits for some , exercise habits for some, eating habits for some, worship habits, study habits, work habits & ethics, internal morality habits or integrity. I mean many of these are a piece of cake to many...and then they fail miserably in some other key areas of life.
I know I do.

Being dragged

I know that just being 'somewhat' disciplined in some areas, but not all the really important ones (like kindness, loving your neighbor, integrity, honesty, self-sacrifice, fearing God, tithing ,etc. ),   means failing in the self-control department.  Being a Christian means I need to be disciplined...GRATEFULLY disciplined in almost ALL areas.
God does not expect perfection from us, but He does expect us to strive for it. 
Otherwise we just get slack, start spinning out of control in areas of our lives that are our weak ones.

Obedience is HUGE to God , we do it out of respect for Him, and to demonstrate we understand the fear ( respect, reverence ), of Him.
He knows what is best for us, He loves us.
I love my crazy dog. I do what I do to protect her, to TRY to discipline her, I see what can happen to her if she does not behave...if she gets too out of control ( regularly), and if she misbehaves she can hurt herself or some other dog.
I see this, she does not. 
God sees the end result of our undisciplined, out of control lives before we even make the first mistake.

Cannot get the leash out of her mouth most of the time

I know God has given us the spirit of self-control ( self discipline ), but I think we all fail to use it in areas harder for us,  because it is easier ( or more fun ), to be undisciplined, do what we ' feel' like, do  ' whatever'  tomorrow instead of today, work on that bad habit ' soon', just basically slack off in the self-control department.
Especially in today's world, with all the temptations, all the excitements, all the 'newest things',  too many opportunities , we have a very hard time being disciplined about lots of things. Things that lead us away from God.

I also know that God tells us that if we have a relationship with Him, we will get the fruits of the spirit:
" But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, SELF-CONTROL. " Galatians 5:22

So if we want to develop it more, we have to grow more in our relationship with Him.
We have to listen to Him, come to the realization that He really DOES know what is best for us. That He has equipped us to stand firm against the world, against our own flesh ( our desires ). 
Again this is something very hard for me to come to grips with personally, I like to make my own decisions , come up with my own solutions to situations or problems. I don't want anyone to be my boss or my keeper.
Even God.

But I do know something more important than that.
I KNOW that I need God. I KNOW that He can equip me to do the right thing in all  circumstances. I KNOW He expects this of me.
I know I love Him and do not want to disappoint Him.

I just need to stop being more like my crazy black lab , spinning around oblivious to anyone else

and discipline myself in my weak areas...

for me,
my family ,and
my God .

I hope you have a great day, and have strength where you need it,


" Never tire of doing what is right. " 2 Thessalonians 3:13 

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Don't TOUCH MY Blueberries !

MY blueberries

My youngest daughter came by our house the other morning, I was busy working on the computer...she chatted with me awhile, then walked into the kitchen. I heard her rummaging around the pantry, fridge, etc. Then she said some forbidden words,
" OHH, Blueberries ! Can I have some ?"
I stopped typing and froze.
I said loudly back, " Your dad just got me those, so NO. You can have bananas, strawberries, whatever else...BUT not MY blueberries ! "
I hear a ' Hmmpph." response from the kitchen.

 A little background info on this, I am a creature of habit, especially when it concerns food. I don't eat a lot, food is not something I think about very  much...but every morning , ( except Sundays ), EVERY morning I eat the same thing.
Blueberries & bananas on plain cheerios and a big cup of coffee.
Perfect breakfast

Probably for the last 5 years or so. I usually switch very 7-10 years what I eat for lie. My husband thinks I am a nut, but he loves to come back from the grocery store and say " I got you some blueberries. ", as he know that makes me happy.
Since blueberries are now out of season, they are harder to get. So I am especially hoarding them.
So when flesh of my flesh , my youngest beloved daughter comes by for one of her brief visits ( about 25 mins. usually ), what do I do but act ungracious.
I retold this story to my husband and again I get a stern ' GINA, how could you not share your blueberries !" I made legitimate excuses, they are out of season, they are hard to get, I don't have much.
He just stands there looking sternly at me, starts laughing, and walks off.

I called after him that I offered her ANYTHING else in the ENTIRE kitchen, but NOT MY blueberries.
Doesn't that still make me a nice Mom ?
Probably not.

It made me think of how we all are with God , about that habit or addiction, or sin that we cling to ...that we hoard. We enjoy it, it gives us pleasure. It may be food, it may be TV, it may be our internet habits, it may be a relationship, it may be shopping, it may be alcohol, pornography, it could be anything,
That we CLING to, that we won't give up.
We need it.
It brings us pleasure.
It's fun.
We NEED it.

