Visit my new blog

In case you haven't heard, I've moved my blog, but haven't figured out how to redirect yet. HTML code can kiss my a*s. Come visit me here:

Friday, January 30, 2009

still waters

TGIF or THANK GOD, period.

it's been a struggle-filled week with a graduating senior, but overall, nothing to complain about, really.

i mentioned several things yesterday that i was thankful for, so i won't rehash.

but one of the first things i am thankful for is for our health. that i don't have to learn big ugly words that i have to google and then get shivers as i understand their meanings.

i'm thankful for the stress i have with my job. i have one. praise God!!

i'm thankful for our son who is away at college and still calls, just to chat.

i'm thankful for heat in our home, insullation against the cold, and comfort that i take for granted and even gripe about. it reminds me to pray for a family with 8 children who has lost everything in a house fire.

as much as i get kind of melancholy over the mundaneness (is that even a word?) of my life, i am CELEBRATING today. how in the world could i EVER complain about not suffering?? shame on me!! i am entirely grateful that i receive God's blessings and not what i deserve.

so Lord, thank you for normal, for an even-keel, for relatively smooth waters. i am on my knees thanking.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

welcome to the rollercoaster

This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check our their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts.

raising kids. it's a fun ride, huh? between the adorable things they say and do to the snot-blasting tantrums that make you wonder if your child has been possessed by aliens, raising kids is anything but boring.

the initial ride of parenthood is nearing its last death-defying climb before it plumments to the end as we journey towards high school graduation with our last one home. not to overdramatize the event, really, but i feel the climb, and it's going to be such a thrilling end. 

as rollercoaster rides go, ours has had few surprises, and i'm happy to say that our arms have been raised in joy and praise throughout the ride. really.

and although i've been complaining lately about thoughtless actions that result in my tender feelings getting hurt, all in all i have very little to complain about. 

i am so incredibly thankful that all i have is a teen that speaks her mind (gah, when she chooses to speak at all) with brutal honesty, and not one that screams at the top of her lungs, slams doors, goes MIA or is in some drug rehab program.

i'm so incredibly thankful that my child, with the exception of some knee issues, is healthy, relatively zit-free, is caring, thoughtful and has a heart for the diabled. 

i'm so incredibly thankful that my child is motivated in the classroom, has worked hard for her grades and has been invited to be in the capstone honors nursing program at the university of alabama in the fall.

most of all, though, i'm INCREDIBLY THANKFUL that my daughter loves the Lord with all her heart, mind and soul. that she knows she serves and AWESOME God. that she belongs to Him until the day she dies. praise Jesus and halleluiah!!

so my Hi/Lo thursday is all wrapped up into one. the highs and lows of loving a teen. the ride can sometimes suck the very wind out of my soul and squeeze my heart until i think i'm going to collapse, but most of the time, i can shake my windblown hair, wipe the tears from my eyes and exclaim, "ohmystars!! that was amazing!! what an awesome, incredible ride!!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

diet is a 4-letter word!

well, i started a new diet today. and yesterday. and the day before that. uuuuum pretty much every day. 

i'm not alone. i know you're out there.

reduce calories, move more.


piece of cake!

uh oh.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

pulling away

while my not me monday post may have been a humorous look at what it's like to have a teenager pulling away, a mother's heart still aches when she's rejected.

and i know it's perfectly normal. and it goes on throughout the growing up process.

no, mommy, me do it!

ahhhh, back in the days when my kids "used their words."

now it's just the monosyllabic answers, the bored tone of voice, the heavy sigh, the subtle eye roll, the quest to be alone.

i have to resist the urge not to text instead of talking face to face, although sometimes the conversations have more words that way.

but this is normal, i remind myself. just like going off to school for the first time, making their own snack, doing their own laundry, mapquesting their own directions for a road trip. 

i want independence for my kids. i really do. i was just hoping we could preserve a loving relationship during the the process. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

nope, not me!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

nope, i definately did not scope out web domains to see if has already been taken. naaaahhh. . . not me!

