Carefree Days

Tomorrow, or perhaps today, is my birthday. (It all depends on when you're reading this, eh.) The photo on the right is from one of my best years. It wasn't a birthday celebration ~ just a few friends getting together for some summertime fun. We did that a lot.
Mom would get on the phone (that was plugged into the wall in the hallway) and dial some numbers that all began with JA. We don't have numbers like that anymore. Spur-of-the-minute adventures were one of her specialties.
TV was still in black & white and we were all amazed when we could see Jeannie's beautiful pyjamas, Gilligan's island and Johnny's monologue in color the next year.
But back to the day in the backyard here...we all took our favorite role and put on an impromptu re-creation of the Cinderella story. Everyone must have grabbed their favorite outfit from their dress-up closet and brought it over. I'm the one in white next to the girl who looks like a princess in her lovely red ensemble. My dress was an actual church dress with what might be a tablecloth wrapped around my legs to make it "full-length."
I'm still in touch with a few of the friends in this photo. Some of their moms send us Christmas cards every year. This day was completely free-of-charge ~ and completely priceless. The only expense was for the cupcakes to celebrate. Thanks Mom. For all the good times.


"Hmmm," she said.

Some days I just shake my head. Today is one of those. It seems everywhere I go I'm amazed on some days and that's today, this day.

I'm going to take a few hours and contemplate the mysteries of life. Feel free to join me. It's one thing I often do while the NFL is consuming the attention of the family. I watch ~ but actually spend a lot of time pondering, musing and what-not. A lot of 'what-not' honestly.

Hope your day is absolutely fantastic, NFL or not.

Find your spot in the sun. You're entitled.


Off to the Sea

Honey is smiling a bit brighter today. Her sister and brother-in-law arrived last night to spend a few days here in Sunny. They're planning a few hours in the sand to catch up on sisterly news today. And then perhaps a bit of shopping at one of the marketplaces downtown.

Master Max is not at all sure of this arrangement. You see, Honey and her sister have the same voice. He's just a bit confused. And the big guy with her goes by JJ, also. Yes, the sisters married men with the same name.

I think their other sister, Lovely, should make a video for youtube introducing her brothers... Yes, you're way ahead of me. "This is my brother, JJ. And this is my other brother JJ."

Hope you have a great weekend and find a good spot in the sun, too!


This Ain't Prettyville

Tonight ~ Sept. 15, please check out Chonda Pierce's show on CMT. It's on here in Sunny at 5 or 8 pm, depending on your tv access. If it's dish it's one time/cable, the other.

It will have laughter. It might have singing, not sure about any dancing. But I know it will connect with your heart at some point. You can count on Chonda for that! Because she knows the Heart-Connector and He's gifted her with this ability.

Her skill as a comedienne is fabulous, no doubt about it. But her love is greater. And that's one of the reasons I'll be watching CMT tonight for an hour. I'll also ask Honey to make us all some Sweet Tea so we can raise our glasses a time or two...


Interesting Changes

We've probably all seen the video from the VMA awards by now. You know the one...the one everyone is talking about on facebook, twitter, cnn and such. I feel so sorry for Taylor Swift and so proud of Beyonce. The other individual does not deserve credit by name (at least not here at Grace Today).

But the thought that came to mind this morning was the change in focus for so many of our lives. I grew up spending Sunday nights in church, rarely listened to secular music, did not attend dances and such. None of this seemed odd to me as the youth group and Sunday night services were the ultimate cool thing to participate in ~ at least in my home town. Yes, my home town was two thousand miles away from Sunny and it was an entirely different culture.

We all want to be relevant. That's a huge buzz-word in Christianity and church leadership these days. But I wouldn't trade the focus of my youth for anything ~ even being able to watch MTV for ideas to use on stage at church.



I recently finished this amazing book. Oh my goodness! I think I'm going to give it to several friends this Christmas. What a beautiful treasure of hope. Max Lucado has an amazing gift of stating the richest theological truths in everyday language. I found each chapter to have many "keepers" to post on the fridge, or cross-stitch. ;) It would be a beautiful source for a daily calendar. (Let me know if you go with that, Max.)

Not to give anything away ~ but the final chapter includes one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I've seen in years. Right there at the end... a poem/psalm from a little boy. I predict it will become quite well-known.

Scripture references are used throughout "Fearless", but in a very non-threatening, loving manner. It should be an inspiration to any reader regardless of personal belief. Light shining in darkness ~ casting out fear. Something we all need a bit more of these days. I highly recommend "Fearless" to you. Enjoy!


You're Free, Little Friend

We had a lovely walk this morning at the lake. It honestly was too hot to be walking, but we finished it anyway considering we would burn more calories that way. I don't think Max supported our decision, but he was a very good sport about it.

Along the first turn, before we reached the Eagle Scout beautification section, Honey spotted a little black caterpillar on the pavement. I encouraged her to pick it up to snuggle a minute and discovered Honey is not so interested in snuggling with stray caterpillars.

Max was curious. I picked it up, named it Winslow and we had a nice little chat about life as a caterpillar near the lake. The softness of a caterpillar is one of life's finest touches, in my opinion. It is to be preferred over pill bugs (or a roly-poly if you're from the south) and definitely nicer than a bumblebee, as that can turn horrific before you can say "Winnie-the-Pooh."

I helped Winslow find a new home several yards away from the pavement under a nice, fat Eucalyptus tree. I hope he'll make it through this season. It would be the nicest surprise ever to have Winslow land on my shoulder when he's found his new life as a butterfly.

We definitely need to start taking the camera along. But for right now, I assume you've seen a black caterpillar before. There's no telling what Winslow will look like in the future. I hope he lets Max know it's him. Max will be able to tell us.


Congrats! Go Cali!

Feel free to join in with this celebration. Go on ~ find your pom-poms and give a cheer or two. They're just the absolute cutest kids and by the way, so was the other team. Hats off to all of them. Winners all around!