Sunday, November 27, 2011


Turkey, pumpkin pie, family, football, all parts of Thanksgiving.  Yeah, sure we all know the history of it...Pilgrims, Indians, religious freedom, surviving when so many didn't, thankfulness to God, yaddy yaddy yadda.

This Thanksgiving I am rejecting the yaddy yaddy yadda!  I am whole-heartedly embracing our amazing holiday, Thankgiving. 

It all started when Matt asked if he could invite his new roommate, Albert, over for Thanksgiving.  Albert is from China.  He has only been in America for weeks.  His twin sister, Sally, came too. 

What a delight! 

Of course, being the inquisitive type, I immediately asked if they had any holidays comparable to our Thanksgiving. 

"No," they replied in impeccable English. 

No Thanksgiving?  No time when your country reflects on it's blessings?  Sure, how many people in America, like the Pilgrims, actually do praise and thank their God on this holiday?  Yet, it is our national heritage! 

We learned so much about the amazing city of Beijing, China.  We learned about the educational system.  We heard how Sally and Albert would get up at 5:00am in order to go to school.  They would not be finished until 10:00pm.  Then they would study until midnight.  And begin again the next morning.

We Americans are wondering why the Chinese are excelling in their educational system? 

We shared turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie and they shared their Jasmine tea and stories.  We shared our Christmas puzzle, o.k. more like coersed Sally to help us.  She eagerly skipped in to help us, then flipped a piece over.

A frown crossed her face.  "Where are the numbers?" she asked in her sweet, quiet way.  She went on to explain that only children do puzzles and they are numbered on the back.

Albert and Sally shared stories of their holidays, Chinese New Year,  Spring Festival and Autumn Festival.  I couldn't help but marvel at "No Christmas?"

What would life be like with no Christmas?

On Saturday, the girls drug the Christmas trunks upstairs.  Meredith put on the Christmas music and we hung wreaths, stockings and Christmas pictures.  Then came our favorite box.  As Madison pulled out our nativity scene, I listened as she explained the people and animals they were unwrapping. 

I smiled.  What an amazing perspective having Sally and Albert in our home had given us all.  But more than a perspective,  how thankful we could all be at the beautiful people we were getting to know.  Beautiful people from a beautiful country so far away. 

Tonight I am thankful!  I have a renewed appreciation for living in the land of the free, the home of the brave, AMERICA!  I am thankful for the amazing heritage which is ours.  As a believer, I am rejoicing in that!  I am also rejoicing in my two new friends, Sally and Albert!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How Cool Is That?

On Friday, Madison and I were running errands.  As we were singing along with the Christian Station, WGCA, I stopped. 

Glancing at Madison, I said, "It stinks they haven't played 'The Great Awakening' in awhile.  I love that song!"

As we pulled into our driveway, the next song began. 

My ears perked up.  My eyes bulged. 

"Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh - Oh O.  Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh -Oh O.  Oh, O, Oh, O!  Oh, O, Oh, O, Oh, O!"

I gasped, 'The Great Awakening!'

"Can you believe it?" I said incredulously to Madison.

Madison just shook her head. 

"Aren't you amazed?" I prodded.  Wondering why Madison was acting strangely.

Madison shook her head.  "Mo-mom, when that last song was on, I prayed the D.J. would put 'The Great Awakening' on."

"He-He did..."  Madison was beaming.

My thoughts were racing.

Madison prayed about that?!  Madison did that!  Something so small?  Something so unselfish- Something just for me.  God answered!  God did that!  Something so small?  Something just for me...and her!  How antsy with anticipation He must've been as each measure in the former song played on.  How antsy to know that in just a few beats we'd hear His "YES"

...and be stunned.

He cared to answer!

He delighted in answering!

He delighted- in us!

Monday, November 7, 2011


On Saturday we were in Greenville for the SLYAC championship soccer game.  Well, technically we were there for the last 7 minutes of the soccer game.  Our source said it started at 2:00.  As we parked, we immediately noticed the game had begun. 

I quickly checked my watch, 1:52. 

"It must be the JV team," Madison said.

I smiled, "Yah, that's it.  There's no way they'd start early."

As we continued approaching, I noticed a familiar face, Colby.  "Colby's not JV," I said. "This is the varsity game!"

I scanned the score.  "At least we're winning."

The buzzer soon sounded and the Greenville boys jumped into piles like new puppies, cheering and high-fiving.

"I gotta go to the bathroom," I told the girls.  Unfortunately, our only choice was the porta-potties.  I went first and noticed immediately they were out of hand sanitizers.  Why is it that hand sanitizers are absolutely imperative in a porta-potty?  Uh, maybe because it's filthy and stinky in there.

"No hand sanitizers," I said as I exitted.

"Don't worry, mom," Meredith said.  "I have some."  She reached down onto her bookbag and snapped open Bath and Bodies candy apple sanitizer. 

I squirted the fruity scent into my open palm.  As the sweet, girly smell, spread over my hand, I smiled.  That's better!

Then Meredith went in.

When she came out she said, "It does stink that they don't have any hand sanitizer, but at least they had soap."


My eyes got big.  Madison started laughing. 

I was afraid to ask, but had to. "Meredith, did you use 'the soap?'

"No.o.o," she said slowly, trying to figure out my question.

I was afraid to ask the next question, but I had to, "Have you ever used---'the soap?'

"I don't think so," Meredith said.

Madison cut in, "Meredith, that's not soap!"

My darling daughter looked confused. 

Between laughs, Madison said, "That's so it doesn't get stinky where the boys pee."

The realization hit Mer's face as her eyes got big and the look of horror crossed her face, while Madison and I were practically rolling in the grass laughing.

Yes, it was a disappointing day.  Things did not go as we expected.   But whenever one of us would mention 'Soap' we'd be rolling again until our sides ached.

I sure do love my Mer!