and i didn't follow it up with, either. 

or a couple of others!! (both of these mentioned are available, but i did NOT seriously think of starting a new website. . .nope, not me!)

needless to say this last semester at home is going to be a rocky one, which is guess is God's way of making the parting in august easier.

i so did not look in the mirror to see if i had a giant checkbook where my head used to be, and surprisingly, there wasn't a VISA stapled to my forehead either! wow!

and i didn't laugh when i wondered if the movie "he's just not that into you" was written by the parent of a high school senior. nope, not me!

pfsh. if only it was funny!

what i wouldn't give for a toddler tantrum in the middle of target right about now.

authority issues

in reading a blog this morning about exodus 33 and how God told  moses that they could have the promised land, but because the people were giving him a huge headache in their continued disobedience, he said you can have it but i'm out. love ya. mean it. bye. and moses says uh, it's not the same without you, and pleads to see God's glory. and she (the blogger) talked about how she too, wanted to see God's glory.
i've been hanging out in exodus and leviticus in BSF this year as we study the life of moses. it's some pretty amazing stuff, and i reallly love the story she described. i love the end of exodus even more, as the israelites proved they could obey as they built the ark, the tent of meeting, the table for the offerings, etc. by folllowing God's instructions explicitly. and God's glory descends on them. 
as i marvel at that and what that must have been like, i realized that i was not all about wanting that for myself. 
why is that?
well, as i thought more about it, it comes down to obedience. and bending the knee. i'm still having authority issues. and i'm aware of it (which i guess is a good beginning).
i'll be working on that whole "dying to self" thing today.
i am pretty excited about the holy spirit's involvement in this. because i sure couldn't do it without Him.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

sabbath breaking

thou shalt not work on a sunday. i wonder if that includes blogging? well in between church, lunch and lifegroups tonite, i am finding that in order to host girls at the house tonite, i am going to have to shovel out some stuff, tackle the dust bunnies and perhaps put something on for dinner. 

i haven't seen revolutionary road yet, but i am feeling very much in the lame mundaneness of dust and feeding time.

but wait. . . 

i'm thankful for a healthy family, for food in the pantry, for heat on a cold day, for a vacuum that works, swiffers in the box, ummmm the backed up pipe in the bathroom is (hopefully) unclogged and no longer dripping on my workspace.

i'm thankful that there will be more football next weekend (i'll mourn the passing of football at a later date). i'm thankful for the housefull of girls i'll have at the house later and for the opportunity to speak truth into their lives.

i'm thankful that i know my lord and savior, sad that i yelled at my daughter on the sabbath, happy that He loves me despite my shortcomings.

let this be a reminder to me that i shall work harder next week to be ready for the sabbath. it is sooooo worth it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

joy. it's so hard sometimes!

i look around

and life is crashing

all around

all around.

fires burning

children suffering

fighting for their next breath.

stuggling groaning

crying out Lord,

where is the joy?


the dance

same steps

different tune

what is the use?

where is the joy?

my hope is in YOU.

my focus is on YOU.

my sustinence is in YOU.

my life is in YOU.

and when nothing makes sense…

when the sameness is overwhelming…

when life is crashing all around…

what is real

what is lasting

what is solid …is YOU.

and there is the joy.

this post is part of "hi/lo thursday" on riggs family blog 


snow. when you live in the south, there's nothing quite like an entire day of snow. and what is even better is a day of snow with virtually no accumulation, or at least no trecherous roads. i know inches = happiness for children, but it's okay. i loved watching the big fluffy flakes falling all day long. 


tears. one of the students i lead recounted how hurtful it is to hear racial slurs. even in the spirit of fun, words sting, and feelings linger. as the tear rolled down her cheek, it broke my heart.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

snowman impaired

only in the south would teenagers go outside after a snow, spend five minutes building a snowman (it'll have to be small, they said, because we don't have alot of snow. take a closeup and then it'll look really big), then come in and declare, "ohmygoodness! building a snowman is hard!"