Love these little guys

But usually what we cling to, that we think we HAVE to have to survive..or to bring us daily pleasure , 
can become a serious addiction or habit that controls us.
I am not just talking about the really bad sins, also gossip can become a daily addiction if you have to call a friend or relative and chat up about someone all the time.
If you have to watch TV constantly, it has to be on constantly for you to feel OK.
If you have to check your email or be assessable ALWAYS, that can be a
habit or pleasure that eats away at your present life.
There are many more areas in all our lives.
What area do you want to tell God, " Keep out, that's mine, I need that. "
I know I have a few, I bet we all do.
Growing closer to God, growing in our faith walk....means figuring out what God sees as valuable in our lives, what HE sees enriches our lives...and not what WE think does.
I hope He sees my blueberries as valuable.
I really need them.

Bless you , enjoy your day,

" Unto you I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. Behold , as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the LORD our GOD, Until He has mercy on us !" Psalm 123 1-2


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What Kind of SOLDIER, WARRIOR, Fighter are You For GOD ?

I think it is funny sometimes ( not always ), how God allows total opposites to get married. He definitely must have a sense of humor.
Take my husband and me. 
Mr. Salt of the Earth and Mrs. Every Spice in the Cabinet.

I love to corral my husband up , and ask him deep profound questions. He on the other hand, hates it. He would love nothing better than to NEVER have to answer anything deep and profound anyone ever has to ask him again in his life...but no such luck as he's married to me.
Miss Inquisitive.
So I had him corralled in the kitchen one night, he had just got up from the comfort of the dog, the couch and the remote control...and I came up and asked him something that makes the hair stand up on the back of his neck.
I know it does , it always does , every time.
I said, " Let me ask you a question. "

He has one hand on the fridge door handle, ready to get his ice cream...and he stops and looks at me...the hair definitely standing up on his neck.
I move one step closer to him, not letting him out of my eyesight.
He freezes, sighs deeply...then leans against the kitchen counter and goes, ' Ok, what now ?'
I then lean against my side of the kitchen counter and ask:
" If you were a soldier, what kind of soldier would you be ? "

Our pirate-soldier

He just leans back and stares at me.
I say, " C'mon...I know what kind of soldier you would be. "
He then says, ' Oh yeah ?', one eyebrow raised.
Then I tell him,
" You would be one of those soldiers, one of the captains ( I know zilch about military ranking so bear with me ), and you would sit in a large group, in the tent ( before a big attack on the battlefield ), and you would discuss all the different ways to approach the battle , and think long and hard before you recommended anything. "
He just  keeps looking at me.
Then I chime in, " Know what kind of soldier I would be ?' ( like a child ).
He just keeps staring at me.
I continue, 
" I would be one of the soldiers standing at the back of the circle of captains and generals speaking, I would listen to what the problem was, I would deduce what needed to be done, I would probably look at two guys beside me...and say to them " Let's GO."  Then I would leave the tent quickly and attack the situation head on ! "
My husband just keeps looking at me, silence.
I then say, " Of course I would be very brave and probably very dead soon, but at least I heard the problem and DID SOMETHING. "
He then vaguely smiled at me and said, " Hmmpph."
Which meant he thought I would be dead too.

The point of all of this conversation is alot of Christians sit around complaining about things that are either wrong with the church , wrong with religion, wrong with other Christians, wrong with the world, etc...but FEW people FIGHT for what they believe in. So are you that ' discusser' Christian, or that ' THEY ( not you but the infamous they), should do something about it " Christian, or that ' pretty-soon I'll do whatever' Christian ,or that ' go all out warrior' Christian ? 
I know too may talkers, too may discussers.
Too much nothing.
There needs to be some ' backing up ' , either with words, actions, money , or prayer...of what you personally feel is a problem.We have a spiritual battlefield , our present world , and it NEEDS each of us to be a soldier, a warrior for God.
God needs us to do this for HIM.

Usually it is that nagging feeling inside about either religious issues, moral issues , family issues, world or community issues ,...these seem to be the big ' hot-points' in our hearts.
There has probably always been some issue that gets most of your attention, that gets you riled up.
I encourage you strongly to do SOMETHING , to prove to God and yourself , and your family, that you will fight for Him and His Kingdom. This does not mean forming a large protest, or getting petitions could...but at the VERY least if we all would stand up against gossip, crassness and crudeness so prevalent in many areas , outright lewdness , outright rudeness, cruelty, ( I could go on and on )...then we would be standing up for
That can mean walking away from a conversation, not laughing at crude and crass comments like everyone does, not laughing or gawking at lewd behavior or images, you get my drift...not accepting the way our world is becoming.

