Still a work in progress.
September 2, 2008
More than just a few decisions had to be made. Would a career with the local community college take Savannah where God was leading her? It had been a dream for years but that dream was now fading while a new dream was budding. No not my dream but one that I had helped to keep alive. As her mother, I wanted to see her have it all. No matter how difficult, I wanted to see her succeed. College proved to be difficult all the way to the end. Sometimes it felt like the odds were against her but never did I think she would turn back. I knew that she was watching my every move and that she needed to see courage and determination in my eyes. Looking back to just this time last year it seems like our lives changed overnight. Now those dreams only seemed like motivation to keep moving, not sure where we were going but just moving. Now I see that we were moving closer to God and a walk with Him. Sometimes it felt like a wilderness, we didn’t see much progress but still we were driven to continue. Thoughts of turning back entered our minds but we had come too far to start over. That still, small voice kept saying “Just follow me.”
Giving up a home. For some two years, Savannah had lived on her own. The quaint little house in which she had turned into a home was a source of great pride and joy for her. It too had been motivation to keep on keeping on. Now the time had come to make some serious financial decisions. With the decision made to forfeit the recruiter position at the college it also meant that she would have to stay at her present job until God provided something else. With a three week trip coming up in September she would have a hard time convincing a new employer to hire her and give her three weeks off so soon. This was probably the toughest decision she had to make. Should she keep her home and be tied to her well paying but highly stressful sales job or should she start freeing herself of some financial obligations therefore freeing herself up for a lesser paying job that might still allow her the time off in September. The decision was made to move back home with Noel and me. We were happy to have her but we both knew that she had sacrificed much and that it would require sacrifices from us also. Again, that still small voice reassured us to continue on.
Within a week of the decision being made to move back home she had a new job! Not just any job but one serving Him through missions and she would be able to go to Zambia. Total surrender to His will! I can’t describe all that happened but I witnessed my daughter surrender her will to His and then I watched in sheer joy as the Father poured out His blessings on my family. There is so much more that has happened but like I said, if you were not around our house you would not know. Our God is so good!
Today at 4:40 p.m. (Central time) Savannah leaves Washington D.C. for Zambia. I didn’t mention that she evacuated to Washington last Friday to avoid Hurricane Gustav that would have prevented her from leaving out of New Orleans this morning. She has spent the last few days with friends of friends in Maryland. That’s another story (Maybe she’ll share that on her blog.) of God’s steering and how He uses every detour to accomplish His will for our lives. If you know me then you know that I would do anything for my Vannah and she and I are as close as a mother and daughter can be. But you may not know that there is One who loves her even more than I do and He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. I place my daughter in the Father’s hands. I know that she hears His still, small voice and she will follow Him. Important decisions will be made during the next few weeks and I can testify that no matter what decision is made it will lead to a greater walk with the Father for all of us. My joy is full.
Through it all I have learned to work and to plan but in all things to be flexible. I do not have as tight of fist on the reins as I once did. God may allow us to hold the reins but He is steering and it is a much easier trip when we do not resist His direction. When I was younger it was impossible for me to understand the twists and turns in the road but now I can look back over my shoulder at the path I’ve been on and know that only God could have navigated me to this place. It is a good place!
Note: Who would have thought that Hurricane Gustav was part of God’s plan for Savannah’s trip to Zambia? Today was supposed to be the day that Noel and I took her to New Orleans to catch a plane to Washington D.C. and then on to Zambia. Instead, I sit at my computer reminiscing over what God has been doing in our lives and waiting for the remnant of Gustav to leave our little town of Wiggins, Mississippi. Not my plan but obviously God was doing something much bigger. What an awesome God we serve.
July 25, 2008
May 18, 2008
2/3 cup shortening
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs, separated (whites beaten until stiff)
1 cup mashed, very ripe bananas (2 very large or 3 regular size)
1 2/3 cups plain all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup buttermilk or milk
1 teaspoon real vanilla
½ cup very finely chopped pecans or walnuts
In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar with an electric mixer.
In a small mixing bowl, separate egg whites from yolks. Add yolks to sugar mixture above and beat well. Beat egg whites in small bowl until stiff. Set aside. This will the last ingredient added to the large bowl.
With electric mixer, beat in bananas.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to sugar mixture and mix well.
Mix in milk and vanilla.
Fold in nuts and then the egg whites. Mix thoroughly but do not beat.
Spread into a 9x13 pan. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Check it at 30 minutes. Insert toothpick in center of cake to test doneness. It will be a very dark color.
Makes a very tender cake that is very good warm. Would make great muffins; using aluminum cupcake liners and reducing cooking time. It is also good served cold with banana frosting.
½ stick of real butter, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
½ box of confectioners sugar
½ teaspoon real vanilla
½ very ripe mashed banana
Add ingredients in order listed and mix thoroughly before adding the next ingredient. Spread over cooled cake in pan and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Keep refrigerated. Makes 24 servings.