why are y'all in already?

ummm. hello… it's 25 degrees outside. we're COLD! feel my ears!

where's the snowman?

right there?




it was a beginning, i guess.

at least until bailey decided to see what was inside.

imagine her disappointment. more snow.

laughter lives tuesday

Laughter LivesThis post is part of "Laughter Lives! Tuesday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check our their blog to read everyone else's "Laughter Lives!" posts.

my niece was about 5 when she skipped in from outside, heading straight for the bathroom, where she had some pretty pressing business. as she was passing the time, she sang a sweet song, "butt, butt, butt, butt, butt-butt buuuuuuuttttttt…"

she finished, flushed, washed and proceeded to skip out the way she came in… but just before she got outside, her mother, who was sitting quietly on the couch, just outside the bathroom, said, "ummm natalie. that was a nice song…"

natalie, clearly caught in a "naughy word incident" but who is also a very clever, quick-thinker replied, "oh, mommy that was the B-U-T song, not the B-U-T-T song!"

and off she skipped, clearly pleased with herself.

extreme home makeover

the family with ten kids whose house burned down last week are amazingly giving and completely deserving of a new home, courtesy of extreme home makeover! drop by this site and leave a comment so that ABC will have no other choice but to give the Saunders family a new home.

baby, it's cold outside!

snow has been on the brain here. and it's little wonder. heck, i don't think we get to see it every winter, so when it happens, it's a novelty. and by the time it's old news, it's usually long melted.

let the dogs out. brrrr. and yet one wandered off and was gone for a half hour. little dogs in 20 degree weather. it must have been important, because i sure was ready to come in!

believe it or not, i'm out of milk. which means i have to go to the grocery store. one of the more loathsome tasks i have. but in the spirit of considering my life in the context of being thankful in all circumstances, perhaps it is a time to be thankful that i have 4 wheel drive, heat in the car (and bunwarmers), and money in my account to pay for my sundries.

kinda makes me wish i was here:

sunday nite was the fourth annual christmas tree inferno. 412 trees. ablaze. not only was it amazing, but it was nice and toasty. and we didn't have to put another log on the fire all night long.


i was also struck by how noisy fires are. the needles crackled like miniature fire crackers (very minature) and as i stood and watched the flames, stepped back as my face was too hot to even face the flames, i couldn't help but think of the family that stood and watched their log home be consumed by fire. the sounds must have been heartbreaking.  everything. gone. but they are all okay, and are praising His protection and provision. 


Monday, January 19, 2009

not a fan

while the kids were celebrating snow, i had three very reluctant snowbunnies. didn't like walking on it, and certainly didn't enjoy having to take care of their business on it. 

no sir, not one bit.

snow day like a snow day!!

woke up to the most glorious sight… snow!! pretty much the sentiment in these parts is: if it's gonna be this stinkin' cold, then it may as well snow! and it did!! all day long!

the party actually began last friday when they didn't actually call off school. what they did was give parents the discretion. translation: stay home. no one is going anyway. and if you do go, they're going to reteach all the material anyway. so basically, it was a snow day. add in a day off for MLK day and a whole day with flakes… well, school has been called off for tomorrow.

mind you, there isn't a flake on the street. not a one. but when you live in tennessee, it doesn't take much. 

and i'd be surprised if there's any milk, bread or eggs left in the krogers.

kinda makes me wonder… do people just stay home and make french toast??