I later asked my husband  ( again like a child ), " So do you think I woud be a good soldier ? "
He looks at me for a few moments and says,
" Yes."
I say , " Really ? "
He says, " like to be in charge."
Spoken from the mouth of my tough-guy husband. 
I believe that was a compliment from him. Probably a back-handed compliment , but I'll take it anyway.

I hope you think hard about what you'll stand up for God for,

" I have fought the good fight , I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. ' 2 Timothy 4:7

Monday, November 9, 2009


Going to a major league baseball game is FUN. I absolutely love going to these games . I only went to my first one about 2 1/2 years ago, our little boy is a Atlanta Braves fan and my husband is a die-hard New York Yankees fan ( since the days of Mickey Mantle...wayyy back ).
We went this Summer to the series between the Braves and the Yankees, we were really looking forward to it.
Boy, am I one DUMB woman.
On one hand I have my precious little 8 year old boy, our little slugger who loves Chipper Jones , and loves the Braves. On the other hand I have my husband who has not seen the Yankees play in person for a good 40 years, and has always been a Yankee's big-time fan. 
They were both very excited.
The first game was great, I wear my Yankees shirt and Braves cap the first game, the Braves win ! Our little boy was on cloud nine ! I was cheering for both teams during the game , for Derek Jeter who my husband loves, Chipper who my little boy loves...and I love to see A-Rod hit.
My husband is always a good sport, so he was fine with the Yankees losing the first game ( sort-of ).

Then, the second game rolled around...we were all in a good mood. Unfortunately for me and my son...our next seats were in the middle of some LOUD Yankees fans...and the Yankees beat the Braves the second night pretty bad. I had to sit there, with my husband thrilled HIS team was winning and playing well ( which made me happy for him ) ...and then look down and see tears rolling down my little boy's face. I gave every Yankee's fan a dirty look when they got too obnoxious...I know they thought I was crazy as I had a Yankees cap on and a Braves shirt that night.
Bad night , with a sad boy and a happy/sad husband as he doesn't like to see his slugger like that either.
Third night..I was so stressed out by the last and final night of the series ( hoping secretly the Braves  would win ), and of course we get smack in the middle of another bunch of loud Yankee's fans again. Which of course if we were just at a Yankee's game , and no Braves...all would be fine.
I had serious DIVIDED Allegiances.

The game ended with the Braves losing...when I was out getting ice-cream for everyone , I could hear the Yankees score over and over...and my heart was sinking. I went back to our seats, my husband looked up at me...happy and sad all at once in his eyes. Our little boy , very sad..more tears.
When we left, some Yankee fans were high-fiving everyone who had a Yankees shirt or hat on...they high-fived my husband, started to high-five my little boy...then withdrew...and said' Oh, sorry little buddy" , when they saw his Atlanta cap and shirt. Then saw me and raised their hands...looked at me to join them...and I just shook my head and put my arm around my little boy. They looked at my different shirt and cap , then at him and me and said,
" Oh, Sorry...DIVIDED Allegiance huh...good Mom. "

It all made me think of how we all are...God tells us to Choose...He gives us this day...CHOOSE. ( "  I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live ; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may cling to Him, for He is your  life and the length of your days..." Deuteronomy 30:18,19 ).
I felt like I could NOT choose.  I wanted BOTH teams to win...impossible in reality. I think that is how most of us feel during some serious times of either judgment calls, moral lapses, emotional lapses , or physical lapses . Paralyzed, feeling unable to choose. Wanting both sides of something to continue.
God tells us to choose, but most of us try to hold onto divided allegiances, one foot on both sides of the line. Not committing completely to one way or the other.
Holding on tight.
To both.
One foot in the foot in God's kingdom.
Holding on, a balancing act that will eventually cause us to fall , as it cannot be maintained forever. We cannot be strong enough to maintain duplicity, it weakens our core.
I know what I SHOULD do in these circumstances.
Get off the fence , put both feet firmly on one side of an issue that is testing me. Close up those options we always try to leave open...just in case.
I have not mastered this yet , but awareness of a problem is the beginning of the solution , right ?
I pray that all of us can choose for the truer purpose...for what God sees is best for us, for HIS glory above all.