May 2, 2008
April 18, 2008
Give Savannah some crayons and a coloring sheet and the only question she’ll ask you is: “Do you have a prettier picture?” Immediately she will pour the crayons out on the floor, table or whatever space she has and begin coloring. She knows that the skin is peach colored but she may just wait until she colors in the outfit before she colors the skin. She draws some clouds in the blank sky using a blue crayon. There’s a lot of grass to color in so she turns her sheet in all four directions trying to get it all...vertical and horizontal lines – it's all green. She gets outside of the grass area into the sky area but that’s OK...she can put a flower in that spot or maybe the grass has not been cut lately and it’s a little tall in that part of the yard. By the way she never colored hat sky blue. She chooses yellow for the hair color. Now it’s time to color in the blouse and skirt (of course it’s a little girl that she chooses to color). She likes pink for the blouse and starts filling in the outline. She managed to stay inside the lines for the most part but there are a few jagged edges that she never seems to notice. The skirt will be a pretty blue color. With great excitement she works quickly to finish the project and but she merges some of the blue color into the blouse area accidentally. Is it ruined? Apparently not, quickly she uses the blue to recolor the pink area and now the outfit is a pretty lavender and blue. She colors in a few pieces of jewelry and her masterpiece is finished! Look mom! Quickly she picks up a blank sheet of paper to exercise her new found talent of mixing colors. No planning, she simply tries them all. No finished product in her mind she is simply enjoying herself. After a while she gets called away to something else and quickly leaves her workspace with no thought of whether or not she will return. She’s had fun but she will not depend on that single joy to sustain her. She’s expecting more joy ahead and she usually finds it in all that she encounters.
My picture is complete and it’s a nice picture but I missed out on the joy that I could have had. A few days ago, Savannah’s dad teased her by saying, “You realize that you are becoming your mother, don’t you?” She replies, “Scary, huh?” Yes, she has some of my characteristics and even some of my habits but by the grace of God she will never become her Mama but I would not mind being more like my daughter. Isaiah 29:19 tells us, “The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD.”
April 1, 2008
How could she let him go? There was no guarantee that he would be safe. She might never see him again. Uncertainty, that's all she had - or did she have much more? She had been in bondage her entire life. She knew trials. She had learned that when she had done all she could, God could do the rest.
She could have held on to Moses but that would have meant sure death. What faith she had when she pushed that little ark away and put her trust in her God. He blessed her immediately. He blessed us all through the life of Moses. All because of a mother's faith.
March 28, 2008
After about a month the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father's study where his father said, "Son, I've been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you've studied your Bible diligently, but you didn't get your hair cut!"
The young man waited a moment and replied, "You know Dad, I've been thinking about that. You know, Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair,Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair...."
To which his father replied, "Yes, and they walked everywhere they went!"
March 23, 2008
And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Luke 7:21
Afterwards, Mary Magdalene comes on the scene as a thankful servant.
• She was from Magdala, a city on the western shore of Galilee, near Capernaum.
• No mention is made of her family, marital status or occupation.
• She was relieved of seven devils.
Luke 8:1-2 And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
• She provided for Jesus' ministry out of her financial means. She may have been single and in the habit of earning a living. She along with other women ministered to the needs of Jesus and the disciples.
Luke 8:3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.
• She was privileged to witness many things that others did not see. She was loyal to Jesus and stayed close by him.
• She witnessed the crucifixion. By now she has made it to the foot of the cross. Other followers of Jesus have probably lost interest and left the scene. She knew what Jesus had done for her and she never lost faith.
Matthew 27:55-56 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.
Mark 15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;
John 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
• She witnessed the entombment.
Matthew 27:59-61 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.
Mark 15:47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
• She went to anoint Jesus' body in the tomb.
Matthew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
Mark 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
John 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
• She witnessed angels and other signs at the tomb.
Mark 16:5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
• She was the first person to see the resurrected Jesus.
Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
• She received a commission to tell the other disciples about the resurrection.
John 20:17-18 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
• She told the disciples about the resurrection and was disbelieved.
Luke 24:10-11 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
A Leader Among Women:
Mary Magdalene led by example. Mary shared her faith with other women. She led them to minister to the needs of Jesus and the disciples. She would not have been able to meet their needs alone but she could with the help of others. This is an example of how we support our missionaries today.
Mary Magdalene is mentioned fourteen times in the gospels and from that record we can compose a sketchy profile of her life. It is worth noting that in eight of the fourteen instances that she is mentioned, Mary is named in connection with other women, of which she is always named first. This would lead us to believe that she occupied the place at the front in service rendered by godly women. In the five times she is mentioned alone, it is in connection with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. She worshipped her Savior in the presence of others but also in private.
Mary Magdalene owed much, gave much, loved much and served much. She is a wonderful example of a woman whose life was poured out in response to God's extravagant grace.