Friday, January 16, 2009

best seat in the house

after standing outside, waiting for our three (yes, three) weiner dogs to "do their business" i got to thinking about the miracle plane crash in the hudson river yesterday. i am freezing my backside off, and i think i was outside for all of five minutes (it shouldn't take that long to do business in 12 degree weather, but then that is why i'm outside with them. to keep them on task. hmmmm. we have something in common, but that's another story) and i was stomping my feet grumbling hurry up, dang it. how long does it take to flippin' PEE!? and then i thought about being in the hudson river. wet. shivering. stunned with shock. rubbing my head i smacked on the ceiling of the plane as it crashed. 

i cannot even begin to imagine…

or how cold the family with ten kids whose house burned down the other day as they stood shivering in the snow watching the flames consume their shelter, their memories, their refuge.

i cannot even begin to imagine…

and while it would be easy to sink to my knees thanking God for saving my life from a harrowing plane crash, i wonder, how in the world is is possible to thank God for the destruction of a home?

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

thank you for that reminder, James!

and in 1 thessalonians 5, we are reminded: Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

not be joyful when you feel like it, or when it suits you, but always…

not pray when you can squeeze it in, or when someone else does, or at an appointed time (like before a meal, or at church). but continually…

giving thanks. not when something nice happens, or when someone gives me something, or i get a blessing. in all circumstances…

so thank you for the blessing of heat when it is cold. and for coats and mittens and scarves.

thank you for the freezing temperatures which make such amazing frost crystals on my windows!

thank you for crunchy grass!

and thank you for the freezing moment in my front yard when i remembered to rejoice in the day the Lord has made. to have a thankful heart, to pray for my friends and people i don't even know and at all times…

Thursday, January 15, 2009

hi/lo thursday

This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on Riggs Family Blog (


remembering and telling about my son's nineteen years on this earth. the joys and entertainment we've received as being part of his life and his often hilarious view of life.


in the wake of his birthday came a reminder that our time here on this earth is finite. and we helped usher another of God's children (albeit a grandmother, but she's still His child) into his awaiting arms. grieving is a low, but knowing she is dancing in the presence of Jesus, well, it almost qualifies as a high.


it's interesting how i have not cried over my mother in quite some time. not at christmas, nor the 9th anniversary of her passing… i'm just not a crier that way and i don't dwell on that kind of thing. y'know, the saddness of all that. i am much more inclined to remember the stuff that makes me smile.

SP's grandmother is now sitting in the Lord's presence. she's perfect in every way, healed and marveling at the golden pavement… the spendor of her new surroundings. as a believer, it's what we yearn for. 

thinking about daughters watching grieving mothers, mothers grieving over lost mothers… well it brought back so many memories of grieving that i identified very strongly with what SP and her family are going through.

my grandmother lived to be 103, but that didn't mean that my own mother grieved any less just because my grandmother was old and frail. it was hard watching my mom grieve. it's awkward and there's not much to say… sometimes nothing is better than something lame. (i oftentimes think of Job's "friends" who should have taken the less-is-more approach in trying to comfort)

my mother wasn't blessed with as much longevity as my grandmother. smoking will do that. but i was so glad to have my mom for 35 years. she saw me married, met my children and enjoyed them for almost 8 years, saw me rededicate my marriage to the Lord, and came to know His saving grace just two weeks before she died. because of this, the sting of death is diminished in light of the victory dance i know she did the second she left this life. thank you, sweet Jesus for that affirmation!!

my mother possessed a great love for others. she was a tireless volunteer. she raised children for (yikes!) 35 years. she loved to laugh and did it often. she enjoyed television (it was always on, sort of like a companion as she worked in the house), cleaned like a maniac, was an excellent cook, baked christmas cookies like a machine, told jokes and had a sarcastic wit, cried at gone with the wind every time she saw it, and used to blast operas out our living room windows on saturday mornings. 

yeah, i miss my mom. i told her everything. and in the (almost) year after my dad died, i used to call her every day. at first to cheer her up, but quickly thereafter, to inquire after her health as she was diagnosed with terminal cancer just three months after losing him. but she never wasted one minute dying. no sir. she laughed and encouraged and poked fun and even had scandelously funny last words the day before she died. 

in the tears that blur my vision, i remember a woman who lived life fully. reckless abandon. full throttle. no regrets. and at last, a surrendered believer. her tender new-believer heart, while afraid, was at peace. i look forward to the day when we can put our heads together, chatting and laughing. heads thrown back, laughing until the tears roll down our faces. 

just like old times.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


in the glory of celebration of a birthday is the grieving of passing. my son's special someone has gone to be with her family as her grandmother slips from this world. it brings back some precious memories of my own… and some tears.