Bless you and your choices,

" Never tire of doing what is right. " 2 Thessalonians 3:13

A Short GUIDE to ART MUSEUMS in the DEEP South, USA

I was having a short discussion with my husband and our little boy on the way to church a week ago , telling my husband if I was driving them we would have been at church already . Somehow that led to the topic of what does makes me slow down ? My little boy chimes in from the back seat and says, " I know !'
I said, " Really, what's that ? " He says " PAINTINGS ! ANYWHERE there is a painting. "
I absolutely agreed. I truly become almost paralyzed at times when I see paintings, mostly antique oil paintings ( also other original oil paintings) , from the unbelievable talent displayed with the meticulous details, the vivid colors, the obvious effort and time involved , the obvious evidence of God in someone's work. I personally feel there is no other talent that compares to a great artist's talent ( that is not that I believe ALL talents are not of great value ), art is just MY personal favorite.  Some people may disagree and say a musical composition , a literary masterpiece , a fabulous singing voice....but I am knocked out by old oil paintings over them all.
There is ONE other thing that slows me down, it is at the bottom of this entry... don't bother scrolling down as it is not really that exciting or interesting.
But I have discovered it REALLY slows me down.

Alright, here is a very short guide to some great art museums in the Deep South of the United States, not from the perspective of an art historian or art expert...just from a woman that LOVES antique paintings.
Here they are :

Bob Jones University and Art Museum
Greenville, South Carolina
This is to me , hands down the very best art museum I have seen that has an astounding collection of Renaissance, Baroque,  Italian, French, Flemish, Gothic and all are Religious art. This art museum is on the Bob Jones' University campus, the only problem I had with it , is that the hours are only 2-5 . You can go to Greenville's Art Museum before ( which did not impress me nearly as much ), but Bob Jones collection will exhaust you visually and is worth very hour that it is open. It is very dark inside the galleries, a bit too dark for me...but the beauty of the paintings makes you forget that. In each of the galleries they have young University students standing around guarding the paintings, and chatting with each other when you walk away. Only if you love old religious Renaissance art will you enjoy this museum, if Modern or Contemporary art is your ' bag ', then this will not be the museum for you.
Here is the link:

Telfair Museums
Savannah, Georgia
This is my second favorite art museum in the South, located in downtown historic Savannah , actually has three museums in close proximity but the Telfair Academy in an old Neo-classical mansion was by far my favorite. So charming , housed in an old Southern mansion, with rooms full of spectacular antique paintings. The other larger art museum, the Jepson center, was not for me as it is full of contemporary and abstact art.
Not my thang.
Going to visit Savannah is also a pleasure in itself, so be sure to combine an overnight stay if you can.
Here is the link for all the info:

High Museum of Art

Atlanta, Georgia
This was a little further down on my list as it was soooo difficult to find in downtown Atlanta's traffic, then maneuvering through the parking situation, then finally getting inside. I felt like the exhibitions are very nice, but too much wall space is left between the paintings often, for such a large building I thought there would be more Art. Still has a very good collection. Lots of modern, Impressionists, Old masters, abstract, contemporary. Also has a good selection of marble sculptures in the museum. This museum will take you probably 2-3 hours plus to go through.


Columbia Museum of Art
Columbia, South Carolina

Now this is my local art museum, easy to find in downtown Columbia. Not open on Mondays or Tuesdays though. It has a very nice collection of High Renaissance art and Baroque artwork. It is layed out by posted time periods in each room. This is a mid-size museum , so it will still satisfy your artistic appetites for a day. Check out their website for additional info:

Gibbes Art Museum
Charleston, South Carolina
This was a bit further down on my list as the collection is not nearly as spectacular as you would  imagine for such an historic city. VERY easy to find in downtown Charleston. You can walk to this from most hotels here. It has a nice collection of miniatures , and some interesting local portraits of famous Charlestonians. You can get through this small museum in about an hour or and hour and a half. The gift shop at the front is very nice with lots of books on Charleston. I am a Charleston nut, so I would always include it in my list for someone else. You can go here and then enjoy the beautiful neighborhoods of Charleston.

Now for the one other thing that I have discovered slows me way down.

My cowboy boots

I was born in Austin, even all the way over here in the Deep South with all the Southern belles around...I like to wear my boots. But ONLY every now and then , as I CANNOT walk fast in them to save my life. I feel like I'm wearing snowshoes in Alaska...every pair I own  I can't walk faster than an ole' cowpoke. But they make me feel like a cowgirl , so I wear them.

So old oil paintings and cowboy boots slow me down.
My secret is out.

I hope you get to some of these art museums and give your eyes a feast.
Many blessings,

" For while we do not look at the things which are seen , but at the things which are not seen . For the things which are seen are temporary , but the things which are not seen are eternal. " 2 Corinthians 4:18