SP, i know this time is difficult. the waiting is maddening. the suffering unbearable. and little anyone can say can make it better. 

grieving is messy. and uncomfortable. and awkward.

so tonight, we stand in the gap for you, friend. 


and grieving with you.


there's nothing quite like your firstborn. nineteen years ago today, i gave birth to alexander hollis widmer. 

not a small feat, (but then what birth is??) but at the end of a long day of heee heee heeeeing, i can't even begin to describe the feeling of looking into the face of your baby for the first time. and looking up to my husband and thinking. . . we did this??

well, actually, God did this, but isn't it cool He lets us in on the fun?

looking over pictures over the past nineteen years, (and they're in a stack in a box. they're not amazingly archively attached to a precious scrapbook with hand-journaled arty pages) i am reminded of how much i love that kid!

after three months of maybe-we-should-send-him-back-to-the-manufacturer colic, he found his thumb. the heavens opened, the angels sang. . . and life was all smiles from then on.

alex is a bright ray of sunshine in a world that has been unkind at times. and even in the unkindest times (like the time his face was smashed into a brick wall at the hands of some bully and he is still toothless ten years later) his sense of humor and smile have never gone missing.

a love for chipmunks, all things spongebob, viral videos, mario kart, friends, soccer, wiffleball in the front yard, Jesus, people, practical jokes, weiner dogs, laughing (real belly laughs) and anything sporty, alex is a great lover of life, an investor in people, and a precious light for our Savior.

do i have some great library of scrapbooks heralding each first step, first tooth, first day of school, first dance, first girlfriend, first car, first anything?


but i do have living proof that God has done an amazing thing in letting us be shepherds in our son's life.

oh, how i love that kid!

happy birthday, alex! you have taught me so much in 19 years, and i'm looking forward to being your mom for many, many more years.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

focus now… try really hard…

it's not an official diagnosis. but i'm convinced i have it. 

in conversations…

in projects…

at work…

in the kitchen…

if i think it, i go there.

and when i'm on the computer, if i think about it, i CAN go there! so yes, focusing is a struggle for me.

i'm scattered.

i'm smothered.

mmmmm. did someone say waffle house?

embracing the morning

for those of you who don't live in the south,  there's nothing noteworthy about a crisp winter morning. but for those of us in this part of our world, it's enough not to be slogging through another day of torrential rain. we've had our fair share.

as i was driving my daughter to school (during which she commented that this sharing of the car wasn't as bad as she thought it would be and added that she wouldn't mind if we continued to do so . . . concentrate! don't drive off the road!! shock!!) i was captivated by the sun, the cornflower skies, the glint of frost on the naked tree branches. and i marveled at the craftsmanship of ice.

how clever, how intricate, how delicate!! and how quickly we must look, before the sun's kiss melts the artistry. how is it that God has created such beauty in something so simple as a water molecule? and such uniqueness in each formation. . . only to have it dashed in an instant by a footprint, or a warming breath or the sun's ray?

how much more He cares for us. . .

and since we are here, longer than a snowflake, let us be mindful of our time, and not waste a single minute. how precious, each moment. 

i'm thinking of you abby, and praying that you'll have many, many moments here on this earth.

Monday, January 12, 2009

well, it's time to stop reading and start writing

not that i have time, mind you. i have so much going on, and yet, for some reason, i have this need. . . this need to stop stalking and start doing.

so i don't have time right now, but now that it's up, i can come back and visit.

and hopefully i'll share something with a bit more substance than blahg, blahg, blahg.